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I could breathe easier (once I brought you back in)

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"So," Hoseok began; the first words uttered that morning even though they had been awake the past twenty minutes. 

His was voice was rough with sleep and disuse and Yoongi turned from where he lay, his head on Hoseok's chest, grunting in response. 

"You know... I won't be home for your birthday next week."

Yoongi grunted again and Hoseok smiled. If he didn't know any better, Yoongi's grunts could've been interpreted as indifference, but Hoseok had known Yoongi long enough to sense the distaste in that small noise. 
"I leave for the airport in-"

"Forty minutes." Yoongi finished for him, moving his head to Hoseok's stomach so the younger couldn't see the frown on his face. 

"That's right," Hoseok sighed, resting  a large hand over Yoongi's head. There was a moment of silence. 
"You'll be back the day after, though, right?"

Hoseok chuckled. Concern disguised as indifference. "That's also right." He carded his fingers absently through Yoongi's hair, measuring the length between two fingers. When Yoongi's hair got too long it tended to curl into his neck, behind his ears. It wasn't quite that long yet, but it was getting there. Hoseok loved those curls. Yoongi claimed he didn't care what his own hair looked like, but Hoseok knew that if he teased the older about it, his hair would be freshly cut by the time he got home from his business trip. So Hoseok decided not to say anything. 

"That's still enough time for you to give me a proper goodbye, though," Hoseok teased, moving his hand to the boy's neck so Yoongi could look up at him. "Right?"

~

At the ungodly hour of 8:45, Hoseok's airport taxi pulled up in front of their townhouse, and Hoseok carried him piggyback all the way to the car. Yoongi's wet orange hair stuck up on one side, and he squinted in the sunlight, burying his head in the crook of Hoseok's neck and inhaling deeply; groaning outwardly when Hoseok bent down to set him back on the ground. 

He looked ridiculous, he was sure; his pale legs exposed under Hoseok's giant navy blue hoodie that fell midway down his thighs, the sleeves balled up in his fists and the neck nearly falling off one shoulder, exposing the purple and red marks that Hoseok left under his collarbones just minutes before in the shower. But the driver didn't seem to mind, preoccupied with loading Hoseok's bags in the trunk; and Yoongi was dead set on seeing Hoseok till the very last minute. 

Hoseok set him down and Yoongi immediately went to his front, wrapping his arms around his waist and pressing his cheek against Hoseok's neck. Yoongi looked like home, in sharp contrast to Hoseok's business suit, dark hair styled perfectly and expensive watch peeking out around his wrist. 
"Just five days, right?"

"Just five days," Hoseok assured him, rubbing the back of his neck. Just five days of single-bed hotel rooms and business presentations and meetings and expensive meals that he won't get to share with Yoongi. Five days without Yoongi's soft hands and warm mouth and lingering kisses. No legs wrapped around his in the middle of the night or hugs from behind while he does the dishes after dinner. No lips pressed against his skin and steady breaths hitting his neck as he falls asleep. 

Hoseok inhaled shakily and cupped a hand around Yoongi's jaw, pulling him up for a kiss and Yoongi complied, standing up on tip-toe to meet him halfway. His lips parted obediently against Hoseok's and he whined as Hoseok licked inside, hands clutching the collar of his suit to keep him close. 

"I love you," Yoongi said quietly, slightly breathless after parting. Hoseok pressed a chaste kiss to his lips, then his forehead, resting his chin on Yoongi's hair as he pulled him in for one last hug; the driver waiting patiently in the taxi by now. 

"I love you, too," he replied, feeling Yoongi's arms tighten around him. "So much, Yoongi."

He pulled back and cupped the older's chin, meeting his gaze as he pushed his hair back off his forehead. "I'm sorry I'm missing your birthday, baby."

Yoongi nodded, lips pressed together in a small frown. "It's alright."

Heartbreak disguised as indifference. Hoseok smiled sadly. "I got you something, it's nothing big. I mean," he paused, backtracking, and Yoongi furrowed his eyebrows, still squinting at the daylight as he looked up at Hoseok. "It's pretty big, but it's not like, big big."

Yoongi looked even more confused but smiled anyway, smoothing a hand over Hoseok's hip. Hoseok laughed. "It's in the bedroom closet, just, go see it after I'm gone." Yoongi nodded. 

Hoseok pressed one more kiss to his lips before withdrawing, crawling into the backseat of his taxi and shutting the door behind him. "Call me before my plane leaves, okay?" He called through the window as the car began to move. Yoongi nodded and smiled. Hoseok grinned and blew a kiss through the window, and Yoongi jogged behind, blowing kisses back. 

Soon the car disappeared around a corner, Hoseok still waving through the window, his radiant smile still visible even from so far away. And then it wasn't, then Yoongi was just some guy standing in the middle of the road in his boyfriend's hoodie and no pants. He sighed as he walked back up the steps to his house, shutting the door behind him and sliding down to the floor, tears rolling down his cheeks. It was harder to pretend he wouldn't miss Hoseok when Hoseok wasn't actually standing right in front of him. 

The collar of his hoodie was soaked by the time he remembered what Hoseok said about his gift in the closet. He scrambled up, practically running to their bedroom and yanking open the closet door. 

Of course. Yoongi didn't know how he could've expected anything different from Jung fucking Hoseok. He padded back to his bed, picking his phone out of a mess of sheets and finding Hoseok's name on the top of his recent calls list. 

"Hi, baby."

Yoongi sighed. It had been five minutes and it still ached when Yoongi heard his voice. 

"Hi, Hoseok," he replied, voice coming out smaller than he had intended. "I see the big gift you got me."

Hoseok chuckled over the phone. "Ah, yes. The big gift. Do you like it?"

Yoongi walked back over to the closet, poking the giant teddy bear with one finger. "It's super cool, Hoseok. If you're like, five."

Hoseok hummed. Yoongi heard him shifting over the phone and he knew he was leaning forward, resting his chin in his palm the way he did when he was listening intently. Yoongi smiled to himself. 

"It's so big," Yoongi noted, stepping up to compare heights. It really was a massive teddy bear, snowy white and thick enough that Yoongi could reach his arms around it and only touch the sides, and taller than Yoongi by at least a couple inches. 

"It is," Hoseok replied. "It's my height exactly; from the top of its head to where it sits."

"Ohh."

"Touch it. It's so soft."

Yoongi kneeled down, rubbing his hands over the body of the bear, marveling at the softness beneath his fingers. 

"Ohhhh."

Hoseok laughed again, and Yoongi heard a car door shut in the background. "There's a plug, in the back. Can you find it for me?"

Yoongi grunted in response and pushed the bear forward on its face, smoothing his hands down the back. He found a small patch, unbuttoning it to reveal a plug sticking out. He pulled on it and it unraveled, a cord stretching from the fur. 

"What's it for?"

"Did you find it?"

"Hm-mm."

"It goes out up to 12 feet. You plug it into the wall and it heats up."

"Ohhhhhh."

"There's a control panel farther down the back."

"Ah."

Yoongi stepped back, grabbing the bear by the head and balancing the phone between his ear and his shoulder as he pulled it out of the closet, climbing back over to push it through the doorway. 

"So," Hoseok said again, after the noises on the other end quieted down. "Do you like it?"

Yoongi contemplated, throwing himself back on the teddy bear and snuggling up on it's stomach. "I really do."

"Hmmm," Hoseok replied, and Yoongi could hear his smile on the other end of the phone. "What do you say?"

Yoongi smiled, standing up on his tip-toes and cocking his head to the side, clasping his hands together in the front the same way he would if Hoseok were standing in front of him. "Thank you, daddy."

"You're welcome, baby."

Yoongi sat back down. "Are you at the airport now?"

It was silent and Yoongi realized Hoseok had nodded, not remembering that Yoongi couldn't see him. "Uh, yeah," he said a moment later, and Yoongi smiled softly. "I have to go in like 5 seconds, but, um, please get enough sleep, and I need you to remember to eat; three times a day, Yoongi, no buts."

Yoongi nodded, trying hard to ignore the trembling in his lower lip. "I will, Hoseok."

"Good boy. Remember to go around and lock all the doors at night, okay? Go out and see some friends, I told Seokjin to check up on you, and Jimin told me the other day that he really misses you, so promise me you won't stay cooped up inside every day, alright, baby?"

"Yes, I promise." Tears rolled down his cheeks and he sniffled. Hoseok whined on the other end. 

"Please don't cry, baby, I love you so much."

"I love you too, Hoseok."

"It's a 14 hour flight, but we're making a few stops, so I won't be in till late, maybe 12 or 1. Do you want me to call when I get to the hotel?"

Hoseok had barely finished speaking before Yoongi answered. "Yes. Yes, please. You'll get some sleep on the plane, right?"

"Of course." It was quiet on the other line for a second and there was some jostling. Yoongi could hear wind in the background. "I have to go now, baby, I miss you so much. Think of me, okay? Goodbye, Yoongi."

"Bye, Hoseok." Yoongi whispered before the line went dead. 

 

Yoongi cried for no particular reason  throughout the rest of that day. 

~

Hoseok's 6am was Yoongi's 6pm, but his sleep schedule was askew without Hoseok to pull him out of bed in the morning and push him back in at night; and Yoongi found himself drifting off to sleep right as his phone rang. 

Hobi is requesting a video chat

Yoongi jumped up in bed, sitting back on his heels and quickly accepting the call, trying to make his hair look presentable and rub the sleep out of his eyes in the camera while the call connected. Suddenly Hoseok's bright smile filled up the screen, and Yoongi nearly dropped the phone with how happy he was to see him. 

"Hoseok," he croaked, trying to hide a sob building up in his throat. This was ridiculous. He had only been gone 3 days now, and they had this same video chat just the night before. But Yoongi couldn't help the ache in his chest when he instinctively leaned forward to kiss him and belatedly realized he couldn't. 

"I miss you so much," Hoseok whispered, his voice rough with sleep, reaching up to rub behind his neck. He was squatting down in front of his hotel room's desk, his phone propped up against something and his bed rumpled in the background. He wore a plain white t-shirt and plaid flannel pajama pants. 

Yoongi propped his own phone up against a pillow, careful not to shake the bed as he sat back, cross legged. "I miss you too. Did you just wake up?"

"I just woke up," Hoseok confirms, nodding absently as he reaches to pull off his shirt, catching over his head slightly and ruffling his hair when it finally comes off. Hoseok gets down on all fours, crawling under the table. "I thought you could run and grab something to eat and maybe-" he calls out, his voice echoing under the table, and Yoongi cranes his neck, as though a better angle will help him see Hoseok through the camera. Hoseok finally pops back up, ducking back above the table (not without hitting his head at least twice) with a box of Coco Puffs in hand and a smile on his face. "We could have breakfast together?"

Yoongi's cheek ache with his grin and he nods quickly, scrambling off the bed and to the kitchen to get himself a bowl. He pours it full of Captain Crunch and milk and walks slowly back to his bed, holding his bowl in two hands to prevent spilling. Yoongi makes it all the way back to the bedroom, seeing Hoseok on his tiny screen pouring himself a bowl of cereal, before he stops dead, resisting the urge to slap himself in the face as he carefully sets his bowl down on the nightstand, making his way back out of the room. 

"What's wrong?" Hoseok calls, noticing him leaving. 

Yoongi leans back around the door, holding up a single silver utensil. "I got a, uh, a fork."

Hoseok stares blankly, mouthing the words back to him and Yoongi rolls his eyes. "I got a fork for my cereal, instead of a spoon."

Yoongi couldn't help but smile at Hoseok's laughter that rang through the house, even to the kitchen. It had been too long. 

 

Soon Yoongi was back on his bed, a blanket bundled around his shoulders, happily shoveling Captain Crunch in his mouth as Hoseok rambled on about his time in New York, talking about how packed the streets are and the price of food and the jokes his business associates told. Hoseok tells him Namjoon and Jeongguk say hi, and Yoongi smiles, baring his teeth and milk dribbling down his chin. 

After Hoseok finishes his breakfast, he carries his phone into the bathroom, setting it on the counter so Yoongi can listen to him singing in the shower, watch him wash his face and style his hair, chatting amicably as he gets dressed. It's painfully familiar to their morning routine back in Daegu, and if Yoongi lays on his stomach and lets his eyes flutter shut; he can easily pretend that it's early in the morning, that Hoseok is sitting on the edge of his bed, not one in some hotel, pulling on his socks and carefully tying his shoes with deft fingers. By the time Hoseok buttons the wrists of his shirt and slides on his suit jacket, Yoongi is sound asleep, bent over in what must be an uncomfortable position, his hair fanning out around him on a conveniently placed pillow. 

Hoseok sighs, smiling softly as he presses his fingers to his lips, then to the camera. "Goodnight, Yoongi-ah," he whispers, before ending the call. 

"Sweet dreams."

~

The next day Yoongi finds himself at a mid-afternoon showing of some American film with Seokjin and his boyfriend. Yoongi never actually minded that Jimin always tagged along; once you got over the initial shock of Jimin's perpetual handsy-ness and his suspiciously puppy-like demeanor and face, Jimin was one of the most genuine people he had ever met. He insisted on buying extra-buttery popcorn and sitting between the older two so they could all share, although Yoongi suspected that it was really so he could grab both of the boys hands during the scary parts. Yoongi's suspicions were confirmed about halfway through their particularly unscary movie, but he shared a smile with Seokjin and squeezed Jimin's hand back anyway, rubbing circles into the soft skin with his thumb. Jimin was perfect for Seokjin, Yoongi decided. 

They stepped out a few hours later, blinking in the sunlight as they walked back to Seokjin's car, and Yoongi pulled his silenced phone out of his pocket to find that he had missed a text from Hoseok.

"Hobi?" Jimin asked, peeking over the passenger seat, his chin resting on Yoongi's shoulder. Yoongi batted him away, nodding absently as he opened the message. 

Seokjin started the car and pulled on his seat belt, eyeing his mirrors as he backed out of the theater parking lot. "Seatbelt, Jimin-ah. What's it say, Yoongi?"

Yoongi slumped back in his seat, sighing heavily as his head hit his headrest with a loud thunk that Jimin snickered at. He held up his phone, reading aloud in a monotonous tone. 

"Yoongi, I'm getting to sleep early tonight, we won't be able to do our video chat in the morning, I'm so sorry. See. You. Soon."

Yoongi sighed again. He left out the excessive declaration of love at the end and multiple 'I miss you, baby's, but his heart still ached a little at the words he did say out loud. Seokjin shot him a sympathetic glance as he merged into traffic, reaching to pat Yoongi's thigh. "I'm sorry, Yoongi. Do you want to hang out with us the rest of the day?"

Yoongi recognized the sincerity in his voice, but he didn't miss the quiet sigh of relief Jimin let out when he politely declined.  They needed their alone time, and Yoongi couldn't take more than a few hours of social interaction at a time before he became irritable and generally unpleasant to be around. More than usual, anyway, even around his best friends. Hoseok was his exception. 

Jimin leans back into Yoongi's shoulder, his seatbelt stretched across his chest, and Seokjin makes an exasperated noise as he struggles to keep his eyes on the road. "That's not how you use a seatbelt, Jimin."

"Hyung-"

"You've completely defeated the purpose of putting one on."

"But hyung-"

Seokjin snaps his fingers, pushing Jimin's forehead back until he complies. "Sit back in your seat."

Jimin sits back, a cute pout on his face as he kicks Seokjin's seat lightly. "God, Eomma, you never let me have any fun."

"It's only because I wouldn't know what to do with myself if you got hurt while I was driving."

Seokjin's tone is serious, but he smiles softly when Jimin stops kicking at his words. 

"So, hyung," Jimin starts again, fiddling with his seatbelt in his lap, and Yoongi makes a soft noise in the back of his throat. 

"Yes, Jiminie?"

Jimin smiles. "So, um, you and Hobi have been video chatting every morning?"

Yoongi nods. "His morning, my evening. He calls so we can have breakfast together and catch up while he gets dressed for work."

"You watch him get ready for work every morning?" 

Jimin's voice is soft, and Yoongi blushes slightly at the question. He catches himself, looking out the window and nodding casually. "Yeah."

Seokjin breaks out in a massive smile and he and Jimin are perfectly synchronized in their drawn-out 'Awww's filling the car. They really are perfect for each other, Yoongi thinks, blushing harder and burying his face in his hands, and Seokjin laughs. 

"That's so romantic!" Jimin cries, hitting Yoongi's arm. 

"It really is, Yoongi," Seokjin sighs. "You two are lucky to have found each other."

Yoongi sits back in his seat, smiling softly, his cheeks still tinted pink. "I know."

 

They pull up to Yoongi's house ten minutes later, Yoongi saying his goodbye's to Seokjin, thanking him for dragging him out of the house before climbing out of the car, Jimin tumbling after. 

"Hey," he calls, wrapping Yoongi in a bear hug that Yoongi can't help but reciprocate. "Thanks for hanging out, it was really good to see you, hyung."

Yoongi smiles, petting Jimin's hair before pulling back. "Hey, you too, Jiminie."

Jimin beams and presses a quick kiss to Yoongi's check, whispering 'happy early birthday' into his ear before crawling into the front seat next to his boyfriend. Yoongi waves as Seokjin hits Jimin, reprimanding him about his seatbelt, but the moment Yoongi walks back up to his house, he looks out the window and Jimin's seatbelt is already gone, instead crawling into Seokjin's lap, the steering wheel digging into his lower back as he smiles against Seokjin's lips. Yoongi smiles to himself as he walks into the living room, but once again, he's in his house alone, and Hoseok still won't be back for two more days. 

 

Yoongi drags his giant teddy bear into the living room, (not without much difficulty in pushing it through the doorway and the narrow halls) dropping it in front of the TV. He spends the rest of the afternoon laying there, in Hoseok's favorite white hoodie and his boxers, enjoying the warmth from the bear beneath him as he marathons old American melodramas that Hoseok loves so much. He falls asleep at 2 in the morning, losing track of the small yellow subtitles flashing on the bottom of the screen, weaving his fingers into the white fur. 

~

He didn't enjoy missing their video chat. It was the highlight of his day actually, getting to feign some semblance of normalcy for what was going to be 5 days on the other side of the world, without Yoongi. But Hoseok had seen Yoongi just the night before, spooning Captain Crunch into his mouth, droplets of milk on his lips and the corners of his mouth, fiery orange hair sticking up every which way, and he knew that there was no way he could go another three days. 

He worked it out with Namjoon later that morning, finally falling asleep at an hour late enough to worry Yoongi after cramming in as much work as he could to leave Jeongguk with as little make-up as possible. A few short hours later, he was up again, out the door and on a plane, heading home. 

 

"Yoongi-ah?" Hoseok whispered, gently pushing the door shut behind him. "Babydoll?"
He didn't honestly expect him to be up at 6 in the morning, but he knew what Yoongi's sleep schedule was like (or wasn't like) when he was away, and he could see the lights from the TV flashing on the wall in the other room. He toed his shoes off, easing his suit jacket off his shoulders and laying it over the back of a chair in the dining room, setting his keys on the table. Hoseok padded sock-footed to the living room while working the buttons of his dress shirt, undoing the top buttons and pushing his sleeves up to his elbows, stopping short when he saw Yoongi curled up on the bear he got him the week before. 

'It's super cool, Hoseok. If you're like, five,' Hoseok recalls Yoongi saying, and smirks as he kneels down beside him. 

"Baby," he coos, resting a hand on Yoongi's shoulder to push him onto his back, marveling in the little whimper it earns him. Yoongi's lips are slightly parted in his sleep and Hoseok doesn't hesitate to bend down, kissing him awake, and Yoongi moans softly beneath him, eagerly reciprocating until he remembers the circumstances, and Hoseok feels him stiffen beneath him. 

"Hoseok?" Yoongi whispers, and Hoseok smiles against his lips, pressing another kiss there. 

"Yes, baby?"

Yoongi breathes out a sigh of relief and he pulls himself up, pushing Hoseok to sit back on the floor so Yoongi can crawl into his lap and hold him close. Hoseok hands are sliding up the back of his hoodie, gripping his warm waist and Yoongi leans his forehead against the younger's, breath mingling as he tangled his fingers in his hair. 

"You weren't supposed to come home until tomorrow night," Yoongi whispers again, as though if he speaks loud enough he'll wake himself from this dream that he's had every night since Hoseok left; but Hoseok is real, and Hoseok is here, and he holds him a little tighter to remind him of that. 

"I know, baby, I couldn't wait any longer." He whispers back, and Yoongi's hand slide down to his neck, tracing patterns below his jaw. "Is this okay?"

"This is perfect," Yoongi breathes out, breaking the distance to pepper Hoseok's cheeks and eyelids and jawline with kisses for every minute he was gone. Hoseok reaches up, large hands sliding up Yoongi's small forearms to connect with his own hands, intertwining their fingers and pulling his head back only to chase Yoongi's mouth with his own.

"So," Hoseok says after a minute, conversational even as his lips are red and kiss-swollen, chest heaving slightly. "I see you like the bear?"

Yoongi giggles, some would say uncharacteristically, but like he only does when he's with Hoseok. He buries his head in Hoseok's neck, shyly peeking back at the bear. He nods, even though Hoseok can't see him, but Hoseok's fingers are tangling in his hair and he knows he can feel him shaking his head against his neck. "I've named him Suga," he says softly, and grins widely when he feels the rumble of Hoseok's laugh against his cheek. 

"I like it," Hoseok says finally, pressing a kiss to the top of Yoongi's hair. "Suga Bear it is."
Yoongi leans up for a kiss and Hoseok obliges, pulling back a moment later to study his face and he brings a hand up to cup his cheek. 

"Never again," Hoseok chuckles, stroking his thumb against Yoongi's smooth skin. "I missed you too much."
"Did you sleep on the plane?" Yoongi asks, leaning into the touch. 

Hoseok frowns. "No," he says softly, finally. "I spent too many night sleeping alone. I've been saving my sleep," he pauses, leaning in to kiss Yoongi in between each word. "to share with you."

Yoongi nods, grunting in response, and Hoseok smiles. Contentment disguised as indifference. Happiness, love, the feeling of safety and security. Hoseok can read him like a book. 

 

Hoseok carries him back to their room, (after prying him off the teddy bear) lying back on the bed and holding the sheets up for Yoongi to crawl in, too, settling himself on top of Hoseok with his legs falling on either side of the younger, his head nestled comfortably on his chest, and Hoseok's thumb resting in the wet heat of his mouth. He could lay for hours like that, Hoseok decides, sleep weighing down his own eyelids a few minutes after Yoongi had fallen asleep, carding his fingers through the curls Yoongi had let grow out while he was gone. 

The rest of Yoongi's birthday was spent sleeping; but he slept next to his favorite person in the world, fingers tangled around each other and love hanging heavy in the air, and Yoongi wouldn't have spent it any other way.