The harsh green light of the hotel clock flashed 3:21 AM, and it was then that Yoongi gave up the charade and abandoned all hope of sleep. He sighed, throwing the covers off and stumbling towards the suite’s mini-kitchen to fix himself something to drink. A caramel macchiato would be nice right about now (it’s not like he’d be going back to sleep anyway), but he’d have to settle for whatever coffee came pre-stocked in the kitchen pantry.
He finished adding a tablespoon or so of coffee grounds to the filter and flipped the brewer on. Rubbing his aching temples, he took a seat and waited for the water to heat. This was so unlike him. Sleep had never been a stranger. It always came easy to him, but with the way he was feeling right about now, he wondered if he’d ever be able to rest well ever again.
He briefly considered wandering over to the next-door suites and seeing if anyone else was still awake, but it wasn’t likely. They had all most likely fallen asleep long ago. Everyone tended to turn in early after performance days, but every now and again someone would be up late. Namjoon was the most likely contender, he figured, as the group’s diligent leader often stayed up to toil away at new song lyrics when the mood struck him. The two of them were alike in that way. Maybe there was a slim chance he’d still be up, too- and willing hear Yoongi out in his time of need.
Reaching for his cell phone, Yoongi opened up his familiar messenger app. He scrolled through his previous chats, the most recent being a series of stupid puns from Jin and a couple of dumb memes from Jungkook. As expected, no one else was online at this hour. Not a soul…except for the one person that had caused this entire mess, the one and only cause of his late-night torment: you.
The green status dot next to your profile picture taunted him. It beckoned him to message, and it mocked him for even considering it. Back and forth, his indecision grew.
“You two need to talk this over,” Namjoon’s advice echoed in his head. He’d pulled Yoongi aside today when he’d realized what had been bothering him. “Just ignoring it isn’t going to make this any better.”
He gritted his teeth. Curse Namjoon. His advice was completely right. The way he saw it, he only had two options: he could wait for you to message him first, tossing and turning and losing who knows how much more sleep in the meantime. Or he could make the first move.
“Hey. You’re still up?” he typed, his finger feeling heavy as lead as it lingered over the send button. Mustering up the courage, he pressed it and initiated the conversation he’d been dreading all evening.
The green dot next to your picture turned grey; you went offline. He’d just missed you…or were you avoiding him?
He cursed under his breath, ready to rip a fistful of his hair out. That was just great. Now he definitely wouldn’t be sleeping. No, instead, he’d be torturing himself by replaying tonight’s memory of you over and over again in his mind. The image of your ecstatic face, wide-eyes sparkling from the front row (V.I.P. seats, no less), would haunt him. He couldn’t get it out of his head: you were bathed in the dancing glow from the surrounding sea of lightsticks, your cheeks flushed from excitement. When he turned to see you from up on stage, he couldn’t fight the grin growing on the corners of his lips. That same smile soured and disappeared seconds later. You hadn’t come alone. You’d brought another man, one who he’d never seen before. One that was standing entirely too close. One that was eagerly trying to grasp your hand in his. One that was quite obviously into you the same way Yoongi was.
To put it lightly, it had thrown him off. His mood turned to a sudden bitter concoction of irritation and anguish. He never dreamed you’d use the extra ticket to bring a date along to the concert. Did you seriously have no idea about the way he felt for you? Did you know and simply not care? You couldn’t be that cruel.
He fought his best through the pangs of heartbreak to put on a good show, but he doubted it was working- and he was right. After the performance, fan sites across the internet were reporting about his distraught performance that night, questioning what was wrong. His lackluster spirit had been bad enough to send his observant fans into a frenzied panic. His followers were a little too perceptive for their own good sometimes. He felt disappointed in himself for worrying them, but what could he do? Beneath his shiny idol exterior, he was still a human. And he felt so broken.
Maybe it was all his fault. He hadn’t captured your heart quickly enough. The life of an international idol was a hectic one, and despite his best efforts, maybe he just wasn’t capable of giving you the attention you deserved. The two of you had become very close since the miracle of meeting each other. In the time span that you’d known and befriended each other, you’d gone from being a devoted fan to becoming a dear friend. The two of you discussed everything, shared everything, and did your best to always be there for one another- all while managing to keep it a complete secret from the outside world. You had insisted from the very beginning that you wouldn’t give the industry any fuel for a possible scandal.
Back when he had first started to fall in love with you, the pit of his stomach was filled with constant dread. He feared that there was no way you’d make it out of this unscathed. How could he be anywhere near a proper boyfriend when he was hopping continent to continent? Could you tolerate rarely ever getting to see him in person? On top of that, he technically wasn’t allowed to date. He worried incessantly about being less than enough. He worried it would hurt you. How ironic- in the end, it was him who was hurt, left to nurse a broken heart.
His cellphone vibrated atop the counter. A fluttering sensation swirled within his chest. He wasted no time in reading your words.
“So, Motionless Min is wide awake tonight?” your message read. “Are you traveling or something? I thought you guys had the day off tomorrow.”
His reply was curt and simple, and he instantly regretted acting so petty. It wasn’t like he’d ever formally asked you to go steady with him anyway. You weren’t dating. You were best friends, that was all. Maybe his crush really was one sided all along. He didn’t really have a right to act so jaded, right? In an effort to cover up his bitterness, he quickly typed a follow up message.
“Why are you still up?”
“I guess I’ve got a lot on my mind,” your reply was simple.
“That makes you and me both.”
The chat came to a stop then. The tension was thick. There was a metaphorical elephant in the room, so to speak. Who was going to bring it up first? Would you talk about it at all? Namjoon’s advice echoed in his head, and he acknowledged that it was time to face this directly. He took a deep breath.
“I want to talk to you about something,” he said. “But it’s going to be awkward.”
The three minutes it took you to reply back felt like three years.
“You can talk to me about anything, Yoongi.”
The earnest reply left him feeling flustered. You were always so kind like this. Talking with you was safe and comfortable; you made it easy for him to show his subtler sweet side to you. Was he going to jeopardize that relationship by coming clean? He hesitated. No. He needed to do this.
“I saw you at the concert tonight.”
“Yeah?? And I saw you. Kind of impossible not to see you when you’re up on stage lololol. You were amazing, Suga.”
That…wasn’t the reply he had been expecting. Were you trying to change the subject?
“Were you on a date tonight?”
That was him: honest, forward, and arguably a little tactless at times. He lacked the refined, smooth-talking charm that Taehyung had, and he wasn’t sweet and playful like Jungkook, and he certainly didn’t have the jovial, happy-go-lucky energy of Hoseok. What was his charm? He wasn’t really sure, but he hoped it would be enough to help him stumble through this conversation.
“It wasn’t like that,” your reply was meek. “He’s just a friend who lives in the city that I met up with.”
Just a friend. He wondered if you thought of him in the same way…
“But why does that matter?”
Your aggressive question hit him like a truck. Were you challenging him? It put the two of you at an impasse. This would be the deciding moment of truth. Your relationship was a seesaw, a game of indecision and implied feelings that relied on a delicate balance. He teetered somewhere between a friend, a lover, and an idol. Could you let him be all three?
He paced around the hotel room. This really wasn’t the way he wanted this to go down. Whenever he had imagined confessing to you, it had always been a deeply personal affair. He wanted it to be unforgettable. He didn’t see himself nearly as suave or romantic as his bandmates, but he at least wanted the moment to be a special one. He definitely didn’t want to confess his love to you via text message in a hotel room at the buttcrack of dawn.
There’s no going back now, he thought. Might as well.
He opened up a notes app, carefully typing out his message before sending it. He wrote a series of thoughtful paragraphs, deleting and re-typing and deleting again. He crafted long-winded declarations that spilled his feelings, poetic confessions that read more like sappy lyrics than anything else, and detailed the crushing feeling he’d felt when he saw you sitting there with that guy tonight. None of it was good enough. He’d never struggled with finding the words to express himself before, but this felt impossible. In the end, he settled on a singular sentence.
“It matters because you’re more than just a best friend to me.”
There. He’d finally said it. All this time, his best kept secret had boiled down to one measly line of text. Adrenaline pumped through his veins as the minutes ticked by. How were you going to react? What would you say? Would you say anything at all? He decided to send up a follow up message before you had the chance.
“I love you. I should have told you sooner.”
And eventually, another.
“I want you to tell me if you don’t feel the same way. I can take whatever you have to say, so don’t hold back.”
And a final one.
“And I’m sorry about telling you over via chat at four in the morning. Please tell me I’m not too late.”
He crawled back in bed. His head hit the pillow with a thwump noise, the down feathers not nearly firm enough to his liking. He missed his own bed back at home. He missed his dog, Holly, and he missed being able to fall asleep soundly, and he missed the security of knowing you were his best friend. Now, he didn’t even have that. Was putting it all on the line like this worth it? When he considered the chance you might love him back, the answer was an obvious, resounding yes… but when he thought about the crushing rejection that might be moments away, he no longer felt so sure.
Would you still be friends after this? What was he going to do without you? He had six best friends in the form of his bandmates, of course (at this point, they were more like brothers). They’d undoubtedly support him through this, but they wouldn’t be able to understand how he was feeling right now. They couldn’t feel the searing pain he felt every time he imagined that guy becoming your boyfriend, holding your hand and taking you on concert dates and kissing you and-
“How could you be late when it’s only ever been you, Yoongi? I love you, too. You have no idea how much.”
His weary eyes grew wide. He reread the message over a second time, a third, a fourth. Was this real? By some cruel trick of fate, had he finally fallen asleep? Was it all a dream?
“I swear, the guy with me tonight was just a friend. I don’t have feelings for anyone but you.”
“Where are you staying?” His thoughts were formulating faster than his fingers could type. “You’re staying in the city tonight too, right? Which hotel?”
“I’m coming to see you.”
“It’s, like, 4 in the morning!”
“I don’t care. I have to see you.”
He flung the covers back off his legs with a powerful kick. Throwing on a pair of jeans and a black hoodie, he dressed in a hurry. He ran his fingers through his messy bedhead, hoping you would excuse some of the more untamable cowlicks. There was no time to waste. One of the company’s security guards would be on night duty for the hall- he could escort him to your hotel via private car. This was definitely risky if any paparazzi or curious fans caught him en route. Yoongi would find an excuse for his late-night visit tomorrow, if worst came to worst. He’d send a heads-up text to the boys; they’d help cover for him if need be. He doubted he’d have to explain it, though; the bodyguard assigned to duty tonight was a chiller guy than most with a generally no-nonsense disposition. He never asked any questions and he was pretty good about staying out of Bangtan’s personal business.
“Hmmm…” you typed. “If I don’t tell you the name of my hotel, I guess you’ll just have to go to bed and get some well-deserved sleep…”
“Don’t you dare.”
“Aright, alright!” he swore he could hear your teasing tone and pleased smirk as he read your response. The details of your place of residence were attached, along with one last lament: “Just don’t get into any trouble.”
Just as Yoongi predicted, the guard on duty asked no questions. He simply escorted them down the private exits of the exclusive hotel wing and instructed Yoongi to wait as he retrieved a vehicle. The luxury hotel was a frequent host to enough high-ranking officials and celebrities to warrant such back-room setups, but Yoongi doubted your inn would have the same level of security. He’d just have to be extra careful.
The black minivan had extra tinted windows; no one on the outside could see through the black glass, but the car’s passengers could see out. Yoongi watched the city lights outside speed by in warm blurs of red and blue, wishing that the driver could go faster. Thankfully, your hotel was relatively close by to his own. Not that the distance mattered; tonight, he would have been willing to travel hours if it meant seeing you. He needed to make sure this wasn’t just a dream.
As the car pulled into the parking lot, his heart pounded faster. You were waiting inside for him. He eagerly pulled the hood of his sweatshirt around his head, opening the car door with quick fervor.
“Please wait, sir,” the guard stopped him. “I will return in a moment.”
He sighed, slumping against the back of the seat. He cursed his life of fame. While he was eternally grateful for his success and fortune, it was moments like these that made him miss being normal. All he wanted right now was to run into that lobby, pull you close, and never let you go.
When his guard returned, drove them to a back entrance of the building and pulled into what seemed to be an employee parking spot. He handed Yoongi a hotel key.
“There is an executive lounge area on the top floor currently closed to normal guests,” he explained. “The card will get you in. It will also work for the staff elevator beyond those doors.”
“Thank you,” Yoongi said. “I appreciate it.”
“Of course,” his guard nodded. “And Mr. Min? I would suggest you finish whatever business you have relatively soon. It would be best to return before the need to explain arises.”
So he didn’t have much time, and he needed to be careful not to be seen by anyone else. But that was more than enough. He took out his phone to fire off one last message.
“Wait for me on the 40th floor. I’ll let you in from the inside.”
He hurriedly made his way into the back entrance and onto the staff elevator. The tall, steel doors shut and began the climb to the top of the building.
If the car ride felt long, then the elevator crawl felt like an eternity. Knowing that you were nearly within reach made the wait even more excruciating. The hour was growing wickedly late, and the world was silent save for the ding of each passing floor. He tried to make sense of his blurry, distorted reflection in the elevator paneling. He gave his hair one last run through with his fingers and hoped the dark circles underneath his eyes weren’t too unsightly. Hopefully, you would excuse his less-than-glamorous appearance.
At last, the doors opened.
He had entered via the staff elevator, and a quick glance at his surroundings showed that he was in some sort of pantry room. Rows of foodstuffs and cooking utensils lined the walls. Though it was dark, Yoongi was able to navigate to the door, find a light switch, and enter the main lounge area.
The room was large, lavish, and decadently opulent. Velvet sofas and Turkish rugs decorated the suite. A large, marble-top bar counter took up the corner. The main wall was a glass window from top to bottom, overlooking the night skyline from a spectacular height. A lounge this fancy was nothing new to Yoongi, but what was different for him was the sense of silence and privacy. There wasn’t another soul around.
He walked over to the far side of the room. The suite was enclosed from the guest access elevator via a frosted glass wall; being an exclusive area of the hotel, one had to scan a key card with special privileges to enter. He inserted his pass into the reader and opened the door.
He grabbed you and pulled you in, holding you taut against his chest.
It was quiet, save for the sound of his heart beating fast. Outside, the world was pitch black. The dawn was on the verge of arriving.
“We don’t have much time,” he began. “I need to get back before our manager realizes I’m gone. But I wanted to see you.”
You ran your fingers gently across his cheek with a feather-light touch.
“Understood,” you smiled. “I was dying to see you, too.”
“You didn’t get enough of me at the concert tonight?” he smirked.
You gave him a playful push. He continued before you had a chance to come up with a witty retort.
“I think you didn’t get enough of me because you were too busy trying to make me jealous,” he taunted. “And it worked.”
“Hey, if that is hypothetically what I was trying to do…then I finally got you to make a move,” you laughed. “And we both confessed in the end. I’d say that was a success.”
He shook his head, giving you a playful scolding nose with the click of his tongue.
“And I’m supposed to be the bad one in this relationship,” he said.
“Oh, you are,” you laughed, wrapping your arms around him once again. “You’ll always be my bad boy, Suga.”
His lips slipped into a wide smile, beaming from ear to ear, his pearly pink gums showing in the process. Warm rays of morning light began to spread across his skin. Your heart skipped a beat.
“Watch the sunrise with me?”
You pulled him towards the elegant loveseat facing the wall-window. You took a seat, dragging him down with you. Snuggling close together, you watched the city glow in the early-morning light, thankful for this moment. Your boyfriend would be leaving soon, but it was alright; for now, this warm embrace was enough.