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Coming into the video game industry, one of the many things Hoseok learns is that there isn’t much job security here. Then again, Hoseok doesn’t know much about job security, having just come out of high school and into the Counter Strike professional gaming community, so really, what kind of professional gamer cares about job security if they’re going to be a professional gamer?

Then after Jung Sunghwan, their coach, quits his job and is replaced by Cho Kyuhyun two days later, Hoseok thinks that maybe he should start looking into that kind of stuff.

Especially now, when all the scrutiny is placed on him.

"We lost to GOT7," Kyuhyun states, rubbing at his temples. "GOT7, the newest team in the league, and by far the worst so far. How did that happen?"

Someone opens their mouth to speak, but Kyuhyun waves them off, closing his eyes. "We'll discuss the game tomorrow, and look after personal developments from then on. Get some rest; try not to yell at each other for the rest of the day."

Yoongi and Hoseok exchange glances, and Hoseok tries not to think about how tomorrow, ninety percent of the blame will be on him and Jimin.

Bottom lane had lost about fifteen minutes into game, Hoseok dying twice and Jimin dying three times. GOT7's AD Carry had taken it from there, destroying everyone across the map.

When his team gets home that night, he gets a text message from the coach, and Hoseok groans into his pillow.

To Hoseok: We're gonna have a long talk about your performance today.

 

On Wednesday, Kyuhyun and Hoseok sit together for a good four hours, long enough that Jungkook’s gotten them both coffee twice. By the end of the meeting, Hoseok thinks his brain is going to melt out of his ears, but it’s the end of the meeting that makes him want to smash his laptop into the ground. It goes like this:

“You have the highest death rate out of the entire split this time. And of at least three other teams. Any idea as to why?” Kyuhyun asks, plopping a third sugar cube into his coffee.

“The game’s changed. Is changing,” Hoseok mumbles, even though that’s probably not the reason. He doesn’t know what the reason is, really. Something about making stupid mistakes and diving head first sometimes, then not going in at all at other times. “It’s hard to keep up with the meta.”

Kyuhyun looks like he’s trying very hard not to splash the coffee onto his own face in an effort to get an answer that Hoseok hasn’t tried to script up the night before. “I’m just--” He stops, clears his throat, then takes another deep breath. “We’re going to try to do something different. You just streamed yesterday, right?”

“Yeah?”

“You also streamed on Monday. For like, thirteen hours,” Kyuhyun says. “Maybe you should-- Maybe you should stop. Playing.”

Hoseok’s mouth drops open, before he can even stop himself. He’d expected a strong reprimand, and even stronger punishments, but this? He hadn’t even considered that maybe they would put him on the back burner, or just toss him overboard. “Stop? Stop? Are you-- are you kicking me off the team?”

Kyuhyun has the decency to look just as baffled as he does. “What? No, of course not. Even if I did want to kick you off the team, I wouldn’t do it like this. Regardless -- what Zhou Mi and I were thinking, and have been thinking for a while, is that you look like you’re burnt out. You’re by far the oldest pro League player in the series, after like, Taemin or something. You’ve been in the pro scene without any breaks since, what, season two? You’ve never had a bad performance streak like this, and it makes sense. You know pro gamers get almost no vacations.”

“Almost,” Hoseok snaps, ignoring Kyuhyun’s incredulous look. “Almost! I’m fine! Yeah, I haven’t been doing so well, but I don’t think I’m burnt out. Just need some more practice. A little push, you know?”

Kyuhyun sighs and brings the coffee cup to his lips, inhaling deeply. “Hoseok, the decision’s been made. By the general himself, too. No more League outside of practice time. Just focus on other things. Hang out with friends. Talk to your parents. Your mom’s been on my ass for the past three weeks, and I know you haven’t talked to her in over a week and a half.”

Hoseok thinks of everything he could start to say, from borderline screaming to pointed accusations of fraternizing with the enemy (or, in other words, his best friend Changmin, and EXO’s head coach), but when Kyuhyun finally stands up and heads out the room, everything is left to boil inside his own head.

“Your gaming computer is on lockdown,” Kyuhyun tells him as the door closes behind him, and Hoseok crosses his arms. There are loopholes to everything, right?

 

This is probably not so much a loophole as it is directly disobeying orders, but hey, they’re not Hoseok’s bosses (even though they kind of are), so his next course of action is to find the nearest PC Bang and play some League of Legends. Solo practicing time.

The first two games are losses. Hoseok gets caught out over three times, and then the enemy team’s AD Carry is ridiculously strong, and it snowballs out of control. In the second game, they do well in the lane phase and then get destroyed in every single team fight.

He realizes he’s very lucky when none of his teammates appear in his own games. The Challenger level pool is quite small, so most of the people in this tier know each other from playing so many games with them. And a good portion of them all are the professional gamers.

The queue for the third game pops, and he realizes that he does, in fact, know the teammates on his team. There’s @narchy, which is Taemin’s (retired pro player, now a caster) smurf account, and Riot bumkeyk, one of the staff for game. They usually duo together.

@narchy: nice losing streak
Hobiful: times are hard man

The game starts, and Hoseok sees Runch Randa, an old acquaintance of Hoseok’s, on the other team. His name is Namjoon, and honestly, he doesn’t know how they became friends, since Namjoon is known for being extremely toxic in game and trolling a lot.

@narchy [all]: gl hf :)
Runch Randa [all]: what the fuck does hobiful even mean

Hoseok sniffs. Rude -- Namjoon always makes fun of his account names (his official BTS player name is J-Hope, his main smurf is Hobiful, and his second main smurf is jdope), and Hoseok always snarks back.

Hobiful [all]: it means get the fuck out of me
Runch Randa [all]: wow??? r u gay for me
Hobiful [all]: yea, how u like that
Runch Randa [all]: im gay 4 u too
Hobiful [all]: y the fuck u lyin, why u ALWAYS LYIN
Hobiful [all]: MMMMMMMM STOP FUCKN LYIN
Riot bumkeyk [all]: why am i stuck with you two

Someone across the PC Bang laughs at the same time Hosoek does, but he ignores it as the game starts.

 

They’re about ten minutes into the game when Hoseok starts to catch on. There’s someone in this PC Bang who is laughing and shouting whenever Runch Randa does something in game.

Granted, Seoul is small, and it’s highly likely that the other pro gamers live in close proximity but-- still. It’s a little strange to think that someone Hoseok’s played with since he went pro is sitting in the same room as him.

In his moment of distraction, Namjoon teleports to the bot lane and assassinates Hoseok.

“What the fuck!” he yells, slamming his hands on the desk. Somewhere on the other side of the room, another person laughs, and now Hoseok knows for sure that Namjoon is in this PC Bang, and he’s going to find out who.

The game ends -- a complete and utter loss by Hoseok’s team, and okay, yeah, he made a few mistakes, got caught out a few times, but god, his support was awful, and the mid laner kept dying? Scrubs.

A message pops up on the after game screen.

Runch Randa: kkkkkk listening to you rage is really fun

Oh, Hoseok realizes. So Namjoon knows that Hoseok is here, too. Well that changes things.

Hobiful: you have the grossest laugh
Hobiful: do you always go to this pc bang??
Runch Randa: nah
Runch Randa: my friend’s comp broke, so i’m here to keep him company and distract myself. y r u here?
Hobiful: Things and Stuff mang. show urself!!!!!!11!11
Runch Randa: lol

Namjoon doesn’t reply after that, so he queues up for another game and spends a good five minutes scrolling through his twitter mentions (why are there so many photoshopped pictures of him and Taehyung?), when someone taps him on the shoulder. Standing behind him is a boy with bleached hair and many piercings, dressed in a pink floyd shirt and faded, dark blue jeans. Namjoon, of course. Just as eye catching in real life as he in on the internet. He should have figured.

“Surprise,” he says, grinning. He shoves his hands in his pocket, relaxed.

Next to him, however, stands probably one of the most beautiful men Hoseok’s ever seen in his life. And he’s seen a lot. Especially since Hoseok has like, three mirrors.

Beautiful Man is not nearly as relaxed. In fact, he stands next to Namjoon, rigid, except for the fact he doesn’t know where to put his hands. They go from his front pockets to his back pockets to crossing his arms to dropping them to his sides.

He chokes on his saliva momentarily before jumping to his feet and shooting Namjoon’s attractive friend one last glance before he grins at Namjoon. “Honestly man, I wish I could say I was expecting something different, but you look exactly how i imagined you.”

“Yeah,” Namjoon says. “Perfect isn’t subjective, it’s just me.”

Namjoon’s friend snorts, then glances at Hoseok and tries to play it off as a cough. It’s cute, especially because of the faint blush that dusts his cheeks.

“You’re worse than me, man,” Hoseok says, grinning. “It’s great to finally meet you though.”

They shake hands, and Namjoon laughs. “Yeah, especially after I beat you pretty badly.”

“Dude, that’s so BM.”

“Do you know how many times I’ve been reported for being toxic?” Namjoon asks. “I breathe BM.”

Hoseok does know, because he was also one of the people wh reported Namjoon when they first played a game together. He was about to decline Namjoon’s friend request, but Yoongi had leaned over and accepted it for him.

Namjoon’s friend leans over to whisper something into his head, and he pauses. “Oh!” Namjoon breathes, and grins over at Hoseok. “BM means bad mannered. Basically, he was calling me rude.”

Namjoon’s friend nods shyly, then shoves his hands into his pocket and looks anywhere that isn’t at Hoseok’s face.

“Oh, by the way, this is my friend, Seokjin,” he says, gesturing to the pretty boy. “He’s also gay.”

Seokjin’s eyes look like they’re about to pop out of his face. “Namjoon, what the hell?”

“What?” Namjoon asks, trying his best to look innocent. It’s one of the most awful attempts Hoseok’s ever witnessed. “He’s the gay pro-gamer I was telling you about. You know? Hella gay. So deep in the gay, dicks in his mouth kinda gay-”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” Hoseok groans. “I’m gay.”

“You are. Do you ever regret saying that on stream?” Namjoon asks.

The one joke that’s plagued Hoseok for the majority of his league career was coming out to the community. Especially one so male dominated. Well, there’s Hyuna, who’s a caster, and Soyou, their makeup artist. But regardless.

Hoseok rubs the back of his head, feeling embarrassed enough as it is. “Listen man, I regret everything that comes out of my mouth.”

“But nothing that goes in-”

“Alright, nice meeting you,” Hoseok cuts in. “If I was still in post game screen I would have reported you.”

“Wow,” Namjoon says, feigning hurt. “And here I was just about to suggest that we get coffee or something.”

“Coffee?” Hoseok asks. “I want a drink. Where were you guys planning to go?”

“Just down the street. Seokjin and I were going to head back to campus after, since he’s almost done with his paper.”

Ah, right. Paper. The real reason Namjoon was here in the first place. “What major are you?” he asks Seokjin.

Hoseok knows next to nothing about college. He joined the professional gamer scene in his senior year of high school with Counter Strike and then quickly changed over to PC games. In the end, it worked out for him. Now playing for one of the top three teams in Korea, he wants to change from the tilt they’ve landed themselves in this season and join the race to first place.

Oh, right. Seokjin was talking.

“Culinary Arts?” Hosoek asks, and Seokjin nods his head. “That’s pretty cool. My cousin went to Yongsan University for that too, I think.”

“Well,” Seokjin mumbles, “it’s not exactly culinary arts. It’s food and nutrition, but I’m getting a minor in culinary arts anyway, so.”

“So what college do you go to?” he asks along the walk down the street.

“Hanyang University,” Namjoon and Seokjin reply simultaneously. They look at each other, Namjoon looking very much pleased at their synchronicity and Seokjin looking just the slightest bit annoyed.

“Oh,” Hoseok says, amused. “That’s like, ten minutes from the gaming house. I walk through their campus all the time. How’d you guys meet?”

“We live across the hall from each other,” Namjoon explains, opening the door for both Seokjin and Hoseok. Namjoon is a lot nicer in real life. He’d expected the glass door to slam shut on his face.

“We met because Namjoon was playing League and screaming, and my roommate went to his room to yell at him.”

Hoseok laughs. “How charming. You give just a good impressions on league as you do in real life.”

“A chocolate milkshake, please,” Namjoon tells the cashier, then turns back to them. “They all make beautiful, long lasting relationships.”

“You’re not wrong,” Hoseok mumbles, waddling behind Seokjin. There’s a spot of hair by Seokjin’s ear that hasn’t been dyed brown, but it’s kind of cute. Seokjin is cute; he wishes Seokjin also played League so he could know what to say to him.

Seokjin orders a mocha, and Hoseok an iced tea, because he really can’t drink any more caffeine, in case his hands shake during a game. Once they’ve all sat down, Namjoon asks, “So why are you playing at a PC Bang instead of at the gaming house?”

“Ha,” Hoseok replies dryly, stirring the lemon in his drink. “As it turns out, we haven’t been doing well in championships. It, uh. Coaching staff thinks I’ve practiced myself into a rut, so they told me to go outside and not play any League. They locked my computer.”

“So you went outside and played some League,” Seokjin states, and Hoseok stares down at his drink. Maybe it’s not intended to be mean, but he feels the burn anyway.

“Are you in a rut?” Namjoon asks, and Hoseok decides that he doesn’t want to think about that. “Because I checked your match history before we went in game, and you lost seven games in a row.”

“Top lane fed,” Hoseok answers automatically, and Seokjin and Namjoon look at each other. He wonders if they realize how in sync they are.

“Every single game?”

“You’d be surprised how even challengers suck at roles that aren’t their main ones,” Hoseok continues. “It’s sad, it’s like they spam the same thing every game. ‘Mid or feed’.”

Namjoon laughs and talks about his teammates in the game they had recently played, meanwhile Seokjin sits next to them and sips away at his mocha quietly, watching Hoseok and Namjoon converse. He almost feels like Seokjin is trying to read him, but he doesn’t know in what way. Is Hoseok interesting? Is he weird?

 

He manages to creep back into the house a grand half hour before curfew, not that it’s ever been enforced, and toes his shoes off in the doorway as quietly as he can.

“So you went out and played League?” Yoongi asks as Hoseok makes his way to the staircase.

He freezes, trying to look as shocked as possible as he exclaims, “Me? No way. Never.”

Yoongi doesn’t look like he believes Hoseok at all, but he usually looks like that, so he figured he’s got this one in the bag.

“You lost eight games in a row,” he says, and Hoseok misses a step. “We can all see when you’re online. You couldn’t not play for one day?”

Hoseok knows he can’t get out of this one. “How am I supposed to improve if I don’t practice?” he asks.

Yoong raises an eyebrow, but someone else has emerged from the direction of the kitchen. Two people, even.

Kyuhyun and Jungkook look at Hoseok, the former much more annoyed than Jungkook.

“So do you think you learned anything from your self practice today?” he asks. Sneers, really. Hoseok just barely contains himself from making a face or a snide remark. “Into my office,” Kyuhyun snaps, and when Hoseok doesn’t say anything back, disappears further into the house.

“Good luck,” Jungkook says, stuffing a croissant into his mouth. “And nice losing streak.”

Yoongi gives him a final look, more amused than anything, and follows Jungkook upstairs. Hoseok tries his best to swallow his pride and follow the direction of their coach.

 

“Fuck,” he groans to himself, five hours later.

He likes that this bar is never too empty and never too crowded, but he also really hates how sober he is. His beer is cold to the touch, and with an angry sigh, he tips the mug back and tries to drain it as fast as possible.

Fuck Kyuhyun, honestly. It’s not his fault they’re losing all these games. He makes mistakes, yeah, and sometimes he does stupid shit that cost them the game, but not all the time. And definitely not on stage. And he’s not desperate. Desperate is the last thing Hoseok is. He is calm and collected and about to order his sixth beer.

“I’ll pay,” someone next to him says, and Hoseok turns to see Beautiful Man from earlier today.

“Remember me?” he asks, handing over a card to the bartender. “A whiskey for me, please.”

“Of course!” Hoseok says, even though he doesn’t remember what his name is. “It hasn’t been that long. Can I have a whiskey, too?”

His head feels way too staticy and fuzzy when Beautiful Man laughs at him. Maybe he drank too much. “It’s Seokjin, by the way. In case you forgot,” he tells him, in a way that implies that he knows Hoseok forgot his name.

“Seokjin!” Hoseok blubbers. “How could I forget? I mean - I didn’t forget. Who could forget, uh, such a beautiful person like you. I mean- beautiful name.”

He thinks he may have said the wrong thing, because Seokjin stares at him with his mouth a little open. “Th-thanks,” he says, pausing to clear his throat. “You’re also quite nice.”

Seokjin takes a sip of his drink, and Hoseok takes the chance to ask, “So why are you here? It’s Monday.”

Seokjin’s tongue rolls out of his mouth or a second, eyes scrunched in distaste. “It’s been a long day,” Seokjin says, and that he can agree with. “But I finally handed in my paper, so I’m celebrating lightly.”

“Lightly?”

“Because I have class at ten tomorrow. With Namjoon, so I’m going to have to wake him up, too.”

Hoseok laughs and stares down into the golden liquor of his own whiskey. "I should also.. drink lightly. You know? We have Mondays off, usually. But tomorrow’s Tuesday. So I have to- have to work. Yeah. Lots of work."

"You don't sound very happy," Seokjin says, sipping his mug. "I thought you enjoyed playing League?"

"I do!" Hoseok replies. His head is feeling even more hazy than it was two seconds ago, but he can't make his mouth stop moving. This is why he doesn't drink much. "But it’s just, I'm... I'm not doing well. We used to be one of the best teams in the series, but we've kept losing lately, and I don't know why. I'm making us lose, and I don't know how."

Seokjin reaches over to lightly pat his back, and Hoseok sighs, taking a very long drag from his drink. He almost misses his mouth, and he thinks it might have gotten past Seokjin, but when he puts the mug down and wipes his lips, Seokjin is still looking at him curiously.

"How much have you drank, exactly?" he asks.

"Not much," Hoseok lies. "The feeling just comes and goes, I'm fine. So what class was your essay for?"

"Sanitation and Hospitality," he says. "It's an elective class, but the essay was, like, twelve pages long." Seokjin keeps looking back at him, but lets Hoseok finish his drink as he keeps drinking his own. He tries to keep conversation going as much as possible as he can without slurring, even as he orders a seventh drink.

One question fades into another, and then by the time he realizes it, Seokjin is hauling him out of his seat and out into the dark street.

"I should've known how drunk you were," Seokjin sighs. "Where do you live?"

Hoseok's head lulls onto Seokjin's shoulder, as he says without pointing in any direction at all, "That way."

Seokjin starts moving and tells Hoseok, "I'm going to take a guess then."

By the time they get back to the gaming house, Hoseok has tripped three times, nearly drunkenly made out with Seokjin twice, and almost vomits on his shoes.

"Can you- can you get back home?" Hoseok asks, after he's gotten back up from falling on his face after entering the house. "Should I call a cab?"

"I'm fine," Seokjin says, wiping his face. "Just try not to kiss anyone drunk again. Your breath smells."

Hoseok grins at Seokjin, because 'your breath smells' is not 'I don't want to kiss you'. He salutes, nearly falling over again, and Seokjin catches him this time. What he means to say next is 'You have really pretty eyes', but what comes out is "I'm going to vomit," and the next few minutes is a mad scramble of Seokjin dragging him all around the house.

 

"I heard you got wasted last night," Namjoon comments.

"Hm?" Hoseok asks, while trying to open up a bag of chips. He gives up and tosses it to Taehyung, who easily tears it apart and spills several chips in the process. He smiles sympathetically and grabs a handful before handing it back to Hoseok. "Where'd you hear that from?"

"From the kid who dragged your ass home. He's also in awe of the gaming house. I'm kind of offended you didn't give me a tour first."

Hoseok shoves a chip in his mouth and crunches it as loudly as possible. "I didn't give him a tour, so you'd still be the first."

Namjoon's laugh is borderline sinister as he retells how Hoseok apparently tried to give him a tour but almost puked on his shoes, so Seokjin opened every single door until they found a bathroom and made Hoseok vomit there before handing him off to Jungkook, who then put him to bed.

"Listen man, it was a rough night," he says, and Namjoon continues laughing as Hoseok locks in his champion. It's support, since someone else already took his role as AD Carry. He thinks it's BAP's ADC, but they're on a secret account, so who really knows. He hopes it's not Youngjae, because he hates supporting for him.

plz dont feed, they write, and by now Namjoon is practically howling with laughter as Hoseok tries his best not to rage at them.

"Yeah Hoseok, don't feed," he says as the game starts.

"Fuck off," he mumbles, and heads into lane.

 

They lose the game. ADC and support fed, and from there it was a lost cause. Youngjae blames Hoseok, Hoseok blames Youngjae, and Namjoon just laughs the entire game because all he really ever wants to do is troll.

A notification pops up on his screen after game, and Hoseok nearly throws his keyboard. "I'm demoted," he shrieks. "To Masters?"

"Oh my god," Namjoon cackles. "Welcome to Elo Hell."

"What's Elo Hell?" a smaller voice from Namjoon's side asks, and Hoseok perks up. Seokjin?

"What are you doing in my room?" Namjoon asks back, but doesn't complain. There's shuffling, and then Seokjin's voice, much louder, repeating his question. "Elo hell is when you're stuck in lower tiers, and you can't get out because your team sucks and doesn't know how to win games."

Someone behind Hoseok starts to laugh, too. It's Jimin. "Hyung, you're demoted?"

"Go away Jimin-ah," Hoseok grumbles, "this doesn't concern you."

"My ADC is only Master level," Jimin sing songs all the way back to his own computer. Yoongi stares at him until Hoseok looks away.

"So," Hoseok says, after a long silence of listening to Namjoon explain what the tiers are. ("Lowest is Bronze, then is Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Then there's Masters and Challenger, which are the highest of the highest.") "Do you wanna play another game?"

"Sure. Seokjin can watch, too," Namjoon says. "But this is my last, 'cause I gotta go to a club meeting in an hour."

They load up for a game, and Hoseok finally gets to play AD Carry. Namjoon gets his beloved top, and everyone is happy. Until game starts.

Hoseok and Namjoon start to do well, until the opponent jungler kills their mid laner over and over and dominates the game. It ends before 30 minutes.

Hoseok stares at the defeat sign on his screen. "Well," he says. "I think I also need to take a break, honestly."

Namjoon laughs. "Good idea. I'm gonna start getting ready. Get out of my room, Seokjin hyung. Go find something else to do."

"But I'm bored," Seokjin whines. "I like watching you play."

"Hey," Hoseok perks up. "Tell Seokjin thanks for last night. For you know, making sure I didn't trip on my shoelaces and get a concussion or something."

"Hoseok?" Seokjin asks. "Oh, that was you Namjoon was talking to?"

"I unplugged my headphones," Namjoon clarifies. "If you're gonna stay in my room hyung, at least look away when I change."

"Who the hell wants to watch you change-"

Hoseok debates whether he wants to play another game or not. Maybe he could stream. He thinks about his match history, then decides it's probably better not to. Maybe when he's untilted. Or at least winning a few matches. "I'm gonna go," he finally decides on, "and read a book."

There's shuffling on the other end of the line, and Namjoon asks, "A book? You're gonna read? You read?”

"Yeah, what's wrong with that?"

"You should read Please Look After Mom by Shin Kyungsook! Great book," Seokjin yells from the background. "Okay, bye!"

The Skype call ends, and Hoseok stares at his screen for a second, head blank, before he grabs his phone and searches Please Look After Mom.

 

On Wednesday Namjoon messages Hoseok and asks to duo together in League. “I just had an exam today,” Namjoon explains over Skype. “I don’t know how it went, so that sucks.”

“I’m sure you did well,” Hoseok replies, even though he has no idea of Namjoon actually did well or not. He has no idea what Namjoon is like in the academics, but when he’s not trolling, he makes some smart decisions in games. That counts, right?

“So what’s a college dorm like?” Hoseok asks, while they’re in the champion select screen. EXO’s sub, Sehun, has taken the ADC role, leaving Hoseok to jungle. Namjoon gets top role, as usual.

“College dorm?” Namjoon asks, once the game starts. “Uh... it’s nothing special. It’s like, what? A bed, a desk, a drawer. That’s it. I’ve got some posters, but it’s nothing much.

Hoseok snorts, and even more so when their mid laner dies to a gank. Report Ahri for feeding, Sehun writers, and when no one follows up, adds a xD to the end of it.

“I don’t care about your room. How’s like, a dorm, at college.”

“Oh,” Namjoon realizes, laughing. “Why? Are you thinking of retiring already?”

“Shut up.”

Namjoon continues laughing, even as he gets a triple kill, especially as he gets it, and by then, the game has been long won. The other team surrenders at twenty minutes in, and Hoseok finally relaxes, relishing in his first win after a few days. “Fuckin’ finally.”

Namjoon doesn’t reply for a moment, and static fills the space between them for a brief moment before Namjoon’s face suddenly appears on his computer screen. “Ready for your unofficial dorm tour?” he asks. “Seokjin can help me out.”

Hoseok stares at the room behind him before deftly saying, “Seokjin’s not there.” Namjoon’s room isn’t much, just like he said. A poster, a lamp, a bed, drawers. It doesn’t look like there’s much space for another person. “Who’s your roommate?”

“I don’t have one,” Namjoon states proudly. He even puffs out his chest. “I have a heart condition, so I requested a single room and got it. I’m also the furthest from the bathrooms, so I don’t have to deal with the smell.”

Hoseok decides to show his face too, and is suddenly glad everyone’s gone out to get lunch. The only other people around are Yoongi and Zhou Mi, their analyst. “Sweet. Seokjin lives next to you?”

“Across,” Namjoon corrects, and picks up his laptop. “You should actually drop by sometime, but a web tour is good for now.”

He watches Namjoon cross the hall and knock on the door across from his before yelling, “I’m coming in!” and opening it anyway.

“What if I was changing, man?” someone who is not Seokjin says. “And why do you have your laptop?”

Namjoon proudly holds out his laptop; Hoseok feels a little self conscious. “Meet Hoseok the computer screen. He’s gay. Like hella gay, like-”

“Shut up!” Hoseok yells, and Zhou Mi looks over, concerned, but Hoseok waves it off.

“That’s Hyosang, by the way. Seokjin’s roommate.”

Hyosang snorts from where he’s sitting at his desk. There’s a poster of Jay Park above it, next to the window. “How is your computer screen gay? Have you watched so much shitty porn your computer decided it wasn’t into girls?”

Namjoon flops on the bed opposite from Hyosang’s side of the room and groans. “Listen, my computer has gone through some shit, but porn is probably the least of its worries. Hoseok is a pro League player. We duo together a lot. And where’s Seokjin?”

“Downstairs,” Hyosang replies, stretching out his legs. Namjoon places Hoseok on the bed as well, giving him a nice view of the room, but not the door. “He went to print something out. He should be back soon.”

Namjoon spends the time waiting for Seokjin coming back to show his room, by rolling over and pointing to everything. “That’s Seokjin’s plant, Kkul-ah. It’s a honeydew flower, I think. I dunno, but Seokjin’s really protective of it. And, uh. That’s Hyosang’s fuckboy poster on the wall. Over here is...”

Hyoseok hears the door open, followed by Seokjin’s voice saying, “What are you doing in my room?” A backpack flies through the screen, then Seokjin walks into camera view. “Is that Hoseok?”

“This is not the worst thing you’ve caught me doing, let’s be real. Say hi to Seokjin, Hoseok!”

“Hey hyung,” he greets, waving in the direction of the camera. Namjoon fills Seokjin in on the dorm tour, and pulls him out the door, ignoring any and all of Seokjin’s protests.

“That’s Soojung and Jinri’s room, that’s Jonghyun and Kibum’s room. The bathroom is over there, but they haven’t cleaned it yet today so let’s skip that...”

By the time they’re done, it’s been about forty minutes, and everyone is back from lunch.

“Is that Namjoon hyung?” Taehyung asks, leaning over Hoseok’s shoulder. “Hi hyung!”

Namjoon waves back and falls onto his own bed, and Seokjin sits at his desk, placing the laptop down carefully. “That’s Seokjin hyung,” he tells Taehyung. “He doesn’t play League.”

“Namjoon made me an account once,” Seokjin admits. “I got to, like, level 8, I think, before I stopped.”

“Wait, really? Yo, Namjoon!” Hoseok calls out to the lump on the bed. “Let’s make smurfs and play with Seokjin again!”

“He’s never gonna learn how to play,” Namjoon replies, like he’s been there, done that. Hoseok supposes he has. “We’d just end up carrying him.”

“You’re not supposed to play,” Taehyung gently reminds him. Hoseok had forgotten he was even there.

“We have midterms coming up,” Seokjin replies. “I’m not playing video games now.”

“Namjoon played during finals!” Hoseok points out. “We wouldn’t play like, ten games a day. I mean, I do, but that’s my job.”

“Namjoon’s a genius,” Seokjin whines. “He goes to like, three classes a week and is still on the dean’s list.”

“Hey!” Namjoon shouts from behind them. He rolls over, and Hoseok watches with some amusement as he falls off the bed. “there’s plenty of time to do your readings and homework and stuff in between games and during the loading screen,” he says. He looks up at Seokjin, who can’t see him because he’s looking at Hoseok. As ridiculous as it is, his heart flutters at the notion.

“I don’t remember my username and password anyway,” Seokjin replies. “So we couldn’t play.”

“I’ll make you an account!” Hoseok says. “Or you can use one of my old smurfs.”

Seokjin sighs. He looks like he knows he’s playing a losing game. “I don’t even know what that means.”

“It’s a fake account,” Namjoon calls out from the back. He’s finally climbed back onto the bed. “Like. A second account that no one knows it’s you. But half the time people find out and no one cares, anyway.”

Seokjin groans, leaning back in Namjoon’s chair. “I’m still not going to play before midterms, so you’ll have to wait at least another week or two.”

“I guess that’s fair,” Hoseok mumbles. He’ll take the small victories. “Oh, Namjoon. You should come to the gaming house. Tour for a tour.”

Namjoon looks up from where he’s gotten his phone out. Probably to play more games. “Really? When?”

“This weekend? After the championship.”

“I wanna go to!” Seokjin says. “I wanna see the house when you’re not trying to puke all over yourself.”

“Way to bring up bad memories,” Hoseok grumbles. “I start scrims in half an hour, so I’m gonna leave now. See you this weekend! Don’t make any other plans.”

He signs off to Namjoon explaining what scrims are to Seokjin.

“They’re just practice games between pro teams,” he says, and Seokjin confused face is the last thing he sees before the screen goes blank. It’s cute.

 

He takes Kyuhyun’s advice in hand and doesn’t play anymore League for the next two days outside of practice.

It’s, surprisingly, very relaxing. Hoseok feels a lot more at peace, lying in bed and flipping through pages of a book Kyuhyun game him. Video games had been a way of relieving stress in the beginning, and then it became all he ever wanted to do. A few years after joining the pro scene, it became what he had to do, and that had sort of taken a little bit of the fun out of it. Then again, playing with a whole team was a different kind of fun too, so sometimes it was a win, and sometimes it was a loss.

“You did well in practice today,” Zhou Mi says while they’re both eating dinner. “It looks like the League diet is doing you pretty well.”

Hoseok mumbles a thanks around his chicken. “Kyuhyun gave me a book that’s actually interesting, so that helps.”

“Keep it up,” Zhou Mi replies, and places his used dish into the drink. “It was a wild guess that you were burnt out, but it’s starting to make more and more sense. Good luck this weekend against Infinite. No pressure.”

“I’ll get you a pentakill,” Hoseok replies, grinning.

 

They lose to Infinite, 13-15.

In all fairness, it’s an extremely close game, and the reason they lose is because Hoseok’s return to base gets interrupted by an arrow across the map, and by then it’s a race to see who can kill the other’s base first.

They’ve just gotten the nexus towers down when their own home nexus blows up.

Kyuhyun pinches the bridge of his nose and says the same thing he always says: “Go home, don’t talk about the game. If you feel the need to criticize someone else, keep your mouth shut and don’t go near them until we review the game tonight. Just, stay strong for Beast tomorrow. We’ll review and go over mistakes tonight.”

Jimin groans and slumps down in his seat, and next to him Yoongi pulls out his phone and distracts himself with whatever phone game he’s always playing. Hoseok stares out the window.

It’s the third game they’ve lost in a row. At this rate, they’re now tied for fifth place with four other teams, and tomorrow depends on how many people win or lose their games to see where the tidings start to really morph into. Hoseok himself didn’t do awfully this game, but there was definitely a lot he could have done better. He couldn’t even win lane, not even when Jimin, his support, flash engaged on Infinite’s AD Carry, Myungsoo.

His phone vibrates in his pocket.

dude, that sucks. :/ Sick dragon play tho, gl tomorrow! There’s a pause, then it vibrates again in his hand, and Namjoon sends a follow up: seokjin hyung watched today - gonna watch tomorrow too. he’s getting into it. don’t let him down! ^_^

“Fuck,” he grumbles, and Taehyung gives him a questioning look.

Of course Seokjin’s gonna watch him during a bad losing streak; that’s just Hoseok’s luck.

The team gets back to the gaming house and separate ways - Yoongi and Jungkook go straight to the gaming room to practice, and Taehyung gets called away by Kyuhyun to have a talk.

He supposes it’s Taehyung’s time to get “the talk”. Taehyung is the team’s main shot caller - he tells the team where to go and when, when to fight, and who to engage on. Usually his type of shot calling is very high risk-high reward based, and in this game, they reaped the consequences.

 

Hoseok has considered retiring.

He’s been in the League Championship ever since it even began five years ago, has been on BTS from the very start, and to this date, they’ve yet to get first place.

Last split they choked in the finals and lost to BAP, getting third place. The year before that they got second place against EXO. At least they aren’t like VIXX, who have the curse of being in fourth place every single year, consistently.

“There’s no reason why you to be this far up in your lane,” Zhou Mi says, pointing at the TV screen where they’re looking over today’s game. “Stay back, let the minion waves come to you, and just try to farm.”

So much for getting Zhou Mi a pentakill. Hoseok nods, takes notes, and listens as Kyuhyun fast forwards the video to the part where Yoongi died top lane. An hour after review session ends, his phone lights up.

hobiful!!!!!!!! it reads. its seokjin! namjoons phone is dead. he said we’re gonna hang out tomorrow, win or not. but u’ll win!! gl!

 

During the game against Beast, Hoseok manages to get a triple kill in bot lane, but he dies from Doojoon teleporting to the bottom lane and taking their turret.

They end up losing, with Yoseob, their AD Carry, getting a quadra kill and shooting down their base nexus before anyone can respawn back into game.

 

“Can you turn that off?” Kyuhyun asks, pointing to the TV in the lounge.

Hoseok hears Hyuna talking about how it’s BTS’ fifth consecutive loss in a row before the screen goes black.

“We’ll fix this by next week,” he says, ushering the team out of the studio. “You know the drill, no talking to each other until reviews. Go out, get fresh air. If you absolutely can’t, do some self review from all the past four games. There’s definitely a lot everyone has to go over.”

Jungkook frowns and plops himself into the passenger seat of the car. Hoseok makes plans to meet up with Seokjin and Namjoon.

 

By the time Hoseok had finished showing them the house and was seated in the main gaming room, it had been nearly an hour and a half.

“Korea sure cares about its games, doesn’t it,” Seokjin says offhandedly, looking around at all the computers. He’d nearly screamed when he almost knocked Hoseok’s second monitor off the table, only to look even more horrified when Hoseok said he would just take out a spare screen from the closet.

Namjoon shrugs from where he’s sitting, in Jimin’s chair, and stretches his hands over his head. “I mean. Korea has won world championships three years in a row. Except for last year, when China won.”

“I really want to go to worlds this year,” Hoseok sighs, staring at his toes. He wiggles them a bit, then glances up at Seokjin and Namjoon, neither who are looking at him. “First place goes automatically, then second to fifth place fight for the two remaining spots. Somehow BTS always fucks up the playoffs, but if we get first, we won’t need to even go to playoffs.”

“Hey man, you can do it,” Namjoon says. “You still have a chance of getting first place, as long as EXO fucks up. They don’t have a perfect record either”

Hoseok shrugs. “We lost pretty badly today.”

They actually hadn’t lost horribly, but at the end of the day, a loss was a loss, and that was one step backwards from going to the world championships.

“It’s okay, I didn’t understand it anyway,” Seokjin admits. “But you looked cool.”

“I understood!” Namjooon adds, grinning, and for a moment Hoseok expects him to make some snarky comment, but instead he says, “You actually did look cool. I mean, mistakes are mistakes, and they did happen, but you did pretty well.”

“Thanks,” he replies, picking at a tear in his chair. It does feel nice to hear compliments from someone who isn’t working for his team. Their old coach, Hobeom, had advised the team not to look at any community websites like Naver or Reddit. At first, he’s completely forgone the advice and prowled through the boards, but after a while it had gotten boring, and extremely disheartening, regardless of who they were talking about. The straw that had broken the camel’s back had been the post making fun of Taekwoon for his shy personality.

Since then, he stuck to his Twitter dash and the occasional Facebook post, so there wasn’t much of the audience opinion that he got to hear. Kyuhyun didn’t like to give compliments often, and Zhou Mi had to balance criticism and praise.

“There’s still a lot we have to work on,” Hoseok says, and turns to Seokjin. “But next week, I’ll promise I’ll show you a proper BTS win.”

Seokjin’s eyes widen for a moment, and his face flushes as Namjoon demands, “What about me? I wanna see a proper BTS win.”

“You’ve already seen one,” Hoseok snaps. “You’ve seen a bunch.”

Seokjin’s blush is gratifying, in a weird way. Even someone as nerdy as Hoseok (he plays video games for a living, honestly) can woo someone like Seokjin. Or well. Try to.

He hasn’t actually been wooing Seokjin, aside from the stray comment, but maybe he should. It seems as if Namjoon has caught on to the crushes, because he grins at Hoseok, wolfish and silly at the same time. “Yeah, but will I see a BTS win?”

“Uh.”

Hoseok’s not sure if they can do it. Their first loss in their losing streak was to EXO, their long time rivals, but after that they were dropping left and right to low and mid-tier teams. Unless EXO suddenly started to lose, then it would be impossible for BTS to get first place.

“Yeah,” he says, regardless. “You can expect to see me holding the trophy.”

 

The first time Seokjin and Hoseok meet up without Namjoon, it’s the Wednesday of that week, after Hoseok’s been in and out of practice with little to no breaks. There’s almost no time for his League ban to let up with all the scrims that have been going on. They win in their scrims against 2PM, lose against BAP, win against iKON.

There’s at least three notebooks filled with strategies that each team has used in the past, along with counters and pick and ban ideas and what is a priority champion, what is okay to let go, what champions are weak against priority champions, what is strong, what to do in this scenario, that scenario, and Hoseok feels like he’s in school again, with four hours of homework and studying.

Video games are supposed to be fun, and they are, but how long can anything stay fun when you’re forced to do it for someone else’s entertainment?

He’s got his laptop set up in the cafe they’re located at, notes lined up in a Word document as he scrolls through Twitter. He complains to Seokjin, who in turn complains right back to him about his classes and the fact he has no choice but to take a class with the same professor he had last semester who was awful and wouldn’t give him an extension for a paper when he was sick with a fever, doctor’s note and everything.

Healthy relationships shouldn’t be based on complaints and rants, so Hoseok changes the topic to Namjoon, when he feels like he isn’t cutting into Seokjin’s stories.

“He didn’t come because... someone fell down the stairs? And had to go to the hospital?” Seokjin clarifies, and Hoseok nods. It sounds like a bullshit excuse, but Seokjin shrugs anyway.

“That makes sense,” he says. “I hate that staircase. It was probably Sunyoung again.”

“Sunyoung?” Hoseok asks, and Seokjin sighs.

“Sunyoung! She’s a freshman, she’s really nice, and she likes to cook too, so we bake a lot together, and like, practically share groceries. We only get to use the communal dorm kitchen, so it kinda sucks.” He pauses for a second, staring down at his coffee, and then says, “I should probably make you something. It could be like a good luck... something!”

“Good luck cake?” Hoseok asks, and Seokjin grins in response. Hoseok’s heart flutters in his chest.

“Good luck cake!” Seokjin affirms. “I like the sound of it. Cake I can definitely do.”

Hoseok refreshes his Twitter page and sighs happily. There’s something about being at peace with himself and the people around him. Seokjin - his very obvious crush on Seokjin - isn’t anything stressful. If Seokjin likes him back, he likes him back, and if not, then it’s nice, this. This feeling of Seokjin next to him and replying to some text on his phone, body warm and soft where the sides of their legs touch under the table.

He’s kind of sure that Seokjin likes him back, but if there’s one thing that being a pro gamer has taught him, it’s that he shouldn’t dare to jump to any conclusions.

“So you never told me your coming out story,” Seokjin comments then, looking at his Twitter dash. “It’s a huge story, from what everyone’s told me. The whole, uh, ‘gay, so gay, dicks in mouth gay’.”

In a split second, Hoseok’s face and ears go hot with embarrassment. So much for being pleasant and comforting. “Oh my god, are you sure you want to know?”

Seokjin just nods and Hoseok sighs in resignation.

He was much more into streaming in his first two years of gaming professionally. Now, he just does it when he feels like it or has time to kill and nothing better to do.

Normally people play other games in queue, but Hoseok was a social butterfly who wanted to get to know all his viewers. It started with him scrolling through his tumblr dash and stumbling upon a picture of a shirtless, attractive model. He laughed, scrolled again, and muttered, “Gay.”

Then, as all bandwagons occur, the stream chat blew up with comments:

wow, homophobe????
jhope anti gay #confirmed
what if im gay dude thats not cool
wooooooooooooow
HOSEOK HOMOPHOBE 2K15 BAN PLS

“Wait, what? No!” he stuttered, watching the comments take up the entire stream chat. “It was a joke! Guys, I am gay, I can say that sort of thing. No, seriously! I’m gay! Like, hella gay! Sooo gay. Rolling in the deep dicks gay, dicks in my mouth gay-

Looking back, there were probably many better ways to come out to 24,000 people on the internet, but at least it did the job. And made a lasting impression. And became the biggest meme.

Seokjin is trying not to snort in between his giggles. “You’re kidding me.”

“I wish I could make that up,” Hoseok sighs.

Seokjin takes a look at his face and bursts out into laughter, hiding his face in his arms. If Hoseok wasn’t mortified, he’d think it was cute, but right now, there are multiple people turning to look at the two strange boys in the corner.

“Listen, it was a dark time,” he mumbles.

“I see why everyone makes fun of you for it,” Seokjin replies, looking up at him with an amused smile that makes Hoseok’s heart skip a beat or three.

When he opens his mouth to change the subject, the shrill tune of that rap song Jimin likes to listen to cuts through the air instead, and Sekojin and Hoseok both look down to see Yoongi's name on Hoseok's phone screen.

Yoongi never calls, never texts - never really replies to anyone either - unless it's important. "Hello?" he asks, picking up the phone.

"Check Naver right now," Yoongi says without any greeting, voice hard as diamond.

"Check what on Naver?" At Hoseok's question, Seokjin slides the laptop towards himself and types in Naver's address.

"Doesn't matter, it's the top article on the LoL Naver subforum, and the most searched term."

Yoongi doesn't sound so much scared than he does serious and mildly shocked, and that is a little alarming, but it's Seokjin's gasp that has him really looking over.

"EXO's top laner Kris retires from the pro-gaming scene," Seokjin reads, and clicks on the article. In the sidebar EXO Kris is the most searched term.

Hoseok peers closer and reads the first couple of sentences. "He left behind a ten page essay of what was wrong with EXO, and why the dynamics were not working out for the team and the horrible atmosphere behind the company."

"It's stuff we always knew," Yoongi says, "but I guess the members of EXO themselves are fed up with it too. I know Chanyeol's had to get eye corrective surgery twice already because of their practice schedules."

"That's what happens you sell not only skills but also a brand," Hoseok sighs. "Have you read this, uh, essay?"

There's a pause on Yoongi's end of the line, and then a snicker. "Yeah," he admits. "It's hilarious. Remember when you said Kris wasn't shit? You were probably right. I mean, there's obviously truth in it, but like. You should read it. It's hilarious. Or at least read the Naver comments, or go on Reddit."

 

“That’s probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Yoongi says, once Seokjin and Hoseok have returned back to the gaming house. Namjoon is already there, sitting in Hoseok’s chair.

“Also the funniest,” he adds, and Seokjin looks in between them, confused as ever. He looks towards Hoseok for help, who just shrugs.

“It is,” he replies, and Seokjin sighs.

“I don’t know what that means,” Seokjin states, and grabs the tablet that Namjoon passes him. "How is this supposed to help?"

Yoongi grins, hands folding over his lap as Namjoon and Hoseok look at him expectantly. "Read the comments."

[47+, 4-] the members keep him up at night??? kkk we all knew baekhyun was a rager but this is...
[193+] of all the comments, it was that the coffee is shitty?
[94+, 23-] ‘there’s 4 chinese members’ he’s just trying to get EXO deported from the LCK, isn’t he?
[394+, 3902-] even he admits sehun is useless.... what kind of joke team is this... just go back to china already

“What are the chances of this becoming a meme?” Namjoon asks, and Yoongi snorts.

“It already is,” he says, and shows Namjoon his phone. “Have you seen all the other threads? There’s a page asking about the new championship skin, and the comment says, ‘there’s 4 champion skins. the new one is useless’.”

“Rip in pieces EXO,” Jungkook sighs, where he and Jimin are passing by the gaming room. “Maybe they’ll tilt off the face of the planet and get last place.”

“They’re already tilting,” Jimin spots everyone sitting in a circle, and joins, offering Hoseok a chip. “When are we gonna practice?”

Yoongi swivels around in his chair to start up his computer. “No idea, but does anyone wanna duo with me?”

“I do!” Hoseok yells, jumping out of his seat. Seokjin shifts next to him, and raises his eyebrows. “Watch me play,” he says.

“Uh,” Seokjin mumbles, dragging a chair to sit beside Hoseok’s. Namjoon moves into Jimin’s seat. “Sure.”

 

Ten minutes later, Hoseok finds himself cross legged in his own chair, with Seokjin pressed up against his side, watching the screen very intently as he farms in the botlane.

He managed to persuade Daehyun to give him the role of AD Carry, so Seokjin could watch him in his primary role, because in the past few games he’d played with Seokjin nearby, he could never get it in time. But looking back, maybe he should’ve continued to not play his main role.

Something moves in the brush, and Hoseok realizes a second too late that their jungler came down to bot lane, and now he's trapped between their turret and the Rengar.

"I have TP," Yoongi says calmly, "Just hold on, he doesn't have ult, I'm teleporting- What the fuck."

"AHHHHHH," Hoseok screams after he accidently flashes, and Seokjin beside him jumps in his seat. "I'M TILTING!"

"I hate you," Yoongi groans as he teleports into Hoseok's lane and also dies.

That's the second time he's died, and they're only thirteen minutes into the game. "What does tilting mean?" Seokjin asks.

"Tilting is-"

Yoongi laughs from their headset. "Tell hyung that tilting is like eating pizza. Except it tastes bad - like paper. Paper and ink. Red ink. With lots of x’s. It’s actually your midterm and you failed.”

“You just got that from Tumblr,” Hoseok accuses, turning to face him.

Yoongi at least has the audacity to look offended. “Your point?”

Hoseok just shakes his head. “Tilting is when you just suddenly start doing really poorly. ‘Cause like, you tilt off the right path? Like... Jesus.”

Jungkook snorts. “I think of all people to tilt off the right path, it wasn’t Jesus. Maybe Judas.”

“You’re not even Christian,” Hoseok accuses, and Jungkook just shrugs and grabs a handful of chips from Jimin, who’s watching their game over Yoongi’s shoulder.

 

Hoseok learns a lot of things about Seokjin when he’s not playing League, which, he realizes, he’s finding enjoyment in again. Something about it not being the only thing he ever does with his time.

He spends most of his other time out with people - Seokjin, mainly, but other people. He goes drinking with a few of his high school friends and listens as they talk about where they want to go for grad school. Two girls approach him and ask for a picture, and they all coo and make fun of Hoseok.

He even accompanies his mom shopping, even though she does nothing but fret over Hoseok’s eyebags and “awful sense of style.”

He favorite non-League times are the ones spent with Seokjin.

He tastes Seokjin’s supposed famous carrot cakes and sits in one of his lectures with him, just because. Namjoon finds himself coming to their meetings less and less, each time with some ridiculous excuse that everyone knows is made up.

“What’s your favorite color?” Hoseok asks, as he flipping through pictures of shoes on his phone. They’re both sitting on Seokjin’s bed, Hoseok’s crossed legs overlapping Seokjin’s as he flips through his notes.

“Pink,” he says without looking up, and grabs his pencil to jot down something.

“Pink?” Hoseok asks, turning to look at him. “Really? You like pink?”

“Is that bad?”

“Well, no,” Hoseok mumbles. “I just don’t really want pink sneakers.”

Seokjin leans his head back, smiling. “Ah,” he says. “Well, Blue is okay too, I guess. But black and white shoes are the best.”

Hoseok nods in agreement and goes back to looking at his phone.

A couple minutes pass, and at first, Hoseok thinks he might have imagined it, the warmth of skin against his wrist, but then it feels more real, tangible - especially when Seokjin’s hand comes to wrap around Hoseok’s own unoccupied hand.

Fuck. Wait- this is? This is. Great.

Amazing.

Hoseok really hopes his palms won’t suddenly start to sweat and ruin the moment - but you know what would ruin the moment even more? Hoseok opening his fucking mouth. Which he will absolutely not do. Not at all-

“Uhh.”

Seokjin looks towards him, eyebrows scrunched up in confusion. “Is this... is this okay?” he asks, and gestures to their hands.

“Yes!” Hoseok shouts, nearly jumping out of his own skin. “I mean-- it’s. Yes, this is okay. This is great actually. I’m just-- I don’t know. But this is very good.”

Seokjin stares at him for a brief moment, still looking very much confused, but then it dissolves, and Seokjin is laughing quietly. “Very good?”

Hoseok calms his breathing, then his mind. “Yeah,” he says. “I was just, I dunno, taken aback. But I like this.”

Seokjin nods, smiling softly to himself. “Then... is it okay if I also kiss you?”

Hoseok’s mind stops working there, and his eyes automatically go down to Seokjin’s lips -- they look soft and entirely full, and god, yes, he would love to feel those against his own. Seokjin seems to take his actions as consent, and leans in slowly.

From here, Hoseok can see everything -- the sparse eyelashes that fan over Seokjin’s cheeks, the blemish on his forehead, the plum flush to his skin -- the only thing that lets Hoseok knows that he’s just as nervous as he is, and when Seokjin’s breath lightly mingles with his own, something pops into his head.

“Wait!” he says, bringing his hand up between them and pressing a finger to Seokjin’s lips (god, they do, so lovely and soft).

Seokjin looks at him with wide eyes and an apology on the tip of his tongue, but Hoseok waves him off. “It’s not that I don’t want to-- I definitely want. But, I. Not yet.”

“Not yet? Oh, am I going too fast? I’m sorry, I just thought--”

“No!” Hoseok cuts him off again. His idea is most definitely sound stupid, but he wants to say it anyway. “This will sound ridiculous, but I want to like, win it. Like -- if I win this weekend, both games this weekend. Then yes, I will. I will kiss you.”

“You’re not supposed to win people’s love over,” Seokjin says, but he’s laughing into the back of his hand anyway.

“I know!” Hoseok replies, much more loudly than intended, and his ears are burning much more hot than they were before, especially as he stares at his socks. “But let me just -- let me have some incentive to win. That’s not just winning. Okay?”

Seokjin tilts his head to look into Hoseok’s eyes, mirth and something so very cozy and friendly swimming in his own, and nods. “Okay.”

 

“We have to win,” Hoseok says, swivelling back and forth on his chair as they wait for the game to start up. Someone in the audience has a sign that says “DANK MEMES CAN’T PIERCE CHAMPIONSHIP DREAMS,” with BTS’ logo on top. Jimin spends the entirety of champion select giggling at it.

There are three more games until the finals, this weekend and the first day of the next weekend. Then, the weekend after is the finals. EXO lost their game today, having to put in their sub, Sehun, which sends Twitter and Naver going insane with memes: They’re going to put the useless guy in?; He can’t make coffee, how can he play League?; #bringbackkris2k15; kris wouldn’t mess up coffee like this!!!

If EXO loses for the next two weeks and BTS wins, they would officially be eligible for finals. It would then be BAP, EXO, and BTS fighting for first, second, and third place.

Champion select goes well for BTS’ side; iKON doesn’t ban Kalista (debatably the most disgustingly overpowered AD Carry), so Hoseok picks that up, as well as Jimin picking up Alistar.

“Okay,” Taehyung says two minutes later, “care mid, I’m going to gank bot lane. Is it warded?”

“The timer just ran out,” Jimin replies, and surges in forward for the engage.

 

“Amazing!” one of the casters yell as Hoseok takes his headphones off. “BTS had been lagging for a bit, but what a miraculous comeback with a score of 24-3. Absolutely crushed iKON.”

Hoseok tunes them out once they start to talk about the mishap in the middle of the season and walks over to shake iKON’s hands. They look a little dejected, as if they had expected BTS’ tilt to continue for a third week, though Hoseok can’t really blame them. Their story of trying to get out of the challenger series is a long and hard one.

 

“Right,” Kyuhyun says after they make it back to the gaming house. “Good job guys. You’ve still got your match against Winner tomorrow, and if you win that one, then there’s the match against VIXX the week after. If you can win both of those, we can make it to finals.”

“Dank memes can’t pierce championship dreams,” Taehyung says in the most sage-like voice he can, and Yoongi sighs. Hoseok pulls out his phone.

To Seokjin: i hope ur ready for my luscious lips ^_^_^_^_^_^_^

From Seokjin: one more win to go~

To Seokjin: namjoon made u a league account, btw !_! get him to elo boost you or whatever

From Seokjin: !_!

 

“They really need to find a better way to hide these wires,” Jungkook says, frowning at the floor. “One day someone’s going to trip over them.”

Jungkook’s not wrong. The stage is designed so that there’s five sets of computers on opposite sides, and instead of having the wires from ten different computers going under the stage or something more aesthetically pleasing, they run backwards, behind the stage. Hoseok adjusts the straps on his headsets and looks out into the audience. The memes can’t pierce championship dreams sign guy is still there, and this time, Hoseok waves to him.

“It’s okay, the developers of LoL probably don’t have degrees in interior design,” Jimin replies. “You can’t fault them for everything.”

“I can try,” Jungkook mumbles, and the game finally loads up.

“Shush,” Yoongi says, cutting off all extra conversations. “Game time.”

The match-up against Winner is a little bit trickier, but nothing that they haven’t dealt with before. They’ve got a Juggermaw composition, so Hoseok goes back to the crit champions, like Jinx and Sivir.

Get the Malphite!” Taehyung screams in their ears, and so Hoseok sends up a rock to the top lane, sniping Malphite while he’s trying to return to base.

The game plays right into their hands after that.

“We’re going to make to finals!” Jungkook yells, and Taehyung jumps up excitedly.

“We have to beat VIXX first,” Yoongi reminds them, but even he’s smiling as he puts his mouse into his bag.

 

At the end of the day, winning against low tier teams isn’t much of a feat, but for BTS and their losing streak, they’ll take whatever encouragement they can get.

Hoseok’s post-practice league ban is still on, but Kyuhyun and Zhou Mi aren’t nearly as strict about it anymore, so neither of them bat an eyelash when he tells them about how he’s playing on a new account with Seokjin.

“If you’re not being serious, I don’t care,” Kyuhyun had said later that week, munching on a chocopie. “Go wreck some noobs.”

 

“You owe me a game!” Hoseok shouts, pointing at Seokjin. He, in turn, groans and looks to Namjoon for help, who just laughs at him.

“You can be my support,” Hoseok says, patting Seokjin on the shoulder. “Like a good sub.”

“What the--”

Namjoon’s laughter cuts them off. “He says that now, but really the ADC’s have to listen to everything the support says because they’re focused on their own lane and farming. So actually the ADC is a sub.”

“Why are you trying to ruin my image,” Hoseok sniffs, logging onto Seokjin’s account.

Namjoon looks more than smug as he says, “you do that enough by yourself.”

He ignores that comment, as well as his latest text from Jimin. “Here,” he says proudly, turning the laptop screen to Seokjin. “I bought you your first champion: Lux. I even got you a skin for it.”

Seokjin stares at blonde girl taking up residence on his computer. “I don’t know who or what that is.”

“Skins are like customizable outfits,” Namjoon explains, then stops when he realizes Seokjin isn’t listening, having gone back to read his textbook.

“I’m going to wreck some noobs on your account,” Hoseok says, and looks at Namjoon. “Wanna join?”

Namjoon shrugs. “Nah. I’m gonna take a nap in my soon. I’ll see you nerds later.”

Hoseok shrugs, and they decide to go to a PC Bang instead of bothering Hyosang.

They don’t talk about the kiss deal.

Seokjin frowns as he logs onto his account, and stares at his username, Princess. Namjoon thought it would be funny, and Hoseok never turned down an opportunity to troll someone. hey, he messages Seokjin. you come here often?

Seokjin looks at him through the corner of his eye, and Hoseok resists the urge to giggle.

Princess: wtf
Hobiful: asl?
Princess: hoseok you’re sitting next to me
Hobiful:
Hobiful: hey its me ur brother
Princess: ...

 

Seokjin plays two games before he gets bored and they leave the PC Bang and end up in a bar in the backstreets of Hongdae.

“How does it feel to be back in the race for first place?” Seokjin asks, hands caressing a beer. There’s the faint rhythm of The Weeknd playing in the background, and Hoseok can’t help the way he watches Seokjin’s lips wrap around the lip of the bottle. Maybe it’s the music, maybe it’s the dim lights. Maybe it’s the fact he’s been wanting to kiss Seokjin for such a long time, and finally can. He just has to wait for the right moment.

“I feel like a king,” he admits, grinning, finger running along the rim of his gin and tonic. “Well, not yet. But I feel like I could be. I think-- I think this is the year. The season we get first place. I mean, this weekend we verse VIXX, and whoever wins between us can verse EXO, unless they lose to BAP.”

Seokjin sighs and leans against the back of his chair, looking up at the TV behind the bar table. “Sounds like a dream,” he says, almost whimsically. The bottle is tipped back, and Hoseok watches his adam’s apple as the rest of the beer is finished.

 

Hoseok follows suit and drains the rest of the glass, eyes squeezing shut at the burn. He hears Seokjin laughing from next to him. “Do you wanna get out of here?” he asks. “I’m not really in a mood to be drinking.”

“Yeah, I was kind of bored anyway. Not really interested in... that.” Seokjin gestures to the baseball scores being rattled off the TV, and Hoseok grins as they get up and leave.

“So,” he says, as the cold wind bites against their skin. “You’re not interested in baseball, but you care about League?”

Seokjin laughs, arm coming up to wrap around Hoseok’s waist. “I have learned a lot about League in the past few weeks.”

“Have you?” Hoseok asks, just so he can be cocky. Seokjin rolls his eyes at the question, and walks in the direction of his campus. Hoseok doesn’t point this out and quietly follows along, wondering if there’s possibly a motive behind them, or if Seokjin just wants to sit around at home.

The hand around Hoseok’s waist comes down, and before it flops down to Seokjin’s side, Hoseok grabs it.

 

The rest of the walk back to Seokjin’s dorm is quiet and comforting. They bump shoulders ever so often, and Hoseok watches Seokjin’s breath frost the air around him. “Do you have practice tomorrow?” Seokjin asks, as they walk through the empty courtyard.

Hoseok sighs. “Yeah. And then Saturday is a game day. Sunday might be free depending on our results. But we’ll probably have to study our past games whether we win or lose.”

They stop at the entrance of their dorm, and Hoseok looks above and behind Seokjin’s head to the moon hanging overhead. He hadn’t realized how late it was; a quick glance to his phone tells him it’s nearly midnight, and looks up to tell Seokjin so.

Except.

Except the words get stuck in his throat at the look in Seokjin’s eyes.

“I can kiss you now, right?” Seokjin asks, and Hoseok is almost tempted to make a joke, almost, except that he wants this just as much as Seokjin.

“Yes,” Hoseok breathes, and reaches out to grab the collar of Seokjin’s jacket and pull him close. “God, yes.”

Seokjin’s lips may have looked soft before, but from the wind and the cold, they’re chapped where they press up against Hoseok’s, but god, they’re warm and real, and feel so, so good. Seokjin makes a low keening sound in the back of his throat when Hoseok licks his way into Seokjin’s mouth, slow and languid and trying to taste as much of him as Hoseok can.

He stumbles backwards, and Seokjin follows along clumsily until Hoseok’s back is pressed to the brick wall and Seokjin is much more insistent, hands running up into his hair, gripping the strands at Hoseok’s nape and tugging until he can swipe his tongue along the roof of Hoseok’s mouth.

His head feels dizzy with everything -- the wetness of Seokjin’s mouth, his cologne that mists around them, the heated touch of skin against the cold air -- he barely processes himself moaning until they fall apart.

He feels Seokjin panting against his cheek, and then he laughs, pulling Seokjin close so that they’re trapped together in a mess of limbs against Seokjin’s college dorm. This is too funny, and yet not at all. It’s too much, but somehow Hoseok wants more.

“What?” Seokjin asks, looking up at Hoseok, and he responds by planting a wet kiss to his lips.

“Nothing,” he says, and grins. “It’s late, though. You should go back.”

Seokjin leans his head down and plants a kiss onto Hoseok’s neck. He shudders. “I don’t want to.”

“I don’t want go too, but how else am I going to win the championships?”

The laugh Seokjin lets out is familiar and warms Hoseok’s insides. “That’s true. But what crazy feat are you going to win this time?”

“I don’t know,” Hoseok says, and Seokjin takes a step back and regains his posture and image. “When I get to the finals, I’ll let you know.”

Hoseok sets out to head back to the gaming house and turns around to give Seokjin one last wave goodbye.

 

VIXX is one of the teams in the league where Hoseok feels sort of bad about. Despite their consistent and admirable plays, somehow they always end up in fourth place. It’s the VIXX curse.

Granted, he also doesn’t want BTS to get fourth, so when the game loads up, he’s not too happy to have gotten the lower end of the bargain of playing Jinx against Kalista.

 

He gets slammed in the bot lane. Jimin goes out to set wards and gets caught by VIXX’s jungler, Wonshik. And then he gets caught out again by their support, Hakyeon, and Taekwoon, their AD Carry, solo kills Hoseok.

“I’m going to farm in the jungle for a moment and think,” Taehyung says quietly. “For now, play as safe as possible. Don’t leave the towers, and don’t let them push. Reset all the waves.”

Hoseok wonders if Taehyung has finally sobered up his shot calling. The past few games they’ve done, it was because they got an early lead and snowballed it into something much bigger, but so far, they’re incredibly behind. VIXX even has three dragons compared to their one.

“Hoseok hyung, check the baron,” Taehyung finally says, fifty-three minutes into the game, “with your ult. Yoongi hyung and I are gonna get the second dragon.”

Jinx’s cannon can go anywhere across the map in a straight line, and are only intercepted by enemy players or the baron or dragon. There’s not much they can really do, so Hoseok complies, even though he doesn’t see the point.

The cannon flies across the map and Hoseok doesn’t waste time to see what happens -- Taehyung will tell him, and so he opens up the shop to upgrade his trinket when, through his headphones, he can hear the audience screaming in the background.

BTS JHope (Jinx) has slain VIXX Leo (Kalista).
BTS JHope (Jinx) has slain VIXX Hyuk (Kennen) for a double kill!
BTS JHope (Jinx) has slain Baron Nashor.

Hyung!” Jungkook screams, “You got it! You got the baron!”

“Wait, what?” Hoseok asks, not quite believing. Another notification pops up.

BTS V has slain the dragon.

“GO GO GO,” Taehyung screams into their headsets, “GO GET THE NEXUS.”

 

“I feel dirty watching that Baron steal,” Kyuhyun says once they’ve gotten back to the gaming house. Baron Nashor, a lizard-like monster in the game, increases a team's stats by nearly tenfold when slain, but since it's incredibly hard to kill, most team fights occur outside the Baron pit. “Fuckin’ disgusting.”

Hoseok gives everyone his biggest shit eating grin and nearly flies into the practice room.

Before the match, Hoseok had made Seokjin promise to play at least one more game with him before he decided to let his account gather dust for the rest of virtual reality.

 

“I think Skype is lagging,” Seokjin says, once the call starts. There’s some shuffling on the other line, and then it’s clear. “Okay, say something.”

“I’m giving up on you,” Hoseok replies, snickering. He hears Seokjin groan.

“I’m logging off,” he threatens.

Hoseok laughs, and even more so when the game starts and Seokjin accidently flashes inside their own base. “Come on, I even made a new smurf for you! Look, isn’t my name funny? It’s Jokeseok.”

“It’s because you’re a joke,” a familiar voice says in the background, and Hoseok preens.

“Namjoon! I haven’t seen you in forever, why do you keep ditching me to go hang out with your less cool, probably Bronze level friends?”

“It’s because if I introduce them to you apparently you’re going to make out with them--”

Namjoon.”

He hears Namjoon snickering in the background, and Hoseok sighs. Of course Namjoon would know. Then again, they hadn’t exactly kissed in any private place, so for all they know, Namjoon could have just looked out the window and saw them. He also doesn’t doubt that Seokjin might have accidently let it slip. Or maybe it was just his appearance. He sighs in fond remembrance of Seokjin’s swollen, bright red lips, slick with spit.

There’s a sound from an explosion, and First Blood flashing on his screen.

“Did you just give first blood to a bronze player?” Namjoon asks very seriously, and this time, Seokjin is the one giggling.

“Uhh.”

 

Hoseok makes the unfortunate mistake of streaming for the first time in over a month. He makes the unfortunate mistake of streaming while Seokjin and Namjoon are over.

“Can you look over and click accept when the queue pops?” Hoseok asks, and Namjoon nods diligently.

 

He leaves for two seconds, only running into the kitchen to fill up his water bottle when he hears Seokjin screaming from the practice room, and runs back to find water dripping all over his monitor, keyboard, and table. And Seokjin.

“It wasn’t me,” Namjoon says as quickly as possible, and turns the webcam and microphone off. “You might want to stop streaming--”

Hoseok pushes past both of them to see the stream chat spamming BOYFRIEND? BOYFRIEND? BOYFRIEND?

“What did you even do?” Hoseok asks, mouth agape. His stream chat hadn’t been this active and spammy since he came out all those years ago. Granted, he doesn’t stream nearly as much anymore, but Hoseok can’t keep track of the comments going past his screen.

KappaPride! straight as fuq but i would not complain to have a dude that cute sucking my dick
BOYFRIEND?
its ok if i say no homo right?
BOYFRIEND?
dudez love challengers too #confirmed
why does jhope have more game than i do....
BOYFRIEND?
BOYFRIEND?
BOYFRIEND?

Namjoon gets out of his seat as fast as possible and tiptoes away. “Wow, I just remembered I have an assignment to do! I’m gonna do that before the deadline passes and I fail out of college, I’ll see you guys later bye!”

 

After Hoseok turns the stream off with much difficulty (he really hopes nothing ends up on Naver or Reddit), Seokjin and Hoseok end up in his room.

“So,” Hoseok breathes in between kisses, “hear me out.”

Seokjin grunts and flops onto the bed. The bite mark on Hoseok’s neck still stings, but he ignores it as he says, “So I have a proposition for you.”

“Is this a ridiculous post-game question that you already know the answer to?” Seokjin asks, and Hoseok realizes that he’s right on the mark. That is in fact exactly what Hoseok was going to say. Seokjin probably knows what the question is.

“Maaaaybe,” Hoseok mumbles, leaning over Seokjin. “But hear me out.”

He runs his hands through Seokjin’s hair, and presses a kiss to his lips, then pauses for a moment to inhale Seokjin’s musty scent. It makes him dizzy with want, but he has to focus first. “So, hypothetically speaking, if I were to hypothetically ask what you hypothetically thought of what Namjoon may have hypothetically said on stream today...”

Seokjin raises an eyebrow at him, amused, while playing with the string on Hoseok’s hoodie. “I would hypothetically tell you that you already hypothetically know the--”

“I’m not done yet!” Hoseok hisses, and Seokjin pouts. He very much wants to kiss that pout away, but first: “I don’t want you to answer now, but after championships -- after I win championships, and only if I do, will you be my boyfriend?”

Seokjin smiles up at him, lazy and content as he says, “I will hypothetically let you know after you win finals. But for now...”

 

Yoongi looks everywhere in the room but at Hoseok and Seokjin, even as he’s talking to them. Probably because of the multiple hickeys that litter Hoseok’s neck, but you know. Times are hard. “The ‘dank memes can’t pierce championship dreams’ guy is like, famous. He has an AMA on Naver.”

“He’s also got some haters,” Jimin says, reading over Yoongi’s shoulder. Jungkook holds out a bag of chips to Seokjin as he’s putting on his boots and jacket, and is politely declined. “‘Dank memes might not pierce it, but seeing as JHope’s skills are as thin as a balloon, even Sehun’s useless coffee skills could pierce it’,” Jimin reads, then promptly pales. “Dude, that’s savage.”

“There is no chill left in this world,” Yoongi sighs, and pets Jimin’s hair.

“You know what won’t pierce championship dreams?” Seokjin asks.

Hoseok grins down at him. “Deez nuts?”

He gets a swift kick to the knee in response.

Jungkook cackles and reaches to grab a handful of chips. “He took an arrow to the knee.”

“A knee to the knee,” Taehyung adds.

Hoseok curses them all off as Zhou Mi waves Seokjin goodbye from the kitchen.

 

The following week is spent in practice hell: After the Monday off Hoseok had spent with Seokjin, they scrim every single team in the league except for EXO themselves, and every single day, they go through three of the previous matches and point out each and every error.

Zhou Mi makes them all draft their own group compositions and then compares it to their notes and what compositions have been done before, as well as what EXO usually defaults to and what their best roles are.

EXO had a stellar win over BAP on Saturday, with Sehun getting a quadra kill and Jongin with the superb team plays. It almost looks like Kris had never left, except Naver is still filled with useless coffee memes.

“He only got a quadra kill because they have a Juggermaw comp,” Jimin points out. “That’s so fucking lame. It’s just ‘protect the AD Carry’, and no one else even does anything except be human shields.”

“Well, Chanyeol was playing Zac, so I guess you could say he was a--”

Yoongi shoves his face into a pillow and screams. “Don’t fucking say it,” he threatens when he picks his head up. “I will kill you Kim Taehyung.”

Zhou Mi ignores everyone else in the room. “Okay, so I think we should go against what the meta is right now because fuck that, and let Yoongi play his carry top champions.”

Yoongi retracts his statement. “I fucking love you Kim Taehyung,” he says instead. Hoeok can see stars swimming in his eyes. “Please let me play Yasuo.”

 

The championship dreams sign guy is here at the finals as well. This time, the camera zooms in on his sign, and the arena bursts into cheers.

Well. Half of it bursts into cheers. The other half bursts into jeers, but they’re all used to it. EXO vs BTS rivalry has been a thing for years now, nothing that either team really care about aside from the fans.

“Sing me a song,” Taehyung says, and Jungkook complies, his sweet voice filling up everyone’s headsets until champion select starts. Kalista and Sivir are banned, so Hoseok ends up playing Jinx again, and Jungkook is incredibly happy to get his hands on Viktor.

 

Yoongi gets a triple kill when he teleports down to the bottom lane, and Jungkook gets the second tier turret down by fifteen minutes.

“I think the Yasuo tilted them,” Yoongi claims, once he nearly avoids dying to Chanyeol.

“Your Yasuo tilts me on a regular basis,” Hoseok replies, then screams when Jongin jumps out of a bush and prompt murders him. “Okay, well. Spoke too soon?”

“I think so,” after a double kill notification appears on Jimin’s screen. He sighs.

 

The game has been going steady for nearly twenty minutes, with stalemates after stalemates, and he finds himself with a full six item build at forty minutes.

The score is 16-14 when a full blown team fight occurs. It’s in the middle lane, and it happens at the sixty three minute mark, meaning that whoever dies is going to have a very long death timer, meaning that the fate of this game rides in this fight.

“Care Jongin, Jongin,” Taehyung orders, and they focus the Rengar who jumps out of the bush to initiate the fight. “Hoseok hyung, stand in back, kite from afar. Jimin, push Sehun out of the fight--”

“Are you ready for the wombo combo?” Yoongi asks, and even though he’s grinning, his voice quivers, and Hoseok nods.

They’ve only practiced it once in scrims against one of the lowest tier teams, and then it failed, but the setup here is too good to pass up. Taehyung and Jungkook use their abilities to bunch up the group together, Jimin sets up for Yoongi’s ultimate, which gets all of EXO down to low HP, and finally, Hoseok sends out a canon for the finishing blow.

The lights start to flash on and off behind him, and the audience screams as static bubbles up in Hoseok’s throat as a new message appears on his screen.

Penta Kill.

“Yoongi the god,” Hoseok croaks, broken laughter following after.

He can’t hear anything over the sounds of his teammates screams blaring through his headset.

 

“Let’s fucking go!” Jimin screams, jumping out of his seat. Yoongi throws his headphones onto the floor and flings himself onto Taehyung, who happily returns the hug.

“I can’t believe it,” one of the caster’s voice rings throughout the stadium, “for the first time in five years, BTS is going to take home the first place trophy.”

“We did it,” Hoseok whispers, voice cracking. Jimin’s hands are in his hair, where they then slide down to his shoulders, and Hoseok envelops him in a hug as well. “We did it,” he repeats, much more calmly, and grins brightly at Jimin.

“You got a pentakill,” Jungkook says from behind him, and headbutts Hoseok in the shoulder.

“Yeah,” he says, “I guess I did.”

They walk across the stage to shake EXO’s hands, and Hoseok can feel all sorts of different emotions bubbling up in his chest as he hears the audience chanting the team’s name over and over.

“The trophy!” Yoongi interjects, pointing at the ornament that’s been brought out onto stage.

The trophy itself is probably half Hoseok’s height, and it takes all of them to hold it up. The stadium lights reflect off of the blue crystal in the center, and Hoseok looks out into the audience with pride rising in his chest and popping like firecrackers.

And then he sees Namjoon cheering and waving at him, and he grins brightly, taking a step forward to get a better view of him, and sees someone else very familiar and very Seokjin standing next to him.

Something long and thin hits the toe of his shoes, and Hoseok hears someone screaming before everything goes out of focus, and then black.

 

 

When he wakes up, the ceiling and the walls are white, and his head hurts like a motherfucker.

“Oh, you’re awake,” a familiar voice says from beside him, and Hoseok turns his head to see Jimin sitting in the chair next to his bed. His hospital bed.

“What the... what happened?” he hears himself ask, and groans at the sharp stab of pain when he accidently pulls at the IV bag.

“You tripped on one of the wires on stage,” Jimin explains, and helps him sit up behind handing him a glass of water from the bedside table. “According to the doctors, you have 12 stitches on your right temple.”

“Hey, he’s awake!” another voice calls out from the hallway, and Hoseok winces. Too many sounds, too loud. He can barely hear the thoughts in own his head properly.

The rest of the team walks in, followed by Kyuhyun and Zhou Mi, as well as Namjoon.

Jimin continues to speak as if none of them are here. “The doctor said that you’re extremely lucky not to have fractured your skull.”

“You still have a concussion,” Kyuhyun says. “So no, uh, vigorous activities with specific people.”

“Vigorous activities?” Hoseok has a hard time comprehending anything around him. His back of his head is still pounding dully, making it hard to focus on anything. His eyes focus from Yoongi to Taehyung to... “The trophy?”

By the hospital window is the first place trophy, it’s platinum covering glinting in the sunlight, and Hoseok realizes that the blue crystal in the center is reflected off of walls, almost making the hospital room look like a sapphire kaleidoscope.

“Oh my god, please don’t fuck the trophy,” Jungkook begs, and Namjoon snorts in the background.

Hoseok doesn’t have the willpower to process anything. “Can I just... go back to sleep?” Hoseok slurs, and Zhou Mi ushers everyone out the room.

 

When Hoseok wakes up again, it’s three in the afternoon, and there are two nurses around him, monitoring his blood pressure. One of the nurses goes to get the doctor, and Hoseok spends the next hour being lectured on what he can and can’t do.

Yoongi comes in later in the evening and tells him about how the fiasco he pulled at the championship finals is all over Naver.

“BTS JHope falls on stage, breaks monitor, and his skull,” Yoongi reads aloud to him.

“I didn’t break my head,” Hoseok points out.

Yoongi ignores him. "Congratulations," he says, handing him the phone. "You're the number one article right now. And the newest meme. Again."

Hoseok takes the phone and scrolls through the comments on the thread.

[3243+, 34-] Wow, good guy JHope... when EXO takes a nosedive, he brings his nose along with them!

[842+, 93-] Dank memes can’t pierce championship dreams, but they sure can pierce JHope’s head.

[327+, 37-] Coffee wouldn’t let him down like this... Maybe Sehun, maybe the wires, but never coffee...

[1392+, 532-] Wow... that sucks. Like, hella sucks. So deep in the losses sucks. Like computer in his face sucks.

[32+, 38-] KappaPride.

“No one talked about my sick penta kill?” he asks, dejected, and Yoongi laughs.

“There’s a whole other article about it in the subpage. Hoseok, you made the front page of Naver. Not the LoL subthread.”

Hoseok looks back between the trophy and Yoongi. “Wow,” he breathes. “I am a god.”

Yoongi stares at him, then shakes his head. “You’re fucking stupid. I’m going to leave, because you have another visitor.”

“Another visitor?” Hoseok asks. “Who?”

Yoongi motions to the door and slides out, and in comes Seokjin, with a bouquet of flowers in his hand.

“You got me flowers?” Hoseok asks, slightly touched, even if he hates the color yellow. “You would be the only person to get me a get well present.”

“Your teammates haven’t left the hospital since you’ve entered it,” Seokjin says, placing the flowers on the beside table. “That was definitely something. The, uh, finals. I mean. Namjoon was jumping out of his seat.”

“It was all Yoongi and Taehyung, honestly,” Hoseok finds himself saying. “They planned that whole ending move. I just pressed a button.”

Seokjin sits at the edge of the hospital bed and pushes Hoseok’s bangs out of his face. “It was still impressive. I came in person.”

“I know,” Hoesok replies, grinning up at Seokjin. His hair is a little messy, probably from being tucked inside a hoodie, and he reaches up to comb through the strands. They feel soft and silky underneath his fingers. “You were the last thing I saw.”

Seokjin looks genuinely surprised. “Me? Wait, am I the reason why you’re here?”

Hoseok looks at the bed, then at the trophy. “Not unless you were the person who put the wires the way they are. Also, I have something to ask you.” Seokjin makes a little noise, prompting him to continue, and Hoseok sighs. “Do you remember before the match, when I asked you if--”

“Yes,” Seokjin states, cutting him off. “And yes.”

Hoseok smiles up at him. “Great, because I get discharged tomorrow morning, and I wanted to stream.”

 

“Hey guys,” Hoseok says, waving to his webcam. On the stream chat, a whopping 40,000 people start to spam all at once. “Do you like my new accessory, this headband? I got it for free at the hospital. But it’s like, limited edition.”

that’s such a lame joke...
jokeseok 2k15
are you sure your head is healed?

“Wow you guys are so rude!” he snaps. “I’ll forgive you all, because my amazing fashion sense isn’t the point of this stream. It’s, uh. Well.”

Hoseok nudges Seokjin with his toe, and drags him into the frame.

“Say hi to my boyfriend, Kim Seokjin! You can blame him if I start to tilt from here on.”

BOYFRIEND?
BOYFRIEND?
BOYFRIEND?
BOYFRIEND?
BOYFRIEND?
BOYFRIEND?
BOYFRIEND?
BOYFRIEND?

“Yup,” Hoseok says, as Seokjin grabs the collar of his shirt. “That’s my boyf--”

He doesn’t get to finish, but that’s okay, because he’d much rather kiss Seokjin instead, and he barely remembers to cover the webcam with his hand, but he does that too.