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time will be frozen for us

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The first time it happens is an accident. 

Well, more accurately, the first time it happens is because Yoongi is a giant pushover and Jeongguk’s scrunchy nose smile could get him to walk through an ice storm in the dead of winter, even though Yoongi hates being cold more than anything. 

Yoongi acknowledges this ‘softness-toward-Jeongguk-truth’, albeit not to Hoseok, Namjoon, and Seokjin who pointed it out—

(“If he said he needed to, like, knife you for a project you would let him.”  “I would not.” “You genuinely might.”  “You totally would.”  “You’re legitimately considering if you would right now.”  “Would all of you kindly fuck the fuck off.”  “You’re irritated because it’s true, Yoongi-yah.”)

Jeongguk is on the foot of Yoongi’s bed early one November afternoon, asking a question about Yoongi’s maschine MK3, listening to Yoongi explain that he likes it for quick song ideas, to record loops and grooves so he can mess with them, and then Yoongi is working and Jeongguk is studying and then—

Then there’s a crash that Yoongi hears even through his headphones.  He yanks them off and turns to see Jeongguk on the floor, blinking sleepily.  Jeongguk mumbles something under his breath and-- Yoongi fucking kids you not-- puts his head down on the carpet like he’s going to go back to sleep right then and there.

“Guk, no.”  Yoongi manages through his laughter. “Jeongguk.”

“M’studying.”  Jeongguk murmurs, sniffling a little.  “M’studying, hyung leave me ‘lone.”  He yawns, pillowing his head on his arm, and it’s probably the cutest thing Yoongi has ever ever seen. 

“Yeah, no, you’re not studying, Guk.  You’re sleeping.”  Yoongi says.  “Like, on my floor.”  He adds for emphasis, walking over and crouching by Jeongguk.

Jeongguk wrinkles his nose and mumbles something that Yoongi doesn’t catch, so he leans forward and puts his ear near to Jeongguk’s mouth.  His heart constricts a little strangely at Jeongguk's slow and sleepy exhales on his cheek, but Yoongi chooses to ignore it.  Too much caffeine will do that, after all, make your heart beat funny.  It probably has nothing to do with Jeongguk. 

(Also, Yoongi is lying, it definitely has everything to do with Jeongguk and nothing to do with caffeine, but he’ll think about that later.)

“What, Jeonggukie?  Hyung didn’t hear.” 

“M’not sleeping.”  Jeongguk whispers and Yoongi snorts, puts his face in his hands and laughs that uncontrollable laugh that he has and kind of hates, a near silent desperate little gulping sound.  When Yoongi lifts his head again, there is a very soft and sleepy smile playing at the corners of Jeongguk’s mouth.  

“Like when you laugh like that.”  Jeongguk says quietly, voice thick with sleep but so so fond, fingers tugging the carpet near Yoongi’s knee, like he was going to touch but changed his mind at the last second.

Yoongi clears his throat and then swats at Jeongguk’s shoulders until Jeongguk sits up and then, with some gentle prodding and tugging, he gets Jeongguk to stand and tumble backwards onto Yoongi’s bed.

Only Jeongguk grabs at Yoongi, and pulls almost hard, and Yoongi ends up laying half on top of Jeongguk, hands pressed flat against Jeongguk’s chest. 

“Nap time?”  Jeongguk mumbles, a hint of uncertainty around the edges of the question, skin flushing pink over his collarbones, fingers tensing and untensing like he thinks he should let go of Yoongi’s shoulders but doesn’t want to. 

“What?”  Yoongi croaks. 

“If you don’t nap, then I should be studying,” Jeongguk explains, “but if we’re both napping then it’s just nap time and I won’t feel guilty. It’s okay to nap if you nap too.”  He bites his lip, furrows his brow.  “You see?”  He asks, when Yoongi doesn’t respond.  

It’s a dangerous feeling, this wanting to kiss someone so much, and Yoongi is getting very bad at ignoring it.  

Yoongi thinks he should tell Jeongguk how he feels—but also it’s just a crush, and he enjoys their friendship too much to ruin it over a crush.  He gets a little clammy every time he thinks that maybe Jeongguk won’t smile all puppy dog fond at him, won’t be comfortable draping himself over Yoongi’s back in the studio while he watches Yoongi work, won’t come to Yoongi for advice as easily.  They get along, soft and comfortable, just falling into all the little spaces around each other, and Yoongi doesn’t want it to go away.  He's being a little selfish about it maybe, a little selfish about Jeongguk. 

Besides it’s just a crush.  Yoongi is very good at having crushes, falls into them easily-- had a crush on Seokjin when he met him, on Suran when he met her, on Kihyun when he met him-- and now he’s desperately good friends with all of them. 

He’ll get over this. Can just keep being friends with Jeongguk until he does, and his days will be a little (lot) sweeter around the edges for it.  And if he doesn’t—if he can’t-- he’ll tell Jeongguk, so that Jeongguk can make a decision about how much he wants to fade from Yoongi’s life. 

(And Yoongi’s days will be a little (lot) bleaker around the edges for it.)

“No, no napping now.”  Yoongi says, extracting himself from Jeongguk’s grip, sitting up and shoving his hands through his hair so that he has something to do with them.  He looks over and Jeongguk looks away quickly, too fast for Yoongi to see his eyes. Which-- shit, maybe Yoongi was too brusque, maybe he hurt Jeongguk’s feelings. “Guk--” He starts. 

“Sorry.”  Jeongguk says, cutting Yoongi off, sounding small and sad.  “Sorry." 

“No, not like that, just--” Yoongi sighs.  “Yes, nap now, but short nap, okay?  We both have actual real-life work to do, is all.”

“Are you sure?”  Jeongguk asks, holding himself rigidly, glancing away and then back like he’s not clear how long to maintain eye contact.  “I mean, you’re right, we should work.  It’s okay, hyung, I’m sorry.  We should--”

Yoongi grabs the fleece blanket he keeps at the bottom of his bed and shakes it out, drapes it over his shoulders.  He lies down, tossing the blanket half over Jeongguk haphazardly, and curls up, tucks his hands between his knees.

“But--” Jeongguk says.

“Go to sleep or I’ll bite you.”  Yoongi chides.  “You’re wasting valuable nap time here.”

“You know, you’ve said that before,” Jeongguk says after a beat, voice quiet, “but I just have to check-- you’re threatening to bite me, right?”  

“Jeongguk.”  Yoongi warns. 

Bite me.”  Jeongguk repeats, and then— “Where would you even bite me?  Because I have thoughts.  Like my arm or my neck or my--”

Anywhere you want, Yoongi brain answers quickly, and conjures up some really rather vivid and inappropriate images.  Yoongi stores these images on a little mental thumb drive and puts that thumb drive in a wee little box, and then smashes the box with a large hammer until there’s nothing but flat and smashed and shards.  

“Don’t question me, I’m your hyung and have threatened more people than you’ve ever even met.”  Yoongi clenches his eyes shut.  “Lay down and go the fuck to sleep.”   

Jeongguk giggles and whispers okay and Yoongi feels the bed dip as he settles.  Yoongi waits a little bit before he opens his eyes, but Jeongguk is still awake, looking at Yoongi steadily. 

“Hyung--” Jeongguk whispers, so quiet that if Yoongi hadn’t seen Jeongguk’s mouth move he would have thought he imagined it. 

Yoongi wants to touch.  He wriggles a hand out from under the blankets and cards his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair, watches as the slight furrow in Jeongguk’s brow disappears.  Jeongguk makes a soft soft sound, just on the edge of hearing, and nuzzles into the touch, eyes falling closed, breathing slowing.   

Yoongi finds himself drifting off as well, hand slowing and then stilling, tangled in Jeongguk’s hair.  He falls into a dreamless sleep that lasts until Seokjin bangs into the apartment, home from work, startling them both awake.

Jeongguk rubs the sleep out of his eyes and paws around on the bed for his phone. When he glances at the screen he freezes for a second, and then looks over at Yoongi.

“Okay, don’t be mad,” he says, voice rough with sleep in a way that Yoongi tries very diligently not to enjoy, “and I’m not sure where we ended on the biting thing, so maybe keep a pin in it and don’t act rashly, but I think I should tell you that was definitely not a short nap.” 

Yoongi can’t stop his snort, and then they both crack up, loud and long enough that Seokjin knocks on the door and demands to be let in on the joke. 

 

 

 

“Joon, I like Jeongguk.”  Yoongi announces the next evening, fresh from the shower.  If he’s going to admit it to himself, he might as well admit it to his closest friends.  Maybe saying it out loud will help. “I--oh, Seok-ah, when did you get here? That’s perfect.  I thought I was going to have to do this multiple times and I didn't want to.”  

Hoseok shrugs.  “Little bit ago.  Also, uh, yes.  You like Jeongguk.” 

“No,” Yoongi waves his hands, “I mean, I like like him.”

Hoseok stares. “What?”

“I like like him.”  Yoongi repeats, inexplicably outraged that he is being forced to repeat this after just saying that he didn’t want to.

“Are you like twelve, hyung?” Namjoon cuts in.  “This is ridiculous.  You like like him?  We knew what you meant the first time.  Honestly, we all know you like him.  It’s been, like, four months since it was obvious to everyone else that you two are pretty much in love, but are both on some Nietzsche shit, convinced you shouldn’t share the truth unless you know it can help the other person and for some reason you both think it’s better as a secret when obviously it’s not but that is your own problem, to be honest, and right now I am trying to watch this documentary about wrongful convictions and you are, you are—" He sputters to a stop and glares.  Which, on the whole, is both incredibly characteristic of and incredibly uncharacteristic of Namjoon.

“Oh wow.”  Hoseok says.

Yoongi looks at Namjoon through narrowed eyes and debates how stressed Namjoon is about the revision he’s doing on his thesis proposal.  Stressed, sure, but enough to justify that outburst? 

“First of all,” Yoongi starts, raising a finger, which is when Seokjin walks in to the apartment, kicks off his shoes, and tumbles over the back of the couch to settle in next to Hoseok.  

“Oh my god, today was so long, do you guys want to orde—oh, yikes, hey, what’s up?”  He asks, looking between Namjoon and Yoongi, “What did I miss?”

“Yoongi-hyung, as it turns out, likes Jeongguk.”  Hoseok supplies, when neither Namjoon or Yoongi respond.

“Right.”  Seokjin frowns at the TV.  “What are we watching, jeeze.  And I mean, of course, what’s the deal though?”

“No,” Namjoon says, leaning around Hoseok to look Seokjin in the eye, “he means that Yoongi-hyung like likes Jeongguk.”

“Are you in elementary school?”  Seokjin sputters. 

Namjoon turns toward Yoongi triumphantly.

“I hate you guys.”  Yoongi mutters, chewing on the heel of his hand.  Hoseok reaches out and taps his thigh comfortingly.

“You too, babe." 

“I’m gonna bite you guys.”  Yoongi whimper-threatens, before climbing onto the couch and curling into a tight little ball between Hoseok and Namjoon.

 “You’re weird.”  Seokjin says affectionately and switches the TV to Hell’s Kitchen.

 

 

 

(Yoongi has technically known Jeongguk for over a year, had met Jeongguk multiple multiple times the year before, but always in passing.  Yoongi had been finishing his capstone and working part-time to save up for grad school and doing his weekly DJ gig and interning with a production company downtown (which was thankfully part of his capstone or he would have actually died) and so was rarely at the apartment.

And Jeongguk was friends with Hoseok and Jimin through dance, and Taehyung through an art history course, and then became one of Seokjin’s honorary little brothers through them, and was in something like 800 clubs and had part-time work, and was always in movement, it seemed.  

So Yoongi heard stories, saw pictures, and sometimes Yoongi saw Jeongguk at their apartment drinking with Seokjin and Jimin, or passed out on their couch resting his head on Taehyung, or talking to Namjoon on the window seat in the early mornings, but Yoongi and Jeongguk hadn’t really had much of a chance to interact for extended periods, opposite schedules sending them careening different ways.   

They met properly in the middle of this past summer, over samgyetang that Seokjin made to balance their bodies, all of them sweating and complaining around the table like petulant toddlers, and then Seokjin announced he’d also gotten watermelon and they’d sat on the roof of the building, Taehyung and Jimin spitting seeds, and Jeongguk had shuffled over, scratching the back of his neck, to ask Yoongi a very quiet question about his mixtape- 

quiet because Taehyung and Jimin overheard and shrieked something that sounded like he loves you, hyung, oh my god, like, so much before returning to their war, dragging Namjoon down with them, Hoseok and Seokjin shrieking and dashing away--

“A professional love.”  Jeongguk clarified, face in his hands.  He cleared his throat and lifted his head, looking anywhere but Yoongi.  “A musically based, um—”

“You liked my mixtape?”  Yoongi asked, pleased that this shy soft sort of caramel creamed boy liked his music.  Jeongguk smiled and started to talk, eyes bright, and he was alternatingly biting humor and grinned apologies, listened real careful with an intense look in his eyes, and then, suddenly, the sun was well past set and everyone else was inside, but they were still sat on the roof, sticky with watermelon juice, talking and laughing and--

“Oh,” Jeongguk had said, sucking his lower lip between his teeth, “what happened, where is everyone?  It’s so late.  I should go.”

“Okay, but, wa— wanna get coffee tomorrow?”  Yoongi had said without thinking, reacting to the fact that he wanted to hear the end of Jeongguk’s story, wanted to listen to Jeongguk talk more more more.  Jeongguk had grinned; so wide that Yoongi had been momentarily stunned.

“Really hot out for coffee, hyung.”  He said.

“Iced coffee, you brat.” 

And just like that, Jeongguk was part of Yoongi’s every day.  

And also just like that Yoongi was a little in love.)

 

 

 

(But it’s fine.  Yoongi will get over it.)

 

 

 

“Do you believe in ghosts?”  Jeongguk shout-asks, bursting into the apartment in a rush of cold air, cheeks red, eyes bright, so pretty it hurts.  Jeongguk has a habit of blindsiding Yoongi, and it’s worse now that Yoongi can’t ignore the little voice in his head that says like you, like you, more than like you every time.  Tonight, after an all day inability to get a song to work, just making it worse each time Yoongi touched it, and then getting caught in freezing rain on the way home, Yoongi feels exceptionally underprepared for Jeongguk.   Seeing Jeongguk's smile is like sliding into a too hot bath- pinpricks of something between pain and pleasure. 

Yoongi wants to curl into Jeongguk and hold him close.  He wants to ask about his day.  He wants to listen to Jeongguk talk, make him smile all scrunched, kiss the freckle right below his mouth.  Yoongi wants, but instead he takes a deep breath.  

“Jeongguk, shhh, it’s late, Jinie-hyung’s already asleep.”  Jeongguk looks abashed and also slightly tipsy, swaying in the hallway as he toes his boots off, fingers scraping for purchase on the wall.  “I wanna talk to you too, but can you be quiet for hyung?”

Jeongguk nods and slides across the kitchen tiles in his thick wool socks, open coat fluttering behind him. 

“Do you believe in ghosts, do you, do you?”  He whisper-asks, as he skids to a stop and paws the hem of Yoongi’s sweater, wraps his arms around Yoongi’s waist, his hips, his thighs, his knees.  Jeongguk travels down Yoongi’s body and clings like a memory, settling on the floor with his whole self wrapped around Yoongi’s legs.

He rests his cheek against Yoongi’s thigh and looks up at him with big open eyes.

“Jeongguk-ah, I’m cooking, this is dangerous.”  Yoongi responds, throat dry.  He reaches a hand out to smooth down Jeongguk’s hair, but it ends up fluttering in the air.  He can’t bring himself to touch-- the situation too unreal, too strange, too close to something else, the florescent lights casting everything in an unnatural harsh glow.  He must be imagining this, dreaming maybe, fell asleep in his studio.  Jeongguk hadn’t been planning to come over tonight, that Yoongi knew for sure. “Didn’t you have that dance circle dinner thing?”  

“Hyung.”  Jeongguk implores, twisting around Yoongi’s leg and craning his neck, Jeongguk’s eyes warm and dark and sweet as the hot chocolate he likes to drink.  Yoongi gives in and presses his trembling hand to Jeongguk’s head.  “Hyung, I didn’t feel like drinking much, so I said I felt sick, left early.” Jeongguk presses his cheek back into Yoongi’s thigh, “But usually you call me when it’s late and I’m walking home from dance, and then I was thinking about how I hadn’t talked to you today, and then I wanted to talk to you, and then I wanted to see y—” Jeongguk cuts himself off, face tinged pink, and clears his throat.  “Anyway.”  He mumbles, dropping his gaze.  “Anyway.  That sweater is great, hyung.  Where did you get it, 1952?”

“Brat.”  Yoongi says and taps Jeongguk on the nose, trying to make the word sound easy, the movement natural.  “Tae gave it to me, he says fashion is cyclical and I’m choosing to believe him.”

“Mmm.”  Jeongguk says, with a little shrug.  “But what about ghosts, hyung.”  The wind whines through the windows like a stray dog begging to be let in, and through it Yoongi hears the pot lid clatter, flame hissing, water boiling over. He should turn toward the stove, but he can’t look away from Jeongguk.  “Do you think there are ghosts, hyung?  Wouldn’t that be so sad, to be wandering forever, do you think it’s cold to be a ghost?  Does anyone ever hear them or do they just drift, lost and screaming?” 

“Guk,” Yoongi whispers, “Jeongguk.”

Jeongguk whines, long and low, and Yoongi feels like he’s swallowed a fig-sized coal, there’s a burning hot lump in the pit of his stomach. 

“Guk, the pot. I have to turn the stove down.”  The flame sputtering and hissing, the ice of Jeongguk’s fingers through Yoongi’s sweatpants, nails digging into Yoongi’s inner thigh, Jeongguk’s face pressed against the space right below Yoongi’s hip, ghosts in the air all around them.  It’s too much. 

“Fine.”  Jeongguk says, releasing Yoongi and falling back on the kitchen floor with a sigh. “Fine.”

They eat the ramen Yoongi makes, sitting on opposite ends of the couch, legs tangled together in the middle, speaking soft so as not to wake Seokjin.  Jeongguk tells Yoongi about his day, asks about Yoongi’s, suggests a song he heard and thought Yoongi might like. The talk dips and flows and then ebbs into a comfortable sleepy silence.  Yoongi thinks he should probably send Jeongguk home, but he doesn’t want to.  He wants Jeongguk to stay here. 

It’s because of the way Jeongguk arrived, he tells himself-- halfway to tipsy, reaching out to touch, whispering about ghosts-- that’s what stops Yoongi.  And it is, Jeongguk had looked so lost when he arrived, but it’s also just that Yoongi doesn’t want him to go.  Feels better with Jeongguk here. 

Selfish.

Jeongguk yawns and tips over, rests his arm and then his head on Yoongi’s knees.  The press of Jeongguk on his knees is such a small thing but, for some reason, Yoongi feels like he has tripped and stumbled right over the edge of a curb.  Everything he feels about Jeongguk come rushing at him quick like the ground.  

He wets his lips, opens his mouth--

“Hyung, I--” Jeongguk whispers before Yoongi can speak, and then the door swings open and Namjoon shuffles inside. 

“It’s freezing out there, like an ice age or some shit.” He says, his brow furrowing when he sees Jeongguk.  He glances at his watch.  “Guk, it’s like 2AM.  You can’t walk home this late in this weather.  You spending the night?” 

“I’ll manage.”  Jeongguk pushes himself upright.  “I should go though, didn’t realize how late it got.” 

“It’s really cold.”  Namjoon repeats.  “It’s freezi—"

“He’s staying over.”  Yoongi answers, getting off the couch, grabbing their bowls to dump in the sink.  He bumps Namjoon with his shoulder as he passes.  “Namjoon-ah, go to bed, you look dead on your feet, did you get that hook you were working on done?” 

“Eh, mostly.  Maybe.  Will you give it a listen tomorrow?  I’d value your inpu--” Yoongi nods, cutting Namjoon off before he can get started and work himself into one of those thought frenzies that the two of them know so well.  A forget to sleep and making it worse kind of spiral.  A weird desperation in the beds of your nails type anxiety. 

“Yeah, Joon always.  Seriously though, go sleep now.  We’re going to bed too.  Tomorrow, okay?”  

Namjoon nods and smiles his thanks, shuffles toward his room.

“Night hyung, night Guk.”  

“I don’t believe in ghosts, I don’t think.”  Yoongi says, after he rinses out their bowls, leaning on the kitchen island to keep a little bit of space between him and Jeongguk. Yoongi still feels outside of his boundaries, a little shaky, a little like he just avoided and missed out on something at the same time. Jeongguk peers over the back of the couch at him, eyes somewhere between lost and found.  “But if they do exist, I hope they’re not cold or lonely or stuck trying to get people to hear them.”

“Me too.”  Jeongguk says.  “It felt like there were ghosts out, when I was walking home.  Seems like the kind of night, the way the wind sounds, like there are voices in it. I just can’t quite hear what they’re saying, you know?  But they’re right there, trying to tell me something, if I could just listen right.”     

Were you scared?  Yoongi thinks he should ask, but he knows that’s not it at all.

“Did it make you sad?”  He asks Jeongguk, because it would have made him sad.  It sounds sad.  Jeongguk nods and drops his gaze, looking tiny tiny over the back of the couch, the light from the open kitchen fading before it reaches him, casting him in a soft shadow.

“Can I have a pillow?”  Jeongguk whispers, as though Yoongi is going to let Jeongguk’s long body curl up uncomfortably on the too short couch.  “And sweatpants,” he adds, sucking his lower lip into his mouth, “but maybe not yours because you are short.” 

“Poorly executed, very unoriginal, 2/10 insult.  I expect better of you, Jeonggukie.” 

“Gonna bite me?”  Jeongguk asks with a grin, winking by blinking both his eyes and then keeping one shut, a silly sweet habit he has that makes Yoongi feel simultaneously flustered and tender.  He’s overwhelmed with the need to touch, the need to make sure that Jeongguk is real, so he walks over to tousle Jeongguk’s hair. 

“You can sleep with me.”  Yoongi responds, not really thinking it through before he says it.  Jeongguk stills under his hand and Yoongi feels unreasonably terrified and stupid, because maybe that’s not something Jeongguk wants, maybe now Jeongguk feels uncomfortable and won’t know how to say no, won’t want to make Yoongi feel bad by saying no.  Yoongi scratches his ear, hopes Jeongguk hasn’t picked up that it’s a nervous tic of his.  “If you want, I mean.  My bed is way nicer than the couch is all, way more, um, c-comfy.”  He says, which is a weird statement to make. He rubs his palm on his thigh in an effort to stop scratching his ear, but then realizes that is just a much more obvious nervous tic.  He sorta wishes the earth would open up and swallow him about now. “If you want to, you can sleep with me, I don’t mind at all, you don't have to but if you want to.”  Jesus, he wishes he would just shut the fuck up. 

Jeongguk nods sharply, a jerk of his chin, then nudges Yoongi’s hand with his head.

“Want.”  He confirms with a tiny sigh.  Yoongi tries to ignore the clench in his gut. 

 

 

 

Yoongi has shared beds with people before, like, all the time.  His brother and him stole pillows and blankets from each other, woke up heads to tails, primed to fight. Taehyung clings in his sleep, Hoseok fidgets and sprawls, Seokjin holds the blankets gently bunched in his hand, Namjoon sleeps flat on his back like the dead, Jimin curls up teeny-tiny small, Suran is restless restless restless, Kihyun sleeps on his stomach with his hands bundled under his chin, but Jeongguk--

Jeongguk curls in and around. 

Yoongi wakes up with Jeongguk pressed into his chest, lips soft against Yoongi’s bare skin, exhales hot across Yoongi’s collarbones.  One of his arms is thrown carelessly around Yoongi’s ribcage, his leg tossed over Yoongi’s waist, like in his sleep he was trying to keep Yoongi close. 

Waking up tangled with Jeongguk makes Yoongi feels warm and good and he realizes, in the most quiet places of his heart, that this is very much not just a crush.

 

 

 

After Jeongguk heads out, Seokjin looks at Yoongi for a little bit and then makes him extra strong coffee and kisses the top of Yoongi’s head and whispers, oh, Yoongi, and Yoongi curls into the hug but can’t get the words out.  He feels like he can’t breathe.  And he can’t talk if he can’t breathe, so he waits, just a little longer, because he likes it- this soft and gentle love that’s maybe been there for awhile but that he’s just realized he has in him.  It feels like damp flower petals after dew, reaching toward the sun.  He doesn’t want to lose it, wants to let it stretch and grow.

Selfish.   He’s so selfish.

 

 

 

“Did you know--” Jeongguk whisper-asks, leaning in close on the couch, lips on the shell of Yoongi’s ear. Jeongguk always smells like flowers that have bloomed just slightly too early, frost and gardenia and something clean and fresh and all Jeongguk.  It’s disconcerting in the middle of winter, the sweet newness of it.  Yoongi leans in toward the curve of Jeongguk’s neck unconsciously.  “--when a candle goes out like that it means that someone near it is going to die?”

Yoongi thinks back over the night, the candles Jimin and Taehyung had lit around the Ouija board, Hoseok escaping to the kitchen with wary eyes, Seokjin following him and then easy laughter dripping like baubles.  Had one gone out unexpectedly?  Namjoon practically upside down curled so small in his armchair, a book of poetry inches from his face, muttering softly under his breath, either trying to memorize or understand something that was pricking at his heart.  Jimin shrieking in delight you’re moving it, Tae, you are, a soft wisp of smoke, Jeongguk’s worried eyes.  Maybe.

“Goes out like what?”  He asks. 

“For no reason.”  Jeongguk answers, lips brushing Yoongi’s earring. “Like God reached down and snuffed it out.”  He pulls back and looks a little scared, a little young, a little lost. 

“No.”  Yoongi says, too quiet, so he tries again, makes his voice louder.  “No. No, what?”  He aches to touch and gives in, reaches out to cup Jeongguk’s face in his hands, press their foreheads together.  “C’mon, that’s not true.” 

“It is,” Jeongguk insists, pulling back to lock Yoongi’s eyes with his own.  He places his fingertips right where Yoongi's sweater stops, on the bare skin of Yoongi's neck, and pushes in a little as he speaks.  “It’s a bad omen, my grandma told me so when I was little.” 

“There was a draft.”  Yoongi argues, pulling Jeongguk to his chest, because he doesn’t know what else to do.  Jeongguk falls into him easy-easy, rubs his cheek across the soft of Yoongi sweater, and presses something that might be a kiss half onto Yoongi’s skin.

“No, there wasn’t.”  Jeongguk says.  “Hyung, there wasn’t a draft.”

“Jeongguk, don’t say things like that.” Yoongi wants to make it better and doesn’t know how.  “C’mon, it’s okay.”  He thinks about how cold it’s been lately and how tired Jeongguk looks and how things press in during the center of winter when there’s no sun, too much grey.  Yoongi hates the color grey, always has.  It’s too in-between.  Things lurk and fester there.  He strokes Jeongguk’s hair, his other hand rubbing circles in between Jeongguk’s shoulder blades, feeling Jeongguk’s tenseness under his fingertips.  “It’s okay, Jeonggukie.”  He says.  It’s okay, baby, he wants to say, and has to bite the tip of his tongue to stop the word from coming out.  “Hyung’s here.” He says instead.  

“M’sleepy.”  Jeongguk answers, after a moment.  He slumps in Yoongi’s arms, like all the fight has left him all at once.  “Hyung, I wanna go to bed.”

“Okay,” Yoongi whispers, uncertain, unsure, “okay, want me to walk you home?”

Yoongi feels it; the downward twist of Jeongguk’s mouth when he frowns. 

“No.  No, hyung, I--”  Jeongguk makes a small impatient sound into Yoongi’s skin. 

The soft jazz music that Taehyung has put on, Jin and Jimin’s echoing laughter, Namjoon and Hoseok's muffled voices, Taehyung's gentle singing, cups and dishes clinking, the comfortable noise from their friends drifts around them, but right now Yoongi feels separate from it somehow, tangled up with just Jeongguk.  

“Jeongguk?”  Yoongi asks, voice hushed.

“I want to stay with you.”  Jeongguk says, almost too quiet for Yoongi to hear.  He tilts his head up, breath hot on Yoongi’s earlobe.  “If it’s okay, I want to stay, hyung.  I want to stay here.  If it’s okay?  If it’s okay, please?  I don’t want to be alone.”

“Yeah, of course, you can stay here, you can stay.”  Yoongi tightens his arms around Jeongguk.  He hadn’t fully realized until that second just how very inadequate words could be.  What he’s said is not enough, it’s not nearly enough, couldn’t possibly hold all the right feelings, but it’s all he has.  He presses a kiss to Jeongguk’s temple. “You can stay with me.” 

Jeongguk makes a small sound, but Yoongi couldn’t say what it means.

 

 

 

Jeongguk is sick and Yoongi is sleep-deprived and maybe just a little panicked.  It is January and it is freezing out and Yoongi hasn’t slept for twenty-seven hours and Jeongguk’s teeny-tiny studio apartment has nothing Yoongi needs, but he doesn’t want to leave Jeongguk alone to go to the store.  Jimin and Taehyung answer his frantic call and bring over everything Yoongi has requested and then some, cuddle Jeongguk for a bit while Yoongi cooks.  They bundle themselves to go home, demanding hourly updates and promising Jeongguk they will be back the next morning, much to Jeongguk’s constant hoarse insistence that all of this is unnecessary.   

Jeongguk eats a half bowl of ginger and chicken rice porridge that Yoongi has made him.  He sniffles and curls up into a ball when he’s finished, looking small somehow even on his tiny couch. Yoongi moves game controllers out of the way and sits next to him, holding out medicine, balancing a glass of water. 

“Don’t wanna take meds.”  Jeongguk tells Yoongi.  “Makes my head all fuzzy, not in the good tipsy way, in the bad shaky way.”

“Yeah, I know but you gotta.”  Yoongi responds, “C’mere.”  And Jeongguk sniffles but tilts himself over and hooks his chin on Yoongi’s shoulder and peers at the box and reads the back twice, and then takes what Yoongi holds out, looking very put upon and sleepy and his hair is sticking up at all angles and if he didn’t clearly feel miserable it would be really cute.  

Shush, Yoongi tells himself, now is not the time.  He thinks of Jeongguk’s voice scratchy and painful on his phone, hyung I don’t mean to bother you but if you have a moment, I just don’t feel well and-- I just wanted to see—hear--  um, hyung, if you—Yoongi hadn’t even listened to the rest of the message before grabbing his jacket and rushing out of his studio for the first time in maybe three days, taking the stairs two at a time.

“Okay, hold on.”  Yoongi returns the five steps to the kitchen and checks on the pear, blows on a spoonful to test it’s not too hot, drizzles a little more honey because Jeongguk makes him think of sticky sweet things, pure and golden.

Jeongguk gazes at him blearily.

“Whatsit?”  He asks. 

“Steamed pears and honey.”  Yoongi settles himself on the couch, pulls his legs up and sits cross-legged, facing Jeongguk.   “My mom used to feed it to us when we got colds.  Good for the immune system, will make your throat feel better.  Do you wanna try some?” 

Jeongguk sniffles, leans forward, opens his mouth, and waits.

Yoongi feeds Jeongguk the warm pears and honey slowly, blows on each mouthful, lets him sip the juice from the spoon, watches Jeongguk watch him with heavy-lidded eyes.

Yoongi feels all strange inside.  He’s worried for Jeongguk, and Jeongguk’s lips are glistening with pear juice and honey, and Yoongi’s exhausted, and Jeongguk’s leaning in, and he called Yoongi for comfort, and Yoongi just wants Jeongguk to feel better, to feel better and smile properly and maybe eat this when he’s not feeling sick, maybe let Yoongi slice him pears with honey and feed them to him when he’s all better too. Yoongi can’t stop thinking, can’t pull himself together- he’s been working non-stop for god knows how long, teetering on the edge of collapsing to try and get this mini produced.  Yoongi feels vaguely overheated in the bad way, the right before you faint way, a strange dull heat under his skin.

“Good?”  Yoongi asks, less than halfway through, setting the bowl to the side, figuring to save the rest because Jeongguk’s eyes are falling shut, an effort each time he tries to open them again.  

Jeongguk nods and crumbles forward, tucks his head into the crook of Yoongi’s neck. “S’really good, hyung.  Thank you.  Sorry, just, m’sleepy, so sleepy.”  His lips stick to Yoongi’s skin.

“I know,” Yoongi says, and swallows the word baby that’s sitting on the edge of his tongue again. “It’s the medicine.”  Yoongi whispers, head spinning. “It’s just the medicine, let’s get you to bed, okay?”

“Okay.”  Jeongguk mumbles, lips catching on the curve of Yoongi’s neck.  “Okay, hyung. Yes, please.” 

Yoongi pets Jeongguk’s hair and rubs his back and then stands up, pulling Jeongguk with him.

“Tell me about something nice.” Jeongguk asks, as Yoongi leads him to the bathroom to brush his teeth, and then turns his back while Jeongguk changes into fresh pajamas, and then leads him to bed.  Jeongguk stumbles over his own feet, gripping Yoongi’s wrist tight.  “Tell me ‘bout something nice, hyung.”

“Your voice.” Yoongi tells Jeongguk, surprising himself with honesty.  He tucks Jeongguk into bed carefully.  “In your voice I hear flowers and green grass and rushing brooks and spring,” he rubs his hands over Jeongguk’s cheeks, “I hear all sorts of spring, early spring, the good spring, when there’s still ice underneath the breeze.”  Jeongguk’s fingers pick at the bones in Yoongi’s wrists.   “I hear all sorts of terribly pretty things.” 

 Jeongguk sighs, a small satisfied sound, and presses his face into the pillows, reaching his arms out as though to wrap around someone that isn’t there.

Yoongi waits a moment, feeling like a child’s drawing, jerky and unsettled and spread all across a page. 

“Hyung,” Jeongguk slurs, reaching out when Yoongi shifts to stand, “Yoongi-hyung, don’t leave, stay with me.” 

“I’m not gonna leave, Guk but I gotta put the food away.”  Yoongi whispers.  “Sleep now.  Close your eyes.”  Jeongguk mumbles something soft and hoarse, but his eyes close obediently as Yoongi pulls away.  Yoongi eats half a bowl of porridge, cleans up the kitchen, washes his face, and stares at himself in the mirror for a moment, the circles under his eyes. He needs to take better care of himself. He tries, he really does, but he forgets sometimes.

“You left.”  Jeongguk says, waking when Yoongi goes to check on him, the words coming out of his mouth like they’re being dragged, painful sounding, hoarse.  “You left me alone.”   

Yoongi’s tired.  He’s so so so tired.    

“Sorry, baby.  M’sorry, baby.” Yoongi apologizes, leaning to press their foreheads together, brushing his hands through Jeongguk’s hair.  His brain catches up and his whole body trembles, stills.  

Fuck

He waits--

but Jeongguk just nudges his head under Yoongi’s hands.  “Whydja stop?”  He asks, voice weak, reaching up, winding his fingers around Yoongi’s wrists.  “Hyung, don’t go.  Rest with me, please just lay down and stay with me, just for a little?”

Yoongi can’t find it in him to deny Jeongguk any longer so he relents, crawls under the covers, holds Jeongguk close, and listens to the wind howl and shriek, scratching against the windows like a living thing, let me in let me in let me in.  

 

 

 

Yoongi is going to tell Jeongguk.  He is, he is, he is.

 

 

 

“Hey,” Jeongguk says with a yawn, pushing through the apartment door, “I brought back your scarf but, man, it’s really coming down out there, hyung.”  Yoongi watches Jeongguk stretch, the skin of Jeongguk’s inner wrists pale, the color of thick river ice, one hand travelling down to cover his nose.  When he closes his mouth his teeth click and he smiles, that little bunny rabbit smile, so sweet it makes Yoongi’s own teeth ache.

Yoongi maybe should have said something in return by now.  Jeongguk tilts his head, looks at Yoongi worriedly, kicks off his shoes, and closes the space between them without taking off his jacket.  

“Hyung?”    

“Hi, Guk.”  Yoongi whispers, trying to smile.  “Hi, hi, hi.  You’re all bundled up.”  He says, and reaches out to unbutton Jeongguk’s coat, tries not to notice his fingers shaking.  

“Hyung?”  Jeongguk says again, hands going up to stop Yoongi’s movements, his touch impossible, light as the bones of a bird.  The pads of his fingers press against the back of Yoongi‘s hands where the veins swell, so soft it’s more a memory than anything else. 

Yoongi folds himself into Jeongguk, presses his nose into the space between Jeongguk’s scarf and his neck, like an animal burrowing into snow for shelter. Jeongguk doesn’t move for a second, and then moves all at once, wraps his around Yoongi, pulls him tight to his chest. 

Yoongi breathes Jeongguk in and then straightens, when he finds the courage. He takes a step back so that he can look Jeongguk in the eye.  

“Don’t interrupt.”  Yoongi says, not that it will be long, but because telling someone you love them is like ripping off a band aid, you need to do it all in one go and you need to say it completely, get it all out, or the unsaid bits will get stuck in your skin like splinters.  Fester. "I have to tell you something important."

“Okay.”  Jeongguk whispers.

“I like you, Jeongguk-ah.”  Yoongi says, because he’s from Daegu and they just get straight to the point. “I like you more than a lot, Guk.  I have for a while and I’m sorry.  I understand if this makes things difficult or uncomfortable for you, but I wanted you to know, and you deserve to know how I feel. I like you very, very much.”

“Oh, hyung.”  Jeongguk whispers, just like Yoongi knew he would, and it feels oddly like drowning. It's a deep-seated pain far down in his lungs, where usually there’s no feeling at all, and it seems as though he's discovered a whole new part of himself, a part that he didn't even realize he had, but it's on fire, it's burning down, it's all in ashes.  “I really like you too.”  Jeongguk says. 

Yoongi is sure he misheard. “What?” He breathes.

“I really like you too.”  Jeongguk repeats, lower lip trembling.  “Hyung, I--” He cuts himself off.  

They stare for a moment, like frightened animals, both unsure if they should make the first move. 

“Oh no.”  Yoongi says, a million things falling into place all at once.  “Oh no, Guk.”  He reaches out and pulls Jeongguk toward him, cups his face, presses the tips of their noses together, strokes Jeongguk’s cheekbones.  “Hyung’s not been so smart.  I should have told you ages ago.  I’m sorry I made you think I-- I thought—I was being selfish, thought I would lose you if I told you, so I didn’t but-- m’sorry, sorry, hyung’s sorry.”

“Hyung.”  Jeongguk breathes.  “No no no, I didn’t—I couldn’t—I just wanted to be near you, but I thought you didn’t, I mean I’m just, I—hyung, don’t apologize.  It doesn't matter anymore.  I like you, I like you so much.” 

“I like you too.”  Yoongi whispers back, disbelief in his veins. He feels like a sparkler, crackling in every direction, warm all over.  “I like you so so much.”  

“Yoongi-hyung, can I kiss you, please?”  Jeongguk voice is low and determined; eyes darting down to Yoongi’s lips, and then back up. Yoongi wants nothing more in the world than for Jeongguk to kiss him.

“Yeah, yeah, I would like that.”  Yoongi says, fingers tracing Jeongguk’s jaw.

Jeongguk kisses him slow and gentle, makes this sort of quiet cut-off sound in the back of his throat as his fingers wrap around Yoongi’s wrists. He tilts his head, tongue flicking cautiously against the seam of Yoongi’s lips. 

Yoongi’s not going to start denying Jeongguk things now, so he lets Jeongguk part his lips, opens his mouth to Jeongguk easily.  Jeongguk tastes like the sweet banana milk that he drinks, his mouth velvety soft. This little whine spills out of Jeongguk when they break apart for air, and Yoongi sort of loses his place, like a bookmark falling out of a book.  He leans back in, takes control, kisses Jeongguk slow and deep. 

They kiss for Yoongi doesn’t know how long, there’s nothing in the whole world but Jeongguk’s mouth sliding against his own, their fingers twining and untwining, wandering, and then finding each other’s hands again.  Jeongguk makes the softest sweetest sounds and Yoongi can’t deal with them.  He wants to be closer to Jeongguk but Jeongguk’s jacket and scarf are in the way.  Yoongi pushes at the collar of the coat, finally gets Jeongguk to drop his arms so that it can fall to the ground, Jeongguk mumbling hyung hyung hyung, reaching for Yoongi again as soon as his hands are free.

“Guk, scarf. Get your scarf off.”  Yoongi says, surprised by how wrecked his voice is, and Jeongguk whimpers, pulls back to unwind his scarf, tossing it to the ground before surging forward again, their mouths meeting in the middle.  When Yoongi kisses down Jeongguk’s neck, scrapes with his teeth, Jeongguk pants into his ear, this little oh oh oh sound, that makes Yoongi feel all hazy, like a photograph that hasn’t finished developing yet.

“Yoongi-hyung,” Jeongguk whines and kisses him desperate and open-mouthed, tugging at Yoongi’s lower lip with his teeth, tugging at Yoongi's hair with his fingers, and then everything is hot and heavy and wet all of a sudden, all at once. 

Jeongguk’s hands fall to Yoongi’s waist, to his hips, and he lifts Yoongi up and they stagger the half step to the island in the middle of the kitchen.  On the cold counter Yoongi has a better angle, slides one hand up and on to Jeongguk’s jaw, one to the back of Jeongguk's neck, to control the kiss.  Jeongguk lets him, melts into the touch, goes soft and pliant under Yoongi’s hands.  Jeongguk makes this cute little desperate sound when Yoongi nips at his lower lip and it’s good, it's all so good, and Yoongi wants more, wants him closer closer closer. 

He opens his legs and scoots forward to the very edge of the counter to bring their hips together, stomach twisting low and heavy, and--

Jeongguk makes a small sound, a little squeak of a sound, and jerks away. 

“Hyung, I--” Jeongguk says, voice ruined and raw, and, oh god, Yoongi should not have looked at Jeongguk head on.  Jeongguk’s lips are swollen, hair mussed, and he looks fucked out already and Yoongi doesn’t know what to do with the fact that he made Jeongguk look like that, that Jeongguk looks like that because of him.  He feels it somewhere low in his gut. 

“Guk, are you okay, are you not okay?”  Yoongi doesn’t know what’s wrong, is trying to pull himself together, can’t catch his breath.  “Let’s stop, let’s stop, I’m sorry, sorry--” He gets out, shaking his head to try and clear it.  Too much.  It was too much.  He was being selfi— 

“No!”  Jeongguk says, a little too loud, flushing at the sound of his own voice.  He clears his throat, and then leans forward to kiss Yoongi.  “I mean yes, I’m okay, I’m—very very okay. I’m--” Jeongguk winces.  “I just didn’t want to make you uncomfortable because, like, it’s not even two in the afternoon and I’m in your kitchen but I’m, um, very into this. Very--”  Jeongguk flushes red, tilting his hips away a little, and Yoongi gets it all at once.  He pushes down the smile, pulls Jeongguk’s face close to his, presses kisses across Jeongguk’s cheekbones, his eyelids, the tip of his nose.

“Hey, hey, Jeongguk-ah, me too, that’s okay, c’mere baby, it’s okay.”  Yoongi slides his hands down Jeongguk’s chest, trips over the bumps of his ribs, circles around his slim waist to the small of his back.   Yoongi pulls Jeongguk forward, angling his own body down on the edge of the counter, ready to stop if Jeongguk seems unsure, but Jeongguk doesn’t, eyes trusting where they're locked with Yoongi's.

Jeongguk is hard, really hard, through his jeans. Yoongi isn’t quite as far along, but he’s more than halfway hard, and he watches Jeongguk's eyes flutter closed when he feels Yoongi against him, hears the quick inhale, the stuttered gasp.  The angle is a little off, but the pressure is good, and Jeongguk jerks again, toward Yoongi this time.  

“Feels good.”  Yoongi pants, rubbing soothing circles on Jeongguk’s back.  

“Yeah?”  Jeongguk whispers into Yoongi’s mouth, sounding unsure and sure of himself all at once.  “Yeah?”

“Yeah, it feels, you feel—you feel good. You make me feel good, baby.”

Oh.”  Jeongguk exhales, and then moves his hips in a slow stuttered circle, one hand sliding down to the small of Yoongi’s back to press them together more tightly.  Yoongi lets Jeongguk work their bodies together for a second, before he realizes—  

“Why're you doing that, don’t do that.” Yoongi mumbles, the words all tangled, kissing at Jeongguk’s mouth, his teeth. Jeongguk is biting down hard on his lower lip, being quiet, keeping all his pretty sounds inside.  

“I don’t want to be too loud.”  Jeongguk gasps and Yoongi doesn’t even know what that is supposed to mean.  He sucks Jeongguk’s bitten lower lip into his mouth, soothes it with his tongue.

“Want to hear you, no one’s home, just me, and I wanna hear you.”  

Yoongi maybe has an auditory thing, maybe just a little, maybe likes to hear how he makes people feel, likes to hear the sounds they make.  Maybe Jeongguk’s voice is pretty pretty pretty all the time, always always. Maybe Yoongi has a bit of a thing for it, just a little (lot) bit of a thing.  He scrapes his nails up Jeongguk’s sides.  

“O-oh, okay, yeah, I--.”  Jeongguk gasps, body shaking.  “Fuck.”  Jeongguk pulls them together hard and quick, grinds up, and there are definitely too many layers between them, and it’s not enough, but Yoongi’s whole head spins anyway.

“Pretty baby, you sound so pretty, feel so good.”  Yoongi whispers, kissing a line down Jeongguk’s neck, open mouthed, tangling one hand in the hair at the nape of Jeongguk’s neck. Jeongguk stutters out this moan, low and cashmere soft, that makes Yoongi shiver.

“Do that again.” Yoongi growls, tugging at Jeongguk’s hair. “Make that sound for hyung again, Jeonggukie.”

And, okay, maybe this is, like, a lot for also their first kiss, maybe Yoongi should tone it down, but then Jeongguk mumbles—hyung, want—and is sliding his hands under Yoongi, gripping his ass tightly, to lift him up just a little and adjust their slide in a way that has them both gasping.

It’s not enough and Jeongguk is in jeans and it has to be so close to and so far from good for him all at once, all constricted and pinned in, and this is—this is—

“Hyung, more, want— please—” Jeongguk whimpers into Yoongi’s mouth, flushing all pink in the corners of Yoongi’s vision, and Yoongi wants to do nothing more than that but, but

They’re in the kitchen; Jeongguk doesn’t want to get off in the kitchen, right?

“Guk, we can—” Yoongi’s not sure what he’s saying, thinks he was going to suggest the bedroom, or the couch at the very least, but he’s losing track, he doesn’t care.  Yoongi just wants to make Jeongguk feel good good good.  He wants whatever Jeongguk wants.  “Fuck,” he mumbles, “what do you want, tell hyung what you” 

“Hyung, I—” Jeongguk bites at Yoongi’s earlobe, and he sounds confident, but Yoongi can feel his hands shaking, can see the blush creeping up his collarbones.  Yoongi is so so fond and so so turned on-- “please, hyung, please please touch me, want you to, want— your hand or— anything, whatever you want— just— just you— please.”

“Jesus.”  Yoongi whispers, stomach twisting hard with arousal. “Jesus Jesus Jesus.”

Jeongguk whimpers, clutching Yoongi to him, and Yoongi braces himself on the counter with one hand, locking his legs behind Jeongguk’s, and grinds his hips down in a way that Hoseok would be proud of, all fluid silky moment.  He knows it’s not quite what Jeongguk meant, but Jeongguk’s head tilts back all the same, eyes fluttering closed.  

“Hyung, feels good.”  He mumbles.  “More, hyung, please.”

Yoongi scoots back and sneaks his hand between them, thumbing the button on Jeongguk’s jeans, pushing at the zipper— oh oh oh, Jeongguk breathes when Yoongi slides his hand down the front of Jeongguk’s pants. Yoongi palms Jeongguk through his boxers, hot and heavy and thick in his hand. Jeongguk makes this tiny strangled sound in the back of his throat and his cock twitches against Yoongi's fingers and his whole body shudders toward Yoongi and it’s probably the hottest thing Yoongi has ever ever experienced.   

“Jesus—Jesus.  Fuck. Jesus fuck.”  Yoongi breathes, overwhelmed.

He bites down at the curve of Jeongguk’s neck, the tendon that juts out, and sucks a bruise into the skin while he thumbs the damp spot over the head of Jeongguk’s cock, scraping softly with the nail of his thumb, listening to Jeongguk’s little breathy moans.  He nips at Jeongguk’s neck again, a little harder, and Jeongguk's cock twitches in his hand, and— oh oh oh hyung again, again

“Wait, is this why you always asked when I said I was gonna bite you?”  Yoongi whispers, want heavy and thick in his veins. 

Jeongguk whines, reaches between them and palms Yoongi, cupping him through his sweatpants where they’re tented and, okay, it’s not really the right angle, but Yoongi had almost forgotten he hadn’t been touched yet, so busy touching Jeongguk.  His whole body jolts.

Ah,” He mumbles, “Jeongguk, shit.”

“I think about it every time I jerk off, think ‘bout your stupid mouth.”  Jeongguk whispers into Yoongi's ear, flushed pink down his neck, “I'm sorry, I don't mean to but I— I can’t fucking stop, think about it all the fucking time, I just.  Fuck.” 

“Baby.”  Yoongi groans, batting Jeongguk away from him with his free hand and then lifting that hand up to his mouth so he can lick a broad stripe up his palm. 

Jeongguk holds his breath, watching with dark eyes, when Yoongi reaches back down between them to tug just the head of Jeongguk’s cock out of his boxers.  When Yoongi cups the spit-slicked flat of his palm over it, rubbing in tight little circles, all the air comes out of Jeongguk’s lungs in a rush. He makes a desperate desperate sound, forehead falling against Yoongi’s, and he looks so pretty and he flushes so pink—

“Jesus.”  Yoongi says, because he can’t think of another word.   “Jesus, Jeongguk, so pretty, you look so good.”  Yoongi slurs, the words all thick and heavy in his mouth.  “I like how you blush when say dirty things, baby.”  Yoongi tells him.  “It’s cute.”  Yoongi slows his hand, drawing out a little whimper from Jeongguk.  “Tell me what you want, tell me what you want, baby.” 

Ah,” Jeongguk says, which is not an answer at all.

“Use your words, baby, c’mon.”  Yoongi purrs, hand slowing to a near stop and Jeongguk mewls, soft and quiet, hips twitching, looking for friction. 

“I—I— it’s—ah—just—” Jeongguk stutters, one hand falling from Yoongi’s waist to steady himself on the counter.  “This is, it’s a little—hyung—a little new.”

Which—wait.  What?  Fuck. 

“What?”   Yoongi gasps, jerking back, because that’s not— “How new.  What’s new?  Have you never, have you.  Fuck.  Wait.”  That’s—hadn’t there been a boyfriend last year?  He remembers something, but but having a boyfriend didn't mean— that didn’t mean— fuck.  “Fuck.  Fuck, shit, fuck.” 

“No,” Jeongguk's head snaps up, eyes wild and lost, “wait, no, not like first time new.”  He leans forward and kisses Yoongi shaking lips, waits for Yoongi to calm.  “It’s not that.” He pants.  “Just— just usually I don’t feel confident about- you make me feel like I can say things, like you won’t—tell me to be quiet, won’t tell me I’m too, um, loud—” his gaze drops and Yoongi wants to go beat the fucking shit out of whoever got to see Jeongguk like this, got to hear him make all these pretty little sounds, and then told him to be quiet.  “It’s new,” Jeongguk whispers, “someone telling me that I sound good, telling me to be louder, telling me to tell them what I want—” He flushes that pretty pink again, breathing stuttered and quick.

“Hey,” Yoongi pulls Jeongguk back toward him, cupping his face and pressing little kisses to Jeongguk's sweat damp skin.  “Hyung’ll literally kill whoever told you that you were too loud. Give me a name.”

“Oh my god,”  Jeongguk says weakly, trembling under Yoongi’s fingertips, “oh my god, that’s really unnecessary. It’s fine, was just my first boyfriend, he just told me I was really loud, too loud, and so I—” 

“That’s not possible, too loud.”  Yoongi whispers, kissing Jeongguk deep until Jeongguk is making that little ah-ah sound into his mouth again.  “You sound so pretty, baby, turn me on so bad.”  Yoongi coos and he’s pretty sure he feels Jeongguk melt under his fingers, get all soft and docile.

O-oh,” Jeongguk breathes, hips jerking, voice sounding like he’s almost near tears “hyung, please touch me again, please, please, hyung.” 

Yoongi figures now would be a terrible time to start denying Jeongguk things, especially when he’s asked so nicely.  He tugs Jeongguk’s jeans and boxers down as much as he can to give himself better access, fingers trailing across the newly bared skin. Jeongguk looks down with a full body shudder and Yoongi presses his forehead to Jeongguk’s shoulder and looks down so he can see too, see Jeongguk all hard and flushed and wet under his fingertips.  He rubs the head of Jeongguk’s cock, slicking it between two fingers, precum glistening and stringing as he lifts his hand up.  He sucks his fingers into his mouth, tastes Jeongguk on them.

“Jesus Christ.”  Jeongguk looks like he’s been hit by a truck.  “Jesus Christ.”

Yoongi kisses Jeongguk again, fingers still half in his mouth, messy and wet, and then reaches back down and slides his hand up and down Jeongguk’s length, slicking him up with his precum and Yoongi’s spit, tight pressure on the upstroke because it makes Jeongguk’s breath go all stuttery.  Yoongi whispers whispers whispers while he works Jeongguk’s cock, tells Jeongguk how pretty he is, how much Yoongi likes to hear him, how much he turns Yoongi on. Yoongi scrapes the fingers of his other hand over the soft sensitive skin behind Jeongguk’s balls, and then draws that hand up to cup over the head of Jeongguk’s dick again, the other hand moving up and down, and— 

“Oh, hyung—” Jeongguk says, winded and breathy and very much on edge.

“Come for me, baby?”  Yoongi whispers and that seems to do it, because Jeongguk’s cock twitches under Yoongi’s hands and he comes soon after, searching out Yoongi’s mouth with his own for more of an open-mouthed shared pant than a kiss.  Yoongi works him through his orgasm, until Jeongguk twists away a little, pleasure tilting into oversensitivity.  Yoongi lets go, strokes circles on Jeongguk’s hip with his non-messy hand.

“Yoongi-hyung,” Jeongguk finally says, voice real wrecked and looking real blissed out and if Yoongi weren’t already unreasonably hard he would have gotten there real fast.  “Hyung, let me— let me, I wanna—” Jeongguk stumbles back, pulling Yoongi up off the counter, leaning him back against it, tracing his fingers down Yoongi’s chest, pushing Yoongi’s shirt up, scratching with his fingers, leaning down and licking at Yoongi's nipples, scraping teeth over them, nipping at Yoongi’s collarbones, fingers trailing back down to play with the waistband of Yoongi’s sweatpants.  He snaps the elastic against the smooth of Yoongi’s stomach, and then dips teasing fingers just barely inside, swiping softly, tugging at the coarse hairs there.

“Guk, Jeongguk.”  Yoongi says shakily, hand tight on Jeongguk’s shoulder for balance, chest heaving.  “Are you waiting for me to say please?  Please baby, please, I—”

“No, shit, sorry.”  Jeongguk says.  “Just, I—” Jeongguk looks at him in wonder.  “Sorry, shit, you look so good, hyung, you taste so good, I just want to touch you everywhere, I—your hand messed me up.  Shit, my brain’s all fuzzy.”

Yoongi starts to laugh but Jeongguk pouts and then kisses the sound right out of Yoongi mouth, slides his hands inside Yoongi’s pants and boxers in one go, which is oh god so good, but dry, too dry.  Yoongi winds his clean fingers around Jeongguk’s wrist and brings Jeongguk's hand to his mouth, licks at it long and kittenish, sucks Jeongguk’s fingers into his mouth one after the other and then together, because Yoongi likes it all wet and slick, because Yoongi likes the way Jeongguk is watching him, dark-eyed and breathless. 

“Holy fuck.”  Jeongguk says helpfully, pushing two of his fingers into Yoongi’s mouth, rubbing them over Yoongi’s tongue, tugging at Yoongi’s sweats to drag them down to Yoongi’s thighs.  “Holy fuck.”  Jeongguk says, as Yoongi twists his tongue around Jeongguk's fingers.  Jeongguk runs one finger of his other hand up and down Yoongi’s cock, presses it against Yoongi's stomach with the heel of his hand, rubbing the head with his thumb, smearing the precum that's beaded there.

Yoongi feels so wound up from everything that he’s nearly there already, and the touch is too much and way too little. He can’t stop the way he whines, high and stringy, and Jeongguk pulls his fingers from Yoongi’s mouth almost instantly, tilts Yoongi's head back and nips at his adam’s apple, how the fuck does Jeongguk know he likes that, hand reaching between them to wrap around Yoongi’s cock, slick now with precum and spit.  It only takes a little bit longer, Jeongguk stroking him hard and fast, before Yoongi gasps—  Guk, fuck, I’m gonna—, and then his orgasm coils through him, hot and thick.  

He rests his head on Jeongguk’s shoulder and pants, while Jeongguk presses little kisses to the side of his neck, trails his fingers through the cum on Yoongi's stomach.  When Yoongi’s breathing steadies, he nudges Jeongguk’s hair with his nose until Jeongguk turns so their lips can meet. 

They kiss sweet and soft, and when they part Jeongguk looks between them and wrinkles his nose.  They’re both still half out of their pants, and Jeongguk is holding the hand covered in Yoongi’s cum off to the side, fingers awkwardly splayed, and Jeongguk’s sweater is a little (lot) ruined and so are Yoongi’s sweats and, Yoongi realizes, the counter is a little sticky from where Yoongi forgot that his hand was messy and put it down to balance himself and—oh, for fucks sake.

“Gross.”  Yoongi says thoughtfully.  “We’re really gross right now." 

Jeongguk glances up at Yoongi startled, and then starts to giggle, face scrunching up, and Yoongi starts to laugh too because this is— this is maybe a little ridiculous.

“Hey.”  Yoongi says, when he catches his breath, carefully tucking Jeongguk back into his boxers as best as he can one-handed.  “I really really like you.  Sorry our first hand jobs together were kitchen hand jobs.”

“I really really like you too,” Jeongguk whispers back, “and, um, the kitchen hand job was a 10/10.  I’m still—I’m all—” Jeongguk flushes, a little shy despite the situation, and Yoongi’s heart clenches, so fond it hurts. “Can I kiss you again, hyung?” 

“Yeah, Jeongguk-ah, you don’t have to ask.” Yoongi answers. 

Jeongguk sighs happily and leans forward to kiss him and Yoongi gets a little lost in it, in the soft press of Jeongguk's lips on his. 

“Hyung,” Jeongguk whispers eventually, “I don't wanna stop kissing you but I really do need to wipe your cum off my hand, I got some maybe on the counter and definitely on the knife block.”

Yoongi snorts.  “If Seokjin finds out he’ll keep my deposit.”

A laugh bubbles out of Jeongguk, that open-ended laugh that he has when something strikes him as really funny, and Yoongi can’t stop laughing either and this is really really ridiculous and really really wonderful and Yoongi feels happy and warm, right down to his toes. 

(Well, except for his hand. His hand is kind of sticky and gross.)

 

 

 

“Did I not say?” Hoseok asks pointedly the next month, when all seven of them are gathered for their monthly ‘just in case you’ve been a busy asshole this is a night to find out what’s happening with your closest friends’ dinner.  “Yoongi-hyung, did I not tell you from the start that Jeongguk was into you.”

“No?”  Yoongi says easily.  “I don’t recall you saying anything at all about that.  If anything, I told you. I’m sorry, Seok-ah.  Maybe you heard me say it so much you thought you did?”  Yoongi raises an eyebrow at Hoseok and yawns.

Hoseok blinks.  “What.  Wait.  No.  What?”

“Gaslighting.”  Namjoon says sagely.  “You're expanding your repertoire, hyung.  Well done.” 

“I will bite you.”  Yoongi threatens, having to twist to point at Namjoon with his free hand because Jimin and Taehyung are currently practicing Taehyung’s recently acquired skill of reading palms on Yoongi’s other hand. Their heads are close together, fingers trailing the lines of Yoongi's palm as they murmur softly, and they don’t seem keen to let up any time soon.   

“No,” Jeongguk shouts, leaning over the island, “you’re only allowed to bite me, hyung.  I claim your mouth, it’s only for me.”

“Okay, thank you, that’s unacceptable dinner time conversation.”  Seokjin says, rapping a metal spoon against the counter.  “I’m adding it to the list of non-approved dinner conversations.  There will be absolutely no talk of any biting that has gone on between you and Yoongi.  That goes for everyone, actually.  No bedroom biting during dinner.  Save it for after dinner drinks.”

 “I’ll think of a new threat.”  Yoongi calls, “Don’t worry Jeongguk-ah, I won’t bite anyone but you.” 

“Wait, actual biting or just talking about biting is relegated to after dinner drinks?”  Taehyung asks, looking up from Yoongi’s hand.  “Just to clarify.”

“We weren’t in a bedroom.”  Jeongguk informs Seokjin, directing a devilish grin at Yoongi.   “At least not the first time, we weren’t.”

Little brat.

“What?”  Seokjin wheels around.  “What do yo—no, never mind, I don’t want to know.”

“Oh my god,” Jimin sounds delighted.  “wait, I do want to know, suspend the biting rule, movement to suspend the biting rule—”

“Seconded.”  Taehyung raises his hand.

“Motion approved, tell me more, where were you, you kinky motherfuckers?  Was it this couch?  Namjoon-hyung’s poetry reading chair?  Oh my god, were you on Namjoon-hyung’s poetry reading chair? Say it’s so, I’ll never stop laughing.”

“Is nothing sacred?”  Namjoon asks the room at large. 

Taehyung shakes his head sadly, mouths sorry, hyung.

“We were there when hyung kissed me senseless and also bit me.”  Jeongguk says, pointing at the island like a tour guide, soft look in his eyes, but grin wicked.  

“I’ll rip your balls off and shove them so far down your throat they end up back in the right place?”  Yoongi tries out as a new threat, turning to Namjoon off-handedly. 

“Jesus fuck, please don’t.”  Namjoon sputters, genuine terror in his eyes, thighs clenching together.

“I eat here, I put my toast on this counter.”  Seokjin scolds Jeongguk.  “From now on, try to refrain from kissing and biting at my breakfast counter, okay?" 

Jeongguk shrugs. “On,” he says, “not at.”

“Yoongi-yah,”  Seokjin whispers in horror, turning toward the living room, “for the love of god, tell me just kissing and light biting occurred on my breakfast counter.”

“Uh.” Yoongi says. “Sure.”

“Oh my god.”  Hoseok cackles.

“That’s not what kitchen islands are for, Yoongi.”  Seokjin says despairingly. “I got this so that we would have more counter space for prep work.” 

“It sounds like there was some prep work involved,” Jimin says with a snicker, nudging Taehyung, "if you know what I mean."

"Oh my god."  Seokjin says at the exact same time Namjoon says "Jimin, c'mon."

“Oh man,"  Jimin shrieks, “Yoongi-hyung and Guk had sex on the counter, that’s so delightfully gross, I love it.  This is one for the books.  Namjoon-hyung, record it in the books--”

“What books?”  Namjoon asks.  “There are books?”

"--this rivals the Halloween family dinner when Tae staged that death scene.”  Jimin continues, clutching his hands to his heart.

“I still can’t believe Jin-hyung called the police--” Taehyung reminisces. 

“There was so much blood.”  Hoseok points out. “I would have called the police if Seokjin-hyung hadn’t but I genuinely almost passed out. I still feel ill thinking about it.”

“It was strawberry syrup.”  Taehyung says, indignant.  “This was before your time, Jeongguk, but it was amazing and it was strawberry syrup and it was delicious and honestly I wish I had recorded it for auditions, I did brilliantly.”

During the shouting match that ensues, Jeongguk catches Yoongi’s eye and winks, just how he always does, by blinking and then keeping one eye shut, and Yoongi feels the grin creep across his face in response, big and bright and gummy. 

In charge of the dishes later, ("since you two like the kitchen so damn much", "hyung--", "you're in charge of dishes for the foreseeable future, yoongi-yah, i swear to god, don't make me keep your deposit), Yoongi waits until they're alone and then flicks Jeongguk with a tea towel.

“Brat.” He says when Jeongguk turns around. 

“That’s me,” Jeongguk hums, smile bright and happy and it stuns Yoongi just like it did the first time, “I love you." 

Yoongi grins and flicks the towel around Jeongguk's neck, pulls him down for a soft kiss.

“I love you too."  He whispers into Jeongguk's mouth.  "But pull shit like that again and I'll tell Seokjin-hyung about the knife block."

"Oh my god."  Jeongguk says, going pale, "oh my god, please don't."

 

 

 

(Afterwards, Yoongi and Jeongguk curl into Yoongi’s bed and Jeongguk still sort of smells like the spices from the jjigae he cooked with Seokjin and he melts, soft as warmed butter under Yoongi’s hands, and tries so hard to be quiet when he comes and then gives up, lets Yoongi bites all the words out of the air before they can get too far away from his lips.  Yoongi holds him tight, sweaty and shaky against Yoongi’s chest, until his breathing slows and he falls asleep.  

There are a million small things to be happy about, Yoongi thinks, a million small things and all of them are good and pure, but none of them even start to compare to the weight of Jeongguk on Yoongi’s chest as he sleeps, the soft little way he exhales and shifts, warm cheek on Yoongi’s skin, hair tickling Yoongi’s throat, his fingers twitching, like he’s searching for something.    

Jeongguk settles in his sleep, hand going still when Yoongi threads their fingers together, like he found what he was looking for, like Yoongi’s hand in his was what he was waiting for all along.

“Love you love you love you.” Yoongi whispers into Jeongguk’s hair and Jeongguk sighs, small and content, and presses a half asleep kiss to Yoongi’s neck.  

“Love you love you love you back.”)