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Jeongguk smells like soap and linens and, very faintly, sweet peas. Just underneath it all, just there, where if Yoongi's not careful he'll miss it.  Jeongguk reminds Yoongi of chamomile tea and sweaters right out of the dryer and the first spring morning when there's no frost, only dew.  Gentle.  There's this gentle strength all around Jeongguk.  He lingers when he leaves, sweet peas and rhubarb on the edges of the air in Yoongi's apartment; his touch dried flower soft on the bones of Yoongi's wrist, the jut of his elbow, the nape of his neck. 

Jeongguk slides across the kitchen tiles and peers into the pot, turns to Yoongi. 

“What are you making?”  He asks, eyes inquisitive.  

“Just stew.”  Yoongi says.  “It’s just stew, I don’t know, it’s nothing special.”  He hates the way the words fall out of his mouth.  He doesn't mean them to come out the way they do— not that they're angry but almost like they're not about the stew— only he’s tired and his wires are all crossed from a rough day and a growing sense of urgency about everything and nothing all at once—

you can’t do this, you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re half a step from messing up, you are so close to messing up, you are going to mess up

—a song that he doesn’t think is going to work clawing at his brain; a thesis draft that isn’t working, pages and pages that have to be rewritten; a project where the lighting is all off, the blueprints skewed, dark corners and sad shadows, a house that is not a home; and so many other little things, so many small tiny things, that are crushing him under their collective weight. It's all creating a bitterness, like tea brewed too long, that’s sinking deep in Yoongi’s marrow, made up of exhaustion and the first three shaking notes of burnout and a deeper-than-bone surety that he can’t do things right, that he’s never doing things right, that he is always letting someone down.  He knows it's not true but he can’t shake it.  He can't shake it.  He’s just so tired and everything feels like jagged hard angles, there’s nowhere soft to rest, no direction to lean that won't hurt, no space to let his ribcage expand when he tries to draw in a breath.

Jeongguk doesn’t say anything.  Looks at Yoongi, eyes calm. 

Yoongi returns the gaze until he can’t anymore, turns back to the cutting board.  He takes a deep breath, then another one.  Jeongguk lingers in the air Yoongi pulls inside him. 

Yoongi wants to talk about it, but the words are dry and caught in his throat right now.  It's not that he's bad at leaning on people; he knows when he needs to, has learned to accept the limits of what he can deal with by himself, but on days like this— sometimes on days like this he feels like he’s forcing his problems on people and he doesn't want to do that.  He knows he wouldn't be doing that, that Jeongguk would never look at it that way, but it feels like that low in the pit of Yoongi's stomach and so the words are all sticky and clumped in the back of his throat.  He needs an in.  Today is just one of those days where he feels like he needs an in.  

Ask me, he thinks at Jeongguk, flexes his fingers against the wood of the cutting board, guk-ah, please ask

“Hyung,” Jeongguk says, because Jeongguk knows, already knows, always knows. 

He’d texted Yoongi this afternoon, after Yoongi’s advisory meeting for his paper, knew it hadn’t gone well, had to have known.  He'd been expecting a text from Yoongi when it was over, after all, and hadn’t gotten one. Jeongguk texted long enough after that he must have been sure it hadn't gone well, but not so long after that it made Yoongi feel guilty about not having been able to reach out first, not so long after that it felt like a pointed attempt at distraction or levity.  That gentle in between time where Yoongi wanted to reach out but hadn’t quite convinced himself to yet.  Almost there.  About to be there.  Phone in his hand open to his and Jeongguk’s chat, considering how to say hyung feels like he fucked it up without saying that, autumn chill settling into the air and into his bones like cinnamon in cider—

 

no?

 

one word from Jeongguk.  All that was needed.

 

no. want dinner? hyung’ll cook

 

Because Yoongi wanted the measured normalcy of it, the distraction of cutting and cubing and creating something, something that made him think of home.  It helped Yoongi sometimes, cooking, he found it soothing, especially when he could cook for someone else.  And he found Jeongguk soothing, Jeongguk’s presence soothing, even when they weren’t doing much of anything at all, even if they were just quietly sharing space.  

 

yes please. after practice like 7 okay?

 

whenever is good, guk-ah

 

see you later, hyung
♡ 

 

“You okay?”  Jeongguk asks now, voice neutral.  Not forcing it.  Yoongi can answer however he wants and Jeongguk won’t push it. 

“I’m—”

Yoongi doesn’t know what he wants to say.

“Yeah.”  He tries, shakes his head as soon as it leaves his lips.

Not the right word.

Jeongguk moves a little closer. Yoongi can feel it, feel him, feel the space between them.  Jeongguk is so close he could reach out and wrap Yoongi up in his arms, far enough away that Yoongi won’t feel like his personal space is being invaded if he doesn’t want to be touched. 

Yoongi wants to be touched.   

He wants Jeongguk to hold him or to hold Jeongguk.  Wants to be tangled together.  He always wants that, but he wants it so much right now that he almost curls over to try to protect himself from it, from the way it hurts.  He feels it slip in through his spine anyway, settle in his lower belly, mortal wound deep.  

don’t be selfish, he already came over, just say you’re fine and move on, let it go, yoongi, leave him be

Too many words and he knows none of them are right.  They’re all from the nasty thing that lives inside him, inside everyone, says you’re not good enough whenever you’re at your weakest and need to hear that least.  

Yoongi knows, but he can’t help the words that do slip out—

“Sorry.”  He says.  “Sorry, Guk-ah.”

“Sorry?”  Yoongi can hear the confusion in Jeongguk’s voice.  Jeongguk must take a step forward because his fingers dance on Yoongi’s shoulder, gently press.  He removes them soon after, like he was touching only so that Yoongi would know he was close.  “Sorry about what?”

“I’m— having a day.”  Yoongi manages, tries not to lean back, to ask for Jeongguk’s hands back on him, more, please touch me more, “just— having a day.  I’m having a fucking day so I’m sorry if I’m acting off, being shitty.”  

There’s a pause.  The soup on the stove bubbles.  Yoongi’s vision swims a little, exhaustion and frustration with himself rising up as salt. 

Then it’s all soft, all around Yoongi, no more jagged edges, everywhere good to lean into, to rest against.  Jeongguk pins Yoongi’s arms to his sides at the elbows with his hug, presses his nose near Yoongi's ear. 

“You're not, hyung.  You're not being shitty.”  Jeongguk whispers.  “We all have days, you know?  That’s allowed, don’t have to be sorry if you need quiet or something.”

Yoongi inhales harsh, through his teeth and his nose. 

Everything smells like soup and chives and thick hot red peppers except for Jeongguk.  Jeongguk smells like Yoongi's soap, his shampoo, sage and juniper and warm water.  Underneath that he smells like Jeongguk.  Solid.  Safe.  A comfort. 

Yoongi takes another deep breath.  His ribcage expands so much it hurts.       

“Yeah.”  Yoongi says, when he’s gathered himself.  "Yeah, okay."

“Wanna talk about it?”  Jeongguk whispers, breath rustling Yoongi’s hair, sending a pleasant shiver down his spine.  “Don’t have to.”

“Not right now,” Yoongi says after considering.  His brain is raw from turning the problems over and over in it; he doesn’t want his mouth, his tongue, to be all raw with it too.  He needs a balm.  “I need— right now I—” He falters on the words, the sentence, closes his mouth, opens it again helplessly.

“Got it, hyung.”  Jeongguk lifts his head as he speaks, presses his nose to Yoongi's temple, his exhales warm on Yoongi’s skin.  “Just let me know.”  A droplet of water slides from his hair, slides down Yoongi's cheek like a tear. 

"Yeah," Yoongi whispers, "hey, you made me cry."

Jeongguk starts against him, jerks away to look, and then his face relaxes, pretty little grin, pretty little curve to his lips.  

"Oh boo-hoo."  He scrunches his nose as he speaks, lifts a hand and wipes away the not-tear.  His fingers don't linger.  They feel like they might linger.  Jeongguk's fingers hover just away from Yoongi's face, like he caught himself before he let them linger.  "Don't cry.”  Jeongguk adds as he wraps himself around Yoongi again, pulls Yoongi to his chest.  He rests his forehead against Yoongi’s head, breath hot on the nape of Yoongi’s neck. "Hyung," Jeongguk half-says, half-whispers.  His hand flexes against Yoongi’s stomach, “do you want me to go?  Do you wanna be alone?” 

Stay, Yoongi’s mind says so quick, stay here, with me, stay here with me, Guk-ah, but he doesn’t know how to say that, never feels quite like he knows how to say 'stay' without it sounding desperate and selfish.  

He lays one hand on Jeongguk’s wrist where it’s resting against his stomach, rubs the bone.  Jeongguk’s fingers twitch.  He stretches his hand so his palm presses flat against Yoongi’s lower belly and Yoongi spreads his hand over it.  Jeongguk makes a soft sound, sounds like love you, hyung and you're cold, hyung and it's okay, hyung all rolled into one.  The sound burrows into Yoongi’s chest and makes itself at home.  Yoongi will never get it out.  He gives up, lets himself sink a little, melt a little, into the warmth of Jeongguk.  He tilts his head so that it rests against Jeongguk’s shoulder, presses his nose into the side of Jeongguk’s neck.  It’s too intimate, he knows that, too tender, but Jeongguk makes a soft pleased sound before Yoongi even has time for the thought, the guilt, to properly take root.  

“I'm gonna spend the night.”  Jeongguk says quietly, the words a mixture of confidence and question.  He squeezes Yoongi a little as he speaks. 

you can say no

Yoongi’s throat loosens.  His heart does something uncertain in his chest, an inverted beat, everything backwards, all the blood pumped the wrong way.  

“I would like that.” He tells Jeongguk much too boldly. 

Jeongguk nudges his cheek, nuzzles into Yoongi’s neck. 

“Okay,” he murmurs and just— holds on.  Holds Yoongi. 

It feels good. 

Yoongi relaxes into it until it almost hurts how gently Jeongguk is holding him, how safe it makes Yoongi feel.  It hurts letting himself have this, this kind intimacy with Jeongguk.  When it hurts too much, when the words are all up in his throat and blocking his airway, (love you, love you, love you) he squeezes Jeongguk’s wrist.

“The stew,” he says carefully, so the other words don’t sneak out too.

Jeongguk loosens his arms with a little sound, an oh right but like the words got lost somewhere between his tongue and his teeth and only half of them made it out.

Yoongi’s cold, without Jeongguk wrapped around him.    

He glances over and Jeongguk is smiling that goofy grin he gets, the covering for something else grin, front teeth bared and nose scrunched but not the full-on version, not the one that’s just pure joy radiating from his inside out, lighting Yoongi up.  

“Wanna watch Your Name?”  He asks cheerily. 

“That’s your de-stressing mechanism.”  Yoongi rolls his eyes.

“Hey it’s valid,” Jeongguk whines and then, “I’m valid.” 

Yoongi grins, turns back to the cutting board.  He chops and listens.  Listens to Jeongguk move around Yoongi’s kitchen like it's his own, getting bowls and spoons, glasses, checking on the rice, pulling out side dishes.  Yoongi listens to Jeongguk humming softly under his breath with the music, listens to the soft padding of his socks on the tiles as he makes his way back to Yoongi.

“Want me to hold your hand while you drink a gallon of Americano?”  His tone is playful, his skin is still flushed berry pink from his shower.  He looks warm.  Inviting.  A drop of water slides down his neck; he lifts a hand to wipe it away, tugs at the collar of his t-shirt.

Yoongi redirects his eyes. 

“I only want half of that.”  Yoongi scoops the scallions on top of the soup, stirs it once, and portions out a little. He blows on it, takes a tiny taste, holds out his free hand and gestures Jeongguk to come closer.  "But I really want that half."

“Aw, hyung.” Jeongguk says, opening his mouth obediently, hand coming up, warm fingers playing on Yoongi’s wrist as Jeongguk helps guide the spoon to his parted lips. 

“I shouldn’t drink that much coffee this late though so oh well.”  Yoongi adds when Jeongguk can’t speak, has a mouthful of soup.  

Jeongguk makes a frustrated noise, scrunches his face in outrage.  

“I changed my mind about staying.”  He says petulantly after he swallows.  “That’s really good.  Wanna eat on the couch?”

Yoongi nods and turns back to the pot, breathes in slowly through his nose, breathes out through his mouth.  His wrist feels cold.  His back feels cold.  He feels cold where Jeongguk was and isn’t anymore.  He turns off the stove, pulls the sleeves of his hoodie down over his hands, watches the stew simmer for a moment too long.   

“Hey,” Jeongguk says, by his side again, hand gentle on Yoongi’s elbow, smile gentle on his mouth, “come on hyung, let's eat.  I got Kiki’s cued up.”  

"Sounds good."  Yoongi says. 

It does. 

It is.

They watch Kiki’s Delivery Service and eat the warm food Yoongi has made.  Jeongguk rummages for deserts and comes up with popcorn that passes muster.  They end up sprawled out, legs tangled in the middle, tossing half-popped kernels at each other, sometimes with purpose, sometimes without.  Kiki's ends and Jeongguk fiddles, looks sideways at Yoongi.  Yoongi laughs, gestures for Jeongguk to put on what he wants.  The smile Jeongguk gives him is more than worth it.  Jeongguk rummages through titles, finally settles on SpringSummerFallWinter... and Spring.  Yoongi makes a small sound of surprise, of appreciation.  He shifts on the couch, crawls around so Jeongguk can stretch out when he notices Jeongguk rubbing at his calf absent-mindedly. Jeongguk startles as Yoongi settles himself half leaning back against Jeongguk’s chest.  It takes a moment before Jeongguk hums in thanks, like his brain needed to catch up.  He stretches out his legs with a pleased sigh, throwing his arm over Yoongi’s waist. His hand comes to rest on Yoongi’s stomach.  Yoongi plays with Jeongguk's fingers, lets his eyes fall half-closed as the movie starts. He drifts, lets his thoughts go where they will, comes up with something passable for his thesis- thinks he has a better idea how to link hostile architecture with enforced social structures, stigmas.  He makes a note on his phone, hums the melody that wasn’t working under his breath.  Jeongguk hums it back a moment later, deconstructs it, reconstructs it, and it’s not right, but it is a little better, on the edge of being right.  Yoongi hums in satisfaction, slides his fingers between Jeongguk's as Jeongguk pulls him closer.  It's hard to keep his eyes open.  He lets himself rest, barely registers when the movie ends, follows Jeongguk’s warm hand on his wrist as it tugs him to standing, to the bathroom.  He crawls into bed when he's done his nighttime routine, shivering.

hurry up, hurry up, s'cold, he calls

be there in a second, hyung, get under the covers, it’s okay

The last thing Yoongi remembers is flipping the covers down for Jeongguk obstinately, trying to keep himself awake, sleep dragging him down like a riptide, 

‘guk, come to bed 

the mattress dipping, the lights clicking off, Jeongguk’s solid warmth, 

‘gukie

his hand finding Yoongi's in the dark,

sleep now, hyung

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi wakes up warm.  

It’s not that he usually wakes up freezing, but this is a different sort of warm.  He wriggles his face up, groans when light hits his eyes, regrets briefly, then squirms back half-under his duvet, cuddles in a little more.

Jeongguk makes an amused sound above him that Yoongi's brain takes a moment to fully register, to piece together.  When it does, when it all clicks, Yoongi almost wants to be embarrassed that he’s rubbing his face into Jeongguk’s sleep shirt and clinging, but he’s still too heavy with dreams, still caught between wakefulness and sleep.  He thinks it will come to him later, that he’ll blush and grouch when Jeongguk coos something like you’re so cute, hyung, but, for now, it just feels nice.  

Really nice. 

He presses his nose into Jeongguk’s breastbone. 

When Jeongguk spends too long in Yoongi's apartment, when he spends too long curled under Yoongi's covers, then he smells like himself but also like coffee.  Pine and bergamot.  Mid-winter frost.  

He smells like that now.

Yoongi takes a deep breath.

“Morning, hyung,” Jeongguk’s voice, gentle with laughter and raspy with sleep, “you awake for real?”, a hand combing through Yoongi’s hair. 

Don’t make me get up, Yoongi wants to say.  He wants to stay like this.  Waking is fine— it’s the getting up part that will hurt. 

“Not willingly,” is what he says instead, half a groan.  “G’morning, Gukie.  Time to get up?” 

“No.”  Jeongguk says, “It’s Saturday, we're sleepin’ in.” 

Which Yoongi wants to agree with, wants to nod and say okay and cuddle in and drift off again, but it feels...wrong.  He tries to sort out why.  Jeongguk works-out in the morning, every morning, so the fact that it’s Saturday shouldn’t matter.  He should still need to get up, right?  And beyond that— beyond that— Yoongi’s pretty sure Jeongguk had a group project—a meeting?  Something.  Today.  He had something today.  He remembers Jeongguk talking about it.

Yoongi frowns into Jeongguk’s chest and tries to remember. 

choreography meeting

“No, gotta get up,” Yoongi pushes himself back a little, tries to untangle himself quick because it hurts less doing it that way, he knows from experience.  It's like jumping in cold water, best to just get it over with.  “You have— choreography— thing.” He feels like that was pretty close to a full sentence, and so soon after waking up.  Well done him.

Jeongguk snorts, locks his ankles with Yoongi’s and, in one quick movement, rolls over, presses Yoongi into the mattress in a way that the deepest darkest guiltiest parts of Yoongi have imagined Jeongguk doing. 

He shivers and covers it by pawing at the blankets that have slipped down, bringing them up properly around them.

“What time do you even think it is?” Jeongguk asks, voice muffled because his face is pressed into the curve of Yoongi’s neck.  His lips drag, warm and wet.  Yoongi shivers, shudders, can’t control himself. 

“I don’t know.”  Yoongi presses his fingertips to Jeongguk’s spine, spreads his hands flat and feels Jeongguk’s ribcage expand and contract as he breathes.  

“It’s like barely 8,” Jeongguk mutters, “it’s Saturday and barely 8 and I don’t have anything until the afternoon and it is my rest day so I don’t have to go to the gym and we are not getting up.  As they say, your house, my rules.”

“Guk-ah,” Yoongi says, lets his laugh wrap around the words, too sleepy to try to stop it, too fond, “that’s not what they say, that’s not how it goes.”

“Please don’t correct me in your home.”  Jeongguk sniffs.   

Yoongi laughs harder, an exceptionally raspy sound, he doesn’t pull in enough air, can’t pull in enough air with Jeongguk half on top of him.

He feels Jeongguk grin against his neck. 

“Okay okay,” Yoongi gives in, “got it.  My house, your rules.”

“Thank you,” Jeongguk mumbles around a yawn, “so we’re good— not getting up yet?”

“Not getting up yet.”  Yoongi agrees.

Jeongguk makes a small happy sound and then peers up at Yoongi. 

There’s the grin Yoongi loves, all front teeth and scrunched nose and scrunched eyes and Yoongi’s whole heart scrunched with how much he wants want wants, loves loves loves. 

He smooths Jeongguk’s hair back from his forehead, lets his fingers tangle.  Jeongguk tilts into the touch and Yoongi feels like he tilts with him, can’t help it— Jeongguk’s sleepy fond eyes, the press of his cheek into Yoongi’s palm, the grin that’s still gracing his mouth— it’s all too much.  Yoongi feels much too much to be able to stay even-keeled.  He opens his mouth to say something, anything, to distract the attention from how open his face feels, how much everything must be written all over his features.

“You okay?”  Jeongguk asks, “no headache?”

“Huh?” Yoongi frowns. 

Jeongguk’s shifts, folds his hands on top of Yoongi’s chest, too close to where Yoongi’s heart is beating painfully obviously in love, and rests his chin on them.  

“Sometimes when you get stressed out like that you wake up with a migraine,” Jeongguk says, mouth turned down just the tiniest bit at the corners, “or, like, the start of one.  Just wanted to make sure you were okay.  I can go get your meds or—” he frowns, “—a chilled cloth?  That worked well last time, right?  Like made it less stormy inside your head.”

“I’m fine.”  Yoongi manages, everything inside him melted; he’s all warm honey and liquid gold.  “I feel okay.  A little headache but— not that kind.  It will go away with coffee, just a caffeine-deprivation headache.”

“Because you’re dependent.”  Jeongguk says calmly.

“Mmm,” Yoongi agrees, “a bit.  Thank you, Guk-ah, for asking.  Remembering.”

“Course."  Jeongguk hums.  He goes silent for a second, his eyes far away and considering, so Yoongi waits.  "Are you okay?” Jeongguk asks finally, gently, head tilted.  He’s not talking about headaches anymore; he’s asking about the words Yoongi didn’t say last night.

Yoongi thinks, doesn’t just give a throwaway answer.  He doesn’t want to do that, not to Jeongguk.

Everything is still busy, still a mess, but— he thinks he’s okay.  He got some sleep.  He has a few ideas.  He’ll meet with his professor about the thesis later this week.  The song in his head is starting to resolve itself.  He’s warm.  He feels safe.

“Yeah,” he tells Jeongguk honestly, “yeah, Gukie, m’okay, I'll be okay.” 

Jeongguk smiles, small and pleased. 

“Listen to a song for me later?” Yoongi offers around the tightness in his throat, the part of him that says to keep everything private and safe, “it’s rough but—”

Jeongguk nods.  “Yeah,” he breathes, sounds almost shy, "yeah, if you want me to."

"I do."

Jeongguk bites his lower lip to tamper the smile on his mouth, rubs Yoongi's chest with a thumb.  He's looking at Yoongi with this unreadable look, fond and something else, something Yoongi can't understand.  Yoongi can't move, just looks back, lets his fingers play with the hem of Jeongguk's shirt under the covers, thinks about how good Jeongguk is, how well he treats Yoongi, treats everyone he interacts with.  Jeongguk is so good.  Yoongi is overwhelmed with how much he loves.

Jeongguk shifts, tilts his head, keeps looking at Yoongi.

One of them should probably say something, move for real, break the spell, but Yoongi doesn't want to, doesn't want that to happen.  He brushes Jeongguk's hair back from his eyes gently and is rewarded with a soft smile.  Yoongi's whole everything aches, but he doesn't want it to end. 

Jeongguk seems to come to himself suddenly, realize what he's doing and, with a shiver and a huff of a laugh, goes to pull away.

“Thanks for staying with me last night, Guk.”  Yoongi mumbles, hands instinctively lifting to cup Jeongguk's face, catch him before he’s gone.  He soothes Jeongguk’s cheekbone with a thumb. It’s tender— the movement, the way he speaks.  He knew it would be tender but he’s still surprised by it, by how gentle his voice comes out, how gentle the touch is.  Jeongguk shivers again.  Yoongi lets go so that he can pull the covers up higher, tuck the soft fleece more carefully around Jeongguk’s shoulders.

Jeongguk’s eyes don’t leave Yoongi’s face.    

“Of course I stayed.”  Jeongguk says, when Yoongi’s fingers are back on his skin.  He says it like it's obvious, like he can’t figure out what Yoongi means, why he wouldn't have stayed.  “Hyung, anytime."

"Okay," Yoongi whispers.  His throat is dry.  "Thank you."  

The two of them hang there, suspended in their magic spell for another moment, before Yoongi taps his fingers against Jeongguk’s cheek once twice, removes his hand.  He feels too caught up.  Feels like he's going to do something silly if he keeps his hand on Jeongguk's face.  Do something like tug Jeongguk’s mouth to his so that he can kiss Jeongguk slow and steady, so deep it would ache, so honest they would both tremble.

He doesn’t know what to do with his hand, lets it fall to the pillow by his head, fiddles with a hangnail on his thumb.  He tries to not avert his eyes from Jeongguk’s careful gaze but feels himself flush under it, looks away like it will take back the soft pink rising in his cheeks.  

Jeongguk slides mostly off of Yoongi and cuddles back into bed.

Yoongi counts to ten before he tilts his head to look at Jeongguk. 

Jeongguk's curled on his side, looking at Yoongi like he was waiting.  

"Hey, hyung." He whispers. 

It's a lot.  It's maybe too much. 

“You have morning breath.”  Yoongi tells Jeongguk.  He says it so that he doesn’t say something like let me kiss you or when you touch me everything inside me bruises so good or I love you, guk-ah, love you love you love you.  As soon as he says it he regrets it and doesn't regret it all at once.

“Ugh.”  Jeongguk mutters, buries his face in the pillow.  “I thought we were having, like, a moment but you just took it as an opportunity to be rude.”

Yoongi waits for Jeongguk to lift his head and squint at him, confused as to why his comment got no reaction, before he digs his toes into Jeongguk’s thigh hard, listens in satisfaction to the answering squawk.   

Jeongguk squirms and Yoongi realizes half a second too late what he’s up to— he twists to get away but doesn’t make it.  Jeongguk digs his fingers into Yoongi’s ribs in retaliation, tickles him briefly before flopping dramatically back down on his side of the bed, broad grin plastered on his face.  

“I win,” he states with a yawn as he stretches under Yoongi’s blankets.  Yoongi catches his breath, watches Jeongguk move.  There’s something so soothing about Jeongguk, sleepy and comfortable in Yoongi’s bed like he belongs there, stretching big and then curling back up with a satisfied sigh.  Yoongi smooths Jeongguk's hair back where it got all ruffled and Jeongguk makes a pleased sound at him, shuffles a little closer.  His fingers glance Yoongi’s bicep and he yawns, smaller this time, tilts down and nudges Yoongi's shoulder with his nose.  It makes Yoongi think useless things, horrible unsayable things, things like stay in my bed as long as you like, things like want to wake up to this, to you, every morning, things like i want to kiss you until you flush as pink as the sweet peas you smell like

“Hyung?”  Jeongguk nudges Yoongi’s shoulder again.  

“Bathroom.” Yoongi mumbles, drags himself out of bed, tries to pull his mind back from that dangerous path it was on.  He stumbles, having stood up too quick, waves off Jeongguk's alarmed sound, lifts a hand to his temple as he walks to the bathroom.  He hates when he gets dizzy like that. 

He grimaces at himself in the mirror, splashes water on his face after he uses the bathroom.  It's when he's brushing his teeth that it feels like his body catches up to the temperature.  He shivers and, once he starts, can’t stop.  He’s cold.  Barefoot on tiles, no hoodie, fall settling into his apartment properly and the heat not on yet. 

He's cold.    

Jeongguk isn’t in bed when Yoongi gets back to his room; he hears clattering in the kitchen.

“One second,” Jeongguk answers when he calls, “get in bed, I'll be back in a sec, hyung.”

Yoongi should really go to the kitchen, see what Jeongguk's up to.  He should pull on a hoodie and socks, go make coffee, let them both carry on with their days.  He should.  He should, but he doesn’t want to.  

Just this once, he tells himself, ignores all the other times he’s told himself that and it's been a lie. Sometimes it’s like he’s playing some sort of horrible party game with himself— self-preservation vs his traitorous stupid-in-love heart, see who flinches last, see who can wait until it hurts the most, see how much you can mess this up by doing nothing.   

Yoongi cuddles back under his duvet, gets as small as he can and lets the shivers subside.

“Didn’t like life outside the blankets?”  Jeongguk asks, returning when Yoongi is halfway to dozing.  

“S’cold, hate it, terrible out there.”  Yoongi opines sleepily, doesn’t look out of his blanket nest because he doesn’t want to see the fond look he can tell Jeongguk is giving him.  That look hurts too much, makes all sorts of prickly hopeful things bloom in Yoongi’s chest, poke holes in his lungs.   

“Cold tiny hyung,” Jeongguk says, “tiniest hyung of all my hyu—"

“Can it.”  Yoongi says, nosing his way out of the blankets.  “It’s freezi—is that coffee?  Fuck.  Jeongguk-ah—” 

“Don’t pledge eternal devotion or something,” Jeongguk says, expression one of adorable concentration as he balances the mugs and takes the remaining steps to the bed, “too early, my heart can’t take it.” 

Yoongi doesn’t know what that means so he settles for working his way farther out of his blanket nest, making grabby hands for his coffee.  

Jeongguk puts his cup onto the nightstand.  

“Making me work for it.”  Yoongi grumbles, sitting up fully. 

“You have a problem.”  Jeongguk moves the cup farther away.  

“Teasing me.”  Yoongi frowns at him, feels his lower lip jut out in a pout.

Jeongguk makes a strange sound but Yoongi chooses to ignore it because his mug is finally finally in his hands.  He cuddles against the headboard, inhaling slow, letting the scent of the coffee warm him up before he takes a sip.  The first sip is always the best, spreads warmth out from the pit of his stomach.  He holds the mug close to his chest after, tugs his lower lip into his mouth and sighs, satisfied.   

When he opens his eyes Jeongguk is still stood by the bed, brow furrowed almost like he’s in pain. 

“Guk, you okay?”  Yoongi can’t stop the worry that seeps into the edges of his voice.

Jeongguk jumps, makes a face of alarm at the mug in his hand, makes a face in general at Yoongi, and then settles on the edge of the bed.  He takes a sip before frowning, putting his mug on the nightstand.

“Mmrggh.”  He says and rolls around Yoongi careful so as to not jostle him, crawls back under the covers with a drawn-out yawn.  

Yoongi drinks too much of his coffee too quick, too grateful, too warm, too sleepy, too caught in the way Jeongguk looks spread out next to Yoongi, eyes closed but eyelids fluttering, one hand absently playing with Yoongi’s pajama pants under the covers.  

“Thanks, Guk-ah.”  Yoongi puts the remained of his coffee on the nightstand.  It’s an accident, a misjudging of distance, but when he lays down their faces end up close.  So close.  Too close.

Yoongi goes to move away, get some space, but Jeongguk tilts toward Yoongi, opens his eyes, and Yoongi gets caught in them, in Jeongguk's tangled lashes.  He finds he can't move away.  Doesn't want to. 

"You're welcome," Jeongguk murmurs, smiles his shyest smile, flowers that only bloom at night shy.  He lifts a hand and tangles it in the sleeve of Yoongi’s sleep shirt, plays with the fabric.  His lips part slightly like there's something else he wants to say but he's not sure of it yet.

Yoongi wants to hold him.  To kiss him.  He wants so much.  He’s not prepared for this.  He doesn't know how to do this, how to not lean forward and whisper I like you, I want to kiss you, can I kiss you, guk-ah, can hyung kiss you?

“You don’t have to lie," Jeongguk finally says, "the coffee was kinda bad, right?” He scrunches his nose at Yoongi.  “Your French press is confusing, hyung, I always do it wro—”

“Jeongguk-ah.”  Yoongi cuts him off.  “Sorry, but— the coffee's good.  It was good.” 

“Yeah?” Jeongguk smiles shy again, shifts a little closer. So so close.  Everything about him is so so close to Yoongi, always always. 

Yoongi is so so weak.  He lifts a hand, traces Jeongguk's fingers where they're playing with his sleeve.  

“Yeah,” Yoongi breathes, “yeah, Jeongguk-ah.  I— it—”  He can’t finish the sentence. 

The silence sticks, gentle with sleep and morning but expectant, like the rest of the day stretched out before them.  

“Hyung?”  

Jeongguk’s hand untangles itself from Yoongi's, lifts up and hovers for half a heartbeat before he touches, traces the side of Yoongi’s face. 

Yoongi’s whole everything is distilled down to it instantly, to the touch of Jeongguk’s fingertips.  He can feel each individual line, each whorl, and they’re marking Yoongi.  Jeongguk is marking Yoongi, every time he touches Yoongi it is skin that will never be the same now that it knows what Jeongguk feels like against it. Yoongi's not strong enough for this, not for something this gentle.  He tilts his head into Jeongguk’s hand before he thinks it through, lifting up so that he can press his mouth to the soft skin of Jeongguk’s inner wrist.  Not a kiss.  Almost a kiss.  A kiss.  His mouth open and lips dragging and Jeongguk’s skin so soft under them, tasting faintly of soap and sage. 

When his head falls back onto his pillow, Jeongguk is looking at him wide-eyed, lips slightly parted. 

"Hyung," Jeongguk breathes.  He wets his bottom lip with his tongue.  

It’s dizzying and daring and disastrous all at once.

Yoongi wants. 

Apparently Jeongguk does too.  He angles his wrist toward Yoongi’s mouth, looks at him, whispers something soft that sounds like again? 

There’s maybe a reason Yoongi shouldn’t, hasn't up until this point, maybe this crosses a line, but Jeongguk is waiting and Yoongi is so helpless for him, for this pretty boy in his bed, all his guards are down, down for the count, so Yoongi— 

Yoongi presses another open mouthed kiss to Jeongguk’s inner wrist and listens to the shaky inhale it draws from Jeongguk.  He lifts his hand so that he can touch the back of Jeongguk’s, feels the bumps of his veins, his bones. 

“Guk,” he gets out, presses his lips to the heel of Jeongguk’s palm, 

want you, love you

“‘Guk-ah," his hand tight on Jeongguk’s wrist,

why are you so good to me, let me be good to you too

“Shit,” Jeongguk says, sounding pained.  His fingers twitch against Yoongi’s skin, curl into his hair.  He shifts closer, he’s so close, his hand sliding, angling Yoongi’s face toward his, “hyung, s’okay, right?”  

“Yeah.”  Yoongi breathes, not sure what Jeongguk is asking but sure that it’s okay.  They’re removed, it’s just them, it’s just now, it’s just this. Time feels liminal.  “Want— Guk, I— can hyung—” Yoongi can’t find the rest of the sentence, the question, but it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter because Jeongguk understands, moves at the same time Yoongi does, and they meet in the middle, angle off, teeth clicking.  They adjust easily to each other though, falling into the spaces around each other like always, and then— 

then they’re kissing.

Then Jeongguk’s kissing him. Kissing him soft and sweet.  Kissing him like it’s a lazy Saturday morning, like he has all the time in the world for Yoongi, has always had all the time in the world, always will.  The initial awkwardness is gone in a second and Jeongguk catches Yoongi's mouth again and again and— it’s easy, to be kissing Jeongguk.  It's so easy, it's always so easy with Jeongguk, anything, everything— Jeongguk’s shy and determined eyes, his careful mouth,  

hyung, get lamb skewers with me? 

hyung, come get coffee with me again?

hyung, listen to this song for me?

hyung, come drink with me?

hyung, spend the night here?

hyung, if you want, let me see that, let me hear that, let me help you, let me be there, let me

“Hyung,” Jeongguk whispers.  His tongue presses against the seam of Yoongi’s mouth, Yoongi's bottom lip, asks let me in,  gentle and caring, hyung if you want, let me in.  Yoongi wants and so he does, does without question, without hesitation.  He lifts up into the kiss, into Jeongguk, and parts his lips and does does does, Jeongguk’s mouth falling open against his, his mouth falling open under Jeongguk’s. 

Jeongguk tastes sweet.  He tastes like sleep a little bit still and over that he tastes like cold water and warm coffee and sweet sweet sweet, like candied rose petals or something equally impossibly sweet.   

he does though, Yoongi thinks dimly, he tastes like them

Yoongi can't help the sound he makes, the way he lifts to press up and into the kiss, to try to get more, to try to taste more, figure out how Jeongguk can taste so good.  It’s heady, the feel of Jeongguk’s mouth against his, and Jeongguk's kissing him not quite messy, not quite dirty, but almost, like he's stumbling onto it, into it.

"Oh god," Jeongguk whispers when their mouths part, he pushes Yoongi back onto the pillows, makes a sound into the kiss, into Yoongi’s mouth, his hands clenching in Yoongi’s shirt.  “Oh god,” Jeongguk repeats and everything is hot and wet and Jeongguk is kissing him intently, intensely, and he whimpers, when Yoongi scrapes teeth lightly over his tongue.  “Hyung,” Jeongguk breathes, throws a leg over Yoongi's thighs, his hips, keeps their lips touching as he climbs on top of him, “hyung, please,” bringing their mouths back together open and wet, "please."  The word is a plea and a promise; a question and a command.

It undoes Yoongi; Jeongguk undoes Yoongi. 

“Fuck.”  Yoongi gasps, struggling for breath, cradling Jeongguk’s face in his palms, pressing a thumb to the corner of his mouth.  Jeongguk makes a low sound that Yoongi can feel, Jeongguk’s chest still partially pressed to his, and then blinks open heavy-lidded eyes.  "Fuck," Yoongi mumbles at the look in them.  He tugs at Jeongguk's lower lip with his thumb, pulling it down.  Jeongguk opens his mouth easy under Yoongi’s touch, hands threading into Yoongi’s hair, propped up on his forearms by Yoongi’s head.  Yoongi lifts up and kisses Jeongguk open-mouthed, still tugging his lip down, drinking in the sounds Jeongguk makes.   He lets go to thread his hands into Jeongguk's hair, feel the soft strands. 

Jeongguk kisses him back urgently, and then more urgently, body trembling, nipping lightly at Yoongi’s lips, his tongue, jumping from restrained to deep to chaste to messy without reason, without pattern.  It's driving Yoongi wild.  He slides his hands down to Jeongguk's slim waist, his hips, back up and under Jeongguk's t-shirt, scrapes his nails lightly, likes the way it makes Jeongguk shiver.  As they kiss Jeongguk shifts so that Yoongi’s leg slides between his— he’s half-hard and hot against Yoongi’s thigh.  Yoongi groans at the feeling and Jeongguk responds to it with an answering low sound, his stomach and back muscles trembling under Yoongi’s hands.  He kisses Yoongi eager, sweet with impatience. 

"Hyung,” Jeongguk mumbles between kisses, his hips moving in tiny circles, “hyung, s’okay?”

“Yeah, yes,” Yoongi gasps, “yes, good, it’s—it’s good,”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk pants again, “hyung,” but it doesn’t seem like there’s anything else he wants to say. 

Yoongi doesn't know exactly what Jeongguk wants from this, from him— but wants to give it to Jeongguk, whatever it is.  Wants to so bad.  

He slides his hands down to the small of Jeongguk's back, presses down and arches up.

"Oh," Jeongguk gasps, mouth wet and warm and sweet, "oh, again, again please."

It's so much, Jeongguk’s skin under Yoongi's hands soft and begging to be touched; Jeongguk’s voice, alternating little gasps for breath and hyung like honey on Yoongi's tongue; Jeongguk hard and heavy against Yoongi's thigh, his hip, grinding down, asking again, asking for more.

Yoongi needs to know what Jeongguk wants.  Needs to know before this goes any farther.

“Guk-ah,” Yoongi breathes, lower belly tight with want, “baby,”

Jeongguk shudders against him, kiss stuttering, hips kicking hard, and then he’s kissing Yoongi greedy and wanting, hands pawing at Yoongi’s shoulder, down his side, holding onto his hip, pulling their bodies together.

“What d'you want?”  Jeongguk asks before Yoongi can get the words out, “hyung, what do you want?”

Yoongi drags his nails lightly down Jeongguk’s back, presses his palms flat, “I— want, I want—"  

Jeongguk works open-mouthed kisses down Yoongi’s neck, hot and hard and messy, using the tiniest scrape of teeth.  It feels so good Yoongi can barely think, much less speak.  He arches up into Jeongguk's body again, locking a leg around Jeongguk's waist, sliding a hand to his hair to tug lightly as he does.

"Oh god," Jeongguk whispers, half a moan in the word. “Hyung, wa- wanna make you feel good.”

“Jeongguk-ah,” Yoongi mumbles, stuck in what feels like a dream, a guilt-inducing pretty pretty dream. 

“Tell me what you want,” Jeongguk breathes into Yoongi's ear, teeth scraping the shell of it, hips rocking down, “please tell me.”

Yoongi wants— he wants—

He has what he wants.  

He wants Jeongguk’s mouth on his and it’s there.

He wants Jeongguk to be kissing him like he means it and Jeongguk is, like he more than means it.

He wants them both panting, wants Jeongguk whispering, whimpering, anything, his pretty voice and he is, they are.  They're both breathing unsteadily and Jeongguk is making all these little sounds, sending everything in Yoongi’s belly spinning with sugar and arousal.

Yoongi wants this— he wants this, he wants them both to want it so bad; wants there to be nothing but the soft press of their mouths; wants Jeongguk on him, under him, arching up into him, closing his eyes overwhelmed; wants to hear what Jeongguk sounds like when he comes, wants to see what he looks like when he comes; wants to make Jeongguk feel good, so good, wants to make him feel so so good.  

“Want what you want,” Yoongi answers, helpless to the soft of Jeongguk's mouth, his fingers, his heart, "what do you want? Tell hyung what you want, baby.”

“Yoongi-hyung,” Jeongguk whispers, hovering above him, pupils blown so dark, face flushed, lips pink and wet with Yoongi’s mouth.

Yoongi tangles his fingers in Jeongguk's hair, drags him down for another kiss.

“Please,” Jeongguk whispers.

Yoongi thinks it should be night, that this should have happened at night, that he needs it to be night, because he can’t look at Jeongguk like this, he can’t see Jeongguk like this— face kiss-flushed, lips kiss-bitten—  and survive.  Yoongi won’t survive this.  Not this.  Not Jeongguk looking like that, looking at him like that, looking like that because of him.   

“Want you,” Jeongguk breathes, noses down Yoongi's jawline, mouth wet and hot.  “Hyung, I want you.” 

The words spread from the pit of Yoongi's stomach, heavy and sweet and into all his blood like how honey seeps into tea.

"You feel so good, hyung," Jeongguk whispers, "want more, want you."

"Yeah?" Yoongi checks, pulls Jeongguk's face back up to his with gentle fingers, "yeah?"  He asks again, almost nonsensically, not sure what he's trying to confirm.

Jeongguk catches his lips for a bruising kiss.

"Touch me, hyung," words whispered right into Yoongi's mouth, "and make me feel good?" 

Yoongi’s gone, doesn't think he stood a chance, not ever.  Not with Jeongguk.

Fuck, okay—”  Yoongi presses a hand to the small of Jeongguk’s back, smooths it down over the curve of his ass to his upper thigh, squeezes, drags his fingers back up, "yeah, I got you, I got you, let hyung make you feel good, okay baby?" sliding his other hand to the nape of Jeongguk’s neck, pulling Jeongguk’s mouth back to his to eat up his whimper, “pretty baby,” because baby feels right in his mouth and because of the shiver that courses through Jeongguk’s body each time, the little half-sounds that fall from his lips like he doesn’t realize he’s making them.

Jeongguk grinds down against him, so hard against Yoongi, for Yoongi, and it's too much, it's so much, Yoongi’s hard too, desperate for friction, pressure, anything.  He shifts so they press together better, kicks his hips up, and Jeongguk whines, kiss stutter-stopped.

“Please,” he whispers as he grinds down.  He presses his forehead to Yoongi's shoulder.

Yoongi slides both his hands to Jeongguk’s waistband, plays with the edge of it.  

“Like this?”  He asks, as he rolls them over so he can reach between them easier, “touch you like this?” working a hand down the muscles of Jeongguk's stomach, tracing featherlight where Jeongguk’s hard, “Want hyung to touch you like this, right, Guk-ah?”  Not sure if he's teasing or trying to find clarity, dizzy with want and desire and Jeongguk, Jeongguk looking so good, feeling so good against him and Yoongi—

he can’t come back from this, he realizes suddenly. 

Maybe he can't come back from this. 

Can he come back from this?

"Yes," Jeongguk pants, canting his hips into Yoongi's touch, clinging tight to Yoongi's shirt, barely letting their lips part even as he speaks, rolls onto his back fully, everything a tangle of kisses and touches and words, "yeah, yes, hyung," the word going slurred when Yoongi palms him, "like that—"

If, after, Jeongguk collapses on to his pillows and laughs breathlessly, turns to Yoongi all cheeky grin to say that felt good or did that fix your headache? or I feel so much better, I was so stressed out

Can Yoongi come back from that?

If Jeongguk says hyung, we should totally do that again or hyung, shit, I'm sorry, we shouldn't have done that I didn't think you didn't know you—

Can Yoongi come back from that?

Can he come back from this?   From Jeongguk’s mouth on his, Jeongguk’s fingers tracing his ribs, Jeongguk whispering his name like it’s a prayer, Jeongguk’s body stretched out against him, under him.

He doesn't know.  He's suddenly not sure, like reaching out to touch a flame, the sudden jerk back. 

He needs Jeongguk to know that Yoongi doesn’t just want to touch, even though he wants that, wants that too, wants that so bad, but he wants—

He wants lazy Saturday mornings and coffee in bed and kisses that taste like sleep and skin that warms to each other’s touch and he wants— 

Everything else.  All the things they already have. 

Hours of comfortable quiet, just keyboards and yawns, pens scratching, half-hummed melodies; resting against each other gently while some movie plays on the TV; laughing so hard they choke; Jeongguk’s joyous giggles; the swell of pride Yoongi gets whenever he makes Jeongguk throw his head back and laugh big; music compositions that don’t work and ones that do; the pride in Jeongguk’s eyes, equal measures for his own victories and for Yoongi’s.

Jeongguk lifts his head from the pillows and catches Yoongi's mouth, kisses him so deep it bruises Yoongi all the way down to the muscles of his heart, the organs inside him.  It lives in him now, this kiss, lives in him with all the others.  They are alive in him and fluttering like birds and his chest cavity is filled up with them, his ribcage splitting open, everything that needs to be kept safe spilling out.

“Want to touch you,” Jeongguk whispers into Yoongi’s mouth, his hand tripping down Yoongi’s side to his hip, “so bad. Can I?” Yoongi nodding because he wants, he wants that so bad too, wants Jeongguk to touch him so bad.  Jeongguk strokes Yoongi's hipbone with his thumb, rolls them back over, presses Yoongi into all that soft, lips trailing down Yoongi’s neck to his collarbones,  fingers pushing at the hem of Yoongi's shirt, pushing it up, and then he's tracing where Yoongi’s hard and Yoongi’s so hard, he wants this so bad, has wanted this so bad for so long, and—

“Hyung,” Jeongguk murmurs, palming Yoongi, squeezing lightly at the groan it gets from Yoongi, a sound that rises unbidden from somewhere deep in Yoongi's chest, "god, you sound so good, going to make you feel good—" his fingers slipping up to Yoongi's waistband, just inside it, and it’s— that’s—

Yoongi can’t come back from this. 

He can't.  

“Wait,” Yoongi chokes out, “wait, wait wait,”

Jeongguk pulls back so quick his neck clicks. 

“Hyung?”  His eyes are dark, pupils blown.  He blinks twice and focuses in on Yoongi’s face, sucks in a sharp breath.  His hand flies away from Yoongi, his upper body jerks away, all his movements scattered.

"Shit." He gasps, licks his lips, fingers twitching toward Yoongi and then away. "Hyung.  Hyung, I—"

“No,” Yoongi gets out, “sorry, just— I need to—"  Yoongi’s heart hammers in his chest, his throat, up and out until he feels like he must be thrumming to the naked eye, one exposed muscle, one exposed nerve, all weak spots.

"You don’t have to say sorry, hyung, don’t—” Jeongguk words are quick, concerned, scared, “it's my fault, I thought— it doesn’t matter.  We don’t have to do anything."  He winces.  "Obviously.  Obviously we don't have to.  I just meant— I mean— we— I— I can go—"

“Guk-ah,” Yoongi follows the movement of Jeongguk sitting up, touching his wrist lightly, then his elbow.  “Wait, just— give me a second.” 

“Okay.”  Jeongguk whispers. "Yeah, okay."  He sits, perched on the edge of Yoongi's bed, like he's been frozen. He's still breathing hard, curled over himself a little. His skin is so flushed, his lips are swollen, Yoongi can see the mark of his mouth on Jeongguk's mouth, on the curve of Jeongguk's neck. Jeongguk's wrist twitches under Yoongi's hand. 

"Just give me a second."  Yoongi repeats.

Jeongguk tentatively turns his hand over, palm up, offered to Yoongi.

It's so much, everything is so much, and Yoongi doesn't know where to start and he can't breathe and he feels drunk; he feels almost drunk.  

He laces their fingers together.  Takes a deep breath.

“Guk-ah, it’s not that,” Yoongi says before he overthinks it, “I did, I mean I do, want to kiss you, want to kiss you so much.  Want to touch you, shit, I always want to touch you, not even—like, just,” he lets go of Jeongguk's hand to wave his own helplessly, regrets it, reaches back out for him almost immediately, “—you.” He finishes, not a sentence, not an explanation, but all he has.  "You." He repeats. 

Jeongguk nods after a moment, eyes downcast.  He looks at their interlaced fingers, rubs his thumb on the side of Yoongi's hand.

“Okay.”  He says.  “Okay, I want that too, but we don’t— if you don’t want that right now we don’t have to or anything.”  He glances up.  The panic is fading from his eyes, still there but more on the edges now.  “Um, I think— thought— I'm confused maybe a little."  His voice gets small and then worried, vaguely panicked.  “Not like you have to explain, like, if you wanted that and then you didn't— then you don't.  Now you don't and that's all that matters, doesn't matter if you did before.  It's fine. Obviously.  You don't, like, owe me an explanation or apology, please don't think I'm asking for that, I meant, I mean—"

"Guk."  Yoongi whispers.

Jeongguk's words skitter to a stop.  He inhales deeply through his nose, breathes out through his mouth.  Does it twice more.

"Thanks.  Sorry.  I meant, mean, I'm confused about like—” he winces, gestures at the two of them, “feelings that may or may not be happening.  Here.  Between us.”  He hangs his head.  "Please stop me from continuing this sentence because I feel like it might be another train wreck."

"Feelings."  Yoongi says and Jeongguk looks up at him quickly. 

Yoongi feels—

small. 

He's not small, doesn't think of himself as small even if he's shorter than Jeongguk and slighter than some (all) of their friends.  It's not a physical thing though.  It's more the way Jeongguk is looking at Yoongi, more what's in the look— the trust in Jeongguk’s eyes, the gentle all-encompassing assurance in Yoongi, in this, in them— it just feels so big.  It makes Yoongi feel like he's too small maybe, like he’s not sure his body can hold it all, can bear up under the weight of it all. 

He thinks Namjoon would call it vulnerability.  

He feels vulnerable. 

He takes another deep breath, straightens his shoulders.

“Jeongguk-ah, I like you.” Yoongi says. "Those are my feelings."

The words are surprisingly easy.  Really easy.  He’s genuinely surprised by how readily they come out, how simple they were to say.  He thought he would whisper them or they would get stuck in his throat.  He thought they would slur together, that he would slide them into one sound or fracture them into too many.  Words are— he loves words, but he’s better at showing love through actions, through motions— this way is always so hard for him, but with Jeongguk—

for some reason, with Jeongguk, it’s easy. 

“You like me?”  Jeongguk repeats softly, stares at their hands.

“Yeah," Yoongi says, "yeah, I like you so much, Guk-ah.”

Jeongguk lets out a shaky breath, his shoulders slump.      

“And I just needed you to know that—” Yoongi’s throat is dry and he’s waiting for Jeongguk to cut him off, to say hyung, I’m sorry or something because Jeongguk's not looking at him and that has to mean something bad, “I wanted to, god, I want to kiss you like that, touch you like that, but I couldn’t— can’t, if you don’t feel the same wa—are you crying?”

Jeongguk sniffs.

“No,” he says and he’s not, he’s—

“Are you laughing?” Yoongi asks in disbelief. 

“No.”  Jeongguk says, lifting his face, but he is, smile playing at the corners of his mouth and the corners of his eyes and the very exact center of his kissed lips. “No, I— I’m—” He laughs sort of shakily and then again, louder, hand tight on Yoongi’s.

“You are.”  Yoongi breathes.  “Hey, fuck you—"

“Hyung,” Jeongguk says, his face so fond, so happy, giggles tumbling out of his mouth, “hyung,” he grins and it looks almost helpless, “hyung, you’re being—being—foolish.”

“Excuse you.”  Yoongi says.

"Well, you are," Jeongguk whines. 

Yoongi wants to kiss him again. 

He almost does, sways toward Jeongguk, catches himself and pulls back. 

"Hey, no," Jeongguk leans forward, "it's okay," and catches Yoongi's mouth with his own.  Yoongi tilts his head into it without thinking, touches Jeongguk's lower lip gently with his tongue, asking for permission.  It's not a deep kiss, but it's slow and tender and sends Yoongi's head spinning.  “Mmm,” Jeongguk breathes when they part, “I can't believe you stopped us making out to tell me you want to make out." Yoongi opens his mouth to object but Jeongguk’s not done yet, raises his voice a little, “and you managed to do it in the most dramatic way.  I thought that you liked me the same way I liked you, I was pretty sure I knew you did, until you managed to send me through all nine stages of grief over our friendship that I thought I’d ruined by putting my hand on your dick.”

Yoongi’s not following.  He’s also not not following it, he just—he’s—

“There are only f-five.”  Yoongi manages.  Jeongguk kisses his cheek and makes his voice crack.  “Stages of grief,” he clears his throat, “only five, Guk-ah.”

“Oh my god.”  Jeongguk says.  “I had extra ones.  I was really going through it.  I like you so much.” 

Yoongi is pretty sure that's not how it works but he’s also not actually sure because most of his brain is offline, the only part still functioning is just going you like me? jeongguk-ah, you like me? you like me like that?

“Me?”  Yoongi croaks, hand going up to Jeongguk’s bicep, his shoulder, the side of his face, pressing in against his jaw, the corner of his mouth, his sweet sweet smile.  “You— me?”

“Yeah, you.”  Jeongguk rolls his eyes, leans forward, nudges his nose against Yoongi’s. 

It’s too much.  Yoongi’s unbalanced.  He falls back against the pillow, holds on so that Jeongguk comes with him, a gentle sway, a soft land. 

“I like you like you like you.” Jeongguk continues. “I’ve liked you for ages.”

“Shit.”  Yoongi breathes.  

Jeongguk snorts, smiles fond.

“I like you.”  Jeongguk repeats, presses a kiss to Yoongi's eyebrow, his cheekbone, the hinge of his jaw.  “Like how smart you are and how brave and how you take care of everyone so quietly but with so much love. I like the way you write music and the way you send me text messages when I’m upset and how you always know what to say or when to say you don’t know what to say.  I like that you don’t ever lie to me, tell me things will be better when you can’t promise it.  I like that you like to write things down so that you make sure it’s what you want to say, so that I can read it more than once, so that I can respond when I feel ready.”

“Fuck.”  Yoongi says, “shit—”

“I like how passionate you are but how you don’t feel the need to be showy about it.  I like how you fought with the university about hostile park architecture, fought with the city council about hostile architecture in public spaces, fought with that random guy in the bar about it without ever raising your voice.  I still don't even know how you managed to get into that fight, find the one person in a sports bar who was going to have a loud opinion about that, but I like that you did.” 

“Jeongguk,” Yoongi’s dizzy, “stop, stop it—”

“No,” Jeongguk murmurs, brushes their lips together almost lazily, his hand slowly traveling to the hem of Yoongi's shirt, fingers tracing the skin above Yoongi's hip.  “This okay?”  He murmurs, grin going cheeky when Yoongi arches into the touch, nods out a breathless yes.  “Okay then.”  Jeongguk says, sliding his hand up and under Yoongi's shirt in one movement.  “Hyung, I like—”

“Stop,” Yoongi gasps and then has to stop Jeongguk's hand from coming out of his shirt, "no, not that, that's okay, stop being sappy, I meant stop being sap—" 

“No."  Jeongguk says petulantly, soothes his hand back up Yoongi's side.  "No, you take such good care of me, let me take care of you too.  When I look at you, you look back at me.  When I ask someone to see me, you always do.  You’re so gentle; you say so much in the smallest thing.  The way you kissed me earlier, kissed my hand, hyung—”

“Jeongguk,” Yoongi gasps, cradles Jeongguk’s face in his palms. “Stop talking, need to— kiss me ple—"

His words get lost in Jeongguk’s mouth.  

“Shit,” Yoongi says, when Jeongguk pulls back.  His hands are clenched in the front of Jeongguk’s t-shirt and he doesn’t remember doing that, doesn’t remember it at all.  He slides them to the back of Jeongguk’s neck as he flips them over, fits their mouths together.  Jeongguk arches up into him lazily, lets out a shuddery breath into the kiss.

Yoongi takes his time with it, with kissing Jeongguk, with the feel of Jeongguk’s mouth against his.  He lets himself adjust to this, lets Jeongguk adjust to this, to this new them, this old same them, the feel of their bodies pressed together.  He kisses Jeongguk slow, languid and unhurried, deep, until Jeongguk whimpers, hands clenching on Yoongi's sides.  Yoongi worries Jeongguk’s lower lip with his teeth, kisses the soft plush of it, sucks it gently into his mouth, releases it.

“So good, feels so good,” Jeongguk mumbles as Yoongi kisses the beauty mark below his lip, the scar on his cheek, his pulse point, his lower lip, "thought about this so much, what it would be like kissing you, but s’better than I imagined, it’s— kissing you, it's—"

Yoongi kisses Jeongguk slow again, likes the way Jeongguk gets impatient under him, loses his breath.  He pulls back after a bit, peppers Jeongguk’s face with kisses until Jeongguk giggles.

"Feels good for me too," Yoongi breathes, “so good, but also I need you to know this is horrible, that was so cheesy, what you just said.  I hate that you said kissing me is better than you dreamed and my gut reaction was me too, I feel the same way too, Guk-ah.  What the fuck.”

Jeongguk tilts his head into the pillows and laughs, smile bright, everything about him bright, always so bright to Yoongi.  When he tilts his head back up he pulls Yoongi’s mouth to his he's still smiling big and Yoongi’s smiling too so it should be a bad kiss, awkward if nothing else, practically all teeth, but it’s not, it’s nice, it’s so nice.

“I like you.” Jeongguk says, a giggle and a kiss all tangled with the words.  

“Stop.”  Yoongi says gruffly, feels himself blush. 

“Stop liking you?”  Jeongguk teases, his voice cheeky.  He sticks out his tongue, catches it between his teeth.  “Hmm, okay, if you insist.”

“Okay, baby,” Yoongi retorts, drawing the word out a little, liking the way Jeongguk’s breath goes shaky before he quickly controls it. 

He frowns up at Yoongi.

“Not fair.”  He says.

“You’re telling me.”  Yoongi presses a soft kiss to the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth.  “You’re pretty.”  He says.  “Gorgeous baby.”  He lets Jeongguk chase his mouth and keeps it just out of reach. 

“Can we make out again now please?” Jeongguk says, hands tugging at Yoongi’s shirt, his shoulders, finding his face to drag their mouths together.  “Just kiss me, don't make me wait anymore, waited so long—"

“Me too, baby.”  Yoongi murmurs.  “First though,” he dodges Jeongguk’s kiss and smiles at Jeongguk’s whine. Jeongguk nestles into the crook of his neck, nips at the skin there, presses little kisses.  “I like you.  You work so hard, Guk-ah, your determination, the way you—’

“No no.”  Jeongguk says, drawing back as much as he can, “nope, none of that.”

“You made me listen to you.” Yoongi points out, “you made me— oh god, that’s cheating, don’t do that,” Jeongguk’s body under his, warm and hard and pressing up, Jeongguk’s fingers insistent on Yoongi’s hip, his waist, the skin of his stomach. 

Jeongguk grins mischievously, kisses him once, but soft, so soft, softer than Yoongi was expecting.  

“Tell me later?” Jeongguk whispers, finger tracing Yoongi's jaw, “tell me later, kiss me now?  Because we'll need to talk later anyway, I still have lots to tell you.”  Jeongguk’s grin crinkles his nose and Yoongi wants to kiss it, so he does.  Jeongguk laughs, smiles so big.  “I'm serious. I've lots to tell you.  You’re going to have to hang out with me for, like, hours, hyung.” 

“Oh no,” Yoongi deadpans, “oh no, not hours.”

Hours.” Jeongguk emphasizes. “So many of them.  Days, even.”

“Horrible.”  Yoongi says. "I made, like, a pretty big commitment then, by liking you?"

Jeongguk nods.  “Oh yeah.  A major commitment.  You’re going to have to, like, hang out with me and kiss me and touch me and fall asleep with me and all sorts of terrible things.  Take baths with me, sexy ones sometimes, like, with candles.  You're also going to have to hold my hand when I'm sad, have your hand held when you're sad, and sometimes hold hands just because.” 

“Oh no.”  Yoongi says, threading their fingers together, pinning Jeongguk’s hand by his head on the pillow.  “What will I do, I hate holding hands, I hate all of that, hate it so much.”  He presses a kiss to the corner of one of Jeongguk’s eyes, then the other, watches them both flutter shut.  

"Mmm," Jeongguk hums, as Yoongi kisses the side of his neck, his pulse point, trails his mouth back up, "too bad."

"Too bad," Yoongi echoes and kisses Jeongguk, tries to put all the words he hasn’t said yet into the press of their lips.  When he draws back his breathing is a little shaky, Jeongguk's too, face flushed paled pink under him. 

Yoongi rests their foreheads together.

"Like you." He whispers. 

“Mm,” Jeongguk sighs, “like you too.  Tell me again.  Kiss me again." 

“Needy.” Yoongi whispers. 

Jeongguk smiles, a smile that might as well say spoil me hyung, and Yoongi finds he wants to, knows he wants to, always wants to.  He uses a finger to tilt Jeongguk’s face for a better angle, traces the line of Jeongguk's jaw as they kiss. 

“I really like you.” Yoongi whispers when their lips part.

“Good,” Jeongguk whispers back, keeping their mouths close, a hand on the nape of Yoongi’s neck, “good, I really like you too."

"Yeah?" Yoongi whispers, a little distracted as Jeongguk trails kisses over to the corner of his jaw, the shell of his ear, teeth scraping lightly.

"Yeah." Jeongguk agrees.  "Why, want me to say it again?"  Yoongi can hear the grin, feel it.  Jeongguk nips at his earlobe.  "Needy." He says. 

"Come back here and let me kiss you."  Yoongi murmurs.  "I'll show you needy."

Jeongguk's smile tastes so good.

 

 

 

 

♡