Actions

Work Header

Stars & Stories

Chapter Text

"...We will shortly be arriving in Bergen. We kindly request that all passengers return to their seats and fasten their seat belts for landing. Our expected time of arrival will be-"

 

Yoongi pops his headphones back over his ears. His temple rests against the wall of the plane, eyes blearily focused on the dashes of greenery starting to appear through thinning clouds. He blinks a few times, still groggy with sleep. Music plays quietly from the headphones, something simple and soothing.

 

It doesn't stop Yoongi's stomach from churning. He shouldn't be this nervous. This is a vacation, with his friends. Friends that are more like brothers to him. And yet-

 

A tap on his shoulder. Yoongi turns around to see a flight attendant motioning for him to remove his headphones. 

 

He gives a nod of understanding. Waits for her to walk off before removing them with a sigh. The noise of the plane fills the air once more. The low thrum of the engines. The quiet crying of a baby in another section. The excited chatter of passengers, some with faces pressed up to the windows, others leaning across to get a first peek. 

 

Yoongi lets the headphones hang around his neck and switches off the sound. He looks back out of the window. The clouds grow wispier, more and more green showing through. Rolling forests, jagged hillsides. In the distance he's sure he can make out the outline of a small fjord. 

 

The familiarity even after all these years is breathtaking. This place is hard to forget. The knot in his stomach grows tighter.

 

Before long the wheels of the plane are bumping down, the usual uneasy lurch forward as it rolls along the runway. Yoongi remembers once feeling that sensation sometimes multiple times a week. Now, travelling abroad is something he does a few times a year at most. 

 

Passengers start to shuffle off of the plane. Yoongi waits it out. Lolls his neck from side to side to ease some of the ache. He places his headphones back over his ears. He’ll need to wait for his baggage at the carousel anyway. No rush. There's a tiny part of him that wonders if he's just trying to delay the inevitable. He ignores it. 

 

He walks through passport control without issue then finds himself waiting at the carousel. Earnest looking backpackers gather at one end. A few families vie for space at another section. A group of girls in bright t shirts with London landmarks emblazoned on them mill around, chattering excitably.

 

Yoongi's glad for his headphones. He's still not entirely used to this, standing alone, waiting for his luggage. Back then, he would still be with the others. Already getting hurried through of the airport, surrounded by security. Screams would always await them, so much so that it became simply part of the journey. Give a smile, a wave, no matter how tired.

 

Their cases would always appear in their hotel rooms later that day as if by magic, one of their many staff taking on the dreary role of waiting for bags and filling in customs forms and all those not so pleasurable parts.

 

Eventually Yoongi spots his case, edging through the throng to pull it from the belt. He accidentally clips a suited business man as he does so, muttering a quick sorry in English. He double checks it's his case before starting to roll it towards the exit. The nerves bundle tighter and tighter inside of him. 

 

They've been growing bit by bit ever since this whole trip was first discussed. Since that first group chat suggestion from Jimin and Taehyung, wanting to return to Norway the summer before their 30th birthdays. Since booking the plane tickets. Since leaving the ground in Seoul hours ago. This should be exciting and enjoyable. Instead, Yoongi feels worry gnawing at his insides. 

 

It's been so long since they were all together. What if it isn't as easy as it used to be. What if they're trying to recapture something that is no longer there.

 

He tries to drive such thoughts to the back of his mind. Yoongi's seen most of the guys individually plenty of times in the last few years, though, admittedly, it's been difficult to get everyone in one place at the same time. Yoongi can't recall when they were last all in a room together for an few hours, let alone ten days. 

 

The doors to the arrivals hall swoosh open. Yoongi looks around, lost. He can't place much from when they were here last time. It was never important before. He never needed to figure out where he was. There was always someone guiding, supporting, leading the way. 

 

He starts wandering towards a large letter i that he thinks indicates an information point. Is cut off, swiftly, by enthusiastic yelling from somewhere off to his left.

 

"Hyung!"

 

Two figures wave wildly at him. They both have hats on, hoodies pulled over the top, face masks over their mouths. Both of them are a lot more recognisable than Yoongi is these days and need to take more care. Despite their faces being mostly covered, Yoongi can still tell just how brightly they're smiling. 

 

Yoongi walks over and they meet him halfway. He's gathered in a huge hug by both of them simultaneously. He grumbles lowly, but it's teasing. A little of the tension eases from him. 

 

"Couldn't just have your birthdays in Seoul like normal people," he huffs. Hears Taehyung's laughter in response, feels Jimin squeeze his side.

 

"Ah, you're gonna love it," Jimin assures him. 

 

"Yeah," Taehyung adds, eyes creasing happily. "We even got the same camper van as last time!"

 

Yoongi freezes, narrowing his gaze. "The hell? I explicitly said I'm not coming if we're going back in that fucking thing."

 

The act last for only a second before Jimin breaks it, his cheeks rounding beneath the mask. Taehyung sighs at their lie being found out so quickly. Yoongi feels only relief. It may have been fun to drive around in that thing, but he doesn't miss the cramped and chilly nights sleeping in there.

 

"This is why you'd never make it as an actor, Chim."

 

Taehyung goes to take Yoongi's suitcase for him but Jimin gets there first. Yoongi lets him. It's been a long day; he's not about to protest the extra help. Taehyung reaches out to carry Yoongi's shoulder bag for him instead. Yoongi automatically clutches onto it, wary. Taehyung tugs harder.

 

"I'm not a damn invalid," he mutters. 

 

Yoongi lets his fingers relax, loosening his grip on the strap. Taehyung takes the bag off of him, hoisting it over his own shoulder instead. It may have been years since it happened, but Yoongi still flinches. He catches Jimin looking back briefly too. The lightness has dulled a little in Taehyung's gaze.

 

"Just don't trust you guys with my bags. Not after everyone kept losing them last time we were here," Yoongi says. Tries to make his tone light but it comes across somewhat forced. Taehyung stiffens.

 

"That was Jimin, not me."

 

A few moments of heavy, awkward silence pass before Jimin speaks.

 

"The car's just outside."

 

Sunshine tries to peek through the clouds as they drive towards the cabin they will be staying in. It lands on patches of hillsides at random in front of them, lighting up as though guiding the way, before disappearing once more. Taehyung sits quietly in the back. 

 

"Still takes your breath away, huh?" Jimin comments, catching Yoongi staring out of the window. 

 

"Yeah," Yoongi replies, a touch half-hearted. 

 

It is certainly beautiful but it's mixed in with so much more. The landscape hits Yoongi harder than he thought they would. The bittersweet feeling of seeing this scenery again. To remember how young they all were first seeing it. To realise how quickly the years would start to pass after that, unstoppable. Slipping through their fingers before they could even know they were gone.

 

The journey isn't too bad. Yoongi stares out of the window. Jimin sings softly along to some of the pop songs playing on the radio, the English lyrics jumbled but somehow still sounding perfect. Taehyung stretches out in the back. Yoongi watches him in the rear view mirror. He dips between serene and excited, the nervous energy within him obvious. 

 

Yoongi feels it too. Though if he's honest, the nerves are still overtaking the excitement. He doesn't let it show. 

 

The conversation ebbs and flows. They've all known each other long enough to not need to fill every gap, to not need constant chatter to be comfortable. But there are certain small silences, more awkward than they ever used to be. Reminders that, as much as they try to hold on, they've moved apart over the years, little by little. Tiny reminders of a distance that never used to be there.

 

Not more than an hour has passed when the car pulls off of the main road, down a bumpy, winding lane. They finally come to a halt outside of rustic cabin, nestled on the shore of a large fjord. It's idyllic, like something from a painting. Trees stretch out either side of them and the water shimmers where the light hits the water.

 

"Looks great," Yoongi comments.

 

Taehyung smiles, pleased. Shrugs lightly. "Jimin picked it."

 

On walking into the cabin, Yoongi is prepared for something antique, a bit dilapidated and crumbling. Instead it's fresh and spacious. The decor is modern but understated, the ambience cosy without feeling stifling. 

 

"Nice, hey?" Taehyung says, still smiling.

 

"Perfect," Yoongi nods. Taehyung smiles wider. "So which one is my room?"

 

Jimin snorts quietly. "You're sharing like the rest of us, hyung," he chides. "We thought we'd wait until everyone's here to pick rooms. Kind of like old times, you know?"

 

Yoongi does know. He remembers picking names out of hats, or choosing straws, or going through yet one more round of rock-paper-scissors. He's become used to his own space these days but he guesses he can deal with sharing for a few nights. So long as it's not with Namjoon. He wants to catch at least some sleep while he's here.

 

Jimin makes Yoongi a coffee while Taehyung sprawls on one of the large couches, scrolling on his phone.

 

Yoongi tells them about Japan, where he's just flown in from. Tells them about the mini-album he may be working on there after this trip is done. Jimin nods along, and Taehyung smiles. He knows that the minutiae of music production was never really either of their thing, but they listen intently ,as curious and warm as ever.

 

They tell Yoongi about their dramatic journey here last night in the dark, unused to Norwegian roads on top of their GPS failing when they lost data .Of trying to buy some basic groceries at a gas station, only to be hit with a crazily high bill. Yoongi laughs along, not only at the story, but at their continual bickering over whose fault various things were. 

 

Yoongi finds himself relaxing, some more of the tension seeping out of him. It's nice being around the two of them again. Knowing that they can all simply lose themselves in mindless chatter for a while, without one of them having to cut things short because of busy schedules. Yoongi wonders how they've both managed to wrangle a whole ten days away from work, but he doesn't ask. Plenty of time to find out.

 

Yoongi relaxes so much that for a split second, when Taehyung announces, "hey, they're on their way", Yoongi almost wonders who he's talking about. And then he remembers, and those nerves grow again.

 

It's fine. He's fine. 

 

It's just Namjoon. Yoongi sees him all the time. Seokjin and Hoseok- okay, maybe Yoongi doesn't see them quite so much, but whenever they do meet it's good, it's easy. And of course-

 

"I'm really glad Jungkook's coming," Taehyung muses aloud. "I was really worried he wasn't going to."

 

"No way. He wouldn't have missed this," Jimin says, flopping down on the couch next to Taehyung. 

 

His words are light, breezy, but all of them know they're fake. All of them know that Jungkook has missed a lot of catch ups over the years. Him agreeing to come on this trip was a surprise to all of them.

 

Taehyung lets out a low hum, not convinced. He glances over at Yoongi, the slightest of frowns creasing his forehead.

 

"Must have been a while since you last saw him, huh?"

 

"Yeah," Yoongi says. Picks at the seam of his jeans for a second. Stills his fingers. "About two years, I guess."

 

It's not a guess. Yoongi remembers it vividly. The way Jungkook sat at the table, there, but not really. Yoongi knew he'd been down for a while. Had been acting strangely. 

 

Yoongi did all he could to meet with him, to be there for him. To support him in whatever he was going through. Yet the more Yoongi tried, the more distant Jungkook seemed to grow. 

 

The last dinner they had together was awful. Jungkook barely said more than a few words, and when they did they were snapped and almost teary. He looked constantly caught between angry and upset, and Yoongi was so fucking confused. 

 

It was Jungkook; their maknae, his dongsaeng. One of his closest friends. He felt helpless and hurt, unable to find a way through to the younger. They said goodbye after that meal, brief and awkward. Yoongi hasn't seen him since.

 

It's not like he's gone. He comments on their group chat from time to time, and Yoongi knows he keeps in touch with Jimin and, by default, Taehyung too. Jimin's been the only real source of information about him. 

 

It was through Jimin that Yoongi found out that Jungkook had moved back to Busan. That he had found himself a girlfriend. That he seemed happy.

 

Yoongi missed him intensely at first, even though they’d already begun growing apart. Still misses him with a deep, unexpected ache. Yoongi felt adrift after that last dinner, realising that something stable and integral in his life had now truly faded. 

 

It feels almost like a piece of him has been lost ever since. Jungkook was always meant to be here, with Yoongi. With the rest of them. Not separate and so far away.

 

Yoongi knows that he isn't the only one that Jungkook has lost that connection with. But somehow, he can't imagine anyone else feeling the distance quite so acutely. Maybe it's because they'd become so close over the years before it all collapsed. Maybe it's because Jungkook's disappearance felt so inexplicable - almost like a direct attack on Yoongi, even though the elder knows that's untrue.

 

Time moves on, and people change. Jimin says that Jungkook is happy; really, that's all that should matter. Yoongi has learnt to deal with things ending up the way they have. Even if it does leave him incredibly sad whenever he lets himself dwell on it a little too long.

 

Alll too soon when the rumble of tyres sounds outside of the cabin. There’s the whir of an engine dying down, the slam of car doors. Yoongi's stomach lurches. 

 

There’s laughter, muffled through the door. The scrape of feet and suitcases. The others have no chance to knock because Jimin’s already at the door, flinging it open.

 

His smile is wide and beaming as Hoseok lunges at him, wrapping him up in a large hug. The volume inside the cabin rapidly increases as Hoseok is followed by Seokjin, then Namjoon, all exclaiming greetings and pouncing on the birthday boys. There’s no sign of Jungkook. Did he decide not to come?

 

And then another figure appears in the doorway, smiling softly. He looks awkward, a touch out of place next to the others. But he’s here. Yoongi’s chest gets unusually tight, throat suddenly constricted. Seeing Jungkook again is just-

 

Fuck. Yoongi hadn’t realised quite how deeply he’d missed seeing the younger.

 

He gets only a glimpse before Jungkook’s gathered up into a hug by both Jimin and Taehyung, squashed in-between the two of them. It draws an easy laugh from him, eyes bright. He looks so much like the Jungkook Yoongi remembers. Before he started to fade away from the rest of them. 

 

They finally release him and he pants hard, exaggerating for effect. Taehyung squeezes his shoulder. Jungkook looks around, blinking hard when he finally spots Yoongi. Their eyes meet, only for a second, but it feels longer, somehow – slowed down and heavier than it should be. And then his face softens, a shy smile crossing his lips. Yoongi stares.

 

“What, you too good to come over and greet us now you’re an international superstar producer?” Seokjin grins. 

 

Yoongi huffs. Shakes off the odd moment and walks towards the group.

 

“I would hardly call one mini album in Japan interna-“

 

The rest of Yoongi’s sentence is cut off as he’s engulfed by three eager sets of arms, bodies crushing into him. He lets out a loud, disgruntled noise that goes roundly ignored. Despite it he finds his lips curving into a smile. He sees Namjoon a lot still, but Hoseok less so, and Seokjin even less. It’s nice to be back in their company again.

 

“Fuckers,” he mutters. “I’m going back home.”

 

Hoseok scoffs and amiably hits his shoulder. Yoongi catches his breath before it gets stuck again.

 

“It’s good to see you, hyung.”

 

Jungkook smiles over at him. Still small, still shy. It reminds Yoongi of when they first met, Jungkook so timid and so nervous around all of them. Nothing like the mischievous and playful soul he grew into. Yoongi thinks he notices an odd look between Taehyung and Jimin but brushes it aside.

 

“You too, Kook.”

 

The nickname slips out easily, well remembered from years of use. If only knowing how to act around him came back quite so easily. Yoongi hopes that it will do with time. 

 

He doesn’t miss the way Jungkook’s face seems to brighten. Probably due to the fact that there’s no obvious hostility from the elder over their lack of contact the last couple of years.

 

They don’t hug unlike the others. Seokjin chucks down his duffel bag to the floor. 

 

“So, where are we sleeping?” he asks. “This place looks way too small for all of us.”

 

“Well, me and Jimin are in that room-” Taehyung starts to explain, pointing off in a vague direction. Yoongi clears his throat.

 

“Excuse me? I thought you said we had to wait until everyone was here to pick rooms.”

 

“Jimin and I were here last night. It made sense for us to pick first.”

 

“Well, now we’re all here, we can all pick together,” Hoseok suggests. “You two already share an apartment. You must want a break from each other.”

 

Jimin shrugs. “Nah, it’s cool. We’ve already unpacked so- the rest of you can pick.”

 

Hoseok looks as though he’s about to protest. Is cut off promptly by Jungkook.

 

“I’m fine with that. Names in a hat?”

 

“Cool,” Taehyung agrees quickly. “So there are two doubles, and someone will have to take the pull out sofa in here."

 

“Okay, whoever’s picked last gets that shitty option,” Hoseok grins.

 

A piece of paper is scribbled on and torn up. Namjoon’s hat becomes the vessel. They all pick out a scrap, strangely silent. Yoongi wonders if they all feel it too. That slight trepidation at losing their personal space for the next ten days. Once, it would have been the norm. Now, it feels somehow restricting. Something to adapt to all over again.

 

“Jin-hyung, you pick first,” Jimin suggests. 

 

Seokjin puts his fingers into the hat. Wiggles them around, building the tension. It’s funny until it goes on too long, and everyone huffs at him to hurry up. He does so with a cackle, picking out a piece and unrolling it triumphantly.

 

“Okay, sharing with me is- me.”

 

“Another pick,” Jimin encourages.

 

“Hey, I’m happy to have the room to myself…” Seokjin tries, but picks another piece at the same time. “Okay, so sharing with me is- Hobi.”

 

Hoseok grins and gives him a high five.

 

“Yoongi-hyung, you next,” Jimin urges. Holds out the hat in front of him.

 

Yoongi picks out a piece quickly. Unrolls it. His stomach plummets. He stares blankly at the name on there, not quite believing it. This is going to be awkward.

 

“Jungkook,” he mumbles.

 

He looks up. Jungkook is wide-eyed, clearly caught off-guard just like Yoongi is. He quickly smooths it out, turning the shock into a smile. He chews on his lower lip before commenting.

 

“Just like old times, huh, hyung?”

 

Yoongi goes to reply that he’s wrong: the two of them never shared a room in the dorms. But then he realises what Jungkook’s referring to. The two of them sharing a room the last time they were in Norway.

 

“Yeah,” he forces out. “Guess so.”

 

“So I’ve got the shitty sofa,” Namjoon sighs. “Figures.”

 

“Hey, it’s for the greater good,” Seokjin assures him. “Saves our eardrums.”

 

“Happy to be of help,” Namjoon mutters, though it’s good-natured.

 

All of them need to unpack, and to shower off the plane journeys. Hunger, however, wins out. Jimin and Taehyung have already bought in plenty of rice and noodles and meat, and it’s unanimously decided that it’s dinner first, freshen up later. Yoongi’s feeling somewhat gross from travelling, but it’s not too bad. Business class makes for a reasonably pleasant travel experience.

 

Seokjin takes over in the kitchen like he always used to, and Yoongi offers to help. He’s not a terrible cook, and wants to save the younger ones having to do much work. Though, he supposes, none of them are what you would call young anymore. He still can’t quite believe that Taehyung and Jimin will be turning thirty; the thought seems incomprehensible.

 

In truth, he’s keen to steer clear of being around Jungkook for the moment. He’s pleased to see him. Really he is; in a way that’s brought on far stronger emotion than he was expecting. He’s so familiar, so wonderfully him. Yoongi didn’t realise just how good it would feel to be around him again.

 

But it’s a little too much to handle, surrounded by everyone else, with the bashful looks Jungkook keeps throwing in his direction. A distance has built up between them over the years despite Yoongi’s best efforts, and it’s not going to be traversed within a few minutes of reuniting. 

 

Perhaps they can talk later in their room. Although where do they even start: the painful last dinner together, the months and months of no contact. It seems too huge, somehow.

 

Dinner’s prepared in no time and it’s nothing much, but the others ooh and ahh like they’ve been offered a gourmet feast. They ignore the dining table in favour of the rickety table in the lounge, all sitting down cross-legged around it. They’re too close, elbows bumping and knees knocking together, but they somehow settle into it. It’s not how it used to be, not just yet, but it’s a start.

 

They talk about this and that. Some join in and others hold back, then it all switches round. The conversation is easy and natural, for the most part. 

 

Yoongi feels more of the anxiety trickle away from him. They’re all still his friends. Still are people he’s spent some of the best and worst moments of his life with. They may not be as close as they once were, but it doesn’t change the bond that remains between them.

 

They cover a lot. Hoseok’s last album and Taehyung’s new movie. Seokjin hosting an upcoming variety show, and Jimin’s tour preparations. 

 

No one mentions the band. No one mentions that, technically, Bangtan is still an entity that exists. That they have never officially stopped being a group, even though the idea of making music together again is wordlessly accepted as a dead-end and has been for years.

 

Talk gradually moves away from work once everyone starts relaxing more and eases into the well-worn familiarity of each other. Taehyung talks about his dogs – plural, Jimin comments with a sigh and a smile - and Namjoon tells them about his new-born niece. Hoseok describes in hilarious detail a recent family vacation to the Caribbean that ended up with him and his sister somehow entering the hotel’s talent contest – and winning.

 

Beers are brought out, and talk turns to relationships. Or, more significantly, Seokjin decides to announce that he's planning on proposing to his girlfriend when he returns to Korea. There is a moment of stunned silence following the confession, before the room erupts into raucous congratulations.

 

"Holy shit," Jimin says through his smile. "That's awesome."

 

"Haven't you only been going out for, like, a year?" Hoseok checks. Seokjin nods, unfazed.

 

"Yep. But, y'know, she's the one. What's the point in hanging around?" He shrugs lightly. "Plus we need to start blessing the world with some beautiful children."

 

He laughs at his own sentiment. Namjoon rolls his eyes fondly to the side of him. He looks happy for Seokjin though. Yoongi's not sure how he himself looks, but he certainly is happy too. It's nice to think of his friend being so content with life. Though the idea of one of them with children is vaguely terrifying in that we’re all actual adults now kind of way.

 

Once again, nothing is mentioned about the fact that having kids doesn't really work when you're in a band. Everyone quietly accepts it as something that has passed, though no one wants to acknowledge it. To actually voice it out loud. It would make it seem horribly final somehow. Instead it stays unspoken, hanging quietly over all of them like always. 

 

"Kook-ah, you've got some catching up to do," Hoseok teases kindly. "That's half the amount of time you've been with Goeun."

 

Jungkook flushes pink at that. Brings his glass of beer to his lips, clearly uncomfortable. It can't be fun to be under pressure to move forward. Yoongi remembers his own brother had been with his girlfriend for only a few months when their family started pushing for marriage and children.

 

"Hey, he's not an old man like Jin-hyung," Taehyung grins kindly. "He has plenty of time."

 

Seokjin playfully takes offence and the conversation dissolves into a round of ribbing between the two of them. Jungkook seems relieved. Gulps down a noticeably large swig of beer.

 

Yoongi's never met Jungkook's girlfriend. He saw a photo of her once, when Jimin went home to Busan and met up with the couple. She seemed sweet and pretty. Yoongi doesn't really remember much more than that, other than how strange it felt to see Jungkook with someone. Not that Jungkook doesn’t deserve love and happiness and all that but-

 

Well, it was just odd to see. Jungkook had always shied away from relationships or even hook ups before. It simply wasn’t a sight Yoongi was used to seeing.

 

His gaze lingers on the younger. The blush starts to fade from his cheeks as the conversation carries on around him. He's more tan that Yoongi remembers, doubtless the result of days spent living by the beach, no longer cooped up in hotel rooms and studios. He looks healthy, much more so than when Yoongi last saw him. He looks good and it's warming to see.

 

Yoongi must have been staring a beat too long, because the conversation suddenly swings around to him. He misses the question. Blinks hard and asks Seokjin to repeat it. When the eldest speaks this time it's in a tone far more subdued than before.

 

"I asked if you ever hear from Taesung these days," he says softly. "You think something could happen again now that things have, uh- calmed down?"

 

Yoongi flinches, just a little. Shrugs it off.

 

"No, I don't think so," he replies quietly. "The whole thing freaked him out too much. It's understandable."

 

He shrugs again, the nonchalance a bit too forced. Seokjin shoots him a sympathetic look. Yoongi's fine, really. He didn't love Taesung. Perhaps he could have, if his feelings were given the chance to develop. But they weren't.

 

He doesn't really miss him at all. Simply hates what the other man had to endure all because of Yoongi. It still brings a sickness up in his throat now to think of it.

 

The others nod in understanding, even though they've all heard the story before. The only one who doesn't nod along is Jungkook. He simply stares at Yoongi, until the elder looks back, and then he turns away.

 

The conversation dwindles after that. The energy of before fades, people starting to yawn and stretch. Jet lag is beginning to catch up with them all. 

 

Hoseok's the first to suggest going to bed. Seokjin soon agrees, and, surprisingly, so does Jungkook. He was always one to fight off the tiredness, to stay up the latest. Especially if Jimin and Taehyung were around. 

 

But it's different now of course. It may have been two years since they last saw each other, but there was so much time before that spent apart with military service. Perhaps Yoongi doesn't really know Jungkook that well at all anymore. The thought leaves a heavy ache in his chest.

 

Seokjin drags his suitcase towards one of the rooms. Stares inside for a split second before whipping around.

 

"There are bunk beds in here," he exclaims.

 

"Oh, yeah. Sorry," Taehyung grins, looking not sorry at all. "One room has twin beds, the other has bunk beds. Didn't I mention?"

 

There is the briefest of moments when Seokjin's eyes connect with Yoongi's then with Jungkook's. 

 

He makes a move to run towards the other doorway, but Jungkook's quicker. He springs up from his spot on the floor, racing towards the other room. He reaches it before Seokjin, spreading his arms and legs to block the entrance.

 

"Move, you brat," Seokjin grits out. "Respect your elders."

 

"Good luck with that," Jimin chuckles. 

 

Jungkook stands his ground. Sways a little with the force of Seokjin's playful pushing, but the elder can't get past. Eventually Seokjin sighs and admits defeat, pretending not to see the smug look of triumph on Jungkook's face. 

 

Yoongi's pleased; he doesn't much like the thought of climbing a ladder into bed each night. He shoots Jungkook a thumbs up. It takes Jungkook a moment to see it. When he does his smirk drops, expression a touch flustered. He manages to give a thumbs up in return before scurrying over to get his bag and disappearing into the bedroom.

 

Yoongi sighs softly. Seems like things won't go back to the easiness of years ago so quickly. Not that he was expecting that much but still. Being reminded of the recent distance between them is not pleasant. 

 

Yoongi, Namjoon, Jimin and Taehyung are the last ones left. More beers are brought out, some sort of spirit and Sprite mixture for Taehyung. At least some things don't change.

 

They chat lazily. Jimin tells them some extra details about his upcoming tour, allowing himself to show more excitement about it than he did earlier. Taehyung listens, quiet but attentive to everything that Jimin has to say, even though he must have heard it all a hundred times before. Jimin's eyes sparkle as he talks, voice growing more animated, before he catches himself, growing shy and unsure once more. 

 

Eventually Namjoon orders them all to go to sleep so that he can pull out the makeshift sofa bed and, begrudgingly, they do. 

 

There are two showers in the cabin. Yoongi takes one and Namjoon the other. Alone beneath the lukewarm water, Yoongi closes his eyes. Leans back against the tiles.

 

He's only been here for an afternoon, and yet it's nice to find a moment of peace, just for a while. It's a lot to get used to again. The nerves are gone, mostly, and Yoongi is enjoying himself. And seeing Jungkook is-

 

It's different. But it's good. They'll be fine, Yoongi's sure of it. Hope to god that he's right.

 

He enters the bedroom, dressed in pyjamas, hair haphazardly dried off with a towel. He expects for Jungkook to be sleeping. Instead finds him awake, bedside lamp switched on as he stares up at the ceiling. 

 

He startles a little at Yoongi walking in but disguises it well. Yoongi's heart races unexpectedly, from the surprise no doubt.

 

"Not sleeping?" Yoongi asks, even though the answer is real fucking obvious. 

 

"Just finding it kind of hard to- drift off, you know?"

 

Yoongi nods, even though it's not a feeling he's too familiar with. He may not sleep a lot, often staying up late working on his latest project, same as ever. But once he actually decides that it's time for bed, teetering on the verge of exhaustion, sleep tends to find him fairly fast. 

 

Yoongi walks over to the unoccupied single bed and climbs under the covers. Stares up at the ceiling too. There are an awkward few moments before Yoongi leans over to the lamp. His fingers hover over the switch.

 

"Mind if I-?"

 

"Yeah. Sure."

 

Yoongi clicks the switch and the room is plunged into darkness. It's real darkness too. No city lights trying to creep in through the blinds. There's silence outside of the cabin, which somehow makes the room feel even darker. A stupid sentiment really; and Yoongi's not even tipsy.

 

A long time passes. Yoongi keeps on staring up at the ceiling, even though he can't really see anything. Some lines start to stand out after a while, his eyes gradually adjusting to the lack of light. Yoongi shifts on the bed, mattress creaking quietly underneath him.

 

"Hyung?"

 

Jungkook's voice is unexpected. Yoongi jumps a little. Is glad for the darkness so that it goes unnoticed.

 

"Yeah?"

 

Jungkook doesn't answer straight away. Yoongi doesn't push him. Recalls how Jungkook liked to gather his thoughts sometimes; liked to really consider what he was going to say, or ask, before he did so.

 

"I'm sorry. For the last time we met. I was a jerk and-"

 

He pauses, sighing softly.

 

"I was in a really bad place and- fuck, I shouldn't have taken it out on you, but-"

 

"Hey. It's okay," Yoongi tells him. It’s not okay, not really. It has played on Yoongi's mind far too much over the last two year. Left him anxious and wondering. He says none of this. Simply lets Jungkook talk.

 

"It's not," Jungkook eventually replies, voice almost a whisper. "I'm sorry."

 

Yoongi waits, in case Jungkook is about to say more. Maybe elaborate on what he means by a bad place. He's met only with silence. 

 

"Are you still in a bad place?"

 

More silence. He can hear the way Jungkook wets his lips before finally giving an answer.

 

"Not like I was then."

 

"Are you happy?"

 

It's a broad question to ask, and one perhaps a little too intrusive after only beginning to get back on familiar terms again. But Jungkook doesn't dismiss it.

 

"Getting there."

 

Yoongi doesn't quite know what to say. He hates the thought of Jungkook being so unhappy, even if it was - apparently - in the past. He had known something was wrong, of course he had, but couldn't get through to the younger. Couldn't work out what had turned that bright, sweet boy into someone so withdrawn and angry. He knew that the group collapsing had taken its toll on all of them but this- it felt different. Deeper, somehow.

 

Yoongi's glad that it seems to have passed. It doesn't answer all of the questions that tumble around in his mind but it's something. An acknowledgement that things weren't right. A confession that things are getting better.

 

It's enough, for now.

 

Silence falls back over the room. Yoongi doesn't push anymore, and Jungkook doesn't offer any further insight. Yoongi starts to wonder if Jungkook's fallen asleep, and then-

 

"Do you remember when we shared a room here before?"

 

"Yeah. I do."

 

Yoongi thinks back to that time. Remembers Jungkook's reaction when he drew Yoongi as a roommate. His wide smile, his enthusiastic hugging. When they finally went to bed that night, Jungkook didn’t stop chatting. Chatted, in fact, until Yoongi fell asleep mid-conversation, too exhausted from their flights and their schedule.

 

It seems a world away from now. Away from stilted talks and a painful gap between them. Yoongi can only hope that this trip will let them find their way back to that time, if only just a little bit. 

 

"It was nice, wasn't it?"

 

Jungkook's words are a bit more slurred than before, thick with slumber. Yoongi thinks back again. Jungkook so free and happy. Yoongi, too. At the time all they focused on was the stress of producing and their busy schedules and the pressure that all of them felt to succeed.

 

He's not sure any of them realised quite how happy they truly were back then. Exhausted, but happy. Yoongi's happy now too. Of course he is. It's just- different.

 

"Yeah, it was. Hey, was it in Norway or Sweden when Taehyung got lost on the bus?"

 

Yoongi waits for an answer. It doesn't come. 

 

Instead he hears the slow, steady breathing that means Jungkook has fallen asleep. It's a strange twist on last time, Yoongi thinks to himself. Jungkook passing out first, and Yoongi wanting to keep on talking a while longer.

 

Namjoon's snores rumble through from the lounge, the sound travelling far in the otherwise silent cabin. In the room next door, a loud thump and a pained noise from Hoseok soon follows. Jungkook shifts on the bed beside him.

 

Yoongi keeps staring up at the ceiling. Sleep somehow doesn't find him quite so easily tonight.

 

 

Chapter Text

It takes Yoongi a few moments the next morning to realise where he is. The bed isn't right and the sounds are all wrong. It takes him blinking once, twice, blearily viewing his surroundings, before remembering that he isn't at home. Instead he's half-way across the world in Norway and-

 

And Jungkook is asleep on the other side of the room.

 


Yoongi's vision blurs then focuses, finally settling on the silhouette of his current roommate. It's early morning, but enough light filters past the blinds to highlight his sleeping form, tucked into the covers. 

 


Yoongi's glad that the air was cleared a little last night. Voicing aloud that things weren't right the last time that they met. That Jungkook hadn't been doing so well, but is now improving. 

 


Yoongi's still unsure as to the root of his prior unhappiness, or why he lashed out at Yoongi the way he did, but Yoongi feels like the acknowledgement that something had fractured between them is enough for now. He hopes that they can start to rebuild some of what they've lost- even if perhaps they never quite end up back to how they used to be.

 


He lets his gaze linger a moment longer. Jungkook's features are relaxed with sleep. Peaceful. Gone are the awkward looks, the bashful flushes. Jungkook's always been objectively attractive; Yoongi idly notes that it's something that has only seemed to have grown with age. He takes in the slope of the younger's nose, the almost-pout hovering on his lips. The way his eyelashes fan against his cheeks.

 


Things may have changed over the last few years, but there is a deep ache of familiarity fluttering in Yoongi's chest. Jungkook's is a face Yoongi's seen so many times before, one he can recall with vivid clarity despite the time that has passed. There's something reassuring in it. In knowing that he's still the same person, sleeping the same way, still content in Yoongi's company. It's a comforting feeling.

 


Jungkook begins to move just a little, brow pinching. Yoongi looks away. His eyes fix on a spot on the ceiling instead as Jungkook stirs and shifts and eventually lets out a loud yawn. There's a pause, longer than necessary. Yoongi wonders if he's having the same thoughts; taking his time to fully realise where he is. Who he's with.

 


"Morning," comes the eventual sleepy greeting.

 


Yoongi turns onto his side to face him. Jungkook's eyes are glazed, still not totally awake. He peers at Yoongi from under heavy eyelids. Yoongi can't help but let a small smile slip onto his lips at the sight.

 


"Morning," he echoes. "Sleep well?"

 


He gets only a grunt in response. Yoongi chuckles quietly. A while passes until Jungkook speaks again.

 


"Is everyone up?"

 


"Don't think so," Yoongi tells him. "I think someone's in the kitchen, but it sounds like everyone else is still sleeping."

 

"'m gonna join them," Jungkook mumbles. Buries his face groggily into the pillow. The smile stays on Yoongi's lips.

 


Whoever is in the kitchen appears to have found a coffee machine. Not Taehyung then. There is the clink of a mug, the sound of water boiling. Before long the scent of cheap coffee starts to drift through into their bedroom. Yoongi's eyes linger on Jungkook just a moment longer, before he slowly slides out of bed and shuffles through into the lounge.

 

Hoseok’s quietly making his way around the small kitchen, putting away some of the plates and glasses from last night. Namjoon stays steadily asleep through it all, dead to the world. Yoongi rubs his palm over his eyes, yawning. It catches Hoseok’s attention. He grins, far too bright for this time of the morning.

 

“Morning hyung,” he greets. Yoongi grunts in response.

 

“Coffee.”

 

“Eloquent as always,” Hoseok teases gently. Pours him out a mug of coffee anyway. Yoongi clutches it in his hands, the heat more than welcome. Despite being summer, an early morning chill pervades throughout the cabin. Outside a light drizzle of rain is falling.

 

“You know, we could have picked Hawaii if the birthday boys wanted to get all nostalgic,” Hoseok sighs, looking glumly out at the grey weather. 

 

Yoongi walks over to the kitchen counter, leaning against it. Even through the rain, the scenery outside is beautiful. A bit of sun wouldn’t go amiss though.

 

Silence falls over them both. Hoseok sips from his mug, still staring out of the window. Despite his cheeriness, his eyes still seem thick with sleep. Yoongi turns his own mug slowly around in his hands, long sleeves covering his palms to stop him getting scalded. Namjoon lets out an odd half-whimper, half-snort. Yoongi looks over to the pullout bed. Still sleeping.

 

“So,” Hoseok begins, in that hesitant way Yoongi knows means he’s going to bring up something potentially uncomfortable. “How was it, sharing a room with Jungkook?”

 

“Fine,” Yoongi says. Brings the coffee up to his lips, blowing on the steaming liquid to cool it down. “Both kind of passed out soon as we got into bed.”

 

Not entirely true, but Yoongi doesn't really feel like explaining about Jungkook’s awkward but sincere apology. Last night was a happy one, all of them reunited for the first time in so long. He doesn’t want to start dragging up past troubles when things are going so well.

 

“You haven’t spoken with him in a while, huh?”

 

Hoseok peers at him over his coffee mug. Yoongi shrugs. 

 

“Yeah. A long time. It’s nice seeing him again.”

 

Hoseok gives him a look. It’s a knowing sort of look. Yoongi arches an eyebrow.

 

“What’s that look for?”

 

“Nothing,” Hoseok replies, unconvincing. He sees the way Yoongi stares at him and relents easily. “It’s just- well, you were always very fond of him, weren't you?”

 

Yoongi blinks. “And?”

 

Hoseok gives him that look again, this time more pointed. Almost as though implying something deeper in his words.

 

Yoongi scoffs as he realises what Hoseok is insinuating. “Not like that.”

 

Hoseok shrugs lightly, as though he’s not buying it. Yoongi feels an odd, unexpected heat in his cheeks. 

 

“Sure, hyung.”

 

“It wasn’t,” Yoongi protests, immediately regretting the way his voice rises ever so slightly in pitch. Hoseok’s gaze lingers. “C'mon, we all doted on him, not just me. And anyway, I had a girlfriend back then.”

 

Yoongi's not a fan of the way his words run together more than usual. Hoseok chuckles, taking another sip of his coffee. “You only had a girlfriend for, like, the first two years. Not sure that’s a valid point.”

 

“It’s valid,” Yoongi mutters, very much regretting his choice to get up so early this morning.

 

Hoseok keeps staring until his face softens slightly. He shoots Yoongi a kind smile.

 

“I’m just teasing, hyung. I know we were all too fond of him,” he says. Over on the sofa bed, Namjoon stirs. Hoseok glances over and shrugs once more, gentler this time. Waits just a beat before adding, “But I wasn’t blind either.”

 

“Why are you guys being so loud?” Namjoon croaks out. 

 

“Sorry, did you just ask us to be louder?” Hoseok asks, deliberately raising the volume of his voice. 

 

Namjoon groans, pulling the thin covers over his head. Yoongi stands there, silent, bewildered by the unexpected comments from Hoseok. Takes a long gulp of his coffee, even though it burns his throat. He really should have stayed in bed.

 

“It was so nice and quiet last night,” Jimin grumbles, swiftly appearing from his and Taehyung’s room. He looks happy rather than mad though. The room behind him is still dark, and he closes the door quietly. Taehyung was never one for early starts.

 

Seokjin soon joins them too, drawn by the smell of brewing coffee and the low rumble of chatter. He still looks barely awake, complaining about the way the beds shook every time Hoseok turned over in his bunk during the night. He shoots Yoongi a pointed look, as though Jungkook securing the room for them is somehow Yoongi's fault. Yoongi just smiles back, sickly sweet. 

 

They chat lazily, slipping slowly back into the comfort of mornings spent together. It's been a long time, but there's an ease that settles over them. Yoongi lets himself wallow in it, pouring himself another mug of coffee once his first runs dry.

 

Jungkook joins next. He emerges from the bedroom looking more awake than before but still undeniably sleepy. He’s pulled on a hoodie, the hood drawn up over his messy hair. He gives Yoongi a small smile in greeting; Yoongi returns it without thinking.

 

Today looks to be a washout, rain drizzling in soft sheets outside of the cabin. At least the days are meant to brighten up as the week goes on. Namjoon suggests that some of them drive to the nearest store – which still happens to be many miles away – and stock up on supplies for the week.  

 

Yoongi offers to go, not keen on the thought of being stuck indoors for the entirety of the day. Maybe if he could do a little work it would be okay, but he’s sure that’s not going to go down well. Not on the first day at least. Seokjin offers to go too, as one of the designated drivers. Surprisingly, so does Jungkook. Yoongi’s stomach twists, just a little.

 

They travel in the other car this time. Yoongi finds a decent sized store on his phone map and plugs it into the charger for the GPS. The drive is fairly subdued, all three of them still getting used to being in each other’s presence after so long. Seokjin chats away quietly though, filling the silences the way he always used to, and Yoongi’s glad of it. 

 

He tells them some more about his proposal plans. Cooking his girlfriend a dinner at home, ring subtly placed in the dessert. It’s cliché as fuck but Seokjin revels in that fact rather than shying away from it. Yoongi has no doubt that he will somehow make it work. 

 

Something seems to catch in Seokjin's words after a while and he glances at Jungkook through the rearview mirror.

 

“Sorry if the conversation about all this stuff made you uncomfortable last night, Kook," he says. "Don’t feel like it’s a race or anything. You and Goeun should go at your own pace.”

 

Yoongi can’t really see the youngest from the passenger seat, but can hear the slight awkwardness when Jungkook clears his throat.

 

“It’s cool. We actually kind of- um, well, we broke up a while ago.”

 

Seokjin’s eyes grow wide. “Shit, I’m sorry. I had no idea. If I-“

 

“It’s cool,” Jungkook repeats. Yoongi’s sure if he could see him, he’d be shrugging loosely. That act of forced nonchalance he was always so good at. “It was for the best. It just wasn’t right between us.”

 

“Oh,” Seokjin replies softly. Seems at something of a loss for what to say. 

 

Yoongi is too. He had no idea that they had broken up, or why Jungkook wouldn’t have said anything to the others about it. Perhaps he didn’t want people pitying him – Yoongi knows he always liked to appear strong, even through some of his lowest moments.

 

“Well, if you want to talk or anything-“

 

“It’s fine,” Jungkook says, cutting Seokjin off. Catches himself and adds, “but thanks, hyung.”

 

The store is large and quiet, soft tinkling music playing over the speakers. Yoongi looks down at the hastily scribbled list, telling the other two the items that they need to get. They promptly ignore the essentials, instead wandering off and returning with their own choices. Jungkook gets multiple bags of chips, Seokjin a large bottle of vodka. Yoongi shrugs and goes with it. Grabs himself some tasty looking meat from the deli counter in the meantime.

 


Yoongi eventually corrals them enough to get the stuff they actually came for as well. The cart gets piled higher and higher, until Yoongi finally cuts them off. They may have far more money to play with these days, but he's not keen to purchase so much unnecessary stuff. Somehow a beach ball, glow-in-the-dark pens and a pair of neon flip-flops have found their way in there, just in case. In case of what exactly, Yoongi is none the wiser.

 


Jungkook confidently makes his way up to the check out, items scanning through quickly. Yoongi gives a wary eye to the total mounting up in bright green numbers at the register. Finally the last bag gets filled and placed in the trolley, the cashier saying something to him in Norwegian. Probably something along the lines of, you guys planning to survive a nuclear war with all this stuff?

 


Yoongi gets out his wallet, counts out the cash. Somehow it's fallen to him once more to be in charge of money. He has no idea why he always gets lumbered with this job but he doesn't particularly mind. 

 


Rather than brightening up, the skies seem to have grown darker and more ominous during their time in the store. The glass doors open to rain lashing down, no longer the weak drizzle of this morning. Seokjin yelps before making a dash to the car, frantically pressing the button to unlock the doors. Jungkook strolls through the rain as though it's no bother.

 


Yoongi waits it out until the car doors are definitely opened. Braces himself and runs towards the vehicle, pushing the cart as he goes. Jungkook watches him, nose scrunching in amusement. He did always like to tease Yoongi about his run - or waddle, as he preferred to term it. Yoongi ducks his head under the raised trunk, shielding himself as he starts to load the bags. Jungkook steps next to him to help once he stops laughing.

 

"How is this summer?" Seokjin groans as they get back into the car. 

 


"It's meant to get better tomorrow, hyung," Jungkook tells him cheerily. Seokjin doesn't appear entirely convinced. 

 


The cabin is wonderfully warm and dry on their return. Jimin's started to cook lunch for them all, the scent of sizzling food hitting the three of them as soon as they step inside. The noise levels instantly increase. Everyone chatters, and the chaos is kind of comforting. They were always noisy and messy; Yoongi enjoys being in the middle of it all once more.

 


"I could get used to this," Yoongi comments around a mouthful of food once lunch is served. It's perhaps not quite as delicious as Seokjin's cooking, but Jimin's done a decent job. "Maybe I should get a chef back home."



"Yeah, Jimin's a great cook," Taehyung says mid-chew, eyes creasing as he smiles.

 

"You just say that so that I'll keep cooking for you all the time," Jimin mutters. There's no menace in it, words uttered with more fondness than anything.

 

Taehyung doesn't reply, wide grin pulling at his lips, eyes sparkling. Jimin just lets out an exaggerated sigh.

 

The food is demolished with great speed, same as it always was. Namjoon stands up once he's finished, walking over to the window. He doesn't look pleased.

 

"Still raining," he comments.

 

"Hey, you know what we should do?" Hoseok begins.

 


"Don't say games-" Yoongi cuts in.

 


Hoseok's eyes glint wickedly.

 


Within the next half an hour the plates are cleared, beers have been poured, and Yoongi finds himself in a round of rock-paper-scissors to pick his teammate for the first set of games.

 


"I don't see why i can't be the MC," he huffs. "I was good at that."

 

 

"You were always the MC, hyung," Jimin tells him. "You've gotta join in now."

 


Yoongi looks over pleadingly to Seokjin, the designated MC and score-keeper for the afternoon. Receives nothing for his pleading look other than a flying kiss sent in his direction. Yoongi makes sure to look suitably disgusted.

 


Yoongi's loathe to admit it, but the games are fun. They play some of stuff they used to do on shows back in their younger days. It takes a while to get into the swing of it, none of them quite relaxed enough to fully let go straight away. But it doesn't take long. 

 


It's less than half an hour before the games descend into mild anarchy. Hoseok's accusing Taehyung of cheating, Namjoon's getting exasperated from no one guessing his clues, and Jimin's fallen to the floor in laughter. Yoongi finds his own lips pulling into a smile. He has no idea who's winning, or who's losing. Simply sips on his beer and enjoys. For a moment he lets himself imagine that they're back all those years ago.

 


Amidst the mayhem is Jungkook. He's laughing at Namjoon's weariness, though he's more reserved than he once would have been. He looks up and over. Catches Yoongi staring. He quickly turns away, face full of shyness and something unreadable. The smile slips slightly from Yoongi's lips. The illusion soon fades. As much as he may wish to go back, it's impossible. Time has moved on. 

 


Dinner's a simple affair. Seokjin cooks up a basic dinner of spaghetti and store-bought meatballs. Yoongi's already starting to miss Korean food, but it's tasty nonetheless. More beers are passed round. Yoongi gets the sinking feeling the trip to the store may end up a daily errand with the rate they're consuming food and drink. 

 


Jungkook complains that he doesn't have as many meatballs as everyone else. Promptly shuts up, cheeks flushing, when Yoongi gives him the last meatballs off of his plate to stop his whining.

 


In bed that night, Yoongi finds himself staring up into the darkness once more. Jungkook's not asleep either. Yoongi can tell by his breathing; the sort of thing you come to learn about your friends after spending so much of your lives together.

 


"It's different, isn't it?" Jungkook says eventually, words uttered with painful softness.

 


Yoongi blinks up at the ceiling. "What do you mean?"

 


"All of us," he replies quietly. "And-"

 


Yoongi waits but Jungkook trails off. He sighs gently.

 


"It is," Yoongi agrees. "But- it was always gonna be. It's been so long since we were all together. So much has changed."

 


There's a long pause. 

 


"It's not a bad thing though. It's not like it was but we're all still having fun together, right?"

 


There's no reply other than a non-committal hum. He wonders what Jungkook's thinking. Doesn't push for any more of a response, but one comes anyway, eventually.

 


"Hyung, what I said last night- I meant it, you know. I'm sorry for how I let things get between us."

 


Yoongi's stomach knots. He knows that apologising never came easy to Jungkook; the fact he's now done so twice now, well- things must really be playing on his mind.

 


"It's fine, Kook. Don't beat yourself up over it."

 

Another pause, even longer this time. He takes his time, and Yoongi lets him. 

 


"I feel like- I dunno. I don't deserve to be here. I cut myself off from you all, and I- I don't get why you're all just accepting me here like I did nothing wrong."

 


Yoongi's chest clenches, painful. There's something horribly broken in Jungkook's tone, as though he genuinely believes those words. 

 


"Look, what happened to us, it hit us all hard. We just dealt with it in different ways. If getting away from everything and starting again was your way of doing that then- well, so be it. You're here now, that's what matters."

 


Yoongi knows he's glossing over things. How hurt he was by Jungkook's odd behaviour, by losing one of his closest friends. The horrid void that was left behind, that has never quite been filled. Yoongi hadn't realised how much it had remained until he saw Jungkook yesterday and felt a little more like a whole again.

 

 

"You're too good to me," Jungkook says, almost a whisper. Adds, after a beat, "you all are."

 


"Maybe," Yoongi admits. "But honestly Kook- we're all just happy you're here, and that you're doing well. We've missed you."

 


There's silence. Yoongi waits. Finally a reply comes.

 


"Yeah?"

 


His voice is tentative, cautious. The ache in Yoongi's chest grows a little more. How can he not know how much he was missed? How happy they are to have him with them again?

 


"Of course."

 


"Even you, hyung?"

 


There is still hesitation in his voice but also the slightest edge of teasing. A way of deflecting the heaviness of such a conversation, twisting it into something lighter. Yoongi goes along with it.

 


"Especially me."

 


He keeps his tone gentle, verging on playful. Disguises the fact that the sentiment is desperately true. He can't claim to know how the others felt, but Yoongi can't imagine anyone else feeling the hurt quite so intensely. He and Jungkook were so close at the end, always by each others side, days constantly overlapping. And then- nothing.

 


"I missed you too."

 


Jungkook's words are spoken so quietly that Yoongi almost misses them. But he does hear, and it replaces some of that ache in his chest with a rush of warmth. 

 


Yoongi wants to question him; ask why he never got in touch if he missed Yoongi like he says. He leaves it alone though; Jungkook already told him he had been unhappy for a long time. There could have been much more at play during the last few years than Yoongi knows about.

 


 A new weight seems to hang in the air between them. Yoongi clears his throat, keen to move Jungkook back towards a lighter mood. To make sure he knows how welcome he is here.

 


"You're here now, Kook," he says. "And we're all fucking glad of it. So please don't think any different. I mean, I don't give my last meatballs to people I don't want around."

 


Jungkook snickers gently at that, lessening some of the weight from Yoongi. "Whatever, hyung. I know you'll never let me go hungry."

 


"Brat," Yoongi huffs, but it's playful. A smile edges onto his lips in the darkness. Jungkook lets out a soft laugh.

 


Nothing more is said after that. Yoongi can tell that Jungkook is still awake, but he stays silent. Listens to the rise and fall of his breathing, not quite slow and steady enough to be asleep yet. Yoongi remembers hearing it closer once upon a time. Feeling the warmth of it against his shoulder or his neck. 

 


Jungkook always had a funny habit of leaving his own comfortable bed to sleep curled up with his hyungs instead whenever the mood took him. More often than not it was Yoongi's bed. Yoongi would always grumble of course, but honestly, he didn't mind. It was nice, on lonelier nights, to feel the press of Jungkook against his side. To breathe in the scent of his skin, clean from a shower. 

 


Life as an idol was tough sometimes; Yoongi enjoyed the comfort of another as much as anyone else, even if he didn't always show it as openly. It felt sometimes like Jungkook slept more in Yoongi's bed than his own, despite Yoongi's constant chiding. It was only when they started to grow apart that Yoongi realised how much he missed it. How he struggled to fall asleep alone.

 


He gets a strange urge to invite Jungkook to share with him tonight. A way, maybe, to ease any worries that the younger is having about being here. He dismisses the thought instantly. That was a long time ago, under different circumstances. 

 


Eventually he hears Jungkook's breathing settle into the rhythm of sleep. Yoongi stares up at the ceiling still. He may have become used to sleeping alone over the years, but tonight, just like the night before, he finds it something of a struggle.

 


The next morning Yoongi is the one who lazes in bed the longest. He stirs at the sound of loud, excited chatter drifting through from the lounge. Can smell coffee brewing but it's not enough to rouse him from the covers. His eyes and limbs are still too heavy with sleep. 

 


He hears the clang of doors and muffled laughter. Yoongi pulls the covers up over his head, burrowing into their warmth. He didn't get much sleep last night; the urge to sink back into slumber has a strong pull. Yoongi feels himself slipping, almost, almost falling back to sleep.

 


He's stopped by the rush of footsteps followed by a sudden weight barrelling into him, squashing him down into the mattress. Yoongi lets out a sharp noise of irritation, trying to shrug the lump off of him. 

 


"Do you have a fucking deathwish?" he grumbles, unable to shift the heavy form. There is a snicker from above him, unmistakably Taehyung.

 


"Wake up, hyung," he singsongs, utterly uncaring as to the threat on his life. "The sun's out."

 


"Great. Now go enjoy it and let me sleep."

 


Yoongi's suggestion goes ignored. Instead Taehyung drapes himself more fully over the elder. Yoongi lets out a pained noise.

 


"Tae, you coming?"

 


Seokjin's voice sounds in the room. Yoongi lets out a sigh of relief.

 


"I'm just trying to wake up Yoongi-hyung," Taehyung tells him.

 


There's silence for a moment. Yoongi wonders, briefly, if he's succeeded in drawing Taehyung's attention away. But soon enough, Yoongi's groaning out as even more weight is added to him. Seokjin chuckles loud in his ear.

 


"Get up, Yoongi," he chides. "It's beautiful outside."

 


"Fuck you all."

 


Yoongi takes his time getting ready. Indulges in a long shower, sits in the lounge nursing a large mug of coffee, chews slowly on a cold piece of toast. The whole cabin looks brighter today, sunlight streaming in through the windows. Eventually he pops on a pair of sunglasses and shuffles outside.

 


Even through the tint of the shades Yoongi can see the way the water of the fjord glitters in the sun, the hills surrounding it looking even more lush and verdant than before. It truly is a stunning sight. He recalls Namjoon's comments back when they went on the cruise near here all those years ago, stating his wish to live here one day. Right now, Yoongi kind of gets it.

 


He wanders over to a spare seat, coffee still in hand. It's pleasant outside. Not the stifling, sticky heat that comes with Seoul summers. It's warm but bearable. The sort of temperature you want to sit out in and enjoy, rather than hide away in the nearest air-conditioned building.

 


Yoongi's dressed in jeans, but the rest of them have opted for swim shorts. Seokjin's already lost his t shirt too. He seems keen to get into the water but hovers, uncertain, at the end of the small dock that leads out into it. Jungkook stands near him, similarly cautious.

 


"Get in already!" Namjoon yells, phone held up as though ready to snap a photo.

 


Seokjin steps near to the edge, bending to dip his toes into the clear water. Immediately pulls back, shaking his head wildly. 

 


"It's freezing!" he yelps. 

 


Namjoon huffs and rolls his eyes. Leans in closer to Yoongi.

 


"He's been there for five minutes trying to get in the water," he smirks, voice low before it rapidly rises in volume again. "Hurry up!"

 


Seokjin looks at the water, back at Namjoon. Shakes his head again.

 

"I'll try later."

 

Namjoon sighs and puts down his phone. Seokjin starts to walk back along the dock, failing to notice the mischievous glint in Jungkook's gaze. Sees it all too late.

 

 
There is a split second in which a crazed nononono! escapes Seokjin's lips before Jungkook's hands dart out into his side. Seokjin's arms flail comically as he veers sideways before inevitably toppling into the water with a dramatic splash. Jungkook's cackle is loud enough to drift over clearly from the dock.

 


"Shit," Namjoon laughs, fumbling to unlock his phone again. He jumps up, getting closer to the edge of the fjord to photograph Seokjin. His wet hair clings to his forehead as he emerges from the water, eyes blazing as he turns to Jungkook.

 


"You fucking-"

 


He doesn't get chance to protest. Jungkook pulls off his own t shirt with speed before suddenly hurtling into the water too. The resulting splash soaks Seokjin once more, sending the others into fits of laughter. Yoongi finds himself smiling along with them.

 


When Jungkook's head pops up above the water, he's smiling bright. He looks unguarded, carelessly happy in a way that Yoongi hasn't seen for a long time. It makes something curl in his chest, warm and pleased. Jungkook tilts his head back, laughing loudly, and Yoongi can't help but chuckle too.

 


He seems far freer this morning. The edge of caution, the slight reservation; it all seems to have faded. Yoongi wonders if it has anything to do with their talk last night. Hopes that he's made some kind of difference.

 


Jimin watches from the water's edge, grinning widely, before walking over to the table next to Yoongi. He pulls off his shirt and picks up a bottle of suntan lotion. Pours a large dollop into his hand and starts applying it. The sun doesn't feel particularly strong out here but being an idol still means that Jimin's playing it safe. 

 


"Sleep well last night?"

 


Yoongi blinks up at him. Jimin's smiling softly, smears of white lotion across his cheeks.

 


"Would have slept better if Taehyung didn't come in to wake me up at an ungodly hour."

 


Jimin snorts. "It was nearly eleven, hyung."

 


Yoongi just huffs. Jimin laughs quietly. Lets it fade before continuing.

 


"How is it with Jungkook?"

 


Jimin watches him carefully. There's no doubt he knows how hurt Yoongi was by losing touch with the youngest. Always made sure to keep Yoongi updated when it was possible. To reassure Yoongi that Jungkook seemed happy.

 


"It's fine," Yoongi tells him, bringing the mug of coffee to his lips. "It's nice to see him again."

 


Jimin's gaze lingers on him for a long moment before he looks down, pouring out more lotion into his hand. He opens his mouth as though ready to say more. Stops when something catches his eye, brow furrowing.

 


"I'll be right back."

 


Over at the water's edge, Taehyung is walking into the fjord rather than using the dock. His steps are a bit wobbly, struggling to get a purchase on the slippery stones that lay beneath the surface. He's grinning though, arms out to the side for balance. Jimin jogs over and catches up with him.

 


An arm immediately slips around his waist, supporting and steadying. Taehyung's head snaps round to look at Jimin. His expression morphs rapidly into something stormier, irritation flashing in his eyes. Taehyung says something to him. Yoongi can't hear the words, but he can see the bite to them even from here.

 


Yoongi tenses upon seeing it. It reminds him of a different Taehyung. The Taehyung that emerged in the days and months after the accident. Gone was the sweet and gentle boy of before. Instead it was all frustration and anger and guilt, his mind trapped in a horribly dark and lonely place. 

 


Of course, that was only on the rare occasions that Yoongi got to see Taehyung. Most of the times he tried to visit the hospital he would be turned away. Sometimes Taehyung would refuse even to see Jimin. It left them all feeling useless, adrift and unable to help their friend.

 


A coldness washes over Yoongi at the memory. It all feels like a long time ago. Taehyung these days is so much like his old self that sometimes it's easy to pretend like nothing happened. But it's still there. Reminders in moments like this, when the warmth will so suddenly fade from Taehyung. In moments when the band is mentioned and everyone falls silent, knowing but not acknowledging aloud where it all started to fall apart.

 


Jimin leans in, undeterred by Taehyung snapping at him. Says something quietly against his ear. Yoongi is glad that their friendship has stayed so strong through it all. Jimin was the only one who ever seemed able to bring Taehyung some peace during those days. Still seems to be able to, if the way that Taehyung''s body loses its tension is anything to go by.

 


"You getting in?" Hoseok asks, getting up from his chair.

 


"Maybe in a bit," Yoongi tells him. Hoseok gives him a look that says he knows it's a lie, but doesn't push any further. 

 


He wanders off down the dock, sitting on the edge. His feet touch the water and he instantly recoils, a loud, screeching noise coming from him. 

 


"Fuck, you weren't kidding," he exclaims.

 


"Ah, c'mon hyung, don't be a wimp," Jungkook grins. Only his head and shoulders are visible above the water as he starts walking menacingly towards the dock. Hoseok retreats further. 

 


"I will be exactly that, thank you very much."

 


He barely makes it a step before Seokjin and Jungkook move closer, exchanging the briefest of looks before splashing water up onto the dock, soaking Hoseok in the process. He yelps, running back along the dock and onto dry land, shivering as he does so. Seokjin and Jungkook laugh and high five each other.

 


"I forgot what a pain those two are together," Hoseok mutters, shaking his head. Droplets of water spray from his hair, landing in Yoongi's coffee. The elder huffs but it goes ignored.

 


The next few hours pass by pleasantly. They skip lunch, choosing to pick at leftover chips instead. Hoseok sits with Yoongi, deciding to read a book rather than attempt to get in the water again. Namjoon wanders off along the edge of the fjord, phone camera held up as he photographs the scenery. 

 


The other four stay in the water, laughing and bickering and messing around. Yoongi watches on, small smile edging at his lips every now and again. Occasionally Jungkook catches his eye, lingering a second longer than necessary. Yoongi can't help but hold his gaze whenever he does so.

 


"Hobi," Yoongi begins, tentative. "What you said yesterday- about me and Jungkook-"

 


Hoseok flushes, cheeks growing pink. He waves his hands dismissively.

 


"Ah, hyung, forget about it." He looks worried. As though he fears Yoongi is angry over his comments. 

 


"I'm not mad about what you said," Yoongi clarifies, an attempt to put the younger at ease. It seems to work a little, though Hoseok still looks awkward. "I just wondered what you meant by it."

 


"Ah, well-" Hoseok shifts, far more uncomfortable than he was yesterday. Perhaps the words don't come quite so easily when he's not still sleep-addled and jetlagged. "I didn't mean anything by it. Just that- I dunno. You just seemed very fond of Kook. That's all."

 


"We all were," Yoongi reminds him yet again. Hoseok shrugs.

 


"I guess. It's just sometimes it seemed like- I don't know. Like maybe there was something a little more there. Towards the end." He pauses, gaze flickering nervously over to Yoongi. Lets out a soft chuckle. "Just sometimes."

 


He's backtracking, clearly worried that he's said the wrong thing. 

 


"Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you or anything."

 


Yoongi shakes his head. He's not offended. Just- confused, more than anything. Sure, he and Jungkook grew close, but there was nothing more to it than that. Jungkook was their maknae, their bandmate, his friend. That's all.

 


"You haven't. Don't worry about it," Yoongi assures him. Hoseok doesn't look entirely convinced but nods all the same. 

 


There's excited hollering from the fjord as Namjoon approaches the water, phone left on the shoreline along with his crumpled top. He takes a deep breath before slipping into the water, letting out a high pitched "fuck!" as he wades in. The others descend into laughter.

 


"Hyungs, come in with us!" Taehyung calls over to Yoongi and Hoseok. Namjoon's shivering form doesn't exactly entice them. Hoseok shakes his head firmly.

 


"No way."

 


Yoongi doesn't even need to give a response. They all know what his answer will be. 

 


A little while later he does get out of his chair, heading along the dock. He gets his phone out, ready to take a photo of them. They all break out a variety of ridiculous poses. Yoongi rolls his eyes. Snaps the picture anyway.

 


"Come on in, Yoongi-yah," Seokjin cajoles. "It's not that cold."

 


"Nope."

 


"Honestly, it's not that bad," Namjoon adds, even though Yoongi's sure his teeth are still chattering a little.

 


Yoongi stays unmoving. Seokjin sighs.

 


"Give it up," Jungkook says. "Hyung's too much of wimp to get in."

 


He grins, mischief plain in the pull of his lips, the shine of his eyes. He always did love to tease the elder. Got away with it most of the time too.

 


Yoongi simply fixes him with a deadpan stare. Jungkook laughs. 

 


Eventually they get bored of trying to lure him in, writing him off as a lost cause. They go back to messing around together. Yoongi takes a few more photos. Waits until the attention has completely turned away from him, then places his phone carefully on the dock. Draws in a deep breath. 

 


It only takes a split second for his body to hit the water, plummeting into the chill of it. He lets out a gasp once his head breaks past the surface, the iciness of the water seeping into his clothes, brutally cold against his skin. Taehyung and Jimin are whooping, huge grins plastered on their faces. Seokjin looks suitably impressed. And Jungkook-

 


Jungkook is smiling so, so brightly. It makes something leap in Yoongi's chest, light and happy. He feels a smile trying to tug at his own lips too. Doesn't let it show.

 


"It's fucking freezing," he grumbles. "You're all liars."

 


He's not exaggerating. The water is terribly cold, the sun seeming to have had little effect on warming it throughout the day. He can feel his skin prickle with goosebumps under the surface. But somehow making Jungkook smile like that, well- 

 


Yoongi feels like it's kind of worth it.

 


That night they take advantage of the good weather, setting up the barbecue outside. Jungkook's brought along speakers and, after yet another rock-paper-scissors, Namjoon is given first choice of music. 

 


Seokjin cooks, and Hoseok helps. Namjoon's playlist fits the mood perfectly, a mixture of laid-back hiphop and American indie that suits the evening well. 

 


Once Yoongi's had his fill of food he leans back in his chair, eyes closing. Lets everything soak in. He feels comfortable here. Far more so than he would ever have expected. This cabin somehow feels closer to a home than Seoul has to him over the last few years.

 


"Don't fall asleep on us, hyung," Taehyung chides lightly. "We still have games to play."

 


Yoongi's eyes squint open, focusing on the younger. Is pleased to see that he's not serious, lips pulled up into a teasing grin. 

 


"I have a good game," Yoongi tells him. "It's called fetch your long suffering hyung a beer."

 


Taehyung rolls his eyes but gets up anyway. Yoongi stiffens slightly. He didn't actually mean it, but soon enough Taehyung's returning, beer in hand.

 


"Thanks," Yoongi tells him. 

 


Hopes it comes across grateful enough that Taehyung knows he didn't really expect him to get the drink for him. Taehyung doesn't seem to mind, settling back into his chair again. Sighs and stretches out his limbs before relaxing further. 

 


Namjoon, Hoseok and Seokjin are near to the speakers, scrolling through Namjoon's iPod. The tracks skip now and again, Namjoon keen to show them new artists that he's found. Jimin and Jungkook are sat down at the dock, chatting quietly. 

 


He and Taehyung sit in silence for a while. It's comfortable though. It's one thing Yoongi always liked about Taehyung. Sure, he could be loud and excitable. But he also enjoyed the quiet too, knowing that not saying anything at all could be just as comforting as talking sometimes.

 


"I'm really glad you all came," he says eventually, voice soft. "I wasn't sure that everyone would."

 


"What do you mean?" Yoongi replies. "Of course we would have."

 


He knows that it sounds fake as soon as the words leave his lips. It's been so tough to get even the six of them together over the last few years - and the addition of Jungkook, well- that was certainly unexpected.

 


"Hmm," Taehyung agrees, non-committal. Knows that there isn't much truth to Yoongi's words, but goes along with it anyway. "Still. I'm really happy that we're all here. I know it's my fault that we haven't been so close lately, and-"

 


"Tae, stop," Yoongi interrupts. His gut twists, hearing that horribly familiar edge of guilt in Taehyung's words. "It's not your fault. No one thinks that."

 


Taehyung sighs, the sound painfully sad. He blinks hard, looking out across the dark water. Spins his glass of wine in his hand. He looks as though he wants to say more but stays silent. His gaze drops to his lap.

 


Yoongi wants to keep talking. Tell him, not for the first time, that none of them blame him for how things have turned out. He knows it will do no good though; no matter how many times he's told, Taehyung can never quite believe them. 

 


Yoongi's cut short when he spots Jimin walking up to them, beer in hand. He steps up to Taehyung's chair, hand resting lightly on the back of the other's neck.

 


"Feel like a nighttime swim?"

 


"Really not."

 


Jimin laughs at Taehyung's answer. "Thought not."

 


He pulls up a chair, sitting down next to Taehyung. Brings out his phone.

 


"Hey, my brother sent some photos of the dogs." 

 


He holds up his phone screen to Taehyung. It brings some lightness back to his features, a small smile spreading across his lips at whatever's on the phone. 

 


Yoongi's gaze drifts down to the dock. Jungkook's sat there alone, head tilted up to the sky. His legs swing off the edge, almost touching the water. Yoongi stands up.

 


"I'll be right back," he says, though he's not sure the other two hear him. Pictures of Taehyung's dogs clearly take priority.

 


It's quiet down at the dock, far enough away that the music fades to a soft hum in the background. Jungkook glances up when he hears footsteps approaching. Looks surprised to see that it's Yoongi, before his face relaxes into something warmer, and more welcoming.

 


"Mind if I join?"

 


Jungkook shrugs, but gives a shy smile to show that it's okay. Yoongi sits down beside him. Jungkook's gaze drifts back up to the sky. Yoongi's follows.

 


"I remember when we first came here," Jungkook says quietly. "I couldn't believe how many stars I could see."

 


"Yeah," Yoongi agrees. "It's nice, huh."

 


Silence settles over them. Jungkook's head drops down, gaze fixing on his bottle of beer before bringing it to his lips. He takes a long gulp.

 


"Taehyung and Jimin were looking at photos of the dogs," Yoongi says, as though it's some sort of explanation for why he's come over to join Jungkook. The younger chuckles.

 


"Jimin-hyung pretends he doesn't like them," Jungkook says. "But I can tell he loves them really."

 


He smiles, a small, gentle crook of the lips. Yoongi wonders how much Jungkook kept in touch with the pair of them. He knows Jungkook speaks a lot more with them than any of the others, but Yoongi isn't sure quite how close they've stayed. It reminds Yoongi of the things Jimin used to pass onto Yoongi: about Jungkook moving to Busan, about him getting a girlfriend.

 


"Hey, uh- I'm sorry to hear about you and Goeun," Yoongi says eventually, recalling Jungkook's admission in the car yesterday.

 


Jungkook looks up, blinking in surprise before catching himself. He shrugs loosely.

 


"It's okay. I was the one to end it. So- yeah."

 


"Oh. Right."

 


"Like, I didn't want to hurt her," Jungkook adds on, as though worried that Yoongi will think badly of him for such a decision. "It's just- she wanted marriage and kids and all that stuff. And- well, I just felt like I was leading her on."

 


Yoongi nods. He doesn't really have any experience in such a predicament, never having held onto a relationship long enough to get to that point. But he can imagine it must be tough when you're both looking for different things.

 


Jungkook's shoulders slump a little. He clearly feels bad about his decision. Yoongi can understand why. Jungkook always loves to please people, to make those close to him proud and happy. Disappointing his girlfriend in such a way must have been hugely difficult for him.

 


"Hey, it's okay," Yoongi assures him. Reaches one hand up to lightly squeeze Jungkook's shoulder. "It's okay to not want all that stuff. Maybe one day you'll meet a girl that you do want all of that with. Or maybe you'll never want that future. It's okay either way. Don't beat yourself up about it."

 


Jungkook swallows thickly. He looks out over the still water of the fjord, blinking hard. He draws in a deep breath before releasing it slowly. His lips part, as though he wants to say something more. Yoongi waits, but no more words come.

 


A few long moments pass in silence. Jungkook takes another sip of his beer. Yoongi realises that his hand remains on Jungkook's shoulder. He brings it away, resting it against the wood of the dock instead.

 


"How about you, hyung?" Jungkook asks eventually. "Are you seeing anyone new?"

 


Yoongi lets out a wry chuckles and shakes his head. "No. Not right now. I'm just a little tired of it all."

 


"Of what, dating?"

 


Yoongi sighs gently. 

 


"Of nothing ever feeling right. I've dated a fair number of guys and girls over the years and- shit, I just want that feeling, you know? People always says that you meet the right person and things just fall into place and- I dunno. I've just never had that. I'm getting tired of searching for it."

 


Yoongi looks down at the beer in his hand. He's surprised himself at being quite so open with Jungkook. As close as they were once, he never allowed himself to be quite so vulnerable with the younger. Always felt that that he should never burden the other with too many of his own insecurities. 

 


But it's different now, Yoongi supposes. Jungkook's older, and experienced- there's no need to try to protect him anymore.

 


"Oh," Jungkook says softly. Probably surprised too by the honest words. He clears his throat quietly. Taps his fingers against the neck of his beer. "Even Taesung?"

 


Yoongi wets his lips. "We were never that close," he admits. "The media made it out to be much more than it was."

 


"Ah," Jungkook replies, nodding slightly. A long time passes before he speaks again. "Hyung, were you scared? You know, when you first realised you liked guys?"

 


Yoongi turns to look at him. Jungkook's gaze is still fixed on some unknown point out in the water. Yoongi lets his own gaze drop back to his lap. 

 


It's a question he's been asked before over the years by some of the other members. He never hid the fact that he was bisexual from them. There had been more than a few occasions, usually after too much drink, when Jimin or Namjoon or Taehyung would pluck up the courage to ask him more about it. Never Jungkook though.

 


"Kind of. I mean, I was always told most of my life that it was wrong. Unnatural, or whatever. But I knew it was a part of me, and I knew I couldn't change it. Didn't want to change it," Yoongi tells him. "To be honest, I always kind of accepted who I was. I was far more scared of what it could do to the group if it came out in the media. That worried me more than anything else."

 


Jungkook nods. Chews thoughtfully on his lower lip. 

 


"I thought you were really brave dealing with all that stuff in the press," Jungkook says quietly.

 


"Ah. You saw that, huh?"

 


"It was kind of hard to miss."

 


Yoongi lets out a small huff of laughter. "Yeah, I guess it was."

 


It had been big news. Sure, Yoongi wasn't in the spotlight these days as much as he used to be. But he is still a big name in producing, and his idol life has never truly left him. When his relationship with Taesung was outed in the media last year, it still managed to cause a huge stir back in Korea.

 


"But I wasn't brave, Kook," Yoongi continues, an edge of bitterness creeping into his words. "I'd tried to keep our relationship secret for as long as I could. If it wasn't for those photos being leaked, I'd still be hiding. I'm not sure being forced to come out is particularly brave."

 


Yoongi tries not to let the bitterness become too prominent but it's tough. He feels disappointed in himself. Angry at his weakness. Sure, he's now taken on the role of proud and out, but simply because it's his only real option. He feels like a fake; portrayed as a fighter and spokesperson for a cause, when in reality, he would have easily kept on hiding for a long as he could.

 


"Maybe," Jungkook replies. "But I still thought it was brave. You could have denied it all. Made excuses. But you didn't."

 


Yoongi swallows heavily. Brings his gaze up to meet Jungkook's. The younger's eyes are wide. It's dark, but Yoongi's certain that there would be a flush on his cheeks if he could see. Yoongi wants to protest, make the point that he really isn't that brave at all. But there is such sincerity in Jungkook's gaze that the words get lost.

 


"Oh. Thanks," is all he says in response. 

 


Jungkook nods, bites down on his lip. Lowers his eyes, casting his gaze back out onto the water again. A sigh escapes him, so quiet it's almost inaudible.

 


"I'm sorry I didn't tell you that at the time."

 


Yoongi hears the unspoken apology in there. That he's sorry for all the times that they haven't spoken over the last few years. Yoongi's chest aches, just a little. He looks over at Jungkook. Lets his gaze linger a moment longer than intended. 

 


He feels that warm rush of familiarity once more, same as he did the other morning. It's comforting and reassuring in a way Yoongi would struggle to put into words.

 

 

He takes it all in as the quiet settles over them. It's dark out here, but the moonlight gives just enough shine to highlight his features. He's still the same Jungkook. Still as beautiful as he ever was.

 


But the younger was right in what he said last night. Things are different. They've both changed, unable to hold back the way that time alters things. As much as Yoongi may yearn for it, they can't go back to how it was before. 

 


Though, it's not a bad thing, Yoongi thinks, as Jungkook catches his gaze and smiles, bashful. That familiarity mixed in with an edge of something new. It's not something to feel sad about but, perhaps, something to enjoy. Discovering how they fit together all over again.

 


"Hyung, you're staring," Jungkook laughs, his shyness coming through. 

 


"I'm an old man, Kook," Yoongi tells him. "My eyes are just trying to adjust."

 


Jungkook shakes his head, eyes falling down to his lap. A sweet smile plays on his lips as he laughs quietly. 

 


"Well, you are old, that much is true."

 


"Brat," Yoongi huffs, nudging his shoulder against Jungkook's. Jungkook just laughs louder.

 


"Hey, we're gonna play some drinking games," Hoseok calls over from the cabin. "Get back over here."

 


Yoongi groans, tipping backwards so that he's laying against the dock. Above him, the stars shine brightly, dotted amongst the inky darkness of the night. He hears the scuff of Jungkook's shoes as he stands. Yoongi keeps on staring up, until Jungkook's face breaks into his line of vision.

 


"Come on, hyung," he grins. "Or can't you keep up any more?"

 


"You're gonna regret those words."

 


"Prove it," Jungkook smirks. 

 


Yoongi rubs a hand over his face.

 


"Help me up then," he grumbles.

 


Jungkook holds out his hand. Yoongi takes it. 

 


"Prepare to lose," Jungkook grins, helping him up before racing off towards the others. 

 


Yoongi shakes his head. Enjoys one last moment before leaving behind the stillness of the dock, ready to enter the fray once again.

 

 

Chapter Text

"Hey, Tae, could you take a photo for me?"

 

Yoongi looks over from where he leans on the railings of the boat. Namjoon hands his phone over to Taehyung. Explains the look of the photo he wants to the younger. Taehyung rolls his eyes but gets into position anyway. Namjoon turns sideways and looks out into the distance, appearing pensive, thoughtful. Taehyung snaps away.

 

Yoongi resists the urge to roll his eyes too. Namjoon did always like a certain aesthetic to his photos. Still likes to post them on his instagram account now and then, to the delight of those who continue to follow him.

 

Yoongi turns back round to face the scenery. Waves roll gently against the hull of the boat as it cuts its way through shimmering water. The rocking of the vessel was mildly unpleasant at first, the result of a few too many drinks consumed at the cabin last night. Now, though, it's settled into something nicely lulling.

 

Yoongi lifts his camera up, fixing the zoom. A waterfall over by the far shoreline comes into focus through the lens. From here it looks like a trickle, but up close the full power of the water is clear. He clicks down, takes the photo. 

 

It seems a bit pointless, really. He has taken all of these photos before, years ago. All he's doing is replicating a set of images that he already has. 

 

In all honesty, Yoongi felt like this fjord cruise itself was a bit pointless too when it was suggested over dinner last night. But everyone else was eager and so, here they are, reliving an old experience all over again.

 

It feels kind of odd but Yoongi pushes it aside. Focuses his camera on another shot. Looks down at the screen. It's a good image. Lines up one more shot. Lets himself get a little lost in photographing the scenery. It's not a bad thing, perhaps, to build some new memories, rather than dwelling on the past.

 

Seokjin steps up behind him, placing a firm hand on his shoulder. Yoongi glances around at him. Lets the camera fall to hang from the strap around his neck. Seokjin smiles.

 

"Care to help me get some drinks?"

 

They return to the deck minutes later with a tray full of alcohol, much to the delight of the others. They crowd around, eagerly accepting the beers - and a wine for Taehyung. Yoongi's certain it's not going to taste so great from a plastic cup, but Taehyung smiles wide all the same.

 

Jungkook immediately starts drinking. Stops, almost comically frozen, when Hoseok chides him.

 

"We should do a toast first."

 

Everyone automatically looks to Namjoon. Old habits are hard to forget, it seems. He clears his throat, awkward. Toasts would come easily once. To the end of a tour, to a successful comeback, to winning a daesang. Now, though, the celebration isn't quite so clear.

 

"To, uh, a good time with good friends."

 

Everyone clinks their drinks together - as much as is possible with plastic cups. The similarity with the last time they were here is striking but no one mentions it. No one ever does. Bangtan remains hidden in silence once again. Hanging over them all, the same as always.

 

They all take large gulps of their drinks, an odd awkwardness settling for only a moment. It's broken when Hoseok suggests a group photo. There's much grumbling, of course, but they all soon shift into position. Hoseok asks a passerby to take the picture, more through miming the action than with words. He darts into the shot too at the last minute.

 

Later that day, bellies full of too much food and drink, soft r'n'b playing from the speakers - Jimin's choice - Hoseok sends the photo to their group chat. Yoongi stares down at it, a sudden, strange tightness in his throat. 

 

It looks so similar to the photo they took when they were last here. Familiar and yet so different. They're not old, but they're definitely older. It's clear that time has passed; that things have changed. 

 

Yoongi's gaze lingers on Jungkook just a moment more than the others. He's no longer the wide-eyed teenager that he was last time, and yet he still radiates a certain brightness like he did back then. It brings a warmth to Yoongi to see him looking so relaxed. Content even.

 

He lets his gaze linger a few seconds longer before locking his phone.

 

The next day is another beautiful one. It's a cloudy start but by mid-morning sun is starting to stream through the windows of the cabin. 

 

Namjoon suggests a hike on one of the nearby trails. Jungkook, Hoseok and Seokjin agree happily. Yoongi immediately states that he has work to catch up on - not a total lie, but a convenient get-out nonetheless. Taehyung frowns slightly. Chews on his lower lip and doesn't answer. Namjoon notices, eyes growing wide. 

 

"Shit, Tae, sorry. If it's too much-"

 

"It's fine," Taehyung smiles, though it doesn't quite meet his eyes. "It's too hot for a hike. I was just planning on hanging by the water today."

 

Everyone knows it's a lie. Taehyung used to enjoy going on long walks, no matter the weather. He did, at least, before it started causing him too much pain. Yoongi knows that he's mostly healed up since the accident, but handling something as strenuous as a long hike is still probably asking too much. 

 

"Lets do something we can all join-" Namjoon begins, but Taehyung cuts him off.

 

"Honestly. It's fine. Go, please. Yoongi can keep me company."

 

Tension settles over them. That horrid stand off that Yoongi remembers from back then. Not wanting to exclude Taehyung, but not wanting his anger at feeling babied either. Yoongi clears his throat, trying to lighten the mood.

 

"You better not be expecting me to get in that cold ass water with you," Yoongi fake grumbles.

 

Taehyung grins, a little forced, but he's trying. "Aw, come on hyung."

 

Just as Yoongi's about to resign himself to enduring the freezing waters simply to ensure that Taehyung's not left feeling too alone today, Jimin steps in.

 

"Nah, don't worry Yoongi-hyung. I'll be here too."

 

"Jimin, you don't have to-" Taehyung starts, but is quickly cut off by the other with a derisive snort.

 

"You really think I wanna get all hot and sweaty trekking up a mountain when I can be lazing by the water with a supply of cold beers?"

 

At the mention of beer, Seokjin looks a little like he might want to reconsider the hike, but stays quiet. Taehyung still looks wary, but then Jungkook's jumping in too.

 

"Let him stay," Jungkook says. "His tiny legs would only slow us down."

 

"You little brat."

 

Jimin darts towards Jungkook, who laughs wildly and misses the arm flailing in his direction. Things settle back into something more comfortable, more easy, once again. 

 

The kitchen becomes a hive of activity as the hikers start to prepare food and water to take with them. Yoongi disappears into the bedroom to find his laptop where he'd left it on charge overnight. His phone beeps in his pocket while he's in there.

 

Yoongi takes out the phone, heart sinking when he sees Taesung's name on the screen. He has no bad feelings towards Taesung himself, but he's now irrevocably linked with a dark time in Yoongi's life. A time when he felt, for a moment, like everything he'd worked so hard for was about to come crashing down around him.

 

Taesung:

hey

you never came over to pick up your stuff

I've left it with the security guy at your apartment

tired of it hanging around

 

Yoongi's chest tightens. He knows he should have gone over to pick up his belongings from Taesung's; the other has been asking him to long enough. But he's been busy with work and now with this trip and-

 

Well, in all honesty, he doesn't want to face Taesung. Doesn't want to see what has happened all because of him. 

 

Taesung was never out, not until he became involved with Yoongi. If they'd never got together, then Taesung would never have had to deal with the fallout of leaked photos. Never would have had to explain to his family, his friends, his colleagues, about the secret life he'd been leading. He could have came out in his own time, when he finally felt ready.

 

Being with Yoongi took that choice away from him. 

 

Yoongi:

thanks

sorry for not picking it up sooner

and i'm sorry too

about everything

 

Taesung:

sure you are

 

Yoongi blinks down at his phone. From outside the bedroom door, the hiking group yell out their goodbyes, with threats aimed at Jimin if he steals too much of the beer while they're away.

 

Yoongi:

of course I am

 

Yoongi hates that Taesung thinks he doesn't care. He may be a coward, but he still hurts over what happened. Taesung was a great guy - he didn't deserve any of this. When he broke up with Yoongi because of it, Yoongi understood entirely. Media scrutiny, public opinion. That wasn't what he'd signed up for.

 

Taesung:

Whatever

I'm sure you're glad you didn't have to be the one to break us up

I did what you were always too scared to do

 

Yoongi:

don't say that

 

Taesung:

why not. It's true

I know you never felt the same way for me as I did for you

I always hoped it might change but

it never did

 

Yoongi stares down at his phone. Guilt gnaws at him. He knows that he was never in love with Taesung, no matter how much he might have tried to find that feeling, that spark. It seems that Taesung noticed a lot more than Yoongi realised. 

 

Yoongi:

I'm sorry

 

It's not enough, Yoongi knows. But he's at a loss for what else to say.

 

The bedroom door slams open suddenly and Jungkook rushes in, bounding over towards the nightstand where his phone is charging. He flashes an apologetic smile in Yoongi's direction as he unplugs it from the charger.

 

"Forgot my phone," he explains unnecessarily, waving it in the air. Pauses a moment, then adds, "hyung, are you okay?"

 

Yoongi shakes off whatever expression must be on his face right now. Forces a smile instead.

 

"I'm fine, Kook. Go have fun."

 

Jungkook stays looking at him, unconvinced. Yoongi sighs and steps towards him, pocketing his phone. Places a reassuring hand on Jungkook's shoulder.

 

"Honestly. I'm good." Squeezes his shoulder. "Now, go. And keep us updated on how much Jin-hyung starts complaining once he realises how far he's got to walk."

 

Jungkook smiles at this, like a grin, but softer somehow. Takes a moment before nodding. Outside, a car horn beeps. 

 

Another second passes, longer than necessary, before Jungkook covers Yoongi's hand with his own. Grips it lightly before turning and leaving, dashing through the doorway.

 

Yoongi stares after him. Tries to ignore that stab of warmth unfurling in his chest, something close to a flutter. Something maybe even worryingly close to a spark. He pushes it down, shakes it off. Picks up his laptop and heads outside.

 

Jimin and Taehyung are already in the water when Yoongi emerges into the sunshine. The beach ball purchased at the supermarket is being put to use, although they seem more intent on soaking each other by slamming it into the water, than with setting up any sort of rally. Yoongi ignores their shouts to join them, instead finding a spot at the table under the shade and opening his laptop.

 

Yoongi gives them their due. Once they see him start to work, they don't bother him any further. His gaze occasionally drifts over to them though, when responding to the slew of emails in his inbox becomes too tiresome.  

 

Sat on the dock at one point, Yoongi watches as Taehyung seems to forget where he is. He lifts up the hem of his wet t-shirt, bringing it to his face to wipe away the droplets of water there. Yoongi sees just a glimpse of the large scar peeking over the waistband of his shorts, before Taehyung drops his shirt again. 

 

Yoongi stares pointedly back down at his laptop, in case Taehyung spots him looking. Yoongi's sure that the scars go much further but he wouldn't know. Taehyung's been incredibly shy about showing his body ever since the accident. 

 

Yoongi still remembers it, clear as though it was yesterday. Getting the call at his studio. Jimin half sobbing, half screaming down the phone, words so garbled that Yoongi could barely understand what he was saying. He understood enough though. Understood that there had been a car accident. That Taehyung had been hurt, that he was still unconscious.

 

They had all rushed to the hospital, each of the members turning up one at a time like some awful party. Outside, the media gathered; yelling for comments, cameras flashing. Bangtan was still huge then and interest was high. Management turned up, then Taehyung's family.

 

Hours passed, painfully slow, until finally they were allowed to see him. His family first, then Jimin, Hoseok and Jungkook. Finally Seokjin, Namjoon and Yoongi. 

 

It had taken Yoongi a long time to shake that image of Taehyung from his mind. Battered, bruised, cut all over. Drips in his arm, casts all down one side. He'd still been unresponsive; eyes closed, oddly peaceful amongst the horror that was spread over his body.

 

"Yoongi-hyung!"

 

Yoongi looks up and over to where Taehyung calls out, looking bright and happy and- alive. Yoongi's heart thumps, full of fondness. So pleased to know how far his friend has come since that day.

 

"I'm not getting in," comes the immediate reply. Taehyung huffs.

 

"We know," he says with an exaggerated sigh. "Want some lunch?"

They eat a hastily cooked lunch of ramen, none of them keen to put in too much effort. They eat under the shade as Jimin's nose is starting to turn a little pink. The heat may not feel as strong here as it does in Seoul, but it's misleading. Jimin smothers his face in sun lotion before tucking into the food.

 

It's an easy, quiet lunch. Jimin and Taehyung can be loud and playful and boisterous, but they are just as happy in more peaceful moments too. Afterwards the pair doze on the loungers under the shade and Yoongi continues catching up on work. 

 

Eventually however, the pull of the sparkling water becomes too much of a draw in the muggy warmth of the afternoon. Yoongi grabs himself a beer from the fridge before wandering down onto the dock. He settles on the edge with a heavy thump, and lets his lower legs dangle in the coolness of the fjord.

 

He leans back on one arm, lifting the beer to his lips with the other. Closes his eyes and gives himself a rare moment to simply do nothing. He tries to clear his thoughts too, leave his brain empty just for a few minutes, but that's far trickier. He thinks of the messages from Taesung; of Jungkook sitting next to him on this dock last night.

 

Yoongi blinks open his eyes and focuses instead on the gentle waves created as he swirls his feet through the water. Above him, two birds swoop around each other, weaving through the air and chirping loudly.

 

In the distance Yoongi hears the slam of a car door, followed by the approaching murmur of voices. He takes a long sip of his beer.

 

Soon enough the others are joining them out back. Seokjin slumps down in a chair next to Jimin and Taehyung, rousing them from their naps. He starts telling them something, but it's too quiet for Yoongi to hear. Namjoon joins them, wiping the back of his hand across his brow. Both look red faced and exhausted.

 

Hoseok strides straight towards the water, immediately crashing down beneath the surface once he's far enough out. A few drops of water land on Yoongi from the impact, but his complaints go unheard. Hoseok emerges, looking pained.

 

"So cold," he mutters, but he dips his head back underneath the water once more anyway. Sufficiently cooled off, he makes his way back onto shore. Yoongi chuckles as he watches the scene, glad of his choice to have not participated on the hike.

 

"Hyung."

 

Yoongi looks up to see Jungkook walking along the dock to where Yoongi sits. His face is flushed too, clothes sticking to him, but he looks remarkably happy. He sits down next to Yoongi, far too close.

 

"Urgh. Too sweaty," Yoongi huffs, shoving him to the side 

 

Jungkook cackles, slinging an arm around Yoongi's shoulders. Yoongi scrunches his face in a show of displeasure.

 

"Don't you want to hear about the hike?"

 

"Shower first, then you can tell me."

 

Jungkook just laughs again, easy and bright. It's a sound Yoongi's missed a lot over the last few years.

 

"Nothing wrong with a bit of sweat."

 

"Yes there is," Yoongi replies. "At least go jump in the water or something."

 

"Are you gonna join me, hyung?"

 

Jungkook's eyes are creased at the corners. Full of mischief. A look Yoongi both fears and loves simultaneously. 

 

"Fuck no," Yoongi tells him. "I've done it once. That's enough."

 

"Ah, come on," Jungkook grins. 

 

He makes to move as though he's about to grab Yoongi and throw him in. Yoongi yelps, sounding far more high-pitched that he would have liked. He grips onto Jungkook's arm trying to stop him. Jungkook laughs harder. 

 

"C'mon hyung. For me?"

 

Something flutters, unexpected and wild in Yoongi's chest. Jungkook makes his eyes wide, batting his lashes. It's playful, what they're doing. But somehow it feels too- well, flirtatious, almost. 

 

"No way. You can put those puppy dog eyes away."

 

Jungkook keeps laughing, but it softens, just a little. Yoongi's heart thumps strangely. He shakes it off. Of course it's not flirting. Jungkook's not even into guys, and even if he was-

 

It's irrelevant. They're just messing around like they always used to. Nothing more to it.

 

Jungkook's laughter grows quieter, though he keeps on smiling. Their eyes meet, lingering a moment longer than usual before Jungkook takes a deep breath and suddenly launches himself into the water. The splash soaks Yoongi.

 

"You've still got your sneakers on," Yoongi says, pointlessly, when Jungkook's head pops up above the surface. 

 

Jungkook just keeps on smiling.


They have an early dinner, the four who went hiking complaining loudly about how hungry they are, and how exhausted. It falls somehow to Taehyung, Jimin and Yoongi to cook the meal, even though, as Yoong argues, it was their own choice to go and hike.

 

After dinner, they chat idly, easily. Hoseok and Namjoon discuss a project they've started working on together. Jimin sits with them, talking calmly but with that familiar fire in his eyes. Both Jimin and Hoseok are born performers, the need to do so burning brightly in both of them.

 

Yoongi ended up becoming a performer. Learned to enjoy the crowd rather than fear it, learned to control the stage rather let it overwhelm him. But he's happy in the background these days. He can still bring that energy everyday in producing. Make others shine brighter around him.

 

Taehyung and Seokjin are looking at something on Seokjin's phone. Taehyung makes the occasional deadpan comment that gets Seokjin squeaking in laughter while at the same time smacking Taehyung on his shoulder - the good one - for his insolence.

 

Yoongi watches on quietly, until he senses Jungkook standing next to him. He looks up. Jungkook's changed into a warm hoodie, his heavy camera clasped in his hands.

 

"I was just gonna take some photos of the fjord at night," he says. "You want to come?"

 

In all honesty, Yoongi's quite content here. Beer in hand, music playing softly, the chatter of friends and the warmth of a full stomach. But Jungkook looks eager, and maybe a little nervous, and so Yoongi finds himself nodding.

 

"Sure. Let me grab a sweater."

 

On their way out of the door, Seokjin looks up from his conversation, intrigued.

 

"Where are you guys going?"

 

"Skinny dipping," Yoongi tells them, with the driest delivery he can muster. Behind him Jungkook laughs, and Yoongi feels stupidly pleased.

 

"What!" Hoseok splutters. 

 

Yoongi says no more, simply pulls the door closed behind them. As they walk towards the trail leading away from the cabin, he glances back. Hoseok's face is pressed against the glass, looking disappointed. Yoongi can hear the faint, muffled, "I knew he was lying" through the door.

 

"I found a spot along the shore yesterday," Jungkook says. "I thought it might be pretty at night."

 

Yoongi nods. They walk along the trail in silence, phones held out, the light guiding their footsteps in the darkness. It's almost eerie, the complete lack of light out here. So different from Seoul, where it's inescapable.

 

"This feels like the start of a horror movie," Yoongi comments after a while. "We're the two idiots that go out into the forest at night and get killed in the first five minutes."

 

Jungkook chuckles lightly. Stumbles over a branch that lays across the path. 

 

"Don't worry, hyung. I'll protect you."

 

Yoongi snorts quietly. Doesn't say anything more.

 

Eventually they find the spot Jungkook was looking for. It is very pretty, Yoongi agrees. The moon and stars sit high in the sky, reflected in the still waters of the fjord below. 

 

Jungkook spends a long time walking back and forth, setting up his shot, taking a photo then checking it. Yoongi starts to wish that he'd brought his own camera along. He shivers lightly as a breeze drifts past. It might be warm in the day time, but at night it's decidedly chilly. Not like Seoul, where heat clings onto every hour, drenching you in sweat even at one in the morning.

 

He wanders over to a log laying on the ground. Kicks lightly at it, to check that it's sturdy, and that no creatures come crawling out. Satisfied, he sits down, watching Jungkook line up shot after shot.

 

Jungkook seems to eventually tire. Instead of suggesting they head back, he sits down next to Yoongi on the log. Neither says anything for a long time. They stare out across the water, both still and silent.

 

Finally, Jungkook speaks.

 

"I'm glad I came here."

 

Yoongi wants to reply. To reassure Jungkook that they are all glad he's here too. To let him know how nice it is to have him around again. But it seems like Jungkook still has more to say, so Yoongi stays quiet.

 

"I- I dunno. I guess I didn't realise how much I needed this," he continues, before adding, almost in a whisper, "How much I needed to get away from everything."

 

Silence falls again but this time it feels like Jungkook wants a response.

 

"You mean from the break up? With Goeun?"

 

Jungkook kicks lightly at the ground, boot scuffing against the dirt. He nods.

 

"Yeah," he answers, voice soft. 

 

A long time passes before he speaks again, but Yoongi doesn't push. Jungkook seems almost nervous. Even in the darkness, Yoongi can see the way his fingers fiddle with the seam of his jeans, tugging at an unseen loose thread. Yoongi's not sure how much time has gone by, really, before Jungkook starts speaking once more.

 

"You know when we talked yesterday. And you said you weren't scared when you realised you like guys. That you just kind of- accepted it?"

 

"Yeah," Yoongi replies, keeping his voice quiet too. Almost like anything louder would startle Jungkook too much. Scare him away from opening up about whatever it is that's on his mind. 

 

"Well it- it wasn't so easy for me."

 

It takes a moment for Jungkook's words to sink in. Yoongi blinks, hard. Swallows thickly. Needs to check, to make sure he's understood correctly.

 

"You mean- you like guys too?"

 

Jungkook shakes his head. For a moment, Yoongi thinks he's got it all wrong, until Jungkook clarifies.

 

"There's no too. I only like guys," he says, voice so gentle it's almost hard to hear him. He sighs, and it sounds somehow exhausted. Like the burden of it has become a little too much. "I'm gay."

 

He says it slowly, tentatively, as though still not used to speaking it aloud. Yoongi's chest aches dully. He knows how much courage it must have taken to admit that just now. 

 

"Oh. Right."

 

Jungkook's head turns to face him. Yoongi realises how his words come across. Distant, almost judgemental. He hopes that Jungkook understands that he would never be like that. It's just a big shock, and Yoongi's not entirely sure what to say.

 

"It's just a surprise," Yoongi tells him quickly. "But- I'm pleased that you told me. You know I'll always support you Kook-ah."

 

He hears the way that Jungkook swallows heavily, the way he wets his lips. He sighs again, softer this time.

 

"I've been running from it for so long. So long. And- fuck, I was exhausted. I didn't want to hurt Goeun but I had to end things. I'd been leading her on for so long, trying to be something I wasn't. Trying to pretend like she was what I wanted. She didn't deserve that."

 

"It's okay," Yoongi tells him. 

 

Wraps an arm around his shoulders. For a moment Jungkook tenses, before leaning into the touch. His head falls to Yoongi's shoulder. Yoongi's cheek presses to his hair, still a tiny bit damp from earlier.

 

"It's not," Jungkook mumbles, sounding broken. "She was so upset. And she had every right to be."

 

"Did you tell her why you ended things?" Yoongi asks.

 

Jungkook shakes his head in response, strands of hair tickling Yoongi's cheek.

 

"No. I just told her that I couldn't give her the life she wants. Which was true, I guess. But still- I feel like the world's biggest asshole."

 

"You're not," Yoongi tells him. "It takes everyone a different amount of time to accept who they are."

 

"I was just so tired," Jungkook says, and in that moment he truly does sound exhausted, the sort of tired that goes bone-deep, something that grinds away, piece by piece, every day.

 

"It's okay," Yoongi repeats. "You've come this far now. Be proud of that. And if there's anything you need, let me know, okay?"

 

"Some of your confidence?"

 

Yoongi lets out a small laugh. Not dismissive, but kind.

 

"It's mostly for show," Yoongi assures him. "I'm fucking scared sometimes. But y'know, it's okay to be. I wish that the world isn't the way it is but- I can't change that. I just try not to let it overwhelm me."

 

Jungkook sighs and nods. It's perhaps not the most comforting of statements, but Yoongi's never been one to sugar coat things. Being gay back home isn't the easiest of roads, far from it, and he's not going to pretend otherwise.

 

They stay there like that for a long time, before Yoongi starts shivering too much, and Jungkook starts trying to tug the hood of his top up over his ears.

 

"I've not told the others," Jungkook says as they eventually start the treacherous walk back ti the cabin, phones held aloft once more. "Only Jimin and Tae. Could you not tell them - at least for now?"

 

"Of course," Yoongi promises. "I won't say a word."

 

Nearly everyone has gone to bed by the time they return, aside from Hoseok and Jimin. Yoongi feels like both their gazes linger on them a little longer than necessary as they walk into the bedroom.

 

They both change quickly, a chill in the air. Yoongi still feels shivery as he gets under the covers. He pulls them right up until they're tucked under his chin, body settling down into the warmth. Jungkook looks over at him, grinning small.

 

"Tiny hyung," he teases.

 

"Get into bed," Yoongi grumbles.

 

Jungkook's still smiling as he turns off the lamp and gets into his own bed. They lay there quietly for a long time. Yoongi's mind is spinning with what Jungkook's told him. He wonders if Jungkook's managed to fall asleep, but something about his breathing makes Yoongi think that he hasn't.

 

"Kook?" Yoongi whispers.

 

"Yeah?" comes the reply, straight away.

 

"Thank you for telling me what you did," he says. "I know we've kind of drifted apart lately but- I mean it. If there's anything you need, I'm here."

 

"Thanks," Jungkook replies, sounding genuine and grateful. 

 

Yoongi shifts in his bed, turning onto his side. In the darkness, he can just about make out the lines of Jungkook's form in the other bed. He can't see his expression, but Yoongi thinks he's on his side too, looking right back at Yoongi.

 

"Remember," Jungkook says after a long time passes. "when I first meet Namjoon. And all I could say was, wow, thighs. Maybe I should have known all the way back then."

 

He chuckles, quiet and a touch awkward. Yoongi knows that he's trying to make light of what they've talked about this evening. Trying to deflect some of weight that his admission carries. Yoongi goes along with it.

 

"I'm offended that my legs weren't even considered," Yoongi states. "I mean, c'mon, they trended on Naver you know."

 

Jungkook laughs again, still quiet, but a hint of sadness in there too. The lightness leaves him when he continues. 

 

"I wish I'd been honest with myself sooner."

 

"Did you know?" Yoongi asks, "Back then?"

 

"I don't know," Jungkook says, painfully soft. "I felt all kinds of- mixed up. Maybe I knew on some level, but I just kept running from it for so long. I never wanted to let myself think about it. Never even wanted to consider-"

 

He trails off, words fading in the darkness. Yoongi's chest aches. How could he not have realised that Jungkook was going through these struggles? How could he have missed it?

 

"I'm sorry I wasn't there for you."

 

"Hyung, you couldn't have known," Jungkook sighs. "I didn't even know myself. Not really. Not until- not until later."

 

"Okay," Yoongi says. There's a finality in Jungkook's words that hints at feeling uncomfortable with delving too deep into the past, and so Yoongi brings it back to some lightness. "Well, if I can't be sorry for that, then I'm sorry that your first crush was Namjoon."

 

"Hyung!" Jungkook laughs. Yoongi barely has time to register the dark shape flying towards him before a pillow hits him square in the face. "He wasn't a crush. He just had good thighs."

 

"Mmhmm. Sure," Yoongi replies, grinning to himself at the pained noises sounding from the younger. "Don't be embarrassed. It's cute."

 

"It's not cute," Jungkook huffs. "Because it's not true."

 

"If you say so."

 

Jungkook groans loudly, making Yoongi grin a little wider. 

 

"Good night," he grunts out, turning over, back now facing Yoongi. 

 

Yoongi lets out a low chuckle before settling back down under the covers. Takes the extra pillow and tucks it behind him, out of the way. 

 

His mind feels like it's still spinning even more than before, keeping any chance of sleep well at bay. He knows that he was just teasing Jungkook about having a crush on Namjoon, but it makes his mind wander. Did Jungkook develop crushes on other guys over the years? 

 

Or perhaps- 

 

Perhaps he has a crush on someone now. Yoongi blinks into the darkness, trying to ignore the strange twist of his gut as he considers it. It's entirely plausible. He seems to have come to terms with his sexuality; who's to say that doesn't extend to liking someone?

 

Yoongi turns over in his bed, facing the wall instead. Tries not to focus on the way his gut twists further, an odd ache spreading up, into his chest, his throat, tightening horribly for the briefest of moments. 

 

He should be happy if such a thing happened. Should be pleased at Jungkook finding happiness, perhaps even love, with someone. Yoongi knows that he would be. Of course he would. Yet he gets the feeling that it wouldn't come very easily.

 

And Yoongi's really not sure what to make of that.

 

 

Chapter Text

A pleasant stillness settles over the cabin in the morning. The sun's rays begin to peek through the windows, but they're still wan, faded in the early hour. The only noise is the clink of a coffee mug, and the gentle bubble of boiling water. Even Namjoon's snoring has mercilessly ceased.

 

Yoongi perches on a stool by the kitchen counter, clasping a too-hot coffee in his hands. He blows on it slowly. Watches the dark liquid ripple before the steam inevitably returns to obscure it once more. It's too early really, but sleep has been impossible. Ever since waking up at 5am and turning over to see Jungkook sleeping peacefully in his own bed across the room, Yoongi's mind has been racing.

 

He blows gently on the coffee again before bringing it to his lips. It's too hot still, but Yoongi sips anyway. It numbs his tongue, his lips. If only that numbness could reach his mind. Still his thoughts for just a few blissful moments.

 

Yoongi replays last night, over and over. Jungkook's tentative confession. The way his fingers had twitched nervously as he spoke, the quiet softness of his voice. Yoongi's glad that Jungkook has told him. Accepting his sexuality has clearly been tough for the younger, and it means a great deal that he still trusts Yoongi enough to confide in him. 

 

It was a shock. Of course it was. Yoongi had no idea that Jungkook has been struggling with something so big for so long. He wishes that he could have been there for him. Offer some sort of comfort, some support. Maybe even some guidance. Instead Jungkook has been battling this alone.

 

That should be the reason for the knot currently sitting tight in Yoongi's chest. And it is- mostly. Yet Yoongi can't ignore the fact that there might be something else adding to that. 

 

Yoongi takes another sip of his coffee, lips burning. Nothing's changed after Jungkook's confession. Not really. He's still Yoongi's friend, and he's still Jungkook. It doesn't change any of that. And yet-

 

Something has maybe changed within Yoongi. Just a little. He recalls the unease he felt last night at the thought of Jungkook potentially being interested in someone. Of how the idea didn't settle well within him. 

 

It's protectiveness. It must be. Jungkook's single and, Yoongi imagines, is soon to start dating. Start living the life he's wanted to for so long. It's only natural that Yoongi doesn't want to see him get hurt. Not now. Not when things are starting to look brighter for him.

 

But even as Yoongi thinks it, he knows it's not entirely true. That perhaps it was something deeper and far more confusing that made his gut twist quite so harshly last night.

 

A loud snore rips through the quiet of the cabin. Yoongi startles. He blinks hard and takes another sip of his coffee. Namjoon soon settles into a low rhythmic rumble of snores. The peace of the morning is truly broken. Yoongi gets up and quietly opens the patio door, silently slipping outside.

 

The water of the fjord glimmers weakly under the soft morning light. Bird song sounds from the trees. Yoongi focuses on taking it all in and tries his best to think of nothing else. 

 

It doesn't entirely work.

 

Eventually the others begin to stir. A loud yawn sounds from the kitchen, one Yoongi recognises instantly as Seokjin's. Years of once sharing a room have made his ears disturbingly attuned to all of the noises Seokjin makes in the morning.

 

One by one the others join Yoongi outside, slowly waking up with long gulps of coffee and rubbing of bleary eyes. All eventually emerge except for Taehyung and Jungkook. Yoongi tries not to worry; tries not to fret that perhaps Jungkook regrets being so open with Yoongi last night and is keeping his distance.

 

His fears are, thankfully, quickly allayed. A clattering sounds from the kitchen. Inside, Jungkook steadies a bowl on the counter, fumbling for the box of cereal. He's in his pyjama pants and a hoodie, eyes still half-closed with sleep. Yoongi lets his gaze linger, just a moment, before turning back to look at the fjord over the rim of his empty coffee cup.

 

The soft shuffle of footsteps follows, then the scrape of a chair. Yoongi glances sideways to see Jungkook settling down into one of the seats outside. It's a quick look but Jungkook catches it. He smiles, soft and anxious. Yoongi smiles back, similarly small, but warm enough to let Jungkook know that everything's okay. 

 

Jungkook's smile grows just a little wider.

 

Plans are made for the day once everyone has had enough coffee and fresh air for coherent conversation. A trip into the nearest large town for lunch and a much needed change of scenery - although near takes on a different meaning out here. There's still a few hours drive in store.

 

"I'll go and let sleeping beauty know about the plans," Jimin says, nodding his head in the direction of his and Taehyung's room. 

 

Yoongi follows him through to the lounge. He'll need to charge his camera before they leave and the charger is somewhere in the main room. He watches idly as Jimin opens up the door to their bedroom. It's dim in the room but Yoongi can still make out a little of the layout before the door closes again. 

 

His brow creases, curious, at the double bed in there. Taehyung and Jimin had the first pick of the rooms and refused to swap with anyone. It doesn't make sense that they wouldn't have picked the room with twin beds that Jungkook and Yoongi are currently in. But then again, they did always enjoy the comfort of falling asleep close to someone else; perhaps it's a habit that hasn't left them.

 

It takes a long time for everyone to get dressed and showered, and by the time they're in the cars Yoongi's stomach is rumbling. He probably should have eaten breakfast earlier rather than running on only two cups of coffee. One day he'll learn. 

 

He ends up in a car with Taehyung, Hoseok and Seokjin. Hoseok's iPod connects to the speakers, and Yoongi is treated to some truly awful renditions of past classics. Finally he gives in and joins them. It's reminiscent of their old Sope performances - hilarious in how terrible they were, even though Yoongi knows that the bad vocals were always exaggerated by Hoseok. The guy is actually a decent vocalist.

 

The town is pretty, picturesque in that distinctly Scandinavian way. Brightly coloured houses line the street; the chatter of locals drifts out from cafes. Clean sidewalks and even cleaner air. Sunlight dapples the buildings. It gives everything an idyllic look, as though they've walked onto a movie set.

 

It's enjoyable to be back in the buzz of a busy town. Enjoyable, too, to walk along streets without attracting subtle and not-so-subtle stares from passer-bys. 

 

Yoongi had previously settled into a nice level of attention in Seoul; still occasionally recognised from his time in Bangtan, but mostly left alone. After everything with Taesung, however, that changed. He was thrust into the spotlight once more against his will. People started turning in the street to look at him again, though this time the prying eyes weren't as friendly as they used to be.

 

Here, however, he draws no one's attention. Some of the others may be more recognisable still; Hoseok and Jimin are big on the music scene, and Taehyung and Seokjin are prominent on both the small and big screen. But if anyone does recognise them, they thankfully allow them their privacy. 

 

They wander aimlessly, taking their time to absorb the scenery and the atmosphere. One of them will stop every now and then to look in a shop window, or snap a photograph, or - in Seokjin and Hoseok's case - take selfies together to upload to their official Twitters. As much as they are popular in their own rights now, their fans still love any glimpses of Bangtan members together.

 

Jungkook comes to a stop outside of a pretty storefront, the doorway surrounded in bright, blooming flowers. He lines up a close up shot of the petals, angled artistically. Looks down at the camera screen, pleased, before turning to examine the contents of the window. It's a bakery, full of breads and pastries. Yoongi's sure he actually sees Jungkook lick his lips.

 

Yoongi lifts up his own camera to capture the way Jungkook stares so longingly at the food. Yoongi's sure that he'd have his nose pressed up against the glass if he could. He takes the photo then lets the camera hang round his neck once more.

 

Out of the corner of his eye he notices Jimin watching him. There's that odd look on his face again, the look that Yoongi's caught more than once this trip. 

 

He thinks back to Jungkook's confession last night. To his admittance that Taehyung and Jimin already knew. Yoongi wonders how long they've known for. Hopes that, if he wasn't able to, that at least they were there to support Jungkook through such difficult times.

 

Eventually Jungkook turns away. He spots Yoongi and strolls over, happy, and a touch shy. 

 

"I think you might have left some saliva on that bakery window," Yoongi comments.

 

"Didn't know you were watching me so closely, hyung."

 

Jungkook's eyes grow wide, only briefly, as though surprised by his own words. Yoongi isn't quite sure what to say to that, so gives only a low grunt of annoyance in response. They start to walk along the street together, shoulders bumping gently together.

 

"About last night-" Jungkook begins, words slow. Cautious. "Thanks for listening and stuff. And not freaking out."

 

"You don't have to thank me for that," Yoongi replies, voice quiet. The others aren't near to them, but he keeps his words hushed nonetheless. "I'm just glad that you're happy now. Or- happier at least."

 

Jungkook nods, lips pressed together in a thin line. As though he's not fully sure if he can believe Yoongi's sentiments. After taking so long to accept himself, Yoongi guesses it isn't easy to believe that others will accept him without question.

 

"You're still you, Kook. Sure, it was a surprise but- I would never have freaked out," Yoongi continues. Nods in the direction of the rest of the group, walking ahead of them. "And the others won't either. Whenever you decide you're ready to tell them."

 

Jungkook's front teeth peek out, biting down on his lower lip. His gaze stays on the ground, bashfulness returning. He nods once more.

 

"Thanks," he says. "I will tell them. Just- not yet. I'm still getting used to, y'know. Not hiding it. Not pretending."

 

"I get it. But just know that whenever you do tell them, they'll be nothing but supportive," Yoongi assures him. "And if for some inexplicable reason they're not, I'll kick their asses."

 

At this, Jungkook lets out a low snort. The seriousness of the conversation lessens a little, something that the younger seems grateful for. 

 

"That doesn't fill me with confidence."

 

"Hey," Yoongi goes on, playing along. "I was raised on the streets of Daegu. I'm tough."

 

Jungkook grins at this, bright and utterly disarming. Yoongi watches for a few long seconds before turning back to look where he's walking.

 

"Hyung, I've been to Daegu. From what I remember it was full of old people."

 

Yoongi finds himself smiling along too. 

 

"You must have been in the wrong part."

 

Silence settles, comfortable and easy. Jungkook's arm nudges against Yoongi's again, sticking close to the elder despite all the space around them. The quiet lingers a bit longer before Jungkook speaks.

 

"Do you go back to Daegu much?"

 

Yoongi shakes his head. "Not really. After my family moved up to Seoul, there wasn't really a reason to go back. A couple of times to see friends, now they're getting married and having kids and all that. But- not so much."

 

Jungkook makes a quiet noise to show he understands. Clears his throat lightly.

 

"Did you know Junghyun has a kid now? A little girl. She'll be one next month."

 

"No, I didn't," Yoongi admits. Once, news of Jungkook's brother having a baby would have been relayed to Yoongi before anyone else. Now he's finding out a year after the event. It makes something twinge dully in Yoongi's chest. "So that makes you an uncle?"

 

"Yep," Jungkook replies, an obvious hint of pride in his voice. The sound of it makes some of that dull ache fade away. 

 

"Poor kid."

 

"Hey," Jungkook laughs, elbowing Yoongi in the side. "I'm an awesome uncle."

 

Yoongi smiles. It's nice to hear the joy in Jungkook's voice. To know there are some things in his personal life that have brought him happiness over the last couple of years.

 

"I don't doubt that at all."

 

Jungkook flushes at the sincerity in Yoongi's words. He quickly brushes past it by taking out his phone to show Yoongi photos of his niece. Yoongi's never been one to enjoy looking at photos of kids, especially ones not related to him, but he finds that he doesn't really mind. Not when Jungkook talks quite so animatedly, and his eyes shine quite so brightly.

 

Once he pockets his phone, the quiet returns. Yoongi feels like Jungkook still has more to say. And so he waits, and eventually, the words start flowing.

 

"It's been nice to see so much of my family. I feel like I missed out on a lot of time with them. Y'know, leaving home when I did."

 

Yoongi nods in acknowledgement. He remembers first meeting Jungkook, so painfully shy and awkward and young. In all honesty, Yoongi had his doubts about Jungkook fitting in the group at first. But he was impressed by the bravery he'd shown, moving to the capital on his own, and the way he dedicated himself entirely to their training. Yoongi's forever glad that he never raised his concerns to their management.

 

"I'm glad you've been able to spend more time with them," Yoongi tells him. Doesn't ask why Jungkook so abruptly left behind his life in Seoul. Why he decided instead to make a life for himself in a city that had become unfamiliar to him over the years.

 

"Living in Busan has been weird though. It feels kinda- small," Jungkook says, with a low dismissive snort. "Even though it's not. I guess just compared to Seoul..."

 

He trails off. Yoongi waits, pursing his lips together before taking the chance to push the conversation further. He's been so in the dark about Jungkook's life these last couple of years. Jimin would always tell him whatever he wanted to know, but somewhere along the line it became too painful to keep asking. To know that whatever Jungkook was doing, he clearly didn't want Yoongi involved.

 

"Did you work? Back in Busan?"

 

"Not at first. It took some readjusting. I had all these different ideas. I started studying English more seriously, thinking I might move to the States. Tried learning to choreograph at a dance studio. I dunno- nothing really stuck. I missed the group. I missed knowing what I was meant to do."

 

The silence falls again but it's less comfortable this time. Heavier, and sadder. Yoongi knows the feeling well. He felt similarly lost once the band stopped being. They may not have disbanded but the writing stopped, the performing stopped. It took a long time feeling adrift before he gained the courage to finally step into producing full-time

 

"Do you know now? What you want to do?"

 

Jungkook laughs, caught somewhere between bitter and humoured. He shrugs.

 

"Not really. But-" he pauses, eyes glancing over to Yoongi briefly - "I'm moving back to Seoul. After this trip. Maybe I'll figure it out there."

 

Something skips skittishly in Yoongi's chest at the thought of Jungkook moving back to Seoul. Jungkook's apologies, their time spent together here - Yoongi can only hope that it means they can at least see more of each other after the trip. He feels like something is growing between them again - and gets the feeling that perhaps he isn't the only one noticing it.

 

He doesn't need to state it but still, the words slip past his lips unbidden.

 

"Even if you don't figure it out straight away, it'll be really good to have you back. You know, in the city."

 

Jungkook's gaze lingers on him. Yoongi's isn't looking at the younger but he can feel it, eyes boring into his side. A few long moments pass before Jungkook finally replies.

 

"Thanks hyung. I think- I think it's where I need to be."


Lunch is the usual affair. They order enough food between them all to last a week, and yet somehow manage to consume all of it. The non-drivers indulge in a few drinks too, while Jimin and Seokjin look on wistfully at the glasses of cold beer dotted around the table. 

 

Jungkook shows Taehyung some of the photos he's taken throughout the morning. Taehyung leans in. His head rests on Jungkook's shoulder as he beams down at the camera screen. He makes positive comments to all of them. Each compliment receives a shy tilt of the head from Jungkook in response, often with a mumble about how he could have framed it better, or how the lighting wasn't quite right.

 

"I like that one," Taehyung says as the last of the plates get cleared from the table. "You should show hyung."

 

At this, Seokjin turns in his seat next to Jungkook and looks down at the screen.

 

"Yah, you should be taking photos of your most handsome hyung!" Seokjin chides jokingly.

 

"I'm sure he already has enough photos of me," Hoseok quips, batting his eyelashes with playful exaggeration.

 

Seokjin throws a napkin in his direction. It doesn't quite reach, falling in a crumpled heap to the middle of the table. Hoseok sniggers.

 

"I happen to think Yoongi-hyung is very handsome," Taehyung interjects, grinning wildly.

 

Yoongi narrows his eyes, trying to dampen down the heat that crawls up to his cheeks at being brought into this conversation. 

 

"What do you want?" he accuses Taehyung, wary of his sugary-sweet words.

 

"Nothing hyung," Taeyhung smiles, far too mischievous. He near-wrenches the camera out of Jungkook's grip and passes it over the table to Yoongi. 

 

On the screen is a photo of Yoongi. He's looking down at his own camera in the picture, figure framed perfectly by the doorway of a colourful house. It contrasts nicely against the all-black ensemble he himself is wearing. Yoongi tries to ignore the erratic thump in his chest. Jungkook has always taken candid photos of the other members; it's nothing out of the ordinary. 

 

"It's good," Yoongi nods, concise. "You always did have a great eye for photography."

 

Jungkook's cheeks flush pink, and Yoongi swears he sinks down a bit further into his seat. Yoongi swallows, a little thickly, then adds,

 

"Plus it's hard to take a bad photo of such a good-looking subject."

 

This time it's Namjoon's napkin that gets balled up and thrown. It misses Yoongi, bouncing off of his shoulder onto the table. Jimin leans over to get a look at the camera screen too, before leaning back in his seat, all too smug.

 

"Oh hey hyung, it matches your photo of Jungkookie."

 

There's a devious twist to his lips. A glint of something in his eyes that makes Yoongi want to shift uncomfortably. The sort of look he used to see whenever Jimin and Taehyung were up to no good.

 

Across the table Jungkook blinks hard. There's a moment of surprise, drawn out. His cheeks are still tinged with pink. But his expression soon slips into something more pleased, and more teasing too.

 

"Let me see hyung," he grins, eyes sparkling. 

 

"I show you later," Yoongi grumbles, catching the attention of a passing waitress to get their check. He's not sure why his own cheeks are feeling quite so warm. Taehyung and Jimin are grinning far too wide.

 

The afternoon passes with much the same idle wandering. There are a couple of museums but they don't take anyone's interest. Instead they make the most of the good weather. Dark clouds loom in the distance, promising a downpour later on today. 

 

Yoongi walks with Namjoon. Work talk is frowned upon during the trip by the birthday pair, but Namjoon similarly is struggling with being away from his studio. 

 

They chat through Namjoon's dilemma as to whether to give up a lucrative though uninspiring production gig for female idol in order to release his own album. Yoongi lets himself slip into some degree of excitement about his upcoming work on a mini-album for a J-Rock group. It's something different for him, but he's pumped up for it rather than nervous.

 

Jungkook flits between the rest of them as they walk; sometimes talks, sometimes listens, sometimes wanders away on his own again, camera in hand. And sometimes he catches Yoongi's eye and sees him watching. He gives a small smile whenever he does so, strangely shy. It's borderline endearing. Yoongi's gut gives an unexpected little twist each time.

 

Jungkook's been a lot of things to Yoongi over the years. Trainee; maknae; fellow member; friend. Now much of that has faded - now he's simply Jungkook. Though, Yoongi hopes, that friend has become applicable once again. 


The car ride back to the cabin finds Yoongi with Jimin and Taehyung. Despite their light teasing earlier, the journey is - for the moment - calm. Taehyung's iPod is connected to the speakers, the sound of sultry jazz numbers Yoongi doesn't recognise filling the air around them. 

 

Something about the easy quiet makes Yoongi want to ask them about Jungkook. Wants to find out how much they know. Whether Jungkook's truly doing as okay as he says he is. But it's not their place to tell. It's up to Jungkook what he chooses to divulge and Yoongi doesn't wish to betray the trust that Jungkook's placed in him. They may not even be aware that Yoongi knows. Though somehow, Yoongi is sure that they do.

 

Midway through the journey Taehyung begins to shift in the passenger seat. It's barely noticeable, but he fidgets again, and again, seemingly unable to get comfortable. His hand eventually moves to his hip, rubbing there as inconspicuously as possible. It's hard not to notice though.

 

Yoongi's stomach knots horribly. He wonders if his old injury has been bothering him all day, and if Taehyung has simply kept quiet so as to not disrupt the day. Whether that guilt still gnaws away at him even now, making it too difficult to bring the topic up.

 

Yoongi would never make him feel guilty. None of the others would either. And yet he knows there is no point in stating it. Taehyung's always taken on the burden of guilt - blamed himself for where the group is now, even though he shouldn't.

 

Perhaps, yes, it was the starting point. The enforced hiatus after his accident. Taehyung's bouts of depression during his slow recovery. At first everyone had stayed stuck in an odd kind of limbo. No one wanted to do anything without Taehyung. Bangtan was seven members, and it would stay that way. They would wait.

 

But gradually more and more time passed. Seokjin was offered a presenting job and he took it - just until Taehyung was better. Hoseok featured as a guest rapper on a couple of tracks that became far bigger than expected. Namjoon and Yoongi talked, and talked, and talked, and eventually decided to enlist. Get it out of the way, so that they were ready when Taehyung felt like he could rejoin them.

 

That, Yoongi thinks, is really when things changed. It was decided that Hoseok, Jimin and Jungkook would work on solo projects to keep Bangtan's name in the public eye. Namjoon and Yoongi would enlist, with Seokjin joining soon after. One day, they would all be back together as a group once more.

 

But it never happened. Jimin wouldn't commit to schedules, too caught up in Taehyung's struggles. Wanting to be by his side. Hoseok featured on some other artists' tracks, but failed to find inspiration for his own work. Without the other members around, his spark seemed to have dimmed too much to produce any solo tracks. And Jungkook-

 

Well, Yoongi has never been entirely sure what happened there. He never even made it to a studio, never showed an interest in performing. And barely a few months into his military service, Yoongi received the news that Jungkook had taken the decision to enlist too, surprising everyone.

 

Yoongi barely saw Jungkook after that. Sometimes their leave dates would coincide and they would meet. Jungkook excelled during his service, as was to be expected. But he seemed deeply unhappy. Any attempts to make him talk did not go well. He only grew more distant, until that last dinner, after their enlistments were over. That dinner when Yoongi accepted that perhaps he had finally lost his friend for good.

 

Up front, Yoongi sees the way that Jimin glances over to Taehyung, eyes leaving the road for a long moment. He's noticed too. He always does. 

 

He says nothing. Taehyung's gaze meets with his, and words pass without speaking. The shared look is enough for Taehyung to know everything that Jimin could say. To know that he's supported. That he doesn't have to pretend.

 

A low ache builds in Yoongi's chest. He turns to look out of the car window. He remembers being like that with Jungkook once. Close to a point where words were no longer necessary. 

 

They weren't like Jimin and Taehyung, soulmates from the moment they met. Their definition, not Yoongi's, though the elder would be hard-pressed to argue with it. 

 

No, Yoongi's closeness with Jungkook wasn't instantaneous. Instead it grew bit by bit, year by year, until being in each other's company felt more natural than being apart. When the pressures of everything became too much, they escaped it together. By the time Yoongi enlisted, he was closer to Jungkook than anyone else. Even Namjoon, his best friend since he moved to Seoul.

 

Yoongi misses it a lot. He's adjusted to Jungkook no longer being around but still- there are times when he craves that again. The comfort of having Jungkook near. To have someone he could exist so comfortably around. To just be with and feel right.

 

In the reflection of the window he sees Jimin's hand leave the steering wheel, only fleetingly. He gives Taehyung's thigh a short, reassuring squeeze. Yoongi blinks out at the scenery by the roadside. That ache grows a little deeper.

 

Yoongi's mood begins to lighten back at the cabin. It's as chaotic as always. The shouts and laughter of the other six guys don't leave much room for melancholy. And when Yoongi catches Jungkook's eye, receiving an unreserved and glowing smile in return, that knot in his chest loosens even more. 

 

Hoseok and Namjoon take over cooking duties this evening. Yoongi collapses down onto the couch, only moving to point Jimin in the direction of his laptop. The younger is being pressured by his agency to do a short stream on vlive, and it's far easier on a laptop than a phone. 

 

"Let's go through his search history," Hoseok grins after Yoongi whispers the password in Jimin's ear.

 

"I wouldn't waste your time. It's my work laptop," Yoongi tells them. Hoseok's face drops. "All the hardcore filth is on my laptop back home."

 

Seokjin laughs loudly. In the kitchen Jungkook appears to choke on a gulp of soda.

 

Music starts playing, distinctly more uptempo than the smooth songs from the car ride. Yoongi lets it all seep in. The clamour, the noise. The easiness that is returning more and more each day that they spend with each other.

 

Despite the din around him, Yoongi closes his eyes. Feels himself relax. The long day of walking, too much food and good company has left him nicely sated. Rain begins to drip gently against the windows, before abruptly building in volume. Barely ten seconds pass and it's hammering against the glass panes. If anything, the sound only adds to the cosiness inside.

 

Yoongi's not sure how long he's laid there with his eyes closed. He may or may not have drifted into sleep, as the next thing he's aware of is Jimin calling him over, asking for help serving the drinks. The smell of cooked food is filling the room.

 

Yoongi sits up with a yawn. Rolls his head stiffly from side to side before standing up and shuffling towards the fridge. Everyone yells out their orders at the same time. Yoongi blinks back at them blearily, not taking a word of it in. 

 

"Need some help, hyung?"

 

Jungkook's suddenly by his side, unfairly bright-eyed. Yoongi nods wordlessly as everyone hollers their orders again, one at a time now.

 

"You get the glasses. I'll get the drinks."

 

Yoongi nods again, reaching into the cupboard to retrieve seven glasses. Jungkook busies himself in the fridge, taking out three beers before heading over to where a few bottles of wine sit on the counter. His body brushes against Yoongi's as he moves, quickly shaking the sleepiness from the elder. 

 

Jungkook pours the wine - two whites, two reds - and Yoongi pours the beers. Their arms bump into each other as they do so. The kitchen is small, but not tiny, and yet Jungkook seems improbably close as they prepare the drinks. 

 

"I put a little extra in yours." 

 

The words are whispered in Yoongi's ear. They barely register before Jungkook picks up three glasses, leaving Yoongi's on the counter. Yoongi turns his head just in time to see Jungkook grinning conspiratorially at him. Yoongi blames the sly wink he gives back in response entirely on the sleep still addling his brain.

 

Dinner turns into more alcohol than food. Partly due to Namjoon incorrectly measuring portions during the cooking process. Partly due to them, well- still being them. 

 

Yoongi remembers when they used to go on tour. Long, exhausting days followed by talking into the small hours over wine or soju, before getting up painfully early to do it all over again. Yoongi can't quite imagine how they managed it. God knows he still enjoys a drink, but there's no 5am alarm and a punishing day of performing to follow a heavy night these days.

 

It's not an especially wild evening. There are no drinking games and the energy is low, but more laid back than sombre. They're all sprawled out around the lounge, except for Jungkook who's happily sat on the floor. He ignores all their protests to take a seat and eventually they give up. He did always seem to enjoy the least comfy of options for sitting and for sleeping.

 

There are no drinking games, but it appears they can't seem to resist playing something. Old habits really do die hard.

 

Hoseok currently has a piece of paper with taped to his forehead with MUFASA (LION KING) written on it. He is only two questions into figuring out the identity, and it's already descended into bizarre realms, Seokjin and Taehyung avidly debating the correct answer to Am I sexy?

 

Yoongi feels like he needs another drink.

 

He's about to get up when Jungkook stands. Yoongi holds his glass out to him instead, affecting an air of helplessness. Jungkook rolls his eyes but takes it from him. He soon returns with a beer for himself and a full glass of red for Yoongi. 

 

Jungkook settles back down on the floor, though this time he's propped up against the foot of Yoongi's chair. Yoongi's own legs are swung over the arm of the chair so he doesn't get in the way. But still, his presence is oddly distracting.

 

Somewhere between BARACK OBAMA and KUMAMON, Hoseok begins to flag. Alcohol did always seem to hit him a little harder than the rest, apart from maybe Taehyung. Yoongi's gaze flits over to Taehyung who himself is already passed out, head lolling against Jimin's shoulder.

 

Hoseok shuffles off to bed with a lazy wave of farewell. Taehyung stays where he is, shaking off whatever Jimin murmurs into his ear with a sleepy grunt. Yoongi finds his glass topped up again without even moving a muscle, this time courtesy of Seokjin who's in the process of hunting down something sweet to eat in the kitchen.

 

"You think we can takeout delivered out here?" he sighs, returning empty-handed. He switches off the overhead lights on his way, leaving the room basked in the cosy glow of the table lamps instead.

 

"Doubtful," Jimin replies.

 

"There's a whole forest outside," Yoongi says. "You could try foraging."

 

For this he gets no response other than a dismissive huff and a middle finger in his direction. Yoongi takes a long sip of his wine. 

 

Talk turns to plans for tomorrow, of which there are currently none. Rain still pounds against the windows, so Yoongi gets the feeling it will be a day in the cabin. It's nice to relax, but seven grown men cooped up in the small space can begin to feel a bit much for a full day. Hopefully the weather changes overnight.

 

Yoongi shifts in his seat. He's getting uncomfortable but doesn't want to make Jungkook move from his spot. He shuffles his ass forward so that he's lounging more deeply in the cushions, legs now fully swung over the arm of the chair.

 

The movement makes his wine-less hand brush against Jungkook's head. The younger doesn't seem too bothered. Yoongi finds his fingers instinctively stroking through a few strands of hair. A calming motion he remembers Jungkook once liking. Not that Jungkook needs calming right now, but still-

 

He lets his fingers glide gently through his hair again. Feels Jungkook lean into the touch, just slightly. Yoongi grows a little warm, pleased to know that the younger still likes it. That he's not moving away. 

 

Unpleasant memories try to creep in with the familiar touch. Of times when Yoongi needed to soothe him. To comfort him.

 

Of Jungkook, trembling and afraid, not long after moving to Seoul, realising just how far away from his family he was. Of Jungkook curled up, his sobs echoing in Yoongi's room after visiting Taehyung in hospital, the smooth slide of Yoongi's fingers in his hair grounding for the both of them. Of Jungkook clinging to Yoongi, worryingly still and silent after Yoongi announced his plan for enlistment. 

 

Yoongi focuses on the present instead. On Seokjin's quiet laughter and Namjoon's increasingly slurred speech. On Taehyung's sleepy mumbling and Jimin's chuckles. He can only hope that such tough times are behind all of them now.

 

Still. He lets his fingers keep moving.

 

It's not long before Namjoon starts wilting too. They all decide to head to bed to allow to him to set up the sofa bed and get some sleep. 

 

"You mind if I use the shower?" Jungkook asks, tilting his head backwards to look up at Yoongi. Yoongi's hand falls from his hair. 

 

"Go ahead. I showered earlier," Yoongi shrugs. "Just let me brush my teeth first."

 

Yoongi's already in bed by the time Jungkook emerges from the shower, tousling his damp hair with a towel. He's dressed in a loose t shirt and pjyama pants. He spends his time pacing around the room. Checking his phone, packing away his clothes, looking at his phone again. 

 

He seems restless. And he's making Yoongi feel cold, dressed in such thin attire. The rain tonight has brought with it plummeting temperatures. Yoongi's currently in his pyjamas, a sweater, and buried under both sheets and a blanket. 

 

"Are you getting into bed?" Yoongi grumbles. 

 

He's not annoyed but it's almost like Jungkook is a little lost. Waiting for direction. The younger pauses. Teeth catch on his lip for the briefest moment before he nods and pulls back his covers. He gets underneath, laying on his back and staring up at the ceiling. He's acting strange; Yoongi puts it down to the copious amounts of alcohol consumed tonight.

 

He watches Jungkook a few seconds longer before reaching an arm out into the frigid air and switching off the lamp. The room plunges into darkness.

 

Jungkook isn't asleep. Yoongi can tell that much. He himself is struggling too. Usually red wine is a sure-fire way of lulling him into instant sleep once he hits the mattress, but not tonight.  

 

It could have been minutes or it could have been hour. Yoongi can't entirely tell how long has passed when Jungkook speaks, the complete silence and total darkness in the room highly disorientating. 

 

"Yoongi?"

 

It's whispered so softly that Yoongi barely makes it out. He does though. Turns onto his side, even though he can't see much more than the very faintest of outlines.

 

"Dropping honorifics now, are we?" Yoongi grunts, though his words stay just as hushed.

 

A slight huff of laughter from the other bed.

 

"So you are awake then," Jungkook says, teasing tone obvious. "Hyung."

 

"That's better."

 

Jungkook laughs again. Yoongi can't see, but can picture perfectly the way Jungkook must be grinning right now. Teeth on show, all too pleased with himself.

 

Silence edges in. Yoongi waits.

 

"Do you remember at the dorm- when I used to come and sleep in your bed?"

 

Something uncurls, warm and jittery, in Yoongi's chest. It takes him by surprise. Makes his words flow too quick, and too blunt.

 

"You mean when you used to disrupt my sleep to squash me and steal my covers?"

 

Jungkook doesn't say anything. Yoongi meant to come across as lighthearted and teasing. He feels like he's failed. Feels like Jungkook's opened up more to him, and is now likely rapidly retreating.

 

He tries again, softer this time.

 

"Yeah, I remember. It wasn't so bad."

 

He stops there. Doesn't elaborate that he liked it. Doesn't divulge how difficult it was to fall asleep alone when the gap started to grow between them. 

 

The room is so silent that he hears the way Jungkook swallows thickly. Yoongi's heart thumps a little too hard in response.

 

"I miss it. Sometimes."

 

Yoongi draws in a slow breath. Jungkook's words are whispered but they feel unnervingly heavy. Poignant. Perhaps it's the silence in the room, or perhaps the fact that they're both a little drunk. Or perhaps-

 

"Really?" Yoongi finds himself asking.

 

"Yeah. Just like- sometimes."

 

Yoongi doesn't need to see him to know that Jungkook is blushing. Sheepishness seeps into his words, clearer than any visual. Yoongi wets his lips.

 

"Well, you know. My bed's always open."

 

Yoongi cringes at his words. They're awkward. Too blase a response to Jungkook's quiet admittance; too forward a response for the two of them only starting to rebuild a connection. A long time passes before Jungkook replies.

 

"Oh. Okay."

 

Yoongi blinks over in the direction of his bed. It's still too dark to really make out anything. He waits, a small part of him expecting Jungkook to get up and climb under the covers. Maybe even- hoping.

 

But Jungkook stays still. Yoongi stares into the darkness only a little longer. Turns onto his back and tries to stare at the ceiling instead. 

 

It's a long while before sleep finds him.

 

When Yoongi's eyes next open, there's no light peeking through the curtains. No sound of low chatter from the lounge. It takes him a few bleary moments to notice the chill of covers being pulled back, and the tell-tale dip of the mattress next to him.

 

"Kook?"

 

His name comes out as a murmur, confusion edged into it. Jungkook stills.

 

"You said- uh, I thought it was okay-"

 

Consciousness trickles through Yoongi, waking him up just enough to understand what's going on. He soon makes sure to clarify. To reassure.

 

"It is. Sorry, m'just- half-asleep."

 

It seems to be enough. Jungkook slides down beneath the covers, pulling them up over both their shoulders. Tugs the blanket securely over them too. He inches closer, though there remains an obvious space between them.

 

"I was- it's cold," Jungkook mumbles.

 

It's true; the room is still cold. But in his sweater, under all these layers, with another body now so close, Yoongi is suddenly feeling distinctly warm. He doesn't say so. Simply lays there, letting Jungkook get comfortable.

 

There's a large gap still. It's painfully obvious in its difference from all the times they shared a bed in the past. Yoongi doesn't comment on it though, and neither does Jungkook. 

 

"What time is it?" Yoongi murmurs, just for something to say.

 

"Like, three-thirty."

 

Yoongi wonders if Jungkook has just woken up, or if he's been awake all this time. Yoongi can feel the delicate flutter of his breath as Jungkook speaks. His head rests close on the pillow, even though his body stays almost comically angled away.

 

"It's late," Yoongi says, unnecessary.

 

"Mm," Jungkook agrees. A pause and then- "g'night hyung."

 

"Good night."

 

Neither sleeps. 

 

The distance between them turns almost tangible, like something solid. Reminding Yoongi of how things used to be; of how different things are now. The ache that Yoongi felt earlier returns. Sadness, nostalgia; all too heavy. He wants to reach out, tangle their limbs. Feel Jungkook's face buried against his shoulder.

 

But it's too much. He can't expect for everything to return to how it was after not even a week. They're working on it. There's clearly still something to work on. Yoongi is at least grateful for that. It's more than he dared to hope for.

 

Jungkook rolls onto his side, back facing Yoongi. With it leaves the faint rhythmic flutter of his breathing. For a second there's nothing. And then Yoongi feels a hand wrap around his wrist, and his arm tugged around Jungkook's waist. He tenses.

 

"s'cold," Jungkook says by way of explanation. His voice is hushed, weirdly shaky.

 

"Yeah," Yoongi whispers. Pointless, but he feels like he has to say something.

 

Jungkook shifts back slightly, spine pressing more snugly against Yoongi's chest. Yoongi slides his arm round him further. Holds on a little tighter. Jungkook's fingers graze his own, ever so softly. He may be taller, more muscular, but he still feels small in Yoongi's arms.

 

Jungkook relaxes against him. Yoongi can sense the loosening of his shoulders, the gradual steadiness of his breathing. Yoongi meanwhile feels more on edge than ever. 

 

They used to do this all the time. But it's different now. Maybe it's the way that Yoongi's heart races so fast, or the way he's so much more acutely aware of things. The slimness of Jungkook's waist, the clean, warm scent of his skin. 

 

Yoongi finds himself pressing his nose to the nape of Jungkook's neck. Breathes him in. He waits for some sort of teasing comment for the action, but receives only a soft, contented sigh in response. It shouldn't make Yoongi's heart race faster.

 

No, it's not the same. They've spent too long apart, let too much space grow between them, to immediately slip back into how things were years ago. 

 

But Yoongi begins to wonder what the distance has meant. Whether it has had an unexpected effect  Has let him start to see things with a little more clarity. To view things without the haze of idol life and the intimacy of friendship blurring the edges.

 

Yoongi thinks back to Hoseok's words on their first morning in the cabin. Of how fond he knew Yoongi was of Jungkook. Of what he saw between them. Of how he wasn't blind. 

 

Jungkook stirs, a gentle, sleepy hum escaping him. Yoongi instinctively tugs him closer; feels them sink together just a little more.

 

And somewhere deep down, Yoongi wonders if he too is finally beginning to see. 

 

 

Chapter Text

Yoongi wakes up far too warm. It takes a few bleary seconds for him to figure out why. To realise that not only is he covered in blankets and wearing a sweater, but that Jungkook is pressed into him, adding an extra layer of heat. Yoongi remembers the whispered conversations from last night. Remembers Jungkook climbing into his bed, tentative and shy.

It’s stifling under the covers but Yoongi doesn’t dare move.

Jungkook’s turned over during the night. His cheek presses into the pillow beside Yoongi’s, limbs tangled with the elders under the sheets. Despite the early hour, Yoongi suddenly feels very much awake. His heart thumps erratically. His palm, somehow placed on Jungkook’s waist, feels all-too clammy.

Thoughts from last night start to filter back through. Of beginning to realise that perhaps there’s a deeper reason for the way Yoongi’s been feeling around Jungkook during this trip. That the odd racing hearts and flushes of warmth are maybe more than simply a desire to rekindle their friendship.

The room is still dark but morning light seeps in just enough through the curtains to highlight Jungkook’s features. Yoongi lets his gaze linger, unrestricted with no one else watching.

He sees so much he recognises. The gentle slope of Jungkook’s nose. The smattering of acne scars he would once get so self-conscious about. But things are different too. The line of his jaw is a little stronger. There is the shadow of stubble dusting his chin, no longer required to stay clean-shaven at all times. A familiarity that makes Yoongi ache; yet at the same time a newness that, rather than upsetting, he finds unexpectedly intriguing.

Yoongi keeps looking at him. Taking it all in, until he worries it crosses the line into creepy. Something inside of him wants to stay here all morning, wrapped up together under the blankets. Revel in the feel of Jungkook so close to him once more. Letting him in.

But Yoongi’s too hot under all these layers. Too aware also of where his thoughts are taking him.

He may have come to some kind of realisation last night but it’s not fully sunk in what it could mean. What the implications are for them and their friendship. They’re on weak ground already. Something like this- it could make their shaky foundation come crashing down when they’ve barely begun to rebuild.

He carefully slides out from underneath the arm that’s slung over him before cautiously getting out of bed. The mattress shakes slightly. Jungkook stirs from the movement but doesn’t wake up.

Yoongi picks up his phone from the nightstand. Searches for his laptop before remembering that he loaned it to Jimin last night. He allows himself one more lingering look before walking out into the lounge.

He pads quietly across to the door of Jimin and Taehyung’s bedroom. Namjoon is asleep still but he’s not snoring. Instead he makes a strange whistling noise through his nose with each inhale. His face is smashed into the pillow. Yoongi almost wants to take a photo to counter all the artfully shot and edited ones that Namjoon posts to Twitter, but decides to show him some mercy.

Through the gap in the curtains, Yoongi sees clouds looming low over the fjord outside. It makes for a highly atmospheric scene, although it doesn’t allow Yoongi the option of sitting outside to work. He’ll have to set up at the kitchen counter.

But first, his laptop.

Yoongi considers knocking but knows it will then end up walking both of them. Possibly Namjoon as well. He’ll just tiptoe in and take it. Lord knows he recalls enough mornings back in the dorm when he’d wake up to find a phone charger or an item of clothing mysteriously missing courtesy of an unknown visitor during his slumber.

He pushes the door open, wincing as it lets out a tiny squeak of protest. No one seems to stir though so he continues.

It’s dark in their room but he spots his laptop straight away over on the desk beneath the window. He takes a few steps in as softly as possible. He takes the laptop itself with ease, but on disconnecting the charger it makes an unfortunate clanging noise against the wall.

“Who’s there?”

Jimin’s voice is rough and slurred with sleep. Yoongi grimaces as he finally works the plug free and holds up the laptop as he turns around.

“Sorry,” he whispers. “Just me. I needed this.”

“Oh. Right.”

It takes a couple of seconds for what he’s seeing to register.

There’s nothing overtly unusual about Jimin and Taehyung sharing a bed. What Yoongi isn’t expecting to see, however, is that despite the chill in the air, Taehyung appear shirtless. Jimin’s own pyjama shirt is hanging loose, open and unbuttoned. Taehyung curls into Jimin’s side, arms tight around his chest. His sleep remains untouched by their low voices.

Yoongi knows that he and Jungkook fell asleep together last night. That he shouldn’t jump to conclusions. But there’s something about the way they lay that’s different. Intimate on a far deeper level.

If Yoongi wasn’t sure what this means, then the anxious expression on Jimin’s face tells him all he needs to know.

“I’ll, uh-“

“Hyung, I- I can explain.”

Yoongi shakes his head. Not dismissive, but to show that it’s not necessary.

It’s not fully clear what Yoongi’s stumbled upon. Apparently, there is more to their relationship than pure friendship. But what exactly the nature of that is, is none of Yoongi’s business. If Jimin and Taehyung have never felt like they wanted to tell anyone, then Yoongi will respect that.

“You don’t have to explain anything Jimin-ah,” Yoongi tells him, making sure that his tone stays warm, and understanding.

Jimin nods. Bites down on his lower lip, eyes darting nervously to Taehyung, then back to Yoongi. It seems like there’s more that he wants to say but for the moment he stays silent. Instead all he says is a meek,

“Okay.”

Yoongi should leave. Him staying here any longer is just making an awkward situation even more so.  Jimin seems unsure of saying or doing anything else. Simply sits there as though waiting for Yoongi to make the next move.

“We-“ Jimin begins just as Yoongi’s about to step out of the door.

He stops, lips pressed together in a worried line, before sighing softly. Words seemed to have failed him once again. Instead he shakes it off and starts over.

“Could you not say anything to the others?”

“Of course,” Yoongi assures him. “I’m sorry for just walking in here. I’m acting like we’re still back at the dorms… I know- things are different now. For all of us.”

Jimin nods once more. Yoongi waits a moment longer, just in case the younger has anything more to say, but he stays silent. Yoongi steps outside and closes the door quietly behind him.

His mind is spinning, too many thoughts tumbling around in his mind for such an early hour. He’s always known that the two of them were close, but clearly a lot closer than he had realised. And yet, despite it being an unexpected sight, Yoongi can’t entirely find it within himself to be too shocked. Almost like an inevitability that many have thought but never voiced out loud.

He wonders if Jungkook knows about- whatever it is that they have together. Almost wants to go back in their room, to wake up Jungkook and ask him.

But he doesn’t. Of course not. Just like he would never ask Jimin and Taehyung if they know about Jungkook’s own secret.

Namjoon’s still sleeping soundly. Yoongi walks through to the kitchen and sets up his laptop at the counter. The light patter of raindrops has begun to sound against the windows.

It looks like it will be a day stuck inside the cabin for all of them. Not ideal, with everything that’s happened. Yoongi was already nervous about how he and Jungkook may act around each other today. Had hoped for a bit of space to think things through. Now, on top of that, he will no doubt have to deal with Jimin and possibly Taehyung acting awkwardly too.

He can only hope that Hoseok, Seokjin and Namjoon remain none the wiser.

Yoongi’s laptop whirs into life. He’s dying for a cup of coffee but knows that making one will create too much noise. It’s still only 6:30. He should probably wait another hour at least.

He works his way through the emails that have accumulated over the last couple of days, though his mind is not really focused. There are a fair few typos on each mail he composes until he’s finally confident enough to hit the send button.

It passes the time at least. Perhaps he should be focusing what has begun to reveal itself over the last few days. On how exactly he plans to rebuild a friendship with Jungkook whilst at the same time growing deeper, more difficult feelings towards him.

But he doesn’t let himself. This trip is meant to be about all of them celebrating and reconnecting. If his feelings are going the way he thinks they are, then he needs time alone to think. To consider where he goes from here. It could even be nothing. Simply a reaction to spending so much time together in such a faraway place, surrounded by such nostalgia.

Somehow, though, Yoongi thinks it isn’t so likely. He wonders instead if rather than him feeling something altogether new, if this trip is instead dragging back feelings that may have been lingering there all along.

And Yoongi isn’t sure what to make of that at all.

Around forty minutes have passed when Yoongi hears one of the bedroom doors open. He isn’t sure who it is, not daring to look up from his laptop until they’re stood in the kitchen next to him. Worryingly, he guesses who it is simply from their footsteps. Some things you never forget, it seems.

“Hyung?”

Yoongi turns to face him. Jungkook stands by his side, but with an obvious space between them. He looks sleepy but his anxiousness shows through. Yoongi gives him a soft smile

“Morning,” he replies. Makes sure to keep his words hushed with Namjoon still sleeping nearby.

“Yeah. Morning,” comes the response.

It’s timid, the worry edging its way into his words. He says nothing more, and Yoongi isn’t sure what to say either. He’s always been the older one with wise words. Now, however, he feels at a loss.

“I, um, woke up and you weren’t there,” Jungkook manages eventually. Words just as soft, just as careful. “Is everything- okay?”

Anxiety floods his features again. He looks lost and a little upset. Something pulls tight in Yoongi’s chest. Shit. He got up so early to help calm his own thoughts. Didn’t consider the impact it might have on Jungkook to wake up alone after getting closer last night.

“Of course, Kook,” Yoongi assures him. “I was just having some trouble sleeping.”

Jungkook nods, gaze dropping down to the floor before lifting back up to meet Yoongi’s own.

“Ah,” he says, as though understanding something Yoongi doesn’t. “Because of- okay. I’m sorry. If I made things weird.”

Yoongi’s eyes grow wide. It’s a struggle to keep himself quiet as he replies, a little frantic,

“No, fuck, no, not like that,” he clarifies. “You haven’t made things weird, I promise.”

Jungkook doesn’t seem convinced. Yoongi sighs softly. Reaches out and gives Jungkook a light knock on the arm with the back of his hand.

“I liked it.”

It’s more honest than he wanted, words slipping out in a rush to stop Jungkook looking quite so down. It’s worth it though, with the way the younger’s eyes light up in response. Tension seems to visibly seep from him, jaw and shoulders softening.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

They both hold each other’s gazes, something strange hanging between them. And then Jungkook smiles, and his cheeks flush. He reaches out and gives Yoongi a light knock back.

“Cool.”

Quiet settles again, neither quite sure what to say. Yoongi rubs at the back of his neck, feeling a touch awkward. Not in an uncomfortable way, just in an odd, off-kilter way.

“I was just going to make a coffee. You want one?”

Jungkook scrunches up his nose at the offer. Yoongi grins.

“Still not a fan huh?”

“Really not. I don’t know how you drink the stuff.”

“Refined tastes.”

He gets another playful punch on the arm for that. He snickers. He didn’t want to make coffee and wake up Namjoon, but he gets the feeling that their chatter is going to do that soon anyways. Yoongi stands up, padding towards where the mugs are kept.

“I think your only other options are water or alcohol.”

Jungkook grimaces. “We should probably do another grocery run.”

“That’s not a bad call. We’re almost out of coffee.”

Yoongi pokes the spoon around in the coffee jar, tipping it from side to side to get some of the last granules. Jungkook watches on, amused.

“I can’t believe you’re up so early,” Jungkook comments once Yoongi gets enough for a decent mug-full. Leaves just enough for one lucky soul to make themselves a cup too. He’ll let them fight it out for who gets that privilege. “No hangover?”

“No, I feel okay. My liver’s well-trained to cope.”

“But you’re an old man now. Aren’t hangovers supposed to get worse with age?”

“Be careful with the trash talk. You’re not so far off of your thirties yourself,” Yoongi grumbles.

“Couple years still,” Jungkook smiles, far too pleased with himself.

“Kindly go back to bed,” Yoongi huffs. A small smile finds its way onto his lips regardless.

As suspected, the sound of their chatter and the brewing coffee stirs Namjoon from sleep. He groans loudly from the pull-out bed.

“My head,” he whimpers. “Alcohol is fucking evil.”

In the kitchen, Jungkook fails to stifle a laugh. Yoongi finds himself joining in.

Over the course of the next couple of hours everyone slowly makes their way into the lounge in varying degrees of dress and coherency. Jimin emerges from his bedroom on his own. He seems to be acting normal though Yoongi can’t help but feel that he’s keeping his distance. He seems subdued too, though of course that could be a hangover. Yoongi sincerely hopes so.

It’s decided that the least hungover of the group will go to the supermarket to stock up on provisions. The day is still gloomy, rain cascading gently against the windows, and everyone is feeling a little too rough to contemplate much more than a movie day in the cabin.

Yoongi protests of course. It’s not his fault that some people can’t handle their alcohol. Nonetheless he is selected along with Jungkook and Jimin to go to the supermarket on a supply run.

Yoongi was protesting in jest of course. But once he realises his companions for the trip, he grows a little more uneasy. There’s still a strange- something in the air between him and Jungkook after last night. Not bad, but noticeable all the same. And now that there seems an odd sort of distance with him and Jimin, well-

It’s not ideal.

As one of the registered drivers, it falls to Jimin once more to do the driving. Jungkook immediately darts to the passenger side to claim his seat. He gives Yoongi a smug, teasing look. Clearly expects Yoongi to complain and try to kick him to the backseat. Instead, Yoongi’s rather glad of it. He simply lets out a grumble to keep face and climbs into one of the backseats.

Jimin and Jungkook talk most of the way there. Yoongi barely interrupts. He wonders how much or how little each of them knows about each other. Jimin and Yoongi now know about Jungkook’s sexuality of course. And Yoongi knows that Jimin and Taehyung are involved, to some degree – but does Jungkook?

Despite only having another four days left in the cabin, they buy enough food to keep them going for another month. They did always like to stock up as though expecting a nuclear war at any moment. Even though the others are unlikely to look at alcohol without feeling nauseous today, they buy some more drink too.

They mostly walk around the supermarket together, but on the moments that Jungkook wanders off, Jimin instantly follows him, as though afraid that if left alone Yoongi may bring up this morning’s encounter. Yoongi wants to pin him to the spot: tell him that’s it’s alright and he’s not angry or judgemental or- whatever it is that Jimin might be thinking.

But Jimin clearly doesn’t wish to talk about it, and so Yoongi lets it go.

When they return to the cabin, there isn’t much progress since the time they left. Seokjin looks marginally brighter, tapping away on his phone, most likely messaging to his soon-to-be fiancée. Namjoon and Hoseok however are curled up on their seats, wrapped in blankets. Taehyung is nowhere to be seen – Seokjin informs them that he swiftly went back to bed after they left.

The three of them unpack the shopping, ignoring the weak pleas for coffee and food that filter through from the lounge. Jungkook eventually shows them mercy and throws some candy bars in their direction.

“You always were my favourite dongsaeng,” Hoseok says, words muffled as he starts to stuff the chocolate into his mouth.

“Yeah Kook, you’re the best,” Seokjin adds.

Namjoon just groans pitifully from his blanket burrito.

“Hey!”

Jimin protests at the implication that he is not their favourite, but he ends up making coffee for them all anyway, despite his show of annoyance.

An argument breaks out about what movie they’re going to watch first, either a new comedy or a classic horror. The vote is split 50:50 resulting in Taehyung being woken up. He stumbles, befuddled with sleep, into the lounge to vote.

It’s a surprise vote as he picks the horror movie. Hoseok huffs loudly.

“The hell, Tae? It’s too early in the day for me to be shitting myself.”

Taehyung shrugs and shuffles over to a spot on the floor. He stretches out, blinking up at the ceiling.

“To be honest I feel like I’m gonna fall asleep again. And I actually want to see the other film, so I need to be more awake for that.”

“Traitor.”

Yoongi’s laptop is commandeered for movie viewing. There is a large TV on the wall of the lounge. Despite the rustic vibe of the cabin, the owner has obviously made sure to cater for all their guests’ needs, and Seokjin easily hooks it up to airplay the movie. When the credits start it booms over hidden speakers around the room, startling all of them.

“Fuck, how do I turn it down?” Seokjin panics, searching for a remote.

“Just use the laptop, hyung,” Jungkook reminds him.

“Ah, of course,” Seokjin says with a small shake of the head. He turns back to the laptop, mercifully lowering the volume. Jungkook snickers.

“Honestly. Old people.”

Seokjin glares. “Yah! You’re lucky there isn’t a remote or it’d be lodged in your head right now.”

“Where are the snacks?” Namjoon asks pathetically, mug of coffee clutched in his hands like a lifeline. Yoongi rolls his eyes.

“I’ll bring them through, your highness.”

He heads back into the kitchen. Brings back an armful of both sweet and salted goods. Hoseok and Namjoon makes murmured noises of excitement, suddenly appearing far livelier than they did moments ago. Yoongi chucks them all down on the floor, stepping back as a mad rush ensues.

Yoongi goes back into the kitchen to collect his own coffee that Jimin kindly but wordlessly made for him. It’s still sitting untouched on the counter. He’d merely nodded at Yoongi’s thanks afterwards.

“Hurry up!” Hoseok calls through.

By the time Yoongi’s walked back out into the lounge, he has two options left for where to sit. He can sit on the floor, same as Taehyung. Or-

“Hyung,” Jungkook says, patting a small space beside him on the couch. “You can sit here.”

He shifts further into the centre as he speaks, squashing Namjoon a little but creating more space for Yoongi. Yoongi nods, flicking off the main light before walking over. Hoseok sighs.

“Do we really need to make it spookier?”

He’s right, Yoongi supposes. It’s already gloomy enough in the cabin from the clouds outside, the raindrops creating an atmospheric backdrop. Still- watching a horror movie in bright lights just feels wrong somehow.

“Always,” Taehyung sniggers.

“Whatever,” Hoseok huffs. “You just want it dark so you can fall asleep.”

To that, Taehyung gives no response.

The movie is predictable but passable. Yoongi is very aware throughout of Jungkook pressed into his side. He tries to focus on other things; on the way Taehyung snores very quietly when he falls asleep barely ten minutes in, or on the way Hoseok and Seokjin jump, as expected, even at the least scary parts.

But he can’t help but notice the brush of Jungkook’s arm when he moves, or the soft sound of his breathing, held quietly during the moments of on-screen tension. As though the smallest of things have suddenly become all Yoongi can notice. His concentration on the movie suffers as a result, mind far too full of more worrying things than ghost children or whatever the fuck it is that’s on the screen.

After the movie everyone gets up, stretching out tired limbs. Taehyung appears to have woken up, but he stays laid out on the floor. That is, until Jungkook makes a move as though about to leap on top of him. Taehyung grabs at his ankle, stopping his movements as he hurriedly rolls off to the side to safety. Jungkook laughs.

“You’re quiet today, hyung,” he says.

In spite of his teasing tone, his words are softly spoken. Yoongi busies himself with clearing up some of the discarded snack wrappers and empty glasses dotted around the room.

“It’s my age,” Taehyung sighs dramatically. “I’m slowing down.”

Yoongi can’t help but notice that he pointedly holds Jungkook’s gaze, rather than turn to look at Yoongi for back up. Yoongi’s certain that Jimin’s told him about what happened earlier today. About what he saw.

“Whatever,” Jungkook says, prodding him in the ribs with his socked foot. “Jin-hyung’s older than you and he’s still way too fucking excitable.”

“I heard that,” calls through Seokjin from the kitchen. “You want your ass kicked?”

“See what I mean?”

After everyone has restocked with bags of chips and packs of cookies they settle back down to watch the next movie. Everyone switches around slightly and Jungkook ends up stretched out on the floor this time. Yoongi’s grateful that he no longer has to deal with the peculiar way he reacts to every brush of Jungkook against him. And yet part of him sort of misses it too.

The second movie is much more light-hearted and comical than the first. By the end of it, they’re all in far brighter moods, hangovers nearly forgotten. Although Namjoon still does look a little queasy when Seokjin starts breaking out the beers.

It’s a far more subdued night. They make a small, easy dinner, no one particularly hungry after the quantity of snacks consumed throughout the movies. Hoseok brings out a pack of cards and they lose themselves in a couple of hours playing games: some traditional, some invented during long days of travel in the past.

Jungkook’s knelt beside Yoongi during the last game, all of them crowded around the coffee table. He’s tapping his cards, face-down, against his thigh, obviously keen for his next turn. He must have a good hand. Yoongi continually tries to shift so that the younger can’t see his own cards.

Doing so each time however means that it’s back to before. Arms brushing. Every touch weirdly significant in a way it hasn’t been before. Yoongi wishes that he didn’t notice; it’s quickly become once again all he can focus on.

When the game finishes, Jimin slamming his cards down in triumph, Yoongi takes the opportunity to get a bit of distance. Try to keep his mind straight. He feels all over the place ever since last night. He needs to think this all through fully at a later date. Not now. Not here, when everything’s going so well, and so smoothly.

“I’m just going to get some air,” Yoongi mutters, standing up with crack of his knees.

“Isn’t it still raining?” Namjoon comments. “You might need a jacket.”

“Nah. It’s just a few drops,” Yoongi says. He’s had his eyes on the windows for much of the game. Most of the clouds have now cleared.

“You okay?” Hoseok asks, eyebrows pinching together as Yoongi steps towards the patio doors. “Need some company?”

Yoongi tries not to sigh out loud.

It’s charming, the way they all care so much. Yoongi used to find it suffocating in the early days of the group. Used to want the others to leave him alone. Wanted to slip away, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, to stay unnoticed. Over time they all learnt that it was simply Yoongi’s way, and let him be. But similarly, over time, he became used to it. Started to miss it when the constant questions stopped.

It feels like it’s been a long time since he’s had so much well intended attention on himself.

“I’m fine,” he assures them. “It’s just, y’know. Stuck in a small space with the six of you all day. I need some fresh air. And some of you need to shower.”

He makes sure to turn it into something light and joking. Throws a pointed look in Namjoon’s direction as he speaks. He locates his pair of sneakers in the process, stacked up by the door.

“My head hurts too much,” Namjoon says by way of explanation for his lack of a shower today.

“Whatever,” Seokjin retorts. “Stuck in a room with six hot men all day. Sounds like your dream vacation.”

Whether it’s the fact that he’s older than Yoongi, or simply the fact he was always more shameless, Yoongi’s not sure; but Seokjin always was always the one most comfortable making jokes like that. The others would always skirt around Yoongi’s bisexuality, but Seokjin- well, he never treated it differently.

Yoongi gives him the finger as he opens up the door with his other hand.

“You’re right. So, you know, if you happen to see any hot guys, send them my way.”

He steps outside, ignoring Seokjin’s squawk of indignation, and closes the door behind him.

Immediately he regrets not wearing a jacket like Namjoon suggested. The rain has slowed to only a few drops, but it’s still chilly in comparison to the warmth of the cabin. Now that he’s outside though, he sticks it out.

He starts walking down towards the edge of the fjord. The moonlight that peeks out from behind wispy clouds above reflects back in the water. It’s quiet out here, almost eerie. Only the soft, slow thud of his footsteps, and the occasional faint ripple of water break the stillness.

Yoongi comes to a halt where the shoreline meets the fjord. Stares out into the darkness. He wants the stillness to seep into him; to take over his mind, calm his thoughts. Just for a moment.

Nothing happens.

A stray raindrop lands on his nose, trailing down its slope. Another on his forehead. Yoongi has never been one to seek solace in silence like this. Solitude, yes. But even when alone, there was always noise; music in his headphones, or pounded out through speakers.

Noise was a comfort. Out here, its absence is unsettling rather than relaxing. It lets the thoughts creep in too fast, and too easy. Watching movies; playing games; talking with the others. They’ve been fine distractions. But now-

Yoongi sighs.

His mind irrepressibly goes back to last night. Jungkook crawling into his bed. Their limbs tangled, bodies pressed close. An intimacy that Yoongi has longed to return to for years. He’s known that all along; of course he has. It was always obvious that he’s missed sharing such closeness with Jungkook. But why exactly it is that he’s missed it so much-

Yoongi swallows thickly. Crouches down by the water. His fingers fumble in the darkness, dirt under his fingertips. He finds a pebble and picks it up. Standing, he then skims it across the surface.

It doesn’t go far. Two, three bounces at most, before it plummets beneath the water with a satisfying splash. At least it’s noise. At least it breaks the silence pressing down on him.

For a sudden moment, that silence vanishes. The loud chatter of the cabin floods out into the darkness, before quickly disappearing once more. Yoongi looks back over in the direction of the cabin. Outside the door, stood there somewhat awkwardly, is Jungkook.

Yoongi stands still. Says nothing. Jungkook stares over. His fingers curl into the cuffs of his hoodie; a nervous habit, as though he’s not entirely sure if he’s welcome out here. He gives a small, sheepish smile, barely visible in the dim light. Somehow, even from this distance, Yoongi sees it.

Jungkook scuffs the toe of his sneaker against the patio. Yoongi’s hand lifts to scratch at the back of his neck.

“Want to go for a walk?” Yoongi finds himself saying.

Over by the cabin, Jungkook nods.

Yoongi tilts his head in the direction of the path they walked the other night. When Jungkook confessed to him about his sexuality. Yoongi remembers how nervous Jungkook had looked then, full of hesitance and uncertainty. He looks a little like that now too. Yoongi feels it in his own chest as well. Fluttery in an unusual, off-beat way.

He pushes it aside and starts to walk.

The rain has stopped completely. Luckily, given that they need to use their phones again to get enough light to see the path. It’s even less well-marked than before, eroded by the heavy rain from earlier today.

They walk in silence. It doesn’t feel quite as heavy as it did down by the water’s edge. Better, now that someone’s sharing it with him. It doesn’t feel entirely comfortable either, but- yes, better, somehow.

“How far are we walking?” Jungkook asks quietly.

“To where we went the other night?” Yoongi suggests. “It was- nice.”

Jungkook nods and keeps on walking.

Eventually they come to the spot. The same log is laying on the ground. The only place to sit out here. Yoongi tentatively touches it. It’s damp from the rain, horribly so. Yoongi sits down on it anyway.

“Is it wet?” Jungkook checks.

“Yeah,” Yoongi tells him. Adds with a sigh, as the cold dampness quickly seeps through the seat of his jeans, “Fuck.”

Jungkook lets out a soft chuckle. Despite Yoongi’s warning, he sits down on the log too, grimacing as he does so. Yoongi makes a low noise of disdain that goes ignored.

Jungkook’s hands are still tucked up into the sleeves of his hoodie, only his fingertips showing. They rest in his lap, linking then unlinking with slight, subtle movements. Yoongi watches for a moment before tilting his head back. Stars shine back at him though the gaps in the clouds. Yoongi will miss it, he thinks, once he’s back in Seoul. Seeing the sky look so- big. Endless in a way that’s almost overwhelming.

Yoongi brings his face back down. Jungkook’s head moves quickly next to him. As though he’d been watching Yoongi. Worried that he’d been caught. It makes something uncurl in Yoongi’s chest, quietly endeared.

Yoongi turns to face him. Jungkook’s looking down at the ground now, lips curved into a faint, shy smile. He kicks at the ground, scuffing his sneaker against the dirt. For a moment Yoongi can’t help but think of the timid, nervous boy he met all those years ago. Too scared to properly interact with them.

And then Jungkook lifts his head, turning to look back at Yoongi, and it quickly fades back into the present. That scared boy is still in there somewhere, but it’s grown less of a part of him over the years. Hidden now beneath confidence and passion and brightness.

It’s dark out here, moonlight their only illumination. Yoongi can see enough though. Can see the expression on Jungkook’s face, even if he can’t entirely work it out. Can see him wet his lips, and sigh, almost inaudibly.

“I’ve missed this,” Jungkook says eventually, so soft that his words are almost a whisper.

That feeling of endearment unfurls a little more within Yoongi’s chest; lets warmth trickle into him, turning that flutter into something stronger. The rush of nerves turns into a steady thump of his heart against his ribcage.

Yoongi knows, deep down, that it’s more than pure endearment. Is beginning to realise that perhaps there’s more to everything that he’s felt over the last few years. That he does still feel, even now.

“I don’t remember much of sitting on logs in the cold at night,” Yoongi replies. Gentle and teasing, words similarly hushed. A distraction from having to give a more serious answer.

For that, Jungkook lightly thumps him on the arm, just like earlier. Unlike earlier, this time his fingers fall to Yoongi’s forearm. They curl, tentative, into the fabric. Yoongi can’t help but look down at them.

“Fine-” Jungkook says, voice still unbearably soft.

There’s the slightest of trembles to it too. Maybe most people wouldn’t notice, but Yoongi’s ears are trained to pick up the most minute of variations in a person’s voice. He hears it straight away.

“-Then I’ve missed us.”

Yoongi’s gaze lifts up at Jungkook’s words. He still feels the fingers against his forearm, unmoving. Jungkook can hardly meet his eyes, shyness sweeping over his features. He manages it though, just.

“I’ve missed you,” he adds, and Yoongi almost doesn’t catch it with how quietly it’s uttered.

Jungkook’s said that once before on this trip. On their second night here. But somehow it didn’t feel like it does now. Didn’t feel as heavy with something unknown.

The fingers on his forearm clutch onto his sweater. Yoongi’s heart races, a rapid thumpthumpthump at complete odds with the quiet stillness of the moment.

Even in the darkness he can see the way Jungkook looks at him. There’s trust, and openness, all so familiar. But there’s something new in there too. Something that Yoongi’s not looked deep enough to see before. So subtle, and yet, somehow, so obvious.

If Yoongi felt like his thoughts were too much before, right now he feels a complete mess. He needs time away, far from all of this, to figure things out. To work through everything slowly and methodically. To try to understand just why he felt so right with Jungkook beside him last night, and why his stomach keeps fucking getting tied in knots and-

“Did you mean it, hyung? Did you really miss me?”

There’s none of the teasing tone from when Jungkook questioned him the other day. It’s not asked lightly. Yoongi’s knows that there’s a deeper meaning to how he asks. Knows, this time, that his answer will mean something more too.

Yoongi swallows thickly. He doesn’t know what to say. Of course he did. Jungkook should know that. Their friendship had come to mean a great deal to Yoongi before it fell apart. To grow so close, to open up so much of himself to the younger, and then-

Nothing. Awkward meetings and bigger distances between them and until, one day, all contact stopped.

Maybe Yoongi should have felt anger. Instead, all he felt was sadness. Something was missing in his life after that. It’s only during this trip, when he’s had a little of it back again, that Yoongi’s truly realised just how deep a chasm it left in its wake.

Of course he fucking missed him. Missed him every day, Yoongi thinks.

“Every day,” Yoongi finds himself saying, words flowing fast before his brain can stop them.

Jungkook blinks hard, breath hitching ever so slightly. His fingers still clutch onto Yoongi’s sweater. Silence fills the space between them again. It’s not suffocating this time. It’s not comfortable either, not really. Instead it feels more like- waiting. The deep breath before plunging beneath the water’s surface.

Jungkook lowers his gaze. Yoongi wants to suddenly take it back. Maybe it was too honest.

It’s the truth though. Yoongi may not have sat around every single day lamenting their lost friendship. But he missed Jungkook in endless different ways: some significant, some less so. Regardless, every day there was something.

The absence of a good morning text, or the lack of a second opinion on a new track, or falling asleep alone. Small things like buying new glasses and not having Jungkook tease him for how they look. Bigger things too, like losing his grandma and finding himself at a loss for who to turn to for comfort.

But still- maybe it was too honest.

Yoongi doesn’t want to make Jungkook feel bad about the situation. That wasn’t his intention. He knows how badly the younger has felt about the end of their friendship, even if he hasn’t fully explained why it had to happen in the first place.

He’s apologised though. It’s maybe not enough, and it won’t bring back what they lost but it is a start. It was more than Yoongi could have hoped for when he got on the flight over here.

And yet now- this feels like more than an apology. More than trying to fix their friendship. There’s a tension in the air between them, but it’s not one Yoongi’s used to. It feels new, in a way Yoongi struggles to explain.

Jungkook looks back up. Meets Yoongi’s gaze once more.

“It’s- different now, isn’t it?” Jungkook whispers.

It’s not like the other times Jungkook’s uttered that phrase during this trip. This time, his words aren’t tinged with sadness. Aren’t edged with guilt.  This time, there’s something else in his tone. Something almost- hopeful.

It’s more of a statement than a question. Something that doesn’t really need an answer. Still, Yoongi nods, a small, subtle tilt of his head in agreement.

“Yeah. It is.”

Jungkook watches him closely. His lips pull into a small, unsure smile. He inhales slowly, before letting his breath escape again, just as slow. Yoongi can’t take his eyes off of him.

“So, I’m not crazy?” Jungkook whispers. His hand gently falls, wrapping loosely around Yoongi’s wrist. “You feel it too?”

Fuck. This is-

Fuck.

Yoongi’s mind feels as though it has gone into meltdown. He may have started to come to some realisations about his feelings for Jungkook; may have begun to understand that there is possibly more to this than simply friendship.

But this is too much. It’s too soon. Yoongi’s only just starting to make sense of the jumbled mess of feelings inside of him. And yet here they are, Jungkook with his too-honest words and Yoongi with his stuttering heart.

Jungkook’s looking at him, eyes so wide and expressive. Yoongi can feel the warmth of his fingers pressed against the skin of his wrist. His lips part, just slightly, as though waiting for an answer.

And in that moment, Yoongi realises, too, that perhaps he’s not the only one beginning to understand.

He should move away. Their friendship has been broken for years. They’ve only just begun to put the pieces back together. It’s too delicate; it could shatter so easily, all over again. He’s not sure if they’d ever be able to put it back together after that.

Yoongi knows this. Knows that he should leave. They’re too caught up in the moment. In the excitement of a different country, of spending time with old friends. Too influenced by nostalgia, and by longing for something that they can’t bring back. All of this right now may be new, but it’s too caught up in the past; impossible to separate.

They need to go back to the cabin. Get their thoughts straight. Figure out if whatever this is, whatever it is that they’re both feeling, is worth the risk of bringing everything tumbling down around them.

Yoongi knows this. And yet-

And yet somehow his hand finds its way to Jungkook’s cheek. Cups his jaw so tenderly.

“Hyung,” Jungkook sighs softly.

It makes something unravel inside of Yoongi, the word so gentle, so familiar. Yoongi’s never heard it uttered like this though. So close, and so intimate.

 There’s something pure in there, that unwavering trust Jungkook’s always placed in Yoongi. But there’s more. Something almost desperate that tries to settle in beside it. The mixture floods Yoongi with heat. Turns his breath shallow and shaky.

Yoongi should pull back. This is reckless. It’s crossing a line that can’t ever be uncrossed. It could change everything. Could tear apart their already tattered relationship. Could affect the bond they’re beginning to rebuild, between themselves, and with the others too. Could-

“Stop thinking,” Jungkook says with hushed words.

“I feel like I need to,” Yoongi admits, voice just as quiet. Just as close to breaking. He swallows heavily. Despite his words, his thumb drifts over Jungkook’s cheekbone.

Jungkook’s eyes close, only for a moment, at the touch. It makes that warmth grow deeper, more solid, inside of Yoongi. For a second becomes so real and crushing that he feels like he can’t breathe.

He should stop this. He’s the hyung here. The one Jungkook’s always looked to for guidance. For the right answers. He needs to properly think this over. Needs to-

“Maybe this time you don’t,” Jungkook whispers.

Time’s moved on. Jungkook isn’t young and lost anymore. Doesn’t need Yoongi to make decisions for him. Maybe Yoongi doesn’t always need to be the wise and responsible one anymore.

So when Jungkook leans in, Yoongi doesn’t stop him. Doesn’t brush him aside, doesn’t turn his head away.

Instead, he meets Jungkook’s lips with his own. He feels the soft little gasp that leaves Jungkook when their mouths meet. Doesn’t hear it, doesn’t see it, but feels it. The thought sends another rush of warmth hurtling through him.

Their lips brush together, careful, tentative. Getting used to the feel of it. Getting used to the idea of it.

It doesn’t fully seem real, that it’s Jungkook with his lips pressed to Yoongi’s. But it sinks in a little more with every slight increase in pressure. With the way Jungkook parts them, ever so slightly, letting Yoongi take his lower lip between his own. With the almost inaudible sigh that leaves Jungkook when Yoongi’s tongue darts out. Teasing. Testing.

Yoongi cradles his jaw a little more firmly. Tilts his head just enough so that their lips slot together more easily. Pressing together again, and again, until Jungkook parts them wider. A silent invitation to deepen to the kiss.

Yoongi takes it. His tongue slips past Jungkook’s lips. He feels Jungkook’s own tongue touch gently to it. Hesitant only for a moment before it curls around Yoongi’s.

Yoongi shifts closer, angles his head a little better. The kiss finds its rhythm. Their tongues move languidly against each other, setting up a slow, slick slide that Yoongi can’t help but sink into.

It’s strange, really, the way Yoongi reacts. He’d expected for his mind to be racing, his heart to be pounding. Absorbed in a mild state of panic, just like he was before the kiss.

Instead, an odd sort of peace settles over him.

His mind calms, focused only on Jungkook. On the feel of his lips, on the low, delicate sounds that escape him every now and then. And sure, Yoongi’s heart does still thump hard. But it’s not through nerves, or worry. Only from the rush that flows through him with every flick of Jungkook’s tongue. With the way Jungkook’s hand leaves his wrist, curling instead into the front of his sweater.

It’s as though something unlocks inside of Yoongi. As though he’s found something he hadn’t even realise he’d been searching for. There are no fireworks, but Yoongi finds he doesn’t care. Instead he slips into something far deeper, almost soothing. Something has clicked into place. For the first time in a long time, Yoongi feels-

Right. He feels right.

They break apart, only for a second, before Jungkook’s lips find Yoongi’s again. Yoongi barely has time to catch his breath before Jungkook’s tongue slips back into his mouth, seeking out the heat of Yoongi’s kiss once more.

There’s a need and a desire laced beneath it all but it still stays so slow, so steady. Both of them taking their time to explore. To learn the taste of each other. To find out what exactly makes the other gasp softly into the kiss. These questions replace all the ones Yoongi had before. He finds he likes these ones a hell of a lot more. He pushes aside thoughts of the past; thinks only of how he feels now.

Yoongi keeps one hand on Jungkook’s jaw. The other finds his waist. He tugs the younger even closer; thighs pressed together, torsos twisted awkwardly. Jungkook’s hands wind tighter into the front of Yoongi’s sweater. Yoongi kisses him deeper, and deeper still. Licks into his mouth slow and deliberate, pulling out every shaky sigh that he can from Jungkook.

He feels a light wetness on his cheek. For a split-second Yoongi almost thinks he’s started crying. But then he feels it again on his forehead, and on the back of his hand. He pulls away, just slightly, but Jungkook quickly draws him back in again.

They keep kissing, and kissing, until the drops of rain turn from light little splashes into something closer to a downpour. It chills the flush that’s settled over Yoongi’s skin. His sweater is fast becoming soaked, sticking to his arms and back. He pulls away, more firmly this time.

It doesn’t deter Jungkook. He leans in again, capturing Yoongi’s lips with his own. And Yoongi’s weak. Gets drawn into it once more. Jungkook curls in closer to him, arms wrapping around to cling onto the sodden fabric over his back. Their chests press together, one of the few parts of them shielded from the onslaught.

Rain hammers down around them. Yoongi can hear it splashing into the fjord. Can hear it hitting the leaves of the trees around them. But he can hear, too, the soft pleased hums from Jungkook. The quiet, addictive sounds of their mouths meeting. Those sounds keep him where he is.

That is until a loud crash of thunder rips through the air. It startles them both apart. Yoongi blinks hard, a little dazed. Caught in the middle of a rainstorm, drenched through to his skin. And Jungkook-

Jungkook watches him with parted lips and wide eyes. As though he’s suddenly realising what’s happened. A few moments pass, both of them sat there, staring at each other. Yoongi can barely comprehend it either.

Suddenly the sky lights up, lightening zigzagging across the grey of the clouds.

“Fuck,” Jungkook says.

“We should go back,” Yoongi states. “Come on.”

He shivers, cold rain trickling down his neck, down his spine. His hands feel suddenly a lot like ice. He stands up and holds one out to Jungkook. The younger takes it, springing up to his feet.

It takes them far too long to make it back to the cabin. Jungkook’s phone is held out in front of them, Yoongi holding both of his hands over it as a makeshift shield. Drops still land on the screen but thankfully it continues working.

They walk slow, both wary of slipping on the muddy ground. If the trail was hard to follow before, it’s much worse now. Neither talks, the storm far too loud for that. Yoongi’s not entirely sure what they would say if they could talk anyway.

Finally, the cabin comes into view. From here it looks unfairly cosy. Soft lights glow from the windows. Yoongi wonders if the others are worrying where the two of them are. Yoongi was only meant to step outside for a few minutes; he has no idea how long has passed since they both left.

Yoongi starts to walk out from behind the treeline. Stops when he feels a hand grab on firmly to his own.

He turns to find Jungkook stood there. He’s drenched, hair plastered to his forehead despite his hood being pulled up. He looks confused, and a little overwhelmed. Yoongi’s sure he knows what’s running through his mind.

No doubt he’s wondering what just happened. Wondering how they act when they go back into the cabin. Wondering where things go from here.

Yoongi gets it. He’s wondering all of the same things too. He squeezes Jungkook’s hand, reassuring.

“Let’s talk inside,” he says.

At this, Jungkook nods. Follows Yoongi as he starts to walk towards the cabin. He doesn’t let go of Yoongi’s hand.

As they get nearer, Taehyung’s face appears at one of the windows. He stares blankly for a moment before breaking out into a wide grin. Jungkook’s hand drops down to his side. Even over the rain, Yoongi can still hear Taehyung’s shouted out ‘they’re alive!’ from inside the cabin.

The door promptly swings open. Namjoon stands there, arms folded. Shakes his head slowly. A grin spreads slowly over his lips at the sight of them.

“I told you to wear a jacket, hyung.”

“Just let us in,” Yoongi grumbles.

Namjoon laughs and steps aside. Both of them walk back into the cabin. It’s toasty and warm. Their clothes drip all over the floor.

“You want a coffee or something?” Namjoon checks. “Or, I dunno, something stronger?”

“I’m okay, hyung, thanks,” Jungkook says quietly. “I think I’m gonna jump in the shower before I freeze to death.”

Namjoon nods. Jungkook glances at Yoongi briefly. Yoongi almost wants to follow him. Get him alone again and figure out how the fuck that just happened. But everyone else is here, all eyes fixed on them. They’ll need to save that talk for later in the privacy of their room.

Jungkook disappears in the direction of the bathroom. Yoongi stays where he is, carefully peeling off his sodden sweater. One of the blankets from earlier immediately gets thrown over to him by Hoseok. Yoongi wraps it around himself, grateful for the warmth.

“Good walk, hyung?”

Jimin’s voice calls over from the other side of the room. Yoongi looks over in his direction. For the first time today, Jimin is meeting his gaze. It’s not worried, or cold. Instead it’s almost- curious. Something else in there too. The same sort of look that Yoongi’s caught on multiple times during the trip. Yoongi wonders if, perhaps, Jimin knows more than he’s previously let on.

Yoongi nods.

“It was- memorable.”

The others laugh, no doubt thinking that Yoongi’s referring to getting soaked to the bone during an unexpected thunderstorm. But there’s something in the tiny quirk of Jimin’s lips that makes Yoongi think that Jimin knows exactly what he means.

“So,” Namjoon says. “Coffee or alcohol?”

Yoongi blinks, forgetting Namjoon’s previous offer to fix them a drink. He shakes off the odd look from Jimin, and the way his stomach is currently swooping almost giddy. There’s still a long time to go before they all head to bed tonight. Before he can talk things through with Jungkook.

Namjoon steps in front of him, waiting expectantly. Yoongi pulls the blanket tighter around him.

“I think I need both.”

Chapter Text

Time drags by.

Yoongi tries to laugh along with the others, to join in the games and conversation. But all he can focus on is what’s just happened. His mind replays their kiss on loop, over and over. Yoongi’s lips feel as though they still tingle from the press of Jungkook’s own lips against them.

Jungkook seems a little disconnected too once he returns to join the group after his shower. He doesn’t meet Yoongi’s gaze. Doesn’t meet anyone’s gaze really. Simply sits there, the chaos carrying on around him. Yoongi badly wants to talk with him. To know what’s going through his mind right now.

Yoongi goes for a shower as well. He strips off slowly, having to peel the sodden material of his sweater and jeans from his limbs. He leaves them in a wet heap by the door before getting under the water.

Once inside the shower stall he stands still under the steady spray, the hot water gradually bringing warmth back to his chilled body. For the first few minutes he doesn’t move a muscle. Simply stands there. Lets it cascade over his shoulders, down his back. Lets steam fill up the small stall until it’s almost suffocating.

His mind won’t stop racing. He yearns to go back to earlier. Kissing Jungkook calmed those thoughts. Gave him an unexpected moment of peace. For the first time, everything felt as though it just sort of- fell together. Clicked into place.

Back here, alone, everything seems too jumbled again.

Eventually he steps out of the shower, the water beginning to run cold. Yoongi dries himself off, shivering in the contrasting cooler air. Slips into his pyjama pants and loose t-shirt. He gathers up the pile of clothes, hanging them over the towel rails to dry off overnight.

He walks out of the bathroom, towelling at his wet hair, surprised to find that everyone has decided to call it a night. Only Hoseok, Seokjin and Namjoon remain in the lounge, the latter trying to hurry them up so that he can set up his pull-out bed.

Yoongi’s stomach twists. He’s been waiting for this moment ever since they got back to the cabin; for a chance to speak alone with Jungkook. But now that it’s actually here, he feels vaguely nauseous.

“We’re all going to bed,” Seokjin tells Yoongi, somewhat pointlessly. “These young ones can’t keep up.”

He makes a teasing noise of contempt. Yoongi makes sure to smirk back at him. Keep up the pretence that everything is fine. Everything is normal. He scoffs lightly.

“Kids these days.”

Hoseok and Namjoon appear too tired to bother protesting. Hoseok simply wanders off with a yawn and a slowly revealed middle finger in Seokjin’s direction. Namjoon thumps Seokjin in the back with his pillow, a blunt encouragement for him to move a little faster. For that, Seokjin makes a point of sitting right back down on the couch.

“K. I’ll see you both in the morning,” Yoongi mumbles. Neither pay him much attention, too caught up in their minor squabble.

Outside of the bedroom door, Yoongi pauses for just a moment. Draws in a slow, steadying breath. Tells himself not to be nervous. He’s still him; Jungkook’s still Jungkook.

It will be okay.

He waits a beat longer before finally pushing the door open and stepping inside.

The room is bathed in the low light of the lamp on the night stand. Jungkook’s sat on the edge of his bed, legs crossed. He’s motionless, as though stuck there waiting for Yoongi to come in and figure out what to do next. The problem is, Yoongi isn’t entirely sure what he is meant to do next.

They should probably talk. Yoongi knows that much at least.

He needs to find out what Jungkook’s thinking. Why he kissed Yoongi. Why things are suddenly so different, after the last few years of total silence. But now that he’s here, the words stay trapped in Yoongi’s throat. Has no idea how to begin a conversation like that. They’ve had a lot of tough conversations over the years but this-

This is something new entirely.

“My bed not good enough or something?” is what eventually spills past Yoongi’s lips.

Yoongi resists the urge to grimace at his own dumb words. Of course he shouldn’t expect for Jungkook to share his bed the way they did last night. Not after what’s just happened. The act of sharing a bed seems far more loaded now.

Jungkook’s eyes grow wide. His lips part in a silent ‘oh’.

“I, um. Didn’t know if that was still okay,” he says softly.

“It’s okay,” Yoongi replies. Catches himself quickly. Maybe Jungkook doesn’t want to share his bed. Maybe he wants some space. Some time to think things over. So Yoongi adds, rushed, “only if you want to, y’know.”

Jungkook nods wordlessly. Yoongi isn’t sure if that’s a yes or a no, so he walks over to his own bed and slides underneath the covers without saying anything more. Jungkook watches him, gaze lingering for a long moment, before leaning over and switching off the lamp.

Yoongi blinks into the sudden darkness. His eyes have barely adjusted to the lack of light when he hears Jungkook pad over to his bed. Feels the dip of the mattress as Jungkook climbs in beside him. Leaves a gap between them. Small, but obvious.

Even through the darkness, Yoongi can still make out the lines of Jungkook’s features. Can still see the way that he watches Yoongi so carefully. Yoongi watches right back. He can’t help but remember how the curve of Jungkook’s jaw felt beneath his fingers. How warm and how soft his lips felt pressed to Yoongi’s.

Yoongi cuts off that train of thought. They need to talk before anything like that happens again.

Fuck.

Yoongi’s heart feels like it misses a beat at the thought of it happening again. He’s been so caught up in what’s happened, his poor mind hasn’t even had a chance to process the idea of it being repeated.

It startles him quite how much he wants it to.

“Kook-ah,” Yoongi says, words quiet. “We should probably talk.”

Jungkook lets out a slow, soft breath.

“Yeah,” he says, tone hushed. “Can we- maybe talk in the morning though?”

Yoongi should probably say no. He needs to know what’s happening. Needs to know why Jungkook cut him so brutally from his life for years, only to now have turned a complete 180 and end up kissing Yoongi with such desire.

Yoongi feels like he deserves an explanation.

But Yoongi is also weak. Always has been when it comes to Jungkook. So instead of protesting, he gives a small nod of acceptance.

“Sure. In the morning.”

Silence settles over them. Yoongi knows there’s no way that he can fall asleep, mind still racing with images from earlier on. Of stuttered sighs and grasping fingers. He gets the feeling that Jungkook isn’t likely to fall asleep very easily either.

The gap between them becomes almost comical in Yoongi’s mind. Both of them are too tense, too uncertain to move. Last night, Yoongi fell asleep with Jungkook curled up in his arms. Tonight, they’re rigidly keeping their distance.

It’s faintly ridiculous. They’re not kids any more after all. Jungkook’s in his late twenties, Yoongi his early thirties, and yet here they are, frozen like nervous teenagers. Neither quite knowing how to broach the fact that they just shared such a heart-stopping kiss. Many of them in fact.

A long time passes before Yoongi finally feels Jungkook shift. He turns over, back now facing Yoongi, just like last night. And like last night too, his hand reaches out for Yoongi’s, tugging it around his waist.

“Kook-“ Yoongi breathes out.

Almost in warning, but about what, he isn’t exactly sure. All he knows is that his heart is thumping too goddamn hard, like it’s threatening to break out of his chest. Yoongi’s body stays still, even as his arm gets pulled around the younger.

Yoongi’s reluctance draws a small, shaky huff from Jungkook. It’s easy to tell that he’s trying to act more confident than he’s actually feeling. That endeared feeling returns to Yoongi’s chest, fluttering hopelessly between his ribs.

“What?” Jungkook replies, nerves evident, even though he tries to disguise it with a playful tone. “You can kiss me but you won’t hold me?”

Despite his bravado, Jungkook’s uncertainty is obvious. Worried that he’s doing the wrong thing, or pushing too far. It makes Yoongi shift in closer, chest pressing reassuringly to Jungkook’s back. Just like last night. Though if Yoongi thought his mind was a mess then, well- it’s full on chaos right now.

It hits him somewhat all at once. The fact that they kissed. That Jungkook wants Yoongi to hold him. That they’ve gone from not speaking to- this, in a matter of days.

It’s all too much, really. But somehow Yoongi can’t stop himself from wanting to simply sink into it, further and further. Block everything else out and just be here like this. Together. It’s a wholly overwhelming feeling. One Yoongi’s not used to experiencing.

He presses his forehead to the nape of Jungkook’s neck. He feels Jungkook’s fingers link through his own over the younger’s chest. Too much, and yet, now, somehow, not enough. It leaves him feeling lost. Yoongi was always the one with the reassuring words, with the answers to problems. Right now, he couldn’t feel farther from that.

“What the fuck is happening?” Yoongi whispers against him.

There’s an edge of desperation in his words. He’s can’t fully understand how this has happened. And he wants to understand. Wants to know what it means. Where they go from here.

There’s fear in there those words too; for what this could mean for them. For their tattered friendship. For their relationship with the rest of the guys. But mixed in with it is something far more raw, and more open. Something almost giddy. Something that brings a peace Yoongi hadn’t realised he’d been needing quite so badly.

Jungkook doesn’t answer straight away. Yoongi wonders if his thoughts are similarly as messy, as jumbled-up and erratic as Yoongi’s are right now. He waits, forehead staying pressed to Jungkook’s neck.

“I don’t know,” Jungkook whispers back, soft, sounding almost as lost as Yoongi feels. “I thought we were gonna talk tomorrow.”

Yoongi sighs quietly. Jungkook moves, just slightly, nestled more in Yoongi’s hold. It sends warmth flooding through Yoongi. He holds on a little tighter.

“I know,” he says. “Feels like too long though.”

“It’s not that long.”

Yoongi knows why he’s pushing back. They’ve talked about a lot of difficult things in the past, when they had to. But it was never easy to get there. Apparently, that hasn’t changed in either of them.

Discussing emotions and feelings, it never came natural to the pair. To put it in a lyric felt easier than saying it out loud for Yoongi. And Jungkook, well- he held a lot of emotions. But vocalising them was a challenge. Something that had to be drawn out of him, careful and cautious.

To talk about this- it’s something that neither of them will be comfortable with. Their actions always spoke far louder. A hug, or a reassuring smile. Or simply being there for the other, silent, but by their side. That was usually enough.

And so Yoongi knows that they need to talk. But he does what he does best; pushes it aside for a little longer.

“Okay,” Yoongi murmurs. “But you see, I-. Fuck, I kind of want to kiss you again.”

His eyes scrunch close as he speaks, face pressed further into Jungkook’s neck. His words feel too honest, too forward, too- something.

Last night he was only beginning to realise that he had feelings for Jungkook. Tonight, now that he’s begun to acknowledge those feelings, it’s like a dam has burst. Like everything is flooding out, too fast, uncontrollable. Yoongi’s had the briefest taste of what they could have together, and he now he can’t help but want more.

Still, he shouldn’t have said that. He still isn’t entirely sure what Jungkook’s thinking. How he’s feeling. The last thing he wants is to pressure him into anything. Yoongi goes to apologise. To take back such blunt words.

The apology dies on his lips when Jungkook turns over in his hold. He twists onto his back, looking up at Yoongi. Hair falls across his forehead, his lips part. There’s a look in his eyes that Yoongi recognises from back by the fjord. Something so open, and so familiar; and yet a new layer in there too. Something more like need. Like want.

Heat trickles along Yoongi’s spine, nowhere near used to seeing such a look on Jungkook’s face. Seeing it directed so intensely at him. It’s like Yoongi’s seeing him afresh. Like he’s found his best friend again, full of trust and comfort. But there’s more now; unavoidable and obvious. Another side to Jungkook that Yoongi feels an unexpected desire to discover.

“Oh,” Jungkook breathes out, unbearably soft. Yoongi watches as he swallows thickly, eyes trailing the bob of his throat. “Then maybe- maybe you should.”

That heat spreads out, travelling around Yoongi’s body, making him impossibly warm. Even though Jungkook’s rolled onto his back, Yoongi’s hand still rests over his chest. He can feel the rapid thud of Jungkook’s heart beneath his palm. A small comfort, to know he’s not the only one turned into a mess from a few whispered words.

Because Yoongi’s heart is racing just as fast. He knows what Jungkook means. But he has to check. Needs to know for certain.

“I should what?”

Jungkook exhales slow, shaky. His gaze never leaves Yoongi’s.

“You should kiss me again, hyung.”

Jungkook blinks up at him, eyes so wide. Yoongi feels so unbearably fond. Finds himself bringing his head down without any further encouragement, lips pressing once again to Jungkook’s.

There’s something just so right about it. Right in a way like it hasn’t felt with anyone else. Not with his girlfriend in the early years of Bangtan; not with Taesung more recently; not with any of the men or women he spent the night with during those lonely nights on tour. Giving into this feels like the answer to a question Yoongi hadn’t realised he’d been asking.

Jungkook’s lips part under his almost instantly. Yoongi lets his tongue lick into the heat of his mouth, slowly, thoroughly. He props himself up on an elbow, the other hand still splayed on Jungkook’s chest. Tilts his head and deepens the kiss some more. It draws the sweetest little noise from Jungkook, lost between their lips.

Jungkook’s arms reach up to slide around Yoongi’s shoulders. Tugs him closer so that Yoongi has a forearm braced either side of his head, their chests pressed together. Yoongi keeps his lower body angled away. He’s acutely aware of the intimacy of this position compared to earlier. The thought of anything more happening-

Fuck, Yoongi can’t even contemplate it right now. He feels overwhelmed enough already.

Yoongi lifts his hand away from where it’s trapped between their chests. Brings it up instead to Jungkook’s cheek. He strokes along his jaw, over the shell of his ear. Drifts up until it tangles loosely in Jungkook’s hair.

Yoongi pulls back, just enough to take Jungkook’s lower lip between his own. He sucks lightly before tugging it between his teeth with the gentlest pressure. Jungkook gasps at the feeling. Yoongi takes the opportunity to claim his mouth once more, their tongues sliding together slow and deliberate.

There’s a little more intensity to this kiss; a little more fire. Yoongi doesn’t intend for it to lead anywhere, but it’s clear that there’s more heat than in the careful, exploratory kisses of earlier. Yoongi sinks into the feeling of it all. Of knowing that that first time wasn’t a one-off. Wasn’t a mistake, or simply being caught up in the moment. Of knowing that they both truly want this- whatever exactly this is.

Yoongi leans away, just to catch his breath a little. His lips instead drag along the curve of Jungkook’s jaw. He can hear the way Jungkook sucks in a sharp breath; feels the thrum of his pulse beneath his mouth. Yoongi presses a tender kiss there, then another, then one more, before covering Jungkook’s lips with his own again.

Jungkook whimpers into it, a faint, needy sound that drives everything else from Yoongi’s mind. Yoongi can’t help but sigh into the kiss, consumed with want for the other man. Wanting more of this closeness, this connection. Wanting more of him.

“Oh,” Jungkook whimpers against his lips. “Oh- hyung.”

It’s almost too much. Jungkook sounds far too gone from simply kissing. It makes Yoongi’s mind spin. Jungkook grips on tighter to him. Yoongi kisses him deeper, wanting to draw out more of those sounds. Wanting to hear that Jungkook’s enjoying this.

It hits Yoongi, then, that there may be more to Jungkook’s reaction. Yoongi’s overwhelmed too, but Jungkook seems utterly lost to it all. He thinks back to Jungkook’s confession the other night. To the fact that Jungkook has hidden his sexuality for so long; has spent years in a relationship with someone he could never truly feel these things for.

Perhaps after he broke up with Goeun he experimented with other guys. Yoongi couldn’t say. But something makes Yoongi think that he hasn’t. That perhaps this is the first time Jungkook’s ever really been able to give into a kiss like this. To let go and be free to fall apart like he is right now.

There’s a sadness to that thought. To know that it’s may have taken until this point in his life for Jungkook to ever experience a feeling like this. But at the same time, the thought only spurs Yoongi on. Makes him want to stay kissing Jungkook until he’s utterly breathless.

One of Jungkook’s hands slips from Yoongi’s shoulders. It twists into the fabric of his t shirt, still holding on tight. Yoongi kisses him slow, passionate. Jungkook gives back as good as Yoongi gives. He kisses Yoongi with purpose, tongue gliding smoothly against the elder’s. Returns all of Yoongi’s fervour until Yoongi’s limbs grow loose, stomach swooping uncontrollably.

There comes a point when they are forced to pull apart. Needing to catch their breath. To gather themselves. Questions still buzz around Yoongi’s mind but they’ve grown duller, dimmed over the minutes upon minutes they’ve spent getting lost in each other.

Jungkook looks up at him. Lips parted, a little swollen. His eyes are heavier than before, lids hooded as he holds Yoongi’s gaze. It’s too dark to tell, but Yoongi’s sure there’s a flush on his cheeks. Jungkook lets out a quiet, hushed laugh. It sounds giddy; it makes Yoongi’s heart skip helplessly.

“Wow.”

It tumbles from Jungkook’s lips on an exhale. He only seems to notice he’s spoken after it hangs in the air a beat too long. He throws a forearm over his face, embarrassed. Yoongi can’t stop the smile that tugs at the corners of his mouth.

It’s suddenly too much to hold Jungkook’s gaze. Yoongi drops his head, face pressing into the side of his neck. The giddiness from Jungkook’s laughter seems to seep into Yoongi too. Leaves him with an odd rush, like he almost wants to fling himself across the bed just as a way to let out the energy coursing through him.

He doesn’t do that of course. Instead he stays still, Jungkook’s arms returning to wrap around him.

He melts into the happiness trickling through him. Yoongi imagines it’s how people must feel after they confess their feelings for someone, and hear it said back. Though, of course, neither of them have actually confessed anything at all, other than feeling something different between them.

But then again, they did always prefer to say things through actions. And Yoongi feels that their kisses have said plenty.

He knows that they do still need to talk properly. But for now, he’s content with this. With acknowledging that something has changed. That there are new feelings there, for both of them.

What the outcome of that is- well, Yoongi can’t bring himself to contemplate that quite yet.

They stay like that for a long time. Jungkook’s arms tight around him. Yoongi’s face tucked into his neck. Their breathing gradually slows, both of them calming from the intensity of moments ago. It feels safe, and comfortable. Reminds Yoongi of times in the past, when they would lie next to each other. Sometimes listening to music, sometimes simply talking. Sometimes with only silence. Just existing next to each other as they sought those rare moments away from the chaos of their lives.

“We should probably get some sleep,” Yoongi says eventually.

Jungkook makes a noise of disapproval. It draws a low chuckle from Yoongi. He props himself back up onto his elbows and instantly regrets it. Jungkook’s looking up at him with a painfully soft expression, eyes wide and wanting. And Yoongi’s so fucking weak.

He lifts one hand to sweep the hair back from Jungkook’s forehead. Leans down and brings their lips together in chaste and far too brief touch. When he pulls away, Jungkook arches up to try to follow.

“C’mon,” he sighs. “We have that bike ride tomorrow. We should get some rest.”

There was talk of hiring some bicycles tomorrow if the weather improves, for a long tour around winding roads. Namjoon’s found a route online and is eager to do if at all possible. Yoongi’s not hugely keen on it; will be even less so if running on only a couple hours of sleep.

“Can’t we keep going?” Jungkook whispers. He leans up to press his lips to Yoongi’s again. Misses and catches the corner of his mouth instead. “You were always fine on no sleep.”

“I’ve fallen out of the habit,” Yoongi tells him.

That much is true. There’s no need for all-nighters much these days. He has enough time in the studio during daylight hours now. He only loses out on sleep if he’s hit with a sudden bout of inspiration during the middle of the night, which does still happen from time to time.

Jungkook’s response is to capture Yoongi’s lips once more. The kiss is softer now, lazier. It still manages to turn Yoongi’s insides to liquid. He sighs gently into the kiss, feeling himself give in far too easily.

He rolls onto his side, Jungkook following. Hands find each other’s waists. The kiss is gentler, more sedate. Yoongi loses track of time as they get lost in it. Kissing slow and easy: another sort of kiss, different in its own subtle way from the ones before. Yoongi hopes silently that he can learn all of the ways Jungkook likes to kiss, and be kissed.

Finally, tiredness begins to override the need for intimacy. Their kisses slow, becoming lighter, turning into presses of lips together more than anything else. Yoongi tries to be responsible once more.

“We should really sleep now.”

This time, Jungkook nods.

“Yeah.” He stops, a long pause hanging in the air, before adding. “But do you- I mean, can we pick this up tomorrow?”

It’s not a confirmation of anything, nor a confession. Yoongi’s still entirely lost as to how they’ve found their way here. Is still unsure as to what it all means. But Jungkook’s words imply that whatever it is that’s happening, he wants it to continue. At least for another day.

And for now, that’s enough for Yoongi.

“I’d like that.”

Even in the darkness, he can see the brightness of Jungkook’s smile.

They fall asleep curled up together, just like last night time. Jungkook’s back to Yoongi’s chest, Yoongi’s arm wrapped tight around him. Yoongi wonders if maybe he should be more panicked. Should be fretting about what conversations may happen tomorrow. What the outcome of this will be.

But for now, he pushes it all away. Focuses only on the feel on Jungkook in his arms, and of the way his lips still tingle from their kisses. Tucks any worries to the back of his mind until the morning.

 

 

When Yoongi next stirs, he finds himself trapped under the weight of Jungkook’s arm. The younger has turned over in the night. His arm has snaked its way around Yoongi’s waist, his face pressing into Yoongi’s collarbone. Yoongi’s mouth rests by his forehead, nose tickled by stray strands of his hair.

It takes only a moment for memories of last night to come flooding back. Of their walk by the fjord. Of tentative whispers and kissing in the rain. Of coming back and favouring getting lost in more kisses instead of what they should have been doing; talking it out.

Yoongi pulls away, enough to allow him to look down at Jungkook. Wonders if it should feel stranger waking up like this, knowing what happened last night. He’s known Jungkook for nearly fifteen years; he was once Yoongi’s closest friend. Kissing him surely should have felt- weird or something.  

But somehow it didn’t. It didn’t freak Yoongi out or make him want to run. Sure, some of the implications have worried him. What outcome this could possibly have. But the fact that it’s Jungkook-

No, that hasn’t felt weird at all.

All Yoongi can think of instead is just how right it felt to kiss him. How everything felt like it fell together, exactly how it was meant to. They’ve been apart for so long it seems like it shouldn’t feel that way. But somehow, Yoongi wonders if the distance has allowed this to bloom the way it has. Allowed him to finally realise things that perhaps he should have realised a long time ago.

He still has no idea how Jungkook feels about it all. How he went from cutting Yoongi out of his life to so suddenly wanting him in this way. A horrid part of Yoongi wonders if they’ve moved too fast. If Jungkook’s simply caught up in the nostalgia of this trip and become carried away.

Yoongi had considered such a thing last night, before they first kissed. But he pushed it aside. Jungkook seemed to want it, in more than just a passing way. And so Yoongi went with it. But in the cool clarity of the morning, that worry returns, gnawing at Yoongi’s insides.

He shifts slightly. Tries to keep his movements small so as not to disturb Jungkook.

It doesn’t work. Jungkook’s face scrunches, bothered by the action. Slowly his eyes squint open, peering up at Yoongi with a bleary gaze. Something squeezes tight in Yoongi’s chest.

Whether it’s because of the early hour, or because he doesn’t want to have a conversation right now, Yoongi isn’t sure. Whatever the reason, Jungkook tucks his head back into the space between Yoongi’s collarbone and chin. Sighs softly. Yoongi can feel it against his skin.

It is still early. There is sunlight peeking around the edges of the curtains but it’s still wan and faded. It can’t be that long after sunrise. Outside of their room, there is no sign of movement.

They stay like that for a long time. Yoongi closes his eyes, cheek pressed into Jungkook’s hair. There are still so many thoughts tumbling around in his head. He tries not to let them take over. Lets himself instead enjoy some of the peacefulness of the moment. Lets it wash over him, calming him more and more as the minutes pass by.

The sun is a little brighter through the gaps in the curtains when Jungkook finally stirs. He stays nestled against Yoongi for a few more moments before eventually drawing away, rolling onto his back.

He looks over at Yoongi. Lets out an embarrassed chuckle when he catches the elder watching him. He slings his forearm over his face, and grins. The sort of flustered grin he’d always make when he grew nervous.

He stays like that for a moment, before finally licking his lips and bringing his arm away. He’s smiling softer now, calmed down from the initial flush of shyness.

“Hi.”

“Hi,” Yoongi returns, voice a little gravelly from sleep still.

He keeps watching Jungkook. The younger sighs, a touch exaggerated. He’s being playful in the way he does when he’s feeling particularly bashful. Yoongi goes with it.

“You’re going to make me talk, aren’t you?” Jungkook says.

Despite the light-hearted manner of his words, his nerves are clear. Yoongi’s chest knots. It’s true, he does want answers. But if Jungkook needs more time, he can wait. He’ll always wait – too goddamn weak.

“Not if you don’t want to,” Yoongi says.

Jungkook looks at him, an odd kind of stare. Lets it linger for a long time. His teasing smile gradually fades. He shakes his head slowly.

“No. I think we should,” he says quietly. “Talk, I mean.”

It takes Yoongi a little by surprise. He gave Jungkook a way out, an excuse to put off a tough discussion. Gave him a chance to stick to how they always do things; ignore it until it’s impossible not to any longer. But this time, Jungkook’s chosen to take the more difficult path.

Things truly have changed over the years.

“Okay,” Yoongi agrees.

Now that it’s here, he doesn’t quite know what to say. What to ask. He knows he’s confused. About why they fell apart. About how they’ve ended up here. But where does he even begin?

“I don’t get it,” he says eventually. His words are quiet, fragile, like they might break if Yoongi speaks any louder. He’s finally voicing the thoughts that have plagued him for years, and it’s harder than he imagined to get them out. “What happened to us, Kook?”

Jungkook’s gaze lowers. He closes his eyes briefly, as though gathering himself.

“Why did you disappear?”

Yoongi knows that Jungkook understands his question. Yoongi wants to know why he became so distant. Why he became so harsh. Why he left them all behind. Yoongi knows Jungkook said before that he was in a bad place, but there has to be more. To bring their friendship crashing down like that rather than using it as support during those times- there must be a deeper reason.

Jungkook’s eyes stay closed for a while longer. When he opens them again, there’s a shine to them. Yoongi almost wants to take the questions back. Wants to bring a smile to Jungkook’s face again, not tears. But this time, Yoongi stops himself. He needs to know. After all this time, he has to know.

He waits, and finally, Jungkook starts to speak.

“I was awful to you, hyung,” he says. There’s a tremble to his words already. As ever, Yoongi hears it straight away. “I dealt with everything so badly.”

Yoongi gives him a moment before pressing. “With everything?”

Jungkook draws in a deep breath. Takes a moment to collect himself before continuing.

“When Taehyung had his accident. That was- fuck, everything went wrong from there,” he begins, words a little scratchy with barely held back emotion. That’s the thing with Jungkook; he’ll hide his emotions well for so long, but when he allows them out, he finds it hard to keep them controlled. “You know, for a while it was all about Taehyung. Whether he’d be alright. Once we knew he was gonna be okay, it was like, such a relief. I thought we’d just have to wait for him to recover and things would be good again. We’d go right back to how it was before”

Jungkook pauses a moment, swallowing slowly. Steadies himself before continuing.

“But then everyone started to do their own thing. And it took him so long to recover. There came a point when I realised that it was never going to go back to how it was,” Jungkook continues, words still shaky. “Fuck, Bangtan was all I’d known since I was fourteen, and it was starting to crumble. And then it was decided that you and Joon-hyung would go to the military.”

He stops and sighs. Blinks hard, trying to make sure that no tears start to fall. He always tries so hard to stay strong. Ever since Yoongi’s known him, he’s been that way. Often to his own detriment.

“I mean- that was it. I knew that would be the end for us,” Jungkook whispers. “Everything had changed too much. And then when you left for your service-“

At this, there is a longer pause than before. Jungkook runs a palm over his face. Lets out a low, heavy sigh. Yoongi reaches out his own hand. Places it on Jungkook’s sternum. To let him know he’s there. That he won’t judge Jungkook for anything he’s about to say.

Jungkook keeps his gaze pointedly averted from Yoongi’s. Doesn’t look at his hand either. He does, however, bring his own hand down to join it. Wordlessly joins their fingers together.

“When you left, it broke me,” Jungkook says, words painfully quiet. “I mean, I knew I’d miss you, but- god, it killed me. It was like I physically ached wanting you back.”

Yoongi’s chest tightens, almost suffocating. He’s never heard Jungkook talk like this before. He knew that the band falling apart affected him, but he never knew how badly. And the idea that his leaving for service had such an impact- well, Yoongi never realised that at all.

“You asked me the other day if I knew I was gay back then. I think on some level I did, but I was always running from it. When you left- I wasn’t able to hide from it anymore. I knew I missed you as more than a friend.” Jungkook pauses, before adding in a whisper, “I knew I’d fallen for you.”

Yoongi takes a moment to let the words sink in. Jungkook liked him back then, all those years ago? God, how had he been so oblivious. Yoongi can’t help but recall Hoseok’s comments on their first morning here. How he’d seen something there – that he wasn’t blind. It looks like Yoongi’s been real fucking blind all this time, and Jungkook’s suffered for it.

“Kook-ah, I had no idea,” Yoongi tells him, anguish obvious in his words. “Why didn’t you speak to me? I-“

Jungkook shakes his head.

“No. You don’t get it. It wasn’t like I wanted to confess to you. I didn’t want to acknowledge it at all,” he explains, careful and hushed. “Me missing you so much meant that I had to face up to a side of me I didn’t want to. Bangtan was falling apart, and now I had to deal with the unavoidable fact I was gay, something I had tried to suppress all my life.”

He inhales a shaky breath. Squeezes Yoongi’s hand hard. Yoongi squeezes right back.

“It was all too much. With Bangtan not around I was losing a huge a part of my life. And then this happened and-  I don’t know. I felt like I was losing my grip on everything I knew about myself.”

Yoongi wants to speak. To offer some words of comfort, of reassurance. But he knows that Jungkook needs to speak. To get this off of his chest. Yoongi feels like it may be the first time he’s ever let himself speak freely about any of this. Yoongi will let him talk for as long as he needs.

“I know I was meant to do solo stuff, keep us in the public eye. But I couldn’t. I felt sick even going into a recording booth without you guys around. Normally I turned to you if I was unhappy but- I couldn’t. Not then. Not with how I felt,” Jungkook continues. “I needed to escape it all. I thought if I went to do my service, take myself away from everything, that I could force myself to get past it.”

He lets out a humourless chuckle.

“Obviously it didn’t work. I came out of the military and it was worse. There was nothing there for me anymore. Everyone but me had moved on,” he explains softly.

He blinks hard again, still managing to keep any tears at bay. Yoongi sweeps his thumb over the back of Jungkook’s hand. A small show of support.

“For my whole service I’d desperately tried to push down the gay thing. But that hadn’t worked either. I felt useless. I started to blame you for making me have to deal with it, even though I know that was ridiculous. It just became too hard to see you; it hurt too much and it made me angry.”

He shakes his head, as though ashamed of his own reactions. It hurts Yoongi to see. To hear. Yes, their rift has caused him a lot of pain over the last few years. But he had no idea of the pain Jungkook was going through too.

“I tried to escape again. Moved back to Busan. I met Goeun and I tried to make it work. I really did.” That tiredness returns to his voice, same as when he confessed to Yoongi down by the water. “But it got to a point where I couldn’t anymore. I couldn’t keep running. I felt exhausted. I knew that accepting who I was would be tough but, in the end, I had to.”

He sighs quietly.

“Eventually I told Jimin, and then Taehyung. They were there for me when I ended things with Goeun. They’ve been better friends than I deserve,” Pauses, then adds, “You all have.”

“Don’t say that,” Yoongi chides, but Jungkook simply shakes his head.

“It’s true. I cut myself out of nearly all your lives. I only stayed close with Jimin because he was so persistent,” he says. “When they suggested this trip, I almost backed out so many times. I didn’t think you would all want me here anymore.“

At this his words stop. He lets out a low, trembling breath. Squeezes Yoongi’s hand so hard it’s almost painful.

“It’s okay, Kook,” Yoongi tells him. “We’re all so glad you’re here. Honestly.”

Jungkook doesn’t say anything but gives the smallest of nods to show that he’s heard Yoongi. Jungkook’s slotted back into the group like he was never away; Yoongi can only hope that Jungkook feels it as much as they all do.

Silence settles over them. Yoongi lets it linger for a while. Takes the time to allow everything that Jungkook’s said to sink in. He had no idea that Jungkook had been going through such struggles. He knew that things had been tough for all of them after the accident, but all of this- he was clueless.

One thing stands out that he can’t shake off. That Jungkook had developed feelings for him already, all those years ago. He can’t believe it. That he missed something like that. Something he should have noticed. Although, Yoongi supposes, he didn’t even recognise his own feelings. Maybe it makes sense that he wouldn’t have noticed Jungkook’s either.

“Kook, you said you had feelings for me,” Yoongi asks, because he has to know. Has to know just how oblivious he’s been. “Have you felt that way all this time?”

At this, Jungkook lets out a watery sort of laugh. Throws his leg out to the side to give a teasing kick to Yoongi’s ankle. He’s embarrassed, that much is clear. Yoongi’s glad, though, to see a bit of lightness returning to him too.

“So arrogant, hyung,” he mutters. “You just want an ego boost.”

Yoongi smiles at that. Moves his own leg, toes tapping against Jungkook’s ankle in response.

“Am I not allowed to be curious?”

Jungkook smiles too, small and soft. He gives a tiny shake of his head.

“Not all the time,” he admits. “I guess there was always something in me that felt that way towards you, but I pushed it away so much that over time it started to fade. When I agreed to come on this trip, it wasn’t like I planned on anything like this happening. I just wanted to apologise to you for how I acted. I wanted to try to be friends again, nothing more.”

“Oh,” Yoongi says quietly.

Jungkook abruptly flips onto his side so that he’s facing Yoongi. Manages, however, to keep their hands laced together.

“It didn’t last long,” he clarifies quickly. “As soon as I started being around you again- I dunno. It’s like those feelings never totally disappeared. And I- I sort of got the impression like, maybe you felt something for me too.”

He glances away, shy, as though he’s been too forward.

“I thought maybe I was imagining it at first. It seemed impossible that you would feel anything towards me,” he explains, stumbling over his words a little. “But I mentioned it to Jimin and he- kind of thought he’d seen something there.”

Yoongi bites down on his lower lip. It certainly explains all the odd little looks Jimin’s thrown in his direction during this trip.

“Why would that be impossible?” Yoongi asks gently. “Me feeling anything towards you.”

Jungkook blinks over at him, surprised.

“I’ve treated you horribly. You should hate me, not- like me.”

His last two words are whispered, as though he’s not entirely sure still of their truth. Yoongi sighs quietly.

“I could never hate you, Kook. If we’re being honest here- yeah, I was fucking hurt when I lost you as a friend. I’ve missed you a lot over the last few years. But I’ve never hated you.”

“Did you-“ Jungkook begins, but quickly cuts himself off.

Yoongi bends his knee, using it to nudge Jungkook in the hip. Encouraging him to continue. In the dim light of the room, Yoongi can see a hint of pink colour his cheeks. It takes him a few moments to keep talking.

“Did you have feelings for me? Back then.”

He doesn’t meet Yoongi’s gaze. Yoongi feels that flutter in his chest again, so ridiculously endeared.

“Honestly, I don’t know. It’s only since being here that I’ve started to understand things. Understand how I feel about you,” Yoongi admits. Gives himself a moment to gather a little more courage before adding, “But- I think I’ve liked you for a very long time, Kook. I’m only just starting to realise that.”

“Oh,” comes the response, hushed, taken aback.

Jungkook falls silent. Instead of the pleased look Yoongi was perhaps hoping to see, instead Jungkook’s face falls into a small frown.

“So if I’d got my shit together sooner, maybe-“

His words trail off. His expression grows into something horribly sad and full of regret. No doubt wondering how things may have turned out if he’d confessed his feelings to Yoongi years ago. Of how different everything could be.

“Please don’t think like that,” Yoongi tells him. “You reacted the way you did and you can’t change that. Maybe if the group had still been okay, then you might have reacted differently. But we don’t know that, and never will. Everyone has their own journey to accepting these things.”

“But,” Jungkook continues, voice still unbearably despondent. “This means that we both liked each other. Back then. If I just said something-“

“Kook, honestly? I don’t think things would have turned out better,” Yoongi says. Hates to do so, but he’s certain it’s true. “Back then, I doubt I would have been able to admit it to myself. I would have been too scared for our friendship and for the group to allow myself to acknowledge those feelings.”

He stops, keeping his words careful. He’s not used to talking about things like this. He’d normally choose the easier route, just like he did with Taesung. Let the other have the tough conversations for him. He’s determined to not let that happen now.

“I think in some ways, that distance was what I needed. It was fucking painful but it’s helped me see things more clearly,” Yoongi says gently. “Maybe this is how things needed to be for this to happen.”

There’s a long pause. Outside their door, Yoongi can hear someone stirring. He’s not sure who it is but can hear them moving around in the kitchen. It seems strange somehow. He feels like they’re in another world in here. Talking about things that still seem almost surreal.

Jungkook clears his throat. Bites down on his lip, nervous, before asking,

“And, um. What exactly is this?”

It’s too big of a question. This is all so new still. So unexpected. Where exactly they go from here, Yoongi couldn’t say. Hasn’t really let himself consider it.

Everything’s moving so fast; much faster than maybe it should. Perhaps if they were back in Seoul things would be different. They’d have more space, more time, to fully work things out. To learn how they start to exist together, now that everything’s laid bare. What they want to become to each other.

Here, however, there’s no room for that. Sure, maybe they could wait. Put this whole thing on hiatus until they’re back home. But somehow, Yoongi can’t bring himself to suggest that. He’s had a glimpse of what things could be like for them; now he’s had that taste, he’s reluctant to give it up.

“Can we figure that out together?”

A small, flustered smile crosses Jungkook’s lips. He nods slowly. Shifts in a little closer to Yoongi.

“Yeah. I’d like that, hyung.”

More noise starts to drift through from the kitchen. Yoongi knows that soon they’ll be forced to get up and join the others. Leave behind all of the shared kisses, shared secrets, and act as though nothing’s happened. Right now, it feels almost impossible.

Maybe it’s dangerous, with the others so close by. But still, Yoongi finds himself shifting in a little closer too. He leans in, nose nudging Jungkook’s. Their lips hover over each other’s, waiting, waiting, until Jungkook finally gives in.

Their lips meet in an easy, tender touch. It stays more chaste than before. Maybe they’re both too aware of the others so close by. Or maybe there’s too much still to sink in from their talk. Both of them perhaps need some time to adjust to his new situation. To become used to finally having everything out in the open. To finally being honest with each other, and with themselves.

Despite the gentle nature of the kiss, it still makes Yoongi’s stomach swoop. Feeling so much towards the younger. Finally letting himself give into it. Into something he hadn’t known he wanted quite so badly until now.

There’s a crash of something that sounds like a mug from the other side of the door. A bright, mocking cheer from whoever is out there. They both ignore it. Both keep on kissing, until Yoongi catches the sound of their names being uttered, and they reluctantly break apart.

“We should probably go out there,” Yoongi says. “Before someone comes in to wake us up.”

Jungkook doesn’t seem pleased but nods in agreement nonetheless. Neither of them want to have to try to explain away the fact that they’ve been sharing a bed. Maybe once it would have been normal for them, but after everything that’s happened, Yoongi expects it would raise a lot more questions these days.

“Yeah. Okay,” Jungkook sighs. “But, y’know. You did kind of promise that we could pick things up from where we left them last night.”

Maybe the room is brighter now, or maybe that flush on Jungkook’s cheeks is simply far redder than Yoongi’s seen it before. Whatever the reason, the blush spreading over his face is obvious. Clearly, being flirtatious doesn’t come so easily to the younger. Yoongi can barely hold back a smile at the sight of it.

He leans in. Pointedly ignores Jungkook’s lips, instead pressing a light kiss to the flushed skin of his cheek.

“Tonight,” he promises softly.

This seems to placate Jungkook. He’s still blushing furiously though, even as he climbs out of bed to begin gathering his clothes for the day. Yoongi stays in bed a few moments longer. Taking some time to let everything that’s happened settle before feels able to step out and face the others.

“I’m just going to take a shower,” Jungkook says once he’s picked out his outfit. The clothes are bundled in his arms, along with a bath towel.

“K. See you out there?”

They share a small little smile. Knowing that they have this shared secret between them now. That everything outside this room has stayed the same, but they’ve changed. What they are to each other has changed – though how exactly to define that, Yoongi’s unwilling to say.

Jungkook disappears out of the room in the direction of the bathroom. Yoongi gives himself just a few minutes more before eventually getting out of bed and heading through into the lounge.

“Morning, hyung,” Namjoon greets, far chirpier than he was yesterday morning. “Coffee?”

“You’re my favourite, you know that?” Yoongi mumbles, gratefully accepting the mug of coffee thrust in his direction.

He takes a seat next to Hoseok, stifling a yawn as he turns the mug around in his hands. Jimin is stood in the kitchen, pouring cereal into a bowl. Yoongi doesn’t miss the way his gaze drifts over, lingering longer than necessary on Yoongi.

Jungkook’s words float back into Yoongi’s brain. That Jimin felt like he saw something there between them. He thinks back too to Hoseok’s comments on that first morning. Yoongi wonders if anyone else ever saw it too – if perhaps he’s the last one to figure it out.

One by one the others join them. The skies have cleared so bike riding becomes the activity for the day. Yoongi’s not keen on it, but in a way he’s glad. He feels too full of energy, body thrumming. It’s like he needs to work it off.

He sips his coffee slowly, chatting with Seokjin about a dream the elder had. Clearly he’s more worried over his proposal than he’s let on, as the dream appeared to entirely centre around Seokjin trying and failing to propose in multiple different ways.

It feels odd being out here. To be in their company like everything’s the same when in reality, so much has changed. Yoongi knows that it could affect their relationships with the others if it goes wrong. But ignoring it- god, Yoongi feels that would be even worse. So long as he and Jungkook take things slow and stay honest with each other, he hopes that things will be okay.

Eventually Jungkook joins them. He’s dressed ready for the day, the ends of his hair damp from the shower. He exchanges a few playful words with Hoseok before heading into the kitchen to fix himself breakfast.

He only catches Yoongi’s eye when he’s out of sight. A smile pulls on his lips, shy but so obviously happy that it makes Yoongi’s heart skip wildly. He’s eager for the day to pass quickly so that they can be alone again. Get lost in more kisses, in being with each other in this new way. He can’t wait.

Tonight really can’t come fast enough.

 

Chapter Text

“Are we lost again?”

Namjoon stares down at this phone, frowning. He gives a small shake of his head.

“No, no. We just took a wrong turn somewhere back there I think,” he mutters, waving in the direction of a distant hillside. “’m just trying to figure out where we are now.”

“Sounds a lot like we’re lost,” Hoseok points out.

It’s not a bad spot to get lost in. Rolling peaks and troughs of hills surround them, slopes covered in verdant forest. The sun is high above them, a few wispy clouds dotted amongst the blue of the sky. It’s like something out of a painting.

Yoongi settles down into the saddle of his bicycle, feet tapping on the ground. It’s been a relatively short excursion so far, but they’ve already become lost twice. It seems to be a habit of theirs.

Yoongi thinks that they can’t entirely be blamed though. So much of their lives were planned to the finest detail, people on hand all the time to show them where to go and what do to. Being left alone in a foreign country was always going to be somewhat disastrous. At least back then it made for entertaining footage.

Off to his left, Taehyung and Seokjin have decided that Namjoon is best left to figure this out on his own. Seokjin is telling a joke, descending rapidly into squeaks of laughter. Taehyung joins in, lips pulled wide in a grin. He did always tolerate the terrible jokes a lot better than the rest of them.

To his right is Jungkook. Yoongi tries to resist but he can’t help letting his gaze drift in his direction.

It still hasn’t fully sunk in what has happened between them. What is still happening. The giddiness settles for a while, until he catches sight of the younger, and it starts off all over again. Jungkook seems to sense he’s being watched. He turns his head just slightly to meet Yoongi’s gaze.

He smiles, small but so bright. He looks so wonderfully happy. Yoongi hopes that maybe at least a small part of that is due to him. The thought sends that giddiness soaring back through him. He finds himself easily smiling back, just as small, and hopefully subtle.

Not subtle enough, perhaps. Not far away is Jimin. Yoongi sees the way he looks between the two of them. He says nothing, but there’s that familiar odd look on his face. Yoongi swears the corners of his lips tug up ever so slightly, the hint of a knowing smirk. Yoongi quickly turns his attention back on Namjoon.

Eventually, with some belated help from Hoseok, Namjoon figures out where they’ve gone wrong, and they all get back on their bicycles. Just as they begin to cycle off, Jimin calls out to Yoongi, forcing him to slow down.

“Hyung, I think something’s wrong with the chain on my bike. Can you take a look?”

It’s been a while since Yoongi used to ride bikes; it’s not something he’s done much of since his delivery boy days when he was still a struggling trainee. He maybe knows a little more than most, but Yoongi gets the feeling that Jimin has an ulterior motive for requesting Yoongi’s help.

Yoongi pulls up beside him, to where Jimin’s prodding at the metal chain. Yoongi carefully props his bike up against a small fence by the side of the road. As suspected, his help is not entirely necessary.

“Ah, actually, I think I fixed it,” Jimin says almost as soon as Yoongi is by his side.

There is an awkward moment of quiet. The pair of them haven’t talked one-on-one since yesterday morning, when Yoongi walked into Jimin and Taehyung’s bedroom to find them curled up a little too intimately with one another.

Yoongi clears his throat. Jimin watches him carefully. Another beat passes, the silence dragging on a little too long. Eventually Jimin is the one to break it.

“So, uh. Did you enjoy your walk with Jungkookie last night?”

Jimin tries to pass it off as casual conversation but there’s a smile clearly trying to work its way onto his lips. Yoongi wonders just how much he’s figured out. Yoongi shrugs lightly.

“Yeah. It was- pleasant.”

At this, Jimin arches an eyebrow.

“Pleasant?”

He holds Yoongi’s gaze. Yoongi sighs quietly.

“You know, don’t you?”

It’s ambiguous enough that it can be brushed aside if in fact Jimin is actually clueless. His reaction however confirms what Yoongi had already guessed; he knows that something more is happening between him and Jungkook. The suppressed smile now breaks out fully as Jimin nods.

“Yeah. Kook kind of- let me know that something happened,” he explains.

“Oh. Right,” Yoongi replies. “I didn’t realise.”

Jimin looks a bit startled by this. As though worried that he might have got Jungkook in trouble by admitting that. In fairness, Yoongi is a little surprised that Jungkook has told Jimin, and without letting Yoongi know.

“I mean, I asked him last night if something had happened,” Jimin clarifies. “You both seemed kind of- I dunno. Odd, after you came back from your walk. He didn’t answer me but he went so bright red that it wasn’t too hard to figure it out.”

“Ah. I see.”

Jimin’s still smiling warmly. Yoongi watches him. He’s not sure what reaction he was expecting from the younger. Whether he would be unimpressed or concerned about two of his oldest friends taking a leap like that. Instead he seems the opposite. His eyes shine brightly as he nudges Yoongi jovially.

“Look, I don’t know exactly what’s going on, and I’m not gonna make you tell me anything you don’t want to,” he says. “This is between the two of you. But- I just want to say, I hope you’re happy. Whatever happens, you guys being happy all I care about.”

Yoongi feels himself soften. Jimin’s always been so genuine and so caring of his friends. Yoongi’s glad to see that it hasn’t changed. He gives a small nod of thanks to show his gratitude. Both for the fact that Jimin wants them to be happy, and also for not pushing for Yoongi to say more than he’s ready to.

“Thanks,” he replies.

He debates whether to say more. Some of Jungkook’s comments from this morning still linger in his mind, and now seems like a good time to address them.

“Look, uh. Jungkook explained about why things happened the way they did over the last few years.” Yoongi pauses. Waits a long moment before continuing. “Thank you for trying so hard to stay a part of his life. And for supporting him with- well, all the stuff he’s been going through recently. I’m glad you were there for him when I couldn’t be.”

A flush of pink colours Jimin’s cheeks. He looks down at the ground, nodding silently.

“I’m just glad that he let me in enough to help.,” he replies, sincerity clear in his words.

He pauses, looking up. Chews on his lower lip briefly as though deciding whether to continue.

“And I’m glad that he seems to be finding happiness. In himself as well as- well, you know-“ He gestures vaguely in Yoongi’s direction. His gaze lowers again, voice turning softer. “I think he’s liked you for a very long time, hyung.”

Yoongi heard the same thing from Jungkook himself earlier today. But hearing Jimin say it too brings that warmth rushing back through him. He wonders if his own cheeks are similarly rosy. He clears his throat quietly.

“I think I’ve liked him for a long time too,” Yoongi admits.

It’s strange talking to Jimin like this. Being so honest about his feelings. Allowing himself to show some vulnerability. Yoongi always kept his feelings hidden from the others, never wanting to add to their own burdens. He was meant to be the wise and responsible hyung. He was meant to take on their troubles, not the other way around.

But he supposes things have changed now. He’s still Jimin’s elder, but he doesn’t need to stay so strong all of the time. Jimin is more than capable of holding his own.

Yoongi’s words draw that smile a little more out of Jimin. He grins wide, gaze tilting back up to meet Yoongi’s own. He doesn’t pass comment on Yoongi’s words but he doesn’t need to. The way his face lights up says enough.

Yoongi wonders if the others have noticed that they are missing yet. They should probably get back on their bikes and try to catch them up. But it’s a rare moment alone with Jimin. And Yoongi knows that it’s none of his business, but he really wants to talk about yesterday morning. Not to ask for an explanation, but to reiterate that there is no judgement from him about it.

“Jimin, about yesterday morning-” he begins.

The smile instantly slips from Jimin’s face. Yoongi immediately regrets bringing it up. He’s started now though, so he continues.

“I just wanted to say, you don’t owe me or anyone else an explanation. It was dumb of me to just walk into your room like that and- if I’ve made you or Taehyung uncomfortable, I’m really sorry.”

Jimin fixes him with a hard stare. His expression gives nothing away. Yoongi wonders if he’s truly said the wrong thing. And then Jimin sighs softly. His stern look gets replaced with something more gentle but somehow terribly sad.

“Honestly, yeah, I wish you hadn’t seen that,” Jimin admits. “We were dumb too. We’d drunk too much the night before. We’re normally more careful than that.”

Yoongi feels just as guilty as he did when he first stumbled across them. He knows that it’s not Jimin’s intention; he’s simply being honest. But it doesn’t stop Yoongi feeling shitty about the entire thing.

“I’ll be sure to knock next time,” Yoongi says. It’s maybe a little too light-hearted but he’s not really sure what to say. Just wants to make it clear that he has no issue with- whatever their situation is.

Jimin runs a hand through his hair. He seems sad, still. And when he speaks, it’s horribly clear in his voice too.

“I hate that it has to be this way.”

Yoongi doesn’t want to press him too much. Doesn’t want Jimin to feel like he has to explain anything. But the way he talks, it makes Yoongi think that perhaps he wants to say a little more. That maybe has been looking for someone to confide in.

“Are you two- um. Together?” Yoongi asks carefully. “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”

A smile plays on Jimin’s lips but there’s no humour to it.

“No,” he says simply.

“Ah. Right,” Yoongi says.

From what he saw, Yoongi had assumed that perhaps they had some sort of relationship. But maybe he’d been wrong. Maybe it was far more casual than that. Jimin seems to notice Yoongi’s confusion. He looks at him intently, as though trying to figure out how much he should or shouldn’t share.

After a long wait, he finally speaks again. When he does, his words are painfully quiet. A broken quality to them that Yoongi really wasn’t expecting.

“I love him,” he says. “I’ve loved him for a very long time. I only got the guts to tell him after the accident. The thought that something could have happened, that I could have lost him and never told him how I felt-”

Jimin trails off, brow creasing. Yoongi wonders if he’s reliving those horrid moments right after the accident. Of Taehyung in that hospital bed, looking so painfully fragile.

“Turned out he felt the same way. Nothing really changed though,” Jimin explains. “He was still my best friend. I mean, there were some things that changed. Obviously.”

Jimin’s ears go a little red at this. Given their state of undress when Yoongi saw them, he’s in no doubt about exactly what things changed in their friendship after their confessions. It doesn’t bother Yoongi yet at the same time, it’s hard to wrap his head around; that they’ve shared this deeper, hidden level of their friendship for all this time.

“Maybe one day we’ll take that next step to something else but- for now, we’re staying as friends.”

Yoongi blinks, confused. It’s not his place to question but he finds the words slipping out before he can stop them.

“What’s stopping you taking that step now?” he asks. “I mean, you can tell me to mind my own fucking business but- the accident was years ago. If you wanted to be more-“

“I know that,” Jimin snaps suddenly. He catches himself, and shakes his head. “Sorry, hyung. It’s just- difficult sometimes.”

Yoongi nods as though he understands, though he doesn’t really at all. When Jimin speaks again, he sounds so crushed that it makes something clench tight in Yoongi’s chest.

“I’d love to call him my boyfriend. Fuck, I’d make him my husband if I could,” Jimin murmurs. “But- it would be too hard. We’d love a relationship but we’re realistic. We’re both still idols, y’know.”

He pauses, gathering up a little courage before continuing.

“Neither of us can bear the thought of hiding a relationship. If we make it official then suddenly it becomes this huge secret. We’d be forced to lie. Would constantly worry that we’d be exposed. And if we told our families and friends, then it would become this huge burden for them too. We don’t want that,” Jimin explains.

He runs his hand through his hair again. A nervous habit that he’s never lost.

“We’ve wavered sometimes. Recently, actually. But then your whole thing with Taesung happened and- this will sound awful, but it kind of made our minds up for us. The public clearly still isn’t ready for a relationship between two men,” he says. “We’d rather stay as we are, than have a relationship and become constantly paranoid of something slipping. We’ve been through too much already over these last few years. We want to keep things simple.”

Yoongi swallows heavily. It’s a cruel situation. To hold themselves back from the life that they want because of the fear of exposure. Going public turns their relationship into a burden, into a statement. Something just between them suddenly becoming public property, a way to ruin their careers and run their lives.

Yoongi wishes dearly, and not for the first time, that things could be different back home.

“I understand,” Yoongi says. “You’ve both been through a lot. But surely that means you deserve happiness more than anyone.”

Jimin smiles, a bittersweet smile.

“Thank you, hyung. We’ll have it one day. When the public doesn’t care about us anymore,” he says. “I’m okay with waiting. I’ll wait as long as it takes for him.”

Yoongi doesn’t doubt that at all. He’s never seen two people more devoted to each other. He’s about to say as much to Jimin, but is stopped when he sees a figure appear over the horizon.

Jungkook is pedalling furiously, cycling with speed towards the two of them. He pulls up sharply next to Jimin, after a brief moment of teasing as though he was about to run the pair of them down.

“They sent me back to find you guys,” he explains. “We thought maybe you’d stopped to take photos or something but then we waited for ages and you didn’t show.”

Jungkook looks curiously between the two of them. Jimin smiles, quickly switching into a far brighter expression on. A way of covering up his true emotions, something that they’ve all learnt well over the years.

“Ah. I just needed help with the bike chain,” Jimin says. “Yoongi-hyung fixed it for me.”

Jungkook doesn’t seem entirely convinced by the story but he nods anyway. Both Jimin and Yoongi get on their bikes, dutifully following Jungkook back to where the others are waiting.

Yoongi struggles to get Jimin’s admission out of his mind. He understands the fears. Yoongi’s gone through exactly what they are afraid of. But still- he’s lived through it. He’s survived. Being outed so publicly was brutal but in a way, Yoongi would much rather have gone through that than endure what those two are.

He does get it though. He’s only a Producer, no longer so prominent in the public eye, nor with a huge fanbase following his every move. For Taehyung and Jimin, it’s a different story. It could well spell the end of the careers they’ve worked so relentlessly hard for.

Yoongi can’t help but dwell on how it must feel; years of being so painfully close to what you want, but having it constantly held just out of reach.

The rest of the bike ride passes pleasantly despite Yoongi’s sombre thoughts. The sun however is far stronger than any of them expected, and it reduces all of them to sweaty messes with every uphill climb. The views they see as they speed past help make it worth it, but deep down, Yoongi feels like he’d really prefer to be back by the fjord, sipping on a cold beer.

As soon as they return to the cabin later that day, that’s exactly where Yoongi situates himself. He pulls a chair into the shade. Enjoys the satisfying click upon opening a can of beer. The first sip is just as refreshing as he imagined it to be. The others encourage him to take a dip in the water but can’t be convinced.

He watches instead from the water’s edge as they set up a small game of volleyball in the water. Hoseok’s the only other one who doesn’t join, appearing to prefer Yoongi’s method of refreshment. He stretches out next to Yoongi, scrolling idly on his phone with one hand, keeping a grip on his beer with the other.

Yoongi follows the rather haphazard game from the shore. It descends rapidly in plenty of heated discussions about boundaries and cheating. Seokjin is by far the loudest and most frequent complainer.

Truthfully, Yoongi can’t say that he’s entirely focused on the match. His gaze is continually drawn towards Jungkook. Yoongi’s seen him shirtless countless times before. Has never particularly paid much attention, other than an appreciation for the effort the younger puts into working out and maintaining his physique.

Now though, it draws all of Yoongi’s attention. He feels almost improper, staring quite so avidly from behind his sunglasses. He finds he can’t help himself. Starts to wonder, too, if Jungkook isn’t entirely playing fair.

During a break in their game, Jungkook pulls himself up onto the dock. Spends an unnecessarily long time leant back on his elbows, soaking up the sun. He turns his head slightly as he does so, his gaze falling to Yoongi. The elder is certain that he spots the tiniest of smirks on Jungkook’s lips. Knowing that he has Yoongi’s full attention. It lasts for only a moment though. He then starts grinning to himself, more shy than sensual. As though embarrassed by such obvious flirtation.

Yoongi’s cheeks heat up and he makes himself look away. He thinks back to Jungkook’s words from this morning; to the request for them to pick up from where they left off last night. Yoongi starts to wonder what exactly Jungkook meant by that. If he’s expecting it to lead to a little more than kissing.

Something hot curls in Yoongi’s gut at the possibility. Excited and curious, but more than a bit nervous too. He’s still barely getting used to the fact that they can share the intimacy of a kiss. To contemplate anything further leaves Yoongi’s mind reeling. It feels like too big a step for right now.

And yet, Yoongi can’t help but imagine what it could be like. Imagine what that expanse of skin might feel like under his lips. If he could draw more of those beautiful sounds out of Jungkook with more than just kisses.

Yoongi swallows thickly and attempts to bring his mind back to safer territory. The game starts up again and Jungkook slides back beneath the water’s surface. Yoongi takes a long, long sip of his beer.

Another game begins. Hardly a few minutes pass before there’s some sort of disagreement over the score. Seokjin and Jungkook are getting louder in volume, though it stays good-natured. They did always seem to take great delight in winding each other up.

It brings a small smile to Yoongi’s lips. It feels almost like a glimpse back in time. Seokjin and Jungkook quarrelling, Namjoon stood patiently between them. Even after all these years, he still falls so naturally into the leader role. Yoongi always held the upmost respect for Namjoon taking that on. For providing so much strength to the group over the years. Yoongi knows it wasn’t easy to take on such responsibility from a young age. And yet he did so, tirelessly and without complaint, even on their very worst days.

“You thinking of joining the game?” Hoseok asks as he cracks open another can of beer.

“God no,” Yoongi replies, settling back into his chair as though to prove his point. “Why would you think I’d choose that mess over lazing around here?”

“No reason. You’ve just been following the game quite intently is all.”

Hoseok’s words are casual. Almost a little too nonchalant in how they’re uttered. Yoongi can’t help but think of Hoseok’s previous comments. Of how he hinted like perhaps there was once something more to the way Yoongi used to act around Jungkook.

Yoongi swallows thickly. Wonders if Hoseok has figured out that something is happening between them. It seems impossible though; they’ve barely begun to figure it out themselves.

“I’m just questioning how I’ve ended up with these dumbasses as my friends,” Yoongi replies, before raising his beer to his lips once more.

Hoseok gives a low chuckle in response.

“I’ve been asking myself that for years.”

He doesn’t say anything more.

Eventually the skies start to turn grey again, clouds gradually drifting in to cover up the sun’s rays. The resulting drop in temperature forces the others out of the water. Yoongi’s not entirely sure if he’s relieved or disappointed.

It was agreed early on in the trip that on their last night here they would go into one of the bigger towns for dinner at a good restaurant. Tonight though, it’s a fairly simple meal, using up what ingredients they can from the surplus of goods remaining from over-zealous supermarket trips.

There is plenty of alcohol accompanying the dinner too. Yoongi drinks slowly. Just enough for a pleasant, warm buzz to settle over him.

After dinner they end up playing a few rounds of charades. Yoongi’s reluctant at first, preferring to relax with some conversation instead. But Taehyung and Jimin are persistent, using their birthdays as a reason for them not to be questioned. Yoongi could argue back that, although this a trip for their 30ths, that their actual birthdays are still a few months away.

Instead, he gives in without too much persuasion. It won’t be long now until they’re all home and settled back into their regular lives. There’s something comforting about being silly like this. Sure, the games may be a little childish, and something they only really ever used to do with cameras around. But Yoongi’s enjoyed playing them during this trip. Enjoyed the nostalgia for what it is. He feels like they’ve all revelled in it, rather than letting sadness of that fact those days have gone consume them.

From his seat on the couch, Yoongi is creased over with laughter. Namjoon’s currently trying to mime a dolphin to Hoseok, who seems more intent on breaking into hysterics at the sight than actually mimicking the animal. Seokjin, next in line with his back to the pair and ready to guess, can’t see what’s going on, but is growing more and more exasperated as the timer counts down.

Next to Yoongi on the couch, Taehyung wipes away actual tears that have formed in the corners of his eyes. Jungkook leans into him, face pressed into Taehyung’s shoulder to quell his own laughter. Jimin has already fallen to the floor, the sort of full-bodied laugh that always used to take over his whole being. Yoongi feels like he hasn’t seen it in a very long time.

Right now, Yoongi wouldn’t wish to be anywhere else. He thinks back to his trepidation before coming here. His worries that maybe they wouldn’t all work so well together any more. That maybe they’d lost what once made their bond so special.

Now, Yoongi couldn’t imagine having not come on this trip. There was some awkwardness at first, all of them finding their way as they re-learned how to exist so closely and so constantly with each other. Yet they’ve settled back into it far better than he’s sure any of them expected to.

Being here brings Yoongi that deep-seated warmth that he’s missed more than he realised. Sure, they’ve all met up individually over the years – well, aside from Jungkook. But it’s not been the same. It’s not been like this. This sort of happiness that only comes with being with the other six all together. The people he’s shared so much of his life with.

Yoongi wants to make sure he keeps on sharing it with them once they’re back in Seoul. Hopes that the rest of them feel the same way. They’ve grown careless over the years. They’ve let something slip away that they never should have. Maybe because they were always so close, they all just assumed that their connection was strong enough to survive no matter what.

Sure, their bond may be stronger than most. But perhaps they all need to make a little more effort to keep it that way. Yoongi can’t help but wonder if this trip was Taehyung and Jimin’s way of trying to fix things. Of taking that first step to nurse their friendship back to how it used to be.

Hoseok has barely started impersonating the animal to Seokjin when the timer buzzes. Namjoon sighs in exasperation.

“What the hell was that?” Seokjin exclaims

“It was a fucking dolphin!” Namjoon huffs loudly.

Hoseok dissolves into laughter once again. Seokjin rolls his eyes, shaking his head at the fact that they’ve yet to get one answer right. On his lips, though, is a small, fond smile.

The evening passes so enjoyably that for a while it almost takes Yoongi’s mind away from the fact that he’ll soon be alone with Jungkook again. That he’ll be able to kiss the younger. Hold him and talk with him and just- be with him.

It doesn’t fully distract him though. Not with the way that Jungkook catches his gaze every now and then. The sweet and all-too-brief smile that flickers, just for a moment, over his lips, every time he sees Yoongi looking. That fluttering feeling stirs within Yoongi each time, settling in amongst the warmth and the buzz of the rest of the evening.

It’s not until the early hours of the morning that they all eventually head to bed. Yoongi should be feeling tired, ready to crash out, exhausted from the laughter and the steady flow of wine. Yet as soon as the decision’s made to retreat to their bedrooms, Yoongi suddenly feels a rush of energy. From the way Jungkook’s foot bounces against the floor, he’s certain that the younger is feeling it too.

“See you in the morning,” Jimin calls out to the group as he follows Taehyung into their room.

“Not too early though, yeah?” Namjoon checks as he starts to set up his pull-out bed.

Jimin laughs and shoots him a thumbs up.

Yoongi mumbles his own good-nights to those remaining as he heads into their room, Jungkook trailing behind him. Once inside, Yoongi walks over to switch on the small lamp, as Jungkook turns off the main light. And then they both come to a stop.

Both stand by the end of Yoongi’s bed. They look at each other, sharing small, soft smiles. Yoongi’s normally so used to taking the lead in situations like this. Has no problem in moving things forward.

But this- this is so different. Yoongi’s still learning all the new ways that they fit together.

Yoongi might not be as assertive as he usually is, but he still reaches out. Takes Jungkook’s hand in his own. He’s pleased to see the way Jungkook’s smile immediately grows wider. He steps closer.

“So,” Yoongi says. “Not changed your mind about this?”

Wants to say about us but stops himself. It seems too big, almost, to consider that they might not just be Yoongi and Jungkook anymore. That there may possibly be an us now as well.

Jungkook shakes his head, smile still on his lips.

“No,” he answers. His eyes sparkle, a little mischievous. “I would ask you the same question but- well, I saw the way you were watching me in the water earlier.”

It’s teasing, but there’s still a shyness to him as he speaks. It’s so- fuck, it’s so Jungkook, in a way that makes Yoongi’s heart thump unbearably hard. Jungkook’s fingers tangle loosely with his own. With his free hand, Yoongi playfully pinches his side.

“Don’t get cocky now,” he replies. Wets his lips lightly then adds, “was I that obvious?”

“Kind of,” Jungkook grins. “But I mean- I only noticed because I kept looking at you too.”

A hint of that bashfulness turns, quickly replacing the show of bravado. His gaze casts downwards. Yoongi melts.

“Hmm. Well you weren’t really playing fair for your poor hyung,” he murmurs.

His hand on Jungkook’s side slips, just slightly, settling on his waist over his t shirt. Jungkook looks momentarily flustered. His grin falters for a second, before fading into something softer. Almost coy. His hand squeezes Yoongi’s.

“I liked knowing you were looking at me.”

Yoongi’s heart turns a little erratic at his admittance. Jungkook’s eyes are still lowered, his words uttered to Yoongi’s sternum. Clearly being so bold doesn’t come easily just yet.

Yoongi gets it. Normally he’s pretty good at delivering a few killer lines to a potential partner. At saying all the right things to turn them weak. It’s not that he doesn’t want say those things to Jungkook. But it’s still taking some time to fully settle into these new ways of acting around each other.

“Is that so?” Yoongi replies, hushed.

Jungkook nods. Waits a long moment before continuing to speak.

“What, uh- what were you thinking about? When you were looking at me?”

Finally, his gaze lifts back up to meet Yoongi’s. He’s nervous, that much is clear. But there’s that fire in there too that Yoongi caught glimpses of before. Something deeper; something laced with desire. It draws out a heat within Yoongi too, to see that look directed at him.

Yoongi isn’t sure how to answer that question. He knows that his mind was drifting off to thoughts of things that they haven’t even contemplated yet.

There’s a part of him that wants to tell Jungkook about them in great detail. Wants to see how he responds. Wants to know whether his gaze can grow even darker with want. But there’s a more rational part of him that holds back. He truly doesn’t want to pressure Jungkook into anything he’s not ready for.

So he reverts back to telling through his actions rather than with words. He holds Jungkook’s gaze for a pointed beat longer, before leaning in and bringing their lips together.

It stays chaste for barely a few seconds. Jungkook presses back against him, tongue darting out to lick at Yoongi’s lips. Yoongi parts them automatically. It may have only been this morning that they last kissed, but it still manages to feel like far too long.

They sink quickly into it, tongues sliding slow and smooth together. Yoongi can tell how much they both want it; how much they’ve missed it. But it’s not rushed, or hurried. It stays languid and easy and tender. There’s an obvious heat behind it which, for now, stays restrained.

For a long time they simply get lost in rediscovering the taste of each other. Yoongi clings onto his waist, head tilted up just enough to allow the slick glide of their tongues to grow deeper, and just a little heavier. Jungkook clutches onto Yoongi’s hand, but with his other hand he grasps onto Yoongi’s hip. Their bodies shift closer, pressing into one another.

Jungkook pulls back from the kiss eventually. Catching his breath, or simply letting it all sink in again, Yoongi couldn’t say. He takes the chance, though, to trail his lips along the younger’s throat. He doesn’t really expect the way that Jungkook’s head falls back quite so easily, but he takes the invitation to keep going. Litters the expanse of his neck with soft, searing kisses, working all the way back up to his jaw.

He goes to capture Jungkook’s lips again. Is stopped, however, by a firm hand on his chest keeping him at bay. Yoongi blinks hard before frowning. Worried that he’s done something to make Jungkook uncomfortable.

He steps back, enough for their gazes to meet. He knows instantly that he’s done nothing wrong. Jungkook’s lips are parted, cheeks flushed. His gaze is hooded as he looks at Yoongi. They’ve only been kissing but Yoongi’s certain he’s panting. Barely noticeable but- fuck, it’s definitely there.

“Hyung, can I-” he begins. Stops himself, wetting his lips before trying again. “Want to feel you.”

The erratic thump of Yoongi’s heart turns into an even messier beat. That blush on Jungkook’s cheeks grows far deeper. Despite the confidence in his words, Yoongi can feel the way his hand grips Yoongi’s just that bit tighter. Needing reassurance still.

“Okay,” Yoongi whispers. “Just tell me what you want.”

He expects to wait for Jungkook to voice what exactly he wants right now. What he definitely doesn’t expect is for Jungkook to unlink their hands and step back. Doesn’t expect Jungkook to grab onto the hem of his own shirt and pull it up and over his head, throwing it to the floor.

Yoongi stares. Jungkook seems so shy still, despite his forward actions. He stays where he is. Straightens up, clearly gathering his courage. Yoongi can’t help but let his gaze drop to take in the firm planes of his chest. The smooth expanse of his stomach, the jut of his hipbones disappearing beneath the waist of his sweatpants.

“You too, hyung.”

His hesitance is plain, but still, Yoongi is pleased to see the hint of a smirk on Jungkook’s lips as he makes his request. Yoongi wonders if he’s staring a little too intently at all the newly exposed skin on display in front of him.

Yoongi doesn’t wait long to indulge Jungkook’s request. He pulls off his own t shirt, letting it fall to the floor next to Jungkook’s. He gets a tiny stab of pride to see Jungkook’s smirk slip away, lips parting, when he takes in Yoongi’s half-undressed form in front of him.

For what feels like far too long nothing happens, both of them absorbing this new layer of intimacy. Jungkook lifts his gaze back up and Yoongi meets it. Another moment passes, and then another.

And then Jungkook’s lips are on his again, pressing more insistent, more eager than before. Yoongi slides his arms around Jungkook’s back, tugging him close. Their chests press together and Yoongi’s mind spins at how good it feels. Nothing between them, just skin pressed to skin. Jungkook gasps quietly at the sensation. Yoongi takes the opportunity to lick back into his mouth, tongue curling around the younger’s.

Jungkook shifts forward but their bodies can’t get any closer than they already are. Yoongi stumbles slightly.  It takes him a second to realise that Jungkook’s trying to guide them in the direction of the bed. His heart rate grows even wilder than before.

Yoongi takes a step backwards, arms around Jungkook ensuring that he follows. He feels the back of his knees hit the mattress. Slowly leans back, Jungkook so easily following the movement of his body.

It’s clumsy at first. Yoongi’s legs are still off of the bed, ass hanging off the edge, and Jungkook falls on top of him a little too heavily. Their kiss breaks, disrupted by the new position.

Yoongi’s about to suggest that they move properly onto the bed. Is stopped when he feels firm hands on his sides. Jungkook moves him with ease, hoisting Yoongi fully onto the bed with minimal effort. Yoongi’s stomach swoops treacherously. Sure, he’s always had a thing for strong guys; he just never expected that one day Jungkook would be one of them.

Jungkook crawls over him. He looks eager but, more than anything, he looks lost. They are clearly both very much into each other. Perhaps, Yoongi wonders, they both are open to taking things a little further.

Regardless- even this is a big step. Half-dressed, pressed together on a bed. They may have already shared countless kisses together on this very bed. This, however, is a totally new level of intimacy.

Yoongi lifts a hand up. Cradles Jungkook’s jaw. Brushes his thumb gently across his cheek. He doesn’t miss the way Jungkook leans into his touch very slightly.

“Hey,” Yoongi says, deliberately soft. “You okay?”

Jungkook nods. He smiles, small but genuine. He seems nervous, but he doesn’t seem uncomfortable. Still, Yoongi tries just a bit harder to reassure.

“We can take things slow, okay?” Yoongi tells him. “This is a lot for me to take in too.”

“Yeah?”

Jungkook gives him a low look of disbelief. As though incapable of imagining Yoongi to be anything other than sure and confident.

 Yoongi supposes he did always make sure to play the role of the assertive, strong hyung, even if he didn’t always feel it inside. He’s learning more and more though, that perhaps he doesn’t always need to keep up that façade. That he can allow himself a little more vulnerability these days.

“Yeah,” Yoongi echoes. Lets his hand drift from Jungkook’s jaw to instead brush away the stray hairs falling across his forehead. “You were my best friend, Kook. To now be doing this with you it’s- it’s kind of overwhelming, y’know.”

Jungkook blinks down at him. Taking in his words. Teeth find his lower lip momentarily before he replies.

“You do still want this though?”

“Yes. Fuck, of course I do,” Yoongi breathes, words slipping out a touch too fast. “It’s kind of shocking me just how much.”

It draws a smile out of Jungkook, wider and brighter than before. He nods, pleased. Silence settles over them but it’s easier. Both knowing that they can take their time. That nothing needs to be rushed.

Jungkook’s smile gradually fades. A touch of that heat returns to his gaze. Yoongi watches the way his throat moves as he swallows heavily. Yoongi moves his hands to Jungkook’s shoulders, smoothing over their curve, before linking around the nape of Jungkook’s neck and tugging him down.

Their mouths meet, slow and sensual. The taste of Jungkook, the feel of him pressed into Yoongi; it’s intoxicating. Yoongi drinks it in. Lets that heavy, heady feeling wash over him, completely lost to the moment. Not so lost, though, that he doesn’t notice the tentative touch of Jungkook’s fingers against his side.

He melts back against the mattress as much as he can. Creates some space between them, whilst making sure that the kiss continues. Jungkook’s hand travels further. Brushes over the dip of Yoongi’s stomach. Trails over the firmness of his chest. Yoongi can sense the way he kisses messier, lighter. Distracted by the feel of Yoongi beneath his fingers.

Yoongi makes a low noise of encouragement against his lips. He knows that any encounters Jungkook’s had like this in the past will have been with women. Knows how new this all is for him. Yoongi lets him take his time. Kisses him slow as fingertips stroke over his shoulders, his collarbones.

Yoongi waits. Lets Jungkook set the pace. When the younger eventually pulls away, falling to the side and flopping onto his back, Yoongi watches him, careful. He doesn’t do so for long though. Jungkook’s immediately pulling him back in, lips already slick from kissing but still wanting more. Yoongi happily obliges.

It’s addictive. Yoongi knows that the others are just outside of their door. Out there, it’s simply another normal night. But in here, Yoongi feels hopelessly lost in this own world that they’re building, just the two of them. He can’t get enough.

Beneath him, Jungkook shifts. Restless, wanting more. Yoongi’s own hands start to explore. They may not have gruelling schedules these days, but Jungkook clearly still finds ways to keep in shape. Yoongi traces over the lines of his abdomen, the trim curve of his waist. He brushes over Jungkook’s nipple. Almost instantly, the younger gasps into the kiss.

“You like that?” Yoongi murmurs.

Jungkook doesn’t answer. Yoongi does it again. Cranes his head back so that he can watch Jungkook’s reaction. The way his eyes flutter close, the way he arches up into the touch. There’s a heat simmering inside of Yoongi; it sparks, unfurling hot and eager inside of him at the sight.

He sits up, effectively straddling Jungkook’s hips. He brings his free hand to Jungkook’s other nipple. Thumbs at them both, the touch delicate. The response is instant. Jungkook’s eyes scrunch more tightly closed, lips parting.

Yoongi grins lazily. Runs his hands down along Jungkook’s sides. Gives him a moment’s reprieve before repeating the action again. Jungkook’s brow pinches in pleasure before smoothing out. His eyes open. Something besides pleasure flickers in his gaze. Enough to make Yoongi stop.

“I, uh-“ Jungkook begins. Licks at his lips before going on. “Guys don’t normally like that, right?”

Yoongi stares down at him. Jungkook looks unsure, almost worried, as he stares back.

Yoongi recalls the way Jungkook was so utterly gone when Yoongi was kissing him last night. How it was probably the first time he’d even been able to fully give himself over to something like that. Yoongi feels like this might be the same; that this may be first time Jungkook’s been able to let go and truly enjoy intimacy like this with someone.

 “Some do, some don’t,” Yoongi tells him. “If you like it- that’s all I care about.”

A soft smile tugs at the edges of Jungkook’s mouth. Yoongi smooths his hands along his sides again. That anxiety gradually disappears from his gaze, leaving only something warm and wonderfully open.

“Then yeah. I like it,” Jungkook whispers.

Yoongi can’t resist leaning down to briefly feel that smile pressed against his own. Jungkook immediately tries to deepen it but Yoongi’s already pulling away. His shifts himself to perch lower on Jungkook’s thighs. His lips drag down across Jungkook’s throat, his collarbones, before closing over his left nipple.

Jungkook sucks in a sharp breath. Yoongi’s tongue flicks over the hardened nub, once, twice, before circling it torturously slow. Jungkook’s breathing quickens. His fingers twist into the bedsheets beneath them.

Yoongi goes so, so slow. Keeps his tongue working, wet and deliberate, before sucking with a little more pressure. Decides to risk biting down, ever so gently. The whimper that falls from Jungkook is more than enough encouragement for him to try it again.

Yoongi kisses a trail over to his other nipple. Starts to languidly work it with his mouth. As he does so, he brings a hand up to the other already sensitive one, thumbing at it lightly. Beneath him, Jungkook shakes, a hushed moan slipping past his lips. His reactions make that heat unfurl a little faster within Yoongi. Spreads out through his body, settling low in his gut.

“You sound so good,” Yoongi tells him without hesitation.

Yoongi’s heard him whimper, and gasp, and sigh. But to hear him moan like that, because of Yoongi, for Yoongi-

It’s surreal, and amazing, and god, Yoongi wants to hear it again.

He keeps going, tongue and fingers working until Jungkook’s near trembling from Yoongi’s touch. Yoongi doesn’t push it too far, doesn’t make him too oversensitive. He has no idea yet what Jungkook’s limits are, what his boundaries might be for pleasure and pain. Eventually, he shifts back up his body, settling over the younger ready to draw him into another kiss.

Yoongi feels it straight away, pressed against his hip. Jungkook’s sweatpants do very little to conceal the fact that he is hard.     Very obviously so. A low whine escapes Jungkook, the sound caught somewhere between aroused and embarrassed. Heat burns that much more fiercely in Yoongi’s gut.

His lips are blocked from meeting Jungkook’s by the fact that an arm gets rapidly slung over Jungkook’s face. Yoongi can’t help but grin, awfully endeared by Jungkook’s reaction. Jungkook whines again, this time his embarrassment far more prominent.

“Fuck, sorry,” he mumbles. “You’re just like, really hot, y’know, and I- yeah-“

Jungkook’s sentence trails off as Yoongi presses his face into the side of his neck. Yoongi finds himself laughing. Not because he finds it particularly funny, but because he just feels so suddenly overwhelmed. Being like this with Jungkook is amazing but still- it’s a lot to take in.

“Hey,” Jungkook protests, though he sounds vaguely amused. Embarrassed still, but thankfully not upset. “Don’t laugh at me.”

Yoongi lands a soft kiss against his neck. Props himself up on his elbows enough so that he can look at Jungkook. The arm is still slung across his face.

“I’m not laughing at you,” Yoongi tells him gently. “It’s just- a lot. I never thought I’d hear you saying things like that about me. It’s kind of crazy.”

Slowly Jungkook draws his forearm away from his face. Lets it drop down to the covers. He looks up at Yoongi, ghost of a smile on his own lips. Something in his look tells Yoongi that he understands. That Yoongi’s not the only one feeling a little overwhelmed right now.

“Yeah, I guess it is,” Jungkook smiles.

His hands lift up, curling tentatively around the nape of Yoongi’s neck. He guides Yoongi back down until their lips hover tantalisingly close. Yoongi dips his head but brushes his lips only to the corner of Jungkook’s mouth.

“I liked hearing it though,” Yoongi murmurs. Nips lightly at Jungkook’s lower lip. “I could get used to it.”

Jungkook makes a soft noise of agreement. He tilts his head, lips slotting easily against Yoongi’s. The kiss turns heavier this time. There’s more heat, a more obvious edge of need. Jungkook’s arms slide around Yoongi’s back, holding him close as the roll of their tongues grows deeper.

The low ache simmering inside of Yoongi becomes more intense, less easy to ignore. Yoongi’s growing hard too. Helpless to resist against the slick slide of Jungkook’s tongue, and the way he arches up so eager against him.

Yoongi’s mind is spinning. He finds his hips start to move instinctively, a slow steady grind down against the man below him. He knows what he said about taking things slow, about there being no rush; and yet such thoughts seem to have drifted away from him. Replaced only with the way Jungkook pants into their kiss, and the way he presses back up against Yoongi’s hips with their every roll downwards.

Hyung.”

Yoongi’s heart feels like it stops for a second.

He’s heard Jungkook call him that countless times before. But it’s never been like this. Never been choked out, needy, almost desperate. Jungkook’s hands slip down. They don’t quite reach Yoongi’s ass, but settle against the small of his back. Palms spread, trying to guide the movement of Yoongi’s hips. Urging him to go faster. Yoongi resists. Keeps up the low, slow grind instead.

The thought that it’s Jungkook beneath him isn’t weird, or strange. Just like how Yoongi felt when they kissed for the first time, it simply feels right to be with him like this. Jungkook’s breathy sighs and the touch of his hands and the press of his body don’t make Yoongi panic or want to run. They only spur him on.

His lips trace a line up to Jungkook’s ear. He presses a kiss to the very top of his jaw.

“Kook-ah,” he breathes out. “What do you want? Tell me.”

Yoongi knows that Jungkook’s too restless, too eager. Gets the feeling that if they keep going the way they are that there’s a strong chance Jungkook’s going to end up getting off like this. Maybe even Yoongi too. And while Yoongi can’t say that hates the idea – quite the opposite – it’s not how he wants their first time being with each other like this to go.

Jungkook’s silent, aside from his laboured breathing. Even in this situation, there’s still some shyness, some hesitancy. Yoongi wants to take it away. Wants Jungkook to feel able to ask for whatever he wants. To be open about his desires, in a way Yoongi’s sure he hasn’t ever been able to before.

He presses another kiss to Jungkook’s jaw, then to the edge of his cheek, the shell of his ear. Trying to calm. To reassure.

“Or we can just stop things here,” Yoongi adds. “That’s okay too.”

It’s almost comical, the speed with which Jungkook responds to that.

“No, no, I don’t want to stop,” he says. He pauses, gathering himself, before asking quietly, “Will you touch me, hyung?”

Yoongi’s eyes fall closed, Jungkook’s words rushing straight down his body. He takes a moment to collect himself. Yoongi’s turned on, painfully so, and the thought of what Jungkook wants him to do isn’t quelling any of that heat.

“Yeah. Yes. Okay,” Yoongi breathes out, words far too rushed in his excitement.

Yoongi’s usual easy, calm confidence in bed is taking something of a hit tonight. When he opens his eyes though, Jungkook’s smiling, bright and flustered, and Yoongi finds he doesn’t really care so much about being smooth when his more embarrassing reactions make Jungkook look like that.

It doesn’t make it any less daunting though when Yoongi shifts lower, fingers tucking beneath the waistband of Jungkook’s sweats. They’ve shared so much already but this- this is a whole other level, much further than they’ve gone so far.

Yoongi looks back up at Jungkook before he continues. Jungkook’s staring back at him, eyes glazed but focused on Yoongi’s hands. Full of anticipation. It’s enough to let Yoongi know he’s okay; that he can keep going.

Slowly, Yoongi inches them down. Beneath his sweatpants Jungkook wears tight black boxer-briefs. His arousal is very evident beneath them, the fabric stretched taut over his crotch. There’s a darker patch on the material, damp with precum. Yoongi’s whole body feels suddenly far too hot. He hears Jungkook’s breathing grow faster.

Yoongi drags the sweats all the way down to his feet before discarding them. He looks back up and the sight floors him. Jungkook spread out on the covers, chest heaving, so much skin on display. Bathed in the low light of the lamp, he looks incredible. Yoongi’s always appreciated his good looks, Right now, though, he looks unbelievable.

Yoongi crawls back up the bed, effectively straddling Jungkook’s thighs once more. His hands stroke over Jungkook’s hips. An attempt to calm Jungkook a little, but more to ground himself than anything. Jungkook looks up at him, lips parted.

“Hyung,” he whispers. “Please.”

Yoongi’s insides feel like they’ve turned to liquid. Molten and hot, settling deep in his lower body. He can’t do anything but give into Jungkook’s request. He’s always been weak for the younger. He just never imagined that he’d ever be giving into pleas like that, falling so temptingly from Jungkook’s lips.

Yoongi keeps his fingers rubbing slow circles over Jungkook’s hips. Moving lazy, languid, inching closer to the one place Jungkook’s so desperate to be touched. His fingertips get nearer, nearer, until they’re finally tracing over the hard line of Jungkook’s cock, straining beneath his underwear.

Jungkook’s breath hitches audibly at the touch.

Yoongi’s own breath catches in his throat. To be able to feel just how turned on Jungkook is; to feel the firm thickness of him, only the thinnest of material in the way. It’s making that heat flare intense and pressing right in the very pit of Yoongi’s gut. He lets his fingers trace back and forth, a light tease that gets Jungkook squirming. Finally getting Yoongi’s touch, but not enough to satisfy.

“Is this what you wanted?” Yoongi asks lowly.

He may still be adjusting to being with Jungkook like this, but he’s settling into it more and more. Some of the nerves begin to fade, replaced bit by bit by the usual easy confidence Yoongi enjoys.

He allows himself to tease, just a little. Jungkook throws something of a disgruntled look in Yoongi’s direction. All for show, but it pleases Yoongi greatly to see it. To know that they’re settling into their usual easy back and forth, their comfortable way of being around each other, even if it is in this most new and different of situations.

“Feels good,” Jungkook sighs. “But maybe- you could touch me properly.”

A flush is spread all around Jungkook’s shoulders and collarbones, reaching up his neck and colouring his cheeks. A mixture of embarrassment and arousal. Yoongi wants to lean in. Press his lips to that skin, feel the heat of it. But for now, he stays focused on what Jungkook wants. What he needs right now, if the way his hips writhe so pointedly is any indication.

Yoongi shifts back on Jungkook’s legs, lets his hands move away to stroke over his thighs. Feels the shift of muscle beneath them as Jungkook grows even more restless. Yoongi tries to hold back the small smile trying to spread over his lips.

Perhaps it’s unfair to tease like this, especially on their first time being so intimate. But it brings some lightness, some easiness, to the moment that was becoming so heavy with significance. Yoongi thinks perhaps it’s both what they need right now. Still though, he doesn’t drag the teasing out too long. Walks his fingertips up to the waist of Jungkook’s underwear.

As his fingers slip underneath the elastic the atmosphere becomes a little heavier again. Yoongi’s smile fades, switching into something more focused, headier. Jungkook wets his lips, an obvious bob to his throat as he swallows thickly. Careful and slow, Yoongi drags the tight material down, down until it gathers on his thighs.

Yoongi’s seen Jungkook naked plenty of times before. Shared showers and dressing rooms and the general complete disregard for personal space that came with spending every day with the same six guys for years means that Yoongi has seen all of them completely nude on multiple occasions. But Yoongi has definitely never seen Jungkook like this.

“Fuck,” Yoongi murmurs, the word spilling from his lips before he can stop it.

Jungkook’s so, so hard, cock flushed and wet. It only adds to the fire building steadily inside of Yoongi. He wants, so badly. Wants to touch him. Wants to make him feel good. There’s plenty more wants fading in and out of his thoughts. For now though, wrapping his fingers around Jungkook is all he can focus on.

He glances up quick to Jungkook’s face. There’s that look of anticipation again. Need and desire, all wrapped into the intensity of his gaze. He watches and waits. Yoongi knows that there’s no going back from this. That this is crossing a line that would too difficult to ever undo. It doesn’t stop him.

It feels right still, just like everything else has.

It makes Yoongi continue without hesitation. Makes him reach out and take hold of Jungkook’s cock, grasping firm and tight around him. It draws the sweetest of whimpers out of Jungkook, his hands fisting into the sheets.

His head has dropped back onto the bed, neck no longer craned to watch Yoongi. Instead he seems a little overcome with how it feels. With, Yoongi hopes, a rush of pleasure. He checks still though. This is a huge, unexpected move forward for them, far quicker than either expected.

“You doing okay?”

Jungkook nods, ridiculously eager. Wets his lips before they part again, jaw going slack as Yoongi’s hand begins a slow, slow slide along his length. His eyes are closed, the crown of his head pressed back into the mattress. Yoongi’s fist reaches the tip of Jungkook’s cock, thumb swiping lazily over the head.

Another soft whimper falls from Jungkook as his back arches further off the bed, needing more. The sight of it just does things to Yoongi.

“Yes, fuck. So okay,” Jungkook replies, words mumbled and running into each other. It’s all the encouragement Yoongi needs.

He swipes over the head once more, precum gathering under the pad of his thumb, before letting his hand slide slowly back down. He’s barely started and Jungkook’s already panting hard, body reacting so wonderfully to every touch, every gentle slide, every flick of Yoongi’s thumb. A quiet, hushed moan escapes him now and then, each time stoking that heat which only grows heavier and more obvious in Yoongi.

Yoongi ignores it for the moment. This is about Jungkook right now, not him. He wants Jungkook to take all his attention. Yoongi’s sure that Jungkook’s been holding himself back for so long. Has been neglecting to allow himself to fully feel the sort of passion and pleasure that should be a part of intimacy like this.

Under Yoongi’s touch, he’s opening up more and more. Soft moans spill past his lips, always staying quiet. The need in them is still so obvious despite that. The sort of unrestrained, easy sounds that make Yoongi’s cock throb almost painfully within the confines of his jeans.

Beneath his palm, Jungkook is hot and pulsing. His hips jerk up whenever Yoongi moves his fingers in a particular way, something that Yoongi stores away for another time. Jungkook finally forces himself to open his eyes. He props himself up on shaky elbows. His head tips forward, gaze focused unwaveringly on the way Yoongi’s hand moves over him.

He can only do so for a while though. Eventually his head tips back again, jaw going blissfully slack. He stays propped up on his elbows though, only just.

“Hyung, you- god, it feels so good,” he pants out, words thin, stretched. Yoongi’s hand speeds up, just a little. It’s enough to leave Jungkook struggling to get out the rest of his words. His chest rises and falls more rapidly, a thin sheen of sweat covering the toned, taut skin. “I’m- fuck, I’m not gonna- you should-”

Words fall fast from his mouth, jumbled and almost slurred. It gives Yoongi a low thrill to know how worked up Jungkook is simply from his touch. Something inside of him wants to lean in. To wrap his mouth around Jungkook’s length. To taste him, to draw out even more delicious sounds from him. But he holds himself back. That’s probably too much for right now.

That flush is still colouring Jungkook’s skin. It’s most prominent in his cheeks, which have turned so endearingly pink. Yoongi guesses he may be embarrassed about the speed with him he’s about to finish.

If he is, he needn’t worry; Yoongi’s fairly certain that if he were to be touched himself right now, he wouldn’t last particularly long either. There’s too much newness, too much excitement. Simply the rush from being together like this- it’s enough to set every nerve alight in the best possible way.

Yoongi shifts. Leans all the way forward, until his lips find Jungkook’s neck. His hand keeps moving, a little faster now. Aiming to build that pleasure, more, more, until Jungkook can do nothing but simply give into it. His lips brush over Jungkook’s jaw, pressing his next words into the strong curve of it.

“It’s okay,” Yoongi whispers. “It’s okay. I want to feel it, Kook-ah.”

Yoongi’s encouragement seems to have an immediate effect. Jungkook groans, low and desperate and lovely. His hips buck up, chasing the tight heat of Yoongi’s fist. Yoongi lets him; lets him take whatever he needs.

Jungkook’s head moves, his mouth clumsily finding Yoongi’s. They kiss, hot and messy. It’s less of a kiss than their lips simply pressing together, parted, drinking in each other’s fast, stuttered breaths. Beneath him, Yoongi can feel the way Jungkook’s body tenses, teetering right on the edge.

“C’mon, beautiful. Let go. Let me feel you.”

Yoongi’s murmured words seem to push Jungkook just that little bit too far. He tenses up fully, breath catching with his mouth still pressed so close to Yoongi’s. A tight, high, gasp escapes him, before melting into something low and drawn out, so blissfully satisfied that it makes Yoongi’s cock throb unbearably hard in his jeans.

He keeps his hand moving, growing slower, slower, until he feels Jungkook start to shake from oversensitivity. He drops his hand and pulls away just enough. Braces himself on his forearms, either side of Jungkook.

The younger’s eyes are closed, lips smacking together lazily. His face is blotchy, sweat lining his features. Still, Yoongi somehow can’t help but be struck by how truly beautiful he looks right now. So open, and so happy. The sight of Jungkook like this is one few will have seen. Something bubbles, hot and pleased and too fond in Yoongi’s chest at knowing he’s lucky enough to be one of them. He never really realised just how much it would mean to him.

When Jungkook finally blinks his eyes open, he meets Yoongi’s gaze immediately. Holds it for a second, stunned, before a wonderfully small, shy smile curves his lips. Yoongi, as ever, finds himself unable to resist returning it.

“Hey,” Yoongi says gently. “You with me?”

“Yeah. That was-“ Jungkook trails off, voice so soft. There’s a shakiness to it though; from excitement, from exhaustion, Yoongi couldn’t say. Jungkook sighs quietly before letting out a short, bashful laugh. “Fuck. I swear I don’t normally finish that fast.”

Yoongi finds his own laughter escaping. Jungkook grins up at him, flustered and so warm. Yoongi’s painfully endeared. He feels near giddy, like he did after their first kiss. Almost taken aback by how well everything falls together. How well the two of them fit.

“I believe you,” Yoongi tells him. Makes sure to affect a tone that very much implies the opposite. For that, Jungkook delivers a swift thump to his shoulder. Yoongi just grins back at him. “Let me find a towel. Get you cleaned up.”

Right as he begins to move away, Yoongi feels a hand wrap firmly around his wrist. It draws his attention back to Jungkook. There’s a small frown lining the younger’s forehead, confusion clear on his face.

“Wait. What about you?”

“Ah. I’m okay,” Yoongi tells him.

Not entirely true. The heat in his lap right now is intense and insistent. But Yoongi really doesn’t want to steer Jungkook into anything he’s not ready for. Sure, they’ve happily pushed their boundaries tonight, and Jungkook’s a grown man, more than capable of deciding what he wants. Yet at the same time, this is all so new for him, even more so than Yoongi.

“But-“ Jungkook nods down Yoongi’s body, to the erection clearly visible even through Yoongi’s jeans. “I want to make you feel good too. I mean- if that’s okay.”

Fuck. It’s more than okay. Jungkook looks up at him, gaze open and so honest. It’s evident in the way he looks at the elder that this may be new, and may even be a touch overwhelming, but it doesn’t lessen the want he feels. Yoongi’s mouth suddenly goes very dry.

“You’re sure?” Yoongi checks.

“Yes,” Jungkook replies, words leaving him on a low exhale. “Let me. Please.”

That heat rushes through Yoongi once more. He’s still so hard, visions of Jungkook from only moments ago racing through his mind. Keeping him wanting.

Yoongi doesn’t need much more encouragement before he’s kneeling up, fingers carefully drawing down the zipper of his jeans. He doesn’t take them off fully, seeming like too much hassle right now. Instead he pushes them down, just enough, before tugging his underwear down too.

Jungkook’s eyes grow even wider.

Yoongi knows how crazy it felt to see Jungkook like this for the first time. Can imagine all too well how Jungkook is feeling. Seeing his hyung like this, all for him. Yoongi wonders if his mind is spinning just as much as Yoongi’s was. Jungkook stares for a moment longer, before tentatively lifting his hand. His gaze flickers up to Yoongi’s face.

“Can I?”

Yoongi nods. Swallows heavily as Jungkook’s fingertips graze along his length. Watches, transfixed, as he slowly wraps his fingers around Yoongi’s cock. Yoongi draws in a sharp breath, the intensity of finally being touched after so long almost too much.

Fuck.”

The curse falls from both their lips as Jungkook takes hold of him fully. Yoongi from the incredible feeling of his grip. Jungkook no doubt from touching Yoongi like this for the very first time. Of touching any man like this for the first time. It takes all of Yoongi’s self-control to stay still. To not rock his hips forward into the touch.

He lets Jungkook take his time. Yoongi has no doubt that Jungkook has touched himself countless times before. But touching someone else, to feel their own heat and thickness beneath his palm, might take a little adjusting to. Yoongi remembers his own curiosity too, the very first time he was intimate with a guy. The sensation so familiar and new all at once.

Jungkook’s gaze doesn’t leave his own hand as he starts to move it along Yoongi’s length. He goes faster than Yoongi did, a bit rougher too. Probably touching Yoongi the same way he does himself when he’s alone. It’s good; fuck, it’s really good. A bit clumsy, a bit too eager, but- it’s Jungkook touching him. That really overrides anything else right now.

Still, Yoongi drops his own hand. Gently covers Jungkook’s with it. He doesn’t apply much pressure, just the lightest of touches. Jungkook responds to it straight away though. Lets Yoongi guide his movements, making the tiniest of adjustments until he’s working Yoongi’s length perfectly.

Yoongi’s teeth bite down into his lower lip, struggling to hold back the moans which threaten to escape. They’ve tried to stay quiet, very much aware of their proximity to the others. Particularly to Namjoon, who is only on the other side of their bedroom door. But it proves difficult when Jungkook picks up speed, soon mastering the exact pressure and rhythm that Yoongi loves.

Yoongi removes his own hand. Leans forward, elbows propping himself up, as he brings their mouths together for another kiss. A way to keep his noises muffled, soft groans spilling easily into Jungkook’s mouth instead.

“So good, Kook,” he whispers into the kiss. “So good.”

It’s more than simply words of encouragement. It’s entirely truthful. Jungkook’s as fast a learner as he always used to be, and it’s clear that he’s no longer feeling any awkwardness around touching Yoongi like this for the first time. Instead he seems to enjoy it. Seems to take his own pleasure from making Yoongi gasp and shake. Enjoys being able to make his hyung so messy from only the touch of his hand.

“Kook, I’m- fuck, like that,” Yoongi breathes out. “God, like that, like that. ‘m so close.”

Maybe Yoongi should be feeling some embarrassment too. But he’s been so turned on for so long, it was always inevitable that it wouldn’t take too much for him to be brought to the edge. Jungkook seems hugely pleased, a satisfied hum slipping into their kiss.

The heat in Yoongi grows so much heavier, so much more intense. It feels like it spreads to every inch of him, his whole body feeling on edge, about to snap. That rush of pleasure hovering just beneath the surface, ready to release with just a few more slick, deliberate slides of Jungkook’s hand.

Yoongi breaks the kiss, forehead pressing into Jungkook’s shoulder. He gasps quietly, stomach jumping, so, so close.

“Hyung, please. Wanna feel you cum. Wanna feel-”

The rest of his words get drowned out, Yoongi’s mind briefly going blank. All he can focus on is that heady burst of pleasure that he’s right on the brink of. On the fact that it’s Jungkook’s hand around him, Jungkook’s words whimpered against his ear. It’s too much, that heat growing too fast inside of him.

Yoongi cums with a low, long moan, muffled against Jungkook’s shoulder. His orgasm crashes through him, relief and pleasure surging with an intensity that leaves Yoongi breathless. He lets Jungkook work him through it, right until it crosses over into too much.

Eventually that rush fades into a low, soothing buzz. It begins to sink in, what exactly they’ve done. Yoongi can’t help but smile. That spark, that connection, that he’s been searching for with someone for so long- it’s undoubtedly here with Jungkook. It’s all falling into place, a little more with every moment.

Yoongi falls sideways, collapsing back onto the bed. Jungkook grins down at him. There’s a touch of sheepishness in there, but more than anything he looks pleased, proud. It stirs something warm in Yoongi’s chest, lust replaced with something far deeper.

There’s a comfort in his smile that Yoongi can’t help but latch onto. It’s so familiar; a sign that no matter how much has changed over these last couple of days, it’s still him. He’s still Jungkook.

“How are you feeling?” Yoongi whispers.

It should be obvious with the way Jungkook’s smiling but still, Yoongi wants to check. It’s only recently that Jungkook’s come to terms with being gay. Has only just truly started to accept himself. As overwhelming as this was at times for Yoongi, he can only guess how much more significant it has been for Jungkook.

“Good. Really good.”

Jungkook is still smiling, a hazy, dreamy quality to it. Still on a high from what’s happened.

Yoongi is feeling very much the same. He reaches up, fingers curling around Jungkook’s neck. Tugs him down for one more kiss. This one stays slow, gorgeously so. Their tongues meet, rolling deep and lazy together. Yoongi’s heart may be starting to calm, but it still thumps hard in his chest as they both let themselves sink into the kiss.

“Okay,” Yoongi murmurs, more to himself that Jungkook when they break apart. “Let’s get cleaned up.”

It’s too late for a shower; it would draw far too much attention and too many questions from the others. So instead Yoongi stands up, shuffling over to where his bath towel hangs over the chair in the corner of the room. He walks back to Jungkook; stays standing and carefully mops up the mess left by the both of them on his chest. Jungkook watches quietly the whole time.

Maybe this should all feel stranger. Both of them naked, dealing with the outcome of what’s just occurred. But it doesn’t. It feels natural. It feels right. It feels a little like something Yoongi could all too easily get used to.

“Here,” Yoongi says, picking up the folded pyjamas on Jungkook’s bed. He tosses them over, the material landing on Jungkook’s face.

Jungkook looks a little sulky at having to get dressed but he does so without protest. Knows as much as Yoongi does how it would feel if one of the others walked in on them in the morning completely naked. Sharing a bed would already require explanation; a lack of clothes would be far too much to contemplate.

Jungkook curls into Yoongi’s side once they’re under the covers. It’s became a habit over the last few nights. Yoongi can’t help but wonder if it will continue once they’re back in Seoul. They’ve agreed to figure out whatever this is together, but Yoongi isn’t entirely sure how that works back at home. What happens once they leave the safety of the cabin, no longer tucked away from the rest of the world.

Yoongi pushes it to the back of his mind. It’s not a worry for now. Now, all he wants to focus on is the press of Jungkook against him. Of his quiet breathing, of his fingers clutching onto Yoongi’s side. Yoongi leans in, one final kiss of the evening pressed to Jungkook’s lips. He feels the younger sigh so softly against him.

It’s only when the lamp is turned off, both of them waiting for sleep, that Jungkook finally speaks again. Words so hushed, Yoongi almost misses them.

“That was my first time,” he says, hesitant. “With a guy, y’know.”

Yoongi shifts close, nose nudging Jungkook’s jaw.

“I know,” Yoongi tells him.

Silence settles. Yoongi’s breathing has fallen into a slow, steady rhythm, drifting on the edges of sleep, when Jungkook speaks again.

“’m so happy it was with you, hyung,” he whispers. “And I’m- I’m sorry it took so long for us to get here.”

Yoongi leans in, dusting a tender kiss to Jungkook’s jawline. Tugs him in a little closer.

He knows that they’ve talked through all of this. That Yoongi already assured Jungkook that things had to happen the way that they did for both of them to realise their feelings. That they had to go through a lot of pain and hurt but- perhaps it was needed to get them to where they are now.

Despite their talk, worries still clearly linger in Jungkook’s mind. Regrets about the past, sadness over things he can’t alter. Yoongi gets it. He’s prone himself to dwelling on things he can’t change. Struggles, sometimes, to fully let go of such things.

“We’re here now,” Yoongi tells him. “That’s what matters.”

He feels Jungkook nod. Feels him press in impossibly close. Another kiss finds its way to Jungkook, this time landing on his cheek. A long time passes before Jungkook talks again.

“You called me beautiful, you know,” Jungkook says. “I think you’re getting soft in your old age.”

Yoongi’s cheeks heat up. He hadn’t meant for that to slip out so easily, but he was caught up in the moment and, well- Jungkook truly had looked so beautiful. Yoongi bends his knee, nudging it against Jungkook’s thigh.

“You can blame yourself for that,” he grumbles. He feels the flash of Jungkook’s smile pressed against his neck. Smiles too, despite his show of annoyance. “Go to sleep.”

There’s a lot still at play in Yoongi’s mind. He can’t help but replay what just happened, over and over. Can’t get rid of the image of Jungkook, breathless and happy and just- there, with Yoongi. It mingles with thoughts of where things go from here. Everything so far has felt almost too easy. Yoongi feels a little like he’s forgotten just how big this is; how much this changes. It’s all felt so natural, so right, that it’s hard to remember sometimes.

“Stop thinking,” Jungkook whispers, just like he did before they first kissed.

“’m not,” Yoongi tells him.

“You are. I can tell,” Jungkook replies. “I always could.”

His words pull Yoongi’s mind back to years ago. The two of them falling asleep together, so much like this, and yet so very different at the same time. Despite all that has changed – that is changing – between them, that sense of comfort has stayed the same. Drawing some strength, finding some sense of peace, in their closeness. Yoongi can only hope that Jungkook feels it too.

“Maybe I need a distraction,” Yoongi replies, hushed, gently teasing.

His hand strokes through Jungkook’s hair. The younger lifts his head, their mouths meeting once again. It’s soft, so tender; barely more than a brush of lips against lips. Still, it draws a quiet sigh from Yoongi. He was only joking about the distraction, yet it actually does manage to calm his thoughts, just a little.

“Good night, hyung.”

Jungkook’s words are breathed against Yoongi’s lips. Lets them linger there for a moment before he pulls away, turning over. He reaches back for Yoongi’s arm, pulling it around his waist. Yoongi shifts in close, mouth pressed to the nape of Jungkook’s neck. He knows it’s the younger’s way of helping. Prompting Yoongi to try to sleep, to not start over-thinking things.

Yoongi finds a small smile grace his lips as he finally feels tiredness start to settle within him.

“Night, beautiful.”

Jungkook splutters, suddenly flustered. Yoongi tries his hardest not to laugh, and quietly pulls him in closer.

 

 

Chapter Text

When Yoongi stirs from sleep the next morning, it’s not to the quiet, steady rhythm of slumbered breathing, or to the warmth of limbs curled around his own. Instead, Yoongi slowly blinks his eyes open to find Jungkook awake, gaze fixed sleepily on Yoongi’s face. Along Yoongi’s forearm, he feels the light touch of Jungkook’s fingertips.

It’s still dark in the room, though sunlight is trying to peek around the edges of the blinds. Outside the room is quiet. Jungkook’s lips quirk slightly, a flash of amusement and maybe even a little embarrassment at being caught. Yoongi can’t say he entirely minds being watched; not with the way Jungkook’s gaze is so achingly soft, so obviously endeared.

“Have I got myself a stalker?” Yoongi says, voice scratched and rough with sleep. He attempts a frown, as though he himself hasn’t studied Jungkook sleeping during their last few mornings here.

Jungkook’s nose scrunches and his teeth show in a sweet, lazy smile. Beneath the covers, Yoongi feels Jungkook’s foot nudge against his own.

“Hyung’s cute when he sleeps,” comes the response.

Jungkook’s tone is teasing and light. It instantly lessens some of the tension Yoongi hadn’t realised he was carrying; concern that Jungkook may regret what happened last night. That maybe they moved too fast. Thankfully, Jungkook seems his usual playful self.

His words bring Yoongi back to years ago. It’s the sort of thing Jungkook would say, eyes sparking with mischief, as he’d record Yoongi sleeping for a Golden Closet video. Or after he’d snap a sneaky photo for birthday blackmail. Sometimes he’d even say such things when he’d crawl into Yoongi’s bed in the early hours of the morning, the teasing less prominent in those moments, heavy exhaustion taking over instead.

Yoongi would always huff and make some grumbling retort, slipping so easily into the back and forth that they always shared. Looking back, Yoongi wonders if maybe all their teasing was masking something else. A way to lessen the weight of their growing dependence on one another. Perhaps a way of distracting from their burgeoning feelings, even though neither saw it for what it was at the time.

“Hyung’s gonna kick your ass,” Yoongi gives in gruff reply.

Jungkook’s smile only grows wider.

“Careful. You might break a hip.”

Yoongi grunts. Reaches out, pinching Jungkook’s waist. It draws out a breathy laugh from the younger as he squirms away.

A little more of that relief seeps through Yoongi. They’re still so easy, so comfortable, around each other. Like all the things Yoongi has so dearly missed about their friendship have returned but at a new, far deeper level. One that’s almost scary to contemplate about how big it is, how much it changes; and yet, more than anything, Yoongi feels excited to discover how far it could go.

“You didn’t seem to think I was such an old man last night,” Yoongi says coyly. “In fact, I think you used the word hot, if I recall correctly.”

At this, Jungkook freezes. For a moment, Yoongi worries that he’s said the wrong thing. He wants to encourage Jungkook to be open. To not hold anything back. The last thing Yoongi wants is for him to doubt himself, or to feel embarrassed about speaking his mind.

But then Jungkook knees him roughly in the thigh, and Yoongi doesn’t feel quite so worried anymore.

“Yeah, well. You called me beautiful,” Jungkook huffs back.

“This isn’t a competition,” Yoongi grumbles, his cheeks growing warm at the memory.

Despite affecting an air of annoyance, Yoongi lets his hand settle on Jungkook’s waist, thumb stroking gently over its curve. Subtly tries to tug him a little nearer. Jungkook follows his lead easily, shifting in close to the elder.

Silence settles over them. It’s not awkward or uncomfortable, though Yoongi gets the distinct impression that last night’s activities are running through both of their minds. Everything is moving far quicker than either expected. Far quicker, Yoongi thinks, than it would if they had more time and space to take things slow back in Seoul.

He has no regrets though. Last night felt right, a natural step forward for them. To experience that new intimacy with Jungkook was mind-blowing. To see him at his most open and vulnerable. To be able to indulge him in the sort of unrestrained pleasure Yoongi has no doubt he’s been holding himself back from for so long-

No. He doesn’t regret a thing.

Yoongi tips his head forward, lips easily meeting Jungkook’s in a light, tender touch. It may not be as deep or as passionate as some of the kisses they shared previously, but it still makes Yoongi’s stomach swoop just as wildly.

When he pulls back there’s a rosy flush to Jungkook’s cheeks. The younger’s eyes flutter open, as though his actions are lagging a moment behind, too caught up in what he’s feeling. It certainly does nothing to quell that giddiness swirling around inside of Yoongi. And they’ve barely even woken up. Yoongi has no idea how his heart is meant to survive the day.

“How did you sleep?” Yoongi asks.

“Well,” Jungkook tells him. Wiggles his eyebrows ridiculously. “Very well.”

Yoongi pinches his side again and almost gets kneed in the crotch from Jungkook’s instinctive reflexes. Luckily Jungkook’s knee only collides with his hip. It puts Yoongi at ease despite the dull thud of pain. Reminds him that, no matter how much may be changing and evolving between them right now, beneath it all they’re still the same. That the easiness and comfort that always made them work so well remains.

“Watch it,” Yoongi growls playfully. Jungkook smiles bright, letting out a breathy laugh. Yoongi watches him, allowing the mood to settle slightly before continuing in softer tones. “Seriously though. You doing okay with all of this?”

Jungkook’s expression changes, a little of the brightness fading. He looks right back at Yoongi. Fingers creep across Yoongi’s sternum before tugging gently on the collar of his t shirt.

“You don’t need to keep worrying about me, hyung,” he says quietly. “If I’m not okay, I’ll tell you.”

Yoongi swallows thickly. Holds Jungkook’s gaze. This whole trip he’s felt himself opening up more than he ever used to. Has allowed himself to show a little more vulnerability, not only with Jungkook but with the others too. Yet constantly being the stronger, wiser hyung is a hard habit to unlearn. Yoongi gets the feeling that he never really will.

Yoongi nods. Jungkook’s lips quirk upwards at the corners, a small smile returning. His gaze drops to his fingers that toy with Yoongi’s collar before lifting back up to meet the elder’s.

“And right now, I’m doing very okay,” he says, words almost a whisper. His eyes watch Yoongi’s with a new deepness, an obvious sincerity, when he continues in even more hushed tones. “I feel like- I’ve finally got what I’ve been wanting for so long. It feels kind of crazy but it also feels- y’know. Really amazing.”

The flush on his cheeks deepens. Yoongi’s heart thumps hard.

They’ve talked a lot over the last couple of days, but Jungkook’s words still soar through him. Body thrumming with excitement and nerves, and the sort of happiness that Yoongi had nearly come to believe wasn’t ever meant for him. Yet now he’s found it, in someone he never would have expected to.

“I’m glad,” Yoongi says, words similarly tender, similarly sincere.

Thoughts from last night creep back into Yoongi’s mind. About what happens once they leave the safe seclusion of this cabin. How things will work back in Seoul. Yoongi feels it’s too soon to talk too seriously about where this is leading. And yet he wants to at least let Jungkook know that he doesn’t want things to fade away when they return.

“So, uh, I know we go back tomorrow,” Yoongi goes on. Teeth come out to catch on Jungkook’s lower lip, worry briefly flitting over his features. “Do you think- you might want to keep figuring this thing out together once we’re home?”

For a long moment, Jungkook’s expression stays serious. But then his lips crook back into that small, sweet smile, eyes shining too. His tongue darts out, wetting his lips.

“Yeah,” he replies. “Definitely.”

This time Jungkook’s the one to lean in, their mouths meeting in a chaste touch. It deepens, but only a little. Lips parting, tongues swiping out to get a too-brief taste of each other, before they’re pulling away.

Yoongi’s stomach won’t stop fucking somersaulting. He thought things had been bad enough yesterday. The new intimacy gained since last night, however, is really throwing him out of sorts. He feels near-drunk on Jungkook. Kind of can’t get enough of the feeling, though.

A gentle sigh escapes Yoongi far too easily. Perhaps it should be more embarrassing, how fast and how hard he’s finding himself falling. With the way his barely-concealed fondness elicits the most wonderful reactions from Jungkook, though, Yoongi can’t bring himself to mind too much.

Falling for Jungkook is an odd concept, really. In so many ways, Yoongi feels like he’s already fallen. The feelings within him for Jungkook are so strange. Undeniable and unflinching. Feelings that Yoongi has no doubt have been lingering beneath the surface, unknown, for far too many years. The connection that they once had, though broken and still shaky, lets Yoongi know that he is in this deep.

And yet at the same time, he feels like he’s still falling. The flirty touches, the shy gazes. Sure, he may have known Jungkook for years as his friend. But he’s only now learning about this Jungkook. The Jungkook who smiles bashfully and teases with a new purpose. Who can breathe out Yoongi’s name so beguilingly, and who flushes with something far more enticing than embarrassment under Yoongi’s touch.

Despite the new sides, it’s all still Jungkook though. And that’s something that Yoongi is still struggling to wrap his head around.

It’s also something that Yoongi finds so perfect.

Yoongi’s never been one to believe in fate. He got where he is today with perseverance, a shit-ton of hard work, and a huge number of sacrifices. And yet despite all that- he can’t help but feel almost as though what they are starting to share is something that was meant to be. Something that’s simply taken them longer than it should have to finally reach.

“By the way,” Jungkook says, unknowingly interrupting Yoongi’s musings. Or perhaps not so unknowingly. The younger did always have a canny way about him, of knowing the exact moment that Yoongi needed pulling out his head. When he was in danger of getting lost in too many thoughts. “What were you and Jimin-hyung talking about yesterday?”

Yoongi blinks, drawn back into the present. His palm rubs over Jungkook’s side. He takes the opportunity to slip it beneath the fabric of his t shirt. Beneath it , Jungkook’s skin is smooth and warm. Regardless, Yoongi feels it prickle under his touch. Hears the almost inaudible intake of breath when Jungkook feels the press of his searching fingers.

“I was helping him fix his bike chain,” Yoongi replies with a smirk, knowing full well that Jungkook won’t buy it. Certainly didn’t seem to buy it yesterday when Jimin offered that as the reason for them becoming separated from the group.

“Bullshit,” Jungkook scoffs, though his eyes sparkle with humour. “What was he saying?”

“Ah. Well. He’s kind of worked out that something’s going on between us,” Yoongi admits. “Said he figured it out because of how red you went when he questioned what happened on our walk the other night.”

Jungkook’s knee flies up towards Yoongi’s thigh again, an instinctive response to a surge of embarrassment. Yoongi’s quicker this time. He grabs hold of Jungkook’s thigh, tucking it securely over his own. The playful move results in a far more intimate position. The flushed look on Jungkook’s face grows ten-fold.

“I wasn’t sure how much you wanted me to say,” Jungkook admits quietly. Yoongi lessens his grip on Jungkook’s thigh, letting his fingers rub slow, reassuring patterns over the muscle. “I mean, he knows that I like you, and he thought you might feel something too, but- I know that this is just between us for now.”

“Well, he didn’t pry too much,” Yoongi assures him. “But he did say that whatever’s going on- he’s happy for us.”

It was a very- well, a very Jimin thing to do, Yoongi supposes. He was always that way with the group. Would always sense when someone was going through turmoil. Some could dismiss it as prying, the way he would hover and check in and sometimes even force discussions that no one wanted to have. But it was often needed. It kept the group cohesive and balanced, even in some of their most difficult times.

“Cool.” Jungkook nods, lips pressed together. He pauses, swallowing thickly. “I guess we need to tell them all at some point, right?”

There are nerves in his words. To hide something this big from the others, right at the moment when they’re all beginning to settle into their old friendship again, seems wrong. But him and Jungkook- they’re still figuring this out for themselves; it’s too soon to start letting more people know.

“Yeah, we will,” Yoongi agrees. “But there’s no rush. We can give ourselves as much time as we need.”

Jungkook smiles, small and relieved. Nods again.

“Cool,” he repeats. “Like, in a way, I want them all to know now. But I’m just-not ready yet, y’know?”

Yoongi gets it completely. It was nice to hear Jimin’s support yesterday. And the thought of telling the others, the thought of – hopefully- receiving that same level of enthusiasm, that same positivity… it’s a warming idea. One Yoongi hopes he can experience for real someday.

But just- not right now.

“I know,” Yoongi assures him. Leans up, dusting a light kiss to Jungkook’s brow. “And they’ll understand that, whenever we do decide to tell them about us.”

Neither talk about what it means, their decision to tell the others. About what us means. Neither talk about the fact that it implies them staying together for a long time. That it implies that this becomes something serious enough to announce. To give a label to. Boyfriend is not something either have said out loud, but it’s insinuated, and Yoongi somehow finds himself grinning at the thought.

“What?” Jungkook laughs, flustered by Yoongi’s grin. “Stop grinning, this is a serious conversation.”

“Sorry beautiful,” Yoongi murmurs.

Jungkook near-squawks from indignation, but somehow ends up laughing louder. Yoongi lets it sink in, enjoys the lovely cadence of his laugh, before silencing him with another kiss.

Yoongi likes using the term of endearment, even if he is playing it a little for laughs at the moment. Hopefully it will settle over time, both of them growing more comfortable with such things. For now, the newness makes it more silly than sweet.

Yoongi’s fine with that though. There are a lot of shifts that are going to happen in their interactions; they’re not always going to click straight away.

Yoongi would stop immediately if he genuinely felt like it made Jungkook uncomfortable. But he sees the pleased sparkle in the younger’s gaze whenever Yoongi says it, even through the shrieks and the rosy cheeks. It makes Yoongi feel a bit braver about maybe trying out some other names in the future too.

Yoongi doesn’t think on it too much right now. It’s hard to think of anything, really, other than the soft press of Jungkook’s lips against his own, or the slow, slick slide of his tongue. Their bodies are still wound together, Jungkook’s thigh hitched over his own.

The intimacy is having something of an effect on Yoongi. On Jungkook too, if the hardness pressing into Yoongi’s hip is anything to go by. Neither takes it any further though. Yoongi’s certain that neither would be averse to doing so. But morning seems so much more dangerous than night-time, the proximity of the others feeling much more acute.

Instead they kiss, long and deep and lazy, utterly losing themselves in it. Yoongi can’t remember the last time he just kissed like this and fuck, he kind of loves it. There’s no pressure, no end game; just the taste of each other, and the soft little sighs that escape them both from time to time.

Eventually signs of life start to drift through from the lounge. The low chatter of someone, quite possibly Seokjin, and the loud yawns of Namjoon. There’s the tell-tale buzz of the coffee maker, and then the mumbled complaints of what sounds like a hungover Hoseok.

Reluctantly they break apart. Yoongi would love to simply keep going, to accept the risk and whatever consequences come with it. But their talk earlier was right; they need to tell the others when they’re ready. Being discovered like this would not be ideal. Neither wants to stop, but both know that they need to.

Jungkook decides to take the first shower, pulling himself away from Yoongi with a heavy sigh and a petulant look. He’s barely stood up when there’s a knock at their bedroom door. It startles the both of them, even though they’re technically a safe distance from each other. The door opens slowly, Jimin’s head very tentatively peering around it. He seems more than a little relieved to find them- well, not doing whatever it is he might have been worried about interrupting.

“Sorry,” he says. “Jin-hyung was threatening to come in here to wake you up but I offered to do it instead.”

Yoongi sends an appreciative smile in Jimin’s direction. Jungkook just goes pink again, looking down at the floor. Yoongi’s not going to lie; it’s really weird to have Jimin knowing about this. But right now, Yoongi can only feel grateful.

“Thanks,” Yoongi nods.

Jimin shrugs it off.

“We’re all gonna have brunch in a bit. You joining? I mean, I don’t think the others will give you a choice, but-”

“Yeah, we’ll be right out,” Yoongi tells him. Jungkook nods in agreement too. Jimin gives them both a knowing look, verging on mischievous, before turning away and closing the door behind him.

By the time they’ve showered and dressed, it’s already much later in the day than Yoongi would have guessed. Yoongi supposes it explains why they’re skipping breakfast and going into brunch. What it doesn’t explain though, is how time slipped past quite so fast this morning, lost to wonderfully drawn-out kisses.

Yoongi’s a little on edge when they first join the others. As much as they tried to stay quiet last night, Yoongi feels like there were a few occasions when neither held back as much as they should have. When moans slipped out perhaps a touch too loud, or when gasps were maybe too obvious. Caught up in the moment it didn’t feel overly loud; but what if something carried through the silence to the rest of the cabin?

Thankfully, no one acts any different to normal. And Yoongi’s certain that if someone had heard anything, they would make sure that everyone knew about it.

But no one gives any indication that anything is unusual. There is one odd little moment when Yoongi feels like Namjoon’s gaze lingers on him for just a beat too long, but he quickly shakes it off. He’s simply being paranoid. Reading into looks things that aren’t there.

Brunch is a real mish-mash of food, not a single leftover grocery going to waste. There are noodles and chunks of pork neck, alongside slices of toast and cereals. Eggs sit happily next to slabs of cake. It should seem revolting but all of them spent years grateful for any food they could afford – or for any food they were allowed, during some of their stricter diets. It left them all with a worrying ability to eat anything and everything that comes their way.

They loll around lazy after the food, bellies far too full. Yoongi considers the possibility of already climbing back into bed for a late-morning nap. Alas, he knows there are far less enjoyable things to be doing. Washing up the dishes for one. Or, packing their cases, ready for the journeys home tomorrow.

It’s been looming over all of them since the start, the bump back to reality once they get on that plane. No one has really wanted to consider it and now, somehow, it’s snuck up on them almost by surprise.

Eventually, Hoseok gives into his responsibilities. He stands up and begins gathering the dirty dishes. Taehyung soon joins him. A small, barely noticeable look passes between Seokjin and Namjoon. It’s only tiny yet it’s full of intent. Namjoon nods and the elder holds out his hand, clearing his throat, loud, and a little awkward.

“Guys, could that just- wait a moment?” Seokjin asks hesitantly.

For a moment, both Hoseok and Taehyung simply stare. It’s a rare thing for someone else to want to take over plate-clearing duties. The look in Seokjin’s eyes soon tells them it’s something more serious than that. With a jarring clang of plates, Hoseok puts the items back on the table, as does Taehyung.

Yoongi’s stomach knots queasily, concerned by the suddenly sombre expression on Seokjin’s face. Next to him, Yoongi senses Jungkook shifting, similarly uneasy.

“So, uh. Me and Joon have been talking about stuff while we’ve been here and- well, we thought it might be good to, y’know, discuss some things now. Before we all get too wasted for coherent speech this evening.”

Seokjin attempts a small chuckle but it falls flat. He grimaces to himself at the silence. Namjoon takes pity on him. Seokjin may the eldest, and always took on the serious role when necessary. But it didn’t always come so easy to him. Didn’t come easy to Namjoon either, really; he simply worked at it a lot more. Yoongi suddenly feels an immense rush of gratitude towards them both. Yoongi struggled with a lot of issues as an idol, yet somehow the burden on those two always fell a little heavier.

“We just thought, as we’re all here together after so long,” Namjoon begins. Yoongi senses Jungkook fidgeting again next to him, clearly knowing that he’s been the missing piece for far too long. “That maybe we should talk about the group.”

There’s silence.

No one quite knows what to say. Ever since it all fell apart, the group has never really been spoken about. They’ve always dodged around it, awkward and faintly ridiculous at times. Pointedly ignoring the huge, unspoken issue looming over them all; that technically, Bangtan still exists. It may have crumbled, but it’s still there.

“We’ve talked about things and we think that- well. We think that maybe we should disband,” Seokjin says quietly. “Officially.”

Somehow the silence grows even thicker, even heavier. That queasy feeling in Yoongi’s stomach grows worse. Sure, the band – or the lack of it over the last few years – has been hanging over them for so long. And truthfully, Yoongi can’t see how they could ever go back to it again. Too much is different, too much has changed.

And yet, actually saying it out loud, talking about an actual end-

Shit, it feels surreal.

“Fuck,” Hoseok mutters, voicing what everyone seems to be thinking.

Yoongi has no doubt that they’ve all thought about it at some point, some more so than others. Yet to finally contemplate it, when all of them are finally back together-

“God, this is all my fault,” Taehyung says, barely louder than a whisper. “If I’d never got in that car-”

“Tae, don’t,” Namjoon pleads. “We’re not bringing this up to blame anything, or anyone. We just thought- well, it’s been years. We’re all in such different places now and going back- it just wouldn’t feel right. Or are we alone in thinking that way?”

Despite the sadness at the thought of saying goodbye to Bangtan, no one actually speaks up to protest. Clearly it has been on all of their minds over the last few years. Hoseok runs a hand through his hair, biting down on his lower lip. He stares down at the dirty plates in front of him, frowning slightly, before looking up and over at Yoongi.

“What do you think, hyung?”

There it is again. Yoongi may have felt able to be more open during this trip. Felt more at ease, more able to show glimpses of vulnerability that he normally kept so well-hidden. But deep down, there’s a piece of him that will always need to play that part of hyung. Not as obvious as it used to be, but some of it still lingers.

Yoongi doesn’t mind, not at all. But he’s reminded now, even after all these years, of the impacts they all left on each other.

Yoongi doesn’t answer straight away. It’s not that he’s unsure how he feels; no, that he’s sure of. But he wants to phrase it right. Doesn’t want in any way to dismiss one of the most important parts of his life. He wouldn’t be who he is today without the other members. Without the trials they shared, and the successes too.

“I think,” he begins, after a long silence. “That Joon is right. What happened to us is no one’s fault.”

He looks pointedly in Taehyung’s direction. The younger doesn’t meet his gaze. Across the table, Jimin’s gaze stays fixed on Taehyung, worry creasing his brow. Taehyung is still uneasy talking about the accident even now; to have it discussed so openly in front of everyone is clearly proving tough.

“Bangtan was really something special. I couldn’t be prouder of the things we all achieved together,” Yoongi continues, trying to keep his voice controlled. He’s not one for getting too emotional over things but, well, this isn’t just anything they’re discussing. It’s what brought them all together; it’s what got them where they are today. “But I think, back then, maybe the time had come for us to move on. We just couldn’t face saying goodbye.”

Yoongi draws in a slow breath. He draws his gaze away from Taehyung. There’s a telling shine to the younger’s eyes. Whether from memories of the accident or from the discussion right now, Yoongi couldn’t say.

“We all let it fall apart,” Yoongi concludes. “We’d been through hard times before and came out fighting. We could have fought harder to keep things going that time, but we didn’t. I think that says a lot.”

Yoongi’s chest clenches horribly. He thinks back to Jungkook’s confessions. Of how desperately he had wanted Bangtan to continue; of waiting, and hoping, that things would go back to how they were before the accident.

And yet, truthfully, every else had already started to move on. Jungkook was the only one left behind. It hurts a great fucking deal to think about: Yoongi can only imagine how painful it must have been to actually experience.

Silence falls again. This time, it’s Jimin who breaks it.

“I think hyung is right. It was too hard to say goodbye so we just kind of- let things fade,” he says. “Maybe that was right, maybe it was wrong, I don’t know. But y’know- now, I’m happy. And I feel like- maybe I’m ready to finally let it go.”

Across the table, Taehyung nods, apparently not trusting himself to speak. Hoseok appears similarly dewy-eyed, nodding his agreement with Jimin’s words.

“I cherish those years more than anything,” Hoseok says, giving a watery smile. “But we have all moved down different paths now and- fuck, I loved Bangtan. But I would hate for us to try and reclaim something that maybe isn’t right for us anymore.”

Next to Yoongi, Jungkook stays silent, though he keeps shifting in his seat. Yoongi nudges him gently with his elbow.

“Kook-ah, you’ve been very quiet,” Yoongi prompts softly. “How do you feel about all this?”

Jungkook’s fingers tap against his thigh, nervous. He was never a fan of opening up, same as Yoongi. Yoongi doesn’t want to push him into talking if he doesn’t want to, but at the same time, what they’re discussing is pretty huge. He needs to know that Jungkook is okay with this; needs to know what he’s thinking, how he’s feeling.

Suddenly all eyes are on Jungkook. Yoongi sees the way that he swallows heavily. The bob of his throat, the tight line of his jaw. He doesn’t answer straight away, searching for the right words.

“The group meant so much to me,” he says eventually, words so gentle that it’s a struggle to hear them. He clears his throat, tries to speak a little louder. “I wouldn’t be who I am without it. Without you guys.”

A light flush appears on his cheeks, trailing in splotches down his neck. Yoongi aches to be able to reach out. Take hold of his hand, and reassure.

“But if I’m honest, over the last few years, Bangtan has become something negative to me. I feel like it’s hanging over me. Reminding me of what I used to be, and where I’ve ended up.”

Jimin and Namjoon both look as though they want to say something but, thankfully, both stay silent. They let Jungkook talk. Let him say all that he wants to say. All he needs to say.

“I feel in such a different place from you all. You all talk about moving on, about being happy where you are now. And I- fuck, I haven’t felt happy for a long time,” he admits.

This time it’s Seokjin who looks like he wants to say something but he too gives Jungkook space and time to talk.

“But- I’m getting there. My whole life was tied up with Bangtan for so long. But now- I’m feel like I’m finding my place outside of it. I feel like I’m finding my own happiness too.”

Jungkook stops, and sighs.

“I don’t want it to be negative to me anymore. I want to remember all the positive things and- I agree. I think realising it’s in the past isn’t a bad thing. You were all my mentors and my bandmates for so long and now- I think I’d just really like to have you back as my friends.”

Jimin smiles over at him, a small, supportive curve of his lips. Hoseok’s eyes have gone from dewy to undeniably wet. Seokjin huffs.

“Have us back? You wish you could get rid of us, brat,” he says.

Seokjin jokes to break the heaviness of the moment. But beneath it, they all know the truth to Jungkook’s words. Aside from Jimin, and possibly Taehyung to some extent, none of them have really stayed close with Jungkook these last few years. Admittedly by Jungkook’s own doing - but Yoongi has come to understand just how many layers have been unknowingly at play in Jungkook’s withdrawal.

Nonetheless, the mood lightens just a little with Seokjin’s quip. Taehyung and Hoseok are still a touch teary, but they’re both smiling too. Quiet begins to creep in again. Namjoon is quicker, keen to take advantage of the brightening atmosphere.

“So,” he begins. “I know it’s not the easiest thing to talk about but- do you think maybe once we’re back, we should talk to management? Together.”

Yoongi wonders what their management will think. It won’t be much of a loss for them; Big Hit manages solo contracts for most of them anyway, the relationships and trust forged over the years too strong to let go of. Yoongi still works with them often on producing tracks for new groups. They seem to simply be waiting for the last contract period to expire naturally, never pushing any of the members for a decision, and for that Yoongi is immensely grateful.

Everyone nods their agreement. The decision is made. Once they’re back, they’ll speak to management. Bangtan will officially disband.

And somehow, after so many years, and so much wondering, and waiting-

That is that.

“God. Who wants a drink?” Seokjin sighs dramatically. Seven hands shoot up, including his own.

It’s barely gone midday but beers are handed out, and music is put on, and laughter soon fills the room once more. It may be the end of an era, but it brings far more happiness than sadness. Those years spent together in Bangtan are irreplaceable, and will never be forgotten. But time has moved on and so have they, and now, finally, they’ve all acknowledged it.

It doesn’t change what they still have. They’ve shared so many ups and down, hardships and luxuries. The best and the worst times. Looking around right now, Yoongi’s in no doubt that, regardless of what happens to Bangtan, they will never stop being a part of each other’s lives. They’ve become a little too lazy, a little too complacent lately. But Yoongi’s determined to not lose this again. And from the smiles and the laughter that fill the room, Yoongi’s certain he’s not the only one that feels that way.

“Here hyung. There’s still some whisky to finish off.”

Jungkook appears, holding out two glasses filled with whisky. Yoongi grins, accepting one easily. Their glasses clink together. Jungkook holds his gaze, a little longer than necessary. Yoongi’s heart skips giddily, returning it, before tipping back the glass and taking a long gulp. Jungkook does the same.

“Fuck,” Jungkook mutters. His face is scrunched up in a grimace. “I still can’t stand this stuff.”

Something twists inside of Yoongi, fond and nostalgic and happy all at once. Remembers old times when they would drink together. Enjoys the moment right now. Thinks too, hopeful, of all the times that may still be to come.

There’s an odd air to the rest of the day. They’re all more than aware that they leave tomorrow, but there’s little sadness. The mood stays light and almost too upbeat, somehow. An almost manic happiness. The relief of finally having held the conversation that they’ve all known should have happened long ago. All are now ready to accept where they are in their lives. There’s no looking back over their shoulders, no feelings of regret, or guilt.

Packing is forgotten, replaced with drinks by the fjord, some of them braving the cold waters even in the somewhat gloomy day. Yoongi is not one of them, choosing instead to sit and mock them mercilessly from the shore.

Every so often Jungkook will catch his eye, gaze lingering that moment too long each time, and Yoongi’s chest feels suddenly too tight with every glance. He feels the same relief as the rest of them but there’s more, too, for him. There’s anticipation, and want, and- something like a beginning, even in this ending.

It may be an extravagance to pay for cars to take them to the dinner venue that evening, but Taehyung announces what he’s arranged – or more specifically, what he asked one of his staff to arrange – when they’re drying off on the shore. It means that no one is left out of the merriment on their last night. Nobody protests; it’s a kind consideration and, hell- it’s not like they can’t afford it.

By the time the cars are pulling up outside of the cabin to take them on the long drive to town, they’re all decidedly tipsy from the long and alcohol-soaked afternoon. Yoongi pities the poor drivers already.

When Jungkook appears in the lounge, all dressed up for their final night, Yoongi can’t help but wonder if he himself has had too much to drink. It’s the only explanation for the way heat floods his body so vividly at the sight of him. Jungkook is stunning no matter what he wears. Or-Yoongi thinks, cheeks flushed – in nothing at all.

But tonight he’s really put in effort. Perfectly fitted clothes, hair styled and swept back, and perhaps even a touch of makeup. Yoongi can’t help but hope that maybe, just maybe, a part of him wants to draw Yoongi’s attention. Wants Yoongi’s eyes on him. If the shy smile sent Yoongi’s way is anything to go by, Yoongi might just be right.

If so, then Yoongi thinks Jungkook’s achieved exactly what he wanted. Yoongi can barely take his eyes off of him.

Yoongi ends up in car with Seokjin and Jimin for the drive to the restaurant. Jimin sits in the back with Yoongi, looking out as the scenery as they pass. He’s done so much of the driving on this trip and Yoongi’s glad that he gets to relax, to enjoy the views. His gaze is unfocused, watching the landscape as it rushes by. A delicate smile plays on his lips.

“Thank you, hyung,” he says, after a long time. “For making us talk today. I know it wasn’t easy but- it needed to be said.”

Seokjin says nothing in response. Simply gives a small nod of appreciation, before turning to look out of the window too. The mood in the car is mellow; not uncomfortable, but easy and quiet. Yoongi fears it’s a world away from the atmosphere in the other car. Is proved correct when his phone buzzes with a message from Jungkook.

Jungkook:

I’m being forced into karaoke

What follows is a short video. Hoseok has apparently managed to convince their driver to hook up Hoseok’s phone to the speakers, and currently Taehyung and Hoseok are singing a deliberately off-key duet. They look like they’re having the time of their lives; the driver looks like he doesn’t get paid enough to deal with this.

The sound of the video draws the others’ attention, both of them leaning in and grinning at Yoongi’s phone.

“I feel like we need to liven up this journey,” Jimin chuckles.

Almost immediately, Seokjin breaks into a sudden and far too loud rendition of Epiphany, startling their poor driver and causing Jimin to collapse forward with laughter. Yoongi shakes his head solemnly as though entirely unimpressed, even as he feels the twinge of a smile tug at the corners of his mouth.

Yoongi:

Don’t act as though you don’t love it

It’s only as Yoongi presses send that he realises that it’s the first time they’ve messaged each other in years. Yoongi can still see their conversation history above these latest messages. All from Yoongi, each with weeks in between, every one more despondent than the last.

Yoongi:

I hope you’re doing ok. If you ever want to talk, you know where I am

Yoongi:

It’s been a long time. I hope everything is alright. Hyung’s here if you need anything

Yoongi:

Kook, talk to me please? I don’t know what’s going on but I’m worried about you

Please, just let me know you’re ok

Yoongi :

Jimin told me you’ve moved back to Busan. I wish you would have told me.

But anyway

I hope you’re happy there, Kook-ah

And a final one, sent after too many lonely drinks in Yoongi’s new apartment, surrounded by recording equipment and empty boxes, scrawled lyric sheets scattered next to a drained whisky glass.

Yoongi:

I miss you

And then nothing, for so, so many months. Until now. Until these last two messages.

Yoongi wonders if Jungkook realises it too. He tries not to dwell on it. This trip is about moving forwards, not looking back.

He can’t ignore the past; none of them can. Yoongi will never forget the hurt he suffered over the last couple of years. But he can acknowledge it, and accept it, without bitterness. Because now, finally, they’ve made it through, and the outcome is far more amazing than Yoongi could have ever hoped for.

Dinner is at a low-key restaurant with incredible reviews, understated and unpretentious. They have a private room booked, for which Yoongi is immensely glad. The place is full of cool couples and laid back groups of friends. There’s a relaxed, welcoming buzz that create a subtle and warm ambience. Yoongi fears that their own raucous laughter and slightly-too-loud talking could easily put a dint in these patrons’ evenings.

Thankfully as soon as they arrive they’re escorted through to the private area. They’re met by the owner, who’s near enough falling over himself to make sure that they’re doing okay. Yoongi would hazard a guess that whatever member of Taehyung or Jimin’s staff called up to book this place, they made sure to stress the level of celebrity in attendance. It’s something that doesn’t happen so much to Yoongi these days.

“So, I feel like we should make a toast to the birthday boys,” Namjoon begins once they’re all seated with full glasses of wine in front of them. “But it’s still so long until you’re actually turning thirty that it seems kinda wrong. Like I’m robbing you of the last precious moments of your twenties.”

“So precious,” Hoseok sighs in mock despair, wiping away an imaginary tear. Spoken like a true thirty-something.

Jimin laughs.

“I know that we planned this trip to celebrate our thirtieths but really- I dunno. Me and Tae just wanted to get everyone together again,” he explains, a guilty grimace flashing over his features. “We knew it would never happen if there wasn’t a solid reason that it had to be now, y’know. We thought if we said this trip was for something special, it would convince you all to come.”

Yoongi pretends not to notice the way Jimin’s gaze flits in Jungkook’s direction, almost too quick to catch. Yoongi sees it though, and knows that the others do too. But growing apart isn’t only on Jungkook; sure, he may have been more obviously absent the last few years, but they’re all guilty of letting things drift. That’s on every one of them.

“Well played,” Namjoon says with a wry tip of his glass in their direction.

“But if you want to buy us gifts or anything, we’re still okay with that,” Taehyung adds, expression coolly serious before he breaks out into a big grin.

Multiple balled up napkins get thrown at him at the same time. He just keeps on laughing, expertly dodging all but one which hits him square in the face. He doesn’t particularly seem to care.

Dinner passes by in much the same light atmosphere. The food is delicious, the conversation is easy, and the wine keeps flowing even though perhaps it shouldn’t. No one much minds though – the alcohol gives a pleasant hazy buzz to the evening, and no one is going crazy with it. Though Yoongi does notice that Hoseok and Taehyung stopped re-filling their glasses some time ago.

“So,” Jimin says, once the long and painful process of splitting the cheque is done. “There is this bar nearby. It’s meant to be kind of laid-back, and we booked an area there too. It could be fun?”

He looks around the group cautiously. Yoongi gets why.

The seven of them going to a bar – it’s something that seemed near-improbable once upon a time. Unless it was the bar of the most expensive and exclusive hotels on tours, or at a post-awards party with other idols, it was something that could never happen.

Yoongi remembers once going out to a bar with an old school friend who was visiting Seoul. Despite how well-disguised Yoongi thought he was, especially in the darkness of the bar, he was still spotted. People kept looking, and trying to approach him and-

Yeah. It wasn’t pleasant. God knows the mayhem they would have caused with all seven enjoying a night out together in the city.

“Sounds fun,” Seokjin grins. “Though- it’s our own area in there, yeah?”

Seokjin has more reason to worry, along with Jimin, Taehyung and Hoseok. All four are still very much in the public eye.

It seems unlikely that many people here would recognise them though- crazier things have happened. Yoongi will always remember taking a late-night stroll by a river in middle-of-nowhere Finland when filming Bon Voyage and hearing a faint cry of “Suga-oppa!” in the distance.

“Yeah, of course. Just thought it might be a fun atmosphere?” Jimin shrugs loosely. “A nice way to round off the trip.”

Barely twenty minutes later, and after many profuse apologies to the two drivers for making them return to the restaurant only to drive them all of three minutes to the bar (Taehyung swears it seemed further away on the map), they’re tucked into a booth with more drinks, thumping music surrounding them, and it feels-

Odd. Very odd.

But it’s kind of awesome too. To spend a night like this with his friends. Yoongi would never dream of taking back the success that they experienced, but it certainly came with its downsides. Restrictions on where they could and couldn’t go. What they could and couldn’t be seen doing. Tonight, it just feels like they’re normal guys.

It’s rather refreshing.

The steady supply of drinks throughout the day is clearly having an effect on everyone. Seokjin’s laughter is just a little louder, Jimin’s smiles that much fuller. Taehyung and Hoseok are rapt in animated conversation, Namjoon interjecting every so often with unnecessarily exaggerated gestures. And Jungkook-

Jungkook comes back from the bathroom, dropping down easily in the space left next to Yoongi. He grins at Yoongi, and Yoongi finds himself grinning back.

“Hey,” he says.

“Hey,” Jungkook replies.

They both stare at each other a long moment before breaking into soft laughter. Okay, maybe the two of them are more than a little bit tipsy too. Jungkook smiles, so bright, the low lights of the bar making him look near ethereal and fuck-

Yoongi wants him. Feels so much, feels too much, all at once. There’s an urge inside of him that he struggles to subdue. He wants to kiss him, to hold him, just be with him like he was this morning and last night and-

Jungkook keeps on watching him, big smile softening into something smaller, more purposeful. Yoongi wonders if he wants just as much. The way his eyes stay stuck on Yoongi, so focused, so intent, makes the elder think that he might.

Yoongi goes to say something light, something teasing, something to lessen the intensity that is entirely inappropriate for right now.

“Fuck. You’re so beautiful,” is what he breathes out instead.

Jungkook’s eyes widen, then glance off to the side. It’s too quiet for anyone to have heard but even so, Yoongi knows he probably shouldn’t have said it here. He can’t help it though, the alcohol making his words looser than usual, and honest with it.

Hyung,” Jungkook sighs, trying to come across as stern but somehow simply ending up sounding a little bit breathless instead.

“Sorry,” Yoongi murmurs. “It’s just- you know?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook agrees, like he does completely understand.

Understands how much there is, bubbling beneath the surface for the both of them. So many feelings, new and exciting and overwhelmingly deep for something only just beginning.

“I can’t wait to be alone again,” he whispers, barely audible about the loud music and chatter of revellers. But Yoongi hears it. It sends a wave of heat rushing straight though him, settling low in his gut. Yoongi’s truly enjoying spending time with his friends, but memories of last night seep in, and the promise of what may yet happen tonight makes him a little dizzy. “Last night was- fuck. So amazing.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi agrees, voice deliberately low. “It was.”

Their gazes lock once more. Heat swirls low in Yoongi’s belly. This is not the right time, nor the right place to be talking like this, as tempting as it is to simply shut the rest of the world out for a while. Yoongi wets his lips. Doesn’t miss the way that Jungkook’s eyes follow the movement.

Hoseok’s laughter carries across the table, his eyes shining as he grins about whatever it is Taehyung’s just said to him. Yoongi looks over, expecting to see Namjoon laughing along too at what’s been said. Instead his eyes are on Yoongi and Jungkook, just for the briefest of moments.

As soon as Yoongi turns, Namjoon looks away. And then his gaze meets with Seokjin’s, just as briefly, something unsaid passing between the two of them before he returns his attention to Hoseok and Taehyung.

The heat of a moment earlier quickly fades. It’s not that Yoongi’s ashamed, or that he wants to hide. But they both agreed it is too soon to tell the others, and if that’s their decision then- well, they need to stay a little more composed around the group for now. Perhaps that’s the last glass of wine for this evening.

The rest of night passes happily. They all joke, and laugh, and occasionally sing along, deliberately terrible, to some of the songs that blare out over the sound system.

Random toasts are made throughout. To Seokjin’s upcoming marriage proposal, to Jimin’s tour, to Yoongi’s production on the mini-album. To Namjoon not breaking anything this evening and to Jungkook promising to treat them all to dinner back in Seoul. Any and every reason seems to be covered, all of them in near hysterics as each toast grows more bizarre.

Amongst it all, Yoongi spots the way that Jimin looks around, clearly pleased. Yoongi is so grateful that he planned this out with Taehyung; making the effort that the rest of them failed to. Jimin’s cheeks are dusted pink, eyes crescenting in laughter. He could always handle his drink better than most, but even he seems affected back by the amount of alcohol they’ve consumed this evening. Yoongi wonders if his own tipsiness is just as obvious.

Hoseok heads off to the bathroom, saying something to Namjoon before disappearing. Yoongi’s gaze flickers back to Jimin. He’s speaking in Taehyung’s ear. His smile is still there but it’s softened, melted into something gentler. Taehyung listens, a strange little look passing over his face before he murmurs something back.

They share a look, long and low. Despite the light-hearted atmosphere, there’s an intensity to it that, for a moment, makes Yoongi feel far too intrusive for seeing it. There’s the most of subtle of glimpses, Jimin’s eyes dropping down to Taehyung’s lips before quickly refocusing. The look between them deepens, the two of them subconsciously shifting closer. For a wild moment Yoongi thinks that they’re actually about to kiss.

But then it breaks, Taehyung shaking his head, turning to say something to Namjoon. Yoongi wonders if they’ve become emboldened by the alcohol, or the high spirits of the last night.

Or, perhaps, he’s been blind to more than only his and Jungkook’s feelings over the years. Perhaps that tension, that obvious pull, has always been there between those two; but it’s only now that Yoongi is finally beginning to see it.

Hoseok returns from the bathroom and attempts to squeeze past Seokjin to reclaim to his seat. It does not go smoothly. He somehow manages to send the majority of the drinks on the table flying. Both Taehyung and Jungkook, and a little bit of Namjoon, get doused in various liquids. Thankfully most of them have switched to spirits rather than red wine, but it’s still a bit of a mess.

Time, perhaps, to call it a night.

As they all bundle into their cars home, Yoongi ends up sharing with Hoseok and Namjoon, the latter sitting up front with the tired driver. For a moment it’s just the three of them, before suddenly a weight is crushing into his side and Jungkook’s clambering into the backseat, leaving the eldest crushed between him and Hoseok.

“Jin-hyung’s trying to take a nap across the back seat of that car,” he explains, nose scrunching in disdain. “It was kind of uncomfy.”

“Ah, hyung’s an old man now,” Hoseok grins. “Leave him be.”

Namjoon grins too. Jungkook settles into the seat, side pressed against Yoongi. Warm and comforting, and yet at the same time, sort of setting his nerves alight. Anticipating what may yet be to come.

When Yoongi had imagined the last night here before he came on this trip, he pictured it going one of two ways. First, that perhaps they’d grown tired of each other’s company after so long together that the last night would be fraught, all of them keen to return to their own space. Or, he hoped, that perhaps it would be happier. A pleasant night, quietly enjoying each other’s company.

Yoongi didn’t dare dream that it would be like this. Full of so much laughter, and happiness, and feeling, at times, almost like all those years hadn’t passed. That they hadn’t suffered all that loss, and anger, and grown so far apart.

And yet those years did happen. That’s undeniable. Somehow though, it makes it all the sweeter to have come back to this once more.

They were always appreciative of each other, there’s no doubt about it - but now, that bond somehow feels stronger than ever. They’re not simply close because of work, or because their agency grouped them together. They stay close, because they’ve truly come to mean something to each other.

Yoongi couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. And as Hoseok, and then Namjoon, both drift off to sleep, the alcohol and the thrum of the engine lulling them into slumber, Yoongi’s aware of the one person he’d been most nervous about seeing again. The one person who, now, Yoongi struggles to imagine ever being apart from after this is over.

The backseat of the car is cramped, sure. It doesn’t entirely explain why Yoongi’s hand finds itself slipping to the small of Jungkook’s back, hidden from view, nor way that Jungkook so subtly leans into it, pressing just that bit closer to Yoongi.

Tonight has been truly amazing. Beyond what Yoongi could have hoped for.

But now, as he feels the line of Jungkook against him, as hears the soft, shaky breath that escapes the younger, Yoongi thinks that perhaps the night isn’t quite over yet.

 

 

Chapter Text

The bedroom feels far too still, too quiet. Compared to the buzz of the bar, or the low thrum of the car engine, all seems suddenly silent.

 

From outside the door comes the faintest rumble of Namjoon’s snoring, the younger already passed out on the couch. Taehyung at least had been kind enough to help him remove his shoes before throwing a blanket over him. Mixed in with it comes the distant chatter of Hoseok and Seokjin, discussing something in what they must think are hushed tones. The alcohol means that, instead, they are actually far about normal volumes for talking.

 

Still, it all feels very muffled, far away. This cabin has become something of a refuge from reality over the past nine days. But in here, in this bedroom, that feeling amplifies. This space has become like Yoongi and Jungkook’s own little world. Safe and special and theirs. Despite only being metres away, Yoongi feels like he’s miles from the others right now.

 

He paces around the room, unsure what to do. The long drive back from the bar has dulled some of the tipsiness he felt earlier. There’s still a faint buzz in his chest, in his head; his limbs feel a little looser. But he’s definitely more in control of himself than he was back at the bar.

 

Despite sobering slightly, Yoongi’s mind is still all over the place. Jungkook’s currently in the shower, washing away the remnants of the spilt drinks from earlier. Leaving Yoongi alone in their room, full of anticipation and want and-  yeah, some nerves too.

 

Because what happened last night did so naturally, and unexpectedly. But tonight-

 

Tonight, there is expectation, a knowledge of what will likely happen. It’s not pressure, as such, but it’s setting Yoongi more on edge than he expected. He stops pacing. Picks up his phone that’s currently charging. Doesn’t actually unlock it, simply checks pointlessly for messages. A way to pass the time until Jungkook returns.

 

He doesn’t need to wait long. Within minutes the door clicks open and Jungkook is stepping inside. His hair is damp and messy. He’s dressed in his pyjama pants, a loose white t shirt sticking to his shoulders, going see-through in places where his hair drips down. Yoongi hopes that he is isn’t gaping, but something about the way Jungkook flushes shyly makes Yoongi think he’s giving some of his inner turmoil away.

 

“Feel better?” is what he says, rather than voicing one of the many more flustered thoughts hurtling through his mind right now.

 

Jungkook nods, closing the door behind him. Yoongi puts down his phone and Jungkook just sort of- stands there.

 

Neither knows what to do. It’s not awkward or uncomfortable, but they still haven’t become used to this quite yet. It’s going to take time; Yoongi knows that. They can’t go from such close friendship, to such painful distance, and then suddenly slip into acting as a couple. As much as they both might want that.

 

One day, Yoongi hopes, they will know exactly how to act around each other. That Jungkook will step into a room, and a term of endearment will roll easily off of Yoongi’s tongue. Or Jungkook may swoop down to steal an easy kiss. Or perhaps, even, passion will take over, barely time to share a glance before their hands are on each other.

 

But they’re not there yet. Getting there, bit by bit. And Yoongi’s more than fine with that.

 

The silence lingers a beat too long and makes them both laugh. Jungkook scratches at his neck shyly. Yoongi rolls his eyes, acting surer of himself than he actually feels.

 

“C’mere.”

 

That one word is all it takes to break the uncertainty. Jungkook steps closer, arms slipping around Yoongi’s waist. Yoongi’s hands lift up, stroking smoothly along Jungkook’s shoulders before cradling his neck. His fingers tug down and he rises just slightly on his toes, until their lips meet in a soft, welcome kiss.

 

Jungkook’s lips are cool, damp from the shower. They brush against Yoongi’s, starting gentle before quickly pushing more firmly. His tongue flicks at Yoongi’s lips, encouraging the elder to part them.

 

Yoongi holds off, keeping things chaste and sweet for as long as he can bear to. The quiet whimper that sounds against him, however, gets Yoongi giving in all too fast. Perhaps after a few months of this, Yoongi will be able to tease like he normally does with partners. Feel confident enough to draw things out, to test Jungkook’s limits.

 

Now, though, he wants far too badly.

 

Yoongi’s hands slide up into Jungkook’s hair as the kiss deepens, tongues rolling smooth and slow together. Jungkook whimpers again, less impatient, more overwhelmed this time. Yoongi drinks it in. Kisses him harder, slower, wetter.

 

That anticipation is back, racing through his veins. If this is all they did tonight, fuck, Yoongi would have no complaints. But there’s something in the air, thick and heady. The same something that flickered so obvious in Jungkook’s gaze at bar. Yoongi doesn’t know exactly what will happen tonight, but he gets the feeling it will end up with more than kissing.

 

There’s a low thump as Jungkook’s back knocks into the door. Their teeth clack together, momentarily messy, before Yoongi pulls away, nipping lightly at Jungkook’s lower lip. He feels Jungkook’s breath, hot and stuttered, against his skin, before leaning in to capture his mouth once more.

 

Jungkook’s fingers slip beneath Yoongi’s shirt, the elder having changed into his sleepwear while Jungkook was in the shower. The pointless pretence that they would both be sleeping straight away. The top is loose enough that Jungkook’s hands spread along the small of his back, trail along his spine, grip at his waist. As though he can’t touch enough; can’t pull Yoongi close enough.

 

Yoongi knows the feeling. His own hands grip into Jungkook’s hair, travel down his neck, sweep down his biceps before curling around his nape. Wanting to touch everywhere all at once.

 

It doesn’t take long for Yoongi to feel Jungkook growing hard, obvious beneath the thin layer of his pyjama pants. Yoongi can’t help but push against him. Feel the hard, hot line of his cock rubbing, already a little needy, against the dip of Yoongi’s hip. He sighs heavily into the kiss. Shifts so that his thigh rubs up against Jungkook instead. It draws a low, breathy noise from the younger.

 

“Shh,” Yoongi warns, even as he tilts his neck to mouth at Jungkook’s jaw. “Not too loud, hm?”

 

God, Yoongi can’t wait until there are no restrictions. Wonders how noisy Jungkook will be without the guys on the other side of the door. How loud he might moan or sigh or whine. From the way he seemed to be holding himself back last night, and now as well, Yoongi thinks he will be in for something of a treat.

 

For now, though, he doesn’t encourage too much. The last thing they need is to cause enough noise for the others to come investigating. And so Yoongi draws his mouth away from Jungkook’s jaw, dropping a few clumsy kisses to his cheek, the corner of his mouth, before drawing him back into another deep, heated kiss.

 

Jungkook keeps making to move as though eager to get onto the bed, but Yoongi keeps him pinned up against the door. He’s learning that Jungkook enjoys it. Yoongi’s not got the strength to keep him in place if Jungkook were really determined to move – instead, Yoongi gets the feeling that perhaps Jungkook’s somewhat keen on Yoongi taking the lead, of handing over control.

 

Sure, it’s a little out of necessity now, with Yoongi’s greater experience. But perhaps it’s something to explore more fully, one day. There is so much to find out about each other. Likes and dislikes, figuring out how best they fit together. Yoongi’s truly looking forward to discovering it all.

 

As much as Jungkook appears to enjoy Yoongi taking some of the control, eventually impatience wins through. Yoongi feels firm hands slide down from his back to his ass, his thighs, before hoisting him up as though he weighs no more than a feather. Yoongi generally prefers to take charge in bed, but he’s definitely not adverse to this. His arms curl around Jungkook’s shoulders, legs slotting around his waist, as Jungkook carries him over to the bed.

 

It’s ridiculous and romantic and Yoongi hates that he kind of loves it. Doesn’t give himself much time to think it over, focusing instead only on kissing Jungkook with an intensity that makes him dizzy. Jungkook’s shins knock into the bed and he deposits Yoongi, not entirely gracefully, on top of the covers.

 

His cheeks flush as he crawls over Yoongi, happy and excited and a little embarrassed by what he’s done. Yoongi quickly kisses the bashfulness away, tongue licking hot into Jungkook’s mouth until he feels the younger’s body sag down against his own.

 

“Always wanted to do that,” Jungkook eventually murmurs, lips moving slowly against Yoongi’s as he speaks.

 

“I somehow get the feeling you’ve done that before,” Yoongi retorts.

 

He tries not to think about how true his words may be. Unbidden images of Jungkook with unknown girls, with Goeun, pulling exactly the same kind of move. He did always enjoy showing off his strength; it would sort of make sense that he would do it with lovers, Yoongi surmises, even as his gut churns unpleasantly.

 

“Mmh,” Jungkook replies, nose nudging against Yoongi’s jaw. Neither a confirmation nor a denial. “Wanted to do it with you though.”

 

Yoongi scoffs even as his cheeks burn at the idea of Jungkook thinking about something like that. Jungkook said it’s only recently he’s realised his deeper feelings for Yoongi but- Yoongi now can’t help but wonder if Jungkook’s ever imagined Yoongi in that way. If he’s ever fantasised about any of this. The heat already growing in Yoongi’s lap suddenly jumps in intensity.

 

“Course I did,” Jungkook mutters, a flash of teeth against Yoongi’s cheek. “You’re the perfect size to pick up. My tiny hyung.”

 

The flash of heat fades quickly, though it’s replaced with something just as warm, and far fonder. Yoongi shoves playfully at Jungkook’s shoulder as the younger grins.

 

“You ever refer to me as that in bed again, I’m kicking you out,” Yoongi huffs.

 

Jungkook only grins wider.

 

The mood has softened, just a little. Jungkook pulls back, eyes dropping down to Yoongi beneath him. His lips part as he takes Yoongi in. The depth of his gaze, the sincerity, everything- it all leaves Yoongi somewhat breathless. He lifts his hand, pushing the stray hairs back from Jungkook’s forehead. Tilts his own head up, drawing him back into a slower but no less intense kiss.

 

Jungkook’s still hard. Yoongi can feel it pressed against his thigh as their bodies move together, lazy, slow. They grind languidly against one another as they kiss deep. Sensual, perfect. Yoongi can’t help but sigh into it, his own body reacting keenly to the way Jungkook presses down so gorgeously against him.

 

The kiss eventually breaks. Yoongi’s hands roam everywhere, taking their time. Over Jungkook’s shoulderblades, tracing along his spine, even occasionally settling on his ass to aid the steady grind down against Yoongi’s body. Jungkook’s breathing turns especially stuttered whenever he does so.

 

“What do you want, Kook-ah,” Yoongi whispers, words breathed out against the edge of Jungkook’s parted lips. Kisses him once, twice, before adding, “tell me.”

 

Jungkook hesitates. Beneath his fingertips, Yoongi feels the muscles of his back tense slightly. He presses a kiss to Jungkook’s cheek, his shoulder. Nips lightly at his earlobe, encouraging but not pushing. Finally Jungkook answers, face pressed into the side of Yoongi’s neck.

 

“I want- I want to feel you inside me,” he breathes out. “I want you to fuck me.”

 

Yoongi’s head tips back against the pillow, eyes scrunching shut. For a moment, he’s too overwhelmed by the multitude of visions bursting so vividly in his mind. His cock jumps, a heavy throb pulsing though him at the thought of it. He swallows thickly, needing to wet his lips before he speaks.

 

“Fuck. Really?” he manages to get out. Feels the movement of Jungkook’s head as the younger nods avidly.

 

“Yeah. I’ve thought about it a lot and- I mean, I’ve never tried it, but I think. Yeah. I’d like to. With you.”

 

He rambles, clearly shy about admitting such a thing. A big step, Yoongi imagines, for Jungkook to allow himself to want. To think about. Yoongi’s fingers smooth along his spine, hands rubbing slow, reassuring patterns into increasingly heated skin. Calming himself as much as Jungkook.

 

Yoongi draws in a long, low breath before replying.

 

“God, Kook. I’d love that,” he murmurs. Feels the heavy shudder that ripples through Jungkook on top of him.

 

“Yeah?” Jungkook checks, heady, breathy.

 

His hips rock down subconsciously into Yoongi’s. Yoongi finds himself arching back against him, instinctive. It draws a quiet gasp from both of them. Yoongi pulls back, just enough to look at Jungkook. Pink cheeked, hair messy, lips shining and slack. He looks amazing. One of Yoongi’s hands stays on his back, the other reaching to tangle in the still-damp strands of hair.

 

“Yes,” Yoongi confirms. “Fuck, you have no idea how much I’d love that right now.”

 

Jungkook’s eyes fall briefly closed, as though savouring Yoongi’s words. Yoongi tries to commit it to memory. Still not quite believing that, perhaps, this is something he’ll get to see again on multiple occasions. That this is not just a one-off.

 

“How much?” Jungkook whispers, eyes heavy and lidded.

 

Yoongi groans softly, lips pressing rough against Jungkook’s shoulder. Trying to calm himself. Because as much as he would love that, he knows that they can’t. Yoongi wants the first time that Jungkook tries anything that intense to be somewhere where they’re not staying quiet and hidden. Wants him to feel relaxed and comfortable. Wants to take his own time committing every second of it to memory.

 

And also, there are less romantic and far more practical reasons for them waiting too.

 

“So much that it’s gonna be all I’m thinking about until we find the right time for it,” Yoongi tells him. Doesn’t fail to miss the jut of Jungkook’s lower lip going into something resembling a pout.

 

“Why not now?” he asks softly. “Fuck, hyung, I wanna feel you.”

 

Yoongi needs to take a long moment to collect himself. Closes his eyes, inhaling deeply, before opening them to meet Jungkook’s gaze.

 

“Because I want us to be able to take all the time we need to properly enjoy it,” he explains lowly. “And also- I didn’t exactly pack anything to use. I wasn’t expecting, y’know. Anything like that to be happening on this trip.”

 

It takes a few seconds for his words to sink in. Jungkook blinks hard, his eyes grow wider with embarrassment. But then he’s smiling, laughing at their predicament, and it gets Yoongi smiling too.

 

“Shit,” Jungkook huffs out.

 

His face drops to Yoongi’s shoulder, lips grazing against its curve, before it lifts back up again. He seems bashful, and, Yoongi notes, more than a little disappointed. Quiet settles, blanketing the both of them for a long few seconds, before Jungkook hesitantly speaks again.

 

“But- when we’re back. Can you-  can we- god, I really want to.”

 

His whispered words run messily into each other, but the want, the need is clear. It leaves Yoongi’s heart pounding. Sends a slow, thick heat travelling through his body.

 

“Of course,” Yoongi tells him. “If that’s what you want.”

 

Rather than reassuring, his words instead cause a small frown to pinch Jungkook’s brows.

 

“Is that what you want?” Jungkook returns. He looks almost worried. Yoongi somehow wants to simultaneously coo over him and pin him down into the mattress.

 

“Kook,” Yoongi begins, words hushed but firm. “It’s driving me fucking crazy just thinking about it. Believe me, I want that.”

 

As if to prove his point Yoongi raises his hips. Lets Jungkook feel the heavy press of his cock against his hip. Jungkook’s breath draws in sharply at the sensation. The worried look fades, replaced, thankfully, by something far happier, and a lot more curious.

 

“Is that what, y’know. You prefer?” he asks tentatively.

 

He’s being vague but Yoongi can tell what he’s hinting at. Yoongi smiles, soft. Shrugs lightly. Not to dismiss the question, but to show Jungkook that he doesn’t mind being asked. That Jungkook shouldn’t be nervous asking about anything he is unsure of.

 

“I switch,” Yoongi tells him, straightforward.

 

Jungkook’s eyes grow wide once more. He swallows heavily, lips opening then closing, before he speaks again.

 

“Oh. You mean like- Fuck,” he mumbles, almost to himself. Yoongi keeps smiling. Runs a hand gently through his hair. Eventually Jungkook gathers himself, eyes locking with Yoongi’s once more. “So. I mean, are you saying- would you let me fuck you?”

 

Maybe it should feel crazier, hearing Jungkook ask such a question. And yeah, maybe it still is somewhat surreal. But more than anything, Yoongi feels so very pleased that Jungkook can be so open with him. That he doesn’t feel he has to hide anything from the elder. It brings another layer of warmth to Yoongi, entirely separate from the passionate heat of earlier.

 

“Yeah, I would,” Yoongi tells him. “If that’s what you’d like too.”

 

Jungkook’s head drops to Yoongi’s shoulder again. He makes a low noise, caught somewhere between turned on and ready to implode. Yoongi’s smile turns into something closer to a grin. He’s pleased that Jungkook’s comfortable enough to ask such things, but it is enjoyable, too, to see him become so flustered by Yoongi’s admissions.

 

Finally, Jungkook brings his head back up, meeting Yoongi’s gaze. Teeth catch on his lower lip, somehow coy and confident at the same time. It stirs that heat in Yoongi’s gut once again.

 

“I don’t know what I like,” Jungkook states, cautious. “I mean. I’ve tried stuff. You know, by myself, and I think that’s what I want. But then also that just sounded really- wow.”

 

There’s a pause, and then they both grin. Yoongi feels impossibly warm. Yoongi holds his gaze for a long while before letting it soften. Traces his fingertips along the curve of Jungkook’s spine beneath his t-shirt.

 

“We can try whatever you want, Kook,” Yoongi tells him. “You don’t have to decide a preference now and stick to it forever.”

 

“I know,” Jungkook sighs. “It’s just. I feel like everything is so new. It’s- a lot. Sometimes.”

 

Yoongi nods. Tilts his head up to dust a soft kiss to his temple.

 

“I know, Kook. We don’t have to rush anything, okay? We can take all the time we want to figure things out together.”

 

They share a look at this, Yoongi’s words settling deep within them both. The knowledge that they both want this to continue, long after tonight. That there’s a future ahead for both of them, and hopefully a long one.

 

Jungkook leans back down, drawing Yoongi into a slow, tender kiss. Yoongi sighs into it, fingers splaying, one hand over the top of Jungkook’s spine, the other against the small of his back. Keeping him so wonderfully close as they sink more and more into the kiss.

 

Eventually the kiss grows a little less tender, and a touch rougher. Needier. Jungkook’s still hard, painfully so, and Yoongi’s in the same situation. Yoongi flips them over, straddling Jungkook’s waist as he kisses deeper, harder. Wanting more of the taste of Jungkook on his tongue. Wanting more of those beautiful sounds drawn out against him.

 

“So,” Yoongi murmurs against him as they break from the kiss. “You’ve tried stuff yourself?”

 

He bites gently at Jungkook’s lower lip, Jungkook reciprocating with a hot, messy crash of their lips together, tongues meeting wet and eager. Yoongi can’t help but be drawn into it before finally pulling back and adding,

 

“I think you should tell me more about that.”

 

Jungkook moans, shy and aroused. Yoongi rolls his hips down against the younger. Slips his hands beneath the loose fabric of his t shirt, feeling across the firm, defined planes of his stomach. Jungkook arches up into his touch, so easy, and so natural, that it makes Yoongi let out a low hum of appreciation. Yoongi’s fingers keep exploring, pushing the fabric up until it bunches beneath Jungkook’s elbows.

 

“I just- kind of tried some stuff. W-with my fingers,” Jungkook near pants out, head tipped forward to watch as Yoongi’s fingers trail across his chest.

 

Fuck,” Yoongi whispers. He lets his fingers drift up to Jungkook’s nipples, thumbing at them lightly. Can’t help but drink in the way Jungkook shivers so violently at the touch. “Did you like it?”

 

Jungkook nods, eyes slipping shut as Yoongi slowly and gently plays with his nipples. His tongue darts out, wetting his lips.

 

“Yeah,” he sighs. “It was really- strange. At first. And I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not but then- fuck, it got good, y’know?”

 

Yoongi chuckles quietly, trying desperately to ignore the heavy throb of his cock at Jungkook’s words. At the image of Jungkook on his bed, fingers buried inside of himself, seeking out new pleasures he’d never let himself give into before.

 

“Yeah,” Yoongi says lowly. “I know.”

 

He leans down, lips wrapping around Jungkook’s left nipple. Jungkook gasps, a little too loudly, as Yoongi flicks his tongue over the hardened nub. He squirms beneath Yoongi, though the way he grasps onto Yoongi’s arms lets the elder know it’s very much through pleasure.

 

“I’d like- ah-“ Jungkook’s words trail off, lost in a gasped out sigh as Yoongi bites down, ever so gently. “I’d like to feel your fingers, hyung. Feel them inside of me.”

 

This time Yoongi’s the one struggling to hold back his sounds. Jungkook’s words buzz in his mind, seep through his body, liquid and molten, heat trickling so heavily throughout him.

 

“God, Kook-ah. I’d love to do that for you. I will, I promise.”

 

The talk comes easier and easier. They’re maybe not totally there yet; not one hundred percent used to the feeling of talking like this to each other, open and bare and filthy.

 

But fuck, tonight, Yoongi feels a lot more of his guard dropping.

 

It wasn’t a guard he’d intentionally built up. Simply more the intrinsic barrier of having to look past so many years of friendship to be comfortable talking like this, of showing this side of himself. Right now, Yoongi feels it crumbling without difficulty.

 

Being with Jungkook like this comes natural. Feels right in ways Yoongi can’t begin to describe. Maybe one day he’ll figure out the words. Maybe he’ll spend hours lost in notes and thoughts, pen it down into lyrics he’ll only allow Jungkook to hear.

 

Right now, however, is not that time.

 

“Can spend the whole night together. Fuck it, the whole day,” Yoongi breathes out, whispered promises falling so easy from his lips. His teeth tug lightly at the lobe of Jungkook’s ear, clinking against the metal of his earring. “I’ll make you feel so good, baby, I promise.”

 

The name slips out without Yoongi realising, the heady fog of arousal clouding his mind. He does, however, notice the way that Jungkook whimpers, ever so soft, in response. It stirs something deep in Yoongi’s gut, hot and pleased. He probably doesn’t need to ask, but he does anyway.

 

“Is that okay?” Presses a soft kiss to the line of Jungkook’s jaw. “Can I call you that?”

 

Jungkook wets his lips. Takes his time to answer. For a moment Yoongi thinks he’s got it wrong. That Jungkook didn’t like it. And then,

 

“What happened to beautiful?”

 

There’s a smirk trying to play on Jungkook’s lips but it doesn’t quite make it. Not with how breathless and almost starry-eyed he looks right now. Yoongi huffs out a quiet laugh, his own lips curving at the corners.

 

“You can be both,” Yoongi says, nipping playfully at the underside of his jaw. “My beautiful baby.”

 

He’s teasing. Turning it into something sillier, just for now, until calling Jungkook such things becomes more effortless. Until the newness of speaking this way settles and becomes easier to handle, just like kissing and touching and- well, all of this stuff is becoming.

 

Yoongi feels hands sliding around his shoulders, tugging him down.

 

“Mmh. Yours,” Jungkook whispers against Yoongi’s lips, so soft the elder nearly misses it.

 

But he doesn’t; he hears it clear as anything, startlingly sincere. It takes root deep inside of him. Voicing what this all means.

 

This is something bigger than the two of them alone. They’re connected to each other now in a way far deeper than they ever have been before. Yoongi’s known it, of course, ever since they first kissed. But it’s sinking in a little more strongly with every moment spent together.

 

Yoongi surges forward, capturing Jungkook’s mouth in a hard but somehow still tender kiss. Laced with so much emotion, so much need. A want to be closer, always. Jungkook seems to be feeling it too, if the way he’s starting to tug desperately at Yoongi’s shirt is anything to go by. Yoongi pulls back, just enough so that Jungkook can pull it up and over his head, before their mouths find each other once more.

 

It doesn’t take much longer until Jungkook’s shirt is going the same way, tossed uncaringly to the floor. The feel of skin on skin is as dizzying as it was last night. Yoongi’s hearts hammers in his chest, frantic, as Jungkook roughly pushes down Yoongi’s pyjama pants, doing the same to his own straight after until they’re both fully undressed.

 

Yoongi sits up, needing to look, to take it all in. Needing to catch his breath a little too. His lips part, bruised and wet from the intensity of their kisses. Making up in actions for the words both of them struggle with saying. Fingertips trail over the ridges of Jungkook’s chest, over the dip of his stomach, the lines of his hips.

 

Jungkook’s panting, staring up at Yoongi wide eyed. Eager, needing more than such gentle touches. But he doesn’t push, or complain. Just waits for Yoongi’s next move.

 

Jungkook is still so hard. That heat in Yoongi’s belly flares with excitement. Loving the thought of what his kisses and light touches can do to the younger. He thinks about teasing some more but there will be so much more time for that in the future. Right now, the need and desire that has been building ever since those shared looks in the club – since first thing this morning, really – take over.

 

They’ve both waited long enough.

 

He shuffles back, kneeling in the space between Jungkook’s spread legs. Yoongi’s hands drift down from his stomach, his ribs, to smooth over his thighs. Feels the thick muscles under his palms before sweeping down to Jungkook’s calves. They trail along his shins before returning to his thighs, feeling the soft brush of hairs, so different from their permanently smooth state during their idol years.

 

Jungkook’s breathing heavier now, eyes never leaving Yoongi. Yoongi’s teeth catch on his lower lip, looking right back.

 

He dips his head, going slow enough that he can take in the way that Jungkook’s eyes grow bigger in excitement. Slow enough, too, that Jungkook can tell him to stop if necessary. That doesn’t happen. Instead, a desperate sort of choked sound escapes Jungkook as Yoongi goes lower, lower, until his mouth hovers over the tip of Jungkook’s cock.

 

“This okay?” he checks needlessly. Tries not to grin at the frantic way Jungkook nods his head in answer.

 

“Yes. Fuck. Yes,” he mumbles in response, head tipped forward, staring down at Yoongi. Eyes not leaving the elder for a second. Holding back the grin becomes even harder, so something closer to a smirk slips out.

 

Despite not wanting to tease too much, Yoongi finds he can’t help it. Just a little.

 

He leans in closer, hearing the soft intake of breath from Jungkook. But rather than place his lips around the tip, Yoongi ducks lower. Lets his breath hit against the base of Jungkook’s cock. Jungkook stirs, impatient, and it isn’t long before Yoongi takes some pity, leaning in and dragging his lips from the base along the taut skin.

 

Jungkook’s hands fist into the bedcovers, chest heaving already. His eyes stay fixed on Yoongi, not seeming to want to miss a second of watching this. It gives Yoongi a wonderful boost. He knows by now how much Jungkook is into this, into him, but still- having it confirmed so obviously is something else.

 

His lips travel all the way along Jungkook’s length before pulling away. Yoongi’s tongue pokes out, a coy little lick to where precum gathers at the tip. A strange, strangled sort of noise escapes Jungkook at that, and so Yoongi does it again. The bedcovers move under him as Jungkook grips onto them impossibly tight.

 

It doesn’t take much longer before Yoongi gives in. Parts his lips and slides them around the head of Jungkook’s cock, tongue still lapping at the wet tip.

 

Jungkook makes a sound that is perhaps too loud, but soon catches himself. It grows muffled, as though one of his palms is now pressing against his mouth. It sparks that heat in Yoongi even more, the idea of Jungkook so overwhelmed by only his mouth.

 

He keeps his attention there, tongue swirling in slow circles, until he gradually lets his lips slip down, down, until his nose is nudging near the base. Jungkook’s breathing heavily, the sound of it growing faster, as Yoongi draws back up.

 

Yoongi sets up a slow back and forth, working him with long, wet movements. It’s not so easy with the way that Jungkook’s near-writhing on the bed, seeking more of the tight, wet heat of his mouth. Yoongi’s hands have to creep up to hold down his hips when Jungkook gets a little too overzealous.

 

“You trying to choke me?” Yoongi murmurs, playful, when he pulls back to talk.

 

Takes a breather, long enough to trace a lazy trail with his tongue along Jungkook’s length. Jungkook’s still panting, but slightly less frantic now. He huffs out a breathless laugh.

 

“You- just- fuck,” is all he manages.

 

Yoongi wishes that his heart didn’t leap quite so happily at hearing Jungkook reduced to incoherency. He’s always enjoyed giving pleasure to his partner, but to be able to do so with Jungkook, to someone he cares about so insanely deeply, well- that’s just something else entirely. Yoongi can’t quite get enough.

 

He barely gives Jungkook a second more to recover before leaning back in, lips wrapping tight around him. He bobs his head, languid yet intense. Goes lower, lower, until he feels Jungkook hit the back of his throat. Holds him there just for a moment before swallowing. Revels in the almost distressed noises that Jungkook tries to keep muffled behind his hand.

 

He pulls back, lips never leaving Jungkook. Starts up the long, slow slide of his mouth again. Feels fingers clutching at the nape of his neck, tentative, holding on lightly.  Yoongi risks taking one hand off of Jungkook’s hip, reaching up to guide Jungkook’s fingers into his hair.

 

It takes a moment, the touch still hesitant. Yoongi moans quietly around Jungkook, encouraging, before finally feeling Jungkook’s fingers tightening their grip on the strands.

 

He doesn’t push, or guide, rather just holds on, but still- Yoongi sinks into the feeling of it. Lets himself get lost in the slide of his lips, the taste of Jungkook on his tongue, the gentle whimpers that spill from the younger. Fuck, he can barely believe that this isn’t just a one-off; that they’ll get to do this again, and again, even back in Seoul. That this will be a regular thing, the two of them sharing such intimacy. Yoongi loves the thought of it.

 

It spurs Yoongi on. The thought of being able to please Jungkook like this even more in future. To have him let loose and experience new pleasures that he hasn’t been able to before. Pleasures that he’s always held himself back from.

 

Yoongi’s thoughts make something connect in his mind. An idea growing and growing, before it slips out without Yoongi being able to stop it.

 

“Kook,” he breathes out. Places an incongruously innocent kiss to the head of Jungkook’s cock. “Will you let me try something?”

 

He glances up and almost wishes he didn’t. His stomach dips, a heavy throb in his lower body. Jungkook’s hair is all mussed up, his lips are slack, eyes dazed. He blinks down at Yoongi, utterly unfocused. Completely caught up in bliss.

 

“Yeah?” he replies, as though his mind is taking some time to catch up to the present.

 

“We can stop if you don’t like it, okay?” Yoongi murmurs. “Just tell me straight away.”

 

Jungkook nods, so sweetly eager. Yoongi’s heart gives a strong thud in response. Their gazes stay locked for a moment longer. Yoongi tries not to stare too hard at the way Jungkook’s lower lip juts out, almost like a pout, as Yoongi pulls completely away.

 

Yoongi sits up on his knees. Guides gently with his fingers, encouraging Jungkook to turn onto his front. The near-pout gets replaced with something more curious, more intrigued. Yoongi holds onto him until Jungkook’s laid down on top of the covers, propped up on his elbows and looking back at Yoongi over his shoulder.

Yoongi needs to draw in a long, steadying breath at the sight of Jungkook laid out before him like this. So keen, and so willing to try whatever Yoongi’s about to suggest. The trust that Jungkook places in him still, after all these years, travels down into Yoongi’s very core.

 

He shifts forward. Runs his hands along Jungkook’s sides, a lazily tracing over his ribs, tracing the lines of his trim waist. He leans down, lips pressing to the top of Jungkook’s spine.

 

The new position means that his own painfully hard cock presses up against the back of Jungkook’s thigh, moving up to his ass as he litters kisses over the expanse of his back. Yoongi feels the way that Jungkook shifts back against him; barely holds back the low groan the action draws from him.

 

Thoughts of what they may get to do when they have more time, more space, back in Seoul, swirl treacherously through his mind. Yoongi pushes them aside, for now.

 

“Kook-ah,” Yoongi says low, warning. “Don’t tease your poor hyung.”

 

A quiet laugh leaves Jungkook at that, cutting through the hazy fog of arousal that’s settled over the two of them. Yoongi’s kisses start going lower. He reaches the base of Jungkook’s spine, the swell of his ass. His skin is soft, the tang of his soap lingering on Yoongi’s tongue. Jungkook’s breathing picks up, going a little crazy, as he finally figures out what Yoongi’s intentions are.

 

“Hyung. Oh my god, I-“ Jungkook mumbles.

 

“This okay?” Yoongi checks. “You can tell me to stop.”

 

“No. Fuck, keep going, please,” Jungkook whines, hips shifting on the bed.

 

The eagerness, the neediness; it drives Yoongi ever crazier. His hands slip down from Jungkook’s waist, squeezing tenderly at his ass. Rubs smooth circles into his skin before spreading him, just enough.

 

He dips his head down. Takes a long moment, Jungkook shifting wildly beneath him as Yoongi’s breath hits his skin. Yoongi draws it out, just a while longer, before leaning in. He licks, slow and wet, tongue beginning to drag in a lazy back and forth against him. Jungkook’s moans are entirely muffled this time, by what sounds like one of the pillows. Despite that, Yoongi can still hear the pleasure so distinctly; can still hear just how much he’s enjoying it.

 

Yoongi’s own cock hangs heavy between his legs as he keeps going. Not taking things any further just yet. Simply focusing on drawing the sensations out of Jungkook bit by bit, building him up more and more. Coaxing Jungkook to relax, to sink into the feeling completely and just be taken care of.

 

“Yoongi, hyung, feels-“ A short, sharp breath. –“feels so nice.”

 

Yoongi pulls back. Nips lightly at the meat of his ass before pressing a tender kiss to soothe the spot.  

 

“Yeah?” Yoongi sighs softly. “You like it?”

 

Jungkook doesn’t answer other than rapidly nodding his head. It brings a small grin to Yoongi’s lips. He hides it by pressing another gentle kiss to his skin, this time to the back of Jungkook’s thigh, before setting up the same languid yet precise circling of his tongue.

 

Jungkook starts pushing back more now; not forceful, but painfully needy. Desperate, almost, to feel more of Yoongi’s tongue.

 

Yoongi doesn’t draw out the teasing. Both of them are built up far too much, hovering on the edge for so long now. Instead, Yoongi spreads Jungkook a bit wider with his thumbs, breath fanning against him, before flicking his tongue just inside. Jungkook gasps, hips dropping slightly in surprise, before steadying himself again.

 

Yoongi licks into him with more certainty as best he can. Jungkook’s unbelievably tight, and hot, and the thought of it is driving Yoongi more than a little wild. He keeps flicking his tongue, working inside of him slow and sure. Beneath him, Jungkook moans, quiet, muffled. Yoongi groans against him in response.

 

He pulls back, just a bit. Sucks gently at his rim before licking back into him again with more determination. Jungkook near enough trembles at the sensation, making Yoongi’s cock kick with arousal. He drives his tongue deeper, licking slow and careful at his walls. Jungkook is barely making any noise now. Not because he’s not into it, but because all Yoongi can hear from him is heavy, stuttered breathing, leaving Jungkook’s lips in fast, short gasps as Yoongi works him open on his tongue.

 

Yoongi keeps going, slow and deliberate. Jungkook’s hips rock back onto him with increasing restlessness, but Yoongi doesn’t change his pace. Just keeps working him, deeply, thoroughly. Every broken sigh that spills from the younger stokes that heat further in the pit of Yoongi’s gut.

 

He can feel that way that Jungkook’s thighs start to shake, the younger struggling to hold himself up. Yoongi can tell that he’s close. Knows that all he probably needs just the tiniest bit more to push him over the edge.

 

Yoongi snakes one hand past Jungkook’s hip, fingers circling around his cock. He’s unbelievably wet against Yoongi’s palm, the feel of it dragging a throaty groan from Yoongi. Feeling just how turned on he is for Yoongi is kind of mind-blowing. So, too, is the thought of how close they both came to never having this. The idea of it only drives Yoongi on even more.

 

Jungkook stiffens then trembles with greater intensity, the scratch of his fingers grappling at the sheets almost frantic. Yoongi starts to stroke his cock, slow and easy, feeling the taut skin of his length under his fingers. He knows that Jungkook’s close, teetering nearer and nearer.

 

Yoongi’s tongue keeps working him, deep and wet. He lifts his other hand while balanced precariously on one elbow to thumb at his rim ever so slightly, the pad just slipping in beside Yoongi’s tongue.

 

Hyung,” Jungkook gasps. “I’m gonna- ah-

 

The words tumble past Jungkook’s lips, barely audible from where they’re gasped out into the pillow. Yoongi hears them though. Feels, too, the way that Jungkook tightens around him. The way that his body tenses, and the wetness that is suddenly spilling over Yoongi’s fingers.

 

Yoongi works him through it, going careful, not wanting to push him into oversensitivity. Makes sure to draw out every ounce of pleasure he can from the younger until it becomes too much. He keeps going until Jungkook’s finally shifting away, collapsing down onto the covers, utterly spent.

 

For a long time he doesn’t say anything. Yoongi kneels up, fingertips trailing over the back of his thighs, up and along the small of his back. Jungkook still says nothing. Doesn’t move. For a panicked moment Yoongi’s almost worried.

 

That is, until Jungkook finally finds the ability to speak.

 

“Oh my god.”

 

Jungkook pushes himself up, rolling onto his back. He looks up at Yoongi, all grinning and happy, and it stirs something unfathomably deep inside of Yoongi. Something so strong that it makes Yoongi feel just as breathless as Jungkook looks.

 

Jungkook pushes his hair off of his forehead, arm flopping down onto the pillow propping up his head. He smiles so openly up at Yoongi, and Yoongi easily finds himself smiling back. He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t painfully aware of his own arousal right now, but it doesn’t matter. All he can focus on is Jungkook and how beautifully satisfied he looks.

 

 “You okay?” Yoongi grins, small but sincere.

 

“Yeah, I’m. Wow. So fucking good,” Jungkook tells him, eyes bright, lips pulled into a bright smile.

 

Yoongi keeps grinning. Shuffles closer, lowering his head until his lips brush along the strong line of Jungkook’s jaw. He feels the way that Jungkook’s arms slide around his shoulders, tugging him close. Feels, too, the flash of Jungkook’s grin against his cheek. He’s sweaty, skin hot and sticky against Yoongi’s own. Yoongi settles further into it regardless, enjoying the closeness.

 

“I’m glad,” Yoongi tells him, before adding, “Think I kind of love making you feel good.”

 

Jungkook makes a soft little noise of contentment, drawing Yoongi in even closer. Yoongi lets him. Nestles in as near as he can manage.

 

“What about you, hyung?” Jungkook whispers eventually, once his breathing appears to have returned to something like normal. The tips of his fingers brush along the side of Yoongi’s length that’s currently pressed against his hip.  

 

“I’m okay,” Yoongi tells him.

 

Clearly it’s not entirely true, but he still doesn’t want to push Jungkook into anything he’s not ready for. They’ll have plenty of time to explore all these new intimacies in the future; it doesn’t all need to happen right now. Despite this, Jungkook huffs, seemingly unimpressed by Yoongi’s attempts at being considerate.

 

“You don’t want me to?” he says coquettishly, almost a pout in his voice. Yoongi can tell that he’s not genuinely upset, that’s he’s simply being playful. He goes along with it easily, happy to see Jungkook’s mischievous side coming out.

 

“Depends,” Yoongi murmurs, keeping his voice low. “What were you planning on doing?”

 

Jungkook doesn’t answer. Just grins and sits up. Presses a palm against Yoongi’s chest until he’s laying on his back. Yoongi simply watches, quiet and curious and so fucking endeared. Jungkook follows Yoongi’s earlier movements, settling between Yoongi’s legs.

 

His hands run over Yoongi’s shins, his knees, his thighs. He licks at his lips; a little eager, a little nervous. Yoongi lifts a hand, thumb tracing over his cheek. Jungkook tilts his head, leaning into the touch. For a moment they catch each other’s’ gazes, sharing a long look, before Jungkook leans down.

 

Yoongi breathes in sharply, realising where this is going. He keeps his hand cupping Jungkook’s jaw. Jungkook’s eyes drop down to Yoongi’s cock, then back up to his face, hesitation clear.

 

“You don’t need to rush anything, Kook-“

 

Yoongi’s barely uttered the words before Jungkook’s tongue is darting out, licking over the tip of his cock. Yoongi props himself up on an elbow, staring down as Jungkook wraps his lips around the head without any preamble. Yoongi supposes that in a way it’s entirely Jungkook; diving head first into everything that he tries, always full of eagerness and passion and focus no matter the situation.

 

Yoongi knows that this is Jungkook’s first time ever doing this. The touch of his mouth is a little too teasing, a little too light, but Yoongi doesn’t care. Just watches, almost awestruck.

 

His mind still can’t entirely comprehend the sight in front of him. Jungkook’s lips wrapped around him, Yoongi’s cock disappearing into the wet heat of his mouth. Years ago, imagining such a thing would have been highly perturbing. Now, Yoongi can’t imagine seeing anything hotter.

 

Jungkook pulls back, bottom lip catching as he looks up at Yoongi, eyes low and hooded. Teasing and knowing exactly what he’s doing to Yoongi. Despite the bravado, the show of confidence, Yoongi can tell that he’s still a little unsure. That he’s nervous about whether Yoongi is enjoying what he’s doing. Yoongi makes sure to assure him.

 

“Feels amazing,” Yoongi tells him. “You’re so good, Kook.”

 

Runs a hand through his hair as Jungkook smiles, looking for too sweet for the position he’s currently in. There’s barely a moment before Jungkook’s lips are wrapped around him again. He works him with a fast back and forth. It’s a little clumsy, a bit messy, but Yoongi couldn’t care less. He presses his index finger beneath the line of Jungkook’s jaw, encouraging him to close his mouth just a little tighter. Jungkook follows his guidance with ease.

 

It’s perhaps not technically a perfect blowjob, but the enthusiasm and the determination that Jungkook puts into it makes it unbearably good. Yoongi watches, intent, unable to take his eyes off of the slick slip of his cock past Jungkook’s lips. Of the flush on the younger’s cheeks, of the way his eyes fall closed as he takes Yoongi that much deeper.

 

Yoongi’s so heavily worked up, body thrumming with want ever since the bar. It doesn’t take long at all to find himself teetering on the edge. One hand stays on Jungkook’s cheek, the other running through his hair, encouraging with more and more desperate movements. His breathing picks up, growing faster and louder with every eager bob of Jungkook’s mouth.

 

“Kook-ah, I’m close,” Yoongi sighs, toes curling into the sheets as he tries desperately not to push his hips up into the delicious heat of Jungkook’s mouth. He tries to nudge Jungkook off of him but he stays where he is, working Yoongi up more with every wet slide of his lips. Yoongi gives a quiet, urgent grunt, trying to get Jungkook’s attention before clarifying. “Fuck. Like, really close.”

 

Jungkook pulls back, tongue laving over the head of Yoongi’s cock. “Wanna taste you, hyung.”

 

Yoongi bites down on his lower lip, trying to stifle the groan that threatens to escape.

 

“You don’t have to,” Yoongi tells him, but is cut off almost straight away.

 

“I know,” Jungkook says. “I want to.”

 

With that, his mouth sinks down on Yoongi once again. It really doesn’t take much at all after that. A few long, focused slides of his mouth, and that heat grows heavier, more insistent, right in the base of Yoongi’s belly. His fingers tremble slightly, one wrapping around the nape of Jungkook’s neck as the other curls into the bedcovers.

 

His eyes finally leave Jungkook as that first incredible wave of pleasure rushes through him. Yoongi’s head falls back, his elbow barely supporting him, as his lips part in a quiet gasp. Jungkook’s mouth keeps moving, dragging every last second of pleasure out of him. Yoongi sinks into it, orgasm flowing thick and heavy throughout him.

 

“God. Kook,” Yoongi mutters as he finally lifts his head back up, eyes refocusing slowly back on Jungkook. “That was amazing. You’re amazing.”

 

Jungkook grins, licking at his lips in a way that is far too wicked for Yoongi to be seeing in the state he’s currently in. Yoongi falls back against the bed, vaguely registering Jungkook crawling up over his body to settle down against his side. There’s a light press of lips against his shoulder. Yoongi’s arms move, leaden and heavy, to wrap around Jungkook. Keeping him close.

 

“Wow,” Jungkook eventually whispers. Laughs slightly to himself. Yoongi grins too, turning his head to bury his nose and lips into the messy strands of Jungkook’s hair.

 

“Yeah,” Yoongi agrees.

 

A little pointlessly but Jungkook seems to appreciate it the sentiment. He shifts in even closer to Yoongi’s side, one leg slipping over Yoongi’s. They should probably get dressed but right now, doing anything other than laying here like this seems crazy.

 

Neither says anything for a long time, but it’s easy, and comfortable. Their breathing gradually slows, becoming smooth and steady once more. The rapid thudthudthud of Yoongi’s heart doesn’t lessen though. That giddiness doesn’t seem to fade either, his stomach still swooping wildly every time that Jungkook presses in closer.

 

“Can you believe we’re going home tomorrow?” Jungkook says after a long, long time has passed.

 

His words are so gentle, so quiet, that Yoongi almost doesn’t hear them. But he does though, and they settle deep in his chest with a painful twinge. Yoongi hopes more than anything that things don’t change; that this continues, just like they’ve promised it will.

 

And yet, realistically, there’s no knowing that it will; no knowing what may happen outside of the safety of this cabin, no longer so securely tucked away from the world.

 

“Not really,” Yoongi admits. “To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to this trip before I came, y’know. But now- I kind of don’t want to leave.”

 

“Me either,” Jungkook tells him softly. There’s a long pause, silence filling the small gaps between them. “I’m so glad I decided to come though. I almost didn’t.”

 

“Guess we both made the right decision, huh,” Yoongi says.

 

Knows as he speaks that he means more than simply getting on the plane to Norway; that he’s talking about something more, something bigger. Talking about the both them deciding to take this leap in their relationship. Of trusting that they can make it work. It’s perhaps a touch sentimental but fuck- Yoongi means it with all he has. This feels like the surest decision he’s made in years.

 

Jungkook nods his agreement. Tries to curl into Yoongi a little more. As much as he hates to, Yoongi gently pushes him away. Does his best to ignore the quite whine of disapproval that leaves Jungkook at the action.

 

“C’mon. We can’t fall asleep like this,” Yoongi tells him. A stark bump back to reality.

 

Jungkook sighs but eventually rolls off of Yoongi, standing up on shaky legs. Yoongi tries not to show how pleased he is by the effect he’s so visibly had on Jungkook. Hopes he gets to do so plenty more times in the future.

 

They get dressed with tired, uncoordinated limbs. The drunkenness of earlier has faded, but so has the hazy glow of their intimacy. Instead they’re left with the chill air of the bedroom, the gross feeling of pulling on pyjamas over sticky skin, and the dull thrum of headaches already starting to build.

 

“Come on, old man,” Jungkook teases, already changed and under the covers.

 

Yoongi grumbles more for show than anything, before climbing in next to him once his t shirt and pyjama pants are back on. Jungkook’s limbs immediately wrap around Yoongi, warming him up in no time. Yoongi lays on his back, letting Jungkook curl around him as much as he wants. Holding onto him tight.

 

“I’ve been thinking,” Jungkook says, after silence settles over them once more. “I think I’m going to tell the others. Tomorrow. Before we all leave.”

Jungkook doesn’t need to elaborate any further for Yoongi to know what he’s referring to. Yoongi obviously knows already about Jungkook’s sexuality, and so do Jimin and Taehyung.

But clearly Jungkook’s been mulling things over tonight. The seven of them have all grown so close again over these past days, slowly rebuilding a bond that should never have become so broken. Honesty, perhaps, is Jungkook’s own way of working towards repairing that. Making that bond even stronger.

“Okay,” Yoongi tells him. “Whatever you want to do, I’ll be there.”

“Okay,” Jungkook whispers back.

It’s full of nerves, but determination too. They can discuss this more fully in the morning, with clearer minds. But somehow, Yoongi thinks, this is more than simply the drowsiness talking. Jungkook speaks quietly, but with a conviction that lets Yoongi knows he’s made up his mind already. Yoongi feels like he should have been there for Jungkook a lot more than he has been recently. Tomorrow, at least, he can be there for the first time in too many years.

It doesn’t take long for Jungkook to fall asleep. It’s only a matter of minutes until Yoongi hears the telltale steady rhythm of his breathing. It takes Yoongi a little longer, despite the heaviness of his eyes and the haze in his head.

Tomorrow they leave. So much has changed since they first stepped foot in this cabin. And tomorrow, so much will change again when they land back in Seoul. Only time will tell if this will last once they’re back. If this new, amazing connection will fade away or grow stronger.

Yoongi’s never been much of an optimist; being realistic is far more his thing. But somehow, Yoongi feels like what’s grown between him and Jungkook, what is still growing with every moment-

It’s different. Profound and genuine in a way he’s never truly found with anyone before. What they have, what is growing between them, is something really special.

And that thought manages to override the worry still gnawing deep inside of him. Calms his thoughts and his racing heart. And when Yoongi finally settles into sleep, it’s with the smallest of smiles still playing on his lips.

 

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.