Actions

Work Header

soundtracks

Work Text:

 

♣️ 

It has become a pattern of late. 

Jimin paces across the kitchen as the seconds tick by, the sound of the clock on the mantelpiece taunting him mercilessly. He rakes a hand through his hair, jolting at every sound -- from the screech of the wind slamming against the apartment walls, to the patter of his own footsteps. 

It's like this every night. Jimin will stay up late waiting for Yoongi to come home and grace him with his presence, to say something that isn't just a simple good night before he trudges off to bed without him.

They'd been dating for almost three years now, but things had been strained between them for a long time. 

He knows why Yoongi is always so busy. Yoongi had warned him when they had first gotten together that dating someone like him wasn't going to be easy. Back then, his popularity was only beginning to climb. Now, things are different. Everyone knows his name. They know Min Suga as a great and talented rapper; they want to know his life inside out. Jimin couldn’t easily call Yoongi his own. To the media, he is nothing but someone Yoongi cohabited with; a dirty little secret that needs to be concealed. 

It's funny to think that when Jimin had first met Yoongi, he had formed a judgment of him on the spot. He hated everything he stood for, hated the music he loved and performed. Even now, after three whole years, he didn’t truly get it. Although, that aspect of their relationship hasn't changed, the Jimin of the past would never have expected to be so far gone for the man who had claimed he would ‘make him love hip-hop.’ He remembers how adamant he had been. 

Jimin clenches his hand around his phone, wrapping tightly around the device. He shifts towards the door again, but when no one pushes it forward and steps through, he gives up, slumping into their couch. He heaves out a deep sigh, clicking on the video for what feels like the thousandth time. 

“It's just a stupid music video, Jimin,” Jimin tries to convince himself, although such an attempt isn't working like he hopes it would. 

Instead, he watches the video once again. 

He knows that it’s only going to make him more upset. There’s no point in being angry when Yoongi isn’t around to receive the brunt of it. But he turns it on anyways, watching Yoongi rap about something he doesn't understand. After all, that's not what catches his attention. It's not what makes his blood boil. It's the girls -- several girls, actually -- who are all over his so-called boyfriend. 

During the hook of the song, the main girl decides to drape herself all over Yoongi, sliding onto his lap. The camera angle changes, the beat slowing down, vibrating in Jimin's ears. The girl is close to gyrating on Yoongi’s lap and when she kisses him, Jimin considers smashing his phone entirely. He almost clicks off the video, planning to leave Yoongi another angry voicemail before he catches onto the lyrics. 

Those privileged high-hats?” Jimin spits out. “Do you want me to break up with you, Yoongi? Is that it?” 

All that greets him in return, however, is silence. 

He doesn't understand how the two of them had ever gotten along in the first place, considering Yoongi’s opinions on the type of person he is. 

In the past, he had always managed to get what he wanted, all the designer brands and clothing. He had been admitted into one of South Korea’s top-ranking universities through links that his parents’ had strategically made since he could first walk. Everything was given to him on a silver platter; he hadn’t had to work for anything in his life. He had been stuck up, snobbish around others who didn’t have the same things he did. 

But a lot had occurred since then and he had changed, opening up to the fact that not everyone was as lucky as him. He had learned that material things could be stripped away from you in the blink of an eye. 

And yet, here Yoongi is, reminding him of how their worlds were never destined to collide in the first place. 

It might not have been a dig at him, might not have been anything at all. They’re just lyrics, Jimin knows this, but they are enough to cut into him, to stab at the remaining hope he has in regards to their relationship. He wants to throw something, find Yoongi wherever the hell he is and ask him why. He doesn’t need to speak about any of this; he shouldn’t need to have that girl over him in his music video. It isn’t fair, none of it is, especially when Jimin can’t remember the last time he had been intimate with Yoongi. He has almost forgotten what it feels like, what Yoongi’s hands on his hot skin feels like, his tongue tracing patterns down his chest. 

They’re all memories now. They’re beginning to fade, bit by bit. 

Jimin knows he’s jealous, but he shouldn’t be. Yoongi is his boyfriend for christ-sake. 

But, in all honesty, it really didn’t feel like he was Yoongi’s anything. 

If he was being truly honest with himself though, he would acknowledge that their relationship had been doomed from the first moment Yoongi agreed to lie about what they had between them. In reality, Jimin doesn’t care so much about the girls and the nasty words aimed at him through this new song, although it does add salt to the wound. It is the final straw more than anything else, a final break after years of Jimin being treated as something dirty and wrong, something that needs to be kept hidden. Jimin couldn’t help but wonder, time and time again, whether Yoongi really cared for him. Because if he did, he wouldn’t have ever treated him this way. 

These are the thoughts that keep him up at night, they are the thoughts that have him inhaling sharply, a lump forming in his throat, threatening to rise up and consume him. 

He stabs Yoongi’s number into his phone and dials it. 

He shouldn’t be surprised when it goes straight to voice-mail. 

“You’re late, again,” Jimin sniffs, rubbing at his tired eyes. “And how come I have to hear about your new music video through social media rather than through you? If you don’t come back tonight, if you leave me alone again, I’ll…” 

He doesn’t want to say it out loud. 

“Then I’ll leave you.” 

 

⚜ 

A flyer is thrust unceremoniously into his open arms. Jimin stares down at it, raising an eyebrow at the name etched in large italics across the page. 

“Suga? What kind of idiot calls themselves Suga?” 

Taehyung whines at him from across the table. He leans forward, snatching the flyer, as he stabs his finger on the paper. “This guy is a legend. He’s so fucking sick, Jiminnie. He’s like god incarnate.” 

Jimin scoffs. “He’s just a rapper, Tae. Not a God.” 

They’re sitting in their university’s cafeteria, Jimin wearing the latest clothing he'd acquired from one of the highest and most popular fashion outlets in Seoul. He stares down at Taehyung, sunglasses propped on the bridge of his nose. Taehyung’s hair is sticking out a little and Jimin fights the uncontrollable urge to pat it down, considering the sight is beginning to make his skin crawl. However, he’s too distracted by how his best friend is now pouting at him, sticking his bottom lip out and whimpering dramatically as he attempts to coax him into going to the hip-hop gig. 

“You don’t know what he’s like, you haven’t seen him,” Taehyung begins, his voice taking on a pleading tone. “He might just be an underground rapper now but I swear in a year he’s gonna be so big. We’re gonna be seeing his name plastered all over buses and shit. Shouldn’t we go see him now when he’s still low-key?” Taehyung cocks his head to the side and gives his best attempt at puppy dog eyes. 

Jimin leans forward, humming thoughtfully. However, his answer hasn’t changed in the slightest. “No,” he replies, short and bitterly sweet. 

“Jimin!” Taehyung moans. “Why are you like this? You’re supposed to be my best friend! Best friends support each other.” 

Before Jimin can give him a snide reply, someone pats him on the back, sliding into the seat next to him. He gives Jungkook a small smile, which Jungkook returns in favour. When Jungkook catches sight of the flyer, Jimin wishes he had gone straight home that day. 

“Are you guys going to go see Suga?” Jungkook asks, attempting to contain his excitement, as he struggles to bite back a massive grin. 

“Yes!” Taehyung shouts at the same time that Jimin snorts, shaking his head. “Jungkookie, try and convince this shithead that Suga is one hundred percent worth seeing!” 

Jungkook is clearly puzzled by this response, but his eyes are glued to the way Taehyung swerves forward, grasping hold of his hands in a tight grip. 

Jungkook opens his mouth, before promptly closing it. A light pink blush erupts across his cheeks. 

Jimin groans irritably, nudging Jungkook with his elbow. “Why don’t you guys just go by yourselves? Go and mingle with this Suga person and his like. Just don’t expect me to like you both tomorrow when you wake up with tattoos.” 

It’s been like this for a while now, Jungkook and Taehyung skirting around each other, neither of them taking that one step forward. It’s clear that they are both enamoured with each other, but despite the fact that they are both top of their classes in their respective subjects, they can be damn stupid when it comes to their feelings. It leaves Jimin wanting to lock his friends in a room so they can sort things out, but such attempts have failed countless of times in the past. Frankly, he’s tired of playing matchmaker. 

When Jimin glances up at Taehyung from across the table, he almost bursts out a guffaw at the sight of Taehyung’s face -- the way his mouth has dropped open, a look of utter betrayal crossing his brow. Jimin smirks at him, and Taehyung flushes all the more. 

“I’m not...we’re not gonna,” Jungkook stutters, turning in his seat to face Jimin. “If we go, you -- you have to come with us.” 

Jimin groans, tossing his head. “And why’s that?” 

Jungkook bites down on his lip. “No reason,” he stammers. 

Liar, it’s because you don’t wanna be alone with Taehyung, isn’t it? His friends really need to grow a pair and go for it. Although Jimin would love to give his two cents on the matter, he’s not sure such advice would be well received on this occasion. However, an idea appears at the forefront of his mind that he can’t quite ignore. He wants to help his friends cross that final hurdle, he wants them to finally admit their feelings for each other, even if that meant Jimin had to secretly plot ways for this to come to fruition.   

“If I go,” he starts, as both of his friends’ faces light up at such words. “Both of you are going to have to do something for me.”   

“What do you mean?” Jungkook checks. 

Jimin coos at him, ruffling the younger boy's hair. “Well, Jungkookie. That’s for me to know, and you two to find out later.” 

Jungkook pulls a face, sharing a glance with Taehyung. The two of them seem to come to an unanimous decision, as they both reach their hands out, patting Jimin’s shoulder. 

“Deal,” they say in unison. 

It’s just a gig. Jimin knows that, and he knows that it will only last a couple of hours, and then he can go home, shower and forget about the night entirely. He might spend most of his time by the bar, rather than at the front of the crowd with Taehyung and Jungkook. It will be nothing but some stupid hip-hop show and it will end soon enough. 

Or so he thinks. 

 

⚜ 

It’s safe to say he hates crowds. 

In situations like this, people aren’t afraid to get all up in everyone’s personal space. As they make their way through the crowd, strangers' hands press down on Jimin's waist and shoulders, causing him to flinch every time someone bumps into him or comes close to him. The venue is insanely packed, the hot lights shining down from the stage searing into his skin. 

The mixture of smells -- of sweat and booze -- makes him recoil each time he breathes in; it has him wanting to rush right out of the venue and into the fresh air. Of course, there is no other logical route out of the crowd apart from the way they came, and to do that would mean to squeeze through all of the bodies until he stumbles across an exit. Jimin doesn’t want that -- he’d rather be wedged between Taehyung and Jungkook, their bodies stuck to his sides like glue, rather than have to mix with these strangers. Now might be a good time for him to commence his plan, for him to make his first demand of the night. Yet for the moment, Jimin chooses to ignore such thoughts. They can surely wait a little longer. 

The acts so far have all been lacklustre. His ears are ringing from the thrum of the bass, and frankly it's giving him a headache. When he looks over at Taehyung and Jungkook, who are both jumping up and down like excited puppies, he wonders exactly what they see. Maybe it’s the alcohol running through their veins that’s making everything seem ten times better to them than it actually is, but Jimin isn’t fooled. 

Jimin apparently isn’t able to mask his emotions well, as Taehyung shoots him a look. “You look like you’re having fun,” he comments sarcastically. 

“I don’t get why you both like this,” Jimin quips. “Their rapping is giving me a migraine.” 

“It’s meaningful. If you were listening to the lyrics, you’d know that," Jungkook rebukes. 

Jimin slaps him on the shoulder. “See, it’s turning your minds into mush already. And anyway, to me, it’s just noise.” 

Taehyung shimmies towards Jimin, nearly elbowing the person next to him in the face in the process. “You’ll regret those words when Suga comes on. Then you’ll understand.” 

Jimin doesn’t respond to this; he knows there is no point in arguing with them any further. He stretches his arms out, chest pressed against the barrier. As the lights dim and the person on stage leaves, a slow chant channels its way around the crowd, growing louder as more and more people join in. Jimin glances around him; he watches the teenagers stamp their feet in anticipation, some pushing and shoving to get closer. There’s a word on all of their lips that he recognises. 

“Shit, oh my god, holy shit,” Jungkook curses. “I think I see him!” He points to the side of the stage, and all heads around them seem to snap in that direction, hoping to catch a glimpse of the next act. 

Jimin doesn’t need to ask Jungkook who it is. The crowd surges forward violently, their screams heightening. He knows that it’s Suga before the man himself appears in the centre of the stage. 

(The first thought Jimin has of Suga -- of Yoongi -- isn’t anything about how hot the man is, or anything like that. Yoongi likes to kid himself that Jimin had been head over heels from the first moment he laid eyes on him. But that’s not quite how things had occurred. In fact, Jimin’s first impression of Suga is fixed on his height more than anything else). 

“I didn’t expect him to be that short,” he contemplates, receiving a harsh elbow to his waist in response. 

It’s not like he can talk, really. Jimin isn’t the tallest person either. But the image of ‘Suga’ he had constructed in his head is not like this. The person in front of him may be small, and kind of cute looking, but there is something about him that proves that this judgement is sorely mistaken. The man’s hair is dyed a stark white, several piercings across his ears, tattoos littering his exposed skin. When he begins the song, his voice takes Jimin by surprise. He hadn’t expected to hear such a raw voice from this person. It cuts into him, numbing everything else. 

He can tell that both Taehyung and Jungkook are looking at him expectantly, waiting for a confession of Suga’s apparent brilliance. But his view hasn’t changed. He pulls a face instead, tying his jumper around his neck as he folds his arms across his chest. He probably looks out of place amongst the sea of hair-dyed, tattooed and pierced people, but he doesn’t care. 

As Suga’s words become harsher and angrier and much more heated, Jimin remains standing as he is, while everyone else around him jumps up and down. His friends are screaming along with the crowd, Jungkook yelling Suga’s name at the top of his lungs. 

In all honesty, he doesn’t see the appeal. 

“Isn’t he amazing?!” Taehyung bellows into his ear. 

“He’s alright,” Jimin responds snarkily, but lucky for him, Taehyung doesn’t quite catch it. 

Jimin glances down at the Marc Jacobs watch on his wrist, wondering how long this thing has left to go, so that his suffering can finally end. When he glances up again, he startles at how close the rapper is, how he’s suddenly very much standing in front of him, veering forward. 

Jimin can’t help but imagine the rapper leaping into the crowd and onto him without his consent. He doesn’t like the idea of participating in carrying some sweaty man back to the stage, no matter how much his friends would probably love it. He grimaces at the idea, and when someone calls out to him, he assumes that it is his friends, trying to garner a positive response from him again. 

It turns out that it is neither Taehyung or Jungkook. 

Jimin hasn’t been listening properly to Suga’s lyrics, but now the man is looking him straight in the eye, wry smile plastered across his lips like he knows that Jimin doesn’t usually frequent such places as this. Jimin’s mouth goes dry, but he manages to send him a glare, resulting in a low, rumbling laugh from the rapper. Somehow, Suga keeps his eyes glued to Jimin’s own, the next words dripping out slowly, almost as if he is whispering them into Jimin’s ear, rather than during a concert amongst the other screaming people around him. 

"As you know, my voice will turn you on. Whether it’s a guy or girl, my tongue will make you come,” Suga says, and Jimin hates the fact that such words bring a shiver to race down his spine. He refuses to let it get to him, and instead rolls his eyes, deciding to fiddle with his phone instead. 

When he looks up again, Suga is on the other side of the stage, having forgotten him entirely. 

“I can’t believe that just happened,” Taehyung blurts out, eyes wide with disbelief. He snaps out of it soon enough, prodding Jimin viciously. “And why you? You’re so undeserving!” 

Jimin doesn’t reply, but shakes his head instead. He’s sure that none of this matters to a person like Suga. As the man becomes more and more popular, there will be more people for him to rap a certain line to. Jimin is only a face in a crowd, nothing more than a memory, and in truth, he doesn’t mind that in the slightest. 

“Remind me never to come to these things with you again,” Jimin stresses. “I think I’ve already been scarred enough in one night to last a lifetime.” 

 

⚜ 

Taehyung and Jungkook are taking too long in the toilet, and half of Jimin is intrigued as to why this is. (It is possible that the two of them have beaten him to the punch in terms of his plans to get them together). But the other half of him (the tired side) is telling him to quench any curiosity immediately. He hammers on the door with his fist, grumbling under his breath as Taehyung whines at him to be patient for a second. 

Jimin’s patience is running thin --  it’s almost two in the morning and Jimin is beginning to feel like he might face-plant onto the floor if they don’t leave soon. He hasn’t had much to drink, most of what he had drank has worn off too quickly to take any effect. His eyes are heavy, his body aching in too many places. It’ll probably worsen when he wakes up the next morning. 

This is all Taehyung and Jungkook’s fault. 

After Suga had finished his set, Taehyung and Jungkook had demanded that they stay until the night had completely finished, whereas Jimin had been ready to turn around and navigate his way out. Both boys had looped their arms around his own, stopping such a plan from happening. Jimin had grumbled irritably for the remainder of the event, and had almost fallen asleep standing up from the fatigue. He’s probably pulled a muscle from being on his feet for so long (and all for a hip-hop gig that he has absolutely zero interest in). He’s way too kind to his friends. 

Jimin presses himself against the wall, running a hand through his hair. He watches the people milling about in front of him, some stumbling for the exit, while others press their partners against walls, doing things that Jimin wishes he wasn’t there to witness. He averts his eyes to the floor, spotting a pair of black boots headed in his direction. Before he can look up and see who it is, an arm is pressed above his head, keeping him encased between the body in front of him and the wall behind him. 

“Why do I have the feeling that you’d rather be anywhere but here, hmm? I’ve never seen someone look so bored at a gig before.” 

Jimin raises his head, almost laughing out loud at the fact that it is Suga who is propositioning him at this moment in time. If Jungkook and Taehyung could see this, they’d be freaking out for sure. 

“Don’t you have someone else to bother? I’m sure you have a slew of fans who are willing to entertain you,” Jimin butts back. 

Suga raises an eyebrow at that. “You really don’t like me, do you? Kind of odd, y'know, cause I’ve never met anybody who doesn’t like my music.” He looks Jimin up and down, from his neatly styled black hair to the perfectly tailored shoes on his feet. “Although, you don’t look like someone who’d be into hip-hop.” 

“You’re right, I hate it,” Jimin gibes. “I don’t get it, any of it. It’s just noise. I’m surprised my friends even like it, considering they are educated people.” 

Suga takes a step backward, playful expression slipping straight off of his face, replaced with a glare. Jimin is thankful for the space. The rapper clicks his tongue. “You’re cute, despite being a stuck-up prick.” 

“Huh, thanks,” Jimin replies sarcastically. 

“And just so you know, I might be a rapper, but I’m not fucking stupid. Don’t think that just because I have this lifestyle that I’m some dumb shit,” Yoongi spits, words slurring a little, bringing forth an accent that Jimin hadn’t noticed until this point. “Look out for my next track though, it’ll be about snobs like you.” 

With that, he turns his back on Jimin, the crowd parting for him as he makes his way towards the backstage area. He stops for some fans, who insist on taking a photo with him. Jimin garners that although Suga is popular for an underground rapper, he’s still able to talk goodnaturedly with his fans without the fear of being overwhelmed by them. As Jimin watches him, he mutters a curse underneath his breath. 

It’s at this point that Taehyung and Jungkook finally come out of the bathroom, emerging a little more rustled than usual. Jimin ogles the hickey on Taehyung’s neck, directing a look at him that he hopes he can easily decipher. He’s about to throw a comment in their direction, proclaim that they now owe him more than one favour after this night finally ends. However, Taehyung isn’t paying attention to him at all, but has his eyes glued to Suga’s head. He teeters from foot to foot, seizing Jungkook by his elbow. 

“Jungkook! Suga’s right there. We have to go say hi!” he demands, and Jungkook is more than happy to comply. 

Taehyung rushes forward into the crowd, and Jungkook is about to follow him when he pauses, swivelling around to face Jimin. “Do you want to come too, hyung?” he asks. 

Jimin shakes his head. “No, I don’t think so. I’m not sure he’d want to talk to me, anyway.” 

Jungkook clearly doesn’t understand the meaning behind Jimin’s words, but he doesn’t push it. “Suit yourself,” he says, before he turns away from him, and chases after Taehyung.

 

♣️ 

[01:00AM] [Jimin]: You’re late.

[01:05AM] [Jimin]: It’s supposed to be our anniversary.

[01:06AM] [Jimin]: I was gonna cook something for you, something special.

[01:08AM] [Jimin]: But you’re not here, again. You’re not with me.

[01:08AM] [Jimin] : I’m so mad at you right now. I wish I could scream how much I hate you to the world, but I can’t. Because I’m not even allowed to think about you, am I?

[01:11AM][Jimin]: I hate you so much.

 

“But we both know that that’s not true, don’t we?”

 

⚜ 

A week or so passes by, and Jimin forgets about the night at the gig. He continues on with his life, focusing on his studies and on other more important matters. His friends still talk about the night as if it was something legendary, but Jimin doesn’t understand them whatsoever. He wouldn’t want to admit that the rapper had hit a nerve that night, nor would he want to confess that he had thought about that line Suga had delivered on that stage more than once. But such thoughts soon come and go. He’s too busy to think about rappers with rude mouths, or the fact that said rappers had sworn to write a diss track about ‘people like him’. He lets it go, concentrating on cramming for exams more than anything else. 

He’s currently in the café he tends to frequent, nestled in one of their booths as he pores through page after page, trying his hardest to retain any knowledge that he can. He’s been sitting in the same spot since the café opened, and even as night rapidly approaches, nothing has been absorbed in. He’s considering banging his head on the table in frustration, but refrains when he hears a soft exclamation, as someone settles into the other side of the booth. 

He’s not sure why anyone would want to bother him. He probably looks haggered, considering he hadn’t cared much for his appearance that morning. But someone is clearly staring right at him from across the table, and when the person speaks up, he curses anyone who might be listening for bestowing him with such bad luck. 

“Stressed out, buttercup?” Suga mocks, a sly smile making its way across his lips. Jimin scrunches his nose up in obvious distaste. 

“Don’t call me that,” he sneers. “What are you doing here so late?”

“Could ask you the same thing.” Suga looks down at the name written on Jimin’s textbooks. “Jimin, right?” 

“I’m kind of busy right now. I might not look like it, but I’m studying. Or maybe I do, considering I look like crap anyway,” Jimin says, blowing his hair out of his eyes. 

Suga pulls a face. “You don’t look like crap. You’re wearing a Golf pullover, you’re looking pretty fine to me.” 

“It’s an out of season Golf pullover,” Jimin whines. 

Suga rolls his eyes, picking up one of his textbooks. “Neuroscience, huh? Cute and smart.” 

“Top of my class, actually. But why are you bothering me? I’m not your fan, remember?” 

Suga’s eyes light up at that, and Jimin can’t understand why, considering that he has been nothing but hostile towards him. He wonders why Suga had come over to him in the first place. They had had one conversation in that venue, nothing more than that, and it hadn’t exactly ended well. Maybe Suga is sitting with him in order to mess with him, and truth be told, it’s working. 

“So you remember who I am? Thought you didn’t like hip-hop, huh?” Suga muses. 

Jimin pulls his textbooks away from Suga’s grasp, cradling them to his chest. “I don’t. Like hip-hop. And I only remember you because I spent several hours forced to listen to you. All I hear from my friends is Suga this and Suga that. Really, I don’t see the appeal.” 

Suga grins lazily at him. “Yoongi,” he says. 

Jimin frowns. “What?” 

“It’s Yoongi. My real name, in case you wanted to know.” 

“I didn’t.” 

Yoongi shrugs, nestling into the booth. His eyes are trained on Jimin’s own, and no matter how hard Jimin tries to fight it, it keeps him on edge. 

“To answer your question earlier,” Yoongi speaks up, “I’m here to finish a song I’m writing. I came here for some inspiration, cuz I was struggling. And here you are, the inspiration behind the song. I think it’s a sign.” 

“I’m your inspiration?” Jimin scoffs. “Talk about cheesy.” 

“Do you wanna hear the lyrics?” 

“Not really,” Jimin says, but Yoongi’s already reaching into his pocket for a crumpled piece of paper. He brings it out, smoothing it onto the table. 

“It’s a work in progress, but it talks about how there are certain people in this world, like a certain individual like yourself.” He gestures towards Jimin. “Who like to think they’re better than everyone else just cause they have designer brands and clothing. The kind of person who's always been served everything on a silver platter, rather than having to work for it, you know? I think it’ll be a hit.” 

“I hope it flops,” Jimin snaps, throwing the piece of paper in Yoongi’s face. He rises to his feet, stuffing his textbooks into his bag in a hurry to leave this place, to leave this stupid man behind with his stupid lyrics. He wishes he could do something to exact his revenge against him, but there’s nothing he can do but step out of the booth and leave. It feels like giving up, and Jimin hates that, but he can’t stand to be here any longer with this person. 

He’s about to walk straight out of the café when Yoongi reaches out and grabs a hold of his wrist, keeping him in place. He tries to wriggle out of his grip, but to no avail. 

“You don’t have to leave, Jimin,” he says. “I didn’t come over here to make you give up the booth.” 

Jimin glances down at Yoongi’s hand curled around his wrist, nose scrunching up. “Really? Then why did you come over here? Did you want to toy with me?” 

Yoongi gestures for him to sit down, and although Jimin would rather do anything but, a part of him is intrigued to hear Yoongi’s excuse. So, he reluctantly complies, settling down into his seat, sticking his bottom lip out in distaste. He waits for an answer to his question, impatiently tapping his foot against the marble floor. 

Yoongi shrugs as if the matter is unimportant. “I saw you here and I remembered you. I thought you looked like you might need someone to rescue you from studying.” 

Jimin raises an eyebrow. “Oh, really? So am I supposed to thank you?” 

“If you wanna,” Yoongi replies, “there’s certain ways in which you could thank me.” 

“Leave me alone,” Jimin demands. “I’m not interested in people like you. I need to study in peace.” 

“I think you need to loosen up.” He rummages for something in his pocket, pulling it out and extending it towards Jimin. “Wanna smoke?” 

Cigarettes?” 

“Well, I’m not as hardcore as some people, so yes, cigarettes,” Yoongi deadpans. “It’s cool if you don’t want to. Just wondering if you did, then I know a nice place where we could smoke.” 

Jimin narrows his eyes at Yoongi, and then at the cigarette in the other man’s hands. He’s never tried smoking before, never had an interest to either. Even now, he doesn’t care for it, but he can’t help the smile that graces his lips at Yoongi’s words. If he knew any better, he’d assume that the other man was indirectly asking him on a date. 

He can’t help but be intrigued, and no matter how much he wants to say no, anything is better than flicking through more pages of work. 

“I’ll consider it if you put that away,” he instructs, as Yoongi shoves the cigarette in his pocket. “Maybe I can help you on that song you were writing.” 

Yoongi leans forward, head tilted a little to the left, observing him. “Sounds good to me,” he murmurs.

 

♣️ 

He’s struggling to light his cigarette, his fingers fumbling with the lighter. He swears each time he repeats this action, before finally giving up, throwing both lighter and cigarette to the ground. 

Yoongi isn’t quite sure what he’s doing. 

It’s late, that’s all he knows. His music video had been released earlier that day, and so far he has been told that the response has been mostly positive. He hadn’t been sure about the song to begin with, it was an old one that he had written when he hadn’t been as popular as he is now. 

Things have changed a lot within a year. He has been picked up by a popular record label, and his popularity has soared extremely quickly. Sometimes he wonders whether this was a blessing or a curse that had been prettily disguised through sudden fame and fortune. It had all been a lot easier when he was less known, when he had a private life that people didn’t constantly persist on butting into. He wishes he could change his life to the way he wants it to be, but the world doesn’t work that way, no matter how much he wants it to. 

As much as he wants to deny it, he knows he’s screwed up again. 

He’s at the back of some bar, celebrating with his friends over his new song’s success, but none of it feels right. It doesn’t matter how many people congratulate him, how many strangers ask for a picture and an autograph. None of it matters if Jimin isn’t here to celebrate with him. 

Yoongi wonders whether Jimin has seen the music video yet, he’s dreading how he will react. 

It’s a song he had written the first time Yoongi had met Jimin. He had been angry, pissed off at the way Jimin had treated him and his music. The words had come to him so easily, he had only needed to put pen to paper to let them flow. Except, he knows that the lyrics had been nothing but malicious, and Jimin would know this too. He wouldn’t like it, but truthfully, when has he ever liked the music that Yoongi produces? Sometimes, Yoongi ponders why Jimin is even with him in the first place. These thoughts persist continuously, even when he’s trying to create new songs, when he’s sipping a cup of coffee in the studio. He’ll wonder why they’ve been able to stay together this long without things crumbling. 

Like they are now, he supposes. 

Yoongi knows that things have never been simple between them. There’s so many things he wishes he hadn’t done, choices he hadn’t made. He wishes he could turn back time and damn the thought of an industry waiting for him to mess up and cause a scandal. He wants to hold Jimin’s hand in public and not be ashamed to do so. He doesn’t want to be scared all the time. 

Yoongi scuffs his feet against the asphalt, hands dug deep into his pockets as he returns to the bar. He trudges over towards their table, slumping between his friends and knocking his head against the wall. 

“You know, for someone who should be happy right now, you look the complete opposite,” his friend Hoseok comments, pinching at Yoongi’s shoulder playfully, hoping to stir a positive reaction from him. All it receives is a glare in the other man’s direction. 

“He’s gonna hate me, isn’t he?” Yoongi voices his fears out loud. 

A man, who seems to be dressed in too many layers for a sweat-drenched bar, slides into the seat across from them. It is Namjoon with a selection of drinks to celebrate. These two are always with him wherever he goes, both fellow rappers in the company he is in. Yoongi had first met them when he had performed in a venue in Hongdae, when he wasn’t as well known. Yoongi had taken to both of them quite quickly, especially when he had heard them rap. 

“Your phone has been going off every five minutes, by the way,” Namjoon notes, pushing Yoongi’s phone towards him. 

Yoongi is about to question why Namjoon has it in the first place, but he’s too transfixed by the fact that he has a huge amount of missed calls, and all of them are from Jimin. 

He can tell that both Namjoon and Hoseok are looking at him sympathetically, waiting for him to break. But he won’t do so. He has to hold it all in, because there’s nothing he can do at this moment in time. He’ll need to talk to Jimin when he returns home, whenever that will be. Yoongi unlocks his phone, scrolling through each individual text from his boyfriend, and pales considerably. 

“I forgot,” he breathes out. “Our fucking anniversary and I didn’t remember.” 

Yoongi peers down at the time on his phone. It’s one in the morning now, and it’s likely that Jimin has gone straight to bed. There’s no way Jimin would forgive him for this, things had been strained enough as it is. Recently, he’s been too busy with his work and his music. He rarely has time to see Jimin for more than an hour or so per day. It’s not enough, not enough for their relationship to continue to flourish. He hates the fact that things have become like this. He’d rather turn time, if he could, to when it was all easier. He can’t remember the last time he actually talked to Jimin longer than a couple of seconds before leaving for work, and that wasn’t right, it wasn’t fair on Jimin. 

“I need to go home, I don’t think he’ll be up but --” His words trail off, lost and forgotten. 

He has no plan at all, no way of fixing what is already broken. 

Hoseok pats him in an attempt to comfort him. He slings an arm around his slim shoulders. “It’ll be alright, he’ll forgive you. He always does.” 

Hoseok is right, things like this have happened too often lately. Jimin has always forgiven him, frown replaced with a smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes. But this time, Yoongi isn’t so sure. 

“What if he doesn’t?” he says, fist tightening around his mobile. “What if this is it?” 

“Look, hyung,” Namjoon interrupts, snapping him out of it. “Go home and sort things out. Don’t come to work tomorrow, if need be. Hoseok and I will think of some logical excuse.” 

“Yeah. We’ve got your back,” Hoseok echoes, fist raised in the air, large grin adorning his face. 

Yoongi can’t help but smile at that, he’s truly thankful to have friends like them. He decides that detaining the inevitable is pointless, though, as he clambers across Hoseok and out of the booth. He almost trips over Namjoon’s feet in the process, but he rights himself soon enough. 

“It’ll be alright,” he reassures himself. “It’ll be fine.”

 

⚜ 

The first time Yoongi had met Jimin, he had been tied between wanting to strangle the boy and wanting to kiss the life out of him. 

His mind had obviously been in a state of confusion. 

The second time Yoongi had bumped into him, Yoongi couldn’t help but equate Jimin to a startled puppy. His hair had been rustled, sticking out in every direction. His skin was clear of any make-up, but somehow he looked more endearing like this, less likely to yap at him if he said the wrong thing. He looked soft, and Yoongi hadn’t been able to stop his feet from walking in his direction. 

He had been wanting to play with him a little, maybe ruffle his feathers as a comeback for the way he had treated him after the gig. He hadn’t expected that the two of them would be sitting now on a bench in the middle of a park, Jimin humming pleasantly to himself. 

Yoongi likes the company. 

“If my friends knew I was talking to you right now, they’d have a fit,” Jimin lets out a laugh, staring up into the night, fringe falling over his eyes a little. 

For a while, they sit like that, and although neither of them share a word between them, Yoongi finds it comfortable. He scribbles words down on his notebook, but none of it makes any sense. He’s too distracted by the way Jimin is pressed against him, despite there being plenty of room on the bench for him to shuffle up. Maybe he’s doing it on purpose. 

“So,” Jimin starts, folding his legs up on the bench and turning around to face him. “Why me?” 

“Huh?” Yoongi says. He takes in Jimin’s inquisitive expression, the way his lips are pulled tight in thought. He stares at Jimin’s lips a little longer than necessary. 

“I’m sure there are other people you’d rather talk to,” Jimin continues. “I’m not your fan, yet here we are.” 

“I didn’t want to see you. You just happened to be in my café,” Yoongi counters. 

“Your café? You can’t claim a café, who said it was yours in the first place?” 

Yoongi narrows his eyes at him. “How old are you anyway? If you’re in university, you gotta be younger than me. So you know what that makes you? My dongsaeng. So start acting like one.” 

Jimin sticks his tongue out at him playfully. “Only if you start acting like a caring hyung. I mean, right now you look like you’d rather drown me in the Han River.” 

Yoongi schools his expression immediately after these words, trying to get rid of the irritation clinging to him. 

“Maybe I just find you interesting,” he admits, watching Jimin’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise at that. “I’ve never met someone like you up close before." 

“Someone like me?” 

Yoongi nods. “Someone snobbish who thinks they’re all high and mighty. I can’t help but find that interesting, y’know?” 

Jimin clenches his fists in his lap, shaking his head. “Well good, because I hate people like you too.” 

“I never said I hated you, Jimin.” 

“Could have fooled me,” Jimin mutters underneath his breath. 

Yoongi digs for his phone in his pocket, and types into the search-bar as Jimin continues to grumble something. Truthfully, Yoongi is surprised that Jimin hasn’t up and left in irritation yet. Maybe it’s a good sign that he has stayed. 

“Have you ever watched Show Me the Money?” he asks Jimin, and when the younger pulls a face, Yoongi wonders exactly what is wrong with today’s youth. 

“No,” Jimin replies. “I’ve never heard of it.” 

“Wow, you need to be educated,” Yoongi comments, choosing a video for the two of them to watch. Yoongi could tell that Jimin has no interest in the video’s content whatsoever, but the boy relents when Yoongi grabs onto his arm, placing the phone between their knees. Jimin stiffens as Yoongi plays the video. 

Yoongi can tell immediately that Jimin remains unimpressed -- he isn’t expecting the younger boy to finally open his eyes and realise how good hip-hop and rap is. Something like that doesn’t happen within a few seconds. However, he does listen attentively to whatever Yoongi has to say, nodding his head and asking questions from time to time. He’s trying, and Yoongi hopes skeptically that this is only so that the two of them won’t have to break apart, so that they can stay this close for a little while longer. 

Yoongi is not quite sure when it had happened, but he finds himself watching Jimin more than the video. Maybe it’s because he’s seen it a dozen of times, but Jimin’s expressions are a lot more entertaining. He knows he’s staring, and maybe Jimin does too, what with the way his lips dart upwards when he meets Yoongi’s eyes for a second. 

There’s a reason why Jimin had caught Yoongi’s attention during his performance that night. The venue was small enough for him to see all of the faces in the first two rows, and Jimin had been there right at the front, pressed against the barrier and looking displeased by the whole thing. Yoongi had been curious, he had wanted the boy to smile, to relax more. He couldn’t understand why he wasn’t enjoying his performance as much as everyone else around him. At that point, he had been tied to him due to his own curiosity, it had gotten the better of him when he had spotted the boy leaning against the wall after the gig had ended. He was drawn to him for reasons he couldn’t fathom. 

And truthfully, that hasn’t changed now, with the cold autumn breeze biting at his skin. He’s still determined to figure this boy out. 

“You really are cute,” he murmurs, but Jimin catches on, throwing Yoongi’s phone back in his grasp, staggering up to his feet. 

He clears his throat, shoving his hands in his coat pockets. “Well, this was very interesting, but now it’s kind of late and I’ve got an early lecture tomorrow, so… I should go.” 

Yoongi stands up. “You’d think I made you uncomfortable or somethin’.” 

“You do,” Jimin mumbles, glance fixed on Yoongi’s shoes, “make me uncomfortable. You and all those tattoos across your skin.” 

Yoongi hums thoughtfully, drinking in the light blush dusting Jimin’s cheeks. 

“You should probably have my number,” he finally says. 

Jimin folds his arms against his chest, jerking his chin forward in defiance. “And why’s that?” 

“Well,” Yoongi enunciates, “we’re probably going to see more of each other. After all, I’m determined to make you love hip-hop, too.” 

Despite the fact that Jimin denies anything of the sort happening, he allows Yoongi to have his phone number. 

Yoongi can’t help but think that that’s a good sign.

 

⚜ 

Several weeks down the line and Jimin and Yoongi go from not-quite acquaintances to something bordering on friends. Yoongi spends a lot of time texting Jimin when he’s not working on a new song or performing at a gig. When he has free time, he meets Jimin at the café that soon becomes theirs. Jimin pulls a face every time Yoongi goes off on another rant about the greatness of hip-hop, and he seems even more displeased when Yoongi meets him with another tattoo on his wrist. 

“Why do you have to get so many of those things?” Jimin asks him. 

Yoongi grins in response. “Don’t pretend that you don’t like them. I think you secretly have a thing for tattoos.” 

Although Jimin curses at him for saying this, Yoongi is convinced that he is right. 

They spend so much time together it becomes a routine and with each day that passes, Yoongi’s interest in Jimin seems to shift into something entirely different. 

It happens on the night of Jimin’s birthday, of all places. 

"You might get harassed by them,” Jimin warns as the two of them speak on the phone. Yoongi is currently working on a new track that he hopes to perform at his next gig. 

“They can’t be as bad as you,” Yoongi jests. He grins at the sound of Jimin spluttering out a reply. 

"They’re fans, hyung. Both of them, they’re completely obsessed with you and your music. That’s the reason why I haven’t told them we’ve been hanging out. They think I’m seeing someone,” he spits out the last words in disgust, but Yoongi can tell that they have no real bite to them. 

“I wonder how they would react if we were dating,” Yoongi voices thoughtfully. He imagines Jimin blushing scarlet. 

“First of all, I wouldn’t date you. Ever, just to be clear,” Jimin argues. “I think my parents would have a heart attack if I brought you home. Especially my dad.” 

“Sounds like fun. We should do it sometime, just to mess with them.” 

“No, Yoongi-hyung --” 

“But anyway, it’s fine. I don’t care if your friends are fans or whatever. I mean, that’s kind of nice. I just want you to have a good birthday,” Yoongi confesses. He looks at the present that he had wrapped rather clumsily for Jimin, sitting on the chair beside him. “Speaking of which, happy birthday, Jiminnie.” 

Silence follows and all Yoongi can hear is a faint coughing in the background, the sound of something banging. 

"Thank you,” Jimin finally says. 

Yoongi spends the rest of that afternoon with Jimin’s voice ringing through his ears, with the image of his wide smile when he finally receives Yoongi’s present, his eyes crinkling up with barely concealed delight. Yoongi remains on edge, watching the minutes pass by as he waits for the right time to leave his flat and make his way over to Jimin’s student apartment. 

He’s not quite sure what he expects from him, considering the boy is clearly made out of money. He wonders if his friends are the same too, despite the fact that they have better taste than Jimin does when it comes to good things (like music). A lump forms in his throat when he finally arrives at Jimin’s door, the heavy bass of the music inside causing goosebumps to rise on his skin. He cradles the present to his chest, and thumps his fist down on the door. 

Surprisingly, it’s not Jimin who answers, but some tall, lanky thing with his hair dyed a vibrant red and an expression that proves he’s a little gone from the booze already. When the boy takes a better look at who is in front of him, he gasps somewhat melodramatically, pointing at Yoongi in fascination, jumping up and down so hard Yoongi muses whether he’ll fall through the landing. 

"Min Suga!” he exclaims, teetering up and down on the balls of his feet. “Oh my god, holy shit, am I dreaming? Is this for real?” 

Yoongi careens backwards, expecting any minute for the boy in front of him to grab hold of him. He wonders whether he’s come to the right apartment, but this seems to be the only place that has music coming from the inside. Jimin had warned him about his fanboy friends, and maybe this boy is one of them. 

Yoongi’s questions are answered when Jimin appears on the threshold, pulling the red-haired boy behind him with a chastising pinch to his side. Yoongi’s mouth grows dry at the sight of him. He isn’t clad in expensive polo shirts and jumpers, but this time in a fluffy turtleneck that seems to stick to him in all of the right places. Yoongi tries to control himself from giving the boy a once-over, but he’s sure Jimin has already caught on. 

“You actually came,” Jimin says, seeming to brighten at the sight of Yoongi toeing the threshold. Yoongi wonders how it is possible that someone can so effortlessly embody the powers of the sun. 

“Of course I did,” Yoongi finally speaks up. He thrusts Jimin’s present into the boy’s arms. “I’ve brought you something, I hope you like it.” 

Jimin nods, drawing in his bottom lip with his teeth, mustering a smile. He unwraps the present right then and there, and pulls out a silver pendant, a musical note dangling from the chain. He looks up, appearing as if about to say something, when the boy beside him elbows him quite ruthlessly in the chest. 

“Jimin, Jimin!” the red-head whispers loudly to his friend. “You know Suga?” 

“Yeah, he’s...sort of a friend,” he says. 

"Sort of ?” the boy squeals. “Oh holy shit, I have to tell Kookie!” And with that, he sprints back into the apartment. 

Yoongi glances at Jimin, cradling his present in his hands, smiling so serenely at him, Yoongi feels his heart is going to implode. He wonders exactly at what point looking at Jimin became such an impossible task. 

“That was Taehyung, by the way,” he informs Yoongi. “His boyfriend Kookie is also a huge fan of yours. Though he’ll probably just stare at you dumbstruck rather than be all up in your face like Tae.” His nose crinkles up adorably at the thought, and Yoongi is faced with the uncontrollable urge to bring him to his chest. “Anyway,” Jimin continues, “do you want to come in?” 

Yoongi nods, following Jimin inside. As the door closes behind him, he realises that he had been right in his assumption regarding Jimin’s apartment. It is definitely not like the student flats he has seen previously. This one seems as if it belongs to someone high up in a company, rather than a twenty-year old neuroscience student. For one, this apartment is extremely big, from the wide kitchen to the giant living area facing a television. As he turns his head to the left, Yoongi spots a balcony facing out towards the city. The view is beautiful, if not a little intimidating. 

It’s at this point that Yoongi is hit by just how wealthy Jimin really is. 

“The flat needs a bit of refurbishing, but it’s cute, right?” Jimin asks, snapping Yoongi out of it. 

“This place is fucking crazy, Jimin,” he replies. “It’s probably bigger than my parents house.” 

Jimin sticks his bottom lip out, but doesn’t say anything in retaliation. Instead, he circles his hand around Yoongi’s wrist, dragging him towards the kitchen where several drinks are lined up across the counter. Yoongi stares in awe, mouth dropping open. 

“You’re welcome to help yourself, hyung! Just don’t drink too much of the punch, I think Tae went a little crazy with it,” he informs him with a wink. He is about to say something more when the boy from earlier -- Taehyung -- comes out of nowhere, barrelling into Jimin, with another guy in tow. Again, much to Yoongi’s irritation, someone else is towering over him. He seems younger than Jimin, and Yoongi gathers that this is the ‘Kookie’ that had been mentioned earlier, due to the fact that he is staring at him as if Yoongi has two heads. 

“You okay, kid?” he asks, slapping him on the shoulder as the boy squeals in response. 

“I can’t believe,” Taehyung breathes out, “that you’re standing in Jimin’s kitchen right now.” He slings an arm over ‘Kookie’s’ shoulder. “Right, Jungkook?” 

“I have all of your mixtapes,” Jungkook blurts out. “I’ve been to all of your shows in Seoul and you’re just so -- you rap so well!” 

Yoongi can’t help but preen at the praise. He looks at Jimin from the corner of his eye with a sly smirk. “See? Someone gets it.” 

“They’re just weird,” Jimin gibes, pushing Yoongi in the direction of the drinks. He presses his hands down on Yoongi’s waist, and although in most cases Yoongi would have pushed anyone away for doing this, he lets Jimin squeeze closer. In fact, he enjoys the contact a little too much. 

“Let’s get drunk, shall we?” Jimin crows. 

After that, the rest of the evening passes by in a distorted blur. 

Yoongi isn’t too sure how many drinks he has consumed, but it’s gotten to the point where he doesn't care so much anymore. He’s having too much fun, dancing with these people he doesn’t even know, but the alcohol makes it feel like he’s known them his entire life.

He remembers drunkenly rapping a song with Taehyung and Jungkook, the two of them having calmed down a little once they had come to know him better. (Although, this takes a lot of Yoongi trying to convince them that he is as normal and human as they are, rather than some super-human with the ability to wow them with his voice -- Taehyung’s ever so eloquent words not his). 

At some point in the night, however, Yoongi realises that Jimin is no longer with them, that he hasn’t been standing by his side for a while. Such a realisation has him stumbling as he twists his neck from left to right, eyes navigating through the room, hoping to spot Jimin among the crowd of inebriated university students. There's a panic settling within him, right in the middle of his ribs. It grips tightly, squeezing the breath right out of him. Yoongi vaguely wonders whether it's the alcohol making his vision blur, or something else. 

Someone is trying to catch his attention -- Jungkook, maybe --  but he's too fixated in finding Jimin, the boy’s name on the tip of his tongue. He doesn't remember asking Jungkook, but Jungkook points him in the right direction. 

His skin crawls at the sight of Jimin being pressed against the kitchen counter by a man (who isn’t him), his hands held tightly onto Jimin’s waist (hands that aren’t his). He sees a flash of red, blinding and all-consuming, and he's moving, pushing past bodies, head ringing obstinately. Jimin doesn't see him coming. He doesn't see him at all, too fixated on the way this stranger is kissing up his neck, his eyes half-lidded. He doesn't notice him until Yoongi has to shove the man backwards, hand encircling Jimin's wrist. That's when Jimin opens his eyes, and stares straight at him, confusion riddling his face. 

“What are you doing, hyung?” Jimin whines, and just like him, he's a little gone, a little not there (or a lot). 

Yoongi points at the other guy who had tried to get his hands all over Jimin. “He's not good enough for you.” It isn't what he intended to say at all, but drinking makes him say things he would never utter out loud. 

The other guy attempts to push him away, but maybe he sees something in Yoongi’s eyes that tells him there’s no way he’s going to win this one. So instead, he shakes his head, staggering away from them. Yoongi can't help the sense of relief that surges through him. 

Jimin hits him hard on the shoulder. “You're no fun,” he grumbles. “All I wanted was someone to kiss when it turns midnight, and I won't have that now because of you.” 

Yoongi frowns. He should feel at least a tiny bit guilty for ruining Jimin's plans, yet he feels no remorse. 

“I think you dodged a bullet. In my opinion, that boy was probably saliva city,” he says instead, lips tilting up into a grin. 

Jimin scoffs at that, an eyebrow raised. “And what makes you so sure? Are you a kissing aficionado?” 

“Well,” Yoongi drawls out, “I happen to be very good at it.” 

Any remark that Jimin might have had lined up in wait is cut short at that, as he gapes at Yoongi. Soon, however, this expression morphs into one of curiosity, and Yoongi wants to leave it at that, maybe let the thought stew a little in Jimin's mind to taunt him. But then someone brushes past them, reminding Jimin that it was ten seconds to midnight, and his birthday was almost in sight. So, in other words, there's other pressing matters that Yoongi needs to deal with. 

“Do you really want someone to kiss at midnight?” Yoongi asks, observing the way Jimin's gaze darts to his lips, how he licks his own. 

Jimin blinks at him, before a smirk settles on the corner of his mouth. “Why? Do you know someone who might fit the job?” 

Yoongi tilts closer, hand resting on the counter next to Jimin. Instinctively, Jimin slides backwards, hitting the wall with a thump. “I can think of one,” Yoongi says, voice masked in a whisper. “What about you?” 

Surprisingly, it’s not Yoongi who makes the first move, but Jimin. Yoongi stays still, waiting to see how Jimin will respond. Part of him expects him to turn his nose up at him like he has so many times before. Maybe Jimin will hit him harshly on the shoulder, before leaving him by the counter to search for a better option. But Jimin doesn’t leave him. Instead, he slides closer, grabbing hold of Yoongi’s shirt, and pulling him further towards him. 

When their lips meet somewhere in the middle, there’s a faint thought that stirs in Yoongi’s head. He wonders whether it really has just struck midnight, whether Jimin has timed this all to be so. Yoongi soon enough comes to the conclusion that such thoughts are stupid, especially when Jimin’s mouth is pressing down upon his own so insistently, as if he’s trying to kiss the life right out of him, prying something from Yoongi that he hadn’t been ready to give until now. 

So Yoongi lets it all go, lets the buzzing in his head fade into nothing until all he feels is Jimin’s body draped against his. He follows Jimin’s lead, nipping at his bottom lip as Jimin gasps for air, a quiet moan tumbling out. When he finally pulls away a fraction, Jimin has his hands still flush against Yoongi’s chest, breath ghosting Yoongi’s lips as he presses his forehead to his own. He breaks into a shy smile, a laugh that has Yoongi wanting to continue from where they left off. Maybe they both know that now isn’t the right time, but Yoongi’s content with the way Jimin is looking at him as if he has singlehandedly lit up a dozen galaxies in his wake. 

“You’re right,” Jimin murmurs. “You are good at kissing.” 

“I told you, didn’t I?” Yoongi grins. 

Jimin breathes out a laugh, and finally careers away from him, glancing around the room. He scratches his neck, avoiding Yoongi’s gaze. In most circumstances, Yoongi would have been annoyed and would probably have assumed that this was more of a negative reaction than a positive one, but the faint blush on Jimin’s cheeks speaks otherwise.

It’s possible it’s from the lights hanging over their heads, but Yoongi would like to believe that he had been the one to create such an expression.   

“I should probably go make sure Taehyung and Jungkook aren’t breaking anything,” Jimin says, and both of them know it’s an excuse, but Yoongi nods either way. Jimin turns as if to leave, before he inclines his head towards Yoongi. “Thank you,” he says. 

“For what?” 

Jimin shrugs. “I don’t know...for making my birthday great, for giving me that present...for forcing your way into my life.” 

Yoongi snorts out a laugh. “I’m sure you’ll be regretting those words soon enough.” 

“Never,” Jimin shoots right back, before giving him one last smile, and disappearing into the crowd.

 

♣️ 

It’s two in the morning, yet Jimin isn’t surprised to hear their front door click open, Yoongi finally returning home. 

He’s nestled on the couch in the exact same spot he has been sitting in for hours. His phone is still lodged in his palm, creating a bright red dent from where he had held it too tightly. He plays with the musical note at the end of his necklace. He considers tearing it from its chain. 

When he hears Yoongi trudge into the hallway, he doesn’t look up. He doesn’t greet him. Instead, Jimin keeps himself perfectly still, trying to push it all down, as far as he can, so that he doesn’t start yelling at Yoongi (he’s supposed to be his boyfriend, yet he’s never here, why isn’t he ever here ). 

Something in him seems to break as soon as Yoongi speaks his name. 

Suddenly, he’s standing with no recollection of having moved at all. His phone falls out of his hands, cluttering onto the floor. 

There is so many things that Jimin wants to say. He wants to ask Yoongi why it had to be tonight of all nights, the night of their anniversary. He wants to scream at him for being so late, but as he takes in Yoongi’s ruffled hair, his uncertain expression, something else makes it to the forefront of his mind. 

“Why...why do all of you asshole rappers have to have half-dressed girls in your music videos?” he demands, and it’s so, so stupid because truthfully he doesn’t give a damn about them (okay, maybe a little, he can’t help the jealousy that floods through him at the image of that one girl draped all over Yoongi). None of that really matters, not when he has been living with this man for so long, has been in love with him for even longer, and yet it feels as if they are moving in two different directions at a pace neither of them can control. 

None of it matters when he has been treated as something secret, and dirty, and wrong ever since Yoongi had started rising in fame. 

Jimin has been forced to take a front seat to watch things fall apart. He wonders how long it will take for him to finally succumb to it all, for him to give up and give in to the fact that the life Yoongi has been given doesn’t include him. As Yoongi falls deeper into his music and his work, it seems to be almost as if he cares about nothing else. 

Jimin doesn’t want to be second best. He wants to be Yoongi’s everything. 

Maybe Yoongi had been planning on saying something else when he had entered the apartment, but now he appears jarred by Jimin’s words, frowning at him as he shucks off his shoes. 

“It seems you’re showing your true feelings again,” Yoongi comments. “You never liked my music.” 

Jimin scoffs at that; he follows after Yoongi as the man navigates his way over to the kitchen, almost stumbling over his own feet in the process. Jimin instinctively deduces that Yoongi has been drinking, probably celebrating his new song’s success. He can’t help but feel hurt at the thought of Yoongi having fun without him on their day; he can’t believe that Yoongi hadn’t at least thought to ask him whether he’d want to be there too. 

“I hate it,” he curses at Yoongi’s back. “I always have hated it, every single thing about it.” 

Yoongi spins around to face him. “Then why are you with me?” he demands. “I’m curious why you would want to be with someone that stands for everything you hate.” 

I don’t hate you, Jimin wants to scream at him. 

Because the reality is quite the opposite. 

Yoongi stands behind the counter, head bowed down, hands gripping hard onto the marble. He presses his mouth into a thin line, snapping his head up to look at Jimin in the eye. “I’m sorry,” he starts, “I shouldn’t be saying…” 

Jimin doesn’t let him finish his sentence. “Did you know that the last time we had a proper conversation was almost three weeks ago?” he asks. 

“What? How…” 

“Three weeks. Because you’re so busy all the time with your work, Yoongi. Even when you are here with me, I know you’re still thinking about your music,” Jimin continues. “We never talk anymore, and now I hear what you truly want to say to me through a music video.” 

A frown passes over Yoongi’s face, panic settling in as the seconds tick by. He reaches out for Jimin, excuses probably at the tip of his tongue, but there’s nothing he can say to make things better. He can’t change the past. 

“I wasn’t going to do anything with that song, but Hoseok found the lyrics and my hand was bent, I couldn’t -” 

“You could have said no ,” Jimin snaps. “You could have chosen any other song that didn’t belittle and mock me.” 

His throat feels so tight, each word that stumbles out of his mouth sounding strained and painful. Jimin sees red when he blinks, and he’s not sure whether he wants to be sick or cry. 

He notes that Yoongi’s eyes are blown wide, mouth agape. “I didn’t mean to --” 

“I’m sure you didn’t mean to do many things,” Jimin rebukes. “I’m sure you didn’t mean to forget about our anniversary, but that doesn’t make things any better. It doesn’t change anything.” 

Yoongi stares at him quizzically. “What do you mean?” It’s possible that he already knows the answer to his own question, what with the way he tries to grab hold of Jimin’s hand. 

As if he’s trying to stop him from leaving. 

“I’m so tired of this, Yoongi. I can’t do this anymore,” Jimin mutters. “You promised me you wouldn’t let this life take over our relationship, and I know I accepted the fact that we would need to keep this secret for a while, but -- this wasn’t what I wanted. I don’t want this.” 

“Jimin --” Yoongi starts uncertainly. 

“I’ve made up my mind. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to catch the earliest train to Busan. I’m going to stay with Jungkook and Taehyung for a while,” he whispers slowly, in an effort to convince himself more than anything else. 

Although there’s a sliver of uncertainty that clings to him, he masks it with a deep breath in, and chances Yoongi’s reaction. 

He shouldn’t be shocked to see the sheer terror in Yoongi’s eyes. 

Jimin wants Yoongi to fight against him, wants him to grab hold of him, shake him and make him realise that he can’t leave him, but he does none of these things. He slumps into himself instead, hand running down his face. He does nothing as Jimin turns away from him, rushing into his room (their room) and slamming the door shut behind him. 

Several seconds later, there’s a loud crashing sound resonating from the kitchen. 

 

⚜ 

Luckily for Yoongi, there’s no confusion between them.

There’s no waking up the morning after, and regretting the kiss entirely. Neither of them try and skirt around the other; there are no awkward blips in the road between friendship and something more. 

In truth, all they need is a confirmation that things are okay between them. Yoongi dashes any doubts and texts Jimin the next day after his party, hoping for exactly that: You don't regret what happened last night, do you?

Jimin thankfully responds: I can’t stop thinking about it. All I can say is that I wouldn't mind kissing you again. 

In the next second, Yoongi is rushing to Jimin's apartment in haste. Once Jimin finally opens the door, Yoongi is faced with a disheveled, and maybe still a little hungover Jimin, but he is sure that they will be alright. 

They spend the next few weeks getting to know each other better. Before the kiss, Yoongi would have argued that he knew Jimin pretty well. But there were some things he had been held privy to. For example, he discovers that Jimin has a penchant for wanting to show off what’s his, in more ways than one. 

When Jungkook and Taehyung bother Yoongi too much at the end of another gig, Jimin slides beside him, grabbing hold of Yoongi’s hand and confessing that the two of them have better things to attend to. Yoongi is silently thankful for being whisked away like this, considering that sometimes talking to Jungkook and Taehyung could quickly become exhausting. He’s even more thankful (maybe to some higher power above) when Jimin shoves him against a wall and kisses him like this is their first time all over again. 

Yoongi wants to count every time their lips meet like this. He wants to commit it to memory, so that he can think about it when Jimin isn’t around. There comes a point, though, when Yoongi finds he can no longer keep count. 

“What are we?” Jimin asks him, when the two of them are sitting on the steps leading up to the venue, the buzz of the music vibrating behind them. It’s cramped and lined with posters of future acts. There really isn’t enough space for the two of them to be sitting across from each other, but they make do. 

Jimin has his legs across Yoongi’s, while Yoongi rests his hand on Jimin’s thigh, trapping Jimin with both of his legs on either side of his waist. Although there are plenty of people still dancing on the landing above the stairs, this space seems strangely intimate, as if they are in their own impenetrable bubble. 

Of course, Jimin’s question throws him off guard, his hand going slack on Jimin’s thigh. However, there’s nothing but playfulness in the gaze that Jimin directs at him. He decides to follow suit and play along with such behaviour. 

“Anything you want us to be, Jiminnie,” he replies, and Jimin doesn’t counter him. Instead, he throws his leg up to rest just above Yoongi’s shoulder with a tilt of his lips. 

Yoongi learns more about Jimin in other circumstances. He is blessed to know the way Jimin preens every time Yoongi mentions any kind of praise, from the way he bites onto his lip, blossoming a lovely shade of red as Yoongi takes him into his mouth, to how he looks when he returns the favour. 

He has many unspoken talents, Yoongi soon comes to learn. 

It becomes a habit soon enough, Yoongi turning up on Jimin’s door-step with the good intentions of having a nice, educated chat, which soon spirals into something completely different (and probably a lot better). 

Soon enough, he’ll have his hands on the back of Jimin’s neck, pulling him closer as he slides his tongue into the boy’s mouth, exploring as much as he can, until they both find it all too much and are forced to break away. He leaves kisses down Jimin’s skin, biting and nipping just the way he knows Jimin likes it, the pinch of pain stirring with the pleasure making him moan beneath him. They find themselves settled in different places, sometimes on Jimin’s leather couch in his posh apartment, and on other occasions in Jimin’s kitchen, with the younger boy propped up on the kitchen counter. 

(And maybe he’s afraid to show Jimin where he lives, but Jimin has never asked and Yoongi can't help but be thankful for it. He's not ready to demonstrate so clearly to Jimin how different they are, at least not yet. Not now when everything is going so perfectly). 

Soon, they come to use anything as an excuse to push boundaries and explore a little. The two of them are in Jimin’s room, with Jimin perched on top of his bed. Jimin's legs are crossed as he attentively watches Yoongi talk to the person on the other end of the line. It’s work related, considering no one takes the time to call him besides the small group of people that includes Jimin and his family. This call is important as it decides his next gig at a much better place in Seoul, rather than the same underground club he’s been performing in for over a year now (although, he can’t lie and say he isn’t fond of the place). To be able to perform at this venue might gain him more recognition, especially if he’s able to work with other up and coming rappers who are rumoured to perform there. 

“J-hope and Rap Monster,” Jimin repeats after Yoongi tells him about the chance of performing with them. Jimin snorts at the names, lying on his back, side-eyeing him. “Do bad stage names come with the rapper job description?” 

Yoongi glares at him  from where he stands on the other side of the room. He places his phone down on the mantelpiece. “You don’t get it, Jimin. These guys will break through the industry. If I perform with them, I might end up getting noticed. Plus, there’s bound to be people from agencies at that venue every once in awhile.” 

Jimin rolls onto his side, hair splayed over his pillow, hands grabbing the quilt in bunches. “Are they really that great?” 

“They’re fucking fantastic,” Yoongi says, sitting down beside Jimin. 

Jimin grimaces and shoots him a glare when Yoongi pinches his cheek. “They’re probably as bad as their stage names.” 

Of course, Jimin’s opinion on his music hasn’t changed at all since they had first met, and Yoongi shouldn’t be surprised to hear these words. He sighs and rolls his eyes, not particularly wanting to fight with Jimin again over music. 

Except, he can’t. “Why can’t you at least try to appreciate it? I know you don’t like it, but come on, Jimin.” 

Jimin props himself upward, kicking Yoongi’s back, much to his chagrin. “I’m sorry but I just don't like it. I have an opinion and I’m entitled to it.” 

Yoongi is trying not to attack the boy for such words. Jimin doesn’t even flinch when Yoongi growls instinctively (and maybe that’s because Yoongi’s stature makes any such actions sound like something from a tiger cub, rather than a full-fledged beast). He knows where conversations like these end up, it ends with Jimin swearing that he would never want anything to do with a rapper like him ever again, and Yoongi will wonder why they ever bother in the first place. But things always work out, one way or another. 

First, it all starts with Yoongi’s inability to keep his mouth shut. 

“Yes, you have an opinion,” he sneers, “but it doesn’t mean you have to enforce it on others. 'Specially on me. It’s what I do for a living, it’s what I love and you should at least respect that.” 

“You say that yet you’re just as bad!” Jimin claims. 

Yoongi scoffs. “Me. Seriously?” 

“Of course! I know you still secretly think of me as this spoiled brat who has everything but doesn’t deserve it. You write songs about people like me all of the time--hey get your hand off me,” Jimin trails off, eyes glued to where Yoongi has his hand placed on his upper thigh. 

Yoongi simpers at him, leaning forward as Jimin bangs his head against the wall behind him, wincing a little. Yoongi loves the way Jimin’s skin flushes all over, the way his mouth pulls into a tight ‘o’ shape, his hair falling over his eyes. 

“You’re right, I write songs about you all the time, but not just ones that diss you. Do you remember that line I delivered to you during that first gig?” Yoongi asks, circling his legs around Jimin’s waist, pulling him closer. 

Jimin’s jaw goes slack, he gasps when Yoongi’s hand moves further upwards. “So… so you d-do write songs...that diss me?” he breathes shakily. 

Yoongi clicks his tongue, and suddenly grasps Jimin’s ass, squeezing delicately as he presses his body up against his. Jimin’s arms are covered in goosebumps, a shiver chasing down his spine that doesn’t go unnoticed by Yoongi. “You didn’t answer my question,” he reminds him. 

Jimin’s mouth goes dry as Yoongi kneads his cheeks. He’s now directly on Yoongi’s lap, shaking in his arms. Yoongi can’t stop grinning with amusement at the sight. He loves seeing Jimin like this, less sass and more mess. Well, hot mess, technically. But Jimin doesn’t seem pleased with the turn of events, what with the pout he’s sporting. 

Yoongi won’t let him go until he gives him an answer. Soon enough, Jimin also realises this. 

“I only remember a part of it,” he confesses. 

“And what was that?” 

Yoongi’s pretty sure that he has Jimin in the palm of his hands, but such pride is distinguished quickly enough when Jimin rocks his hips forward, mouth hot against the hollow between Yoongi’s ear and neck. He breathes in deeply (and maybe they both do at the exact same time, but Yoongi’s mind is swimming, and he’s not sure how Jimin always manages to catch him so off guard every single damn time). 

“Maybe something about,” Jimin hums, the sound vibrating against Yoongi’s skin, “how your tongue will make me come?” And with that, he nips cheekily at Yoongi’s ear lobe, lips hot against the metal of Yoongi’s piercings. 

The tension that had permeated the atmosphere between them rises at these words, yet Yoongi is still considering throttling Jimin for always being like this. Yoongi would be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy the unpredictable nature of their relationship (or whatever word he chooses to characterise this, one word isn’t enough to sum up every emotion Jimin constantly manages to stir within him). 

Jimin continues to squirm on top of him. At first, such intentions might seem to be nothing but innocent, but the smirk on Jimin’s lips indicates otherwise. 

“Park Jimin,” Yoongi growls, but it has no real bite to it. In fact, it comes out as more of a whimper. “You’re no good.” 

“Hyung,” Jimin whines, wriggling his hips and playing with the strands of Yoongi’s hair. “That’s not fair. I’m only relaying what you said to me. You wanted an answer, right?” 

Yoongi moves his hands to rest on Jimin’s waist. “You’re a bad person, Park Jimin.” (Bad for the heart). 

Jimin frowns down at him, displeased. “Now you’re just being mean to me, what did I ever --” 

“Shut up,” Yoongi interrupts him, pressing his lips down onto Jimin’s own. 

It’s a routine that the two of them play time and time again, and yet each time feels brand new and different. Yoongi is sure that he will never grow tired of this -- of the way Jimin tilts his head and deepens the kiss, how his hands trail up Yoongi’s shirt, smooth and warm against his chest, drawing patterns with his fingertips. He’s sure he’ll always feel that rush, that expectation as Jimin sighs into his mouth when Yoongi moves his hand to brush against him through the obstructing layers of clothing. 

They stay in this position for a while, their shirts foregone a while ago. Jimin balances on top of Yoongi, as they share kisses that range from hot and passionate, bordering on desperate, to sweet and slow and so, so heady, Yoongi feels like they’re going to collapse and fall apart, yet come right back together again. Maybe things might have continued like that, but Yoongi knows that despite the fact that Jimin is ridiculously strong for a boy whose facial expressions make him seem like something squishy and harmless (those damn eye-smiles and cute, round cheeks), he also has a breaking point. His thighs are clearly trembling from the strain of keeping himself upright, and Yoongi doesn’t like the idea that he’s hurting even the slightest, so he decides to turn things up a notch. He plans to have Jimin quivering by means of pleasure, rather than of pain. 

So, he lifts Jimin up a fraction, causing the boy to startle and careen away from him, curious as to what he is doing. He settles Jimin’s legs either side of him, straight rather than bent this time, so that the underside of his legs rest safely on the plush covers of Jimin’s bed. 

Jimin opens his mouth as if to say something, maybe to whine at him for having stopped kissing him, or maybe to tease him about the fact that Yoongi does care, it’s just the way he shows his affection which is unconventional, but Jimin doesn’t manage to get a word in. He’s shocked into silence when Yoongi leans down to pepper kisses onto Jimin’s skin, biting earnestly at the space between his collarbones, before dipping down and licking at Jimin’s nipples, tongue swirling around the buds experimentally. 

Jimin shakes with each twist and turn, muttering something incoherent that neither of them can truly decipher. 

Yoongi wants to believe that it’s his name. 

Jimin’s hands tighten from where they rest on Yoongi’s waist, gripping so hard it causes a shot of pain to course down Yoongi’s spine, but Yoongi barely registers it. Instead, he arches into him, grabbing the boy as close as he can, Jimin draped against him. Jimin’s hips buck down, painfully slow, as Yoongi continues to graze the side of his neck with his teeth. 

There’s a buzzing thrumming in his ears, but his hearing is attuned to Jimin - from the way he breathes in, hitching a little as he continues to move his hips, to the way he gasps when Yoongi pulls him closer by the back of his neck, enticed by the sounds that Jimin makes. He wonders whether Jimin knows of the power he holds over him and his heart. 

It’s the first time that Yoongi has considered how far gone he is for this person, and he’s glad Jimin can’t see the expression he’s making, because he’s sure it is written loud and clear on his face. 

When he had first met Jimin, he had never thought that he’d fall for him so fast (yet so slow, and so painful at the same time). 

Yoongi presses a soft kiss to the curve of Jimin’s mouth and pulls away. He drinks in the sight of him, mesmerised by the lashes fluttering over his eyes. Suddenly he has an urge to kiss each and every one. 

He hopes that this is more than just a momentary blip in their lives, that if this does become a memory, it becomes one to accompany many others like it.   

“What’s wrong?” Jimin asks him. His eyes are open now, and there’s a hint of panic masking his voice. 

Jimin’s jeweled chandelier shines down from above, illuminating Jimin’s skin, dusting over each hollow and dip. He looks so ethereal, and Yoongi’s heart just breaks. 

It’s at this point that Yoongi finally realises that the two of them are bound in two different directions, and neither of them can follow the other down a path that isn’t supposed to be theirs. This is a momentary blip, and at some point in time, Jimin will come to realise that too. He’ll see all of this as a stepping stone upwards, a time that he can remember and joke about when he talks to his disgustingly wealthy friends from wealthy families that are supposed to marry girls and bring home children for their parents to coo at. 

Yoongi isn’t like that. Yoongi has never been in Jimin’s league. 

(Yoongi has always been a broken meteor compelled to fall into Jimin's blinding and devastating gravity. He knows he has no choice, no way of stopping the collision of their hearts before it's too late). 

But for now, he doesn’t want to think about it any longer. He wants to cherish the way Jimin’s hands knead at his shoulders, how he dips down to place a kiss on a tattoo placed inconspicuously on the side of Yoongi’s ribs. He wants to forget about anything outside of these four walls. 

So, he does. 

“Nothing,” Yoongi lies through his teeth. “Nothing at all.”

 

♣️ 

When Jimin wakes up the next morning and trudges into the kitchen, Yoongi is nowhere in sight. The only sign that Yoongi had been there at all is the evidence of broken plates left scattered across the marble floor, stains of ash littering them. Jimin holds a sliver of hope that he will see Yoongi among the wreckage, maybe slumped up against the cupboards, just as he left him, with minor cuts across his fingers. 

It turns out that he is the only one in the kitchen, possibly in the whole apartment, as Yoongi’s shoes are gone from the hallway. He clenches his teeth at the thought, lifting his head up to look at the fan hanging from the ceiling. 

He had promised himself that he would leave, that if Yoongi didn’t try to stop him, then there would be no point in staying. Still, such a task isn’t easy; it’s the most difficult thing Jimin has ever had to do in his life. Disobeying his parents to move in permanently with Yoongi had been one thing, but leaving him? He doesn’t know how he’ll be able to do it. He knows he can’t go home, can’t see those looks from his parents, can’t hear those ‘I told you so’s’ on the tip of their tongues. 

Either way, he no longer wants to relive the cycle he has been stuck in for months. So, he blinks away any tears, and slumps to his room, grabbing the suitcases he had packed previously. 

Before he leaves the apartment, he glances over his shoulder, taking in everything for the last time. A part of him waits expectantly for Yoongi to appear, to drag him into the apartment and kiss him senseless, until Jimin forgets why he wanted to leave in the first place. 

The apartment remains deathly quiet. 

Jimin shuts the door behind him.

♣️

 

The journey to Jungkook and Taehyung’s house takes longer than expected. Jimin catches the first train to Busan from Yongsan station in Seoul. He tries to close his eyes and sleep, or at least quiet the insistent thought that has been plaguing him since he had left their apartment. He stares at the scenery that passes him by, but he can't take any of it in. It becomes nothing but a blurred mess of dull colours. 

Jimin had texted Jungkook, stating that he would be staying with them for a while. Jungkook knew that if something had gone wrong, he’d come and see them. It’s an excuse to go home to Busan without having to see his parents. It might be risky, but Jimin needs his closest friends right now. He needs Taehyung’s shoulder to cry onto, while Jungkook begrudgingly feeds him ice cream. He doesn’t want to disrupt whatever paradise the two of them are currently in (and really, he will never understand how they never seem to fall out with each other, despite the fact that they have dated longer than Yoongi and Jimin) but he can’t help it. 

After all three of them had graduated university, Taehyung and Jungkook had continued to stick together like glue. Jungkook managed to secure a high-paying job through a graduate programme (although this was mostly thanks to the help of his parents). Taehyung, on the other hand, ditched anything related to a degree in science, and became a primary school teacher. Taehyung’s parents hadn’t been happy about this to begin with, they had avoided talking to him for the next couple of weeks after he had confessed the truth. Jimin remembers how distraught Taehyung had been. He had always been much closer to his parents than Jimin was. He feared that he would lose them for good, and the idea kept Taehyung depressed and very much not like himself for a while, despite how hard Jungkook and Jimin tried to lift his spirits. 

But Taehyung’s parents were nothing like Jimin’s own; they had seen how well he suited the job soon enough, and had grown to be supportive of him. Now, they provided him with money when he and Jungkook needed it, and the two of them seemed to be at a point in their lives where things were going swimmingly. 

Jimin can’t help but be jealous of them. While Taehyung and Jungkook left university with a foreseeable plan for the future, Jimin had stayed with Yoongi, applying to as many random jobs as possible. Yet, his parents haven’t spoken a word to him since then. He wonders if they ever will. 

At the change at Gwangmyeong, Jimin is caught in a sudden downpour that leaves his hair and clothes completely drenched. He runs from his platform to his connecting train, using a newspaper someone had left on the seats as an attempt to shield himself from the rain. 

At this point, Jimin wonders whether the universe is sending him a sign -- whether it’s telling him to turn back now, while he still can and crawl into his bed in their apartment. If he leaves now, then maybe, just maybe, there will be a chance that Yoongi will be there beside him when he wakes up. But before he can stand up and leave, the train suddenly departs, and Jimin sinks down onto his seat, resigned to face the consequences of his decision. He numbs everything out instead, lets the voices and the noise of the moving train become nothing but an annoying buzz in his ears. 

When he finally arrives in Busan a good couple of hours later, he almost trips over his suitcases as people burst out of the train. There are many commuters on the platform, all rushing one way or another in order to get to their desired destination. It’s packed to the brim, and Jimin is unsettled by the many people who rudely bump into him, struggling through the squeeze of the crowd. Any discomfort, however, is soon forgotten when he spots a familiar face waving at him animatedly by a coffee stand. 

“Jiminnie,” yells Taehyung, before proceeding to shove through the crowd of commuters, and grabbing him into a hug that Jimin melts into. 

“It’s been so long,” Taehyung natters on, as Jimin presses his face into the other man’s shirt. “Jungkookie couldn’t come and pick you up at the station because he’s still at work, but he misses you just as much! I can guarantee that!” He peers down at Jimin’s head, eyebrows narrowing. “Jimin -- what’s wrong?” 

Maybe all Jimin wants is for someone to ask him how he’s feeling, because as soon as these words leave Taehyung’s mouth, Jimin can’t seem to stop himself. He wants to be strong, wants to hold it all in, because Park Jimin does not cry in front of annoying brats (and thank god Jungkook isn’t here to see this) but he’s just broken up with the person he had thought had been the one, and he can’t -- he can’t mask it all off with a smile. Not this time. 

So he cries right into his best friend’s cashmere sweater. He clings onto the material, as Taehyung soothes circles onto his back. 

“I think -- I think it’s finally over this time,” Jimin finally manages to croak out once he has used up all of his tears. He wipes his cheeks, avoiding the glances of any curious passerby. “No fighting and making up. I left Yoongi, and he didn’t -- he didn’t even try to stop me.” 

Taehyung bites his lip, clearly struggling for a way to comfort him. He brushes the strands of hair that are obstructing Jimin’s eyes. “Jimin…” he starts, about to say something, before a steely determination takes over. “I’ll kill him. I’m gonna kill him, even if he tries to kill me in the process --” 

Despite the fact that Jimin had been crying only seconds ago, this manages to make him laugh. He swats Taehyung on the shoulder. “Don’t do that.” He takes a step away from him, hand tightening around the handle of his suitcase. “Besides, you don’t need to. We would never have worked out. It was bound to end this way.” 

Taehyung frowns. “Because of your parents and his career?” he asks. “Jiminnie, you know that none of that really matters to Yoongi-hyung. He’d defy God if it meant being with you.” 

Jimin shakes his head. “That isn’t true though. He’d rather protect his career than hold my hand in public… he… he didn’t try to stop me.” 

Taehyung remains silent. 

Maybe Taehyung knows there’s nothing he can say to make things any better, to convince Jimin to go back and start again. Maybe he's figured out that all he can do for Jimin right now is to plaster on a bright smile, so that Jimin will have to mirror one in return, even if it’s nothing but a broken essence of one. 

 

♣️ 

“I would try and murder him, too, but Yoongi-hyung would probably snap my neck before I even got there,” Jungkook says. 

“Hey! Give yourself some credit, Kookie. I’m pretty sure you’d be able to bide us all some time to escape with those muscles of yours,” Taehyung jests, wiggling his eyebrows at the man. He yelps when Jungkook hits him across the knee, but the smirk still remains. 

“No one’s going to kill anyone,” Jimin demands. “No one is going to do anything. In fact, why are we still talking about this? I’m banning his name.” 

“He-who-must-not-be-named,” Jungkook says, trying to stop the guffaw that threatens to leave his mouth. 

“Jungkook, I’m serious!” 

They’re all sitting across the sofa, Taehyung sorting through different films, trying to decide which one to watch. The idea had stemmed from the suggestion that they use something as a distraction, but Jungkook had come home a few minutes ago, and Jimin had to relay to him everything he had told Taehyung. Jimin feels a tiny bit better by being with them, but he knows that all of this is only a distraction, and at some point he will have to face the darkness of his thoughts once again. For now, he basks in his friends’ company. Jungkook isn’t as openly affectionate as Taehyung, but Jimin can tell that he cares by the way he passes him sweets every so often, murmuring about how Yoongi is ‘a grumpy ass, anyhow, and there will be better people out there’. 

It’s funny how Jimin had come to love that grumpy ass. 

Jimin is glad that Taehyung and Jungkook have taken his side on this matter. The two of them are not the same fanboys he had known in his first years at university, although they still squeal over Yoongi’s music from time to time. It’s good to know that they’ll stand up for Jimin, regardless. 

At some point, they come to a unanimous decision as to what movie they wish to watch, and Jimin folds his legs up to his chest, resting his chin on his knees. The movie is some indie film he’s never heard of, but for a couple of hours, Jimin is transfixed in another world that isn’t his, immersed in someone else’s problems rather than his own. He finds himself pulling his friends in for warmth and security, especially when the main character loses a loved one, and Taehyung and Jungkook are more than happy to oblige. Taehyung slings an arm around his shoulder, and Jungkook continues to gift him with all the sustenance he needs for a lifetime. 

When Taehyung and Jungkook bid him goodnight and return to their own bedroom, Jimin is faced with the fact that he hasn’t escaped his problems entirely. He hears Taehyung giggling in the next room over, followed by Jungkook shushing him. He swears they have started kissing and if he knows how these things go, he’ll be hearing other things (that he really does not want to hear) soon enough. 

Jimin sighs into his pillows, opting to cover his ears and listen to some music instead. Ironically enough, the first song that filters on is a song of Yoongi’s, and it’s just typical, because as soon as the soft beat hums into his ears, he can’t make himself press skip. So he listens to the whole song, from beginning to end. 

Maybe he replays the song a couple of times over. 

Maybe it’s the only song he listens to all night. 

The next days follow like a broken record, screeching and stilted and painful, yet Jimin manages to get by. He turns off all notifications on his phone, blocks out the whole world and basks in his time in Busan. Taehyung and Jungkook’s house faces Haeundae Beach, and Jimin spends most of the time on the veranda, with the doors wide open, even when it’s raining outside, and the cold is nipping at his skin. 

“You’ll be okay, hyung. Things will work out,” Jungkook assures him one evening, a tentative hand braced on Jimin’s shoulder. 

Jimin doesn’t look behind him, he stares at the waves crashing on the shore. “I don’t think they will, Jungkook.” 

Jungkook isn’t pleased with this statement at all. He flitters around Jimin for a while, trying to pry something out of him, before he sighs, shoulders slumping. 

“You shouldn’t sit out here for too long,” he says. “You’ll catch a cold.” 

Jimin knows he’s right, an uncomfortable damp clinging to his bones already. But he ignores it. “You’re so lucky, Jungkook,” he confesses. 

Jungkook frowns down at him. “Lucky?” he repeats. 

Jimin nods once and twists around in his chair to face him. “You and Taehyung. You’re always so happy, so perfect. I wish things were always that easy.” 

He’s watched them from the first moment the two had laid eyes on each other across the halls of their first year accommodation. He’s known them for as long as they have known each other, and their relationship has been so perfect, Jimin has always wondered how such things could be possible. But the way Jungkook is looking at him now, lip snagged between his teeth, makes him doubt everything he ever thought he knew. 

Jungkook rubs his hands up and down his arms nervously, clearing his throat a couple of times before settling in a seat beside Jimin. He keeps his gaze trained on Jimin’s shoes, before he glances up at him. “Things aren’t always that easy, hyung.” 

Jimin frowns at that, confused. “But you guys never fight.” 

“That isn’t true, you’ve never seen us fight before,” Jungkook replies quickly. He shuffles in his seat, as if the topic itself is something he would rather leave buried, and Jimin’s curiosity piques. Jungkook is implying that he has fought with Taehyung before, and maybe more than once. The idea of it sounds so preposterous and it's something Jimin can’t easily imagine. 

The downcast expression on Jungkook’s face, however, proves his previous notions wrong. 

“When we fight, it kind of scares me,” Jungkook resumes, “because hearing Taehyung scream like that, seeing him so mad at me, it catches me off guard completely. He’s rarely like that, you know? But I guess I’m just as bad, I can’t hold it all in. And when we fight, it feels as if it will be the last time we’ll ever talk to each other or see each other again. The idea terrifies me, because a lot of the time we fight over the stupidest things.” 

Jungkook laughs, brushing at the bridge of his nose with his index finger. “A week ago, Taehyung brought me these seashells he’d collected on the beach. He’d been keeping them on the mantelpiece, and I thought we didn’t need them...so I threw them out. He was so angry with me. He kept on saying that the broken seashells were like our relationship and if I didn’t care for the seashells then I didn’t care for him, too.”

He frowns, glancing up at Jimin. “I couldn’t help but say that what he was saying was stupid and the argument escalated and...he threatened to leave me. I found out the next day that he had collected those shells for me. He had wanted to create something for me, and I had ruined it.” 

Jimin leans in closer, entranced by Jungkook’s story. He can imagine Taehyung throwing a fit about the seashells, about something so trivial, even if it was really more important than it seemed. “So what did you do?” he asks. 

Jungkook’s lips tilt up at the corners, a small smile and a glint to his eyes that lights his whole face up in doting. “I went to the beach with several buckets and gathered as many seashells as I could. I brought them back for Taehyung. At the time, he was moping on the couch, but he almost fell off when he saw the amount of shells I collected for him. I told him: ‘it doesn’t matter how many seashells we break, I will always go out and get more. If you ask me to and if you still want me to, then I always will.’” 

Jimin snorts. “That doesn’t make any sense.” 

“Maybe not to you,” Jungkook teases. “But Taehyung loved it. He loved it a lot.” 

Jimin slaps at Jungkook for being cheeky, but the younger man dodges out of the way before he can land a proper blow on him. Jimin knows what he’s trying to say. He’s trying to reassure him that if things were meant to work out, then they would. But Yoongi isn’t going to appear with his metaphorical seashells in hand as an apology. They had run out of second chances.

“Thank you, Jungkookie,” he says, “but I don’t think Yoongi is going to do anything like that. He gave up on this. He didn’t try.” Just like me, Jimin supposes.   

Jungkook’s smile drops at that and for the next hour, he tries to talk to Jimin animatedly about anything and everything, as a way to get Jimin to smile at him. He succeeds in most cases, especially when he retells silly stories (of Taehyung, primarily) and when Taehyung finally returns, Jimin uses this information to his advantage to tease the boy about the countless new things he had learned about him through Jungkook. 

Although Jungkook hasn’t managed to clear the clouds around him completely, there is a sliver of light that hadn’t been there previously. And as time goes by, he feels like he’ll be okay. 

It’s on a sunny Wednesday afternoon when things take a different turn. 

He’s lying across the sandy beach with Jungkook humming pleasantly beside him. He feels at peace, for once, until Taehyung comes screaming at them, waving his phone around in his hand. 

“You’d think there was a natural disaster, or something,” Jimin jokes as Jungkook chortles in response, but both of them are curious as to why Taehyung seems even more ecstatic than usual. 

“You’ll -- never --” Taehyung wheezes once he has reached their little spot on the beach, bending over as he tries to catch his breath. “Guess what -- has just been -- released.” 

“Oh my god, Tae! Spit it out,” Jimin demands. 

Taehyung doesn’t say anything, but rather throws his phone at Jimin’s face. 

Jimin glares up at him, but peers down at the phone when Taehyung pouts at him, pointing to the device expectantly. He doesn’t think much of it at first, assumes that it’s something stupid that will have him and Jungkook rolling their eyes at once they’ve both caught up with whatever Taehyung has been so adamant in showing them. But then he takes in what’s actually on the screen, and he realises that Taehyung had meant this for his eyes only. 

“SUGA TAKES THE K-HIP HOP WORLD BY STORM AS HE DROPS HIS 3RD ALBUM PRIOR TO ITS RELEASE,” the title reads. 

Jimin’s hand jolts as he stares down at the screen, reading the words over and over. He doesn’t understand why Taehyung had to show him this, why it was necessary for him to demonstrate the fact that Yoongi was obviously fine without him. He throws the phone at Taehyung, and Jungkook scrambles for it, reading the words off the screen. 

“Really, Taehyung?” he hisses at his boyfriend. 

Taehyung gives Jungkook a look, before directing his attention at Jimin. Jimin lets out a shaky breath. His skin feels too hot under the glare of the sun and all he wants to do is sink into the sand and bury himself under it, because anything was better than the reality he was currently facing. “Why did you have to show me that?” he wails. 

Taehyung leans across the space and taps Jimin’s chin, as Jimin peers at him through his fringe. “I didn’t show it to you to hurt you, Jimin-ah. I’m sorry if I did, but -- you need to listen to the songs, to every song on that album, okay? Especially the last one, that one is quite telling, I think.” 

“What are you talking about?” Jimin asks, and by gauging Jungkook’s expression (a mix between confusion and a want to snap Taehyung’s jaw shut) he knows that the younger man feels the same way. 

Taehyung gives him a knowing smile. “Just listen to it, okay? You’ll find out soon enough.”

 

⚜ 

Jimin has been staring at his textbooks, attempting to understand the structure of genomes for his Genetics and Genomics module, but nothing is really sinking in. He’s abandoned the topic time and time again to go onto a different module, but his brain isn’t cooperating with him, and all he can really think about is a certain rapper instead. 

When he closes his eyes, he is faced with images of Yoongi at the back of his eyelids, and he wonders when things had become so deep. He needs to focus on his university work for once. He’s been spending too much time either at gigs or with Yoongi, and it’s beginning to show. Jimin’s not paying attention in lectures, and lab tutorials and seminars are almost impossible at this point. If he doesn’t up his game, he’ll hardly scrape a pass for this year, and he’s sure his parents will not be happy to hear that their golden-boy son is failing his second year of university. 

Add that to the list of a multitude of things they disagree with, and Jimin’s sure going home for Christmas will be an absolute joy.   

He knows what he should do. He should shut everything out - his friends and Yoongi - so that he can solely focus on his studies. For the most part, he does try. He spends hours of his free time in the library or in that café he and Yoongi seem to vacate on a weekly basis. But nothing seems to be working, and he’s in half a mind to call it quits and go home to his family with his tail between his legs. 

“That’s not going to happen,” he tries to motivate himself, as he pulls the stack of books closer towards him. 

It’s technically his fault, after all. His father had given him a choice -- university or working for him. Jimin had wanted a little control over his own life, especially if it meant defying them. He had promised himself and his parents that all of this would be worth it, that he hadn’t left for university only to drink and socialise (although this is arguably one of the best parts of the whole experience). Yet, here he is now, and all of the motivational quotes he can find won’t be enough to make him write down a single logical sentence. 

He does try his best, but in the end, life proves to be a distraction, especially when your best friends happen to know the places you frequent. 

Taehyung and Jungkook had wanted to meet up for a ‘study session,’ but as the two boys slide into the other side of the booth, Jimin knows that studying is no longer on the agenda. The two of them are sporting identical grins, Taehyung’s larger and manic, and a tiny bit scarier than Jungkook’s, but they’re clearly up to something. Jimin is filled with unease as soon as Taehyung leans across the table, inspecting the title of one of his textbooks. “What’cha doing?” he asks, but all three of them know that he’s really not interested in Mendelian inheritance. 

“Studying,” Jimin shoots back. “Or trying to, until you two got here.” 

“Jimin-ah,” Taehyung whines, “we came here to help you!” 

“The last time you tried to help me it didn’t end well. And I know that you two are here for other reasons.” 

There’s silence after that, and Jimin wonders whether they’ll finally leave him in peace to try (and fail) to study. That is until Jungkook’s grin widens and Jimin knows that any hope of catching up on work is completely impossible. 

“So, what’s up with you and Yoongi-hyung? You guys have been close for a while now,” Jungkook pries, and Jimin knows that the two of them have been wanting to ask Jimin this in person, but Jimin has been too busy (with Yoongi) to actually sit down and talk to them about it. That, and he doesn’t want them butting into his private life. He knows that if it concerns Yoongi, then both Jungkook and Taehyung are bound to want to know all the juicy details. 

Jimin opens his mouth, maybe to shoot a response at Taehyung for being a bad influence on Jungkook, because Jimin’s sure that the kid hasn’t always been this inquisitive. However, Taehyung beats him to it, practically buzzing in his seat. “Are you dating the Min Suga?” Taehyung asks. 

“Taehyung, let me remind you that Yoongi-hyung isn’t a God, he’s just a rapper,” Jimin rebukes. 

“Just a -- just a rapper?” Taehyung wheezes over the words, hand over his heart as Jungkook pats him comfortingly on the back. “Do you know how many people would kill to even hold his hand?” 

At that, Jungkook stills. “Tae, your inner fanboy is showing, please tone it down,” he warns, and Jimin’s sure there’s a hint of jealousy there, especially with how he’s now practically bristling. 

Jimin sighs, exasperated by this entire conversation. “We’re not really dating,” he confesses. “I asked him before what we were, but he didn’t give me a real answer.” 

At that, both Taehyung and Jungkook freeze. Jungkook cocks his head around to face Jimin, eyebrows furrowed in confusion, while Taehyung peers up at the ceiling above them, as if searching for some holy assistance. 

“What?” Jimin says, puzzled by their reactions. 

“Look,” Taehyung starts, shuffling in his seat, “you’re clearly blind to what’s happening between you and Yoongi, and I just hope hyung has better sense than you.” 

Jimin reaches across the table to grab at Taehyung, but Jungkook stops him from attacking his boyfriend, hand on Jimin’s arm. “You should probably talk to him about it, just to make sure that you both want the same thing from each other?” he suggests. 

He’s never thought about whatever he has with Yoongi in that way before. Mostly, he’s been going with the flow, happy to see where things go. But now Jungkook has placed a worry to prod relentlessly at the forefront of his mind. Jimin doesn’t quite know what he wants from Yoongi, but thinking of it all as nothing but casual hook-ups does not sit well with him. He doesn’t want to be someone that Yoongi grows tired of. He doesn’t want this to ever end. Maybe he wants more from this. 

He hopes Yoongi feels the same. 

Jimin isn’t willing to admit it, but he knows that Jungkook and Taehyung are right. He huffs as a reply, burying his face in his sweater sleeves, and hoping that the conversation will drop for now. He doesn’t want any more stress to be added to his plate. Jungkook and Taehyung catch on soon enough, and they ramble on animatedly about other matters. Taehyung even tries to quiz him on some things, but it mostly ends with Jungkook questioning every fact that Jimin quotes in response. Before they leave the café in the late evening, Taehyung informs him that Yoongi is going to be playing in a different venue, this time somewhere in Hongdae. 

“He will probably ask you at some point,” he says. “But you should come to the gig regardless.” 

Jimin mutters a reply, too tired to speak more on the matter. He knows that Yoongi had been trying to land a gig at the venue, but he didn’t know he had been successful. The fact that Yoongi hadn’t told him straight away about it keeps him irritable for the whole journey to his university apartment. It has him questioning why Taehyung had to be the one to tell him, rather than Yoongi. He claims he doesn’t care about hip-hop and rap, but that isn’t entirely true, because if Yoongi cares about it, if he loves it, then he wants to know of his success. He wants to be the first person he comes to when anything good happens; he wants to be the first person who congratulates him. 

As it turns out, he has nothing to worry about. 

Once he reaches the third floor of the building in which his apartment resides, he catches a man by his door, his head lowered as he taps his foot impatiently. Jimin can’t make out his face, but he knows without a doubt that it is Yoongi. He mulls over the thought of Yoongi standing by his apartment door and waiting for him, even when he knows he hadn’t been in. He wonders how long Yoongi had stayed like that, pressed against the door, a beanie pulled over his head. 

When Yoongi glances up and meets his eye from across the corridor, a hint of a smile blooms across his lips, and any worries that had previously plagued Jimin vanish in an instant. 

“What are you doing here?” Jimin asks him, stopping a foot away from him. He takes in the sight of pen marks smudged across Yoongi’s fingers, a stripe of ink on the side of his cheek -- Jimin wonders what he had been writing about. 

Yoongi inclines himself towards Jimin, he reaches out for his hands, and squeezes them. “I wanted to make sure you were coming to my gig tomorrow,” he answers, and it’s just as Taehyung had said, Yoongi was bound to ask him eventually. 

Jimin threads his and Yoongi’s hands together, leaning in close. “Who said I wanted to go?” 

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “I know you’ve been wanting to see me.” 

“True,” Jimin hums, peering at the ink on Yoongi’s cheek. “I guess it’s cuz you’re cute.” 

“Park Jimin calling me cute?” Yoongi scoffs, but any other retort he had lined up in wait is cut short when Jimin reaches forward and swipes at Yoongi’s cheek with his fingertip, wiping away the black mark blemishing his face. Yoongi stills, mouth slack as Jimin keeps his hand there, even when the stain has disappeared. His eyes slip down a little, and Jimin takes that as an invitation to close the distance, placing a delicate kiss on Yoongi’s lips. 

Yoongi, however, isn’t satisfied by one simple peck. “That’s not enough,” he breathes out, and Jimin thinks that maybe he hadn’t meant to say those words out loud. 

Yoongi shakes his head and takes hold of Jimin’s face, kissing so harshly it has Jimin struggling for breath. Jimin follows suit, placing quick pecks onto Yoongi’s mouth as he fumbles for his keys, almost dropping them as he attempts to unlock the door. Once they’ve succeeded in wrenching it open, they stumble backwards into Jimin’s apartment, Jimin now pressing with the same heated fervour, gripping tightly onto Yoongi’s hips. 

Jimin’s keys drop from his hands, but he doesn’t attempt to catch them, too caught up in the way Yoongi tastes as he licks deeper into his mouth, how his body feels under all those unnecessary layers of clothes. The sudden sound of metal hitting the marble floors has Yoongi pulling away from him, lips stained red. Such a sight makes Jimin’s stomach drop and his heart beat wildly against his rib cage. Jimin whines at the loss of contact, pulling at the material of Yoongi’s shirt, and making himself blush in the process. 

At this moment in time, he probably looks a state, hair disheveled from where Yoongi had raked through the strands while they were kissing. Somehow, he doesn’t care, considering the tiny (albeit embarrassing) whine had been enough to entice Yoongi, as he nips up the expanse of Jimin’s neck, Jimin sighing and wracked with shivers. He bites onto his lip as Yoongi continues to create a bruise, taking a shaky step and losing his balance in the process. Somehow though, they manage to land in a position that doesn’t entirely ruin the atmosphere. Yoongi is propped on top of him, sitting on his calves, arms on either side of Jimin’s head, while Jimin’s back is pressed against the floor, his legs trapped underneath Yoongi’s weight. 

“Oops,” Jimin says and Yoongi glares down at him, making Jimin worry for his safety, considering he looks close to homicidal. That being said, Jimin is surprised when a guffaw bursts out of Yoongi’s mouth, and it’s so inconspicuous and quiet, Jimin wonders whether he had imagined it entirely. 

Yoongi’s shoulders begin to shake as he props himself further back. He tries to control his laughter, but he can’t, and now he’s close to full-blown hysterics. It’s an odd scene, because Jimin has never seen Yoongi laugh like this, at least not with such genuine glee. The sight of it has his throat constricting, and maybe Yoongi has influenced him, because now he’s close to breaking into fits too. 

The two of them stay like this for awhile, laughing together on the floor of Jimin’s apartment, and it’s something he wouldn’t mind doing at all. He finds he likes the sound of Yoongi’s laughter, short and strained guffaws that has him struggling to breathe, his body curled over as he clutches onto his stomach. He'd like to make himself a home in such sounds and drape himself in the warmth that it brings. 

Of course, they can’t stay like this forever, and when Jimin accidentally moves his hips in a way he hadn’t intended, Yoongi freezes, mouth caught in an upwards tilt. Yoongi peers down thoughtfully at Jimin, before he huffs out a breath and positions himself in such a way that when he wriggles even the slightest inch, Jimin feels it down to his very core. 

Jimin has learnt that Yoongi rarely climbs on top, he leaves that to Jimin, says it’s because Jimin’s body was made to move, and that had been that. But now, Jimin decides Yoongi has been so very wrong in his previous assumptions. Yoongi might be more stiff, but he’s possibly more experienced, shifting down on Jimin’s lap, their erections brushing together through their clothes, and Jimin is driven insane by the sensation. Yoongi bucks down painfully slow and he’s clearly taunting him, the smirk lacing his lips being evidence of that. 

Jimin wants nothing but to lean back and watch Yoongi, maybe commit this all to memory and use it as a way to blackmail him in the future. Yet as Yoongi moves once again, Jimin realises his body will not allow him to stay like this much longer. So, he pulls him close, kissing him gently as Yoongi continues the same sensational movement, Yoongi licking and biting at his lips, succeeding in inciting a moan from Jimin. For a while, they stay this way, until Yoongi groans out of irritation, rather than out of pleasure. He careers away, hands on Jimin’s chest and Jimin panics, thinking that he has done something wrong. 

“Why did you stop?” he asks cautiously. 

Yoongi twists his head towards him, and snorts. “Not everyone is built like you, Park Jimin. My thighs fucking kill right now, they’re burning. I never want to do that again.” 

“Never again?” Jimin pouts, but he’s happy that Yoongi pulling away had been nothing major. In fact, it’s endearing how Yoongi scrunches his nose in distaste. 

“I don’t know how you do it,” Yoongi mutters, before an idea seems to spark in his mind, eyes lighting up a fraction as he stretches out his hand, tracing a finger down Jimin’s thighs. “Well, you do have incredible thighs.” 

Jimin smiles widely at that, happy to receive such praise, before the expression becomes mischievous. “You’d think you had a thing for my thighs,” he teases. 

Of course, Yoongi is unaffected by this and only nods in agreement. “Maybe I do,” he hums. 

Somehow or other, in the next couple of seconds that follow, Jimin finds himself with his jeans abandoned near a shoe rack, with Yoongi kissing up the inside of Jimin’s legs, lining it with licks and bites that have Jimin keening. Yoongi sinks down, hands delving underneath Jimin’s boxer briefs, gripping at his ass as Jimin bucks upwards. He lets go, much to Jimin’s disappointment and hooks Jimin’s underwear with his fingers, tugging them down a notch. 

Yoongi peers up at Jimin, cocking an eyebrow. “Can I?” He poses. 

Yoongi doesn’t need to explicitly say it, Jimin knows what he is asking for. 

Jimin nods, his neck aching from continuously peering down at Yoongi. He watches as Yoongi slides his underwear all the way off, discarded on the floor. He vaguely wonders why they decided to stay on the ground like this, but none of that really matters, not when Yoongi is taking him in so appreciatively, tongue tracing his lips. It has Jimin’s mouth going dry, has him extending his hand out and gripping onto Yoongi’s head, possibly as a precursor for what Yoongi is about to do. 

Yoongi grabs hold of Jimin’s calves, placing them above his shoulders as he kneads and massages into his skin, creating patterns with his fingertips. He runs a hand down the underside of Jimin’s thigh, until his palm graces Jimin’s already leaking cock as he trails a finger down the shaft. Jimin urges him to continue, gasping out the older boy’s name, but Yoongi chooses not to fulfill his request, and instead focuses on licking up Jimin’s upper thigh. Jimin moans impatiently, but he knows full well that Yoongi is doing this to taunt him. So, he takes matters into his own hands (quite literally). 

He takes hold of his cock as he strokes up and down his shaft, fingers flicking at the slit. He repeats this with the same momentum, daring to glance down at Yoongi. Yoongi has stopped whatever he is doing, easing himself upwards, eyes dark with something that has Jimin coming undone right there. He stares at him so appreciatively, as if Jimin is the greatest piece of art in a display of legendary artworks. Thrown by this, Jimin can’t seem to concentrate, mind taken up by thoughts of Yoongi. 

Yoongi grabs hold of his wrists. “Let me,” he insists, and Jimin can do nothing but comply with his demands. Jimin’s hand drops. He waits as patiently as he can to see what Yoongi has in mind. 

Yoongi’s hands trail from his abs down to his navel, before resting on his pelvis. He leans in ever-so slowly, his words taking such a soft clarity it leaves Jimin jarred and heady. “What do you want?” Yoongi asks. 

Jimin hates how Yoongi makes him like this, so in need for his touch it has him reeling in anticipation. When he speaks up, his voice sounds so desperate, so unlike his own. “I want you, I don’t care how, please,” he urges. 

“This is probably the first time you’ve been so polite to me,” Yoongi chortles, and Jimin would probably retaliate on most occasions, but he’s far too distracted by how Yoongi latches hard onto his thighs, his hand dancing up the underside, stroking the area with such finesse it has Jimin whimpering. Yoongi touches Jimin’s cock so lightly Jimin decides he has reached his limit in regards to his patience. He links their hands together and presses them down on his shaft, controlling the movement as he begins to slide their hands up and down. 

Jimin lets go only to allow Yoongi to continue. He ruts into Yoongi’s palm, a slur of words spilling from his lips as his head tips backwards. Yoongi kisses up Jimin’s exposed neck at the same time, nipping hard enough onto the area to leave a bruise. He continues at an agonising pace, flicking and twisting his wrist. Jimin collapses into Yoongi, mouth pulling at his ear, as he mutters with a string of expletives for him to ‘hurry up, go faster, hyung.’ 

Yoongi grins lazily at him, but follows Jimin’s demands, quickening the pace in such a way it has Jimin unraveling. He feels the impending release rising inside of him, notices how Yoongi has his free hand around his own cock, pumping to the same rhythm. Soon, Jimin’s body is shuddering all over as he releases. Yoongi follows shortly after, the two falling into each other, heads pressed together, their laboured breathing almost in time. 

There’s a ringing in Jimin’s ears, a remainder of the pleasure still pulsating through his body, and he’s practically shaking with it. He feels as if his soul has been set alight, as if Yoongi has shoved his hands right into his very being, holding his heart in a vice grip, squeezing tight. Jimin trusts him not to break it; he trusts him to cradle it and care for it, to treat it like a precious, lone flower among a decaying field. He hopes he will keep it safe. 

Every time the two of them come together like this, Jimin feels like he’s losing a piece of himself. But it’s okay, because if he had to give away any part of himself, he’d want it to be Yoongi who receives it. 

They’ve probably made a mess of the floor. They really should get up, rather than sitting like this. Yet Jimin can’t find it in himself to care, especially not when Yoongi is running soothing hands down his palms, counting the veins on Jimin’s wrists with his lips. In this moment, Jimin is reminded of the conversation he had had with Taehyung and Jungkook earlier that evening. He doesn’t know what makes him voice his concerns, maybe it’s the fact that he feels untouchable, as if nothing could hurt him, not even a rejection from Yoongi. But he doesn’t think. He opens his mouth, and lets the words tumble out. 

“What are we?” he phrases and Yoongi pauses on his mission to find every freckle on Jimin’s arms, head lifting, frown deepening. 

“What do you mean?” he asks, panic clinging to each syllable. He gawks at him as if he has expected these words, yet hearing them still has him clenching on harder to Jimin’s wrist. 

Jimin isn’t sure what it is that has him pouring out all that he has been ignoring for the longest time. He gnaws at the inside of his lip, and urges himself to say what needs to be said, instead of caving in and tossing the matter aside with a ‘don’t worry, it’s nothing’ when really, Yoongi is everything to him. 

“I know I asked this before, but you didn’t give me a proper answer. The truth is, hyung, I’m the kind of person that gets attached pretty quickly,” he declares. “I’m not the kind of person who is satisfied with a purely sexual relationship, with no strings attached. I catch feelings too easily.” Fall in love too easily. “And I’m sorry if that’s not what you want, if I’m asking for something you can’t give. But I don’t want to be just a warm body to you, I want to be only yours and I want you to be only mine, too.” 

Somehow, saying this out loud has left Jimin gasping for air, has him regretting the words as soon as they are spoken because there is no way that things would go the way he wants them to. Yoongi couldn’t possibly turn around and face him, smiling so softly it has Jimin questioning how fate took so long in placing the two of them in the same direction. He wouldn’t shake his head in disbelief, as if he too is puzzled over the fact that it took so long for them to talk, to actually speak their minds instead of playing this game of what ifs and maybes. 

Except, that is exactly what Yoongi does. He does all of these things and more. 

“I was so worried, so so terrified that you were going to tell me that this was nothing more than sex,” Yoongi trails out, and it renders Jimin speechless because Yoongi has never spoken so fast and so adamantly. It has him chasing after each word, wanting to remember how he phrases it, how his lips move around each and every syllable. 

“I want you to be mine, too,” Yoongi confesses, and Jimin’s heart simultaneously collapses and stitches itself back together again. 

It’s perfect, and Jimin’s waiting for the other shoe to drop, because he hadn’t expected this to be so simple. He kicks himself for not doing something sooner, for not saying something sooner. 

It’s so easy. 

And Jimin is so, so naive. 

“Good,” is the only thing Jimin can say. His brain is full of nothing but the sound of Yoongi’s voice, claiming, ‘I want you to be mine, too.’

 

⚜ 

(Being Min Yoongi’s boyfriend means holding hands underneath café tables. It means stealing quick kisses when the other isn’t looking, as a way to distract them, and as a way to irritate them. But most of the time, being Min Yoongi’s boyfriend is no different from whatever they had before; it only means that Jimin can look at Yoongi and know that he is all his, that that lazy smile will always be directed towards him alone. 

Jimin had liked the way things were before, exploring uncharted territory until the early hours of the morning. Although, it’s nothing in comparison to spending an evening lying side by side in the middle of a park, Jimin’s head resting on Yoongi’s arm as Yoongi raps something underneath his breath. Jimin twists over to look at him. He finds him far more dazzling than the stars above. 

“What?” Yoongi drawls when he catches his eye, playful expression pulling at the corner of his lips. 

Jimin rolls onto his stomach. "Nothing," he replies quickly. His phone buzzes in his pocket, providing a perfect intervention. He takes it out -- it's a text from Taehyung. He smiles, glancing down at Yoongi. “How do you feel about a double date?” 

Yoongi pulls a face at the very idea, clearly displeased, as he sits upwards. “With Taehyung and Jungkook?” 

“Yeah!” Jimin leans in closer to his boyfriend, dropping his head onto his shoulder. He nuzzles his face into his neck. He watches as the grimace on Yoongi’s face turns into an expression of contemplation, before he sighs exasperatedly. “Fine,” he says. “What’s the plan?”)

 

⚜ 

“Do you think they bite?” Taehyung asks as he points at the lemurs. He’s settled on Jungkook’s back, arms wrapped around his boyfriend’s shoulders as he peers at the animals in front of him. As it turns out, Taehyung’s grand plan had been for all four of them to visit a zoo. 

“If you stick your finger in there for too long, then they will,” Yoongi deadpans, rolling his eyes. He had appeared unsettled by the whole thing from as soon as they had met up with Jimin’s friends, but Jimin is thankful that Yoongi has been trying to get along with them. In return, Jungkook and Taehyung have toned down their levels of fanboying, much to Jimin’s relief. 

Taehyung snorts at Yoongi’s words, amused by them, before patting Jungkook on his shoulders and jumping down to his feet. Jungkook frowns at him, and all three of them wait for him to do something, considering there is a mischievous glint in his eye that clearly spells trouble. When Taehyung hitches his leg over the fence, Jungkook and Yoongi dive for him, while Jimin stares at his best friend, sighing languidly. Taehyung doesn’t manage to climb over. He is rewarded by a sharp hit to the shoulder instead. 

“Don’t do something like that again!” Jungkook chastises him. “You could get hurt!” 

“But Jungkookie, there are lemurs,” Taehyung whines, peering over at Yoongi for assistance. However, the older man shakes his head and trudges over towards Jimin. 

He threads his fingers through Jimin’s own, and whispers in his ear, “When is the best time for us to make a break for it?” 

Jimin snorts at that, but holds on tighter. “Not yet,” he says as they make their way over to another section of the zoo. 

Soon enough, Jimin learns that he should have taken Yoongi’s offer to escape while they had the chance. Taehyung doesn’t calm down in the slightest, and some of his excitable energy seems to affect Jungkook, who soon becomes just as rowdy as his boyfriend. The two of them squeal at the chance to feed some deers, racing forward to gather as many leaves for them to eat as possible. Jimin would join them on most occasions, but the way they are currently peering over at Yoongi now, eyes blown wide, has him wanting to abandon this date entirely. 

“Yoongi-hyung!” Taehyung calls from where he is feeding a leaf to a deer, patting the animal’s head as it chews. He’s about to say something more when a group of students stop beside them. One girl steps forward, asking Yoongi for his autograph. Jimin stares at them, wishing that they would disappear. Instead he is pushed to the side, as he barrels into Jungkook. 

“Maybe we should throw all of them into the lions’ den,” he suggests, glaring at the fans in question. Jungkook shakes his head in response, laughing a little. 

“That’s the price of fame for you,” Taehyung comments, standing to his feet. He shakes the dirt off his knees before leaning forward and resting his chin on Jungkook’s shoulder. “It’s only going to get worse when he grows in popularity.” 

Jimin frowns at that, but there’s nothing he can say on the matter. It’s selfish to want Yoongi to stay as he is, rather than become as successful as he deserves. It’s not something he can say out loud, but the thought has him charging forward, grabbing hold of Yoongi’s hand among the throng of fans, as he steers him away from them. He doesn’t stop walking until Yoongi begins to protest, squeezing his hand in order to get through to him somehow. Jimin isn’t sure where they are now, and Jungkook and Taehyung are no longer in sight, but this is what he has secretly been wanting -- because if he’s being honest, he doesn’t want to share Yoongi with anyone else. He wants to keep him all to himself. 

And Yoongi seems to see that, too. 

Yoongi sends him a bemused look as he leans forward, taking in Jimin’s disgruntled expression. “You couldn’t wait to be alone with me, huh?” 

Jimin pointedly ignores that remark, much to Yoongi’s irritation. He stares out at the section with the giraffes before inclining his head towards Yoongi. “Let’s not go on a double date again,” he ascertains instead. Yoongi smirks at that, and presses his lips to Jimin’s own, smiling into the kiss.   

(It’s funny, because if he was ever given the opportunity to do something like this again, he would take it. He wishes he could, he wishes he could go on dates with Yoongi like this without the fear of being caught. In reality, such thoughts as these will only remain a pipe dream).

 

⚜ 

Jimin soon comes to realise that dating Yoongi also means having to deal with his career quite intimately, and it is something he learns time and time again, as the weeks and months (and years) go by. Because dating Min Yoongi may have its pros, but dating Min Suga is a completely different story.   

Yoongi’s gig at a club in Hongdae only solidifies this fact, especially as the night unfolds. Yoongi drags Jimin into the venue, before leaving him to navigate his way to the backstage area, where he will wait to perform that evening. Jimin is reluctant to let go of his hand, especially among the cluster of people who all eye him judgmentally as soon as they enter the venue, their gazes fixed on Yoongi’s hand in his. 

Whispers follow him as he squeezes through the crowd, searching for a familiar face. They gossip about how ‘Suga is seeing someone, a boy no less, a boy who appears so out of place in this kind of establishment.’ Jimin tries to ignore it as much as possible, but the words dig into him. He’s wearing clothes of a fine material, their price comprised together would be more than the pay Suga receives for this event. He’s messed up his hair a little, rather than leaving it perfectly immaculate and straight. His eyes are ringed with eyeliner (a suggestion of Yoongi’s) but he feels like he is wearing a broken mask, and the truth behind it is hardly concealed. 

If only for Yoongi’s sake, he wants to fit in with these people, but he’s not so sure he can. 

When he spots a flash of bright red hair, Jimin nearly cries out in relief, sprinting towards the direction of the bobbing crimson. Taehyung spins around and tackles him once Jimin calls his name. Jungkook is beside him, attention glued to the stage, waiting for the first performance to begin. 

Jimin zones most of it out. He still doesn’t care much for the music, but he tries to keep his mouth shut rather than insult the performances right in front of his hip-hop loving friends. He smiles at the way Jungkook and Taehyung scream and jump to every beat. He’s happy that they have something that they can enjoy together like this. 

When Yoongi appears on the stage, Jimin is forced to listen. 

He doesn’t take in the quality of the music, or the beats and rhythm used. He attunes his senses only to the gravel of Yoongi’s voice and drowns himself in it, sinking in deep. He closes his eyes, imagines Yoongi to be right beside him, rather than across the room. When he chances a glance at the rapper, he thinks for a second that the two of them have caught each other’s eye, but the moment is fleeting and is gone in an instant. 

It’s strange to compare all of this to the first time Jimin had seen Yoongi on stage. He hadn’t thought much of it, he’d thought nothing of the fact that he had been the one to grab Yoongi’s attention. 

Now, he’s jealous of the people in the front row. 

“I heard you two are dating now,” Jungkook mentions halfway through Yoongi’s set, gesturing to the rapper on stage. 

Jimin nods instinctively, but he doesn’t look at Jungkook. “Yeah,” he says. 

“I’m happy for you,” Jungkook whispers into his ear. “It’s still crazy that you’re dating him, though.” 

Somehow, Jimin can’t help but agree with him. 

The rest of the night follows at a slow pace, and Jimin finds himself counting down the minutes until Yoongi is beside him again. Soon enough, his wish is granted, but as he spots Yoongi making his way over to him, he notices that he is not alone. There are two people beside him that he has never met before in his life. 

“Did you like the set?” Yoongi asks him as he stops in front of him with the other two men in tow. Both of them are a lot taller than Jimin, the taller one wearing sunglasses indoors for some strange reason. Jimin recognises them to be the other two rappers that Yoongi had talked about previously. 

Anything that Jimin might have said in response is eclipsed by Taehyung squeezing in between them, as he grasps onto the two other rappers’ hands. 

“Rap Monster and J-hope!” He gasps. “I can’t believe I’m seeing the two of you in person, you guys are amazing.” 

The two men laugh awkwardly. “Thanks,” the shorter one says, his black hair slicked back. “Call us Hoseok and Namjoon.” 

As Taehyung fawns over the two rappers, while Jungkook remains stunned by his side, Yoongi tugs at Jimin’s hand, dragging him away from the group. They link hands and make their way to a place less crowded. Although Jimin doesn’t want to admit that the performance was at least tolerable this time, he does want to kiss him as a reward for it (and this is something that he will never admit to out loud). Except, he isn’t granted the chance to follow up on such thoughts. Yoongi’s eyes are gleaming with something, a vivacity around them that Jimin has only seen when he’s on stage. 

“You’ll never fucking guess who’s just been offered a music contract,” Yoongi gasps out. His eyes are impossibly wide, his fingers trembling with barely contained excitement. 

“You?” Jimin replies stupidly, but he’s grinning because he’s so damn happy for Yoongi. This is all he’s ever wanted and although Jimin doesn’t understand Yoongi’s music at all, he is aware of how much it means to him. 

Yoongi cups Jimin’s face, nodding as he drags his teeth over his bottom lip. “It’s finally happening, Jimin. I’m going to be getting more recognition, I’m gonna be somebody.” 

But you’re already somebody to me. 

“I’m going to be dating someone famous soon enough, aren’t I?” Jimin jokes and Yoongi breathes out a laugh through his nose. 

“Probably not,” Yoongi replies. “People might not give a shit about me or my music.” He runs a hand down Jimin’s cheek. “For the words I have to say.” 

Jimin tilts his head. “I care. Shouldn’t that be enough?” 

Yoongi pulls a face. “I thought you hated hip-hop.” 

“I do,” Jimin states, he bites the inside of his lip. “But I don’t hate you.” 

Yoongi is floored by that. He glances down, before lifting his head up again. His eyes are blown wide in wonder, bursting with stardust.

 

♣️ 

To begin with, Jimin refuses to listen to Yoongi’s new album. It doesn’t matter how many times Taehyung reassures him that it’ll be worth it, because there’s no way he could believe that listening to it would do him any good. It would only remind him once again that Yoongi was able to cope perfectly well without him, and that is something he doesn’t want to think about. So he abandons the thought, trying to immerse himself in other things. 

He helps Taehyung pick out some flowers for the house and he plays video games with Jungkook. His friends are not blind to the fact that he is using them as a distraction, and they pester him about it relentlessly. Jungkook has listened to the album already and schemes day after day with Taehyung, planning a way to force Jimin to listen to Yoongi’s new music. One day they set Jimin’s alarm to one of Yoongi’s new songs (at a god awful hour in the morning) and Jimin threatens to kill them both if they ever try such tricks again. Of course, his threats don’t scare them in the slightest, but even so, none of it seems to work. It does nothing but leave Jimin angry and miserable, his haywire emotions wrongly directed at his innocent best friends. For the most part, he succeeds in avoiding anything to do with Yoongi, but his lucky streak runs out soon enough. 

When flicking through television channels one afternoon, the screen cruelly freezes on Yoongi’s face, an advert for his new music video that had been the deciding catalyst for this whole mess. Jimin panics; he doesn’t want to see Yoongi’s face through a screen, not when he’s been trying his hardest to rid his eyes of the image of what he looks like when he smiles at him, what his voice sounds like when he mutters his name. 

Jimin smacks the remote control several times, and when he thinks the channel will finally switch, the audio rises exponentially, the booming static shaking the vases on the mantelpiece. Taehyung yells at him from the second landing, but Jimin can’t catch what he says. He drops the control as it goes skidding underneath the sofa, so far underneath Jimin can’t reach it even if he were to crawl on his knees and stick his hand under it. 

He blames Yoongi for this, hates how the mere sound of his voice is enough to drive him into hysterics, to have him falling apart at the seams, limbs useless to him. Jimin is in the middle of pushing the sofa to the side so that he can reach the control when Taehyung storms down the stairs, pulling a face at him. 

“Turn it down, Jimin!” he urges and Jimin twists his neck around to face him, sending him the deadliest glare he can muster. 

“I’m trying!” he snaps, but Taehyung has grown tired of waiting for Jimin to shove the sofa far enough to rescue the remote. He steps towards the television and switches it off at the plug. 

Yoongi’s voice disappears. It leaves the room so quiet, so devoid of anything, it turns Jimin stone cold . The television may now be black, but Jimin still has a picture of Yoongi tattooed behind his eyelids. He stutters a breath, brushing at his eyes with his palms, hoping that if he presses down hard enough the image will disappear for good. Maybe forever, if he’s lucky. 

Taehyung is concerned for him, but Jimin doesn’t need to lift his head to know that. The other man clenches his hands into fists, but he doesn’t say anything. 

Jimin supposes Taehyung might suggest he stop avoiding everything again. He thinks he might grab him by the shoulders tightly, shake him from side to side until Jimin gives in. But not yet, not now. 

Although Jimin is shaken by such events, he snaps out of it soon enough. He musters a smile and claims that he had never wanted to watch anything anyway, that all of the channels were full with pointless drivel, and that it’s okay. He’s okay

Taehyung may nod at him, but they both know he’s not convinced. 

Jimin hopes that this strange occurrence will be the last time he’s reminded so suddenly of Yoongi and his godforsaken music. The next days pass without any incident, and Jimin can’t help but think that if he was a boat out at sea, he’s finally broken through the storm. It should be smooth sailing from now on. 

Of course, he’s unaware of the next storm approaching. 

It’s ridiculous that he’s haunted by Yoongi’s voice yet again when he’s out shopping for groceries with Taehyung and Jungkook, having tagged along in order to avoid being stuck in the house with his own thoughts. 

Now, he watches Taehyung skid through the aisles, his body tilting onto the shopping cart. Jimin laughs at the sight and chokes on his own breath when Taehyung goes barrelling into the fruit section, Jungkook running after him, probably ready to chastise him and mock him at the same time. Jimin laughs and shakes his head, glancing down at their shopping list as he roams through the aisles. As he turns a corner, he spots a gaggle of teenagers poring over something on one of their phones. Jimin is curious for a second, before he catches onto the music that they are playing. 

He should have expected it. 

He’s out shopping for food and there is Yoongi again with his stupid songs. Jimin wonders how it is possible, how he seems to be everywhere. He rushes in the direction he came, but now he’s sure that the song filtering over the supermarket’s speakers is one of Yoongi’s, because he can’t mistake that voice. He wonders if the universe is conspiring to make him suffer more than he already is. 

“Maybe it’s a sign,” Taehyung says when they finally leave the shop. 

Jimin is wheezing out short gasps of air, feeling as if he has lost ten years of his life. 

“It’s not a sign,” Jimin butts in. “It’s a coincidence, that’s all.” 

Jungkook rolls his eyes at that. “That’s not the word I would use.” 

Jimin shoots a glare at him and shoves the groceries he’d been carrying into Jungkook’s arms, trudging forward with quick, sharp steps, ignoring his friend’s protests behind him. He power walks the rest of the way home, hands dug deep in his pockets. He tries his best to keep his mind clear, to transform the buzzing of useless thoughts to nothing but white noise. 

Once he reaches his friends’ house, he waits impatiently for them to catch up, tapping his foot. He begins to hum mindlessly, but when he catches himself singing a section of one of Yoongi’s songs (the one he had once written next to him in bed, feet curled around Jimin’s legs), he curses, dropping down onto the pavement, legs pressed up to his chest and his arms wrapped around his knees. 

Jungkook and Taehyung appear a minute or so later, but by then Jimin has already gone around the side of the house, near the veranda facing out towards the beach. He lies on top of one of the sun lounges, face pressed down onto the plastic. Jimin sighs irritably, kicking his legs and hoping this sudden outburst will numb everything else, until he’s somehow cured of the curse that is his feelings for a man who will always be so far away from him. 

He’s always been reminded day after day of Yoongi’s soaring popularity. As soon as he had been offered the music contract, he had delved straight into creating a new album to debut. That new album had placed Yoongi on the radar, had given him all the exposure he needed and more. He had been transformed, had become a man thousands of girls and boys alike screamed after. Taehyung had predicted once that Yoongi would become more than just a small underground rapper. He had become so much more. 

Sometimes, when Jimin is left alone to the dark, he wonders whether the Yoongi he had fallen in love with still exists, whether Yoongi still loves him. 

Jimin props himself up, digging his phone out and scrutinising the black screen. Maybe he needs this, maybe he needs to listen to this album for closure, rather than anything else. He might not be able to listen to the same songs he used to, not when they all remind him of Yoongi. 

Taehyung had assured him that if he listened to Yoongi’s album, he would come to an understanding. He still doesn’t know what he had meant by that, but it’s true that he has never cared to listen to what Yoongi tries to say in his songs. He’s always stuck his nose up at them, not thought about how Yoongi has always been attached to the words that he writes, the words he pens down on pieces of paper, ready to create accompanying beats to. Yoongi had treated those words carefully, had stayed up night after night hoping to perfect them. Jimin couldn’t understand why he was so attached to them, but he had never tried to work out the answer for himself. 

Now, despite the fear that still lingers, Jimin wants to press play. 

As he listens through track after track, something begins to wash over him. He sits up slowly, body stiffening as he catches the desperation in Yoongi’s voice, the pleading tone. Soon, Jimin hears anger. It’s raw and terrifying and has him shaking all over. It turns him cold and lost, and all he wants to do is destroy such words. He doesn’t want to hear the finality in Yoongi’s voice in the very last song, as if any hope has been stripped away from him. He speaks as if he will never speak again, the words he has to say being the only ones he has left to give, because the part of him that had been able to create such words has long disappeared. 

As the song fades out, it is replaced with an emptiness that sticks to Jimin’s bones. He wonders how he could have been so blind, how he could have ignored the largest part of Yoongi’s devotion because of his own pride. 

When Jungkook had told Jimin of the story about the seashells, Jimin hadn’t understood what he had been trying to say. 

But now, he does. 

It was a message in some way, and Jungkook had been hoping that Jimin would catch on to what it meant. These songs Yoongi had created, they were his seashells. They were his answer, his reply, his love in a neat bow of bridges and choruses and controlled beats. Yoongi had never been the kind of person to say what he meant so explicitly, but this was him trying to. He was bearing his heart open, bruises and stitches on full display, a gaping wound that Jimin had left neglected for far too long. 

Jimin knocks his head back, staring up at the sky above. It is now dark, but the stars shine down on him. They seem to be saying, ‘what are you waiting for? ’ 

Jimin breaks into a smile, his eyes are stinging. “I’m so sorry. I've been so stupid.” 

He needs to go home. 

He hopes he isn’t too late.

 

⚜ 

Ever since the gig in Hongdae, Yoongi’s life has taken a turn for the better. After he had exited the stage, heading towards the backstage area with Namjoon and Hoseok in tow, a man had approached them -- Kim Seokjin -- and had presented them with an offer they couldn’t refuse. All three of them had been scouted in that one night, and since then, Yoongi has seen more of the two rappers than anyone else, even Jimin. 

After that, Yoongi had been thrown face first into contracts and laws he hadn’t ever heard of before. He had read over each word before finally setting his signature down, but Yoongi wonders whether he would still have signed it even if there was some glaring issue with it. He couldn’t believe that his life had reached this point, that he was now going to be producing albums that would be showcased to a larger market. 

Even after this, he might not be so well-known, but it at least gives him a chance to present his music to a wider audience. He begins working on songs immediately, pushed by the want to debut his first album as quickly as possible. He works on his tracks almost every waking hour of the day, occupying the studios until a cleaner kicks him out, claiming that he needs to leave. He drags Namjoon and Hoseok into recording booths, has them rapping words he has penned down on receipts and post-it notes. He suggests Hoseok sings at one point, and he is filled with pride when all three of them discover that Hoseok’s voice provides the perfect sound for an already excellent track. 

It’s one song out of many, but it is soon completed. Next, the three of them spend hours talking about what kind of music video they might need to fit the sound. Yoongi produces other songs in the meantime, some just with Hoseok and Namjoon separately, and many by himself. He thinks about Jimin when he writes them, the boy’s laughter ringing in his ears, and the words spin easily from the ink. 

“You must care for him a lot,” Hoseok comments after he skims through the last song that Yoongi creates for his debut album. 

“I guess so,” Yoongi replies with an affectionate smile, but he is saddened by the fact that Jimin will most likely never hear the message behind Yoongi’s lyrics. He will never hear the words he has to say. 

A month soon passes in a blink of an eye, one month tumbling into two, then three, and soon enough Yoongi is releasing his first music video to the world. The song isn’t so successful to begin with, but once a prominent rapper shares it on Twitter, more and more people seem to flock to it, and Yoongi is given a first row seat to what rapid success looks like. 

Through all of this, Yoongi doesn’t see much of Jimin at all. 

He hardly has any free time to do what he wants, but that isn’t entirely his fault. His schedule doesn’t completely allow for it. But when he does receive a five minute breather, he doesn’t call up Jimin like he should do. He doesn’t rush over to his apartment. Instead, he locks himself up in the studio, creating more and more music. Although his muse is far away from him, he still manages to create art all the same. 

Soon enough, though, Jimin becomes fed up by it and Yoongi doesn’t blame him. He’s been craving some time alone with the boy. He tries one day to sneak out and see him, but his manager Seokjin stops him with a stern look in his eyes. They’re in the studio, as per usual, and the door is wide open, creating enough space for Yoongi to run through if he needs to make a quick getaway. 

“I haven’t seen my boyfriend in a while,” Yoongi says. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” 

Instead of letting Yoongi go, Seokjin gestures for him to sit down, as Yoongi begrudgingly relents. Although Yoongi hates being pushed around by most people, he can’t defy Seokjin. 

“You have to be careful, Yoongi,” Seokjin advises after Yoongi finally takes a seat. “You’re a new face to this industry. You don’t want to tarnish your reputation before you’ve started.” 

Yoongi frowns at that, but Seokjin’s words hit home all the same. He’s heard of countless scandals involving people who have been forced out of the closet, who have been ostracised because of their sexuality. 

“Because I’m in a relationship with another man?” Yoongi spits out. “I’m not an idol, hyung. I’m not going to break so easily.” 

Seokjin appears as if he wants to say more, but Yoongi is so adamant, there is no way he will be swayed differently. He won’t be pushed into the closet, he won’t do that to himself and he can’t do that to Jimin either. There is already some speculation over his sexuality, so why not let the rumours stew? If the public doesn’t accept him for who he is, then he will be forced to return to his old roots. It would be unfortunate, but it wouldn’t exactly be a punishment either. 

Thankfully, Seokjin drops the topic, at least for that evening. However, he doesn’t let Yoongi run off to Jimin just yet. Instead he insists on sorting out a track order for the album, which feeds into Yoongi’s free time. 

When he finally leaves the studio though, and at two in the morning no less, he quickly dials Jimin’s number. There’s a chance that Jimin will be asleep, but Yoongi wants to try at least. He needs to apologise for where things have been going lately. As long as he calls now, rather than leaves it completely, then it will surely be alright. 

When the dial tone clicks, Yoongi is thankful for his sudden spontaneity. 

About time, Yoongi-hyung,” Jimin gripes into the receiver. 

Yoongi snorts. “I’m surprised you’re awake. You been waiting up for me?” he coos. 

At that, he hears Jimin scoffing dramatically on the other end. There’s a sound of rustling, and for a second Yoongi thinks Jimin has hung up on him out of spite. But then Jimin coughs rather loudly, and Yoongi breathes out a sigh. He wonders what Jimin is doing right now, if he’s lying down on his huge king-size bed, or if he’s sitting by his kitchen stuffing ice cream into his mouth. The picture that stirs in his mind is quite endearing, it has his cheeks warming, despite the winter cold. “I was asleep until ten minutes ago, actually,” he shoots at him, but there’s a chime of laughter to his voice. “Anyway, are you coming home now? ” 

“Yeah,” Yoongi replies. “But I can come over yours. I haven’t seen you in ages. Jimin, I’m sorry that --” 

“Stop,” Jimin interrupts. “You’re talking to me now, aren’t you? It would be worse if you never bothered to call me -- so I’m glad you did.” He clears his throat. “And there’s no point in you coming over right now. I’ve already left.” 

Yoongi stares down at his phone, cocking his head, as he turns a corner. He’s almost arrived at his flat. “Left where? It’s 2AM,” he states. 

What’s your address?” Jimin asks, ignoring Yoongi completely. Yoongi is irritated by Jimin’s blatant disrespect for at least a couple of seconds, before his brain processes Jimin’s question, and he pales considerably. 

“Why do you need my address for?” 

“Well,” Jimin hums, enunciating the word, “maybe I want to come to you, rather than have you come all the way to my apartment. And I’ve never been around your place, so.” 

Yoongi comes to a stop. He glances around him, but of course Jimin isn’t anywhere in sight. Frankly, he doesn’t want to tell Jimin anything. He wants him to stay in his ridiculously expensive apartment; he doesn’t want him to see where he lives. His flat is cheap for a reason, it’s the only one he can afford right now. Yoongi’s parents hadn’t always been supportive of his chosen vocation in life. They’d pushed him to do other things, to go to university and do something that would allow him to open so many doors in his life. 

But Yoongi had defied them. He had left his hometown in Daegu and had worked several part-time jobs in order to live in the place he lives in now, rather than in a sub-par hostel. Even so, his flat isn’t luxury living either. There’s too many cracks, too many leaks and breakages. His flat is probably just a bit bigger than Jimin’s kitchen and he doesn’t want Jimin to see him for what he really is. 

Yoongi-hyung?” Jimin prompts, snapping Yoongi out of it. 

“Uh,” he begins stupidly, “do you really need to come over?" 

Why? Do you not want me to?” 

Yoongi can almost imagine Jimin narrowing his eyes in suspicion. There’s no way he can win this one. In most cases, he wouldn’t have cared. He’d have hung up and rushed to his flat, locking the door behind him. But he can’t say no to Jimin. Doing so would mean further opening the gaps in their relationship, creating a chance for things to crumble. Yoongi is already walking a thin line, he doesn’t need to make things worse. So he takes a deep breath in, pulling his hat further over his head, mumbling off his address. 

Once he returns home, he spends the next couple of minutes sorting out as much as he can. He covers a scratch across the wall with a large poster. He tries his hardest to make sure his front door doesn’t swing right off its hinges this time. He wants to be able to do a quick once-over of his whole flat, but there’s not enough time. The doorbell rings soon enough. 

Yoongi smooths down the creases of his shirt with his hands as he traipses over to the door, opening it with a tilt of his lips as if he hadn’t been freaking out about the state of his apartment for the last fifteen minutes. He is still low-key panicking over what Jimin might think, but such worries are distinguished when Jimin peers over his shoulder, pulling a face for other reasons Yoongi hadn’t considered being a problem. 

“What a mess,” he remarks. “Do you ever clean?” 

“I can slam this door in your face if you want me to, Park Jimin.” Yoongi glares at him, but Jimin remains unaffected by his efforts to scare him. 

Jimin scrunches his nose at him, and any hostility within Yoongi melts away. Jimin presses himself past Yoongi and into his flat. He makes his way over to his sofa and collapses into it, grinning at Yoongi. “You were saying?” 

Yoongi wants to ask Jimin why he hasn’t made a remark about the state of his flat yet, why he hasn’t made a snide comment. Jimin acts perfectly normal and he’s too much, as per usual. He’s wearing a goddamn black coat that almost reaches his knees, but he still looks so effortlessly sexy, and Yoongi wants nothing but to throw the thing away, maybe get rid of more than just the coat. He wants a lot of things, apparently. 

From Jimin’s expectant expression, he assumes that they are on the same page. 

The next thing he knows, they’re kissing on Yoongi’s bed, clothes thrown away in haste. Yoongi’s hand is wrapped around Jimin’s cock once again, pumping as the boy gasps into his mouth. Jimin’s hair fans over his forehead, and his cheeks are dusted pink. They could continue like this until they both release in a sticky (but gorgeous) mess, but Yoongi has other plans this time. So, he pulls away at the last minute, with nothing but a wry jerk of his lips. 

Jimin grabs hold of his hand, but Yoongi doesn’t budge. Jimin glances up at him, he breathes out a little whine. “Hyung,” he urges. 

Yoongi shakes his head, much to Jimin’s disappointment, as Jimin moans in response. It’s clear that Jimin is too close, his body aching for some sort of release which Yoongi is denying him of. Yoongi is too mesmerised by how Jimin trembles beneath him, he doesn’t expect him to take it upon himself to finish what Yoongi had started, his hand trailing down his pelvis, ready to take hold of his cock. 

But that’s not what Yoongi wants. He tuts at Jimin, shaking a slender finger close to Jimin’s face. Jimin appears as if he wants to hit him for doing so, but he is too riled up to do anything but lean into his shoulder, biting hard. 

“You’re still mine, aren’t you?” Yoongi asks, carding his hands through Jimin’s hair. 

Jimin peers up at him, lashes dripping into his eyes, his mouth trembling. He nods once and that’s enough for Yoongi to feel satisfied. He had fretted over where their relationship seemed to be going for days on end. It appeared close to breaking point, but nothing had truly sent them tumbling over the edge. They were fine. For now, Jimin is still his

And with that knowledge in mind, Yoongi decides he is allowed to tease Jimin a bit. He tilts towards him, muttering into Jimin’s hair, “Convince me.” 

At that, Jimin gapes at him, his jaw falling wide open. He is floored by Yoongi’s response, and Yoongi expects him to whine in irritation, maybe mumble something about revenging against him later. But he doesn’t do any of these things. He reaches some sort of decision, his eyes taking on a steely determination as he holds Yoongi’s gaze, stretching down towards one of the shelves beside Yoongi’s bed. He manages to find what he is looking for as he pulls out a bottle. Yoongi can’t believe what he’s seeing, he didn’t think that Jimin would take his words so seriously. He’s truly blessed to have him. 

Jimin uncaps the bottle, slicking the liquid over his fingers quite generously. He shifts his hips a fraction upwards to give himself more room (and probably so that Yoongi can see better, he thinks). As his finger flirts against the rim of his hole, moaning gratuitously, Yoongi almost pinches himself, because surely this couldn’t be happening right now. Once Jimin sinks down onto his finger, fucking himself open, Yoongi’s heart leaps in his chest. It runs at a rapid pace, and Yoongi feels like he’s diving head first from a cliff at a speed he can’t control. He wonders whether he’s under the influence of something. 

It’s just possible that Jimin is like a drug, sinking under his skin and making him feel dazed and headless. Yoongi wants to pull away the hair from Jimin’s face, he wants to see all of him on display without anything in the way. 

Sweat drips from Jimin’s brow as he slides in one finger after another, hips moving down onto his hand, a gasp of pleasure each time he does so. His body is shaking at this point, possibly from the strain of keeping himself upright, but Yoongi can’t help but wonder whether Jimin is imagining his fingers to be Yoongi stretching him open instead. When Jimin glances up, catching Yoongi’s eyes, Yoongi can’t help but believe this to be so. Jimin smirks at him, tongue darting over his lips, and Yoongi thinks that Jimin secretly likes putting on a show for him like this. The thought has Yoongi rushing to take hold of his own cock, palming himself to the same inexplicable rhythm of Jimin moving his hips up-and-down, up-and-down. 

Yoongi moves closer to Jimin, pressing a kiss to the crease of his mouth. “You’re so good, Jimin-ah,” he gasps out. 

Jimin beams at the praise and fucks into himself faster. “If it’s for you, I’ll be whatever you want me to be,” he confesses. 

Yoongi’s eyes crinkle at that, tongue tracing his bottom lip. He should kiss Jimin senseless for saying that, maybe praise him a little more, considering it is as clear as day that Jimin likes it. But Jimin is close to his climax, and Yoongi will soon be following suit. There’s other things that Yoongi wants from him. “Seeing you like this,” he says, “it makes me want to fuck you.” 

Jimin’s frame shakes violently as a response. “Then do it, hyung,” he pleads, withdrawing his fingers as he practically grabs onto Yoongi’s hips, grinding down on him. 

“Impatient, are we?” Yoongi mocks, observing the way Jimin drinks him in, eyes glued to Yoongi’s leaking cock, hard against his stomach. 

Yoongi quickly fetches a condom from his drawer, ready to place it on himself when Jimin snatches it from him and does him the honour in doing so. Yoongi feels like a parched man in the middle of a desert and looking at Jimin -- it’s like he can breathe again. They’ve done this so many times, yet Yoongi feels that same anticipation thrumming within him, surging up and taking hold inside of him. 

Once he has slipped the condom on, Jimin wraps his legs around him. Without a single word, he sinks down onto Yoongi’s cock, legs rigid as he buries deep. Yoongi’s breathing comes out in broken stutters as Jimin’s body seems to clench around him. Black spots dot his vision. He grips hard onto Jimin’s hips, leaving crescent shaped marks in his wake as Jimin whimpers. He grinds down faster, Yoongi bucking his hips and he can’t get over how gorgeous Jimin is like this. 

He decides that for once these words need to be said out loud.   

“You’re so fucking beautiful, Jimin,” he praises him and he thinks it’s worth saying, especially when Jimin sucks in his lip before kissing him so softly it drives Yoongi mad with the sensation. 

Yoongi shifts their positions, pressing Jimin down onto the mattress and slamming into him hard with each roll of his hips. Jimin’s hands are splayed above his head. He urges Yoongi to press in deeper, to go faster and rougher. Yoongi assents, hips shoved against him. He takes hold of Jimin’s hands and threads their fingers together. It’s Jimin who squeezes hard as the two of them come at once. 

Yoongi shudders with each blinding pulse of his release into Jimin, filling the condom. He watches in awe as Jimin follows suit, toes curled inward, his hands clinging to Yoongi’s own. They stay like that for a moment longer, before Yoongi pulls out and throws the condom away. 

They don’t let go of each other’s hands. 

Yoongi thinks that that’s how it should be, his palm tattooed into Jimin’s own, so that no other hand will be able to replace his in such a perfect fit. 

When he closes his eyes, he can hear Jimin’s soft breathing mingling with his own. 

Jimin lands beside him, shaking the bed. He stretches his hands towards Yoongi, fingers threading in his hair, massaging his scalp. Yoongi hums in appreciation, closing his eyes, concentrating on Jimin’s touch. He almost falls asleep like this (and it’s not surprising, it’s still pretty early in the morning, and Jimin is so comfortable ) but his eyes flutter open when Jimin lifts his hand away. Jimin moves Yoongi’s arm upwards and around his shoulders, snuggling into Yoongi’s side. He places kisses to the tattoos on Yoongi’s hands, taking his time to trace his mouth around every shape. He turns around a little, attention drawn to the ink on Yoongi’s chest, following his finger down one just above Yoongi’s heart. 

“You have a lot of tattoos,” Jimin comments. 

“You like them, don’t you?” 

Jimin answers by placing his lips over one, nodding slowly. “I do. I love them,” he replies honestly, peering up at Yoongi. 

Yoongi remembers having a conversation like this with Jimin in the past. He had teased Jimin for secretly having a thing for them, and Jimin had stuck his bottom lip out at him in response. But now, Yoongi knows he had been right. He’s still exploring each one he can find with his hands and his lips. 

Fatigue’s strings are beginning to pull at him, but for once Yoongi wants to defy sleep. Most of the time, he’s loved having the chance to sleep whenever he could. But with Jimin by his side, it’s different. He wants to stay awake, if only so that he can continue this memory with Jimin, so that he doesn’t have to witness him becoming eclipsed by the dark. He wants to see that soft smile on his face for as long as he can. 

It’s ridiculous, because if he hadn’t told Jimin his address, he wouldn’t have Jimin beside him right now. He’d be sleeping alone and this bed would be so, so cold without him. 

He probably wouldn’t sleep at all. 

“How could I have even thought of missing this?” he says out loud without meaning to. He curses inwardly once he has realised his blunder. Unfortunately, this hasn’t gone unnoticed by Jimin. 

“Hmm?” Jimin tilts his head, confused. 

Yoongi could claim it to be nothing, could tell Jimin that it was time the two of them got some shut-eye. Yet, he wants to talk to Jimin about this. He wants to know everything that goes on in that sweet little head of his. 

So for once, he speaks his mind without any fear of the consequences. “It’s really fucking stupid,” he admits, brushing the bridge of his nose out of habit. “But I thought you were gonna see where I lived then leave me.” 

At such words, Jimin eases himself upwards on his elbows. He sits up, folding his legs, and searches Yoongi’s face. It makes Yoongi feel uncomfortable, has him squirming, afraid that Jimin will tell him that he had been right. 

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Jimin replies instead. 

Yoongi breathes out a sigh in relief. “I know,” he laughs, shaking his head. 

“Do you think I care about where you live? I’m dating you because I like you, not because of how much money you earn. And I hope that that’s not the case with you,” Jimin ends with unease. 

Yoongi pulls a face. “Of course it isn’t. Besides, like wouldn’t be the word I would use for how I feel about you.”   

“Really?” Jimin hums. “What word would you use, Yoongi-hyung?” 

“When thinking about you, there’s too many words I want to use.” 

Yoongi expects Jimin to call him out for being cheesy, but it’s the truth. He knows it sounds ridiculous coming out of his mouth, yet he doesn’t care. He wants Jimin to know how much he inspires him, even if he doesn’t listen to all of his songs as proof. 

Thankfully, Jimin doesn’t hit him across the chest just to spite him. He places a kiss on Yoongi’s shoulder instead, hiding his face. “What am I supposed to do,” he says, “when you tell me things like that. You’re going to kill me.” 

Yoongi taps Jimin on the top of his head, waiting for him to face him again. Jimin shakes his head into Yoongi’s arm and Yoongi imagines that his face has turned a vibrant and gorgeous red. 

“I’m sorry for being so busy recently,” Yoongi apologises, carding Jimin’s hair back. “I wish I could spend more time with you, but things have gotten so crazy. And promotions are just around the corner --” 

“It’s okay,” Jimin intercepts, finally inclining his head upwards. “You at least called me, hyung. And you know, it’s fine, because you didn’t leave me waiting forever. You didn’t give up on us. ” 

“I would never give up on us. Not on you.” 

“I don’t know what I’d do if you ever did. It doesn’t matter if your schedule becomes crazy. If I’m the last thought on your mind before you sleep, then that’s okay,” Jimin concludes, scrunching his nose up in embarrassment at these last words. 

“You don’t have to worry about that,” Yoongi replies, but what he means to say is this:  'You’re on my mind all the time, Park Jimin. You’re the thought that plagues me every waking second, the thought hiding between every soundtrack I will ever create. If only you knew that every song I write, and all the words I have to give, will always be yours.’ 

“Good.” Jimin nods and jumps down on the bed, arms and legs spread out. He almost punches Yoongi in the face in the process, but Yoongi can do nothing but send him a withering glare that has no real threat to it. He pinches Jimin’s cheek hard instead, as the boy pleads for mercy. 

And it’s perfect like this. Yoongi feels like moments like these will stretch on forever if he holds onto them tight enough, if he keeps his eyes open. He reaches out and takes Jimin’s hand in his own and holds on tight. 

(Now, in hindsight, he wishes he had held on tighter).

 

⚜ 

To begin with, Yoongi keeps his promise. He makes sure to reserve his free time purely for Jimin, spending late nights and early mornings together, until Yoongi has to disappear again. Jimin watches him grow in fame, the gradual climb suddenly quickening when his first ever full album is released. The album is nominated for awards such as ‘Best New Music,’ and Yoongi presents the invite to Jimin on one lazy morning. 

Jimin had been sleeping soundly until Yoongi crawls beside him, hitting his face. Jimin cracks an eye open and peeks up at him. He grabs onto his arm, dragging him down into bed. 

“I didn’t come back to sleep, Jimin. Although that does sound very appealing,” Yoongi says as Jimin yawns into his shoulder. He thinks that it would be nice to have a day like this, to stay in bed with Yoongi without worrying about the outside world. Yoongi drums his fingers down on Jimin’s chest, and Jimin has a feeling that Yoongi is awake for a reason. “Guess what,” he whispers into Jimin’s ear. 

“You made pancakes?” Jimin assumes, jetting upwards and clapping his hands expectantly. 

“No,” Yoongi denies, crushing Jimin’s hopes. “But you can make me some.” 

“Why?” Jimin says, pulling a face. 

Yoongi grins widely at that. “I’ve been nominated for a MAMA award,” he enunciates slowly. 

At that, Jimin kisses him as a way to congratulate him, diving on top of Yoongi until Yoongi threatens to take someone else instead. Of course, he doesn’t mean it. 

In truth, Jimin is intrigued to attend such a prestigious event. Hearing this news has him wide awake. It has him leaping out of bed with a rumpled Yoongi in tow, as he whisks him towards the kitchen. He makes Yoongi take a seat as he begins cooking him breakfast, humming to himself as Yoongi watches him with amusement. 

They eat breakfast together for what feels like the hundredth time, nestled side by side as Jimin shovels down pieces of pancake into his mouth. He almost chokes when Yoongi turns his nose up at him in disgust. It has become a bit of a routine, but Jimin loves the idea of waking up to Yoongi every morning. He feels like he is walking on water, Yoongi’s hand guiding him across a tumultuous sea. 

However, Jimin should have expected that things weren’t going to stay like this forever. For the next few days before MAMA, he receives texts from his parents, informing him that they want to see him soon. For most people, seeing their parents wouldn’t be so nerve-wracking. Although his mother is more lenient, Jimin fears his father’s judgment more than anything else. He doesn’t want him to find out about his relationship with Yoongi. He remembers Yoongi joking about meeting his parents when they hadn’t even been together, and he thinks it’s ironic, because the reality that they might meet Yoongi and hate him is terrifying. 

No matter how hard he tries to ignore them, the texts unfortunately persist. 

[14:17PM][Appa]: if you can’t come down and visit us soon, we can come and visit you.

[18:49PM][Appa]: we’ll be coming down some time this week. 

Although Jimin had been warned of his parents’ arrival, he hadn’t been told of when they would show. He continues life as per usual. He doesn’t think about the fact that there’s a chance his parents will knock on the door when Yoongi is also in his apartment. 

When Jimin’s parents do drop by, he’s too busy kissing Yoongi to register the sound of the door bell. They’re sitting by the kitchen island, Jimin on one of the stools while Yoongi stands in front of him, cupping his cheek as he licks into his mouth. Jimin breathes out a laugh when their teeth accidentally clink together, placing a quick peck to Yoongi’s lips. He pulls away a fraction, hand jumbled up in Yoongi’s sweater, when the door suddenly opens. Jimin stills, twisting his head around to face his parents by the entrance. His father stares at him as if he can’t quite make out what he’s seeing. 

Jimin feels the ground beneath him shake and crack between his toes. 

Yoongi doesn’t leave straight after, but Jimin wishes he would. He stays, one hand held tight in Jimin’s own as he stretches out a hand for his father to shake. Jimin’s father does nothing but stare at it. 

“Who are you?” he demands, eyes narrowing, while his wife pulls on his sleeves. 

Yoongi clears his throat. “Min Yoongi, sir.” 

Jimin watches his father’s phone slip from his grasp, his expression morphing into one of sheer disgust. Jimin’s grip on Yoongi’s wrist tightens and he knows there’s no way this is going to end well. 

The next few hours that follow are strained and exceedingly painful. Jimin suffers through an awkward dinner, Yoongi beside him, hand placed on his jittery knee. He, along with Yoongi, had made jjajjangmyeon for all four of them, but his father is staring down at his food in distaste, picking at it more than eating it. He sets his food away from him, and Jimin jumps when his chopsticks hit the table, his father directing his attention towards Yoongi. 

“You have a lot of tattoos,” his father comments. “Don’t you think you’re going to regret those?” 

Yoongi peers up from where he’s been playing with a noodle strand, occasionally casting concerned looks Jimin’s way, and swallows. He shakes his head. “I don’t think I ever will. They’re art, each one of them means something to me. Like the lyrics I write.” 

“Ah yes, you’re a rapper,” his father spits out. “How much does that pay I wonder?” 

Yoongi stiffens beside Jimin, aware of the hostility in his father’s voice. His father continues to make snide comments, ranging from his style to his lack of university education. Jimin can see that Yoongi is seething at each and every dig, but he remains as civil and as polite as he can. 

“Yoongi’s quite popular, actually,” Jimin adds when his father asks what ‘his stage name is again ’. “He’s been nominated for a MAMA award.”   

Although Jimin doesn’t care much for Yoongi’s music, he won’t let his father belittle him like this. No one has the right to treat him as if he is second-rate. His hands are clawing into his seat when his father snorts in reply, claiming that ‘kids these days need their hearing checked’ and Jimin is rising up, his chair clanging against the table as he surges out of the room, ready to pull Yoongi with him. 

It’s strange that it’s him who seems to be the most affected. It’s not Yoongi who wants to shove all of those malicious words up his father’s throat, because Yoongi is pulling off the best poker face of the century. However, when Jimin’s father stands up, storming over towards Jimin, Jimin notices Yoongi’s expression falter for an instant too long to go unnoticed, a quiet fury stirring in the tick of his jaw. 

“Come with me,” his father orders him. “We have to talk.” 

Jimin doesn’t have a choice, not when his father is holding his hand in a vice grip. Yoongi heaves up, eyes wide, but Jimin shakes his head, mouthing at him that he’ll be okay. His father drags him outside of the flat where they won’t be overheard, and Jimin wants to erase the beginnings of disgust curling his bottom lip downward. 

“Don’t stay with that boy,” his father instructs. “You’ll be poisoned by him. People like that, they fade away into nothing. Don’t let him drag you down with him.” 

In the past, Jimin might have listened to him. He wouldn’t have questioned it, would have let go without a second thought. But this time is different. He hasn’t said it out loud yet, but he has fallen in love with Yoongi. He can’t let go of that. He won’t. 

His parents have always been judgmental of the people he has claimed to be in love with. They say they want what’s best for him, that it’s in his best interest. But really, they’re using him like a pawn on their chess-board. They want to construct a perfect checkmate. A perfect marriage. 

But his parents’ plan was doomed from the outset, because Jimin won’t be the golden son that brings them home the perfect wife and children. He’ll bring Yoongi instead, a rapper no less. 

He doesn’t need perfection, he just needs Yoongi. 

“I’m in love with him,” Jimin announces. “I’m just as poisoned as he is.” 

(These will be the last words he speaks to his father for a long time. His father will inform him by text that his allowance is being cut, that their family will no longer have anything to do with him). 

“Disgusting,” his father hisses. He shakes his head, pulling out his car keys from his pocket and shoving his way back into the apartment. 

His father urges for his mother to leave and pick up her things. Although she hesitates, she doesn’t defy him. Her head is lowered as she passes Jimin by. 

Jimin watches his father and mother leave, but his father doesn’t exit his life quietly. As he takes one last look at Jimin, he seethes a bright and angry red, before he starts shouting obscene things, pointing in a blind rage at Yoongi. 

Yoongi clutches onto Jimin’s wrist, pulling him to his chest. “It’s alright,” Yoongi assures him, in an attempt to stop Jimin’s tremors. “It’s alright, Jimin.” 

Although it seems impossible, Jimin forces himself to believe that such words are true. 

A couple of days later, he has to move out of his apartment, the price becoming something that Jimin can’t even dream of anymore, due to losing his parents’ money and his inheritance. He is offered a place to stay with Yoongi, who has been seeking a new apartment, and he takes it without a second thought. 

“They’ll come around sometime,” Yoongi assures him on the day Jimin moves all of his belongings into their new apartment. It’s smaller than Jimin’s by a great deal, but it’s bigger than Yoongi’s. Either way, Jimin feels at home as soon as he steps inside. 

“How are you so sure?” Jimin asks, doubtful. 

“After I moved here from Daegu, my parents stopped talking to me,” Yoongi tells him. “They didn’t agree with my career choice. In fact, they hated it. Now, they have first row seats to a gig I have coming up soon in one of Seoul’s biggest venues.” 

Jimin wants to accept Yoongi’s kindness, he wants to believe that things really will be alright, but his father has always been bitter and narrow-minded, the type of man to forever hold a grudge. Jimin hopes one day he will be able to look at him without having to face the disgust that accompanies every word spat in his direction. 

(The truth is, his father will never accept him. But one day his mother might just appear in front of him and say, ‘how are you, I hope you’re doing well’. She might confess to Jimin that she misses him, that his father will come around eventually. Even if it’s not true, even if the thought of it sounds impossible, he hopes he hears such words).

 

♣️ 

Every part of Jimin is on high alert as he digs for his shoes, for anything he can get a hold of within the span of a few minutes. He needs to leave right now and he doesn’t care that he hasn’t packed up all of his stuff yet. All he needs in this moment in time is his bare necessities -- his phone, his wallet, his keys. He needs to return to Seoul as soon as possible. But before he seeks out Yoongi, he needs to stop somewhere. Jimin knows he should run straight to him before anything else, but there’s something he wants to do beforehand. He’s sure Yoongi will understand that he has listened to the whole album if he does. 

He’s sitting by the entrance of Taehyung and Jungkook’s house, almost ready to leave, when they return. His friends stare at him, groceries left to the side as they exchange confused glances. 

“Jimin,” Taehyung starts cautiously, “what’s going on?” 

Jimin stuffs his feet into the first shoes he can find and it’s likely they’re not his. Although, he’s not really thinking straight right now. 

“I listened to the album,” he informs them. “All of it. I even read his dedications.” 

Jungkook smiles warmly down at him. “He wrote something really nice for you, didn’t he?” 

Jimin nods, trying to push the surging feeling rising up inside of him all the way down. He had searched for Taehyung’s copy of the album as soon as he had listened to the songs. He had scoured the whole thing, and he was glad he did, because otherwise he would never have seen the note Yoongi had left for him in plain sight. 

Jimin turns around, shoving his belongings in his coat pockets, before barrelling into Jungkook and Taehyung’s arms. They’re caught off guard for a second, before they wrap their arms around him. Taehyung squeezes closer to his side, rubbing his cheek down Jimin’s hair, while Jungkook pats him awkwardly. 

“Thank you for letting me stay,” Jimin says, holding tightly onto them. “For being there when I needed it.” 

“What are friends for?” Taehyung replies, pinching Jimin’s waist. 

“Yeah, you probably would have done the same thing if Taehyung did something to upset me,” Jungkook jokes. 

Taehyung shoots him a glare. “Hey, I don’t know what you two talked about the other day, but it’s not fair to pick on me. I’m too precious. I have feelings.” 

Jungkook shakes his head, eyes crinkling into crescents. He mutters something underneath his breath, and although Jimin can’t quite make it out, it seems Taehyung has deciphered it, what with the way he throws himself over Jungkook’s shoulder, face pressed to the crook of his neck. Jimin thinks that this is his call to leave, considering the two of them appear to want time alone together. Apparently he’s on the same wavelength as Taehyung, who says as much. 

“Okay get out now, Jimin,” he instructs, shooing him. However, his expression softens. “Go and get your man back!” 

Jimin intends to. 

He gives the two of them one last squeeze before exiting the house and running into the night. He runs all of the way to the station, wheezing once he arrives. He attempts to catch his breath as he searches the noticeboards for his next train. He wishes it wouldn’t take so long for him to arrive into Seoul, but he can’t click his fingers and appear right where he wants to be. He should text Yoongi, but he’s afraid Yoongi would have deleted his number. He can do nothing but hope that he gets there in time. 

He finds his platform eventually, the next train due to arrive in a couple of minutes. He is jittery, hands running up and down his arms in an attempt to stop himself from shivering. 

But it’s not from the cold.

 

⚜ 

You realise your first award show is in a couple of days, don’t you, Yoongi?” 

“Yeah, hyung,” Yoongi confirms into the receiver. As they speak, he’s sorting out tickets for Jimin to come along too. 

“You’re bringing Jimin, right?” Seokjin asks. 

Yoongi mutters an affirmative; he doesn’t quite like where this is going. He remembers the conversation he had had with Seokjin a while back, where he had warned Yoongi of the struggles he would have to face if he stayed with Jimin. Yoongi knows the risks, but he couldn’t possibly let go of Jimin. Not now, not after what has happened between him and his parents. 

Somehow, he feels guilty for having dragged him down this path. He was doing perfectly well before they had first met. But despite the fact that Jimin has lost all of his inheritance, despite the fact that he’s basically been disowned by his parents, he still manages to smile at him as if losing everything material had meant nothing at all. Yoongi hopes it’s genuine. 

Seokjin is quiet on the other end. He seems to be busy doing something, the sound of typing filtering into the air. Yoongi is about to snap at him for calling him for no apparent reason, especially when he could be doing better things (like crawling back to his bed where Jimin is still clinging to the place that he had inhabited) but Seokjin finally speaks up, beating him to it. 

“I think we should discuss what you’re going to do in regards to Jimin.” 

“Sorry, hyung?” Yoongi yawns, considering asking Seokjin to call him later, but there’s something that tells him that this conversation isn’t likely to end any time soon. 

Seokjin clears his throat. “ He’s living with you now, right? I think you need to consider what might happen if the media caught on. You’d both have to be careful, and if you were found out, we’d have to argue that Jimin was your friend, that he was cohabiting with you, ” Seokjin lists out. “And in terms of the MAMA awards, if he’s coming with you, we’ll have to make it seem as if he was just a normal guest. That means no hand-holding, no kissing, no -- ” 

“Hyung. Hyung, stop,” Yoongi intercepts. “I’m not… I won’t do that to Jimin. He doesn’t need to be treated like something secret and wrong, especially right now when things are already tough enough for him as it is.” 

Seokjin breathes out a sigh, Yoongi imagines him shaking his head, pity pulling down his lips as clear as day. “I know and I’m sorry but it won’t be forever, Yoongi. Only for a while, until you’ve secured yourself a safe foothold in this industry. If he loves you, he’ll wait, won’t he?” 

Yoongi wants to scream at Seokjin down the line, he wants to ask him why he can’t seem to understand how unfair all of this is. He doesn’t know if Jimin loves him, but if he really does, then doing this to Jimin will be like running over any kind of affection he has for him repeatedly, until there is nothing left but broken shards of memories that they will never be able to piece back together. Yoongi doesn’t want that, but he knows where Seokjin is coming from. Yoongi might be able to tackle whatever is thrown his way, but that doesn’t mean that Jimin will come out of it unscathed too. The option Seokjin is offering him isn’t easy, but it’s better than throwing whatever he has with Jimin to the wolves. 

So, he assents. “Okay, I’ll do whatever you ask of me.” 

(Yoongi wishes he had said no).

 

⚜ 

He has never seen so many cameras flashing all at once. It’s blinding, has Jimin covering his eyes with his hand in an attempt to shield himself from the lights blinking on and off repeatedly. As soon as they had stepped out of the car, it had felt like there had been a thousand faces crowding him and Yoongi in. With the help of security and Yoongi’s manager Seokjin, they had managed to dive past the slew of bombarding questions, hastily making their way into the venue in which the MAMA awards would be held in. 

Yoongi had informed him of what this would be like, that if he didn’t want to come, he didn’t have to. But how could Jimin say no, especially when this meant so much to Yoongi? He might not understand everything about the music Yoongi produces, but he’d rather be by his side throughout all of his success, rather than watch him through a television screen like any normal bystander, a blank face in a crowd full of people looking up at Yoongi. 

Before they take a seat in the venue, waiting for the award show to begin, Seokjin grabs Yoongi’s attention. “You know what you mustn’t do, right?” he asks Yoongi. “There’s too many cameras here, it would be too much exposure. If you win tonight, you want people to focus on that rather than anything else.” 

Yoongi has his hands stuck down on his knees, his knuckles clenched. His jaw is tight, but he nods once. “I know.” He keeps himself rigid for the remainder of the night. 

Jimin watches the discussion from the corner of his eye, trying to understand what exactly has both Yoongi and Seokjin so tense. Yoongi hadn’t been like this prior to leaving their hotel that evening; he didn’t seem too fazed about the whole thing, but as soon as they had filed into the car with Seokjin, he had started acting strangely. He’d stayed as far as he could on the opposite side of the car, gaze tracked to the scenes passing them by. Jimin had wanted to hold onto his hand, but he seemed so far away, both physically and mentally. 

Something hadn’t been right, and even now the atmosphere still prevails, Yoongi’s knees bouncing up and down. Jimin reaches out, ready to place a comforting hand on his knee, but Yoongi jerks away, shaking his head. “Not now,” he says, and Jimin doesn’t understand what he means until he takes in the many men and women lining the walls, cameras in hand, all waiting to snap any career-defining shot they can find. 

Jimin should really be mesmerised by all of the artists that take their seats around him. He should be clapping along to every performance, maybe singing along to the few he knows. But all he can do is stare at Yoongi’s hands, folded together, his nails digging into his palms, and wonder why Yoongi hasn’t reached out for him at all, not even once. 

Their chairs are somehow pushed too far away and Jimin takes it upon himself to scooch himself up, as close as he can. His legs knock against Yoongi’s, who stiffens immediately, eyes that were previously trained on the stage dragged down to Jimin’s black jeans. “What’re you doing?” he hisses and Jimin wants to snuggle in closer, maybe soothe away the anxiety that is dotting Yoongi’s brow, but Yoongi’s tone catches him off guard. 

“What’s wrong with you?” he demands. “You’re acting really strange.” You haven’t looked at me once. 

“It’s nothing, Jimin,” Yoongi ascertains, but both of them know that it’s more than just nothing, yet Yoongi doesn’t say another word, and Jimin doesn’t get a chance to, not when Yoongi’s category is being called up right at that moment. 

Jimin watches the large screen, his eyes flicking through each name, all in which he doesn’t recognise, until it reaches Yoongi’s own. He hears Yoongi hold his breath as the MC’s get ready to announce the winner, and when his boyfriend’s name is revealed, he surges forward to hold onto him, to shake him and laugh in joy because although Yoongi is a new face, his music has been recognised, and that’s all Jimin could ask for. However, he doesn’t quite get there. 

Yoongi is far too quick. He leaps to his feet, wobbling slightly where he stands. He shakes Seokjin’s hand repeatedly, but when he turns to Jimin he does nothing but give him this pained expression, one Jimin can’t easily decipher. Jimin’s mind is sent into confusion as Yoongi brushes past him and heads towards the stage. 

He slumps down into his seat. 

Everyone is clapping for Yoongi, yet he stays perfectly still. Jimin watches Yoongi bow down to the MC’s and to the audience. He watches him accept that damn trophy, his eyes trained on it, as if he were to look away for one mere second it would disappear in a blink of an eye. Yoongi cradles the trophy to his chest like it’s something precious, and he gives a speech on how thankful he is, how he can’t believe that he’s come so far in such a short period of time. He says that he has too many people to thank, but he lists off names anyway. 

“And to my dear friend, Jimin,” he finishes. “Thank you for believing in me, despite your apparent hatred for hip-hop.” The crowd laughs. 

"Friend?” Jimin mutters out loud, but his voice is masked by the thousands of people clapping around him, congratulating Yoongi. 

It’s funny, because Jimin had decided to come with Yoongi, rather than staying at home and watching it all through a television. Yet, it feels as if that’s exactly what he’s doing. Despite the fact that they are in the same room, Yoongi feels so far away from him. 

Jimin wonders bitterly whether he loves that trophy more than he loves him. 

Seokjin elbows him from beside him, giving him a look that tells him that he’s spaced out, that the sorrow etched onto his forehead is far too obvious. So, Jimin forces his lips to curve upwards. He forces himself to lock away that feeling of falling without a parachute, that feeling of being abandoned by his parents (of being abandoned by Yoongi), and he claps for Yoongi. His hands may be heavy, but he manages to force them together for two consecutive beats, before he places them down onto his lap. 

They’re shaking uncontrollably. 

After that, Yoongi performs a song on stage, but Jimin isn’t really listening. Yoongi’s voice has become nothing but noise, an annoying pounding in his head that won’t quite go away. When Yoongi finally makes his way over to them, the trophy in tow, he’s smiling so wide it has Jimin standing out of his seat and jetting away from him. He can’t see that happiness on his face right now, not when he’s trying to figure out what has just happened. 

Now he understands what Seokjin had been warning Yoongi about earlier. 

During the journey to their hotel, Jimin remains quiet. Yoongi talks about the evening for a little while, before he too gives up, and the two of them are faced with a silence that cuts Jimin in two. They don’t say a single word until they have reached their hotel room, as Yoongi unlocks it, trudging inside. Jimin follows suit, shutting the door behind him. 

“Jimin…” Yoongi starts, but Jimin won’t let him be the first one to speak, not this time. 

“A friend?” he echoes Yoongi’s words from earlier. “Is --is that all I am to you?”

Yoongi shakes his head, crossing the distance between them and clutching Jimin’s wrists. His grip burns into him. “Of course not,” Yoongi says, “it’s just… it’s just not going to be easy with me, Jimin. I never thought things would get like this. You have to understand that if I could then I would have fucking kissed you on national television. But I can’t, not now. I don’t want to hurt you.” 

Jimin shakes Yoongi away from him, rubbing at his wrist, his back turned a fraction to the door. “You are hurting me. You ignored me this entire evening.” 

“If you don’t wanna be with me anymore, then I’ll understand,” Yoongi mutters, catching Jimin off guard. He swings around, breathing out an incredulous laugh. 

“I didn’t say that,” he retorts. “I want to be with you.” He threads his fingers through Yoongi’s own. “But if there’s something you need to tell me… like the fact that you can’t hold my hand in public, then you need to tell me before, rather than later. Otherwise it feels like you don’t…” 

“Love you?” Yoongi provides, and Jimin snaps his head up at him, paranoid that Yoongi will turn his nose up at the very idea, and shatter the hope Jimin still has left within him. However, Yoongi’s expression is so soft, it has Jimin’s limbs shaking, as if by one look alone he has been turned into putty in Yoongi’s hands. After all, he’s always been so weak whenever Yoongi is concerned. Yoongi leans in closer; he sweeps a hand through Jimin’s hair. “I’ve never said it before, right? That I love you?” 

“You...you love --” 

“I should have… why didn’t I fucking say it sooner,” he curses, placing a kiss to Jimin’s cheek. “I’ve always been better at writing down what I feel, but… tonight must have been confusing for you.” 

“Of course, it was!” Jimin shoots in return, but his words come out more stuttered, as his face flushes a dark pink. “I thought you were going to tell me that you were breaking up with me.” 

“You should really listen to my songs, then you’d know I’d never do that.” 

Jimin snorts, pushing Yoongi away from him as he storms over to their hotel bed, slumping down as he toes off his shoes. He throws them in Yoongi’s direction. Yoongi catches one mid-flight towards a lamp, sending him a stern look. He seems to be considering lobbing it in Jimin’s face, before something else appears to distract him from doing so. 

“You’re okay with this, then? With keeping it secret just until things become more stable?” 

“I’m not okay with it. I don’t like being your dirty little secret,” Jimin rebukes, “but if it’s for you, I can do it. As long as you don’t let this life take over our relationship, that is.” He raises an eyebrow at Yoongi. 

Yoongi sits down beside him, he places an arm around his waist. “Park Jimin, are you giving me orders?” 

“Yes, hyung, I am. Don’t screw up like this again, don’t make me feel like this again or you’ll be very, very sorry,” Jimin warns, but his tone is playful rather than anything else. He sticks his tongue out at Yoongi when the older man pulls a face, sending Jimin into raucous laughter. In retaliation, Yoongi presses Jimin down onto the bed, hand placed down on his chest to keep him there. Jimin feels his touch running electric through his veins, it has his toes curling in anticipation, his skin hot under Yoongi’s palm. 

“If I ever do, I hope you set me straight,” he replies. 

Jimin traces his tongue over his bottom teeth. “I don’t usually believe in second chances,” he says, before he breaks into a smile. “But for you, I just might.”

 

♣️ 

After Jimin had told him that he was leaving him, that he was staying at Taehyung and Jungkook’s for a while, Yoongi hadn’t known what to do. He couldn’t make himself move after Jimin had slammed the door behind him, even when all he wanted was to wrench that door right open and crawl to Jimin’s side and beg him for forgiveness. But Yoongi had known that it wouldn’t be enough. He had smashed a plate off of their kitchen counter in a moment of rage. This one outburst had led to a good few minutes of hurtling everything he could get his hands on to the ground. He had stopped shortly after, his hands covered in small cuts, bleeding from the shards of china and glass. 

Once upon a time, Jimin had warned him never to screw up their relationship again, but Yoongi hadn’t kept his promise. He had trampled all over it, hadn’t considered how Jimin would feel as he pushed himself into creating the best music, the music that he had wanted to share with Jimin once it had been finished. 

Yoongi couldn’t be in their apartment when Jimin left, the sound of his suitcase scratching against the marble floor would be too much for him to handle. So he had been the first one to leave, breaking into a run as soon as the door had shut behind him. He hadn’t been sure of where he was going until he had reached Hoseok and Namjoon’s shared apartment, hammering his fists down on their door. Thankfully, Hoseok had opened it soon enough and Yoongi had fallen apart then and there. 

Now, Yoongi sits in the exact same spot he had fallen into as soon as he had arrived at their apartment. He faces the street across from their window, his legs pulled up to his chest as he tries to keep his eyes open. It’s been a couple of days since he had left, and he supposes that Jimin is already in Busan by now. Ever since then, he hasn’t been able to do much besides potter around the walls of his friends’ apartment. He eats when the hunger gets too much, when he feels like he is close to passing out. He doesn’t write a single word down, fearing that if he does try then nothing will happen. His inspiration has left him, after all.   

Soon enough, Hoseok and Namjoon lose patience. To begin with they are careful around him, walking around him on eggshells, providing him with cautious smiles and helpful deeds. But soon that wears off and it is Hoseok who finally breaks, storming over to him and grabbing him up by the armpits, forcing him to his feet. 

“You can’t be like this,” Hoseok says. “You’re not even trying.” 

Namjoon was busy doing something in his room before this, but now he sticks his head out around the door, peering over at the two men. Hoseok still holds Yoongi as if he is a rag doll, tossing him about. Anger begins to bubble inside of him, before it explodes, as he lashes out at Hoseok, throwing his fists towards his face. Hoseok narrowly dodges, before succeeding in tackling Yoongi to the ground, sitting on top of him. 

“Hoseok. Get the fuck off of me,” Yoongi threatens, but Hoseok does nothing but beam down at him, unfazed by his antics. 

“Is everything okay in here?” Namjoon says and Yoongi sends another glare his way for not attempting to help rescue him sooner. 

“Yoongi-hyung’s being an idiot and we should make him go out and do something productive. I think if he stays in here any longer he might combust,” Hoseok comments, peering down at Yoongi’s seething face. 

“I’m fine!” Yoongi snaps. “I’m absolutely fucking fine so leave me the fuck alone!” 

“At least he’s being a bit more spirited today,” Namjoon supplies, before heading over to the kitchen to pour himself a glass of water. 

Yoongi grumbles something in response, wriggling underneath Hoseok, but the younger man doesn’t make a move. He hums on top of him instead. “So,” Hoseok starts, “what’s your plan?” 

“I don’t have a plan,” Yoongi says, he knows without asking that Hoseok is talking about Jimin. “I’m not getting him back this time,” he adds despondently. 

Namjoon panders over to them from across the kitchen and sinks down to Yoongi’s level, the water sloshing in his glass. He tilts his head a little before glancing up at Hoseok. “You know he’s going to kill you for doing this, right?” 

“Not if it helps him think about what he’s going to do next,” Hoseok chimes, while Yoongi grumbles a threatening affirmative. 

“There’s nothing I can do,” Yoongi intercepts. “I might as well just hole myself up in the studio and write a million break-up songs instead!” 

Both Namjoon and Hoseok are quiet at that and Yoongi wonders whether they think getting Jimin back is as implausible as it sounds. Jimin is all the way in Busan, and Yoongi doubts he’ll see him any time soon. Maybe Jimin will go visit his parents too, tell them that he’s finally seen sense and dumped that mess of a boyfriend. Then, he would receive his inheritance again. Things would work out for the better for Jimin. 

Yet, Yoongi feels sick to his stomach at the very idea. 

“You know,” Hoseok starts, interrupting Yoongi’s train-wreck of thoughts, “that’s not such a bad idea.” 

“What?” Both Yoongi and Namjoon echo at the same time. Yoongi glares at them both, before continuing, “How could it be a good idea?” 

“I’m not saying that you should go and create breakup songs. I’m saying that you release all those songs you wrote for Jimin. Maybe even the ones you weren’t going to put on your new album at all,” Hoseok suggests. 

“He won’t listen to them,” Yoongi asserts. “He hates my music, anyway. There’s no way he’ll listen to it.” 

Yoongi’s written so many songs over the years and every single one, from the first time he had met Jimin up to the point where he had left him, have all been about Jimin. Of course, the younger man hadn’t ever been interested in listening to what Yoongi had to say. There’s no way things would change now. 

Finally, Hoseok jumps off of him, letting him go, but Yoongi doesn’t reach out and throttle him like he had previously planned. Instead, he stares at his shoes, thinking over what Hoseok had said. 

“Really, what have you got to lose?” Namjoon adds and although Yoongi thinks the idea is preposterous and goddamn fatal, there’s nothing else he can do. He can sit here in his friends’ apartment wallowing in self pity until he somehow snaps out of it, but he doesn’t want to reach a point where he has to get over Park Jimin. He doesn’t want him to become nothing more than a memory he revisits on days where he feels a little less confident, a little less sure of himself. He doesn’t want him to be the thought he has on a miserable, rainy day. He can’t let the thought of Jimin become nothing more than a regret. 

He has no other choice. 

Yoongi accepts his friends’ advice. He pushes away the image of Jimin doing just as fine without him wherever he is, and dives headfirst into perfecting his new album. The album had been planned to release pretty soon anyway, but when he talks to Seokjin about releasing it earlier, his manager is all for it. Now that he’s been given the affirmative, Yoongi spends hours in the studio, tweaking little mistakes here and there. He has Namjoon, Hoseok, and sometimes Seokjin listen in on his songs. He asks them for advice when he shows them the completed album. 

“I think something’s missing,” Namjoon says to him one evening, a coffee in hand as he replays the last song on the list from its halfway point. He listens to it again from beginning to end and shakes his head. “I think you need a different song to fill that last spot. Like an outro, maybe.” 

“Oh,” Yoongi says, but he flicks through all the songs he has lined up. “Should I use one of the others?” 

“No, I think…” Namjoon butts in, “that you need something completely different. A brand new song here.” 

Yoongi peers up at him from where he stands next to Hoseok, an eyebrow raised. Namjoon shrugs, while Seokjin nods in agreement beside him. Yoongi turns around to look at his program. He closes his eyes, before breathing out a sigh, and fetches a pen and some paper from his bag. 

“Okay, okay, I’ll try and write something new.” He shoos at them. “But you should all leave.” 

None of them argue against this, but Seokjin pats him on the shoulder, informing him to call him if he needs anything. Yoongi needs nothing but absolute silence for him to be able to write something new. He’s scared he won’t be able to do it, and for a while, he resorts to drawing doodles on the paper, rather than writing anything of use. He groans irritably when he realises that he has spent three hours doing exactly that, but he tries again, wracking his brain for what he wants to say. 

He wants Jimin to come back to him and he doesn’t want him to ever leave him again. So with that idea in mind, he makes a start. 

A day or so later, Yoongi is still hunched over the computers and the software in the studio, headphones on as he listens over his new track. He had written and recorded it rather quickly, and there’s certainly still some issues here and there. But if anything, it’s a start. He drags Seokjin into the studio for his advice, and the older man sticks his thumbs up at him. They discuss other minor details before the album is finally geared for its release at the end of the week. 

When it is completed, Yoongi is glad that he can finally wash his hands of it. He waits anxiously until it is finally released, and he finds his name trending on Twitter and on other social media for a while after. He visits the apartment he had shared with Jimin, hoping he will be there, ready to crash right into him. But of course, he doesn’t return. Yoongi doesn’t receive any calls from him either. In fact, he begins to think that all of this was completely for nought. He can’t celebrate his album’s success, he can’t thank all of these people who are praising it. None of it matters when the person it is dedicated to doesn’t even care. 

He considers forgetting it all completely. Maybe he should travel home to Daegu and see his parents, rather than face the tumultuous grind of life back here. 

But on one day walking back from the studio, he just happens to pass the café that he used to frequent with Jimin. After that, an idea becomes stuck in his head, one that he can’t quite shake. 

It’s stupid, because he’s never believed in things like fate and chance encounters. He wouldn’t think that this café holds anything special, but it had been the place where Yoongi had first held a proper (and civilised) conversation with him. The two of them had frequented it so often, it became natural to visit it, their hands linked together on a chilly afternoon. He doesn’t know quite what he’s doing, but he finds himself opening the door, his feet leading the way to the booth he had sat down in too many times in the past. He orders a coffee when a waitress comes around. He sips at it when it arrives, eyes glued on the door, as if waiting for Jimin to step inside, shaking his hair from the rain. 

Of course, nothing of the sort happens. He leaves the café with nothing but a bitter taste on his tongue and an even sourer attitude than he had that morning. But even so, when the next day dawns, he finds himself in that café once again. 

This routine lasts for almost five more days until people begin to notice. 

“You’re Suga, right?” His regular waitress inquires one evening, pouring him his fifth cup of coffee that night. “I didn’t realise it before, because you look a little different in person.” 

Yoongi scowls up at her, but it’s clear she means nothing ill by these words. Instead, she brings him a muffin, placing it in front of him. 

“What’s this for?” he asks. 

The girl shrugs, gesturing for him to take it. “You’re waiting for that person, aren’t you?” she says. “The one you dedicated your album to.” 

Yoongi almost burns his tongue on his coffee at that. 

“I hope they come back to you.” She beams at him. “In the meantime, eat that muffin. For sustenance.” 

Yoongi is reluctant to obey her, but soon enough he takes a bite, chocolate oozing from the gooey centre. He gulps it down as the girl waves at him, traipsing towards the front of the café. 

Yoongi stays a little longer that evening, hoping that this girl would have blessed him with some luck and a muffin. But Jimin doesn’t turn up that day either. 

It’s been several weeks now and as Yoongi takes his seat for the nth time in the café, he decides that this will be the last time he will wait for Jimin. If he doesn’t turn up now, then he never will, and there’s no point in waiting for someone who will never show. He buys several drinks that day, but the coffee does nothing but keep him on edge, fingers thrumming against the table, causing people nearby to glower at him in irritation. 

He lifts his head every time he hears the door opening. 

He breathes out a sigh in defeat every time it turns out to be a stranger. 

His regular waitress has been giving him looks of sympathy when she thinks he isn’t looking and all of this combined  -- it’s beginning to drive him mad. The time reaches just before closing and Yoongi stares at the door one more time, hoping for there to be a chance that Jimin might have at least listened to one song off the album, but nothing. He grumbles to himself, because of course this was a stupid idea and there was no way that Jimin would show. He throws his coat over his shoulders, digging underneath the table for a glove that has managed to fly out of his pockets. He reaches it eventually and notices two pairs of shoes standing right by his booth. He lifts his head slowly, but the person speaks up before he can see them. 

“You don’t have to leave, Yoongi,” the person says. “I didn’t come over here to make you give up the booth.” 

Yoongi almost bangs his head (quite violently) on the table in his attempt to stand up again, because if he's hearing correctly that had sounded like Jimin’s voice. When he finally manages to stand up straight, he meets their eyes and he almost collapses from the fact that it is Jimin standing in front of him. 

Jimin smiles at him, large and wide, and Yoongi can’t help but stare at him in wonder, because really how could any of this be real. Jimin reaches out for him, and Yoongi catches a tattoo right underneath his shirt sleeve, the words are so familiar - because he had written them. They had been the words he had wanted to say to him for so long, the words he had dedicated to Jimin on his new album. 

Yoongi vaguely wonders when Jimin had the time to get that done; he should have been by his side from the very moment he had heard the entire album. He kept him waiting for so long, but he supposes that he’s done so much worse. He’s made him wait so many times, and Yoongi regrets ever putting him below anything else. He’s always been the most important thing in his life. 

There’s so much he wants to say, but he can’t seem to get anything out. 

So, he dashes any worries plaguing him. He ignores the fact that they have gathered an audience around them. 

He cups the back of Jimin’s head and kisses him. 

When he finally lets go, Jimin’s eyes are swimming with tears. 

“I listened to your album,” Jimin stammers out. “I wish I had listened to it sooner, I wish I had paid attention to what you were trying to say.” 

Yoongi shakes his head, bringing him in closer, hand clenched around Jimin’s hair. “No, it’s not your fault. I’ve been neglecting you for far too long. I promised I wouldn’t let my career take over our relationship and I broke that promise. I’ve made you so unhappy.” 

“Maybe it’s safe to say we’re both idiots,” Jimin laughs and the sound is music to Yoongi’s ears. “We both gave up way too easily, when all we had to do was listen to each other.” 

“You liked my album, then?” 

Jimin bites a grin, pressing another delicate kiss to the crease of Yoongi’s mouth. “I loved it,” he answers, “but I still hate hip-hop.” 

Yoongi careers back, removing his hands away from Jimin, who whines in response. “Are you seriously still saying that?” 

“I have an opinion!” Jimin sing-songs, grabbing onto Yoongi’s wrist, and trying to coax him out of the café. 

“A stupid opinion, sure,” Yoongi snarks and Jimin doesn’t grumble at him like he thinks he will. He shrugs, whistling to himself. 

Although Yoongi has been told to be careful since the start of his rising fame, he figures that it’s too late now to care any more. He’s already kissed Jimin in front of a café full of bystanders and he’s sure something like that will gain notice soon enough. Either way, he doesn’t want to keep what he has with Jimin a secret any longer. He wants to be able to present it to the world. If that’s in big black writing on several tabloids, then so be it. 

He still thinks it’s crazy that Jimin had come to the café, and he will learn later that it had been spontaneous on his part too. He might fight with Jimin again over music, over many things. They might come to a point where it all becomes too much and Yoongi might face another moment in his life where he almost loses him. But if he never gives up, if they both believe that they will make it through -- then in the end, they’ll be okay. 

So for now, he won’t hide something that is a part of who he is any longer. He takes hold of Jimin’s hand, intertwining their fingers together and squeezes tightly. 

His waitress gives him a thumbs up on their way out.

 

♣️ 

And lastly, to you. To my other half, to the person who makes me want to throw things and scream until my throat aches. To the person who hates hip-hop, but doesn’t hate me. I love you and I’m sorry. If I never see you again, I just want you to know one thing. I’ve been wanting to say it to you for a long time now, after all: 

You are the space between every note on all the soundtracks I will ever create. You’re all my words and more. Every song I have ever written belongs to you. 

I hope that I will see you again, but if I don’t, then I’m glad to have met you. Even if it was nothing but a mere momentary blip in the grand scheme of your life, I am glad to have been a moment worthy of you. No matter how fleeting and devastating it may end, I'm blessed to have been caught in your orbit, my dear. 

And just so you know, Park Jimin, you are more than something that needs to be kept secret. You are everything to me.