Can I touch your heart?
Yoongi’s first impression as he stepped inside was that the room was on fire.
Which, of course, was stupid considering there was no fire or smoke.
But the bright red colour his eyes were met by simply could not be explained in any other way.
For a moment he just stood still at the threshold, blinking at the fierce red colour that attacked his eyes from every wall.
Then he slowly came to realise: it was not a fire.
It was hearts.
Hundreds upon hundreds of paper hearts, neatly folded out of blood red paper covered every surface of the small room. Some were hung up on strings like weird garlands, some were pinned to the wall (slightly deflated because of it) and some were just lying on the small table and the floor.
Covering each other, stacked on top of each other, on the nightstand of the hospital bed, on the floor, everywhere. There was not a surface of the room that had been spared from the hundreds of origami hearts.
Yoongi’s eyes were wide at the strange sight of the heart-filled room. He stood there, frozen in the open door, until a small voice broke the silence.
His eyes landed on the boy in the bed. The covers were also covered in newly folded paper hearts and Yoongi could see a half done heart being folded in his hands. His hands were small. Small and neat and pale, after having stayed inside the hospital for a big part of his life, with eager fingers bending and working the paper. His bleached blonde hair stood like a gloria around his head and he was smiling the brightest most angelic smile Yoongi had ever seen, as if he’d been sent by the heavens to light up the world with his innocence and purity.
Yoongi smiled back at him and quickly glanced down his papers.
Park Jimin... the only thing his file said about him was a strange word that he barely knew how to read, let alone pronounce. He frowned, trying to remember what it meant. Yoongi could vaguely recall it being some rare heart disease but couldn’t remember any of the symptoms or the treatment.
Lucky he wasn’t a real doctor or the poor kid would be dead.
As if reading his mind, the boy started talking.
“I haven’t seen you around before” He absentmindedly said, going back to folding his little paper heart. “Are you new?”
Yoongi shook his head.
“No...” he said, awkwardly clearing his throat as his voice cracked a little. “I mean yes I am new. But I’m not a proper doctor, I’m just an intern.”
The boy (Jimin Yoongi reminded himself) nodded.
“I see” he said, shyly smiling. “What’s your name?”
Yoongi bit his lip.
“Yoongi” he said. “Min Yoongi”
Jimin tilted his head a little.
“That’s a pretty name” he commented. “My name is Park Jimin. But you’ve already read that in the journals haven’t you”
“Yeah” he said, for some reason blushing. There was nothing accusing in Jimin’s voice, yet he somehow felt guilty for having learned Jimin’s name through journals before asking him. To ease the tension Yoongi looked around the room again, his eyes wandering over all the bright red paper hearts.
“Hey” he said slowly. “May I ask-“
“What the thing with the paper hearts is?” Jimin filled in. Then he giggled at Yoongi’s expression, the softest lightest giggle he’d ever heard, like a feather or the wing beats of a butterfly. “I get that question a lot”
“I see” he said, suddenly aware of how raspy and deep his voice was in comparison.
Jimin straightened up so he was properly sitting upright in the bed, his back resting against the wall.
He patted the empty space on the bed in front of him.
“Sit down” he said, flashing another smile that once again made it seem like his face had been hit by a ray of sunlight.
But outside the hospital window was no sun, just gray clouds and an ever so light rain that tapped rhythmically against the glass.
The rain tapped in time with Yoongi’s footsteps as he walked up to the bed and sank down on it, carefully moving away some of the hearts so he wouldn’t squash them.
Jimin put away the heart he’d been folding and picked up two new pieces of quadratical red paper.
“First” he informed Yoongi as he handed him one of the papers staring at him with ridiculously wide eyes “I have to teach you how to fold one”
Yoongi was on the verge of telling him that he didn’t have the time for silly paper hearts, that he had to continue walking around checking on the patients...
But something held him back.
Something in the way Jimin looked at him while smiling broadly, his brown eyes crinkling to half-crescent shapes, like Yoongi was the closest thing to a friend he had.
He was supposed to get to know the patients anyway wasn’t he?
“Alright” he said and returned Jimin’s smile, his fingers clasping the red paper.
Yoongi’s fingers were long and slender in contrast to Jimin’s shorter chubby ones.
“Okay” Jimin said. “So first you fold the bottom of the paper like this, a small fold... no even smaller, just like half a centimetre... yeah like that. Now fold the paper in half...”
Folding a paper heart proved to be harder than Yoongi had expected but that might have been because he was absolutely terrible at everything that had anything to do with origami. The paper just didn’t bend under his will, didn’t fold or form the way he wanted it to.
Jimin showed Yoongi the steps slowly, giving him pedagogical instructions for every fold but still, when he was done, his heart was crinkled and askew compared to Jimin’s that was perfectly shaped.
It didn’t look a lot like a heart though, more like a diamond or pentagon in the shape. But they hadn’t inflated them yet so maybe that was why.
Jimin giggled at Yoongi’s heart, a sound that made his stomach feel all soft and fuzzy.
“It’s very good for a start” he praised and Yoongi stared at his ugly creation in disbelief.
“It’s not” he muttered sulkily. “But thanks for lying, it feels nice that you at least are trying to make me think I’m any good at this”
Yoongi don’t know how Jimin understood he wasn’t seriously angry, how he heard the glint of irony that many mistook for genuine rage, but he did and laughed so hard he nearly fell out of the bed.
The sight of the giggling clumsy boy made the corners of Yoongi’s mouth twitch almost uncontrollably.
“Now” Jimin panted, out of breath when he had finally stopped laughing “you have to blow into the little hole to inflate the heart. Like this”
Yoongi watched the boy place his pink velvety lips around the hole and close his eyes as he carefully blew air into the little heart.
He watched as it pulsated with life, filling with air like a normal heart filled with blood.
A crease was created at the top and the little folded piece of paper took the shape of a heart.
Delicately, as if he was afraid it’d break if he was too hasty, Jimin held it up for Yoongi to see and smiled brightly at the latter’s baffled expression.
“Oh come on” he giggled. “It’s not rocket science”
Yoongi shrugged as he tried blowing life into his heart only to fail as the crease that had been as sharp as a knife on Jimin’s became misshaped and crooked on his.
“Might as well be” he muttered and Jimin let out another laugh, as crystal clear and light as before.
Yoongi didn’t realise he was smiling until he felt the faint ache in his cheeks.
“So” he said, putting his pathetic origami attempt beside him and then turning his full attention to the blonde boy in the bed. “Tell me”
Jimin arched a perfect eyebrow.
“About what?” he said teasingly and Yoongi rolled his eyes.
“Brat” he said and punched Jimin in th shoulder, his breath immediately hitching with regret as Jimin let out a little gasp.
“Oh my god” Yoongi exclaimed worriedly, realising his mistake a little too late. “I’m so sorry I... I shouldn’t have... i just-“
“Forgot I was a patient?”
Yoongi only stared at Jimin for a moment.
Then he nodded slowly.
“Yeah” He said, sheepishly scratching the back of his neck. “Something like that”
Jimin chuckled quietly.
“It’s okay” he said silently. Then he looked up at the intern. “Actually I’m glad”
Yoongi raised an eyebrow.
“Absolutely” he said. “Its been a long time since someone treated me so much like a human that they forgot I was a patient. Usually people treat me like I’m made of glass, ready to break at any moment”
Jimin paused and frowned.
“I don’t like it” he confessed and turned his gaze away to stare out at the gray mass that the world had turned into outside the window, the now heavily pouring rain blurring all lines. “It makes me feel like I’m weak”
Yoongi didn’t know what to answer.
On one hand, he could completely understand why people treated Jimin the way they did. He was weak.
Or rather, his heart was.
But Yoongi didn’t have any trouble understanding the boy.
According to the papers Jimin was only two years younger and even though Yoongi had changed a lot the last two years of his life he remembered how he’d been at Jimin’s age.
How much he’d despised being viewed as weak.
He chose his words carefully.
“They don’t think you’re weak Jimin” he said truthfully. “They think your heart is weak. And they don’t want to hurt it because if they do they’ll hurt you too”
Jimin parted his chapped lips slightly, the tip of his tongue darting out to lick them.
“No one has ever said that” he said with a faint smile, eyebrows still furrowed. “It’s basically the same thing but still. It’s nice being reassured something else but the usual lies they feed me”
Yoongi was taken aback at Jimin’s words. They sounded too harsh for him. He somehow looked too gentle and fragile for them, too innocent to have experienced the things that caused him to voice them.
Suddenly Yoongi looked at him.
At the dark circles under his eyes, his unhealthily pale skin that should be tanned and golden, his hair that had been dyed, probably in a last attempt to live the life of a normal teenage boy.
And Yoongi’s heart ached.
Ached like the thousand paper hearts on the walls, pierced to the wallpaper with, impaled by small sharp needles.
He took a deep breath in order to calm himself and tried to focus on the music the rain created as it tapped against the window glass, the steady sound of Jimin’s breathing.
“Tell me about the hearts”
Yoongi heard Jimin shuffle around and cracked an eye open.
The boy had pushed the covers down so they no longer covered his knees, revealing more of his body.
Jimin was wearing a white hospital gown and Yoongi gulped at how thin his arms were.
According to his files he’d been hospitalised for the last three years of his life, and without anything but hospital food and no proper exercise Yoongi shouldn’t be surprised at how slim he was... but it still made him sad.
Yoongi hadn’t even thought of how hollow his cheeks were until now and with a pang of pain he realised how beautiful the boy would have looked with some tan on his skin, a healthy amount of fat on his body, blush on his cheeks and the true happiness of a normal teenager in his soul.
Not that he wasn’t beautiful.
He just would have looked even better if he could live like everyone else.
Jimin bit his chapped but still seemingly velvet-like lips again before opening them.
“I fold paper hearts” he began slowly “in order to strengthen my own heart”
Yoongi frowned but Jimin continued before he could ask what the boy meant.
“When I first arrived at the hospital I was sad”
With a faint smile and looking like the simple motion pained him beyond words he raised his pale forearms, showing the thin scars that leapt up and down his skin. “Very sad”
Yoongi felt sick to the stomach, the mere thought of the fragile creature in front of him doing something like that to himself making him want to cry.
“I felt pointless, meaningless, wrong. Like I had been made just to die”
Jimin sighed but looked slightly more lighthearted as he continued.
“Then I met doctor Hoseok” he informed Yoongi, sounding like Jin was god himself. “Do you know who he is?”
Yoongi nodded, recalling the brown-haired man with a heart shaped smile and a positivity that seemed contagious.
“Well, Hoseok told me that I had to fold paper hearts”
Yoongi chuckled a little.
“But why?” he asked curiously.
“Hoseok told me that if I folded as many hearts as there were blood-corpuscles in my body, they’d give me strength when my own heart failed me”
Yoongi tilted his head a little, smiling sadly at the optimistic boy in front of him.
“I don’t think that’s how it works” he said quietly. “And besides, there are countless blood-corpuscles in your body, more being made all the time. Basically you’ll have to keep folding hearts for as long as you live”
“I know” he said. “So I guess I’ll just keep folding new paper hearts”
Yoongi was about to open his mouth to protest but closed it again as Jimin picked up his unfinished heart from earlier to finish it.
“You’re right Jimin” he said, silently praying for the sick boy’s soul. “You should”
Yoongi didn’t give Jimin an explanation as he stood up and walked out the door but he figured the kid knew that he had duties to fulfil.
However, his mind was distracted and he couldn’t seem to focus 100% on the other patients for the rest of the day.
He kept thinking about Jimin and his paper hearts.
It wasn’t until he was on his way home, the rain gone but a cold wind pulling and tugging at his coat, he realised something;
Hoseok hadn’t told Jimin to fold those paper hearts because he actually thought it would heal him.
He had done so to give the boy a purpose.
A hope that he could cling to when he felt worthless and weak.
Yoongi smiled to himself as he walked home from the metro, hands in his pockets and breath standing like smoke in the cold evening air.
Sometimes can hope be the only medicine you need.
Hope and some hundred neatly folded paper hearts.
Only Yoongi knew if he maybe visited the 17 year old boy with the paper hearts a little more frequently than the other patients.
He didn’t forget the others of course, but he might have visited Park Jimin with the heart disease for a little longer.
And maybe during breaks too.
And sometimes even after his shifts were over.
The day he first realised he viewed Jimin as a friend was exactly three weeks after they had first met.
Yoongi stumbles into Jimin’s room, five minutes late for his usual checkup, finding the boy in bed, halfway through a new paper heart.
Jimin had looked up and smiled that angelic smile of his.
“I-I’m sorry I’m late” Yoongi panted, leaning against the doorframe, hand on his hip trying to collect himself.
Jimin chuckled softly.
“Shouldn’t a doctor have good health and cardio?” he said amusedly.
Yoongi grit his teeth.
“Fuck off” he groaned, massaging his ribs. “I know that you used to be a professional dancer but us mortals aren’t always in top shape”
Jimin giggled so violently at this that he banged his head in the wall behind him.
“Still no excuse to be so out of shape” that little devil grinned and Yoongi could swear Jimin’s smirk only grew wider when he shot the younger a death glare that was enough to send even a tough guy to hell and back. “Why were you even late to begin with”
Yoongi scoffed and shook his head.
“Kids these days” he muttered. “Is this really how you treat your Hyung? Who, besides, treats and takes care for your diseased ass?”
“First of all you’re only two years older. And secondly you don’t even care for me. You’re just an intern”
Jimin smiled, a small soft smile. Not his million-watt-literal-sun-smile but a small, cautious smile.
It was less like the sun reflecting in a lake in the summer and more like the cold dew in the grass in the morning.
Less like ice cream with chocolate sauce and sprinkles and more like fluffy pink cotton candy.
Just as sweet but somehow more delicate.
Yoongi shook his head because what the hell, was he really comparing his patient’s smile with ice cream and cotton candy?
He’s not a patient though, a small voice whispered at the back of his mind as he sat down on Jimin’s bed to give him his medicine and check how he was feeling.
He’s more than that.
On the outside, the only detail giving him away was his movements stiffening for a split second.
But on the inside it was like everything melted.
Yoongi’s breath almost caught in his throat as the realisation his him with full force; Jimin was his friend.
He viewed Jimin, not as a sick patient he needed to take care of, but as a young boy who with his blinding smiles and humour had charmed him into liking him.
It was a scary thought really.
Yoongi was usually careful with who he let in, and counting someone as a friend after only three weeks of knowing them? It wasn’t like him.
But then again, he couldn’t exactly deny the genuine happiness the kid filled him with. He couldn’t deny how happy he felt every time he walked the familiar path to Jimin’s room, much like he couldn’t deny how he noted things during his off days, thinking how he’d tell Jimin about them, or how he’d hear certain songs that made him think of Jimin because “if Jimin’s smile was a song this would be it” or “Jimin would love these vocals”.
Most of all he couldn’t deny how right it sounded to call Jimin his friend. How easily the word rolled off his tongue when he attached Jimin’s name to it.
“Are you okay Yoongi?”
Yoongi snapped his mouth closed (he hadn’t even been aware he’d opened it) and his features softened as he returned to Earth with a pleasant thud, called there by the sound of a soft voice speaking his name.
Yoongi nodded and shook his body a little, trying to rid himself of the original shock. It wasn’t really a big thing. Jimin was his friend, that’s that.
End of the story.
Yoongi started speaking again, chattering and jokingly bickering with Jimin as usual before he had to leave to see the other patients.
As he closed the door behind he was filled with a strange feeling.
His stomach felt tingly and like someone had let out a whole jar of fluttering butterflies.
Which was a weird thing to think of course.
Yoongi was aware of that.
It wasn’t that he’d never had a friend before. He had friends, lots of them, he wasn’t that pathetic.
It was just...
No one had ever made him feel this much this fast.
Not now Min Yoongi, he thought to himself in an attempt to calm himself.
He had duties to fulfil and couldn’t allow himself to dwell on the thought of his new friend the entire day.
Still, Yoongi couldn’t help the huge gummy smile that made its way to his face as he thought of who he was going to meet during his break.
And if it happened to be his blonde friend?
Well only Yoongi knew.
The first time Yoongi realised that there might be something more than platonic feelings behind his affection towards Jimin was exactly two weeks later.
It was a couple of minutes after he had entered the Jimin’s room for their usual meet up.
It had become a ritual that stretched far beyond just Yoongi giving Jimin his medicine. Yoongi would usually tell Jimin how his morning had been, complain about traffic, show some new music, complain about the weather, recommend the latest k-drama he’d watched, complain about his neighbours...
actually about 75% of their conversations was just Yoongi complaining and Jimin listening with a glint in his eyes and a paper heart between his cute little fingers.
This morning however...
Things were different.
The sight that met him as he stepped inside Jimin’s room was unlike anything he’d ever been prepared for, it was like a punch in the face.
Of course Yoongi already knew Jimin was in terrible pains. Hoseok has been quick to inform him that morning. Hoseok with his broad smile, with his contagious happiness and knowing looks that he threw at Yoongi whenever he blushed at the mention of Jimin.
It was the first thing Hoseok told Yoongi as he walked in the doors.
Jimin’s in a bad state he said.
Just those four words.
But they were enough to send Yoongi’s heart racing. He had understood since long that Jimin was a lot worse than he showed. He disguised it surprisingly well but it was easy to read if you knew what to look for. The way he gasped in pain whenever he moved, even if it was just to shift his position in the bed, the amount of painkillers he munched to keep the aches down to a minimum, how he seemed to be paler than the white newly washed sheets in his bed... he just didn’t want to worry anyone, especially not Yoongi.
Oh how well didn’t Yoongi know that the happy Jimin he thought he knew was just a well crafted facade.
That’s why he was terrified when he scrambled to get to Jimin’s room as fast as his short legs could carry him. If it was worse than usual and Jimin never let anyone know when he was in pain... how bad mustn’t it be when he actually alarmed the doctors?
Yes Yoongi knew very well that things were bad as he, pale and sweating, practically ripping the door off its hinges, ran into Jimin’s room.
Still he couldn’t help the feelings that welled up inside of him as he saw the younger boy, feeling like his heart was being ripped out of his chest and trampled on.
He was as white as his wallpaper, his beautiful face twisted up in a grimace of utter pain and torture.
Yoongi felt his own, strong, heart sink at the sight of Jimin.
A tube was sticking out of his arm, shoved into the skin between his fading scars. Liquid was flowing through it, if it went in or out of his body was beyond Yoongi’s knowledge. And he didn’t really want to know right now.
Jimin grasped onto the sheets, his knuckles turning white as small stuttering gasps of pain escaped his pink plush lips. A nurse was sitting beside him, looking at the monitors with a worried expression. She exclaimed something as Yoongi marched past her and up to the bed, but he ignored her and sank down on his knees, taking Jimin’s hand in his.
His fingers were a lot bigger, his hand almost covering Jimin’s tiny one.
Jimin’s eyelids fluttered open and he smiled faintly at Yoongi.
“H-hyung” he panted, gritting his teeth as his body stiffened, another wave of pain crashing over him. “Y-you’re h-he-here”
“I’m here Jimin” Yoongi mumbled, stroking his sweaty forehead. The nurse behind him had stopped giving weak admonitions about how he was in pain and needed space, maybe because she saw the need in both of the boys’ eyes. Their need for each other’s support.
Jimin groaned, his body arching and his hand grasping Yoongi’s painfully hard, sobbing into his pillow.
Yoongi watched the dark wet spots bloom on the light blue pillow case as Jimin cried and he thought that he’d do anything if he only could take the boy’s pain away. He cursed the gods because what had the literal fluff ball Jimin done to deserve this monstrous torture?
Yoongi opened his mouth to say something encouraging but Jimin was faster.
“I-it shattered” he whispered, the pillow muffling his words. He weakly moved his left arm that wasn’t hooked to a tube to gesture towards his chest. “In h-h-here”
Yoongi ran his free hand through Jimin’s blonde locks, absentmindedly noting how soft they were between his fingers.
“Your heart?” he asked.
“M-my he-heart” he repeated, sounding as if he was unsure of what it really was. This basic muscle that means so much, represents so much and has become a symbol for the most important feeling we’ll ever identify.
Yoongi leaned closer.
“But it hasn’t” he mumbled. “Not yet. Not if we can save you”
Jimin’s tears were streaming down his cheeks now, a steady river like the buckets of the skies had been emptied. Almost like the rain on the first day they had met. Only now the water was running down Jimin’s cheeks and not the windows.
Jimin’s eyes were crinkled but not like when he smiled, no they were pained and hurt.
It felt awful.
It pained Yoongi beyond words, he felt a sadness as heavy as a physical ache pierce his chest and the worst part about it was that he couldn’t do shit about it. He couldn’t magically heal Jimin and if he could he sure as hell would have done it long ago.
“Do y-you think m-m-my paper hearts will h-help m-me?”
To be honest Yoongi had been sceptical to them at first but now he found himself nodding eagerly, so desperately wanting the younger’s attempts to keep him alive to work.
“I think so” he said, fighting the tears in his eyes. He couldn’t cry now, he needed to be strong for Jimin.
And he held harder onto the younger’s hand and for the first time in many years the atheist that was Min Yoongi found himself praying.
To God, to Allah, to Ganesh, to whoever the bloody hell was up there, he prayed.
Please, he thought to himself as doctors barged in through the doors with tools and medicines in their hands, please let him live another day.
Please he thought as said doctors threatened to rip him from Jimin’s grip if he didn’t give them space.
Let him live for another day so I can complain about him not respecting his Hyung.
Let him live for another day so I can hear his giggles and see his face light up when he smiles.
Please let him live so I can tell him stories about my day.
Please let him live so he can one day show me his dancing skills.
And then the thought crossed Yoongi’s mind.
The out-of-your-mind crazy thought, the stupid but at the same time obvious realisation presenting itself.
Some sentences have the ability to with just a few words change out entire life.
Things like “I don’t love you”, “I’m pregnant”, “she’s dead” and so on.
And for Yoongi?
It was the thought that crossed his mind right after the doctor yelled that Park Jimin needed surgery right away.
The thought that blanked out every other, that toned away every noise and movement and stilled everything until he couldn’t hear the doctor telling him to let the patient (his name was Jimin) go and all he could feel was Jimin’s hand in his.
His breathing stopped as the thought ran through his head again, Yoongi desperately trying to find a flaw with it, something that could make it untrue, something that could halt his inevitable realisation.
But there was none.
The thought was just as true and pure as the first time it had struck him;
“Please let him live so I can kiss him when this is all over”
Truth to be told, Yoongi was a little relieved when the surgeons didn’t let him inside the room where the surgery was to be done.
He loved Jimin (more than like a friend as he painfully had come to realise) and wanted to stay by his side, but he couldn’t deny that the doctor probably was right when he said Yoongi wouldn’t be able to emotionally handle the sight of Jimin being cut and sewn up.
And so, after some weak protests from Yoongi’s side, he ended up outside the room, pacing up and down outside the door, anxiously awaiting an answer to the unspoken question: “is he okay?”
After a while he sank down in one of the armchairs that was placed in the waiting room and whether it was because of the exhaustion, the emotional stress or something else he didn’t know, but he fell asleep almost immediately.
Yoongi was woken again by someone gently shaking him, a firm hand on his shoulder.
He opened his eyes.
Through his thick eyelashes everything looked darker and blurrier but he could tell that he had slept for a couple of hours judging by how dark it was outside the windows.
Yoongi blinked a couple of times and straightened his posture, his back protesting loudly as he did.
The man in front of him was undoubtedly the same man as the one who had escorted Jimin to the surgery room and instructed Yoongi to wait outside and before he could say anything the words were streaming out of Yoongi’s mouth, slurred and incoherent due to sleepiness.
Is he okay? What happened? Can I see him? Please let me see him?
The man shook his head and placed a hand over Yoongi’s mouth.
“Breathe” he said, boring his gaze into Yoongi’s tired eyes. He snapped his mouth close and once the doctor was sure he wasn’t going to open it again he removed his hand from Yoongi’s mouth.
“Listen” he said gravely. “I know that this is all very hard for you but you have to wait for a little longer. Your friend has gone through surgery, not a very demanding one but still a surgery. And right now he needs to rest”
Yoongi opened his mouth to protest.
“B-but he needs me” he said weakly.
The doctor smiled sadly.
“Yes he does” he said. “But right now he needs rest and sleep more. His body does”
Yoongi wanted to say something but he swallowed the words, along with the sour lump in his throat.
“I-is he okay?”
The doctor smiled genuinely for the first time.
“Yes” he said, causing Yoongi to breathe a sigh of relief. “He’s tired and shaken but he’s alive and fine. Once he has recovered he’ll probably be better than before actually”
Yoongi could have sworn he felt the tips of his toes leave the ground.
He had never felt so light, so relieved, so happy in his life before. It really did feel like he was flying, even if it was the most overused cliché ever.
The surgeon chuckled a little, clearly amused at Yoongi’s euphoric reaction.
Yoongi blushed at this as he realised he must look pretty damn ridiculous.
“What?” he muttered, clenching his fists like a petulant child.
The surgeon shook his head and sat down in one of the armchairs, gesturing for Yoongi to do the same.
And Yoongi did, sinking down into the comfortable leather.
“Do you want to know why I chose to work as a surgeon?” the man asked, looking Yoongi straight in the eyes.
Yoongi bit his lip, not sure if he actually wanted to know but thinking that he probably didn’t have a choice as it most likely was a rhetorical question, and nodded.
The man leaned backwards a little, taking his good time stretching his back before starting. The sound of his voice had Yoongi tilt back his head and stare up at the white ceiling.
Some of the paint had began flaking in the corner.
“I became a doctor...”
The man made a pause for drama.
“Because I was tired of ingratitude”
“What do you mean?” he asked the ceiling.
For a moment there was silence.
Yoongi didn’t understand why the surgeon was telling him this but he needed to take his mind of things while waiting for Jimin to wake up.
That was why he accepted it.
And who knows, maybe that’s why the stranger was doing it?
“A couple of years ago my ex’s best friend was in a car accident”
Tongue licking dry chapped lips before continuing.
“I wasn’t very close to the friend but I still came to the hospital, to be there for my ex you know? Anyways, back then I used to believe that humans were ungrateful pieces of shits... which I still do”
Yoongi let a small laughter escape his lips and immediately regretted it. It was a stupid thought but it somehow felt wrong to laugh, wrong to be happy and giggling when Jimin had just gone through surgery.
He sobered up and focused on the man’s story.
He cleared his throat and waved his hand a little.
“Continue” he mumbled. He was getting intrigued.
“Well as i said I thought humans were ungrateful. I mean we get everything we want, we have everything we could ever wish for, and yet we’re never pleased and we’re never truly thankful.”
Outside, the wind was howling around the skyscrapers of Seoul, creating a melancholic melody that seemed to go straight to Yoongi’s heart.
“But that night I saw something else”
Yoongi’s head snapped to the man who’s face was in shadows.
The man appeared to be searching for his words, unsure of how to express himself.
“I...” he said slowly, weighing every word. “I realised something. Something quite ironic”
“As I saw the look on my ex’s and his family’s faces when the doctors said his friend was going to live I realised that... the thing in the universe us humans are the most grateful for is the gift we’ve all been granted and we all carry; the gift of life. It’s a gift we enjoy each and every day and sometimes were reckless with it, sometimes we don’t want it... but when we realise how easily it could be snatched from someone you love but that person ends up staying alive?”
The surgeon shook his head.
“That’s the most pure and outright gratitude I have seen. And that’s why I decided to become a doctor.”
Yoongi tapped his converse rhythmically against the avocado green linoleum floor.
“Because you wanted to see people who were grateful?”
The mans lips curled into a smile barely visible in the dark.
“I wanted to spare people the pain of having their most precious gift taken away from someone they loved. And to see what genuine gratitude looks like, yeah”
Yoongi was silent for a long moment. All he could hear was the wind outside the window and his shoe tapping against the floor.
Tap tap tap.
“Why are you telling me all of this?”
Tap tap tap.
The surgeon chuckled quietly.
“Well” He said amusedly. “Partly because your expression reminded me of the unconditional gratitude I was talking about. But mainly because I needed to take your mind off the boy in there”
He jerked a thumb in the direction of the door to the surgery room.
So his suspicions had been right.
Absentmindedly he drew circles with his finger on his thigh.
“When will he be rested enough to see me?”
Yoongi’s voice sounded a lot weaker than usual and he hated it. He hated it with a burning, flaming passion, but the surgeon didn’t seem to notice or care as he leaned forward and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
“It’ll be hours” he said truthfully. “Maybe you should go home and rest and come back later? I know your lover wouldn’t like the idea of you exhausting yourself while he was sleeping...”
Yoongi didn’t know if it was because he was too emotionally exhausted or if it was because he secretly liked it but he didn’t correct the man, saying that he and Jimin were only friends.
“You’re probably right” Yoongi mumbled and stood up, brushing invisible dust off his lap as he made himself ready to go.
Before he did he stretched out his hand for the other to take.
“Min Yoongi” he said.
The other smiled, revealing deep dimples as he did.
“Kim Namjoon” he answered, grabbing Yoongi’s hand firmly.
Yoongi smiled weakly, pulling the hood of his sweater over his head to protect him from the outside cold.
“I’ll see you around then” he muttered, awkwardly shifting weight between his feet.
“I’m sure mr. Park will feel well tomorrow and that you’ll be able to talk to him the first thing in the morning.”
“Yeah” he mumbled, his voice a little thick in his throat.
Then he stuck his hands down his pockets, said goodbye to Namjoon and began walking home, having missed the last bus since long.
It wasn’t until he twisted the key in the lock to his apartment that the tears came.
“Fuck” he whispered to himself, stumbling in as fast as he could even though there were no one out to see his tears.
Well inside he let them flow.
Let them run down his cheeks.
“Shit Jimin” he whispered to himself, a low chuckle echoing between the dark and seemingly watchful walls. “I really am in love with you it seems”
Yoongi didn’t see Jimin until the next day.
By the time Yoongi got to the hospital he was wringing his hands in worry, despite being told by Namjoon that he was okay not quite able to calm himself down.
What if Namjoon has only said so to make him stop worry? What if Jimin actually had become worse? What if he... what if he hadn’t made it?
Yoongi gulped and forced all of those thoughts to a corner at the back of his mind. Not now, he told himself as his trembling hand pushed down the door handle to Jimin’s room (he had been transferred there last night Jin had informed Yoongi).
His breathing quickened and he closed his eyes, breathing slowly through his nose in a pathetic attempt to calm himself.
Shit shit shit.
Why was he getting worked up? This wasn’t the first time he saw the boy. He was alright and he had met him every day for the last month. There really was no reason whatsoever to be nervous.
But, a little voice at the back of Yoongi’s mind piped up, this is the first time you see him after you’ve realised your true feelings for him.
Shut up, Yoongi thought, tucking away the little voice. It was a stupid thought in the heat of the moment, I was weak and confused and it probably doesn’t mean anything.
His knuckles tightened around the cold metal of the door handle.
And besides, it wasn’t like it was a different Jimin behind the door, or like his feelings were different. He had just recognised their true nature, that’s all.
Still he couldn’t help but feel like things were gonna be different.
Dreading the coming Min Yoongi pushed down the handle and the door swung open.
It was like being hit with a baseball bat in the face.
Jimin was lying in the bed, covers pulled up midway on his chest, exposing his pale smooth skin and flat chest. He appeared to be sleeping, his eyes closed and his face resting in peaceful bliss, his blonde locks spread over his blue pillow like an angel gloria. The sun streamed in through the window, making the whole scene bathe in an almost unreal gold white light. Jimin looked like an angel where he lay, a breathtaking ethereal angel that had had his wings cut too early.
Yoongi felt his throat tighten at the sight of the beautiful boy and had to clear his throat to get rid of the sour, stinging lump that made tears threaten to fall. He couldn’t cry now.
He silently tiptoed across the floor and up to the hospital bed.
Up close Jimin looked less like an angel and more like the sick human he was.
His skin that should be tanned like Yoongi’s was so pale, so paper-like... the bags under his eyes were deeper and darker than before and his plush lips were cracked and had lost its gloss.
Still Yoongi couldn’t help thinking about how kissable they looked.
How ethereal Jimin looked.
Carefully, to not wake the sleeping boy, Yoongi reached out and let his hand run through the blonde locks.
He let out a content sigh as he did. He hadn’t even realised how much he had missed the sensation of the younger’s hair between his fingers.
Yoongi closed his eyes.
Behind his eyelids the world was dark and diffuse and everything that existed was the silky strands of hair between his fingers and the quiet breathing of Park Jimin.
It was nice.
Yoongi would be lying if he said he wasn’t startled at the sound of Jimin’s unusually hoarse voice but he did his best concealing it, slowly cracking his eyes open to look at the boy.
He felt a little embarrassed being caught stroking his hair but he knew he would only make it more obvious if he stopped so he continued.
Besides, Jimin didn’t seem to mind it much.
“Yes?” Yoongi said, trying not to drown in Jimin’s brown eyes. Brown eyes were so beautiful, why had he never thought about it before?
Jimin smiled weakly, trying his best but failing at being his usual happy self.
Yoongi nodded, scratching Jimin’s scalp.
“You did” he said, his heart making a backflip at the pleased humming Jimin let out.
“Do you think it was thanks to my paper hearts?”
Yoongi looked around the room.
His eyes roamed over the hundreds and hundreds of paper hearts, all in the same shade of blood red.
The rays of sun played over the matte paper, the shadows making them seem fuller and more alive, almost as if they were pumping blood like the weak, tired muscle in Jimin’s chest. The light reflected off of them in a red hue, causing Jimin’s cheeks to look flushed and his hair to take a slightly strawberry blonde shade.
At first, Jimin looked sheepish, letting out a soft “Oh”
Then Yoongi spoke again.
“Because this time” he said, and before he could stop himself, because holy shit how cringe wasn’t it, he continued: “Hyung’s heart was beating for you”
Jimin’s head snapped up, his eyes wide.
Yoongi gestured around the room.
“These hearts may beat for you” he said, looking deeply into Jimin’s eyes. “But not like hyung’s does.”
To illustrate his words he lifted a hand up to his chest and did a circular motion over the area that was pulsating slightly due to the working muscle underneath it.
Jimin blinked once. Then twice.
His tongue darted out to lick his pink lips, almost succeeding at distracting Yoongi from what he was doing.
He mumbled something with a voice so frail and light Yoongi couldn’t pick up the words.
“I’m sorry?” he asked, trying not to notice how flustered he looked and how goddamn adorable he was.
Jimin took a deep shaky breath before opening his little mouth again, words a little stronger this time.
“C-can I touch your heart.... h-hyung?”
Yoongi’s breath hitched a little at the request.
It was a strange thing to ask for and even stranger to comply to but somehow he found himself leaning forward, exposing his chest area before he knew what he was doing.
Yoongi bit his lip.
“Of course” he whispered hoarsely, not knowing from where this newfound boldness had sprung.
Hesitantly and slowly, as if mentally asking himself if this was a good idea, Jimin reached out with his hand.
His breathing seemed to quicken a little as he placed his warm little palm over the pulsating area of Yoongi’s chest but Yoongi might have imagined that.
Jimin’s hand was warm and soft and felt a lot bigger than it was.
The contact, even through the hospital clothes Yoongi was wearing, sent his heart racing, beating frantically through his chest and against Jimin’s fingers.
For a moment they sat silent, both still in the intimate position as if they were afraid they’d break the strange atmosphere if they moved.
Then Jimin breathed out a soft, breathy chuckle, that was more like a heavy exhale.
“Your heart is beating really fast Hyung” he mumbled, cheeks blazing as the words trembled past his lips.
Yoongi tried not to get flustered because goddamnit he just had to notice didn’t he and cleared his throat.
“Do you think so?” he said.
Jimin nodded, pressing more firmly against Yoongi.
His brows furrowed in a cute manner and Yoongi was overcome with a strange urge to reach out and poke the cute little wrinkle that was created on his forehead.
“Yes” he mumbled. “Are you sure you’re alright? Maybe you’re the one who should take medications?”
Yoongi threw his head back and laughed.
Before he could stop himself he opened his mouth and words spilled over his lips.
“I think you know why my heart beats so fast”
Yoongi resisted the urge to slap his hand over his mouth because shit shit shit that did not sound platonic at all.
Jimin’s eyes widened the fraction of an inch but before he could answer and say something that could possibly ruin everything Yoongi stressfully sprang to his feet, wanting to get out before his heart spilled any other non-platonic secrets.
“That’s it for this checkup” he said, smiling brightly at the confused boy. “I’ll see you tomorrow patient Park”
Jimin’s mouth fell opened but he quickly snapped it closed and nodded, giving Yoongi a perhaps a little confused but still endearing smile.
“Alright” he mumbled. Then he waved weakly at Yoongi. “See you Yoongi. Hope your heart will keep beating for mine”
The simple sentence made Yoongi’s heart ache.
It won’t if you keep torturing me like that, the older thought fondly as he waved back at Jimin, walking out with fast steps.
He had business to take care of.
And with that he tried to push any and every thought of Jimin to a far off corner of his mind in order to focus on working efficiently.
However he couldn’t help the trouble he had keeping a certain blonde haired’s angelic voice out of his thoughts.
“Wow that’s a hideous piercing, is it new?”
Yoongi rolled his eyes so far it felt like they were going to pop out of their sockets.
“Is that how you greet your hyung?” he complained, jokingly slapping his forehead in a dramatic manner. “If you don’t watch out I’ll stop giving you your medications”
Jimin threw his head black, giggling his light joyful laughter.
There was something contagious about Jimin’s laughter. It was so unique and so cute and made Yoongi’s body feel too warm and his skin too tight. His laughter made his already beautiful features glow so brightly it was almost unbearable and Yoongi felt the corners of his mouth stretch up in a wide grin without his permission and a familiar warmth spread in his belly. Jimin’s laughter truly was contagious.
But then again...
What wasn’t contagious about that boy?
Yoongi sat down on Jimin’s bed and began the routine that had been settled after weeks of knowing each other.
First, Jimin would ask him to describe his morning. What did the rain feel like against his face? What did the mailman greet him with as he rode by on his bike? Did he smile at the old lady next to his seat on the bus? What did the bus driver listen to on the radio?
And so on.
An endless stream of questions that would seem ridiculous for the one who got to experience that sort of things everyday. The grey workday magic that Yoongi was so tired of seemed to get new life as he told it to Jimin who eagerly drank in every detail, from the hideous colour of his neighbour’s skirt to the way Yoongi’s socks got soaked when he stepped in a water puddle.
His eyes sparkled in a certain way when Yoongi shared stories about the world outside of the hospital and his cheeks seemed to flush a bit brighter.
On the edge of his bed, full of energy, he took in every word Yoongi spoke.
It wasn’t that Jimin didn’t go outside. Of course he did every once in a while.
But it was in the little park on the hospital grounds.
He couldn’t exactly run around in the streets.
He couldn’t run at all when it came down to it, not with his weak heart. Yoongi knew that his loss of freedom and movement (above all dance which he had been great at before he fell ill) pained Jimin more than the knowledge of his impending death.
He tried not to let it show though.
“I’m fine” he’d smiled when Yoongi once asked if he was sad that he couldn’t go out on a walk with Yoongi in the sun. “One day I’ll walk and then I’ll walk with you”
Yoongi would close his mouth and nod, not wanting to point out that the chances Yoongi would actually get to see him healthy were minimal. His recovery would take time, and no matter how healthy he came out after it he’d never be able to live his life to full extent.
Besides, he wasn’t expected to live longer than 40.
But Yoongi only nodded.
“You’ll have to dance for me too” he’d smiled only to playfully punch the younger in the shoulder.
Jimin had rubbed his shoulder and as a revenge poked Yoongi between the ribs, sending the unprepared elder into a fit of giggles.
Yoongi’s heart had clenched though. And he had a feeling the younger felt the same, only he was a lot better at hiding it.
Yoongi snapped out of memories and landed on earth again.
“Hm?” he mumbled, absentmindedly fisting the sheets in the hospital bed. “I’m sorry, I zoned out a little. What were you saying?”
Jimin only smiled, crinkling his eyes and puffing up his cheeks in the process.
“I was telling you about a new song I’ve discovered”
“What’s it called?” Yoongi asked, trying to keep his gaze from Jimin’s pale little baby hands that were resting atop of the covers only a couple of inches away from his own. To distract himself he started picking more harshly at the sheets, trying to focus on Jimin’s voice and not his cute short little fingers to which his gaze kept steering.
“It’s called don’t leave” he told Yoongi with that soft cotton voice of his.
Yoongi nodded, involuntarily clasping the covers harder.
Jimin was so soft.
It was the perfect word to describe him.
Whenever Yoongi laid his eyes on the younger boy he was struck by an unexplainable urge to reach out and touch his seemingly velvety skin and lips. His entire face was the epitome of softness and even under the unflattering sharp hospital lights he looked completely ethereal as he chuckled shyly under Yoongi’s intense gaze, looking down so his long eyelashes brushed his cheekbones.
Jimin bit his lip, unaware of how it made Yoongi crazy.
Hell, since when did his feelings grow so strong?
“Are you alright hyung?”
And then Jimin did the stupid, the dangerous, the unthinkable.
He reached out with his soft little hand and rested his palm atop of Yoongi’s restless fingers.
Yoongi’s hand was a lot bigger and Jimin’s didn’t even cover all of it but the warmth that radiated from it was enough to send Yoongi’s heart racing either way.
Yoongi’s head snapped up and he nodded shakily at Jimin, not trusting himself to voice his thoughts.
“W-who made the song?” He instead asked, cursing himself as his voice cracked a little.
“Block B” he said. “Check it out later will you?”
Yoongi nodded eagerly.
“I will” he promised. “I will”
Jimin chuckled quietly, absentmindedly stroking Yoongi’s hand.
Yoongi’s entire body froze and he held his breath, fearing that if he as much as moved an inch jimin would realise what he was doing and snap out of it.
He didn’t want Jimin to snap out of it.
He wanted Jimin to stroke his hand with those chubby cute little fingers and he never wanted him to stop. Because Yoongi had turned into a romantic sap and it was all because of that sick little bastard and his ability to grab Yoongi’s heart and squeeze it so hard Yoongi forgot how to breathe.
“Hey Yoongi?” Jimin suddenly said and looked up into his hyung’s face. His fingers stopped moving and Yoongi wanted to curse under his breath but he knew that it was for the better. Any longer of that stupidity and he’d do something crazy he would regret.
Like leaning forward and kissing him.
“Yeah?” Yoongi answered, focusing on their conversation. Easier said than done.
“Why don’t we listen to the song now?”
Yoongi opened his mouth.
Then he closed it again and shrugged.
“Sure” he muttered and pulled out his phone, opening Spotify. “What did you say it was called?”
Jimin pouted and Yoongi’s heart broke just a little.
“I just told you” he whined softly, dragging out the last syllable. Usually Yoongi couldn’t stand whining, but Jimin sounded so cute and irresistible when he whined. “It’s called ‘don’t leave’”
Yoongi nodded and typed in the song name, followed by the band name which he remembered. He had heard a little of Block B’s music, and he remembered they had some pretty nice songs. He could only name one, ‘Halo’ and he recalled it was a Hiphop song. Not Jimin’s usual style but maybe this song was different.
He found the song and pressed play.
Muffled drumbeats filled the room before a soft voice started singing.
Jimin closed his eyes and a content smile settled his features. He started quietly singing along and Yoongi wanted nothing but to pause this silly song. It wasn’t bad it was just...
It couldn’t match Jimin’s singing.
His voice was like cotton, so sweet and light and Yoongi was unable to describe it, or the things it did to him.
The lyrics was about a breakup. Pretty standard, the kind of lyrics Yoongi usually scoffed and rolled his eyes at.
But somehow it was different now.
With Jimin closing his eyes, light dancing over his sculpted face, pink lips moving around the words, the delicate melody floating around in the room, it was so different.
It was beautiful, and the sadness filled Yoongi’s normally strong heart.
Will I be able, will I be able
To erase you?
Yoongi’s breath caught in his throat. No matter what happened between him and Jimin, no matter what he felt, no matter what Jimin felt, he’d have to bid farewell eventually anyway.
Because that was the fleeting life they lived. It was like the rain on the window sill, the clouds in the sky, like the thousand paper hearts in a hospital room.
Jimin’s body belonged to sickness and death. And it didn’t matter how things ended up, Yoongi would lose him anyway.
And when he did, would he be able to erase him?
Yoongi swallowed the heavy lump in his throat and took a shaky breath.
Jimin cracked an eye open and at the sight of Yoongi he sat up in his bed.
For a long moment they just sat and stared at each other, Yoongi with tears in his eyes and Jimin with sympathy.
The song ringed out and left a deafening silence.
Yoongi tried not to cry, blinking furiously until the entire room became a grey blur.
They were quiet for a moment.
Then Yoongi took a deep breath.
“Jimin” he choked out, hating how weak he sounded. He was supposed to be the strong one, supporting Jimin in a time like this. The younger’s head snapped up to the older. Yoongi took a deep breath.
“Don’t leave” he said, the song being the only comprehendible thing on his mind. “Don’t leave.”
Jimin looked at him for a second and then slowly nodded.
“I won’t” he breathed, his words the ghost of a whisper. He bit his lip and looked down. With burning cheeks he opened his arms, shyly gesturing for Yoongi to come closer.
“Hold me” he whispered. “Hold my heart”
Yoongi hesitated for a split second. Then he sank into Jimin’s embrace and it was like the pieces of his puzzle fell into place. Jimin didn’t “melt to his side” or “fit like he was made for him”. The embrace was clumsy and a little uncomfortable at first, Jimin’s forehead bumping into Yoongi’s neck and their bodies clashing. But as they moved around they managed to find a comfortable position and although it wasn’t perfect it was warm and safe and it made butterflies burst in Yoongi’s tummy and his heart do backflips.
He fisted at Jimin’s hospital gown, bringing him closer.
“Don’t leave” Yoongi mumbled, his words muffled by the younger’s shoulder. “Don’t you dare leave Park Jimin”
Jimin’s embrace seemed to tighten.
“I won’t” he whispered back.
And Yoongi asked himself when he had fallen. If he would have stopped himself if he had noticed before it was too late.
And as he breathed in the scent of Jimin’s hair, the faint smell of disinfectant from his clothes, burrowing his face in the crook of his neck, he realised that he wouldn’t.
Even if given he choice he would never ever take his love for Jimin back.
“Okay but you should totally bang him”
Yoongi glared at his incompetent friend for what felt like the thousand time.
“For the last time Taehyung” he hissed angrily “you don’t say that about people who are dying”
Taehyung rolled his eyes but had the wits to shut his big mouth for once.
His boyfriend gave him a disapproving look before turning to Yoongi, his eyes softening as he did.
“Yoongi” Jeongguk said. “Dont listen to my idiot partner. I think you should tell him”
Yoongi thought about it and the mere though of confessing to Jimin made him blush.
“But-“ he started, only to immediately be run over by Taehyung who was like a verbal bulldozer.
“Listen” he said harshly. “You like this boy. It sounds like he likes you too. And for all we know he might not live much longer. What is there to lose?”
Yoongi glared at him.
“But if he survives, which I of course hope he does, I will have ruined our friendship forever” he frustratedly growled and slumped forward, burying his face in his hands.
Taehyung rolled his eyes.
“Which part of ‘it sounds like he likes you too’ did you not understand you idiot” he snarled.
“Hey!” Yoongi snapped angrily. “I’m still your hyung”
Taehyung narrowed his eyes.
“And you’re an idiot” he quipped. Then he softened a little. “You know, studies show that most people regret things they didn’t do, not what they did”
Yoongi looked at him, not believing the younger. Jeongguk nodded eagerly.
“It’s true” he said. “Taehyung told me that when he confessed to me. He was like ‘I know you’re not gonna feel the same but studies show that-‘“
Yoongi waved his hand in front of his friend’s face in order to shut him up.
“Okay I like don’t give a shit” he said annoyedly. Jeongguk glared at him before sighing.
The trio sank down in comfortable silence, silence only broken by occasional sips of coffee or in Jeongguk’s case milkshake.
Yoongi stared out the window.
The rain was drumming rhythmically against the glass.
It seemed to always be raining nowadays. As if the sky was mourning.
Yoongi swallowed and stared down at the coffee in his cup. It was black and he could see his reflection in the small circle of liquid darkness.
“I’ll tell him”
Taehyung and Jeongguk looked up from the last piece of cake they had been fighting over (“But I deserve it more since I didn’t get the part for that play I auditioned for. I’m more miserable, thus I deserve a treat”) and smiled. They both opened their mouths but Yoongi was faster.
“Not immediately though”
Their smiles fell.
“Why not?” Jeongguk asked. Taehyung took the opportunity to steal the last piece of cake from his boyfriend.
Yoongi looked down on his shoes.
“I want it to be special” he mumbled, scratching his arm and feeling silly as he uttered the words. “I don’t just want to say it in his hospital room. I want to take him out somewhere nice and say it. So he...”
Yoongi swallowed as his throat constricted.
“So he can feel like a normal boy”
Jeongguk and Taehyung both nodded, and slowly, hesitantly, as if fearing Yoongi would bite him, Taehyung reached out and gave his arm a little stroke.
Yoongi wanted to smile but it was like his mouth had stopped working.
Instead he looked out the window, at the raindrops running down the window.
Like the sky was crying.
I suppose sometimes even the sky has tears it can’t hold in, he thought to himself and took a sip of his coffee.
Soon he’d tell Jimin how he felt.
The mere thought made him tremble in fear and excitement but he had to do it.
If Jimin died without knowing how he felt...
Yoongi shuddered involuntarily.
He shouldn’t think about it.
He should think about how he could convince the doctors to let him take the younger out for a date instead.
And occupying his mind with that he set down his now empty cup and stared out the window, out to the grey mass that was the outside world.
The following days Yoongi’s heart made an extra big leap every time he saw Jimin’s smiling face.
Soon he’d know.
Soon Yoongi would tell him.
What he then chose to do to Yoongi’s heart, or his love, didn’t matter anymore. Something Taehyung had said had flipped a switch; the only thing Yoongi knew now was that he’d rather have his heart trampled on than live his entire life knowing that he had let his beloved go without telling him how he felt.
So he smiled back and it almost didn’t feel forced at all.
Because soon he’d know.
Convincing the doctors that he should take patient Park out for a walk was hard, even if he promised he’d use a wheelchair and be with him the entire time.
But he knew he’d do it. Eventually.
Jimin’s smile was as beautiful as ever but it was tired.
Yoongi didn’t even need the doctors taking him aside to tell him the surgery hadn’t had the effect they’d hoped for.
He could tell by the look on Jimin’s face that his days were numbered.
“What’s the meaning of this?”
Jimin gave Yoongi a sceptical look as the older rolled the wheelchair into the room. The older grinned as he lifted it over the threshold.
“What does it look like moron?”
Jimin opened his mouth before closing it again.
“What are you up to hyung?”
Yoongi pushed it up to Jimin’s bed and placed his hands on his hips, smiling so broadly it hurt his cheeks. But it didn’t matter because he felt so happy he couldn’t contain it. And besides he knew Jimin liked his gummy smile.
“Well” he said, leaning on the wheelchair. “After a lot of negotiating and whining I have gotten the doctors’ permission to take you out on a little adventure in the outside world. The condition was that you’d be in a wheelchair, y’know because of your heart.”
Jimin stared bewildered at the chair.
Then up at Yoongi.
He opened his mouth, his lower lip trembling.
Yoongi felt uncertainty creep over him. What if Jimin got angry? Maybe the wheelchair would make him feel weak? Maybe he felt like Yoongi treated him like a baby? Maybe he wouldn’t want to go out?
Shit shit shit what if Jimin hated the idea? Cold sweat broke out all over Yoongi’s body at the idea.
But then Jimin closed his mouth and tears welled up in his eyes.
“Oh Yoongi” was all he managed to force out before he buried his face in his hands. Yoongi’s panic changed character completely at the sight of the crying boy. How was he gonna comfort him? He was rubbish at comforting people!
“J-jimin?” he mumbled insecurely, shuffling closer to pat his shaking shoulders. “Uh... I’m sorry if this was a bad idea, I... i should have asked you first I just... you know what, forget it. We won’t do anything you don’t want t-“
Jimin looked up, swatting away Yoongi’s hand and if Yoongi’s heart ached at the loss of contact the pain was instantly soothed by the 20 000 watt smile Jimin was blinding him with.
“Oh hyung you idiot” he sniffled. “I’m crying of happiness.”
Yoongi’s jaw dropped, his mouth forming a little ‘o’.
“Oh” he said dumbly.
“Of course I want to go out with you” he sobbed and Yoongi felt as if he’d been stabbed because shit he’d love to go out with Jimin, just not in the way Jimin wanted to go out with him.
He breathed deeply through his nostrils.
Save all those thoughts for later.
Right now is about making Jimin happy.
Yoongi forced a smile, something that actually was pretty easy when Jimin looked at him like that, his eyes as wide as dinner plates, full of wonder.
“Come on I’ll help you in” the older mumbled and Jimin nodded, seemingly too stunned to say anything.
Rolling the wheelchair in had been relatively easy.
Rolling it out when a fairly heavy body was in it was a completely different thing.
When the body also happened to be Yoongi’s love and the most precious human being on earth and Yoongi tried his hardest to make it the most pleasant experience of his life...
It didn’t exactly make things easier.
Yoongi started sweating violently when he got outside of the hospital and realised it was time to attack the streets with the wheelchair. At the back of his mind he couldn’t help but frown at how he was going to be all sweaty and smelly when he was going to confess to Jimin but he pushed that thought aside. If he knew Jimin right the younger wouldn’t mind it at all.
As he got outside he, for a moment, just stood still. He let the wheelchair rest in his hands and turned it so Jimin would have the sun in his face. The boy was turned away from him but somehow Yoongi knew he had closed his eyes and was just soaking up the sunlight.
Yoongi thanked the heavens the rain had decided to leave them for today. Of course, someone like Jimin wouldn’t have minded a fucking hailstorm, but he still wanted everything to be perfect.
After a couple of minutes he started rolling the wheelchair. Occasionally he and Jimin would break into a light chat but for most of the time they kept quiet, not wanting to break the strange magic in the air.
The sun was all golden and warmed their skin, making Jimin’s blonde locks glow like gold. Yoongi knew jimin loved the sun. Yoongi preferred the moon.
Some people eyed them a little as they walked by, moving out of the way to give Jimin space. They all looked at him with eyes full of pity and sorrow, sorrow for this beautiful young boy who was bound to a wheelchair for reasons unbeknownst to them. But Jimin met every face with an dazzling smile because he was happier than he’d ever been. It didn’t matter that he was in a wheelchair, that he was dying, that he was sick; he was out in the sun with his hyung and the sun was gently stroking his face and warming his thin body. He couldn’t be happier.
After a while they arrived at the little coffee shop where Yoongi had decided they’d have their little ‘date’.
It was the same coffee shop as the one where he spent most of his free time drinking coffee and stealing the free WiFi to write songs and chat with his friends. It was a small, humble place with brown wallpaper and bookshelves with old books on the walls. The lights were dim and cast a warm glow over the small round tables and dark green houseplants. Half empty coffee cups and plates left with nothing but crumbs were scattered over some of the tables and Yoongi quickly scurried over to his favourite table, moving the dirty dish to another table before rolling over the chuckling Jimin’s wheelchair.
“You’re such a gentleman Yoongi” he teased, making Yoongi roll his eyes. But on the inside his heart clenched because Jimin looked so pretty under the soft light, his blonde hair a bit ruffled, his plump chapped lips glistening with a thin layer of lip balm and a pale grey sweater over the hospital gown.
He looked so effortlessly ethereal Yoongi wanted to cry.
He swallowed and tried to remain calm.
“What would you like?” he asked, fighting to keep his voice stable.
“Do you often go there?” he said, answering Yoongi’s question with a question.
“Then order me the best thing they have” Jimin said. Then he blushed. “I’m really broke because of all the hospital bills but I can probably ask my parents to pay, I mean it’s not very expensi-“
“Out of question” Yoongi roared. Then he added softer: “I’ll pay for both of us.”
Jimin blushed a deeper shade of pink but didn’t argue. Yoongi knew he hated this, hated not having the money to buy his own things... but Yoongi would rather die than have a broke, dying patient pay his own food on their date.
Yoongi lazily strolled up to the counter, smiling at the cashier who he knew after visiting so many times.
“Hello Jin-hyung” he greeted the older with, curtly nodding.
Jin looked up from the glasses he was currently cleaning out and smiled at the sight of Yoongi.
“Hello Yoongi-ah” he called out. “The usual?”
Yoongi shook his head.
“Today I’d also like a raspberry dream muffin, and a lemon ice tea”
Jin raised his eyebrow as he put down the now clean glass on the counter and moved over to where Yoongi was standing.
“That’s oddly expensive for your usually cheap ass” he said suspiciously. Before Yoongi could stop him he leaned over the counter and snapped his head towards the tables, his eyes immediately landing on Jimin who smiled shyly and waved at the two.
A smug look spread over Jin’s annoyingly handsome features as he waved back before turning to Yoongi.
“I see” he smirked. “You have a date”
Yoongi blushed angrily.
“Shut up and give me my order” he growled, causing Jin to scoff.
“You’re not denying it” he pointed out.
Yoongi looked away, eyes raking over Jimin who was now lazily flipping through a boring-looking book. His sickly pale forehead was furrowed cutely and he was pouting slightly, something that did funny things to Yoongi’s heart.
“Were not dating hyung” he mumbled, feeling heavy as he spoke the words. Jin tilted his head a little, studying Yoongi’s face.
“But you want to” he guessed. Yoongi couldn’t do anything but nod as he regretfully tore his gaze from Jimin to look at Jin. “So why don’t you?”
For a moment Yoongi was quiet. For a loaded moment he only looked at Jin, staring into his familiar, friendly face, contemplating whether or not he’d be able to tell him without opening the flood gates of his eyes.
He opened his mouth, drawing a quick breath to brace himself.
“He’s dying” he whispered.
For a moment he held his breath.
Then he breathed out.
He wasn’t crying. He didn’t break down. It didn’t feel worse for admitting it aloud. Not that Yoongi thought it could possibly feel any worse than it already did.
Jin didn’t move a muscle, just looked inquiringly at Yoongi, giving him time to collect himself.
“I’m going to lose him. Which is why I have decided to confess while he’s still here. But we’re not dating. This is our first and last date. He lives at the hospital. He’s sick”
Jin nodded, the few short sentences clearing most things up.
“I see” he said quietly, his normally cheerful demeanour blown away. Then he took a deep breath and smiled at his younger friend. “Well I hope he feels the same”
Yoongi couldn’t find the words, he just nodded.
“Can I have my things now?” he said quietly.
Jin nodded curtly and didn’t say anything more as he received the money and started brewing the coffee, taking out the muffin and such.
Yoongi retreated to the table where Jimin had been patiently waiting. The younger looked up from the book with big doe-eyes as he approached and flashed a huge smile.
“Hyung!” he called out and Yoongi felt his heart stop for a second. Jesus Christ his feelings were already too strong. And he hadn’t even felt himself falling until he had drowned.
Yoongi smiled warmly at Jimin and pulled out the chair in front of him. Somehow, no matter how much he hurt, he could never be sad when he was with Jimin. It was like Jimin held his heart in both of those little chubby hands and no matter how much he bled Jimin’s soothing fingers made the pain bearable. It was always easy to smile to the boy.
“I ordered you a muffin and an ice tea because I wasn’t sure you liked coffee” Yoongi said. Jimin sighed happily and slumped over the table, burying his cute little button nose in his forearms.
“Thanks” He said, his cotton voice muffled by his sweater. “I really dislike coffee”
Yoongi gasped and mockingly placed a dramatic hand over his chest.
“How dare you?” he wailed loudly, causing the blonde to chuckle. “Coffee is the elixir of life, period”
Jimin laughed at Yoongi’s silliness and Yoongi felt his chest swell with pride and happiness. Making Jimin laugh was his top priority.
“That’s just because you have coffee in your veins instead of blood” Jimin teased, making Yoongi smile widely.
“That doesn’t sound too far off actually” he said and Jimin giggled, placing his sweater paws over his mouth in that way that drove Yoongi fucking insane. He opened his mouth to say something but before he could, Jin swept by and placed their order on the table.
“There you go” he said cheerfully, placing the tray on the table with a little too much force and accidentally spilling some coffee on the table.
Yoongi groaned but didn’t say anything, just shooed his friend away.
Jimin didn’t say anything either, just watched Yoongi with eyes that were sparkling, crinkling cutely at the corners, as he took his lemon ice tea and muffin and delicately placed them in front of himself.
Yoongi took his cup of life elixir and sipped on it, sighing contentedly as the bitter liquid touched his tongue. He watched Jimin’s small, pale hands sneak around the glass with ice tea before he lifted it to those plush lips, cautiously drinking the cold drink. Yoongi could feel his cheeks strain as he involuntarily smiled at the younger. How cute wasn’t he?
“Do you like it?” he asked.
Jimin gulped down the tea and smiled at his hyung.
“Yes” he said quietly and grinned shyly at Yoongi who had an urge to slam his forehead against the table, crushing his skull in the process because fuck, Jimin was so goddamn cute. How was he ever going to confess to him? Or rather: how was he ever going to confess to him without having a stroke?
Yoongi took a deep shaky breath, desperately trying to calm himself down. The confession could be done later.
For now the boy just forced himself to smile warmly at the younger and talk to him, letting him feel like any other teenage boy, if only for a few short moments.
For a few short moments he wanted to allow the younger to feel like he was the healthy kid he could have been.
He could drop the bomb later.
They had moved to a park.
After the coffee and ice tea had been consumed along with the muffin and a sandwich that Yoongi had ordered to still his growling stomach, the two had decided a stroll was in order.
The weather was still warm, the sun shining golden at their skin and hair as the two boys sat in the park, Jimin in his wheelchair and Yoongi on a park bench. Jimin had stolen a piece of bread form Yoongi’s sandwich and was pinching small pieces from it, throwing them to the birds in the park who gladly ate the crumbs, expectantly eyeing him for more.
The young boy laughed.
“Look at them” he said while turning to Yoongi, all smiles that made his eyes disappear into half moons, “they’re so demanding.”
Yoongi gave a smile back and nodded, not quite sure what to say.
Jimin turned back to the birds.
“Aren’t you a demanding bunch” he muttered, throwing them another crumb to fight about in a whirl of feathers and beaks. Jimin giggled at the birds’ eagerness and the realisation hit Yoongi like a ton of bricks in the face at the sight of the laughing boy’s features that seemed to shine like the sun itself; it was time.
Yoongi cleated his throat.
Jimin threw the last piece of bread to the birds and then looked up at Yoongi.
With a last mental kick in the ass to prepare himself Yoongi took a deep breath.
“Jimin” he muttered, causing the younger to tilt his head at Yoongi’s serious tone.
“Yes?” he mumbled confusedly.
Sweating Yoongi quickly, fearing his nerves would disappear if he hesitated, sneaked forward and grabbed the younger’s hands in his. His stomach felt like it was liquid fire and something inside of him was fluttering so violently he wondered if he’d throw up.
Jimin didn’t pull his hands away.
He looked down at them and smiled before taking Yoongi’s hands in a firmer grip and looking up at the older, smiling.
Yoongi bit his lip, wondering how he’d formulate himself. He’d spent countless hours imagining this moment, what he’d say, what he’d do, but now that he was there he could only remember fragments of those imaginations and he couldn’t remember what to say to save his life.
Let’s just improvise.
“I took you here to tell you something” Yoongi said, looking Jimin in the eyes. Fuck he could get lost in those big brown eyes.
Focus Yoongi!! Don’t let him sweep you off your feet.
“And I’m sorry if this... if this makes you uncomfortable but I...”
Yoongi had a sudden urge to cry and gripped Jimin’s small hands tighter.
“We both know your days are numbered”
Jimin didn’t look angry or sad at this, he just nodded. For some reason this made Yoongi even sadder than if the younger would have been angry because of Yoongi’s wording: he hated the way the boy had just accepted his fate.
As if he’d given up.
It made Yoongi sad, even though there was nothing left to fight for.
“And I just couldn’t stand the thought of you... leaving without knowing how I felt”
Yoongi took a deep breath.
Everything burned; the butterflies in his stomach, Jimin’s eyes that were questioningly roaming his face, the blood in his veins...
everything burned so fiercely and hotly that Yoongi though he might just go crazy.
Jimin’s lips stretched into a very small, sad smile.
“Are you telling me what I think you’re telling me?” He said quietly.
Yoongi gave a halfhearted smile back but it ended up looking more like a grimace.
“Shut up and let me say it you brat” he mumbled, causing Jimin to chuckle softly.
Yoongi took a deep breath and cautiously stroke Jimin’s knuckles with his thumbs, letting the smooth skin glide under his digits.
“I...” he began and gulped, a lump forming in his throat. He looked at Jimin, the sun glowing through his blonde hair and making the strands appear luminous.
“Come on Yoongi” Jimin whispered hoarsely. “You can say it”
Yoongi felt like he’d throw up but fuck it. He had danced around the subject for far too long already.
“I like you” he blurted out, mentally slapping himself to the other side of the galaxy. It didn’t sound romantic at all!
“I mean like I like you Jimin” he rushed to say, cringing even worse at how clumsily his words came out. “I think I have liked you ever since I first met you because I mean you’re such a likeable sweet person, but I realised it when your heart got bad that time and you needed surgery because I just realised that I wanted to kiss you and after that I just fell harder and faster for everyday because I just saw your smile and heard your voice and I just couldn’t stop myself from falling because...”
Yoongi sighed and dropped Jimin’s hands to run a hand through his hair.
“This is a disaster” he muttered.
To his surprise Jimin only laughed softly.
“No it’s not” he mumbled. Then he looked away, studying the sun setting beyond the trees of the park. “I thought it was pretty sweet.”
Yoongi expectantly listened but the other boy remained quiet. Yoongi bit his lip.
“Well?” He said, trying to sound cheerful when he on the inside was a wreck. Why wasn’t Jimin answering? Nervousness, fear, sadness and nausea battled for dominance. “Aren’t you gonna answer me?”
Jimin still refused to answer.
His pouty lips created a beautiful silhouette as he spoke and Yoongi was hypnotised.
“It’s not that easy Yoongi” he mumbled and Yoongi could feel his heart break.
“Wh-what do you mean?” Yoongi pressed out, hating how pathetic and squeaky his voice sounded when he tried not to break.
Jimin blinked and Yoongi suddenly realised something; the younger was trying to hold tears back.
“It’s just not” he said, voice shaking.
Before Yoongi could stop himself he reached out, placing a hand on the younger’s jaw and tilting his head, forcing their eyes to meet in a last desperate attempt at understanding.
“Then explain” he said piteously. “Please Jimin. Tell me what you mean because I don’t understand”
Jimin stared at him, his big brown eyes glossy.
He sniffed and looked down at Yoongi’s fingers under his jaw. Yoongi thought about removing them but then the younger nuzzled into them and the warmth and intimacy from the gesture nearly numbed all pain when Jimin gently took his hand and pried it away.
“Look Yoongi” he said softly. “I’d prefer not talking about but if it makes you feel better I’ll explain”
Yoongi stayed silent, not wanting to change the blonde’s mind.
Jimin sighed a little, not pulling his hands away from Yoongi’s.
“I like you too Yoongi” he mumbled, and Yoongi could have sworn his heart swelled to the double size at those words. “But” he said, looking dull “I just can’t do this to you”
“What do you mean?” he whispered confusedly, trying to hold back tears. Why was his Jimin so cryptic? Why couldn’t they just be together?
Jimin looked down at their interlocked hands. They looked pretty. Like a promise of something that wouldn’t come true, like an image from a parallel universe where there happiness was real.
“I’m already so selfish for loving you Yoongi” Jimin said to his lap. “Even more selfish for making you love me back. I can’t chain you down too. I can’t take your freedom away and tie you to someone who’s dying.”
Yoongi opened his mouth to protest but Jimin was faster, whipping his head up. With shock Yoongi realised that the younger was crying, big tears running down his cheeks.
Yoongi had never seen him look so broken before and he didn’t like it at all.
“Don’t you understand Yoongi?” he cried. “I’ll break your heart. You think you want me but when I die it’ll break your heart and you’ll hate me and you’ll live in misery and I don’t want that because I... I fucking love you you huge idiot!”
Jimin’s voice cracked and he broke into hysterical sobs, letting go of Yoongi to clutch his tear-stained face.
Yoongi watched the crying boy, his shaking shoulder, with slight amazement.
He had expected to be flat out rejected.
Though, was this any better?
For a long while he just sat there, not touching the boy or speaking, just giving him space. When the sobs started turning into soft hiccups he cleared his throat.
“Are you done now?” he asked, looking at Jimin who looked up, eyes red and a confused expression on his cute face. Before he could even croak out a ‘what?’ Yoongi had clamped a big hand over his mouth. He stared into Jimin’s eyes.
“Just hear me out okay?” He said and Jimin closed his mouth behind his palm. Once Yoongi was sure the younger wasn’t speaking he removed his hand and sighed, not quite knowing where to start.
“I see your point” he said slowly. “And I mean... you’re not wrong. I will be heartbroken when you die. I’ll be fucking ruined. I’ll probably go mad with longing.”
Yoongi watched Jimin deflate more for every word and heroes to continue.
“But it’ll be worth it”
Jimin’s head snapped up and he widened his eyes.
“Listen Jimin” Yoongi sighed. “What you don’t get is that I know I’ll be hurt. I know it’ll be a bitch when you die. But I’m willing to take it if I, if we, can be happy your last time. Because that’s all I want. I don’t care about hurting, I don’t care about the end that will come. I care about now. And now I want to be happy”
Yoongi took a deep breath and grabbed Jimin’s hands for what felt like the thousand time that evening.
“I want you to be happy okay Jimin?” Yoongi stared expectantly at the younger.
Jimin opened his mouth.
“But-“ he said weakly, immediately being cut off by Yoongi.
“No buts” he said. “I know you think you’re saving me, protecting me, or some bullshit like that. But if you want me to be happy then you make yourself happy. If you want me to be happy you let yourself give me what I want, what we both want. Don’t punish yourself if neither of us want it.”
Yoongi breathed out after the long confession, looking down at his lap where his and Jimin’s hands were intertwined.
Jimin’s voice was barely a breathing but Yoongi heard him and looked up.
Up at ethereal features, at glowing eyes, at blushing cheeks, at golden hair.
Jimin bit his lip, slowly dragging it with his teeth.
“I want you to kiss me” he said shyly, looking down and blushing as if he was embarrassed by his request. “C-can you do that?” he added quietly, looking up at Yoongi with pleading eyes. “Please?”
“I’d love to” he mumbled and with that he dropped Jimin’s hand, sliding them around the boy’s neck and pulling him closer, closer and closer until their lips were brushing against each other.
And it was okay.
Even if Jimin was in a wheelchair, even if he was dying, and even if the tears were just barely drying on his cheeks, it was okay. Because the kiss was slow and soft and relaxed with just the taste of the smooth wetness beyond, and the sun was warming them and the birds were forgotten and for a few short moments it was only the two boys alone in the entire universe.
And Yoongi never wanted the moment to end.
His heart ached in a good way at the thought: Jimin was his. Even if just for a while before he had to give the younger up to death, he was his.
Just like Yoongi was Jimin’s.
They belonged to each other.
The following weeks Yoongi spent nearly every waken moment by Jimin’s side.
Holding hands, kissing lazily, talking about hopeful stuff, like what they’d do once Jimin was better.
Yoongi secretly hated it. Hated it because it gave him false hopes. It made it feel like he was trying to convince himself that Jimin really was getting better when in reality he was getting weaker and weaker every day.
But Yoongi ignored, ignored the way it stung talking about all the things they’d do once Jimin was well. Because talking about happy things made Jimin happy. And who was Yoongi to deny him that?
Jimin was steadily getting worse.
He could barely even lift a glass of water by himself anymore. He seemed to constantly be in pain too. The strong medications he took made him strange and woolly minded, as if they took Yoongi’s beloved Jimin out of his grasp and winded cotton around him, making him... recognisable but still different.
Yoongi hated it.
Hated the things Jimin said, the things he did. Not because they were hurtful but simply because they were things the Jimin he knew wouldn’t do.
Every time the medications made Jimin do something he normally wouldn’t do Yoongi clenched his hand so hard he feared for the younger’s circulation, somehow hoping the pressure would clear the boy’s mind.
But it never did.
Yoongi honestly didn’t know why he was disappointed.
Yoongi wasn’t there when it happened.
It was so ironic; he spent nearly every day and many nights at the hospital but the one time he decided to take a little walk to stretch his legs he hadn’t even gone ten minutes before he received a call from Hoseok.
Hoseok had barely panted out a ‘Jimin’ before Yoongi realised what it was. He just understood.
Yoongi had never run as fast in his life. He was a pretty lazy person who avoided most physical activity. But now he ran so fucking fast he didn’t care how many people or objects he bumped into, how many times he stumbled or tripped. All he could think of was Jimin.
Jimin Jimin Jimin.
Jimin whose heart had stopped.
Yoongi had his own in his throat where it throbbed painfully, pressing at his windpipe, making him panic even more badly.
He had to reach Jimin in time.
He had to.
But life isn’t like a fan fiction or a movie. In real life people don’t get back in time to say goodbye, they don’t get the chance to say farewell. When Yoongi stormed into Jimin’s room all he could hear was the heart monitor’s long, dragged out beep.
His breath caught in his throat.
All he could do was stare at Jimin’s lifeless body, at the nurses who were gathered around the boy’s bed, touching and moving around his Jimin so brusquely Yoongi wanted to cry. It was a strange thing to worry about when his love was dying but he couldn’t find it in him to think about anything else. Why were they moving him so harshly? Why were they so rough with him?
Why were they moving him from the bed? Why did they look so sad?
Yoongi jumped a little when he felt a hand on his shoulder and whirled around only to stare Hoseok in the face. He looked sad.
“I’m sorry Yoongi” he whispered quietly.
Yoongi just stared.
“Why?” he confusedly croaked out. “Why are they moving Jimin? He’s just sleeping. I know he is. He always looks like that when he’s sleeping”
Hoseok didn’t look shocked or surprised or even remotely confused.
He just looked at Yoongi, biting his lip as if contemplating what to say.
“Sure” he mumbled silently, deciding that it was probably better for a trained psychiatrist to take care of Yoongi’s denial. “Just sleeping.”
Yoongi nodded eagerly, his eyes wide in a disturbing manner.
“Just sleeping!” he nearly screamed, something hysterical in his eyes. Hoseok no longer knew if Yoongi was trying to convince him or himself. He was a bit unprepared when the older grasped his shoulder and started shaking him, almost violently. “He’s sleeping! He’s having a bad dream that’s all! Do you hear me Hoseok? He’s sleeping!” Yoongi started laughing as if it was the funniest thing in the world, his unnerving laughter bouncing between the walls as he clenched Hoseok’s shoulders with claw-like hands.
“Just sleeping just sleeping just sleeping” he repeated like a mantra, singsonging the phrase between hysterical fits of laughter.
Finally the nurses caught on and managed to pry Yoongi off Hoseok.
Kicking and screaming and laughing so loudly and high pitched it sounded more like shrieks the dragged him away from the room, away from Jimin’s body to get him to calm down.
Hoseok just stared sadly after him, rubbing his shoulder.
How was Yoongi ever going to recover from this?
It actually only took Yoongi two weeks of denial to finally accept Jimin’s death.
After that he was in a phase of violent grief, locking himself up and refusing to eat for sometimes days at a time, leading to his friends breaking into his apartment to force him to eat. Thy found him doing the stranger things, like repainting the bathroom floor because ‘Jimin preferred the colour yellow’ or throwing his plants out the window because ‘why should they be happy when Jimin was dead?’.
It took him nearly a month to calm down.
The funeral was the hardest part.
Yoongi sat stone faced the entire time, just staring at the coffin.
When it was time to go up and put flowers on it he snapped and gave an animalistic wail, turning around and storming out of the church, leaving poor Hoseok to apologise to Jimin’s family.
Jimin’s mother had sniffed and glared after Yoongi but Jimin’s father had nodded understandingly and taken Yoongi’s number by Hoseok to text him and ask to meet up.
Jimin’s brother hadn’t answered at first, just gazing at a point left of Hoseok’s ear with an empty gaze.
First after fifteen minutes of talking, when the conversation had completely changed direction he had mumbled out a little ‘I can understand him’.
And Hoseok’s heart had broken a little more at the way he said it.
As if it wasn’t shattered already at the sight of Yoongi in so much pain.
Yoongi and Jimin’s father met up three weeks later.
Yoongi was more stable now and aware of himself enough to be nervous. He knew Jimin’s father was Christian and being determined to tell the man about his relationship to Jimin didn’t make him less scared the man would grow furious.
Yoongi had never spoken to Jimin about the boy’s family so he didn’t know of the younger’s relationship to them. Maybe he wasn’t out? Maybe he was? Did they accept him? Would they accept Yoongi?
Yoongi was scared.
But the determination in his steps didn’t falter as he made his way towards the cafe where they would meet up.
He had to tell the older. It was about his son after all.
Jimin’s dad didn’t throw the bible at Yoongi like he had expected.
In fact he seemed happy.
Happy that his son had been loved so purely and unconditionally the last time of his life. The fact that Yoongi was a male and two years older didn’t seem to bother him.
“As long as you made my Jiminnie happy I don’t care who you are” he said, a small smile on his lips.
To say that Yoongi was relieved was an understatement. Even though Jimin was gone he still wanted the approval of his love’s father. When he told the older male about how his own parents had disapproved of his sexual orientation and the other invited him home for dinner he wasn’t hesitant to accept. Jimin was gone but Yoongi wasn’t going to punish himself. It wasn’t what Jimin would have wanted.
And Yoongi knew it was going to be a long while until his heart stopped aching, a long while until he stopped thinking of small hands folding paper hearts every time he saw red paper, a long long time until he stopped visiting the boy’s grave every week.
He knew it would take time, and that it would be painful. But he had to pull through. For himself. For Jimin.
Because even in death Jimin still held his heart.
And somehow Yoongi just knew he always would.
Yoongi hurried on his steps over the graveyard, the bouquet clutched in his sweaty hands. He was nervous. Which was completely irrational considering Jimin was dead. But to him it was still an important conversation he was going to have and he couldn’t help the cold sweat that broke out over his entire body.
He walked the familiar little path to the modest gravestone which had Jimin’s name engraved on it. It was tiny.
Just like Jimin Yoongi fondly thought to himself as he fell down on his knees in front of the familiar little monument.
With shaking hands he placed the little bouquet in front of the stone, picking up the withered bouquet that had been lying there before.
For a moment Yoongi sat there on his knees, panting ever so slightly.
Then he opened his mouth.
“Hello Jimin” he said to the gravestone. The first few times he had felt silly talking to the inanimate object, he didn’t even believe Jimin could hear him, but eventually he started finding peace in talking to Jimin, even if it was only in his imagination.
“I brought mixed flowers today, I thought it was appropriate”
Yoongi trailed off, not knowing what to say. He wanted to go straight to business but it somehow felt wrong, even though Jimin was dead.
“He asked me out today”
Yoongi smacked his lips.
“I’m going to accept”
A little sigh. A pale fingers playing with the dewy grass.
“You know I really like him” Yoongi admitted to the gravestone. “He’s really nice and happy and handsome.”
He was quiet for a moment before continuing with a mere whisper.
“I think he might be the one. To move on with I mean”
Yoongi looked down again.
“As you know he’s not the first one who has asked me out since you died. But he’s the first one who has felt... right. Who I’ve felt ready for.”
Yoongi was surprised to feel a lump in his throat and a stinging sensation behind his eyelids. He gasped for breath.
“I really like him” he whispered, trying to blink away the tears. “And I know it’s been years but I still wanted to tell you first because...”
Yoongi gave up and let the tears roll down his cheeks. The sobs tore through his skin body and shook him, making him want to clutch his face. But he didn’t. He kept his eyes open and locked with what he through his blurry vision distinguished as Jimin’s grave.
“I will always love you” Yoongi cried. “No matter what happens, who I like, there will never be a moment where I don’t love you, miss you, wish you were here”
Yoongi was shaking violently now, gasping for breath between loud sobs.
“I will never love anyone like I loved you Jimin” he yelled, his pained scream an ugly symphony of anguish, grief, anger and frustration. He slumped forward, resting his forehead against the rough stone. “But I think it’s time to move on” he mumbled. He wetted his lips. “I think... I think I’m ready to move on”
His sudden hysteria was over and he was left with a strange sense of calm. He cautiously stroke the gravestone, letting his fingers slide over the engravings that spelled out Jimin’s name.
He breathed slowly and cautiously as if he was scared he’d ruin the moment if he was too loud.
“I don’t know if you can hear me” he said quietly. “But I’ll have you know that I’ll never love someone as much as I love you. I’ll like others but never like you”
And with a sad smile Yoongi stood up.
“I think this is my last time visiting you” he confessed, playing with his newly bleached hair. “I’ll miss you like shit but I have to stick to him instead.”
Yoongi smiled weakly.
“I have to stick to the land of the living you know?”
He laughed, curtly and without amusement.
Then he reached down into his pocket and pulled out a small red thing. It was bulky and at first just looked like something unrecognisable, but if you looked closer you could see that the red paper formed a heart. With care Yoongi placed the little heart in front of the grave.
Then he put his hands in his pockets and nodded at the stone.
Bit his lip.
Should he say something more?
He decided against it.
There was nothing more to be said.
And with a dull ache in his heart, the ache that never seemed to really go away these days, he turned around and slowly walked away over the grass that was wet after the earlier morning rain. The muscle inside of Yoongi’s chest felt tired and hollow, as empty as the paper one he had placed on Jimin’s grave but it kept beating frenetically. Despite pains, despite fatigue, despite a disbelief that life was worth living it kept on beating. This muscle that was so strong and kept Yoongi alive when his mind failed him.
He turned around and looked at the little grey stone in the distance, under which Jimin rested.
He stood still for a moment. Then he raised his arm and waved before turning around again and walking away.
This time for the last time.
Because sometimes it’s just less painful to be in the world of the living.
Even if it’s hard to let go.