Actions

Work Header

Come Home for Christmas

Chapter Text

After the nineteenth attempt, Taehyung just gave up.

It was a beautiful winter day in Daegu: the sky painted the hue of sapphire blue, the sun’s gentle rays caressing the frozen winter soil, ebony tree branches coated with a thin layer of crystal snow. Taehyung, snug in his cozy covers, had woken up in a bright mood. It was Christmas Eve, after all. It was the day that Taehyung would finally see his husband Yoongi again after five months of nostalgic phone calls and FaceTimes.

Bundled in a warm puffy jacket and fuzzy beanie, he drove their car five miles to the nearest grocery store to get food for a Christmas feast. He bid the cashier a happy holiday season and headed back, weighed down by various plastic bags filled with delicacies. The rest of the day was spent in a furious cleaning of their house (more like mansion, Taehyung thought, after scrubbing each and every corner of each and every room until it was practically shining) and cooking up the best dishes he could. From ten in the morning to five in the afternoon, the kitchen was never at rest -- whether it be baking a cream-covered sponge cake or preparing the Korean barbeque, Taehyung flitted from refrigerator to stove to oven and then to the refrigerator again.

As the sun’s rays started fading from the horizon, he stepped back, satisfied. His work was done; the house looked brand new, the food was ready, and everything was perfect for Yoongi to arrive home to.

Taehyung positioned himself comfortably at the large window overlooking the road and waited. He waited for an hour. And then another. At half past seven, Taehyung began to worry. Yoongi said just yesterday, with a warm, comforting smile and a fond gaze, that he would be home no later than 5:30...

At eight, Taehyung couldn't stand the tension anymore and decided to call. Yoongi often had to go overseas to manage his huge producing company AGUSTD Entertainment and sat through many long, tedious meetings. However, Taehyung was too worried to care about whether he was disrupting a conference or not. With baited breath and a pounding heart, he dialed Yoongi’s number and waited for him to pick up.

But after 6 monotone rings, he was met only with Yoongi's voicemail recording.

Taehyung tried a second time, desperately ignoring the niggling voice inside his head that whispered maybe… maybe Yoongi wasn't coming home tonight as he promised.

After another failed attempt, Taehyung dialed again. And again. And again. He waited thirty minutes, tapping his foot worriedly and trying to suppress the feeling of rising panic, before calling once more.

But after nineteen tries, he gave up. It was nearly nine thirty now, four hours past the time Yoongi had promised he would be home by.

And, Taehyung thought dejectedly, there was nothing wrong with going overseas for business. He was so, so proud of Yoongi for following his lifelong dream of becoming a successful producer. Taehyung still remembered when they first met in college at the Seoul National University.

He remembered trooping into the recording studio with Jimin, chatting excitedly about the new Bigbang album that just was released. Namjoon, who was working at the front booth, glanced up mid-verse. Hastily removing his headphones and pausing the equipment, Namjoon rushed out of the room to meet them. He whispered, “Taehyung-ah, Jimin-ah, if you guys are recording, keep your voices low. Yoongi-hyung is in the other room, and he's not in the best mood.”

Taehyung, being the overly curious idiot that he is, inched over to look through the glass windows into the second booth. Although the lighting was dim, he could still make out a figure slumped in front of the computer. If Taehyung strained his eyes further, he could see piles of crumpled-up notepad pages scattered on the floor and a various collection of pens thrown haphazardly into the trash can.

Without warning, the figure turned around directly, catching him in the act of staring.

Taehyung froze for a second, embarrassment flooding his cheeks. That person (whom he assumes is Yoongi) must think he's a creepy stalker! Nevertheless, his social skills kicked in, and he waved slightly in greeting.

But the only thing Yoongi did was stare back at him stoically.

Taehyung paused for a few seconds, biting his lip in contemplation. Eventually, the desire to help poor Yoongi (whose body posture practically screamed frustrated and miserable) prevailed over shyness. Taehyung cautiously entered the booth and quietly shut the door, all the while aware of Yoongi’s fierce, unwavering gaze fixed on him. After a beat of silence, Yoongi asked defensively, “Why are you here?”

Taehyung still remembers hearing his voice for the first time: the deep, satoori-laced tone washing over him and reminding him of Daegu, of Grandma, of the fourteen years of his childhood, of the warm summer days spent picking strawberries, of the frosty winter days spent building snowmen. Taehyung remembers his cheeks flushing bright red again at just how beautiful, how hot Yoongi’s voice was. The initial plan of walking in, introducing himself, and offering help was completely forgotten; instead, he blurted, “Are you from Daegu?”

Yoongi blinked once, confused and bewildered. “Uh, yeah. That still doesn't tell me why you're here.”

Taehyung mentally berated himself for the slip-up. Realizing that Yoongi was still waiting expectantly for an answer, he replied hastily, “You looked like you were stuck on composing. I wanted to help.”

“I don't think a freshman could assist me with that,” Yoongi scoffed.

Taehyung puffed up indignantly at the condescending tone. Because of his outgoing personality and tendency to help basically anyone, he would often receive hostile glares or thinly-veiled insults from people too proud to accept others’ aid. Slightly offended, he rolled his eyes and shot back, “Well, joke’s on you, because I’m a sophomore. Are you always this rude to people who want to help?”

Yoongi just scrutinized him with an unreadable gaze. An awkward, tension-filled silence stretched on (Taehyung half-expected Yoongi to jump out of his seat, slap him, and kick him out of the booth) before Yoongi said, “You’re lucky I like you, or else I would’ve banned you from the studio by now.”

Taehyung relaxed and giggled, “I guess I made a good first impression then.” Yoongi snorted, “You wish,” but there was none of the scathing bite behind it like before; it was more playful and teasing instead.

Taehyung stuck out his hand in introduction. “My name’s Kim Taehyung.”

Yoongi wrinkled his nose. “I’m older, so I’m not calling you ‘hyung,’ regardless of if it’s in your name or not. Nice to meet you, Tae. I’m Min Yoongi.”

Taehyung laughed again, shaking hands with the elder.

“Can I turn on the studio light? It’s pretty dim in here,” Taehyung asked, to which he received a short nod. Walking to the edge of the room, he flicked the light on.

And immediately wished he didn’t. The room, which looked messy before in the dim lighting, now looked trashed in comparison. The recycling bin was practically overflowing with bent Red Bull cans and coffee cups. There were mysterious dark blotches on the carpeted floor -- Taehyung suspected it was either spilled pen ink or coffee. The microphone and headphones were strewn across the ground, looking as if someone had thrown them there in a fit of rage.

But then Taehyung had glanced at Yoongi.

And suddenly, he thanked the lord that he did turn on that light.

Because Yoongi was gorgeous.

In the dim lighting, he could only see a rough outline of his figure. Under the bright fluorescent bulbs however… that was a different story.

Bordered by the cutest short lashes ever, his eyes looked as if they were crafted of the darkest obsidian. Yet on closer observation, they seemed to be pools of melted chocolate that searched deep within your soul (for who knows what, Taehyung thought dreamily). Yoongi had a tiny, delicate nose and perfect doll-like lips. A mop of pastel mint-green hair framed his sharp jawline and beautiful features.

Belatedly, Taehyung realized he was staring… and so did Yoongi.

“Is there something on my face?” Yoongi asked, amused.

“No, no no! Of course not!” he replied hurriedly. “I’ll just look over some of, ah, these papers…” he mumbled, embarrassed, as he picked up the crumpled notepad sheets littered on the floor.

Yoongi sighed tiredly, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.There’s some really shitty, weird stuff in there. It’s what happens when you mix Red Bull, coffee, 36 hours of no sleep, and me together.”

Taehyung glared mock-disapprovingly at him. “Really? Red Bull and coffee? Shame… I thought you of all people would be more creative than that! You should try a vanilla bean frappuccino with jalapenos and Tabasco -- it works much better than coffee ever will.”

And that was how Jimin had found Taehyung two hours later: in the messy recording booth with Yoongi, falling off his chair laughing at one of his anecdotes.

The next day, Taehyung arrived at the studio again. He quietly entered Yoongi’s booth and hunched over at the computer with him, analyzing the lyrics of “So Far Away” for hours upon end.

It soon became a regular occurrence: the two Daegu college students either heading out to a cafe and chatting over coffee, or them sitting in the studio, wracking their brains on a way to compose songs.

That April, Yoongi turned in his album AGUST D ( by Min Yoongi, co-produced by and dedicated to Kim Taehyung) to his teacher Shin Suran sunbae-nim. She was ecstatic at the result, praising Yoongi to the skies (“If you create your own company, the Big 3 don’t stand a chance.”), and encouraged him to continue into the producing business.

That June, Yoongi graduated with a music degree. Taehyung had come to the ceremony, holding up a large “MIN SUGA IS A GENIUS <3” sign and cheering as loud as he could.

That October, Yoongi barged into Taehyung’s lecture halfway through. Ignoring the teacher’s disapproving glare and the murmurs amongst the students, he bent down on one knee and asked Taehyung to be his boyfriend. Said person, smiling so wide his mouth could split, answered, “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!”

One year later, Yoongi interrupted another one of Taehyung’s lectures. He knelt down again, produced a beautiful diamond ring from a coat pocket, and asked Taehyung to marry him. Taehyung, sobbing in happiness, furiously nodded yes. They kissed right at the front of the classroom, disregarding the wolf whistles and catcalls from the students (especially Jimin, who screamed, “Go get ‘em, tiger!”)

That December, they were married in Daegu. Yoongi was grumbling about how they “had to have the ceremony here next to a stupid forest and in three-foot-deep snow. I seriously think my butt is freezing off.” Yet Taehyung knew that Yoongi truly didn’t mind when he whispered softly to him, “Whatever makes you happy, angel, I will do it."

And now. Now, Yoongi was world-renowned. Now, all of the idols who had previously turned their noses up at the thought of a scrawny Daegu boy as a producer were begging him to help. Now, he didn’t have to starve himself to buy new recording equipment. Now, AGUST D Entertainment had spread from a tiny studio in a rundown apartment to towering buildings halfway across the world.

Taehyung was so, so proud that he was married to this man. This man, who changed from a poor college student surviving only on his dreams and hope into the famous producer that he is today. This man, who poured his blood, sweat, and tears into his company, who would sacrifice anything for his dream to come true. This man, who would shower Taehyung with pure love and affection, whom Taehyung loved to the end of the universe and back.

Of course Taehyung understood why Yoongi would give up his family for his job. Yoongi had sacrificed everything so that the business was successful, so that he could provide Taehyung with a warm house to stay in, so that Taehyung would be comfortable.

But still… it would’ve been nice to spend the holidays with his husband.

Unconsciously, he picked up his phone again. This time, however, he clicked on the contact marked “BFFAE Jimothy <3.”

After three rings, Jimin’s cheerful voice blasted through the speaker. “Taetae! How did Yoongi like your dinner? Was his favorite the cake or the barbeque?” In the background, Taehyung could hear upbeat Christmas music (Mariah Carey’s high note was ringing loudly in his ears) and the chatter of his friends. He could even make out Hoseok yelling, “Guys! It’s the moment of truth. I bet $10 that Yoongi liked the sponge cake better!”

Taehyung paused for a moment before mustering up enough energy to pretend to be cheerful. “Jiminie… are you at a party? I don’t want to bother you…” At the end of the sentence, however, his voice cracked, betraying his true mood.

Jimin, being the best friend that he was, immediately caught on. “Taetae? Oh no… he didn’t… did he?”

Taehyung let out a sob in reply.

He heard Jimin yelling, “Everyone, go away! I need some quality bestie time with Tae, ok? No no no, Jin-hyung, you don’t understand. Aish, Hobi-hyung, don't worry. I’ll be back soon!”

Then, he heard the slam of a door, and the party noises abruptly faded.

“Oh, Jiminie… he said… no later than 5:30…” Taehyung’s voice wobbled dangerously.

“Taetae, it’s ok! Maybe his plane got delayed or something,” Jimin said soothingly.

Taehyung wailed, “But he’s on his private jet!” before promptly collapsing into tears.

Jimin’s voice filled with alarm and concern. “Taehyung! Taetae, can you hear me? Okay, take deep breaths and calm down for me, please? Focus on my voice, yeah?”

Taehyung gasped a few times, trying to follow Jimin’s instructions, before sobbing, “I’m such a bad husband. Yoongi’s doing so much for me, and he loves me so much, and he’s working so hard, and he’s so nice, and he’s getting me all these nice gifts, and he’s supporting both of us, but I haven’t given him anything back! And the only thing I can do is be supportive, but I’m not even doing that because I’m too clingy and needy! I can’t even earn money because I’m not talented enough, and one day Yoongi won’t love me anymore because I’ll be old and ugly and worthless, and, and…” he trailed off into incoherent tears.

Jimin was now panicking. Taehyung hadn’t had a nervous breakdown like this ever since the last year of college when he realized he was bisexual, so to see his friend so insecure and hysterical was extremely alarming. “Kim Taehyung!” he shouted. When said person’s crying had lessened, Jimin continued heatedly, “Don’t you dare put yourself down like that. Don't you dare say you're worthless. You are so smart and talented and supportive and beautiful and amazing, ok? Sure, Yoongi owns a very successful business and earns lots of money, but you give him things too! You are his husband for a reason: He loves you! Do you think that AGUST D Entertainment would’ve succeeded if you weren’t there to help him? Do you think he would’ve overcome his depression and anxiety without you there? Do you think that he would be as happy as he is today if you weren’t with him? Do you think that he would st-”

“Taetae?”

Both Jimin and Taehyung froze at the sound of the familiar voice. The latter whipped around in shock, eyes wide as tears streamed down his face, thin frame still shaking with sobs.

“Y-Yoongi?”

Chapter Text

“Y-Yoongi?”

Held captive in Taehyung’s sorrowful brown orbs, Yoongi couldn’t look away. He stood, frozen, as his husband searched his face frantically, desperately (for what, he doesn't know.) However, Taehyung seemed to have found it because, without any warning, he launched his thin, shaking frame into Yoongi’s.

Yoongi’s arms wrapped instinctively around Taehyung’s lax body. Gently easing down into a sofa and whispering a soft “I’m so, so sorry, angel, for not coming back earlier,” he raised Taehyung’s chin gently until they were looking at one another. It occurred to him that, even after sobbing and practically breaking down, Taehyung was still so, so beautiful. His long eyelashes, dusted with tears, fluttered softly as Yoongi’s hand stroked his face. Taehyung’s wide chocolate eyes gazed deep into his, each searching the others’ soul for the love they had been missing ever since four months ago. His silver hair glowed in the soft moonlight, framing his ethereal features. And his lips, nearly bitten raw from worry, just looked so goddamn kissable.

Yoongi was so in love.

He had been ever since the first time he had laid eyes on Taehyung.

 

* * * * * * * * * *

Yoongi remembered those dark times in college when just mustering the courage to get up and face another day was a huge challenge. He remembered those nights, laying in bed and staring at the unfathomable darkness, when his father’s belittling words would ring through his head again and again. He remembered when a bloody knife would be his closest -- and only -- friend. He remembered contemplating just taking a deep breath and plunging the sharp blade into his neck. How easy it would be to end all of the discouraging voices in his head!

But then Namjoon appeared.

Apparently, Namjoon was a distant cousin thrice removed who just arrived in Seoul. Yoongi’s father had informed him stoically, angrily that he wanted to become a music producer and all of the typical “follow my dreams” shit. (Yoongi remembered a time when he was still innocent and naive like that, when he would spend every second of every single day thinking of new lyrics, when he would pull all-nighters to finish a verse, when he would religiously follow idols like G-Dragon in hopes of being noticed. “Those days were long over,” he thought bitterly.)

“Namjoon can come find you, boy. After all, trash belongs together,” Yoongi’s father had spat out venomously.

Namjoon, Yoongi learned, was an over-enthusiastic, clumsy college student who couldn't cook if his life depended on it. The first time the kid had knocked on his door at ass o'clock (it was actually nine in the morning, but who wakes up that early on a Saturday?!), Namjoon had practically been bouncing up and down in excitement. When Yoongi shuffled to the door with disheveled blonde hair sticking up in every direction, loose pajamas on, and an eye mask askew, Namjoon hadn't even batted an eye. He just smiled (and good grief those dimples were adorable) in greeting and started ranting about how he “was -- and still are -- my idol! Like, going against Uncle Min? That takes a whole lotta guts to do. That's partly how I was inspired to become producer, actually! You inspired me to chase my dreams. And your lyrics are so amazing! I love Never Mind so much; all of your songs are so meaningful and amazing, and I'm really grateful as to have a chance to meet you, hyung.”

Yoongi stood in the doorway, blinking the sun out of his eyes and standing flabbergasted. After a beat of silence, Namjoon blushed. “Sorry, Yoongi-hyung… I tend to get excited when I meet people I like,” he laughed and tacked on a sheepish smile in apology (Namjoon was definitely forgiven almost instantly; Yoongi swears that those dimples can do wonders).

The elder found himself liking the boy more and more everyday.

He had always thought -- and been told by his father, as a matter of fact -- that he would be alone in life. He hadn't minded the solitude much, actually -- it was easier to think and compose in a quiet environment without nosy friends bothering you. But once Namjoon arrived, Yoongi was able to enjoy company once again.

And Namjoon was a perfect friend.

He knew exactly when to leave Yoongi alone, when to calm him down, when to comfort him. He, as a fellow producer and rapper, also knew the struggles of songwriting. If Yoongi ever declined their afternoon plans because of a music class assignment, Namjoon understood perfectly. He knew when to keep quiet to not disturb Yoongi’s composing; he knew when to offer help when Yoongi was stuck. And it was so refreshing to be able to talk to someone who truly understood the songwriting language. He and Namjoon would often debate for hours upon end on their separate song lyrics and music theory. His new views and input often helped Yoongi finish an assignment or provide inspiration for a new song.

...And then comes the part he hates remembering.

Yoongi's still sort of ashamed about it.

It had been a terrible month. His father’s constant threats to stop funding his “stupid music” education, combined with the many assignments due for all of Yoongi’s classes, stressed him out until he reached a breaking point. He had pulled several all-nighters in a row, trying to finish that one stupid song that refused to rhyme properly, and brought it to the teacher for feedback. But not even after ten seconds, Mr. Marz handed Yoongi’s USB back with a contemptuous glance.

“M-Mr. Marz?” Yoongi remembers stuttering, confused as to why his teacher hadn’t listened to the full sample.

“Ah, Yoongi,” Mr. Marz stood up from his chair. With a condescending grin, he sneered, “Listen, boy. You,” he stabbed at a dumbfounded Yoongi’s chest, “have spent a lot of time in trying to make this -- this trash. And I appreciate the effort. But I could have produced that within seconds!”

Yoongi stared, mouth agape and eyebrows raised sky-high in disbelief. Did Mr. Marz just call his song -- that he had poured countless hours into, had poured his blood, sweat, and tears into, had sacrificed days of sleep for -- trash?

Mr. Marz, taking in his stunned expression, chuckled harshly. “I’m just going to put the truth out here, plain and simple.” He stood up slowly from the chair and ambled around the classroom. “You just… you just... don’t have the talent, Yoongi. Yes, you have the perseverance, but where can that get you if you’re half tone-deaf?” Mr. Marz rolled his eyes exasperatedly.

Yoongi seemed to be living in a nightmare. He dug his nails deep into his palms, trying in vain to wake up. Mr. Marz, whom he had always looked up to as a role model figure, who was always kind and gentle with his students, who was unafraid to take some time out of his schedule to help Yoongi, was… was so condescending, so cruel, so evil.

“You clearly don’t believe my words, do you?” he sighed. “Do you still think you’re good at composing?” Without waiting for an answer, he continued, “Well, maybe this will help.”

Yoongi could only watch, frozen in shock, as Mr. Marz opened the window of his classroom on the fifth floor and hurled his USB into the distance.

“NO!” Yoongi jumped into action, barging through the desks and leaping over Mr. Marz’s chair to reach the window. But he was one second too late -- he could only watch, frozen, as the USB shattered into millions of bits and pieces. Through the blurring gathering rapidly in his eyes and the pounding in his head, he heard his heart and dreams shatter along with the USB.

Mr. Marz glanced back, chest heaving but satisfied. “Aw, what’s wrong, Yoongi? Are you going to cry? Does the little boy need a hug?” he mocked in a baby voice.

Yoongi whipped his head around to face Mr. Marz, furious tears welling as he felt his body shaking in anger. “Fuck you,” he spat out, voice filled with venom.

Mr. Marz was unaffected. He only laughed as Yoongi stalked out of the classroom. “Guess who’s going to fail this semester, then?” he called through the open door.

 

 

And to top all of it off, Yoongi’s mother died.

“I-it was sudden, Yoongi. She just-just collapsed all of a sudden, a-and your father couldn’t do anything except stare in shock. And of course, y-your uncle and I c-called the ambulance, but they arrived and said she was d-dead. I’m so sorry, Yoongi, so, so sorry…” his aunt had whispered into the phone. In the background, Yoongi could hear his father’s heartbreaking sobs.

He had felt detached at first, disbelieving. How could his mother, who looked so healthy and vivacious the last time they met, have died just like that?

How could the only person who could comfort him with her hugs and advice and words be gone?

How -- no, why -- couldn’t she be saved?

When he drove back to Daegu for the funeral, it finally hit him. Seeing all his relatives milling around somberly in black tugged him back into sharp reality. Smelling the stench of death and cemetery only strengthened the voice whispering, “Yoongi, she’s gone. She’s dead. You’ll never see her again.”

During the funeral, Yoongi kept expecting his mother to pop up, unharmed and smiling her beautiful gummy smile, saying cheerfully, “I’m fine, guys. Don’t worry!” But his sliver of hope waned with each speaker that went up, praising her personality and generosity and kindness.

And then it was his turn.

Yoongi had his speech all planned out, but as he walked up to the podium, he glimpsed the inside of the dark brown coffin. As if drawn to it by some mysterious force, Yoongi paused in his steps and let his unwilling eyes drag to the cold body resting within.

On first glance, she looked -- normal. As if she was sleeping peacefully. Yoongi’s heart soared in relief as hope that she was alive returned. But as Yoongi’s desperate eyes raked over her form, there were minute details that registered in his brain and encouraged the smug voice saying, “You’re wrong, Yoongi. Don’t be stupid; she’s dead.” Her face, normally makeup-free and all natural, was caked with a thick layer of pasty foundation. Her cheeks, usually dusted a healthy pink, were obscured by unmistakable traces of bright rouge. Her hair, normally floating by her shoulders, was pulled into a tight bun.

Yoongi thought wistfully of all the times that she would look at those aristocrats, with hair curled and placed meticulously and expensive clothes ironed to perfection. He remembered how she would whisper to Yoongi, “Never become like them; don’t be fake like them. Just be yourself, and eomma will always love you.” It was ironic that now, she looked identical to those fake aristocrats she had always disapproved of.

But perhaps it was looking at the necklace that finally triggered Yoongi’s hidden tears.

He remembered, from when he was three years old or so, how his mother would always wear a beautiful golden necklace with a small chain of butterflies on them. And then, around when he was seven, she suddenly stopped. Confused, young Yoongi had asked, “Why don’t you wear the pretty necklace anymore, eomma?”As an answer, she gave him a wry, humorless smile and the whispered words of “sometimes life isn’t what it seems, Yoongi.”

Later, he found out that his father had given her that necklace for their tenth anniversary, and that exactly four years later, on their fourteenth anniversary, she had found him waiting in bed… with another woman. From what his mother had once drunkenly confessed to Yoongi, apparently his father’s side chick was a complete airhead: blonde, stupid, and clingy.

So seeing his mother wear the necklace she had vowed not to touch so long as she was alive was the breaking point.

From then on, he realized that she was… was gone.

Yoongi vaguely remembers collapsing in the middle of the aisle, tears cascading down his cheeks and sobs wracking his body. He sort of recalls his aunt and uncle and Namjoon rushing to him, patting his back gently. He semi-remembers his aunt hugging him tight in her embrace, whispering “It’s okay, Yoongi-honey” when all he wanted was to feel his mother’s feather-light touch again.

What Yoongi does vividly remember is the pain. The pain tearing his soul apart, slowly chipping away at his life. The longing for a caring parent -- no, not just for anyone, but for his eomma, for her smile, for her comforting words, for her advice -- consumed him. The loneliness of having no one left who would truly understand him (besides Namjoon, of course) weighed down on his thoughts. He spiraled deeper and deeper into a pit of depression.

The various assignments and disapproval from many father figures -- both his actual father and Mr. Marz -- had taken a toll on Yoongi. His already dark eyebags became a permanent fixture of his face as he stayed up late mulling over how worthless, how stupid, how much of a failure he was. There were many nights when he would dream of being reunited with his mother’s warm smile, when he could leave this wretched hell of a school and leave his catastrophe of a life, when he didn’t have to care about what others think of him anymore, when his father’s disappointment would mean nothing.

More often than not, these were the nights where he would grip a sharp blade and watch it cut smoothly into his milky skin. These were the nights where he would cry himself to sleep before waking up in a pool of self-hatred and misery. These were the nights were the urge to just end it all called to him like a siren lures a sailor.

So one day, he decided to do it.

It was a Saturday afternoon when Yoongi awoke in a haze of pain. Glancing down, he realized that his sheets and shirtsleeve were soaked in crimson, but he couldn’t summon the energy to do anything. Sluggishly, his mind concluded that he had probably reopened some of his cuts that night… but why would it matter? In twenty years, he concluded, Namjoon would be a successful producer, all of his classmates will have graduated and married their significant others and have beautiful amazing babies and have a steady source of income. And where will Yoongi be? Begging for money on the streets because he was too foolish to heed his father’s words, too untalented to achieve his dreams, too stupid to get a normal job. In twenty years, he concluded, no one would care where he was, who he was, how he was. In twenty years, he concluded -- no, he wished -- he would be dead.

It was a spur of the moment thing: With a surge of self-hatred and hot-bloodedness, Yoongi had made his decision. He sprung up from his bed, reenergized with the hopes that these would be the last few minutes he would have to live in his wretched dorm. Stumbling to the kitchen counter and focusing his eyesight, he grabbed the largest, sharpest knife he owned.

He thought over his entire life one last time, from the years when his mother and father were still happily married, to now when she was dead and he was long gone from Yoongi’s life. He thought over how much of a failure he was to the family, how every single one of his cousins were working in high-tech companies, but he was still in college. He thought over how the only times he was truly happy were with his mother.

Yoongi closed his eyes, a single glistening tear rolling down, carving a path of depression and despair on his cheek. His mother’s smiling face and warm eyes flashed before his own, welcoming him into her warm embrace. Yoongi held his trembling hand to his neck, pressing down on the smooth pale skin with the sharp blade. Just a bit farther and it would all be over… just a bit more --

“Yoongi-hyung? Are you home?” Namjoon’s cheerful voice yelled.

“Fuck,” Yoongi cursed weakly. Crimson red blood was gushing out of the slit, staining his pale skin, his white clothes, and the yellow tiles vermilion. The knife dropped from his shaking hand with a clatter.

“Yoongi?” Namjoon’s uncertain voice rang through the apartment complex.

“Shit shit shit,” Yoongi cursed. His eyes scanned somewhere, anywhere to hide so that Namjoon wouldn’t see him. But the loss of so much blood was already taking its toll on Yoongi’s thin body. His eyesight started blurring at the edges. His trembling legs could no longer support his weight, and he tumbled down into the pool of red.

“Yoongi! Are you okay?!” Yoongi could faintly hear Namjoon’s voice yelling.

“He sounds… oddly concerned,” Yoongi thought through a haze of pain and delirium. “Why would he be concerned about stupid, worthless me?” Yoongi laughed self-deprecatingly. His chuckles forced a spurt of blood to trickle out of his mouth.

Laying there with the life draining away from him and laughing maniacally on his dingy kitchen floor, Yoongi thought wryly that this was not the way he planned to die. When he was five years old, he had planned to go out with a bang. He wanted to be a war hero who sacrificed his own life to save his fellow army, hailed as Korea’s bravest soldier. When he was fifteen years old, death was a distant concept that he rarely thought of. In the middle of adolescence and youth, he fantasized that he could live forever, that he could be young forever. And even if he were to die, he would be surrounded by a caring family.

But now… now, as the Grim Reaper drew closer and closer, as he felt his breath waning with each gasp, Yoongi accepted his fate. There would be no fellow soldiers to see him die, no friends to watch him leave, no family to hold him close before the final second. He would be all alone, like he always was, surrounded by oppressing silence.

The last thing he glimpsed was Namjoon’s panicked face swimming in front of his eyes, mouthing incomprehensible words, before everything faded to black.

Chapter Text

An insistent beeping penetrated through the dense fog in his brain. It sounded distant, far away, echoing. It was frigid, the cold seeping into Yoongi’s bones and stealing away what little warmth he had. Was this the afterlife? Yoongi wasn’t dumb enough to delude himself that he would end up in Heaven, but he didn’t think he was condemned to Hell either. Would he just have to remain in this eternally grey world, trapped with nothing but his torturous thoughts and memories?

The beeping gradually increased in volume, becoming a shrill, irritating noise in his ears. “Go away, go away, leave me alone,” Yoongi thought miserably.

A familiar voice echoed in his mind, penetrating through the fog and warming Yoongi’s freezing body like hot chocolate on a winter day. It brought a fresh breeze filled with the memories and sounds of home in Daegu.

“Yoongi-hyung, please wake up, please,” it whispered.

And so he did.

Two days later, Yoongi was discharged from the hospital. When he first awoke, Namjoon was sitting by his bedside patiently, eyes rimmed red from tears and exhaustion. As soon as he saw Yoongi’s eyes slowly blink open, he practically launched himself at Yoongi, wrapping his long limbs around him and sobbing into his shoulder. “Never, ever do that again!” Namjoon mumbled into his hospital gown, drawing in a shuddering gasp between wracking sobs.

Yoongi could feel his face contorting into an incredulous expression of disbelief. Namjoon, normally composed and level-headed, was so distraught… all because of Yoongi? Why would he even care about someone so worthless as a suicidal failure when he could be so successful in life?

At Namjoon’s stricken gaze and gaping mouth, Yoongi realized he had spoken aloud. Namjoon wrapped his arms around him again, cradling him gently like shattered pieces of a jar.

Yoongi supposed he was broken, shattered. The ever-present, throbbing scar on his neck was a clear testament to that. He subconsciously raised a pale hand to the mottled rough skin, pressing slim fingers down on the stitches.

Namjoon gripped his wrist in a flash. “Hyung… don’t. Please don’t,” he whispered, voice filled with raw unadulterated pain. “I promise I’ll do anything to help you get better. Just please, please don’t do it again.”

With Namjoon’s tearful eyes and quivering lip gazing up at him, Yoongi couldn’t find the heart to say no.

After he was discharged, Namjoon practically made it his mission to tail Yoongi at all times. Whether it was in the corridors at college, buying food at the supermarket, or even in his room, his cousin was nearly always there. The bathroom was the only place he could relax and relish in the freedom of privacy. But even then, if he was in there for more than five minutes, a concerned Namjoon would knock on the door and ask if he was okay.

Over time, it became endearing. Yoongi still couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that someone was willing to care enough to care about him, to stay with him throughout the entire day. Namjoon sometimes even brought his own friends, Hoseok, Jungkook, and Seokjin, along to sit with him at lunch.

And it really did help with his depression. At first, Yoongi fell deeper into a pit of self-loathing, thinking that even Namjoon had to waste his precious time on looking after a burden. But when Namjoon had found out, as he inevitably always did, he wrapped Yoongi in a tight hug and whispered, “You’ll never be a burden to anyone, hyung. I promise.” Namjoon always reminded him that if Yoongi needed someone to rant to or a shoulder to cry on, he could always count on him. Many nights (though it pains his ego to admit it), Yoongi would knock on the younger’s door and curl up in his bed, breathing in the comforting scent of family while Namjoon worked quietly. Yoongi would mumble about his insecurities or a bad day, and Namjoon would offer insightful advice.

Even Hoseok, Jungkook, and Seokjin offered their help. Hoseok, a veritable ray of sunshine, could never fail to lift Yoongi’s spirits with his bright smile and loud antics. Jungkook’s surprisingly empathetic guesses and comforting actions soothed Yoongi whenever he was restless. And despite Seokjin’s belief that his dad jokes were the best thing to exist, Yoongi actually appreciated his hyung for the fact that he always knew exactly what to say. Seokjin was perhaps the only person able to insult and suggest advice to Yoongi in the same breath without being murdered by the latter.

A few days into the second semester, rumors spread that Mr. Marz had been fired due to several reports of sexual assault. Sure enough, he was gone the next day. Not even a single paper or speck of dust related to him was left in the room… only Yoongi’s memories, clouded with bitterness and loathing, remained.

A new teacher, Shin Suran, was hired in his stead. Shin Suran was, by far, the best teacher that Yoongi had ever met. She genuinely cared for her students, not overwhelming them with a flow of assignments but still making sure they were learning as much as they could. When Yoongi explained his fiasco with Mr. Marz, Shin Suran sunbaenim understood completely and granted him a second chance to redo the project. Yoongi instantly felt the cumbersome weight of “oh no I’m gonna fail this class my dad will brutally murder me and despise my guts even more than he does now” lift off his chest.

But of course, life wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine.

Shin sunbaenim had assigned them a huge project worth 30% of their grade. It was meant to be a track or a song about their background, their family, the reason why they’re able to be here today.

The only thoughts floating around in Yoongi’s brain about his hometown were memories of heartbreak, the spirit of an eomma he missed so much it hurt, and the phantom yells of a drunk appa. He couldn’t write any lyrics without having to relive the countless hours spent cowering in fear as his father spit curse after curse at his “disobedient, good-for-nothing son.” Looming at the forefront of his mind was an image of his beautiful mother with her radiant, comforting smile and the ghost of warm fingers running gently through his hair. He couldn’t even start the song, couldn’t even bear to open his notes, without feeling the endless guilt consume his soul.

Eventually, he realized that he had to do it -- or risk failing his major. With many encouragements and hugs from Namjoon, he finally set to work.

So there Yoongi was, trying to finish that stupid term project with a deadline approaching far too quickly. He doesn’t know how long he was cooped in the dark studio, but it was long enough for Namjoon to bring in instant noodles thrice already. As his brain tried to squeeze out the last of his creativity without remembering the painful memories of his past, his thoughts were violently disrupted by a clamor outside.

Shaking his head in annoyance, Yoongi tried to return to his previous composing state, but was further distracted by the feeling of a gaze on his back. He felt his last bit of patience burn out. With a venomous glare, Yoongi swiveled around in his rolling chair and met the eyes of another boy outside.

It was too dim to tell what he looked like, but Yoongi could practically sense the waves of curiosity rolling off him. After a few seconds of staring, the boy waved slightly in greeting.

Yoongi was more confused than annoyed by now. What was he doing?

With dawning horror and apprehension, he saw him walk to the door and reach to pull it open. Yoongi sighed in frustration. Can’t the boy just leave him alone to suffer in misery so that he can at least try to finish his project?

“Why are you here?” The question came rushing out of his mouth, feeding off his annoyance and exhaustion. Yoongi cringed internally. “Way to come off as a standoffish dickhead, Yoongi,” he mentally berated himself.

He heard the boy’s sharp intake of breath. Even in the darkness, Yoongi could sense his eyes grow wide in wonderment? Surprise? Yoongi doesn’t know for sure. He asks, “Are you from Daegu?”

Yoongi felt all of his annoyance evaporate. He swore, still swears to this day, that he felt his heart stop for a second. The boy’s voice was so deep, deeper than the ocean itself. And it was soulful, filled to the brim with thousands of shifting, flowing emotions. It was indescribable -- it reminded Yoongi of the feeling of standing in a meadow, melodious wind blowing through his hair and bending the emerald stalks of grass. It reminded Yoongi of the farms back in Daegu; the rough, boisterous accent (yet somehow, this boy’s voice was the smoothest and silkiest he had ever heard) brought back memories of eating strawberries during picnics when his mother was still alive and happy. Nothing could ever replicate that feeling of euphoria. But this voice opened the locked chest in his heart that was filled with those joyous memories.

A spark of inspiration started to fizzle in Yoongi’s mind. Frantically, he searched through his brain, trying to piece together fragments of phrases and sentences to quench the thirst of his ideas. He momentarily paused in his search, remembering that the boy was still awaiting an answer. Yoongi mumbled halfheartedly, “Uh, yeah. That still doesn't tell me why you're here.”

The boy replied hastily, “You looked like you were stuck on composing. I wanted to help.”

Yoongi was abruptly snapped out of his “composing craze” (as Namjoon dubbed it). How dare this boy, probably a lost little freshman idiot who still thought college was the place to “pursue your dreams and passions,” assume that he could help Yoongi? He drew himself up indignantly and scoffed, “I don't think a freshman could assist me with that.”

Yoongi could feel the boy’s offended eye roll from across the room. He quipped sarcastically, “Well, joke’s on you, because I’m a sophomore. Are you always this rude to people who want to help?”

There was a heartbeat of tension-filled silence. Yoongi was, for a lack of a better word, stunned. It had been ages since someone had spoken to him that way. Namjoon had been the embodiment of nice, waxing poetic about how Yoongi needed to “love himself for what you are, not what you want to be.” (Jeez, philosophy minors were scary). He practically walked around him on eggshells; if anyone said anything negative to Yoongi, Namjoon would chase after them, slam them against a wall, and angrily demand an apology. (Yoongi just looked on with fond exasperation).

But, he contemplated, he hadn’t held such a normal conversation with someone ever since the incident. And plus, Yoongi really did admire the boy for offering to help, despite how useless he surely would end up being. In the end, he decided on saying, “You’re lucky I like you, or else I would’ve banned you from the studio by now.”

The boy giggled softly, and Yoongi felt his heart warm. The sound was surprisingly adorable. It was nothing like his velvet baritone voice, but more of a sweet, cotton-candy-soft sound. “I guess I made a good first impression then,” the boy said.

Yoongi snorted playfully, “You wish.”

The boy stuck out his hand in introduction. “My name’s Kim Taehyung.”

Yoongi repeated the name mentally in his brain. “Kim Taehyung,” he thought. It seemed to be a fitting name, encompassing all of Taehyung’s rough edges and elegant curves, his neverending enthusiasm and fiery spirit. Outwardly, however, Yoongi masked his surprisingly soft thoughts (for virtually a complete stranger) by saying gruffly, “I’m older, so I’m not calling you ‘hyung,’ regardless of if it’s in your name or not. Nice to meet you, Tae. I’m Min Yoongi.”

Taehyung laughed again in that sweet pure voice of his, and Yoongi’s heart stuttered.

“Can I turn on the studio light? It’s pretty dim in here,” Taehyung asked inquisitively.

Yoongi nodded almost mechanically, letting the soft melodic flow of words rush through his head like soothing ocean waves. It was only when the awkward silence had rung blaringly obviously through the room that Yoongi snapped out of his exhausted daze.

He could feel the waves of mild alarm and disgust radiating off Taehyung as he swept his eyes across the room. Yoongi just shrugged sheepishly. Whenever he fell into his composing stage, he would sacrifice anything to write down some good lyrics. In this case, it was his pens and twenty crumpled Red Bull cans. Yoongi glanced morosely down at the discarded microphone on the ground. He must’ve thrown them there somewhere around 10 hours ago… maybe 20? He doesn’t even remember anymore.

And then Yoongi’s dumbass brain finally caught up with the situation. In a heartbeat, Yoongi whipped his head around to stare straight at Taehyung.

He was absolutely perfect.

Taehyung’s eyes were a shifting pool of thousands of overlapping emotions. They were a darkish hazel, capable of reflecting the ebony hue of night and the warm chocolate rays of day. Yoongi felt as if he could drown in those forever changing, complex yet simple eyes. His nose sloped outward gently, starting from the highest nose bridge Yoongi had ever seen and ending in an adorable rounded button. His lips seemed to be perfect, chiseled by a Greek god, but yet still soft and pouty and so kissable (Yoongi felt like slapping his brain at this point). And holy cow, his jawline could cut a rock with how sharp it was. Taehyung wore a red-white bandana that held back his silky smooth blond strands of hair and exposed a flawless forehead.

Seriously, life was not fair. Why give such a beautiful, stunning guy such flawless golden skin? Could Taehyung be any more perfect?

Fuck, Yoongi knew he was whipped.

When he finally realized that the silence had pervaded the room for longer than it should have, Yoongi realized Taehyung was staring too. “Is there something on my face?” Yoongi asked teasingly.

“No, no no! Of course not!” Taehyung’s deep voice emerged in a flustered, panicked tone. An adorable pink blush flooded over his golden skin. “I’ll just look over some of, ah, these papers…” he mumbled softly as he picked up the crumpled notepad sheets littered on the floor.

Yoongi mentally cringed as he suddenly remembered scrawling down “min yoongi cheonjae jjang jjang man bboom bboom” twelve hours ago. (In his defense, he was really really bored.) Yoongi sighed tiredly, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. There’s some really shitty, weird stuff in there. It’s what happens when you mix Red Bull, coffee, 36 hours of no sleep, and me together.”

Taehyung glared disapprovingly at him, and for a second, Yoongi groaned internally as he prepared for a lecture as torturous as Namjoon’s.

But Taehyung just replied, “Really? Red Bull and coffee? Shame… I thought you of all people would be more creative than that! You should try a vanilla bean frappuccino with jalapenos and Tabasco -- it works much better than coffee ever will.”

Yoongi felt a relieved sigh surface on his lips as he involuntarily broke into a huge grin. That was how Taehyung’s friend (Jin? Jim? Jimin? Yoongi wasn’t too sure, but he knew he was pretty short) had found them hours later: Taehyung laughing on the floor and clutching his stomach as Yoongi retold the story of Namjoon managing to set a pot of water on fire.

That night, Namjoon stared at Yoongi with wide, disbelieving eyes as the elder calmly entered the house, showered, ate dinner, and went to bed. When a flabbergasted Namjoon questioned him wildly the next morning, Yoongi merely shrugged, “Taehyung told me to. And I realized he was right.” He resolutely ignored Namjoon’s mumbled grumbling that “I had told you to go back to the dorms every single hour that you were at the studio… but did you listen to me? No! Of course not!”

Yoongi trudged into the studio the next morning. His mind was, once again, frustratingly blank, just like it had been ever since the last few months. As despair and hopelessness settled in (Yoongi lamented the loss of another day that could’ve been used productively), his eyes fell on a stained napkin stuffed hurriedly under his mousepad.

With nimble fingers, he gently unfolded it and smoothed its creases. There, messily scrawled onto the thin paper with blotchy ink, was a phone number. +82 2 913 051 0676, it read. Yoongi realized it was Taehyung’s.

And suddenly, inspiration struck.

It was the best feeling he’d had in months, even years. All of his pent up emotions poured out of him in a flood of hopelessness, grief, oppression, confusion, fury, and longing. Almost subconsciously, Yoongi picked up a pen and watched as messy words spilled onto the yellow notepad pages. His thoughts whirled around and around in blurs of lyrics, words, rhymes, and notes.

It seemed like only a few minutes had passed before a gentle knock on the door disturbed his thoughts. “Hey, Yoongi-hyung, do you need any help? I thought I’d drop in after my classes,” a gentle voice said.

Yoongi turned his head so fast from the computer screen that he almost had whiplash. Taehyung was standing in the doorway, and the warm lights flooding into the dark composing booth surrounded him like an angel’s halo.

An unbidden blush flooded over Yoongi’s cheeks at the unexpectedly kind gesture. “S-sure,” he said, almost with a current of underlying shyness. And so the two hunched over the computer, faces lit with the bluish glow of the screen.

The day after that, a panicked Yoongi turned in his album AGUST D ( by Min Yoongi, co-produced by and dedicated to Kim Taehyung) to Shin Suran. He had planned to turn in the songs an hour earlier, but decided to continue tweaking bits of the music and lost track of time. Nevertheless, she was ecstatic at the result, praising Yoongi to the skies (“If you create your own company, the Big 3 don’t stand a chance.”)

That June, Yoongi graduated. After Taehyung had whined and bothered Yoongi about the ceremony for hundreds of times, he grudgingly allowed the younger to attend. When Yoongi’s name was called, he had looked over the massive crowd of relatives and friends gathered below. In an instant, a flood of nerves surged up into his stomach, churning the already agitated butterflies in his gut and clamming the palms of his hands.

But over his pounding heartbeat, he could hear a loud whoop resounding over the assembly. “Min Yoongi cheonjae jjang jjang man bboom bboom!” a voice hollered, sounding suspiciously like Taehyung’s low baritone. And sure enough, when Yoongi risked a flash of a glance at the hugeterrifyingoverwhelming audience, he could see Taehyung waving a large “MIN SUGA IS A GENIUS <3” sign. Namjoon looked on with both a “what the hell is this kid doing” and “I love this dude” stare.

Yoongi had never felt more complete than when he received his diploma amidst the thunderous clamor of cheers, claps, and whistles that was his friends.

Despite all Suran-sunbaenim had preached about Yoongi’s musical skills, his entertainment company, AGUST D, had gone absolutely nowhere but backward. What precious little money he had managed to scrape together from coaxing investors and professional musicians was running dangerously low. Songs he managed to publish only received a few passing comments. Yoongi’s life, which had been starting to look up for once, suddenly plunged downward again. As the days passed and his hopes evaporated, his father’s words looped through his mind again and again.

“Worthless… untalented… waste of space,” the vindictive voice murmured into his ear gleefully. “No one would care if you die.”

Yoongi weakly tried to argue back. “Namjoon -- he would care. And so would all his friends. And - and Taehyung too!”

But those thoughts were soon drowned out by the overwhelming shadow of doubt forever lurking in his mind. “What if… it was all just an act? Did they just pity you and your sorry self?”

The voice jumped on that idea with enthusiasm. “Of course! You were just their pity friend, and now that their bout of good will has passed, they want you gone from their lives.”

And so Yoongi effortlessly tumbles back into the pit of depression he had so desperately clawed his way out of. This time, no logical reasoning provided by Namjoon and Seokjin can banish the doubts flooding his mind. None of Hoseok’s and Jungkook’s attempts at making him smile work. They can only helplessly watch Yoongi’s mental health deteriorate.

But, this time, it was different. Namjoon, perceptive and all-knowing, quickly realized the problem. With a brief explanation to Taehyung, the “cheer up Yoongi” squad grew from four people to five.

And their newest addition was by far the most successful.

Taehyung became a fixated constant in Yoongi’s life. The younger would drop by his dingy apartment after classes, perennially advising Yoongi on whatever lyrics and songs he was working on. He’d clean and organize Yoongi’s desk (which always looked like there was an explosion of yellow, crumpled note paper and pen ink). He would always drag Yoongi outside every once in a while, whether to eat some kimbap or to pet dogs at the animal shelter (“because everyone loves puppies, and you, Yoongi-hyung, look like you’re a vampire who hasn’t seen daylight for 400 years.”) Sometimes, Taehyung would even cook for him. It wasn’t anything complicated -- just some instant ramyeon with kimchi or white rice -- but it would always cause Yoongi’s stress to melt into a carefree smile.

Yoongi wondered what it entailed for his future when he would find his heart beating just a little (alright, a lot) faster at the mere prospect of Taehyung’s boxy grins, scrunched eye smiles, and thoughtful visits.

Throughout the year, he started finding more and more bits of the younger scattered around the apartment. When he was cleaning his room, Taehyung’s bright yellow scarf draped loosely over the chair caught his eye. When he was looking for that pair of nice jeans, he saw the younger’s loose black pants folded inconspicuously in his closet (“they make you look like a hobo, Taehyung-ah… how many times do I need to say this?” “Aish, Yoongi-hyung, you just don’t have fashion sense. These are the new style!”) When he was rifling through his desk drawers for a pen, he found an adorable sticky note saying, “you can do it, Yoongi-hyung!” complete with heart doodles and kisses.

His heart may have melted just a little bit.

That October, after five pep talks from Namjoon (filled with encouraging words, knowing smiles, and alarmed yelling to match Yoongi’s panicked screams) and three from Seokjin (filled with infuriating smirks, exasperated screaming, and sexual innuendos -- so many sexual innuendos, God, Yoongi’s gonna need bleach for his ears), Yoongi barged into Taehyung’s lecture halfway through. Ignoring the teacher’s disapproving glare and the murmurs amongst the students, he bent down on one knee, procured a bouquet of sunflowers, and asked Taehyung to be his boyfriend. Said person, smiling so wide his mouth could split, answered, “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!”

Yoongi was the happiest man alive.

For an entire year, they went on a variety of dates whenever their schedules permitted. Yoongi felt himself fall deeper and deeper in love with Taehyung. He didn’t know how it was possible -- Taehyung was simply an angel. The type of angel who sees the best in everyone (even Yoongi, for god’s sake), who helps old ladies cross the street because he just wants them to have a good day, who buys hobos a nutritious meal and keeps them company while they eat, who does the sweetest things imaginable for Yoongi (fuck, Yoongi’s still swooning at Taehyung’s adorable collage of images he put together for the elder’s birthday) but expects nothing back in return.

And plus, AGUST D Entertainment was finally being endorsed by one of Shin Suran sunbaenim’s good friends, who wholeheartedly supported Yoongi’s albums. They had finally started to gain some ground in the Korean entertainment field and gain some money back, with reporters noting the new startup company as either “a potential world dominator” and “the future of Korean entertainment” or “another wannabe Big Three flop.” Yoongi tried to ignore the harsh criticism and focus on his own music instead. He also recruited many of his friends to sing vocals in some of his tracks (Taehyung’s sultry baritone paired with Jin’s melodic voice was perfect for “Even if I Die, It’s Gonna Be You,” and Jimin and Jungkook’s breathy cover of “We Don’t Talk Anymore” was positively heavenly. Meanwhile, Namjoon and Hoseok teamed up with Yoongi to produce the legendary Cyphers that converted Taehyung into a “rapline fanboy” (dubbed by Taehyung himself).

One year later, Yoongi interrupted another one of Taehyung’s lectures. He knelt down again, produced a beautiful diamond ring from a coat pocket, and asked Taehyung to marry him. Taehyung, sobbing in happiness, furiously nodded yes. They kissed right at the front of the classroom, disregarding the wolf whistles and catcalls from the students (especially Jimin, who screamed, “Go get ‘em, tiger!”)

That December, they were married in Daegu. Yoongi made a show of grumbling about how they “had to have the ceremony here next to a stupid forest and in three-foot-deep snow. I seriously think my butt is freezing off.” But when he saw Taehyung’s beautiful smile light up his entire face, he knew it was worth it. He’d do anything to relive that magical moment: Taehyung walking down the aisle in a form-fitting white suit with strands of windblown blond hair framing his ethereal face and such a hopeful smile that it far outshone the beauty of the surrounding forest sights.

God, Yoongi loved Taehyung so much.

“Not so fast. Min Yoongi, pick up this phone right now,” Jimin’s frigid voice jolted Yoongi from his thoughts. His voice had been soothing while comforting Taehyung, but now… now it was downright furious.

Chapter Text

After gentle coaxing, many soft kisses to Taehyung’s forehead, and promises to “never ever leave again, please, Yoongi please,” he managed to pry the device from Taehyung’s trembling hand. Seeing his husband, normally so cheerful and energetic, reduced to tears made Yoongi’s heart shatter into a million tiny pieces. Hearing his quivering gasps of “I missed you so, so much” and “I w-waited so long but you never c-came” made the heavy guilt sitting in Yoongi’s chest manifest thousand-fold. Feeling sobs wracking Taehyung’s thin frame felt as if Yoongi were the one crying his heart out.

Taehyung had been perfectly fine when they FaceTimed yesterday. What had happened in the mere span of a day?

But Yoongi could no longer ponder the mystery. He first had to deal with an irate Jimin, whose palpable fury he could feel despite the hundreds of miles separating Seoul from Daegu.

“Hey, Jimin…” he whispered timidly into the receiver. Not many things could strike fear in the heart of AGUST D Entertainment CEO Min Yoongi, but at the top of the list was a hurt Taehyung and an angry Jimin - and regrettably, he was dealing with both right now. He could practically feel his heart rabbiting out of his chest.

“Ah, Yoongi.” The chilling voice seemed to send shards of ice down his back. “Would you care to explain what in the everloving fuck you were doing for four hours? Taehyung was worried. Out. Of. His. Mind,” he hissed furiously, icy calm burning into roaring outrage.

Yoongi felt the surging wave of guilt flood his heart even more. “Jimin, I’m so, so, so sorry, you have to believe me! I didn’t mean to -”

"I don't think you comprehend just how panicked Taehyung was," Jimin interrupted, well on his way to an irate rant. "He called me half an hour ago, completely in hysterics and talking about all sorts of ludicrous thoughts that he wasn't good enough for you. Frankly, that's utter bullshit, and I don't know what you or anyone else did to put that idea in his mind. But whatever you did, I'm warning you, is inexcusable. The next time you do this, I will not hesitate to hurt you. Understand?" Jimin growled.

Yoongi listened in disbelief. A stunned silence was all that could be mustered up in the seconds that followed. "In what world is Taehyung not good enough for me?" he finally choked out through a clogged throat.

Jimin sighed through his nose. "Exactly! But you better go comfort him. You've been MIA for four hours - I’ve never seen Tae break down this much since sophomore year in college."

Yoongi instantly snapped his attention to Taehyung, who was curled into his sweater and still trembling faintly. “Jimin, I’m really, really sorry, but the plane just -”

“Save it! The only person you should be apologizing to right now is Tae. I don’t want to hear your pathetic excuses,” Jimin interrupted. The utter disappointment seeping through his voice rang clear as day (or night, in this case).

Yoongi breathed out his assent. He was less concerned with Jimin, whose fiery anger finally seemed to be cooling into icy disappointment, and more with the hiccuping Taehyung heaped on his lap.

"Jimin, I need to go now. I'll explain the situation to you later," Yoongi said absentmindedly, focused wholly on Taehyung’s slumped form. He barely heard Jimin’s threatening parting words of “You better fix this soon, or I’ll never forgive you!”

"Hey, Taetae," he crooned softly into his husband’s silver hair. "You okay?"

Taehyung shook his head minutely. It was ironic how such an infinitesimal motion could make Yoongi’s heart crack.

"What's wrong? Tell me, babe," he cajoled soothingly, stroking Taehyung’s back gently.

"It's so stupid, Yoongi. You won't understand," Taehyung mumbled into Yoongi's sweater.

"Hey, Taehyung, look at me," Yoongi put his fingers under Taehyung's chin and gently lifted it up to meet his eyes. The unabated hurt and insecurity swimming in those chocolate orbs made Yoongi’s heart feel as if it were ruthlessly stomped on.

“I promise that I’ll never think anything you say is stupid, alright? Trust me on that,” he whispered, trying to convey his utter sincerity through his eyes.

Taehyung seemed to wage an internal war, debating between exposing the worries that had haunted him for the last four hours and keeping silent. Yoongi held his breath in anticipation; it would be no use needlessly pressuring him to decide. He had gathered (through many, many years of arguments and subsequent experience) that Taehyung would only clam up if he was pushed for an answer prematurely.

In the end, with a few blinks of his tear-crusted eyelashes, Taehyung caved. He sucked in a sharp, hiccup-punctured breath, wiped his eyes roughly with his sleeve, and began in a wavering whisper, “I’m so sorry, Yoongi, I don’t know why I’m overreacting so much. We just talked yesterday, and you c-came back today like you promised, but… but I just thought that…”

“Thought what, Taetae?” Yoongi crooned, peppering chaste kisses onto Taehyung’s forehead.

He suddenly seemed to lose his resolve. He shook his head faintly, once again curling into Yoongi’s body and pressing his face against his husband’s chest.

“Taehyungie, please.” Yoongi wasn’t far from begging, at this point. He’d been trying to cajole an answer out of a distraught, borderline hysterical Taehyung for half an hour, and every second that ticked by meant more time Taehyung was suffering alone. “Just tell me what’s wrong. I promise I can fix it, alright? You and me together, yeah?”

After what felt like an eternity, Taehyung finally lifted his head. His chocolate eyes were shining with a new wave of unshed tears.

“Th-thought you left me,” he gasped through a stifled sob. “Thought you were gonna find someone else who’s smarter and prettier and richer. Thought you were gonna file for a divorce.”

Yoongi was horrified. He could only stare at Taehyung, uncomprehending, hands limp in shock.

But Taehyung forged on in a detached monotone. “Thought you finally realized how worthless I am. Or maybe you’d just leave me and the house and just never come back. And then I’d never even realize that you had left. I’d just keep hoping that you’d come back home one day, but…” He broke off.

He raised his head again, eyes now brimming with a film of water, voice breaking in desperate pleading. “You wouldn’t do that, would you? Please, Yoongi?”

Yoongi felt his own tears well. “Taehyung, darling, why in the world would you think that?” he whispered softly. “You mean more than the entire world to me, okay? I would never. Ever. Leave you. Please trust me on that.”

Taehyung only shook his head in denial.

Yoongi put his index finger under Taehyung’s chin and gently lifted it until they were gazing into each other’s eyes.

“What did I tell you the night of our wedding?”

Taehyung mumbled, “You said you would always love me.”

Yoongi nodded, pressed a chaste kiss to his lips, and continued, “And what did I tell you on our fifth date at the cafe?”

Taehyung blushed prettily and said softly, like it was the most important secret of the universe, “Said I was the best thing to happen to you.”

“What about on our second anniversary?”

Taehyung outright giggled, and Yoongi felt his heart soar at the sight of his husband smiling. He swore that Taehyung’s megawatt smile and scrunched up, half-moon eyes could bring about world peace.

“You said you’d always choose and everyone else who disagrees should fuck off.”

“And what did I say yesterday evening when we were FaceTiming?”

Taehyung’s grin softened to a gentle smile. “You said that you would never leave me.”

“That’s it, Taetae, that's it. This,” Yoongi interlocked their hands, holding them up to eye level and highlighting the wedding rings on their fourth finger, “should always remind you that I will love you, till death do us part.”

Taehyung leaned in, pressing his forehead against Yoongi’s. He echoed softly, voice filled with an infinite ocean of love, “Till death do us part.”

And Yoongi couldn’t have felt any happier.