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When Hoseok wakes up, slowly and groggily, the first thing that he realises is the cold . He’s lying on top of a bed, the quilt soft beneath him, with fur blankets covering him up to his chin, but there’s a bitter wind biting at his exposed face, making him wince. Even with the thick blankets, there’s an unshakeable cold from the unwavering temperature in the room.  


“Shit, sorry, I have the window open,” a gravelly voice makes Hoseok jump, scaring him into sitting upright. Hoseok thinks the man keeps talking but Hoseok can’t hear anything over his racing pulse. He can’t even bring himself to look around, to look at the man, instead, he fixates on his shaking hands that he pulls out from under the blankets - too fast so that he ends up throwing one off completely.


“Hey, hey,” the voice moves until Hoseok can see the man crouching next to the bed out of the corner of his eye, “hey. I can explain everything, okay? I’ll tell you exactly where you are, who I am, and why you’re here, okay? You’re not in danger, I promise.”

 

There’s an undercurrent to the voice that wasn’t there before, something comforting and nurturing, the gravelly, deep voice sounds - even deeper but smoother , like a cat’s purr. If anything, that’s exactly what it sounds like - purring . A deep purring that seeps into Hoseok’s bones as the man continues to talk, calms his stuttering heart. He feels the man rest his head onto the bed, not touching Hoseok but close enough that Hoseok can hear his words even louder.

 

Hoseok finally turns to look down at the man beside him when his nerves have been put to sleep to see nothing at first but a fluff of wavy, silver hair with darker silver ears poking through, long black fur adorning the tips of the pointed ears, a striking contrast to all of the shades of silver.

 

His ears twitch and he sits up, facing Hoseok even as his eyes are shut. He’s - he’s pretty, is all Hoseok can think at first, that he’s so pretty. Long black eyelashes, a nose Hoseok wants to tap with the tip of his finger, and pouty, pale lips are what take Hoseok aback at first but then his eyes open. They’re amber. Amber, cat-like eyes, speckled with green around the edges.

 

“Hey, good,” his voice is back to how it was when it had first graced Hoseok’s ears, “I’m Yoongi and you’re Hoseok. Your family know exactly where you are and who I am - you’re not in any danger here. What do you remember? Not your entire life, obviously, unless you can’t remember that? But what do you remember just before you woke up?”

 

What does Hoseok remember? Hoseok - Hoseok remembers warmth . Not the comfortable warmth from a lit fireplace, not the glaring but bearable heat from the summer sun, but a burning, scalding heat from the inside out, a scorching fire in his limbs and in his lungs, in his brain and his heart. Hell itself festering inside his body.

 

“I was hot,” Hoseok’s voice is hoarse, unused. He clears his throat as much as he can before he tries again, “I was burning. I was dying . What was that?”

 

Yoongi nods, humming, “You’re right about all of that. A fire demon infected you. Got inside your body and - well. You’re now a first hand witness to what happens when you get attacked.”

 

Hoseok stares in disbelief, feels tears he doesn’t want to think about appearing in his eyes, forcing him to rapidly blink them away. Luckily, Yoongi doesn’t comment, just waits for Hoseok to get his composure back.

 

“Fuck,” Hoseok breathes out and Yoongi nods his head a few times. His agreement and acceptance makes Hoseok smile slightly. Hoseok finally looks around the room he’s in - it’s small but cosy, clearly a bedroom. The wooden walls, combined with the brown and naturistic decor, make Hoseok’s eyes widen slightly in understanding - it’s a cabin. The curtains are drawn but there’s a slight gap poking through where all Hoseok can see is white. Snow.

 

“You froze it out?” Hoseok turns back to Yoongi who tilts his head in a silent question, “The snow outside and stuff? Did it freeze the fire demon’s shit out of me?”

 

Yoongi makes a little noise of understanding, “Freez ing . It’s still in there even if the initial treatment and temperature froze it momentarily - it’s dormant but it’s still there. You’re gonna be stuck with me for a while, I’m afraid. Oh, you’re in Canada by the way. I know you’re American but I figured, since you’re Korean and I look Korean, you might have thought you’d been shipped back to Korea by your family. You wouldn’t have survived a flight that long anyway. ”

 

It takes a minute or two for the information to sink in, especially since Yoongi seems to get more and more talkative as the time goes on, for Hoseok to make sense of it all, and in the end, all Hoseok can think to say is, “Who are you?”

 

Yoongi opens his mouth to speak but the sound of a door opening and slamming hard against the wall cuts him off. It makes Hoseok jump, eyes wide, but Yoongi doesn’t react with anything more than a roll of his eyes.

 

“Blame Eun, not me! I was gentle,” another male voice calls through the cabin - with how loud everything is and how quickly this new man makes his way to them makes Hoseok wonder just how small this cabin is - but there’s an animal noise that follows that makes Hoseok shriek in alarm. It’s like nothing he’s heard before, a strange screeching noise, oddly between a meow and a bark. He can’t help the “what the fuck,” that falls from his mouth to which Yoongi side-eyes him.


There’s a large cat that pushes past the stranger to go straight to Yoongi, planting its massive paws into his lap. It’s not like a cat Hoseok had ever seen before - clearly, not a normal household cat, considering it must be at least twice one’s size. It’s a dark grey and silver, similar to Yoongi, and has the same type of ears as him. Realisation finally dawns on Hoseok.

 

The stranger may have started speaking, insisting that he didn’t slam the door open, but Hoseok can’t help but speak over him, “Holy shit. You’re Merged, aren’t you?”

 

Considering that the Merged tend to be referred to as some of the most powerful of magic users, it sinks in again just how serious Hoseok’s condition is. A witch whose soul is combined with the essence of an animal - the joining unlocks more magical capabilities than available to anyone else. The Merged can’t be created by the choice of anything else but the Magic of Nature itself making them rare. Rare enough that it hadn’t been obvious to Hoseok in the start, rare enough that Hoseok really has no fucking idea how he is where he is - How can he afford this? Can anyone in his family afford this?


“The ears didn’t give him away?” The stranger smiles, deep dimples making an appearance and Hoseok scowls slightly, even if this tall man does look kind of adorable.

 

“Hey, my friend Taehyung likes to have animal ears and he’s not Merged. You don’t even have to be super powerful to whip them up, it’s fashion ,” Hoseok can feel himself pouting slightly before his gaze is whipped back to Yoongi when Yoongi’s only reaction is to snort in laughter. He’s combing through the fur on the creature’s stomach, slowly and unhurried. Hoseok can’t help but note how big and veiny Yoongi’s hands are, how pretty the large blue ring on his finger makes the rest of his pale hand look.

 

“Yeah, I’m Merged,” Yoongi drawls casually, “with this beast of a cat. Canadian Lynx. This one is Eun but there’s a lot just roaming around. Apparently, things just like to pop in and slam my doors against the walls to try and wreck my entire home .” He scowls at both Eun and the man in the doorway, effectively pinning the blame on them both. Eun responds with a deep growl as the dimpled stranger starts gasping out protests. “Don’t be scared of them, though, being Merged gives you this strong connection with your animal - it’s kinda hard to explain but, seriously, don’t be afraid of them. This is Namjoon, by the way,” Yoongi introduces him lazily, with nothing but a wave of a hand in his direction, “he’s gonna help me with killing that little fire bastard inside of you so, sadly, you’ll have to see him a lot.”

 

“I’m not Merged, if you were wondering,” Namjoon smiles, stepping inside the room properly to sit on a wooden chair placed next to the window, stopping to draw the curtains before he sits down. Yoongi winces at the bright white shining through but Hoseok’s breath stops as both Yoongi and Eun’s eyes shine and glitter in the light. “I’m just good at spells and incantations. I figure out what’s gonna work - what a potion needs, what words need to be said - then Yoongi actually does it. We’re a good team.”

 

The more they both speak, the more their accents become stronger, both having an uncommon mix of Korean and Canadian, and it fills Hoseok with a strange surge of warmth towards them both. Hoseok was born in Korea but raised in America so his voice never got to adopt the South Korean tilt that Namjoon and Yoongi have.  

 

“You’re not magic? I can’t feel any in you,” Yoongi asks, turning the attention back to Hoseok, who can’t help but purse his lips. It’s admittedly something of an irritation for him - to be surrounded by people who can use magic but to be part of a family with not a single hint of magic abilities. He’s got over it a bit more now, especially compared to how bitter he was when he was younger, but it’s still not something he likes to be reminded of. There’s still that twinge of jealousy in his stomach when Taehyung changes his appearance with a blink of an eye or when Jimin mumbles a few words under his breath and he’s instantly clean and fresh during dance practice while Hoseok is still sweating and sticky.

 

“No,” Hoseok answers bluntly, “there’s not a single trace of magic in my whole family lineage.” There’s a slight tension crawling into the room now, Namjoon choosing to distract himself from it by going to the bookshelf next to him, filled head to toe with old, weathered books and journals. Hoseok notices with interest that they’re not all magic and spell books - there’s Shakespeare along with poetry and - especially interesting - what seems to be romance novels with their bright pink covers hidden in-between them.

 

Eun raises herself from where her paws and head were resting on Yoongi’s lap to stand and stare at Hoseok instead. She’s as tall as Yoongi when he’s sitting on the floor, her paws easily the same size of his hands and it’s as endearing as it is disorientating.

 

Hoseok avoids making eye contact - he doesn’t have a cat and knows next to nothing about any type of cat behaviour but something tells him that staring might start a fight - so instead he looks at just how disproportionate Eun is. Her back seems naturally wonky, body higher up where her fluffy, bobbed tail is before it slopes down to her neck. Like Yoongi, her ears attract attention - the long, black fur pointed up like little horns on their ears keeps calling to Hoseok’s eyes. It makes his fingers twitch with how much he wants to rub it with his fingers.

 

“That makes you unique these days,” Yoongi’s deep tone comes from nowhere after a few moments of silence, making Hoseok startle and look back over to him before Hoseok flicks his eyes to Yoongi’s hands, wanting to avoid eye contact with Yoongi for a reason he can’t quite decipher, “I didn’t mean to make you feel bad.”

 

Hoseok waves him off, flustering slightly under Yoongi’s intense gaze, “It’s fine, I’m just still a bit bitter, I guess.” Namjoon laughs slightly from the corner so Hoseok uses him as a reason to look elsewhere, eyes darting to watch Namjoon drop a book before he swivels to look at the bedside table, a warm wooden decorated with a little cat analog clock - little plastic ears and a cat face as the clock’s face make Hoseok giggle slightly before his brain registers what the time is and his face morphs to shock.

 

“It’s eight? In the morning or the night? It’s so light outside!” Hoseok gapes, turning back to look at out the window - he can’t see any form of civilisation out there apart from snow and a forest in the distance. The sky is a similar white, making it difficult to see where the snow ends and the sky begins. Eun seems to lose interest, finally, in staring at Hoseok and she turns, large paws silent when she walks over the large, fluffy rug to leave. Yoongi and Namjoon are unbothered, not even blinking as the lynx does as she pleases.

 

“Night. I forgot you weren’t used to weather like this,” Namjoon smiles, looking out at the snow, “I don’t know how I forgot, to be honest.” He turns to look at Hoseok, with something close enough to pity in his eyes that it sets Hoseok on edge, “You’ve only been here for a few hours and you’ve been unconscious the entire time.”

 

“A few hours?” Hoseok’s eyes widen, mouth falling open involuntarily. He thinks, that out of the corner of his eye, he can see Yoongi’s sharp gaze fall onto his lips but he’s not sure if he’s delusional or it’s just wishful thinking.

 

“Yeah,” Yoongi stands, finally, groaning as he stretches, “and, apparently, you were unconscious the entire plane ride as well. Luckily, you got here just as the fire demon began kicking in so we had to sedate and treat you as soon as you got through my front door.”

 

Yoongi’s wearing an oversized knitted jumper, full of blues and reds that match his cabin, and it’s so long it comes down to just above his knees. It makes Hoseok’s heart clench a bit.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“Y’know, I think we’re explaining kind of terribly?” Namjoon grimaces, trying again, “Basically - I’ll go over it all, even if you do remember it - you and your friends were messing around when, as luck would have it, one, or all, of you accidentally set off a trap by a fire demon. Not your fault, if you’re not trained in Demonology, there’s no way you would know -”

 

“Which, by the way, Namjoon is,” Yoongi interrupts, teasing with a roll of his eyes, “trained in Demonology.”

 

Namjoon folds his arms, face the least approving Hoseok has seen it since he’s walked in, “ Anyway, like I was saying, you set off a fire demon trap. Since they’re useless unless activated, they pretty much rely on traps and poor unsuspecting victims. The fire demon chose you to target - shit luck, by the way. It immediately forced its way inside your body and, in order to fully possess you, had to kill you. It’s why you were burning, fire demons destroy the inside of their victim’s body so they can grow their own organs! So fascinating!”

 

“Amazing,” Hoseok can’t help but sarcastically tune in, tone as dry as rock. It makes Yoongi grin at him, showing Hoseok the hint of a gummy smile.

 

“Oh, sorry,” Namjoon grins sheepishly, “you probably...didn’t wanna hear all of that. But! Anyway! Well, honestly, fire demons aren’t really all that rare anymore and with how quickly your friends caught on, they probably could have just gone to a normal hospital with a demon ward.  Alas, they didn’t - they went one better. In a stroke of good luck, for once, Taehyung turns out to know Seokjin who’s my good friend - he lives here as well, he copied us but if you ask him, he’ll insist the opposite -”

 

“So,” Yoongi takes over, cutting off Namjoon who even Hoseok can tell is about to go off topic, “Taehyung phones Seokjin because he knows Seokjin knows me - seriously, do you know how hard it is trying to avoid being in group selfies when you have ears like these?” Yoongi huffs, pouting, before he continues, “Joon and I have a healing business - it’s just small but we advertise online and stuff and we do a fucking good job so it’s not weird for Taehyung to assume we’d know what to do.”

 

Namjoon takes over again, “After one call to Seokjin, who then calls me where I, of course, agree to help -”

 

“Obviously,” Yoongi cuts in, smirking at Hoseok.

 

“Obviously,” Hoseok agrees, grinning back at him.

 

“Obviously,” Namjoon deadpans, eyes rolling, arms still crossed, “ anyway, they tell your parents and all that jazz, then they get your unconscious ass onto a plane and, poof, you’re all in Canada where we picked you up from the airport and -”

 

“Wait,” Namjoon groans as Hoseok can’t help but cut him off again, “Taehyung and Jimin are here ? Where are they? Oh my God, what the fuck ? How the fuck am I meant to pay all these things back, I’m a fucking dance teacher! I teach angsty teens and middle-aged women to dance!”

 

Namjoon chokes on his laughter while Yoongi’s eyebrows raise as he says, “You’re a dancer?” Both Hoseok and Namjoon stare, unblinking, in disbelief at Yoongi.

 

“That’s literally the least important part of that sentence,” Hoseok scoffs at the same time Namjoon says, “Yoongi, you thirsty bitch.” Yoongi flushes, a bright red appearing on his cheeks, while his lynx ears flicker back and forth uncomfortably.

 

“They’re with Seokjin,” Namjoon says quickly, taking the attention off Yoongi with a soft smile, “Taehyung and Jimin, I mean. When I visit tomorrow, I’ll bring them with me, don’t worry. Don’t worry about payments either, focus on getting better. It’s gonna be a bitch to kill the fire demon rather than just make it rest but it’s safer this way. The last thing anyone wants is for you to go home and then, in a year or two, it wakes back up and tries to kill you again but ten times stronger.”

 

Hoseok nods slowly before frowning slightly, “You don’t live here?”

 

Yoongi snorts, “God, no. He lives in the town, a short drive away. It’s only me who lives here,” the red flush on Yoongi’s cheeks fades as he talks about his cabin, his voice shining subtly with pride.

 

“Only little old Yoongi out here in the snowy wilderness,” Namjoon teases, ruffling Yoongi’s hair, causing a little, animalistic growl to come from Yoongi. Hoseok squeaks, covering his mouth - it’s not because it’s scared, if anything, it’s worse than being scared: Yoongi is just so cute . His messy hair just adds to the heart warming sight and Hoseok is melting in a very different way than he was at the start of the day.

 

Hoseok tries to bite his tongue from explaining but when he realises Yoongi looks embarrassed and Namjoon looks disappointed, he lets it out, “You’re so cute ! Sorry, sorry, you’re just, ugh, that was so cute. Like, can you just make lynx noises whenever you want? That’s so cute, honestly.”

 

Namjoon’s instant reaction is to chuck his head back and laugh, a full belly laugh that fills the entire room as well as the entire cabin while Hoseok realises just how over the top he went and covers his face with his hands, face now warm against his freezing hands. Yoongi is frozen where he stands, the red coming back to his face in full force, until he almost runs out of the bedroom, disappearing from sight.

 

“C’mon, I’ll give you the tour then,” Namjoon chokes out through his laughter, rushing over when Hoseok tries to stand but his legs are weak. He grabs Hoseok by his arms, helping him upright, “You good?” Hoseok nods but his legs don’t agree, forcing him to trip as he tries to take a step forward. “Hoseok, just hold onto my arm,” Namjoon’s voice is so soft that Hoseok almost feels more embarrassed as he hooks his hand onto the inside of Namjoon’s elbow, allowing him to lean onto him.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

Namjoon guides Hoseok from the bedroom into the main room of the cabin, a cosy room with a stone fireplace and a small brown couch facing the television that hangs above said fireplace. Namjoon helps Hoseok to sit onto the couch, grinning at how Hoseok sinks onto it as he clutches onto one of the fluffy cushions that litter the entire couch.

 

The cabin is small like Hoseok had guessed - the small room he’d woken up in having given it away. Hoseok guesses that the lounge is maybe double the size of that bedroom. He figures that makes Yoongi feel less lonely being out here alone. If he really counts as being alone since apparently he has Canadian lynxes coming in and out as they want. Hoseok can’t imagine more than one lynx in the sitting room, unless they decide to sit on top of the coffee table. Which - yeah, wouldn’t surprise Hoseok.

 

Realising he can’t see Namjoon or Yoongi, Hoseok looks around but sees no-one or anywhere they could be - there’s only the door to the bedroom and an open door which shows a bathroom. At least, until Hoseok looks up and realises that there’s an upstairs he can see from the couch. His tired mind hadn’t been able to recognise the wooden stairs against the identical wood of the lodge walls when he scanned around but he makes a noise of understanding as it all makes sense.

 

Leaning back, Hoseok can see Yoongi and Namjoon standing in the main upstairs room - a small kitchen with a dining table and along the balcony of the upstairs, Hoseok can see a shut door. Yoongi’s main bedroom maybe?

 

Namjoon and Yoongi are talking so quietly that even though the cabin is so small, Hoseok can’t hear a word which makes him oddly self conscious. Namjoon laughs loudly from above and Yoongi’s groan is just as loud.

 

“You okay?” Hoseok calls up, stretching his neck to try and see them as best he can without having to actually stand.

 

“Fine! Sorry, just, uh,” Yoongi croaks, running a hand down his face, “I was gonna get you some food. Namjoon bought some on his way round.”

 

“That’s actually why I’m even here right now,” Namjoon steps forward until he’s leaning on the upstairs balcony, grinning at Hoseok, “Yoongi’s bad at taking care of himself. Probably even worse at taking care of other people if it requires anything other than magic.”

 

Yoongi pouts, moving further into the kitchen, making clattering noises as he hunts through his cupboards.

 

Namjoon continues to ask Hoseok questions from upstairs, questions about his family, his life, his job, his friends and Hoseok answers as best he can in his tired state, happy to talk about the things he cares about most.

 

Yoongi appears again, holding two plates of toasted sandwiches, “Hey, uh, you like cheese, right?”

 

Hoseok laughs, nodding, “Yeah but I’m so hungry, I’d eat it if I hated it at this point.” Yoongi breathes a visible sigh of relief and focuses on getting down the stairs while not dropping crumbs or the entirety of their food in general.


“There’s a minibar in the corner behind you Hoseok,” Namjoon points out helpfully as he follows behind Yoongi but where Yoongi sits down on the couch next to Hoseok, bringing the little table closer towards them so they can eat, Namjoon moves to the coat rack next to the front door, grabbing his large, bright padded coat. Belatedly, Hoseok realises that it’s a lot warmer in this room, even when he’s not clinging to a fluffy cushion for dear life.

 

After zipping up his coat, Namjoon bends down behind the sofa, picking up blankets that must have fallen down so that he can wrap one around Yoongi’s shoulders and then one around Hoseok’s shoulders.

 

Hoseok tries to murmur his thanks through his mouthful of food but, honestly, he’s struggling to keep his eyes open even as he chews.

 

“See you tomorrow, Hoseok, Yoongs,” Namjoon ruffles both of their hair before the next thing Hoseok hears is the door shutting and the sound of a car revving and driving away.

 

“Hey, Hoseok,” Yoongi pokes Hoseok’s arm, forcing him awake from how Hoseok was nodding off, head just about to swing forward in full fledged sleep, “finish your food first.”

 

“‘M tryin’,” Hoseok whines, furrowing more into the blanket that’s so soft on his skin, arms clutching harder around the cushion he’s still cuddling. Hoseok expects Yoongi to wake him up again, expects him to tell him to actually sleep on a real bed, but instead, all he feels is Yoongi gently take the plate off of Hoseok’s lap along with a soft pat onto his head as Hoseok drifts back into sleep.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

Hoseok wakes up with a confused start and, more annoyingly, a sore neck from how he slept on the couch all night. As he stares at his surrounding, eyes still slightly blurry from sleep, he remembers all that happened yesterday.

 

Holy fuck, what a day.

 

He yawns and can’t help the satisfied high pitched noise that leaves his throat as he stretches his arms far above his head. Hoseok cringes at the sound of his bones cracking but cringes more at the way the blanket falls from around his shoulders, his long-sleeved top not doing a lot against the icy morning cold.

 

“Hey, you up?” Yoongi’s voice comes from above and a quick look up reveals him stepping out of the only other room on the second floor that’s not the kitchen, “This is, uh, my work room.” Hoseok realises belatedly - honestly, the first thing his brain had noticed was the fact that Yoongi’s wearing another illegally large sweatshirt, skimming his knees and hiding his hands - that Yoongi’s holding a water bottle but, instead of water, it’s a bright blue liquid, like a disgusting energy drink that Hoseok will admit he’s downed a few times before dance.

 

Yoongi makes his way down the wooden stairs, socked feet padding gently against the floor, checking the lid is on tightly. “Sorry,” his deep voice apologetic, “I’d offer you breakfast but you can’t eat before you have this.”

 

Hoseok takes the bottle from Yoongi with a wary glance but as he recognises the feeling of a warmth in his chest, he opens the lid as quickly as he can. Yoongi nods approvingly, smirking when Hoseok gags at the taste on his first sip. Once he realises Hoseok is determined to drink the whole thing, disgusting taste aside, he busies himself by turning on the television for the first time since Hoseok arrived.

 

“Oh, by the way,” Yoongi’s voice almost makes Hoseok jump and choke on the repulsive blue, “your suitcase is, uh, in my work room upstairs. The cats aren’t allowed in there and they’re too nosy to have left it alone if it was anywhere else.”

 

Hoseok allows himself a break from his magical medicine, grimacing at how cold it feels in his stomach and throat, to ask a question he almost immediately regrets, “Do you know who packed it?”

 

For a few seconds, the only reply he gets it the newsreader on the television before Yoongi responds with, “The, uh, tall one. Taehyung?”

 

“Fuck,” Hoseok groans, accepting the fact that all his most unique clothes from his wardrobe are definitely gonna be all he has to wear. Combined with the fact Taehyung never even feels the cold and forgets that other people do, he’s most definitely fucked.

 

“I’m literally gonna die of frostbite while looking ugly,” Hoseok laments, mourning all his thick sweatshirts that are almost certainly still in his own house. Yoongi doesn’t even disagree or laugh, just hums noncommittally.

 

“You can borrow stuff if you need to,” Yoongi finally says, looking away from Hoseok, like he isn’t offering to share his personal clothes with someone he barely knows. It makes Hoseok smile, the way he’s trying to seem like he isn’t being incredibly kind. “But, uh,” Yoongi continues, now pretending to watch the news even as Hoseok can see the way he isn’t focusing at all, “I hope you don’t mind a bit of cat fur. I wash them, obviously, but, ah, with my ears and the lynxes, it’s...kind of impossible.”

 

Fuck, that’s so cute , Hoseok has to physically hold himself back from saying something that would embarrass both himself and Yoongi. Instead, he shakes his head, says he doesn’t mind, that he’s thankful anyway. Yoongi doesn’t respond this time, just pretends to watch the television while Hoseok forces the rest of his drink down.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

True to his word, after Yoongi’s helped Hoseok up the stairs and told Hoseok to help himself to whatever he wants in the lodge’s small kitchen, he disappears back downstairs just to reappear halfway through Hoseok’s breakfast carrying a large bundle of sweaters. So many, in fact, that Hoseok’s not sure how Yoongi not only managed to survive getting up the stairs but also making his way up silently.

 

“Holy shit,” Hoseok raises his eyebrows, putting down his spoon to stare at the ridiculous pile, “are you sure? That looks like your whole wardrobe!”

 

Yoongi fidgets where he stands, face barely visible over his collection, “Yeah, uh, I might need to take some of these back. Ah, I got a bit too enthusiastic.” He’s looking away from Hoseok again, staring determinedly at a kitchen cupboard like that would hide the pretty pink blush kissing his cheeks.

 

Hoseok grins, bright and beaming, replying easily with, “We can share. There’s enough for the both of us, right?”

 

Yoongi’s gaze swivels finally to Hoseok, the upstairs window allowing the white light of the sky to make his amber eyes shimmer otherworldly. He says nothing but nods, making his way back down the stairs slowly.

 

Yoongi’s entering the bedroom, having to push it open with his shoulder, as Hoseok watches from the kitchen when it dawns on Hoseok with a jolt. That’s Yoongi’s bedroom - he didn’t wake up in a spare bedroom, that’s Yoongi’s bedroom . The question of where the fuck is Hoseok going to sleep is crawling into his brain but he’s distracted by the pure kindness of Yoongi. Not only did he agree to help a complete stranger, he’s let the Hoseok the stranger into his home, fed him, has been healing him, clothed him, been nothing but kind to him, let him sleep on Yoongi’s own bed.

 

Hoseok can’t decide if Yoongi’s an angel or naïve with his easy trusting and acceptance but - there’s something that tells Hoseok that Yoongi really is just...kind, even if he seems the type to never admit it. Hoseok can’t help but muse that...isn’t that just the way cats are? Even if Yoongi is, in every single way, a person, he was chosen to be Merged with a Canadian lynx for a reason. Pretending not to care while acting like they don’t want affection or attention while still caring the entire time? That’s absolutely the best way to describe cats and, from the looks of it, how to most accurately describe Yoongi.

 

The thought makes Hoseok smile.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

There’s a loud bang of the front door slamming against the wall which has Hoseok shrieking in fright from his position on the couch, now cuddled up in one of Yoongi’s massive woollen sweaters. Yoongi groans loudly from where he’s holed up in his work room, door kept slightly open so that Hoseok could keep updating him on the Catfish episode that was on TV. It was comfy and oddly domestic - or, at least, it was until the freezing cold was being unhelpfully let in by now the wide open door.

 

Namjoon comes bundling in, two familiar faces popping out behind him and one brand new person Hoseok hasn’t seen before but can only assume is Seokjin.

 

“Hoseokie!” Jimin gasps, attempting to run over to him while trying to take his shoes and massive Winter coat off. Hoseok looks at Jimin’s and Taehyung’s massive padded coats with bitterness. They packed for themselves properly so why was there not a single coat in Hoseok’s suitcase?

 

Despite that, Hoseok greets his friends with a smile, helping them out of their coats before they end up flat on their faces.

 

Yoongi’s making his way down the stairs as he sighs, “Namjoon. You know the front door is only unlocked for the cats. You’re meant to knock.”

 

Namjoon grins, unapologetic, and just shrugs, “It’s been years, Yoongi, don’t pretend there’s rules now.”

 

Jimin and Taehyung cuddle into Hoseok’s sides immediately, wrapping the furry blanket he’d been swaddled in to cover all three of them. Hoseok would be surprised at how quickly they’ve made the lodge their own but considering how Yoongi doesn’t even blink at their behaviour, they’d clearly made a fast friendship with Yoongi at the airport.

 

“You lock it at night, though, right?” The new man says - confirmed to be Seokjin by Taehyung whispering in Hoseok’s ear - frowning, as he finally turns to shut the door behind him just to be stopped by a Canadian lynx trekking in through the snow. It doesn’t even stop to acknowledge any of them, instead, it sits in front of the unlit fireplace with a very feline look of confusion.

 

Seokjin proves to be used to it, simply shutting the door behind the massive cat and shaking his head at the snow it’s trekked in. Namjoon easily makes his way upstairs, yelling that he’s going to make them hot chocolate, just for Seokjin to insist that he’s too messy to make them by himself. However, for Hoseok, Jimin, and Taehyung, they can’t help but stare at the creature in front of them, large and exuding nothing but power.

 

Yoongi walks over and pokes the cat in the head, “No fire, ‘s not allowed,” to which he gets a low rumble of a growl as a response.

 

“Is this Eun?” Hoseok asks, the name coming to him in a flash. He gets a withering look thrown in his direction from the lynx - an expression he hadn’t even realised cats could make.

 

Despite the cat’s dissatisfaction, Yoongi looks pleased that he remembered a name, even as he says, “Nah, this is Danbi. You can tell the difference because Eun is a lot more silver where Danbi’s fur is a bit browner, see? She’s slightly smaller too. Don’t worry, they’re easy to get mixed up.”

 

“Hi Danbi,” Taehyung speaks before Hoseok can, leaning down so he can hold an outstretched hand towards her, trying to convince her to smell him and trust him. There’s a strangely tense second where Danbi just stares at Taehyung’s hand before she slowly leans in closer, edging round the corner of the low coffee table, sniffing at his hand. Clearly, she decides he’s safe as she rubs her cheek just once against his hand before settling back in front of the fireplace, resting her head on her massive paws.

 

“Do all of them have paws bigger than my hands?” Jimin’s eyes are wide, staring in disbelief as Taehyung and Hoseok giggle.

 

“Jiminie, normal cats have bigger paws than your hands,” Hoseok teases, unsurprised when Jimin pushes at his side grumpily. In an attempt to win Jimin’s love back and to make room for Yoongi on the couch, Taehyung suddenly leans over to drag Jimin onto his lap. Hoseok groans and whines as Jimin just climbs all over him to settle himself onto Taehyung’s large lap, rearranging the blanket so it covers them all again. Yoongi snorts as he watches but he takes the hint and sits down next to Hoseok, saying nothing when Hoseok pulls the long blanket to cover him as well.

 

Namjoon and Seokjin finally return, chattering as they make their way down, each holding cups of hot chocolate, one for all of them. They settle onto the floor once the mugs are divided out, Namjoon’s feet stretched out next to Danbi’s head. She spares him a quick unimpressed glance but is considerably unbothered.

 

When Yoongi, Namjoon, and Seokjin fall into an easy conversation, Jimin speaks quietly to Hoseok, “We thought you were gonna die.”

 

Hoseok looks at them both in shock, fear striking him like a lash.

 

Taehyung sighs, burrowing his face into Jimin’s black hair until all he is is just a flash of his own red hair, fashionable orange tiger ears poking out just barely.

 

“I’m sorry,” Hoseok whispers tenderly.

 

Jimin pouts at him in return, rolling his eyes, “Don’t apologise for getting attacked by a fucking demon. We were just so worried. We really thought we were gonna lose you.” It hurts so much more than Hoseok could have ever imagined to see the way that tears shine in Jimin’s eyes as he adamantly refuses to let them fall.

 

Hoseok can feel his own eyes water in return as Jimin’s small warm hand grasps at his, interlocking their fingers. Jimin squeezes Hoseok’s hand hard but says nothing more.

 

There’s a sudden warmth on Hoseok’s shoulder and along his side and it’s from the corner of his eye that Hoseok realises Yoongi is subtly leaning against him in a silent form of comfort. There’s a moment of worry when Hoseok thinks everyone might have heard but Jin and Namjoon seem oblivious, playfully bickering with each other. Yoongi joins in their conversation easily but now Hoseok is paying attention, he watches as Yoongi’s ear twitches to the side when Taehyung sniffles almost imperceptibly that he thinks just how Yoongi had no choice in eavesdropping.

 

Hoseok, in turn, subtly leans back against Yoongi’s side, accepting and returning his comfort. Quietly, so quietly, Yoongi begins to purr, close mouthed, but it rumbles through his whole body, sending almost impossible to feel vibrations through Hoseok’s body.

 

The comforting warmth flooding Hoseok’s body is so entirely, completely different to the searing heart from the fire demon that Hoseok has to blink rapidly to extinguish the new tears that flood his eyes. Yoongi just leans slightly more against him and Jimin’s hand in his squeezes tighter.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

Eun comes creeping in when they’re eating dinner, making her presence known downstairs with a strange meowing sound that’s closer to a bark than the noise of a domestic cat. She makes them all jump in their various states of eating.

 

“I fucking knew Eun wouldn’t slam the door open!” Yoongi glares accusingly at Namjoon, waving his fork threateningly in his direction, “I thought she was just having a mood swing! Stop blaming my cats!” The others chortle and snicker as Namjoon rushes to his own defence, trying to pull excuses out of thin air to cover his own ass.

 

Eun makes her way up the stairs, her paws barely fitting onto each wooden step. She sits at the end of the dinner table - not big enough for six people so they’re admittedly all considerably squashed together, even if Jimin’s taken his favourite seat on Taehyung’s lap - her big head staring over the top at them.

 

“Does she want food?” Hoseok side-eyes her warily, ready to protect his food with his bare hands if need be.

 

Surprisingly, Yoongi frowns, “She shouldn’t. They pretty much just eat the stuff they catch themselves and nothing else.”

 

“Eun is getting pretty old, though,” Namjoon shrugs, “maybe she just can’t be bothered.”  Taehyung gently throws a piece of chicken towards her and Eun eats it easily, head tilted like she’s asking for more.

 

“Maybe that’s why she’s getting fat,” Jimin pops up with, staring at Eun’s stomach.

 

“Right no,” Yoongi protests over the sound of the others laughing, “she is not fat! Take that back right now.”

 

Seokjin hums thoughtfully, narrowing his eyes, “She does look a bit fat.”

 

It’s hard to tell since Eun’s still in a sitting position so Yoongi, determined as ever, stands up to convince her to lie down so he can check.

 

It’s undeniable that Eun has a far rounder tummy compared to Danbi.

 

“Is she pregnant?” Hoseok wonders aloud, thinking about his childhood when his pet dog had puppies, Eun’s stomach looking similar to how his good old Lucky had looked.

 

“Holy shit,” Yoongi sighs out, “Eun. You’re too old for kittens! You’re fifteen! Fuck, she’s already old for a wild lynx, how is she meant to have kids?” Yoongi looks genuinely flustered, his hands running all over Eun’s stomach.


“She might not be!” Hoseok’s quick to input, “She literally might just be fat, Yoongi, don’t stress about it now.”

 

Yoongi sighs, running his sweater pawed hand over his face before he sits back down, eyes still glued to Eun’s belly.

 

“Seriously,” Seokjin scratches behind Yoongi’s ears, ignoring the grumpy look he gets in return, “don’t start worrying about something that you don’t need to.” Eun herself makes a strange little throaty noise, as if trying to agree. It clearly works because Yoongi focuses his full attention back to his food, making Hoseok smile fondly at how his cheeks puff out like a chipmunk. Hoseok tries to be subtle, really, he does, but Jimin must notice anyway and digs a pointy elbow into Hoseok’s side accompanied with a knowing raise of his eyebrows. Hoseok ignores him.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

                                                                                                                                                                                      

Yoongi flops down onto the couch with a large sigh, his home back to being just the two of them. Hoseok huffs out a laugh from where he’s zooming around, tidying up after everyone.

 

“Not used to so many people in here at once?” Hoseok questions, grinning at the groan he gets in response, “I’ll take that as a no then.”

 

“Seokjin and Namjoon I’m used to,” Yoongi shuts his eyes, “and I have a delivery boy, Jeongguk, he brings the ingredients I order round. He’s a good kid, I like him, so I’m used to him coming in to have a rest and chat and, uh, that shit. He should actually be coming by in a few days, you can meet him then, I guess.”

 

Hoseok hums in response, nodding. He holds back a yawn, not wanting to ask the next question that’s bubbling up - where is Hoseok going to sleep? He figures he’s going to take the couch? It’s not super long but he is the one intruding after all. Maybe it pulls out into a sofa bed or something as equally as handy at that.

 

Clearly, Hoseok doesn’t do as good of a job at hiding his yawn as he thought because Yoongi speaks again, “I was thinking, uh, we could share my bed? Not at the same time! I have the bed one night, you have the couch, and then the next night we swap?”

 

“Woah, no! It’s your bed, I can have the couch the whole time, seriously,” Hoseok insists, doing his best to sound as serious as possible.

 

“It’s my house, my rules,” Yoongi crosses his arms, eyes still shut, “I say we take it in turns. You have to do what I say, y’know? You’re my guest.”

 

“I - Okay, if you’re sure,” Hoseok sighs, giving in. He’d normally argue more but, honestly, the thought of sleeping in a proper bed after a night where he slept sitting up sounds like Heaven. Arguably, it’s all his fault because he could have easily just lied down properly but there’s not much he can do about it now.

 

“Seriously, ‘m sure,” Yoongi curls himself up into a ball on the couch already, not bothering to take his clothes off, “you can have the bed tonight.”

 

Hoseok stares in disbelief as Yoongi’s breathing visibly slows as he starts to drift into sleep, hands tucked between his legs.

 

Hoseok picks up one of the fluffy blankets that he’s learnt that Yoongi keeps folded behind the couch on the floor so he can just walk past and grab one whenever he wants, shaking out the big grey one he’s picked up so he can gently lay it over the curled figure on the couch.

 

Yoongi looks small having unconsciously snuggled into the blanket, leaving only the top of his head visible. The silver of his hair blends in slightly with the light grey of the blanket, making him almost impossible to see. Hoseok stares for a second before having to shake himself out of it, realising he was probably being way too creepy if he was to just stand there and watch Yoongi sleep.

 

Hoseok is not a teenager with a crush. Really, he isn't. He’s a mature, grown-up adult who is always in control. Seriously, he is - especially since mature, grown-up adults giggle quietly to themselves about sleeping in someone they admire ’s bed, blushing at how it smells of them, heart beating at double the time, and resisting the urge to roll around mindlessly just because why not ?

 

Perfectly normal, mature behaviour from someone who only has easy, platonic feelings for the person they’re staying with. Of course.

 

“Oh, shit ,” Hoseok moans, face down into Yoongi’s pillow, “I’m so fucked .”



The days after prove themselves to be just as easy as the ones before; Taehyung and Jimin visit, sometimes bringing Seokjin with them but always accompanied with Namjoon, Hoseok drinks the disgusting liquid Yoongi hands him every morning, expecting the taste to get better just for it to get worse  - “Yoongi, seriously, is this just a really roundabout way to try and kill me?” “Shut up, I’m just testing .” - and they switch sleeping places every night which ensure Hoseok has a mini freakout every single time he gets to sleep in Yoongi’s bed.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

There’s a small change in their new routine, built of bundling up in sweaters and blankets while watching trashy TV shows surrounded by normally at least one lynx, when there’s a knock at the door. Considering the others know it’s always open, Hoseok shoots a concerned glance at Yoongi. Yoongi, in turn, barely blinks from his position curled into the corner of the couch, just shouting out a “Come in!”

 

The front door swings open gently to reveal a tall boy, black hair falling into his big eyes, but it’s the massive carrier bags he’s holding that help Hoseok to pinpoint him as Jeongguk.

 

“Hey,” Jeongguk’s voice is a lot quieter than Hoseok had imagined and it feels him with a weird paternal instinct almost immediately, “there are no replacements this time. I’ll go put them upstairs.”

 

“Here, I’ll take one,” Hoseok jumps up, outstretching a hand to Jeongguk. Jeongguk is hesitant, eyes darting up and down Hoseok then to Yoongi and back to Hoseok.

 

“This is Hoseok,” Yoongi supplies, “let him take one, he’ll survive.”

 

Yoongi’s words are like a magic spell and Jeongguk comes to life, giving Hoseok a little smile and one of the bags. It’s a lot heavier than Hoseok expected and he takes a moment to compliment Jeongguk aloud on his strength. To Hoseok’s delight, Jeongguk blushes slightly, mumbling under his breath that he tries. It’s adorable .

 

Hoseok finds himself chattering away at Jeongguk more than with Jeongguk as they climb up the stairs, Hoseok following behind and following his lead in general. Yoongi’s workroom is the one room Hoseok still hasn’t stepped inside and he can’t lie, he hopes now is finally the time he gets to actually see what’s inside.

 

Luck is on his side (for what might be the first time ever).

 

Yoongi keeps the door locked when he’s not in there but with the key still in the door - cats haven’t figured out how to unlock doors yet and humanity itself can only hope they never do. Jeongguk doesn’t hesitate to twist the key, triggering that satisfying clicking noise. With a gentle push, Hoseok finally gets to see the inside.

 

It’s - well, to be honest, it’s anticlimactic. It’s a wooden desk and shelves filled with plants upon plants and little sealed containers brimming with things Hoseok can’t identify. There’s a blender and bowls - a rather ridiculous amount of kitchen utensils, if Hoseok’s honest. Yoongi’s laptop is balancing on the edge of the desk in a way that Hoseok cannot deal with so he immediately goes to push it to safety.

 

“It’s okay,” Jeongguk speaks suddenly, placing his bag gently down against the wall, “he has it charmed to never fall.”

 

“Oh,” Hoseok stops, dropping his hand back to his side. He turns back to put his bag next to Jeongguk’s, figuring they don’t do anything more than this. “Why doesn’t he just keep it not halfway off the desk?”

 

Jeongguk just laughs under his breath, already on his way back down the stairs. Hoseok takes another second to look around him, heart soft at the polaroids hanging on the wall of Namjoon, Seokjin, people who Hoseok can only assume are Yoongi’s family, and the almost insane amount of photos of the lynxes. Hoseok can’t deny his pride when he’s able to recognise Eun, even if the others are a mystery to him still. He wonders how long he has to learn all of their names and it’s - it’s a bitter taste in his throat to remember the fact this is all temporary, that Yoongi’s presence in his life is temporary.

 

“Hoseok? Are you dead?” Yoongi shouts up and all Hoseok can do in response is throw his head back and laugh.

 

“Yeah,” Hoseok finally leaves, shutting the door behind him, “I’m a ghost now, is that okay?” He over-exaggerates the wink he throws to Jeongguk whose eyes widen in response before giggling quietly.

 

“Shut up, if you were a ghost you’d be terrified of yourself,” Yoongi snorts, one eyebrow perfectly raised.

 

“Are you serious?” Hoseok scoffs, making his way down the stairs, “If I was a ghost, you’d literally be shitting yourself just as much.”

 

“Yoongi’s a baby, right?” Jeongguk pipes up, sending a wink back at Hoseok that has them both cackling. This is something Hoseok can agree with, having seen Yoongi’s vehement disagreement with horror films - even though Hoseok knows full well he has no place to judge Yoongi for that -  and having to be witness to the pout, which - he’s doing right now.

 

“I’m not a baby,” Yoongi huffs, lips pursed together like a grumpy toddler, eyebrows furrowed dramatically, making Jeongguk and Hoseok laugh louder, teasing him even more.

 

“Jeongguk, go away now, you’re just encouraging bullying,” Yoongi’s pout deepens as he pretends to be angry, even as he knows he’s fooling no-one.

 

“Sure, sure, I actually do need to go now, though, I have more deliveries for once,” Jeongguk sighs, “I’ll see you soon. It was, uh, nice meeting you, Hoseok.”

 

Hoseok smiles, walking Jeongguk to the front door, fully aware that he doesn’t need to but content to do it anyway - the attention makes Jeongguk blush slightly and, honestly, whether Jeongguk is just shy or not, it’s doing wonders for Hoseok’s already steady self esteem.

 

“Get back safe, okay?” Yoongi calls over to Jeongguk, face and tone back to being serious, “Let me know when you get home.”

 

“Always do,” is the last thing Jeongguk shouts back as he makes his way home, waving goodbye to both Hoseok and Yoongi.

 

Yoongi sighs, beginning to grumble that, “Honestly, that boy is the worst texter in the world. Every single time I see him, I tell him to let me know he’s safe and every single time it takes me texting first to find out because he’s distracted doing God knows what.”

 

Hoseok’s smile is considerably softer than his teasing grin from before, flopping himself down onto the couch and snuggling into a blanket, “you’re such a dad , Yoongi, you know that?”

 

Yoongi easily flips him off, refusing to comment even as he moves his feet so that Hoseok can get more comfortable easier.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“I’m going fucking insane,” is the first thing Hoseok pounces onto Yoongi with, voice close to that of a petulant whine, mouth pouting and tone grumpy, “please let me go outside.”

 

Yoongi yawns, eyebrows raised, “Off you go then.”

 

Hoseok stops, mouth hanging dumbly open as he was ready to accuse Yoongi of keeping him captive. “I’m allowed to just...go?”

 

“Do you actually think I’ve kidnapped you?” Yoongi asks incredulously, “You can literally do whatever you want. Maybe leave your phone inside, though - if it gets too cold, it might stop working.”

 

Hoseok isn’t really sure what he expected, to be honest, he’s been at Yoongi’s for just over a week and he hasn’t left the lodge once . He’d just assumed he wasn’t allowed - maybe it would mess with Yoongi’s potion or something? Or maybe it was overstepping the mark? He hadn’t really thought of why - he just didn’t. He does heed Yoongi’s advice anyway, choosing to leave his beloved phone safe on a wooden table.

 

“Make sure you wrap up warm,” Yoongi mumbles, distracted by the book he’s clutching with both hands, “not too warm but, I swear, if you get frostbite, I’ll kill you myself.”

 

“I don’t think you realise how actually unhelpful that is,” Hoseok sighs, debating which coat to put on, “Is it safe for me to walk around? Where do I go? Can you give me a rough time limit? What do I do if I get lost? Oh my God, are there bears ?”

 

Hoseok ,” Yoongi drops his book with a huff, folding the corner of the page he’s on, “I’ll just come with you if you’re gonna make it so difficult.”

 

That makes Hoseok pause as he’s readjusting the beanie over his hair, head turning to watch Yoongi sulkily chucking his ridiculously large padded coat on. Hoseok grins slightly to himself - he can’t believe he’s gone this long without exploring his Canadian surroundings.

 

“Are you ready?” Yoongi’s waiting by the front door, the big scarf he’s chucked on covering not only his neck, but also his mouth and nose too.

 

“Let’s go,” Hoseok beams, immediately following Yoongi out through the just opened front door.

 

It’s white - that’s the first thing Hoseok notices - the first thing Hoseok has to notice, there’s no choice given. There’s thick snow covering every centimeter of the ground, the shocking white almost painful to the eyes. The sky is just as white, small specks of snow darting down, adding to the white rug smothering the ground. Turning around, Hoseok sees a line of grey instead - a road, stopping a few metres away, gritted and cleared for cars.

 

“The road technically comes almost right up to the door but,” Yoongi shrugs, “I’ve been too distracted to clear the snow. I’m kinda surprised Namjoon hasn’t bitched at me about it yet.” Yoongi walks in the opposite direction of the road, into the vast white in front of the mass of trees. Hoseok takes a few steps to follow him - Yoongi walks surprisingly fast - but there’s something too satisfying in the stomping on previously untouched snow that has Hoseok distracted, not bothered with keeping up to the acclimated Yoongi.

 

Hoseok can’t resist jumping across the snow, spinning his arms around him, bathing in the feeling of snowflakes on his skin. The bad mood that had crept into his bones dissipates with every cold breath of air pecking at him. Hoseok leans down, knees creaking slightly as he bends, pressing his glove hidden hands into the snow, flexing his fingers to make the snow crunch and crumble beneath his fingertips.

 

“I thought you wanted a walk?” Yoongi’s loud call from quite a few metres away makes Hoseok jump, almost causing him to land ass first into the snow, legs flailing out beneath him - if life was kind, maybe Yoongi wouldn’t have seen him but, as luck would have it, Yoongi absolutely saw him as proven by his loud cackling and chortling echoing out over the icy wind.

 

So maybe Hoseok is a little childish or maybe he has just gone a little bit stir crazy from being inside the lodge all day everyday but his immediate reaction is to dart forward the best he can, valiantly trudging through the thick ice until he’s close enough to know he won’t miss. Yoongi catches on a second too late, still sniggering under his scarf, before a lump of snow hits him directly in the stomach - luckily, there’s no way for it to hurt through his layers but it’s enough for it to be Yoongi who jumps at the sudden smack of cold, letting out a loud whine and over dramatic gasp.

 

“Oh, you’re fucking on,” said Yoongi, the grown adult man, as he grabs as much snow in his hands as possible to launch it as Hoseok, the other fully grown adult, begins shrieking and screeching in a tone so high pitched Yoongi winces as he blindly chucks his snow weapons forward. It’s a full on snow war within seconds, the pair chucking snow left, right and centre, admittedly missing more than they hit each other but there’s no denying the pure volume of squawking from them both when enemy snow makes contact.

 

“Truce! Truce, I give up,” Yoongi’s wheezing, hands on his knees as he tries to catch his breath, tall ears flicking slightly as snowflakes land on them, “I think I’m dying.” Hoseok thanks his lucky stars - and his dancing - that he’s in better condition, out of breath but nowhere near as bad as his new friend.

 

“If you die,” Hoseok chirps cheerfully, “then in turn, I’ll end up dying too and then, I swear to God, I will throw snowballs everyday at you in Heaven until I get sent to Hell.”

 

Yoongi snorts with laughter, shaking his head in disbelief, “You might get sent straight to Hell anyway.” He shakes his whole body like a dog shakes of water before he starts to head back to inside, Hoseok grinning the whole way as he falls into step beside him.

“Um, how dare you?” Hoseok brings in his best offended tone, bringing a hand dramatically up to rest over his chest, “I am literally an angel in every way, Heaven is where I belong, I’ll have you know.”

 

Yoongi hums, eyes scrunching up from how he grins, “I don’t know, you could be lying right now and are actually becoming even more of a filthy sinner.” He pushes the door open, gesturing Hoseok to go inside first even as he’s emphasising the word filthy, already starting to unwrap himself from his overwhelming winter protection.

 

Hoseok gratefully goes in first, shaking off his large coat to sigh at the warmth that engulfs him from being inside. Logically, he knows it isn’t actually anywhere near being that warm inside, knows that they can’t let it get to an easy, comfortable temperature but compared to the stark freezing of the snow, it feels like Hoseok’s plopped himself into the inside of a toaster.

 

The reply to Yoongi comes a little while later, Yoongi still tugging his boots off as Hoseok is entering the bedroom to change but after opening the door, Hoseok pauses in the doorway.

 

“I don’t know, Yoongi,” Hoseok suddenly sighs, a small smirk playing on his lips, “maybe I’m just a filthy angel, instead.” He slips inside the bedroom, shutting the door behind him, not only hoping he doesn’t sound as stupid as he thinks he might have, but also hoping that Yoongi doesn’t immediately kick him out of his house for chucking in a little flirtatious teasing.

 

(Unsurprisingly, Yoongi doesn’t kick him out. What Yoongi actually does is splutter as he watches Hoseok coolly shut Yoongi’s bedroom door behind him, red burning visible on his cheeks as his ears heat up and not just from the temperature inside the cabin.)

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

Hoseok’s found that he sleeps well on the couch - even if he does sleep better in Yoongi’s bed - he normally wakes up in the morning feeling pretty refreshed and cosy. He enjoys the couch, he really does.

 

He just can’t say he’s enjoying his current sleep on the couch - he had been, a few hours ago when he’d just snuggled himself down, head tucked into the corner of the couch, body  wrapped in cosy blankets - since there’s a strange, heavy breathing coming from behind him and it’s undoubtedly sending a chill up his spine.

 

It’s as he’s preparing to turn around to try and see the demon that’s clearly waiting for him in the dark that a loud ripping noise sounds from almost underneath him which, even as he’ll try and deny it later, it has him screeching at an unholy volume.

 

Yoongi’s slamming open his bedroom door at the same time Hoseok’s chucking himself over the side of the couch, landing hard onto the floor, breathing heavily. The sound of tearing increases, a snarling accompanying it as large claws rip through the fabric, shredding it easily.

 

“What the fuck,” is all Yoongi can say as he speeds over to the couch, cursing heavily. Hoseok’s still on the floor so he pulls himself up, running over to stand behind Yoongi - well, he tries to, the lights aren’t on so he ends up tripping over something on the floor almost immediately, sending him slamming back down into the floor.

 

“What the actual fuck are you playing at?” Yoongi’s voice is like nothing Hoseok’s ever heard before, barely contained rage seeping through every word. The tearing stops momentarily for a large growl to sound out, shaking through Hoseok’s bones. As much as it terrifies him, it works as a realisation - it’s one of the cats, one of the lynxes. It - it doesn’t make sense , the door gets locked at night and they almost never stay inside overnight and even if they do, they’ve never, ever acted like this before.

 

The animal starts mutilating the couch again, jumping onto it properly to rip it into shreds. Hoseok can see the figure of Yoongi through the dark chucking himself forward to grab at the cat, all the while the creature is hissing and resisting.

 

It’s the pure fear that Yoongi’s going to get hurt that has Hoseok leaping up off the floor and attempting to help by attempting to grab the animal as well. It’s only afterwards that Hoseok realises that not only does Yoongi know the lynxes best, he’s literally magic and in considerably less danger than Hoseok had assumed.

 

Still, he only realises afterwards.

 

Instead, his actions just make the lynx retaliate, whether it’s from fear or just plain annoyance, the next thing Hoseok recognises is a sharp, bitter pain just above his jawline. His pained sound makes everything and everyone pause, both animal and human.

 

“Oh, fuck, Hoseok,” Yoongi’s breathless, his hands dropping from where he was attempting to drag the cat from the couch, “Eun, what the fuck have you done?” Hoseok feels rather than sees Yoongi wave a hand in the air and then - then he can see because the lights are turned on now and, well, at least he was right about something.

 

Eun, in return, lets out a high pitched whine, retreating until all she can do is turn around and jump off, running and skidding into the direction of the front door.

 

“We’re not fucking done here,” Yoongi hisses after her, the most animalistic Hoseok’s ever heard him, before he turns back to look at Hoseok, his eyes open wide in horror.

 

“Your couch,” Hoseok starts apologetically just for a scoffing Yoongi to cut him off, “Hoseok, seriously, forget my furniture, fuck.” Yoongi’s eyes are glued to where the pain is emanating from so Hoseok slowly lifts a hand up, cringing in pain as he realises just how much it hurts. His hand comes back stained red.

 

“Y-Yoongi?” It’s the last thing Hoseok whimpers out before his eyes shut and he falls into a wave of black.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

How Hoseok wakes up is thankfully the complete opposite to the last time he was awoken, instead, he wakes up slowly and easily, wrapped up warm in a place he can immediately identify as Yoongi’s bed.

 

“Hey, hey,” Yoongi’s suddenly there, voice warm, “don’t roll onto the right side of your face, it’ll hurt. You okay?”

 

“Fucking Hell,” is the unexpected response Yoongi receives. It takes Yoongi a shameful while to realise it’s the only response he’s going to get so he clears his throat, ready to speak again.

 

“I’m so fucking sorry, really, I can’t apologise enough,” from the corner of his eye, Hoseok can see Yoongi’s head bow, “We can set you up at Joon’s place instead or - or even Jeongguk’s. I understand you probably...don’t want to stay here anymore.”

 

Hoseok blinks a few times, noticing there’s no longer pain where there used to be, “Am I scarred?”

 

Yoongi shakes his head, eyes still glued to the ground, “I fixed it. It didn’t go, uh, too deep. Looked a lot worse in the night. Now, it’s just a scratch. I have this stuff to heal it so, ah, no scarring.”

 

“Thanks,” Hoseok - honestly, not even Hoseok can tell how he’s feeling, as much as he’s trying, he just can’t place the feeling in his chest, “Will it happen again?”

 

“Fuck no,” Yoongi’s head yanks up, “I swear to God, I’ve never yelled so much in my life - you were unconscious already but I gave you another thing to keep you under for longer - seriously, nothing like this is ever, ever gonna happen again. I never even - I don’t - fuck, I just don’t understand it. God, I’m so sorry, I feel so bad I can’t even explain it.”

 

Hoseok hums in understanding, quiet but still solid enough to count as an answer. He believes Yoongi, honestly, he does. He’s witnessed first hand how behaved all of the cats are, even for wild animals, they’ve been nothing but ridiculously careful.

 

“Is it your fault?”

 

“What?” Yoongi’s shaky voice is the opposite of Hoseok’s calm tone.

 

“Is it your fault?”

 

“I mean,” Yoongi stammers, “they’re my cats. I let you sleep on the couch without a door to keep them out. I didn’t check if any were inside. I just - I never even imagined this could happen. I’m really sorry, Hoseok.”

 

“Yoongi,” Hoseok sends a silent thanks up to the gods that Yoongi’s on his left so that Hoseok can finally turn his head from where he’s lying on his back to face Yoongi, “did you tell her to do it?”

 

“No! Holy shit, no,” Yoongi plants himself gently down to sit on the side of the bed, body radiating warmth through Hoseok from where they touch, even through the covers, “I would never.”

 

“Then it’s not your fault,” Hoseok smiles, too wide at first that his face aches so he has to dial it down, settling on a gentle smile, “you can’t blame yourself for something you didn’t do and that you didn’t cause. I’m fine, aren’t I?”

 

Yoongi fidgets with his hands, eyes flicking from Hoseok to his hands and back again, “I mean, I guess. So, you’re gonna stay? With me? Here, I mean.”

 

“Yeah. Yeah, if you’ll still have me. Seriously, Yoongi, you can never predict what any animal is going to do even if you are Merged. Is Eun okay?”

 

Yoongi sighs loudly, “I really don’t know. She wouldn’t go near me after I chewed her out like that. She legged it out the door as soon as she could. The couch is fucked to Hell and back though. God, I seriously can’t get my head around this.”  

 

That does bring up a new issue that Hoseok isn’t sure how to solve - not only do they have a lynx going through some form of a cat breakdown, they’re now lacking a place for one of them to sleep.

 

Well, he can think of one solution but it’s almost definitely going to put Hoseok into one of the most heart racing moments of his life.

 

“I guess, uh,” Yoongi scratches at the base of his ears, a faint blush kissing at his cheeks, “looks like we’re gonna have to be roommates. I have a few spare quilts and stuff I can throw on the floor - you can keep the bed.”

 

“Wait, no,” Hoseok protests, even as the logical side of his brain is screaming at him to just agree and let Yoongi do what he wants, “your bed is big enough for the both of us, seriously. Unless that makes you uncomfortable, obviously.”

 

There’s a few seconds of heavy silence where both of them pretend it’s accidental that they’re not making eye contact and that the red that’s painting both of their faces is just from the cold outside.

“That’s…,” Yoongi starts, clearing his throat awkwardly, “if that’s okay with you then it’s fine with me.”

 

Hoseok does his best to sound as unbothered as he can when he replies with, “Yeah, seriously, there’s no point in having a double bed and not using it.” Honestly, he’s not even sure if it is technically a double bed - it’s bigger than a single but not as big as most doubles so Hoseok isn’t really sure where to place it. Or how he’s going to place himself inside of it with Yoongi.

 

It’s all he can think about even as Yoongi mumbles about going to the kitchen to get Hoseok a glass of water. They’re really going to be sharing the bed together - Yoongi’s bed - for the foreseeable future, bundled together in the odd sized bed in freezing winter nights in a wooden cabin, sharing a quilt and blankets and pillows.

 

“Well,” Hoseok sighs to himself in a hushed whisper, “if I wasn’t fucked before, I’m so definitely fucked now.”

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

The first night that Hoseok and Yoongi share the same bed is undeniably awkward. As touchy as Hoseok is comfortable to be with Yoongi during the day, it’s a whole different story entirely when they’re lying next to each other on their backs. Hoseok’s so close to the wall that he’s slightly concerned that if he rolls onto his side he’s going to slam his head straight into the wood and get a concussion.

 

Though, to be honest, Hoseok does consider it for a second, if just so he can get as close to sleep as he can.

 

Yoongi lets out a very quiet sigh, still clearly awake as much as Hoseok wishes he wasn’t just so it might be that tiniest bit easier to feel comfortable.

 

Hoseok lets himself imagine, just for a second, how he wishes they would be - not this awkward lying side to side but two bodies intertwined, Hoseok’s arm wrapped around Yoongi’s back as Yoongi’s curled up into his chest, their legs wrapped around each others.

 

It makes Hoseok - real, awkward, pining Hoseok - feel warm in his chest, calls up a swarm of butterflies in his stomach just at the thought.

 

“Are you okay?” Yoongi’s deep voice is quiet, only able to be heard due to the complete silence of the room, the lodge in general. “Sorry, uh, when it’s this quiet at night and I’m trying to sleep, I can hear a lot more. I can hear your heart beating a lot faster.”

 

Hoseok’s face burns with embarrassment - how is he meant to just turn around say, “Oh, hey, no big deal, just imagining what it’d be like to be in a loving relationship with you where we cuddle in this very bed every night, y’know, the usual.” Yeah, no, not an option in any world.

 

“If…,” Yoongi’s tone is hesitant, sounds almost hurt, “If you’re scared, I - I can go. Seriously, it’s -”

 

“Yoongi, no! God, no,” Hoseok can’t keep his protests to a whisper at first as he sits up straight in bed before forcing his voice down to something just above a mumble, “I’m not scared - not of being here, not of the cats, not even of the stupid fire demon. I’m not scared of you.”

 

Hoseok’s greeted with silence for a short time. He can’t even see Yoongi through the dark but he stares at where he knows Yoongi is still lying in bed. He knows Yoongi can see a ridiculous amount better than he can, especially in the dark, especially right now when he’s so on edge.

 

“You promise?” Yoongi’s voice is a deep rumble.

 

Hoseok lays back down, settling onto his side with his back against the wall, all while the fact that he’s facing Yoongi even if he can’t see him is sending his heart racing once again, “I promise.”

 

The sound of purring fills the room - subtly, at first - but then at Hoseok’s contented sigh, it increases, the embodiment of Yoongi’s happiness getting louder the more it physically and mentally relaxes Hoseok. Hoseok can feel his eyelids flitting closed, even as he tries to open them once he feels Yoongi turn on his side of the bed, facing into Hoseok.

 

Hoseok’s led into sleep with Yoongi’s comforting rumbling soothing him from top to bottom, in head and in heart.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

It takes two, slow days for Hoseok to teach himself not flinch back when a lynx comes near him. Even when they’re just walking past him, he can feel fear bubbling up, an instant need to protect himself from those too sharp claws and teeth that Hoseok thanks the Lord he’s never been punctured with.

 

With every flinch, subtle or fully fledged, Hoseok can’t help but have his heart break everytime he sees the pain that flickers over Yoongi’s face in response, the shame that visibly clamps down on Yoongi in full force at Hoseok’s fear. Yoongi watches Hoseok near constantly, leaving only to use the bathroom and make Hoseok his daily magical medicine. Mealtimes are even more of a shared job than before, Yoongi pretending that he’s letting Hoseok do half the work of preparation.

 

Hoseok wants to say that he hates having Yoongi’s constant attention, that he hates having to spend both day and night with him but seriously, who is he kidding? The conversation between them is easy and unforced when one is in the mood to talk, they can happily spend hours of silence together, bedtime grows easier every night now Yoongi’s in the routine of purring them both into a peaceful sleep, it’s so close to perfect apart from the fear caused by the fading scratches on Hoseok’s face.

 

The fit that Jimin had thrown when he’d seen Hoseok’s battle scar has been etched into Hoseok’s memory for the rest of his life. Jimin had yelled at them both for being reckless and careless before bursting into uncontrollable tears that only Taehyung could only try and wipe away.

 

(Honestly, Taehyung wasn’t that successful because as soon as Jimin was crying, Taehyung was two seconds behind as usual with his own tears.)

 

It’d been up to Namjoon bringing out his stern voice to control the situation, having to calm everyone down from Yoongi to Jimin. They all had to battle with expressing themselves in a way that wasn’t distressing everyone else in the room but, eventually, everyone had finally managed to conquer the terrifying quest of communication.

 

Knowing how much he was upsetting everyone, including himself, with the fear he now held against the lynxes was the catalyst for Hoseok to try and overcome it before it evolved into something too much to handle. They didn’t make Hoseok cry or shake in fear, he didn’t run away from them or scream, he just - flinched. He just feels that sharp scratch every time he makes eye contact.

 

Eun doesn’t appear, isn’t spotted anywhere even near the house, but instead it’s a young, male lynx who helps Hoseok to fall back into comfort around the cats. He approaches Hoseok slowly, always staying in Hoseok’s line of sight from the second he pushes the front door open. He keeps himself low to the ground, the vision of submission, a complete antithesis of a wild, male animal.

 

“That’s Min,” Yoongi smiles even as he’s watching Hoseok and his reactions carefully from where they’re both sitting on the floor - Jeongguk nominated himself to find the lodge a new couch but clearly, it’s turning out to be a harder task than anticipated, the only easy part being the removal, “named after a living legend.”

 

“Hm?” Hoseok never takes his eyes off Min who’s lying on his tummy, close enough that Hoseok could touch his fluffy ears but far enough that he’d have to stretch. “Who’s that, then?”

 

“Me, duh,” Yoongi’s monotone has Hoseok snorting immediately, “It’s my surname. I figured one of them had to be lucky enough to inherit the best name to exist.”

 

“Christ,” Hoseok splutters, “you’re so shameless.”

 

“It’s endearing, though, right?” Yoongi grins back at the younger, eyes crinkling with delight.

 

“Sadly.”

 

Min makes a small grunting noise that Hoseok takes as laughter. It’s the only sound he makes the entire time he sits with them, a silent but prominent presence in the living room of the lodge.

 

“I’m sorry I’m scared of the cats.”

 

“What?” Yoongi’s smile falls off his face immediately.

 

“I told you I wasn’t because I thought I wasn’t,” Hoseok can’t help the rush of words that let themself out, “I can’t help it. I’m sorry.”

 

Yoongi stammers for a second before letting the words fall away, unspoken.

 

Min takes the initiative instead, raising to his feet slowly to take a few steps forward. It’s unrushed and as far from predatory as a wild lynx can get. Hoseok feels the strange rush of adrenaline that makes him suddenly want to run to avoid an injury but he makes himself stay - he really hasn’t run away from one of the cats before and he refuses to start now. Not when Min is taking after his namesake and trying just as hard as Yoongi is to be comforting.

 

The phantom pain cursing Hoseok’s face is warning him to stay away but determination rushes through him like a flood. It’s that strong feeling which convinces Hoseok to reach his hand out hesitantly, allowing Min to sniff gently at his fingertips. Min stays stock still as Hoseok regains his confidence, beginning to pet the top of Min’s head at a steady pace. Somehow, lynx fur seems even softer than Hoseok remembers.

 

Min begins letting out an encouraging rumble of a purr from deep in his belly but it’s when Yoongi joins in, his slow purring joining with Min’s, that seems to finally stomp out that pit of fear burning in Hoseok’s stomach.

 

“It’s okay,” both Yoongi and Min are patient with Hoseok’s slow pace of acclimatising but it’s Yoongi who Hoseok has to admit is helping the most, Yoongi bending his normally fast speaking pattern into a slow, relaxing one to match both of their purrs, “don’t apologise, Hoseokie. We’re the ones who are sorry.”

 

“Hoseokie?” Hoseok smiles gently, scratching the base of Min’s ears steadily.

 

“Ah, sorry, I thought I heard the others call you that,” Yoongi leans out to stroke the other side of Min’s face.

 

“Yeah, they do,” Hoseok rolls his eyes at the nickname, “it’s not as cute as they think it is.”

 

Yoongi scoffs, “Not cute enough? Hmm.”

 

“You gonna find something cuter, Yoongi? It needs to be as cute as I am,” Hoseok teases, his finger movements becoming steadier in the soft fur.

 

“You’re greasy,” Yoongi sighs but his smile gives him away, “so greasy, Seokseok.”

 

That has Hoseok let out a chuckle, side eyeing Yoongi with raised eyebrows, “Seokseok?”

 

“No, I’m Yoongi.”

 

Hoseok sighs and he swears he both sees and feels Min sigh in perfect time with him, “That was literally repulsive. I hope you’re ashamed.”

 

“Of course, I’m dying of shame,” Yoongi’s flat monotone doesn’t help Hoseok from quelling his laughter, the full body giggling disrupting the rhythm he had stroking Min. It makes Min nudge the side of Hoseok’s hand, encouraging him to get back to scratching him where he wants it.

 

It’s not groundbreaking, really, a particularly empathetic cat approaching Hoseok for a cuddle with Yoongi sitting cross legged by his side but it’s enough. Enough to make an easy, effective antidote to heal up that painful mental scratch that sadly accompanied the physical. Enough to build a bridge to help Hoseok get back across to how he used to feel living in the lodge.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“Fuck, Yoongi, I’m freezing,” Hoseok’s teeth chatter, stamping his feet on the spot, both annoyed and satisfied with the sound of the snow crunching beneath his boots.

 

Yoongi is considerably less bothered, used to the snow falling onto his head and the bitter wind striking across his face. Well - what parts of his face are even left vulnerable. His mouth and nose are snuggled into his thick woollen scarf, leaving only his eyes visible.

 

“Look,” Yoongi’s voice is so muffled by his scarf that Hoseok has to lean in closer, “your temperature really went up earlier. There’s a chance the demon could be acclimatising to the temperature inside and then it just has to focus on rejecting the potion - if that happens, you’re fucked.”

 

Hoseok grimaces - Yoongi isn’t lying, he had started to burn out of nowhere earlier, sweating and panting unnaturally - but that doesn’t mean he can force himself to enjoy the fact he’s being made to stand in the snow. Sure, he’s got a ridiculous amount of layers on, topped all off with a very soft beanie he’d grabbed from the back of Yoongi’s wardrobe, but he’s still irritatingly cold . It’s even worse that they’re just standing outside of the lodge - they’re not even going anywhere.

 

“Does that make you feel better?” Yoongi nods in the direction of the trees, eyes narrowing in on something in particular.

 

“What? A tree? Not particularly,” Hoseok scowls, fidgeting more to try and stay warm.

 

Yoongi sighs, throwing a withering glance at Hoseok, “No, look, at the bottom of the tree, see? It moves every few seconds.” He aggressively points towards the forest, fingers barely sticking out beneath the coat and sweaters he’s layered on.

 

Hoseok squints, bending all the way forward to try and see and it takes him a good minute or two before - “Rabbit! It’s a bunny!”

 

Yoongi’s eyes scrunching up is the only giveaway that he’s smiling. The little creature is barely visible, white on white. It’s only when it bounces around that it becomes visible.

 

“Snowshoe hare, not technically a bunny,” Yoongi hums, eyes following the hare’s every move. Hoseok briefly wonders how much better Yoongi can see than him and he’s about to ask when the hare suddenly darts forward from the trees, crouching down into the snow.

 

“Yoongi,” Hoseok starts, eyes widening.

 

“Hoseok,” comes the steady reply.

 

“Tell me that lynxes don’t eat cute bunnies.”

 

“Lynxes don’t eat cute bunnies.”

 

“Are you lying?”

 

“Yeah,” Yoongi shrugs shamelessly, “hares are pretty much all lynxes eat. It’d suck to be a cute bunny.”

 

Hoseok can’t help the sad whine that he lets out, turning to pout at Yoongi, his mouth tucked into a triangular shape. Yoongi simply blinks in return. Hoseok whines louder.

 

“I’m not sure what you want me to do,” Yoongi shrugs, “if they don’t eat the hares, the lynxes will die.”

 

The hare suddenly sprints across the snow, flying into the trees on the opposite side of the lodge. Hoseok spins around, turning away in case the bunny gets eaten in front of him. In turn, Yoongi rolls his eyes, his ears flicking from direction to direction at every little noise that sounds out. The way the black tufts flicker is tantalising to Hoseok’s fingers and he can’t help but reach out a cold hand to touch the soft fur, combing it through his fingers. Yoongi’s eyes widen but he says nothing, just shuts his eyes to the gentle touch.

 

Hoseok’s about to apologise and snatch his hand back, thinking that Yoongi’s just putting up with it, but then - then Yoongi’s purring, loud and happy, even as snow begins to fall again, drifting in the air before landing on his ears and Hoseok’s hand.

 

“Has the risk of death passed yet?” Hoseok’s voice is quiet, amused, “I can’t feel my fingers.”

 

Yoongi laughs, his head flinging back, red nose appearing from behind his scarf. The snow’s falling down heavier now, hundreds and thousands of little white flecks dancing around them - decorating Hoseok’s dark brown hair and barely visible in Yoongi’s mess of silver.

 

“Yeah Seokseok,” Yoongi finally pulls the scarf down from over his mouth to grin up at Hoseok, gums peeking out with how wide he smiles, “let’s go back inside now.”

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“I think I have the perfect combination.”

 

“What?” Hoseok has to ask around his mouthful of cereal, almost choking. Yoongi’s staring at him expectantly from his work room.

 

“I think I have the right combination to kill off your fire demon properly,” Yoongi makes sure to stress the “think” with both his tone and hand gestures. “I mean, don’t get too excited. It might not work. Even if it does, you can’t disappear yet in case it comes back. After the other day, I thought I needed to up my efforts a bit.”

 

“You say that like I’m dying to leave,” Hoseok swallows his cereal down, reaching for his cup of orange juice, “which I’m not, before you ask.”

 

Yoongi can’t hide the weird expression on his face, a strange mix of surprise and hope, “Wait, seriously?”

 

With a roll of his eyes, Hoseok sighs, “No, idiot. I honestly really like it here.” He looks around fondly, “I’ll be sad to leave.”

 

“You can stay,” Yoongi blurts out, “for as long as you want, I mean. I’m not, ah, in a rush for you to go, either.”

 

“Thanks, Yoongi,” Hoseok smiles at him, Yoongi with his messy wavy hair that he hasn’t even tried to brush yet which goes perfectly with his large oversized hooded sweater and sweatpants. He looks small and sleepy and as pretty as always. It fills Hoseok's gut with want .

 

“I’ll, uh, have to wait for one more ingredient from Jeongguk before you can try it,” Yoongi murmurs, padding softly over to where Hoseok is automatically holding out a spoon of his cereal for Yoongi, bending down to take the spoonful in his mouth. He swallows before he speaks, “He’s coming over tonight.”

 

“Is he bringing the couch?” is what Hoseok asks. What he thinks is, “He better not fucking bring the new couch, I swear to God, I love him but I’ll kill him.”

 

Yoongi scoffs, “Apparently, he can’t find the perfect one. He refuses to let me even have a look. I’m just providing the money and nothing else.”

 

“Wah, it’s like you don’t even live here,” Hoseok teases, rolling his eyes playfully, sharing more of his cereal with the still whining Yoongi: a spoonful for Yoongi, a spoonful for Hoseok and so on.

 

For a brief second, Hoseok wishes that he’ll never have to leave; wishes that he can spend every morning like this, wishes he can spend all his days inside in the lodge and for all his days outside to be in the Canadian snow, but most of all, he wishes that all of his nights are spent in the warmth of Yoongi’s bed lulled to sleep by Yoongi himself.

 

The knock at the door shakes Hoseok out of it. It’s nothing but a dream anyway.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

Jeongguk pulls through with Yoongi’s needed ingredient - some strange plant that smells too bitter for Hoseok to even bare and makes him dread drinking the poor concoction that contains it. He doesn’t, however, provide any insight to the couch situation. He refuses to explain a single thing, just repeating, “Trust me! I know what I’m looking for!”

 

Though, as much as Hoseok loves sharing Yoongi’s bed, he must admit the amount of time they spend sitting on the floor just to watch the television is getting quite ridiculous.

 

“My bones suffer because of you,” Yoongi grumbles when Jeongguk’s on his way out, “I’ll curse you, I swear.”

 

Jeongguk just giggles, “Sure, sure. You’re all bark and no bite.”

 

“Jeonggukie,” Hoseok pipes up, wolfish grin in place, “that’s offensive. He’s a kittycat, remember?”

 

“With those ears, how can I forget?”

 

“Leave,” Yoongi pushes Jeongguk out the door, ignoring their snickering, but considering the difference in strength between Yoongi and Jeongguk, it just ends in more laughter for the younger two. “Oh my God, just go .”

 

Jeongguk only winds Yoongi up for a few seconds more before he decides to finally leave, trekking through the snow as Yoongi calls out, “Fucking text me when you’re home!”

 

Yoongi spins around violently, pointing a finger at Hoseok, “Not a word.”

 

“I-,”

 

“Nope,” Yoongi cuts him off immediately, “I’m not having it.”

 

Yoongi settles back onto the floor - they’re using blankets as a rug, continuing to wrap themselves in even more blankets to get comfy and stay warm - “Now, come here so we can watch the new Catfish episode.”

 

Hoseok complies with a grin, not saying a word just like instructed.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“Okay, try this,” the cup Yoongi slides over to Hoseok is filled with a thick, moss green liquid, little brown chunks floating on the top like tiny islands. Hoseok can’t help but poke a finger into the “drink”, gagging at the way it sticks to his finger, lumpy and too close to solidity for comfort.

 

“What the fuck,” Hoseok takes a whiff to his instant regret, gagging harder and pushing the glass away hastily.

 

“Just hold your nose and drink it, you absolute baby,” Yoongi folds his arms, the perfect presentation of being unimpressed.

 

“If I fucking die -”

 

“You’re not going to fucking die, Hoseok, just drink the stupid thing,” Yoongi interrupts, tone calling for no arguments. Danbi is watching from where she sits at the top of the staircase, intrigued.

 

“Can’t Danbi drink it for me?”

 

“No.”

 

“Can you drink it for me?”

 

“Absolutely not how it works.”

 

“Can’t you just inject it?”

 

Yoongi growls, ears flicking back unhappily, “Seokseok. Hoseok. Please. Drink the fucking drink.”

 

With his clean hand gripping his nose, Hoseok uses the other to tip the liquid into his mouth. His aim was to down it like a vodka shot but it’s too thick and lumpy, instead dropping in like mouldy food. Hoseok gags on the taste but forces himself to swallow, kicking his legs in distaste under the kitchen table.

 

“Thank you,” Yoongi’s irritatingly smug.

 

“I hope you drown in the next potion you make,” Hoseok rasps out, rushing from his seat to shove his mouth under the kitchen tap in an attempt to wash the disgustingness from his mouth.

 

Yoongi just laughs.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

Yoongi isn't laughing for long. Hoseok doesn’t have a trace of magic in him which, admittedly, makes curing a magic fire demon infection harder but saves Hoseok from a lot of magical side effects. So, Yoongi became a bit careless - he just assumed nothing would affect Hoseok anymore since none of his other combinations have.

 

He was very, very wrong.

 

It’s because he forgot to even think of side effects that Yoongi now has an essentially drunk Hoseok flung over his lap - literally, Hoseok’s head is on Yoongi’s lap as he sits cross legged on the floor -complete with red cheeks and slurred speech.

 

“Y-Yoongi,” Hoseok hiccups, his hand coming up to grab at Yoongi’s cheeks, pulling and squishing, “what are you so p-prettyyyy for~?” He draws his words out longer and longer until he’s essentially serenading Yoongi like a Disney prince.

 

“You’re gonna kill me when you’re back to normal,” Yoongi huffs in disbelief, trying to speak normally himself while Hoseok is playing with his cheeks.

 

“Pretty kitty Yoongi,” Hoseok singsongs, reaching up to tug on Yoongi’s ears a bit too painfully, “pretty, pretty, kitty, kitty, kitty!”

 

Danbi watches from a safe distance having been branded another “pretty kitty” and forced into a bear hug from magically intoxicated Hoseok. She makes eye contact with Yoongi that he decides to read as pity.

 

“Seokseok,” Yoongi tries, “I think you should get into bed now, what do you say?”

 

Hoseok pouts, making himself sit up so he’s face to face with Yoongi. He stumbles and has to hold onto Yoongi’s shoulders just to do it. It’s a mess. Hoseok is a wasted mess. Yoongi, in turn, is a blushing but fed up mess.

 

“But it’s daytime! You can’t sleep during the day, Yoongi!” The varying pitches and sound levels Hoseok flies to in those two sentences alone is enough to have Danbi quit completely, running to let herself leave by pushing the door open.

 

“You’re not a cat,” Yoongi hisses after her, “you’re a fucking snake.”

 

“Listen, Hoseok, you need to get into bed, okay?” Yoongi tries again.

 

“Hmmm,” Hoseok hums, far too loudly for how close he is to Yoongi.

 

“Yeah? You’re gonna go to bed?”

 

“Hmmmmmm,” Hoseok repeats.

 

“Hoseok. Please. Bedtime.”

 

“Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.”

 

Yoongi flicks him in the forehead. It makes Hoseok roll back, whining with pain and flailing his limbs out in something scarily similar to a child’s temper tantrum. Yoongi waits, standing up so Hoseok can’t use him as a replacement couch again.

 

“Fine,” Hoseok whimpers, looking truly defeated, “B-but only! Only if you come with me.” The defeat on his face morphs into something irritatingly close to smugness.

 

“Whatever! Fine, let’s go then,” Yoongi sighs, locking the front door while Hoseok starts singing to himself again about “Yoongi the pretty kitty.”

 

“Let’s go to bed then, Seokseok.”

 

Yoongi thought convincing Hoseok to get dressed into his pajamas would be the hardest part but, thankfully, he was wrong. Instead, the hardest part was getting Hoseok to go sleep. From the second they’d got into bed, Hoseok had not shut up once . It was all drunken babble but it was drunken babble that was keeping Hoseok (and the now exhausted already Yoongi) awake.

 

“Hoseok, please,” Yoongi tries for what feels the four hundredth time, “go to sleep. You gotta stop talking.”

 

Yoongi goes unnoticed.

 

Remembering his usual method, Yoongi forces himself to purr despite how unrelaxed he feels. It clearly must show because whereas his natural purr sends Hoseok into a comforting sleep, his clearly irritated purr just keeps Hoseok awake.

 

“I like when you kitty purr,” Hoseok giggles, “it makes me feel warm inside my tummy. Not bad warm like a - a volcano! Woooshhh, eruption! No, good warm, like l-love,” Hoseok sings the last word, dragging out, unaware of how much it’s setting Yoongi’s own body afire.

 

“D-don’t, uhhh, tell normal Hoseokie! He’ll be, oh, oh, so sad and maybe cry and stuff and, uh, be sad,” Hoseok’s announcement slides into murmuring, filling Yoongi with hope that he’s finally, finally going to sleep and, consequently, sleep this. side effect off.

 

(Yoongi pretends that’s the only reason he feels hopeful.)

 

“See, Mr. Kitty,” Hoseok yawns, pushing his bright red face into the pillow, “funny Hoseokie, that’s me! Funny Hoseokie likes you lots! B-but that’s because! Because Mr. Kitty...nor-...-mal Hoseok likes you t…,” he finally falls into sleep. A small mercy.

 

Yoongi was expecting to sleep while Hoseok did so they could wake up together and because, well, Yoongi loves sleep. Except - except once again there’s been a spanner thrown in the works because there’s no way Yoongi can sleep now when there’s Hoseok’s drunken secret spinning around his head. Fuck.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“Holy shit,” is the first thing Hoseok groans, hand coming up to grab his head in pain. It wakes Yoongi up in a second, eyes flashing open.

 

“Oh my God,” Hoseok whines, head pounding, “what did you do to me?”

 

Yoongi lets out a grumpy noise from deep in his throat. He sighs and literally rolls out of bed, feline reflexes saving him from landing straight on his face. “I’ll get you water and the normal stuff instead. Just don’t bother moving.”

 

Hoseok groans again, pain radiating behind his eyes. Jesus, what was in that stuff? He can’t remember a single thing that happened after drinking that awful concoction. Admittedly, this doesn’t feel like the worst hangover Hoseok’s ever had considering he’s something of a lightweight compared to his friends back home. It was just so unexpected that it feels worse than one that’s a consequence of a wild night of drinking.

 

“Here,” Yoongi hands the normal (but still gross) antidote over to Hoseok first, “I don’t have any tablets to give you and magical cures won’t fix you so, sorry but you’re just gonna have to suffer until you feel better.”

 

It’s with a few long glugs that Hoseok finishes his thankfully less repulsive in every way drink. He sighs, wishing it could fix the incessant pounding.

 

“Just, uh,” Hoseok shuts his eyes, letting his head drop back onto the pillow even though it makes him wince, “explain all the stuff you’re saying. Please don’t talk too loud, though, I beg you.”

 

Yoongi sighs, “You’re so demanding, I swear.”

 

Despite that, Yoongi sits himself cross legged at the end of the bed to face Hoseok, rubbing at his sleepy eyes with his sweater paws.

 

“Okay,” Yoongi starts, shutting his own eyes in return, “first of all, I had no idea that you would react like that. Every other time, you haven’t suffered any magical side effects so I just...stopped checking. So, uh, sorry. To be honest, it was probably more of a pain for me .”

 

Hoseok scoffs, opening his eyes to try and glare at the cat boy in his bed. The fact Yoongi can’t even acknowledge Hoseok’s attempt just makes him huff more. Yoongi just ignores his irritated noises, refusing to even open his eyes.

 

“Listen, you just need to sleep it off. It’s literally the same as a hangover,” Yoongi’s words slow, his rambling falling away as he almost falls into sleep. Hoseok uses his foot to nudge at Yoongi from under the covers.

 

“Wake up,” Hoseok’s mouth pouts into a sulky, triangle shape, “Why can’t you just magic it away?”

 

“You’re not magic Seokseok,” Yoongi hits at Hoseok’s foot, “Magic can fight against a fire demon because, well, demons are a being of magic.”

 

“It’s a rare case for someone to not be even slightly magical,” Yoongi’s eyes finally open slowly, bright amber carefully revealed bit by bit.

 

“Believe me, I know,” the scowl that accompanies Hoseok’s bitter words changes Hoseok’s face completely. Gone is the grin that normally accompanies almost everything Hoseok does, instead, his face gains angry lines from where his brow furrows and mouth grimaces sarcastically. It’s like there’s a whole new person lying in Yoongi’s bed.

 

“Hey, it’s not a bad thing and you know it. It just means you’re considerably immune to a lot of dangerous shit.”

 

Hoseok laughs once, harsh and disbelieving, “Believe me, it’s a bad thing. I’m the odd one out. Yeah, yeah, you’re Merged but that’s a good thing no matter who you ask. Why did that shit last night have an effect then?”

 

Yoongi holds Hoseok’s gaze, unwavering. Hoseok looks away first, sighing and hiding his face into the pillow. With a sigh, Yoongi shuts his eyes again.

 

“Even non-magical ingredients can have a strong, strange effect if they’re used right. When I mixed it, I was counting on that strong part to be the one that shines through. Sorry.”

 

“Whatever,” Hoseok sighs, flinching when the pain in his head attacks harder, “It’s fine. Did it work?”

 

“Can’t tell just yet. Not sure,” Yoongi lets himself fall back to sleep. Hoseok watches with a feeling of jealousy of how quickly he can drop off but, worst of all, the feeling of regret already starting to claw into his stomach at how snappy he can’t help but be. An ill Hoseok is not a happy Hoseok. All he can do now is burrow himself in the covers and hope sleep takes him soon.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

The sound of pages being gently flipped accompanies Hoseok’s slow waking up. Thankfully, his painful headache has faded into something a lot more bearable thanks to the help of another comfortable sleep in Yoongi’s bed. He takes his time opening his eyes, blinking blurrily until the sleep is finally chased from his eyes.

 

When he can finally see properly, he’s greeted with the sight of an awake Yoongi curled over a novel, finger following each word he reads. Hoseok - Hoseok knows it’s stupid but he feels full looking at him, like his life wasn’t completed before he got to see Yoongi drowning in his big jumper, one hand gripping his novel like it’s the most special thing in the world. Hoseok can’t decide whether he wants to leap across the bed, chuck the book across the room and kiss the absolute shit out of Yoongi or whether he wants to just rest his head against Yoongi’s arm and fall asleep with Yoongi looking after both his novel and his Hoseok.

 

The realisation that Hoseok is in no position to do either feels like there’s a knife that’s just been plunged into his gut.

 

Hoseok feels sicker and sicker the more he thinks about how he’s in this alone. There’s not a chance in Heaven nor Hell that Yoongi - powerful, beautiful Yoongi with the pretty eyes - would ever fall for Hoseok - overbearingly human Hoseok who’s used to being told that he’s just too much .

 

“Oh, hey,” Yoongi’s gaze drifts to Hoseok for only a second before they snap back to his book. “You feeling any better?”

 

“Yeah,” Hoseok smiles gratefully, “What are you reading?

 

“Uh,” Yoongi hesitates, the spitting image of a deer trapped in headlights.

 

This peaks Hoseok’s interest.

 

“What are you reading? Oh my God, are you reading something erotic ?” Hoseok waggles his eyebrows, sitting up to lean forward and trying to see the cover.

 

“No! It’s nothing!” Yoongi’s voice takes a sudden rush in volume, snatching his book further away. Hoseok flinches at the loudness since his head is in no position to be able to cope with that.

 

“Sorry,” Yoongi quietens, “it’s just embarrassing.”

 

“You’re embarrassed? This feels like a first,” Hoseok can’t let it go now, no way, “C’mon, I won’t judge you!”

 

It’s a few more seconds of Yoongi grumbling to himself before he finally passes his paperback to Hoseok.

 

“Romance? You read romance novels?” Hoseok can’t resist the giggle that builds up at how trashy and cliché the blurb sounds. The cover itself is ridiculously pink that, honestly, Hoseok has no idea why anyone would ever choose it.

 

“They’re good,” Yoongi mumbles, valiantly pretending there’s not another blush taking residence on his pale face.

 

“Here,” Hoseok passes the book back to Yoongi, just as gently as he received it. He doesn’t let go, even when Yoongi’s hand is wrapped around the bottom of the book. “I’m not judging you,” Hoseok’s smile is warm, “Seriously. I’m not. Maybe you can read one to me?”

 

“Why should I? You can read,” Yoongi pretends to sound scathing but Hoseok sees straight through him - even Yoongi can tell he barely tried then, sounds too soft, too convinced - so he doesn’t take it to heart. He just nods, letting go of the book so Yoongi can regain his place.

 

“Get back into bed properly,” Yoongi nods his head towards the pillows. Hoseok grins, snuggling back into bed, in his usual place with his back against the wall and the quilt up to his chin.

 

“I’m not starting from the beginning,” Yoongi warns, getting himself comfortable at the end of the bed, “You’re lucky this is my newest one.”

 

“I’m sure I can keep up,” Hoseok smiles, heart annoyingly fluttering when Yoongi smiles gently back at him.

 

With a nod, Yoongi starts to read again but aloud this time, deep voice managing to make each word sound like music to Hoseok’s ears, even when he’s really reading, “Susan eyed her plumber’s thighs like they were statues in a museum. Really beautiful, thick statues.”

 

Really, it’s all quite ridiculous. Yoongi knows it. Hoseok knows it. They both love it more than anything, even if they’d never admit it.

 

(Their matching smiles would give it away to anyone that saw them, though.)

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“I seriously can’t believe you’ve been here this whole time and haven’t actually gone anywhere like me and Tae have,” Jimin spins around in the front seat to stare judgingly at Hoseok. Hoseok sighs.

 

“You make me wish I’d gone in the other car,” Hoseok complains, kicking the back of Jimin’s seat. They’d split into two in order to have a day at the shopping mall - Seokjin is driving the car that contains Jimin, Taehyung, and Hoseok. Hoseok thinks wistfully about the other car that only has Jeongguk, Namjoon, and Yoongi. Undoubtedly, a far more peaceful ride.

 

“Don’t be mean to Jiminie,” Taehyung pokes Hoseok in the arm, his new ears flattening back against his head. Clearly, Yoongi’s large ears have rubbed off on Taehyung since he’s decided to ditch the tiger ears for tall, red canine-like ears. They’re purely decorative, unlike Yoongi’s, but Taehyung’s clearly improved his transformation magic with the way they react like actual animal ears.

 

Hoseok pokes Taehyung in his human ear just for that, “Shut up, you’re biased.”

 

Taehyung slaps at Hoseok’s intruding hands, pouting and whining.

 

“I’ll crash the car,” Seokjin warns, using the overhead mirror to glare at the boys in the back.

 

“That’d kill you too, idiot,” Hoseok sighs once again, “Listen, Yoongi can’t drive, where am I gonna go?”

 

“You can drive,” Jimin retorts.

 

“Yeah, except, y’know, I can’t drive without a car.”

 

“Don’t be finicky,” Jimin waves that away with a small flick of his hand. Hoseok can’t even be bothered to reply.

 

“You’re grumpy without Yoongi,” Seokjin hums, still focusing on the road, constantly checking every direction. Driving on icy roads is not something Hoseok is ever signing himself up for, no thanks.

 

“That is not true! Shut up,” an exasperated Hoseok protests, crossing his arms.

 

“Okay, whatever you say,” Taehyung joins in again with the teasing, wiggling his eyebrows at Hoseok next to him.

 

They’re pulling into a parking space a few minutes later when Hoseok suddenly exclaims, “God, I like him so much! I wanna hold his hand and kiss his stupid face and do all that gross stuff!”

 

He’s met with a solid ten seconds of silence.

 

“Oh my God,” is the simultaneous reply he receives from all three of his friends, each choosing to emphasise a different word in the short sentence.

 

The floodgates have opened.

 

“Seriously!?”

 

“That’s so cute!”

 

“Ask him out!”

 

“Stop, stop,” Hoseok is close to yelling just to be heard, “He doesn’t like me!”

 

That quietens the car immediately.

 

“He doesn’t like me like that,” Hoseok whispers, eyes downcast.

 

“Hoseok,” Jimin’s comforting voice accompanies the small hand he places on Hoseok’s knee, “you don’t know that. Sure, I don’t know for definite either but in my opinion, I think he’s head over heels for you.”

 

“Ears over paws for you,” Taehyung nods.

 

Seokjin blinks once at Taehyung before focusing back to Hoseok now the car is finally parked. “Listen,” Seokjin spins around properly, leaning over his seat, “I’ve known Yoongi a long time. I’ve seen what he’s like when he has a crush on someone and I really, honestly think he’s nursing a massive one on you. He’s just stupid. Stupid and self-destructive.”

 

Using the back of his hand, Hoseok has to wipe away stupid unshed tears that he can’t even begin to explain.

 

“Let’s just go shopping,” Hoseok pulls a grin onto his face, shaking himself before opening the door and jumping out. His friends follow closely behind, walking around the car so they can walk to where they agreed to meet the others just inside the mall.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“Hey, you survived then?” Namjoon pops up to the side of them which makes all of them, with the exception of Taehyung, jump with shock.

 

“Christ, do you want us to die now instead?” Seokjin hits Namjoon’s arm as he’s grabbing his own chest with his other hand, trying to calm down.

 

“Sorry,” Namjoon grins sheepishly. Conversation falls upon the group easily - well, for everyone except Hoseok who can’t push away the heavy feeling in his stomach. He falls behind the rest just slightly to try and take control of his emotions.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

That deep voice on Hoseok’s left could never come from anyone but Yoongi.

 

“Yeah,” Hoseok forces himself into making eye contact with a large grin. It’s meant to be comforting but Yoongi just frowns more. Every second Hoseok spends looking at Yoongi makes that feeling inside feel worse.

 

“I don’t believe you but I won't push you. Speak to me when you’re ready,” Yoongi keeps his words quiet so their friends ahead can’t eavesdrop.

 

Taehyung stops suddenly, though, grabbing Hoseok by the arm and rambling about something he wants to show him immediately.

 

“Thank you,” Hoseok turns back to try mouth silently at Yoongi. Yoongi just nods in return.

 

“C’mon, Hoseokie!” Well, Hoseok just gives in then, allowing himself to be dragged by the taller boy that’s easily leading him with one big hand.

 

Being dragged like a disobedient dog feels worth it when they finally reach the centre of the shopping mall.

 

“This is what I had to show you!”

 

In the middle of the shopping centre, there’s a large man made circular (or, the more Hoseok looks, the more he realises it’s definitely magic made) pond. The water is a brilliant, shining light blue but the closer you get, the darker it becomes. At first, Hoseok thinks it’s just because of his shadow but after enough experimentation, he puts it down to magic.

 

There’s little wooden boats floating on the water’s surface, driving around by themselves, managing to never collide. They’re painted with bright stripes or white spots or just one block colour but they’re all gorgeous little decorations with the way their paint has never chipped and their colour shine when they catch the light. The little trails they leave behind in the water enchant Hoseok, each little wave they create seems to sparkle, like every miniature boat creates its own little ocean with each movement.

 

“It’s amazing,” Hoseok gasps, eyes widening more when he realises there’s little gold or orange glimmers every few seconds. Fish! Well, he thinks they’re fish. Try as he might, he can’t manage to actually see a fish body, only the light reflecting on their scales.

 

Water lilies rest easily on the top of the water, unbothered by the evermoving boats. The flowers take Hoseok’s breath away - there’s the usual white lilies, pink ones too, but there’s also colour he’s never seen before in water lilies. Water lilies of blues, purples, greens, silvers, of all colours are poking out through the green lily pads. Hoseok’s favourite is one in particular, though, since there’s just the one flower who fades from one colour to the next, going through the rainbow at a slow but steady pace.

 

“Yoongi!” Taehyung spins around, disrupting Hoseok from his amazement, “Help Hoseokie hear!”

 

“What?” Hoseok gives them his full attention at that, though he regrets it when he spins around and there’s Yoongi in his face. Hoseok’s face burns, not sure where to look as Yoongi gets closer.

 

“Let’s hope this works,” Yoongi goes up on his tiptoes behind Hoseok as Jimin spins Hoseok back to face the pond. Hoseok’s stammering the entire time until -

 

Until Yoongi gently places his large hands over Hoseok’s ears, covering them completely. Where Hoseok expects to hear nothing but air, suddenly, he hears...piano?

 

It is a piano, playing a beautiful tune like Hoseok’s never heard before, a tune he could never even imagine. He can feel the music and the magic it contains flowing through him. His entire body is alight.

 

The piano fades as Yoongi slowly removes his hands, “Could you hear it?”

 

“Oh, Yoongi,” Hoseok spins round, entire face shining with delight, “it was beautiful . Thank you so much, honestly.” He can’t help but laugh, everyone laughing with him when Hoseok lifts up Yoongi’s hands, proclaiming them as the most magical hands to ever exist.

 

“I’ll help you hear it whenever you like,” Yoongi grins back at him, either unaware or unbothered by their proximity.

 

Hoseok wants to do nothing more than pull him into an embrace but - he doesn’t. Instead, he slowly pulls away, laughing still so it’s not awkward. Jeongguk takes charge, saying there’s a clothing shop he “really wants to visit but only if that’s okay!”

 

They all agree that it is, of course, okay with them, which makes Jeongguk bounce with excitement. Yoongi stays by Hoseok’s side the entire time. He tries on clothes that can only be described as hideous just to make Hoseok laugh. Well, it makes everyone laugh but the amount of eye contact Yoongi directs at Hoseok makes it feel personal.

 

Hoseok’s not really sure what to do about that. He’s not really sure what to do about Yoongi in general. Honestly, he can’t tell yet if he even wants to do anything - how can he risk what they have now? How can he risk the ease with which Yoongi touches him and messes around with him and confides in him?

 

“Seokseok! What do you think of my funky coat?” Yoongi calls across the shop, wearing a massive faux fur coat which would probably look fine - if not for the fact it’s a luminous orange with disgusting purple fabric spots sewn onto it. Yoongi strikes ridiculous dramatic poses that contrast with his serious expression.

 

Hoseok laughs so hard that for a beautiful moment, he can’t even remember what it feels like to be sad.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

[13:36] TaeTae

Hoseok!!!!!!! Tell him!!!!!! x

We’ve been talking about it x

Even Joon thinks Yoongi loves u! x

That’s a rly good sign!! x

 

Hoseok stares at the notification that’s littering the lockscreen of his phone. In retrospect, it’s a bit of a stupid move considering Yoongi is right next to him and asks, “Who’s that and why do you wanna kill them?”

 

Hoseok’s phone skids across the room. Well, it skids across the room because Hoseok just slid it full force away from Yoongi.

 

“Uh,” Yoongi’s attention is now completely off the reality show they’re dedicated to binge watching together and is now glued totally to Hoseok, “I was just...joking about the murder?”

 

Hoseok pretends to laugh, “I know! I’m not killing anyone!”

 

“Uh,” Yoongi stares at him, unblinking.

 

“I’m not! Stop staring at me!”

 

The door banging open distracts them both but Hoseok can only be relieved for a split second since the carelessness is indicative of Namjoon but it’s Eun who stumbles in for the first time after going M.I.A.

 

“Eun! Are you okay? Oh my God,” Yoongi’s on his feet in a second, rushing over to the cat who meets his embrace.

 

She’s a lot bigger than the last time they’d seen her, her stomach so much rounder. Before, it was easy to write it off as extra fur or just fat but now it’s unmistakable.

 

“Is she giving birth now ?” Hoseok falls to her side next to Yoongi, watching the way Eun barely moves, her breathing deep and shuddery.

 

“She - She shouldn’t be, I’ve seen cat births before and I swear it’s not been long enough,” Yoongi’s own chest is rushing as he breathes faster in panic.

 

“It’s okay,” Hoseok tries to collect himself for the sake of them all, “Is there a vet or something that I should call?”

 

“Not one who can come anywhere near in time, fuck,” Yoongi’s trying to feel Eun’s stomach the best he can with just his hands - at least, that’s what Hoseok thinks until he notices the unnatural way Yoongi’s eyes are glowing and realises he’s attempting to use the magic bond he’d been gifted with. “Call Namjoon. He’s the next best thing we have.”

 

Hoseok skids along the floor, following the path of his phone. He dials Namjoon as quickly as he can, explaining the situation in one long rushed breath. Namjoon leaves the house so immediately that Hoseok can hear the slamming shut of his front door. Hoseok quickly Googles the nearest wild animal vet anyway, hoping they can understand him through how fast he’s chanting out details.

 

“He’s on his way,” Hoseok fights to keep his tone calm and even, “What else do I need to do?”

 

“A bowl of water,” Yoongi doesn’t even look up, “Towels. There’s a bag of disposable gloves in the cupboard under the sink.”

 

Hoseok nods once, sprinting around the cabin to find his assigned items. The door opening once again reveals a stressed looking Namjoon arriving in such a quick time that Hoseok’s almost amazed he didn’t crash the car on the way here.

 

“I’m here,” Namjoon rummages through his bag he’s brought with him until he’s clutching a crumpled piece of paper, “I’ve been working on this since that first time at the dinner table.”

 

Eun lets out a pained noise that makes Yoongi shudder with his entire body, “I can’t leave her. Not for a second. You have to do it.”

 

“Yoongi, I’m not as good as you at the actual creation! You know th-,”

 

“I can’t leave her, Namjoon, please ,” Yoongi has to pause as he tries to regain his breath, “Please, I’m begging you. You have to help her.”

 

Namjoon pauses, opening his mouth to close it again. “Yoongi, I - I’m sorry. I’ll do it but…,”

 

“But what ?” His words are a hiss, ears flattening against his head.

 

“It’s not for Eun.”

 

For a second, the only sound is Hoseok gently placing the requested items next to Yoongi and the laboured breathing of Eun. It seems like Yoongi’s stopped breathing altogether.

 

“What the fuck do you mean?” Yoongi’s barely holding himself together, body shaking from too many emotions to narrow it down to just one. “Namjoon. What the fuck do you mean?”

 

“I - I’ve been researching things to make taking care of kittens easier,” Namjoon shuts his eyes at the end of his sentence. Hoseok feels his own entire body freeze.

 

“What? What?” Tears are falling down Yoongi’s face freely now, “Namjoon. You’re not - you’re not gonna help me help her?”

 

“I’m being realistic, Yoongi.”

 

“No, you absolute fucking asshole, you’ve fucking condemned her. You’ve already given up on her! You sat there and decided she was going to die!” Yoongi’s screaming now, voice cracking and choking. Hoseok can’t stop himself from rushing back to Yoongi, going to gently touch his arm to try and reassure him.

 

Yoongi slaps Hoseok’s hand away, hissing like a feral beast.

 

It stings. Even in this situation, even though Hoseok understands , really he does, but it still stings.

 

“C-Can you not, uh,” Hoseok tries, gaze flitting between Namjoon and Yoongi, “Do you not know any pain reducing magic? I thought you could have cured my headache so you must be able to make this easier, right?”

 

He doesn’t get a reply from anyone but Eun who whimpers in pain.

 

“You fucking idiot,” it’s the darkest part of Yoongi hissing, the angriest part, his most animalistic side taking over, “that was for humans . Besides, you need specialist spells if it involves new life. The shit I have right now would just put them all in danger.”

 

“I’m sorry, I was just trying -,”

 

“Don’t. Don’t try. You don’t know shit about magic. You never will. Don’t be fucking annoying and just stay quiet for once,” it’s scathing and tormented and painful. Hoseok can’t bring himself to respond, can’t bring himself to do anything but let a silent tear drop down.

 

“You know he doesn’t mean it,” Namjoon speaks quietly to Hoseok, a hand clamping onto his shoulder to try and comfort him. Hoseok just nods, both of them cringing as Yoongi hisses about how Namjoon’s lying, how they’ve both let him down.

 

“Here,” Namjoon seems to have pulled himself together again, raising his head high, “Hoseok, come help me make this. It’ll work as a substitute for milk as well as providing even more substance.”

 

“You’re a fucking murderer,” Yoongi growls, sight set firmly on Namjoon, “You knew I didn’t know. You knew I wasn’t prepared. You’re the only one who could have helped me save her and instead - instead you did this. You gave up already.” Yoongi’s words follow them up even when they make it upstairs.

 

“Here,” Namjoon ushers them both into Yoongi’s workroom, “You can’t do any of the magic shit but you can help find the ingredients.”

 

Luckily, Yoongi keeps his ingredients labelled.

 

Despite that, Hoseok feels undeniably out of his depth, handling things he’s never even seen before. He helps to chop and cut and dice exactly like Namjoon tells him to but it’s Namjoon who has to put it in the massive bowl, Namjoon who has to stir, Namjoon who has do the incantations in a language Hoseok can’t understand.

 

Eun’s crying gets louder and louder but it’s when Yoongi calls for help that Hoseok has to desert his post.

 

“Hoseok,” Yoongi hiccups, “I don’t know what to do. She’s too early. She’s too old.”

 

Hoseok’s heart goes so far past breaking that it just shatters into millions of tiny pieces.

 

“Yoongi,” Hoseok falls to his knees, Yoongi allowing him to pull Yoongi’s small body into a tight hug, “it’ll be okay. Whatever happens, it’ll be okay. For now, let’s just focus on helping Eun get these kittens out.”

 

Hoseok pulls out a pair of disposable gloves for Yoongi then a pair for himself. He figures Namjoon is going to be too busy up there to help them down here.

 

Eun’s crying increases, filling the whole lodge with her sound of distress. It’s a long, painful wait for anything to happen.

 

Finally, their patience is rewarded.

 

“I think I can see one!” Hoseok gasps, looking closer at what seems to be a small head beginning to poke out of Eun. Hoseok’s heart skips a beat everytime a little bit more of the kitten becomes visible. His heart stops when the kitten doesn’t move for a long time.

 

Yoongi leans forward, silent but so, so gentle, as he carefully helps to pull the newly born lynx out properly. Hoseok gags at the sight of the placenta that follows after it but he’s so glad he’d Googled “cat birth” during the wait so he at least knows there’s nothing wrong.

 

“Eun,” Yoongi’s voice is devastatingly hoarse, “you need to lick her. C’mon, please.” Eun doesn’t move, the only sign she’s alive being the way her stomach shudders and she whines with pain.

 

Yoongi pulls himself together in record time, instead having to wipe gently at the kitten’s face so it can breathe. He uses the corner of a soft towel to try and dry it - just the face at first but when Eun refuses to move her head at all, he cleans the whole of the kitten.

 

It makes the kitten begin to cry, its first real signs of life. Hoseok breathes a sigh of relief.

 

“Lynxes usually have up to four kittens,” Namjoon’s voice speaks suddenly above them, holding a large jug of what looks almost exactly like milk if not for the pastel pink tone. He places it gently down before rushing to his bag and pulling out little plastic droppers. “I had a feeling something was going to go wrong,” Namjoon says as he squeezes the dropper to fill it with the potion for the kittens. “Eun knew too. I’m sure you’re not surprised either. Her behaviour was ridiculous.”

 

Another kitten is being pushed out as Yoongi silently takes the food filled dropper and begins to gently try and feed the kitten. It spills everywhere, the strange milk-like substance dribbling down the little kitten’s cheeks and into the floor.

 

Hoseok’s admittedly freaking out about the thought of having to help deliver a kitten on his own so it’s no small relief when Namjoon settles beside him.

 

Yoongi’s attention is split between the new kitten and Eun. His tears never stopped falling even if his feelings of betrayal did subside.

 

The second kitten gets stuck as well, Namjoon sliding on a pair of gloves to help it gently out.

 

“You have to break the membrane of the amniotic sac so it can breathe,” Namjoon’s voice is soothing as he explains what he’s doing, “then it’s just about cleaning them up in general.” He uses a towel to go about helping the kitten the same way Yoongi did, a dropper already prepared for it.

 

“That was the last one,” Yoongi speaks again, finally. “I know it was.”

 

Hoseok takes one look at Eun, pitiful, old Eun, and ever so carefully takes the kitten from Yoongi.

 

A wounded noise from behind startles them all. It’s Danbi and Min and more cats Hoseok can’t even try to recognise. There’s not hundreds, not as many as Hoseok knows is out there, but there’s maybe about six. More than would normally show up together considering they’re independent creatures. They don’t all step fully inside but just watch from the doorway like guardians.

 

Eun lets out a weak noise like nothing Hoseok’s ever heard before. Eun’s breathing slows considerably but she makes the noise again. It’s - it’s not of pain, Hoseok realises, but of understanding. It sounds like acceptance.

 

Yoongi sobs aloud, the dam breaking as he grips Eun’s fur tightly with his hands. “Please, don’t. Don’t.”

 

Eun purrs. Eun purrs and it’s so faint and so weak but it’s there and it’s all together comforting and painful like nothing else could be.

 

Yoongi rests his head against hers, foreheads leaning against each others. He stays like that until Eun’s breathing slows again and again and it fades out altogether. Complete silence falls on them all - from the kittens in warm hands to the lynxes in the snow. Silence.

 

It’s only broken by the sound of a large vehicle pulling up as close as it can. It makes the lynxes scatter. Well, all but three.

 

“I called the wild animal vet anyway,” Hoseok whispers, “They might take the kittens, Yoongi.”

 

Yoongi nods, just once.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

They do take the newborn kittens away. Only, they take them with the promise to return them when they’re old enough not to need near constant feeding. It’s a relief, knowing Eun’s kittens will be safe before being returned back to their homeplace.

 

Eun’s funeral is held the next day, out by the trees. It’s ridiculously difficult trying to dig a hole for her through the ice but all it takes is one look at Yoongi’s distraught face to give Hoseok strength.

 

It’s a solemn affair.

 

It’s difficult but it’s - it’s closure. Yoongi lets himself sink into the layer of snow next to where she’s buried and lets himself mourn properly. Hoseok stays by his side the entire time.

 

“I didn’t mean any of what I said, not to either of you. I’m really sorry.”

 

Namjoon just hugs Yoongi tightly in response, kissing the top of his head. Forgiveness.

 

“You’re already forgiven, Yoongi,” Hoseok reaches for his hand. Yoongi intertwines their fingers. He doesn’t let go for a long time. Comfort.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

The Magic of Nature sends Yoongi a dream.

 

It’s only happened once before, when he was younger and doubting who he was, doubting the Magic of Nature’s decision.

 

It’s the first time Yoongi’s seen firsthand one of his cats pass away. It hurts like Hell every time he remembers. He’s not sure how to move on. Until the dream.

 

Eun’s sent to him, her body reverted back to how it was during her youth; her eyes shine with a youthful glow, her fur is glossy and soft like a kitten, she moves easier than she has in years. She rests her forehead against Yoongi’s, sending a deep and powerful purr reverberating through his body.

 

It’s okay.

 

The message is sent again and again in every purr - it’s okay .

 

He feels like he’s there for years with Eun, just drinking in her comforting presence.

 

Yoongi wakes up and thinks, “It’s okay.”

 

(He tells Hoseok all about it, every little detail. He can’t explain how he knows it’s not a normal dream but he doesn’t have to - Hoseok doesn’t doubt him for even a second even though it’s something so unbelievable.

 

Yoongi thinks Hoseok helps make it all okay.)

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

Things fall back into place - routines starting again. Taehyung and Jimin’s usual visit is more subdued but the fact they’re there at all makes it feel normal. Well, they were subdued until -

 

“Oh, Hoseokie,” Jimin suddenly turns to Hoseok, face serious, “Tae and I have something important to tell you. Do not freak out.”

 

“I’m literally already freaking out,” Hoseok admits immediately.

 

“We’re moving here,” Taehyung blurts out.

 

Jimin pushes at him, “That’s not how we were gonna tell him!”

 

“Well, it’s true! I just put it bluntly,” Taehyung scrambles to defend himself as Jimin is now prodding at his arm with his pointy fingers.

 

“What the fuck? You’re moving here ? To Canada ?” Hoseok gapes, mouth opening and closing like a fish.

 

“Yeah! Surprise! We’re gonna stay with Jeongguk! He has his own place even though he doesn’t look like the type to live alone,” Jimin hums.

 

“Well, clearly he isn’t the type if you two are moving in,” Hoseok squawks, looking at the pair disbelievingly.

 

“Why don’t you stay here too, Hoseokie?” Taehyung focuses back on Hoseok, “We could get all your stuff sent out here too. Besides, I’ve seen the town hall. Perfect place for a dance class if you ask me. The old ladies I spoke too are dying to have a boogie.”

 

“Tae!” Jimin sighs, exasperated, “I told you to stop talking to random old people you meet!”

 

Hoseok can’t believe his ears.

 

“You could, y’know,” Yoongi pulls out of his quiet conversation with apparently-can’t-live-alone-Jeongguk, Namjoon, and Seokjin.

 

(Honestly, Hoseok isn’t really sure when Jeongguk started coming along or when he even met Jimin and Taehyung but he can’t say he really minds.)

 

“Could what?” Hoseok’s confused.

 

“You could stay here. With me. Permanently.”

 

Hoseok heart skips more beats than he can count.

 

“Are you serious?”

 

“Yeah. I’m serious, Hoseok. After all, I can’t raise those kittens by myself when they come back home.”

 

It’s - it’s a lot. That’s all Hoseok can think - that it’s a lot to move to Canada and move in forever with Yoongi.

 

Weirdly, Hoseok feels anger bubble up inside his throat, “So, what? I just uproot my entire life to help you play platonic animal parents?”

 

The room falls scarily silent.

 

Maybe Hoseok should pick a better time for this but maybe Yoongi should have picked a better time to ask him to move in .

 

“Hoseok, not now,” Seokjin’s voice is barely audible but Hoseok can recognise a warning when he hears one. He also knows how to ignore one.

 

“What? Like I don’t have a point?” Hoseok scoffs, standing up off the floor, “It hurts me, Yoongi. It hurts me to see you everyday when I know I can’t - I can’t have you. Not how I want to.”

 

(When he looks back at it, Hoseok will label it over-dramatic and eerily close to something that he could find in one of Yoongi’s shitty romance novels but he can’t find it in himself to ever regret it.)

 

“Are you fucking joking me?” Yoongi stands up in anger, ears flattening aggressively against his head, “You’ve never even asked . I’ve spent this entire fucking time pining after you like a stupid lovesick puppy!”

 

Hoseok recoils in shock, “What?”

 

“Hoseok. Seokseok,” Yoongi’s anger dissipates almost instantly, “You seriously don’t know?”

 

“You look like a fucking dream every time I see you in my bed,” Yoongi starts to stumble over his words, “It - it feels like my heart fucking shatters everytime I remember that there’s going to be a day when I wake up and you’re not there again. that I won’t get to go to sleep with you by my side. I know - I know I can’t make you stay but I don’t know how to just let you go.”

 

Hoseok thinks, belatedly, that Seokjin was kind of right. Since now he’s crying in front of all his friends and Yoongi’s so ridiculously embarrassed by his own speech that he’s two seconds from his entire body catching on fire.

 

“I’ll stay,” Hoseok sobs, taking a wobbly step towards Yoongi, “I’d stay forever with you.”

 

Yoongi rushes in for a hug that would’ve knocked Hoseok clean to the ground if he hadn’t been prepared for this day for what feels like forever.

 

“Hooray!” Taehyung cheers, whooping louder when Jimin joins in.

 

“Kiss him!” Jeongguk suggests slyly. Yoongi just flips him off to the sound of laughter.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

Instead, Hoseok and Yoongi have their first kiss that night, cuddled in Yoongi’s bed together.

 

“I really like you so much,” Hoseok whispers before sweetly pressing his lips to Yoongi’s in a chaste moment.

 

“I like you more,” slips out of Yoongi’s mouth before he presses it to Hoseok’s, especially fierce from the tension that’s been pent up.

 

Hoseok finds that while Yoongi is annoyingly ethereal all the time, he might be the most beautiful when his deep voice is moaning in pleasure, sweat dripping down his face as Hoseok manages to hit his prostate again and again with every thrust in. Or maybe he’s the most beautiful afterwards, completely spent and exhausted with come drying on his stomach but a smile on his face from being overwhelmingly happy.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“I’m still kinda surprised you haven’t whipped out anything kinky during sex,” Hoseok’s carding his fingers through Yoongi’s hair, unmatting it since the sweat has clumped it nastily together.

 

(They’ve been official boyfriends for two weeks and Hoseok’s home is also officially up for sale. It’s ridiculous and fast and perfect .)

 

“You know,” Yoongi hums, sleepily, “we can never use handcuffs.”

 

Hoseok snorts, “Why?”

 

Yoongi sighs, “Haven’t you heard of that Stephen King story? Couple tries handcuffs out in the wilderness but the dude dies so she ends up trapped to the bed? Uh, no thanks.”

 

“Alright, unrealistic, especially considering you’re magic , but fair enough,” Hoseok grimaces as he finds a speck of come stuck on Yoongi’s lynx ear, “Do you think the cats would eat us?”

 

“I think they’d eat you ,” Yoongi teases, purring. Hoseok just flicks him on the head.

 

“The kittens are gonna be coming back soon,” Hoseok remembers, “What are we gonna call them?”

 

“Wow,” Yoongi yawns, “We’re such dads .”

 

Hoseok can’t help the excited grin that appears at that thought alone.

 

“Anyway,” Yoongi burrows further into Hoseok’s chest, “what are they? A boy and a girl?”

 

“Yup,” Hoseok smiles at his boyfriend fidgeting around him like he’s just a massive pillow, “I have an idea for the boy.”

 

“Mmm?”

 

“We should name him after a living legend,” Hoseok keeps his tone as serious as he can, “Let’s call him Jung.”

 

“Boom,” Yoongi clicks his fingers, “done. Even if you were joking, it’s too late now, Jung Senior.” Hoseok can’t help but giggle when Yoongi cackles at his own stupid joke.

 

Hoseok’s on the verge of sleep when Yoongi speaks again, body still purring, “I wanna call the girl Eunha.”

 

Hoseok kisses the top of his head, “Sounds great babe. Jung and Eunha. A perfect pair.”

 

“Yup,” Yoongi’s so close to being asleep it’s almost ridiculous, “A perfect pair of twins for a perfect pair of dads.”

 

The last thing the both of them think before they fall finally into sleep is that it’s all far, far better than just okay.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“Yoongi! I’m home!” Hoseok’s a sweaty mess as he arrives home, stripping off his outdoor clothing with a feeling of relief, having just spent an intense day leading dance/zumba sessions in the town hall. Even the cold air outside wasn’t enough to make Hoseok feel clean. His entire body aches - only recently had he been allowed to start dancing properly again since Yoongi had finally deemed the fire demon entirely wiped out.

 

(To be honest, Hoseok thinks it’s been gone a long time but that Yoongi didn’t want to let him get too busy too quickly. Besides, if the fire demon was still inside Hoseok, wouldn’t he wake it back up every time they had sex?)

 

A large lump of fur runs directly into Hoseok’s shins. “Eunha! Hey baby,” Hoseok coos at the kitten that’s rubbing against his legs, scent marking him with her chubby cheeks. “Why’s your daddy ignoring me, hm?” Eunha digs in her sharp claws to attempt to climb up Hoseok’s leg, still believing she’s far smaller than she actually is.

“Ouch, careful, careful,” Hoseok cringes at how his top clings to him with sweat. Eunha settles herself on his shoulder, balancing on for dear life. “Yoongi!”

 

“Shit, sorry, I’m here,” Yoongi pokes his head out of the workroom, “I was finishing the last order. I fucking hate making flu antidotes.” He stumbles out, rubbing at his eyes. “You have a good day today, babe?”

 

“I’m gross and sweaty,” Hoseok whines, exhausted but still unable not to tidy up the cushions on their specially chosen couch, “Give me a kiss before I shower.”

 

“You’re that gross but you still want me to kiss you? How selfish,” Yoongi sounds scolding but he’s already making his way down the stairs as quickly as he can. Hoseok grins into their chaste kiss, pulling Yoongi back when he steps backwards.

 

“Were the kids okay today?” Hoseok mumbles between pecks. Hoseok’s not too sure why he asks anymore - Yoongi is easily the softest one out of the two. Eunha could break every piece of furniture in their home and all Yoongi would say is, “Well, y’know, she’s young .”

 

“Jung was a pain in the ass just like his namesake,” Yoongi pokes Hoseok on the nose like it’s his fault, “Eunha was an angel, she slept pretty much the entire day.” Yoongi pokes Eunha on the nose which makes her chirp happily from where she’s perfectly imitating a parrot on a pirate’s shoulder.

 

“Where is he, anyway?” Admittedly, Hoseok can’t really look around and check properly when there’s a lynx kitten on his shoulder and a cute boyfriend in his arms.

 

“Uh,” Yoongi suddenly avoids eye contact, trying to distract Hoseok with another kiss.

 

“I swear to God,” oh, Hoseok’ll accept every kiss he gets but there’s no way he’s letting Yoongi get away with this again , “if you’re still letting him sit on the kitchen table, you’re on the couch tonight. It’s unhygienic and you know it!”

 

Yoongi grins, “On the couch by myself while you get the bed? Sounds just like old times.”

 

Now that distracts Hoseok, making him smile fondly. His smile only widens when he hears a bump from upstairs, little paws clicking against sood as Jung jumps from step to step to get downstairs.

 

“Hello my other baby,” Hoseok smiles down at their other kitten, another bundle of fluff with ears too big for his body. Both Jung and Eunha are a beautiful light brown, their fur only getting lighter with age. Yoongi lifts Eunha down so she can immediately wrestle with her brother, both of them letting out high pitched yips as they play fight around the living room.

 

“I thought I was your baby,” Yoongi pouts, lips stretching out as far as he can.

 

“You’re my other, other baby,” Hoseok grins.

 

“C’mon,” Yoongi slips his hand into Hoseok’s, “I’ll shower with you.”

 

“Hmmm,” Hoseok pretends to think, swinging their joined hands, “should I let you? Maybe I should just shower by myself…”

 

Yoongi just grins, pulling Hoseok towards the bathroom, “I’ll wash your hair for you.”

 

Hoseok lunges forward, letting Yoongi’s hand go so he can wrap his arms around Yoongi’s waist, picking him up and spinning him around even as he yelps. “Oh, you’re an angel,” Hoseok easily flinging his smaller boyfriend around.

 

“Stop, you’re gonna make me dizzy,” Yoongi whines even as he’s laughing, kicking his legs in the air. “I’m never doing anything for you ever again. You can wash your own hair, you bastard.”

 

(Yoongi’s all talk. He washes Hoseok hair gently, like he’s something wonderfully precious in Yoongi’s hands. Hoseok returns the favour, carefully avoiding getting shampoo in Yoongi’s ears, knowing from past experience that if he does, he’ll complain for nearly a whole week.)

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

“Hey,” Hoseok mumbles into Yoongi’s ear in bed that night, interrupting Yoongi’s reading of the description of the “passionate” love scene that’s going down in their current novel.

 

“What? Is this getting you going?” Yoongi raises his eyebrows, sending a greasy wink over the top of the page before he shuts the novel.

 

Hoseok gags, flicking Yoongi’s ear, “Our children are literally sleeping on the end of the bed, don’t be disgusting.”

 

Jung and Eunha are curled up by their feet, Jung twitching in his sleep as Hoseok can only imagine what he’s dreaming about. It fills Hoseok with such a warmth that comes only second to how he feels about Yoongi.

 

“What then?” Yoongi’s looking at the kittens with a fondness that Hoseok’s sure is mirroring his own expression.

 

“Oh,” Hoseok looks back to Yoongi, “I love you.”

 

Yoongi blinks, frozen for a second before nodding a few times, “Okay.” He re-opens the book, continuing the sentence they were halfway through.

 

Hoseok gapes.

 

“Okay, no ,” Hoseok reaches over, stealing the book and slamming it shut, shoving it down the side of the bed so Yoongi can’t grab it back.

 

“What? We were at the good bit!” Yoongi tries to get it anyway, climbing over Hoseok to try and dislodge it from between the bed and wall.

 

Hoseok stops Yoongi with a firm grip on his hips, pausing Yoongi in a straddling position on top Hoseok.

 

“Oh Seokseok, I thought you weren’t in the mood,” Yoongi slides a hand through Hoseok’s hair, monotone voice a complete contrast to the way his eyes are sparkling.

 

“Do you love me?”

 

Yoongi smiles, “Hoseok, don’t ask dumb questions.”

 

Hoseok pouts, digging his fingers into Yoongi’s waist, “I wanna hear you say it.”

 

“There’ll be consequences, though, if I do,” Yoongi leans down from his seat on Hoseok’s warm stomach, close enough that their noses are touching.

 

“Like what?” Hoseok whispers, mind and heart racing.

 

“Once I tell you,” Yoongi hums, “I won’t be able to stop.”

 

“You’re so cringey,” Hoseok laughs in disbelief, lifting his face up so he’s in a better angle for their mouths to meet, Yoongi’s tongue sliding easily into his mouth. It’s slow and unhurried, both of them just enjoying the intimacy.

 

Yoongi pulls away, running his thumb over Hoseok’s bottom lip, “Seokseok?”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“I love you.”

 

Hoseok just kisses him again and again and again.

 

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 

(It gets heated quickly after that, Yoongi rocking his hips down to get friction against Hoseok, but, undeniably, it’s Hoseok’s fault for moaning so loud when Yoongi’s hand touches his cock since that’s what wakes the cats up.

 

Unsurprisingly, kittens chirping and meowing kills the mood in a second. Especially when they start play fighting and end up wrestling right next to your head.

 

“Oh, the hard life of a parent,” Yoongi groans, collapsing against Hoseok. Hoseok just laughs, carefree and unbothered, petting Yoongi’s soft hair. Yoongi’s purring just encourages the kittens to join in every way they can, clambering over Yoongi to settle in the small of his back, their little purrs adding to make a symphony of low rumbling.

 

It’s perfect.

 

Hoseok falls asleep with a smile on his face - which just echos how he gets to wake up as well.)