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day 1 -

took ferry boat. amazing sunset.

 

 

---

 

 

It is the first day of September. The first day of a big adventure. The very first day.

Waiting quietly, a quiet – oh, so quiet boy with dazzling black eyes and a nest of tousled silver hair stands in a long queue of people. He isn't very tall, barely reaching the neck of the foreigner in front of him, probably a German. The boy has a backpack slung upon his shoulders, one of those boy-scouts use. It looks huge on him, his skinny legs peeking from an oversized black sweatshirt. He is pale like paper, and looks just as thin. A thick, heavy-looking camera dangles from his neck.

His name is Min Yoongi.

 

 

---

 

 

day 2 -

dawn. two hours before arrival.
need to improve lightnings skills.

 

 

---

 

 

Long, dancing in the wind, catching glimpses of sunlight through knots of brown. Tanned skin stretching over teenage body, pores sucking the life of the day into it. Neat shadows fading into softer lines, like flowers littering a sidewalk. The bright fabric of a dress that suggests young insolence, a freedom that comes naturally within the laughters of friendship.

 

Click.

 

Fingers still too adolescent to be slim and acquainted with the squirms of life, fingers tucking nervously strands of brown hair behind a overly pierced ear.

 

Click. Click.

 

Yoongi rests the camera in his lap, observing what he had just caught on screen, brighter than reality, and somehow more vibrant.

Giggles.

Yoongi's ears tunes to the sound but decide to ignore it anyway.

“Er, I'm sorry, but – Did you just, maybe, take a picture of me?”

The girl, still in her bright dress, in her young years and in her innocence, leans over him, a little too close, a little too personal compared to what Yoongi's used to – to Yoongi's boundaries. He backs up a little, looking her right in the face. The girl tucks another wild strand of long hair behind her ear, a flash of pink tinging her cheeks. She looks twitchy in a juvenile kind of way, the kind of tension you get when you turn in a paper, when you hand a love letter to your crush.
Yoongi's black, liquid eyes take her figure in in one swallow. She's bland and ordinary out of the photos, without the lightnings playing with the brown of her locks, the shade of her skin, the angles of her body. Even her clothes look un-fascinating to Yoongi's eyes, now.

He balances a smile on the tip of his lips. A quiet smile, the kind a brother gives to his younger sibling after he's done something good, but lacking the intimacy.

He nods.

“I should've asked.”

He doesn't say sorry. He's not.

“No, I mean, it's ok!”

A laugh.

“Are you a photographer?”

She asks with no regard, a subtle malice, a shiver in her voice, too.

Yoongi clutches instinctively at his camera.

“Yes.”

The girl's face lights up and Yoongi would really want to immortalize the expression – her eyes seem suddenly alive with a hundreds of stories.

But then the moment is gone, and the girl is again just that. A girl.

“A famous one?” She chances a glance at her group of friends. Yoongi does, too. They must be on a graduation-holiday, all so careless and made of nothing but clouds and dreams.

Yoongi's lips make a movement, a jerk more than anything.

“I wouldn't say so.”

“Oh.”

The girl looks disappointed for a second, but a particular yelp from her friends seem to get her back her nerves.

“Would you, er, join us for lunch?”

“No,” Yoongi refuses, falling silent. Then, remembering politeness, he adds, “Thank you.”

The girl's face scrunches into an ugly expression which makes Yoongi cringe; her lips curling, her nose wrinkling. She smacks her tongue.

“Well, sorry I asked.”

She sounds rather displeased, annoyed actually. Another aspect of youth – careless meanness, shallow interest. She waves vaguely her hand at him and trots back to her pack, flipping her head so that her hair would fly around, but Yoongi can't see any of the beauty he captured before.

He looks back at the shot. The lights that seemed so perfect and the colors that felt so vibrant now are dull, flattened into a foggy whirl of boring shades that leave nothing interesting, nothing that captures his eyes. There's nothing beautiful about it.

Yoongi goes to the options menu and selects delete.

He strokes a thumb over the rigid plastic of his camera, takes a couple of shots of the blue sky and the contrasting buildings casted upon it.

Yoongi likes the world through the lenses more.

It's a wonderful, flawless world.

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi doesn't photograph people.

Not as a habit, anyway.

It happens when the lights fall at such a particular angle that the lines of bones and features become almost like the outlines of a building, hair like grass moved by the wind, eyes like flowers glittering with morning dew.

But, more often than not, he ends up deleting all of these shots.

Yoongi doesn't photograph people.

But he likes to meet them.

 

 

---

 

 

The first stop of Yoongi's journey is Japan.

Here he meets Mari, a girl with short pink hair and a laugh more like a dog bark, eyes incredibly black but hidden behind colorful lenses. She lets him crush at her place and cruises him around Tokyo in all the hidden corners where old, wrinkled ladies cook typical foods and let you have a bite for free.

Yoongi stays in Tokyo for four days and the last two he decides to venture the countryside.

He tells Mari he'd rather go alone and she doesn't question it. She gives him directions on how to get to a very beautiful place where she used to go as a kid and says hello. Something tells her Yoongi won't be coming back for dinner.

Yoongi loses himself in trees as high as skyscrapers, in air that smells of pine and rivers and white rocks.

He meets an old man who likes his photos and offers him dinner and his couch.

Yoongi crosses his legs on the pillows, crouches under the faint light of a lantern and opens his leather-bounded notebook. He pins a polaroid of Mari and one of the old man to their respective pages. In his slant, thin lettering he writes:

 

day 4 -

Mari. funny girl, likes lot of colors. eyes like beetles.

 

day 6 -

grandpa. couldn't understand his name.
only speaks japanese.
good thing i learned some in high school.

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi leaves for a little island in the Pacific Ocean.

Another ferry boat, another wind whipping his hair, another sunset and another sunrise.

Yoongi travels here alone and doesn't talk to anyone but the woman of the inn in which he's staying. He pays the fee and leaves his belongings in his room. It's an old building, made entirely of wood, with traditional furniture and tatamis as beds. It smells nice, of rice parchments and miso soup.

He doesn't take a photo of the owner, but he does take some of the inn itself.

Yoongi reaches a peak that falls directly into the blue depths of the Ocean. He stays there until his legs and hands and ears are numb, wind whistling and messing up his locks as silver as the foam of the waves crashing on the rocks.

The salty smell of the sea fills his nostrils like the color sinks in the canvas.

 

Click. Click. Click.

 

 

---

 

 

day 10 -

arrived at taipei yesterday. not so different from seoul.

(Attached: polaroid of Taipei's skyline at twilight.)

 

 

---

 

 

day 12 -

beijing. met a very funny guy. dunno real name, goes by jake.
very good english. should ask him to help me.

(Attached: polaroid of a black haired man, thick glasses and a happy smile. Under it, scribbled in Yoongi's thin writing, reads Jake.)

 

 

---

 

 

day 15 -

i'm in love with thai food.

(Attached: polaroid of a bowl of tom yam goong, traditional soup made with shrimps and herbs.)

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi might come out as a loner but he is, in fact, not.

He has started this journey on his own because he indeed wanted to meet new people and, if the amount of polaroids pinned to the pages of his notebook are of any hint, he has so far met plenty.
People with loud smiles, people with hardened faces, people who didn't speak to him either because of a language barrier or because they didn't really care.

He didn't took great photos of them, but he took real ones.

The difference between a digital camera like the one he uses and dangles from his neck even now – perked on the top of a hill admiring dusk approaching – and a polaroid is that he has only a chance to get a good photo with the latter. He can of course try until he gets what he looks for, but Yoongi doesn't think like that. The thick paper of the film demands a certain kind of care; each polaroid is important in the way the light impresses the paper, in the second it comes to life. It's made to catch the moment rather than the beauty of it, the essence behind it.

Yoongi does polaroids only of people.

There's the girl he met in India, with her skin the warmest shade of brown and her hair slick and black as ink. She was reserved, knew almost nothing of English, but helped Yoongi nonetheless. Inside the frame, she's half turned toward the camera, chancing a glance over her shoulder, looking for something Yoongi didn't quite notice. She's tucking a flyaway strand of hair behind her small ear and the sun falls upon her skin like gold dust dancing in the light of morning.

They're not great photos.

They never are.

They capture all of the little flaws and imperfections people undoubtedly have – skin not as smooth as a peach, too big or too small noses or crooked ones, the way the jaw slacks into unflattering angles when they laugh or the uneven eyelids of their eyes.

 

 

---

 

 

Min Yoongi doesn't like imperfections.

This specific trait of his personality has always got him some trouble, especially when he wasn't old enough to learn that people get easily offended.
To him, it is a simple matter: there are beautiful people, and ugly ones. This goes for cities and places as well. He has always categorized the world in these two fields and has, so far, lived a pretty good life, surrounding himself of beauty.

When he couldn't find it in the reality of daily life, he created it.

Through the lenses of the camera Yoongi discovered he can clear, enlighten, beautify everything his eyes lay upon.

It is never easy – a game of lights, angles, shadows, balance of colors and patterns. But the result is always worth it.

Yoongi sits cross-legged on his top bunk bed, browsing through the photos he took today. After such scenarios as India and Thailand, with their wild nature and cities encapsulated between forests and mountains and rivers, Vienna feels like a good change. The city has a good vibe about it, a small, human-sized kind of atmosphere.
He likes it here. The food is good and oh my goodness, did Yoongi love the Sacher he had. He's never been a dessert-kind-of-guy, but that was the exception to the rule.
He chances a glance at the little box perched upon the rest of his clothes, squared, a deep sky blue with the name of the café written in splendid calligraphy.

Yoongi does this: he takes little presents from the place where he is, so that he can give them to the people who hosts him, or simply helps him out, in the next stop of his journey.
He had been in Vienna for three days, and generally tries not to stay for longer than four in every place. He has a destination in mind, and he's determined to reach it as soon as he can.

Yoongi sets aside the camera, lays down and closes his eyes.

Tomorrow, a train will took him to yet another place.

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi steps on the platform into a freezing day, air almost condensing into smoke as he breathes. His backpack safely wrapped around his shoulders, he zips up to the chin his coat. The camera hangs proudly on his chest and Yoongi can't bring himself to tug his hands in the pockets. Fingers going numb already, he takes the camera to his eyes and captures patches of the glass and iron ceiling above him, showing him a wonderfully silver sky glimmering with loaded clouds.

 

 

---

 

 

day 25 -

met Jeongkook.

 

 

---

 

 

It's seven o'clock in the evening when the doorbell of the Starbucks where Jeongkook is goes off, disrupting him from his reading. A guy, clearly not from here – Asian, Jeongkook thinks – enters the shop with drops of rain tangled between the fabric of his beanie, a patch of silver hair peeking from underneath it.

Jeongkook follows the foreigner's movements as if in a daze.

The boy queues in silence, a big backpack around his shoulders, a long coat of military green falling down to his very thin-looking knees. When it's time for his order, he asks for a black Americano and a sandwich. He hands the money with care, pale fingers a little damp from the rain. He waits diligently for his name to be called, putting up a face that looks very much like one of a kid who's waiting for the teacher to tell him how good he did his assignment.

Jeongkook finds it extremely amusing, and has to bite back the laugh that bubbles up his lips.

He goes back to stare at the book laying in front of him. He does, anyway, spare tentative glances to see where the boy would seat. There's something interesting about him that arouses Jeongkook's curiosity to the point where he doesn't really care if the stranger catches him staring. It might as well be a chance to talk to him. If he even knows any English. He's had some experiences with Asians before, and not many of them speak good English.
Just about when he was wondering if he should go up to him (then reminding himself he knows nothing about socializing whatsoever), the boy sits precisely at the table in front of his, sinking in the chair that faces his.

Jeongkook feels his cheeks going hot because, dammit, how much would he like to be able to stand up, introduce himself and start a conversation with this guy, who apparently is made out of moon's specks, so pale is his skin.

Why does he have to be so curious about people, he has no idea. Especially when he's so bad at meeting new ones.

Munching the inside of his cheeks, gaze glued to the pages of his book without reading any word, he again looks up – just to be sure, you know – and sees the boy has taken out of his bag a camera. It looks like a professional one, big and with lenses and all that.

Jeongkook's eyes almost pop out.

He launches himself forward, slamming the book onto the floor, common sense failing him in his enthusiasm about photography.

“Are you a photographer?” he blurts out, completely forgetting that the guy in front of him might not even understand what he's saying.

At the look the stranger gives him, Jeongkook hopes a meteorite would crash in right about now and extinguish him, his past self and all the Jeongkooks of the future.
He balances himself in the dumb position in which he had perked himself – ass half lifted from the chair, arms half extended toward the boy, mouth hanging open as though waiting for flies to establish home into it.

The stranger clears his throat.

Furrows his eyebrows.

Looks left and then right.

Licks his lips tentatively.

“Yes,” he says finally, slowly, his voice dragging the 's' for a little longer than necessary. It's a funny way to pronounce it.

Jeongkook feels like this is his cue to sit down again – and maybe combust. He tries a reassuring smile, one of those you flash babies as if to signal you're one of the good ones.

At least, the boy does speak English.

It does nothing but make him feel more idiotic.

He nods. What should he say now? How to carry on a conversation?

“Er,” he struggles, “What kind?”

The boy's lips quirk in an unreadable smile. He shrugs.

“Dunno. One of those that are out there, I guess.”

The 's' again. Lisp, Jeongkook thinks. It suits him, somehow. Jeongkook has the abrupt need to hear him talking in his own language, just to know how that particular 's' sounds in the words he is accustomed to.

Then again, Jeongkook finds himself sinking in the pit of silence, of no conversation, of lack of topics.

… No, that's a lie.

He has one hundred and fifty-two different questions, loving photography and all, but he's too afraid to ask. He bites on his tongue, noticing only now the fallen book. He dives under the table to rescue it, shakes some dust off of it and places it back near his latte. He suddenly feels incredibly stupid for having ordered such a sweetish, boyish drink instead of something more macho, more... More like an Americano, that is.

“Excuse me.”

The peculiar voice of the stranger drags to his ears. The extreme politeness of his words makes it obvious that he's not a westerner.

Jeongkook jerks to look at him, nodding as an encouragement.

“Are you from Korea?” the guy asks. Jeongkook almost regrets that there isn't any 's' in his question.

“I am. Well,” he tilts his head to the side, knotting his fingers upon the table, “By birth, never really lived there.”

The guy nods his understanding and fidgets with his camera. A minute-long silence stretches in between them, in which Jeongkook thinks that well, that's it, better go back to his book and forget about it.

“I am from Daegu.” There's pride in his words, and Jeongkook thinks it's incredibly endearing. He's not sure “Berlin” would come out of his mouth in the same way.

He glues his gaze into the other's and notices the unique shape of his eyes. They look like triangles.

“Are you on a trip?”

The stranger shifts on the edge of his chair, his face glowing. Jeongkook wouldn't have bet a penny that he'd be so up to conversation.

“Yes! I've been to...” He pauses for a while, counting on the tip of what Jeongkook regards as very long, very manly fingers. “Tokyo, Kyoto, Okinawa, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, New Delhi, Istanbul and Vienna.”

There's a light at the back of his black pupils that gives his whole face a beautiful shade of pink. It makes Jeongkook eager to know more. He had never met anyone who has traveled this much.

“You've been to New Delhi?”

The stranger leans over, resting elbows upon knees. He's taken off his coat and the pale feature of his skin casts a neat contrast with the black of his sweater. His eyebrows quirk up and disappear under his bangs, in an expression of full glee.

“Yeah! Uh, anyway,” he says on second thought, grinning, “I'm Min Yoongi.” He tells his name in clear syllables, probably used to people butchering it due to the hard pronunciation.

Min Yoongi half sits up from his chair and does a tiny, respectful bow. A just as tiny smile unfolds on Jeongkook's lips. He almost knocks the book back on the floor as he stands up to bow back in reflex.

“I'm Jeon Jeongkook. Want to, you know...?” he asks, gesturing clumsily at his own table and sitting back just as clumsily.

Min Yoongi looks taken aback. He fidgets in his seat.

“Sure you don't mind?”

Jeongkook nods.

“Nah.”

 

 

---

 

 

“Do you have, like, a place for tonight?”

“Mh? Ah, I've been looking up some hostels.”

“Do you wanna crash at my place?”

“Sorry?”

“I mean – I live alone – I thought... I don't know.”

“If it isn't trouble for you—”

“No! No trouble. Not at all.”

“Well then, thank you.”

 

 

---

 

 

Jeongkook lives in a white house; white walls, white ceilings, furnitures in shades of grey.

He's a logic mind, being taught by his parents that that's how you should live.

The shelves are filled with books put in alphabetical order, the ornaments scarce. The only hint of color is a vase where long, beautiful lavender-tinted flowers rest, spreading a sweetish, fresh scent throughout all the apartment.

Jeongkook buys new ones every three days.

There aren't pictures hung at the wall, only a calendar with black and white photos and a plain, simple clock above the couch.

He has always lived like this and never gave much thought to how others manage their lives. He has always had, anyway, a unique interest in people. A curiosity that led him into very funny situations his parents didn't approve of. He had eventually learned to keep it in control, and know his boundaries.

People don't like to be followed, for one.

Neither do they want to be asked too many questions.

There are in fact many things people don't want.

Why, Jeongkook still doesn't know.

However, Jeongkook lives by this rules and stays quiet, asks little and thinks thrice before speaking. He tries not to get too excited about what he likes, because he has been taught that passions can easily turn into obsessions, and he really doesn't want to be a nutter, does he. So he keeps his interests to himself, cherishing little things without shouting about them.

Like flowers.

Like the screeching sound that comes from the veins of the wooden floor, and how it reverberates through his naked feet.

 

 

---

 

 

When Yoongi wakes up, the sun is a pale white globe in the sky. It casts a milky glow upon the milky living room of Jeon Jeongkook, and Yoongi finds himself shivering despite the house warmth. There is something about the apartment that makes Yoongi feel incredibly lonely and he has trouble understanding how a person like Jeongkook, who seems so excited and curious about everything, can in fact live here.

He looks at the clock: 7.30 am. Perfect.

His favorite time of the day, when the light is just that perfect misty grey and makes everything glitter like in a fairytale: photos turn out gorgeous.

He throws a sweater on – a thick one, because he expects the day to be chilly; what a weird mid-September – and when he pops his head out of it, the tousled nest of Jeongkook's hair appears in his view.

“Oh. Good morning,” Yoongi says, clicking his tongue to get it into action.

Jeongkook smacks his lips, eyes two little slits and face puffed.

“Morning,” he replies, and shuffles with heavy steps toward the kitchenette. He puts water in a white kettle and the kettle on the stove. He goes still as a statue, hands on the counter to keep him standing, and Yoongi wonders if he's gone back to sleep on his legs like horses do.

He doesn't realize he was staring until Jeongkook jerks toward him – he isn't sleeping, after all.

“Tea?” he asks. Yoongi, a little bewildered, shakes his head.

“No, I'm leaving, actually.”

Jeongkook does something funny: his eyes go the size of saucers and his all body goes stiff, as though someone as turned him into stone. Then, in rabbit-y fashion, he hops – he literally hops – back to his room and Yoongi hears a good deal of shuffling coming from it.

“You know – We could,” Jeongkook's voice says. Something falls on the ground with a loud thud, “Shit. Ah, could grab breakfast, like, you know, together.”

Jeongkook comes back into the living-room with his shirt half-way on, one arm still not in the right hole.

“Breakfast,” he repeats, his eyes barely meeting Yoongi's, his lips trying a casual smile, but failing.

A loud, high pitched whistle cuts the air.

“Your tea,” Yoongi reminds him.

“Shit.”

Jeongkook runs up to the stove and messes with the kettle, almost knocking it over and giving himself a burn. Thankfully, it doesn't happen.

“So?”

Yoongi stares at him, blankly. Jeongkook's hair is still a mess and he seems to remember only now his arm is hanging out of the shirt, because he hastily puts it in. His eyes are still huge and – but Yoongi doesn't like to push his chances – hopeful.

 

 

---

 

 

“Did I wake you?” Yoongi asks as they walk down the street, both of them wrapped in their coats.

Jeongkook shakes his head no.

“I have to be at work anyway,” he answers.

“Where do you work at?” Yoongi inquires.

“Mh.” Jeongkook does something with his shoulders, and then chews at the coat's zipper. He seems to ponder the answer, before finally saying, “I could show you after breakfast, if you want.”

Yoongi nods.

“Cool.” He smiles.

“Cool,” Jeongkook echoes.

“So,” Yoongi rubs his hands together, licks his lips. “What's good in Berlin to eat?”

“Mh, there are Berliners.”

“Cannibalistic.”

Jeongkook laughs with what Yoongi thinks a very boyish, cute laugh.

“It's a pastry. Fried. With jam in it and sugar. Sticky goodness, if you ask me.”

Yoongi isn't exactly a sweet-food person. Especially in the morning. But he says, “It sounds delicious.”

It does, really.

“It's, like, I don't know, eating – eating a cloud of sugar in the form of fried dough. Or – a pillow, with jam in it. A wonderful, comfort-smelling goodness...”

“I think I got the idea,” Yoongi cuts him in, chuckling. Jeongkook goes a subtle shade of pink, which Yoongi wouldn't have noticed, really, if he weren't looking at him the whole time.

Jeongkook smiles and it is goofy, with big front teeth peeking and sinking onto his lower lip.

“Ok, let's go for it. I'll probably die after, by the sound of it, but who cares, right?” says Yoongi.

“I'll bury you a fantastic grave,” says Jeongkook.

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi likes to think – well, he knows he is a great observer. It's not a coincidence he wants to be a photographer, is it?

But when they get to the café Jeongkook so profoundly praised, Yoongi realizes he doesn't remember which way they came from, neither he recalls any detail of it.

He does, however, have a vivid impression of a little mole under Jeongkook's lower lip.

 

 

---

 

 

The morning rolls to 9 am and by the time they get to Jeongkook's workplace, the grey, mystical glow Yoongi so much loves is long gone, though the skies are still a heavy iron shade.

“Here we are,” Jeongkook announces, stopping in front of a little shop with a black door and the name of it painted in red and white, a name Yoongi can't make out.

“Mh,” Yoongi nods absently. From the outside, it is very hard to understand what it is that is sold inside – might be the lack of lightnings, since it is still very much closed.

Jeongkook looks left and right, chewing at his lips fervently, as though he feels unsure about the whole idea. He takes out a bunch of keys and begins to fumble with the locker until he gets it to open. He turns to flash an apologizing smile to Yoongi.

“Gets stuck,” he explains, stepping through the threshold.

The first thing Yoongi notices as he enters it's the same, comforting smell of flowers, but mingled with thick wood scent, and polished plastic, and something soapy. It is a rich perfume, like the one of a wooden house in the woods, with a crackling fire and hot mugs of cocoa on the table; like the trunks smelling of rain after a storm.

Yoongi blinks in the light that Jeongkook flicks on and startles.

Guitars. Rows and rows of guitars, in all types of wood, in all shapes and forms and colors. There are also basses, and keyboards (that's where the plastic smell came from, Yoongi figures), and every instruments Yoongi can imagine of.
He walks through the rows in a daze, not completely surprised that Jeongkook works in a place like this. He has this aura about him – creative, luminous, unique.

“This is so amazing,” Yoongi whispers as his fingers trace the outline of an incredibly gorgeous guitar: it is made in very dark wood and its veins run through the surface almost unseen; it isn't as shiny as others, a little opaque, and under his fingertips he feels just the right amount of roughness.

“This is so amazing,” Yoongi repeats, louder, and Jeongkook's laugh cracks the atmosphere of pure admiration in which he had fallen.

“Oh,” he turns on his heels, as though realizing just now that there's someone else with him. “It's just...”

“Amazing?” Jeongkook helps.

Yoongi grunts some sort of a laugh.

Jeongkook smiles in a new way – it feels intimate, shy, pure. His eyes are shining like there are twinkling stars in them.

Yoongi looks away with the excuse of taking his camera out.

“Can I take some pictures?” he asks in a huffed voice, visibly still in great awe.

Jeongkook shrugs.

“Yeah, sure.”

 

 

---

 

 

That night, before going to sleep, Yoongi goes through the photos he's taken. A habit more than anything, a kind of ritual. He had forgotten that the first ones of the day were inside Jeongkook's shop. There are good shots, with good lights and the right balance of shadows, some playing with geometries and the blinding white of the walls.

He deletes one that came out blurred.

Presses to see the next.

And almost loses his grip on the camera.

He looks at the photo, bright on the screen, vibrant in its colors. Crouched at the counter desk is Jeongkook, lips pressed in an expression of deep concentration. He's scribbling something on a notebook. His shiny brown hair falls into messy waves upon his eyes, narrowed upon the page. He's sat into a weird shape, one leg up on the chair, all bent and perked on it and looking like he's going to fall any moment.

Yoongi wants to think he's looking at it for so long because he's studying how the light crashes upon the figures.

But Yoongi has never taken photos of people.

 

 

---

 

 

Jeon Jeongkook has a rounded shaped nose that wrinkles when he smiles.

He has doe-eyes as dark as melted chocolate.

His mouth is naturally of a bright pink, upper lip thinner than lower one, which he has a habit to chew. He speaks with a smirk most of the time, his mouth lopsided.

He has hair of a warm chestnut shade, textured and wavy if he lets them dry in open air. Slick and silky if blow-dried.

His smile is toothy and childish, with a slight upper bite. His laugh is high pitched and infectious.

His face shape is something out of the ordinary, triangular, but with an important jaw; something of the kid still remains in how his cheeks grow when he talks.

There's a scar right under his left cheekbone.

 

 

---

 

 

Three days in Berlin.

Jeongkook has changed the flowers in his living-room to pale orange ones.

Yoongi stares at his photos until the night turns into day.

 

 

---

 

 

“Where do you wanna go?” Jeongkook asks day fourth over dinner.

“What's left to see?”

Jeongkook chuckles.

“No, I mean – Your next destination.”

Yoongi freezes a second with his bite half chewed. Looks left and then right.

“I've always wanted to go to New York.” His voice is barely above a whisper.

Jeongkook's eyes go huge.

“New York is so cool! You're so cool!” he says, his voice an excited chirp. “Are you leaving for New York from here? Or there are other places in between? Are you going to Italy? To France?”

Yoongi involuntary coughs and Jeongkook stills. His gaze drops to his plate. Fidgets with the cutlery.

“Sorry.”

Yoongi's eyebrows knit together in surprise.

“What for?”

Jeongkook shifts in his seat uncomfortably.

“For – er, nothing.”

Silence falls for a moment too long among them.

“I think I'm gonna go straight from here,” Yoongi says after a while.

“Fucking awesome.”

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi tries not to stay in a place for longer than four days.

 

 

---

 

 

It's a game of lights, angles, shadows, balance of colors and patterns.

Of time, even.

And, it happens, of flowers and photos and guitars.

 

 

---

 

 

Jeongkook has been in the music shop for a very long time now.

He has always liked music, cherished it in a little corner of his heart, never told his parents, never asked for an instrument. But he needed money at some point, and started working at the shop.
Jeongkook has always done his best to keep out of everything that smelled too much like passion, walked carefully on the edge of it, peeked into its depths maybe, but never dived.

One day, in the summer, a hot and yellow and dry day, he was alone in the shop, and he was bored, and the scent of wood was so strong, it was making him light-headed. He took one of the guitars from the wall – the very dark one, with the opaque finish that Yoongi liked so very much, and grazed his fingers upon the strings.

It was like an electric shock.

 

 

---

 

 

day 32 -

eight days in berlin. 8. days.

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi is walking alone on the streets of Berlin.

He doesn't like to live on the shoulders of one Jeon Jeongkook, a boy who's younger than him, who gives him a place to sleep and shows him all around the city whenever he's got time. He doesn't like it and he wants to do something in return, something more than the tiny Sacher he gave Jeongkook on his first night.

He doesn't like it.

(Or, maybe, the problem is that he likes it too much.)

Lost in his thoughts, Yoongi notices he has wandered about Jeongkook's workplace. The lights inside are lit, but Yoongi knows for a fact that Jeongkook isn't working today – he didn't specify, but it had to do with family.

Yoongi doesn't exactly think it through, when he crosses the threshold.

 

 

---

 

 

It is past midnight when Jeongkook comes back.

He's surprised to see a little glow pouring into the hallway and even more surprised when he realizes it comes from the living-room. Very careful not to make noises, he tiptoes on socked feet toward the source of light, determined to switch it off: he has learned that Yoongi prefers sleeping into darkness.

When he sees it, he has to clap both hands to his mouth to prevent himself from yelling.

Hung on the wall upon the couch there are hundreds of photos. Photos of colorful markets, of waves crashing on rocks, of blue skies, stormy skies, night skies, twinkling skies, fat clouds, photos of great lawns and high mountains, photos of foods in so many varieties and colors that his head buzzes; photos of cities expanding on infinite grounds, of streets crawling through houses like rivers through rocks, and streets so big that five rows of cars easily fit. Jeongkook recognizes – more thanks to his photographic memory and to all the documentary he has watched in his life – the colors of India, of Thailand, and all those places Yoongi has been telling him about.

Jeongkook climbs on the empty couch. Reaches his hand out to trace the outline of the photos, until he realizes that there aren't only landscapes and cities and markets on the film.

There are people, too.

He's startled a little, because he remembers very vividly Yoongi once said he doesn't like to photograph people.

Jeongkook squints at the profiles and it is, in fact, only one, very familiar silhouette that travels in the shots.

It's him.

Smiling, reading, talking, working, laughing, admiring landscapes, eating.

There's only him. With his big nose, with his scar, with his too thin upper lip, his too round eyes, his messy hair and squared shoulders.

It's him, in all his imperfections.

Jeongkook realizes he hasn't been breathing for the past thirty seconds.

He inhales. Exhales.

The photos are hung upon the couch in rows, beautiful and faintly gleaming in the light that has been left on.

It is odd to see himself like this. It feels like he's inside Yoongi's head, he feels like an intruder to watch his smile captured through the camera; he's looking at himself in the way Yoongi sees him. Young, reckless, creative. Passionate. Or at least he thinks he sees this, through the angles and lights in which Yoongi has decided to portray him – crouched on the counter desk in his shop writing in his notebook, staring at the sky in the clearing they found on one of their day-trips, sipping tea in the morning, devouring his third Berliner after dinner (Yoongi really shouldn't have bought so many); he sees there are also photos of him at the flower shop, picking those new orange ones that are now by the door, his face scrunched in concentration. Jeongkook had no idea that Yoongi had followed him.

He feels his stomach tighten, knotting upon itself, aching a little.

He blinks in the dimly lit room, a sudden urge to drink and lay down crawling upon his shoulders.

His sits on the couch and chances a glance at the lamp on the table.

Jeongkook feels his heart leaping in his chest: a black case rests upon the wall, undisturbed.

He scrambles toward it, stumbling into the coffee table in his excitement. His hands grasp at the case, leathery and soft to the touch. His fingers fumble with the zip, trembling. It takes him an impressive long time to get rid of the case.

And there it is: the opaque, dark wooden guitar, rough at the touch, but capable of the most velvety of sounds.

Jeongkook sighs. Of course Yoongi must have bought this for himself. He was, indeed, incredibly fascinated by it. With a little whine, Jeongkook puts the guitar back into its case and closes the zip, noticing just now the paper taped to it. Jeongkook takes it into his still slightly shaking hands and reads. Written in slant, thin handwriting, it says:

 

you shouldn't ignore your passions.

 

Jeongkook holds his breath, feels his stomach give a painful lurch.

He only just realizes that the couch is empty.

He deflates into his seat, feeling as though he were made of water. And just like it, he would like to sink in the couch's fabric and disappear.

 

 

---

 

 

New York is beautiful.

It has lights, and infinite nights, and 24/7 shops and it does look a little like Seoul, but there is something particular about its air that cracks the surface and tells there's always something going to happen.

Yoongi doesn't exactly know what it is, but it makes him excited.

The buildings draw incredible patterns upon the skies, and the clouds are different from any Yoongi has ever seen. He's out from morning to night and it feels as though Berlin was just one of his stops.

Except, it wasn't.

 

 

---



[ Berlin – Fifth day ]

Yoongi and Jeongkook are in the living-room, Yoongi cross-legged on the floor, Jeongkook sprawled on the couch playing with his phone.
They are both people who enjoy the silence, the quiet of lazy afternoons. They fit together incredibly well and Yoongi would have easily forget Jeongkook's presence, if it wasn't for his even breath that lands warm near his nape. He feels it melt down his spine, but stays still.

Yoongi is very good at staying still.

“Can I see your photos?” Jeongkook's voice calls after a while. Yoongi registers the shift in his breath, the shuffling of his body on the couch; his chin making its way in the crook of his neck.
Jeongkook has proved surprisingly touchy despite his look of cold distance.
Yoongi hums a yes and tilts his head slightly to the side, giving more space to Jeongkook, who drapes an arm upon Yoongi's shoulders to reach for the camera. He presses his hand above Yoongi's and his fingers seem ten times darker compared to the other's paper skin.

(Yoongi doesn't want to think why is it that he lets Jeongook touch him so blatantly.)

Jeongkook browses through the photos with a laziness in his movements that, however, doesn't cover the excitement in his eyes.

“I like this one,” he says, stopping for a few seconds more upon a picture Yoongi took earlier that day.

“Mh,” Yoongi grunts. He presses upon Jeongkook's thumb to go back to the previous picture. “This one is better.”

It is the same shot, but the lights change a bit, putting into more focus the building in the center.

Jeongkook nods and Yoongi feels him smiling. He goes back to browsing and commenting and Yoongi listens to him in slight awe, because the kid has so much to say, but says it all with such shyness and insecurity that Yoongi can't help but smile the whole time. It is cute, really, how subtle Jeongkook tries to be about what he loves. There's something about him that seems to always tell he's sorry, no matter that he didn't do anything.

“They're good. You're good,” Jeongkook says with a sort of solemnity in his voice.

Yoongi chuckles. “Thanks.”

“But, you know,” Jeongkook starts, but shushes immediately. “No, never mind.” He waves a hand in the air and drops on Yoongi's shoulder as a dead-weight, closing his eyes. He's pretty heavy, with his long arms and big head and fluffy hair and those (not so few) inches more than Yoongi, but he doesn't really care, not when he smells so good and feels so warm.

Yoongi raises his shoulder a little, so that Jeongkook's head bounces.

“Mh?” mumbles Jeongkook, sleepy.

“What were you saying?” asks Yoongi, his breath moving Jeongkook's strands of hair.

Jeongkook tilts his head to the side, opens his eyes and looks at him with a face that resembles so much a lost puppy.

“You really wanna know?”

Yoongi nods.

Jeongkook leaves Yoongi's shoulder and lays on the couch, facing the ceiling. His cheeks flush a little as he speaks.

“Well, I mean, it's not that you're not a great photographer – you are, really! – It's... I don't know, I think something's lacking. Sorry.”

Yoongi ignores the apology.

“Lacking?” he repeats, puzzled.

“Mh. Like... You know. They're, ah, beautiful photos. Yes. But, like, that's it, you know? Just – Just beautiful.” He looks as though he's holding his breath.

Yoongi turns and sits on his heels, looking at Jeongkook with an unreadable expression.

“I like beauty,” he says, in such a simple tone that he feels like he's five all over again, explaining his mother why did he throw away her ugly plants.

Jeongkook munches on his lower lip, a nervous habit Yoongi has now come to recognize.

“Mh. Beauty is fine, I guess. But – and this is just my opinion, alright? – beauty can be boring, can't it?”

Yoongi sinks on his knees, listening. This is something he never thought of. Beauty is beauty. If the world is beautiful, how can it be boring?

“Because, I mean. If everything was, in fact, beautiful, why would you even go and photograph it, you know? If everything is already beautiful, there's no need to capture it, to beautify it. There's no need for photographs in the first place! You wouldn't have taken a camera in your hands, if you didn't want to create something amazing, right?”

Yoongi nods, though Jeongkook doesn't pay attention to him: he's too lost in his speech.

“You know what I think? Your polaroids. Those are something else. Those – those show real beauty. You have a – a something about you, you succeed in capturing exactly what that person is about. Ah, I mean— No, that's exactly what I mean. You get the essence of the person. Their personality. Soul. Whatever you wanna call it.”

“Those aren't real photos. They got flaws, and—”

Jeongkook snaps and sits upright, his long legs like a frame at the sides of Yoongi's body, his back hunched over, their faces a little too close than Yoongi would think safe. He swallows.

“That's exactly what I'm talking about! The flaws are what make a photo the photo, you know?” He talks with that peculiar excitement, the one he hides behind composure and logic.

Yoongi doesn't know if he understands what Jeongkook is saying. He does, however, remember one particular shot he took of one particular boy that he very much liked – the photo. Not the boy.

“Mh,” he says, half-heartedly. He reaches for his camera, that Jeongkook has put on the floor for good measure, and looks at the boy sprawled on the couch. Jeongkook jerks to look back at him, his pupils blown with enthusiasm. Yoongi's lips curl into a smile despite his will.

“Can I try something, then?” Yoongi asks. Jeongkook does one, quick nod.

 

Click.

 

Jeongkook's eyes grow huge, but he says nothing.

Yoongi stares at the photo for a minute long, in deep silence: Jeongkook's unique features are glowing with the light of late afternoon, the white of his sweater a fantastic contrast with the dark of his hair and eyes. His lashes look long and shiny, his lips like strawberries atop of a cake. The scar on his cheek is just barely visible.

Yoongi's stomach clenches.

If it is true that the flaws are what makes photography beautiful, then this picture would be bland to anyone but him. Because really, Yoongi can't see any imperfections.

He plasters a gummy smile on his face and shows the picture to Jeongkook, still bewildered, still looking at Yoongi with the biggest eyes he's ever seen.

“What about this? What does this tell you about the subject?”

Jeongkook shifts into a sitting position, studying his own face with a blank expression.

“This is very far from beauty,” he says after what feels like an eternity to Yoongi.

“That's because you like flaws,” Yoongi blurts out, and he wants to set himself on fire because that was a little too straight forward.

But Jeongook has plopped back down on the couch, phone again between his fingers.

Yoongi exhales loudly; Jeongkook probably hasn't even heard him. He turns his back at him and resumes his process of deleting bad shots.

Behind his neck, however, Jeongkook is hoping that Yoongi can't hear the thumps of his heart.

 

 

---



[ Seoul – New Year's Eve ]

The grounds are frozen in Seoul, glistening with soft white snow and Christmas lights. The air smells of hot cocoa and cinnamon, warm drafts pooling in the streets whenever a shop door opens and chants with the greetings of clients.

Yoongi is sat in a café, legs crossed on the armchair in which he had sunk an hour ago.

Splayed on his lap, a notebook full of writings and polaroids. He turns the pages with care, reads the notes, smiles or frowns at a particular entry. The paper feels crumpled, wavy and textured from all the writings, the ink like a tattoo upon it. He takes a sip of his Americano and stops at a section that seems oddly blank compared to the rest of the notebook.
Yoongi knows it coincides with eight days in a city he wasn't even that curious about, a city where he had planned to stay no more than three days.

A city he left with what he wanted to be a thank you, but turned out into something else.

Yoongi is pretty sure the ending of the sentence is you as well.

 

 

---

 

 

“Look, there's this opening tonight, a vernissage.”

“A vernissage? What's it about?”

“Mh, photography if I'm not wrong.”

“Who's the artist?”

“Someone new, it's his first.”

“Shall we go?”

“There's free food and free alcohol, I say yes!”

“Beside, it's New Year's Eve and we have nothing better to do.”

“Jeon, are you coming?”

Jeongkook hasn't exactly been listening to his classmates. He was focused on getting right this song he has been working on since what feels like forever.

“Mh?” he asks, peeling his gaze off of his scribbled notes and staring blankly at Sadie, a tall girl from Chicago.

Sadie shakes her shiny blond hair backwards, tucks a flyaway strand behind her ear and curls her lips into an irritated pout.

“You never listen, do you?”

Jeongkook munches at the inside of his cheeks and strains a smile, “Sorry.”

Sadie laughs. Waves her hands as if dismissing Jeongkook's habit of spacing out.

“A vernissage. Tonight. Jongno-gu. Coming?” she summarizes.

Jeongkook doesn't really feel festive, if he has to be honest.

“What's about?” he asks flatly.

Junho, a boy from Busan with thick lenses and bulky legs, sighs.

“We literally just said it.”

Sadie shushes him with a look.

“Photography. Aren't you totally gaga about it?”

“I'm not 'gaga' about anything,” Jeongkook retorts, tensing in the shoulders.

Sadie laughs again.

“You are. You have all those photos hung up your bed, it's kinda creepy actually. Who took 'em, anyway? Your girlfriend?”

Jeongkook grabs at his guitar until his knuckles turn white, and he hopes his face isn't as red as he feels it.

“What time is it?” he asks, changing subject abruptly.

“Eight o'clock. You've got plenty of time,” informs him Junho with a wink.

 

 

---

 

 

The first thing Jeongkook thinks as he walks out in the cold, is that he's glad he has grown up in Berlin, because otherwise, he's not sure he would've handled the icy winter with the same spirit.
The second, is that Seoul is very pretty under the snow, way prettier than Berlin. It might be because of the lights reflecting everywhere, painting the snowy streets in a rainbow of colors.

Jeongkook imagines how a certain person would capture the scenario, and how he would probably be so very annoyed by the amount of people crowding the streets. He chuckles.

“He's laughing alone again,” says Sadie, with a sort of resignation in her voice.

“Let him be,” says Junho.

 

 

---

 

 

The place is a little independent art gallery Jeongkook has never heard of.

There is a little poster glued to the wall beside the door, reciting the name of the exhibition: Beyond Beauty, A Journey. There is nothing about the author but a tiny logo baring the letters MYG.
Jeongkook barely registers the information as he sweeps past the door, finding himself in a room dimly lit with what he realizes are rows and rows of Christmas' lights.
The ambient inside is cozy, as though they had been invited to a dinner rather than a vernissage. The walls are white as the snow outside, and there are tiny white tables on top of which are vases with different kind of flowers. Jeongkook recognizes the lavender-tinted ones he used so often to put in his own house in Berlin.

Before looking at the actual exhibition, Jeongkook studies the crowd.

It seems the kind of show that attracts youngsters more than elders, and the ones who are art-freaks and do those kind of stuff like go to the every single theatre show, drink wine even if they don't like it and talk about politics and lament about the new generation – which they are – butchering quotes from the most improbable of books. Jeongkook wrinkles his nose in disapproval: he has never understood why people like so much to fake to be someone that is not their truest self.

Jeongkook decides it's time to see what is this thing about, though he doubts he'll discover his new favorite artist – he already has one.

He goes up to where he supposes the exhibition starts; a wooden panel is hung at the wall and upon it, white words decorate its surface:


If everything was already beautiful, would you feel the need to photograph?


Jeongkook's mouth goes dry.

It feels familiar. It is familiar.

Those are his words, certainly embellished, but he's sure he had said those same things to a certain someone.

He's half afraid and half excited as he turns his head to look at the photos that unravel on the four walls of the gallery. They're settled into rows and columns and grouped into sections. The whole exhibition is built as though the visitor has dived into someone's journal: every group of photos is marked by what looks like a big piece of paper on which, written in slant, thin handwriting, is stated the place.

Jeongkook's heart is thumping so hard in his chest, he's surprised no one has come to him asking if he needs an ambulance. He does, really.

All these photos, a part of them is hung up the wall of his bedroom.

MYG, he remembers.

Min. Yoon. Gi.

“No,” he whispers.

“Jeon! Jeon! Jeongkook! Isn't that you?” comes Sadie's amazed voice.

Jeongkook closes his eyes. Maybe he's dreaming. Maybe he's dreaming and he'll wake up and everything will disappear and he'll be back in his white apartment in Berlin, and no photos will be hung up his wall, and no guitars will be waiting for him when he gets back home, and Min Yoongi won't ever cross paths with him.

But when he opens his eyes again, Sadie is dragging him to the last section of the exhibition and there he is, in all his imperfections, in all his toothy smiles and wrinkled noses, glancing down at him as though mocking him.

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi doesn't know what he's supposed to do.

He stares at that incredibly familiar nest of wavy chestnut hair, at those squared shoulders and long legs and Yoongi doesn't know what to do because it cannot be happening.

It simply can't.

And the name Jeon is very common in Korea, it must be a coincidence.

But the boy is frozen in front of the section where Jeongkook's photos are, and Yoongi doesn't know what to do.

 

 

---

 

 

Jeongkook turns on his heels.

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi thinks he must be in outer space, because he feels weightless.

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi doesn't realize he has his hand around Jeongkook's until they're out of the gallery.

He lets go of it slowly, unwillingly.

“Sorry,” blurts out Jeongkook.

Yoongi's brows arch.

“It should be me apologizing,” he points out.

Jeongkook munches at his lower lip and says nothing.

Time seems to pour down into the little flakes of snow that start flying around them. They fall into Jeongkook's dark hair, on the tip of his nose, on the flat of his shoulders, on the laces of his shoes.

Yoongi feels tied to the ground, incapable of moving.

Yet, there is so much he would like to do. To say.

Jeongkook swings on his heels, clearly uncomfortable.

Yoongi thinks, and thinks, words forming in his brain but somehow they get lost on their way to his lips, and there he stands, silent, quiet, frozen like the streets.

Oh, how much Yoongi would like to be one of those flakes, to melt directly into Jeongkook's skin and live there forever.

Jeongkook twitches.

Yoongi's fingers grasp hopelessly on thin air.

“It's late,” Jeongkook says in a whisper and Yoongi nods automatically, though his brain reminds him that it's not: it's barely nine in the evening.

Jeongkook's teeth are gnawing at his lip so hard that when he releases it to lick at it, it is the color of ripe cherries.

Yoongi wonders vaguely if it tastes the same.

“I'll go,” Jeongkook declares. He throws a quick look at Yoongi, a fraction of a second, a flash of black into which Yoongi feels like drowning. Jeongkook seems unsure about what to do for a moment, then he turns his back on him and walks away.

Yoongi is glued to the ground.

Snowflakes melt in his hair and start wetting his shoulders.

Oh, right. He hasn't got any coat on.

He blinks out of his numbness and stares at the point where Jeongkook was just a few moments ago. It feels oddly colder, lonelier.

Has the street always been so empty?

 

 

---



[ A few hours later ]

There are Christmas' lights on the wall, like a frame around rows of photos.

Jeongkook feels like he's back in the gallery, watching Yoongi's work like all those other strangers.

He thought – selfishly, he now realizes – that it was something between them, a gift Yoongi made especially for him. He was, of course, wrong.

Stupid, he was. A fool. An idiot, actually.

He plops on the pillows, which let out a whiny sound.

“That's right,” he whispers, “The sound of my soul dying.”

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi looks at the clock: it says eleven twenty-two.

The new year is approaching at alarming speed, he thinks, as he steps inside a building made of red bricks.

He feels like a complete moron, standing there with flowers in his hands.

 

 

---

 

 

Toc, toc.

 

It's a muffled sound, a little shy to Jeongkook's ears. He ignores it for the time being; he's not exactly in the mood for talking.

 

Toc, toc.

 

Jeongkook buries his head under the pillow.

“Leave me alone,” he whispers in the fabric.

“Jeongkook, it's me.”

Jeongkook flips on his back. Then on his side. Then sits upright with a jump and falls on the floor with a thud.

“Ouch,” he hisses.

He stays on the floor for about an eternity.

“Jeongkook...?” comes Yoongi's voice again.

“Oh, shit. Alright. Yeah. Coming.”

He jerks up and walks toward the door, incredibly aware of how every single part of him just sticks out of his body. Isn't it weird that arms just flap around you and legs move according to where you want to go? And who did ever think noses were a good idea?

He scraps his very weirdly shaped hand over his very odd nose, and opens the door.

“Hi,” says Yoongi.

“Er,” says Jeongkook. Aren't mouths just stupid?

“Can I come in?” asks Yoongi in a sheepish voice. It sounds strange on him, usually so confident and smug.

Jeongkook does a movement with his neck that he hopes is a nod, because it doesn't feel like it.

Yoongi helps himself in and closes the door.

“So,” he starts, but stops, apparently at a loss for words.

“So,” Jeongkook echoes.

Has his tongue always felt this heavy and wet?

Yoongi sighs a deep, deep sigh. “I should've asked.”

Jeongkook shakes his head so vehemently that he thinks it will rip from his neck. Thankfully, it doesn't.

“No, that's your work, really, it's ok.”

“But that's your face.”

“Only a face, is it?” Jeongkook says, and he hears how his voice sounds rough, a little accusing maybe. “I'm serious, don't worry about it,” he adds.

Yoongi looks awkward in his room, as though he is afraid of stepping too much inside Jeongkook's possessions. Jeongkook thinks it's too late for it.

“I don't... I don't photograph people,” Yoongi says.

“I know,” replies Jeongkook, with a hardness in his voice.

“Oh, and I bought you flowers.” Yoongi shoves a bunch of pink-white roses in his face, in a non-committal way.

Jeongkook almost falls back on the ground.

“Flowers...?”

“Yeah. You don't like them? I thought they were stupid, actually. I'll just throw them away on my way out.” Yoongi shrugs and the hand grabbing at the tiny bouquet falls limply at his side. Jeongkook quickly dives in and tugs it out of Yoongi's fingers.

“I love them. I do,” he says. Now, has his hand always been so incredibly pudding-like?

Yoongi does one of his little, unreadable smiles on which Jeongkook thinks better to turn his back and grabs the opportunity to put the flowers on his nightstand. No one has ever got him flowers.

“Anyway, how come you're here? In Seoul,” asks Yoongi.

Jeongkook prays to all the heavens that his tongue is still able to create words.

“Studying. Moved here.” Good. Words. Now, what about a sentence that actually makes sense?

Yoongi's brows jumps into an expression of surprise.

“Seriously?”

Jeongkook hates how his body turns to water every time Yoongi speaks with his peculiar 's'. And, dammit, 'seriously' has so many 's's in it.

Jeongkook nods, but it feels more like his neck is melting and his head is falling forward.

“I... The guitar. I like it. Like – a lot. And, I've always wanted to, you know, learn Korean and – you know.”

Of course Yoongi doesn't know.

“I know.”

He does?

“I thought I'd never met you again.”

Me too.

“I had only those photos to remember you by.”

Me too.

“I'm sorry I didn't say goodbye.”

So many 's's.

“I didn't know what to do.”

You could have stayed.

“I – I don't photograph people.”

Yoongi takes a step forward, an uncertain, shaky step. There's little light in the room, coming from the sparkling Christmas' lights hung across the wall, and it makes Yoongi glow as though he were made out of stars.

“But you... You're different.”

“I have tons of flaws.” Jeongkook says this as a sort of warning, though it is very hard to listen to his own words upon the sound of his heart beating.

“I know.”

Yoongi takes another step forward and Jeongkook smells the snow in his silver hair.

“My lips are uneven,” he blurts out.

“I know.”

“I have moles.”

“I know.”

“My nose is, like, as big as the whole land of Korea.”

Yoongi huffs a laugh, “I know.”

“I have a scar across my cheek! And it's a stupid scar, not an awesome, epic story kind of scar. I was playing with Legos and I was Godzilla and I was destroying the town, but I stumbled upon a Lego-house and cut myself across the face. With a Lego.”

“You're weird.”

“That is something I know.”

“I like you, Jeon Jeongkook.”

“I have big feet.”

“Jeongkook - Shut up. I just said I like you.”

“You – What?”

From outside, an outburst of lights and cheers cracks the air.

“I think it's midnight.”

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi is so close to Jeongkook now.

So close he can see the exact color of his eyes – the deepest shade of brown he has ever seen, and his long lashes like a frame around them.

Jeongkook is in front of him, and it's midnight, and it's New Year's Eve, and there are Christmas' lights and Jeongkook smells of soap, of flowers, of wood.

“I think it's midnight,” he says, as a firework sparks in the patch of sky visible from the window.

“I... I have flaws,” whispers Jeongkook again, in a thin voice. Yoongi chuckles and hates the kid a little because he is so tall that Yoongi usually has to step on tiptoes to look at him straight in the eyes. He decides to throw to the wind this today and he laces his arms around Jeongkook's torso.

 

 

---

 

 

Isn't it weird how arms can just – wrap around another being?

 

 

---

 

 

Yoongi tilts his head to look up into Jeongkook's eyes. It is unnerving, really.

“I'm going to kiss you now.”

 

 

---

 

 

'Kiss' has so many 's's.

 

 

---

 

 

Jeongkook's mouth doesn't taste of cherries, Yoongi finds out.

It tastes of happiness.