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Hiraeth (n) - homesickness for a home you can’t return to, or a home that never was





The sound of footsteps on marble echo as Seokjin walks through the halls. He winces at the sound, trying to make his steps as light as possible, but it’s nearly impossible for a man of his height and build to walk completely soundless, especially on marble tiles.

Well, unless he finally decides to follow his childhood dream of becoming a ninja. But that didn’t look like it would be coming true anytime soon.

As he walks, Seokjin tries to look around as little as possible. Something about this part of the mansion gave him chills. Maybe it’s the strange stillness in the air, the silence that is deafening in his emptiness. Maybe it is the grey curtains, letting in little to no light, making the beautiful hallway, with its gleaming paintings and statues seem as desolate as a graveyard. Or maybe it is the man he’s here to see.

He reaches his destination, a seemingly unassuming mahogany door, and pauses in front of it. He stands outside for a second, trying to steel his mind for the upcoming ordeal. It’ll be alright, he tries to convince himself, trying to ignore his sweaty hands and his heart slowly beating faster and faster. He raises his palm, and hesitates for a second, before finally knocking on the door.

For one tense second there is a deafening silence, and Seokjin’s lungs feel as though they are about to suffocate. Finally, a grunt sounds from beyond the door, and Seokjin takes that as permission to enter. He opens the door, trying not to wince at the cool steel of the doorknob against his sweaty palm.

The room inside is a quintessential study, with bookshelves lining the walls in every direction. There is a sofa to his right, a coffee table with a potted plant in front of it. On his left is a cupboard filled with various antiques and other valuable things, and stacks of books lying on the floor. In the middle of the room, there is a large brown desk, books and journals covering half the surface, with a laptop in the corner.

Sprawled in the armchair behind the desk is a man of short stature with a lazy look on his face, his cold dark eyes meeting Seokjin’s own. He is wearing an old t-shirt and, Seokjin guessed as he couldn’t see the man’s legs, sweatpants underneath, not an uncommon outfit for him. Despite his unassuming exterior, most people wouldn’t be fooled by the sleepy expression and the state of his clothes.

Sure, they haven’t experienced the way his words could cut into your soul and leave it nothing but broken shards of glass that would pierce you again and again, the way Seokjin has. But they probably do know that this is Min Yoongi, CEO of the famous Min Corporation, one of the most powerful companies in South Korea. And they know that Min Yoongi was ruthless, willing to succeed and achieve his goals at any cost.

Seokjin swallows, trying not to hunch his shoulders and appear as small as he felt, standing under Yoongi’s glacial gaze. He shivers at the cold temperature in the room ( of course Yoongi would keep his study as cold as his heart is) and pulls his sleeves down with his fingers, seeking warmth from the light pink sweater he was wearing. He doesn’t miss Yoongi’s disapproving gaze roaming up and down said sweater, but he honestly can’t bring himself to care.

He has already given Yoongi everything at this point, his soul, his tears, his happiness. Seokjin honestly thinks that if he lets go of what little freedom he has left in this household, he might be lost forever.

“Was there a reason you called me?” Seokjin asks, looking Yoongi in the eye.

“No, I just called you here for the shits and giggles. Seeing your face gives me so much joy”, The other man says in a deadpan tone, leaning back further into his armchair.

Once upon a time, Seokjin might have warned him that if he leaned back too far, he would fall. Now, he couldn’t help but hope the other man toppled to the ground. And that the books on the desk fell on his head.

“You didn’t answer my question”, Seokjin says with an unimpressed look on his face, trying to seem more confident than he really was.

Yoongi’s eyes narrow at him, but he doesn’t say anything. Instead, he reaches into one of the drawers in his desk, and pulls out a grey envelope. He carefully opens the envelope and takes out a grey card, handing it to Seokjin. Seokjin couldn’t help but notice that he purposefully kept his fingers as far away from Seokjin’s as possible.

He thinks my touch is that disgusting, Seokjin thinks with sad amusement.

The card has an intricate leaf design on it, and two very familiar insignias on it that gives Seokjin a hint to what this is about. Sure enough, when he opens the envelope, he sees the words “You are cordially invited to the wedding of...”

“Jungkookie and Jiminie are getting married?” He asks, glancing up at Yoongi, who is watching with a carefully neutral expression on his face.

A scowl appears on Yoongi’s face.

“Jungkook and Jimin”, he says, carefully emphasizing the names with a warning glance, “are getting married, yes. The wedding’s in one week.” Seokjin couldn’t help but scoff internally at his expression. He has known Jungkook since the younger boy was born but apparently nicknames are off-limits.

Seokjin stares at the card, reading through all the information on it. The actual wedding itself is in three weeks, but they have invited people a week early to have pre-celebrations with them and enjoy the resort. They are going to hold the wedding somewhere on a private resort, not unexpected for the multi-millionaires that they are.

Seokjin knows that there was no way Yoongi would let him go to the wedding. Yoongi generally hates him going anywhere with him but a wedding…

A wedding would make everything even worse, especially after what happened last time.

Seokjin thinks back to the drunken conversation he had with Jimin 7 years ago, where the other man had promised Seokjin that he could be the one to walk him down the aisle.

“You’re honestly more of my mom than my actual mom was”, Jimin had said with a flushed face and red cheeks, giggling into his drink.  At the time, Seokjin had laughed too, the idea too absurd to even think about. Now, he realizes, he won’t even get to see Jimin walk down the aisle.

“Tell them I give them all my love on their wedding”, Seokjin says, placing the card back on the table with a sad smile on his face, and turning away to leave the room.

“You can tell them yourself”, Yoongi says brusquely. “You’re coming with me.”

Seokjin pauses with his hands on the doorknob, turning around in shock.

“You’re taking me with you?” He asks, surprised at the other man’s words. Yoongi generally tried to keep him as away from his family as possible.

“I don’t want you infecting their happiness with your…”, He had said after they had gotten married, leaving the ending of the sentence open, though the look of utter disgust on his face had said enough.

He’s especially protective over Jungkook, his younger half-brother, who is possibly one of the sweetest people Seokjin had ever met. Seokjin sometimes longs for the days when Jungkook would come up to him during dinner parties, with the cute little way he said ‘hyung’ and ask if he could help distract the elders while him and Taehyung pulled some sort of prank.

Of course, in those days, Yoongi had cutely called Seokjin hyung as well.

Yoongi sighs, his hands brushing through locks of black hair. Seokjin hated the fact that he immediately focuses on the strain of the muscles on his hand, how strong and large they are compared to Seokjin’s own, despite the fact that Seokjin has more than a couple of inches on Yoongi. He hates how after all these years, after all the hatred spat at him and constant belittling, he still finds Yoongi one of the most attractive men he had ever met.

“I didn’t want to take you along”, Yoongi says.

Wow, what a surprise, Seokjin thought, rolling his eyes.

“But”, he continues on, “This is a major event in Jungkook’s life, and explaining your absence for their entire wedding would be more problems than it’s worth. So pack your suitcases.” He pauses. “Don’t take too many though. It’s only two weeks.”

Seokjin nods absentmindedly, mood brightening up at the idea of seeing Jungkook and Jimin again after so long. He had seen them briefly when they had dropped in for a surprise visit last year, but Yoongi hadn’t let him talk for too long, not wanting his brother to invite Seokjin to any hangouts or ask any questions about why he had been absent at almost all family functions for the four years him and Yoongi had been married. He longingly thinks of his own little brother Taehyung with sadness. He hasn’t seen Taehyung in even longer, the younger man having gone to Canada to study abroad for the past few years.

“You waited until the week before the wedding to tell me this?” Seokjin asks, the thought suddenly occurring to him.

Yoongi snorts.

“It’s not like you had any upcoming plans”, he says sardonically, referencing how Seokjin has barely left the prison they called their mansion throughout the course of their marriage.

Seokjin glares at him but merely hums, choosing to ignore his remark.

“Well, it’ll be nice to see them again after so long”, Seokjin says. There was no accusation in his tone but from the way Yoongi looks at him, he’s caught what the underlying meaning behind the statement. Yoongi doesn’t say anything in reply, simply gazing at him in the usual unnerving way he does.

Seokjin turns to leave, assuming that the conversation is over.

“Oh, and one last thing, Seokjin”, Yoongi says from behind him. Seokjin turns around to face the other man.

“If you do anything, anything , to ruin their wedding, I’ll fucking destroy you”, Yoongi says, his face completely and utterly serious.

-

 

(Min Yoongi is six years old when he decides that Kim Seokjin, heir to Kim Enterprises, is his soulmate. He’s not entirely sure what a soulmate is, but when he asked his mom, she had said that it’s a person you love more than the anyone else in the world, someone who can make you happy even you are sad, and make you feel things you never feel with anyone else. And that was how Yoongi felt with Seokjin.

Seokjin, even at seven, is one of the prettiest people Yoongi has ever seen, with his dark hair and almond-shaped eyes, and full pink lips. Yoongi can’t help but stare at him dumbfoundedly whenever he sees him.

“You know, Yoongichi, Seokjin usually says when this happens, eyes crinkled and a bright smile on his face, “If you keep your mouth open for too long you’re gonna catch flies!” Yoongi would inevitably turn red, and stutter his way through the following conversation, to the cooing of the older boy (and any adult who happened to witness this surprisingly common event).

Seokjin is like the sun, constantly brightening up the world around him with his light and his smiles. His laughter sounds like music to Yoongi’s ears, and it is this that leads to him to love music with all his heart and soul, that eventually persuades him to learn the piano, trying to find the perfect note that could encompass the sweetness of Seokjin’s laugh.

He never finds that note.)

 

Dinner that evening is cold and stiff as most of their interactions are. The fact that it is happening in the first place is a surprise. Generally, Yoongi tends to as far away from Seokjin as possible, going out of his way to stay late nights at work and come home long after Seokjin has gone to bed, or get dinner with his assistant or friends instead. Even when he is home, he tends to come down to the kitchen to make himself a plate before returning to his study or to his room.

However, this evening, Yoongi announces that they would be going over their plans for the wedding, leading to the current awkward conversation between them as they sit at a dinner table made to serve about 18 more guests than is currently present.

(“You know hyung”, Yoongi says conversationally, as they walk around the dining room, his hand in Seokjin’s own, “After we get married, we should have sex on this table.”

“Yah, so crude! This is where people eat, you pervert!” Seokjin scolds Yoongi.

“I can eat off of you, if you really want” Yoongi says teasingly. Seokjin pushes him in response, scolding him again, before looking around  the room.

“Why this table specifically?” He asks.

“Isn’t that a newly married couple thing? Christening every surface of your home?” Yoongi says, laughing as he moves away from Seokjin’s next hit.

“Well, Seokjin says, raising his eyebrows meaningfully at Yoongi as he tilts his head towards that the hallway that led to the entrance hall and the grand staircase, “That’s a lot of surfaces to christen.”

Yoongi smirks.

“I’m sure we’ll eventually get through all of them.”

“Yoongi-ah!”)

Seokjin lets out a soft sigh as he brings a bite of the japchae they were currently eating to his mouth. He lets his eyes wander around the room as he ate, taking in the chandelier above them and the the large paintings with golden frames on the walls he has seen hundreds of times before, trying to avoid looking the man currently sitting aside from him as much as possible.

However, it seem as though said man wouldn’t let that happen.

“Are you even listening to me, Seokjin?” Yoongi says sharply, interrupting his thoughts.

“Of course, I am”, Seokjin says, keeping his eyes on the painting behind Yoongi. It is of his late mother, an elegant regal women, who Seokjin barely remembers from his childhood memories of visiting the Mins’. She looks just as majestic in the painting as she did in Seokjin’s memories.

“This is serious”, Yoongi growls, banging his fist on the table, causing the silverware to clatter and Seokjin to instinctively flinch. “I get that marriage means absolutely nothing to you, but I actually want Jungkook to have a good experience at his wedding.”

The good experience that I couldn’t have, he leaves unsaid.

Seokjin finally meets Yoongi’s furious eyes.

“Jungkook’s like a little brother to me. Of course I want him to have a great wedding”, He says, putting his chopsticks down with a sigh.

Yoongi’s eyes narrow at his words but he apparently chooses not to comment. Instead, he continues on.

“Anyways, during the wedding, we need to make sure that Jungkook and Jimin don’t find anything amiss about us”, Yoongi says.

“So basically, we have to pretend to actually like each other”, Seokjin surmises.

“Not just like each other, love each other”, Yoongi says, emphasizing the word love.  “Jungkook and Jimin see us as role models of sorts for their relationship, and I don’t want that to change in the next few weeks.”

Role models. Seokjin snorts. He wonders what Jungkook and Jimin will think if they find out that him and Yoongi barely speak to each other anymore, how they have separate rooms in separate wings of their house despite being a so-called happily married couple.

He wonders how they’ll react to finding out that Yoongi hasn’t kissed him since the barely-there peck on the lips given on their wedding day, how after giving said kiss, Yoongi had looked like he wanted to cleanse himself of any filth he might have received from Seokjin.

Seokjin finds a strange vindication at the fact that in order to appear to be a happily married couple, Yoongi would have to touch him and hug him and maybe even kiss him. Somewhere in his touch-starved, lonely soul, he actually hopes for it.

Seokjin nods, and picks up his chopsticks again to take a bite of his food. It’s by their cook, Yoongi having declared long ago that he refused to eat any food that Seokjin made.

(Sometimes, Seokjin would make a dish or two anyway, and watch in satisfaction later at night when Yoongi nearly gobbled down the whole thing.)

“We’ll pretend to be so in love, we’ll put Romeo and Juliet to shame”, Seokjin says fake-cheerily, the expression feeling strange and unfamiliar on his face. He hasn’t smiled in so long, that even fake smiling has become foreign to him, who had once been unable to go more than a minute without breaking out into a smile.

( “Your smile is my favorite thing about you”, a different Min Yoongi had said to a different Kim Seokjin a long, long time ago.)

Yoongi’s mouth doesn’t even twitch at Seokjin’s attempted joke, not that he expected it to. If there was one person who smiles less than Seokjin nowadays, it’s Yoongi.

(“You’re the only person who can make him truly smile, you know”, Jungkook had said to Seokjin, a fond smile on his face).

“It’s not as simple as it sounds, you know”, Yoongi says, glancing down at his plate.

Seokjin can’t help but feel the need to reassure him, despite knowing the other man wouldn’t appreciate it in the slightest.

“It’ll be fine, Yoongi”, Seokjin murmurs, “They won’t be able to tell a thing.”

Yoongi meets his eyes and nods, a surprisingly cordial acknowledgement of his words, though Seokjin knows that’s only because they’re discussing Jungkook and Jimin.

 

-

Later that night, Seokjin lies awake in his bed, thoughts of the wedding on his mind.

He wonders what Yoongi’s family will think of seeing him after so long. He wonders what his own family will think. There’s no chance of seeing his parents, them having been long dead, but Taehyung might be at the wedding. He was Jungkook’s old best friend after all. Then again, last Seokjin had heard, the two had had a major fallout, so Tae might not be there after all. He hopes they made up, if only for the chance to see his happy-go-lucky younger brother again.

Seokjin shivers at the cold, tucking the comforter around him further, and tries to sleep, tossing and turning in the bed for a few minutes.

This was his routine every night, lay awake until it’s almost dawn, before finally falling asleep sometime around 3 or 4 AM. He wakes up three hours later at 7. Sure, he didn’t have to go through this nightly routine, since he had pills for his insomnia, but he hates the groggy feeling of waking up from them, as well as the idea of making himself vulnerable for so long.

Aish, if only I had a warm body to wrap myself around…

It’s a useless thought, Yoongi would never agree to sleep with him, despite knowing of his sleeping problems.

As for someone else…

No, there’s no use in going down that road.

Speaking of other people

He can’t help but wonder if he was going to be at the wedding.

Chapter Text

Retrouvailles (n.) - the feeling of joy when you are reunited with a loved one after a long separation


The rest of the week passes by with little event. Seokjin and Yoongi return to their usual routine of ignoring each other as much as possible, which isn’t too difficult considering the size of their mansion.

Yoongi still comes and goes as he pleased, sending Seokjin cold glances on the off-chance that they do come across in each other in the maze of hallways that make up the place they live.

Seokjin still mostly stays in his wing of the house. After all, it has everything he really needs. Yoongi had ensured that after they had first moved in after the wedding, saying that he wanted Seokjin to bother him as little as possible.

Seokjin’s wing of the house is made up of his bedroom, a guest room that was hastily been converted into said room after the master bedroom that he and Yoongi had intended to share became Yoongi’s bedroom, a small lounge with a television and sofas where he usually watches afternoon K-dramas, another guest room that mostly acts as Seokjin’s place to curl up and read a book when he got tired of his room, and a small kitchenette where Seokjin does most of his cooking. True, he can go down to the main kitchen and eat the food that their professional cook makes, but he doesn’t want to run into Yoongi. That, and he doesn’t want to have the face the cook’s cruelly taunting looks. Their staff doesn’t know much of what happened between Seokjin and Yoongi, but they know enough to blame Seokjin for the whole thing, loyal to Yoongi and his family through and through. With the exception of Heechul, the gardener, who he is cordial with, they all generally look at Seokjin like he is the devil himself.

So why does Seokjin insist on spending most of his time in a house where everyone loathes him? Well, as much as he hates to say it, it was because of Yoongi. After a few months in the beginning of their marriage when Seokjin had been continuously mobbed wherever he went because of he was the husband of Min Yoongi, as well as the former heir to the infamous Kim Enterprises, Yoongi had put his foot down and forced Seokjin to stop.  

“What, do you want to lock me up in this house?” Seokjin had yelled at him furiously.

“This is for your own good, you know”, Yoongi said calmly, coldly staring back.

Seokjin snorted.

“Yes, because you care so much about my welfare”, Seokjin said sarcastically.

Yoongi’s eyes became even more icy.

“You’re right”, Yoongi sneered, “I don’t. But what I do care about is my reputation, and the more you leave, the more you’re putting unwanted attention on me, and the company. I know you’re desperate enough to fuck anything that comes your way-”

“How dare you, how fucking dare you say that to my face, Min Yoongi-”

“But your actions have fucking consequences you know? Or did you forget that being the whore that you are?” Yoongi finished.

A crack resounded through the air and there was a stinging pain in Seokjin’s palm, as he realized that he had just slapped Yoongi. And suddenly, his chest was filled with fear, as he saw the other man’s expression darken. Oh no, Seokjin thought, he’s actually going to kill me.

But the other man had simply turned on his heels and walked away.

The next day, when Seokjin tried to go out in his car, he found that his driver had been fired. And there was no way Yoongi’s driver would agree to take him.

Sure, he could have hired a new driver, but he had the feeling the end result would be the same.

He would be stuck in this godforsaken house forever.

Of course, it wasn’t like Seokjin stopped going out completely. He has to accompany to Yoongi to an event every month, if only to keep the public from suspecting anything off about their marriage. Seokjin knows that Yoongi hates these events, not just because Seokjin has to go with him, but also because Yoongi hates having to deal with the chaebol society they grew up in. Seokjin, by contrast, is a social person, and loves any opportunity to meet new people, though he does agree that the events got a bit tiring after a certain point.

Even apart from this, Seokjin likes sneaking out occasionally and walking to the nearest town. It’s a tiring process, since he has to disguise himself to prevent himself from being recognized (which is kinda hard when you end up trending on twitter for things like merely stepping out of a car door), so he doesn’t do it often, but it’s nice to get some fresh air and time to wander around once in a while. He knows the servants know about his outings and that they must have mentioned them to Yoongi at some point, but the other man has never confronted him about it, so he assumes the man didn’t care. Which works fine for him, honestly.

He’s wondering whether he should make one of these aforementioned outings tonight, when he hears a knock on his bedroom door. Not expecting anyone, he pauses the YouTube video he’s watching to open the door.

To his surprise, Yoongi is standing outside his door. Seokjin blinks in shock. Yoongi never comes to his wing of the house. If he really needs to talk to Seokjin, he usually just sent one of the servants to get him. Yoongi coming to get him must mean something is wrong.

Oh god, has something happened to anyone he knows? Was that why Yoongi is here? Are Jungkook and Jimin alright? Is Taehyung?

His expression must reveal his thoughts, because Yoongi holds up a hand to stop him as soon as he opens his mouth.

“It’s nothing serious, don’t worry”, Yoongi says. He glances around the place keenly, making Seokjin uncomfortably aware that Yoongi is judging his design choices right now. He had a sudden absurd flashback to those American tv shows that he watches, when guests entered a new house and said things like, “Oh darling, I absolutely adore what you’ve done with the place.”

Seokjin tries to stifle a snicker at the idea of the word adore ever leaving Min Yoongi’s lips. Then, realizing that he had been silent for far too long than is considered normal, and that Yoongi is currently giving him strange looks (probably wondering if he really has gone insane from all these years cooped up here) he speaks up.

“So why are you here then?” Seokjin asks, leaning back against the doorway, arms crossing over his chest.

“The wedding gift”, Yoongi says bluntly. Seokjin blinks in confusion at the words before realization hits him.

“For Jimin and Jungkook? Oh, I assumed you already bought it.”

“I did”, Yoongi confirms, then pauses, a look of hesitation on his face. “But I wanted to check with you, just in case.”

“You wanted to check with me ?” Seokjin asks, raising his eyebrows.

“You’ve always been better at the gift stuff than me”, Yoongi grumbles, looking away from Seokjin and it’s true , Jin is usually the one who takes care of gifts and presents on the rare occasion they do go to a birthday party or wedding, but the fact that Yoongi is asking for his opinion in the first place is...surprising, if not completely unexpected, considering who the gift is for.

Seokjin hums.

“So what did you—?” He asks.

“Can we not have this conversation in the hallway?” Yoongi interrupts. Seokjin’s eyebrows arch at the other man’s words, annoyed at the rude interruption, before they register in his head.

“...Yeah, you can come in”, Seokjin murmurs. It’s not like he has anything incriminating in here or anything, he thinks as he moves aside to let Yoongi in. The other man ventures into the room with an almost hesitant step, looking around at all the things that aren’t visible from the doorway, the various beauty products lined along the dressing table, the full length mirror in front of the bed, paintings by various contemporary artists hanging in various places around the room.

Seokjin sits down on the pink satin sheets of his bed, patting the space next to him to signal Yoongi to sit. Unsurprisingly, Yoongi ignores the gesture, and leans against the lavender walls.

“So you got them a gift?” Seokjin prompts, leaning forward on his knees

“Tickets to a first-class round-trip flight to Paris, all hotel expenses paid”, Yoongi says, handing Seokjin the gift bag he was holding. Seokjin opens to the bag to see, sure enough, two airline tickets tied together with a red ribbon, and a receipt showing a week’s stay paid at a no doubt luxurious French hotel.

“This is an amazing gift”, Seokjin says and looks up confusedly. “Why are you so concerned?”

“I’m not concerned”, Yoongi insists, “It’s just- they have a wedding registry.”

Seokjin blinks. “And?”

“And, they might want to get a gift from there instead.”

“Just get them this and something from the registry?” Seokjin questions, still not understanding what Yoongi was trying to say.

“And what am I supposed to get them from the registry?” Yoongi asks.

Oh. That’s why Yoongi is so worried. Seokjin can’t help but let out a giggle, not noticing how the other man’s eyes flash to his face in a heartbeat, before looking away immediately. The other man’s offended expression is almost adorable, Seokjin thinks, before berating himself immediately for the thought.

“Don’t worry Yoongi, I’ll handle the gift”, Seokjin reassures the man.

“You’ll handle it”, Yoongi repeats with a disbelieving look.

“Why not? I mean you got them the tickets so it’s only fair if I get them this”, Seokjin points out.

Yoongi merely stares at Seokjin for a few more minutes before shaking his head and leaving the room. Seokjin looks to where the other man had been standing. So had that been a yes or a nor?

He sighs, lying back on his bed and looking up at the white ceiling.

Suddenly, he hears a notification tone from his phone. He walks over to his nightstand where his phone has been charging, and sees that the message was a link from Yoongi. He taps on the message and sure enough, it’s a link to the wedding registry.

Well, he supposes that answered that question then.

 

-

 

Earphones?

Check.

Phone?

Check.

Impatient husband standing outside your room?

Check.

Seokjin sighs as he hears Yoongi shout for the third time in the past five minutes.

“Are you done yet?” Yoongi yells impatiently from outside his bedroom.

“One more minute”, Seokjin calls back, making sure to pack a book to read on the plane in his backpack. He glances over at the room one last time, making sure everything is tidy and that his bags are zipped up properly, before walking over to the door.

“What, did you pack a fucking army?” Yoongi says when he opens the door, arms crossed and foot tapping pointedly on the floor. He’s wearing a simple white button-up with the sleeves rolled up slightly, and black dress pants, complete with black Oxfords. He has wireless headphones around his neck, probably playing some sort of hip-hop or rap. His own black backpack is swung over his shoulder, suitcase at his side.

Seokjin personally thinks the outfit was much too uncomfortable to wear on a plane, himself dressed in his favorite pair of blue jeans, a simple light blue sweater and converse, but to each his own, he supposes. He notes with amusement the way Yoongi’s eyes linger on his collarbones for a few moments, before apparently catching himself and bringing his eyes back to Seokjin’s face.

“Excuse me for trying to be organized”, Seokjin sniffs as he brings his luggage out of the room, having no doubt that the other man folded exactly two good suits (that the servants had probably ironed) and haphazardly thrown in the rest of his clothes.

Yoongi just shakes his head, glancing down at his Rolex, before pointedly looking at Seokjin.

Seokjin rolls his eyes.

“It’s a 20 minute drive to the airport and our flight’s 3 hours away. We’ll be fine.”

Yoongi merely gives him an annoyed glance before looking down at his phone.

“Hyuna says there’s going to be reporters at the airport”, Yoongi says, fingers moving rapidly across the screen.

“They found out about the wedding?” Seokjin asks almost tiredly. It’s true that the constant attention of the media has been a part of their lives from their childhood, but it didn’t make it any less irritating.

“Jungkook probably posted 20 different photos about the engagement on his Instagram knowing him”, Yoongi mutters, rubbing his palms over his eyes.

Seokjin giggles at the thought, chest warm as he thinks about Jungkook continuously posting about their upcoming wedding, eager to show off the love of his life to the world. Jungkook has always been like that, utterly shameless about showing his utter love and adoration for Park Jimin. It was Jimin who was more reserved among the two of them, blushing whenever Jungkook felt the need to tell everyone just how amazing his boyfriend was.

And of course Taehyung would join in with his own dramatic odes to Jimin, his proclaimed soulmate, which would eventually lead to Jungkook and Taehyung trying to outdo each other in a battle to win Jimin’s heart, to the displeasure of Jimin and the amusement of everyone else.

His reverie is interrupted by a young lady in a white maid’s outfit, her black hair in a neat bun, entering the corridor.

“Mr Min, Mr. Han has arrived.” She says politely, before bowing and walking away.

 

-

 

The car ride to the airport is silent. Han, their driver, generally tends not to speak unless spoken to, and of course Yoongi, sitting in the front seat, would probably just ignore Seokjin if he tried to start a conversation, not that he especially wanted to talk to the man anyway, so he just plays games on his phone the whole time.

Once they finally got to the airport, they are, as expected, ambushed by countless reporters who heard of the infamous Park-Jeon wedding, eager to hear the brother of the groom speak of the occasion. To their disappointment, neither Yoongi nor Seokjin are forthcoming, choosing to ignore them as they entered the terminal. They make sure to hold hands as they walk though, always ready to show the world a united front despite what their personal feelings about their marriage may be. Once inside the airport, they head through security, Yoongi having already checked in online, before heading to the luxury lounge they usually stay in before flights.

They settle down in the lounge, away from prying eyes or listening ears, and it is here that Yoongi reiterates his plans.

“I just don’t understand why you’re making such a big deal about this”, Seokjin says, leaning back in his chair and taking a sip of his sangria. “I mean, we fake this all the time”.

“We’ve had to do it for a few hours at best, not a whole week”, Yoongi says curtly, arms crossed over his chest.

“So it’ll be a little more tiring than usual. Big deal.”

“Have you meet Jungkook? He’s a motherfucking bloodhound; he’ll know immediately if anything’s wrong”, Yoongi says. Seokjin pauses at Yoongi’s words, thinking them through. It was true that for someone who could be amazingly clueless at times (the reason why poor Jimin had to spell out to Jungkook that he liked him), Jungkook is surprisingly perceptive. He was the first to realize something was wrong when Seokjin had broken up with his ex.

“It’ll be fine, Yoongi, there’ll be no reason for them to suspect anything”, Seokjin says.

Yoongi leans forward in his seat, elbows on his knees and hands steepled under his chin.

“Why haven’t you been to any family functions in the last five years?”

“What?” Seokjin asks confusedly.

Yoongi repeats the question, this time slower and accentuating each syllable in a way that makes Seokjin feel like an idiot.

“I’ve been too busy?” Seokjin replies unsurely.

Yoongi shakes his head.

“Don’t pose it like a question. Anyway, doing what?”

“Working with Rose.” It’s not entirely a lie, Seokjin doesn’t regularly work at the fashion company he used to be at before his wedding, but he acts as a consultant with Rose and Jisoo on advice regarding current trends or business ventures.

“Why are you never seen around the company?” Ah, this question is a media favorite.

“You’ll get too distracted by my gorgeous presence if I come to visit you too often.” Seokjin says the rehearsed line with a sugar sweet smile and a wink for good measure, which Yoongi rolls his eyes at.

“Why do you never call or text?”

Here, Seokjin pauses, not entirely sure how to answer. The truth is that Yoongi had outright banned him from contacting his family, outside of the obligatory birthday and anniversary texts. However, he can’t say that for obvious reasons, and there was no plausible reason that Seokjin, no matter how busy he is, would be out-of-reach for five years.

“We can just say we’re still in the honeymoon phase of our relationship and we get too distracted by each other”, Seokjin suggests.

“Yeah, that’s believable”, Yoongi snorts.

“Hey, it’s not like you have anything better”, Seokjin points out, and the other man concedes reluctantly, before continuing on.

“By the way, if any of my aunts and uncles ask, we’re definitely not ready for kids yet”, Yoongi says suddenly.

Seokjin’s eyes fly to the other man’s. “They’ve asked about kids?”

“Seokie and-” Yoongi stops short but Seokjin knows exactly what name he was about to utter, and he’s immensely glad Yoongi didn’t actually say it. “They just adopted their second child, and my relatives seem especially concerned about the fact that we don’t even have a child yet.”

Seokjin suddenly feels like he can’t breathe. It wasn’t that he hasn’t thought about children, no, Seokjin adores children. It’s why he had no problem taking care of Taehyung or Jungkook and Jimin whenever he was told to. It’s why everyone used to jokingly call him the mom of the friend group.

No, Seokjin has wanted a child ever since he was a child himself. But he would never consider bringing a child into the absolute mess that was his marriage with Yoongi, not to mention that the other man had never brought up any interest in wanting a heir in the past five years. He would never do that to his future child.

Remembering that he of all people has a child, while Seokjin is left to watch in jealousy when he goes to society parties and sees couples with their newborns, their faces lighting up with joy as they look at their son or daughter, is a fact that simultaneously makes his heart ache and fists clench.

“Seokjin? Jin? Are you listening?”

He hears Yoongi repeatedly calling his name, breaking him from his thoughts, and looks up. The other man’s brows are furrowed and he has a strange expression on his face that almost looks like concern.

“Sorry, I was thinking of”, Seokjin pauses for a second, “stuff”, he finishes lamely.

“Stuff”, Yoongi repeats, arching his eyebrows.

“Yeah.”

The other man merely looks him up and down again with that strange look on his face, before continuing his interrogation of sorts. Seokjin continues answering but his mind is elsewhere the whole time.

He’s too shaken by the previous topic to realize that Yoongi has called him Jin for the first time in five years.

 

-

 

The thought occurs to Seokjin once they’re settling into their seats in the first class cabin. Yoongi generally preferred not to fly commercial, but their private jet has been having some engine issues lately, and the other man decided not to risk it.

Seokjin opens his mouth to ask the question then, but decides to wait until the plane has taken off, not wanting nearby air hostesses or passengers to overhear their conversation. That, and he’s slightly wary of Yoongi’s reaction.

Once the plane is in the air, Seokjin turns to finally voice his thoughts to Yoongi, but his words catch in his throat. The other man is curled up in his seat, leaning against the window with his legs tucked together, leaving almost half his spacious seat empty. His raven black hair is falling over his eyes and his cheek is squished against the window in a way that makes Seokjin resist the urge to coo in delight.

Not wanting to interrupt the other man’s slumber, Seokjin closes his eyes and tries to sleep.

It’s later, in their cab to the ferry that will take them to the resort, that Seokjin brings up the question.

He coughs once to gather the other man’s attention, but Yoongi, with his headphones plugged in,  and eyes looking out the window predictably hears nothing. He sighs, and nudges the other man’s shoulder slightly with his own. Yoongi takes off his headphones and turns to look at him, eyebrows arched in a questioning look.

“Are they going to be there?” Seokjin asks, and Yoongi’s expression freezes immediately, his eyes growing hard and cold. It’s strange, the car was already fairly hot from the tropical weather, but Seokjin’s sure the temperature has dropped at least 10 degrees from Yoongi’s glacial look.

Yoongi doesn’t bother asking who they is, since they both know very well.

“I don’t know”, the other man says quietly so the cab driver won’t hear, hard gaze still on Seokjin’s. “But if they are, I want you to stay the fuck away from them. You hear me?” The threat in his tone is very clear.

Seokjin merely nods, not knowing what to say, and Yoongi turns back to looking out the window.

Seokjin turns in the opposite direction, closes his eyes, and tries to blink the tears away.

 

-

 

One ferry ride (in which Seokjin spends most of the time gazing at the cerulean blue water in awe) and one cab ride (spent in an incredibly awkward silence after the conversation from their last cab ride), they arrive at their destination: an incredibly luxurious and large resort fit to host an entire palace. Jungkook and Jimin, chaebol heirs that they are, have rented out the whole thing for a week. Though he too would probably be able to afford it, Seokjin doesn’t even dare think about the amount of money that went into their wedding.

Once there, Yoongi decides that he wants to check in immediately before going to meet anyone from their family. Seokjin agrees, if only for the chance to freshen up after all the constant travelling.

“Min Yoongi and Min-Kim Seokjin”, Yoongi simply tells the people at the front desk, who nod and immediately call two men to take their luggage and show them to their room.

Or rooms, as it turns out, after the men take them to a beautiful bungalow, with a deck in front and a beautiful arching room. It looks straight out of a real estate magazine.

Yoongi merely shakes his head when he sees the bungalow, seemingly unsurprised.

“Those brats”, he mumbles under his breath and Seokjin laughs.

“We can take it from here, thank you”, He assures the men and tips them. They nod, thank him for the tip, before walking away.

They grab their luggage and enter the bungalow. Seokjin looks around at the mini-kitchen not unlike his own at home, at the living room with sofas that are just begging to be curled up upon and a large black tv, and grins. He could get used to this.

He follows Yoongi into the bedroom and pauses in the doorway. The room is, as he expected, as luxurious as the rest of the place, with a floor to wall glass door that leads into a private garden and pool, an ensuite bathroom that looks to be as big as an average person’s bedroom, and a walk-in closet. What he didn’t expect was the bed.

“Why is there only one bed?” He questions, setting his luggage down next to the closet.

Yoongi, who has already started unpacking his toiletries, gives him a sardonic smile.

“I’m sure Jungkook and Jimin won’t be shocked at all to find out that their happily married hyungs are sleeping in separate beds”, He says sarcastically.

“Oh”, Seokjin feels his face flame up.

“It’s just for a few nights anyway”, Yoongi dismisses. “Unless it makes you too uncomfortable..?” He smirks.

“No, no”, Seokjin assures, trying to will his face from heating up further to no avail. He’s done much, much worse with Yoongi but he blushes at sharing a bed with him?

“I’ll- uh go freshen up”, Seokjin mutters, heading into the bathroom. Yoongi watches him with what can only be mirth in his eyes, his lips tilted up slightly at the edges.

It’s a look he hasn’t seen in a long time but surprisingly nice on him.

The ensuite bathroom is as glamorous as he expected, containing both a jacuzzi and a shower, a long marble counter with a glass sink in the middle, and numerous white towels that are as soft as they look. There's a bathrobe on the rack behind the doorway, which Seokjin makes a note of to use eventually.

Seokjin leaves the bathroom, feeling nice and fresh and nods at Yoongi as he walks past him.

He falls back onto the queen-sized bed in the center of the room, staring up at the ceiling, which he has just realized is less of a ceiling, and more of a gigantic mirror.

Well, that won’t make things awkward at all, he thinks.

 

-

 

Eventually, they go down to meet the rest of Yoongi’s family, including the two grooms.

As soon as they leave their bungalow however, they hear people calling their names.

“Min Yoongi, is that you?” A middle-aged woman calls from in front of another bungalow. Yoongi freezes in place, groaning while Seokjin waves at the woman.

“Why, I think I must be going blind. Is that really my nephew?” The woman says as she walks up to give Yoongi a hug.

“I saw you last winter, Aunt Soojin”, Yoongi says as he hugs her.

“You never call, never text, I barely even know if you’re alive”, She scolds him. Then she turns to Seokjin, eyes bright.

“Seokjin! How are you?” She greets, pulling him into a hug too. Seokjin smiles.

“I’m doing great, Aunt Soojin. How’s Jihoon?”

“He brought this boy along with him to the wedding, and I’m convinced he’s a member of the mafia”, She whispers conspiratorially.

“He is not a member of the mafia”, Yoongi says, rolling his eyes.

“I swear he is! He brought roses for me? Who brings roses to someone else’s wedding?” She exclaims.

“Someone who wanted to impress their future mother-in-law?” Yoongi points out.

“Nope, he’s definitely hiding something”, She shakes her head and Seokjin giggles, unable to hold his laughter back. Even Yoongi breaks into a smile at his aunt’s antics. They joke around with his aunt for a while, before the other woman leaves, claiming she has to drag her ‘useless son and his even more useless mafioso boyfriend’ out of bed.

They continue walking towards the main resort, where Jungkook and Jimin had informed all guests to meet at, when they see a familiar figure in front of them.

“Yoongi-hyung? Jin-hyung? Is that you?” Jung Hoseok calls out from afar, nearly running up to them to meet them.

“I haven’t seen you two in so long! What kind of friends are you huh?” Hoseok says when he walks up to them, with a mock scolding look on his face, but his typical sunshine smile in place. He’s wearing a gigantic sun hat, with a hawaiian shirt, white shorts, and flip-flops. He’s matching the typical tourist look to a T.

“Seokie”, Yoongi says softly, giving the other man a hug. Hoseok hugs him tightly before walking up to Seokin.

“Jin-hyung, I don’t think I’ve seen you since the wedding”, he greets. “How are you?” He says, giving Seokjin a hug. Over his shoulder, Yoongi gives Jin a dark look, a reminder to his earlier warning and Seokjin closes his eyes, feeling guilt well up inside him. He didn’t deserve to have Hoseok still calling him hyung with that warm smile on his face, he didn’t deserve to be greeted with friendliness after all he had done to the man. He didn’t deserve to be able to look Hoseok, Hoseok, who had done nothing wrong, who always loved making other people happy, in the eye.

“Hoseok”, he manages, his voice cracking slightly on the second syllable as the other man lets him go.

“Yah, you too”, Hoseok says, slinging an arm over Yoongi’s shoulders. “You know, I get that you’re obsessed with married life and all that, but you could try making some time for your friends.”

“Sorry, Seokie”, Yoongi apologizes, a genuinely guilty look on his face. “It’s just-”

“Yes, work, I know. You’re still the same workaholic as ever, hyung”, Hoseok says. He winks at Seokjin. “At least you have a pretty husband to relieve your stress, if you know I mean.”

“Hoseok!”, Seokjin scolds the laughing man, hitting him lightly on the shoulder. The gesture is so very familiar, even if he hasn’t done it in a while.

“Speaking of stress relievers”, Hoseok frowned, “Namjoon? Namjoon? Where are you?”

Seokjin and Yoongi both tense up at the name, though Hoseok doesn’t seem to notice.

“Namjoon?” Hoseok continues calling out, looking around the resort.

“I’m here, babe”, A heartbreakingly familiar voice says from behind Seokjin, and Seokjin closes his eyes as he turns around, not wanting to see the man with his own eyes.

But it wouldn’t change the fact that Kim Namjoon is standing in front of him.

Kim Namjoon, the former love of his life.

Kim Namjoon, the man he hated with all his heart.

 

 

Chapter Text

Limerance (n.) - the state of being infatuated with another person




Yoongi’s father liked to think himself a paragon of wisdom, always ready to impart knowledge to his children whether they appreciated it or not. Yoongi thinks back on this habit of his with derision; he couldn’t bother to think up original quotes, always saying cliche shit like “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Ironically, it is this saying that Yoongi keeps in mind when he befriends Kim Namjoon at a party hosted by the Kims. Kim Namjoon, despite his name, has no relationship to Kim Junseo, the CEO of Kim Enterprises, nor his son, Seokjin. No, Kim Namjoon is the son of the head cook of their house, a hilarious fact, when considering the man’s own experience with cooking (which Yoongi has unfortunately bared witness to many, many times). Yoongi knows that’s how Namjoon and Seokjin met, actually. Seokjin had been eager to learn how to cook, and who better to learn from than one of the best home cooks in South Korea? And of course, he had met Namjoon on the infrequent occasions the young boy came to visit his mother at her job, and they had become fast friends.

That was all they were meant to stay. Friends.

So why did Kim Namjoon currently have Seokjin pressed against a pillar, kissing him like his life depended on it, his hands curled in Seokjin’s beautiful blonde hair? From Yoongi’s vantage point from the doorway of the hall, they looked as though they were currently trying to mold into one being. They were quite wide in the open as well, as if they didn’t care who witnessed their secret rendezvous, didn’t care about the numerous guests two rooms away, about Seokjin’s dad, who would probably disown his son in an instant if he caught them.

Yoongi’s fingers were clenched in a fist and he wanted nothing more than to walk up to Kim Namjoon, tear him away from Seokjin, and punch him in his smug face. How dare he even think of coming near Seokjin, who was the kindest, the best person Yoongi has ever known? He was just trying to use Seokjin for his money, Yoongi was sure of it.

His eyes narrowed as he looked at the two, still caught up in their embrace. He backtracked a couple of steps and then walked forward, trying to make as much sound as possible with his feet without outright stomping.

Sure enough, this time when he walks into the hallway, Seokjin and Namjoon are both looking like two completely normal people having a completely normal conversation, Seokjin leaning against the pillar and Namjoon a few feet away from him. Or so Yoongi would have believed, if it weren’t for Seokjin’s flushed cheeks and heavy breathing, Namjoon’s undone tie, and the fact that they both have swollen lips.

Still, he pretends to make no notice of it.

“Hyung, Namjoon”, He greets cordially, hiding his hands in his pocket to hide the fists they’re currently clenched in. He thinks, not for the first time, of said fists meeting Namjoon’s face, he’s sure he could justify it as an accident to Jin-hyung. “Oh yeah, my fists hit him right in the face by accident. Oh, he broke his nose? What a tragedy…”

“Yoongi-ah”, Seokjin says, a hint of desperation in his voice, “How long have you been here?” In front of him, Namjoon can’t even look Yoongi in the eyes, choosing to eye the red velvet curtains behind him as though they’re the most interesting thing since the Mona Lisa.

Yoongi pretends to frown.

“I just came down here to see where you were. Your father’s looking for you”, Yoongi says smoothly. It’s not entirely an untruth, Seokjin’s father had probably been looking for his son by now, probably to be insufferable as always and point out another one of his flaws.

Yeah, it didn’t make Yoongi feel bad at all to hope for the day Seokjin’s father finally keeled over, and the Seokjin became the new head of Kim Enterprises. And, Yoongi thought, if he became the new CEO of Min Enterprises, they could merge the companies. Not only would that be terrifying for their competitors, two of the biggest companies in South Korea merging into a supercompany, it would also ensure that him and Seokjin worked together as partners, seeing each other every day at work.

Of course, if Yoongi’s plans turned out right, he would be seeing Seokjin at home as well. And one Kim Namjoon was currently threatening to ruin those plans.

Seokjin smiles at him, a genuine smile despite obviously having been annoyed at being interrupted, and Yoongi’s heart starts beating faster in his chest. Just a slight bit faster.

“I’ll see him”, Seokjin says, before looking back at Namjoon. “Bye Joonie.”

Yoongi’s heart clenches at the affectionate nickname, at the obvious lovesickness in his tone. Only for a little longer, Yoongi promises himself. Then, Seokjin will be yours.

Once Seokjin has left the room, Yoongi turns to Namjoon.

“Namjoon-ah, I need your help”, He says, trying to look as sincere as possible.

The other man blinks in surprise. “My help?”

Yoongi nods.

“This is usually the kind of thing I would go to Jin-hyung for, but he’s busy with his father, so I’m hoping you could help me instead”, Yoongi says pleadingly.

“Yeah, of course”, Namjoon says, running his hands through his pink locks (Yoongi hates to admit it, but the color actually looks good on him. He just wishes it wasn’t Jin’s favorite color.)

“You know my friend Hoseok?” Namjoon nods. “He had a bit too much to drink tonight and I need someone to take care of him while I talk to some of my father’s business partners. It won’t be for more than an hour, I swear.”

By talk, he means ‘suck up CEOs and important people from other companies in hopes of making a great business deal’, which is possibly his least favorite activity ever. At least Seokjin will be there, probably forced by his father to do the exact same thing.

“No, no, it’s fine”, Namjoon says, smiling in a way that shows off his dimples. Yoongi lowkey, lowkey wants to claw that smile off his face.

“Thanks so much’, Yoongi says, surprised by how easily the man agreed to it. Then again, Kim Namjoon must not be a completely horrible person, or else Jin wouldn’t have been attracted to them. He’s already mentally thanking his best friend for agreeing to distract Namjoon for the rest of the evening, no questions asked, not that Hoseok really needed much convincing after finding out it was an opportunity to get drunk. He made a mental note to buy the other concert tickets to his favorite artist as thanks.

“No, it’s all good, I’ve been in his situation enough times to relate”, The taller man jokes, falling into step with Yoongi as they head back to the party. Though Yoongi joins in the camaraderie on the surface, internally he reminds himself exactly who Kim Namjoon is.

His enemy.

 

-

 

There’s a moment of stunned silence where Yoongi just stares at Kim Namjoon, not registering the man in front of him. Then, rage builds up in his chest, rage so violent he thinks he’s literally shaking from the force of it. The other man must see it in his eyes, because his expression drops from the sweet smile he had given Hoseok, to something almost like fear, and he takes a step back.

Good. Yoongi wants him to be afraid.

Yoongi glances over at Seokjin, curious at his reaction, and is unsurprised to see that man is frozen, staring at Namjoon as though he’s seen a ghost.

Yoongi wonders what Seokjin is thinking. Is he enjoying this, enjoying the way he had played Yoongi like an utter fool? Or has he finally felt an ounce of regret for his actions long, long ago?

Hoseok, completely unaware of all the tension as only someone as instinctively optimistic and good-hearted as he can be, walks ahead and greets Namjoon with an affectionate peck on the cheek. Namjoon, though clearly still shaken by this encounter, ruffles his husband’s hair affectionately.

The sight makes Yoongi want to hurl, partially because it’s disgustingly cutesy, but mostly because it seems that Kim Namjoon still knows how to play the affectionate, good-willing husband, now matter how truly rotten his core his. It’s obvious in Hoseok’s gestures how in love with Namjoon he still is, and it sickens Yoongi to see his best friend with a piece of shit like this man. It’s partially Yoongi’s fault that they had gotten together in the first place and he still regrets his part in their relationship deeply, the same way he regrets most of his actions as a teenager now.

“Don’t be rude to our hyungs, Namjoon”, Hoseok frowns at his husband, who is still staring at them with wide eyes.

Namjoon clears his throat.

“Yes, uh, hi Ji-Seokjin-hyung, Yoongi-hyung”, The other man says, hesitation clear in his voice. Yoongi doesn’t miss the way he refuses to glance in Seokjin’s direction, as though hoping that not acknowledging him would make him go away. To Yoongi’s dark amusement, Seokjin seems to be doing the same.

Well, aren’t they just perfect for each other, he thinks bitterly.

Seokjin, seeming sick of the heavy tension, finally speaks up, “Ah, Hoseok-ah. Yoongi and I are a bit tired after the long journey. We wanted to go back to our room and rest for a bit before dinner.”

Hoseok tilts his head in confusion. “But aren’t you guys going to see Jungkook and Jimin?”

“We’ll see them at dinner”, Seokjin assures hurriedly, before grabbing Yoongi’s arm, and pulling them backwards towards their bungalow before Yoongi can even begin to react. Yoongi starts protesting immediately, but Seokjin’s grip on his wrist is like iron as he drags Yoongi through the front door.

Once they’re inside in the living room, Yoongi harshly shakes Seokjin’s grip off, finally having had enough.

“What the fuck was that for?” Yoongi demands, turning to face Seokjin.

“You two looked ready to kill each other. I was just trying to prevent a murder before the wedding even begins”, Seokjin says, crossing his arms defensively.

“Looked? I would have killed that piece of shit no questions asked.”

“That’s my point exactly”, Seokjin says in exasperation.

Yoongi’s eyes narrowed.

“Why do you even care?”

“I don’t want Jungkook and Jimin’s wedding being ruined because of your fighting”, Seokjin says.

“Oh, that’s rich coming from you”, Yoongi snorts.

Seokjin pauses, and Yoongi notes that his hands clench into fists.

Yoongi continues on, morbidly eager to see Seokjin’s reaction. “Especially now that Namjoon ”, He sneers the name, “is here.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?”, Seokjin bites back, taking a step closer to Yoongi.

“Oh, don’t lie”, Yoongi sneers, “I saw the way you two were looking at each other. Or rather”, he snickers, “the way you two weren’t looking at each other.

“Yoongi”, Seokjin says in warning, taking another step closer, but Yoongi continues on.

“Finally felt some remorse, did you? I didn’t know sluts like you could feel guilt”, Yoongi sneers, and apparently Seokjin’s had enough, because he pushes Yoongi up against the wall, hands curled around in throat threateningly.

“You don’t have the balls to choke me”, Yoongi taunts, looking the other man deep in the eye. His face is two inches away from Seokjin’s, and he can feel the other man’s hot breath on his forehead. “You’ve never had the balls to do anything about what I’ve done to you.”

The other man’s hand tightens around his neck, and Yoongi’s beginning to feel a little lightheaded from the lack of oxygen. Still, he continues on, never one for self-preservation.

“Y-you just watched and took it like the whore that you are, huh?” Yoongi says, choking out the words as black spots begin to fill his vision. The hand around his neck lets go completely, and he doubles over coughing immediately. When he’s upright again, Seokjin’s across the room, staring at his hands with a horrified expression on his face.

“I-I’m going to go shower”, Seokjin says almost robotically, immediately walking into their bedroom. Moments later, Yoongi hears the bathroom door shut with a distant thud.

The room is left in resounding silence as Yoongi stares at the place Seokjin had been standing. Then, rubbing his hands on his face, he sits back on the sofa, turning on the TV to some random news channel. He shuts his eyes, trying to ignore the hollow feeling in his chest.



-

 

Kim Namjoon is different.

Those are the first words Seokjin thinks when he sees him for the first time in their kitchens, a gangly twelve year old almost hiding behind his mother, who is scolding him for distracting her from her stew.

“Seokjin-doryeonnim, meet my young brat, Namjoon”, Namjoon’s mother introduces him, still glaring at him. The boy stops cowering behind his mother and greets Seokjin with an embarrassing smile.

“It’s nice to meet you, Seokjin-ssi”, The young boy says politely, cheeks flushing as he stares at Seokjin.

Seokjin smiles warmly back, somehow already liking this boy.

“You can just call me hyung”, Seokjin murmurs. The other boy’s face breaks into a bright smile, revealing dimples etched on his cheeks.

Seokjin’s breath catches in his throat.

 

-

 

The silence in the room is stifling.

Seokjin, having come out of the shower long ago, is sitting with his feet crossed in an armchair, apparently engrossed in the novel he’s currently reading. Except, he’s turning the pages much too fast to be actually paying attention to the plot.

Yoongi is still sitting on the couch, absentmindedly watching a detective storm into an abandoned building on screen. He blinks. Hadn’t this been a news channel only 2 hours ago?

“It’s almost time for dinner”, Yoongi finally says, keeping his eyes focused on the television. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Seokjin glance towards him, but the other man says nothing, so Yoongi decides to take out his phone and check his email. He sighs when he sees how many emails he’s gotten from his employees in the 18 hours he’s been away from his office.

He puts his phone away, knowing that if he starts answering emails now, he’ll be distracted for the next two or three hours. Better to save that for tomorrow morning, when he’ll be bored out of his mind and looking for excuses to not talk to his various crazy family members. He stretches, arms reaching above his head, and groans satisfactorily when his back makes a resounding crack.

He turns to Seokjin, ready to tell him to go, and then stops short. The other man’s eyes are focused on Yoongi’s hips, the novel he had been reading sitting closed on his lap. Yoongi looks down to see that his stretch has loosened his shirt a little, revealing a tiny sliver of pale skin. He smirks, realizing what Seokjin was looking at oh so intently.

He coughs and Seokjin’s eyes fly up to Yoongi’s face, his own face turning red in the process.

“See something you like?” Yoongi snorts, unable to hold back from teasing the other man.

Seokjin’s face flames even more and he clears his throat, standing up.

“Yes, actually. The carvings on the wall are beautiful”, He says, though the unsteadiness of his tone reveals enough about the veracity of his words. Yoongi hums, choosing not to call him out.

“Anyway”, Yoongi says, straightening out his own shirt and tie, “My relatives are all going to be at dinner. I trust I don’t need to go over what you need to do?”

Seokjin shakes his head, walking over to the kitchen to pour himself a glass of water from the full pitcher.

Yoongi grabs his wallet and his phone, waits for Seokjin to grab his own things, and they head out of the bungalow, locking the door behind them.

Unlike before, there’s no one in their immediate vicinity, which is a relief to both Yoongi and Seokjin. They walk in silence, not knowing what to say to each other, and not really wanting to say anything to each other when they think of their previous fight.

Something like guilt churns in Yoongi’s gut whenever he thinks of the words he had screamed. Sure, maybe Seokjin had deserved it, but he was far too harsh, especially since Seokjin hadn’t even yelled at him in return. Then he can’t help but second-guess himself. Maybe Seokjin wanted him to feel this way. Maybe he thrived on Yoongi’s guilt, on making Yoongi feel awful about himself.

The thing was, Yoongi honestly didn’t know. And that was what Yoongi hated most about Seokjin.

“Ah Yoongi, we’re here”, Seokjin murmurs as they stop in front of the doors that reach to the dining hall. They both share a look of apprehension before Seokjin turns the doorknob to the hallway leading to the restaurant.

Instantly, Yoongi hears two resounding cheers and immediately braces himself for impact. To his surprise, it doesn’t come but he hears an umph noise next to him. He opens his eyes to see that both Jungkook and Jimin have tackled Seokjin to the ground, hugging him tightly like they were children who had seen their mother after a long, long time.

Which wasn’t entirely inaccurate, Yoongi supposed, the guilty feeling from before welling up within him.

“Hyung!” Jungkook cheers, nuzzling his hand into Seokjin’s shoulder like a cat would do its master. It’s so incredibly Jungkook-like in manner that Yoongi tries hard not to smile at the sight.

His fiance is no better, squeezing Seokjin so tight Yoongi’s a bit worried he’s going to suffocate.

“Hyung, we haven’t seen you in sooo long”, Jimin whines, “How could you abandon your poor children like this?”

Seokjin merely laughs, hugging them closer to his chest. The sight gives Yoongi an odd feeling in his chest, something he can’t quite identify.

“I missed you guys too”, Seokjin assures with a grin. “It seems my children grew up so fast when I was gone. Married? Already? Aish, I still remember when little Jungkookie came up to me and asked me to help him with his bunny costume for halloween.”

“Hyung”, Jungkook protests, “I was 5!” Jimin laughs that crinkled-eyed smile of his that makes his eyes disappear and Yoongi’s brother’s heart go weak.

“Let me up”, Seokjin says, “I’m not the same person I was when I gave birth to you two.” Yoongi rolls his eyes at the joke as the three of them finally get off the floor, apparently having remembered that they’re in public.

“Yoongi-hyung”, Jungkook greets with a soft smile, hugging Yoongi tightly. Yoongi returns the hug and thinks of how big his little brother has gotten so fast. Wasn’t it only yesterday that he was asking Yoongi for help with his math homework and puzzles? True, him and Jimin had been a long time coming, but Yoongi still can’t wrap around the idea that the same boy who spent a year calling him “hyun” instead of hyung because he couldn’t pronounce the g is getting married.

“Finally remembered your brother, huh?” Yoongi teases lightly as they break apart.

“It’s because Jin-hyung used to make us food”, Jungkook grins brightly, throwing a shoulder around Seokjin’s shoulders.

“Yeah, Yoongi-hyung”, Jimin smirks, “What do you have to offer us?”

“Come here you little brat I’ll show you-” Yoongi’s grumbles are cut off by Jimin’s rather violent embrace. Yoongi ruffles the other man’s pink hair fondly. He’s always had a very warm relationship with Jimin even before Jimin and Jungkook started dating. Whenever Seokjin and his younger brother came over to their house, Jimin, Taehyung’s constant partner, was sure to follow. He had tried to get Yoongi to teach him the piano, and succeeded, to a certain extent.

Speaking of Taehyung, Yoongi glances around the restaurant and the various people scattered across tables there. Taehyung doesn’t seem to be there. It’s surprising, considering how close Taehyung had been with Jungkook and Jimin when they were teenagers.

Yoongi eyes the way Seokjin is joking around around with Jungkook, and the same strange feeling from before wells up in his chest. It’s unfamiliar, the lighthearted expression on Seokjin’s face. He doesn’t like it.

As soon as Jimin lets go of him, he strides over to where Seokjin is, almost wrenching his arm away from where it’s resting on Jungkook’s shoulder. He can see both Jungkook give him shocked looks at the action, and he remembers that they were supposed to act normal , act like they were in love , but he can’t bring himself to care, not with the way Seokjin is casually fitting in with his family like he was born to do so, not with that fucking feeling in his chest that makes him want to want to hurl. He wants Seokjin as far away from them as possible. Bringing him here was a mistake.

He can hear Seokjin’s wounded noise from his tight grip on the man’s wrist, but he doesn’t loosen his grip.

“Yoongi-hyung, it’s alright. Jin-hyung isn’t really Kookie’s type anyway”, Jimin teases.

Seokjin, aggravatingly, tries to play it off, an actor to the very end.

“Excuse me, I’m everybody’s type”, Seokjin sniffs mock-offendedly.

Somehow, he’s managed to break the tense mood that had been created by Yoongi’s own actions before.

“Jiminie, hyung kinda has a point. I mean, have you ever gone viral for stepping out of a car door?” Jungkook smirks at his fiancé, and then winces when said fiancé unsurprisingly slaps him on the shoulder.

“I’m divorcing you”, Jimin tells Jungkook, crossing his arms on his chest.

“We’re not even married though.”

“I don’t care”, Jimin pouts. “I’m marrying Yoongi-hyung instead. He wouldn’t treat me like this.”

Seokjin chuckles grow into full laughter at their interaction and he leans into Yoongi, causing him to blink in surprise at the taller man. Yoongi’s about to say something but his breath catches in his throat at Seokjin’s bright smile and crinkled eyes, a fond expression on his face as he watches Yoongi’s dongsaengs.

“Is this your way of trying to split me and Yoongi up?” Seokjin grins, draping his arm on Yoongi’s shoulder. His arm feels heavier than it should.

The three of them laugh and even Yoongi’s lips upturn at the noise. The awkwardness from before is completely forgotten, and replaced with a warm atmosphere Yoongi hasn’t experienced in a long, long time.

“Anyway”, Jimin says, laughter still apparent in his voice, “We should probably head to the restaurant. Where y’know, like 50 people are waiting for us.”

Jungkook groans. “Can we just stay here and hang out with Yoongi-hyung and Jin-hyung instead?”

“Aww, you actually have to socialize with people? Poor baby.” Jimin’s voice is mockingly sympathetic.

“I think it runs in the family”, Seokjin snorts. “I have to force Yoongi to talk to people whenever we go anywhere.”

“I talk to my business partners”, Yoongi glares, but there’s no actual malice in his tone.

“Yeah, but you never talk to their wives”, Seokjin rolls his eyes.

“The fuck am I supposed to say to their wives?”

“Ask them how they are? About their job? Family?”

“But I don’t care about their family.”

“Well, you should act like it.”

“What’s the point of pretending to do something?” Yoongi grumbles.

“So people don’t think you’re the antisocial, grumpy grandpa that you are”, Seokjin says.

Over the course of their argument, they’ve somehow gotten even closer to each other than before, mouths only a few inches away from each other.

Yoongi wonders how they’ve only been on vacation for less than a day, and Seokjin and him have already ended up in this exact situation twice. He wants to move away, to shove Seokjin away, something , but he stays immobile right where he was, staring into the other man’s chocolate brown eyes.

“You two really are an old married couple, aren’t you?” Yoongi hears from beside him. Both him and Seokjin are broken out of their confrontation to glance at Jungkook and Jimin who are staring at them with fondness and just the slightest bit of disgust.

“Can you guys not eye-fuck in public?” Jungkook wrinkles his noise while Jimin just laughs, seemingly pleased.

Seokjin, who has the slightest bit of a flush on his face, blushes even harder at the comment. He gestures towards the general direction of the restaurant.

“So, shall we?” He asks.

Jimin nods, and he walks hand-in-hand with Jungkook to where all their guests are waiting.

Yoongi and Seokjin are left alone in the hallway. Seokjin’s warm expression has dropped off his face, replaced with a neutral expression that Yoongi absolutely loathes. He’s never been able to read the other man when he’s closed off like this.

“We’re going to talk about this”, He gestured to themselves, “tonight. For now-”

He cuts himself off, glances down, and then looks away nervously. Yoongi frowns at him, unsure of what he’s trying to convey. After a few seconds of silence, Seokjin huffs and grabs Yoongi’s hand, intertwining it with his own. His hand is cool against Yoongi’s own palm, and the difference in temperature makes Yoongi shiver slightly.

“It’s so people don’t suspect anything”, Seokjin mutters, and Yoongi nods, not knowing what to say. He’s sure his own face is slightly red as well, and he shakes his head slightly.

Get a fucking grip, Min Yoongi, he thinks as he walks with Seokjin to the restaurant.



-

 

Min Yoongi doesn’t believe in fate.

Even when he was a teenager, filled with romanticism and childish dreams, he hadn’t believed in fate. The entire concept of everything single aspect of his being predecided by destiny was absolute bullshit.

But, he might just start reconsidering his life decisions now. Because only something as fucking annoying as fate could have fucked him over this badly.

Of all the people in the world to be sitting across from during their rehearsal dinner of sorts (and thus, the wedding reception later on), it would have to be across Namjoon and Hoseok. It wasn’t like it even really made sense. He should be sitting with the rest of family. Or even with Jungkook’s college friends, if need be, though he wasn’t entirely looking forward to the prospect.

But no, apparently Jimin and Jungkook has decided that since the six of them had grown up together (the word “together”, here being defined loosely considering the fact that when Seokjin was a good five years older than Jungkook), they would stay together for the wedding. Meaning he was currently sitting directly across from Kim Namjoon, Hoseok at Namjoon’s side, and Seokjin next to Hoseok. Jimin and Jungkook sat between him and Namjoon, apparently oblivious to the current tension at the table.

Namjoon was choosing to look anywhere but at Yoongi and Seokjin, Seokjin was doing the same, although less awkwardly, engaging one of Yoongi’s uncles from another table in discussion. Hoseok was discussing something dance-related with Jungkook and Jimin. And Yoongi?

Well, Yoongi was just trying to get through this dinner without punching anybody. Or getting punched himself. It wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Because it was true, as Seokjin had pointed out numerous times over the past 5 years that the incident had happened a long time ago. But it was also true that the incident had destroyed Yoongi’s life. Wasn’t he allowed to hold a grudge over that?

“You know”, one of Yoongi’s aunts comments from a table nearby, “I’m surprised to see Seokjin here in the first place. He never comes to any events.” There’s no hint of accusation in her tone, but her upturned nose and judgemental gaze in Seokjin’s direction says enough.

Yoongi rolls her eyes at her. He hates some of his smarmy relatives as much as he hates Seokjin.

Seokjin, unsurprisingly stays gracious as always.

“Ah, I really am sorry, Aunty. Between work and everything else, I really never had the time to come.” Seokjin says, a polite smile fixed on his face.

“Well hyung, we’re really glad you could come this week”, Hoseok says cheerily, ever the mood-lightener.

“I wouldn’t miss Jimin and Jungkookie’s wedding for the world”, Seokjin says, smiling at the happy couple. Yoongi stifles a snort at his words, remembering how easily Seokjin had accepted not coming to the wedding in the first place.

Wouldn’t miss it for the world , his ass.

“We love you too, hyung”, Jimin winks cheekily and they all chuckle.

“Jin-hyung, I heard your fashion line is going well”, Hoseok says, taking a sip of his wine. 

Seokjin laughs, an embarrassed hint in his tone.

“It’s not my fashion line”, He says, twirling his fork around the spaghetti on his plate, “Rosé and Jisoo did most of the work.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes. Of all things to be humble about, he chooses this.

“I bought one of your dress shirts”, Jimin gushes excitedly, eyes bright. “The fabric is so soft and smooth!”

“Yeah, we were focusing on comfort a lot more for this particular line”, Seokjin says, smiling at the other man’s excitement.

It’s here that Namjoon finally decides to speak up.

“I mean, historically, professional and formal clothes have tended to be associated with strictness and rigidity, due to their association with the high class. And designers, because of this association, tend to not put much effort into making sure that these types of clothes are actually comfortable. So what you’re really breaking barriers now, Ji-Seokjin-hyung”, Namjoon almost rushes out, face reddening all the while.

Yoongi chances a glance at Seokjin. The other man could not manage to make his shock anymore obvious, staring at Namjoon wide-eyed and open-mouthed.

Yoongi is shocked too. He expected Namjoon not to dare to speak up during the entire evening, like the coward he was.

“T-thanks, Namjoon,” Seokjin says, evidently at a loss for words. He glances at Yoongi, something like desperation in his eyes, and Yoongi decides to take pity on him.

The enemy of your enemy is your friend, after all.

“The plum-colored one is my favorite”, Yoongi decides to add his own two cents in, distracting everyone else from the awkward interaction. He holds his wine glass idly, watching the condensation rise against his fingers.

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Seokjin stare at him in shock at his words. He had never given any inkling to Seokjin that he had cared about the other man’s new line being released.

“Aww, look at Yoongs being a supportive husband”, Hoseok coos. “Why couldn’t you support me like that, Namjoon?”

“Don’t call me Yoongs”, Yoongi grumbles under his breath.

“When do I not support you?” Namjoon asks, amusement curling in his tone as he looks at his husband. Yoongi clenches his fist under the table.

Hoseok pretends to think. “What about that one time you couldn’t come to my dance recital?”

“Joonseok was having show-and-tell! I couldn’t not go to support him”, Namjoon defends, but by the way they’re both smirking at each other, it’s obvious this is a common argument they have.

“Speaking of, how is little Joonseokie?” Jimin says, leaning forward in his chair.

Hoseok and Namjoon exchange looks.

“He’s in that phase where he thinks everything his dad does is cool, so he wants to be a quote-and-quote ‘monsta rapper’ like his dad.” Hoseok jerks his fingers at Namjoon.

Jungkook laughs. “But isn’t Daeun into dance like her other dad?”

Hoseok nods excitedly. “Yeah! She’s been taking ballet lessons for the past year, and she’s honestly way better than all the other kids in her class.”

“That’s not biased or anything”, Namjoon snorts.

“Of course not! Our child will be dance genius, just you wait.”

The four of them continue their conversation, asking more about Hoseok and Namjoon’s children, but Yoongi is focused on Seokjin, who’s had a faraway look on his eyes since the topic of children was brought up.

A strange heaviness settles in Yoongi’s chest. Seokjin’s wanted to have a child for ages, Yoongi knows. It’s something he himself would never ever consider; they’d actually have to interact with each other in order to raise a child, and Yoongi doesn’t want to have to see the other man beyond what is absolutely necessary, but it’s times like this, even as he remembers that Seokjin deserves it, that he feels guilty for chaining Seokjin to this childless, unhappy life.

He glares at Namjoon from across the table, the taller man too engrossed in the conversation to see it. Namjoon, who has known Seokjin for so long, knows how he feels about the topic of children. And yet, he’s almost shamelessly showing off, talking about his happy family like Seokjin hasn’t been dreaming about that since his childhood.

Because yeah, Yoongi’s a terrible person in many ways, and even more terrible person to Seokjin, but he always keeps the subject of children untouched.

Maybe it’s this angry feeling in his chest that causes him to reach for Seokjin’s hand under the table. He doesn’t hold it or anything, just lays his palm over it. He’s not sure it’ll bring Seokjin any comfort, especially from him, but, Yoongi supposed that he had to try.

Seokjin gives him a surprised look from beside him, but doesn’t say anything, nodding once in acknowledgement.

Yoongi pointedly stares straight ahead, tuning into the conversation.

 

-

 

After dinner, they all get ambushed by various members of Jungkook’s (and thus Yoongi’s) family.

After being hugged and kissed numerous times, Yoongi is just about ready to go back to their bungalow and shut down for the night, Yoongi is cornered by his uncle, a balding man with a large grey moustache.

“Well then, boy”, Yoongi’s uncle says, clapping Yoongi rather violently on the shoulder. “How has the business been going?”

“Everything is going fine, uncle”, Yoongi says rather dully. It’s not that he doesn’t like his job, but he hates talking about it with people. Especially with nosy relatives who want nothing more than to get a piece of Yoongi’s fortune.

The old man coughs, bringing out a handkerchief and looking away.

“Can we go outside and discuss business?” The old man asks.

Yoongi’s about to refuse, no he doesn’t want to discuss business with an old man who’s way past his time, when he sees Seokjin get approached by Namjoon. He says something to Seokjin, and he looks angry. He’s about to walk up to them and intervene, but then they walk away together.

His uncle’s saying something to him, but Yoongi can’t hear him, he can only see Seokjin and Namjoon walking outside together. Walking away from him, like they had done so long ago.

He turns back to his uncle, fury rising in his chest, fingernails digging into his palms

“Let’s go”, He says.

Outside, his uncle lights up immediately. Yoongi wrinkles his noise at the scent, but doesn’t comment. If he did, his uncle would probably make some idiotic comment about him not being a true man yet. Yoongi had always had a slight, short figure, and had never been into sports and beer the way a lot of his cousins were, and he had been no less teased for it.

“My company”, His uncle starts out and then glances at him, “You’ve heard of it, I understand?”

Yoongi nods, leaning back against the wall. His uncle’s company dealt with manufacturing, steel in particular. They had multiple contracts with the navy, Yoongi has heard.

However, Yoongi has also heard that the company has been slightly down-on-its-luck nowadays, and that due to fraud reports and mistreatment claims from various employees, many clients were refusing to do business with them. Yoongi didn’t want to touch that shitfest with a 12 foot pole.

But, he supposed, family is family and he should at least hear his uncle out. Something that he regrets sorely a few minutes later, when his uncle has started blathering on about some business deal or other. Yoongi can’t bring himself to listen, instead he lets his mind wander to Seokjin and Namjoon, who had walked away so suddenly without even telling anyone. Hoseok had been standing a few feet away from them, but he had been deep in conversation with Jihoon’s boyfriend, Seungchan? Seungcheol? Something like that.

But what exactly had Namjoon been so eager to talk about? And why had Seokjin even agreed to talk to him in the first place when he apparently hated the other man as much as Yoongi did?

“So, do you agree, boy?” He hears his uncle say, and forces him to tune back in to his rambling. How exactly do you tell someone politely fuck themself?

“Ah, uncle, I don’t think-”

“Yoonie! There you are!” He hears from a familiar voice behind him. He turns around to see Seokjin, whose eyes are darting questioningly between him and his uncle. Namjoon is nowhere to be seen.

“Seokjin-hyung”, Yoongi says surprisedly, remembering to add in the hyung at the last minute.

“Ah, am I interrupting anything important?” Seokjin asks, smiling almost embarrassedly.

Namjoon’s uncle coughs into his handkerchief. He seems irritated by the interruption, though he plasters a jolly smile on his face that doesn’t suit him in the slightest.

“No, no, it’s fine. You two deserve from alone time together”, Yoongi’s uncle says, wigging his eyebrow meaningfully. Yoongi feels a mixture of disgust and slight horror.

“Just- think on my proposition, okay, boy?” Namjoon’s uncle addresses Yoongi, before walking away, hacking into his handkerchief all the while. Yoongi tries not to let out a sigh of relief.

“You’re welcome”, Seokjin says in an amused tone, standing next to him.

Yoongi glances at him unimpressedly. “What for?”

“For saving you from your weird, gold-digging uncle?” Seokjin points out.

“He’s not-” Yoongi cuts himself at Seokjin’s knowing look. “Okay maybe he is. Thank you”, He says quickly, not wanting to make a big deal of it. He sees Seokjin smile out of the corner of his eye and he huffs, looking away.

Then he remembers why Seokjin was outside in the first place, and sobers up. Him and Seokjin were not friends, and they would never be friends, no matter how many common enemies they band against.

“Why were you talking to Namjoon?” Yoongi asks abruptly.

Seokjin raises his eyebrows. “You saw that?”

“You didn’t exactly make an effort to hide it.”

“Yoongi, it wasn’t like that”, Seokjin says.

“Oh? So what was it like?” Yoongi asks, crossing his arms.

“It-” Seokjin cuts himself off. “We’re not having this conversation here.”

“Why?” Yoongi taunts, “Are you ashamed?”

Seokjin merely stares at him blankly, but there’s an angry flush on his that reveals that he’s not as unaffected as he seems.

He grabs Yoongi’s wrist and starts pulling him in the direction of the bungalow. Yoongi stays stationary in his spot, preventing the other man from moving away.

“What?” Seokjin says exasperatedly. “You really want your relatives to hear the whole thing?”

God, he hates it when Seokjin actually has a good point. He stops resisting and allows himself to be pulled away by the other man.

Once they’re inside the bungalow, Seokjin lets go of his wrist, moving to place his keycard and wallet on the table. Yoongi stays standing near the entrance of the door.

“Why were you acting like that in front of Jimin and Jungkook?” Seokjin demands suddenly, whirling around on the stop.

“The fuck are you even talking about?” Yoongi says, mind still distracted by Seokjin’s and Namjoon’s meeting.

“Today? At the restaurant? When you nearly tore my hand off Namjoon’s shoulder?”

“Oh. That”, Yoongi says ever so eloquently. “I told I told you not to get close to my family.”

“Getting close? It’s called politeness, Yoongi!” Seokjin says exasperatedly, waving his hands around.

“Ah, so it was also politeness when you went off to talk to Namjoon after dinner?” Yoongi arches an eyebrow.

Seokjin freezes with his hands in the air, lowering them slowly. “You...saw that?”

“So?” Yoongi asks instead. “What did Kim Namjoon want with you?”

“He wanted to know how I was doing”, Seokjin says.

“Sure”, Yoongi says derisively.

“That’s seriously all he wanted. I’m not lying I swear”, Seokjin says defensively.

“Well forgive me if your word doesn’t mean a lot to me”, Yoongi sneers.

“I really don’t know what you want from me right now”, Seokjin says, a tired note in his voice. It only made Yoongi even angrier.

“I want you”, Yoongi enunciates every word carefully, “to stay the fuck away from him and Hoseok. I don’t care if he wants to ask how you are-”

“Yoongi-”

“If you two are talking about your feelings-”

“Yoongi-”

“If you want to jump back into bed with him. Now that he-”

“Yoongi!” Seokjin shouts, stopping Yoongi in the middle of his sentence. He holds up a palm to stop Yoongi from speaking any further.

Yoongi just shakes ahead.

“Stay. away. From him and Hoseok”, Yoongi says, “Am I clear?” Seokjin nods unsurely, and Yoongi turns to leave the room, loosening the cuffs on sleeves.

“Yoongi”, Seokjin calls behind from and Yoongi turns around, an annoyed look on his face. That’s not- that’s not all he wanted.” He finishes hesitantly.

“Well?” Yoongi said impatiently, placing his hands on his hips. “What else did he want?”

“He wanted to -” Seokin pauses, “apologize. For what happened.”

Yoongi’s eyebrows raise.

“Oh this is rich. He wanted to apologize to you ? For what, the fact that-”

“I already know you’re going to say something incredibly vulgar so I’m gonna stop you right there”, Seokjin warns and Yoongi rolls his eyes. “It was for not telling me about the adoption.” He finally says.

“What, you wouldn’t have done it if you’d known they had a baby on the way?” Yoongi sneers. Seokjin looks at him sharply at his comment, anger visible in his face.

“No I wouldn’t have”, Seokjin says angrily. “I’m- I’m many things”, he whispers miserably, “but I’m not a home wrecker.”

“Yeah?” Yoongi retorted. “You sure succeeded in wrecking this home.”

There’s dead silence in the air after his words. Seokjin’s staring at him, tears streaming down his cheeks and eyes red-rimmed. The sight makes Yoongi’s heart ache in a way he can’t really explain. Seokjin doesn’t bother opening his mouth to defend himself, there’s nothing he can say. Yoongi’s words are the truth and they both know it.

Seokjin shuts his eyes, and from what Yoongi can see, his fingernails are digging into his thighs. Yoongi frowns at the sight. Had Seokjin never got rid of that bad habit?

He doesn’t know what to say. When he was talking, all he wanted to do was to hurt Seokjin more and more, make him bleed and ache with all his wounds. But, now, staring at Seokjin’s devastated face, he half wishes he hadn’t said anything at all.

With nothing else to do, he heads to the bathroom, freshening himself up and getting ready for bed. As he brushes his teeth, he stares at himself in the mirror, staring at his raven black hair and just-as-black eyes. People had often said that his eyes looked soulless, like a demons, and he had mostly laughed it off, but for the first time he wonders if it might be true.

When he comes out of the bathroom in his pajamas, he expects to see Seokjin in his bed, probably reading a book or scrolling through his phone or something. To his surprise, the bed is as untouched as it was when he entered the bathroom.

He heads into the living room and sees Seokjin curled up on the couch, apparently having fallen asleep. His mouth falls slightly open in shock. With a few notable exceptions, in all the years Yoongi’s known Seokjin, the other man has never skipped his lengthy bedtime routine. Except today, apparently.

Yoongi should shake the other man awake, and tell him to come to the bed. There’s a chance people from the hotel might come early, and seeing Seokjin sleeping on the couch, instead on their bed, is going to raise more questions than Yoongi is prepared to answer. However, he can’t quite bring himself to do it, not when he sees the dried tear tracks on the other man’s cheeks, and the obviously defensive position his hands and feet are curled in.

Yoongi heads back into the bedroom and gets under the covers of his bed. The sheets are just as soft as he would expect from a resort this expensive. He tries to ignore the the empty space on the other side of the bed, after all, his bed at home is meant for two as well, there’s no reason why this should feel any different. But all he can think of is Seokjin sleeping all alone in the other room.

He sighs, rolls over, and tries to sleep.

 

-



There’s a knocking sound on his bedroom door. Yoongi ignores it, burrowing his head further into the pillow.

“Yoongi-ah?” Jin-hyung’s voice says from outside his room. Yoongi shoves his pillow over his head, trying to block out the noise.

“Yoongi-ah, please open the door. I’m really sorry for what I said”, Jin-hyung pleads.

“Go away”, Yoongi yells, his tone as childish as he feels.

“I’m not gonna leave until you open this door, you know?” Jin’s determined voice comes through the door. If it were any other person, it would be an exaggeration but Yoongi’s seen firsthand how stubborn his hyung can be when he sets his mind to something.

Yoongi sighs, getting out of his warm, comfortable covers to pad across the room to turn on the light. He glances at the clock on his wall, noting that it’s already midnight, before he opens the door. Once the door is open, Jin rushes forward and wraps his arm around Yoongi tightly.

“Ahh I’m so sorry Yoongi-ah”, Jin whines, “Hyung really didn’t mean to say that.”

“Let go of me”, Yoongi grumbles.

“Not until you forgive me”, Jin insists, and Yoongi groans. The boy smells good so close to him, the fragrance of honey and chocolate wafting off of him. Yoongi kind of wants to breathe into the scent, but that’s weird and more than a little creepy.

Jin pulls back, tilting Yoongi’s head until he’s looking him in the eyes.

“Seriously, I didn’t mean it. I mean you are lazy and kind of a waste of space at times”, Yoongi sends him an unimpressed look as he says the words, “But that’s a part of your personality and I wouldn’t change that for the world.” Jin says seriously.

Yoongi wrinkles his nose. “That’s seriously the grossest thing you’ve ever said, hyung.” He won’t admit that he’s more like than a little touched by the words.

“You brat! I was trying to comfort you and this is what I get?”

Yoongi looks away as he mutters, “I forgive you it’s okay.”

“What was that?” Jin’s eyes are twinkling with amusement.

“I said I hope you go away!”

Jin just laughs, and then jumps back to lie on the bed, making himself comfortable underneath the covers.

“Your dad said I’m allowed to stay over tonight”, Jin explains in response to Yoongi’s inquisitive look.

Yoongi raises an eyebrow. “So you had to pick my bed to sleep in?” It wasn’t like his house, or more accurately, mansion, has any shortage of guest bedrooms. Even with Yoongi’s aunt Soonim staying over right now, there were at least 7 other rooms Seokjin could have taken.

“Well of course! How could I let my precious dongsaeng sleep alone?” Jin says, snuggling into the pillow. The sight makes Yoongi’s heart do a strange flip-flop. Yoongi could point out that using that logic, Jin could easily go across the hall to Jungkook’s room instead, but he doesn’t.

Instead, he turns off the light, making his way back to the bed. He gets under the covers as well, lying next to Seokjin.

For a few minutes, there’s silence, the only sounds coming from the bustling streets of Seoul outside, lit up the moonlight streaming in through Yoongi’s cerulean blue curtains.

“Hey hyung?” Yoongi asks.

“Yeah?” Jin mumbles sleepily

“Why did you come to my room so late at night? I mean”, He adds hastily, catching sight of Jin’s vaguely questioning look through the darkness, “You could have just apologized tomorrow morning or something.”

Jin turns in the bed to face Yoongi fully. Yoongi does the same, and then they’re both staring at each other, faces only inches away from each other.

“My mom always said that going to bed in a bad mood is bad for your soul. I didn’t want you to go to sleep angry at me”, Jin says finally.

Yoongi doesn’t reply to that, choosing to let the words pass by in silence. He doesn’t quite know what to say, anyway. Jin lost his mom at the age of 9, and even though it’s been a good 5 years since then, he’s still a bit uncomfortable about the topic. Not that Yoongi blames him, his own mother had died when he was 5, and even though he has little memories of her other than blurry smiling faces and warm feelings, her absence has always been noticeable in their lives.

After a while, Jin’s breathing evens out, and his face goes lax with sleep. Yoongi watches him further, watching the way his face relaxes when he sleeps.

“Thanks hyung”, Yoongi mumbles to the sleeping boy, not expecting a reply.  

He tries to ignore his heart pounding in his chest at their close proximity, and realizes for the first time in many realizations to come, that he is truly completely and utterly fucked.

 

-







Chapter Text

Sonder (n.) - the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own

 

 

 

Seokjin glances at himself in the mirror, noting the tear stains down his face, the puffiness of his eyelids, the complete disarray his hair is in.

Well this won’t do at all, he thinks, eyeing himself critically.

Well first things first, no stubble. He grabs his shaving kit and starts to rub the cream all over his face. Except, he realizes as the smell of the substances wafts through the air, it’s not his normal chamomile-lavender cream that he specially imports from China. No, this cream is all minty and has the strange scent of fragile masculinity attached to it, something that Seokjin has smelled many, many times before.

Well, he hopes Yoongi won’t mind him using his shaving cream for a day, he thinks, watching himself grab a razor in the mirror.

After shaving and brushing his teeth, he puts his toothbrush and razor away in his toiletries pounce, wanting to stay as neat as always, and then frowns as he finds a familiar white pill bottle inside. It’s his insomnia medication, which he has elected to bring on the trip, not wanting to have eyebags and bloodshot eyes in his brother-in-law’s wedding photos.

However, last night he had fallen asleep without the pill. It’s not the first time he’s done so, he knows from experience that crying before going to bed is very effective way to asleep, but it surprises him every time.

He goes to shower in the jacuzzi, groaning as the warm water soothes all the knots in his back that had formed from his uncomfortable sleep on the couch.

As he washes his hair with his favorite coconut-smelling shampoo, he thinks of the events that transpired the night before, the dinner, the fighting, the conversation with Namjoon.



(Jin is nodding occasionally to the words of Yoongi’s aunt, but his mind is elsewhere the whole time. All he can think about is the fond smiles Namjoon and Hoseok had shared as they talked about their children, the same heartwarming look that all parents seemed to have in their eyes when talking about their children, a mixture of pride and joy.

His mind can’t help but return to how unfair it is. How unfair it is, that 5 years later, he’s still paying for his mistakes, while Namjoon is happy with his husband and his children. How unfair is it, that Namjoon returns home to his family every night, while Seokjin hasn’t been home in so, so long.

Seokjin tries to distract himself from his thoughts, tuning into Yoongi’s aunt, who seems hellbent on telling Seokjin exactly how each and every one of her cats are doing.

“Poor Muffin has an allergy to hydrangeas,  you see. And of course when Yoongi’s uncle brought home flowers for our anniversary, the poor darling felt absolutely dreadful”, Yoongi’s aunt said, a deeply mournful expression on her face.

Seokjin nods, and hopes the expression on his face is sympathetic and not showing the mirth he’s trying to hide. Ah, he forgot how absolutely ridiculous some of Yoongi’s relatives were. It’s a miracle that Jungkook and Yoongi turned out as normal as they did, coming from his family.

“Hyung?”

Seokjin freezes at the voice that he had been hoping to avoid for the rest of the week. After sending the woman a apologetic look, he turns around and is unsurprised to see Namjoon there, a vaguely embarrassed look on his face.

“Can we talk?” Namjoon continues. He nervously glances around. “Privately?” Seokjin wonders who he’s more scared of seeing them right now, Seokjin’s husband or his own.

“Ah, Namjoon, I’m feeling a little tired today. Maybe tomorrow?” Seokjin says, a fake smile plastered on his face.

The other man’s eyebrows set into determination, a look that’s so heartbreakingly familiar Seokjin resists the urge to clutch at the ache in his chest.

“Please, hyung? I swear it’ll only be for a few minutes.” Namjoon pleads.

Seokjin stares at him, not knowing what to say. Well, no. He knows that he should know. That’s what Yoongi would want him to say. Hell, that’s what he wants to say. But he can’t help be curious about why Namjoon wants to talk to him, after all this time.

His father did always say that his curiosity would be the death of him.

“Okay”, Seokjin says finally. “But only for five minutes.”

Once outside the restaurant, Seokjin studies Namjoon in the glow of the moonlight. The other man has tanned since they met, with his formerly messy pink hair replaced by artfully styled violet hair. Seokjin hates to admit it, but the other man looks good.

He wonders what Namjoon is thinking as he’s looking at Seokjin. True, Seokjin is proud as always of his good looks, but his skin has become as pale as Yoongi’s from months of not leaving the house, his hair has reverted back to his natural black, Seokjin never having felt the urge to redye it in the past few years, and Seokjin knows he’s lost weight too.

In fact, both him and Yoongi, with their matching black hair and pale skin must look like vampires straight out of the shitty horror movies that Hoseok used to hate. The thought entertains Seokjin, and he makes a mental note to buy vampire fangs for Yoongi once they’re back.

“How have you been, hyung?” Namjoon asks him, a tentative look on his face. Seokjin stares at him for a moment, the words not registering in his head, and then he laughs. The feeling is still slightly foreign to Seokjin, who hasn’t laughed much in the past few years, but his amusement is too much to hold in.

“That’s the first thing you ask me? After we haven’t talked in nearly five years?” Seokjin chuckles, and holds his hand up when the other man opens his mouth to speak. “I’ve been alright, Namjoon, thanks.”

“That’s good”, Namjoon says awkwardly, and then they’re standing in silence, Seokjin watching Namjoon in amusement as the other man opens his mouth numerous times, only to close it again.

“Hyung”, Namjoon finally says.

“Mhm?” Seokjin says, glancing down at his nails. He really should have cut them before coming here, he thinks.

“I’m sorry for what happened before”, Namjoon says, catching Seokjin’s attention immediately.

“What?”

“At the table”, Namjoon clarifies, and Seokjin knows what he’s talking about immediately. His nails instinctively start digging into his palm, before he uncurls them, holding up a hand to stop Namjoon from speaking.

“It’s okay.”

“Hyung-”

“Namjoon”, Seokjin says in a warning tone, and Namjoon shuts up. “I said it’s fine. I’m fine.”

Namjoon scoffs suddenly. “You didn’t look fine.”

“And you know so much about me, don’t you?” Seokjin says coldly, crossing his arms.

“Look, hyung, I was just trying-” Namjoon tries again.

“I know what you’re going to say, Namjoon. And I don’t care. I’m happy for you and Hoseok, believe it or not. I’m happy about Joonseok and Daeun. I really am.” Seokjin says, and it feels like the truth. He wants him to be the truth.

But it seems, like himself, Namjoon has doubts, judging by the look he’s giving Seokjin, filled with sadness and with something that feels uncomfortably like pity.

“You and Yoongi-hyung could adopt as well, you know”, Namjoon says quietly, and for the first time that evening Seokjin truly lets his feelings out, laughing harshly at the words.

“Yeah, I can see Min Yoongi signing up to raise a child”, Seokjin says scornfully.

He tries not to think about how once upon a time, Yoongi had been ready to raise a child, with Seokjin no less. He remembers discussing baby names and what color they would paint the baby’s room and even the room they would keep them in, a room only across the hall from their master bedroom, a room remains a guest room, unused and cold as the rest of their house, only disturbed when the maids walk in the clean. That time had left, and it was all Seokjin’s fault.

“Maybe you could-”

“Namjoon”, Seokjin interrupts, “Yoongi and I are fine. Now do you have anything else to say, or can I leave?”

The other man doesn’t say anything in reply, and so Seokjin walks away.)

How dare Kim Namjoon, Seokjin thinks as he rinses his hair off. How dare he come to Seokjin with his husband and children and his happy life and look at Seokjin with pity in his eyes, like he was somehow better than him? Namjoon had made the same mistakes Seokjin did, the only difference being that Namjoon’s husband stayed unaware to the whole thing.

He wonders how Namjoon feels, lying to Hoseok every day of his life ever since Yoongi and Seokjin’s wedding oh so long ago. He wonders if he would have done the same, had Yoongi not been the one to discover their dirty secret. He doesn’t know the answer, and that scares him.

Then again, Seokjin thinks, just standing under the water, unmoving, if it was Hoseok who found out, and not Yoongi, Hoseok would have definitely left Namjoon, instead of going through with the marriage the way Yoongi did. It would have torn someone like Hoseok, who was so kind and optimistic, who saw the best, even in people like Seokjin and Yoongi, apart completely.

Seokjin tries to ignore the guilty voice in his head that keeps whispering, it’s your fault everything happened in the first place. It’s not like it’s wrong, really. Seokjin is the reason Yoongi’s life collapsed, the reason their household is filled with cold stares and grey atmospheres. It should have been filled with light and love and laughter, children running the halls, maybe Yoongi running after them, him watching amusedly from the kitchen as he helped their youngest son bake cookies. Namjoon and Hoseok have that. Why can’t he, he thinks again for the fifth time.

He turns off the faucet, and just stands there for a minute, eyes closed, grounding himself to his surroundings the way his mom had taught him to do as a child whenever he felt too overwhelmed. He feels the coldness of the shower floor tiles beneath him seep into his toes and up into his spine, sinking into his bones, almost weighing them down, in a sense.  

He feels calmer once he’s opened his eyes again. His face is relaxed, and he gazes at himself in the mirror, and the faint wrinkle that had appeared across his forehead in the morning is gone. At least one thing has gone well today, Seokjin thinks as he steps out into the bedroom.

Yoongi, unsurprisingly, is still sleeping, well-set in his habit of sleeping late. Unlike Seokjin, he’s not a particularly light sleeper, so he doesn’t stir as Seokjin moves around the room.

Seokjin dresses himself in a pale pink t-shirt and black ripped jeans, and after glancing at the sunlight streaming in through the blinds one their window, decides to grab a hat the color of his shirt. Before leaving the room, he looks back at Yoongi one more time, the other man’s face smooth with sleep. He looks so calm when he’s sleeping, such a far cry from the monster he comes when he’s awake.

Seokjin leaves the room, careful to close the door behind him as silently as possible. He glances at his book left lying on the table; now would be a good time to finish it. Then again, the hungry feeling in his stomach is telling him that it’s time for food. And one thing he’s learned in his 29 years of life is that you should always listen to your stomach.

He grabs his phone from where it lay charging on the desk for the last hour, and on second thought, grabs his shoulder bag in case he needs to check his iPad as well as his wallet before leaving the bungalow. He glances around as soon as he’s outside, hoping to avoid interactions with any of Yoongi’s unfriendly relatives (or even worse, the friendly ones who felt the need to stick their nose in every aspect of his life). Thankfully, his surroundings are almost completely empty, aside from a few guests from the main hotel walking around in the distance. He’s not entirely surprised, considering that it’s only 6 AM.

He walks to the dining lobby, taking the time to look around at the resort. Jimin and Jungkook really did do well in choosing this place, he thinks. It’s delightfully warm with good summer vibes, but not overwhelmingly humid enough to be uncomfortable. There’s enough tourists around that the place doesn’t seem completely deserted, but not too much that it feels crowded. The actual resort itself is completely gorgeous, both in its natural features, such as the surrounding gardens and nearby lake, as well as its beautiful marble architecture akin to a palace’s. He takes a couple of pictures along the way on his phone, enjoying the beauty.

When he reaches the hallway leading to the dining hall, the aroma of freshly baked food wafts through the air and he smiles, already excited to partake in his favorite pastime: eating. In the actual dining hall itself, as expected, there are few other guests other than him, and thankfully no one from Yoongi’s family, who are all late sleepers (something the man has inherited himself), is there yet.

He sits at a table in the corner, placing his order with a smile when the waiter comes to greet him. Once the man leaves, he grabs his iPad from his shoulder bag and goes to his email, glancing over them and marking the ones from Rose and Jisoo. True, he is technically on holiday, but they have a shoot coming up in less than 3 weeks, and they still have to finalize the 3 designs to showcase. Seokjin, personally is rather partial to a pale pink dress with a natural waist, completely sheer above the waistline with opaque flowers preventing the top from becoming too scandalous, with a smooth bottom that flows all the way to the model’s ankles. Of course, this could be bias speaking, considering that his favorite color is pink.

The waiter comes by with the food while he’s in the middle of one of his emails, and he nods at him absentmindedly as he jots a few points down for his assistant, Mingyu to follow. He doesn’t realize how much time has passed until he hears someone clearing their throat above him.

He looks up to see Jihoon, Yoongi’s cousin, a wide grin in his face. He looks the same as always, same pastel orange hair, crinkled eyes, and wide smile. Even after so many years, it astounds Seokjin how someone who looks so much like Yoongi can be so different from him.

Next to him is a tall man with dark hair and arched eyebrows that look straight out of a beauty guru’s makeup tutorial. Ah, this must be the infamous ‘mafioso’ boyfriend. Seokjin has to admit, he can kinda see where Yoongi’s aunt is coming from, what with the other man’s leather jacket and all black attire despite the hot weather.

“Jihoon-ah”, Seokjin greets in surprise, standing up to hug the other man, and shake hands with his boyfriend, who is introduced as Seungcheol.

“You and my cousin really are perfect for each other, aren’t you?” Jihoon tsks mock-scoldingly, gesturing to Seokjin’s untouched and probably cold plate of food, and then back to the unfinished email on his iPad. “Imagine escaping from work just to do more work.”

Seungcheol snorts. “Not all of us hate what we do, Jihoonie.” Seokjin smiles at both the nickname and the underlying affection in his tone.

“Are you still working at the bar?” Seokjin asks.

Jihoon pouts, nodding. “It pays well but it’s soooo boring.” He whines.

“Don’t you get to hear hot gossip all the time, though?” Seokjin says interestedly.

“I mean, sometimes but we’re in the boring part of time so nothing actually happens", Jihoon complains, "It’s mostly just sad drunks moaning about their life."

“Aww, but babe, it’s how you and I met”, Seungcheol says teasingly.

“What do you do, Seungcheol-ssi?”, Seokjin asks, turning to the other man curiously. The other man seems reserved but polite, but there’s something about him that’s not quite right.

“Family business”, Seungcheol smiles meaningfully. “Trading, exporting, you know how it is.” Seokjin, in fact, does not know how it is, having been shoved aside from being the heir of his own family’s company, but he’s not about to voice that aloud and risk making the entire situation awkward. That, and Seungcheol kind of intimidates him a lot.

“Hyung here is living the coolest life of us all. He’s a freaking fashion designer.”, Jihoon says excitedly to his boyfriend.

Seokjin blushes slightly at the complement. “I’m really not”, He assures Seungcheol. “I’m usually the one who approves the designs, not the maker.”

“But didn’t you help design half the outfits in your new line?” Seungcheol asks, and when Seokjin’s eyes widen in surprise, he clarifies, “Jihoon got very excited when it was released.”

“Of course I did”, Jihoon insists, “It was amazing.”

Seokjin rubs his head in embarassment. “Thank you”, He says graciously, “That’s not a usual occurrence though.”

“Why don’t you make it into one?” Jihoon asks, leaning his elbows on the chair across from Seokjin.

“I’m more of a researcher than a designer, if that makes sense?” Seokjin says, “I mean, I do like designing from time to time, but I like to be more involved in the marketing aspect, studying fashion trends, figuring out how to present to the public, that’s more my style.”

“So you’re a behind the scenes kind of guy”, Seungcheol summarizes, and Seokjin nods. “That’s cool, I’m kind of like that where I work too.” Seokjin sincerely hopes he means he helps decide the trade routes in his business, and not, ‘I’m the consigliere of the mafia.”

“Wait, is that Jeonghan I see? Jeonghan? Jeonghan?” Jihoon shouts, voice getting louder the more and more he shouts. “I’ll talk to you later, Seokjin-hyung”, Jihoon greets before almost running towards his friend. Seungcheol sends Seokjin an apologetic look, and follows after his boyfriend.

In their absence, Seokjin is about to return to his work, but decides to eat first to quence the slow-growing hunger in his stomach. He ordered a full English breakfast, complete with Earl Grey Tea, and the resort hadn’t disappointed. The eggs were exactly the way he wanted them, the sausage was perfectly cooked, everything was as delicious as would be expected from a resort of this calibre.

If only I had somone to share this with, Seokjin thought in a melancholy manner, as he drank his tea idly. He lifted his pinky as he did it, the rude gesture giving him childish amusement as he thought back to all the times he had done it in front of his father, and all the disapproving looks he had received in return.

Lost in thought, he finishes his meal quickly and ponders whether to return to his work or attempt to explore the resort. Finally deciding on the latter, he moves to get up, pausing when he hears two familiar voices in front of him.

“Jin-hyung!” Jimin’s voice calls out from where him and Jungkook are walking over.

Seokjin smiles at them when they stop in front of their table.

“You two look like you’ve had a fun night”, Seokjin smirks, noting the hickey on Jimin’s neck with amusement.

Jimin blushes at the comment, but his fiancé merely looks smug.

“Hyung”, Jimin whines, and Seokjin laughs at his embarrassed face.

“They’ll be enough time for that after you two get married, y’know?” Seokjin continues teasing, enjoying the way both their faces are reddening slowly.

“You’re one to talk”, Jungkook snorts. “You and hyung couldn’t keep your hands off each other during your wedding.”

Seokjin makes a choking noise in his throat, flushing immediately at the other man’s words.

“We weren’t nearly as shameless as you two”, Seokjin tries to recover, ignoring the memories that rushed in at Jungkook’s words.

They really had been insatiable back then, unable to keep their hands off each other for more than a few hours. In fact, Seokjin distinctly remembers sneaking off during his bachelor to meet Yoongi for a blowjob (his, because him and Yoongi had had separate bachelor parties, something insisted on by Hoseok and Taehyung).

Speaking of Taehyung, he made a mental note to ask Jungkook about him when Jimin wasn’t around, not wanting to make the situation between them awkwarder than it was.

Because even though Jungkook and Taehyung who had been best friends, it was Jimin who had taken things the hardest when they falling apart happened. Jin knew that he had blamed himself, from the nights he drunkenly stumbled into Jin and Yoongi’s apartment, asking Jungkook and Taehyung to forgive him for what he did. But despite all the times both he had asked, he never told them what was going in. Yoongi had told him to just let it be and let them ‘figure out shit for themselves’, which Seokjin had reluctantly agreed to.

“Oh yeah?” Jungkook asks, “What about that time I just wanted to go for an innocent game of pool in the basement and I find-”

“Jungkook!” Seokjin interrupts hastily before he can continue his sentence.

Jimin merely laughs at their interaction, eyes crinkling into crescent ships and his face growing brighter. Seokjin physically sees Jungkook fall in love with as he watches him.

It’s disgustingly romantic.

It’s also absolutely adorable.

“Jimin! Is that you?” A voice calls Jimin from a few tables again. Jimin sends him and Jungkook an apologetic smile before going over to greet whoever called him.

Jungkook shakes his head. “We’ve only been down here for half an hour and he’s already spoken to at least 20 different people.”

Seokjin laughs. “Perks of getting married huh.” He sits back down in his seat, gesturing for Jungkook to sit in the chair across from him.

Jungkook does so. “You know, I wanted to elope and escape all this drama. It was Jimin who wanted the big wedding.”

“And of course you’d do anything for your precious Jiminie”, teases Seokjin, leaning forward in his chair.

Jungkook blushes but doesn’t deny his words.

Seokjin grows slightly serious, his thoughts from before echoing in his mind.

“Hey, Jungkook-ah?” Jungkook’s eyes fly to his, a silent question in them.

“Do you- Have you heard from Taehyung in the past few years?” Seokjin questions softly. As soon as he says Taehyung’s name Jungkook stiffens and his face darkens noticeably. Yet again, Seokjin can’t help but wonder what exactly happened between them.

“I haven’t”, Jungkook says curtly, a carefully blank expression on his face. His eyebrows raise. “You haven’t heard from him?”

Seokjin sighs, his fingers curling though a lock of his hair. “He’s texted a few times, just to, you know, let me know he’s alive. But beyond that, I haven’t heard his voice in the last four years.”

Jungkook looked down, seemingly carefully considering something. Then he looks up and sighs. “I’m sorry, hyung, I haven’t spoken to him since he left.”

It’s not that Seokjin thinks Jungkook is lying to his own face or anything, but judging by the shifty way he was acting and the purposefully innocent expression on his face, Jungkook definitely knew more than he was letting on.

Seokjin decided not to push, however, he didn’t want to to ruin what little relationship he and Jungkook still had after five years of no interaction with each other.

“It’s alright, Jungkook-ah”, Seokjin says reassuringly, “I was just wondering.”

Jungkook nods, still seemingly uncomfortable, before suddenly saying, “We invited him, you know?”  

“What?” Seokjin’s not entirely sure he heard him correctly, glancing at him in shock.

Jungkook looks like he’s swallowed a lemon. “Whatever...problems Tae and I might have had in the past, he still used to be one of my best friends. But he never responded or contacted us so we assumed he wasn’t going to come.” He finishes, and Seokjin thinks he hears a hint of regret in his tone.

Seokjin bites his lip. “Maybe he never received it?”

Jungkook glances down at the table, hair falling over his eyes. “Maybe.”

There’s silence for a few minutes, not exactly awkward, but not entirely comfortable either. Seokjin, feeling guilty for ruining the other man’s mood, especially during his wedding, decides to break it.

“Anyway”, Seokjin says, getting up, “I have to go wake up Yoongi. God knows he’d try to sleep for the next 5 hours if I didn’t.” Seokjin laughs.

Jungkook chuckles. “Yoongi-hyung hasn’t changed one bit, huh?” Then, his expression grows softer. “Thank you for taking care of him all these years.”

Seokjin, who had about to leave the table, pauses. “Yoongi can take care of himself fine, you know.”

Jungkook smiles, the same soft expression from before evident on his face. “I think we both know that’s not true.”

Seokjin just nods, not entirely knowing what to say, and leaves Jungkook with a wave goodbye.

 

-

 

Once he’s left the restaurant, Seokjin doesn’t actually have any idea what to do. He told Jungkook he was going to go and wake up Yoongi, but after last night, Seokjin isn’t exactly keen to talk to the other man. Jungkook and Jimin are both busy with their wedding, and he can literally not think of anything he would rather not to do than willingly go talk to either Hoseok and Namjoon.

It’s times like this that he especially misses Tae, who had been the person he used to tell everything to, his confidant and best friend despite being four years younger than him. But of course, there’s no chance of him being here.

Eventually, for lack of anything better to do, he decides to go explore the main resort. It’s a win-win, he gets to find out how exactly the part that Jimin and Jungkook rented is different from the rest of the resort, and there’s almost no chance of seeing Yoongi there.

Unless he decides halfway through the night that he can’t bear sharing a “house” with Seokjin and would rather stay in a hotel room away from the rest of the guests than live with him. Seokjin honestly wouldn’t be surprised.

Seokjin walks towards the resort, lazily glancing around at his surroundings as he does so. Now that it’s almost 10 AM, the sun is shining brightly, beating down on his skin in a way that makes him wish he’d remembered to wear sunscreen before he left the bungalow. There are more people now around as well, he sees families with kids walking around in swimsuits, obviously having come straight from the pool. There are couples both young and old alike, enjoying a reprieve from their daily noise. Despite all the noise surrounding him, Seokjin feels at peace.

Once he’s reached the main resort, he enters the building to find that it is just as luxurious, comfortable, and most importantly, air-conditioned as he expected.

There’s a Caucasian man behind the counter wearing a black suit with a red tie, obviously the hotel uniform. However, he also has bluish-green hair that contrasts beautifully against the coat. The man is handsome, to say the least, and he turns even more handsome when he smiles at Seokjin with his cerulean blue eyes. 

“Can I help you, sir?” The man says with practiced ease, but the grin he’s giving Seokjin feels completely genuine.

“Can I ask how much a room costs here?” Seokjin says in accentless English, smiling politely.

The man nods, his eyes flying to the iPad in front of him. “Would you like one for tonight or..?”

“Oh, it’s not for me”, Seokjin assures. Seeing the man’s vaguely suspicious look, he smiles and explains. “I’m one of the guests at the Park-Jeon wedding, and I just wanted to know how much your prices usually are.”

The man’s eyes alight with understanding and he nods. “Well, rooms here cost between 1,100 to 2,000 USD a night, but between you and me”, he leans forward over the counter, dropping into a whisper, “the cost of renting a bungalow costs almost double that.”

Seokjin nods, completely unsurprised by the man’s words. Both Jimin and Jungkook had always loved luxury, after all. It was Taehyung who preferred to live like the “common folk”, as Seokjin’s father used to say, choosing to stay at cheap hotels and live on the down low, in contrast to his friends almost bragging about their wealth in their actions. It was something Seokjin had deeply admired about his little brother.

“If I may ask, sir, how exactly do you relate to the Jeon-Parks?” The man questions, leaning forward on his elbows. It’s not behaviour he should be encouraging, but Seokjin finds himself mirroring the other man.

“Call me Seokjin. And Jungkook, one of the grooms, is my husband’s little brother”, Seokjin says, and he thinks the other man’s face falls a little at his words.

“Then you should call me Aman”, the man says, gesturing to his nametag. “And wow, you don’t look old enough to be married at all.”

Seokjin laughs. “I’m 29, but I’m gratified that you think I look young.”

“I mean, 29 isn’t all that old. I’m 27 myself”, Aman says, gesturing to himself.

“Speak for yourself”, Seokjin says, “You’re not the one who’s a year away from 30.”

“And a year away from death”, Aman teases and Seokjin giggles, feeling lighthearted.

They continue their back-and-forth for a while, all easy grins and casual flirting, and Seokjin genuinely feels alive for the first time in a while. They’re interrupted a couple of times by people staying at the hotel coming up to the counter to discuss the reservation but they learn a lot about each other. Seokjin tells Aman a little about his family and his job, and Aman in turn tells him about his own little sisters and stories about him growing up on his parents’ farm.

“So I’m sitting on the grass and surrounding me are maybe twenty to thirty cows. And I am terrified out of my mind”, Aman says and Seokjin doubles over, his trademark windshield wiper laugh coming out in the first time in a while.

Somebody clears their throat behind him.

Seokjin turns around to see Yoongi, glaring at him with a dark expression in his eyes. His eyes narrow as he glances between Seokjin and Aman.

“Can I help you, sir?” Aman says from behind Seokjin, immediately putting on what Seokjin recognizes as his customer service voice.

“I came here to find my husband”, Yoongi says curtly, eyes not moving an inch from where they’re boring into Seokjin.

“Your husband?”, Aman says, confusion audible in his voice. “Oh, you’re Seokjin’s husband.” Seokjin’s eyes clench at the other man saying his name because he already knows what Yoongi’s going to think, what Yoongi’s going to say and he can already feel the tears pooling behind his eyelids, because God, he just wants this to stop.

“You two seem close”, Yoongi says carefully, his eyes finally going past Seokjin to focus on Aman. “He didn’t mention me?” There’s dark humor in his tone.

“No, he did”, Aman says, confusion still evident in his tone. “You’re Mr. Jeon’s older brother right?”

“...Mhm”, Yoongi agrees, eyes flying to Seokjin’s face for a second, slight surprise evident in his eyes. Then, he gives Aman a practiced smile. “I’m sorry, but my husband and I have somewhere to be. Thank you.”

Saying this, he pulls Seokjin out the doors by his wrist, Seokjin not looking back towards Aman even once as he leaves the building. Once outside, he corners Seokjin against the wall, droping Seokjin’s wrist like it’s burned him to place both his hands by Seokjin's head. 

“Can’t leave you alone for a minute, huh?” Yoongi murmurs. “Guess people like you really do never change.”

Seokjin can already feel his heart breaking for the thousandth time. “Yoongi, it wasn’t like that. He’s just a friend.”

“Just a friend”, Yoongi mocks, “Is anyone just a friend with you, Seokjin?”

“I swear, he was”, Seokjin insists, eyes darting around them. There's no one close enough to listen in on their conversation, but if Yoongi gets any louder, surrounding people will definitely hear them. 

“Why were you even talking to him in the first place?” Yoongi demands, and Seokjin winces at the looks they get. 

“I wanted to ask him something about the hotel and we ended up talking”, Seokjin says, voice growing quieter as he continues speaking. His breath is growing faster and faster and his heart feels like it's going to burst out of his body. 

“Just talking, huh?" Yoongi snorts, leaning closer into Seokjin, ignoring his hyperventilating.  "So you weren’t leaning into him in a way that made it clear just how ready to spread your legs you were?” 

And that's the final nail in the coffin. 

“Stop!” Seokjin nearly screams. He looks around and see that there are people staring at him, that Yoongi is staring at him, eyes widened in shock and mouth open, but he doesn’t care. “Please, stop. I’m literally begging you. I can’t-”

His voice chokes off as tears fall down his face, and he looks down. 

“I can’t take this anymore.” Seokjin says softly. His head is a mess and his mind feels dizzy and all he wants to do is go to sleep for a thousands years and just forget. Forget about everything. But he can’t.

He wishes he never came on this trip in the first place. Anything, anywhere was better than this.

“Please, Yoongi, I-” He stops, clenching his eyes shut. “I know that you hate me. I know that you’re right to hate me. But please just, let it go now, just right now. Once we’re back home, you can- you can say whatever you want. Just- please.”

Yoongi is still staring at him silently, a blank expression on his face. He doesn’t say anything, he just continues to stare and Seokjin just leaves.

He runs, not even caring where he’s going, as long as it’s away from Yoongi. He ignores all of Yoongi’s relatives he sees waving at him in the distance, all the concerned and slightly scared yells at him, ignores Jimin and Jungkook’s surprised looks that quickly turn to worry as he runs past them. He just runs and runs, not even paying attention to the fact that he’s supposed to be composed, him and Yoongi were supposed to act like a couple. He knows what exactly people are going to think about him running away from Yoongi in tears. He doesn’t care. He just runs towards his bungalow, and upon entering the door, curls up on the couch under a warm red blanket.

He closes his eyes and lets himself fade into numbness.



-






Chapter Text

Onsra (n.) - The bittersweet feeling that love won’t last



-

 

(7 years ago)

 

The wind feels chilly against the back of Seokjin’s neck and he shivers, unwrapping it before wrapping it around again to protect the exposed skin. It doesn’t do much against the freezing cold, and Seokjin deeply regrets accompanying Yoongi on his photography project, claiming that ‘it was a nice day out’ and that ‘a walk would do him good’.

Yeah, the only walking he wants to do right now is walk back home to his warm bed. Or maybe that coffee shop across the street that also looks warm. That would work too.

But apparently Yoongi needs to get the perfect picture, even in weather this cold. In his defense, he did tell Seokjin multiple times to just go in the shop and order something for the both of them; he would be there in ten minutes. But what kind of hyung would Seokjin be if he abandoned his dongsaeng so heartlessly?

Seokjin sighs from his place on the bench as he watches Yoongi crouch down and angle his camera upwards towards the branches of a tree. He drums his fingers on the wooden handle beside him, looking around to distract himself from his boredom, but it’s a lost cause. Except for a singular family building a snowman in the distance and a few dedicated joggers, the park is almost abandoned. It’s not entirely surprising considering the weather.

“Yoongi”, Seokjin whines for the fifth time in twenty minutes, “Are you done yet?”

Yoongi glances up from his camera with an annoyed look on his face. “I still have at least ten pictures left to take.”

“But do you really have to take them in this freezing weather?” Seokjin says, shivering slightly and rubbing his hands together for good measure.

He sees concern flash across Yoongi’s face before being replaced by his trademark blank expression and he smiles. His plan is working then.

“You didn’t have to come with me, you know”, Yoongi points out, crouching down to snap a photo of a bird’s nest on the higher branches.

“I couldn’t just leave you out here to freeze and die”, Seokjin says, dramatically clutching his hands to his chest. Yoongi rolls his eyes harder and straightens up, brushing snow off his knees.

“I’m done”, He announces to Seokjin’s delight, who immediately demands that they go into the nearest coffee shop to warm up.

They sit at a cosy booth, Seokjin with his hot chocolate and Yoongi with his reluctantly ordered gingerbread latte, because Seokjin had refused to let him order just a plain black coffee.

(“Come on, Yoongi! Get into the festive mood!”, Seokjin exclaimed at the counter.

“How is a hot chocolate festive in any way?” Yoongi asks, unimpressed.

“We draw a whipped cream snowman on it for December”, The barista says helpfully, customer service smile pasted on her face.

“See?”)

They don’t talk for a while, simply enjoying the warmth of the cafe and their deliciously soothing drinks. They don’t really need to; both Yoongi and Seokjin are fans of comfortable silences. It’s the reason they’ve gotten along so well.

The silence is interrupted when Seokjin hears a notification go off on his phone. He grabs the object in question and realizes it’s a message from Namjoon. He glances up at Yoongi, who is staring at him curiously, before opening the message to reveal a selfie of Namjoon just having woken up, sleepiness clear in the lines of his eye.

Warmth curls in his chest as he stares at his adorable boyfriend.. He’s been together with Namjoon for a while now, but he’s still amazed that he can actually call Namjoon in his own, that he has permission to hug and kiss and love Namjoon whenever he wants.

It’s an amazing feeling.

He actually kinda wishes Namjoon was here right now, so he could see the way his eyes crinkle and his dimples jut out when he smiles. Seokjin absolutely adores Namjoon’s dimples.

“You two are sickening, you know?” He hears Yoongi grumble, startling him out of his thoughts.

“What?”

“You and Namjoon”, Yoongi rolls his eyes, taking a sip of his drink and grimacing at the sweetness of it.

“Not so loud”, Seokjin whispers harshly, glancing around to see if anyone overheard him.

“You think anyone recognizes or cares about us here?” Yoongi scoffs. “This is the most hipster coffee shop I’ve seen.”

“You never know, okay?” Seokjin defends. “And leave me and my amazing smart talented boyfriend alone okay.”

“Gross”, Yoongi wrinkles his nose.

“You’re just jealous because you don’t have a boyfriend who can send you cute selcas”, Seokjin juts out his lip at Yoongi. Then, a thought runs through his mind and his eyes start sparkling.

“Hey, Yoongi”, Seokjin says excitedly.

“No,” Yoongi says immediately.

“How about I-”

“No.”

“Set you up with a boyfriend! Or girlfriend too, I’m very accepting”, Seokjin teases.

Yoongi just rolls his eyes harder. “How about no.”

“Relationships aren’t as bad as you think, you know”, Seokjin says, leaning back in his seat. “It’s nice having someone around to talk to.”

“I have Seok for that”, Yoongi points out, and Seokjin rolls his eyes.

“Yah, but that’s different”, Seokjin insists. His lips downturn in a pout. “Will you agree to go on at least one date? For me?”

“Okay, fine”, Yoongi grumbles. His eyes sharpen as he looks up. “But only one date, you hear me? After this, you leave me alone.”

“Okay, on the condition that you actually try to get to know the person? I swear I’ll pick someone who I genuinely believe will be good for you”, Seokjin says.

Yoongi sighs, but nods. “Deal.”

-

 

Seokjin pauses in the process of buttoning his shirt one by one, when he hears dishes clattering from the other room followed by loud swearing.

“Joonie?” He calls out, hoping that his kitchen has remained intact in the approximately five minutes he’s been away from it. “You alright in there?”

There’s a pause, and Seokjin wonders whether he should leave the room to check up on his boyfriend.

The bedroom door opens and Namjoon appears in the doorway, a sheepish expression on his face.

“I may or may not have accidentally dropped all the pans in the third cupboard to the right”, Namjoon says embarrassedly.

Seokjin rolls his eyes, a fond yet exasperated expression on his face from his boyfriend’s clumsiness. “I left you alone for five minutes.”

“It wasn’t my fault! I turned around to grab a glass of water and my elbow hit the handle of the pan and-”

“Joonie”, Seokjin says gently, interrupting his boyfriend’s flustered rambling, “It’s alright, I’ll just clean it up once we get back from the dinner.”

Namjoon’s mouth falls into a pout at the mention of the event. Seokjin won’t deny that it’s one of the cutest things he’s ever seen.

“Do you really have to go?” Namjoon says, a hint of a whine in his tone. He stands behind Seokjin’s position in front of the mirror and wrap his hands around his waist, nuzzling into his neck. The other man begins pressing open-mouthed kisses against his throat, and Seokjin instinctively tilts his neck to allow him more access.

Seokjin turns around in his embrace and lets his lips meet Namjoon’s, revelling in their softness. It’s been four years since their first kiss and Seokjin still can’t get over how perfect their lips feel together, like they were made for each other. It’s kind of cheesy thought that Seokjin never expresses out loud, but believes wholeheartedly.

If soulmates do exist on this earth, Kim Namjoon must be his.

“I’m sorry for leaving you”, Seokjin whispers into his lips apologetically, “You know that, Joon-ah.”

Namjoon pulls back from their kiss, sighing. “I know that Jinnie. It just sucks.”

“Mhm”, Seokjin murmurs, wrapping his arms around Namjoon’s neck. “Tell you what, when I get back, I’ll give you a reward for being so good tonight.”

“Reward?” Namjoon chuckles, the sound reverberating deep in his throat.  “I like the sound of that.”

“Oh, you will”, Seokjin assures, pulling him closer, his nose bumping against Namjoon’s.

And of course, that’s when they hear the doorbell go off.

“Oh my god”, Namjoon groans into Seokjin’s neck and the other man laughs.

“Wanna bet that’s Yoongi and Hoseok here to pick me up?”

“Can we pretend like we’re not home?” Namjoon pleads. “Just tell them you’re in stuck in traffic. Or, I don’t know, in Busan.”

“I could tell them I’m on a train to Busan”, Seokjin laughs his traditional windshield wiper-esque laugh, and Namjoon rolls his eyes.

The doorbell sounds again, and Seokjin vaguely hears voices emanating from their front door. He sends Namjoon an apologetic look and goes into his living room to open it.

“Hyung”, Hoseok immediately greets him with a hug once he’s opened the door. He looks dapper in his black suit with a matching tie, a bit like someone from an old James Bond movie. Seokjin tells him as such.

Yoongi snorts from where he’s standing behind Hoseok. “Don’t give him anymore ideas.” He looks quite handsome himself, wearing a suit and pants and-

Seokjin blinks. “Is that a bow tie?”

Yoongi groans immediately, hand moving to touch the object in question. “It makes me look like a fucking walnut, doesn’t it?” Seokjin’s not entirely sure how a person can look like a walnut, but somehow, the statement makes sense.

“Yah, hyung!” Hoseok scolds. “Don’t touch it! I spent 20 minutes fixing that.” He turns to Seokjin. “Doesn’t it look great?”

Somehow, it really does. On most people, a bow tie would either look stiff and uncomfortable or childish and weird, but Yoongi’s somehow managed to hit the middle ground and look casually handsome while doing it.

“Yoongi-hyung? Hoseok-hyung?”, Namjoon asks, entering the living room in what Seokjin recognizes as his own sweatpants.

“Namjoon?” Hoseok furrows his brow. “I didn’t realize you were going to be here.”

Seokjin’s eyes widen and he exchanges looks with Namjoon, who’s frozen in his spot. Thankfully, Yoongi saves the day.

“Ah, Namjoon, didn’t you tell me you were going to come over here to study?” Yoongi smoothly cuts in, arching a brow at Seokjin, and Seokjin thanks all the heavens above that Yoongi exists in his life.

“Uh- yeah”, Namjoon says lamely, “But I guess hyung forgot to tell me he was going out tonight.”

“Yeah, sorry Namjoon-ah”, Seokjin murmurs under his breath, the apology not entirely insincere.

Today was supposed to be date night for them, but of course, Seokjin’s dad just had to call him two days ago and remind him about the gala he had to go to.

“I mean”, Hoseok glances between Seokjin and Namjoon, eyebrows furrowed, “You could come with us? I mean, you're hyung's boyfriend after all. It’s no big-”

“No, that's-”, Namjoon says, before getting interrupted by Seokjin.

“That’s alright, Hoseok”, Seokjin says quickly, “Namjoon can stay here and study for his-” He pauses.

“Philosophy test”, Namjoon fills in, a sullen hint in his tone.

“Yeah, philosophy”, Seokjin agrees cheerily, slinging his arm around Namjoon’s shoulders.

Hoseok still looks worried. “Are you sure, Namjoon?”

“I’ll be fine”, Namjoon mutters, shaking Seokjin’s arms off his shoulder. “I have to go study, sorry.” He walks into Seokjin’s room, closing the door behind him with a final thud. Seokjin sees Hoseok's eyes trail after him as he goes, and a unpleasant sensation starts burning in his chest. 

“Anyway”, Yoongi clears his throat. “Are you all ready to go, hyung?”

Seokjin nods, plastering a smile on his face.

 

-

 

The event is a bit of a blank in Seokjin’s mind. Sure, he remembers talking to multiple people, some of whom are from very prominent companies in South Korea, and giving a speech at some point, but the evening itself passed by really quickly, which was less him actually enjoying it and more a testament to Yoongi and Hoseok, who stayed with him and helped him keep his sanity for most of the night, especially when talking to his father.

His relationship with his father has been even more rockier than usual, with the older man initiating even more discussions with him about the future of the company and how he needs to be more serious if he doesn’t want Taehyung to become CEO instead of him, with him making snarky comments in return.

He doesn’t quite know if he wants to attempt to fix his relationship with his father, and at this point in his life, doesn’t quite know if he cares either. He’s tried so many times again and again to see the good in him that Taehyung seems convinced is there, and his father has shunned him at every turn.

His keys rustle as he takes them out of his pocket. He unlocks the door and steps into his apartment, making sure to lock the door behind him. The only light on is the lamp in the corner, casting deep shadows across the room. He frowns, glancing at his watch. It’s only 9:30, and it’s unlikely for Namjoon to go to bed this early.

He walks into his bedroom, tiptoeing on the off chance that Namjoon really was sleeping. It turns out that there’s no need, the other man is leaning against the headboard of his bed with his laptop in his lap and notes spread all around him.

“What are you doing?” Seokjin asks, undoing his tie. Namjoon jumps in surprise, causing his laptop to fall off his legs and half of the notes on the bed to fall off somehow. He immediately jumps to pick them up and Seokjin rushes over to help them.

“Studying for my test”, Namjoon says as he stacks the papers slowly.

Seokjin pauses. “Wait, you really had a test?”

“Yeah”, Namjoon says, taking the papers Seokjin’s handed him, “A philosophy test, like I said earlier.”

“Why did you come over then?”

“Maybe because I’d rather see my gorgeous boyfriend’s face than study for a test?” Namjoon rolls his eyes, but then adds bitterly, “Not that I really got to see you today anyway.”

“Joon…”, sighs Seokjin, and Namjoon just shakes his head as he puts the papers into a green folder, placing the folder in the black backpack lying by the bed.

“Look, I’m sorry, okay?” Seokjin tries, reaching for Namjoon. “You know I hate these functions as much as you do.”

Namjoon turns in his spot, crossing his arms across his chest. “But you still go, don’t you Jin? You can tell me all you want about how much you hate your dad, but you still do everything he asks of you like you’re his bitch .”

Namjoon immediately looks horrified as soon as the words leave his mouth, wrapping his arms around Seokjin immediately and apologizing profusely. But Seokjin can do nothing but let the words run through his mind again and again.

You still do everything he asks of you like you’re his bitch.

Because the thing is, he can handle it when his father insults him, when he calls him worthless and says Seokjin’s not fit to be his son in his fits of anger. But when it’s Namjoon? The person he loves most in the world?

Seokjin has to admit, that hurts . He can feel an ache in his chest and he curls his hands into the side of his shirt, trying to ignore it.

“Jin”, Namjoon begs, “Jin, I’m so so sorry. You know I didn’t mean that. Jin? I can leave if you need me to.”

“You’re right though”, Seokjin murmurs, a hollow note in his voice. “I am his bitch, aren’t I?”

“You’re not”, Namjoon says immediately, “You’re not and what I said was a mistake. It’s not like your dad is just some run-of-the-mill guy. He’s the heir of Kim fucking Enterprises. And it’s understandable that as heir to said company, you would have to make sacrifices.”

He nuzzles his face against Seokjin’s neck, and Seokjin returns the hug, trying to erase Namjoon’s words from his mind.

 

-

 

Hoseok is tired, to say the least.

He has approximately four essays due in the next three days, which he has to juggle with preparing for his upcoming dance competition, as well as Yoongi’s dumb relationship problems.

And that’s not even including him being in love with Kim Namjoon. Which is somehow the biggest of all his problems. 

It’s not that he doesn’t feel guilty about it, no, he feels very guilty about the direction his mind goes in whenever he catches Namjoon in the library in those black-rimmed glasses that make him look like a sexy teacher in some teen movie.

He would totally ask him out. Hoseok is not the kind of person to let feelings fester and torture him for years, the way Yoongi seems to be fond of. No, Hoseok would march up to Kim Namjoon right this second and tell him about his feelings.

...If it weren’t for the fact that Namjoon is dating Seokjin. He knows it’s wrong to have a crush on his friend’s boyfriend, but unfortunately, he can’t control his feelings, no matter how hard he tries. But God, does he wish he could.

At least he can admit that he has a crush on Namjoon; Yoongi just continually says that he’s long ago gotten over his crush on Seokjin when he really hasn’t. It’s all very stupidly evasive and Hoseok kind of wants to knock some sense into Yoongi, but, you know, peace and all that.\

Ugh, why is life so difficult? Why can't he just be a happy soul and have a good time? Sometimes he really understands why Yoongi spends half of his days sleeping away and living in avoidance of other people. 

“Fucker, are you even listening to me?” Yoongi’s voice cuts into his thoughts.

“Yes, hyung, I totally am”, Hoseok murmurs dully, scrolling through his twitter feed. Apparently Taeyong's boyfriend's birthday is today. He makes a mental note to bring some cupcakes for him at their next dance practice.  “What was I talking about then, huh?”

Hoseok glances up to meet the other man’s eyes. “Most probably Seokjin-hyung.”

“How did you know?” Yoongi asks.

Hoseok laughs at the other man’s dumbfounded expression. “Hyung, Seokjin-hyung is literally all you talk about-”

Yoongi sends him an offended look.

“-and music”, Hoseok finishes, as he searches up low-fat cupcake recipes (they can't afford to be too unfit before their dance competition. They have a prize to win, after all). The other man sends him a slightly less, but still very offended look.

“I do not talk about him all the time”, Yoongi protests, and Hoseok turns his phone off, sitting up to give him a patient look.

“I mean if you’re not talking about him, you’re talking about Namjoon, or their relationship, or his company, all of which are topics related to him”, Hoseok says, amusedly watching Yoongi’s cheeks pinken as he realizes that Hoseok is, in fact, telling the truth.

“Look, Seokie-” Yoongi is interrupted by yells coming from through the other room, followed by the door opening and Taehyung rushing into the room.

Taehyung immediately jumps onto the bed and hides behind Hoseok, who watches with increasingly confused amusement as Jungkook comes in after him, panting and obviously tired.

“Don’t hide behind hyung, you coward”, Jungkook sneers at Taehyung, whose grip on Hoseok’s shirt tightens, causing him to wince.

Yoongi merely grabs Jungkook by the ear, ignoring his pained protests and asks, “What the hell is going on?”

“Taehyung stole my cereal”, Jungkook says angrily.

“Because you stole my Twix bar last night”, Taehyung defends.

“It was one fucking Twix bar-”

"And it was one fucking bowl of cereal-"

"It was Lucky Charms! And you were taking marshmallow parts-"

"But those are the best part!"

"Exactly! Why the fuck are you-"

“Language!” Hoseok protests, glaring at Yoongi for rolling his eyes.

"Let me tell you, hyung", Taehyung says, "This man", He gestures to Jungkook, "came into my house, stole my precious Twix bar-"

"Oh my God", Jungkook says.

"Which I had been specifically saving for after my diet would be over in three days", Taehyung continues.

Hoseok blinks. "How is Lucky Charms a part of your diet?"

"Oh it isn't", Taehyung reassures him, "I just value revenge over health and looking good, I guess."

"See! He admitted to purposefully stealing my Lucky Charms", Jungkook accuses.

Taehyung rolls his eyes. "I'm not denying it, am I?"

“Last I checked, you two were 17, not 7”, Yoongi glares at them both meaningfully, twisting Jungkook’s ear slightly. Hoseok almost feels bad when he hears Jungkook’s groan of protest. He lets go eventually and Jungkook leaves the room, glaring back at his older brother. Taehyung follows after him, a carefully blank look on his face but his eyes are filled with amusement.

“That was a bit harsh, hyung”, Hoseok comments once the door is closed, fingers tracing circles on his knee boredly.

Yoongi stares outside the window. “If anything happens to me, Jungkook is going to be inherit the company. He can’t just stay a kid forever, can he.”

"If anything happens to you", Hoseok repeats. "That's a bit morbid."

Yoongi shrugs. "You never know, especially after what happened with the Choi family."

Hoseok winced. Minjun Choi had been a car accident the week before, and there were multiple rumors arising that there had been foulplay involving one of his nephews and the fight to be heir. Needless to say, their stocks had dropped tragically. Hoseok decides to lighten up the mood. 

“You just want him to keep being the Kookie who followed you around and asked you for sweets”, Hoseok teases, eyes sparkling as Yoongi’s cheeks pinken.

“He was a cute baby, okay?”

Hoseok hums. “I’m glad him and Taehyung are close though.”

“Close?” Yoongi snorts. “They’re practically attached at the hip. I don't think they even go to the bathroom alone. It's kinda disturbing.”

“It’s cute”, Hoseok says, “Besides, I think I remember another Min-Kim duo who used to be attached at the hip.”

Yoongi groans. “Are you still on about that?”

Hoseok blinks innocently. “I have no idea what you mean. I’m obviously talking about your incredibly close relationship with Namjoon.”

Yoongi sends him a glare that would be almost be intimidating if Hoseok wasn’t so used to it. “Do you ever shut up?”

“Nope”, Hoseok says cheerfully, “I’ll always be here to brighten up your day just a bit more.”

Yoongi slumps onto the bed. “I hate everything and everyone.”

“Even your amazingly beautiful hyung?” A familiar teasing voice says as the door opens.

“Can’t I have a single moment of peace in my own room?” Yoongi groans, while Hoseok waves at Seokjin’s head popped through the doorway.

“Nope”, Hoseok sings cheerfully in unison with Seokjin, snickering at the way Yoongi slumps further into the bed.

“Yoongi-ah, don’t be like that. I even brought you cookies to make you feel better”, Seokjin says, brandishing a tray of delicious looking treats.

“You are the only man I love in this world”, Yoongi tells him solemnly, but Seokjin merely laughs.

“I have to go deliver the rest of the cookies for Ten’s birthday. I only stopped by because I had some leftover”, Seokjin says, setting down the cookies on Yoongi’s desk.

Hoseok looks up. “Ten as in Taeyong’s boyfriend?”

Seokjin sends him a surprised look. “You know him?”

Hoseok nods. “We're all in the same dance class. How do you know him?"

"He's in my Economics class", Seokjin says. 

"Oh cool", Hoseok says, "Tell him I said hey.”

“Will do”, Seokjin says before leaving the room.

“Bye, hyung”, Yoongi calls out as he closes the door.

There’s a moment of silence after he leaves where Hoseok just stares at Yoongi with a knowing look on his face, Yoongi purposefully looking away.

“The only man you love in this world, huh?”

“Shut up .”



Chapter Text

 

Vellichor (n.) -  the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time

 

(7 years ago)

 

Of all the places to have sex, Hoseok thinks, the library has to be one of the most uncomfortable. For one, you have to do it against bookshelves, which cannot be comfortable in any manner, shape or form. Secondly, you can’t exactly be as loud as you would like, considering that it’s, you know, a library. Thirdly, you could get caught at any possible moment. This, apparently is not a problem for students, because Hoseok has caught 3 separate couples trying to do the dirty in the religion and philosophy section. Maybe they have some sort of exhibitionist kink.

Either way, Hoseok is trying to study his Philosophy exam tomorrow, and he would prefer it if couples could go do the dirty in their own beds instead of coming to the library for it.

He sighs, turning the page of his philosophy textbook and trying to fit all the information into his brain.  It is impossible, Kant argues, to extend knowledge to the supersensible realm of speculative metaphysics.  Hoseok has no idea of speculative metaphysics is.  The reason that knowledge has these constraints, Kant argues, is that the mind plays an active role in constituting the features of experience and limiting the mind’s access only to the empirical realm of space and time. 

“Kant, huh? Gotta love that guy?” A voice says from behind him. 

Hoseok turns around, ready to tell off  whoever it is for disturbing him, especially since he finally started to get the material to enter his brain. And then he stops short. 

“Namjoon-ah? What are you doing here?”

“Probably for the same thing you’re here for”, Namjoon says, kneeling down to sit criss-cross. Only, his hand somehow hits Hoseok’s open water bottle, causing it to turn over. As water soaks into the carpeted floor, Namjoon flusteredly tries to soak it up with napkins, and Hoseok just sighs fondly.

Why does he like this absolute disaster again? It’s not the first time he’s asked himself this question.

Hoseok shakes his head at Namjoon’s stuttering apologies. 

“It’s fine honestly”, he says, shifting aside slightly to allow Namjoon more room to fit. 

“I haven’t seen you in a while”, Namjoon comments curiously, zipping open his backpack.

Probably because I’m trying not to see you to avoid the fact that I’m desperately in love with you

“Oh really?” Hoseok comments. “Sorry I’ve just been very busy lately, with y’know exams and all.” He gestures towards all his books lying around. 

Namjoon nods. “Everything going well with your family and Moon Inc.?” 

Hoseok starts. “You know about that?”

“Who doesn’t?” Namjoon says, writing in the margins of his book. The way his hair falls over his eyes as soon he leans down to write makes his heart hurt. “It’s plastered across every newspaper I've seen today.”

“Oh,” Hoseok says before realizing that’s not an appropriate response. “I mean- that is, the merger’s going great! Absolutely fine! A++!” Oh great, he’s made himself sound stupid.

Luckily, Namjoon doesn’t seem to realize. “Oh really?” He smiles, his dimples showing prominently. “That’s great Hoseok-hyung.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes. “What have I told you about calling me Hyung?”

“It’s hard to shake the habit”, Namjoon says sheepishly. 

Hoseok just shakes his head. Remembering that he has 50 more pages to get through, he decides to return to his work. 

They study for a while, Hoseok watching Namjoon diligently taking notes out of the corner of his eye and trying (but mostly failing) to focus on his own work. 

Eventually, he gives up. He's tired and slightly grumpy and has this god-awful crick. He should just accept that he’s going to fail the exam, and there’s nothing he can do about it at this point. 

“Hey Namjoon-ah”, He says, and oh God, this is such a bad idea; if Yoongi were here right now he’d yell at Hoseok for being such a dumbass. 

Good thing Yoongi isn’t here.

“Want to go get something to eat with me?” Hoseok says, hoping that Namjoon will say no. 

 

-

 

“You know, Hoseok-hyung, when you said ‘something to eat’, I didn’t think you meant this”, Namjoon says, gesturing to the slightly run-down restaurant in front of him. It's not Hoseok's favorite place, but it's great for getting quick food during dance competition season. 

“Why?” Hoseok smiles. “Didn’t think the rich boy would lower himself down to eating at a local restaurant?”

He laughs at Namjoon’s hesitant expression that showed he’s right on the money. “It’s fine, Namjoon-ah. The stereotypes are true most of the time.”

They join the line of customers, which is thankfully not that long. Hoseok bites his lip as he watches Namjoon’s intense gaze on the menu, rapidly moving his eyes as Namjoon turns to face him.

“Everything alright, hyung?” Namjoon asks, noticing Hoseok's stare.

“Y-yeah, of course”, Hoseok says as they move to the front of the line, pointedly gazing at the ads plastered on the wall of the restaurant. Oooh, there's something about a local rap festival occurring soon. Maybe he should go check it out. 

Once they have their food, they settle in to a cosy booth in the corner of the restaurant. The crowd around them only registers as a low murmur in the back of Hoseok’s head as Namjoon’s steady gaze settles on him.

He distractedly takes a spoonful of his soup, wincing at the sharp pain on his tongue. He glares as Namjoon chuckles at his pain.

The table is silent for a while as both of them focus on eating. Hoseok tries not to stare at Namjoon the entire time, but considering the increasingly questioning looks he keeps getting from the other man, he’s not quite succeeding.

“You know”, Namjoon says, breaking the silence, “You’re completely different from how I expected you would be”. He leans his head on his hands, watching Hoseok intently. 

“What do you mean?” Hoseok asks, trying not to flinch under Namjoon’s gaze.

“You grew up in the same environment as Jin-hyung and Yoongi-hyung did, but you’re real, you know?”

Hoseok laughs hesitantly, not really sure how to reply. “Last I checked I wasn’t a ghost?.”


“No I mean”, Namjoon waves his hand around in thought, “Like they make their backgrounds clear, you know? Seokjin-hyung could never walk into a place like this and not have this-” He wrinkles his nose “-expression on his face but you? You’re so down-to-earth. Things like these don’t even bother you.”

Hoseok hums contemplatively. “I mean, I suppose that’s true to a certain extent, but I was also raised with very different values than they were.”

His family was rich, yes, but unlike Yoongi-hyung or Jin-hyung, whose families had held power for generations, his own family’s wealth stemmed from his grandfather, a self-made man who had started out with nothing and ended with wealth people could only dream of. His grandfather never failed to remind his father where their family had come from growing up, and his father in turn had never failed to remind Hoseok.

He had received a fair share of sneers for that growing up, from people who held the same status as Yoongi-hyung’s family and saw him as nouveau riche trash. The unfriendly glances had turned into appraising looks however, as his family joined the top five richest families in Korea. 

He doesn’t quite want to talk about this with Namjoon however. Not only would it remind the other man of his own comparatively lower societal status, it would also make Hoseok look like he was trying to avoid his privilege as a rich heir as much as possible. 

He tries to change the subject. “So how are your grandparents doing? Jin-hyung mentioned that you went to visit them recently?”

The other man’s eyes brighten as he starts to describe his visit to his maternal grandparents, who live all the way in Jeju. He describes his abeoji, who had been a schoolteacher in his time, and still remained in the pursuit of knowledge even at 80, and how it was through him that Namjoon had become interested in books in the first place. He describes his halmeoni, a woman who seemed like a warm kind-hearted lady, but truly had a heart of steel when it came down it.

“My abeoji loves her and lives in fear of her”, Namjoon whispers conspiratorially and they both laugh.

As Namjoon talks his hand gestures get more and more violent, his facial expressions more vibrant, and his eyes somehow light up even more. He looks like a mini-tornado in action, and Hoseok is entranced by him. Hoseok’s been described as the sun by many people, especially his best friend, but right now, looking at Namjoon, he thinks that Namjoon is the sun, shining as brightly as ever, and Hoseok is the planet that revolves around him.

“Hyung? Hyung are you okay?” Namjoon asks in concern.

Hoseok blinks and then laughs it off, feeling a little-headed. “I’m fine”. 

 

-

 

Jimin sighs, pulling out his cellphone to check the time again. Only 2 minutes have passed since he last checked it. Great.

He absentmindedly drums his fingertips against the wooden table, telling himself that if the guy is a no-show after 5 minutes, he should just leave. But something about that makes Jimin really sad. What if the guy’s just running late and he forgot to text Jimin? What if his cellphone has no signal and that’s why Jimin’s calls aren’t going through. What if he got into a car accident-

A ping from his phone startles him and he picks his phone, hoping it’s the guy he’s supposed to be on a date with. But no, it’s just Taehyung with yet another taekook selfie. Jimin sighs. Sure, he thinks his best friend and his boyfriend are the most adorable couple ever, but that doesn’t mean he likes looking at them being gross 24/7. In fact, that’s the very reason why he’s here, to be gross with a hot guy of his own. But apparently that isn’t in the cards for him, considering the fact that he’s most probably gotten stood up. He pulls out his phone. 

 

Chim:  i think i got stood up : (

Chim:  returning home rn

 

TaeTae:  we’ll be here with ice cream and stupid movies <3

Jimin smiles despite himself. He loves his best friend. 

The walk to his apartment is short - he had purposefully chosen a coffee place only a few blocks in case the guy wanted to come back to his place afterwards. 

He unlocks the door to his apartment, completely unsurprised when he walks in and finds Taehyung and Jungkook lazing about on the couch, playing Overwatch. For all that Taehyung flexed about getting the bigger room in their apartment, him and his boyfriend seemed to spend very little time there.

Taehyung abandons his game as he sees Jimin, running up to him and exclaiming how the guy in question was a piece of shit who deserved to rot in hell and whatnot, ignoring Jungkook's angry "What the fuck, Tae-hyung?". The younger boy doesn’t even look up at Jimin, even more furiously pounding at his control now that Taehyung is no longer there to support him.

Jimin squirms out of Tae’s strong grip. “S’okay Tae, it’s not like we were even friends or anything. He's just some guy I met at a party.”

“Yeah but how dare he stand up MY jiminie? You’re worth 10 of him.”

“You haven’t even met him!” But Jimin protests, but laughs nonetheless at Tae’s antics, mood immediately lightened.

Jungkook finally finishes his match and takes off his headset, sending a dirty look at Taehyung. "We lost the match because of you."

Taehyung shrugs. "Sorry Kookie, it's Jiminie first."

Jungkook rolls his eyes but no one's never been able to stay mad at Taehyung for too long. It's one of the other boy's superpowers.

.“You know hyung", Jungkook comments, resting an arm on Taehyung's shoulder. "I’m actually kind of surprised. You always seemed to be one of those guys who was too hot to get stood up y’know?”

“Yah! What’s that supposed to mean, huh?” Jimin shouts, breaking free from Taehyung and running over to the other boy. Jungkook yelps and pushes Taehyung in front of him as a shield.

“Hyung, I meant it as a compliment! You really need to get your anger issues checked out.” Jungkook yelps as he tries to prevent his own murder at the hands of one Park Jimin.

“Anger issues?” Jimin demanded angrily.

Taehyung sighs. “Calm down, Kookie, Jimin’s just angry because he’s finally experienced being stood up like the rest of us normal humans.”

Jimin snorts, having calmed down. “What do you know about being stood up? You and Jungkook have been dating since you were like 14.”

“13 actually,” Taehyung corrects, staring at his boyfriend with heart eyes, which of course Jungkook reciprocates. Jimin rolls his eyes, going to his room. 

He comes out in a few minutes, having changed into a comfortable pair of grey sweatpants and a plain black t-shirt, and exchanged his everyday contacts for the black-rimmed glasses he only wears at home. 

He walks in on Taehyung and Jungkook doing that really weird couple thing where they stare at each other and have a conversation without actually saying anything. It gets on Jimin’s nerves, because they only really resort to it when they want to keep something from him. Taehyung, having noticed Jimin’s in the room, jumps up.

“So Jungkook, you said you were going to go check on Yugyeom right?” Taehyung says way too perkily to sound normal in any shape or form. Jimin can’t believe he ever aspired to be an actor.

“Yeah”, Jungkook says just as perkily, except he’s not even a normally extroverted person like Taehyung is so it just sounds weird as fuck coming from him. “I’ll be off then.” Jungkook pecks Taehyung on the cheeks, awkwardly waves at Jimin, and leaves. 

Jimin rolls his eyes, collapsing backwards on the couch. “You didn’t have to kick him out.”

“I didn’t,” Taehyung agrees, tangling their legs together and tugging the blanket over them both, “But you and I haven’t had some bff bonding time in a while now, and what better way to do it than to watch shitty films and eat ice cream?”

Jimin laughs despite himself, grabbing the tub of ice cream Taehyung’s graciously left on the coffee table in front of him, and digging in as they watch a romcom about a girl dating a guy who turns out to be her secret enemy’s alter-ego. It’s a harrowing experience, and Taehyung and Jimin are both transfixed as they watch the screen.

“I don’t understand”, the male lead cries, his tears only further accentuating his blue eyes, “You’ve been lying to me all this time?”

“Yes I have been”, the girl says fiercely, “But it was for your own good.”

And it’s at that moment that there’s a banging on the door. Taehyung and Jimin both clutch each other in fear, Jimin nearly overturning the now mostly melted tub of ice cream. 

“Taehyung!” A voice calls from the hallway. “Let me in!”

Jimin exchanges a worried look with Taehyung as the other man goes to open the door.

 “Jungkook?” Taehyung asks, “What’s wrong?”

Jungkook’s face is pale, and he’s shivering all over as he moves to sit down on the couch. Taehyung and Jimin huddle around him, faces creased in worry. “Yoongi-hyung just called me.”

Jungkook’s unfocused gaze meets Jimin’s. “Our father’s dead.”

 

-

 

Jin’s father’s study has always reminded him less of a study and more of an interior design catalogue, with the desk perfectly in the middle of the room and bookshelves lining the walls like a semi-library. There are photo frames and sculptures lining the walls from his father's various work visits over the last few years, most of which are from before his mother died and his father became a workoholic. Not that they add to the cosiness of the room in any way. Their perfect symmetrical placement all around the room all speak to a calculated purpose in their presence. The same can be said about most of Kim Byungho’s house, with its minimalist modern design making the place seem barely lived in. 

It’s now, staring at said father’s cold eyes, that Jin knows it was a mistake coming here, especially this soon after the funeral. While it has been a few weeks, the news of the Min CEO’s death caused stocks in Korea to fall, causing Jin’s father to be even more bad-tempered than he normally was. 

Jin really didn’t have time for this right now. Between comforting Yoongi, who, for all his manly bravado, had been exceptionally close to their father, especially for people of their status, dealing with recently joining the company as a managing director, and everything going on with Namjoon, he had much more important things to worry about. But Kim Byungho, CEO, had called and so he had to come. 

Then again, he would rather face his father sooner rather than later. He had an inkling of what this talk was going to be about, and he steels himself. 

This man is not going to come between Namjoon and I. 

His father is the one sitting, looking up at Jin but it would be a mistake to think that that meant he was showing any sort of weakness. Kim Byungho played the long game, allowing others to look down on him and cutting them down viciously when they did so. It was a talent he’d tried to ingrain into Jin many times over the years.

It wasn’t the only thing he tried to ingrain into him.

His father steeples his fingers together on his desk. “You know, Seokjin, I’ve done a lot for you, wouldn’t you agree?”

Jin merely stays silent, carefully watching his father. 

“I’ve fed you, paid for everything you ever needed, dedicated my life to the company that will one day become yours-” He sighed, his face softening but his eyes remaining as sharp as ever. “And yet, you insist on disobeying me again and again.”

Jin frowns. “I understand that you’re angry about Namjoon-”

His father cracks. It's very similar, Jin thinks, to a bomb going off. 

“Understand? I am  furious .” His father shouts, slamming a fist on his desk. In the corner of his eyes, Jin sees a sculpture topple off a bookshelf. “How dare you have the  audacity  go to the Min funeral with him on our arm. Have you lost all self-respect? Do you want to bring this family,  this company  down with you?”

Jin curls his nails into his palms, trying not to flinch back from the weight of his dad’s anger. It’s hard; he still has the memories of ears ringing throughout his teenage years, when his dad would resort to any topic to get him to listen. 

His father takes a deep breath, evidently trying to calm himself. “Look”, He says curtly, “I understand that your preferences aren’t of the regular variety-”

“Of the  regular  variety?” Jin sneers. “You mean that I’m gay?”

“Don’t interrupt me boy”, Kim Byungho warns. “There are plenty of eligible men you could have chosen. Do Kyungsoo, I’ve heard is a lovely boy, intelligent, composed, heir to Do Corporation, very rich-”

“But I don’t  care  about all that,'' Jin insists.

“You should”, His father retorts. “Someone of our status cannot mingle with people like him.”

“People like him? He’s a college student.” Jin yells. 

“He’s the son of a  housekeeper ” His father says, nose wrinkling as he says the last word. 

Our  housekeeper”, Jin points out incredulously. 

“Which is even more scandalous! I can’t even give him credit for being nouveau riche because he’s not rich. He’s a student for God’s sake. There is more money in this room-” He gestures around him. “-than money he will ever have in his life.”

“Like I said before, I only want Namjoon. I  love  Namjoon.” Jin meets his father’s gaze stubbornly. “And  nothing  you say will change that. I don’t care if you hate me, disown me, if you give the company to Taehyung instead. I would give up the world for Namjoon.”

His father watches him impassively for a bit, and sighs, leaning back in his chair. “The world, you say? You know I once said that about your mother. Look how that worked out.” He snorts, staring at the photo of her on his desk.

“Don’t you dare bring her into this” Jin warns, ready to storm out of the office. What was he even thinking,  agreeing to meet with his father like this? The man would never change and he should have known it.

Jin’s father continues to look at the picture, before looking back up at him. “I’ve been diagnosed with leukemia.”

Jin blinks, his angry thoughts coming to a complete halt. “I’m sorry, what now?”

“It’s stage 4. My doctors have said I have 6 months to live- maybe a year if I’m lucky.”

“You-you’re serious?” Jin says once he finds his voice, too overwhelmed to even begin to process his dad’s words. His father had always been the largest presence in his life, whether he liked it or not, yelling, threatening, guiding, no matter what, he was always there. And this meant...

His father nods, a melancholy look appearing on his face. “Look Seokjin, we both know that Taehyung isn’t suited to run this company. He’s not like you and me. It would suck the soul right out of him. That’s why you have to step up.” He waits for Jin to nod. “But the fact remains that you cannot rule this country with a housekeeper’s son on your arm-”

“Father-”

“So this will be the last thing I ask of you, Jin, father to son. I will give you the company no matter what, because you’re my family and-” He glances to the side  “-I love you. And if you love me, if you have any ounce of affection in your body, leave Kim Namjoon.”

“Father-” Jin tries to protest again, but his father holds his hand up to stop him.

“I have nothing left to say to you. From here, it’s your decision. Please see yourself out.”

Saying so, his father turns his back to Jin to face the skyline of Seoul. 

 

-

 

Jin lies on the bed of a room that once was his, and thinks. He thinks long and hard for what feels like hours, and when he finally comes to a decision, it’s with an ache in his heart that he decides to pick up the phone.

“Namjoon? I need to talk to you.”

 

-

 

Hoseok groans as his ringtone starts again for the third time in a row. He had shut it off the first two times without even opening his eyes, preferring to enjoy his beauty sleep than talk to anyone at 3 in the morning. He was a social person, sure, but even he had his limits.

He sits up, fumbling around his pillows for his phone. It must be serious for the other person to call him so many times. He feels the cool metal of his phone and grabs it, blinking rapidly as he recognizes the name on the screen.

Why was Namjoon of all people calling him at this hour?

 

He presses the answer button. “Namjoon?” Hoseok asks groggily. Seconds pass by and he hears heavy breathing on the other side, but no words. Suddenly he feels a lot more awake.

“Namjoon?” Hoseok asks again, rubbing at his eyelids. “Is everything alright?”

 

He hears a sharp intake of breath. “Is it okay if you come over to my dorm?” Namjoon asks. “Or me to yours.” He hurriedly adds. “I just need to not be alone right now.”

“Of course, Namjoon-ah,” Hoseok answers immediately, the honorific slipping in without him even realizing. “You know my address right? Come on right over.”

Namjoon had recently become a frequent visitor to Hoseok’s apartment, claiming that Jin-hyung was away all the time and he needed some company, even if it was to just do homework or read whatever his intellectual book of the week was. Hoseok had become very knowledgeable on Western Philosophy in the past few weeks.

As the call ends, Hoseok wonders whether he should make an effort to clean up his messy apartment, but decides that since Namjoon decided to come over without any warning, he would just have to deal with the mess. It wasn’t like he was any better anyway. Hoseok had heard Seokjin’s rants about the other man’s inability to clean or his weird organizing habits that made absolutely no sense to anyone but him after all.

What could the other man possibly have to talk to him about at this hour? If it was an emergency, Hoseok would have gotten a call from Yoongi-hyung long before. He checks his phone to make sure but the groupchat consisting of Jin-hyung, Yoongi-hyung, Namjoon, and himself --which the Taehyung liked to call the “hyung chat”--  is completely blank. So then what? It wasn’t like him and Namjoon were close enough to come over at 3 AM.

Maybe he had a panic attack or something? Hoseok ponders. But then why did he call him instead of Jin-hyung?

Hoseok must have sat there lost in his thoughts for a while, because he hears the doorbell ring. He gets up, kicking clothes aside as he walks over the doorway. Thank God he didn’t get a roommate this year.

“Namjoon-ah?” He asks as soon as he opens the door. “What’s wrong?”

The heartbreak on Namjoon’s tearstained face as he stands there shaking says enough. 

 “Jin-hyung broke up with me.”