The sound of their literature teacher drowning on about an American novel he didn’t even attempt to read lulling him to sleep, Min Yoongi is awoken by a ball of paper being flung in his face. Snapping his eyes open, he forces his face into a scowl before looking around for the culprit.
The culprit, of course, being none other than his boyfriend, who sits to the left plus a space forward to Yoongi’s desk, a bright sunny smile on his face.
Jung Hoseok, quite literally the boy of Yoongi’s dreams (he’d had plenty of dreams of him prior to their first interaction) has been his boyfriend for little more than four months. Giving that neither of them had been out at the time (not that they were really that out now in their somewhat secret relationship) their relationship has been agonisingly slow burn. There had been months of mooning over Hoseok’s smile, staring at him hopelessly when he thought the other wasn’t looking, and telling only his dog, Holly, about his pathetic crush.
Of course, due to a lot of his attention being centred around Hoseok and his perfect face, perfect hair, perfect lip mole that Yoongi had actually attempted to write poems about, Yoongi had failed to notice that Hoseok had been looking back at him too. Often. In fact, so often, by the sounds of it, Yoongi still regularly pinches himself that he didn’t notice it earlier.
Hoseok points to the paper, and quickly turns before anyone notices them. Yoongi rolls his eyes. Despite them both agreeing to keep their relationship a secret from everyone, for fear of negative comments, Hoseok insists on sending Yoongi notes in class rather than just texting him.
“It’s more romantic, Hyung! You can keep them forever.”
“I can keep texts forever, Hoseok. And people are less likely to see those.”
Of course, Hoseok has kept sending him notes all the same. And Yoongi has kept every single one of them. He keeps the first note in his wallet, a simple ‘hi :)’, just for sentimental reasons.
Carefully, he unfolds the ball and reads Hoseok’s untidy script; inky hearts covering every inch of the paper not covered in words.
go to prom with me?
Yoongi stares at the paper, then back at Hoseok, who is still looking forward. He can’t understand why Hoseok would ask him this when they’ve both agreed it’s better for them to stay a secret until college.
They’d always figured Seoul was their best bet; hoping that the capital would provide the best environment for their lifestyle (or, at least, better than their current town,) then maybe moving away from Korea eventually and being somewhere they could truly enjoy being themselves, together. This is all very far off, and they’re careful not to push one another so quickly and early in their relationship. Yoongi can’t understand where the idea of prom has come from, they’ve never once spoken about it and Hoseok has never expressed a desire to go.
The idea of the pair of them rocking up as a couple in front of some of the meanest and most conservative kids in the district is practically laughable.
Throughout the rest of the lesson, Hoseok glances back and offers sly smiles to Yoongi, who says nothing. He’ll save talking about it somewhere more private.
When they’re dismissed from the lesson, conveniently the last one of the day, Hoseok hangs back for Yoongi to walk him home. He offers Yoongi a small smile, and Yoongi silently wishes he could just grab his hand like a normal boyfriend. He doesn’t though, obviously.
They walk home together most days, unless Yoongi has band practice or Hoseok has dance or study group. Yoongi lives just a little further away from school than Hoseok, but Hoseok likes to walk Yoongi home anyway, even if it means he gets home a little later. They still can’t hold hands, even away from school, for risk of someone they know seeing them, but they walk close together, hands occasionally brushing together, making Hoseok smile and Yoongi blush. It’s nice. Familiar by now.
“How was your day?” Hoseok asks casually, once they leave the school gates.
“Alright. I bombed a history test. Nothing else worth reporting.”
Hoseok hums. Yoongi remembers Hoseok has the same test tomorrow morning. “Can you remember the questions?”
“What, so you can cheat?” Yoongi says with a sideways look of judgement, but he doesn’t disapprove, not really. He doesn’t care about sharing notes with Hoseok, not when Hoseok practically drags him through their literature class. And every other class, thinking about it.
After Yoongi’s father passed, Yoongi became disenchanted with school. It felt like a waste of time, sitting in stuffy classrooms pretending to learn stuff, when his mother and brother were working hard to keep their family afloat. He’d stopped trying when he was fifteen, and he’d been held back a year as a result. He’d tried to drop out, but his mother wouldn’t hear of it.
Hoseok, somehow, recaptured some kind of appreciative spark in Yoongi, and he tries harder now. Maybe seeing the amount of effort Hoseok puts into everything makes Yoongi want to try harder, and even plan for college for the first time in his life. It’s been a slow process, building himself up again. Hoseok has been an integral part of that.
“So I can prepare, yes. You know I need better grades this term.”
Yoongi rolls his eyes. Hoseok did fine last term, and the terms before then. He knows where the pressure is from, and it makes his heart hurt a little for his boyfriend, but there’s nothing to be done.
Just to tease, he makes a fake noise of consideration, and Hoseok smacks him on the arm. “Hyung!”
Yoongi snorts. “I’ll tell you what I remember over skype tonight.”
“Ah, you’re just conning me into staying up late with you.”
“I thought you loved our skype dates, Seok-ah.”
“I do. But falling asleep at 3am isn’t good for anyone but you, Hyung.”
“My brain peaks at midnight,” Yoongi shrugs.
With a hum of a laugh, Hoseok bumps Yoongi’s shoulder fondly, and the older smiles in return. For a while, while the walk, Hoseok just talks at Yoongi without the need for much talk back. Yoongi tends to get socially exhausted straight after school and likes a cool-off period.
Respecting this, but still unable to not talk for long, Hoseok merely observes out loud, half to himself and half to Yoongi, about the way that spring is shifting into summer, and how pretty it is. The plants are getting bolder, brighter, and more radiant in colours. It’s warmer than it’s been for the last few months; for the first time in a while Hoseok is able to just wear a thin jumper and not feel a chill. Yoongi still dons his parka with the fluffy hood, which is a source of great amusement for Hoseok.
Hoseok eventually gets on to recount early childhood memories about summer, starting with one about climbing a tree during a game of hide and seek with his sister and falling asleep in one of the branches, falling, and breaking his arm. It makes Yoongi laugh, despite being tired, which makes Hoseok beam.
In the middle of another story, Hoseok stops and walks to the side of the pavement. Yoongi narrows his eyes. “What is it?”
Hoseok bends down, obscuring Yoongi’s view. “Seok?-“
When Hoseok straightens up and turns around, Yoongi fails to contain a fond smile. Hoseok holds a tiny yellow flower in his hand, holding it out to Yoongi after a quick scan to make sure there’s no one to see them. “For you, Hyung.”
Rolling his eyes, Yoongi takes the flower. “You’re so cheesy.” He glances down and recognises the flower as a dandelion. “You know this is a weed?”
“I plucked it from the gutter Hyung, were you expecting roses?”
Yoongi laughs lightly and continues to walk. “You sure know how to make a boy feel special.”
Hoseok follows quickly and bumps Yoongi’s shoulder again. “Well, I’d kiss you if I could, I know that usually makes you feel pretty special.” Even though there’s no one around, Hoseok says this in a slight whisper, and Yoongi blushes. “Ah, you’re very shy today, Hyung. Am I being particularly charming or something?”
“Ah, shut up or I’ll throw your dumb dandelion back in the gutter.” He retorts, not meaning it. He’s already working out which book from his bookshelf to press the dandelion in, to savour it.
“Sure you will.” Hoseok laughs, pushing his side into Yoongi’s as they walk. It’s a little risky, but Yoongi lets him do it. “Hey, so you know my note?”
Yoongi stiffens a little, which Hoseok seems to sense this, and pulls away a little.
“Can we talk about that later, Seok? We’re a little out in the open here.”
“Oh. Yeah, of course, Hyung.” Hoseok suddenly sounds nervous, and so Yoongi chances a quick grip of his hand. It’s fleeting, and barely there, but it’s all he wants to risk. It makes Hoseok smile, at any rate.
Its somewhere near to 1am, with the pair of them skyping in bed and talking lazily in blanketed, fond whispers, when Hoseok decides to chance the prom topic again. He’d wanted to talk about it once they’d got to Yoongi’s house, but Yoongi’s mum had been waiting for them with tea waiting.
She doesn't know about them, but she likes Hoseok a lot. She likes the influence he has on Yoongi, and apparently finds him hilarious. Yoongi often tells Hoseok just how much she likes him, with a slight jealous tone that Hoseok knows is only partly feigned.
“Hey, Yoongi?” Every so often, Hoseok will chance dropping the honorifics on Yoongi’s name, and Yoongi almost always lets him get away with it.
“Mm?” Yoongi says, sleepily, with Holly tucked away carefully under the blankets, dozing peacefully. Hoseok smiles a little, taking the sight of his boyfriend in before proceeding with his question.
Yoongi's using his phone light to illuminate his face in the dark room, and Hoseok has already commented on how sickeningly cute he looks. His eyes are shut, a natural pout formed on his relaxed face. His black hair was dripping wet when he called Hoseok at 10, but now it seems dry. It’s fluffy, sticking up in weird places and curling a little around Yoongi’s ears. Hoseok wishes he was there to pet it.
“Can we talk about prom now?”
Yoongi is still for a moment, then opens his eyes. “Seok-ah…”
“Hyung?” He never risks dropping honorifics more than once in a conversation.
“Are you really serious? About wanting to go?”
“Yeah, of course I am.”
“Together or like, together?”
Hoseok laughs to hide his nerves over how weird Yoongi is being.
“Together. As us. A couple.”
Yoongi gives him an odd look and says nothing.
“I figured we could, if we wanted,” Hoseok says in a small voice. “If you wanted.”
“Hoseok,” Yoongi responds with a sigh, “We’ve been hiding this for months, and now you want to out us?”
“Only if you’re ready for it, Hyung!” Hoseok doesn’t mean to yell, and is only apologetic when Holly wakes up with a jolt and begins to trample all over Yoongi’s laptop, trying to nip at Hoseok’s face through the screen. Yoongi scoops him up and pulls him back, close to his chest. He wriggles, but Yoongi doesn’t let go.
“Sorry, Holly,” Hoseok continues in a quieter voice, “look, Hyung, I know it sounds crazy. But think about it. Prom is on the last day of term, after which we’ll probably never see the majority of those people ever again-”
“We live in a small town, Hoseok.”
“We’ll go to a college away from here, that was always the plan.”
“We’ll still have to come back. Our family is here. Have you even considered telling your parents?”
Hoseok frowns. He expected some resistance, but he didn’t account for Yoongi questioning every single aspect of his request. He has thought of his parents, who are somewhat… less than liberal about such matters. He’s worried over it plenty. “Yeah, of course. They have to know sometime, though, right?”
Yoongi looks at him strangely for a moment, and Hoseok worries he’s going to tell him he’s crazy. He probably is. He knows they’d be risking a lot by coming out, but he’s exhausted trying to hide the fact that he’s gay. He’s known for a while. He thinks maybe he even knew before he knew. Before he noticed Yoongi sitting in class, asleep, his face slightly smushed up against his desk.
Whilst it’s never really been something he’s ever been bursting to tell everyone, now that he has Yoongi he wants to maybe be a bit more open about it. To celebrate their relationship with cute pictures on social media, and not have his parents ask him whether he’s got a girlfriend every so often. They’re just little things he wants, but he knows there’s a price for them.
And he knows that he and Yoongi are still in their early stages. They talk every day, they’ve kissed and fumbled around together, discovering who they are together at an awkward, slow pace that’s been so much fun but he wants it to be more. He wants to start being serious. He’s nineteen now, Yoongi twenty, and they’ve already planned so much. He worries a little that maybe Yoongi didn’t think these plans were real.
“Seok, I really don’t know if it’ll be a good way of doing it.”
“But you do want to? At some point?”
“What, go to prom?”
“Yeah, of course I do. And I want it to be as boyfriends and I want to be unashamed in it. But high school kids… they’re mean, Seok. You know they are.”
“I just, I don’t know, it was an idea, I guess. You’re right.” Hoseok tries to make it sound less pitiful. He’s bitterly disappointed, of course, but he truly understands what Yoongi is talking about. It’s a big thing. A big risk for the pair of them. He’s pretty sure he’s ready, but he doesn’t want to force Yoongi into anything, or make him feel obligated to come out. He pulls his face out of a pout.
“Hey, look,” Yoongi says in a soft voice. Holly whines, and Yoongi finally lets him go to make his nest for the night at the bottom of the bed. “We can talk about it again, yeah? Closer the time. Let’s just get exams and stuff out of the way, alright?” Hoseok perks up a little, peeking from behind his pillow. Yoongi smiles warmly. “You’re so soft. Get some sleep, okay?”
Hoseok groans, only because he knows Yoongi is going to stay awake long after he’s fallen asleep. He’s not exactly sure what Yoongi does when stays awake for hours, and he has no idea how Yoongi manages to function at school on such little sleep, but whenever he asks about his habits, Yoongi always shrugs it off.
“Can we stay on call until I fall asleep?”
Yoongi sighs, but it's without any notes of reluctance when he answers, “sure, Seok-ah.”
“Goodnight, you weird little dandelion.”