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Yoongi likes this neighborhood. It’s quiet, still centrally located but without the obnoxious buzz of downtown, an area with slightly more gnarled and deeper roots. It isn’t quite the summer but the chirp of the birds makes it sound that way, the blooming green of the overgrown vines now creeping their way up the walls of the small shops, all similar in size to Yoongi’s own equally quaint studio.

The fact his favorite bakery is only a block down the road adds to the convenience of living here. The man that serves him from behind the counter is unfamiliar, probably one of the owner’s many sons, but the lack of being recognized as a local doesn’t sting, considering the place is damn near empty at this hour.

Yoongi pulls off bite sized pieces of the sweet yogurt bread as he walks back to the studio, eating straight from the bag wedged in between the fingers holding his coffee. The coffee is a new necessity, particularly given the ghastly hour of the morning, but Yoongi is trying to get on a better schedule-- he needs to not work himself half to death, only calling it quits when he can begin to see the sun rising through the mottled old glass of the studio’s frosted windows.

He’s so caught up in enjoying the combined scents of the sweet bread and bitter coffee in the cool morning air that he nearly drops the both of them when he’s suddenly startled by a very obnoxiously bright and damn near blindingly white flash.

A camera. Someone has just taken a very direct and inconspicuous photograph of him stuffing his face with bread.

“The fuck?” he grumbles around a mouth of food.

And then pulls a face, because it’s a fairly young looking girl taking the photograph. For a moment he glances behind him and then back to her, wondering partly if he’d somehow managed to get in her way. He's half ready to scold her on her lack of patience, but there’s nothing-- she was taking a picture of him.

“Min Suga, Jeon Jungkook’s new producer! Your studio is just there, right?” she points to his building, in all its flaked paint and yellowed glory.

Yoongi almost nods, but it morphs into what he hopes is a cruel sounding laugh.

“Wrong guy. Don’t know who you’re talking about.”

He shoves past her and resists the urge to pour the rest of his coffee all over her expensive looking lens when she snaps another photo. Lucky for her Yoongi values the quality of the bakery’s dark roast far too much to waste it like that.

It’s with no small amount of alarm that Yoongi notices her following him to the side entrance of his studio. He locks her out using the wooden gate, and then watches to make sure her silhouette leaves from between the panels, although it takes her a moment to concede.

Odd, Yoongi thinks. He knows who Jeon Jungkook is, but the newly ranked ‘top searched male idol’ has absolutely nothing to do with him.

Yoongi vows to write it off as an odd encounter with a stranger, a symptom of big city living. People extort the most fanatical shit out here, it’s as though the general public think anyone walking with even a modicum of purpose are famous in some way. Fuck it, not his problem, he thinks, as he tips the remaining crumbs of his food from the paper bag into his mouth.

 

--

 

“Hyung, I think you might actually be fucked.”

There’s a phone being held offensively close to Yoongi’s face, opened on an article with a bolded title: ‘POP IDOL JUNGKOOK ENLISTS THE HELP OF UNDERGROUND HIP HOP PRODUCER MIN SUGA FOR UPCOMING ALBUM’. There are a multitude of pictures beneath it, one of him and Hoseok from two or three years ago at university, and an equally unflattering and familiar one from outside of his own studio.

“Why are you showing it to me? I don’t need to see myself on some shitty clickbait site, thanks.”

Just to be a dick, Namjoon zooms in on the least flattering image, faces his phone back to Yoongi, and with grave-- and frankly ridiculous-- severity he says, “This is the face of a sellout.”

Namjoon’s ever helpful opinion gets stunted when the waitress shuffles over to give them their drinks. She artfully ignores the look Namjoon gives her, his face shifting from solemn disgust to suave in a matter of milliseconds, but Yoongi sees enough to roll his eyes at.

“Eh, they’re paying me a fair bit,” Yoongi says with a shrug, leaning back in his seat and glancing down to open the photo set he’d downloaded onto his own phone.

Jeon Jungkook, it says, in frilly script font, complete with obnoxiously cute looking stickers. Kid is so popular he has his own app, apparently. Jungkook’s management had recommended Yoongi download it, though he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t curious himself.

“Let me see that again,” Namjoon barks, not bothering to wait for permission before he snatches Yoongi’s phone. “You’re being drafted to produce a hip hop album for this? He looks like a fairy princess.”

Yoongi makes a face as he grabs his phone back, flipping back through the last couple of photos. In them is a boy with round features, softly out of focus, the corners of his eyes decorated in shimmer and gems. His hair even has pink feathers stuck in it, for whatever fucking reason.

“It was his last album concept, you know how quickly that shit changes.”

“I’m surprised you agreed, honestly,” Namjoon says, with all the tact and attitude of a teenage high school girl. “Didn’t think this was your style, man. Hoseok will have a shit fit when he finds out.”

Yoongi smiles lazily, shrugging his shoulders as though hasn’t been toiling over this for the past two weeks and instead just accepted it when it came his way. Hoseok was the person he called when it happened, though Namjoon doesn’t need to know this. Hoseok is far enough away from them that it felt a little less like a weakness to ask for his opinion on the whole gig.

“It’s a paycheck,” Yoongi says, his cocky smile dropping the minute Namjoon grins at him knowingly.

“Sure it is.”

 

--

 

Yoongi doesn’t really remember how he reacted to getting the phone call from Jungkook’s company, but he remembers being convinced it was a ruse, particularly considering it was not long after being bombarded in the street by that camera. He may have even cursed out the manager that tried to explain the intention and the concept to him, but even still-- they were determined to have him produce this album for the rising pop idol.

It just didn’t make a whole lot sense. The only people who have ever used Yoongi’s studio are Namjoon, Hoseok, and himself-- along a small handful of other local underground artists that try to make a name for themselves on empty stomachs and even emptier wallets. He’s been living on the cusp of only barely breaking even with this place for the past two years since the old man he rented it from decided he liked him enough to want to sell it to him for a good price. His little loft above the studio now feels completely like home, along with the studio itself, so Yoongi is wary of letting others in so easily.

‘Others’ doesn’t quite encompass the sheer ridiculous amount of people buzzing around the front entrance to the studio. Yoongi got up early, shoved on a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie to go grab some pastries-- figuring this kid is eighteen, surely he likes sweets, he’s always got some kind of fucking lollipop or bubblegum in his mouth for those borderline obscene photoshoots he does. He expected people to figure out Jungkook was going to be at his studio, given the fact there were people that knew about it before he even did-- and people with this kind of obsessive persistence always do-- but this is too much. Yoongi stops and stares with a tired scowl at the mob of girls and media swarmed around the front of the building. Luckily they steer clear of the side entrance, so Yoongi slips in through the rickety gate, expecting something a little more quietly subdued.

Only the mob outside begins to make some kind of distant, half-coherent sense, because there is an entirely different kind of crowd already bustling around his studio, making themselves at home as they speed around corners, weaving in and around his sitting room, his kitchen, even the bathroom. Yoongi isn’t even sure how they got in, he’s too tired to try and remember if he left the door unlocked. Watching a young girl try and balance what looks like an entire tray of flesh colored acrylic paint on top of his extremely expensive custom mixing console makes him twitch, and finally he speaks the fuck up.

“Um, hello?”

“Ah! Min Suga!”

Yoongi turns and catches a young, boyish looking thing vaulting up off the futon he has wedged into the corner of the mixing room opposite the console, nearly toppling over the small cloud of people poking and prodding at various angles of his hair and sections of his face. Yoongi panics for a second in the commotion, glances back to make sure the palette of goopy color hasn’t ruined his equipment. Thankfully it hasn’t.

“I’m Jeon Jungkook, it’s so nice to finally meet you,” this boy says, and it takes Yoongi a moment or two to recognize that this is indeed the same fairy prince of a boy they sent him images of weeks ago. Not like he hadn’t seen Jungkook before that, but this is different. His hair is darker, flatter against his head. He looks younger than he does with all the makeup on, though Yoongi figures that’s kind of the point.

“Just Yoongi,” he grumbles, scuffing his toe against where one of the PDs flipped up the corner of one of his turkish rugs, the kind he buys in bulk to keep the acoustics of the room in tact.

“Yoongi,” Jungkook says to himself, almost in awe, and Yoongi swallows, clicking his tongue. He licks his lips, contemplates the notion that he should probably at least properly introduce himself, but before he can he’s interrupted by one of the seemingly endless amount of managers this kid has.

“Hey, do you have a kettle? Something to make hot water? Your kitchen down here is empty.”

Yoongi stares for a moment, and then says slowly, “There’s another kitchen upstairs…”

He’s only a little shocked when the man makes his way up towards the loft without asking for permission. Not like they hadn’t barged right on in here to begin with.

Jungkook gets whisked away into the bathroom at some point, and Yoongi is left setting up his workstation wondering why the fuck they didn’t do all this before Jungkook got here, or why nobody had told him what time they’d arrive-- it would’ve helped to control the mob outside, at least. Once the photographer enters the studio, Yoongi figures that’s reason enough. He puts his foot down when the stylist comes right at his face armed with a brush and another palette full of make up.

“Ah, no thank you,” Yoongi says curtly, trying to be polite when he notices the girl looks just as exhausted as he feels. She explains it’s only powder, just to mattify his skin, and he relents, watching in resigned disdain as Jungkook comes back into the studio, now freshly painted and glowing, black liner artfully extending the corners of his eyes.

Jungkook settles easily on the chair someone rolled over next to Yoongi’s, shifting them enough so that the mixing board behind them is in view. Jungkook slips an easy arm around Yoongi’s shoulders and poses cutely with a ‘v’ while the camera flash goes off. The way he positions himself so easily makes it seem like he’s known Yoongi for years, which is oddly conflicting with how bashfully eager he’d seemed when he introduced himself earlier.

Seconds later, the photographer pipes up. “Excuse me, can you look at the camera this time? You were facing Jungkook.”

“Eh? Sorry,” Yoongi says, turning and making a somewhat crude and childish hand signal of his own down in his lap, smirking at his own audacity. If anyone notices it surely they have the photoshop skills to edit it out.

“You seem like you’re way too used to this,” Yoongi comments offhandedly, rounding on Jungkook after posing for a few more snaps.

Jungkook just grins at him, his eyes almost glittering in how bright they are. His smile is kind of ridiculous, Yoongi notes with amusement, as it looks like his lips barely fit over his teeth.

“I can’t believe I’m here,” Jungkook mumbles, completely starstruck, and Yoongi feels like he’s missing something important.

Before he can ask why, Jungkook is whisked off again by management, one of the assistants marching over with another pile of paperwork to smack down on Yoongi’s desk, as though the insurance and liability coffer they sent him last week wasn’t enough of a waste of fucking trees.

“Seriously?” Yoongi asks.

“It’s a schedule agreement, you sign and we sign.”

Yoongi groans quietly, but signs nonetheless. The stylist noona from before sits nearby, waiting, and he calls over to her.

“Why’s he so happy?” Yoongi asks, flicking his head back towards the door Jungkook was dragged out through. “You guys have to drug him for photo ops or something?”

She giggles, which Yoongi feels is an odd response to his question and the way he worded it. Yoongi is about to consider her a lost cause, when she quietly says, “He’s just a big fan of yours, is all.”

Yoongi tsk’s and ignores her until he’s done with the mess of paperwork staining his desk.

 

--

 

Yoongi does his homework. He listens to all of Jungkook’s albums, assesses his tonal quality and tries to understand what kind of direction they can go in with this album. His earlier stuff is all pop nonsense, barely coherent, but the newer stuff is more soulful. There’s a jazzy number that showcases the husky lilt Jungkook’s voice takes on once it’s been strained, and Yoongi will blame the shiver that crawls up his spine at that one on the quality of the production and how crisp his personal sound system is now. He makes a mental note that the kid seems to work well when he’s tired, which is a good sign given the persistence of his management team.

The next time Jungkook comes around there is slightly less chaos, though he still has an entourage with him that seems entirely unnecessary for spending long hours in a recording booth. Yoongi has drafts, beats and samples he wants to lay out on the table, and it seems Jungkook himself has some ideas, an entire notebook full of scribbled lyrics, which is… impressive. Or unexpected, at the very least.

“Why do you want to make a hip-hop album?” Yoongi asks him over the comm linked to the recording suite, no fanfare about it, wanting to catch him half tired and unguarded by script and management.

Jungkook looks down at the ground, a smile growing on his face that Yoongi peers curiously at. He says, “Because it feels good,” and that shiver Yoongi felt before returns in a different sort of way.

“What about it feels good?”

Yoongi leans heavily on the mixing console, letting the cool metal of the comm mic rest on his lower lip, watching Jungkook sift through the thoughts in his head. He looks down a lot when he’s thinking, Yoongi notices, which seems odd for an otherwise outwardly confident pop idol. Maybe nobody ever asks him this kind of stuff, he thinks.

“Like… when I listen to your music, the tracks you put online, I just--” Jungkook stalls, and then laughs quietly at himself, the sound transmitted through the recording mic soft and intimate. “I feel good. I wanted a part of that.”

Jungkook looks up when he says this, and his eyes seem to say ‘I wanted a part of you’ in a raw sort of way, more honest than Yoongi had been expecting. He isn’t an idiot, he knows how to read people, and this kid is treading a very thin line with all this staff he has hovering around, looming over both of their shoulders at all hours of the day. That being said, Jungkook is probably more than used to having to be careful with how he words these types of things.

“Put that feeling in your voice,” Yoongi tells him, finger hesitating to release the button of the comm. He lets it go, and then presses it again when Jungkook nods. “You know the one. Where it feels like you could close your eyes and sink through the floor with it, it’s so heavy. Sits right here--” Yoongi presses on his own sternum, to his core, showing Jungkook through the glass that separates them, “--like another heartbeat.”

Something in Jungkook shifts at that, this pull of determination curling the corners of his mouth into a smirk, and he finally stops looking down at the ground.

They plow through so many ideas that Yoongi almost forgets there are other people coming in and out of the studio with them. If it weren’t for Jungkook’s management team calling time, they more than likely would have worked until sunrise.

 

--

 

Namjoon shows up at the studio in his usual fashion: unannounced, uninvited, and traipsing in like he owns the place. Joke's on him, considering it feels like Yoongi’s whole life is being violated by Jungkook’s management and their persistently prying fingers, so he barely even flinches when he walks in on Namjoon fighting with his microwave upstairs in the loft kitchen, aggressively pushing buttons.

“I need sustenance,” Namjoon explains pitifully, and Yoongi waves him off, as though he ever requires an explanation for the weird shit he does. Namjoon stirs up his noodles-- adding the packet of flavoring after he’s done this, which makes Yoongi twitch-- and then he glances around Yoongi’s loft. “Damn, I was hoping he’d still be here. Wanna see the golden boy in the flesh.”

Yoongi falls heavily onto his bed, splaying out on his back and twisting his neck until it pops.

“You picked the one hour of the day I’m not being mobbed by him and his team. Two hours ago you wouldn’t have been able to fit in the front door.”

Namjoon glances down at his stomach in mock offense, and then when Yoongi doesn’t bite he says, “That bad, huh? Can he sing, at least?”

Yoongi blinks up at his ceiling, at the shadows cast by the cracks in the worn down plaster. This building was well loved when he bought it, full of history from the man who built the studio and made it what it is today. Now Yoongi realizes he’s carving his own stories into the place; into the dents in the floorboards where Jungkook’s staff tipped over his amp, in the greasy fingerprints left on the walls of the kitchenette in the studio from when everyone decides to take a lunch at the same time.

“Yeah,” Yoongi says, because if there’s anything these walls will ultimately retain-- if there’s anything he’ll never forget-- it’s the sound of Jungkook’s voice.

Namjoon flops down onto his bed too, hissing when some of the nuclearly hot water in his ramyun cup spills on his leg, and then he pokes Yoongi in the thigh with his toe.

“What’s the matter then? What happened to ‘it’s a paycheck’?”

Yoongi lets his head fall to the side, sends Namjoon a bored glance.

“Just tired, man,” Yoongi grumbles, and Namjoon flips on the television and leaves it at that.

 

--

 

Yoongi pads sleepily downstairs after he decides he doesn’t care that these people continuously treat his studio like they own it, shoving on a beanie and some slippers. It’s ass-o’clock in the morning as usual, and Yoongi shuffles into the mixing room where Jungkook is usually waiting for him to brief on the day’s agenda, ready to ask if coffee is necessary and/or allowed by his staff.

Jungkook is sitting on the futon, his head so far back it looks like he’s sleeping, all while the quiet stylist noona from before gently pats some cream looking stuff under his eyes. Yoongi is about to scold him for not being more cooperative with the way the stylist has to almost climb over him on the futon to reach his face, but something about the delicate way she pats him on the cheek when she moves backwards stops him.

It hits him-- Jungkook is actually asleep.

While he’s standing staring in bewildered amusement at the kid, the stylist pushes two ice cold bottles of water into Yoongi’s arms.

“He can have coffee, but make sure he drinks all of this after,” she says, and Yoongi vaguely entertains the thought that she can read minds.

She walks back to Jungkook, pushes brisk and firm on his shoulder, and Yoongi feels a pang of sympathy at the way the kid jerks into almost complete alertness like he’s been trained to wake up this way, or has at least had to do it many times in the past.

“Coffee?” Yoongi asks, after nudging Jungkook’s foot with his slipper, watching as the stylist makes her way out of the room.

Jungkook blinks a smile up at him. “Sure,” he says.

Jungkook doesn’t talk a whole lot about his schedule, but Yoongi knows he’s busy without having to ask. There’s a few times he’s been whisked away for a shoot, or to film some kind of variety program, right in the middle of their day together.

There’s one time in particular where a manager even walked right into the recording booth while Jungkook was in the middle of singing a verse, and Yoongi snapped, his headphones crashing to the ground as he bolted out of his chair to head to the recording room. Yoongi got all up in his face about interrupting, about having some respect. The manager had barely argued, only pulled Jungkook away and shoved him into the sitting room-- the one that now functions almost permanently as a changing room for Jungkook. Yoongi had fumed the rest of the day, almost thankful they’d fucked off so Jungkook didn’t have to see the full extent of his reaction to the both of them being interrupted like that.

Today seems different.

It could just be the early hour of the morning, but the entire studio feels quieter, more settled. Jungkook isn’t in a full face-painted get up today, only has some stuff swiped beneath his eyes to make him look less tired than he is, and he’s wearing a simple pair of jeans and a tshirt. It’s one he’s been shoved into before, the t-shirt, so Yoongi knows it isn’t completely of his own volition, but it’s the most relaxed state he’s seen the kid in since they started recording.

“Can you change the lights on the switches?” Jungkook asks, hovering over Yoongi’s shoulder while he fucks with the levels on a track they’re almost finished with.

“What lights? These?” Yoongi turns the console LEDs on, backlights the whole system and its sliders in neon yellow.

“Yeah, those! It looks like you’re driving a spaceship, hyung,” Jungkook says, his voice giddy around a grin.

Yoongi snorts at him, and turns the little dial below the desk, watches the way Jungkook’s eyes light up when the yellow lights shift into purple.

“Whoa, amazing,” Jungkook mumbles to himself.

Jungkook has a lot of inane questions he drops on Yoongi, all which seem deceptively naive for someone who’s been in the recording business for so long-- though by the way Jungkook reacted to Yoongi speaking to him plainly about how he feels when he sings, Yoongi figures maybe nobody has ever bothered to explain any of this to him before.

Jungkook asks about the rugs piled up in the recording booth, about the mismatched pieces of foam stuck to the walls, and Yoongi explains it’s for the acoustics. Yoongi points out that there are no ninety degree angles in the room, that a studio has to be an odd shape so you don’t get predictable bounce or echo, and Jungkook looks nothing short of amazed, eagerly soaking up all this otherwise random information.

Yoongi is more comfortable when there’s less people around, and it’s kind of nice to learn that Jungkook seems to be the same, though on camera you would never be able to tell. Jungkook sits back on the futon behind the mixing console while Yoongi works in between recordings, scribbles in his notebook some, and then flops over so he’s sitting upside down, his head hanging playfully off the edge of the seat. Yoongi turns and lifts a questioning and slightly judgmental eyebrow at him.

“Your studio is so cool, hyung,” Jungkook says while grinning, and Yoongi figures he must be reading the lyrics he got made into stickers with Namjoon and Hoseok years ago, all that remained having been stuck every which way beneath the desk and the console. They had too many printed, Namjoon wanted to litter the entire city with them, said it would spread their words, vowed to stick them on every lamppost and street sign, but Yoongi ran out of energy halfway through the batch. The rest are either messily stuck upside down beneath the console, or are acting as cable management, wrapped around thick bunches of cords.

It’s a short form version of his life story printed on those stickers, spread around town, a nameless kind of freedom that comes from being wholly honest and not having to answer to anyone because of it. Yoongi half wonders if Jungkook even knows what that feels like. His interest in reading the words Yoongi puts on the page tells him he probably doesn’t.

Yoongi leans forward onto his knees, gets an eyeful of Jungkook’s upside down neck and a few rarely seen acne scars on his chin.

“You bored or something?” Yoongi asks him.

Jungkook flips upright quickly, fixing his shirt from where it was previously riding up his stomach. Yoongi notices with a tiny jolt of interest that he actually has hair running down from his belly button, disappearing beneath the waistband of his jeans. It’s just barely visible, but it’s there.

“No, hyung. Sorry,” Jungkook mumbles.

Yoongi waves the apology off, though Jungkook doesn’t exactly look all that sorry. He’s grinning, amused at something, probably a dirty lyric he read under the console, and Yoongi is just enough done with this track that he can take a break to antagonize him a little.

“You could rap on a track, you know,” Yoongi offers.

Jungkook laughs, covering the way his mouth gets wide and goofy with his hand, and shakes his head. “They’d never allow it.”

“Not for them, for you.”

Jungkook’s grin slips into something less vibrant, more subdued.

“You would let me record my own stuff?” Jungkook asks, his voice almost shy.

Yoongi leans even further towards the kid, even walks his chair a little closer as he says, “That’s what I’m here for.”

Jungkook grins so big it almost doesn’t seem to fit his face.

Yoongi is learning to bend as much as Jungkook does, learning that you get a little more when you give some. Jungkook’s management was adamant about him adopting Yoongi’s trademark hip-hop style, but Yoongi would say that’s even dated for him. His musical chemistry with Jungkook is surprisingly cohesive, and Yoongi forcefully shoves away the thought that it might be more than that, because what they’re creating-- what they’ve done already-- is almost too good to name. This mellow hip-hop, slower melodies that showcase the voice Jungkook has, it’s something Yoongi thinks he will always, always be proud of taking part in.

 

--

 

On more than one occasion, particularly after Jungkook starts being more and more comfortable in his presence, Yoongi catches Jungkook scribbling notes in his notebook. It’s something he does between recordings, when he’s not either catching up on sleep or eating whatever food he can find. The way he pulls his lower lip into his mouth when he concentrates is a little distracting, and Yoongi isn’t getting anywhere with this current track as it stands, so he turns in his chair and rolls over toward the futon to tap his foot against Jungkook’s ankle.

Jungkook’s head jerks up to him, his eyes wide.

“Should I go back in the booth?” Jungkook asks as Yoongi decides to take a seat next to him on the futon, shutting the notebook the minute he sits down.

“Nah, I need a break. So what is this?” Yoongi asks, tapping a knuckle on the closed cover of the book.

Jungkook shrugs, his posture oddly withdrawn. “Just ideas,” he says.

Yoongi doesn’t pry. Instead, he leans his head back, lets the top edge of the futon stretch out the muscles in his neck as he groans up at the ceiling. He reaches his arms up, pops a few bones in his back and then settles lazily.

“It’s good to do that,” Yoongi muses, tilting his tipped back head to the side to watch the shy grin Jungkook sends him. “Jot your ideas down whenever you have them, sometimes they come and go so quickly.”

Jungkook nods and hums in agreeance, begins thumbing at some of the worn edges of the book like he’s not sure if he wants to open it or not, not sure if he wants to let Yoongi in just yet. Instead of making him feel like he needs to make that kind of decision, Yoongi groans again as he moves to stand, the legs in his muscles protesting from almost an entire day of sitting. Yoongi crosses the room and shuffles through the bottom drawer of his desk. He’s got hundreds of notebooks, all stashed in various places, but just one will do.

Yoongi flops back against the futon, this time marginally closer to Jungkook, and he spreads open the pages of a dark green notebook. Some of the pages are falling out, the binding worn down with time, but it’s mostly in tact. Jungkook looks at it like it’s something almost biblical, a relic he isn’t allow to touch.

Yoongi nudges him with the pages and says, “Take a look.”

It’s almost too easy, Yoongi thinks. To sit here like this, to let his head fall back against the cushions, to let the sound of Jungkook’s voice wash over him like a warm, calming blanket. Jungkook keeps mumbling the lyrics he picks out, gives them melodies that Yoongi would never in a million years have thought of. Yoongi's words, for his purpose, are to speak, giving emotion by tone, by force. Jungkook gives them almost a whole new life by melody, and Yoongi finds it’s almost frightening how comfortable this is.

So comfortable, in fact, that he ends up nodding off, blinking away sleep when he can feel something bony poking him in the shoulder. Yoongi lifts his head and sees Jungkook using him as a pillow, the notebook still open in his lap, a few of the loose pages spilling out onto the floor. There’s a strand of dark hair that’s pushing against Jungkook’s eyelashes, making it twitch, and it is entirely without thought that Yoongi lifts his hand to push it away, smoothing the skin beneath his eye to settle its movement.

They’re so close, Yoongi thinks, with an alarming multitude of significance. Not just like this-- not just the warm huffs of Jungkook’s breath against his collar, not just the heavy weight of him leaning against his side-- but in this studio, in this musical bubble they’ve created. Jungkook fits here, so easily, filling in the spaces Yoongi hadn’t realized were empty before. Yoongi is too drowsy, not fully himself-- it’s what leaves his hand lingering on the side of Jungkook’s sleeping face, it’s what makes him think ‘I want to keep this’.

Jungkook’s main stylist walks in then, and Yoongi drops his hand immediately and sends her a guilt stricken look.

She smiles, looking mostly amused, which Yoongi doesn’t quite understand, and says, “You can rest for five more minutes, but he needs to be up after that.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi mumbles, his voice thick with sleep, as he pushes Jungkook’s head off of him, guiding it to roll back onto the couch.

“He doesn’t wake easily, you have to push him a little,” she adds quietly, before slipping out of the room.

Yoongi doesn’t realize his heart is pounding so loud until she’s gone, until it’s the only thing he can hear in the silence. Clearing his throat, Yoongi leans over and shakes Jungkook’s shoulder a few times, and then moves away to clean up the mess of papers around them as Jungkook groans and stretches.

Too fucking close, Yoongi thinks.

 

--

 

If there’s one thing Yoongi learns about Jungkook as the album recording winds its way down to a close, it’s that the kid works his ass off. He’s always on time, and while Yoongi first attributed this to him having a strict management team, he’s learned it’s more than that.

There were multiple times when Yoongi would shuffle downstairs and Jungkook would already be waiting on his sofa, only the barely visible hints of exhaustion pulling down the corners of his eyes, or the slope of his shoulders. Yoongi only caught him nodding off once or twice outside of the time they both drifted together-- and even still, it was in between sessions, never using up anyone else’s time.

Even the last recording session they have together, Jungkook barely lets his exhaustion show. It’s for the last track on the album, and Yoongi wants it to feel that way, keeps antagonizing Jungkook about the polished state of his vocals, wants to goad him into pushing some of that strain and emotion into the music. It’s one of the few times he’s entered the recording booth, much to Jungkook’s shock, if the look on his face is anything to go by.

“You need to let go. Stop trying to control the pitch and just belt it. Here,” Yoongi places his hand around the side of Jungkook’s ribcage, presses his thumb right into the center of his chest. “Feel that? Right there, do it from there.”

Jungkook takes a chest expanding breath, and then sings the very last line with all the force and power behind a storm, a combination of beauty and chaos that makes Yoongi’s thumb press instinctively harder into Jungkook’s chest. He’s not a vocal coach, never has been, but he’ll be damned if he doesn’t push Jungkook past whatever box his company has kept in safely nestled in up until this point.

When he stops Yoongi exhales with him, laughing breathlessly down at the ground and then grinning as he shifts his hand to squeeze Jungkook’s shoulder.

“Like that?” Jungkook asks, smiling easily, practically smug from the very visible reaction his voice has on Yoongi.

“Yeah,” Yoongi says, “You got it.”

Jungkook's persistence is palpable-- he even swoons a little toward Yoongi once Yoongi lets that hand trail down the center of his chest, and it's too easy to do this. Too easy, and not nearly private enough. Yoongi leaves, shoving Jungkook playfully back into the booth when he giggles and acts like he's going to follow or chase him, and the whole exchange makes Yoongi a little light headed. Jungkook is oddly clingy in a way Yoongi never thought he'd come to crave.

 

--

 

So it shouldn’t be a surprise when Jungkook shows up for the mixing sessions, but somehow it still takes Yoongi a moment to process that he’s here, standing waiting outside the side entrance to the studio like he and his team hadn’t been letting themselves in for the past month and a half. Jungkook’s parts are all recorded, his schedule no longer one that needs to mesh with Yoongi’s, but of course he still wants to be involved. Yoongi is too tired to make much of a fuss, and he ignores the pleasant warmth that spreads from where Jungkook squeezes his shoulder as he walks past him into the studio.

Something is different, though. He looks softer, less polished and more human. There are no stylists this time, no makeup, no wardrobe-- just Jungkook. He makes himself comfortable on the sofa, resting his elbows on his knees, wearing a pair of loose fitting basketball shorts and a tshirt. Jungkook also has on a pair of dark sunglasses, though he quickly removes them to reveal his fresh, boyish features all highlighted by the wide grin he always seems to be unable to control. He’s got a flat billed cap on beneath the hood, one that says ‘Dope’ in script across the front of it, and Yoongi smirks at it, recognizing it from a picture he’d seen from before Jungkook had debuted. These clothes are definitely entirely his.

“You know you don’t have to be here for this part, right?” Yoongi says, licking his lips and squinting his eyes to hide the fact that he’s trying not to smile.

The way Jungkook’s grin somehow grows even wider tells him he’s failed.

“I know,” Jungkook says, his eyes flitting around the corners of the studio a few times before settling on the mixing table behind Yoongi. “But this is the part I wanted to see.”

Jungkook spends the morning leaning over Yoongi’s shoulder, pointing at the things he likes and questioning the functions he doesn’t understand. Yoongi would say he’s being patient, even sighs all put-upon like Jungkook is being a hassle, but really it’s nice having him around. Jungkook even makes them coffee, and although it tastes a hair burnt and it’s too hot to drink and enjoy, Yoongi still sips at it as he works.

Even when Jungkook gets restless-- when he gets up and wanders, when he starts succumbing to the urge to be nosy-- it doesn’t make Yoongi anxious, nor is it all that distracting. Jungkook shuffles around in socked feet, dancing half-remembered choreo that he’s probably in the process of learning now that they have a rough mix for the single, and Yoongi even pauses once or twice just to sit back and watch him. The way his body moves is mesmerizing, not unlike listening to his voice-- you don’t realize you’ve stopped breathing until it’s over, until the crescendo has long since peaked and your focus is still fully snagged on him.

They end up in the kitchen after nearly forgetting to eat lunch, the both of them munching on junk food that Yoongi only feels guilty about until he sees Jungkook devouring it quite happily. Jungkook stands tall behind him in the downstairs kitchenette, constantly leaning over his shoulder to pick at the cookies Yoongi’s declared are not for sharing, and Yoongi doesn’t even have it in him to fight. It’s only slightly alarming how easy it is to let Jungkook into his home like this, to let him run around like he owns the place too, like he belongs here. Jungkook suits the well-loved blue walls, the cracked tiles. That feeling of a distantly soft comfort-- it fits him like a glove.

“You’re coming to the fashion event, right?” Jungkook asks around a mouthful of shrimp crackers.

Yoongi makes a disgusted face at him, swats at his belly as he walks past to lean against the opposite counter. “Chew your food, brat.”

“Sorry,” Jungkook says without much conviction, covering his mouth and hiding a smile. He nudges Yoongi’s foot with his own, moving to stand across from him. “But you’re going, yeah?”

Yoongi sighs, running a hand through his hair. “Fashion is not really my thing.”

“That doesn’t matter. It’s to promote the album, I wouldn’t go if it was for anything else.”

Yoongi stops distractedly looking out his tiny, smudgy kitchen window and levels Jungkook a serious look.

“You don’t need me for that.”

Jungkook’s expression turns immediately offended.

“I do!” he retorts.

Yoongi tsk’s and leans further back against the counter on his elbows, waves at Jungkook’s pissy little frown like he’s making a bigger deal out of this than necessary.

“Nobody wants to see me, they just want to see you.”

Jungkook shakes his head fiercely, takes a looming, almost desperate step closer to Yoongi and there’s a deep set sincerity in his eyes that makes Yoongi a little nervous. It takes a moment for it to click that Jungkook isn’t asking for his company or for the sake of the album-- he’s asking for himself.

“They do, it isn’t just about me,” Jungkook says pleadingly. “Plus it’s free food, and you can bring a guest.”

Jungkook pauses while Yoongi pretends to think it over. Namjoon will shit his pants when he gets the invite, so there’s that to look forward to, if nothing else. Yoongi isn’t even completely sure what the event entails. It’s some kind of party, it sounds like, where self promotion turns more into networking. Yoongi already told Jungkook’s management he’d be attending, but it’s fun to watch him squirm like this.

“Yeah, fine,” Yoongi says as he shrugs casually. “I’ll go.”

Jungkook practically hops up and down in place when he agrees, and Yoongi has had quite enough of his stupid, alluringly and bewilderingly attractive grin, so he shoves at his face to push it away.

“Back to work,” Yoongi grumbles, his heart tripping over itself a little at the sound of Jungkook following eagerly behind him.

 

--

 

“This was a fucking mistake.”

Namjoon seems to have lost the ability to use his spine, hunched over laughing, sounding not unlike a dying pig.

“It’s not funny,” Yoongi says, leveling him a death glare that Namjoon doesn’t even see, turning back to himself in the mirror.

They’d given him a dress code that he blindly agreed to. Apparently ‘dress code’ in the world of idol management means a full-fledged outfit that has been pre-selected. They’ve got Yoongi in a pair of fitted slacks that sit far too high above his ankles and these platform shoes that make him almost Namjoon’s height. The rest is an all black fitted shirt with ruffles around the collar and a wide brimmed black hat. He looks like he’s more femme punk than hip hop, but Namjoon is very obviously exaggerating his reaction, particularly considering the shit he’s being forced to wear.

“I don’t know why you’re laughing, you look like an old man about to board a cruise,” Yoongi snips at him, tugging on the ridiculously colorful floral shirt Namjoon has on.

“At least I’m comfortable,” Namjoon chokes out, and the laughter is borderline obnoxious now, so Yoongi walks out to the car to leave him to slip on his fucking boat shoes by himself.


Once they arrive at the event Yoongi almost feels underdressed in all the fitted black, while Namjoon is the one that sticks out more. Yoongi doesn’t see Jungkook anywhere, so he’s left to wander around the rooftop patio they’ve got tented off with various dangling lights and fixtures, scoffing at the way Namjoon feels the need to taste every single piece of finger food the servers put in front of him. Namjoon is nervous being around this much expense, Yoongi can tell, partly because he’s nervous himself. If nothing else, the constant bright flashes of cameras going off at various points in the room are unsettling, and it makes it hard to try and look for someone Yoongi recognizes, as if Yoongi would recognize anyone other than Jungkook.

Yoongi is in the middle of acting more bored than he feels, glancing around while Namjoon bounces anxiously on the balls of his feet, still chewing on an appetizer, when someone decides to throw the whole ‘not recognizing people’ thing right out the window.

“Hey, you’re Jungkookie’s producer, right? The hiphop one?”

Namjoon finally stops bouncing, drops whatever food he had held in his hand, and says eloquently, “Shit.”

Yoongi clocks it too. Yoongi figures anyone from this area would recognize him, maybe anyone in the country. Kim Seokjin, or better known as Jin, approaches Yoongi like he’s an old friend, resting his wrist on the edge of his shoulder, and it’s only irritating because it makes Yoongi feel shorter than he is, even with the ridiculous platform shoes.

Jin’s attention is pulled to Namjoon at the curse, but it swivels easily back to Yoongi when he replies, “Yeah, that’s me.”

“Ah, Jungkookie will be so excited you’re here! He wouldn’t stop talking about you coming.”

Yoongi nods like the knowledge of this isn’t making his stomach flip, and casually swishes his expensive beer around in its artfully carved and gilded bottle.

“You, uh. You know him?” he asks Jin.

Jin nods, smiling warmly at him. “We’re under the same company, I knew him when he was still a trainee.”

Nothing about the way Jin says it is unfriendly, however Yoongi still finds himself feeling the smallest twist of guilt. I should know this, he thinks.

“Well,” Yoongi says, unsure of how to continue the conversation from here. “I hope you enjoy the album.”

“Oh, I’m sure I will, Jungkookie couldn’t wait to change his concept. If nothing else, his enthusiasm alone will be enjoyable,” Jin says, leaning in close.

“My name is Rap Monster,” Namjoon decides to unceremoniously swoop in, and Yoongi rears back to gape at him. Jin looks somewhat lost, though he shakes the hand Namjoon sticks aggressively out at him. “I also produce music,” he adds with a ridiculous eyebrow wiggle.

“Oh that’s… nice.”

“This style of music really suits him,” Yoongi says, cursing the defensive note in his tone as he veers the conversation away from Namjoon’s shameless self promotion and back to Jungkook. He’s pretending Namjoon currently does not exist, despite the weight of him leaning on the shoulder Jin isn’t touching. Yoongi feels almost overwhelmed in a suffocating way, surrounded by shit he would never voluntarily submit himself to, his work and style reduced to a ‘concept’.

Jin laughs then, and Yoongi frowns at it.

“Our Jungkookie is a good actor,” Jin says with a wink. Yoongi barely resists the urge to elbow Namjoon in the gut when he laughs along with him.

“What does that mean?” Yoongi asks.

“I mean he’s malleable, you know?” Jin explains, speaking loud and direct into Yoongi’s ear once the bumping house music picks up in volume all of a sudden. “Like putty, he reshapes himself to fit whatever style or concept he wants, or whatever he thinks other people want him to be.”

It prickles on the surface of Yoongi’s skin, a twinging discomfort, the idea that Jungkook might see him as a trend or a phase. Yoongi shrugs, partly to hide his annoyance and partly to put some distance between Jin’s face and his.

“He can do whatever he wants,” Yoongi says flippantly.

Jin somehow picks up on his disdain, swats playfully at his shoulder and has to yell now to be heard over the music, “Oh, come on. You were eighteen once, too. You know how quickly kids that age change their styles or their interests, he’s just... living in the moment.”

Namjoon jostles Yoongi’s shoulder, mutters, “Yeah,” in agreeance like he’s a part of this conversation, and Yoongi grits his teeth to keep from contemplating his best friend’s untimely death.

Jin leans in this time, voice pitched quieter, as he says only to Yoongi, “Honestly, I’m glad the company is letting him.”

Something about the way he says it, about the way he pulls back and smiles almost sadly at Yoongi twists the roiling in his gut all around on itself. This industry is brutal, Yoongi partly knew beforehand, but he knows it almost personally now. Jin is surely not immune to that.

“You know, you could live in the moment too,” Namjoon chimes in, with all the tact of a bull in a china shop, one eyebrow quirked at Jin. “If you ever wanted to branch out into new things, you know… I have a phone. You probably have one too. My studio equipment is newer than his,” he says, gesturing down at Yoongi.

“Oh…” Jin says, once again at a loss. Yoongi takes this as an out to extricate himself from the conversation entirely, excusing himself to get another drink.


Yoongi is caught trying to figure out what the frilly food they’ve got on the back tables is made out of, and he nearly jolts out of his pissed off trance when a familiar voice is suddenly very loud and very close to his ear, accompanied by a warm hand pressed to the back of Yoongi’s neck.

“I almost thought you wouldn’t come.”

When Yoongi turns, his heart pounding, Jungkook keeps his hand held loose around his neck, resting against the side now. The atmosphere in this place is loud and stifling, despite being otherwise outdoors covered by canvas drapes, but something about the familiar spread of Jungkook’s smile is almost soothing.

“Could say the same about you,” Yoongi grumbles, tossing a glance over his shoulder to see if he can spot Namjoon. “Haven’t seen you all night.”

Jungkook opens his mouth to reply, but before he can speak a photographer interrupts them. They ask them to pose for a picture together, Yoongi’s pulse quickening when Jungkook’s hand slides from around his neck down to the small of his back. The flash goes off and Yoongi is almost positive his eyes are closed, what with the brightness of it forcing him to blink.

“Jungkook-ah, can you face the camera and not your friend please?”

Yoongi turns his head quickly, catches just the tail end of Jungkook looking at the side of his face, his cheeks bright pink.

“Sorry,” Jungkook mutters, biting down a grin, and this time Yoongi’s smile isn’t at all forced when the flash pops.

Jungkook falls into a fit of the giggles when more photographers approach asking for shots. His laughter is seemingly out of nowhere at first until Yoongi catches on that he’s laughing at how completely bored Yoongi looks by this whole event, mimicking his deadpan expressions when he thinks Yoongi isn’t looking. Yoongi pinches his side to shut him up, though it only spurs on more hearty sounding laughter. Yoongi only half wonders if he’s been given a drink or two by his managers to loosen him up, and thinks he himself could’ve done with one or two more before coming here, easily.

“Ah, Jungkookie!”

Yoongi is unceremoniously shoved to the side once Jin makes his way over. Not by Jin himself but by the rabid swarm of photographers, clearly looking to capture a moment between the intercompany idol pair. Jin seems to have an entire catalog of seemingly candid poses-- things like touching Jungkook’s neck, whispering close to his ear, tugging playfully on his chin and fussing over him-- though Jungkook at least looks a little bereft when he realizes Yoongi is no longer at his other side. It shouldn’t make Yoongi feel better, shouldn’t make the prospect of having to hunt for Namjoon’s sorry ass to drag him out of here with all the phone numbers he probably didn’t get seem appealing, but it does.

 

--

 

Jungkook comes by again when the album is practically completed, Yoongi tweaking the final mixdown only on a purely technical level. He’s wearing sweatpants with a hoodie this time, looking not unlike he rolled right out of bed to stumble here, his hair a disheveled mess beneath the hood.

His presence is different this time around, he hovers and bounces on the balls of his feet like he’s nervous about something, and his energy is almost palpable. It’s the first time Yoongi can say he’s been honestly annoyed by his incessant buzzing about, but Yoongi can blame most of that on the sudden deadline shift Jungkook’s management dropped on him at the very last minute. It’s not Jungkook’s fault, he tells himself repeatedly, gritting his teeth when Jungkook starts picking at the posters peeling away from his walls, some of them not even his, belonging to the owner before him.

“Promotions start this weekend now,” Jungkook says, hissing when Yoongi smacks at his wrist to get him to stop fucking around as he passes him on the way to the downstairs kitchenette. Jungkook is messing with his head now, his own pre-release nerves leaking out of him, mixing sourly with Yoongi’s.

“Believe me, I know,” Yoongi grumbles to himself, uncaring of the cold state of his coffee from the new pot Jungkook’s stylists all left here after one too many trips up and down the stairs to use his.

“The first stage is outdoors, live at the city square,” Jungkook says, chewing his lip and pretending that Yoongi isn’t ignoring him. “You’re coming, right?”

Yoongi turns, leans back casually against the counter and says, “All that shit? Promotions? That isn’t for me.”

Jungkook frowns, his mouth tightening. “It’s your album as much as mine.”

Yoongi presses his lips together, impatiently clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth, and says, “You know that isn’t true.”

Jungkook shrugs, bites the inside of his cheek and Yoongi swallows the urge to groan when Jungkook’s chin crinkles up pitifully. Jungkook isn’t just tired, he’s absolutely exhausted, and this hasn’t even begun for him yet, not really. Yoongi feels his guilt like a physical weight in his gut.

“It’s true to me,” Jungkook says, his voice small and tight.

Yoongi groans despite himself, rubs his fists into his eyes, and then says, “Look, it’s just-- it’s not why I got into this. It’s why I own this studio, I want all of what’s here, not out there. That’s you, and you’re good at that, it just. It isn’t for me.”

Jungkook nods, making a mess of his lower lip with how badly he’s biting it to keep from getting upset, even pushing it further into his mouth with his fingers. Yoongi huffs out a sigh as he tugs Jungkook’s wrist to get him to stop, thinking of the stylists making a big deal out of a few torn pieces of skin on his lip.

“Listen to me,” Yoongi says, keeping hold of Jungkook’s wrist when it falls, stepping in close, “I got to see the best part of this whole thing with you in there--” Yoongi points toward the recording room, “--and me right here,” he says, using the same hand he pointed with to squeeze the side of Jungkook’s neck, holding him firm and close.

Jungkook nods silently again, looking down.

“That was the best fucking part for me,” Yoongi continues, “And it always will be-- creating something with you. Whatever happens with it, whether it goes platinum or is a colossal fucking flop, I could not care less. We did this together, okay?”

Jungkook smiles a little as he nods again, though it looks just forced enough to have Yoongi frowning. He worries his words are coming out wrong, either too harsh or not articulate enough to convey the fact that he feels infinitely important to the creation of this album. However, outside of the bounds of this studio-- or outside of the context of Jungkook himself-- the album isn’t as important. Getting Jungkook to come into his own, to be a little more honest with himself and with his voice and his lyrics-- that’s something that no music show or promotion can ever capture, not even an outdoor concert at the square. Most of the best songs on the album aren't the ones he'll be promoting anyway, in Yoongi's opinion.

He just can’t make that known without it coming out the wrong way, without saying more than he means to. Jungkook looks almost mournful, like he’s saying goodbye, and maybe that’s partly it-- Yoongi isn’t stupid, he knows what the kid’s schedule was like even before promotions began, he can only imagine the horror his calendar looks like now.

When Jungkook leaves Yoongi is stuck in a foul mood, and everything feels left entirely unfinished. It makes the final mixdown feel almost wrong, though by the time the sun is creeping up into the high windows at the front of the studio, Yoongi figures he’s worked himself just enough into the ground. He’s too tired to parse through all the negative emotions swimming around in his brain, and he forces himself to sleep.

 

--

 

Yoongi continues to work after he sends all the final mixes to Jungkook’s management. It keeps him distracted, keeps his mind from lingering on what he’s convinced are any unfinished pieces, be it musical or otherwise.

When Yoongi works, it’s like a stone thrown into water-- he doesn’t surface. His headphones begin to push an ache into his skull, at the top of his head and behind his ears. His eyes feel strained and sore from staring at a backlit screen for hours on end. He has the LEDs of the console turned the fuck off, because the console is really only a physical interface for the controls on his computer anyway, was only meant to be flashy. What’s funny is he’s really only shown that kind of thing off to one person, and it’s the one person he feels like he’s hiding from now.

Namjoon becomes more obnoxious than the birds in the morning, constantly chirping in his ear. He has ideas, he’s made connections, he wants to start working together. Yoongi isn’t jaded enough to say Namjoon wants a piece of the fame he’s watching clamour at Yoongi’s feet, but that’s kind of what it is. At least he’s honest about it-- though he always has been.

Yoongi entertains Namjoon's ideas and continues to mostly ignore his calls and texts-- yes, they can afford to make this studio truly their own now, and yes Yoongi will happily share the profits of this to make that happen. Yes, it feels weird without Hoseok, but no, he doesn’t think that should be a reason not to. Going through the motions of conversation feels like wading through muddy water, something that isn’t necessarily trying or difficult, but it isn’t exactly pleasant either.

Decisions get made, life goes on. The last half of his week is spent mourning the loss of his briefly chaotic new work schedule, along with trying not to panic that what he produced wasn’t good enough. He can’t imagine the kind of pressure Jungkook is under, almost all the time. It’s why he agrees when Namjoon says they’re combining their studios, it’s why he thinks nobody should have to do anything truly alone. Jungkook isn’t alone, not really, but Yoongi still feels like he’d left him out to dry the last time they spoke.

 

--

 

It’s the Saturday of the live music show at the square, and Yoongi can’t seem to sit still. His work is done, has been for a few days now, but it still feels wrong somehow, like he’s missed something.

Yoongi spends the morning in the downstairs kitchenette, partly to enjoy the new silence of his studio in the early mornings, back to being able to hear the birds chirp over the sunrise, but mostly to remember the way the pale blue walls looked framing Jungkook’s hair when he tipped his head back to laugh at Yoongi’s attempts at dancing. Or how the sun shone off the aluminum of the sink’s surface, the way Jungkook’s skin would look almost golden whenever he’d wash his hands there before or after meals.

Yoongi then subsequently spends the rest of the early afternoon pacing around the loft, pulling at his hair and toying with his phone. Part of him wants to call Hoseok, as he’d always been the one who was better at this sort of thing, seemed to naturally understand how to get people, or at least how to help other people get where you were coming from.

The fact he even ponders this feels significant enough to acknowledge, and with a frustratingly exhilarating conviction he puts on his coat, wraps two scarves around his neck to stave off the early autumn chill, the summer having finally drifted. He’s already running late, but he figures these things usually never start on time, so he stops and fumbles around his neighbor’s garden a bit before sprinting towards the subway station, a wilting and probably somewhat dead red rose clutched in one fist while the other holds the overhead hand rails.

To say the square is mobbed is a grave understatement, but that almost makes it easier to weave his way through the people toward the front, the notion of not being seen or recognized almost an invigorating relief. He isn’t here to make a show of anything, isn’t here to jump up and down and make sure Jungkook knows, but if he can get to him, he will.

Yoongi finds a place near the speakers at the side, and while the first few acts that perform are loud enough to have him squinting the eye closest to the sound system, it’s worth it the minute Jungkook comes on the stage.

Jungkook looks almost ethereally soft, more refined with a loose fitted white shirt and some black jeans. They’d tried to dress him up like a caricature of hip hop culture at first, but Jungkook had put his foot down. They even picked a slower song to promote, one that showcased more of his vocals than the production, which Yoongi can say he’s proud of. The b-side is the one he convinced Jungkook to rap a little on, which Yoongi only found out about the other day.

The entire city seems like it’s screaming in anticipation, though the hush that settles the minute Jungkook presses his mouth to the mic is almost hypnotic in and of itself, the mere parting of the boy’s lips commanding it.

Jungkook dances once the song picks up, lifts the mic from its stand and is joined on the stage by a troupe of backing dancers all dressed in black. The amount of control that has to go into maintaining his vocals while moving like that is unreal, Yoongi thinks, and he marvels at the amount of work Jungkook has put into this, into every little thing he does. He can barely fathom when the kid had the time to learn this kind of dance routine in between all the other shit he’s been forced to do on a daily basis-- it’s no wonder he seemingly never sleeps.

The performance ends to a roaring crowd, Yoongi wetting his lips and whistling loud along with them between two fingers. Jungkook exits the stage down the stairs and heads directly to where Yoongi is standing by the barriers, and Yoongi takes the opening as a divine invitation, leaning forward with a smirk and holding out his now very much crushed and wilted red rose.

Jungkook stops dead in his tracks when he sees him, his smile almost overtaking his entire face. Yoongi can’t help it, doesn’t even try to, and he lets himself grin completely in return. Jungkook looks about ready to jump on him, even jolts forward a little once he’s got his bearings, but the security team drags him away before the mobs of girls at Yoongi’s sides and back start climbing the metal barriers around the stage in efforts to get to him.

“Jungkook!” he shrieks in his best girly voice, tossing the rose in his wake and jumping up and down along with the mass of bodies surrounding him, fueled even more by the odd looks some of the girls give him. Jungkook keeps whipping his head around to grin back at him, heedless of his management tugging him in the other direction once they exit the barriers.

Yoongi stumbles his way out of the square once the crowd begins to dissipate, and even having to navigate this mess of shrieking girls and fans of other idols feels worth it for the look on Jungkook’s face when he immediately recognized him. Didn’t even need Hoseok to tell him he was being an idiot this time-- he figured it all out himself.

 

--

 

Yoongi is just about ready for bed, his buzzing nerves from attending the concert on a whim just now beginning to settle, when he hears someone banging on the side door to the studio downstairs. Yoongi curses as he stumbles down the stairs, ready to yell at some of the stray photographers that seem to think Jungkook now lives here, despite him having been gone most of the week now.

Yoongi even clears his throat as he whips open the door, ready to berate the idiot that thinks two in the morning is an appropriate time to knock so obnoxiously on someone’s door-- only it’s Jungkook, his face still made up, his eyes so bright, his chest heaving like he’d ran all the way here from the square.

“Jungkook--”

Jungkook walks him backwards, his hands on Yoongi’s shoulders, and Yoongi’s chest blooms in warmth at the pure, undiluted happiness in Jungkook’s voice when he says, “You came. You came to see me.”

Yoongi is still a little dazed, his smile crooked as he says, “Of course I did.”

Jungkook kicks the door closed behind him and then pushes Yoongi further into the kitchenette. His hands move until he’s holding either side of Yoongi’s jaw, and Yoongi freezes suddenly, feels the shift in the air like a tangible pulse between them.

“Jungkook, what are you doing?” Yoongi asks quietly, loosely gripping Jungkook’s forearm, not pulling him away, just holding him there.

Jungkook flashes an almost blindingly bright smile and then leans forward to slide his lips against Yoongi’s.

Yoongi’s grip on Jungkook’s forearm tightens instinctively, nails biting into his skin, and it feels like the spark of a lit match, this fizzle of energy that burns heat up the entire length of his spine. Jungkook doesn’t hesitate to lick into his mouth, and the noise he makes-- the sound of that oh so familiar voice groaning into the kiss-- makes Yoongi feel almost light headed.

Jungkook is still wearing the loose white shirt, now patchy with sweat, and Yoongi curses into Jungkook’s mouth trying to get his hands beneath it, sliding them up the warm curve of his back, fingers biting into his shoulders beneath the fabric. Jungkook makes another noise into the kiss, although this one is a distinctly more erotic and needy moan, almost a whine. The pulse of arousal it pulls from Yoongi is strong and alarming enough to have him pushing Jungkook away so he can catch his breath, sliding his hands down Jungkook's back and around his hips before dropping out from under the shirt.

“You know they made me sign a liability agreement?” Yoongi asks breathlessly, smirking a little at the confused frown it pulls from Jungkook, his eyes still dark and heavy. “Your body is worth more than double the cost of this studio, apparently.”

Jungkook looks kiss drunk, stares at Yoongi’s mouth and mumbles, “You won’t break me,” and then leans close to bite and tug at Yoongi’s lower lip.

“I could,” Yoongi growls, right into the kid’s mouth, his grip sliding up into the back of Jungkook’s hair. “Easily.”

Jungkook takes that as some kind of twisted promise and whimpers into Yoongi’s mouth, surging forward to slide their lips together again, his tongue attempting to soothe the bite. Yoongi holds him back, pushes his luck a little, leaning back every time Jungkook gets just close enough to kiss him, smirking when Jungkook whines at not being allowed what he wants.

Yoongi keeps toying with Jungkook, giving him small, biting kisses and then making him work for more, his hand tugging back on his hair. Jungkook shoves him a little, gets him letting go and flopping back onto the futon in the mixing room, all sprawled out and disheveled. Yoongi feels unearthed, practically reeling. Jungkook is panting heavily as he hovers over him, Yoongi’s legs already spread.

“I have a bed, you know,” Yoongi says, holding Jungkook back by the hair again when he leans down.

Jungkook follows him eagerly up the stairs, which feels ridiculous given the context of what’s about to happen, particularly when Jungkook yelps and trips over his own feet along the way. He must be exhausted, what with all the lead up to the single dropping and then the rehearsal and now the impending recordings that will last at least the next week and a half, if not longer.

By the time they get into the loft some of Yoongi’s brain has come back to functioning, the air up here somehow cooler and less stifling. Jungkook doesn’t seem to have changed in the slightest, in fact he walks right into Yoongi, even slams against his chest a little with the force of getting to his mouth again, desperate to continue what they started downstairs.

Yoongi lets Jungkook lead him backwards, huffs into his mouth when he topples them both on their backs on Yoongi’s cheap mattress. Jungkook keeps making these hungry little noises, shoving Yoongi’s tshirt up his torso, kissing whatever patches of skin he can reach. He starts pawing at Yoongi’s hips, tearing his sweats down past his thighs, his gaze hungry and dark.

Yoongi grips tight at Jungkook’s wrist where it’s still tugging on the waistband of his sweatpants, despite the fact his dick is already curved and hard, right there in his face. Something about Jungkook’s exhausted and blissed out face has him needing to make sure.

“Have you done this before?” Yoongi asks, the gravel deep tone of his voice surprising even him, the sight of a single bead of sweat trailing down Jungkook’s throat as he gazes up the length of Yoongi’s body rendering his own throat bone-dry.

“No,” Jungkook breathes.

“Do you want to do this now?”

Jungkook drops his head to Yoongi’s hip, right where it meets his thigh, and he whimpers and nods at the same time. Yoongi’s grip shifts from Jungkook’s wrist up into his hair, pushing it away from his forehead. Yoongi’s instinct is to reclaim the earlier grip he had on Jungkook’s hair and to guide his mouth, but if he hasn’t done this before he doesn’t want to seem too commanding or too forceful. Jungkook-- as easily as he seemingly picks up on literally everything else-- seems to sense this, and he pushes Yoongi’s hand insistently towards the back of his head.

Yoongi bites back a moan, gripping Jungkook’s hair just enough to be guiding, tilting his hips forward in suggestion. Jungkook barely even hesitates, he fits Yoongi’s cock into his mouth with a heavy exhale through the nose that Yoongi can feel waft against the lower part of his stomach. It’s almost too good. Yoongi’s head drops back with a moan he doesn’t bother to try and cover, mouth open as he shuts his eyes up at the ceiling and licks at his own lower lip.

Jungkook is so eager he’s borderline sloppy, his mouth a warm, wet mess, saliva everywhere. Yoongi lifts his head enough to glance down at Jungkook, tugs a little at his hair and then uses his free hand to push Jungkook’s jaw a little more closed, fingers pressing up beneath his chin.

“Yeah, like that,” Yoongi breathes, and then, “Fuck,” when Jungkook begins to suck him with more intent focus, looking up beneath the bent curve of his neck and his thick, dark lashes at Yoongi for the approval he always seems to be seeking. Yoongi lets his hand trace up the curve of the boy’s jaw, thumbs down his cheek. He pushes at the corner of Jungkook's mouth where he slides just the very tip of his thumb alongside his dick, stretching Jungkook’s lips.

Yoongi’s brain hones in on the stunning, singular realization that he wants Jungkook to fuck him. Thinking about it, about being bent over his own desk downstairs, about Jungkook’s strained and beautiful voice grunting into his ear, has him tilting his hips up involuntarily, chasing the sensation of being full that he almost swears he can feel. He pushes a little too hard, has Jungkook gagging a little, which zips him right back to the present.

“Shit,” Yoongi says, breathless and struggling with the liquid state of his muscles to lean up as Jungkook pulls off of him. “I’m sorry, fuck--”

Whatever apology he’s about to repeat dies on his tongue, because Jungkook’s face falls back in between his legs, his mouth open, tongueing absently at Yoongi’s hip bone. It takes a second for Yoongi to realize what’s happening-- for him to clock the almost vicious way Jungkook’s arm is moving, the way his breath his getting quicker, hotter against his hip.

Yoongi pushes Jungkook’s hair away from his face again, watches his mouth stay open as he moans into Yoongi’s skin. All it takes is a quick glance down and Yoongi sees him jerking himself off so fast that the veins in his forearms look close to popping. Yoongi experiences about half of a second of annoyance at Jungkook’s impatience before he focuses instead on pushing his fingers into Jungkook’s mouth while he fists himself, moaning over his own rapid orgasm.

Watching Jungkook’s face when he comes instead of what he’d been doing to himself is somehow more dirty, the obscenely wet mouth still barely a breath away from Yoongi’s cock, Yoongi’s fingers sliding out of his mouth. He’s about to tuck himself away once Jungkook’s got his breath back, willing to let this one slide just so the kid can calm the fuck down. Yoongi can feel Jungkook's heartbeat rabbit quick, pounding against his thigh.

“You okay?” Yoongi asks him, finding he’s out of breath simply by watching, his arm twinging in sympathy when Jungkook’s goes lax and falls limply away from where it was previously stuffed into his jeans.

Jungkook gives himself about half of a second to gulp in a deep breath, says a quick, “yeah,” and then licks Yoongi’s cock back into his mouth with the tip of his tongue.

Yoongi hisses at the immediate tightness, his fingers twisting back into Jungkook’s hair. Yoongi tries his best to warn him, almost doesn’t have time to feel it hit him, his stomach convulsing hard the minute Jungkook pulls back to suck at the head. He mutters something like words, but Jungkook doesn’t bother pulling away, lets Yoongi come completely down his throat.

Jungkook easily sits back on his heels on the floor, watching Yoongi struggle to lean up on his elbows, the remnants of his orgasm still making him quake. Jungkook makes a bit of a face, but he swallows, his expression morphing into a wide and pleased grin afterwards. The sight of it makes Yoongi a little dizzy, the fucked out grin and the way he can visibly see the way Jungkook’s heartbeat is making his chest shiver beneath his shirt. It’s too much, he thinks on a heavy exhale, as he flops backwards on his bed to stare stupidly up at the ceiling.

Jungkook doesn’t follow him the way he’d expected him to, so Yoongi blindly reaches out a heavy hand, waves him over and says, “Come here.”

Jungkook hops up onto the bed next to him quite happily and he seems almost a little surprised when Yoongi shifts onto his side to kiss him. It’s slower this time, more deliberate, thorough licks alongside Jungkook’s tongue. Jungkook’s mouth is soft and plush, his lips are a little raw and his jaw is trembling, so Yoongi pulls away with only some reluctance, pushing Jungkook to the side by his chin and letting him use Yoongi's bicep as a pillow so he can calm down.

Yoongi wipes at a smudge near the corner of Jungkook’s mouth, a combination of spit and stale makeup, and says, “Do I need to call you a cab? Or can you stay?”

Jungkook fumbles at his back pocket, pulls out his phone and laughs a little breathlessly when he drops it on the mattress between them as he tries to get a hold on it, his arm still weak and his hands shaking. He unlocks it, squints at the overly bright screen and then frowns almost comically. Instead of explaining with words, he shows his phone to Yoongi. He has over forty missed calls, all from his managers.

“I probably need to go,” he says, frowning back down at his phone as he chews at his lower lip.

“I’ll call you a cab then,” Yoongi says, moving to heave his body up off the bed it feels like he’s been melting into, when Jungkook shoves him back down onto it.

“I have a driver, it’s fine,” he explains, as he tucks his boxers back into his jeans while he stands near the bed, does up the zip and buttons.

Yoongi glares up at Jungkook, tugs on his belt loop when he tries to turn away and says, “Can you trust this guy?”

Jungkook shrugs, his smile tilted and painfully innocent as he says, “I have to.”

Jungkook hadn’t come over with much, just himself, so all he does once he’s shot off the text to his driver is borrow Yoongi’s toothbrush to brush his teeth, grinning up with his mouth all full of foam when he catches Yoongi watching him from the doorway.

It almost feels like Jungkook is stalling when Yoongi walks him downstairs. He keeps patting his back pocket, checking for his phone, for the wallet he didn’t even bring with him. Yoongi is standing in the kitchenette with nothing but a pair of sweatpants and a tshirt on, and it feels almost like Jungkook has done this to him on purpose somehow-- left him stripped of any armor, soft and vulnerable, sleepy and wishing Jungkook could stay. Jungkook finally nods like he’s got everything, and just as he moves to leave Yoongi feels the urge to pull him back.

“Hey,” Yoongi calls out, just as Jungkook passes the threshold. Jungkook turns to where Yoongi is leaning against the hall entryway. “You ever wanna fuck around in the studio, just swing by.”

He says it casually, like he isn’t asking Jungkook not to just up and disappear, like he wouldn’t give almost anything for the excuse to have Jungkook keep showing up unannounced at his doorstep.

Jungkook smiles as he steps backwards, bounces on the balls of his feet and grins with the full force of his freshly brushed teeth as he says, “I’d like that.”

 

--

 

Once the album drops it’s as though Yoongi gets tipped headfirst into a completely different life. His inbox is so overwhelmingly full that he stops bothering to read through it for a week, turns off his phone at night just to get some sleep, escaping from the otherwise constant notifications.

He doesn’t hear from Jungkook. Not the first week, not the next. If he could be bothered to wade through the masses of voicemails and mentions he might find he’s wrong about this, but something tells him he isn’t. There’s no possible way Jungkook has any free time now considering how little he had prior to promotions, and Yoongi always knew this would be the case.

Namjoon takes it upon himself to become a sort of ambassador for Yoongi-- it’s him that comes over and starts skimming through his emails, deleting ones he claims are bullshit, saving the ones he thinks Yoongi might actually want to read. It’s entertaining for Namjoon because he’s sensing what he could also have a taste of, coming to understand that talent is talent-- if you’ve got it, other people will want a piece of it. If Yoongi weren’t at the emotional capacity of a goldfish at this current point in time he might tell Namjoon that, but he’s too busy acting the part of Yoongi’s newly appointed manager to really be craving that kind of affirmation, and Yoongi is too drained to give it to him.

Namjoon forces Yoongi to sit the fuck down and call Hoseok, surprising him with video chat, though Yoongi should have expected this considering he plopped his laptop in his lap instead of handing him a phone.

“Your boy got the triple crown!” Hoseok shrieks, shaking whatever camera it is he’s using and wailing like the girls that follow Jungkook from stage to stage. Not that Yoongi would know-- not that he hasn’t seen every single one, hasn’t taped them all and watched them again, and again, and again. “How’s it feel, bigshot?”

Yoongi shrugs, and Namjoon socks him hard enough in the shoulder to get him to wince.

“He’s been a shut-in the past two weeks, man, you know how he is,” Namjoon chimes in, mouth half full of food as he speaks. Yoongi rears back and scowls at him in disgust, all while Hoseok laughs.

“Aw, I’m sure he’s just happy to have the place to himself again, right? Glad to be rid of all that pop royalty bullshit, at least.”

Namjoon takes another large bite of his food, places a precursing hand on the back of Yoongi’s neck and Yoongi glares at him in what he hopes is a successfully silent translation of the word ‘don’t’.

His attempt clearly fails, as Namjoon barely manages to swallow before saying, “Nah, I think he kinda misses him.”

“Fuck off,” Yoongi huffs, shrugging away from Namjoon’s touch. Namjoon leans in to grin obnoxiously at the webcam before shuffling back toward Yoongi’s kitchen to grab more food, probably the food Yoongi ordered and decided he didn’t feel like eating.

“Is that true?” Hoseok asks, his tone the exact forced kind of casual that Yoongi does not need to hear right now.

Yoongi glances down at the laptop, at the spot right in the center of his space bar that’s been worn down by use, and he doesn’t even get a chance to think of a way to say what this feels like before Hoseok chimes in again, this time with far too much pity in his voice.

“Oh, hyung....”

Yoongi laughs, part in frustration over not being able to control his reactions, and part at how typically soft Hoseok is, even from a distance.

“Namjoon tell you he wants to move in with me?” Yoongi diverts, forcing a smile when he looks up and sees how concerned Hoseok still looks, his face somewhat blurry and out of focus. “Pathetic, right? Won’t even wine me or dine me first. He’s eating all my food now, look--”

Yoongi pushes the laptop in Namjoon’s direction so Hoseok catches a glimpse of his back while he continues to stuff his face in the kitchen area.

“I’m moving into the studio, not his apartment. We can finally afford to copyright our label,” Namjoon barks over his shoulder.

Hoseok’s worry seems lifted, and him and Namjoon spiral off into conversation about Namjoon’s extensive plans. They talk for almost an hour, Yoongi leaning back against his bunched up pillows and listening, contributing every now and then. Hoseok tells them about his new job, his new assistant, who he thinks might become a new protege. Yoongi does his best to listen but if his mind drifts every few minutes to the sound of a voice he thinks he can still hear echo off the walls downstairs he doubts Hoseok will hold it against him. He’s always been a sap like that, he’d be glad for Yoongi’s company in that particular section of hell.

 

--

 

The day of Jungkook’s goodbye stage is the one performance Yoongi watches live. He sits with his phone in his lap, chewing on the cuticle around his thumb. Jungkook looks exhausted on screen yet still somehow radiant, almost glowing when he smiles. Yoongi switches the tv off once it’s finished, keeps the phone in his lap and waits for something he doesn’t really want to give name to, doesn’t really want to admit to anticipating before he caves and turns the phone off again. His sleep that night is fitful, though the realization he forces himself to come to when he wakes is surely a push in the right direction.

It’s done now. Time to move on.

Namjoon hires a moving service and an audio engineer from the local music store to help install his equipment in Yoongi’s studio. There isn’t much space for him, but he’ll fit just fine. Yoongi has never utilized all of what he has in here, it’s why Jungkook’s entourage managed to squeeze themselves in so easily. If Yoongi’s studio were a package and he the contents, he’d be rattling around in it while it shipped. Namjoon can be his newly found buffer, a cushion, if nothing else.

The movers aren’t scheduled to arrive until the afternoon, and Namjoon is rarely awake before ten, so Yoongi isn’t expecting the quick succession of knocks on his side door, coming in even quicker when he ignores them the first round. It could be the engineer-- maybe he needs to rewire Yoongi’s console before he can fit Namjoon’s in, maybe he needs a head start.

It’s what has Yoongi shuffling in his sleep slippers down past the mixing console, into the hallway and opening the door near the kitchenette. The face that greets him when he opens it is not that of an engineer but rather the soft, freshly washed face of the nation’s new favorite solo idol, the very tips of dark hair still damp from what the floral scent of him says was a quick shower.

“Oh,” Yoongi says instead of a greeting.

Jungkook is biting hard on his lower lip, twisting it between his teeth for a second before letting it go. He lifts his cell phone up and says, “I tried calling, but your phone…”

Oh,” Yoongi says again, this time with the full shock of seeing Jungkook settling, kicking up the rate of his pulse. He fumbles in his pocket for his phone, presses hard at the power button. “I’ve been keeping it turned off at night,” he explains.

Jungkook takes a step forward, and then pauses. “Can I…?” he asks hesitantly.

“Sure, yeah,” Yoongi says, clearing his throat over the gruffness of his barely awake voice, moving back into the hall and allowing Jungkook to enter his home.

Following Jungkook back into the mixing room feels almost surreal. His hair is definitely damp, the muscles in his shoulders are more defined, and Yoongi curses the way his heart rate picks up just at the sight of his back alone. It’s been barely three weeks but it could have been months for what it’s done to Jungkook’s body, all toned and lean and tall. Yoongi convinces himself he’s just remembering it wrong, and is jolted from the heat of a very specific memory when Jungkook turns and shoves a blank CD case into his hands.

“I want to make another song with you,” Jungkook says, earnestly resolute, his cheeks softly pink from either the chill of the late autumn morning or perhaps something else entirely.

Yoongi raises his eyebrows, genuinely shocked. He takes the unmarked CD, tries to pretend this isn’t affecting him at all.

“Oh? I haven’t heard anything from your management.”

Jungkook snorts a little, nasally and stupidly endearing. He says, “You’ve had your phone turned off, how would you know?”

Yoongi makes a show of waving him off, says haughtily, “I have people that do that for me now.”

Jungkook giggles, takes a shuffled step closer and flips the CD case over in Yoongi’s hand. There’s a sticker on the back of it-- one of Yoongi’s lyrics. Jungkook must have taken it from his desk.

'Moss surely grows on a stone that doesn’t roll
If you can’t return, go straight through your mistakes and forget them all'

There’s a CD inside the case. It’s unmarked, but Yoongi can see by the change in the reflective surface that it’s been written on.

“This one’s just for me,” Jungkook says, watching as Yoongi opens the case.

Yoongi pops the CD in his drive and a single file pops up titled ‘love is not over.aac’.

“Looks like you already made the track yourself,” Yoongi says, standing from his laptop to turn and look at Jungkook.

“It’s just a melody, and some of the chorus,” Jungkook explains, sounding oddly apologetic. Yoongi frowns at him. “It’s just-- I thought you could help me with it? And, if you want, I’d like you to do a verse.”

Yoongi licks his lips, steels himself for what he hopes to god isn’t as disappointing as he fears, and says, “This the production equivalent of a goodbye stage, or?”

Jungkook smiles, wide and unbidden. He’s wringing his hands together at his front, and Yoongi wonders if the nerves are a mutual thing, buzzing energy bouncing back and forth between the little space that separates them in this room.

“I was hoping it would be the opposite.”

Yoongi exhales in something like shivering relief. He sits down in his computer chair, rolls it backwards until it hits his desk. Jungkook sits on the futon opposite him when Yoongi motions him to do so.

Leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, Yoongi steels himself for the exact kind of awkward conversation he dreads. They need to talk about this-- about what happened, about what could happen. About what-- by the building giddy grin on Jungkook’s face and the utter chaos it’s sending the state of Yoongi’s stomach into-- is definitely going to happen.

Yoongi takes a deep breath, forces himself to quash any remaining nerves because Jungkook is here now, and he says, “I’m really proud of you. You’ve done the album, the song, and yourself an immense justice.”

Jungkook grins, his voice bashful and quiet as he mumbles, “Thanks, hyung.”

“I mean it,” Yoongi says, finding conviction in knowing that these are things Jungkook should definitely be hearing-- should have probably already heard by now. “I avoided the press and kept my phone off because that shit stresses me out, right, you know that. But I still watched every single one of your performances, okay? All of them. Maybe a little later than they aired, but I didn’t miss anything.”

Jungkook’s grin turns crooked and shy, and he kicks out playfully at Yoongi’s slipper.

“Once you’ve seen one performance you don’t need to see the others really.”

“Well, I did,” Yoongi says. He licks his lips over the dryness encroaching on his throat, swallows thickly. “I think I need you to understand why I did that,” he adds.

Jungkook leans forward, mimics Yoongi’s stance of leaning on his knees, and uses his hands to cover the stupid way he can’t seem to control the smile taking over his face. His eyes are so wide and so bright, it’s almost alarming to hear him speak so softly, his shy tone not matching his brimming exterior.

“I know why you did it,” Jungkook mumbles behind his fingertips, sounding wholly amused.

Yoongi stomps down the urge to laugh at the ridiculousness of Jungkook’s expression, tries to hide his own amusement as he grumbles, “I’m trying to have a serious conversation here.”

Jungkook laughs suddenly, his grin so wide it actually impairs his speech as he barks, “I’m being serious!”

Yoongi shoves Jungkook’s outwardly pleading hands away with mock disgust, says, “Your face is ridiculous right now, I can’t talk to you,” and he pretends to be appalled when Jungkook snatches his wrist and pulls Yoongi towards the futon on the computer chair. It happens so quickly, this magnetic pull that comes immediately after the push, that it makes Yoongi’s head spin a little when Jungkook surges forward to kiss him.

The angle is a little awkward, and Yoongi isn’t entirely sure what he’s meant to do with his hands. Jungkook’s face goes soft, and he pushes a quiet, intimate little sound past Yoongi’s lips as his hands move to cradle either side of Yoongi’s face. Yoongi finds purchase in gripping Jungkook’s toned forearms, just to give himself something to hold onto, suddenly thankful that he’s sitting down.

Jungkook pulls away, and while Yoongi keeps his eyes closed to soak in the moment a little longer, he can still tell Jungkook is smiling again by the sound of it, by the soft crackle of his lips pulling over his teeth.

“I missed you,” Jungkook almost whispers, pushing his nose against the side of Yoongi’s.

“Yeah,” Yoongi says, opening his eyes, his voice hoarse. He lifts his hand to swipe a thumb beneath Jungkook’s eye, tracing the tiredness and memorizing the softness of his shower fresh face.

There’s a lot more to be said. Maybe more serious conversations need to happen, maybe nothing ever starts and finishes in a moment, maybe everything worth seeing through is a work in progress. This could get messy, dating someone like this is going to be entirely new and completely terrifying, but aren’t the best things in life like that? Yoongi knows he gets overwhelmed easily, shuts right the fuck down when he’s overloaded, but Jungkook was brave enough to show up here on his own again when Yoongi wouldn’t even turn on his phone. He has to make it work-- they both do.

Yoongi leans forward and kisses Jungkook again, this time soft and chaste, lingering just long enough to catch the responding exhale of breath from Jungkook’s nose against his upper lip, intimately familiar now.

“Alright,” Yoongi says, clearing his throat as he pulls away. He does his best not to quirk a smile at the stupidly dazed look on Jungkook’s face. He swats Jungkook’s knee, turns back to the console and says, “In the booth, go. We’ve got three hours until Namjoon gets here and tears the studio apart.”