“Min, is it true you will be directing the movie Heaven?”
Yoongi cocks his head to the side, eyes searching for the female voice that asked the question. “Well, yes, it is true,” he replies, still not sure which one of them had inquired about it. “My team and I are still getting in the loop about the project, but since it’s coming from Kim Namjoon, I’m not worried.”
“You accepted the request without knowing what is it about?” A man asked, almost as if judging him.
“I did,” he says slowly, an eyebrow raised. “Kim Namjoon and I happen to be college friends, and I’m absolutely confident in his work ethic and brilliant mind. He briefed me about the movie and asked me if I wanted to film it. I said yes.”
“Kim Namjoon released a statement saying every single person involved in the project is a homosexual, but you have never explicitly came out as such, is this your way of doing so?”
Yoongi’s clenches his jaw. Oh, how badly he hates heterosexual people.
He blinks slowly at the man who dared to ask such a question and offers him a cold smile. “I believe Namjoon’s exact words were that everyone involved with the project identifies themselves as part of the LGBTQ+ community,” he offers, voice low. “It is unsurprising, however, that you don’t respect his words enough to quote them as they were spoken. You should watch the movie when it comes out, it will teach you a lot.”
The director scatters the crowd of reporters for another moment before sighing. He looks to the side searching for Kihyun and a heartbeat later his best friend is stepping forward. “That’s all the questions Mr. Min will be taking today, thank you very much.”
Yoongi smiles stiffly at the people in front of him with their microphones, cameras and stupid notebooks and turns around, disappearing into the darker backstage.
“I need a beer,” he says, which makes Kihyun laugh. “I’m serious. What’s wrong with people these days?”
“ These days ?” Kihyun repeats in a mockery tone, hand going through his red hair. “People have always been shitty.”
“Fair point.” Yoongi fishes his phone from the back pocket of his trousers and decides to send Namjoon a quick text to warn him of what happened before he sees it all over social media.
The reply coming in two minutes later makes Yoongi smile.
Kim Namjoon sent you a message
lol people are gay steven
but we’ll sit with the cast next week, hyung!!!
thank you again and don’t worry about those people…
You sent a message
Looking forward to it ;)
“I’m sorry, did you say Park Jimin?” Yoongi asks slowly, trying to hide his surprise and failing miserably.
Namjoon takes a sip of his iced tea and nods, smile on his face. “I was so glad when he contacted me and asked to be a part of it,” he says.
“But I thought everyone involved in the project was LGBTQ,” Yoongi counters and even as the words come out of his mouth he knows how utterly stupid he sounds.
Because yes , everyone involved in the project is LGBTQ, so that means that yes , Park Jimin is part of this community.
Which Yoongi’s brain is currently unable to process.
“Why are you short-circuiting?” Namjoon asks with a light chuckle. “I mean, I didn’t know he was gay and that’s how he identified himself to me, but I’m a little worried about the expression on your face.”
Yoongi doesn’t reply right way.
Here’s a little unknown fact: although up until now director Min Yoongi and actor Park Jimin have never crossed paths in the film industry, they are very much familiar with each other. Or at least they were.
Being two years his senior, Yoongi was the first person to introduce Jimin to the 7th Art when they were two little boys full of dreams. They grew up next to each other, sharing a passion for film, but with slightly different goals for the future. They used to hang out everyday; whether it’d be in Yoongi’s bedroom or Jimin’s backyard, always having lunch or dinner in each other’s homes, fighting over videogames and introducing to the other all of their favorite songs.
Jimin was also Yoongi’s first love and the first person he came out to.
“I know him,” Yoongi mumbles, eyes on his coffee. “We grew up together.”
“What the fuck,” Namjoon replies. “How didn’t I know this?”
Yoongi swallows around a lump in his throat. “Because I don’t talk about him or that part of my life.” He looks up at his friend. “Jimin didn’t make me feel welcomed when I came out to him.”
“He wasn’t homophobic or anything,” Yoongi’s quick to clarify. “But he wasn’t welcoming. He became distant, even after he said everything was fine. I thought it was because I was gay that he was acting so weird and since I left for college about three months after my coming out to him, we just stopped talking altogether.”
Namjoon hums, taking in his words. “Maybe he was just afraid of what having such a close gay friend meant to him. He probably wasn’t ready to come out.”
Yoongi licks his lips and brings his coffee mug closer. “Yeah, I see that now, but I spent years thinking differently, so this is a bit weird to me.”
“I can only imagine.” Namjoon pats his knee and then takes another sip of his tea. “Maybe you should give him a call before we all sit to read the script? Since you have personal history.”
“Yeah, maybe.” His reply comes off really unsure and if Namjoon notices, he doesn’t comment on it. Yoongi’s glad. Talking to Park Jimin again isn’t something he ever planned on doing, even if they are both part of the same industry and could eventually come to cross paths. He takes a deep breath. “Can you give me his number?”
He’s been staring at the saved contact for what feels like forever.
Namjoon gave him Park Jimin’s number soon after they wrapped up their coffee meeting and now Yoongi’s sitting at the backseat of a car going back to his apartment, with his phone in hand, staring at the number.
Yoongi takes a deep breath, heart racing against his ribs, lump on his throat, and as the cold air comes down his throat, he dials it. Pressing the phone to his ear, Yoongi tries really hard to stay calm. It rings four times before the line is picked up.
“Park Jimin speaking,” he mumbles, a little breathless and Yoongi can’t help but wonder what is Jimin doing at 9am. “Who is this?”
He hates that he froze like a deer caught in the headlights because Yoongi has always proud himself on how quickly he reacts to things. “I, uh,” he starts, not wanting Jimin to hang up. “This is Min Yoongi.”
There’s a loud noise coming from the other end and then Jimin curses a muffled fuck before a little fumbling and a large exhale. “Yes, hi,” he says, as breathless as before, but maybe now a bit cautious too. “How are you?”
“I’m okay,” Yoongi replies slowly, frowning. The driver turns around a corner and stops abruptly because of traffic. Why is there traffic as this hour? , he thinks, but it doesn’t matter; Yoongi needs to focus. “I’m calling because we’ll be working together and I, uh, well, we didn’t exactly stop speaking on the best of terms.”
Jimin doesn’t respond right away and Yoongi tries to picture him, but he can’t. He can't because he has avoided Jimin in every way he possibly could, even if he was well aware the man was a very famous actor. Every article magazine about him Yoongi would skip, every front cover he would erase from his memory. And maybe it's a bit silly for him to act this way, but he couldn't help it.
“I guess we have me to blame for that.” Jimin’s voice sounds so apologetic that it annoys Yoongi more than it relieves him to hear the admission of guilt. “Are you free? We could grab lunch and talk.”
Yoongi licks his lips, hand tightening around the phone. “Talk?” He repeats. “I don’t want to talk, Jimin, I just want to make sure we are good to work together. I’ll be directing you in a very personal feature film and we don’t need to be sidetracked by personal history.”
“Oh,” Jimin mutters. “In that case, yes, we are good, Yoongi-hyung.”
Don’t call me that is at the tip of his tongue, but he swallows back. “See you Monday, Jimin.”
He knows it’s rude to finish the call like that without even waiting for a reply, but this has already been harder than Yoongi had anticipated. His hands are shaking when he locks his phone, flashbacks from eight years before when he told Jimin he liked boys filling his mind.
“ You like boys, ” Jimin had repeated, cheeks turning pink. “ So you’re gay .”
“ I am ,” Yoongi confirmed, eyes on his friend, fishing his every reaction.
“ Cool .”
‘Cool’. That’s what Jimin said before changing the subject completely and becoming antsy for the rest of their dinner. ‘Cool’ was the only thing Jimin ever said about Yoongi’s sexuality, but he knew it wasn’t ‘cool’. It wasn’t ‘cool’ because after that Jimin began to avoid him at every cost, making up excuses as to why he couldn’t hang out, cancelling plans at the last minute, ignoring his texts.
“Mr. Min, do you want me to park inside?”
Yoongi blinks, the voice of his driver making him come back to reality. He looks outside only to confirm they are indeed already on his building’s street. “No, Seokmin-ssi, thank you.”
The driver nods and stops close enough to the sidewalk so Yoongi can get out. Still a little dizzy, the director grabs his backpack, puts his phone in his back pocket and leaves, Park Jimin the only thing in his mind for the rest of the day.
October 13th, 2003
“Yoongi-yah, why are you still here?” His mother rails, browns frowned. “You’re going to miss your bus!”
Yoongi takes a deep breath and rolls his eyes, putting his iPod inside the backpack and sliding off the chair. “I’m going,” he mumbles, eyeing his half-eaten breakfast with sulky eyes and walking out of the house.
The boy braces himself for the cold air once his feet hit the pavement, still not used to walking to the bus stop alone, but very much glad his parents are giving him some sort of independence. He’s 12, after all, he should be allowed to do things alone.
As he starts to make his walk down the street, Yoongi’s attention shifts to the house next to his, where a little boy sits on the stairs, pouting. He’s not wearing a coat, and Yoongi can’t help but wonder if he’s not cold. “You’re gonna freeze to death,” he exclaims loud enough for the boy to hear him.
The boy lifts his head and glares at him. “Hopefully.”
Yoongi chuckles, surprised at the response. “Why do you wanna freeze to death?”
“You know what day it is?” The boy asks.
“Monday?” Yoongi suggests.
The boy sighs. “Yes, but it’s the 13th of October,” he exclaims, then pauses. “It’s my birthday.”
“Oh,” Yoongi replies, taking a few steps forward. “Happy birthday.”
“Thanks,” it’s what the boy replies, looking mildly annoyed. “My parents forgot,” he explains. “And have been fighting since 6am.”
Yoongi pouts a bit. “I’m sorry about that. How old you are today?”
“I’m 12, but will be turning 13 in a few months,” Yoongi tells him, not knowing exactly why. Maybe it's because the boy is cute and looks like he really needs a hug. “So I’m your hyung.”
The boy scoffs. “I don’t even know your name, hyung .”
“I’m Yoongi,” he says, smiling. “I live next door.”
“I’m Jimin, I live here.” He points to the house behind him. “Nice to meet you.”
“You too.” Yoongi looks around. “Shouldn’t you be getting ready for school?”
Jimin frowns as if he’s confused. “It’s my birthday,” he replies and Yoongi chuckles. “No one goes to school or their birthday.”
“I guess that makes sense,” Yoongi agrees. “Well, it’s not my birthday, so I have to go. See you later.”
Jimin smiles sadly and waves goodbye to him as he starts walking again.
“Thank you all for coming in today,” Namjoon says, a bright smile on his face as he looks through the cast and crew. “I must confess that I'm a little nervous about finally showing everyone the screenplay, and I honestly adore you all for agreeing to do this without even reading it.”
“We have faith in your talent, hyung,” Jungkook replies, making the entire room agree with hums and shouts of “yeah”.
Namjoon bows slightly before taking his seat. “Alright, let’s read Heaven.”
Yoongi brings his screenplay closer, a smile spreading across his face upon reading his own name below the “directed by” line. He’s sitting to Namjoon’s right, while Jimin’s sitting to Namjoon’s left. Yoongi wasn’t surprised when the man didn’t approach him at all when he arrived, even if he said hi to everyone else he knew. If he’s honest, he rather likes it. The more distance Yoongi puts between them, the better for his health.
The screenplay is amazing, but of course that’s expected coming from Namjoon. Yoongi’s not quite sure of how much of it was based on the man’s actual life experience, but it feels so fuzzy and warm inside him to read such a celebration of different people and a love letter to love itself.
“This is so you, man,” he says with a chuckle after the applause had subsided and everyone is making small talk. “Even if it has a happy ending.”
Namjoon’s mouth hangs open. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You’re not big on happy endings, buddy,” Yoongi replies with a shrug. Namjoon’s about to argue, but Yoongi’s quicker. “Name one of your stories that has a happy ending.”
Namjoon narrows his eyes and doesn’t say anything.
“Exactly.” Yoongi knows he’s not upset about it, so after blowing Namjoon a kiss, he stands up and walks towards Jung Hoseok.
“Look who it is,” Hoseok says with a click of his tongue, champagne glass on his hand still completely full. Next to him, a very shy Jeon Jungkook tries not to make eye contact with Yoongi. “Director Min Yoongi, what an honour to have you on our set.”
“Shut up,” Yoongi groans, a grin forming on his lips. “Will you drink that?” He points to the glass and Hoseok shakes his head, handing it over to him. “Thank you.”
Yoongi downs the entire thing in one go and that makes Jungkook’s eyes go wide, but Hoseok simply raises an eyebrow. “Tough morning?”
“You can say that,” Yoongi replies, his eyes going over the crowd and stopping as he finds Jimin talking with Kim Taehyung. He looks so pretty, much prettier than he was before. Hair blonde, lips plumper, jaw more aligned. “So glad to work with you again, though,” he comments, eyes going back to Hoseok. “Did it take a lot for Namjoon to convince you to go back on a set with him?
Hoseok chuckles, but Jungkok frowns. “Why?” He asks. “Why would you need convincing, hyung?”
“When we were in college Hoseok and Namjoon produced a short film together and all they did was fight,” Yoongi exclaims, noticing how hard the boy blushes once his eyes set on him. “They couldn’t agree on one single thing, it was madness, especially for me who shared an apartment with them.”
Hoseok shrugs. “We fucked it out.”
Jungkook chokes on nothing, blush turning even pinker and Yoongi chuckles. “You did. It was quite a shock to me, if I can be honest.”
“You and hyung had sex?” Jungkook whispers, eyes blown wide, pink lips forming a small ‘O’ while his black long hair falls all around his face.
“Don’t worry, Jungkook-ah,” Hoseok says sweetly, a hand coming to rest on the younger man’s shoulder. “That was a lifetime ago, he’s all yours now.”
Yoongi looks between them. “I didn’t know Namjoon was dating,” he says, smiling.
Jungkook’s blush turns impossibly pinker and he groans into his hands, shrugging Hoseok’s hand away, which only makes the producer giggle harder. “You’re an idiot, hyung, stop saying shit like that to everyone ,” he whines, then looks at Yoongi. “No offense, Yoongi-ssi.”
“None taken,” Yoongi assures him, and he thinks he gets it. He searches for Namjoon and finds the man talking with the other lead in the movie, Kim Seokjin. “He’s cute, Jungkook, you should go for it.”
“That’s what I keep telling him and–,” Hoseok agrees, but the daggers in Jungkook’s eyes make him stop whatever he was going to say next.
“You’re playing Changkyun in the movie, right?” He asks Jungkook, who simply nods. “That’s a hard role, but I know you can handle it,” Yoongi assures him. “Loved Euphoria.”
Jungkook’s face lights up in a smile that makes him look a little like a bunny and Yoongi feels himself mirror the younger man’s smile. He just knows he will warm up to this kid easily.
As the hours pass, the reading becomes a full on party, with Hoseok leaving with Taehyung and a guy named Minho to buy more alcohol and Namjoon ordering a shit load of food. Yoongi has never been on a set where everyone is drinking, eating and dancing on the first day of work. It’s fun, he thinks, to be partying months before the wrap.
He makes his way through the crowd with a beer can in his hand, trying his hardest to get the names of everyone he will be working with. It’s a different environment than the other movies he had worked on; he feels welcomed and he knows everyone else feels the same. It’s a good thing what they’re doing.
Yoongi’s laughing away with his newest friend, Park Jihyo, when Jimin glances over at him from the other side of the room and he freezes. He knows that if he wasn’t so aware of Jimin’s position to begin with he wouldn’t even have noticed the stare, but Yoongi tells himself he was just checking him to see they are keeping a safe distance. And they were, until Jimin decides to start walking over to where Yoongi stands.
The director tries not to show how he is affected by Jimin once he arrives there, kissing Jihyo’s face and asking if he can have a moment with Yoongi. She smiles sweetly and nods, saying goodbye to both of them with a half bow.
“I know you don’t wanna talk to me,” Jimin begins once she’s far enough away, but Yoongi’s quick to interrupt.
“Then why are you here?”
Jimin blinks at him and Yoongi notices they are still the same height. This close, Jimin’s much more beautiful than he is on the screen or from the other side of the room. It’s almost unfair, he thinks, that Jimin looks so good even when he’s clearly drunk.
“Holding a grudge against me is bad for both of us,” Jimin mutters, pout forming on his lips. “At least let me explain why I acted the way I did.”
“I think I can guess,” Yoongi replies, taking a large sip from his beer can. “Told you I was gay when you weren’t ready to face your own sexuality and that lead you to pushing your oldest friend away and making him assume for ten years that you hated him just because he liked men.”
Jimin opens his mouth several times to rebut, but he’s obviously at a loss for words. Blonde hair styled back, cheeks pink (from embarrassment or alcohol, Yoongi doesn’t know) and eyeshadow on, so different from the black haired, round face teen Yoongi used to know.
“I’m sorry I hurt you,” he finally says and Yoongi can feel his sincerity piercing through his skin and lodging itself into his heart. “I was terrified of the things I felt, the things I thought.” Jimin licks his lips, shakes his head. “My dad, I knew he would never accept me. So I shoved it so deep inside that I was sure it was never going to get out, and then you came out to me and I freaked.”
Yoongi nods, trying to understand what he’s feeling right now, alcohol buzzing in his veins. “I get it, Jimin, but what about after?” Jimin frowns as if he doesn’t understand the question, so Yoongi continues. “It looks like you’ve made peace with your sexuality. Why did you never contact me?”
“It’s complicated, hyung.”
Don’t call me that.
“That’s the worst response you could’ve given me, I hope you’re aware of that,” Yoongi spits louder than he intended and a few people around them turn to look. He sighs, drinking the rest of the beer and tossing it in the trash. “I meant it when I said I didn’t want to talk.”
“But we’re going to work together for months,” Jimin argues, hard lines on his forehead indicating how stressed he feels. “You called me to ask me if we’re good, I said we were, but are we? You can’t even look at me.”
“I’m looking at you right now.” Yoongi’s eyes are settled on Jimin’s face, his breath coming out a little exasperated. He doesn’t feel good.
Jimin shakes his head. “But you’re not really looking.”
The words hit him like a cold wind on a winter night. Yoongi blinks several times, eyes travelling through all of Jimin’s face before settling somewhere behind him. Suddenly Yoongi’s so small, back in his childhood bed, staring at the ceiling, a hand inside his pants, Jimin’s face on his mind, guilt in his heart.
“What do you want from me?” He asks, but he’s not sure who he’s talking to, Jimin or himself. It comes out in a whispered whimper and even though he’s not looking directly at him, he can see Jimin shake. “Please, let’s just do the movie, we don’t have to resolve anything, we were perfectly okay all of these radio silent years.”
His eyes settle back on Jimin once he hears a “okay” coming out of his mouth. The actor runs a hand over his hair and chews on his bottom lip, facing the floor as he doesn’t know what else to do. Yoongi thinks this moment has extended itself for long enough. He puts a hand on Jimin’s shoulder and squeezes it, which takes the younger man by surprise. Jimin releases the bottom lip from his teeth hold and stares at his childhood friend, eyes blown wide even if a little hazy because of the effect of the alcohol.
Yoongi thinks of something smart to say, wondering if he could grab a page from Namjoon’s ethics book and give both of them advice so they can go through shooting months without any awkward or potentially heated encounters, but he’s at a loss of words.
So he just presses his lips in a thin line and sighs, pulling his hand back and walking away. As he goes to grab another beer can, Yoongi doesn’t miss the way Jimin’s eyes follow his every movement.