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Blessed Be, Remember Me

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Winter, 2023, Seoul

 

“I still can’t believe you’re getting married to Jin hyung.” Yoongi sighs wistfully, pulling on Namjoon’s tux and straightening his tie. “Feels like only yesterday, you had sex for the first time and came in, like, seven seconds.”

“Go fuck yourself.” Namjoon says, reaching out to smack him on the head. “It’s my wedding day. Don’t tell me things that’ll give me nightmares.”

“Remember that guy? That good-looking, pure, innocent soul you tainted?” Yoongi puts a hand to his chest, looking out into the distance dramatically, “The poor bastard.”

“Good-looking, you are.” Namjoon laughs, “Pure and innocent? I don’t fucking think so.”

Yoongi looks at his best friend incredulously. “I was sixteen. I was the perfect picture of a teen unready to have his eyes opened to the world of sex and men.”

“I’m younger than you and you topped, you son of a bitch. Also, if I came in seven, you came in six.”

 

Namjoon and Yoongi were the type of best friends that no one had ever seen apart.

There are many types of best friends in this world but they were none of those types. Their friendship was something of its own kind and own league. Something nobody would understand but them. They were each other’s first kiss, first crush, first sexual experience, sexual awakening.

That’s why it was a shock to everyone, except their friends, that they didn’t end up marrying each other. But everyone who knew them, actually knew them, knew that there was nobody else Namjoon could’ve ended up with but Seokjin.

Still, Yoongi felt strange seeing his best friend all dressed up, ready to get married in just a few hours. Almost like he was letting one of the biggest parts of himself go. It seemed to be a recurring trend in his life, that one.

 

“Sorry to interrupt this trip down the disturbing part of memory lane,” Hoseok says poking his head into the door, with an urgent expression, “- but uh, Jin just told me that there’s someone here and you might want to see him, maybe? Probably?”

Yoongi and Namjoon look at Hoseok, then at each other, then at Hoseok again. “Who is it?”

“Jungkook.”

Yoongi’s world stops spinning in orbit.

“Jungkook?” He whispers.

Hoseok nods, eyes wide and swimming with emotion. “Jeon Jungkook.”

That name.

That name alone made Yoongi stumble from his position in front of Namjoon and into the nearby couch, with a timid I need to sit down.

 

Jeon Jungkook.

 

It’d been years since they’d properly talked, it’d been a few months since he’s even bothered to check how he was and what he looked like now. Hearing his name brought back more than just memories. It brought back the smell of fresh fruits and good wine, the image of colorful swimming trunks and pools in pretty gardens, it brought back the smile of the old man Mr. Maunier, the oldest man in the town of Crema, riding bikes along the street, the swing by the lake hidden in the forest, the taste of a cigarette lit by someone you once believed you loved.

Jeon Jungkook. How could he ever forget that name?

Yoongi looks up. He steadies his voice and his heart. “Where is he?”

 

Summer, 2018, Italy

 

“Huh.” Hoseok says, squinting as he looks up at the sun. “So this is Italy.”

It’s not what they expected. But then again, they didn’t know what they were expecting. None of them had ever stepped foot outside of South Korea. They had this image in their head of what foreign ground would feel beneath their feet and how the sun beams would caress their skin and feel different from the way it felt in their own country. Well, at least that’s what Yoongi was expecting. But instead, the ground feels pretty much the same and it smells slightly like goat and the sun beams burn because Yoongi didn’t put on enough sunscreen.

“You know where we’re heading, Joon-ah?” Yoongi asks, squinting up at the sky, swatting away a fly that lands on his arm.

“It’s a boarding house, is what my parents told me.” Namjoon said, staring at a piece of paper with an address written on it and a few names. “Their college friends have a son named Park Jimin who’s staying there.”

“What exactly do your parents’ friends do,” Seokjin asks his boyfriend, resting his chin on his shoulder to get his own look at the paper, “- that they live in fucking Italy?”

Taehyung takes in their surroundings, glancing around at the small shops and people walking around in colorful shorts. His eyes land on what seems to be an ice cream shop. He points to it, “I’m assuming that’s Crema?”

“Crema is the name of the town, you idiot.” Seokjin says, smacking the back of his younger brother’s head. “Did you just hop into the plane with us without knowing where we were going?”

“Well. Yes.” Taehyung says, cocking his head to the side in thought. “I heard you guys say ‘Italy’ and decided it’s either I came or I die.”

Yoongi sighs and motions for them to keep walking. “Whose genius idea was it to let him come with us?”

“Don’t lie, you love me, hyung.” Taehyung says, shooting Yoongi a cheeky grin.

Taehyung was right, to a certain extent, because Yoongi did have a soft spot for the boy. He’d watched him grow up, after all. But he sure didn’t like him enough to be able to unsee and un-smell the way he’d gotten airsick nearly the entire flight to Italy.

Let’s go on a friendship trip, Namjoon had said. He’d always been a softie deep inside. Loved the idea of family bonding and heart-to-hearts and building a stronger relationship in the great wide somewhere with his closest friends and boyfriend who might as well be his husband.

“It’s not that far,” Hoseok said, glancing from the paper and back to his phone, “- this town is small. We can walk.”

People stare at them as they do, as they drag their carriers with them, looking extremely overdressed to be walking around a hot provincial town in Italy during the summer.

It doesn’t take them very long before they get there and Yoongi’s grateful for it. If he’d known this was the kind of place they were going to, he wouldn’t have bothered to bring his try-to-look-like-you-have-your-shit-together clothes.

“This is it.” Namjoon says after a ten minute walk, sighing and looking up at the humble boarding house in front of them. The five of them just stare and couldn’t help but admire the view.

The place was beautiful. It was simple and looked like it’d been around for ages, but even just looking from the outside, never even having stepped into the place, it looked like home.

It felt like a home.

The boarding house wasn’t too big, wasn’t too small either. It was freshly painted and had lots of open windows and a big garden. It’s the first time Yoongi had ever seen a dining table that was set up outside the house and they had a little swimming pool by it too.

That’s when he sees him.

Lying by the edge of the pool, his eyes closed, his head resting in his hands folded behind his head. His swimming trunks were wet, sticking to his thighs. Bright red. The rest of his body was sparkling, even his hair. A guitar was lying beside him, along with a book and a highlighter.

He’s a few feet away. But Yoongi can almost feel the way the boy’s eyelashes feel against his skin when they flutter. He looked like a dream.

 

“Hey.”

 

Yoongi doesn’t realize how distracted he’d been until he hears the unfamiliar high-pitched voice. He whips his head around and sees Namjoon shaking the hand of a short boy, a little shorter than himself (fucking finally), with a bright smile.

“You’re the ones my parents told me about?” He says, giving all of them a firm handshake. “I’m Park Jimin.”

“Kim Namjoon.” Namjoon says, before motioning to the rest of them. “This is Kim Seokjin, my boyfriend and Kim Taehyung, his brother.”

The two who were mentioned nod their heads, repeating their names and Jimin nods in return. “Kims, huh. You’re technically married already.”

“Yeah, we’ve heard that one before.” Seokjin smiles.

“This is Jung Hoseok and Min Yoongi, two of my oldest friends.” Namjoon says, patting the two on the backs.

“Nice to meet you.” Hoseok says and Yoongi looks back at the boy by the pool before giving Jimin a small smile.

Jimin’s eyes glance toward the direction Yoongi had been staring at and he turns to look at Yoongi, knowingly.

“Jeon Jungkook.” He says.

Yoongi blinks. “Huh?”

Jimin smiles, before motioning for the others to follow him, as he tries to help them with their carriers as much as he can. “His name,” He says, jerking his head towards the boy’s direction, “it’s Jungkook.”

As if on cue, the said boy stretches his arms out and sits up, yawns and twists his head from side to side.

“Jungkook-ah!” Jimin calls out, “Come here and be polite to our new guests!”

The boy turns his head and his eyes widen for a split second before a smile materializes on his lips. He sits up from his position and jogs towards them. Yoongi holds his breath.

 

“Hey, welcome!”

 

Yoongi doesn’t really pay attention after that, as he listens to everyone re-introduce themselves. How can he when Jungkook lifts three bags at once like it weighs absolutely nothing? He’s not sure if it’s just because it’s Italy and the sun shines different on people, but Jungkook glows like no one he’s ever seen before.

“Hello?”

It takes Yoongi a second to realize that Jungkook’s talking to him.

“Oh. Sorry. Hi.” He says, “Sorry. I’m Yoongi.”

Jungkook nods at him. “Jungkook.”

“I know.” Yoongi says, feeling distracted, sounding distracted. Jungkook can tell.

Yoongi can tell that Jungkook can tell. Because Jungkook looks distracted by him too.

He stares at Yoongi for a second longer than he did at the rest of them, before he blinks rapidly and looks away, motioning to the house. “Uh. I’ll show you guys to your rooms.”

 

The boarding house looked beautiful from the outside and the inside didn’t disappoint. Yoongi had never seen rooms so huge. All Yoongi had ever known was his small one-story childhood home in Daegu and his stuffy apartment he shared with Hoseok.

Jungkook and Jimin lead them to the second floor, where it seems to be just a hallway with several doors leading to rooms and a balcony at the end.

“We have four other housemates,” Jimin explains, “- but they’re not spending the summer here. That’s why I told my parents that you guys could stay.”

“Honestly,” Jungkook adds, “- it’s just nice to hear fellow Koreans again.”

This makes everyone chuckle.

They get to the first door and Jimin accompanies Seokjin and Namjoon, they get to the room across it and help Hoseok with his things, and then Taehyung. All the rooms looked similar so by the time it was Yoongi’s turn, he knows what he’s expecting.

It’s Jungkook who opens the door to his room. The rest of his friends were already settling down and Jimin was in the middle of helping Taehyung.

They’re quiet as they enter his room for the next month and a half.

The two silently set Yoongi’s bags down on the floor and Jungkook stretches his arms as he straightens up his body.

Jungkook looks at Yoongi who looks at him and they look away instantly.

“Thanks.” Yoongi mumbles, looking anywhere but at the shirtless boy beside him.

“Uh,” Jungkook motions to the opened bathroom door, “- we share a bathroom, by the way. Our rooms are kinda joined by it. I hope you don’t mind.”

Yoongi shakes his head. “It’s cool.”

There’s an awkward moment of just staring around the room, until Jungkook nods, his hand reaching up to touch the back of his head.

A nervous tic.

Yoongi’s nervous tic is playing with his ear. He realizes this because he’s doing it at the moment.

“I’ll, uh, go if you don’t have any more questions-”

“Why do you guys stay here?” Yoongi blurts out, still without looking at the boy, choosing instead to walk around the room, running his hand over the bedside table. “In Italy?”

“Our parents.” Jungkook says, shrugging his shoulders. “Something to do with their jobs that we never really bothered to understand. We’ve been here too long to try and question it.”

“You speak good Italian?”

“Obviously, I do enough to survive.”

Yoongi nods, turning to finally look at Jungkook. “You like it here?”

Jungkook shrugs again. “It’s pretty okay. I think we might like it better now that we have new company.”

Yoongi smiles. “S’it alright if I go for a swim in your pool later?”

Jungkook scoffs. “You’re the first person who’s ever asked for permission. Sometimes, the neighbors just come over and jump in.” He waves his hand and heads to the bathroom to get into his room, “I’ll probably join in anyway. I’ll see you for dinner.”

Yoongi nods and directs his attention to his luggage.

 

 

“He’s cute.” Yoongi says as he floats on his back, kicking his feet slightly to move. “That guy. Jungkook.”

Hoseok smirks from the other side of the pool, a glass of wine in his hand. “I knew it. He’s completely your type.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, knowing his friend won’t see it.

“You gonna make a move?” Namjoon asks. He refused to go night swimming so instead he’s resorted to sitting on the edge of the pool, dipping his feet in.

Yoongi gets up from his dead man’s float and dips his head in before going back up, pushing his hair back. “Dunno. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“You know how he is.” Seokjin says, “I don’t think summer fling is something that screams Yoongi.

Yoongi scoffs at this, shaking his head. “It’s not like that.”

“Then what’s it like?” Taehyung asks.

“I don’t wanna fuck him. It’s not that.” Yoongi says, pushing himself out of the pool, sitting on the edge. “That’s not what I want.”

With that, the rest of them understand. Yoongi didn’t want a summer fling, he didn’t do those. Yoongi did dates and movie nights, long walks and heart-to-hearts after midnight. He didn’t do half-assed things like one night stands, friends with benefits or summer flings. He was all or nothing.

“Yeah,” Namjoon says, thinking about their limited time in the country, “- maybe it’s not a good idea.”

“What’s not a good idea?”

They turn their heads to see Jimin and Jungkook heading to their direction, holding their towels and clothes.

Namjoon gives them all a look, as if  silently telling them to let him handle the talking, before smiling at the two and saying, “You know, I’d have thought since you lived here, you’d be sick of swimming in this pool all the time.”

“I’d have thought that too,” Jungkook says before jumping into said pool, making water splash into everyone’s faces, “- but what the hell else is there to do around here?”

There’s something funny about the way Yoongi manages to shut everything and everyone out the minute Jungkook is anywhere in close proximity to him. Almost like he was an off switch. There wasn’t any way to explain this phenomenon and no way to explain why or how or what it was about him.

Because Yoongi could put up a pretty a strong argument of why he thinks Seokjin is visually more attractive and why Jimin would typically be closer to his type but something about him just drew him in.

“You’re staring.” Jungkook says, from his position in the pool. He doesn’t look creeped out, doesn’t look smug, doesn’t even looked confused. Just curious.

“Sorry.” Yoongi says, forcing out a laugh, staring at his feet in the water.

“No, I-” Jungkook shakes his head, swimming closer to where Yoongi was, “- I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m just…”

“Observing?” Yoongi finishes.

Jungkook nods.

“You’re not an eyesore.” is all Yoongi says, giving Jungkook a soft smile before directing his eyes elsewhere.

Jungkook is quiet at this and Yoongi can hear the sound of the water in the pool and the crickets chirping which is weird because his friends were just a few feet away from them being very, very loud but it felt peaceful. It felt intimate.

“Thanks.” Jungkook says and he sounds shy. “You’re my hyung, right?”

Yoongi nods. “If you’re calling Namjoon hyung, then you call me hyung.”

He groans as he stretches his arms and he collapses on the ground, his arms spread out.

He looks up at the sky and releases a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding in. It was beautiful. He’d never seen a sky so clear back in Korea. Not even in Daegu.

“It’s pretty, isn’t it?” He hears Jungkook say.

He hears him get out of the water and sit on the spot next to him. “I used to come out almost every night when we first moved. I’d never seen skies like it back home.”

Yoongi nods.

They sit in silence for a few seconds. Jungkook watches the others play around and get along at the other end of the pool, a small smile playing on his lips. Yoongi continues staring at the sky.

Jungkook turns his head to look at the boy lying beside him. He doesn’t know if it’s because he’s been so deprived of seeing people from back home for so long or because he’s deprived of actual human contact with anyone other than his housemates but something about him just glows.

Yoongi turns his head. “Now you’re staring.”

Jungkook chuckles and looks away.

“You’re not an eyesore.” He says, repeating Yoongi’s words.

The last time Yoongi had a crush on anyone it was on his ex girlfriend, Mina, but that’d been over a year ago. And even looking back at that and at his crush on Namjoon during their puberty days, it felt different from this.

Those crushes were electric and strong and consuming because he knew them. But he didn't know Jungkook. This one was weird. This one felt calm. It didn’t scare him.

Yoongi smiles softly. “Will you show me around the town tomorrow?”

“Just us?”

Yoongi nods.

“We’ve got bikes.” is all Jungkook says as an answer.

 

 

The walls are thin is what Yoongi thinks when he’s in his bed after midnight. Hoseok and Taehyung had finally left him alone after telling him all about the bar nearby that they’d just visited for one drink and the people and the music. After Yoongi promises to bring them back and buy them drinks sometime that summer, they leave. Typical.

So he lies there, clad in nothing but his boxers and the new anklet he’d bought a few days before their trip. He fiddles at it with his toes. His hair is still a little wet and he still feels like he’s floating for some reason and that’s when he hears it.

Jungkook was singing.

He could hear the faint sound of the strumming of his guitar and his voice. Yoongi turns over in his bed, lying on his side, and he listens.

His voice sounded clear. Kind of like his eyes. It’s pure and it flows like a stream, it sounds like both the morning and the night, like when leaves rustle because of a breeze or the sound the water makes when you first step in.

When he closes his eyes, he can almost visualize the boy sitting on his desk, his fingers strumming on his guitar, probably had his eyes closed, face scrunched up to reach the high notes, his window left open. Because Yoongi assumes Jungkook likes to watch the sky from his room too.

He falls asleep halfway into the song.

That's not fair. He sounds like a dream too.

 

 

 

 

When Yoongi heads down for breakfast, everyone’s already there. Namjoon and Seokjin’s plates were empty as they downed their coffee, Taehyung was probably on his third cup of rice and Hoseok, Jimin and Jungkook were in the middle of their meals.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.” Hoseok greets, pulling out the empty chair next to him.

“G’morning.” Yoongi greets everyone, plopping down. “Sorry, I’m late.”

“Don’t sweat it.” Jimin says, waving his hand in nonchalance, his mouth full. “Jetlag ‘n all.”

 

Yoongi eats his breakfast in silence, only realizing how hungry he was after he had his first bite. Once he finishes, he looks up to see the table mostly empty and Jungkook staring at him, amused.

“You eat well.” Jungkook comments.

“Only when I’m hungry.” Yoongi answers, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “Where’d the others go? I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Checked out the bar.” He says, getting up from his seat as Yoongi finishes his glass of water. He reaches for Yoongi’s hand and hoists him up, unannounced. “They asked if we were going and since you were so immersed in your Italian breakfast experience, I told them I’m touring you around Crema.”

“Well?” Yoongi says, facing Jungkook. “Come on, then.”

Jungkook smiles at him and pulls him forward, making Yoongi wheeze in surprise. “Hope you enjoy races, hyung.”

Jungkook drags him to the side of the house, where six bikes were lined up side by side by the wall. Jungkook lets go of his hand and hops on a red one, and screams,

“Pick one and catch up!” before pedalling away.

It takes Yoongi a full second before it sinks in and when it does, he breathes in disbelief and fumbles to get on the closest bike and hurriedly catches up to Jungkook who was already out of the gate.

“You fuckin’ asshole.” Yoongi wheezes once he’s neck to neck with Jungkook.

Jungkook laughs at this, slowing down. “We do this sometimes, Jimin and I. We race around the town and everyone’s so used to it that no one even bats an eyelash when one of us dashes past them on the street, swearing in Korean. One of our housemates, Yugyeom, likes biking. We sort of got the hobby from him.”

“Biking, huh.” Yoongi says, “Swimming and biking. Is that all you do around here during the summer?”

“The summer?” Jungkook asks, incredulously. “It’s what we do all year. But I guess sometimes we also have to study and work, as life often goes.”

Yoongi chuckles at this. Jungkook takes a left and Yoongi follows.

“Ciao!” Jungkook greets as a man carrying a plastic bag of fruits passes by and the man smiles back at him, greeting him with the wave of a hand.

Jungkook greets a few more people as they zoom past the streets, always greeted back with endeared smiles.

“You’re pretty known around here, huh?” Yoongi comments.

Jungkook shrugs. “It’s a small town.”

He abruptly stops his bike in front of a convenience store and Yoongi stumbles as he does the same.

“Wait.” Jungkook says, taking Yoongi’s hand and placing it on his bike for support. He jogs into the convenience store.

Yoongi taps his fingers on the bike as he waits for Jungkook to come back and a minute later he does, a cigarette perched between his lips and a pack and a lighter in his hand.

“Do you smoke?” Jungkook asks, taking hold of his bike’s handle.

Yoongi nods and Jungkook offers him one, Yoongi taking it with his mouth. It feels weirdly intimate.

Jungkook motions to the lighter and instead of taking it, Yoongi leans forward. Jungkook hesitates for a moment but takes the hint, flicking the lighter on and lighting it for him.

Yoongi leans back and exhales. “Thanks.”

They zoom past shops and small houses, zoom past streets with lots of people, and ride until there were barely any people at all. Jungkook points at everything,

“This is where you go if you want some good ice cream.”

“This is the post office.”

“This is where Mr. Maunier lives, he’s French and he’s the oldest guy here.”

“This is the bar they kept talking about, they’re probably in there.”

They don’t stop, not even to greet their friends and get a drink. They just ride until there were no longer shops or places to point out, just patches of green, trees and gravel.

“Where are we going?” Yoongi asks.

Jungkook turns to look at him and smiles. “To swim.”

Yoongi scoffs. “Shocker.”

 

 

“This is where I go sometimes when it gets too stuffy at home.” Jungkook says, stepping into the water like he’d done it a thousand times before. Yoongi does the same, following behind him, trying to act like the water wasn’t absolutely freezing.

“Stuffy?” He says instead, directing his attention to how clear the water was. How the sun reflected on the surface and how broad Jungkook’s back looked. “Your house is fucking huge.”

Jungkook laughs, turning to look at Yoongi. “Doesn’t feel that huge when you live with five other people.”

Yoongi bends down, feeling the water with his hands, listening to the sound it made as he moved his fingers back and forth.

 

“I heard you singing last night.” He says, after a few minutes of weirdly comforting silence.

Jungkook strips his shirt off, tossing it to the ground carelessly, just a few inches away from the water. He smiles softly, staring at his feet underneath the water. “Forgot the walls are so thin.”

Yoongi shakes his head. “Don’t worry. I liked it.”

Jungkook splashes some water towards Yoongi’s direction, in an attempt to get rid of his shame. Yoongi does the same to him.

“I like music. Writing, composing, playing, listening.” Jungkook says, before sitting in the water, letting out a little exhale. “I’ve been trying to learn the piano too.”

“I play.” Yoongi says. “The piano, I mean. I’ve been playing since I was a kid. We had this beautiful grand piano at home that my old man used to play a lot and I’d just sit on the couch behind him, drinking banana milk or something and listen to him play.”

Yoongi didn’t know why he was telling Jungkook this, he didn’t even know if he cared. But he couldn’t help it.

And when he glanced over at the boy, he was looking at him with an expression that couldn’t be anything but genuine interest. So he keeps talking.

“I remember being, like, seven and running my hands over the keys and the wood and feeling so… captured by it, you know?”

Jungkook just stares at him. Yoongi stares back and it doesn’t feel awkward or weird. It felt a little like they were trying to analyze each other.

Jungkook had a mole just beneath his nose and a scar on his cheek that made Yoongi want to ask where he got it from. He had clear, brown eyes. The clearest Yoongi had ever seen.

“I know.” Jungkook finally says mid-stare. “I know how that feels.”

I know how that feels because it’s how I feel right now, is left unsaid. But Jungkook thinks he was able to say it with his eyes. People always said that it was one of his greatest talents and greatest downfalls. How his eyes always said so clearly how he felt even if he didn’t use any words.

It’s left unsaid but Yoongi thinks he hears it. But neither of them say anything.

Instead, they sit by the lake for an hour in silence. For a lot of it, Jungkook plays with Yoongi’s anklet, feeling the little charm between his fingers. And Yoongi smokes a cigarette, pretending he doesn’t feel the way their bare thighs pressed against each other. Pretends his breath doesn’t catch in his throat when Jungkook leans forward and catches the cigarette in his lips, taking a puff from the cigarette between Yoongi’s fingers.

“Teach me to play.” Jungkook says in the middle of their silence, when they’re lying side by side waiting for their clothes to dry off.

Yoongi hums.

I feel like I’d do anything if you asked, honestly, is what Yoongi thinks to himself. But he doesn’t say that either. He hopes Jungkook hears it though, somehow.

Jungkook thinks he does.

 

They ride back home when it’s almost dark and they leave their polos left open, making a few girls whistle. There was no point in drying off their clothes because once they get home, they’re pushed back into the pool by their friends anyway.

They have dinner a little too late at night and by the time they’re done, it’s nearing midnight. Yoongi sits in his bed, his notebook of lyrics resting on his lap. He stares up at the ceiling in thought, before decidedly grabbing his cellphone, pressing on his mom’s contact. He waits.

“My bean man!” His mom greets after three rings.

Yoongi sighs. “Dear god, mom. Please never call me that again.”

“I miss you, honey.” She says, “Your dad isn’t home yet but I’ll tell him you called. How’s the trip so far?”

“Good,” Yoongi says, honestly, “It’s been good. Jungkook and Jimin are really awesome. The place is beautiful. It’s-”

Yoongi drifts off when he hears someone strumming the guitar from next door and he smiles because he knows that Jungkook knows he can hear him.

Him playing means he doesn’t mind. Him playing means he wants him to hear.

“Yoongi?”

“I, uh,” Yoongi coughs, directing his attention back to his mother, “- Jungkook and I have joined rooms and he likes to sing at night.”

“Oh, he’s a musician?” She asks, voice lighting up. “Like you?”

Yoongi laughs. “I think he’s a lot of things.”

Yoongi sits up from his bed and makes his way towards the bathroom. He notices the door left half open and he sees a glimpse of Jungkook sitting on his chair, his feet resting on his desk as he strummed his guitar and hummed. Yoongi walks closer, careful not to make any noise.

“Is that him?” His mother asks through the phone.

Yoongi doesn’t answer but he pushes the door open a little wider and Jungkook looks up at him, doe eyed.

He smiles. He knew.

“Yeah.” Yoongi says through the phone, “I’ll call you tomorrow, mom. Love you.”

His mother seems to know, she always does. Because all she does is chuckle lightly.

“Good night, my love.” She hums through the phone, before hanging up.

Yoongi pockets his phone and spots the piano sitting at the side of the room. Jungkook follows him with his eyes as he walks towards it.

Yoongi traces the keys with his fingers, runs his hands over it the way he did when he was younger. He turns his head to look at Jungkook. “Keep playing what you were playing.”

Jungkook’s eyes linger on him for a moment, but Yoongi turns his back on him and sits on the chair. He plays a note.

And so Jungkook does. The same song he played the night before, the same song that lingered in his ears before he’d drifted to sleep.

And Yoongi closes his eyes and just plays .

He hadn’t played the piano in awhile, at least, not in front of an audience. But it still made him feel the same way.

The first time he played one whole piece on the piano was when he was nine. By the end of it, he looked up at his parents and told them four words.

 

I feel so nice.

 

One look at it, one touch, one song, and he was sold. And here he was, years later, a grown man, still so completely taken by some non-living thing that somehow made him feel more alive than anything else could.

Jungkook played his song on the guitar and Yoongi accompanied it with his piano and he could hear that Jungkook had stopped humming but he didn’t mind. He knew, somehow, for sure he’d hear it another time.

Yoongi stops so Jungkook does too. Yoongi turns to look at the boy and Jungkook smiles at him in disbelief, releasing a shaky breath.

“You know the song?” Jungkook asks, his voice soft.

Yoongi shakes his head. “Thought you wrote it.”

“I didn’t.” Jungkook laughs, setting his guitar down by the side of his bed. “It’s called Mystery of Love.”

Fitting , is what Yoongi thinks. Instead, he nods.

He really wants to kiss Jungkook right now. He’s only a few steps away, in his white shirt and colorful shorts and glowing like he always does. But he doesn’t.

He smiles softly.

“Good night, Jungkook.” He says instead, heading for the door that leads back to his own side of the room.

“Wait-”

Without Yoongi knowing, Jungkook had made his way closer to him, grabbed onto his wrist with a vice-like grip. Yoongi turns his head.

Jungkook looks at him, then at his hand and then pulls away as if he’d just committed some heinous crime.

“I-” He pauses, sighs decidedly and shakes his head. “Nothing. Good night, hyung.”

Yoongi lets his eyes linger for a moment, raises his hand and lets his fingers touch the scar on Jungkook’s cheek, briefly. The boy’s eyes flutter close and he exhales, leaning in to the touch.

Yoongi lets his hand drop sooner than he wanted it to and he whispers, “Good night.”

He turns around and closes the door behind him. His hand stays around the doorknob for a second, wondering whether he wanted to let go or twist it back open. He feels Jungkook lean against the door and he swears he hears him release a shaky breath.

But Yoongi lets go. Because he knows even if he doesn’t do it now, he’ll have to do it eventually. And it’ll hurt then.

“It’ll hurt then.” He repeats to himself as he makes his way back to his room.

 

 

The next two weeks are spent in cautious distance. They still talked, still swam together and biked around the town almost everyday. It was a different kind of distance. Like, how they’d make sure that even if they were next to each other, they wouldn’t touch. How Jungkook stopped playing and singing as he usually would and even when he did, Yoongi wouldn’t do anything except roll over in his bed and pull the blankets over his head. Their stares used to be comfortable, their silences used to be comforting, but now, there was none of that.

 

Distance.

 

“Yoongi,” Seokjin had said from the door to his room, “- there’s gonna be a party at the neighbor’s later tonight. You gonna come with us or what?”

“Italian strangers with a pretty house are inviting us to their party?” Yoongi says, incredulously, “- hell yeah, I’m coming.”

The party happens twenty steps away from their house. Fairy lights hung around the trees of the garden, there were only about 30 or so people, tables and chairs scattered around the area, a table of drinks and a DJ at the corner, smoking a blunt.

He plays the damned song that was everywhere, Despacito , and Yoongi knows after hearing the first beat of the song that everyone in the table was going to abandon him for the dance floor and he was absolutely right.

Taehyung, Hoseok and Jimin are on their feet before Yoongi can take a breath, whooping and bringing their beers along with them.

Seokjin, who had been sitting on Namjoon’s lap, stands up and grabs Namjoon’s hand, dragging him up with him. Namjoon groans playfully but lets himself get pulled to the dance floor along with everyone. Yoongi watches as their friends grind against each other and he cringes.

“You coming?”

Yoongi turns to look at Jungkook who stares back at him. Yoongi shakes his head and brings his cigarette to his lips. “I’ll catch up.”

Jungkook nods and gets up from his seat, moonwalking over to their friends, earning some whoops and cheers from everyone, including the neighbors and a few other people Yoongi didn’t know.

Yoongi smokes his cigarette, leaning back against his chair. The song changes to something Yoongi doesn’t know eventually, and Jungkook goes from dorky jumping to grinding against a girl, who Yoongi knows to be Greta, the great granddaughter of Mr. Maunier.

He cocks his head curiously, staring at the two, and he knows just by looking that they weren’t an item, probably never even kissed before. They were simply two people having fun and yet Yoongi feels something boil inside of him. Not jealousy, he tells himself. But some sort of ache.

The feeling of knowing that it could be him if he’d just let himself, but he knows he shouldn’t let himself. He puts off his cigarette in the ashtray and takes a last gulp of his beer before heading to the dance floor.

Hoseok takes him by the hand and leads him into their little circle and Yoongi laughs as he pumps his fists in the air, moving his hips in a way that he hopes doesn’t look too ridiculous. He might be a little drunk and his friends might be a little more than just a little drunk and he looks at Jungkook who’s let go of Greta and was now choosing to join their circle.

And he’s so beautiful that it hurts.

The fairy lights reflected off him, making him shine. Even if he was sweating more than Yoongi thought the regular person should sweat, he shimmered.

Reminded him a lot of his lake. Their lake.

He was smiling and dancing and laughing, his teeth made him look like a bunny but his laugh sounded like the day Yoongi played the piano for the first time.

All Jungkook does is laugh and he’s sold .

Jungkook looks at him, catches him staring and Yoongi doesn’t look away like he has the past two weeks. Jungkook seems to breathe easy again and he grins, grabbing Yoongi’s hands and jumping up and down. So Yoongi lets himself go. He laughs, drinks another beer, throws an arm around Jungkook and feels what he feels.

 

It feels nice, he thinks to himself. I feel so fucking nice.

 

By the time it’s 2 AM, Yoongi has no idea where the rest of his friends are but Jungkook and himself had managed to go past the bushes and trees in their drunken haze.

“Where are we going?” Yoongi laughs, as Jungkook leads them past even more trees and further into what seemed to be a small forest.

After a couple more trips and stumbles, they reach a hidden lake, a particularly big tree standing next to it, with a wooden swing tied around its branch. Jungkook sits Yoongi down on the swing and giggles as he leans his head against the rope.

Yoongi looks up at the boy, eyes wide and mouth hanging slightly open. “Didn’t peg you to be such a romantic.”

“Shut the fuck up.” Jungkook laughs, sinking down to the ground, leaning his head against Yoongi’s thigh.

Yoongi stares at the top of his head, before raising a hand to run his fingers through his brown locks. Jungkook sighs and sags against him.

“I love this place.” Jungkook says, voice as soft as a whisper, almost disappearing into the sound of the water.

“Is there a reason you brought me here?” Yoongi asks, “Were you planning to woo me?”

Jungkook shakes his head, closing his eyes. “I wouldn’t. Not here.”

Yoongi looks at him, curiously. “Why not? If you love it so much?”

Jungkook looks up at him, his eyes looked dazed and clouded. The boy was obviously drunk, would probably throw up sometime soon. He smiles and goes, “This is where I had my first kiss.”

Yoongi stops his ministrations and stares back at Jungkook, just stares, until his hand moves on its own, reaching out to brush his thumb over Jungkook’s brow. “Yeah?”

Jungkook nods.

“Tell me about it.”

Jungkook hums, pulling his legs in and hugging his knees to his chest. “I was fifteen.” He starts, a small smile playing on lips, “- a little too late, right?”

Yoongi shakes his head. “It’s never too late to have your first kiss.”

“It felt like it.” Jungkook says, resting his head back on Yoongi’s thigh. “Jimin had his at twelve.”

“Never mind everyone else.” Yoongi says, messing up Jungkook’s hair making the latter grimace. “So what happened?”

“She was my first girlfriend.” Jungkook continues, “I was her first boyfriend too. We were together for seven months. And I remember thinking, at that moment and in that time, that that was what love was supposed to feel like.”

Yoongi laughs at this, resting his head against the rope of the swing, reaching down to pinch Jungkook’s cheek.

“I know, right?” Jungkook says, chuckling softly. “But that’s what it felt like. My fifteen year old ass wanted to marry this girl. Her name was Emma. And she… she had this adorable pixie cut and her hair was dark brown, kinda like mine. She was only a little bit shorter than me and she always wore these pretty sundresses and she sang like an angel . I was enamored.”

“Enamored, huh?” Yoongi repeats.

Jungkook nods. “It was about three weeks into dating that I brought her here. We were supposed to swim, you know? We didn’t bring any swimsuits or anything so we just took off our clothes. I remember she got shy taking her dress off so she told me to turn around and not to look until she told me I could,” he swallows before continuing, “- and when I did I remember how my breath got caught in my throat and how I thought I had never seen anyone so beautiful in my life.”

Jungkook looks up at Yoongi just then and Yoongi looks back, his hand moving on its own accord, caressing Jungkook’s cheek.

“And without me realizing what I was doing, I just reached for her and she reached for me back and we kissed-” Jungkook smiles unknowingly, pure and innocent, “- and it was so soft. So fucking awkward and messy, slobber everywhere and we stumbled into this damn swing and fell backward and got mud all over us but it was fucking perfect .”

Yoongi smiles at this, genuinely. Feels something in him wake up, spread through his chest and his throat and his arms and legs. A fondness that goes beyond what his body can even handle.

“I’d never felt that way again until that night,” Jungkook says, earnestly, “- that night you played the piano in my room.”

Yoongi breathes out, shaky and unsure.

Jungkook sees the fear in his eyes, the uncertainty and the confusion so he smiles in a way that Yoongi knows he’ll let it go for now.

“And looking back at that night that I was fifteen, I know now that I wasn’t in love and that relationship ended up going down the drain anyway, but not even a small part of me regrets that it happened.” He says, pressing his lips against Yoongi’s knee, “- now that I’m older, I know it wasn’t love but whatever I thought it was at fifteen is what I felt.”

Yoongi nods.

“Being fifteen and looking at this person and kissing her and thinking, ‘I’ll remember this forever.’” He whispers.

They sit with that for a few minutes, Jungkook with his mouth pressed to Yoongi’s knee, Yoongi running his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, until Jungkook asks, “When was your first kiss?”

Yoongi smiles at the memory and lets himself breathe out a chuckle, because the memory deserves a chuckle. “I was thirteen. And it was with Namjoon.”

Jungkook sits up straight at that, gives Yoongi an incredulous look. “What?”

Yoongi nods and laughs, pulling Jungkook closer to him again. “Yeah.”

“How did that happen?” Jungkook asks, voice loud and confused and slightly disgusted. Yoongi, honestly, feels the same way.

“Well,” He says putting his hand back in Jungkook’s hair which makes him relax again, “- Namjoon and I have been friends since we were kids. Our parents were best friends and so we became best friends and somehow, along the way, he ended up becoming the first person I developed feelings for and he felt the same way about me.”

Jungkook looks up at him expectantly. “Did you guys date?”

Yoongi shakes his head. “Not really, no. Neither of us confessed we liked each other until we didn’t anymore. When we kissed, it was… It was because we’d watched this movie called Brokeback Mountain .”

Jungkook laughs at this, smacking his thigh. “You guys kissed because you got aroused by the cowboy movie?”

Yoongi smacks his head lightly. “Hey, it was a beautiful movie and progressive for its time. And it wasn’t because we were aroused, but we got curious. You know? Like, when you’re thirteen… Hell, even now we don’t know what we’re doing, so imagine how lost you are and how much you’re trying to figure out at thirteen.”

Jungkook nods at this, once again, playing with Yoongi’s anklet.

“We were having a sleepover at the time at my place and it was a little past midnight and we were lying in bed after finishing an entire box of pizza and he asked me if I’d ever kissed anyone.” Yoongi sighs, recounting the night in his head, “- and I shook my head no and told him of course he’d fucking know if I ever did.”

Jungkook breathes a laugh at this.

“I don’t remember which one of us initiated it. Maybe we just leaned forward at the same time. But like that, under my blanket, we just kissed. We kissed and kissed and kissed and it tasted like pizza and we kept laughing in between but it didn’t feel scary or weird or unnatural. It was right.”

Yoongi sighs, unconsciously letting his thumb run over Jungkook’s lower lip. Jungkook takes his hand and smooths it open, pressing a chaste kiss on his fingers.

Yoongi sucks in a breath, before releasing it slowly. “That was the first time we kissed. Not the only time but I think that one was my favorite.”

Jungkook nods at this, a small smile playing on his lips. He reaches out his hand and Yoongi pulls him up, scooching on the right side of the wide swing so Jungkook could sit beside him.

He wraps an arm around the younger and Jungkook melts against him. He stares at Yoongi for a few seconds, before resting his chin on his shoulder and closing his eyes.

“I’m not gonna kiss you.” He says softly, against Yoongi’s ear.

Yoongi looks down at his lap, where their hands were intertwined. He nods.

“When we do, or if we do, I don’t want either of us to be drunk.” He says. “I want to do it right.”

Yoongi smiles. Half because he didn’t know it was possible to feel so strongly for someone he’d only known for a few weeks, half because everything about how warm he felt right now, made him sad.

“Is letting this happen,” Yoongi starts, looking up at the sky, “- even right at all?”

“Not a single thing about this,” Jungkook says, without a trace of doubt or hesitance, “- feels wrong to me.”

 

 

The seven of them spend the next morning hungover. Luckily, majority of them were people who handled their alcohol and hangovers fairly well. However, Hoseok, Taehyung and Jungkook were another story altogether.

Hoseok gets cranky, Taehyung doesn’t get up for the next two days, and Jungkook spends majority of the morning throwing up.

“That doesn’t sound good.” Yoongi says after Jimin tells him that it happens sometimes.

“He’s stubborn, is what he is.” Jimin says, clicking his tongue as Jungkook heaves into the toilet again. “He knows alcohol doesn’t agree with him.”

Namjoon and Seokjin groan at the sound, holding mugs of hangover juice in their hands. “We’re gonna go back to our room. The sound of his barfing isn’t doing well for us right now.”

Jimin and Yoongi raise their hands in acknowledgement as the two walk out of Yoongi’s room.

“What do we do with him?” Yoongi asks.

Jimin shrugs. “He’ll be fine in a few hours. Let him rest. Let him drink fluids. I’ll bring up his hangover juice and water. Just get him to bed for me.”

Yoongi nods as Jimin walks out the room.

Jungkook groans and leans his head against the toilet seat sadly, lazily flushing his mess down. Yoongi can’t help but feel bad for the boy as gross as he smells.

“You doing okay there?” Yoongi asks, leaning against the door frame.

Jungkook weakly turns his head to look at Yoongi. He closes his eyes.

“Help me.” He says, raising an arm up.

Yoongi chuckles, grabbing Jungkook by the arm, pulling him up and the boy collapses into him, wrapping his arms around him like a koala, pressing his face into Yoongi’s neck.

“Okay, come on.” Yoongi says gently, helping Jungkook back into his room, half carrying him into his bed.

As Jungkook lands and sinks into his mattress, Jimin walks into the room with a tray of hangover juice and a pitcher of water with a glass.

“Good morning, sunshine.” Jimin says, setting it down on Jungkook’s bedside table.

Jungkook groans into his pillow in response.

“I’ll leave him to you.” Jimin says, half laughing, patting Yoongi on the shoulder. Yoongi only nods at him in reassurance as he walks out the door.

“First thing’s first,” Yoongi says, placing a hand on Jungkook’s back, rubbing comfortingly. “You need to drink some water.”

Jungkook raises his head slightly. “I don’t think I can keep anything down.”

“Don’t be stubborn.” Yoongi says, pouring water into the glass Jimin had prepared. “Come on, just a little. It’ll help, I promise.”

Jungkook sits up at this, leaning against the headboard. He takes the glass from Yoongi and takes tentative sips of water.

Yoongi smiles encouragingly, patting Jungkook’s thigh. He takes the water from him, setting it back down and looks back at Jungkook.

“Now,” Yoongi says, “- you smell so you need to change and get cleaned up.”

“Please don’t make me get up.” Jungkook says, closing his eyes, looking pained. “I can’t. I’m too weak.”

 

“Why don’t you give him a sponge bath?”

 

Jungkook and Yoongi turn their heads and see Hoseok standing by the door frame with a mug of the hangover juice everyone had that fine morning.

Yoongi gives Hoseok a look and Hoseok gives him a look in return before walking off without another word.

Yoongi looks at Jungkook, pale and sweaty. He sighs to himself. “Would you mind if I did?”

Jungkook visibly gulps. Looked like he almost wanted to say no, but also almost wanted to say yes.

He makes himself comfortable in his bed, looks away from Yoongi and mumbles, “Don’t blame me if I get hard.”

Yoongi almost laughs at this. Almost. But he can only sigh as he gets up in search of a washcloth and a basin. “That’s my line.”

 

Now, in his defense, Yoongi knew he’d suffer. He knew Jungkook would suffer too. But he didn’t know it’d be to this extent. When he walked into the room with a wet washcloth and a basin, things were fine. When Jungkook shed off his shirt, it was all fine and dandy.

Yoongi starts with his face. He pushes Jungkook’s hair back and gently wipes his forehead, his cheeks, his nose, and traces his jawline gently.

Jungkook is obedient and silent, lets Yoongi move his face to the direction he needs it to be, closes his eyes at the feel of the cold washcloth on his face.

So far so good.

Things get complicated when Yoongi tilts his head backward and starts wiping his neck. Jungkook holds his breath when he starts. Yoongi has his fingers resting on Jungkook’s jawline, to keep his head tilted. The other one wipes gently, going from the bottom of his chin, to tracing Jungkook’s collarbones.

Jungkook’s breath hitches at this, his eyes fluttering close. Yoongi pauses his ministrations, before hesitatingly continuing what he was doing, making Jungkook release a shaky exhale, his body going lax. Jungkook tilts his head further back, giving Yoongi more access.

It’s at this point that Yoongi kind of really wants to touch and Jungkook really wants to be touched.

“Jungkook,” Yoongi breathes out, gently bringing the washcloth down to his chest.

Jungkook’s eyes open, half-lidded and hazy. He looks straight at Yoongi and takes his hand in his. He gently takes the washcloth, tossing it into the nearby basin.

“What are you doing?” Yoongi asks, voice as soft as a whisper.

“Nothing.” Jungkook answers. How innocent his voice sounded almost took away from his eyes that screamed want .

Even looking back, Yoongi will say that he couldn’t control it when he bent down and pressed his lips against Jungkook’s neck.

The younger trembles at this, raising a hand to clutch at the back of Yoongi’s head. And Yoongi keeps kissing, against his jawline, his collarbone, the back of his ear and Jungkook just keeps squirming, looking for more, more, more.

Yoongi feels Jungkook squeeze his hand that had been resting on his chest, leading it lower and lower, past his stomach, belly-button, until it was resting on his cock, hard against his boxers.

Yoongi gasps and Jungkook moans, sounding so desperate it was almost pathetic, when Yoongi rubs him with his palm gently.

“Fuck.” Jungkook sighs, throwing his head back. “Oh, fuck .”

And it’s at this moment that Yoongi realizes how much he wants this but how much he doesn’t want it to happen like this.

When they’d never talked about it, never even kissed, never even admitted anything to each other or admitted anything to themselves.

It’s this thought that makes him pull away. Yoongi lets himself breathe, pulling his hand away from Jungkook’s crotch and he shakes his head.

“Jungkook,” He says, voice hoarse from arousement, but sure, “- not like this.”

And it takes Jungkook a second.

When he opens his eyes, Yoongi can see his emotions go from frustrated to annoyed to acknowledgement. Jungkook sighs defeatedly, resting his head back on his pillow.

He nods. He closes his eyes. “I can take it from here. Can you go?”

Yoongi nods and stands up, trying not to bring attention to his lower half as he goes. He leaves without hesitance because he knows it didn’t come from a place of anger or disappointment, but because they were both so obviously rock hard in their shorts.

When Yoongi shuts the door, he breathes a sigh of relief.

He walks into his own room, makes sure the door is locked and hurriedly zips his shorts open, kicking them off, shimmying out of his boxers and taking his cock into his hands.

And it doesn’t take long, he knew it wouldn’t take long so he doesn’t take any time to tease himself, he strokes it the way he knows will make himself come as fast and as hard as he can. He feels his entire body go taut, his head tilting back, hitting the pillow as he raises another hand to play with his nipple.

He moans, loud and unrestrained, when he feels himself getting closer and closer. He raises his head to watch his hand stroking his leaking cock, imagines it’s Jungkook. Imagines his mouth wrapped around the head, imagines his fingers tweaking at his nipples, imagines his hands grabbing at his thighs, imagines skin against skin, tongues grazing against each other, lips and hands and wetness and he chants different swear words along with Jungkook’s name as his stomach muscles tense up, his legs straighten out as his toes curl and he comes in strings, long and hard, all over his stomach and his chest.

He breathes hard, eyes closed, hand in his hair, as he stroked his cock slowly, riding out his orgasm. He gulps and sinks into the mattress in shame.

“Fuck.” He whispers, letting go of himself and flopping down tiredly in his bed.

He falls asleep without cleaning himself up so he wakes up three hours later, just in time for lunch, sticky and gross. He sits up and yawns, scratching the back of his head. He heads for the bathroom for his second shower that morning, but before he can twist the doorknob open, he sees a small piece of paper on the floor, folded in half.

Yoongi scrunches up his eyebrows and bends down to grab it and unfolds it.

 

The walls are thin here. My room tonight?

 

Yoongi bangs his head against the door.

“God hates me.” He mumbles.

 

 

 

When Yoongi walks out to the dining table, he looks at his friends and realizes how much time he’d spent with Jungkook. So much that he’d lost so much time spending it with the people he came here with.

Still, his four friends greet him good morning and give him pats on the back.

“Fuck.” Yoongi groans, flopping down on the chair next to Taehyung, “What’d you guys end up doing last night?”

“We were there ‘til fucking 3 AM.” Namjoon answers, taking a sip of his coffee. “Because Mr. Jung Hoseok here was trying to get the DJ to play our shit.”

“Hey, man,” Hoseok says raising his arms in the air, “- promo is promo.”

Yoongi scoffs at this and shakes his head. “Where are the other two?”

“They went shopping for food.” Taehyung answers distractedly as he scrolled through his phone. He smiles and pauses his ministrations, raising it up to show the screen to Yoongi and the rest of them.

It was a photo of Yoongi and Jungkook, obviously heavily under the influence, but they were standing a few feet away from the rest of the people from the party. They were pressed up against each other, arms around each other’s waists and smiling.

They were just smiling at each other and it looked like a picture out of some high school party or the part in prom where all the couples start slow dancing but Yoongi wants to start crying.

“This is how you two spent majority of the night, though.” Taehyung jokes, smiling proudly at the photo he took. “It’s nice, right?”

“It’s nice.” Yoongi nods and he can already feel the lump in his throat, the way his voice changes and the way he can’t lift his head.

His friends have always been quick to pick up on each other. When Hoseok’s mouth turns even just the slightest bit down, that means he’s in a bad mood. When Namjoon’s chin juts out while he talks, that means he’s pissed. When Seokjin blinks a little too much, it means he’s hungry. When Taehyung doesn’t laugh at everyone’s jokes no matter how bad, it means he’s tired. And when Yoongi’s voice gets small and he can’t lift his head, it probably means he’s about to cry.

“Hyung?” Taehyung says, voice laced with concern. Yoongi feels his hand on his shoulder.

“Sorry.” Yoongi manages to say, bending down and hiding his face in his hands. “Sorry, I just-”

He hears Namjoon and Seokjin, who were sitting on the other side of the table, get up from their chairs and walk towards him. He knows by the way the hands are placed on him who exactly it was. Taehyung’s hand on his shoulder, Hoseok’s on his thigh, Seokjin on top of his head and Namjoon who pulls his hands away from his face.

Yoongi doesn’t cry, he wills himself not to. But his eyes were misty and there was an unmistakable quiver in his voice.

“Why?” Namjoon asks.

Yoongi lets himself breathe for a moment, leans back in his chair and inhales, exhales, inhales, exhales.

When he finally thinks he’s gathered himself, he looks at his friends and says, “It’s a lot.”

It’s a lot , coming to Italy and being thrust into this foreign environment for a month and a half. It’s a lot, meeting this boy and living with him, breathing with him, experiencing this whole thing alongside him, knowing their time is limited. It’s a lot to feel.

He’s a lot. He’s too much.

“I’m sorry.” Yoongi says again, “I came here to spend more time with you guys, but instead I’ve just been-”

This earns collected noises of disagreement from his group of friends, cutting him off.

“Hey,” Seokjin says, giving Yoongi a pointed look, “- none of that. I don’t wanna hear that from you.”

“Hyung,” Namjoon says crouching down beside Yoongi’s seat to look him in the eye, “When we leave this country, go back to Seoul, back to our jobs and schools and shitty apartments, we are going to be right there with you, the way we’ve literally always been.”

Yoongi nods at this, a small smile playing on his lips.

“But Jungkook?” Namjoon shakes his head, biting his lip, “- when else, hyung? When else and where else and how else?”

Yoongi’s quiet at this and he listens to Namjoon, because he always does even when he doesn’t want to admit it. He nods.

“Honestly, I’d rather that you fly out of this country bawling your eyes out ‘cause you just left your fucking soulmate in Italy-” Hoseok says squeezing Yoongi’s thigh, “- than you leave this place without having done anything at all.”

“Two more weeks, hyung.” Taehyung says, raising his phone up again to show him the picture. “Make it two weeks you’ll remember for more.

 

 

That night, Yoongi lies in his bed, staring at his messages with his mom. Mentions of the food, the weather, the clothes, the sun, Jungkook, Jungkook, Jungkook.

You like him, don’t you? His mom had asked, meaning nothing by it. His mother had never cared what Yoongi chose to do in his life because she trusted he’d do things right. She trusted he was a good person more than Yoongi himself did.

Yeah, I do, he’d answered, meaning everything by it.

His mom knew when he kissed Namjoon, knew that he liked him. She knew he liked Mina, dressed him up for his first date with her. She knew he lost his virginity to Namjoon too, although she only found out years later. His mother took everything naturally, reacted similarly every time, never made him feel like he was different and so Yoongi believed in it too.

I hope you’re making the most of your time, darling, she says. She trusts, as she always does.

He hears Jungkook on the other side of the wall. He hears when he drags the chair backwards, hears when he plays the first note on his brown piano. Yoongi rests his phone on his chest and listens.

Jungkook doesn’t hum this time, he sings. His playing is a little clumsy, he pauses a few times, fumbles, but he keeps going.

 

Oh, to see without my eyes

The first time that you kissed me

Boundless by the time I cried

I built your walls around me

 

Yoongi smiles to himself, decidedly getting up from his position in his bed, walking towards the room next to his, his friends’ words echoing in his head. When else, where else, how else?

Who else?  He thinks.

Who else can be Jeon Jungkook?

He leans by the door frame he’s learned to be so familiar with, looks at the boy he’s done nothing but look at, playing the piano, wearing nothing but those ridiculous bright red shorts. A bracelet around his wrist that looked a lot like Yoongi’s anklet.

Yoongi can’t help the chuckle that comes out when Jungkook fumbles again. He walks towards the boy, standing behind him, bending over and taking his hands in his.

Yoongi rests his chin on the boy’s shoulder and he feels Jungkook’s eyes on his, feels the way his breathing changes.

“It’s a C,” Yoongi says, directing Jungkook’s hands, “- then a D,” Jungkook follows obediently, even when his eyes were on Yoongi’s face instead of the piano keys, “- then an E minor.”

“It’s easier on the guitar.” Jungkook chuckles breathily, pulling his hands away from the piano, laying them on his lap. Yoongi pulls away, standing up straight.

Jungkook stands then, turning to look at Yoongi, smiling. “I guess you liked me a little more than I thought, huh?”

Yoongi scoffs, turning around to hide his shame. He shakes his head, “Shut the fuck up.”

Jungkook steps forward, takes Yoongi’s hand, pulling him closer. “Do you?”

Yoongi looks up, realizing how unfair it was that Jungkook was younger yet so much taller, he shrugs. “What do you think?”

They just stare at each other again, it seems they never got tired of doing it. It’s never because they have nothing to say, if anything, there was too much to say. So much to say that they weren’t sure if it’d be right to say them. They stare because they want to burn the memory into their minds. They stare because they’re scared that a year later, two years later, or five, they’ll look back and not be able to remember the way they looked that night they sat by the lake, that night they danced, that night they rode bikes along the street and smoked a cigarette together.

It scared them that they were never going to look or feel the same way ever again.

“I think you should kiss me.” Jungkook whispers against Yoongi’s mouth.

This time, Yoongi doesn’t back away. He doesn’t allow himself to think about all the reasons why they shouldn’t and why it’s gonna hurt because he accepts that it will and that it should. Instead, he leans in closer, raising a hand to stroke Jungkook’s cheek.

“Are you sure?” He asks.

Jungkook almost rolls his eyes, as he grips onto Yoongi’s waist. “And I think you should do it faster.”

“Oh, to see without my eyes,” Yoongi sings softly, pressing their foreheads together, a smile playing on his lips, as he traces Jungkook’s lip with his thumb.

“-the first time that you kissed me.” Jungkook continues in a whisper, holding the back of Yoongi’s head and finally, finally, pressing their lips together.

It’s always a different feeling, whenever you kiss someone for the first time. A different kind of rush, a different kind of taste, a different kind of everything. Kissing Jungkook felt like the kind of kiss everyone waits for their whole life.

His lips were soft, he tasted like cinnamon and smelled like mint and cigarettes and his skin felt cold from the weather or the pool, he didn’t know. Jungkook kissed him as if he’d been preparimg his whole life for it. His hands cradling his face, biting Yoongi’s lower lip before slipping his tongue in.

Yoongi sighs into his mouth, pulling him forward by the garter of his boxers, making them fall into his bed. Jungkook giggles, pressing kisses against the side of Yoongi’s face and neck, he’s smiling. He’s frantic and aroused but he’s smiling and laughing and glowing.

Yoongi holds every part of him he could, grips his biceps, his arms, his waist, scratching at his sides, kissing his shoulder, biting him playfully.

“Ow,” Jungkook half complains, turning to give Yoongi a look, “- you weirdo.”

They wrestle a little in bed, first Jungkook’s on top then Yoongi flips them over, taking off his shirt in the process, and Jungkook touches him all over. Puts his mouth on his stomach, peppering it with kisses and kittenish licks.

Yoongi closes his eyes, tilting his head back, his hand clutching onto Jungkook’s hair as an anchor as he sucked gently on his nipple. “God,” He sighs, “- fuck, that feels good.”

Jungkook takes one look at him and growls, flipping them over again so he’s on top and bends down down, kisses him. Their teeth clash and it hurts a little bit, but they don’t care.

They don’t care.

Yoongi flips them over again and kisses his neck, kisses all over, being sure to leave marks down his collarbones, on his chest, before staring up at Jungkook, looking him in the eye as he tentatively licks his nipple.

It was a known fact to anyone who had ever slept with Jungkook that he had sensitive nipples. More sensitive than the regular person. Yoongi realizes this because when he does just that, Jungkook’s eyes roll behind his head and he moans, his hand reaching out to palm himself through his boxers, as if he couldn’t help himself.

“Keep doing that,” He breathes out, one hand desperately pressing the back of Yoongi’s head closer.

So Yoongi does what he’s told, sucking, licking and nipping at it, playing with the other one with his fingers. In the process, Jungkook kicks off his boxers, one hand clutching onto Yoongi’s hair, the other stroking his cock.

Yoongi has never been so turned on in his life. Has never seen anyone look so beautiful. He stares at the way Jungkook had his head tilted back, eyes screwed shut, his eyebrows scrunched up in pleasure and concentration, his mouth half open, a little drool dripping down the side of his lip.

He watches the way Jungkook’s hand moves, stroking up and down slowly, watches the way his pre-cum leaks out of the tip, dripping onto his hand.

“Christ, Jungkook.” Yoongi groans, pulling away from his nipples and returning his attention to Jungkook’s mouth, devouring him.

Jungkook groans as Yoongi slaps his hand away, replacing Jungkook’s hand with his own, mimicking the way Jungkook had been doing it earlier.

Jungkook breathes in shallow breaths, looking at Yoongi, all dazed, hazy and fucked out and says, “I want your mouth, hyung.”

His voice is hoarse, desperate and needy, “I want your mouth on my cock.”

Yoongi moans, almost comes at the sentence itself.

Instead he kisses down Jungkook’s torso, until he’s right between his legs, kissing the insides of his thighs. Teasing and teasing, enjoying the way Jungkook’s legs quiver.

“Come on, hyung,” Jungkook whines, throwing his head back against his pillow, “Please.”

Yoongi looks up, sees the beads of sweat going down Jungkook’s temples, rolling down to his neck, the redness on his chest, the hickeys all over him. The way Jungkook raises his head to look at him when Yoongi takes hold of his cock, pressing his lips to the tip.

“You’re so fucking beautiful, Jeon Jungkook.” Yoongi whispers against it, the heat of his breath making Jungkook quake.

And he takes Jungkook into his mouth and he’s big, bigger than anyone Yoongi had gone down on before but it’s perfect. He tastes his pre-cum, opening his mouth wide and letting Jungkook thrust a little into his mouth, his tongue playing with the underside, making Jungkook hiss.

Yoongi raises a hand intending to play with Jungkook’s nipples but instead, Jungkook reaches out to take it in his own hand, squeezes it tight when Yoongi sucks particularly hard on his head and Jungkook swears under his breath, starts to see stars and waves of different colors around the room.

And Yoongi keeps sucking, Jungkook watches the way his erection disappears into Yoongi’s stretched lips and reappears looking absolutely soaked, the way Yoongi’s mouth was dripping with strings of spit, how his eyes had some tears in them but he still looked so fucking soft and dirty at the same time.

Yoongi watches the way Jungkook’s mouth opens, the way his eyes close, the way he looks like he’s releasing a silent moan. He feels the way Jungkook’s entire body clenches and unclenches, his hand squeezing his every time everything felt too good.

Jungkook reaches out to wipe Yoongi’s tears away, releasing a shaky breath when he feels his muscles clench for what seems to be the hundredth time. He drags Yoongi back by the hair and pulls him up to kiss him. He tastes himself on his mouth and Yoongi sits up, frantically zipping off his shorts, pulling them off and tossing it to the side of the bed before falling right back into Jungkook, falling right back into the heat and the wetness.

He feels Jungkook pull on his boxers until it’s halfway off and Yoongi growls impatiently, pulling it all the way down and kicking it aside.

“I wanna-” Yoongi says in between kisses, grinding against Jungkook, their cocks sliding together with ease. “- wanna be inside you.”

Jungkook moans, nodding his head urgently, thrusting his hips, making Yoongi laugh.

“Do you have lube?” He asks Jungkook, and the boy nods, reaching for his bedside table blindly, opening the drawer and pulling out a bottle of lube and an unopened pack of condoms.

Their preparation is more frantic than anything else, shaking fingers and hands, desperate to get it over with.

Yoongi coats his fingers with lube and Jungkook stares hungrily at the way it drips down. Yoongi scoots backwards and Jungkook instinctively opens his legs wide, keeping them in position by holding the back of his thighs.

Yoongi’s mouth waters at the sight, mentally burns the image in his mind forever before slowly pushing one finger in. He checks Jungkook’s reactions for any sign of discomfort or pain but he gets none.

Jungkook keeps his eyes trained on Yoongi, releasing a breathy moan when Yoongi pushes it further in. He keeps at it, slow and rhythmic, before Jungkook groans, “Give me another one.”

Yoongi nods and slides another finger in and Jungkook moans louder, throwing his head back, panting. “Yeah,” He breathes, grabbing onto Yoongi’s wrist, pushing it further into him, “- another.”

When Yoongi has three fingers in him, Jungkook is a blubbering mess and he lets him fuck himself onto his fingers.

Yoongi marvels at the sight, using his free hand to stroke at his own neglected cock. They keep their eyes on each other, not breaking eye contact for one second.

When there’s a little pool of fluid that forms in the sheets beneath Jungkook, they nod at each other and Yoongi pulls his fingers out and takes the box of condoms.

“Hurry the fuck up.” Jungkook says, stroking both their cocks, as Yoongi opens a packet.

Yoongi breathes a sigh of relief when he finally opens it, sliding it easily onto himself. He holds onto the back of Jungkook’s thighs, keeping them wide open and slides in, slowly.

They both hold their breaths, watching Yoongi’s cock disappear into Jungkook until his full length is in. Jungkook moans, long and needy and Yoongi shivers at the tightness.

Yoongi lets Jungkook adjust for a moment, he barely moves, thrusts very lightly and carefully. He runs his hands over Jungkook’s thighs, his stomach, and leans down to take one of his nipples in his mouth.

“Oh,” Jungkook gasps, one hand clutching onto the sheets, the other in Yoongi’s hair.

When they’re both sure that Jungkook’s not going to be ripped apart, Yoongi starts a steady rhythm, thrusts harder and faster.

Jungkook has his eyes closed, his mouth forming the shape of an O, Yoongi’s sweat drips from his temples onto Jungkook’s eyelids and it stings, but he doesn’t care.

“Yes, oh fuck, yes,” Jungkook moans, “Yes, yes, yes,” he chants, moving his hips upward desperately to meet Yoongi’s thrusts.

Yoongi growls, keeping his hands on Jungkook’s torso, tracing his abs and flicking his nipples every now and then, soliciting a broken sound from Jungkook, moving faster, harder with each sound.

Yoongi watches him, fucks him into the bed, the sheets and blanket start to pool underneath their bodies, coming undone from the pressure and the friction. Yoongi watches the way his length disappears into Jungkook, goes slower this time, watching, goes out slowly before sinking all the back in.

Jungkook opens his eyes to look at Yoongi, drool pooling out of his mouth.

Yoongi pushes at his thighs, opening them wider, going back to his frantic thrusting, the way he knows Jungkook wants it and his eyes roll to the back of his head.

He sees the way Jungkook grips on the sheets, pulling it tight in his fists, meeting Yoongi’s every thrust. His stomach tenses and his body tightens and Yoongi can feel it. Feel every inch of him.

“Just like that,” Jungkook gasps, throwing his head back, nodding his head, “- right there, keep going, fuck .”

“God, Jungkook,” Yoongi groans, reaching a hand out to push his hair out of his sweaty forehead, “- you’re so fucking beautiful.”

And he means it. He means it. He was beautiful when he first saw him that first day lying by the pool, he was beautiful when they sat next to each other by the lake, when they rode bikes with cigarettes perched between their lips, when they danced under the fairy lights and told tales of first kisses, right now, underneath him, lustful and filthy and he was beautiful.

“Oh, fuck, hyung-” Jungkook grits out, hands tightening around the sheets, opening his eyes to look at Yoongi, eyes half-lidded and mouth hanging open, “I’m gonna fucking come.

“Do it.” Yoongi commands, reaching down to stroke Jungkook’s cock. He pumps once, twice, thrice, and Jungkook’s eyes close, mouth open into a silent scream.

Jungkook shoots strings and ribbons all over himself, his stomach, chest, all over Yoongi’s stomach too.

Fuck.

Jungkook’s entire body is shaking, his legs still quivering, his cock twitching. But he keeps his eyes trained on Yoongi, who was so close, so fucking close, and he nods, giving him permission to keep going.

“Come on, hyung,” Jungkook breathes, dragging Yoongi forward by the back of his neck, pulling him into a messy kiss, as Yoongi thrusts into him, fast and frantic.

“Oh god,” Yoongi says, pulling away from Jungkook’s mouth, choosing instead to bury his face in his shoulder, “Gonna come-”

He lets out a strangled sob when he does, clutching onto Jungkook’s thighs, fucking into him slow and hard, before he eases down into a soft rhythm, riding out his orgasm, and he stops. Slumps on top of Jungkook and curls into him.

They stay that way. Yoongi lays his head on Jungkook’s chest, lets Jungkook run a comforting hand over his back. After a few minutes, Yoongi groans as he pushes himself off, pulling out of Jungkook in the process.

He throws the condom out and grabs a towel hanging by the door, sitting on the bed and wiping Jungkook off before wiping himself off.

“C’mere.” Jungkook says tiredly, opening his arms and Yoongi smiles tiredly, throwing his feet over the bed and pulling the blanket over the both of them.

He lays on his side to look at Jungkook and Jungkook does the same, looking back at him. Yoongi raises a hand to run his fingers over Jungkook’s cheek. Tracing his eyelids and the bridge of his nose.

Jungkook’s eyes are clear. Yoongi can read everything the boy wants to say, everything he feels, but knows Jungkook won’t say it.

Jungkook won’t say it because he knows Yoongi can read everything.

They don’t say I love you . They’re not fifteen anymore, not high schoolers for it to be such an easy thing to say. They don’t say it because their time is limited. They don’t say it because they’d only known each other a month. They don’t say it because I love you is too many promises, too much commitment and certainty that they just didn’t have. They don’t say I like you either because it doesn’t feel like like. So Yoongi stares at Jungkook’s eyes, at all the words and emotions pouring out of them and says the one thing he knows for sure. The one thing they both know for sure.

Yoongi smiles and whispers, “I’ll remember this forever.”

Jungkook absolutely glows.

 

 

They only have a week left when they meet Jungkook’s parents. They’d met Jimin’s parents just the day before. They’d stayed for lunch and left in a hurry, talking about an important meeting. Jungkook’s parents, however, arrive for dinner and stay until the night devolved into drunkenness.

If Yoongi were to be honest, he loved them almost as much as he loved his own parents.

“There he is!” Jungkook’s father bellows as he approaches them. Jungkook breaks into a wide grin, giving his father a warm hug.

Yoongi can’t help but smile at the two. He watches as Jungkook’s father lifts him a little, making Jungkook groan.

A woman follows behind, petite and kind-looking, sunglasses perched on her head. She smiles warmly at all of them before approaching her son, giving him a kiss on the cheek and patting the top of his head.

The two greet Jimin the same way they greeted Jungkook, Jungkook’s father lifting him even higher than he did Jungkook.

“Jesus, uncle.” Jimin huffs when he puts him down, “You’d think I’d be too grown for that now.”

Jungkook’s father laughs, before turning his attention to the rest of them. He smiles warmly. “These must be your house guests.”

Jungkook nods, introducing them one by one to both his parents. “This is Namjoon hyung, as you know,”

“Nice to finally meet you, son.” He says, reaching out to shake Namjoon’s hand. Jungkook’s mom leans forward and gives him a kiss on the cheek.

“This is Seokjin hyung, Taehyung hyung, Hoseok hyung,” Jungkook continues as his parents continue their greetings, the smile never leaving their faces.

“And this is Yoongi hyung.” Jungkook says, throwing an arm around him.

Yoongi grimaces, shrugging the boy’s arm off his shoulder. Jungkook’s parents take their time examining him, before they both reach out and give him a warm hug.

“We’ve heard a lot about you.” Jungkook’s father says, before patting his back and pulling away. “I hope you’ve been happy here.”

Yoongi feels a little strange feeling in his chest. He didn’t say much but the way they looked at him, Yoongi already knew that Jungkook had probably told them something. Not everything, but they knew enough. The way they spoke to him or touched him held no hostility or animosity. They were warm. As if he’d belonged here all along.

Yoongi looks at Jungkook, who smiles at him encouragingly, nudging him with his elbow.

Yoongi chuckles before looking back at Jungkook’s parents. “I assure you that I have been.”

They don’t change much about what they do when their parents are around, Yoongi learns. He watches as Seokjin plays Jungkook’s guitar, Namjoon beside him trying to sing but doing terribly.

“Come on, Tae,” Hoseok says standing up, taking Taehyung’s hand in his, “- we gotta slow dance to this shit.”

Taehyung grimaces at him with a bread roll shoved in his mouth but lets himself be pulled up anyway. In a matter of seconds, they looked just like they were in prom.

Yoongi turns his head to see Jimin chatting with Jungkook’s parents, pouring more wine into their glasses. He stifles a laugh.

“He’s always like that.” Jungkook says, staring at the same direction Yoongi was staring at. “My parents love him more than they love me.”

Yoongi shakes his head, smiling. “They’re great.”

Jungkook nods, staring at the ground. “Yeah.”

Yoongi directs his attention back to their friends who were messing around, feeling the grass under his feet. “They know about us, don’t they?”

“I didn’t tell them much.” Jungkook said, leaning back a little, supporting himself with his hands. “But they’ve always been quick to pick up on things.”

Yoongi nods because he understands. He guesses most parents were that way. They just knew things, especially the important ones, without their kids ever having to say anything.

Jungkook and himself were just one of the lucky ones, he guesses, because their parents had never punished them for it.

“Hey, Jungkook,” Seokjin calls out, “- this is the song you play all the time, right?”

He starts strumming the guitar, the first few chords of the same song Yoongi heard that first night that only happened a little over a month ago, but felt like it’d been ages.

Jungkook nods shyly. “You know it?”

Seokjin continues playing and answers with a nod, “Come on, sing.”

The rest of them cheer, Yoongi included, pushing Jungkook up on his feet. His parents smile proudly, whooping like the rest of them.

Jungkook’s ears turn a little red and he raises his hand to touch the back of his neck. That damned nervous tic.

But eventually, after a few seconds, Seokjin starts from the beginning and Jungkook starts singing. Everyone listens. Nobody teased or joked, nobody whooped, they just sat down and looked at him. Listened.

Yoongi had heard him almost every night, held his hands as he learned how to play it on the piano, watched him strum his guitar by his desk, and now he watches as Jungkook sings, standing barefoot on the grass, swaying along to the song. He glows.

Yoongi doesn’t realize that Jungkook inches closer towards him, until he offers his hand with a playful smile on his face. Yoongi looks up, confused and Jungkook raises his eyebrows at him, daring him to take his hand.

Yoongi can’t help but smile at the childishness of it all, but he turns his head to see his friends urging him to accept, Jungkook’s parents looking on fondly, so Yoongi takes his hand and lets himself be pulled to his feet.

Jungkook grins, wide and vibrant, placing one hand on Yoongi’s waist and the other one raising their joint hands, intertwining their fingers. Yoongi shakes his head but places his free hand on Jungkook’s shoulder.

 

Oh, oh whoa woe is me

The first time that you touched me

Oh, will wonders ever cease?

Blessed be the mystery of love

 

It isn’t exactly magical. They’re both wet and shirtless, the grass itches beneath their feet and their friends hooting for them didn’t help, but it was so perfectly them.

“I can’t believe we wasted so much time.” Jungkook sighs, resting his head on Yoongi’s shoulder. “Now we have a week left.”

But Yoongi shakes his head, resting his hand on the back of Jungkook’s neck, scratching lightly. “I wouldn’t change a second of this summer.”

That’s all he says, but he feels Jungkook smile against his skin and hears the soft giggle that erupts out of him.

“Not even one.” Yoongi says, before pushing Jungkook away, leaving them joint by the hands and then twirling him around, despite being the shorter one.

Jungkook laughs, doing the same for Yoongi, before pulling him close and swaying him from side to side. “Me too,” He says, in the middle of a smile, “- me too, hyung.”

When everyone had had a little too much wine, proven by the way Namjoon and Seokjin were all over each other, Taehyung was lying by the pool with a pizza, Hoseok had fallen asleep on the dining table and Jungkook was slumped down right next to him and Jimin, bless him, was cleaning up in the kitchen.

Yoongi sits quietly next to Jungkook’s father. His mother had decided to help Jimin in the kitchen and had left them together with a wink and a smile.

Jungkook’s father pulls out a pack of cigarettes, pulling one out with his teeth and lighting it up.

“You want one?” He asks, offering his pack to Yoongi, which he declines politely.

“I’m okay, thank you.” He says with a smile.

They sit in silence for a few minutes, listening to the night as they all usually did, before he spoke.

“You can call me uncle, you know.” Jungkook’s dad says, looking at Yoongi. “You don’t have to call me sir all the time.”

“I-”

Yoongi’s about to disagree, talk about respect and how he’s only been here a month and he thinks he can hear it in his tone that he’s about to say no, because Jungkook’s dad gives him a pointed look and Yoongi purses his lips.

He smiles softly instead. “Thank you.”

They’re silent again for a few moments, music from Jungkook’s bluetooth speaker blasting from a few feet away when he speaks again.

“Where’d you get your anklet?”

Yoongi looks down at his feet, wiggles his left foot with his turquoise anklet, with an anchor charm. “We were in Busan a few days before we flew here.” Yoongi says, smiling at the memory, “- just wanted to buy a souvenir from the beach.”

Jungkook’s dad smiles, the kind of smile Yoongi couldn’t read. He nods in understanding. “Did you know Jungkook has a similar one?”

It sparks a memory in Yoongi’s head, from that night they had sex for the first time. He turns his head to look at the unconscious boy and sees the bracelet around his wrist. It looked almost identical.

“We’re from Busan,” Jungkook’s dad says, “- my father has a shop there by the beach, called-”

“Blessed Be.” Yoongi finishes, voice soft with awe.

He nods. “He never told you?”

Yoongi shakes his head.

Jungkook’s dad takes a long drag of his cigarette, releases the smoke as he leans back in his chair. “I think that it’s the luck of the universe that you two found each other.”

Yoongi lowers his head, staring at his hands clasped together on his lap. To hear those words from the man who raised Jungkook, he didn’t know how to feel.

“I’m sorry,” He speaks again, “- that you have to leave.”

Yoongi shakes his head.

“And I’m sorry that he has to stay.” He continues.

Jungkook’s dad reaches forward, squeezes Yoongi’s shoulder gently, reassuringly. Yoongi nods, laughing a little shakily, wiping some stray tears from the corner of his eyes with his thumb. He tips his head backward, groaning in embarrassment for tearing up in front of him.

Jungkook’s dad merely laughs softly. “Now, come on. Let’s go help them in the kitchen.”

Yoongi nods as Jungkook’s father puts out his cigarette and waddles into the house. Yoongi takes a deep breath, stands up and makes his way to Jungkook, stroking his hair for a second before pulling away and following his father into the house.

 

 

On their last day, they don’t do anything different. Because doing anything different would make things feel too official, too real. Instead, they do what they’d been doing the past month and a half. They eat together, bike around, swim, visit the bar, eat some more, hang out with the neighbors, and then eat some more.

When night comes and everyone says good night, Yoongi returns to his room and closes the door behind him. He doesn’t bother to turn on his lamp. He steps over his carrier, his clothes all packed and the ones he was planning to wear for his flight tomorrow folded on the chair by his bed.

He sits in silence for awhile. Breathing in the scent of his room, allowing his eyes to explore every inch of it, every color on his wall, feel the feel of the bedsheets on his skin, the glow of the moon from the bedroom window, the rustling of the trees and the breeze he felt every night. He closes his eyes and soaks it in. For one last night.

It becomes an unspoken agreement between him and Jungkook, he guesses, that they’d rather not see each other on the last night. It would make things too painful. He didn’t want to look at Jungkook, sleep in his arms and listen to his breathing and keep on thinking that it’d be the last time. Instead, Yoongi leans against his headboard, plays with his anklet.

From the other side of the wall, he hears the familiar strumming of the guitar. The familiar intro, followed by Jungkook’s gentle voice and he closes his eyes and pictures him in his room, glowing the way he always does. The way he always will. He just listens and listens until the very end.

 

How much sorrow can I take?

Blackbird on my shoulder

And what difference does it make

When this love is over?

 

It’s only a few minutes after, that Yoongi realizes that was the first time Jungkook had ever sang him the entire song. He sinks into his bed at the thought, pulling the blanket over himself and he sleeps. It doesn’t feel like a goodbye, somehow. It only feels like a good night.

 

 

The ride to the airport is quiet. They play music and Hoseok and Namjoon get into a little argument over what to play but otherwise, nobody really has the heart to say anything or do anything. They all just seem to look out the window, a few of them taking videos as they zoom past the shops and houses they’ve grown all too familiar with. It’s only now that Yoongi realizes he’d barely picked up his phone the past month and a half to take any photos or videos. He understands now what it means to have been so in the moment, to be so painfully present, that you don’t stop to think about whether you should document it or not because you know you’ll remember it. Because you want to be selfish and keep it all to yourself.

The ride is long but it feels short. Jimin and Jungkook help them get their bags and carriers out of the trunk and for a second, they just stare at each other. Hoseok, Namjoon, Seokjin, Taehyung and Yoongi standing on one side with their airport clothes and luggage, Jimin and Jungkook in front of them not knowing where to place their hands and what expression to make.

In the end, Namjoon purses his lips and nods at them. “Thank you.”

Jimin and Jungkook nod back at him, a sad smile on their lips. “Thank you.”

Yoongi hears Hoseok sniffing beside him and he knows it’s gonna set the rest of them off and he’s right. Jimin lowers his head and wipes at his eyes, Taehyung blinks rapidly, Seokjin sighs heavily and Namjoon and Jungkook look away, the way he knows means they’re trying not to let it get to them.

“Oh, fuck it,” Jimin says, opening his arms, “- get in here.”

The seven of them huddle together right there, by the airport entrance, like a bunch of emotional idiots. The tops of their heads pressed together and Yoongi feels hot with all the arms around him but he closes his eyes and allows himself and the rest of them to have this moment. They stay like that for what feels like forever.

Finally, Namjoon pulls away and everyone follows, wiping their eyes and noses.

“Let’s not be fucking dramatic,” He says finally, forcing out a laugh, “- it’s not like we aren’t fucking Facebook friends.”

This makes everyone laugh, including Jungkook, who for the first time that day, cracks a genuine smile.

“Bye, guys.” Namjoon says and Jungkook and Jimin nod.

They hug them one by one, taking their time. None of them settled for those half-assed one armed bullshit. They wrap their arms around each other, face buried in shoulders, the whole dramatic goodbye package.

Jimin finally reaches Yoongi, throwing his arms around him and Yoongi does the same, hugging Jimin tight.

“You made him happy.” Jimin whispers into his ear, rubbing his back, before pulling away. “Thank you for that.”

Yoongi has to take a deep breath to steady his voice. He blinks the tears that were threatening to fall and nods, refusing to look Jimin in the eyes. “Take care of yourself.”

He stands there and watches as Jungkook hugs his friends one by one and once he finally reaches him, neither of them really know what to do.

For a moment, they both just stand there, staring, just like that first day they met. And the rest of their friends just look at them, then at each other, silently agreeing to give them their moment alone.

“I’ll head back to the car,” Jimin says motioning towards it, “- just come in when you’re done.” He says to Jungkook.

The other four jerk their heads toward the direction of the airport entrance, silently telling Yoongi to catch up. Yoongi nods at them, shooing them away.

They direct their attention back to each other and after a second, just smile. Jungkook chuckles which makes Yoongi chuckle and he pulls Jungkook forward and envelopes him into a hug.

Jungkook wraps his own arms around him, squeezing tightly, burying his face in Yoongi’s neck. He feels Jungkook just breathe him in and clutch onto his jacket for a brief moment before letting go.

When they pull away and look at each other, stare, so they can remember this one last look forever, they realize there’s nothing else they can say. There’s no words they could possibly say that would sum up even a fraction of what had happened and how they felt.

Instead, Jungkook nods at him and Yoongi nods back. He takes the handle of his luggage in his hand and starts walking towards the entrance. Jungkook waves at him wordlessly, Yoongi smiles at him and turns around. He walks and walks until he’s past the entrance and thrust into the flurry of people hurrying to catch their flights. It’s only then that he turns around to look at Jungkook through the glass doors, only to see him stepping into the car.

He watches them drive away and he turns around.

It doesn’t sink in. Not even when they walk into their plane, not even when they’re sitting in their seats and he’s looking out the window at the clouds, not even when it’s dark and everyone else is asleep and he’s left with his thoughts, not at all in that eleven hour long flight.

The moment it sinks in is once he walks back into his grubby apartment in Seoul with Hoseok right behind him. It sinks in as the two of them flop down on their couch, staring at their TV that didn’t work anymore and that they hadn’t bothered to get fixed yet.

It sinks in then. And Hoseok knows it does because he places a hand on Yoongi’s head and runs his fingers through his hair. “Are you okay, hyung?”

Yoongi closes his eyes and feels it then. That feeling when the lump in your throat that’d been there for days finally threatens to come up, the back of his eyes sting and he feels his resolve start to quiver and when Hoseok squeezes the back of his neck, his face crumples up because he knows it’s there and it’s not going to stop.

So Yoongi sinks down, presses his face against Hoseok’s thighs and cries.

Hoseok just lets him, rubbing his back and drawing circles on it with his finger. He sits there and waits for Yoongi to calm down and when he does, he sighs and says,

“For you to feel this much pain is only because you felt that much happiness,” Hoseok says, a small smile on his face, “- and I think you’re lucky.”

 

They do keep in touch. They’d Skyped and caught up with each other but that goes from happening a few times a week, to a few times a month, to a couple times a year until there’s barely anything at all.

Yoongi almost thought the pain would never disappear when he got back from Italy, but as they always say, time heals all things.

They both date several people, different people, girls and boys, some had gotten serious, others hadn’t. They talked here and there, whenever big things happened or they'd see something that reminded them of each other.

It stops hurting.

But it never quite goes away, that feeling. Like an itch that he’s never relieved from. Like a hole in his chest that never closes. An ache that he’s learned to live with. Like no matter what he does, where he goes, who he meets, he’s always going to come back to it.

He’d always come back to that summer. Not because it pained him, not exactly. But he’d said it even back then.

He’d remember it forever.

 

Winter, 2023, Seoul

 

Yoongi sees him again for the first time in a hallway a few hours away from his best friend’s wedding. He knew they were sent an invitation but there was only a very small part of him that hoped he’d come in fear of the disappointment if he didn't.

He’d dyed his hair jet black. There was a piercing on his ear that wasn’t there before and he was wearing a black suit with his hair pushed back. He turns his head then and sees Yoongi.

He had those same clear eyes that said everything for him when he couldn’t use words.

I remember everything, they said. Jungkook’s mouth curls into that same smile, I’ve missed you .

They walk towards each other, neither of them really breathing and they stop right in front of each other.

They stare at each other again, because words had never been their best forte but after a few seconds, they both burst out laughing.

Jungkook pulls him in and he lets himself be pulled in, he feels his arms around him and he wraps his arms around him back and it scares him how much he remembers. How familiar he still feels.

He doesn’t even realize he’s crying until he pulls away and Jungkook reaches out his hand and uses his thumb to wipe at his cheeks, even when Jungkook himself was crying a little bit too.

It’s been five years and Yoongi still thinks he glows.

It’s been five years and Jungkook had never gotten the chance to tell him, he only really glows around him.

He remembers, still. And he'll remember for a long time because there's a long time to go before forever. Jeon Jungkook, the boy from Italy who never stopped glowing.