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tuesday, wednesday, ♡ attack

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'MY ONLY LOVE SPRUNG FROM MY ONLY HATE,' Taehyung booms earnest and pained. 'TOO EARLY SEEN UNKNOWN AND KNOWN TOO LATE.'

Jimin sighs, extends a hand over his balcony rail, Cheeto-dusted fingers curling under the flickering streetlight. 'Prodigious birth of love it is to me—'

'That my dad hates yours,' Taehyung finishes sadly.

'I am not your father,' Yoongi calls, out of habit. 'Get in the car.'

'One day we will meet again,' Jimin says, voice growing fainter as Yoongi puts the car in reverse, more to threaten Taehyung than anything. (He's in no state to walk home; Yoongi'd never actually leave him to die.) 'One day—'

Taehyung trips and falls backwards, head bouncing alarmingly off the ground. Yoongi curses and kills the ignition, jumps out of the car to head towards his might-as-well-be-son.

The night is sticky hot, cicada sounds overwhelming the sound of the scant campus traffic. Yoongi does like nights like these, honestly; it's one of those rare occasions when he can do nothing without feeling anxious about doing nothing. No work, no parties, even; just pure nothing. Hanging out at Namjoon's apartment and scrolling through whatever's going on on Twitter that week, redoing his hair and Jimin's, cutting his bangs while Taehyung listens to some nightcore shit. It makes leaving easier too; Taehyung's usually anxious about missing out on the fun of a party that hasn't ended yet, but on nights like these he comes easily.

Well, mostly. When alcohol isn't involved. Unlike right now.

'Enough,' he says. 'You'll see him in statistics tomorrow. Please get your ass up before you get a genuine concussion.'

'Did I say goodnight to Jimin?' Taehyung asks as Yoongi hauls him inside the car and secures his seatbelt. 'I didn't say goodnight to Jimin.'

'You definitely said goodnight to Jimin.'

'No, but like, did I say goodnight goodnight? Like parting is such a sweet sorrow goodnight?'

Now, Taehyung and Jimin's Romeo and Juliet thing is something Yoongi wouldn't get into on the best of days, let alone right now. If life were a sitcom, this would be the longest-running joke of the entire story; two years and going strong, still as obnoxious as the first day they saw each other. After, that is. After the Thing.

The Thing, also, is something Yoongi wouldn't get into on the best of days, let alone right now.

'You said goodnight,' he says again, and turns the key, starts up the car. 'Now chug that water and shut your mouth.'

 

 

For a neuroscience major whose free time amounts to approximately three and a half minutes a week if he's lucky and heats his coffee and ramen in the same microwave cycle (and drinks microwaved coffee in the first place) Yoongi always manages to slot out the hours he needs for his weekly routine. Or, it's more like he factors it into his schedule as a necessary appointment, which it is.

'Just chalk?' Seokjin says, combing his hands quickly through Yoongi's streaked hair and humming contemplatively. 'Will you really go to that daily effort the first week back? You'll be busy as fuck.'

'The first week is the only time I ever give enough fucks to put daily effort into my hair,' Yoongi replies, raising an eyebrow. It is a difficult life, wanting to get the most work done with the least amount of physical effort possible. (Yoongi has three and a half minutes of free time a week no matter how hard he works or slacks; he avenges himself by using all of his brain for an hour so that he can use it at half-capacity for the next three.) 'It's now or never, you know. I'll do a whole rainbow thing.'

Seokjin hums again, not really paying attention. (Now, his whole thing is different— when it's literally your area of superior education to do someone's hair, study time and free time are more or less the same thing.)

'Fine,' he decides after a whole minute of squinting at Yoongi's hair. 'But only the cheap shit that washes out easily. You're not shampooing your hair every day. You'll kill it.'

'Yeah, yeah.' Yoongi rolls his eyes. 'I'm starting with violet—'

'So light pastel purple—'

'Then indigo as usual—'

'Light pastel blue—'

'I mean,' Yoongi cuts in, waving his hands over his black tank and light pink jeans. 'Fucking look at me. Do you really need to actually say pastel. It goes without saying. My colours are automatically pastel.'

'Say pastel then.'

'But that's what I'm saying.'

'You're actually not. Saying pastel, I mean.'

'Shut up, both of you,' Taehyung calls, which is actually when Yoongi remembers that he, too, is present in the room with them. In his defence, Taehyung is a useless, heavy lump on one end of the couch, melting ice lollies and drinking them out of a mug, his classic hangover cure. 'Just be quiet. Just put like normal, non-hair chalk in there.'

'I see Romeo hasn't recovered yet,' Seokjin says, smirks. Taehyung makes some unintelligible sound and throws an empty wrapper in their general direction.

Yoongi sighs and turns back to the mirror, inspects his makeup— purple shadow, pink glitter, lip tint. It'll last the day.

Then he gets up and stretches, and makes his way over to grab his bag. It's time to go back to school.

 

 

'MIN YOONGI,' Suran says, stalking over the moment she spots him. He eyes her boots appreciatively— she always has to one-up him— and raises an eyebrow as she comes to a stop a foot away. 'I'm gonna kill you.'

'Shin Suran,' Yoongi says coolly, tries to maintain the facade but breaks out into a grin before he can even finish. 'How have you been?'

She smiles too, bumps fists with him. 'Don't get me fucking started about Amsterdam. But what about you, I hate that you managed to pull your drops off the face of the earth all summer gig again.'

'Yeah, well, hashtag neuroscience.'

Hashtag neuroscience is versatile in that it's funny when it's between actual neuroscience majors like them, and hilarious when they say it to others. The most memorable hashtag neurosciences ever pulled have always been those said deadpan at parties out of context; Yoongi loves those. It's one of the microscopic upsides to having a major that eats your soul for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The campus doesn't look any different, which, Yoongi was here last week. (Hashtag neuroscience, see.) The concept of holidays is basically nonexistent to him for a variety of reasons, so the campus doesn't look different, but it sure sounds different. Feels different. There's the incoming freshman crowd doing guided tours and learning about the ugliest buildings on campus and which spots are best to watch the weekly football games, and there's the jaded technicolour art history seniors smoking near the bicycle parking. Yoongi and Suran fall effortlessly into place like they would in a back-to-school montage in a TV show, striding side by side and trying to locate their fellow unfortunate neuroscience hashtags.

To be completely honest, despite Yoongi's general dislike of people who he doesn't know, and very animated preference of personal space, he did miss the bustle of university. There's alway something going on, a free performance, scooter races, a dance-off (that's usually Jeongguk). But more importantly, there's always places where he can go to relax, work in peace, be with just one other person, maybe two. Libraries and mini-amphitheatres that are always empty, and the corner table at the cafeteria with that plug point only he knows about. He's missed the bustle of university, yeah, but he's kind of missed relishing his privacy too. It doesn't make a lot of sense put that way, but those who need to get it, do. Like Suran. Or Taehyung and Seokjin. Or even Namjoon and his gang, when he goes over.

Except, evidently, for one person.

Yoongi gives it a thought while relacing his shoes. It's not that he doesn't respect the notion of peace and quiet; it's just that he disrupts Yoongi's merely by existing. It's no small feat, since Yoongi's actually gifted at tuning out anything that bothers him.

Anything but This Guy, that is. Evidently. At least he can still keep his peace and quiet for the moment, hang out with his hashtags, keep Taehyung and Jimin's illicit love affair under control, and try to mind his business.

Probably.

 

 

And well, of course his relative peace and quiet doesn't even last a full week. He doesn't know what he was expecting.

 

 

It's a beautiful day, actually. Not too sunny; kind of overcast, even. There's no smell of rain in the air or anything, but it should be here in the evening. That is, in the outcome that Yoongi makes it to the evening alive, because if he has to go down to take this bitch bastard with him, he will. And in fact, he did go down once already, which is the whole fucking problem, because he did not go down of his own volition.

No, he was tripped. Strategically.

'I swear to God,' he hisses through gritted teeth even as his nose miserably registers how good the crook of Jung Hoseok's neck smells. 'You have no idea how many pacts with the devil I have, and at least three of them list you as free-for-all collateral damage.'

'Always so sweet, Yoongi,' Hoseok sings. Loudly enough that Yoongi personally hears every bird in a one-kilometre radius stop chirping in that very specific kind of curiosity that the campus has learned since The Thing. The curiosity labelled Yoongi And Hoseok Meet Again: Who Will Win. 'I missed your pastel ass.'

Anyway, the birds stop chirping. The clouds stop moving. The campus simultaneously holds its breath and starts to gather around them in a wide circle, because this is a TV show, after all.

'Well, I didn't miss yours,' Yoongi replies, and pushes himself off Hoseok a little too late, honestly. He gets a good view of the little Nike tick mark embroidered into his white hairband, the single golden hoop on his earlobe, last night's hickey, whoever the poor bastard was. 'Now hurry along, some of us have classes to get to.'

'Actually,' Namjoon pipes up, and Yoongi turns immediately to shoot his best death glare at him before he can mention Hoseok's sociology-economics double major. (Man can't even be a fuckboy properly; a whole new level of uselessness.) 'All right. I'm gonna go. Peace and light to all.'

'What I hate about you,' Yoongi says, turning back to the bane of his existence and whipping his head to get a violet bang out of his eye, 'is not your stupid face, your cologne reminiscent of a high school hockey captain, or your traffic-light red hair.'

'Wow, tell us how you really feel,' Hoseok grins brightly, as someone— probably Suran— starts up a low chant of fight, fight, fight.

'No. What I absolutely loathe about you, actually, is that you choose to embody your high schooler aesthetic down to the very roots of it. Complete with juvenile acts of defiance, like tripping adults who have places to be, which I'm sure you think is hilarious.'

'I do, actually.' Fight, fight, fight. 'But my favourite part was when you came flying into my arms like a Disney princess.'

And see, that's another thing that Yoongi hates about Hoseok. Sometimes he makes statements that are so asinine that there's simply no possibility of making a comeback. Just, none. What is he supposed to retaliate with after being called a Disney princess, knowing full well that it is often the aesthetic that he is trying to embody? Nothing. Hoseok has him. He has made an accurate statement of truth, without any intent to insult behind it, and has effectively trapped him.

Yoongi does the next best thing. He scoffs, a little uncertain, and wildly gathers his wits.

'Yeah, well,' he says. 'What does that make you. A prince, that's what.'

He only realises what just left his mouth when it is accompanied by cheers and laughter from the circle around them. The section that isn't still chanting fight, fight, fight like they're on some Game of Thrones episode, that is. Yoongi, in an effort to remain true to his sarcastic and stoic front, refuses to react to any of it. Except he feels his cheeks heating up despite himself, and purses his lips.

Great comeback, Yoongi. Ten on ten. Semester's off to a great start.

'I mean, I'm fine with that arrangement,' Hoseok says, steps back and raises his arms. Yoongi takes a very small, totally inconsequential moment to scowl at his getup— shorts, and an oversized T-shirt, and those godawful shoes that he probably sold a kidney to buy. He looks maliciously, annoyingly, unambiguously good. 'You know how much I like you.'

'Oh, fuck off. I'd rather snort sawdust.'

'You tell him, Yoongi!'

'As if fuck off is a real response. Get him, Hoseok!'

Yoongi sighs internally but continues to glare at Hoseok, trying to ignore the slowly rising mayhem around them. It's in moments like these— which thankfully occur only once a month, on average— that he genuinely feels sorry for Taehyung and Jimin. He and Hoseok are the reason behind their Romeo and Juliet gig, after all, and while they aren't as restrictive as they could be, there is that fraternising with the enemy scene under it all. Which is hopelessly exaggerated by the two, of course, since none of this is that deep. It's not serious. Yoongi just loathes every inch of Jung Hoseok's being and wishes he would just stop everything in general, that's all.

'Harsh,' Hoseok says, in response to Yoongi's sawdust comment. 'Here I was, already picking out bowties for my funeral, given that two minutes of your company would actually kill me.'

And there it is, time to stop playing nice, your dad hates mine, all that. Yoongi scoffs again and squares his shoulders, runs a hand through his violet hair.

'It would,' he says. 'I'm too rich for your stomach.'

Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

'What's going on here?'

Fuck.

The quickness with which the crowd calms the hell down would be hilarious if Yoongi wasn't staring, mouth a little open, at an unfamiliar face in an all too familiar uniform. It's been a long while since campus security decided to stop intervening when it comes to the two of them (or Taehyung and Jimin, who take their roles a little too seriously and often end up conducting various activities on the rooftop— and he's not even talking about sex), so it makes sense that this is a new guy.

'What's going on?' The guard snaps again, and Yoongi is torn between turning tail and running, or standing his ground and going he started it (which Hoseok did), so he just stays frozen, staring dumbly at the guard. 'Wrap it up, this is no place to fight.'

'Sir, I'm so terribly sorry for these two,' Namjoon begins, and Yoongi levels another glare at him, causing him to blink adorably behind his owl glasses and then glare back with double the ferocity. 'No, I'm afraid I must intervene—'

He stops short, and so does Yoongi's brain, because then Hoseok's holding up a hand and advancing towards the security guard. Well, it's a lie to say Yoongi's brain stops short, because there is definitely a part of it that is now screaming at a frequency only dogs can hear, going abort abort abort bad bad bad.

Struck with the proverbial lightning bolt of shithead inspiration, Hoseok levels a blinding grin at the security guard.

'It's okay, sir,' he says. 'This is my boyfriend. We're just having a couple's spat.'

There is an impenetrable silence.

Yoongi is certain that he has never so acutely wanted to kill a man.

'You,' he says, in a voice the coldness of which terrifies even him. 'What. Do you think you are doing.'

'Oh, come on, Yoongi,' Hoseok says, even as the first giggles start bubbling in the crowd. 'Let's make up, shall we?'

From the corner of his eye, Yoongi sees the guard look between the two of them, and turns in time to catch the slight confusion on his face.

'All right,' the guard says, less snappy now. 'Keep it down, both of you.'

Now, if life were easy and not hashtag neuroscience, the moment the guard exited, so would the rest of them, hence leaving Yoongi alone to deal with his misfortunes and go to class, in whichever order. However, life is not easy and is very much hashtag neuroscience, and the first one to punctuate that truth with a bolt of screeching laughter is none other than Shin Suran.

'Oh my God,' she says, even as the rest of them join in, albeit a little respectably; this is Yoongi after all, he will kill them if he sees fit. 'Oh my God, that was pure gold. Hoseok, that was fantastic. Let me buy you a coffee.'

'I hate coffee,' Hoseok says cheerily. 'Much like I hate tomatoes, cats, and Yoongi.'

'I will kill you,' Yoongi hisses. 'Are you cognisant of that? I will literally kill you.'

'Okay, but,' Namjoon says, and Yoongi immediately compartmentalises his abject hatred of Jung Hoseok (it's a habit at this point) and snaps to attention, because that's Namjoon's leader voice, the one he only uses when he is up to some next level evil shit. 'You know, the concept is intriguing. I'm sure I'm not the only one to think so. Guys? Isn't the concept intriguing?'

'What concept?' Yoongi says. 'The concept of me killing this man?'

'No,' Namjoon replies, unfazed. 'The concept of you two dating.'

'Right?' That's Suran again, and Yoongi hears her like, three thousand zip charms tinkle as she steps forward into the line of fire. 'Like, we all know they hate each other—'

'I have an entire Snapchat account dedicated to them, actually,' someone from the crowd pipes up, and Yoongi's about to call the devil to dispose real quick.

'But like, they have to give it a shot now, right?' Namjoon finishes. 'Guys? Don't they have to give it a shot now?'

Yoongi, actually, has never so acutely wanted to kill several men. He might as well have a hitlist like Arya Stark, muttering Namjoon, Suran, and Professor Seunghoon from Calculus of Functions for good measure. On top of it, of course, written in pink sparkly ink, is Jung Hoseok. For more than one reason, but the most recent one being that he still hasn't lost his shit-eating grin, and is now directing it at Namjoon and Suran.

'I mean, I'm game,' he says, shrugging. 'I don't know if snookums here is up for the challenge, though.'

'Do not call me snookums,' Yoongi says with vehemence, then squares his shoulders again. 'And, shut up. I'm up for whatever fucking challenge if it's against the likes of you. I love a guaranteed victory.'

Hoseok laughs good-naturedly at that, which just makes Yoongi all the more homicidal. But then Namjoon's evil leader incarnation is pitching in again, and everyone listens.

'All right, but for there to be a winner and a loser, there need to be criteria,' he says. 'But first, is this challenge official and accepted?'

Yoongi glares at Hoseok, who continues smiling back like they've been best friends since second grade.

'Accepted,' Hoseok says.

'Accepted,' Yoongi growls.

 

 

'All right,' Namjoon says, claps his hands once and turns off his living room light accidentally. (One would think that after everything— everything— he'd remember.) 'Fuck. Sorry. Okay, it's back on. ALL RIGHT.'

'Can we get this over with,' Hoseok says, not even bothering to look up from what looks like 2048. 'There's a party I have to be getting to.'

'It's Monday,' Yoongi says. 'When do you study?'

'Unlike you, I don't need to maintain appearances of working my ass off at all times,' comes the immediate reply. 'Some of us have lives.'

'You really don't know him, do you,' Taehyung says hotly, and Yoongi cringes in advance because he knows exactly what's coming next, and it'll be damaging despite Taehyung wanting to defend him. 'Yoongi's too smart to have to maintain appearances.' Okay, relief.

'Wow, you actually pulled that one off,' Suran says. 'But I'm gonna have to go with Hoseok on that one. My phone only has enough memory for five minutes' worth of recording and I've already wasted one on Namjoon's bullshit.'

'Up yours,' Namjoon says amicably, but then finally uncaps his whiteboard marker and taps it against the, well, whiteboard. 'All right, so here's the deal.'

Here's the deal. One semester— whoever gives in first, loses. One semester of dating— not pretending to date, not keeping up appearances for the rest of the campus or that unfortunate guard, but actually dating, as in going on dates. As in, the movies, and bowling, and whatever it is that people who date do. As in, the most ridiculous orchestrated sequence of events Yoongi has ever participated in since his own birth and that time he and Seokjin thought it would be funny to put a raw egg in the microwave.

The rules that follow are simple enough. Antagonise as much as they wish, within the limits of personal boundaries that'll be clearly established before kickoff. All physical action to be verbally negotiated, even hand holding or hugging. A new, common Instagram to be made (they negotiate it down from a Youtube channel because no one's got the time for that) and updated weekly. A bunch of minor clauses that Hoseok probably isn't paying attention to but that Yoongi notes down religiously just in case they get into some bullshit one day.

'All in all,' Namjoon concludes, 'be civil. I mean, well, don't. But you know, make sure both of you get out of this in one piece.'

'Ominous,' Jimin says. 'Does this mean Taehyung and I can now date openly too?'

'You have been dating openly,' Seokjin's voice crackles over the Facetime call they've set him up on. 'I really don't understand how it can get more open than this. You banged in Jeongguk's closet. With the door open.'

'BE CIVIL,' Namjoon repeats, exasperated. 'And now fuck off. Daddy has music to make.'

 

 

Be civil. That sounds doable enough. Come out of it in one piece. That sounds more than doable for Yoongi, though he can't say the same for Hoseok, because if so far he only had to experience thirty percent of what Seokjin affectionately calls Yoongi's "barbed" nature, the remaining seventy percent are still a mystery.

But then again, Yoongi, who's only experienced thirty percent of Hoseok's obnoxiousness, hardly knows what he's in for either. Maybe he shouldn't be so cocky, lest he be the one who has trouble remaining in one piece.

'Bullshit,' he mutters under his breath, then swears as a bit of his skin gets caught in his binder clip. 'Fuck Hoseok.'

Fuck Hoseok is about right; just as he manages to pull his poor thumb free, his phone buzzes. It's Namjoon, no hello, nothing: just one phone number. Yoongi didn't think he was capable of disliking a combination of digits before, but this day is showing him newer and newer lows.

Not a minute later, his phone buzzes again.

 

Unknown [16:38]
KONNICHIWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA YOONGO
yoongi*
this is boyfriend-san

 

Me [16:39]
fuck off, boyfriend-san

 

Worst Nightmare [16:39]
what, already? :(
be a sport

 

One semester— whoever breaks up first, loses.

There's one thing Yoongi knows for sure— whatever happens, that's not going to be him.

 

 

Once you get past the whole bit where it is annoying as hell, Taehyung and Jimin's shtick is actually very impressive. Notably in that they have honest to God memorised the entirety of that stupid play, and not only their lines. In fact, they often prompt whoever is around— that they've mentally designated a role to— to say whatever line comes next.

The whoever is around in question, currently, is Yoongi.

Taehyung's looking at him expectantly, so Yoongi just waits for the inevitable: he rolls his eyes and mutters 'Come on, it's who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?'

'Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach,' Yoongi repeats, toneless. 'Please leave me alone.'

'You're ruining all the fun,' Taehyung pouts, but then puts both hands up when he's subjected to a classic pastel flavoured glare. 'Fine. Be grumpy. Don't accidentally enjoy life, or anything.'

Yoongi rolls his eyes and returns to his notes, trying to decipher what the fuck he meant by "17.22 note if problem". Note if what problem? What is 17.22? Why has life never once ceased to be an abyss of darkness and difficulty? Why is he—

 

Worst Nightmare [14:30]
helloooooooooooooooooo
how are u today!?!?!?!
do u like barbecue?
i know a great place

 

dating Jung Hoseok?

To be fair, it's only been about forty-eight hours and they actually haven't met in those forty-eight hours. Even at the end of Namjoon's dramatic challenge announcement (that was later put up across all social media that Yoongi knows to exist and some that he doesn't know exists) all Hoseok did was relace his abominable shoes and take off to whatever party he was late for, leaving Yoongi to pore over his list of rules in peace for the time being.

Of course that illusion of inertia wouldn't have lasted long; Yoongi gets that. He just wishes Hoseok wasn't so...well, like this. Nice until he isn't. Although that's like asking Hoseok not to be himself, and if he wasn't Hoseok they wouldn't be having any of this in the first place. If he'd just simply not tripped Yoongi, none of this would've happened. They would've stayed hating each other in peace.

Now he has to go get barbecue. With Jung Hoseok.

 

Me [14:33]
i like barbecue

 

Worst Nightmare [14:33]
sweet!! is tonight okay? we can meet outside namjoon's place?

 

Me [14:34]
i love how you pretend i don't live next door to him

 

Worst Nightmare [14:35]
Let's not get into that, now.

 

Me [14:35]
true. yeah namjoon's place is fine

 

And then again, if The Thing hadn't happened, none of this would be happening in the first place. They, possibly, wouldn't even have hated each other. But as mentioned before, life is an abyss of darkness and difficulty, so he'll just make the best of his lot and go get some fucking barbecue.

 

 

Jung Hoseok is, for lack of a better term, a fuckboy. It's a complete package. He has just long enough to be unmanageable category fiery red hair, constantly wears hairbands that actually look really good, plays more sports than Yoongi has fingers, is a terrible drinker but drinks anyway, and somehow performs all of this while undertaking a double major. Simply put, he's a fuckboy. An unfathomable fuckboy with a blinding smile, and one that he gives to Yoongi way too often given that he hates Yoongi's guts.

The barbecue place is bigger than he expected, but also quite filled up. There's the cheerful chatter of the students who make up the majority of the customers, but there's also a couple of kids in the corner, one of them wailing without a care in the world. It looks busy but not overwhelming, and whatever opinions he might harbour for Hoseok, Yoongi can appreciate that the guy got them a corner booth.

'The charm of this place is in those hugeass tables that you see in the center,' Hoseok says as he settles into the seat across from Yoongi's, pulling off his hairband and shaking his head. (He reminds Yoongi of a puppy.) 'We often come here in groups of ten and like, shut the place down. Swear to God, the owners hate us. We chase everyone else away.'

'Considerate of you,' Yoongi says drily, and Hoseok laughs, shrugs. 'I assume we're getting the dinner menu?'

'Only option for me. I eat like a...something that eats a lot.'

'Brown bats,' Yoongi says, without really thinking it through. He only experiences regret when Hoseok stops laughing and raises his eyebrows. 'What? Shut up. They eat like, a thousand mosquitoes an hour or something.'

'That claim was disputed, though?' Hoseok says, and Yoongi blinks. Of all things, including judgement, horror, and laughter, Yoongi had not expected him to actually weigh in on the discussion. 'Although hummingbirds eat a lot. You might want to go for hummingbird. That's a cuter comparison.'

'Exactly why I'm avoiding it,' Yoongi retaliates, glad to be back on his sarcasm after that moment of why does Jung Hoseok know about the appetite of brown bats. 'Hummingbirds don't deserve to be compared to you.'

Hoseok rolls his eyes, then smiles quickly as a waitress approaches them. As she sets up their stoves, Yoongi inspects his sparkly nails for lack of anything else to do, and wonders how they've already spent about twenty minutes without going for each others' throats.

Hoseok fixes that soon enough, though. Which, Yoongi really doesn't know what he was expecting.

'So,' he says cheerfully as the first of their meat begins to sizzle over the grills, 'I see your hair is all green now. It's cute. Did you dress up for me?'

Yoongi blinks at him, absolutely affronted for a moment, before regaining his senses and narrowing his eyes. 'You fucking wish. Unlike you, I actually put some effort into my looks on a daily basis.'

'Say what you want, but you're like, perfectly colour-coordinated right now. Can't you let me imagine it's for the date?'

'I absolutely cannot,' Yoongi says coldly. 'Don't delude yourself. The day I dress for you will be some fucking day.'

'Cold!' Hoseok doesn't seem to really mind, though, and simply gathers up one of the ribs and puts it on his plate. 'Do you like ribs? I like ribs.'

'Of course you like ribs.'

'What the fuck is that even supposed to mean.'

 

 

They turn their phones off after the thirteenth collective text from either Namjoon, or Suran, or Seokjin, or whoever. Maybe Jeongguk, even. Point is, there are only so many send pics and is one of u dead yet messages that one can take before it's a little too much. And they actually did take a picture, of the stove, the food, and Hoseok's hairband lying next to one of Yoongi's pastel bracelets for full proof that they're together.

Yoongi can only appreciate the details of this because much later, when they're done saying awkward goodbyes and fucking off to their respective apartments, he starts getting like notifications for a photo he doesn't recall uploading.

It's their joint account, named myg_jhs to keep it simple (they did have a minor tiff over whose name got to be first, but Yoongi won since Hoseok was the one who started this all). The photo is on it, a little too dark and hastily taken, but still clear enough. It's accompanied with almost a dozen hashtags, of which Yoongi reads only #firstdate before giving up.

There's a comment under it from Jeongguk, man you miss one week of uni and the entire world changes. Yoongi types up a reply, then backspaces it. The world can change literally while you're watching, hotshot.

 

 

Going back to class is a living nightmare.

The first person to greet Yoongi is Suran, who's perched on the professor's desk right at the bottom of the amphitheatre, flower-patterned boots swinging merrily as she crosses her arms and stares at him with a look of what can only be described as pure glee.

'BAR-BE-CUE,' she pronounces loudly, voice still muted by the largeness of the amphitheatre. Yoongi ignores her and the laughter that erupts in response to her; it really is a pain, having a highly publicised enmity with the most-loved fuckboy of the campus. If Hoseok wasn't such a popular fuckboy, Yoongi could've lived his pastel life in peace, but no. He has to be friends with everyone (it's a small campus, but still) and be invited to every party and instantly garner a following of literally a thousand people on what Yoongi had hoped would be their extremely private challenge Instagram.

'I hate everything,' Yoongi calls out to Suran from the thirteenth row, which he settles heavily into. 'So be quiet and respectful.'

'You always hate everything,' she calls back, then turns the fucking microphone on. 'Class, don't we want to know how Yoongi's first date with his biiiiiiiiiig crush went?'

'We do,' the audience choruses, and Yoongi flips them all the bird, then quickly retracts it as he notices the door to the left of the desk open (which Suran doesn't).

'Miss Shin Suran,' their professor booms, startling Suran so violently that she literally falls off the desk, just barely managing to catch herself on her feet like a cat. 'I assure you, all of us are curious about each other's personal lives, but chemistry class is not the place to ask these questions.'

'Hashtag neuroscience,' someone calls out from the third row.

Yoongi laughs nonstop until lunch break.

 

 

'Don't be ridiculous,' he finds himself saying to the tenth enquirer of the afternoon. 'Of course I still hate Jung Hoseok. And yeah, we're really dating. Those two things aren't mutually exclusive, you dingbat.'

They aren't. Sure, Yoongi had a halfway-decent dinner with Hoseok, and they didn't even come remotely close to boundary-crossing levels of antagonism, which, Yoongi never really put Hoseok in that category of dipshits anyway. But yeah, in the long run, it changes nothing. Even this entire semester isn't likely to change the fact that beyond their petty hatred (he knows it's petty; he's never pretended otherwise) they probably just don't get along as people. It's actually a miracle that Yoongi's best friends are the people they are; he'd always thought that he'd be that one kid at university who's doing his own thing in the corner. So a normal friendship with Hoseok is just out of the question. He's way too far on the other end of the spectrum; fuck's sake, look at his hair. And that piercing. And that general sunny attitude.

Yoongi doesn't want to get too 10 Things I Hate About You, and he won't, because there's actually way more than ten things that he hates about Jung Hoseok, and that, more importantly, annoy him. And maybe hate could be changed into something else, but pure annoyance? Not really. Taehyung's one of his best friends and still annoys the shit out of Yoongi; that doesn't change with the status of the relationship. In that case, if Hoseok is just 100% annoyance, Yoongi can't see anything changing that. Least of all a stupid dating challenge. Least of all Hoseok himself.

'I know those things aren't mutually exclusive,' Seokjin comments, after whichever hashtag it was disappears into the lunch line. 'We all do. That's precisely why this is so delicious.'

'Fuck off,' Yoongi instructs him.

 

 

The second time, they really do go to the movies, and Yoongi struggles to figure out why he's so offended by it.

It's too easy, he decides, after half an hour of stewing in his seat and ignoring the movie that's playing not because it isn't interesting (it is very interesting, actually) but because he and Hoseok had one mother of a fight in front of the ticket machine while trying to pick. Yoongi wanted to watch the latest historical drama, Hoseok wanted the action thriller based on whatever trash Dan Brown wrote last.

At least he had enough warning this time to attempt to dress down for the date. He's made sure to remove all traces of colour from his hair, and he's wearing only his plainest clothes. Blue oversized shirt, ripped jeans, his oldest Docs. What was distressing, however, was that Hoseok somehow managed to win that round with a flippant well, still counts as dressing up, minutes before promptly winning the next round of who picks the movie. Words were had about each unwilling partner's cinematic preferences, then about each other's outfits, hairstyles, life choices in general. Even Jimin and Taehyung's couple scarves were mocked on a driveby basis. (This, actually, was unanimous. It gave him a warm fuzzy feeling for a brief moment.)

Yoongi decides that yeah, it's definitely that it's too easy, as he stews over the memory of this argument in his seat and ignores white male number one yelling instructions at white male number two onscreen while the ship sinks or whatever. There's no hashtag neuroscience to this. Movies are just really fucking cliché, and Hoseok apparently doesn't like caramel popcorn, and also likes Coca-Cola gummies. As in, bought literally two hundred grams of them from the very expensive theatre store levels of liking. Yoongi can hear him reaching into the bag every three seconds, the irritating crackling of the plastic too loud even for the yelling white males to drown it out.

Such a fucking fuckboy, and he smells so good.

Yoongi hates everything.

'Did you see that?' Hoseok nudges him, and Yoongi slowly raises his head from where it was propped on his hand, and lets out a loud sigh. 'The screws were loose all this time.'

'Fascinating,' Yoongi says, and Hoseok's excited expression falls flat into a glare.

'You're not even watching,' he says, voice low, pissed. Yoongi rolls his arms. 'At least make an effort.'

'You could've made an effort and let me pick the movie.'

'I won fair and square. We literally flipped for it.'

'Whatever.'

'No, not whatever.' Suddenly Hoseok's standing up and holding out a hand; no rules breached. 'Come on.'

Yoongi looks around at the other spectators who are staring at them in mild confusion, and glares up at Hoseok. 'What are you doing, sit down. You're making a scene.'

'I'm not. I will, though, if you don't come with me.'

God, so fucking infuriating. Yoongi huffs and gets up, ignores Hoseok's outstretched hand and sees himself out of the row, apologising to everyone along the way. Doesn't wait to see if Hoseok is following him outside, just stalks his way to the doors and leaves.

Outside, the sunlight hits him in full force, along with the warm air of the afternoon. He kind of hates it, but that could just be residual hatred spilling over into the environment. Most of it is reserved for Hoseok, who stumbles out into the street after him.

'What was that about,' Yoongi says frostily, even as Hoseok puts his glasses on. (Wayfarers. Wayfarers, for fuck's sake.) 'I paid money for that ticket.'

'And you're going to pay money for another,' Hoseok says. 'We're going right back in, and this time we're finding something we both like.'

Yoongi blinks at him. He looks all golden and pissed off and great in the sunlight, which is way too many things for anyone to process on any given day, let alone on a date with one's greatest enemy. But mostly, Yoongi's blinking because Hoseok has a point, and one that neither of them thought of half an hour ago.

It's...kind of stupid, really. Too easy. Not for one second did either of them consider just looking for a third option, and now here they are, staring at each other in a sunlit street like idiots.

'Well,' Yoongi says. 'Yeah. Sure. I guess.'

 

 

They end up choosing a Spiderman rerun. Both refuse to cry when Emma Stone dies onscreen, but Hoseok fakes four sneezes in a row when they leave, talking some bullshit about allergies.

Yoongi smirks up at the evening sky and sends a text to Suran. Sap confirmed.

 

 

By the time they're done with the "third" date, they stop calling it that. It's principally due to the fact that the encounter blends into something else entirely, and they both realise that this challenge is going to be much less about individual dates and much more a simple routine, or way of being. A mindset.

It's a couple of weeks into the first month back to school, and Yoongi is now back to being neck-deep in work. Long library hours, longer lab hours, on the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth floor. Suran disappears into her own specialty and resurfaces occasionally to remind him to eat something other than instant noodles, and even their professors have given up all efforts to be cheerful. All in all, a typical September, save for the fact that he's dating Jung Hoseok. The more things change, the more they stay the same— it's still surreal to be taking his lab coat off and opening his bag to find a backlog of notifications on his phone.

jungleseok liked your photo · 44m

jungleseok commented "lmaooo i remember this party, didn't jeongguk throw up on the wall???" · 46m

 

Worst Nightmare [15:10]
heyyyyy
just wanted to say that tbt pic on ur insta reminded me of that party
if i remember correctly u found out i like tequila
so u downed half a bottle to spite me
i still hate u for that just saying!
ur the meanest ass goth bitch on this planet

 

Me [16:27]
no concrete memory of that party
probably due to the tequila
also my gig is pastel. not goth
not that i'd expect any better from you

 

Worst Nightmare [16:28]
hahaha fuck off
doesn't change the fact that ur petty as shit
break up already this has gone on too long

 

Me [16:30]
you'll have to pry this relationship from my cold dead hands
fuckboy

 

Worst Nightmare [16:30]
aww that gives me the tinglies when u call me that

 

A couple of weeks into the first month, Yoongi shrugs his lab coat off and folds it haphazardly, and has the strangest impulse to laugh, as he stares down at Hoseok's text. Not bitterly, either; it's just funny. He can imagine Hoseok sprawled out on his bed, surrounded by pending laundry, some kind of EDM playing in the background. Phone held over his head, ready to fall over his face at any time. Giggly texter, for sure.

Yoongi suddenly gains awareness of what he is doing, and clears his throat, looks around to make sure no one caught him smiling at his phone.

 

Me [16:35]
shut up. where are we meeting
i'm assuming we're meeting since you never text me otherwise

 

Worst Nightmares [16:36]
...tru
gonna fix that starting tomorrow
for tonight i was thinking bubble tea???
look good on insta too, u know nj loves that shit

 

Me [16:38]
sure
i like bubble tea )

 

Worst Nightmare [16:38]
HALF A SMILEY!!!!!!!!!!

 

Me [16:39]
shut up. that was a typo

 

 

Hoseok looks different. Maybe it's just the fact that the sun has started going down faster now, so that even a little past seven as they are, the sky is already turning a darker shade. But it's not just that. Yoongi's trying to figure it out bit by bit in tiny glances, since he can't exactly fucking stare at the guy. But there's...something different. Like, his hair is gelled back, sure, and it looks sexy. That's an objective observation. And that's possibly a smudge of kohl on the edges of his eyes, which is also, well.

But there's something else. Yoongi's not sure what. Is it the fact that Hoseok is for once wearing real pants? Is he overdressed for a bubble tea date?

No, that's not it either. Yoongi stutters out an order for litchi with coconut jelly and stares down at his shoes, then over at Hoseok's abominations, then back to his shoes. There's something different about Hoseok, something bristling, or more like buzzing. It isn't bad, or anything, rather the contrary. It's something...positive. Which Yoongi isn't really used to seeing from Hoseok, not around him, despite all the fake cheer that Hoseok maintains in order to poke fun at Yoongi.

No, Hoseok looks...excited. For something. Well, not exactly excited, just...

'Are you...' Yoongi squints. 'Are you in a good mood, by any chance?'

Hoseok stiffens for a second, then turns around and smiles sheepishly. It's not his shit-eating grin or some sardonic alternative; it's just a genuine smile.

'I mean,' he says, 'Yeah? Honestly I'm done with the whole like, sulking thing. I don't really like you—'

'Thanks,' Yoongi says. 'I don't really like you either.'

'—but,' Hoseok continues, utterly unbothered by his own rudeness, 'I don't see why we can't be civil. I'm in a good mood. Are you?'

'Well, if I was, it's gone out the window now that I had to see your face and be reminded that we don't like each other.'

'Aww,' Hoseok says, and a surge of annoyance rises in Yoongi again. He hates that fucking aww. 'Which means you had previously forgotten it?'

'Fuck off, Hoseok, really.'

'Okay, okay,' Hoseok says, smiles brightly at the barista— bubblista?— as she hands him their glasses. 'I'll chill out. Just, it's pretty sad if only one of us is feeling the bubble tea.'

'Yeah, well.' Yoongi sits down at one of the high stools and leans his elbows on the table, stares at his numerous rings, one bracelet that's slowly getting frayed. 'No fixing that.'

'Yes fixing that. I'm going to a party after this. Do you want to come with me?'

For the umpteenth time since this whole jig started, Yoongi finds himself blinking at Hoseok, blank for a moment. In itself, it's a pretty simple question— it's just, it's so straightforward. Something that Yoongi has noticed a lot in Hoseok in the exactly three times that they've gone out together, and something he's realised in retrospect too. Man doesn't really fuck around, even when he's teasing.

'For real?' Yoongi says. 'I don't know, I'm sure it's full of good-looking sportsmen like you. You sure your pastel boyfriend—' —why the fuck did you say boyfriend, Yoongi— '—won't embarrass you?'

If Hoseok thinks the boyfriend is unusual (or mildly life-shattering as it is for Yoongi) he doesn't let on. 'Don't be like that. You look good. I always like your outfits.'

Yoongi blinks again, while Hoseok slurps loudly on his strawberry tea, completely oblivious to the effect his bullshit is having on the world around him. You look good. I always like your outfits. The worst part is, as always, that Yoongi knows he isn't lying. He wouldn't.

'Well,' he replies faintly, after a pause, having yet to touch his own tea. 'Sure. Why not. What have I got to lose, right?'

Right.

 

 

Well, this was a big fucking mistake.

First things first: Yoongi's enjoying. Yoongi is, in fact, enjoying the fuck out of himself. The kind of enjoying that only comes when you walk into one of those magical student apartments that are so fucking tiny but somehow still manage to contain a shitton of people. The kind of enjoying that only comes when you walk into one of those, and Park Jimin spots you and lets out a crow shriek, and stumbles towards you with not one, not two, but three bottles of rum in his hands, and the rest is history. That kind of enjoying.

To be fair, actually, the enjoyment starts before that. It starts with Chaeyong opening the door and immediately trying to push Hoseok back out, to Hoseok's unending laughter. It starts with Hoseok shouldering his way in anyway, Yoongi in tow. It starts, before that, with Yoongi actually taking Hoseok's outstretched hand, for the first time.

Then it's Hoseok entering the thrum of the party and everybody hooting when they see who he's with, and then it's Hoseok swearing at all of them laughingly, and pulling Yoongi to his side.

'Meet the boyfriend,' he says, and there isn't even a hitch in his breath, and then Park Jimin lets out a crow shriek and stumbles towards Yoongi with three bottles of rum in his hand, and the rest is history.

The big fucking mistake part of it all is that just as Yoongi is about to complete his process of being one with the couch (after having imbibed a lot more of the rum than is appropriate for ten human beings, let alone one), Jung Hoseok takes off his shirt.

'What,' Yoongi says, to no one in particular. (The couch is empty; the fact that people actually do like to dance will never fail to shock him.) In over two years of blissfully hating Jung Hoseok, he has never had to experience this.

And Hoseok is toned. What the fuck. Not in that intensely ripped way that's a little too much for Yoongi, but just. Toned. Like, he's been subject to the sight of Hoseok's guns more times than he can care to count because Hoseok needlessly favours tank tops, but now he gets to see how his shoulders meet his back, and what sweat looks like when it's running down his spine.

Yoongi is, to put it mildly, reconsidering life.

'What,' he says again, and this time someone's here to listen. It's Chaeyong, who honestly knew what the fuck was up when she tried to kick Hoseok out of her apartment before he even stepped in. She sits down on the armrest and finishes off whatever infernal drink is in her hands, and ruffles Yoongi's hair. 'Why is he doing that.'

'What, you've really never seen Hoseok at parties before?'

'I have,' Yoongi says. 'But it's usually, like, for thirty seconds. Then I disappear to wherever everyone's doing weed and stay there for the rest of the night. I kind of hate him, remember.'

'It's hard to unlearn avoiding Hoseok, huh?' she says kindly, and Yoongi makes some kind of high-pitched sound that could pass for a laugh if he put more effort it into it. As it is, he's too busy staring at what he thinks is a fucking belly button piercing on Jung Hoseok's naked fucking torso, so his fuck budget is pretty low.

It's hard to unlearn avoiding Hoseok, all right. That's one way to put it. Definitely hard to unlearn it when Hoseok is tying his perfectly good shirt around his very sharp hipbones and Yoongi can see all too painfully how well his jeans hug his ass. Definitely hard when he suddenly goes in on the drop of a song with one snap of those sharp hips and Yoongi suddenly remembers two things; one, that hickey he'd seen when he tripped into Hoseok's arms on the first day back, and two, that Jung Hoseok is actually, impeccably, upsettingly hot.

'I need a drink.'

'Oh, sweetie,' Chaeyong says, and ruffles his hair again. Yoongi doesn't even remember what colour it is today. 'Hashtag neuroscience. You need a whole bunch of drinks.'

 

 

He loudly blames it on his state of inebriation to whoever is willing to listen later, but clause number four of the Instagram update rule says no takebacks, no deletes.

Hence, his upload, clumsily made at three in the morning, stays up for everyone to see. A blurry, drunk video of Hoseok with his hands over his head, body twisting to match some addictive beat in the background, some resigned lyrics about innocence and infidelity.

The caption says not so bad. But it is. It is very much bad. So so bad.

 

 

Taehyung and Jimin are wearing couple scarves today. Which in itself wouldn't be that bad, but the thing is, the scarves are shocking pink and have tassels.

 

Me [19:00]
tassels
i mean it
it's even more cursed than your face

 

Fuckboy Ultimate [19:02]
for once i have no problem agreeing with u
so they got new ones??
last i remember it was that unicorn monstrosity
didn't those sparkle??!

 

Me [19:02]
oh god don't bring that up
trying to take pics
will send

 

In a way, Yoongi supposes it is The Thing that is responsible for the couple scarves. Had Taehyung and Jimin's relationship not been so forbidden, they probably wouldn't have acted out like the pair of rebellious barely-teens-anymore that they are, buying couple scarves and memorising a four-hundred-year-old play. And had Yoongi and Hoseok not decided to hate each other, their relationship would not have been forbidden. And had The Thing not happened, they wouldn't have decided to hate each other.

So actually, that makes it Namjoon's fault. Which doesn't surprise Yoongi. When you've had Namjoon as your neighbour for the entirety of your college career so far, it would barely even surprise you to know that the man has accidentally triggered the apocalypse.

The Thing, then, is something only known by the most intimate of their friends. That is to say, Namjoon was the first one to find out, and then informed Seokjin and Suran of it, cry-howling with laughter throughout it all. Taehyung and Jimin kind of inherited the knowledge from them when they joined college. They've somehow done a splendid job of keeping it to themselves; not one other person on campus is aware of it, not even Jeongguk, a fact that he howls with rage about at least once a week.

Which is just as it should be, Yoongi thinks darkly, as he tries to edit the levels on his sneaky photo so that Hoseok can appreciate just how very pink those horrid scarves are. The Thing is almost sacrosanct in its terribleness, the kind of incident that produces holy texts. The fewer that know of it, the better.

 

Fuckboy Ultimate [19:05]
oh my god that is hideous
that's really butt ugly

 

Me [19:05]
right?
anyway we still good for 8 or

 

Fuckboy Ultimate [19:06]
yea!!!
wait no 8:30 please
i have to do a sheet mask

 

Me [19:07]
wow you take care of your skin
i like sheet masks

 

Fuckboy Ultimate [19:08]
i have a whole routine bitch lmao
we should do them together sometime

 

Me [19:10]
romantic

 

 

In the hashtag neuroscience hierarchy, midterms are surprisingly low. He’s so used to internalising all sorts of information and memorising what he can’t seem to understand perfectly, that exams are at this point just a part of the routine. Having them periodically actually takes the pressure off and prevents level 20 panic attacks just before the final, since he knows that his entire future isn’t resting on that one four-hour paper. (He knows, of course, that his entire future doesn’t depend on that either way. His future depends on when he’ll be able to buy his first pair of Fluevogs and finally be the ethereal twink prince he was meant to be.)

At any rate, it’s about a month and a half into the challenge that he realises that they’ve kind of made it. It’s not the halfway point or anything, not for a couple of weeks, but they’ve settled into something that could almost be considered camaraderie, in that they have a mutual enemy: their laughing friends who still haven’t gotten used to this new arrangement and constantly put them on Snapchat whenever they find Yoongi and Hoseok sitting at the same bench without tearing each other’s hair out or whatever juvenile actions others think they get up to every time they see each other. (Which, it’s been over two years. You’d think the campus has understood that their altercations are strictly verbal, smirking on Hoseok’s part and scoffing on Yoongi’s, like they’re shounen protagonists or something, and that no, their supposed “unresolved sexual tension” is never going to culminate into passionate kissing in front of a wide-eyed audience because this is not a TV show, or a sports anime.)

It’s almost camaraderie, yeah. It’s like, Yoongi has managed to come to the same wavelength as Hoseok about a selected few things. He can acknowledge that Hoseok is a fun guy (with others), that he’s actually pretty sweet (with others), and that he is just all-round hot. (That one’s universal.) It doesn’t bother him, and honestly, Yoongi doesn’t think he was ever determined to classify Hoseok as a terrible person, period. Hoseok is just a terrible person for him. The slightest bit illogically.

But he’s also respectful and honest, which is the quickest way to earn Yoongi’s respect in turn. Never mind the fact that he’s currently struggling to find a way to make Hoseok break up— a challenge is a challenge, after all— he finds himself wondering, sometimes, what will happen if they manage to finish the semester without breaking up. Will they throw a party? Just go back to rolling their eyes at each other? Pretend that neither this happened, nor The Thing?

‘Earth to Yoongi,’ he hears, and blinks and looks up. Suran is leaning over his exam desk, and he realises that most of the hall is now empty. ‘Get your shit together, this is just the second paper. You have like, four more this week. And a report.’

‘Yeah, yeah,’ Yoongi mutters, rolls his eyes. They both know he’s going to ace all of them (well, not sure about the report) but old habits die hard, he supposes. He flashes Suran a trademark grin as he gathers this things, follows her poofy tulle skirt out of the exit as he replies to Seokjin’s fourth selfie of the day.

Camaraderie sounds about right. They don’t so much go on dates anymore as they just hang out, with the obligatory Instagram updates every week; a park once, revision style noodles another time, the movies, again. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit that there aren’t many things to hate about Hoseok when they actually have a civilised conversation together, and vice versa, but that age-old annoyance is too deeply-rooted and hence latches onto Hoseok’s entire aura instead of any specific actions of his. Hoseok’s words aren’t annoying anymore, but his voice still is. His cheer isn’t annoying; his smile is.

Most of all, it’s annoying that Yoongi somehow manages to like it anyway. His smile, that is.

‘I don’t have time for this,’ he says to Suran out of context, and she makes a sound of agreement. ‘Suran, I need you to hit me with a frying pan about something.’

‘I’ll hit you with a frying pan even without a reason, don’t worry.’

 

 

‘Shut up,’ Yoongi says, with real passion.

‘Make me,’ Hoseok replies, a crooked grin making one of his eyes close narrower than the other. The last of the fall sunlight is vehement on his face, a slat of pure gold hitting the bridge of his nose, his lashes, his eyes themselves. They look almost amber in its light, and if Yoongi wasn’t filled with utmost rage he’d be filled with something else. Admiration, he doesn’t know. ‘You know I’m more right than you can ever hope to be.’

Yoongi takes a deep breath and looks around himself in an effort to calm down. The campus is in a state of typical Saturday calm, only a handful of people lying on the grass, someone with a guitar, a group of girls playing football in the distance. If their friends are still being as silly about the challenge as ever, the rest of the student body seems to have accepted the new status quo; everyone ignores the fact that they’ve been sitting— and arguing— under a bare tree for the past two hours. He has been very thoroughly and none too gently reminded of why this is supposed to be a challenge; he’s a thread’s length away from calling the whole thing off.

He leans forward and glares at Hoseok with as much fury as he can muster, which is clearly not enough, because Hoseok continues smiling.

‘Raspberry is clearly the superior berry,’ he says, for the third time this afternoon. ‘Have you ever eaten something as small and power packed? That taste? You really think strawberries compare?’

‘Just give it up, Yoongi,’ Hoseok replies, leaning back against the tree trunk and throwing a bare arm over his eyes (which, how the fuck is he still wearing tanks in this weather; Yoongi pulled out the hoodies a week ago). ‘Strawberries are cheaper, sweeter, and bigger. There’s just no discussion here.’

‘Your dick is— you know what,’ Yoongi says, catching himself before he calls Hoseok’s dick sweet and big, words that he would really rather not utter. ‘You know what, I don’t need to do this. This whole affair is below me.’

Hoseok cracks an eye open, raises an eyebrow. ‘You breaking up? Is this it? Can I record?’

‘Shut up. I’m talking about the argument. You wish I was breaking up with you.’

‘I really do,’ Hoseok grins. ‘I think you’re stubborn and scornful.’

‘And I think you’re obnoxious and insufferable, but you don’t see me providing that information free of charge to you at every available opportunity.’

‘You just did. Does that mean I have to pay now?’

Yoongi splutters at him for a second, then simply gets to his feet as Hoseok lets out a loud, triumphant laugh; high and stupid. He just really doesn’t have the time for this.

‘No, come back,’ Hoseok wheezes, even as Yoongi stalks off to the edge of the lawn where it meets the concrete. ‘Come back, let’s bitch about something together! Yoongi! Boyfriend-san!’

‘Fuck you,’ Yoongi calls over his shoulder, but then realises he left his phone on the grass. Cursing himself, seven generations of ancestors and at least three generations of descendants, he turns back to face Hoseok, who is holding up that very phone and almost speechless with laughter.

‘Come on,’ he says again, coughs on air.

Yoongi narrows his eyes at him. Solid build, easy grace, stupid handsome face.

‘Blueberries,’ Yoongi says. ‘I hate blueberries.’

Hoseok points at him solemnly. ‘Score. So do I. Come back. Let’s talk about blueberries.’

 

 

Blueberries are a common enemy. They talk nineteen to the dozen until the sun goes down, and when they’re getting up, brushing yellowed grass off their elbows, Yoongi comes to a realisation.

He realises what’s strange: it’s that at some point it stopped being him versus Hoseok, and became them versus the challenge.

He turns to face Hoseok quickly, as if he expects Hoseok to be in on this at the same time as him, but of course, Hoseok is just shaking his hair out and stretching, face lit strange in the multicoloured glow of streetside shops.

Yoongi swallows his unimportant realisation and turns back to face the road ahead. His bracelets rustle as he tucks a curl behind his ear, and suddenly there’s a gentle touch just under his earlobe.

‘Cute earring,’ Hoseok says, and he’s not even fucking around. ‘Twinkle twinkle.’

‘Twinkle twinkle,’ Yoongi repeats, and forgets to tack on the derisive laugh that would come along.

 

 

‘Come on,’ Seokjin says, as he inspects Namjoon’s curls carefully, pronouncing the dye job a success only after a long minute. Namjoon continues to snore gently, head tipped at an uncomfortable angle. ‘Midterms are over. It’s been two months. Get over it and go to the party.’

‘The party isn’t my problem,’ Yoongi says. ‘It’s who’s throwing it that’s the problem. I don’t want to be associated with the economics kids. It’s like, that’s like—’

‘Like your boyfriend is an economics major? And that you’re attending a party thrown by him, and seeing his apartment for the first time by the same occasion?’

‘Don’t talk about that,’ Yoongi says darkly. ‘We all know his viewing of my apartment wasn’t. In ideal conditions.’

‘Exactly.’ Seokjin leans forward and fixes Yoongi in an earnest gaze. Just when Yoongi’s getting uncomfortable, Seokjin claps, loudly. Despite himself, Yoongi lets out a little shriek when the lights go off, and Namjoon makes some kind of sound before going right back to his snores. Seokjin claps again and when the lights come back on, he is still staring at Yoongi. ‘It’s time to turn a new leaf. Go destroy his apartment.’

 

 

Hoseok is that kind of popular, the kind where it’s difficult to find him inside his own home. Someone that Yoongi doesn’t even recognise opens the door to him and screams over her shoulder about the boyfriend being here before letting him and Taehyung in. Taehyung sees someone he knows (that Yoongi doesn’t) and takes off with a pat to Yoongi’s shoulder, already hollering something about discount soju.

The apartment might be bigger than Yoongi’s, but there’s no way to tell with how it’s packed. There’s just enough place to dance for the enthusiasts– this is Jung Hoseok’s apartment, after all; Yoongi just hopes he’s kept his shirt on this time– and enough place to sit for people like Yoongi who keep to their corner, but it’s hard to see what anything looks like amidst all these people.

Parties are different for Yoongi. He’s seen his fair share of this kind, but left to his preferences, he’ll always take the calm sort of communal evening– some good music, a braided joint, a red lampshade. It doesn’t really go with everyone’s impression of him– pastel two years and going strong– but then again, Yoongi’s never really given a fuck about that sort of thing.

He steals Jimin’s drink on the way to the window and immediately regrets it upon taking the first sip. This is Park Jimin they’re talking about; mister Juliet does like his alcohol. But Yoongi has to live with his mistake, and hence stoically downs the screwdriver before his mouth can register how horrible it is. Outside the window isn’t much of a view; closed street with an apartment building across from theirs, someone else’s party going on on the eighth floor. Yoongi can spot streamers and a scarf with a team logo hanging from the sill, wonders briefly if they can hear Hoseok’s catchy, upbeat music.

Then he feels a presence next to him and whips around quickly, only to find Hoseok himself. The first thing Yoongi notices is that his shirt is still on; the second thing he notices is that it’s white, and nearly transparent with how it’s soaked through. Hoseok, actually, looks unnaturally drenched; it can’t be sweat.

‘Hi,’ Hoseok says, a little breathlessly, and Yoongi– with some effort– raises his gaze past the rivulets of water running down his neck, his perfect jaw, and to his eyes– already bright with alcohol. ‘Hey. You came.’

‘I certainly did,’ Yoongi says. ‘I’m a good sport, don’t you forget.’

Hoseok doesn’t really reply; he’s probably way past tipsy. He only laughs, in that same breathless voice, and continues looking at Yoongi with what almost seems like…cheer? Joy? His red hair has darkened to maroon and is hanging over his eyes in sharpened spikes, and Yoongi has the strangest urge to brush it back so that Hoseok can see clearer.

‘What happened to you?’ he asks. ‘Fell in a puddle?’

‘Shut up,’ Hoseok laughs. ‘Jaehyo pushed me into the shower. I’m still trying to figure out why, but I’m also pretty sure someone broke my sink.’

‘That’s going to be fun to wake up to tomorrow.’

‘Yeah,’ he says, doesn’t seem like he’s really listening. ‘You look so good. I love your little beanie. It’s really cute.’

Yoongi immediately reaches up to touch his beanie, a little self-consciously. It’s a simple grey affair, but it is horrendously soft, the kind that’s almost alarming. It also doesn’t help that it was a present from Namjoon, and hence has tiny cat ears on it, which is probably what Hoseok’s talking about.

‘Thanks,’ Yoongi mumbles, glad for the dimmed lights that’ll mask his blush. ‘I, uh. I have a Lord Nermal ring, too.’

‘Whaaat? The cat flipping the bird? That’s awesome.’ Hoseok leans in a little further; Yoongi automatically presses against the wall. They somehow manage to settle against the windowsill comfortably, but he now has a very uncomfortable view of the fact that the water on Hoseok’s chest has yet to dry. He wonders how Hoseok isn’t dying of cold, and why the window is open in the ass end of October in the first place, and why life is like this.

Namjoon. Definitely Namjoon’s fault.

‘So.’ Yoongi plays with the various chunky rings on his fingers, twists a pale orange one off and on again. ‘Midterms were good?’

‘Fantastic,’ Hoseok replies. ‘I don’t think I need to even ask about yours, right?’

‘Hah, yeah, well. My intellectual capacity is higher than–’

‘Oh, let’s not,’ he cuts in, and Yoongi looks up, fast, puzzled. It’s not sarcastic or anything; Hoseok seems genuine, eyes light, curve of his mouth entreating, almost. ‘Let’s just have a good time, Yoongi? Can I get you a drink?’

Yoongi blinks at him, the flickering streetlights in his eyes, his darkened jeans, crazy shoes, and does a brief mental calculation of the number of times he makes like hashtag neuroscience for himself, and squints down at his orange ring again.

‘Actually,’ he says. ‘Do you want to.’ Come on, Yoongi. ‘Dance. Maybe?’

There’s no reply for a long moment, so Yoongi looks up and– Hoseok’s staring at him. Openly, with something surely on his mind that Yoongi can’t see, wet hair leaving one last drop on his cheek, where it rolls down and comes to a stop at his jaw, just before it can fall off. Almost without his will, Yoongi reaches up to get it, and stops his hand right in time.

Hoseok ignores him, wipes the drop off, seemingly coming back to himself. He blinks rapidly and then smiles at Yoongi, friendly, frank.

‘Sure,’ he says. ‘Come on, happy feet. Let’s go.’

 

 

Hoseok leads him all the way to what must be the center of the tiny living room, his sofa bed folded away against a corner and occupied by two passionate card-players. The music is much louder here, Bluetooth speakers barely able to keep up with the volume, but no one is in a state to mind. Yoongi himself will be feeling that screwdriver with the next shot he takes, but for the moment he focuses on not losing Hoseok in the tangle of people in the dark. Then again Hoseok isn’t easy to lose; right now, he might as well be a personal beacon for Yoongi, who’s now confused about how he’d been missing out on this all along.

Hoseok stops and spins around all of a sudden, and Yoongi nearly bumps into him, startled. He does catch an inhale of pure alcohol and Hoseok’s high-schooler cologne, but backs up quickly and catches himself.

Then Hoseok holds out a hand, palm up, steady. ‘Can I?’

Yoongi wonders if anyone’s watching; whether he’ll mind if they record. It’s all a part of the game, after all; he is kicking ass at this challenge. He knew he’d hold out, and now he’s gonna dance with the enemy to boot.

None of that explains why he feels like he’s about to pass out, but he shrugs it off. Hashtag neuroscience.

Hashtag neuroscience, he tells himself, as he lifts a hand and places it into Hoseok’s. Hashtag neuroscience. I’m a great fucking sport.

Apparently, giving his hand to Hoseok is the equivalent of handing over all his life: the moment their skin touches, Hoseok clasps his fingers tight and positively yanks Yoongi forward, so hard that their chests nearly bump together. Yoongi throws his other hand up to avoid it, and almost gasps at how Hoseok’s skin is despite his shirt. But before he can say or even think anything else, Hoseok’s guiding his hands; looping Yoongi’s arms around his neck, resting his own hands on Yoongi’s waist.

The screwdriver hits without the shot and without warning; that first dance is a blur. He doesn’t know how to dance and never will, but Hoseok’s got enough rhythm for the both of them, and he always asks before lifting Yoongi for a move.

He asks for the second dance too, and the third one, and at some point Jimin moves his way towards them and hands them ice-cold glasses, and all in a moment the compelling beat of what he can only describe as pure joy rushes in, fills the space between them with something that is pulsing, alive, and full of youth. Hoseok shoots up to Yoongi’s brain like pins and needles travelling up his arm, and even as his bemused thoughts laugh I’m really managing not to break up with this guy, his lips form the words of a song he doesn’t remember learning, and his eyes close of their own accord when Hoseok’s hand lands on his bare waist, warm and asking.

And then, Hoseok himself asks too.

‘Can I kiss you, boyfriend-san? All for the game, you know, I’m a good sport too–’

‘Shut up,’ Yoongi laughs, opens his eyes to look right into mister fuckboy’s; his messy apartment, his giggly texts, the fact that his very being makes Yoongi’s blood boil. ‘Shut up. Fucking shut up.’

No one notices, the first time their lips meet. And all the better, because they miss horrendously, and whatever remains of Yoongi’s gloss rubs off on Hoseok’s teeth, and they almost fall over with how hard they’re laughing. And then, he thinks, it’s for the better that no one notices the second time, because they get it right.

There’s no third time after that; the moment their mouths fit together Yoongi lets his glass fall to the floor and raises that hand to grab Hoseok’s stupid red hair; lets his fingers curl as tight around the damp strands as they can. Hoseok’s lips are soft and blazing and taste of a fatal mix of spirits, and Yoongi can’t remember the last time a kiss was so good.

Then there is an ear-splitting shriek from somewhere in the room, and Yoongi laughs drunkenly into Hoseok’s mouth as whoever that was– Jeongguk? Taehyung? Suran?– yells it’s happening. It is a challenge, after all, one that they’re both killing. What a way not to break up with each other, after all, dancing and kissing and dancing and kissing like this is all part of the game.

And hey, it is. It’s all part of the game, so when Hoseok pulls away Yoongi playfully mimes choking him, and Hoseok plays along, tilts his head, sticks his tongue out, crosses his eyes. And, fuck it. He’s fun, with Yoongi. And Yoongi’s fun with him, and all of this is so easy, too easy, so easy, and wouldn’t it count in his favour if he pulled Hoseok down by his collar again?

It would, so he does, and in the background that same swooping song goes on and on and on like this night will never end.

 

 

Me [04:30]
goodnight, boyfriend-san

 

 

Boyfriend-san [08:13]
good morning :)

 

 

The café is...a cat café. In other words, a cat café exists and they are currently in it. By they, Yoongi means him, Hoseok, Jimin, and Taehyung. And approximately a dozen cats.

'Seven, actually,' Hoseok mutters, correcting Yoongi mid panicked text to Suran. 'I counted. Always keep sight of the enemy.'

'Oh, please,' Yoongi hisses back, recoiling when that makes one of the cats' ears perk up. 'I offered like four times to make them change the location. Don't go all tragic on me now.'

'You wouldn't get it,' Hoseok says. 'You cannot understand the level of disdain, fear, and plain out squick that I harbour for cats. I understand that they're creatures of God like everything else—'

'Well, not everything else. You clearly come straight from hell—'

'—and hence I should afford them the same respect as I do to Jimin and my sister. But it's just not possible.'

'And yet here you are.'

'And yet here I am.' Hoseok smiles nervously at a cat about two feet away, and tries valiantly not to squeak when said cat leaps up onto the couch, right beside him. 'Yoongi? Help?'

'Live with your mistakes,' Yoongi replies, pressing send on his text. It immediately bounces, and he rolls his eyes. Typical Suran, dead to the world when it's presentation season. 'I'll have you know, however, that your dislike of cats almost made me lose this challenge. I've had it up to here with you.'

'Aww,' Hoseok says, and Yoongi flicks his forehead. He knows Yoongi hates that. 'Fine, though to be fair I almost dumped you before coming here. Last resort shit.'

'Should've done it, fucker. Give up already.'

'Says the dude who kissed me.'

Yoongi chokes on his spit a little (it's not cute at all, so he's glad he manage to do it discreetly) and stares religiously down at his phone, ignoring the heat crawling up his neck and the sides of his face. The ease with which Hoseok just let that slip is— well, if anything, Yoongi was the one to take it in his stride when it first happened. All part of the game, which he knows it is, it's just...he— well, he doesn't know what the fuck he was expecting, actually. Does it make it worse if he wanted Hoseok to take it lightly all this while, or if some small part of him secretly wishes that Hoseok had taken it more seriously than him? Or— as seriously as him?

Yoongi hasn't taken it seriously, though, which is the whole point. There's nothing wrong with kissing someone; there's no legally binding obligation attached. He's not the type to overthink those things, not even when it entails almost making out with his highly publicised enemy as part of a stupid dating challenge. See, Yoongi's the kind to take that shit in his stride. He's the fucking king of taking things in stride.

'You kissed me first,' he retorts eloquently, a reply that Hoseok deems valid after brief consideration. 'Also, shut up.'

 

 

So what changes? The real, simple answer is nothing. Fall gets colder and colder until Yoongi has to switch most of his outfits out for warmer alternatives and the beanie becomes a regular— the only one he wears out of the five or six he owns, for no particular reason, honestly; sometimes he has moods— and even Hoseok grudgingly accepts that the temperatures aren't going to be rising anytime soon in the next three months (at the very least) and dons a single bomber jacket that propels his hotness to astronomical levels that Yoongi can't even fathom. His obnoxious form of protecting his ears is switching out his air pods for headphones, which is actually a little genius.

They get along. They never kiss again, but the fact that they show up to parties together, and go bowling and ice skating and watch movies that both of them hate, is somehow more radical than anything else could've been. Yoongi likes Hoseok, and Hoseok likes him too. It doesn't mean a single thing in the big picture, because come December one of them is going to win this challenge and they'll remain friends, he knows they will, and maybe joke about how they used to hate each other. But they get along, and that's actually fucking mindblowing when he stops to think about it carefully.

Anyway, he was going somewhere with this. The simple truth is that nothing changes. It's anticlimactic in the sense that it doesn't make the campus explode the way it would have if there wasn't a whole context behind it, but as it is everyone's more or less used to their bullshit now. It took them such a short time to accept the new status quo that Yoongi finds himself wondering if it'd have been this easy had they really been dating.

However the fuck that would've happened.

Yoongi curses as he realises he forgot to alternate colours while painting his nails, and now he's painted all five on his left hand baby blue. It's not that it looks bad; it's the principle. It's the fucking principle of everything, really. Including the fact that nothing has changed.

So in a way it's good, really, that they never kiss again— until they almost do. Fucking great, that nothing changes— right up until every single thing does.

 

 

‘Are you sure about this?’ Yoongi asks for only the fifth time, which he thinks is pretty reasonable, actually. After all, this isn’t just any old bullshit— this is his hair they’re talking about, and his hair is practically a World Heritage Site. ‘I’m just not that convinced about your qualifications.’

‘Fuck off,’ Hoseok laughs, and well, he’s already snapping the gloves on so Yoongi supposes there isn’t much else to do other than give in to his fate. ‘I’ll have you know I’ve graduated from dog grooming school.’

‘You know, I can really never tell when you’re joking, and I’m supposed to be the prince of sarcasm here.’

‘Sarcasm is only valid when taken to the next level. The other person isn’t supposed to know whether you’re joking or not. Dipshits like you only like to look down on people and let them know you’re doing it.’

‘Up yours, fuckboy.’ Once the respectable five-second duration of his scowl has passed, Yoongi turns back to the mirror and takes a deep breath. Like, his hair is already bleached, so that’s fine, no way for Hoseok to actually fry his scalp. But then again— ‘You know, I’m perfectly capable of doing this myself.’

‘Yoongi, just shut up,’ Hoseok says. ‘Let me be a good boyfriend.’

So Yoongi does, something he finds himself doing— well, not more and more often, more like that’s his way of life now. He thinks there’s a part of him that will never stop processing this over and over, reframing and rephrasing and reiterating that Hoseok is very much a part of his daily life now, and it brings him— well, not joy, exactly. Just. It’s pleasant.

Right.

And anyway—

‘Can I?’ (And after all, they still haven’t stopped taking permission.)

The first touch of Hoseok’s gloved fingertips to his hairline is cold, startling. Yoongi should be used to this by now, and he is, when it’s Seokjin or himself. It’s just been such a long while— not even that, really; this is the first time someone else is doing his hair, and as ridiculous as it sounds, it feels strangely important and intimate and weird, and Yoongi finds himself holding still as Hoseok’s fingers card through his hair, check the strands, pick a parting.

He’s going for cerulean and mint green, to counter the winter chill. Hoseok’s the one who proposed the green, saying something about sea waves and rebelling by embodying summer and all sorts of things that Yoongi eye-rolled away until Hoseok simply said, it looks gorgeous on you. (Then Yoongi’d agreed, blushing violently and flipping his dumbass boyfriend the bird for good measure.)

So he closes his eyes, knowing he won’t dare to open them again, and lets Hoseok do the work. Feels the coolness of the dye seep into his roots; concentrates on the soft, familiar, comforting sounds of the brush, bowl, and comb; wills himself to pretend it’s Seokjin— except Seokjin would be talking nineteen to the dozen, or would’ve put some music on if Yoongi didn’t feel like talking. Instead, Hoseok works in utter silence, focusing on the job without a word.

And Yoongi, for his part, keeps his eyes closed and takes in everything through his other senses. The sounds of the brush, the bowl, and the comb; the chemical smell of all the dyes. Hoseok’s touch, so soft and careful and slow, as if he’s still afraid to touch Yoongi, as if that night both never happened and happened too much.

It feels important. Intimate.

Weird.

Weird, as Hoseok checks the strands, picks a part, colours it through. Weird, as Yoongi belligerently keeps his eyes closed, refusing to give in to the moment. Weird, as after what feels like a century, Hoseok’s fingers slow to a stop and lift off his hair.

Weird, when Yoongi finally opens his eyes and looks into his mirror framed with stickers and fairy lights and stray single earrings, when he realises that Hoseok is in his apartment and in his bedroom and colouring his hair and being his boyfriend and being nowhere near as despicable as Yoongi wishes he was and— and— staring at Yoongi in that same mirror with that same look in his eyes that he had on that one night, when he was too drunk to pretend he hadn’t lost this game a long, long time ago.

Yoongi thinks about kissing him, then thinks better of it. Hoseok exhibits that core difference between them and puts a thumb on his cheek, still standing behind him, still staring into the mirror.

‘You’re getting dye on my skin, asshat,’ Yoongi says, but it comes out weak and uncertain and he wishes he hadn’t said anything at all.

‘Can I kiss you?’ Hoseok asks, and Yoongi nearly chokes on his breath despite seeing it coming. ‘Outside the challenge.’

And— that, no. He didn’t see that coming. It’s all supposed to be a part of the challenge; all for the game, win at all costs and shut everyone up. Shut Hoseok up. Shut himself up. And then again, if he didn’t think it would be outside the challenge, then why did his heart already start racing the moment Hoseok asked? Why does it matter?

But then, just as he’s about to try to voice his thoughts, a question, he doesn’t know, Hoseok takes his hand away, leaving a smudge of mint green on Yoongi’s cheekbone.

‘Do you need time to consider it?’ he asks, quiet, and Yoongi sees— not red; orange.

In that instant, everything that annoys him about Hoseok comes rushing in, with this, that infuriates him most of all; this mellowness about Hoseok, this easy understanding of his; it’s almost more condescending than anything Yoongi could achieve with his sarcasm. It’s always like Hoseok’s one step ahead, patiently waiting for Yoongi to catch up, going aww and let’s not and God knows what else, as if he’s the one pulling the strings in this game and all Yoongi can do is keep up.

Well, Yoongi’s not here for that. Yoongi’s here to win. And Yoongi, for once, wants to take the initiative.

‘I don’t need time,’ he says coldly. ‘There’s no outside the challenge. The only reason we’re both here is the challenge, or have you forgotten that?’

Hoseok’s face closes off; Yoongi’s bitterly satisfied. ‘Right. Of course. I’m sorry.’ 

That’s…it. Hoseok says nothing more, and he doesn’t look angry or even hurt, just…accepting. Yoongi doesn’t know what to make of that, and he’s suddenly aware of the fact that he’s sitting with his hair slicked back in streaks of bright blue and green, looking like an A grade idiot while rejecting the handsomest boy in the world. The contrast is suddenly too much; his bright glittering eyes versus Hoseok’s downcast gaze, the stark red of Hoseok’s hair; even their way of maintaining silence is different.

As if this could ever have worked out.

As if Yoongi had ever thought about it seriously.

As if.

That’s the only reason his own heart is doing some strange twinging, sinking thing, he knows. Not because of what could’ve been or some romantic bullshit like that, but because…because imagine that. Imagine being Hoseok, so positive and cheerful and honest that he really imagined up a happy future— no, fuck that, a happy present for them, just like that, without asking Yoongi his opinion.

But he did, a tiny voice nags in Yoongi’s bleach-fried head, he did ask. What the fuck are you doing, Yoongi.

Only what’s best to win the game, that’s what he’s doing. Only what’s best to win the game. Because that’s all it is.

And it’s all he’s good at.

 

 

It is, of course, only in the middle of the night two days later when he wakes up in bed with a sickening start that doesn't move his body but leaves an ache in his shoulders, that Yoongi realises that he, too, lost the game a long fucking time ago.

 

 

Me [3:01]
I fucked up

 

Suran [3:03]
yeah, no shit

 

 

If anything, the speed with which their surroundings return to normal is telling. The stupid fucking challenge has lost enough of its weight that no one— apart from their closest friends— knows or cares about why they suddenly aren’t hanging out as much anymore. For all anyone knows, they could’ve mellowed out into a low maintenance arrangement, or finally stopped getting along, or are just waiting to see who cracks first.

It’s kind of all of that and none of it at the same time. After all, it feels like a weird, fucked up version of the boy who cried wolf to go around informing everyone that this time they really hate each other— because that would be admitting that everything up until now was some kind of silly joke gone too far. Lying awake in the fairy light glow of his bedroom every night as he has been since he went and screwed everything up, Yoongi’s forced more than ever to acknowledge that fact— that The Thing, no matter how much they both dramatised and milked it, was just that— a thing. One stupid fucking thing that snowballed into a faux enmity that neither knew what to do with, until shit suddenly got real. Now gone are the text messages, the boyfriend-san, the cheerful jabs when they run into each other on campus— in fact, it seems like Hoseok’s made sure that they never bump into each other again.

If this is a romantic comedy, it’s not a quality one. Yoongi’s pretty sure you’re not supposed to feel like your own fingers got caught in the shredder you were trying to put someone else’s heart through. Actually, he’s pretty sure romantic comedies don’t entail putting someone’s heart through a shredder in the first place.

‘I really, really fucked it up,’ he says, then breaks into a coughing fit as his dramatic dialogue makes him inhale the smoke from his joint the wrong way. 'FUCK.'

‘Impressive,’ Seokjin says. ‘Yes, you did, but there’s not much else you can do other than either apologise, or forget it.’

‘I can’t do either of those. If I go to apologise he’ll throw me off his balcony.’

‘You know, contrary to what you think, Hoseok is actually a sweetheart. Also, he doesn't have a balcony.’

Yoongi laughs a little hysterically. ‘Oh, believe me, you don’t fucking need to tell me that. But I don’t like Hoseok, remember?’

Right. He might’ve lost the game. But he doesn’t like Hoseok. He never will. Hoseok is annoying and holier-than-thou and really fucking loud, and he was none of those things when Yoongi practically told him to fuck off, and now it’s— well, it’s—

It’s too late to like Hoseok now. He doesn’t have the right anymore.

‘I don’t even like Hoseok,’ Yoongi says again, fainter this time.

 

 

Then Hoseok shows up to a party with a dark look in his eyes and three hickeys on his neck, and Yoongi sees red this time. Proper red.

 

 

Oh, it’s not violent red. Nothing like I hate him with a burning passion or anything. Just— red. Yoongi’s perfectly aware of how ridiculous that sounds, but it’s the only way he can describe it. It’s hardly the time to get into metaphors about how he always sees life in mild colours and how Hoseok’s that one bright, vibrant thing— this isn’t about that. He doesn’t think.

He doesn’t know what it is, actually, because his brain is short-circuiting. It’s just another old gathering, the first one Yoongi’s managed to pep talk himself into going to after the mess of two weeks ago, and it has that strangely cosy feel to it that winter parties always do, tank tops and shades replaced by opaque tights and boots. He’s using the opportunity to just sink into the couch like he always does, a very well-dosed Irish coffee in one hand and an overall disillusionment to accompany his Saturday evening.

It’s probably because of how cosy and convivial the party is that Hoseok looks so out of place when he steps in. Bomber jacket such a bright white that it hurts to look at, headphones still on, nose blushing pink from the cold outside, thick-soled shoes in that same bright white. It’s the only reason Yoongi even notices him; he enters so quietly that no one even turns to greet him except for the girl who opened the door.

No, no one really notices Hoseok despite how brightly he’s shining. Yoongi’s the only one who can’t take his eyes off Hoseok’s tired figure, his eyes fixed constantly on the ground, the tight set of his jaw. He’s the only one who can’t look away, follows Hoseok’s trajectory from the front door to the haphazard pile of coats and scarves, sees him hesitate before deciding to keep his jacket on. The only one who feels his throat work strangely, something in his chest caving in a bit when Hoseok picks out a vodka at random and fills his glass halfway. (And then, Hoseok’s probably the only one who’s noticing Yoongi right now, petered out and sleepy as Yoongi is; he looks like he’s acutely aware of where Yoongi is and is doing his best to avoid looking up.)

It’s such a fucking picture of youthful angst that it feels like a parody of itself; so why does Yoongi feel like such utter shit?

Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the answer presents itself to him when Hoseok raises an arm to fist-bump Namjoon half-heartedly. The action shifts the shoulders and collar of his bomber, and all of a sudden the dimmed-down lights of the room are too bright; they’re doing a really horribly good job of drawing his attention to the golden skin of Hoseok’s neck, and the small series of bruises that lines it.

Yeah, well then.

Fuck.

Maybe he ran into a door, Yoongi thinks wildly, even as his brain puts the image and two sets of two’s together to perfectly understand that those are hickeys, that Hoseok at least made out, if not slept, with another person; even as his brain remembers with some sadistic glee the last time he’d seen this on Hoseok, how he’d pitied whoever it was that had to put up with him in a sexual context. If Suran was here she’d make some bullshit joke about the tables having tabled and whatever other TV sitcom references that Yoongi only half-gets and the eternal hashtag neuroscience, but she isn’t because she’s pissed at Yoongi like she rightfully should be, because Yoongi’s been an idiot.

Yoongi’s been such an idiot, and now he’s sitting here on this couch under four hundred scarves with a mug of Irish coffee in his hand, and he’s simply boiling with jealousy.

‘Hey.’ The voice is so low that Yoongi almost doesn’t hear it, but when he looks up Taehyung seems surprisingly cheerful, eyes twinkling and cheeks ruddy. Probably the cider. ‘You look upset.’

‘I’m not,’ Yoongi lies blatantly. ‘He can fuck whoever he wants. No clauses about cheating.’

‘Sure,’ Taehyung replies, chill, easy. Leans over the back of the couch and presses an obnoxious, smacking kiss to Yoongi’s cheek. ‘Don’t be too upset. He was just really drunk and sad.’

‘Never a good reason to fuck around, but that’s none of my business.’

‘He’s kind of in love with you.’

Yoongi scoffs at that even though he doesn’t manage to get the sound out right; there’s something blocking his throat. Great, catch a cold now of all fucking times. Just fantastic. Ignoring his alarming immune system issues, Taehyung grunts and vaults over the back of the couch, lands perfectly on the mountain of scarves beside Yoongi.

‘Think about it from his side,' he continues. 'In the best case, you shot him down because you value a challenge more than him. In the medium case, you don’t even like him back. In the worst case, you shot him down because you value a set of living room lights more than him.’

‘Way to make me sound like a major dick.’ Wow, those fucking viruses act fast. There’s already this niggling itch in his throat. ‘Anyway, you don’t need to guilt trip me. I’m perfectly aware of what I’ve done. I’m just going to live with it now.’

‘You don’t have to, though? There’s something called talking. You should try it sometime.’

‘Whatever, Taehyung. Don’t you have some salsa moves to try on Jimin?’

Yoongi wants to…sneeze. Probably. His nose is itching too and his eyes are stinging, and it’s like, every single thing on this planet is sounds so much easier than it is. It’s just— so much, all of it, and he wants to undo everything. Maybe even go back two years and decide not to playfully hate Hoseok this time, tell his younger self that it’s just not worth it. None of it is, because Yoongi has a head cold now but Hoseok looks like he’s been sick for days, and if talking was so fucking easy Yoongi would’ve told him a month ago that he’s never been in love like this before. He’s just— never been in love like this before, with someone so warm and bright and unassuming, so full of goodwill that he couldn’t even interpret it correctly, twisted it around into condescension.

Hashtag neuroscience.

If talking was so fucking easy he’d have said all of it on that one night when Hoseok was drenched with water from the bathroom sink and smiling so wide you could barely see his eyes. If talking was so fucking easy, he’d at least have said it to himself, if not Hoseok. The least Yoongi could’ve done, actually, is admit it to himself.

 

 

The party goes on forever, and not in a good way. Yoongi nurses the same mug for the entire night, not slumping anymore, but curled into a corner of the couch, trying to make himself as small as possible. As small as he feels. Eventually, Taehyung does go off to try his newly-learned salsa moves on Jimin, and everyone seemingly forgets about Yoongi as much as they’ve forgotten about Hoseok. Not a single comment about why they’re not talking, nor about their appearances, no updates demanded on the status of the challenge. It’s a stinging reminder of how inconsequential all this could’ve been if they hadn’t slipped so deep into it, and he turns over and over in his head for the fifteenth time that one night; he’s been thinking about it for an hour now, he’s sure.

Everyone kind of forgets about the two of them, which only means that both of them have to make up for it. Hoseok sticks to the walls and doesn’t dance for a single song, and Yoongi’s surprised that he hasn’t left already. That one of them hasn’t left already— but at the same time, this is disgustingly magnetic. It’s as if Yoongi is possessive in retrospect; proud of how handsome and loved Hoseok is, a pride immediately followed by frustration. At himself, at Hoseok, at this dumbass Christmas party in the first week of December, at the upcoming finals and Suran’s half-hearted texts and Namjoon for starting it all.

The party drags on. At somewhere around two, when Hoseok makes to leave, Yoongi gets up too.

 

 

It’s numbingly cold outside. Yoongi can physically feel the tips of his fingers turning blue, hurries to pull his mittens out of his pockets and bites back a curse as he realises one of them fell out on the way. One mitten it is, then.

If Hoseok’s aware that Yoongi snuck out behind him— which he has to be— he doesn’t show it. Doesn’t slow down or speed up, just continues his distracted path on the wet street ahead, the white of his clothes catching all the midnight lights. Yoongi stops for a second just to look at the contrast of his red hair against it all, then shakes himself into picking up the pace.

‘Hey,’ he calls out. It sounds muted and pathetic in the cold air, but it carries through somehow. ‘Uh, Hoseok.’

Hoseok comes to a slow stop, but doesn’t turn around. Waits for Yoongi to catch up, head down. And Yoongi’s own gaze is trained to the ground too, the glistening remains of rain and the reflection of the streetlights, Hoseok’s ridiculous shoes, his own boots, their two pairs of feet.

‘What’s up?’ Hoseok asks quietly, then.

‘Uh,’ Yoongi replies. Fuck. ‘Nothing special. How’s, uh. Finals prep? All good?’

‘Yep. Turned my last report in this morning.’

‘Good stuff. Good stuff.’

One of the streetlights is slightly yellower than the others, or at least that’s what it looks like in its reflection on the gravel. Maybe if Yoongi could fucking lift his head he’d be able to tell for real, but hey, it’s fucking baby steps. Baby steps.

‘Listen,’ he says when he can’t take anymore of the painfully awkward silence. ‘About the challenge—‘

‘Oh, right,’ Hoseok cuts in, a little brightly. ‘I wanted to text you about that, actually. I quit.’

Wait. What?

‘Wait. What?’

At that, Hoseok finally turns to face him properly, so Yoongi figures he owes it to him to do the same. Nothing could really prepare him for the amount of exhaustion in Hoseok’s eyes, but then again, he brought this on himself. Nothing to be done now, really, apart from, well— talking— but this is not how he expected talking to go.

‘I quit,’ Hoseok repeats. ‘I don’t mind. We can announce it tomorrow, or whenever you want. That way you win just before the deadline and we can put all this behind us.’

‘But—‘ Yoongi quite literally feels like spluttering. ‘That’s not what I meant, I was—’

‘That’s what you want, right?’ His voice is only the slightest bit cold now, but enough to chill Yoongi to the bone. ‘You said it yourself. But what I want is to stop playing this game, and I think that should be taken into account as well.’

‘…of course,’ Yoongi says. Come on, say something more, you simple bastard. What are you doing, going down without a fight. This isn’t a win. ‘I just— you don’t need to quit. We can just call it off officially. None of it’s all that serious anyway—’

‘It must be for you,’ Hoseok interrupts, and now his throat is visibly working but all Yoongi can think of when he sees his face is fuckboy, boyfriend-san, guy I’m in love with. ‘I mean, I thought we had something here, and you slamdunked me into the trash over it, so.’

I thought we had something here. Actually, Yoongi knows exactly what kind of romantic comedy this is. It’s some made-for-TV bullshit, with half-assed plotlines and cliched dialogues, one of Jeongguk’s beloved dramas, actually. The winter even completes the picture; bokeh in the background if Yoongi defocuses his eyes, the remains of rain at their feet, Hoseok’s red nose.

It’s not about entitlement; Yoongi knows Hoseok’s not taking offence at being rejected— just at how it was done. That’s the worst of it all, actually; that he’s not really the stereotyped caricature of a fuckboy that Yoongi so wishes he was, that he’s intelligent and intuitive and has a perception that rivals even Yoongi’s own. That he’s a real person, not a cartoon character for Yoongi to hate, comedic relief on the bubbling campus. That none of this is romantic or comedic, and if Yoongi could trade it in for a boring, nonexistent love life, he’d do it in a heartbeat.

But he can’t, so here they are, and he doesn’t know what to say.

‘Never mind,’ Hoseok says, then, and pulls his jacket tighter, zips it up. ‘I have to go now, but I’ll text Namjoon tomorrow. Goodnight, Yoongi.’

And before Yoongi can actually figure out what to say, he’s walking away.

 

 

Hashtag neuroscience is more or less used only in the context of inconveniences, so technically this is one bitch of a hashtag neuroscience. But then again, hashtag neuroscience is a little more than that, too. It’s— it’s a combination of carpe diem and fuck it and why is this my life and why have I chosen to live it, a universal word across every language and dialect to express that precise feeling of dread and anticipation you get when you gate crash a marriage and are walking up to congratulate the newlyweds. This is either going to be really fucking disastrous, or this is going to be really fucking fantastic.

Hashtag neuroscience, then.

 

 

Yoongi spends two minutes; looks at the water at his feet and the clouds in the sky and the streetlight which is yellower than the rest, and then he yells wait a minute, fuckboy and takes off after Hoseok.

 

 

‘I’m sorry,’ Hoseok says, and he looks like he’s genuinely in shock. ‘Did you just call me fuckboy? Again?’

‘I mean, you’re saying that as if I ever stopped calling you fuckboy,’ Yoongi pants, way too out of breath given that he must’ve sprinted, what, fifty metres. ‘It’s my whole thing, remember? Refuse to acknowledge your hotness or your intelligence.’

Hoseok blinks at him, then rolls his eyes. ‘Look, Yoongi, I just really want to go home right now. What do you want?’

‘I want to apologise,’ he replies, just like that, straightforward. And for a second he’s surprised himself— at how easy it was, and how immediately liberating it feels, and how surprised Hoseok is. ‘For my behaviour two weeks ago. I was a dick, I freaked and said some bullshit, and I can’t take it back but I can add context.’

Hoseok takes a long moment to recover, which Yoongi’s kind of grateful for because that way he can take one too without admitting it. Then he crosses his arms over his chest— they strain even against the bomber’s sleeves; Yoongi’d kind of forgotten how trainwreck gorgeous Hoseok is up close— and raises an eyebrow.

‘And what’s the context?’

Yoongi clears his throat, licks his lips. ‘The context is that— look, I’m kind of an asshole. I just, there’s no two ways about it. I can’t lie and say there’s some repressed shit or some underlying plan behind how I acted, because that’s cheap as hell. I just— I did that because it’s what I do, and I get worse the more I like someone, and I really really really like you—’

‘Wait,’ Hoseok says. ‘Sorry to interrupt, but are you saying that you telling me to fuck off was actually you telling me not to fuck off?’

‘…no,’ Yoongi says, and it comes out sounding strangled because of how fucking frustrated he is. Put that way, it really does sound like he’s the kind of idiot to say one thing and mean another, when the truth is he’s actually the kind of idiot to say a dumb thing and mean it, in the moment. Or want to mean it, or something. ‘No, I wouldn’t do that. I just mean— look, I get panicky when I like someone. All right? And I can’t own up to it, and of all people it had to be you, like, give me a moment here, you literally broke into my—’

‘Sorry to interrupt again—’ —Hoseok doesn’t sound sorry at all— ‘—but I really didn’t think tsundere’s actually existed.’

‘Well, they do,’ Yoongi snaps. ‘You’re looking at one.’ And well, calling himself a tsundere was really not how he expected any of this to go, but then again, he doesn’t really know what he was expecting. It’s the sort of mess where he’s just supposed to cut his losses and get out of here, probably. ‘Look— I’m sorry. I really am. I was confused, and I got angry because you didn’t seem as confused as me and I— somehow took it wrong. And I know this won’t really fix anything, but just— don’t quit the challenge. I’ll quit. You can tell everyone you won. And just—’

Well, good time to find out that the head cold is not, in fact, a head cold.

‘Just,’ he continues thickly. ‘I’m sorry. For this. And The Thing. And I’m really sorry that we won’t be friends after this. And I’m just going to go now.’

And, okay, one step forward, two steps back. He can’t stand the thought of sticking around and waiting for Hoseok to process his apology before, quote unquote, slamdunking it in the trash, so the moment he’s done speaking he turns around and starts to walk back towards whoever’s apartment they came out of. In fact, he’s kind of already turning when he says the last bit, which is stupid, but he really doesn’t want Hoseok to see how close he is to— well, crying.

It’s stupid. They’ve hated each other for two years and been forced into a get along T-shirt for four months; he expected better of himself than to give in to this sort of thing. He can’t believe he up and fell in love with Jung Hoseok, of all people, but at the same time, he can. Of course he would. It’s just the sort of thing he does.

He’s going to miss Hoseok. His infectious laugh and kind eyes and flaming red hair. This is—

‘Wait! Boyfriend-san!’

Yoongi actually keeps walking for a whole five seconds before he realises that Hoseok’s calling out to him, at which point he comes to an abrupt halt, heart thudding, eyes wide. What. What now.

He turns around slowly because he really doesn’t want to see whatever it is, but he only catches a large flash of white before he’s being practically lifted off the ground, and ouch, that was definitely Hoseok’s teeth hitting his shoulder but he doesn’t know which one he should be more worried for, and then he realises that Hoseok is lifting him in the air in the middle of the street and squeezing him tight, and this is happening, and he has no idea what is actually happening. The streetlights are spinning around him and he spots the edges of of clouds that will rain again soon, and his hands are curling into the soft fabric of Hoseok’s jacket.

‘Oh my God, you’re so light,’ Hoseok says, when he finally lowers Yoongi, who has to blink roughly thirty times to clear his eyes. ‘It always gets me. I put in way more effort than needed, and—’

‘WHAT,’ Yoongi wheezes, ‘ARE YOU DOING.’

Hoseok puts him down completely and then grins at him, so bright that his eyes almost close. ‘I lifted you without permission because I’m kind of slower than you think I am and I took a whole five minutes to realise that you said you liked me, and—’

‘I don’t like you,’ Yoongi says automatically, then blinks. Well, what? He really doesn’t like Hoseok. ‘That’s the whole point.’

‘I really dislike you too!’ Hoseok replies, pure and happy. ‘And I forgive you, and I really, really want to be with you. Outside the challenge. And no more movie dates because I really can’t stand your taste.’

Yoongi’s heart is out of control. He almost doesn’t know what language the words that are coming out of his mouth are in, because his lips are numb and his chest is full and it’s really cold outside and he still only has one fucking mitten, and he can’t believe this is actually happening, because Hoseok is handsome and smiling and his in this moment and that’s too good to be true when only half an hour ago everything was miserable.

‘If we’re stating clauses I need a notebook,’ he says. ‘And at least ask if I want to be with you too, asshat.’

‘Right.’ Hoseok pulls a comical straight face and stands to attention, purses his lips to control his laughter. ‘Boyfriend-san, will you please be my real boyfriend-san?’

‘Shut up,’ Yoongi says, unflinchingly, sillily, positively giddy with love. ‘You’re so fucking annoying. I really hate you.’

‘Aww,’ Hoseok says, and before Yoongi can even reproach him for the umpteenth time, he’s surging forward and pulling Yoongi into his arms, and then he’s kissing him and kissing him and kissing him. His lips are cold and Yoongi’s are numb, but his cheeks are warm and he rocks Yoongi back and forth a little as if they’re both children, and this is one fuck of a wedding he’s crashed with his neuroscience.

This can only get better, so Yoongi takes care to stand on Hoseok’s white shoes with his muddy soles in order to gain the height he needs to kiss him back, and kiss him back, and kiss him back.

 

 

jimmychoos commented "Cute :') Of course, I saw it coming thirteen years ago" · 50m

jeonjeon commented "no for real where was i? how come i wasn't invited to this party" · 58m

kimnamjoon, vantaekim, kingkongdae and 34 others commented on your photo · 1h

kimnamjoon commented "This is counted as a forfeit. I will see you both in my dungeon tonight." · 1h

vantaekim commented "NO PLAGUES ON EITHER OF UR HOUSES <3333333" · 1h

vantaekim, jinkies, shinsuran and 388 others liked your photo · 2h

jeonjeon commented "wtf?? where was i?? why do i always miss the best things?? y'all never tell me ANYTHING" · 3h

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The lack of change in their general environment, this time, is even more aggressive than the last. Suran cheerfully whacks him on the back of his head, Namjoon actually sheds a tear, and Seokjin makes three smartass comments about Hoseok's terrible job at dying Yoongi's hair, but apart from two days of nonstop hooting and wolf-whistling, the campus accepts with benevolent ease that the new challenge is who between Yoongi and Hoseok can be more disgustingly public with his affection for the other, basically throwing Jimin and Taehyung's entire game out of the window. Gone is the Romeo and Juliet gig, but not gone, unfortunately, are their couple scarves.

(So far Hoseok's winning the whole PDA thing, but only because he's flashier and Yoongi thinks holding hands is the most outwardly form of affection one can maintain. How is he supposed to compete with a loud ass fuckboy who lifts him over the shoulder unceremoniously as a form of greeting?)

'Now see,' Namjoon says about a month into the whole thing, when January reports are in and they can all relax around takeout and a shitty movie. 'I know that we all, including me, have this habit of blaming every little thing that goes wrong in this universe on me, that is, Kim Namjoon. But you have to admit that I handled this one. I handled the shit out of this one, beginning to end.'

'You kind of did, actually,' Hoseok says, and Yoongi shifts a little to look at him properly. 'I mean, I wouldn't've nearly have died of cardiac failure if not for you, but that's a small cost, right?'

'Of course,' Namjoon says proudly. 'And now you have a portable mini cardiac failure to carry around with you at all times! All Yoongi has to do is ring up the devil real quick—'

'The devil resigned,' Yoongi says, settling back down and grabbing Hoseok's hand again. 'He said my life is too together for me to have any need for him anymore.'

'Nice. Love that. But also, you owe me for life now. I'm the devil now.'

'Shut up, Namjoon.'

So what changes, again? Concretely, nothing. Yoongi still hates and loves his degree in equal measures and his hair is going to fall off one day with how much he bleaches it, and mornings are always early, nights are always late. But— so does everything, that is to say, the little details that often slip between the cracks. Hoseok waits outside class with lunch and thermoses of soup, and Yoongi pulls him into teeny tiny jewellery shops to buy tacky bracelets together. They dance at parties, which is nice.

It's nice. All of it. A hashtag neuroscience ending. A quality romantic comedy.

'No, but seriously,' Jeongguk pipes up after fifteen minutes of relative peace (well, as peaceful as shitty movies with terrible CGI combined with Kim Seokjin's heckling gets). 'You guys are together now. You'll probably get married. Can someone finally tell me about The Thing?'

A chilling silence falls over the room at that, and Hoseok's grip around Yoongi's shoulders tightens involuntarily.

Yoongi finds himself wondering too— after all this time, are they ready? To face The Thing. To acknowledge and accept what happened, and move on. To acknowledge that the fault doesn't lie on one single person's shoulders, but rather—

'So Hoseok broke into my apartment in first year,' Yoongi says calmly, and Hoseok immediately lets out a volley of curses that would make grown men cry. 'And get this, he—'

'I hate you, Min Yoongi,' Hoseok says. 'Now, listen up, Jeongguk, I'll tell you the tale of a real romantic comedy. So this one time—'

 

♡♡♡

 

Most of the time when someone in Hoseok's immediate vicinity is complaining about him being a screamer, he likes to think that they're kind of off the point. He's not a screamer, all right, he just tends to be easily startled and also tends to have a slightly loud vocal reaction to being startled. Calling it screaming, he thinks, is a bit much. He's also not a screamer in bed, either, despite what his friends seem to assume given his usual temperament. If anything, he thinks that he should be given even more credit if he's loud on the daily. Screamer in the streets, silent in the sheets. That sort of thing.

Anyway.

His point is that most complaints about his tendency to scream in response to anything and everything are ill-founded. He's got a mental checklist of things worth screaming about; it's not his fault of most things end up on that. Spiders? Yes. Football goals? Yes. Someone downing ten shots in thirty seconds? Hell fucking yes.

Point is, Hoseok might be a bit of a screamer. But this particular time is entirely different, not only because the happenings of the room warrant all the screaming, but also because this other guy, whoever he is, is screaming even louder. And also because they're standing in what is supposed to be Namjoon's apartment, but clearly isn't.

Now, this is a good time to mention that Hoseok's a little drunk. Piss drunk, actually. Like his skin is gonna be smelling of vodka when he wakes up tomorrow, if he wakes up tomorrow, since this guy is probably a serial killer and also some kind of deity, since he clapped and the lights came on.

Actually, it's a good time to mention that Hoseok may or may not have forced his entry into this apartment, but only because he thought it was Namjoon's. That's why he was confused as shit when the key didn't work, and decided to just pick the lock instead. (Growing up with Park Jimin, you learn things.) And like, the couch seemed too nice to be Namjoon's, but like, Hoseok's drunk. None of this was supposed to happen in the first place, most of all a not-Namjoon walking into the apartment and clapping and the lights coming on.

So now they're here, both of them screaming their literal asses off, and Hoseok is pretty sure he's about to die by tubelight deity.

'ARE YOU GOD?' he shrieks, accordingly.

The guy takes a second longer to stop screaming, then picks up again. 'WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?'

Hoseok blinks at him, and finally takes in his face. This is definitely not Namjoon. Round face, pink hair, red cheeks, smells like beer, clapped and the lights came on

Hoseok claps.

The lights go off.

They both scream again.

'AM GOD?' Hoseok screeches.

What transpires next can only be described in one of those P G Wodehouse novels or like, a Hangover film. Which is to say, they both kind of stand there screaming at each other and clapping the lights on and off. Between the rapid flashes of light and dark, Hoseok notes that serial killer tubelight deity is actually very cute, and also doesn't seem like he's about to kill him, after all. But before he can really come to any sort of conclusion about this, the front door is barging open again— naturally, they both holler again and jump a foot out of their respective skins— and that is definitely Namjoon, tall, bumbling, half-asleep, and very, very angry.

'What the fuck are you two doing,' he growls, sleep deepening his voice even further. 'It is four in the morning.'

'NAMJOON,' Hoseok says, then pauses and frowns when he realises serial killer tubelight deity said it too. 'Wait, that's my friend.'

'That's my neighbour,' tubelight deity snaps back.

'This is my beauty sleep that you're interrupting,' Namjoon says, swiftly cutting their argument in half. 'Hoseok, what are you doing in Yoongi's apartment.'

'I'm drunk,' Hoseok says, as if that explains everything, which it does. 'I thought this was your place.'

Tubelight deity, or Yoongi, snorts loudly. 'Nice functioning you've got there, asshole.'

'Wow, fuck off,' Hoseok replies after spluttering for a pure thirty seconds. 'And why the fuck do you have these lights?'

'We got them installed last week.' Namjoon sounds tired. 'Come on, let's go. Sorry for the mess, Yoongi.'

 

 

Now, the thing is, if it had just been that, Hoseok would probably have found it in his heart to forgive Min Yoongi the serial killer tubelight deity for being so scary, cruel, and affronted that someone harmlessly broke into his apartment, and for saying nice functioning you've got there, but clearly the Gods that be do not wish it, because just a few days later, when standing in line at the cafeteria at fucking eight in the morning, Yoongi catches Hoseok's eye from across the room.

He looks much better now that they're both sober and awake. (Well, debatably.) Hair still pink, really cute little nose, kitten mouth, bunch of jewellery, full on pastel twink. All of which would be adorable if Yoongi wasn't staring at him without blinking, as if he's trying to bore a hole into Hoseok's very existence.

So Hoseok stares back, and tries to mask his nervous swallow.

Then Yoongi lunges forward and makes to clap, and Hoseok literally falls on his ass trying to get away from him.

That's what clinches it, Hoseok's unending hatred for Min Yoongi and Min Yoongi's unending contempt for him. The fact that he feinted like that, like one would to scare a kid, and with that utterly blank look on his face, as if he was testing.

Yeah, that's what clinches it. Hoseok falls on his ass and luckily no one's there to understand the situation and laugh at him— no one but Yoongi, that is. So he picks himself up and brushes his ass off, looking around quickly before stalking right up to serial killer tubelight deity annoying pastel-san.

'You,' Hoseok says. 'You just fucking wait and watch.'

'Oh, I will,' Yoongi sneers in reply. 'I can't wait to see where this goes, fuckboy.'