Actions

Work Header

Stars & Stories

Chapter Text

When Yoongi next stirs he feels all kinds of slow and heavy-limbed. His body moves languid and sleepy, his head throbs dully. Definite signs of a hangover. He no longer bounces back quite as easy as he used to.

He makes a low, discontented noise. It rumbles, far too deep and rough in his throat. He turns his head, lips instantly meeting a tuft of messy dark hair. Against him, Jungkook stirs. Instead of moving away, he simply curls in closer to Yoongi’s chest. The arm slung across him tightens around Yoongi’s body; his face presses further into Yoongi’s shoulder.

Despite the dull ache and the overwhelming tiredness, Yoongi finds his lips crooking up into a small smile. His arms wrap around Jungkook’s back, a small kiss presses into his hair. Yoongi could do without the horrific hangover but otherwise-

He could kind of get used to waking up like this.

“No. Moving,” Jungkook sighs, not managing to make a full sentence. Yoongi’s guessing he’s feeling the effects of last night too. Yoongi smiles a little bigger.

“Sorry, baby,” he whispers against the soft strands of hair.

That gets Jungkook stirring. He makes a strange jerking motion, as though caught between wanting to look at Yoongi with a focused glare, and wanting to bury his head further away from Yoongi’s gaze.  Yoongi chuckles as Jungkook whines.

“Fuck you. You can’t just say that in your sexy morning voice when I’m all weak and vulnerable.”

Yoongi didn’t think he could smile any wider, especially not at such an early hour, and especially not when suffering a hangover. But god, he’s just so fucking happy. It startles Yoongi to realise what a rare feeling that has become over the last few years.

“My voice is sexy, huh?” Yoongi replies, grinning into his hair. Jungkook huffs quietly.

“Fuck you,” he repeats, without much conviction. “My brain isn’t- yeah-“

His mumbled words become lost against the skin of Yoongi’s neck. The elder keeps smiling. Trails his fingers along the curve of Jungkook’s spine, before slipping beneath his top to trace slow, lazy circles into the warm skin.

Barely a minute has passed before Yoongi hears the soft rhythm of Jungkook’s breathing, letting Yoongi know that he’s already fallen back to sleep.

Joining him is a tempting prospect. The darkness of the room lets Yoongi know that it’s far too early to be getting up just yet. He closes his own eyes too, lets himself sink into the moment. Lets himself imagine doing exactly this, only back in Seoul. Perhaps in a new apartment Jungkook’s bought. Perhaps in Yoongi’s bedroom, the skyline of Seoul twinkling outside of the window.

Yoongi lets himself imagine more and more details. The familiar scent of Jungkook mixing into Yoongi’s sheets. The way rain might tap against the window when fall arrives, making the morning even cosier. Maybe Yoongi will wake up to slow, sleepy kisses, or the sound of Jungkook’s gentle voice singing in the shower. Or maybe-

Yoongi doesn’t get to imagine much more, before he’s pulled back into sleep as well.

The next time Yoongi wakes up, he immediately notices the absence of Jungkook’s warmth pressed into him. He huffs, turning over. Blinks blearily to see Jungkook stood at his suitcase, rummaging through in search of something.

“Is it time to get up already?” Yoongi sighs.

The room is a lot lighter than before, even with the blinds closed. Outside of their bedroom, however, all still seems very still and silent. Jungkook appears to find whatever it is he’s looking for, padding back over to the bed and sitting down on the edge.

“I don’t think anyone else is up,” Jungkook tells him. “I just needed some painkillers.”

“Ah.”

Yoongi nods in understanding. Watches as Jungkook pops two out of the packet and swiftly swallows them dry. A bad habit picked up from years of being on the road, taking all kinds of vitamins and medicines to keep them as healthy as possible. The packet is offered to Yoongi but he declines. He’s feeling better now; a little less dull thudding, a little more cotton-headed. A bit slow and mushy, but not painful.

“I’m good thanks,” he says. “I’ll suffer.”

He gets a strong roll of the eyes in response.

“Such a martyr.”

Despite his words Jungkook smiles. Lets his gaze linger on Yoongi for a moment before flopping back down beside him. Yoongi props himself up on an elbow. Smiles down at Jungkook, sharing a soft, quiet moment before dipping his head to bring their lips together. It’s a short kiss, sweet and chaste, but it still floods him with a heady warmth. He truly can’t get enough of it.

When he pulls away, they hold each other’s’ gazes a few seconds longer before both of them grow self-conscious. Yoongi drops his head, dusting a light kiss to Jungkook’s collarbone just to break the moment.

“So,” he begins, voice gradually losing the gravelly tone from before. “What are your plans once we’re back?”

It’s a big question.

They’ve already talked about keeping this going in Korea. They both know that this won’t end once they’re back home; the thought of it now seems impossible. But as for the practicalities, Yoongi isn’t entirely sure. Jungkook may plan to move to Seoul in the future but as of right now, he’s still based in Busan. After so many days spent so close, they’ll soon being living hours away from each other.

Jungkook brings his palm up, rubbing it over his face. Pushes his hair back from his forehead. He sighs softly.

“Honestly, I’d love to just stay in Seoul once we land,” he begins. Pauses, biting down on his lip. “But I need to go back to Busan. I need to sort out all my stuff there. I need to y’know. Tell people.”

At this, his eyes flicker with something darker, something anxious. Yoongi knows what he’s implying. That he won’t simply be telling people that he’s moving away. That instead he’ll be revealing a piece of himself he’s kept hidden for far too long.

There’s no doubt a part of Jungkook that will be relieved that he can finally be open but- Yoongi knows, there must be a far larger part of him that’s terrified.

“I need to tell Goeun,” he continues, voice gentle. “When we broke up, I told her it was because I didn’t want what she did. Which was true, I suppose, but- she should know the real truth. She’s been lied to for so long and- she’s kind of an awesome person. She doesn’t deserve more lies.”

Yoongi hates the horrid pang of jealousy he feels at hearing Jungkook talk about his ex-girlfriend. It’s really fucking dumb, Yoongi knows that. Jungkook never could feel that way about her, and she did nothing wrong by loving Jungkook. And yet, still it’s there. A painful little twist to the gut to know that someone else shared so much of Jungkook’s life while Yoongi was pushed to the sidelines.

Yoongi shoves it to the back of his mind. It’s maybe an instinctive reaction, but it’s a stupid one. Of course Goeun would be a great person; Jungkook never had time for cruel or fake people. If he was really trying to forge a life with someone, trying to be the man he thought he should be, he would of course pick someone he worked well with.

“You didn’t lie to her for malicious reasons,” Yoongi tells him, noticing the look of regret in Jungkook’s gaze. No doubt berating himself for keeping his true self hidden for so long, even though, Yoongi knows, it was a difficult thing for him to do. “She may even understand.”

Jungkook nods, though he doesn’t look entirely convinced.

“I’ll have to tell my family too,” he says instead.

At this, his voice wavers. Yoongi knows how terrifying a notion that is. He remembers first telling his parents that he liked boys just as much as girls. That the possibility of him bring home a boyfriend was just as likely as him bringing home a girlfriend. It took them a long time to adjust; a long time to get past thinking that he was simply being, as they called it, indecisive.

Yoongi’s still not entirely sure they fully understand how he can be attracted to both genders, but at least, he supposes, these days they are supportive. When the whole ordeal with Taesung happened, it would have been so easy for them to suggest that he stick to dating women to make his life easier.

But they never did. Instead, they told him how sorry they were about the break up and his mom was quick to stamp out any gossip amongst their hometown friends. Yoongi’s certain she would have shut down any negativity fast; an angry Mrs Min is a force to be reckoned with.

But Jungkook’s back to where Yoongi was when he was a teenager. Not knowing how his loved ones will react. Whether they’ll hug him or hate him. Yoongi reaches down, linking his fingers with Jungkook’s. He squeezes, reassuring.

“Just tell them when you feel ready. You’ve told Jimin, and Taehyung, and me. If that’s enough for now, then it’s okay,” Yoongi tells him. “But if you want to tell more people, I’ll be here. You know that, right?”

Jungkook nods, a glimpse of a grateful smile flitting over his lips.

“Thanks hyung. I-“ He pauses, eyes drifting down to their entwined hands, resting on his stomach. “I meant what I said last night, about telling the others. Before we all leave.”

Yoongi squeezes his hand again. His stomach swoops, nervous, almost as though he’s planning on coming out to them himself.

“You sure?” he checks. “Don’t feel like you have to, Kook.”

Jungkook nods. “I’m sure. I’d like to stop pretending. I feel like- I’m kind of starting over again with them and y’know- I’d like to start off being honest.”

“I can understand that,” Yoongi says. “So you want to tell them this morning?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook smiles, a little shaky, but overriding the nerves is something that looks a lot closer to relief. At the prospect of finally unburdening himself of what he’s been hiding from them all for so long.

Yoongi smiles back, brushing his thumb over Jungkook’s knuckles.

“So yeah. I’ll tell the guys, then tell everyone back home, and then- after that I’ll start looking for somewhere in Seoul, I guess,” Jungkook continues.

“Cool,” Yoongi says, not knowing what else to say. Jungkook’s smile grows wider at that. “If you need somewhere to stay while you’re looking for places, you’re welcome to stay with me. If you want.”

Jungkook’s smile grows much bigger then. His eyes shine and Yoongi’s heart thumps far too erratically. Jungkook looks as though he wants to say something, but he simply stays smiling. He grips Yoongi’s hand tight, so happy and excited and-

“Thanks hyung,” he says, words so quiet and sincere in contrast to his beaming smile. “I’d like that.”

And maybe it was a bad idea, Yoongi thinks, when Jungkook leans in to kiss him. A little longer, a little deeper this time. Because, somehow, Yoongi gets the feeling that once Jungkook stays at his place, it’s going to be ridiculously difficult to see him leave.

Yoongi tries not to dwell on it. Instead he distracts himself with fingertips trailing along Jungkook’s back, and with his lips pressing to Jungkook’s neck. Outside of their room there are signs of life stirring but for now, Yoongi lets himself grow a little more lost in the moment here. Tucked away and safe.

Eventually though, the noise gets too much too ignore. There’s the buzz of coffee being brewed and hangovers being mourned and, really, it’s their last few hours here – they shouldn’t stay locked away in here. No matter how enticing an idea it is.

“I guess we should get up, huh?” Jungkook sighs, curling into Yoongi’s hold even as the words leave his mouth. Yoongi doesn’t answer but his silence says enough.

When they emerge into the lounge they find Namjoon, Seokjin and Jimin sat on the couches, all in varying degrees of bleariness. Namjoon is currently cocooned in his bedcovers, not much more than his face on show. Seokjin sips delicately from a mug of coffee, and Jimin- well, he looks unfairly okay. Not great, but not on the same level of dying as the other two.

“Morning,” Seokjin greets after a mouthful of coffee. Namjoon grunts his welcome.

Jungkook slumps down on the couch next to Jimin while Yoongi shuffles into the kitchen, keen to have his own cup of coffee. It takes him longer than normal, hands unusually clumsy. He blames it on the lack of sleep last night; certainly not the copious amounts of alcohol. He refuses to believe that he can’t handle it as well as he used to; admitting such a thing is the start of a slippery road.

“Did you guys see the news?” Seokjin asks once Yoongi’s returned the lounge, steaming hot coffee cup clasped firmly in his hands.

Yoongi arches an eyebrow. “News?”

“Is everything okay?” Jungkook asks immediately.

“Yeah, everything’s fine,” Jimin jumps in. “Kind of amusing given the circumstances but- it’s probably a good idea if we make an announcement soon as we’ve spoken with management. Maybe a V Live or something. I’d rather it came from us directly that from rumours, y’know.”

Yoongi frowns, mind not quite catching up with the conversation. Jimin pulls out his phone, bringing something up on the screen. Jungkook leans in to look; Yoongi pads over to stand behind the couch, looking down too.

On Jimin’s screen is some kind of celebrity news site. The headline is unmissable at the top of the page: ‘Bangtan Boys comeback planned? Seven members spotted in Norway bar’ Beneath it, a photo of the seven of them, taken sneakily by someone at the bar last night.

Yoongi gapes. Seriously? Of all the fucking places, he never wouldn’t have expected to be recognised at that bar last night. Let alone someone taking a photo and sharing it with the media.

Yoongi supposes he should learn to stop underestimating the impact that the seven of them had, not just in Korea but worldwide. It may have been years since they last performed together, but people still remember. In a way, it’s kind of nice to still acknowledge that. Right now though, Yoongi knows such rumours will only cause confusion and a whole lot of misplaced hope.

“I think a V Live is a good idea,” Yoongi agrees. “We can explain everything to the fans. They deserve a proper announcement.”

Seokjin nods his agreement. Namjoon too, though he soon regrets it judging by the queasy look on his face at the movement of his head.

“I’ve already had messages from management,” Seokjin says. “I told them we needed to speak to them once we’re all back in Seoul. I think they’ve kind of guessed what’s up but- we should still meet with them. It’s only right.”

It’s not long until Hoseok shuffles through into the lounge, looking decidedly grey and delicate, followed soon after by Taehyung. They are both updated on the situation and agree on speaking with management sooner rather than later. Agree, too, about logging onto V Live together one last time to say their farewells.

Yoongi always thought that this moment would be sadder. That the end of that era would be tough and upsetting. To have contemplated something like this years ago would have been heart-breaking.

And yet, just like yesterday, Yoongi still feels very much at peace with it all. Somehow, it doesn’t feel at all like an ending. It’s the beginning of something new instead. Something unknown and exciting. Things don’t need to be exactly like they used to, and that’s fine. It’s okay to want their own lives, and it’s okay to learn a new way of being part of each other’s.

Eventually rumbling stomachs overcome the nausea, and they share a simple breakfast together, using up the very last scraps of food remaining. Everyone’s very quiet. Whether it’s the terrible hangovers or the knowledge that they’re going home soon, Yoongi couldn’t say. Perhaps it’s a little of both.

Yoongi notices the way that Jungkook keep looking around at the group, clearly on edge. He doesn’t say anything though, and he doesn’t eat very much either. Yoongi can only imagine how much his stomach is churning right now at the prospect of what he’s about to do.

Hoseok’s the last to finish eating. As soon as his plate gets pushed aside, Jungkook starts to speak. As though his confession has been pent up inside of him, threatening to burst past his lips through the entirety of breakfast. Like, as terrifying as it may be to tell the others, once the decision has been made, Jungkook wants to get it over and done with as soon as he can.

“Hey. So. Can I-uh, say something?”

All turn to face him, curious. He may be in his late twenties now, but it’s more than obvious in that moment that Jungkook is still very much the maknae of the group. A few unsure, stammered words from him and everyone’s attention is on the youngest in a heartbeat. Their intent focus makes him flush, losing his confidence for a moment.

“Sure, Kook. What is it?” Namjoon prompts gently.

“It’s just- well. We’re leaving today and I wanted to- y’know, be honest with you all. Before we go. I mean, we’re all kind of moving forward and I want to be open about things and- well, y’know, uh-“

He stumbles over his words, looking painfully lost. Yoongi wants to reach out. Take hold of his hand, calm him down, help him find the right phrases. Instead he has to sit and watch, heart thumping skittishly as he watches Jungkook fumble. And then suddenly-

“Fuck it. I’m gay.”

Unlike the stuttering of before, those words come out clear as anything. A little louder and a little more forceful that necessary, clearly blurted out before Jungkook could stop them. There’s a pause, Jungkook’s cheeks immediately flushing a bright red before he adds, in softer tones,

“So, uh. Yeah. That’s what I wanted to tell you all.” He stops. Draws in a deep, steadying breath. “And I’m sorry for not telling you before but- well, I’ve only just kind of started figuring it all out myself.”

No one says anything. For a moment, Yoongi’s worried. But looking around, no one appears judgemental, or angry, or, to be honest, even that shocked. Instead there are warm looks on all of their faces. Taehyung and Jimin already know, of course, looking at him proudly. To Namjoon, Seokjin and Hoseok this is all new however, Yoongi’s pleased to see, they look just as proud of him. Just as fond.

Another moment of silence, and then Hoseok is flinging himself at Jungkook, wrapping him in a tight hug. Jungkook laughs, stunned, happily accepting the tight embrace and brief kiss planted on his temple. Seokjin grins, reaching out and thumping Jungkook on the shoulder. Across the table, Namjoon smiles too. He leans over, ruffling Jungkook’s hair.

“Thanks for telling us, Kook,” Hoseok says, the sincerity clear in his words. “I know we haven’t been as close lately so- it means a lot that you want to share this with us.”

Jungkook’s smile softens as Hoseok finally pulls away to flop back down into his seat. He looks a touch embarrassed, staring down at his lap before lifting his gaze once more.

“To be honest, it’s had a lot to do with why I’ve been so distant lately,” Jungkook admits quietly. “And for that, I’m really sorry.”

Namjoon sighs, but it’s full of understanding.

“You don’t have to apologise, Kook-ah. These things take time,” he says, the reassuring tone of their leader that Yoongi has come to recognise so well over the years. Yoongi doubts it will ever fully leave him. “So long as you’re happy now. That’s all we care about.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook replies, eyes shining as his gaze falls back down, words so soft. “I am.”

There’s a pause, Jungkook’s gentle admission sinking in, before Seokjin reaches out and punches him in the shoulder once more.

“Yah! You’re not allowed to make your hyungs emotional when we’re so weak and hungover,” he chides.

Jungkook’s face scrunches, bright, toothy smile taking over. Yoongi’s heart thumps way too fucking hard to see it. To see the shyness, and the relief, and the overwhelming sense of happiness that radiates from Jungkook right now. Sure, he’s been open with Jimin, and Taehyung, and Yoongi before. But still, it stayed a secret. A shared one, but secret nonetheless.

Now, though, he’s finally opening up about who he is. Can finally start finding acceptance, rather than hiding and fearing the worst. Yoongi can’t help but find himself smiling too.

He’s said nothing so far in response to Jungkook’s admission, which he worries the others may find odd. But he’s always been a quietly supportive hyung, and so hopefully they won’t read too much into it. Namjoon’s eyes do seem to linger on Yoongi longer than they should, but whatever thoughts he may be having, he keeps to himself.

The talk dissolves into lighter chatter. It’s not that anyone is dismissing Jungkook’s admission by moving onto a different conversation. Instead, it’s more that they want to let Jungkook know that it’s okay. That what he’s told them is huge, but it doesn’t change how they view him, or how they treat him. He’s still the same Jungkook, just- happier. More at peace

As much as Yoongi’s sure they would all love to while away the rest of the day with idle talk, however, time is pressing on. Therefore, so too is the looming thought of their flight. Of having to pack, to leave to say goodbye – and hope that this all works as well once they’re back on home soil.

One by one they start to drift off to pack their cases. Yoongi didn’t bring a huge amount with him on the trip and has pretty much lived out of his suitcase, but still, he retreats into the bedroom with Jungkook. He may not have a lot to pack, but after Jungkook’s confession he yearns for some time alone with him. To make sure he’s feeling as okay as he’s acting.

Yoongi doesn’t get much of a chance to check. Almost as soon as the door is closed he’s being pushed up against it. Jungkook swoops in straight away, lips crashing almost a little clumsy into Yoongi’s. It’s eager and excited and- fuck, Yoongi can feel the way he smiles into it. Any worries about Jungkook regretting his choice fast fade away.

“What’s that for?” Yoongi murmurs when they pull apart, lips still ghosting over Jungkook’s.

“Just- happy.”

Yoongi pulls back a little further, wanting to look at the younger. His cheeks are tinged pink, teeth showing in a sweet smile. His eyes shine, full of warmth, and happiness.

“I’m glad,” Yoongi tells him. Lifts a hand, cupping Jungkook’s jaw tenderly. “You don’t owe an explanation to anyone but- I think they were all touched that you told them.”

Jungkook’s gaze drops down as he shrugs lightly.

“I know we’ve kind of grown apart lately but- despite that, they’re still my closest friends. I wanted to tell them.”

Yoongi smiles, a small twitch of his lips. Jungkook leans down again. The kiss is calmer this time. Slow, gentle. Yoongi sinks into it, his other hand holding onto Jungkook’s waist. He feels Jungkook sigh quietly against him. Yoongi kisses him harder, but only a little. It stays easy and tender and yet Yoongi’s stomach’s still swooping like a wild thing.

“I don’t want to leave,” Jungkook whispers against him.

Yoongi understands. Going home means facing reality. Being out here it’s almost like the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Like they’re in their own safe cocoon.

Once they’re back, Jungkook faces some tough conversations. Maybe faces some struggles too, if people take his news negatively. Yoongi almost wants to wrap him up; wants to have the conversations for him, shield him from any bad reactions. Yet he knows that he can’t. This is something that Jungkook needs to do himself.

There’s no doubt in Yoongi’s mind though that he’ll be there offering as much support as he can possibly give along the way.

“I know,” Yoongi replies. “I’m not gonna lie and say it’s all going to be fine ‘cos- I don’t know that. But if this is what you’re ready to do, if it’s what you want- I’ll be by your side, whenever you need me, okay?”

Jungkook’s head turns, nose nudging against Yoongi’s cheek. He curls into the elder, seeking out something; some comfort, some safety. He may be taller but he purposefully makes himself smaller. Lets Yoongi’s arms wrap around him and hold him close. Takes a moment, and then a few more, simply letting it all sink in. Yoongi lets him be. Holds him, quiet, until Jungkook eventually lets out a sigh.

“C’mon. We’ve gotta pack,” Jungkook chides. As though he isn’t the one needing the moment to collect himself. Yoongi says nothing. Simply nods in agreement, and finally, they begin to pack.

It all moves a little too quickly after that for Yoongi’s liking. They pack, and they take some final photos outside the cabin, and then, before Yoongi knows it, the cases are packed into the trunks of the cars and they’re on their way, the cabin disappearing out of sight in the wing mirror as they turn the corner onto the main road.

The ride to the airport is unusually quiet. Yoongi’s in a car with Hoseok and Jimin. There’s none of the laughter of last night. No boisterous chatter, no terrible singing. It’s not- sad, per se. But there’s definitely a sense of something more sombre. Once they land, all the promises they’ve made will really be put to the test. They’ve vowed to not let their friendship fade once more but- it’s only them that can actually make sure that doesn’t happen.

Yoongi truly hopes that they stand by their promises. These last ten days have been amazing. Unforgettable. Not just for what has begun with Jungkook, but for a new chance at rekindling what was so great between all of them. Yoongi’s certain that it wasn’t just words, from any of them – now, only time will tell.

There’s a certain level of bustle and buzz at the terminal but compared to the frantic vibe of Seoul airport, Bergen has a distinctly relaxed check in. They pass through security with relative ease, in about a third of the time it takes to navigate Seoul’s security.

Once through to the departure lounge, they drift off in their own directions. Taehyung and Jungkook head off to browse the duty-free items, while Namjoon wanders over to a viewing area for take offs and landings. The rest of them go straight into the business lounge. The late night is catching up with Yoongi and he’s keen to make the most of the unlimited coffee supply on offer.

Seokjin instantly flops down into a comfy chair, as does Jimin. Jimin flicks through a newspaper but barely minutes have passed before Seokjin is dozing. Hoseok wanders around, a little aimless. He looks out of the large windows, then walks over to browse the magazines, before coming to stand next to Yoongi. He begins to pick up sachets of tea, examining each one with unusual depth. Yoongi’s about to ask him what’s up, when Hoseok starts to speak.

“Big news, huh?” Yoongi blinks at him, confused. Hoseok watches him for a long moment before adding, “about Jungkook?”

“Oh. Yeah,” Yoongi mumbles. Hoseok crooks an eyebrow, unsatisfied by the response. Yoongi sighs quietly. Brings the cup of coffee to his lips before explaining. “I actually kind of- uh. I already knew. I mean, not for long but- he did tell me before.”

There’s no point in lying. Yoongi knows that Hoseok won’t take any offence at not being the first to find out. He does, however, expect Hoseok to be perhaps a little surprised that Jungkook confided in Yoongi. Especially given that the pair had fallen out of contact for so long. Instead, Hoseok keeps picking up the tea sachets one by one, gazing at each one without truly looking.

“Hmm,” he says, distracted. Clearly something else is on his mind. Yoongi watches, and waits. Eventually Hoseok puts down the tea. Turns to face Yoongi, a smile on his lips. It’s small, maybe even a little sad, but beneath it all is an obvious warmth that shines through more than anything else.

“I’m never gonna push you to say anything you don’t want to, hyung. Please know that,” he says gently. He looks at Yoongi, so sincere and so open that it makes something clench tightly in Yoongi’s chest. “But if the two of you ever want to share anything with us- well. I just want you to know that we’d all be really happy for you.”

Yoongi feels a mix of emotions flood him all at once. Guilt, embarrassment, nerves. Something both fluttery and heavy settles in his stomach. Yoongi’s pretty good at reading people but he doesn’t need to be right now; the look on Hoseok’s face says it all. He may not have worded it outright but his meaning is clear.

He knows about Yoongi and Jungkook. How exactly, Yoongi has no idea. But it’s undeniable: Hoseok knows.

Yoongi stays silent. He and Jungkook agreed that it was too early to announce anything to the others. But lying outright to any of them- that doesn’t sit well with Yoongi either.

Nerves sit hot in Yoongi’s belly, rising up into his throat. Saying something now makes it even more real, somehow, than it’s already felt so far. But there has been enough silence, and enough hiding, for too long amongst them all. Yoongi can’t stand to let that distance build again. Not after how far they’ve come.

So he doesn’t deny it. Not outright.

“How do you know?” is what he says instead.

Hoseok’s face instantly lights up. His eyes shine, his smile grows bigger. Whether from the fact that he was right, or the fact that Yoongi’s admitted it, or perhaps, simply from pure delight over the situation, Yoongi couldn’t say. It does, however, settle a little of that anxiety bubbling up hot and sudden inside of him.

“Hyung,” Hoseok says softly, shaking his head. “I know we’ve grown apart lately. But we’ve all been friends for so long. I don’t think I’ll ever find a bond as close as I what I had with you guys.”

Yoongi turns the coffee in his hands, gaze dropping down. It’s true; he knows it is. And yet whereas Yoongi always saved his vulnerability for the lyric book or the recording booth, Hoseok did always share his own emotions a little more openly.

“We’re a family, y’know. Closer than that, even. Do you really think I can’t sense when something is going on between two of you?”

At this, Yoongi flushes. He thought they’d been so slick, that they’d kept things under the radar. But Yoongi thinks back to their first morning here; of Hoseok’s comment that he thought there was something more there between him and Jungkook. He knew, even back then.

Knew it, even before Yoongi himself figured it out.

“Oh,” Yoongi says quietly. He’s shocked and somewhat shaken by the fact that Hoseok worked it all out. But still- Hoseok’s smiling, brighter than ever, and- perhaps it’s not the worst thing to happen. “Do- uh. Do you think the others know?”

Hoseok shrugs loosely, teeth showing briefly. He chuckles quietly.

“If I had to guess? I’d say they’ve probably got an idea.”

Yoongi’s cheeks grow hotter. His hand lifts, scratching awkwardly at the back of his neck.

“We didn’t mean to- I mean, we weren’t deliberately trying to hide from you guys. It’s just-“

Hoseok waves his hands, dismissive.

“You don’t have to explain anything. Like I said, I don’t know entirely what’s going on with you two. I’m sure it must be really new for both of you. But- whatever it is, we’ll support you. I just wanted you to know that.”

Yoongi’s stunned. After all these years, he shouldn’t put it past the others to surprise him; they have done so often before. But for a moment, Yoongi’s truly lost for words.

He goes to speak but before he manages to form a response, they’re joined by a rather drowsy Seokjin, hood pulled up and lips mumbling something nonsensical about coffee. Hoseok shoots Yoongi a wink, still smiling wide, before leaving to go over and join Jimin by the seats.

“Is it any good?”

Yoongi blinks hard, trying to snap himself out the sudden stupor. His mouth doesn’t quite catch up in time.

“What?”

“The coffee.” Seokjin nods down at the cup in his hands. “Any good?”

In all honesty, Yoongi hasn’t even yet managed to take a sip. He’s still reeling from Hoseok’s words. Still, Yoongi nods. “Passable.”

“Good enough,” Seokjin concedes, pouring himself a cup.

The journey ahead seems to stretch out in front of them. The slow boarding, the long flight.

And yet despite all of that, it feels like all too soon that they’re stepping onto familiar ground. Buildings become recognisable, signs become readable, and airport announcements no longer require quick translations to figure out if it applies to them or not.

It should feel good, coming home. And yet, Yoongi already misses everything. Misses their cabin back in Norway. Misses the feeling of no commitments, no pressure. Misses the warmth of waking up with Jungkook wrapped around him, and of days spent reconnecting with friends. Discovering so much happiness from such perfect, simple days.

Yoongi’s certain that once he settles back into his routine, gets back into the studio and writing and the job he loves, that things won’t seem so sad. But right now, Yoongi gets the strange sensation of wanting to jump back on the plane and head right back again. From the melancholy looks on the faces around him, he suspects that he’s not the only one feeling that way.

They pass through passport control, collect their luggage. Everyone’s quiet in that serene way that always comes at the end of a vacation. Coming back to reality with something of an unpleasant bump.

At least they have time to quietly process it all. It’s not like the old days of returning home, hundreds of eyes of them, a sea of phones held up and an assault of noise, nowhere to hide. There are one or two curious looks in their direction, a few wide-eyed stares and frantic whispering between friends, but it’s sedate and any onlookers keep their distance.

That is, until they exit into the arrivals hall. It’s something that Yoongi’s grown unused to over the last few years. His eyes close momentarily, taking a second to adjust after the barrage of flashes that attack his vision. There is a sudden rush of sound; of cheering, of names being called, of security guards trying to calm things down.

Clearly the rumour mill has been in full force back here after the leaked photo of them at the bar in Norway. Yoongi tugs down the rim of his baseball cap, trying to walk through the throng as fast as possible. He can’t help but glance around, searching out Jungkook. Yoongi finds him quickly, stepping over to his side. Jungkook seems startled by the crowds, similarly unaccustomed to such a welcome these days.

They follow Taehyung and Hoseok, who seem to have spotted members of their staff nearby. All keep their heads down, focused only on making their way to the cars. There are many things that Yoongi misses about being in Bangtan, but this was definitely not one of them.

There are too many people, too many eager cameras and excited screams to allow for much of a farewell. Yoongi kind of wants more time to say goodbye. More space to do it properly. But just like last time, when everything fell apart, this ending seems far too rushed, too fast. The craziness of the world they live in driving them apart once more.

But perhaps, Yoongi thinks, it’s better this way. Because, it’s not goodbye; not this time. They won’t lose each other again. Tomorrow they will meet to speak to Big Hit, but it’s not an end for their friendship, and it’s not something to be sad about. This farewell is a happy one.

Yoongi can only hope that their fans will feel the same way.

“See you tomorrow, guys,” Seokjin smiles, pulling Yoongi and Jimin into a quick hug, before doing the same to Taehyung and Jungkook. He leans back, looking at Jimin and Taehyung. “And thanks you two. For making us do this.”

The pair go to shrug it off, but don’t get a chance as Hoseok comes in for one large group hug, followed by Namjoon. As they pull away, they all share wide smiles.  No one quite knows what to say, and so no one ends up saying anything. And when that goes on for too long and becomes weird, they all break into laughter.

“Fuck. We’re seeing each other tomorrow. Don’t make me emotional,” Hoseok grins.

Yoongi scoffs. “Whatever. I’ll be pleased to see the back of you all.”

Despite his words, his tone makes it clear that he very much means the opposite.

“Right. Lets go,” Namjoon says. “My eyes aren’t used to this anymore. I’m going to go blind from all these cameras.”

He gives a brief wave to them before getting into the car with Hoseok. Seokjin soon follows, but not before he takes the opportunity to send a flying kiss not only to the four of them remaining outside, but also to the throng of people still screaming and snapping photos. Yoongi feels that Seokjin certainly made the right decision to stay in the limelight.

Yoongi wants to send back a middle-finger, but he remembers that they are very much in public, once again under the watchful eye of the media; and, although he shouldn’t care anymore, Yoongi doesn’t want to give the press anything to run with. So he follows Taehyung and Jimin to the other car, a larger seven-seater, along with Jungkook.

As soon as the door slides shut behind them, quiet settles so nicely. Yoongi doesn’t quite know how Jimin and Taehyung still live with such madness in their daily lives. Yoongi knows that it is part and parcel of fame but it was a tough pay-off to deal with.

It wore Yoongi down, bit by bit- and as much as he loved his work, Yoongi isn’t sure how much more of it he could have withstood. Even before the accident he felt a little too thinly strung, too much of himself on show, to be dissected by the public every minute of his days.

“Home sweet home, huh?” Taehyung grins.

Jimin laughs and Yoongi smiles. The car pulls away, leaving behind the excited crowd. News spreads fast, it seems. Yoongi hopes that people aren’t too disappointed when they make their announcement tomorrow.

Next to him, Jungkook looks out of the window. He’s smiling too but there’s something else in there. Something a little sadder.

“You okay?” Yoongi asks him quietly.

He nods, turning to face Yoongi. His smile turns deeper, more genuine.

“Yeah,” he says. “Just feels strange being back here. Y’know. After everything.”

Yoongi glances over at Jimin and Taehyung, chatting in the two seats in front of them. Neither seem to have heard. Yoongi offers a small smile back.

“I know.”

He doesn’t know what else to say, and so doesn’t. Instead, he reaches out. Covers Jungkook’s hand with his own. It’s well hidden in the back seats, very much out of sight. And yet, still, it sends a small thrill through Yoongi. Doing this in the bedroom in Norway was one thing. Doing it here is another thing entirely. It makes his smile grow bigger, too, when he feels Jungkook lace their fingers together so easily.

“So,” Jimin says, as Taehyung starts to chat to the driver. Clearly it’s someone he’s familiar with.  “Our dear Jungkookie was going to be staying with me and Tae while he looked for a place here. But he informed us earlier that he’s since had a better offer.”

“Hyung, don’t twist my words,” Jungkook huffs. “That’s not what-“

“Thanks for taking him off of our hands,” Jimin continues, ignoring Jungkook’s protests. “He eats all our food. And he gets the dogs way too excited.”

“What the fuck, hyung,” Jungkook mumbles, swatting at Jimin with his free hand. “Don’t be mad just ‘cos the dogs love me more than you.”

Jimin scowls, playful. Pauses and then sighs. “Whatever. We’re both losers. They’ll always love Tae more than either of us.”

Yoongi laughs along but there’s something a touch awkward about it all. He knows that there’s more to Jimin’s words than simple teasing. Knows his joking is a thinly veiled acknowledgment of things moving forward between Yoongi and Jungkook.

It’s strange, really. To hear Jimin complain about the dogs loving Taehyung more, and the way he so casually phrases everything with our instead of my; the way him and Taehyung just fit, in a way that Yoongi’s surprised he never truly noticed before-

On paper, Jimin and Taehyung should be the couple. And yet, somehow, they’re still the ones holding back from what they want. Instead it’s become Yoongi and Jungkook who are actually taking that step.

Yoongi tries not to dwell on it. Jimin and Taehyung have their reasons, of which Jimin has explained in depth. Yoongi may or may not agree with their decision but- it doesn’t matter. It’s not his life, and it’s not his relationship. All he can do is support them, in whatever they decide to do. Just like the support Hoseok offered to Yoongi at the airport earlier. Unequivocal and unflinching.

Eventually they reach Jimin and Taehyung’s building. They dismiss Yoongi and Jungkook’s protestations that they can grab a taxi from here, instead offering their car for the journey and refusing to take no for an answer.

And so the four of them find themselves exchanging goodbye hugs awkwardly across the back seats of the car while the driver gets out to take Jimin and Taehyung’s luggage from the trunk.

“Don’t be a stranger,” Taehyung grins, ruffling Jungkook’s hair. He turns to look at Yoongi. “You too, hyung.”

“Touch my hair and you’re dead,” Yoongi mutters as he spies Taehyung’s hand reaching out once more. Taehyung just grins brighter in response.

“See you tomorrow,” Jimin laughs, giving a breezy wave as he jumps out of the car. Taehyung keeps on grinning, flashing a brief peace sign at the pair of them before following Jimin.

The car door closes behind him. And then it’s just Yoongi and Jungkook.

Yoongi can’t help but notice the way that Jungkook’s hand has found it’s way back to his, even after they broke apart for the goodbye hugs. It causes something warm and heavy and happy to settle so deep inside Yoongi’s chest that he’s not sure he’ll ever be able to shift it. Finds that he doesn’t particularly want to.

“Excuse me, Sirs. What’s the address?” Taehyung’s driver asks once he gets back into the front seat.

Yoongi and Jungkook exchange an odd, nervous look. Yoongi knows that the vacation has come to an end, but he just wants to cling on, if only for a bit longer. But at the same time, he knows that Jungkook needs to go home. That there are difficult conversations that he needs to have, things that he needs to sort. He has a life back in Busan that needs properly tying up before he returns to Seoul.

“What time is your train home?” Yoongi asks.

“I don’t have a ticket yet,” Jungkook tells him. “So. Whenever. I guess.”

There’s something so shy, so uncertain in his words. They shared so much back in that cabin. Secrets, desires. They connected on so many levels. And yet back here, they’re still settling into these new ways of being around each other. No longer simply friends, but something much more.

Something new and exciting. Something making them act stupid and giddy and bashful even after so many years of friendship.

“Do you have time to maybe get lunch first?” Yoongi asks.

There’s more to it now, than what such an offer would have held before. More meaning to his words. They both know that it’s no longer simply lunch. It’s something, perhaps, they could even consider a date. Jungkook smiles, small but so, so happy.

“Lunch sounds good.”

“Cool,” Yoongi nods. “Shall we drop our stuff off at mine first?”

Jungkook nods and looks out of the window. Yoongi can see the way he’s trying to hold back; how he’s trying so desperately to stop the smile from spreading over his lips. Yoongi finds himself facing a similar struggle.

Yoongi gives the driver his address. He’d normally be wary about such a thing – he may not be in the spotlight now, but you can never be too careful. The driver works for Taehyung though, so Yoongi feels pretty relaxed about it. Even more so, when he feels the way Jungkook grips his hand that little bit tighter, gaze still pointedly fixed out of the window.

Yoongi squeezes back. Can’t help but imagine doing this openly one day amongst their friends. Maybe their families. Perhaps, even, in public. Yoongi tries to calm his racing mind but it’s difficult. He can feel the way his heart thumps, soars, twists and swoops, leaving him both breathless and grounded all at once.

Yoongi knows what he’s feeling. He knows that he’s falling, and knows that he’s falling hard. The beginnings of something bigger, something deeper. Yoongi knows that it’s maybe too early to call it love but he’s more than certain that it’s where this is going.

There are sparks of it already there, growing, pulling at his edges. Breaking through the dullness Yoongi’s felt for far too long and replacing it with burning embers that fill him up, leave him giddy and restless until it’s all JungkookJungkookJungkook.

No, it’s not love yet. But Yoongi knows that it’s not far away. Their friendship has tumbled so easily into something more. Yoongi doubts it will take much longer to tumble into something even deeper.

Seoul traffic is as terrible as always, and the air is far too sticky once they get out of the car. Today, however, Yoongi doesn’t pay any of it much attention. His mind is far too focused on the man beside him. On the way he’s looking up at Yoongi’s building outside, gazing around the lobby as they walk to the elevators, before finally peering around the door of Yoongi’s apartment as Yoongi lets them in.

It’s a strange sight to see Jungkook in his apartment. Yoongi hates to admit it, but before this trip he believed that their friendship was utterly lost. Beyond saving. The idea that Jungkook would be walking around Yoongi’s place, swinging their joined hands together and beaming so brightly-

Well, it would have been absurd to Yoongi only weeks ago. And yet-

And yet- Jungkook’s turning to Yoongi, eyes sparkling, teeth showing. Looking for all the world like he belongs here.

“Hyung. It’s so- you,” he declares happily.

“I can’t tell if that’s a good or a bad thing.”

Jungkook huffs in response, whacking Yoongi lightly on the shoulder with his free hand. Never dropping the one that is still linked with Yoongi’s. Fingers that laced through Yoongi’s as soon as they stepped over the threshold.

Yoongi looks around. Takes it all in once again. With fresh eyes, the way that he always does after a long time away. He does like his apartment. It took a while to learn to like it. After so many years in a shared house, it felt so painfully lonely at first. Music didn’t feel the gap. Taesung didn’t fill the gap. Nothing did, really.

And yet, Yoongi has learned to like it. It may not feel like a home just yet, but it’s getting there. There’s more of Yoongi seeping into it over time. Filling the quiet corners and the empty spaces. Still it’s never quite felt right. Now, however, with Jungkook standing there, somehow fitting so well-

Yoongi’s mind is running too far ahead of itself. Wanders to where it shouldn’t. To shared rooms and a new set of belongings sitting alongside his own, and, perhaps, finally being able to call this place a home, and-

Yoongi’s thoughts grow quiet as Jungkook presses their lips together. A soft, calming touch. Almost as though he can see inside of Yoongi. Can sense that the thoughts were growing too much, too fast. That perhaps it’s not the worst thing, but still, it’s too overwhelming.

Yoongi kisses back, and sinks into it, and settles. He tilts his head, drinking in the quiet little gasp that leaves Jungkook as Yoongi’s tongue swipes across his lips. He opens up easily, tongue meeting Yoongi’s in a slow, heady slide. Yoongi sighs into it, so at peace and so off-kilter, somehow both at the same time.

His hands find Jungkook’s waist, holding onto him tightly. Jungkook’s grip onto his shoulders, keeping Yoongi close. Yoongi has to go up on his toes, just a little, but he doesn’t care. Simply melts into it deeper, and deeper. Lost to everything but the feel of Jungkook pressed against him, and the taste of him on his tongue. Dizzying and addictive.

They make an attempt to break apart. The kiss grows softer, fading into sweeter, chaste kisses, pressed to each other’s lips. They catch the corners of mouths, Jungkook’s bottom lip, the dip of Yoongi’s cupid’s bow. But it grows needier again. Both wanting more. Sinking into it, more and more. Kissing so slow, and easy, and- fuck, just perfect.

It takes far too much resolve to pull apart. When they do, they’re both a little flushed, a little breathless. There are smiles playing on both their lips, happy and open and wonderful.

Yoongi watches Jungkook, smiling so bright, so beautiful. Can’t help but think of all of the moments that have brought them to this point. Not just between him and Jungkook, but between all of them. All of their stories entwining and playing out; all of the secrets and battles fought, some more openly than others.

Their stories are still continuing. Stories that move at changing speeds, that are reaching different points. Part of their story is about to come to a close. But it’s not an ending - at least not for their friendship.

There are different paths in their lives to think about now, and it’s up to no one else but themselves to decide where their stories travel to next.

Yoongi can’t help but think of the different roads they’re taking. Of Namjoon and Hoseok, determined to give their all to their careers now that their enlistments are out of the way. Of Seokjin, coming up with a hundred different cliché and yet utterly charming ways to propose to his girlfriend, no qualms about making that commitment. Thinks, too, of Jimin and Taehyung, still caught up in the struggles of their stardom, holding back from taking the step they both so dearly wish for.

“So,” Jungkook says quietly. “You mentioned something about food?”

There’s a quirk to his lips that shows he’s teasing. A smile half there but not fully- anxious, just like Yoongi is, over what exactly it means.

“I did,” Yoongi replies.

“And so-“ Jungkook trails off. Looks down, cautious, before looking back up with a little more fire in his gaze. “Is this a date?”

Yoongi can’t stop himself from grinning.

“It might be.”

Jungkook grins right back.

“Good.”

They both share another look before dissolving into laughter. Yoongi lightly pinches Jungkook’s ribs, cheeks aching from smiling. It’s a feeling he’s not against getting used to.

“You just want it to be a date so that I’ll pay,” Yoongi says with a playful grumble.

“Of course not,” Jungkook says, looking so sincere that for a moment Yoongi’s almost embarrassed for such outright teasing. That is, until Jungkook continues speaking. “I know that you’ll pay anyway, hyung.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes in a show of annoyance. All pretence, of course. Inside, his heart skitters treacherously as Jungkook smiles at him. Yoongi pinches his sides again before stepping away and holding out his hand. Jungkook’s cheeks grow just a little bit pinker.

They’ve all had their own journeys to get to this point. Full of happiness and laughter, but with it, so much hurt, so much anger. Too many things to be regretful of if they allow themselves to dwell.

Now is not the time for that. There’s been too much sadness in their lives these last few years. Tomorrow all seven of them will finally bring one chapter of their lives to a close. One that’s irrevocably wrapped up in all of them. Bringing to an end something that means everything to them and yet, now, works far better by remaining in the past.

Admitting it might not have been easy, but it’s what they all needed to accept. The bonds that they’ve rediscovered over the last ten days supporting and guiding and lifting up, rather than dragging them down in worries and regret. They may all be at different points in their lives right now, but one thing has been clear from their trip; they’re all ready to keep moving along their own paths. Ready to close that chapter and begin a new one.

Jungkook’s hand reaches out, linking with Yoongi’s. Jungkook keeps smiling and Yoongi finds himself smiling right back. He tugs Jungkook closer, their lips meeting in a soft, easy kiss. Every move becoming that little more natural, more instinctive.

“You know, I’m actually feeling kind of tired from the flight,” Jungkook says, quietly, words spoken against the corner of Yoongi’s mouth. “Maybe we can just hang out here for a bit?”

“Sure,” Yoongi agrees. “Though I can’t promise we’re gonna make it to the train station if we do that.”

Jungkook shrugs, still smiling wide. “Then I’ll get a train tomorrow.”

With that, Jungkook leans in again, kissing a little harder, a little more eager. Yoongi kisses back, letting Jungkook guide him back against the couch. They fall onto the cushions; limbs tangled, noses bumping clumsily. Both of them laughing into the kiss.

And Yoongi thinks that, finally, he’s ready to start writing a new story too.