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A Love For Small Things

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The thing is: Namjoon has always been the clumsy one. Almost from the very beginning, when he was still in his diapers, crawling on the floor in his parents' house and looking like an overexcited Corgi while making gurgling baby sounds instead of giving eloquent speeches in front of the UN and thousands of fans.

The moment he started to walk was the very same moment his parents seriously considered getting him a helmet for his soft little head, some kneepads, and maybe even wrapping all corners in the house with bubble pack. They didn't, obviously, but only because the next shop with helmets was already closed, and Namjoon's grandmother mumbled about 'Letting the boy make his own mistakes. It won't hurt him.'

It hurt him, from time to time.

When he got older and his limbs longer, gangly like half-cooked spaghetti, it got worse.
He stumbled and tripped over non-existent barriers, fell down or up some stairs, and hit his elbow on probably hundred different surfaces.


He hit himself in the face, not once, but many times. With spoons when he tried to help his Eomma cooking, with different balls in school sport, which made him the 'awkward kid.' His utter excitement to study and learn everything, soaking new and interesting things up like a sponge, might be another reason for that, but Namjoon never tried to dwell on that.

He hit himself with pens, hairbrushes, and even a few times with a microphone.

He ripped his pants, while falling, but often enough because he couldn't calculate his new-found teenage-strength when he tried to jump into them after his alarm buzzed off the seventh time and his mother was calling him 'to get out of bed already, or you'll regret it, young men!'. He ripped his shirts on different and very embarrassing occasions and even once a hat, although he couldn't remember how it happened.

Naturally, he had been banned from the kitchen after too many burnt arms, cut fingers, falsely sliced onions, and chili rubbed into his eyes. No one in his family and later Seokjin would let him enter the kitchen without supervision. Not even to make himself a cup of tea. Not that he didn't break a considerable amount of cups and plates in a short period, but still. How could they not let him make his own cup of tea?

The memory of not one, but two snapped sunglasses was following him like a dark shadow, and he was pretty sure that no one would ever forget it — especially not ARMY's.

Namjoon lost almost EVERY IMPORTANT belonging he has, at least once, like the ring Yoongi gave him and his reading glasses. A dutiful cameraman picking them up and shuffling behind him, trying to give him his glasses back.
He lost his wallet and his passport. Which happened only twice, mind you, but he did lose it and made everyone freak out. Hell, HE freaked out.

He couldn't even remember a time when he didn't break anything on a MV set, not to mention that it was all on camera for thousands to see.

He was the clumsy one. God of destruction and could even be considered as a severe threat for all humankind in the wrong environment, like a room full of breakable glass containers with deadly viruses in it. The thought alone made Namjoon's large hands sweat profusely.

 

When he had been a lot younger, his whole body still chubby with baby fat and the cutest little dimples a human could have on their cheeks, his mother had held him into her arms while standing in front the cradle where his little sister Kyungmin was sucking on her thumb, sleeping soundly.

Namjoon loved his baby sister so much, even if he didn't know how to express it adequately. His playful cuddles had led the boy to be a little too wild, a little too rough with the one-year-old baby until she screamed blue murder, which made him cry in return.

Now, that Kyungmin was asleep, the room filled with warm blue light and sparkles, reminding Namjoon of the night sky, his mother stroke his tear wet cheek and whispered, 'Joonie, my baby boy. I know you didn't mean it. Eomma isn't angry with you. Kyungmin isn't angry with you as well.'

And somehow, Namjoon would remember the following words forever. They burnt into his genius brain and popped open whenever he needed a small reminder.

'You are such a sweet boy, but you are strong and big. That means that you have to be careful while holding someone, especially if they are smaller than you are. You don't want to hurt them, don't you?'

He shook his head and buried his face in the crook on her neck, trying to suppress the still coming sobs.

'I know that you can do it and be gentle.'

And then she kissed his forehead and sat him into the baby bed next to his snuffling sister, who automatically made grabby hands towards him.

Very slowly, very gentle, Namjoon curled up next to her, sniffling until the smell of baby powder and chamomile filled his nose, and the last word in his head before he fell asleep was 'Gentle.'

 

Another thing was: Namjoon loved small things. He seriously did.

Small things, cute things, sweet things.

He always had loved them.

The very first small thing he loved had been almost as big as he was, still a baby — a summer sun sky blue blanket with bright orange crabs on it. His Appa's best friend's wife had found it and sent it as a gift after Namjoon was born, and he didn't let go for a very long time.

He took the blanket with him wherever he went, didn't loosen his grasp around it and cried extensively when his parents tried to put it into the washing machine to clean it for once.

His father even had to run back to the kindergarden after Namjoon forgot it on the bench while trying to tie his shoes on his own because he was a 'big boy already.'

Luckily the young assistant was still in the building and handed the blanket over with a knowing smile. It wasn't the first time a sweaty and stressed parent came rushing back to them because their beloved child forgot their beloved plushie or blanket.
Namjoon still has the blanket. Somewhere. Maybe in his bed, but he wouldn't admit that.

 

The second small and cute thing Namjoon started to love was Kyungmin, right after his father told him in little words and gestures, that he would be a big brother soon.

He had been far too young to understand completely, but still, Namjoon laid his ear or tiny mouth on his mother's big belly and just loved so much.

The very first moment he saw his little sister, his face lit up like sparklers on New Year's Eve with the most prominent heart eyes possible. She was so small, with her tiny feet and tiny fingers, the small pout, and the huge eyes.

'Aegyo,' he whispered and grinned from ear to ear, showing off his dimples.

Kyungmin was his whole world, and he loved her more than anything, telling everyone about how beautiful and smart she was, although she wasn't even able to turn on her stomach on her own in her small romper.

He still loved her when they were teenagers and fighting over the only PC in their household, and he just wanted to play his games.

When he left Ilsan to go to Seoul to pursue an incredibly risky career with an unknown outcome, he missed her almost the most, although he never told anyone about it.

 

Namjoon loved sweet food. Sweet fruits and cakes and everything sugary, like cotton candy. Particularly when the cotton candy looked cute, like Mickey Mouse or Ryan.

Oh, he loved Ryan so much, he started to collect everything related to the Kakao mascot. Others might consider his little obsession a little bit weird since there was almost no space in his bed anymore, but if he was honest, it didn't matter what other people might think about him. He had always been the weird kid, so it wasn't something new.

He was caught several times by Seokjin or Yoongi, and even once by Jeongguk, putting sugar in his mouth, the disgusting crunching almost too loud in the small kitchen while they gaped at their leader. If he remembered correctly, there was some footage of him doing that during a Run Episode. His mother calling him afterward and scolding, how unhealthy it was for his body and blood and teeth. 'Joonie. You can't just put sugar in your mouth. It's bad for you.'

 

When Namjoon was nine and still in elementary school, a new girl came into his class five days after the new school year started.

Her name was Linh Bo Huang, and she moved to Ilsan with her parents only a few days earlier. She was from China, and her Korean was shaky and still full of mistakes.

Namjoon immediately liked Linh Bo the most. With her short hair and huge glasses and the way, she pressed the huge book about mountain gorillas to her chest, like she was scared to lose it.

The first time Linh Bo laughed at one of his jokes made his stomach rumble loudly, and his heart flutter like a hummingbird.

When she came to his birthday party in a green summer dress with white dots and ladybug-pattern on her rubber boots, he knew he had his first crush. His hands were twitching, wanting to hold her hand just for a little while.

Linh Bo was smart and funny and so, so cute. He eventually told her when they were almost twenty-two years old and only friends and occasionally calling each other from different countries. They laughed about it, and she thanked him for his silent love. It made her feel precious, even if he didn't love her like that anymore.

Namjoon never told her that he thinks he'll always love her, just because he could and because she deserved it even if he didn't want to hold her hands anymore.

But he told her, she should wear rubber boots with ladybug-patterns again. Just because they were cute.

 

If they were all honest with themselves, they knew for what Namjoon's heart was gone the moment his baby fist grabbed the blanket and put it in his mouth, wetting it with too much saliva.

Crabs and other little creatures.

The whole family was for a holiday at the beach near Dangjin, and his father had shown him how to dig for the little sea creatures. The first time his father held out his large hands with a hermit crab, a five-year-old Namjoon squealed with delight, jumping excitedly on the spot, 'Aegyo!'

When his father placed the crab in his hand, and it fitted quite right, he immediately remembered his mother's words from a lifetime ago:

'Gentle'

So he held it gentle, not moving too much, not touching it too much. He couldn't explain why it made him so happy to see the crabs and felt their tiny legs tickling over his skin, but it always made his heart roar with joy and sent a smile on his lips.

Something he wouldn't ever stop doing.

The first time his grandmother had tried to feed him shellfish after that, Namjoon had screamed bloody murder and cried until his parents promised him, he didn't have to eat them ever again.

Crabs were friends, no food.

 

The second time Namjoon had a crush on someone, he'd been a lanky boy of the age of 16 years and living in a small dorm in Seoul with a handful of other boys.

Donghyuk, better known as Supreme Boi, was his Hyung and friend.

When Namjoon saw him for the first time, he thought 'cute.'

The other boy was a talented rapper and producer, and Namjoon wanted to impress him, wanted to be respected by him. So he worked harder every day and blossomed like a flower whenever such as a compliment reached his ears from the other boy.

At first, he didn't quite understand the admiration he felt towards his Hyung, always misinterpreting it for admiration, listening closely to the things Donghyuk had to say. It was important for him, important for the group.

More than once, he caught himself watching Donghyuk when he was sitting in their small studio or in their dorm, working on some beats and lyrics.

Namjoon's eyes would find the older boy without meaning to, fixating on the almond-shaped eyes or his full lips. Those lips. The moment he recognized Donghyuk's lips, Namjoon knew.

He knew he wanted to hold his hands and make him laugh and maybe show him how to dig for crabs if the other wanted that. He wanted to kiss him and tell him that he looked cute with the huge sweater and the dark red beanie. And after he understood his feelings, he wasn't able to forget them anymore.

It wasn't that his feelings got out of hand. Namjoon was a private person, and he knew how to hold a secret.

However, one evening Min Yoongi asked Namjoon to join him for a walk to the convenient store six streets away, and although Namjoon didn't want to, Yoongi was his Hyung as well, so he followed.

It was a cold evening, their breath came in puffy clouds, and their walk was in complete silence.

'Do you want some ramyun?' Yoongi asked him when they were in the store, and again, although he didn't really want to, it was clear that the elder wanted to talk to him privately, so Namjoon simply nodded.

They sat down on the plastic chairs next to the entrance door and ate the noodles in silent.

'Namjoon-ah.' Yoongi started but stopped himself.

For a moment, Namjoon got scared. Did Yoongi want to leave them as well? Because the group wouldn't be entirely HipHop, but they trained to become Idols now? He wouldn't be the first, maybe not the last. And although Namjoon knew that Yoongi wasn't happy with the decision, he'd never said he'd wanted to leave.

'Hyung?' His voice cracked as any voice of a 16-year-old would.

For a moment, the other looked like he was contemplating the next words, but then Yoongi said loud enough that Namjoon couldn't act like he didn't hear him, but silent enough that no one else understood, 'Joonie, do you like boys?'

The noise that made its way out of Namjoon's throat couldn't be possible human. His hands pressed so tightly against the table that they were completely white, and was it hot in the store? It must have been because suddenly he was sweating like crazy.

He'd never really thought about what liking Donghyuk made him. Was he gay? Was he bisexual? He didn't know. He didn't want to know.

How could Min Yoongi invade his privacy with a cup of cheap ramyun and a question like that?

Far too late, he remembered to respond, so he only shook his head.

'So, you don't like Donghyuk?' Yoongi asked him casually, 'Because if you do, you should know that there is nothing wrong with it.'

'Is it?' Namjoon croaked out in a semi-sarcastic way. Both of them knew how full of prejudice their society still was. Not only theirs, but South Korea was still very traditional, still not ready to face this topic.

Yoongi shrugged his small shoulders, 'Just because others might not like it, doesn't mean it's wrong, you know?'

And he guessed Yoongi was right. Sometimes he wondered where the other boy got all his knowledge from since he was only one and a half years older.

Sometimes Namjoon wondered if Yoongi had lived a thousand lives already.

He shook himself out of his thoughts and asked, 'Why are we talking about it anyway?'

'Because you are my Dongsaeng and I don't want you to hurt, because you fell for a straight guy. Which is always a bad idea.', Yoongi stated without fuss and reached for the empty ramyun cup before standing up and stretching like a cat, 'Liking someone of your gender isn't something you should be ashamed of or even be afraid of, but your heart is important, and it shouldn't break over someone who won't return your feelings.'

And again, Namjoon guessed the older was right about it, so he stood up and followed him out of the store into the cold.

When they reached the doors to their dorm, Namjoon's hand reached out to touch Yoongi's arm and hold him back.

'I...Hyung.' He adverted his eyes shyly, not knowing how to phrase his fear for a moment.

'You can ask me anything you want, Joon-ah.'

'Was it so obvious?' He whispered, 'Me liking him?'

'No.,' Yoongi stated, his hand patting Namjoons shoulder awkwardly, 'No, it wasn't. I don't think anyone else noticed. Don't worry.'

Relief was tingling down his spine like water drops on a window on a rainy November afternoon.

'Then how do you know?'

Right before Yoongi opened the door, he sent him a small, somewhat sad grin, 'Takes one to know one.'

 

It took Namjoon a while to get over this crush, even after Donghyuk told them that he wouldn't stay in the group but work for BigHit as a producer.

Sometimes, even after all those years, Namjoon caught himself watching his friend's lips when he explained some lyrics when they worked together thinking: 'Cute.'

 

Knowing all this, it had been inevitable:

Namjoon liking Jimin.

Because Jimin was cute. His small hands and puffy cheeks. The way he pouted those lips. Namjoon always was attracted to soft lips like Jimin's.

Because Jimin was small. Not 'small' small, but the shortest in their group and he often got annoyed by it, which made his cheeks glow pink and his eyes turn into angry slits.

Because Jimin was sweet. His voice was as sweet as a ripe mango on warm summer days and made Namjoon's insides to jelly. Jimin's kindness and patience with Namjoon when he stayed longer with the older in the studio to help him through a new choreography, left a feeling inside his heart very similar to the delight when he held a crab gently in his hands.

So, Namjoon should have known this would happen.

Because he'd always liked small things, cute things.

He just asked himself, sitting in his own studio, with the bright lights from his PC shining into his eyes, unable to concentrate on the work in front of him: 'How?'

Was it the very first day they met? The moment when Namjoon thought that he needed to be gentle with the boy in front of him?

Or when they moved in together, all seven of them as Bangtan Sonyeondan?

Maybe, he thinks, maybe he shouldn't have raised his hand and volunteered like Katniss for the Hunger Games to initiate more skinship with another member to distracted from the fact that their two youngest were disgustingly in love.

Namjoon wasn't sure how it could have happened without him recognizing, but somehow, gradually, Park Jimin had marched into his heart and made himself at home.