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A 💋 : On A Place Of Insecurity

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yoongi sat hunched over on the edge of his cot in the infirmary, bruised knees and scratched-up legs dangling over the sides as he swung them gently to the tune of the beat stuck in his head. he'd heard namjoon humming it to himself the morning yoongi left for his latest quest—thanks to the empathy link chiron had them instil during their quest with a few hephaestus kids last autumn it had been stuck in yoongi's head ever since. was driving him nuts, to tell you the truth. almost a week straight of the same tinkling piano, but at least it kept him occupied in his down time between ambushes of empousai and dracaena on his trail. he had even written a couple of lyrics to go with the tune and was already itching to share them once his wounds were dealt with.

his aviator's jacket was coated in grime of unspeakable origin (mostly because he didn't want to think about where it had come from, given the week he'd just had). his orange camp t-shirt was torn and shredded beyond the state of repair (which wasn't the worst thing in his righteous opinion as he hated having to wear it in the first place) and showed off countless scratches and grazes littering his exposed skin. it was even paler than usual thanks to his lack of energy after his long-distance travels, which only made the angry red borders of his injuries look that much worse. as things stood, he'd had worse injuries falling out of thalia's pine tree on half-blood hill, though that may well have been down to the dragon he landed on top of—and woke up in the process of falling on top of.

you know, this was probably why peleus always huffed smoke in his face whenever yoongi was close enough.

the cool evening breeze made yoongi shiver the longer he was sat waiting. that was his own fault, though, for insisting on being treated by hoseok. not that anyone was surprised, especially when jimin had wandered over and instantly thought better of it. he offered a simple look saying he already knew yoongi wasn't interested in seeing him and he would go and look for his brother instead.

that had been almost fifteen minutes ago but yoongi knew how busy his boyfriend was lately, what with training, leading the infirmary and his role as head counsellor of his father's cabin, so yoongi was more than happy to wait no matter how long it took. none of his injuries were serious enough to need urgent attention—not this time, although even he had to admit the aches and pains couldn't just be brushed off this time. even if he decided to ditch the infirmary, the only other place he'd go was to find namjoon, and as yet another son of apollo, he'd only drag yoongi right back and put him in bed himself. and that was coming from experience.

 

"what's the line, 'doctor's orders'? you know the rules, yoongi."

"you're not even a camp doctor!"

"no. but your boyfriend is, and he'd break every one of his healer oaths to murder me
if he found out i'd let you wander around in this state."

"i thought we were friends, kim namjoon. we share a link! we're empath bros!"

"and hoseok and i share a parent. not to mention a cabin. come on, off to the infirmary."

 

that being said. . . if yoongi had known the intense lecture he would get when said boyfriend arrived (which, really, at this point he should well have), he would have been happy to wait for even longer, the cold weather be damned.

it started with a fierce smack across the back of the head that quite literally knocked yoongi out of his latest daydream. but instead of the skeletal butterflies he was used to pounding at his insides whenever hoseok was around, he felt his stomach drop all the way to tartarus when he saw the angry look on hoseok's face.

again—he should have seen this coming.

"are you out of your mind, min yoongi?!" hoseok squawked, grabbing his patient's right leg and inspecting the bright red gashes where his jeans had also ripped into tassels during one tumble or another. frankly, yoongi had lost count within the first few days. but he knew the scuffs and scrapes weren't what he was being berated for. not this time. he knew hoseok was the one who found him when he made it back to camp.

"i missed you too, sunshine," yoongi said, his smile saccharine sweet. it usually worked at distracting. . .well, anyone actually. especially his boyfriend.

"don't you sunshine me, death boy!"

"would you rather significant annoyance?"

"only if i get to call it you for a change!" hoseok buried his face in his hands and took a deep breath. "do you have any idea what you put me through this week? and then—then finding you like—like that. . ."

before yoongi could so much as conjure a response he was met with another smack to the back of the head. then a pair of arms flung around his neck. he pretended the pressure of hoseok pressed flush against his chest didn't sting and patted the healer's back in his own form of comfort.

"you're gonna be the death of me one day, yoongi. then what will you do?"

"then i'll drag you back out of the underworld myself." hoseok took a step back and cocked his head. "in case you didn't know, i'm pretty familiar with the guy in charge. and now my quest is done he owes me a huge favour, so i know he'd do it."

hoseok closed his eyes, a tear slipping from the both, though the tiniest, saddest smile tugged at his lips. he blindly cupped yoongi's face, thumb rubbing across the split in his lip until it was tingling, hoseok's power repairing the wound.

with a quivering voice he whispered, "and what am i supposed to do when your stupidity ends up being the death of you?"

 

✨ 🖤 ✨ ❤️ ✨

 

yoongi found hoseok later that night, barely a mark on his body now. if the camp didn't already know they never would have guessed he'd spent the last week on a job for his father, battling monster after demon and every other hideous creature your mind could imagine. and that was just his relatives. he felt better in himself, though he knew that had less to do with hoseok's power and more about seeing the man himself again.

the healer was currently sat atop zeus' fist talking to chiron, but yoongi knew better than to get close enough to eavesdrop. it was some sort of unwritten rule that talks with their camp leader deserved the most privacy. there was that, but hoseok was a very open person—if he wanted people to know his business then he had no qualms about sharing it. anything he didn't share meant it was extremely personal. even if it meant he was left worried, yoongi was the last person who would break that confidence. they joked and squabbled and spent their time throwing banter back and forth, but at the end of the day yoongi truly loved his boyfriend. he knew better than anyone how hard it was to build trust with people, so he would never do anything to risk hoseok losing trust in him.

the talk went on for a while. yoongi stopped paying attention to them in the end and sat beside the river, deciding to focus on using the sturdiest twig he could find within reaching distance to scratch into the mud. before he knew it, he was scratching out extra work into the lyrics he'd written for namjoon's melody, further adding to what he already had.

yoongi contemplated finally going to find the poet instead so they could talk about this themselves and hoseok could have some peace. yoongi knew he stressed the guy out, more than he did anything else, so hoseok could probably use some time alone to recharge after his earlier upset. if he was talking this much with chiron, something was definitely bothering him. yoongi didn't want to be even more of a bother. to anyone else he didn't care, but not to—

"and here was me thinking music was my dad's thing, not yours."

yoongi startled and dropped his stick, but every stinging jolt of nerves and fear melted away when hoseok began to sing the words scrawled into the ground around them.

"so say what you wanted to say or walk if you're walking away. it's so loud and clear in the message i hear when you stay. just say nothing, 'cause nothing compares to knowing you're there, love speaks louder than words. there's no love-back guarantee, there's no contract between you and me. what we have is unspoken, it cannot be broken, you'll see. . . well, isn't that sappy of you?"

"it's namjoon's thing! for—for namjoon! some project!" the elder squawked as he desperately tried to scribble the words out, despite it being far too late. he was never going to hear the end of this, not once the others found out. at least namjoon knew how to keep a secret—something his older brother had never done for a day in his life, especially when it came to yoongi's soft side.

"it's cute," hoseok chuckled, and let out a sigh as he sat down and linked both of his arms with yoongi's. "how come you're sat over here? you normally hate the water."

yoongi shrugged. "you know me."

"exactly. so. . .i repeat, why are you over here?"

right. the water.

"can't a guy try something new once in a while?"

the smile on hoseok's fell, his mouth forming a firm straight line. his eyes suddenly appeared more focused and his forehead set with a pinch to his brows.

"of course. and, err, speaking of new. . . i—i've been thinking and. . .i'm gonna stay here after summer."

yoongi almost got whiplash from the speed he turned around. hoseok had never not gone back to his mum once camp season was over before. given how often she was away on tour, and he already spent the summers and winters here, time with his mum was precious. the most precious, most important thing in his life, that was what he always said to people. so. . .what was going on now?

"seok?"

"if i can't fight in battles, which we all know is never going to happen and i'm not dumb enough to delude myself otherwise, then i need to be better at what i can do." the sternness in his face was matched in his tone of voice. yoongi hated how resigned that look was. "i know we have the ambrosia, and it's great, but we are still limited in what we can take, and i need to be able to help people."

"hoseok, you do—"

"you were so weak when i found you this morning. i didn't even think i had time to go back for. . . b—but it took me s—so long to be able to just get you to open your eyes, a—and i was so exhausted from just that—" his voice cracked and his resolve broke down more and more as his earlier tears returned. hoseok had never been very good at hiding his emotions. no one had been able to figure out what his fatal flaw really was, but if yoongi had to guess, he'd bet all his father's drachma on it being how hoseok constantly wore his heart on his sleeve, regardless of how hard he tried to live otherwise.

"i need to do better." yoongi realised now the other's focus was fixed on his quivering hands held in front of him as he clenched them into fists so tight the tanned skin turned almost as white as yoongi's. "i need to be better."

"seokseok, listen to me," yoongi said, surprising himself with the intense edge to his voice. "you are the best healer in this camp. this camp is still here because of you!"

"that's rubbish and we both know it."

"no, it's the truth. and i'm gonna tell you why and you're gonna listen until you get it. in the battle of manhattan, who's the one that saved chase's life?"

"what does that have to do with anything?"

"answer the question."

hoseok sighed, eyes still glued to his hands. "me."

"exactly. you did that. do you think we could have won against kronos without her? she was the one who was able to get through to castellan and get him to see sense and stop. to do the right thing. if she didn't survive, if you didn't save her, we would've all been doomed. we'd all be goners." yoongi grabbed hoseok's hands and held them tightly enough to offer reassurance but not enough to have hurt. "you did that."

"anyone could have. i was just the person they got to do the job 'cause i was closest."

"because you're the best." yoongi brought the hands to his face and slowly kissed each knuckle. "i didn't even know you back then but i knew there was no way they would let just anyone treat someone as important as chase. she had to survive, so they got someone special they knew could make sure of it." he lifted hoseok's hands and kissed circles around his wrists, ending each ring at the joint bone. "you're magic."

"yoongi. . ." hoseok barely spoke loud enough even for the wind spirits to hear him, but yoongi did. he heard because he was always listening.

"i'm so sorry, sunshine. i'm sorry for not taking better care of myself and for scaring you today and every other time and for disobeying doctor's orders. if you want to stay and work on exploring and improving your powers, then great, that's great. i'll make sure to come visit all the time. but please, don't give up time with your mum because you think you aren't already the best healer this dumb camp has ever had!"

yoongi noticed the hesitation take over, watched hoseok's limbs twitching like he was going to do something but was afraid to. his mouth kept opening, just slightly, and would close again just as quickly. yoongi hated it—the indecisiveness.

it felt like déjà vu, in the end, the way hoseok flung his arms around yoongi's neck. this time, though, he had no interest in gentle pats or careful touches. he clung on with as much strength as he could muster and buried his face into hoseok's shoulder. they clung on to one another like the ground was about to open up and suck them down to the underworld, and if one of them had to go then they'd go together. that would still be okay though, because yoongi knew the guy in charge.

they stayed there, holding on to one another and whispering soft affirmations back and forth, until someone hollered over to them that it was almost time for dinner.

"i really missed you this week," hoseok said as they walked over, hand in hand, to the dining pavilion. "hades sucked at updating me on how you were. i must have used twenty drachmas at least on iris messages."

yoongi had to laugh. if he didn't he'd cry. "i missed you, too. but i'm home now."

hoseok let out a laugh as well, only his was more watery to match the wobble of his bottom lip. "home, huh? you hate it here."

"i said i'm home. i never said i meant camp."

the words were never explicitly uttered but they both knew the implication. they knew and clutched the truth between their hearts and their entwined hands as yoongi, for extra proof, lifted up hoseok's hand and kissed the back of it one more time.

i'm home now.

we're together now.