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boy, you got my heartbeat runnin' away

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It starts, as most modern romances do, on the internet.

Which is to say that when Hoseok’s in high school he and Yoongi get in a discussion on a music board and for some reason it devolves into a fight and then evolves into trading music and then they’re just shooting the shit like they’ve known each other forever.  They keep talking and talking and the days pass and then weeks and then, holy shit, Hoseok realizes with a jolt, we’re friends.  

Like.  Real friends.  Like good friends.  Like updated-on-the-mundane-and-the-big friends.  He’s never met Yoongi in real life so maybe that should be weird but—it isn’t.   

Hoseok sort of falls in love with Yoongi over skype.  Yoongi talks about making music like it’s a real thing, like a producer is a thing he can become, has this glint in his eyes when he speaks.  Yoongi listens to Hoseok talk about dance with the same glint in his eyes, like he thinks Hoseok can do anything he wants.  It makes Hoseok think maybe he can.   

ill make you a beat, a song, you can choreograph something to it, Yoongi says, i mean, if you want

Hoseok does. 

Yoongi makes him a beat and Hoseok is scared to put choreography to it for a month because he doesn’t want to ruin what Yoongi has given him.

its really good, Yoongi says, when Hoseok finally gets up the nerve, youre really good, hoseok-ah. idk how you do it, make feelings into movements like that

Hoseok flies high on Yoongi’s words for weeks.  

Like a year later, Yoongi saves the funds and moves to Seoul, tries to establish his name.  He rents this shitty little one bedroom, calls Hoseok on skype to show it off.  It’s the worst place Hoseok has ever seen.  Yoongi’s ecstatic about it.  Hoseok can’t stop smiling while he watches Yoongi spin in the center of his studio, the whole apartment tour without taking a step.

The next year, Hoseok gets into uni in Seoul for dance and is so excited, so happy, tries to explain how much it means to him even though Yoongi already knows.  Yoongi squints at Hoseok like he doesn’t want to look away, but Hoseok and his happiness are so bright that Yoongi can’t quite look at them head on. 

Hoseok moves to Seoul and Yoongi takes them out for samgyupsal with money he probably doesn’t have.  It’s the first time they’ve met in real life.

Yoongi sticks his tongue out the side of his mouth when he’s thinking.  He has this habit of ruffling his hair out from the crown of his head.  His accent slurs his words, just around the edges.  He narrows his eyes when he listens hard.  When he smiles, Hoseok feels like he can’t breathe.   

Hoseok knew these things about Yoongi, but he learns them again. 

He learns new things.

Yoongi smells like citrus and the air right before lightning storms.  He’s small, but he takes up space.  His shoulders are broad, but there’s something delicate in him.  His hair smells a bit like ginseng, like sage.  He touches things softly.  His voice is like early morning frost.  When he smiles, Hoseok can’t breathe.  

The first two years of Hoseok’s uni life pass easy under the weight of dance and friends and Yoongi’s intent eyes.  There’s laughter and tears and cheap alcohol and good weed and classes and retreats and shows and injuries and healing and hurting and so much good, so much bad, so much everything in between.

Hoseok grows up a little, grows up a lot.  He dates a little, dates a lot.  People tell him they’re in love with him quite a bit.  He’s liked everyone he’s dated, but he’s not sure he’s ever been in love with them.  Love, to him, should feel like some good kind of vertigo; like the pit of his stomach right before he goes on stage; like being brave.  Most of his relationships are light-hearted, everyone’s feelings seem only puddle deep.  It’s like people see him but don’t see him at all. 

(People feel comfortable and shit around you, Seok-ah, ‘cause your face.  Yoongi tells him.  Hoseok attempts a mask of indifference.  Hmm, Yoongi says, I still want to tell you my deepest secrets and hold your hand.  That’s truly horrible.  You have a heavy burden to bear, Jung Hoseok.  Hoseok rolls his eyes, passes the joint, leans back on Yoongi’s bed.  At least I don’t look like you, he says, watching Yoongi’s tendons flex under the pale of his skin, you’re like a weird jinxed cat.  He jostles Yoongi’s hip until Yoongi looks down at him.  That Japanese cat phantom with the irises that change shape and the nocturnal habits and shit.  That’s you.  Yoongi licks his lower lip thoughtfully, a drag of wet pink.  Thank you, Yoongi says.  His teeth flash when he smiles.  I appreciate that.  Hoseok feels dizzy.)

Yoongi doesn’t do things in halves.  Not work, not music, not anything.  He doesn’t date very much, but when he does it’s serious.  He hasn’t dated anyone since, like, Hoseok’s first year though.  Well, that Hoseok knows of.  Hoseok asked him about it once, but Yoongi just shrugged.        

They both grow up a little, grow up a lot. 

Their dreams change. 

Yoongi no longer wants to be the hippest, hottest producer.  He wants to make good music for good people, regardless of accolades.  He wants to teach piano.  He wants to release another mixtape.  He wants to be happy. 

Hoseok wants that too.

Summer before his third year, Hoseok says he wants to move out of the dorms and Yoongi replies easily, “My lease is almost up, wanna get a place together?” 

Hoseok can’t speak for a second, just wants.

“Seok?”  Yoongi says, pushing his glasses up with the heel of his hand, tongue poking into his cheek nervously. “We don’t— we don’t have to, never mind.”

“No,” Hoseok says, taking the half step to their table, sliding Yoongi’s beer toward him, settling on his stool with his caipirinha.  He chews on the straw.  “No, no,” he can feel the smile breaking across his face, “that sounds great, that sounds really nice.  Holy shit, yeah, let’s do it.”

“Yeah?”  A shy smile touches the corners of Yoongi’s mouth.  “Yeah?  Okay.  We could get a couch for Holly.”  He slumps over his beer so he can drink without having to lift the glass, laps at the foam, shifts up on his elbows for a better angle.   

Hoseok looks at: literally anything but Yoongi’s mouth.

“A couch for Holly, like real adults.”  Yoongi repeats dreamily, when he settles back.  “Wow.”

Hoseok’s brain catches up.

“Sorry, did you just say a couch for Holly?”

“Yeah?" 

“Holly needs…a whole couch.”

“If Holly wouldn’t get lonely, I would buy him a whole apartment.  Holly deserves the world.”

They stare at each other.

Not actually wrong though, Hoseok thinks.  Holly is The Best Dog™.

His theory:

Holly makes Yoongi smile and Yoongi smiling has very literally and tangibly made the world better, such as, for instance, the world is a better place every time Yoongi smiles.  Ergo Holly is The Best Dog™.  Expanded, ergo Holly deserves the whole world or, at the very least, a really nice couch.

It’s science.

(That’s…not science, Jimin had said, when Hoseok explained to him why Holly was The Best Dog™.  Hoseokie-hyung, I’ll check with Tae, but I’m, like, 90% sure that’s not how science works.) 

“That sounds like something an adult would do.”  Hoseok nods.  “Buying Holly a couch sounds like an adult plan.”

Yoongi straight up beams at Hoseok before rearranging his features back into careful nonchalance.

“Motherfucking right it is.”  Yoongi says, as he tilts over his beer again.

“Do you think,” Hoseok asks gently, “Holly would let us sit on the couch maybe sometimes?" 

Yoongi squints.

“We’ll have to ask." 

“Okay.”  Hoseok mumbles, chewing on his straw again, letting his eyes drift as he thinks on it— him and Yoongi, Yoongi and him.  A place for them.  When he refocuses, Yoongi is looking at him strangely.  “What?” 

“Nothing.”  Yoongi says too quick, eyes darting away.  “Hey.  You really wanna get a place with me?  I can be a little, like,” he grimaces, picks at the skin by his thumbnail, “me.”

Hoseok grins.  “I like you.  And yeah, hyung, I really do.  I would like that.”

Yoongi bites his lower lip like he’s trying to keep the smile in.  It breaks across his face anyway.

“Okay.”  He says, looking up at Hoseok through his lashes, almost shy.  “I’m glad.  I would like that too.” 

Hoseok’s heart aches rather suddenly. 

“Hoseok—" Yoongi starts, but the bar surges with noise and Hoseok can’t hear the rest.

Hoseok didn’t have to hear the first bit though.  He would have known Yoongi said his name anyway.  He knows what his name looks like on Yoongi’s lips, has memorized the way Yoongi’s mouth curves with every permutation of it, the little flashes of Yoongi’s tongue, his teeth.

Hoseok stares at Yoongi’s mouth, at the drop of sweat caught on Yoongi’s temple, at the line of his body when he kicks his legs out and stretches.

Hoseok lifts his drink and downs it in one go, sticky sweet sour. 

“Oh, so it’s that kinda night.”  Yoongi cackles, lifting his beer to his mouth.  “We’re drinking tonight.  I see how it is.”  

 

 

 

Some God of Luck finds them this little two bedroom like twenty minutes from Hoseok’s campus, down a twisting alley, the second floor of a refurbished house.  It has a separate entrance.  The landlord is willing to give them a good deal on rent.  She mentions off-hand and without judgement that, if they only need one bedroom, the second bedroom is a good size for a study.  She would prefer them to move in soon.  She’s from Gwangju.  She likes dogs.

“Maybe she just likes Holly.”  Hoseok says later, flopping onto Yoongi's bed, thinking of Mrs. Ahn cooing at the pictures Yoongi had shown her on his phone.  “Maybe she’s going to kidnap Holly.”  He adds, just to annoy Yoongi. 

“Worry about yourself.”  Yoongi retorts, scooping the pup into his arms.  “She’s totally in love with your sunshine smile, Mr. ‘Oh my goodness, I’m from Gwangju too’.  She’s older than you usually go, but you’re bi.  Take one for the team if she offers, bud.”

Hoseok kicks at him uselessly.

“You take one for the team, bud.”

Yoongi sighs. 

“I’m gay, Hoseok.  And, even if I wasn’t, I would never.  Not with someone from Gwangju.”

Yoongi shrieks when Hoseok jumps him.  They half-wrestle and then crash onto the bed, a tangled mess of limbs and laughter, Holly yipping excitedly.  Yoongi’s neighbors bang on the wall.  Yoongi presses one hand over his mouth and the other over Hoseok’s to try and stifle their giggles

Hoseok is so in love.  

When they go to sign the papers Hoseok thinks Mrs. Ahn likes Yoongi too, even if he is from Daegu and terrible

They commiserate loudly about this while Yoongi pouts. 

He and Yoongi go to the furniture store and buy Holly a couch, to be delivered to their new place in exactly two weeks. 

Mrs. Ahn brings them kimbap on their move-in day.

Holly agrees to let them sit on the couch maybe sometimes.  

The dust settles. 

It’s good.  Really good.  Hoseok is actually surprised by how good it is, how easy it is for them to fit their lives in around each other’s. 

Hoseok decides, as he has before, that for now he won’t tell Yoongi that he’s in love with him because that seems like a way to mess this up.  Hoseok doesn’t want to mess this up.

Granted, sometimes—

like when Hoseok comes home after practice and finds Yoongi on the balcony, his jeans cuffed high, biting the sleeve of his shirt because he’s trying to stop ripping his hangnails, talking softly to the potted African violets Hoseok bought them

or

when he’s watching Yoongi make them ramen at 3AM because they’re binge-watching some terrible anime they’ve found on the depths of the internet and it’s imperative they watch it all right now but, to do that, they need ramen

or

when Yoongi wanders around the living room like a melted caramel ghost, Holly trailing behind him, tail down, looking just as dejected, until Hoseok calls for them from his bedroom doorway and they perk up at the sound of his voice, turn in tandem, oh seok-ah, you’re awake?

or

when Hoseok is tired and Yoongi performs interpretations of girl group choreographies to make him laugh (I am a dancer as well, Hoseok-ah, look) and they watch music shows together and contest the weekly winners loudly, throwing cushions when they disagree

or

when Yoongi gets out of the shower, flushed and pink, and eats mangoes on the couch in oversize t-shirts, skin damp like he’s covered in dew, lips and hands messy with juice, glistening as he turns to Hoseok and offers him a bite

—sometimes it’s difficult to keep the words inside.  But that’s okay.  It’s a different kind of love, a same kind of love all at once.  Being with Yoongi like this is good too, more than good.  It’s a lot and it’s good.   

 

 

 

It’s a different kind of a lot when Yoongi gets low low low, has a ‘depressive episode’ Hoseok thinks the psychiatrist calls it.  Which has happened before, but not like this, not in front of Hoseok, not exactly.

It’s like something inside Yoongi is shrinking.  Like mentally he has reached a dead-end and is just sitting there, trying to figure out what to do.  When Hoseok gets home one day, Yoongi is pressed up under his keyboard, curled into a little ball.  Hoseok crouches down, hyung?, and Yoongi makes this weird sound, this vicious little sound, like there’s a Bad Thing inside him, a tremendously Sad Thing, all capital letters and claws.  He hugs his knees tighter to his chest, like he’s protecting something low in his belly. 

Hoseok sits on the floor cross legged, near but not touching, asks Yoongi if he’s okay.

“No.”  Yoongi says.

“Thank you for telling me that.”  Hoseok says, because he thinks Yoongi’s brave for being able to speak that truth.  Hoseok lies all the time, says he’s fine when he’s not.  “Can I touch you, Yoongi?”

He thinks the pressure will help.  The enclosed feeling of Hoseok holding him never makes Yoongi claustrophobic.  It makes me feel contained, Yoongi said once, good, pushed back inside the lines, kinda?  Like, small.  And safe. 

“Yes.”  Yoongi whispers without looking up, reaches a hand out for him blindly.  “Hoseok.”

Hoseok pulls Yoongi to his chest, wraps his arms and legs around him, holds him tight, wishes he could help Yoongi fight the Sad Thing.  

Hoseok bandages all the hangnails Yoongi has ripped.  Yoongi bites the rest off, comes to Hoseok repentant, sorry, seok-ah. seok-ah, m’sorry.  Hoseok doesn’t know why Yoongi’s apologizing.

Hoseok doesn’t know if what he’s doing is right.  He doesn’t know, but he’s there.  He thinks he can’t fight this one beside Yoongi any other way, only by being there, by being in Yoongi’s corner.

At night, Hoseok makes tea for them while Yoongi tries to play piano.  In the morning, he brings tea to Yoongi’s room and they sit with Holly.  In the afternoon, he pours tea in travel mugs for Yoongi to take on the bus to the therapist’s office.  

He makes them endless cups of tea.  Pomegranate and raspberry; chamomile, honey, and vanilla; spearmint; peppermint; licorice; barley tea for fevers they don’t have. 

like the licorice one Yoongi whispers.

Hoseok buys the store out. 

It has nothing to do with licorice tea but, eventually, Yoongi’s eyes start to flick bright and then they do flick bright, stay that way, Sad Thing in retreat.      

Thank you for being there for me, Yoongi says, cutting up leeks for dinner one day.  I would apologize, I want to apologize even though I know I don’t need to, but I think you would say something horrible and greasy like ‘hyung you don’t have to apologize about that’ or ‘never apologize to me hyung, I love you’.

I would never say I love you, Hoseok exclaims in loud mock horror, why would I say that?  He situates himself around Yoongi’s body, tucks his chin over Yoongi's shoulder, feels Yoongi relax in his arms.  But you love me, huh?   

Shut it.  Yoongi says, and then, I do.

I love you too.

 

 

 

It’s probably a lot the other way too, Hoseok thinks.  He works too hard sometimes, puts too much pressure on himself, lets it build up until he feels like there’s bile in his veins instead of blood.  He’s gotten ulcers from it before, stress scratching him from the inside out.

This time he ends up nearly punching the mirror in the dance studio, just pissed off and tired of smiling all the time, always fucking smiling, wanting to—to— his hands shaking so hard he can’t lock the door behind him.

Yoongi somehow calls exactly then and Hoseok can barely answer the phone because his hands are shaking so bad and he’s so frustrated with the keys and how bad at dance he is and how stupid he is because he knows he’s not bad at dance, he just needs to calm down for a second, just one fucking second and lock the fucking door, it’s just that— everything is— these fucking keys, hyung. 

Yoongi must run the twenty-minute walk to Hoseok’s practice studio, because he gets to Hoseok in twelve.

He locks the door for Hoseok and takes him to this basement bar where the walls are lined with CDs and the bartender has a massive 10-disc player from, like, 1995 and plays all the music you want, if you can find it.  The liquor behind the bar is almost exclusively whiskey, most of it bottom shelf.  There’s a serve your own popcorn maker in the corner that looks like it’s been there since the beginning of time. 

It’s horrendous.

Hoseok loves it.  

He takes a deep breath. 

Yoongi orders two ginger ales and two shots of Old Crow, speaking with confidence though Hoseok knows he’s choosing at random.

It come in the type of shot glass you want to throw at a wall.

drink wisconsinbly, Yoongi’s says, with a baffling drawing of cheddar cheese looming above the words.

SAVE A VIRGIN, DO ME INSTEAD, Hoseok’s proclaims, in hot pink.

They down the shots.

It’s the worst thing Hoseok has ever had in his mouth. 

“A mistake.”  Yoongi whispers, turning toward Hoseok.  “Oh Christ, Seok, it burns.”

Hoseok nods his agreement, tries his best not to screw his face up, chooses this time.  He goes with something called Balcones Brimstone, and—

It’s the worst thing he’s ever ever had in his mouth.  It’s like biting a charred log. 

“Seok-ah.”  Yoongi whimpers as he sticks out his tongue, wet and pink and gleaming in the dim lights of the bar.  “It’s icky.”

Hoseok feels dizzy, kinda wants to lean over and bite Yoongi’s tongue.  He clears his throat, scans, points at the bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label like it’s a life preserver—

“That one doesn’t taste like death, right?”

The bartender laughs, not unkindly, just amused, and shakes his head.  “You will probably hate that too.”

We’re men, we can do this, Yoongi hisses under his breath, lips wet and warm where they graze the shell of Hoseok’s ear.  Don’t tell Joon I said that, I don’t need a lecture about toxic masculinity and internalization, I’m being facetious.

“Two shots of Johnnie Walker Black, thanks.”

Maybe we’ll like it?  Hoseok whispers back.  That author you like likes whiskey, right?  He’s smart, got good taste.

“Here you boys go.”

Yoongi nods—

“Appreciate it, man”

— hands Hoseok one.

Japanese whiskey, Yoongi whispers, Murakami likes Japanese whiskey.

Is that different?

They do not know.

Johnnie Walker Black is terrible as well, Hoseok thinks, stomach coiling.  Whiskey in general—reconfirmed as terrible. 

Yoongi looks slightly less like he’s going to vomit, but only slightly.  He nods approvingly. 

“Not bad.”  He says, clearing his throat.  “Pretty, uh, pretty good, right?”

Hoseok rolls his eyes.

“Yeah, you’re a real man, hyung.  I’m so hard for you and your raging masculinity right now.” 

Yoongi grins, waggles his eyebrows.  “Thank you.”

They wander the bar, pulling down CDs, debating which songs to request.

Yoongi eventually pushes Hoseok toward a little table.  Hoseok is still off, but he can’t get too inside his head because Yoongi keeps throwing popcorn at him, the same piece over and over, retrieving it each time so he can toss it again.  Hoseok breaks and smashes it under his hand, fuck off, hyung.  

Yoongi laughs and scoots over, throws his arm around Hoseok, nuzzles his nose into Hoseok’s hair.  Hoseok can’t stop the shiver.  It feels so right the way they fit against each other, a little like proof of God.

(Or maybe Hoseok just took three shots of whiskey and is taking a philosophy elective this semester.  Whichever.)

The opening strains of Jesus Walks crackle over the speakers. 

“We ordered this track, Seok.” Yoongi gasps, as though they’ve done something incredible.  He pushes Hoseok upright and holds Hoseok’s face in his hands, fingers pressing so hard they might leave bruises, little shadows of Yoongi on Hoseok’s skin.  Hoseok wants them to.  “Hey.  I love you, Seokseok.”  Yoongi says.

Wow, Hoseok thinks dazedly, as Yoongi pulls away, pulls his snapback low over his eyes, and morphs into someone else right in front of him, God is definitely real.  That’s so crazy.

Later that night, Yoongi pulls Hoseok into bed with him and asks if Hoseok wants to talk or if he wants Yoongi to.  Hyung, Hoseok responds, because the rough growl of Yoongi’s voice is soothing, waves crashing at low tide, dense with the sound of home.  Yoongi whispers an endless stream of words for Hoseok: thoughts for his mixtape, little stories from his favorite students.  He tells him about the new indie artist Suran he is producing for who he adores.  The new Mexican food stand opening up down the street.  What the scent of coffee makes him think of.  He does this until Hoseok falls asleep, exhausted and safe and so so so in love.

 

 

 

The days, as they do, bleed into weeks into months.

 

 

 

yoongi
hoseok-aaaaaaah

hoseok
im working, hyung
school shit ):
be home at, like, 5?

 

yoongi
are you still working?
seooooook
we’re bored omg come home
you said you would be home by now
were you lying to me?
after everything we’ve been thru?
hoseok
hoseok-ah
))))))):
RESPOND TO ME
DON’T DISRESPECT YOUR ELDERS
YOURE NOT JEONGGUK

hoseok
lmao yoongi-hyung please
is ‘we’ u and holly?
cant u amuse urselves tbh

yoongi
no we most certainly cannot

i thought you’d be home by now
what time are you getting home 

hoseok
im never getting home
i didn’t want to do this by text but
im leaving u.
holly wants to come with me, told me so
ill pick him up tomorrow while ur at the studio
goodbye, yoongi.

yoongi
so you’re just going to lie to me on this fine thursday.
i see how it is. that’s fine.
works out for me actually
i was just getting ready to go pick up some empanadas and obvs churros
then im gonna get into my comfiest clothes
turn the ac way the fuck up and the lights way the fuck down
cuddle under my duvet and other assorted blankets
put me on some motherfucking sentimental Ghibli 
and joon got me some nice shit so
get a little faded
and now i don’t even have to share.

hoseok
yoongi hyungnim,,,
my beloved roommate and close personal friend,,,

yoongi
no.
also, earlier? i purchased raspberries 

hoseok
raspberries are my favorite to eat when im high

yoongi
yeah i am AWARE, hoseok 

hoseok
was i invited
before i lied was i invited, is that why you bought them

yoongi
you were never invited

hoseok
so i was huh

yoongi
no 

hoseok
hyung 

yoongi
why should i invite [and share my good weed with] you

hoseok
bc i love you 

yoongi
hmmm 

hoseok
please 
ur my favorite
ur my dream man 

yoongi
cute
but flattery gets you nowhere
im out to walk holly/pick up the churros now but when i get back?
im locking you out 

hoseok
noooooo
besides its not flattery-- its just truth
also im only cute for u, hyung
u should feel special 

yoongi
ridiculous
patently untrue
youre very un-cute

hoseok
first, we’ve discussed this, that’s not how prefixes work
second, objectively, im cute
third, u clearly think im cute
u’ve just SAID i was cute 

yoongi
i did not and do not 

hoseok
now who is lying 

yoongi
i have never lied, ever, in my life. 

hoseok
a LIE
u shut ur mouth

yoongi
huh 

hoseok
?

yoongi
no just
usually guys say the opposite to me

hoseok
…what? the opposite?
guys tell u to open ur mouth?

yoongi
yeah usually they like when its wide open 

hoseok
?
they like it when ia;sf’a
FUCK
SHIT FUKC I JUST GOT IT
HYUNG
OH MY GOD

yoongi
i said what i said 

hoseok
DON’T SAY SHIT LIKE THAT

yoongi
i have freedom of speech, hoseok
besides why cant i say shit like that lol
what, are you imagining it
did you find it sexually arousing hoseok-ah 

hoseok
SEXUAKLLY AROUSING SFJKL
NO WHO WOULKD
I JUST AM IN PUBLIC
I AM IN THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 

yoongi
wow
i was kinda joking but
hit that one right on the nose huh
its okay, seok-ah
you can think about it if you want to
i don’t mind

hoseok
NO SSJKF:SJ I
IM IN PUBLIC
WHAT IF SOMEONE SEES 

yoongi
lol what? sees what
how would they see those te--OH. i see.  
does thinking about it make you feel that good, seok-ah?
what are you imaging, tell hyung, it’s okay
me on my knees, mouth open for you? 

hoseok
WHAT THE DUCK
*FCUK
**FICK
***FUCK
R U COMING ON ME
SHIT PREEMPTIVELY SHUT THE FUCK UP
COMING ON TO ME
I MISTYPED 

yoongi
am i coming on you
wow

hoseok
ur not gonna let me live tat down hu, h 

yoongi
do you want me to 
do you want hyung to come on you hoseok-ah 

hoseok
please if god is real ill be allowed to fade from existence right now 

yoongi
you cant help what you want, hoseokah
its okay baby, i don’t mind

hoseok
R U TRYNA MOCK ME OR SEXT ME
I CANT TELL 

yoongi
por que no los dos 

hoseok
hYUNG
no one says that anymore 

yoongi
i say it
so. which would you prefer. 

hoseok
i am at the library NEITHER!!!! 

yoongi
ok 

hoseok
but i mean of those two sexting 

yoongi
wait, what? 

hoseok
for future reference
i mean
or
whatever
uve intrigued me
idk
what 

yoongi
what

hoseok
asfdsa
nvmd 

yoongi
intrigued you? 

hoseok
idk
nvmd
yeah 

yoongi
are you saying,
if i were to, say,
as like an option
continue,,,,
youd be into it

hoseok
maybe
idk
yeah
i mean i bet u cant sext anyway so 

yoongi
oh ok. 

hoseok
ok 

yoongi
ok. 

hoseok
ok? 

yoongi
i just
i bet you’d look good like that,
all messy and pretty for hyung
but that’s not what youre pretending youre not thinking about, is it
hyung knows, hyungs got you figured out,
you always talk about my eyes when you’re drunk,
tell me they’re so pretty, wanna drown in ‘em
youd want me looking up at you through my eyelashes, huh,
on my knees, my pretty little mouth open wide for you, your hands in my hair?
id like that
m’good with my tongue hoseok, i could make you feel so good
bet youd sound good when i make you come
bet youd make me sound goodtoo,
make me feel so good, fuck me so good i cant stay quiet 

hoseok
HOLUY FCUK

yoongi
thank you 

hoseok
HOLY FUCK
I--
I MADE AN IRL SOUND
IM SO RED I CAN TELL  MY FACE IS SO RED
SOMEONE IS LOOKING AT ME FUNNY
NO WAIT
EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT ME FUNNY
i—
ur so
something IDONT KNOW YET
OH GOD THIS IS THE WOESJS
youre
ridiculou
RIDICULOUS
IS WHAT YOU ARE HYUNG 

yoongi
lol weak
also im 3000 percent sure once when we were drunk you hit on me by asking:
hey yoongi-hyung,
what method
of DEATH
do you fear the most?
so idk if you have any room to call me ridiculous

hoseok
PEOPLE ARE STILL LOOKING AT ME
im genuinely at like past half mast in a SHARED READING ROOM
GOD this girlw on’t stop LOOKING AT ME>
I HATE U
SHE ASKED IF I WAS OKAY
SHE THINKS IM SICK SHEWAS SO CONCERNED
ShE GAVE ME HER WATER
I FEEL SHAME
DISHONOR ON ME, ON MY FAMILY, ON MY COW
THIS IS THE WORST BONER IVE EVER HAD 

yoongi
thank you 

hoseok
why are you the way that you are.
oh god.
also i still insist i was not hitting on u
it was just casual conversation
i had recently seen IT because my dance friends are terrible
and i was afraid
and idk u always talk me down from shit and make me feel better?
but even say i WAS hitting on u
i asked it in like a sexy way 

yoongi
incorrect
also: gross get that soft ass shit outta here
(also: aw)
anyway i didnt have to wait so
im almost home again
bye 

hoseok
NO WHAT HTAT WAS SO FAST
HOW DID YOU SEXT AND GET CHURROS
WHAT THE FUCK
YOONGI-HYUNG
WAIT
IM COMING 

yoongi
jung hoseok
please don’t ejaculate in the library
why are you being so sexual today
its inappropriate 

hoseok
SHUT UP, NOT LIKE THAT
I MEAN LIKE IM COMING HOME
also im not @ u telling me im being sexual mr. do u want me to cum on ur face
u have a filthy fucking mouth 

yoongi
you started it 

hoseok
u know what i did
it was an accident but i said what i said
yoongi-yah 

yoongi
“yoongi-yah”
youre no longer invited to partake in the spoils of my day

hoseok
I LIVE THERE TOO
what are you gonna do - lock me out?
wait u threatened that
don’t do that
do not lock me out!!!

r u ignoring me
yoongi-hyung

 

hoseok
PLEASE ANSWER
I AM TRYING TO TYPE AND RUN
THISIS DANGEROUS

yoongi
dkfjls seok-ah don’
youll fall, dumbass
be careful

hoseok
hyung!!!!
u responded!!!!! 

yoongi
not willingly 

hoseok
baby don’t be like that 

yoongi
"baby"
hmmm.
….ok, ill allow it this once
youre reinvited to partake 

hoseok
lets get hella faded, my guy!!!!!! 

yoongi

hoseok
lmao what the fuck
did u just have that iamge
ready to go 

yoongi
yeah 

hoseok
i mean okay.
why. 

yoongi
moments like these.
anyway i have a question
re: me coming on you
why, up there, did you say come on your face
bc i don’t remember saying that
in fact, a quick perusal of my texts shows i didn’t say that 

hoseok

yoongi
dgjkdlfg
i respect that.
look
holly is tryna steal empanadas
and it’s bad for him im sure but im weak
i need you to come be the bigger man

hoseok
literally like ten minutes away 

yoongi
see you in ten minutes
,,,,
wow you lied to me AGAIN 

hoseok
why are you like this today
w h y 

yoongi
because everything is set but youre not here
and i want you to be here so.
hurry
): 

hoseok
sklfd
ur so needy 

yoongi
thank you 

hoseok
ur welcome
u know, if u wanted to cuddle
u could have used ur words
said, like,
seok-ah, come home. i need cuddles. 

yoongi
hmmm.
seok-ah, come home.
i need cuddles.
oh wow
it worked
youre home!
hi!!!
youre telling me to stop texting you
why?
i am using my words, ive said hello just there
im not a brat, im older than you
youre not threatening at all you know
your smile is like sunshine seok-ah
im just sayklfjd;zv 

 

 

 

They don’t particularly talk about it, but it’s relatively normal after that.  Sure, Hoseok now has a whole plethora of things to actively not think about while he jerks off in the shower but, like, other than that, it’s cool.  No big deal, you know?

Yoongi’s voice in his ear, his hand on the inseam of Hoseok’s jeans, trailing up achingly slow.  Yoongi’s pretty little lips, swollen and red and spit slicked, against his.  Hoseok leaning in, want me to get you all messy and pretty, hyung?  Yoongi letting Hoseok push him back on the bed, then skin on skin, Yoongi twisting against the sheets, touch me seok-ah, please touch me, neck marked up by Hoseok’s mouth, by his teeth, feels so good, fuck, seok, nails scraping down Hoseok’s back, gonna come, you feel so good, m’so close, are you close?, oh fuck, hoseok, come in my mouth, wanna taste you, seok, Yoongi letting his mouth fall open, sticking out his tongue, eyes hooded and dark, come for me, c’mon, please seokseok, wanna taste—   

Hoseok wakes up panting, shaking as he comes down from his orgasm. 

Fuck, fuck, fuck.  

He’s had dreams about Yoongi before, woken up hard before, even shamefully jerked off while trying to think about other things before, but that was— that was—

gonna come, you feel so good

vivid.

come in my mouth, wanna taste you, seok

Pretty. 

Hoseok shudders.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. 

Yoongi knocks on his door and Hoseok gasps, curls in and around himself quick.  The sheets stick to his stomach.

“Seok, me and Holls are making waffles, you want?”

“Don’t let the dog help you make waffles,” Hoseok gets out, voice unsteady, “he has no thumbs.”  Yoongi will know, will be able to tell.  Hoseok sounds like sex.  

There’s a little pause.

“Then will you come help?”  Yoongi asks, but quieter. 

“Hyung—”

“Please, Seokseok.”

“Yeah,” Hoseok’s face burns, please seokseok, “yeah, just a minute, hyung.”

 

 

 

Everything is totally normal and awesome and Hoseok is doing really fucking great, thank you so much for asking.

okay damn, Jimin responds, hands out defensively, shit dude, damn. i just said what’s up

 

 

 

The next week, Hoseok comes home real late after a shit day, just a shit day, and finds Yoongi asleep on the couch, Holly curled high on his stomach.  

Hoseok closes the door and leans back against it, tension leaving his body, just taking Yoongi in.  There’s something so comforting about seeing Yoongi there, knowing that Yoongi is there, that if Hoseok needs him he just has to make a sound and Yoongi will wake up and smile.    

Yoongi’s face is relaxed in sleep, his glasses askew.  His freshly bleached hair is a mess on the couch pillows.  He has pretty legs.  Creepy, Hoseok.  Don’t be creepy.  Chapped lips parted.  Rosebud mouth.  Stop.  Skin the color of honey.  (I’m a honey boy, Yoongi had said once and Hoseok can’t get it out of his head.)  Probably tastes like honey.  Stop.  One hand tangled in Holly’s fur, the other resting lightly on his belly where his shirt is rucked up.  Soft little belly, so pretty.  Stop it, shut up. 

Holly lifts up his head and gives Hoseok a judging look. 

Good point, Hoseok thinks miserably, I’m the worst, Holls. 

Which— cool, so, other than the fact that Hoseok is trying to communicate telepathically with a dog he thinks is judging him, it’s going well.

Holly nuzzles into Yoongi, licks at his chin.

“Tickles, baby.”  Yoongi murmurs, voice thick with sleep.  “Stop tickling me, lil pup.” Holly whines, paws gently at Yoongi’s chest. “Seokie will be home soon, we just gotta wait a little more, Holls.” 

Hoseok doesn’t whimper exactly, but he makes a sound close enough to one, and then an approximation of the words ‘hi yoongi-hyung’.

Holly is definitely judging him again. 

Yoongi starts on the couch, blinks sleep out of his eyes, and then a little smile quirks his lips.  

“Seok.”  He says. 

“Hey, hyung.”  Hoseok croaks, pretty sure he's already said that. 

“Hey.”  Yoongi says. 

“Hi.” Hoseok responds, before he can stop himself.

Holly decides to save Hoseok from himself and turns and steps on Yoongi's face.

“Baby,” Yoongi whines, cuddling the dog to his chest, “c’mon baby, don’t step on daddy’s face.  What do you want, lil dumpling?”

Wow, why would Holly betray Hoseok by making Yoongi say something that cute?  Hoseok thought he and Holly were friends.

“You’re late, Seok-ah.”  Yoongi mumbles, standing and clutching Holly to his chest, looking a little lost in the middle of the living room.  He’s soft and sleep-warm under Hoseok’s hands when Hoseok walks over and hugs him. 

Hoseok doesn’t want to let go. 

He lets go. 

Shivers.

“I made you a plate or whatever, it’s on the table.”  Yoongi says, feigning nonchalance.

“Thank you.”  Hoseok moves toward the kitchen, settles into his seat.  He’s so tired.  He wants to touch Yoongi again.

Yoongi hums in response, gets Hoseok a bowl of rice.  He falls into the chair opposite Hoseok, lifts his feet up and settles them on Hoseok’s knees.  Hoseok scoots his chair forward so Yoongi’s feet don’t slip off, catches one ankle with his hand.  Rubs the bone.

“Hoseok-ah, you okay?" 

Hoseok thinks about the expanse of his bed, how cold his sheets will be, how warm Yoongi’s ankle is under his fingers.  Shrugs.  Can’t ask for what he wants. 

“It’s nothing, just one of those days.  I don’t really wanna talk about it.”

“Okay, I get that.”  Yoongi hums, stares at the ceiling.  “Hey, can I sleep in your room tonight?  I swear my AC unit is broken or something, the temperature’s all fucked.”

How does Yoongi do that— read him so easy, know what Hoseok needs without Hoseok saying?

“Yeah, s’fine.”  Hoseok says.  “Sounds good.”

“Cool.”  Yoongi stands, wanders toward Hoseok’s room.

He's asleep when Hoseok gets to bed, curls into Hoseok with a little mumbled sigh of half wakefulness, seok-ah, missed you, the words as tangled as their limbs.

Hoseok presses his nose into Yoongi's hair and breathes him in.  He feels like crying. 

It's not a problem. 

 

 

 

“It’s a problem.”

Namjoon pats his head.

“I have noticed that you two anticipate each other’s needs really fucking well." 

“What.”

“I have noticed that you’re super gone for him." 

Hoseok groans.

“And hyung for you.”  Namjoon adds. 

“C’mon man.”  Hoseok whispers.  “Why you gotta kick a guy who’s already down?” 

“Hoseo—”

“It’s fine, you know?  Just loving him is fine.  It makes me so happy just to love him.  It’s just, like, there should be a bottom, like— like if my feelings are an ocean, there’s a bottom, right?  That’s as deep as it goes, I can’t love him any more than that. But instead— every time he smiles— it’s just more.”

“Okay, okay.  That’s okay, Hoseok.  That’s really sweet, actually.”

“It’s not.  It’s selfish.  I’m— I just want him to be happy." 

“He is, Hoseok, as much as anyone can be.  When he’s with you especially.”

“C’mon, man.”  Hoseok whines.  “Man, c’mon.  And, like, in addition, I feel like such a creep because I can’t stop thinking about his mouth.  Joon, I’m like afraid to jerk off, no matter what I try to think about, always right when I’m gon—"

“Yes, oka— thank— that—great.  That is great.  That’s enough information.” Namjoon rubs his eyes, sighs.  “Honestly, I don’t know what to say.  You and hyung are both so in lo—weird.”

“Thank you.”  Hoseok whispers.

“See, that’s a thousand percent a Yoongi-hyung thing.” Namjoon wrinkles his nose.  “You guys are, like, married.”

“Fuck off outa here.”

“This is my apartment.”

 

 

 

May fades into June.  Hoseok finishes his third year and realizes that shit, he’s graduating next year.  He pushes down the sudden clench of terror, drags Yoongi out to get gelato.

Yoongi leans over to try Hoseok’s, guiding the tiny spoon toward his mouth, hand warm on Hoseok’s wrist. 

Rookie mistake, Jung Hoseok, you fool, Hoseok thinks dimly, watching Yoongi’s mouth.  Petal pink lips, so close to Hoseok’s fingers.  The spoon comes out of Yoongi’s mouth with a little pop.  

“Yum.”  Yoongi says, as he releases Hoseok’s wrist.

“Haha, yeah.”  Hoseok says.

Yoongi gives him an odd look, but turns back to his gelato without a word.

 

 

 

“Seok, our lease expires in, like, two months.  You wanna stay or go?”  Yoongi asks, walking into the kitchen way too early, Hoseok only up because he has dance team practice at 7 on Fridays.  Yoongi peers at the coffee maker and then squashes himself against the counter, reaches up for the highest shelf.  He’s wearing one of Hoseok’s shirts.  

“Uh.”  Hoseok says from the breakfast table, so tired he’s not sure if he’s dreaming or not.

“I’m not short.”  Yoongi says after a moment, settling back on his heels.  “I am not.”  He repeats forcefully, and surges up again.  His fingers scrape the shelf where the extra packs of coffee filters are.  Hoseok’s shirt scrapes the tops of his thighs. 

There must not be any filters left behind the coffee maker where they usually keep them because the storage space in the kitchen is high and Yoongi is— is—

 (Dis-tall, Yoongi had stated once.  I am un-tall.  Ante-tall.  

Anti-tall?

Ante, as in before.  As in directly preceding.  As in the anteroom of a house.  I am ante-tall.

Hyung, that’s not how prefixes work.

You are also slightly dis-tall, Seok-ah.

Taller than you.

That's—tha—that’s what experts call conflict escalation.  

Yeah?  What are you gonna do about it, punch me in the knees?)  

—Yoongi is tiny.

Yoongi turns to Hoseok, lips claret red from where he’s been biting them, and pouts.  He's swimming in Hoseok’s shirt.  It’s falling off his shoulder and exposing the line of his neck and it’s not even 6 in the morning and Yoongi is tiny and pretty and Hoseok wants to lick Yoongi’s collarbones and make him whine.

“Uh.”  Hoseok says again.   

“Why are you doing that with your cereal?”  Yoongi asks, adjusting the hem of Hoseok’s shirt where it falls on his thigh. “You’re just, like—” he waves his hands, “holding it in your mouth.”

Hoseok blinks, closes his mouth around the spoon too hard, knocks his teeth against the metal.

“Ow.”  He mumbles. 

“That was weird.”  Yoongi says.  “Do you need coffee?  You should make some coffee." 

What Yoongi said walking into the room clicks in Hoseok’s brain—'lease is up in two months, you wanna stay or go?’ what does that mean? does that mean yoongi wants to go? he has been teaching extra piano lessons lately.  saving up?

“Seok-ah.”  Yoongi tries again, when he gets no response.  “You should make some coffee.”

“Yoongi-yah.”  Hoseok responds, “I don’t drink coffee.”

have they really been here that long? it’s june, they moved end of august, that’s—shit, ten months, they’ve been here ten months, it is almost time to let mrs. ahn know if they’re gonna renew. has yoongi been waiting for it, counting down?

“Don’t make me ask.”  Yoongi sounds like he’s gritting his teeth.

“Hyung, last time I got you something from that cabinet without you asking, you knocked it out of my hands, looked at me like you were going to set everything I love on fire, and hissed thank you, jung hoseok, but I had it.  It was terrifying so, like, use your words.

“I would never set everything you love on fire, Seok.”

Hoseok looks over at Yoongi as Yoongi clambers onto the counter, exposing endless stretches of creamy skin. 

“Why,” Hoseok manages around his suddenly dry mouth, “do you emphasize it like that?”

“Hmm?”  Yoongi hums as he stretches, which is when Hoseok starts and jumps up, seeing it before it happens.  Yoongi plucks the filters from the top shelf and overextends just a little in his triumph, falls back with a soft gasp, lands against Hoseok’s chest.  Probably wouldn’t have fallen.  Might have fallen. 

“Saved ya.”  Hoseok says, moving back and setting Yoongi on his feet.  Yoongi is warm under his hands, shirt rucked up so Hoseok’s fingers touch bare skin.  Hoseok drops his hand not quick enough, takes a step away after to compensate. 

“I was fine.”  Yoongi says, a dusting of pink high on his cheekbones.  He doesn’t look at Hoseok, focuses on opening the filters he’s holding. 

“Why did you emphasize it like that?”   Hoseok asks again, as he crosses the kitchen to flick on the electric kettle.  Yoongi swears that boiling the water first makes the coffee taste better.  Hoseok’s not sure it’s true, but it makes Yoongi happy. 

When Hoseok turns back to him Yoongi’s looking at the kettle, shy smile on his lips.  He flicks his eyes to Hoseok, then away.  

“Thanks.  And say what like what?” He asks, measuring out coffee with an intent look.  

“Like you put emphasis on everything, not on never.”  Hoseok explains.

“Oh.  Because I would never set everything you love on fire, Seok-ah.”

“So, you would set some of the things I love on fire, is what that impl--”

“For instance, I would never set Holly on fire.  Or me.”

“I don’t love you.”  Hoseok mutters petulantly.  “I mean, I do.”  He relents, when Yoongi flashes him a hurt look. 

Holly runs into the kitchen at the sound of his name and there is a pause while they both coo, scratch behind his ears, tell him he’s the best dog in the whole wide world. 

“I would set,” Yoongi hums, standing up when the kettle beeps, “for instance, your Balenciaga's on fire.”

“Hyung,” Hoseok gasps, “those were so expensive.”

“They’re ugly." 

“You’re ugly.”  Hoseok retorts, returning to the table.  He pokes at his cereal.  It’s soggy now.  Gross. "Sorry, you're not ugly."

“Thank you.”  Yoongi says.  He comes over to the table and pushes Hoseok back a little, plops on his lap.  “This is gross.”  He says around a mouthful of Hoseok’s cereal.  “It’s so soggy, what the fuck.”

“I know.”  Hoseok says glumly.  “I was busy saving you." 

“Thanks for that.”  Yoongi says, taking another bite.  “Ugh, gross.”

“Stop eating it then.”  Hoseok is distracted.  He wraps his arms around Yoongi, fiddles with Yoongi’s shirt—my shirt, his brain hisses.  “Isn’t this shirt mine?”  He mumbles.

Yoongi nods.

“Oh, so, I figure we can look at some other apartments if you want to, but I love this place.”  Yoongi says.  Hoseok rests his forehead on Yoongi’s spine, lets the words sink it, a little dizzy with exhaustion.  With relief.  “I love Mrs. Ahn.  I figure we’ll stay?  Let me know though, I have some free time, can poke around if you want.”

“You mean you want to keep living together?”  Hoseok asks.

Yoongi freezes in his lap.

“Oh.”  Yoongi says.  “I mean, if you don’t want to, it’s fine.  I don’t care.”  Which means Yoongi cares so much it’s like his skin has melted away and he’s one raw nerve.  “I know I can be tough to live with."  Yoongi laughs bitterly and Hoseok hates it.  “I just— whatever.  It’s fine."

“Hyung, no.”  Hoseok pulls Yoongi tight to his chest.  “I want to keep living together.  I wasn’t sure you did, got confused.  I’m sleepy is all.  I really like living with you.”  Hoseok soothes his hands up Yoongi’s sides, nestles into the crook of Yoongi’s neck. 

“Oh good.”  Yoongi whispers, body going lax against Hoseok’s.  “I want to live with you, Hoseok-ah.  I want to stay with you.  Is that okay?”  His fingers press into the bones of Hoseok’s wrists.   “Is this okay?”

“Yeah, it’s okay.”  Anything.  Everything.  Want it too. 

Yoongi traces his fingers across the back of Hoseok’s hand and Hoseok watches the movement, chin tucked on Yoongi’s shoulder.  They look so pretty together.  Honey and almonds.

“I’m glad.”  Yoongi says, a little shaky.  “Shit.  I got scared, thought I sca—” Cuts himself off. 

(I scare people away, Yoongi had said years ago, fresh off his breakup with Kihyun.  I’m too much, you know, too intense.  It’s fine.  I’ll be fine alone or whatever.  

You’re not alone, Hoseok had said before he could stop himself, you have me.

A deafening silence and then, right when Hoseok was about to say something, anything, just to make the quiet stop, Yoongi's hushed voice. 

I have you?

Yeah, Hoseok said, watching Yoongi glance at him and then away, I mean, you’re like 35 percent terrible, he lied, but that other 65 percent?  Wow, hyung.  Real real good.  Figure I can stick around.

Thank youThat’s my best terrible to pretty okay ratio yet.  You love me.

I don’t, Hoseok argued, to make Yoongi smile.  Okay, 37 percent terrible, Hoseok adjusted, to make him laugh, maybe 40 percent, to make Yoongi laugh again.  And I didn’t say pretty okay, Hoseok added, I said real real good.   

You have me too, Hoseokie, Yoongi whispered after a moment, if you need me.  Want me.  Whichever.  Both. 

Always need you, Hoseok thought, but didn’t say, always always want you.)

“No.”  Hoseok says.  “No, no.”  He does it without thinking, presses a kiss to the back of Yoongi’s neck, right where his vertebrae swell.  He speaks into Yoongi’s skin.  “You have me, remember?"

Yoongi draws in a shaky breath.

“I have you.”  He repeats, voice low.

Always, always. 

Hoseok presses another kiss, lingers, sucks the swells of each bone in between his lips, one after the other, sort of lost, sort of sleep-deprived, very in love.  He brushes his lips where he can reach, tugs at Yoongi’s shirt with his teeth, kisses the top of his shoulder blade.  He’s not sure what he’s doing.  What he’s trying to say.  

Three things happen all at once.

The coffeemaker beeps.

Hoseok kisses the side of Yoongi’s neck, sucks the skin in lightly between his teeth.

O-oh.”  Yoongi breathes, fingers clenching tight on Hoseok’s wrist.

The combination startles Hoseok into reality.  Shit.  He needs to tell Yoongi how he feels, but this is not the time, this is not the way.  He feels like he's taking advantage, Yoongi a little scared, soft and pliant in his arms.  Just play it off, he tells himself, it's fine, you're touchy anyway, just act normal.  He loosens his grip on Yoongi’s waist.  

“Go get your coffee, hyung.”  He whispers. 

There’s a beat.

“What.”  Yoongi says.  Then he shakes his head, like he’s clearing the cobwebs from a dream.  “Oh.”

“Let Mrs. Ahn know we’re staying, yeah?”  Hoseok pushes Yoongi to his feet, toward the coffee machine.  He forces himself to stand as well. “I’ve gotta go, gonna be late.  Bye pup, bye hyung.” 

Not late.  He’s not late.  Why is he lying?

“Oh.”  Yoongi says, still in the middle of the kitchen.  His eyes flick to the clock then back to Hoseok.  He picks Holly up, clutches him to his chest.  “Okay.”   He stares at Hoseok with strange eyes.  “Bye.”

 

 

 

 

Yoongi is gone when Hoseok gets home.   

what the hell?, seokjin texts, is the melancholy yoongi and holly in my apartment your fault? he wont say but I KNOW IT IS. with all my love i ask you: why are you the way that you are

Honestly, that feels like a fair question. 

Hoseok tries to figure out what to do, walks around the empty apartment until he can’t take it anymore, sequesters himself in his room and rearranges all of his figures, all of his books, remakes his bed neat with fresh sheets. 

Yoongi comes back late.

Hoseok peeks out, watches as Yoongi settles at his piano, plays some hauntingly tender piece.  It’s slow and sort of dragging.  It tugs at the skin of Hoseok’s wrists, whispers in his ear, feels sad and heavy somewhere low in his lungs.   Yoongi pauses, the notes skittering to a stop like a frightened animal, and picks up a call.  Hey Joon, goes out on the balcony like he wants to talk in private.

Hoseok doesn’t know what to do so he consults outside sources.  Crowd-sourcing is good for ideas, you know?

Wait, Jeongguk frowns, what do you mean this is totally not true but say totally hypothetically what would we think it means if Yoongi-hyung was, say, potentially composing sad piano songs in your apartment at midnight?

I feel like this isn’t hypothetical.  Jimin says.  It seems exact.

How sad we talkin’ here?  Taehyung pipes in.  Like Chet Baker Almost Blue kinda sad or? 

Tae, play it, man, we don’t know what that means.  Jimin pokes at Taehyung’s shoulder.  Go, go.

Taehyung scrambles for his phone, plays it.  

"I mean, yeah, kinda, but like a little more rainy, I guess," Hoseok says, "and entirely for piano.  And not jazz.  But I mean yeah, like, say it was that kind of sad, what, uh, what do you guys think?"

Uhhhh, Taehyung says, I think that’s not great, hyung.

I would tend to agree, Jimin says.  

You made Yoongi-hyung sad.  Jeongguk looks murderous.  

What did you do?   Taehyung queries.  

Yeah, what did you do?  Jimin asks.  Did something happen between you two?   

“No.” Hoseok says, weakly.

The three of them raise their eyebrows at him.

“No.” Hoseok says, more forcefully.

Hmmm, they say, and exchange disbelieving looks. 

Okay, thank you for your help and concern, goodnight.” Hoseok says.

Mmmm, they say, as the video clicks off.

Hoseok buries his face in his pillows and tries to think it out.  Tries to figure out how much it will ruin things if he tells Yoongi the truth.  A lot probably, given that Yoongi went to Seokjin for comfort just from Hoseok kissing his neck.  That he felt that uncomfortable with it. 

Hoseok needs to figure out the right words to explain his feelings, to apologize for what he did, so that he doesn’t make it worse.   

He opens his door and looks at Yoongi’s closed one.  Thinks about knocking, but still doesn’t know what he wants to say. 

Sorry I tried to kiss every single inch of your skin at breakfast this morning.  Can I maybe do it again?  I missed a lot of places.

Like that would work.

 

 

 

Hoseok can’t sleep properly, wakes up early, goes through his morning routine to try to gather some sense of stability, but ends up falling back on his bed, staring at the ceiling.  

When Yoongi wakes up, he’ll ask him if they can talk, he decides.  

Which is when Yoongi bursts into Hoseok’s room, throwing the door open so violently it bounces back, nearly hits him in the face.

Hoseok shrieks and falls off the bed.

“Aw, fuck.”  Yoongi says. 

“What the fuck.”  Hoseok whimpers from the floor.  “Hyung, what the fucking fuck.”  Oh God, his heart is beating out of his chest, he’s gonna die, he can feel his throat constricting.

“Seok-ah, shit, Hoseok, sorry.”  Yoongi helps him up.  He looks—

Possibly like he hasn’t slept either.

“What the hell, what the hell, what the hell.”  Hoseok breathes as Yoongi presses his hand to Hoseok’s chest, like he can calm Hoseok’s heart with his fingers.  

Yoongi’s hands are all fucked up, Hoseok notes dimly, filing the information away.  Yoongi is upset and his hands are all chewed up and— that’s my fault, Hoseok realizes, heart sinking.  

“Hoseok-ah,” Yoongi asks wretchedly, “did I hurt you?”

“That was,” Hoseok admits, “a little terrifying.”  He puts his hand over Yoongi’s and squeezes.  “But I’m okay.”

“Sorry, I’m sorry.”  Yoongi looks like he might cry.  “I was hyping myself up because I was nervous but maybe got too hype.  I didn’t mean to scare you.  M’sorry.”

They breathe for a minute.

“Wait, what?”  Hoseok blinks.  “What?  Hyping yourself up?”

“I, yeah. I wanted to talk to you about, um, yesterday.” 

Hoseok can’t breathe.

"Yeah.  Okay.  Yeah, I wante—well, you first, I guess.”

Yoongi takes a deep breath.  

“Okay.  First of all, I hope this doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, but I understand if it does.  I can find a roommate to replace you if you want, or I can go if you want to stay.  Let hyung know, okay?”  He waits until Hoseok nods.  “Okay, so.  Yesterday, when you—” Yoongi pauses, bites his lip, “it confused me.  Stuff like that confuses me.”

“I’m sorry.”  Hoseok barely gets the words out.   

“No, it’s—I should have been clearer.  I—I should’ve used my words, right?  So, I’m trying to now.  Hoseok-ah, I know you’re not trying to be mean or tease me or something when you do things like that but it—I mean, I—" Yoongi takes a deep breath, tries again.  “I know we’re touchy, but when you do things like that, touch me like that, it’s hard for me.  I like you so much.  I know you probably didn't even realize I like you, but I do.  I needed you to know how I felt and I’ll stop initiating and sitting in your lap and stuff but maybe also can—.  It just— it hurts. It means a lot to me, when it’s you, so I can’t.  I can’t, um.  Do things like that.  That’s all.  Thank you for letting me speak.  I’m sorry I terrified you.  I’ll just, um—” He stands.

“What.”  Hoseok says, catching Yoongi’s wrist.  “What.  No, I have thoughts, feelings, input, constructive criticism on formatting.  You can’t leave, that’s not fair.  Don’t I get to speak?  Hyung, please.  Don’t go.”

Holly yips from the doorway.

“I told you.”  Yoongi says glumly, turning toward him.  “See, I told you, he’s so understanding.”

“Stop talking to your dog instead of me." 

“It’s a coping mechanism, Seok-ah.”  Yoongi whines, sinking back onto the bed, pressing his face into Hoseok’s shoulder.  “Our dog.”  He adds. 

“Hyung.”  Hoseok feels like he’s maybe very slowly catching on fire.  “Hyung, can we try the conversation again?  I think I need more information.  Expanded information.”

“Fine.”  Yoongi says miserably, like it’s the worst thing Hoseok has ever suggested.  He straightens, stares at his hands.  “I like you, Hoseok-ah.  I didn’t even realize how much I liked you until maybe after I broke up with Kihyun?  But you were dating other people and you seemed happy and I don’t know.  Being friends with you is so good I didn’t even care.  The longer I waited the more I didn’t know how to tell you.  How do you tell someone you love them when you already say it all the time, you know?  How do you make it clear that you mean it the same and different all at once?  But, yesterday, in the kitchen—” Yoongi meets Hoseok’s eyes, looks away quickly.  Hoseok would bet approximately five hundred million seventy-two thousand won that’s Yoongi’s about to say something outrageous to deflect.  “I came untouched.”

Someone owes Hoseok a lot of money and also Hoseok is going to die.

Hyung.  No, you didn’t.  Fuck.  Fuck.  Focus." 

“I have freedom of speech, Hoseok.”

Hyung.”

“Look, it’s a defense mechanism.  Just.  Erase the last sentence.  The rest stands.”

“No, the last sentence was, like, my third favorite part.  God." 

“What?  Wait, what?  Third favorite?”

“I like you too.”  Hoseok says.  “Since always, hyung.  I’ve liked you since always.  I didn't know how to tell you, thought it didn't matter as long as I could be friends with you.  I like you so much.”

“Oh.”  Yoongi blinks.  “Oh dear.”

Hoseok scoots a little closer.  “Oh dear?”

“Yeah.  I wasn’t prepared for that at all.  You shouldn’t like me.  I’m terrible.” 

“Nah.”  Hoseok tilts forward.  "S'okay?" he asks.  Yoongi nods, eyes wide.  Hoseok presses a kiss to Yoongi’s cheek, watches Yoongi shiver.  "Nah, not terrible."

“Yeah, I am.”  Yoongi shifts, leans toward Hoseok.

“Nu-uh.”  Hoseok says.  Kisses the corner of Yoongi’s mouth.

“Yeah-huh.”  Yoongi whispers.  “You could do better.”

“Could not.”  Hoseok responds, brushing his lips against Yoongi’s, watching Yoongi’s eyes flutter shut and then open again, like he’s not sure if he wants to close them or keep looking at Hoseok.  “There’s no one better than you.”  He ghosts his lips over Yoongi’s again.

“Shit, that’s such a gross thing to say.  There’s no one better than you either.  Your fucking smile, Seok-ah.  I feel it in my veins.  Seok, can— can you kiss me or not kiss me, please?  This matters so much to me.  I need to know if you want this for real." 

Hoseok does.

He lifts his hands up to cup Yoongi's face, kisses him careful, close-mouthed and innocent.  When Yoongi stops trembling quite as badly under his fingers, when Yoongi lifts tentative hands up to wrap around Hoseok's wrists, then Hoseok runs his tongue over the seam of Yoongi’s mouth.  Yoongi whimpers, a heady and dizzying sound, and parts his lips.  Hoseok kisses him thoroughly, letting Yoongi memorize every detail, the shape of Hoseok’s mouth, the touch of his tongue, the warmth of his lips, just how much he wants Yoongi for real.  He tries to put all the words he spent the past few years not saying into the way he fits their mouths together.   

“Hoseok-ah,” Yoongi pants, when Hoseok pulls back to let him breathe, “feels good.”

"Me too, baby."  Hoseok whispers and Yoongi whimpers again, like Hoseok's words were a physical thing that hit him in his gut.  When Yoongi presses their mouths together again and falls back on the bed, Hoseok follows.  Shifts them up as best he can without breaking the kiss, pulls a pillow down to rest Yoongi's head on.  Yoongi keeps whispering Hoseok’s name in between kisses like he can’t help it.  Every time he does, something twists low in Hoseok's belly, good and sweet.

“Hoseok-ah, Yoongi gasps, while Hoseok works a bruise into the side of his neck, savoring the feel of Yoongi’s skin against his lips, of Yoongi shivering under him.  Yoongi tugs his hair lightly.  “Can you come back up here, please.  I want— want you to kiss me again, my mouth, I need—” Hoseok has no objections to that.

Hoseok loses track of time, of anything but Yoongi, feels like he could kiss him forever.  He scrapes his teeth over Yoongi's lower lip, alternates between sweet almost innocent kisses, and messier ones, dirty ones.  Figures out what makes Yoongi's pulse thrum under his fingers.   

“Seok-ah, Seok-ah, I—” Yoongi’s voice is ragged.

“Hmm?”  Hoseok tries to catch his breath, presses a kiss to the tip of Yoongi’s nose.  “You okay?”

“I wanna, wanna—” Yoongi sucks Hoseok’s lower lip into his mouth, runs his tongue over it, releases it.  “I wanna take you out, go on a date.”  Yoongi whines, hands roaming, twisting the fabric of Hoseok’s shirt.  He wraps one of his legs around Hoseok’s waist, arches up almost unconsciously. "Oh," he breathes, as though he didn't quite realize how that would bring their hips flush.   

“You wanna go on a date?”  Hoseok grinds his hips down just barely, the start of pressure, and Yoongi moans, eyes fluttering closed.  He bites his lower lip so hard Hoseok thinks it's going to split, whimpers when Hoseok grinds down gently again.  Hoseok can't deal.  He licks at Yoongi’s lips and then kisses him, open-mouthed and wet and messy.  “Just for clarification,” he gets out when they part, keeping up the barely there pressure with his hips, “you wanna go on a date, like, right now?” 

Yoongi whines, puts a hand over his face.

“Yea—keep doing that— yeah, I wanna take you someplace nice, Seok-ah, some place s-sweet like you." 

“Oh god.”  Hoseok whispers in awe.  “What the fuck.”

“I know.”  Yoongi whimpers, lifting up so he can nip at Hoseok’s neck, sliding one hand between them and up under Hoseok’s shirt, skimming over his abs.  “It’s so terrible, I want this so bad, but also I want to, like, go on record store dates and take baths with you and wake you up in the morning with your favorite tea and cuddles from me and Holly.”

“I want that too.  I want all of that too, oh god, so much.  But you do do that, you literally did that on Tuesday, you—” 

“I know.  I don’t have any willpower."  Yoongi says, seemingly distraught.  He tugs at Hoseok’s shirt.  “Off, can you get this off.  I woke up early on Tuesday so I could bring you tea in bed, it’s so horrible." 

“Fuck.”  Hoseok breathes, sitting up and pulling his shirt off, Yoongi’s hands everywhere, fingers cold against Hoseok’s skin. “But you have so much willpower?”  He mumbles, between kisses.  “Seriously, what?  You never stop working.  You put your mind to something and get it doneI’ve seen you forgo sleep and food for longer than should be possible.  That’s not a compliment, don’t say thank you.”

“Thank you.  Fuck.”  Yoongi hisses, as Hosek nips hard at his neck for not listening.  “I don’t have any willpower,” Yoongi clarifies, pulling Hoseok’s face back up to his, “when it comes to you, Seok-ah. Your smile tears down all my defenses.”

Hoseok fake gags, smiles so big.  “That was so greasy.”  He laughs, presses little kisses to Yoongi’s lips.   “I think I might be sick.”

“Thank you.  Imagine how I feel.  And you know what’s even worse?  It’s true.”

Hoseok can't stop smiling. 

“Mmm, say it again.”

“No.”

“But I love you.”  Hoseok whines, framing Yoongi’s face with his hands, tangling his fingers in Yoongi's hair. 

Yoongi lifts his hands up in between them and covers his face again.

“Well, I love you too or whatever.”  He mumbles.  

“Or whatever.”  Hoseok rolls off Yoongi with a huff.  “Okay, I see how it is.  Okay, sure, I have to be for real, but you're allowed to just love me or whatever,” Hoseok can't keep the smile off his face, the laughter out of his voice, "fine, fine, just a boy toy to you, huh?"

“Hoseok, Seok-ah, no.”  Yoongi manages, starting to giggle.  He rolls over, settles himself on top of Hoseok, leans forward to press their lips together.  “I love you too.”  He kisses Hoseok once, twice, slides Hoseok’s hands around to the back of his neck, goes soft against Hoseok’s chest, lets Hoseok takes control.  “Seok-ah, s’okay?”  Yoongi mumbles after a moment, moving his hips in small circles. 

“Yeah, baby, s’okay.  Feels good.”  Hoseok whispers, swallows Yoongi's whimper, moves his hands to Yoongi’s hips, the small of his back, to guide him.   He keeps it good and slow, just the right kind of dragging friction.  Loses himself in it, in the way Yoongi keeps saying his name, letting out these little breathy moans when the angle hits him just right.

“Seok,” Yoongi pants, “feels good, it, shit.  You feel so— shit, wait.  Our date.” His body stills.  “Wanted to buy you breakfast.  I wanted to buy you breakfast.  I mean, if that’s— if you wanted.  I don’t just wanna fuck, Hoseok-ah.  Although, I very much want to do that too, just to be clear, but also, I want to, you know, date you.”   

Hoseok blinks up at Yoongi, trying to clear his head, feeling a little dizzy from all this light touching, so gentle and good.  Yoongi’s eyes are sex dazed and sleepy and a bit nervous.  His hair is mussed from Hoseok’s hands.  There are bruises from Hoseok’s mouth littering his neck.  He looks so good, feels so good.  He's everything Hoseok has ever wanted and he— he wants to take Hoseok on a date for breakfast. 

Hoseok can't stop the smile, so fond of this boy on top of him, looking like sex and trying to buy him baked goods. 

“Hyung, I want those things too.  And okay.  If my boyfriend wants to take me for breakfast, then breakfast it is.”  He lifts Yoongi up by the hips, stands him on the floor.  

Yoongi makes a startled little noise.  “Oh wow,” he says. 

Hoseok sits up on the edge of the bed and tries to calm his breathing.  Maybe they can go to that little pancake house over by campus.  Yoongi likes that place.  He runs his hands through his hair, shakes it out, chews on his lip while he thinks.

“Oh wow.”  Yoongi says again. 

“Pancakes?”  Hoseok offers, ignoring how ragged his voice is.  He fits Yoongi in between his legs, wraps his arms around Yoongi’s thighs, presses his nose into Yoongi’s belly.  “You wanna go to that little pancake place, baby?”

Yoongi tugs Hoseok’s hair until Hoseok pulls back a little, looks up at him. 

“What?”  Hoseok says blankly.  “No to pancakes?”

“Seokoh wow.”  Yoongi breathes and leans down, kisses Hoseok deep, scrapes his teeth over Hoseok’s tongue, digs his fingers into the back of Hoseok’s neck, a sudden surge of confidence that sends Hoseok's blood pooling low in his gut.  He groans and, at the sound, Yoongi surges forward, pushes him back, straddles Hoseok on the bed, their teeth knocking together.

“Baby,” Hoseok mumbles into the kiss, “Yoongi, baby, mixed signals.  Are you trying to get me into bed or take me on this breakfast date?”

“Por que no los dos.”

“We’re breaking up.”

“No,” Yoongi wails into the kiss, collapsing beside Hoseok with a giggle, adorable and mussed and pretty and it’s mind-boggling to Hoseok that Yoongi wants Hoseok like that too, likes Hoseok like that too.  What the fuck.  “No, pretty please.  I've wanted to date you for so long, we can't break up in like five minutes, you gotta give me at least twenty.”  

Hoseok can’t find words big enough to fit all the things he wants to say.  He reaches out, runs his fingers through Yoongi’s hair, and then kisses Yoongi with as much care as he has in his body, with all the weight of his adoration, his gentle long-grown love.

“I really love you.”  Hoseok murmurs when they part, smoothing his fingers across Yoongi’s face.  It’s like standing on the highest branch of a very tall tree, the wind whipping and plucking at his clothes.  It feels dizzying and dangerous and vulnerable and horribly frightening.  He tries to be as brave as Yoongi is.  “I’m not just saying it, you know that, right?  I love you." 

“I know.”  Yoongi whispers, eyes soft and full of trust.  He doesn’t attempt to hide, never does when it matters.  "Hoseok-ah, it’s okay.  I know that.  I mean it too.  I love you too.”  His voice is so sure.  He puts his hand over Hoseok’s, slides their fingers together, leans forward, and kisses Hoseok gently.   

Feels like that right about to step out onto stage low in his stomach terrifying good, that kind of vertigo.

Hoseok smiles against Yoongi’s mouth. 

They kiss, over and over and over.

 

 

 

They make it to breakfast. 

Okay, well, not exactly, but the pancake house sells breakfast all day, and Yoongi is thriving on that technicality.   

“This still counts as a breakfast date.”  Yoongi says, stabbing a strawberry with his fork, pressing his foot into the socket of Hoseok’s hip under the table.  “We did it, go us.”

“It’s literally like 4 in the afternoon.”  Hoseok rubs Yoongi’s ankle, eyes stuck on the bruises on Yoongi’s neck.  

“That's breakfast.”  Yoongi replies icily, pointing at Hoseok’s plate.  "Besides we were in bed until very recently so.  Breakfast."

“Good points.”  Hoseok relents, watching as Yoongi’s shirt slips off his shoulder.  He adjusts it.  It slips down again.  “The waitress is so scandalized.  You didn’t even try to cover them up, hyung.  That shirt, like, shows them off.”

Yoongi shrugs.  “Want everyone to see I belong to you.” 

“Hyung, fuck, what the fuck.  You can’t just say shit like that.  Shit.

“I ha—”

“Freedom of speech, I know, fuck off, I understand that.  But I’m in basketball shorts okay, you ca— fuck, what the fuck.  You’re so hot.” 

Yoongi grins wickedly.

“Anyway, you’re the one who did it.  If someone’s scandalized by me, you’re the one to blame.  You should apologize.”  He adds, around a mouthful of pancake.  

“Yeah, I can see you’re totally distraught, wow, please, I hope you can find it in yourself to forgive me.”

“Hmmm,” Yoongi taps his lips with his fork, “give me a kiss and maybe I’ll forgive you.”

Hoseok grins, pushes Yoongi’s leg off of his lap, leans up and over the table.  Yoongi’s lips are sticky against his.

“Forgiven?”  He breathes into Yoongi’s mouth.

“Dunno,” Yoongi whispers, lips curved in a smile, “better kiss me again, just to make sure.”

Yoongi tastes like black coffee and maple syrup and, under that, something sweeter.  Something all Yoongi.  

“Love you.”  Hoseok whispers, before he settles back into his seat.

“You’re okay or whatever.”  Yoongi retorts.

“Yeah,” Hoseok laughs, “or whatever, huh?”

“Or whatever,” Yoongi affirms, eyes bright.  “Love you too.”