“If you wanna go to heaven, you should fuck me tonight,” Hoseok says with a devious smile as white smoke escapes his thin lips. It swirls in the crisp winter air, easily mistaken for an exhale, only to meld with smog and rise high above the city.
Namjoon watches as Hoseok flicks the end of the cigarette with a thumb, black ash falling to the dirty concrete under their feet.
“You look ridiculous,” Namjoon says, the red cup of bad liquor in his hand half-empty. “It doesn't suit you.”
“That doesn't answer my question,” Hoseok laughs, but throws the stub over the railing as if considering Namjoon's words and finding truth in the broken syllables in his head. It will land on the hood of a car or the sidewalk five floors down.
“You haven't asked a question,” Namjoon says.
The party behind his back is in full swing, loud music and even louder people. And here they are, on a small balcony drowning sorrows, failures or whatever is there to be drowned in a few drops of weak liquor.
“You're right,” Hoseok says. “It was a proposal. So, what do you say?”
“No? But I'm a good fuck.”
“Maybe, but you're drunk as well.”
Hoseok isn't drunk. He is a lot of things – disappointed, crushed, heartbroken, devastated, disgusted with himself. And above all of that, he's been cheated on. But he is not drunk; he hadn't touched the booze all night. He just wants to forget, to let go. And maybe Namjoon could help him.
“Namjoon,” he pleads with his eyes, long fingers curling around Namjoon's wrist and pulling him closer. “Help me forget.”
“I would, Hoseok. You know that. But I won't fuck you.”
There's a lot of things Namjoon would do for Hoseok. Since they were 14 and Hoseok proclaimed them best friends, he's been keeping a list. And now they're 22 and the list is endless.
“Why?” Hoseok asks, his fingers digging in Namjoon's skin. Namjoon is warm like spring days and all Hoseok wants is to bathe in warmth. He wants the dark cloud above his head to disperse, for the rain to stop soaking him through and through, every drop like a needle piercing his skin. He needs comfort that Namjoon can provide, but Namjoon is tired. So tired of collecting the tiny pieces of Hoseok's broken heart and gluing them back together over and over again, only to be left with cuts on his hands. So tired of finding Hoseok on his doorstep with tears glistening on his cheeks and trembling hands because some jerk played him once again.
Hoseok has always had a penchant for falling in love with wrong people with pretty, insincere smiles and strong hands that would never help him up once he fell. Hoseok has always trusted too much, believed in sweet lies and told himself that the reason why they never told him “I love you” was because they weren't ready yet. But the truth was that they would never be ready because Hoseok was just a shiny toy for them, somebody who laughed at their bad jokes, welcomed them in his bed on stormy nights and made them feel important.
Namjoon knows it, all of it.
“It wouldn't help you,” he says, crumbling the plastic cup in his hand and throwing it away.
Hoseok frowns. “But I want it, Namjoon. I want you to fuck the living daylights out of me and make me forget.”
“And what would happen in the morning when you wake up by my side and not his? How would you feel? Disgusted?”
Hoseok's eyes are dark, liquid dark chocolate replaced with cold iron. There's a raging storm in his mind, thunder and lightning, electricity cracking in the air surrounding them. Namjoon searches for light in his eyes, but finds only anger.
“No,” Hoseok snaps. “It'll be good, I'll make it good.”
He leans forward, kisses Namjoon, wet and sloppy and hurried.
It stings, Hoseok's lips against Namjoon's.
It fucking hurts and Namjoon feels Hoseok pulling him apart at the seams, muscle by muscle, until all that's left is hunger in his stomach and craving in his heart.
Hoseok's ripping him to pieces and the irony of it all is that Hoseok is completely unaware that he's holding Namjoon's heart in his hands, squeezing it until it bursts and blood trickles down his long fingers.
Namjoon pushes him away.
“You don't get it, do you?” Namjoon asks, lips swollen and bruised. “I fucking love you, okay?”
“I love you and I'm tired of fixing you after some asshole breaks you into pieces again because I know that as soon as you feel a little better, you'll forget how I sat down with you at 4 a.m. and ate ice-cream while watching bad comedies and you'll run to another asshole only to get your heart broken again. I'm tired of being your second choice.”
Namjoon pulls his hand from Hoseok's grip. His skin burns at the places where Hoseok's fingers were holding him.
Hoseok's looking at him, face devoid of emotion.
“Namjoon, I didn't know.”
“Of course you didn't know,” Namjoon replies, and he wants to laugh at the irony of it all, at life's giant fuck you and its middle finger raised proudly into the air.
Hoseok's voice is small when he speaks again, it almost gets lost in the loud music and he's reminded that they're at a party.
“Why didn't you tell me?”
Namjoon runs his hand through his hair. “Why? So that you could laugh at me and tell me “I love you too, bro” or maybe you'd look away saying something about how it'd be better if we stayed friends and then you'd proceed to avoid me for the rest of your life with the excuse that you're busy whenever I called?”
“I - No - I -,” Hoseok stumbles over his words and Namjoon looks away. People in the apartment are having the time of their life. He can see them dancing and laughing and drinking and falling in love. It's time for him to go. He turns on his heels ready to leave, but Hoseok's next words stop him.
“You should have told me. We would've figured it out.”
At this, Namjoon laughs. Shoulder-shaking, whole body laugh.
“You don't feel the same, Hoseok. How would've we figured it out?”
“I don't know. There must be a way. Namjoon, don't go,” Hoseok says.
“I have no reason to stay,” Namjoon says, gripping the balcony door and pushing it open. Music swells around them, shutting up his thoughts. That's for the better because he's already fucked up enough.
“Then I'll go with you,” Hoseok says, pushing himself off the railing. “We have to talk.”
Hoseok has always trusted too much, believed in sweet lies and told himself that the reason why he never told his boyfriends “I love you” was because he wasn't ready yet. But the truth is that he would never be ready because he gave away his heart to a boy who saw him only as a best friend, or so Hoseok thought.