Ever since he was a little boy, Yoongi knew his future didn’t belong to him.
With chubby fingers and a round face, not even three years old yet, he stared down at the baby inside the basket full of blankets, and heard from his father that once they were old enough, he and that very same baby would get married. The baby’s name was Jimin. That was what Yoongi’s dad said.
Yoongi didn’t comprehend what that meant at the time, but as the years went by, and the idea of what marriage is became clearer on his mind, there was one thing he was afraid of; not being able to make Jimin happy.
“Do you really think they’ll go through with this?” Hoseok asks him while they walk back to Yoongi’s house after the morning collect. “When was the last time your father mentioned the marriage union?”
“When I turned 21,” Yoongi replies, turning to the left path to take a shortcut. “And you know who turns 21 before the next full moon?”
“Jimin,” Hoseok mutters, clicking his tongue. “Yes, I know. He’s been very excited about it, for what Jungkook tells me.”
Yoongi sighs. He loves Jimin, he really does. How could he not? They grew up together, and for a long time it appeared as if they were the only two people on the Realm who understood what the other went through.
Being Fae Royalty isn’t easy.
“Jimin’s the only living member of the Park Line,” his mother told him when he dared to ask why he had to marry Jimin. “He’s the only monarch of the Water Fairies. With your Union, we can connect both Kingdoms and bring peace to the land once again.”
“Is this why he lives here?” Yoongi asked her. “Because he has no family?”
“Yes,” she replied. “ We are his family, Yoongi, and one day, you will build a family of your own together.”
He was eight at the time, and Jimin had been with them in the castle for five years. Yoongi remembers that day perfectly, because right after his conversation with his mother was over, he went up to Jimin’s room and promised him he would take care of him for the rest of his life.
He opened the door slowly to make sure he didn’t wake Jimin up if the toddler was asleep, but he wasn’t. Jimin was playing in a small water pool Yoongi was sure he conjured himself, a smile on his face. He looked up when he saw Yoongi coming closer and asked if he’d like to play with him.
“ Mom will be upset, Jimin, ” he said, sitting next to him, just where the water couldn’t reach him. “ Where did you get this pan? ”
“ Hoseok got it for me from the kitchen ,” Jimin had explained. “Don’t you like water? ”
“I do,” Yoongi replied, diving his fingers inside the pool and hissing at the coldness of the water. “Couldn’t you have made it warm?”
Jimin shrugged and dove the small wooden toys inside it.
Yoongi had watched him play for hours that night and when the boy started to feel sleepy, he helped me get to bed and laid next to him. “I’ll take care of you forever ,” he whispered, Jimin’s wide blue eyes staring up at him. “For the rest of my life. ”
Jimin hadn’t replied and Yoongi didn’t need him to. They just stayed in silence until the younger fell asleep and Yoongi proceeded to clean the room and make the pan pool disappear before anyone saw it there.
He wonders if Jimin remembers any of that.
“You think your father will wed you two once he is of age?” Hoseok asks once they reach the bridge that leads to the castle.
“I’m sure he will,” Yoongi sighs, licking his lips. “I don’t know if I can do that, Hobi. I mean, I love Jimin, but I don’t know if I can — ” he stops himself, blushing at the thought that crosses his mind.
Hoseok looks at him, and Yoongi’s blush must give away exactly what he means. “Have sex with him?” Hoseok finishes the sentence with a chuckle. “I wondered that too, friend. In case you have forgotten, Namjoon and I grew up together as much as you and Jimin, and I did consider him a brother in some ways way back when, but then… God, he fucks really well. We actually had sex before we fell for each other.”
Yoongi groans and starts to walk faster. “I didn’t need to hear that.”
Hoseok chuckles lightly and almost runs to catch up with him, putting his arm around Yoongi’s shoulders. “All I’m saying is, if your father does go through with this union, just try to keep your mind open. Jimin’s a great guy, and even if you don’t end up loving him as a man, at least you’ll always love him as a person.”
“Thanks for the heartwarming advice,” Yoongi mumbles as they walk past the front gate. “I know as a member of the seelie court, I am actually lucky to already love the person I’m going to marry. I just… Well, what if we end up resenting each other?”
Hoseok doesn’t reply, which only makes him more nervous.
They go their separate ways as Hoseok needs to go to his morning gardening class and Yoongi needs to get some food in his belly.
As he walks through the empty castle hallways, Yoongi tries to picture himself married to Jimin. Picture them waking up next to each other in the morning, going out together, and even kissing. But that last one—it’s a bit weird. To picture himself kissing his childhood friend. Let alone… Having sex. Fucking , in Hoseok’s words.
And it’s not that he doesn’t think Jimin’s attractive . Of course he does. Yoongi doesn’t think there’s one person in all of the Kingdoms who doesn’t. It is simply that, every time he thinks of Jimin, flashes of child Jimin crosses his mind.
All he can do is hope that his father has changed his mind, and has decided that the earth and water fae royal families can be allies without the need of a marriage bond.
“What are you wearing for Jimin’s 21st Day of Birth festival?” Seokjin asks him once he has thrown himself onto the couch. His friend is applying a soft purple substance on his eyelids, making his irises shine and sometimes Yoongi envies Seokjin’s natural beauty. “He specifically asked for everyone to dress in soft pastel colors.”
“I am aware,” Yoongi sighs as he rubs his fingers on his closed eyes. “He told me to wear pink, said he’ll be wearing baby blue.”
“That’s cute,” Seokjin chuckles. “Then why are you still like that? It starts in a couple of hours.”
“Because I’m worried that my father’s going to tell me to propose to him as soon as the festival ends,” Yoongi admits. “And I’m not sure I can love Jimin the way a couple is supposed to love each other.”
Seokjin doesn’t even look at him, sighing heavily. “Stop being so negative, Yoongi,” he says. “There are worse fates than marrying one of your best friends.”
“I know, but I don’t want either of us to be unhappy.”
“That’s up to fate, not you. You don’t know what will happen, and you have to stop worrying about something that hasn’t come yet.”
Yoongi squints his eyes. “When did you become so wise?”
Seokjin starts then to apply a pink substance on his plump lips, a small smile on his face. “You learn one thing or two after falling in love with the likes of Jungkook and Taehyung.”
“I love how condescending you always manage to sound when talking about your partners,” Yoongi says with a chuckle, but the laughter dies down on his throat as he realizes something. “Jimin and I are the only ones in our group still unmarried. Well, you’re still not married either, but you get what I mean.”
This time, Seokjin does look at him, blue eyes burning into his green ones. “Not for long, though. For both of us. And you gotta be prepared for that, Yoongi. You’re going to be king one day, and as Protector of the Realm and All Its Living Creatures, you have a duty to do what’s in the realm’s best interest.”
That sends a shiver down his spine. Yoongi hates when people bring that up. “I can’t stop picturing him as a kid,” he says, slightly changing the subject. Better talk about Jimin than the Kingdom.
Seokjin hums. “So that’s the problem. You’re worried you won’t be able to see him as a partner, just as your childhood friend.”
Yoongi doesn’t deny it, which makes Seokjin chuckle lightly and stand up, moving to sit by his side on the sofa.
“Jimin’s not a kid anymore, you know? He’s a man, just like you.”
“I know,” Yoongi mumbles, thinking of a few weeks before, when he, Jimin and Jungkook went to the waterfall and swam together. Jimin had taken his shirt off and Yoongi couldn’t help but be surprised at how well-defined his torso was. He didn’t allow himself to go deeper into that, occupying his mind with other things.
Seokjin observes him for a few seconds. “Just keep yourself open to the possibility, Yoongi. Just because you saw Jimin as a kid, doesn’t mean you’re obligated to see him forever as a kid.” He tilts his head. “You worry too much. Worry you won’t fall for him, worry you won’t be able to fuck him. Stop worrying. Being royalty sucks, I know, but breathe, brother. Stop holding yourself back. Be open.”
Yoongi groans, face hidden between his hands. “Why does everyone enjoy saying the word fuck so much?”
“Why do you have a problem with it?” Seokjin asks. “You don’t like sex?”
“I do feel sexual desires, if that’s what you’re asking,” Yoongi replies, blush on his cheeks. “It’s just that it’s Jimin we’re talking about, I can’t–, I can’t see him like that.” It sounds stupid even to his own ears.
Seokjin arches an eyebrow. “Can’t see or won’t allow yourself to see?”
Yoongi swallows a lump around his throat and doesn’t say anything for so long that Seokjin obviously considers his silence a win.
“Free yourself and your mind, Yoongi,” the older man says. “There’s nothing wrong with letting go of the past.”
When Yoongi was 12, his mother took him, Jimin and Jungkook to the garden behind the castle, the place people called Golden Garden. Yoongi never understood why it had that name, since nothing in it was gold. It was a place full of big, wide trees and flowers, all planted by Yoongi’s ancestors through the centuries.
The queen was so excited about whatever they were going to do that she could barely keep it to herself, almost jumping as she walked in front of the kids.
“Do you see all those trees?” she asked, a big smile on her face, pointing out to the big and fruitful trees that were spread throughout the garden.
Yoongi, with each of his hands holding the younger ones, nodded, still confused.
“Those were created by your ancestors, Yoongi and Jungkook,” their mother continued, hand caressing Jimin’s hair as if trying to not make him feel excluded. “Every single member of the Seelie Court has one of these. They are magical trees, you see? Some of them don’t have fruit. Do you know why?”
“No, mama,” Jungkook said in a small yet excited voice.
She knelt close to him. “Because whoever created it never knew love,” the Queen pouted, and her eyes turned sad. “Those trees are a symbol of love. After planted, they’ll grow and once whoever planted it falls in love, the tree will grow fruit.”
“I want to fall in love,” Jungkook muttered. “Can I?”
Yoongi looked at him. “Of course you can, brother. But just when you’re older.”
Jungkook seemed satisfied enough with the answer and followed his mother to take a closer look at the trees. Jimin, still holding Yoongi’s hand, said:
“It’ll be nice to know when you fall in love, right?”
“Falling in love is for grown ups, Jiminie,” Yoongi replied, looking at the younger boy.
“We’ll be grown ups one day, Yoonie,” Jimin reminded him. “Don’t you want to love someone?”
Yoongi did not speak for a while and Jimin did not insist on the conversation.
“Let’s go see where they went,” he said, and Jimin nodded and ran in front of him.
Yoongi doesn’t really like celebrations, which is unfortunate for him since he has to attend many of them as the heir to the throne.
But this time is different. It’s Jimin’s Day of Birth.
“You look so pretty in that color,” Jungkook remarks once he steps closer to his brother, both wearing the pink attire Jimin has asked for.
Yoongi glances his way and smiles softly. “Thank you. You don’t look too shabby yourself.”
Jungkook smiles widely in response to the compliment.
Ever since Jungkook’s hand was promised to Seokjin he’s been giddy all the time. He talks endlessly about his wedding and doesn’t seem to mind he has to wait until Yoongi’s wed to get married himself. Especially because that gives him extra time to convince their father that he has every right to marry two men. “TaeTae is also wearing pink.”
“How is he?” Yoongi asks as his eyes travel through the crowd. It seems like every person in the Kingdom is here tonight – which wouldn’t surprise him in the slightest since Jimin’s very adored. “Still sucking you off every morning?”
“ Hyung ,” Jungkook whines in pure desperation, hands covering his face. “As my brother you shouldn’t say such things.”
Yoongi chuckles. “After Hoseok told me Namjoon fucks really well a few moons ago, I think I no longer have any boundaries.”
Jungkook licks his lips and shrugs. “Except when it comes to Jiminie.”
The older of them sighs. “Seokjin should learn how to keep his mouth shut.”
“I think you two look great together,” Jungkook mutters with a pout. “And you know how much father hates the fact I have a potential partner already, two in fact, when you’re reluctant in getting wed to Jimin.”
“That’s not the issue,” Yoongi mutters between his teeth, and before he can go on, light music starts playing and everyone cheers loudly. “We’ll talk about this later.”
Dancing his way into the middle of the crowd, Jimin smiles at all the enthusiasm from his people. He’s wearing baby blue, just like he said he would, gold chains hanging from his clothes, neck and wrists. Yoongi’s not used to seeing his friend wearing makeup, so he holds in a gasp as Jimin comes closer and he can see the delicate pink shade on his eyes and plump lips. He looks beautiful. Has always looked beautiful.
Jimin runs a hand through his black hair and giggles when Jihyo kneels before him to give him a buqué. And soon after he has taken it, a lot of people start to make a line to give him their gifts.
Although part of a Seelie Court that no longer exists, being raised in the castle and treated as part of Yoongi’s family has lead everyone in the Kingdom to respect Jimin’s prince rank. And the fact he’s approachable, kind and beautiful only made his popularity grown. Yoongi’s mother almost said no when the prince suggested they held his 21th Day of Birth in the town’s square, but ultimately accepted his request.
“Everyone loves him,” Jungkook mutters in awe. “Do you think they love us?”
Yoongi hums as he observes the low rank fairies smile towards Jimin, completely ignoring the fact that two other princes are right there, just a few meters away.
“I think we could be more approachable,” he says with a laugh. “Wanna go dance there too?”
“Mama would go feral,” Jungkook groans with a sigh. “She only allowed this because there’s a guard every five feet from one another.”
The older prince looks around to the enormous guards dressed in white. “At least Jimin convinced her to let them wear a nicer color.”
Jungkook scoffs. “At least…” he trails off. “If Jimin asked you to dance, would you?”
Yoongi thinks about it for a few seconds, eyes resting on the birthday boy again. Jimin’s cheeks are flushed and he’s smiling so big you can barely see his eyes.
“Yeah, it’s his Day of Birth.”
They fall into silence, then, watching as Jimin receives his gifts and dances with everyone. Yoongi thinks Jimin’s one of a kind.
“Careful, there, Prince Yoongi,” Seokjin clicks his tongue, approaching the pair. “Your jaw might fall if you stare at Prince Jimin for a few more minutes.”
Yoongi rolls his eyes while Jungkook giggles, sliding an arm around Seokjin and resting his face on his future partner’s chest. “Yoongi refuses to accept he likes Jimin.”
“When have I ever said that?” Yoongi huffs, shaking his head. “I like Jimin, I’m not in love with him. And that’s obvious, have you seen how fruitless my tree in the Golden Garden is?”
Seokjin and Jungkook share an extended look at that and Yoongi sighs heavily, turning his face to observe Jimin again; he doesn’t need people meddling in his life any more than they already do.
The boy’s still dancing, so happy, so cheerful. It makes Yoongi’s heart flutter.
It’s about ten minutes later when Jimin finally tires himself and stumbles into their direction, every uncovered part of his body shining with sparkles. The boy throws his arms around Yoongi and hugs him tight. “I missed you.”
Yoongi holds him back, a small smile on his lips. “Are you intoxicated?” He turns his face to the side a bit, lips touching Jimin’s cheek. “You never hug me.”
Jimin pushes him off just enough so they can lock eyes. “It’s because you don’t like hugs,” he says and Yoongi almost counters, tells him it’s not true, that he loves to be hugged, but he doesn’t, because it’s complicated. Everything about him is complicated. “But I am a bit drunk, yes.”
“It’s your day,” Yoongi says, a hand caressing Jimin’s flustered cheek. “You’re allowed to.”
The music is so loud and everyone looks so happy, but no one looks as happy as Jimin when he smiles back at the older man, eyes turning into crescents as he does so. His arms are still tangled around Yoongi’s neck and his fingertips caress his nape just as softly as Yoongi does the younger’s cheek.
“Would you dance with me, Prince Yoongi?” Jimin asks and there’s a hint of playfulness on his tongue, the way he arches an eyebrow, almost as if he’s daring Yoongi to say no.
Yoongi quite likes dares, but he won’t indulge it this time.
“Of course, Prince Jimin.”
They don’t go to the center of the party, rather stay a little to the sidelines as they swing around each other, but that doesn’t make them any less the center of attention.
Everyone in the Kingdom knows they are supposed to get married, have been promised to each other ever since they were infants. Yoongi has heard the talks, the rumours, the questions. He knows it all, and despite the fact they never talked about it with each other, he knows Jimin’s also aware.
He wonders why the boy never brought it up. But then again, neither did he.
“Everyone’s looking at us,” Jimin whispers with a small smile displayed on his plump, pink lips. “Do you think they’d lose it if we kissed?”
Yoongi’s step falters at that and he almost loses balance. Jimin, giggling, is the one who holds them in place, still swinging around.
“Good Gods, Prince Yoongi, is the idea of kissing me really that terrible to you?” He asks, and it still sounds lighthearted, but there’s a hint of something else hidden in the question.
He looks back at Jimin, his peaceful expression, calmly waiting for an answer and licks his lips.
“I was just surprised.”
Jimin doesn’t seem convinced. “So the idea of kissing me isn’t that terrible?”
Yoongi thinks about it. About leaning in and capturing Jimin’s lips on his own, coping his face with his hand, bringing their bodies together as his tongue licks inside the other’s mouth. And there’s a laugh, a kid running through the endless hallways of the castle, screaming to Yoongi he isn’t fast enough to catch him.
The prince blinks back to reality. Jimin’s still staring at him, but he’s no longer smiling.
“The idea is a bit weird,” Yoongi confesses, heart hammering against his chest. “I watched you grow up.”
Jimin swallows a lump around his throat and pulls his arms away from around Yoongi’s neck. “Funny thing,” he says, stopping. “I watched you grow up, too, and for as long as I can remember, I dreamt of what would it be like to kiss you.”
Yoongi’s hands are still placed around his waist, so Jimin grabs his wrists and remove them a bit harshly. The older Prince is staring at him dumbfounded, completely at a loss for words.
Jimin narrows his eyes, holding Yoongi’s gaze for a few lingering moments before sighing heavily and shaking his head. “I’m sorry you have to get married to someone you can’t picture like that.”
The boy turns around and walks away from the crowd, from his own party and all eyes are on him, wondering what just happened between the princes to make Jimin leave something he has been waiting for his entire life behind.
Yoongi’s sitting alone in the Golden Garden.
He does that a lot, whenever he needs to think, whenever the politics of being inside the seelie council become too much of a burden. The prince leans against his unfruitful tree and lets time pass him by.
It helps, mostly. Not this time.
Coming here to see his bland tree right next to Jungkook’s very juicy one was probably the worst idea he had in a long time.
He looks up at the beautiful green and wonders what fruit would grow there once he fell in love. Maybe apples? Peaches? Hard to tell.
Yoongi sighs, heart heavy with guilt, mind replaying in the moment where Jimin left his own festival because of him . Because he’s stupid and can’t get his mind to stay in the present. Stay where they are both grown man, waiting to rule the world together, and not when Jimin ran through the castle with his chubby cheeks screaming Yoongi was too lazy to catch him.
He’s no longer that kid .
”I know love should come naturally and I shouldn’t force it,” he whispers to the tree, hoping it will hold this confession and never tell anyone. “But I already love him. So why is my tree still empty, why can’t I love him like that?”
He’s not really expecting an answer; as though there’s extraordinary things happening in this land, talking trees isn’t one of them.
Or so he thought.
There’s a rush of wind and Yoongi groans a little as tree branch hits him in the face. The prince in the process of rubbing his cheek when he notices a woman standing in front of him, about two meters or so away.
She’s wearing leafs around her body, as if they were clothes, and a crown made of branches in her head. She has sharp eyes and hair as golden as sunlight, cascading down her hips.
“What the fuck?” He screeches, back pressed against the wooden tree.
“Don’t be afraid, Prince Yoongi,” she says and although he can see her lips moving, it is as if her voice comes from inside his head. “I’m here to help.”
He blinks several times, absolutely sure this is a figure of his imagination, but the seconds pass and with each one of them, the woman seems more solid. “Who are you?”
“Not who,” she says with a smile, wavy golden hair shining in the darkness. “What.”
“Cause that’s reassuring,” Yoongi retorts, starting to stand up.
The woman raises her arm, hand pointed at him and he notices that her skin has a green-ish color. “Please, Prince Yoongi. Listen to me,” she asks. “I am not a who, I am not a person, I have no gender, I have no name. I belong to nature and I have served the Faes for all of eternity.” She – they? – lowers the hand and sits down on the floor, legs crossed. “I heard your heart’s plea and I am here to help calm it down.”
Yoongi stares at them, lost somewhere between afraid and intrigued, and ultimately settles for his curiosity and sits back against the tree. They smile again, so peaceful it almost reminds Yoongi of the smile Jimin shot at him mere two hours before.
“Did you come from the tree?” He asks, then, hands coming to rest on his thighs.
“In a way,” they reply softly. “I live in this Garden, it’s named after me.”
The prince looks at their golden hair, now covering most of their body. “I never understood why this Garden was called Golden if there was nothing gold here.”
“You have your answer now.”
He can’t help but notice how much light has surged up ever since they showed up. It’s night, the full-moon is high in the sky, and a few lights come from inside the castle, but apart from that, there wasn’t much else. And now, it’s like every inch of the Garden is a little bit brighter, a little bit clearer.
Yoongi takes a deep breath. “You said you heard my heart’s plea,” he starts. “What was it pleading to?”
The creature hums, head tilted to the side, studying him. “You’re stuck in the past because you fear the future,” they inform, quietly. “When you think of Jimin, you think of times where everything was easier, when you could run through the castle’s hallways and laugh until your belly hurt, not a care in the world.”
Memories dance in front of Yoongi’s eyes. Jimin throwing water splits into his direction as so to avoid being caught, laughing hysterically as Yoongi’s surprised expression as he made the floor tremble in response.
They had been scolded many times for using their powers in children’s play.
“In only a few months it will be your 24th Day of Birth and the entire Kingdom is waiting to see what kind of ruler you will be,” they continue. “What kind of King. It’s a lot of responsibility, and marrying Jimin is part of this chapter of your life, that you are so afraid of starting.”
Yoongi’s fingers curl into fists and he takes another deep breath, heart aching. “So much is expected of me,” he says, voice small. “To wed, to rule, to conquer. I didn’t choose any of this, did I? I don’t have a say in my own life.”
“Neither does Jimin,” they remind him. “He lost his parents too young to even remember them, was brought to a different Kingdom to be raised by strangers who once were his enemies and grew up knowing his fate didn’t belong to him.”
Flashes of Jimin in different ages swim in the sky and Yoongi has to blink several times before he accepts those are real – or as real as the creature wants them to be.
It’s weird. He isn’t watching Jimin through his eyes like in normal flashbacks. These are moments he has never seen before.
“You both have grown up,” the creature says. “Allow your mind to accept that, and then your heart will be free.”
The memories line up.
Jimin kissing his forehead when Yoongi’s sleeping holding Jungkook tight. He can’t be older than ten here.
Jimin helping Mrs. Tate cook Yoongi sup when he fell ill a few years back, his face starting to shape into what it is today.
Jimin crying while leaning against the window of his room, the necklace Yoongi gave him for his 18th Day of Birth held tight against his chest.
Jimin touching himself, hand going up and down his very obviously hard and clothed length as little moans escape through his lips.
“Stop,” Yoongi grits through his teeth, eyes snapping closed. “Those are intimate moments, what the fuck is wrong with you?”
There’s only silence following his question, so after a few heartbeats, Yoongi opens one of his eyes. The sky is dark again, and the creature has disappeared.
Yoongi can almost hear the incessant beat of his heart, but apart from that, there’s only silence; the festival too far away to be heard from here.
He stands up, throat dry, hands shaking.
“That was fucking weird,” he hisses to himself and doesn’t look back at the Garden as he moved back inside the castle.
Weird or not, the creature’s words stick with him.
Yoongi had never thought about it from that angle; that he’s afraid of change, afraid of ruling. That Jimin has had as bad as him, or maybe even worse.
He feels guilty for being so selfish.
He dwells on the encounter for days, watching Jimin from a distance and trying to work out within himself how it made him feel the fact the younger prince was not speaking to him.
The morning after his Day of Birth, Jimin hadn’t spoken to Yoongi during breakfast, choosing a seat on the far end of the table, close to Jihyo and Wheein, the guests from the Jeon Line seelie court of fire.
That had let Jungkook, Seokjin, Namjoon, Hoseok and Taehyung to share weird worried glances between each other and then at Yoongi, who just shrugged and blushed.
It’s very odd, for him, not talking to Jimin. He understands his friend’s reasons, respects them, but he wishes he could do something. Apologize, maybe? But apologize for what? For not knowing how to handle things? For being unsure of what to respond that night?
Should he have said yes, Jimin, let’s kiss when he wasn’t sure that’s what he wanted?
What do you want, Yoongi?
He’s been thinking extensively about that. It’s exhausting.
Yoongi had never before entertained the idea the Creature present him with and now that’s all he can think about. And Jimin. He’s been thinking a lot about Jimin, too. 21 Days of Birth Jimin, all lips and muscles, hands around his neck, asking what would people do if they kissed.
What would people do? What would he do? Would he like it? Would it really be weird? Why can’t he stop thinking about it?
“What’s wrong with you?” Namjoon asks on the ninth moon after Jimin’s Day of Birth. They are currently in the process of planting bonsai trees, an activity that Yoongi finds boring, but Namjoon dearly adores. “You’ve been so quiet lately.”
Yoongi hasn’t spoken to anyone about the encounter he had with the Garden creature, he doesn’t even know how to explain whatever in the heavens that was. He just shut down, too trapped in his own thoughts and insecurities.
“Jimin isn’t speaking to me,” he replies, feeling the soft soil between his fingers.
“I am aware,” Namjoon mumbles, emerald eyes trained on him. “Have you considered apologizing?”
“Do you know what happened?” Yoongi wonders, a frown between his eyes. Namjoon shakes his head. “Then I find it amusing how you assumed I’m the one who has to apologize.”
Namjoon hums. “Are you not?”
“I think so,” Yoongi sighs. “I just don’t know exactly what am I to apologize for.”
“For hurting his feelings, if you did so,” Namjoon suggests. “It takes nothing from you to apologize to the people you love.”
Yoongi feels the small fractions of dirty sliding on his fingers, a rush of power running through his bones. It will never not amaze him how being in direct contact with the earth makes him feel invigorated.
He looks back at Namjoon. “You’re so wise.”
“I just read a lot,” Namjoon shrugs. “Talk to him, Yoongi. He’ll forgive you, whatever has happened.”
Jimin and Yoongi have never fought like this before. They’ve had children’s spat over the years, but nothing has ever lead to them not speaking to each other for so many moons.
It takes nothing from you to apologize to the people you love.
But it takes a lot from him to not have Jimin by his side.
The next morning, the prince is surprised to see Jimin sitting under Jungkook’s tree on the Golden Garden. He spots him from inside the castle, of course, still spooked by the place after the encounter with the creature. Jimin has a book in his hands, a frown between his eyes, too concentrated in whatever world he’s diving in.
Yoongi takes a deep breath and decides now is as good of a time as ever. He takes the easiest root out and about ten minutes later, he’s walking towards the younger man. Jimin sees him when he’s halfway there, eyes glancing at Yoongi and then down at his book again. Not good. If he wanted to talk, he would’ve closed the book already, but he’s turning a page and his jaw is clenched.
Yoongi doesn’t back down. Jimin’s one of his closest friends and if the rumours surrounding the castle for the last few moons are true, and the king intends in talking to them about the marriage soon, they shouldn’t be in the middle of a fight when it finally happens.
“May I sit?” Yoongi asks, looking down at him. It’s a little bit hot today, hotter than it usually is, and Jimin’s wearing only a white shirt with no sleeves with dark brown pants. Yoongi should’ve worn the same type of attire, the heaviness and hotness of his blue suit making him a little lightheaded. “I think we should talk.”
Jimin doesn’t look up. “You may sit,” he replies, closing the book at last. “What can I help you with, Prince Yoongi?”
Yoongi blinks a few times, the coldness in Jimin’s voice making his already bruised heart ache. He takes a few steps forward and sits next to the boy, under Jungkook’s tree. Jimin’s eyes are cast away, somewhere to the north of the castle, hands clasped together around the old book.
“I’m sorry about your Day of Birth,” Yoongi starts, voice low. “The last thing I wanted was to ruin it for you and I did.” His voice fails at the end and he takes a moment before continuing. “It’s complicated, Jimin, to be us. Our lives are complicated. Too much is expected of us, too much is asked. I’m constantly afraid I can’t be what they want me to be, can’t be who they want me to be.”
He waits, but Jimin continues to stare elsewhere. Yoongi wishes he would look at him.
“Father will have us wed,” he proceeds, and that earns him a bit of a reaction from the other prince. Jimin trembles a bit. “I’m terrified of the idea of you being unhappy while standing by my side. Terrified we wouldn’t work as a married couple.”
Jimin scoffs, head shaking. “I think you’ve made that clear, Prince Yoongi,” he says, voice restrained. “Don’t you remember? You said the idea of kissing me was weird because you watched me grow up.”
Yes, he remembers. But that was before the encounter he had with the creature, and before they told him what was lying underneath. Yoongi’s so utterly lost . And when Jimin finally turns his head to look back at him, he realizes that he’s not the only one.
“Do you not think I’m attractive?” Jimin asks, chin up. “I mean, I know you’re not in love with me,” he says, eyes glancing over Yoongi’s head and he doesn’t need to turn around to know Jimin’s talking about his magic tree. “But how can we ever work in a marriage if the idea of fucking me disgusts you?”
Yoongi gulps down hard, baffled. “The idea of…” he stops for a second, “having sex with you doesn’t disgust me, Jimin, don’t ever think that.”
Jimin licks his lips, eyes moving away from the tree and into Yoongi’s face. The older prince hadn’t noticed before, but Jimin’s bottom lip doesn’t tremble anymore when he’s upset. It used to, when they were younger.
“It’s just something I hadn’t given much thought,” he says, taking advantage of Jimin’s silence. “Much more because of my own fears, than you, Jiminie.”
“I don’t understand.”
Yoongi bites down on his bottom lip, fishing for ways to explain it to him without revealing his meeting with the creature; they never said it had to be a secret, but Yoongi doesn’t want to share it with other people, at least not now.
“I think that,” he starts, “well, I think that the problem is not that I saw you growing up, but rather the fact that I refuse to let myself grow up.” Yoongi chuckles lightly. “Like a lost boy not ready to be found.”
Jimin doesn’t say anything at first, eyes on him, observing, weighing the words. And then he nods as if he understands. “And how did you come to that conclusion?” He inquires, a smirk forming on his lips. “Did some soul searching, Prince Min?”
It’s like Yoongi’s floating, his heart’s burden suddenly lift off his chest, upon seeing a smile slowly spread across Jimin’s face.
“I suppose,” he lisp, leaning back against the tree, sweat running down his spine. Yoongi opens the buttons of his blue attire and takes it off, sighing relieved. Jimin just watches as he does so, eyes moving from Yoongi’s fingers opening it up to the clothing slipping off him and being thrown in the middle of the grass on the floor. “The Sun is not being kind today.”
“I believe it is not,” Jimin trails off, eyes fixed on the piece of clothing Yoongi has taken off, cheeks pink. Oh. “I’m sorry for sputtering this on you,” he murmurs. “About my feelings.”
“Don’t be.” Yoongi reaches out, placing a hand on Jimin’s knee. “You know I love you, right, Jimin?”
Jimin nods again. “Just not how I wanted you to.”
Yoongi hums softly, caressing the other man’s knee. Jimin lowers his eyes to observe the motion and pouts. It’s so endearing Yoongi feels this sudden desire to lean in and peck it. The thought crosses is mind and then it’s gone, but not without leaving the heir’s heart racing.
“It sets my nerves in motion to see my younger brother’s tree so fruitful when mine isn’t,” Yoongi confesses, hand still resting on Jimin’s knee. “It has apples and oranges, each fruit representing one of the men he loves.”
They both look up to the juicy fruits hanging from the tree above.
First, the tree grew oranges to express Jungkook’s love for Seokjin, and then, not even twelve moon phases later, after Yoongi’s brother had managed to get caught up in the sheets with not only Seokjin, but Taehyung as well, the tree grew apples.
Nobody in court explicitly talked about it, of course, especially not the king, but everyone knew why the tree grew two distinct fruits.
“I don’t know what love is supposed to feel like, Jimin,” Yoongi continues, throat closing up. “At least not romantic love. That’s something I only read about, or heard from someone else’s mouth.”
Since very early on in his life, Yoongi saw himself caught up with the Kingdom’s affairs, helping his father in the best way he could, learning what it takes to be a monarch. He never had time to get to know what love felt like once he was old enough to sit on the council table.
“I can’t and won’t promise you that’ll ever happen for me.” Yoongi takes his hand away from Jimin’s knee and moves it to the man’s cheek. “But if I’m ever to understand what that’s like, I know deep down in my bones that it’ll be because of you.”
Jimin closes his eyes and leans into the touch of Yoongi’s hand. “Don’t say that, hyung. It’s the same thing as promising.”
“Maybe it is,” Yoongi says. He wishes he could explain to Jimin what he has been feeling lately, this overwhelming amount of confusing emotions. “I’m a lost boy, Jiminie. But I’ll find myself.”
“That doesn’t mean you will fall in love with me along the way,” Jimin reminds him, hand coming up to rest against Yoongi’s.
“It doesn’t,” Yoongi agrees, moving his thumb up and down Jimin’s soft cheek. “But I won’t stop myself from standing on the verge of the abyss.”
Jimin opens his eyes. He stares into Yoongi’s for a heartbeat, then two, then three. His expression starts to change from sad to amused and Yoongi arches an eyebrow.
Jimin giggles. “What a poet you are.” The younger man licks his lips, smile reaching his eyes. “I thought that was a role reserved to Namjoon.”
“You’re an idiot,” Yoongi whines, pulling his hand away from Jimin’s face and crossing his arms. “I can’t believe you broke the moment like this.”
“The moment?” Jimin wonders, head tilted to the side, smirk still on his lips.
“Yeah,” Yoongi nods, firmly, unable to stop a smirk of his own to spread across his face, already knowing how much his next few words will affect the younger man. “I intended to end my speech with a kiss, but now you’ve ruined it.”
Jimin’s smile disappears, and even though Yoongi doesn’t comprehend the exact emotion crossing his face, he knows it’s not a negative one.
“I thought you said the mere idea of kissing me was weird,” Jimin says and his voice fails twice. He clears his throat.
“The mere idea of things only causes us pain,” Yoongi conteurs, smile also disappearing. “The lack of knowledge can drive men insane.”
A drop of water falls on Yoongi’s cheek and the prince looks up. Could it have fallen from the tree above? There’s no sign of rain in the sky; heavens, it hasn’t rained for days. Another drop, this time to his eye. The man blinks at the sky and then settles his eyes back on Jimin.
“You want to know how kissing me will make you feel, Prince Yoongi?”
The way he asks it is so intense that it has Yoongi’s heart faltering inside his chest. “Yes, Prince Jimin, I do.”
Several drops of water fall over them, an unexpected storm leaving them dripping wet in the mere seconds it takes Jimin to lean forward and capture Yoongi’s lips with his own.
Yoongi has never kissed anyone before, never had time for it. Ever since he was 15, or maybe 16, he has heard stories about the pleasures of kissing and fucking, and of course the idea of those things happening to him were frequently on his mind. Like he told Seokjin, he had sexual desires like most people do. And even though he had seen people kissing tenderly with no intention of going from kissing to fucking, he never imagined that scenario for himself.
Whenever Yoongi thought about kissing, it always came intertwined with sex.
Because of that, when he feels Jimin’s lips mold against his, and the feeling that overwhelms his chest has nothing to do with sex at all, he’s taken by surprise.
It’s not necessarily innocent, but not at all filthy. Jimin kisses him like he has been waiting for this his entire life, opening Yoongi’s lips with his, licking inside his mouth with delicacy, placing a hand on his nape to hold him in place. It’s not furious, it’s not desperate. It’s… Right. And that’s absolutely terrifying.
But Yoongi doesn’t have time to think about absolutely terrifying scenarios right now. Jimin, the last living member of the Park Line of Fae Royalty, whose power is directly driven by the water that makes up most of the things Yoongi knows, is kissing him. And that’s the only thing on his mind.
The storm gets stronger by the second, and Yoongi can almost hear the excitement coming from the castle and the village below it. It’s always a blessing when it rains. People need water to survive, after all.
Jimin sucks on his bottom lip and Yoongi whimpers, all previous thoughts about delicacy wiped from his mind. He opens his eyes wide and is met with Jimin’s serene expression, lips hovering his. “Hi,” Jimin says, hair completely damp from the rain. “I think I’m the one doing this.”
“The storm?” Yoongi asks, pulling his head back a bit so he can look at him better. Jimin nods, bottom lip trapped between his teeth. “You remember that night you got so angry at your father the whole castle trembled?”
“Yes,” Yoongi mumbles. It was after his 21st Day of Birth. The last time the King mentioned his desire to wed the both of them. Yoongi got so angry the earth beneath them shook. It’s strange, being here now after kissing Jimin for the first time, and coming to the realization he would never react like that if the King were to call him for a meeting today and tell his son that he has to marry Jimin. “We were taught about this when we were younger.”
Yoongi could never forget the responsibility laid upon them at such a young age. They learned very early on why their lines were chosen to rule the realms across the world. The Parks, Rulers of Water and the Mins, Rulers of Earth, were two of the four most powerful fae bloodlines in the land. Their abilities with magic were so strong that there was no other choice other than to give them the authority to rule over the rest of the Faes, as well as the other creatures and ordinary people.
They were separated into four Kingdoms, one for each of the four elements, and have ruled for centuries, until the Park Line was ultimately extinct. Except for Jimin.
“I’m trying to stop it,” Jimin pants, hand dropping away from the hold on Yoongi’s nape. “But I can’t.”
“Hey,” Yoongi says softly, changing his position so he can kneel in front of Jimin, his ass resting on his heels. “Breathe,” he tells the other man, kissing his cheek. “Just calm down.”
“Not angry,” Jimin replies, staring down at Yoongi’s lips. “Just overwhelmed.”
Yoongi cops Jimin’s face with his hands and brings their foreheads together. “Breathe,” he says again. “We have our entire lives for this.”
Jimin’s breath hitches and he grabs Yoongi’s soaking wet shirt, making the older boy gasp at the strength. “Stop talking about forever.” Their faces are so close again. Yoongi feels electric. “Your tree’s still empty.”
Yoongi looks down at his lips and then back into his eyes. “Jimin, I promised you I’d take care of you for as long as I live. We are bonded together, doesn’t matter in which capacity.” He smiles. “The only way you’re getting rid of me is if you ask me to go.”
“I would never,” he replies immediately.
“What if you did?”
Yoongi leans in and kisses him again, and it feels just as good as the first one, maybe even better.
“Is it weird, Prince Yoongi?” Jimin asks when they break apart, lips still brushing. “To kiss someone you saw growing up?”
He doesn’t have to think about it, the answer rolls easily on his tongue. “No, Prince Jimin, it is not.” Yoongi pauses. “Well, I’m sure I’d feel weird kissing Namjoon or Hoseok. But not you.”
“Not me,” Jimin repeats.
Yoongi smiles again and the storm gets softer, the rain drops no longer thick, no longer angry, just falling over them, tickling at the touch. “You breathed,” he says. “Not overwhelmed anymore?”
Jimin hums, trails his wet fingers over Yoongi’s mouth. “On the contrair. I don’t think I’ll ever not be overwhelmed again.”
Yoongi thinks about those words for a while, just watching as Jimin touched every inch of his face, eyes travelling through his features as if it's the first time he’s seeing him. “You know what?” He asks, bringing Jimin’s attention back to his eyes. “Me neither, Prince Jimin. Me neither.”
“Why are you looking at me like that?” Jimin asks with a giggle, hiding his face behind his hands.
“Like that how?” Yoongi asks, playing innocent.
Jimin pushes him on the shoulder. “Like I’m cute, or something.”
Yoongi puts aside the bonsai tree he’s holding and moves closer to the younger man, resting half of his body on top of Jimin’s torso. The younger man removes his hands from his face and stares up at his — friend? Hard to know these days.
“You are cute,” Yoongi replies, leaning down to kiss him.
They’ve been doing that a lot lately. Kissing.
After that first day it took them a few moons to kiss each other again, even if they were spending a lot more time together now. Yoongi has always felt good in Jimin’s company, but it feels as if a weight was lifted off of his shoulders after everything that happened in the Golden Garden — both the meeting with the creature and the kiss with Jimin.
They started to go horse riding together, talking about the most random things in the world, and then it became a bit of a habit for Yoongi to sneak them both into the kitchen in the middle of the night to prepare a meal; and to think these nocturnal visits only started because Jimin doubted he even knew how to cook. Now it seems like Yoongi’s food is the only one he likes.
Jimin also reads to Yoongi while the prince works in the many, many gardens surrounding the castle. They had finished two books already and were trying to decide on a third.
Once they even escaped to the waterfall, this time without Jungkook, and that’s when they started to kiss again.
“ You’re drooling ,” Jimin had snickered, hands running over his damp hair.
“ You're almost naked, what you expect me to do ?” Yoongi had replied.
Jimin had shrugged. “ Kiss me ?”
“ If you insist .”
Yoongi loved the way Jimin’s lips fit into his, thrived when the boy parted his lips, silently inviting Yoongi’s tongue inside. It wasn’t as innocent as it was in the beginning, but definitely not as filthy as their friends were used to kiss.
“You’re so disgusting,” Yoongi barks, hand firmly wrapped around Jimin’s as they watched Taehyung stick his tongue down Seokjin’s throat. “Why is this happening right now?”
Jungkook, sitting next to them with a wine glass half-way drunk, smiles. “Because my babies are aroused, brother, are you familiar with the concept?”
Yoongi rolls his eyes, but heat spreads across his cheeks anyway, mind suddenly going back to earlier that day when Jimin was sprawled on his lap, kissing him like his life depended on it. And Yoongi had touched himself before, he knew how powerful it could be once you hit that pick, but having Jimin grinding against him almost drove him insane . It was nothing like anything he did to himself, and they didn’t even take any clothes off.
“Shut up or I’ll tell father how much you love to bounce on them,” he replies and Jungkook conjures a small ball of brown soil and throws it at his face. Yoongi stops it with a swing of his hand and shoots it to the wall. “Idiot.”
“Stop it, both of you,” Namjoon says, expression serious. “No one is telling the King anything . As far as he is concerned, you’re all virgins.”
Taehyung seems to come back to reality then, mouth popping off Seokjin’s. “Some of us are.”
No one needs clarification of who some of us is, but Yoongi doesn’t mind. He hopes Jimin doesn’t, either. They’ve talked about this plenty of times; not sex, but how their timeline moves differently from everyone elses.
Hoseok and Namjoon have been married for over twelve lunar synodic months. On the official records, that’s when they started to have sex, but all seven of them know that’s not true. Jungkook caught them doing it on his 18th Day of Birth, which he claimed as a bit of a traumatic experience. Hoseok’s mother is pressuring them to have a child, but neither of them wants to.
“ Too much of a responsibility ,” Namjoon had told him.
“ When we feel ready, we’ll talk to the High Fairies ,” Hoseok chimed in after.
Jungkook, Taehyung and Seokjin is a bit of a complicated story, and all Yoongi knows is that picturing his baby brother having sex with not one, but two of his best friends is something he does not like to do, even if he jokes about it. He knows it’s not easy for them, especially since it’s so poorly seen to be married to more than one person, but he hopes once he has wedded Jimin, their father will accept Jungkook’s wishes. He’s not going to be king, anyway.
“I want another glass before I punch Taehyung on the face,” Jimin says, and everyone laughs.
Yoongi leans next to him, planting a kiss to Jimin’s neck. “You look beautiful tonight.”
“Thank you, Prince Yoongi,” Jimin replies. “So do you.”
They kiss softly, and their friends make a fuss about it.
Somehow, that doesn’t bother Yoongi at all.
Every day when he wakes up, Yoongi looks out into the Golden Garden and his tree, hoping to see the fruits finally growing. And every morning, he sighs heavily when noticing it’s all the same.
And it’s not like he doesn’t feel differently towards Jimin; he does. Every time they are together, Yoongi can’t stop himself from smiling, or laughing at the silliest of things that come out of the younger man’s mouth. He can’t help but feel the butterflies dancing around his stomach whenever Jimin’s lips captured his, or when he smiled at him for a beat more than necessary.
Yoongi can’t stop himself from having the filthiest dreams and feeling so guilty about it that he ignores Jimin for hours before storing the dreams in the back of his mind, even though he thinks Jimin wouldn’t mind them if the way he touches him and grinds on him when they kiss is anything to go by.
“I want you,” Jimin whispers against his ear one night, attaching his lips to Yoongi’s neck and sucking hard.
“I want you, too, so much,” he breathes out and Yoongi doesn’t think he has ever been more honest about anything in his life.
And it’s not just physical, he doesn’t think. Sure, Jimin causes his whole body to shake and lighten up with just the singular touch of his tongue and lips, but it’s the way in which Yoongi’s heart skips a beat every time Jimin laughs that tells him things are no longer what they used to be.
Have I grown up, he wonders. Am I in love?
Is this what love feels like?
If so, why is the tree still empty?
“You seem worried,” Jimin mutters in one of those mornings they spend in the garden together. “Is everything alright?”
He doesn’t want to lie, but he also doesn’t think it’s fair to remind Jimin his tree hasn’t flourished yet.
“I’m okay, just tired.” Yoongi hates lies. “I think I should go lie down a bit.”
Jimin hums and closes the book. “Alright. I’m a few rooms down the hallway if you need me, but you know.”
“I know,” Yoongi replies and pecks him on the mouth before taking his exit.
Yoongi really hopes Jimin doesn’t think this is strange because the last thing he needs is any kind of conflict with the best part of his life.
He walks back to his room and drops himself on the bed after washing his hands and removing his shoes. Yoongi’s not really that tired, but his mind is too full at the moment to deal with people.
The prince wishes he didn’t have a tree at all. He wishes he could be just like everyone else that simply feels things, without having to wait for a confirmation.
Like Jimin. He wishes he could be like Jimin.
Yoongi has been lying down facing the ornaments on the ceiling for a very long time when he decides to stand up, an idea forming at the back of his mind. He rushes to put on his shoes again and almost runs out of the room, feet making noise in contact with the wooden floor as he bolts out of the castle.
If they could help him once, maybe they can help him again.
It’s still day, so Yoongi doesn’t know if there’s even a remote chance of the creature showing themselves to him again, but what does he have to lose?
He sits under his tree and takes a deep breath, closing his eyes. “Please, talk to me,” he pleads. “I know you probably have more important duties than to quiet a stupid prince’s mind, but I don’t understand.”
“What don’t you understand?”
Yoongi’s eyes fly open and he’s faced with one of the castle’s helpers, Sunmi. She has her blonde hair braided, pointy ears decorated with golden ornaments. She’s standing a few feet away from him, a basket full of apples between her arms.
“I, uh,” Yoongi mumbles, astonished by her presence. He clears his throat. “I don’t understand how these trees work,” he says.
Sunmi hums, stepping closer as her green eyes travel away from the prince and into the numerous trees behind him. “The legend says that when the person who planted the tree falls in love, it goes fruitful,” she states. “But I think it’s deeper than that.”
Yoongi frowns. “How so?”
She blushes a bit, seems to realize something. “I’m sorry, Prince Min, I don’t want to bother you.”
“You’re not bothering me,” he replies immediately. “Tell me what you think. Please.”
Sunmi nods slowly, still a bit shy. “I think that the trees only grow fruitful when you feel the ache of true love for the first time,” she says. “Love isn’t always easy or pretty, neither is nature. It grows and it changes, transforms.”
The low-born fae grabs one of the apples inside the basket and stares at it for a second before throwing it to him. Yoongi grabs it by reflex.
“This apple came from your brother’s tree,” she says. “Being a helper, I see a lot, hear a lot. I’m sorry about that,” Sunmi smiles a bit, apologetic. “I remember when it only had oranges, and then, after Taehyung told him he couldn’t be with him anymore and they had a huge fight on his 19th Day of Birth, apples.”
Yoongi looks at the small red fruit in his hand. “I didn’t know that.”
“Not many people do,” Sunmi continues. “I was supposed to clear his room that morning. Taehyung had spent the night. He was already in love with him at the time, by the way he cried.”
The blush in her cheeks intensify once Yoongi looks up again. “And Seokjin?”
The woman shrugs. “I don’t know what had happened the day oranges grew on Prince Jungkook’s tree, sir,” she tells him. “But my mother said the day your father’s pears grew was the day your mom said she wasn’t fit to be queen.”
“I still don’t understand,” he admits. “What fighting with someone you love has to do with the appearance of fruit?”
“Not fighting, Prince Min,” she says with a shake of her head. “Losing.” Sunmi shrugs again. “Or at least the fear of losing the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. That was the case for your brother and your father at least, but I think there are other ways to realize.”
“Realize what?” Yoongi stands, looking around at the garden. “But there are so many empty trees here,” he argues, not even sure what he’s arguing about.
Sunmi eyes follow his. “To me that only means some of your ancestors never felt it truly.” Yoongi wants to ask what she means, but shuts up when she walks past him and points to a tree trunk. “There are a few of those here. I think they belong to those who did lose the ones they loved.”
Yoongi stares at the only remains of what was probably a beautiful tree one day. “Did it die?”
“Yes,” Sunmi asserts. “My father helped around here when he was alive. He cut your aunt’s tree years before we were born.”
The prince’s breath catches on his throat. His mother always used to say his aunt died of a broken heart.
“So, you think that the fruits are a symbol of loss, but not really,” Yoongi mutters, looking back at her. “And when you actually lose, the tree dies.”
“Not a symbol of loss,” Sunmi contends, shaking her head. “I think we can fall in love more than once and that’s clear when we look at Prince Jungkook’s tree. And even if I think the feeling that comes with being enamored with someone does go away, I don’t think true love does, and maybe losing your true love is what makes the tree die.” The woman looks down at the apple on his hand. “What I mean is, you can fall in love multiple times, yes, and you can also fall out of it. But true love? That’s rare, Prince Min, and not everyone is lucky enough to experience it.”
Yoongi shakes his head, debunked. “That’s so complicated.”
“Is there anything simple about nature?” She asks, but it’s not really a question, Yoongi doesn’t think. “It’s too easy to presume the tree will grow fruits whenever you fall in love, Prince Min, but falling in love is a state of mind, not of heart.” Sunmi extends her hand and it takes Yoongi a few seconds to understand she’s asking for the apple. “When we are faced with something as dreadful as losing someone we care about so dearly, and it feels like it’s going to rip out of your chest, that’s when you know it goes beyond desire, childlike play.”
Yoongi gives her the apple.
“Of course there must be other ways people realize what they feel goes much deeper than a mere infatuation,” she continues, putting the fruit back inside the basket. “But that fear of loss is what I know it led to the apples and the pears.”
The prince nods, chewing down on his bottom lip, entire body shaking.
“I hope it helped,” Sunmi says with a small smile. “You’ll know it when you feel it.”
Yoongi doesn’t say anything because he doesn’t think he can speak, but he hopes the sentiment in his eyes tells her he’s grateful. Sunmi bows slightly before moving away, and soon Yoongi’s alone again - with his mind much heavier than before.
Life is funny, Yoongi thinks.
“ Yoongi ,” Namjoon shouted, running towards him. “ I’ve been looking everywhere for you .”
The prince hummed, eyes moving back to look at his fruitless tree. It has not been very long since Sunmi poured her wisdom on him when his friend came searching for him.
“ The king wants to talk to you ,” Namjoon had announced. “ And Jimin .”
“ Oh ,” he replied. “ It’s time, then. ”
Life is funny, it really is.
Because here he sits next to Jimin, the man he’s infatuated with, listening closely as his father proudly informs he has given up on their marriage.
“I have met with the Jeon and Lee Seelie Courts and they all agree to grant us power over the extinct Park domains,” the king says. “And you will rule over them, Jimin, as part of our family, allowed to wed whoever you chose.”
Yoongi blinks slowly.
“And since we already have those domains secure, I arranged a marriage bond for you, Yoongi, with the daughter of King Jeon, of the fire Seelie Court.” The king looks at him. “Why are you pale?”
The prince blinks again. It feels like there’s a hand wrapping around his throat as he looks away from his father and at the man sitting by his side. Jimin has his lips pressed firmly against the other, facing the floor.
Marrying the daughter of King Jeon, from the fire Seelie Court?
“Yoongi?” His father calls. “I thought you’d be happy, you almost brought this castle down when I reminded you you’d have to marry Jimin once he was of age.”
Yoongi’s still looking at him when Jimin’s bottom lip trembles, a tear falling on his cheek.
“No,” he says automatically, eyes snapping back to his father. “That was-, that was before.”
“Before what?” The king says, baffled. “Your mother whined in my ear for years until I finally reached out to the Jeon-Line so we could make a deal and now you’re saying no?”
“I love him,” Yoongi shouts, standing up. “I wanna be with him.”
The king blinks, obviously taken aback. “Jimin?” He looks at the younger man, now with his eyes fixed on Yoongi. “Son, I have made a deal, I can’t change my mind now.”
Yoongi shakes his head, growing more desperate by the second. “No, no!” He shouts again and that’s so unlike him, to scream. He’s calm and collected even when he has every right to be angry, and that’s something everyone has always admired in him, saying it’s a great feature for a king. “I’m not marrying anyone else, no.”
The king stands up too, expression stricting. “Your tree is empty , Yoongi, what are you saying? You’re not in love with him, don’t do that.”
“That’s not-, that’s not how the tree works,” he argues.
“How does it work, then?”
The king sighs, pitching the bridge between his eyes. “Son, you’re obviously really upset, so maybe we should talk more about this tomorrow.”
Jimin raises to his feet. “I think I’m going to be,” he whispers. “Goodnight.”
“Jimin, wait,” Yoongi says, grabbing his wrist.
The younger prince stops, looks down at it. “Let me go, Yoongi, let’s not make this harder.”
Yoongi wants to fight, wants to argue, but he just… Lets him go.
“Goodnight, Prince Jimin,” the king says. “I’ll come meet you in the morning so we can discuss our options.”
Jimin nods, but doesn’t look at either of them as he takes his leave.
“I love him,” he whispers, tears falling off his face. “I don’t need a stupid tree to know that.”
Life is funny. It is. But Yoongi doesn’t feel like laughing.
When Yoongi was eight, his father told him one day he’d marry Jimin, of the royal Park-Line. He had gone up to his room and promised the boy he would take care of him for the rest of his life.
“Jimin?” Yoongi calls as he opens the door.
The man shifts on the bed, blue eyes staring at him in almost complete darkness. He has been crying. “Yoongi,” he says softly.
That night, Yoongi had watched Jimin play with his small pool and small toys, both so innocent, so full of hope and excitement about life. He had helped Jimin go to bed when the boy felt too tired, and had stayed with him until he fell asleep.
Not tonight, though.
Neither of them says anything when Yoongi climbs on the bed and Jimin pulls him towards him, kissing him fully on the mouth. Neither of them says anything when Yoongi pulls at the hem of Jimin’s shirt and looks into his eyes as if asking for a permission he so eagerly grants. Neither of them says anything when Jimin’s hand slids inside Yoongi’s pants and rubbs at his half-hard cock, silencing his deep moan with a searing kiss.
Neither of them says anything up until they are completely naked, bodies tangled, feeling every drag of a pleasure they didn’t know or understand until that very moment. So intense, so deep, so inexplicable.
“Jimin,” Yoongi gasps, then. “Jimin.”
“Yoongi,” Jimin replies, lips brushing his. “Mine.”
Neither of them says anything after that, too. There’s no need to.
They know. They feel. And even if he has to bring this castle down, Yoongi will marry this man.
“My heart has been borrowed,” Yoongi says as he feels the tip of his fingers vibrating against Jimin’s. “It lays in rest with yours, beating together as one.”
“My mind is travelling,” Jimin continues. “It holds yours close, intertwined forever in an ever growing wisdom.”
Yoongi looks down to the little golden sparkles floating around their hands, connecting them forever.
“My body is naked,” he proceeds. “Stripped off all the sins, all the greed, all the faults.”
“My soul is quiet,” Jimin mumbles, eyes watery. “Holding yours like an old friend, from here to eternity.”
The sparkly strings press their fingers together tightly and they both stare at it as it penetrates their skin. It hurts a bit, Yoongi thinks, but nothing he can handle. Jimin’s eyes go wide, mouth hanging open at the shock of the pain, but then he’s smiling again. They both are.
“And what the Seelies have united, no force in this world or the next, can separate,” Old May says, a smile on her lips, pink eyes going from one groom to the other. “Let the celebrations begin.”
Jimin wraps his arms around Yoongi at the same time everyone starts screaming and clapping in excitement, harps and drums making the Golden Garden go from a wedding to a festival in an instant.
“I love you,” Yoongi whispers in his ear. “Mine.”
“Yours,” Jimin giggles, kissing his cheek and then his nose and then his lips. “Will you give me the honor of dancing with me, Prince Yoongi?”
“Most certainly, Prince Jimin.”
They walk hand in hand to the middle of the people, all of the Court and the Commoners. Jimin’s golden flower crown matching Yoongi’s.
“Do you think we got energy for this?” Jimin asks, hands on Yoongi’s hips. “Seven whole moons.”
“We can surely take a break,” Yoongi assets, raising an eyebrow. “There’s lots of things I want to do during the next few moons and most of them only need the participation of both of us.”
Jimin giggles, crashing his mouth on Yoongi’s.
“Does anyone wants a peach?” Hoseok asks loudly, making everyone close enough to hear scream ‘yes!’.
Yoongi rolls his eyes, a grin on his lips as he watches his friend pulls the lower peaches out of his tree. “When will they get over this?”
“Well, it’s the first time peaches grow inside the castle,” Jimin says, kissing his neck. “So, never.”
The prince chuckles, thinking back to the moment he woke up next to Jimin for the first time since they both grew up and went to the window, gasping loudly upon seeing his tree and it’s brand new peaches.
His father was a ruler, but not a monster. It wasn’t hard to convince him to change his mind after that.
“ You’ll rule both kingdoms together ,” he had said.
And that scared Yoongi. Even if he has grown up a lot, the idea of being a King still makes him want to and hide.
But he’s lucky. He has Jimin.
And Jimin is going to be a good ruler, wisely holding the power of two Kingdoms united in one. The younger man seems to be so much more confident than Yoongi with the idea of a heavy crown on his head. And that grounds him, a lot.
“My king,” Jimin whispers against his lips on the last moon of their wedding celebrations, both dripping with sweat, so tangled up together it’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins.
“Not yet,” Yoongi replies.
Jimin smiles. “Let’s rule the world together,” he asks, pressing himself hard enough to make the older prince gasp against his mouth, overwhelmed with pleasure and love.
And Yoongi, even if still terrified of the idea of ruling anything at all, doesn’t even think about it before breathing out easily, calmly, surely:
“Yes, Jiminie, let’s rule the world together.”