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the tablecloths are all the same colour.

jeongguk takes great pride in having an eye for detail and knowing perhaps more than the average person about colour theory and whatnot, but—the tablecloths are definitely the same fucking colour. yet he’s staring down at several pieces of fabric and being asked to decide between them, which colour he wants, as though the colour of the goddamn tablecloth even matters that much, especially when he can see virtually no difference between all of the shades, and didn’t they choose a colour theme so that they wouldn’t have to make these choices in the first place, and if they’re paying the planner so much money to plan this damn thing, can’t she make these executive decisions because jeongguk is genuinely about three seconds away from having a slight emotional breakdown—

“hey.” jeongguk physically startles when someone touches the small of his back and speaks into his ear, but he turns to see yoongi standing next to him with one of the tablecloth samples in his hand. “is it just me or are all of these the exact same colour?”

somehow, hearing that out of yoongi’s mouth makes jeongguk want to cry. maybe it’s not just him. “they’re definitely the same colour,” he says, keeping his voice low because their wedding planner is just on the other side of the table, deep in conversation with the person who runs this business—the one supplying them with tablecloths and silverware and everything else they need for the dinner part of their reception. he doesn’t want to offend anyone despite believing most of this is rather obtuse.

yoongi’s hand slides up his back, coming to rest against the back of jeongguk’s neck, which he squeezes. “doing okay?” he asks. “you look a little…”

“out of my mind?”

“i wasn’t going to say that, but—yeah. a little.”

jeongguk lets out a small sigh, reaching out to gently run his finger over the nearest tablecloth. shouldn’t this be exciting? this should be exciting. this should be invigorating and romantic and something out of his dreams.

because jeongguk is going to marry the love of his life. he gets to marry the best person he’s ever met, the kindest and bravest and most wonderful person he’s ever had the fortune of knowing. he gets to spend the rest of his life with someone who makes him so happy that he doesn’t really know what to do with all of his feelings. and planning his and yoongi’s wedding is something he has, embarrassingly, dreamed about for most of the time he’s known yoongi. he may or may not have started a pinterest board the week after they met.

he’s wanted this for years. for almost six fucking years. and now finally, after all of the trials and tribulations, months and months spent apart at one time because of jeongguk’s idol career, they’re finally here. they’re going to get married.

but first they have to choose the colour of their tablecloths, and honestly, it’s making jeongguk want to tear his hair out. all of this is—he was so sure that planning their wedding would be easy and exciting and fun, but more often than not, jeongguk dreads meeting with their wedding planner to iron out a few more details.

there’s just so much to do. so many huge and small choices to make, so many tiny little details that jeongguk didn’t even think mattered at a wedding. all jeongguk really wants is to marry yoongi, even if they do it at the courthouse—but they do deserve something more. something grand and exciting. but at this point, jeongguk isn’t even sure they’ll get to their wedding day, because he’s certain the stress of wedding planner will kill him first.

“it’s just…” he begins, debating whether or not to admit the truth to yoongi. no doubt yoongi is feeling some of the same pressure, but jeongguk doesn’t want him to worry, not when yoongi has given jeongguk everything he could possibly ask for. it was yoongi who stood patiently by as jeongguk trained and then debuted as a solo artist, knowing that it would be difficult for their relationship to last through it but determined to never give up on their love anyway. it was yoongi who waited patiently for jeongguk to come home from his first world tour before they could even do this, even if they’d been talking about marriage in some terms for five years. “i’m just tired, hyung. it’s been a long day and my brain is overwhelmed with all of this stuff.”

he can tell yoongi knows he’s lying. but what does he expect from the man who has been his best friend and loved him so fiercely for six years? still—yoongi just pulls him in and presses a kiss to jeongguk’s cheek. “one day at a time,” he says. “we can cuddle so hard when we go home.”

jeongguk’s lips quirk upward. “can’t wait,” he laughs, and it might sound like a throwaway, but it’s really not—because for so much of their relationship, jeongguk hasn’t just been able to come home to yoongi. becoming an idol, and a successful one at that, doesn’t afford him much time to really be with yoongi. earlier this year, he was gone for seven months on a tour, and now the idea of simply being able to go home and cuddle with yoongi all evening, sing and dance around the kitchen as they cook dinner together, play with holly with the fireplace burning—he never thought it would be such a privilege, but it is.

the only reason they’re able to do any of this now is because jeongguk is taking an actual break from his career. he just released his second album, did promotions on music shows and whatnot, and then made the decision to take a break for a few months, so he could really be with yoongi. so they could do this. maybe he was hoping it would be more sex and less stressful wedding planning, but at least yoongi is here. and everything is always better with yoongi.

“we do have to choose the tablecloth colours, though,” yoongi adds, returning to their predicament at hand.

“as long as we agree, right?” asks jeongguk. “and if we agree they all look the same…”

yoongi tilts his head, seeming to consider it before he points at one of the samples. “that one?”

“good enough.”

yoongi holds up his hand for a high five. “teamwork! that’s what you need in a marriage.”

“you are so embarrassing.”

“anything to make this day a little more bearable, my dear.”

it does help—the humor. the fact that they’re in this together and suffering together. some days are better than others, but jeongguk can’t help feeling like this is a lot of stress compared to the payoff. this better be the best damn wedding this century has seen, or he’s going to be little upset.

choosing the tablecloth colours is just the beginning, though—then they have to choose which chair covers to use, the design, the colour, and that, of course, depends on which chairs they’re using in the first place. then the napkin holder design, the glasses for drinks, how many centerpieces to have at each table and which to have at the head table. they haven’t even really gotten into the decorations for the reception yet, and as jeongguk stands there and stresses over all of these miniscule details, he begins to dread that, too, even though decorations were always his favourite part of planning his fantasy wedding with yoongi in the past.

once they finish with the wedding planner at the reception venue, they immediately have to jet set off to their cake-tasting appointment, which should at least be more enjoyable because they get to eat a bunch of cake. jeongguk is usually on a much more stricter eating regiment, but he has time to work off whatever weight he might gain from eating cake and lazing around the house with yoongi.

it turns out cake-tasting is a lot less, well, cake-tasting, though, and a lot more listening to someone explain the different flavours, icings, and decorations that are available. jeongguk and yoongi sit at a table with tiny slices of each cake before them, tempted by the smell and the sight but not allowed to touch yet, as someone explains their options to them. jeongguk keeps subtly trying to drag one of the plates closer to him only for yoongi to squeeze his thigh under the table like a reminder to behave, although his eyes never leave the stranger instead of giving jeongguk teasing glances once in a while.

once they are allowed to eat the cake, it’s not much better. “hyung, this tastes so good,” jeongguk sighs after taking a bite of the red velvet cake. “how are we supposed to choose one? can we get like a three-tiered cake with a different batter flavour of each?”

yoongi hasn’t even touched the samples. he’s too busy staring at them with that little furrow between his brows, the one jeongguk knows means he’s thinking very hard about something that is upsetting him. in an attempt to cheer him up, jeongguk digs his fork into a piece of the chocolate cake and lifts it up to yoongi’s mouth, nudging it against his lips.

“cookie monster says open up.”

yoongi leans back, away from the cake. “can you take this a little more seriously?”

“seriously?” asks jeongguk. “we’re just tasting the cake. i’m very serious about tasting cake, hyung.”

“you’re not even stopping to look at what cake you’re tasting, though, or to consider the different flavours of icing, or the decorations—”

“it’s cake.”

“it’s our wedding cake.”

jeongguk furrows his brows, and then eats the bite of chocolate cake for himself. after swallowing, he says, “so that was chocolate and it was delicious. that’s all i need to know about our wedding cake.”

yoongi sighs, really sighs, like he’s upset or stressed or—something, and runs a hand through his dark hair. but shouldn’t this part of their planning, of all parts, be the best and the easiest and the most fun? realistically all they have to do is eat a bunch of cake.

“can you just eat some cake?” jeongguk finally asks. “maybe it’ll be easier to decide what you like if you actually taste it.”

yoongi does, albeit with much less gusto and excitement than jeongguk, but he’s barely swallows before he says, “is it better to keep it simple? you know, just white cake with some icing flowers or whatever? do we need a cake topper? should we have a more elaborate design like those ridiculous ones you see on baking shows? god, what if we choose a flavour that our guests don’t like? should we have more than one cake?”

“hyung.”

“do we have a special cake for people who are gluten free? what about people who are lactose intolerant? oh my god, taehyung—we have to get him his own cake. we can’t have him shitting his insides out at our wedding, jeongguk.”

hyung.

“it’s fucking cake, oh my god. this shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. i didn’t think there would be so many things to consider about a cake.

yoongi is beginning to hyperventilate, clearly panicking about cake—much the same way jeongguk was almost panicking about the tablecloths earlier. the truth is, jeongguk has never really seen yoongi that stressed out before. sure, his stress levels were high years ago when he was in the process of getting hired for his human resources job at the hospital, the one he still has now (although he’s gotten promoted several times, thank you very much), and when they were apart for so long and neither of them really knew how to do deal with it, but yoongi has always been really good at managing his own stress. he’s always made a point of hiding most of his stress from jeongguk, especially during the beginning of jeongguk’s idol career when he was stressed enough for the both of them.

but yoongi isn’t hiding it now. whether that means he’s much more stressed out than any of those other times or he’s choosing now to trust jeongguk more than ever to take care of him, jeongguk isn’t going to second guess it. he simply offers an apologetic smile to the man watching them taste the cakes, says, “sorry, please excuse us for a moment,” and then pulls yoongi out of his chair and into the lobby of the building.

he crowds yoongi against the wall away from anyone who might be watching and lifts his hands to frame yoongi’s face. “hey,” he says, glad now for their height difference so that he’s the only thing in yoongi’s entire view. “look at me, hyung. it’s okay. focus on me, okay?”

yoongi is pale, eyes clearly panicked as he looks between jeongguk’s eyes. it’s like he can’t quite focus on anything, his breathing still coming far too fast and short. “breathe with me,” says jeongguk quietly. “follow me, okay?” he takes a deep breath, counting to four, and then holds for two before breathing out for another four seconds. he repeats that action again and again until yoongi follows him, breathes with him. for a time, neither of them says anything, merely standing there and breathing together, until jeongguk can tell that yoongi is calming down. the colour returns to his face, his eyes focusing solely on jeongguk’s mouth as he copies the deep breathing exercises.

finally, yoongi’s entire body relaxes, slumping back against the wall and closing his eyes in relief. jeongguk drops his own hands, letting yoongi relax for a brief minute before he asks, “better?”

“sorry,” yoongi breathes, opening his eyes. “i don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“we’re both really stressed out about this stuff,” says jeongguk. “i think it just got a little too overwhelming.”

“i just started thinking about it and then i couldn’t stop and it’s just—it’s a lot. it’s so much, gguk-ah.”

briefly, jeongguk wonders how many moments like this he has missed. how many moments in those seven months he was gone on tour, and the years before that where he was constantly in the studio, recording or dancing or otherwise, trying to hone his skills. and has he even been the source of yoongi’s stress, knowing they couldn’t be together the way they wanted when they first started dating? is this something they need to worry about, properly? he’s known for years that yoongi has issues with anxiety, but they were always manageable.

maybe all of this is a bad idea.

but then yoongi reaches out and hooks his finger through jeongguk’s belt loop, tugging him closer that way. jeongguk stumbles forward until they bump into each other, and there’s a lopsided grin on yoongi’s face when he leans up onto his toes and kisses jeongguk’s mouth. “thank you,” he says. “i’m sorry for ruining the cake tasting.”

“you didn’t ruin anything,” says jeongguk. “i get that it’s stressful. i was really panicked about the tablecloths earlier, actually.”

“it feels silly to be so stressed out about something like this, you know? but i can’t help it. i just want it to be perfect.”

hey.” he lifts his hand, sliding it over yoongi’s neck. “i’d marry you in a storm drain, min yoongi. it does not have to be perfect.”

“you deserve perfect, jeongguk. you’re my baby. and i love you with my whole heart and i want you to be happy and—you deserve the wedding of your dreams, after everything you’ve done for me and the fact that you want to be with me at all when you could literally have anyone—”

“don’t do that, hyung.” jeongguk frowns. “i love you. i want to be with you. i’ve literally never wanted to be with anyone else. just because i’m kind of famous now and you’re not doesn’t mean i’m going to have second thoughts. it’s you. it’s always you, hyung. and the perfect wedding is one where i get to marry you, no matter what colour the tablecloths are or what kind of cake we have. okay?”

he knows those words won’t be enough to convince yoongi otherwise. because yoongi has always wanted what’s best for jeongguk, has always done what he could to make jeongguk as happy as possible. but things have shifted in the past few years. when they first met and began dating, jeongguk was simply a young man who was working at a bookshop and was too shy to sing in front of his best friends even though it was his dream to become an idol. making him happy took so little—and it still does. just being with yoongi at all makes jeongguk happier than he can put into words. but now that jeongguk has access to so much more—now that he has money and fame and success—he can understand why yoongi thinks he has to try harder.

but he doesn’t have to. jeongguk is a simple man; he can afford expensive clothing brands and fancy vacations and the latest in cars or technology, but he doesn’t need it. most of the time, he doesn’t even want it. he just wants yoongi—and yoongi as he is now. the yoongi who helps people every day by working at a hospital. the yoongi who would rather have a weekend in with their dog and good movies. the yoongi who still wears a hello kitty helmet while driving his motorcycle and collects special edition build-a-bear releases for jeongguk and always has chipped nail polish.

that’s always going to make jeongguk happier than an expensive wedding that they spend months slaving over planning. but if yoongi wants to give him the perfect wedding, he can hardly throw that back in his face, either.

yoongi kisses him again, barely more than a brush of their lips together. “okay,” he whispers. “but we still have to make these decisions.”

“we’ll make them together, hyung. like real husbands.” he can feel yoongi’s lips quirk upward beneath his mouth, and then he nods, and then jeongguk kisses him again. and after that, the cake tasting still isn’t as easy as jeongguk wishes it could be—because yoongi is right, they do have to make a lot of decisions about just one part of their wedding—but it’s better. they laugh together, decide what they need to decide. yoongi manages to get icing all over jeongguk’s face, and when jeongguk kisses him, it gets all over yoongi, too, and that’s how it should be.

that’s how it should always be.

the next few days of planning go in much of the same manner. although making headway in planning does help to relieve some of their overall stress, jeongguk still can’t help but feel overwhelmed every time they attend another appointment to plan different parts of their special day. each time they complete one task, he’s reminded of ten more they have to do anyway—they’ve chosen their venue, but they have to choose the decorations for the venue and the colour of those decorations and decide on any special requests they might have while taking into consideration what their guests might need. they’ve chosen which suits to wear but now they have to do a suit fitting at some point, and they have to do one with the rest of their friends since the five of them will be groomsmen, and they have to decide on ties and pocket squares and shoes and belts and should they have matching socks or is that too much?

it’s a lot. it’s always a lot.

the only consolation is knowing once they’ve made all of these decisions, all they have to do is wait for the wedding day, which will be in the spring of next year. getting the planning out of the way should mean actually relaxing while they wait. it’s getting to that point that will be the problem, though.

perhaps it shouldn’t be all that surprising, then, that after a few particularly stressful days of wedding planning, jeongguk wakes up in the middle of the night to find the other side of the bed is empty. well—holly is sleeping there, but jeongguk distinctly remembers falling asleep with a human holding him, and unless yoongi has magically turned into a dog, he’s disappeared.

still half asleep, jeongguk climbs out of bed and begins wandering through the apartment looking for yoongi. he’s not in the kitchen, though, or the living room, or even just taking a piss. jeongguk begins to worry when he’s swept the entire house and come up emptyhanded—but then he thinks to look outside.

the air is chillier now, especially at one in the morning, but when jeongguk grabs one of yoongi’s coats hung up next to the door and steps outside, he spots a familiar figure leaning against the railing of the balcony and watching the city.

it’s not the first time this has happened. but what’s different from every other time jeongguk has found yoongi doing some soul searching in the middle of the night is the smoke.

jeongguk lets the sliding door shut with a little more force then necessary, just to alert yoongi to his presence, and yoongi physically startles; he twists around and spots jeongguk with wide eyes, and that’s when jeongguk sees the cigarette. it’s clutched between yoongi’s fingers, already half-finished, and as if that wasn’t incriminating enough, yoongi breathes out a stream of smoke.

at first, they just stare at each other.

and then jeongguk asks, perhaps dumbly, “are you smoking?”

“i’m so sorry,” says yoongi immediately, guilt evident on his face. “i didn’t—fuck, i know you hate it. i’m sorry, i’ve just been so fucking stressed lately and i didn’t—i had to. i’m sorry. i shouldn’t do it, but i needed it. i couldn’t sleep and i was panicking about the wedding stuff again and… that’s not an excuse. i know you’re gonna be mad.”

yoongi is right. jeongguk does hate smoking—and he especially hates when yoongi smokes. in fact, it was once the biggest point of contention between them. and yoongi hasn’t smoked for years, not since he finally kicked the habit a year into their relationship. jeongguk doesn’t even think yoongi has cigarettes lying around, so he must have gone out to get some specifically because he was craving them. given jeongguk’s track record with catching yoongi smoking, he should be mad.

but it takes only a second for jeongguk to just… decide not to be. it’s one in the morning. he’s tired. and he understands. so he just shrugs. “i’m not mad,” he says, much to yoongi’s surprise, and then he joins yoongi by the balcony. “i’m stressed as fuck, too. let me try.”

when he holds out his hand for the cigarette, yoongi just stares at him.

“c’mon,” says jeongguk. “i want to know if it actually helps.” he manages to pluck the lit cigarette from yoongi’s fingers despite the weak and delayed protests, and then he takes a drag—and immediately begins coughing when the smoke hits the back of this throat, eyes watering at how dry it is. “christ.” he continues coughing, letting yoongi gently pat his back before he gets himself under control. jeongguk wipes at his eyes. “fuck, that’s awful. genuinely horrible.”

“i know,” says yoongi. “i told you not to try it.”

jeongguk coughs again, and then finally passes the cigarette back. yoongi stubs it out on the railing, frowning at the thin trail of smoke that goes up as the cigarette goes out. “i don’t know how you can do that. tastes like i’m eating sand. burnt sand.”

“that’s where they put nicotine in it, jeongguk. no one would willingly smoke if they weren’t addicted to it or it didn’t, you know, decrease their stress levels.”

“did it help?”

yoongi frowns at the cigarette. “a bit, actually. i think it mostly just made me feel better about the fact that i’d been craving one so madly.” he looks up at jeongguk again. “i promise i’m not going to get back into smoking, though. it was a moment of weakness.”

“i don’t blame you. things have been really stressful lately, and smoking used to be your main de-stresser.”

“remember that big fight we had over smoking?” yoongi asks with a laugh, leaning against the balcony and watching jeongguk carefully. “our first fight.”

jeongguk’s cheeks darken. “i think i overreacted that time,” he admits. “you were trying to stop and i wasn’t being understanding enough about it.”

“i needed the motivation to be better, though. i think that fight actually really helped me quit, in the end. for a while, any time i craved a cigarette, i just thought about how disappointed you would be in me, and honestly? the idea of upsetting you hurts me more than smoking a cigarette makes me feel good.”

“that’s one of the most romantic things you’ve ever said to me.”

“shit, i need to say more romantic things, then.”

it makes jeongguk giggle, playfully pushing yoongi’s shoulder. this could, of course, be a bigger problem than either of them is making it out to be. but jeongguk doesn’t want them to argue now, especially when they’ve both been struggling with the wedding planning. now more than ever they need to work together, need to understand how stress affects each other. besides, jeongguk has been with yoongi for almost six years now. he trusts yoongi.

the laughter dies away. yoongi watches the skyline and jeongguk watches yoongi, admiring the slope of his nose, the curve of his jaw. they’ve come so far from being those kids who just wanted to be together and were still trying to find themselves in this great, big world. they’re not boys anymore. and jeongguk is still afraid sometimes, but he knows that he and yoongi are no longer separate entities. they’re a team now. they’re always going to be a team, and jeongguk knows that his problems are ones that he doesn’t have to deal with alone.

so why are they still trying to deal with the wedding planning separately?

“it shouldn’t be this stressful, should it?” he asks. yoongi turns a quizzical expression to him, eyes dark and bright at the same time. “the wedding stuff. i always thought it was going to be exciting, but it’s like… pulling teeth every day. is it supposed to be this hard?”

“all of the movies make it look really stressful,” admits yoongi. “the comedies, at least. but i don’t want it to be this stressful. our wedding should be what we want it to be, right? exciting and fun and something to look forward to.”

“are we doing it wrong?”

“i just don’t think we were prepared for what it would entail.”

jeongguk has been thinking about it for a few days, since their cake-tasting. when yoongi promised to make it perfect and jeongguk realized it didn’t need to be—and now he has to words to say, “hyung, i don’t really care about all of that stuff.” he swallows tightly, hesitating before yoongi reaches out and takes his hand, gently playing with his fingers. “having the fancy decorations and the amazing cake is great, but i just—yoongi-hyung, i just want to be with you. i was serious when i said i would marry you in a storm drain. and i’m not saying we should get married in a storm drain, but if we’re both this stressed about it, maybe we should… just do what we want. what makes us happy.”

yoongi’s gaze is sharp. “what are you suggesting?”

“i don’t know, but don’t you think we’ve spent enough time being stressed out about our relationship? we spent seven months apart this year alone,” jeongguk almost laughs at how ridiculous it is. “we promised each other back when we started dating that we would figure it out together. we’d take it one step at a time, and i’ve waited for this for so long. we’re finally going to get married. i’ve wanted to marry you since i saw you show up for the first time on that goddamn motorcycle with your leather jacket and your grey hair and your black nail polish, and it’s been six years. i don’t want this to be upsetting anymore. everything else has been hard enough. why should our wedding be?”

yoongi lifts their joined hands and kisses the back of jeongguk’s knuckles, just gentle, as he always does. “i don’t want it to be stressful either,” he says. “you did say we just have to get through it, though.”

“well, fuck it. fuck the wedding planning. let’s just do what we want. we don’t need all of this fancy shit. let’s just… decide what we do want and then do it and scrap everything else.”

they did talk about having a huge wedding—their guest list isn’t huge, but it won’t be intimate either. but they can afford something fancy, so it was almost natural for them to begin planning that way. but jeongguk can’t believe they lost sight of who they really are through it, and what their relationship is like. yes, jeongguk is famous. yes, they’re both making a lot of money. yes, they have friends in multiple industries and could have their wedding splashed across the front cover of plenty of magazines or newspapers. but in the end, that’s not who they are.

they’re just… jeongguk and yoongi. once, years ago, they were just the bad boy and the baby boy. they’ve grown and matured and become so much more. but at the core of their relationship, they’re still simple, humble people. that’s what jeongguk wants their wedding to reflect.

“so…” says yoongi, like he’s trying to wrap his head around it. “just scrap it? everything we’ve been planning?”

“not all of it,” says jeongguk. “we still need a cake and tablecloths, but i say we just let our wedding planner make the little decisions. we make the big stuff about us even if it’s less conventional.” he hesitates, trying to tamp down his own grin before he says, “like having waffles for dinner.”

jeongguk.”

“what? waffles are a staple of our relationship!”

“we have to feed our guests real food.”

“then we’ll do breakfast foods. isn’t it very us, hyung?”

yoongi groans, but jeongguk can tell that he’s kind of pleased with the idea—from the way the corners of his lips turn upward, the sparkle in his eye. jeongguk knows how yoongi likes to pretend he’s not enjoying something. that look on his face makes jeongguk giggle, swooping in to kiss the corner of yoongi’s mouth. “you’re a fucking menace, jeon jeongguk,” laughs yoongi as he shoves jeongguk away. “we can have waffles at dinner, not for dinner.”

“what happened to the man who drove all the way across this city to get me waffles when i was sad?”

“he doesn’t have to convince you to love him anymore.”

jeongguk scoffs. “we can have whatever you like, too. sugary coffee.”

“how about someone doing dramatic readings of jane austen?”

“and all of our guests can go home with a specialized build-a-bear.”

“i don’t know if we have that much money.”

“ah, i’ll just make a deal with the company to do an advertising campaign for them or something.”

yoongi’s grin is lopsided now. “you’ll sing, right?”

jeongguk shushes him with a wink, adding, “that part’s a surprise.” of course he will—he wants to sing the very first song he ever sung for yoongi, only then by roy kim. he knows yoongi will remember it was the first, and he knows yoongi will cry. but he has no doubt that yoongi will have a similar sort of surprise for him, and it will definitely make jeongguk cry. so at least they’ll both be even.

and even though none of these decisions are the important ones in the eyes of their wedding planner, surely, it’s exactly what jeongguk and yoongi need. this is what matters to them. fuck the tablecloths and cake decorations. jeongguk just wants his wedding to be the best night of his life, and that will happen with yoongi at his side as they look back on everything that has made them them. made them strong, made them love each other the way they do.

their wedding is going to be the beginning of the rest of their lives together. he thinks it’s important to look back on where they started and where they came from so that, moving forward as husbands, they’ll feel stronger than ever. he’s not going to feel that while looking at the style of silverware they panicked about, but rather the stupid photobooth where guests can take photos with leather jackets for a prop, and the slideshow of pictures of the two of them that someone (seokjin and hoseok, probably, although they shouldn’t be trusted with it) will put together, and whatever else will make him reminisce about the past six years with yoongi.

he’s glad they’re on the same page.

yoongi pulls him in by a hand on his waist, kissing his temple before jeongguk leans his head against yoongi’s shoulder. he has known for a long time that he would marry yoongi, come hell or high water. but they’re finally doing it. no matter how big jeongguk’s music career gets, or how old the two of them grow together, or how different they become from who they were when all of this started, some part of jeongguk is always going to be that painfully shy and inexperienced nineteen-year-old he was when he met yoongi. this boy who was more than capable of accomplishing his dreams but just needed someone who was willing to stand by his side and give him the safe space he craved so that he could grow. this boy who saw the world through rose-tinted glasses, who was (and still is) a self-professed hopeless romantic, who firmly believed that one day he would find a love that could have come straight out of one of his favourite romantic movies.

he did. and it turns out this love is better than the movies. because it’s real. and it’s his.

“i’d marry you in a storm drain, too, you know,” says yoongi eventually. “i don’t care, either. i want to be with you, jeongguk. i want to spend the rest of my life with you. and whatever makes you happy—that’s what i’ll do.”

“i love you, hyung.”

“love you, too, baby.” he kisses the top of jeongguk’s head. “how about we take the weekend off of this planning stuff and whatever? just hang out at home, like a self-care weekend. you and me. fuck the tablecloths.”

jeongguk giggles. “fuck the tablecloths.” he’s never going to say no to that. “are you going to come back to bed now?”

“i might sit out here for a while yet,” says yoongi. “it’s the most peaceful place i’ve been for a while.” in all honesty, jeongguk himself is reluctant to go back inside. tomorrow is another day, and even if they’ve decided to downgrade their wedding plans, they still have to deal with all of it. right here and now, in the middle of the night and a sleepless city spread out before them, jeongguk can pretend none of that exists. none of the stressful planning exists and beyond that, the reminder that every day is one day closer to his break from music ending. eventually he’ll have to get back in the studio, return to a life where he and yoongi can’t be together as often as they like.

right now, it’s just the two of them, and it feels like nothing else exists. jeongguk wishes he could feel like this all the time. so he kisses yoongi’s cheek, detaching himself, and heads back into the apartment—but only to grab two mugs of tea and the box he’s been hiding under the bed for a while.

“what’s this?” yoongi asks when jeongguk hands him the mug back on the balcony, but he’s gesturing to the shoebox in jeongguk’s arms.

“i found this last week while i was doing a deep clean of the spare room,” says jeongguk. “it’s the keepsake box i used to keep when we first started dating. i forgot i even had it, but then i found it and… i wanted to turn it into a wedding present. but i think we could use it now instead.” he still likes keeping mementos of important things or memories, but he’d been much more serious about it years ago. when he first moved to seoul, he’d been determined to keep record of everything that happened to him, this wonderful life he was sure he was going to have. it only took a few months for all of his keepsakes to become centered around yoongi, and now, here they are.

yoongi’s grin is lopsided and fond and warm as he pulls jeongguk down to sit on the patio sofa; he sets the box down on the table before them, carefully opening it and digging inside as yoongi does the same. some of it doesn’t really seem like much—trinkets that jeongguk no longer remembers the significance of, like caps to bottles that must have meant something, or receipts to purchases he clearly cared about at the time. to a nineteen-year-old jeongguk, all of this was precious, all of these things signifiers for a new and at times overwhelming relationship with yoongi. but he can’t bear to throw them out even if they don’t mean anything to him now. somehow, he can feel it when he holds those old receipts or trinkets: there is love in them. there is a miracle in them—the miracle of jeongguk and yoongi, their relationship, the way they’ve managed to last this whole time. these things hold power.

“you kept this?” asks yoongi, and jeongguk turns to see him holding up the end of a ticket stub. upon further inspection, he realizes it’s the ticket to the double feature drive-in movie they went to watch on their first valentine’s day—although they didn’t get much watching done that evening.

jeongguk grins, shrugging. “that night meant a lot to me,” he says.

“didn’t you come in your pants because we were making out in the car?”

hoseok-hyung’s car,” corrects jeongguk. “and yes. i was a virgin. that’s why it meant a lot, because that’s the night i told you and you didn’t make a huge deal out of it. but you also didn’t brush it off, either. and that’s when i knew you were always going to listen to me and think about what i needed and take care of me.” he shrugs again, plucking the ticket stub out of yoongi’s hand and setting it down with the other things they’ve already taken out.

“i didn’t know it meant that much to you.”

“i was always afraid of ending up with a boyfriend who thought my inexperience was embarrassing or weird—or worse, who didn’t think it mattered. but it did, at least at first. but you were never like that. i’ve never been scared with you, hyung.”

he’d kind of wanted to go through the box for a laugh, but now he can see it’s going to be a lot more emotional than he’d anticipated. maybe this early in the morning isn’t a good time for this—but he just digs into the box again, laughing when he pulls out a little novelty romeo bobblehead yoongi once got him.

yoongi doesn’t laugh with him.

“seriously, hyung, you don’t have to focus that much—”

“i really love you, jeongguk.” yoongi squeezes his thigh. “i almost forgot how different we were when this started. we’ve grown so much, you especially, that remembering the beginning of our relationship… it’s weird. but i’m proud of how far we’ve come.”

jeongguk kisses his cheek. “i promise not everything in here is emotional.” he grabs something else, a stack of polaroid pictures. “see? these are all embarrassing pictures we took of each other.” it’s true—and they laugh as they go through them, although yoongi seems to be more interested in his changing hair colours. he’s had nothing but natural hair colours for years, but jeongguk still tries to convince him to go back to pink or mint once in a while; jeongguk dyes his hair fun colours for work once in a while, but apparently yoongi doesn’t think his boss would appreciate it.

“what about this?” yoongi asks, digging into the box again. he pulls out a piece of folded paper, and when he opens it, jeongguk sees it’s shakespeare’s sonnet 18—but with a huge heart drawn around it, and yoongi’s handwriting on the side, which has added: shall i compare thee to a summer’s day? you’re hot as fuck. checkmate, shakespeare.

“oh christ,” yoongi groans as jeongguk starts laughing. “why was i so embarrassing? who tries that hard? honestly.

“it was sweet, hyung. i think you gave this to me as an apology for that smoking fight we had.” he grins, taking the paper and smoothing it down. his fingers trace over yoongi’s writing, remembering how often he used to look at it and giggle. “i kept this in my wallet for like, two years,” he admits.

“yeah, well, remember when you gave me a second edition copy of pride and prejudice for my birthday? and you wrapped it in a little ribbon? i kept that in my wallet for two years, too.”

“the ribbon?”

“i wasn’t going to rip out a page of the book!”

“the ribbon, hyung.”

“that was the best birthday i’d ever had up to that point,” shrugs yoongi. “you know, you said you were worried about ending up with a boyfriend who didn’t treat your virginity the way you deserved, but—i kind of felt the same way about some things. back then, i was this bad boy who drove a motorcycle and wore leather jackets, but i was also this massive nerd who loved jane austen and worked at build-a-bear. i didn’t want someone who was going to expect me to be one thing or made fun of me for having interests that didn’t coincide with everyone’s image of me. you were the first person i’d been with who just… took me as i was. all of me. didn’t make me feel like shit for being more than one thing.”

“you’re a person, hyung,” says jeongguk. “and you were back then. people are allowed to be as many things as they want.”

“you’ve always made me feel like i can be whatever i want, and like i can be who i am unapologetically. and that means a lot. so i kept the ribbon.”

jeongguk sighs, snuggling into yoongi’s side. “we’re a pair of sentimental fools, aren’t we?”

“that’s why we work. my baby.” jeongguk can’t help but giggle at the nickname; they’re not children anymore, and jeongguk is definitely bigger than yoongi now that he’s finally grown to his full height—but he likes being yoongi’s baby. likes knowing that no matter what happens, he’s always going to be able to come home and have someone who loves him the way yoongi does, who takes care of him the way yoongi does. with yoongi, he’s always just jeon jeongguk. he’s not a superstar, not famous, not expected to do anything in return for love and praise. he’s always just who he’s meant to be, who he wants to be with yoongi. it’s a freedom he’ll never get tired of.

they go through the rest of the box together; there are a lot of pictures of them together, ones that jeongguk used to have hanging in his bedroom when he lived with namjoon and seokjin, and other little knick-knacks like ticket stubs, souvenirs, and other gifts yoongi has given him. there are pressed flowers and rocks he’s collected from places important things have happened for them, and cute little notes yoongi has written. it is strange to think about how they started and how far they’ve come, but it makes jeongguk all the more excited to finally marry yoongi, especially with all the evidence of years of love right here in front of him.

he stopped really collecting things around the time he became a trainee as an idol. it wasn’t that yoongi stopped giving him things or they stopped doing things together, but life became so hectic for jeongguk that it was hard to continue. it’s a shame, really; he’ll have to pick up the habit again for the beginning of the next phase of their relationship as husbands.

but when they get to the bottom of the box, yoongi discovers one last item.

“ah,” says yoongi, and jeongguk turns to see him holding up the voice box from august—the first build-a-bear that yoongi ever got jeongguk. a cat, of course. jeongguk had him for years before holly took a liking to the toy and essentially pulverized the poor thing, and all jeongguk could salvage was the voice box and one of the cat’s little shoes. “remember this?”

“of course,” laughs jeongguk. “you used to leave me embarrassing messages.”

“they were not embarrassing. i was being romantic and cute.”

jeongguk arches a brow, and then reaches over and squeezes the voice box. even after this long, it still works, and yoongi’s voice can be heard from it, the last message he left for jeongguk before holly got the better of august: “jeonggu-ahhhh.” yoongi slurs it, clearly drunk, and jeongguk sees this yoongi’s face immediately turn red. “you know, sometimes… sometimes i jus’ sit in bed and think about how like, how you’re my soulmate? and you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and have you ever thought about… about like, having a ba—” yoongi throws the voice box over the balcony.

“hyung!” jeongguk gasps, running to the railing only to see the little voice box hit the ground at the bottom. he turns around, frowning. “what the fuck?”

“i panicked.”

“that’s littering! and that was a very important piece of our relationship at the beginning.”

yoongi at least has the decency to look guilty. “i’ll get you another one.”

“but it won’t be august’s.” jeongguk huffs, peering over the railing at the now-broken voice box on the ground. it did mean a lot at the time, although he supposes it’s been sitting in that voice box for two years, so it shouldn’t matter that much. really, he’s more concerned with that last message yoongi left. he forgot about it and now he finds himself—wondering.

silently, he returns to the sofa and sinks down next to yoongi. a beat, then two. then—“did you mean it, back then?”

“mean what?” asks yoongi.

“wanting to have a baby with me.” for some reason, the topic of conversation makes him shy, and jeongguk resorts to picking at a stray piece of fuzz on his sweatpants so that he doesn’t have to look at yoongi.

but that doesn’t stop him from hearing it—“i did.” yoongi hesitates. “i still do.”

jeongguk’s eyes snap upward, heart catching in his throat—but yoongi is already looking at him, and maybe it’s a trick of the light or maybe it’s the time of night, but he’s never seen that expression on yoongi’s face. like he’d give anything for it.

“you… want a baby with me?” jeongguk breathes.

“of course i do,” says yoongi. “i mean, not… not right now. when we’re ready and we have time and the stability for it and everything, but—yeah. jeongguk, i want everything with you. i want whatever you want. i always have.”

of course jeongguk has thought about it—it’s the natural sort of progression that everyone is taught in life: dating, marriage, kids. and he’s dreamed about having kids with yoongi for years, but it was always some far off idea when they were older. but he supposes getting married means having a conversation about kids just makes sense.

he doesn’t realize his eyes are filling with tears until yoongi’s expression turns panicked and he reaches out for jeongguk, hand cupping his check when he asks, “are you crying? baby, i’m sorry; we don’t have to—”

“no,” says jeongguk, sniffing before he laughs, grasping onto yoongi’s wrist. “they’re not bad tears. i think. it’s just—a lot? a lot because it’s what i want, too, and i’ve always wanted it, and it’s a lot to think about it happening now, or being close to happening, and i used to—hyung, i used to lie awake at night and stare at my ceiling and pray to god or anyone who would listen that i could even have a chance with you. all i wanted was to hold your hand or kiss you, maybe, and i’ve loved you for so long but back then, i knew i’d be happy with even one date. just to see what it was like, just to feel like we could be something for one night, and now we’re—here, and—” he cuts himself off, tears filling his eyes and spilling over.

but yoongi catches them and wipes them way even as his own eyes grow wet. “jeongguk-ah,” he sighs. “baby, it’s okay. i know it’s a lot. it’s a lot for me, too, in the good way.”

“you’re just like… yoongi-hyung, you were my dream. and i know that’s a fucking line from tangled or whatever, but it’s true. you were my dream. you still are. i’ve wanted to be an idol for as long as i can remember, but it’s a no-brainer, hyung. if i had to, i’d choose you. every time. and that nineteen-year-old kid who collected all of this junk because it meant something, who never thought in his wildest dreams that he’d actually get to be with the one person who has made him feel like he’s allowed to take up space—that kid is still me, hyung. he’s right here.” jeongguk presses a hand over his own chest. “he’s always going to be here. and he’s always going to wake up and think none of this is real for a few seconds.”

it’s yoongi whose tears spill over this time, and jeongguk reaches out to wipe them for him, too, laughing at how ridiculous it is for both of them to be crying at three in the morning, but—that feels good, too.

“i don’t know what i ever did to deserve your love, jeongguk,” whispers yoongi. “to deserve your devotion and your compassion, but i’m going to keep it safe. i promise. i don’t think i have the words, not like you. all i know is that you are the reason i look forward to the future. you are the reason i can’t wait to wake up in the morning, because i know i get to wake up with you. and i get to that for the rest of my goddamn life. and i can’t wait for—for everything. kids and family vacations and office christmas parties where i get to call you my husband. i want to do everything with you, jeongguk. it’s going to be the best fucking thing ever.”

jeongguk starts laughing, overcome with joy and excitement and everything else. this is what he wants to feel about his wedding. this is what he wants to feel about his future with yoongi. and he does feel it. the wedding planning is just a blip in their future, a tiny part of what will become the rest of their lives. and yoongi is right: it’s going to be the best fucking thing ever.

when yoongi kisses him, it’s mid-laugh, open-mouthed and giggly, but jeongguk doesn’t care. they finally have the rest of their lives together. so he lets yoongi kiss him silly, until they fall over on the sofa and things start to get a little heated and they have to move back into the apartment lest someone see something on the balcony that they shouldn’t.

finally, finally. jeongguk once thought of his feelings for yoongi as a seed, as a blooming flower, as a garden. tonight, he’s overrun with spiralling roots and towering trees, with rose petals in colours that don’t even exist, with sunsets and hummingbirds and rivers a mile wide. untamed. unruly. but jeongguk doesn’t want a fence around this thing he feels for yoongi—he wants wildflowers and wildgrasses; he wants a forest floor covered with leaves and trees that bloom with green year after year, taller and stronger than ever; he wants beasts living here, wild things that holler and wail with these feelings that jeongguk can’t put into words.

he wants it all.

he wants it all, and it’s only yoongi who can give it to him.

jeongguk finds himself where he so often is, where he always wants to be—in the circle of yoongi’s arms, curled together under their sheets, his cheek pressed into yoongi’s shoulder as he listens to the clock tick on the wall. he cares not what time it is, not when they have forever.

“i’ve been thinking,” he says after some time, losing himself in the gentle way yoongi trails his fingers over jeongguk’s bare skin. yoongi hums. “i know the perfect wedding present that you can give me.”

“how do you know i don’t already have one planned?”

“you can give me two.” yoongi pinches him, but gently, and jeongguk kicks his shin. “don’t you want to hear it?”

“of course, darling.”

jeongguk shifts so he can look up at yoongi when he says: “you should fuck me on your bike.”

yoongi stills.

“i haven’t forgotten that you promised you would,” he continues. “like, five years ago. and we still haven’t done it. not even a blowjob on that thing. if you’re going for the world record for longest edging session, you’ve well exceeded it.”

“jeongguk-ah,” sighs yoongi. “it’s my bike.

“it would be extraordinarily hot and you know it.”

“it would be extraordinarily unsanitary.”

“you can wash it.”

all yoongi can do is groan, but jeongguk giggles, leaning up to begin pressing kisses to yoongi’s jaw, his cheeks, the corner of his mouth. he’s only partly joking, though; he really has been hounding yoongi to keep his promise for five years, and he’s determined to see it through to the end. maybe if he just gets yoongi really drunk on their wedding night…

yoongi wraps his arms around jeongguk, trying to roll them over with little success. jeongguk does let up eventually, still giggling as he gives yoongi one last kiss on the mouth, perhaps as incentive. “i’ll think about it,” yoongi finally concedes. “but no promises.”

“best fiancé ever,” jeongguk sighs, cuddling yoongi a little closer. “i know you’ll make the right decision.”

“go to sleep, jeongguk-ah.”

“say goodnight first, hyung.”

this, their first tradition. one thing that hasn’t changed even in six years. when their laughter dies down and yoongi props himself up on one elbow so that he can touch jeongguk’s face with gentle fingers, jeongguk can’t help but imagine the rest of their lives just like this. falling asleep next to each other, and waking up next to each other, and this one tradition between them that started with coffee and build-a-bear.

yoongi’s face is soft, expectant, so filled with love that it could drown the both of them. jeongguk thinks once more of that boy he was when he met yoongi, with stars in his eyes but so much fear in his heart, and how yoongi didn’t change him but gave him a safe space to grow and discover himself. he’s never felt safer than right here. he knows he’s going to be safe for the rest of his life with yoongi at his side.

“you’re the love of my life. you know that?” asks yoongi.

the butterflies in his stomach still come alive at those words, even six years later. “i know,” he says. “you’re the love of my life, too. i can’t wait to marry you.”

yoongi kisses him again, softer and gentler than before, as though anything more purposeful could shatter the both of them. oh, what a dream to have this, to have this love and this security and this purpose. to know he doesn’t need anything else to be content, and yet to know he and yoongi will do so much more together, gain so much more together, have so much more together. whatever it is they do, it’s going to be perfect.

they have years together, decades together. children and grandchildren and houses with white picket fences and love and laughter and a home all for them. a home they’ll build together, anything they want to achieve in their marriage. they’re going to have forever.

but for right now, all it starts with is—

eventually, yoongi whispers, “goodnight jeon jeongguk, who owns my heart.”

jeongguk whispers back, “goodnight min yoongi, who owns mine.”