It’s almost two in the morning when Yoongi finally decides he’s going to find out just where the pin for "Namjoon" is blinking in and out at. He wonders if Joon will consider his worry a big enough excuse to use sharing his location against him, thinks probably not. It’s most likely nothing, anyway, but he can’t shake his nerves because Namjoon is hardly even up this late. He doesn’t even like being up past midnight, usually asking Yoongi if they can head on home when it starts creeping towards midnight. So whatever the fuck he’s doing, up and out and alone because Seokjin didn’t answer his text. If it was just him being out late at night, Yoongi would leave well enough alone. If that was all it was, he could’ve let it go and would just remind Namjoon tomorrow to make sure he gets enough sleep. Maybe it wouldn’t mean much, coming from the insomniac, but it isn’t just that. Namjoon hasn’t been himself lately, and it’s stressing Yoongi out.
Joon, ever-patient Joon who always listens when Yoongi actually feels like talking, who makes sure he’s doing alright, who forces him out of the house even if it’s just to his and Jin’s own apartment, yells at Yoongi. Of course Joon’s human, he has emotions, too, but he’s never yelled at Yoongi like that before. Even back when they first met two years ago, no idea on how to talk to each other without causing arguments, Joon never outright yelled at Yoongi. He never really yells at anyone, especially not out of anger.
And, really, all Yoongi wanted was some coffee.
Surprisingly, Joon had still been up when Yoongi shot him off a text complaining about how slowly his paper was coming along. They ended up talking over the phone, Yoongi’s keyboard clicks and Namjoon’s habit of thinking out loud the only company they needed. Everything was fine until Yoongi asked if he wanted to stay on the line while he made the fifteen minute walk to the convenience store to grab some coffee.
Suddenly, Namjoon chided Yoongi for thinking of leaving so late. As if they hadn’t made that exact walk together plenty of times before, and Yoongi done so alone even before he met Namjoon. Yoongi tried to brush it off, and that’s when Namjoon shouted loud enough it seemed to fill up the entirety of Yoongi’s small apartment. It took only a second of silence before Namjoon realized what he’d done.
“Hyung, look, it’s so late already. You shouldn’t be out. It’s cold, and we have an early class tomorrow. Staying up to work on the paper's one thing, but nobody should be out this late on a week night. Promise me you won't go out and I'll grab us coffee in the morning, okay?”
Yoongi should’ve answered. Argued, even though they hadn’t done that with any real heat behind it for over a year now. Instead, he pressed the ‘End Call’ button right in the middle of whatever else Joon had to say. Maybe he meant well and maybe he’s just stressed about this paper, but he knew Yoongi doesn't respond well to yelling. Yoongi doesn’t even raise his voice often himself, and he won't accept it from his best friend at three o’clock in the morning over coffee, either.
He switched his phone over to Do Not Disturb, but not before a text from Joon chimed asking him to call back. He should probably reply, knowing Namjoon will worry until Yoongi is back home again. He should, but he also knew the only thing he’d say is ‘fuck off’, so he doesn’t. Yoongi only checked he had his wallet and headphones before he left and locked the door behind him.
Yoongi is maybe more than a little smug when he walks into their shared 8 a.m. class the next morning. Everyone else can probably tell he didn’t sleep last night, but he doesn’t care. He simply sets the other bottle of coffee he’d brought with him down on the table in front of Namjoon, sliding it closer to him when he doesn’t outright take it. Namjoon just stares at him like he really can’t believe Yoongi right now, and he knows that’s exactly what the look means because-
“I really can’t believe you right now, hyung.” He thought Namjoon might get mad again, but there’s no anger in his voice right now. “I am sorry I yelled at you, and I shouldn’t have done that, but I just want you to be safe.”
If anything, Namjoon sounds how he did when Yoongi caught that cold last summer. Voice wavering, only enough for someone who really knows Joon to hear it. Speaking so delicately- and with the way his eyes refuse to let go of Yoongi’s- it’s unnerving. It’s more unnerving than Namjoon yelling because there's no reason for it He wishes he’d just listened to Namjoon and gone to bed now. All he did was go get some fucking coffee, like he’s done plenty of times before, and yet there’s this odd feeling tumbling down his throat and into his stomach he can’t quite blame on anxiety alone.
“Whatever, fine,” he mumbles back, turning away, unable to hold eye contact any longer. His throat thickens as his stomach turns in on itself.
The weird feeling from their conversation earlier stays with him throughout the rest of the day. It stays when they leave class, Namjoon walking closer to him than he usually does. It stays, festering in his gut and weighing down his tongue, when it’s time for them to part ways. Namjoon has that look about him again, like there’s something important he wants to say, but will only communicate with his eyes. His focus is too much, so heavy Yoongi can’t pull his eyes up from the ground to face it. He can still fill Joon staring at him, anyway.
He wishes this, whatever it is, would go away already. Namjoon’s his best friend but he doesn't feel confident enough to ask him why he’s being so unlike himself right now. Yoongi closes his eyes for a second, trying to muster up the strength to ask without upsetting his stomach even more, when there are two arms squeezing around him.
Namjoon isn’t big on physical affection. At least, Namjoon isn’t able to be too affectionate without feeling some type of awkwardness and overthinking it. It’s all Yoongi can do to stand there and accept the hug, eyes now open and staring right at Namjoon’s shoulder. He expects it to last a few seconds max, but Joon keeps holding on. Squeezing him a little more tightly, Yoongi finally relaxes into his arms.
“I’m sorry. Again. And I know I’m being weird, but you just make me worry, y’know?” He does. Yoongi knows he can be kind of a mess, can let things get to him too much, but he still feels that shifting in his belly, his jaw grinding together tightly. Because maybe if Yoongi had been actually sick instead of just sleep deprived or going through another depression funk, he’d understand. He knows Joon can be just a much of a bleeding heart as he can, but there's nothing Yoongi can think of that he's done lately to cause such concern.
He lets Namjoon hold him as long as he needs, until he finally has to pull away for the one class he has Yoongi doesn’t. Still looking torn, he leans in once more. This time it is just a quick hug, one that’s actually like what he expects out of a Namjoon hug. The tossing in Yoongi's stomach quiets down a little and his jaw loosens back up. He watches Joon leave, his shoulders tensed like he’s really forcing himself to keep walking and not turn right back around to Yoongi.
Thoughts swirling in his head of Joon’s eyes, bright and full of all these emotions Yoongi can’t even begin to name, he finally realizes he has yet to move when his phone goes off. He doesn’t even think before pulling it out, and reading the text from Joon.
since you treated me today, I’ll grab us both coffee before class tomorrow
There’s no room for telling him no. And Yoongi’s had enough of Namjoon’s oddness for the day that he doesn’t even want to pretend to say no. He just pockets his phone again and heads off for his apartment, ignoring that it’s already been twenty minutes since Joon’s class began; twenty minutes of him standing there, staring after the remainder of Joon left in his head with the ghost of his arms around him.
He’s five minutes from the pin, from Joon, when Yoongi realizes where he’s at. The large, wrought-iron gates forever left open welcomes him in the distance. Namjoon owes him more than one fucking coffee for this. He owes him another apology, too. While he acts like Yoongi might die from going to the convenience store, here he is out at two-thirty in the fucking morning, moon hanging full and high up above, at the fucking cemetery.
He doesn’t like being mad, especially not with Namjoon, but this is ridiculous. He’s not at the main entrance where there are at least benches and clear, wide walking paths that might make sense for him to be at if he needed space to write or something. No, Namjoon is at the back of the graveyard, where the cemetery originally started. It’s still kept up, no weeds overtaking the cracked, weather-worn headstones or the much smaller foot paths winding between the plots. Still, everyone resting here is a few too many generations back for him to even guess, and he knows there’s no way Namjoon knows any of its residents.
His mind is reeling, cycling from anger at the fact he’s being babied and worried over, to worrying himself that maybe Joon didn’t think Yoongi is too much of a mess lately; what if he’s the one that’s a mess and is asking, in his own way, for a little more concern? His mind keeps going back and forth, but there's no point in wondering what's going on anymore. He’s almost there, one turn around the massive weeping willow that’s probably as old as the rest of this part of the cemetery left to go. He knows he’ll seen Namjoon, knows they can figure out whatever's been going on the past few days out together.
His stomach suddenly twists again, his tongue thickening in his mouth, but that’s not what makes him stop short before he’s cleared the tree and its blanket of branches. Instead, he hears Namjoon yelling again. Not at him this time, of course, but then he hears Seokjin yelling too. There’s a nasty snarl back at them, guttural and deep and pissed.
The sweat clinging onto the back of Yoongi's neck cools on his heated skin as a night breeze brushes past him. He can’t move, that sickly-sweet taste filling his mouth so much he can’t even open it. It’s all he can do to watch, eyes widening, as the breeze pushes enough of the willow’s branches away for him to finally see Namjoon.
Namjoon, who was just telling him to be safe, pulling some strange man back against his chest by the arms as the man rages, trying to escape. Both of their bodies are shining wetly in the brightness of the full moon’s light, arms, torsos, and the other man’s mouth all painted red. Seokjin is cradling the man’s face in his hands, no longer yelling, but shushing him. He can’t be any older than the rest of them, but his face is drawn tight in deep lines of pain and anger. It's almost as if Namjoon's hold on him is doing more than restricting him, as if Joon is hurting him.
But that couldn't be Namjoon. He doesn’t like violence, he doesn’t hurt people- not with his words and definitely not with force. But that is Namjoon, his Namjoon who was just holding him so gently in his arms yesterday, arms full of a man with flashing razor teeth and a face smothered in blood.
The breeze is heading towards the trio, and the only thought left in Yoongi’s head is him wondering if they can smell his fear as all three heads snap in his direction. Even from here he can tell Namjoon is giving him that look again, the one he can’t handle. His stomach twists so hard it feels like his intestines are devouring each other and he stares right back. It’s too much to take in, way too much, because the man is screeching again, thrashing against Namjoon’s hold.
Seokjin presses his hands down on the man’s shoulders this time, forcing him to be as still as he can. Yoongi can’t really tell what else is going on because his body refuses to move. His eyes are unable to look away, let alone blink, as Namjoon stares him down, eyes brighter than ever. His legs feel so weak, and his eyes are burning with his refusal to let himself cry. It’s when he can’t even stop that, that Namjoon finally moves. He doesn’t look away from Yoongi, but pulls the man’s arms behind himself even further.
Yoongi doesn’t have to see to hear the resounding crack in the air.
The man howls again, and Seokjin forces him all the way to the ground. Yoongi can only tell from the corner of his eye, but he thinks the man shivers before he finally stops struggling entirely. His body is still on the ground, Namjoon letting his broken arms fall out of his grip with the rest of him. The breeze stops and the willow’s branches sag back into place, shielding him from them once more. Yoongi’s head throbs with how quickly the lead in his body disappears. He stumbles a little, weak knees catching back up to him, but he still manages to turn around. He wants to run, to go back home, to pretend this is all some sick nightmare as his penance for lack of sleep. He wishes he’d never left his house.
Barely three steps later, there are arms circling around him, falling with him, pulling him back before he faceplants on the dirt. He’s too tired to fight it, and not like he really could since he just saw Namjoon snap both of a man’s arms without even looking. He shakes a little as hands press all over his body, checking for injury. His heart’s pounding in his ears so loudly, his tears are freely flowing, and he gives up without even trying.
He lets Joon cradle him in his lap, repeating a mantra of “I’m so sorry” and “I can explain” in his ear that Yoongi’s too far gone in shock to understand. He swallows as his eyelids sink shut, and Namjoon adjusts Yoongi's head to lay against his shoulder. Yoongi licks his lips trying to get rid of the tears and snot, but instantly regrets it. His body shudders and shrinks into Namjoon’s hold a little more.
Yoongi finally passes out with the taste of blood in his mouth.