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The 100-Day Love Challenge

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“So!” the MC announces. “Park Jimin, which shall it be?”

Jimin looks at his choices. Three glittery placards hang from the wall the MC stands in front of.

Reflecting.

Bonding.

Giving.

Jimin is currently selecting the mission he’d like to undertake as part of a variety challenge for BTS. It’s the whole gimmick for this new show they’re on. It reminds him a bit of Hello Counselor, except that this show sends its celebrity guests away with their own little missions to complete. Which the hosts check back in on during the celebrities’ next appearance, of course.

Earlier in that same recording, another idol group had video called in to happily chat about the hilarious but beneficial results of a mission in which they all had to give each other compliments every day for a month. It’s totally over the top, but Jimin is into it. It’s all in the name of self-growth and fostering truth within the team, after all. And, he reminds himself, it’s good to challenge yourself every now and then.

And a challenge is even better when it’s a challenge for multiple people. Right? It could improve some friendships, could bring the members even closer together. It would be fun! Right?

Jimin wants to do just that, to bring himself and the members closer together. He doesn’t want to ‘reflect’ by himself, whatever that means, and also he doesn’t really understand what the ‘giving’ option means either, so by process of elimination, he picks:

“Bonding.”

The crowd oohs.

“Good choice!” says the MC. “A challenge between you and one other member! But, before you get to know the challenge, we’re going to pick the group member who you will complete it with.”

“I don’t get to pick?” Jimin whines playfully. He already knew that he didn’t get to, but he did kind of wish he could. Though, he guesses that might defeat the purpose of the ‘challenge’ altogether.

“Ah, Jimin, you know you can’t pick!” The MC smiles. “Now, we actually already had your mission partner picked out!”

“Oh,” Jimin says, surprised. “Okay!”

“Just in case you chose ‘bonding’, your mission partner was selected for you ahead of time!”

“Oh, great!”

“By your members!”

Oh.

Maybe...not so good.

Jimin fights to keep a smile on his face. He already knows who it’s going to be.

“Suga!” The MC bellows. The crowd whoops and cheers. Jimin turns to see Yoongi, seated with the other members across the stage, raising a lazy hand in acknowledgment, his signature smirk already in place.

Jimin’s already beginning to regret this.

“Here we go!” the MC says, returning to the wall covered in glittery placards. “Let’s see what your mission will be!”

He pulls the Bonding placard off of the wall. The glittery red sign underneath it reads, “100 Days of Love.”

“Ah yes!” the MC says, pleased. “The 100-day love challenge!”

Jimin’s really beginning to regret this.

“Fantastic!” The MC turns back to Jimin. “This means that you, Park Jimin, must tell Suga every day for one hundred days that you love him.”

Jimin watches as Yoongi’s mouth drops open, which is pretty hilarious. It would probably be more hilarious if Jimin’s jaw hadn’t joined his on the floor.

“Oh,” is all Jimin thinks to say. Oh.

Okay.

Look.

Jimin knows why the other members picked Yoongi. The two of them are as opposite as bandmates can be. Yoongi must have been cornered into this role, probably overruled by a group vote. Because any sort of bonding exercise between them is bound to be slightly awkward, perhaps a bit embarassing for the two of them, but certanly entertaining for everyone else. But this...Jimin doesn’t think he can do this.

And yet.

Jimin is not a quitter. Jimin asked for a challenge, and he’s getting one. And he’ll be damned if Yoongi’s cranky ass is the reason he has to go back onto this show in a hundred days and tell them that he failed.

“Let’s do it!” Jimin says with determination.

The MC laughs. “Yes! And there’s no need to be anxious! It’ll be good! A great bonding experience! Right, BTS?”

Jimin looks to the group...who are barely attempting to hide how hilarious they find this. Jeongguk and Taehyung are stifling laughs, Seokjin’s eyes are dancing with mirth, and Namjoon is giving a wide smile that Jimin finds disconcerting. At least Hoseok has the decency to look stunned.

“Yeah,” Namjoon, the bastard, agrees with the MC.

“Fantastic!” the MC declares again, unperturbed by their collective shitshow.

“Every day?” Jimin asks again, just to be sure.

“Every day!” the MC confirms. “Just saying ‘I love you’ once. That’s all. But you have to say it every single day, or the challenge is lost! I’m sure you can do it, though, right, Jimin?” He grins, and Jimin feels the fire of a real goddamn challenge sparking within him.

“Of course I can!” He affirms. Now overcome with excitement, he turns towards Yoongi. “I love you, hyung!” he shouts across the soundstage.

Yoongi is surprised, but after a second he laughs.

This delights the MC. “There we go, day one! You’ve already begun!”

“Day one,” Jimin repeats, holding up his index finger. Well, he might as well get started now.

“I can’t wait to see the results!” the MC chirps.

They go to commercial.

--

Jimin begins the second day of the 100-Day Love Challenge (what a terrible name, he thinks to himself) as something of a joke. And when he treats it like that, the challenge isn’t difficult at all.

For that first week or so, Jimin tells Yoongi he loves him as soon as he sees him in the morning. “I love you, hyung!” he practically screams at Yoongi’s half-awake form as the older stumbles into the kitchen on day three. Bless him, Yoongi’s grumpiness only makes Jimin want to shout it louder. And it’s made even funnier by the fact that Jimin is usually up way before Yoongi is. Jimin really, really enjoys being totally awake and alert and fully dressed as he yells lovingly at the rumpled, scowling, eyes-still-shut Yoongi.

Something so beautiful could only last so long, though. On the ninth day, when a frowning Yoongi stumbles into the kitchen, Jimin opens his mouth to deliver his daily endearment-- except that he’s immediately cut off by another voice.

“We can’t go to the studio today,” Namjoon tells Yoongi, totally oblivious to the fact that he is being a ruining ruiner who ruins, completely destroying Jimin’s established ritual. “The building’s shut down for the day, some sort of waterline repairs or something.”

Yoongi’s scowl deepens, which Jimin thinks is pretty impressive for someone who is always already scowling. “I wanted to finish mixing that song,” he tells Namjoon.

That’s disappointing, Jimin sympathizes to himself. Oh well. Life is hard. He opens his mouth again and--

“I know,” Namjoon tells Yoongi calmly. “But we can’t use the space, so we’ll need to work on it from here or from somewhere else.”

Yoongi is not a big fan of these options, and Jimin watches with growing frustration as he and Namjoon continue back and forth. Namjoon tries to appease Yoongi, who is, as usual, unyielding. Taehyung and Jeongguk, eating at the table, wisely stay out of it.

Unfortunately, Jimin was already planning to be in dance practice all day, and he doesn’t know when he’ll next see Yoongi, so now is their only guaranteed chance to talk. So Jimin keeps opening his mouth at what he hopes will be breaks in the conversation, except that Yoongi and Namjoon just keep going.

“Fine,” Yoongi huffs dismissively at Namjoon, just when Jimin’s given up. “We’ll go somewhere else.”

“Alright,” Namjoon says agreeably. “I’m heading with Jimin to the building so I can talk to manager-nim for a minute and then I’ll be back and we’ll find somewhere to work.”

“Fine,” Yoongi repeats sourly. He turns and begins walking in the opposite direction, probably to go get dressed.

“Wait!” Jimin shouts.

Everyone in the kitchen freezes and turns towards him.

Looking Yoongi in the eye, Jimin says seriously, “I love you, hyung.”

After a long pause, Taehyung bursts into laughter. Beside him, Jeongguk joins in, snickering.

Jimin’s face heats up. He didn’t mean to make it so awkward, but he had to do it.

Yoongi is completely taken aback until he remembers the mission. “Okay, Park Jimin,” he replies neutrally, and then he’s heading away again.

Namjoon, who’s waiting for Jimin by the front door, is barely holding back giggles.

“Shut up,” Jimin tells him, his face still a bit hot. He puts on his coat and pushes out the door.

--

As they get deeper into promotions it gets a bit harder for Jimin to fulfill his mission every day. Jimin’s morning ritual is totally corrupted-- he’s so busy scrambling around as soon as he gets up and then running from place to place thereafter that he usually doesn’t remember to tell Yoongi he loves him until halfway into the day.

He learns something important in the process, though, which is that it’s really awkward to have to tell one of your members on the regular that you love them without a schedule in place that makes it clearly compulsory. The end result is that Jimin ends up telling Yoongi he loves him at strange times and in strange places.

At first he just says it whenever he remembers. On days thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen he shouts it at Yoongi when, respectively, they are having their mic headsets taped to them before a performance; when they’re about to go into the recording booth for a radio interview; and when they’re having their makeup done before a photoshoot.

At that last one, Jimin had shrieked it so loudly and abruptly that he’d even surprised himself, but also the makeup artist working on him, who had skittered back in terror.

“Sorry!” he told her apologetically. “Sorry, it’s this thing, sorry!”

Yoongi just made a face at him from across the room.

Yoongi always accepts the ‘I love you’s, but he also always looks a bit irritated being shouted at, and it does seem to embarass him somewhat when others are around. The members don’t tease after the first week as much as they did in the beginning, but Jimin still isn’t quite that cruel to keep embarassing Yoongi over and over again-- even if it is pretty funny-- so he tries to tone it down.

On day eighteen, for example, the group has a tense meeting with management. Jimin recalls his mission partway into the meeting, and when this thought leads him to look at Yoongi, he begins to watch the others’ expression. He quickly becomes distracted by how uncomfortable Yoongi seems throughout the meeting, appearing annoyed but, even moreso, exhausted.

As they leave the meeting to return to their dorms, the mood low, Jimin sidles up to Yoongi and tells him very quietly, “Hyung, I love you.”

Yoongi turns to look at him, surprised. After a second, he gives Jimin a tired little smile.

“Thank you,” he says back just as quietly, and they don’t say anything more until they’re back at the dorm.

--

For the days in the twenties Jimin gets a bit quieter around the challenge, waiting until others aren’t around, or, if they are, making sure to say it so that Yoongi is the only one who will hear.

On night twenty-three he mumbles it as they both half-heartedly brush their teeth like zombies in front of the bathroom mirror, almost passing out right then and there from the exhaustion of back-to-back performances on three hours of sleep.

On day twenty-seven he says it as he passes by Yoongi’s room on his way to his own bed, seeing Yoongi already sprawled out across his bunk. (All he gets in return is a grunt, which Jimin decides is good enough.)

Jimin thinks about setting a daily alarm on his phone just in case he forgets one day, but for some reason that kind of ruins the challenge in his mind. He likes having to remember it himself, likes having to think cleverly so that he can work it into his day.

And...sometimes the way it happens so randomly, the way he’ll spring it on Yoongi when it just happens to be the two of them alone for a few seconds-- there’s something about that that pleases Jimin. It might only be as they pass each other in the dorm hallway, and yeah, everyone else might know about the challenge anyway, but Jimin likes that it feels like it’s just them doing the mission together, in secret, for just a moment.

--

Jimin starts to get kind of stealthy about it, a feat on which he prides himself.

On day twenty-eight they’re waiting backstage before a performance, and Jimin passes behind where Yoongi is seated, lightly touching his shoulder as he moves by. “I love you, hyung,” he says softly, pausing for just a second to duck down so he’ll be heard, and then continues on his way.

Jimin settles down in front of a mirror on the other side of the room to check his hair, and belatedly realizes that he can see Yoongi’s reflection. He catches the other, unaware that he’s being watched, staring after Jimin with an unreadable expression.

--

The quietness of the twenties continues on into the mid-thirties.

(He does break this quiet streak, once, when he remembers in the middle of dance practice that he hasn’t yet told Yoongi that day that he loves him. They’re doing this new chereography where they sort of ‘pass’ the energy of their movement from one person to one another, the first person freezing as the next one takes on the energy and moves, and it’s just too irresistable. Jimin waits until it’s turn to pass the energy on to Yoongi and shouts, “I love you, hyung!” over the music as he directs a powerful gust of movement at him. Everyone cracks up, even Yoongi, and for the rest of the dance, whenever energy gets passed, the members shout their endearments to each other. “I love you, Jeongguk!” Hoseok bellows, overdramatically dropping to one knee and proferring his energy to Jeongguk like a marriage proposal. “Be mine, Tae!” Namjoon howls, his hand to his heart as he passes his movement on to Taehyung. Jimin almost dies from laughter.)

On day thirty-six, Jimin tells Yoongi without fanfare as they all sit down around the table to open up bags of takeout. Jimin settles down beside Yoongi, who’s already digging into a noodle dish.

“I love you, hyung,” Jimin tells Yoongi casually, quietly, so that only Yoongi can hear.

Yoongi just nods, and then wordlessly directs his chopsticks, laden with food, at Jimin. Jimin opens his mouth reflexively, and Yoongi pops the food in.

Jimin sits there chewing, watching Yoongi as the older goes back to feeding himself, and Yoongi is being totally casual about it. Because it’s a totally casual thing. It’s casual, right?

Right?

Jimin feels the tips of his earns burn, and he doesn’t know why.

--

That evening, after they’ve eaten and talked some and then split up to settle into their own spaces across the dorm, Jimin sits by himself on his bunk and thinks. He runs through the challenge in his head; he contemplates his responsibility to report back to the show hosts later.

Everything makes sense up until a point. And that point appears to be Yoongi.

Jimin sits up thinking about it until it’s two in the morning and he gets hungry enough to head to the kitchen. On his way back, he stops outside the entrance to his hyungs’ room.

Peeking his head in the door, he sees Namjoon, Seokjin, and Yoongi all passed out on their respective bunks. After a moment’s hesitation, Jimin quietly pads into the room and kneels over by the head of Yoongi’s bed.

Yoongi is completely under, absolutely dead to the world. Jimin watches as an inner voice simultaneously shouts to him that he should not be watching. It’s such a pleasant sight, though, and Jimin gets way more satisfaction from it than he can quite explain.

“Hyung,” Jimin finds himself whispering and gently jostling the older’s shoulder. What are you doing, Park Jimin? the voice inside his head warns him, but he ignores it. “Hyung.”

Yoongi blinks a couple times and quirks his mouth, which is strangely adorable. “Jimin?” he finally asks, voice sleep-rough.

“Hyung,” Jimin hears himself say. His voice is shaky. “I love you.”

Yoongi closes his eyes and quirks his mouth again. “You said it...this morning.”

Jimin is surprised that Yoongi remembers. “That was yesterday,” he whispers. “It’s the next morning now.”

“Oh, okay,” Yoongi breathes, accepting this explanation. His eyes are still shut. Jimin can’t look away from his face.

Jimin gets up to leave when he hears Yoongi say very quietly, as he rolls himself back into his covers, “you too.”

Jimin’s heart clenches.

He returns to his room and lays face down on his bed for a very long time and doesn’t understand anything at all.

--

Jimin is out of it for the entirety of the next day, restless and uncomfortable in his own skin. He wants to move, but as soon as he gets up all he wants is to sit back down again. He paces across the waiting room backstage at a performance and randomly seats himself, then springs back up again seconds later. He notices that Namjoon looks away from his conversation with Seokjin and Hoseok near the makeup stations to watch for a while.

Namjoon finally, carefully makes his way over to the couch that Jimin’s sitting on, and perches on the arm.

“What’s up?” Namjoon asks, not pushing, just curious.

Jimin sighs. “I don’t know,” he says honestly.

Namjoon nods like this makes sense. “You wanna talk about it?”

Jimin pouts. “Maybe...maybe later.”

Namjoon smiles. “Alright.” He moves to stand from the couch. “But,” he adds quitely, “if the other guys are giving you a hard time about the challenge and it’s giving you a problem-- me included,” Namjoon grimaces, apparently at his own potential behavior, “--then let me know, okay?”

Caught off guard, Jimin nods. But that’s not even what’s bothering him, he realizes with a strange sort of embarassment. Isn’t that supposed to be the hard part of this, getting teased for it? Or at least, one of the harder parts? Yeah, the members are still teasing him about it a bit here and there, but Jimin is jarred by the realization that it hasn’t factored into his current internal crisis even a little bit.

--

“Park Jimin, we’ve heard you’ve got a very interesting mission on your hands,” the radio show host opens.

Jimin gives a nervous laugh. Every other host or MC wants to check in on Jimin’s progress. While it wasn’t too bad in the beginning, lately Jimin’s been feeling nervous about discussing the whole situation. It’s like he’s done something wrong or has some secret to hide, even though he knows he hasn’t and doesn’t.

“I do!” he says as cheerily as he can. Jimin looks to Yoongi, whose steady gaze is directed at the host.

“What day are you on?” the host asks.

“Day thirty-eight,” Jimin confirms.

“Almost halfway there?” the host tries, and some of the members laughs. “Okay, maybe not! But still, it’s very admirable that you’ve made it this far.”

Jimin gives a smile that he hopes doesn’t look like a grimace. “Aw, it’s not so bad.”

“So it’s not been hard then?” the host smiles politely. “It’s not so hard to tell your hyung you love him every day?”

Yoongi has turned his gaze to Jimin. His face is impassive.

“It’s not bad at all,” Jimin says softly, looking back at Yoongi.

Yoongi looks away.

--

On day forty-one, Jimin stands in front of the dorm washing machine; next to him, Seokjin silently folds the clean laundry out of the dryer. Jimin checks the clothes over for stains before he puts them in, holding the stain-fighting spray at the ready.

Jesus, their group is messy. There’s splotches of yellow sauce on several t-shirts and soda on someone’s pairs of pants. Possibly the rusty color of kimchi has exploded all over the chest of a white sweater. And there are dirt stains on the knees of a pair of Taehyung’s jeans which Jimin inspects incredulously. Where the hell did he even find dirt to play in?

“Hey,” Seokjin says suddenly. He keeps on folding clothes, casual, but Jimin can tell just from how he said that one word that he means business. “How’s the thing with Yoongi going?”

“Fine,” Jimin says automatically.

Seokjin seems unbothered, making a face that’s the equivalent of a shrug. “You sure?”

“I don’t know,” Jimin mutters, just like he did to Namjoon.

When Seokjin just keeps folding clothes, not saying anything, Jimin feels his confession bubbling to the surface. “The mission-- I don’t understand why, but it feels like it might be changing everything.”

Seokjin waits until he sees that Jimin is done, and then he takes this in, not asking any questions-- just contemplating as he returns to folding clothes. Trying to be patient, Jimin returns to his task as well.

“Have you ever considered,” Seokjin finally asks, gently, “that this is just as much a challenge for Yoongi as it is for you?”

Jimin considers this.

No.

No. He hadn’t.

Jimin had never thought about it like that before.

--

On day forty-three, Jimin is sitting at the kitchen table with Hoseok, Jeongguk, and Seokjin when his phone rings.

Yoongi, the screen announces.

Yoongi almost never calls him-- Jimin’s lucky if Yoongi even texts. And last Jimin checked, Yoongi had been locked away in the recording studio all evening with Namjoon, with no reason to call Jimin. Confused, Jimin picks up.

“Hyung?” he greets.

“Park Jimin,” the low voice greets him. It sounds amused. “Is there something that you’ve forgotten about today?”

Jimin checks himself over. Well, he is wearing pants. “No?” he guesses.

There’s only silence from Yoongi’s end, but Jimin knows better than to ask. Yoongi is patient in moments like this, only dropping hints or staying silent; he’ll wait until Jimin’s figured whatever it is out for himself.

After a stretch of nothing Yoongi finally says, “It’s eleven forty-three.”

Jeongguk, Seokjin, and Hoseok all startle when Jimin jumps in his seat and shouts.

“Ah!” He’d almost completely forgotten and broken his streak.

Yoongi laughs from the other end. “Yes,” he agrees. His voice is so low. Jimin really enjoys hearing it, especially the smooth flow of his own name. Park Jimin.

“Okay.” Thank god Yoongi called. Jimin takes a deep breath and speaks. “I love you, hyung.”

It comes out of his mouth so different from how he’d expected it to, and it catches him completely off guard. It sounds almost sweet, moving beyond the regular register of endearing and funny and into the territory of affectionate and vulnerable.

He hears that shift in air over the phone that indicates tension on Yoongi’s end as well.

The others at the table are staring at him.

After some more silence Yoongi huffs, “Alright.”

“Okay,” Jimin returns helplessly. What else is there to say?

Eventually Yoongi just says, “Good night, Park Jimin.”

Jimin can’t read Yoongi’s tone at all. “Good night,” he echoes.

Jimin hears the beep marking the end of the call. Jimin puts the phone down in his lap, and then chances a look back up at the others.

Everyone has some expression of shock or awe. Seokjin’s making an effort to conceal it, but Jeongguk and Hoseok aren’t trying, Instead, the latter two exchange a look that says something massive, but which Jimin can’t decipher.

“What?” Jimin snaps, and all three abruptly look away.

“Nothing,” Seokjin finally says.

Jimin gets up and stalks out of the room.

--

Things become tense after that. Part of Jimin understands why everything is uncomfortable now, but another part of him doesn’t.

He’s not sure that he wants to know, though. He’s scared of the answer.

He still tells Yoongi he loves him every day. It’s rough, though, because it’s become something neither of them wants to be experiencing. A few times, Jimin comes close to leaving behind little “saranghae, hyung” notes on Yoongi’s bed or desk so that he doesn’t have to say it face to face, but he knows deep down that that would just be wrong. He made his committment, he’s sticking to it. Things will get better. They can’t stay awkward forever.

Only once during this process does Jimin think seriously about giving up. It’s when he’s lying in bed in the evening of day fifty-- the halfway point.

A few hours earlier, he had summed up the courage to talk to Yoongi, saving his ‘I love you’ for when it was just the two of them (which Jimin thought was a pretty polite move on his part), and Yoongi had just scoffed in response.

And it had ticked Jimin the fuck off. Did Yoongi think this was some kind of joke?

And so, that one time, Jimin had thought about the consequences of quitting the challenge.

Well, it would be literally nationally if not globally embarassing, and he would be tortured on air, variety-style, for an explanation.

And the other members would probably never let up on him about it. Their teasing about the challenge had almost completely disappeared by this point, but Jimin’s confident that ending the mission early would provide them with plenty of new material.

But both of those things can be dealt with. Jimin can tell the show hosts that he and Yoongi got physically separated because of work schedules and just couldn’t carry on without it being a terrible hassle. Or they could pretend and lie and say later that Jimin did complete the challenge. And he can handle the other members. He’s dealt with their jokes before and he can deal with them again, and if worse comes to worse, he can take Namjoon up on his earlier offer, and have a serious conversation with the leader or Seokjin about it.

But what really stops him, what really keeps him from quitting, is this one scenario that he replays in his head over and over again. Jimin saw it in a dream after he started thinking seriously about quitting the challenge, and it hasn’t left him since.

The image is of Yoongi talking with a stranger. The stranger has learned about Jimin giving up on the challenge, and keeps asking Yoongi, “why?”

“Why couldn’t he tell you he loved you every day?” The stranger asks. “Why couldn’t he do it?”

Yoongi, trying to appear uncaring, would shrug. “I don’t know,” he would say.

Jimin imagines being asked in real life. “Why couldn’t you do it?” the stranger asks Jimin. “Why couldn’t you tell him you loved him?”

“I don’t know either,” he whispers aloud to himself.

He doesn’t know.

--

On day fifty-four, or really the evening of day fifty-four, the tension hits its peak. Yoongi and Jimin have a fight unlike anything they’ve ever had before.

The two of them, of course, are bound to bicker from time to time. They’re just so different as people. But it usually doesn’t go beyond faux playful name-calling, and it rarely gets to Jimin calling Yoongi an ass and Yoongi telling Jimin to stop being so sensitive. But it’s never ever gone this far, to where Yoongi is venomous and Jimin is screeching.

“--I told you not to bother me--“

“--I shouldn’t have to apologize for caring about you--“

What makes this situation even more excellent, Jimin realizes, is that it’s a completely useless fight. He doesn’t even remember how or why or where it started. But it ended up here, in the cramped little BTS work room in the Big Hit building, and the flames are climbing higher and higher. Yoongi is angrier than Jimin’s ever seen him, and Jimin is ready to tear down the building.

“--you never listen to me, Park Jimin, you’ve never listened to me even once in your life--“

“-- I’m just trying to be a good friend, someone who looks out for you, and you always treat me like a child--“

“--I can’t treat you like an adult when you’re being a fucking spoiled little brat--“

“--how can you call me a brat when you always behave like a big baby--“

“--oh get real, get real, you’re living in another world, Park Jimin--“

And Jimin can’t take it anymore.

“Don’t call me that!” he finally screams. “Don’t you fucking call me that!”

Yoongi reels back.

Jimin realizes they’re both panting.

“I hate when you say my name!” Jimin shouts, and he actually feels like he’s about to cry. Fuck, fuck, fuck. He shakes his head in an attempt to dislodge his emotions from his body. It doesn’t work. “I hate it,” he says again, miserably, and the lie burns through his bones.

Yoongi’s expression has turned to stone. “Fine,” he says. “I won’t say it again.”

“Fantastic,” Jimin spits.

“Go then,” Yoongi says, turning his back to Jimin.

“I will.” Jimin snatches his jacket off of the couch and stomps out.

Fuck fuck fuck. How did this even happen? Jimin feels anger and regret course through him in equal measure as he flies down the stairs, too impatient for the elevator. Down, down, down, and he hates everything in the world, everything that’s lead him here, everything that’s made this moment possible. Down, down, down, and he hates Yoongi, hates him like he’s never hated another human being in his life. Down, down, down, and Jimin decides that it’s him, he hates himself, his own sorry existence, more than anything or anyone else in this world.

His sneakers slap against the wet pavement as he exits the building, and it takes a couple seconds for him to realize that it’s raining. Of course. Of course. Of course tonight is the night that it rains. Of course tonight is the night that he has to have a monumental blowout with Yoongi, when it’s so late that he has to find his back to the dorm by himself in the dark, and he’ll probably have to catch a fucking cab. Jimin yanks his jacket tighter around his body, huddling down into the collar. Of course there isn’t a ride available to take him back to the dorm, because everyone but Yoongi is back there already, and it’s almost midnight and--

Almost midnight.

Shit. Fuck.

It’s almost midnight.

Jimin hastily checks his phone.

11:52.

Fuck fuck fuck. Without even thinking, Jimin spins around and begins to run back towards the building. How long had he been walking? A couple of minutes? Shit. He needs to hurry. He pushes himself to move faster, trying not to slip on the wet sidewalk. He was already angry and panting before, and now his breath is coming even shorter. The cold air is sharp in his lungs. Jimin starts to see the building’s facade. He’s getting closer. How much time has passed? He can’t stop and check his phone for the time, and he’s moving too fast to try and read it properly while running. Shit. He’s almost there, almost there. The front of the building is right before him, he feels like he can almost reach out and grab it. He runs straight through the entrance, immediately thankful for the glass doors that push in. He sacrifices three precious seconds to check his phone once he’s inside. 11:56. Shit. He sprints straight for the stairwell, unwilling to wait for the elevator for the second time that same night. Up, up, up, and his lungs are burning, he’s in so much pain, but he has to get there. Up, up, up, and his legs are going to give out, his knees ache, but he has no choice but to keep moving. Up, up, up, and every part of his body is scorching in agony, but he’s still not going fast enough, he needs to go faster.

Jimin throws open the door to the correct floor and practically falls onto the landing, catching himself just in time. He dashes down the hallway, down past all the other rooms, until he sees that familiar door, the one he knows so well, and when he sees it he flings his entire body at it, latching onto the handle and pushing down on it with all of his weight and it turns, thank god, it’s unlocked, and it swings opens and--

Yoongi’s back is to Jimin as the older stands facing a corner of the office, his shoulders slumped. At the sound of Jimin’s entrance he whips around. His expression switches from vacant to startled.

Jimin goes to speak but-- there’s nothing coming out but harsh pants.

Yoongi looks on in what might be terror.

Jimin forces himself to swallow a few breaths as he hunches over. Then, gathering every ounce of willpower left inside of him, he takes one last deep breath and chokes out:

“Hyung, I love you.”

There’s a pause that lasts for one second, or maybe a million years.

And then, for the first time in his life, Jimin sees Yoongi cry.

Yoongi’s face screws up, and he turns very red, and then he frantically turns away from Jimin, crumpling. Jimin watches in disbelief as Yoongi tries to hide his face with his hands even though his back is already to Jimin. The older lets out a sharp cry and begins to move, apparently searching for an impossible hiding spot in the tiny studio.

“Hyung,” Jimin says weakly, trying to follow Yoongi with his arms outstretched without accidentally back-hugging him. “Hyung. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” He reaches a hand out to Yoongi, who immediately bats it away, quickly returning his hands to his face.

Yoongi finally lets himself drop to the floor in a corner, curling in on himself. Jimin immediately settles down next to him, and Yoongi makes a strangled sound that might be humiliation at Jimin’s persistent proximity.

“Hyung, I’m sorry,” Jimin says again. He doesn’t know what else to say. He’s seen a couple tears escape from the corners of Yoongi’s eyes on a few occasions, but never anything like this.

He wonders if it would be a good idea to offer Yoongi a tissue. He also doesn’t have any tissues to offer, though, so maybe nevermind.

Yoongi continues to sob into his own folded-up form, and Jimin wonders how long Yoongi’s been holding in whatever this is. He keeps letting out these high-pitched cries that Jimin can feel down to his core. Jimin finally takes a chance and puts a hand on Yoongi’s back to try and comfort him. The older either doesn’t notice it or doesn’t care, just keeps crying, and so Jimin carefully rubs circles on Yoongi’s back until the crying lets up, trying not to cry himself.

Jimin expects Yoongi to do something along the lines of shooting him a glare and saying “this never happened” once he can speak again, but instead, Yoongi lifts his head up from where it was hidden within his arms and gives a morose, resigned groan.

“Baaaaaaahhhhhhhh,” he announces stuffily to the wall in front of him.

Jimin lets out a laugh.

Yoongi lets his head loll against his own shoulder. His face is a mess, and he still hasn’t looked at Jimin. “That was embarassing,” he mumbles.

“Hyung,” Jimin says, suddenly struck by the need to say this out loud, but he finds himself whispering it, like someone else might hear, “You know I really do love you, right? I really do. I swear.”

Yoongi tucks his face into the crook of one of his elbows, hiding half of his expression from Jimin. He doesn’t respond.

“Hyung,” Jimin pleads, his voice now choked-up, “I’m sorry, okay? I don’t even remember what I did but I’m sorry. Let’s not fight again.”

After several long seconds, Yoongi raises his head slightly from the cage of his arms and gives a little nod.

“Alright,” Jimin whispers. “Let’s, let’s go home, hyung.”

Yoongi hesitates, then shakes his head. “You go,” he mutters. “I’m gonna stay here.”

Jimin really just wants to go home with Yoongi by his side, but he also has to respect that Yoongi might need to be by himself. And, Jimin realizes, Yoongi seems to cry so infrequently that this might be a big deal for him. Maybe he has to journal about it or something.

Later that night, lying in his bed, Jimin realizes that he never checked his phone to see if he’d gotten his ‘I love you’ under the midnight mark.

For some reason, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

--

On day fifty-seven, the group sits in the dressing room of one of the larger sound stages, filming for their next music video.

Already finished with his filming, Jimin goes to watch the other members do their closeups. When Yoongi walks by Jimin and onto the set to take his turn, Jimin sees something and stops Yoongi with a light touch on his arm. Yoongi turns to him.

“You have something on your face,” Jimin explains.

Yoongi makes an “ah” expression of understanding and then gets that slack sort of look giving tacit permission to touch his face. Jimin raises his thumb to Yoongi’s cheek and swipes at the eyelash that clings there, but it won’t move.

He leans in closer and more carefully runs his finger across Yoongi’s face. Yoongi is totally still beneath him.

Jimin finally captures the eyelash. “Got it,” he announces, and Yoongi opens his eyes back up. Jimin thinks about asking Yoongi if he’d like to make a wish and blow the eyelash away, but then decides that Yoongi wouldn’t be very into that, so Jimin makes his own wish and blows it away.

He realizes that he and Yoongi are quite close to each other. The older is staring at him.

“You took my wish,” Yoongi says.

“What?” Jimin asks, surprised.

“You stole my wish,” Yoongi accuses, looking the slightest bit affronted. “That was my wish.”

“I didn’t think you’d want it,” Jimin defends. “Besides, you don’t know that I actually did make a wish. I could’ve just been getting rid of the eyelash.”

“I saw you make you a wish,” Yoongi assures him, but Jimin sees a hint of a smile on his face. Jimin can’t help but smile back.

“I love you, hyung,” he hears himself say.

Jimin might be exhausted and making things up, and the light is pretty dim where they’re standing on the set’s periphery, but he thinks he sees the faintest pink tinging Yoongi’s cheeks.

Hesitantly, Yoongi informs him, “you already said it today.”

Jimin thinks about it. Huh. He did. It had been that morning, on their way out of the dorm.

“Oh,” Jimin confesses, “I forgot.”

“Yeah,” is all Yoongi says.

“Yoongi-ah!” Their manager bellows from the set, and they both jump.

Yoongi quickly turns and walks towards the cameras, and Jimin settles in to watch the next set of filming.

Wow, he thinks, as someone holds one of those light-testing gadgets up to Yoongi’s face. Jimin must really not be paying attention if he’s said it twice in one day. Which doesn’t make any sense, because he’s been trying so hard lately to be so careful about it.

He wonders if this means he can skip saying it tomorrow.

No, he decides. He’ll still want to say it anyway.

--

“Going to grab some food,” Yoongi grunts as he enters the living room on day sixty-one, zipping up his coat.

“Okay,” Jimin replies, because even though he didn’t ask for that information-- actually, he didn’t even know Yoongi was in the dorm in the first place. Jimin is the only person in the living room, so he guesses Yoongi’s update was directed at him.

“Yeah,” Yoongi says, fixing his clothes so he can leave. And then he just sort of starts rustling around the room.

Yoongi seems to be doing a lot of inexplicable rustling in Jimin’s general vicinity lately. Jimin wonders if maybe he’s looking for something. This seems like the kind of rustling around that someone would do if they couldn’t find their glasses, like people in movies and on TV do. Yoongi doesn’t wear glasses, but Jimin likes to imagine him with a blocky pair perched on his head as he fruitlessly searches for them in a cluttered room.

“Nothing good in the dorm to eat,” Yoongi explains, even though he didn’t really need to.

“Nope,” Jimin agrees. Their fridge is slightly embarassing in its selection right now, but this always seems to happen at a certain point in promotions.

“Well then,” Yoongi eventually says. “I’m going.”

“Okay,” Jimin says.

“I’ll see you when I get back,” Yoongi adds, lingering.

“Alright,” Jimin says.

Yoongi makes to move, then halts himself.

Jimin’s already told Yoongi he loves him today, so he’s not really sure what Yoongi’s weirdness is all about. Has Yoongi forgotten that Jimin had told him at breakfast?

“You’re...are you hungry?” Yoongi asks.

“I just ate,” Jimin says.

“Right,” Yoongi says, looking strangely conflicted. “I can get you something.”

“I’m not hungry,” Jimin reminds him, “I just ate.”

“Right,” Yoongi says again, then stares at Jimin.

After a really long pause, Jimin realizes that maybe Yoongi wants company. But before he can say anything, Yoongi’s heading out the door, a quick “bye” carrying back to Jimin. Maybe he didn’t want company after all.

Weird.

--

Jimin is being shaken awake.

“Jimin-ah,” a low voice whispers. Then, louder, “Jimin.”

Jimin reluctantly opens his eyes.

Yoongi is crouched over in the darkness next to Jimin’s bed, his arm reaching out to grip Jimin’s shoulder. He looks terribly unsettled. He almost never looks like that, which wakes Jimin up a little. He hopes everything’s alright.

“Wussit?” Jimin slurs, opening his eyes as big as he can.

“Jimin,” Yoongi says again, and suddenly he sounds nervous. “Say it again.”

“Say what?” Jimin rubs at his face.

“Say--” Yoongi’s voice cracks. “Say it. Tell me again.”

Jimin is confused. Yoongi huffs out a breath, looks away, and almost immediately looks back at Jimin again.

“Tell me you love me again,” he says very quickly.

Jimin is even more confused. He reaches under his pillow for his phone and wakes up the screen. 10:58. “I already said it today,” he croaks. He had, marking his sixty-fourth day, when they were sitting alone on the couch in the dorm’s living room watching TV. Being the nice person he is, he’d waited until a commercial break to say it, he remembers.

“I know,” Yoongi says, sounding rushed. “Just-- just, say it one more time.”

“Okay,” Jimin agrees, accepting the wierdness of the situation because what matters is that there’s no big emergency and no one is hurt, and now he just wants to go back to sleep. He lets his eyes fall shut. “Hyung, I--“

“No.” Yoongi cuts him off. “Look at me when you say it.”

Jimin pries his eyes open.

Yoongi is still crouched by the bed, now almost imperceptibly rocking back and forth on his heels. This is definitely the strangest conversation the two of them had in a while. But, it’s not like it hurts to say it, so...

“Hyung,” Jimin says, making eye contact through his bleary vision as best he can. “I love you.”

Instead of looking satisfied, Yoongi looks stricken. Jimin shuffles over and extends a hand to comfort him, but Yoongi darts away, out of reach.

“It’s ok,” Jimin tries, even though he doesn’t really understand what the problem is. “Everything’s going to be okay.”

“Everything’s not going to be okay,” Yoongi says, sharp, and he stands up quickly from his crouch.

He’s out of the room in a flash, leaving Jimin wondering if he’s dreamt the entire thing.

--

On the evening of day sixty-seven, Jimin is so caught up in the drama he’s watching by himself that he doesn’t even acknowledge Yoongi hovering on the edges of the darkened living room. He finally notices when Yoongi speaks.

“What are you watching?” he asks tentatively. He fidgets where he stands.

“A drama,” Jimin says, trying to stifle the emotion in his voice.

Yoongi sounds like he’s regretting his question before he asks it. “What kind?”

“Romance,” Jimin says, voice wobbly.

And then, inexplicably, instead of turning around and leaving like he alwaysdoes, Yoongi shuffles over and sits down on the couch next to Jimin.

“That woman looks familiar,” Yoongi says after they watch together for a minute.

“She’s been in a lot of things,” Jimin says, clutching the throw pillow he’s holding tight to his chest, and his voice finally breaks. “She’s really good,” he adds, practically sobbing.

“Oh my god,” Yoongi says, “are you crying?”

“They can’t be together because of class differences and it’s not fair!” Jimin cry-shouts, hugging his pillow.

Yoongi stays frozen, staring at Jimin. Jimin, on the other hand, stays staring at the characters onscreen, who are having their sad, long-winded goodbye on a very windy bridge.

“If she didn’t care so much about money then they could be happy forever!” Jimin shrieks. There is almost definitely something coming out of his nose. “Why is she letting money stop her?! He’s right there!” Jimin plaintively stretches one arm out towards the television, grabbing like he can reach through the screen and push the characters together where they belong.

Giving up, he slumps back, letting his arm fall.

A second later, Jimin jolts at the feel of an arm wrapping around his shoulders, tugging him against a solid chest.

Now Jimin’s the frozen one.

“It’s okay,” Yoongi finally says in that low, soothing voice, and Jimin relaxes. He leans into Yoongi’s hold and cries away, almost tearing his pillow from gripping it so hard.

--

“If you were a mythical creature, which would you be?”

Jimin fidgets where he’s lounging beside Taehyung on his bed as he considers the question. He’s past the point of finding this kind of thing from Taehyung strange. He just accepts it. “Unicorn.”

“I thought you’d say that,” Taehyung says. “But then I thought because it would be expected, you wouldn’t pick it.”

“To be honest,” Jimin says, “I thought that too. But that’s exactly why I would choose it.”

Taehyung rolls over. “Explain.”

“People would expect me to choose a unicorn. But that’s why I should pick it,” Jimin elaborates. “Just because people expect it doesn’t mean it’s not true. If they don’t stop to think about why it’s true that I’m a unicorn beyond the surface reasons, then that’s their problem.” Jimin makes finger guns at his best friend. “I’m too busy being a unicorn to care.”

Taehyung nods slowly like Jimin’s just dispensed some major wisdom.

“All unicorns like it up the butt, right?” Taehyung asks after some silence, and Jimin shoves at him.

“Tae!” he chastises, but it’s hard not to laugh.

Taehyung laughs too, but once he’s calmed down, he looks down at his hands where they play with the edge of his pillow. “I just want you to be happy,” he says.

Jimin might not know exactly what Taehyung is trying to tell him, but he does know exactly what situation Taehyung’s talking about, because it’s day seventy-one and Jimin doesn’t have to count anymore to know off the top of his head what day they’re on.

“It’ll work out,” Jimin says. Even though he’s lost, he at least knows everything will work out.

“If you say so,” Taehyung says, but it’s serious, not derisive; when Jimin looks to his friend, Taehyung’s expression is soft and affectionate.

“Loser,” Jimin says lovingly.

Taehyung slams him with a pillow. Jimin scampers out of the bed and steals Jeongguk’s pillow off of his bed, and then it’s on.

--

Jimin’s on his way to shower on the evening of day seventy-three when he hears cursing from the hyungs’ room.

When he peeks his head in the door, he sees Yoongi standing in the middle of the otherwise unoccupied room, literally clutching at his hair. “Hyung?” Jimin greets softly, shouldering his way past the door.

Yoongi turns and drops his hands from his head when he sees Jimin.

“Jimin-ah,” he greets. “Am I being loud?”

Something’s off. At the very least, Jimin can’t recall Yoongi ever caring about whether or not his loudness was bothering anyone.

“Everything okay?” Jimin asks carefully.

“Fine,” Yoongi answers immediately, curtly, but then he he looks down and takes a deep breath. “Just, frustrated. Working on this song. It’s nothing.” He kicks at a spot on the floor.

“What’s wrong about it?”

Yoongi looks up, surprised.

“Maybe I can help,” Jimin offers.

Yoongi gives an awkward laugh.

“I can,” Jimin insists, slightly insulted.

“I know you can,” Yoongi says back. He actually looks a little apologetic. “The problem is me.”

“In what way?”

Yoongi wanders through the space of the room for a second before answering, like he’s looking for his response behind a piece of furniture. “I’m not rapping well on this new round of songs,” he confesses.

“Says the greatest rapper in the world.”

Yoongi suddenly seems really, really uncomfortable. He almost turns his back on Jimin when he moves to look away. “Cut it out.”

“I mean it,” Jimin says. “I’m being a hundred percent honest. You’re the greatest rapper in the world.”

Yoongi looks at the window. The blinds are shut.

“Don’t tell Namjoon that,” he finally says, his hands tucked deep into his pants pockets.

“Hyung,” Jimin insists. “I’d pay you to rap the phone book.”

Yoongi tries to hide it, but he cracks the tiniest smile.

“Get the fuck out of here, Jimin-ah,” Yoongi says, but he looks so happy that Jimin doesn’t mind. Jimin smiles unabashedly, proud of himself.

“I love you, hyung,” Jimin says on his way out, and Yoongi looks a bit surprised to hear it-- he must’ve forgotten that Jimin hadn’t set it yet today. For some reason, today, it feels really, really good to say it.

--

Jimin’s phone buzzes with a new message from the other side of the dance practice room, near dusk on day seventy-seven. He’s laying on the floor, sweaty and exhausted, his limbs splayed out. He’d come in hours ago with Taehyung and Jeongguk, but they’d long abandoned him for food and rest; Jimin had stayed, insisting that he still had some points to work out in the new routine.

From: Yoongi, his phone reads, after he’s laboriously crawled across the floor to retrieve it. (No one is there to hear him moaning dramatically as he does it, but he moans dramatically anyway.) Yoongi has been texting him a lot lately, which is weird. The messages are never terribly important or anything, but Jimin doesn’t want to question it, for fear of it going away.

u still in the building it says. Not even a question mark, Jimin notes with amusement. How Yoongi.

yea was just about to head out. Jimin sends. Then, r u still here?

yes, he gets back a second later.

Well. Alright then. Jimin flops back onto the floor. What a nice chat.

The phone buzzes again a minute later. come 2 the studio.

Jimin wipes the sweat off his arms and neck and face and grabs his jacket on the way out.

For some reason, he feels compelled to knock on the studio door when he gets there, which he’s never done before. Maybe because of the time he busted in there and Yoongi cried and all that business. He knocks and enters when he hears something approximate to a ‘come in’ uttered in Yoongi’s low voice.

Jimin trudges in. “Hey.” Yoongi grunts in response. “Been here all day?”

Before Yoongi can answer, Jimin stops in his tracks. “Hold on.” The last time they’d talked had been that morning; Jimin had wished him a happy day and chirped a quick “I love you, hyung” as he passed by Yoongi’s room, where Yoongi was still laid out on his bed with an arm slung over his face. “How did you know I was in the building in the first place?”

“You were singing in the hallway earlier,” Yoongi says. “Loudly,” he adds after a pause.

Jimin blushes. He had indeed been belting out Taeyang when he, Jeongguk, and Taehyung had been searching for bottles of water on this floor. Dance practice just got him loud and excited, he guesses.

Jimin turns away to hide his flush and drops his sore body onto the couch. “I was making music,” he announces primly.

“So was I,” Yoongi says, turning back to his computer. He seems a bit off, like maybe he’s nervous about something. Yoongi doesn’t have many nervous tics but Jimin can spot them all from a mile away. Like, right now, Yoongi is grinding the sole of his right shoe into the floor in tiny circles, and his left index finger is tapping out a rushed but steady rhythm against the desk he’s seated at.

“This’s what I was working on,” he announces, and without any further warning, he double-clicks and new music pours from the room’s speakers.

Jimin listens carefully. It’s different from a lot of their previous tracks. In fact, it’s different from most of what Jimin listens to. It’s got that same hip hop feel that’s their signature sound, but it unexpectedly alternates between very fast, thumping verses, and a slow, sinuous chorus. Jimin is surprised to hear Seokjin’s light voice singing the winding chorus already in there, calling after a girl who he’s constantly around but who is always out of reach. Her smile, her smell, her voice, they follow him even when they’re apart. She hasn’t done anything wrong, Seokjin pleads for her to understand; it’s just that he’s tortured knowing he can’t have her.

It’s only one layer of Seokjin’s voice, and the final version would probably give a chorus to each of their vocalists, but Jimin already loves the longing that Seokjin gives the lyrics. They listen to the whole track, three rap-less verses and Seokjin’s floating endearments in the chorus, and then the song ends.

But Jimin knows what he needs to hear.

“I want to hear your rap,” he says.

He knows that Yoongi already has at least his own verse in mind, if not all of them. And Jimin doesn’t really know one of Yoongi’s songs until he hears the raps. If he can put that chorus and Yoongi’s rap together, he knows he’ll understand the song that Yoongi wants him to hear.

Yoongi almost seems to blush (still an unbelievable sight to Jimin) and doesn’t answer. But Jimin knows that needling won’t help (even though he reeaalllyyyy wants to), so he sits and waits while Yoongi stares at the computer screen.

Yoongi restarts the song, his way of acquiesing to the request, and they sit through the first verse, and the first chorus, and then the second verse, and then the second chorus, until the third section begins, because apparently Yoongi has saved his verse for last. Jimin is suprised by how nervous he feels waiting.

The third verse hits and Yoongi launches into his rap headfirst, not looking at Jimin but also not reading from anything. He’s already memorized it, Jimin realizes. The rap is neat and tight but it’s filled with confused feelings, as he tells a girl that he wants her but he doesn’t know how she feels about him, that she treats him well without seeing that he’s trouble. I’m a bad boy, don’t you know? he raps, and Jimin shivers at his words. Yoongi’s intensity is mesmerizing. I guess you’ll find out soon enough, he finishes, but it sounds melancholy instead of seductive.

They listen to Seokjin sing one more time, and then the song ends and they sit in silence.

Yoongi is staring at him, Jimin realizes after a few seconds. He’s waiting for some kind of response, a positive one.

Jimin isn’t even sure where to begin.

“The dance for this is gonna be awesome,” Jimin finally bursts out, unable to contain his excitement.

For the first time, Yoongi looks satisfied.

--

i forgot to ask if u had a title in mind, Jimin texts Yoongi from his own bed once he’s left the other back at the studio and gotten back to the dorms.

A moment later the little typing cloud pops up at the bottom of the screen. And then it disappears. And then it appears again. And then it disappears. And appears. And disappears.

A full three minutes later, Yoongi sends a not yet. Somehow, Jimin knows that he’s lying.

--

Jimin and Yoongi stand beside each other at the kitchen sink doing dishes on day eighty. Jimin washes as Yoongi dries.

It was actually just Jimin’s turn to the dishes, but Yoongi had randomly volunteered to help. Something about them being together, though, is markedly different in Jimin’s mind; somehow it’s more relaxed, and comforting, than it’s ever been. Jimin always used to have to fill the spaces between himself and Yoongi with words; now, suddenly, there’s no need to talk.

Jimin passes Yoongi a plate, and as he does it, he says softly for the first time that day, “I love you, hyung.”

Yoongi looks up at him from the plate he’s just been handed with big, surprised eyes. Jimin stares back, feeling his face heat up.

A second later they’re back to washing and drying. When Jimin hands Yoongi the next dish to dry, though, Yoongi takes the dish with one hand and quickly reaches out and catches Jimin’s hand with the other.

Yoongi holds Jimin’s hand like that, suspended over the space between the soapy sink and the dried dishes. Yoongi looks down at where they’re connected. Jimin can’t do anything but look at Yoongi’s face.

Their hand hold is incredibly awkward, and yet, Yoongi looks like maybe he’s seeing something incredible there in the place where they’re joined, like he can’t believe whatever he sees there. And Jimin realizes that there’s some feeling in the connection, something that alights within him, that makes him want to grip Yoongi’s hand back, to hold it tighter and pull Yoongi even closer.

“Hyung,” Jimin begins carefully, scared by this reaction he’s having to the touch. But he doesn’t know what else to say.

Yoongi doesn’t even seem to hear. He just swipes at a bit of foam on Jimin’s hand with his thumb. It feels like Yoongi is stroking Jimin’s hand through the hand-hold.

“Yoongi-hyung,” Jimin tries again, quieter this time. Yoongi’s eyes finally snap to his.

“Jimin-ah,” he says in his low voice, looking right at Jimin, and his eyes are dark, darker than Jimin’s ever seen them. Jimin swallows. Yoongi seems to be moving closer, his face tilting forward, towards Jimin, and Jimin doesn’t know what’s going to happen but without even meaning to he’s leaning forward too-- and then--

“TURN UP!” Taehyung screams from down the hallway, and both Jimin and Yoongi jump five feet in the air.

Jimin clasps a hand over his chest as he experiences a mini heart-attack.

There’s a loud crashing sound, and then a pair of feet stomp down the hallway, closely chased by another pair.

Some part of Jimin not scared witless registers that his other hand is tingling in the absence of Yoongi’s touch.

Taehyung suddenly whips his head around the doorway to the kitchen. “Turn up!” he shouts at Jimin and Yoongi, right before Jeongguk’s dark head of hair materializes behind him. Jeongguk yanks the older back by his shirt, into the hallway and out of Jimin and Yoongi’s sight.

“Let me go!” Taehyung shrieks. “I’m not doing anything to anyone!”

“Leave them alone!” Jeongguk says, sounding harried. The maknae’s struggle to drag Taehyung away from the kitchen makes a huge racket. “You come back here and clean up the fucking mess you made!”

“Turn up!” Taehyung cries again.

“Enough, enough with the ‘turn up!’”

“Turn up!” Taehyung sobs insistently. There’s a loud scuffle as he presumably tries to escape Jeongguk’s clutches at the end of the hall. “Turn up, turn up, turn up!”

Jeongguk grunts in exertion, there are a few more loud noises, and then the door to one of the bedrooms slams shut. Taehyung’s subsequent shouts are muffled through the wood.

Jimin chokes on a laugh. He turns to Yoongi.

The older is looking up at the ceiling like he’s trying to understand how he reached this place in his life.

When Yoongi breaks his gaze from the ceiling to eye Jimin, they share a brief look-- an understanding, Jimin thinks. Then they return to the dishes, the tension from earlier temporarily broken.

--

“What time do you leave tomorrow?” Jimin asks on the evening of day eighty-one, settled on the floor beside Yoongi’s open suitcase.

“Six,” Yoongi grumbles, not looking very happy about it. He stuffs a shirt into his bag with much more force than necessary, and Jimin laughs.

Tomorrow the group splits in two for a week of separate radio and variety appearances. Starting the next morning, Yoongi, Hoseok, Taehyung, and Jeongguk will head out and sleep away from the dorms, while Jimin and Namjoon and Seokjin stay and do interviews in the area. Jimin had felt like he needed to see Yoongi before the older left in less than ten hours, which lead him to Yoongi’s room.

Yoongi looks at him. “How about you?” He asks Jimin. “Looking forward to a fun-filled week with leader and hyung?” His tone is casual, but he peers up at Jimin inquisitively from under his bangs.

“Yeah,” Jimin says kind of meekly.

Yoongi doesn’t press, he just keeps an eye on Jimin. Jimin looks back for a little while, but eventually he caves.

“Okay, it’s just,” he admits, “what if it’s, like, weird, because it’s the two of them and me? Like, hyung and the leader and me? I’ll say something weird and then they’ll be like, ‘oh, we’re so smart and mature and tall, what is this kid doing here,’ and then I’ll just, hyung, what if I make a fool of myself?”

“That’s what you’re worried about? Making a fool of yourself?”

“Yes,” Jimin whines. “What if I prove that I’m just a baby.”

Yoongi shakes his head. “You’ve done a million interviews, Jimin.”

“I know.”

“You’re good at interviews,” Yoongi adds. It’s so sincere that Jimin is knocked back by it. “You embarassing them? Joonie and hyung? If anything, those two need you.” He cringes. “Those awkward motherfuckers.”

He leans forward like he’s telling a secret. “Hyung is bad enough as it is. And I watched Joonie cut his mouth on a sandwich the other day. A sandwich.”

Jimin can’t help but giggle.

“It’ll be fine,” Yoongi adds, looking lighter at Jimin’s laughter, “and if any of them give you a hard time, just challenge them to a dance battle.” He gives Jimin a gummy grin.

Warmth spreads in Jimin’s chest. A weird part of him wants to pretend like he hadn’t already told Yoongi that he loved him that day, but he tries ot ignore it. Instead, he tells Yoongi to shut up and get back to packing.

--

“Shh, hyungs!” Jimin pulls out a headphone in order to shush the other members. “Shh, hyungs, it’s coming on!”

Namjoon and Seokjin both turn their heads to look at him, and then simultaneously roll their eyes and turn back.

Jimin gives them his most plaintive expression. It’s day eighty-four, and Yoongi, Jeongguk, Taehyung, and Hoseok are doing a radio interview while Jimin and Namjoon and Seokjin head to a variety appearance. Jimin has actually figured out how to tune in to a radio station on his phone while in the van, and he would be able to listen to the show and support his fellow members if it weren’t for all the noise coming from the two giants seated in the row ahead of him.

“Jimin-ah,” Seokjin says, slowly and condescendingly, “we’ll just listen to it later. Or watch it online. It’s fine, we’re missing nothing.”

“I want to listen to it nooow,” Jimin whines, but then the opening notes of the show’s theme song begin in one headphone. Jimin hastily plugs in the other, but not before catching another eye roll from Seokjin as the older turns back around in his seat.

Jeongguk, Hoseok, Taehyung, and Yoongi all do their introductions, and then some requisite talking about the new album, discussing singles and how their sound has evolved. Jimin nods along and internally praises them for making the usually-boring interview script sound playful. Hoseok in particular keeps the discussion moving with his humor, and Jimin feels pride in his fellow members. (For good measure, he shoots a vindictive glare at the back of Namjoon’s and Seokjin’s heads.)

Suddenly, the radio host announces that today he’ll be asking the members about their ideal types.

They’ve all been asked before, time and time again, but for some reason, something drops in Jimin’s stomach this time.

Hoseok, of course, wants someone nice and pretty and funny (boring, Jimin decides to himself). Taehyung, of course, wants someone beautiful and adventurous and “different,” and the host is wise enough not to question him on that last one. Jeongguk, of course, wants someone who “challenges to him,” whatever that means (weirdo). And then--

“Suga?” The host asks.

Yoongi doesn’t answer for what feels like forever.

Then, hesitantly, Yoongi says, “Sweet.”

And then, he adds, “Cute.”

The convinction in his voice grows with each quality. “Kind. Optimistic. With a positive outlook. Nice to everyone, but with opinions, and maybe a little stubborn.” He’s on a roll now. “Charming, and generous, and playful, and, and,” he falters--

--and then, quietly, “great.”

An awkward silence settles over the show.

Jimin realizes his eyes are closed.

“So, basically,” Jeongguk finally deadpans, “the opposite of you.”

After a pause, Hoseok guffaws; and then Jeongguk and Taehyung join in, and the host begins laughing with them. Eventually, even Yoongi’s low laugh can be heard.

“Yah, except for the stubborness!” Hoseok suddenly blurts, and they all launch into an deconstruction of Yoongi’s epic stubborn streak.

Jimin opens his eyes and releases a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

--

At 11:38 that evening, Yoongi’s name lights up the screen of Jimin’s phone.

For some reason, though he hadn’t predicted it at all, Jimin feels in that moment like he’s been waiting for the call the entire day. He presses the button to accept.

“Hyung,” Jimin greets.

“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi returns. His lazy drawl feels like home. “Evening.”

Silence. Jimin waits, fiddling with the hem of his shorts.

“Yah,” Yoongi says suddenly. “The van was quiet without you complaining the whole way to the radio station. The others are loud, but god,” he huffs dramatically, “even those three combined couldn’t whine as loud as you.”

Jimin can’t help but smile and hear the I miss you hidden in Yoongi’s words. They won’t see each other for another day and a half, and the dorm feels incredibly lonely with four missing.

“Yeah, well I felt so free in our van without a certain someone falling asleep on my lap,” Jimin returns. “So much room to move around. Your head’s so heavy.” Jimin makes a straining sound like his body hurts just thinking about it. What he doesn’t say is that he actually loves it when Yoongi falls asleep on his lap, even if it’s only every now and then. It makes him feel special in a way that excites him.

“Yah,” Yoongi grouses again, but doesn’t add anything; the obligatory respect your elders, dongsaeng and don’t mess with me, Park Jimin are implied. Instead of speaking, they settle into a shared soundless space.

Jimin sits with the phone to his ear, hearing nothing, but knowing that Yoongi is there. He’s more sure of Yoongi being there he is of anything else in his life, and it’s so overwhelmingly comforting. He wants to capture that assurance of Yoongi’s presence; he wants to let it surround him; he wants soak in it until it soaks back into him.

“I listened to the interview,” Jimin hears himself say.

The silence takes on a different quality.

“You did.” Jimin can’t read Yoongi’s tone.

Jimin nods even though Yoongi can’t see him.

“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi says, his voice raspy. “What’s your ideal type?”

The question catches Jimin totally off guard. He swears he can hear his heart pound against his ribcage.

Brilliant. Cynical. Hard-headed. The words flood Jimin’s head. Talented. Obnoxious. Cranky. They’re there without him even having to think about it. Gorgeous. Stubborn. Ridiculous. Incredible.

But he doesn’t say any of them.

Instead, he just blurts out, “short,” and then panics and hangs up the phone.

Jimin looks down at the phone in his hand in horror, and then throws it across the room.

A second later, he swears, and then runs across the room to retrieve it. He hits redial and curses himself and waits for it to be picked up and--

“Jimin-ah?” Yoongi answers, sounding baffled.

“I love you, hyung,” Jimin rushes out, and then hangs up again.

He chucks the phone to the other side of the room this time (now, to the opposite side from where he first threw it) just for good measure.

--

Jimin knows when Seokjin has listened to the interview because he randomly shows up to just hang around and bother Jimin.

So, on day eighty-six, Jimin looks towards the doorway while he’s cleaning his room and finds Seokjin leaning against the frame, smiling at Jimin.

“Yes?” Jimin greets awkwardly. Can I help you?

“What?” Seokjin asks, feigning confusion. “Who, me?” He splays a hand across his chest dramatically. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to bother you. I was just...standing here.” He smiles at Jimin like he knows some secret.

What’s terrifying is that Jimin’s pretty sure that if there is a secret, Seokjin is definitely the one who knows it. And there’s almost no chance he’s telling.

“Did you like the others’ interview?” Seokjin asks.

The other four have probably done three separate interviews together since they left, but they both know exactly which interview Seokjin’s talking about.

“I liked it fine,” Jimin mumbles. Whatever’s going on in the air, whatever it is that makes him feel the way he does when he hears Yoongi’s voice on the radio or over the phone or when they bump into each other just for a second in person, it’s starting to really sink into Jimin in a way that makes it completely, undeniably real. Seojkin’s notice of it only makes it terrifyingly more real.

“On a totally unrelated note,” Seokjin interrupts Jimin’s thoughts, his tone suggesting that the note is actually very related, “have you spoken to any of the other members since they left? Tae, Hobi, Gukkie,” he makes a face of (probably fake) contemplation, “Yoongi?”

“Yeeeeeees,” Jimin answers honestly. Really early in the morning he’d been awoken by a call-- something that would’ve bothered him a lot more if it hadn’t been specifically Yoongi. “Jimin-ah, we’ve only got now,” he’d rushed out, surrounded by sounds of movement and quick voices, “that’s it for the rest of the day,” and Jimin in his half-asleep haze had luckily understood automatically, rushing out a scratchy “I love you, hyung,” and Yoongi had exhaled into the mouthpiece and said “okay” and then “no, I’m done” to someone on his side and then “sorry” to someone, Jimin wasn’t sure to whom on which side of the call, and then finally “go back to sleep, Jimin-ah,” and Jimin had obediently dropped his phone onto the mattress and sunk back into slumber.

Seokjin smiles that smile again. He doesn’t ask for details. He doesn’t ask who of the four members Jimin talked to-- he just knows.

“Everything’s fine,” Jimin says, umprompted. “Everything’s normal, whatever.”

“Right,” Seokjin agrees, and leaves.

Jimin groans, falling onto his bed and faceplanting onto a pillow.

--

Namjoon, Seokjin, and Jimin sit in the dorm on the evening of day eighty-eight, waiting, when the other four finally return from their trip. Despite the fact that they spend literally all of their time together, Jimin knows that everyone still misses each other even when they’re separated just for a day or two. There’s something reassuring about going to bed knowing that every member is back home.

Jimin is scrolling uselessly on his phone, laying back on the small couch; Seokjin and Namjoon are propped up against each other on the big couch, watching some idol-meets-baby show with twin blank expressions. Jimin kind of wants to memorialize their identical vacant stares with a photo, but knows he’ll be in real trouble if he’s caught. He’s contemplating whether or not he can subtly film them on his phone while pretending to very passionately text when several pairs of feet can suddenly be heard shuffling outside the dorm’s entrance. Voices quietly converse back and forth for a moment and a half, and then the front door opens.

Immediately, Seokjin’s and Namjoon’s blank looks break; Seokjin brightens, Namjoon’s expression relaxes; and Jimin snaps out of his reclining position to sit up.

First Jeongguk, then Taehyung, then Hoseok trudge in with their duffels. Hoseok and Taehyung give big smiles, and though Jeongguk tries to cover it up, a tiny relieved grin shows through his tired-apathetic facade.

There’s the familiar sound of the members greeting each other, Namjoon asking how the trip was and how the interviews went, Seokjin fussing and asking if they took care of themselves, Tae and Hobi giving joke answers and saying generally weird things, and Jeongguk acting disinterested and trying to escape the conversation-- but all Jimin can think about is Yoongi, where’s Yoongi, he doesn’t see Yoongi at the back of the group, where is he?

Only a few seconds later, Yoongi comes through the doorway, duffel in hand. Jimin feels nearly all of the tension inside of himself loosen at the sight.

Yoongi’s eyes land on Jimin and he smiles, a small but beautiful smile.

As if he can hear Jimin’s internal questions, he explains with a smirk, “left my headphones in the van,” and like he doesn’t even see anyone else in the room, he walks right up to Jimin and drops his duffel.

Yoongi keeps smiling; Jimin helplessly smiles back.

Jimin is abruptly aware of the entire room going silent.

Jimin’s hit by a sense of waiting. Everyone’s watching them, and everyone is waiting for something.

He wants to turn around and look at the members and understand what it is they think they’re going to see, but he doesn’t dare break away from Yoongi’s gaze.

Nothing happens for a very long time, and then, maybe wonderfully, maybe completely frustratingly, or maybe both, Seokjin interrupts the moment with a bright, “Alright, why don’t we get you all back to your rooms and unpacked,” and the moment breaks for everyone else, but Jimin can’t help but notice that the moment continues for him and Yoongi; they’re still looking at eachother, still sharing something, whatever it might be, after everyone else has already filtered out of the room, and they stand there for probably a full minute longer just looking at each other Yoongi eventually says, “we should too,” and gestures towards the hallway and they both reluctantly begin to walk towards the bedrooms, and it’s then that Jimin finally realizes that it’s not a moment they’re sharing, it’s something much longer, something sustained, something that just can’t be dismissed.

--

That evening, they have a party.

There’s loud music (as loud as they can get away with inside the dorm) and a lot of food and plenty of alcohol, and everyone is in a fantastic mood. Jimin doesn’t drink anything; he’s already feeling buzzed from having all the members back home together again, and he’s excitable enough as a person to get a contact high just from all the fun happening around him. Even the idea of a party gets him worked up, and soon he’s dancing and singing and shrieking with laughter.

He and Taehyung and Hobi are messing around in the middle of the living room, which they’ve pushed all of the furniture to the perimeter of to make a dance floor. Hobi keeps doing girl group dances, and even though Jimin’s seen him do it a million times, he’s always undone by the facial expression that Hobi puts on when he does it. At a table pushed up against a wall, Jeongguk is attempting to sneak more alcohol than Seokjin’s already cut him off at would, and doing a pretty poor job of covering it up. He isn’t caught, though, because Seokjin and Namjoon are dancing together and are too caught up in it to pay attention to anything else. Jimin briefly observes them and decides that the two are unexpectedly good dancers together in light of how terrible they are separately, but he’s quickly distracted from the sight by Hobi’s enthusiastic rendition of Lion Heart. When Taehyung joins in with very little technique but a great deal of passion, Jimin has to stop dancing and bend over to try and catch his breath.

When he looks up, he makes eye contact with Yoongi, who’s seated in a kitchen chair wedged between the couches. His eyes are bright as he looks at Jimin. Jimin gets the feeling that maybe Yoongi’s been watching him for awhile, but Yoongi’s smirk indicates that he doesn’t care if he’s been caught staring. Jimin feels a thrill run through him at the thought.

Jimin rushes over to Yoongi and, without thinking about it, seats himself right on Yoongi’s lap. He loops his arms around the older’s neck and settles in, swaying into him excitedly.

“Hyung!” He announces, too hopped up on the energy of the party to care who sees him or what they might think. Everyone’s drunk and too distracted by the celebration to pay them any attention anyway, he tells himself. To his credit, Yoongi doesn’t seem surprised at all; he practically welcomes Jimin’s lap sitting, winding his arms around Jimin’s waist and holding him in place. “How much have you had to drink, tell me honestly.”

Yoongi looks up into Jimin’s face, his expression serene. “None,” he answers.

Jimin leans his torso against Yoongi’s chest. “You liar,” he teases, but he can believe it. Yoongi looks chill, but he seems alert enough; it’s just Yoongi’s regular chillness, Jimin guesses. “Then what are you so happy about?”

Yoongi holds Jimin’s gaze for a second, and then sweeps his gaze up and down Jimin’s body in a way that leaves him feeling hot and shivery at the same time.

“I don’t know,” Yoongi says slowly, but he looks like he knows exactly. Their faces are close together again, like they seem to be so often these days.

Jimin tightens his arms around Yoongi’s neck. Yoongi moves his hands from Jimin’s hips up to his waist.

“Did you miss me while you were gone?” Jimin whispers. He feels reckless, like he could do or say anything-- like he could melt right into Yoongi in this moment and it would feel so, so good.

The corners of Yoongi’s lip curl up. “I wasn’t gone,” he says. “We were apart.”

Jimin tries to process this with his turnt up brain, but isn’t sure he gets it completely, since after only a second of thought, Yoongi jostles him in his lap and drops his voice to a whisper too.

“What time is it?” he asks.

Their noses are almost touching. To prevent what would assuredly be a tragic, terrible collision, Jimin shifts to the side just a bit, so their noses are side by side, touching just a bit. Now the rest of their faces are closer together, too.

Jimin should check the time on his phone or ask someone else in the room or something to answer Yoongi’s question, but it doesn’t matter. He’s already got his answer. “I love you, hyung,” he whispers back.

Yoongi really does smile back this time. His eyes fall shut. He looks gorgeous.

Right then, something crashes into them. Jimin yelps and clutches to Yoongi, who automatically tightens his hold on Jimin, chillness immediately obliterated.

It turns out to have been a drunk Jeon Jeongguk, who has barreled straight into them, presumably while imitating a bull. Judging by the surprised expressions of the others-- aside from Hoseok, who is clutching his side in a fit of laughter-- everyone else is just as caught off guard. Seokjin’s and Namjoon’s dancing has halted, and Seokjin holds onto Namjoon’s arm, looking over at Jeongguk with a mix of alarm and suspicion.

Jeongguk is in a heap on the floor, his face smushed into Yoongi’s knees. When he lifts his head, he’s got a hazy smile on his face. Jimin knows he and Yoongi must be a sight-- Jimin seated atop Yoongi’s lap, the two of them leaning away from Jeongguk and clutching to each other with bewildered expressions. Their expressions probably become even more priceless when Jeongguk’s smile drops and he makes a face like he’s about to hurl.

Immediately Jimin feels himself being moved and then he’s being lifted over and away from the hunched-over Jeongguk, and he realizes belatedly that he is being carried by Yoongi. He still hasn’t wrapped his head around the situation by the time he’s being deposited on his feet on the other side of the room.

Jimin turns his head to try and catch what’s happening with Jeongguk back by the couches, but he’s already being pulled by his wrist out of the room and down the hallway by Yoongi. The last thing he catches is Seokjin stalking across the room towards Jeongguk like he means business, Namjoon belatedly chasing after Seokjin and making panicked “wait, wait!” gestures.

“Hyung,” Jimin says plaintively, but he doesn’t really mind that much that he’s being pulled away. Quickly, they’re arrived at Jimin’s room, and Yoongi gently, if hastily, guides Jimin to sitting on his own bunk. Jimin looks up to find Yoongi pacing before him.

“We don’t want to get caught up in that,” he says, and Jimin mostly agrees. Though he would kind of like to see Jeongguk get in trouble with Seokjin-- but he could go back at any time and catch the ass-whooping. Right now, he’s more interested in what’s got Yoongi so worked up.

Yoongi pauses and then, inexplicably, drops to his knees in front of Jimin.

“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi chastises, his voice rough, “why are you wearing your shoes in the dorm? Come on.” He starts to untie and remove Jimin’s shoes.

Jimin is deeply confused, butsome part of his mind says, just go with it, why complain when this is actually kind of nice?, so he doesn’t say anything. Meanwhile, Yoongi tugs off Jimin’s shoes with what are at first jerky, and then careful and slow, movements.

“Fucking Jeon Jeongguk,” Yoongi mutters under his breath, and Jimin laughs. Yoongi looks up at him.

“You’re so weird,” Jimin says affectionately.

Yoongi looks down and attends to Jimin’s socks as well, which is actually kind of unnecessary, but Jimin doesn’t complain. He likes the feel of Yoongi’s hand gently cupping his bare foot.

“Hey,” Jimin says, smiling, “what about a foot rub?” He kicks his foot a bit in Yoongi’s grip. When Yoongi doesn’t respond, Jimin whines and kicks his foot again.

Yoongi scowls. “You’re spoiled.”

“You’re the one who spoils me,” Jimin complains back.

Yoongi’s face changes.

“You deserve the best,” he murmurs to the floor. “Only the absolute best for you, Pa--“ inexplicably, he cuts himself off, “--Jimin-ah.” He locks eyes with Jimin. “Only the best.”

Keeping eye contact, Yoongi leans forward and rests the side of his face against Jimin’s knee. His gaze burns through Jimin.

Jimin reaches a hand forward to touch Yoongi’s face, but before he can reach it, someone rushes into the doorway, talking rapidly.

“Hyung, you gotta get out there, they’re gonna-- oh,” Hoseok, with a confused look, halts himself. “Sorry, am I-- am I interrupting something?”

Hoseok asks the question totally respectfully, not suggestively or rudely, at all and Jimin’s reflex is to say of course not, but he can’t help but think, yes, you are. Yoongi, on the other hand, glares at Hoseok from where his head is still pillowed on Jimin’s knee. “What?”

“Oh,” Hoseok says. “Right. Uh, there’s a rap battle about to begin out there, Namjoon and Jeongguk and me, and I said I would come get you.” He looks unsure as he says it, like he realizes he’s being disruptive.

Yoongi sighs and closes his eyes. “Alright,” he says to Hoseok. “Gimme a minute.”

“Right,” Hoseok repeats back nervously, and then he’s gone from the room.

Yoongi gives Jimin a final look before he pulls himself up from the ground with a groan. “I gotta get out there,” he says, sounding not very excited about it. He turns to leave.

“Hyung.” Jimin catches Yoongi’s wrist, and Yoongi turns back. “Don’t be too rough on them, okay? Just try to to have a good time.”

Yoongi stares for a moment and then turns. As he moves away, though, he links pinkies with Jimin. It feels like he’s reluctant to let go when he does.

--

In the early afternoon of day eighty-nine, Yoongi shuts the door behind him and is immediately pelted in the head by a balled-up pair of socks.

Yoongi freezes, a scrunched-up expression stuck on his face.

“HYUNG!” Jimin shrieks. “Hyung, come over to my side! HYUNG!”

Yoongi opens his eyes to locate Jimin, who’s peering from his crouch behind his pillow and couch barricade.

“DON’T DO IT!” Taehyung screeches from the other side, and Yoongi jolts. He glances at Taehyung’s side, then looks back to Jimin.

Jimin makes his most desperate puppy eyes possible.

On the other side of the room, where Taehyung is, stands another (Jimin can admit it) far superior barricade; it’s composed of several pieces of furniture, adorned by sheets and way more pillows-- it’s basically a militarized blanket fort. Jimin’s single-couch defense is pitiful in comparison.

Yoongi’s eyes dart back and forth between the barricades for a moment, and then he rushes over to Jimin’s side. He slides into place on the floor beside Jimin. Jimin punches the air triumphantly at the arrival of an ally.

“How did this happen?” Yoongi opens as Jimin frantically balls up more orphan socks into bombs.

“Tae and Guk doing laundry,” Jimin explains. “And then Hoseok went to ‘help’ them with folding...” Yoongi rolls his eyes.

“Yoongi!” Hoseok shouts from the other fort. “You traitor! How could you pick Minnie’s side!”

“If Namjoon-hyung were here he would be on my side!” Jimin shouts back, though he’s not so sure about that. He’s actually pretty confident the leader would pick his side based on wherever Seokjin was. It’s actually a good thing neither Namjoon nor Seokjin are here--Namjoon didn’t come back with Yoongi from the studio-- so they couldn’t disprove Jimin’s statement.

Without warning, two more bombs are lobbed at Jimin and Yoongi. Jimin curses.

“Why do they have three and you’re by yourself?” Yoongi asks suspiciously.

“I might’ve said something about being able to take them all on by myself...” Jimin mumbles. He shamefully looks away and balls up more pairs of socks.

Yoongi sighs. “This isn’t looking too good for you,” he announces. “I mean, they have a whole blanket fort. I don’t think you’re gonna win.”

“Not with that attitude we’re not!” Jimin scolds. He stands and quickly throw three sock bombs in a row, then drops back down into his crouch.

Thankfully, one of the bombs seems to hit Hoseok. “Ah, shit!” he calls, and there’s a loud thump as something-- probably Hoseok-- hits the floor. “Right in the eye! Goddammit, Park Jimin!”

“HOBI,” Taehyung announces dramatically, “HOBI-HYUNG, DON’T LET GO! DON’T GIVE IN! NO, HOBI, I WILL AVENGE YOU!”

”Where is hyung,” Yoongi asks with some desperation.

“Grocery store!” Jimin cheers, peeking out from the side of the couch. Immediately, Jeongguk delivers a war cry and lobs a suspiciously large sock bomb at Jimin. Jimin shrieks and ducks back behind his barricade.

“Come out here, you wimps!” Taehyung shouts, following up Jeongguk’s attack with, inexplicably, a banana.

Yoongi eyes the banana as it lands with a thump between him and Jimin.

“Sustenance!” Jimin declares, tucking the banana away under a pillow.

Yoongi’s eyes close.

“Jesus, when Seokjin-eomma shows up,” he says.

Jimin scoffs. “Hyung.”

Yoongi cracks an eye open, and Jimin leans forward conspiratorally.

“That’s at least ten minutes from now.” He lets a mischevious grin break out on his face.

After a pause, Yoongi gives a mischevious grin to match.

Yoongi is so close, and his smile is so genuinely sweet. Jimin’s heart beats faster just at the sight of it. It’s day eighty-nine and he’s already told Yoongi he loved him, and he wonders what would happen if he were to just reach out, to just put his hand on Yoongi’s chest and rest it there. What would Yoongi do? How would he react?

Yoongi’s eyes suddenly move to a sock bomb at his side. He picks it up and contemplatively tosses it up and down a few times. Then, he looks to Jimin.

Jimin nods, picking up as many sock bombs as he can with both hands.

On the silent count of three, they attack.

--

“One more time,” Namjoon tells them in the evening of day ninety-one.

The members, all sprawled across the practice room floor panting, collectively groan.

“Ten minutes!” Taehyung demands dramatically, spread out like a starfish next to Jimin. “Ten minutes of peace, please!”

“Five minutes,” Namjoon concedes. The declaration is met with unenthusastic cheers.

“I wanna sleeeeep,” Jimin whines. He stretches out across the floor where he lies, then reaches for the hem of his shirt and pulls it up over his head. Maybe if he can’t see anyone, they can’t see him, and he can just fall asleep right where he is and wake up in twelve hours.

“Jimin.” Jeongguk’s sharp voice interrupts Jimin’s musings.

“It’s hyung,” Jimin murmurs from below his shirt.

“Hyung,” Jeongguk says, exasperated. “Get your shirt off your head and take the waterbottle.”

Jimin reluctantly lowers his shirt a little bit to peer at Jeongguk suspiciously. “Why.”

“I want to be nice,” Jeongguk says sarcastically. Jimin accepts the bottle and drinks from it, then splashes some of it on his face and goes to pull the shirt back over his face.

“Put your abs away,” Jeongguk scoffs, before moving over to distribute a water bottle to Taehyung.

Jimin makes a face back and lowers his shirt. As he reaches for his water again, he catches sight of Yoongi, leaning against the mirrored wall, gazing in Jimin’s direction like he’s caught in a trance.

“Hyung.”

Yoongi doesn’t respond.

“Hyung.”

Yoongi’s head snaps up.

“What.” He sounds and looks dazed. It’s pretty endearing. Jimin does a quick check in his head: he’d already told Yoongi he loved him at lunch. But he feels almost a compulsion to say it again in this moment. Jimin almost has to hold the words in his mouth to keep them from escaping.

“What were you daydreaming about?” he asks instead.

Yoongi’s cheeks tinge pink. “Where’s my water,” he says, and he abruptly stands up and chases after Jeongguk.

--

It’s day ninety...ninety-four, or maybe now it’s ninety-five, Jimin isn’t sure. He’s so tired that he can’t remember as he trudges into the dorm near midnight to a dark and quiet dorm.

Except that there’s someone up. Yoongi is sitting on the living room couch, watching the television on mute. Jimin is convinced that he must be pretty tired to have imagined Yoongi’s eyes lighting up when he notices Jimin enter.

“Hey,” Yoongi greets. The television is the only light in the room, and its washed-out blue light reflects off of Yoongi’s pale skin and leaves aqueous shapes on the couch space next to him.

Jimin makes his way to the couch and then collapses onto it beside Yoongi, inarticulately moaning the woes of a six-hour dance practice. Yoongi lets out a strangled laugh and looks to Jimin as they recline next to each other.

Seokjin had looked at Jimin like Seokjin knew a secret; Yoongi looks at Jimin like Jimin has the secret-- like Jimin has all the answers. Jimin is strangely uncomfortable on the receiving end of that gaze, wanting to both squirm away from and bask in it. The look is almost optimistic, in a way that Yoongi rarely ever seems to be, and Jimin feels deep pleasure at the sight of it.

“I’m tiiiiiired,” Jimin hears himself whine, and tries to make himself comfortable in some position. Yoongi rolls his eyes.

“Park Jimin, you make everything so difficult for yourself,” he chides, but there’s no bite to the words. “Here, just--” with a hand, Yoongi gently guides Jimin’s head down into his lap.

Jimin goes with it, closing his eyes and feeling like his insides are flipping upside down, but also so tired that he’s not sure if he’s imagining this entire interaction. He could have fallen asleep on the practice room floor and is now dreaming this up for all he knows.

Dream or not, Yoongi’s lap is warm and comfortable, and Jimin rubs his cheek against Yoongi’s denim-clad thighs. A second later, his snapback is carefully removed from his head, and fingertips are slowly pushing through his hair.

Jimin makes a noise of pleasure, and the fingers still for a second, and then start up again.

“Hyung,” Jimin murmurs after a little while longer, right on the edge of sleep, and Yoongi makes a noise of acknowledgement. Feeling slightly ashamed of himself, he admits, “I can’t remember if I said it today.”

The fingers stop again, and Jimin feels muted embarassment wash over him. He’s so tired, he doesn’t even remember what he had for lunch or breakfast, or really anything before dance practice-- and now it’s close to midnight. He wonders if he’s in trouble when Yoongi doesn’t answer immediately. Did he not tell Yoongi he loved him today and it’s already too late, past midnight? Did he actually miss a day? He begins to get anxious, scared in his lethargic state that he’s carelessly thrown the entire challenge away.

“You did,” Yoongi finally responds quietly, and Jimin breathes a sigh of relief. He can’t remember it, but he trusts Yoongi.

“But you can say it again,” Yoongi tacks on.

Jimin feels confusion, but when he thinks about it for a second, he realizes that he does want to say it again, even if doesn’t have to.

“I love you hyung,” he says quietly, and he wonders if he imagines Yoongi releasing a saved-up breath too.

Yoongi’s fingers continue to card through his hair.

“Yoongi-hyung,” Jimin says, the last thing to say, as he feels himself fading into sleep.

“Yeah, baby?” Yoongi asks. Jimin wishes wishes wishes he’s not imagining, that he’s still awake and every moment of this is real.

“Why is the TV on mute?” But then he drops straight into sleep, and doesn’t get to hear the answer.

--

It’s one of their last variety appearances before this round of promotions finishes, on day ninety-six, and Jimin is secretly a bit thankful. He thinks they all might be, actually; the group is tired, as they always are by this point, and they deserve some rest. Variety can feel like a performance, especially when they have to be prepped backstage before the show starts, getting directions first from management and then from Namjoon about what they’ll be doing and saying.

There’s limited seating in this backstage room. Coordi noonas and crew members bustle around them in the prep area, and the other members are practically piled on top of each other on the one couch that’s available.

Jimin spots Seokjin getting up from the couch to get his makeup done-- but then Hoseok steals the empty seat before Jimin can. Sighing, Jimin resigns himself to standing next to the couch as their leader delivers his pre-show encouragement and instructions.

“How come Seokjin-hyung doesn’t have to sit here and listen to this?” Jimin interrupts partway in, crossing his arms. “Does he know everything about interviews already?” He’s aware that he sounds petulant, but he doesn’t care.

“Don’t worry about Seokjin-hyung,” Namjoon chides. Jimin scoffs.

Hoseok rolls his eyes and pulls on one of Jimin’s arms to draw him closer. Jimin follows along, confused. Once Jimin’s close enough, Hoseok yanks on the back belt loop of Jimin’s pants and sends Jimin falling into Yoongi’s lap.

“There,” Hoseok says gruffly, returning his attention to Namjoon as Yoongi and Jimin both squawk indignantly.

Apparently no one cares about their protests, so Jimin gives up and tiredly concedes to the seating arrangement. It’s not like it’s a foreign experience, to sit on the lap of one of the members. And, a voice in the back of his head that sounds suspiciously like Seokjin reminds him, he did sit on Yoongi’s lap at the party after the four members came home from promotions. Not that that’s anything to note, not that sitting in Yoongi’s lap is ever a big deal anyway.

He settles in, and Yoongi follows suit, shutting up and craning his head around Jimin’s side to see Namjoon.

Everything’s fine until Jimin tries to adjust so that he’s actually actually sitting up straight in Yoongi’s lap. The movement makes him suddenly conscious of the warmth of Yoongi’s body beneath him-- of the press of Yoongi’s chest to Jimin’s back. At the same moment that Jimin realizes it, Yoongi seems to, and freezes beneath him.

There’s a static moment, where neither of them move, and it’s like no one else is in the room. It’s just the two of them, breaths held in, waiting for something unknown to happen.

Yoongi’s hand makes it way onto Jimin’s thigh slowly and rests there casually.

Unable to sit still, Jimin shifts in Yoongi’s lap just a little, maybe a centimeter to the side, slowly, slowly, slowly.

Yoongi’s legs shifts beneath him, slowly, as well.

Jimin lets his weight press into Yoongi’s body, settling in. Then, Jimin shimmies a bit.

Without warning, he’s dumped onto the lap of Hoseok.

Hoseok startles, and Jimin gasps and then chokes out an ‘excuse me!’, but Yoongi is already up and moving. He rapidly walks away from the couch in an unannounced direction, perhaps faster than Jimin’s ever seen him walk, and succesfully disappears from the room in less than four seconds.

Namjoon stands and looks after Yoongi with confusion. “What...” he begins, then gives up. “What?” he turns to the other members, searching for an explanation.

Ignoring the group’s questions, Jimin decides to disappear as well.

--

Yoongi is sitting on Jimin’s bunk when he gets back to his room at the end of the day. Technically it’s day ninety-seven now; Jimin is thankful that he hadn’t waited until the end of ninety-six to tell Yoongi he loved him, considering that the older was basically ghosting out on everyone after the variety appearance.

“I’m sorry,” Yoongi apologizes before Jimin can even open his mouth to ask why he’s there.

“For what?” Jimin asks, surprised.

“Being a fuckboy today,” Yoongi says. He stands up from the bunk. “You don’t deserve that. I’m sorry.”

He’s all business, and Jimin doesn’t think he’s ever heard Yoongi say sorry that many times in the span of even a year. He also hears the echoes of Yoongi’s words from the party, from their time together in this same room, at the same bunk, just days ago: You deserve the best. Only the absolute best for you, Jimin-ah.

“That was yesterday,” Jimin corrects. “And I love you. hyung.”

Yoongi cringes.

“Yoongi,” Jimin begins, but the older walks right past him to leave the room.

“Good night,” Yoongi says as he slips out the room.

Jimin looks at the empty doorway, helpless.

--

Something’s off when Jimin catches Yoongi in the kitchen in the early morning of day ninety-eight. For one, Yoongi’s up and awake before 8 am. But he’s also completely out of it, sitting at the table and staring at nothing, looking even paler than usual.

“Hyung,” Jimin says. It’s just the two of them in the kitchen.

Yoongi looks at Jimin. His eyes are rimmed red, but his expression is totally blank.

“I love you, hyung,” Jimin whispers.

Yoongi looks away.

He stands up and, wordlessly, hands Jimin his cell phone.

Jimin looks down at the phone. Nothing seems out of the ordinary with it. He looks back up just in time to catch Yoongi walking out of the apartment, no keys, no jacket, just going straight out the door.

Jimin doesn’t see him for the entire rest of the day.

--

Day ninety-nine hits.

He’s almost there-- Jimin’s almost done it. One more day-- well, two more days, technically, but day one-hundred is when they return to the show. One more day in the dorms, telling Yoongi he loves him, and then that’s it.

That’s it.

They see each other at breakfast, but don’t interact. Jimin spends his morning and then early afternoon in vocal and then dance practice; Yoongi is somewhere else, undisclosed. They’re in the same room again at a late lunch back at the dorm, but Taehyung and Jeongguk and Namjoon are there, and it feels wrong to have any sort of exchange in front of the group, so nothing happens. Jimin has to admit, though, that he has no idea what this apparently inevitable exchange will entail. All he knows is that something is going to happen, something has to happen, and apparently everyone else knows it too, because Namjoon ushers Taehyung and Jeongguk out of the room a little before they’re really done cleaning up from eating, and Jimin knows that it has to be for the sake of allowing Yoongi and Jimin to be alone together.

But once it’s just the two of them, nothing happens. They both sit there in silence, not looking at each other, for a while, until Seokjin calls Jimin’s name from across the dorm and threatens him to clean his room. By the time Jimin’s escaped his hyung’s threats, he can’t find Yoongi anywhere in the dorm.

--

At 10:23 pm, Jimin gets a call. He knows who it is before he looks at the phone.

Yoongi.

“Hyung,” Jimin greets.

“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi says, and his words come out slowly, like he’s carefully selecting them. “Come to the studio.”

“Okay,” Jimin says back.

“I want to play that song for you again.”

The explanation wasn’t necessary-- Jimin would have gone back to the building as Yoongi requested without needing a reason-- but he knows exactly what song Yoongi is talking about, and the knowledge makes his heart slam agains this chest.

Jimin’s nervous the entire way to the building, trying to figure out how to non-awkwardly tell Yoongi he loves him once he gets to there. He doesn’t come up with anything.

“Ey,” Yoongi greets as he opens the door to the studio, but before Jimin can even settle into the discomfort of them sharing a space, Yoongi’s ushering him in and speaking quickly. “Listen, listen to it,” he orders, pointing Jimin to sit in a second chair next to the computer-- there was only one chair before, did Yoongi bring that in for Jimin?-- “listen to the song, there’s something wrong with it, there’s something missing. You need to tell me without missing.” He double-clicks to play the song and then drops himself into the chair beside Jimin’s like he means business.

A puzzle-- Jimin loves puzzles. It’s perfect, the best distraction to get both of their minds off of the awkwardness and allow them to work together in peace for a little while.

The song is nearly done being recorded and mixed, and Jimin can hear the voices of every other member in it. Hoseok and Namjoon rap, Hoseok forlorn and Namjoon passionately, and Seokjin and Taehyung and Jeongguk all get their own choruses. The only voice he doesn’t hear is his own, and when did Yoongi get everyone to record these parts?

“Your chorus is the last one,” Yoongi explains, breaking Jimin from his thoughts. “So that’s missing. But otherwise, I don’t know, something’s not right.”

“Whoa whoa whoa,” Jimin says, “I missed your verse, I wasn’t paying attention. Let me listen to your part again.”

Yoongi looks slightly reluctant, but he clicks to replay his verse anyway, and Jesus, it sounds so good, Jimin knew Yoongi’s verse would sound incredible, what was Yoongi so worried about?

“It’s beautiful,” Jimin says. His voice comes out soft. “I knew it would be beautiful. This song is amazing. I love it.”

When he turns, Yoongi is looking right at him. Their gazes are locked until Yoongi coughs suddenly.

“What’s it missing,” he reminds Jimin, and Jimin snaps back to attention.

“Let me listen to it again,” he says, clicking to replay the song.

Jimin hates to say it, but by his third listen, he realizes Yoongi’s right-- the song is missing something, a beat or sound missing here or there. The groundwork is laid, Jimin decides, but an element has to be added-- another sound effect to join the rhythm? Add a harmony to the bridge? Should some of them duet the choruses instead of do them alone?

“Hyung!” Jimin’s struck by an idea. “What if we layered our voices for that part? Like, yours and mine together-- me singing, you rapping?”

Yoongi stares at him.

Jimin can’t contain his excitement. “Like, the contrast would be so great! Have we ever done that before, hyung? I don’t remember. No, it doesn’t matter! Just, just give it a try. Here, rap part of the verse. Or, just rap starting with the second line.” Jimin looks to Yoongi expectantly.

Yoongi continues to stare back.

Why isn’t Yoongi as excited about this as he is? This is an awesome idea. “Here,” Jimin decides. Yoongi, apparently frozen, doesn’t even flinch as Jimin reaches across him to double-click the computer’s mouse.

The song starts playing, and Jimin fast-forwards to just before Yoongi’s verse. As the rough drawl begins, Jimin counts along, waiting for inspiration to hit.

He feels it right before the words come around-- I’m a bad boy, don’t you know?-- and Jimin gears up, aiming for high notes. The line hits, and Jimin sings as sweetly as he can over it. It’s Yoongi’s gravelly take plus Jimin’s honey one-- I’m a bad boy, don’t you know?-- and it’s perfect, totally perfect, together they’re exactly as amazing as Jimin had known they’d be.

Yoongi is still looking at him, but this time it’s incredulous, like he can’t even believe Jimin exists.

Jimin gets a bit nervous. Maybe he’s totally offended Yoongi by defiling his song. He doesn’t let himself give up quite yet, though. Maybe Jimin just picked the wrong line, maybe he can still convince Yoongi, the song is still playing, he’s got another chance-- and he feels that pull as the last line of the rap approaches. I guess you’ll find out soon enough. Jimin sings the words, letting his high voice soar over Yoongi’s low one. I guess you’ll find out soon enough-- Jimin’s eyes slip closed as he sings, falling into the words.

The verse finishes and the chorus begins again, tying up the end of the song, and Jimin keeps his eyes shut, feeling the song seep into him, finally understanding it, finally hearing what Yoongi had written.

And then there’s a pair of lips pressing against his own, warm and firm.

Jimin can’t help but gasp in surprise, and his eyes fly open and it’s Yoongi, it’s Yoongi, of course it’s Yoongi, who else would it be? It’s Yoongi, who pulls back and looks part surprised by his own actions, but also part intense, determined, with his dark, dark eyes zeroed in on Jimin’s mouth.

“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi murmurs in the lowest voice Jimin’s ever heard out of him. He says the name like it’s a revelation. “Jimin. Jimin.” His eyes still trained on Jimin’s lips, he leans back in.

“Hyung,” Jimin squeaks, just before Yoongi’s mouth is again pressing against his own.

Jimin’s eyes close once more and immediately he loses himself in the sensation, in the heat of it, in the slow shift of Yoongi’s lips against his own. Softly, carefully, Yoongi repositions his lips again Jimin’s again and again, pressing his lips here and there, softly, softly.

Jimin feels brave and finally presses his lips back against Yoongi’s, moving slightly away and back again, and something picks up within Yoongi. His arms suddenly encirle Jimin, drawing their bodies together.

Yoongi moves his mouth away to press his lips to Jimin’s cheek and jaw. “Jimin,” he says, his gaze so dark that he looks to be in a trance, “when we fought-- that one time--“ he kisses right at the space below Jimin’s ear and Jimin inhales sharply-- “you said, you told me not to say it--“ He sets his teeth lightly against Jimin’s neck.

“Say what, say what,” Jimin asks breathlessly.

“Your name--“ Yoongi nips at Jimin’s lips. And as if Jimin himself didn’t know it, “Jimin--“

“No,” Jimin gasps back, “I didn’t mean it, say it, say it--“

Yoongi’s arms tighten around him. “Park Jimin,” he rasps into Jimin’s ear.

Something picks up within Jimin as well, and he’s crushing their mouths together. Yoongi kisses back with just as much fervor, and when he leans closer to Jimin, they tip out of their chairs and onto the floor.

Jimin squawks as they crash onto the floor with a loud thump, Jimin’s chair clattering to the ground beside them. Jimin barely feels the impact of hitting the floor beneath him, because they’re still wrapped around each other, and Yoongi lands on top of Jimin, his weight a welcome, burning pressure against Jimin’s body.

“Oh my god,” Jimin says, because what the everloving fuck is happening right now.

“I love you,” Yoongi says. His eyes are still so dark, face right up in Jimin’s, their noses almost touching.

“Oh my god,” Jimin repeats.

“I’m in love with you,” Yoongi says again. “I’ve been in love with you for a long time.”

“We’re on the floor,” Jimin says. He thinks he’s in shock.

“The song,” Yoongi continues. “I wrote the song for you. About you. I didn’t know what to do, I just realized partway into the challenge thing that I had been into you for like a million years, but then I was like, oh my god, Yoongi, you fucking loser, he’s never going to want you too, what are you doing?”

Jimin tries to say something but all that comes out is a choked-off noise. Yoongi’s on a roll now, talking like he’s not also lying on top of Jimin on the floor with their arms wrapped around each other, their faces inches apart.

“I had to do something, so I wrote the song, but it didn’t fix anything, it just made me realize that I was in love with you, and now I’m in love with you and I don’t know what to do--“

“What--“ Jimin doesn’t think he’s ever heard Yoongi speak this much at once outside of a rap, and also none of it makes sense.

“And you’re never going to want me back and I’m such a fool, you’re a much better human being than I am, jesus, what was I thinking--“

”Yoongi,” Jimin says, and Yoongi finally shuts up. “Yoongi, what are you talking about.”

“What?” Yoongi asks.

“You’re wrong, you’ve got it wrong,” Jimin is so embarassed and this is so backwards. “It’s the opposite.”

Yoongi only looks confused, so Jimin fills him in.

“I’m the one, I’m the one who’s in love with you and you’re the one who isn’t interested,” Jimin confesses. His cheeks burn.

“No,” Yoongi says slowly, “that’s me. I’m the one who’s in love with you and doesn’t have a shot.”

And then it hits Jimin and dear lord, they’re both losers, what is wrong with them?

“Yoongi,” Jimin says, and he can’t believe he’s saying this, “we’re both in love with each other and were too sure we’d get rejected to say anything.”

Yoongi’s eyes go wide. He draws his head back as he absorbs this new information.

He’s still on top of Jimin. Jimin’s hands are still clutching Yoongi’s shirt.

“You want to be with me?” Jimin blurts, embarassed.

Yoongi breaks from his reverie and locks eyes with Jimin. His expression is totally serious. “I want to marry you.”

“Oh,” Jimin says meekly. He feels his cheeks heat up.

Yoongi doesn’t break eye contact, doesn’t smile, doesn’t halt and laugh at Jimin and reveal that his confession is all some elaborate joke. He really, actually means it.

“That, uh, that doesn’t sound so bad,” Jimin finally says, which is kind of an epic understatement.

Yoongi looks unbelievably relieved.

“Park Jimin,” he says in that voice, in that voice, but he doesn’t say anything else, he just tightens his arms around Jimin and leans in to kiss him again. It’s soft, chaste, sweet, a light touch, but it carries every statement, every feeling, every reassurance that Jimin hopes for, needs. Jimin tries to communicate the same thing back with his kiss. Only the best for you, Jimin-ah.

If I deserve the best, then it’s you.

“Oh my god,” Jimin says for what must be the three-hundredth time when they break apart some time later. “Yoongi. Yoongi. Tomorrow is day one hundred.”

Yoongi halts. “It’s not tomorrow already, is it?”

Trying not to displace Yoongi from on top of him, Jimin squirms and reaches for his phone in his pants pocket. Once he gets it, though, he turns it so that the screen faces Yoongi.

Yoongi reads it. “Not yet,” he says, a beautiful smile blooming across his face.

“I love you, Yoongi,” Jimin says, reveling in the feeling; a completely new and unique sentence, all his own.

Yoongi kisses him.

--

“So!” the MC announces. “Park Jimin, which shall it be?”

Jimin looks at his choices. Two glittery placards hang from the wall the MC stands in front of.

Failure.

Success.

Jimin turns to see Yoongi, seated with the other members across the stage, signature smirk already in place.

Jimin smiles. “I love you, hyung!” he shouts, marking day one hundred.

The crowd cheers. The MC laughs.

“I love you, Park Jimin,” Yoongi says back, not a shout, just at regular volume. But Jimin can hear it just fine.

Jimin can’t hold in his happiness.

“Success,” he tells the MC, elated.

The crowd breaks into applause. Some audience members cheer and whoop. The members cheer along.

Jimin looks to Yoongi. Yoongi winks at him.

Jimin’s heart swells.

“Fantastic! The MC chirps. “I can’t wait to hear about the results!”

They go to commercial.