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It had been months ago, at this point, when everything began breaking. Longer than that, truly. Namjoon began his internship at the company his senior year of university, and he was officially hired on nine months later. Namjoon worked as a producer, sometimes getting the opportunity to lay down his own vocals, for that company for the following year and a half. He was good, he knew he was good, and his supervising producer had been nothing but supportive. Until he was something more, more than a friend, not quite a partner. More like a lover, brought on by late nights at the studio, too many sugary drinks, not enough sleep.

Then Namjoon was forced to sit back and watch as his world crashed and burned. He thought everything was okay, but he was wrong. He had been churning out song after song, getting approval after approval. The director encouraged him to work on his own music; they wanted him to produce his own stuff, and they promised to sell it, promote it. When he had a full tracklist, they’d draw up a contract, sign him.

He turned in song after song, but the approvals never came.

Namjoon should have known, he should have been able to see. He was blind to the treachery, though, a blindness brought on by attraction and feigned commanderie. When his superior, his lover, began distancing himself, Namjoon only took it at face value. He knew they shouldn’t have been fucking, especially not at work; but it was happening, then it wasn’t, and Namjoon was fine. Or he thought he was. It hurt him a little, truth be told, because his fellow producer had become a sort of confidant, someone to talk to. Namjoon still had Yoongi, of course, but Yoongi had been dealing with his own problems, and the last thing Namjoon wanted to do was burden his friend.

So he talked to someone he thought would understand. And when that person pulled away, he focused on working and trying to improve his music, determined to write something worth the director’s time. A few months after the affair had ended, after weeks of struggling, losing his mind, his ex-lover revealed their rookie’s debut album.

Namjoon hadn’t cried so hard since his childhood dog passed in highschool.

Yoongi had been there, 180lbs of pure rage, cursing and stomping around his tiny studio apartment, while Namjoon sat on the couch, beer in hand. He’d disappeared out onto his veranda to smoke, though Namjoon could still pick up the random curse word. When he came back indoors, smelling of mint and cigarettes, he’d gripped Namjoon by the back of the neck, his dark eyes burning, and made the younger swear to confront the ‘filthy fucking thief’. Namjoon had promised, and after a few more beers, he curled up on Yoongi’s couch and slept, anxiety and frustration exhausting him to the bone.

It had taken Namjoon just short of two weeks to find the courage, the words, for any sort of confrontation. Part of him wishes, even now, that he’d just cut his losses, and left the company, walked away for good. But he didn’t. He’d confronted the man, at three AM, and came to regret it.

The bastard had photos. So many photos, and of course, just like the plot of some cliche drama, he’d threatened to expose Namjoon. The photos were edited, cropped to show only Namjoon in various… positions. Namjoon, with pure luck and some sense of foreboding, had managed enough sense to record their conversation, and although the audio quality was bad, it was enough. Namjoon left the man’s studio on shaking legs, his chest feeling tight, and went to his own, where he’d packed up his few possessions and saved everything from the PC to his hard drive. Then he’d left, driving his car straight to Yoongi’s apartment.

Yoongi let him in, like always, no matter what Namjoon had done to fuck up. It hadn’t mattered when Namjoon was fifteen and got busted at school for being stoned, just like it hadn’t mattered when he’d gotten arrested in college for vandalism. Yoongi was his best friend, and had been since middle school, and he’d never failed to let him in, to be there for Namjoon.

Too bad Namjoon couldn’t manage to do the same for Yoongi.

They’d talked for hours, well past sunrise and into late morning. Namjoon knew he wanted to sue, he knew he wanted his music back in the right hands. Namjoon couldn’t afford a lawyer though, not even in his dreams. Namjoon jokingly mentioned selling his car, his house, and surprisingly, Yoongi agreed.

“Where would I live?” Namjoon had asked, but Yoongi had only shrugged, like it was obvious.

“Here, dumbass. You can live here.”

Yoongi also had songs, songs he was willing to sell, songs companies were hungry to buy. Namjoon tried to talk him out of it, refused to take his offer, but Yoongi wouldn’t have any of it. Finally, Namjoon had just changed the subject.

“I don’t want them to know,” he’d said quietly. Namjoon didn’t have to elaborate, Yoongi knew. Their friends, Seokjin, Jimin, Hoseok; Namjoon didn’t want them to know. “The company won’t let this become a public thing… I don’t want it to be either.”

“How are you going to hide this from them?” Yoongi had asked. He hadn’t asked harshly, in fact, he’d been uncharacteristically gentle. Namjoon hated the pity, but he kind of liked the softer Yoongi.

“I don’t know. I feel like an idiot,” Namjoon had sighed and punched the couch cushion.

“You’re not an idiot,” Yoongi had assured him, “you just did an idiotic thing. We’ll fix it.” Namjoon knew he was right, but it hadn’t stopped the coil of disgust that had settled in Namjoon’s gut. He’d felt dirty, used, and betrayed. Still, Yoongi was right.

After tossing ideas back and forth for a while, Yoongi had stood and walked across the small room.

“I have kind of a ridiculous idea, but… it might shock them enough to keep their attention elsewhere,” Yoongi had looked away when he spoke, and Namjoon might have noticed the faint pink on the elder’s cheeks, if he hadn’t been so tired. And dumb.

“I’m listening,” Namjoon had prompted.

“Tell everyone… we can tell everyone that we’re dating.”

Namjoon had choked on his coffee; literally choked, as in rush-to-the-sink-and-cough-a-lot choked. Namjoon, after learning to breathe normally again, had found Yoongi still standing on the other side of the room, biting back a laugh. When Namjoon questioned it, Yoongi shrugged, speaking in hypotheticals, until Namjoon had joined in, and before the hour had passed, the two of them had managed to come up with a pretty believable story.

Namjoon, in this made-up saga of romance, had quit the company a few weeks prior, not happy with the choice he’d made in college. He’d been living with Yoongi for roughly a month (neither Yoongi nor Namjoon ever had their friends over, it was believable enough), and was currently looking for a job and a buyer for his house. Yoongi came up with the idea that Namjoon should either sell the furniture he didn’t need, or put it in Yoongi’s storage space downtown, and they could mention to Seokjin that Namjoon was looking to sell. Seokjin was just one of those people, who just knew… people. All kinds of people. As for Namjoon’s car, he ‘wouldn’t be needing it anymore’, not since he now lived in the city, and if any of their friends knew anyone looking to buy, all the better. The two of them mapped out a plan that covered the next two weeks. While Namjoon sorted through his stuff, Yoongi would sell songs and do some research into hiring Namjoon a lawyer, or at least getting him a meeting. They’d tell their friends on the next night they all went out, after Namjoon had gotten settled at Yoongi’s and their story became more believable.

“How long should we tell them that we’ve been dating?” Namjoon had asked, and he wondered about the curious look on Yoongi’s face.

“A couple months? We drunk fucked one night, then just… never stopped? Besides Jimin, I don’t think they’ll try to pry too many details out of us, not if we tell them we’re still working through it.”

What had started as a shitty night had turned into a better, more hopeful day, and Namjoon had gone to borrow Yoongi’s shower, as the elder sat at his laptop, phone pressed to his ear, ready to sell his first song to the highest bidder.

Things were okay for those initial two weeks; then came the hard part. Namjoon had hired a lawyer, scheduled a meeting for the following week, and even sold his car to his cousin, who had been willing to pay what Namjoon asked in full. Then, it was time for Namjoon and Yoongi to tell their friends, for Namjoon to begin the battle for his rights as an artist. At least his lawyer had high hopes, because Namjoon needed all the positivity he could get.

~
“God, what if they ask us to prove it, and like… kiss?” Namjoon asks, watching as Yoongi tugs on a faded blue sweater.

“Then we tell them to fuck off,” Yoongi responds as he fluffs his soft pink hair back into place. Namjoon purses his lips, not placated in the least, and Yoongi takes notice. “Look dude, if they ask, they ask. We don’t have to prove anything. If they don’t drop it, we can hold hands or... something else platonic, okay?”

“Yeah, okay,” Namjoon agrees. “Ready?” Yoongi nods, and the two of them take turns slipping on their shoes at the door before they leave, locking Yoongi’s (their) apartment behind them.

The walk is short, thankfully, now that Namjoon lives with Yoongi in the city. The October air is brisk, damn near bracing out in the open, where the wind is unforgiving. Namjoon knows the walk by heart, and since Yoongi isn’t very… chatty, Namjoon’s thoughts take their chance to jump to the forefront of his mind.

The five of them had always met up at the same bar, Meg’s, since they’d been in college. Well, since Jin was in college and the youngest of them still in high school. Still, it was a hole in wall place amid the tall metropolitan buildings, and they all loved it. The bartender there, Taehyung, was Jimin’s age, a high school dropout turned part-time musician, and he treated them well and laughed with them often. Even the owner’s son, Jungkook, was nice, though he was a little broody when he served tables. Namjoon and Yoongi would need to fend those two off as well; the kids were too curious sometimes.

Namjoon considers putting his arm around the older male. Even in his sweater and leather jacket, Yoongi shivers against the cold, scowling under his beanie. Before, Namjoon wouldn’t even have had to think twice. Amid their friends, Yoongi is the least likely to initiate any kind of physical contact, Namjoon a close second, but they’d all been friends for so long that a stray arm or bro-hug was never unusual.

Now, though, now Namjoon thinks twice. If he puts his arm around Yoongi now, and their friends see them arrive like that, would it make their lie more believable? Would it make Yoongi uncomfortable? Would it make Namjoon uncomfortable?

Namjoon decides thinking isn’t the best option, so he just acts. He hooks his arm around Yoongi’s neck, gently tugging the elder towards him. Yoongi let’s him, without speaking, and falls into step next to Namjoon, pressing their sides together. It’s warm, comfortable, and Namjoon feels his anxiety spike at the prospect of the others seeing them. Yoongi seems totally unfazed, though, so Namjoon steels himself and focuses on calming down. They only have a block left to walk, so Namjoon counts his steps instead of the breaths he can feel coming from Yoongi.

“Keep your arm around me,” Yoongi says, as they push through the doors. Namjoon grunts, letting the elder know he heard him, as his eyes scan the dim room for their friends. The interior of the bar is warm, would be almost stifling if not for the cozy atmosphere it holds. The bar itself takes up a good chunk of the room, including a corner. Booths and tables fill the space left, then on the other side, opposite the bar, is the lounge area, littered with sofas and coffee tables. This is where Namjoon’s eyes land, spotting a pair of broad as hell shoulders.

“There they are,” Namjoon points out, steering Yoongi in that direction. Namjoon tries to ready himself, as they walk over, for the looks and the questions. It’s Jin who asks first, spotting the two of them.

“You two look cozy,” Jin laughs. Jimin, curled against his boyfriend’s side, doesn’t speak, only regards them with an intrigued look. Hoseok greets them like normal, stretched out on Jimin’s other side. Namjoon and Yoongi stop in the space between two couches. It seems like Yoongi chickens out first. He nudges Namjoon with his elbow, trying to shrug off his arm. Namjoon lets it fall, but now Hoseok is looking at them strangely, and Namjoon refuses to be responsible for the words that explode from his lips.

“We’re dating,” he blurts, and two heads jerk towards him; Jimin’s and Yoongi’s. Yoongi takes one hand from his pocket and shoves at the younger.

“Namjoon,” he drags the word out, untill it’s almost a whine, but not quite. Jimin is still staring, but now at Yoongi, his eyes and mouth wide open. The other two look half a second away from beginning to laugh themselves to death, so Namjoon does what he does best, and opens his mouth before thinking.

“Well,” Namjoon shrugs, flashing Yoongi an apologetic smile, “we are.”

“Oh my- You’re serious?” Jin asked, his expression now matching Jimin’s. Yoongi, who Namjoon notices is blushing now, huffs and nods.

“Only for a little while…” Namjoon starts to say, but Yoongi shoves him again.

“Shit happened and we’re working on it. We just… thought it was time to tell you,” Yoongi finishes. “If you have any questions, please direct them to someone who gives a shit.” Yoongi falls onto an empty couch, crossing his arms and legs. After a moment, Namjoon figures he should sit too, so he does. He sits a little closer to Yoongi than he normally would, but, thankfully, Yoongi doesn’t pull away. The elder let’s Namjoon’s thigh press against his, and Namjoon breathes a little easier.

“I don’t believe you,” Hoseok laughs, sitting up straight and squinting at them. “Kiss, then, prove it.”

“Fuck you, Hoseok,” Yoongi said, at the same time Jimin pipes up.

“They don’t need to prove anything, Hobi. It’s their business. Let’s just be glad they told us,” Jimin scolds the elder lightly, though his last sentence is directed at Yoongi, and something passes between the two of them. Namjoon notices it, but he brushes it aside; Yoongi had always been close to Jimin, so Namjoon doesn’t think too much about their silent conversation.

“Thanks, Jimin,” Namjoon says, smiling at the younger. Then he turns to Hoseok. “If the three of you can have a successful, healthy relationship, why can't Yoongi and I?”

“Okay, okay,” Hosoek relents, holding his hands up, “Sorry, I’ll be nice. I’m glad though. For you, both of you. I’ll refrain from asking who bottoms though, because I cannot imagine-”

Yoongi stands with a sound of disgust, blush blooming across his face in earnest. Jin smacks Hoseok on the head at the same time Namjoon’s hand shoots out to wrap around Yoongi’s elbow. He tugs the elder back down and nestles his smaller frame next to him, and Yoongi, though still mumbling under his breath, doesn’t try to move.

After Jin is done scolding them (Namjoon isn’t sure why he felt like the eldest was also scolding himself and Yoongi), and Jimin announces that he’s ‘damn near three seconds away from perishing due to intense starvation’, the five of them stand and move to the restaurant area. Jungkook appears from the side door leading to the arcade, a small smile on his lips as he takes their orders. Everything is mostly normal after that. Besides Yoongi’s thigh pressed against his in the booth, and Jimin averting his eyes whenever Namjoon catches him staring, things are like they’ve always been. Namjoon isn’t sure if he’s grateful or troubled by the feeling, but he decides to let it go.

Hours later, after everyone is caught up on everyone else’s lives (or so Hoseok, Jin, and Jimin think) and full of delicious, fattening food, they part ways outside of the bar. Jimin stays close to Hoseok, their hands intertwined in the pocket of Hoseok’s hoodie, while Jin carries their bags of food to-go. Namjoon and Yoongi wave goodbye and hurry away, turning the corner at what could be debated as breakneck speed.

“I can’t believe you just told them like that,” Yoongi says, halfway back to the apartment. It’s dark now, the sun nowhere to be seen, and it’s twice as cold as it was when they made their way through town earlier.

“It just happened,” Namjoon shrugs, laughing a little. “They took it well, though. It was a good idea, Yoongi.” Yoongi is shaking a little, his breaths coming out in little puffs of fog, but he nods his agreeance. Namjoon doesn’t put his arm around the elder this time, but Yoongi still walks close enough to soak up Namjoon’s warmth. Namjoon doesn’t stop him, too grateful to worry about boundaries right now. They’d fooled their friends, which was one obstacle hurdled. Now they just had to keep them believing, until Namjoon was done with the legal bullshit. Remembering his meeting with this lawyer in a few days, Namjoon suddenly feels nauseous; Yoongi is a solid, reassuring presence, though, so Namjoon takes comfort from him. This time, he counts Yoongi’s quick, even breaths.

~

A few days later, Namjoon is caught sleeping in Yoongi’s bed. He’d only meant to take a short nap, before the elder got home from work, but too many sleepless nights on the couch decided otherwise. He startles awake when the door opens and tries to… roll out of the bed, sit up, something. Yoongi, standing at the door taking off his coat, only raises an eyebrow at him.

“Sorry,” Namjoon says, trying to hide a yawn. Yoongi waves him off as he disappears behind the bathroom door, reemerging a moment later, having changed into flannel pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt.

“Couch getting uncomfortable?” he asks, standing over the bed. Namjoon nods, rubbing his eyes. He’d napped for maybe three hours, but he was still exhausted. He knows Yoongi still has papers to grade, or whatever teachers do, and if he were to move to the couch now… Yoongi would have to sit at the table, which he hated doing.

“I’ll come watch TV or something while you work,” Namjoon says, throwing back Yoongi’s comforter. He gets ready to stand, but the elder stops him with a hand on his bare shoulder.

“Just go back to sleep, Joon,” he says, squeezing Namjoon’s neck. “I’ll shove your fatass over when I’m ready for bed.”

“You sure?” Namjoon, too tired to think, is already falling back against his stolen pillow. Yoongi’s answer comes in the form of lights being turned off. Namjoon watches, through half-lidded eyes, his mind already fading back into oblivion, as Yoongi grabs his bag in the dark and moves towards the couch. He turns on the lamp on the end table, then sits, and Namjoon can only see a pink halo of hair over the back of the couch.

The next time Namjoon wakes, he blinks his eyes open and finds the room dark and quiet, the only sounds coming from the hum of the fridge and Yoongi’s soft breaths on the pillow next to his. Namjoon turns his head to look at the elder. The soft, alien-blue light of the street lamp illuminates Yoongi; one of his hands is fisted beneath his face on the pillow, squishing his cheek a bit. His mouth his open, his hair a mess around his forehead, and something pings in Namjoon’s chest. Yoongi has always been the tough one, the protective one. It’s not that Yoongi is cold or heartless, he’s just stoic, reserved. He smiles and he laughs, but he’s incredibly shy for all his gruffness, silently emotional, and Namjoon has always sort of looked up to the elder, even while Yoongi treated him like nothing short of an equal.

Now, though, in his hazy, sleepy mind, Namjoon feels almost protective of his sleeping friend. Yoongi looks so vulnerable, so… soft. Yoongi had always been Namjoon’s pillar, even when they fought in high school, too similar but too different. They’d grown up sometime in college, though, and grown closer somehow. Even now, amid all the bullshit in Namjoon’s life, Yoongi had given him shelter, not just physically, but mentally. He was taking on all of Namjoon’s burdens, without asking for a thing.

Namjoon shifts, rolling over to face Yoongi. Yoongi frowns in his sleep, sniffling, and turns too, curling into himself away from Namjoon. Then he moves again, and a cold foot invades Namjoon’s space, seeking warmth. Namjoon laughs to himself, already dozing back off, and tugs the blanket up to Yoongi’s shoulder. He lets Yoongi tangle their legs together in his sleep induced hunt for warmth, because he knows that conscious Yoongi would never accept this sort of thing. Namjoon snuggles back into his own pillow, then, and falls back asleep.

~

The next morning, Yoongi tells Namjoon to stop sleeping on the couch. Namjoon accepts the offer greedily, because to be honest, he’s way too big for the couch, but he misses the shyness in Yoongi’s voice when he tells him. In any case, the couch is not optimal for sleeping, and it’s inconvenient, especially when Yoongi is working or writing songs. The last thing Namjoon wants to do is put his friend out even more than he already has, so he takes the offer, equal parts selfish and selfless.

The next few weeks are a blur, to Namjoon. The court date was set for a month away, and Namjoon stresses over it, spending most of his days as an anxious mess. He puts his house on the market, going through the bank, waiting on something to happen with that. He calls Jin, too, and the elder promises over the phone, with Hoseok and Jimin making immature obscene sounds in the background, that he’d spread the word for Namjoon. The only highlights of Namjoon’s days are when Yoongi comes home, bringing food and conversation. Namjoon also looks forward to crawling into bed with the elder. Namjoon finds comfort in it, and if he’d thought to look past the surface, maybe he would eventually see why, but he doesn’t. All he knows, at this point, is that Yoongi is a cuddler.

Not consciously. It may have started off with cold feet, but then it progresses to cold hands pressing against Namjoon’s skin. Next comes Yoongi’s chilled nose buried against Namjoon’s back, then his chest. Namjoon is a light sleeper as it is, but he doesn’t mind waking up when Yoongi moves closer. He never spends too much time thinking about it, and he assumes Yoongi must be aware of what he does, because the elder always wakes up first, his alarm for work screeching at him. Namjoon wakes up when Yoongi untangles their stiff limbs, but he doesn’t say anything, and neither does Yoongi. Namjoon just rolls over to go back to sleep, while Yoongi goes to shower, and they leave it be. In hindsight, Namjoon should have said something. What, he doesn’t know, but… still.

 

Namjoon and Yoongi are at the market, when they hear Jimin’s lilting voice coming from the next isle. Yoongi quickly switches the shopping basket to his other hand, and reaches for Namjoon’s hand, before Namjoon has even registered their friend’s voice. The elder tangles their fingers together effortlessly, just a moment before Jimin rounds the corner, Hoseok pushing a cart behind him.

“Yoongi~” Jimin sings, rushing over to pull the elder into a hug. Yoongi treats it like an assault on his personal space, though, and Namjoon laughs at the way Yoongi scrunches his nose up. He steps a little closer to Namjoon, too, trying to find safety, and Namjoon automatically pulls the elder against him. Jimin glances at their joined hands, frowning, but as soon as he notices Namjoon looking at him, he’s smiling again.

The four of them talk for a little while, browsing the aisles, Hoseok doing most of the talking. Yoongi tugs on Namjoon’s hand whenever he wants Namjoon to grab something from the shelves, while Jimin tosses item after item into the cart Hoseok is pushing. Namjoon forgets that he’s even holding hands with Yoongi, until Hoseok says something.

“You two are cute, I have to admit,” he says, smiling fondly. “I wasn’t sure, when you first told us, but… it seems good. I’m happy you two are happy.” Namjoon has a ‘thank you’ prepared, hoping to beat Yoongi with whatever spiky response he would shoot back, but, oddly, Jimin pipes up.

“Yoongi, you’re really good at those claw machine games right?” he asks sweetly. Yoongi nudges Namjoon, and Namjoon reaches for the chips Yoongi points to.

“Yeah, I guess?” Yoongi shrugs. Jimin bounces, excited.

“Hobi and I were trying to win Jinnie one of those bears in the machine out front, but we kept losing. Will you try for us?” Jimin is already pulling money out and offering it to the elder. Yoongi agrees, and before anyone can blink, Jimin is prompting Hoseok to take Yoongi to the machine, pulling Yoongi out of Namjoon’s grasp.

“Okay, okay,” Yoongi growls, handing their basket to Namjoon, who takes it, holding back his laugh. Hoseok leaves the cart with Jimin and disappears with Yoongi down the main aisle; as soon as they’re out of sight, Jimin whips around to face Namjoon.

“Namjoonie, you know I love you, right?” Jimin states, glaring up the Namjoon.

“Uh, yeah Jimin, I know,” he says slowly, confused at the look on the younger’s face.

“Good. I love Yoongi, too, though, and I swear on my mother’s life, Namjoon, if you do anything to hurt him, I’ll make it my life’s purpose to skin you alive with a dull knife until you’re begging for me to send you to Hell.” Namjoon blinks, once, twice, because no way did their group’s sweet little ChimChim just say those words to him.

“Jimin-” Namjoon tries to say, but he’s cut off.

“Just promise me, Namjoon,” Jimin demands, staring Namjoon down, his eyes burning. Namjoon closes his mouth and nods.

“I know it’s weird, Jimin-”

“You have no idea..,” Jimin mutters, looking away, then sighs. Namjoon continues.

“It’s weird and sudden, but… don’t worry. I’m not going to hurt him,” Namjoon finishes, before he gets cut off again. Jimin looks up at him, his eyes narrowed.

“Whose idea was it?” Namjoon’s stomach swoops, panic flaring, because Jimin’s words cut too close to the truth. He manages to speak evenly, though.

“Whose idea was it to what?” he asks, letting confusion fill his voice, hoping to hide the panic.

“To do this, start seeing each other. Did he come to you, or…?” Jimin waves his arms, shrugging.

“Oh, well… it was kind of a mutual thing? Something, uh… happened, and when we talked about it, we… decided,” Namjoon says, stuttering way more than he wants to. He knows he’s being vague, he knows damn well, but thankfully, Jimin seems appeased. Namjoon has no idea where the sudden animosity came from, but he thinks he did an okay job at warding it off, without exposing too much. If he and Yoongi had actually been dating, he knows that Yoongi would want to keep most of it private, anyway. Yoongi had always been cryptic about his romantic life. Both Namjoon and Jimin knew this, so the realistic touch was enough to have Jimin nodding, and moving on to another topic.

When Yoongi and Hoseok return, Jimin rushes over, squealing because Yoongi was successful. More than successful, actually; the elder is carrying two snow-white bears in his arms, and he passes one to Jimin, who hugs it to his chest.

“Here,” Yoongi says, when he makes it back to Namjoon. He holds out the second bear while staring at the boxes of pasta on the shelves next to them.

“For me?” Namjoon asks, a little more than stunned. Yoongi flushes and nods, so Namjoon takes the bear and smiles. Without thinking, Namjoon unzips his hoodie and nestles the bear to his chest, before zipping it back up and securing the bear in place, the bears face peaking out. He takes Yoongi’s hand again, and squeezes, and the elder gives Namjoon a small, shy smile; Namjoon forgets, for a moment, that Yoongi’s act of affection was for show only.

Yoongi and Namjoon finish shopping, Hoseok and Jimin keeping them company. Before they part ways, Jimin asks if they want to meet up the next evening, slamming the trunk of Jin’s car. Yoongi glances up at Namjoon, who shrugs, so he nods at Jimin, and their plans are made.

When they get back home, Yoongi turns on his shuffle as he settles on the couch to start his lesson plans for the following week. Namjoon puts up their groceries and starts on lunch, bringing a soda to the couch for Yoongi. Given the limited space in Yoongi’s studio apartment, Namjoon drops the little stuffed bear on the bed, while he kicks off his jeans and exchanges them for shorts. The bear becomes a permanent fixture amid the pillows. They name him Suga-Bear.

~

Everything was going fine, everyone was chill. Namjoon and Yoongi had arrived at Meg’s, Yoongi wearing Namjoon’s hoodie after he’d insisted, and Jin had ordered a round of beer to go with their onion rings and deep fried pickles. Yoongi threw a fit about the pickles, so Namjoon ordered him fries instead. Now, everyone is gathered around a pool table, while Hoseok and Namjoon play Jimin and Jin. Yoongi is perched at a stool on a nearby table, scrolling through his phone, popping a fry in his mouth at intervals.

“You missed,” Jin points out, nudging Hoseok. Jimin giggles, walking over to steal a fry from Yoongi, while Namjoon lines up his own shot.

“He wouldn’t have missed if you weren’t eye-fucking him while he was trying to focus,” Namjoon laughs, taking the shot. He doesn’t miss, and the ball rolls across the table, bumps against the wall, then slips into the corner hole. Namjoon straightens up, smiling in victory. He takes a swig of his own beer, winking at the elder, who shakes his head and waves Jimin over for his shot.

“You jealous because Yoongi is ignoring you, Joon?” Jin teases back. Yoongi looks up at the mention of his name, a fry hanging halfway out of his mouth, and Namjoon chokes a little, laughing.

“I’m not ignoring him,” Yoongi grumbles, barely audible over the music coming from the overhead speakers. He slides from his stool and makes his way to Namjoon’s side, and Namjoon lifts his arm, letting the elder slip under. Yoongi fiddles with the sleeve of his hoodie, avoiding looking anywhere that involves a curious pair of eyes, but the only one watching is Hoseok. Jin is too busy cooing over Jimin, and the crowd around them couldn’t care less.

“You’re supposed to be gross and kiss,” Hoseok says, jerking his thumb towards his boyfriends, who are now edging close to disgusting, “like these two assholes.”

“You weren’t calling us gross last night when we had both our mouths on your-” Jimin starts, turning back with a smirk.

“Nope!” Yoongi shouts, covering his ears. Namjoon laughs while Hoseok blushes, suddenly shy, but he’s saved from further embarrassment when Jungkook comes over carrying a platter of food. Jimin and Jin nearly jump on him, eager for the food. Jungkook, startled at the assault, just leaves the platter and runs away as fast as he can, his eyes wide. Yoongi finds that funny, and tugs on Namjoon’s shirt, pointing after him and laughing.

Namjoon, though, starts thinking, which is a bad idea. Even though, somewhere deep in his subconscious, he knows that it’s illogical and unwarranted, he starts to worry that their lie is starting to become transparent. No, he and Yoongi weren’t like Jin, Hoseok, and Jimin, flaunting their attraction, but… they were pretending to be a couple, maybe they needed to be more attentive to each other. Maybe they needed to kiss. It’s not that Namjoon minded kissing Yoongi. The idea didn’t gross him out or give him weird vibes; in fact, he kind of wanted to. To keep up pretenses, of course. Would Yoongi go for it? Namjoon decides to ask.

When Hoseok turns away to steal a fried pickle from Jin’s mouth, Namjoon leans down, pulling Yoongi’s ear to his mouth.

“Let me kiss you?” he murmurs, his lips brushing against the shell of Yoongi’s ear. Yoongi shivers, which Namjoon takes as reluctance, but Yoongi turns, mouthing ‘okay’. Namjoon nods. “Make a move when you’re ready.”

“Now is as good a time as any,” Yoongi says, his voice quiet. He turns beneath Namjoon’s arm, letting it fall from his shoulder, so Namjoon hooks it around Yoongi’s waist instead. One of Yoongi’s sleeve-covered hands come up to cup Namjoon’s cheek, then he’s being tugged down. Namjoon presses his lips to Yoongi’s, and it’s chaste and simple. Until it isn’t.

Namjoon’s body reacts on it’s own, pulling Yoongi closer, pressing the shorter man against him. If Namjoon had been capable of thinking, he might have assumed Yoongi would pull away, but even so, Yoongi doesn’t. Yoongi’s fingers slide into the short hair on the back of Namjoon’s hair, and he tugs, and Namjoon automatically parts his lips. Yoongi exhales, hard, through his nose, his lips sliding against Namjoon’s in a way that the younger doesn’t totally hate.

Then someone, probably Hoseok, is wolf-whistling, and Yoongi jerks, pulling away and hiding his face against Namjoon’s chest as he wipes his mouth on his sleeve. Namjoon is stunned, to put it lightly. Something just happened, and he’s not exactly sure what, and he’s not really sure if finding out is the smartest thing to do.

“Want another beer?” Yoongi asks suddenly, stepping away and brushing a hand through his hair, which matches his face.

“Sure,” Namjoon nods, and Yoongi spins and walks off towards the bar. He waves down Taehyung, who looks like he was busy flirting with a group of girls down the counter. The sleeves of Taehyung’s black button-up uniform shirt are pushed up to his elbows, and the tan skin of his forearms bulge and glow in the low lights as he leans forward to hear Yoongi’s order. Instead of beer, though, he pours Yoongi a double shot of something dark. Namjoon watches, knowing he’s staring, but unable to care. His heart is still threatening to beat hard enough to explode, and to be quite honest, his dick isn’t doing much better.

Still. Namjoon pushes all of these, and any similar, thoughts from his head, because he just can’t afford to have anymore stress on himself. So, when Yoongi returns, his cheeks still flushed, and hands Namjoon his beer, the younger trades it for his pool stick, announcing that he’s taking a break. Yoongi shrugs and starts to play with Jimin, who switches places with Hoseok to play with him. He takes Yoongi’s chair at the table and starts finishing off his fries, and watches his (fake) boyfriend kick Jin and Hoseok’s ass, with Jimin grinning and rubbing it in his own boyfriends’ faces. Jimin teases until Hoseok throws his own stick on the table, making a mess of the remaining balls, to chase him around the table, both of them giggling. Yoongi curses and moves out of the way, as does Jin, and Hoseok finally catches Jimin, dissolving into tickles and kisses.

Yoongi looks over, meeting Namjoon’s eye, and flushes again. He walks over and rests his hip on Namjoon’s knee, leaning back to whisper innocuously in Namjoon’s direction.

“Jimin said it looked real.”

Namjoon, failing at the whole not-thinking thing, agrees.

~

Yoongi gets drunk that night, along with Jimin, and as it turns out, both of them are affectionate drunks. Yoongi had nearly climbed into Namjoon’s lap, at which point Namjoon decides it’s time to take the elder home. When they get home, Namjoon helps Yoongi get undressed and in bed, though Yoongi is still being a little too sweet. Namjoon planned on sleeping on the couch, just because he isn’t quite sure what a hungover Yoongi would think, waking up in bed with him, after having kissed him (more than once). But Yoongi, half-asleep, sits up and reaches for him.

“Joonie,” Yoongi murmurs, slurring, “come to bed. It’s cold.”

How could Namjoon say no to that?

He doesn’t say no, but he does make sure Yoongi is wrapped up in his own blanket, before he retrieves the quilt from the couch. Yoongi whines about being cold, but Namjoon shushes him with soft words and slender fingers in his hair, until Yoongi falls asleep.

The next day, they don’t talk about it. They don’t even talk about it that week, and after a while, it seems like a moot point. Namjoon finds a job soon after, anyway, and he focuses on that. He’d found a local magazine looking for writer to hire for their music section, so Namjoon applied and got an interview, and he was open with the editor about his current trouble with the company he was suing. Surprisingly, the lady was amazingly understanding, and hired Namjoon anyway, only advising that he write under an alias. Soon after that, the bank calls, telling Namjoon that someone had put a bid in on his house, and even though they offered a couple thousand below what he’d initially listed the house for, he takes the offer.

He and Yoongi settle into a sort-of routine; they’re like they’ve always been, plus sharing a bed, and of course, there’s the addition of the mandatory affection in front of their friends. They do a good job, if Hoseok’s teasing is anything to show, and even Taehyung brings them free shots they next time they go to Meg’s, congratulating them on their budding relationship and claiming he’d always thought they’d make a good couple. Yoongi flushes while Namjoon stutters, but they take their shots and kiss, not having the option not to, not when Taehyung is smiling at them like a kid whose parents just decided to get married.

Namjoon tries not to think about the way he feels, and tries to chalk it up to stress and anxiety, and frankly, hormones. Yoongi had been his best friend for over ten years, and there was no way Namjoon was suddenly falling for him. No way. It wasn’t logical, and Namjoon couldn’t make two and two add up (or in this case, one and one), so he keeps his mouth shut and suffers in silence. When Yoongi changes in front of him, he averts his eyes, because now, the familiar expanse of pale skin is enticing in a way it had never been before. When Yoongi rolls over in his sleep, pressing his face to Namjoon’s neck, Namjoon resists the urge to wrap his arms around the smaller man, because now that’s all he itches to do. When Yoongi kisses him in front of their friends, when he has to, Namjoon has to keep his thoughts elsewhere, because if he doesn’t, he’d be walking around with a tent in his jeans, and he doesn’t need Yoongi knowing the places his mind goes when he loses control over it.

Two weeks away from his court date, Namjoon slips.

He’s retrieving a beer from the fridge, taking a break from the article he’s writing, when Yoongi comes home from work.

“How were classes?” Namjoon asks, while Yoongi is shedding his coat and shoes.

“I hate midterms,” Yoongi responds. On that note, Namjoon retrieves a second beer, and hands it to the elder when he walks over.

Then Namjoon leans down, and kisses him.

“... oops,” Namjoon says, his voice coming out as a whisper, while his ears buzz. Yoongi is looking up at him, his mouth slack and his eyes wide. Namjoon knows he’s turning red, knows his flushing from his neck to his ears, but he can’t stop staring at Yoongi, can’t move his feet.

“That was…,” Yoongi begins, licking his lips and gesturing around, searching for a word.

“Accident. Sorry,” Namjoon stutters, turning away and tripping over his own feet to get back to the table. He sits down and pretends to focus on the album he’s had on repeat for the last five hours, while trying to type up a review. The album is garbage, in Namjoon’s opinion, but Yoongi… that bastard is art.

Yoongi clears his throat and sits his beer on the counter, then heads across the room to his closet. Then, right in front of a still embarrassed Namjoon, he strips down to his underwear, shrugging off his white button-up and kicking off his black slacks. He stands there a moment, nearly naked, as he looks around his closet, before he reaches in and pulls out a t-shirt and sweats. Namjoon’s mouth is dry, watching the way Yoongi’s body shifts, the dim light from the kitchen illuminating him in an ethereal way.

Then Yoongi walks over, picking up his beer, and tells Namjoon what he’s thinking for dinner like nothing had just happened. Meanwhile, Namjoon sits in his chair, his chest tight, feeling a little nauseous, trying to shove away thoughts of pressing Yoongi against the counter and kissing him again.

The day before the trial, not only does Namjoon slip, he faceplants in a pile of his own trash and flails around like a fish thrown onto dry sand.

He’d met with his lawyer that afternoon, and although the attorney was still full of confidence at Namjoon’s chances of winning, Namjoon himself was very, very nervous. He stops by the liquor store on his way back to Yoongi’s apartment, and starts drinking the second he walks in the door. Yoongi isn’t supposed to be home till late, something about a staff meeting, so Namjoon spends the next few hours drinking and pacing, the anxiety in his chest threatening to burst and coat Yoongi’s apartment in dread and Namjoon’s insides.

When Yoongi finally gets home, Namjoon is beyond drunk, close to tears, and slumped over on the couch, staring at the images flashing across the muted TV.

“Joonie?” Yoongi says softly, coming over to sit next to him. “Joonie, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, Yoongi, I’m fine,” Namjoon tries to say, though it comes out more like “noting-oong-eemfin”, so Yoongi moves closer and takes his hand. Yoongi sighs, getting ready to speak, but something inside of Namjoon snaps when Yoongi slides their fingers together, and he’s too tired, too drunk to fight his feelings.

Namjoon leans over, tangles his free hand in Yoongi’s hair, then crashes their mouths together. Alarms go off in the back of Namjoon’s mind, partly because he’s drunk and his tongue is in his best friend’s mouth, and partly because his tongue is in his best friend’s mouth and said friend is moaning and climbing into his lap. Yoongi’s ass is pressing against Namjoon’s thighs, his hands tangling in his hair, and Namjoon’s head is spinning. Namjoon clutches clumsily at Yoongi’s back, clawing at his shirt, but, finally, he finds hot skin beneath his fingers and Yoongi gasps into his mouth. He grips Yoongi’s slim hips and drags the elder’s ass over his hardening cock, hissing against Yoongi’s mouth.

Yoongi suddenly jerks away from him, cursing and breathing heavily.

“Namjoon, stop, fuck-” Yoongi stands, moving a few feet away, and suddenly the spinning in Namjoon’s head turns violent and he’s sobbing. Yoongi doesn’t speak, he only moves back to the couch and pulls Namjoon down to lay in his lap.

Namjoon doesn’t remember how long he cries, letting out all of his anxiety and frustration, while Yoongi smooths his hair from his damp face and lets him wipe his snot on his pants. Namjoon cries and cries, his heart feeling both empty and too full, feeling ashamed. He’s ashamed of letting his life fall apart, letting that asshole at the company take advantage of him. He’s ashamed of having to sell his house and car, and taking over Yoongi’s apartment, even though he knows his friend would give up everything for him. He’s ashamed of using Yoongi, of hiding the truth from his friends. He’s ashamed of falling in love with his best friend, taking advantage of his kindness. He’s ashamed for thinking he’s worthy of his friends’ love, if they’d only known what he’d done. Namjoon is ashamed of getting drunk and groping Yoongi, ashamed of the way, even now, while he’s crying and a broken-hearted mess, his cock is still throbbing, needing Yoongi. He’s ashamed that Yoongi is trying to comfort him, his words low and kind, while Namjoon is suffocating in self-loathing thoughts.

And he’s terrified. Namjoon is so damn terrified of going to court the following morning. He’s terrified that he’ll look dumb in his suit, terrified that he’ll stumble over his feet. He’s worried he’ll forget how to speak, forget the whole purpose of the lawsuit. Namjoon is terrified, beyond words, to see the man he once considered his confidant, his lover. There was no love there, he knows this now. Yoongi showed him what love was, even if Yoongi wasn’t aware, and Namjoon is terrified that he’s fucked up everything beyond repair. The idea of losing Yoongi makes him sob harder, his body wracked with painful tremors, and Yoongi wraps an arm around him and rocks.

Eventually, Yoongi is able to get Namjoon to bed, but when he’s settled under the blanket, feeling stuffy and numb, he turns away from Yoongi. Instead, he curls in on himself, his back to the elder. Yoongi doesn’t speak, and Namjoon pretends he doesn’t feel a hand between his shoulder blades, or Yoongi’s whispered ‘it’ll be okay, Joonie’.

~

Of course Namjoon pukes his pitiful life away the next morning, while Yoongi lays in bed and watches him through the bathroom doorway, sympathy evident on his soft features. Namjoon ignores him, and takes a shower, because he doesn’t deserve Yoongi’s kindness.

Yoongi leaves before Namjoon, the only words exchanged “good luck” and “call me when you get the chance”. Yoongi couldn’t take off work to be at the trial, not during midterms, and he had apologized on several occasions, but Namjoon didn’t think he could handle him being there anyway. So Namjoon gets dressed in an empty apartment and leaves, dialing his lawyer’s number to make sure he knows exactly where to go and what time to arrive.
It was almost as bad as Namjoon had imagined, but at least he hadn’t tripped on his way to the stand. Namjoon hadn’t expected the company’s CEO to be there, but he had, and he greeted Namjoon with genuine warmth, though he seemed pretty annoyed that Namjoon hadn’t kept the entire thing private. Namjoon tried to resist the urge, but once the court was called to session, he glanced around, and regretted it. The man he was suing was smiling, actually fucking smiling, smug and confident, and it made Namjoon angry, which he hadn’t been yet. So, when Namjoon was on the stand and the audio from his last encounter with the bastard echoed around the room, Namjoon took full pleasure in the way his face turned pale.

Now Namjoon sits outside the courtroom, buzzing, his phone in his hand as he debates on whether or not to call Yoongi during class. He’d won. For the most part. There was going to be another hearing, in a couple weeks, after an investigation into the photos he’d been blackmailed with, because Namjoon was definitely pressing charges, but as far as his songs… As soon as the CEO was called to the stand, he told the judge that he hadn’t received any songs from Namjoon, even though Namjoon had emails proving he’d sent them to his superior for forwarding. Following the proof, Namjoon’s handwritten lyrics, the songs on his confiscated hard drive, other coworkers stepping forward to give a good word in his name… the man who’d stolen everything from him caved and confessed to taking Namjoon’s music, nothing more than a spineless, greedy asshole.

Namjoon would get his settlement, all the money owed to him for the songs plus some. He was going to let the group keep the songs, and the company would release a statement giving proper credit to Namjoon. Namjoon had walked out of the courtroom on shaky legs, thanked his lawyer, and collapsed on the nearest bench.

He stops debating and decides, pressing Yoongi’s number and bringing the phone to his ear. Yoongi answers on the second ring, his voice hushed.

“I won,” Namjoon says, finally smiling, “I’m getting my songs back.”

“Thank fuck,” Yoongi sighs, his relief evident over the phone. “What about the photos?”

“There’s going to be an investigation,” Namjoon tells him, rubbing a hand over his face. Yoongi curses on the other line, not out of anger, and then tells Namjoon they have to celebrate.

“We’ll go out tonight, to Meg’s, just the two of us,” he says. “Be ready when I get home.”

Yoongi says goodbye and hangs up before Namjoon can say anything. Namjoon would much rather celebrate in ways that require staying home, void of clothes, but he promised himself he’d get ahold of his feelings, so. He leaves the courthouse, a hell of a lot happier, and heads back to Yoongi’s apartment to get some writing done, and maybe find a new apartment, before Yoongi gets home.

~

As it turns out, there’s no need for a second hearing; Namjoon is sitting at home with Yoongi, playing Monopoly and debating over which properties would actually be worth their prices if they were real, when his phone rings.

After the CEO got his hands on the man, apparently threatening him with slandering his name across the music field, he’d turned in all the photos, originals included, to the police. Namjoon was safe. Namjoon was free. He tells Yoongi, who smiles and hugs him, and Namjoon pretends his heart doesn’t stop beating at the feeling of Yoongi in his arms.

“This is great, Joon!” Yoongi says, bouncing back onto his side of the couch. “I’m so relieved, holy shit.”

“Me, too,” Namjoon says, a little breathlessly.

“Okay, so you owe me how much for this place?” Yoongi asks, squinting at the gameboard on the table in front of them.

“Um,” Namjoon says, “Two-fifty.”

Namjoon doesn’t want to drag out the inevitable. A couple weeks later, money is deposited into his account, a lot of money, and as he and Yoongi come back from a trip to the movies with Jimin, Hoseok, and Jin, Namjoon brings up the topic he’s been dreading since he won his case.

“So, um, we need to plan our breakup, I guess,” he says, sitting on the edge of the bed as Yoongi comes out of the bathroom. Yoongi pauses, his eyes darting up to meet Namjoon’s, and he licks his lips.

“Why?” he finally responds, moving to his closet to change clothes.

“Well,” Namjoon starts, looking away from the soft muscle on Yoongi’s back, “I can afford my own place, now. The trial is over, all that’s out of the way. We don’t have to lie to them, anymore.”

“It’s kind of sudden, don’t you think?” Yoongi asks, and Namjoon can’t quite place the strain in his friend’s voice, so he laughs out of nervousness.

“They won’t know that, though. We can just tell them we tried and it didn’t work. Everything will go back to normal, they won’t know anything happened.”

“Normal,” Yoongi snorted, pulling on a t-shirt. He slams the closet door, making Namjoon jump.

“Yeah, normal. Dude, why are you mad?” Namjoon asks, moving away from the bed as Yoongi jerks the blanket back.

“I’m not mad, Namjoon,” Yoongi snaps. Wow, irony.

“You’re giving me third degree burns here, Yoongi. What’s up?” Namjoon moves to his side of the bed, but Yoongi stops him with a glare.

“Sleep on the couch, tonight. I’m going to sleep,” the elder says, rolling over and pulling the chain on his bedside lamp. “Conversation over. You can find a new home tomorrow.”

Namjoon stands there, in the dark, stunned. What the hell did he do? Why the hell was Yoongi pissed? Even if he denied it, Namjoon knew angry Yoongi, had basically grown up with the angsty motherfucker. Still, Namjoon grabs his pillow, and decides to let it go. There was no getting Yoongi to talk when he didn’t want to, and Namjoon is tired.

If only he’d stayed awake a little longer, he’d have heard Yoongi’s soft sniffles.

 

Yoongi doesn’t come home the next night, or the night after that. He wouldn’t answer Namjoon’s calls, or his texts, and Namjoon finds himself getting worried, then scared, then flat out panicked. Namjoon is sitting at the bar at Meg’s, his untouched beer sitting in front of him (his hazy memory of crying on Yoongi’s lap deters him from actually drinking), when realization hits him, courtesy of Taehyung the musical-bartender.

“Where’s your boyfriend?” he asks, his tongue peeking out from his lips as he mixes a cocktail for the lady a couple stools down from Namjoon.

“What?” Namjoon asks, startled by the sudden question. “What boyfriend?”

“Yoongi? What do you mean ‘what boyfriend?”,” Taehyung laughs, moving away to give the lady her drink. He comes back, still speaking. “The pink-haired man who looks at you like you’re the most precious motherfucker to grace this Earth? Remember him? You suck face with him here every time you’re here.”

“Oh, sorry, I was- wait, what? How does he look at me?” Namjoon’s attention is fully on Taehyung now, who just gives Namjoon a confused look.

“How can you be dating the guy and not see how in love with you he is?” Taehyung asks, shaking his head. “You’re an idiot. How did you even get him? I’ve been flirting with him for years, but, nope, nothing…”

Namjoon stops listening, because, oh, shit... no. Suddenly, he remembers, remembers the night he got shit-faced and snot-faced, crying hysterically into Yoongi’s knee. Yoongi had kissed him back, for a moment, he had actually kissed him back. For no reason. He’d been hard too, Namjoon remembers, he fucking remembers. He remembers the way Yoongi stroked his hair and spoke to him:

“It’s okay, Joonie.”

“I’m here, baby.”

“We’ll get through this.”

No, no, no, no… Yoongi’s anger, his absence, it finally makes sense.

“I’m a fucking asshole,” Namjoon says, and, ignoring Taehyung’s hum of agreement, he jumps up and tosses too much money at the bartender, before he leaves the bar. He’s already calling Jimin as he steps out into the winter air.

“Namjoon, what the fuck did I tell you?” Jimin asks, instead of greeting Namjoon with ‘hello’. Namjoon gulps.

“It’s not what you think, I swear, I didn’t-”

“If you say you didn’t know, Namjoon, I’m going to run your ass over with my car.” Namjoon pauses, waiting for the light to change at the crosswalk. “Yoongi told me everything.”

“Is he with you?” Namjoon asks quietly. Jimin sighs, hard.

“No, I sent him home an hour ago. I need you to know, Joon, he was talking about letting you take the apartment until you found a place. Do you understand me?” Jimin curses, distant from the phone. “He was going to give up his home for you, Namjoon.”

“Jimin, I swear to you, I’m so sorry,” Namjoon says, all out jogging towards Yoongi’s, towards home.

“You need to apologize to him,” Jimin responds, his words harsh.

“I am, Jimin, I’m going to talk to him now.”

“Do you love him? Don’t go if you don’t love him, Namjoon. He’s loved you for twelve years, if you’re not going over there to confess… goddamnit, Namjoon. I’m so fucking pissed at you,” Jimin huffs, sounding close to tears.

“So am I, Jiminie. I do, though. I love him.”

“Then go tell him. I’m going to go dull one of Seokjin’s knives on a tree, just in case.”

“I’ll come willingly if he doesn’t forgive me,” Namjoon says, then he shoves his phone back into his pocket and runs, his feet crunching in the snow, back home.

~

The door is unlocked when Namjoon gets there, barrelling across the threshold, and he assumes at Jimin gave Yoongi a heads up. Yoongi doesn't even look up, he just continues rinsing dishes and setting them on the rack to dry. Namjoon, fucking useless as usual, hadn’t even cleaned up in the last few days, and he blurts out an apology before he even finishes kicking off his shoes.

“Sorry-”

“For what?” Yoongi asks, and his voice is too toneless, too distant. He turns to Namjoon, after switching off the water, and Namjoon’s heart jumps into his throat at the sight.

Yoongi is only wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, that’s too big for him, and briefs, and Namjoon’s body responds instantly. Yoongi’s face, though, is blank, cold, and it isn’t right.

“Everything,” Namjoon breathes. Yoongi just looks at him, and Namjoon catches a flicker of emotion behind the elder’s eyes, and he takes his chance. “I’m sorry, so sorry, Yoongi, for everything. For being that idiot who starts sleeping with someone at work, for letting my songs get stolen, for letting you give up everything and take me in.” Namjoon takes a breath, stepping closer to Yoongi, who hasn’t moved at all. “I’m so fucking sorry for letting you talk me into this fake dating thing, that I didn’t see how you felt. I’m sorry I’ve been the worst friend, the worst fake boyfriend. More than anything, Yoongi, I’m sorry, that I didn’t tell you the moment I realized I wanted to be more than your friend, and I’m sorry I hurt you.”

Yoongi blinks, as Namjoon cups his face with shaking hands, the glass around him shattering, but Namjoon keeps speaking, his tongue heavy with unspoken words.

“I’m so sorry, Yoongi, that I couldn’t tell you I loved you when I realized it. That I was too fucking stupid to see that you loved me.” Namjoon presses his forehead to Yoongi’s, the elder’s face blurry through the moisture in his eyes. Yoongi brings his hands up to cover Namjoon’s hands.

“It’s okay, Joonie-”

“No,” Namjoon chokes, “it’s not okay. Baby, it’s so far from okay, but I swear to you, if you forgive me, I swear I’ll make it okay.”

“You idiot,” Yoongi laughs, breathlessly, then he kisses Namjoon. It’s wet, full of tears, but it’s so fucking perfect, Namjoon doesn’t care. He kisses Yoongi like he’s wanted to for months, wrapping his arms around Yoongi and pulling him flush against himself. They kiss and kiss some more, then they curse and laugh, then kiss again They both cry, and kiss, rinse and repeat, until they’re breathless and their mouths are numb.

“Yoongi,” Namjoon murmurs into the elder’s hair. He has Yoongi pressed against the counter, Yoongi’s smaller body nestled in his arms, and his heart feels so full but so light. Yoongi is still sniffling, but he’s giggling, too, and Namjoon thinks everything will be okay.

“I guess I should let Jimin know that skinning you alive isn’t necessary,” Yoongi laughs, pulling away to smile up at Namjoon. Namjoon shrugs.

“I dunno, I still kind of feel like I deserve it.”

“Don’t say that, Joonie. It’s not all your fault. I should have told you, a long time ago, how I felt. But i didn’t want…” Yoongi says, trailing off and shaking his head.

“To ruin our friendship?” Namjoon offers, and Yoongi nods.

“I guess we’re both kind of… dumb.”

“Yeah, but I hear kissing makes you smarter,” Namjoon smiles and dips back down to taste Yoongi’s lips again. This time, though, the kiss deepens, and Yoongi reaches up to tug at Namjoon’s hair.

“Joonie, I need you to do more than kiss me now,” Yoongi says against his mouth, and Namjoon pulls away for a moment, because he can’t think straight when Yoongi kisses him like that.

“Yoongi, I didn’t come here for… that. Are you sure?” Namjoon asks, brushing Yoongi’s hair from his forehead, then pressing a kiss there.

“The first time I fantasized about you fucking me, Namjoon, I was seventeen. Please, I will beg you, do not make me wait another day.” Yoongi is breathing hard, his eyes dark as a blush curls under his skin at his own words. Words that have Namjoon’s stomach swooping and his jeans feeling too tight.

“Okay,” Namjoon mutters, lips already back on Yoongi’s. “Okay. C’mere, baby.”

Namjoon thinks he’s never experienced anything so life-altering as the way Yoongi completely opens up and takes him in. The way Yoongi softens, becomes pliant and breathy under Namjoon’s touch. Namjoon lifts him up to sit on the counter, and Yoongi opens his legs, dragging Namjoon between them. With each kiss, Namjoon’s blood burns hotter, Yoongi’s sounds become more desperate, and before long, Namjoon snaps. He slides his hands under Yoongi’s ass and lifts him, Yoongi’s legs coming around his hips, and carries him across the room to the bed.

They fall to the bed, gently, and Yoongi, on his back, instantly reaches for Namjoon’s belt. Namjoon hisses when Yoongi’s fingers brush over his straining erection, and Yoongi just smirks, biting his lip. Namjoon focuses on pulling off his hoodie and t-shirt in one go, which ends with him momentarily getting lost in the fabric, but he eventually succeeds, and throws the clothing to the floor behind him. Yoongi already has Namjoon’s aching cock in his hands, and he’s looking at it like it’s something extraordinary. Yoongi’s fingers feel incredible, though, so Namjoon doesn't have the will to laugh.

“Yoongi, shit,” Namjoon gasps, thrusting into Yoongi’s hands. “I’ve barely touched myself since I moved in and you’re killing me, baby.”

“Really?” Yoongi asks, his smirk back, “I did. Every morning in the shower.” Namjoon groans, because he didn’t need that visual, not with Yoongi fisting him slowly.

Namjoon finds the strength to pull away and stand, though, and quickly sheds the rest of his clothing, till he’s standing bare in front of Yoongi. Yoongi doesn’t move, except to squeeze his own hard length through his boxers. Namjoon pauses instead of moving back to the bed, because Yoongi looks so beautiful, with his pink hair fanned around his head, his lips swollen and slick… the emotion in his eyes is what pushes Namjoon over the edge, though.

“You’re beautiful, baby,” Namjoon says, swallowing hard, his voice thick. Yoongi smiles, gummy and bright, before he sits up. He slides off the bed, to his knees, his hot breath ghosting over Namjoon’s cock. Namjoon tries to stop him, but Yoongi swats his hands away.

“Shh. I just wanna taste,” Yoongi says softly, then he’s grasping Namjoon’s cock and tonguing at the slit. Namjoon’s legs buckle and he sobs, throbbing and leaking precum against Yoongi’s lips. Yoongi sinks his mouth down and groans around him, and Namjoon almost loses it.

“Up, fuck- Yoongi.” Namjoon pulls Yoongi to his feet, impatience and need beating like blood in his veins, and he makes quick work of the elder’s clothing. He turns Yoongi till he’s facing away from him, and lets his hands roam over Yoongi’s flushed skin. Namjoon kisses from one shoulder to the other, murmuring soft words into Yoongi’s skin, till the latter is quivering and whimpering.

“Joonie,” Yoongi warns, his voice hoarse and full of want. Namjoon nudges him to the bed, settling the elder on his belly with a pillow under his hips.

“Lube? Condom?” Namjoon asks, glancing around the apartment. Yoongi laughs, and points towards the closet.

“Converse box, bottom shelf,” Yoongi says. Namjoon hurries over and finds the box easily, then turns back to the bed. Yoongi is watching Namjoon, a small smile on his lips, his head pillowed on his arms. Namjoon stops and gives him a quick kiss, then he moves to settle behind him.

“Relax, baby,” Namjoon says, letting one hand roam over the small but pleasingly round curve of Yoongi’s ass, while he warms up the lube on his other hand.

“I wanna watch you,” Yoongi says, and Namjoon doesn’t miss the bashful tone dripping from the elder’s voice. Namjoon smiles and pats his ass, so Yoongi rolls, repositioning himself on his back, settling his calves on Namjoon’s thighs.

Namjoon doesn’t waste any more time, with his own cock threatening to burst. He rubs two slick fingers over Yoongi’s entrance, coating the area, and he takes full enjoyment out of the way the hole flutters and Yoongi flushes. Namjoon eases a finger in, then, cooing at Yoongi and massaging the elder’s thigh. Yoongi tenses for a moment, and Namjoon pauses, but he relaxes soon after, breathing deep and even, so Namjoon continues. He takes his time, stretching and curling his finger inside of Yoongi’s warmth, till Yoongi shifts his hips, silently asking for more. Namjoon gives in readily, adding more lube, then adds another finger.

The second finger is more difficult, and Yoongi hisses, tightening around Namjoon. Namjoon hushes him, leaning up to kiss him. Namjoon kisses him, chasing Yoongi’s tongue with his own, until he can slide his fingers in easily. He curls and drags them, seeking, and Yoongi gasps when Namjoon finds his prostate. Namjoon inhales Yoongi’s moans, high on the taste and sound of them, but when Yoongi starts pumping his flagging cock, Namjoon has to pull away, because he can’t miss that. Yoongi nods and Namjoon pulls his fingers free. He adds even more lube, this time squeezing the bottle directly over Yoongi’s pink hole, effectively ruining the pillow beneath Yoongi’s hips.

“Do you like it wet, baby?” Namjoon asks, looking up through his lashes to smile at Yoongi. Yoongi just nods, his lips parted and eyes so blown they’re depthless. Namjoon chuckles, his own cock throbbing at the sight, and starts fucking Yoongi open with three of his long, slender fingers. He curls his his fingers on every slide out, and Yoongi keens each time, a beautiful, cracked sound that send shivers down Namjoon’s spine.

“Joonie,” Yoongi breathes, his chest heaving, “I really appreciate you being so thorough, but I’d really, really like your cock inside of me now.” Namjoon nods, breathless himself, and cleans his hand on the already-ruined pillow. He’s already sweating, the room too hot with Yoongi laying sprawled across the bed, looking like a fucked-out angel.

“How do you want it?” Namjoon’s voice cracks, but Yoongi doesn’t seem to mind. He sits up, reaching to Namjoon.

“Can I ride you?” Namjoon closes his eyes, suppressing a shudder.

“Yeah, baby, you can ride me,” he says.

Namjoon grabs the condom and moves to lay back against the pillow propped on the headboard. Yoongi doesn’t even hesitate before he’s straddling Namjoon’s hips, his cock bouncing and bumping against Namjoon’s. Yoongi sinks two hands into Namjoon’s hair and kisses him, deep and messy, moaning against Namjoon’s mouth in such an obscene manner that Namjoon is surprised to hear the sounds that come out of his own mouth. The elder is grinding against him, lube and precum smearing everywhere, then he grabs the condom from Namjoon and rips open the packet. With two hands, Yoongi rolls the condom onto Namjoon’s weeping cock, and white bursts behind Namjoon’s closed eyes.

Then Yoongi is sitting up on his knees and arching his back, staring down at Namjoon with deep eyes and a warm smile. He nods, so Namjoon guides his cock to Yoongi’s entrance, till it catches on the rim, then he braces himself, his hands gripping Yoongi’s ass. The elder closes his eyes and sinks down, painfully slow, biting his lips and whining in a broken, pitched voice that bounces off the tall ceiling. Namjoon bites back his own moans, unable to let his sounds taint those that Yoongi is releasing, but once Yoongi’s ass is pressed against his thighs, he can’t hold them in anymore. He groans, low and deep in his throat, his cock throbbing, twitching, enveloped in Yoongi’s tight heat.

“Fuck, Joonie, you feel-” Yoongi gasps, rolling his hips, his cock slapping against his stomach.

“So incredible, Yoongi,” Namjoon finishes, moving his hands to Yoongi’s face so he can pull him into a kiss.

Namjoon doesn’t have words for the way Yoongi rides his cock, rolling his hips in a way that has Namjoon straining and breathless, or bouncing in a way that has Namjoon’s head spinning as he thrusts up to meet Yoongi. Nothing can describe the way Yoongi wraps his arms around Namjoon’s neck, his breath hot and voice sinful against Namjoon’s neck. Namjoon can’t find the words for the way Yoongi kisses him, the elder’s tongue sweet and heavy with words he’d been biting back for half of his life, and Namjoon tastes every unspoken word. Namjoon feels the weight of Yoongi’s love, feels it in the every touch, every roll of his hips, every gasp of his name that rolls off the elder’s lips.

Namjoon wonders briefly how many times his mother must have dropped him on his head as a child, for him to be so blind to the way Yoongi felt all these years, because now Namjoon is overwhelmed with Yoongi’s love. He’s filled up and floating on the feeling, every touch electric and warm.

Yoongi lets out a keening moan, his hips stuttering as he clamps down around Namjoon’s cock.

“Joonie, Joonie, I need-” Yoongi gasps, his forehead pressed against Namjoon’s.

“I’ve got you, baby,” Namjoon responds, his own voice just as gone, as he slides down the bed, just a bit. He spreads his own legs, bracing his feet on the mattress, then he grips Yoongi’s hips and thrusts, hard. Yoongi curses, high and needy, as he collapses to let Namjoon bear his weight. Namjoon does, more than happily, and moves his arms to cradle Yoongi to his chest, slick skin sliding over slick skin. Yoongi’s cock is trapped between their bodies, and Yoongi jerks every time Namjoon’s hips send him, and his cock, sliding up Namjoon’s body. Namjoon keeps thrusting, as evenly as he can, biting his lips, trying to stave off his own orgasm. It’s difficult, with Yoongi laying against him, his hands tugging at Namjoon’s hair, his broken cries in Namjoon’s ear, but he manages. His arms are wrapped completely around Yoongi’s smaller frame, keeping him securely against him, and Namjoon drills his cock into him for all he’s worth. He groans out encouragements, begging Yoongi to cum, to cum for him, to show him how loud he can scream.

Yoongi does scream, when he cums; he screams Namjoon’s name, in a low voice, convulsing and shaking against Namjoon’s chest, his cock pumping out hot stickiness between them. It’s gross, and it’s perfect, and Namjoon is so fucking close.

Yoongi pulls away, sitting up, gasping for air. Then he he does something incredible, leaving Namjoon speechless. Yoongi sits back, filling himself up with Namjoon’s cock, even while his body quivers and his own cock softens. Yoongi sits back and braces his hands on Namjoon’s chest; then he rolls his hips, harshly, dragging Namjoon’s cock against his still-fluttering walls. Namjoon curses, his hands flying up to grip Yoongi’s twitching thighs, his body exploding in hungry, raging flames.

Yoongi keeps rolling his hips, even while he whines and chokes in oversensitivity, sweat rolling down his face and chest, his expression one of pained-pleasure. Just when Namjoon thinks he’s going to cum, thinks he can’t take anymore, Yoongi cries out again, tightening even further on Namjoon’s cock; and he’s cumming again, from Namjoon’s cock alone, just a few beads of clearish cum rolling from his own soft length, but it’s enough to have Namjoon cursing, growling, tears gathering in the corners of his eyes as his own orgasm hits, sweeping through his body like a flaming monsoon.

Yoongi rides him through it, gasping and jerking, until Namjoon tugs him down into a kiss. Namjoon kisses him, gently, sweet and breathlessly, until Yoongi is chuckling and shaking with the force of trying to hold himself up.

“God… that was…” Yoongi says, collapsing on the mattress next to Namjoon.

“Don’t even get me started on what that was,” Namjoon croaks, his voice completely wrecked. Yoongi giggles, actually fucking giggles, and despite the cum and sweat covering both of them, he rolls over, nuzzling against Namjoon’s chest. Namjoon lets him and runs a hand through Yoongi’s damp hair, praising the elder with his broken voice, until Yoongi is blushing and pulling away, shy and stuttering. Namjoon just smiles, as Yoongi limps into the bathroom, because he’s finally beginning to see in Yoongi what Yoongi had seen in him for most of their lives together, and Namjoon can’t deny, it’s pretty fucking awesome.

~

Namjoon, with Yoongi’s unwavering support, decides to tell their friends the truth, the whole truth (and nothing but the truth, Yoongi jokes. Namjoon pinches him). They tell them one night, at Meg’s, though they decide to keep Jungkook the server and Taehyung the bartender out of it, even though the five of them find themselves joined by the younger two quite often.

Jimin already knew, of course, which Jin is a little pissed about. He’s mostly pissed at Namjoon, though, for not sharing his troubles in the first place, and for a moment, Namjoon is genuinely worried that the even-tempered elder is going to hit him. Jin doesn’t, though even Yoongi can tell he wants to. Hoseok, on the other hand, brushes it off like it’s nothing, and pulls Jimin out onto the dance floor. Jin follows a little later, unable to stand the sight of his boyfriends grinding on each other without being able to encourage them and cop a feel.

“So,” Yoongi says, his chin resting on Namjoon’s shoulder, “have you noticed that Jungkook is totally in love with Taehyung?” Namjoon looks over, following Yoongi’s line of sight. Sure enough, Jungkook is smiling down at Taehyung, who looks like he’s telling an elaborate bank-heist story, waving his arms and making faces. Jungkook doubles-over laughing, clutching at the bartender’s arms, while Taehyung does his best to hold the muscular youth up.

“Yep,” Namjoon nods. He’d noticed it before, ironically, despite how blind he’d been to his own boyfriend’s (for real this time) feelings. Jungkook was always gazing after the dark-haired guitar player, bringing him snacks, sitting at the bar with him. Taehyung, though, even while flirting endlessly with customers, seemed completely oblivious to the smitten kid.

“Should I go tell him, or do you wanna?” Yoongi asks, pressing a chaste kiss to Namjoon’s cheek.

“I think you better go tell him,” Namjoon laughs, “I’m kind of useless at this shit.” Yoongi laughs too, coming around the table to kiss Namjoon right, then he walks off, his hands shoved in the pockets of the hoodie Namjoon had loaned him. Namjoon watches his boyfriend lean over the bar to talk to Taehyung, watches the way the bartender’s eyes widen and his head jerk across the floor, where Jungkook is taking a table’s order. He watches Yoongi pat Taehyung’s shoulder in sympathy.

“He had no fucking clue,” Yoongi says, sliding into Namjoon’s embrace.

“I didn’t think so,” Namjoon responds, cuddling the elder.

“People sure can be dumb, sometimes,” Yoongi notes casually, but Namjoon catches the sarcasm.

“I love you,” Namjoon pouts, nuzzling into Yoongi’s neck.

“I love you, too, you moron.”