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It starts, as most often insane things do, with a bet.

It’s a cold day in Hell when Yoongi finds himself half falling off his couch, bored out of his mind. This is when Hoseok bursts into his chambers, heels clicking against the marble floor.

Hoseok levels himself with Yoongi, who’s practically slithered down to the ground, now.

Despite everything, Hoseok’s fingers are soft when they graze against Yoongi’s forehead, when they brush back strands of Yoongi’s hair out of his eyes.

Hoseok smiles as soon as Yoongi looks up at him, and this is a smile Yoongi has seen for—well, has seen for as long as he can remember, because they may not be the most blessed of beings, but one thing’s for sure about them—they’ve got a damn good memory, and for as long as Yoongi can remember, he recalls having Hoseok next to him.

And this smile right now, a glitter of playfulness just sitting in the corner of his mouth, and a glimmer in his eyes, spells out trouble. Yoongi’s seen this look a thousand times over. Knows exactly what it means.

“I’m bored,” Hoseok announces, pulling Yoongi back up by his wrists.

Yoongi allows himself to be pulled up, slumping against Hoseok on the couch.

“You’re always bored,” Yoongi chimes back, head leaning on Hoseok’s shoulder.

If he minds, he would’ve said so a few hundred years ago. But it’s been a while, and here they are, now, and neither of them mind. Yoongi can’t remember a time when they ever did, really.

“Yeah, but I’ve got an idea,” this time, Yoongi chances a glance up at Hoseok’s face. Sees that flash of mischief so clear on his face, and he shakes his head, his own smiling not coming as easy, because he knows what Hoseok is after, and if Yoongi still wants to keep his life, he won’t fall into the trap so easily. “Listen,”

And yet Hoseok keeps going, turning his head slightly to look at Yoongi, wanting to hold his gaze when he talks, when he says, “Let’s play a game.”

Yoongi doesn’t like the sound of that, because the last game they played—a few decades ago—had led to one famous tower in Greece being destroyed. Completely turned to rubble. They’d gotten a good screaming from the big head honcho, had even gotten themselves suspended—and not from their jobs, god forbid demons have actual jobs aside from poking around and causing trouble, but from each other.

They’d gotten suspended from each other, because their own kind know just how much Hell they can raise together.

“The last time we played a game—“

Yoongi is cut off with a loud, boisterous laugh from Hoseok. “The last time we played a game, you destroyed half of the ruins of an ancient city,”

“It was already in ruins , so it shouldn’t count—“

“But it did, and anyway, we’ve settled this some seventy years ago, I kept track,” Hoseok slings an arm around Yoongi’s shoulder, pulls him close to his side, and then grins, more angelically than anything—how fucking ironic, to even associate anything angelic with Hoseok when he’s got a flare for the theatrics, when his whole life has been dedicated to ruining Yoongi’s in any way possible—“As I was saying, let’s play a game,”

And because there’s no escaping Hoseok’s grip, Yoongi just goes weak in his side and groans, giving in. You can count on your hand just how many times Yoongi’s not given in to one Jung Hoseok, and even after the countless millennia that they’ve been alive, nobody’s ever really gotten to using their second hand.

So why would Yoongi start now.

Instead, Yoongi just waves a hand, a clear indication that he’s listening, that whatever insane idea Hoseok’s got, he’s in.

“You like gambling, don’t you?”

“Gambling is a fool’s sport,” Yoongi quips, head tilting back against the couch.

“Right, it’s perfect,” the quiet for you that Hoseok doesn’t tack at the end of his sentence is still loud and clear, and Yoongi is far too cold and far too sleepy to even reprimand him for that jab, so he gives in, as he always does. As he’s always known to do. “ Anyway , a series of bets, between you and me. Let’s start with something easy,”

When Yoongi’s only response to that is a quiet huff of approval, Hoseok keeps going. “Whoever gets out of here first wins,”

And before Yoongi even knows what’s happening, he’s falling against the side of the couch, cheek crashing into a throw pillow. Hoseok’s already by the door, dark eyes glittering something menacing, and teeth suddenly looking feral, if only for a second because then he laughs, loud and so fucking annoying, Yoongi wants to throw a knife straight at his head.

“Wait, you don’t mean now, do you—“ Yoongi’s only managed to right himself up, but it’s enough, that split second of time that Hoseok chooses to blow a kiss at him, the last thing Yoongi hears his all too angelic laughter bouncing across the halls in one of the deepest pits of Hell.

Yoongi manages to push himself up off the couch, eyes going wide. Suddenly, he’s feeling more awake than he has in days. Maybe even weeks. He looks at the empty doorway, strains his ears to listen for laughter he can’t quite pick up on anymore, and he hisses, because trust Jung Hoseok to cheat his way to the top.

Trust Jung Hoseok with anything and it’ll end with you in the middle of a fire in one of the world’s most ancient cities—ruined twice, and to think those humans had already been through the worst.

But Yoongi doesn’t allow himself to wallow too much on what had happened nearly a century ago and instead heads towards the door, fingers curled into a fist because Hell be damned if Yoongi allows Hoseok to win this again .

Not this time, not anymore.

Hell will freeze over before Hoseok wins another bet.

 

 

Yoongi is the first to crawl out of Hell.

And when Yoongi says crawl out of Hell, he means it quite literally this time around. He rights himself up, dusts his jeans off, and then looks over his shoulder to the closing fissure in the ground.

No signs of Hoseok, except, of course, for the tear in Yoongi’s sleeve when he managed to out-run Hoseok to the gates, only to stop just by the large three-headed dog’s spot to give him a little nudge with the back of his hand, something Cerberus has accepted as a sign of friendship through the years.

In his haste, Hoseok forgets to offer the same courtesy, and just as Yoongi had expected, the dog is after him within a second, Hoseok realising too late that he’s the one being chased, the look on his face one of pure comic betrayal when he spots Yoongi just leisurely sauntering down the tunnel towards one of the several portals out of this literal hell hole.

Which explains how Yoongi finds himself in one of the world’s busiest districts. He isn’t too sure where he’s at until he sees the familiar flash of lights and the dangling sign of the subway station that says, bold enough for someone from across the street to see, Gangnam Station .

So he’s in Korea.

Yoongi allows himself a few moments to look around, to take in his surroundings. He hasn’t been back to the surface in years. In decades, even. The last time had been Greece, and everyone who knows anyone already knows of the mess that had happened there. A second time they’d been reminded of the fall of their own city.

Yoongi can’t even be bothered to feel too bad about it, not when he and Hoseok had tumbled down into the mess and the rubble, in the middle of the flames, just gasping for air as they laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

Except, a few days after that, neither of them laughed when they’d been sentenced to a minor suspension. From each other, but really, what’s a few months to beings like them, who are supposed to live as long as time stretches on?

A month is nothing, really.

Yoongi almost expects for Hoseok to show up literally weeks later—because Cerberus is known to take his time, probably dragged Hoseok back into his own chambers, or right into the pavilion just so everyone else could laugh at his failed attempt at an unauthorised exit when Yoongi feels a sudden force on the small of his back, feet slipping off the ground, his breath catching in his throat because nobody is supposed to see him, not with the glamour, not yet, anyway, and—

And then he hears a laugh, this time much wrier than what it had sounded like not even an hour ago. Feels the familiar curling of Hoseok’s fingers on his shoulder.

Yoongi turns around just to meet Hoseok’s gaze, a smug smirk already coiling on his lips.

Despite having lost so majestically this first round, Hoseok doesn’t look too bothered. If anything, he looks more relaxed, even.

“I win,” Yoongi declares, snickering.

Hoseok just nods his head. “Yeah, you did. Round two?”

He offers a hand out to Yoongi, fingers already curled, as if he’s expecting Yoongi to not even think about it, but Yoongi does.

Yoongi eyes Hoseok’s hand rather suspiciously, lips upturned into a little sneer that Hoseok instantly picks up on.

“What, feeling too good now that you’ve won?” Hoseok taunts, although it’s with that same sweet, sweet voice that he always uses whenever he wants to get Yoongi to do something. Whenever he wants to get his way. “The last time you felt really good, you burned down an entire city,”

“That was one fucking time,” but Yoongi’s already grabbing onto Hoseok’s hand, grip too tight but not tight enough for someone like Hoseok to grimace at. Instead, Hoseok clutches Yoongi’s hand just as tight, holding onto it for a second longer than normal, the smile on his face a colouring of amusement, now.

It isn’t too far from the look on Yoongi’s face, too.

In fact, Yoongi thinks he hasn’t felt this—

This elated in so long.

Before Hoseok can drop Yoongi’s hand and pull away, Yoongi tugs him closer, voice dropping low and quiet as he says, “I get to set the terms on the second one,”

Hoseok stares at their still joined hands, eyes slowly darting back up to look at Yoongi, before he smiles, much more sheepish, now, as if he’s been caught. Or, somewhat caught, because there’s no way someone who plays like Jung Hoseok can be caught. Not entirely, anyway.

Not even Hell can keep him locked up.

“Set the pace,” Hoseok says, voice so sickly sweet, Yoongi hears it for what it really is—a challenge. “We’ve got all the time we need.”

 

-

 

Their game is always a little bit convoluted, in a way, because what do you expect from demons, anyway?

Surely never an even playing field.

But even so, Yoongi and Hoseok have learned to get along over the years. They’ve learned to rely on each other one second, and then push the other right into screaming traffic the next. It’s part of their dynamic, or whatever it was called back down in the literal hell-scape that was Hell.

It hits Yoongi one afternoon, a few weeks since the start of this whole ordeal, while they’re both sitting outside enjoying their coffee in the almost-winter afternoon, that they haven’t really agreed on a prize or anything.

“Hoseok,” Yoongi taps a finger on the table to drag Hoseok’s attention away from the pedestrians and back to him. Hoseok immediately turns at the sound of his own name, and Yoongi thumbs the lid of his coffee, not quite sure how they’ve gotten so far before even realising this. “What are we even betting on?”

“Earlier we bet on who could find the best cafe—“ Yoongi stops Hoseok before he can continue with a roll of his eyes.

“I mean, yeah, that, but for what, exactly,”

Hoseok blinks at him, face going blank, as if this was a question he hadn’t expected at all.

“Now that you mention it,” Hoseok says, a careful finger tapping on his chin. “I got nothing,”

Yoongi almost chokes on his coffee—one of the few earthly pleasures he’ll give in to—but he holds it down instead and schools his features into one that clearly doesn’t say, what the fuck .

“Then what for—“ Yoongi tries again, because he can’t believe Hoseok’s managed to string him along for—for what? For weeks? For a month, now?

And perhaps it’s also his fault for figuring this out too late, but when you’re someone who’s so used to having the rest of eternity in front of you, you tend to take things a little slow, sometimes.

When it comes to Hoseok, Yoongi’s either too quick or too slow. It seems this time around he’s too slow, if Hoseok’s guilty little smile is anything to come by.

“I just thought it would be fun,” Hoseok says with a shrug, rather good-naturedly. “I found you on the floor, bored out of your mind. This past month has been anything but , hasn’t it?”

Yoongi can’t argue with that, so he just leans back into his chair, dragging his cup of coffee closer towards him.

“It’s just bragging rights, isn’t it?” Yoongi murmurs into his coffee, suspiciously kept warm even in the cold afternoon just with a tap of Yoongi’s finger against the cup. “You’re just going to make me look like an idiot,”

This time, Hoseok mock-gasps, and leans towards him, one hand snaking across the table to grab at Yoongi’s wrist. This fake innocence, fake show of shock is always a nice view, if only to watch Hoseok’s face fall, act dropped as quickly as it had started, when Yoongi rolls his eyes, a flash of red for a split of a second flashing in his eyes.

“Maybe,” Hoseok says, this time back in his seat, hands to himself. “Or maybe I just needed an excuse to get out of there, it was getting boring, you’ve got to admit,”

“Yeah, that,” Yoongi agrees with that rather easily, because it always, always gets so boring in Hell, despite what some humans think goes on down there, despite the reputation they have in Hollywood and mainstream media. God, the laughs they have at the impractical portrayal of their own kind in movies. It’s hilarious, really. “We’ve been here for a month, though,”

Hoseok hums his assent, a sign that he’s still listening even if he’s got his cap pulled down low over his face, head tipped back and eyes closed, face practically shrouded in shadow. When Hoseok wants, he can blend in with the darks and the greys just as easily as he can emerge from a thunderbolt of sunshine and yellow. How Hoseok manages to do it as a literal fucking demon, Yoongi has no idea, but Hoseok’s always been unconventional.

Has always been the farthest thing from ordinary.

Always been—magical, on a different level from Yoongi.

It’s terrifying to think about, so Yoongi banishes the thought from his head as quickly as he had brought it up.

“What’s a month, really?” Hoseok asks, lips curling into their telltale smile from beneath the shadows. “And we haven’t even done anything terrible , so really, this is all just good fun,”

Yoongi has to admit to that, because so far, they’ve kept it pretty tame.

The worst they’d probably done so far was infiltrate the underground just so they could challenge each other to a rap battle, a diss for a diss. Yoongi had won it easily, but then lost the next round fifteen minutes later when Hoseok pulled him down to the pit for an impromptu dance battle, and Yoongi’s never prayed to a god—never prayed at all, really, but god , Hoseok’s hands had been everywhere that night and Yoongi had only managed to lose because he couldn’t handle it anymore, felt like any second he was going to explode and set the entire club on fire.

After that night, they’d kept their little bets, their little wagers to food, mostly. Best coffee. Best bingsu place. Who can set the bathroom at Shinsegae on fire first—which they’d immediately shut down, because a fire the scale of Shinsegae would be a red alarm, even for them.

Knowing who they are, what they’re capable of, and their almost mad affinity to fire.

And so they’ve stuck to the sidelines, with the occasional trips back down to the hiphop underground scene from time to time, because they’ve got to admit—it is pretty fun, wiping the floor with Hoseok one second and then getting completely obliterated the next, because who knew they had it in them, really?

(Yoongi knows, he definitely does, because Earth is really only good for three things—

Alcohol

Coffee

Music

That’s it.)

“Don’t tell me you’re tired of the small-scale,” Hoseok quips all of a sudden, hat thrown onto the table so he can run his fingers through his hair, a bright orange against the tan of his skin. Yoongi tries not to stare too much, not at Hoseok’s hands, especially when he’d just remembered the dance—god, so much dancing that one night.

Yoongi shakes it off as a strange effect of the coffee, maybe, and says, “What, you want to overthrow the government?”

Hoseok snickers.

Yoongi, not for the first time, cracks a smile that soon dissolves into a short and low laugh.

“First to find a place?” Yoongi says, because this is how they get things done, now. Through bets. Through competitions. Because they just have to one-up the other. Because it’s in their nature, or—

Or at least, it’s what Yoongi wants to believe, but really, he doesn’t mind.

He never does, not when it brings a smile on Hoseok’s face, laugh tumbling past his lips as he agrees.

“I’ll race you to it,” Hoseok moves to stand up, and Yoongi sticks his foot under the table to push at Hoseok’s chair, sending the other demon toppling down onto the ground.

“You can try,” is all Yoongi says, hovering over him, a self-satisfied smirk on his face as he loops a scarf around his neck.

Right, this is all in good fun. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Which is the same tired and true mantra he’s told himself again and again, day in and day out, every time he’s managed to get dragged into one of Hoseok’s schemes.

One day, it’s going to be true.

Maybe.

Yoongi can only hope, anyway.

 

 

Hoseok wins the search of a new apartment, which is laughable because neither of them have ever owned an apartment, and really, who thought they’d start now?

When Yoongi asks Hoseok just how he’d found this, Hoseok, rather naturally, says that he’d just charmed the woman down below to give it to them for free.

“You’re evil,” Yoongi murmurs, inspecting their new place. It’s not much compared to Yoongi’s chambers back home—it’s rather small, too. Only one bedroom, but a rather cosy living room. Light filters through the large windows, bathing their living room a bright glow of orange.

“That’s supposed to come with the package,” Hoseok flashes him a smile, and Yoongi knows that it’s all play, really, that even with who Hoseok is—what Hoseok is, even in his truest, oldest form—Hoseok is anything but evil. Evil is a dark and ugly thing, and that’s not Hoseok, not when just standing in the middle of their new apartment—rooftop room, Hoseok had told him earlier as he dramatically kicked the door open to reveal the small yet cosy new place—is enough to light the whole place up. Yoongi thinks that even without the sun, Hoseok will thrive and provide just fine.

Snapping himself out of it, Yoongi tilts his head towards the single bedroom. “So about that,”

At this, Hoseok throws himself down on the couch, instantly hugging a pillow close to his chest. “What about it?”

Sometimes, Yoongi wants to throw Hoseok into the nearest hurricane—and if there’s none available as of the moment, then Yoongi will make one himself. Part of the package, as Hoseok had said.

“There’s one bed,” Yoongi says with a sigh, because he’s tired, now. All of a sudden, as if the weeks of just running around, living through coffee and the high of beating Hoseok one second, and then getting completely crushed on stage in front of countless humans who know nothing, is finally wearing off.

He plops himself down on the couch next to Hoseok, who lifts his legs up and sets them back down on Yoongi’s lap as soon as they both settle down, much more comfortable now.

“I can take the couch,” Hoseok offers, tossing Yoongi a pillow. “Or, you know, you can take the couch, since I won this,”

Yoongi squeezes on Hoseok’s leg, and he knows Hoseok is resisting the urge to just kick Yoongi right in the face, so really, they’re sort of at an impasse here, until Yoongi breathes out, shrugs, and then says, “You don’t move much when you sleep,”

“And you steal the blankets, so really, who’s getting the short end of the stick here?” Hoseok counters back rather cheekily, and it’s enough to get Yoongi to roll his eyes, rein in the smile that’s tugging on the corners of his lips.

“We’ll see,” Yoongi pats Hoseok’s leg, a gentle motion that easily gets Hoseok to start humming. He’s tired, too, Yoongi knows. Probably spent a lot of his energy just running around like a whirlwind, and they don’t need to sleep all that much. Rest, they’d rather say, but even then they can keep going for weeks on end, with just these mundane little tasks they’ve set out for themselves, so really.

Really, there’s no reason for them to feel this winded, just a month into what could possibly stretch into a few more.

But this is a good a time as any to rest, Yoongi thinks, hand squeezing down on Hoseok’s leg. The both of them sprawled on the couch, Hoseok with his feet propped on top of Yoongi’s lap, humming a soft, quiet little tune that’s been buzzing around the radio stations recently, and Yoongi—

Yoongi will not admit it to anyone, not after the years Hoseok’s spent just tormenting him—all in good fun, but still—but this is as nice as nice can get, for beings like them.

So Yoongi closes his eyes, hums the same song under his breath, garnering a soft chuckle from Hoseok, and then says, “You can sleep, Hoseok,”

It takes a lot of trust to be able to sleep out in the open—and they may not be out in the open, per se, but they’re not in the chambers that they’ve known since time immemorial. This is all new territory, and they’re not from here. They’re demons, for god’s sake, and demons falling asleep on territory that isn’t theirs hasn’t always ended up fortunate enough to wake up in the same place—something about other demons taking advantage of the situation, or worse , otherbeings wanting to disrupt a good nap session.

But Yoongi and Hoseok—they’ve known each other long enough to know that if there’s any safe place to rest, it’s right next to each other.

“You should rest, too,” is all Hoseok says, that same gentle lilt in his voice. “I’ll be here.”

Yeah, Yoongi thinks, a ghost of a smile starting just at the corners of his mouth. It really goes without saying, but sometimes—

Sometimes, it’s nice to hear. Yoongi likes it.

 

 

They fall asleep easily enough, or, at least, Hoseok does, and Yoongi can tell because he stops humming, his foot finally at rest, and his breathing going even. Yoongi revels in this quiet—in this sudden peace, because for all the time he’s known Hoseok, the boy has always remained more or less the same: a fireball of energy.

This isn’t the first time Hoseok’s allowed himself to rest around Yoongi—they’ve gotten so accustomed to each other already that Hoseok is able to do it at the drop of the hat. Yoongi, however, refuses to even close his eyes for longer than a few seconds, because someone has to be awake.

And he doesn’t distrust this city. Doesn’t distrust where they are, but still, you can never be too careful.

Which is why, when he wakes up practically swaddled up in a large, fluffy blanket, with Hoseok’s arm slung loosely around his middle, Yoongi’s heart almost stops, because just a moment ago he was in the living room, watching over a sleeping Hoseok, and now—

Now he’s in bed, all of a sudden, and he can’t quite shake himself enough to remember just when or how he’d managed to drag himself here. Or, rather, the both of them.

A question that is easily put to rest when Hoseok pats on his stomach playfully and says, “Calm down, I woke up and you’d already fallen asleep, so I just moved us here. Christen the bed, or something like that,” Hoseok pauses, and Yoongi can’t see him, not when Hoseok’s practically tucked him into the blanket like he’s afraid Yoongi’s going to fall off the bed and hurt himself so yeah, he needs the extra layer of fluff—and god , Hoseok, what the hell.

“I fell asleep?” Yoongi finally—finally—manages to kick the blanket off of him, tossing them back to Hoseok who rolls over to the far corner of the bed, a lazy little grin on his face.

“Yeah, you did, really looked cute, too,” Hoseok likes to play around a lot, Yoongi’s learned this, too. Which is why he barely responds to that little quip. Barely. “Okay, tired, that’s what you looked like. I just let you sleep,”

Yoongi rolls over to his back, ignoring a chuckling Hoseok.

“You worry too much,” Hoseok tells him, hovering over Yoongi, now. In the dimness of the room, Hoseok’s eyes glow much like how a cat’s would, in the dark. “It’s safe here,” and then, after a while, and voice much, much softer, Yoongi almost thinks he’s imagining it,

“You’re safe with me.”

Yoongi falls back asleep quite easily after that.

Hoseok stays up the whole time, and the next time Yoongi wakes up, it’s two days later, the smell of his favourite cappuccino wafting through the air.

He’s greeted by a smile that lights up Hoseok’s face, Yoongi accepting the cup of coffee rather gratefully.

It takes a little bit more time than usual for Yoongi to settle back into the land of the waking, but when he does, he shoots Hoseok an appreciative nod, the smile on his face soft, but enough.

Hoseok beams back at him, and for now, for a few days, they fall into this weird lull.

It’s quiet. Relaxing. Peaceful.

There is a stillness in the air.

Yoongi hasn’t threatened to throw Hoseok into an active volcano and Hoseok hasn’t dragged Yoongi out of the apartment and into the next insane idea that’s crossed his mind.

For now, things are slow, and Yoongi revels in it.

 

 

They’re not supposed to really meddle in other people’s affairs, but just this once, they break that rule, because it seems all too good to actually pass up.

It’s Hoseok who overhears them first as they both walk past one of the busier clubs in Gangnam. He stops walking as soon as he hears it, face lighting up at the thought of actually doing something fun again.

Yoongi follows closely behind him, eyeing for anything that might seem out of place, because he hadn’t heard it, doesn’t really know what’s going on except that something’s caught Hoseok’s attention.

It’s made clear as soon as they fall in line with a group of boys—probably college kids or just a few years older, or something in between—what the problem is.

Something to do with an ID that’s been misplaced somewhere. The bouncer doesn’t take it, because it does sound like a lie, the only underaged friend left who still can’t get into clubs legally. They could have always snuck him in, but perhaps some humans don’t have the same desire demons do when it comes to bending—and breaking—the rules. Perhaps.

“No, I swear I’m over eighteen,” the boy tries again, eyes darting from the bouncer to one of his friends, a taller, lanker individual who seems older, too. “Hyung, tell them,”

But it’s no use, because the bouncer isn’t buying it.

Yoongi and Hoseok know, of course. Can easily tell that the boy isn’t lying. It’s one of their gifts, if it may even be called that—the ability to spot a lie as easily as angels can spot the truth from ten thousand miles away.

They distance themselves a little bit from the group, Hoseok with an arm around Yoongi’s shoulder, head ducked low, and even before he says anything, Yoongi already knows where this is going to lead them.

“So, listen,” Hoseok starts, sneaking a glance over his shoulder at the group of boys behind them, still trying to argue with the bouncer. “We gotta get them through,”

Why ,” Yoongi groans, because he’d expected another quiet night out in the town. Maybe coffee. Maybe a stroll at the park. Maybe they’d drop these charades and then just jump right back into Hell. Yoongi definitely hadn’t expected any of this, and it goes without saying that he isn’t all too particular when it comes to helping humans. If he can but he’d really rather not.

“Because it’s going to be new,” Hoseok squeezes Yoongi’s arm. “If you win, we do whatever you want to do next, even if it’s going back home,”

No matter how hard Yoongi tries, no matter how in control he might think he is, sometimes, bits and pieces of him slip away, only for Hoseok to catch at the fragments, piecing them all together to read exactly what Yoongi’s saying.

“I never said I wanted to go back home,” Yoongi grumbles, already feeling like he’s going to lose this one again. “Not yet, anyway,”

“Just want you to know that it’s on the table, if you ever want to,” Hoseok gives his arm one last squeeze before he extracts himself from Yoongi’s side, the smile on his face turning angelic, as he always wants it to be when he interacts with people. With humans.

“What about if you win?” Yoongi asks, already following after Hoseok. This isn’t the first time they’ve wagered anything on their bets, but it is the first time something so big—and so tangible—is on the line. Going home.

For a fragment of a second, when Yoongi thinks about home, he thinks back to their small rooftop apartment, to the both of them sprawled on opposite ends of the bed. It’s gone the very next second, and it’s something that happens so quickly that Yoongi almost doubts his own thoughts.

And it’s probably nothing, really, because they’ve been here for two months, at most, and their dingy little apartment is nothing compared to the chambers they have back in Hell. It’s not supposed to mean anything, at least.

“If I win,” Hoseok’s lips pull back into a mischievous little smile, eyes glinting something playful. “You have to dance with me.”

Yoongi takes a second to respond this time, because the last time he’d danced with Hoseok, he’d almost slipped up. Something that Yoongi’s managed to bury deep, deep down for centuries, even, had threatened to claw its way up through his throat. Spill everything out onto that floor, where the lights were dim and the whole place smelled like alcohol and drugs.

But Yoongi eventually swallows down the feeling again and nods his head, “Deal. But no funny business this time.”

If this is how Yoongi’s going to die—attempting to help humans sneak their way into a club—then so be it, if only it means he doesn’t lose this one particular bet, because there’s really no way Yoongi’s going to survive dancing with Hoseok, is he—

Nobody dances with the devil without getting burned.

 

 

Yoongi learns their names soon enough, and only because the information is offered, because no funny business , and all of that.

He learns that Jeongguk is indeed already twenty years old, and that he’d just misplaced his I.D. He also learns the names of everyone else in the group—or at least, the two other people Hoseok hasn’t swept aside.

A Kim Namjoon and a Park Jimin who flank Jeongguk on either side, the smaller one looking at Yoongi rather suspiciously.

“Why do you want to help us?” Jimin asks, arms crossed.

“I heard it was his birthday,” he gestures to the other one—the taller one. Kim Seokjin, he’d heard Hoseok repeat just a few moments ago—“Sucks if you let this ruin your night,”

Jimin doesn’t relent, though, still untrusting of Yoongi—and with good reason, he’s a literal fucking demon. But that’s not information he can just offer up freely. Not tonight, at least.

“We can go somewhere else,” Jimin instantly says, eyes scanning Yoongi from head to foot, as if he’s trying to size him up. See if he means more than what he’s offering.

Yoongi raises both hands up, as if in surrender, and cracks a sheepish smile. “Hey, I know what it’s like to sneak into clubs, I’ve been there, done that. All I’m saying is I can help you into this one, if you want,”

He isn’t sure just how Hoseok’s handling his situation, but he does get a little bit antsy when Hoseok taps on Jeongguk’s shoulder, the grin on his face far more inviting than Yoongi’s feigned smile.

Before Yoongi can even pull the rest of them back, Hoseok’s already tugging Jeongguk along behind him, arm looped around his as they make their way back up to the front of the queue.

Hoseok talks in hushed whispers for the most part, and Yoongi watches him for anything, see if he slips up on the one rule they’ve decided to implement this time. And Yoongi is almost sure that they’re going to get declined again, until Hoseok sneakily pulls out a fifty-thousand bill from his coat pocket.

Jimin, from beside Yoongi, snickers at that, and Namjoon murmurs something along the lines of, “Is this okay?”

But it’s too late, because Hoseok’s already being ushered inside, Jeongguk in tow beside him, the younger boy’s eyes wide with amusement and disbelief that a ten-minute argument about his misplaced ID had just been solved in under fifteen seconds by a complete stranger.

Yoongi’s mouth hangs open in shock, because his plan had involved something along the lines of sneaking in through the back. What had been in his disposal the whole time—fucking money, of all things—hadn’t even crossed his mind.

Maybe Yoongi’s just getting slow, or maybe he’s too out of touch with human affairs, now, but still . Isn’t greed and temptation supposed to be basic knowledge to demons, when it comes to dealing with humans?

Is this his age, then, is he getting rusty. Or is Hoseok just two steps ahead of him, with that grin and the glimmer in his eyes.

Yoongi is swept off his feet before he can even contemplate on that by one Park Jimin who’s far too amused at what’s just happened that he drops all suspicions on Yoongi, the boy pushing him into the front of the line with a hand on the small of Yoongi’s back, guiding him into the loud and dimly lit club, flashing, pulsating neon lights and everything.

They find Hoseok and Jeongguk—along with the supposed birthday boy—on the far end of the club, tucked into their own booth off the roped corner of the whole place. Now, this time Yoongi’s sure Hoseok had blinked in that certain way of his, tilted his head, and gotten exactly what he wanted without even saying anything else. Persuasion, manipulation, whatever you like to call it—it’s all back on the table, now that the first bet has been achieved.

Hoseok stands just outside of the booth, talking animatedly with his hands moving around, and the look on his face open, amused, and—and happy, even, the tone of his voice nice and accommodating as he waves off the thank yous from Jeongguk and Seokjin.

The arrival of the rest of their friends has Seokjin absolutely laughing, loud and in a way that’s almost similar to Hoseok, but only because he laughs loudly, the sound bouncing off the walls, so, so clear even in the mess and noise of this club.

“You didn’t have to do it,” Namjoon says, still looking slightly horrified at how Hoseok had managed to sneak Jeongguk into the club. “Really, we can pay you back—“

But Hoseok’s shaking his head, already falling back next to Yoongi. “Nah, think of it as a birthday present,”

“We don’t even know you,” it’s the other boy this time—lanky, hair in his eyes, but with dark, honest eyes that seem all too endearing, even for Yoongi—“And you did that for us,”

“Of course you know us,” Hoseok laughs, linking his arm with Yoongi’s. “We met outside.”

That gets a nervous chuckle from the group, and a groan from Yoongi, who wants to be anywhere else but here, now, because he’s suddenly reminded why he hates even going to clubs for the most part. Too many people. Music too loud he can’t think for himself. Although—

Although the alcohol is never bad, really, which is why, when Seokjin tells them that they should hang out with them for the rest of the night—all drinks on them, as a way to thank them for what they’d done. What Hoseok had done, if they’re being more specific about this—Yoongi hesitates.

That moment of hesitation is enough for Hoseok to nod, dragging Yoongi with him back to the booth, where they both slide into opposite ends of the table, Hoseok already feeling right at home with their new found friends, and Yoongi sat shoulder to shoulder with Jimin, who had looked like he was ready to kick Yoongi to the curb if he suspected any foul play, just a few minutes ago.

But as soon as the drinks come, everything else settles—or, as much as a club can settle, anyway. The alcohol doesn’t really have an effect on Yoongi, not the same way that it does for humans. He drinks it for the taste—it’s not something you can easily find in juice, or in soda. So he likes the alcohol for the flavour.

Hoseok, however, is another matter all together.

By principle, alcohol isn’t supposed to have that much of an effect on demons, but Hoseok hasn’t always been like most demons, which is why, when they’d discovered a literal century ago that Hoseok did indeed get slightly intoxicated with alcohol, Yoongi hadn’t been surprised.

Hoseok can hold his own much better than most humans, but as a demon—

As a demon, it’s just laughable.

So, Yoongi watches him from the other side of the table as Hoseok downs shot after shot whenever they’re brought to their tables, Seokjin and Jimin far too into the drinking games they’ve managed to orchestrate to realise that these are literal strangers they’ve got sitting with them.

But it seems like alcohol makes everything easier, because after a few more rounds of drinks, everyone decides to get up from the table and jump right over the velvet rope and into the dance floor to join everyone else.

Yoongi just manages to plop himself back down on the couch, after Jimin had almost stepped on his foot in his haste to run after Taehyung into the main dance floor—when he’s pulled back on his feet, fingers locked around his wrist in that familiar way that could only be Hoseok.

When Yoongi raises his gaze up, it’s to see that Hoseok looks mainly unaffected by the alcohol. Except, of course, for the light tinge of pink that brushes across his cheeks. It makes him look, if anything, actually cute, really.

“What are you doing?” Yoongi asks, offering no resistance at all.

Hoseok successfully pulls him up to his feet, and the sudden force of it sends Yoongi crashing straight into Hoseok, who holds him steady. They’re so close like this, all of a sudden, that all Yoongi can do is hold Hoseok’s gaze, lips pressed into a thin line.

“I won the bet,” Hoseok says rather easily, a small, almost unreadable smile gracing his features. “Let’s go dance,”

There’s a look on Hoseok’s face that tells Yoongi he can say no if he wants to, that if he so pleases, they can spend the rest of the evening in this little corner booth, just talking to each other, or, at least, trying to, anyway, what with the music being far too loud for any kind of conversation to actually be had.

But Yoongi’s much more ready to jump into a volcano than he is to face the smug look on Hoseok’s face if he declines, so he grabs Hoseok by the wrist this time, totally reversing what had been their roles just a moment ago, and drags him into the dance floor, where their new found buddies are scattered everywhere.

Yoongi catches sight of Taehyung and Jimin just off to their side, both boys getting too into the music for it to even be considered as dancing anymore, but—but they’re having fun. A little silly, a lot foolish, but they’re having fun.

And Yoongi won’t think of how odd it is that they’ve managed to find themselves in the middle of all these humans on what was supposed to be a quiet Friday evening, because they’re already here. So instead, Yoongi just allows Hoseok to guide him through the song, Hoseok’s hands never leaving Yoongi for a second as they dance to the first and only song Yoongi will allow himself to dance to.

It doesn’t take long, either, and for what seems to be the first time, Yoongi is only kind of grateful to the good god that he’s sure exists above that the song the DJ chose to play is a faster, up-tempo one instead of a slower song that could lead to a very disastrous, very dangerous outcome.

Hoseok doesn’t keep his hands to himself at all and Yoongi suspects that it’s Hoseok’s way of keeping him close, not allowing him to drift too far away from him, given Yoongi’s dislike of the crowd in general. It’s a small mercy—or, rather, a massive show of consideration, and just as the last beat of the song trickles through the surround sound speakers, Yoongi pulls Hoseok down by the collar of his shirt, grins with his teeth, and says, “I’ll kick your ass next time.”

A part of Yoongi truly believes in it, but the other part of him—much smaller, much quieter, much more honest—knows that at this point, Yoongi’s just playing along to see the smile that blossoms on Hoseok’s face whenever the prospect of next time is introduced.

And right now, the smile that breaks through Hoseok’s face is akin to the sun breaking through the dark clouds after a storm. It’s absolutely beautiful, even if the rest of him is washed out in pulsating neon lights.

It might be a moment of weakness, frail vulnerability that Yoongi will allow himself this one time, but he thinks, thumb brushing along the sharp line of Hoseok’s jaw, just how beautiful Hoseok is—demon or not, he’s simply otherworldly.

 

 

They stumble back home, just the two of them.

Night has finally fallen on a too-early Saturday morning. The sky is devoid of any stars, although it stretches out as far as Yoongi can see. Tonight, they’re accompanied by thick clouds and the peek of moonlight as it attempts to break through the clouds. It isn’t successful but it’s enough to know that it’s not completely dark out tonight.

Hoseok has his arm around Yoongi, pulling him along beside them. How they’d both managed to stay out so late with people Yoongi can hardly care about, he doesn’t exactly know, but Hoseok had looked like he was having fun. Genuinely enjoyed himself in the company of new friends, or something of the sort.

The trek back up to their apartment should be a tiresome thing, especially after all the drinks they’ve had—or, at least, all the drinks Hoseok has had.

Yoongi saves the both of them the trouble of scaling up the stairs by simply taking Hoseok’s hand in his, and then shadow-traveling them all the way up to their living room. There, they kick off their shoes, discard coats they don’t even really need, and head silently towards their shared bedroom.

It’s an unspoken rule, now, how they will sometimes retire after a particularly long day into the confines of their bedroom. Yoongi doesn’t think he needs to sleep, not really, but Hoseok looks more tired than usual.

Perhaps it’s the cold.

Yoongi touches Hoseok’s cheek briefly, just to make sure. He’s warm. The good kind of warm. The best kind of warm.

Hoseok is on his side, looking at Yoongi with half-lidded eyes. This little adventure of theirs has been strange enough, but the betting. The competing. It’s all a little bit unnecessary, but they had been bored then.

Now.

Well, now Yoongi is anything but bored, especially when he realises just how close Hoseok is, the irises of his eyes turning a brown so light, it almost looks orange in the dark.

Suddenly, without preamble, Hoseok touches a hand to Yoongi’s cheek, fingers pressing gently into the side of his face until Hoseok’s cupping his cheek, that strange, unreadable little smile back on his face, and a look in his eyes that terrifies Yoongi, because it looks—

It looks soft. Absolutely fucking tender.

Hoseok draws back as quickly as he’d touched Yoongi, and it takes Yoongi all the courage this side of Hell could muster to reach out to Hoseok. Very gingerly, Yoongi grazes a finger along the side of Hoseok’s jaw.

It’s not that they’ve never touched each other before—Hoseok is known to be handsy, and Yoongi a blanket hogger, but it’s just.

This is just different, Yoongi can feel it.

When Hoseok blinks, the spell is broken, eyes back to its inconspicuous dark brown.

But for a moment, with the soft sound of their breathing, and the tenderness in Hoseok’s eyes, Yoongi felt it—

He felt something move inside of him, something aged and afraid, but at the same time, something hopeful.

Before Yoongi rolls over to his side, he reaches out one last time to poke at the side of Hoseok’s mouth, into the spot where he knows his dimple usually pops out when he’s smiling too big, or laughing too hard.

Hoseok smiles at him, a little shocked at first, and then a lot brighter the second time around. He smiles so bright for three in the fucking morning that Yoongi feels his heart skip a beat, because this is insane for a demon like him to think, but—

But perhaps this is all the proof of God anyone will ever need:

Hoseok’s smile at three in the morning, face bright, and eyes alight like lamps in the dark, guiding the road, and leading you back home.

Yoongi finally breaks whatever moment they’re having by huffing out, sounding rather tired when he says, “I think those humans were a little smitten by you,”

Hoseok’s answering laugh is quiet, because while they don’t really need to sleep, they still respect the silence of the night. “Hah, wait until they see you in broad daylight, then.”

It’s a harmless enough joke, one that shouldn’t rile Yoongi up, but surprisingly, it does, and Yoongi ducks his head and pulls the blanket higher up to his cheek.

“Shut up, Seok.”

Hoseok laughs again, this time colouring their dark room a comforting yellow.

 

 

It’s almost peculiar, how time can unfurl when you’re in the human realm. Earth has a funny way of keeping them all busy, even when all Yoongi wants to do is put his feet up and maybe flip through a book. Perhaps it’s because they’ve been so busy—one whirlwind after another—that Yoongi doesn’t realise just how much time has passed.

He’s brought out of his own thoughts when Namjoon sets a cup of coffee in front of him, the younger boy offering a smile that Yoongi’s gotten quite familiar with already. He knows this smile, now. Knows this face. Knows Namjoon.

Hilarious how they met, much more hilarious how they managed to keep in touch after a few days—trust Hoseok to have swiped a mobile phone from someone off the street, configure it a little bit, and then declare that it’s his, now—and then continue to keep in touch throughout the next week. The next month, until—

Until several months have passed, and Yoongi and Hoseok have all but forgotten about where they’re supposed to go home to. It’s not the rooftop apartment, but given everything, Yoongi feels as if it may as well just be the rooftop.

Hell is other people, one philosopher had said, a long time ago. Looking at Hoseok, Yoongi thinks that Hell might truly just be other people but in this case, Hell is also home.

“I got us coffee,” Namjoon says, tapping his finger against the ceramic mug.

“I was gonna buy us coffee,” Yoongi murmurs, fumbling around his pockets for a lighter.

“Nah, hyung,” that’s a funny thing that’s happened, too. Hyung. “I don’t know how you do it, but I’ve never not once gotten you coffee. My turn,”

At that, Yoongi can’t help but smile rather ruefully, because Namjoon’s right. They’ve known each other for months, now, and not once has Yoongi lost in the race to pay for food, for drinks, for anything, really.

Hoseok had once commented on how soft he’s gotten already, pinching his cheek. Hoseok had also trilled, It’s just a joke, you’ve always been soft. That had earned him a jab right in the ribs, and if it had hurt, Hoseok had masked it quite well.

Looking at Namjoon now, the younger—eons younger, really—boy blowing on his coffee, a relaxed set to his shoulders—Yoongi realises that perhaps. Perhaps , he’s gotten quite fond of him. Of Namjoon.

And if anyone asks, Yoongi thinks he’ll only admit it once, but he sees him as a friend, now.

Not once in Yoongi’s life has he ever thought that the day would come where he’d refer to an actual human being as his friend, but here they are.

Namjoon flashes Yoongi a smile, asks him how things have been. Asks where Hoseok is, because it’s always almost such a rare occasion to find one without the other, and Yoongi brushes it off.

They’ve always been a set, really, but they also need breaks. Demons get a little bit stir-crazy sometimes, and bumming around on Earth for a near year already might have its side effects. Maybe.

Then again, they’ve stayed on Earth for much, much longer before, so.

“He said something about looking for a job,”

“Really?” Namjoon asks, brows furrowing in confusion. “Hoseok, with a job? I can’t imagine,”

Yoongi laughs, because that is an astute observation. “Maybe he’s trying to be a good member of society, or something,”

Probably. Who knows why Hoseok had suddenly declared, just that morning, that he was going to go out in search for a job. As if they needed it. And it wasn’t like it was another one of their bets, either, because Hoseok had just left. Just like that.

“Doubt it,” Namjoon murmurs into his coffee, and Yoongi shrugs, but he does try to push down the smile that’s been pulling on the corners of his lips, because while they’ve known Namjoon—and the rest of the boys—for several months, now, they’re also in the middle of an on-going bet.

It’s simple, really. Nothing tragic. Nothing serious. They just have to find ways to ruin their friends’ days in the simplest, most unnoticeable ways possible.

Yoongi’s about to reach his hand out for the pack of cigarettes by Namjoon’s side, and thus aiming to knock over his cup of coffee—onto the sidewalk, not on Namjoon, please, that’s still scalding, and despite what people think, demons with attachments can become quite kind. Or, at least, in this case, considerate—but his attempts are foiled when he hears a familiar voice call out to them.

Park Jimin bounds up to their table, face bright, and grin wide as he pulls up a chair right next to Namjoon.

“Yoongi hyung,” Jimin calls, setting his bag down. “Namjoonie hyung,” there’s a shift in the way Jimin’s been acting around Namjoon, a subtle change that Yoongi’s easily picked up on, because body language, after centuries of being around humans, is as easy as counting, now.

Jimin places one hand on Namjoon’s arm, gives it a squeeze, and smiles, face so close with Namjoon’s when he says, “M’going to get coffee and maybe a cupcake, d’you want anything?”

The blush on Namjoon’s face is telling—amusing, really, and Yoongi almost wants to dart out of here so he can find Hoseok immediately, drag him into the cafe, and sit him down in front of them so he can bare witness to this development—that’s slowly been leading up to this moment.

“No, no, I’m good, thanks,” Namjoon says with a smile that’s so soft, Yoongi almost wants to look away. But he doesn’t, because Namjoon in a panic is hilarious, anyway, and Jimin’s advances—not so subtle now, are they—just getting shaken off is, well, it’s another thing. Not quite hilarious, but it’s something , and Yoongi almost wants to do something about that.

Maybe drag Hoseok into it, too. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

Jimin pushes himself up off the chair, looks to Yoongi’s direction, and then says, tone of his voice completely different from when it had dripped sickly sweet honey, “You need anything?”

If Hoseok were here—hell, if Seokjin was here, he would’ve already laughed. A guffaw, even. But both of them aren’t here, and Yoongi doesn’t feel like cackling all that much as of the moment, no thank you, so he just says, “Get me one of those cheesecakes,”

“That’s always surprised me, hyung,” Jimin says, before he leaves to get their order.

“What’s that?” Yoongi finally lights the cigarette he’d been playing with earlier, taking in his first inhale of smoke.

“Sweets,” Jimin says, an amused look on his face. “Never pegged you the type to like sweets.”

 

 

The sound of the chimes and the lock of the door clicking is enough for Yoongi to know that Hoseok’s home.

Yoongi flips over to his stomach, where he’s sprawled on the couch, and he’s about to ask just what the fuck he was thinking, trying to look for a job when he stops, nearly choking on his own spit at the sight of Hoseok clutching a large bundle of something close to his chest.

“No, if that’s a human baby, I’m out of here, Seok,” Yoongi says, pushing himself up from the couch. “I swear to Lucifer , I am out of here,”

Hoseok kneels down on the floor, setting the bundle down gently. He doesn’t say anything besides, “Look at this,” and Yoongi is inclined to open a portal that’ll lead straight to Hell, because there’s no way he’s going to be roped into a human baby’s kidnapping—that’s. That had been one time, back then. Yoongi’s a changed demon. He doesn’t do blood pacts. No virgin contracts. None of that shit. It’s too contrived, too ordinary for demons. Yoongi’s always thought himself beyond that.

But if Hoseok’s here with a baby, then he’s gone, really, fuck the entire game—Yoongi doesn’t even know what they’re playing for now, except that it’s really entertaining to watch as their new found friends flounder around in life, completely unaware that a pair of demons are causing these little inconveniences here and there. Hah.

Yoongi squints his eyes as the blanket shifts, and then, very slowly, a nose pokes out, followed by a lot of fur, and then a little bark. It’s a dog, a tiny, small little thing that Yoongi thinks he can fit right into the crook of his arms, but still . When someone says they’re going out to look for a job and they come back with a dog, albeit it’s better than coming back with a kidnapped human baby, it’s still a shock.

“What,” is all Yoongi says, but he’s on the floor with Hoseok, too, staring intently as the dog turns around, head lifted high to sniff the air. The apartment.

“This is Mickey,” Hoseok declares proudly, a familiar smile on his face. Yoongi’s seen this smile before—knows what it is. It’s Hoseok being genuinely happy, eyes alight, and his face bright. It’s a smile that can rival even the eternal flames that burn ceaselessly down below. It’s a smile that Yoongi’s already catalogued, a smile that he’s tucked into a pocket in his heart, labeled with, for when it storms .

“Why—“

“Mickey is a Hell-hound,” Hoseok says, voice gentle so as not to startle the poor thing. He pets the dog softly, the smile on his face not as bright anymore but still soft. Tender, even, like the few hours he’d been away was enough to get him attached to this. “Probably got lost, found himself out here, all alone,”

This time, when Hoseok pouts, he directs it to Yoongi, who curls his fingers into a fist. Not fair. Hoseok knows how to play and tug at Yoongi’s strings exactly how he wants, and getting Yoongi to agree to keep this dog is no easy feat, but when Hoseok looks at you with a pout and an open, vulnerable face, then there’s really no other answer except,

“Don’t lie to me, that’s not a fucking Hell-hound,” because it’s tiny. So small. Adorable . There’s just no way. “It’s too small—it’s too cute ,”

Under his breath, Hoseok mutters something that sounds a lot like, “You’re one to talk,”

Yoongi thinks he might’ve misheard, so he lets it slide, and instead focuses back on the dog that is so clearly not a Hell-hound, it just can’t be.

Hoseok, sensing Yoongi’s suspicion, grins down at the dog and says, “Mickey, show Yoongi what you can do,” Hoseok rubs behind the dog’s ear, and Yoongi watches intently as the dog’s eyes change into a deep, dark red, his teeth when he bares them much sharper, now. But aside from that, nothing else has changed—he’s still small. Less of a Hell-hound and more like a puppy that’s gotten lose.

“Hoseok—that’s a,”

“He’s a Hell-hound, I told you,” Hoseok guides Mickey towards Yoongi, who welcomes the small dog into his lap, fingers rubbing behind his ear as the dog leans in closer to the touch, wanting to be petted even more.

“Too fucking precious for a Hell-hound, but yeah, okay, I believe you,” Yoongi smiles down at the dog, though the look he shoots Hoseok is far more stern, because he can’t believe Hoseok’s managed to rope him into adopting a Hell-hound of all things. God .

The things Yoongi will do for Hoseok.

“Why’d you name it Mickey though?” the dog, in question, yelps, recognising his name, and turns around on his back, a silent plea for belly rubs. Yoongi immediately complies, the smile on his face one of quiet fond.

“Reminded me of Disneyland,” Hoseok says with a shrug.

Yoongi’s brows furrow. “We’ve never been to Disneyland—“

And that’s another thing when it comes to the both of them. It’s always a we , never an I, or a you. It should be terrifying, but it’s not. Yoongi’s got a few centuries in him already that he knows how to handle this, even if, for the most part, he just wants to shove it down.

Perhaps being on Earth has made him more susceptible to these thoughts. Made him—softer, in a way. Perhaps.

“Right. Race you there?” Hoseok jumps up to his feet, Mickey suddenly swept off the floor and into his arms, where the dog yelps in surprise at the sudden movement.

Yoongi watches from his spot on the floor as the floor beneath Hoseok’s feet start to sizzle, a sign that he’s getting ready to shadow-travel out of the apartment.

Before Hoseok can even disappear, Yoongi lunges forward, fingers locking around Hoseok’s ankle. He only has enough time to yell out a series of obscenities before he’s violently lurched into Hoseok’s space.

All the while, he can hear Hoseok’s breath of a laugh, and Yoongi bites on the inside of his cheek, because trust him to literally get swept off his feet by Hoseok, just because he can’t stand to see him win again. Not after the dog.

But it’s futile, though, especially when they finally arrive an entire country over to Disneyland, Mickey nosing at Yoongi’s cheek as he lays sprawled on hard concrete, Hoseok leaning over them with an open smile, eyes crinkling in the corners in the way that they always do when he’s happy. Too, too happy.

“Enjoyed the ride?” Hoseok asks, helping Yoongi up.

Yoongi takes Hoseok’s offered hand, tries to shake off the vertigo from that sudden hitch, and mutters, despite his sudden urge to hurl, “Every last second of it.”

 

 

To say that everyone else is pleased about their sudden Disneyland trip is the biggest fucking lie of the century, because the second Yoongi walks into the pub, he’s greeted by a frown from Jimin.

“What’s up with you?” Yoongi asks, pulling a chair out for himself.

“Nothing, what’s up with you?” Jimin shoots back, dragging a bottle of beer closer towards him. He pours it into a large beer mug, takes a generous sip of it, and then sets it down, a fixed set to his eyebrows.

It’s then that Hoseok chooses to arrive, Jeongguk and Taehyung in tow on either side of him, his smile apologetic when he notices the grim look on Jimin’s face.

“Jiminnie, hey—“ Hoseok tries, but Jimin just takes another gulp of his beer.

Really, petty doesn’t look good on Jimin, but Yoongi knows he wears the colour well, anyway.

“I really don’t understand what’s going on,” Yoongi admits, gratefully taking the beer the waiter had set down in front of them. He gives himself a generous pour, waits for the familiar taste to hit the back of his throat, and then looks back up at Hoseok, who’s sat himself in front of Yoongi, already picking at the popcorn Jimin had ordered.

“They saw,” Hoseok whispers, rather obviously, too, because Jeongguk actually cracks a smile at that.

“Saw what?”

“The photos,” Hoseok is still carrying the act out, still whispering. His eyes flash something playful and entertained, and Yoongi groans, because whenever Hoseok looks like this, it only means he’s made a mess for himself—for them, honestly. “When we went to Disneyland,”

“We never took photos—“ Yoongi tries, but Taehyung’s already scrolling through his feed, swiping across his screen to show Yoongi just what photos Hoseok’s talking about. “Oh my god, I look fucking hideous in this photo,”

This photo being one of Yoongi holding onto Mickey, hair a mess, and looking a little green. Who knew a demon wouldn’t match well with a spinning teacup?

Hoseok had looked like he was having fun, sans the rollercoaster that they both had to push themselves to actually ride. Yoongi, on the other hand, looked like complete and utter death.

“I can’t believe this,” Yoongi mutters, giving the phone back to Taehyung.

“We can’t believe you went to Japan without us,” is what Jimin supplies, pout in full force, now.

This is perhaps the first time Yoongi realises just how Namjoon manages to trip over his own feet so much, whenever Jimin so much as bats his eyes, or laughs in his direction. A pout of this magnitude can be deadly, Yoongi thinks.

There’s no way out of this argument so instead of creating an excuse along the lines of who knew you lot wanted to go to Japan which is a lie because Yoongi had known—they’d both had known, if Jimin and Jeongguk’s plotting about a Disneyland trip the past two months was anything to go by, Yoongi just shrugs his shoulders and says,

“It was a surprise trip.”

Which isn’t exactly a lie, because it had been a surprise.

Yoongi had been sick for two days after—they’re three days back from their trip and he’s only started to feel normal again. Who thought a demon would get motion sickness from hitching a ride off of someone else?

Hoseok sure as hell looks more pleased than ever, at the look on Yoongi’s face.

“It was a surprise trip,” Hoseok repeats, when Jimin just rolls his eyes and Taehyung lets out a sound of pure indignation. “We didn’t even know we were going until the flight,”

Which is also not really a lie, because neither of them had planned for it. Although Hoseok probably orchestrated the whole thing. But still, it’s different from Jimin and Jeongguk’s two-month long planning.

Really, whoever said demons don’t get shit done was obviously lying, because Yoongi and Hoseok can, contrary to popular belief, get started on things.

For example—the spontaneous trip that Hoseok had sprung on him.

“How about this—we’ll go to the beach this weekend, all of us,” Hoseok throws an arm around Jimin’s shoulder, dragging him closer to his side. Jimin melts into Hoseok’s touch, the petulant smile on his face turning much softer when Hoseok noses at his hair. “Does that sound like a plan?”

Jimin eventually gives in when he shoots the other two boys furtive glances. The three of them nod, almost in perfect unison—Yoongi hates them sometimes, he really does, but a part of him also finds them, well. Adorable, sometimes, and endearing, most of the time.

Especially after all these little trips to the pub, when the night turns late, and they’ve all ushered everyone into a cab except for Jeongguk, who says his roommate will probably hate it if he keeps arriving at late hours, and can they please, please, please house him for the night?

Yoongi and Hoseok shoot each other a knowing glance.

Hoseok shrugs a shoulder.

Yoongi raises an eyebrow.

Jeongguk turns to them with his eyes wide and his cheeks flushed from the alcohol.

It’s Yoongi who gives in. Who wraps an arm around Jeongguk’s shoulder as they start the short walk back to their apartment.

Jeongguk is warm next to Yoongi, the boy completely at ease as he walks into step beside them, and it’s quiet. So quiet, Yoongi can hear Hoseok humming a familiar little melody under his breath as he punches in the code to their little apartment.

Hoseok takes Jeongguk out of Yoongi’s hold, sets the younger boy down on the couch, and then brushes his hair out of his face. Hoseok is surprisingly soft with the younger kids, Yoongi’s noticed.

Hoseok is—well, Hoseok is always surprising Yoongi in the best ways possible.

Yoongi comes back from the kitchen with a glass of water that Hoseok takes from his hand and passes to Jeongguk, urging the younger boy to drink it all up.

“How are you holding up, Gguk?” Hoseok asks, pinching Jeongguk’s cheek playfully.

Jeongguk smiles at Hoseok first, and then at Yoongi. “Tired, but tonight was fun,”

Tonight had been fun—after Jimin had stopped sulking and they’d all accepted the weekend trip to the beach as a good enough apology for Yoongi and Hoseok suddenly bailing on them by going to Japan, they’d had fun.

The trip to the karaoke bar had been a good choice, too, if only so that Yoongi could hear Jeongguk’s voice—and what a voice he has.

One day, Yoongi’s going to sit him down and tell him just what he can do with that voice. If there’s one thing Yoongi’s better at than anyone else from his kind, then it’s the smooth art of prediction.

Now is not a good moment for that, though, because Jeongguk looks like he’s about to fall asleep against Hoseok’s shoulder.

It’s Yoongi’s turn to haul Jeongguk to their bedroom, guiding him carefully onto the bed, and tucking the blankets around him.

When Yoongi straightens up, he catches a confused look on Jeongguk’s face, the boy’s eyebrows knitted together as he says, “I knew you lived together, but I didn’t know you shared the same bed,”

Yoongi feels his face heat up at that, and for the first time since they’d gotten the apartment, Yoongi wishes they could’ve just possibly magicked their way into a two-bedroom, and not stuck to this one, but really , they hardly ever sleep, and on the off chance that they do, they manage just fine, two parenthesis turned to each other, fingertips barely touching, but it is enough.

It will be enough, thinks Yoongi, as he studies the look on Hoseok’s face, eyes bright, and the smile on his face tender.

“Huh, that’s funny,” Jeongguk murmurs into the pillow, turning over to the other side. “Not funny ha-ha, but funny interesting , yeah?”

Hoseok meets Yoongi’s gaze, holds it for a long moment, and then nods. “Yeah, it’s interesting.”

And there it is, the look in Hoseok’s eyes that Yoongi’s only seen once, when he’d woken up after their first day in this apartment, tucked in bed, with Hoseok looking at him with an open face, and a smile curved so beautifully, Yoongi’s heart almost starts to hurt just at the thought of it directed to him once again.

That look is interesting in itself, but Yoongi doesn’t dwell on it.

They say everything is easier in the guise of the moonlight, but Yoongi knows all too well just what the dark can do, so he sets his thoughts aside for later, for when the sun is up, and their home is basked in a golden glow that’s enough to match the glimmer of the sun behind Hoseok’s eyes.

 

 

See, a few months ago, they’d decided on another bet.

It’s supposed to be easy, really. Just make their friends’ lives a little bit more miserable with a few tricks here and there. Not that they’d ever push these humans into a moving bus, but, just, like, maybe they can tip over a glass of water, or trip them on the sidewalk, or maybe they can pretend they lost their phone—once, Yoongi had suggested they follow Taehyung around the neighbourhood, lead him into a dark alley, and scare him, but then Hoseok had talked him out of that idea because Taehyung might actually call the police and think the both of them mentally unhinged.

So they’d stuck with pettier things.

The pettier, the better.

Which doesn’t exactly explain how Yoongi’s getting dragged into the water by one Jeon Jeongguk, the younger boy’s hold on Yoongi’s wrists tight as he literally drags Yoongi across the beach to the shore.

Yoongi looks over his shoulder at Hoseok, eyes going wide, because he didn’t sign up to get into the water. Didn’t sign up to be dragged around by some human, of all things, and Hoseok just out-right laughs at him, pointing and gathering the attention of all the other boys to the mess that’s about to unfold.

“Dunk him in!” Seokjin yells, looking away from the grill he’s been tending.

Namjoon raises a beer to Yoongi’s demise, and Hoseok laughs even louder when Jeongguk gives up on pulling Yoongi and instead rushes forward to grab him and lift him right off his feet.

“I’m going to murder you, Gguk, I swear to god—“ Yoongi tries, wiggling out of Jeongguk’s hold, but there’s no use. He’s insanely strong, which is a cause of alarm for now, but on usual days such a convenient when Yoongi can’t be bothered to wrestle with a jar of jam.

“Hoseok hyung told me to do it,” the wind whips Jeongguk’s laughter away, but it’s enough for Yoongi to turn over his shoulder one last time and glare at one Jung Hoseok, who waves at Yoongi, bottle of beer raised high for his demise.

Jeongguk throws Yoongi into the water, but he follows along right after him, laugh so loud it wraps around Yoongi as well.

And it’s an ugly sight, Yoongi floundering around the sea, and sputtering out salty sea water, but he manages to right himself up after a couple tries, finally, finally , or so he thinks, until another large wave pushes at him, and he goes under again.

One day he’s going to claw his way out of Hell again and raze all of the oceans dry. One fucking day, just you wait.

But for now, he grabs hold of Jeongguk, arms thrown around his neck as he latches onto his back, growling into his ear, “Let’s go back, please ,”

Jeongguk nods along, the smile on his face something Yoongi can’t see but he can definitely feel, especially when they finally start their trek back to their friends by the beach, Hoseok absolutely beside himself, wiping tears from his eyes as he tries to stop himself from laughing too much.

Yoongi’s always known Hoseok’s laughter had a strange effect on people—humans, demons, everyone, really—because once he starts, everyone follows, and it doesn’t take Yoongi more than a few beats until he gives in and rolls his eyes, smile breaking across his face.

Jeongguk eventually sets Yoongi back down on the sand, and Yoongi taps his shoulder, though the glint in his eyes tells him that if he does it one more time he’s going to send an actual tsunami into this beach. Just a fair warning, Yoongi thinks.

Taehyung throws a towel at Yoongi, who plops himself down on the mat right next to Hoseok, still giggling, still beside himself from amusement.

Eventually Yoongi gives up on trying to dry himself without the help of anything funny so he just shrugs out of his shirt and throws it over to Hoseok’s side.

Hoseok takes the towel out of Yoongi’s hands and pulls him closer towards him, until Yoongi’s sat in front of him, careful not to lean in too much or else he’ll get Hoseok wet, and—

And you know what, it’s what he deserves, isn’t it?

It only requires one split second’s choice before Yoongi’s leaning against Hoseok, who pauses from helping Yoongi towel of his hair to shriek, “Oh my god, oh my god, you’re wet , Yoongi, Yoongi ,”

But Yoongi doesn’t step, just settles himself more comfortably against Hoseok until the other boy stops wriggling around and resigns to his fate.

“You’re literally the fucking worse,” which goes without saying but sometimes Yoongi likes to hear it from Hoseok, too.

“Come on, you were drying my hair?” Hoseok huffs at that but he goes back to towelling Yoongi’s hair, the towel discarded after a few minutes of silence between them, the rest of the boys around them far too noisy as they clink beer bottles, as Seokjin yells at Jimin to help him with the BBQ and to stop bothering Namjoon, please, he looks like he’s dead on his feet and will one of you brats help or what.

Hoseok runs his fingers through Yoongi’s still-damp hair, the silence between them broken as he hums under his breath. His fingers work their way into Yoongi’s hair, smoothing through the tangles, and applying pressure on his scalp. It’s the quickest way to get Yoongi to fall completely silent and pliant.

Yoongi, who blocks everything else out to stare at the beach, now.

Eyes half-lidded as he lets out a more than satisfied sigh, the smile on his face soft, barely there, but he knows Hoseok will be able to tell, if only by the set of his shoulders and the sound of his breathing. Hoseok has always been able to tell how Yoongi is feeling, which is probably why Hoseok likes to joke around with him too much, because he knows there’s a line, and if he’s mindful enough, then he won’t cross it.

They’ll never cross the line, not when the only thing they’ll have to lose is each other, and even then—

Even then, Yoongi isn’t too sure.

So he closes his eyes, feels Hoseok’s warm breath right against his cheek, and knows before Hoseok even moves to put his arms around him that Hoseok feels it, too, this gentleness that the ocean brings to them.

This is the first time they’ve ever gone to the ocean with other people before. With friends.

Hoseok hooks his chin on Yoongi’s shoulder, arms looped lazily around Yoongi’s middle.

Yoongi gives Hoseok’s hands a small pat, a silent apology of getting him wet earlier.

“S’fine,” Hoseok murmurs right under  his ear, voice sounding sticky and low. Tired, all of a sudden, but the good kind. “I deserved it, I think,”

“Yeah, you fucking did,” Yoongi snorts, but there’s no inflection in his tone, not even in his words, because for now, they’re good.

Yoongi doesn’t know how long he’s been out because the next thing he sees is the sky turning a little darker from the last time he’d looked at it. The first thing he hears as he comes to this time is the distinctive sound of a camera’s shutter, followed closely by a sound of surprise from Taehyung, who meets Yoongi’s gaze through the viewfinder.

“Seokjin hyung said it’s time to eat,” Taehyung says, the smile on his face lopsided and just a tad bit apologetic at getting caught trying to take a photo of them and—and Hoseok’s still plastered onto his back, his breathing so slow and even that it only means one thing—he’d fallen asleep right as Yoongi had.

“Lemme see the photo,” Yoongi gestures, but Taehyung just shakes his head.

“No, it’s a film camera. I’ll have them developed and then maybe I’ll show you,” Taehyung sounds far too pleased with the photo he’d taken, which begs the question—just how did they look.

Yoongi supposes he doesn’t mind all that much, but it is quite interesting how the first person to ever take their photo was a human. Kim Taehyung.

Perhaps it’s not that bad.

Perhaps Yoongi doesn’t mind at all.

Before he turns to wake Hoseok, Taehyung gestures to his camera again, raising it up to his eye.

Yoongi falls back once more, Hoseok’s breath tickling the side of his face. That’s enough to get Yoongi to smile, and it’s almost unnoticeable, the way Hoseok’s grip around Yoongi’s middle tightens ever so slightly the very second Taehyung presses his finger to take their photo, but Yoongi notices it, the same way he notices Hoseok coming to without Yoongi waking him up.

He allows Taehyung to help him up, hand clasped tightly in the younger boy’s, and Yoongi stumbles on the sand, suddenly feeling exposed and cold as the wind blows, only to realise a little belatedly that it’s because he’d chucked his shirt away earlier.

Hoseok throws him a clean shirt this time, smile sleepier than usual, and says, “I packed an extra one because I knew Jeongguk wouldn’t disappoint me,”

At the sound of his name, Jeongguk lifts his head up from cutting the meat, and says, “The golden rule is to always expect me to deliver,”

That gets a laugh out of everyone, even Namjoon, who’d looked worse for wear ever since they’d arrived.

Namjoon, who’s now using Seokjin’s shoulder as a pillow, legs crossed as he tiredly watches Jeongguk pass plates over to them.

Juggling a Master’s program and a job is hard, and Yoongi knows that aside from making Namjoon’s coffee sweeter than usual every time they get coffee, helping him out is also on Hoseok’s list.

How they’d managed to stir their way into this group—how a simple bet of playing around with these people has turned into them trying to perform everyday miracles is going to be beyond Yoongi, and definitely something they’ll never speak of back in the Underworld, because what will that make them, really?

Less informed people will call them angels, and Hoseok will take offence to that the same way Yoongi will want to gag, because they’re obviously much better than angels, for one—it’s much harder to crawl out of the fires of Hell than it is to just fall from the fucking sky, so by that virtue and this feat alone, one can say that demons are, in fact, the more superior species.

Which is an argument as old as time and one Yoongi doesn’t want to talk about while they’re all here right now, so he just takes the shirt from Hoseok and puts it on, padding barefoot to where the rest of their group are.

From behind him, he can hear Hoseok whisper to Taehyung, “Give me the photos once they’re out,”

Taehyung laughs at that, “Maybe,”

Yoongi hates humans sometimes, but this—being surrounded by people he’s called his friends, a word that he actually attaches feelings to, now, he finds that he doesn’t quite hate them. On the contrary, he likes them. A lot, really.

Jimin and his bright, mischievous eyes, always trying to get close to Namjoon, who seems oblivious, or too tired to notice, or really—really just fucking dense. At this point, Yoongi isn’t sure, but he does commend Jimin for his efforts.

And then there’s Seokjin, who always insists Yoongi call him hyung , because it doesn’t make any fucking sense, Yoongi, I’m older than you and you should address me as such, and god, would it kill you to try not to shove me down these stairs for once? Yoongi thinks he might like Seokjin a lot, really, even if he hates committing to trivially humane things such as calling someone hyung . Hell.

Hoseok had tried, once, and Yoongi had all but shoved him so hard, he’d almost fallen from the roof. Yoongi says almost but what really happened was that Hoseok had fallen for real, but caught himself mid-fall, only to laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and god, how red Yoongi had been that afternoon. He absolutely hates it.

Namjoon looks much more alive this time, much more awake as soon as he starts eating. Yoongi likes Namjoon, too, if only because they can spend quiet afternoons together and not say anything at all one second, and then talk the entire day away the next. Namjoon is easy to get along with. Gentle, too, especially when he insists Yoongi come with him on his daily bike rides by the river. It’s one of those moments Yoongi wishes he could draw out—surprising how something so human like a bike ride could make Yoongi so, so at ease. So calm.

Taehyung is a whirlwind of energy himself, if only because there’s just so much to contain at once. He’s got a good sense, and Yoongi had never thought himself to even get attached, but here he is now. And how easy it is to get attached, when everything Taehyung touches turns into liquid silver. When he’s got an eye for art and a spirit that soars—a spirit that Yoongi can actually hear as well as a voice that could match with Jeongguk’s in terms of how honey-sweet it is.

Not to leave Jeongguk out, too, because Yoongi likes the younger boy, he really does, even if he is susceptible to being bribed by one Jung Hoseok—which makes sense, giving in to a demon’s temptations and all of that—but Yoongi guesses that’s just part of who he is. He’s got a good heart for his friends and an unyielding sense of adventure that Yoongi thinks he can’t quite find a match on. If anything, Jeongguk is the true definition of the freedom of youth. Yoongi thinks he’s never seen anything quite like it.

And Hoseok—

Hoseok may be a demon, but Yoongi knows he believes in the human spirit whole heartedly. That he laughs for them, with them, and in some cases, he can cry with them, too. Yoongi looks at Hoseok now, as the wind whips his hair into his eyes, as he leans across the table to grab at a piece of meat, in the process knocking Seokjin’s sunglasses off the table—not an accident at all, that—and he knows for a fact that Hoseok has grown far too attached to this rag-tag group of boys. And that’s fine, because Yoongi has, too, and if they can enjoy this one moment during their long, ever-spanning lives, then he’ll enjoy it. Try to stretch it out as far and for as long as he can.

“You wanna eat or what?” Jimin asks, passing Yoongi a bowl as well as a pair of chopsticks. He raises an eyebrow at him, probably at the dazed, far-away look in his eyes, and then says, “Are you okay, hyung?”

For the first time since they’d gotten to the beach, Yoongi allows himself to laugh, eyes crinkling in the corners. He reaches out to ruffle Jimin’s hair—Jimin, a thorn to his side and a constant pain in the ass for everyone, especially Namjoon—and Jimin, for once, doesn’t resist, just giggles at the sudden attention, something Yoongi hardly ever starts.

“Never better.” Yoongi says, smiling down at him.

And if this isn’t one of the truest things Yoongi’s ever said, then by Hell, he doesn’t know what is.

 

 

The drive back home is quiet, but mainly because Yoongi’s driving and everyone else is asleep, all tired and tuckered out. They’d spent the last few minutes jus watching the horizon, waiting for the sun to set.

Yoongi had made the mistake of glancing at Hoseok the exact moment the sun started to descend and immediately felt like he was fucked, and this time, for good. Forever. And forever is pretty long for a demon, honestly.

Tightening his fingers around the steering wheel, Yoongi continues to drive. There’s shuffling in the back, probably one of the kids turning over to jab their elbow into Seokjin’s ribs—well deserved, after Seokjin had tripped on a wire and spilled all his beer on Yoongi (god, did they hate him or what?).

Beside him, Hoseok taps his fingers on the dashboard, following along the beat of the song. He rolls the window down just enough to let air whip right into the car and at his hair, orange hair flying into his face—his stupid, bright, stupidly beautiful face that Yoongi wants to reach out to and touch, and maybe do more than that, but these things aren’t exactly what Yoongi’s supposed to be doing, so he stops himself from even thinking that and focuses on driving.

Hoseok notices the sudden distress, because he looks at Yoongi, a question in the set of his brows, mouth quirked downwards as if in anticipation.

When Yoongi doesn’t say anything, Hoseok gently prods at his leg, and says, “Hey, talk to me,”

Yoongi takes in a deep breath. Tries to count, one, two, three , before he looks at Hoseok again.

Hoseok with his stupid orange hair and his stupid sun-kissed cheeks and his stupid, wonderful, beautiful smile, and his stupid eyes that seem to want to pull Yoongi in and under and god , Hoseok is stupid, sure, but Yoongi is pretty goddamn certain he’s the  bigger idiot between them.

So instead of opening his mouth and telling Hoseok that maybe, just maybe, he’s wanted to pull him in for a kiss for the past, oh, maybe few hundred years, Yoongi just seethes out, “I can’t believe Seokjin is forcing me to call him hyung,”

Hoseok’s laugh is sudden, but it is quiet, not wanting to wake anyone else in the back.

“Hey, I don’t mind,” Hoseok says, turning to smile at Yoongi.

Yoongi catches his gaze from the rearview mirror and knows for a fact this time that he is quite monumentally fucked. But he pushes on.

“Yeah, you like it a little bit too much, I think,” Yoongi says with a huff, though if Hoseok picks up any of the teasing from what he’d said, he doesn’t let on at all, instead just shakes his head.

“It’s—y’know, it’s cute,” and then after a while, “Makes me feel like I belong. Like—like we belong, yeah? I don’t know, it’s probably weird, probably just me, but—“

Here Yoongi stops Hoseok mid-ramble by reaching one hand out to him in the passenger’s seat. First he settles it on top of Hoseok’s knee, still warm from a day at the beach—and then, because they’ve done far worse things, moves to grab his hand, giving it a gentle squeeze.

Hoseok squeezes back.

“Hey, hey, hey, I get it,” Yoongi’s voice drops to something so quiet, he knows only Hoseok can hear. But it is soft, still, their conversation accompanied by the sound of late-evening traffic and the melody of the wind chiming all around them. “I get it, and I like it too, yeah? I like them a lot,”

Hoseok’s hand is warm in Yoongi’s, but Hoseok has always ran hotter than everyone else. His hand is always warm. His hugs, too. Just—everything about him has always been warm, and that’s saying something because Yoongi’s lived most of his long, long life in literal Hell.

“This is a good time for us, don’t you think?” Hoseok turns his palm up so they’re pressed palm to palm, a holy palmer’s kiss that might just bring Yoongi to his knees if he wasn’t driving, and then very slowly slips his fingers through the gaps.

Yoongi revels in the wonder of lacing his fingers with Hoseok’s—how it’s a thing of marvel, to be able to hold his hand like this all of a sudden—and then snaps out of it when Hoseok squeezes on their joined hands, and smiles at Yoongi, that same muted smile that he reserves for quiet nights at home, when they’re tucked away in a corner, or when they’re out in the rooftop, sight-seeing, drinking, smoking, talking about all the turns they’d taken just to find themselves in a single bedroom rooftop apartment instead of their spacious chambers back in the Underworld.

“Yeah,” Yoongi says, tearing his eyes away from the road to look at their hands, if only for a brief second. “I think it’s a wonderful time.”

 

 

Something changes between them. The most subtle, minutest of changes. Yoongi notices it, and he’s sure Hoseok does, too, but neither of them mention it. Perhaps it had been that time at the beach, when they’d both fallen asleep pressed up against each other, Hoseok with his chin hooked on Yoongi’s shoulder, dozing away quietly, and Yoongi with his head tipped back, the weight of Hoseok’s arms around his middle enough to reassure him that while demons do not easily trust, he trusts Hoseok more than enough to fall asleep in such an open space, at the beach.

He trusts his friends enough to do that.

Or perhaps it had been after that, during the drive back home, with the other five fast asleep in the backseat, with just Hoseok and the wind and whatever song had been playing as company. With their hands held briefly between them, as an assurance, as a promise.

Or perhaps—

Perhaps it had been before that. Months ago, when Yoongi agreed to this terrible, terrible game. Or even further back, dozens of decades ago, when they burned hotter, the both of them. Fiercer.

Now there is no fiery flame, just the soft lapping of the fire against the log. It feels like they’re sat in front of a wonderful campfire, fireflies around them, and the sound of the night the only symphony they need. That’s what it feels like, now.

Warm. Soft. Safe. Just the both of them.

Hoseok doesn’t bring it up so Yoongi doesn’t either, but if Hoseok takes Yoongi’s hand while they’re walking, a playful gesture of pulling at his fingers, or perhaps even throwing an arm around his shoulder while they’re sat on the same side of the booth, Hoseok’s fingers pressing gentle indents into his shoulder, then that’s fine with Yoongi, too.

Or it’s Yoongi, even, just passing Hoseok a warm cup of tea on late, late nights, when they haven’t sleep for eight days straight, when all they can do is stare up at the sky and wonder if they’re watching—if there are any of the Other kind around them. They wonder about that, too, how it’s like in the Underworld. How things are, but they’ve been gone far longer than this, and Yoongi doesn’t mind, not exactly.

It had gotten boring down there.

There’s only so much ageless demons can do.

That’s why the saying “Earth is the devil’s playground” rings loud and true. It is, but not for reasons associated to this saying, and definitely not what the movies and these occult enthusiasts think it is.

Hoseok tugs on his thumb, now, pulling Yoongi out of his reverie, and Yoongi snaps his eyes back up at Seokjin, who’s still talking, still going, something about this dissertation he has to do for his Doctorate program, and how excited he is to get it done with already, but also how excited he is to actually do it.

“So, anyway, as I was saying, Jimin’s got this dance recital in a few weeks, we should all go,” Seokjin says, knowing full well Yoongi hadn’t paid attention for the last few minutes of this conversation.

“I can bring the flowers,” Namjoon says, a smile tugging on the corners of his lips.

Cute, Yoongi thinks. Jimin will love that—probably cry and tackle Namjoon into a hug that’ll send the both of them sprawling down the ground, but still. Cute. Yoongi can’t wait.

“We can get the cake,” Hoseok volunteers, grinning at Seokjin, who nods, pleased that everyone’s on board.

“I can bring myself, thanks,” Seokjin finally says with a light chuckle, and Yoongi groans, because of course Seokjin will say that. A day doesn’t go by without Seokjin making these references, really.

The day he doesn’t will probably be the day Hell freezes over—quite literally in this case, Yoongi’s afraid.

Yoongi leans back against Hoseok, a basic instinct by now, wanting to be close to him. To feel the warmth that radiates off of him. To just be with him, even when they’re literally sat next to each other.

Hoseok breaks off a pastry for them to share, and Yoongi takes it with a murmured thank you under his breath, Hoseok’s answering smile to something that small so bright, Namjoon from the other side of the table actually starts to squint.

“What is it, now?” Yoongi asks, looking up from the broken-off brownie.

Namjoon just shrugs, the book in his hands closing with a loud thud . “Nothing, just wanted to point out how the PDA today is off the charts,”

The—

The what now, Yoongi wants to ask, but instead just feigns complete nonchalance by blinking at Namjoon.

“Okay, you know what, I’ll bite the bullet,” Seokjin gathers their attention this time, in the same way Seokjin always manages to drag the attention back to him, to get them all to focus. “Nobody’s ever asked and I think if I don’t then nobody ever will so I’ll just say it, then. How long have you two been together?”

Together implies a lot of things, which is exactly why Hoseok parrots back, brows furrowing, “Together?”

“Yeah, you know,” Seokjin gestures vaguely between them. “Together.”

They share a look after that, Hoseok with a funny quirk in his lips and Yoongi with exasperation so clearly spelled out on his face.

Namjoon looks like he might want to vacate the table and the cafe all together, just leave them both alone with the can of worms Seokjin’s just opened, but he doesn’t, because Seokjin stares him down, mouths something that looks a lot like, well someone had to .

Together.

That really can mean a lot of different things—

Together as in, how long they’ve known each other. The answer to that might be frightening, really, so Hoseok holds off on it.

And together as in, how long they’ve been together-together , which is a funny thing humans say when they really mean, how long have you been in a relationship?

That one Yoongi doesn’t have a clear answer to, but whatever this is between them—this borderless, undefined, whatever that so many of their kind refuse to label, because they’ve got Hell and eternity right in front of them, so why get stuck with a name, with a label, really (and maybe there isn't a label to this because there isn’t really anything, except there really had been a shift in the air, a shift between them, as if the world’s stopped spinning in its axis for a fracture of a second—a fracture of a second that is enough for Yoongi to notice. For the both of them to.).

Hoseok tugs on Yoongi’s pinky finger, the look on his face amused, now, but his eyes—

His eyes tell a different story. There is a bashfulness in them this time that Yoongi hardly ever sees, and a slight twinge in his cheeks that Yoongi wants to keep for a long, long time. Much longer than the few seconds he’s allowed this time, so instead of dispelling this strange, strange spell on them, Yoongi just says,

“A while,” and then, after a few moments, “A really long time, actually.”

Because that’s as far into the truth he can go without causing any panic among them.

Hoseok seems to appreciate that answer well enough, because he gives a gentle squeeze on Yoongi’s hand, the laugh that bubbles past his lips one that Yoongi wants to bottle up forever, maybe, because it’s one of genuine surprise and pleasure, one that tells Yoongi that he’s surprised, but that he appreciates it, anyway. That he accepts it.

But Seokjin isn’t too happy with that, although for now, he concedes, and just says, “Yeah, okay. A long time. Sure, I’ll take that,” the quiet for now is tacked at the end of his sentence, but nobody really needs to hear it to know that it’s there.

“Well, I think that’s all for us tonight,” Hoseok suddenly says, dropping Yoongi’s hand so he can slide out of the booth. He grabs his bag from the chair and swings it over his shoulder, gesturing for Yoongi to follow him. “Thanks for the wonderful question, really, million dollar quality right there, but we’ve got to go, now,”

The smile on Hoseok’s face is probably brighter than anything Yoongi’s seen in days, and try as he might to look away, to not stare at all, he can’t help it. Neither can the rest of their friends—although he suspects Namjoon is just staring to shoo them away.

“Right, the movie’s gonna start in a few,” Namjoon says, glancing away to look at his watch. “I think you’re running it a little too close this time,”

The old movie theatre Hoseok had found sits a good twenty minutes away by subway from where they’re at. The movie is supposed to start in fifteen minutes.

Yoongi wants to say that it’s not a problem when they can literally travel through shadows and get to wherever they want in the blink of an eye, but perhaps this is a revelation for another day, another time.

“We’re watching Casablanca,” Hoseok says, a definite bounce in his step as he locks his arm with Yoongi’s, his tone chipper. “First movie we ever—“ here he trips over his own words, Yoongi knowing exactly what he wants to say: first black and white movie we ever saw, nearly eighty years ago.

Yoongi squeezes on Hoseok’s arm none too gently, an action that Seokjin notices but doesn’t comment on, except perhaps for the quirking of his eyebrow.

“First movie we ever saw since we moved in together,” Hoseok swiftly finishes with nervous laughter.

“Yeah, okay, got it,” If Seokjin thinks there’s something odd about that, he doesn’t comment, just makes a shooing motion for them both. “Have fun and stay safe, kids.”

Hoseok throws his head back in a laugh so loud it shakes the cafe, warming the whole place up. Yoongi can’t help but roll his eyes at Seokjin but he does flash the both of them a smile as well as a vey reluctant wave—reluctant because he’d rather flip Seokjin off, but he holds off on that. Next time, next time, when Seokjin yammers on about Yoongi not calling him hyung all the time. Right. Next time.

They shadow-travel their way to the old theatre Hoseok had literally stumbled into a few days ago. They get there in a few seconds, with Yoongi feeling slightly light-headed after. He’s getting more tired the longer they stay up here, but that’s really no problem, because he can just sleep it off. Easy as that—

Although he does tell Hoseok, right before they walk in to buy their tickets, that perhaps they should just take the subway back home.

“Yeah, I felt that. Saw you nearly trip, too,” Hoseok says, his smile turning much gentler this time. “You sure you’re okay?”

Yoongi nods, “Yeah. Just—just not used to shadow-traveling as much anymore. Or maybe I’m just tired,”

Maybe it’s both, Hoseok’s eyes seem to say.

Neither of them actually say it out loud, but they know.

They’ll sleep it off, after the movie.

They find their seats easy enough, the cinema nearly empty except for a few people here and there. Hoseok settles in easily enough into his seat, while Yoongi shifts around, trying to get comfortable.

When the movie starts, the whole room falls quiet, the only sound between them the light tapping of Hoseok’s fingers on Yoongi’s arm whenever something exciting happens on screen.

And god, he knows the other boys will laugh at their choice of movie—fucking Casablanca of all things, but this is special, even for them. The first non-silent black and white movie they’d seen together, some seventy or so years ago.

They’d only seen it once, but Yoongi still remembers the whole thing as if he’d watched it just this morning.

Hoseok is entranced the whole time, and with him, Yoongi as well.

This is more for nostalgia’s sake than anything, but when one of the characters, wanting to stay neutral in the middle of a war-torn world, says, I never stick my neck out for anyone , Yoongi turns away from the screen to look at Hoseok.

Right, Yoongi can think of someone he’s all too ready to risk it all for.

Before Yoongi can look away, Hoseok turns towards him, face illuminated by the brightness of the screen, the smile on his face something between caught in a moment of surprise, shocked that Yoongi’s already looking at him and—something pretty.

Pretty in the way some wicked and mischievous things are.

In the way Hoseok always is.

It goes without saying that Hoseok’s got someone pretty high up on his list of people I’ll gladly stick my neck out for and Yoongi acknowledges that truth with half a smile and a pinch to his hand, because they’re both missing the movie, staring at each other like this.

Hoseok pinches his cheek in return but then quickly turns away before Yoongi can actually shove him down ten rows of chairs.

 

 

“So, I figured from our last conversation that you and Hoseok aren’t dating,” Namjoon says this as he hovers over Yoongi, who’s stretched out on the couch, the comic book he’d been reading tossed somewhere over his head.

Yoongi barely raises his head to even acknowledge that, just lets out a quiet little hmmm that Namjoon takes as enough of a response to keep going.

“Which is weird, really,” Namjoon murmurs, perfectly balancing a box of fresh pizza on Yoongi’s stomach.

The more Yoongi refuses to move, the more Namjoon likes to terrorise him. And to think these humans thought demons were the evil ones, really.

“How is Hoseok and I not dating weird to you ?” Yoongi finally relents, pushing himself up to his elbows so he can lean against the arm of the couch and drag a slice of pizza out of the box, because Namjoon is no help, especially now that he passes the bottle opener and beer to him, as if he can’t be bothered to open it himself.

Yoongi has half a mind to open it with his hand, but he decides against it with a grunt and a particularly menacing look in his eyes that Namjoon takes as something adorable, probably, because he’s never once taken Yoongi seriously as a threat or as something dangerous, even when Yoongi and Hoseok have both, on more than one occasion, tried to trip him up on the escalator, or push him down two flights of subway steps—only to catch him by the sleeve of his shirt, or the strap of his bag, really. They’ll never allow any physical harm to happen to these humans. To these idiots.

“Not weird to me, per se—but just weird, because the both of you are so—“ Namjoon stops himself when Yoongi passes him an opened bottle of beer. Takes a swig of it first before continuing, “The both of you are so married , it’s weird that you’re not dating,”

“You and Seokjin seem married as well but I’m not here saying it’s weird you’re not dating,” Yoongi fires back, although he knows it’s a weak one as soon as the words are out of his mouth, especially when Namjoon throws his head back in a surprise bark of laughter that almost shakes his entire apartment up.

“Getting defensive, aren’t we?” Namjoon clinks his bottle with Yoongi’s, anyway, and then sits back so he can lean against the coffee table. “And the reason Seokjin hyung and I seem married but not dating is because we’re not each other’s type, which we’ve established a long time ago,”

That’s a dig to what Yoongi had said a few days ago, he already knows, but he barely acknowledges it.

“You and Hoseok, however,” Namjoon takes another swig at his beer, Yoongi following after him quickly enough, because he can’t believe he’s stuck doing this—stuck in such a trivial conversation, something so fucking human as talking about relationships, about compatibility, about dating , of all things. “I feel like there’s something there, because you’re both always—always trying so hard,”

That’s news to Yoongi, and he sets down the half-eaten slice of pizza back into the box so he can raise his eyebrows in question at Namjoon. “Explain that,”

“No reason, it’s just—you both bend over backwards for each other. Ever since we first met the both of you, it was obvious,” Namjoon hums, popping open the box of chicken that had been ignored in favour of the beer and pizza. “You get me? Like—the other day, you watched a black and white movie in English, hyung. You hate that,”

Namjoon isn’t wrong, and he only knows this as a fact because Namjoon is a fucking film buff and always dragging them to watch movies with him, Yoongi having to put his foot down after the fourth movie in five days because he just doesn’t have the attention span or interest in foreign films.

(And that’s laughable in itself because language is clearly no issue to their kind—it’s just that Yoongi doesn’t really like movies, so to speak. That’s all.)

“It was a special one,” Yoongi says, setting his beer down so he can swipe the box of chicken out of Namjoon’s hands. “Like he said, it was the first movie we’ve ever seen—“

“Yeah, I got that, but that’s one of the odd things, too. Sometimes, you guys talk like you’ve known each other for years,”

“Because we have,” Yoongi affirms that easily enough, as if he’s just commenting on how the weather is tonight, how it’s raining just beyond the four corners of this apartment.

“No, that’s not what I meant, it’s like—“ Namjoon fumbles around for the words, looking up to meet Yoongi’s eyes. “It’s like more than a few years, yeah? Like—like really long. I don’t know how that’s possible, or why I’m getting that—that vibe off the both of you, but that’s how I see it,”

Again, Yoongi doesn’t see any fault in Namjoon’s statements, because he’s not wrong. In fact, he’s correct. More right than he probably ever hoped to be—more right than he hopes he is, because there are truths you open readily to your friends, and then there are truths that you’d rather keep cradled to your chest.

Once, Yoongi had thought that he could keep the truth for what he felt about Hoseok cradled close to him. That had been once, because now—

Now, Yoongi is afraid he’s as open and as readable as a book, if Namjoon’s thoughts are anything to go by.

“Y’know, it’s just—he’s my friend,” Yoongi murmurs, but knows immediately that that’s the wrong thing to say, because Namjoon snorts. He’s seemingly more awake tonight than he has ever been the whole week, and Yoongi’s sort of missed this—is glad they’re doing this tonight, even if all Namjoon’s doing (probably by Seokjin’s urging, too) is try and get Yoongi to open up, which isn’t working, not exactly. “My best friend,”

Hell, or whoever is down there and listening, Yoongi hopes that wherever Hoseok is, he won’t ever know Yoongi’s said something like that—god, what will he do if he finds out? Probably laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and call Yoongi his best friend—his favourite person, too, which is enough to make Yoongi want to run head-first into a speeding bullet train (he’ll survive, of course, but the train won’t, which is the problem in this equation).

“Yeah, it just—it just shows on your face a lot, sometimes,” Namjoon passes Yoongi another drink, noticing that he’s out of the first one already. “And what’s that about the whole betting thing? Is that just—is that just some weird courtship, or what?”

This time, Yoongi actually blanches, and almost chokes on a chicken wing. He manages to push it all down by downing the entire bottle of beer, and then, with his voice much too hoarse from that whole ordeal, says, “It’s just a game. We got bored one day and now it’s long-running,”

“Huh,” Namjoon muses, moving up to the couch to sit next to Yoongi, afraid that Yoongi might die if he chokes on another bone. “Jin hyung and I actually made a bet on that. I said it was nothing and he was sure you were both just trying to impress each other,”

Yoongi doesn’t have it in him to say what the fuck instead, he just says, “What did you bet on?”

“Fifty bucks, more or less,” well, isn’t that a lot of money to bet on two of their friends’ weird obsession on the whole betting thing. Talk about irony. “But now that we’ve talked about it, I see why Jin hyung could’ve said that, yeah,”

First of all, Yoongi wants to laugh—and then choke on another chicken bone so Namjoon can finally shut up and feel guilty for almost killing Yoongi twice. But Yoongi doesn’t laugh, although he does crack a very begrudging smile and says, “Who knows, really,”

Because now that Namjoon’s mentioned it, Yoongi’s starting to realise that everything that led to this day—to the both of them in the middle of this odd group of friends—has all been because of Hoseok, and although Yoongi doesn’t try day in and day out, he does, in retrospect, realise that he’s always wanted to make Hoseok happy.

Give him what he wants. And it’s so easy, too, when Yoongi can hardly decline Hoseok anything. It’s just—it’s just not possible, to say no to Hoseok—to the most extraordinary being Yoongi has ever had the chance to meet. It just doesn’t work like that, not in Hell, and quite clearly not on Earth as well.

“I think you’re supposed to know,” this time, Namjoon finally laughs, shoulders relaxing, and his face lighting up. It must be because Yoongi looks more relaxed now, too, the smile on his face much more friendly than when he’d choked on the chicken.

“Maybe,” Yoongi muses, though he doesn’t really want to get into it. “But really, it’s all up in the air,”

“But the fifty dollars,” Namjoon laughs louder this time, head shaking.

Yoongi laughs with him, too, because trust both him and Hoseok to drag everyone into starting their own bets amongst each other. “Guess we’ll know when we’ll know.”

Which isn’t exactly the most reassuring thing ever, but there are a few things Yoongi thinks he might want to know for certain, and he’s sure a fifty dollar bet can wait.

 

 

The evening Yoongi tries to tell Hoseok about what Namjoon had said is also the same evening that he finally, finally gives in to the very human, very real practice of putting a label on things.

So he’s in love with Hoseok, big deal. Yoongi thinks he’s loved him way before the beach incident, before the drive. Before the Earth tilted slightly off its axis after that. Hell, Yoongi knows for a fact that he’s loved him well before they’d even arrived on Earth.

Too long, Yoongi knows, but not long enough, given that there hasn’t been anything between them, except—

Except for a bond so strong, Yoongi thinks he’ll gladly try to formulate a plan to steal all the stars from the sky just so he can embroider them into Hoseok’s blanket, so he’s surrounded by stars all the time, protected by the very cosmos when he sleeps. That’s a good thought—one Yoongi should really start to plan, if he wants to get it done in this lifetime, or maybe in the second one, since the universe doesn’t really take too kindly to demons trying to snatch stars from the sky (and we all know how the first falling star had started, honestly , they don’t have the best of reputations, but Yoongi tries.).

Hoseok’s arrival is announced by the chiming of the little wind chimes just above the door. Yoongi hears him toe off his shoes, his scarf and coat discarded somewhere by the living room. Immediately, Hoseok pads sock-footed to the kitchen, where Yoongi’s sat on the counter, a steaming cup of Jasmine tea in his hands.

“Anything for me?” Hoseok asks, smile nice. Almost too angelic, which is saying something, because Yoongi’s seen actual angels smile, and majority of them have got nothing on Hoseok’s.

“Always got something for you,” Yoongi says, placing his cup down so he can pour hot water in another one, passing it over to Hoseok who joins him up on the counter, their knees knocking together.

It is quiet, for a moment, Yoongi with only his thoughts, and the sound of his heart, telling him that this is it, that he loves Hoseok, and what of it, really, when love is supposed to be a bright and wonderful thing, and—

And that’s exactly what Yoongi feels, now. No more conflict, no more wanting to keep it all bottled up, tight in his fist, and clenched against his heart, because this time, he has a good feeling about it.

But instead of telling Hoseok, quite casually, that he’s loved him all this while, Yoongi chooses to say, “So Jeongguk called me his brother today,”

Hoseok looks at him side-ways, cup raised to his lips. “Shit that’s—that’s something,”

That’s something very profound, Yoongi thinks, for another being—a human, of all things—to look Yoongi in the eye and say, Hyung, you know I think of you as my brother, right?

And that had been a beautiful conversation all on it’s own, when Yoongi made do on his promise of helping Jeongguk along, because Yoongi’s always been known for his good luck. For his prediction (which almost, always fails when he’s playing these games with Hoseok, but that’s a speculation for another day).

“I know you’ll make it wherever you choose to go, yeah?” Yoongi had said, giving Jeongguk’s shoulder a gentle squeeze.

The only thing Jeongguk had been able to say after a particularly stressful day was, “How do you know that?”

“Because I have a knack for good things, Gguk,” Yoongi had said, quite gently. “And you’re one of the best things I’ve ever known.”

Just the memory of that is enough to make Yoongi smile, and Hoseok takes it as enough proof that Jeon Jeongguk proclaiming Yoongi as someone he thinks of as his family is beautiful—more than beautiful, to be honest. Absolutely amazing.

“It was really nice, actually,” Yoongi pours more water into his cup, enjoying the faint smell of the tea before he takes another good sip. “Which brings me to my point for the evening,”

At that, Hoseok giggles. “This isn’t a presentation, just—just get on with it, yeah?”

By their feet, Mickey starts to yelp, wanting their attention.

Hoseok jumps off the counter so he can sit on the kitchen floor with Mickey, who makes himself comfortable on Hoseok’s lap almost immediately, head tilted back to allow Hoseok access under his chin, and behind his ears.

“Hey, I thought this over really hard,” Yoongi’s smiling this time, too. “But yeah, I thought—you know that bet we had, about trying to ruin their lives little by little?”

“Yeah, just the other day you tried to set a dog loose on Taehyung and instead of terrorising the poor child, he fell in love,” Hoseok snickers at that, and Yoongi does, too, because just the thought of Taehyung falling all over himself for a tiny black puppy is enough to get anyone’s spirits up. “He texted me this morning, said he named it Tan. Isn’t that cute?”

Mickey barks at him, and Hoseok and Yoongi both laugh,. “Of course you’re cuter, baby,” Yoongi calls from his spot on the counter. “You’re our favourite.”

The dog seems to understand exactly what he’d said, because he nods his furry little head before he goes back to letting Hoseok pet him again.

“Anyway, as I was saying—“ Yoongi starts again, but Hoseok raises his head up to look at him, shakes his head, and then cuts him off by saying,

“You wanna call it off, that’s fine,” Hoseok doesn’t sound too upset by that. “But if you conceded first, then does it mean I win?”

God, Yoongi might love the idiot, but he’ll also readily throw Hoseok into an active volcano anytime. Maybe push him into traffic—he hasn’t done that in a while, so they’re due on that.

“First, shut the fuck up,” but there’s no malice, no terseness in the way he talks, because it’s difficult to be annoyed when Hoseok’s eyes are glittering with barely contained excitement, when he’s practically fucking shining, the only light they need in this cold winter evening. “Second, I mean we stop trying to ruin their lives with one last bet, yeah?”

Hoseok gathers Mickey in his arms so he can stand up in one fluid motion, grin stretched across his face. Ecstatic.

“One more before we officially retire?” Right, because retiring from trying to ruin their friends’ days by the most minuscule of things is such a big deal, but Yoongi knows how important this whole betting thing is for Hoseok—because of this insane, mildly inappropriate game, they’d both gotten their asses out of Hell and into Earth. Found friends.

Family, even.

“No more taking turns trying to see when Seokjin actually gets a heart attack from thinking he’s slipping in front of twenty people, but how about we finally kickstart that brooding, pining, painful bullshit going on between Namjoon and Jimin, sound like a plan?”

“It sounds like a bet, darling,” Hoseok is so, so ecstatic, that he crashes into Yoongi, arms thrown around his neck, and smile pressed into the crook of Yoongi’s neck, the laugh that trips past his lips one that Yoongi will always remember, because it’s also the first laugh that Yoongi interrupts, cutting Hoseok off with a kiss, palm cupping Hoseok’s cheek, waiting, waiting, not even daring to breathe until Hoseok kisses him back, much fiercer, with a fire that licks at Yoongi’s inside. That makes his blood sing.

When they pull away, Hoseok’s smiling, something wild and devilish but also something beautiful and heart-aching, because Yoongi’s just kissed that smile off his face only for Hoseok to come back in full force, eyes shining, and smile so, so bright, Yoongi can’t look away even if it starts to blind him.

“God, I thought you’d never do that,” Hoseok breathes out, voice so, so soft, Yoongi’s heart gives a squeeze.

Yoongi presses his fingers gently into Hoseok’s cheek, and then says, the softness of his voice betraying his words, “If the Devil heard you swear to God like that, he’d have you flayed.”

 

 

Somehow, somehow, somefuckinghow , through some weird twist of fate—which was actually just the both of them refusing to lose this last bet on their friends—Yoongi and Hoseok find themselves out with both Namjoon and Jimin, the latter of the two looking like he’s absolutely ready to either deck Yoongi or push Hoseok into traffic (which makes two of them at this point).

It’s Jimin who breaks the silence after dinner, when they’re all headed to a local pub that they’ve grown to love over the past few months. “Hey, it’s nice you asked us to come on your date,”

Yoongi visibly flinches at that word and Hoseok chokes on air, because they’ve never done that—never had anything like a date before but now that Yoongi thinks about it, perhaps the movie had been similar to a date, too. Except—

Except now that Yoongi’s started thinking about love and whatever else that may come with it, he supposes that a date may very well be high up on that list. But it’s still so weird, to be associated with something so human like dating—as if relationships weren’t human enough, but at least in the Underworld, whenever people decided to get together, that was it. Courtship may just be a lost art left alone to the angels, because the demons sure as hell know how to get straight to business—

Which doesn’t explain how it’s taken Yoongi so fucking long to just grab Hoseok by the collar of his shirt and kiss him, but hey, what exactly is long in the life of an immortal, anyway?

“A date,” Hoseok repeats, fingers grazing against Yoongi’s. If anything, this new development between them had been a quiet one—which is surprising, knowing them. Hoseok seems to have thrown that whole concept of quiet and low-key out the window when he tangles his fingers with Yoongi’s. “Huh, you could even say it’s a double date,”

This time, Yoongi knows Hoseok is trying to get back at Jimin with that comment, the all too pleased smirk on their faces enough for Jimin to know that there had been a development here that only left him behind.

But not for long, because Namjoon flushes at the comment, cheeks turning a rosy pink, and Jimin, who had looked like he was ready to just throw it all away and maybe grab Namjoon’s hand away from the heathens that are Yoongi and Hoseok, now looks much more subdued, seeing the visible change in Namjoon.

“Is this a double date?” Jimin asks, looking up at Namjoon this time.

Hoseok gives Yoongi’s hand a squeeze, and Yoongi steps closer towards him, practically on edge with suspense, because this is it, and these two idiots have been dancing around each other for years, Jimin practically throwing himself at Namjoon to no avail, until—

Until Namjoon nods, just the slightest bit, and laughs, in that surprised laugh that he always laughs whenever he’s caught off guard but doesn’t find the situation too bad. “I mean, if you want it to be,”

“Fuck yeah I want it to be a date,” Jimin is positively glowing now, eyes wide and bright, and his smile so, so big, it has Namjoon smiling right back at him, bashfulness pushed right down the subway steps and away because there’s no time for that, not when you’ve got one Park Jimin looking up at you like you hung the stars in the sky yourself. “I’ve wanted it to be a date for so long—“

“There he goes,” Hoseok says, rather dreamily. “Our son, all grown up,”

Yoongi feigns swooning into Hoseok’s arms, their snickers all too playful when Jimin throws a middle finger their way. “We’re so proud,”

It’s not until much, much later, when they’re all a little bit tipsy—well, Namjoon and Jimin, anyway, because demons hardly ever get tipsy (somehow, Hoseok is always the exception to a lot of these rules)—that Jimin leans across the table and smacks a hand none too gently on the surface, rattling the empty shot glasses, and says, “You did this,”

Yoongi only blinks at him.

Hoseok throws an arm around Yoongi’s shoulder, drawing him closer to his side so he can nuzzle against his cheek, his smile for Jimin more mischievous than anything. Yoongi can feel it radiating off of him—this new unbridled energy, a zing almost, just because of the success of one of their better—their best—plan.

“And what if we did?” here Hoseok lets his words drop very slowly, because Jimin’s already had one too many shots, face red, but not at all pissed. He looks—happy, even. Relieved, finally, that things have worked out.

Namjoon doesn’t look too far away, either, though the tips of his ears are red. But other than that, he seems to be just as pleased as Jimin, if only much more minute about it.

“I can’t decide whether I should kick both your asses or maybe give you my life,” Jimin stage-whispers dramatically, which gets both Yoongi and Hoseok laughing, Yoongi collapsing against Hoseok’s side, face buried in his shoulder as Hoseok holds him through it, all the while leaving light kisses in his hair. “And this—whatever this is between you two, God fucking bless that union.”

 

 

The night ends with Yoongi and Hoseok watching Namjoon and Jimin leave with their fingers loosely tangled between them. It’s cute, it really is, especially when you take into account how it had been through their combined efforts that this was made possible.

So neither of them won this bet, but that’s fine—they’re both still going home with their hands laced together, too, and Yoongi thinks that that’s a better win than any bet, really.

They take the long-way around back to their apartment, ducking into a cab because it’s nearly half past two in the morning. Hoseok practically spills into Yoongi’s lap, the smile on his face when he looks up at Yoongi one that Yoongi will remember for a long, long time, because it’s also the last thing he sees before Hoseok runs his fingers through the back of Yoongi’s hair and drags him down for a kiss so, so chaste, Yoongi’s fingers ache—everything in him aches.

“Job well done, Min Yoongi,” Hoseok murmurs, leaving one final kiss to the edge of Yoongi’s mouth before he pulls him out of the cab just so he can drag him up the long and winding stairs leading up to their apartment.

But they don’t stumble around in the dark, though. They don’t even fall into the couch or the bed, instead, they fall on the wooden bench they’ve kept outside, because it might be a chilly evening, but that’s hardly ever a problem for the likes of them.

When they’re both settled, Yoongi with his head leaned against Hoseok’s shoulder, and Hoseok playing with Yoongi’s fingers, he hears Hoseok breathe out a sigh and then ask, “That wasn’t weird at all, was it?”

Yoongi pulls on Hoseok’s thumb, a way of acknowledging the question. “What do you mean?”

“I mean—the whole date thing, I guess,” Hoseok sounds a little bit nervous this time, earlier bravado around Namjoon and Jimin gone as they both end up leaning into each other out here on the rooftop, the chilly November air brushing against their cheeks, tinging it a rosy and pretty pink.

“Hoseok,” Yoongi pushes himself off of Hoseok, raising a hand up to cup at Hoseok’s cheek. It’s warm, of course it is. Hoseok is always warm. His laugh is enough to get Yoongi through the coldest of winters. “Don’t be ordinary like that,”

But Yoongi’s smiling, anyway, because they’ve clearly never done that. Never called anything a date, of all things. He thinks it’s got a nice ring to it—that it not only sounds nice, but that he can get used to it, too.

“That was okay, then?” Hoseok asks, eyes crinkling in the corners when Yoongi nods. “So does that mean we can go on more?”

Yoongi is caught a little off guard by that question because all he can do is blink his eyes at Hoseok, a little loss for only a fraction of a moment, but it’s enough for Hoseok to drag Yoongi right into his lap, Yoongi’s legs falling on either side of Hoseok’s, one hand now cradling the base of his neck, and god , the look on Hoseok’s face as he stares at Yoongi, teeth worrying on his bottom lip, waiting, waiting, waiting.

“I said don’t be ordinary,” Yoongi repeats, although there’s a hitch in his voice at how close they both are, all of a sudden. How Yoongi’s literally on top of Hoseok now, fingers applying gentle pressure onto his neck. “I didn’t mean for it to be the last,”

Hoseok’s answering smile betrays the thundering of his heart—Yoongi knows, because he can feel it, finger resting on Hoseok’s pulse.

“Really?” Hoseok asks, one last time, and Yoongi rolls his eyes, because Hoseok can be a little complicated sometimes—see also: a lot—and he can also be a pain in the ass, such as now.

So, instead of answering him, Yoongi just kisses him a little bit harder than normal, hand sliding around his neck so he can tangle it in Hoseok’s hair, tugging gently until Hoseok kisses him back, fits himself right against Yoongi, with his hand slipping under Yoongi’s shirt to rest on the small of his back, the other one on Yoongi’s hip, holding him still, holding him steady as he kisses back up with just as much energy, just as much fierceness he can muster.

It starts like a bonfire—just a few sparks until it finally gains momentum for flames enough to keep an entire campsite warm.

That’s exactly how Yoongi feels, now, when they manage to stumble back into their apartment, shoes discarded somewhere in the living room, clothes and scarves and coats a messy trail of the night’s event as it all leads back into their shared bedroom— their bedroom, really.

Hoseok, who pulls Yoongi into the bed with him, warm hands so, so gentle, Yoongi wonders if there’s anything Hoseok is capable of hurting—probably nothing, and Yoongi revels in that truth, because for a demon, Hoseok has always been so different. The farthest thing from ordinary.

“Y’know, I’ve always wanted to do this,” Hoseok huffs, breath warm against the crook of Yoongi’s neck and shoulder.

Yoongi has enough gal to ask, “What, to kiss me or to get me off?”

When Hoseok promptly throws him off of his lap for that comment, Yoongi doesn’t blame him, but he does laugh at Hoseok, who hovers over him with an exasperated look on his face that quickly morphs into one of excitement when Yoongi shivers at his touch—not because Hoseok’s fingers are cold, never, but because Hoseok’s finally, finally got a hand on his dick, fingers loosely circling it, movements slow because he seems to be watching, waiting—

And Yoongi realises it a beat too late, too enthralled by the look on Hoseok’s face, that Hoseok’s waiting for him. For a signal, for anything.

“Hoseok, I swear to Lucifer , if you said all that just to leave me hanging—“

This time, it’s Hoseok’s turn to laugh, cutting himself off just so he can kiss Yoongi again, teeth catching on Yoongi’s bottom lip.

Yoongi thinks that Hoseok will be the death of him, he really will be, especially with the way he’s trying to jerk him off, hand working expertly down Yoongi’s cock. He strokes Yoongi to his own orgasm, and Yoongi lets out a low whimper, fingers scrabbling around Hoseok’s shoulder to pull him closer.

Hoseok is compliant enough, especially for someone Yoongi almost knees right in the gut with how he’s trying to push him back down into the bed.

What a sight it is to see Hoseok’s orange hair splayed around the stark white bedsheets—Hoseok’s lips kiss-swollen and so, so pink, Yoongi wants to kiss him for the next few hours again.

But he doesn’t, instead, he runs his fingers down Hoseok’s stomach, stopping only at the waistband of his boxers, and says, “Okay, your turn,”

Yoongi barely gives Hoseok enough time before he’s pulling his boxers down and throwing it over his shoulder to join the pile of discarded clothes by the floor. Yoongi starts stroking Hoseok, fingers squeezing at the base and then loosening the slightest bit when he reaches the tip.

Hoseok doesn’t even have it in him to tell Yoongi to slow down because Yoongi’s going down on him in the next second, lips wrapped around Hoseok’s cock. It takes him a few moments to adjust to the weight on his tongue, but once he does, he manages to set a good rhythm for himself and Hoseok, who’s alternating between squeezing the bed sheets and running his fingers through Yoongi’s hair, voice going all high and beautiful and pitched when he says,

“I really didn’t think all I needed to do was wine and dine you but—“ Yoongi cuts that dumb train of thought by hallowing his cheeks and taking Hoseok even deeper, because he might love the idiot but that still leaves the fact that Hoseok is the only idiot who’ll try to crack a joke during sex, and if Hell won’t freeze over just because of that attempt then Yoongi will make sure to throw Hoseok’s ass down there to make up for it.

Hoseok’s fingers tighten in Yoongi’s hair whenever Yoongi takes him deeper, and Yoongi revels in this, too, at how easily he can pull Hoseok apart, how wonderful—how pretty he looks with his face flushed and his hair sticking to his forehead. Perhaps Yoongi just likes blowjobs more than the average person but when it’s Hoseok—

Yoongi thinks this might just be one of the modern miracles of life everyone always loves to talk about.

Hoseok comes with a barely gritted out, “Yoongi—oh my days , Yoongi, fuck—“ and Yoongi takes him in, swallowing the bitter taste of cum and then rising back up to his knees, fingers running through his messed up hair.

“Good?” Yoongi asks, not meaning to sound smug or anything—especially not when his voice is gruff and scratchy.

“I swear I started seeing God,” Hoseok says rather breathlessly, arms opening for Yoongi to crawl into—and even with a comment like that, Yoongi relents, because he’s waited a long fucking time to do that, too.

“One of these days the Devil’s going to find us and then he’ll drag your ass back to Hell personally for that comment,” Yoongi murmurs into Hoseok’s bare shoulder, and Hoseok just shakes in quiet laughter. “I can’t wait for it,”

“You’re going to miss me,” Hoseok is a bit more pouty after an orgasm, a fact that Yoongi tucks away into an important folder in the forefront of his mind. For future use—for as much as possible, honestly.

Yoongi kisses his way up Hoseok’s jaw, stopping only when he reaches the corner of Hoseok’s mouth, “You forget that I can just walk right into Hell. They’ll probably have a banquet ready for me, too,”

The smile that curves up against Hoseok’s lips is beautiful—angelic, because that’s the only way to describe it.

But Hoseok beats him to the punch, though, when he lifts his head up to kiss Yoongi, lips sliding gently against each other, this time more to feel and to taste than anything. Gone is the desperation from earlier. All that’s left is a very quiet, very sated energy that radiates off the both of them.

A post-orgasm high, or something like that.

“You’re really beautiful, you know that?” Hoseok’s voice is barely above a whisper, his fingers carding through Yoongi’s hair so tenderly, Yoongi can close his eyes and hear the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Can hear the sound of the flames licking up against the firewood. He can hear it all, even the twinkling of the stars, but most importantly—the catch in Hoseok’s breath when Yoongi looks him in the eye and smiles.

“I guess now I do,” Yoongi kisses Hoseok slowly, quietly, because this is something Yoongi wants to last for a long, long time, and Hoseok complies easily, his smile growing even brighter whenever Yoongi peppers a kiss to his nose, and then on his cheek.

They settle into the warm sheets with a final kiss that Hoseok presses rather sloppily to Yoongi’s forehead—it leaves the both of them laughing into each other, Yoongi’s head pillowed on Hoseok’s chest. This is good. Nice.

This is wonderful, and Yoongi almost falls asleep, eyes starting to get heavy, when he hears Hoseok gasp, eyes alight as he points to the crack in their curtains revealing a sliver of their window.

“It’s snowing,” Hoseok says, squeezing gently on Yoongi’s shoulder. “Make a wish,”

Yoongi doesn’t point out how the whole wish thing is only for the first snow of the year, because the look on Hoseok’s face is priceless. For a demon to love the snow and the cold so much, it’s almost insane, but here Hoseok is, burning warmer than ever, with his arms wrapped around Yoongi, eyes closed as he makes a wish on the first snowfall of the winter season.

Even though it isn’t the first snow fall of the year, even though Yoongi’s never really made a wish once in his life, he still closes his eyes and tries, for Hoseok, because there’s something about being wrapped up all warm and snug and comfortable, looking out the window to see snow slowly starting to coat the rest of the city in a thin sheen of white, that’s almost magical.

Yoongi says almost, because he knows that the true magic is the way Hoseok’s heartbeat can lull Yoongi to sleep.

 

 

Seoul is a mess of snow and ice, and Yoongi and Hoseok have had it up to here with wanting to go on a picnic but unable to so they do the next best thing—and no, they don’t set half a meadow on fire just so they can enjoy that picnic with their dog Mickey.

Although that seems like a wonderful idea.

Unfortunately, they do something as lacklustre as just shadow traveling to the nearest city without snow. They wind up a few towns away, and that’s fine, because it’s still a little bit cold, but without the presence of snow, it might as well be perfect for them.

They never minded the cold before, they’re not gonna start now.

But instead of shadow-traveling up to the top of the mountain, Yoongi says, “We should hike,”

Hoseok slaps a hand to his chest in feigned surprise and gasps, “Baby, is that you? Are you okay? Mister-If-It’s-Fifty-Meters-Away-Then-I’ll-Have-To-Shadow-Travel?”

Yoongi bends down to clip Mickey’s leash off, allowing the Hell-hound more freedom to run around.

Mickey starts without them, barking for them to follow him.

Yoongi pinches Hoseok by the tip of his nose and says, “One day, Jung Hoseok, I’m going to throw you into an active volcano myself,”

Hoseok snickers at that, leaning in to try and kiss Yoongi, but Yoongi is too quick, pulling away from him to trudge behind Mickey, who’s leading the way.

Behind him, Yoongi hears Hoseok groan something along the lines of Yoongi being the absolute worst, and Yoongi just shakes his head, the smile on his face far too fond for someone who’s up and ready to hike at four in the morning.

They manage to set a good pace for them, Mickey leading. The dog seems to be much, much happier now that they’re out in the wild because he starts to run even faster, Yoongi and Hoseok hurrying to catch up after him.

What was supposed to be a calm, relaxing hike early in the morning to catch the sunrise as it starts turns into a race to the top, with Hoseok tripping over his feet trying to hurry up, the big ass tote bag he’s got slung on his shoulder weighing him down enough for him to start whining about how unfair it is that he’s the one who’s carrying all the things when this had all been Yoongi’s plan.

Yoongi just finds himself laughing along Hoseok, at Hoseok, with Hoseok, most especially, and even though it’s all for show, Hoseok still tries to smack Yoongi with the bag.

With the top in sight, Yoongi reaches out to grab Hoseok’s hand, their fingers lacing together the second Hoseok realises what’s happening.

They share a smile that can only be explained as waking up right next to your one favourite person—even if they’re the farthest thing away from a bed and from waking up, that’s what Yoongi feels.

As if Hoseok is enough reason for the cogs to turn, for the Earth to tilt a little off its axis, because Hoseok’s finally, finally managed to pull Yoongi along with him to the top of the mountain, face drenched in the sleepy glow of five in the morning.

Four things happen, almost in quick succession.

Yoongi trips over a vine and lands in Hoseok’s arms.

Mickey barks for them to follow after him, because it looks like he’s found the perfect spot just underneath a large oak tree.

Hoseok looks over his shoulder for a second, then steadies his gaze back at Yoongi, mouthing the words, “I got you, I got you,” over and over again, a quiet litany, a promise for today, for tomorrow, and all the days to come.

And then the sky erupts in a warm orange and red, the sunrise looking as magnificent as it always does.

The fifth thing that happens is almost as magical as the sunset, because Yoongi tightens his hold around Hoseok’s arm, and says, “I love you,”

It bubbles out of him like a confession and a promise, all rolled into one.

Hoseok looks absolutely beautiful, suspended in time, lashes so long they graze the tops of his cheeks when he blinks in confusion one second, and then total understanding the next.

It doesn’t take much to get Hoseok to blush, what had been a warm glow from the sun now a flush of pink that brushes over his cheeks, mouth open slightly as if he can’t quite decide what to say next.

Yoongi takes his hand in his and then slowly starts to pull away from him, his smile patient. Understanding, because Yoongi’s taken at least the better part of the century to reach this, to actually say the words. If he’s waited on himself that long, he can wait for Hoseok to say it back whenever he wants, whenever he finally feels it.

“Wait, hold on—“ Hoseok says, sounding breathless. He drops the bag to the ground, startling Mickey who’s been rolling around by their feet. “Give me—give me a second here,”

When Yoongi makes to tug him along, Hoseok refuses to move, pulling on Yoongi’s hand instead.

The blush on his face is more prominent now, his words coming out more stuttered than ever as he tries to process what Yoongi had just said.

“Are you—“ Yoongi realises it a little too late, just how flustered Hoseok is. But it doesn’t mean it makes it less adorable, because Hoseok is nervous. Actually fucking nervous, just because Yoongi had said he loves him. “Hoseok, you’re burning up,” more so than usual, but it’s not something to be alarmed at. Instead, it’s something that Yoongi snickers at, because Hoseok’s adorable .

He’s pretty and beautiful and sun-drenched but most importantly, he’s adorable, unable to handle Yoongi actually telling him he loves him in a totally different way this time.

“No, I’m not, and besides—you can’t just spring that up on someone. I mean—you’ve never said that,” the look on Yoongi’s face must show the sudden hurt he feels, because Hoseok immediately backtracks. “I mean—of course you’ve said that. I’ve said that, but not like this—not when it means this ,”

This being the both of them now, on top of a goddamn mountain overlooking the rest of the city, still asleep, still trying to chase after the last dredges of the night.

“I mean it like I did before,” Yoongi says, looking up at Hoseok with all the seriousness he can muster. “And I mean it in a totally different way, now,”

Hoseok makes a noise that’s something between a screech and a high-pitched wail, and before Yoongi even knows what’s happening, Hoseok’s rushing into his arms, Hoseok’s arms coming around Yoongi in a hug as he buries his face in the crook of Yoongi’s neck and shoulder, the smile on his face so, so evident when it presses against Yoongi’s warm skin.

Warmer, now.

“You’re impossible, you know that?” Hoseok whispers into Yoongi’s neck, though there’s no malice. “But—but I love you, too,”

Do you know that? Hoseok seems to say, the kisses he presses to the base of Yoongi’s neck sweet and tender.

Hoseok kisses his way up Yoongi’s neck, along his jaw, until he reaches his cheek, pressing the softest, lightest kiss he can there, before he turns around to raise two warm, gentle, so, so gentle hands to frame Yoongi’s face, holding him steady as he kisses him close-mouthed and tender, the promise of the whole world and Heaven and Hell, too, sealed in this one quiet kiss that Yoongi instantly melts into, hands coming around to settle on Hoseok’s hips.

“I love you in all the ways someone can be loved,” Yoongi says, when they pull apart. He brushes his fingers through Hoseok’s fringe, his hair looking much lighter under the bright orange glow of the sunrise.

Hoseok catches Yoongi’s hand in his, lacing their fingers together. “I love you through Hell and back.”

Yoongi grins at that, a devilish grin that rings ever true to who he is. It matches Hoseok’s own grin, their eyes glinting something other than brown—an orange and a green that matches Mickey’s when he transforms back into a Hell-hound.

“Through Hell and back.” Yoongi echoes, squeezing on Hoseok’s hand.

There are certain wishes you can make on the first snow fall of the year—or of the season. And then there are promises you can actually say to each other on top of a mountain with your Hell-hound for a dog and the sunrise the only witness.

It is more than enough. More than Yoongi can ever hope for.

 

 

Park Jimin’s ballet recital is all kinds of beautiful and powerful—Jimin moves on stage with the grace of a swan drifting above the water, so, so graceful, one can’t help but just stand on the outskirts of the lake, mouth hanging open in awe, and eyes glistening with unshed tears as Jimin moves to the melody, bringing everyone along with him for the ride.

Hoseok laces their fingers together and Yoongi leans in to give him a quick kiss on his cheek after a particularly moving piece that has Jimin breathing heavily on stage, hand poised high up and head held high.

Beside them, Seokjin gives a very distracted cough that’s all too obvious is fake, and Yoongi has half the mind to maybe jab him right in the ribs but instead he just turns to him with a grimace that has Seokjin smiling brightly at as he mouths congratulations to him.

Hoseok doesn’t notice but that’s only because now he’s trying to calm Namjoon down, who’s starting to look like he just can’t anymore—Namjoon is all sorts of overwhelmed and floored, and it’s nice, Yoongi thinks, that their friends have finally, finally gotten to this stage.

(Said friends can probably say the same about them, but really, Yoongi doesn’t want to hear it. He hears it enough from Hoseok.)

It’s no surprise that Namjoon cries watching Jimin dance. Not even a surprise when Taehyung follows shortly after, Yoongi finally taking pity on the poor boy by offering him a napkin that he manages to fish out of his own pocket.

Taehyung takes it gratefully, leaning across Hoseok to accept Yoongi’s kind gesture by giving his hand a squeeze. Yoongi smiles at him, whispers that it’ll all be fine when they get their cake, and Taehyung smiles, because Yoongi’s right. Everything is better when cake is involved.

Finally, as the recital draws to an end, and they’re all brought to their feet, clapping for the entire ensemble, with Jimin straight in the middle, eyes searching the crowd, trying, trying, trying until he finally finds them a few rows up, eyes actually sparkling when he looks at them, his smile nothing short of beautiful.

They find their way backstage shortly after that, Yoongi and Hoseok choosing to stay a few steps behind from everyone else, a box of cake in one of Hoseok’s hands, and the other holding onto Yoongi’s tightly.

“This is it,” Hoseok whispers, bringing their heads close together. “If I win, you take me out on a date,”

Yoongi wants to tell him that they’re always going out on dates now that they’ve established what dates are, but Hoseok cuts him off with a quick peck to his cheek.

“To Paris, because I’m not cheap,” Hoseok smiles, far too innocently for someone of his nature. “And no funny business.”

Sometimes, Yoongi really hates him.

Most times, Hoseok’s cheekiness is endearing.

This falls under most times.

“And if I win, then we find another apartment. Something nice and bright, with a lot of space for Mickey to run around in—I want floor to ceiling windows in the living room, because I think it’d be nice to see you napping on the couch with the colour of the sunset as your background,” this is the most Yoongi’s ever expressed about wanting to move out, and Hoseok takes a deep breath, surprised. “I want all of that, Seok,”

“Shit,” Hoseok curses, teeth biting down on his bottom lip as an effort to keep his smile from spilling into something foolishly wide. “Shit, if you said that from the beginning, then fuck a bet—“

But Yoongi won’t have it, just tuts him quiet, and tugs him toward the rest of their friends, Namjoon with a bouquet of white and red roses in his hand, and his heart on his sleeve.

They watch in quiet bewilderment as Jimin spots them, eyes going wide as Taehyung and Jeongguk pull him in for a hug first, Taehyung already snapping photos of the next moments as soon as they pull away.

Seokjin gives Jimin’s perfectly styled hair a delicate pat, and then his cheek a smack of a kiss that Jimin blushes at but doesn’t object on, because Seokjin’s always been wonderful to him—to all of them, and then—

And then he looks at Namjoon, and Jimin absolutely loses it, eyes blinking quickly, as if he’s holding himself back.

When Namjoon reaches a hand out to him, as if in invitation, and says, “Congratulations, baby,” Jimin starts to cry—

Which is also around the same time he runs up to Namjoon, tackling him into a hug that sends the both of them sprawling on the carpeted floor, the bouquet discarded somewhere off to their side as Jimin buries his face in Namjoon’s shoulder, Namjoon wrapping an arm around his middle and laughing, trying to kiss the side of Jimin’s face he’s got access to.

“Come on, come on—you were beautiful, you deserve it all,” Namjoon coos right into Jimin’s ear, and Jimin’s really not having it, so overwhelmed by his last big recital of the year that he shakes his head and just holds onto Namjoon, even when the rest of his friends stand around them, equal parts amused and absolutely fond at the sight of their friends on the floor and so, so in love. It almost hurts to look at it, which is exactly why Taehyung only takes a few photos.

There are some things in life that you can’t always capture in a photograph. The beauty and magic of this one single moment is one of those things.

Later, when the drinks have all but been consumed, and the cake smeared on Jeongguk’s face, when the night finally dwindles down to an end and Yoongi finds himself alone with Hoseok again, chin hooked over Hoseok’s shoulder as Hoseok leans into him, humming a soft, soft tune under his breath.

“So, when do you wanna go apartment shopping?” Hoseok asks, tilting his head ever so slightly to give Yoongi more of an advantage as Yoongi sneaks in a quick kiss, their lips meeting briefly before Hoseok smiles against his lips, so sweet and innocent and spilling with love and admiration that it almost threatens to capsize the boat Yoongi’s trying so desperately to keep afloat.

“Tomorrow,” Yoongi says, voice sounding much too chipper for three in the morning. “Or—this morning. As soon as possible. We’re gonna find an apartment, move in with our one son and—and it’ll be great, don’t you think? You and me,”

Hoseok brings Yoongi’s hand up to his lips, presses a kiss to each knuckle, and murmurs, lips brushing against the inside of Yoongi’s wrist, “You and me, through hell and back.”

 

 

The first house warming gift they receive comes in the form of a small brown package, addressed from one Kim Taehyung, who’d left it at the doorstep at ass o’clock, along with a bag of muffins whose scrawl of a name at the top indicates that the baked goods had been from Jeongguk.

How the two of them are already up so early and didn’t even bother to knock is beyond Yoongi, but he accepts the gifts, anyway, making a mental note to give them both a call to invite them for dinner later, or tomorrow. Or the next day. They’ve got a lot of time, now.

Yoongi carefully opens the package, breath hitching when he sees what’s nestled inside.

It’s a hard-wood picture frame containing one photo from a few weeks ago.

It’s Yoongi and Hoseok at the beach, Hoseok with his head on Yoongi’s shoulder, and Yoongi with his eyes closed, fingers tangled with Hoseok’s. This is just seconds before Yoongi had opened his eyes.

Hoseok pads into the room then, hand rubbing at the back of his eyes to try to chase the sleep away. Behind him, Mickey follows after, tail already wagging in excitement for breakfast.

“What’s that?” Hoseok asks, voice gruff with sleep. “Is that— oh , that had been at the beach, right? Yeah, this is a good one,” Hoseok runs his thumbs on either side of the frame, smile starting to tug on the corners of his mouth. He looks flushed from the yellow sun that’s seeped in through their barely-there curtains, the beautiful light of eight in the morning spilling through their living room, floor to ceiling windows pushed open to welcome in the morning breeze.

“It’s thoughtful of Tae,” Yoongi says, taking the frame out of Hoseok’s hands so he can position it carefully on the coffee table, smile delicate, still warming up to the day. “Gguk got us breakfast, too. Scones and muffins, I think,”

“Great,” Hoseok kisses Yoongi’s cheek, lingering for a few moments to just lean into him. “We owe them one, I think,”

Yoongi wraps an arm around his middle, lips brushing gently against Hoseok’s cheek as his other hand slides through Hoseok’s hair, fingers tying to smooth the mess that sleep had made of his hair.

Hoseok just leans into Yoongi’s space, smile hidden against the base of Yoongi’s neck.

Mickey’s finally settled down on one of their new plush cushions when Hoseok breathes in deep and asks, voice barely above a whisper,

“You ever think about going back soon?”

Yoongi takes Hoseok’s face in his hands, thumb pressing gently into his cheeks. He waits until Hoseok lifts his eyes to look at him. Until Hoseok’s smile spills like sunshine on an early morning. It’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Yoongi won’t look away for even a second.

“This is home for now,” Yoongi says, pressing a close-mouthed kiss onto Hoseok’s lips.

Hoseok melts in his hold, hands slipping under Yoongi’s shirt to settle on his hip, hands warm against Yoongi’s bare skin.

“It is,” Hoseok says, blinking up stardust and sunshine. “Hell can wait.”

Hell can definitely wait because this new apartment and the life they’ve managed to land themselves in, the friends they’ve found along the way, this is—

“Our little slice of Heaven, don’t you think?” Yoongi says, smile so, so fond when Hoseok starts to laugh, bright and warm, and all the colours of the Spring sunrise.

“It is, it is,” Hoseok chimes, kissing Yoongi once on the top of his lips, and then another time on the tip of his nose. “Wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else.”