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first love

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the first time min yoongi meets jeon jungkook, it’s 2 am and there’s blood stains on his cuffs.

the blood isn’t his own. just three hours before he was involved in a shootout in the parking lot of a large market situated in the outer borders of seoul. the car ride there was long and uncomfortable, a feeling of settled uneasiness over his shoulders that he’s never gotten quite used to. one of the other officers, a man whom he rarely spoke to, had been shot in the shoulder right next to yoongi; the resulting splatters had left its mark on yoongi’s cheek and the very cuffs of his sleeves as he pressed his hands down to the wound to staunch the bleeding.

at 1:30 am, someone had dropped off coffee on his wooden desk, still hot and fresh from the station’s awful coffee maker. it’s cold by the time yoongi touches it. the blood has been wiped off his face, but the amount of time it took to give his statement and finish up talking to the other officers allowed for the fresh red to darken into a russet hue.

he’s sipping his lukewarm coffee when his partner, park jimin, walks out with a strange kid. it’s someone completely unrelated to their investigation, yoongi knows, because the face of everyone in this entire mafia-related mess is engrained into yoongi’s mind.

next to jimin is a tall kid, his shoulders covered by his oversized sweater; he looks a little pale with flushed cheeks, like he hasn’t gotten enough sleep -- or maybe it’s the bad fluorescent lighting in the station. he has dark, messy hair that speaks of a student running out of bed to get to class on time, and the largest eyes yoongi has ever seen, with dark, wide pupils.

jimin standing next to him looks more stressed and troubled. he runs a hand through his dark hair, lines forming at his forehead. he’s talking to the kid next to him, who is staring at the screen that holds all of their information right there for the world to see. yoongi gets up instinctively, as if to cover sensitive material, when the kid notices the squeak of his old chair and turns those eyes on him.

it’s strange, how quickly yoongi freezes. his body stills for a moment as dark eyes meet his; the kid blinks, once, twice, and it’s obvious that he’s not listening to jimin anymore, if he was listening at all.

thankfully, his partner sighs and yoongi manages to look away from this kid’s all-encompassing stare. jimin catches sight of him standing at the edge of his desk awkwardly with his bloody cuffs knocking pens over. “ah, hyung, you’re done?”

“yeah,” yoongi says shortly. events of the day still rest heavy on him. yoongi wants to go home and sleep a little, maybe, but he knows that it’ll be difficult. his eyes lazily flicker to the kid next to jimin and back, silently giving the other a signal.

jimin raises an eyebrow. he puts a hand on the taller kid’s shoulder and says, “jungkookie, this is my partner on the force; officer min yoongi. yoongi-hyung, this is a long time friend of mine, jeon jungkook. he’s in his third year at kyunghee university.”

jungkook opens his mouth, his bottom lip stained pink. he has a voice like rivers flowing. “nice to meet you.”

“likewise,” yoongi says, but when he makes eye contact with jungkook it’s like someone is looking through him. yoongi doesn’t look away this time, and jungkook smiles. it’s a pretty smile - he’s a good looking kid, is why. his lips pull back slightly and his two front teeth are bigger than the rest.

“i’m taking him home,” jimin cuts in, leaving no room for yoongi to wonder why the kid is here at all. jimin gives him a tilt of the head that says, i’ll explain later, hyung. he looks exhausted too. “c’mon, kookie.”

jungkook pauses when he’s shuffling behind jimin. before they make it past yoongi, however, jungkook pauses in front of the elder officer and looks down at his blood stained cuffs. at this angle, yoongi can see a strange little scar on an otherwise perfectly smooth check, a mole underneath his lip.

“he’ll survive, but he’ll be out of service for a while,” is what jungkook says, his mouth moving along with the words. yoongi’s slightly sluggish brain struggles to catch up, but when he does, he frowns and mouths, “what?”

“hyunwoo,” jungkook continues. “three months and seven days.”

“jungkook-ah,” jimin says, hurried. “let’s go.”

yoongi watches as the other leaves, jungkook’s long legs follow jimin’s easily. he watches the back of the kid’s dark head filled with hair and wonders what that was all about.

/

at first, yoongi thinks it’s the man that got shoulder in the shoulder beside him. he can’t stop thinking about those words - three months and seven days - that kid provided. he checks up on the guy, using the fact that he was there in the aftermath to see how he’s doing. but his recovery time was six months. his name certainly wasn’t hyunwoo.

honestly, yoongi forgets about it until he and jimin get put on another case - no rest for the wicked - and they’re tailing some serial bank robber. apparently they get intel that he’s an ex-military officer, the reason why no one can really catch him, and the guy that comes to help them out with permissions is a lieutenant by the name of kim hyunwoo.

jimin looks easy when he meets him, but yoongi shakes his hand and feels jarred. a memory like something he should know but it’s not coming easy to him at all.

when they catch up to the robber and corner him in their usual modus operandi of divide and conquer, he goes batshit insane and the fever in his eyes light up. he doesn’t get caught. how did he get caught? yoongi can see it when he moves for his fucking gun, jumps out of the way in time, but the nobility of the militant heros that have it gunned down into their blood make it so kim hyunwoo tries to settle him down. gets shot in the shoulder but manages to tackle the robber as he yells about being the best fucking whatever in the nation.

after, when jimin is following up on everyone and their injuries, broken glass scars and bruises from being tacked onto floors, he tells yoongi that hyunwoo will be recovering for around three months.

three months and seven days, he corrects in his head, before the thought disappears without a trace.

/

he sees jungkook again when he’s taking a smoke break. it curls from the end of his cigarette playfully, vanishing into vapor in the night sky. through his haze of nicotine and smoke, yoongi vaguely recognizes the pretty eyes and smile.

technically yoongi should be smoking somewhere in one of those preordained areas, but it’s 1am and no one comes in unless there’s a murder, a robbery, something serious - no purse snatchers, no small complaints of the neighbors upstairs. police work. yoongi takes in a deep drag and lets it settle into his bones like he’s always his smokes to do.

jungkook is staring at him openly, unabashed, his top lip stuck between two rows of perfectly white teeth.

“you want one, kid?” yoongi asks, holding up his cigarette box.

jungkook scrunches his nose. it’s a no.

he blinks like wide eyed deer, eyes taking in the scene in front of him as if he’s never seen it before. this is jimin’s friend, yoongi remembers. he knows these things, retains information, because what kind of fucking detective would he be if he couldn’t? jimin has a lot of friends but they’re never skinny twenty-somethings with bottomless-pit-eyes. dark-chasm eyes. he’s probably waiting for jimin. he lets go of his top lip and it comes back pink and swollen; yoongi stares at the curve of it and reminds himself how old he is.

“smoking is bad,” jungkook says, hands stuffed in his pockets. he’s got nice broad shoulders slouched over and covered by his oversized clothes, like he’s hiding. he doesn’t say more than that even though it sounds like the subordinate clause of a sentence, like it’s the before waiting for an after. smoking is bad, he says, then what? why? but jungkook doesn’t continue, only looks at the trails of smoke as they reach for the clouds.

“sometimes people need bad habits,” yoongi says. it’s true - and anything can be a bad habit. hoseok’s tendency to bite his nails. namjoon’s tendency to shuffle things into place, into line. seokjin’s tendency to overthink. bad habits. no one’s perfect. “plus, if you work in this line long enough, you’re gonna need something to help you forget.”

this, at least, catches jungkook’s attention. his dark hair moves soundlessly, the corner of his bangs slipping down to softly touch the top of his ear. “smoking is how you forget bad things?”

there could be worse ones, yoongi thinks. he could be alcoholically dependent.

when yoongi doesn’t answer, jungkook turns away and looks down at his shuffling feet. beat up converse, dirty jeans. doesn’t look like a boy with a lot, but he looks like he knows more than he lets on.

“what’re you doing here, kid?”

jungkook blows out a breath. “something bad is going to happen.”

that sounds familiar. yoongi has heard those words before - holders of hostages, their hands curled over bare throats and pushing down the breath of terrified lungs. suicide bombers, their smiles serene and maybe senile, tripping over the edge. shootouts, a terrified boy holding onto a gun and looking around him desperately, trying to get the police to push back, yelling that they shouldn’t be here for their own good. advertisements, newscasters, weatherwomen. something bad is going to happen. yoongi in the mirror in the morning, seeing it in his badge, in the steady rumble of the bus as he gets to work.

but they - they all have something in their tone, in their voices that tells. a bit of fear, a bit of desperation, a concoction different for each drink. jungkook is matter of fact, a little frustrated, a little impatient from waiting. something bad is going to happen.

“and you would know this, how?” yoongi asks slowly.

jungkook just gives a look that is both annoyed and petulant, almost asking why would you question me? and it’s both irritating and interesting. yoongi wants to get closer.

“you’re jimin-hyung’s partner, can’t you tell him to come out faster?” jungkook doggedly asks now, no longer the quiet boy from before standing in front of the police station with that kicked look to him. the feeling makes something alive in his sallow expression, bringing color to his cheeks and an unearthly light in his dark eyes. long lashes. curved corners and lines.

“jimin left around thirty minutes ago on a call with someone from the sexual abuse department,” yoongi tells him. jimin got on shift four hours ago; yoongi has been on shift for eight. “you missed him, kid.”

“no, i - “ jungkook bites his bottom lip this time. yoongi wonders if that is his bad habit. “i saw - “ he deflates.

“what is going to happen?”

jungkook blinks. his lashes move with every second of it. “you wouldn’t believe me if i told you.”

“i probably won’t, yeah,” yoongi says. he puts out his cigarette with the heel of his shoe. “hey, i’m going to get some coffee. want to come with me and tell me what the fuck is up?”

jungkook follows him almost demurely, his hands folded into his pockets and his head down, footsteps small and careful, nothing like yoongi’s wider strides. jungkook keeps his hood on and avoids looking at the passerbys in the eye, nibbles on his mouth until it’s swollen and aching.

his eyes flicker left and right when they get to the pitiful coffee joint that’s near the police station, the place that only the night owls go to when they’re on the graveyard shift. yoongi hates their coffee but he’s gotten used to it, gotten used to the taste of burning shit in his mouth just to keep himself awake. he doesn’t have the luxury of asking what gets to keep him awake. he buys himself a cup of coffee, black, and a regular coffee for jungkook, who doesn’t ask for anything but takes the warm cup with slender fingers gratefully.

when they sit down in the crowded space near the window, where the flickering fluorescent lights make everyone here seem like the blood has been drained out of them until they’re mental hospital mannequins, jungkook looks up at him and says, “there’s this woman. on 57th street, the lotus building...she’s going to kill her child.”

yoongi tries not to swallow his coffee too fast. tries not to burn his tongue, let it sear his throat. he doesn’t - he keeps it at the brim just in time. the warmth of the drink wafts up into his face.

jungkook looks down at his cup and crinkles his nose. he seems to want it just for the warmth rather than the actual drink itself. which is fine with yoongi - he’ll drink it if the other really doesn’t want to.

“and you know this - “

“i saw it,” jungkook interrupts promptly, nose turned up a little. like he expects yoongi not to trust him. like he’s preparing himself for it anyway. “when i was walking home from work.”

“you saw it,” yoongi repeats.

he thinks back to - back to -

“i can see the future,” jungkook says, looking discomforted. “not always, and not very clearly all the time, but sometimes i get clear glimpses and - premonitions. feelings. you’re not saying anything, officer.”

three months and seven days.

yoongi lean back and blinks. it feels something like hot coffee scalding his throat. “i believe you,” he says, because yoongi - has seen many things. some of them doesn’t make sense. some of them probably never will.

by the way jungkook jerks in surprise, his entire body moving with the force of his disbelief, not a lot of people are as laid back as yoongi is. it’s a semi-cold, winter day. jungkook’s clothes are threadbare, picked at the corners. thin. yet he’s not cold; the line of his throat disappears into his hoodie disappears into his shirt. there’s a snow-caused flush on his face. winter wind biting cheeks and noses.

yoongi wonders what a kid like him is doing. wonders what he’s done to deserve this kind of gift.

“how can you just - believe me like that?” jungkook is more skeptical about yoongi’s lack of skepticism. “i mean, it took - “

“don’t care about that, i just believe you,” yoongi shrugs. he doesn’t say anything about jungkook’s quiet three months and seven days. that jungkook seems different now, in his peripheral vision. something off, almost stagnant, stuck in time. back then. back then. this is the jungkook of now. and jungkook of now sees the future.

“tell me about what you saw,” yoongi says, finishing his first coffee cup and reaching for the one in jungkook’s hand.

/

jimin properly introduces them after that, when yoongi brings him back to the station after a bit of conversation. thankfully he brought his pad with him, so he took quite a few notes as jungkook rattled on and on about what he saw - his voice pitching high and low, mouth trembling as he spoke of the murder, of the woman, of the child. yoongi thinks in the back of his mind: how could you get him to do this? looking at his bright eyes, dimmed dark at the thought of crime, of injustice, but jungkook gets through it and falls silent at the end. stares down at the wood table thoughtfully. keeping whatever musings he has inside his own head, letting them clatter around as he chipped at the wood with a nail.

when they get back to the precinct, yoongi is tired with the knowledge of something in the future that he can’t stop. jungkook had told him at the end, “i don’t know when this will happen, yoongi-ssi. it could happen today, tomorrow, in the next few years. that’s the only thing about them - i can’t ever tell when.” after that he had smiled, almost as if saying, what a joke, right? being able to predict the future but never being able to tell when the future will come.

jimin catches sight of jungkook immediately and comes forth with his handcuffs missing, jacket off. he takes the other in a hug, letting jungkook slump into him a little, before catching sight of yoongi. his eyes widen.

“oh, hyung,” jimin says as he parts. “you’ve met jungkookie? this is jeon jungkook, my childhood friend and dongsaeng. this is min yoongi-hyung, my partner at the precinct and sunbae.”

“yet you always seem to forget that,” yoongi says, even though his thoughts are absent. instead, he’s in a staring match with jungkook, the same peculiar look on his face. one that says, is that who you are?

“i do not,” jimin grumbles.

“i took him out for coffee,” yoongi says, turning back to jimin. “but it’s pretty late. around time for me to clock out, actually.”

jimin nods, expecting this, only a little side tracked by the fact that yoongi had taken the other out for coffee. his gaze slides to yoongi’s back, a familiar weight, and yoongi hears jimin as he’s walking off, “does he know?”

/

they get the call in for a domestic disturbance a week later. when yoongi and jimin got to the apartment building, a mother has already killed her child, her eyes broken wide and not completely there.

yoongi doesn’t know how to feel; sort of numb, nothing like how he would have felt before. he knew this was going to happen and yet, yet he could do nothing to stop it. in a week time has been able to sweep him up and down in it’s fanciful rage, bringing him across paperwork and car chases and phone calls. he had this buried, receded, in the back of his mind, but now that the limp cold stale body of a child is at his feet, yoongi feels like a green detective all over again, just starting out in the force. icy shivers crawling up and down his spine. the sight of a dead body shouldn’t bother him anymore, but this one does.

jimin catches his eye and he sees the other grimace. “hyung...”

yoongi takes a deep, shuddering breath and steps back. he realizes what kind of knowledge creates dark-chasm eyes like jungkook has; the knowledge that something bad is going to happen and no matter what you do, nothing will stop it from happening.

“i’m fine,” yoongi says emptily. “don’t look at me like that. where’s the forensics team?” he turns away so he won’t have to see the pitying look on jimin’s face.

when they finally get back to the precinct around two hours later, jungkook is waiting at the doors. jimin and yoongi rode in silence the entire car ride there; yoongi shot down any forms of conversation jimin had to offer.

he meets eyes with jungkook. big bright pupils that see everything, know everything, counts blood spatters and last breaths both.

“oh,” is all he says, cloaked in a black hoodie and ripped jeans. the delicate corner of his mouth pulls down tautly. disappointedly. yoongi finds himself stopping in front of jungkook with nothing to say, nothing to explain with.

jimin steps in front of him. “i’m sorry,” he starts, reaching out for jungkook’s wrist. the younger shifts back before the other can get a hand on him. instead he turns to yoongi and says, “i told you.”

yoongi - grits his teeth. “i didn’t get there in time.” i forgot.

jungkook licks his lips. for a split second yoongi imagines fear on his face, familiar anger painting across pretty features, twisting a  pink mouth into something pale and ugly - contracting muscles underneath skin until they turn into snarls, a furious expression painting sadness and despair beneath it. but jungkook only nods, blinks, turns away from yoongi without a second glance - as if he’s no longer someone to be looked at, not anymore. it stings worse.

“okay,” he shrugs, “happens.”

“don’t pretend like it doesn’t bother you,” jimin says quietly. he’s looking at jungkook but there’s something pointed in his statement that’s aimed entirely at yoongi.

yoongi shuffles his jacket farther up his shoulders, heads inside the precinct. he hears jimin and jungkook talking low underneath their breaths, trading secrets and passes. shadows. yoongi feels strung out.

/

yoongi doesn’t get to talk to jungkook much for the next month. it’s a bit of an odd situation, because he’s not sure whether he wants to face the kid or not. he comes around, sure, but he’s always swept up by jimin in a matter of seconds. somehow, no one else seems to notice - or comment - on the kid always hanging around the police station. it makes yoongi wonder if everyone else knows about jungkook too, or if they just don’t see him. after noticing jungkook slip by a couple of police officers without getting a single weird look, he chalks it up to the kid being near invisible. yoongi has to commend his ability to blend into any scenery without a trace.

some weeks, jungkook comes over every day. yoongi catches glimpses of his hair hidden underneath his hoodie or the sight of his back leaning against the pillow, him shuffling his feet and his boots at the corner on their clean tile. yoongi has, despite himself, memorized the line of his sloping shoulders and his neck and the curve of his nose that leads up to his mouth to his chin to his jaw to his throat. sometimes they meet eyes. jungkook hasn’t changed; some days he looks wan, some days he looks softer, some days his mouth is tinted dark pink and some days his lips are pale. yet each day can’t erase the dark rings of his eyes, how they catch onto yoongi like a snag in wool, keeping him entangled in its grasp. jungkook will blink and look away and yoongi is suddenly free yet suffocating and dangling from a thread.

this is how yoongi becomes used to jungkook’s presence, how he suddenly becomes aware of jungkook in the corners of his life, or his workplace. how he realizes that some people have more to them than just what they decide to let out on the surface (not that he hasn’t learned his lesson before the hard way) and how a man can go crazy with just a glance. that’s what it feels like.

he doesn’t know if it’s attraction or if it’s curiosity. they used to be one and same for him, which is why he’s having such a hard time now. yoongi shouldn’t be attracted to a kid who is five or six years younger than him, but he’s unable to look away. there’s something about jungkook that passes you by first - then, when you finally notice him, it’s hard to ignore the dark light in his gaze. his small mouth quirking up, the light hitting the corner of his cheekbone pleasantly in the morning sun. coffee runs where yoongi has slumped against the wall of their break room and looked out the window just to see jungkook standing around in the sun, faced toward the light on his face. content.

when he does talk to jungkook again, it’s the turning of the seasons. winter soon comes and yoongi doesn’t know how to feel about this new change, really. while he isn’t at odds with his family and they’d be overjoyed to see him again, other older detectives and officers have families waiting for them at home - actual husbands, wives, children. yoongi only has his mother, father, and older brother - whom probably won’t even be at home, working overseas as he is. his parents are used to him not coming home for christmas all that much; and he’s already visited them for chuseok, so this should be okay, right? this should be okay. yoongi writes himself down to work during christmas because crime never ends. crime never stops. bad people will do bad things.

the office is quiet and cold on christmas. there are a couple of other people on shift along with him; two police officers, one male and one female. the female is flicking her fingers over a pack of cigarettes in way yoongi recognizes. and older port bellied man that sits at an office, bags underneath his eyes for the amount of paperwork he’s been sifting through. a detective sunbae in his thirties, scruff on his chin and his hair hanging shaggy over his eyes. yoongi takes another sip of his bitter, slush-like coffee and sighs. it’s nearing 12 am.

thankfully at the moment it’s a bit more quiet than usual. of course you usually get your crazies, especially around holiday season - the religious fanatics, the chipped-away-by-loneliness phone calls, the sounds in the night that make someone screech. yoongi has heard all of it before, even if he hasn’t been in the force for too long. some of them make good drinking stories.

he leans back against his chair and closes his eyes. stars burst between his eyelids. yoongi sighs the exhaustion out of his body.

“hey, min,” someone calls out. yoongi grunts. “there’s someone outside for you. says he wants to talk to you.”

“who is it?”

“some kid.” at this, yoongi straightens up and actually look at who’s talking to him; a mailboy or whatever, looking simultaneously bored and bothered. “he asked me to tell you.”

yoongi looks, almost instinctively, toward the exit. it does nothing because they’re not made of glass and he’s on the second floor but he still looks anyway. he has a sneaking suspicion he knows who it is. the mailboy fucks off somewhere and yoongi casts a cursory glance over his desk; the misaligned papers, the suspiciously silent phone. yoongi shuts off the lamp that he’s been using and squints so his eyes readjust to the dimmed light of the main room.

outside is jeon jungkook, waiting at the side of the door as always. he’s wearing a puffy jacket even though the chill is not cold enough to bite yet, a beanie that covers his ears warmly, boots and jeans. he looks like any other student out there. yoongi is outside without any covering, just his button up and his slacks; he watches jungkook take in his attire and look a little ruffled. as he turns around, there’s a plastic white bang swinging from his wrist.

“you’re going to get a cold,” is the first thing jungkook says.

“it’s autumn weather,” yoongi responds, nodding to jungkook’s blizzard get up.

he gives a small smile. knowing smile. looks at yoongi and cocks his head a little, like he’s hearing words that is only audible to him. it’s a strange look on him, especially when the street lights and the blaring neon of the precinct sign make shadows dance across his face.

“not for long,” jungkook tells him. “better to be safe than sorry.”

“what, you’re the weatherman now?”

jungkook shrugs. it’s infuriating. yoongi is strangely addicted to the feeling.

“what are you doing here, kid? why’d you ask for me?”

jungkook’s mouth parts in a sigh, but yoongi realizes this is just the way he talks; his mouth pushing open, words forming in ‘o’s and ‘y’s. movement. “you didn’t eat all day, right? that’s not healthy.” he shakes the plastic bag. “it’s just black bean noodles. nothing much.”

“food,” yoongi says flatly.

“i paid for it, so you gotta eat it, ahjussi,” jungkook says, shaking the bag in front of him almost enticingly. yoongi catches a glimpse of the skin of his inner wrist, lined with purple veins, his wristbone jutting out.

“i’m on shift,” yoongi continues, turning around abruptly to go back inside, when jungkook heaves a deep - almost troubled - breath and says loudly, “i saw it. you, alone. sitting at your desk on christmas eve.”

“so what? i don’t need pity from a kid.”

jungkook’s exhaled wisp of breath is heard more than seen. yoongi pauses and turns to see the other’s face expressively downturned, the tops of his cheekbones almost pink in the awful cold wind that has suddenly started up. yoongi feels it rattle his bones and swears. jungkook shrugs once and the movement of his eyelashes as he sweeps his gaze from his feet to yoongi’s face is strange and drawing. “it’s not pity. i would be alone, too. and this is better than watching a mukbang and not really getting rid the loneliness at all.”

“you saw it,” yoongi repeats. he gets a created vision of his own: jungkook sitting by himself in his room, surrounded by shadows and light, creasing over the dotting lines of his face as he turns in sleep, couches, college loneliness.

“yeah,” jungkook breathes. “it’s going to get cold soon.”

despite himself, yoongi opens the door. it’s something about jungkook’s knees clinking together like a newborn foal that hasn’t learned how to use its legs yet; about the way his jacket sleeves are big enough to slip down and show wrists against the bitter cold of korean winter, how his eyes seem too big for his face.

thankfully no one notices them as they walk past. a handful of people are actually here as they walk around the precinct like ghosts, their faces wan and pale with the lack of light. yoongi switches off a couple of open lights as he walks by, jungkook’s footsteps behind him silent and nearly inaudible.

they head off to the break room, because no way in hell was yoongi going to let this kid go near his desk with it’s important files and his computer.

jungkook settles himself down on the sofa, comfortably crossing his legs over each other and folding himself into small spaces as if he does it all the time. comes out of his big coat inappropriate for the weather and opens up the black bean noodles, setting one aside on the small table in front of him for yoongi. the fluorescent light makes everything saturated to the point of white-gray-slate, a color palette of the stark and the seamlessly sleepless. yoongi sits his aching body across from jungkook’s and reaches forward for chopsticks, for the food. jungkook being here, sitting knee-knacking distance away from him is almost surreal. yoongi feels like he’s 15 and in high school again, but jungkook looks as he always does: strangely lit, almost like he has a glow inside of him, yet still with an edge of a sickly tint.

it’s because he has no color in his cheeks, yoongi notices. he thinks that jungkook is better suited with that rose dusting on his face, just a confirmation of blood streaming through his veins.

“this is good,” jungkook sighs happily.

“don’t you have anywhere to go, kid?”

jungkook stills. “of course i do,” he says, looking at yoongi amusedly. “but sometimes i don’t like staying at home. it can be really quiet.” he’s tracing the edge of the container with a thumb, pressing down hard around that it slices through the pad of his finger and he has to bring the digit up to his mouth to slip it in between his lips. absentmindedly, looking down at his lap, frowning. thinking.

yoongi starts eating. it feels warm, even though the air conditioner has been running all night. jungkook doesn’t say much for the rest of the night, and yoongi recognizes with a jolt: he knows little to nothing about this kid, about what he likes and what he does in his free time and what his favorite foods are. all yoongi knows is that he’s unconventionally beautiful and he has eyes that can suck you into another galaxy.

these thoughts are so foreign that even having them in the recesses of his mind feels odd. feels like - words of a teenager, or a young adult, someone who still looks to the world and doesn’t see just grim darkness half the time. things about what do you like? oh, i read that book ages ago, i love music too! stupid, silly, inconsequential pieces of information. somehow, recently, all yoongi has been putting himself through is a series of files and body tags.

he rubs at his eyes, leans back after he eats. his eyes are heavy, a crack of his original sight the only thing that lets him see the way jungkook smiles softly at him, almost like he’s overseeing a little brother - odd, because yoongi is the elder one here.

“go to sleep, yoongi-ssi,” jungkook says, and he sounds - different, airier, lighter, like a lullaby. yoongi shifts a little and leans back, unbuttoning his cuffs, head resting against the semi-familiar sofa before he drifts for the first time in 50 hours straight, food warm in his stomach and a comfortable companionship sitting by his side.

/

yoongi doesn’t think it’s fair, the way jungkook appears and disappears in his life like smoke. like cigarettes. yoongi has had one taste and just like nicotine, he is burgeoning upon addiction. he dreams about jungkook’s soft mouth, him biting down on the corner of his lip absentmindedly, him murmuring words in yoongi’s ear - hands running up and down yoongi’s arms, curving over his shoulders, back arching in yoongi’s grasp -

and then he wakes up to the cold sofa, white lights, coffee in the machine. he’s not hard, thank god, he hasn’t made a mess of himself in his pants like he’s fucking fifteen, but the images of jungkook pressed close to him lingers. it’s almost as if yoongi can taste the salt on his skin, whatever it may be, if he tried getting close.

it’s bad enough that he’s feeling some sort of attraction, unexplainable and unprecedented, to a twenty one year old finishing undergrad with a strange power hidden underneath his oversized hoodies. it’s worse that he has to see jungkook in his dreams, too, whenever the other isn’t around in the office, hanging off crevices and corners like shadows, gathering up at the edges of yoongi’s sanity and tainting - taunting - him at every turn.

it takes a week for the dreams to settle. once or twice, yoongi thinks he hears jungkook’s voice calling out - a phantom visage that disappears as soon as he turns around. jimin is with him on the clock as they tirelessly work out a rape case that’s pretty cut and dry - the victim had the mind to scream and even though the assault had taken place, a neighbor called and managed to get the perp before he could leave. now there was the legal shit to take care of, as well as the court appearance and the paperwork. not to mention the victim herself, though yoongi left jimin to take care of that. his bedside manner wasn’t the best.

yoongi looks down at the bottom of his cup and squints, noting the brown ring at the bottom. he makes a noise similar to a dying whale at some frequency so low and guttural no one except another sea creature could probably hear it.

jimin is leaning back against his chair, a bad habit he has, letting the hinges squeak with his weight. his head is hanging limply on his shoulder and he’s twirling a pen between his fingers. “just a little bit more to go before we’re off, hyung,” he says dryly. “you can survive.”

“fuck,” yoongi mutters in response, staring longingly the chief’s office - where he wishes he can barge in and ask for the rest of the night off al-fucking-ready.

the phone rings from jimin’s table and his mouth curls down in an exhausted curve before he picks it up. “detective park, how may i help you?” his personal line, then. yoongi watches with lazy eyes as jimin straightens, his chair hinges squeaking again. “what? hyung, are you serious?”

yoongi pauses.

jimin’s eye twitches, glancing quickly at yoongi before back at the phone. oh, yoongi thinks, this time more attentive, interesting.

“hyung, i don’t think bringing him is a good idea,” jimin says lightly, carefully. “i mean, he’s okay with most things - but this, this is a lot, and i know that - “ he bites his lip. jimin seems like he’s trying very hard not to talk about something, and jimin is quite transparent with everything - even the things he doesn’t want to say -

“if it’s about jeon jungkook, you don’t have to hold back on my account,” yoongi says sharply.

jimin colors a little, telling him that it’s exactly about jungkook. “hyung, i’m serious, i don’t want jungkookie to be scarred,” he replies quietly. “seeing murders and assaults on a daily basis - that’s tough, hyung, i can’t ask him to see them on purpose.”

yoongi’s throat dries. he blinks up at the dark ceiling. somehow, it always comes back to jungkook.

when jimin finally hangs up, yoongi not quite catching the tail end of his conversation, he asks - with no grace - “who was that?”

jimin shrugs. “namjoon-hyung.”

kim namjoon, one of seoul’s most prolific profilers. a criminal genius; a man able to dig into the psyche of serial killer and common man alike. he’s already written two books, yoongi thinks, which is mind-boggling considering that he’s in some of the hardest-hitting and time consuming departments of the seoul police force. yoongi is close with him, having been friends in college and then entering the military at the same time as conscripted police officers. namjoon was a fine officer, who often knew where the criminals would go and was there before they could even begin to think of a way to arrive first. a genius, probably, even at his young as fuck age.

“how does he know jungkook?”

jungkook, who knew it was going to snow. jungkook, who knows about blood before it’s even spilled, the same way namjoon knows about people before they even talk.

“they worked together once, a couple of years ago,” jimin mutters, grimacing. he doesn’t seem to like the fact that they know each other much. “three years, i think. jungkook told him where a serial killer would be - he saw the guy as he was passing a church downtown - and namjoon went crazy trying to figure out how he knew, how jungkook could possibly make that kind of conclusion from little substantial evidence, all that shit that namjoon-hyung is obsessed with. he originally didn’t believe jungkook, but then two weeks later - there the murder was, exactly the way jungkook said it would be in the exact same place. namjoon hyung has time since then to accept it, albeit in his own nerdy scientific way.”

sounds like namjoon. yoongi wouldn’t have expected to accept something like that so easily. he’s not surprised that it took namjoon a lot of bothering to accept that there were otherworldly powers at work that were not explained by science or -

yoongi frowns. why is namjoon asking jungkook for help? he usually takes care of the worst cases by himself - yoongi has seen him deal with a case of a serial killer that used to burn his victims alive before slitting their throat - so why does he need jungkook? what could jungkook possibly do for namjoon that he couldn’t figure out himself? and what - what would jungkook see, what horrors would flash past those big brown eyes, rack shivers down his frame, what would - shit, yoongi shivers, straightening in his chair as well.

“you didn’t tell him he could ask jungkook, did you?” it’s none of yoongi’s business, but his voice is strangely gruff, almost protective.

jimin, despite looking chipper 80% of the time and using laughter as a distraction from his sharp observational skills, is not an idiot. he shoots yoongi a strange look. instead of saying no, like yoongi wants - like yoongi is hoping for - he says, “jungkook is an adult. he can decide these things for himself.” yoongi scowls. it’s dark enough that jimin’s face clears and he chuckles like he’s realized something. “of course, i don’t want him to suffer more than he already does, so i said that namjoon-hyung could figure this one out for himself. he doesn’t need jungkookie to solve his problems for him. snu graduate and all that.” jimin gives him a teasing smile, so out of place with their conversation, with the thoughts running through yoongi’s head. “why so invested, hyung?”

yoongi clenches his jaw and grabs his empty coffee cup only to crush it in his hands and throw it in the trash. he ignores jimin and turns back to his paperwork.

/

and what yoongi slowly finds himself learning is that he just can’t get rid of jeon jungkook. something about him attracts everything that is dark and wild in seoul, be it the restless souls that haunt the never sleeping streets or the shadows that grow and climb in alleyways. they seem to follow him almost as if he is the shining beacon of light that will lead them out of a dark hell. jungkook is everywhere - the witness in robberies, stabbings, assaults. he stops most of them, hood pressed down over his eyes, always taken in by jimin and yoongi in some odd stroke of luck so no one can patch patterns between his appearances and crime scenes. he never gets hurt more than a slight paper cut or maybe a bruise here or there, he never stays long at these places - almost as if he only comes for a purpose, fulfills it, and leaves. he slips past yoongi’s grip as easily as water, as air. as smoke. jungkook passes by him and yoongi, too, jolts forward almost as if he wants to touch, as if he wants to follow. he wonders if that makes him just as bad as all the other things that cling to jungkook’s ankles, nipping, always wanting whatever of what he has. always missing his light footed steps away from every scene.

jimin pulls jungkook aside one time; it’s not a big crime, just a bit of a disturbance, and asks him - voice low, “you need to stop being at these things, jungkookie.”

and jungkook, with his eyes dark and his bruises darker, cocks his head and says, “if i’m not here, hyung, no one else will be.” and what he wants to ask is unsaid: isn’t that scary? to face something like this by yourself? and so jimin has to let him go, defeated, and jungkook still yet has his way.

the time after that, he accidentally bumps into yoongi while walking behind, away from the blood splatters on the cold tiled floor of the convenience store. a stabbing and a robbery. yoongi’s office is having a fucking field day. jungkook turns around quickly, his hoodie slipping from his head and his hair tickling his ears and neck. “oh,” his voice is breathy, eyes wide, “yoongi-ssi.”

“you shouldn’t be here,” yoongi snaps, veins in his forehead becoming prominent. jungkook is too close, way too close, and yoongi can see the sliver of skin of his neck leading up to his collarbones covered by his dark zipper. “go home, kid.”

jungkook doesn’t say anything, but yoongi thinks that if he could, he would be rolling his eyes. yoongi doesn’t mean to snap at him, he really doesn’t, but he’s being strung thin the last few days - the last few weeks - and this awful want bubbling underneath his skin doesn’t help when the object of his desire is standing just a few ways away.

“i didn’t mean to be here,” jungkook says, but then again, how does one really know if he meant to be here or not? half the time, jungkook is all-knowing, almost omnipotent, with a gaze that looks like he knows everything the world has to offer; the other half, he is stumbling along like a newborn gazelle, lost and in his own world. “i was really just trying to buy ramen.” at this point, his stomach rumbles, almost as if to back up his point. jungkook bites his bottom lip and presses a hand to his lower stomach almost painfully.

it takes around another hour of questioning and keeping jungkook behind before they’re actually done with the area. jungkook’s face is known now to yoongi and jimin but to the other officers? despite the amount of times that jungkook has ended up in their grasp, somehow they still don’t recognize him, not at all. it baffles yoongi. when jimin is left lingering behind and yoongi is checking through his phone for missed calls, he hears jungkook say quietly underneath his breath, “nice to see i’ve kept up my influence here.”

jimin pushes him slightly. “did namjoon call you?”

jungkook is quiet, and yoongi knows that he’s suddenly stilled. he’s sure that jimin was looking straight at him when he asked. “yes, he did,” jungkook says neutrally.

there’s a moment of quiet; an image of jungkook’s body, broken and beyond all repair, flashes through his mind. yoongi clutches onto his phone so hard the metal of it almost creaks in his grasp.

“i’m going to ask if you can stay with yoongi-hyung tonight instead of me,” jimin says softer, this time really not meaning for yoongi to overhear. i’m going to be out in the office for a while, and yoongi-hyung definitely needs some sleep. you can take his sofa, okay? there’s no classes on monday, is there?”

“no,” jungkook says, voice fading. when jimin comes to ask him, yoongi wants to say no - wants to decline and yell and scream, say that you can’t offer up other people’s houses just as you like, can’t give other people things like this only for so that there is an audience to watch them crash and burn (for him to crash and burn) but then jimin is looking at him, giving him a glance that is half sympathy and half uncertainty. yoongi doesn’t do anything but curtly nod his acceptance.

the first thing yoongi does is when they get to their apartment - after a quiet car ride, thank god, because jungkook fell asleep as soon as he sat in the passenger’s seat - is offer jungkook a shower. the kid looks like he needs one. he shuffles off his shoes and walks around in his socks, feet perfectly placed one in front of the other like he’s made practice of doing so until it’s become second nature. yoongi’s eyes flicker across the second form in his home and goes straight to the kitchen, not hearing a response from jungkook about the shower.

“you have a nice home,” jungkook says, looking at the tv that yoongi rarely uses for anything other than watching late night shows when insomnia takes him over. the scent of air freshener is both stale and sweet, masking up the scent of cigarette smoke. yoongi pours himself a cup of coffee. “thanks.”

jungkook hones down on the cup and frowns, shuffling over. “if you drink that, you won’t be able to sleep.”

yoongi wordlessly adds sugar and milk to his coffee, stirring them all together. the point of coffee is that he doesn’t want to sleep. he doesn’t think he can, not tonight; it doesn’t feel like a good night.

“yoongi-hyung,” jungkook starts again, pleading, his voice like raindrops on a windowsill.

“did i say you could call me hyung?” yoongi raises an eyebrow, even though he feels a pleasant flush diffuse throughout his body. he raises the mug to his mouth.

jungkook reaches forward to take the mug from him, dumping the contents in the sink in one fell swoop before yoongi can even growl out a, “watch yourself, kid - “ he settles the mug in there with a clink of porcelain against metal and slumps in front of yoongi, his hood fallen down so yoongi has the full frontal of bangs brushing across his forehead, curling over ears. he wants to reach out and run a thumb under the bruises beneath the creases of his eyes, underneath the lashes that line his lower lid. so vibrantly colorful against a boy who seems both colorful and devoid of anything.

“the fuck,” yoongi ends up muttering, sounding rough. “that’s not how you fucking act like a guest in someone’s house, kid.”

jungkook blinks. smiles. “can you get to sleep tonight, hyung?”

somehow he knows. yoongi can tell in the way jungkook curves his body, the way he’s so relaxed and quiet, the way he walks around yoongi’s apartment like he has seen it all before. somehow he knows. yoongi thinks he should feel disoriented, should feel violated, but honestly - he just feels tired. he’s rarely felt anything else but the constant strum of exhaustion and weariness that gnaws away at his flesh because of work, work, work. he doesn’t have the ability in his body to live through the processes of shock, surprise, or even disbelief. jungkook somehow knows, but yoongi is starting to learn that it’s to be expected that jungkook knows; jungkook knows a lot of things, a lot of things he can’t say just yet either. yoongi thinks there is more to jungkook than just reading the play cards of the future; he knows just when to deal them, too.

so yoongi clears his throat and gets himself a glass of water. he feels tense, still, when dressed in his work slacks and button up, but jungkook looks so comfortable in his home with his college student attire, his sweatpants and his hoodies. yoongi has never seen jungkook’s forearms. he wonders what the skin of his wrist looks like.

“probably not,” yoongi answers truthfully. he doesn’t know why he does. usually the best way to placate people is to lie. one too many times he’s had to tell jimin that he was okay when he really wasn’t.

jungkook nods. “do you want me to sing to you, hyung?”

the question is so unexpected that yoongi shoots him a look. jungkook shrugs, the material of his soft blue hoodie moving with it. “you slept last time i sang to you.”

“i don’t remember shit about that.”

jungkook stills, then, his entire body participating in a freeze frame. yoongi can almost see the frozen condensed stoppage of his breath in his lungs, the way his bones and muscles still, how his eyes cease their blinking, the long movement of eyelashes. yoongi counts seconds like milliseconds like nanoseconds in his brain and jungkook is still so rooted, almost petrified. quiet. he probably can’t even hear the beat of jungkook’s heart, he has receded himself so greatly into the air amongst  him, into the particles of space and everything and nothing in between.

and then, just like that, he is there again, inhaling once before smiling vaguely, eyes cast down toward the marble countertop. yoongi’s lights flicker. it’s definitely too cold in here - he should turn down the thermostat soon. jungkook traces a circle on the counter and says, “huh, sorry. you must have been asleep by that time, then.” but his words sound wrong, sound distant, like he knows he’s made a mistake and is trying to act cool about covering it up. yoongi has heard and seen it all; if he weren’t who he was, jungkook might have just convinced him.

it’s odd, how yoongi feels like he already knows the lines of jungkook’s body, how he already knows the way he works. it’s probably the result of his own forbidden wandering thoughts about that -

“alright, i’ll bring out the blankets,” yoongi clears his throat, scratching the back of his neck. there is no place for those words and images here. “stay here, kid.”

jungkook nods, but the slight movement of electricity between them is gone, now that jungkook has cut the power from his side. yoongi feels like he’s missing something, but he doesn’t know where to even begin.

yoongi gathers what little extra he has of his blankets and his pillows; his air mattress deflated a couple weeks back after jimin had stayed the night, so the best that he can give jungkook is the sofa, which is startlingly comfortable (yoongi has chosen to sleep there a night or two, but that can be because of his own propensity toward sleeping on surfaces similar to this). when he returns to the living room, jungkook is at the piano, his side profile the only thing visible to yoongi. he’s taken off his hoodie and laid it to rest across the armchair. his white t-shirt should make him look pale and washed out, but instead it brightens the color in his cheeks and the rosiness in the hollow of his throat. the sleeves go down to the crease of his elbows, oversized.

yoongi spends too much time staring at the skin of his forearms, pale blue veins underneath the silken surface. they run like rivers up and down his arm, pressed so close against the surface - yoongi could imagine them bursting just under a simple touch. he sets the blankets down on the sofa as jungkook runs his fingers reverently over the keys.

“do you play, hyung?” he asks, marvelling. yoongi doesn’t remember giving explicit permission for the other to call him hyung, but he likes the words slipping from jungkook’s mouth too much to complain.

“i do,” yoongi says. “used to compose, too. still dabble in it sometimes, but i rarely have the time. i got you your blankets and pillows, kid. time to go to sleep.”

“i can sleep later, i don’t have class in the morning,” jungkook waves away. painfully, yoongi reminds himself that jungkook has class. he has to go to school because he’s in college. “can you play something, hyung?”

“do you know how to play?” yoongi asks instead, keeping his distance. his fingers itch to run over the white, gleaming surface of the keys, press down on the notes that are embedded into memory. he thinks jungkook will be impressed, not by the playing, but by the way yoongi treats the piano like one would a love, caressing every key with care, tuning music out of it’s sleek black body the way people who have known something all their lives do.

“a little bit. i know how to play the violin more.” jungkook turns to throw him a beguiling gaze them, eyes wide. “please, hyung?”

they’re not nowhere near enough for yoongi to be so complacent, for him to sit down next to jungkook and lean forward, wiping his hands on his thighs. they’re not close enough emotionally to mimic their physical closeness; how jungkook is centimeters away from him, how he can feel jungkook’s warmth seeping into the spaces between them, how jungkook’s hand is so close to his own. if yoongi reached out, he could run his thumb over jungkook’s knuckles, trace the lines of his pretty palms. yoongi has never wanted someone so much, and it confuses him, terrifies him, how much he wants more than just the body suddenly, how much -

he cracks his bones. bad habits.

it starts out soft and unassuming. yoongi remembers this piece well, having mastered and mixed it himself in college, working his fingers through the keys and hearing the sounds moving up and down, levels changing, motion in motion in constant motion the shape of sound, the shape of music, the shape of beats -

old habits, yoongi thinks. bad habits. it’s so easy to fall into them. music has always been one of his worst.

jungkook doesn’t sing, but his mouth purses like he wants to. yoongi wonders what he sounds like; if he’d sound sweet or if he’d sound haunting or if he’d sound flat. yoongi wonders about the shape of his voice the same way he wonders about the curve of his shoulder or the angle of his elbows against his side. morbid curiosity, attracted curiosity.

yoongi stops playing - not abruptly, but there is something missing in the last notes. usually music has the soul in it, but yoongi forgets to put himself in the last trailing melodic hums, his fingers slipping away from the keys easily. jungkook has been quiet throughout the entire thing beside him, simply staring at movement of his hands, perhaps still thinking or perhaps in another world.

he stands up then, trying to put distance in between them. in between him and jungkook, with his far-away eyes that remind yoongi of searching for stars in seoul’s polluted sky: looking, trying, always failing with the knowledge that they’re going to be beyond your grasp. yoongi takes steps and the farther he goes, the more he’s pulled back. magnetic. jungkook is the south pole and yoongi is a negative charge trying too hard to escape him.

“i’m going to sleep,” yoongi says. rubbing at the skin underneath his eyes.

“yeah,” jungkook says, not even paying attention, still looking lost. like he’s seeing something the rest of them can’t see.

yoongi only shuts the door to his bedroom when he sees the light in the living room turn off.

/

their guy lays face down on the bed, his blood pooling on the floor and soaked into the pale purple sheets. he’s on the thin side, his ribs poking out beneath waxy skin, pale and dry and still. yoongi doesn’t get close, simply watches behind the tape as the csi do their jobs of clearing up evidence and taking pictures. jimin is talking to the maid that found the body while she was simply going by, doing her job of taking out trash bins full of used condoms and stuffing her laundry bag full with questionably-stained sheets. compared to most love hotels, this one is pretty tame. yoongi had been in one (for work purposes, where someone was assaulted) that had gaudy red hearts as wallpaper and lamps in the shape of the male genitalia. it was unamusing, to say the least.

“we’re gonna send this in for a rape kit,” he hears someone say, and sucks in a breath.

jimin comes by a second later, ruffling a hand through his hair. he opens his mouth to say something but then thinks better of it, biting on his bottom lip before huffing. yoongi recognizes this particular set of motions; jimin tends to do it a lot when he’s hiding something. yoongi doesn’t pry.

he and jimin take a look around the apartment and note things down, but most of them are too vague to come up with any substantial answers at this point. everything is clean except for the blood everywhere. they can’t even find any sort of murder weapon.

jimin looks down at his notes almost troubled. he looks like he wants to say something but whatever he’s got to say, yoongi probably won’t like it.

still. “yeah?”

“looks like that one case namjoon has been working on,” jimin says. “the serial murderer and rapist case. surely you know the one, hyung.”

yoongi does; they rarely have cases like these, one that stretches and lasts for months. all of them know about it, have it beaten into heads, the fear, the abstract fear of knowing that something can happen to you at any moment at any given time in any city. murder. death. be it by another’s hand or by an accident, a runaway car, an accidental drunken step.

then, “namjoon-hyung wanted jungkook to work on this case.”

and jungkook had said no.

well, not him, perhaps, but definitely jimin. yoongi feels - grateful, somehow.

yoongi swirls with words unsaid, careful to step in places where the victim hasn’t bled. he exits the room quietly, wonders if he should have ever gotten jungkook’s number, if he should have ever made an effort to reach out to the kid instead of coming close then deciding to render them at an odd distance away from each other, fractured, always holding the space between them at uneven lengths.

somehow it’s unsaid, the way jimin’s eyes look down at his phone, his mouth pulled into a frown. he’s looking for excuses and for things that don’t hurt. in their line of business, though, everything is a sharp, stinging pain if you don’t know how to block things out. jimin’s like this for most of the car ride back, musing something over his head, turning it carefully before his eyes. options. situations. jimin has always been good with looking at the big picture, while yoongi can focus on details. they do well together.

the rest of his shift is calling it in and writing up the paperwork, calling friends and family and waiting for the blood tests and other biological reports to be back so they have somewhere to start on. murder weapon, modus operandi. yoongi sighs and leans back; it’s like he ages every time he’s here.

jimin leaves halfway after midnight. yoongi stays until 2 am before realizing that he should probably go home and get some sleep before his next twenty four hour shift. when he rallies his jacket over his shoulders and opens the door, it’s - snowing.

jungkook is standing at the base of the steps, an umbrella over his head. it’s a cute one, blue with bright pink polka dots. the winter air makes him look for alive; his skin is not as pale, bitten with a reddened rouge because of the rough, cold air; he’s covered in a thick fleece jacket and a scarf that swathes his mouth and red-tipped nose. he’s wearing mittens. boots. black pants. at first yoongi thinks that he’s looking for jimin, but then jimin left already. he always leaves this way. when did jungkook get here? how long has he been standing outside?

with four fingers clasped into a singular sleeve, he pulls down the top of his scarf that’s covering the bottom half of his face. yoongi is frozen in place, unaware of the chill starting to settle on him as snow falls from the sky to land on his shoulders, his threadbare coat, his hair. jungkook’s mouth is dark pink. he looks up at yoongi and he sees the full extent of those large, dark eyes. expressive. almost too kind. “hyung, you’re going to be very cold if you wear that.”

yoongi tears his eyes away from this enchanting person in front of him, who has appeared so suddenly that it seems almost unreal. when yoongi looks around it’s almost like the night has become his new day, he’s so used to leaving at these times. “it’s only a light flurry,” he dismisses. “what are you doing here?”

jungkook doesn’t answer him. he blinks, the movement slow, almost as sweet as honey as his eyelashes flutter down toward his cheeks and then back up, seconds dragged through time just to pause briefly for him. everything about him makes the rest of the world halt in its tracks.

his shrug is small and immaculate, neatly done. a simple raise of the shoulders before he returns to his original position. “winter is coming,” he says blankly. it means just as it sounds, but yoongi thinks it might be more. it sounds like a promise.

yoongi reiterates, frowning, “what are you doing here?”

jungkook averts his eyes. he looks to the ground. his mouth curls down in a displeased smile, brows furrowed, and the look is such a foreign expression on his face that yoongi feels something in him ache; boys with eyes like that shouldn’t ever have to frown. he starts walking down the steps. jungkook doesn’t make a move to leave until yoongi is under jungkook’s umbrella.

“hyung could have gotten a cold,” he explains. “it’s going to be freezing later. the roads are all slippery from black ice.”

“i suppose they will be, but it’s way too early to be thinking about black ice.”

jungkook hums. he holds the umbrella with both hands. “sometimes these things can come quicker than we think they will.” he turns to yoongi. “hyung, are you going home?”

yoongi says, “yeah.”

“hyung, are you hungry?”

and yoongi, after realizing that through his hell of a day he hasn’t had much of an appetite, says, resigned, “yeah.”

jungkook’s cheek dimples with his smile.

/

somehow this leads to the both of them at a 24 hour mcdonalds at 2:30 am. yoongi wasn’t even aware they had 24-hour mcdonalds, but jungkook informed him that you could always find one near the universities - how else were college kids supposed to feed their errant stomachs? but, jungkook says laughing, he hasn’t eaten it in a while. fast food is a rarity for him, who always eats at mom and pop shops or tries to cook himself or makes convenience stores his fast food restaurants (which, yoongi points out, in technicalities of the word they pretty much are?). yoongi grimaces at the oily food and the calories that are no doubt laden with every meal, but he figures that - what the hell. he probably needs it.

they both get burgers and fries and a drink; water for yoongi, cola for jungkook. sit at the corner booth with their jackets and their shoes, wet umbrella drying in the heated air. yoongi shrugs off his coat and lets it sit behind him; jungkook peels away his scarf and his fleece jacket so that he’s left in a white button up shirt that is much too large. white, yoongi thinks distantly, is a good color on him.

jungkook looks sleep ruffled but awake, bright, so bright. a star in the universe. a streetlamp in a dark road. something to reach for.

“hyung, i don’t have class for two weeks,” jungkook informs him, looking all too glad for it. “i could use the break - i’ve been wanting to go see some people.”

yoongi grunts, “that’s nice,” wondering what the fuck it has to do with him.

jungkook cocks his head, almost like he can hear the thought itself. he says, “the first person i wanted to see was hyung.”

and isn’t that something.

yoongi, because he’s dumb around people who want to be around him, says: “what about jimin?”

“i see jimin-hyung almost every day,” jungkook tells him. “i wanted to see hyung.” just hyung. not yoongi-hyung. yoongi wants to know how the syllables of his name will come out of jungkook’s mouth, but he - like always - seems to know this and almost refuses to say so. just a quiet hyung that grasps at yoongi’s attention. he doesn’t realize how weak he’s already gotten.

their food comes a moment later and they eat in silence, yoongi eating without actually tasting anything. there’s a strange current underneath his skin that he can’t get rid of, something that begets him to just lean back and lazily watch jungkook move, watch him brush hair aside with his hand or smile wide with his two front teeth bigger than the rest. it’s awfully cute. jungkook finishes first and leans back, satisfied with their small meal made of cheap food and close contact.

then he says, “jimin-hyung won’t let me work on the case.”

yoongi feels his heart rise to his throat.

jungkook laughs quietly and says, “don’t worry hyung; i don’t actively go around trying to make myself go insane. i don’t want to be on the case either.” he looks down as he’s saying this, at his hands and his lap, as if he’s almost ashamed he can’t help yoongi somehow. “please...don’t get hurt.”

yoongi’s mouth is dry. “why would i get hurt?” he asks a little too sharply. when jungkook refuses to look at him, yoongi sighs. “kid, i’m not going to get hurt. maybe when i was rookie, but now i’m more careful.” he doesn’t know why he’s expending energy trying to convince jungkook that he’ll be okay. why jungkook thinks he won’t be okay in the first place.

“bodily, maybe,” jungkook starts, “but - i see it, hyung. how you sleep at night. your dreams. i see them.” jungkook shrugs then, his face rising with a flush from the base of his neck. he continues, “i see all of them.”

yoongi stills.

most of his dreams are -

what haunts him in the night are visions, sights of people dying. yoongi thinks he looks up and sees the sun but it’s black, there is a shroud across the night sky and he’s running in endless darkness. when he looks back down his hands are coated, sticky, and red; when he tries to wipe them off they become almost scarred into his skin. he dreams of last chances and of reaching out for something to hold onto, knowing that he has nothing left. still trying. what he remembers is the faces of victims asking why he could not do better, the feeling of a bullet in his shoulder, his body crushed under weight and hurt and him just trying so hard - flashing lights - a car - the click of a gun -

and then sometimes. sometimes he dreams of softer things. yoongi closes his eyes and wishes for fairytales and only gets lucidity, dreams about sun dawning and sticky days, a body on top of his moving languidly, breaths quiet before they draw out into a moan. yoongi thinks about fingers intertwining his and then a still moment of rest before motion spurs him into closeness, into intimacy. yoongi dreams of dark-chasm eyes and he can’t understand why, why he has these thoughts and why this is so familiar, this saturated color world and the feeling of jungkook’s mouth on his is so familiar -

jungkook exhales, and yoongi is brought back to the present out of his tunnel vision. he is suddenly acutely aware of the clothes on his body, the beating of his tepid heart, the thin skin over jungkook’s knuckles.

“i,” jungkook hesitates, “don’t see people’s dreams. i see the moments of the future. but you, hyung...i saw yours before i even met you.”

yoongi doesn’t understand, doesn’t want to understand. the things jungkook sees - he doesn’t think he’d ever understand them at all. yoongi leans back and licks his lips, his mouth and throat dry like he’s been screaming. odd, because he’s been sitting quiet here the entire time.

“and i’m just wondering,” jungkook starts again, this time voice even quieter, more reluctant, “why you haven’t - done anything.”

his body is tense, yoongi realizes. jungkook is not stupid. he’s aware of the way yoongi looks after him like he can’t help it, how his line of sight follows jungkook out of their own will. while yoongi was so busy trying to look away, jungkook spent time sneaking glances and trying to figure out, like a high schooler with a crush, if he felt the same way.

“i saw your face in my own dreams, but now i - i don’t know if they’re mine or yours, sometimes i’m really sure and sometimes i don’t know at all - “ jungkook sucks in air, biting at the edge of his mouth so hard it’s about to bleed. “and i think that i’m going to go crazy sometimes, hyung, isn’t that funny?”

yoongi wants to - kiss him. reach over and put a hand around his neck because he thinks jungkook would like that, wouldn’t he? and then just pull him close until jungkook’s soapy scent is part of his own, until yoongi is pressing his mouth against jungkook’s and taking the soul out of him, until yoongi is all that fills in the spaces between jungkook’s arms, thighs. it’s destructive and cruel but he strangely wants it.

“i never said you could call me hyung,” yoongi replies. it’s not true. somewhere in his memory he feels like - feels like he did.

jungkook exhales shakily. even though it’s warm, the tips of his ears are red. yoongi thinks it might be embarrassment, might be something less.

“it’s nearly three am,” yoongi says, getting up and shuffling on his coat like their conversation hasn’t happened at all. “c’mon, we’re going back.”

jungkook wordlessly follows, throwing away their trash and keeping at yoongi’s heels. he follows yoongi to his car, umbrella swinging from his wrist. he’s halfway through putting on his mittens before yoongi presses him to the side of the car and does what he wants, pushes his hand through his hair and brings his face down toward his.

what gets him is - is how easily it happens. how jungkook follows like he expected it, like he saw it happening already, like it’s already happened before. jungkook steps forward almost eagerly and his entire body shifts, almost sighs in relief. yoongi presses their lips together until they’re both warm, pulling away to tilt his head. jungkook doesn’t open his eyes the entire time, nose scrunched, and yoongi is - overwhelmed. he bites at jungkook’s bottom lip and sucks for a moment, his tongue slipping across the crack of his mouth. jungkook exhales and yoongi takes his breath in, sweet.

he doesn’t know how they get back to his apartment in one piece. jungkook fiddles with his oddly colored umbrella for the entire ride. squirming in his seat; his mouth is always parted whenever yoongi looks over at him from the driver’s seat. the blur of green light-red light remains at the back of his subconscious thought. the feeling of jungkook at his back as they rush to his apartment is the only thing that grounds him to this moment.

they don’t do anything at first; jungkook looks around again like he hasn’t seen yoongi’s apartment before, eyes skipping over the piano. yoongi takes off his coat and his blazer and starts undoing the top button of his shirt, getting a glass of water from the kitchen. jungkook is taking off his shoes properly and setting his things down near the sofa when yoongi grabs at his collar and brings him for a bruising kiss.

for a moment jungkook freezes, then he melts against yoongi, his hands pressing insistently against yoongi’s shoulders. he trips over the raised platform as yoongi is tugging him to his bedroom, a short breathless laugh slipping from his mouth. it’s a sound that’s nearly punched out of him, and yoongi’s blood runs when he realized he’s the cause of that sound.

“fuck,” yoongi starts roughly when jungkook takes the opportunity to sit on the bed as yoongi is working his belt off. he’s not entirely sure how they got here, but something is pulling the both of them together constantly. yoongi feels the urge to stick close to jungkook, to breathe in his scent and just revel in the existence of him; like something is telling him that if he doesn’t, jungkook will be gone sooner than yoongi will realize. and that, that - he doesn’t understand fully the origin of these feelings or why they stir up a storm in him, but yoongi won’t fight it, is tired of fighting it, tired of dreaming in half-sequences and blotted colors -

jungkook pulls at his belt loops so that yoongi is in between his knees. the way he looks up at yoongi, expression open and bare and sparse twists something in yoongi. he looks too trusting, too - knowing. he looks like this has happened before millions of times before and he’s the only one that knows the secrets to those memories. yoongi wants to say he hates it but when he curls a hand against jungkook’s cheek the younger leans against it and his weight is so - comfortable. yoongi is struck dumb at such casual trust. it causes him to choke up. when he kisses jungkook again it’s sweet this time, nothing rough. simple presses of their lips.

this goes on for a minute until jungkook leans away, down, toward yoongi’s down-feather bed. he grabs onto yoongi’s open collar and tugs until yoongi is falling in between, elbows beside jungkook’s shoulders, and somehow - somehow jungkook is laughing, the sounds ringing like whistles in yoongi’s ears. the elder moves over to kiss at the pulse point in jungkook’s neck, and smiles when the younger finally stops his laughing to inhale one last sharp breath.

/

it’s 7 am and neither of them have slept much.

yoongi cracks open an eye and wipes sweat from his brow, grimacing. he feels relaxed and sated, the roaring restless inside of him calming for just a moment. yoongi looks over to his side table to see if it’s his phone or his alarm clock, but it’s neither. he rubs at his eyes and groans; he won’t be in until afternoon, at the very least.

jungkook gives a little whuff and moves his head this way and that. he hums something pleasantly against yoongi’s naked shoulder, yawning wide. after a moment, yoongi watches as his eyelashes move upward with the motion of his eyes opening. he’s naked too; yoongi can feel the smooth skin of his legs as they tangle with yoongi’s, the feel of his hip against yoongi’s thigh. jungkook’s skin is sleep soft and body-temperature warm, rubbing at the spots where the sun pricks both of them from the window. he yawns; yoongi feels the motion against his shoulder. the comforter only comes up to their chests.

“i feel gross,” jungkook mutters, words slurred. “mmph, i have class ‘n two h’rs.”

usually yoongi would say to that to go and shower, eat, and leave his apartment, but he feels reluctant to say so. feels reluctant to say anything that would indicate anything more about their apparent one-night stand. the world itself in his brain seems juxtaposed with jungkook; as if those two were never meant to go together. jungkook makes himself comfortable in the crook of yoongi’s arm and yoongi puts hand through his hair, automatically running his fingers through it.

it’s been a long time since yoongi last got laid, and an even longer time since he had a working relationship. the thing is: yoongi isn’t good at people, not in the way that they want him to be. he can’t be overly romantic to his partners, and he can’t be really touchy-feely with them unless they’re alone. and yet - yet, here he is, casually pressing fingers into the nape of jungkook’s nape, fingers brushing nowhere near the bruise he left on jungkook’s pulse point.

“this ‘s nice,” jungkook sighs, shifting closer to put an arm around yoongi’s middle. yoongi looks at the veins on his arm and resists the urge to sudden and fond urge to kiss his way up to jungkook’s wrist.

yoongi doesn’t want to get out of bed. somehow, that makes it feel as though everything will end.

unbidden, yoongi remembers how jungkook had spoken to him last night (earlier that day?). how he had turned away, his words nervous and unstable, how he had asked so reluctantly questions that would have changed their relationship forever. or made it into what it was always supposed to be.

that thought - that thought stops yoongi in his tracks.

“hey, kid,” yoongi starts, “what did you mean when you said you saw my dreams?”

thankfully, jungkook doesn’t tense or move away. he doesn’t do anything at all, in fact. yoongi thinks he might have even fallen asleep if it weren’t for how he sighed.

“just what i meant, hyung,” he answers. “i told you i see things in the future and i - saw you, once. when we were on the piano.” he doesn’t seem all that forthcoming on describing what he saw, though, so yoongi refrains from asking. “but before that, hyung - i always sort of knew who you were. i saw you in my dreams all the time. but then at point i knew - i don’t know how i knew - that those dreams weren’t mine. i saw myself in the mirror and i didn’t see my own face. and then - then i met myself.” jungkook murmurs the words against yoongi’s skin. “and i knew that this is was you. jimin hyung introduced us but i saw your dreams already, i knew.” jungkook tilts his head so that he’s looking yoongi in the eye. “i knew.”

“huh.”

jungkook then - then pushes his fingers against something on yoongi’s shoulder, patches of skin that are darker than the rest, where a lattice work of skin stitched together stretches underneath his fingers. he breathes, “how did you get this, hyung?”

it’s a rhetorical question. yoongi can see in his eyes that he knows already. jungkook seems to know a lot about him, yoongi thinks, but it doesn’t scare him - rather, it only makes him feel better. feel good. it’s nice to know that someone knows things about you, especially the things that are hard to say. it makes it easier for yoongi to answer; “i was shot.”

jungkook hums. his lips briefly brush over the scars. yoongi’s shoulder has been fucked up since. “i knew that. hyung knows a lot of things about me, the way i know a lot of things about hyung.”

the flaws that remain on jungkook’s face - the little scar on his cheek, the acne scars, the plumpness of his bottom lip asymmetrical to his upper one, the tireless nights of sleep underneath his eyes - make him only more beautiful. yoongi hates himself for thinking this, wanted the desire to curb after he had jungkook in bed already, but now it just increases tenfold with all his long limbs and endless abyss eyes.

yoongi’s mouth twitches up. sort of. “do you now?”

“i do,” jungkook says. “do you know, hyung?”

yoongi pauses. ponders. perhaps some part of him does know. maybe he does know that this boy would get under his skin and bring up fire in yoongi that made him want him more than anything else in the world, want him more even when yoongi already has him. it takes years for people to fall into each other’s habits but yoongi is already addicted to jungkook without ever having known he started. bad habits.

this feeling is terrifying. yoongi knows what to call it, but he’s scared of putting it into words.

“yeah,” is what he says, because - because he does. know. jungkook is more than a star - he’s a black hole, and yoongi has no gravity.

/

when he goes back to work that afternoon, his limbs are easy. jungkook leaves two hours later exact, sighing over his late classes but i’m already done with graduation requirements, hyung, what use do i have going to class all the time? yoongi takes a shower and eats something from his fridge without realizing what it is and. his apartment is - empty. lifeless. he looks around at the colors, at the music notes on the walls and the albums he’s put up to cover up blank walls and suddenly he can’t stand to be here, as if it’s missing something as if it’s all missing something.

he feels unfamiliar in his own home. yoongi hightails it out of there to work. maybe that’s why he doesn’t sleep there half the time.

by the time he’s on the road, head muddled, jimin calls him - “hyung, there’s been another murder!” - and yoongi swears and turns on the road, putting in the coordinates in his gps. it’s nearly twenty minutes away, but by the time yoongi gets there he sees jimin stepping out of an ambulance, a bandage on his forehead.

yoongi parks his car haphazardly and rushes, showing his badge to get behind the police tape. “hey, hey - what’s fucking wrong? how’d you get hurt?”

jimin is - quiet.

dazed. he looks off into the distance of the ambulance with wide, confused eyes, almost like he’s been electrocuted or hazed. he sways a little and a trickle of blood is running down his chin. yoongi grips his shoulder hard. “park jimin,” he barks.

that successfully gets him out of whatever funk he’s in. jimin turns around and jerks back, like yoongi snuck up on him. “y-you’re here.”

“where’s the body?” yoongi asks, looking around for signs of a body bag. usually they would need some more time before getting into the medical examiner’s van, but he doesn’t see it around anywhere, which is weird in itself.

jimin, wordlessly, points after the remnants of the ambulance.

yoongi rolls his eyes. “stop playing games with me, park jimin.”

“i’m not,” jimin chokes out, and he trips over his own step. “i’m not, hyung, the victim was still alive.”

his name is jung hoseok. he’s 24, a dance instructor at the local school, and trying to get another certification in dance (as well as a masters in business administration). he didn’t have the nicest place but people said he was a cheerful guy and everyone’s ‘ray of sunshine’.

they found anti-depression pills in his medicine cabinet.

yoongi rolls over the pill bottles in his hands now, considering them. jimin didn’t come with him - apparently he had caught the victim while he was still awake and in some sort of there, half-not stage. thought he was still with whoever did that to him. yoongi told him to take a load off, because he had that look to him that was strangely empty and yoongi can’t handle any more emptiness today.

after another clear look at the apartment, which is surprisingly full of stuff, yoongi heads back to the precinct. jimin is supposed to be out for the count, but he’s holding a bag of ice to his forehead with a bloodied collar.

“go home,” yoongi says, sighing.

“i - “ jimin blinks. something is wrong. did he hit his head too hard? “hyung, can i ask you something?”

warily, yoongi says, “what?”

“does - does anything feel wrong to you?”

it’s almost 6 pm and yoongi still has yet to eat or get his third cup of coffee today. he’s still thinking about jungkook’s skin sweet on his own. yoongi can’t focus on one thing and the name jung hoseok feels like the name of a second cousin twice removed; you’ve heard of them before, even if you’ve never seen them in your life and even if you haven’t ever actually heard of them before.

when yoongi doesn’t answer, jimin flinches. sighs, leans back. “forget it, hyung.”

it’s busy in the precinct, but it’s always busy. they’ve got a lot of people coming in and through the halls, witnesses and petty thefts and assault charges, reporters and specialists all setting up in the few spare rooms they have on this side of seoul. yoongi stands in the middle of all the chaos and it’s like serendipity. the feeling of craving, constant need, incessant buzzing. he feels - wrong.

“i slept with jungkook,” he says quietly.

jimin looks up, eyes wide, emotion finally flashing through his features. first they’re confused then alarmed then indignant all at once, passing by like hot flashes. he stands up abruptly and sways but doesn’t stutter. “what the fuck, hyung?”

yoongi shrugs. “everything felt wrong to me before that.”

jimin’s words die in his throat. what yoongi doesn’t say is very clear, as always: now that he’s gone, it’s wrong once more.

“my dongsaeng,” jimin chooses to focus on, physically wincing. “my poor, innocent dongsaeng. how could you ruin him, hyung?”

yoongi pushes jimin’s forehead away even though he claims that he’s hurt. “maybe your life was wrong before that, idiot, and now it just become right.” and when that’s taken away again, you have to get used to it all over again. yoongi exhales. he sits in his chair and leans back, raising a hand to cover his eyes for a moment. it smells of the faintest aromas of soap and cologne.

/

yoongi can’t let jungkook go. he’s tried, but he can’t. each moment jungkook comes over, waiting at the door, patiently sitting there until yoongi will leave whatever he’s doing to pay attention to jungkook, the elder finds himself simply giving in. it’s liberating and baffling at the same time.

he thinks jungkook knows all of him - and that is surprisingly okay, yoongi is surprisingly okay with that - but he learns that he really doesn’t. that jungkook is still hungry, still awed with every single thing he learns about yoongi, despite what yoongi thinks he’s actually learning about. days with him go as slow as molasses and tend to stay just like that. jungkook is something else, so full of life and vigor while at the same time so drawn out. he doesn’t think much of himself, stays small in the scope of the universe even though yoongi thinks there are galaxies in his eyes.

strangely, it makes yoongi want to write songs about him.

sometimes they share dreams. it’s never like the ones from before, but they’re not nightmares. they’re - almost like memories. being on a different world, being different people, yet still finding their way back together. yoongi wakes up and feels dejavu constantly; he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing.

the first time he witnesses jungkook having a vision is when he’s having a smoke in the living room.

the windows are all drawn up and he has the fan on even though it’s really fucking cold. his sleeves and pushed up to his elbows so he doesn’t get any ash on his clothes and smell like it for the rest of the morning. jungkook’s just woken up when yoongi finally places the cigarette on his tongue, inhale a mouthful of smoke and nicotine before blowing it out. when jungkook’s nose wrinkles, yoongi shrugs.

wordlessly, jungkook sits next to yoongi and gives him a look.

“i’m not gonna stop just because you pout at me.”

“i’m not pouting,” jungkook points out, (actually pouting), pulling at yoongi’s free wrist. “but i hate smoking.”

“yeah, i know.”

jungkook raises an eyebrow. “oh?”

yoongi looks around to lazily look at him. it strikes him that he doesn’t - know - how he knows. but it’s like he has these little things stuck in his head about jungkook that he’s aware of, ilke they’ve just been inside him this entire time. sometimes he closes his eyes and jungkook’s hair is not dark but instead a honeyed brown, and his elbows have scars and he’s so beautiful still, and then yoongi opens his eyes and jungkook is still there with his galaxy eyes that don’t change throughout the -

the -

jungkook leans forward, keenly, close enough that yoongi can see the tiny dots of freckles that are sparse enough to count on one hand; the cute little curve of his eyelashes; every strand of hair brushing across his forehead. his arm leans against yoongi’s shoulder almost purposefully. yoongi has learned that he’s addicted to the feeling of jungkook against him, how he almost aches for the physical closeness. it’s not even about the sex; rather, it’s about the comfort that jungkook’s body gives him, a person that is real and breathing and alive in yoongi’s arms.

quietly, his fingers pick the cigarette out of yoongi’s hands. his eyes follow jungkook’s movements as he brings the trailing smoke to his own mouth, inhaling slowly the way people who have smoked before know how to do. jungkook breathes out and the smoke disappears from his lips in white gray curls.

“not nice when it’s been done to you, huh?” he says.

“i’m a chainsmoker, i don’t give a fuck,” yoongi replies wryly. “though that’s pretty hot. you should light me sometime.”

jungkook might look like he’s rolling his eyes, but yoongi can’t be sure. what he does next is tilt his head and kiss at the junction of yoongi’s ear and neck, butterfly kisses of the inexperienced and enthusiastic. yoongi reaches up to press a fingers at the nape of jungkook’s neck, brushing his thumb at the sensitive spot there.

this time, jungkook takes another smoke and before exhaling, brings his mouth close to yoongi’s. share it with me, he seems to say, and it’s such an intimate and close thing that yoongi feels his blood boil at it. jungkook always seems to taste sweet.

when he pulls away, nicotine and smoke fading from their ashen mouths, yoongi takes the cigarette and puts it out. he’s slowly trading one addiction for another, he knows, and it’s heady and dangerous but he can’t stop himself.

then jungkook sharply inhales, pushing away, eyes wide.

he looks - cloudy. not all there. he’s not staring yoongi in the eye anymore, unable to focus on one particular thing around them. yoongi holds him close until he’s shuddering through it, goosebumps rising on his skin. jungkook heaves a little, fisting his hands on yoongi’s thighs. they’re held together by the force of gravity and the world pushing them together and simultaneously pulling them apart.

jungkook cries out then, a long drawn moan coming from his mouth. it sounds painful, has him curling his spin in on himself until he’s trying to disappear. yoongi moves, startled and alarmed, trying to pat his hand on jungkook’s back. jungkook is crying now, eyes squeezed shut before he screams.

yoongi startles, wincing at the loud sound. it’s not like any other scream; it’s anguished, full of pain, like he’s been torn in half. jungkook’s hand goes to his side, pressing down on nothing.

“no, no no no nonononono - “ he gasps wetly, crumpling, and yoong carefully holds his face in his hands and whispers words to him that are supposed to be comforting, supposed to be helpful and nice, supposed to tell him that it’s all okay and i’m here, jungkook, i’m right here please come back -

and then jungkook blinks and pulls away, yoongi having tried to pull apart his clenched fingers. he looks around him, disorientated, face wet with tears. jungkook wipes at his cheeks and pulls away, putting distance in between them - the one thing that yoongi doesn’t want.

“i,” jungkook wets his mouth, “sorry.”

yoongi doesn’t want to ask, but he knows that jungkook will answer. “what did you see?”

jungkook turns away. doesn’t say anything for a long time. he reaches up a hand to ghost over his face, near the bottom of his jaw, pressing light fingertips as if he’s tracing the shape of a ghost on his skin. he blinks at the window, trying to process the light and the leather couch and yoongi’s album covered walls and the tv open to a random channel. “car accident,” jungkook says eventually.

yoongi doesn’t ask why he held his side as if he was in pain.

/

jimin has been visiting the victim, who is currently comatose.

yoongi learns about this when he’s going to the hospital to pick up the victim’s blood tests to determine the level of drugs in his blood during the time of the attack. jimin is standing at the edge of the bed, looking down with an almost curious look on his face.

“you’re not supposed to be here,” yoongi says, scaring the shit out of jimin if the way he jumps is any indication. he slaps the folders down on a nearby table and settles himself down in a chair, crossing his arms. his expressions says that he’s here to stay.

jimin grimaces. “you don’t get it, hyung - if i was just a moment earlier - “

“well, you fucking weren’t,” yoongi interrupts, shifting his shoulder. the movement catches jimin’s eye, who only looks guiltier. “shit happens and we can’t change the past. don’t get attached.”

jimin barks out a laugh; it sounds ugly. he looks regretful as soon as it escapes from his lips. “right, hyung. like you can follow that rule better than i can.”

yoongi thinks about jungkook gasping out, car accident. holding himself. crying out.

“have you ever seen jungkook get a vision?”

“i have.”

“does he usually go feel whatever the person’s feeling in his visions?”

jimin makes a noise. “not unless it’s himself he’s seeing.”

yoongi’s blood turns cold.

distracted, jimin looks down at the victim - jung hoseok - and is sure not to touch him. standing over his slumped and pale form, yoongi has a strange sense of - deja vu. jimin looks miserable. he looks sick.

he looks wrong.

/

they never truly defined their relationship. yoongi was at work more often than not and jungkook was working toward finishing up whatever finals and projects he had at school. somehow the troubles of real life seemed less and less obvious and less and less pervasive when they were around each other, almost as if they could forget about most of the world in each other’s company. it was a dangerous skill that jungkook had, the ability to make yoongi forget.

so they never said what they were to each other. yoongi took solace in the comfortable cradle of jungkook’s arm, his shoulder, his thigh. jungkook hid his face in yoongi’s chest and often held a fist in his shirt until yoongi pried it apart with his hands. they fucked, they kissed, they made love; some days it was fast and hurried and some days it was slow and drawn out, breaths catching on each other’s hooked mouths, stealing down to their lungs. some days yoongi lost himself in jungkook, in the shape of his body and the feel of his skin, and some days jungkook let yoongi touch him and ruin him and take his mind away from the world that never seemed to give them a break.

they are not boyfriends or husbands or partners or friends or lovers or fuckbuddies. they just are. yoongi doesn’t have a word - doesn’t think there is a word - to describe who jungkook is to him. he finds meaning, slowly, in the curve of jungkook’s smile, thinks that he has seen it somewhere before in his dreams. thinks that he has that curve memorized and imbedded in his genes. yoongi thinks he has heard jungkook sing to him somewhere else before, heard the trilling notes of his voice in some offhanded dream. yoongi thinks he knows jungkook and he does; somehow he understands where to put his hands, where to press, where to leave bruises. somehow yoongi gets it. gets him.

somehow, jungkook does too.

they fit together in ways unprecedented. jungkook’s broken mind comes up once in awhile, his glazed over irises stopping them as he lives through a nightmare, as he looks up into the sky and stares at the cloudless expanse of it. he always knows whether it will snow or rain. he knows when the earth lays down to cry. the curve of his shoulders move with the earthquakes; his body a conduit for the hurting, for the pain, for the cursed wallowing. jungkook has burdens on him that yoongi can’t do anything about. he may try to kiss it all away but jungkook will always cry about something, a pain he holds in his heart unknown and unable to be understood.

sometimes they share dreams. yoongi is back when he was a rookie, living on the edge, chasing after criminals without a thought to his life. he sees, in his subconscious mind of thought, jungkook’s visage in the cracking corners, in the mirrored reflections, suspicious tear tracks on his cheeks. yoongi relives being shot on the job and being left to bleed out on the cold gravel, blood sticky and wet in his fingers as he clutches at his shoulders, the pain of his flesh searing and breaking bone worse than the betrayal of his partner and hyung at the time who left him for dead. the night air was biting. and yoongi blinks, sluggish, breathing harshly, he thinks he can see jungkook kneeling next to him, his hands pressed together, his mouth curled downward in a frown. yoongi wants to wipe it away, even in his agony. he doesn’t want to ever see that again, be it in a memory or in the present or in the future.

it’s a terrifying feeling. he doesn’t want to name it, but it doesn’t matter; jungkook knows anyway. yoongi can tell by the way he rests his head on yoongi’s heart every day and listens to it beating, searching for the tell tale sign that he is alive. until this moment, yoongi never understood why jungkook loved doing that so much. not until jungkook is kneeling beside him and keeping him alive, grounded, in the events that have already come to pass.

yoongi wakes up, blinking, and there they are.

there they are.

it seems wrong, but only when jungkook isn’t there.

it’s memories, yoongi slowly comes to know, memories of them. their memories. jungkook sees them all and yoongi dreams of it and sometimes jungkook can hear it in his heart, in his brain. sometimes jungkook cannot escape and it hurts and yoongi cannot help him and it hurts, but this is their penance, this is their penance. they live with their half truths and desperate love, clinging at each other’s bones and screaming into the dark i’m the only one i’m the only one you’re the only one i need you i need you ineedyouineedyou -

yoongi thinks of: jungkook’s bruises, the ones under his eyes, his hands curling over his jaw. bruises made by his hand, ghosts, regrets. yoongi thinks about - attraction, desire, how he wants, how the burning coil of want never goes away even after they sleep together, because it’s more than that. he wants it all. he wants everything.

nothing is okay. nothing is complete. sometimes - namjoon looks confused. jimin says he feels wrong. their victim won’t wake up. they have a serial killer on the loose and their worldly problems are backed by jungkook’s visions, his sleepless nights. yet yoongi looks him in the eye and counts the stars and presses his fingers into the dips of his body that feel like universe and he - gets it. how they came together. how they’ll probably always have to deal with this, the knowing, the memories, the regrets. the want. close, but never close enough. yoongi knows how why he wants; because he knows it’s only a matter of time before they’ll be ripped apart again.

jungkook never tells him about the car accident. yoongi never tells him about the bullet in his shoulder. somehow - they both know how it ends.