They start the radio show because Yoongi doesn’t know how to say no to Jungkook.
Sure, there is a part of Yoongi that always wanted to be a radio host, as a kid who grew up listening to his local radio station in Daegu and clung to music because he didn’t have anything else. Years spent calling into radio shows to argue with DJs about hip-hop trivia or to request whatever song he was fixating on at that moment. Thinking about what tracks he would play if he had his own show. But mostly, he starts the radio show because of Jungkook.
Jungkook the sweet, weird, quiet, whipsmart 22-year-old who shows up on Yoongi’s doorstep one day when Yoongi needs a roommate and says he’s a friend of Seokjin’s. Jungkook the late-night ramyeon fiend who wears the socks with the toes on them and takes hour-long baths when he’s sad.
When Jungkook moves in, he’s just a guy who helps Yoongi pay his rent. They don’t have a lot in common: Jungkook’s a recent university graduate working as a freelance illustrator, Yoongi’s got a remote corporate day job he hates. Jungkook’s up most nights playing video games and Yoongi does his best to sleep 12 hours a day. They get along fine, have mutual friends, work well as roommates. But that’s all.
And then they talk about music for the first time.
It’s 2 a.m. when Jungkook finds Yoongi rapping along to an old Epik High song in their kitchen one night, about four months after he moves in.
“Ah, Yoongi-ssi, I love that album.” he says, tentative. He moves around Yoongi to grab the electric kettle and a cup of chapagetti out of the cabinet. They’re still at the point where they move carefully around each other in the apartment, still slowly warming up to the idea that they live in a shared space.
Yoongi stops in the middle of fixing his tea and looks at Jungkook apologetically. “Sorry, did I wake you?”
Jungkook waves his hand dismissively. “No, I’m always awake this late,” he tilts his head, looking at Yoongi curiously. “You’re not though.”
He must see something in Yoongi’s expression because he hurries to say, “No, ah — I just mean it’s usually…really quiet. I assume you’re asleep when I’m up late.”
“I try to be asleep more often than not,” Yoongi replies dryly, and Jungkook lets out a relieved laugh.
Yoongi finishes stirring the honey into his mug and tosses the spoon in the sink. “I couldn’t sleep, so…” he trails off.
“You’re listening to Epik High at 2 a.m.” Jungkook finishes for him. Yoongi nods.
He doesn’t tell Jungkook that he's been having trouble a lot lately - sleeping, getting to sleep and staying asleep. He’s been spending a lot of late nights listening to music and staring at the ceiling.
Jungkook slides into a seat at the tiny kitchen bar between them and starts stirring his noodles, and Yoongi slides into the seat across from him because it seems like the thing to do. The song finishes and then it’s just the two of them, sitting in silence.
“Have you heard the old collab Tablo and Mithra Jin did with Verbal Jint?” Yoongi asks. He doesn’t know why he does - he’s not usually one to instigate conversation, much more likely to just grab his tea and shuffle back into the darkness of his room. But Jungkook’s here, smiling at him, recognizing old Epik High songs that Yoongi loves.
Jungkook cocks his head, thinking. “No,” he replies, surprise in his voice.
Yoongi hums and picks up his phone, fingers flying over the screen to play the song. Yoongi starts nodding his head to the beat immediately, smiling when he meets Jungkook’s sparkling eyes across the counter.
“It’s good, right?” Yoongi asks softly, barely loud enough to be heard over the song. He’s so tired.
“I remember listening to this album nonstop when it came out,” Yoongi says, and this is more than they’ve talked — than Yoongi has talked to Jungkook — since Jungkook moved in. But the thing about music is that often it’s the only thing Yoongi ever wants to talk about, the only thing that makes his brain light up.
Jungkook leans over to look at the album info on the screen between them, and Yoongi watches as his hair (blond, back then, and long with a slight curl) spills over across his face and just brushes the surface of Yoongi’s phone.
“I was 10,” Jungkook offers and Yoongi groans.
“Ugh, stop that.”
Jungkook laughs, and it’s such a high-pitched giggle when it fills their kitchen.
“Okay, but have you heard the Verbal Jint - Girls Generation collaboration?”
And after that, there’s a lot less awkwardness between them. Jungkook will burst into Yoongi’s room late at night to play him some deep cut he came across on Spotify or something he heard in a cafe that he thought Yoongi might like. Yoongi starts pulling his favorites from his long shelf of CDs for them to listen to while Jungkook flips through the liner notes.
Their tastes are different. Yoongi’s interests in music fall on the side of brash and rough around the edges more often than not. He moves through genres with a laser focus, likes to hyper fixate on a certain kind of sound and do deep dives on music he comes across that he knows nothing about.
Jungkook is a pop fanatic. His tastes skew a lot more Top 40 than Yoongi’s, but he knows endless trivia about any given pop song that comes on. There’s the time he makes Yoongi laugh so hard he nearly cries as he attempts to recreate girl group choreo in the extremely cramped floor space in front of Yoongi’s bed. The time he breaks down the latest 6lack album track by track until Yoongi has stars in his eyes.
It’s like one second they’re just roommates and Jungkook is just a kid Seokjin met playing games at the PC bang he always goes to, and then Jungkook is wiggling his way into Yoongi’s whole friend group. He’s going out for drinks with Jimin and Taehyung, he’s at Namjoon’s apartment looking through his books, he’s helping Hoseok with his choreo for class. He’s there, all the time, like he was never not there.
One night, a couple months after that first kitchen conversation, they’re both up late again. Jungkook’s working on a final draft for some client and Yoongi’s working late because he couldn’t focus on anything during the day. They haven’t really spoken, just sitting on opposite sides of their long blue sofa in the living room and an old Kiha & The Faces song playing in the background. Yoongi had hooked his phone up to the bluetooth speakers and just put on some Spotify radio playlist that they’ve let play through for a couple hours.
“This playlist sucks,” Yoongi says absently when a terrible mind-numbing pop song comes on immediately after The Faces song finishes, jarring because it makes no sense.
Jungkook looks up for a second but then returns to running his pen over the screen of his tablet in quick strokes. Yoongi mutters something about “the algorithm” and he snorts.
Yoongi squirms where he’s sitting, feeling a little restless. He hates working late, hates that he has to work at all. He’s so tired of his pointless day job and his stupid spreadsheets. He might even go as far as to say he’s grumpy.
“Fucking robot doesn’t know how to put a good setlist together.”
“It’s not like it’s a real radio station, hyung.” Jungkook replies, amused.
Yoongi sighs. He starts to feel slow and heavy the way he does when he’s tired and wants nothing more than to crawl into the comfort of his bed. “I’m just saying. If I had a radio show, it would be better than this shit.”
“You should do it.” Jungkook says thoughtfully. Yoongi snorts, but does a double take when he sees the serious expression on Jungkook’s face.
“What, start a radio station?” he asks dubiously.
Jungkook grins and nods. “Yeah! You were just telling me the other week that you’ve always wanted to do it. You actually talk about it a lot, hyung.”
He does. Very rarely can they listen to the radio in the car or a Spotify playlist without Yoongi heckling it at least a little bit.
“Well, yeah, but…” Yoongi thinks about it. It’s stupid. Who listens to radio anymore? But Jungkook is starting to grin and visibly thrumming with excitement and if Yoongi has learned anything over the course of the last two months it’s that he’s extremely fucking soft for Jungkook.
“I’ll think about it,” he concedes.
Jungkook grins, face all scrunched and pleased. “Okay.”
A week later, Yoongi’s researching how to reserve late-night radio slots through SBS at his desk instead of doing any real work when Jungkook raps his knuckles on the cracked door. Yoongi closes his laptop halfway, turning to smile at Jungkook when he pushes the door open and steps in.
“You hungry?” Yoongi asks, rubbing his eyes. “I could go for Vietnamese.”
Jungkook nods, distracted. He sits on the edge of Yoongi’s bed. “Actually, I came in here to talk to you about something.”
Yoongi turns fully to face him and feels a small stab of panic at the serious, hesitant tone of his voice. He worries for a minute that something’s wrong, that Jungkook’s run into some kind of trouble. “What is it?”
“I was thinking,” Jungkook starts. “about what we were talking about the other night. The radio show.”
Yoongi breathes a sigh of relief that Jungkook must interpret as annoyance because he immediately starts rambling, “I know we were just talking and it’s kind of silly, hyung. I mean like, who listens to radio anymore , you know –”
“I listen to radio,” Yoongi grumbles.
“– but I think it’s a good idea, and –”
“Jungkook-ah,” Yoongi tries to interrupt him, but when Jungkook gets excited he’s pretty much unstoppable so he just barrels ahead. Yoongi watches him pull out his phone and start scrolling frantically.
“I did some research! It’s surprisingly easy to get air time if you pick a spot that’s like, in the middle of the night, and the community center in Hongdae has a studio with all of the equipment you need.” he finishes and looks at Yoongi expectantly, grinning now with excitement.
Yoongi looks at him for a moment before turning in his chair. He opens his laptop and wordlessly shows Jungkook the SBS form still pulled up on his browser.
“Yes, hyung!” Jungkook says, loudly. He bounces a little on the mattress. “It’s gonna be great. I can listen when I’m up late drawing and I can even call in requests!”
Yoongi sits for a few minutes, just thinking. Then —
“Well. I will need a cohost.”
Jungkook’s head snaps up. Immediately, he takes in Yoongi’s pointed look and turns red. “Me?”
“Namjoon hyung?” Jungkook suggests, but he’s jiggling his leg with excitement.
Yoongi cocks his head to one side, thinking. Namjoon does make sense — Yoongi’s best friend for a decade, they used to make beats together when they were both stupid teenagers trying to make it in the underground scene. Yoongi would do a radio show with Namjoon.
“I want to do it with you, though,” he says even though he doesn’t remember giving himself permission. It just comes out, but he means it.
Jungkook grins, but his eyes are a little shy. “Okay, hyung.”
“ Yooongi!! ”
Yoongi groans and pulls the comforter off his face, scrunching at the light that filters in through the window. He forgot to pull his blackout curtains closed. Or someone opened them.
“What.” Yoongi says, not raising his voice. He doesn’t have to, he knows Jungkook is right outside his door.
Sure enough, the door cracks open just enough for Jungkook’s shit eating grin to show.
“No respect…” Yoongi mumbles, half asleep.
The door opens the rest of the way and suddenly there’s a blur of purple hair and black clothes flying across the room and jumping on the bed. Yoongi lets out an oomph when Jungkook lands on his legs.
Jungkook pokes Yoongi’s side through the pile of blankets he’s got covering him because they keep it cold in the apartment and Yoongi likes to feel like he’s swaddled when he sleeps.
“Get up, old man.”
“Hmmph.” He grumbles, but pushes himself closer to Jungkook under the blankets, gently knocks his head against his side.
“C’mon hyung, you said we could pick out a new paint color for the living room, and I have a great idea for the show tonight I want to run by you.”
Yoongi curls up into a comma shape and blinks up at him. “Jungkook-ah, just pick out a color, I won’t care.”
Jungkook just stares at him. “Okay now I know you must be tired. Hyung, if I pick the wrong shade of blue I’d never hear the end of it.”
“So...you were thinking blue?”
“Yeah that’s what I thought.” Jungkook quirks an eyebrow mischievously and slowly lifts a corner of the blanket, eyes trained on Yoongi. Something swoops low and fast in Yoongi’s stomach. Definitely because he’s hungry.
“Come onnnnn, hyung,” Jungkook moves fast — sticks his foot under the covers. His ice cold toes make contact with Yoongi’s bare calf and the yelp that Yoongi lets out is undignified. But before he can retaliate, Jungkook’s out of bed and his giggles are echoing down the hall.
Jungkook runs his idea by him when they’re done bickering over paint samples.
(They’d narrowed it down to three colors. Well, Yoongi had narrowed it down to two .
“Hyung those are the same color. And it’s boring .”
Yoongi waved the chips around. “They are not. This is sienna,” he held up the first one. Then, he slid a slightly different thank you second paint chip in front of it. “and this is terracotta.”
Jungkook had just laughed, high and tinkling and silly. Yoongi knew he was going to give him whatever he wanted.
“They look the same. Here,” Jungkook took the chips out of Yoongi’s hands and replaced them with his own pick.
“Jungkook, this is black.”
“It’s dark purple!”)
Yoongi’s paying for the two cans of Midnight Violet paint when Jungkook makes his pitch.
“I’m thinking robots.”
“You want to do a whole night of songs about robots?” Yoongi asks dubiously. “I know we host a radio show during the graveyard slot, but I think insomniacs deserve better. And you know how I feel about theme nights.”
How he feels as in he mostly hates them, hates feeling like he has to go searching for songs that slot in place with a theme instead of just making the set list however he wants. Their listeners though — all 10 loyal listeners of their very small very unknown weekly late night radio show — love theme nights. So does Jungkook.
“Robots are cool!” Jungkook protests.
“Name a song about a robot—“ Yoongi says and immediately follows it up with, “that isn’t Styx.”
“Daft Punk.” Jungkook offers.
Yoongi takes the paint cans and smiles at the cashier when she hands over the receipt. Then, he rolls his eyes at Jungkook as they leave the hardware store.
“Those are songs sung by robots.”
“Still fits the theme! I mean, ‘Robot Rock’? Great song.”
“It is a great song,” Yoongi concedes. He grunts softly and he shifts his weight while they walk; their apartment is five blocks away and these paint cans are heavy. Jungkook reaches over to take one and Yoongi hands both of them over with a grin.
Jungkook snorts, but carries both cans easily like they weigh nothing.
They walk in silence for a few minutes while Yoongi thinks.
“Okay, so you want to do a theme. What about just…technology?”
Jungkook hums. “It’s kind of vague.”
“Yeah, but…” Yoongi shoves both hands into his pockets and thinks a little more. “Okay, what if like…okay, you know The Buggles? ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’?”
Jungkook groans, laughing. “That song is so cheesy, hyung.”
“It is , but — did you know it was the first music video ever shown on MTV, in America? And it’s really about nostalgia, you know, like looking back on dying technology. It’s about radio as a dying format in the ‘60s but also the excitement of something new, like the Buggles bringing new wave into mainstream western pop. And now there’s a whole list of microgenres building off that synth influence and electronic retrofuturism like vaporwave.”
Jungkook’s grinning and nodding. “Mm.”
Yoongi turns so that he’s walking backwards in front of him, waving his hands wildly.
“ And — you’ll love this, Jungkook-ah — Haruko Momoi covered it in 2007. And you know her nickname, Halko—“
“Is from 2001 A Space Odyssey , the computer, yeah,” Jungkook finishes.
Yoongi flourishes his hands triumphantly. “Robots.”
It’s mid-afternoon now and the sun peeking through the trees as they pass the park lights Jungkook’s skin up golden, makes the brightest purple waves of his hair look radioactive. He’s laughing so hard that he keeps jostling the paint cans and for a moment Yoongi worries he’s going to drop them, that they’ll accidentally render the whole street midnight violet like outer space or the lowlights of Jungkook’s hair.
When they get back to the apartment, Jungkook’s too excited to wait. So even though they only have a few hours left of good lighting and Yoongi barely has time to half-heartedly cover their cheap sofa with the plastic drop cloth he bought, Jungkook starts covering the wall in long, even strokes of deep purple. It’s a little bit all wrong, the color. Definitely going to make the room feel smaller and darker, but when Jungkook turns to Yoongi with a big grin and a streak of paint on his cheek, Yoongi thinks he doesn’t mind. He’ll buy more lamps. He’ll keep the blinds open and let the moonlight make up the difference.
“ — and that was MGMT with “Little Dark Age”. It’s just past 1 a.m., which means there’s only one hour left of our show and we are looking for requests.”
“That’s right, listeners: call in or tweet us now @kkulFM with your favorite song that uses...telephones! Ringtones, beeps, voicemails…surprise us. While we wait, Suga is going to reenact all of my favorite Vines on command. Let’s start with—“
“I’m not doing that. Is Vine even a thing anymore? It’s TikTok now isn't it?”
“Everyone’s doing TikToks now, right?”
“You know, when I was a kid, YouTube—“
“Oh, look we’ve got requests! Let’s see…Mina - Answer the Phone, that's a good one…Telephone by Lady Gaga, too obvious Jimin hyung. Ooh, The Call, Suga loves The Backstreet Boys…”
“Black and Blue was criminally underrated.”
“I know, hyung. What else do we have…a-ha! This is a winner. Here, Suga hyung.”
“Great choice. Okay listeners, this is 'Olga 1984' by Rejjie Snow.”
“So you guys are still doing your podcast about how you’re in love or whatever?”
Yoongi blinks at Jimin across the table of the cafe. It’s early, not even 9 a.m. and Yoongi had crawled into bed at 4 because after they went off the air, Jungkook wanted to make Yoongi listen to some bad EDM song about sex robots that Yoongi refused to play when a listener requested it. Which turned into Yoongi making Jungkook listen to some Jonzun Crew to cleanse both their palates which then turned into them plotting out a whole night of funk and hiphop futurism for next week.
“What.” Yoongi says, pulling apart his milk bun aggressively. He glances over his shoulder just once, quickly in the hopes that Jimin won’t call him on it. Jungkook should be coming back from the bathroom any minute now. He turns back, schools his mouth into a flat line.
Jimin just smirks at him.
“It’s not a podcast it’s a radio show,” Yoongi replies calmly, ignoring Jimin’s dismissive hand waving, “and we’re just friends. He’s my roommate. Also you listen to the show like, every week.”
Jimin sniffs. “Well, if you don’t want me to support my friends, ”
Yoongi kicks him lightly under the table and Jimin laughs.
“I’m just saying,” Jimin continues, pushing his sunglasses up into his hair so that he can raise his eyebrows at Yoongi dramatically. “that you and Jungkookie have been doing this show for six months and nothing has happened.”
Yoongi squirms. “I mean, it’s not like we make any money, it’s just for fun. We’re not trying to get famous by hosting a late night public radio show.”
Jimin rolls his eyes. “Of course not. And that’s not what I meant.”
Yoongi knew that. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“How long have you lived together?”
“When was the last time you had a boyfriend?”
Yoongi’s mouth flattens under the weight of how much he doesn’t want to answer. “Two years ago.”
“Hmm.” The grin on Jimin’s face should be illegal. There should be laws against looking that triumphant and smug.
“ Anyway,” Yoongi says pointedly. He doesn’t have anything else to say, though, they just sit in silence. Jimin’s eating some fancy banana tart thing serenely.
“Ugh that bathroom was so nice,” Jungkook says as he slides back into his chair next to Yoongi and drapes an arm around Yoongi’s shoulders. “Seriously, hyung, you should go.”
“To the bathroom?” Yoongi raises an eyebrow at him, mouth turning up at the edges.
“Yeah!” Jungkook replies excitedly. He pulls off a piece of the bun on Yoongi’s plate and pops it in his mouth. “The light fixtures are insane. Hyung loves light fixtures,” he adds, to Jimin.
Yoongi looks at Jimin. Jimin looks back. Jungkook grins obliviously between them.
“Hi everyone! It’s DJ JK here. Tonight we’re going to funkytown for a little bit.”
“We talked about ‘funkytown,’ and how we weren’t going to say that.”
“Ah, hyung, don’t be a buzzkill. Anyway, listeners, get ready for a whole lotta funk. Let’s start with a classic – here’s Parliament with Flash Light. ”
Jungkook mutes the mic and leans back in his chair, swiveling to face Yoongi. He steeples his hands beneath his chin and affects a very serious expression.
“I need a better DJ name, hyung,” he says.
Yoongi groans and pulls his knees up to his chest. It’s cold in the studio tonight like it always is, and he was stupid enough to come in with just a t-shirt and some ratty sweatpants.
“We talk about this at least once a month. Jungkook-ah, you picked JK. And it’s fine.”
Jungkook rolls his eyes, dropping the subject easily enough. He must notice Yoongi shivering because he reaches down into his backpack and pulls out a black hoodie, tossing it over into Yoongi’s lap. When Yoongi slides it on, it’s huge on him. He gets a whiff of something sweet and a little spicy, like vanilla bean.
“Smells good,” he comments.
Jungkook stares at him.
“Your hoodie – it smells like you,” Yoongi clarifies, thinking Jungkook didn’t understand. Jungkook just keeps looking at him with a strange look on his face.
He clears his throat. “Ah, thanks.”
Yoongi nods. Jungkook opens his mouth, closes it, opens it again. Then, they seem to notice that the song is ending at the same time. Yoongi queues up Kim Hyejong’s “It’s Raining Night” because thinks it’s a great follow-up to George Clinton, and Jungkook clears his throat and turns back to the mic, and whatever he was going to say is forgotten.
They sit in silence while the song plays, Yoongi already lining up the next few Korean and Japanese funk tracks he picked out for the rest of the night. It’s a comfortable silence: Jungkook humming along under his breath and Yoongi swaddled in Jungkook’s comically baggy hoodie.
“And that was ‘It’s Raining Night’ by Kim Hyejong. Hope you all enjoyed it. For the rest of the night, we’re gonna be playing you all of the best homegrown funk and disco deep cuts. Up next: Okhee with ‘What Can I Do’…”
They’re on a roll with some of Yoongi’s all-time favorite old school Korean soul tracks when it comes time to take calls from listeners. They do this every other show or so, and the first few attempts were truly painful because no one ever phoned in. One memorable time, Hoseok called in to request an old BoA song with a sheepish “It’s just so embarrassing you guys, I couldn’t stand the dead air any longer.”
But now, they’ve had the show for six months and have amassed…a still very small following but a respectable one nonetheless for late night public radio. They get a lot of college students and people going to work for the graveyard shift. Jungkook had the idea to turn all of their shows into Spotify playlists and share them on Twitter after the broadcast, which seemed like too much effort to Yoongi at first but he has to admit it’s brought them new listeners every week.
Tonight, they get the usual scattered requests here and there, some that keep with the general theme of old school funk and disco, some pop, one guy who was very enthusiastic about hearing Creedence Clearwater Revival of all the American bands to choose from.
And then —
“Ooh, look Suga hyung, we have a caller. Hello, you’re on air with kkulFM!”
“Hi, I’d like to request a song?”
“Yoongi-hyung this isn't Jimin.”
“Anyway I’d like to request ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’ by REO Speedwagon.”
“We’re looking for Korean funk.”
“The themes are similar.”
“In what way?”
“Guys, stop fighting on air.”
“DJ JK, I just really think you guys will really vibe with the meaning of this song. I mean, your listeners will.”
“Why did you call him by his DJ name but not me?”
“Easier to remember his, hyung.”
“That’s — okay…..alright listeners, this is…REO Speedwagon.”
“Want to head home after this?” Yoongi says after he mutes his mic when Jimin hangs up.
Jungkook’s giving him another look that he can’t decipher, just a kind of long, calculated stare. Then he relaxes and grins, easy. “Sure hyung. Can we stop and get some ramyeon on our way? We’re out.”
Yoongi hums. He waits for the last few bars of 80s American hair band to play before he lets his listeners know that it’s the end of their set. He queues a couple of final songs to close them out.
When they step out of the building, the air is a little cold but clear and nice. He’s still wearing Jungkook’s sweatshirt.
Namjoon brings it up with all of the subtlety of, well, Namjoon.
“Just ask him out on air one night,” he suggests, out of absolutely nowhere, while Yoongi is visiting him during his office hours. The perk of Namjoon teaching at one of Seoul’s fanciest arts high schools is that he has a huge office with a very soft leather couch that Yoongi frequently naps on when he’s not in his studio.
“Namjoon-ah,” Yoongi complains, scrunching up his face in protest. “It’s just fun, the radio show is fun.”
Namjoon holds up his hands in surrender, rolling back and forth in his desk chair. “Listen, hyung I know. And the show is great — incredible set the other night with the vaporwave by the way, I think Jungkook bringing in cloud rap and Post Malone was really smart but you went on about Dadaism and idol groups for a surprisingly long time —“
“Right, anyway. You know I love the show. And I see how happy spending time with - on the show has made you…” he trails off. Yoongi just looks at him dubiously. It’s clear that Namjoon has something to say and all Yoongi can do in this situation is wait for it to burst out of him.
“I think we all just kind of assumed that the radio show was, like, an elaborate ruse—“
“A ruse ?” Yoongi repeats with a laugh. Namjoon ignores him.
“— a ruse to spend more time with Jungkook.”
“I’m doing the radio show with Jungkook because he’s smart and knows his shit, and it was his idea. ”
Namjoon’s eyes brighten a little. “Yes, and isn’t that an interesting detail.”
Yoongi flops down fully on the couch with a loud sigh.
Namjoon shrugs. “I am just saying.”
Yoongi turns his head to look at him. “You think I’m spending hours of precious sleep time traipsing through the annals of music history on a radio show that no one listens to so that I can spend time with Jungkook…to — to court Jungkook?”
Namjoon laughs and shakes his head. “Alright, hyung.” Then he turns back to his screen and Yoongi pokes at his container of jjolmyeon as they sit in silence.
Yoongi thinks about anything other than what Namjoon just said to him, casts his eyes around the room for something to do. There’s a frame on Namjoon’s desk he’s never noticed before, a photo of Namjoon, Yoongi, Seokjin, Hoseok and Jimin from Namjoon’s birthday last year. They’re all crammed on a couch in Namjoon’s apartment – more accurately, it’s a photo of Yoongi and Namjoon trying to sit normally on the couch with their slices of birthday cake while the other four all pile on top of them, everyone laughing. Even from here, Yoongi can see where Taehyung put his elbow in Namjoon’s cake frosting.
“Where’d that come from?” Yoongi says, gesturing to the sleek matte black frame on the desk.
“Huh? Oh, this,” Namjoon grabs the frame and looks at it. Smiles fondly before setting it back down. “Jungkook took it, dropped it off last week. Said he finally developed the film and got it framed for me, isn’t it great? That was a good night.”
Something settles, warm and stubborn, in Yoongi’s chest. “Mm, yeah. Yeah it was.”
The next week, Seokjin and Hoseok are moving into a new apartment and Yoongi shows up bright and early to help them get settled. He’s unpacking their Xbox under Jin’s watchful eyes while Hoseok carefully arranges their mismatched mugs in one of the kitchen cabinets.
“You should get a DJ name, like Mad Dog Daegu or something.” Seokjin comments absentmindedly, lining up a stack of games on the coffee table.
Yoongi groans. “Mad Dog Daegu.”
Seokjin grins. “Yeah or like, Min Meow Meow.”
“Have you ever encountered a DJ in your entire life? Min Meow Meow sounds like a stripper name.”
Seokjin just tips his head, spreading his hands out like he’s provided an obvious solution to a question Yoongi absolutely never asked.
“Anyway, I have a DJ name.” Yoongi says.
Hoseok comes strolling out of the kitchen with a steaming mug that he hands to Seokjin before he croons, “Suuuuuuuuu-ga!” and laughs like it’s the funniest thing he’s ever heard.
“Didn't Jungkookie pick that out?” Seokjin asks innocently.
Before Yoongi can answer, Hoseok says, “No hyung it’s because Yoongi used to play basketball or something.” He drops down onto their sofa, which is still sitting halfway in the hallway where they dropped it after pushing it into the elevator and through the apartment door.
“Oh right, right,” Seokjin says, as if he didn’t know this information.
Yoongi just stares between them, unimpressed. He finishes hooking up the gaming console and stands, brushing off his jeans. His phone buzzes, loud and sudden, on the wood floor.
three words every man wants to hear, ready?
ariana. grande. retrospective.
she’s been alive for like five minutes how would we do a retrospective
hyung you need to open your mind
also u and ariana are literally the same age
Yoongi tucks his phone under his thigh and rubs his face with his hands, laughing a little into his cupped palms.
“Share with the class, Yoongichi,” Seokjin says in a singsong voice.
Yoongi ignores him and starts unboxing the Playstation. “Why do you have so many video games? What do you do all day?”
“Jin hyung is really good at ‘owning noobs’!” Hoseok calls out. He says the last bit in English with air quotes.
“Aw, thanks babe,” Seokjin says, laughing. Yoongi groans.
Seokjin and Hoseok have been together for as long as Yoongi has known them and they seem to have used their partnership as an opportunity to be as annoying as possible every day of their lives. They’re two of Yoongi’s favorite people in the whole world.
“We’re gonna go get fried chicken and beer later, tell Jungkookie to come too,” Seokjin cuts through Yoongi’s thoughts. Next to him on the floor, his phone lights up with Spotify links to Ariana Grande songs.
“Tell him yourself,” Yoongi grumbles, but texts Jungkook anyway.
“ Let the record show, everyone, that I was against this –”
“– but it’s our one and only DJ JK’s birthday next week, and we won’t have a show. So this is his night and he bullied me into doing this theme.”
“Don’t listen to him. Suga told me he’d do whatever I picked.”
“Hmm I don’t know if that’s what I said. Either way, welcome to a night all about queens of pop! We’ve got your Madonna, your Britney, your BoA, your Jessi, and your Ariana. Buckle up, I guess.”
“Sound more excited, hyung.”
“This is CL with ‘Hello Bitches’. ”
They mute their mics and Jungkook grins at him. Yoongi shifts in his chair.
“Admit it, hyung. This is fun,” Jungkook needles him.
Yoongi rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling. “Whatever.”
“You’re such a snob.” Jungkook says, tone teasing and eyes sparkling. Yoongi just shakes his head.
They run through the set, playing all of Jungkook’s favorite pop songs. Every time Yoongi rattles off a new song title, he looks over to see Jungkook’s blinding grin and they banter playfully and watch while a few devoted listeners tweet at them.
“@moonman9104 says ‘This Madonna song sucks!’” Jungkook rattles off, scrolling their notifications. “Okay, moonman.”
Yoongi snorts, queuing up a couple more songs. Jungkook keeps scrolling, reading out all of the tweets in funny voices.
“What do you want to do for your birthday, Jungkook-ah?” Yoongi asks after a while, when they’ve hit play on ‘Crazy in Love’ and queued up BoA’s ‘Only One’ to follow it.
“Oh, hmm,” Jungkook puts his phone down and purses his lips in thought. “I don’t know hyung. I just wanna hang out with you. And the guys.”
Jungkook does this thing when he’s embarrassed, when he lifts both hands and lightly touches the very outside of his ears where they’ve flushed. Yoongi bites down a smile.
“Maybe we can rent a noraebang or something, you like those.”
Jungkook shakes his head slightly. “I don’t want anything big this year, hyung. Just, you know, spending time together. That’s enough for me.”
He’s looking at Yoongi really urgently, and Yoongi feels a little out of his depth. He’s never been good at planning surprise parties or anything, if that’s what Jungkook is hinting at. He once tried to throw one for Hoseok, spent days and days planning it. Then, when the time came and they all hid in his apartment waiting to surprise him, Yoongi had gotten so overwhelmed waiting impatiently for the cue they’d all agreed on (Seokjin hitting the lights the minute the door opened) that he’d swung the door open in Hobi’s face and shouted happy birthday at him. Everyone was so annoyed, but the worst part was definitely Hoseok crying as Taehyung shot off the confetti.
He stares back at Jungkook, trying to decide what to say. Finally Jungkook says it again, “I just wanna spend time together.”
“Okay,” Yoongi nods, deciding to just take Jungkook’s words at face value. “That sounds perfect, ‘kook-ah. We’ll just do something lowkey and hang out.”
Jungkook nods a little and smiles. Yoongi feels warm and fidgety for no reason at all.
Then Yoongi realizes they’re coming up on the end of the BoA song, and he rushes to pull his headset back over his ears and hit the button on his mic. Jungkook shakes his head, amused, and does the same.
“ Who doesn’t love old school BoA? Okay next we have some...Ariana Grande. Let’s see…”
“I think our listeners want to hear ‘Positions’.”
“Our listeners? Or you? Isn’t that song a little….”
“A little...ah, don’t make me say it. Sexual.”
“Oh sure, old man. I love that song! It’s a great workout song. I can zone out and just do a million pull-ups.”
“Oh that’s – cool, yeah. I’m sure that, ah, a lot of our listeners are into….gyms.”
“Hyung are you okay? There’s water here.”
“What? Oh, haha, no ah, I’m fine. I’m fine everyone, let’s move on to….something else. Okay here’s Ariana Grande with ‘needy’”
The morning of Jungkook’s birthday, Yoongi goes out early right when most of the cafes in their neighborhood open and gets him coffee and a small sweet potato cake filled with some kind of cream cheese mousse that looks like it could kill him on the spot. When he sneaks back into the apartment, everything is still quiet and Jungkook’s door is still closed. Yoongi ducks into his own room for a minute to grab the bag that’s been stashed behind his desk for months.
When he slowly and quietly opens the door to Jungkook’s room, he finds Jungkook still asleep, on his stomach like a lump under at least four blankets with only his feet poking out at the end of the bed. Yoongi’s eyes linger on the shape of him for a minute too long, and then he sets the pastry, coffee, and gift bag down on Jungkook’s desk and backs out of the room as quietly as he came.
Back in the living room, he looks around at the empty space, trying to decide if he should hang out in the living room until Jungkook gets up or just go back to bed. A big yawn convinces him, and he crawls back under his covers, blackout curtains pulled tight, and drifts off.
He wakes up again some time later because someone lifts his covers and slides in next to him, cold toes on his ankles. It occurs to him that he spends more time with Jungkook’s cold feet on his skin than he ever thought he would when Jungkook moved in. He also thinks that he wouldn’t mind spending more of his mornings with Jungkook and his freezing cold toes crawling under his comforter.
“Hey,” Jungkook whispers, grin big and toothy as he pulls the blanket back up over both of their heads. He must have opened the curtains, because the sun is shining through the thin fabric of the covers. It makes Jungkook’s hair turn a brilliant violet and his whole smile seems to glow. It’s so, so much for Yoongi to handle this early.
“Hey,” he says back with a voice that’s a little croaky from sleep. “Hey, happy birthday, Jungkook-ah.”
Jungkook hums and rests his head on the edge of Yoongi’s pillow. “Thank you.”
Yoongi yawns and stretches, pushing his feet out against Jungkook’s calves.
“And thanks for the cake, hyung,” Jungkook says. Yoongi grunts. Then, Jungkook pulls the covers down off their heads all at once, quickly enough that Yoongi feels blinded.
“Hey, Jungkook-ah! Yah, why, why, why,” Yoongi complains, grasping at the blanket as Jungkook pulls it just out of reach with a giggle.
Jungkook props himself up on one elbow and grins down at Yoongi. “Thanks for the cake,” he repeats. “And thanks for this.”
He pulls the gift over his hip and sets it on the bed between them, still grinning. Yoongi groans.
“You were supposed to just open that in your room.”
Shaking his head, Jungkook says, “I’m not letting you get away with it this year, hyung. This time you’re gonna watch me open it.” He sits up then, moving too enthusiastically for someone who just woke up.
Yoongi groans again at Jungkook’s words. Maybe he has a history of just leaving gifts in people’s rooms where they find them long after Yoongi is gone.
Jungkook makes a sound like he knows exactly what Yoongi is thinking, and he starts pulling things out of the gift bag. Yoongi throws an arm over his eyes.
When Jungkook pulls out the gift, his loud bark of laughter fills the entire room. Yoongi pulls his arm down slightly, just enough to peer over at Jungkook. He’s holding up the gigantic black sweatshirt Yoongi bought him.
“’Disco Doesn’t Suck...You Just Can’t Dance’” he reads out loud, cackling gleefully. “Hyung, it’s perfect. I love it.”
Yoongi feels himself flush, but nods. “I knew you would.” And because he never knows quite what to say in situations like this, gift-giving situations, he adds, “Because you know, the ‘DISCO SUCKS’ thing was–“
“Homophobic and racist, hyung. I know.” Jungkook recites, echoing a conversation they’d had months ago, when Jungkook had gotten really into disco and wanted to talk about the American disco riots on the show.
He pulls the sweatshirt on over the t-shirt he slept in, and it’s huge and baggy and shapeless. “It’s perfect!” he says.
“Look at you,” Yoongi says, chuckling weakly and wondering where the heavy swooping feeling in his chest came from.
Jungkook’s grin softens into a small smile. “Thanks again, hyung.”
“Mmm.” Yoongi hums, a little embarrassed, but he stretches out an arm and squeezes Jungkook’s ankle.
It’s there again – this low, constant humming of something whenever he and Jungkook are alone in these quiet moments. When it happens, Yoongi always just breezes past it, won’t let himself examine it. But he’s starting to think that maybe he should.
“What do you want to do today, Jungkook-ah?”
“Ah,” Jungkook sighs, thinking. “let’s just order takeout for lunch and watch bad movies.”
“That’s what you want to do for your birthday?” Yoongi asks dubiously.
Jungkook nods. “Yep.”
Yoongi laughs and pushes himself up to sit up in the bed next to him. “Okay, we can do that.”
They bring the blankets from their rooms out into the living room, curl up on the sofa and pick movies based on how bad their Netflix summaries make them sound. After the first one, Jungkook begs Yoongi to buy him fried chicken, so Yoongi does, even though Jungkook just ate breakfast and will probably eat a second lunch after this because he’s a bottomless pit. When Jungkook says in a put-upon whiny voice, “I get a cake too, right hyung?” Yoongi scoffs and replies, “I have to do everything, huh? Cake too?”
And then, after Yoongi and Jungkook have spent the afternoon together, three bad movies and a giant grease-stained box of chicken later, the rest of their friends show up. Jimin and Hobi throw themselves all over Jungkook to press kisses all over his cheeks, and Namjoon and Taehyung each give him big bear hugs. Later, Seokjin makes steaming plates of rice with pork belly and giant fluffy pajeon, and when Yoongi brings out the strawberry cake he’d ordered, Jungkook catches his gaze over the candle flames and grins so brightly that Yoongi’s voice shakes all the way through singing happy birthday.
One night the week after Jungkook’s birthday, they come home still buzzing from what felt like a really good show, and Jungkook’s stomach growls loudly the moment they get inside the door.
Yoongi laughs, “Really? We ate before the show!” He skirts out of the way when Jungkook’s hand reaches out to pinch his elbow. He’s still chuckling when he drops onto the couch and watches while Jungkook starts filling a pot and rifling through their ramyeon stash.
“Hey hyung?” he calls, tone light. Yoongi stretches and rests his socked feet on the coffee table. He hums in response and waits for Jungkook to continue. When he doesn’t. Yoongi looks up again to see him staring intently at the water, tapping an odd rhythm on the kitchen counter with his fingers.
“Hey,” Yoongi says, laughing again. “You ever hear the one about the watched pot that doesn’t boil?”
He hears Jungkook sigh loudly and grins at the exasperated look on his face. But Jungkook nods, walking over to join Yoongi on the couch. Their thighs are pressing together. Jungkook’s thigh feels so warm against Yoongi’s.
“What did you wanna ask, Jungkook-ah?” Yoongi says, leaning back against the couch some more.
“Oh. Well,” Jungkook clears his throat. “I was thinking we could go get dinner sometime this week? Go out, for dinner.”
“Is that all? Aish, I thought you were worried about something. Thought you were gonna drop a bomb on me, Jungkook-ah,” Yoongi laughs. “Of course we can, I love getting dinner with you.”
Jungkook’s expression changes instantly, eyes much brighter and nose scrunching into a pleased grin. He presses against him a little more, like he’s trying to get comfortable on the couch. Yoongi keeps telling him they should invest in a new one, the right side is lumpy.
“Maybe Friday night?” Jungkook asks hopefully.
“Yeah, ah,” Yoongi says, a little hesitantly. He feels a fluttering in his chest that feels almost like anxiety but lighter. Like excitement. “We can get dinner any time you want, Jungkook-ah.”
Jungkook grins wider at him and stands, using a hand on Yoongi’s thigh to push himself up before walking over to the stove where he’s been heating up water for ramyeon. Yoongi’s thigh feels hot where Jungkook’s hand just was.
What’s wrong with him? Yoongi tries to shake it all off, tries to look anywhere but over to where Jungkook is stirring noodles into a pot of boiling water with a pleased look on his face. He doesn’t know how to escape the way Jungkook affects him, and it’s getting to the point where he can’t even muster the energy to hide it.
It takes him a second to realize Jungkook has been talking to him.
“– and then there’s that new sushi place in Hongdae, you know the one with the conveyor belt. That could be a good spot,” Jungkook is saying, smiling as he pours steaming bowls of noodles for both of them.
Yoongi clears his throat. The excitement in Jungkook’s voice does something to him, for some reason. It feels overwhelming, or like it’s too hot in here and the air isn’t moving properly. “Oh yeah, Jin hyung and Hoseokie really wanted to go there, we can ask them,” he says, pulling out his phone to text Seokjin.
Hey hyung Jungkook says he wants to show me some new sushi place friday night and i think its the one you and Hobi wanted to check out
wanna come with?
It’s quiet in the apartment when Yoongi looks back up, looking for Jungkook and finding him leaning against the wall with his ramyeon and a strange look on his face.
“What?” Yoongi asks, ears getting hot under the force of Jungkook’s stare.
“Hyung I thought–” Jungkook starts and then stops. He makes a small huffing sound, like he’s frustrated and doesn’t know how to explain it. He looks at Yoongi again, and there’s something on his face, like he’s imploring Yoongi to just get it , and Yoongi knows he's fucked up. Then, Jungkook sighs. “No that – that sounds good. I’m going to go do some work. Your noodles are on the counter.” and then he slips into his bedroom, door shutting firmly behind him.
Yoongi stays in his spot on the couch, staring at the space Jungkook just left. He looks down when his phone buzzes and wrinkles his nose when he sees Seokjin’s reply.
min yoongi you’re an idiot
It makes sense that Taehyung is the one to catch Yoongi off guard and actually make him listen.
Taehyung’s his oldest friend, from when they spent summers working the same shitty restaurant job back in Daegu. Taehyung his first roommate in Seoul, before he met Jimin and moved out. Before Jungkook showed up on Yoongi’s doorstep.
Yoongi loves to invite Taehyung over, even though he rarely actually has to. Usually just a quick call and “hey Taehyung-ah,” gets him “okay hyung, I’m coming over. I’m on my way now, see you soon.” and before he knows it, Taehyung is on his couch eating his food.
“I think you were meant to be a radio DJ, hyung,” Taehyung comments, out of nowhere, while eating some cold leftover galbi he found at the back of their fridge. He has a separate plate balanced on his knee where he keeps delicately lining up the bones.
The great thing about Taehyung is that he manages to consistently exude the most calming energy while also being, well. Extremely fucking weird but in a way that just leaves Yoongi feeling soft and amused.
Yoongi blinks at him for a minute, trying to figure out if he missed a step in the conversation.
“Oh?” is what he settles on.
Taehyung hums and bites another piece of meat. Another tiny bone on the plate. He grins at Yoongi, big and rectangular and bright. “Yeah, it really fits. You seem a lot happier now.”
He says the last bit with his head turned away from Yoongi and back toward the TV, where they have some brainless variety show playing.
Yoongi’s silent while he processes what Taehyung has said. He hasn’t really stopped to think about it: the radio show making him happy. It does, but in the way hobbies make people happy. Except it’s more than a hobby. He does spend most of his week thinking about the next show, planning it, making playlists, strategizing things with Jungkook. And it’s nice, obviously, spending time with Jungkook. Just the two of them. Because it’s just nice to spend time with your friends. Even if they live together, the radio time is special. Staying up all night doing a deep dive on Shakira that one time because Jungkook wanted to do a show on underappreciated 2000s pop idols. Arguing about the pros and cons of autotune. Wearing Jungkook’s hoodie in the freezing cold studio.
He is. Happier, now.
Yoongi’s quiet for long enough that Taehyung starts to look a little smug, like he knows that Yoongi’s sitting there having an entire epiphany while he just keeps happily spitting out tiny rib bones.
Well he shouldn’t be smug, mutters a little grumpy voice in Yoongi’s head. Just because he’s happier doing the radio show doesn’t mean he’s happier because of Jungkook . He loves music, he just loves doing anything with music. Absolutely unbidden, a memory flashes in his mind: late night sitting up awake in Yoongi’s bedroom, Jungkook going on and on about G Dragon’s performance with Missy Elliot at K-CON a few years back and turning that into an hour long discussion about western hiphop and the possibilities of cross-continental pop music that had Yoongi’s brain firing off like a livewire for at least a day afterward.
Because of the radio show. Jungkook is great because he’s a good roommate, a good friend, a good co-host. Their other friends kept asking Yoongi, weeks after they announced that they were starting kkulfm, why Jungkook? Why hadn’t Yoongi done it with Namjoon, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of hiphop and r&b as well as a surprising number of connections within Seoul’s underground rap scene for a private school teacher?
Because he wanted to do it with Jungkook. He wanted to get to know Jungkook better. Spend time alone with him.
Yoongi stares at the wall just beyond Taehyung’s head. Something funny must happen on the variety show because Taehyung laughs, sudden and loud in the deafening quiet, and accidentally flips over the plate of bones. Yoongi watches a handful of small galbi bones scatter across the wood floor, and he realizes he might have a thing for his roommate.
Jungkook. He’s…attracted to Jungkook. Which isn’t news, isn’t something he hasn’t known for a while. Everyone gets crushes on their friends. Jungkook’s hot, that’s just a fact. The sky is blue, the grass is green, Jungkook is hot. It has nothing to do with the way he wears toe socks around the apartment even in summer or the fact that he can recognize the bpm of a song by ear.
But maybe that’s why he’d felt weird, the other night when Jungkook asked him to dinner. Because maybe he’s had this stupid crush the whole time but didn’t realize it and Jungkook had wanted to get dinner but Yoongi had to get all flustered because he didn't know what it meant – a dinner with a friend, a hookup, a date. Maybe he’d panicked a little. And now there seems to be this tension between them, too enduring to be something he’s just making up in his head.
Maybe Jungkook is into him, too. Maybe he wants to sleep with him, and that’s all. Yoongi could do that, maybe. His head is full of “maybes” and he doesn’t know what’s going on except maybe, maybe he has feelings for Jungkook. Maybe he—
He lets out a low sound. It sounds a little like agony. Taehyung looks up at him from where he’s bent over a pile of bones. He hums.
Taehyung cocks his head, gaze piercing. “Why not? Hyung, you deserve to be happy.”
Yoongi scoffs. “I am happy. Jungkookie and me, we’re friends. And I have you guys, and the radio show, like you said. I’m happy.” It feels really, really important to make Taehyung believe it. Taehyung spent too many years with Yoongi when he wasn’t happy at all.
Taehyung hums again and pulls himself back up to sit on the couch, legs crossed. “I know that. A relationship isn’t the only thing on earth that makes people happy. But hyung,” he leans forward and looks at Yoongi seriously. “you’re holding yourself back from being even happier. Do you think there’s a maximum level of happiness you’re allowed to have?”
And fuck Kim Taehyung and his uncanny ability to pull out emotions Yoongi didn’t know he was having and shine light on intrusive thoughts that Yoongi would rather ignore.
Yoongi sighs. “It’s just, you know. I don’t want to lose him.” It feels like the most honest thing he’s said out loud in a while.
“I don’t think any of us would let that happen.” Taehyung says. He scans the floor again and makes a soft ooh when he spots an errant galbi bone. Yoongi sits there, and thinks.
Yoongi meets Jungkook outside of the cafe he’s spent all day sketching in to walk him home. He hasn’t stopped thinking about his conversation with Taehyung but isn’t ready to actually do anything about it, so he just walks next to Jungkook like everything’s normal.
Jungkook doesn’t seem to notice anything’s off with Yoongi, he’s just content to chatter happily as they walk, even when it starts to drizzle.
“Ooh oh oh!” Jungkook’s eyes get wide and he taps the side of his own thigh in excitement. “We could do a vintage pop star night and play like, Lee Mi-ja, or Patti Kim.”
Yoongi grins, thinking about the time he came home pretty early on after Jungkook first moved in, and he was washing dishes in the kitchen barefoot, swaying and crooning along to “Sawori Gamyeon”. He and Yoongi had only really started to become friends, and Jungkook had been so embarrassed that he stuttered his way out of the kitchen with half the dishes still covered in suds. “I forgot about your Patti Kim thing.”
He watches as Jungkook’s ears get red and he scrunches his nose the way he does when he gets defensive. “I don’t have a Patti Kim thing , it’s just – my mom likes her,” he faces forward as they walk and his voice gets a little small. “We always used to listen to old Patti Kim songs together. Makes me think of home.” He stares down at the ground and tugs at the hem of his windbreaker idly.
Yoongi looks at him for a moment, shifting the umbrella to the other hand, and then reaches out to touch his fingertips to the soft side of Jungkook’s arm, just for a second, as long as he’ll let himself. “Hey,” he says quietly, waiting for Jungkook to turn his head and meet Yoongi’s eyes. “I’m not making fun of you. I think it’s really…” he searches for a word that won’t make either of them cringe and settles on, “sweet.”
Jungkook’s eyes don’t waver from his but then he cracks a smile, face softening. He smacks the back of his hand against Yoongi’s stomach. “Shut up, hyung.”
When they get to their apartment building, it’s raining in earnest – thick, heavy rain that feels like it’s falling sideways and hits the pavement like pebbles in small tap-tap-taps. Jungkook bounds up the stairs, still soaking wet but grinning back at Yoongi before he turns to key in the code on the building access panel and pulls Yoongi with him into the lobby.
They leave a trail of water from the entrance all the way to the elevator, the floor squeaky under Jungkook’s chunky sneakers as he shuffles across the room.
“Wanna watch a movie, hyung?” Jungkook says, staring ahead while they wait for the elevator.
“Oh, well, we could. Thought you’d wanna work on next week’s show.” Yoongi replies absently. When he doesn’t get a reply, he turns to look at Jungkook.
The look on his face is hard to describe. He looks disappointed but a little determined, eyes wide and brows slightly furrowed. “That’s work, hyung, we can do that any night. Let’s watch a movie.”
Yoongi looks at him for a long moment and then the elevator door opens in front of them. Inside, he pushes the button for their floor.
“Okay Jungkook-ah, you pick a movie.” he says, and tries to control his face when Jungkook beams at him. There’s a dull pang in his chest that feels unbearable.
This is the problem, ever since Yoongi admitted to himself that maybe he has a little bit of a crush. Every interaction with Jungkook gets passed under a microscope in his mind: is he being weird? Is Jungkook being weird? Does he know that Yoongi’s attracted to him? The biggest problem, if he’s being honest, is that he can’t seem to get through a conversation with Jungkook without wanting to kiss him, and he’s running out of reasons and willpower to stop himself. And Jungkook keeps shooting Yoongi these looks, these glances that seem to hold whole conversations within them.
When the elevator opens again, he gives Jungkook a nice normal closed-mouth smile and steps out. A long walk down to the end of the hall and they’re finally at their apartment, where Jungkook fumbles with their takeout bags again to punch in the code for their apartment door lock. Instead of the usual beep and clicking sound that signals the door is open, they get three long beeps and a red light.
“Wha–” Jungkook mutters, keying in the code again. The red light flashes again. Jungkook turns around to look at Yoongi imploringly.
“Did you get the code right? Let me try.” Yoongi reaches around Jungkook and presses in the code. Red light.
“What’s happening??” Jungkook whines, kicking the bottom of the door with the toe of his shoe.
“Well that’s not going to do anything,” Yoongi says. Jungkook just glares at him.
Jungkook pulls his phone out of his pocket and Yoongi watches silently for a moment when the brightness of the screen makes Jungkook’s face shine. It’s still wet with rain, tiny droplets on his nose and sliding off the ends of his hair.
Yoongi groans. He drops down to sit with his back against their apartment door and Jungkook joins him a second later.
“Hyung can you call them?” asks softly, holding out his phone, still open to the dial screen. Yoongi looks at him for a moment, the way he worries his bottom lip and doesn’t quite look Yoongi in the eye. And Yoongi feels that pang again. He wants to break the tension, maybe with a joke like You’re a radio host but you can’t talk to someone on the phone, Jungkook-ah ? And maybe Jungkook would laugh at that, but maybe he wouldn’t because he’s sensitive and it’s a little cruel and Yoongi is the last person to poke fun at someone else’s anxiety.
“Yeah,” he replies. “Hyung will call.”
He takes Jungkook’s phone and dials their building’s management office. It rings a few times and then kicks over to the after-hours emergency line, which is just a voicemail box. Yoongi leaves a polite but urgent message to let the staff know that they’ve been locked out of their apartment, and then he hangs up, dropping the phone onto Jungkook’s thigh and knocks the base of his skull against the hard surface of their apartment door.
“They should call us back,” he murmurs, and Jungkook hums.
Jungkook stretches out his legs in front of him and starts tapping out different rhythms on either thigh. A minute later he starts tapping his heels against the tile floor, his whole body just fidgeting because he’s never known how to sit still.
“We could start putting together next week’s setlist?” Yoongi suggests.
Jungkook sighs. “I feel like all we ever do is talk about the radio show.”
He says it nonchalantly, with just a hint of whine, and Yoongi startles a little. He turns to look at him.
“Oh.” Yoongi says, thinking over what Jungkook’s just said.
Jungkook turns to him quickly, eyes wide. “I love the show, hyung! You know I do. I just..” he trails off.
Yoongi rocks sideways slightly to bump their shoulders. “You just…?” he prods. His eyes flicker down to look at Jungkook’s mouth, watching as he tugs his bottom lip between his teeth.
When Jungkook thinks about something, especially something important, he does this pinched little frown where his eyebrows knit together and his cheeks dimple only slightly. Yoongi has never noticed before, but he’s noticing now.
“Sometimes I just want to hang out with you, hyung. Not because of the show.”
Yoongi blinks. “Oh. Jungkook-ah, we can always hang out. I always want to hang out with you.”
Jungkook’s eyes are intense when he stares at Yoongi for a moment.
“The truth is,” he starts. “The truth is that I kind of miss spending time just the two of us, you know. Not talking about the show or anything. I love our friends but…” his voice is soft, and he gives Yoongi a small smile. “I just want to be with you. Hanging out.”
“Okay,” Yoongi nods slowly, rolling Jungkook’s words over in his mind.
Jungkook sits up a little straighter and looks a little more determined. And for a moment – so fast Yoongi thinks he may have imagined it completely – Jungkook looks down at his mouth. They're close enough that his warm breath fans Yoongi's face when he exhales. When he speaks, a slight flush works its way up his neck. “Actually, Yoongi-hyung, I wanted to ask you—“
Yoongi’s ringtone sounds, loud and horrible on the floor between his legs. He grimaces and snatches it up as quickly as possible. “Jesus, I hate that sound. This is why I leave it on silent — hello?"
It’s the building staff. Yoongi tries to focus on what the woman is saying, as she asks what the issue is. But he’s very aware of Jungkook next to him and even more aware that Jungkook was about to ask him something important enough to make him look very nervous. Very aware that it kind of looked like Jungkook was going to kiss him. He narrows his focus to the woman on the other end of the phone.
When he hangs up, Jungkook is fidgeting next to him.
“That was the building staff,” Yoongi says, and Jungkook nods. “They gave me instructions for resetting the code.”
Jungkook nods again, playing with the hem of his jeans. “Oh, good.”
Yoongi looks at him for a moment longer, partly to see if he was going to pick up where he left off. Wishes he would, wishes that Jungkook would just kiss Yoongi if that's what he wants to do, because then Yoongi would know . Jungkook stays quiet.
Yoongi sits up on his knees and turns to fiddle with the panel on the doorknob. Keys in the building code and follows the instructions the staff member gave him. He chooses a new code and keys it in, breathing a sigh of relief when the screen beeps and unlocks.
He stands and holds out a hand to Jungkook. “See? All fixed,” he says lightly, gesturing for Jungkook to grab onto him.
When Jungkook pulls himself up to his feet, he doesn’t let go of Yoongi’s hand, he just holds it in his own down by his side. Yoongi tilts his head and swallows nervously.
Jungkook lets out a soft huff of a laugh, even though no one’s said anything funny. Yoongi feels him squeeze his hand, just once before letting go.
“I wanted to go to that sushi place with you, hyung.” Jungkook says, catching Yoongi totally off guard.
“Oh,” he says. “Yeah. I’m sorry, Jungkook. I think, ah, think I got a little nervous, it was stupid.” Yoongi looks away.
“You got nervous?” Jungkook’s eyes are wide. Yoongi uses opening the apartment door as an excuse to not answer right away. Inside their apartment, Jungkook drops all of their takeout bags on the entryway table and they kick off their shoes as Yoongi flips on the lights. The deep purple of the living room wall is the first thing he sees and he feels a stab of affection despite everything. It really is too dark.
“Hyung,” Jungkook says softly, touching the back of Yoongi’s elbow gently.
Yoongi turns to him and gives him a small reassuring smile. “Sorry, yeah. Don’t know what that was about — we can get sushi sometime next week, okay?”
It’s not the point, and he knows it’s not. The look on Jungkook’s face tells him he knows it too.
“It’s not about the sushi, hyung.” Jungkook says, eyes piercing.
Yoongi’s stomach swoops. For a moment he doesn’t move or speak, just looks right off to the side of Jungkook’s head. Then, his eyes flick up, and they’re staring at one another.
“Yeah.” Yoongi says, and the word is heavy in the air. Jungkook makes a soft sound, like he didn’t expect Yoongi to agree, like he expected him to deflect. Yoongi’s tired of deflecting.
And he doesn’t know why he does it other than that he just…wants to, but he reaches out and touches his fingertips to the red flush on Jungkook’s neck. “You’re flushed, Jungkook-ah,” he murmurs.
Jungkook makes another soft, strangled sound. He lifts his arm, slowly, and wraps his whole hand around Yoongi’s fingers and just holds them like that: his hand wrapped around Yoongi’s fingertips where they press against the hot skin of his neck.
Yoongi doesn’t know what the fuck is happening anymore but he’s too far into it now. They’re still just standing in the entryway of their apartment.
Jungkook takes a step closer to Yoongi, arm dropping back down to his side but now he’s so close their chests are almost touching. He’s looking down and Yoongi is reminded once again that Jungkook is much, much taller than he is. It feels like the room has gotten smaller all around them, and several degrees hotter.
“What are we doing?” Yoongi breathes, eyes flicking down to Jungkook’s lips to watch them part.
“Wanna,” Jungkook breathes out, then stops and licks his bottom lip. Starts again and says, “Wanna kiss you. Can I kiss you, hyung?”
Yoongi’s instinctive “Yeah,” gets lost somewhere in Jungkook’s mouth when Jungkook hooks a palm around the back of his neck and pulls him close. Right away, Yoongi feels warm and electric, pressing against Jungkook without thinking about it.
The kiss starts out slow, hesitant. It doesn’t stay that way. Because now Yoongi’s got their apartment door against his back and Jungkook’s hand sliding down to grip behind one of his thighs, pulling them impossibly close. He feels out of his mind when his fingers slide into the back pocket of Jungkook’s jeans.
“Hyung,” Jungkook breaks away, and his mouth is wet and awful. “can we — do you want to?” He nods his head toward the open door of his own bedroom.
This must have been it, he thinks. The thing Jungkook wanted to ask him before his phone rang. And maybe it’s not the best choice, sleeping with a guy you’re pretty sure you have real feelings for with no real idea of where he stands, but Yoongi doesn’t want to overthink this anymore. There is a part of him who is skipping ahead to parts he doesn’t want to have to deal with, the consequences of this. But that part is drowning in the ocean of want that’s swelling and cresting under his skin.
“Jesus, yeah. Jungkook-ah,” Yoongi says nonsensically, still pressed right up against Jungkook and already feeling completely overwhelmed.
The right side of Jungkook’s mouth crooks up and he looks like a devil. It makes something in Yoongi’s chest flip upside down. A hand circles his wrist and tugs him across the room.
Yoongi has been in Jungkook’s bedroom many times. Their rooms are essentially identical, but Jungkook has a wide drafting desk pushed against one wall that is so big it almost takes up more room than the bed. Yoongi remembers Jungkook showing up the day they agreed he’d move in, when Yoongi opened the door to Jungkook, Seokjin and Hoseok all panting as they got ready to push the gigantic desk sideways through the apartment door. Nowadays, Jungkook and Yoongi find themselves sitting at the desk together most nights, either planning radio setlists or just taking turns showing each other songs they love or making each other watch stupid videos online.
The desk is so huge, so central in the room, that Yoongi has never really paid attention to the bed. Jungkook’s bed. But there it is, in front of him. There are the already rumpled blankets, which smell like Jungkook when Yoongi sits on them, and there are Jungkook’s pillows, which are soft and warm against the back of Yoongi’s head. And there is Jungkook, hovering over him, dipping down to slot their mouths together again.
He crawls over Yoongi, swinging a knee over to rest on the other side of his hip and lowering himself down to settle on Yoongi’s thighs. The weight of him is warm and solid, and his hips are soft when Yoongi grips them.
“Yoongi-hyung,” Jungkook breathes, pulling back to look down at his face.
Yoongi hums and drags one hand up to push some hair out of Jungkook’s eyes. Jungkook makes a soft sound and moves his body down, closer to Yoongi’s hips. They both groan at the contact.
“Are you sure? About this?” Jungkook asks, running a hand along Yoongi’s waist.
“Mm. Yeah,” Yoongi says, because it’s true. No matter what happens outside of this bubble, it’s very true how sure he is about this. “Yeah. Jungkook, want to touch you.”
Jungkook looks at him, intense, and then surges back down to kiss him again. His hands are fumbling with the button on Yoongi’s jeans, and Yoongi’s trying to shimmy off his own pants while also trying to pull Jungkook’s shirt over his head and they very nearly roll off the bed and land in a heap on the floor. It’s such a struggle that by the time they’re both stripped down to their briefs, they’re laughing against each other’s skin. They’re sharing big grins and the air is warm, and Yoongi refuses to dwell on it right now but he might be in love. In that moment, he’s actually definitely in love with Jungkook and definitely not dealing with it when he could be shoving a hand down Jungkook’s underwear instead.
“Yoongi, YoongiYoongiYoongi,” Jungkook babbles when Yoongi finally touches him. They’re laying facing each other now, and Jungkook’s whole chest is flushed a pretty red now, blotchy and hot where Yoongi grasps at him. Jungkook’s leg slips between Yoongi’s thighs and Yoongi can’t stop himself from grinding down, seeking any kind of friction.
The room fills with the noises they make and Yoongi doesn’t know about Jungkook, but he feels so out of his mind with what’s happening that he thinks he might burst into flames.
He’s already so close, just from this. It would be embarrassing if it wasn’t so intense, so much something he’s wanted for so long even if he couldn’t acknowledge it.
“Hyung,” Jungkook mutters against his chin, reaching down to press the palm of his hand against Yoongi’s cock where it’s hard inside his briefs. “Hyung do you have — ah — a condom?”
Yoongi’s head is nothing but fog but he still pulls away and squints at Jungkook. “Jungkook this is your bedroom.”
Jungkook looks at him. “Oh right.” Yoongi snorts.
He rolls over, away from Yoongi, and stretches around awkwardly to fish through the drawer in his bedside table. He lets out a triumphant sound when he comes up with a condom and a small bottle of lube.
Any last inkling of worry or stress about what this will mean in about twelve hours flies out of Yoongi’s head as Jungkook takes his time prepping him, as he hooks one of Yoongi’s ankles over his shoulder and presses inside. As he leans down so that their cheeks are touching and frantically whispers Yoongi’s name against his cheekbone. As he moves against him and all that’s left is the sound of hushed murmurs and groans.
Yoongi’s fingertips make crescent moons on Jungkook’s shoulders and everything feels so good so much. Mindless things tumble out of his mouth when Jungkook reaches between them and wraps a hand around him, and when he finally comes, Jungkook keeps going, just keeps fucking into him until he collapses, once again so heavy and solid on top of him.
“God, that was —“ Jungkook says, and leaves it unfinished as he pants into Yoongi’s neck.
Yoongi hums, absentmindedly petting the damp hair on the back of Jungkook’s neck. He feels out of his mind and boneless.
Jungkook slips out of bed and out into the hallway, comes back with a washcloth so quickly that Yoongi barely notices he’s gone.
When they’re both cleaned up and wrapped around each other under Jungkook’s blankets, Yoongi presses a kiss between Jungkook’s shoulder blades before he drifts off.
In the morning, Yoongi wakes up slow, and his vision is purple. Looks like a field of violets in front of him but everything smells like honeysuckles and it’s jarring enough that he almost panics before he remembers: Jungkook.
He’s pressed up behind Jungkook in the bed, hands tucked between Jungkook’s naked back and his own chest and his face practically buried in the soft purple curls of Jungkook’s hair.
He’s just woken up, but Jungkook has clearly been awake for some time because when he hears Yoongi stir, he makes a sound and turns to face him. He scooches down on his pillow a little so that they’re eye level.
“Hi,” Jungkook whispers, and Yoongi isn’t ready for that. He’s not ready for either of them to say anything at all.
He presses his lips together and breathes in through his nose. Then, “Hey, Jungkook-ah.”
And this is the part that Yoongi didn’t want to get to — the part that happens after . Does he get up and go back to his room? Go make breakfast and share it with Jungkook in a roommate kind of way? What do you do when you sort-of-impulsively sleep with your roommate who you realized you had a bit of a crush on just a day ago?
He thinks back to his conversation with Taehyung, and decides that he and Jungkook are long overdue for the conversation they need to have. He’s just going to ask him, ask Jungkook what last night meant and what he wants, and if it meant something less to him than it did to Yoongi, well. Well, one of them probably should have brought that up before last night.
He’s puzzling through this and feeling so awkward about it that he’s about to just mutter something about going to the bathroom when Jungkook presses his lips to Yoongi’s cheek and says, “I had fun last night.”
And Yoongi hasn’t had a whole lot of one night stands but he’s pretty sure that’s the classic way of kicking one out of your bed, and so he smiles tightly at Jungkook.
“Yeah, ah, me too.” he says, nodding. Then he sits up a little to rest his head against the headboard. Jungkook’s eyes follow his movements, and he props himself up on one hand, head cocked slightly.
Yoongi feels like he’s at sea. Never mind the fact that he’s just never been one for casual hookups; he doesn’t know what to do here, with Jungkook. If this was just a normal morning, any other morning where they did not just wake up after sleeping together, he would just laugh off any tension. Let Jungkook elbow him in the ribs or ruffle his hair and make some comment, and then they’d move on. But he doesn’t know if that’s something he can do anymore. So he just sits there, thinking over his choices.
“You’re probably busy today, huh?” he says, and to his credit, he realizes pretty instantly it wasn’t the right thing to say.
Jungkook looks at him, mouth a little twisted. “What?”
Yoongi sits up a little straighter. “I just mean — you have that big deadline tomorrow right?” he tries for a smile. “You probably have assignments to work on?”
“No - well, yeah. But it’s early, hyung. I don’t have to do anything now.” Jungkook says. “I was going to go to a cafe for breakfast, if you want to come?”
Yoongi feels his face flush a little but chalks it up to early morning puffiness. And maybe a little bit of it is the same thing that’s causing a sinking feeling in his stomach, or the part of his brain that’s telling him that Jungkook is trying to do something here. He’s trying to skip ahead to the part where things aren’t awkward between them, and it’s a nice thing to do. Because Jungkook is kind, and he knows as well as Yoongi does that things can get awkward when you sleep with your friend, not to mention the person you live with. That’s what this is: breakfast at a cafe so that they can start getting back to normal.
The Yoongi of a day ago would have welcomed the chance. The Yoongi that woke up this morning with Jungkook’s hair in his mouth and Jungkook’s bare foot tucked in-between his ankles can’t stomach the thought.
“Oh, that’s — Jungkook-ah, that’s okay. Hyung will be fine, you don’t have to do…this.” Yoongi aims for open and honest and ends up with a scramble of words he hopes makes sense.
The line of Jungkook’s shoulders get straighter and straighter as he processes Yoongi’s response. “What do you mean?”
“Ah, hm.” Yoongi drags a hand through his hair and looks around the room. “I don’t want you to feel awkward or…hmm. Obligated.”
“You just don’t have to — I know one night stands can be awkward, but…“ Yoongi trails off.
Jungkook gets very still. “Oh.”
Yoongi just feels at a loss. The conversation isn’t taking the turn he assumed it would take, and he thought he was doing what Jungkook wanted. But he’s approaching his threshold for how much confrontation he can stand, and Jungkook looks sad which is always the opposite of what Yoongi wants. The minutes tick by.
“Okay,” Jungkook finally says, and his voice echoes in the quiet bedroom. He slides out of bed, pushing layers of sheets and blankets aside to stand absurdly naked next to the best for a moment. It would be almost funny if it didn’t all feel so horrible. Then, he bends down for a moment and seconds later starts pulling on a pair of briefs. He scans the room again for something, and Yoongi watches as he makes a small sound and picks up his t-shirt. Then, a sock.
“You’re leaving?” Yoongi asks, feeling totally bewildered. He feels really hot and confused and like he wants to ask Jungkook to stay but doesn’t know how.
“That’s what happens right, hyung? After a one night stand?” Jungkook says, across the room as he picks up his clothes. The words are so harsh and cutting but his tone is soft and just this side of neutral, because Jungkook can be a brat but he’s never been mean . When he speaks, he just sounds hurt.
“This is your room,” Yoongi points out because he doesn’t know what else to say.
And then Jungkook is standing there, arms full of last night’s outfit, and Yoongi is just sitting there in the bed, chest bare, and Jungkook just looks at him. And Yoongi wants to just put all the words back – just scrape them off the floor between them and stuff them back inside their mouths and swallow them whole. At the same time, he’s sitting there stupidly and trying to urge new words out of his mouth like stay, Jungkook-ah, hyung wants you to stay, come back to bed .
Instead he just kind of gapes at Jungkook for another minute until Jungkook sighs and turns to leave. And Yoongi still can’t manage the words he wants to say but he’s still an adult, still has a responsibility to Jungkook and whatever’s between them, whether that’s friendship or–
“Jungkook-ah, wait.” he says quietly. Jungkook stops and turns just slightly, not facing Yoongi but turned enough to show he’s listening.
Yoongi pulls the comforter up and around himself. Clears his throat and says, “I want to talk about this. But, ah, maybe we should just. Take a day or something, yeah? But, um. I just want you to know I’m not going anywhere.”
There’s silence for a moment and Yoongi watches as Jungkook’s shoulders relax. He turns a little bit more, and Yoongi sees that his lips are turned up just slightly. Like he’s not quite smiling, but he’s trying.
“I would hope not, hyung. We live together.”
A joke, Jungkook is joking. Yoongi’s whole body slumps a little bit, like some of the tension is leaking out of him. He feels a little like things are going to be okay, whatever that means. He lets out a weak chuckle, and Jungkook closes the door behind him.
“I slept with Jungkook.”
Yoongi pushes past Taehyung into the apartment the minute the door swings open, making a beeline for the couch and dropping down onto it with a deep sigh. Taehyung stares after him, mouth slightly open. “W-what??”
Yoongi’s hackles rise slightly. “Oh no, don’t act surprised. You’re the one who — well, I mean…you told me that I - that we…” Yoongi gestures helplessly.
Taehyung just gives him an unimpressed look. “I didn’t tell you to sleep with him, hyung.”
Yoongi stares at him a moment longer before signing and drops onto the sofa in Taehyung’s living room. “Well. We slept together. Last night.”
Taehyung sits down across from him and rests his chin in the palm of his hand. “Okay,” he says slowly, nodding. “How was it?”
“How was — it was, I mean it was good?” Yoongi’s mouth curls a little remembering the press of Jungkook’s sweaty back to his chest. Then he shakes himself. “That’s not the point , Taehyung-ah. It just happened and we didn’t talk about it and — this morning it was weird.”
“We got into a fight. I think?”
“A what?” Taehyung leans forward and blinks in confusion. “You don’t fight.”
Yoongi sighs. “I know. And it was stupid, I don’t even know what it was about.”
Taehyung hums again, looking up at the ceiling.
“What?” Yoongi asks pointedly. He watches Taehyung open his mouth silently before snapping it closed a second later.
A door swings open across the hall. “You’re an idiot,” Jimin says, breezing into the room in striped pajamas and soft sherpa slippers that look suspiciously like the ones that went missing from Yoongi’s room the last time he stayed over at Yoongi and Jungkook’s apartment.
“I really wish,” Yoongi says slowly, “that people would stop telling me that.”
“Then stop being an idiot.” Jimin supplies helpfully, unbothered when Yoongi scowls.
Jimin takes a seat right next to Taehyung. “Taehyungie is trying to find a nice way to say this but he’s taking too long —“ Taehyung elbows Jimin and he squeaks indignantly. “What, you were? Anyway,” Jimin clears his throat. “Hyung, Jungkook is like, so into you.”
“Mm, yeah. Like he's had a crush on you for a long time.”
“What.” Yoongi needs to say another word, literally any other word, but his brain has stopped working. "No, I mean, I know he's ‘into me’ based on...last night – shut up – but it’s not like that for him."
Jimin scoffs. “Hyung, c’mon. You guys host a radio show together. You live together. I saw Jungkook for a whole three hours the other day and he still managed to spend two of those hours talking about you! ‘Yoongi hyung is so cool he knows so much about music!’”
“He didn’t say that,” Yoongi interjects almost absentmindedly.
Taehyung pipes in, “He does it all the time. The other day he came over after you got together to plan one of your shows, he kept going on about how brilliant you were to bring in some video with T.O.P. and Star Wars or whatever.”
“It was 2001: A Space Odyssey and he’s the one obsessed with theme nights…”
Jimin starts talking over Yoongi, his tone impatient. “The point is, hyung, that you guys are like a nerdy little radio show love story and everyone seems to know it but you.”
Yoongi turns to look at Jimin fully, and he can feel the tips of his ears turning red. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Jimin starts waving his hands with this pained look on his face, like he can’t tell if Yoongi is just stupid or if he’s being willfully obtuse. And it’s definitely the latter but Yoongi’s not going to admit that.
“You’re obviously in love with Jungkookie. And —“ he stops when Yoongi opens his mouth to respond. “no, shh just listen to me — if I know you two, you both got all in your heads when you woke up this morning and instead of just talking about it or having tender morning sex or whatever, you freaked out.”
“Tender morning sex,” Yoongi repeats. Taehyung snorts.
“Stop holding yourself back. It’s not doing either of you any good.” Jimin says with a note of finality. When he looks at Yoongi, his eyes are gentle. "Just go talk to him. Please? Everything will be okay if you just talk to him."
Yoongi nods, and Jimin seems satisfied. He slaps Taehyung’s thigh and stands. “Take me to brunch, Taetae?”
And then they’re disappearing into the bedroom and Yoongi’s alone on the couch, trying to figure out what the fuck he’s supposed to do next.
The apartment is empty when he gets home. Jungkook’s bed is still rumpled from last night, so Yoongi can only stand to look at it for as long as it takes to confirm that Jungkook isn’t in it. He calls Seokjin to see if Jungkook is hiding out there, playing video games or planning pranks or whatever he and Seokjin do together. He sends Jungkook a million texts asking where he’s at, if they can talk. Gets no reply.
In the end, he finds Jungkook where he should have looked from the very start. The hallway that leads up to the broadcast studio is dark, but Yoongi breathes out a sigh of relief when he sees the glow of the monitor screen and the dim light of the overhead lamp. Jungkook.
He pushes the door open, quietly in case Jungkook is recording. They’ve never gone on air separately.
Behind the soundproof glass, Jungkook doesn’t hear Yoongi come in. He’s bent over the desk with all of the equipment, but he doesn’t look like he’s actually doing anything. Yoongi gets closer and sees that Jungkook’s head is down and his eyes are closed.
“Are you…sleeping here?” he asks when he pushes into the recording booth.
Jungkook’s head shoots up immediately. His eyes are red and for one horrifying moment, Yoongi thinks he’s been crying. But then his hands come up to rub his eyes and it’s clear he’s just exhausted, which isn’t much better.
“What are you doing here?”
“I reserved it.” Jungkook mutters, looking around the room like he forgot where he was.
“To sleep?” Yoongi asks, taking a few steps toward the vacant chair but not sitting down.
Jungkook shakes his head, eyes fixed on his lap. “No.”
Yoongi hums. “That’s good, you have a perfectly good bed at home.”
Jungkook looks up at him, something sharp in his eyes. “Yeah, I remember.”
God. Yoongi’s ears feel hot when he thinks about Jungkook and his perfectly good bed and what happened there just 24 hours ago. He clears his throat and grasps for something to say.
“Why did you reserve the studio? Going on air?”
Jungkook looks at him for a moment longer. Then, he sighs. “No, hyung. We’ve never gone on air separately.”
Yoongi nods, and the minutes tick by.
“Hyung, it’s okay. You don’t need to say anything.” Jungkook laughs, just a small huff, and pushes his hair away from his face. “I get it.”
Yoongi cocks his head. “Get…what?”
Jungkook makes a small noise of frustration, the kind he always makes if he feels like he’s not getting a point across. It’s a noise Yoongi loves. “Please don’t make me say it,” Jungkook says. “I know you don’t want what I want, and it’s okay. You’re a great roommate, hyung, and I’m just glad we’re friends-“
Oh. Oh no. Jungkook has clearly rehearsed exactly what he’s planning to say and every word sinks in Yoongi’s stomach like a stone. He waves his hands to get Jungkook to stop talking, and Jungkook immediately clams up. He’s just blinking at Yoongi owlishly.
Yoongi sucks his bottom lip into his mouth and just takes a moment before he says, “Jungkook-ah. Ah, why is this so hard?” He lets out some air through his nose and wills his shoulders to relax. “Jungkook. I think, ah, you have feelings? For me? And—“ Jungkook has an incredulous look on his face when he opens his mouth to cut in but Yoongi just barrels on.
“And I’m sorry. Not because I don’t feel — but because if I knew that you, um, liked me that way, I wouldn’t have let last night happen the way it did.”
The thing about Yoongi is that he’s not afraid to talk about feelings. He’s been to therapy, he’s managed to maintain six very healthy friendships with people he loves, he broadcasts his thoughts on a late night radio station every week. When his friends are sad or stuck or angry, they come to him because he knows how to talk them through it.
But talking about his own feelings? For other people, to those people? It feels like his mouth is full of pebbles and he has words in there too that need to be said, but every time he goes to speak, pebbles are all that come out.
He’s trying to tell Jungkook that he might be in love with him, but the pebbles keep getting in the way. But he’s trying — even if Jungkook doesn’t want exactly what he wants, doesn’t feel as strongly, he deserves honesty.
“Jungkook-ah, the thing is.” he stops, starts again. “The thing is, I’ve been kind of stupid.”
Jungkook snorts but doesn’t interrupt. Yoongi’s thankful for that, a small moment of amusement when Yoongi wants to burrow underground and live there until he dies.
“I’ve been kind of stupid. Everyone keeps telling me that, and I think it must be true. But, ah. Last night…happened, and it was really nice. And then I think this morning I was a dick. And I didn’t mean to be. So um.” he halts and breathes, looking up to make eye contact with Jungkook for a moment before shifting his gaze slightly, to the wall just to the side of Jungkook’s head.
“So I’m sorry for being a dick. A lot of this was just...my own shit. And that’s not your fault. No matter how I feel about you or what happens, you’re my friend. We’re friends, Jungkook-ah, and I don’t want to hurt you.”
He’s thinking about what to say next when Jungkook speaks up.
“How you feel about me.” he says softly and carefully, like he’s rolling the words around on his tongue.
“What?” Yoongi asks.
“You said ‘no matter how I feel about you’…hyung how do you feel?”
Yoongi laughs softly, pulls off his beanie to run a hand through his hair and shake it out a little bit. Then he puts the beanie right back on. Fidgeting to buy time.
“I thought it was just, you know. We’re…” he gestures between them. “attracted. To each other. That’s why I think I was confused. But somewhere along the way, it became more. More than that.”
He can’t bring himself to say the words, that he’s in love with Jungkook. Even though he’s pretty sure it’s true, feels sure he should say it while they’re laying all their cards on the table, he can’t right now. It feels like too much all at once. Especially if Jungkook’s not there yet. Yoongi just can’t stomach the thought of putting that out there and being the only one. He’s already talked more just now in this conversation than he probably ever has in one setting unless the conversation was about Kendrick Lamar or the genius of RZA, and he’s just laid it all out there in front of Jungkook, who sat there patiently and listened.
Finally, Jungkook shifts in his chair. “Took you forever, hyung. You took so long.”
“What do you mean?” Yoongi asks, heart pounding.
Jungkook laughs, but there’s only the barest hint of humor in it when he crooks one side of his mouth up, looks Yoongi in the eye and says, “Yoongi.”
One word, his name so soft and heavy when it hangs between them. There’s so much packed into it that Yoongi feels knocked over. There’s a rising feeling of something like embarrassment, because there is so much emotion and exhaustion in Jungkook’s voice that Yoongi can’t fathom how he’s missed it all this time: Jungkook has feelings for him. Yoongi’s not an idiot, or at least he’s not totally oblivious. He knew there was a tension between them, a mutual attraction.
But the shape of Yoongi’s name as it’s caught inside Jungkook’s mouth and released, the strain of emotion around it – Yoongi knows, right then. But even still, he’s not quite ready for it, what’s coming, when Jungkook opens his mouth again.
“Yoongi,” he wets his lips, pink tip of his tongue darting out so quickly that Yoongi barely has time to follow it with his eyes. “Hyung, I’ve been in love with you for a long time.”
The only sound in the room is the low, constant hum of the equipment. Yoongi tries to think, tries to put all his thoughts in a line, and in the meantime he stares at the ON AIR sign. He has the ludicrous thought that he should flip it on, broadcast this entire conversation and say What do you think listeners, did I fuck up? Did I fuck everything up here? Someone would tell him, surely. Probably Jimin.
“Jungkook-ah,” he starts, sinking down into his chair. “Jungkook.”
Jungkook nods, his brow a little pinched and his mouth worried. “Yeah.”
“Jungkook-ah, don’t you think it’s too soon?” Yoongi asks, feeling a little out of his mind with how much he wants Jungkook to say no.
He gets another dry laugh in response. “Hyung I think almost two years is long enough.”
The air gets sucked out of the room at that, and Yoongi’s chest feels tight yet airy all at once. “Jesus. Jesus Christ, Jungkook. Jungkook -”
Jungkook smiles at him softly. “I tried to push you, make you see that I – and then I got impatient and asked you on a date, and um. I didn’t think you wanted that.”
“The sushi place.” Yoongi says, feeling a pang of guilt.
Jungkook nods in acknowledgment. “Yeah. But then last night — I thought it was all coming together.” His tone is sad and Yoongi wants to throw himself to the sea.
“I’m sorry, Jungkook-ah. I’m really sorry.” Yoongi says softly. “I did want that, when you asked me on a date. I just wasn’t ready to want it, I think.”
Jungkook shrugs. “Me too, I’m sorry too. I should have just been upfront about how I felt.” he looks up at Yoongi, smiling ruefully. “The truth is, after a while I was so stuck like that…me wanting you and assuming you didn’t want me back, that I thought it would always be like that. That there wasn’t any point.”
“Jungkook. That’s —“ Yoongi swallows. “I’m sorry.” he says again. Then, he thinks back over what Jungkook just said.
Jungkook startles at the question and tilts his head. “What?”
“What changed with um — what made it feel less pointless all of a sudden?”
Jungkook laughs. “Seokjin-hyung wouldn’t stop making fun of me for my crush on you. And then he told Hobi-hyung and Hobi-hyung told Jimin.”
Yoongi groans. “Oh my god.” That explains why Jimin cornered him at brunch, and why he kept calling in to the radio to request really obvious love songs. And he probably enlisted Taehyung, who likely told Namjoon.
Jungkook laughs, nodding. “Yeah.” Then, his face softens. “But then…I don’t know, hyung. They kind of…made me think about it. I kind of told myself that I could either make a move and ask you out or just admit that it’s hopeless. And you seemed a little more open to it all of a sudden?”
Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Ah. Our friends weren’t only pushy with you.” Jungkook makes a soft sound of understanding, and they both laugh. Then Yoongi says, “I’m sorry again, ‘kook-ah. Sorry for being oblivious.”
When Jungkook smiles at him, slow and warm, something in Yoongi thrills.
“It’s okay, hyung.”
Yoongi clears his throat. "I – last night was good. Really good," he says, scrunching his nose when Jungkook wiggles his eyebrows. "I think I've had...feelings for you for a long time too." The admission is quiet, and in a lot of ways feels like not enough after everything, but Jungkook’s whole face looks warm and bright.
After thinking it over for all of ten seconds, Yoongi rolls his chair over so that they’re right in front of each other, knees touching. Jungkook’s eyes are wide, the tilt of his head a question mark.
Yoongi ignores the part of him, still there but waning by the second, that tells him that this is too much too soon. Instead he thinks about Hyung, I’ve been in love with you for a long time and the feeling of sighing against Jungkook’s naked throat in the middle of the night.
He reaches out slowly and presses a palm to Jungkook’s jaw and watches as his lips part. “Can I—?” he asks, looking at Jungkook’s mouth in a way he hopes is impossible to misinterpret.
Jungkook nods sharply and breathes out, “Yes.”
Yoongi rolls the chair even closer so that his knees are just brushing the inside of Jungkook’s thighs, and he braces his hands on the armrests of Jungkook’s chair. He leans forward and stops, deliberately. Pauses for just a moment to give Jungkook the chance to say nevermind. Slowly, Jungkook slides one hand off his lap and curves a palm around Yoongi’s calf. He makes a soft humming sound, a little like he’s impatient, and Yoongi decides that’s answer enough.
He falls the rest of the way forward, nose bumping the tip of Jungkook’s as their mouths find one another. Jungkook’s other hand is warm when it slides around Yoongi’s jaw.
Yoongi feels himself breathe into the kiss, warm and wonderful the way their lips part for each other. He loves it, but hates that they’re here in the studio and not at home, on a couch or in one of their beds where they could press together.
When Yoongi pulls away, Jungkook doesn’t move. He just stays frozen, body leaning forward, hands chasing Yoongi as he moves back to sit full in the chair again.
“Jungkook, will you go out on a date with me?” Yoongi says, a little too loud but very certain.
The grin that stretches across Jungkook’s mouth is blinding. “Yeah, okay. Sure, hyung.”
“…and that was IU’s ‘LILAC’. Remember, listeners, no theme or genre tonight — just playing your requests and following our whims, wherever they take us.”
“That’s cheesy, hyung.”
“Well for once, DJ JK could not think of something for theme night.”
“You hate theme nights! Everyone, Suga hates theme nights.”
“…they’re not so bad.”
“Hm. Okay, tweet @kkulFM to tell us what you want to hear, listeners.”
“We’ve already gotten some, let’s see…Jimin that’s inappropriate.”
“Wha— Jimin hyung we’re looking for song requests, not…commentary on our relationship, thanks.”
“Which we have, for anyone who didn’t know. A relationship. A relationship together, where we’re together, alone, hanging out.”
“I think they get the idea, JK.”
“Are you blushing?”
“Shut up, hyung.”
“You’re the one who blurted that out, all of a sudden? And now you’re shy?”
“Oh look, someone requested Queen…”