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slow dancing in the dark

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Namjoon watched with rapt attention, a frown on his face, as Jimin danced with a man he'd never seen before. The blonde moved his body against the taller man with a coy smile on his lips, his hips swaying to the soft beats that thumped throughout the space. The stranger, beautiful in a way Namjoon hated to admit rivaled Jimin's, leaned his head in to nip against Jimin's neck. He watched as Jimin bared his neck further, biting his bottom lip, fighting a grin. The man said something to Jimin and Namjoon saw the blonde laugh, his body crumpling in on itself, held up by the stranger's hands on his waist.

Namjoon's blood felt icy in his veins, his gut stirring in a way that he knew was wrong. He wasn't allowed to be angry anymore. Jimin wasn't his. He had blown that a long time ago.

"You're staring, Joon-ah."

Namjoon's mind snapped back to the present as he averted his gaze from his former boyfriend, to Yoongi, who had come up to stand beside him. His fingers tightened around the beer bottle in his hand 'til his knuckles were nearly white.

"Can't help it." He took a swig. "He draws attention to himself. I'm not the only one looking."

Yoongi leveled him with an unimpressed glare, and he had to look away, unable to stand the judgement in his friend's eyes.

"Not everyone is his ex, Namjoon," the older man spoke just loud enough for him to hear. "You're looking at him like your whole world fell apart."

"It did," he whispered, hoping Yoongi couldn't hear him. Of course, he did.

"And whose fault is that?"

Fuck. He knew Yoongi wasn't trying to be an asshole, he was just blunt. He was never one to bullshit or tiptoe around feelings. It was something Namjoon normally loved about him, something that made him form their friendship in the first place. Tonight, though, it just really fucking hurt, whether he was right or not.

Namjoon took another swig from his bottle before looking back at Yoongi. His friend searched his face, looking for what, Namjoon didn't know. Apparently he didn't find it though because Yoongi just scoffed and took a sip from the whiskey in his cup.

"You're shameless," he said with bite.

"I loved him, you know. It's hard not to be hurt."

"Loved?" Yoongi narrowed his eyes before turning them away to look out into the party buzzing in front of them. "Stop lying to yourself, Joon."

Namjoon sighed before searching the crowd for Jimin and his friend. A slight panic seized him when he didn't find them immediately. Did they sneak off to fuck? But his worry eased some when he spotted them sitting on the couch together, Jimin sitting in the man's lap, laughing at something he must have said. His gut churned again, but he couldn't help but watch. Maybe he was an emotional masochist.

"Hyungie~" Namjoon heard Taehyung before he saw him. He turned to find the source of his voice and watched as he draped himself over Yoongi's smaller frame. Taehyung wrapped his hands around Yoongi's waist and squeezed, hooking his chin over the man's shoulder. His cheeks were dusted with a rosy blush, a boxy grin on his face, a giggle in his throat.

Yoongi smiled something small, soft, and patted Taehyung's hands with one of his own. God, he looked completely smitten. In love, even. It made a warmth swell in Namjoon's chest to see his best friend so happy. But a very small part of his heart was consumed with envy.

"Hi, baby," Yoongi said as he turned his head to give his boyfriend a gentle peck on the cheek. "You're drunk."

"Mm." Taehyung hummed and giggled again. "Maybe~"

"What 're we doin' standing around?" He asked as he looked towards Namjoon, the smile still on his face. Namjoon was struck with the urge to pinch his cheeks, but he stuck his free hand in his pocket instead.

"Nothin'. Bullshitting." Yoongi's tone held an edge he knew only Namjoon would notice. It stabbed him in the chest a little, but he deserved it.

"Ahh~ Have you seen Jiminie? He came with Jinnie-hyung, but I haven't seen them much." He stuck out his bottom lip in a pout as he looked to Yoongi for help.


Jinnie-hyung?

Yoongi patted Taehyung's cheek with his hand, chuckled, and pointed over to where the couple were snuggled together, lost in conversation. Namjoon looked over again too, suppressing a sigh. Jimin looked so radiant. Not that it was unusual, it was just a different kind of radiant. One that used to be saved for Namjoon.


Used to be.

"Okay," he said softly, finishing his beer. "I think I'm gonna go grab something else to drink. Want anything?"

"Tequila!" Taehyung shouted, eyes wide.

"No," Yoongi said firmly, smiling when Taehyung pouted and deflated against him. "And no thanks, Joon-ah. I'm good."

Namjoon nodded before swiveling on his heel and making his way through the crowd toward the drinks. He needed something stronger if he was going to survive tonight...

 


The kid next to him mixed something that looked downright dangerous and pushed the plastic cup into Namjoon's hand.

"Here. You look depressed as shit."


Damn. Was it really that obvious?

"Thanks," he grumbled, taking a sip and immediately feeling the liquid fighting its way back up.

He must be making a face because the kid just laughed and walked away, a cup full of his own poison in his hand, mumbling something about old guys who can't hold their drinks.

Ignoring the jab at his pride, Namjoon shuffled away from the counter and leaned against the wall closest to him. His eyes scanned the room, the air hot and the energy pulsing hard enough to squeeze the oxygen from his lungs. Or maybe that was just the liquor.

He tried not to immediately seek out Jimin. It was an old habit he was trying to break - looking for the boy's head of blonde hair everywhere they used to go together - but he hadn't seen the other in so long. (How long had it been? A year or so?) It was like feeding an addiction. He thought he was over it, that he had safely maneuvered himself through the hardest part.

He was wrong. So, terribly wrong.

The hardest part wasn't going without seeing Jimin. Even after the last time they spoke - the last time being Namjoon breaking things off - it wasn't hard to bottle up his pain and keep himself moving forward. That was something he was somewhat of a pro at. The hardest part, he was absolutely certain, was seeing his ex boyfriend be happy with someone else.

Jimin was fine, at least on the outside. He was laughing, and dancing, and now had found his way to his old group of friends. Their friends. Yoongi and Jinnie-hyung were standing side-by-side, speaking softly between sips of their drinks, watching Jimin and Taehyung dance with each other amongst the other bodies. The blonde boy clung to Taehyung, giggling and moving them in such a way that would make you think Jimin was the drunk one of the pair.

But Namjoon knew better. Drunk Jimin was handsy, affectionate, almost overbearingly loving. He would sway to a beat only he could hear, his head tipped back and eyes so low you'd think he couldn't see. His lips, smeared with lip gloss, stretched into a permanent grin.

"Dance with me, Joonie. Just one dance."

Namjoon could almost feel the ghost of Jimin's breath against his neck. He shuddered at the vague memory. His brain felt fuzzy with the alcohol.

"Please," Jimin pouted. He knew he could get away with murder with a look like that. "I know you don't dance, but, please? For me?"

Jimin's arms had found their way behind Namjoon's neck, winding and pulling him closer. He could almost taste the peach vodka on his boyfriend's breath. He was so tempted to say no, embarrassed by the eyes on them, aware of how awkward he was with his limbs. But Jimin.

How could he deny him?

"One dance." He laughed when Jimin squealed and peppered his cheeks with kisses. "Just one! I'm not drunk enough to keep up with you."

Jimin placed a hand on either side of his face, staring into Namjoon's eyes like he held the world within his soul. His eyes crinkled at the edges, bending into the half crescent shape Namjoon loved so much. His smile, pure and full of love, punched the air from Namjoon's lungs.

"Just one is enough."

"...oon. Namjoon!"

Namjoon's eyes snapped open, his body jolting away from the wall he had been resting against. When had he closed his eyes? He took a glance at the cup in his hand. When had he finished his drink?

"Hey!" Hoseok's voice carried over the music. "You alright?"

He just nodded, mutely, unaware of how much time had passed. He had been so deep in his thoughts...


Jimin.

He whipped his head around, looking past Hoseok and towards where he had seen Jimin and Taehyung last. They were gone. He tried to find Yoongi and the other man, but they were nowhere to be seen.

"Ah, the guys went outside for a sec." Namjoon moved his gaze back to Hoseok, who was looking at him with understanding. "Yoongi-hyung wanted a quick smoke."

"Ah."

"So," the older boy started awkwardly, dragging out the word. "How've you been?"

Hoseok was Jimin's friend before he was Namjoon's. They were like a package deal - get a boyfriend, get a friend free! After the break-up they hadn't seen each other as often. Mostly in passing, or when they'd run into each other getting coffee from the same café they always did.

It was a café Jimin had shown him. He couldn't let it go yet.

Namjoon pushed his hair back with a sigh, a rueful smile twisting the corner of his lips. How had he been?

"Been alright." He hiked up one shoulder in a shrug, lifting the solo cup to his lips before remembering it was empty. His gaze drifted to the bottles of booze longingly. "Just thesis work and shit. You know how it goes."

Hoseok hummed his affirmative. "Yeah." When Namjoon looked back at him, his mouth was pinched in that little frown they all hated to see. He was worried, and Namjoon knew what was coming next. "That's, uh, that's not what I meant though."

He knew that wasn't what Hoseok meant. But he couldn't bring himself to be honest about how he was really doing. How he was holed up in his apartment more often than not, drowning in drafts and books and music so loud he could barely think. How Yoongi had brought him dinner for the first few months after the split but had ceased after one evening when Namjoon had yelled at him that he wasn't broken and he could fend for himself. His life had gotten a little lonely after that.

His friends went out to dinner without inviting him because by now they knew he'd say no.

"He won't be there tonight, Joon-ah. Just come have some fun. You haven't seen anything other than a textbook in six weeks."

He was way out of the loop, obviously, if Taehyung and Yoongi knew about Jimin's new "friend" before he did. Knew him well enough to call him Jinnie-hyung.

It was like he was standing outside of a glass box. He could see everyone inside, eating together, drinking together, laughing together, watching movies on the weekends, and forming relationships, but he couldn't reach them. His breath fogged the glass as he yelled, begging for them to look at him. To see him. His fists beat against it, trying his hardest to make even the smallest crack, but it was no use. He was removed. Alone.

And he could only blame himself.


I don't want a friend...

He felt the weight of Hoseok's hand on his shoulder before he could process that he had spaced out again. He blinked, sluggishly, weighed down by the liquor now flowing through his system, and turned his face towards the older boy. The room blurred a bit as he moved his head.

"Hm?"

"Are you really okay?" Hoseok's sharp eyes searched his glassy ones, and the only thing he could do was smile.


I want my life in two...

"Yeah, Hoseok-ah. Jus' fine." His tongue felt heavy in his mouth. A pleasant warmth bubbled from his chest, down through his fingers.

He needed another drink.

Hoseok's phone ping-ed in his pocket, and he let go of Namjoon to retrieve it. His face was lit by the soft blue light as he scanned whatever message he had just received. If Namjoon were sober, he would have registered the gentle, fond smile that quirked up Hoseok's lips for a split second.

His face was carefully blank as he looked to Namjoon again, though, catching the taller boy's gaze sweeping the room for the fourth time since they had started talking.


Waiting to get there...

"Joonie," he waved a hand in front of the boy's face to catch his attention, "Jungkookie is here. I'm gonna go find him, okay? Stay right here. I'll be right back." He watched Namjoon for a beat longer before turning and elbowing his way through the sea of bodies.

Of course, Namjoon couldn't just stay there.

He had to find Jimin. And some more alcohol.


Waiting for you...

With the grace of a newborn deer, giggling to himself, he made his way back to the drinks and leaned against the counter to steady his swaying body. The floor felt like quicksand, his legs like lead. Fuck. He was really drunk.

He reached for the closest bottle to him, prepared to shakily pour himself a few shots of whatever it was, but his hand collided with someone else's.

"Sor'y," he slurred, retracting his hand. The other person quickly grabbed it before he could get away completely, though.


Just one more night...

"Hyung?"

That voice. It was like pumping ice water into his veins. God, if only panic could completely sober a person up.

He felt frozen, pointedly not looking at the one person he had been searching for all night.

"Namjoon-hyung," Jimin's soft voice cut through the music, through the loud, raucous laughter, through the static in Namjoon's head. It cut through his heart.


I'm done fighting all night...

Finally, he looked at the younger boy. Jimin's hair was darkened with sweat around the edges, sticking to his forehead. His cheeks were red and puffy, from the alcohol and dancing, no doubt. The liner around his eyes, and the glittery shadow on his lids, were smudged. Not too much but enough to be noticeable. His shirt clung to his chest, drenched.

Namjoon thought he was the most ethereal person he had ever seen.

"Jiminie." He sounded breathless, weak, his voice cracking at the end. He was too drunk to care.


When I'm around slow dancing in the dark...

A myriad of emotions flitted across Jimin's face, too quickly for Namjoon to keep up with, let alone comprehend. The blonde settled with a smile that didn't look completely forced.

"Hi..."

"Hi."

The silence felt agonizingly long and so awkward it made Namjoon queasy. How had it come to this? How had they reached this point?

Or maybe it wasn't the tension making him nauseous...

"Minnie," his voice was small and wavering, "gonna puke."


Don't follow me you'll end up in my arms...

He heard Jimin curse before leading him away by the arm. "I swear to god if you puke on my new jeans, I'll kill you."

His eyes were glued to where Jimin's fingers held his wrist. The slight pressure reminded him that this was real. That Jimin was truly there with him. He would have basked in the moment if he wasn't so close to ruining his shoes.

"Min," he moaned in warning.

"Hold on.. Hey! Open this fucking door before I kick it in!"

Namjoon watched as a couple of teenagers, eyes wide and lips red, decorated with fresh hickeys, scrambled out of the bathroom and disappeared. Jimin hauled him through the doorway, his strength sparking a pleasant tingle in Namjoon's core, before gently setting him on the tiled floor and propping his back against the tub.

Namjoon then leaned over the toilet and, with one final grimace, unceremoniously emptied his stomach.


The cool edge of the tub felt so good against the heat of his cheeks. He closed his eyes after heaving a couple more times, Jimin rubbing soothing circles against his spine, and then let his upper body thunk back against the steady surface. The sound echoed in the quiet room, the only other noise being the muted sounds of the party continuing without them. He and Jimin were both silent, nervous, tense, unsure of where or how to start.

You done made up your mind...

"How are - "

"I miss you, Jimin-ah."

Namjoon's eyes slowly fluttered open, adjusting to the bright lights and looking anywhere but Jimin. He was too afraid of what he might see in the younger boy's expression.

"I miss you," he said again.

"I heard you."

I don't need no more signs...

Summoning all his courage, he turned his face to look. His heart leapt into his throat.

The younger boy's eyes were filled to the brim. Tears threatened to spill over his cheeks. Pain exploded beneath Namjoon's ribs and guilt flooded his stomach like bile. He had done this. He had done this to a boy he supposedly loved.

"You can't do that," Jimin brokenly whispered. He flinched away when Namjoon's hand moved towards his. "You don't get to say that."

Can you...
Can you...?

"I-I know. I'm drunk, I just," he fumbled for words, and it twisted Jimin's expression from hurt into anger.

"You don't get to apologize after a fucking year, hyung." His voice had risen, his teeth chattering with rage. "I don't hear anything from you. I don't see you. You don't answer my calls, my texts. Yoongi-hyung won't tell me how you are. Says it wouldn't be good for me to know."

Jimin's hands had curled into fists so tight that they trembled, his nails dragging against the fabric of his jeans. His shoulders shook as he tried to hold himself together. All Namjoon could do was watch in agony.

Give me reasons we should be complete...

"I waited for six months for you to call. To tell me it was all some sort of sick joke. That you still loved me - "

"I do," he tried to interject. Jimin's glare sliced through him like a razor, his words dying on his tongue.

"I waited for nine months to date. Seokjin-hyung, the guy I came with tonight, he waited for me. Told me that he understood, that he had been there before. Said he would wait a hundred years if it meant I was at peace to be with him..."

You should be with him, I can't compete...

"And he did wait. And we've been together for almost two and a half months. I'm the happiest I've ever been...since you." Jimin's voice warbled towards the end, and he looked up to keep any more tears from falling.

When he had collected himself enough, he brought his eyes back down to stare at the man below him. Namjoon's mind swarmed with the memories he had boxed away, unleashed by the alcohol.

"Namjoon, goddammit, just call him back."

Namjoon took a swig of his beer and grinned something bitter. "Hyung, I don't wanna hear it. You think I don't hear my phone ringin' all the time? I just can't."

"You're a weak, spineless man. Jimin-ah is busting his ass to keep you both together, and here you are fucking it all away. I'm ashamed."

Yoongi had slammed the door on the way out. Namjoon could sometimes still feel the vibrations in his chest.

You looked at me like I was someone else...

"What?"

The disbelief and horror in Jimin's voice was enough to send dread through Namjoon's core. But he couldn't back out now. The words were already out there, hanging between them.

"I think," he inhaled, "we should break up."

The younger boy choked on what might have been a sob. "What?" He was dumbfounded, repeating himself like it would make it make sense. "Why?" His eyes were wide, terror and pain and confusion dulling them.

Namjoon looked at him, and his heart squeezed so painfully he saw spots. Fuck. He loved him so much.

It was so fucking scary.

He hated how badly he wanted to hold him, to tell him it was okay. To make Jimin stop looking at him like his world was falling apart.

"I just can't do it."

Oh well...

Namjoon laid in bed, alone, unmoving for the next four days. His phone died from the mass texts and calls around day two. Yoongi stormed into his home on day five and yanked him up by his collar. He stared with dead eyes into the face of a man bubbling with fury.

Can't you see...?

"You bastard."

I don't wanna slow dance...

Namjoon just smiled, body limp, heart torn and devoid of emotion. He felt so cold, so empty.

In the dark...
dark...

Jimin sighed heavily at the faraway look on Namjoon's face.

"There's no use wondering about 'what if' now. What's done is done." He stood, dusting off his knees. His lips curled into a frown when the older man reached out a shaky hand to grip his jeans.

"Can you...can we talk?"

A sharp, pained scoff. "You're fucking kidding me, right?"

Namjoon was weak, and he felt a lump rising in his throat. Please, give me a chance. Let me explain. He wanted to beg, to plead. He knew it was fucking selfish, after all this time, and ironic. He didn't deserve it. Didn't deserve any of this. Jimin didn't have to help clean him up. Didn't have to make sure he was okay.

When you gotta run...

"My date's waiting for me," Jimin mumbled, sympathy painting his tone as he watched Namjoon shake and curl in on himself. "Joon...hyung, I have to go."

"Please," Namjoon rasped. "Please."

Jimin exhaled, long and pained, before crouching down to the older man's level. He brushed the sweat-soaked hair from Namjoon's forehead before stroking the man's cheek with his thumb.

"Why does it still hurt me, to see you like this," Jimin mused softly to himself. "I should hate you."

Just hear my voice in you...

Namjoon's eyes drifted closed at the feeling of his ex lover's hand caressing his face.


Fuck.

He had fucked up so bad. He had been so afraid. Afraid of being loved so deeply. Of loving so deeply in return.

"Please stay with me."

Shutting me out you...

The gentle caress paused, a beat, before Jimin's fingers continued to glide along his features. His fingertips stroked along his brows, down the slope of his nose, traced his jaw, his chin, his lips...

"Don't ask me that," Jimin whispered. "Don't ask me to stay. I might say yes. Don't make me do that."

The only sounds Namjoon could hear were the thundering of his heart in his ears and the breaths shared between them.

Doing so great...

He forced his eyes to open, his inhale hitching at the closeness of their faces. He could feel the shallow exhales against his lips. He leaned forward slowly, ready to stop if Jimin told him to, and their noses brushed.

Jimin's breath stuttered, his gaze boring into Namjoon, daring him to make the first move.

You...


Don't do this to him.




This isn't fair.




But I love him.




Do you really?



Used to be the one to hold you when you fall...

He didn't hear the door open, only it slamming shut as Jimin came home that night. He sat up in bed, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

"Minnie?" his voice was thick with drowsiness. He squinted one eye open and noticed a figure hovering in the doorway. Blinking hard, he opened his eyes to find Jimin swaying on his feet.

Panic struck him. "What's wrong?" His movements felt slow, uncoordinated.

Jimin trudged forward, slipping out of his jeans and t-shirt as he went. Crawling under the blankets, he reached for Namjoon and pulled him down with him.

"Just," his voice was small, like a wounded animal. "just hold me."

So he did.

"Tell me you love me."

...And he did.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

It felt strained. Everything was so strained.

It felt scary. How fast he had fallen for Jimin.

How in love he was. How in love he knew his boyfriend was.

It was scary to know, and even scarier to know and to feel how distant they had become. Or how distant he felt himself becoming.

I don't fuck with your tone...

"Minnie..."

"Don't 'Minnie' me! Why are you shutting me out? What have I done?" Jimin gripped his shirt desperately, trying to meet his eyes. Namjoon couldn't look at him.

"You haven't done anything. I'm just... I need some space. We need some time, I think. Time apart."

Jimin gradually released him, taking hesitant steps backwards. He was nodding to himself, like something was finally making sense. He chuckled, this awful, wet, pained sound. He looked defeated, like he knew fighting was useless. Namjoon wished he would at least yell at him. Something.

"Alright, hyung. I'll give you time. Just... Come back to me. Okay? We can work through whatever...whatever you're going through."

They stared at each other for what felt like hours, time slipping past them, both too afraid to let the moment end. Eventually, Jimin relented and turned away. He grabbed his keys and jacket, slipping on his shoes in silence. The tension was so thick Namjoon felt like he was suffocating. Was this really it? Was he really going to let Jimin walk out that door? He opened his mouth to tell Jimin to stay, to say he was sorry, that he was an idiot - he had so many things on the tip of his tongue.. if he could just...

"I'll call you," Jimin said softly, the door closing behind him, unknowingly sealing their fate.

Namjoon never answered the phone. Not until he was ready to say goodbye.

I don't wanna go home...

Namjoon closed the distance between them, drunkenly kissing Jimin with everything he had been holding inside for the past year. Everything - the love, the pain, the fear, the loneliness - he poured it out.


Please understand.

Jimin, gasped, surprised, but returned the kiss nevertheless. He twisted his fingers into the fabric of Namjoon's shirt like a lifeline. His other hand found its way to the older man's neck, cradling him in a way only Jimin could.

He had missed this. He had missed this feeling.

Hyung..

He slid his tongue along the seam of Jimin's lips, which parted in invitation. He groaned at the taste of mint on the younger boy's tongue. Jimin crawled into his lap, straddling him, tangling his fingers into Namjoon's hair like he was afraid this was a dream. Scared he would wake up and Namjoon would be gone again.

Fuck. Fuck, hyung..

Other memories flooded into the moment. Jimin kissing him, straddling, grinding, moaning, wanting, taking.

Can it be one night...?

His hands clumsily found their way to Jimin's hips. He squeezed and relished in the shaky, affected way that the other exhaled into his mouth.

Yes.. please..

He slid one palm along the boy's back, beneath his shirt, feeling the muscles flex as Jimin breathed. He raked his nails down the soft flesh, leaving red tracks in his wake. Jimin moaned and it sent a jolt through his body.

Again..

Jimin ground his hips down in a way that made Namjoon shudder beneath him.

"Come home with me," he gasped, breathless, chasing Jimin's lips.

Again, please, fuck..

Jimin kissed along his jaw, down his neck, sucking and nipping as he went. Namjoon's eyes rolled back as he leaned his head for the blonde to have more access. His hips bucked at a particularly hard bite, and he hissed at the pressure.

"Yes," Jimin groaned against his skin. "Yes. Take me home."

Hyung.. hyung, I'm..

Can you...
Can you...?

A bang against the bathroom door ripped them both from edge. Jimin jolted away, eyes wide, his chest heaving. Guilt colored his face as he shot a glance to the door and then back at Namjoon.

"Fuck." He scrambled away, staggering to his feet. "Oh fuck, oh god."

Namjoon, more sober now, picked himself up off the floor and opened his mouth to speak. But Jimin held up a trembling hand.

"Don't. Don't say anything. Fuck!" He scrubbed at his cheeks and his lips like they were covered in poison. Like he would die if he didn't remove every trace of Namjoon from his skin.

Teary eyes met Namjoon's as Jimin gave him one final glance.

"Fuck. Goodbye, hyung."

Then the door was thrown open, and he was gone.

Give me reasons we should be complete...

Namjoon stood stunned for a moment. His mind reeling, trying to catch up to the present. He and Jimin had kissed. They had nearly dry fucked in the bathroom. They had been close to going home together. He swayed a bit on his feet before bolting from the bathroom.

"Jimin!" He shouted above the noise that had returned to drown out the peace he had found. "Jimin-ah, wait!"

He spotted the blonde head of hair he loved so much, pushing and disappearing into the crowd in front of him. He moved forward to follow, but a strong arm yanked him back.

"What the f - "

"Namjoon," Yoongi hissed in his face. "What the fuck are you doing?"

"I'm going to find him. I have to explain. I have to tell him I'm sorry."

Yoongi's grip only tightened, and it surprised Namjoon how strong his small friend actually was.

"Stop, Namjoon-ah. Just fucking stop!"

You should be with him, I can't compete...

"Seokjin-hyung is taking him home. He's done for the night."

Namjoon felt like he had been shot. Or worse. That he had been shot and then someone had twisted their fingers in the wound. His heart was bleeding.


Jimin.

"Hyung." His voice surprised him. It was so feeble, watery. He belatedly realized he was crying. "I fucked up so bad."

Yoongi loosened his hold on the taller boy before placing a hand at the back of his neck and pulling him down to embrace him.

Namjoon broke.

You looked at me like I was someone else...

He wept into Yoongi's shoulder. Everything spilled over, his wounds freshly opened. The boxes carefully packed away in his mind were turned over, their contents dumped and scattered. He felt like he was falling apart all over again. Properly this time. Like he should have done before.

The expression on Jimin's face before he left him was branded into his memory. He looked torn. Wounded. Vulnerable. Like he had made a mistake.

Namjoon let Yoongi guide him through the crowd, his sobs now only hiccups and short bursts of tears. When they reached their friends, minus Jin and Jimin, Yoongi shook his head at their frightened, questioning faces. They said nothing, just lead Namjoon outside into the crisp, fresh air.

Oh well...

Taehyung and a boy named Jungkook, who Namjoon had surmised was Hoseok's current interest, kept him company while Yoongi said his goodbyes and Hoseok fetched the car.

He trembled, shuddering occasionally from the aftershocks of his breakdown. Jungkook, with doe eyes and a heart of gold, held onto Namjoon's hands with a tenderness that made him feel like weeping all over again. He leaned his head against Taehyung's shoulder and clamped his jaws together to keep his teeth from chattering.

The fresh air was doing him good. But he still felt...hollow.

Like everything he had left in him went with Jimin.

Can't you see...?

When he opened his eyes, he was staring out of the passenger side window at his apartment building. When had he gotten in the car? Or fallen asleep?

He pushed away from the door and peeked into the back. The only people left were Hoseok, Yoongi, and himself.

"Thanks for driving, Seok-ah." Yoongi patted the driver's seat and climbed out, the door closing with a click behind him.

The passenger door opened suddenly, spooking Namjoon, making him jump. Yoongi just looked at him with tame amusement, stretching over him to unbuckle his seatbelt.

“C’mon, Joon-ah. It’s time to go to sleep.” Yoongi spoke to him like someone would speak to a sleepy kid, with soft tones and exaggerated syllables. He was just awake enough to be a little irked by that.

“‘m not a kid, hyung.”

Yoongi just laughed as he helped Namjoon from the car. He waved and said goodnight to Hoseok, Namjoon mumbling his own goodbye, before walking with the boy up to his apartment. He had Namjoon's arm slung over his shoulder so he could guide him more easily.

I don’t wanna slow dance...

“You’re a good friend, Yoongi-hyung,” Namjoon said with a yawn. “I don’t tell you enough.”

Yoongi made a noise like a scoff, but he could tell that his friend was more moved than he wanted to let on.

“Don’t get sappy on me just ‘cause your ex left with another dude.” He led Namjoon to his room and sat him down on the bed. “Who, by the way, is a really nice guy. I think you’d like him.”

“Mm?” Namjoon stripped himself of his pants and shirt. They smelled like beer, and sweat, and almost-bathroom-sex. It made him sick. “Think so?”

His friend watched him with a careful eye, moving in to help him up when he wanted to go to the bathroom. He swatted at Yoongi’s hands at first before realizing that, yeah, maybe he was a little shit faced, and he might need some assistance. Yoongi just stood quietly in the doorway while Namjoon went about his nightly routine. Or what he could remember of it.

He guessed that Yoongi was worried about him, scared he might do something stupid and blame it on whatever was left of the alcohol in his system; that's why he was still there. He wondered if his friend planned to spend the night. He probably would. Namjoon was thankful for that.

When he had finally crashed, snuggled and tucked into his bed carefully by the older man, he gave his friend a tight smile.

In the dark…

“I missed it, didn’t I?”

dark…

“Missed what?”

“My chance. To make things right. I missed it.”

In the dark…

Yoongi sighed, drawn out with exhaustion, before carding his fingers gently through Namjoon’s hair.

“I dunno, Joon-ah..” He stroked the younger man’s head comfortingly. “Whatever’s meant to be, will be, I think.”

Namjoon let his eyes finally drift closed. Exhaustion seeped into his bones, dragging him further, and further, away from the present.

dark...

“I love him, hyung.”

“I know.”