a clear night sky, among other things, was very beautiful. it was beautiful regardless of if you knew how to identify its constellations or not, though being able to pick out the big dipper in the sky was particularly enjoyable. for jeongguk, anyways.
there was something daunting about driving at night and looking over your steering will - just briefly - to see the night sky. jeongguk always marveled at it, always wants to capture those moments in his head and store them away. those are special to him.
maybe the night sky didn’t hold the same colors like sunset did. but sunset didn’t really have pretty twinkling stars and planets. sunset didn’t have the soft, gentle glow of moonlight over an open field.
yes, the night sky was very beautiful. jeongguk thought so, anyways.
╰ (*´ ︶ `*) ╯♡
if you asked jeongguk about his hyungs, the first thing he’d probably say was that he loved them. because, well, he does love them. maybe a little too much, sometimes. maybe sometimes it feels like he can’t contain his love for them, like he’s going to burst any second.
that’s kind of how he felt right now, if he’s being honest.
he’s completely content right here - curled up in between namjoon and hoseok on their huge-ass hammock while his other hyungs argue over s’more sticks and graham crackers. he half-listens as taehyung makes a rather unconvincing argument on why the last two graham crackers should go to him, since he was “depraved” from them the last time they had s’mores.
personally, jeongguk could go for a graham cracker, but it would more than likely introduce unnecessary chaos and he honestly doesn’t want to bother moving.
hoseok’s fingers comb through his hair, fingernails skimming across the youngest’s scalp. “you tired, baby?” he asks, and oh, jeongguk could melt.
“hm. kinda, not really though.” jeongguk says through a soft smile. he kind of hopes they don’t think he’s taking up too much room on the hammock. it is a big hammock, but still. he’s accounting for the majority of the space on it.
namjoon snorts and adjusts his position a bit, causing the tree to bend slightly. jeongguk hopes it doesn’t crack or anything. “oh, he’s tired. honestly, i’m probably going to turn in too after those idiots stop arguing over the s’more supplies.”
hoseok lets out a laugh. “not sure that’ll happen anytime soon. jimin called taehyung a ‘fucking pistachio’ and now tae is out for blood.”
sure enough, the arguing has escalated to full-blown yelling. jeongguk’s not worried, though - he can hear in their voices that they’re kidding. not that he wouldn’t put it past them to seriously fight over graham crackers, but he generally does expect a little more from them than that.
leaves crunch and jeongguk smiles a bit when he sees a rather disheveled yoongi standing over their hammock.
“are you guys hearing this? this is ridiculous,” yoongi says, gesturing towards the two males, whose yelling has not yet decreased in volume.
“jiminie-hyung called taetae a ‘fucking pistachio’.” jeongguk pipes up.
he can barely make it out in the darkness, but he’s pretty sure yoongi rolls his eyes. “yeah, those two have lost it. jin turned in after we both finished cleaning up. the only thing left outside is the graham cracker box, and i’m pretty sure the remaining graham crackers are broken by now.”
a scream echoes from the campfire area, and jeongguk haphazardly sits up just in time to see the ever-coveted graham cracker box fall straight into the open fire. a large cloud of dark grey smoke immediately rises from it, and jeongguk watches until it dissipates into the sky. absentmindedly, he thinks about how the tiny cloud covering a corner of the moon kind of resembled the smoke.
“i guess that’s settled,” namjoon says, already getting out of the hammock. jeongguk whines a little bit internally at the loss. “i’m gonna turn in, let’s hope that cardboard doesn’t smoke too much.”
hoseok moves to get up too, but jeongguk grabs his arm. “wait, don’t leave, i want to stay out a bit more,” he begs, turning to his hyung with what he hopes are decent puppy-dog eyes.
“oh, sweetheart.” hoseok looks at him fondly, kissing his forehead as one would a sleeping puppy. “it’s late, i know you’re tired too. c’mere, i’ll give you a piggyback ride to the house.”
yoongi scoffs at the display, but jeongguk doesn’t miss the fond smile on the elder’s face. “you can go inside yourself without needing a piggyback ride, c’mon, gguk.”
while that was true, jeongguk still pouts. he’s clingy, dammit. “let me have this!” he whines, still clinging onto hoseok.
hoseok hoists jeongguk onto his back, who shoots yoongi a gleeful smile. the smaller only sighs and rolls his eyes once more, before rubbing jeongguk’s back. “you’re a baby,” yoongi states as he walks alongside them.
“yeah, i know,” jeongguk replies, resting his head on hoseok’s shoulder. he could feel his eyes starting to drop. it was easy to relax and become sleepy when you felt safe.
he doesn’t remember the last time he didn’t feel safe with his hyungs. and despite being rather muscular and tall, there have been many times he hasn’t felt safe before, over trivial things. it was hard for him to relax, hard for him to let go and trust someone.
the fact that he could do that with his hyungs was important to him, and he took that as a sign that they were all meant to be together.
hopefully they thought so too.
╰ (*´ ︶ `*) ╯♡
jeongguk has dermatillomania.
dermatillomania is a skin-picking disorder that causes one to compulsively pick or squeeze at their skin, to the point where it may even cause severe scarring.
he has scars everywhere. his arms, shoulders, chest, back, even his ankles. it’s the unfortunate result of what, at this point, is probably twelve years of picking at his skin.
his hyungs haven’t ever commented negatively on them, but jeongguk’s sure they’ve had negative thoughts about them. he doesn’t see how it’s possible not to see his scars as ugly and unnatural.
he used to not care what the scars looked like to others, but as the years went by he definitely started to. he wore long sleeves and made sure his ankles were covered at all times. he can’t remember the last time he went swimming shirtless, but he remembers every time he wears flip flops and shorts because he’s just sure that people are staring at his ankles.
his hyungs have said that they didn’t even notice them and that the scars weren’t ugly, but jeongguk doesn’t really believe them, mostly because they’re supposed to say that sort of thing. it’s basically boyfriend law that you can’t make negative comments about your other boyfriend’s unfortunate appearance.
he clings to that, though, as he gingerly pulls off his hood to reveal his short-sleeved swim shirt underneath. they don’t notice and they don’t care. jeongguk thinks, and has rather pathetically never wished so hard for something to be true.
jin had insisted on a pool day today, due to the fact that it was a rare thursday where no one had work. while most of them could be considered their own bosses (namjoon was a game developer, yoongi wrote and produced soundtracks for various things under his own name, and jin had an interior design business he ran) it was still usual for them all to have a day where they had work off or where there was nothing to be done for work.
but, since it had happened, a pool day jin wanted, and so a pool day he would get.
jeongguk feels eyes on him as he stands awkwardly off to the side, unsure as to whether he wants to go in the water or not. on one hand, it would hide his scars completely, but on the other, he really just kind of feels like garbage right now and would rather stay out and use his towel to cover his ankles while he sunbathes.
“jeonggukkieeeeee! come on in!” hoseok yells from across the pool, smiling so brightly jeongguk starts to feel bad. “we’re gonna play chicken!”
jeongguk returns the smile. it’s hard not to when it’s hoseok that’s smiling at you. “one sec, hobi-hyung!” he yells back. one second doing what? he doesn’t know, really. he pretend to be busy setting up his bags and clothes around his chair, hoping to buy himself some time to think.
from behind him he hears someone climb out of the water and walk up to him. jeongguk turns around and, of course it’s taehyung. kindhearted, sweet taehyung that’s come to check in on him.
jeongguk gasps as taehyung lifts him in the air, and yeah, nevermind. this wasn’t kindhearted, sweet taehyung. this was playful, joking taehyung, who was probably going to throw him in the water.
“hyung! put me down!” jeongguk yells, flailing. he really shouldn’t be flailing, considering the many near-instances where taehyung’s almost dropped someone (a particular instance with jimin comes to mind), but that’s one of the last things he’s worrying about right now.
taehyung laughs, a steady grip on the younger. “you want me to put you down? okay, i can do that.” he stops over the pool water, and swings jeongguk over the edge threateningly.
before jeongguk even has a moment to protest, he’s been thrown in the water. he emerges laughing, and taehyung jumps in soon after.
the shame and insecurity that had taken over jeongguk before was gone and forgotten now.
of course taehyung saw jeongguk was off. and of course he knew just what to do to shock him out of his slump.
jeongguk just wishes sometimes that he could stop being so self-conscious about his scars so that his hyungs wouldn’t have to shock him out of it.
╰ (*´ ︶ `*) ╯♡
the pool day seems to be the start of a string of bad days for jeongguk regarding his skin.
the day after the pool, he really examines his skin in the mirror, which in hindsight, was such a bad idea because that always leads to him picking at his skin. and that’s how he ends up sitting on the toilet putting bandaids over the bleeding spots on his shoulders, arms, and ankles. maybe this was a problem.
“yeah?” jeongguk asks, wincing a little. he knows he’s been in the bathroom for ages.
“you’ve been in there forever baby, everything good?” comes jin’s voice. the question is phrased in a way where jeongguk knows jin knows that he isn’t just constipated or feeling sick. jin knows he’s been picking, more than likely.
“uh, yeah, i’ll be out in a minute!” jeongguk says, hoping that jin doesn’t pry. thankfully, the eldest doesn’t, and all jeongguk gets is an “okay” before jin walks away from the door.
he finished putting the last of his bandaids on his ankles, and double checks to make sure he didn’t miss any spots with the neosporin. after deeming his skin sufficiently protected, jeongguk rolls down his shirt sleeve and sweatpant legs before washing his hands and stepping outside the bathroom - only to meet a waiting jin on the bed.
“sit down, honey,” jin says warmly, but seriously. he pats the empty space next to him, and jeongguk carefully sits down.
jeongguk looks up at jin and smiles, not wanting to worry the eldest. maybe he can get out of this conversation if he pretends everything is okay, if he pretends he was doing some elaborate skincare routine.
“were you picking at your skin, sweetie?”
there’s no way jin would buy any story jeongguk fabricated, and he can’t bring himself to lie to his hyung anyways. “i mean... not really,” he hedges, absentmindedly biting on his lip.
he startles back when jin reaches for his face and rubs his thumb across jeongguk’s lower lip, gently removing it from his teeth. “not really?” jin prompts voice laced with concern and warmth. he watches as jin removes his hand from his face and instead takes jeongguk’s hand in his own. jin is really too sweet for his own good.
jeonggul shrugs. “only a little bit, nothing serious hyung. sometimes i can’t help it.” he says, eyes wide. “i swear it isn’t even that bad.”
jin doesn’t respond immediately, instead choosing to rub the back of the youngest’s hand with his thumb. jeongguk shifts uncomfortably. what was even the point of the conversation? to make him feel even shittier than he already did? he knows it’s not good for him to pick.
logically, he knows that jin would never do anything with those intentions. not towards those he loves, anyways.
“can i see, baby?”
jeongguk shrugs again, trying to seem nonchalant. on the inside though, he’s kind of freaking out. nevertheless, he pulls his right sleeve up to reveal his forearm - and the cluster of bandaids on it.
jin rubs jeongguk’s arm slightly, carefully passing over the bandaids. “oh jeonggukie... honey, what can we do to get you to stop?”
and that - jeongguk hates that. he hates the pity in seokjin’s voice and the desperation and he just hates it . it makes him feel sick with shame and it also makes him feel stupid, because he should be able to stop picking of course, it should be easy to just stop.
“dunno.” jeongguk mumbles, and he hastily pulls down his sleeve. his fight or flight reflex is kicking in, and he’s choosing flight. i need to go.
“i need to go,” he says, standing up. “got things to do.”
jeongguk doesn’t even spare a glance towards seokjin as he leaves the room. maybe on another day he’d feel bad for it, but right now, he can’t stand seeing seokjin pity him. call him selfish, but he’s tired of it.
he’s so, so tired of it all.
╰ (*´ ︶ `*) ╯♡