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Goodbye Light

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“Do you think he ever notices?” Jungkook asks as he leans over the railing on the second floor. He fiddles with his hands as his eyes track a blonde the floor below him, walking back and forth from the register to the coffee machine.

 

“Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. I think it’s hard for him to believe.” Yoongi replies, looking up from his book to scan around the cafe’s upper floor, there’s no one around so he sighs and asks Jungkook to sit down. “Why are you still here anyway?”

 

“I’m not really sure… I just like being here and seeing him.” Yoongi nods and follows the man’s gaze back to the barista below.

 

Jimin was a happy person, with an infectious charm that every customer left with a smile no matter what. Wrong order? Here’s a cheesy joke, with a sincere apology. Day’s a little rough? Here I added some whipped cream don’t worry about it. It was the little things people noticed, and Jimin always loved the little things.

 

Yoongi has been to this cafe for the past month now ever since he met Jungkook, and though there’s a small hole in his wallet, he can’t help but keep coming back for both young men.

 

“You know sometimes you have to let go of things to move on…” Yoongi comments, but his concerns go ignored as Jungkook clicks his teeth.

 

“Aish hyung you forgot to let the air steam first.” Jungkook shakes his head before a hiss is heard and surprised yelp comes from downstairs from Jimin.

 

Yoongi watches as Jimin assures the customer he’s okay before tilting his head at the coffee machine and continuing to make a latte.

 

“You know… he loves you, he always will.” Jungkook scoffs at that statement before rolling his eyes and staring back at Yoongi.

 

“I know he does, I love him too.”

 

There’s yelling from downstairs that makes Jungkook disappear from his seat, and Yoongi pinches the bridge of his nose before sighing and making his way to the counter.

 

Jungkook’s fuming behind Jimin as a bald man berates him for being incompetent, and the poor guy looks close to tears. The way Jungkook clenches his fists makes Yoongi step in before things escalate in a way he can’t explain.

 

“Yah I’ll pay for the drink you ass, just shut up and go,” Yoongi says as he slams down a twenty and hands the cardboard cup roughly. The businessman glares at the intruding mint haired man before cursing under his breath and stomping out the store.

 

Jimin lets out a sigh of relief and his shoulders relax the second the door closes. There’s no one around except for the trio.

 

“You okay?”

 

“Of course he’s not.”

 

“I’m fine,” Jimin says waving his hand in the air, “Nothing I’m not used to,” Jungkook scowls at the interruption before wrapping his arms around Jimin’s shoulder.

 

There’s a pause between them, as Yoongi holds his breath, but Jimin shrugs it off and starts wiping down the counter. There’s a tremble in his hands that tugs at Yoongi’s heart.

 

“You looked like you were about to cry… I don’t think that counts as fine.”

 

Jimin lets out a small snort before he shakes his head.

 

“It’s just… he said some things a little too close to home.” Yoongi nods and waits for a further explanation. “He called me a faggot for having a picture up of a boy behind the counter that’s it like I said nothing I haven’t heard before.”

 

Jungkook frowns at the implication before wandering over the frame above the counter. It’s on a small black shelf next to a vase that always seems to have a fresh peony in it. There’s a small plate of baked goods and the smell of incense burns in Jungkook’s nose. He can’t help the bittersweet smile that appears as he stares at his own image.

 

“It’s just hard sometimes you know… it’s crazy but I feel like he’s still here every now and then and it just breaks my heart a little more.” Jimin softly comments as spins a ring, that Yoongi has never seen him without, around his finger.

 

“You never know… maybe he’s closer than you think.” Yoongi says and Jungkook turns to glare at him. There’s a sad chuckle that falls from Jimin’s lips, and it makes Yoongi feel like he’s the asshole now.

 

“Don’t say that he’s been dead for a year now hyung you know that.”

 

Of course, Yoongi knows, he figured that out the moment he stepped into this cafe and spotted Jungkook standing beside the blonde and following his every move. His presence made Jungkook’s head snap towards his direction and the chill went down Yoongi’s spine like every other encounter he had with people like Jungkook.

 

“Do you still love him?”

 

The question gets a confused look from Jimin before he glances back at the framed photo.

 

“I always will, until my last breath that’s what we promised to each other.”

 

Yoongi takes a sharp inhale at the words and stares at the side profile of Jimin. Trailing down his neck behind his ear is a small tattoo, a date and tiny cross that doesn’t take a genius to figure out the meaning of. The look of heartbreak of Jungkook’s face breaks Yoongi’s resolve as he finally decides to let Jimin know.

 

“When you’re done work… let’s talk for a little.”

 

Jimin raises his eyebrows at the question before tilting his head.

 

“Okay… why? You never asked before?”

 

It’s tired look in Jimin’s eyes that breaks his resolve.

 

“Because I can see ghosts, and for the past month I’ve seen Jungkook here because he can’t move on without telling you some things first.”

 

What Yoongi usually gets after he lets someone know about his ability, are curses, insults or people hitting him, it comes as a package deal when you let someone know that their loved one still lingers on earth. But for the first time, he watches tears stream down Jimin’s face as he covers his mouth the suppress the noise of disbelief. He frantically wipes at his tears and apologizes for his reaction, and Yoongi knows this will be another case he won’t be able to let go of.

 

“I told you he wasn’t ready.” Jungkook spats out as he goes to embrace the trembling man, but his arms can’t give comfort Jimin can feel.

 

“I’m so so-sorry. I can’t… I just, I can’t. Excuse me.” Jimin rushes through swinging doors to the kitchen and Jungkook and Yoongi are the only two left in the front.

 

Jungkook only sighs before shaking his head and in a blink, he’s gone. There’s muffled sniffles coming through the doors, and Yoongi walks towards the door to lock it and turn the open sign to close before sitting down at a table. He takes out his phone to fiddle with as he waits because Yoongi knows it’ll be awhile before Jimin or Jungkook comes back, and Yoongi knows why.

 

People are never really ready to say goodbye.

 

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It takes about two hours for Jimin to come back from the kitchen, and if Yoongi’s being honest it’s a little faster than he thought. He was pretty sure Jimin would hide away until the stars started to shine in the sky, but the rooms tinted orange as Jimin steps out into the room filled with the setting light. They lock eyes and Yoongi can see the surprise in them, but he also sees the hope lingering as well. Jimin takes tentative steps towards the coffee machine and makes two small lattes, and makes his way over to the table.

 

The cups make a slight clink sound as Jimin sits down across from Yoongi and together they watch the steam float away in the air. Jungkook’s nowhere to be found and Yoongi’s not surprised, he’s sure the ghost boy won’t be back for another hour or so, plenty of time for just the two living souls to talk.

 

“So… you can talk to ghosts?” Jimin asks disbelief obvious, but Yoongi’s not offended. It took him a few months before he could even accept his own gift, brushing off the apparitions as imaginary friends that’s were just a little too real.

 

“Yeah, I can… it started when I was 6 and I always hoped I would grow out of it, thought I had just a little too much imagination, but here I am, 24 and now I’m the ghost whisperer.” Yoongi explains blandly, the same schpeal he states with every encounter he has. He used to try and do things discreetly without coming into contact with the living but some things needed confrontation.

 

Yoongi watches as Jimin nods his head staring off into the city next to him. There are faceless people moving about, living their lives like that had an infinite amount of time left, and yet time seems suspended in the tiny coffee shop they sit in. Yoongi is graced again with the inked date on Jimin’s skin and can’t help but frown at the image.

 

05.03.17

 

Six little numbers that haunted Jimin in ways he couldn’t understand just yet.

 

“How did Jungkook die?”

 

The question seems to make the air come to a standstill. Jimin freezes and tenses up and Yoongi’s scared that maybe he really did just stop time before he sees tears from in the corner of slanted eyes and trickle down puffy cheeks. Jimin lets out a quiet laugh as he wipes away at the tears and excuses himself as he tilts his head back and inhales slowly.

 

“It’s actually pretty stupid really. No tragic slow disease, no heroic death, just one really dumb boy…” Jimin laughs to himself as his voice trails off, a bittersweet smile plastered on his face. “I told him to hurry home, that I just wanted to see him soon and that’s what he did. He turned down a shortcut and didn’t even see the car speeding down the ally. They told me he had the phone still clutched in hands. He was in the middle of a message, I’m on my way! I love you Jimin… I never got that text.”

 

Yoongi watches Jungkook fade into existence and wraps his arms around the sniffling man, displeasure evident in his face.

 

“I told you to leave him alone! We’re fine, we’re okay! Just go away you’re making him upset!” Jungkook yells and the shudders shake, Jimin jumps a little in surprise rapidly looking around for a cause only to stare at Yoongi, question on the tip of his tongue.

 

Yoongi only shakes his head yes, and watches emotions flash across the blonde’s face. Disbelief, love, shock, joy, and finally sadness.

 

“Oh ,Jungkook…kooktokki…” Jimin calls out quietly and the sobs shudder through him, Jungkook rushes to wipe away tears he can’t touch, lay his hands on ones he can’t hold, kiss the forehead of a boy he loves but nothing gets a response from Jimin.

 

Yoongi smiles sadly at the pair. This is the part of his gift he could never get used to. The desperation in the eyes of the dead for a simple thing Yoongi took for granted. To touch and be touched by someone they loved. The mint hair man reaches over to hold the hands of the broken man and ignores the glare he gets from Jungkook.

 

“I’m so sorry… I’m so so sorry…” Jimin whispers and Yoongi just holds on a little tighter. “I shouldn’t have said anything, I should’ve been patient, I should’ve just waited… then you would still be here and I-I wouldn’t be like this! I would still have you and-and-and-“ Jimin can’t speak through his gasps and sobs and Jungkook only gets more desperate to comfort the man, settling to just cradling Jimin’s head against a chest he won’t feel, and running transparent fingers through wavy locks.

 

“It’s okay, I promise it’s okay, I’m okay, we’re okay. Tell him that, tell him I’m okay!” Jungkook speaks rapidly, and Yoongi learns that ghost can cry as he whispers the same words back to Jimin, and they watch the blonde cry even harder and shake his head.

 

“Call him Manggaeddeok, and tell him that there’s always sun in the room as long as he smiles.” Yoongi cringes at the request but one look at Jungkook tells him that there’s no way he can escape without saying those words.

 

“Uh—this is so fucking awkward. Manggaeddeok? There’s always sun in t-the room as long as—“

 

“…I smile.”

 

Yoongi feels his neck burn in embarrassment from repeating the cheesy line, but for the first time that day Jimin laughs and smiles so wide, Yoongi understands the phrase as he watches the sun shine brightly.

 

“God ,you’re still a cheeseball…” Jimin mutters exasperated, but Yoongi can see the endearment scattered in those words. “…and bunnies love the sun, right Jungkook?”

 

Yoongi can’t help but laugh as Jungkook flushes and tries to sputter out an explanation and when he explains to the confused Jimin, the mood finally lightens up. Yoongi spends his time listening to stories about the pair with both of them interjecting and transferring messages back and forth.

 

He learns that they were childhood friends, that Jimin has saved Jungkook from a flock of seagulls on a sandy beach in Busan, and Jungkook never left his side star struck by the brave nameless hyung. He learns that they didn’t officially date until Jungkook turned 18 even if they held hands and kissed way before that. He learns how Jungkook loved taking pictures and how some of the blown up photos around the cafe were his work. He learns that Jungkook and Jimin loved each other for everything they were. From Jimin’s brattiness and Jungkook’s need for space to the way Jimin linked their pinkies together just for the hell of it sometimes and how Jungkook used to cook the only dish, he knew on days Jimin needed a reason to smile.

 

Yoongi learned how love formed and built itself. How Jimin fell before he knew what love meant and only closed his eyes and waited for Jungkook to catch him. How Jungkook fell in love way after Jimin and scrambled to make up lost time and showered him with affection from the day he realized why his heart was in Jimin’s hand and not his chest. And after what seems like forever the conversation finally lulls.

 

“Tell him I’m sorry but I always hated the espresso he made me, but I lied and tried everything he made,” Jungkook whispered finally sitting next to Jimin and looking at the side of his face with such dedication and love, even Yoongi felt like he was interrupting an intimate moment. “Tell him that I did eat the last chocolate muffin but I blamed my brother so he wouldn’t yell at me. Tell him that I use to wake up before him just to watch him sleep because he was just too beautiful and I couldn’t believe he was mine. Tell him that there’s a small box at my mom’s place in my desk and that I never told anyone about because I thought we were too young to get married.”

 

Yoongi swallows hard before slowly repeating every word. He feels like a jerk as he watches Jimin tear up again, but this time Jimin smiles softly to himself.

 

“Can you tell him it’s okay? If he- if he dates again… that he should stop telling people he has a boyfriend and really should go out on a date with that Namjoon guy. Tell him to stop living for me and to start living for himself, just tell him I’m okay. I’m really really okay.” Jungkook stresses every word and Yoongi relays the message softly, like how a mother would comfort a child and is not surprised when Jimin rolls his eyes in irritation.

 

“You can stop right there, I’m not dating again. Ever okay? I will love you til my last breath, that’s what I promised and that’s what I’m going to do… there’s never gonna being someone who can ever replace you.” Jimin explains and Jungkook can only throw his head back and laugh, his boyfriend ever so stubborn.

 

Yoongi watches as Jungkook scoots closer and leans his forehead against the side of Jimin’s head and wraps his arms around the blonde’s shoulders and embrace he can’t even feel.

 

“They’re not replacing me Manggaeddeok… I’ve built my life and love with you, my heart is your house, just give the key to someone. I’ll still be there no matter what. I’ll be the creaky steps, the dent in the wall, the leaky faucet that can’t be fixed, I’ll be whatever makes you feel at home just give them a chance to make it their home too.”

 

This time Yoongi tries to steel himself from the tears forming in his eyes as Jungkook whisper endless declarations of love and admiration.

 

“I will always love, god I only ever loved you. And I’m so sorry you have to live without me, that I’m the reason you cry at night, that you suffered so much for me, that I left you so early. Just know I never ever ever wanted to. That when I was laying on that cold ground all I thought about was you. The way you laughed, the way your lips moved when you said I love you, even when I was dying all I could think about was you.”

 

When Jimin asks for an explanation for Yoongi’s pained expression, he waits as the man recounts every word slowly and carefully through hiccups and stuttered sentences. He lets his heartache for the pair of lovers ripped apart too soon, and tries not to cry with Jimin when the words sink in.

 

“Y-you’re the absolute worst you know that? How can I ever let someone in when they won’t hold me like you use to? Who is ever going to whisper cheesy lines from dramas to me when I’m mad like you? Who is ever going to kiss me like I’m going to slip away like you? Who is ever going to love me like you loved me Jungkook?” Jimin wails and for once in his life, even Yoongi isn’t ready for someone to pass on.

 

“He has to try… I can’t- I can’t leave him knowing he’ll never let himself be happy again. I won’t leave him to torture himself, not after everything we’ve been through because he deserves someone to love and to be loved by someone.” Jungkook pleads and Yoongi knows what he has to do to bring Jungkook the peace he needs to leave.

 

“He can’t move on Jimin because of you…” Yoongi explains and the hurt on Jimin’s face and glare on Jungkook’s doesn’t stop him from speaking. “He’s stuck here because he doesn’t want you to be alone. So I’m telling you now that you need to let him go, if you love him like you say you do then you need to let him go because there is nothing left for him here.”

 

“You can’t ask that of me I can’t—“

 

“You have to.”

 

Silence fills the room again and Yoongi can see the way Jimin’s shoulders shake. The way he curls into himself and finally lets himself fully grieve the loss of the love of his life, knowing that this time after today Jeon Jungkook will fully be gone from the world.

 

“I’m going to your mom’s house and I'm putting that ring on my finger and it’s never going to leave it okay? I’ll go on all the stupid dates that come my way and I’m going to tell every single person interested in me that they can never surpass you and they’ll just have to suck it up if they want to be with me. I’m going to try alright? I’m going to try and love again so please, please go. Go and move on and be happy and know I love you so much, that I will always love you and that it’s killing me inside to let you go.” Jimin rapidly spits out as hands rub away at red eyes and ugly sobs slip from his mouth.

 

Jungkook laughs as he cries with Jimin and leans forward to press his lips against the love of his life. Yoongi watches Jimin freeze at the touch and when Jungkook pulls away, Jimin lifts a hand to touch his lips.

 

The room fills with light Jimin can’t see and Yoongi watches Jungkook slowly steps away and stares into the shining void.

 

“…promise me something Yoongi?” Jungkook whispers eyes never leaving the pathway in front of him.

 

“Anything you want…”

 

“Promise me you’ll take care of him? I know it’s a lot but… I trust you…”

 

“Okay. I promise… now go ahead kid we’ll see you again one day.”

 

Jungkook looks back one more time before smiling and taking a step into the bright light. And in one breath the air in the room changes like a cool breeze on a summer day. It’s so evident even Jimin looks around the room.

 

“Is he…?” Jimin asked.

 

Yoongi nods his head and steps outside to give a moment of privacy to Jimin as he composes himself. Yoongi hands shake as he lights a cigarette and pulls out his phone dialing a number he knows by heart emotions he kept locked up slowly cracking open.

 

“Hey what’s up!”

 

“I love you Taehyung.” The voice on the other side goes silent and Yoongi listens to the rustle of bed sheets before Taehyung speaks again, voice hushed and soft.

 

“I love you too… another hard one?”

 

And finally, after being so strong for two people Yoongi lets himself cry. Life always seemed so long until it’s ripped out your hands without a care in the world. There were people who never got to see another sun rise or sun set. There were lovers who ached for one more second to speak to each other. There were kids who never got to taste the life of adulthood. There were people who woke up one day and didn’t know that it was going to be there last and Yoongi is always humbled by his gift.

 

He’s lucky he can breath one more day. Lucky that his boyfriend was alive and healthy. Lucky that he had so much ahead of him still. Lucky that the life he had was never like the ones he helped. People were never really easy to say goodbye and Yoongi was one of those people.

 

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After a few months, Yoongi walks into the same coffee shop and spots the same man that changed his life working behind the counter. When he turns his head Yoongi spots another date behind his other ear with a set of angel wings, the day Jimin said goodbye to his first love. The now pink hair man waves his hand in greeting to Yoongi and he can’t help but roll his eyes in fondness. He spots a ring on Jimin’s ring finger he’s never seen before but knows the meaning of. Yoongi approaches with an easy smile and lets his eyes settle on the tall silver-haired man sporting a dimpled smile staring at the barista. Namjoon is a man in love and when Yoongi looks at the shelf with a fresh peony, baked goods and burning incense, with a new picture of the familiar laughing man, he knows Jungkook would have approved.