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i am tired of my grief (i need you to love me)

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𝐓𝐨  𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐤  𝐉𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐧 , 𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐭  𝐢𝐧  𝐭𝐡𝐞  𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐬  𝐨𝐟  𝐭𝐡𝐞  𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐬 ,

𝐈  𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞  𝐲𝐨𝐮

 

October 13, 2010

Geumjeong Mountain, Busan, South Korea

It’s a quiet day. Min Yoongi sits at the edge of the mountain, a cigarette in hand. He smiles at the sunrise in front of him. The sun peaks at the horizon, painting the sky a bright orange. A small yellow-bellied flycatcher sits next to him. He can hear footsteps from behind, a soft humming to a song. Happy Birthday, his mind registers.

Suddenly, the footsteps halt. The humming cease. Yoongi smiles. Then there’s the sound of twigs being crushed. The flycatcher flies away. Yoongi looks at the newcomer.

He stands there - black hair messy atop his head. His face is still all soft edges and chubby cheeks. His cheeks are tinted red. There’s guilt on his face. His fingers hold a small white plastic bag.

“I, I’m just going to, uh, go, yeah,” he stutters, “I’ll just go.”

He’s still so so beautiful.

“You can stay,” Yoongi tells him. “This is a public place. I don’t mind”

There’s hesitation written on his pretty face. He’s pondering, thinking if it’s wise to stay with a stranger in a remote place. He thinks about it the same way he’s done all those times before. Then he concedes. He throws Yoongi a small smile (the shy kind, the beautiful kind, when his lips turn up just slightly) before he sits beside him.

Silence envelops the both of them before he starts humming again. Yoongi stares at the sunrise, tries hard, very veryhard, to keep himself from staring at the boy beside him. Yoongi can see him take out a small cupcake with a blue candle from the bag he’s carrying.

He’s giddy, happy, singing. (And he’s so beautiful, Yoongi misses him).

“Happy birthday,” Yoongi breaks the silence.

He can feel the boy still in his movements. “How, how did you know?” the boy asks warily.

Yoongi laughs to himself, how could he not know?

(If he was proud, he would've said he knew everything. He knows his favourite fruits and the things he does when he’s bored. He's memorized his habits and the little things he does unconsciously. He knows his dreams – how much he loves teaching young kids, the way he still dances, satiating his passion and love for the art. He knows how many kids he would like, the kind of wedding he has planned, how he would design their house.)

Yoongi shrugs and says, “I recognized the song you were humming.”

He smiles at that, the big kind (the blinding one, the one that manages to catch Yoongi off guard, a big grin, showing all his teeth, the happy one – the happiest).

“Thank you!” he says delighted. “I’m turning 15 today!”

Yoongi smiles at him. He sees a small blush creep up the other boy’s cheeks. “Are you always this happy?” Yoongi asks him.

“I try to be,” the other boy says. Yoongi doesn’t reply, he looks at the sun instead. He can feel the other boy thinking. He’s probably running his teeth over his lips, a frown on his face. He’s wondering if it’s wise to say his name to a stranger. 

He sighs (Yoongi tries not to smile), “my name’s Jimin by the way.”

I know, Yoongi wants to say. I know. But he can’t. Instead he says, “that’s a nice name.” It has Jimin blushing harder and he stutters a shy ‘thanks.’

Yoongi looks at his watch. Ten minutes, he counts. He closes his eyes and indulges in the feeling. Jimin eats his cupcake, humming a soft song in between bites. Yoongi can feel the warmth of the sun’s rays and the comfort of Jimin’s presence. Jimin is humming and he’s tapping his fingers against his knees.

Yoongi looks at him. The sun’s rays cast a soft glow against his pretty face. His cheeks are full and happy, tinted a little pink. His lashes are small and fragile, and his eyes are a beautiful rich brown. His lips are soft and pink and his voice is still the singing of angel choirs.

“It is an honor that we exist in the same space, and time didn’t choose to separate us by eons.” Yoongi says in silence.

He looks at Jimin before he stands. Jimin’s eyes are rich brown and beautiful, a question at the tip of his tongue. He’s probably wondering what Yoongi means, what he wants to say. He doesn’t get the chance to ask.

Jimin freezes as Yoongi reaches out a hand to him, question forgotten on his tongue. He’s probably wondering if this is where he dies, Yoongi thinks. Yoongi smiles as his fingers brush against Jimin’s hair. It’s still soft, still pure from all the hair dye Jimin would use in the future. Yoongi’s watch beeps in alarm.

“I pray about you, still,” Yoongi whispers softly as he threads his fingers through Jimin’s hair.

Then in a heartbeat, Yoongi is gone.

  

Jimin looks at the sun. Then, at the space beside him and the cigarette on the ground. He wonders if he imagined the whole thing.

 

June 01, 2025

Seoul, South Korea

Yoongi stands in the streets of Yongsan-gu. It’s not raining but he has his umbrella open. He knows the scene enough to know that it will rain soon. People send him looks as they pass his way, probably wondering why grim reaper is out on the streets this afternoon. Yoongi wears an all-black ensemble suit that contrasts against his pale skin. He has his mouth set in a thin line as he clutches his black umbrella. The cigarette burns in his pocket.

The streets are free, only a few cars passing. There’s a child crossing, a daughter with his mother. Her doll falls from her hands. A man in formal clothes picks it up for her. The man crouches down in front of the child as he gives her the doll. He has a smile on his face (the loving kind, the one where his eyes fill with adoration and they look like they have the stars in them). The cigarette burns hotter in Yoongi’s pocket; he feels an itch climbing up his throat.

The man is standing now, he cards his fingers through his hair – a habit he doesn’t tire of. He talks to the girl’s mother, a smile on his face. The mother thanks him and he says it’s not a problem. He looks lovingly at the girl again and then he waves goodbye.

Yoongi turns around and walks away. He knows the scene enough, watched it too many times before. A car (Audi, black, SUV) would turn right by the corner street, hurrying. It would pass by the intersection at the exact moment the man would cross the street. The car would produce an awful screech, and the mother from a minute ago would scream. There's a sound of a car door opening. People's whispers linger in the air. Someone is shouting for help. There's an ambulance in the distance.

Then it rains.

 

Yoongi leaves just as the first raindrop hits the ground.

 

November, 1913

Graz, Austria

Yoongi sits on the open window of a building. He has his pocket pistol beside him and a cigarette hanging from his mouth. He looks out to the houses below him, one in particular. He watches as Franz Ferdinand laughs with his family. Their servants are preparing dinner.

Yoongi looks at his watch. It reads 13 hours. Yoongi reads the parchment again, a small piece of paper. ‘Trifko Grabez, male, 18, Graz, Austria - would assassinate the archduke before intended; kill.’ Yoongi sets the parchment on fire with his lighter, lets the ashes be carried by the winter breeze. He looks at the sniper rifle standing inside the room, unused. Then he spares a glance at the dead body of Trifko Grabez, a clean shot to the head.

Yoongi thinks it’s a pity how life is so easily taken away. Then he realizes the boy would die sooner or later, and the pity is washed away.

Besides, there’s no room for pity or hesitation in Yoongi’s line of work.

Yoongi takes one last look at the archduke and his family.

Then, in a heartbeat, Yoongi is gone again. 

 

October 13, 1995

Somewhere in Busan, South Korea

Yoongi sits in the sofa of a rundown apartment. He doesn’t know to whom the apartment belongs to. Only knows that their death would be irrelevant to the timeline. Some old Korean drama is playing on the television, the sound filling the loneliness of the room.

Yoongi’s halfway through the box of pepperoni pizza (courtesy of the dead man in the kitchen) when he feels it. Yoongi downs his beer in one go before abruptly throwing it against the wall. The new arrival doesn’t even flinch.

“This isn’t healthy, hyung.”

“Fuck off, Namjoon.” He hears the man sigh. Yoongi doesn’t really care. He doesn’t spare Namjoon a glance, knows he’s not leaving until he lectures Yoongi on his habits. He’s probably wearing a crisp suit with his stupid fedora hat, something formal, radiating an aura of confidence and power – a stark contrast to Yoongi’s 3-days-old sweatpants and black shirt.

Namjoon sits next to him on the sofa, eyes filled with judgement as he scans the empty beer bottles on the coffee table.

“How many of these have you had?”

“Not enough since I’m still sober,” Yoongi says cheekily.

Namjoon doesn’t reply to him. He sees the younger watching the television. Yoongi offers him pizza which the younger refuses.

“I don’t want to eat food you stole from a dead man,” Namjoon tells him. “An innocent dead man,” the younger adds.

Yoongi scoffs, “you talk as if you haven’t killed one man in your life, Joon-ah. All of us have killed somebody.”

“I only kill what’s relevant.”

Yoongi laughs before he opens another beer. “Aha! But of course, only what’s relevant. Glad to know my life is relevant.”

“Hyung –,” Namjoon tries to interfere.

Yoongi carries on, “remember Joonie, when you tried to kill me? Slammed my back against the cold pavement. My back still hurts from time to time, you know. I can’t believe my own friend tried to kill me! My own! Without even an ounce of regret or hesitation!”

Yoongi looks at the younger as he finishes his beer. Namjoon’s eyes remain focused on the television, face unreadable.

“Say something, asshole,” Yoongi says irritated. He reaches out for another bottle. Namjoon’s supposed to say something. Supposed to lecture him and annoy him. Namjoon’s supposed to speak and rant and tear his ear off. He’s supposed to say something so that the loneliness lessens and Yoongi feels like he’s not alone, not anymore. Yoongi doesn’t need him to watch some shitty old Korean drama in a dead man’s house with him. He prods Namjoon’s foot, “say something.”

Namjoon looks at him then, “he’s born today, is he?”

There’s something sad in Namjoon’s eyes. Is it pity? Understanding? Grief? Empathy? Yoongi doesn’t know. He stays silent.

“Don’t you find it funny, hyung? Two dead men in a dead man’s house on the day someone was born?” The younger asks. Yoongi doesn’t find anything funny about it. Thinks it’s annoying, how Namjoon teases him. Thinks he doesn’t have the right to.

Yoongi hates him. Yoongi wants him to leave. Needs him to leave.

“Leave.” Yoongi says coldly. Namjoon sighs again. He’s been doing that a lot. Yoongi hates him for it.

“Well, I tried,” he says.

“You really didn’t.”

“Jin-hyung says dinner is in 58 hours. December 04, year 1992. Paris”

Yoongi groans, “he just spent his birthday last week!”

“You don’t know that, we have no sense of time”

Yoongi glares at him. Namjoon stands from the sofa and gives Yoongi one last look. “I’ll leave you to your wallowing in despair now,” he says as he bids Yoongi goodbye.

Yoongi pays him no mind. Namjoon is gone instantly and Yoongi is left with his loneliness again. The dead man lies on the kitchen and an old Korean drama plays on the television. And in the comfort of his pizza and empty beer bottles, Yoongi cries again. 

 

Year 1609

Pisa, Italy

Sometimes, Yoongi wonders why he feels so much. He used to think that a couple years (has it been a couple years already?) would be enough to grow numb to the pain. A very optimistic Seokjin-hyung once believed that Yoongi would learn to let go and move on. That someday, he’d be able to forget and maybe start again.

That day still hasn’t come.

Yoongi sips on his coffee, he’s reading a book in one of the fancy Italian cafes along the streets of Pisa. He thinks it’s not the wisest idea to read, more so to bring, a book published in 2011 but Yoongi couldn’t find it in himself to care. For once, he just wants to read somebody else’s tragic gay love story instead of wallowing in his.

His watch beeps in alarm, three minutes, it shows. Yoongi reads today’s parchment: ‘Galileo Galilei, male, 45, Pisa, Italy – changed plans, would not come across the spyglass; intervene.’

Yoongi stands from his seat when he spies said male from across the street. He throws a thanks to the waitress and leaves money on the table before making his way to the crowded streets of Pisa.

Yoongi thinks this is probably one of the good things in his job. The opportunity to see the likes of Galileo Galilei being annoyed and stressed in the streets of Italy. Yoongi takes out the spyglass from his coat pocket as he approaches the professor. Galilei grunts something in a language Yoongi doesn't understand. Yoongi intentionally bumps into him and as Yoongi says his pardon, he slips the spyglass into Galilei’s coat pocket before walking away.

Galileo would later find a peculiar thing in his coat pocket when he arrives home. And his curiosity over the little thing would push him to invent the telescope. Yoongi could care less about science and the sun and all the planets. So, Yoongi holds tightly unto his book and in a heartbeat, he is gone again.

 

December 18, 2015

Seoul, South Korea

Yoongi gathers his courage as he enters the coffee shop. He keeps his eyes trained on the floor as he lines up to the cashier. He can hear itfrom here. He can hear him. He’s greeting somebody, a customer. The tilt of his voice suggests that he’s probably smiling, a big grin (the happy one, the one that appears on his face every time he helps somebody). God, his voice still sounds like angel choirs and his hair is probably honey blonde.

Yoongi braces himself as the line shuffles forward until it’s his turn to order.

“Welcome to Starbucks! What would you like for today?” The cashier greets happily. Yoongi has his eyes trained on the counter now, he can see his hand resting upon it. It takes all of Yoongi’s restraint to not reach out and hold it.

Yoongi takes a deep breath, then, he looks.

The first thing he sees are rich brown eyes and the fluff of honey blonde hair. Yoongi looks at him, he’s smiling at Yoongi. The big grin, the kind that makes him extra beautiful because he looks so happy. His nose is still shaped similar to that of a Greek god’s and there are tiny freckles on his cheeks. His eyes are bright and his lips are soft and pink and god, god, he’s so so beautiful, Yoongi wonders how he can breathe.

“Sir, can I have your order?” Jimin repeats to him.

“Hi,” Yoongi breathes. There’s amusement in Jimin’s eyes.

(Yoongi feels like crying.)

“Hello sir,” Jimin says amused. “Your order?”

“Yeah, yeah my order, of course, yeah”

“Yes sir,” Jimin says with a small laugh, “your order, what would it be?”

It’s been years and Yoongi is still an idiot.

(And he’s still the same, still trying to be his happiest, still trying to be enough, still beautiful and kind and like an angel and the world still doesn’t deserve him, it’s so unfair).

“I’d just have an uhm, a venti, a venti café latte,” Yoongi manages to stutter.

Jimin smiles at him as he punches his order. “And your name sir?”

(Oh god. Oh god. Oh god. Oh god. Oh god.)

“…Yoongi”

Jimin smiles at him again, “one venti café latte for Yoongi coming up!” There it is.

Jimin says his name with no emotion at all. He says Yoongi’s name the same way he’d say another customer’s, void of any love or adoration or worry or care. Nothing at all. And yet, Yoongi still crumbles inside because he said his name.

God, what Yoongi would give to hear it again.

“Sir?”

“Yes?”

“You could wait in the claiming area now. Thank you,” Jimin says to him. Yoongi realizes he’s probably holding the line but his feet don’t seem to want to move. Because this is where they belong – in front of Jimin, finally in front of him again. But it’s not where he should be anymore so Yoongi moves to the side.

But before he leaves, he turns to look at Jimin one more time. His honey blond hair is a fluff atop his head and there are freckles dotting his cheeks. His smile turns his eyes into crescents and his voice sounds like angel choirs.

“You’re beautiful,” Yoongi tells him, because he is. He is.

Surprise takes over Jimin’s face for a minute, the compliment catching him off guard, then a blush creeps on his neck and he stutters a shy thanks. Yoongi smiles at him just before he leaves.

Yoongi exits the shop without his coffee.

 

February 14, 2014

Busan, South Korea

“What do you think would happen if we ditched our mission?”

Yoongi watches as the waves hit the shore. There’s a family near them, a small boy making sand castles at their left. There are people swimming in the beach, while some are taking pictures. To their eyes, everything is uncertain and every moment is fleeting. Things will happen just because, and not because fate or some grand being is planning it.

Yoongi stopped counting the hours after the number 754. It’s easy to lose your sense of time when you’re a jumper.

“They’d send someone for you,” he answers Jungkook, a co-worker (a friend! Jungkook would protest, we’re friends hyung!). They’re both just watching the scene play before them. He and Jungkook go out sometimes. They sit by the beach and feel the sand against their skin. Sometimes they talk, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes Jungkook watches him cry but he never asks. He asks about small things, random queries, but never about him. Yoongi is grateful for it.

“That happened to you once, right?” Jungkook asks him, doe eyes filled with curiosity.

“Yeah, they sent Namjoon. He almost killed me, hit me against the pavement a little too hard”

“That’s all they did?” the younger questions.

Yoongi shakes his head, “sent me on more jobs, twice my normal load. Plus, they uhm, they banned me from returning to that moment for 8,760 hours.”

Jungkook whistles, “that’s a lot. What’d you do?”

Yoongi watches as a small boy walks to the shore. He carries in his small palm what looks like a starfish. He’s probably 5 or 6 years old, and he has a smile on his face. The boy walks to the shore with careful steps. Then, he slowly lowers the starfish back to the water.

Yoongi thinks the world doesn’t deserve people like him, doesn’t deserve angels. The world is too corrupted and vile and hostile and selfish for people like him. There’s a lump on Yoongi’s throat.

“I tried to stop someone from dying,” Yoongi answers. The small boy runs back to his family.

Jungkook is silent for a while before he speaks again, “and you weren’t allowed to?”

“Nope,” Yoongi shakes his head, “he had to die or some type of war or shit would’ve happened,” he laughs, though Yoongi can’t find anything funny about it.

“Pity,” Jungkook says.

This world doesn’t deserve angels. It’s too corrupted and vile and hostile and selfish. And Yoongi hates them – the greater beings. The people (?) who get to decide who has to die, who needs to, who can’t.

“The greatest.”

People think everything happens just because, with no reason or plan. It happens because it does and everything is fleeting. But it isn’t. It happens because they decide it to. It happens because they deem it necessary. And everything, every hour, every minute, and every second is just part of a bigger loop. A never-ending repetition of time.

 

Yoongi hates all of it.

  

June 01, 2025

Seoul, South Korea

Yoongi stands in the streets of Yongsan-gu. He’s wearing an all-black ensemble suit. He has his umbrella open and people are giving him weird looks. There’s a beautiful man wearing white longsleeves and black slacks. He cards his fingers through his hair and smiles at the mother and child in front of him. He pats the girl’s head and smiles lovingly.

There’s a lump on Yoongi’s throat that makes his lungs itch. The cigarette in his coat pocket burns.

The man is waving goodbye now. Yoongi turns around the moment a car (Audi, black, SUV) turns right at the intersection.

There’s an awful screech, a mother’s cry, the slamming of a car door, and people’s whispers. Somebody’s calling for help. There’s an ambulance in the distance.

 

Yoongi leaves before it rains.

 

June 01, 2025

Seoul, South Korea

Yoongi was 32 when he first entered the job. Namjoon was the one who came to him. Kim Namjoon, he introduced himself. He asked Yoongi whether there was one moment in time that he’d like to return to. Yoongi, hopeful and desperate, said yes. Namjoon asked him, what he would give to do so. And without hesitation, Yoongi answered, everything.

Namjoon didn’t mention the part where he couldn’t change anything about it. He can only relive it. Relive it, over and over and over again until Yoongi lost count of how many times he watched it. Relive it, over and over and over again to the point Yoongi has the scene memorized.

An 8,760-hour ban from that moment: June 01, 2025, Seoul, South Korea. He was given twice the job load. Jumping from year to year, from place to place. It gets tiring. So fucking tiring because this is not what Yoongi signed up for; because all Yoongi wanted was to go back to that moment, June 01, 2025, Seoul, South Korea and change things.

  

The only respite he gets is this.

Yoongi looks at the apartment door, 913. He knocks on it twice before slowly entering.

Everything is the same. There’s the coat hanger by the door, one coat. There’s the console filled with picture frames and other useless knickknacks. The living room still has a sofa and the tv. There’s the doorway leading to the kitchen and the corridor to the bedrooms.

“Jimin?” he calls out with a quivering voice. God, how long since he last said that name.

There’s humming in the kitchen, then a shout of, “kitchen!”

Yoongi walks to the kitchen, follows where the voice came from until he sees him.

Yoongi feels weak.

“Sunshine,” he calls. Jimin looks up from the dish he’s preparing.

Jimin smiles (the loving kind, the one where he looks at Yoongi with such adoration that it has Yoongi feeling weak in his knees) at him. “Yoongi! You’re here!” He approaches Yoongi until he’s close enough. Close enough for Yoongi to hold again. Close enough for Yoongi to kiss his forehead and whisper to him, you mean the world to me. Close enough. Close enough. Close enough. 

(Yoongi finds it hard to breathe)

“Hi,” Yoongi says, a little breathless.

“Hello!” Jimin giggles. He drapes his arms over Yoongi’s shoulders. His hair is black and his eyes are turned into crescents. He’s wearing white longsleeves and black slacks. He’s beautiful like always. “I thought you’re not arriving till later lunch? I left you food, was supposed to write a note”

Yoongi stares at him. At the man he loves, the only man he loved.

Yoongi kisses his forehead. “I miss you,” he whispers. Because he does, god, Yoongi does. He misses him in every moment of every day, every minute, down to the last second. He misses him when he’s in Paris or Italy, trying to kill somebody or drinking his coffee.

Jimin giggles as he moves back. “I missed you too! But I have to go now, okay? We’ll catch up later! Bye!”

Jimin pulls away. He gets his bag from the living room and is on the way out of the apartment when Yoongi stops him.

“Wait!”

“Yes?” Jimin asks curiously, hand on the door.

It takes a lot from Yoongi to stop himself from asking Jimin to stay; because he knows, oh god how he knows. He knows what’s going to happen the minute Jimin walks out of the apartment but he can’t. He can’t say anything.

Jimin is still looking at him questioningly, an eyebrow raised.

“I love you,” Yoongi says. Jimin is smiling again, a big grin, the giddy one.

“I love you too! Bye now! See you later!” Jimin says as he leaves.

Yoongi is left in the middle of the living room, alone. The sofa is still there, with the pillows that Jimin loves hugging. There’s books in the coffee table, Jimin’s favorites. The flowers Yoongi gave him are in a vase, slowly dying. Every space in their home is still the same, still filled with memories of the both of them.

 

Yoongi feels alone.

 

He has been for a long time now.

  

April, 1909

Vienna, Austria

“You ever think life’s unfair?” Yoongi asks as he takes another swig off his beer.

“Please let me go –“

“Like, why would you give me something so damn good, only to take it back?”

“Please, I’ll give you anything –“

“Funny. At one point in my life, I used to think life was fair!” Yoongi laughs as he empties the bottle’s contents.

“If you want money –“

“You ever look at someone and think you don’t deserve them? Like, nobody deserves them. The world doesn’t deserve them!”

“I can give you my car –“

The man beside him continues to beg and it irks Yoongi. Yoongi just wants to rant for pete’s sake, and this man keeps interrupting him!

“Would you please stop whining,” Yoongi tells the stranger. Whining. Yoongi smiles to himself. He remembers the time Jimin used to whine. He would whine all the time. He would whine during finals because ‘hyung these are killing me!  He would whine about Taehyung, ‘his things are always a mess in our dorm! He would whine about the children in the orphanage, ‘how could someone abandon a child! He would whine about Yoongi, about his job, about little things. Yoongi feels a little wetness in his eyes so he swallows the feelings down.

Yoongi reaches for another beer after he throws away the last one. He looks at the stranger with cold calculative eyes. The stranger’s hands are handcuffed and he’s tied to a chair. He has tear tracks on his cheeks and dried blood by his jaw – courtesy of Yoongi punching him hours ago.

“Please don’t kill me,” the man – Elias Schuchard – begs.

Yoongi rolls his eyes at him. “I’m not going to kill you”

“Th-then, then, then why do you have me tied up?” Elias stutters.

“So you don’t run away,” Yoongi explains. He sees Elias shoulders drop in relief. “They want to kill you.”

Elias looks at him terrified, “who?”

They.” Yoongi answers as he pulls out a small piece of parchment from his jean pocket. “Elias Schuchard,” Yoongi starts. “Thirty-three, Vienna, Austria, kill.”

“Why?” Elias asks. “Why do they want to kill me?” Yoongi looks at him. Thirty-three. They’re almost the same age when it happened. There’s fear in Elias eyes, the crippling fear that death is near. Yet, there is also something else - worry, concern. Yoongi wonders if Jimin felt these emotions too. If fear and concern flashed on his pretty face, wonders if fear crawled up his arms like spiders when he learns he’s about to die. Yoongi wonders if Jimin thought of him, of what he’s leaving behind, and what his death would do to Yoongi.

Yoongi thinks probably not.

He stares at Elias for a long time. “You’re gay, aren’t you?”

The change in Elias’ expression is instantaneous. His once fear-laden face turns stoic, piercing gaze looking straight at Yoongi as he spats, “you’re all going to hell.”

“No!” Yoongi tries to explain. “That’s, that’s not what I mean! I was just asking, confirming if you’re gay. You have someone at home right?” Yoongi tries but Elias doesn’t move, expression unchanging.

“They’re not going to kill you because you’re gay,” Yoongi tries to explain as he internally curses himself.

“Why then?” Elias asks in cold voice. “Why would they kill me?”

Yoongi sighs, “you were going to run over young Adolf Hitler with your car”

“What?” Elias asks confused. He probably doesn’t know who Adolf Hitler is, or what he’s going to do. In Yoongi’s opinion, they should have just let Elias run Adolf Hitler over a car, but as he is reminded many times before, his opinion doesn’t matter.

“Who’s Adolf Hitler?” Elias asks him.

“Some dude who’s about to start world war two,” Yoongi replies nonchalantly. “Never mind that, you have someone waiting for you at home, don’t you?”

Elias looks at him, apprehension on his face. Yoongi doesn’t blame him. “Yes.”

“Me too,” Yoongi says as he throws away, yet again, another beer. “What’s his name?”

“Mathias… you’re drunk.” Elias tells him, not that he needs to tell Yoongi. Yoongi’s not drunk. Well, he thinks he’s not drunk because if he was, then shouldn’t the pain subside? Shouldn’t he at least forget Jimin? Then he laughs because he’s a fool for thinking that.

“Mine’s Jimin,” Yoongi starts to slur as he reaches for another beer.

There is no alternate universe or another lifetime where he won’t remember who Jimin is, where he won’t know who Jimin is. His whole soul and body would yearn for the other boy, would grieve for him, would love him. And where there is love, there is sadness. For what is love, without the other?

“What?”

“The…person, you know, my person. My person was Jimin. Park Jimin. Beautiful and kind Park Jimin. Fluffy haired, always smiling Park Jimin.” Yoongi tells Elias. Yoongi thinks the alcohol is starting to get to his system. “Jimin was…my person.”

Yoongi makes his way to Elias. He takes off the handcuffs (with some difficulty, why won’t the key just fit in the damn hole?) and unties the man from the chair. Yoongi thinks he’s not going to run away anymore.

Elias looks at him, there’s only pity in his eyes. No more apprehension or fear, just pity. Pity for Yoongi.

Yoongi would pity himself too.

“Was?” Elias asks.

Yoongi looks at him sadly. “They took him from me,” Yoongi whispers. Something sad crosses Elias face. “The same people who want me to take you away from your person.”

“Mister…”

“But I wouldn’t do that to your person. I know the pain. How it feels, to wait for someone to come home but then… they never do.” Yoongi doesn’t know why he’s telling all these to a stranger. Probably because of the alcohol, maybe because he’s vulnerable now. Or probably because if it wasn’t Yoongi who was tasked with this, Elias would probably end up like Jimin. And there would be another Yoongi grieving and weaving through time.

They fall in silence after that. Yoongi continues to drink his beer while Elias stays in his chair. There’s a sad look on his face, and a lot of pity.

“This isn’t healthy,” Elias says as he faces Yoongi. Yoongi raises his eyebrow at Elias. “I’m a doctor, and I think your coping mechanisms aren’t healthy.”

Yoongi scoffs at him. Unhealthy. How many times has he heard that word thrown at him? “Believe me, I know.”

“Then why do you still do it?”

Yoongi smiles at him then, “there’s not much left to do for a man like me.”

 

April 24, 2020

Busan, South Korea

If Yoongi closed his eyes and tried really really hard, he could almost pretend he was alone. And if he tries harder, he could imagine his life before. He could imagine the way he used to cook in their kitchen, humming to a song Jimin plays, the younger intently watching. He could imagine the way Jimin would pull him in to dance, the way he would giggle and laugh. He can almost feel the kisses on his nose and the way Jimin’s stares make him feel.

“Yoongi-yah! Are you even listening to me?!”

Alas.

“Yoongi-yah!” There’s another shout from the kitchen, some rustling, then footsteps. Footsteps padding through the floor, creeping, walking closer to where Yoongi is lying on their bed. Yoongi lies on his and Jimin's bed. It’s newly made, still fresh and uninhabited. They haven’t moved in yet.

Yoongi hears a sigh but he doesn’t open his eyes. There are tears streaming down Yoongi’s cheeks and if his eyes remain close, he can almost imagine that he’s alone. That no one’s seeing him cry. Yoongi lies spread eagle on their fresh and uninhabited bed and there are tears falling down his cheeks. He must look pathetic.

He can feel the edge of the bed dipping. Another weight. A person sitting. Yoongi flinches.

There’s a soft sigh, followed by a whisper, “Yoongi…”

Yoongi remains silent. If he ignores Seokjin’s tall and broad presence, he could almost hear Satie’s Gymnopedie n.1 playing in the distance. Yoongi drifts in and out of his mind. He weaves through time – the first time he meets Jimin through spilled coffee and flustered apologies. He thinks of their third date and the way Jimin laughed with his whole body. Thinks of the first time they kissed, hesitant and unsure yet eager. He thinks about Jimin because when is he not thinking about him.

“Yoongi-yah, I got you water, please drink…” He hears Seokjin plead, there’s something in his voice – a sadness that sounds a lot like someone who’s about to give up.

Yoongi would shake his head to at least give Seokjin an answer but he’s too tired and he just wants to rest. And so, he doesn’t move or acknowledge the question. He can hear Seokjin sigh again and oh god oh god, Yoongi’s feeling guilty. He’s such a burden. A burden. And he doesn’t want to do anything. Please just leave.  

“Yoongi…”

Yoongi can hear the sadness in Seokjin’s voice and he thinks Seokjin doesn’t deserve this. He deserves to at least be looked at by Yoongi. Yoongi swallows down the shame, and with all the strength he could muster, he tries to open his eyes.

A blur. Seokjin sits at the edge of the bed. A blur. A blur but he’s there. The tears are just making it hard. He feels the weight shift as Seokjin leans over. There’s something cold and wet near Yoongi’s eyes and he realises it's Seokjin’s wiping his tears with a towel.

He can see Seokjin clearly now. He’s sitting on the bed and he looks at him. Seokjin sits at the edge, something sad in his eyes. Is it pity? Grief? Empathy? Yoongi doesn’t try to discern it anymore besides he always looks at Yoongi like that.

Yoongi stares at the ceiling. It’s still bare. It isn’t for another 6 months when Jimin would develop the craze for sticker stars and their ceiling would turn into a galaxy. 

“Yoongi…”

“We get married today,” Yoongi finally speaks and he hears Seokjin sigh.

“You can’t keep doing this to yourself, Yoongi”

“We get married today,” he repeats before looking Seokjin in the eye. Seokjin looks tired now. Yoongi is too but he continues, “in a beach in Busan cause he loves it there. It was beautiful, hyung”

Seokjin looks at him before smiling sadly, “I’m sure it was”

“It was beautiful because it was with him,” his voice breaks but he continues, “do you think they ever regret it?”

“Yoongi –“

“All the people they killed, the people they hurt, just to keep order in place. Do you think they ever regret it?” Yoongi asks. He wonders whether the people in control look at him and wished they never took Jimin from Yoongi. He wonders if they feel the same things Seokjin and Namjoon feel for him – sadness, pity, grief.

“You really shouldn’t be asking these kind of things, Yoongi-yah…” Seokjin tells him in a soft voice, as if afraid somebody might hear.

“Why not?” Yoongi asks frustrated.

“Because”

Yoongi waits for Seokjin to continue, to try and understand the reason why. When Seokjin doesn’t speak again, he looks at the elder. Exhaustion is evident in his form, his eyes are droopy with bags underneath. His skin doesn’t glow the same way it always does. Yoongi wonders if it’s because of him.

If Yoongi still had feelings, if his emotions weren't so messed up by all the sadness and loneliness and self-pity, he would’ve been mad. He would’ve shouted and demanded for an answer.

Instead, he says in a small voice, “I love him, hyung.”

Seokjin smiles sadly at him, he reaches out to Yoongi before whispering, “I know, Yoongi, I know”

If Yoongi had the energy to speak, he would’ve said something. Something to justify to Seokjin that he loves Jimin. That he loves him wholly and undoubtedly and certainly. He would’ve told Seokjin he loves Jimin so much he thinks his body’s not enough to hold all the love he has for him. He would’ve told Seokjin he loves him so much he asks himself if it’s still healthy.

He would’ve told Seokjin that Jimin was his reason. The think he looks forward to in each day. Jimin was his moon, sun, and sky. He was every sparkling light in the galaxy and every good thought in Yoongi’s world.

He would’ve told Seokjin that Yoongi thinks he loves Jimin a little too much. That the word love isn’t enough to describe the feeling. That sometimes, Yoongi finds the sudden urge to search the universe for a word that would suffice all these feelings but he knows he’d find nothing; because the universe isn’t ready for that kind of love yet.

But Yoongi couldn’t speak. He doesn’t have the energy to utter a word. He gets married today. To Jimin. In a beautiful beach in Busan with the scenery watching over them. Their parents are there, their best friends are there. Jimin cries during the ceremony and so does Yoongi.

They get married today in a beach in Busan and Yoongi’s crying in Seoul while Satie plays in the background.

  

June 01, 2025

Seoul, South Korea

It’s different. There’s something different, Yoongi thinks as he stands in front of their apartment door. He can’t pinpoint what exactly but he can feel it. The same feeling you get when you get all nervous and just know that something’s bound to get wrong but you don’t know what.

The answer comes to him the moment he opens the door.

It’s silent.

There’s no Jimin in the kitchen humming like he’s supposed to. There’s no music in the background to a new catchy song or whatever. Jimin’s coat still hangs in the coatrack by the door and there’s no lunch with a note left in the kitchen.

Something’s wrong because it seems as if Jimin’s not here and that causes Yoongi to panic because if he’s not here then where is he?

Oh god oh god oh god. He couldn’t have left – no, he couldn’t. They wouldn’t allow it. It’s not part of the timeline. It’s not fucking part of the timeline. Oh god, where is he? Where is Jimin? What if he left already? What if the timeline changed? What if the people really did have pity in him? What if Jimin’s not here because he’s in Busan and safe and alive and they finally want to give Jimin back to Yoongi?

In the midst of all his questions, Yoongi barely hears it - the soft whisper that calls him, “Yoongi?”

Yoongi stops breathing. He stays completely still. He wonders if he imagined it. But then it calls again, “Yoongi?"

Yoongi’s feet move on his own. He’s walking to their bedroom door. There’s something wrong, something different. He doesn’t know what exactly but he feels it.

Yoongi opens the door and the sight that hits him is different.

Jimin sits in front of their vanity. He’s wearing his work clothes – white long sleeves and black slacks. He has his back to the door but he locks eyes with Yoongi through the mirror.

He smiles sadly at Yoongi and says, “I die today, don’t I?”

Silence.

“Jimin,” Yoongi says a little breathless.

“I’ve always wondered why this day feels different. Like, I’m stuck in a loop? As if I just keep repeating this day over and over again”

Yoongi walks closer to him, eyes not leaving Jimin’s. Yoongi wonders why he hasn’t broken down yet.

“Sometimes I see myself looking forward to seeing you. And then I wonder why. Your train from Daegu doesn’t arrive till after 6. But then, some hazy memory would appear”

Yoongi’s behind him now. His hand are itching to touch. Jimin’s so close. So close and he knows Yoongi. He remembers him. Remembers the original Yoongi and not the Yoongi from the loop.

“A memory of me, singing, humming in the kitchen and you coming home early. You’d kiss me in the forehead and before I leave, you’d tell me you love me. Sometimes, I find myself waiting for you in the living room”

Yoongi’s hand hovers above Jimin’s shoulder. There are tears in Jimin’s eyes and Yoongi wants to hug him and hold him and tell him it’s gonna be alright.

“Then, I find myself thinking, why am I waiting for you? You’re not supposed to be home yet. And then I’ll continue with what I was supposed to”

Yoongi holds Jimin’s shoulder. He feels warm. And alive. And here. Finally here.

“It was a repetition. Waiting then not waiting. Always wondering. And then, I remembered. You’d always say you love me before I go but before that, you’d hesitate. You have this look in your eye as if you wouldn’t want me to leave”

Jimin turns to face him before he says, “it’s because I die today, right?” There’s a small smile on his face – the sad kind, the one he forces when he’s trying to be strong, a little tired, a little resigned, the kind that makes Yoongi hurt. 

“Jimin,” Yoongi finally breaks. He collapses on the floor. He tries to hold the other boy. He embraces him tightly although it’s a little awkward with their position – Jimin sitting and Yoongi on the floor. Yoongi cries, he cries hard. The tears don’t stop flowing and his cheeks are salty from it. He’s letting out ugly sobs and incoherent words, trying to say the words “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, “you remember me”, “I love you” all at once.

And Jimin, Jimin’s there, embracing him and leaving kisses on the top of his head. And he’s kind and soft to Yoongi.

It takes a while for Yoongi to calm down. He forces himself to. He knows that they don’t have much time. They still have a timeline to follow. And so, Yoongi tries to calm down his sobs.

He looks at Jimin and with all the sincerity he could muster, he tells him, “I love you.”

It seems as if something in Jimin breaks because Jimin cries. And Yoongi tells him he loves him, repeatedly, like a mantra or a prayer or whatever they call it. Yoongi tells him he loves him as he holds Jimin close. He tells him he loves him as Jimin tries to make peace with the fact that he dies today. Yoongi tells him he loves him as Jimin holds tighter to him. Tells him he loves him because after all these years, he does. He still does, beyond reason, beyond doubt.

When Jimin calms down. They both take deep breaths and look at each other. Jimin looks at him in awe and adoration and smiles sadly, “has life been unkind to you, my love?”

“You’re not my Yoongi who went to Daegu yesterday, are you, my love?” Yoongi is unable to say anything so he shakes his head instead.

“Do I die today, my love?” Yoongi nods again.

“Were you lonely without me, love?” Jimin hugs him as he nods his head yes. “Oh, Yoongi

It’s silent after that. Yoongi holds Jimin closer, tries to remember the feeling of holding him and being held in his arms again. He tries to inhale his scent, to take him in once more.

“I die today,” Jimin says after a while. Yoongi tries to hold him closer. Jimin laughs but it’s hollow. Unfeeling. Numb. It sounds wrong.

Yoongi thinks they stayed like that for an hour or two, or maybe more. It feels like time slowed down and Jimin’s been holding him for an eternity.

“Yoongi…” Jimin starts slowly. “What happened to you?” he asks, hurt evident in his voice. There’s concern laced in it. And love. Definitely love. Yoongi tries not to choke on the feeling.

“I lost you,” he says, voice breaking with sadness. So much sadness. Tinged with pain and the hurt of a lonely man.

“Yoongi…”

“They took you from me,” Yoongi tells him. “They took you from me and I don’t think they feel bad for it.”

Jimin doesn’t say anything, just looks at Yoongi and tries to wipe his tears. Yoongi continues crying and Jimin smiles at him.

“Has this happened before, hyung?” Jimin asks him and Yoongi already knows what he’s talking about.

“Once,” Yoongi says in a small voice, “June of 2015, Seoul, when we first met. I kept coming back to it that your routine changed and you remembered me”

Jimin hums. Then he sings softly, a song he used to sing during times when it’s particularly bad for Yoongi. Yoongi relaxes in his hold.

“What happens after, my love?”

“They ban me from coming back,” Yoongi says as he tries not to cry.

“I love you,” Jimin whispers to his ear and Yoongi chokes. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. Yoongi tries to commit to memory the sound of Jimin’s voice as he says it. Tries to remember the intonation and the way he says the words. It’s been so long since he last heard it, last heard it directed to him, and not just the him that’s stuck in the loop.

“I don’t know what happened to you, hyung. And I don’t think we have much time but are you happy, hyung?” Yoongi shakes his head.

“Do you feel lonely, hyung?” He nods.

“Don’t you have friends?”

“One,” Yoongi whispers.

“What’s his name?”

“Jungkook”

“Do you still feel lonely even if he’s there with you, my love?” Jimin is looking at him in his eyes. Rich brown staring into his and Yoongi feels both vulnerable and safe.

“Yes,” he answers in a small voice.

“Why?” Jimin asks. Yoongi just cries. He doesn’t know how he’s supposed to say, ‘my body yearns and longs for you in every second and every minute of every day. It’s on a constant search for its other half, sweeping the very corners of the universe trying to find brief respite in stolen moments like this. It feels like I’m broken and will never be whole again. I feel incomplete and unhappy and unable to do anything. And it’s been so long and lonely doesn’t feel lonely anymore. It just feels normal.’

But Yoongi doesn’t say that, doesn’t know how. So he cries instead.

“Is it because of me?” Jimin asks and there’s guilt in his voice and Yoongi hurries to shake his head no because it’s not. It’s not his fault but the people.

“Yoongi, there’s something in me that’s telling me I need to go,” Jimin tells him and Yoongi tries to hold him tighter. “Yoongi,” Jimin repeats.

Yoongi ignores him and says instead, “I love you.”

There’s silence. For a moment he thinks Jimin’s forgot about the call to go but then he speaks again, “I love you too but you need to let me go.”

Yoongi pulls away to look at Jimin. There’s something in the way he said the words that made Yoongi look at him.

There’s something in Jimin’s eyes – something that looks like he’s giving up and Yoongi shakes his head because no. no. no. no. no. no. He tries to hold Jimin again but the younger stops him by caressing Yoongi’s cheeks. They’re crying again but Yoongi thinks this is the happiest he’s been.

“No…” Yoongi whispers but Jimin shakes his head.

“I love you, Yoongi. God, do I love you. I love you so much with every part of my being. And seeing you like this, Yoongi, Yoongi, look at me –“ Jimin tells him as Yoongi tries to pull away. “Yoongi, I love you and I can’t bear to knowthat you are unhappy and lonely because of me. Yoongi, I love you and you need to let me go”

Yoongi shakes his head and he cries harder.

“You letting me go doesn’t mean you not loving me anymore,” Jimin says and Yoongi looks at him. There are tear tracks on his face but he’s beautiful like always. “It just means loving yourself more after years of loving me too much”

Kissing Jimin after years of being deprived of it tastes a lot like salvation. It’s a little sad from the situation and a little salty from the tears but it still tastes the same. It tastes like coming home after years and years of wander.

Jimin pulls away but he lingers long enough to whisper to Yoongi’s lips, “it is an honor that we exist in the same space, and time didn’t choose to separate us by eons.”

Yoongi closes his eyes. Doesn’t dare to open them. He can hear Jimin standing and walking to the door. The slight pause and indication of his hesitation and for a moment, Yoongi prays that he stays. But then, footsteps are heard again. The main door closes and Yoongi is left in the darkness of his mind and the silence of what was once their home.

And for the nth time in Yoongi's lifetime, they take Jimin away again.

 

Yoongi just feels numb to it all.

  

June 01, 2025

Streets of Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

When Yoongi was younger, probably 13 or so, he always wondered why life hated him so much. He used to look at chaebols and other rich kids, and wondered why life was unfair to him. He used to look at the pretty boys and idol models, and wondered why life was unfair. He used to look at the students who get straight As or are naturally talented, and wondered. He used to ask why

And then, he turned 22, and he stopped wondering.

He was 22 when he meets Park Jimin. And for the first time since he was 13, he thinks life is fair. The other kids may be rich or successful or beautiful or smart or talented, and he may just be plain Yoongi who has to work twice as hard; but life was fair. Life was fair enough to give him somebody like Park Jimin. To give him somebody so kind and genuine and beautiful and all things good. He thinks life is fair enough because life gave him the chance to love Park Jimin, and that Park Jimin loved him.

He forgave life for all its mistakes the night Jimin told Yoongi he loved him.

Now, Yoongi stands in the streets of Yongsan-gu. But instead of his normal black ensemble, he wears the black sweater Jimin gave him for his 23rd birthday. He’s wearing his favorite black sweater and plain jeans. His hair is pastel blue and he has no umbrella today.

He stands in the streets of Yongsan-gu and he watches as the only good thing in his life walk towards him. Jimin is wearing white long sleeves and black slacks. He has his bag slung over his shoulder and his black hair is styled neatly. And god, he’s so beautiful, Yoongi feels tears in his eyes. 

He sees the same mother and child crossing the street. He watches the same scene play again. The little girl drops her doll and Jimin (his kind and beautiful and selfless Jimin) picks it up. He picks it up with a smile on his face and hands it to her. He looks at the child with loving eyes and Yoongi holds back his tears because god, they wanted a child.

Jimin’s talking to the mother now, he cards his fingers through his hair and Yoongi smiles at the habit. Yoongi can see the same car (Audi, black, SUV) turning right at the corner. The mother’s thanking Jimin now and Jimin’s saying goodbye.

Yoongi has watched the scene too much times to know. The mother and child leaves. Yoongi watches as Jimin closes his eyes. He takes a deep breath. And then, he looks at where Yoongi is.

Rich brown eyes. Crescent smile. Beautiful. The only man he’s ever loved.

Jimin smiles at Yoongi. Yoongi feels his tears, he bites his lips to hold back a whimper. Jimin smiles at him. The soft kind, the one that he gives Yoongi when he’s worried, the assuring one. The one that seems to say ‘it’s okay.’

Jimin smiles at him. Then, he crosses the street.

Everything happens the same way it always does except Yoongi doesn’t leave this time.

The same car (Audi, black, SUV) and Jimin (his kind and beautiful and selfless Jimin). There’s a screech. Jimin whips his head in surprise. There’s the sound of his body hitting the car. Somebody screams. Jimin’s head hits the pavement. The car door slams open. There’s a pool of blood. Yoongi feels his knees going weak. People are gathering around. They’re whispering. Somebody finally calls for help. The sound of an ambulance nearby.

 

It rains. 

Rain comes pouring down the same time Yoongi falls to the ground. It’s pouring hard but Yoongi cries louder.

 

Yoongi, since he was 13, has always thought life was unfair. He was 22 when he meets Park Jimin. 23, when he forgives life for all its mistake. Park Jimin was kind and beautiful and genuine and selfless. He was all the good things in the world compressed in a small gentle body. And Yoongi loved him. Yoongi loved him so much, he thinks life is fair just this once. Because the other kids, they could all be rich and successful and smart and talented, but Park Jimin would love him.

He watches the paramedics haul Jimin’s body from the ground and into the ambulance. Rain pours down heavily as life takes everything from him.

 

Do you think reincarnation exists? That in another lifetime, another me and you exist?Jimin had asked him once. Yoongi had shrugged in reply, a time when he was unaware. Jimin smiles at him, the soft kind, will you look for me?

Yoongi smiles, because this is a question he can answer. In all of them. I would look for you in all the lifetimes that would exist, and I would choose you all over again.

Jimin smiles at him, the loving kind, the one where his eyes are filled with so much love and adoration. The kind that makes Yoongi weak in his knees. Then, he closes his eyes.

Yoongi watches as Jimin falls asleep. He places a kiss on his forehead and he prays, please let him be happy, and please let him be mine forever.

 

Rain pours hard around Yoongi. People’s whispers linger around. There’s the sound of a siren driving farther and farther. Yoongi finds warmth in the memory of Jimin - asleep, content, in his arms. Yoongi closes his eyes. And then, he’s gone again.

 

October 13, 2010

Geumjeong Mountain, Busan, South Korea

There are tear tracks on Yoongi’s cheeks but the sun is shining on the horizon. He’s wearing the same clothes from yesterday (yesterday? Last week? An hour ago?). He’s wearing the same clothes – black sweater, plain jeans, blue hair – from when he last saw Jimin. There’s the same yellow-belied flycatcher behind him and he can hear the faint hum of the happy birthday song from behind.

The song pauses abruptly. He hears twigs crushing and the flycatcher leaves. Yoongi turns around to look at him.

Jimin is standing there, the same way he always had. He has messy black hair and red cheeks. He wears guilt on his face and a plastic bag on his hand. Yoongi motions for him to sit.

Jimin sits beside him albeit wary. Yoongi looks at the sunrise in front of him. He can feel Jimin stare.

“Are you okay, mister?” Jimin asks him in a small voice. “You look like you’ve been crying”

Yoongi looks at Jimin. He sees pure concern written on his face and Yoongi doesn’t know whether he should laugh or cry. Yoongi thinks it’s fucked up, one moment he’s watching Jimin die, and in another, Jimin is sitting beside him with concern on his face. Most of all, Yoongi thinks it’s unhealthy.

Yoongi looks at Jimin, the 15 years-old version of the only man he’s ever loved. He has the same black hair and the same rich brown eyes. His cheeks are soft and his lips are pink. Yoongi wonders if his eyes still turn to crescents when he smiles, or if his smiles still mean the same thing.

“Tell me a secret,” Yoongi says. It catches Jimin off guard, rich brown eyes widening a little. “You should ask me to tell you a secret,” Yoongi repeats.

Jimin’s eyebrows are furrowed, probably weirded out by this stranger’s weird request. “Why?” He asks in wary.

Why? Yoongi asks himself that too. Why? Yoongi stares at Jimin (he finds all the reason) before he shrugs, “just… indulge me”

Jimin is staring right back at him. Yoongi tries not to wither under his gaze. He can see the cogs turning in his head. There’s contemplation on his face.

And then, he speaks again, “okay!” Jimin says with a smile. “Tell me a secret.” Now there’s amusement in his eyes.

“Then, I ask you, what kind of secret?” Yoongi begins before he adds in a whisper, “you answer, any kind.”

Jimin giggles at him, eyes turning to crescents before he replies, “any kind.”

“There is light in your eyes and dark in your soul, and I would not change a thing about you for all the treasures in the universe. Your very existence is a paradox – a contradiction I could spend centuries studying without a thought to understanding”

Jimin stares at him with something unreadable in his eyes. Yoongi stares back. He lets his gaze linger at what is in front of him – Jimin, beside him, with the sun’s faint glow of red and gold creating a royal halo on Jimin’s head. He lets his gaze linger at what is in front of him, at his everything.

Jimin’s opening his mouth, Yoongi speaks before he can, “but I wouldn’t say that.” There’s confusion in Jimin’s eyes again, his eyebrows pinch. “Instead, I would say… I don’t have any secrets,” Yoongi says with a shrug.

There’s confusion in Jimin’s eyes, and yet he also looks amused. This must all be weird for him. (It is but it’s the only thing Yoongi has left). Yoongi continues, “you tell me ‘that’s a lie, everybody has secrets”

Jimin stares at him for a few moments but the light in his eyes tell Yoongi he’s already sold to the situation. Jimin repeats after him, “that’s a lie! Everyone has secrets!”

“Alright, alright, here’s a secret…,” Yoongi starts, he can see Jimin trying to hide his smile because of the anticipation, “but! –“ Jimin groans “– I will tell you my secret, but what I wouldn’t tell you is that you have haunted my thoughts and my dreams, since the moment I laid my eyes on you.”

Yoongi stares at Jimin, sees the intensity of his gaze and the corners of his irises fill with curiosity and amusement. Then he continues, “I have memorized the slant of your brow and the wave in your hair, the sweep of your lashes and the rhythm of your steps. I would know you blind, dead, numb, in this world or any other.”

Yoongi lets himself stare at Jimin for a little longer, just to revel in the warmth of Jimin’s gaze before he admits, “I’m afraid.”

“Of what?” Jimin asks immediately, eyes shining with curiosity.

“…Spiders”

Jimin stomps his feet in disbelief, “that’s anticlimactic!” he groans.

“I’m not kidding!” Yoongi protests. Jimin squints his eyes at him (god, he looks adorable), still unbelieving. There’s a smirk on Yoongi’s face and a pout in Jimin’s.

“Eternity.” Yoongi admits, the smile that appears on Jimin’s face could rival the rising sun behind them. “Oblivion. Crowded rooms. Authority figures. Being alone too long… and you.”

There’s a question rising in Jimin’s eyes, a demand for an answer. Yoongi continues, “I am terrified of you because you have the power to destroy me and you don’t even know it. You have no idea. I’m less afraid of dying than I am of losing you. And that scares me too…”

Silence settles over them and there is something heavy in Yoongi’s heart. His throat itches and the cigarette in his pocket burns. Yoongi looks at the sun, sees it rising slightly above the horizon. He can feel Jimin’s stare, seeshim staring from his peripheral.

The words in Yoongi’s tongue taste like iron, but he perseveres, “you’re supposed to ask me to tell another one”

There’s silence. Moments of silence where Yoongi thinks he can hear the flutter of bird’s wings and he feels the intensity of Jimin’s stare. There’s anticipation in the silence, longing in Yoongi’s, and something indiscernible in Jimin’s.

 

“Tell me another one,” Jimin says softly.

 

“I love you,” Yoongi answers without missing a beat. Their eyes meet again. Jimin’s eyes are filled with surprise (and something else, Yoongi doesn’t know what). Surprise from the sudden confession. Surprise from the rawness of Yoongi’s statement. Surprise, Yoongi laughs internally. It used to be a wide grin and a high flush to the cheeks and a low giggly whisper of ‘I love you too.’ Now, it’s just surprise.

Yoongi has always known that his habits were unhealthy but he didn’t really know what to do. Seokjin once hoped that Yoongi would move on, that he’d find peace with Jimin’s death and finally let go. It’s been years, Seokjin said it’s been thirty years, and Yoongi still hasn’t found peace.

Seokjin once said to him that someday, someday Yoongi would finally find peace and let go. Yoongi wonders when the day will come, if the day will ever come.

The sound of his wristwatch stirs Yoongi from his own stupor, ten minutes, it reads. Jimin is still silent beside him, Yoongi wonders if he took his confession to heart. (Yoongi thinks it doesn’t matter either way).

Yoongi makes a move to stand, he takes the cigarette from his pocket and hands it to Jimin. Jimin furrows his eyebrows at it.

“You won’t remember me,” Yoongi starts, “but I hope you know that I still pray about you. Happy Birthday, Jimin.” Yoongi threads his fingers over Jimin’s soft hair (probably, hopefully, for the last time). He doesn’t look at Jimin’s face, too scared for what’s there – confusion, wariness, pity, or something Yoongi wouldn’t understand.

They stay like that for a few minutes, enveloped by silence. Jimin doesn’t speak and Yoongi doesn’t dare. When Yoongi’s watch vibrates in alarm again, he retracts his hand and walks away.

 

Yoongi thinks about June 01, 2025 and the way Jimin looked at him as if to say ‘it’s okay.’ He thinks about the way he danced and held Jimin in his embrace for the last time. Thinks about how it feels to thread his fingers over the younger’s soft hair. Thinks about their vows and the happiest day of his life. He thinks about Jungkook and the way he sits in silence while Yoongi breaks down. He thinks about Namjoon’s judgement and Seokjin’s hopeful eyes and encouraging smile.

 

Yoongi thinks it’s finally time to give Seokjin what he wants.

 

(He doesn’t look back again.)

 

 

 

𝐛𝐞𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐝  𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐝  𝐝𝐨𝐮𝐛𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡  𝐧𝐨  𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐞  𝐨𝐟  𝐬𝐚𝐥𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 .

𝐌𝐢𝐧  𝐘𝐨𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐢