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It’s Yoongi’s second kill of the week and he’s tired. He doesn’t feel like doing this again today. The last one had been a fighter. His ribs still hurt from the kick the man had given him before Yoongi could finally take the upper hand. He doesn’t like the ones that fight back. Yoongi prefers the element of surprise; follow them, study their movements and reflexes, sneak up on them from the dark and go straight to the neck to strangle them. They’re too surprised to fight back. Or some days when he’s lazy, he sneaks up from behind and surprises them with chloroform, knocking them out in no time.  

 

Yoongi might have a terrible ‘job’, being a hitman, but he’s not that cruel in the way he kills his victims. He knows some people in the field who like to play with their prey, see blood and make them pay for their deeds. Yoongi on the other hand hates blood, he hates having to clean up, and he hates having to listen to them beg. No, he has another way of handling this, quick, easy, and no dirt.

 

Most of his victims are murderers, rapists, child molesters and drug dealers. Only once had he been tasked a political kill, which made him so much money he was able buy his apartment.

 

He’s almost at his destination when Namjoon finally texts him back.

 

[1:07 AM] From:  Namjoon

everything’s taken care of hyung, all the CCTV are frozen

 

Yoongi deletes the message and goes into the garage where his victim is rummaging around and he takes his usual plan into action. He surprises him with a finger jab to his throat, just so he wouldn’t start blabbing and begging. He strangles him until his heart rate slows and then takes of his left shoe and sock, places the needle of his syringe under his toenail, and poisons him with the biological substance Taehyung mixed up for him.

 

It takes a whole of ten minutes to kill him and find a car around the garage that’s actually open and has keys in it to hide the body in – though getting the shoe of a dead person back on is kind of tricky.

 

Though, when he opens the trunk of the car, he doesn’t find it to be empty...

 

There’s a guy in the trunk. The only thing he’s wearing is a ripped t-shirt and camo shorts, but no shoes or socks. It’s January and it’s freezing, yet this guy is here, tied up with barely any clothes on. His skin is a sick bluish colour; his lips actually are blue. His hands and feet are tied together with zip ties and the duct tape that held his mouth shut hangs loose to the side. Yoongi touches his neck and feels a very slow pulse. He gasps softly. The guy is still alive.

 

“Fuck! Why now...” he whispers as he tries to move the man. He’s not heavy but he’s definitely taller than him. He looks like he could be Yoongi’s age. “Hey, wake up.” Yoongi tries to push and prod at the guy, but there’s no response. He’s out like a light.

 

***

 

“Yoongi? You do know it’s three in the morning, right?” Seokjin’s voice is as soft as always.  

 

“Where are you?” Yoongi disregards his obvious remark.

 

“I’m still at the hospital. I just finished my shift. Why? What’s wrong?”

 

“Hyung, I need help.” Yoongi bites the inside of his cheek. He hates asking others for favors, hates having to owe them something. And calling Seokjin ‘hyung’ will worry him even more.

 

“Yoongi, you’re scaring me. Tell me what’s going on.”

 

“I need you to come right now, asap. Bring clothes and blankets and warm things and maybe a first aid kit? But a lot of warm stuff.” Yoongi looks at the unconscious man now lying on his couch and the sickly colour of his battered skin, he hangs up the phone and takes the blanket that hung over the edge of the couch to cover the guy.

 

He’s actually fairly attractive, if it weren’t for the black eye and blood running down his small nose and full lips. Not only are his eyes bruised, but also his jaw and neck and wrists, even down to his legs.

 

Unsurprisingly, it only takes Seokjin twenty minutes to arrive. Yoongi lets him enter without a word and moves to his living room so his friend will follow him. Seokjin is holding a gym bag and a fleece blanket, both of which he drops when he sees the guy lying on Yoongi’s couch.

 

“Yoongi, what’s this? What did you do?” Yoongi feels a surge of anger going through him.

 

“I didn’t do anything except save his fucking life.” But Seokjin isn’t listening anymore. Instead he’s taking the guy’s vitals and gasps.

 

“His temperature is 32°C; he needs to warm up as soon as possible before he goes into cardiac arrest.” Seokjin takes the guy by his shoulders and nods his head to Yoongi, “Grab his feet and put him on your bed.” He’s about to protest but figures that you don’t protest against Kim Seokjin when it’s about saving a human life. He does as he’s told and they move the guy to his bed. Seokjin immediately turns on the electric blanket Yoongi has in his bed and takes off the guy’s shirt and pants, leaving him in only his underwear.

 

“If he needs to warm up, why the hell are you taking of his clothes?” Yoongi sees all the scars and scabs along the sides and stomach of the guy. He feels sick to his stomach, thinking about how some of those scars look exactly like the ones he owns.  

 

“Put my clothes in your dryer. Get all the blankets you own and heating pads. I know you have tons of those.” Yoongi rolls his eyes, because yes, he does. He’s small and thin, he’s always cold. He doesn’t protest and does as told, putting on the kettle and stuffing Seokjin’s clothes in his dryer.

 

“We have to make sure he’s breathing alright; we can’t have any of his organs failing on him. Where did you find him like this?”

 

“In the trunk of a car, left to die. He’s lucky I even found him.” The kettle starts screeching and he fills the heating pads with the hot water. He brings them to Seokjin but he’s too busy checking the guy’s eyes and his breathing. Yoongi can swear his lips look pinker already.

 

“Put the pads under his armpits and in his groin.”

 

“You want me to... put a heating pad...in his underwear?”

 

“Yes Yoongi, just do it. And where are those warm clothes?” He holds out his hands and does as told before moving towards the washroom to get the clothing. Seokjin tells Yoongi to leave dressing up the stranger to him, and Yoongi doesn’t have to be told twice.

 

He goes to the couch and falls between the cushions. The only thing coursing through his head at the moment is how much he wishes that he’d just left the guy in that trunk. He wonders why he had to play the Good Samaritan and save him. He’s a hitman for Christ’s sake. He kills people for a living... Why was leaving someone he doesn’t even know to die so hard?

 

After a while he’s unable to fight back his heavy eyelids and falls asleep before he can stop himself, but the last thing that goes through his mind is that he doesn’t regret it as much as he makes it look. There had been something about the guy that made Yoongi think of himself.  

 

***

 

He wakes up to Seokjin pushing against his shoulder.

 

“I have to go home and sleep Yoon, I have another late shift tonight. The guy is stable; he woke up this morning but he’s still too out of it. If he wakes up send me a message, ok?” Yoongi nods.

 

“Wait, he woke up? Did he say anything?”

 

“He only asked where he was. I told him he’s safe now. Call Jimin to come home. he could really help you right now.” Yoongi nods and Seokjin leaves. He takes his phone but doesn’t feel like calling.  Instead he finds Jimin’s name in his phone – which Jimin had changed to his stupid nickname – and sends a message.

 

[9:44 AM] To:  Jiminnie

Come home asap, need u.

 

[9:50 AM] From:  Jiminnie

hyung you always need me ...gimme twenty mins.

 

Jimin has a habit of not sleeping at home whenever Yoongi goes out for a job. He doesn’t like it when Yoongi’s out for too long and tends to worry too much. And when he does stay, he always stays awake and gives Yoongi a cold look when he comes back home, telling him he’s in desperate need of a new profession and some therapy but also giving him a hug and telling how glad he is his hyung is home.

 

The boy bursts through the door only fifteen minutes later. His red hair is ruffled and uncombed and he’s wearing one of Jeongguk’s shirts that’s much too big on him. Both Jimin and Jeongguk live with Yoongi, but Jeongguk prefers to live in the residential dorms during the semester. Yoongi is fine with that. He knows how serious the boy is about college. He’s not the rambunctious kind of student. Yoongi trusts Jeongguk will behave.

 

“Hyung, of what aid can I be today?”

 

Yoongi doesn’t answer but makes a sign to follow him instead. Jimin gasps as he enters the bedroom and runs towards the guy immediately. His small hand covers the guy’s forehead and his other hand starts counting his heartbeats.

 

“What’s wrong with him?” At least he doesn’t think this is Yoongi’s fault. Yoongi tells him everything, and Jimin just nods, understanding. He promises Yoongi he'll help taking care of the guy. Jimin is studying to become a nurse and Yoongi can actually see now, how well it fits him, as he’s touching the unconscious boy beside him and checking his vitals. Jimin goes through the guy’s ragged clothes on the floor to find anything that could give them an idea of a name or contact, but to no avail. There's no wallet, or any type of personal belongings. The guy is a ghost.

 

***

 

“Are you awake?” Jimin asks, Yoongi rolls his eyes. The guy nods slowly but doesn’t talk.

 

“Can you tell us your name? You don’t seem to have an ID.” He looks scared out of his mind, but Yoongi doesn’t really blame him. To be honest, he’d be the same if some strange boy with flaming red hair started asking him random questions. The guy whispers something and Jimin nods. They seem to fall into a silent conversation, and Yoongi decides he doesn’t really care. He’s hungry. He’ll hear all the details when Jimin comes back, anyway.

 

***

 

“Jung Hoseok, born in Gwangju. He’s twenty-four. That’s all he can remember.” Jimin is munching away on the pickled radishes that Yoongi hates so much as he tells Yoongi what he found out. “I think he has amnesia. He doesn’t seem to remember anything but his name and birthday.”

 

Hoseok. It fits the guy’s features.

 

“How could he get amnesia?”

 

“Oh there’s many factors to amnesia, hyung. He could be trying to block out a traumatic experience, which is most likely, but the hypothermia could also result in temporary amnesia...” Jimin rambles on about all the possible reasons like a goddamn textbook, and Yoongi blocks him out. Traumatic experience. He remembers what the guy had looked like undressed, his body is filled with scars, both old and new ones. He was tortured and kidnapped and put into a car trunk. That might be traumatic enough, yes.

 

***

 

“Who are you?” the guy – Hoseok – asks him when Yoongi gives him a bottle of water with a straw. Jimin is in class today so Yoongi had been given the pleasure of serving the sick stranger in his bed.

 

“Min Yoongi. I found you.” Hoseok nods.

 

“I wish you hadn’t.” Yoongi doesn’t answer immediately. He helps Hoseok drink from the straw of the water bottle and checks his temperature as Seokjin and Jimin keep asking him to.

 

“Well, nothing you can change about that now.” Hoseok doesn’t open his eyes again, but he sighs, seemingly lost for words. Yoongi puts on the electric blanket to make sure he doesn't get cold and leaves his room with an unsettled feeling in his chest. There’s something about the person in his bed that doesn’t feel right with him, and Yoongi finds that for the first time, he doesn’t want to kick him out as much as before.

 

***

 

On the third day, Hoseok is able to stomach some food without getting sick immediately after. He does look a bit thin, but there’s also clearly muscle to his build, especially his legs. Yoongi doesn't think the guy has been starving ever since he was taken from wherever the hell it was. But he does look like he could use some meat on his bones. 

 

Yoongi sits next to his bed, watching Hoseok eat. It feels like maybe it should be strange that he’s just staring at someone eating, but Hoseok doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, when Yoongi makes a move to stand up, he pulls on his wrist with the best grip he can manage in his weak state and begs him to stay with his eyes. Yoongi feels something inside of him twist and immediately sits down again. He doesn’t have the heart to leave him alone. 

 

***

 

Hoseok likes to talk, and strangely, Yoongi likes to listen to him. It doesn’t happen a lot that Yoongi can listen to people talking to him for longer than ten minutes. He always zones out when Jimin and Jeongguk talk to him about school, their dance practices, or how they spent their day together, but with Hoseok it’s different. His voice is still a bit coarse, probably from having been strangled when they took him, but it’s soothing somehow.

 

“I used to dance,” Hoseok mentions on the third night. Yoongi turns to show him he’s listening. He’s on the bed next to him, and Yoongi is surprised how easy it feels to be so close to him, how easy it is to become attached to someone he’d never met before.  

 

“I was good at it too. Done underground dancing since I was twelve years old. I still love to dance.”

 

“Then why did you stop?” Yoongi asks him, but it’s the wrong thing to ask because Hoseok shuts down and starts shivering, curling in on himself entirely.

 

“Do you want me to run you a bath?” Yoongi asks instead of leaving like he so honestly wants to. He can easily call Jimin to ask if he’d keep Hoseok company, handle it the easy way, but somehow he doesn’t want Jimin to see Hoseok like this, sweating and pale, reliving old memories that are too hard for his brain to handle. Hoseok nods and Yoongi goes to the bathroom to do as promised. When the bath is ready, Yoongi asks Jimin for help so he can safely get Hoseok into the bathtub. Jimin undresses Hoseok quickly, being used to it from working in the hospitals. He doesn’t even blink when Hoseok is naked in front of him, except for a quick glance at the scars all over the guy’s body. When Hoseok is safely inside the tub, he leaves the bathroom and tells Yoongi to call him when he’s done.

 

Hoseok’s eyes are closed as he lies down inside the tub, and he sighs softly. He’s frowning, looking like he’s about to cry, so Yoongi tries to distract him by tossing a washcloth into the tub. The younger's eyes open, and a single tear comes with it, rolling down his cheek. Yoongi goes to sit next to the tub in silence, and Hoseok follows his every move as Yoongi takes the washcloth that’s inside the water and wrings it. He takes some soap and then Hoseok’s arm, and starts to softly rub his skin. Except for one small burn scar on his bicep, his arms are completely unblemished, seeming to be saved from the abuse the guy used to go through. 

 

“Is this ok?” Yoongi almost whispers. Hoseok is staring right into his eyes when Yoongi looks up. His jaw is tense, as if he’s gritting his teeth but he nods gingerly. He clearly feels uncomfortable, but as he lets out a shiver. He moves to hold up his other arm, which surprises Yoongi. Because even though the boy must be uncomfortable, he does accept Yoongi's care. After that there’s complete silence. There’s only the sound of the water sloshing in the hollow echo of the fogged up bathroom.

 

When he starts on Hoseok’s chest, the actual scars start showing up. Most of them look like little burn marks and scratches that could be from knives or even nails. They go from his neck to his chest and stomach and all look the same. “How did you get these?” Yoongi asks, but Hoseok keeps quiet as he stares at the scars himself. He looks confused for a moment, knitting his brows together as if he tries to think how they got there. Yoongi nods, telling him it doesn’t matter before moving so he can reach Hoseok’s back. He tries not to pay attention to the marks anymore and tries to make Hoseok relax instead.

 

He’s about to start on his legs when he finally gets a reaction. Said reaction being Hoseok jumping up aggressively, and pushing Yoongi’s hands away, screaming not to touch him. The water sloshes all over Yoongi and the bathroom floor, completely soaking his pants and shirt. He tries to calm Hoseok down but gets clawed in the face instead. Before he knows it, Jimin storms in and runs to help him calm Hoseok down.

 

There’s a constant stream of “do-don’t touch me.” and Hoseok is hugging his own legs now.

 

Jimin is whispering soothing words into Hoseok’s ear, and slowly he starts fighting less and slumps back against the porcelain walls of the tub. His eyes are still open and he’s staring at nothing, looking blankly ahead of him. Jimin drains the water and helps Hoseok out of the tub, which goes surprisingly well considering Jimin is doing it all on his own. Yoongi is still sitting on the ground in the big puddle that is his bathroom floor, still trying to take in what the hell just happened.

 

He follows Jimin and Hoseok to the bedroom, and he watches Jimin helping Hoseok back into some fresh pyjamas of Seokjin’s. Hoseok seems alert enough. He’s helping Jimin by raising his arms and doing as told, but he looks exhausted and shocked. Jimin helps him drink some water and tucks him in. He stays with Hoseok until he falls asleep, scratching his hair and whispering silly stories, and he meets Yoongi in the living room twenty minutes later.

 

“Hyung?” Jimin said softly. He sits down on the couch next to Yoongi, just one inch closer and he’d be sitting on Yoongi’s lap. “What happened?”

 

“I was... helping him,” Jimin gives him a questioning look. “I helped him wash up but when I touched his legs he started panicking and well... you saw the rest.”

 

“You... you helped him wash up?” There seems to be some humour in Jimin’s voice and Yoongi gives him a glare. “Sorry hyung, it’s just... unusual. There’s something about Hoseok that makes you go soft.”

 

“I am not turning soft!” He sounds like a prepubescent teenager as he says it. He rolls his eyes. “He needs to get his memory back and get out,” Yoongi says. He doesn’t mean a single word of what he just said, and he knows Jimin won’t believe a single word either.

 

***

 

Hoseok avoids all eye contact with Yoongi the next day, and there’s an uncomfortable silence hanging over their heads when Yoongi waits for Hoseok to finish his breakfast. The large bruises on his face and neck are already fading into light blue instead of dark purple and his skin is turning into a much healthier colour. He even manages to go to the bathroom on his own, but Yoongi has hidden the key so he won’t be able to lock himself up and do anything stupid.

 

“I won’t touch you again if you don’t want me to,” Yoongi says when Hoseok takes his last bite of the omelette Jimin had made. “You seemed ok until I touched your legs.”

 

“I... I was alright. I don’t understand why I reacted so strongly.”

 

“Do you wanna come to the living room? Get outta this bed for once.” Yoongi takes Hoseok’s plate and puts his hand on his forehead to check the temperature.

 

“Maybe later,” Yoongi hums. He’s not going to beg him to get out of bed; he’ll leave that up to Jimin. He stands up to go back to the living room and read some e-mails since he’s just agreed on a new job. He doesn’t feel like killing right this moment, but the pay would be worth it.

 

“Yoongi-ssi,” Hoseok says softly, and Yoongi turns around to look at him. “T-thank you, for this.”

 

“Call me hyung,” Yoongi says before closing the door behind him.

 

***

 

Hoseok seems to come out of his shell much more when Jeongguk finally comes home. They fall into easy conversation, and Yoongi hears Hoseok laugh for the first time in all the days he’d been here. Jeongguk seems to love Hoseok and can’t keep away from him, following him anywhere that’s not the bathroom. Their mutual love for dancing seems like the main object of their conversations. Hoseok loves to talk about how he used to dance and what he did, and Jeongguk seems to be smart enough to not ask any questions about why Hoseok is referring to ‘having danced’ instead of talking in the now.

 

Both Jimin and Jeongguk are at home when Yoongi leaves for a job. He’s out of the poison Taehyung usually mixes up for him so he’ll have to use a different strategy tonight. He really hopes it’s not going to be one that fights back tonight. Before he leaves, he calls Namjoon about fixing the CCTV in the are. He also sends a simple message to Taehyung that he’s out of the mix, and he better not make him wait on new doses as long as he did last time. He only gets a thumbs up and stupid smiley face back, along with a lot of exclamation marks.

 

He’s putting on his jacket when Hoseok asks where he’s going, which is strange since Hoseok almost never really asks questions. He seems almost scared that Yoongi is leaving. Granted, it’s been five days since he’s arrived and not once had Yoongi left his apartment, staying with him 24 hours a day.

 

“Hyung has a job to do,” Jeongguk explains vaguely. Hoseok seems to understand that this is all the information he’ll be getting.

 

***

 

“Hyung, the job you do is dangerous, isn’t it?” Hoseok asks him when Yoongi comes back, still wearing blood on his shirt, hands, and cheek from having to use a weapon tonight. There’s no way he can hide the blood now that Hoseok has seen it. It’s everywhere, even under his nails.

 

“Yes.” Yoongi says. He takes off the shirt and throws it into a plastic bag. He’ll have to burn it tomorrow morning. He locks himself into the bathroom to wash up, and when he gets back out, Hoseok is already fast asleep in his bed. It's only a little later, when he’s lying on the couch to sleep that the couch dips next to him and Hoseok sits down. Yoongi slowly wakes up and grumbles some unintelligible words of sleepiness.

 

“Can- can you maybe... s-sleep in the bedroom? With m-me.” Hoseok whispers, voice sounding in small shocks. Yoongi opens his eyes, and in the dim light of the streetlights that shine into his apartment, he can see Hoseok’s cheek sparkling. He’s been crying. Yoongi stands up without a word, throws away the blanket, and leads Hoseok back to the bedroom. They don’t exchange words, just go to sleep in comfortable silence. Hoseok sniffles once but seems to be alright afterwards. Yoongi takes his hand and squeezes softly, and Hoseok falls asleep soon after, still holding Yoongi’s hand.

 

With his other hand Yoongi wipes at the tear tracks that are still visible on Hoseok’s cheeks.

 

***

 

In the morning, he wakes up to Hoseok snuggled against his entire front. It must be quite a sight, someone taller than him curled up into a ball against his chest. Yoongi’s hand automatically falls onto Hoseok’s head and he starts scratching softly into his hair. He's suddenly hit with the realization of how much he cares for this guy. He’s grown so attached to him in only six days. He’s never melted for anyone this fast. He can smell Jimin’s pine scented shampoo in the hair that’s tickling against his lips and he hears the soft, satisfied sighs when Hoseok starts to wake up. Yoongi touches the large bruise on his jawline and slides his fingers alongside the length of it, all the way down to his neck.  

 

“What have they done to you Hoseokkie,” he whispers to himself, and suddenly he feels Hoseok tense again.  His eyes fly open, and he looks up immediately, the panic in his eyes is indescribable. Though when he sees whose arms he’s snuggled up in, his harsh breaths seem to slowly turn more stable.

 

“Please don’t,” he whispers, slowly moving positions. Yoongi feels the warmth of his body disappear and suddenly his arms are empty. “Please don’t call me that.”

 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t think...” Yoongi suddenly realises... “Hoseok, do you remember something?”

 

“N...no! I-I don’t it’s just. Pl-please don’t call me that.”

 

Hoseok’s bare arms are covered in goose bumps, his teeth are almost clattering even though he’s still underneath the covers. His eyes are frantic, moving around to look at every inch of Yoongi’s bedroom as if he expects someone to come in and take him. Yoongi squeezes one of his hands, like he did last night, and Hoseok’s eyes are focusing again for the first time since he woke so suddenly; the touch seems to calm him down instantly.

 

Yoongi can feel that there is something Hoseok isn’t telling him, but he doesn’t want to dwell on that right now. Instead, he pulls Hoseok closer to himself again and hugs him. His shoulders start shaking and there are small sobbing sounds against his chest, and Yoongi lies there with him, rubs his back and courses his fingers through his hair until Hoseok feels alright again.

 

***

 

On Sunday morning, Yoongi wants to take his laptop into his room and work on some of the music he’s been producing for the last couple of weeks, the music he’s so desperately hiding from Jimin and his friends. He doesn’t have a lot of professional equipment, or knowledge, for that matter, but it’s been a hobby ever since he was younger. It’s his love for music that was the very first step to the terrible relationship with his parents. Yoongi’s choice to not follow his parents’ wishes on his studies caused it to go downhill at rocket speed afterwards.

 

But anyway, producing, that is what he hopes to do on this Sunday morning, except Taehyung suddenly barges into Yoongi’s apartment without any warning and welcomes himself. He just enters the code like he lives there and joins them at the breakfast table as if it is the most normal thing to do.

 

“You know, Yoongi Hyung, some people like some sweetness in their morning coffee. We can’t all be black souls like you,” he says as some kind of greeting, taking a sip from Yoongi’s cup of coffee. Jimin and Jeongguk are both giggling side by side as Taehyung makes himself at home and gets the sugar out of the cupboard.

 

“You must be the new roommate I’ve been hearing about,” Taehyung says casually, giving Hoseok a small bow. “I’m Kim Taehyung, and sometimes I’m friends with these people.”

 

Hoseok nods and looks at Taehyung properly. Yoongi asks himself what’s going through his head while he’s scanning the tall boy in front of him. Taehyung’s big eyes are sparkling as he smiles sweetly at Hoseok. His hair is dyed in yet another colour – brown with a green fringe –  and Yoongi wonders how they let someone like that into professional labs.

 

“I’m the genius of this group,” he snickers, and Jeongguk and Jimin both start making fake choking sounds.

 

“How many more of you are there?” Hoseok asks, seeming to find his voice again.

 

“I think only Namjoon is left for you to meet. We tried to keep Taehyung away until now, though, but he’s stubborn.”

 

“We’re gonna be such good friends,” Taehyung stuffs his mouth with the rice balls, looking like he hadn’t eaten in days. Which knowing him might even be true. Sometimes, when Taehyung really gets into his research he forgets every basic human necessity.

 

“I’m the guy who mixes up Yoongi hyung’s potions,” he grins and winks at Hoseok, only to be met with three angry glances and one very confused one.

 

“Taehyung, let’s talk,” Jimin says, and he grabs Taehyung by the arm and leads him into his bedroom, Jeongguk following them closely and giving Yoongi a worried glance.

 

“Potions?”   

 

***

 

“Is there anything you can remember?” Seokjin asks later that same day. Hoseok shakes his head hesitantly. Yoongi can see Seokjin’s back tense up. Namjoon, who is standing next to him in the doorway, nods to leave Seokjin and Hoseok alone and go to the living room

 

“Where did you find him anyway?”

 

“In the trunk of a car.” Namjoon swallows and looks away, the hair on his arms standing up straight as he thinks about it.  

 

“He remembers,” Seokjin says as he closes the bedroom door behind him. Every single person in the room turns their head, looking confused.

 

“He just doesn’t want to talk about it. I think he’s afraid they’ll find him. I think he’s afraid you will try to find them.

 

“Of course I’ll try finding them, Jin , he almost died .” All five of his friends turn around to stare at him, and Yoongi disregards them. He squashes the can of coke he’s holding in his hand and throws it against the trash can, trying to find a way to deal with his anger. He wants to fucking beat those assholes to pulp. He doesn’t like blood, but he’ll do it for Hoseok. He’s seen the way Hoseok flinches when Yoongi’s hand comes too close, too fast. He’s seen the scars scattering his body, the small burns and scabs that could only have meant abuse in the past. The bruises on his body are still there, and even though they’re only a greenish colour by now, Yoongi remembers they were almost black when he found Hoseok.

 

He’d been tortured, and Yoongi can only hope that they didn’t go further than hitting and burning him. It’s not like Hoseok would tell him if they’d ever touched him in any other way, but he had been hit, burnt, scratched, and cut. He’d been kidnapped, tied up, and thrown in a car trunk where he’d had to wait for the darkness to take him over in the winter cold.

 

Yoongi’s insides are burning. He’s always been a killer who hates blood. He never understood the type of hitmen who like to see their victims suffer, bleed, and scream out in pain, begging for their lives, but now he suddenly realises how satisfying it could be. He imagines finding the guys who did this to Hoseok and having them at his mercy, begging him to stay alive. He’d put them naked in the cold winter air. He’d put burns on their bodies and slice them up until the blood was running all the way down the cement floor.  

 

There’s a hand sliding into his own, and Yoongi is distracted from the sick images in his head. The person holding his hand is Jimin, who looks up at him with wide eyes, almost scared.

 

“Hyung, get it out of your head.” Yoongi nods, to all of them. They’re all giving him worried glances. He figures he’ll just act like he won’t do anything and they’ll be alright. Smart as they may be, they can be quite oblivious sometimes. They believe him too easily. In his head, he already made up half the plan on how to get back at those bastards.  

 

***

 

It’s as if there must be some kind of holy spirit, Yoongi thinks when he opens his mailbox. He can’t believe how lucky he is when he opens the email with a new job and sees a big photo of Jung Fucking Hoseok. The picture is taken in some dark place that looks like it might be a club or cafe. His hair is almost blonde in the picture, much different from his jet black hair now. He looks right into the camera lens and his eyes are looking off, as if he’d been drinking. He also looks incredibly young.

 

Underneath the photo there’s the usual description: his name, age, and where he’d last been seen. The task is to find and kill him, as usual. The pay is incredible, and Yoongi figures they really want him dead if they’re offering this much money. Yoongi cracks his knuckles and starts typing back a time and place to meet up for the details and get an advance on the money. He figured if he met up with them in a park in broad daylight, they wouldn’t get any strange ideas.

 

Once the e-mail is sent, he picks up his phone and types a message to Namjoon.

 

[8:56 AM] To:  Namjoon

Can you give me some sort of GPS tracking? I need it really small, they can’t notice.

 

Namjoon won’t question it. Yoongi asks for these kinds of things all the time with his kind of job. When it comes to anything electronic, he can always count on Namjoon, who can fix basically anything he asks.

 

[9:02 AM] From:  Namjoon

you know how to ruin the mood hyung, we’ll just use the button tracker like we did last time

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes and sends back a simple confirmation. He scrolls up to his inbox when suddenly he hears a soft gasp behind him. When he turns around, he can see Hoseok standing in the middle of his living room, eyes fixed on Yoongi’s computer screen. The blanket he was holding around himself is now puddled around his feet.

 

“Th-that’s me...” Hoseok squints to look closer but Yoongi shuts the laptop closed so he can’t look any further. “How d-did you- where did you find that?”

 

“Maybe it’s time for me to tell you a bit about my job,” Yoongi says, and Hoseok gives a small nod and sits down on the couch, taking the blanket from the ground with him and still looking a bit unsettled. “I’ll tell you about my job, but I have a question for you, too, Hoseok.” He gets another nod in response and takes that as a hint to go on. “What are you so desperately trying to hide?” Hoseok’s eyes move to stare at the ground instead of Yoongi’s face. He’s fidgeting with a small hole in the blanket and frowns, as if he’s thinking of a way to explain.

 

“I’m afraid they’ll find me. I know they’re looking for me,” he says softly. “They- they took me because I tried to run. You- you’re not supposed to run from them, hyung.” He shakes his head frantically, as if in his mind, he can see people following him, running after him. “I was so far away and they still caught me. They’re so fast. They’re everywhere. I- I’m scared of what they will do to me next.”

 

“Who’s trying to get you?” Hoseok closes his eyes.

 

“They’re one of the most famous underground gangs in Seoul led by Junseo. When I was fourteen and s-started dancing underground, they set their eyes on me. It felt good, like a new family, like... like I belonged.” There’s a tear in the corner of his eye. “But hyung, they do h-horrible things. I found out when I became best friends with one of them, they h-hurt people and... they kill people; mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters just for money, drugs and se- sex...”

 

“You said no.” It’s not a question, but a statement. Hoseok nods and Yoongi moves to go and sit next to him. Surprisingly, the closeness of their bodies seems to make Hoseok relax a bit.

 

“They didn’t take it well, and when they found out that I had... that I was... close with one of their younger members they lost it,” Hoseok cuddles himself inside the blanket. “They sh-shot him, right in front of me.” Yoongi closes his eyes and frowns as he feels his insides burn. “They wanted to punish me for losing one of their members... One they killed with their own hands. They passed the weapon on to me and never let me go again.”

 

“Where did they take you?”

 

“It’s somewhere underground. I don’t know the location. I was never allowed to leave for nine years, and when I saw my chance to run I- I didn’t look back... It was close to the river.”

 

“But they caught you?” Hoseok’s eyes close, and he hugs his legs closely against his chest. His forehead is lying against his knees, and he’s trying to keep his breathing under control. “They did. They broke my l-l... They broke my legs for the second time that night.”

 

Yoongi can’t help but gasp softly, it’s out before he even knew it’s there. Those bastards, he is going to break every single bone in their goddamn bodies.

 

“What else did they do to you?” Yoongi asks. He shouldn’t, he knows. He can see Hoseok is starting to remember more and more, and he’s in pain. He’s shivering, and his skin is turning paler and paler. “What are all those burns from?”

 

“Cigarettes mostly.”

 

Yoongi’s has to take a firm grip on the couch as he remembers his own past, how many times his drunk father had put out cigarettes on his own pale skin. He watches Hoseok fidget with the blanket, and he’s mesmerized how this boy can still smile after all he’s been through. Yoongi has had a rough past, yes, but he hadn’t gone through half the shit Hoseok had to deal with in his life and he can’t smile so carelessly even if he wants to. He envies the boy, how strong he is.

 

“I’m a bad person, too, Hoseok.” Hoseok looks up from the blanket, straight into Yoongi’s eyes.

 

“See, I have trouble believing that,” Hoseok says softly. He moves on the small couch, closer to Yoongi. He’s about to take a hold of Yoongi’s hand when the other pulls away and continues talking.

 

“I kill people for a living.”

 

It’s quiet, too quiet in Yoongi’s opinion. Hoseok doesn’t look shocked. His eyes don’t grow wide, and his stance doesn’t tense. He doesn’t look scared, which he honestly expected to happen. Hoseok just does the same thing he wanted to do before. He takes a hold of Yoongi’s hand and squeezes it.

 

Hoseok is taller than him, but his hands are small. Yoongi’s stomach does a weird turn when he sees how well their hands actually fit together.

 

“I know,” Hoseok says. Now it’s Yoongi’s turn to be confused. “That night you came home with blood on your clothes, the thought sprung to mind.” He takes Yoongi’s hand closer to his face and starts to stare at every single inch of his skin. His soft finger going over the large scar on the inside of his palm from where Yoongi had once held a knife that was pointed at his neck.

 

“I asked Jimin about it the next morning if maybe you were a hitman. He was so shocked that I knew I had to be right.”

 

“Then why aren’t you afraid of me?” Yoongi asks, and he gets a sad smile in return.

 

“Because killing bad people for a living doesn’t necessarily have to mean you’re a bad person yourself.”

 

“Who said that?” Yoongi huffs.

 

“Someone I loved very much.” Hoseok gives him a sad smile and Yoongi’s heart breaks. He knows he’s is talking about the guy he just mentioned, the one he was ‘close’ with, killed in front of his own eyes. He can sense the heavy emotions that Hoseok is trying to hide.

 

“You know I won’t let them get away with it,” Yoongi almost whispers. Hoseok nods softly and snuggles deeper into the couch, taking Yoongi’s entire arm with him.

 

“I was afraid you’d do that,” he whispers, “but somehow I can’t help being glad, that maybe I’ll be able to feel safe again soon, and that’s very selfish of me.” Yoongi turns to face him. There’s a strand of hair astray on Hoseok’s forehead, and he can’t stop himself from moving it behind his ear. “I’m not a bad person for wanting them gone; they deserve that.” The older nods in agreement.

 

“But even though I’m relieved it might be over very soon, I can’t help but think of what I’d do if something happens to you.” Yoongi is suddenly awakened by a strange surge of reality, and he sits up, leaning away from Hoseok.

 

“You shouldn’t have to worry about me. You’ll be free. You’ll finally be able to leave this place and live your life how you want it.”

 

“You think I’d just pack up and leave?  Or wait? Would you send me away?” Yoongi thinks about it, the day Hoseok will leave with barely any clothes and into the wide world, no legal documents or identity. He thinks about never seeing the guy again.

 

“I would never send you away just like that, I’m not inhuman,” Yoongi bites.

 

Hoseok closes his eyes and leans his head against the couch. “If you want me to go, I’ll go. But I hope you’ll think about letting me stay. And not just because I have no place to go, but because you did something no one’s ever done for me since they took me.”

 

Hoseok stands up and wraps the loosened blanket around him. He’s about to turn around the coffee table when he turns to finally look back into Yoongi’s eyes.

 

“You showed me that home isn’t a place you live, but a place that makes life worth living.”

 

***

 

He recognizes the guy immediately. If it wasn’t for his big frame and dark clothes, it surely would’ve been by the fact that he was wearing sunglasses in winter and had a thick scar on his bottom lip. Yoongi approaches him casually and immediately gets a small duffle bag pushed into his gloved hands.

 

“10k, that was the deal.” The man has a deep and grainy voice. He’s definitely a smoker, and Yoongi wonders how many cigarettes this single asshole had put out on Hoseok’s battered skin. He bites the inside of his cheeks so hard he’s afraid he’ll bite a hole through them. The man is about the make a turn and leave when Yoongi grabs him by the pocket of his long coat – flawlessly dropping the GPS button inside the pocket without trouble – and pulls the man back.

 

“You think I’ll let you go before I’ve counted this?” The man grunts and gives Yoongi a look that suggests he better start counting or else.

 

“What did this one do that you’re so desperate anyway? He’s barely 24 years old,” Yoongi grins.

 

“He deserves what’s coming to him.” With that, the man turns on his heel and walks away, too impatient to wait, leaving Yoongi to count the money by himself.

 

***

 

It’s a very nice day today. Yoongi has no jobs to do until Thursday, so he has three days to relax and do whatever he wants. He has made plans in his mind of course. He wants to sleep, a lot. He also wanted to play around with the new sound system he bought a few weeks ago. Maybe he could finish this one song he’d been working on before he found Hoseok.

 

But his plans seem to crumble when he wakes up and Hoseok plops down on the couch next to him. He’s eating the last of the spicy tofu stew Seokjin had given them the night before and acts like it’s totally normal to eat so fucking loud on someone else’s couch instead of one of the perfectly fine chairs or the floor. His new roommate should respect that mornings are for napping.

 

“Can’t you eat quietly?” Yoongi grumbles, trying to listen to the men talking on TV show Hoseok turned on.

 

“Hyung, let’s watch a movie together,” Hoseok disregards him and puts on a cute voice. It takes Yoongi’s attention away from the television and throws him off guard. Hoseok is different today. He’s actually wearing comfortable clothes, instead of pyjamas. He’s washed up, brushed his teeth, and he’s eating before 11am. He seems almost happy. There’s something coming off of the guy in waves, and Yoongi can’t place what it is.

 

“What do you wanna watch?” He’s surprised that he’s even giving in to this. If it were Jimin, he’d completely disregard him and put the volume louder to ignore him.

 

“I dunno, something funny. Let’s watch Shrek? Or maybe Kung Fu Panda, I haven’t seen them yet! I’ve heard great things about them because apparently they’re really funny...” Hoseok starts an entire story about how he learnt about Kung Fu Panda thanks to Jeongguk, and Yoongi can’t do anything. He’s frozen in his spot, staring at Hoseok with his mouth wide open.

 

Not only is Hoseok dressed and in a good mood, he’s talking. He’s talking a lot, and the talking is paired with big gestures of his arms and hands, food dangerously moving on the plate he’s holding and waving around. He’s smiling and giving all these exciting kinds of looks, and whenever he laughs, Yoongi can’t help but smile a little, finding his big teeth and dimples adorable and wishing Hoseok would laugh even more.

 

“Hyung? Are you ok?” Apparently, Hoseok has finished his story about how he found out about Kung Fu Panda. He’s staring at Yoongi with a questioning gaze and a frown.

 

“Who are you? And what have you done to Jung Hoseok?” Another questioning glaze and more confusion blooms on Hoseok’s face.

 

“What?” Yoongi smiles at him and shakes his head to drop the subject. He gives in to the younger’s wishes and starts the first Kung Fu Panda movie Jeongguk has saved on their TV.

 

Yoongi doesn’t really follow the movie. He looks more at Hoseok than he does the TV. Hoseok is truly beautiful. Something inside him has switched, as if he’s feeling more like himself again, the person he might’ve once been. He laughs loudly at the lame jokes during the movie, louder than Yoongi has ever heard him laugh before. He uses his entire body to express himself. He claps his hands, covers his mouth when he can’t stop laughing, and watches the movie with his mouth wide open. Hoseok only catches him staring four times. Yoongi sees that as a win.

 

***

 

“Did they ever...” Yoongi bites his lip, he wonders if he should ask anything at all right now. The day has been perfect up until now. Yoongi and Hoseok had watched movies together, they had cooked together, and had done dishes together, and Yoongi hasn’t felt this light in years. He hasn’t smiled this much in years either.

 

They’re lying in bed together,  Hoseok reading one of Jimin’s anime books while facing each other. Yoongi can’t deny that he’s been staring at Hoseok for a long time now, closing his eyes every time Hoseok seems to notice. Hoseok is truly beautiful, and he gets progressively more beautiful each time Yoongi sets his eyes upon him.

 

He remembers the first time he saw Hoseok. He didn’t think anything special about him when he was freezing on his couch after saving him from that car. He didn’t think Hoseok was ugly but also didn’t care to spare a second glance, but now, after having seen Hoseok smile and talk so much, after seeing him open up and turning into this bubbly person, he notices. He notices just how gorgeous the guy in front of him is. The way his eyelashes are feathering against his cheeks as he looks down, reading the book. The way his small nose crunches up occasionally as if it’s itching and how his full lips turn into a smile every once in a while as he reads a funny line. The way he smiles whenever their legs and feet touch again, because he’s so affectionate he almost sticks to Yoongi like a gum. And if it were any other person, Yoongi would probably complain, but holding Hoseok is different, sharing a bed with him is different.

 

Hoseok stares back at him suddenly, and Yoongi almost forgets that he has asked a question. “Have they ever what?” His voice is strangely soft, as if he’s already prepared himself for what Yoongi will ask next.

 

“Have they ever... touched you?” Hoseok looks down at the book, bookmarks and closes it. He scoots down the bed so he can put his head against Yoongi’s chest, and he pulls the comforter up to his chin. Yoongi starts to feel scared by the reaction he’s getting. Hoseok isn’t answering him, and he doesn’t know what that’s supposed to mean. He can feel his throat tightening, and his blood is starting to rush through his ears. His fists are balling up, and he has to grit his teeth so he won’t start cursing.

 

And suddenly, all the anger vanishes as soon as it has come when Hoseok takes one of his balled up fists underneath the comforter and puts both his hands around it. “They didn’t do anything like that. They... talked about it sometimes... but nothing happened...” Yoongi feels Hoseok’s breath against his chest through the thin fabric of his sleeping shirt. “I had a really nice day today, hyung. I really don’t want to talk about that tonight.”

 

Yoongi finally loosens his fist and moves his fingers so they lock with Hoseok’s. “Me too, Hobi. I’m sorry I brought it up.” Hoseok let’s go of his hand all of the sudden and looks up.

 

“Hobi?”

 

“I’m sorry... if it’s not ok I won’t...” Hoseok silences him by placing his fingers on Yoongi’s mouth.

 

“I actually really like Hobi,” he smiles that sweet smile of his again, and before Yoongi knows what he’s doing, he takes a hold of Hoseok’s jaw and pulls him close until their lips touch. He holds a loose grip on his jawline, so the other knows that he can pull away at any time, but Hoseok doesn’t let go and neither does Yoongi.

 

The kiss starts inquisitively. They’re getting to know each other, which way to turn their heads, the feel of each other’s lips, the taste of each other’s tongues as they finally slide together. It’s a foreign feeling. Yoongi hasn’t always been this much of a loner, he’s kissed before, but it’s never felt like this, slow and assuring, like it means something. Because that’s the difference with this kiss. It means something...

 

Hoseok pushes Yoongi from his side to his back, never breaking the kiss for even a single moment. Their breathing becomes more frantic, and Yoongi praises himself internally for having a set of golden lungs. His hand moves from Hoseok’s cheek to his neck, and his other hand finds a place in Hoseok’s jet black locks, pulling at his hair softly.

 

He’s being pushed back flat against the mattress, and before he can fully comprehend what’s happening, Hoseok swings one leg over his hips and straddles him so he can kiss Yoongi deeper. When Hoseok unlocks their lips for about three seconds, Yoongi’s already pulling for him to come back, desperate to taste him again, and when their lips finally lock again, a desperate sound escapes from Yoongi’s throat, one he didn’t even know he could make.

 

He’s pulling at Hoseok’s shirt now, and as it starts to ride up, Yoongi gets easier access to the bare skin of Hoseok’s back. He can feel both soft and scarred skin, and as his hands roam around, trying to touch every inch he can reach, he finds that Hoseok is ticklish in his sides and can’t help the surge of happiness inside of him. He suddenly wishes to know every single thing about Hoseok.

 

They stay like this for god knows how long. It feels like maybe minutes, even hours are passing by, but at the same time it feels like it’ll always be too short. They get more frantic, their breathing gets more erratic, they’re starting to release more desperate noises, and their bodies are starting to show more obvious signs of how much they are into this. Until suddenly, Hoseok throws the book out of the bed and it goes flying right into the glasses on the bedside table, making them smash to the ground with a deafening sound.

 

They don’t care and just continue, that is, until Jimin comes flying inside Yoongi’s bedroom and yells, asking what happened and if anyone is hurt. And right , Jimin is home. How could Yoongi even forget... How did they get here in the first place? Their hair is dishevelled as well as their clothes. Their lips are swollen, and their eyes are almost black as they stare at each other, wide eyed and in shock.

 

“I guess you guys don’t need any help then,” Jimin says quietly. Yoongi can hear how embarrassed he is. Good. He should be, Yoongi thinks. The door is there for a reason, and Jimin is old enough to know how to knock. Hoseok suddenly scoots up to sit back on the mattress next to Yoongi.  It’s strange, to suddenly feel all that heat leaving, and Yoongi immediately misses it. He wants to continue kissing, wants to keep touching Hoseok.

 

“We should clean up the glass,” Hoseok says instead. He looks a bit embarrassed; his cheeks are a bright pink colour, and his eyes are focussing on anything that isn’t Yoongi.

 

Before Yoongi can tell him it can wait until the morning, Hoseok is already up and walking out of the bedroom to get a dustpan.

 

***

 

“You’re going out for a job at 9am? You only take down victims at night, Hyung. Not suspicious at all.” Jimin is sitting on Yoongi’s bed while Yoongi is walking around, getting dressed and making sure he has everything he needs. He takes the shots he prepared from his safe and drops them into his bag nonchalantly along with his butterfly knife. He’d decided to move his Thursday kill to today because of obvious reasons. He needs to get out of the apartment for a while.

 

“Are you seriously going to try avoiding him? He’ll be here when you get back, you know.”

 

“I am not avoiding him. I’m giving him space. He didn’t seem so keen to talk about it either,” Yoongi says softly. Hoseok is in the adjoining bathroom, and Yoongi tells Jimin to shut up and get out as he hears the shower turning off.

 

***

 

“Hyung! What happened?!” Hoseok is with him within the first five seconds that Yoongi enters the apartment. He barely has time to pull off his shoes before Hoseok cups his face and touches the bruises that are blooming on the left side of his entire face. He can feel the blood under his nose already starting to crust, and his left eye keeps tearing up as he barely gets it to open.

 

Hoseok is alone in the apartment. He rushes to help Yoongi to the couch and touches his cheek softly, making Yoongi hiss in pain. The younger starts to curse under his breath and rushes through the entire apartment. Soon enough, Yoongi is holding an icepack to his face, and Hoseok is barely ten inches away from his face, cleaning up the blood under his nose and on his lips.

 

“Who did this?”

 

“Why? Do you want to go and fight them back? There’s no need for that anymore.” Hoseok shuts his mouth and stares at him disbelievingly. Yoongi regrets snapping at him like that almost immediately. He doesn’t know why he somehow wants Hoseok to hate him for this, hate him for being a killer. Hoseok is falling for him and he knows that too well, and although he might be falling for Hoseok too, he wants him to have a normal life, not one where he has to worry all the damn time.

 

“What happened, Hyung,” he sighs. He’s worried; Yoongi can see it in his eyes as he stares into them. They’re so close, and if Yoongi would just lean in a little bit they’d be kissing again. He’s starting to get seriously confused, his mind playing an internal battle between wanting to push Hoseok away and wanting to pull him closer.

 

“I was ordered to kill one. I didn’t expect there to be more,” Yoongi whispers. “I was lucky I had a knife with me.” Hoseok doesn’t ask more questions and fixes Yoongi’s face up as soft and slow as possible with the first aid kit Yoongi keeps in his bathroom.

 

“I don’t want you to go fight them alone,” Hoseok suddenly whispers. Yoongi would’ve almost missed it if he hadn’t been paying attention, but he was so focused on Hoseok, he couldn’t help but hear.

 

“Fight who?”

 

“I know you’re planning to go after Junseo and his men. I overheard you and Namjoon talk about the tracking system before.” Hoseok finally stops rubbing at Yoongi’s face with the cotton pads and gets rid of the waste before coming back to sit next to him on the couch. “You can’t go on your own, Yoongi hyung. He’s too dangerous and he has so many people to back him up.” Hoseok sighs and rubs his face. “I can’t lose you, too.”

 

There’s silence and something strange is hanging in the air between them. It’s almost uncomfortable. Yoongi can almost hear the hidden meaning; I can’t lose another person I care about. Yoongi doesn’t know how to answer him and frowns at his hands that still have some blood on them. “Please tell me you won’t try fighting them on your own?” Hoseok sounds scared, his voice trembling, and he’s trying to get Yoongi to look at him but Yoongi can’t do it. “Yoongi hyung, who’s going to help you? I... I can’t th- they would...” Hoseok can’t continue anymore. He suddenly starts fidgeting on the threads of the washed, ripped jeans Seokjin gave him, and he looks almost guilty about not being able to help. “When you think you’re one step ahead of them, they’re actually already three steps ahead. They’ll know that you’re coming. They know everything.”

 

“I’m only planning on killing one person, Hoseok.” Yoongi admits. Although he had plans to kill all of them, he doesn’t want to. He only wants to hurt the person who hurt Hoseok the most, the one who put the scars on his body and the trauma in his head. He wants revenge on the one who tore Hoseok apart, broke his bones, and threw him in cold rooms with barely any clothes on. “If I kill him, his men will have no one. They won’t have anywhere to go. They won’t have their protective cover anymore, and they’ll have to run away and hide for their entire lives.”

 

“What?”

 

“That’s how gangs work, Hoseok. There’s so many people out to get them, but they’re safe thanks to Junseo. If he’s gone, who’s going to save them?” Hoseok considers this, but looks sceptical.

 

“Junseo is never alone. I don’t see how you would be able to get him without his men walking on his heels.”

 

“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” Yoongi explains. Hoseok puts his hand onto Yoongi’s jaw softly, wiping away a tear that’s run out of Yoongi’s swollen eye, and Yoongi looks at him. It’s not a nice feeling. Yoongi’s jaw hurts, and he knows it’s probably black and blue already, judging by the swelling. Yoongi holds onto the hand on his jaw, and even though he’s in pain, he leans into Hoseok’s hand affectionately. “I promise that I’ll be the one who’s three steps ahead Hoseok. They won’t know what’s coming to them.”

 

Hoseok let’s out a soft whimper before leaning down and pressing a slow, soft kiss on Yoongi’s lips. Yoongi kisses back, but once the kiss starts to deepen, there’s a surge of pain in his jaw which makes him pull back. “I- I’ll get you some more ice,” Hoseok says hurriedly and runs towards the kitchen to get more cold packs.

 

***

 

“I found out that their position is some kind of underground maze. It’s hard to figure out because there are so many tunnels.” Namjoon shows Yoongi the map on his computer, displaying the tunnels with multiple notes written around them. “The entrance should be close to the Citizen’s Park, near the river.”

 

“Is there only one entrance?”

 

“I only know of one as of now. I need more time to find another. These tunnels are so complex; I’ll need more plans.” Yoongi sighs and gives a slight nod.

 

“How long will you need?”

 

“Give me at least another week, hyung.”

 

That’s fine. Yoongi can wait another week. In the meantime, he has to figure out how to get Junseo alone when the time finally arrives. He turns around to get back to the couch only to find Hoseok staring at him, worried. When Yoongi plops down next to him, he gives Hoseok’s hand a little squeeze, and he’s still surprised how this always calms Hoseok down.

 

***

 

It turns out that one week isn’t enough for Namjoon. He has schoolwork and his own life, too, and Yoongi doesn’t blame him for not making extra time. He knows that Namjoon is probably working on it every single day since it’s important to his hyung, but Yoongi won’t push him more. He’s thankful to have a friend that’s actually able – and willing – to do this.

 

It’s about two and a half weeks later when Namjoon figures it out, five and a half weeks since Hoseok has been in all of their lives. He’s changed not only Yoongi’s life, but those of his friends as well. Jeongguk, who is usually so shy and cautious with people, has opened up to Hoseok about things that not even Taehyung or Jimin know about. He seems to have taken a special kind of trust in Hoseok, and the bond they have is almost foreign to the rest of them. The way they interact with each other is beautiful, and no one will ever be able to break them apart now they have found each other. Hoseok is the brother Jeongguk never had.

 

And then of course there are Jimin and Taehyung, who love Hoseok like their big brother as well. They’re always close to him, joining him on the couch or in the kitchen, even trying to take him outside once to do grocery shopping. Whenever Hoseok falls asleep on the couch, Jimin is there to tuck him in with a blanket, and when Hoseok wakes up from his naps, Taehyung will get him a glass of water the first second he sees Hoseok’s eyes open.

 

Seokjin and Namjoon are both very fond of Hoseok. Seokjin is a nurturing person by nature and he cares about Hoseok in other ways than the younger boys do. He likes to cook for him and make sure they’ve done their laundry so Hoseok has fresh clothes to wear. He even buys clothes that are in Hoseok’s actual size, so he’ll be more comfortable, and one time during their weekly television night, when something reminded Hoseok of his past and drove him into a full blown panic attack, Seokjin was the only person who could calm him down with his soothing words and caring touches.

 

Namjoon teaches Hoseok everything about computers. He shows him the social media that’s very popular now and even makes some accounts for Hoseok, that he’ll probably never use but still; Hoseok loves to play around on the computer. He especially loves to play the many games Namjoon is so addicted to himself, and Namjoon almost has to fight him sometimes to get his own laptop back so he can go home. When Namjoon buys the newer version of his tablet and decides to gift his current one to Hoseok, the boy lights up and hugs him tightly. Namjoon hugs him back awkwardly and Yoongi and Seokjin can’t hold back their smiles.  

 

Everything is amazing, right up to the night Namjoon tells Yoongi he’s ready and shows him the maps and all the information he’s gathered. Hoseok is sitting on the couch, away from the two others who are in the kitchen, but Yoongi knows he’s listening. He knows he can hear them. They don’t really talk about it, but Hoseok’s mood changes those two days before Yoongi plans the murder, and the night he goes to sleep with Hoseok and wakes up in the middle of the night to leave, he can feel that the younger is awake.

 

After pulling on his thick coat and scarf, Yoongi goes back to his bedroom and leans down next to Hoseok’s silent form. He’s not asleep for real, but Yoongi won’t comment on it; he doesn’t feel up for a discussion. He tucks away the loose strands that are on Hoseok’s face behind his ear and strokes his cheek affectionately.

 

“I’ll be back soon.” Yoongi whispers, kissing the inside of Hoseok’s palm that’s hanging off of the bed. Hoseok frowns and struggles not to open his eyes, but he has enough self control and keeps silent until Yoongi leaves the apartment. Yoongi knows as soon as he closes the apartment door behind him Hoseok will probably get out of bed and join Jimin. He’s scared, he’s nervous, and he won’t be able to calm down unless he has someone close to him. As much as Yoongi hates it, he doesn’t have time to worry about Hoseok right now. Hoseok is safe and he will be even safer by tomorrow morning when Yoongi is done.

 

***

 

Yoongi gets into the hideaway almost too easily. Two men are waiting for him with their arms crossed over their chests and big sunglasses covering up half of their faces. Yoongi huffs. Sunglasses in the middle of the night, these guys are seriously not in the know of the word ‘subtle’. They immediately recognize him and let him inside, leading him through the long, dark underground tunnels. They’re pretty terrible guards, not even checking him on weapons or hidden goods, and Yoongi can’t help the smirk that’s growing on his lips.

 

The smell is horrible, a mix of the city sewer and rotting things. It’s so bad it even hurts his eyes, and Yoongi doesn’t know how that logic works. There are fluorescent lights all through the tunnels, but only one out of eight seems to be working. The walls are dirty with all kinds of fluids, and there are dead rats and small carcasses of rodents everywhere.

 

On the way, they pass multiple heavyset, metal doors, all locked up with iron bars. He hears different kinds of noises; behind some doors he can hear thundering sounds of laughter, behind others he can hear people screaming, or music playing on full blast. Yoongi wonders what’s behind the doors with the screaming people, though. He wonders if they’re people like Hoseok, locked up to be used and hurt every single day, only for the pleasure of others. Yoongi’s stomach turns and his fists clench.

 

After a good five-minute walk, the two men finally stop and open a door to let Yoongi through. Yoongi had been paying close attention to the tunnels, and he remembers that his escape route is the middle tunnel on the next crossing. Namjoon had promised him they didn’t keep it secured before sunrise. Yoongi has two hours to get this done before he misses his chance of a clean escape.

 

One of the big guys who had accompanied Yoongi here takes his keys and unlocks the door. The heavy, metal door opens with a loud screech, and there’s a warmth coming from inside. Yoongi appreciates it since these tunnels are very similar to a fucking freezer and it’s four in the morning.  

 

“Hyung, Min Yoongi is here for you,” Yoongi hears one of the two say. After a few whispered words, the two men come outside and let Yoongi inside. He tells them to leave them alone to talk in private – like Yoongi had asked of him – and the two men look confused but don’t ask questions. You never question your leader. They lock the door after him, and Yoongi is standing inside the same room as the person who he’d been looking forward to killing for weeks now. He can’t believe how easy it was, almost too easy... For them being one of the most famous Seoul gangs, they sure are stupid.

 

Min Yoongi , I’ve heard great things about you.” Junseo is sitting in a big chair near a fire keg. There’s a book on a small table next to him, and he looks oddly normal for being the leader of one of the biggest gangs in South-Korea. He stands up slowly and moves towards a large table in the middle of the room, sitting down on one of the chairs and pointing at Yoongi to sit down as well.

 

Junseo is actually very handsome. He’s tall and has broad shoulders and a built torso. He’s wearing a simple white t-shirt with a blazer and dress pants, and his looks are like the ones in fashion magazines. He appears younger than he is, a playful smile on his lips and a look in his eyes as if he knows exactly what a person is thinking.

 

“I’m here to talk about the business proposal,” Yoongi says, not beating around the bush.

 

“Yes, the one we already gave you an advance for.” Yoongi hates how it almost sounds like Junseo is challenging him as he talks to Yoongi with that knowing smile on his lips.

 

“It certainly is a lot of money, what makes him so special?”

 

“They told me you never ask questions; they must’ve given me the wrong name.” Junseo crosses his arms over his chest and lifts an eyebrow.

 

“Usually I don’t, but see, this is a special case because... well, I can’t do it.” Junseo’s eyebrows shoot even higher, and he sits up, interested.  

 

“You can’t... do it?”

 

“See, I’ve grown quite attached to Hoseok,” Yoongi smiles sweetly and Junseo’s smile disappears almost as quickly as it appeared. He’s interested. Good, Yoongi thinks. Hoseok seems to be a weakness to the gang leader. It’s too clear; he can’t even hide it.

 

“You know where he is?”

 

“I do. I found him about six weeks ago and I must say,” Yoongi leans forward on the table, and there’s a weird surge of something going through his stomach at this newfound confidence, “He’s quite special.” The muscles in Junseo’s jaw clench as if he’s gritting his teeth.

 

Where is he. ” It’s not even a question anymore.

 

“He’s finally safe now and like I said, I’ve grown quite attached to him, I think I’ll keep him.” The weird feeling in his stomach just keeps expanding. It feels as if there are electric currents traveling through his veins, even to the tips of his fingers. Junseo stands up and walks up to Yoongi, grabbing him by the collar.

 

“I’m giving you a chance to live right now. You tell me where he is and you walk out of here safely.” Junseo’s grip on him tightens and Yoongi is being pulled out of his chair. The electric feeling in his body makes him confident enough to push Junseo away, and strangely, it works. He scrapes his throat, still feeling Junseo’s knuckles where they had pushed into the skin and blocked his airway.

 

“Yeah, that’s not really how I work.” Yoongi pulls his butterfly knife out of his coat pocket and scrapes it over the wooden table, making large scratches. Junseo suddenly starts laughing, looking at Yoongi’s knife, but Yoongi isn’t fazed. He’s thinking where to stab first; he can’t have the guy dying on him immediately.

 

“I don’t like people who hurt the ones I care about,” Yoongi says softly, and Junseo snickers. He’s about to turn around and reach under the table when Yoongi surprises him and punches his knife into Junseo’s stomach. Junseo clearly didn’t expect Yoongi to be so fast. He tries to grab Yoongi’s hands to pull the knife out, but Yoongi turns it around, and with a low, pained groan, Junseo falls to the ground. Yoongi pulls out the pair of handcuffs he brought and feels triumphant when he locks Junseo’s hands together behind his head. “You won’t get away with this,” Junseo coughs in pain.

 

Yoongi’s laugh is almost an evil one. “Junseo, you have more enemies than there are inhabitants in Daegu. Who’s gonna back your little followers up when you’re gone?” Junseo’s eyes widen, realizing that Yoongi is too confident, maybe even realizing that it might be the truth.

 

“I’m trying to remember all the things I’ve seen,” Yoongi says, his voice turning deeper. “The first time I saw him, he barely had any clothes on,” Yoongi whispers, and he pulls the knife out of Junseo’s stomach and cuts the clothes off his body, ripping them apart on the edges. Junseo is stammering unintelligible words, but Yoongi can make out the threats, telling him he’ll pay for this, even though he’s lost all his confidence.

 

“And then those awful scars, man he had so many scars,” Yoongi grumbles, he slides the knife over Junseo’s torso, deciding where to start first. Junseo doesn’t talk back, in fact, he spits in Yoongi’s direction and starts kicking his feet. Yoongi is unfazed and finally makes a cut right above Junseo’s heart. It’s just a flesh wound, but the blood starts pouring out of it and makes Yoongi smile. Yoongi doesn’t know what’s happening to himself; he doesn’t know this strange feeling that’s going through his own body. He feels light, as if he’s drifting away.

 

Five minutes later, Junseo’s entire torso is soaked in blood, and he’s shaking, cold, and weak. Yoongi rummages through some of the cabinets around the room and finds duct tape. Perfect, it’s the only thing that was too obvious for him to take.

 

“When I found him, he’d been shut up too, just like you.” Junseo’s eyes widen and he starts begging, promising to leave them alone. Promising he won’t ever try to find them, that he’ll be free and they won’t mention it again. This time it’s Yoongi’s turn to laugh hysterically.

 

“You know what else I noticed about Hoseok?” Yoongi asks, and Junseo’s eyes widen as he sees Yoongi walking closer towards the fire keg. “ Burns , Junseo, so many burns.” Yoongi finds multiple branding irons close to the fire keg and there are chills going over his spine as he grabs onto one of them. It’s a long handle with a big gang logo on the end. He doesn’t want to know the past of these things, the torture they have caused to both innocent and not so innocent people.

 

“Surely, you’re not afraid of a little heat, now, are you? Being a big gang leader, you’re tough, right?” He smiles sweetly as Junseo looks up at him with wide, pleading eyes. He’s shaking his head. Please no, no no no no.

 

Yoongi takes one of the branding irons and holds it in the fire keg. His mind is going blank, and a strange feeling is taking over his entire body. He doesn’t know what’s happening to him, but he doesn’t fight it. This is good. He’s strong; he can do this. For Hoseok. When this is over, he and Hoseok can finally find some normality in life. Hoseok will finally feel safe. As he looks at the branding iron, which is turning a red colour, the only thing he can think of is Hoseok.

 

Hoseok, the guy he’d met less than six weeks ago. The guy who immediately made him melt on the inside and open up about himself. The guy who isn’t afraid to break Yoongi’s barriers and who wants to learn more about the person Yoongi is. He thinks about Hoseok telling him that home is not a place, but something that makes life worth living.

 

“How did it feel when you cut into his skin?” Yoongi takes the iron bar out of the fire and walks towards Junseo. The first time the bar hits the skin of Junseo’s stomach, the smell is nauseating, filling Yoongi’s nostrils with the sickening stench. Junseo is screaming, but it’s stifled by the duct tape on his lips. “How did it feel when you broke his legs?” He reaches another spot on Junseo’s chest, and this time the smell isn’t as overwhelming. The duct tape is loosening from the damp screams Junseo is emitting. “How did it feel when you burned his skin... Every. Single. Day .”  

 

Yoongi is losing control. After the fifth burn, Junseo’s screams are shorter and he’s starting to fight consciousness. Yoongi kneels beside him and levers him up by his torso. “Now you know how he felt,” Yoongi whispers into Junseo’s ear, just before his eyes fall shut and his body goes limp. Yoongi can’t help but smile to see the dying body in his arms. He grabs his knife and stabs and stabs and stabs before everything turns dark, and Yoongi has no idea how to control his own body anymore.

 

The tunnels fade into one at the crossing. T, the lights are flickering and the smell of burnt skin and metallic blood is overwhelming. Yoongi’s wet, the blood is everywhere; he’s soaked in it. The tunnels are silent except for his wet footsteps, but the sounds in his head are killing him. He hears begging, screaming and crying, the voices won’t stop. The fresh outside air meets his nostrils and the sound of the wind above the river is loud enough to make the voices stop. Yoongi has no idea what’s happening, but his feet are taking him through familiar streets. He trusts his feet to take him home when the blackness overpowers him.

 

***

 

As soon as the door closes behind him, Yoongi falls to the ground. He’s exhausted, everything hurts and he doesn’t remember the walk home. He doesn’t even remember leaving Junseo in the first place. The last thing he remembers is holding onto a limp body with one hand, and holding a knife in the other, and then it stops. Or maybe it was the sound of the wind as he finally reached the end of the tunnel. It’s all so hazy.

 

Someone is with him as soon as Yoongi hits the ground. They’re worried. They sound familiar, it’s almost as if Yoongi can hear Hoseok talking. He shakes his head. Hoseok is safe. Hoseok isn’t in this bad place with him. Yoongi can feel the hands on his shoulder trying to shake some sense into him but it’s not working. He can’t look the person in the eye. He can’t even see the person’s face.  He can’t forget the images he’d seen before when he had his hands on Junseo,  and he realizes he’s mumbling something; he’s mumbling Hoseok’s name.

 

“Shh... it’s okay. I’m here.” Yoongi is confused, he recognizes that voice but why can’t he see him? Why can’t he see who’s touching him?

 

Yoongi’s eyes close, the darkness overwhelms him. He can see the images again. Junseo laughing uncontrollably as Yoongi takes out his knife, and Yoongi pushing his knife through the tight muscles of his stomach making Junseo scream in pain. Junseo’s scared expression as Yoongi takes the branding iron and holds it into the fire keg that’s warming up the cold room. He can still hear the screams each time the hot iron makes contact with Junseo’s skin, Yoongi can still smell the burning flesh, it’s like the smell has sucked into his clothes. He can still hear the begging, god there was so much begging.

 

Junseo’s last breath is replaying inside of Yoongi’s head on repeat and it hurts, it hurts so much. Yoongi opens his eyes and looks at his hands, remembering what they had done. Junseo had died and he couldn’t stop himself even then. He kept stabbing. Yoongi’s entire arm trembles as he remembers stabbing and stabbing and stabbing the already dead body.

 

“Shhh... you’re alright, you’re safe,” Yoongi slaps his bloodied hands onto his ears and he’s screaming, blocking out the voices and the breaths in his head. He needs it to stop. There are hands on top of his and Yoongi panics. He looks down at his clothes and there’s blood everywhere, he’s completely soaked in it.  How did nobody stop him on the way? How did he get home like this?

 

Yoongi pushes the foreign hands off of him and stands up. He doesn’t know how he gets to the bathroom; he keeps blacking out. But suddenly, he’s sitting in the shower with cold water running over him and his clothes still on. The water going down the drain is scarlet and Yoongi screams again, he needs the voice in his head to shut up. Why does this dead guy keep talking?

 

“Shut up! Shut the fuck up!” he keeps screaming, and nothing happens, he can see a shadow behind the shower screen and Yoongi can’t breathe. He’s panicking, his airways are being shut down and he’s gasping for breath, hands covering his ears, begging for it to stop. Begging the voice in his head to shut up.

 

The faceless person pulls open the shower stall. They’re only wearing underwear and a white sleeping shirt, and they step under the cold water without hesitation. They turn the tap until the water feels lukewarm and Yoongi needs more, he needs hotter. He needs scorching hot water to get the disgusting blood off his skin. He tries to push off the hands that are touching him. The hands that are pulling off his sweater and shirt, leaving his torso bare. He needs to be alone; he needs...

 

“Shh... It’s gonna be alright, don’t hold back,” Yoongi hears. The person pulls at Yoongi’s jeans and before Yoongi knows it, he’s naked and cold on the shower floor, and he feels a washcloth rubbing over his skin. “Let it all out, hyung. It’s going to be ok.”

 

“He’s gone,” Yoongi whispers. The person hums and soaps up Yoongi’s milky skin, rubbing extra hard where the blood is starting to dry. Yoongi’s body is limp, he feels paralyzed. He can’t even move his head anymore. “He’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone...” he keeps repeating himself until suddenly a harsh laugh stutters out of him. “He’s gone,” followed by a hysterical laugh coming from deep down his insides.

 

“I killed him, he’ll never touch my Hoseok-ah again.” Yoongi smiles, even though there are tears rolling down his face. He can still feel the hands on his skin, but he can’t make out where they come from. They’re everywhere and Yoongi sees the dark stained water going down the drain. He can only see black and white when he opens his eyes, and the sound of the shower finally turns out the voices in his head as the water gets into his ears.

 

When the water turns off there are two hands grabbing his arms, pulling him out of the shower. The coldness overwhelms him, but soon enough there’s a large, fluffy towel being wrapped around him and someone is moving him out of the bathroom into his heated bedroom. Yoongi feels someone rubbing the towel over his skin. He can feel the cotton sheets underneath his damp back, and he can feel the slide of fresh underwear as someone helps putting them on. Yoongi has no energy to lift his arms once a shirt is being pulled over his head, but somehow it works out and before Yoongi knows it, he’s being tucked in, with the electric blanket heating up beneath him.

 

“Hoseok is safe,” Yoongi whispers. A hand comes and moves the wet hair out of Yoongi’s eyes. There’s a soft hum in confirmation, making Yoongi smile. “Hoseok is safe,” he whispers again.

 

“We’re both safe, hyung. You can sleep now,” the voice says, before the owner of the voice slides into the bed beside him and wraps around him. He feels two arms around his middle, and legs tucking behind his. He hears a familiar humming sound of a song Hoseok always sings, and there’s a hot breath that tickles into his ear. Before Yoongi can answer the person, he’s out like a light. This time, he doesn’t try to fight to darkness as it falls over him.

 

***

Yoongi’s head is bursting when he opens his eyes. Sunlight is shining through the blinds, warming up his face and making his eyes tear up. Yoongi tries to move but his body feels like it weighs a ton.

 

There are arms wrapped around his middle. His mouth is dry and there’s a stale taste on his tongue. He needs water, but as he tries to move out of the bed again, he feels dizzy and sick to his stomach.

 

“Hyung.”

 

Yoongi turns his head to find Hoseok staring at him with worry in his eyes. He avoids eye contact. Hoseok’s hand is still on his side and another one has now found its place in Yoongi’s hair. Yoongi can’t even stop himself from leaning into the touch, he let’s out a soft sigh. The way Hoseok’s fingers are threading through his hair feels amazing. He turns around to finally look Hoseok in the eyes, but as he’s turning around, he realizes he’s scared. He’s scared to make eye contact after what he’s done the night before.

 

“It’s alright,” Hoseok whispers, as if he can feel the anxiety on Yoongi. The hand on his hip moves towards his shoulder as Hoseok pulls him around, making him turn. He then lifts Yoongi’s face up and Yoongi’s eyes are burning. He doesn’t know why his body is acting like this. He’s a professional killer. What happened last night had never happened before. Yoongi remembers only bits and pieces, almost the same effect you’d have after drinking yourself half into a coma.

 

Hoseok also has tears in his eyes. His jet black hair is brushed back and oily from carding his fingers through it one too many times and his eyes are pink, as if he’d been crying all night. There are even dried tear tracks on his cheeks to prove it’s true. There’s a sad smile on his beautiful pink lips. Lips that are so pink and swollen, as if he must’ve bitten on them all night.

 

“Are... are you ok?” Yoongi barely manages to say this. His throat is sore, as if he’d been screaming. Who knows? Maybe he had been screaming. He really needs a glass of water, and as if on cue, Hoseok turns around to grab the bottle on the nightstand and gives it to him. Yoongi plans on taking one sip but before he knows it he downs an entire bottle and still craves more.

 

“You’re asking me?” Hoseok huffs softly, he takes the empty bottle out of Yoongi’s hands to put it back on the night stand. He shuffles closer to him, pulling Yoongi in a tight hug. Yoongi doesn’t even hesitate, his weak arms immediately wrap around Hoseok’s waist and his ear is pressed against Hoseok’s chest. He can hear the frantic fluttering of his heartbeat, and it breaks something inside of him. Hoseok is alive, he is safe.

 

“He’s gone Hoseok,” Yoongi whispers into Hoseok’s sleeping shirt. He inhales the smell; he almost can’t get enough of it. Hoseok smells like fabric softener and sleep, and Yoongi can still recognize Hoseok’s own smell on there too. It’s a smell he’ll never get enough of. It feels like home.

 

“He won’t touch you anymore.” He feels Hoseok nodding, but he knows that Hoseok isn’t convinced. He’s still scared they’ll get their revenge and Yoongi understands.

 

“Hyung, are you ok?” Hoseok asks quietly. Yoongi nods, because he is. He’s ok now that he’s in Hoseok’s arms. He doesn’t feel like talking about what happened. But he also knows that Hoseok won’t give up until Yoongi talks.

 

“I won’t tell you what I did, Hoseok,” Yoongi lifts his head to look Hoseok in the eyes. He strokes a stray lock of hair behind Hoseok’s ear and the younger gives him a firm nod, as if he agrees that they shouldn’t discuss how Junseo died. “And I don’t exactly know what happened this morning when I came home, but I’m ok now.”

 

“Did you lose time?”

 

“Hoseok let’s go away for a few days,” Yoongi evades his question. He doesn’t want to linger; he wants to look forward. He has Hoseok for himself now. He wants to make him happy and see that beautiful personality he’s come to love. They might have to be on the down low in Seoul for a few weeks, because now Junseo’s death is fresh, there’ll be some of his followers out there to try and avenge him.

 

“Go away where?” Hoseok gives him a worried look. Yoongi sits up, he’s still feeling a bit dizzy but the nausea has gone. He takes a hold of Hoseok’s hand and starts to think. It shouldn’t be too far away, just out of the big city for a few days. Or maybe...

 

“Have you ever been to Sokcho-si?” Hoseok shakes his head.

 

“Hyung we can’t go to Sokcho just like that.”

 

“Yes we can, Hoseok. I’m a hitman. Not to brag but I have a lot of money and no work schedule. Let’s do it. We book a hotel today, we pack a suitcase and we go to Sokcho.” Hoseok looks at him in disbelief. He’s obviously still worried, maybe even more now because of Yoongi’s impulsive plan.  “Hoseok you’ve been locked inside for six weeks...”

 

“I’ve been outside...” Hoseok mumbles. And yes, he’s right. Twice. One time, to the grocery store with Jimin; wearing so many clothes you couldn’t even see there was a person inside of them. And one time to Seokjin’s apartment. Hoseok is clearly scared of the outside world. The world he’s been banned from for almost ten years. The sunlight is still something foreign to him, even after all these weeks. He’s still scared whenever the slapping of a bird’s wings sounds above him. He’s still scared whenever people are yelling on the streets. He’s scared of thunder, loud noises and dark rooms. He’s scared of everything, and Yoongi needs him to get over that anxiety. He needs him to start loving life now he has the opportunity to enjoy it again.

 

“Please do this with me, we need to get some time away from this,” Hoseok is thinking deeply. Yoongi has discovered that when he’s in deep thoughts, his lips turn into this funny, downward shape. “I promise we’ll talk about it. Soon. I’m just... I’m not ready yet and I don’t really remember...” Hoseok places a comforting hand on Yoongi’s thigh and shakes his head.

 

“I won’t force you to talk about it. But I hope that when you need it, you’ll tell someone .” Hoseok is serious and Yoongi feels the weight fall off his shoulders. Maybe one day he’ll be ready. One day. But right now he wants to forget what happened last night. He wants to go somewhere and finally feel something other than pressure and anxiety. He wants to get out of Seoul; the city that holds far too many dark secrets. Sokcho would be perfect.

 

“You need this just as much as I do. We can go to the beach and you can finally smell some fresh, healthy air instead of this polluted city. We can eat something other than unhealthy delivery food or Jimin’s or Seokjin’s cooking. We can walk through the city and not be scared of anyone following us. We can actually relax and take some time off from all this angst.”

 

Yoongi could keep talking but Hoseok pinches his thigh “we’re going to the beach in Sokcho in the middle of winter?” Hoseok grins. Yoongi can’t help the small smile that appears on his own face and grabs a hold on Hoseok’s neck, surprising him with a small kiss on his lips.

 

“Yes. And next time, I’ll take you to the beach on the goddamn Bahamas. I’m going to show you every damn beach in this world.” Hoseok stutters out a weak laugh and looks into Yoongi’s eyes fondly.

 

“Let’s book that hotel.” he says softly. Yoongi doesn’t wait one second longer before standing up and running to get his laptop, dizziness completely gone.

 

***

 

[10:39 AM] To:  Jiminnie

Me and Hoseok are going to Sokcho-si for two days. Back Sunday night.  

 

[10:42 AM] From:  Jiminnie

i never heard you make plans to go on a trip hyung... when are you leaving?

 

[10:43 AM] From:  Jiminnie

We leave now, it’s a long drive. This apartment will be exactly the same when we come back Jimin I swear. If I find anything of yours around that’s not supposed to be there when I’m back, it goes in the trash.

 

[10:47 AM] From:  Jiminnie

take care of hoseok hyung. and i know what happened last night, we’re going to talk about that when you get home. and it’s almost as if you don’t trust me, hyung. i’m the only one cleaning around besides hoseok. enjoy.

 

***

 

The car drive is long and tedious, and Yoongi has to stop several times so he can get out of the car to stretch his legs. Hoseok doesn’t seem to like being in the car for too long either. He doesn’t like being in a small place for too long. They’re mostly quiet, only commenting on the music sometimes, but they don’t really feel the need to talk right now.

 

When they’re only two hours away from their destination, Hoseok falls asleep next to him and Yoongi barely realizes he’s staring at him until his car swerves on the road.

 

The next time he takes a small driving break, he takes the scarf that’s bundled up in Hoseok’s lap and tucks him in with it. Hoseok let’s out a content sigh and cuddles into the scarf. Yoongi smiles at how adorable he is.

 

***

 

It’s the afternoon already when they get out of the car, and Sokcho is greeting them with biting cold wind in their faces. There’s a valet attendant waiting at the hotel entrance to bring Yoongi’s car to the underground garage. Another hotel employee helps them with their suitcase and guides them towards the reception.  

 

It’s a five-star hotel. Yoongi had decided that after what they’ve been through these last couple of weeks, they shouldn’t settle for anything less. Hoseok’s mouth drops open as he looks up the building before following Yoongi and the employee inside. He’s speechless as he enters the grand, shiny entrance hall; golden details everywhere, dark marble, and a humongous chandelier covered in crystals lighting up the huge room.

 

The wallpaper in their hotel room is overprinted, Yoongi feels cross eyed when he looks at it for too long. The sheets are a simple white, but look like the softest cotton Yoongi has ever seen. The bathroom isn’t necessarily huge, but there’s a bathtub and shower stall and even two sinks. There’s a large TV hanging above a small desk. It’s a fairly sober room for a five-star hotel.

 

“I’ve never seen beds this big,” Hoseok says and before Yoongi can even blink, Hoseok drops himself onto the mattress face first, and hugs the fluffy duvet. “It’s like a cloud.”

 

Yoongi huffs and puts the black, leather duffel bag onto the other bed.

 

“I’ll take your word for it.”

 

“Hyung, are we sleeping in separate beds?” Hoseok blurts out as Yoongi pulls out his IPad so he can look into some places to have dinner. He looks at Hoseok who’s started to blush; a soft pink tone showing on his round cheeks. Hoseok is so beautiful when he does that. Yoongi wants to crawl over the bed so he can give him a kiss, but decides that food might be a better and less distracting idea.

 

“If you want? I’ve grown quite used to having an octopus in my bed, though.” Hoseok smiles sweetly. He throws one of the twenty pillows that are on the bed at Yoongi’s head and laughs. Yoongi is quick to dodge the pillow flying his way, and continues looking for restaurants.

 

“What’s your favourite food?” Yoongi asks him. Hoseok has that adorable expression he always has whenever he’s thinking hard about something. His cheeks puffing, and his eyebrows moving into a frown.  “Food that kings eat.” Hoseok jokes. Yoongi rolls his eyes. That's not very helpful.  He’s scrolling around through different sites, unchecking meat restaurants because he’s not feeling up for that.

 

Yoongi’s so concentrated on his tablet that he doesn’t even feel Hoseok sneaking up behind him on the bed. It’s only when suddenly two arms are sliding around his middle, that he almost drops the tablet. There's the sudden sensation of Hoseok’s breath on his neck, and Hoseok is moving around until his legs align with Yoongi’s. He wraps himself completely around Yoongi’s smaller frame.

 

“Thank you, hyung.” He whispers into Yoongi’s ear. Yoongi puts the tablet down after he confirms the online reservation. He takes hold of the hands that are resting on his stomach and takes Hoseok’s hands in his; hugging himself with them.

 

“No, Hoseok, I should be the one thanking you.” Hoseok doesn’t really answer him. He just snuggles his cold nose into the nape of Yoongi’s neck and stays there. They sit like that for a while, until Yoongi finally brings up the idea of a shower before dinner. Even though they don’t really talk about it, they end up in the bathroom together. They’re plastered against the wall next to the shower, kissing passionately and slowly undressing each other.

 

The kiss is unhurried and languid. It’s so slow, but so good. Yoongi doesn’t want to let go of Hoseok’s lips even though he’s starting to get cold from the cool air against his bare skin. Hoseok’s hands are sliding over the soft skin of Yoongi’s sides and he can feel the goosebumps that’s starting to appear. Hoseok takes off both their boxers without even parting their lips, and leads them backwards into the shower.

 

The water is already at a perfect temperature.  The pressure is perfect as it cascades onto their heads. The wetness gives an entirely new feeling to their touches. Their hands are sliding with more ease and the kiss gets wetter, and almost immediately more intense along with it. Though they’re both showing interest in each other, they silently agree not to indulge in it as they finally part their lips. This is just perfect; they don’t need more right now.

 

Hoseok takes the hotel shampoo and starts massaging it into Yoongi’s hair silently. Once he’s done, Yoongi does the same for him. He doesn’t know why he enjoys it this much. He enjoys the closeness, the touching, and the small sounds of pleasure Hoseok is emitting as Yoongi’s fingers massage his scalp. Once his hair is rinsed, Yoongi washes the rest of Hoseok’s body. They both laugh softly when they make eye contact, sharing short kisses and soft touches until the water is starting to turn lukewarm.

 

Outside the shower, Hoseok holds open one of the two bathrobes that hung on the bathroom door for Yoongi to slip in. It’s huge and would probably fit three of him, but it’s warm so he can’t complain.

 

Just like they had undressed each other before, they help each other again. Yoongi has never thought he’d agree to someone putting on his dress shirt and closing the buttons for him. He’d never thought that he’d enjoy someone closing his pants instead of opening it. Not until now.

 

***

At the restaurant, Yoongi eventually does find out what Hoseok’s favourite food is. When the gejang* is presented in front of him, his eyes light up and he can’t wait to dive into it. He talks about how his mom used to make this for him on bad days. Like when he had a bad test, or when his group didn’t win top three in dance competitions. He talks about his parents a lot after that and Yoongi just listens attentively, happy to see Hoseok this way.

 

Hoseok tells him about his father that didn’t force him to take more math classes, but supported him to dance if he wanted to. He talks about his mother that made the best seaweed soup on his and his sister’s birthdays. He talks about his sister who he fought with everyday, but somehow managed to end up bundled up with on the couch at night as they watched movies.

 

Hoseok asks about Yoongi’s family, too, but Yoongi doesn’t want to talk about them. He doesn’t want to think about the day his father kicked him out of the house for being out of the norm. How he’d disowned his own son as easily as making a cup of coffee. After all the abuse and pain Yoongi had bitten through, his drunk of a father throwing him out should’ve felt like some kind of relief, but it didn’t. He remembers his mom, crying for him to stay but not stopping him when he left... Never trying to stop her own son from leaving. He still hears her sometimes, but Yoongi doesn’t have a family anymore. He has his friends, that’s more than enough. Luckily though, Hoseok realizes that this is a subject they’re not touching and he starts to talk about other things again.

 

They end up tangling their legs underneath the table, and Yoongi wipes whipped cream out of the corner of Hoseok’s mouth after their dessert. They’re almost hidden in the back of the restaurant and it’s nice, they don’t feel like they have to hide at all. It’s the most perfect evening Yoongi has had in years.

 

In the cab, on their way back to the hotel, Hoseok puts his scarf on their laps and holds Yoongi’s hand underneath it. Squeezing it, telling Yoongi he’s thankful.

 

At the hotel, it’s almost natural the way they kiss and undress each other. The way their bodies finally connect and they become one. Hoseok takes control for the first time Yoongi has met him and it’s beautiful. Yoongi thinks that he might actually be deeply in love with Hoseok, and by the time they’re finished and sated, and Hoseok is cleaning him before sliding into bed next to him, Yoongi is certain. He can actually admit to himself that he loves Jung Hoseok and he’s truly happy for the first time in forever.

 

***

 

Waking up this morning is different than before. Before it was always a little bit awkward. As much as they enjoyed each other’s comfort and warmth at night, it was always strange in the morning. But this time there’s nothing strange about it. Yoongi wakes up from the light that’s filling the room, and the sound of rain against the window. Hoseok is still sleeping in his arms, puffing hot breaths into his skin. He’s slept the entire night without waking up once. It’s rare for Hoseok to sleep through a night without nightmares, but the smile on his face shows that Hoseok is having a pretty good dream right now if the dopey smile is anything to go by.

 

Yoongi feels the press of his bladder and tries to untangle himself from Hoseok’s limbs without waking him up. Hoseok makes a sad noise when Yoongi’s warmth suddenly disappears and he rolls onto his stomach, hugging onto his pillow instead.

 

When Yoongi returns from the bathroom, he finds Hoseok sitting up on the bed, cross-legged with his hands rubbing his face. He can hear Yoongi approaching the bed, and he smiles when he sees him, holding out his arm so Yoongi can take his hand. They don’t really talk. They don’t really need to exchange words right now to tell each other how they feel. Hoseok pulls Yoongi back onto the bed and into his lap. Yoongi automatically moves into a comfortable position, wrapping his arms and legs around Hoseok like a sloth hugging onto a tree and Hoseok sighs into his neck contentedly.

 

They stay like that for a long time, hands roaming over each other’s bare skin and breathing in each other’s scent until suddenly, Hoseok’s belly starts rumbling so loudly that it echoes in their big room. They both laugh, and Yoongi sits up and places a soft kiss on Hoseok’s lips before getting up so they can get ready.

 

“Shower with me?” Yoongi asks and Hoseok doesn’t need to be asked twice, following him suit. The shower may take a bit more time than Yoongi planned it to be but he isn’t complaining. He loves Hoseok’s hands on his skin more than anything.

 

***

 

After breakfast at the hotel, when the rain has finally stopped, Yoongi takes Hoseok to the beach just like he’d promised him. The wind is ice cold and piercing but they’re both wrapped in thick coats and scarves.

 

Even though it’s the middle of winter, there are a lot of tourists on the beach. There are children running around in thick coats while holding up their kites, dogs running around them playfully, and couples hand in hand, taking a stroll along the waterline. which is basically what Yoongi and Hoseok are doing too, except they’re both not comfortable enough to hold each other’s hand.

 

They walk until they find a small secluded place on the beach, far away from the laughing children and barking dogs.  The only thing they can hear now is the sound of the water reaching the shore and the seagulls flying above them. Hoseok sits down promptly once they’re in the middle of the beach, not even minding the wet sand that could possible soak his pants while it’s freezing.

 

He pats on the sand next to him and smiles at Yoongi, who gives in even though he really wants to keep his pants dry. Hoseok immediately snuggles into Yoongi’s side and sighs softly, it’s a content sigh.

 

“I’m glad you took me here, Hyung.” Yoongi can’t help the smile on his own face as his arms automatically wrap around Hoseok.

 

“When I was younger, my parents took me and my sister to the beach all the time when the weather was nice. They would wake us up and give us these big, decorative shells, and asked us what we heard when we held them to our ear. It was always really nice to wake up with seashells on your pillow.”

 

“Your parents seem amazing,” Yoongi answers and Hoseok nods, humming in affirmation.

 

“They really were. I remember the first time my dad took me to swim in the ocean and it was ultimately the last time too.” He laughs softly. “I remember so well, hyung. He had to haul me out of the ocean, hanging over his shoulder kicking and screaming. I was terrified! I still believe that there were eels swimming between my toes.”

 

Yoongi chokes out a laugh and Hoseok starts laughing too. It’s like a door opened for Hoseok after breathing in this salty sea air. He starts to tell stories about his life before everything happened; about his parents, his sister, school and friends. About dancing, and anything else he can think of. Yoongi doesn’t do anything but listen to Hoseok. It’s soothing; he loves listening to Hoseok talk. Hoseok could probably talk hours and hours without taking one single break to catch his breath. He talks so animatedly, using his entire body to emphasize his words. Yoongi is almost sure that he’s making heart eyes at Hoseok every time they make eye contact.

 

“Hyung, you’re quiet.” Hoseok smiles at him during one of those particular moments where they make eye contact. Instead of answering, Yoongi leans in the kiss him and there’s a blush forming on Hoseok’s cheeks. It’s cute that he’s blushing from a simple kiss even after all the things they’ve done the night before.

 

“I just really love listening to you.” Yoongi answers and Hoseok lights up, giving him a toothy smile with those perfectly straight teeth. His eyes almost disappear as he smiles and the small sound he emits makes Yoongi’s belly do a flip. Hoseok starts talking again for a long time and soon enough they’re starting to get hungry again and Hoseok voice starts to turn grainy, in desperate need of a drink.

 

“Hyung...” Hoseok says softly when Yoongi proposes to go somewhere else, preferably somewhere with heating and steaming hot coffee. “I’m really glad you found me.” Hoseok avoids eye contact this time and it’s a big change from his happy talking just seconds ago.

 

“I’m really glad I found you, too, Hobi.” Hoseok smiles at his nickname, but still doesn’t make eye contact. He almost looks as if he’s struggling with something on his mind.

 

“I... I know this might be... early, but...” Hoseok is mumbling, Yoongi is reminded of the first week he knew Hoseok, where he stuttered and mumbled all the time. It’s not the same though, this time the mumbles are endearing . “I love you, Yoongi hyung.”

 

Yoongi feels his mouth drop open and there’s a warmth spreading through his body starting from deep within his chest. He can’t help the smile that appears on his own face as Hoseok is still avoiding eye contact, fidgeting with his scarf. Fidgeting. The thing he always does when he’s nervous or insecure. Yoongi would almost feel ashamed at how well he knows the younger already but it’s the far opposite.

 

He takes Hoseok’s face in his hands so he’s forced to make eye contact and Yoongi kisses him tentatively. Hoseok lets out a desperate moan and tries to deepen the kiss, but Yoongi doesn’t let him. He’s too cold, his lips are even starting to chap, and he really wants to get off this windy beach.

 

“I love you too, Hoseok.” He kisses him again, quick this time. “And I’d love you even more if you’d get up and let me take you someplace with a fire and hot beverages.”

 

A loud laugh erupts from deep inside Hoseok’s belly and he stands up, eyes sparkling. He let’s Yoongi pull him back to civilization and keeps holding Yoongi’s hand until they’re off the beach and back into a crowded street. They find a coffee shop that has a big fireplace after a long walk through the city. Yoongi ends up with a large hot coco with whipped cream instead of the Americano he’d been craving for. Hoseok is somehow able to make Yoongi do anything he wishes. Or maybe it’s just because Yoongi doesn’t know how to say no to him.

 

He doesn’t regret all the whipped cream, though, after Hoseok’s first sip. He gets to witness Hoseok’s small nose covered in whipped cream and he’s just in time to take a photo of him before Hoseok gets embarrassed and cleans his face.  

 

***

 

When they’re in bed later that night, Hoseok is dead to the world of the living and fast asleep, curled against Yoongi’s side. Yoongi takes his phone again and scrolls through his photo album. After that one picture at the café, Hoseok had given him a sad smile when Yoongi showed it to him.

 

“That’s the first photo someone’s taken of me in nine years, hyung.” It hurt Yoongi more than he thinks it should’ve. A cold kind of feeling had spread through his entire body the minute those words left Hoseok’s lips. So when they had left the café and walked around through Sokcho’s nature along walking trails, alone without anyone looking, and all the freedom in the world, Yoongi hadn’t stopped taking pictures of Hoseok.

 

There are pictures of him when he is smiling brightly at the camera, pictures of him enjoying a cup of coffee, pictures of him getting tangled in his monster scarf, and pictures capturing his excitement when Yoongi told him they could go and eat tteokbokki. Even better are the candid photos. Pictures when he didn't even realize he was the subject of one. Those are the most beautiful pictures, Yoongi thinks. They’re genuine and he can truly see how happy Hoseok is. His eyes aren’t as dull as they used to be when Yoongi met him. His skin looks healthy and tan in the sunlight and in every photo, there’s a faint smile on his lips as if he can’t hold it back.

 

Hoseok made Yoongi take a picture of the both of them together too. It was awfully adorable and he hates to admit that he likes how the pictures turned out. He specifically loves the picture where Hoseok had surprised him with a kiss and their noses are squished together, smiles on both of their lips. If someone would find these photos and wouldn’t know anything about their lives, they’d probably think Yoongi and Hoseok were one of the happiest couples out there. Which... is wrong.

 

They haven’t had a lot of chances at being happy. But Yoongi thinks they’re well on their way to having a good life together. There’s just a few more things that need to be in order. Like getting him some legal documents so Hoseok can be an actual part of society again.

 

***

 

The car ride back home is a much more memorable one. It’s almost as if Hoseok has changed into a completely different person and Yoongi isn’t complaining. He sings along to the songs on the radio, even though he doesn’t know the lyrics. He somehow does know the dances to some girl group songs and dances them as best as he can in the small confines of Yoongi’s car.

 

This time, when they have their bathroom or driving breaks, Hoseok doesn’t go out for a walk. He stays close to Yoongi all the time, following him everywhere and always touching him somewhere. It’s endearing, how much Hoseok has opened up and grown closer to him.

 

During the ride, when one of Yoongi’s favourite raps comes up and he starts rapping along  without missing one single word, Hoseok stares at him in disbelief. His eyes are wide and he’s gaping as he listens. Yoongi’s biggest secret is his love and passion for music. Even his closest friends he’s been with for years don’t know this about him, but he can’t hold back when it’s Hoseok. He kind of wants him to know this side of him. It’s the first time that Yoongi has wanted to share this.

 

“Hyung, you’re so good!” Hoseok half yells and Yoongi can’t help but laugh. “No but seriously hyung! You could be like... famous or something! That’s so good why did I not know you could do that?”

 

“No one does,” Yoongi says.

 

“Well I think you should do something with it.” Hoseok opens the glove compartment to see if he can find some CD’s and lo and behold, there are Yoongi’s old CD’s with his favourite hip hop music. Hoseok almost screams, telling Yoongi how he knew all of the songs from when he was younger and turns off the radio to play one of them.

 

The last two hours of their ride, they spend singing and talking. Yoongi is almost sad when they arrive at the apartment late at night and park the car. Hoseok moans when he gets out and he’s able to stretch his long legs and crack the joints in his back. He dives back into the car to grab an armful of CD’s to take upstairs. Yoongi gives him an odd look.

 

“I have about hundreds more of those upstairs, you know.” Hoseok’s face lights up and he drops all the CD’s onto the passenger seat unceremoniously.

 

“Show me all of them.”

 

***

 

The days after their trip, everyone seems to notice the sudden changes in Hoseok; and everyone enjoys it. Before Yoongi knows it, Hoseok is the most loved member of their little group and everyone wants to be with him, constantly . Although, now Yoongi thinks about it, maybe he was even before their trip. Hoseok and Jimin are getting along amazingly, cooking breakfast together each morning and doing the dishes while dancing around the kitchen island, holding chopsticks to their mouths as they sing along to the radio.

 

Jeongguk spends a lot more time at home now, instead of his dorm. He wants to be close to his newfound brother as much as possible. Jeongguk teaches Hoseok how to play with the Wii and soon enough, both boys are stuck to the television screen, mouths open wide and eyes focused on their individual screens as they’re racing against each other on Mario Kart.

 

One particular night, both boys fall asleep on the couch next to each other, Jeongguk’s head leaning onto Hoseok’s shoulder and Hoseok’s head leaning on his.  As much as Yoongi hates sleeping alone now that he has Hoseok, he can’t help the endearing smile on his own lips as he places a blanket over the sleeping boys and tucks them in.

 

When Jeongguk and Jimin propose for Hoseok to join their dancing lessons, Hoseok lights up and looks at Yoongi to ask for permission, not knowing this had been planned all along since Yoongi already paid for his membership card. When Yoongi gives Hoseok a brand new gym bag filled with new gym clothes and sneakers, Hoseok wraps him into the tightest hug, trying to wipe the tear away that rolled onto his cheek. He gives Yoongi a thankful kiss before he leaves with the two boys. When he comes back that night, he’s sweaty and smelly but he immediately wraps Yoongi in an embrace and tells him how amazing it was and how happy he is.

 

The three boys wash up and afterwards, as Yoongi serves his homemade dinner, they talk about their day. Jimin and Jeongguk can’t stop praising Hoseok, complimenting on how natural he dances and Hoseok blushes constantly. The happiness radiating off of Hoseok is contagious, and Yoongi wishes they could have dinner like this every night.

 

Of course it’s almost inevitable; the day Taehyung comes inside Yoongi’s apartment uninvited, saying it’s his turn to have some get-to-know-each-other-time with Hoseok. Yoongi knows that Taehyung always has the strangest kind of plans on his mind and he doesn’t trust any of it, but Hoseok seems enthusiastic enough, seeming to like Taehyung a bit too much. So that same night, when Hoseok comes home along with Taehyung and greets his roommates in the kitchen, everyone’s mouth drops open and Taehyung gives them a boxy smile.

 

“Amazing, right?” Taehyung says proudly. Hoseok is blushing as Yoongi walks up to him and gets his hands through the soft locks on his head. Hoseok’s hair isn’t jet black anymore, but a lighter brownish tint that suits him amazingly.

 

“You don’t like it, hyung?” Hoseok asks him. But Yoongi shakes his head frantically.

 

“No I...I love it. You look very handsome.” That night, there’s five boys in one living room, eyes fixed on the television screen as they watch Shark Tale – Taehyung’s choice, obviously – and Yoongi and Hoseok are cuddled together on the small couch. Yoongi can’t stop playing with Hoseok’s hair all evening, loving the new hairstyle. He’d desperately needed a cut, but the new colour suits him surprisingly well. It almost makes Hoseok look younger, more playful. It matches his personality much more now. Hoseok falls asleep in Yoongi’s lap and when everyone gets ready for bed, Jeongguk helps carry the sleeping Hoseok towards Yoongi’s bedroom. In the other room, Yoongi can hear Taehyung and Jimin laugh as they get the futons out of the linen closet. Jeongguk wishes him a goodnight and promises he’ll try to keep Taehyung quiet tonight. Yoongi can only snort in return and wish him good luck on that.

 

Seokjin comes around, too, the next day, along with Namjoon. As Namjoon goes to greet Hoseok, wrapping him in one of his friendly hugs, Seokjin nods at Yoongi to follow him outside for a minute.

 

In the hallway, he hands Yoongi a large, brown envelope filled with all sorts of paperwork.

 

“It’s fairly easy, Yoongi. You fill in all the papers, make sure you don’t leave anything blank. I’ve already put in a copy of his medical examination. He’s as healthy as a horse. You’ll be able to find his blood type on there too; I think you need to fill it in somewhere.” Yoongi goes through the paperwork quickly. It’s a lot, but he’s excited as he holds the papers in his hands. “Do it as quickly as possible, you know it’ll take a while before they process it and stuff, he really needs documentations.”

 

“I know, but don’t tell him anything yet, ok? I want it to be a surprise when I take him to the city hall.” Seokjin gives him a bright smile and pats his shoulder.

 

“You’ve changed, Yoongi. I like this new you.” Yoongi frowns and before he can retort, his hyung turns around and walks into the apartment. Yoongi follows him and quickly hides the envelope somewhere in his desk. He’ll fill them in tonight.

 

Before they really know it, it’s already midnight and everyone is tired and full of delicious, home cooked food. The conversations are anything but over and no one seems to notice how late it’s getting except for Jeongguk and Hoseok. Both boys are wrapped up together on the couch, almost asleep and mumbling to each other quietly. An hour later, Yoongi figures that it’s going to be a lonely night again. He doesn’t have the heart to move Hoseok to his bedroom when he’s fast asleep on the couch after Seokjin, Namjoon and Taehyung finally leave.

 

When he wakes up the next morning, though, the familiar feeling of human limbs wrapped around his body surprises him. Hoseok kisses Yoongi’s neck in his sleep and giggles softly. Although Yoongi craves his morning coffee, he decides he’d rather stay in bed a bit longer and join in on Hoseok’s happy dream.

 

***

 

The next day, Yoongi is all alone in his apartment after cleaning up the entire place. Jeongguk and Jimin took Hoseok with them to the dance studio again and it’s weird to be on his own during those hours he’s away. Yoongi has become so used to his presence, having had his company for almost two months now, that he misses the boy if he’s gone for longer than one hour.

 

So to distract himself; he cleans the entire bathroom, his bedroom, and even the kitchen. And afterwards, when it’s still an hour until Hoseok should be home, Yoongi decides he can finally do the paperwork Seokjin has arranged for him. He fills them in silently, knowing every single detail about Hoseok by now to be able to fill it in correctly. After half an hour, everything is ready to bring to the city hall.

 

Yoongi realizes how long he’s been abandoning his emails when he turns on his laptop. It’s been almost two weeks since he’s looked at his inbox and when he opens it, there are more than 30 emails with job offers. Usually, Yoongi responds to only half of his mails. He doesn’t take every single offer he gets; simply because he doesn’t want to do it, or because the reason why is too questionable.

 

One of them springs out to him, though. There’s an offer for a political kill which would gain him a fortune. Yoongi knows political kills are tricky but he’s done it before, he could do it again without problem. If he’d get that money, he could open up a savings account for Hoseok. He could get him a head start before he starts looking to find a job. It’ll give him more stability and freedom, more independence, but Yoongi also knows how much Hoseok will hate feeling indebted to him.

 

Yoongi leaves the mailbox open. He needs to think about which offers he’s taking. That is, if he’s taking any at all. He gets up to make himself some coffee and turns on the TV to distract himself for a while. He doesn’t even realize he’s tired to the point of falling asleep until suddenly, the couch dips next to him and Hoseok is sitting there, watching him. He’s freshly showered and everything.

 

Yoongi can barely greet him before Hoseok starts talking.

 

“Are you taking the offers?” Yoongi is confused for a minute, still half asleep. He tries to understand what Hoseok is talking about, but then he can see his laptop with the screen still showing his mailbox.

 

“Why were you going through my e-mails?” Hoseok huffs.

 

“I wasn’t going through them, I wanted to look something up and saw the emails. Yoongi hyung, are you really going to take it?” Hoseok’s voice is low, as if he’s trying to keep the conversation private. Yoongi realizes the other two boys must be in the apartment, too. “I know this is your job... I knew before, too, but... I really don’t want you to take it.”

 

“Hoseok that’s not really how it works,” Yoongi sighs. He sits up on the couch and gives Hoseok more space to sit next to him. “I don’t have a degree, I barely finished high school. Finding a regular job is basically impossible unless I’d want to be working at shitty chain restaurants.”

 

“You’ve made enough money to survive the next ten years or so, hyung. Jimin told me. We could go to school together! I want to make my own money, too. I want to go to school and get a nice job, too, Hyung. You could take classes, do something with music. Your rapping is amazing, too.” Yoongi lets out a humourless laugh.

 

“Hoseok, I’m not going to be a rapper. This is the real world, not a television drama.”

 

“Oh right, I didn’t tell you yet but Jimin and I found those funky CD’s you’ve been hiding? You know with the songs you made.” Yoongi’s eyes widen and his mouth drops open. He hid those CD’s very well, there’s no way...

 

“Hyung if you could sell these and someone could put lyrics and vocals on those, your songs would be hits worldwide!”

 

“You’re exaggerating.”

 

“Maybe I am. But you’re amazing and maybe if you could think about it seriously and consider taking a class to get even better you could do this for a living, hyung. Your laptop is full with your own tracks and I’ve heard almost all of them.” Yoongi wonders when the hell Hoseok has had time for all of this, sneaking around through his stuff like that.

 

“You’re a very sneaky bastard, aren’t you? When did you go through my laptop anyway?”

 

“I am. I’m also pretty smart and I think you should consider the things I’ve just said.” Yoongi laughs, for real this time and Hoseok gives him a kiss on his nose. Yoongi feels himself blush from such a small gesture.

 

“Hyung?” Hoseok asks as Yoongi moves so he can lay his head on Hoseok’s shoulder. He hums in response.

 

“Would it be ok for me to delete it?” Hoseok asks vaguely.

 

“Delete what?”

 

“C-can I maybe, delete your mail account?” Yoongi doesn’t move, doesn’t really say anything. He doesn’t know what he wants right now. “If we delete it, it’s like the last step to the new chapter in both our lives.” Yoongi considers this, he can’t help the strange but nice feeling in his belly every time Hoseok refers to them as ‘ we’ or ‘ our’ .

 

“Let’s talk about it tomorrow, ok? I’m tired and this is something serious. We should talk about it for real and then we can take a decision together.” Hoseok seems a bit hesitant but quickly agrees with him, figuring that maybe it’d be better to have a serious talk first.

 

When Jeongguk leaves for his dorm, Jimin joins them on the couch and they both relax. They hadn’t even realized they needed someone to help distract them from their previous conversation.

 

Jimin orders pizzas and chooses a movie to watch, and with his presence so near, they don’t talk all night. It’s good, though. Yoongi needs some quiet. He needs time to think.

 

He reconsiders the things Hoseok told him about music, something that had always been Yoongi’s dream. Something that always seemed so unreachable to him. The first thing that made his parents hate him. He’d talked about them as if it’s so simple and Yoongi wonders if maybe it could be. The hard thing is getting someone to listen first, but once you get into a company, and once someone hears your name it spreads around, right? He could try to sell some of his tracks. Maybe he could even write some lyrics for them.

 

If... if maybe he could really do this and do something he actually enjoys for a living instead of killing people and listen to them beg for mercy. If maybe this works out, things could become really great.

 

Hoseok squeezes Yoongi’s thumb with his entire hand and Yoongi is distracted from his daydream.

 

“I can hear the wheels turning in your head.” Hoseok whispers, so softly that Jimin can’t even hear him from the other couch. “Turn it off for tonight, hyung. Enjoy the movie.” Yoongi nods. He gives Hoseok’s hand a squeeze in return, which makes him both of them relax visibly.

 

That same night they make love to each other and it’s so perfect. Yoongi feels much lighter when Hoseok cleans them both afterwards and snuggles into him. He’s whispering about the things he wants to achieve in his life, together with Yoongi. When he can feel Hoseok’s breath even out. And when the only thing he can hear is the traffic outside, and the soft puffs of Hoseok’s breath against his skin, he thinks about it again. He thinks about deleting his account and officially closing that chapter of his life.

 

He thinks about just how much he hated this job and how he even got into it in the first place. About how messy it is and how guilty he felt the very first time someone took their last breath by his hands. Or about how shitty he feels every single time he goes home afterwards. He thinks that maybe, he might be ready for this change. He’s ready to flip this page and start writing a new chapter and somehow he knows it’ll turn out alright, as long as Hoseok is by his side.  

 

***

 

“Hyung,” Jimin’s worried voice sounds through the apartment. Yoongi’s in the kitchen, making himself some coffee when Jimin walks up to the kitchen island and places a small package in front of him. “There’s mail for Hoseok hyung.”

 

Yoongi looks up. He and Jimin stare at each other. No one knows that Hoseok is living together with them. No one even knew he’s alive except for Junseo’s gang. No one is supposed to know where Hoseok is, he’s still a secret from the outside world up until now.

 

“Who gave this to you?” Yoongi asks, slowly taking the small package.

 

“Some guy pushed it into my hands when I opened the front door. They knew I’m living here too,” Jimin is confused and obviously worried. Jimin knows what Yoongi had done to Junseo, and he too, is scared that this is not over yet.

 

“Aren’t you going to open it?” There’s a sudden voice and both Yoongi and Jimin look towards Yoongi’s bedroom door. Hoseok is leaning against the doorframe and staring at the small package that Yoongi’s holding. His arms are crossed and there’s a strange look on his face. He’s not scared, it’s almost as if he’s annoyed more than anything. He drops his arms all of the sudden and walks up to Yoongi, grabbing the package out of his hands.

 

“Hoseok, open it slowly... we don’t know what’s in there,” Yoongi says but Hoseok ignores him. He grabs a small knife from the kitchen drawer and cuts open the tape. Inside, there’s another small box and when he opens it, Hoseok drops it like it just burned his hand. A soft gasp leaves his lips and he looks up at Yoongi, a single tear rolling down his cheek and his hands coming up to cover half his face.

 

“What is it?” Jimin asks. Yoongi grabs the small, blue box that Hoseok just dropped to find a necklace inside. It’s silver and in good condition, there’s a small sun pendant that has lost some of its silver colour. Yoongi takes the necklace out of its box and holds it up to investigate. There’s lettering on the back of the pendant; “our son” is written in calligraphic letters and Yoongi gets it.

 

Hoseok crouches down to the floor and starts sobbing. They’re ugly sobs and Yoongi’s stomach turns just from the sound of them. Jimin looks at Yoongi, silently asking him what to do. Yoongi nods for him to go to his room, he knows Hoseok doesn’t like it when people see him like this. Luckily, Jimin understands. He pats Yoongi’s shoulder and gives him a sad smile before leaving towards his room.

 

“Hoseok-ah,” Yoongi says softly. He crouches down next to Hoseok and puts a hand around his neck, grasping the skin softly to comfort him. Hoseok lets out another sob, and he throws himself  into Yoongi’s arms, knocking both of them to the ground.

 

It must be quite the sight, two grown guys sitting tangled together on a kitchen floor. One of them crying, the other one trying to comfort him. Yoongi’s still not very good at this whole comforting thing but he’s getting better – or so Hoseok says. Hoseok gabs a hold of Yoongi’s hand all the sudden, where the necklace is tangled between Yoongi’s fingers.

 

As Hoseok grabs onto the pendant, he sobs again. This time, he doesn’t hide himself into Yoongi’s neck.

 

“I-It’s mine... I- I got it fr-from my parents,” Hoseok is hiccupping through his sobs, eyes fixated on the small silver treasure in his hands. “They took it from m-me, ripped it from my neck.” Yoongi can see that the small lock on the necklace is new. Someone had repaired the necklace to give it back to Hoseok, someone who obviously cares about Hoseok.

 

“What does this mean, Hyung?” Hoseok has stopped hiccupping but tears are still rolling down his cheeks. Yoongi rubs the tears away with both his thumbs and takes Hoseok’s head in his hands. He gives him a sad smile and Hoseok has difficulty making eye contact.

 

“It means you’re free, Hobi.” Hoseok’s eyes widen slightly. There’s confusion written all over his face and he stares at the necklace again, fidgeting with the new lock. “It means they gave you your life back.”

 

Hoseok’s threads the necklace around his fingers before taking a hold on Yoongi’s shirt. He pulls Yoongi closer until they’re hugging. He’s is basically sitting in Yoongi’s lap and the latter’s hands are on his lower back and his neck, hugging the younger tight to his own body.

“I’ll take you to them. I’ll help you find them.” Yoongi whispers into Hoseok’s ear, rocking back and forth with him.

 

“What if we can’t,” Hoseok whispers so softly, Yoongi could’ve almost missed it.

 

“I promise you I’ll find them Hoseok,” Yoongi places a soft kiss on his head and Hoseok seems to believe him. When he finally finds the energy to sit upright and leave Yoongi’s arms, he asks Yoongi to help him put on the necklace, and smiles when he feels the cold metal touch his chest. He can’t stop touching the pendant all day and once he’s finally moved on from the shock, he tells Yoongi about the necklaces his sister and him had gotten from his parents. Their sun and their moon.

 

***

 

A month later, things are a lot better. The day after Yoongi and Hoseok leave the city hall with a new ID card and documentation, they celebrate with a large dinner at Seokjin’s favourite restaurant. The seven of them celebrate their friend that is now not a ghost to society anymore. It’s almost a bitter situation to celebrate but Hoseok can’t stop smiling all night. He can’t stop looking at the small card in his hand, asking his friends multiple times to pinch him to make sure he isn’t dreaming.

 

The next morning, Hoseok invites Yoongi to come to their dance practice and Jeongguk basically drags him out of his apartment before he can say no. Yoongi is glad he’s been dragged here, because seeing Hoseok like this is like seeing something he’s never seen before. His slender body moves with an embodiment of fluidity Yoongi had never witnessed in a person before. The way his limbs move, the way he falls and rolls over the floor almost looks as if he’s being thrown around like a puppet.

 

He’s so concentrated on the sound of the contemporary music that he doesn’t even give Yoongi a second glance. It’s beautiful, the passion is bright in his eyes and even Jeongguk watches him with his mouth wide open, proud of his hyung.

 

“He’s amazing, right?” Jimin whispers in Yoongi’s ear. He didn’t realize Jimin was so close to him until his breath tickled against Yoongi’s ear.

 

“He’s beautiful.” Jimin smiles brightly as Yoongi whispers this, his eyes are sparkling. Jimin puts his hand on Yoongi’s shoulder and gives it a squeeze before telling him he’s leaving for his actual classes. Jeongguk grabs his own bag to follow him, realizing he’s already late for his biology class himself. He gives Yoongi a friendly head bow and leaves in a hurry.  

 

When the music finally stops, Hoseok looks at Yoongi in the big mirror and smiles proudly, lighting up the entire room. He turns off the stereo and runs towards Yoongi, letting himself fall into his lap and hugging him tightly. He cups his face with his sweaty hands to kiss him deeply. Yoongi doesn’t even care about the sweat on Hoseok’s face and the salty taste on his lips. He cups half of his lover’s face with his hand and turns his head to deepen the kiss with a soft sigh. The loud sounds of their tongues sliding together and their lips connecting echoes through the large dancing studio. And when Yoongi’s other hand finds it way to the hem of Hoseok’s shirt to reach the skin of his sweaty back, the younger shoots up and grabs hold of the hand under his shirt.

 

“Hyung we can’t do that here.” Yoongi groans and puts his forehead on Hoseok’s chest. The younger wraps his arms around Yoongi and places both hands in his hair, playing with Yoongi’s dark locks. “What did you think?”

 

Yoongi’s eyes are closed, he’s enjoying the head massage and he kind of just wants to fall asleep right here, on the ground of a dancing studio, in his boyfriend’s arms.

 

“I think you’re beautiful.” A loud laugh erupts from deep inside of Hoseok’s belly and Yoongi feels the vibrations of it going through his chest.

 

“Hyuuung,” he whines, hands moving to Yoongi’s shoulders and pushing him back a bit. “That’s so cheesy, I can’t believe you said that.”

 

“It’s true. I honestly think you look most beautiful when you’re dancing.” He looks into Hoseok’s eyes and something about the younger’s features softens. His expression is so lovingly it almost makes Yoongi want to cry. “You don’t know how much better my life is now I’ve got you with me.”

 

Hoseok blushes and breaks eye contact by looking down to his lap.

 

“Let’s go home, hyung.” He gives him a soft, careful kiss. “I want you to take me home.”

 

Yoongi doesn’t have to be asked twice. Hoseok pulls him up and into a hug, whispering the softest words of gratitude into Yoongi’s ear. So soft it’s almost as if it never happened. He helps Hoseok clean up the dancing studio and pack his gym bag and Yoongi doesn’t let go of his hand until they reach the car.

 

***

 

By the time march is ending and spring is rolling over the city, brightening the parks with colour again, things start to finally fall together.

 

Yoongi is on his way back home after doing a job interview at Big Hit Entertainment. It’s the fifth job interview he’s done. He’s gone to different, more well known entertainment companies first and interested as they might be, none of them had actually called him back yet. The interviews all went fairly identical. He introduces himself, tells all of them a lie about his previous work experience and gives them the fake CV Namjoon has made for him.

 

They always believed him on that, it was easy. They told him he looked well spoken and pragmatic. He had a good look on music trends nowadays and his music was ‘refreshing’ as all of them had said. But positive as they might be, Yoongi didn’t get called back afterwards.

 

He doesn’t sit around and mope about it, though, he just keeps trying with other companies.

 

“Maybe it’s different with entertainment companies, hyung. Maybe they’ll call you back next month when they need your track for real.” Jimin, the ever so positive and bright Jimin had said. Yoongi had given him a smile and a friendly nod but he’s almost sure that’s not how these companies work. At all.

 

But this time, at Big Hit, Yoongi has seen a spark in their eyes. He’s seen how the CEO had eyed his other top producers as they listened to the song. He’s seen how much they liked it, one of the producers was even excited, telling them exactly what kind of voices they could use for this. They were almost reluctant to give Yoongi his track back before he left.

 

Yoongi is almost at his apartment building when suddenly someone jumps his back from behind. There are two arms wrapping around his neck and a body flying on top of him, almost knocking him down onto the pavement. He’s about to panic, since he’s completely defenceless, until suddenly two legs wrap around him too and he can smell the familiar smell of his own perfume and sweet scented body lotion.

 

“What a coincidence to meet you here.” Hoseok suddenly whispers into his ear and Yoongi can’t help but let out a soft laugh. There are grocery bags at his feet, the ones that Hoseok had dropped there before jumping his boyfriend in a crowded street.

 

“Hobi you can’t sneak up on people like that.” The younger loosens his limbs and moves to stand next to him, taking Yoongi’s hand and pulling him in the direction of their apartment. Inside, he immediately makes coffee for the both of them and starts to put away the groceries that need to be kept cold. It looks scarily domestic to Yoongi.

 

“How was the job interview?”

 

“I think this is the best one yet.” Hoseok’s face lights up and he’s about to wrap Yoongi in a big hug before Yoongi’s hands push at his chest to stop him. “I said I think , no reason to get excited yet.” He gets hugged anyway but he doesn’t mind at all, Hoseok’s fingers are playing with the hair at the nape of his neck and he seems nervous all of the sudden.

 

“If you think it went well, it basically means they all loved you and you’re getting a call by the end of tomorrow.” He says, ever so positive.

 

“But...” Yoongi continues for him, knowing there’s a ‘but’ following Hoseok’s statement.  Hoseok groans.

 

“You know me too well.” One of Yoongi’s hands find their place on Hoseok’s jaw and he smiles at him lovingly. There’s something eating at Hoseok and he wants to know what it is.

 

“But in the sudden craze of all these job interviews we’ve kind of dodged the whole ‘deleting your account’ thing. And I noticed you looking at your emails yesterday so I started wondering if maybe you’re planning to take some jobs. Which made me really worry because I really don’t want you to risk doing anything like that anymore, Yoongi hyung. I’m just really scared...” Yoongi places his entire hand on top of Hoseok’s mouth and shuts him up. The younger frowns and he’s rolls his eyes, annoyed.

 

“I know you’re worried and I admit I’ve been dodging the subject for a while. I was looking at them because I sent an email to the person that provides me with these jobs . I told him I quit.”

 

Something changes in Hoseok’s stance. His back straightens and the worried frown on his forehead vanishes just like that. Yoongi goes to his desk and brings his laptop to the kitchen. He opens up his emails and goes to his account settings, and Hoseok follows every single step Yoongi takes on his laptop. He finally finds the button he’s looking for.

 

“Do it.”

 

The moment the cursor hovers over the DELETE ACCOUNT button, a shiver runs down Yoongi’s spine. He can see the small window asking if he’s sure he wants to delete his account and asking for his password. He can see Hoseok typing in his password – knowing every single password Yoongi has – and when he makes the final click and there’s a window that states his account is successfully deleted, Yoongi feels the weight of a house fall of his shoulders.

 

“How do you feel,” Hoseok asks him, placing one hand on one of said shoulders.

 

“Like I really need a cup of coffee,” Yoongi asks and Hoseok smiles. He walks towards the steaming pot of fresh coffee and pours him a cup. The older is about to take his cup from Hoseok when he pulls it away playfully.

 

“You need to pay if you really want your cup of coffee.” Yoongi laughs and puts a hand on Hoseok’s side, pulling him closer and into a soft kiss. It’s a closed mouthed kiss, they don’t feel the need to go any further right now. When Yoongi finally moves away, Hoseok is blushing, offering him the steaming hot cup. He gives one last satisfied glance at the laptop before opening Yoongi’s music program and going through his latest tracks.

 

“My hyung is going to be the biggest producer South-Korea will ever know!” He gives Yoongi one of his brightest smiles. The kind that makes Yoongi’s insides flutter and magically makes a smile appear on his own lips. “My boyfriend will be famous one day.”

 

“Shut up.” He does. And Hoseok listens. He shuts up and listens to every single track until it’s late at night and Yoongi’s battery dies. By this time, Hoseok is fast asleep in Yoongi’s lap as the other is massaging his scalp and there’s a content smile on his relaxed features. He caresses the sharp jawline of the younger in his lap and he remembers how the first time they’d met; the skin had been black with bruises. The memory is painful, but he can’t help himself. Hoseok sighs happily in his lap as Yoongi’s hands travel over his skin and it makes Yoongi smile. The broken boy that had flinched at every sudden move only a few months ago had grown into this joyful person who craved for his touch every time Yoongi was close enough. He’d grown into the most important person in Yoongi’s life.

 

Yoongi gives Hoseok a light kiss on his forehead. He knows he should wake him up to move to their bedroom but he doesn’t have the heart to do so. His back is going to kill him tomorrow if he sleeps on the couch in this position, but he doesn’t care if it means Hoseok is comfortable.

 

***

 

It’s the first Wednesday of spring that Yoongi got the phone call.

 

“We would like for you to come in so we could have another talk about the producing job.” The person on the other side of the line tells him. Yoongi is almost too shocked to keep holding onto his phone. Hoseok’s jumping up and down next to him, overly excited as always. And Jimin and Jeongguk are looking at Yoongi with wide eyes and big smiles on their faces.

 

When Yoongi finally puts the phone down on the table, he looks at them before softly saying: “they want to see me again, they want to hear more tracks.” And the three other boys start screaming and jumping up, yelling that they have to celebrate.

 

They agree on a celebration dinner that night even though Yoongi keeps whining things like “I don’t have the job yet!” or “they might not like the new tracks...” Hoseok ignored the hell out of him and keeps up the positivity, telling random strangers how famous his hyung will be one day.

 

If it were any other person, Yoongi would scold them for being this annoying. But now it was Hoseok doing it, he couldn’t even get this stupid grin off his face. Hoseok being proud of him made Yoongi’s chest swell. And even though he keeps whining about how he doesn’t have the job yet, he has a good feeling about it, too.

 

As they arrive at the restaurant, Seokjin and Namjoon have already arrived and get out of the car to meet them. They’re about to enter the restaurant when Taehyung calls their names and arrives, too. He’s out of breath, his hair is messy from the wind and he locks his bike quickly to catch up on them.

 

“Why did you take your bike?” Taehyung gives Seokjin an annoyed look at the question Yoongi shoots him.

 

Someone didn’t feel like waiting five more minutes so they left without me.” Seokjin smirks knowingly and Namjoon gives Taehyung a pat on his shoulder.

 

Someone was taking fifteen minutes too long already and after the fifth warning we told him to screw it.” Seokjin says in return. Jimin and Jeongguk both fly around Taehyung’s neck and rub their hands through his hair, making it even messier. They’re throwing curses and playful jabs at him and it’s quite the ordeal. The three of them start laughing and play fighting and it takes both Yoongi and Seokjin to part them so they can finally go inside and eat.

 

They get a small private room in the restaurant with a big enough table for all of them and one big grill in the middle. The youngsters all fly inside and hang up their coats, but when Yoongi enters behind them, Seokjin pulls him back outside by the collar of his jacket. He’s about to give his hyung an irritated ya before catching himself from swearing.

 

“I found their number.” Seokjin whispers. He closes the sliding door of the room. The boys inside are talking too much to realize their secrecy. Yoongi feels his back straighten and his eyes widen. He’s almost too shocked to speak.

 

“D-did you call them?” Seokjin nods.

 

“I asked them about their son. They were shocked and hung up on me so I called again. I didn’t give them a lot of details, I just let them know their son is alive. I told them you’d call, soon.”

 

“Hyung! How could you tell them already! What if he’s not ready?” Yoongi wants to scream, he’s so totally unprepared for this. He’d never thought he’d find Hoseok’s parents this quickly. Or rather, that Seokjin would find them this quickly.

 

“Yoongi, I knew you’d stall on this. Hoseok needs this as soon as possible. His parents need this. Did you know there are still ads in the newspapers from them? They pay every single month to put those in the local newspapers in Gwangju. They need to find him. Please, take him home.” Seokjin gives him a stern glare and he’s right. Damn it, he’s always right about things like this. Yoongi finally accepts the phone number that Seokjin is pushing into his hands.

 

Yoongi holds onto the small paper tightly. He pockets it in his wallet to make sure he won’t lose it and he can feel the nerves spreading through his body. Seokjin is about to go inside their private room when Yoongi takes his wrist and pulls him back.

 

“Hyung...” the older makes eye contact. He looks worried as he steps back to where he first stood. “What if... what if he doesn’t want to come back with me? What if he wants to stay home?” Seokjin’s worried frown vanishes. Instead, there’s a pitying look on his features. Yoongi hates it, it makes him feel so small.

 

“This boy loves you to the moon and back, Yoongi. At first I thought he was so attached to you because you found him and cared for him but now I can see it’s different. The way he looks at you... He truly loves you.” Somehow Yoongi felt better. He doesn’t know what it is about Seokjin but the guy always has a special way of calming him down. Seokjin’s large hands find a place on both Yoongi’s shoulders and he shakes him softly.

 

“Hoseok loves you, he won’t ever leave you. He’d love you even more if you took him to his family.” He nods, trying to believe his hyung’s words. “Now let’s go inside and celebrate the fact that you’re finally changing your life for the better. I heard you deleted your account! I’m proud of you.” Seokjin ruffles a hand through his hair and Yoongi is reminded back to when he was younger and Seokjin took him in after he ran away from home. The times Seokjin would always ruffle his hair playfully when Yoongi was in a bad mood.  

 

Hoseok gives him a worried look as Yoongi sits down next to him. Yoongi squeezes his thigh once and gives him a soft smile, telling him it’s ok. He feels the younger’s arm sneak around his waist and his chin is leaning on Yoongi’s shoulder.

 

“Hyuuuung,” he whines. Jimin, Taehyung and Jeongguk are staring at them intensively and Yoongi can feel something is up. “Can we please have a drink?” Seokjin and Namjoon are looking at him with grins on their faces. Yoongi really wants to say no. He knows how Jimin and Taehyung act when they drink and Jeongguk is barely legal. But he can’t deny Hoseok right now.

 

“Just one, I’m not taking anyone home if they’re drunk.” The four of them all fist bump each other and smirk.

 

The evening goes by way too soon. It’s so cosy and all of them are laughing and telling each other stories the entire night and Yoongi doesn’t want it to end. They tell Hoseok about how all of them met. About Seokjin who went to the same school as Yoongi and was kind of the only friend that could stand his shitty personality. How he took him in the day he stood on his doorstep, drenched from the rain with a suitcase in his hands, and the weight of the world on his shoulders. Hoseok massages his fingers into Yoongi’s neck when Seokjin talks about the state he found Yoongi in.

 

There’s a lot of anecdotes on how each and every one of them met. The funniest being on how all of them met Taehyung. They were all walking through the city when suddenly Taehyung ran passed them holding up his science project that exploded when he tripped over a stray backpack on the ground. Taehyung starts blushing as he remembers that the collar of his shirt had caught fire, and how Seokjin and Yoongi each poured their bottled water on the boy to extinguish it.

 

“... and when his shirt finally stopped burning, he flew into Seokjin hyung’s arms and kept thanking him while petting his hair.” Namjoon laughs and Seokjin nods, remembering every second.

 

“Since then, we haven’t been able to get rid of him.” Yoongi retorts and he gets several kicks to his shins under the table.

 

“You love me Hyung, you called me your little sorcerer.” Taehyung smiles brightly and everyone laughs at the inside joke, referring to the poison Taehyung always mixed up for him. It’s a sadistic situation to laugh with, but they can’t help it as Taehyung brags about how good his potions were since they worked every single time.

 

As the night ends, the maknaes are all pleasantly buzzed from the alcohol, and Seokjin and Namjoon take a giggly Taehyung home with them in their car. Jeongguk and Jimin choose to take Taehyung’s bike to the youngest boy’s dorm. Which leaves Yoongi to take Hoseok home on his own. He knows the others want to give them privacy and he really appreciates it, though he won’t admit that.

 

The moment they enter the apartment, Hoseok wraps his arms around Yoongi, and pulls him into a deep and passionate kiss. His tongue tastes like the coca cola, the only thing he drank after they had established that Hoseok did not like alcohol. At all. Hoseok’s fingers are pulling at the hem of Yoongi’s t-shirt. Yoongi helps him by raising his arms, making it easier to pull his shirt over his head.

 

“What do you want tonight?” Yoongi whispers against Hoseok’s ear when the younger’s mouth latches onto his jaw.

 

“I want to undress you,” Hoseok whispers, hands travelling over the bare skin of Yoongi’s pale back. He doesn’t push any further, just concentrates on feeling every inch of Yoongi’s skin. “I want to take you to bed.”

 

Yoongi can honestly say he doesn’t expect the words that come next.

 

“And I want to curl up together and talk until we’re too tired to keep our eyes open.”

 

Yoongi chokes out a laugh against Hoseok’s lips and the younger boy starts laughing, too.

 

“I don’t want to do anything tonight, hyung.” Hoseok says. He pulls Yoongi with him towards the bedroom and pushes him onto the bed. He undresses Yoongi like he said he would and takes off his own clothes unceremoniously.

 

His body is already starting to broaden. He’s still slender, but he’s more built now. His muscles are shaping up nicely thanks to all the dance practices. His thighs look amazing, Yoongi loves how strong they are and how tight they feel. Hoseok’s legs still hurt sometimes after dancing too long, though, the result of having his legs broken twice .

 

“Then what’s all this about?” Yoongi stands up when they’re both naked and wraps his arms around Hoseok’s waist. He loves this. He loves the feeling of their bare skin against each other. It doesn’t even have to involve sex. He’s come to realize that Hoseok loves skin contact. He loves to cuddle against Yoongi’s bare chest, he loves it when Yoongi’s hands and nails trail softly over his skin. Yoongi knows it has a different meaning than just wanting to be close. It’s not sexual at all.

 

“You might think I’m weird if I tell you.” Hoseok turns off the light so only the small lights on the bedside table illuminate their room. He crawls into bed, patting the mattress, asking Yoongi to join him, which he does. Yoongi gives the younger a soft kiss on the crown of his head, and Hoseok moves to curl up against him.

 

“It’s because of mom.”

 

“Your mom?” he feels him nod against his chest.

 

“I was a scared kid. Whenever I grew anxious, she would put me in my bed only wearing my sleeping pants and she’d climb in with me and caress my skin with her fingers and nails. It always made me fall asleep. I felt safe when she did that, felt good.” Yoongi can’t fight the urge to hug Hoseok tighter. He thinks about the phone number in his wallet. Tomorrow. He has to tell Hoseok tomorrow. He has to call tomorrow.

 

“You might be back in her arms sooner than you’d expect, Hoseok-ah.” Hoseok’s hold grows tighter against Yoongi’s skin, nails digging in almost painfully. Yoongi tries to make soothing sounds, shushing him as one of his hands travels through his brown locks. “I’ll take you back to her, I promise.”

 

The air inside their bedroom is heavy with emotions. He can feel the younger’s tears running over his chest and he can feel the soft shivers going through his body. He knows Hoseok well enough by now to realize that he doesn’t want to talk about it. The only thing he needs right now is the comfort of Yoongi’s body. Sharing each other’s warmth and feeling each other’s skin. Yoongi smiles when he can hear Hoseok’s breathing even out and the boy turns lax in his embrace. He kisses his head once more.

 

But Yoongi knows sleep won’t find him tonight. He thinks of all the ways he could start the phone call to Hoseok’s parents. He thinks of how he can gain their trust and tell them their long lost son is alive and well. Soon enough, the sun is rising and Hoseok leaves their bed for his ritual sunrise pee. Yoongi pretends to be asleep when he comes back, wishing sleep would still catch up on him and save him from this phone call for just a while longer.

 

***

 

But true to his word, almost two weeks later, Yoongi and Hoseok are sitting inside the car, staring at Hoseok’s childhood home. Hoseok is holding onto his ID card tightly and Yoongi is almost afraid it might snap in two. The house is big and bright, almost looking like an upper class family home. The white wooden house was decorated with deep red window sills and a red roof. The garden in front was beautiful and well maintained, all kinds of different flowers starting to bloom in this spring weather.

There’s a poster on the window, a large picture of Hoseok when he was younger with the word ‘MISSING’ written above it. Hoseok has tears in his eyes, his breaths are laboured and he’s staring at the small plastic card in his hand. He’s finally a part of society again. He has his name back, he has an address and he’s looking for work to make his own money so he can pay for school. He’s dancing again, he has so many friends and it came easy to him. Adjusting to his new life had come so easy thanks to the new family he’d met.  The only thing Hoseok is still missing, is his own family.

 

“They never stopped looking,” Yoongi says softly, placing his hand at the nape of Hoseok’s neck and rubbing his thumb in soothing motions in his hair. “They still think of you every day.”

 

Hoseok hiccups and gives a sad nod.

 

“Are you ready?” Hoseok shakes his head, but opens the car door anyway. Yoongi hurries out of his own seat to help Hoseok get out of the car, not trusting Hoseok’s body in this emotional state.

 

As they start walking down the path towards the front door, Yoongi hears the sound of a door opening. They know of course. Hoseok’s parents and sister know they would visit today. Thanks to Seokjin and after finally working up the courage to call them. And after some heated conversations with Hoseok’s angry father, who didn’t believe Yoongi when he told him he’d found his son. After those two weeks of preparing for this, they’re finally here.

 

Hoseok holds onto Yoongi’s hand like a lifeline. He doesn’t want Yoongi to let go, he needs him to stay strong. Needs to make sure it’s real. He’s squeezing Yoongi’s hand so hard, the older feels the blood leaving it. He’s still holding the shiny ID card in his other hand and he’s looking down at the grass that was growing a tad too long beside the pathway.

 

“Hoseok, look up,” Yoongi whispers. He tries to give Hoseok a squeeze back to gather his attention and Hoseok looks at him. He stares into Yoongi’s eyes, scared. He’s not ready, but neither are the three people that are now slowly moving to the front porch.

 

Yoongi gasps as he sees Hoseok’s father up close. Hoseok has the exact same face, only it was maybe 25 years younger. They had the same nose, mouth and shape of face. But Hoseok had his mother’s eyes. Even Hoseok’s sister looks exactly like him, the similarities were almost scary.

 

The three people have tears in their eyes, trying to get closer to Hoseok, but neither of them know how to approach each other. They can see the person that once used to be their little boy, but has now returned to them as an adult.

 

“Hobi,” Yoongi whispers. This finally gets Hoseok’s attention and he looks up slowly, finally meeting the eyes of his family. Before Yoongi can really take in what’s happening, Hoseok drops his hand and runs towards the porch. He’s throwing himself into the people who are receiving him with open arms. They make quite a picture. It’s almost as if Yoongi is watching a drama movie, as if things like this only happens in fiction. But it’s real. It’s so real. The Hoseok in front of him isn’t the grown up, broken Hoseok he knew. The Hoseok in front of him is a son, he is a son who feels guilt and pain and love. He’s a son coming home to the family he’s been craving for since ten years.

 

Two parents are holding onto their long lost son like a lifeline. A sister, finally able to hold onto her big brother. A family that’s finally complete again. Yoongi can’t do anything but stare. He knows there are tears in his own eyes, he’s not sure what to do, so all he can do is wait.

 

Hoseok’s mother is screaming prayers towards the skies, thanking anyone who is listening to her, for bringing back her son . She’s hitting Hoseok’s chest with weak fists, telling how horrible it was to make her worry like this. She’s pulling at his neck to have her son closer to her, to smell him and feel him. And Hoseok’s father can’t stop touching Hoseok’s face, staring at him to make sure this is real, to make sure this is his son. Back together with them.

After a while the four people are able to regain their strengths. Hoseok stands up and helps his mother up by holding her hands. His sister immediately wraps his arms around his middle and snuggles into him and Hoseok returns the gesture. It almost seems natural, as if this was a habit they had before and continued like Hoseok hadn’t been missing for almost ten years. Yoongi can see how happy they are. Even though their faces are covered in tears, and their emotions are heightened. There’s happiness radiating off of all four of them.

 

“Min Yoongi,” Hoseok’s father’s voice is coarse from crying but it’s still soothing, a voice that could tell you bedtime stories each night but will make you crave for more instead of making you fall asleep. Yoongi hasn’t heard such a fatherly voice in a long time.

 

Yoongi can see Hoseok being ushered inside by his mother and sister, but his father is standing on the porch looking at Yoongi with an arm reached towards him, and a friendly smile on his lips. When Yoongi takes the hand that’s extended to him, he’s met with a gentle squeeze. His breath catches in his throat at the familiar gesture.

 

“Come inside, son .”