hoseok meets yoongi at the end of his freshman year, when he decides he hates the offered dormitories and wants to spend the rest of his college years using the meager income he makes cleaning up tables in a restaurant just off campus to pay rent. the putting-all-his-money-towards-a-shitty-apartment part isn’t appealing, but a single bedroom with his own bathroom is worth it.
of course, being a college sophomore, finding an affordable apartment when you have to walk to your classes and your crappy job as a bus boy just to make a couple hundred bucks a week is harder than it should be.
luckily, yoongi is a little desperate for a roommate and seems to like hoseok as much as he seems to like anything.
yoongi stops just short of a legitimate contract, forcing hoseok to make all kinds of promises about cleanliness and being quiet during the day because he tends to nap between classes and something about never disturbing him while he’s working (hoseok breaks this one his fourth day, sneaking up on yoongi while he’s sitting at his make-shift office that consists of a desk in the corner with a sheet tacked into the ceiling and more monitors than hoseok believes could ever be necessary. the promise isn’t broken intentionally, but, hoseok’s forgetful and a bit of a worrier and he sat on the couch watching yoongi working diligently without a break for too many hours and wanted to find out if his roommate had eaten. he hears later from yoongi’s friend namjoon that yoongi, though he’d never show his gratitude, was thankful for the reminder. afterwards, hoseok develops the habit of checking in on yoongi’s meal status when he comes home and rule number twelve is more or less forgotten.) and institutes a trial run that involves hoseok living with him for a full month with the constant threat of his immediate removal if he’s found breaking any of yoongi’s too-long list of demands.
hoseok breaks seventeen of the twenty one within three weeks. his eviction never comes.
despite his reservations about the new home when his first meeting with yoongi involved a shocking amount of glaring, literally twenty one mildly obnoxious rules that all benefitted yoongi exclusively, and the fact that he was told he’d probably be kicked out, yoongi asks only that hoseok share some of the bills and grocery costs due to the fact that his parents paid the full rent and hoseok needs housing more than he needed a friendly roomie.
still, when yoongi asks him at the end of his second school year if he’d like the stay through the summer and the following year, yoongi’s senior year, hoseok doesn’t hesitate. he may have the worst first impression in human history, but, yoongi is pretty quiet and the rent is low and he’s funny and sometimes his headphones pull out when he’s rocking to a beat at his desk and he’ll leave them out long enough for hoseok to hear a sample of an impressively produced track and if hoseok falls asleep on the couch he always wakes up with a pillow beneath his head and a blanket over his body, even if he didn’t begin that way and on the nights when yoongi sneaks out at three a.m for a late dinner, hoseok will wake up to a breakfast yoongi bought him while out.
hoseok’s not sure exactly when his crush began. the infatuation isn’t a split second decision, a moment of clarity where he thinks to himself, i would like something more than friendship with yoongi, but a gradual development of feelings that comes through late talks on nights when yoongi has too much on his mind and the raw beats he produces in his free time aren’t enough to explain the emotions and hours of watching yoongi put his whole heart into his creations on the nights when they are. it’s months of jokes and kind, silent, secret gestures that hoseok doesn’t mention because it’s easier to let yoongi pretend that nothing really matters to him than it is to bring up how much he actually cares. it’s yoongi stumbling out of bed in only boxers to get coffee before his five p.m. class with his hair sticking up in all directions, scrubbing his hand across sleepy eyes and that overwhelming affection deep in your heart telling you it’s the cutest sight you’ve ever seen. it’s two years of sharing a space with someone accidentally letting you in, allowing you get to know them piece by piece when they so clearly want everyone else firmly on the other side of their walls.
it’s a slow build of feeling and when hoseok finally names it ‘love’, it feels like nothing new. it feels as if he’s loved yoongi his entire life.
he doesn’t plan to kiss yoongi. there’s no premeditation. hoseok never thinks, it’s time to tell yoongi, it’s time to share with him these feelings that i’ve had for years, the ones that have been growing and growing unavoidably as we continue to live together, as hoseok nears graduation and yoongi has been done with schooling for nearly a full year.
he doesn’t plan to kiss yoongi, but yoongi is sitting right next to him, the two of them squeezed together onto one cushion while there is enough room for two people more people to fit on either side of them (hoseok sat down first, yoongi chose to sit as close to him as physically possible).
he doesn’t plan to kiss yoongi, but yoongi nudges him in the ribs with his elbow and tilts his phone towards hoseok. “hey, look at this,” yoongi demands, voice low, his mouth inches from hoseok’s ear, “it reminds me of you.” hoseok’s temporary burst of pleasure at being thought of is quickly burnt through by fury when he sees a meme of a horse on the small screen.
hoseok wants to complain, but, his disgusted expression makes yoongi laugh so brightly, an unusual action for the older boy. his smile is wide and his eyes are alight with a humor that hoseok sees so infrequently, even with all the times he tried so desperately to cause it. hoseok knows that he’s being laughed at, that yoongi is teasing him, but he’s so happy, hoseok can’t find it in him to be angry. the explosion of affection he feels, watching yoongi giggle at his expense, is too big and too bright and it clouds hoseok’s mind and judgment and before he can stop himself, he’s silencing yoongi’s laughter with his lips.
yoongi’s mouth is soft.
yoongi’s mouth is so soft and he presses back into hoseok with hesitance, and if hoseok wasn’t so distracted by the feeling he would notice yoongi’s hand falling onto his knee.
yoongi’s mouth is soft and yoongi is melting into him, actively keeping the kiss that hoseok so impulsively began going. it feels like hoseok’s on cloud nine but, heaven never lasts.
yoongi jumps back just as quickly as hoseok had jumped forward, and those soft lips are held in a tight, thin line and his eyes offer a new range of emotions, none of them positive.
“i don’t want to fuck you,” yoongi says, with something akin to betrayal painting his tone harsh.
hoseok’s too disoriented to reply.
by the time he’s ready to, yoongi is gone.
hoseok trips over himself sprinting to the door when he hears a key in the lock three days after his unwanted kiss and he’s scrambling to his feet when it swings open to reveal yoongi.
“i’m sorry,” the words erupt out of hoseok like a volcano, too loud and dripping with regret. he makes so much noise, apologizing, he doesn’t hear yoongi mumble the same phrase.
yoongi is still standing in the doorway, focusing on his shoes, and after hoseok repeats himself three times in a row, yoongi says, “i’m sorry.”
hoseok asks, “what for?” because he knows that he was in the wrong, but yoongi shrugs uncomfortably and shuffles past him to retreat to his bedroom.
the explanation comes hours later, after hoseok has sat through two classes with nothing on his mind but yoongi’s mumbled, undeserved apology. he’s stretched out on the couch, staring at the black television screen when yoongi emerges from his room. without looking at hoseok, yoongi crosses the living room to his ‘office’ and settles into his chair but doesn’t touch his mouse or boot up any of his technology. hoseok expects, with the tension between them, that yoongi will close the homemade wall to block hoseok out from his work, something that he hasn’t done since hoseok was still a sophomore. he doesn’t, though, he just sits. they both wait, silently, and hoseok thinks about apologizing, again, but yoongi hadn’t seemed to care the first four times.
“i like you,” yoongi says, suddenly, facing his blank monitors. for a second, hoseok thinks maybe he’s talking to his recording equipment. it would be out of character, but, to hoseok it seems more likely than the possibility of yoongi liking him. and then, yoongi glances over his shoulder to see hoseok’s reaction and hoseok’s heart rate shoots sky high.
yoongi turns away, again, before he speaks, “i like you, but i don’t want to fuck you.”
“i never said i wanted to fuck you,” it spills out of hoseok without thought, surprising him almost as much as it does yoongi, who visibly startles and whirls around in his chair, showing his shocked expression. hoseok throws his legs off the edge of the couch, the momentum pulling the rest of his body up until he’s perched on its side, leaning forward so yoongi can see how serious he is, “i just kissed you.”
“people only kiss me when they want to fuck me,” yoongi replies, as if it’s obvious, and the idea that yoongi has only been given affection in exchange for sexual favors makes hoseok’s chest ache painfully, “people kiss me when they want something, and i never want it back, and if i don’t stop them in time, i end up with it anyways.”
“i didn’t kiss you because i wanted to fuck you,” hoseok explains, calmer this time, “i kissed you because i like you,” hoseok pauses for a second, then amends, “i like you, too.”
“i’m asexual,” yoongi sounds as if he’s giving a warning, and hoseok wants to know exactly who convinced him that it was something to be cautious of.
“okay,” hoseok replies, uncaring. yoongi’s eyes widen further, his surprise increasing.
“i’ll never want to fuck you, even if i like you,” pressing on, yoongi watches hoseok from across the room. hoseok shrugs.
“i don’t have to fuck you. i just like you, a lot,” the word ‘love’ sits on the tip of his tongue, nearly slipping off with his confession, but hoseok swallows it back to save for a later date, “i just want to spend time with you.”
“that’s all?” yoongi asks, displaying an obvious vulnerability that hoseok never expected he’d have, let alone show.
“that’s all,” hoseok promises.
yoongi nods, offering a rare, shy, pleased smile.
hoseok’s returning grin is blinding.
it takes a while to settle into their new dynamic. hoseok is terrified of overstepping his boundaries, which leads to him, mostly, keeping his hands and emotions completely to himself.
he lets yoongi take charge. yoongi will hold hoseok’s hand under the table when they’re out with their old college buddies (hoseok constantly points out that there’s no reason to act like an old man, calling them old college buddies, there’s no need to reminisce about the ‘old days’ when they happened barely two years earlier. yoongi tells hoseok he’ll understand when he’s yoongi’s age) and he’ll plant his head or feet or entire body in hoseok’s lap any time hoseok is idle on the couch, and he’ll dot soft kisses across hoseok’s cheeks and jaws and peck his lips and sometimes he’ll even pull hoseok in for deep, slow kisses that seem to make the world stop turning for as long as they last. he’ll wander into hoseok’s room after work or when tweaking a difficult track and push himself into the taller man’s chest with a quiet demand to be hugged and hoseok will, always hesitantly, fulfill the request with a gentle embrace of his arms strictly around yoongi’s shoulders and refrain from the urge to kiss the top of yoongi’s head. not because it makes him feel short, hoseok loves to tease yoongi about his height, but because he is too scared of pushing yoongi into something he’s uncomfortable with.
it causes a dangerous cycle. hoseok is afraid to offer any form of physical affection without yoongi instigating, yoongi becomes insecure about their relationship, yoongi pulls away due to doubt, hoseok starts to wonder if yoongi’s lost interest. somewhere along the line, hoseok will do something that reiterates his feelings for yoongi accidentally, and yoongi will regain confidence and his frequent touching, which then reassures hoseok. hoseok, reassured that yoongi adores him, remains nervous that he’s going to push too far and destroy that. thus, it begins again.
after four months, it reaches the breaking point.
“fuck, do you even like me?” the question alarms hoseok. his hand, hovering just above yoongi’s shoulder after yoongi shoved himself into the narrow space between the arm of the couch and hoseok’s body, drops onto yoongi’s chest and hoseok pulls it away like he’s been burnt. it doesn’t help his cause, “see? that! what is that?”
“i just,” hoseok mutters, embarrassed, “i just don’t know what’s okay.”
“oh my god,” yoongi smacks him, lightly, on the hip, “you idiot.”
“hey,” hoseok protests, offended. he wants to argue his idiocy, but, yoongi keeps talking.
“i just don’t want to have sex,” he’s clearly exasperated, but hoseok can see hints of a smile, “it doesn’t mean you can never touch me ever.”
“really?” hoseok is less surprised to get the you’re-ridiculous-and-dumb-what-am-i-doing-with-you glare this time.
“yeah,” yoongi shrugs, “just, you know, don’t touch my dick. keep yours away from me. if you do anything i don’t like, i’ll tell you, or, i don’t know, ask.”
“can i kiss you?”
min yoongi is the only person hoseok has ever known who can sound so indifferent while simultaneously looking so hopeful, “if you want.”
hoseok wants. he really wants.
by their eighth month together, boundaries aren’t an issue. there is a mutual understanding of personal space. yoongi can invade hoseok’s freely unless he’s had a bad day at work, at which point he’ll prefer only that yoongi run his fingers through his hair and nothing else. hoseok has free reign above the belt and below the knee, unless he’s mixing at his computer.
hoseok doesn’t like to talk about the past, he prefers to imagine bright futures rather than dwell on events that can’t be changed. yoongi avoids talking about the ‘old days’ outside of vague jokes. yoongi doesn’t not like to talk about himself, but he hates prying. hoseok learns, quickly, the way he’ll sigh, different from when he’s annoyed or the i-should-be-bothered-but-you’re-kind-of-adorable one that hoseok causes frequently, when there’s something he wants to say. if hoseok stays quiet enough, it will all spill out. at the end of his honesty, yoongi will like to cuddle, his head on hoseok’s chest, and quietly thank him for existing before he goes back to pretending that he doesn’t need anyone.
eventually, hoseok’s room becomes a shared space. yoongi enjoys snuggling, but sometimes it’s too much for him. most nights, yoongi will stay next to hoseok, petting his boyfriend softly the way he loves in the moments he can’t sleep. on rare nights where hoseok will curl up around his back and get a little too handsy in his sleep, yoongi will slip out of his grasp to sleep elsewhere, but he never faults hoseok for his behavior.
when boundary issues do arise, as rarely as they do after so much time was spent learning each other, hoseok treats yoongi with a respect that he’s never received before. when the issues are on hoseok’s side, though even more uncommon, yoongi offers him the same.
most people don’t understand the relationship. in a world where sex is key, people can’t believe hoseok is willing to give it up for someone, especially someone like yoongi.
hoseok tells them all the same thing.
he doesn’t care about sex. he loves yoongi. he just wants to spend time with him.