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it was so simple (in the moonlight)

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(The song of summer starts with a few chords strummed recklessly on a guitar. 

There’s no actual song, not yet - but it’s coming together, slowly. 

Hoseok can hear it coming to life simply because summer’s rolled right into his life the same way the waves roll against the shore, and then right back into the ocean, a never ending cycle of hello, hello and goodbye, goodbye.)

It’s nearly two in the morning when Hoseok is woken up to a hand gently pushing at his shoulder, quietly prompting him to please toss to the other side of the bed because an impatient Kim Taehyung is hell bent on actually sleeping on a bed tonight, of all nights. Hoseok doesn’t even bother to ask him just what the hell he’s doing. It’s two in the morning and they’ve got a long day ahead of them tomorrow - something about going to the boardwalk, mingling with the locals, or whatever Seokjin wants to call it.

Hoseok shifts over to the other side of the bed, Taehyung already slipping under the blanket beside him. He can feel the younger boy’s cold hands on his skin, can feel the tips of Taehyung’s hair tickling at his cheek. He doesn’t know just what’s happening or why Taehyung’s sacrificing sleeping on the same bed as Jeongguk, but here he is, quietly humming to himself beside Hoseok.

Only moments later does Hoseok turn to his side to look at Taehyung, eyes blinking heavily at him. A good part of him just wants to call this a night and ask questions later, but another part of him is kept awake at just how odd this is (and it really isn’t odd that Taehyung’s come to him yet again, they’ve shared an apartment for the last two years. It’s just odd that he’s not with Jeongguk when they already get so little time together, what with the demand of classes and everything else in between). 

“What are you doing, Tae?” Hoseok murmurs, letting his eyes fall shut and telling himself that it’ll only be for a couple of seconds. He just needs to rest them. It’s not like he’ll be missing anything too exciting - the room is shrouded in darkness, there really is nothing to see. 

Taehyung stops humming and for a second, it’s eerily quiet, the only thing Hoseok can hear the sound of the branches grazing against the glass window just across from them. 

“Thought you needed company,” Taehyung says, voice hushed and quiet, a whisper. “did I wake you, hyung?” 

It’s too late for that, Hoseok muses.

He doesn’t say it, though, not when Taehyung’s gone out of his way again to be a good friend to Hoseok. And try as Hoseok might to squish it down, he does feel sort of comforted like this, with Taehyung beside him. It reminds him of when they were younger, of awful nights, and even more terrible storms, where they’d both just huddled close together. 

“No, you didn’t,” Taehyung knows it’s not true but Hoseok lies, anyway, if only for the smile that slowly spreads across Taehyung’s face, a smile that Hoseok can definitely see, even in the dark. “you’re right, I do appreciate the company.” 

“I’m always right about things like this, hyung,” Taehyung’s voice is softer, now. He sounds like he’s maybe a minute away from falling asleep - and Hoseok doesn’t blame him. They’re in one of the best beach houses Hoseok’s ever been to, fronting the most beautiful view of the ocean, and for once, it’s quiet, too, no sounds of the city always playing like a distant noise in the background. 

There’s the sound of the ocean, though, of the wind, and the cicadas, but that’s exactly how summer should sound, and Hoseok doesn’t mind it, not at all. 

Hoseok muffles his yawn into his blanket and this time, when he closes his eyes, he doesn’t tell himself that it’ll only be for a few seconds. He’s just about ready to fall right back to sleep when he hears Taehyung say, voice as clear as the moon reflecting against the ocean’s water,

“Yoongi hyung’s arriving tomorrow,” 

He is, and if this is Taehyung’s reason for sneaking into Hoseok’s bed at two in the morning, then perhaps Hoseok doesn’t give the boy enough credit. Or perhaps Taehyung is right about being right about these kinds of things. 

“Yeah, Tae,” Hoseok pulls the blanket up higher on his shoulders and beside him, Taehyung curls in closer to him, the boy’s arm coming around his middle, just for added warmth - and it might be summer but Hoseok doesn’t mind. He’ll probably never mind, not if it’s an effort like this by a good friend. “he is.” 

Taehyung doesn’t say anything for a long while, and if he did, then Hoseok doesn’t hear it because he’s already halfway into sweet, blissful sleep. 

That morning, with sunshine filtering through the thin curtains, Hoseok wakes up. It’s not to the sound of footsteps shuffling on the bare wooden floors, but rather, it’s to Taehyung and Jeongguk at the edge of his bed, scrolling through Taehyung’s phone, their laughter slow and still heavy with sleep, but.

But it’s a good sound to wake up to, that.

“Hobi hyung’s awake,” Taehyung announces, face as bright as the sky outside. Jeongguk peers over Taehyung’s shoulder, his voice when he greets him good morning much, much louder now that Hoseok’s awake.

“Please tell me Jeongguk didn’t join us last night,” Hoseok sits up, runs his fingers through his hair, and winces when he’s met with a particularly difficult knot. “I mean, not that I’d mind - but this is a tiny bed, if you hadn’t noticed,” 

A snicker and a shrug of the shoulder is all Hoseok gets before Jeongguk says, “Nah, it’d probably collapse,” 

“Are you calling me fat?” 

That’s the exact cue for both boys to scramble off the bed in a hurry, their laughter trailing after them as Taehyung drags Jeongguk out of the room, fingers clasped tightly around Jeongguk’s hand. 

They’re very terrible kids that Hoseok will probably push into the goddamn pool later - and that’s not such a bad idea, now that he thinks about it. He’ll have to make do on that later, he notes quietly to himself.

 And while the idea of going back to sleep for a couple more hours is enticing, Hoseok is pulled out of bed by an overexcited Jimin, who forgets his good morning because he jumps right into pulling Hoseok off the bed, his grip on Hoseok’s wrists tight as he tells him that Seokjin wants all of them downstairs because he didn’t just cook breakfast for the rest of them to fucking sleep on.

“Yoongi hyung just got here, too,” Jimin chimes, walking closely beside Hoseok, a bounce in his step. “he looks like he hasn’t slept in days, but - “

“But what’s new?” Hoseok beats Jimin to the punch and they both laugh at that, right up until they get to the kitchen. Right up until Hoseok finds the rest of his friends crowded around a monstrous stack of pancakes and a huge bowl filled to the brim with bacon. 

Right up until Hoseok meets Yoongi’s gaze from across the room.

“Hobi,” Yoongi’s voice comes as a pleasant surprise to Hoseok. It’s been so long since he’s seen him - ever since Yoongi had graduated, their regular get togethers (almost every day, back in university) had been squashed. They’d seen each other nearly every day, and then every week, and then every other week, until weeks have passed, and months until the only contact they’ve had were the countless text messages they still shot each other. 

It’s not like Hoseok’s been counting but he’s pretty damn sure he hasn’t seen Yoongi in over two months already, and two months is eight weeks too long. 

“You look like you’re getting a good tan,” is what Yoongi says when Hoseok finally gets close enough for Yoongi to pull him into a hug, those same skinny arms coming around him, holding him close. Yoongi is all sharp bones and angles and Hoseok’s already fallen so many fucking times on him, cutting himself up in the process, but - but he thinks he doesn’t really care, not when Yoongi’s hugs feel like a different kind of season, all together. 

Hoseok hugs him back, his laugh erupting out of him, and it’s not a surprise - Jung Hoseok, million watt smile and a vault of laughter that he can rifle through and pick at any given moment. This, though, this is a laugh that sounds more relieved than anything, because it’s been two months. It’s been too long.

“And you look like you need one, hyung,” Hoseok laughs into Yoongi’s ear, hold around him tightening. Sharp bones and angles that Hoseok falls into yet again, but Hoseok’s already cut himself too many times on Yoongi’s edges to even be worried at this point - to even remotely care. 

There’s a long chorus of cooing from Taehyung and Jimin who look up long enough from their plate full of pancakes and syrup that even Yoongi can’t help but laugh at and this, with Yoongi finally arriving - three days late, but whatever - this is starting to look a lot like summer. 

It’s when they’re out in the boardwalk that Hoseok finds himself alone with Yoongi again, and it’s ironic - all of them out in the boardwalk amidst a flock of both locals and vacationers like themselves - but often times, it’s when they’re right in the middle of the crowd that they manage to draw towards each other, Yoongi always the first one to pull Hoseok to his side. 

Yoongi does just that this time, too, slim fingers wrapping loosely around Hoseok’s elbow as he guides Hoseok away from a throng of people that look like they could care less if they end up trampling Hoseok.

“Hey,” Yoongi says, prompting his attention. He tears his gaze away from Jimin trying to get Namjoon to give him a piggyback ride, from Seokjin attempting to take a photo of the entire mess, and from Jeongguk and Taehyung just walking side by side, hands clasped between them. 

That’s a good photo right there - Hoseok can only hope Seokjin manages to capture even a fragment of that moment. 

“Yeah?” They stop right to the side to lean against the railings. The distant sound of children laughing on the beach accompanied by the sound of the waves repeatedly dragging away from the shore is strangely calming, Hoseok can’t help but smile. It’s a small one, with just the corners of his mouth twitching up, but it’s something. Always something, especially when he’s with Yoongi. 

“It’s been a while,” Yoongi says it like it’s an apology, like he’s guilty for leaving Hoseok alone for - for two months (and no, it’s not because Hoseok’s been counting. It’s just very easy to note just how long it was since he’d last seen Yoongi. There is a difference - or so Hoseok likes to think.). The corners of Yoongi’s mouth is turned down, a frown ghosting dangerously over his features, his eyebrows furrowing. 

Hoseok just shakes his head and tries for a brighter smile this time, hoping that it’ll at least ease Yoongi’s tense nerves. It’s not his fault - he’s got a job that keeps him busy. A job he’d always wanted - a job he’d worked so, so hard for. There’s no way in hell Hoseok’s going to sacrifice a productive work day for Yoongi just for a single night of beers and pizza. 

“Y’know,” Hoseok starts, turning away from the view of the ocean to look at Yoongi. “you could’ve just said you missed me, hyung.”

He watches as Yoongi blinks up at him, the frown completely wiped off of his face, and a look of complete and utter fluster replacing it, and - and that’s a good look on him, too, his ears turning red, and his laughter rolling easily off of his tongue, amused, and also just mildly exasperated. 

“Besides, I missed you, too,” Hoseok quickly adds before Yoongi can tell him otherwise, because he knows Yoongi. Knows Yoongi the same way Taehyung had known the other night that Yoongi’s arrival would cause maybe - just maybe - a small earthquake in the foundation Hoseok had tried so hard to strengthen over the course of their friendship, a foundation that threatens to crumble anytime Yoongi so much as looks his way and smiles, anytime Yoongi so much as touches him, anytime Yoongi so much just says his fucking name, even. 

The song of summer is completely different to the other seasons because summer always feels warmer, always touches a private corner of Hoseok’s heart that he keeps shut off during spring, that he tries so desperately to keep to himself come autumn and the winter. But summer - summer is when the floodgates are opened. Summer is when things feel much, much warmer. Summer is when the breeze and the ocean sing a duet, harmonising perfectly, and pulling everyone else that hears their sweet, summer song into their magic. Into the wonderful world that is - that is summer. 

“Alright,” Yoongi is smiling this time, and it’s not the type of smile that’s usually followed by a scoff, or by a roll of his eyes. It’s not even a smile that Hoseok sees often. This is a rare one, Hoseok can tell even before it blooms on Yoongi’s face. 

And he’s right, of course, when Yoongi’s face brightens up, and his eyes alight as he smiles. Smiles a smile so big Hoseok can actually feel gravity try to bring him down. Smiles a smile so big, Hoseok’s stomach turns into a washing machine of emotion. Smiles a smile so big that Hoseok can’t help but think there are very few things he wouldn’t mind doing so long as he gets to see more of it. 

“I guess I kinda did.” Yoongi finally says, the smile on his face completely unguarded, at ease, and happy. 

The drive back to the beach house is quiet, with Namjoon keeping the music on low. The windows are down, and with the wind blowing against their faces, and ruffling at their hair, it doesn’t take very long for them to fall asleep, one by one. 

Seokjin, with his head against the window in the front. Taehyung and Jeongguk leaning against Jimin, and quietly dozing off, and - 

And Hoseok and Yoongi in the very back, eyes heavy, and Hoseok’s heart much, much lighter.

Yoongi falls asleep first, finally dragged down after an early start that morning - travelling out of the city and to this little hideaway town. His head falls against Hoseok’s shoulder, his breathing turning even as the minutes tick by, as Yoongi finally succumbs to sleep.

Hoseok is awfully still for a good few moments, careful not to shift around too much, or even move at all except to breathe, because he’s noticed the dark circles under Yoongi’s eyes. Noticed how he stares blankly at one thing for too long. Hoseok knows work has been keeping him up, stress and nerves weighing him down, and not allowing even a straight night’s sleep. 

So Hoseok lets him do this, because Yoongi’s his friend and even if it means setting half of himself on fire with how fucking close they are, he doesn’t mind. Doesn’t particularly care, so long as at least one of them is comfortable. So long as Yoongi doesn’t hear the hammering of Hoseok’s heart, a hummingbird threatening to break through his cage. 

(And much, much later, when there’s barely fifteen minutes left until they’re back to the house, Hoseok wakes up, this time with his own head pillowed on Yoongi’s shoulder, and a crick in his neck, but right before he can even try to backtrack to see how the tables had turned completely, right before he can lift his head up and apologise to an already awake Yoongi, momentarily distracted from his game now that Hoseok’s starting to stir beside him, Yoongi settles a hand on his knee, thumb rubbing absentmindedly on his bare skin, and says, voice low enough for just the two of them to hear, “Go back to sleep, Hobi.”)

That very same night, Yoongi decides to take the second bed in Hoseok’s room. 

Right as Yoongi starts to make his way up on the stairs, Taehyung catches Hoseok’s eye from across the room, and quirks an eyebrow.

Only Taehyung would. 

It’s very minute, but Hoseok knows that Taehyung notices the shake of his head. 

With everybody else trudging up the stairs, ready to call it a night and end the day, Taehyung idles with Hoseok, calling for a glass of milk right before they decide to follow everyone else up. It’s a poor excuse but Hoseok follows him, anyway. 

Taehyung actually rifling through the cupboards for two empty glasses comes as a surprise to Hoseok, who’d thought he’d merely needed a lame and half-assed excuse to get the both of them to talk. He watches as Taehyung pours them both a generous amount of milk that Hoseok isn’t even sure he wants, at this point, but takes, anyway, because it’s milk and also because Taehyung’s not having any of it. 

“Yoongi hyung’s here,” is all Taehyung really says before he takes his first sip of milk, gulping down huge amounts after the first one. Hoseok waits until he’s finished his entire glass before he raises an eyebrow at him, one that Taehyung only responds to with a shrug of his shoulders, totally unabashed about how quickly he’d just chugged all that milk (and milk and beer are terrible combinations that he’s pretty sure just won’t sit well in the poor boy’s stomach, come thirty minutes later). 

“I had no idea,” Hoseok scoffs, lifting his glass a little bit higher, in a mock salute to Taehyung’s already empty one. 

“Well,” Taehyung completely bypasses Hoseok’s sarcasm, the boy knowing exactly how to get through the fucking wall in one go. He’s good at that, too, Hoseok’s noticed. “how are you holding up?”

The funny thing here is that Hoseok’s never once told Taehyung explicitly just what Yoongi meant to him. What Yoongi means to him. 

One evening, Hoseok remembers, right after Yoongi had dropped him off, the both of them equally as drunk. Hoseok had tripped over his own shoes and fallen onto the couch, with  Taehyung emerging sleepily from his room. He’d pushed Hoseok’s legs off of the couch so he could sit down beside him, occasionally patting at his leg, totally at a lost when all Hoseok had to say was, “Shit, Tae. Shit, shit, fucking shit.” 

It’s a vague memory now at best, muddled by the alcohol, but Hoseok can also remember Taehyung asking why and what happened, hyung, can remember his own answer to that as if it was just yesterday, because he hadn’t really gone into a lot of detail, or said anything else but Yoongi’s name. Over and over again, punctuated with a curse every other time he’d dropped the name.

So, Taehyung knows. Probably knows better than Hoseok, because it’s been years and Hoseok still refuses to put a name to this - to put a name on the fluttering of his nerves, on the tightening of his heart whenever Yoongi’s name is mentioned, on the fact that he has to remind himself to fucking take a breath whenever Yoongi walks into the room.

They leave their cups by the sink, their movement dragged out incredibly slowl as they make their way back to the stairs, to their own rooms. 

Taehyung bumps their shoulders good-naturedly, his smile sheepish, but also anxious, like he’s still waiting for Hoseok’s answer, like he’s still worried. 

Hoseok gives his arm a squeeze, blunt fingernails digging in gently into his skin, and laughs, “Shit, Tae.”

The days go by with them spending it on the private stretch of beach just a couple yards away from the beach house, or at Seokjin’s own pool, or walking around the boardwalk, stretching out in the open beach, and just overall enjoying the feeling of the sun on their skin, the wind tickling at their faces, and the sand in their hair, in between their toes.

Rooming with Yoongi has been easier than Hoseok had expected - it’s not so bad, exactly, and this isn’t even the first time they’ve shared a room like this, the both of them, but there’s something about the new environment that has Hoseok feeling hyperaware and conscious, that has him staring blankly up at the ceiling at odd hours of the night, unable to sleep with Yoongi right across from him, soundly snuggled under the covers. 

And so their summer vacation goes - on and on. It’s just an excuse for all of them to blow off steam, really, from both work and university. Hoseok and Namjoon’s got one more year left and it’s do or die for the both of them, so this summer - this measly three weeks they’d all managed to get for themselves, for each other - is all they’ll have until they dive back into schoolwork and all the stress and bullshit that comes with it.

Hoseok’s just lying on a pool chair, the smell of barbecue wafting across the open air, when Jimin announces that he’d just scored them an invite to one of the parties downtown. 

“How?” Namjoon asks, voice laced with doubt, as he looks away from his book. 

“What party?” Taehyung manages to pull himself out of the pool with little help from Jeongguk, who had just snickered at his first (and failed) attempt (and Hoseok doesn’t blame the boy, it had looked like a fish floundering, torn between jumping out of the water and staying). 

“They looked like frat boys,” Jimin says, rather sheepishly. “but they were really nice, and it’s not too far from where we’re at, too. Besides, aren’t we running out of alcohol?”

“I don’t think stealing other people’s alcohol is a good reason to go to a party,” Seokjin chimes in. 

“Well, are we going?” Jimin prompts, looking pointedly at Seokjin who just shrugs his shoulders, and points at Namjoon, still stretching lazily on his lounge chair. 

“Sure, whatever,” 

Talk of the party that Jimin had just miraculously gotten himself invited to (although Hoseok shouldn’t really be surprised, not when Jimin walks with ease, and talks with ease, and laughs with ease. It’s no wonder he’s managed to make friends so quickly, so easily. Everything about Jimin’s always yelled approachable, his laughter always an octave higher than most, bubbly and bright.) is disrupted when Taehyung decides that he’s had enough of it by splashing water at Jimin, who yelps in surprise, but doesn’t miss out on the opportunity to cannonball right into the pool, splashing water at everybody else, Namjoon almost falling off his chair as he tries so desperately to save his favourite book from getting drenched in chlorine water.

“Fucking - Jimin, I’m going to kill you,” Namjoon growls, holding his dampened book by it’s spine.

By the grill, Seokjin just muffles his laughter on the back of his hand. 

Beside him, Yoongi groans, his shorts wet. 

“Hey, I think this is the first time I’ve seen you wet,” there’s probably a better way to word it, but at this point, Hoseok’s far too amused to care. 

Yoongi’s been carefully avoiding the actual sea and just the water - he sunbathes, lounges lazily out in the pool, wakes up early, even, to walk to the beach to see the sunrise, but Hoseok’s never seen him in the pool, or even mention anything about taking a dip in the ocean. 

“I just don’t have a lot of extra clothes,” is what Yoongi says, the words mumbled under his breath - that, and a couple more choice words for one poor Park Jimin that Hoseok’s only thankful Yoongi’s keeping under his breath, or else he thinks Jimin might not just sleep for the rest of their trip for fear of Yoongi dumping an entire bucket of ice cold water on him. 

Hoseok won’t put it past Yoongi to do just that, if he were being honest. 

There’s probably two hours before they’re all set to leave for the boardwalk again, just to pregame - why they can’t pregame in the house is beyond Hoseok, but there’s no changing their minds, especially when even Namjoon’s on board. 

“Wanna go take a walk?” Hoseok asks Yoongi as soon as he walks through the door, towel in his hand, and his hair still wet.

Yoongi scrunches his nose at him. Blinks a couple times before he finally nods his head and says, “Yeah, sure,” 

Ten minutes later, they’ve both slipped out of the house, through the garden in the back, with Hoseok leading them. There’s a trail that leads directly to the beach, one Hoseok’s taken at least every day since they’d gotten here. 

“Where are we going?” Yoongi asks, looking around. 

“To the stars,” Hoseok says automatically, snorting.

“I swear to god - “ 

“Where else, the beach,” There’s a duh there that he doesn’t add because he also doesn’t put it past Yoongi to trip him or maybe throw sand at the back of his head. There’s a lot of things Yoongi’s capable of doing when even so much as angered - Hoseok’s really not going to take his chances there. 

The walk to the beach is quiet, with Yoongi now walking beside him. At one point, their hands brush, skin against skin, and Hoseok doesn’t mean to do it, but he pulls away as quickly as it happens, as if he’s scorched.

He doesn’t even have it in him to glance at Yoongi’s expression.

(And that’s another thing Hoseok will not put a name on - what it could mean, what all this means. He’d rather pass on that, really.).

His heart is hammering, still, and with every step Hoseok takes, he feels like he might as well just sink into the sand. Buried under the sand or swallowed whole by the ocean, which way it is, he’s pretty sure that it’s far, far better than this - than forcing himself to walk on egg shells around Yoongi when all his time with him, Hoseok had done just the opposite - bulldozed right through, making a path for himself, while Yoongi effortlessly walked his way around the broken shards of empty beer bottles and smashed windows, not once ever getting a cut. 

That’s what sets the both of them apart, Hoseok thinks, and Yoongi might be all sharp bones, all sharp angles, but it’s always Hoseok that trips, falls on his hands and his knees, always Hoseok who ends up with bruised knees, and hands cut open, rough jagged glass digging into his skin. 

He manages to get back up every single time, though, because it’s always Yoongi, always Yoongi who turns over his shoulder to look at Hoseok, always Yoongi who smiles at him. Those too-rare smiles of his that has Hoseok’s heart completely fluttering like fucking crazy, so intense is the beating of his own heart that Hoseok’s afraid it’ll suddenly stop, afraid that it’s overworked itself just because he’s loved Yoongi all these years and

And there it is. 

The beach, right in front of them, an open expanse of glittering water, of clouds drifting overhead, of the sand finding its way into their shoes, of the wind whispering it’s hello, brushing their hair messy, and the summer instilling in Hoseok a knew knowledge at the sudden realisation that perhaps he may very well be in love with Yoongi, who stands beside him, breathing even, and his smile the very same one Hoseok had just imagined in his mind’s eye, the too-rare smile that’s really just a soft curving on his lips, with his eyes holding in them a tenderness that Hoseok is too afraid to look at, because Yoongi will see right through him.

Yoongi always does and Hoseok hasn’t built his walls because he knows that if Yoongi won’t find a door, then he’ll just bring them all down. 

They’re at the beach, standing side by side, with their hands hanging between them, thumbs almost hooking, and Hoseok’s fingers twitching, wanting so very much to just hold onto Yoongi’s hand, to finally know what it feels like, and - 

And Hoseok takes a rattling breath that ghosts over his shaking bones, and slips into the cracks of his heart.

Beside him, Yoongi sighs, and when he does, it’s as if the entire world breathes out with him.

It’s quiet for a while.

For a long while, actually, with Hoseok and Yoongi just finding a spot that isn’t too far away from the shore to sit, Hoseok’s legs stretched out in front of him, and Yoongi’s crossed underneath him.

They’re sitting awfully close, too, but Hoseok thinks he’s better, now. Thinks that there’s just no way his heart will give out on him - not now, not when it’s tried so hard, every pulse a promise that pushes Hoseok closer to the edge of what could very well be the start of everything, or the end of it all. 

Hoseok’s phone starts to buzz in his pocket, Namjoon’s name flashing up on the screen. That very same time, Yoongi’s phone rings, too, but it’s Jimin who calls him. One look at each other and they know exactly what to do - they set their phones on silent and slip it back into their pockets. 

It’s Hoseok who laughs first, Yoongi following shortly after. 

He’s breathless right after but that’s fine, too - he’s got the ocean breeze to breathe in for as long as he wants, for as much as he likes. He’ll do fine. They’ll do fine out here - it’s nearly five in the afternoon and it’s not so warm anymore, though the sky is still so bright, lit alive with the fires from the sun that’s slowly starting to set. 

It’s almost mesmerising, had Yoongi not been sitting beside Hoseok.

“Do you want to go?” Yoongi asks, breaking the silence. 

Hoseok glances at him, and shrugs, “Are you?”

“I might,” 

Odd, that. 

“You don’t like parties, hyung,” Predictably, Yoongi smiles rather begrudgingly at Hoseok, because of course.

Of course Hoseok knows. 

(And this is what’s dangerous, why Hoseok can barely even meet Yoongi’s eyes. 

Hoseok’s doing a rather good job at averting his gaze, at breaking away from too long eye contact. He’s gotten very good at that the same way he’s mastered the art of pretending he hasn’t been in love with his best friend for years, now; the same way he’d pretended that two months - and it’s just two fucking months, really - without seeing Yoongi hadn’t torn right through him, constantly pushing him off the edge only to bring him back with questions running across his mind; with speculations rotting away at his insides that somehow, Yoongi had found out, and now Yoongi knows. Because Yoongi always knows, can read him as easily as he can tear through every wall Hoseok’s ever decided to built, but then again, Hoseok’s never tried very hard with his walls.

He’s try very hard pretending, though.).

Yoongi’s voice comes as a whisper that gets carried away with the sudden rush of ocean breeze, but nevertheless, Hoseok hears him as clear as a bell; as clear as the orange rays of sunlight dancing across the blue ocean waters, when Yoongi says, “But you do,” 

Hoseok is caught aback by that, and it’s like cold fingers have started to grip at his heart, the knots in his stomach twisting, turning, and his nerves pulled taut, stretching, until there’s nothing else Hoseok can do but wither, but break, but meet Yoongi’s eyes.

“I like staying here, too,” Hoseok manages to pull a smile up but knows almost immediately right after that Yoongi doesn’t buy it. So he stops himself from smiling any further and just grimaces at Yoongi, who in turn scowls at him, but it’s all good natured, all fun, friendly, because they’re friends.

Friends. 

(And Hoseok has to remind himself again and again, and again that friends aren’t supposed to want to hold their friend’s hand, aren’t supposed to feel completely blindsided whenever their friend smiles, or laughs, or calls their name, or even sit beside them.

Which brings Hoseok back to the same question that’s plagued his nightmares since - well, ever since:
Are they even friends when all Hoseok wants to be is something else with Yoongi, knowing full well that that’ll never be the case?)

“Me too, Hobi,” The godforsaken nickname that Taehyung had started, that now even Yoongi’s picked up. Hoseok hates it - hates how he notices the slight shift on Yoongi’s face only because he’s looking too intently at him. Hates how Yoongi is suddenly looking sad, eyes downcast, and breaking eye contact. “I like the view,” 

Because there’s barely anything else Hoseok can say without wanting to grit his own teeth in frustration (because Yoongi is so close and Hoseok is in love with him, he’s actually in love with the fucking idiot who’s not even looking at him anymore and, jesus, if there was ever a time Hoseok needed to just pace around the room in front of Taehyung, then it would be right fucking now.) but he goes with, “I know, hyung.”

There is a silence that falls over them, a silence that not even the view of the ocean can break, a silence so thick, Hoseok’s afraid to even breathe, because this - 

This is a silence that’s almost deafening, and isn’t that ironic, as well? 

So they sit, side by side, looking at the ocean, sand in their shoes, and on their clothes, and also possibly on their hair, too. They sit watching, waiting, together, in complete and utter silence. Silence that’s so loud, Hoseok thinks he can’t bear another second of it.

But he does, and they do, all up until the sun finally sets, and the skies turn dark, and all of a sudden it’s almost seven in the evening, yet here they both are, lost in the quiet, and now shrouded in nightfall. 

“Hoseok, tell me something,” Yoongi is the first to break the silence just as he’s always the first to reach out to Hoseok and pull him in towards him. “Something I don’t know,” 

Suddenly, Hoseok feels like the earth may just start to suck him in, burying him in tens and thousands of tons of sand. 

Yoongi is looking at him, eyes soft. Tender. Like he’s got all the time in the world to look at Hoseok again. 

Because there’s no way Hoseok’s saying what he thinks he wants to say - I think I might be in love with you, or fuck all - he forces out a surprised laugh, shakes his head, and says, “You start, hyung,” 

Like it’s that easy to turn the tables on Yoongi. 

It’s not, but Yoongi gives him this round, at least.

“I came on the trip because I felt guilty,” Yoongi says, voice laced with just the slightest hint of guilt.

Hoseok runs sand dusted fingers through his hair and shakes his head, “I told you, it’s no biggie,” A lie, but Hoseok would also be lying if he says that he feels even a twinge of satisfaction at Yoongi admitting to it, because he doesn’t. There’s really no need for them to feel obligated to see each other every damn day - they’re friends, and friends are supposed to understand when life happens to their friends.

“Yeah, but you also never let me apologised properly. I’m sorry,” Yoongi rakes his fingers on the sand, scoops a hefty amount into his palm, and drizzles them all over Hoseok’s bare legs, an almost playful smile on his face. “Your turn,”

Not even bothering to dust himself off - Hoseok’s pretty sure Yoongi’s more than determined to bury him in the sand by the end of this night - Hoseok just shrugs his shoulders, “Mom’s sick,”

Not even a second after Hoseok’s said it that Yoongi sputters out, shock and confusion so blatantly obvious on his face, “What?” 

“She’s sick, but - but it’s gonna be fine. She says she’s gonna be fine, and I visited her just a couple weeks ago. Hyung, come on - she’s going to be fine, I know, so you have to take my word for it,” There’s no hurt there because Hoseok knows she’ll be fine, knows that with each passing day, colour starts to flood back into her face, her eyes still retaining that glitter that Hoseok’s always seen in them, ever since he can remember. “Your turn,”

“Jesus, Hoseok. I thought - shit, I thought of the worst,” Hoseok shakes his head, smiles ruefully at Yoongi, and then urges him to keep going by bumping their shoulders. “Alright, alright. I - you know me, right?” 

Really fucking sad to say that Hoseok does but at the same time, doesn’t. Because if he knew Yoongi so well, he’d also know how it would play out when Hoseok finally, finally just comes out and say it. When Hoseok reaches across the small division between them for Yoongi’s hand. 

“And this is going to sound fucking weird but - I don’t know, just hear me out. Y’know when you told me about Taehyung and Jeongguk dating, couple months ago? Yeah, I -“ Breathless, nervous laughter from Yoongi, his cheeks suddenly tinted pink. 

Hoseok bites on his lower lip, his breath held. 

“I was kind of relieved,” 

Oh, okay. That’s fine - so Yoongi had been concerned neither of the two younger boys would wind up with anyone. Probably die alone, yeah, sure, that’s a legitimate concern. 

“Yeah, me too,” 

“What?” 

“What, what?” Hoseok counters, this time looking at Yoongi with furrowed brows.

“You were relieved they ended up dating, too?” 

“Yeah, sure. I love Taehyung but y’know - always kind of worried me if he’d ever find anyone,” A shrug, like it’s just the most casual thing ever, and then Yoongi’s quiet, almost inaudible, 

“Oh.” 

And just as the pieces have started to look like an actual picture, it’s suddenly changed. Just the slightest of shift, the game now completely different. The air colder, and the skies darker, and Yoongi’s eyes wide with surprise just as Hoseok realises that they’d both been on very separate tangents.

“What did you mean?” Hoseok asks him, twisting away from the direct view of the horizon and the ocean to turn completely to Yoongi. “When you said you were relieved,”

Yoongi manages to scoff out one too many whats. 

Hoseok looks at him, waiting. He’s good at that - knows how to wait, how to follow, because a part of him is willing to do just that for Yoongi, to wait. To follow. 

“Come on, tell me, hyung. I don’t know this,” Perhaps Yoongi suggesting this seemingly innocent game had been a good idea, now that they’ve gotten here, the both of them equally as flustered, with Yoongi refusing to look at Hoseok again, and Hoseok, for the first time in a very long while, just wanting Yoongi to look at him, to see. 

Yoongi’s so good at that, it’s almost a shock that he’s fighting against it, now. 

“Jesus Christ, yeah, okay. I thought you two were dating,” Yoongi says all too quickly, probably to save both him and Hoseok the extra embarrassment what that idea even poses. “Or, at the very least, hooking up. Shit - don’t look at me like that, Hobi,”

But Hoseok can’t help it, he can’t help but look at Yoongi. But want to look at him. So he does, stares at him for a beat too long, not at all caring that his face is a page filled with the same damn words, again and again. Filled with Yoongi’s name, again and again. 

“That still doesn’t explain why you were relieved, though,”

“I - I don’t know, Hoseok. I just - I just was. I just am,” Yoongi grits his teeth, sounding like he’d just completely regretted even proposing this inane game in the first place. “Fuck, okay, game over. You win,” 

Hoseok doesn’t feel like he’s won, though, not when Yoongi looks like he’s close to just getting up and leaving. 

With strength Hoseok doesn’t even know he possesses, he reaches out to Yoongi. This is the first time he’s done so, and his hand is cold, trembling slightly. If Yoongi notices, he doesn’t let on, just follows as Hoseok’s hand finally settles on his knee. 

“Here’s one last thing you didn’t know,” Hoseok curls his fingers over Yoongi’s leg, knows that his next words might very well be his last, but if Yoongi’s little confession had meant what Hoseok had thought it meant, then it’s really now or never, even if Yoongi himself looks torn between wanting to look at the goddamn mirror and bring a sledgehammer against it. “I always wanted to know what it’d feel like - to hold your hand,”

All the strength Hoseok had thought he’d had in him manages to leave him with one long breath that he lets out, just waiting for Yoongi. 

And this is where Hoseok realises just how he’s infinitely powerless against Yoongi. How it’s all too easy for Hoseok, had he been standing, to fall on his hands and knees, proving yet again that under Yoongi’s gaze, all Hoseok manages to get are cuts, and bruises, and scars, that sting for days on end. 

Suddenly, everything is quiet, the sound of the ocean suddenly so far away. The wind a distant melody that Hoseok doesn’t even know anymore. All he hears now is Yoongi’s breathing, and the sound of the sleeve of his shirt ruffling when he reaches out to take a hold of Hoseok’s hand, his fingers closing around Hoseok’s, until.

Until Hoseok overturns his hand and Yoongi slips his fingers through the open spaces between Hoseok’s fingers; until their fingers are linked for the very first time; until Hoseok sees the moon dancing across the surface of the ocean; until he sees the small smile that curves on Yoongi’s lips. 

“What else?” Yoongi asks, squeezing experimentally on Hoseok’s hand.

This is new, this is a door to a world Hoseok’s never even thought of before. Yoongi holding his hand is Hoseok hearing a new language for the very first time - it’s both foreign, confusing, yet beautiful all at once. 

What does this mean, Hoseok wants to ask, but instead, he manages to tear his gaze away from their joined hand and look at Yoongi, his smile more shaky than anything. 

“I - that’s it, hyung,” 

Hoseok can’t even slip his hand out of Yoongi’s hold if he tried - and he’s not trying very hard, or at all, really, which is great, because Yoongi’s grip on his hand is strong, like he wants to anchor Hoseok down, hold him still and steady. 

Silence falls on them again, but this time, it’s not the agonising kind. It’s not the screeching kind of silence that tries to pound at all the windows in Hoseok’s mind. This is the kind of silence that Hoseok doesn’t mind, because it’s comforting, settling, even. 

Yoongi leans against him, and as softly as his eyes are staring out at the sea, first, and then at their linked hands, he says, “I always wanted to do this, too.”

They walk back to the villa with their hands still linked and swinging between them.

Hoseok’s head is too light - either from the lack of oxygen, or just because Yoongi’s holding his hand. 

This still feels like a whole other world that Hoseok feels so fucking lost in, but with Yoongi still holding onto his hand, Hoseok is starting to think that maybe that’s not so bad after all.

Not much else is traded between them, not after what Yoongi had said. Except, of course, Hoseok prompting that they go back to the house because it’s starting to get a little bit too chilly. With the prospect of an empty house all to themselves - peace and quiet, thinks Hoseok - Yoongi nods, tugging Hoseok up on his feet, never for a second letting go of his hand. 

On their way back, Hoseok lets his mind wander. Lets himself think that this is nice, if only for this one single moment. Maybe curiosity had gotten the both of them - had gotten Hoseok to stutter out the poor excuse of a confession, and had also gotten Yoongi to agree, because while they might be close, they haven’t ever been this close.

Of course, there have been times - gazes lingering. Yoongi always making it a habit and his civil duty to brush at strands of Hoseok’s hair, tuck them behind an ear. Hoseok staring far too long and forgetting to breathe, and Yoongi just raising an eyebrow when he catches Hoseok so off guard. 

There have been other times but never like this - because here they are, tiptoeing their way into the house, with their fingers linked, and Hoseok’s heart beating a mile a minute.

When they get to their shared room, Hoseok plops down on his bed, bringing Yoongi down beside him. And this - this is another cliff that Hoseok can either jump into or back away from.

He decides to jump right off.

“I’m tired, hyung,” He says, trying to slip his hand out of Yoongi’s hold, because this is starting to hurt the longer Yoongi’s holding on to him. Because Hoseok doesn’t think he’ll be able to look Yoongi in the eye the next morning if all Yoongi wants to do is conveniently forget all he’d said the previous night. 

“Sure,” Yoongi murmurs, finally letting go of Hoseok’s hand. “You should - we should sleep while it’s still quiet,”

Yoongi might have only held his hand for a good few minutes but - but now that he’s let go, it feels like something is missing. Hoseok’s fingers twitch, wanting the warmth that Yoongi’s hand comes with. Wanting to hold onto him again, because now that Hoseok knows what it feels like (and it feels like every flower on earth blossoming to life the very same time a tidal wave comes crashing against the shore), he’s pretty damn sure that there’s no way he’ll want to hold anybody else’s hand - not after Yoongi’s.

“You wanna know one last thing?” Hoseok is tired, delirious, and maybe actually lacking oxygen, his head still incredibly light, and his vision almost blurring. He manages to slide under the blanket, though, and lift the other side to Yoongi, a careless invitation that Yoongi takes, that same unreadable expression on his face. 

“Aren’t you sleepy?” comes Yoongi’s voice the very same time Hoseok feels his fingers brush at the stray strands of his hair hanging right in front of his eyes. Yoongi lets his touch linger, though, the back of his palm pressing momentarily against Hoseok’s cheek.

“Kinda. But one last secret, hyung,” Hoseok turns on his side to look at Yoongi, and there’s no light at all in this room but the soft, soft light of the moon shining behind heavy clouds, sitting quietly amongst the stars scattered all around her. Even still, Hoseok can see enough of Yoongi - his heavy lidded stare, mouth turned up just the slightest bit on one side for half of a smile. It’s decent enough. “I like you,” 

Yoongi breathes in sharply, shifts on his side, and then lifts his hand up to Hoseok’s face, fingers grazing on his cheek, trailing down, following the laugh lines, and the sun lines, and all the constellations that lead to Hoseok’s smile. 

“I know that,” idiot, Yoongi seems to want to add, but he doesn’t have to, not when the scrunch of his nose says it louder than the actual word can.

“Good,” Hoseok’s never said it to him before and it might not be the three worded phrase Hoseok’s been struggling with all this time, but he thinks that it’s a very good start.

Yoongi curled up beside him, the both of them under the same covers, and their hands between them, so close their fingers are touching, is enough for tonight.

It’s more than enough.

(That next morning, with the sun shining, Hoseok wakes up, groggy and slow, realising rather belatedly that someone’s decided to spread out on top of him. Limbs long enough that Hoseok’s almost certainly guaranteed that they don’t belong to Yoongi but to Taehyung, who rolls off on top of him completely and plops on his side, hair a complete mess, and still smelling like last night’s party - alcohol on alcohol on alcohol.

“Yoongi hyung said he didn’t want to wake you,” Taehyung says, as a way of explanation.

“You woke me up,” Hoseok grumbles, steadily propping himself up on his elbows to glance around the empty room. “What time is it?” 

“Little after six. Namjoon hyung and the rest didn’t make it up to their rooms. I checked up on you last night, though,” Taehyung hums out a tune that sounds like the song he’s been listening to non-stop ever since he’d heard it on the radio that very first time a week ago or so.

Hoseok smiles at that, despite waking up to a virtually empty bed. 

At least - at least he’s got Taehyung.

Taehyung rakes his fingers through Hoseok’s hair, his smile a little far away, and the look in his eyes too soft. “Don’t pout, that’s not a good look. Besides, Yoongi hyung said he’ll be back after his swim. He didn’t - like, just leave because he wanted to, y’know?” 

“Since when did you know, Tae?” Hoseok knows it’s a futile question because Taehyung had known before Hoseok had. 

“Just cause,” A familiar grin stretches across Taehyung’s face, and even if he still looks like he’s not even completely sober just yet - probably still coming down from his own intoxication, on the way to a full on hangover in a couple hours - Hoseok can’t help but smile back up at him. “I also know you two need to talk, so you should go,” 

And without saying anything else, Taehyung drags Hoseok off of the bed, his laughter loud and bouncing off the walls at six-fifteen in the morning, the rest of their friends still sound asleep.)

Hoseok spots Yoongi’s shoes just off to the side of the wooden fence. Follows his footprints to the shore, and stops when he spots Yoongi, back facing away from him, just wading through the ocean, stopping when the water finally reaches past his hips. 

“Taehyung told me you’d be here,” Hoseok kicks off his shoes, shrugs out of his shirt, and carefully wades into the ocean - the sand is warm under his feet but once he gets into the water, Hoseok’s starting to wish he’d thought this through. It’s still cold, the early morning air biting against his skin.

“Give it a moment,” Yoongi says, turning away from the view of the horizon to look at Hoseok. “It’ll warm up in a bit,”

Hoseok sees it, then - with Yoongi’s upper-body bared, smooth expanse of skin practically glittering under the early morning light. The tattoo sits just a little under Yoongi’s left ribcage. Two swallows turned to each other, wings spread, and - and it’s beautifully executed, beautiful designed, and Yoongi is beautiful, Hoseok also thinks, this time with a stunned look on his face, because how could he not think that?

With Yoongi waist deep in the ocean, the sun glittering across his skin, and his hair windswept, and his smile - that too-rare smile that Hoseok’s always thought Yoongi keeps trying to hide away from everybody else.

But he’s not trying to push it down this time.

“So that’s why you haven’t been swimming the last week,” Two weeks. Two weeks of Yoongi deftly avoiding the ocean, of almost cursing Jimin out when the boy had splashed chlorine water all over them that one evening, a couple nights ago. “It’s pretty cool, hyung,” 

“This was supposed to be my other secret,” Yoongi motions for Hoseok to come closer, his hand wrapping around Hoseok’s wrist when they’re finally close enough for it. 

“You can think of another one,” Yoongi slides his hand down Hoseok’s wrist to grasp at his fingers. All the knots in Hoseok’s stomach are pulling taut yet again, but this time, Hoseok thinks that he won’t break just because - just because his own heart had beat like a hammer against the cage that had housed it and even then, it hadn’t given out. His nerves won’t stretch him too thin, and the butterflies trying to turn carnivorous inside of his stomach won’t eat away at him, because.

Because Yoongi is holding his hand and all of Hoseok’s doubts are wiped completely clean from his mind. 

“Okay, here’s one,” Yoongi links their fingers together and Hoseok knows that they’ve only done this last night but it’s starting to feel a lot like an anchor, their hands between them. Holding them both still, together. Grounding them. “I like you, too,”

A wave pushes Yoongi even closer to Hoseok until they’re practically pushed against each other. 

Hoseok wraps an arm around Yoongi’s waist and says, “I know that,” but it still feels like a knot had just unraveled in Hoseok’s stomach, finally hearing it. “Okay, I didn’t, but I do now, so,” 

Pressing their foreheads together, Yoongi brings one hand up to Hoseok’s cheek, cupping it, his touch featherlight. “You wanna talk about this?” 

Trust Yoongi to ask him about that just when they’re in the middle of the ocean, holding onto each other against the waves that literally try to push them back to the shore.

Yoongi is so close that Hoseok can count the specks of brown in his eyes, can count each and every eyelash, can count every breath that Yoongi takes. But they’re also so close that Yoongi is a bit too blurred, the colours of the ocean washing him in. 

The water is finally warm now and Yoongi is still smiling at him, not at all expectant, but - but waiting, patient. 

“Okay,” Hoseok murmurs, brushing their noses together. He slides his hand out of Yoongi’s to settle it on Yoongi’s hip. While holding Yoongi’s hand is a wonder all and in of itself, Hoseok also wants to know what it would feel like - to run his hands down Yoongi’s sides, to hold him close for a hug without the pretences of a friend wanting to preserve warmth in the middle of winter, when the jackets they’d worn was simply not enough for the impending cold that day had brought with it. “I think - hyung, I - think - no. Okay - okay, I’ve always had a crush on you, but now I just -“

And Hoseok might have skirted over the word for as long as he could bring himself to, but now he’s presented with the opportunity to dive right into the clouds. And this is Yoongi - Yoongi, who’s got warm hands, and an even warmer smile that Hoseok’s starting to think is a smile that’s reserved just for him, and only him - and Yoongi is looking at him the same way Hoseok’s always looked at Yoongi, and there’s really nothing else Hoseok can say but,

“I might be in love with you, hyung,” Just the teeniest, tiniest bit. Hoseok’s voice cracks halfway through his sentence, and try as he might to look away from Yoongi, he can’t, not when Yoongi’s thumb is brushing across his cheek, and certainly not when Yoongi is throwing his head back in laughter, blissful and loud.

Might?” Yoongi parrots, fingers folding on Hoseok’s shoulder for balance when a particularly rough wave pushes at him again. 

“Just in case, y’know,” Hoseok grimaces, because - because that’s better than looking extremely mortified, which he is, with Yoongi just laughing, and laughing, and laughing. 

And with Yoongi’s laugh finally subsiding, with the ocean seemingly starting to calm down, with the sun just peeking through the clouds, Yoongi pulls Hoseok against him, fingers curling around his chin as he holds him still for a kiss that starts with the soft brushing of their lips. 

Hoseok’s hold on either side of Yoongi’s hips tighten just that slightest bit as he leans into the kiss, eyes fluttering to a close at the feel of Yoongi’s soft, soft lips sliding against his own. 

When they pull apart, it’s to the sound of a flock of birds flying overhead, and to the hellos and goodbyes of the ocean and the shoreline. This - this also sounds like summer, but Yoongi - 

Right now, in this very moment, Yoongi feels exactly like summer. Overwhelming and beautiful, but also Hoseok’s favourite season. 

“Hey, idiot,” Yoongi’s smiling at him, too big, too wide, too bright, and too fucking beautiful Hoseok has to remind himself yet again to breathe. “I might be in love with you, too.”

It’s Hoseok’s turn to laugh at that and as laughter erupts out of him, Yoongi holds him steady, anchoring him down in their little piece of the ocean. 

(Later, with the both of them lounging on the beach, sand in their hair, and on their face, and basically just everywhere on them, and with Yoongi leaning against Hoseok’s chest, Hoseok asks him, thumb running down the image on Yoongi’s skin, “What does that mean?”

It takes a few moments of quiet coaxing - Hoseok kissing the top of Yoongi’s head - until Yoongi finally mumbles out his answer, “Hope.”)

Two days before they’re set to leave back for the city again, pulling a curtain on this summer play, they all decide to have a camp out by the beach. 

It’s a private stretch of land that Seokjin’s family owns (something that none of them will ever get over, really). Owning your own piece of the beach allows you a few things: like, say, lugging half of the contents of the house and bringing them all out to the said beach. 

They’ve got mats spread out all around them, as well as a single collapsable table, and the grill. Seokjin’s actually letting Taehyung help him with the grill (what Taehyung had decided to give up in exchange of being able to dump his entire pork skewer in too much barbecue sauce, Hoseok has no idea) while Namjoon busies himself with his phone, scrolling through his songs, and trying to find that one perfect playlist he’d arranged just for this night.

“Just come out and say that you’re going through 8tracks,” Yoongi snorts, looking over Namjoon’s shoulder.

“Blasphemy, hyung,” Jeongguk mock gasps, eyes going wide at Namjoon, who groans at them all, and turns back to building up on his playlist. 

“The water’s really nice,” Jimin announces, ankle deep in the water. He bends down to scoop sand and water into his hand, straightening back up only to aim the splash at Jeongguk, who ducks just in time to avoid it. 

And their night slowly unfolds like this, preparing for dinner, and just basically lounging around on the beach, under the countless of stars twinkling up ahead. It’s quiet out here in this little town, no big buildings, no harsh lights. The clear night sky offers the perfect canvass for the moon and all her children.

Cans of beer is passed around, the music finally starting to filter through the speakers. It’s not so bad - Hoseok actually likes it, and judging by the pleased look on Namjoon’s face, he’s pretty proud of it, too. 

Hoseok wraps his fingers around a cold can of beer that Jeongguk passes him, his thank you taking the form of a lazy little smile that Jeongguk responds to with a huge, ear splitting grin of his own.

Jeongguk’s probably already started drinking way before they’d all gotten to the beach, judging by the flush in his cheeks, and in the way he walks over to Taehyung, all too ready to just throw himself at him. Hoseok looks away when both boys plop down on a mat, a blanket wrapped around them, and their heads pulled close together - it looks far too tender and too private for him to even be glancing at. 

So he looks away from them to look at Yoongi, who’s walking back to him, his footsteps just as easy, brought about by a mixture of the alcohol, the food, and the company. He offers a hand for Hoseok to take, pulling Hoseok up on his feet, and right against him when Hoseok stumbles on the sand. 

“Easy there,” Namjoon muses, looking at them, the smile on his face amused, but also - happy, it looks like.

But then again, everyone looks far too fucking happy tonight and Hoseok - 

Hoseok won’t really have it any other way.

They kick their shoes off in favour of walking barefoot in the sand. They won’t be able to have this until the next summer, at least, so Hoseok is taking in everything he can. The beach, the open night sky, the friends, and Yoongi.

Though the last two he knows he’ll have with him but being out here with the people Hoseok will gladly burn cities for is different entirely. Summer waves its magic wand and somehow, everything is warmer, brighter, and much, much happier. 

He loves it most, summer.

Yoongi winds an arm around Hoseok’s waist, pulling him to his side. They trip a lot on the sand, their laughter loud and tinkling as they help each other back up. 

They stop just in front of the shore. Take a few careful steps into the ocean until they’re both just ankle deep. It’s cold, the water, but Hoseok doesn’t mind.

Behind them, Hoseok can hear a chorus of laughter from their friends, idle chatter, and Namjoon’s playlist that Hoseok has to admit isn’t even that bad. 

“One more,” Yoongi asks, turning away from the ocean to kiss Hoseok quickly on the edge of his mouth. 

Hoseok smiles at that, feeling like this - all of this is too good to be true, but then his mind goes back to Yoongi’s swallow tattoo and he thinks, hope, and suddenly everything is better. 

With the moon casting an all too comforting glow on them, and with the stars glittering, twinkling with a light that’s travelled far, far away to get here, Hoseok says, “This summer’s my favourite,” 

“That’s a good one,” Yoongi says, hand slipping under Hoseok’s shirt to settle on his hip, fingernails dragging lazily across Hoseok’s skin. “You’re my favourite, yeah?” 

So this is what it feels like, finally standing on stable foundation. To not be constantly afraid of one day being shaken so much that he’ll end up swallowed whole by the earth. To be fine with the knowledge that there are no walls necessary anymore, not when Yoongi’s always known to break right through them. 

Knowledge like this is something that Hoseok holds in his hands and brings close to his chest, because there is no need for shaky foundations, or walls, or keys, or empty houses with blown in shutters, not anymore.

Hoseok smiles at Yoongi, hooks an arm around his neck, and drags him close for a kiss. 

And so they kiss under the stars with all their closest friends around them, and Hoseok thinks that if there’s something else he didn’t know, then he knows, now, because Yoongi somehow kisses like he’s got all the answers Hoseok hasn’t even asked, yet. 

(This - 

This is the song of summer: 

It is the sound of the ocean, and the whisper of the warm, summer breeze. 

It is the sound of the cicadas dancing along to the blinking of the fireflies. 

It is the sound of his best friends talking about all the tomorrows they have ahead of them, of all the summers that’ll have a hard time topping this particular one. Their laughter is a perfect harmony to the ocean, and the breeze, and even to the distant blinking of the stars up above them.

It is the sound of Hoseok’s heart, every pulse and beat sounding a lot like love, love, love, and Yoongi’s name, again and again.

This is the song of summer and Hoseok thinks that it’s a very beautiful song.

His favourite song.)