It comes, hushed and subtle. It does not run him over like a fourteen-wheeler doing forty-five on a near-empty highway. It does not slam straight into him like a firework set off in the wrong direction, fizzling up and exploding into scraps of ash and light and all things bright. It does not prick, nor does it sting, not like the scrape of a palm against gravel when you lose your balance, not like the fall of a thumb onto a tack without the eye taking note.
What it does is simply descend upon him, like the cold breeze that ushers them into the hole-in-the-wall diner that one night, long after the moon has begun its steady waxing across the sky, long after the awards show is well and done.
Yoongi gets to carry the trophy this time. It rests heavy in his hands, the hem of his jacket tucked around it in case it falls. The smile on his face is uncharacteristic, he knows, just a little too large for life and just a little too rare for the masses. It is the smile that surfaces with the knowledge that this is his, and this is theirs, and this is their hard work and effort condensed into eight inches of gleaming tangible transparence.
The mild chatter is cosy, comforting. There are drinks nearly tipping off the table and their elbows taking up whatever space the plates allow. Yoongi settles the award beside him and tucks into warm noodles and warmer conversation, allowing for more laughs, allowing for more grins, to be exchanged between all of them.
An arm nudges his, clipping his attention on the edges of his vision. “Hey, hyung,” says Hoseok, leaning into his space, all smiles and bright cheer, barely tinged by the weariness that has slumped down upon all of them, hours into the day. His arm is slung along the back of Yoongi’s chair, fingers toying absently with the back of his jacket collar. “Told your parents, yet?”
“Called just now,” says Yoongi, leaning into Hoseok, as to not have to raise his voice over the others, who have started in on louder laughter and messier words, brought on by the near-empty makgeolli bottles on the table. Hoseok turns his head just the slightest, for Yoongi to speak into his ear. His arm has moved from the back of Yoongi’s chair, to Yoongi’s shoulders now, draped lazily across, fingers still skimming along his collar. “They’d been watching. You?”
“Tomorrow.” Hoseok’s breath curls against his skin. “They’re sending noona to the airport, so they had to sleep early.”
Yoongi makes a non-committal sound. The alcohol in his veins is beginning to sift the languor back into his bones. He allows himself to lean in closer, just for the leverage, and their shoulders meet easily, steadily. Hoseok’s fingers fold gently around Yoongi’s other shoulder. “I want to sleep early, too.”
Hoseok’s chuckle is soft, against the top of Yoongi’s hair. Yoongi doesn’t remember which point in time Hoseok had let their heads come to rest together, but he doesn’t mind. He never minds, when it comes to Hoseok. “You wish,” says Hoseok, voice coming in softer tones than before. The sleep that weighs them down is beginning to hit him too. “I can’t believe we still have practice tomorrow.”
“Mm.” Yoongi can hear the managers beginning to shift, letting them know that they’ll be heading back soon. Yoongi doesn’t really want to move, at this moment, despite thoughts of his bed enticing him. The warmth of Hoseok’s arm around him pulls him down into his seat, glues him to where he is, too comfortable to let go of. “Believe it.”
“Two of you getting friendly, there, I see,” comes Jimin’s voice from beside Hoseok. Yoongi lets out a snort, still unmoving from his position, and raises his foot under the table to kick Jimin in the shin. Jimin yelps, and turns his attention back to Taehyung, who’s giggling at a joke Jeongguk’s just told. Probably something inappropriate that he’d picked up from one of his middle-school friends, judging by the scandalised look on Seokjin’s face.
Hoseok has all but draped himself across Yoongi’s side, by now. His arm has slipped from Yoongi’s shoulder to rest lightly on his hip, the heel of his palm curving in at a pretty angle. It must be the drinks, or maybe the food, because Yoongi has never felt warmer on a night this cold before. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the way Hoseok noses against his ear, and murmurs, “You should let me hug you more. You’re comfy.”
“Mm,” says Yoongi. He’s too sleep-logged at this point to make any other coherent noises. And here is where it comes, and here is where it goes, and here is the moment the breeze descends upon him, slow and subtle and light and luring. Here is where it hits him—but not the way he would have expected it to.
Here is where Yoongi’s gaze flits towards Hoseok, for the barest of seconds. Hoseok doesn’t notice him looking over, instead still looking towards where Namjoon and Seokjin are engaged in a contest to see who can finish the rest of the side dishes first. Hoseok is ever smiling, the corners of his lips quirked up even though his eyes are beginning to show signs of the night tugging its curtains down. Hoseok is right here. Hoseok is right here. Hoseok is right here, next to him, his arm around Yoongi and his temple against Yoongi’s and their thighs pressed together without care.
And here is where the inexplicable rises, somewhere in Yoongi’s chest. His pulse feels unlike his own. His breath feels unlike his own. The words that feel like they might just spill over are unlike his own. But these feelings, they are the exact same ones he feels, every single day, whenever he comes into contact with Hoseok, and those hands, and that smile, and the phrases that he trades with Yoongi for his own.
It comes, hushed and subtle, but it comes anyway. It needs not be said, either.
Yoongi lets Hoseok’s arm remain around him, even when they make their way to the car, even when they are on the way back to the dorms, even when they trudge and trip through the door, foregoing all else for the comfort of their beds.
Hoseok presses his mouth to Yoongi’s ear and whispers goodnight, hyung, goodnight. Yoongi returns his own greeting in the form of a hand threading through Hoseok’s hair, ruffling lightly. They separate, they melt into their sheets, they fall asleep to the sound of heavy snores.
The morning after, Yoongi brushes his teeth to a weary reflection in the mirror, and tries his hardest to not listen to the thump of his heart behind his ribcage, that seems to keep spelling out the same words that he doesn’t want to believe just yet.
That very same morning, Hoseok bounds up to him, impossibly exuberant for how everyone else seems to be dead on their feet, and drags him away to practice, still as bright as ever. Yoongi doesn’t complain. Yoongi merely sighs, amused, and trails along, hands in his pockets.
Besides, how could anyone ever despise the liveliness that bubbles forth from Hoseok, every single day without fail. That hopeful nature that lends credence to his name. How could anyone ever dislike Jung Hoseok, ever merry Hoseok, ever enthusiastic Hoseok. Yoongi loves his enthusiasm. Yoongi loves him. Yoongi is in love with him. Yoongi is in love with—