Yoongi is mad at him. Hoseok looks at the holes in the leaves of his gladiola that he’s tried cultivating in a can on his windowsill, looks at the holes in the dirt around the base of the plant, and he knows. Seokjin told him it would be fine to plant it in a Folgers can, and for all intents and purposes it looks like it’s doing well, standing so tall that it’s bowing under his blinds. But Hoseok sees those hills in the “pot”, those small mounds of dirt made by tiny feet kicking in frustration. He knows. Yoongi is not pleased.
He peers around the stem of the gladiola and sees him, sitting against the stalk, head lolled forward onto his chest. His pink hair covers his eyes, and his little chest rises and falls in the telling rhythm of sleep. Hoseok wonders if he tired himself out after kicking the dirt all night. He sighs, debates running the tip of his index finger under Yoongi’s chin, and then decides not to. He needs something to placate the little fairy (witch, gnome, thing) before he wakes up. He leaves the blinds closed as he goes into the kitchen and puts water on to boil. He leans against the counter and watches the plant; even though he can’t see Yoongi from here, he imagines that he can. Imagines that he’s scrunching up his nose in displeasure from something he’s dreaming about, that he rubs at it cutely with his tiny hand, before he opens his sleepy eyes and…
Hoseok winces as the kettle begins to whistle and he hastily takes it off of the stove. He waits, but nothing. No high pitched squeaking yells from a tiny, pissed off fairy.
Hoseok knows he’s fucked up. His gladiola has holey leaves. And when they went away for the weekend he didn’t water his plants (or ask the neighbor to water his plants), and so he came back to some brown, crunchy leaves. The watering could maybe be forgiven. It’s the holes. He tried spraying it with soap water, and then spraying it with bug killer, and then just letting it be, but nothing would work. The leaves have holes, the plant curves in on itself, and he didn’t water it enough. He knows that. It’s one of the reasons he’d been staying at Yoongi’s as opposed to the other way around (despite his protests: “Hoseok, I live with my mother. I don’t want to fuck with my mother down the hall.”)
He’d wanted to take care of the plant on his own. He’d wanted to be able to bring Yoongi into his modest, unimpressive house and show him this beautiful gladiola that was happy, and healthy, and growing in all the ways it should be. He wanted to see Yoongi’s normally grumpy face break out into that gummy smile he loves so much as Yoongi cupped the flower in both hands and whispered to it lovingly.
He failed. And he knows it. Had known for a while, and rather than admit that he’d failed, he’d kept making excuses to keep Yoongi away from his house, even though he’d slept over a few times before (hell, the first time they fucked was in the very spot Hoseok was preparing his tea in). He knew Yoongi knew something was up, and now he has a pissed off boyfriend and a sad plant and he’s probably going to get cockblocked for weeks.
He sighs as he adds a splash of milk and sugar to his tea, and a small ice cube into the hot water of the other mug. Then he sips, and he waits.
When he hears high pitched buzzing, he knows Yoongi’s woken up. Yoongi, when he wakes up small, makes a lot of noise. He stretches and yawns and groans and sighs and makes all these pleased little hums as he pops every joint he can. Then he realizes where he is, and the yelling starts. Not angry yelling (usually), yelling to get Hoseok’s attention because he’s too small to be significantly loud enough to be heard normally.
Today, the buzzing gives way to a distinct shout.
He sighs and brings the two mugs over to the kitchen table beside the sill where the plant sits. Yoongi stands at the edge of the can, hands on his hips, his nose scrunched up.
“Your poor gladiola!”
“I know, Yoongi.”
“You didn’t water her for four days! Four fucking days! She thought she was going to die.”
“We went on vacation, baby. Remember?” Hoseok tries to cut in, but Yoongi is having none of it; he keeps going like he hasn’t even heard Hoseok speak.
“And she’s being eaten alive! And you’ve covered her in - in - in I don’t even know what! There’s so much shit in this soil, and she’s got gunk in her leaves and - and-“
“And she’s bending! She doesn’t have enough room!”
“But she’s growing, yeah?”
That makes Yoongi pause. Hoseok normally just lets Yoongi rant until he runs out of steam, but sometimes he’s allowed to interrupt. Apparently this is one of those times because Yoongi just shrugs and kicks at a small stone in the soil.
“Well, yeah,” he grumbles. “She’s resilient.”
Hoseok holds out his hand, and Yoongi looks him up and down for a full ten seconds before he rolls his eyes and steps into Hoseok’s palm.
“I know she’s being eaten,” Hoseok says softly. “But I don’t know by what. And I googled all of these remedies-“
“But you could have asked me.” Yoongis eyes are wide and he grips Hoseok’s thumb with both hands. He sounds hurt, and when Hoseok really looks at him he sees that Yoongi is pouting. “You could have asked me and I could have told you.”
“I know you could have. I just-“
“You didn’t want to?” Yoongi’s voice squeaks up at the end, and he turns his face away, rubs a hand over his eyes. Hoseok feels his heart lurch into his throat, words getting stuck somewhere behind his epiglottis. He hates making Yoongi upset in any capacity. He’s only made him cry once (when he cut all of the roses from his bush to make a surprise bouquet), and he doesn’t want to repeat it. He quickly brings Yoongi up closer to his face.
“It’s not that I didn’t want to. I just waned to raise a healthy plant and surprise you.”
Yoongi eyes him doubtfully, then looks back at the gladiola, and shakes his head.
“Hoseok, you don’t know about plants.”
“I’m aware, thank you.”
“No, I mean.” Yoongi sighs and looks at the table, and Hoseok obediently lowers his hand so that Yoongi can step down. “I mean you don’t have to grow a perfect plant to make me happy, Hoseok. Just…let me fuckin’ be there when you have them. You know? I wanna…” Yoongi blushes and shoves his hands into his tiny pockets. “I wanna play in the dirt with you.”
If someone had told Hoseok a year ago that in twelve months time he would have found a fairy (witch) in his classroom garden and fallen in love with said tiny creature, he would have laughed in their face. He would have made some self-deprecating remark about how no-one could ever love him, witches weren’t real, and he was going to spend the rest of his life alone and sad.
Now though, now his heart feels close to bursting with how absolutely, ridiculously, disgustingly in love he is. He pokes Yoongi gently with his index finger, and Yoongi looks up at him with a shy smile, rubbing over his tummy where Hoseok poked him.
“I wanna play in the dirt with you, too.”
Yoongi groans and covers his eyes, turns to face the gladiola again. “Oh god, it sounds so much worse being parroted back to me.”
Hoseok giggles and rests his head in his hand. “I um, I thought about making it up to you.”
Yoongi turns back around, eyebrows raised. “We’re gonna re-pot this plant and put her in the backyard where she belongs?”
Hoseok coughs and scratches the back of his head - a nervous habit that even his students had picked up on. “Uh, yeah, we could do that too.”
Yoongi laughs, this giggle that sounds like it belongs in a jrpg video game and not the deep voice that the love of Hoseok’s life (he’s whipped, he admits it) normally has.
“Okay,” Yoongi says slowly with a small smile, swaying his hips slightly as he wanders back over towards Hoseok. “So if that wasn’t it-“
Hoseok pushes the other mug towards Yoongi; there’s a small cloud of steam still rising out of the mug but the ceramic itself is lukewarm to the touch. Yoongi eyes the mug that’s as tall as he is, and then looks back to Hoseok, eyebrows still raised.
“It’s too big for me to drink out of.”
“It’s not for drinking.”
Yoongi’s nose scrunches up, god he’s so fucking cute, and he crosses his arms over his chest.
“Then what’s it for?”
Hoseok grins and folds his arms on the table, resting his chin on top.
“Wanna soak in a hot tub?”
Yoongi looks confused for another moment before he realizes what Hoseok means, and then his eyes widen and his mouth stretches into a large smile.
“Yeah.” Yoongi is already stripping out of his shirt, and Hoseok laughs. “I can even put in one of the tea diffusers so you can sit on it.”
Yoongi pauses as he undoes the zipper of his pants and looks up at Hoseok through his pink bangs. “Can it be the manatee one?”
Hoseok grabs the small grey manatee diffuser from the tea drawer (diffusers, spare bags, sugar spoons, etc.), and carefully plunks it into the water. Yoongi stands naked against the mug, arms wrapped around what of it he can reach, cheek squished against the ceramic.
“You okay, Yoongi?”
“S’warm,” Yoongi says, and then pulls himself away with a groan. “It’s so cold Hoseokkie. Put me in before my nuts shrivel off.”
Hoseok laughs as he holds his hand out, and Yoongi practically dives on before Hoseok lifts him and then gently sets him on the rim of the cup so that only his feet and calves are in the water.
“Is it too hot? I can add another ice cube.”
Yoongi shakes his head, then plugs his nose and slides in, head disappearing under the water before he immediately resurfaces with a gasp. His bangs are plastered to his face, and he dives under the water again to push them back off of his forehead with both hands. He grins at Hoseok from inside the mug, water dripping off of the tip of his nose. Hoseok doesn’t say it, but Yoongi like this, floating in the water with his pink hair slicked back and ears poking out, he looks like a water elf. He’s beautiful. Yoongi grabs onto the diffuser and then rests his arms on the lip of the mug.
Yoongi blushes, his cheeks turning the same light pink as his hair, and he shakes his head. “Stop it. You’re fucking embarrassing.”
And it hits him then, startlingly clear, that he is most definitely in love. In love in a way that he hadn’t even felt with his ex-wife. In love in a way that he’d never thought he’d feel. In love in a way he thought was reserved for picture books and fairytales. But, well, he found a potato fairy, didn’t he? Perhaps he’s living in one, his own private fairytale where true love exists. Yoongi props his head up, suddenly looks concerned.
Yoongi rests his chin on the edge of the mug and it makes his cheeks sort of puff out. “You look like you’re constipated.”
“That’s my thinking face.”
Yoongi snorts and shakes his head, rolling his eyes up to the ceiling. “Okay, so what are you thinking about?”
“Move in with me.”
Yoongi squeaks, flails his tiny arms and then disappears into the mug with a small splash, warm water droplets flying out over the side. Hoseok peers over the mug right as Yoongi resurfaces, hair plastered over his eye, over his ear, half on one side of his head. He doesn’t bother diving back down, just rakes his hands through his hair and tries to get it out of his face as much as possible. Looking over the mug, Hoseok can see Yoongi’s legs kicking as he treads water. Finally Yoongi stops sputtering, gets his hair in order, and grips the edge of the mug again.
“Sit down,” he says, and his voice is suddenly so gruff, so much like big Yoongi’s, that Hoseok’s stomach clenches. He sits back in his chair and does his best to meet Yoongi’s unwavering gaze. “What did you just say?”
“Move in with me,” Hoseok repeats, but it’s less sure this time. Yoongi tilts his head to the side.
“Are you being serious right now?”
“I think so?”
“That’s not an answer.”
“Well will you say yes?”
“That’s - that’s not an answer either!” Yoongi’s voice is squeaky and there are round patches of red on his cheeks. Hoseok sighs as he leans forward so that his nose is level with Yoongi’s face. The steam from the mug makes his cheeks tingle.
“Yoongi, I want you to live with me.”
Yoongi eyes him, but Hoseok catches the barest flicker of a smile.
“Yeah. Besides, my garden needs you.”
“You don’t have a garden.” His voice is deadpan, but he’s openly smiling now. Hoseok smiles back.
“That’s why it needs you.”
Yoongi holds Hoseok’s nose with both small hands, and Hoseok can feel the barest tickle of a kiss against the tip of his nose. Yoongi sinks back into the water with a blush and a smile, and Hoseok thinks he might just be the most beautiful creature he’s ever seen.
“You make a solid argument,” Yoongi says.
“Is that a yes?”
Yoongi laughs, that squeaky, fairy laugh, and nods. “Yeah. You need someone to watch out for your plants.”
“That I do,” Hoseok says as he holds out a washcloth to wrap Yoongi in like an oversized beach towel. “That I do.”
And later, when regular sized Yoongi is criticizing the soil of his back yard and explaining in detail all of the things that they’re going to have to change in order to make it actually “garden ready,” Hoseok feels more at ease, more at home, than he’s ever felt.
He wraps his arms around Yoongi’s waist and presses a wet kiss to his neck while Yoongi is in the middle of explaining the difference between potting soil and garden soil and high nitrate soil, and Yoongi squeaks.
“Are you even listening?”
“Nitrates. I love you.”
Yoongi laughs, his regular, deep yet squeaky laugh, and he leans his head back against Hoseok’s shoulder.
“I love you too. Fuckin’ dork.”
“Thanks.” Hoseok kisses his neck again, and Yoongi reaches his hands around and tangles his fingers in Hoseok’s hair.
“No problem. So I’m thinking if we rip out that shrub-“
Yep. Definitely, positively, crazy in love.