The doors of the fancy elevator slide open.
A woman around sixties enters the squared space, a tiny dog buried in her purse and a fur thrown on that shines under the yellow light. Her hair is white as snow and she wears make-up that doesn't suit her age, bright pink lipstick enhancing every wrinkle of her old dry lips. The foundation seems to have made its way into every line of her face, giving the impression of a mask more than a person.
She doesn't greet the guy standing in the elevator, but just walks inside with the clicking sound of her high-heels.
“What floor?” A deep voice painted with sleep and annoyance grunts from the throat of the tall, blond man guarding the elevator.
The lady scrunches her nose at the really not polite words that were aimed to her and side-eyes him. The dog – an ugly, mouse-like one, growls and she doesn't bother shush him.
“24th,” she says deadpan, quickly taking her stare off him.
The boy is leaned back on one of the walls, hands tucked deep in his pockets, the classy blue and gold uniform a little too messy for a five stars hotel. He stands up straight slowly, towering over the lady with his full height. A smirk paints his lips as he presses the requested floor.
“As you please, Miss,” and he gives in a mocking bow. The woman shuffles away from him, wrapping herself even more in her god-knows-how-expensive fur, patting the horrible rat in her purse.
When the sound of the elevator goes off and the doors open again at the 24th floor, the obnoxious lady steps out and looks at the boy, still standing near the doors. The woman gives him an irritate look.
“What?” He goes, trying to prevent himself from yawning but failing. “Oh right! Yeah sure, goodnight young lady, hope you had a great ride” and he almost presses his long finger on the -Hall- button, but he stops right before, adding: “Even though I know you'd like to ride me, instead of this thing,” he gestures at the inside of the lift, keeping his eyes locked with the woman's. He grins widely, letting his charming dimples sink in his cheeks. The lady drops her jaw and a chocked sound leaves her throat.
The blond man takes two fingers to his forehead and gestures a goodbye, moving his hand away from his face. The doors close on his cocky smile, and he finally gets back to his previous position.
“What a pain in the ass,” he sighs heavily, puffing out a deep breath. He grips his hands at the golden bar behind him, back leaning on the wall and allowing his long legs a moment of relief. He crosses one feet on top of the other and rolls his neck, feeling it aching a little, and takes one hand to rub at his nape. Then, he looks at his wristwatch to see it was almost 4 am.
His eyes widen and he shuffle in his position, thrilled and nervous, and goes to stand up straight again. But he forgets his feet are crossed and trips, almost knocking his head on the doors.
“Aish!” He hisses, brushing his hair away from his face. He checks himself in the mirror, a brow arching and tongue licking his lips. His dark-blond hair sticks in every possible direction, but the uniform gives him a strong look – even though a little crumpled, enhancing his wide, square shoulders and his broad chest, along with his long legs and his overall slim figure.
“Not that bad,” a murmur leaves his lips and he's finally in the Hall, doors sliding open.
His eyes go to the big Art Nouveau-y clock standing above the red and gold and blue room, a big burgundy couch welcoming the guests placed on the left of the entrance while the counter is on the right, fine italian marble shining bright under the soft lights.
The night concierge is busy with some papers and doesn't even notice how the liftboy got incredibly aware, sleep a long lost memory.
It's not as the blond likes working the night shift at this shitty, full of the entirety of Soul's pompous elite hotel. He took the job because the pay was ridiculously high and he needed the money. But, after a week or two in which he became quite comfortable with the job, he discovered one or two reasons more that proved him he made the right choice.
Or maybe just one, really good reason that made him forget the endless, boring nights spent alone between that four walls, going up and down with the only company of his phone and occasional guests, playing random games with himself (“Ok, now: what floor are we at? Mh, it does smell like 12, right? Oooh Joonie you're so good at this – shit, how sad am I) and making faces to the concierge when he wasn't looking. Or when he was, he didn't really care.
He feels his heart pounding at a faster pace as the clock strikes 4 am. His eyes go quickly to the big glass entrance door, waiting.
Four and two minutes.
Four and three minutes.
Four and seven minutes.
Oh, come on!
At four and eleven, someone finally pushes the door open and yes, goddammit! it's him.
A man, not as tall as him but still pretty tall, walks his way past the lobby, ignoring the concierge who was ignoring him back. He has a leather motorcycle suit on, red, white and black, complementary boots and a helmet hanging from his right arm. His short black hair are messier than ever and there's a slight film of sweat on his otherwise perfect skin.
The boy takes off his gloves and tucks them in his backpack, then brushes his hair away, trying to put it in shape. He sighs, well aware this was a pointless try and just messes it up even more with both his hands, a breathy “whatever” leaving his lips.
He stops right in front of the elevator, doors open. The bright neon engulfs the figure of the boy entirely, tinging his face with an ugly shade that doesn't suit his fine traits. His eyes shut closed for a second, unused to the clarity of the place and Namjoon quickly reaches to his left, calibrating the intensity of the light.
“Thank you,” the guest smiles faintly, and as fast as his lips curved, they unwrap in their usual shape. Namjoon quirks his own lips to the side in a vague attempt of a warm smile, but he's starting to feel his palm sweating and his cheeks are somewhat hotter than he remembered them being.
What the fuck was that Namjoon, “my pleasure”... now he must think you're a weirdo of some kind.
“56, am I right?” He asks, biting on his tongue while trying to play it cool.
“Uh, 56?” The other one says as he was questioning the blond back, picking at his phone to confirm his statement, “Yes, 56,” he nods.
Namjoon cocks his head to look at the buttons and as he presses the floor requested, he slightly shakes his head in amusement: the man has been coming here for at least one month and a half and still he doesn't remember where his room was.
The ride to the fifty-six floor is about 4 minutes – 6 to 7 when Namjoon really tries hard and pretends someone called the elevator at, let's say, “14th? No? No one? I was sure though” and then again maybe at 32 or 35 depending on his mood. But he does change them frequently so it doesn't stick out too much that he's just trying to extend the time he gets to spend with the guy.
Today his night's friend doesn't really seem in the mood for any kind of delay, though.
The blond's noticed it the moment the other stepped into the building: usually he would greet him with a big smile, eyes disappearing into crescents, a smile Namjoon has grown fond of and was now his reward for all the pretentious people he has to cope with all night. So he doesn't stop at the common two, three unnecessary floors but goes straight up to 56, no question asked.
He had glued himself to one corner of the elevator, his gaze dropped to his not-so-shiny lace-up shoes, peeking at the boy every now and then.
He likes how his lips are shaped in a flawless heart, his cupid-bow perfectly drawn, as if it was an exercise of style by some painters or something. Not that he was an artsy weirdo, he's way better with math and scientific stuff and doesn't really get what's so special about art anyway. He just... happens to like beautiful things like guys in biker suits who rides elevators at four in the morning.
He peeks at him one more time and lets his eyes roam on the other's face, careful not to get caught, and appreciates the sharpness of his jawline and how pronounced his cheekbones are. His nose, long and straight, a little pointy at the end – the cutest. Namjoon thinks how it must feel to place little kisses right over the tip of it, then maybe a little lick, tongue tracing the path to that oh, so lovely cupid-bow and then...
“What are you looking at?” Said boy asks all of a sudden.
Namjoon pops his eyes out and drops his jaw, snapping out of his waking dream and almost falling. He holds onto the golden bars tightly and keeps himself up.
“Oh, uhm, no-nothing,” he stutters, biting his lower lip and cursing himself for staring so intently at a guy he doesn't even know. The black haired one arches a brow in Namjoon's direction and goes back to his phone, but shoves it into his backpack soon after, harshly.
“Fuck this shit,” he hisses between his teeth, eyes shutting closed for the second time that night. His brows are farrowed, and his lips are in a serious pout. He didn't mean for the liftboy to listen, but the other is there, sharing the same tiny space with him and of course Namjoon heard.
“Something bad?” He dares to ask, hardly moving any muscle except his eyes, now placed back – but timidly, on the other.
“Sort of,” the other answers absent-mindedly, lightly kicking the backpack placed in front of him.
The blond doesn't really know what to say. He just nods and goes back to stare at his shoes. If only he was good at talking people through their problems...
“It's just,” the boy next to him drops his back to the wall, a screech coming from the contact between the red surface and his jacket's fabric, “why is it so fucking hard.”
The end of the sentence comes out no louder than a whisper, as if it was aimed to a ghost more than an actual person. Namjoon feels he doesn't belong there anymore, like he was somehow invading his personal space, a space he was allowed to just because after midnight, people are not rational anymore and they tend to overreact and be emotional and forget about social rules. After midnight, a liftboy can become your best friend. He himself had experienced similar situations more than once, but it doesn't match him very well, being the much logic, cold personality he was.
“I-” he finally speaks up, turning to look at his lift-mate, just to find him staring frozen at his backpack, eyelashes trembling softly.
Time's up, Namjoon hears a voice at the back of his head saying.
The boy rises up, collecting his bag.
“Uh... thanks.” He says mid-voice as he exits the four walls, not making eye contact.
“Do you... need anything?” Namjoon asks, his knuckles turning white from the strong grip on the bar. He quickly glares at him and stares for a little longer than intended, concerned.
The guy shakes his head slowly, lifting it up to look at the blond right into his eyes.
“No worries,” he smiles, a mixture of different feelings dancing over his lips, somewhere between nostalgia and sadness. Namjoon flashes him his dimples, stretching his lips in a little shy grin, and gives him a tiny bow with just his head.
“Good night,” he says, while the other turns his back to him walking his way in the hallway, and he pushes the Hall button for the hundredth time that night, sighing and breaking eye contact.
When the doors are closing on Namjoon's figure, the guy spins abruptly on his heels to face the elevator again and reaches out a hand, as if he wanted to grab something and stops mid-air, mouth hanging open in an attempt to speak to the liftboy, a breath stopped halfway in his throat.
But the doors are closing on the tall guy, his blue uniform disappearing behind a flash of gold metal.
And Namjoon misses it.
/ / /
Namjoon's shift starts at 11.30 pm.
He arrives at the hotel at 11.
He crosses the Hall and motions a hello to the night concierge, who starts thirty minutes before him.
He has to walk past the elevator and reach for a tiny aisle at the back of the counter, turn left, right and then go down a flight of stairs, where the changing rooms for all the hotel's employees are.
He strips out of his jeans and tee and shoves all in his locker. He frees his hair from the hat of today's choice and throws it with the other clothes. He stuffs his headphones in his bag and piles it over everything and he can almost hear his mom complaining about his total lack of order. Snorting and rolling his eyes, he slams the door to his locker a bit too hard and bites on his lips, waiting for someone to yell. When it doesn't happen, he takes his uniform and, boxers being his only piece of clothes along with socks, he walks to the mirror and starts fastening the buttons to his white shirt. Blue pants are second, and he tucks the hem of the shirt inside. Then, he lets the blazer slide on his torso and ties the shiny golden studs upon his chest. He pats the uniform to remove any dust and smirks at his own reflection.
He glances at the bench on his right and leans to collect the uniform hat and places it lopsided on his messy locks.
“I rock hats,” as he walks out of the changing room.
Namjoon was never one to sleep a lot. He liked to “seize the day” and get everything out of it.
He did sleep in from time to time, mostly when he and his friends were out till late at night, but he liked the mornings better than any time of the day, so for him sleeping in was like missing on something. He usually read a lot and went around the city with his thoughts alone, or he spent hours working on his songs. Eventually, he would lie on his bed, awake or not, without doing much except thinking. He didn't get tired easily and until 2 in the morning he was good to go, but after that time tiredness started hitting hard. The hours that separated him from the moment his night buddy came in were honestly the worst. But he got through it, falling asleep in between guests – at night there were like, two or maybe three people every now and then, but usually he managed to sleep at least fifteen minutes per hour. He was glad the concierge cared enough to gave him a hint whenever someone entered the Hall.
Tonight though, he wasn't that tired. He slept almost all afternoon cause he worked on his songs from when he got home till he blacked out on his bed, so his mind was more aware than ever. He'd brought with him the book he was on those days, The Catcher in the Rye, that he read when he was thirteen and made his aim to read it every year. He had this feeling with this story, that every time he got through it he was able to understand something more, something deeper about both himself and the novel.
He was half-way through the seventeenth chapter when a familiar silhouette steps into the elevator.
“Hey.” A deep voice caresses his ear, soon followed by the fresh smell of the night, a mixture of concrete and flowers and wind. The end of winter was approaching and the air started to be painted with strokes of spring.
Namjoon shrugs from his world of words and looks with big round eyes at the source of the sound and he's faced with his 4-am-date.
Is it 4 already? he thinks, picking at his wristwatch.
The black haired guy stands approximately thirty centimeters from him, not in his usual biker clothes, but in a dark blue pinstriped suit on which he had thrown a black leather jacket.
He looked stunning, and Namjoon couldn't help the chocked sound that leaves his mouth.
The guy gives him a side smile, quirking his lips to the left and glaring at him from below his bangs.
He also looked pretty pissed.
“Bad date?” Namjoon can't prevent himself from asking, and bites the inside of his cheek right after. The other shakes his head.
“Parents... kind of,” and he leans onto the opposite wall where the blond was resting just seconds ago. Namjoon puckers his lips and nods in deep understanding.
“56?” He just asks, and the other gives him a thumb up.
The ride is uncomfortably silent, Namjoon wondering his eyes everywhere but on the guy, who's brushing his hair away from his face nervously every other minute. He seemed very upset, hands fisting from time to time and lips bites were becoming a regular in that short 5 minutes.
The elevator finally stops at his floor. But he doesn't seem too willing to get off: he swings at the edge of the door, one foot in, one foot out, hesitant.
Namjoon stares at him with both his brows farrowed and he opens his mouth as to say something, but in a blink of an eye, the black one rocks on his feet and he's now looking at the liftboy intently.
“What-” the blond tries but he's stopped by the intense stare the other is giving him. He has this look in his eyes that somehow scares him, the look of someone who does as he wants whenever he wants it, but there was also a fragile feeling at the back of it.
The no-name guy places a hand at the side of Namjoon's head and leans in a bit closer. He bites his lower lip and lets it slip slowly out of his teeth grip. His eyes go to the blond's lips and after no more than ten seconds, he dives in and starts kissing him hard. He places his remaining hand on the other side of the liftboy's head, pinching him at the wall behind.
The blond shuffles in his place, slipping from his position and grabbing the metal bar for keeping him standing. The guy is deepening the kiss now, eagerly, hungrily, hardly.
Namjoon needs a few moments to understand what is it that's exactly happening, feeling the other's soft lips on his own, hot and wet. He tries to realize that's real and finally shrugs back to reality and gives in the sloppy and damp kiss, still not daring to lean forward but instead just pressing himself into the wall more. Yet, the black one makes a step and he's so fucking close, placing a leg between Namjoon's. He let his tongue roll over the blond's chapped lips, biting and sucking every inch of them, until a tiny drop of blood tinges them red. He doesn't care though, and let him swallow it, meeting his tongue halfway and tasting the metal flavor in his mouth. The boy lets one of his hand slip from the wall down to Namjoon's jaw, tracing its outline with a long finger and at the end lifting his chin to get better access to his mouth. Namjoon feels his hot tongue caressing his own and hot breath leaving his mouth to drop on his cheekbones, and then lastly landing on his earlobe, which the black starts to suck and lick till it hurts. He starts pecking butterfly kisses on his neck and his jaw and Namjoon is moaning, for god's sake, and it's 4 in the morning and he could get fucking fired and he couldn't care less.
When he finally makes a move, a hand leaving the bar and reaching out to grab the boy's nape and pressing him harder on himself, the other suddenly freezes and his head drops dead on Namjoon's shoulder, panting heavily and unevenly.
“I'm... sorry,” he says, forehead resting on the blond, cold sweat giving him shivers.
“I don't really mind I –” Namjoon bites his lips, “I like it.”
“...I need to go.” He whispers onto his collarbones, hot breath tickling his skin.
Namjoon reaches a hand out, not knowing what else to do, afraid that could be the last time he'd ever see the guy and looks at him deep in the eyes, taking in all of his sadness.
“Tell me your name?” He says in a low, trembling voice. He feels desperate and amazingly stupid, his book had fallen to the floor, along with his hat, and his hair is a complete mess.
“It's better not to,” the other says quickly, hurrying out of the elevator and disappearing in the hallway.
Namjoon could have reached him. He could have chased after him, or even ask the concierge if he knew him, and maybe get his room number.
But something in his voice – just made it clear it was better not to.
/ / /
Mid-term exams are a pain in the ass.
Especially for Namjoon, because he has to cut off of his life practically everything that doesn't involve studying. It's not that he's not smart, he is, matter-of-factly. And he also enjoys learning.
Indeed, he was the boy who read all by himself the entirety of Shakespeare's bibliography at the age of 14 and found it “enlightening” and discussed it over dinner with his much surprised (for not saying, freaked out) mom.
Still, he doesn't like to be tested on his knowledge. Or at least, he doesn't get all the grades part of education, like why the hell should you be ranked first or last based on some random number gave by some random teacher.
Yet again, he was ranked first almost every year, and almost in every classes. It was a bit annoying, to his classmates, to his friends, and even to some of his professors.
This round though, there couldn't have been any more perfect time to have those tests.
After... that night, he hadn't been able to go to work for almost a week due to studying and that was just what he needed, because thinking that he might have met with that boy again just made him feel like throwing up.
He had been so pitiful, crying out for his name. What the hell was on his mind.
He fists his hands and rubs at his eyes, pressing the palm hard until everything goes black and he starts seeing little shimmering stars in front of him.
He used to do this a lot when he was a kid. Whenever his parents were fighting, he would go up to his room, lock himself in the wardrobe and shut his eyes closed. He made the place even darker by doing that and he stroke at his eyes so strong that sometimes hurt, but when he saw the tiny white dots blinking in front of him, he felt finally at peace and couldn't hear the yelling anymore.
So it has become some sort of a calming routine for him. He would stay like this for a bunch of minutes, trying to control his breathing and taking it back to an even rhythm.
He sighs and leans back in the chair, opening his eyes and staring at the ceiling, the white spots still dancing on the walls. A buzz from his phone shrugs him from his thoughts.
jin: lunch in 20!!
“Oh, shit,” he swears, looking at the time and realizing he was completely forgetting about the lunch date with his best friend. He almost considers to call it off, but Jin has been dying to try this new restaurant and nobody in their circle of friends had agreed to except Namjoon, who was always in for a free meal, so really, he hasn't much of a choice here.
In a rush, he throws random clothes out of his closet and onto his bed and picks dark jeans and striped sweater to go with a red beanie and in no more than ten minutes, he's out of the door, phone shoved harshly in his pocket along with his wallet.
The place is not far from where he lives, but it does involve subway and Namjoon is glad Jin knows him better then himself as he checks the directions the latter gave him the day before.
He does almost get onto the wrong train, but manages to arrive at the place on time. Nearly. Sort of. Maybe just a tiny bit later.
“Fifteen minutes, Namjoon.” Seokjin hates to wait.
Said boy looks away from him, tilting his head to the side and rubbing at his nape.
“Yeah, sorry hyung,” he says in a giggling voice, a big dorky smile digging dimples into his cheeks.
“At least you're not as late as Yoongi.”
“Is Yoongi coming too?”
“No, he was so late that he thought the date was for tomorrow.” Jin sighs, shaking his head in despair. “That guy, I swear. He was still sleeping when I called him.”
Namjoon looks at his watch.
“It's only 1 o'clock, he isn't supposed to wake up before at least another two hours,” he shrugs and places an arm around the elder's big shoulders.
“Sooo, what are we having?” He asks, licking his lips as he feels hunger growing in his stomach.
It could be he hadn't ate anything since yesterday, maybe morning? Or maybe even the day before, he can't remember.
“Oh, just a burger place. The reviews seemed nice.”
Jin's hobby was, in fact, to go up every possible site or app where people reviewed restaurants and such all over Soul and then recruiting any of his friends who was willing to come with him to go check that place or the other. His dream was to become a taste-tester someday, or a chef. He even had a food blog where he uploaded either reviews or recipes of his own. Or sometimes just adorable videos of him eating.
They finally stop in front of a very cute building: it was one of those 50s cafeteria you always see in the movies, where red, navy blue and cream white were all over the furniture and walls. The menus were bound in brown leather and on the tables were placed tiny colorful flowerpots.
“Burgers huh? Alright,” says Namjoon as they push the door open and head to one of the empty place.
“I'm starving.” the blond says, grabbing roughly the menu and scanning it from top to bottom.
“Are you skipping meals as you always do during exams?” Jin asks, giving him a scowling look from behind his own menu. Namjoon drops the papers on the table with a loud “plop”. Jin sighs at his friend's poor manners, but doesn't say anything. He knows him too well to know that his is not bad manners, but just clumsiness.
“It's not that I am skipping meals,” he makes the commas sign with his fingers, “skipping meals. It's more of, like... I forget to eat, right? 'Cus I just get too focused on stuff to remember.”
“So you're skipping meals.” Jin rolls his eyes, and Namjoon flashes him his brightest smile.
“I'm so thankful I have such a caring hyung!” He giggles, stretching his arms into the older's direction and making grabby hands at him, his grin taking half of his face and his eyes disappearing into crescents.
“Yeah, whatever. What are you having?” He nods at the menu, arching a brow at his friend. Who extends his arms over his head as he had just woken up and in fact, he yawns loudly.
Sure enough, Namjoon was not one to be taken to fancy restaurants. How did he manage to find a job in such a luxury hotel, Jin doesn't know.
“Uh, this!” The blond points one finger to the Special of the Day, consisting of double bacon cheeseburger, curled spicy french fries, a serve of onion rings and a drink of choice.
“Mh, ok, then I'm having the veggy burger with avocado sauce and onion jam,” he says, gesturing to the girl standing next to the counter.
“You always pick the fanciest dish on the menu hyung,” Namjoon says, taking his glass between his hands and spinning it between his palms.
“I like to try new things.” He answers, after the waitress left with their orders.
“So, how's work doing?” Jin quickly changes the subject. Namjoon tenses at the mention of it. Nobody knew about his 4 am boy and sure enough, no one was going to, especially after that thing. Honest.
“Ah, that... good, I guess. Yeah. Good.” His reply comes too rushed and without the complementary complains Jin and his other friends were now used too.
“But?” He pushes.
“Nothing, it's good. I hadn't been fired yet and the pay is pretty good, so yeah. Good.” He shrugs and glues his eyes to the glass in front of him.
“Alright, so you don't wanna talk about it?”
“Stop it Jin, you know I hate when you insist.” Namjoon lifts his eyes to glare at him, no flash of dimples this time. Jin takes his hands near his chest, apologetic.
“Ok! I'll stop right here! What do you wanna talk about?” He asks, curving his pink lips in a little smile.
“Like, how's it going with your blog? Is it getting any bigger?” The blond gets back to himself, relieved and thankful to his friend
“Actually, yes! A journalist from a culinary magazine saw it and asked me to send her some reviews, this cafeteria being one of the places she recommended,” his smile grows bigger as he spoke.
“That's great, hyung! Cheers to you!” Namjoon raises his glass full of coke to toast at his friend.
Jin laughs and joins in. Eventually, they drink it up and seconds later another waiter comes with their food.
“Here's the Special. For who?” he asks with the warmest smile ever. Namjoon raises his hand, placing the glass back on the table and lifting his gaze to face the waiter.
“Mi–” and he can't finish the sentence because he starts coughing hard, choking on the sip of coke he just gave, the moment he looks who is in front of him, in a button up white shirt that suits him too well.
“Namjoon!” Jin stands up abruptly, reaching for his friends and giving him strong pats on the back.
“Oh sh- god” the blond has a hand placed on his chest and his eyes are round with shock, still fixed on the waiter.
“You're the liftboy,” the latter says in a weird, flat tone, smile disappearing all of a sudden. He's as shocked as the blond. He probably thought he'd seen the last of him that night at the hotel.
Namjoon slightly nods, drinking Jin's water to sooth down his coughing.
“You actually exist in day time,” he whispers in the glass and Jin stares at him strange.
“What?” The black haired guy arches his brows in a confused look.
Namjoon waves him off. A few seconds pass by before the waiter shrugs from his momentary trance back to real life.
“So the Special is for you, right?” He asks again, placing his smile back where it belongs. Nodding, the blond makes space in front of him and tries a little smile, too. Which, he doesn't miss to notice, gives the other a moment of weakness, highlighted by the lip bite he gives, before placing Jin's order on the table.
“And Veggy Burger for you. Enjoy your meal!” He says, quickly bowing at both of them and rushing to the kitchen with cheeks blushing hard.
“What was... that?!” Jin gestures in the air where the waiter was moments before.
Namjoon takes a big bite from his hamburger and munches loudly.
“Foffin,” he spits, crumbs sticking to his lips and some falling all over the place.
“It didn't feel like nothing, though – and please behave,” he says, brushing away a stain of mayonnaise from his friend's cheek.
The other just keeps chewing quietly.
/ / /
When lunch is finally over, Namjoon says to Jin he has stuff to do in the neighborhood and leaves.
That, of course, was a lie.
He wanted Jin to go so he could wait for that guy. So he hid behind the corner until his friend left.
Yes, he was weird like that.
He didn't tell Jin because he knows that if he did, he would've gone up to the boy and asked him his number or his name or whatever and that would've just made Namjoon look like a complete idiot.
Which he's wasn't. He was not. He really wasn't.
He's not freezing his ass off waiting outside a cafeteria for a total stranger to end his shift. He's not.
He's just enjoying the almost-spring breeze. That today feels more like wind. A wintery wind. A fucking ice-cold wind that sneaks inside every possible layer you have on. It's goddamn Alaska today, that's what it is.
Namjoon tries to warm his hands by rubbing them and breathing inside, continuing to jump from one feet to the other in an attempt of heating himself up. He buries his face into his coat and tucks his ears under the beanie – something he never does due to fashion reasons.
“I'm gonna freeze to death,” he hisses, picking at his clock and realizing he's been standing there for almost an hour and a half now.
“I'm so pathetic. This is stupid. I'm leaving,” he says, but stays there regardless.
“I am.” And he does move a step away from the place, but stops when the door of the restaurant opens and –
“You?!” A familiar voice greets him, not in the most sweet way, but still.
Namjoon turns awkwardly his whole self to face the guy, unable to move his body parts as separate appendages to his body.
“Ah... hello?” He tries, eyes big as two fish bowls.
“Hello to you, I guess,” the waiter hurries out of the cafeteria. He's buried deep in a big black scarf and has a dark green beanie that leaves out a messy bangs. Namjoon looks at him and sees he's not as old as he thought at the hotel: he must be around his age. He also realizes that's the first time he'd ever seen him wearing anything but his biker clothes. Well, except for the suit, which was just a big fucking no to the blond.
But casual fits him a lot better, Namjoon thinks.
“What are you doing out here? It's freezing!” He asks, scrunching his nose in the most adorable way.
“Just... can we do this properly?” Namjoon spits out rashly, staring at him with round eyes, brows both raised high, his hands fisted in each other, trying to keep them warm.
He hates himself for being such a freak when it comes to stuff like this, but it was this way, or no way.
The other raises a brow.
“What exactly?” He asks, the left side of his heart-shaped lips lifting in a weird expression.
“You know,” Namjoon gestures to the air between them, an embarrassed smile curving his lips.
“No I don't?” The black looks at him in a daze, walking some steps away from him.
“No – wait! For fuck's sake,” Namjoon swears, preventing himself to yet again grab the other's arm and keep him in place. The not-so-stranger stops and relaxes his face in a serious pout.
“I meant like... introduce ourselves and stuff,” the blond explains, dropping his gaze to his shoes for a second because he feels his cheeks burning and not because of the cold.
“And stuff.” The other nods, looking at him with a playful smile.
“Yeah, and stuff.” He tucks his hands in his pockets and peeks at him, shrugging.
There is a moment of weird silence between the two, in which Namjoon sees everything that could go wrong – and that had already gone wrong, before his eyes. How the black haired guy must think he's some kind of freak, or an idiot, or just a guy who wants to get laid sometimes soon. Which he is, all of them. But the truth is. He kinda likes the guy.
“I'm Hoseok,” a hand comes in his field of view. A tanned hand, with long, slim fingers.
Namjoon snaps his head up, mouth just a tad open. He lets the hand hang in the air for a bunch of seconds, in which his brain creates a label with “Hoseok” written on it in bright green and attaches it to the memory of the stranger in the elevator. But, he decides first to replace that grumpy picture with the one of this guy, the one with the cutest and brightest smile ever playing on his lips and dark chocolate eyes looking at him funny.
“Namjoon,” he introduces himself back, taking Hoseok's hand in his. It slides perfectly in his palm and fits in as a puzzle piece. Namjoon takes a moment to appreciate how his bigger one envelopes the other's completely and how soft and warm it feels under his skin.
“Nice to meet you.”
/ / /
March was approaching and days were starting to get longer. The crisp air was flowery and the whole city seemed to be more colorful, trying to match the lively atmosphere nature was pulling off.
It's eight in the morning and a warm ray of sun is making its way underneath the thick curtains of Namjoon's bedroom, lending on his cheek, right beneath his left eye.
He growls and rolls his back to the light, hugging the pillow that slid away from his head during the night. Mid-terms are over and as much as he likes morning, he does appreciate having the option to stay in bed until very late after tests are done. He always feels dead exhausted after, as if someone had drained everything out of him. It could also be his tendency to “forget meals”, which usually lasted till the very final day – that was, yesterday.
Yet again, he did get wasted as hell last night, so yeah, let's say it was a combination of bad decisions. But it was a tradition to him and his friends to go out on their last day of tests and celebrate. Which usually meant drinking until Jin was too frustrated to deal with anyone and decided it was time to go home.
Sun was persistent, though. It has sneaked into the room and now there was a circle of light at the side of his bed, warm and bright, right on the carpet. He rolls on his back and stretches arms and legs out, trying to get his body back together. His muscles are sore and still aching from all the time he spent on the computer. He scrunches all his face, moving his mouth left and right, up and down, opening it wide and then stretching it in a big grin. He yawns and sits on the bed, drowning his feet in the warm sun pool.
He heads to the kitchen, dragging himself almost in slow motion. Rubbing at his eyes, he opens the cupboard and takes cereal and pours it in a bowl, than opens the fridge and takes milk and pours it on top of the cereal. He plops on a seat and stares at the bowl for a while, eventually starting to crunch blatantly.
Suddenly, a whining fills the room.
And that's when Namjoon jumps abruptly from his seat.
And that's when the bowl lands on the floor, shattering in five big pieces.
And that's when Hoseok's head pops out of the couch, face swollen with sleep, black locks literally sticking everywhere, fuzzy eyes wondering lazily on the blond.
“What the fuck are you doing here?!” Namjoon yells, a hand clutched to his chest and the other grabbing at the counter for support.
Hoseok shakes his head and blinks his eyes once, twice, trying to get rid of any residual sleep. He stands on the couch, arms keeping himself half up, legs stretched out resting on the pillows.
Slowly, he turns to face Namjoon.
“Noise,” his tongue clicks, “too much,” he says in a drowsy voice. And he lets his head drop on the back of the couch. Namjoon rolls his eyes and walks up to him, shaking him awake.
“Hoseok.” He says firmly.
“Ngh,” is all that comes from the dead body on his couch.
“Hoseok wake the fuck up,” the blond shakes him a little stronger now. Hoseok falls right back on the couch, but cracks one eye open. Namjoon does his best not to think how hot he is right now and focuses.
“What is it?” His voice still sleepy and heavy, his eyes stare softly at the other.
“Why are you here?!” Namjoon asks, looking down at him.
“You don't remember?” Hoseok asks back, every word a struggle. Namjoon shakes his head no.
“You texted me last night asking if I could come to your mid-term party” he says as he hugs a pillow with his arms crossed.
“And you came?”
“And you slept here?”
“We just slept, right?”
“That's a serious question, Hoseok.”
“We just slept, relax!”
Hoseok finally seats on the couch, crossed legs. He was naked from the waist up and he was wearing Namjoon's shorts. The blond looks away, spinning on his heels and gathering the broken pieces together.
“Aigo, this was my favorite,” he whines, opening the trashcan and sighing before throwing it away.
“My bad,” Hoseok climbs off the couch and joins the other near the counter.
“Do you have any food?”
Namjoon swallows hard and tries not to notice the heat radiating from Hoseok's tanned skin – or whenever their arms brushed together, how much that gave him goosebumps.
After that day at the cafeteria, they had began to build some kind of friendship. When Namjoon got to work some days after their casual meeting, they got over the initial embarrassment and finally started talking, like, really talking. Hoseok would kept him company even till 5 am some days, or he tried to come before 4 so he could get to spend one or two hours more with him.
What Namjoon has find out is that Hoseok is literally the sun. At least, when he was born, his mother must've taken some pieces of it and placed them in him, because whenever Hoseok smiled, the room just lit up. And not only rooms, also parks, aquariums and mostly, Namjoon's heart. He felt himself melting to the ground when that big bright smile came to his heart-shaped lips and he was so thankful to be at the receiving end of it.
“Yeah, there's some cereal and there might be some cookies, too,” he gestures at the cupboard he opened just minutes before. Yet, last night was the first time he'd ever introduced him to his friends, if he really called him to come to the party.
“So, uhm... was everyone there?” He asks sheepishly to a Hoseok much concentrated on his food, who nods.
“Was it ok?” He hopes to sound as casual as he would like to be.
“Yeah, they're all really nice, don't freak out.”
There was another thing about Hoseok that Namjoon truly appreciated, and it was that he always understood other people's feelings and was very careful about it, without being too pushy. He discovered it in one of their late night talk, going up to the very last floor and chilling in front of the elevator, spread on the red carpet, lights off. Hoseok wasn't really keen of talking about himself, but he let slip some topics that made it clear to Namjoon that sometimes, he just cared too much about others and not enough about himself.
He did never ask why he was always coming so late or why he was almost living in an hotel in the first place, though.
/ / /
After that morning, Namjoon's routine started to change.
It has been almost two months since he introduced himself to Hoseok, but only lately they had become somewhat close. Until that day, their friendship was bounded to night-time only, whereas now Hoseok was becoming a regular in his day-life, too.
It was slow and baby-steps like. It started when Hoseok asked Namjoon out for lunch.
Ok, he didn't really asked him to, but he kept leaving hints for him to catch, like “it's gonna be so boring tomorrow”, “I don't know what I'm gonna do for three hours of my life”, “I could go to that ice-cream place, but I hate eating alone” and so on. So Namjoon just looked at him funny and smiled.
“Would you like me to come?”
Hoseok shrugged, gaze shuffling away from him.
“I was just saying.”
“I'm gonna be in the neighborhood anyway so I don't mind” he lied.
“Ok then,” Hoseok lift his head to glance him a shining smile, at which Namjoon had chuckled.
From that day on, they started seeing each other a lot more often. Lunch dates when Hoseok wasn't working the morning shift, the occasional music shops Namjoon wanted him to check and sometimes even some underground hip-hop clubs with live performances before Namjoon started working. They had to fit their schedules, but they managed to meet pretty often regardless. It was strange, though, because their way of being together was much like a romantic relationship, except the physical part of it (Namjoon may or may not have been counting how many times they're hands brushed together).
One more reason they were getting so close was his friends kept asking him to let him hang out with them, which he was really happy to do. And turns out, Hoseok liked them as much as they liked him. He was becoming particularly close with Jimin, probably because they were both dancers and they got to spend a lot of time together since they found out they were attending the same dance school, even if Hoseok was a night-school student (that could've explained why he always came late, but not completely – he had classes only 4 days a week).
He also liked Taehyung a lot, because of how weird they both were – really. And Jimin tagged along easily, being the ball of happiness he was. They were always yelling and dancing around and telling jokes and making pranks and honestly, that three gave Namjoon big headaches.
“It's good to see him so happy,” Jin once told him.
Namjoon nodded, absent-mindedly.
“You know, I don't think he has a lot of friends. I'm glad he found you,” the elder said, patting Namjoon on the shoulder. The latter had given him a smile, adding nothing. But since that day, that words were stuck in his head and he had payed more attention to Hoseok and yes, he did seem a bit lonely sometimes, especially when night came and they met at the hotel. There was this particular moment, right before his eyes could land on Namjoon's. He had a foggy expression, as he had just been chewed and spat out on the street, hair always a mess even when he was coming in his car.
There was something wrong in Hoseok's life and Namjoon wished so badly that he could be the one to make it right, the one who puts back the pieces instead of just throwing them away because someone broke it.
/ / /
It's almost 4,30 am and Hoseok hadn't texted him, nor called him for the entire day. Which was strange, since he was always sending him weird stickers for no apparent reason and random photos of things he found cute or funny – like that piece of bread fallen right beside a dog which just stared at it and never eat it (that was actually a five minutes long video).
Namjoon sighs, leaning on a wall as he greets a guest, a thirty-something woman wrapped in a light haute couture coat and too much perfume.
“What floor, Miss?” He asks, blinking his eyes to shake the sleep away. It was so fucking boring without Hoseok around.
“43, thank you.” She says in a singsongy voice.
The door of the hotel slams open and there's a loud sound of metal hitting on metal, when the figure of an utterly familiar person steps in the building and tries to look at the blond but fails, falling heavily on the floor, one hand still holding onto the door's handle.
Namjoon widens his eyes, tensing in his place. The woman beside him cringes in the corner, peeking at the entrance.
“What...” she voices out, but Namjoon is already out of the elevator, running to where Hoseok had just fallen.
“Hoseok?” He wanted to scream but what leaves his throat is a chocked whisper, a trembling sound that makes his mouth dry.
The boy is on his hands and knees, panting heavily as he tries to speak.
“I ca-n't do this any-more,” he sounds like a broken record, words stopped half-way by his try to breathe deeply.
“Hoseok,” the name's stuck in his throat and as he drags it out he feels like sand brushing in his mouth. Namjoon looks at him, unable to do or say anything beside his friend's name. He feels his body clogging him down, his feet glued to the floor, his breath unevening.
Shit, shit. Calm down Namjoon, get yourself together!
“Namjoon, get back to work!” The concierge almost screams at him.
“Not right now!” He snaps at him and he takes Hoseok's hand in his. It feels perfect, exactly like the first time he'd held it months before. And that's what takes him to finally get back to Earth and realize that in front of him there's Hoseok and he's hurting. He's hurting as hell, and he needs to help him.
“Hoseok,” he says his name again, as if by repeating it hundreds of time the boy would understand everything was going to be alright.
“Let's go somewhere else, ok?” Namjoon tights the grip on his hand and helps him to stand up.
“I ca-n't, I c-can't,” he's completely draped over the blond now, the free hand grabbing at the hem of his tee. With a fast movement, Namjoon takes him in his arms and lifts him up. He weighted like a bunch of feathers.
Quickly, he walks to the other's car and drives away from the hotel.
In that exact moment, Hoseok starts to cry.
When Namjoon pulls over, Hoseok's still crying hard. He'd tried to ignore the clench in his chest whenever he heard a hiccup from the passenger seat and he takes the other out of the car and lets him seat on the ground. He had taken him to one of his favorite place: a hill in the middle of the city park where usually no one goes and from which all downtown could be seen clearly. It was quiet and Namjoon figured he needed to get out of any sort of chaos.
“Hoseok.” He says once again, squatting beside him. Said boy lifts his eyes, glass-watery like, tears keep streaming down his face.
“I-I'm so me-messed u-p,” he hiccups, throwing himself at Namjoon and hugging him tightly. He buries his head between the blond's neck and shoulders and he can feel it getting wet with Hoseok's tears. He bites his lip, wrapping his arms around him and enveloping that body with his own, trying to soothe the shivers that kept shaking it.
“You're not...” he whispers in his fresh-shampoo hair.
“So-sor-ry,” Hoseok says, sneezing. And Namjoon feels a damp kiss on his bare neck.
He ignores it, thinking that was probably just a tear, but it feels another one, on his earlobe this time.
“Hoseok,” he calls out, but his voice is trembling all over again.
The boy grabs a handful of his hair and pulls him closer, sliding his face at no more then two millimeters away. He looks into Namjoon's eyes and his are desperately calling for help, foggy and red.
And Hoseok kisses him, sloppily, wet and messy. He tries to cling on him more, but Namjoon stops abruptly, pulling him away. That is not how he wants it to happen. If he's ever going to kiss Hoseok again, it's not gonna be when he's so wrecked and sad and weak.
“That's not something you want,” he says in a whisper, dropping his gaze to the floor.
Hoseok looks at his crotch and smirks. He's not crying anymore and he has a devilish look on his face.
“But you do,” and he leans in again, a hand sliding at Namjoon's pants.
The latter jumps away.
“What the fuck Hoseok, stop it!” He howls, scooting away from him. He rubs his hands onto his eyes and tries to see his own calming, soothing blinking stars, but it doesn't help. He takes a deep breath and grabs at his hair.
“I'm... sorry.” Hoseok's voice comes from beneath, a mewl more than an actual sound.
“No it's ok. It really is,” Namjoon looks away.
Silence falls on them as a thick, heavy blanket. From distance the city soundtrack could be heard, sirens screaming, horns and breaks scarring the streets.
Namjoon is standing, arms loose at his sides. Hoseok is still where he put him minutes ago, hands clutching at his jeans knees, bottom lip pressed between his teeth.
“I don't get it, why are you being like this?” He hisses in a murmur after what seems an eternity.
Hoseok gulps. He stares at the ground beneath his thighs and tightens the grip on his jeans. He holds his breath until Namjoon speaks again.
“I... sorry, I didn't mean it like that, you know that right?” He puts a hand on the black's shoulder, but the other shrugs.
“Sure. Can you take me back to the hotel now, please?” He stands up, still staring at the ground.
“Ye-yeah,” and he gets into the car. Hoseok follows suit.
/ / /
In the room there's no light except for the moon peeking from behind the curtains. It's a quarter moon and the stars are shining bright all around it. The pros of living in the suburbs, Hoseok thinks.
He had always loved the stars, even as a kid. His father used to take him on their balcony late at night, when no one was around. He would come to his room and shook him awake.
“Hoseok-ah,” he whispered softly, “do you want to see the stars?”
Hoseok was a light sleeper and the first times he hadn't had troubles waking up to his father sweet voice, but after a while he started putting the alarm about half an hour before he came to call him. In his pajamas, Hoseok slid out of his bed, rubbing at his eyes and yawning. His dad took his little chubby paw in his big, warm hand.
They cracked the window-door of the kitchen open, careful not to wake his mom.
“Keep quiet puppy, mom had a rough day,” and they tiptoed out in the cold air of four in the morning. They sat down on the tiles and glued their eyes to the sky.
“Do you see that tiny star right there, not far from the moon?” He said one night, pointing at a very bright but very little dot glancing at them from upon. Hoseok nodded, his hand still in his father's.
“That's the star of Hope- he looks at Hoseok -and you're my hope, so that's your star, puppy.”
Hoseok widened his eyes, lips round.
“Daddy!” He said, and he tightened the grip on his hand.
“So, if you ever feel lost, or sad just look up and remember I love you,” a smile curved his dad wrinkled lips.
Hoseok nodded vigorously and he hugged his dad tight.
That was the day before his father had to go to the hospital and prepare for his operation. He had heart disease and they've waited for a transplant for years now and he finally got one. Before going into surgery, his father took his hand and gestured him to come closer. Hoseok leaned towards him and his dad whispered:
“I'll take you to the shore when I get out of here. The stars are amazing there!”
Hoseok smiled and kissed him on the cheek. The doctors said he had to let him go now, and that they will give him back to him in no time.
They didn't. And Hoseok had never gone to the shore since.
“Let's go upstairs,” a voice shrugs him from his thoughts, and he looks at the guy in front of him.
He was 17 and it was a totally different house. He had been living in Soul for six months now, sent here by his mom because he wanted to study dance. He'd been going out with this guy, 23 years old, for a month and it was going very well.
For the first time, they managed to spend a night together and since his parents weren't around, Hoseok went to his house. He hadn't seen the stars for so long, he was amazed to see them again. He looked around to figure where his star was, but he couldn't find it.
Let's go upstairs, the words register in his mind just a minute later.
“I'd rather stay here,” he whispers, smooching his cheekbones.
“C'mon,” the boy lifts his chin and kisses him hardly on the mouth.
Hoseok glares at the clock on the wall and sees it's almost 4 am and tomorrow he has an early practice, and then work and then practice again.
“It's getting pretty late, I should go actually.” He says, and pecks what he wants to be a goodbye-kiss on the other's lips. He tries to get up, but a hand keeps him in place.
“Don't you want me to be happy?” The boy asks, staring at him. Hoseok nods slowly, smiling.
“Don't you want me to love you?” Te asks again, making him seat down. Hoseok freezes, smile washed away from his face.
“I know you're desperate for love, Hoseok-ah,” the boy lies him down on his back, beginning to kiss his neck.
Hoseok starts to freak out and tries to get away, but the guy is strong enough to not let him go.
“Why are you being like this?” He hisses when Hoseok tries to stop his hands from lifting his t-shirt.
“Calm down, Jesus,” he hisses, “It's not like I'm gonna do something you don't want”
At this point, Hoseok can't move. He wants to, but his body is paralyzed with fear. He wants to scream but words are stuck at the back of his throat and he doesn't have any strength to put them out. And something happens: it's like his soul got out of his body and is floating on them. He's looking at everything from upon, as a mere spectator. He sees the boy's hands roaming on his chest, arms, face and legs, and everywhere he could reach, but he doesn't feel it. Then, he sees him grabbing his pants and unzipping them.
“Do you want to see the stars, Hoseok-ah?” He asks.
And everything went pitch black.
/ / /
It's been two weeks.
Two damn weeks and Hoseok is nowhere to be found.
No texts, no calls, no 4 am dates at the hotel.
He just disappeared, and Namjoon is freaking out.
“I shouldn't have said anything.”
He's in his apartment, walking up and down in front of the couch where Jin is. He was the only one to know everything and even if all his friends knew Hoseok had disappeared (Jimin was dead worried), he needed someone to calm him down, and that meant Jin.
“I should've let him do whatever.”
“You did good, Namjoon, he wasn't in his right mind. He would've regretted it...” Jin says, a hand grabbing the younger's, “Sit down and breathe, you're getting paranoid now.”
“It's been two weeks Jin, he could be dead!” His voice raises at the end of the sentence and he looks at Jin with watery eyes.
“Namjoon!” His friend stands up and puts him to seat down on the couch. “He's fine, ok? He had a life even before you showed up, he knows how to live!” his voice is serious and firm.
Namjoon looks at him and his friend just knows how much he cares about Hoseok. How much...
“You love him, don't you?” He asks, plopping down on the couch next to the blond. The latter doesn't answer, but there's no need. Jin can see it clearly in his eyes, and in the way his body shivers every time his phone buzzes.
“Namjoon... I think there's something you need to know.” The older sighs. And so Namjoon learns what is it that it's broken inside Hoseok and why he always comes at 4 am at the hotel.
“He goes to his father's grave every night after practice. It's not far from the hotel, so he stays there until the sky turns black and then leaves and comes to you. I think he grew attached to you because you were the very first person who didn't talk to him just for... sex or stuff.” Jin shrugs and leans onto the couch, sighing.
“He's gone around with so many careless guys... he has no idea that relationships can actually be good and that someone can love you truly... like you do.” He cocks his head to look at Namjoon.
“I need to find him,” he whispers, eyes locked at Jin's, a single tear rolling down his cheek.
“No,” the older stops him, “leave him alone for a while. I think he got back to his mom, in Gwangju. He needs to figure it out on his own. He's gonna come to you when he's ready.”
/ / /
The last time she saw her son was five years ago, before he left for Soul. She almost fainted when she saw him at her door, a bag of clothes thrown haphazardly around his torso, hair a mess, face swollen, dark circles under his eyes.
“Hoseok-ah,” she whispered, a trembling hand pressed on her lips, the other clutched at the threshold for support. Hoseok quirked his mouth in a sad smile.
“Hi, mom,” he said.
The sky is deep blue, a velvety blue, spangled with shining stars.
It's been years since he's seen the stars of his city, his house.
His mother is fast asleep in her bedroom, a smile on her lips.
Spread on the tiles of his balcony, Hoseok slowly breathes in and out, in and out. He lets his eyes wonder at the sky, to the almost faded moon, looking for his star. He hadn't been able to find it for over five years now, and it's incredibly stupid, because it had always been there, it can't just disappear, can it. It's a goddamn star, it's supposed to stay there forever.
Still, he couldn't figure out where exactly his father said it was. He asked to thousands of guys, people, friends if they ever knew of a Hope star, but they kept saying it didn't exist such a thing and looked at him weird. But his father couldn't have been wrong and he had always seen it until five years ago.
He sighs, closing his eyes for a moment.
“Why are you being like this?”
The same words, spoke by so many other people fill his head, twisting the blond's deep voice into a scary sound. Hoseok bites his lips, hands fisting, trying to lock every one out but Namjoon.
“I didn't mean it like that.”
Yeah. He didn't. He knows he didn't. He knows Namjoon is not one random guy, he knows he cares about him.
He nods slowly, eyes still closed.
“I know,” he murmurs.
“Can we do this properly?”
He can hear it crystal clear now, Namjoon's voice alone. No other sound, except that sweet, deep voice of his.
/ / /
It's been three damn weeks now and Namjoon is doing his best not to freak out, but he can't help it sometimes.
namjoon: he's dead
namjoon: i swear he's dead
jin: he's NOT stop it
namjoon: what if he's lying somewhere near the han river
namjoon: and no one knows
namjoon: i'm calling the cops
jin: NAMJOON DON'T HE'S ALIVE
namjoon: how could you know
jin: he's not stupid as you
Namjoon shoves his phone in his pocket and scrunches his nose, rubbing a hand in his short hair. Loneliness was such a bitch these days. Being all night in that hotel without anyone to wait for was boring as hell and he started getting sleepy a lot earlier than his usual.
That is, because he barely got any sleep since Hoseok disappeared. He spent all nights and days wondering on him being beat out on the streets, killed, or whatever bad things his mind could come up with – which were a lot.
He kept texting him, random, useless stuff. Today, for example, he sent him a video of a dog that keeps missing on food thrown at him (dogs were Hoseok's favorite). Then, a link to a song he's had his head stuck on for two days now.
namjoon: ok so there's this song you should check out
namjoon: it's grey sky morning from vertical horizon
namjoon: i just cant get it out of my head
namjoon: idk if i like the lyrics tho
He still waits for an answer from time to time, but he tries not to check too often his phone. Which he fails, looking at it like ten times in an hour, and that just makes him more worried because the texts are still signed as unread.
“Aish,” he hisses, pushing the button to the upper floor. When he gets there, he exits the elevator and plops down on the red carpet, as he used to do when Hosoek was around. He leans back to the wall, rolling his neck.
He unlocks his phone again and goes on the katalk chat and farrows when sees his texts are still like they were ten minutes before.
namjoon: can you just get your ass back here
He stares at his last word.
namjoon: ok im sorry that was unnecessary
namjoon: just come back ok
namjoon: riding the elevator alone is so fucking boring
Ok, he's not the best when it comes to word his feelings, is he. At least not when he has to directly tell someone how's feeling.
If only Hoseok were here, he could just look at him and he would understand in a blink of an eye. It was that simple with him.
Namjoon feels his heart incredibly heavy, sinking him into the floor. He tries to breathe deeply and when it doesn't help relieving the stress, he presses his palm to his eyes hard. Harder than ever before. He fists his hands until his nails stick into the skin.
It takes him more than the usual, but he finally sees the blinking dots dancing before him. But it doesn't last a lot, because his phone buzzes. He jumps away from it and his heart, which he started to get under control again, starts beating at a terrifying speed.
He looks at the thing with wide eyes and slowly reaches for it.
It's 4.11 am, and Jin wasn't answering since 3.30.
kakaotalk_1 new message
hobi: come down
Namjoon stands up abruptly and throws himself in the elevator.
It's the longest 9 minutes of his life, in which a thousands of thoughts storm in his head, thinking how he should greet him, if he has to hug him, or maybe even kiss him. Then again, he just wants to yell at him for disappearing without telling anyone anything and so on.
But the ride ends and he's faced with Hoseok's beaming smile, and his high cheekbones and his cute chin and his messy dark hair and his pink, heart-shaped lips and his long legs and his waist and his shoulder and his everything and he just stands outside of the elevator, mouth hanging open.
“Hi,” Hoseok says, sheepishly.
Namjoon stares at him in a daze and as he ears his voice he feels his stomach curling up and a rush of heat going to his cheeks. He had forgotten how much he had missed him.
They get to Namjoon's apartment at 5 in the morning, the blond ditching on his last two hours of work saying he wasn't feeling good. Not even a lie actually, since he did feel like throwing up when Hoseok showed up.
There was no proper talk on the way home, but Namjoon knew they felt the same the moment Hoseok had taken his hand as they walked to his car. He hadn't let it go since.
Namjoon unlocks the door and they slide in the room silently, still holding hands.
They get to the counter and carefully, the blond leaves the other's grip and he doesn't miss how the loss of contact gives him a moment of fear, but he shuffle it away by glancing him a dimple-y smile.
He takes a glass of water and leans on the kitchen counter. He sips and bites his bottom lip.
“I... shit, why is this so hard,” he says, more to himself that to the boy standing right in front of him.
Hoseok slightly tilts his head to the side.
“What?” He asks, voice no more than a whisper.
“I was dead worried Hoseok!” He puts the glass back on the counter and takes one hand to cover his eyes, “I thought you were dead or something.”
Much to his surprise, Hoseok starts laughing. Like, really laughing.
“That's not funny...!” He hisses, looking at him bewildered. Hoseok wipes at his eyes and looks at him. He makes two steps towards him, then reaches out both his arms and wraps them around Namjoon's waist. The blond holds his breath when he feels the contact.
Hoseok looks at him and it seems like it's the first time he really sees him. He sees the delicate feature of the man in his arms, how broad his shoulders are, so comforting, so warm. He looks at his eyes, with that unique almond shape and at his too tiny nose standing proud upon his plump lips. He gets up on his toes and places a kiss on Namjoon's cheek, then leans his head on his chest, right on his heart.
“I've missed you so bad,” he whispers.
Namjoon relaxes the moment he feels Hoseok's head on him and moves his arms to hug him back tight. He smells his shampoo exactly how he did that night, but this time he's at peace.
Hoseok feels warm and finally safe for some reasons and he lets his whole self melting into the embrace.
They stay like this for a while and then, Namjoon kisses his head and Hoseok looks up at him and he presses his lips on the blond's. They're soft as he remembered and now he decides to enjoys every little wrinkle of them instead of just kissing them as he did before. He opens his mouth just enough to let his tongue slip out and trace the profile of that wonderful lips. Namjoon mimics him and lets him deepen the kiss at his own pace, slow. It's not rushed, or messy, or damp with tears.
It's a real first kiss. The kind of kiss you use to get to know somebody you really, deeply care about. That first kiss everyone dream of when they start going out with someone they had a crush on for a long time. That type of kiss.
Slowly, Namjoon takes his hands in Hoseok's hair, enjoying how soft they feel. The boy moans in his mouth and grabs him tighter. Namjoon smirks on his lips and breaks the kiss, pecking one on his pointy nose, cheekbones – left and right, and forehead. He takes him by the hand and guides him to his room.
Hoseok, for the first time in forever, knows that he wants this. Not because he needs to feel loved, not because he's desperate. Because he wants to give his whole self to someone.
Namjoon kisses him deeply on the threshold, tracing a path to his neck with his tongue.
“Are you ok?” He whispers, back on his lips.
“Sure?” He asks, looking at him two millimeters away.
“Yeah,” Hoseok chuckles and kisses him again.
Namjoon smiles and squeezes his hand tighter, closing the door behind him.
/ / /
Morning is shining bright in Namjoon's room. The sun is still not too hot, a pleasant may-like warmth wrapping Hoseok's entire body. He inhales the perfume Namjoon left behind and hugs the pillow with a big grin on his face. He can hear the blond shuffling in the kitchen, dishes banging in each other. He bets the boy is trying everything he can not to make any noise, but he's just too clumsy. Hosoek laughs softly in the pillow and stretches his body, rolling around Namjoon's bed, wondering under the white blankets for a while.
He's in a bed that's not his, but belongs to someone. He's not in sterile hotel room, where nothing has trace of life. If he looks around, he can feel Namjoon's presence everywhere: a notepad left open on the desk, the light of the laptop going off. An empty bag of chips that failed to get into the trashcan. A pair of worn-out black converse he had seen him wearing all the time, even when it was raining. Random clothes thrown on the desk chair. The bookcase, filled with books of every sort, from philosophy to novels, most of them have covers ruined at the corners. He also spots The Catcher in the Rye on the second shelf and he smiles, because that was his favorite book too.
He closes his eyes and files everything in his memory, vividly.
He gets up and walks to the kitchen, rubbing his hair with his face cringed. He's being really quiet, so Namjoon can't hear it over the sound of him crunching cereals. And it's funny, because he'd seen him before in the morning, that time he casually slept over, but it's so different now.
He looks at the guy seated at the counter, eyes still swollen with sleep, dark-blond locks a messy nest, lips in a pout. His cheeks are full with food and his face seems even rounder.
A chick, that's what he is. A tiny mangy chick.
He walks up to him and Namjoon finally sees him. He swallows his cereal and glances him his biggest dorky smile, his eyes disappearing into crescents.
“Good morning!” He giggles, shuffling in his seat.
“I just got a text from Jin, he asks if we want to go with him and the others to the seaside this weekend. He says that if you go to the shore at night, you can see tons of stars!” He sounds super excited for the news.
Hoseok looks at him from the other side of the counter.
“Joonie,” he says, and Namjoon's eyes widen at the nickname.
“Mhm,” he hums.
“Do you know the Hope star? Have you ever seen it?” He asks bashfully.
“Oh?” his lips curve in an o, “I think so? Isn't it that little star near the moon? The one that shines really bright?”
Hoseok's heart skips a beat and he feels his lips stretch in the most sincere smile he has ever flashed to someone. And he couldn't be any happier that that someone is Namjoon.
He goes to the side of the counter where the blond is and hugs him from behind, resting his chin on the other's shoulder.
Namjoon tilts his head and kisses him on the temple.
“I've always wanted to go to the shore,” is his answer.