Yoongi is trying to sleep. Trying being the keyword, because despite the darkness of the room, despite the loud music blasting in his ears and drowning out the chattering coming from the adjacent room, his brain can’t turn off. Despite his huffing and puffing, his tossing and turning, sleep isn’t coming, his eyes opening on their own accord and staring at the springs of the bed right above his own. Sleeping in a tour bus is never comfortable, but usually when said bus isn’t moving things get a little bit easier. This time around it isn’t the whirring of the engine that keeps Yoongi awake. It’s pre-show jitters.
He should be used to it. He should be in the other room, chatting and joking around with his bandmates, drinking a beer and watching intently as Jeonghan paints Jungkook’s nails in shades of black, all the while the youngest rests his head in Mingyu’s lap. With his eyes closed once again in a flimsy attempt at tricking his mind into shutting down, Yoongi doesn’t need to hear their voices or their laughs to picture exactly what’s happening on the other side of the closed door separating them. Behind his eyelids he can see his friends huddled together on their sofa, their laughs loud while they share meaningless stories just to kill the time.
His eyes open again in the dark, slowly growing used to the lack of light, and soon enough he’s able to see the shapes of the few objects decorating the room. Mingyu’s acoustic guitar is propped against the wall furthest away from him, and there’s a pile of dirty clothes that probably belong to Jungkook sitting next to it. Joshua must have decided to ignore the mess, because there’s no way he hasn’t spotted it. Being the considerate man that he is, he probably decided to scold their frontman later, after their gig. Damn, the gig.
Stage fright isn’t common for Yoongi. On a regular day he’d be thrilled to perform, he’d be ecstatic, ready to pour his heart and soul into the performance. Today the excitement of sharing his music with everyone else is dulled by two main factors: this is the biggest stage they’ve ever walked on, and the festival they’re at is such a huge deal that there’s a chance for some famous person to stumble into them while they’re playing - which could mean nothing, but it could also mean getting a record deal, or something equally important; it could potentially mean something.
That is why Yoongi is staring off into space instead of taking a well deserved nap: he’s scared shitless of fucking everything up, to put it into easy words.
Electric guitars and deep bass sounds are ringing in his ears when a sliver of light pierces through the darkness, a head peeking inside the bedroom, unrecognizable in the shadows. Yoongi removes his earphones to catch the end of Joshua’s sentence: “...and you should eat something, we don’t want you to faint on stage.”
Well, now he’s got one more thing to worry about, the possibility of fainting on stage - maybe hitting his head against the corner of an amplifier and bleeding to death before the eyes of a (potentially) very big crowd. “Are you awake, Yoongi?”
“I am,” he croaks out, sitting up in bed and almost hitting his head on the top bunk. Stupid tour bus. “I was about to get up,” he lies, because in a perfect world his bandmates would have forgotten about him, performed like never before, and got them a record deal while Yoongi sleeped his fears off. Utopias are nice only in theory, and Yoongi is supposed to be the oldest of the bunch of them; he’s supposed to be their leader , the person that they can count on, the mature one. Not the one that hides away under the covers like a frightened child.
“C’mon, we have a guest over.” Joshua sounds chipper, a clear smile in his voice even if Yoongi still can’t see his face. “A guest?” He inquires, sounding more intrigued than he aimed for, “What kind of guest?”
“An interesting one,” Joshua replies, speaking in riddles like he often does. When Yoongi first met the guy he thought that Joshua was an angel - a good guy, one that you can trust, one that can be easily read. Everything about him always screamed reliable , and when Yoongi met his boyfriend, Jeonghan, he wondered how two polar opposites like them could work so well together. Jeonghan seemed everything that Joshua wasn’t: cheeky, sly, tongue as sharp as a snake’s, with little to no consideration of other people's feelings, sometimes too blunt on purpose. Truth is, there’s more to both of them than whatever Yoongi’s surface-level opinions on their characters made it out to be.
Another head peeks through the door. Speak of the devil.
“Yoongi, time to get up! I want to paint your nails too!” Jeonghan’s whining makes the other two chuckle. “I’m coming, I’m coming.” Yoongi checks that his phone's screen is blocked before sliding it inside his pocket and following the pair in the other room, their bickering making a smile appear on his face despite the tight knot pulling at his stomach. He doesn’t think he will be able to eat anything.
“Oh, you’re up?” Jihoon has a beer in one hand and a cup full of rice in the other, eyebrows up on his forehead. Yoongi nods instead of replying, the sight of food making bile rise in his throat. Yeah, eating isn’t an option right now.
The rest of the band - namely Jungkook and Mingyu - is exactly where Yoongi imagined them, piled on top of each other on the small couch, talking in hushed whispers. When Yoongi drops down next to them, Jungkook smiles at him, front teeth peeking out from between his lips.
“Did you get some rest?” Mingyu asks him, but Yoongi avoids the question altogether instead of making the younger worry for his well being. “Where’s this guest you were talking about, Josh?”
“Oh, it seems like him and Namjoon left while I came to wake you up.” Joshua looks around, as to make sure said people aren’t hiding somewhere in the room. A difficult feat, because the space is so cramped it barely contains six grown men at the same time.
Before any of them can explain who the mysterious guest was, there are loud knocks on the door of the bus that make them all jump up in surprise. Jihoon sits down on the floor with his meal and ignores the sound. Joshua rolls his eyes at him before walking to the entrance to welcome whoever is on the other side. “Maybe they’re already back,” he says, while Jeonghan sneaks his way to the couch, sitting between Jungkook’s feet and Yoongi to start painting his nails. Wise enough not to discuss with him, Yoongi just gives him his left hand in silence.
“Why do you have handcuffs dangling from your belt?” Jungkook sounds confused, but by the look on Jeonghan’s face none of them want to hear the answer to that innocent question, so Yoongi is quick enough to ask about their imminent soundcheck to Jihoon and divert everyone’s attention from the lack of filter about his sex life Jeonghan has.
“Hey guys,” Joshua’s voice calls for their attention, and five heads turn around towards him in unison. There’s another guy standing next to him, one guy with pink hair and a Gucci t-shirt, one guy who seems oddly familiar to Yoongi’s eyes.
“Jimin dropped by to look for his manager.”
Park Jimin, singer and frontman of the famous - extremely, even too famous in Yoongi’s modest opinion - pop punk duo The Promise is the one standing at the entrance of their tour bus.
Jungkook sucks in a very loud breath, and he's on his feet before any of them can say a word.
"Park Jimin!" He squeals, making his way over to take Jimin's hand in his and shake it vigorously. There's a look of confusion on Jimin's face, his eyebrows slightly raised, but he shakes Jungkook's hand anyway. "I'm a big fan!" The youngest says, signature bunny smile in place.
"Oh, I'm glad to hear that," Jimin replies, matching grin stretching his lips. It's been a while since Yoongi heard his voice in person, probably several years, but he can't say it's changed much. It’s still high pitched, still soft around the edges. "Can I ask what's your name?"
"I'm Jeon Jungkook, I sing and play the guitar just like you!" The boy puffs his chest up like a proud peacock, and Jihoon hides a snort in his elbow as Mingyu sits straighter in his place, taking up space to make himself more visible. It's an entertaining sight, Jungkook trying to woo someone who isn't Mingyu.
"Nice to meet you, Jungkook." Jimin lets go of his hand, his eyes scanning the room. When he meets Yoongi's gaze there's a tiny spark of recognition, but it dissolves immediately when he turns towards Joshua once again. "You didn't tell me your frontman was so cute."
There's a blush on Jungkook's cheeks, and then there's Mingyu standing beside him in a heartbeat, an arm not-so-casually thrown around his shoulders.
"I'm Kim Mingyu, guitarist," he says to Jimin while squeezing Jungkook to his side, "And Jungkook's boyfriend."
"Are you my fan too?" Jimin asks, cocky. A red flush crawls up Mingyu's neck, all the way up to the tip of his ears, his mouth hanging open at a loss for words. "It's nice to be surrounded by fans of my work!" Jimin winks, droning on, "Josh here has been my number one fan since eons ago."
"Has he?" Jeonghan demands, the first time he's spoken since Jimin put foot in the room. "Shua, you never told me you were friends with a superstar!" The whiny quality of Jeonghan's voice steals another snort from Jihoon, who doesn't bother to hide his amusement anymore. While Yoongi was distracted with Jimin's appearance, Jeonghan finished painting his nails, black polish on all of them except the middle finger of his right hand, a neon green. Very edgy.
"We haven't seen each other in so long!" Joshua pouts, swatting Jimin's chest with his hand. Jimin cradles said hand in his own, against his heart, and Yoongi wonders if this flirty nature of his is a novelty. From what he recalls of Park Jimin, he was a shy, nerdy kid with too big dreams. Now with his pink hair, expensive clothes and sunglasses, fancy boots and eyeliner, he looks like a completely different person. A person Yoongi isn’t very fond of, if the picture that tabloids paint of him is anything to go by.
"You guys know each other?" Jihoon doesn't even turn around to ask the question, but Yoongi can see through his nonchalant behavior. His shoulders look tense. In a different situation Yoongi would laugh at him, tease him a bit, but he's in no position to do so. He still feels jittery, even more so now that Jimin is there.
"We've known each other for literal ages, we used to take guitar classes together, back when we were in middle school." Joshua smiles softly, gently ruffling Jimin's hair and making his sunglasses fall down from the top of his head to his nose, stealing an annoyed yelp from Jimin's mouth in the process. "Is Taehyung still with you?" Joshua asks him, and Jimin nods vigorously while fixing his glasses. Yoongi recalls a picture he recently saw on the cover of a magazine, Jimin with the same Chanel glasses and a wide smile on his face.
"Taehyung's still kicking. As usual. He started his own clothing brand recently."
"Kim Taehyung?" Jungkook asks, awestruck. He and Mingyu are still standing in front of the door, still glued together, still looking at Jimin like he hung up the stars in the sky. "Is he here, too?"
"He's around somewhere," Jimin gestures vaguely to outside, behind his back, "He went to look for inspiration. I really don't know what that means."
Magazines like writing about Park Jimin and Kim Taehyung's relationship, they like printing their pictures on the front pages and asking their audience to look at them, to gush over how cute they look together, to eat their shit up. They obviously do it for the sales, and Yoongi always thought that Jimin and Taehyung played with them to gain even more audience.
"That's so cool," Jungkook says, his eyes as big as saucers. A smirk curls up the corners of Jimin's mouth. "Are you a fan of him too?"
Yoongi suddenly stands up, Jeonghan's eyes following him while he dusts off his trousers to check that his nail polish stays intact. Jihoon turns around to look at him too, an eyebrow raised.
"I'm going for a smoke," he says to them, ignoring their concerned looks. Quitting cigarettes has turned out to be much harder than he expected. He's well aware that smoking is bad for his health, and that he shouldn't do it before a concert, but the nervous feeling below his sternum isn't going away, and that is the only way he knows how to fight it.
The rest of his friends are still chatting with Jimin when he walks by them to make it outside. The back of his head feels their eyes on him, but they don't say anything. As soon as he's outside, he releases a breath, sagging against the side of the bus.
He lights up a cigarette, and then another, and then another one. It's a nervous habit, he doesn't even smoke that much on a regular day, but today he can't help filling his lungs with smoke, fiddling with his lighter while he does so. The door to the bus opens and then closes, and there's someone standing next to him, leaning against the metal wall.
"Min Yoongi, right?"
Jimin's eyes are covered by his dark glasses, but his smile is bright. Yoongi releases a breath, light smoke floating above his head.
"Park Jimin, you remember my name? I'm flattered."
"Don't be, I just have a very good memory for pretty boys."
"Sure," Yoongi scoffs, takes another drag from the cigarette burning between his fingers. It tastes like regret and it makes the sour feel in his stomach grow stronger.
Silence stretches between them, Jimin fiddling with his phone, tapping at it fast while Yoongi's cigarette burns. He mostly let it be blown by the wind, his eyes fixed somewhere in front of him even if he feels the need to turn around and stare at Jimin.
There's a fourth cigarette in his hands, and before he's even realized what he's doing he's already lighting it up, smoke going in and out of his throat. He feels eyes on him.
"That's not good for your health," Jimin tells him, matter of fact, and Yoongi would agree with him on any other day, but today there's that jittery feeling running inside of him, his blood buzzing with electricity and the need to punch a wall. Doing the next best thing, venom drips out of him when he says: "Mind your own business."
He's not looking at Jimin, doesn't know if his words have any effect on the younger, but he likes to imagine his face scrunched up in annoyance. It's a sight he knows, he's seen it once a long time ago, when Jimin tripped on his own feet and made his lunch spill on the floor of their high school's cafeteria. It's a vivid memory, round rosy cheeks and pouty lips.
The Jimin of today is sharper, his face much less round than it was years before, his whole being less gentle.
"I just think that it's a pity, that Josh has to count on you for a stellar performance and you're ruining your voice for a silly vice." The stare burns on the side of his face, but Yoongi refuses to turn around and acknowledge it. "It's lame. You're not a teenager anymore, you should know better."
"You're talking to me like you have any idea of what my teenage years were like. " Yoongi's gaze stays fixed in the distance, his eyes taking in the people walking by, while the sounds of the festival around them are white noise inside his ears. The festival is a big deal, three stages and several tents all around, carts, street vendors, a multitude of people walking around having fun, laughing and chatting. For the first few hours Yoongi’s ears rang with the loudness of it all, but now he's grown used to it, and even the live music playing in the distance feels like static. "Stop acting like you know anything about me."
"I'm just stating the obvious: smoking before a show sounds like a stupid idea."
"Once again, mind your own fucking business."
There's a scowl on his face when he finally looks at Jimin, scowl that is matched by Jimin's sour expression, eyebrows drawn together and mouth in a line.
"I thought you were a smart person, Min Yoongi. Weren't you studying to become an engineer?"
They're not yelling, but their voices must have been loud enough from everyone inside to hear them, because Joshua appears at the door. Yoongi has a biting retort on the tip of his tongue, but he swallows it down.
"Is everything alright?" Joshua asks, concern clear on his face. Reading him is easy when he wants his emotions to be transparent, and Yoongi feels bad for making him worry before a - very important - show.
Jimin's smile is a show of teeth, his eyes still hidden behind the colored lenses he’s wearing.
"Everything's fine Josh, we're just having a chat."
"Your friend is a nosy little bitch," Yoongi says, tapping ash off the end of his cigarette. The bassist laughs, waving a hand in the general direction of Jimin. "He's always been like that," Joshua confirms, "And Yoongi's always antsy before a show. Don't mind his grumpy attitude too much."
"If he can't take a bit of pressure he should have stuck to rocket science."
"That's not what I was studying," Yoongi retorts through gritted teeth, and he knows Jimin is talking just to rile him up but he can't help falling in the trap. "And not all of us have a secure spot in this industry." Then, quieter so only Jimin can hear him, he adds: "Not all of us sucked some dicks to be here today."
He sees when his words hit home because Jimin's whole body stiffens, his shoulders rising towards his ears while he turns around fully towards Yoongi, his hands balled up in tight fists.
"Come again?" he whispers, and Yoongi opens his mouth to repeat himself, louder this time, but before he can let the words out Jeonghan pops up behind Joshua's back. "Are you guys fighting?"
“We’re not,” Yoongi states, at the same time as Jimin spits out: “Your friend here is just being a jackass.”
Jeonghan laughs, airy and carefree, shrugging his shoulder in their direction. “That looks like a fight to me.”
“Who are you fighting with, Jimin?”
Jimin doesn’t turn around at the call of his name, but Yoongi sees him rolling his eyes in annoyance before his own gaze moves to the newcomer. He finds Namjoon standing there with a worried expression on his face, one of his hands on the shoulder of another man with bleached blonde hair, dressed in a pastel oversized sweater and light jeans. His looks are definitely out of the ordinary, because of his clothes - the rest of them are all dressed in shades of black, even Jimin with his swarovski embezzled jacket - and because he could pass off as a model. With a start, Yoongi realizes this is yet another familiar face.
“Seokjin?” He asks for confirmation, and said man turns toward him, recognition lighting up his smile.
“Oh, look at that! Min Yoongi! It’s a pleasure to see you here, it’s been a while.” Seokjin does a mock salute in his direction, eliciting a scoff out of Jimin’s mouth that all of them ignore. “Why are you fighting with my protegee?”
“For fuck’s sake Jin, stop using that word,” Jimin’s whole face is scrunched up in annoyance, and Yoongi can’t help but feeling a deep sense of satisfaction at the sight. “You’re my manager, not my sugar daddy,” he grumbles under his breath, crossing his arms and glaring at Seokjin.
“Are you sure about that?” The comment comes out of Yoongi’s mouth without too much thought, still annoyed at Jimin’s general existence. He realizes he’s made a mistake when Jimin spins around to look at him so fast that the sight of his movement almost gives him whiplash. There are literal sparks erupting from his gaze.
“You’re trying really hard to not get on that stage today, uh?” A growled threat as Jimin takes another step closer, menacing. “If you have a death wish you just need to ask and I’ll put you out of your misery.”
“Guys…” Joshua speaks softly, probably looking for the right words to diffuse the tension, but Yoongi doesn’t give him enough time to say anything else. “You think you’re so hardcore for someone who does pop music,” he replies to Jimin, staring at his own face reflected on the surface of Jimin’s sunglasses. He can see that there’s a blush on his cheeks, an angry one, and he looks frazzled. He knows he’s picking a fight for no reason at all, but he can’t back down now, too involved in this stupid, petty argument.
“At least someone actually wants to listen to my music,” Jimin moves his glasses at the top of his head, his eyes hard as ice when they meet Yoongi’s. They stare at each other in silence after that, the tension in the air so thick Yoongi has trouble breathing through it. Fist tight at his sides, he takes a step forward, getting inside Jimin’s personal space. His blood is boiling in his veins, his heart pumping adrenaline and making his hands shake.
The whole world seems to be holding its breath, waiting for either of them to move as they stand in front of each other, studying their enemy in close proximity. Yoongi is not sure if no one is talking or if the white noise in his ears is covering their voices, his heartbeat loud and accelerated.
“This is ridiculous.” It’s with a whoosh that everything goes back to normal, the colors, shapes, sounds getting back into their rightful spots, Seokjin standing next to them and staring at them with something akin to amusement on his face. When did he move to get closer? “You two will play nice now,” he says, grinning while putting one of his hands on Jimin’s shoulder. “Or else.”
“Or else what?” Jimin snorts, raising an eyebrow, redirecting his attention to his manager. Seokjin is still smiling, big and toothy. “Or else I’ll make you. You can’t be a little shit all the time.”
A small laugh bubbles up through Yoongi’s lips, amused at the way Jimin seems rendered speechless. “Look at that, your daddy is finally showing you how to have some manners.”
Two things happen at once: Jimin steps on his foot with the heel of his boot, Yoongi being unable to take a step back fast enough to avoid it, and there’s the sound of metal clinking, something cold touching the skin of his wrist. He yelps, retreating back to get away from Jimin, but something tugs at his hand. When he looks down, dread pools in his stomach upon seeing metal handcuffs around his arm.
“The fuck does this mean?” Jimin is looking at the same thing, at the metal engulfing Yoongi’s skinny wrist. It’s then that Yoongi sees it all, sees the rest of it; sees the other half of the handcuffs tying Jimin to him.
Seokjin is retreating with a furious pace, tugging at Namjoon on his way to make him follow.
“Since you two are acting like little kids, this is the punishment you get!” Seokjin throws over his shoulder, walking faster and faster. Jimin tries to follow him, but finds himself rebounding back when the metal shackle keeps him tied to a frozen Yoongi. “Seokjin! Where the hell do you think you’re going?!” He yells, tugging at Yoongi to make him move towards the retreating manager. Namjoon looks helpless, being taken away by his hand, at a loss for words when he looks at Yoongi. “I’m sorry,” he shouts, but Yoongi is too stunned to reply, still trying to figure out what the hell just went on.
“Kim Seokjin!” Jimin’s whole face is red with anger, and he hisses when he once again tries to make Yoongi move in the direction in which Seokjin is now running away, laughing maniacally. “Kim Seokjin, come back here immediately or so help me God!”
“I’m sorry Jimin!” The manager replies, his voice carrying over the wind, not sounding sorry in the least, “Come find me when you two can have a civil conversation!” With that, he disappears around a corner, mixing with the crowd, Namjoon in tow.
“Don’t worry, Jeonghan has the keys,” Yoongi is still stunned, still staring off into space, but his brain provides him with the obvious solution. These must be Jeonghan’s sex handcuffs, the ones he carries as an accessory all the time, to which he has several keys scattered around the tour bus. It’s fine, they’re fine. He doesn’t have to stay handcuffed to Park Jimin, doesn’t need to run around looking for Seokjin to free them. He has a concert to play at.
Fuck, the concert.
“Sorry to give you bad news,” Jeonghan looks a bit confused when Yoongi finally snaps his eyes back to him, “But those aren’t my handcuffs. I have no idea where they come from.”
Joshua seems constipated, confused, and amused at the same time. An interesting combination. His eyes move to where Seokjin disappeared with their manager, Namjoon, and he looks ready to bolt after them. Jimin sighs.
“I can’t believe he pulled this shit again.”
“What the hell,” Yoongi says, “What do you mean again ?”
“It’s a long story.” The fight has apparently left Jimin, because he sags a bit, his shoulders dropping. “Let’s go, let’s see if we can find someone with an axe or a saw.”
“I need my hands to play the keyboard,” Yoongi replies, voice thin, to which Jimin’s expression turns from defeated to bemused. “I’m not suggesting we cut your hand, Min Yoongi. What the fuck, who do you think I am? A monster?”
Maybe it’s the shock that makes him nod his head, but Jimin doesn’t seem to take offense in it, laughing instead of getting upset. Jeonghan is staring at them curiously, while Joshua seems like he’s still considering running after Seokjin.
“Let’s split up and see what we can find,” Joshua says instead, looking at his watch, “We have three hours until soundcheck. Let’s hope we can get you free by then.”
Apparently there is no way to find an axe or a saw at a music festival. The only thing they manage to find is a hammer that a worker is using to fix a bumping car, but it’s not enough to break the metal.
Jimin tries, Yoongi tries, Joshua tries, Jeonghan refuses to try because he says that if his beefy boyfriend isn’t able to break the chain, he for sure can’t do it.
They end up searching the whole place, from the parking lot where tour buses are, to behind the stages, to the food court and even near the public restrooms. There’s not a single tool that they find that is useful enough, and time is slowly ticking by. It’s been two hours of running around, at some point even sprinting when they thought they saw a glimpse of Seokjin in the middle of the crowd. Turns out he wasn’t the only man wearing a pastel sweater at a punk festival.
Moving while being tied up to Jimin is a hard feat, because they have very different walking paces. Despite Jimin being just as tall as him and his legs being long, - yes, Yoongi noticed them; it’s impossible not to when he’s wearing such tight pants - he walks slowly, almost leisurely, as if the world is his catwalk. Yoongi on the other hand, gay and caffeinated, is a gold medalist in speed walking.
“C’mon Min Yoongi, slow down!” Jimin tugs at his wrist, making him yelp in pain when metal digs into his flesh, “There’s no need to run around like a madman!”
“It’s me who has a concert in two hours, and I’d rather be freed from your presence by then.” Yoongi states as Jimin stops in the middle of the road and refuses to move more. Yoongi takes a deep breath, glaring at Jimin when the pink haired man scoffs at him. “C’mon, let’s go, stop being a baby,” he tries to use the leverage of the handcuff to make Jimin move, but the other man’s fingers tangle into the chain to prevent him from further damaging his wrist, glaring at Yoongi. “And stop looking down on me.”
“It’s not my fault if you’re short,” Jimin shrugs his shoulders, gesturing with his left free hand to the general direction of Yoongi’s body.
Yoongi can’t believe his ears. “We’re literally the same height!” He wails, then adds while pointing at Jimin’s boots: “You’re wearing fucking heels!”
An offended expression takes over Jimin’s face, his eyebrows rising, his mouth falling open into a perfect o-shape. “They’re not heels, they’re wedges,” he replies, freeing his fingers from the chain and tugging at it, making Yoongi stumble over his own feet.
“Let’s move, shortie.”
“Call me shortie another time, I dare you,” Yoongi walks behind him, but at a slower pace than before, adapting to Jimin’s walk. With a sigh, Jimin falls in step beside him. “Ok, shortie , how much time until soundcheck?”
Damn, soundcheck. Soundcheck and then the concert. Fuck. Yoongi’s eyes move to his free wrist and the watch around it. “Forty minutes.” Forty minutes until Yoongi has to put on his big boy pants and get up on stage, perform and prove that he left a successful career in aeronautical engineering for a reason. No pressure, though.
“We’re a ten minute walk from the stage, I say we look around for ten more minutes and then, if no one has a fucking axe, we head there.”
“Don’t you have any idea on where Seokjin could be?”
At that, Jimin sighs, closing his eyes and tilting his head towards the heavens. The sunglasses at the top of his head look like they’re at risk of falling down, but they stay in their place, almost magically. Yoongi is hypnotized.
“I have many ideas on where he could be,” he states, but he doesn’t elaborate on that, instead walking in the direction of the main stage. They wander in silence, Jimin apparently oblivious to the heads turning in their direction when they pass by. There are a few whispers, some people trying to take pictures of them without being seen, and there’s even someone calling Jimin’s name out loud. Jimin ignores them all, keeps moving like he can’t hear or see them. Yoongi follows.
They aimlessly walk through people until it’s time for soundcheck - which goes by without an itch, surprisingly, Yoongi too focused on trying to play well with one of his hands tied to Jimin’s to be worried about messing a few notes up. By the time they’re off the stage and on the ground once again, Jimin is groaning, lamenting an empty stomach. Against his will, Yoongi gets dragged to sit down at a picnic table while Jimin devours his lunch.
“Do you want some?” Jimin nudges fries in his direction, the smell of them wafting in the air and making Yoongi’s stomach churn. “No, thank you,” he watches as the pink-haired man shrugs and shoves a handful of them in his mouth. Just the sight of food makes his stomach queasy. He hasn’t eaten anything since the previous night, and he thinks nothing will be able to make it inside his esophagus and stay there by the way his throat is closing up at the mere sight of anything edible.
“Are you gonna perform on an empty stomach?” Jimin asks, sounding genuinely worried for his well-being. Yoongi doesn’t reply, letting Jimin eat in silence while his gaze wanders. The area they’re sitting at isn’t particularly crowded, distant enough from the food court and from the main stage. There are some guys sitting a couple of tables on their left that are playing what seems to be a drinking game - props to them, Yoongi thinks, to be ingesting alcohol at midday - and there are two girls chatting and giggling, their voices carrying to Yoongi’s ears. One of them is wearing what seems to be a The Promise shirt, and her eyes keep landing on them. Yoongi scoffs.
“What?” Jimin’s mouth is full and the word comes out muffled.
“You’re too flashy.”
“What?!” Jimin asks again, sounding confused. Yoongi turns his head to look him up and down, taking in his pink hair, tight shirt, sparkly jacket, skinny jeans. The poster picture of the perfect pop-punk superstar.
“Everyone keeps looking at you, with your stupid pink hair and glittery jacket. Not to talk about those pants.”
There’s a pause, silence stretching between them while Jimin munches on his food. The girl keeps throwing glances in their direction, probably considering getting close to ask for an autograph. When Yoongi turns back towards Jimin, the man has stopped eating and is staring at him with a half smile curling his lips, his thumb wiping some salt off the left corner of his mouth. Their cuffed hands rest on the table, Jimin’s own tight around his diet coke.
“What about my pants?” The way he asks the question is coy, batting his lashes at Yoongi and still grinning like he’s just committed a crime. There’s an aura around him that Yoongi can’t quite place, that makes his skin crawl.
“They’re distracting.” Yoongi states, refusing to look Jimin in the eyes and to elaborate furthermore. The fan is still chatting with her friend, and she seems to have decided not to disturb Jimin’s meal. Yoongi appreciates the sentiment. He doesn’t know how exactly they would explain the fact that Park Jimin, the Park Jimin, is handcuffed to a random guy playing in a mediocre garage punk band.
“I can say the same thing about your poorly applied eyeliner,” Jimin replies, amusement in his tone. Offense takes over Yoongi’s expression before he can think better of it, turning towards Jimin to glare at him. It does nothing to dampen Jimin’s amusement, his eyes sparkling with it. “What?” He asks, “I’m just telling the truth. I could do a better job at it with my eyes closed.”
“Then do it.” It’s incredible how worked up Jimin gets him, how a single word from him can make him so annoyed . They don’t even know each other that well, haven’t talked to each other in literal years, so it’s not like Yoongi has harboured some resentment towards the younger. Or more likely, he has, but not for Jimin particularly, more for the people like Jimin: young, successful musicians who seem to have everyone hanging from their lips. It drives him mad, drives him up the wall much more than it rationally should.
“Fine,” Jimin says, taking a sip of his coke and then getting up, tugging at Yoongi’s wrist in the process. “Let’s get you a proper stage look. Can’t have you going around, stuck with me and looking like that .”
Yoongi doesn’t even have time to protest before he’s getting dragged away, towards the direction of the parking lot; he dares a glance behind his back while Jimin walks ahead of him, and he finds the girl looking at them. She waves at him and smiles, gesturing a thumbs up. He doesn’t know what to make of that.
By the time he’s walking inside what he supposes is Jimin’s tour bus, he’s a bit out of breath, winded up because of the constant running around - and probably because of the cigarettes he’s smoked today, his brain helpfully supplies. Jimin throws some make up remover at him that was in a drawer in the living area of the bus, and then drags him towards a couch without uttering a single word, leaving Yoongi to wipe his eyeliner off while taking in the interior design of the bus, and the apparent filthy richness of this guy. As far as he knows, there’s just two of them in the band, Jimin and a guy named Lee Taemin that Yoongi has yet to meet; he supposes that if the handcuff situation doesn’t get solved soon enough, he’ll have to get acquainted with that man, too. So, two of them, and their manager Seokjin. Even if he adds Kim Taehyung to the mix, that makes four people. The room he’s walking in is definitely too big, far bigger than his own bus and its cramped spaces.
“Is that a marble countertop?” Yoongi asks, shocked at the sight of a ginormous fridge and kitchen utensils of any size and type taped to the wall. Jimin nudges him to sit down, standing in front of him. “Yeah, it’s marble,” he says, unbothered, uncapping the eyeliner pencil that he has magically produced in his hand, “Sit still. Wait, do you want some eyeshadow, too?”
“I want to know how the fuck do you have marble countertops inside your tour bus. I don’t even have them at home.”
“Money,” Jimin replies, cocking his hip, “Can get you lots of things. Now, do you want some red sparkly eyeshadow with your black eyeliner or is that too much for you?”
Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Just the eyeliner is fine.” He already wiped away most of his makeup, so he lets the wet tissue fall on the couch next to where he’s sitting; someone will probably pick it up, and Yoongi doubts that someone will be Jimin.
“I need to use my right hand for this,” Jimin points out, shaking said hand, moving the handcuffs and Yoongi’s own hand in the process. He tries to bring the pencil to Yoongi’s eye, but Yoongi’s fingers are in the way, his wrist hanging limply next to his face. “Ok, this won’t do. Hold my wrist.”
“What?” Yoongi is confused by the sudden request, his eyes going wide. “Just wrap your fingers around my wrist so you’re not in the way, idiot.” Jimin’s left hand takes Yoongi’s, guiding his digits around his own right arm, above the metal. “Make it so that the stupid cuff doesn’t move.” Jimin instructs, while Yoongi stares at the way Jimin’s skinny wrist looks in between his own fingers.
He’s so distracted by the sight that when the pencil touches his eyelid, he recoils, almost getting stabbed by the pointy end in the process. Jimin hisses.
“Stay still if you don’t want to lose an eye,” he reprimands, “Or you’re gonna end up failing miserably at your job. I’m not sure you can play without a hand and an eye.”
Right, he has a concert to play for in less than an hour, and instead he’s here playing doll for Park Jimin. He wonders if his bandmates are looking for him, wonders if Jungkook is biting his nails as he always does and if Jeonghan is there to tell him off, wonders if Jihoon is lying on his back while staring at the ceiling, earphones in while Mingyu runs around trying to feed everyone, wonders if Joshua is folding all the clothes they’ve left around the bus. Wonders if Namjoon is going to be back before their performance or if Seokjin has actually kidnapped him. It doesn’t really matter, because Namjoon has seen them perform times and times again, and it’s not like it would make any difference if he was there or not. It’s just that Namjoon always knows what to say to make Yoongi calm down and feel ready before playing on a stage - today the stage is bigger than usual, higher than usual, and Yoongi is afraid of hurting himself by falling down, metaphorically.
Jimin’s left hand is suddenly around Yoongi’s jaw, tilting his head up. “Keep your eyes open, and look down.” Jimin instructs before starting to work on his make up, and Yoongi follows his words, his gaze stuck to the Gucci logo on Jimin’s shirt. Jimin’s touch is gentle, and Yoongi is easily distracted, his eyes moving from the middle of Jimin’s chest upwards, to the collar of his shirt and the collarbone peeking out of it, the tiny freckle right over it. He licks his lips, for no reason whatsoever, his mouth suddenly dry.
“The red eyeshadow would have been cool,” Jimin speaks softly, the pad of his thumb smudging the black at the corner of Yoongi’s right eye, then moving to work on his left one, “I bet red lipstick would look good on you, too. I remember you used to wear black one.”
Yoongi is a bit stunned by the notion that Jimin actually remembers him from their high school days, since they spoke to each other no more than three times in two years. There’s an image stuck in Yoongi’s memory of Jimin with his uniform all in order, pretty smile and crooked teeth on display while he gave Yoongi an apple and told him to have a nice day. Curious, Yoongi peeks at Jimin’s mouth to see if the crooked teeth are still there. What he finds are lips puckered in concentration, soft looking, residue of what he supposes is pink lipgloss stuck to them. He stares as Jimin’s tongue comes out to wet them, an odd, tight knot forming in his throat. He coughs a bit to untie it, to no avail.
“There, all done. Now you look like a proper emo boy.” There’s a mocking tone in Jimin’s voice, and he’s moving a step away from Yoongi, his face disappearing from his line of sight. Suddenly he can breathe freely again. Letting go of Jimin’s wrist, he coughs some more, his gaze falling to the pointy tips of Jimin’s boots. “Thank you,” he says, because all the banter in him has evaporated and he’s left feeling empty and oddly shaken.
“You’re welcome, my dear,” Jimin says, “Gerard Way would be disappointed in you for avoiding red eyeshadow, though.”
“Gerard Way will have to survive,” Yoongi smiles a bit, and just like it appeared, the weird atmosphere between them dissolves. “I’m an emo boy of habit, red eyeshadow isn’t made for me.” He looks up to see Jimin smirking at him, his own golden eyeshadow sparkling. “It’s ok, not all of us can be brave enough to wear a full face of makeup.”
Jimin is once again tugging at Yoongi to make him move. “Let’s go, you have a stage to be on. Let’s show those people how much of an emo boy you really are.”
Fear is once again clutching Yoongi’s heart in its claws when they make their way back to the main stage, meeting the rest of Yoongi’s band there. They all look tense, except Jihoon, always laser focused and ready to perform. He’s making his drumsticks roll between his fingers, spinning them faster and faster. Yoongi is growing dizzy just by looking at them.
It’s usually Namjoon that gives them an encouraging speech, but since he’s still not around Yoongi feels like it’s his duty to speak up.
“Let’s burn that stage down!” He shouts when all of their hands are joined together in the middle, all of them standing in a circle. Even Jeonghan and Jimin participate in the cheering, shouting with the rest of the band. When their eyes meet, Jimin smiles, and Yoongi takes note of the absence of any crooked teeth. He must have fixed them. Money does that, too.
It’s in the mere minutes before actually getting on the stage that Yoongi gets anxious, his heartbeat getting faster and faster, fear running through his veins. He can feel his hands starting to shake, the tight knot at the bottom of his throat making it hard to breathe. From where he’s standing he can’t see the crowd, the swarm of people standing there and waiting for them to take the stage, to perform, but he can hear their loud chanting, their voices calling for them. It’s terrifying, and electrifying at the same time.
The need to turn around, to run away in the opposite direction is so strong he almost gives in. Before he can surrender to his flight instinct, there are fingers around his arm, a soft touch that makes him jump in surprise. When he turns to his left Jimin isn’t looking back at him, but his index and thumb are looped around his wrist, right below the metal shackle that keeps them tied together. Yoongi squares his shoulders and doesn’t say a word, yet when Joshua moves his hand to signal them it’s time to get on the stage he takes a step in the right direction. Jimin’s fingers slip away.
The roar of the crowd is deafening, feels like an injection of pure adrenaline in his veins. He waves his right hand in the air while walking up to his keyboard, Jimin following his steps. As soon as the first row spots his pink bubblegum hair, there are loud cheers echoing one after the other, the name coming out of their mouths in loud chants. It’s expected, but it bruises Yoongi’s ego nonetheless. He hoped that people would be there for them, not for mister Gucci-shirt-and-Chanel-sunglasses.
Jungkook takes his spot at the front and taps at the mic. The silence is as jarring as the loud voices that preceded it.
“We’re Seventeen Bullets!” Jungkook says, his voice booming in the speakers, “And as you can see, today we have a tiny addiction to our line up.” Jimin waves at the crowd with his handcuffed hand, dragging Yoongi’s up with his own. There are shouts and laughs from the audience. “I hope he’ll enjoy our performance as much as you will,” Jungkook goes on, smiling cheerfully and glancing back at Yoongi before continuing, “This is our first song of today: 'Fearless'!”
Jihoon hits the drums for the countdown, and before he can overthink too much, Yoongi’s instincts kick in, his hands running over the keyboard tiles in practiced ease. Jimin’s own hand is loose at his side, following Yoongi’s movements so as not to disrupt his performance, even if Yoongi tries to play with only his right hand as much as he can.
Their setlist isn’t long, six songs that they can basically play by muscle memory, and they breeze through three of them without an itch, people cheering as Jungkook sings his heart out and Mingyu growls in the mic in the background, both of them jumping around like madmen, hyping the crowd up. Yoongi smiles when Joshua walks by him, headbanging to the rhythm and having the time of his life.
By the fourth song his nerves have settled a little, and he can finally enjoy the adrenaline rush that being under on the stage gives him. Jimin is silent at his side but when Yoongi takes a peek at him, he sees him bobbing his head along to the song. It makes him giggle, his fingers moving breezly over the keys, his lips close to the microphone to add his voice to the mix. It all seems too perfect to be true, and that’s why by the fifth song he feels his hand being tugged to the side, and Jimin playing a different chord at the end of the keyboard. He glares at him, but the other is smiling serenely back.
“Stop that,” he mouths, but to no avail: Jimin does it again, and Yoongi can do nothing but try to drag his hand away from the keys. It’s a matter of seconds before Jimin is standing up from where he was sitting and singing a different song in Yoongi’s mic, something that mashes up with what they’re currently playing. Yoongi’s mind takes a second to recognize it; of course it’s My Chemical Romance.
The crowd seems to go wild, belting out the words to 'You know what they do to guys like us in prison' together with him. Jihoon picks on the change of route, adjusting the beat just slightly, as Jungkook keeps on singing their own song, pausing to let Jimin sing a bit ever so often. It’s electrifying, something new that they’ve never tried before, Yoongi still playing the keys to their song on the right side of the keyboard. Before he can stop himself, he joins in with Jimin’s singing. When their eyes meet Jimin is grinning from ear to ear, his pink hair stuck up in several different directions, his sparkly jacket hanging off his left shoulder. If Yoongi misses a couple of notes, no one really notices. If his voice comes out a bit breathy, well, no one notices that either.
When the song is over Jimin bows to the thundering claps and screams before settling down again in his seat, a contented little smile curling his lips. Yoongi snorts at his expression, focusing on their closing song. It’s his favourite one, a piece Jungkook helped writing, a bit of a soft ballad with a hardcore chorus. The music makes Yoongi lose himself for a while, focused on the way Jungkook always sings like he’s wearing his heart on his sleeve, tender and raw even when he’s belting at the top of his lungs. Soon enough even the last song is over, and they’re all bowing to the applause and cheers, Jimin following suit. Yoongi basks in the spotlight, takes all the praise in, all the screams, all the whistles, his heart soaring and beating loudly inside his ribcage. Jimin’s hand is tight around his wrist when they take their final bow before leaving the stage.
Lee Taemin finds them in the backstage, while they’re celebrating their successful gig with beers in their hands and smiles on their faces, loud voices and happy cheers. Yoongi has seen Taemin next to Jimin on the covers of magazines, but it takes a minute for him to put two and two together when he sees him walking towards them, the resemblance clicking into place only when the older man is very close to them.
“Man, that was dope!” Taemin shouts, running over and hugging both Jimin and Yoongi at the same time, laughing in Yoongi’s ear. It takes him by surprise, and he almost falls backwards; he’s saved by Jimin reaching out to steady him through their linked hands, laughing at his friend’s enthusiasm. “That mashup you did? Incredible. You’re a genius! And you,” Taemin puts both of his hands on Yoongi’s shoulders, focusing solely on him, “You, my friend, are a very good pianist.”
“Uhm, thank you?” Yoongi doesn’t sound convinced, and he’s pretty sure his cheeks are red in embarrassment, but Taemin doesn’t seem to mind because he’s already moving on, greeting the rest of the band and introducing himself. Meeting Taemin makes Yoongi feel like he just went through a typhoon, ruffled feathers and all.
“Is he always like that?” He asks Jimin, who’s watching his bandmate laugh at something Jihoon said and clap the shorter man on his back. Jihoon takes it in stride, smacking one of his hands over Taemin’s shoulder as well. There are smiles all around, Yoongi notices, and it gives a bit of peace to his heart. Now that he’s off the stage he feels the tiredness settling in his bones, but it’s a good type of exhaustion. It fills him with the satisfaction of having pulled off a great performance, of having stolen claps and shouts from a crowd. He likes this feeling, it’s a good reward after all that pre-performance anxiety.
“Not always, only when he’s very excited.”
“Next beers are on me!” Taemin shouts as Yoongi’s friends cheer for him, clinking their bottles together in a cacophony of glass against glass. It’s fun, unwinding time that makes Yoongi almost forget he’s still handcuffed together with Park Jimin. Lee Taemin is an interesting specimen to say the least, and it’s easy to laugh with him, to feel like they’re long time friends being reconnected, even if they’ve never met before.
The rest of the band enjoys his company just as much, the tenseness and pre-show jitters only a far away memory now that they’re sitting together and basking in the after-glow of a successful afternoon. Jungkook’s smile is so wide Yoongi is afraid his face will split in half, and Mingyu can’t seem to be able to sit still, giggling and throwing himself back with the force of his laughter every few seconds.
In the peace and quiet that follows such a loud concert, Yoongi feels like he can breathe again, the weight on his chest completely lifted. Sure, there's still to solve the handcuffs situation, but for now he's content to sit with his friends, enjoy a few beers and unwind. It's not even four in the afternoon, but he's already getting tipsy.
They lose themselves in mindless chatter, Taemin recounting some anecdotes from The Promise’s wildest concerts, telling them about crazy fans and unfortunate coincidences. Once, he says, they almost didn't make it to one of the stops of their tour because their bus got struck by lightning. The way Taemin tells stories is extremely engaging, and Yoongi finds himself listening intently to whatever the other man is saying; when he looks around, he notices that all of them are hanging from his lips.
It's when Jimin is chipping in, saying something about one of Taemin's ex boyfriends, that Yoongi recalls having forgotten something. Or rather, someone.
"Fuck!" He whispers to himself, looking for his phone inside his pockets in a blind panic. There's a curious look on Jimin's face when Yoongi raises his eyes from his phone's screen to him, seven missed calls flashing on it. "Fuck, I forgot Hoseok."
"Who?" Jimin asks, but Yoongi is already on his feet and dragging him away from the others. "Sorry, we need to go pick someone and let him in the backstage. He's gonna skin me alive, fuck."
Not another word is uttered between them as they walk outside, stopping right at the doors, avoiding getting in the open. The weather has gotten worse in the time they spent sitting inside, a light drizzle falling down on the several people walking around, colorful umbrellas and rain jackets making an appearance. His phone is vibrating in his hand; he finally picks up.
"Where the fuck are you?" Anger is clear in Hoseok's voice, and Yoongi sighs. Damn, he fucked up so badly.
"I'm at the entrance of the backstage now," he says, looking around to see if he can spot Hoseok walking by, "I'm waiting for you here. Sorry, I didn't hear your calls." There's a few security people around, probably for Jimin and the likes of him, artists that actually have a name for themselves. Hoseok must have been stopped from following them inside.
"I figured." On the other end of the line Hoseok sounds a little out of breath, maybe because he's pissed off, or maybe because he's walking around waiting for Yoongi. There's an ugly sensation taking place inside Yoongi's ribcage, one he associates with disappointing people he cares about. It makes him feel small and unwanted. "I thought you would at least check your phone once you were off the stage." A pause, Hoseok's breathing coming through the speaker, "You kicked ass, by the way."
Blood rushes to Yoongi's face, and he's sure his cheeks are blooming red. "Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the show."
"I did, it was very cool. Jungkook is a very good singer." There's a smile on Hoseok's lips, Yoongi can tell by the sound of his voice. They all have a soft spot for the younger. "You all did great. I didn't understand something, though. Why were you tied up to Park Jimin? Was it a publicity stunt?"
Yoongi coughs, throwing a glance to his left. Jimin is still there, still handcuffed to him, looking bored but focused on his own phone, probably to give Yoongi some sort of privacy. There's a lot of explaining that needs to be done.
"Find me and I'll tell you everything."
"Mysterious!" Hoseok laughs, the sound making the corners of Yoongi's lips turn up. "Fine, I'll be there in a second. Wait for me!"
"Gladly," Yoongi says before cutting the line.
The wait is silent, Jimin staring at anything that isn't Yoongi. He's started wearing his sunglasses again, even though it's still raining, the sky grey. Yoongi peeks out of the metal doors to see if he can spot Hoseok in between the people walking by - the silence is a bit unsettling, but he tries to ignore it in favour of looking around, trying to discern a familiar face in the midst of strangers passing by.
"There you are!" It's Hoseok's voice that he hears first, before seeing his highlighter green raincoat and his red hair peeking out from its hood. "This rain is so annoying!" Hoseok gets close to the entrance and Yoongi speaks quickly with one of the security guys to let him through. The smile on Hoseok's face always feels like sunshine, an injection of pure serotonin that makes Yoongi's bones feel warm. He's grinning widely when he walks up to them, right until he spots Jimin standing next to Yoongi. Then his expression changes so fast Yoongi thinks he must have imagined the previous one.
"Yoongi," he says when he's close enough, inside the building. It's his name that comes out of Hoseok's mouth, but Hoseok's eyes are glued to Jimin, who's still tapping away at his phone.
"Hey, I'm so glad you made it!" Trying to reach out to touch Hoseok's shoulder, Yoongi makes the second biggest mistake of the day - the first one was interacting with Jimin in the first place, he believes. For a second, he forgets that his left hand is tied up to Jimin's right one, and when he raises it towards Hoseok he can see the way Hoseok's eyes grow three sizes bigger, his nostrils flaring. Shit.
"Care to explain what the fuck is going on here?" If Hoseok's gaze could set the shackles on fire, Yoongi would be finally free from them. Yoongi takes a deep breath in before opening his mouth to start talking.
"My manager thought this would have been a fun way to make us be buddies, forcing us to be in close quarters. He disappeared with the keys." It's Jimin who talks, sounding bored out of his mind, not even looking up from the device in his free hand. When he raises his head, he does it to send a dazzling smile in Hoseok's direction. "I'm not sure we've been introduced, you are?"
“This is Hoseok, he’s my,” Yoongi pauses, assessing the situation and how to word things out. There's a lot of ways he could introduce Hoseok to Jimin, but none of them seem adequate to the situation. In the end, he spits the first word he can think of: “He’s my friend.”
Hoseok cocks his head to the side, studying Yoongi with curious eyes. “Yeah, that’s one way to put it,” he replies, sarcasm dripping from his tone. Ok, maybe he’s right, it’s not fair to call him a friend, but what are they, exactly? Yoongi isn’t sure. They’ve gone on a few dates, had plenty of sex, but it doesn’t seem like Hoseok ever felt the need to clarify what kind of relationship they had, seemed far too eager to leave things open. It’s ironic how he’s being prickly only now, when Yoongi is literally tied up to a rockstar.
“Nice to meet you, Hoseok! I’m Park Jimin.”
Hoseok scoffs. “I know who you are,” he says, his eyes trained on the metal binding Yoongi and Jimin together, “I know who you are, I know what you do for a living, I know what you eat on a regular morning for breakfast. Trust me, I know more about you than I’d like to.”
If Jimin is annoyed by Hoseok’s reaction, he doesn’t show it, perfect poster smile still in place. His voice is saccharine sweet when he replies: “Can’t say the same about you.” Yoongi has to grit his teeth together to avoid letting out a snort at Jimin’s obvious passive-aggressiveness. He attempts at easing everyone’s nerves, instead. "We've been trying to fix it since this morning, that is probably why I forgot," Yoongi pauses, realizing that saying "I forgot about you" would mean digging a bigger grave for himself, "I forgot to turn my phone's ringtone on. I'm sorry."
There's an undercurrent of tension in the air, and Yoongi feels exhausted. He should probably be grateful - today's performance was amazing, and Hoseok is there just because Yoongi insisted - but he can’t help being a bit annoyed at the situation. It’s not like he asked to be tied up with Park Jimin, of all people. If anything he wants those handcuffs gone as much as Hoseok (and Jimin) does.
"That's fine," Hoseok decides in the end, "Let's go greet the others, shall we? I want to congratulate Jungkook in person."
It's with a relieved sigh that Yoongi takes Hoseok's hand in his and guides him towards the rest of the band, making sure to walk at a pace Jimin can keep up with. They must be funny to look at: the rockstar, the rocket engineer and the guy he's got a rocky relationship with. Hilarious.
When they finally make it back to the others, there's another new face sitting between Joshua and Taemin, dressed in an oversized beige cardigan and maroon slacks, his head resting against Joshua's shoulder like it's his right to be there, cuddled up to Seventeen Bullets' bassist. Upon seeing him, Jimin squeals, in a pitch so high it makes Yoongi fear for his own ears.
At the call of his name, Kim Taehyung raises his head. He's wearing a pair of squared, thin-framed glasses, and he looks like he just woke up from a nap, hair ruffled and eyes barely open. It’s another familiar face for Yoongi, who’s seen him on tabloids, holding hands with Jimin while they laugh at whatever. In person he’s even more handsome, Yoongi notices, in a striking way. If Yoongi didn’t know he’s a clothes designer, he would think he’s a model, given his body proportions and his facial features.
"Min!" Taehyung calls back, getting up in order to launch himself towards Jimin, arms wide open to engulf him in a bone-crushing hug. Yoongi gets caught up in the middle of it all, Hoseok's hand still in his own. The two of them share a confused glance before their fingers disentangle.
"I'm sorry, I fell asleep during a yoga session in the middle of a field somewhere at the outskirts of this festival and missed your performance." Taehyung pouts as Jimin softly tucks a strand of his hair that's sticking up behind his ear, brushing his fingers over the shell of it; it's a gesture so full of fondness and love that Yoongi has to look away. What the hell.
From what he knows of the two of them, Jimin and Taehyung are childhood friends who lost each other and got reconnected through music, or so the big, colorful titles say. He never read the full story, never felt the need to - always thought that Jimin and Taehyung were playing a role and making profits out of their friendship. Maybe he was wrong.
"It's ok Tae, the big thing is tomorrow." There's a subtle hint of a smile on Jimin's lips as he bops Taehyung's nose. Yoongi feels like an intruder. "Did you see Seokjin at all?"
"I was out there in a field doing yoga," Taehyung repeats as he shrugs, "Unless he was disguised as a bush, no, I haven’t seen Seokjin since this morning, when we left the bus for breakfast." It takes a second for Taehyung to make a step back and assess the situation. His eyes drop from Jimin's face to the shackles around his and Yoongi's wrists. His gaze lights up.
"You must be Yoongi! Josh already told me everything that happened with Seokjin. I'm sorry, I hope him and Jimin didn't bother you too much." Taehyung sounds so sincere that Yoongi doesn't even feel like replying with some sass, just shrugging in lieu of an answer while Taehyung shakes his hand with an unparalleled enthusiasm. A scoff comes from Jimin, as to say he's the one who's been suffering from the situation, but Taehyung doesn't pay him any mind.
"I don't know who you are, though," Taehyung's eyes are trained on Hoseok, who's still standing next to Yoongi, shell-shocked by the whole exchange. He’s removed his raincoat, folded neatly in his hands, and his rainbow sweater matches really well with his fire-red hair. Yoongi always appreciates his boisterous sense of fashion; he wears pieces of clothing Yoongi could never pull off, but that on him work incredibly well.
There's something about Taehyung's voice that makes Yoongi want to crawl out of his own skin, being the fact that it's so damn deep or just that he talks like he's a child seeing the world for the first time, he isn't sure. Hoseok seems to think the same, because he looks a little taken aback when it's his turn to shake hands with him.
"Jung Hoseok," he stutters out, getting an extremely wide boxy grin in return from Taehyung.
"Are you a musician too, Hoseok?"
"No, I'm a dancer," Hoseok replies, his hand still in Taehyung's for some reason.
"Oh, and why are you here today? Are you performing, too?"
"I came to see Yoongi."
"Are you two friends?"
Yoongi feels himself being dragged away by Jimin, who's tugging at his wrist and guiding him towards where the rest of their bands are sitting. It feels a bit weird, leaving Hoseok behind, but when he throws a glance behind his shoulder he's pretty sure he can spot a faint blush on the tips of Hoseok's ears. When he turns back around, Jimin is thrusting a new beer in his free hand before taking one for himself. The sound of glass against glass makes Yoongi remember that he's supposed to be celebrating with his band. His eyes move to them, where they're still huddled up together in a corner.
Jihoon is already asleep, curled up on two chairs with his head in Jeonghan's lap, while Joshua is speaking in ushered whispers with Taemin, who seems to be laughing at every other word he says. Jungkook and Mingyu aren't even talking, just gazing in each other's eyes like two little lovebirds, so engrossed in one another that the rest of the world fades in the background. They tend to do that often. It's gross.
"I really like your friends," Jimin tells him while they sit down with the rest of them. It's clearly a jab at Hoseok’s introduction, but Yoongi doesn't feel like retaliating. "Yours are pretty cool too," he says, because he really thinks so: both Taemin and Taehyung seem like quite interesting people, and he doesn't want to lie about it. There's a confused furrow of brows from Jimin, but it melts immediately when his eyes move to Taehyung, still animatedly talking with Hoseok on the other side of the room. Even knowing Hoseok as well as Yoongi thinks he does, it's hard to read the expression on his face at that moment.
"So, how long have you two been together?" Apparently Jimin really likes to be an annoying little shit. Yoongi raises an eyebrow at him. "It's pretty clear that we're not actually together," he points out, "But we've known each other for some years now. He's an old friend of Namjoon."
"Just like Seokjin is?" Jimin chuckles, hiding his mouth behind his hand. The Chanel sunglasses are still on the bridge of his nose, and Yoongi wants to reach out and get them out of his face, because he looks ridiculous. Who the hell wears sunglasses inside. "I don't know about Namjoon and Seokjin's history, but they seem pretty close."
A full body shudder rakes Jimin's body. "Trust me, you don't want to know. Some details are better left in the dark. I wish Seokjin had a brain to mouth filter, but that's just not who he is as a person."
"He seems intense."
"You have no idea."
The rest of the afternoon passes by in a flash, Yoongi's cheeks starting to hurt because of the smile that doesn't seem to want to leave his face. Hoseok looks at ease when he finally finds a seat next to him, putting one of his hands over Yoongi's thighs.
It might look like a possessive gesture from the outside, and if it was like that Yoongi wouldn't enjoy the warm touch as much as he does; Hoseok's attention isn't even on him, his whole body turned towards Taehyung and the conversation about art and dance performances they're having. Maybe Yoongi is supposed to be jealous, but the ugly feeling is nowhere in sight. The wide smile on Hoseok's face lights a warm one inside his chest, instead.
The main event of that night is a local alternative rock band that Yoongi has never heard of, although Joshua keeps insisting on the fact that they're pretty popular. From what he's heard they're not his cup of tea, so he decides not to join the rest of his band - and Taemin, who's decided to stick with them - in their decision to attend the performance. That, and the fact that Jimin wants to take a walk around the festival.
Taehyung makes him wear a baseball cap over his pink hair. "To blend in!" He says, but Yoongi is pretty sure that in that way he's even more visible. Deciding not to voice his doubts, Yoongi finds himself being dragged towards the more lively part of the festival. Dusk is settling in, and the people that aren't there only to attend the concerts are wandering between food carts, or huddling around artists who are doing some improvised performances with just acoustic guitars and their voices.
Yoongi marvels at the sight of people actively queueing up to get on carnival rides, cringing at the idea of being dragged on one of them. In his heart he really hopes Jimin is scared of heights, because there's no way he's willingly getting on a rollercoaster.
Surprisingly no one pays attention to them, even though the two of them are still handcuffed together. They get some side glances only because Taehyung has the tendency to get very excited and yell every time there's a dog walking by, a fact that makes sparkles shine in Jimin's eyes when he looks at him. Taehyung's enthusiasm has a similar effect on Hoseok too, Yoongi notices that when he looks to where the taller man is walking on his left. Every time Taehyung runs off to pet a new puppy, Hoseok's smile grows bigger.
It's when Jimin walks towards a hot-dogs cart and drags him along that Yoongi finally feels the emptiness of his stomach, a growl coming out of it at the sight. Hoseok chuckles at that.
"You're hungry, Yoongi?" He asks, putting an arm around his shoulders, "Do you want some?"
"He didn't eat anything at all since this morning," Jimin points out, and Yoongi feels weirdly endeared by the fact that he actually took notice of that. "It's time that you get something in your belly, if you don't want to faint at some point." He smiles, showing two rows of perfect teeth. "Which would be very inconvenient, because that would mean I'd need to drag your body around on these muddy grounds." Jimin kicks at said ground with the tip of his boot, looking displeased with the idea.
A light shove to Jimin's arm from Hoseok makes them all erupt in giggles. Since they've sat down together around a few rounds of beers the thick tension between Hoseok and Jimin seems to have been dissolved, which is great for Yoongi's peace of mind. It makes hanging out with them - forcedly, in Jimin's case - a lot less stressful.
They get some food and eat while still walking around, Taehyung feeding them fries every chance he gets, almost tripping on his own feet in the haste to make sure they all get a fair share. Jimin looks funny with his glasses on while the sun has already disappeared, but he doesn't seem bothered by them, his face completely hidden while he stuffs it with food. Yoongi snorts at him while he munches, his cheeks full of food. At the questioning look he gets in response, he answers with a shrug.
"What?" Jimin demands when he's gulped down the food. There's mayonnaise on his upper lip that Yoongi points out by touching his own mouth; he then stares at the way Jimin's tongue licks it away, his amusement at Jimin's stuffed cheeks already dissolved into thin air.
"Nothing," Yoongi looks away, walking a bit faster to catch up with Hoseok, who's ahead of them with Taehyung, apparently stopping the younger from buying popcorn. "You just looked like a squirrel with its face full of nuts."
As soon as the words come out of his mouth, he cringes at the wording of the sentence. When he risks a glance at Jimin, he finds an impish grin on his face.
"Don't," Yoongi pleads, "Don't say a word."
"I didn't plan to. You've already done all the talking," Jimin purrs, laughing as soon as he spots the blush Yoongi feels creeping up on his face. The street lights are too bright for him to miss it.
The temperature is starting to lower, even if the rain has long stopped, and Yoongi regrets not wearing anything more than a thin long sleeved shirt below his (religiously black) t-shirt. The cardigan Taehyung is wearing looks very cozy, and even Jimin's stupid sparkly jacket seems warm enough. He tries to not to think about the chill by shuffling closer to Jimin, who doesn't seem to notice - or care.
They keep on strolling through the food court after Hoseok successfully stops Taehyung from buying at least three different types of snacks, pointing out that eating too much would hurt his stomach. Defeated, Taehyung follows them, pouting while dragging his feet, his hand loosely looped around Jimin’s right wrist, the picture of heartbreak. Still, as soon as he sees a cotton candy vendor, his whole face lights up.
Before any of them can stop him, he's taking the leap, running away with a screech. Jimin chuckles at that, the fondness on his face unmistakable, shaking his head at his best friend's antics. When Yoongi always thought their friendship was fabricated, during the whole day he's gotten proof that he was dead wrong. The bond they share seems sincere, and even if Yoongi isn't a fan of the way they display their relationship for everyone to see, he guesses that there's nothing wrong with it. Tabloids would poke around to dig information about it anyway, either if Jimin was willing to share or not.
Hoseok is following Taehyung while telling him to slow down, for fuck's sake, his wallet in hand. He's the one giving money to the street vendor, and he refuses to take the crumpled bill Taehyung is consistently pushing below his nose. Yoongi can’t hear their exchange of words over the chattering of people passing by and the loud music playing nearby, but the sparkles in Taehyung’s eyes are telling enough, as is the deep bow he’s taking to thank Hoseok. The older man looks constipated, waving his hands in front of him and trying to tug at Taehyung’s nape to make him stand back to his full stature. When he does, Taehyung takes a bit of his cotton candy to shove it inside Hoseok’s mouth. Jimin snorts.
“No one can resist Kim Taehyung,” he says, before tugging at Yoongi’s hand and pulling him in a different direction, away from the food cart and from their friends. “Hey, are we leaving them there?” Yoongi looks back, wondering if Hoseok would follow them, but he finds him occupied with cleaning the corners of Taehyung’s mouth with his thumb. Wow, would you look at that.
"There's still plenty to see around here, and I think the two of them can fend for themselves, don't you?"
A last glance behind his back tells him that Hoseok is going to be fine. Probably more than fine, Yoongi thinks as he sees Taehyung giggling and shoving more cotton candy past Hoseok’s lips. Instead of replying, he adjusts his hand in Jimin's, taking the lead and walking towards where he saw some people playing songs around a campfire earlier. He doesn't know if it's safe to light fires with so many people around, but he supposes that if no one stopped them, it should be fine.
When they find the spot Yoongi was looking for, they silently slip inside the circle, some guys scooting over to make space for them. They're all sitting on yoga mats, and Yoongi wonders if this is the place where Taehyung did his morning session earlier. The girl that is currently singing has a soft, thin voice, her words coming out a bit slurred. Yoongi recognizes the song, something by Simple Plan that he can't remember the title for; everyone is swaying side by side at the rhythm of her strokes on the guitar, a couple more voices joining her during the chorus. Jimin is one of them, but he sings below his breath, so low probably only Yoongi can hear him.
When she's done the guitar passes from hand to hand a couple more times, songs following one after the other. Yoongi basks in the warmth of the fire sitting in the middle of the circle and the body sitting next to him, Jimin's left hand still loosely held in his right one. He pretends he doesn't notice, pretends to be focused on anything but that, pretends he is still the same Yoongi that almost punched Park Jimin this morning for rightfully telling him off for smoking and possibly ruining his own concert.
"Wait, aren't you Park Jimin?" Jimin's fingers leave their hold on Yoongi's as soon as the girl two seats to their left say the words out in the air, the person who's currently strumming a tune stopping to turn in their direction. Damn, being always at the center of attention must suck, Yoongi realizes as soon as the whole crowd gathered there has their eyes on them. Jimin removes his glasses, hanging them at the neck of his shirt, and turns his cap backwards to show his face.
"Hello folks," he says to them, waving his right hand in the air and smiling. Yoongi can see it's not a genuine one, but he hopes the people there won't read too much into that. The two of them had a long enough day, and Jimin must be tired enough.
"Oh, it's Jimin!" The person who's holding the guitar claps their hands together, a surprised expression on their face, "It's so nice to have you here!"
There's a few people nodding their heads in agreement, and the girl who recognized him is grinning widely, her cheeks rosy when she speaks again. "I can't believe the Park Jimin is here!"
"Leave him be, Ryujin," the friend sitting next to her softly elbows her in the guts, but Ryujin doesn't seem deterred by the assault. "Can you sing something for us?" She asks, her eyes sparkling when she looks at Jimin, her hands wringed together under her chin in prayer. Jimin chuckles as Ryujin's friend smacks her lightly above the head. "Only if you want to!" Ryujin is fast to say, waving her hands in the air as to placate Jimin, "I don't want to force you or anything."
"No, it's ok. You have to ask my friend here if he can collaborate with me, though." Shaking his left wrist in the air, Jimin jostles the handcuffs. Everyone's attention is redirected to Yoongi.
"Oh wait! I know you! You're part of the band that performed this afternoon." The guy that spoke has green hair and long bangs covering his eyes, a Fall Out Boy shirt under his leather jacket. Yoongi never saw him before, but apparently he was in the crowd earlier. "You guys rocked!"
Well aware of his whole face probably being as red as the flames of the fire burning in front of him, Yoongi ducks his head and mutters out a thank you, to which the guy replies with: "No, I'm not kidding! You really were amazing."
"Jimin helped a bit." Yoongi tries to shift the focus to Jimin, but the younger one is having none of it. "I told him the same thing, I think they really rocked," he says, patting Yoongi's knee in encouragement. If Yoongi’s face could get any redder, he's pretty sure it would.
"Why weren't we there?!" Ryujin asks her friend, a whine in her voice. Jimin laughs at that, his smile a real one this time around. "We can sing something for you, if you want?" He suggests, to which everyone claps and cheers, Ryujin nodding her head so hard Yoongi is afraid it will detach. The guitar gets passed down to Jimin from hand to hand, and he turns to look at Yoongi as soon as he has it in his arms, a challenge in his eyes. "My Chemical Romance?" He asks, to which Yoongi chuckles.
"Aren't we getting a bit boring, now?"
"What do you suggest?"
"Fall Out Boy?"
Yoongi gives him a thumbs up, and Jimin snorts, getting a better grip on the guitar before starting to find the right chords on it. Yoongi finds himself tapping the beat over Jimin's thigh with his free hand, his right one following Jimin's movements over the instrument. The younger doesn't seem to mind the touch, his voice filling the air with the first words of the song. Getting lost in the music is easy, especially with Jimin's captivating voice rumbling so close to him, his tone mellow until he gets to the chorus.
There Yoongi joins him, trying his best to stay on key as Jimin's higher tone makes it hard to follow him. Their voices blend together quite well, Yoongi believes. He doesn't remember all the lyrics, so he lets Jimin take the lead for the most part, joining him only on the bits he knows well.
"I only want sympathy in the form of you crawling into bed with me," Yoongi sings, as Jimin throws a glance at him, a cunning smile on his lips that makes Yoongi stop and stutter, missing the last chorus entirely. By the time the last few notes come out of the guitar, Yoongi's head is spinning a little bit, be it the claps of the people around them or the way Jimin's eyes are still on him, he isn't sure.
Instead of thinking too hard about it, he joins the applause, directing it at Jimin as the younger does a half bow and throws kisses to the crowd. Everyone seems content enough with their little performance, and the guitar leaves Jimin’s embrace to get into someone else’s. Ryujin is still clapping, and Jimin removes his cap to pass it down to her. She seems ready to start crying.
"I can't accept that!" She wails, trying to push it back into Jimin's hold, but he refuses to take it. "C'mon, it's a gift from me to you." He seems extremely happy to indulge her, and it makes Yoongi smile, "Actually, it's a gift from Taehyung to you, because it's his."
"Are you sure that I can take it?" She asks at least four times, until she finally yields and puts it over her head. Her friend, Yeji she said it's her name, thanks Jimin too, an arm around Ryujin's shoulder to keep her from bolting out of her seat, probably.
"I'm gonna be in the front row tomorrow!" Ryujin tells Jimin in a whisper, clearly excited at the prospect. "I hope you do another cover with your friend!"
Jimin regards Yoongi with a searching look before replying. "It all depends if he wants to join me. And if these handcuffs will be gone by then."
"No offense to you, but I hope they're not," Yeji interjects, "I think you two make a kick-ass pair."
"Should we make a side group?" Jimin asks, clearly amused. "But Yoongi here doesn't like the music I make," Jimin tells them, lowering his voice as if to tell them a secret, "He thinks it's pretentious. He's a real emo boy."
Yoongi bumps their shoulders together, hard, but it only makes Jimin laugh. "What? Isn't that true?"
"I never said that."
"But you thought about it. You made it pretty clear this morning, that you didn't like me or my music."
Ryujin seems offended by the notion, so Yoongi tries to amend as fast as he can, laughing it off. "This morning you were being a pain in the ass," he points out, rolling his eyes when Jimin feigns offense at that, "And I was too. We started with the wrong foot."
"It's good that that wasn't our actual start, and the first time we actually met I was a delight."
Yoongi is taken aback by the sudden change of topics, and he's even more surprised by the notion that Jimin actually recalls their first encounter.
"You were." It's easy to agree with him, because the first time they saw each other Jimin was a kid with round cheeks who gently pointed the principal's office to Yoongi and gave him an apple for the road, smiling widely when Yoongi stumbled upon his words in gratefulness. After that one time, they didn't talk more than a few other times, at some parties. Just an exchange of greetings here and there, but Yoongi always thought that Park Jimin was a cool kid, for pursuing his dream of making music since the beginning.
"You were really something, with all those piercings," Jimin recalls, his free hand shooting up to caress the side of Yoongi's ears, where said piercings still are. Goosebumps rise to the back of Yoongi's neck. "Such an emo boy."
"Stop calling me an emo boy," Yoongi whines, "I'm a punk-rocker!"
"Sure you are," Jimin pats his cheek patronizingly before redirecting his attention back to the person who's currently playing a Paramore cover. A beat passes before he speaks again. "I always thought you were extremely cool for not caring about what other people thought of your appearance."
The way Jimin says it, without looking directly at Yoongi, makes it seem like it's an offhanded compliment, but Yoongi spots a faint blush on the apples of Jimin's cheeks. It makes him grin, and he circles his fingers around Jimin's wrist in a silent thank you. The younger still refuses to look at him, but he slides his hand up to hold Yoongi's.
"I always thought you were very brave for going after your dreams," Yoongi says after a while, when some people have left the circle - Ryujin included, with a cute wave of her hand in their direction, her arm around Yeji's hips - and some others have joined. "You always knew what you wanted and you went for it. It takes guts."
"I could have made a big mistake," Jimin points out, "I was lucky."
"Fortune favours the bold."
"You were brave too, but at least you've got an engineering degree to back you up if everything goes to shit."
Jimin is staring in front of him, the light of the campfire putting shadows on his face that Yoongi didn't notice before. There are deep, dark circles below his eyes that he didn't pay any attention to, and now that he sees them he wonders if Jimin isn't tired of running around, both today and in general. He doesn't ask, though, just squeezes Jimin's hand in his and lets the music fill the silence stretching between them.
The chill in the air is getting harder, the night is getting darker, and if Yoongi finds himself sitting a bit closer to Jimin, finds himself resting his head on his shoulder while humming along to some song he barely knows, no one but the people around them need to know. If Jimin rests his own cheek on top of Yoongi's head, if he sings in Yoongi's ears, that's something only Yoongi needs to remember.
The darkness feels like a blanket around them, growing deeper and deeper, and Yoongi feels its chill as soon as he and Jimin get up from their spot at the campfire to walk around some more. His hand is still around Jimin's, neither of them pulling away.
The crowd has thinned out, being too late for children and families to still be around, but the music hasn't stopped yet. Jimin hasn't stopped yet either, his energy apparently never running out as he keeps on walking, a smile on his face as he takes in his surroundings. There's a deep exhaustion in Yoongi's bones instead, his body feeling like jello as he walks slowly, following Jimin's lead. He doesn't mind the pace, too tired to move any faster.
Jimin got a text from Taehyung earlier, telling him that he and Hoseok had joined the rest of Seventeen Bullets for a few drinks in their tour bus, and were probably gonna crash over there. There's a question in Jimin's eyes when he raises them on Yoongi's face, assessing his reaction at Taehyung's text, but Yoongi doesn't know how he's supposed to feel. Should he feel betrayed? Should he be happy that Hoseok has found someone he's really interested in? Because despite whatever the two of them tried to tell each other, whatever relationship they had so far, it really wasn't going anywhere.
Friends, sure, but more than that? They were probably doomed to begin with. So, all in all, he's happy that Hoseok clicked with Taehyung right away. It's cute to see him struggling, Hoseok who's always so stone-faced and composed that sometimes Namjoon has to tell him to loosen up. Namjoon of all people, who has dissertations with himself about the rightfulness of eating fish when he's such a devoted defender of crabs. That Namjoon.
Yoongi just smiles at Jimin, tells him to text back his wishes for a nice night with a winky face. At that Jimin snorts, but taps away at his phone anyway, a small grin curling his lips while he presses send.
Their aimless wandering leads them to a field full of people dancing; no music can be heard coming from any speakers, and Yoongi wonders if they're all gone insane. It takes him a minute to spot the headphones over their ears, and when he's connected the dots Jimin is already jumping up and down, begging that they join the silent disco event. Weak to his puppy eyes, Yoongi agrees, even if dancing isn't really his strong suit.
A girl with glitter all over her face and neck gives them two pairs of headphones, explaining to them that there are three different music stations that they can tune in by tapping a button over them - every time they change stations the headphones will glow a different color: red, blue or green. Jimin puts the device over Yoongi's head and drags him towards the centre of the makeshift dance floor, muddy ground - because of the rain earlier in the day everything is humid and dirty - almost making Yoongi slip and fall on his butt.
The song that's playing in Yoongi's ears is something unfamiliar, so he switches to green, The Strokes blasting in his ears as he does so. Jimin is already shimming his shoulders to the music, moving Yoongi's arm with him by swinging their linked hands. It makes Yoongi smile, the enthusiasm he has, the way he tries to twirl around before remembering he still is tied up to Yoongi and can't make a full turn. They laugh as he almost loses his balance, Yoongi reaching out to put a hand over his shoulder and keep him upright.
There's a faint bang in the background as the song changes to something Yoongi has never heard, and when he raises his gaze towards the sky there are fireworks exploding above their heads. He stops to watch them, mesmerized. The fascination people have with fireworks is something that isn't easily explainable, everyone stopping and gazing over their heads at the colored glitter covering the night sky and bathing the ground in an ethereal glow. The sight makes his heart soar.
When Yoongi's gaze moves back down to Earth he finds Jimin’s eyes - there are fireworks sparkling in them, red and green and gold shimmering in his irises. He’s humming along to a song Yoongi can’t hear, his headphones glowing red while Yoongi's are still green, his face turned up to soak in the glowing lights over them. There’s a smile on Jimin's face when he puts his free hand over the side of Yoongi’s neck, making him slowly sway at the rhythm of music Yoongi isn’t listening to, but still looking overhead.
Despite being taken by surprise by the gesture, Yoongi moves his left hand to Jimin’s hip, lightly fisting the fabric of his shirt between his fingers. A chill runs down Yoongi’s spine, the crisp air finally getting to him. Jimin must sense it below his fingertips, because his gaze moves to meet Yoongi's as he takes a step closer to him while fireworks fizzle above them, the last of them exploding in a grand ending, one after the other. What’s left of them is smoke in the air over their heads.
“Are you cold?” Jimin asks, rubbing his palm over Yoongi’s nape as to warm him up. Yoongi tries to shake his head no, but another shiver makes his whole body tremble before he can do so. Eyebrows drawn in concern, Jimin takes a step closer, invading Yoongi's personal space. Before crossing any boundaries he waits for Yoongi to nod his head, and then he plasters his body against Yoongi’s in a one-armed hug.
“We should probably go get you a jacket,” Jimin says, hot air against Yoongi’s ear that makes goosebumps erupt on his skin. Instead of following his own words, taking Yoongi with him to get him something warm to wear, Jimin sways his body side to side, making Yoongi dance with him, still singing to a song Yoongi can't hear.
“It’s fine,” Yoongi replies, a bit too late, a bit too quiet for Jimin to catch his words over the sounds in his earphones. His fingers let go of Jimin’s shirt so he can loop his arm around his waist; he tells himself that it’s because of the cold, because Jimin’s body feels warm against his own. Jimin's hand slides up, knots between Yoongi's hair.
Panic at the disco! are singing in Yoongi's ears, the song starting right as Jimin tangles their handcuffed hands together, fingers intertwining.
'Is it me that makes you sweat? Am I who you think about in bed?'
Jimin's soft touch against his scalp makes goosebumps erupt all over his body; he hides his face in the crook between Jimin's neck and shoulder, his cold nose pressing against the warm skin there, right below the collar of Jimin's open jacket. If Jimin hisses at the contact, Yoongi can't hear it over the music.
'When the lights are dim and your hands are shaking as you're sliding off your dress?
Well, then think of what you did...'
Yoongi's heartbeat is too fast, the sound of it mixing with the words being blasted in his ears - Jimin's hand guides the one tied to his own to his hip, and Yoongi looks up to catch his eyes, his breath getting stuck in his throat when he sees them glowing in the low light.
'..And how I hope to God he was worth it
When the lights are dim and your heart is racing as your fingers touch your skin.'
Jimin's face is so close to his own that they're basically breathing the same air - Yoongi can really see all the little imperfections on it, the glitter that's fallen from his eyelids to his cheeks, the soft blush on the bridge of his nose.
'I've got more wit,'
Yoongi knows what's about to happen, but he can't help gasping into the kiss as Jimin closes the distance between them, his eyes widening before falling shut. It feels like an electric shock to his core, like being doused with a bucket of ice-cold water. It leaves him frazzled, unable to wrap his head around what's happening.
'A better kiss,'
It's just a quick press of lips before Jimin is taking a step back, his expression coy as he looks at Yoongi from under his lashes. Before he can retreat more, Yoongi is following him, their mouths finding each other again. A sigh gets out of Jimin's and it gets gulped down by Yoongi like it was a breath of fresh air and he was suffocating, struggling to survive.
Yoongi thinks that this is good, this is better than arguing with Jimin about trivial stuff and getting enraged for no reason. At least now his blood is boiling for a very valid one, Jimin pressing closer and closer and closer until there's no way to tell if the handcuffs are keeping them together or if it's a gravitational pull only they can feel.
The little mewl that comes out of Jimin's mouth when Yoongi's cold fingers find their way below his shirt does something to his stomach, makes him feel like his insides are about to combust in fine dust. Jimin's skin is soft and oh so warm under his fingertips, and he wonders how nice it would be to get his hands roaming over the entirety of his body, how nice it would be to just feel .
'A hotter touch a better fuck
Than any boy you'll ever meet
Sweetie you had me.'
Jimin's lips are mouthing against Yoongi's jaw, his hand gripping at Yoongi's hair to angle his head better, to pepper kisses in a hot trail that leaves him wanting, craving for more. Their mouths find each other again, Yoongi's eyes closed as Jimin sucks on his tongue and swallows down every single noise he's making, devouring them like a starved man. Yoongi feels like his head is empty, everything around him disappearing; what he's aware of is Jimin in between his arms, and nothing else.
'...Will you dance to this beat
And hold a lover close?'
They separate to look at each other as the world comes back into focus, and Yoongi giggles at the dazed expression over Jimin's face, using his thumb to wipe at his bottom lip gently, marvelling at the texture of it. It looks bitten-red in the semi-darkness, incredibly so. Jimin's tongue comes out to lick his digit, and before he can think better of it, Yoongi is kissing him again, pushing against him and wishing there was a way to stop himself from falling, from precipitating in the orbit that Jimin has designed for him.
Maybe the force with which he's pressed himself against Jimin was a bit too much, maybe he just caught Jimin by surprise, but there's a second in which Jimin looks at him with big, bulging eyes, and then the next one they're on the ground. Jimin takes most of the hit, his whole body slamming in the dirt, while Yoongi braces his free hand on the ground before he can crush the younger under his weight.
The moment their eyes meet they immediately erupt into giggles, Jimin going as far as throwing his head back, mud sticking to his pink hair and dirtying it beyond repair, his whole body shaking under Yoongi's with the intensity of his laughter.
Jimin surges up to plant a peck on the top of Yoongi's nose, and then he's hooking his ankle around Yoongi's calf, his smile getting cunning. Yoongi doesn't have time to question it before he's somehow manhandled into the ground, Jimin turning them over and making Yoongi take a full-body bath into the muddy ground. When Yoongi tries to sit up, Jimin pushes him down, laughing at him. There's a new song in Yoongi's ears, and he didn't even notice the last one ending, one he yet again doesn't recognize. It's a nice one though, so he reaches Jimin's headphones to change his station.
Jimin's eyes disappear with the force of his smile - he mouths along to the lyrics, and Yoongi is amused by the situation, but he's starting to feel the humidity seeping into his bones, the cold settling where his naked skin touched the ground. A full-body shiver runs through him, be it because of the way the mud is starting to seep through his shirts or because Jimin is once again kissing him, Yoongi doesn't know. Humming into Jimin's mouth, he realizes he probably should care more.
They slowly raise from the ground when they're tired of messing with each other, their whole bodies covered in dirt. Before making their way back to the parking lot, they leave their headphones to the glittery girl, who laughs at the state of their clothes and bids them goodbye.
"Enjoy your night!" She yells after them, and Yoongi feels like a fifteen-years-old holding his crush's hand for the first time ever as they walk towards Jimin's tour bus.
"We should clean up a bit," Yoongi points out as he brushes Jimin's hair and fails miserably at removing the soil stuck to it. They're outside Jimin's bus, and Yoongi is pressing the younger against the metal wall of it, peppering his face with smooches. It's such an experience, to render Jimin finally speechless as he kisses down his neck.
"We shou-ha," Jimin gasps, drags Yoongi closer by his nape, "We should probably take a shower or something."
"You're telling me in there you also have a shower that can fit us both?" Yoongi asks, amazed. A chuckle, and then Jimin is dragging him inside, stumbling over his feet in his haste to drag him in. Yoongi almost forgot how cold he was feeling, but as soon as he's inside and the wind isn't biting at his skin he sighs contentedly. "Fuck," he starts, but the rest of his sentence gets drown out by Jimin's lips on his.
"Sorry, you looked cute," Jimin tells him, even if there are no lights on in the living area and they can barely see each other. He doesn't question it, lets Jimin crowd him against the closed door, lets him bite his lips and whisper sweet-nothings against them.
The bathroom isn't that big, but the shower does seem like it can fit both of them. There's only one problem.
"We can't get these clothes off," Jimin points out, shaking his left hand and jostling the handcuffs. They pause, looking at each other. "How attached are you to that shirt?"
The question startles Yoongi. "Jimin, you're not going to cut your Gucci shirt to shreds," he replies, horrified at the idea. Tutting, Jimin puts a finger to Yoongi's lips to shut him up. "You don't have to worry about my shirt, I'm asking about yours."
Too late, Jimin is already dragging Yoongi towards the kitchen and its utensils, getting a pair of scissors in his hands and snapping them viciously in the air between them. Yoongi stays as far away from him as the shackles allow, eyeing him and his fingers around the metallic cutting blades with suspicion.
"Stop," he begs, but Jimin seems determined. "Listen, these clothes are already ruined. We literally rolled around in the dirt. I have plenty of Gucci shirts, you don't need to worry."
It's a losing battle, and Yoongi already knows that. Jimin's reasoning isn't even that flawed - if they go into the shower fully dressed they'll end up having to wait for their clothes to dry afterwards, and they won't even be that clean to begin with. They just need to cut their shirts, it's not that big of a deal, Jimin says. Yoongi watches with fear in his eyes as Jimin cuts the fabric down the middle of his chest. It could be a heated situation, if Jimin didn't have scissors so close to Yoongi's skin.
Yoongi is pleased to discover that Jimin has abs under that ridiculous sparkly jacket of his, and is very pleased to discover that he can use his free hand to explore the exposed skin as it gets revealed bit by bit. The pleasant discoveries keep on surprising him as they slowly peel their clothes off each other, cutting what doesn't want to come off willingly. If Yoongi was attached to that shirt, he doesn't even remember it by the time he's pushed inside the shower, hot water finally relieving the cold that has taken hold of his body.
It feels nice to just stand there under the warm stream, but Jimin's warm as well, and he's very much naked, and Yoongi is nothing but a weak, weak man. The process of cleaning up from the mud is forgotten quite easily, their priority turning out to be very much aligned when Jimin's hand slips from Yoongi's hair - where he was helping cleaning it - to his neck, bringing their faces together.
"Hey." A breath against Yoongi's lips before they find each other in the middle, mouth against mouth, skin against skin. "Hey you," Yoongi replies, resting his forehead against Jimin's and smiling at him, dragging the pad of his thumb against his hip bone. Their bodies couldn't be closer together, yet Yoongi wants them to melt into one another in ways he can't think of or his brain will probably implode.
"Do you think Seokjin will be satisfied with the little stunt he pulled, if he saw us now?" Jimin asks, and Yoongi can't help but curl his nose up in distaste.
"God, don't make me think of Seokjin seeing us right now."
The laugh they share bounces off the glass walls of the shower, fills the air. "You're right, sorry."
"I'm sorry for being terribly annoying this morning," Yoongi breathes in Jimin's ear before sucking on his earlobe, licking around the diamond piercing there. It makes Jimin's breath stutter, and satisfaction fills the pit of Yoongi's stomach, together with something hotter, something that makes the blood in his veins rush, his heart beating faster.
"It's ok, I was quite terrible myself."
"Just a tiny bit," Yoongi follows a path down Jimin's neck, kisses the mole over Jimin's collarbone before biting it lightly. "I guess that Seokjin got what he wanted, in the end."
"Let's stop talking about fucking Kim Seokjin," Jimin demands, reclaiming Yoongi's lips and backing him up against the glass, stealing whines out of him with his mouth and his hands.
"Let's fuck, instead?" Yoongi crudely says, and it makes Jimin stop sucking on the skin below Yoongi's ear to snort loudly, teeth dragging over his pulse point before Yoongi's face gets cupped between Jimin's hands.
"I would suck you off, but I have a concert tomorrow," he tells Yoongi, and if he wasn't pressed against the wall, if Jimin wasn't holding him so close, Yoongi is pretty sure that he would pass out at the mere concept of Jimin, on his knees, his pretty, plump, pink lips ready to be ruined. Instead of replying, he's the one sinking to his knees. Jimin's eyes go wide.
"You don't have to do that," Jimin says in a whisper, but Yoongi doesn't mind. If anything, he's eager, ready to devour Jimin in every way he can. As much as antagonizing Jimin was challenging, Yoongi thinks that getting him to shut up in other fun ways will give him another, bigger satisfaction. "I want to," he replies, as he lets Jimin run his fingers softly through his hair, still matted to his head. They will clean up later, Yoongi thinks, looking up at Jimin and the way his pink bangs fall into his eyes. His lips are parted around the principle of a moan as soon as Yoongi gets his hands on him, and when it comes out of them Yoongi really thinks it sounds like music to his ears.
Yoongi wakes up to a face full of pink hair, spluttering and scooting back a bit in bed to breathe properly. He doesn't remember falling asleep with his arm around Jimin's waist, but he thinks he must have passed out at some point. It took them the water in the shower getting cold for them to get out of it, took them even longer to stumble into bed - thankfully the tour bus was completely empty, and neither of them questioned it. They simply slipped inside Jimin's bed, trading kisses and short words, most of them disappearing into moans when their hands found each other in the darkness. The memories are quite vivid, and Yoongi can't help but smile as he presses his lips to Jimin's naked shoulder.
The silence is comfortable, makes him want to burrow deeper between the covers and in Jimin's embrace, soaking up warmth like a cat sitting in the sun. A tiny sound comes out of Jimin as Yoongi tickles his side, making him squirm.
"Stop," Jimin laments, his eyes still shut tight. He wriggles his nose, trying to swat Yoongi's wandering fingers. "Stop doing that," he whines louder, kicking his heel against Yoongi's calf. When Yoongi doesn't stop his annoying act, Jimin turns around, gaze set in stone. That's when they both realize something is off.
"The handcuffs." They both look at their wrists, free from any metal restraint. Jimin's eyebrows are so high on his forehead that they disappear below his bangs.
"The hell?!" Jimin sits up, almost bumps his head on the bunk bed above them - apparently, despite how big their tour buses are, not even celebrities can escape bunk beds. "How is this possible?" Jimin looks at the wristband he had been wearing throughout the previous day to avoid his wrist hurting, now unnecessary given the absence of any shackles around it. He takes Yoongi's hand in his as well, turning his wrist around to check that they're actually, truly free. At his confused face Yoongi can't help but huff a chuckle.
"I mean, I'm not complaining," Jimin says before entangling his fingers between Yoongi's and looking at him, his lips quirked up in a half smile. "No offense but being handcuffed to you kinda sucked."
"No offense taken." The chuckle becomes a full on laugh as Yoongi squeezes Jimin's hand, "I think the handcuffing served its purpose, though."
Jimin hums, his eyes searching the room in the low light, looking for something - Yoongi isn't sure what exactly. When he spots what he was looking for he jumps out of bed, completely and unabashedly naked, and Yoongi has to look at the metal springs of the bed above his head to avoid getting too distracted.
"There they are," Jimin says, taking the handcuffs off the door's handle and making them turn around his index finger. There's a pink post-it note attached to the surface of the door, and Jimin picks that up too. " I see you two went a bit overboard with the civil conversation. You're welcome! " Jimin reads, "It's signed by Seokjin. That fucker."
"He must have come in while we were sleeping," Yoongi points out, a bit creeped out that neither of them woke up at an external intrusion, "We were sleeping like the dead, weren't we?"
"I guess so." Jimin lets everything fall to the floor and makes his way back towards the bed, climbing over Yoongi and trapping him against the mattress, bracketing his head between his elbows and staring down at him.
"Good morning." It's a whisper against Yoongi's lips, Jimin pressing a kiss there and then more along Yoongi's jaw and neck, drawing breathy gasps out of him. Yoongi's hands are finally free to roam, to feel every bit of exposed skin he can put his digits over.
"Good morning," he says back before their mouths are slotted back together and Jimin is teasing him with the tip of his tongue. There are not many more words exchanged after that, both of them too focused on exploring their newfound freedom to make small conversation.
It's cool to see Jimin in the morning, with his makeup from the day before all melted at the corners of his eyes and his messy bedhead. It gives Yoongi a glimpse at what actual, real human Park Jimin looks like on a daily basis, when he's not flashing smiles for a camera or on a stage performing under harsh lights. Yoongi rakes his nails over Jimin's scalp and the younger almost purrs, letting his head fall down and resting his forehead against the side of Yoongi's neck, hiding his face there.
"Are you ready for tonight?" Yoongi asks him, suddenly remembering that Jimin is set to perform later that day. A hum as Jimin burrows his face further against Yoongi's skin. "Not yet, I need some food, some coffee and probably another shower." After a quick peck to Yoongi's throat, Jimin raises his face to look him in the eyes. "Are you going to be there to see me on stage?"
"Is the concert sold out?"
Jimin scoffs, flicks his finger at Yoongi's ear. "Oh, you think you’re so funny. Stop teasing," he demands, leaving another butterfly-kiss to his chin. "I'd like you to be there," Jimin tells him, earnest, "Even if you think my music is boring."
"Now you're just putting words inside my mouth," Yoongi chuckles, puts both of his hands over Jimin's hips and squeezes, making him squirm in his hold. "I never said anything like that."
"It's ok, not all of us can have sexy brains and like pop punk music."
"Hey, my brain is very sexy," Yoongi counters, but Jimini tuts, shutting him up by joining their mouths, nibbling on his lower lip. "Your butt is sexier," he says between kisses, making Yoongi laugh. They stay like that for a while, trading soft words that are better said in the early hours of the morning, enjoying the shelter the covers give them and each other's company. If he thinks back to the morning before, Yoongi would have never imagined this turn in events. He's not complaining.
When they finally stumble into the living area, they find Seokjin and Taemin sitting together with cups in their hands, matching grins on their faces. They're lucky they decided to get dressed before venturing out, Jimin lending some of his comfier and less colorful clothes to Yoongi. The black sweater he's wearing is a bit too tight for his liking, but it smells like Jimin's body wash, so he's not complaining.
"Oh, here they are, the newlyweds."
"Shut the fuck up, Seokjin," Jimin spits out as he makes his way towards the coffee maker, retrieving two cups from a cabinet and filling them with the black, hot liquid before giving one of them to Yoongi. Seokjin has a big, satisfied smile on his face, and Taemin is hiding his own behind the rim of his cup.
"I knew all you two needed was to fuck the tension out," the manager shrugs, looking very pleased with himself. Taemin pats his hand on Seokjin’s knee in acknowledgement of his good job while Yoongi's cheeks bloom in red, taking a sip of his coffee to hide his blush. "You're very smart, my friend," Taemin says, as a dry laugh leaves Jimin. "Smart isn't the word I was thinking of," he growls, even though Seokjin doesn't pay him any mind, looking at his nails and polishing them over the lapel of his jacket.
"You should thank me, Park Jimin."
Jimin pretends he can't hear Seokjin, goes around the room looking for something to eat and then takes Yoongi's hand to guide him back towards the bedroom with their breakfast, grinning at him while Seokjin's voice gets louder and louder, whining about not being appreciated enough in that household. They spend the whole morning ignoring Seokjin's blatant attempts at getting a reaction out of them, filling their stomachs with food and laughing at silly cat videos they watch on Yoongi's phone.
When it's time for Yoongi to leave, Jimin makes sure to kiss him thoroughly before letting him go, taking his sweet, sweet time with him pressed against the bedroom's door. Yoongi lets him, giggles through the whole process, giddy and happy to be the center of Jimin's attention.
"I expect to see you in the front row," Jimin says against his jaw, scraping his teeth there and then trailing kisses over the area. A nod, and Jimin finally detaches himself from Yoongi's body, cupping his face between his palms to leave one last peck on his lips before ushering him outside. "If I don't see you there I'm not buying you a new shirt as I promised," he threatens, no real heat behind his words. Yoongi waves his hand in goodbye at Taemin, who's still sitting where they left him some hours before. No sign of Seokjin, and Yoongi is partly grateful.
"I'm not sure I can survive without that particular shirt, so I'll make sure to be there," Yoongi jokes, prompting an eye-roll from Jimin. Then, softer, in a whisper: "I wouldn't miss it," he promises. The content smile on Jimin's face makes the butterflies inside his ribcage all too real, and he has to look away before he does something extremely stupid.
"See you later then," Yoongi says, "I'll be the one booing from the crowd."
"Ha-ha, very funny." There's a jab at Yoongi's side that makes him squirm, Jimin's fingers pushing against his ribs before he moves his hand up to squeeze his shoulder in goodbye, "I'll be the one on the stage." He pauses to reconsider, "That's either me or Taemin, it's up to you to figure it out."
"I think my very sexy brain will handle that."
"If you say so," Jimin replies, sounding amused, kissing Yoongi's cheek before pushing him away. "Now go, I have stuff to do and you're distracting me."
"Yeah, I've been told I'm distracting."
"You're such a pain in the ass." Jimin closes the door to the bus on Yoongi's face, cutting off his laugh efficiently.
When Yoongi finally gets back to his own band, he finds them all sitting together staring at the entrance, as if waiting for his appearance. Hoseok is there too, sitting on the floor, Taehyung lying down next to him with his head in his lap. They all look a bit too pleased with themselves, and Yoongi decides he doesn't want to hear anything of what they're about to say. Jeonghan has his mouth already halfway open on a word when Yoongi shuts him up.
"No!" He stops him, "Don't say anything. I don't wanna hear it. Keep it to yourself."
"C'mon, Yoongi..." Jungkook starts, his big, round eyes pleading, but Yoongi shakes his head no with conviction. "I never say a word when all of you do questionable shit around me, now it's your turn to shut the hell up." A pause, "You too, Jihoon, don't even think you're above anyone here."
Jihoon glares at him but closes his mouth, knowing full well that Yoongi has enough dirt on him to bury him alive. There are nights in which Yoongi has seen the shorter man slip in Jeonghan and Joshua's room to emerge the following morning, glassy eyes and a fucked out expression on his face. There's no need to dig deeper into that.
They let him off the hook after that, but Yoongi doesn't miss the way Hoseok gestures at him that they're going to talk later; he smiles at that, winking at him and laughing when Hoseok's face blooms in red because of Taehyung burying his face in his stomach. They're cute together, and Yoongi gives Hoseok a subtle thumbs up that makes Hoseok blush even harder.
Namjoon is still missing in action, but to be honest Yoongi doesn't want to know where he is and what he's doing - he's had enough of Seokjin's creepiness for today, and probably for the next decade. He spends the afternoon chatting with Jungkook and Mingyu, the only ones that apparently don't care about exploring the festival more, sitting with Yoongi and subtly asking him questions to discover what happened the day before, questions he dodges like a pro.
By the time evening comes, Yoongi is feeling the same jitters he had in his stomach the day before, almost like he was the one that was supposed to get up on the stage again. He can't sit still, feels like he's going to jump out of his skin if he doesn't start moving. Mingyu laughs at him but helps him pick a shirt from the limited selection they have brought with them, and then tells him he should bring Jimin's sweater with him, too.
"It looks great on you," Jungkook confirms, peeking inside their shared room, grinning widely. "Jimin has good taste," he adds, and Yoongi doesn't know if he's talking about his fashion sense or himself, but he blushes nonetheless.
When they make it to the main stage, they feel a bit bad for using their artist passes to make their way through the fans and find their reserved spot in the front row, behind the barricades. Taehyung and Hoseok are already there, chatting away, completely absorbed in each other. Yoongi's stomach is closed, his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans to avoid picking at his nails. He wonders why he's feeling so on edge, when the rest of his friends are laughing and hyping the crowd up.
The nervous feeling clogging Yoongi's throat doesn't disappear until the lights fade and the spotlight centers on the middle of the stage, where Jimin and Taemin are standing, one next to the other. The cheers are so loud Yoongi is almost deafened by them, his hands flying to cover his ears as he joins them with a loud shout. There are so many people there, Yoongi wonders how Jimin must feel while looking down on them from his place up on the platform, the smile on his lips so big and bright Yoongi thinks he doesn't even need any stage lights to shine.
"Hey! Are you ready to have some fun?!" Taemin screams in his mic, whistles and claps answering his question. "We are the Promise, and this is Criminal!"
Jimin takes it from there, starting the first verse of the song. It's a sexy one, with a deep bass line that Yoongi can feel inside his bones, and he feels the hype getting stronger and stronger as the people around him scream the lyrics to it at the top of their lungs. The whole song is a back and forth between Jimin and Taemin, guitar and electric keyboards - they have so much chemistry, Yoongi feels falling down a hole of admiration and awe as he watches them perform.
Not all the songs are his taste, some of them too soft, some of them too poppy, - one of them though, Filter , sends his mind into overdrive with how much he likes it. Jimin's voice is captivating and his stage presence makes it impossible to tear one's eyes away from him. The guitar in his hands does exactly what he wants it to do, and Yoongi can't stop staring at him, can't focus on anything that isn't Jimin Jimin Jimin , completely forgetting about his surroundings, about his friends, about the crowd chanting Jimin's name like it was a mantra.
Taemin is an amazing performer as well, and he doesn't pale in comparison to his friend and bandmate, but Yoongi is captured, shackled even though he's been freed from his handcuffs. The pull he felt yesterday is still there, stronger than ever, and it makes his blood thrum in his veins.
"I know we don't usually do covers," Jimin says in a pause between songs, while they're taking a break and drinking some water, "But there's a person I promised I'd dedicate something to." He winks at the crowd, making screams erupt in the air. Yoongi feels his friends' eyes on him, but he doesn't turn to look at them, his gaze set on the pink-haired man picking up his guitar.
"I got to re-discover some bands with him yesterday," Jimin goes on, facing Taemin and grinning when the other plays a silly tune on the keyboard, "And even though he thinks my music taste sucks, I hope he'll appreciate this one song I chose."
Yoongi doesn't know if Jimin can spot him in the first row, the stage lights probably making it impossible for him to see anything at all, but he hides his face behind his own hands nonetheless, embarrassed.
The title of the song doesn't get announced, yet Yoongi recognizes Fall out boy on the first note of it, a title he can't recall. Jimin is the only one singing this one, laser focused, his lips close to the microphone as he pours his everything out. Mesmerized, Yoongi can't do anything but stare; he's pretty sure he looks ridiculous from the outside, but he can't bring himself to care.
Jimin's eyes are moving through the crowd as he performs, but when they land on Yoongi his lips quirk up in a smirk. Their gazes meet and Yoongi can't look away, doesn't want to. If anything, all he wants to do for the rest of his life is stare at Jimin as he shines bright on a stage, yet another sparkly jacket on him that sends sparkles all around him, almost like a halo surrounding him.
'I'm addicted to the way I feel when I think of you,
There's too much green to feel blue.'
Yoongi finds himself smiling back at Jimin, unable to change expression even as the songs fade out and Jimin and Taemin say their goodbyes, as the crowds thins out after asking uselessy for an encore, as his friends drag him away to get backstage. The smile is still there even as Yoongi falls in Jimin's embrace as soon as he spots him standing there, with his arms open.
It feels like the perfect encore song, getting kissed by Jimin. The fireworks aren't physically there, yet Yoongi feels them under his sternum, bumping inside the enclosure of his ribcage as they bounce in every direction. When they come up for air, it's between wolf-whistles and cheers from the rest of their friends; Jimin is glowing, laughing softly as he bumps his forehead against Yoongi's.
"I think you should build me a rocket," Jimin whispers to him. It's such a silly thing to say that Yoongi is left speechless, giggling with him and kissing him some more to shut him up.
"That's not what I studied," Yoongi reminds him after a while, and then, because he's feeling a bit corny and a bit cheesy, "You don't need a rocket to take me to the stars."
"Ew, Min Yoongi," Jimin shoves him away, his eyes still into crescents because of how wide his smile is, "Don't say anything like that ever again!"
"Or I'm gonna have to shackle you to me forever."
Yoongi isn't sure he would mind.