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describe a morning you woke without fear

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i.

Yoongi meets Jeongguk in the fall, when everything is starting to die. 

He meets Jeongguk in person through Jimin but, before that, Yoongi hears about him through Hoseok, Namjoon, Seokjin, Taehyung, Kihyun, Suran.  Through the entire city of Seoul screaming out to him have you heard about this boy.  

Jeongguk, it seems, is one of those people who falls into everyone’s life accidentally, but like he was meant to be there.  

“Min Yoongi-hyung producer extraordinaire from Daegu!”  Jimin shrieks, throwing open the door to the coffee shop, bringing in cold air.  Yoongi fights a smile, curls his hands around his mug.  Jimin makes Yoongi feel warm inside, different but the same way that Hoseok does, Namjoon does, Seokjin does, Taehyung does.

Yoongi hates it.  He loves it.  The roots of his fingernails throb with it.  Warming up hurts the most, and he was so cold for so long. 

Yoongi hunches over his coffee. 

“Don’t.”  He mutters grumpily, even as he reaches out a hand and holds Jimin’s briefly, in greeting.

This is Jeon Jeongguk.”  Jimin says, gesturing behind him.  “Jeonggukie’s majoring in photography and studio arts at my uni even though those are ridiculously intensive double majors and he’s in his third year, he’s been in Tokyo on study abroad, and he’s brilliant and a photographer and an artist, obviously, and he should do the pictures for your next album, look at him, he’s astounding, hyung.”

Jeon Jeongguk is so pretty that Yoongi can’t look at him for long, finds it easier to look at him in relief: the spaces around Jeongguk, the dark shadow against the pane of his neck, the sharp edge of his jawbone, the incline of his shoulders, the gentle curve of his lips.

Yoongi wants a cigarette.  He doesn’t smoke anymore, but— 

This kid makes Yoongi want one.

The way he’s smiling, the way his hair is falling into his eyes, the way he’s shrugging off his jacket and the way the white t-shirt he’s wearing looks like it’s been poured over him, like it’s dripping off him. It hangs on his frame perfectly, it hangs the way fabric is draped on the Greek gods in paintings, drawing lines in excess, the way the veiling of statues during Lent only accentuates them. Like this stupid white t-shirt was designed with exactly this boy, this Jeongguk, in mind. It’s a fucking white t-shirt and Yoongi feels like he’s seeing proof of God.

Yoongi drums his fingers on the edges of his mug. 

“Hi.”  Yoongi says. 

“Yoongi-hyung is famous.”  Jimin says.

Jeongguk grins wide-eyed and bright, like he’s swallowed a star and can’t contain all of its light.

“No.”  Yoongi disagrees.  “Don’t.”  Yoongi says, and Jimin sticks his tongue out, goes to get him and Jeongguk drinks, shushing Jeongguk’s protests, pushing him onto the couch next to Yoongi.  The cushions dip, their thighs touch.  

“Yoongi also goes by Suga.  Suga, like Genius Studios.  Producer of the year nominated, rapper, genius, recluse, you know, with lyrics that make you feel like you need to go to confession.” Jimin shouts cheerfully over his shoulder.  Yoongi squints at Jimin’s back, furrows his brow, and then turns to explain these expectations away, but Jeongguk is right there, face very close to Yoongi’s. 

“No way.” Jeongguk says, breath ghosting across Yoongi’s cheeks.  “Holy shit, I love you.”

Yoongi freezes, and then shifts, pulls back.

“You don’t know me.” He looks anywhere but Jeongguk.  “I’m very unlovable.”  He laughs, so it sounds like a joke. 

Jeongguk doesn’t laugh.  He blinks slowly at Yoongi, eyes round and big, lashes catching, like a sleepy owl from a storybook.  It’s fucking enchanting.  Yoongi looks away again. 

“No, I’m a very good judge of character.”  Jeongguk says.  “I love you.”  He repeats. 

Jeongguk’s skin is tan despite it being almost nearly winter, the color of salted caramel.  Yoongi wants to lick a stripe up his throat.  Yoongi wants to suck Jeongguk’s fingers into his mouth and taste the salt of them.  Yoongi wants to make Jeongguk smile again.  

He feels his face flush.

“Well, thanks, love you too.”  He mumbles, at a loss. 

Jeongguk laughs, delighted. 

“Oh good.”  He says.  “Lucky me.”  He adds, with a hum.  Yoongi has never heard anyone say lucky me without it sounding sarcastic, but Jeongguk manages it.  It’s unnervingly genuine.    

Yoongi hazards another glance. 

Jeongguk smiles at him, open and happy.

Yoongi’s fucked.

 

 

ii.

Jeongguk is having a house-warming party and it is terrifying.  Everyone who lives in Seoul is here.  Everyone who has ever lived in Seoul, the ghosts of all the people who have died in this city- they are all here.  They are squeezed in, pressing together.  Spirits are hidden in the spaces in between people’s ribs and the gaps in between their fingers when they hold hands, sneaking sips of spilled liquor and bites of dropped crumbs, whispered words. 

It’s so bright and—

Yoongi is good with people he loves, with people he trusts, with small groups and friends he has made or is in the process of making  

but— 

He is not so good with endless light, endless on, endless streams of people, endless loud loud loud.

Yoongi escapes to Jeongguk’s tiny balcony, slipping behind the floor length curtains and then through the glass door.  It’s cold.  It is a cold night in November and it is two in the morning and winter is rushing in early, angry and fretful, picking at Yoongi’s hoodie with its cold fingers.  He wishes he had his jacket.  He sits down heavily and the ground is cold and the glass against his back is cold and he feels very numb.

The door slides open behind him and Yoongi nearly falls, startled, and turns to meet Jeongguk’s wide doe-eyes.

“But it’s freezing out here.”  Jeongguk says, as though continuing a conversation they were having.  “Wait." 

Yoongi blinks and Jeongguk is gone.  He’s gone long enough that Yoongi thinks he has been stopped by someone else; someone with other, better, conversation; someone more interesting than Yoongi is.  That is fine.  Jeongguk is bright like flame, after all, and this is his party, after all, and he’s good at everything he does. Yoongi has known him only a little over a month and he knows that, each time they meet he realizes that more, but Jeongguk is soft and insistent and asks Yoongi questions about producing and sometimes just watches him, in the studio, eyes intent as he tracks Yoongi's movements. Jeongguk should burn in the center of this party and not on this cold balcony with only Yoongi to feel his warmth.   

The door cracks open again and Jeongguk slips out, carrying a thick fuzzy blanket and a bottle of something and two clinking glasses.  He puts the breakables on the ground almost carelessly, sits beside Yoongi and, with a look of concentration, throws the blanket around their shoulders.  He reaches across Yoongi to adjust the edge, pull it farther around Yoongi’s shoulder, tuck it up under Yoongi’s neck.  It folds against the glass door behind them and--

“Your blanket is getting dirty.”  Yoongi protests.  

“It’s washable.”  Jeongguk says peaceably, settling.  His thigh brushes against Yoongi’s.  He doesn’t move it.

“You’re missing your party.”  Yoongi argues, puzzled.  Jeongguk is so warm against him.  Yoongi feels off balance. 

“Everyone,” Jeongguk bumps him with his shoulder, “is blitzed and happy.  Literally, they didn’t even notice me carrying a blanket through my living room.  My living room.  Shit.  I just heard myself say that. Anyway, they will survive without my presence fo—oh shit.  Shit.”  He turns toward Yoongi and his face falls.  “You wanted to be alone, that’s why you’re out here.  Shit.  Sorry, sorry, it’s just I was looking for you, going to try and convince you to come somewhere quiet with me because I wanted to ask you if- it doesn’t matter, shit, I didn’t see you and then you were here and I— sorry,” He goes to stand up, his foot nudges the glasses and they clink against the bottle. 

“No,” Yoongi says, “no, no, no.  Not that.”

They pause in the cold air, Jeongguk half standing, the blanket falling from his body, Yoongi reaching out.  Yoongi pulls his hand back, pats the space beside him.

Jeongguk sits down, like he’s unsure he’s wanted.  Yoongi puts the blanket around Jeongguk’s shoulders, mirroring Jeongguk’s movements from before, shifts so their sides are touching again.  What are you doing, he hisses at himself, that was an accident when he did it.  Jeongguk smiles at him.  

“Warm.”  He says, and shifts closer, presses their sides together, hums in contentment. 

It punches Yoongi in the gut. 

“I’m not good with too much.”  Yoongi offers, after a second.  “That was all.  It’s a lot, you know?  Crushes of people, crowds.  I just needed a second to— I just needed a second, was all.  Overwhelming.  It’s overwhelming in there.”  Yoongi laughs wryly. 

Stupid.  He sounds stupid.  

“Yeah.”  Jeongguk says.  “Yeah.  Would you prefer to be under the blanket then?" 

Yoongi blinks and looks over at him, surprised. 

“Actually, yes,” Yoongi says, “but—

Jeongguk pulls it over their heads. 

It’s dark and warm and safe and it takes a second to adjust.  Yoongi can still sort of see Jeongguk, can almost look at him straight on now, the shadows dampening the edges of his face and it’s a little less like looking at the sun.

“Help me drink this.”  Jeongguk reaches outside the blanket and taps around, then pulls his hand back in triumphantly, holding up the bottle.  He passes it to Yoongi and then reaches back out, searches for the glasses.

“Drink what?”  Yoongi asks, squinting in the half dark.  The light from the party filters in through the blanket, the glow casting everything under it in shades of twilight. 

“It tastes like cinnamon.”  Jeongguk says, not answering, taking the bottle back and twisting at the top.  “I stole it from Seokjinie-hyung.”  The top makes a popping sound when it comes off and Jeongguk’s elbow jerks, tugs the blanket half-off their heads. 

He waits, unmoving, until Yoongi readjusts it.

“I’m not drinking straight Fireball with you, under a blanket, on a balcony, at two am in November.”  Yoongi says, when they are covered again.  “Why did Jin-hyung even have Fireball?” 

“Okay, rude.”  Jeongguk says and waves the open bottle enticingly under Yoongi’s nose.  It does smell nice, mixed with Jeongguk’s cologne, the scent of his skin.  Yoongi’s not sure which he wants to breathe in.  He twists a little, turns toward Jeongguk.  “I might be younger than you," Jeongguk says, "but I have standards too, you know.  It’s not Fireball.  It is St. George Spirits Spiced Pear Liqueur.”

“What.”  Yoongi says.

“St. George Spirits Spiced Pear Liqueur.”  Jeongguk repeats. 

“St. George Spirits--?”

“--Spiced Pear Liqueur.”

Ah, Yoongi thinks, understanding.  He’s freezing to death on Jeongguk’s balcony and the hypothermia is setting in.  It’s giving him a glimpse of something pretty and warm so that he will fall asleep and not even notice as death creeps up.

“Ah.”  Yoongi says, thankful he only vocalizes part of his thoughts.  He’s had enough alcohol that it’s surprising he didn’t say more, limbs loose, lips loose.   “Are you drunk?” He adds, wondering.

Jeongguk considers.

“Pleasantly, but not dangerously. You?”

“About the same.” Yoongi nods, the blanket shifting around him. “About the same.”

“So. Good.” Jeongguk says, serious. “Pleasantly but not dangerously drunk Yoongi-hyung. Please drink St. George Spirits Spiced Pear Liqueur with me, under a blanket, on this balcony, at two am in November.  Any standards for social functions that you may have will survive intact.  I even brought glasses.  Juice glasses, but still.”

Yoongi feels strangely at peace.  The press of the blanket, the soft measured cadence of Jeongguk’s words, the chill of the air sneaking in through the fleece and dancing over Yoongi’s skin. 

“Well, in that case, okay.”

Jeongguk smiles, so bright that Yoongi could see it even if it was pitch dark. 

“Lucky me.”

The party thrums against the glass like a heartbeat, and Yoongi sits with Jeongguk, under a blanket, on a balcony, at two am in November, and drinks St. George Spirits Spiced Pear Liqueur from a juice glass.

It tastes like candy and is thick in his mouth.  Yoongi swallows hard.  Jeongguk hums, pours him more. 

They drink and they talk.  About parties.  About music.  About how pretty Seoul is, but how hard it can be to stick here, like the surface of the city has been polished to a shine-- there are no handholds, there’s no way to get your footing. 

The liqueur is heady, vaguely dizzying in the heat of their makeshift blanket fort.  It’s almost too much in combination with the way Jeongguk listens to what Yoongi says, interjects his thoughts softly, tilts his head while he thinks.  Yoongi can’t stop stealing glances at Jeongguk, seeing bits of him in isolation, the curve of his neck, the slope of his shoulder, the flash of his teeth.  The way his tongue laps at the edge of his glass. 

The way he keeps leaning in, toward Yoongi. 

Yoongi realizes that at some point they’ve moved position, no longer sitting side-by-side but knee-to-knee, cross-legged on the cold cement.

Jeongguk’s hands look like bird wings in the lowlight when he holds the bottle up and shakes it, and Yoongi nods.  He reaches out to pour Yoongi more, brow furrowed in concentration, and he just looks so sweet that Yoongi slips. 

“Pretty.”  He mumbles, and reaches out, taps Jeongguk’s cheek. 

Oops. 

Jeongguk’s expression is unreadable in the darkness, but Yoongi watches him lick his lips.

“Can I take your picture?”  Jeongguk asks, startling Yoongi by speaking, his voice so low.

“What?”  Yoongi blinks.  “Now?”

Jeongguk laughs, the sound crackling through the air like thunder, and pulls the blanket off their heads.  The world rushes in, freezing and loud.  Jeongguk’s hair is mussed --it looks like he’s been in bed with someone-- his skin is flushed, there’s a bead of sweat on his temple, his loose sweater is falling off on one shoulder --it looks like he’s been in bed with someone-- skin coffee with cream, lips so sweet and red and Yoongi can see the sticky liqueur on them and he wants to lean over and lick, see if Jeongguk tastes like spiced pears, cinnamon and cloves, underneath the alcohol.  His gaze falls to Jeongguk’s exposed neck, goosebumps rising as the wind does what Yoongi wants to do and kisses the skin.  Yoongi reaches out and adjusts Jeongguk’s shirt for him, fingers grazing, body hazy and slow with alcohol. 

Jeongguk's sharp, stuttered inhale makes Yoongi drops his hand, tear his eyes back up to Jeongguk’s. 

Jeongguk clears his throat and looks away; face flushed a deep pink, travelling down his neck, up his ears. 

Flushed from the heat, the blanket, Yoongi reminds himself. 

“N-not right now.  Um.  Later.  I want to take your picture but.  Another time.”

“No.”  Yoongi says.  “Maybe.”  Yoongi adds.  “Why?”  Yoongi finishes the liqueur in his tiny juice glass, rolls the edge against his mouth, feels it tug at his lip.   “Sticky.”  He mumbles.

Jeongguk is looking at him, eyes on Yoongi’s mouth, brow furrowed, almost frowning.  Yoongi presses his teeth into his lower lip hard, watches as Jeongguk’s tongue flicks out and over his own lip, soothing the skin against the invisible bite.

Yoongi shivers and Jeongguk jumps, and then pulls Yoongi toward him easily, by the waist with one arm, the other hand grabbing the blanket to wrap it around them again.  Yoongi gasps, surprised by how easily Jeongguk moved him, reached out for him, touched him.  He can feel Jeongguk’s heart through his sweater where Yoongi placed his hand to steady himself.  Jeongguk is so solid; his heart thrums underneath Yoongi’s fingers.  

Jeongguk blinks up at him, as if just realizing how close they are, as if just realizing he pulled Yoongi onto his lap.

“Um.” He whispers, wide-eyed. “Sorry.”

Yoongi can’t help it. He laughs.  

“You have doe-eyes.”  Yoongi says, without thinking.  “Pretty, you’re pretty, really quite pretty, Jeongguk-ah.”  He taps Jeongguk’s cheek again, the nickname slipping out, his fingers lingering.

Oh.”  Jeongguk breathes, eyes fluttering shut. “Thank you.”

They share the same air, like they’ve just kissed, a messy inhale and exhale. 

“I—I want to.”  Jeongguk says, after a moment, opening his eyes, one hand tight around Yoongi’s waist, the other clutching the blanket close.  Yoongi forgets what they’ve been talking about, what this want is in reference to.  Jeongguk clears his throat. “Take, um, take your picture, that is. I want to. That’s why.”

“Oh.”  Yoongi says, and then he doesn’t know why but adds— “Maybe.  Because it’s you.  Maybe.”

“Oh good.”  Jeongguk says, face breaking into a smile, joy crashing over his features like a wave.  “Lucky me.”  He hums. 

“Promise not to steal pieces of my soul?”  Yoongi asks.

Jeongguk laughs but—

(Jimin knocks on the glass window, startling them both, and waves wildly gesturing for them to come in come in. Jeongguk smiles ruefully, and then lifts Yoongi up by the hips and sets him on his feet.  Yoongi’s breath catches in his throat, pulse thrumming like a hummingbird.  He wants to ask Jeongguk to do that again, just to see if Jeongguk could pick him up easy-easy, if Yoongi could wind his legs around Jeongguk’s hips and get height on him, if Jeongguk would let Yoongi lean down, if Jeongguk would kiss back, if Jeongguk's hands would shake on Yoongi's waist. 

Yoongi just smiles instead, pushes the thoughts away, offers a hand to pull Jeongguk up, and leads Jeongguk back inside.  

Jeongguk doesn’t drop Yoongi’s hand and)

—Yoongi wasn’t joking. 

 

 

iii.

jeongguk (7:32 PM)
ur coming, right? ^^
to seokjinie-hyung’s holiday party
extravaganza
thing

yoongi (7:36 PM)
yeah be there soon

jeongguk (7:37 PM)
^^ yay

 

 

jeongguk (1:07 AM)
u disappeared
u ok?
namjoon-hyung et al are on some weird shit
about your demise
alone in seoul

 

yoongi (1:13 AM)
little tipsy
but fine
thanks
they just worry
they worry about me but
i’m ok
thank you.

 

yoongi (1:15 AM)
jeongguk
by the way
you lookd pretty tonight

 

jeongguk (1:16 AM)
thank you.
u too ur hair is like…
starshine.  moonbeams.
idk anyway
back to the matter at hand 
u sure??
you disappeared for real ):
like u were there and then weren’t
)))):

 

yoongi (1:18 AM)
yes, sorry
shit.
sorry.
just. lots.
many.

 

jeongguk (1:19 AM)
many.
i wish u’d said u were leaving
not that like u have to tell me
just i wanted to see u?
more than i did i mean
i haven’t gotten to see u like at all lately
bc me: term project and artist statement
u: producing suran-noona’s mini
why did u leave?
nvmd that doesn’t matter
if ur safe
ur safe, right hyung?
i wanted to drink with u under blankets again
it’s our thing hyung
):

 

jeongguk (1:24 AM)
shit. that was weird
and guilt-trippy
sorry.

 

jeongguk (1:26 AM)
im sorry

 

yoongi (1:29 AM)
jeongguk no
no no 
m’sorry
not weird,
just i got turned around
asked the cat i made friends w
for directions
he did not know
typing is hard rn
jeongguk
guk
cme back

 

jeongguk (1:30 AM)
shit you met a cat
was it cute

 

yoongi (1:31 AM)
<image sent>
cutest

 

jeongguk (1:32 AM)
damn that is a cute cat
also ok, u don’t have to be sry
if u needed to leave
i know u don;’t like
like much, like all pressing in, like lots

 

yoongi (1:34 AM)
best, most understanding
have a good night
m’sorry i left w/out saying
just many thoughts.
so.
blankets
st georges sprit
fuck
sgsspl
next time
please

 

yoongi (1:36 AM)
if u still want

 

jeongguk (1:37 AM)
lol
smooth
also yes.
please.

 

jeongguk (1:40 AM)
also text seokjinie-hyung or namjoon-hyung
they’re drunk panicking and don’t believe me
namjoon hyung said, like,
ho wwill i tell his mom

 

yoongi (1:41 AM)
fuck

 

 

 

jeongguk (2:22 AM)
even tho turns out ur alive
we’d a funeral
namjoon-hyung gave ur eulogy
it was lovely
jiminie-hyung and seokjinie-hyung were in real tears
hoseokie-hyungs still crying

 

yoongi (2:27 AM)
lovely/
*?
about me and lovely?
that’s…. unbelievable
s’family-friendly, right? 
holly is a baby he can’t hear bad words
he’s not evn allowed to listen my mixtapes

 

jeongguk (2:30 AM)
k well
a) imma tell everyone u just said that
2) here is a snippet
(appreciate how hard this was to transcirbe tipsy(
yoongi-hyung was like a furnace. 
he made music for times when you thought that god was real
or times when you thought the devil was.
lyrics so alive they found your heart, raw meat where it was hiding,
and bit into it, tore chunks out with their teeth,
screamed see me, please, please, see me
in ways min yoongi himself would have never screamed
too gentle, too careful, with the people he loved and
he loved everyone, though he wouldn’t admit it in so many words,.
Maybe afraid of how much he loved, and how much he was loved.

 

yoongi (2:34 AM)
hoyl fuck
what thefuck
jesus fcking
shit

 

jeongguk (2:39 AM)
right?
he loves you ^^
oh right,
loveD you.
RIP hyng
there was more but i got emotional too

 

yoongi (2:41 AM)
jeon jeongguk
did you cry at my fake funeral

 

jeongguk (2:42 AM)
yeah
threw myself on your fake casket
inconsolable
over my lost love
i reek of whiskey and tears
i’ll never take another photo
u’ll be the last photo i took, hyung 

 

yoongi (2:59 AM)
love?

 

jeongguk (3:00 AM)
hmm?

 

jeongguk (3:02 AM)
oh.
haha
duh hyung
i love you

 

jeongguk (3:04 AM)
*loved you
rip in peace 

 

jeongguk (3:06 AM)
hyung?

 

yoongi (3:07 AM)
sorry
loved you too, guk
before my untimely demise 

 

jeongguk (3:13 AM)
s;good
lucky me <3

 

yoongi (3:15 AM)
drink some water
get some rest

 

yoongi (3:18 AM)
<3

 

 

 

jeongguk (2:03 PM)
lots of things about you are lovely
just by the way

 

yoongi (2:47 PM)
like what on earth

 

jeongguk (3:02 PM)
like let me take a picture of you for real
and i’ll show you

 

 

iv.

Jeongguk looks sleepy.  Yoongi frowns.

“Shit.”  Yoongi says.  He doesn’t know what time it is.  It occurs to him that it’s late.   That Jeongguk was asleep.  That Jeongguk sent that message to him earlier, probably hours ago, that Yoongi is moving stickily and jaggedly through time, jumping and stalling.  “Fuck.  You were asleep.”  Yoongi says.  “I can go.”

“No, what?”  Jeongguk blinks and reaches out, like he thinks he’s dreaming. He tugs at the hem of Yoongi’s hoodie.  “Why?” 

“Sorry.”  Yoongi whispers. 

Jeongguk reaches the other hand out and pats Yoongi’s hair.  He’s trying to elicit a reaction, but Yoongi can’t quite figure out what is the right one to have.

“Sorry.  I saw you’d sent me a text, a picture?”  Yoongi says like he’s prodding, like Jeongguk might have forgotten, like he wants Jeongguk to have forgotten.  And he does, so there can be a nice solid reason Yoongi’s heart aches.   “A bottle of St. George etc then all of the lyrics to ‘you’re beautiful’ and then ‘that was at the liqueur not you, don’t get cocky hyung’ and--”

Jeongguk nods and yawns, rubs his eyes like a child would, hands balled into fists. 

“I did send those.”  He agrees, cutting Yoongi off.  “At, like, four pm.  On Wednesday.  Are you okay, hyung?”  His hand finds the hem of Yoongi’s hoodie again.

Shit.  Yoongi thinks.  Fuck. 

“Sorry.”  Yoongi says, because it’s too much, he’s too much, he is most definitely too much.  He needs to go before he upsets Jeongguk.  Upsets him more.  Shit.  He’s an idiot.  He pulls his body away from Jeongguk’s, takes a shaky step back, pushing Jeongguk’s hand toward Jeongguk roughly.  “This was a bad idea.  I’m fucking bothering you, I’m always fucking bothering peop—I’m an idiot, I should go.  This was a bad idea, I’m sorry.”

Jeongguk stills in the edges of Yoongi’s vision.  Yoongi looks up, and Jeongguk is blinking, eyes wide and startled, watery.

Nausea sinks claws into Yoongi’s gut and twists. 

“No no no.”  Yoongi says frantically, and reaches out, presses the pad of his thumb under Jeongguk’s eye, like he can wipe away tears before they fall. 

Jeongguk jerks from the touch.  Yoongi pulls back quickly, shaken, heart twisting. 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.  I’ll go away, I’ll go--” 

“Don’t do that.”  Jeongguk cuts him off.  “Don’t do that.”  He grabs at Yoongi’s hands and holds on.  “Just was cold, your hands are cold.  Really cold.”  Jeongguk looks at Yoongi’s hand as though in confusion, and then looks up and takes Yoongi in with more alert eyes.  “Fuck, hyung, were you outside in that?  It’s, like-- it’s so cold out, holy shit.”  Jeongguk clutches Yoongi’s hands in his.  “Holy shit, you’re shaking.” 

Jeongguk pulls Yoongi toward him, across the threshold of the apartment and inside.  Yoongi stumbles.  Jeongguk kicks the door shut, his leg locking around Yoongi’s briefly, and then cups Yoongi’s hands in front of his mouth.  He exhales long and warm into Yoongi’s palms. 

“Stop.”  Yoongi whispers, horrified.  He wants to cry.  “Stop being nice to me, why are you—I don’t--” 

“Hyung, you’re gonna freeze, take off your shoes—fuck are you not wearing socks?  C’mere.” And Yoongi is so so tired and, he realizes dully, so so in love and he gives up, just gives up, and toes off his shoes, follows Jeongguk down the hall to Jeongguk’s bedroom and lets Jeongguk fuss and offer him sweatpants and thick warm wool socks and then Jeongguk pushes him into bed and crawls in after him and pulls the covers up up up. 

Yoongi shakes.

The clock on Jeongguk’s nightstand says 3:52 AM.  There’s some sort of soft music trickling from Jeongguk’s speakers, music that makes Yoongi think of animated movies about magic and spirits, and Yoongi is terrible, he’s terrible, and Jeongguk doesn’t seem to mind at all. 

“Hyung?”  Jeongguk says quietly, after a beat.  He seems suddenly unsure of himself, now that he’s no longer in motion. 

Yoongi sits up, teeth chattering, staring down at Jeongguk.  He wants to explain himself.  Jeongguk looks startled and soft and warm and something like home.  Yoongi has to explain himself. 

“Hyung?”  Jeongguk starts to sit up too, but Yoongi pushes him down carefully, a hand on his shoulder, rubbing the bone through Jeongguk’s thin t-shirt and Jeongguk goes willingly.  He wraps his hand around Yoongi’s wrist and blinks up at him with large eyes.  Yoongi can’t look at him for too long.  He averts his gaze.

“Wait, please.  Please wait a second." 

And Jeongguk-- he waits.

When Yoongi can, he lies back down beside Jeongguk, locks eyes with him across the pillows; the space between them feels like miles and miles.  Yoongi reaches out to touch, to push Jeongguk’s hair back.  

Jeongguk smiles, confused and sleepy.

“Hyung?”  He whispers.

Yoongi pulls the blankets over their heads.  It’s stifling.  Jeongguk hums and then shimmies a little lower on his pillow so their heads are even.

“Sometimes,” Yoongi says into the dark, “I feel like I am in thick fog, trying to fight my way through thorn bushes, like briar.  I know that I’m trying to get somewhere, but I’m not sure where.  I'm not even sure that where I’m trying to get to exists, because I’ve been trying for so long and it’s not working my arms are heavy and my eyes are heavy, I’m exhausted, and--and I can’t see in front of me.  Time moves all wrong.  I feel like, like it’s inside me, scraping my lungs and my organs and jutting out at strange angles, scratching people who get close to me a-and--” Yoongi stumbles to a stop, frustrated with the words, not sure they make sense. 

Jeongguk reaches out and slowly trails a finger across Yoongi’s cheekbone.  Yoongi closes his eyes.

“Okay.”  Jeongguk says, fingers moving, tracing back and forth.  “Okay." 

“And I’m sorry.”  Yoongi whispers.  “Guk, I am sorry about that.”

“Oh, Yoongi-hyung,” Jeongguk whispers, and he sounds so sad, “you don’t have to be sorry about that.  Don’t be sorry about that.  Not about that.”

 Jeongguk’s touch is so light.  Yoongi feels like he’s being burned. 

“How bad has the fog been lately?”  Jeongguk whisper-asks, which is the right question, and it hurts that Jeongguk knows that it’s the right question, and Yoongi wonders if Jeongguk has his own version of the fog that he stumbles through sometimes.

“I was at the studio.”  Yoongi says, which isn’t quite right but— “I’ve been at the studio, I don’t know how long, time is not—time is not behaving properly.  Then I went home and sat and sat and it got dark and I realized I hadn’t checked my phone and it was so dark and I was so tired and nauseous and then I saw your text and, wait, maybe before I saw your text and then—fuck,” Yoongi says softly and then again, with more feeling, “fuck.”

“It’s okay.”  Jeongguk says softly.

“It’s not.”  Yoongi replies, and closes his eyes against the tears that won’t come when he is alone and wants to cry, but come at inopportune times, like when he’s waiting for trains or returning library books or trying to explain himself to Jeongguk without crying.  "This was not a good week, Jeongguk."  He says thickly.  

“Okay.”  Jeongguk relents.  “It’s not great, no, not an ideal week.”

“You’re good, you’re a really good thing in my life, Jeongguk-ah, and I don’t want to ruin it and I’m afraid I will, I’m afraid that this is ruining it right now because how could it not be?” 

Yoongi didn’t mean to say that. 

There is a horrid long pause that drags like nails down Yoongi’s back. 

Jeongguk pulls the blankets down to their necks in a sudden movement, breathing in deeply.  The air of the room feels cool in Yoongi’s lungs.  He should leave.  Jeongguk wants him to leave.  He pulled the blankets down to try to escape from Yoongi, from the insistence of Yoongi and his need.  Yoongi’s shaking.  He’s cold.  He didn’t notice how cold he was until he started to warm up. 

“Sorry.”  He whispers again, sitting up, preparing to go.

Jeongguk reaches over and pushes him down, laces their hands together and runs a finger over Yoongi's knuckles idly.

“No.”  Yoongi says, throat dry.  “No, no.  What?  Kick me out.”

Jeongguk laughs and stretches, body so long, tangling his legs with Yoongi’s.  Yoongi can feel Jeongguk’s anklebones through his socks.  Their knees knock together.

“Hyung, do you see someone about it-- about the fog and the briar and where you’re trying to get to?”  Jeongguk whispers, shoulders rigid, twining their fingers together and then untwining, staring at them fixedly.  “Someone like, you know, a- a doctor?”

Yoongi watches Jeongguk fit his hand into the empty spaces of Yoongi’s over and over and over.   

“Yes.”  Yoongi says.  “Yes, I do.”

“Oh good.”  Jeongguk says, all the tension leaking out of his body in a half second, shoulders slumping.  He kisses Yoongi’s knuckles.  “Oh, phew.”

“What?”  Yoongi blinks hard.  “What?”

“I don’t know anyone in the city, the only therapist I know and trust is back in Busan, I would have no recommendations.”  Jeongguk says with a sigh.  “Oh man, I thought we were gonna have to, like, yelp psychiatrists in our area or something and I don’t know, that’s like yelp-ing a church or using craigslist to find a boy you thought was pretty on the train, I just don’t trust it."

“Oh.”  Yoongi says softly, feeling like he’s sinking into a warm drawn bath.  He adjusts his leg so the bones of his knee aren’t pressing so harshly into Jeongguk’s thigh. 

Jeongguk yawns and his eyes go a little unfocused, looking somewhere over Yoongi’s shoulder.  They lay like that for a bit, Jeongguk stroking his thumb over Yoongi’s knuckles, back and forth. 

“I can’t fix it.”  Jeongguk says firmly, as though to himself. 

“No.”  Yoongi agrees.

Jeongguk’s eyes refocus on Yoongi and he smiles, drowsy and hazy around the edges.  “But I can be here, if you want me to.  If you want to stay here, with me, I mean now, not, like, forever, just—or if not, that’s okay too, if you want to go.  But, if you want to be here now, with me, I want you here—”, his sentence trails off; he blinks slow, eyes fluttering shut, “—forever is good too.”

“I want that.”  Yoongi manages.   

“Oh good.”  Jeongguk hums sleepily and pulls Yoongi close, fits his chin over Yoongi’s head.  “Because baby, it’s cold outside.”  Jeongguk half-sings. 

“I’ve changed my mind.”  Yoongi whispers into Jeongguk’s neck, feeling the skin against his lips.  “Let go of me.”  Yoongi sniffs, curling in, adjusting his legs in between Jeongguk’s.  “I’m leaving.”  He reiterates, scratching his nail lightly in the divot in Jeongguk’s collarbones.  He presses down with the pad of his finger, feels Jeongguk swallow.

“Nooooo.”  Jeongguk wails softly and fits his leg over Yoongi’s hip, pulls them closer together, clutches Yoongi tight to his chest, fingers digging into Yoongi’s ribs.  “No, no, no, m’sorry, don’t go.”

“Fine.” Yoongi says begrudgingly, and curls his hands in the neckline of Jeongguk’s sleep shirt.  “Fine,” he whispers, voice thick. “Fine, I’ll stay.”

Jeongguk drowsily hums again, the sound vibrating through Yoongi from the top of his head down.  Yoongi’s fingers clench.

“Lucky me,” Jeongguk says, like staying awake is an effort, voice dreamy and half asleep.  He presses a kiss to the top of Yoongi’s head, breath ruffling Yoongi’s hair and then evening out, his grip loosening almost imperceptibly when he falls asleep.

Yoongi feels so safe. 

He closes his eyes, terrified of how much he wants. 

 

 

v.

gukie (3:56 AM)
hyung

 

yoongi (4:07 AM)
yes?

 

gukie (4:09 AM)
yoongi-hyung

 

yoongi (4:10 AM)
yes??

 

gukie (4:11 AM)
suga-hyung

 

yoongi (4:12 AM)
why

 

gukie (4:13 AM)
starshine hyung

 

yoongi (4:13 AM)
guk why

 

gukie (4:14 AM)
): nickname
i wanna nickname too, starshine hyung
)))))):

 

yoongi (4:15 AM)
right
of course
no

 

gukie (4:16 AM)
)))))):

 

yoongi (4:17 AM)
this is ludicrous
u have one
i call u guk
ur in my phone as gukie

 

gukie (4:18 AM)
)))))):
(also really? :D) 

 

yoongi (4:19 AM)
ur not allowed to hang out with tae & jiminie anymore

 

gukie (4:20 AM)
)))))): x3

 

yoongi (4:23 AM)
jeongguk.

 

yoongi (4:26 AM)
jeon jeongguk

 

yoongi (4:30 AM)
fine.
suit yourself

 

yoongi (4:35 AM)
for fucks sake.

 

yoongi (4:38 AM)
goddammit.
what did you want, sweet pea?

 

gukie (4:39 AM)
ur tghe sweet pea, u lil sweet pea

 

yoongi (4:40 AM)
g’night jeongguk

 

gukie (4:40 AM)
wait
i need

 

yoongi (4:42 AM)
?
guk

 

yoongi (4:45 AM)
guk?
what’s wrong
pikc up your phone
i can see u reading these
u have read receipts on brat
what’s wrong

 

yoongi (4:47 AM)
is that too big a question
pick one wrong thing

 

gukie (4:51 AM)
it's cold

 

yoongi (4:52 AM)
fuck
where are you

 

yoongi (4:54 AM)
jeongguk-ah
come over?
come to hyung’s house
where are you

 

yoongi (4:57 AM)
pick up ur fucking phoen

 

gukie (4:57 AM)
hyung
all my photos are shit
they’re shit
i’m fucked
my art is so bad
i’m so fucked
i’m useless
i can’t see things right
i shouldn’t have left busan
i’m useless ican’t
what am i doing
hyung

 

yoongi (4:59 AM)
shit
come here
bring ur camera
and ur art supplies
hyung’ll fight tehm
beat them into submission

 

yoongi (5:00 AM)
jeongguk?

 

gukie (5:02 AM)
i’m sorry
i shouldn’t have texted
m’just tired
i‘ll be fine
sorry

 

yoongi (5:03 AM)
of course you should have texted

 

gukie (5:06 AM)
<3
go back to sleep
m;sorry

 

yoongi (5:08 AM)
where are you
hyung is coming to u
guk i have shoes on
<image sent>
where am i going
hyung'll roam all of fuckin’; seoul 

 

gukie (5:09 AM)
hyung stop s’okay
i’ll be fine

 

yoongi (5:11 AM)
<image sent>
here i go
fuck it’s cold

 

gukie (5:12 AM)
no fuck
hyung go back inside
i’ll come over
hyung wait for me under your comforter
i’ll meet u there
thank you
i’m sorry
thank you

 

 

 

gukie (10:12 PM) 
i just woke up
um. again.
thank you
that’s not enough but.
thank you.
hows the studio?
also i’m using your shower
before i leave
gonna use up all your fancy soap

 

yoongi (10:24 PM) 
why would you follow up thank you with a threat to use all my soap

 

gukie (10:52 PM) 
bc ur soap smells nice
and now i smell nice
win/win
ur bed smells nice too
u always have such good sheets

 

yoongi (10:54 PM) 
thanks i know
beds are important to me
but what is win/win abt this
you had a 5 am sleep deprivation induced existential crisis
and now i have no soap (?)

 

gukie (10:56 PM) 
ugh fine, w/e
lose/lose
i’m leaving

 

yoongi (10:58 PM) 
why
do you have something

 

gukie (10:59 PM) 
what
no?

 

yoongi (11:05 PM) 
just stay i’ll be home in like 20 min
we finished early
i stopped by the store
bought enough food for u too so like
don’t make me eat it alone

 

gukie (11:06 PM)
oh 
^^ 

 

yoongi (11:10 PM) 
did u rly use all my soap

 

gukie (11:16 PM) 
define all

 

yoongi (11:24 PM) 
i’m gonna fight u

 

 

yoongi (11:33 PM) 
jeon jeongguk
u little brat
u can hear me shouting at u
come out here and undo the chain
let me in
this is my fucking apartment

 

gukie (11:35 PM) 
no
sry hyung but
u threatened me over soap
i feel unsafe
):
pass food in thru the opening

 

 

vi.

“Hyung—” Jeongguk shouts,

pounding on Yoongi’s door in the freezing cold of early March and Yoongi barely gets it open before Jeongguk continues,

“--you have amazing hands and you touch things softly and with so much care and your cologne smells like the ocean in Busan right before a storm and I want to eat you alive and push you into my bed and drown with you in sheets and you rap like a demon and your tongue, your mouth, fascinates me and I want it on me, I dream about it all over me, and if you don’t kiss me soon all of my pictures forever are going to look like the dregs of that stupid spiced pear and cinnamon liqueur and sadness and I’ll fail out of school and no gallery will have me because all anyone will see when they look at my pictures is the way I love you every single thing about you and fantasies no one can understand because they’re not all about sex, although some are because shit, hyung, have you seen you, but they’re also about making you smile all gummy and feeding you apple slices and strawberries when you’re tired at your studio, and Jimin said he shouldn’t say, but that maybe you were waiting for me to finish my capstone project because maybe you don’t want to distract me during an ‘important and pivotal moment in my life’ but I might never finish my capstone and then I will die, far too young, an—”

“What.”  Yoongi says, brain short-circuiting, cutting off Jeongguk.  “You want my mouth what now?”

“—oh god, why would you only hear that— in, um, in conclusion,” Jeongguk whimpers, stutters, staring at him wide-eyed and looking like he regrets all of this, extensively, “oh god, in conclusion, please kiss me or— d-don’t do anything and I’ll leave and we can pretend this never happened, but I would personally infinitely prefer the kissi-” 

Yoongi has never moved so fast in his fucking life. 

Jeongguk tastes like salt and falls apart like caramelized sugar under Yoongi’s shaking hands.   

 

 

vii.

It takes months before Yoongi realizes that Jeongguk will never stop kissing him like the world is going to end, and that Yoongi is never going to stop kissing back the same way. 

Jeongguk’s fingers tight on Yoongi’s jaw, Yoongi’s shoulders, his body eventually going soft and pliant and falling back on the bed, opening his mouth to Yoongi and whispering, like he can’t believe it’s happening every single time— 

 

oh fuck hyung, jesus christ, fuck how do you look like that, how do you do that, how do you make me feel like that, feel like this, fuck

 

—arching up whenever Yoongi presses down, his slim waist under Yoongi’s hands, body shivering under Yoongi’s mouth, rolling them over, whispering secrets and confessions while he pulls off their shirts and makes his way down Yoongi’s skin—

 

tell me, tell me what you want, hyung, make that sound again, oh shit, yoongi-hyung, you’re so pretty, fuck, you’re so fucking-- your skin tastes like powdered sugar, hyung, jesus—

 

—and he likes to kiss Yoongi when he comes and when Yoongi comes, licking at Yoongi’s lips, at his teeth, nosing against his jaw and pressing open mouthed kisses against Yoongi's neck, while Yoongi shudders under him, hands clawing at the sheets, grabbing at Jeongguk’s wrists, weaving their fingers together—

 

guk right there, fuck, right there pretty guk, my pretty jeongguk, please please, shit

i got you, i got you, oh jesus fuck, hyung i got you, hyung you’re so pretty like this for me, only for me, oh god

 

-- and Jeongguk tastes like cinnamon and his fingers feel like wildfire on Yoongi’s skin and they kiss slow but insistent, waking up in the morning, or over coffee, or wrapped in a blanket sharing a glass of that sticky pear liqueur that they refer to exclusively by its full brand name, or eating nectarines at 2am because the shadows are dark and for some reason it helps. 

Yoongi wants it over and over and it happens, over and over, startling him each time.  Jeongguk turning to him and saying helplessly, as though it’s always just occurred to him afresh—

 

“Hyung, I love you.”

 

And Yoongi whispering back, 

 

“I know, what the fuck, I love you so much.”

 

—and at night he presses strawberry slices in between Jeongguk’s lips and bites them out of Jeongguk's mouth, and lets Jeongguk feed him slivers of fruit and sucks the juice from Jeongguk’s fingers, from his skin, licks a stripe down Jeongguk’s neck like he wanted to that first day, bites and soothes with his tongue, and Jeongguk’s head falls back, a soft moan escaping his lips—

 

oh hyung, hyung, please do that again, your mouth, fuck, your fucking tongue

 

— and Yoongi kisses Jeongguk and thinks it’s a miracle every time, and Jeongguk kisses Yoongi like it’s the last time he’ll be allowed to every time, and Jeongguk holds his hand when they cross the street, swings their linked fingers between their bodies, catches sunbeams on his tongue and laughs brightly, in some sort of slow motion in Yoongi’s thoughts and memories, holding a camera up and dragging his lip through his teeth and—

 

let me take a picture of you, hyung, just like that, don’t move, private collection, lucky me

 

and Yoongi—

 

Yoongi is so so so in love.   

 

Even with time, even as it tempers and they have their first fight and then make up and then their second fight and then make up and so on and so forth and even when they settle into the spaces around each other and do things like disagree about laundry detergent or if an avocado counts as an appropriate dinner or how long someone should work on their art in a day, how many hours should be dedicated to this one thing, even when the fog gets a little thicker and it's a little harder to focus until it recedes again, even when Yoongi comes home to a snowstorm of torn up sketches in their apartment and Jeongguk sitting on the kitchen counter, frowning at the mess and drinking coffee at midnight-- even when things aren’t so desperate, aren’t so like they’re making up for lost time, even then—

 

it's a specific hunger, the way they hold each other and even then—

 

Yoongi is so so so in love. 

 

 

viii.

Jeongguk's first proper (no no, Jeongguk says nervously, voice low and fretting, not proper, it’s not a big deal) gallery show after graduation is a success.  Yoongi’s no art critic, but art critics and culture critics and people who write for this and that blog have more praise than criticisms, for the most part.  There is talk of promise.   Yoongi walks around the studio where Jeongguk’s art (photos and inked pictures, thick lines of paint, strange pencil drawings, moving videos, jerky old film, soft cuts between smiles) drips from every wall like jewels. 

 

More importantly—

 

most importantly

 

—Jeongguk looks proud of what he has created.  He is smiling shyly, like the sun in early spring.  He is being danced around by Jimin and Hoseok who are ecstatic, extravagant, enraptured, telling everyone they pass that they know the artist.  He is grinning and eating caviar and little delicacies off of spoons that Seokjin appears with, holding them up to Jeongguk’s mouth.  He is leaning over to hear when Taehyung whispers kind words about certain pictures that he likes best, whispers about Jeongguk’s talent.  He is plucking raspberries out of Namjoon’s champagne to eat them, staining the very center of his lips red, while Namjoon tells him that he has done well, that he does well, that he sees the world so well, that it hurts so good how and where Jeongguk can find beauty.  

Yoongi has bought Jeongguk a handmade earring, shaped like a tiny deer antler, curved, rough around the edges.  He searched long and hard for an artist, explained what he wanted, watched the man draw sketches, took the pencil and drew his own, watched the man’s hands as he worked the silver.  It’s understated and simple and makes Yoongi think of the balcony so soon after they met, when he realized that there was no helping the fact that he was going to fall in proper love with Jeongguk and the way Jeongguk looks at the world, doe-eyed and joyous.

Yoongi gives Jeongguk the little box, slips it into his hand during a pause in Jeongguk’s rounds and whispers for you, presses a kiss to his cheek, and then disappears, snags a glass of champagne as he walks. 

Yoongi he doesn’t like to watch people open the presents he gives them.  It feels too needy, too desperate, too much like he is saying 

 

here I got this so you would tell me how good I am to you, how thankful you are for me

 

instead of 

 

here I got this because you make me want to sing, you make me think of cinnamon, you make me taste cinnamon, you kiss me like it’s the first time every single time, this isn’t enough, it isn’t it exactly, but I love you I love you I love you

 

“Oh hyung,” Jeongguk says, finding him later staring at a picture that Jeongguk had taken of Yoongi’s hands on their piano.  “Oh hyung.”  Jeongguk says, eyes wide and bright.  The light catches on the earring.  Yoongi tucks Jeongguk’s hair behind his ear gently, and touches the metal, watches it sway and flash.

“Do you like it?”  Yoongi asks. 

"Yoongi-hyung,” Jeongguk whispers, "please kiss me." 

So Yoongi leans forward and kisses him, shivers into the kiss, into Jeongguk, rocks forward on the balls of his feet and clutches Jeongguk’s thin tie in his free hand, the champagne sloshing dangerously in the other.   Jeongguk’s lips are sticky on Yoongi’s lips, his fingers are sticky on Yoongi’s cheeks, his tongue is sticky against the roof of Yoongi’s mouth. 

“I’m really fucking terrified.”  Jeongguk breathes, when they part. 

“Of specifically?  Or of generally?” Yoongi straightens Jeongguk’s tie, fingers catching on the embroidery.  He presses a kiss to the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth, one to the edge of his jawbone.  “Guk?”  He asks, softly. 

Jeongguk tilts his head and sighs.

“Of generally,” Jeongguk says, “and of specifically.”

“Ah.”  Yoongi presses another kiss onto his lips and then pulls away, just a little.  Jeongguk leans toward him, chasing Yoongi’s touch, and Yoongi relents, kisses him close-mouthed and soft.  “Same.”  Yoongi whispers against Jeongguk’s lips.  “Same same same.”

“Okay.”  Jeongguk says, nodding, shoulders sagging in relief.  “Okay, good.  Thank god.  Thought it was just me.”

Yoongi fishes the raspberry out of his glass, presses it against Jeongguk’s lips, and Jeongguk grins wickedly and then opens his mouth easily for Yoongi, takes the fruit on his tongue.  Yoongi leans forward and kisses Jeongguk again, licking into Jeongguk’s mouth like they have all the time in the world and aren't in the middle of the gallery in the middle of the last night of Jeongguk's first show. 

“You taste so good, hyung.”  Jeongguk whispers, voice shaky.

Jeongguk makes Yoongi feel like he could be eaten, like he’s being eaten, like his heart is edible. 

“Some things won’t be okay and some will, and we’ll figure out which are which as we go, I think.”  Yoongi whispers in return, pulling back.  He re-straightens Jeongguk's tie.  “Hey, guess what?  This show is a stunning success.  I love you.  Those two things are unrelated.”

“Good.  Okay.”  Jeongguk nods.  “So, you would love me even if the show was a failure, right?  Or I was?  A massive unrelenting failure.”

Yoongi hums in agreement. 

“Oh good.”  Jeongguk sighs happily.  He presses their foreheads together.  “I love you too.”

 Yoongi stretches up on his toes, and catches Jeongguk’s eyes with his.  Jeongguk is still blinding bright but, for some reason, it doesn’t hurt anymore. 

“Lucky me.”  Yoongi whispers. 

Jeongguk grins, like freshly cracked ice.

“Hey,” he whines, “hey, that’s my line.” 

He kisses Yoongi hard while they smile, teeth clacking and nipping.

 

 

ix.

“Hyung.”  Jeongguk’s voice is insistent, at the edge of Yoongi’s consciousness and Yoongi groans, shifts, not ready to be awake yet.

“Whaddaya want, Jeonggukie?”  Yoongi mumbles, swiping at air.  There’s silence and Yoongi wakes a little as he feels the bed shift, Jeongguk’s weight suddenly heavy across his hips, thighs bracketing Yoongi’s body.  “Mmm.”  Yoongi articulates, hand finding Jeongguk’s knee.  He rubs the bone through Jeongguk’s sweatpants. 

“Hyung, wake up.”  Jeongguk says again, a little louder.  “Wanna take a picture of you.”

Yoongi lets the words sink in and then cracks an eye half-open.  Looks at Jeongguk as close to suspiciously as he can muster.  Jeongguk is already clutching one of his cameras just below his chin.

“What?”  Yoongi mumbles, voice thick with sleep.  “Why?”

“Picture,” Jeongguk repeats, “wanna take a picture, can I, is it okay?” 

“For public consumption or for your own private collection?”  Yoongi says through a yawn, one hand travelling up Jeongguk’s leg to rest on his hipbone.  Yoongi strokes the soft bare skin there, the plane of Jeongguk’s abdomen, and Jeongguk shivers.

“Your fingers are really warm.”  He whispers, voice low.  “And I dunno yet.” 

Yoongi considers him drowsily, finger catching on Jeongguk’s waistband, eyes falling shut with pent up exhaustion.   His thumb slows and stills. 

“No?  You can say no.”  Jeongguk speaks softly, and starts to lift up, leaning to put the camera on the nightstand, but Yoongi reaches out, stops him.

“I know.  Didn’t say no though.  S’fine.”  Yoongi murmurs, looks at Jeongguk through heavy-lidded eyes, faces close.  “Just make sure you get my good side.”

“You only have good sides.”  Jeongguk breathes, presses a kiss to Yoongi’s forehead and then sits back.  He brings the camera up to his eye, switching into serious mode almost instantly. 

Yoongi grimaces.

“Only have good sides, gross.”  He mutters, chewing on his lower lip, dragging it through his teeth.  “I can change my mind as well, you know, even if I've said yes.”  Yoongi glares at the camera and arranges his features into a sleepy pout.  "And I will if you keep saying greasy things."

“Yeah.”  Jeongguk mumbles, sounding distracted.  “Yeah, you can.  Hyung, do that with your mouth again.” 

Yoongi grins predatorily, slow and lazy.  The request is an almost echo of Jeongguk’s words last night and Jeongguk realizes it a beat later, flushes behind the camera.

“Hyung.”  He says primly.  “Behave.  I’m trying to focus.” 

“What?”  Yoongi furrows his brow in mock confusion.  “What did I say?  What am I doing?”  Yoongi brings a hand up to his face, movements languid.  He trips his fingers over his lips, drags the bottom one down and then releases it, sucks it between his teeth.  His other hand returns to Jeongguk's hip, strokes slow, sleepy circles.  “What do you want me to do with my mouth?”  Yoongi asks, tone low.

Jeongguk clears his throat, squirms on Yoongi’s lap.     

“Hmm?”  Yoongi hums.  He stretches his body underneath Jeongguk, arching his back, and yawns again, the sound small and content.  

“Hyung.”  Jeongguk whispers, words falling into a whine, when Yoongi shifts under him again, arches under him, hips twisting up, body twisting against the sheets.  “Fuck— I am trying to take your picture.”

“So, take my picture, who’s stopping you?”  Yoongi murmurs.  His shirt falls off his shoulder as he moves, one of Jeongguk’s old ones, too big for him and ragged.  He watches Jeongguk swallow hard, holding the camera a little low, eyes wide, fixed on Yoongi’s neck.  “Oh, I see.  Can you not properly see the bruise you gave me last night, you little vampire.”  Yoongi ghosts his fingers up his chest, and tugs hard, dragging the collar of his thin t-shirt down.  Jeongguk groans and brings the camera back up, shutter snapping.  Yoongi tilts his head to give Jeongguk a better look.  “Is that better?  You’re always biting at me, like you're trying to eat me.”      

“Hyung.”  Jeongguk tightens his thighs around Yoongi; the camera clicks again.  “Tilt your head, there, stop, shit, don’t move—” 

“Is it pretty, baby?”  Yoongi asks, pitching his voice lower, rough around the edges.  “Are the pictures coming out pretty, me all marked up by your mouth?  I bet so.  I like it, you know.  Shouldn’t really, too old for hickeys, but I like it when you do it, little puppy, little kitten, my little Guk, all secret nails and teeth.  I like the way you touch me, I never get tired of it.”

“Jesus. It- so pretty, hyung, you’re so pretty, Jesus Christ. I like it too, I like to see them and, shit, I like the sounds you make when I make them and I—I—fuck—I like when you--”

Jeongguk shifts, opens his legs wider, presses down when Yoongi arches up.

Yoongi hums, reaches out and scratches his nails across Jeongguk’s stomach.  “When I what, Jeongguk-ah.  Hyung wants to know, either use your words or show me.”  He tugs at Jeongguk's waistband.  "You feel so good on top of me, I love the way you feel on me.  Now tell me,what do you want hyung to do for you, pretty baby?"

“Jesus fuck.” Jeongguk whispers, sounding dazed.  “Hyung, I—, shit, I—god,” He stops talking, the camera clicks.  He makes a small frustrated noise and shifts his hips under Yoongi’s hands, grinds down with a stuttered exhale.  “Oh fuck, what the fuck, you're unreal.”

“Hmm.”  Yoongi says, ignoring the slow burn of arousal pooling in his gut in favor of moving his hands, rubbing the skin below Jeongguk’s bellybutton, the curve of his hips, down down down, letting Jeongguk shift on him, try to get Yoongi’s hands closer to where he wants.  “Maybe I’ve changed my mind about pictures.”  The click of the shutter and Jeongguk’s breathing both sound equally loud, in the quiet of the room. Jeongguk lifts up to get a different angle, and Yoongi drags the waistband of Jeongguk’s pajama pants down an inch, stroking at the newly exposed skin. He scratches at the tops of Jeongguk’s thighs and Jeongguk whimpers.  “Maybe I’ll just go back to sleep.”  Yoongi teases, voice low. 

“Oh god,” Jeongguk breathes, sounding horrified as the camera clicks again, “oh god, please please don’t do that.”

Yoongi ghosts his thumb over Jeongguk, finds him half hard already.  Yoongi traces one finger then two, feather light, and Jeongguk mumbles something under his breath that sounds like fuck fuck fuck you’re so fucking--.  Yoongi stares into the viewfinder, gaze hooded and dark. He runs his tongue over his teeth and then, at the last second, watching Jeongguk's hands as they shake slightly, Yoongi crosses his eyes, sticks out his tongue, and scrunches all his features up. 

Jeongguk shrieks in dismay—

“Hyung, this is proper film, that’s a forever face now, our children will see it!” 

And Yoongi can’t help it, he cracks up, curling in on himself and up into Jeongguk, grabbing at Jeongguk’s face with his hands, trying to pull him down for a kiss.

“Why are you gonna show our children your sex pictures of me?”  He mumbles, pressing a sloppy kiss onto the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth. 

“Hyung,” Jeongguk moans, twisting in Yoongi's hands, pushing Yoongi down, snapping one more picture of Yoongi’s smile before he tosses the camera to the side lightly, where it bounces on their duvet, "that's not the point!"  He throws himself flat on Yoongi.  “Oh my god, fuck you, you looked so good, you know I like it when you talk like that, what the hell, that was so hot, you’re so hot, why would you—fuck.”

“Sorry, sorry, baby, m’sorry.”  Yoongi whispers through his giggles, hands reaching up around Jeongguk’s slim waist, kissing his neck, his shoulder, any skin his lips can reach. 

“No, you’re not.  You’re not sorry at all.”  Jeongguk says, aghast.  “Now you're lying, in addition to ruining my art, we've fallen so far, what happened to you, what happened to us, oh my god.”  Jeongguk squirms in his arms, grabs Yoongi’s hands and pins them above Yoongi’s head.  “Bad hyung.”  He says firmly, like he’s scolding one of their dogs.  “Bad bad Yoongi-hyung.”  Yoongi snorts.  “Ugh,” Jeongguk says, pulling away, kicking his feet against the sheets in a careful mini-tantrum, before rolling back over and collapsing on top of Yoongi, burying his face in Yoongi’s neck.  “I love you.  Imma crush you to death.”

“Guk.”  Yoongi says, after a second, his brain catching up.  “Jeongguk.” He bats at Jeongguk’s shoulders.  “Jeongguk-ah.” 

“No.”  Jeongguk groans, sniffles against Yoongi’s neck.  “M’crushing you.  You deserve it.  Feel my wrath.”

“Jeongguk, Guk,” Yoongi says frantically, “oh no.  Our children?”

Jeongguk pulls back quickly and scans Yoongi’s face, brow furrowed.  Whatever he sees there makes his body relax, face smoothing out, mouth quirking into a grin. 

“Yeah, I mean, one day, duh.”

“But what,” Yoongi breathes, “what.  Our?  Us?  Our future children?”

“Uh,” Jeongguk balances himself on one arm, holds his hand in front of Yoongi’s face and waves it. The light catches and flashes, makes the band on his finger sparkle.  He sits up, resting on Yoongi’s hips again, grabs Yoongi’s hand and knocks their rings together with a soft clink.  “I hope you and me.”  Jeongguk says, with a long-suffering sigh.  “Or are you leaving me again?"  He rolls his eyes.  "Like you did when I tried to get you to cut down on caffeine, per the doctor’s orders I remind you, and mixed decaf in with regular coffee for like a week before you figured it out.” 

“That was traumatic.”  Yoongi whispers.  “Please don’t bring it up in our bedroom.”

Jeongguk sticks out his tongue.

“But Guk.”  Yoongi whispers, grabbing the pink between two fingers and tugging lightly.  “Oh no.  Our children.  That doesn’t scare me.  I said it without even worrying about it, the thought of it doesn't scare me, shit, it sounds nice.  Fuck.”  Yoongi blinks.  “I love you.”

“Well, that’s nice, but it’s vaguely alarming to me that you’re saying you love me as though it’s never occurred to you that you do, not even once in the past almost five fucking years.”  Jeongguk says dryly, leaning back in and nosing at Yoongi’s jaw.  Yoongi tilts his head back so Jeongguk can press open-mouthed kisses along the curve of his neck.

“But Jeonggukie,” Yoongi breathes, “you’re stuck with me now.  You’re really really stuck with me now.”

“You’re stuck with me.”  Jeongguk corrects, scraping his teeth lightly over last night’s bruise and Yoongi shudders underneath him, shifts so Jeongguk can get a better angle.

“No, no, d-definitely the first one.”  Yoongi chides. 

“Okay.”  Jeongguk agrees.  “Fine.”  He kisses up to Yoongi’s face and then catches Yoongi’s lips with his own, kisses him soft and slow and deep, like it’s not 6:23 on a Sunday morning and they don’t both have unbrushed teeth and morning breath.  Like it's the first time all over again.  “Lucky me.”  Jeongguk whispers, when he pulls away.  He looks down at Yoongi with something like adoration, returning his lips to Yoongi’s neck after a moment.  “Lucky me.”  He whispers against Yoongi’s skin, voice tinged with wonder, so quietly that Yoongi thinks he’s saying it to himself and not to Yoongi at all.  “Lucky lucky me.”

And Yoongi—

 

Yoongi is happy, somewhere deep in his bones.