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It's Not a Crush (I Swear)

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If Yoongi were to make a list of all the things in the world he absolutely did not want to do, going to the dance club meeting with Jimin would be at the very top, circled, starred, and bolded.

“Park Jimin, you know I don’t dance.”

He’d said it with unarguable firmness, in that tone most people would shrink away from. But Jimin was Jimin, so instead of giving in, he whipped out his puppy dog eyes and quivering pout and but you’re my only friend and I don’t have anyone else to go with spiel, and here Yoongi was, entering the arts building dressed to sweat.

“I honestly don’t know why I’m friends with you. Don’t give me that look, you brat, that look is why I’m here in the first place.”

Jimin’s pout disappeared when they neared the practice room and the sound of laughter. Yoongi groaned, dragging his feet to the door, but Jimin looped their arms together and yanked him inside. There were maybe fifteen people total, some already stretching before the wall-to-wall mirror, others sitting in circles, talking. Jimin led Yoongi to the front, where a boy fiddled with the stereo.

“Hi, Hoseok.”

The boy turned around, and the first thing Yoongi noticed was his smile. It was huge and genuine and made his stomach do a funny little flip that he couldn’t explain.

“Jimin, you came.” He clapped Jimin’s back.

“This is my roommate, Yoongi.”

And Hoseok was turning that blinding smile on him. Yoongi’s face grew warm. “Nice to meet you, Yoongi.”

It wasn’t that he liked the way Hoseok said his name. It wasn’t anything like that. He really had no idea why he could only answer with a flustered nod.

“So you’re into dance too?” Hoseok asked.

“Dancing. Yeah. I love dancing.”

Jimin shot him a look. “He came because I made him. But he’ll like it, I know he will.”

Yoongi snorted, and Hoseok laughed, and he tried to pretend he wasn’t enraptured by the way Hoseok’s eyes disappeared and he threw his back a little when he did. Jimin and Yoongi retreated to the back of the room for the start of the meeting. It turned out Hoseok was president of the club, and they would be preparing a performance for the club fair next month to attract more members. The word ‘performance’ had Yoongi eyeing the door, ready to bolt, but Hoseok smiled at him at some point so he stayed.

Hoseok then demonstrated the beginning of the choreography they would be using for the performance. Yoongi couldn’t take his eyes off the way he moved, so fluid yet controlled. He could tell Hoseok showed his heart through dance, the same way Yoongi showed his through his lyrics.

They got up to practice immediately, the first few times with Hoseok up front leading. Yoongi followed along as best as he could, but it wasn’t easy. He knew if he had more time to learn the moves he could manage, but everyone else picked them up so quickly. After a while, Hoseok and some of the more experienced members took to walking around the room, offering suggestions to the newer dancers.

Yoongi was watching Jimin, trying to pick up the one move he kept forgetting, and so engrossed in dancing that he didn’t notice Hoseok come up behind him until he felt gentle hands on his forearms, pulling them further out.

“That’s better,” Hoseok said, his breath tickling the back of Yoongi’s neck. Yoongi fought the urge to shrink away, nodding instead until Hoseok stepped back. “You know, you might not have wanted to come, but I think you have a lot of potential. If you decide to come back, that is.”

It could have been the worst decision of his life, but Yoongi’s lips were moving before his brain stopped them. “I’m coming back.”

 

The second time Yoongi went to dance practice, he got Hoseok’s number.

It was a sneaky sort of thing. They were talking about dance moves and particularly hard ones and Hoseok mentioned how when he was younger he had watched YouTube tutorials by this dance teacher and I probably won’t remember that name, do you think you could text me some links? Yoongi left the room that day with Hoseok safely trapped in his phone.

“I didn’t know you were that smooth,” Jimin said on the way back to the dorm.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Sure you don’t.” Jimin smiled sweetly and hummed under his breath all the way home, “Yoongi’s got a cru-ush, Yoongi’s got a cru-ush.”

It wasn’t a crush. Yoongi didn’t have crushes. That’s what he told himself when his text conversations with Hoseok moved away from dance and to music, about which they had a lot to say, and before he knew it he was sending Hoseok clips of his songs and asking things like which beat do you think fits better, the first or the second and Hoseok was sending him pictures of food (the dining hall has steak today) and cats (look, she’s sitting on my bike) and clothes (which hat should I wear). Jimin started giving Yoongi a look every time his phone pinged (is that Hoseok again) and he had to remind himself it wasn’t a crush so many times it started to sound like a defensive mantra.

 

The third time Yoongi went to practice, Hoseok asked him to stay after.

“I know you’re having trouble with the ending choreography, but I think if we just go over it a few more times you’ll get it.”

They went through it together twice before Hoseok stopped to watch him do it on his own. The club practice had lasted two hours this time, yet here he was, still dancing, sweating like a pig. Yoongi cursed Jimin with every word he could think of as he danced with aching limbs. What was he doing here, anyway? He wasn’t a dancer.

“That last move- try to make it more explosive. Like this.” Hoseok demonstrated, and Yoongi tried to imitate it. “That’s good.” He grinned and Yoongi amended his thoughts. Maybe dancing wasn’t so bad.

It took another hour before Hoseok was satisfied, and at the end of it Yoongi collapsed on the floor, flinging an arm over his eyes. He didn’t have the energy to walk back just yet. Hoseok fell back next to him, and they lay there in silence until their breath returned to normal.

Like most things with Hoseok, Yoongi didn’t see it coming until Hoseok had curled into his side, an arm slung around his waist and his head buried in Yoongi’s neck. Yoongi stiffened, heart hammering painfully, afraid to even breathe.

“What are you doing?”

He felt Hoseok smile before mumbling something about being tired. Neither of them said anything after that. Eventually Yoongi relaxed and put an arm around Hoseok’s shoulders, and even though they were sweaty and gross and muscles he didn’t even know he had were aching, Yoongi wanted to lie there and never get up again.

 

“But see, it’s the principle of the thing. I only asked him to make two of the PowerPoint slides, I’m doing everything else myself- are you even listening?”

He wasn’t. Yoongi was staring across the courtyard to a bench where there sat a certain boy with a smile that made his stomach feel funny and the kind of laugh that melted hearts. In his lap was the head of another boy who was reaching up to fiddle with Hoseok’s earlobe while he talked. Hoseok had a hand threaded through the boy’s orange hair.

Yoongi’s stomach flipped, only this time it wasn’t a good sort of weird.

“Is that Hoseok?” Jimin said quietly.

Hoseok had on his 100 watt grin and Yoongi felt sick. “Yeah.”

Jimin reached out to him, but Yoongi was already walking away, remembering that this was why he didn’t have crushes and feeling a little like something inside him might have broken.

 

His phone pinged fifteen times that evening, but he sat across the room from it, trying very hard to look like he was absorbed in lyric writing and not wondering what Hoseok was texting him. Listen to this song I think you’ll like it, or what do you think of this choreo for my solo next week? or maybe even yo are you sleeping wake up and pay attention to me with some stupid cat sticker attached.

After the seventh ping Jimin said, “Aren’t you going to answer those?” and Yoongi grunted. After the tenth he said, “It’s Hoseok, isn’t it,” and Yoongi told him to stop distracting him. At the fifteenth ping, Jimin picked up Yoongi’s phone to check. “Stop ignoring him. You don’t even know if that guy is his boyfriend. Just ask.”

Yoongi wanted to say they looked an awful lot like boyfriends. But instead he said, “Who says I care about his love life?”

“Your face says you care.”

“Shut up and mind your own business, Park Jimin.”

“Quit being so stubborn, you big baby.” Jimin flung Yoongi’s phone onto his bed to land beside him. It pinged one more time and Yoongi eyed it like a venomous spider.

 

He didn’t go to practice that week. Sure, he’d enjoyed dancing when he was doing it, but he had only joined the club for Jimin and stayed for Hoseok, if he were being honest with himself. Now there wasn’t any point.

Still, it felt strange not going; an anxiousness settled in his bones, the restless itch of you should be doing something but you’re not. Yoongi was used to spending quiet evenings alone. He liked it. Writing music came easier that way. Before he got dragged into this dancing mess, he never would have dreamed of wanting anything different.

Not that he did. Want anything different, that is.

Jimin hadn’t let him stay back without a fight.

“You can’t afford to miss a single practice if you want to perform at the club fair.”

“I’m not going to perform.” He hadn’t looked at Jimin when he said it; he could imagine the disappointment well enough on his own. Would Hoseok be disappointed? Would he care at all?

“You can’t back out now.” Yoongi could almost hear the pout in Jimin’s voice.

“I can do whatever I want, actually.”

“Stop being stupid and just ask him if he has a boyfriend or not.”

He had flung a pillow at him for that. “This isn’t about Hoseok.”

“I’ll ask for you.”

“Do you have a deathwish?”

“You’re going to be alone forever.”

“Good. If you keep bothering me, I’m moving out.”

“Fine, sit here and be miserable.”

But as he walked out the door he had that Park Jimin look on his face- the determined one that usually meant trouble for Yoongi.

Three hours later, trouble came in the form of a knock on the door. He opened it, grumbling as he stuck his pen behind his ear, and nearly jumped out of his skin when he was met with a sweaty Hoseok who had the orange-haired kid from before in a headlock. Despite being manhandled, the kid had a giant, stupid (and kind of cute) grin on his face.

“This is Taehyung,” Hoseok said without preamble. He shoved Taehyung forward. Yoongi stepped back as Taehyung stumbled into a bow before shaking his hand enthusiastically. Yoongi would have been offended as his arm was nearly wrenched out of the socket, but he was too startled to care. “He’s my cousin.”

And Yoongi was pretty good at lying to himself but he couldn’t deny the relief that fluttered through him. He knew they saw it, too, because Hoseok started smirking and Taehyung’s grin grew impossibly wider and Yoongi felt like the dumbest, most stubborn idiot on the planet.

“Your cousin.”

“A certain someone told me you were being ridiculous, so I thought I’d come clear things up.”

“Park Jimin. I’m going to kill him.” But he was laughing a little breathlessly and they all knew he was lying, even him.

“Get coffee with me tomorrow.”

“Coffee.”

“In case you’re going to misunderstand again, I’m asking you on a date, Min Yoongi.”

“A date.”

“Please say yes, he talks about you all the time.” Taehyung’s words were met with Hoseok pulling him into another headlock.

“Jung Hoseok, you have a crush on me.”

“Look who’s talking. I can’t believe you skipped practice because you thought I had a boyfriend.”

“Let’s get coffee. But you’re paying.”

And when that 100 watt grin turned on, Yoongi’s stomach went back to doing the good kind of flip.