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Make It Right

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If someone said they could turn back time

Could I have been a little more honest? My bare face that only I knew

The ugly and shabby old friends inside me could you love me again

Like you did, looking at me with that smile?

Forever, forever, stop saying that

There has always been an end

If there is a beginning…I don’t want to listen to that

--

Seokjin loved award shows, whether it was American or Korean. He loved watching every artist in their element, showcasing their hard work on the stage. It was mesmerizing to see artists that he watched for years when he was younger and glued to the television.

The perks of being a model is you get invited to every musical award show just because you look pretty. It bothered Seokjin at first, feeling he was just getting invites to the Grammys and AMAs or MAMA just for being slightly famous. However, it changed pretty quickly when he realized these shows were perfect places to get connections. The public eats it up if you even stand next to another singer, putting their claws into any potential relationship they can exploit. It was annoying, but it worked for Seokjin. He just kept getting more and more popular and booked more and more often. There were even a couple guest roles he did on television and music videos because he said a few kind words to someone at an event.

Another perk was being allowed to be an announcer for awards. He remembers his first-time announcing Album of the Year at MAMA, his hand shaking. The solo artist who had gotten the award, Park Jimin, had always been a close friend, fans going crazy every time they posted together. It was a bit harder to hang out with the younger, both constantly traveling the world for their jobs. Even when they did have time, Jimin lived oceans away in Korea while Seokjin lived in LA.

“Babycakes you ready to go up?”

Seokjin blinks. “Yeah, how many minutes until me?”

“About that, so you aren’t presenting alone. I know this wasn’t planned at rehearsals but-"

Hoseok looks uncomfortable. And it takes a lot for Hoseok to get uncomfortable. Seokjin is glad that he chose the man as his manager, he was organized, he was blunt, and did not take any shit. At the same time, he was probably the happiest person alive, always cheering Seokjin on and supporting him through thick and thin.

“Hobi what is it?”

“Well you know how this is a new award…like Top International Artist...”

Seokjin raises his eyebrow. “Yeah, I know, that’s probably why they chose me to present right? All the nominated artists are idol groups from back home.”

Hoseok bites his lip. “Well yeah, and that’s why they also added um.”

“Added who?”

“Jin hyung?”

Every part of Seokjin goes cold. It feels like someone is choking him, the air refusing to go into his lungs. As Kim Namjoon, or RM which is what he calls himself now, walks toward him, all the noise around him becomes static. He thinks he hears Hoseok whisper something to him, a “sorry”, but his eyes are only trained on the man in front of him, who was…bowing?

He almost laughs at the gesture, that they have become that much of strangers that Namjoon bows to him. In the dorms, then, when he was being teased, Namjoon would do a full 90 degree bend and call him ahjussi and then Seokjin would yell at him and then Jungkook would join in and-

Seokjin unfreezes and bends a little, praying his shock wouldn’t show up on his face. The younger was staring at him, eyes showcasing fear and a little of something else. The three of them stand there awkwardly in the chaos of the backstage of the VMAs. He still cannot for the life of him, speak, which was concerning since he had to announce an award in like five minutes.

“Joon-ah, you’re up soon we need to go stand over by the stage entra-.”

The old Daegu accent is still present, and Seokjin eyes flick over to Min Yoongi as he feels Hoseok stiffen next to him. 

Seokjin does not like award shows much anymore.

--

The lights don’t help with Seokjin’s nerves. Namjoon was too close, and he feels like he’s being suffocated as they both lean into the mic to announce the name of the winner. He was a professional, however, and keeps his winning smile always present as he hands the trophy to the group of teens who look ecstatic. It was a big step for kpop groups, being able to break into and be recognized by the western industry. It was cut- throat here, and Seokjin feels pride seeing the boys in teary eyes saying thank you to their fans.

He turns to the side real fast, knowing the cameras were focused on the boy group and not him. RM was smiling too, the smile he had on whenever he was proud of Taehyung for hitting a hard note or when Hoseok learned to rap or when Jimin-

The music comes back on and they all shuffle backstage, where Hoseok and Yoongi are waiting for them. Both of them immediately rush up to their respective artist, keeping their silence with each other.

“You did great babycakes,” Hoseok says with a strained smile, and Seokjin appreciates him trying to be calm.

“Ah so that nickname still being used huh?”

Seokjin feels his fingers dig into his palm, pain shooting up his arm as he tries to feign nonchalance at Namjoon’s comment. Once again, he doesn’t say a word.

“Yeah, anyways, nice seeing you both. Have a good night,” Hoseok mutters before making a grab for Seokjins hand to lead him away. They had both turned around when he hears the low drawl.

“Really Seokjin? Ten years and you don’t have a single word to say to me?”

It really is fucking convenient that they were speaking in Korean, because Seokjin thinks he did not know enough cuss words in English for him to scream at Namjoon.

He pauses for a second, contemplates telling the younger to fuck off and never talk to him again. He eyes the cameras around the area and the numerous staff and celebrities just walking around. Seokjin will be dammed if Namjoon ruins his career again.

So he just puts his hand on Hoseok’s back and keeps walking. And walking, until he finally he finds himself in a limo, staring out into the Los Angeles night sky.

It’s not until he reaches his house that he feels a tear roll down his face.

--

“Are you mad at me hyung?”

Seokjin opens his eyes to look at Hoseok and the make-up artist frowns so he closes them again. “Why would I be mad?”

“I should’ve gotten you out of that situation faster, or even just- I don’t know say you wouldn’t announce with him. Fuck it is my job, I’m so shit I’m sorry.”

“You didn’t know, and I can’t imagine you were exactly pleased to spend time with Yoongi while we were on stage.”

The make up artist mumbles something about how she will be back for touch ups later and walks away. Seokjin examines himself in front of the little vanity, satisfied with today’s look. It was an editorial, for some magazine that Seokjin would never read, but they insisted he dye his hair brown. He looked good, and it was a nice change from his natural black.

“Fuck I can’t believe we actually saw them,” Hoseok says quietly. “Years I made sure that we would never accidentally meet up, but I guess we couldn’t run away forever.”

Seokjin scratches the side of the chair. “He really asked him why I had nothing to say to him. What the fuck was I supposed to say?”

“It was out of line, he had no right,” Hoseok agrees. He bites his lip. “Have you told Jimin?”

Seokjin shakes his head. “He’s in Japan I think? With Taehyung. He saw the show and texted me asking if I was okay, and I just brushed it off.”

“Do you think Suga-hyung still talks to Kookie?”

The nicknames come so easily out of Hoseok’s mouth and Seokjin can feel the hurt present in his voice. His heart aches for his best friend.

“I don’t know Hobi. And I don’t think I want to know.”

“Yeah me neither. And at least we have each other, right?”

Seokjin looks at the tears welling up in Hoseok’s eyes. Of course they had each other. Despite everything, despite all the shit that has fucked them over in the past, he had Hoseok. And nothing else mattered.

“We have each other Hoseok.”

--

Somehow it seems like I never loved you at all

It’s late but you said it was true that only you loved me, more

You’re my tear

You’re my

You’re my

tear

 

RM’s Instagram is filled with pictures from his various travels across the world, a selfie mixed once in a while. Couple of pictures of his bonsai plants, his dog, one of him and Yoongi. There is no trace of anyone else.

Seokjin isn’t stupid.

He knows, he knows every damn song that Namjoon produces and writes is about them. Maybe not him specifically, but about the seven of them. About what they lost, what could never be recovered. He sees right through all the bullshit and the metaphors and he wonders if the other five can too. That Namjoon keeps dragging their shit every time he produces a song for an artist, letting someone else sing their story. Lyrics upon lyrics about being hurt and fake love and it made Seokjin’s blood boil.

He pushes the off button on the radio before he gets a call. The number shows unknown and for a second he worries it’s one of his crazy fans. He’s been getting a lot of those calls lately, but decides to answer anyways.

 “Hello?” he says in English.

“Hi is this Seokjin Kim? We are calling from LA General Hospital.”

“Yeah this is he, what is this in regards?”

“We have you down as the guardian for a Jeon Jungkook. Unfortunately earlier this afternoon he was in an accident-“

Seokjin slams the brakes.

--

Hospitals always scared the absolute shit out of him. Seeing Jungkook connected to five hundred wires, watching his heartbeat on the monitor, was nauseating.

The doctors had cleaned his face up pretty well, and it looked like he was just sleeping if you ignored the tube in his mouth that made him breathe. When he had arrived, Seokjin had been filled on the incident, but had mostly blanked out when the medical terminology was being said.

“He was drunk and high according to his tox screen. Walked out in the middle of the street according to bystanders, he’s lucky it wasn’t too bad.”

Tears keep flowing and flowing as he puts his head on Jungkook’s limp hand. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wasn’t there.”

“I’m here, I’m-shit.”

Seokjin doesn’t need to know it’s Hoseok when he feels a shaky hand on his shoulder, squeezing it in comfort. They stay like that for a while, switching positions and holding onto Jungkook, but the man gave no response.

“We have to tell the others.”

He looks up from the gross hospital food he was munching on. It was nearly 3am, both of them having stayed in the room without speaking. Hoseok had bags around his eyes, and Seokjin imagines he looks no better.

“Hyung I’m serious. They deserve to know that Kookie…”

“Just say it Hoseok. That Kookie went and tried to fucking kill himself.”

It’s dead silent except the sound of the monitors keeping Jungkook alive. Hoseok doesn’t respond and instead just comes over and holds Seokjin.

“I was supposed to protect him. I was supposed to be his hyung and I failed. He was drunk and high on who knows what, wandering the fucking streets while I’ve been living in my fucking mansion and going around the world.”

“Hyung-“

“We made a promise. To his parents when he came to the company that we would protect and take care of him. We all failed them Hoseok. And I don’t have the energy to call everyone and say this.”

Seokjin put his head in his hands and allows more tears to flow, breathing becoming labored. Hoseok hugs him tighter and rubs his back. “I’ll do it then.”

--

Namjoon and Yoongi arrive around five am. Seokjin didn’t even know that the pair were still in Los Angeles, assuming they had flown back home to Korea after the VMAs. Not that he cared.

Yoongi hadn’t changed much over the years. He is the quietest, going immediately to Jungkook’s head and caressing his cheek. From the foot of the bed, Seokjin can see the glint of tears in the younger’s eyes.

Namjoon was still talking with the doctor, asking about treatment and what had happened. He seemed confused and kept pestering about when Jungkook would wake up.

“But you said he was fine? He has no traumatic brain injury so why the fuck is he still asleep?”

“Sir, please understand his body has gone through a lot. The effects of the anesthesia might take even longer because of the other drugs he was on, so he probably won’t wake up until tomorrow morning.”

“That doesn’t make-and what do you mean other drugs? Jungkook doesn’t-“

“Oh for god’s sake shut the fuck up,” Seokjin exclaims. All heads turn to him, and even the doctor looks a bit shaken. “Stop trying to control the situation. You can’t fix it Namjoon! Just fucking sit and be here for your god damn friend.”

“I’m not trying to-"

“I’m going to get some air and ask Jimin if he got on his flight yet,” he says, looking at Hoseok. And with that he storms out of the room.

--

It had been a day and half.

Jungkook still hasn’t woken up.

Seokjin is pacing, to keep his mind off of that fact that his sworn enemy was in the same room as him. Hoseok had gone to go pick up Jimin and Taehyung from the airport, and Yoongi said he was going outside for a smoke.

“Stop doing that, it’s irritating.”

He looks up to see Namjoon frowning from his spot at the foot of Jungkook’s bed.

“Well sorry your highness, but if I sit in one spot, I will literally go insane.”

“You don’t need to be so rash with me hyung, I care about him too.”

“If you cared about him, he wouldn’t be throwing himself in front of cars and shooting himself up with heroin! And don’t fucking call me hyung.”

Seokjin prided himself in staying calm in difficult situations, but this was so far out of his depth. He didn’t know how to be peaceful, how to be okay.

Namjoon stands up. “Are you serious right now? Are you fucking blaming me for the fact that he ended up like this?”

“Yeah you’re right. It’s my fucking fault for not fighting harder for him to stay with me. You promised you would look over him and you didn’t. God how can I be so stupid...?”

He feels tears well up in his eyes again. His Kookie, the boy who he drove to school every day and helped him with homework and secretly bought him fancy dinner they could not afford. His Kookie was lying on a hospital bed in front of him because he jumped into oncoming traffic.

“You are blaming me for the fact that he chose my side?”

Seokjin slams his hand on the counter, feeling the sting burn his hand. “There were no sides Namjoon! Did you not fucking see what happened? We all are broken and apart. Everyone is hurt and Jungkookie could have died because the seven of us don’t have our shit together!”

“Um.”

Both Namjoon and Seokjin look towards the door, where Hoseok stands with Jimin and Taehyung.  Yoongi is behind them, arms crossed and Seokjin can sense his disappointment. 

Jimin decides to ignore the tension in the room and goes to hug Seokjin, squeezing tight. He hears a breathy, “I missed you,” in his ear before the warmth is gone, the younger going to Jungkook’s bedside.

Taehyung looks from Namjoon to Seokjin. He hates how he feels bile rise up in his throat as the actor goes to Namjoon’s side of the room and goes for an embrace. They whisper something to each other, and Taehyung nods before going to Jungkook’s side.

Hoseok walks over to Seokjin. “You okay?”

Seokjin shrugs before looking over to the bed. The other four members stood around it, watching silently, some with tears leaking.

It’s then it happens, all of a sudden. A twitch in Jungkook’s foot before some coughing. Yoongi’s eyes go wide before he rushes out of the room and comes back with a doctor in tow, who carefully takes out the tube so that Jungkook can breathe by himself.

Seokjin feels himself crying again as Jungkook slowly opens his eyes and lets himself be examined by the doctor. Everyone stays silent.

“Well looks like his reflexes are good and his vision is fine. I think if he just rests at home for a couple months or so he will be okay. I can get the discharge papers ready.”

The doctor leaves the room, and nobody knows what to say. Jungkook peers at them, letting out a pained smile. “So, how you guys doing?”

It’s Jimin who laughs first. Tears still fell down his cheeks, but he chuckled. “Not bad, how are you?”

Jungkook chuckles but then winces immediately, causing everyone to look in concern. “I’ve been better. It’s good to see you all.”

--

Six of them sat together in a table off the corner in the hospital cafeteria. It reminds Seokjin when he made their first non-ramen meal, because it was Jungkook’s 16th bday, and they were going to surprise him with an iron man cake that they all pooled their money for and-

“I’m going to take him in, and he will stay with me for the next couple months as he recovers. I want eyes on him all the time so this will be a good choice.”

Jimin frowns. “Hyung, but how much can you do? You have work so you would have to hire an aid or something and you know he would hate that. I think if he’s okay to travel I’ll take him home to Korea.”

“He doesn’t have anything left in Korea, his parents and most of his family are gone,” Yoongi interjects. “He can stay with Namjoon and I, we work from home a lot anyways.”

Seokjin can’t help his curiosity. “You both live in LA now?”

For the first time, Yoongi speaks to him. “We have been for like years.”

We.

“Well I want to take care of him too, I won’t let you both just take over the responsibility when it is all of ours,” Seokjin bites back.

“Yeah and what a great job you’ve done taking care of him,” Namjoon snorts.

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“When were you planning on calling us? Were u just going to be a hero and do this all by yourself?”

“I…” Seokjin feels a hand on his thigh before he can finish the retort. He turns to the side and is surprised to see it’s Taehyung. The younger tells him with his eyes to calm down.

“I think, I have an idea,” Taehyung starts. All heads turn to him and he clasps his hands together. “Let’s all take care of him. We can stay at a house and that way everyone can take turns taking care. It would be healthy for him and for us, so we all can work too when we aren’t on Jungkook duty.”

Living with the six of them for a couple months? That sounded too much like…

“We can stay at my place. I have room for all of us, and nobody would need to share,” Namjoon finally says.

Everyone turns to Seokjin. His skin feels prickly, but he thinks of Jungkook twenty floors above them, and nods his head.

--

We were going toward the same place but this place becomes our last

We talked about forever, but we destroy each other mercilessly

 

Namjoon’s house is massive, bigger than Seokjin could have ever imagined it. As he follows Yoongi up the stairs to his designated room, he wonders how many people have wandered these halls. How many parties and dinners had been held? RM was a household name, everyone from the USA to Europe to Korea knew him. SUGA was just as popular, but tended to work on the low, not offering himself to be in the spotlight like Namjoon did. Seokjin himself is pretty well off with his career, but these two were on a whole other level.

“Here you can have this one, the bathroom is attached so you don’t have to worry about anyone barging in the morning.”

Yoongi had been more willing to open up than Namjoon or Taehyung to Seokjin. Maybe it was because they were the oldest and were only three months apart and were going to be roomates once they got a bigger dorm and always talked about the burdens of having to take care of the younger ones and how hard everything is-

Seokjin holds on to his suitcase handle a little harder. He did not pack that much, considering he only lived twenty minutes away. It was weird to think about actually, knowing that he had been in the same city as them for years and never knew. They were bound to run into each other at some point, and for once LA makes him feel claustrophobic.

“Is Jungkook sleeping?” he asks casually. The younger had been transported from the hospital earlier that day while Seokjin and Hoseok went to their houses to pack suitcases.

“He was when I last checked. I think he wanted to come down for dinner though.”

“Is he upstairs? He can’t walk properly, he still needs the wheelchair-“

Yoongi interrupts him. “It’s okay we have an elevator, so he doesn’t need to go through the stairs.”

Seokjin’s jaw drops. “You have an elevator? How rich are you both?”

It’s the first time he sees Yoongi crack a smile, barely there but it still makes Seokjin’s ears go red. “Freshen up, I’ll have the cook start something and we can all eat.”

--

When he arrives downstairs a half hour later, everyone but Jungkook and Taehyung are present. Both Jimin and Yoongi are on adjacent couches, scrolling through their phones, while Namjoon was reading a book. Hoseok is in the love seat, flipping through a magazine. The large glass windows showed the night lights of Los Angeles. The atmosphere is not tense, even though it should be. Seokjin clears his throat to announce his presence.

All heads look up, and Jimin pats the seat next to him with a smile. Seokjin obliges, and gives a quick side hug once he sat down.

“Taehyungie is giving Jungkook some medicine before he brings him, they should be down soon.”

Seokjin hums in response and Jimin frowns a little. “Are you okay hyung?”

He shrugs, aware that the others are watching them. “We still don’t know the full truth about what happened to Jungkook. It’s been bothering me.”

“I didn’t even know he was using drugs, let alone in such a bad state mentally,” Namjoon mumbles. Seokjin’s eyes flick to the younger, and he bites his tongue from saying anything in retort.

“When’s the last time any of you had talked to him?” Yoongi asks the room.

Everyone is silent.

Hoseok and Seokjin give each other a look before Hoseok speaks. “Not since that night. I honestly was surprised he had Jin hyung down as his emergency contact. I thought he was with you guys.”

Jimin shifts. “I think Taehyung mentioned once or twice Kook was teaching taekwondo after he got his bachelor’s degree a couple years back, but I haven’t spoken to him since that night either.”

“We did talk for a while, while he was enrolled in UCLA, but I just got busy with work and we just kinda drifted,” Namjoon sighs. “I know things were bad after Yoongi hyung-“

Seokjin feels everyone’s eyes shift to Yoongi, who just started playing with the hem of his sweater. It was no secret that Yoongi had always been fond of Jungkook, or of Jungkook’s big fat crush on Yoongi that he would complain to Seokjin about, to the point Seokjin was sick of hearing about Yoongi’s hands which Jungkook loved-

“How long since you guys broke up?” Hoseok asks, with a falter in his voice. He’s trying to be strong, not showcase the hurt in his voice, but Seokjin has known him for years. He knows Hoseok watches interviews with SUGA or Jungkook’s old dance covers during college when he thinks Seokjin is not looking. He knows that Hoseok has a lot of unexplained feelings but opening them up would be wrong, and there was no point anyway.

“It has been almost five years,” Yoongi looks up, eyes trained on Hoseok questioningly.

“We should talk about it with him,” Seokjin interjects, trying to break the tension. “Maybe slowly, get something out of him, and then meet up once a week with what we learned and stuff and how to do better.”

“He’s not a project Seokjin-ssi,” Namjoon replies, frowning.

“Oh so you have any better idea leader-nim?” Seokjin snaps. The others look shocked at the choice of words, and even Seokjin feels like he just spat out poison.

“Well I think it’s a great idea,” a new deeper voice says. Seokjin turns around to see Taehyung smiling hesitantly down at him. “I parked Jungkook in the kitchen, so he can’t hear us by the way.”

“How is he doing?” Jimin asks.

Taehyung shrugs. “Pretty decent for someone who pulled something like that. I think he’s putting a brave face on for all of us though.”

If he really was brave, he wouldn’t have stood in front of cars, Seokjin thinks.

“But back to the point, I think each of could take a day of the week? To spend with him and take care of him. That way he can always have a change of environment, and on like Sunday we can have a team meeting or something and do group stuff.”

Seokjin feels his stomach twist at the thought of having to spend every Sunday doing activities together. He breathes in and out, reminding himself that he was doing this for Jungkook, nobody else.

“I like that, it gives the rest of us time to work and do our jobs as well,” Namjoon hums.

Jimin nods in agreement. “And we can always switch days if our schedules clash. Taehyung can have him the rest of today since it’s Monday and I’ll have Tuesday. Seokjin hyung, you can have Wednesday and Hobi hyung you can have Thursday.”

Yoongi nods. “Namjoon will take Friday and I’ll take Saturday.”

Taehyung claps his hands together. “Great, now let’s eat, I’m starving.”

--

Dinner is pretty quiet, everyone not knowing what to say. Jungkook tries starting a conversation a couple times, but it usually is met with quick responses. Nobody elaborates on anything they are doing, and Seokjin kind of feels bad for the younger. But what could they say? They have been out of each other’s lives for so long, it was inevitable that it would be a bit awkward.

He finally relents. “So Jungkook, you’ve got a couple months of rest, anything you want to do?”

The younger smiles at him. “I want to learn to do some cool tricks on this thing,” he replies, pointing at his wheelchair.

“That sounds extremely dangerous,” Taehyung says, chuckling. He grabs the salad bowl and puts some on Jungkook’s plate. “Let’s focus on activities that won’t require you to get hurt.”

Jimin giggles. “Our maknae was always a thrill seeker. Remember when he learned about parkour and kept doing it all around the dorm?”

Seokjin does remember. Yoongi had introduced Jungkook to The Office and Jungkook binged most of it within two weeks. He had to suffer with “that’s what she said” jokes for nearly a whole year.

“No that was so embarrassing,” Jungkook says, covering his face with his hands. “When I broke Jin hyung’s Mario figurine and I swore he was going to kill me.”

Taehyung and Jimin are still chuckling, but the other four had no comment. It was sort of an unnamed rule between him and Hoseok, to not discuss the past and he’s sure that Namjoon and Yoongi have the same kind of deal. Jimin and Taehyung were always the optimistic ones, he thinks. That’s probably why they got together in the first place. Hope brought them together and kept them together.

“Well, I’m going to clear the table,” Seokjin finally says after noticing everyone else was pretty much finished with the plates. He didn’t think he could stand being around the six of them for much longer.

--

“You know that they have people hired to do that?”

Seokjin looks up from his place at the sink, hands deep in soapy water. Taehyung leans against the corner, tilting his head to the side, examining him. He feels uncomfortable under the younger’s gaze so he turns his head back to the sink and keeps scrubbing the plate.

“I like doing them. It’s relaxing, let’s me clear my mind.”

“Yeah, I remember.”                      

There’s a silence for a few moments and Seokjin sighs. “Well if you’re going to be here, might as well help dry them. Get a towel.”

They work in quiet for a while, and Seokjin is content. They used to do this a lot, just him and Taehyung when the younger was misbehaving and wouldn’t listen to anyone. The fans used to jokingly call Seokjin ctrl v because he was the only one who could-

“I think we need to make a better effort in working together,” Taehyung says quietly. “Jungkook is in a fragile state, and he should be able to heal in peace.”

“If this is about Namjoon and I…”

Taehyung takes another plate and shakes his head. “Not just you two. All of us are so broken and distant from each other, it kind of makes the room feel suffocating.”

“Did Jungkook say anything?” Seokjin asks hesitantly.

“No, but he was quieter when I was getting him back in bed earlier.”

Seokjin hums, not knowing what to say.

“Look, hyung. I’m sorry for not acknowledging you at the hospital, I just…I don’t know.”

“Yeah, that hurt. But I get it.”

The little spot on the dish won’t go away, and he scrubs harder and harder, until he sees blood. “Shit.”

Taehyung looks over, alarmed. “Let me find a band aid, hold up.” He grabs a tissue and hands it to Seokjin to clean his hand while he rummages through the cabinets. “Aha here it is, I knew they would have a medicine cabinet.”

Once Seokjin washes off the blood and dries it, Taehyung rips open the band-aid. He carefully wraps it around Seokjin’s pinky, and Seokjin is a little speechless. He hasn’t been this close to any of their group other than Hoseok or Jimin in a long time.

“There, you need to be careful next time hyung.”

Seokjin just stares at the younger man. There was so much to say, so much to unpack and unravel about all the time they had missed with each other.

“So you and Jimin huh?”

Taehyung smiles hesitantly before pulling up another bar stool next to Seokjin. “Yeah. Who would’ve thought?”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “Oh please. You guys had been connected at the hip since day one. Calling each other soulmates and shit.”

The younger laughs before drawing circles onto the granite. “I proposed, actually… In Japan. You know before all this happened.”

His eyes widen. Jimin had told him he started dating Taehyung only a year and half ago. He guesses it was fast, but they had known each other for much longer.

“And what did he say?” he asks.

“He said he isn’t sure and we shouldn’t rush things. That he would think about it.” The words come out bitter and Taehyung shrugs. “I think he is still sensitive from when we told you about us dating and was afraid he would lose you again.”

Seokjin’s heart lurches. A part of him wants to tell Taehyung that it was not his fault that his relationship was in trouble, but he knows Taehyung was right.  He hadn’t exactly…been accepting. It felt like betrayal, to see his best friend date someone that he had a falling out with. It took a month or two of Seokjin and Jimin not talking and Hoseok scolding for him to finally realize all he cared was that Jimin was happy. And he was, crying over the phone telling Seokjin he can never pull that shit again.

Even though he cared for Jimin’s happiness, he did not care for Taehyung. They never met, always making up some excuse to cancel on dinners together or to hang out if they were in the same city. After a while, Jimin just stopped asking.

“I was hurt Tae…still am. I can’t just magically make us go back to 2011 when we all still liked each other. It’s going to take time.”

Taehyung laughs and stands, the stool making a noise at it creaks against the floor. “How much time hyung? It’s been ten fucking years.”

“Taehyung-“

“Don’t. I’m going to bed.”

--

Thought we dreamed the same dream

But the dream became, for the first time, a dream

 

Seokjin is awake early, it’s barely six thirty by the time he has showered and walked downstairs. Hoseok was supposed to drive him to the shoot today but they really didn’t need to leave until seven. He busies himself with making cereal, frowning when he sees that there was only almond milk. “This shit is so nasty…” he mutters.

“Namjoon is lactose intolerant. And he claims that he likes the sweet taste.”

He jumps. “Yah don’t scare me like that.”

Yoongi shrugs and walks over to the coffee machine, pouring some beans into it. The machine whirs and Seokjin goes back to contemplating if he really was going to use this milk, and sighs before getting a bowl and pouring some Lucky Charms.

“You’re going to just eat the cereal? With a spoon?” Yoongi snorts, pointing at Seokjin’s breakfast as Seokjin sits down at the dining table.

“I can’t stand almond milk. I’ll go grocery shopping today after my shoot. Can you text me anything else you guys need? I’ll probably go like at 4 or something.”

“I can’t.”

Seokjin furrows his brow. “You can’t or you won’t?”

His old roommate sighs. “I don’t have your number anymore.”

It burns him more than it intends. “Oh, yeah. I’ll just ask Jimin to text me, he’s home with Jungkook today anyways.”

Yoongi leans back in his chair. “You know, I was kind of hoping you would ask for it, but I can see time hasn’t changed much.”

He really was on a roll with the amount of people getting angry with him. Seokjin just stares at Yoongi, pointing his spoon. “Of all people, you don’t get to judge me for being wary.”

“I’m not judging. Just asking you to unclench.”

“Wow so you’re still a blunt asshole huh?”

Yoongi does not say anything, just smiles before getting up. “I’ll ask Taehyung to ask Jimin for your and Hoseok’s numbers so I can create a group chat. Just text that later today. And thanks for getting the groceries.”

Seokjin is stunned, not knowing how to respond. He only unfreezes when Hoseok comes into view, asking him if he was ready.

“Yeah let’s go.”

--

“Staying in that house makes me feel like someone has me in a chokehold,” Seokjin mutters.

Hoseok looks up from his phone. They were in the grocery store, and it was already late. Seokjin was exhausted and felt his muscles sore from the amount of poses he was subjected to today. The photographer was trying some weird new style and he was in some weird positions that seemed more suitable for performers in a circus. What he really wanted was to go home to his own bed, and not have to deal with the five other people in that house.

 “It’s not that bad…just a little uncomfortable.”

Seokjin pushes the cart further before eyeing the banana milk in the fridge. “You think Kook still likes this?”

Hoseok looks at him carefully. “You’re nervous to take care of him tomorrow.”

He grabs a set of 12 cartons in the cart and keeps walking. “I mean, yeah. I haven’t talked to him in years? I used to know him so well and now it feels like he is some stranger.”

“You know Jungkook loved you the most, and still does. He put you down as his emergency contact, hyung. Nobody else.”

It’s both a comforting and terrifying thought. How did Jungkook even know his phone details? All this time, Seokjin thought the younger hated him.

“Everytime I think about him stepping into traffic Hobi, I can feel my heart physically hurt. What do I do with that? With all that fucking pain?”

His eyes glisten. Great. He’s crying in the middle of Trader Joe’s. This was probably one of his lowest moments. He feels arms wrap around him and Hoseok mumbling into his ear as he rubs his back. “You’re going to be okay hyung shhh. Come on, let’s get some snacks before we head back okay?”

Seokjin sniffles before nodding.

--

By the time they make it back to Namjoon and Yoongi’s, it is nearing nine at night. He has to admit, from the outside, the house was absolutely beautiful. It gave off the perfect mixture of modern and traditional that you see in Beverly Hills mansions. The lights were still on in the living room, so Seokjin assumes that the others were eating dinner.

When he and Hoseok step out of their shoes and go inside though, only Jimin is sitting at the brunch table near the kitchen, scrolling through something on his iPad. He hates to admit it, but he is relieved to see his dongsaeng. After getting in constant fights with the others, it was going to be nice to talk to someone who understood him.

Jimin jumps at the sound of them putting the grocery bags on the countertop. His grin grows wider when he sees its Seokjin and Hoseok, coming over to hug them. You taught me how to be happy, Jimin once told him.

The youngest peers into the bag and helps with unpacking. Hoseok rattles about Seokjin’s photoshoot and how the photographer was ridiculous, imitating him. “Okay Jinnie, I need you to turn your head more. No, more. More. A tiny bit-ah perfect.”

Jimin lets out a huge laugh. “Aish hyung your poor neck. Let me massage it for-oh.”

Seokjin sees the singer examine the set of banana milk in his hands. They are all silent, mood ruined by a tiny little carton.

“Did he eat and sleep already?” he finally breathes out.

Jimin blinks. “Yeah, the meds knock him out pretty quickly. The cook is on vacation or something today so I just got some Chinese delivered.”

There’s a lingering question in the air, and it is Hoseok who finally asks it. “How did today go?”

He gets a shrug in response. “I tried my best to be positive and not talk about what happened or ask why he did it. We really didn’t do much all day, he kept getting tired and falling asleep. We watched half of some anime before we ate some leftovers for lunch. Spent the rest of the day just switching between tv and scrolling through phones. I wanted to talk more, but it was so hard, god he took his shirt off before his bath…I legit had to leave the room because I started crying. There were so many bruises all purple and yellow and I just couldn’t.”

Seokjin squeezes Jimin’s shoulder. “You did the best you could. And it’s only your first day. You can rest now Chim.”

Jimin laughs sadly. “I guess.”

“Did you see the other three today?” Hoseok asks casually, trying to veer the topic away from Jungkook.

He shakes his head in response. “Namjoon and Yoongi are holed up in the guest house in the backyard. They transformed it into some kind of big studio.”

“And Taehyung?” Seokjin asks hesitantly.

Jimin turns around and opens the fridge to put the banana milk in. “I don’t know where he is, probably had an audition or something.”

Hoseok looks at Seokjin with a worried expression, but Seokjin just shakes his head in dismissal. “Anyways Jiminnie, I think I really do need that massage.”

The youngest grins, but Seokjin can see right through it.

 “One massage coming right up!”

--

There’s no such thing as a beautiful parting

So just get started now

 

Jungkook is in the shower, and Seokjin was scrolling through his emails as he waited for the younger to finish up. The younger had said he felt dirty, and wanted to be fresh for the day and it wasn’t like Seokjin could say no. He felt his eyes drift toward the door of the bathroom from his spot on Jungkook’s bed, thinking about what Jimin had mentioned yesterday.

It seemed that Jungkook had noticed Jimin being upset at the sight of his bruised body, and refused to let Seokjin help him into the bathroom. It wasn’t like the younger’s legs were broken or even sprained, most of the damage from the car hitting him was to his upper extremities. The wheelchair was more of a precaution so he wouldn’t have to exert too much force walking around.

I hear the far away ocean across a dream, over the horizon

Going to that place that becomes clearer

The melody comes muffled over the sound of the water running, and Seokjin feels goosebumps rise on his arms. It had been so long (really long) since he heard the younger sing. The tune was not something he ever heard, which was surprising because Hoseok always kept him up to date on Korean songs, sending his favorite playlists every week.

It was beautiful, Seokjin thinks, as he closes his eyes and lets the sound of Jungkook’s melody fill him up. He catches the word Euphoria a couple times, and he feels himself smile. The song was so happy, described being so happy you couldn’t breathe.

The song ends abruptly as he hears Jungkook turn off the showerhead. He snaps his eyes open, moment ruined.

The younger comes out dressed in a white shirt and black sweats a couple minutes later, steam surrounding him. Seokjin pulls up the wheelchair immediately, so Jungkook wouldn’t have to lean on the doorway too long.

After he gives Jungkook his medications for the morning, he wheels him two floors down to the kitchen to get some breakfast.

He opens the fridge, and hesitantly looks at the banana milk, before he decides fuck it and grabs a tiny carton. Seokjin walks over and places it in front of a surprised Jungkook.

“I don’t know if you still like this, but we have a bunch. I got some yesterday,” he tries to say casually, hoping the younger doesn’t sense his nervousness.

Jungkook is staring at him, a little strangely. His head tilts to the side. “Hyung, you didn’t have to…”

Seokjin feels his stomach sink a little. “I’m sorry, I should have asked if you have anything else you like. I can’t expect you to have the same tastes as of years ago. It was stupid of me, I’m sorry.”

The younger shakes his head furiously and reaches across the table to touch Seokjin’s hands. Seokjin tries not to stare at the cuts and bruises on it.

“I haven’t had banana milk in years hyung.”

“Jungkook I’m sorr-“

The younger squeezes their hands together, tighter. Seokjin examines his face to see there were…tears? A stray one falls, and he has to physically stop himself from reaching over and wiping it away.

“Money has been pretty tight recently. I really don’t indulge on stuff I don’t need. Also this,” Jungkook says, nodding his head to the carton, “just reminded me of you all. And it hurt. So I stopped drinking it.”

Seokjin feels his eyes go blurry and immediately gets up, letting go of Jungkook’s hands. The younger looks shocked before he sees the elder come to him, leaning in front of his wheelchair.

He feels like he has so much to say, but at the same time, he doesn’t know what to. A million thoughts run through his mind as he peers at the younger. This was his Jungkook, his JK, his adopted little brother. Years had gone by, but that wasn’t going to change the fact that he loved him.

Tears roll down his face as he tries harder to think of what to say, and Jungkook just smiles, tears flowing as well. Seokjin just settles with resting his head in the younger’s lap, crying, as Jungkook stroked his hair.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbles in between sobs. “It was never supposed to be this way.”

“I know hyung. I know.”

-

The affair at breakfast let out a lot of tension between Seokjin and Jungkook.

Seokjin had been so afraid of not knowing what to say to the younger, but he quickly realized that there was no need to worry. It was easy to slip back into their old relationship, with the snappy remarks and witty bickering. Apparently Jungkook had no qualms about calling his Jin hyung old and would only stop after Seokjin threatened to never buy banana milk again.

He wheels Jungkook around the massive house, conversation flowing lightly around what Seokjin did for a living.  Seokjin talks about the countries he visited, the fashion shows in Paris and Milan and New York.

Jungkook doesn’t say anything about himself, and Seokjin finds it okay. He has a million questions, but right now Jungkook’s laugh and smile were important. So he indulges the younger in another story about a crazy designer.

They eat lunch outside, the cook bringing them burgers to eat by the pool. Both of their feet were dipped in the water, Jungkook leaning back against a lawn chair for support. It was peaceful, and it was nice.

“I see you guys discovered the outdoors.”

Seokjin almost chokes on his sandwich as he sees Namjoon spot them as he walks out of his guest house/studio. Jungkook looks delighted though and waves the producer over. “Hyung! Come have lunch with us!”

Namjoon looks warily at Seokjin and Seokjin immediately turns to look back at his burger.

“Ah Kook, maybe next time?”

Jungkook frowns, his first one of today, and Seokjin wants to kick Kim Namjoon.

“Okay hyung,” Jungkook says slowly, voice lowering. “I’ll see you later.”

Seokjin finally looks up and glares at Namjoon before turning to Jungkook. “Hey Kookie what kind of burger is purple?”

Jungkook shrugs. “What kind of burger?”

“Burgundy!”

The younger fakes an annoyed groan, before he starts laughing, nose scrunching and eyes closing. “Hyung that’s so bad!”

Seokjin joins in on the laughter, and both of them don’t notice as Namjoon walks away quietly.

--

“Are you lost?”

“I am not lost. We are just touring the house.”

“You are definitely lost.”

Seokjin flicks the back of Jungkook’s head lightly, the younger mumbling about hurting someone when they’re already down. So maybe Jungkook was right, he had no idea where they were. During his time here so far, he stayed mostly on the third floor, where all of the bedrooms were. Well Jungkook, Jimin, Taehyung and his rooms were at least. He thinks that Yoongi and Namjoon had rooms on the second floor but he wasn’t sure.

Jungkook had wanted to see the rooftop, but the elevator only went up to the fourth floor. Seokjin had assumed there would be a staircase leading to the top, but he can’t find any. It was just an empty floor, like a studio apartment. Tarp and paint cans littered around the area, but that seemed to be it.

“Hey, hyung look there’s a door!”

Seokjin turns to where the younger was pointing. He’s not surprised he missed it earlier, the door almost blended in with the wall. He leaves Jungkook where he is a couple feet away, and goes toward it. The knob looked fancy, something from an old Victorian home, and the door itself was painted to look rustic but modern.

“Well open it hyung, hurry! I want to see the sunset!” Jungkook whined.

Seokjin hums. “It looks like it might open to a room or something, I don’t know-“ he tries jiggling the doorknob, but it won’t budge. “It’s locked.”

Jungkook rolls his eyes and wheels himself over. He eyes the keyhole. “Do you have any bobbypins?”

Seokjin stares at him. “Do I look like I wear bobbypins?”

“You’re right, you barely have any hair on your head,” Jungkook mutters as he tries to shake the doorknob again.

“Yah! Don’t be so impatient, we can just ask Yoongi for the key.”

“What are you two doing here?”

Both Seokjin and Jungkook jump(well as much as Jungkook could without falling out of his wheelchair). Seokjin places his hand on his racing heart, trying to tell it to calm down as he sees Min Yoongi walk over to them.

“Hyung!” Jungkook says, smiling, and Seokjin tells himself not to get jealous. I’m still his favorite.

Yoongi returns the smile fondly before hardening his gaze and looking at Seokjin. “Why are you guys here? Are you lost?”

Jungkook is the one who answers. “Hyung, do you have the key to this?”

“You’re not allowed to go in there. Off limits.”

An awkward silence filters in between them as Seokjin glances over to the door and back to Yoongi. “What’s in there?”

Yoongi crosses his arms. He looks…nervous, Seokjin thinks. “Nothing of your concern. Namjoon doesn’t want anyone on this floor or in this room okay? Now let’s go.”

Jungkook has his mouth open. “Wait so it’s a room? We thought it led to stairs to the rooftop or something.”

“To get to the rooftop you click the little star on the elevator, come on let’s go,” Yoongi says again, more firmly.

But Jungkook wasn’t done. “What’s inside though? I want to know!”

Seokjin stares at the door as Yoongi and Jungkook bicker over what could be inside (“is it a sex dungeon?” “please don’t say sex dungeon again”)

A little room that was separated far from the rest of the house. Knowing Namjoon, it would be an extra studio or something. Maybe a place he goes to write, or he has a garden. But why lock it? And why is Yoongi being so shady about it?

“Look I’m not telling you because it’s not my business, but if Namjoon sees you guys here he is going to be pissed. And you know how he gets like when he’s mad.”

Jungkook immediately stops talking. Seokjin looks over to Yoongi and hopes his annoyed glare sends the message of , “Really?”

“Come on Kook-ah, let’s go to the rooftop and watch the sunset.”

--

Take it easy, scoop out my heart slowly

Sure, step on the shards of its fragments, please

So no feelings will be left light the pieces

Give me a burning heart that has torn apart

 

Sunday creeps up on Seokjin faster than he expected. He was in a routine by now, going to work every day and then coming back to the house filled with six other people. It was kind of like living at a frat house, he thinks. The millions of pairs of shoes ( a lot of them Jimin’s that he had shipped over) in the little closet near the main door, the several varieties of RedBull in the fridge, and the sticky notes on the with reminders all make it seem like one.)

Hoseok hadn’t mentioned much from his day with Jungkook. (“It was fine, nothing new. You have a shoot come on we can’t be late”). He knew it was a sensitive topic, so he decides not to bring up. Seokjin really didn’t communicate with Yoongi or Namjoon, so he didn’t know their days with the younger went either.

As he finishes up his late brunch, he checks the groupchat. He cringes, remembering when they had a group chat back then and he had called it Jinnie and his six babies-

Hesitantly he types.

Me

Jungkook did you take your meds yet or should I come up and bring them?

Also what’s the plan for today?

Immediately, he gets several replies and his phone dings.

Kim Taehyung

I already gave him his meds. He’s in the shower rn.

Jiminnie

Sorry guys I have a meeting until four. I can make later tho?

Kim Namjoon

Me and hyung got a thing with Khaled at his house until like 6

Seokjin snorts at the name drop.

Kookie

Wait, like DJ Khaled???? Can I come?

Min Yoongi

@Kookie No. You need to rest, we will see you in the evening.

Hoseokie

Way to be harsh lmfao

Jiminie

Don’t worry Jungkook I heard he stinks anyways. Too much hair gel.

Kookie

LOL hyung he barely has any hair

Kim Taehyung

I’m so confused I hear shower sounds but you are texting?

Kookie

Oh. I just didn’t want u to hear me go yk…

Me

So ANYWAYS…

How about we meet in the theater room around eight?

I can make us dinner or something and we can watch a movie

Jiminie

Mmm that sounds amazing hyung! I’ll be ready and in my PJs.

Kookie

Yess see you guys then

Thanks jin hyung!

Me

No problem

--

After wasting time on social media and checking emails as well as watching Walking Dead for a couple hours, Seokjin finally goes down into the kitchen at around five.

“I cannot believe you are still not talking to me.”

“Me? I’m fine, you are the one acting like you got a stick up your ass ever since we got here.”

“Look if you can’t deal with the fact that I don’t want to have a fucking shotgun wedding-“

Seokjin clears his throat, watching as the 95z turn to look at him. Taehyung has his arms crossed and rolls his eyes when he sees the elder, but Jimin gives a half-hearted smile. “Hey hyung, you here to make dinner?”

He nods his head, glancing between Taehyung and Jimin who were stood on the opposite sides of the table. “Yeah, do you guys want to help?”

“Of course, hyung,” Jimin exclaims, a little too loudly just as Taehyung mutters something about Jungkook and walks out of the kitchen.

Once the man leaves, he sees Jimin slump his shoulders. “He hates me.”

Seokjin squeezes the younger’s shoulder before going to the fridge. “Come on, help me chop up the meat. And start some noodles.”

Jimin sighs before following Seokjin’s orders. They work in silence for a while, Seokjin knowing that Jimin will talk to him about what he had overheard when he was ready. And really it takes for them to put the chicken in the oven for the younger to finally speak.

“When did you know Namjoon hyung wasn’t the right one for you?”

Seokjin isn’t surprised by the question.

“I thought he was,” he finally says, rinsing off a spatula. “Thought I would marry him someday you know. Had all these stupid fantasies about it too.”

Jimin watches as the elder stirs the pot of noodles. “But?”

“I guess the little things piled up. You really know if a relationship can last if they are able to withstand stressful situations. Through thick and thin, you know? You are supposed to have the belief and trust in them and what you have together that you will come out of the storm better. I did not have that kind of trust with Namjoon.”

Maybe he should cry about it. Go to therapy, and discuss it with a licensed professional. But it’s easier to hide it, to just bury it deep down. Cover it with dirt and mark it with a gravestone.

It’s easier that way.

Jimin takes the spatula from him, stirring the pot himself. “Hyung, I got it.”

Seokjin doesn’t think he does.

--

The theater room actually looks like a theater, but with only two different levels. The first level is a massive L shaped couch with cushions, while there were wooden chairs on the second level. Behind the chairs was a bar, where Seokjin carefully placed the plates and hot food. As he waits for Jimin to bring in the braised chicken, Seokjin goes to examine the wall adjacent to the screen.

It was decorated with a couple awards; producer of the year and best song of the year stand out to him. They stand on little shelves, shined upon by white lights, showcasing the trophies. Above him, the wall is painted to be an evening sky, and he has to admit, the entire room is set up beautifully. If he had this kind of money, he thinks, he would also be spending money for a fake sky.

“Hyung, should I text the groupchat and ask if there is a specific movie they want to watch-oh sorry.”

Seokjin really hasn’t been in a room alone with Namjoon in a while. The house gave him more than enough space to make sure he was far away, and the younger was usually stuck in the studio most of the time. Weirdly enough, he thinks about the gray room he discovered with Jungkook. For a second he almost considers asking about it.

They continue to stare at each other, tension thick in the air. Seokjin feels the familiar ghost hands going around his neck, making him lose his ability to breathe.

“Listen, I’ve been meaning to talk to you.”

The ghost hands squeeze tighter.

Namjoon scratches his neck. “I know we aren’t…exactly on good standing. And that you don’t like being around me. Which is fine, we can stay out of each other’s way like we have been. I just think when around the others, especially Jungkook, let’s not fight?”

It reminds him of the talk with Taehyung on the first night. Seokjin raises his eyebrow and Namjoon catches sight of it.

“It’s already tense between half of us, and whenever we start a fight, sides are picked. And I want Jungkook to rest in a peaceful environment.”

“Okay,” is what he chokes out.

Namjoon smiles, like really smiles, and something deep deep down that Seokjin has buried moves.

He ignores it.

--

Everyone loves the food.

It makes Seokjin blush, and he says something about how Jimin helped him a lot. Jimin takes no credit whatsoever, claiming all he did was chop up the vegetables.

They were all scattered around on the long couch, even Jungkook, after they carefully maneuvered him out of the wheelchair. Some marvel movie was playing on the screen at low volume, but nobody was really paying attention to it, too immersed in their own conversations.

Seokjin sees Hoseok’s eyes flicker over to Jungkook and Yoongi several times throughout the night. Yoongi had his hand on the younger’s thigh, rubbing it up and down as he silently nodded and listened to Namjoon telling him something. It wasn’t just Hoseok that was eyeing the others. Jimin turns to that direction every couple minutes as well. Taehyung sips his wine on the other side of Jungkook, scrolling through his phone.

“You’re staring at them,” he hisses, hoping the others don’t catch him.

Hoseok and Jimin frown.

“I was not staring, I just blanked out.”

“Yeah what he said.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “You know if you want, you can go over and talk to them, right?”

“You’re funny hyung,” Jimin snorts.

Hoseok is ignoring the comments from earlier and goes back to glancing over to Jungkook and Yoongi. “Do you think they are back together?”

“Why does it matter, it’s between them,” Jimin says. “At least someone’s love life is thriving.”

Before Seokjin can respond, he hears the sound of glass. Everyone looks up to see Jungkook holding Yoongi’s finished wine glass and a spoon.

“Hey! So now that everyone is done eating, I had a fun game I thought we could play.”

Namjoon furrows his brows. “What kind of game?”

“Is there going to be teams?” Taehyung asks, before glancing at Jimin, who quickly looks away.

Jungkook shakes his head.  “I found this article thing online with 36 questions. And I think it would be good if we did a couple questions every Sunday. It would be fun.”

“What kind of questions,” Seokjin hears himself ask.

Jungkook puts his index finger over his mouth. “It’s a secret. You won’t know until I ask it. One of us will say a number and we all have to go around and answer that question. If we can’t, then we have to take a shot.”

“You aren’t allowed to have alcohol,” Hoseok points out.

“I’ll have banana milk,” Jungkook replies and a little part of Seokjin swells with pride. “Anyways, we can start from that end of the couch. Jimin hyung, pick a number.”

Jimin looks like he’s put on the spot, and folds a little into himself. Seokjin squeezes his thigh, and the younger smiles up at him. From the other side, he sees Taehyung glaring, which isn’t unexpected.

“Um…how about 23?”

Jungkook scrolls through his phone until he finds the question number. He looks excited, until he sees it. He’s silent for a second, before he reads it out loud.

“How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most people’s?”

Everyone turns to Jimin, who looks unsure of what to say. “I’m close with them of course. Eomma and Appa actually moved up to Seoul recently so I get to see them a lot more, but I do miss them a lot when I’m abroad. Jihyun is in university doing some graduate degree and is always busy, but he makes time. I miss him though.”

“What’s he studying?” Jungkook asks, catching Jimin off guard.

“Getting an MBA…he wants to become a CEO or something I guess,” Jimin says, shrugging. “And for the other part, I guess yeah I had a good childhood. I was happy. I miss Busan sometimes.”

“I miss it too hyung,” Jungkook says. “But thank you for sharing. Jin hyung?”

Seokjin shuffles. He contemplates what to say. “I think when I was younger, I wasn’t as close. Appa was always flying somewhere for business and Eomma had always been gone for some meeting or the other. You know those rich ladies who have parties so they can brag about their kids or whatever. She never really had anything to say about me, just listened to them go on and on about their sons.”

Everyone is watching him curiously, and he feels his ears go red. “But I guess I spent my whole life trying to make sure she never has to go through that again. So yeah. I talk to her and hyung everyday. Appa too. They’re good people.”

This was too much, he was exposing himself out raw, to people he swore he never would talk to again. The vulnerability was too much to handle, and so he quickly mutters a , “Yeah but anyways Hoseok.”

Hoseok coughs. “I’m just like everyone else, I guess. Being over here and working here means that I don’t get to see them as much I wish, but I still call them and noona frequently. “ He pauses for a second and smiles. “On parent’s day last year, my parents got a haircut and charged it to me.”

Chuckles riffle through the room, and Seokjin feels his heart swell seeing Jungkook smiling, his bunny teeth showing.

When it’s Namjoon’s turn, he feels his heart clench. He doesn’t want to hear it, he doesn’t want to hear about Mrs. Kim who loved Seokjin like he was her own son and would ask for Seokjin to let her know if Namjoon acted out and would give them knowing looks when Namjoon would accidentally let slip they slept in the same bed or when she gave Seokjin that bracelet that he still has in a jewelry box at home-

“Eomma comes to live here a lot, I swear she visits like five times a year. Appa tries to come too, but I think he wants to stay in Korea make sure my sister doesn’t skip school.” He laughs, “They’re afraid she might turn out like me, forfeiting higher education for a music career.”

“I don’t see how turning out like you is a bad thing,” Jimin says. It catches everyone off guard, and Seokjin eyes the younger singer before he continues. “You worked hard and made a name for yourself, it’s not like you were given all these opportunities. Don’t sell yourself short.”

Namjoon looks unsure of what to say. “T-thank you Jimin.”

Seokjin glances to Yoongi, who was already pouring himself a shot. Jungkook frowns at him. He opens his mouth to say something but immediately closes it. Namjoon and Taehyung look sympathetically, while the other three are left confused.

“Your turn Kookie,” Yoongi says, after downing it.

He feels Hoseok stiffen next to him, and watches Jungkook shrug before answering.

“Not much to tell, my parents are gone and the rest of the family hates me for being gay so. It be like that sometimes.”

Everyone is silent, and Seokjin tries to absorb the information. “You told your family you’re not straight?”

Yoongi is giving Seokjin dagger eyes, as if that this was not a topic that should be mentioned, but Jungkook continues anyway. “Yeah, when Yoongi and I dated, I wanted to come out to them. My hyung was kind of weirded out about it and we have been distant since. The rest of the family was pretty much the same if not worse.”

“I’m sorry Kook, you didn’t deserve that. At all.” Hoseok looks like he’s on the verge of tears, but is keeping himself steady for Jungkook.

“I didn’t did I? I think maybe my mom would’ve understood if she was still here. She always was on my side.” Jungkook chuckles, filled with pain. “But it’s okay. I don’t really need them.” Another pause, before,  “Taehyung-hyung, your turn.”

Taehyung smiles. “I think I’m going to take a shot for this JK. Sorry.”

Jimin is looking curiously at the younger. “Why?”

His boyfriend (almost fiance?) looks back at him. “I just don’t want to. Can I pick the next question?”

Jungkook looks between both of them, and decides it was best not to go into it. “Yeah, sure we can do two more questions tonight.”

Taehyung nods. “How about question…5?”

Jungkook beams. “When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?”

The 95 liner hums. “To myself…was kind of jamming to Beyonce on the way to the gym today. Partition remains her best song.”

Hoseok scoffs. “How can you say that when Formation exists?”

For once, Taehyung grins. “Formation is good, but you know the part when they start speaking French in partition? That’s the best part.”

Namjoon snorts. “Let me guess, you have it memorized.”

“Yes I do, want to hear?”

Even Seokjin finds himself laughing as a drunken Taehyung attempts a lap dance on to Yoongi, singing “Est-ce que tu aimes le sexe? Le sexe, je veux dire”

“Yah! Is this how you treat your elders?”

“Why? Should I call you daddy?”

Yoongi is bright red, flushed from the alcohol and the embarrassment of the situation. Next to Seokjin, even Jimin is falling over in a fit of giggles. Taehyung sees it and Seokjin can the smile creep up on the younger’s face.

Jungkook and Namjoon also seem to be enjoying themselves, doubling over in laughter at Yoongi’s predicament.

“Tae you’re going to kill him,” Seokjin hears himself say in the midst of laughs. Everyone is laughing but Taehyung stops immediately and looks at him.

“Did you just call me Tae?”

Seokjin feels the blood drain from his face. It goes silent immediately, as everyone carefully watches the interaction between the two like it was a tennis match.

“I…didn’t mean to. Sorry if that made you uncomfortable.”

He really hadn’t. It had just slipped, because his brain can’t cope with the fact that this was 2024 and not 2014.

Taehyung shakes his head before plopping back down to his spot near Jungkook. He takes a sip of his wine before responding. “I don’t mind. I like when you call me that Jin hyung.”

Seokjin feels it is a bit strange to have a heart to heart in the middle of group setting, so he just smiles. At least they were on sort of better terms, he thinks?

Right then, Jungkook interrupts. “So who wants the last question?”

Both Namjoon and Seokjin say, “Me,” at the same time. They both awkwardly look at each other before Jungkook demands a rock paper scissors fight.

Seokjin smirks. “Best of 3 RM-ssi?”

He slaps himself internally for sounding so flirty. He blames the alcohol.

Namjoon looks surprised at the comment, but lets out his own smirk. “One and done Seokjin-ssi.”

He hates how the way the younger says his name makes his skin crawl, makes him feel like there’s no air in the room again. He hopes it doesn’t show.

Anyways, Seokjin wins and sticks out his tongue in a childish manner when his paper beats Namjoon’s rock. The younger looks at him again, a little too carefully, that it makes Seokjin’s skin feel hot.

He turns to Jungkook. “1”

Jungkook lights up. “Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you have for a dinner guest?”

Taehyung’s hand shoots up in the air. “Beyonce.”

Jimin snorts. “We get it you love her.”

The younger lets out a serious expression. “No Jimin-ah imagine having her over. We could get you a collab.”

This brings Jimin to tears with laughter. “You want Beyonce to feature on a Korean track?”

“Are Yoongi and I invited? We can convince her to let us produce?” Namjoon interjects.

Taehyung seems to love that everyone wants in on this dinner. “Yes! And Hoseok hyung can make the choreo and oh my god Jin hyung you can be the hot model in the music video!”

Jungkook looks at him. “What about me?”

The December born looks off into space for a minute. Then a lightbulb clicks. “Kookie! You can babysit Blue!”

Jungkook slaps Taehyung on the chest and the elder looks to be shocked. “Bitch I thought you were supposed to be hurt? How the fuck you hit me that hard?”

“Muscle pig, that’s what he is,” Yoongi mutters while looking fondly at the younger.

“I am not a muscle pig. Have you seen Namjoon’s tiddies? That is what a muscle pig is.”

“What did you just call my chest?”

“Oh come on hyung, I know you can bench press all of us, how else would your thighs be so thick and your tiddies so big?”

Taehyung finds this entire scenario hilarious and starts chanting for Namjoon to free the tiddies. Hoseok giggles as well, while Jimin looks cutely over at Taehyung.

“I forgot how bad you all are drunk,” Namjoon finally mutters. Taehyung’s chants are slowly slurring together and even Jungkook looks a little dazed even though he had no alcohol.

“I got this one,” Seokjin says, pointing at Jungkook. He turns to Hoseok, “give me some help?”

Hoseok nods and they both carefully put Jungkook back into his wheelchair. Seokjin looks over to see Taehyung is laying on the ground whispering quietly to a Jimin who is squat next to him. “I think this one needs to go to bed too,” he says with a smile.

Seokjin is glad the couple seem to have repaired some of the damage between them. There was probably more that needed to be discussed when they were both sober, but it was a start.

As he and Hoseok wheel a sleepy Jungkook to the elevator, he hears his name being called out.

“Seokjin-ssi.”

Namjoon was near the bar, putting the empty bowls of food into each other. Seokjin immediately feels bad for leaving such a mess and signals Hoseok to go ahead without him. As he walks over, he sees that Yoongi remained on his phone in the couch.

“Oh, no I didn’t call you over to clean, please it’s fine.”

But Seokjin can’t help himself, and the younger seems to realize that and finally relents with allowing Seokjin to at least put them in the sink(there was a kitchen attached to the bar).

“What did you need?” he finally replies, hesitant. Seokjin did try his best tonight and not try and get into any fights with the producer, and he hopes there wasn’t any misunderstanding.

Namjoon scratches his neck. It was a weird habit that he did when he was nervous, and Seokjin is surprised he hadn’t grown out of it. “Nothing, it’s just. Thank You.”

“For what?”

“For preparing the dinner, for staying and entertaining Jungkook. I know you have a busy schedule and deciding to come here instead of go home to your own bed is tough. Just thank you.”

Seokjin is taken aback. “I’m not the only one making sacrifices though. You guys offered us your house to stay in, and Jimin and Taehyung literally don’t even live in this country.”

“I know, but considering where we stand, or stood. I thought I would never see you again let alone you live in my house. Granted, long time ago I thought we would live under the same roof in the same bed but-oh shit sorry I am rambling-.”

He’s clearly not drunk enough for this conversation. He takes a deep breath before letting out a cold response.

“Look. Just because I was nice to you doesn’t mean I didn’t forget the shit that happened in the past. I am here for Jungkook and Jungkook only. I am thankful for you letting us stay in your house, but if you use that as an opportunity to manipulate yourself back into my life, I swear to god I will kill you.”

Seokjin turns around and walks toward the elevator, which opens immediately.

“Way to go Joon-ah,” he hears Yoongi mutter quietly before the elevator doors close, hiding the face of a hurt Kim Namjoon.

--

You are my beginning and my end, that is all my meeting and parting

You were my everything, and moving forward, fear it will be repeated

Tear