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too close to the sun (i fell for you, i always do)

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– x – 



They still ask me

like many times before

"Was it worth it, foolish boy?

Was he worth the fall?"

 

And I never tell the truth (no)

they'll never understand (no)

what it is really like to fall

for something as beautiful as you

 

Thing is that

I have always been your Icarus

and you have always

been my Sun

 

And as we're born

time after time, age after age

forever bound to meet

I fall for you a little bit more

 

They still call me a fool (they do)

but I'll tell you a secret, love

thing is that I'm glad to be a fool

if that means getting closer to you.

 

– x –

 

All stories tell us about how Icarus died because he dared to fly too high.

Truth be told, my dear, the day Icarus fell into the sea is also the day he fell in love with the Sun. And that day, a part of the Sun died as well – he learned that if home is where the heart is, he left his in the hands of a boy made of wishes and courage and dreams, and now it rested somewhere deep in the sea.

New ages came and went, but there wasn't a single living thing in the world that didn't know that the Sun had once loved a boy so much he would set every day just to touch the sea, in hopes he would find him once more.

And rumor has it, after all, that they're out there – born again and again and again, in different bodies, in different places, in different times –, searching for each other for eternity, forever bound to meet and fall in love and fall apart and start over and over again.

 

– x –

 

This time, they meet in the street.

He's Min Yoongi now, and there's a pair of round glasses slowly falling off his nose and a hungover banging on the back of his head, reminding him of how he promised himself not to drink before school days, and failed miserably at keeping that promise. He's also an art student now – he had always liked drawings, for they remind him of someone he doesn't quite remember anymore, a father he had lost hundreds of years ago in the sea –, on his twenties and something, a little bit of a dream and a big bit of a dreamer.

When it happens, he's palming the back pockets of his ink stained ripped jeans in search of his keys, and he feels like Time has stopped – he doesn't know, but he had always been friends with Time, because she had always been patient with him, with them –, and there's something pounding too hard on his chest to be his heart.

Things is that, this world made him a sap, made him a romantic. Yoongi brings a hand to his own chest and tries not to think of it as the feeling you get when you miss someone so much that your entire body and soul start to ache. He scoffs at his own idea, thinking that maybe he's just tired of walking down the blocks from his school. Silly him, he never remembers of his past lives, sees them as blurred made up memories trapped in the bottom of his mind, turns them into mundane things that make sense to his present self. But this, this he remembers. He remembers the feeling, the ache .

He shakes his head, wondering what on Earth could have happened to him. Yoongi leans back against his apartment block's gate, tries to calm himself down because he's not having a panic attack or something like that in the middle of the street, thank you very much. And he wonders what's this strange feeling deep in his chest, because he may not remember of other lives but he remembers of someone . He remembers the feeling of warm skin against his own, remembers of a promise made before he was even born in this world, remembers having these words whispered to him as he sunk into the depths of the sea.

He sits down on the sidewalk, avoids the strange looks people are giving him and brings both hands to his face. It's a trick, he thinks. It's a trick his mind might be playing him – he had never been in the sea, ever, had always been afraid of the water –, but he had this funny dream ever since he was a child. Yoongi laughs. Sometimes, if he thinks hard enough, he can still feel the weight of mechanical wings clutched to his back and the taste of freedom on his tongue.

Then, it hits him just like the sea water hits the rocks in Guryongpo Beach, in Pohang. He was there one time, it was the closest he ever got to the sea in his own life. It's like something had pulled a trigger inside his chest, and somewhere deep in his mind Yoongi thinks that maybe he made the Sisters so angry they did everything to make him pay for his rebelliousness. Poor Icarus boy had escaped the Labyrinth, poor Icarus boy had fled too close to the Sun. Because of that, Time made him fall painfully slow, so he could see the furious waters of the ocean coming closer and closer, but he could never reach them until Despair was done letting him go nuts with the screams of a man he remembers being his father. Agony had let the wax of his mechanical wings burn deep in his skin, she laughed and laughed and her twin, Panic, held his heart between her long cold fingers and squeezed it, hard. She whispered that the Sun had did it to him, not her. Sadness, on the other hand, had held him in her arms as they (finally) fell into the sea.

Yoongi plays with his keys quietly, he should really get inside his apartment but can't find the strength to get up. His mother had told him it was just a nightmare, the first time he told her about that dream, and he would forget about it soon. He agreed at the moment – until it happened again and again and again. Yoongi remembers it like it had happened yesterday, and he remembers her .

Death had always been the worst – even worse than Agony, Despair and Panic –, she had always been more heartless than her sisters could ever be. The thing about Yoongi's (first) death is that She did not take him until they reached the bottom of the sea, so that no one could ever tell the difference between the salted water and his tears.

He wonders why he kept on dreaming that he was Icarus, a boy once filled with dreams and hope and joy, but what worries Yoongi the most is the feeling of having his lungs filled not with water but with pain and madness, choking on the knowledge that he wouldn't ever see the Sun again.

(He doesn't know, sometimes Fate can be as cruel as Death, but she'd always had a soft spot for the tragic stories. When Love made her sister's mind, she sent Sadness away and brought him Hope, who made a home for herself inside a heart that no longer was beating. Together they whispered to Icarus that the Sun told the whole world that he'd find him again. Fate gave him her blessing: he was bound to be born again and again and again, and find his lover in all the lives that were yet to come.)

Yoongi shakes his head and gets up. As he does, the keys slip from his fingers and down the street.

"Shit!"

He laughs, soundless, at his own stupidity. There's only a few cars passing by but there's way too many people, he's sure he'll end up losing them and is already trying to remember the phone number of the locksmith his landlord had introduced him to a while ago. Just as he's pondering on throwing his dignity on the nearest trash can so he can lean under the tables of a coffee shop, something touches his left shoulder and Yoongi jumps on his feet, startled. He spins around faster than he should, feeling a little dizzy and out of place and he thinks that it might have been an accident because there's so, so many faces around him right now and--

And he sees him. He sees him walking down the street, too busy looking at his phone to notice he's being watched. Yoongi feels like his heart had stopped, his hands shaking, because it's him. Shit, the Sun might be burning bright in the sky right now and Yoongi had studied Physics in high school but he’s goddamn sure it’s not gravity that holds him to the ground right now, it’s him.

He's got no idea who he is, but it's him . Yoongi wonders what is this strange feeling deep in his stomach, consuming him from inside. He hopes it's just hunger – he hadn't eaten anything all day – but he knows, he knows it's much more than that.

Beautiful boy is only a few meters away from him when he stops, places his phone on the back pocket of his skinny jeans and leans down and he's holding Yoongi's keys up now, staring at them curiously for a brief moment before looking around and--

He sees him. He sees Yoongi and said boy stops for a minute and deep in his soul he thinks that maybe it’s a curse, he thinks that maybe the universe is joking around with him. Whatever magical power up there wouldn't be so good with him, Fate wouldn't be so good with him. So he looks away quickly, maybe beautiful boy would drop his keys on the floor and keep walking, maybe all of this didn't even happen and Yoongi's just imagining things.

But it feels as if there's a hand on his shoulder and he knows it’s Love, and Love only comes around when they’re close, so close Yoongi can almost taste it – the taste of I've found you , the taste of finally.

"Excuse me," he hears. "Is this yours?"

Shit, he thinks . It’s him and his goddamn black skinny jeans and big sweater, it’s the beanie tugged in his orange hair, it's a cute smile reserved just for him at this very moment.

Yoongi must have bumped right into someone, because he hears a "Fuck, be careful, man!", but he honestly couldn't care less. He brings a hand to his head and slip trembling fingers through his own hair, takes a deep breath and smile shyly at the stranger. "Y-yeah, it is."

The stranger – deep inside, he doesn't see him as a stranger, no, they know each other too much and for too long to be considered strangers, but they don't know it yet –, takes another step, and they're so close Yoongi can see tiny freckles on his nose. He wonders if they're fake, but ends up thinking they must not be because this seems like the type of guy that enjoys being out in the Sun. The Sun. Shit. The Sun is standing right in front of him, thank you very much.

"Here you go," says beautiful boy, voice as sweet as honey, eyes turning into little crescents as he smiles again and holds out the bunch of keys to him. "Now you won't be stuck outside home!"

Yoongi breathes – in and out, in and out –, as he takes the keys from the other's hand, and tries to ignore how they're warm and soft. He clutches the stupid things hard between his fingers in hopes that the coldness of the metal will keep him sane because shit, isn't he cute?

"Thanks," he whispers. "Appreciate that."

It ends as soon as it started. He watches as beautiful boy starts turning around to leave and there's something deep inside Yoongi that tells him don't let him go, but he holds on. He holds on because somehow he knows this is different, this time this is different. This time he had learned different things, seen different things. Sometimes Time is not the best of friends, sometimes she lets her sister, Fate, make them meet in places where loving is hard. It has happened before – they have met while on different sides of wars, they have met with distinct faiths. Time and Fate can be cruel, but their older sister is always gentle. Love is always on their side – Love makes it happen, Love reaches out for them. Would she reach out for them right now as well?

Fuck it, Yoongi thinks. He trips on his own feet, embarrassment coloring his cheeks red and when did he became such a fool? He shouts "Hey!" and his hands are shaking by the time he's (finally) face to face with the Sun again.

Beautiful boy looks at him with curiosity, plump lips still wearing the ghost of a smile.

"Hi," Yoongi says. He's a little bit breathless, a little bit dumbstruck. He hopes the other won't notice.

"Hello, again," says Love, because Love is not a divine being anymore, Love is not the kind and beautiful woman who holds him when his entire body is shaking in times of despair and tells him he’ll come, he’ll come, he’ll come .

Love is now standing right in front of him, all timid smiles, plump lips and chocolate eyes, Love is now looking at him like he holds all the secrets of the universe in the palm of his hand, like he knows him, like he cares, like he remembers .

It could be a trick, Yoongi thinks, but he hopes that this time the universe is not joking around with him. God . He's so beautiful.

Love is (finally) looking at him (again).

 

– x –

 

It's a ritual.

You wake up, every day, same body, same soul, same room. The day, although, is always new. You breathe, in and out, in and out, in and out, just like a thief – and you feel like something deep in your chest has been stolen, you don't know how to keep going when your heart is on another person's hands but here you are .

So you breathe and breathe and breathe and you're alive , one more time, one day at a time. And every morning you look outside that tiny window in your two-room apartment because you never stop looking (no), and you search and search and search because you never stop searching (no). So, yes , you look outside and you see the streets, the people, and you have been among them for a really long time now. You look outside and then up, up, up, you look up because you have always been too fond of the sky, too fond of being free.

But (deep, deep inside) you know that you just look outside because you see the Sun, and when you see the Sun you remember of joy. You see the Sun and you remember of bright eyes, warm skin, soft lips. You remember of all things good and bright and real when you see the Sun.

Thing is that, joke's on you, the Sun is not an enormous ball of Hydrogen anymore. The Sun is now 5'9 and the attitude of 6'2, the Sun has now chocolate eyes and a smile made for the pretty things (you think it's a smile made for anything but you). The Sun now takes form of a handsome boy, tanned skin and tiny soft hands, the Sun has now the sweetest voice you've ever heard, the sweetest voice you'll ever hear – the Sun has now the only voice you'll ever want to hear.
And you know him, yes, you remember him, you know him like you know your own self. Sometimes it takes you so long  to find him that you are afraid he won't recognise you, but he always does. You're always afraid, boy, but he's not. He's as brave as the sun, he's a star but he's what holds you to the ground. You have seen him taking many forms before, yes, but you know him in all of them. You have met him in different bodies, genders, ages, species even. Sometimes, although, you don't, and you spend lifetimes waiting for you to be reunited again. You have seen so many things, you have met him under so many circumstances, but you don't remember any of them. The only thing you always remember is him, him, him. And he takes many forms, yes, and so do you, but his eyes never change, and you know it's him when you see them.

(Truth is you would know him blind, by the way his voice filled the world with all things sweet and safe and right. You would know him in a crowded place, you would know him in the middle of the desert, you would know him under the pouring rain. You would know him in death, and you would find him afterwards too)

So you wake up every day, and you get up from your bed every day, and you survive each day because of him, for him, and you know he does it, too, because of you.
Because he's the mighty sun and you have always been Icarus and you have fallen for him (because of him, for him) a thousand times already and you know, you have always known, that you will fall a thousand more.

 

– x –

 

This time he takes it slow.

He's Park Jimin now, and he's way too shy – there once was a time when he was the Sun, all glorious and golden, but now he looks at Yoongi like he had put the stars in the sky himself. He feels like there's something buried deep in his chest, something so ancient he can't quite remember what it truly is, but it's there, there, there. He feels it every time he sees the other's eyes, he feels it in his bones, for they are young like once he was, and he feels it in his soul, for it is as old as the universe itself.

He thinks of it as he's sitting on a table in the cafeteria near his place. Jimin's holding a cup of his usual order, a double shot cappuccino, and he thinks of it as he watches the other part of his soul take another bite of a chocolate muffin. And deep, deep in his chest he's got this feeling you get when you have missed someone so much and for so long and you have finally, finally found them again.

Jimin doesn't think there's a word for that – the warmth in his chest, his trembling hands, the relief in his soul, all of that together like it's meant to be –, but he feels it, he accepts it, because it feels so good and maybe (just maybe) because he'd felt this a thousand times before.

"So," he asks, and he has so many things to ask, but he feels a little awkward, like this body doesn't know what to do, like his brain has gone numb all of a sudden. He wants to laugh at himself, how silly he must look right now. "You--"

"Min Yoongi," replies Love, because Love is not a divine being anymore, Love is not the kind and beautiful woman who holds his hands when they're shaking too much and tells him you'll find him, you'll find him, you'll find him .

Love is now sitting right in front of him, wearing a two sizes too big denim jacket with band patches on the back and a shy smile on his (beautiful) face, Love is looking at him like he holds all the secrets of the universe in the palm of his hands, like he knows him, like he cares, like he remembers .

Love is (finally) looking at him (again).

"I'm sorry, I didn't even introduce myself earlier." the other continues, and his voice must be as sweet as Jimin's drink. He can't help but smile a little. "That might have been a little creepy. You are… ?"

"Park Jimin," he replies. And he wants to add, I'm sorry it took me so long , but he holds his ground. What's this? "My pleasure."

When Yoongi smiles – a cute, gummy smile, the kind you know it's meant for special occasions, for special people only –, and places his half-eaten muffin on the table, Jimin knows. He swallows, hard, because he's feeling it in his chest again and he wonders if Yoongi's feeling too.

Without saying anything, he watches the folded hands on top of the table, long and pale fingers laced. There's a bit of blue ink under Yoongi's short nails, so he asks why.

"Oh," replies the other, shyly looking down at his own hands. "I was painting earlier today. The sky Guess I've always been too fond of the sky, although, I don't know why."

Jimin takes a sip of his cappuccino. "I guess we have that in common then."

And Yoongi chews on his left cheek, unlacing his fingers, enlacing them again. "I don't know how to put this nicely, so I won't. Have we met before?"

"No," he replies, and this body is telling the truth, but his soul isn't. "No, I think I would've remember."

(He doesn't know where all that courage had come from, but he feels glad because Yoongi's cheeks are now tinted with a nice shade of red, it makes him look just like a summer day)

" Oh, " pause. "That was quite unexpected. I didn't take you for the straight forward type, Park Jimin."

And Jimin feels butterflies dancing inside his stomach, inside his mind. He shakes his head. There's something in the way the vowels of his name curl around Yoongi's tongue, the way he says it like he could feel the taste. "Says the guy who asked me out literally three minutes after bumping into me in the middle of the street."

"It was five minutes, and I didn't bump into you. You came to me," Yoongi holds his own chin on a hand, eyes full of dare. "Also, I'm full of surprises."

"And I'm very fond of surprises."

And there's something about the way Yoongi arches his eyebrows, his blue fingertips brushing the porcelain plate where his muffin lies, forgotten. There's something about the way the left side of his mouth perches up, holding back a smirk, and how he scratches his cheek, as if pondering whether Jimin's worth his time or not.

"I guess that makes two of us, then. Would you like another coffee?"

 

– x –

 

It's a ritual.

You wake up, every day, same body, same soul, same room. The day, although, is always new. You breathe, in and out, in and out, in and out, just like a thief – and you feel like something deep in your chest has been stolen, you don’t know how to keep going when your heart is on another person’s hands but here you are.

So you breathe and breathe and breathe and you’re alive , one more time, one day at a time. And every morning you go outside, you take a walk, you keep on living because you can’t stop, you won’t stop, you live because you never stop looking (no), and you search and search because you never stop searching (no).

So, yes, you go outside and you see the streets, the people, and you have been among them for a really long time now. You go outside and you live, live, live because you've never been afraid of Death – she's scary, she's cruel, she's already taken too much of you but you don't fear her anymore. You live because you know the world like the palm of your hand, because there once was a time when you used to see it from above but now, now you see the world with the eyes of a human, you have bones and skin and a beating heart – and you have broken it a lot of times, but you always end up mending it together at the end of the day – and it's been quite a long time already, you have wandered around this world (it's always changing, just like you) in so many different forms but you never get tired of bodies like this. So you live because you might be lonely – it's different, being alone and lonely, see, you're not alone because you have friends, they're good, they're kind, but they're not him – but you love living so you do.

But (deep, deep inside) you know that you keep on living because you see the sun, and when you see the sun you remember of Icarus. You see the sun and you remember of a time long gone, you remember of a boy filled with dreams, you remember falling for him just like he fell for you.

Thing is that, joke's on you, he's not a boy with mechanical wings anymore. He now takes form of a pretty boy – he had always been pretty, that's what you think – and he lives three blocks down but you have never met. He studies Arts, all of his clothes are at least a little bit stained with ink, and it may not seem like it but he enjoys his coffee with three cubes of sugar and cream. He's all pale limbs and calloused hands, he never smiles before 9:00 am or a decent breakfast. His art is beautiful, touching, he has a muse deep in his mind that looks a lot like you but neither of you know about it. He searches for you just like you search for him.

But the sad part is that you don't believe in yourself anymore. In this body, you have grown to fear your humanity because you stopped being the Sun a long, long time ago. Now you're made of bones, you have a skin that is too fragile and you get sick, you get hungry, you get thirsty, and sometimes your eyes leak salted water when you're too sad. You have been a human for many times already, but it's always new, you're never the same human twice. Right now you're 5"9 and you have the attitude of 6"2, you have chocolate eyes and an habit of smiling too much at too many things (but you keep one certain smile for yourself, you're waiting to use it when you find him). The mighty Sun now takes form of a handsome boy, – that's what they call you, at least: handsome, pretty, stunning, you don't think of yourself as any of it but you smile at them, you thank them –, all soft limbs and tanned skin. Your hands are too small for your liking and sometimes you need to stand on your tiptoes, but you like this body, you know this body, you know what this body likes. The thing you like the most about this body is it's voice, for as it's soft and calming and you like how the vowels curl at your tongue. Maybe Euterpe, the muse of music, had blessed you like many times before, because sometimes you sing and people smile at you, they pay you, and you thank them.

Sometimes you're standing in the stage of a crowded bar and you wonder if he's there, you wonder if he's listening. Because you know him, yes, you remember him. You know that he's out there because that's the part of you, of your story, that you'll never forget. You hope he listens because he's a dreamer, he's a dream, he's in love with love and you love singing, so you hope he listens. There once was a time when you were brave, but now you're just too afraid he won't love you as you are. You sing because you hope he'll fall in love with your soul and not your body, the world had corrupted you a long time ago and you repeat to yourself too many times a day that you're not enough. That doesn't stop you, no, you may be afraid but you won't ever stop searching, no. You hope that when you find him, when he finds you (like you two always do), he'll teach you how to love yourself again. See, you were once the Sun, brave and bright and golden and fearless, but now you see yourself as a quiet and cold moon, orbiting him. So you keep on living because you hope he's doing the same, you keep on looking at the sky because you hope he's looking up too, and you keep on singing in hopes that he's listening.

Truth is you would know him blind, by the way he breathes, in and out, in and out, just like a thief, you would know him in by touch, you would know his body in the middle of thousands, you would know his hands like you know your own. You would know him in an empty city, you would know him in chaos and the end of the world. You would know him in death, and you would find him afterwards too. So you wake up every day, and you get up from your bed every day, and you survive each day because of him, for him, and you know he does it, too, because of you.

Because you don't feel like the mighty Sun anymore but he will always be your Icarus and you have seen him fall (because of you, for you) a thousand times already and you know, you have always known, that you will dive after him a thousand more.

 

– x –

 

They're sitting on the floor in the Science Fiction section of the local bookstore, Yoongi's back against one shelf, Jimin's against another. Their legs are touching, knee to knee, and Jimin pokes his thigh while reading Stephen King's "It" from time to time.

Yoongi smiles to himself, his face strategically hidden behind a comic book, and he pretends not to notice how sometimes the other's fingers brushes the side of his thigh for a little bit longer, and then his hand is back at the floor as if it never happened. Yoongi hopes it's not that weird for him to expect anxiously for the next time he does it.

It's sunny outside, the sunlight coming through the curtains, and Jimin's face looks so nice with the shadows his features cast. He has a cute button nose and his lips are a nice shade of pink, and there's something about the way his left eyebrow is messy because he keeps scratching it. And if Yoongi lowers his comic, just a little bit, he can catch Jimin looking at him from over the pages of his book as well. It only lasts for a few seconds, but it's enough.

They're shy, they have always been to shy – maybe because Feard had always been there, she had always liked to poison young hearts while she sits there in her throne, with a lazy grin dancing on her lips –, so they smile to each other and take it slow.

(They take it slow because when you have already waited for someone for a thousand times, you can always wait a little bit more)

 

– x –

 

Min Yoongi and Park Jimin become friends somewhere between faking surprise when they purposely bump into each other on the street – "Oh, I forgot you lived near here!" or "And, I forgot you liked this cafeteria as well!" – , texting each other silly pictures of their friends sleeping and deep phone conversations past midnight, when both of them couldn't sleep.

Yoongi stops thinking the universe is joking around with him. He sees it as a matter of coincidence – he met Jimin by accident, he was utterly cute and a really nice guy. Why wouldn't they become friends?

Well, little did he know Fate walks side by side with him every time he's heading to Jimin's place – he shares a nice house with a guy named Kim Seokjin and Jung Hoseok, who he recognizes as the kid that works at the art supplies store he usually goes to –, the bright smile on her face almost as big as his (he'd been smiling a lot lately), and vanishing as soon as he gets to Jimin's doorstep. But she's always there again when they play Mario Kart together and order pizza because they're both too lazy to cook. And whenever Jimin is feeling a little bit down, looking at his phone's screen as he ponders whether he should ask Yoongi if he wanted to catch a movie or something like that, she sits right there beside him and presses a peck to his forehead. He doesn't feel it – they never do –, but it lights up something inside his chest. Sometimes all they need is a little motivation.

Ah, if they both paid attention, they'd see her holding hands with Time on the opposite side of the room or the other sidewalk, watching as they become closer and closer. Fate would look almost proud, and Time, well, Time had changed her ways over the ages. The world changed so quickly, people came and went and lived and died, it wasn't like the good old days anymore. She picked at her fingernails more now, wasn't patient like before. But she those two, she had always like them. She'd snap her fingers at them and slow down the clock a little bit every time she remembered to, ignoring her sister's teasing about how two souls were able to make her soft.

She always listened when humans said that having friends is better when you feel like time has stopped around them.

 

– x –

 

"Have you found yours yet?"

Yoongi puts down the book he's reading – it's one he borrowed from Jimin, but it's in English and he's kind of having a hard time understanding it, but he tries. It's about a boy who's growing up, and about what Yoongi thinks it's a field of rye, or something like that. There's also ducks, and carousels. He slightly turns his head up, so he can take a look at Taehyung, who's currently sitting on the sofa, one of Yoongi's joysticks in hand while he plays Call of Duty.

"Found what?"

"A while ago I read an article that said, if you're twenty one or older, chances are you have already met your soulmate. You're twenty three. Have you found them yet?"

Taehyung casually takes a sip of Coca-Cola and pauses the game, waiting for him to answer. He'd been Yoongi's best friend for ages, – they met in middle school, having the same hiding spot under the bleachers so they could skip classes without anyone noticing –,  but even now he can't quite understand him fully. Kim Taehyung was a nice kid with a big heart and an even bigger imagination, always telling him about the universe, the comics he wanted to read, how he saw the prettiest boy just yesterday – it's always a new boy, and it's always the prettiest – and how bad he wanted a dog. He's the type to talk a lot , but Yoongi likes to think that the difference between Taehyung and other people who talk too much is that he actually has interesting things to say. And one of the things Taehyung likes talking about the most, well, that would be soulmates.

If Yoongi wasn't a romantic himself, he'd probably hit him the head every time he came up with the subject. But he was indeed, so he secretly enjoyed it.

He scratches the bridge of his nose, hoping he's not blushing.

"I don't know," Yoongi answers, trying his best to sound as casual as possible. "I mean-- how could I know?"

Taehyung slaps his own knees, looking outraged. He leans over and looks down at Yoongi like he's the craziest person he's ever met. "Don't gimme that shit, Yoongs! I know you don't do the talk-about-feelings thing, but even you can tell the difference it makes in your heart when you see them."

"I don't know what you're talking about, Tae," he repeats, and goes back to his book. He feels Taehyung pulling at his hair, but decides to ignore it. "By the way, I don't even think soulmates exist."

The other boy laughs. "Lie to yourself all you want, my friend. The universe? Fate? They don't joke around. You just haven't found your soulmate yet."

But even when Taehyung forgets about it and starts bragging about how he's craving some cheese pizza right now, Yoongi can't help but feel that little warmth in his chest. He tries hard not to think of chocolate eyes and round cheeks because it's just Park Jimin, goddamn it, but he ends up doing it anyway.

 

– x –

 

The heat of summer can be unbearable sometimes.

Yoongi hates it – he hates the bugs, the fabric of his t-shirt sticking to his back, the noise that the air conditioner in his room makes at night –, but as he walks side by side with Jimin, a can of soda on his left hand and Jimin's on the other, he thinks that it's fine.

They wander through the city in a fast pace – Jimin walks faster than him, his steps are soft and quick, sometimes Yoongi needs to pull him back because he's afraid the other's going to run in front of a moving car without noticing. That's when Jimin lets out that sweet laugh of him, and it makes Yoongi's inside melt. He doesn't think it has anything to do with the heat.  "You walk like an old man!"

Yoongi wants to flip him off, but doesn't, and Jimin squeezes his hand a little bit and walks slower. A few minutes later, when they're looking at the display of a kitchen supplies shop – they both have a weird interest in kitchen supplies, Yoongi found out about that when Jimin told him that hee, too, wanted to have a classic, red mixer one day –, he tugs at the hem of Jimin's t-shirt and says:

"I'm not going anywhere, you know. There's no need to rush."

Jimin's timid, he's not looking at him when he replies. "I can't decide whether every moment I'm with you makes me feel like time has stopped or like we're running out of it."

So Yoongi tugs at the hem of his t-shirt again, harder, and this time Jimin looks at him. He brings his hand up and brushes the other's fringe from his eyes, leaning closer. Their lips meet for a brief moment, and Yoongi thinks it’s just like kissing the breeze.

When Jimin presses his lips against his one more time, it’s like diving into the ocean. Yoongi is petrified — his hands are shaking a little bit as he strokes the Jimin's cheekbones —, he’s afraid the ground is going to split in two and swallow him whole. No, worse. He feels like he’s falling , like it has happened before. They kiss slow and shy, all soft pecks, but when Jimin throws an arm around his neck, bringing him even closer, tongue darting out to brush against his lower lip, Yoongi feels as if he’s flying.

He licks into the other’s mouth with the hunger of a thousand lives. This and this and this, he thinks. This is what he needs, this is what he wants — he doesn’t know, but this is what he’s been looking for.

(Time watches them from apart, she slips her hands into the pockets of her denim shorts and smiles proudly as she lets the clock work again, everything slowly falling into place. Love is there too, she keeps on watching quietly, smiling just like her younger sister)

They break apart breathless, cheeks tinted with red and bruised lips, and Jimin laughs shyly in a way that has something inside him melting again. The older leans over, lips brushing against Jimin’s ear.

"I'm not going anywhere," he repeats, voice raw and low like it's a secret, like his words are for Jimin only, but deep inside he hopes that the whole world is listening.

 

– x –

 

Jimin thinks Yoongi is so pretty that he might stop breathing one day.

It's something about the look on his face when he's drawing or reading a comic book. The way his lips are so soft and pink, the way his cupid's bow probably makes the gods sigh in jealousy. It's his dyed hair and ink stained fingertips, his ripped jeans and oversized hoodies. It's the way he whispers Jimin's name when he's talking too loud in the library, how the vowels curls at his tongue and make Jimin want to hear it once more. It's the way he smiles at little kids when they're passing in front of the kindergarten near Jimin's place, how he always waves back at them when they're leaving.

Gods, he's stunning . Jimin wants to hold his cheeks with both hands and pepper his whole face with kisses in the middle of the street, and only reason he doesn't do it is because he knows Yoongi's not too fond of public displays of affection. So he holds his ground and waits for when they're not surrounded by a lot of people or simply home alone. He'd take Yoongi's hand in his and kiss his palm.

"Did you know I can read hands?" he'd ask.

Yoongi would shoot him a suspicious look, lips pressed to a thin line before he asks, "Really?"

Jimin would smile, turning his hand up again, running down Yoongi's life line with his index finger. "Yeah. See, it says here that you're a nerd."

"Park Jimin, I am going to fucking kick your ass."

(And the younger would just smile as Yoongi pressed him to the ground, threatening to choke him with a pillow or something, because he could happily stay there as long as Yoongi's cheeks were so red they made him look like a tomato or something. He'd also push him over and whisper that he looked so pretty when he blushed, and he'd stroke Yoongi's cheek with his thumb as he complained about how cheesy Jimin was being)

"I don't know how to read hands," Jimin would say, later, so quietly Yoongi could hardly hear it. "But I know that you're the prettiest, Yoongs."

 

– x – 

 

Yoongi's mother had taught him many, many years before, that when he met someone he liked, she should ask them three questions.

He was a kid back then, all scratched knees and bowl cuts, his room filled with Star Wars posters and he had wooden airplanes hung up on his ceiling. He remembers sitting at his family's dinner table and his feet didn't even touch the ground, he held a glass of orange juice with both hands and stared at his mother's eyes before saying that the only person he liked at that moment was his neighbour, Hajun, because he shared his Star Wars toys with him and he was kinda cute.

"But I'm not going to ask him three questions," Yoongi had said. "He's going to laugh at me for being a sap. And he won't let me play with Chewie anymore. And he's a boy!"

His mother had laughed, leaning to press a kiss to his forehead, and said that Hajun wouldn't laugh at him. Later that day, when she was putting Yoongi to bed, she whispered to him that it was alright if he ever wanted to ask the three questions to a boy.

(Yoongi didn't say anything back then, but he appreciated that a few years later)

So when he asks, quietly in the night and between the warmth of the blanket they're sharing, if Jimin's afraid of anything, said boy intertwines their fingers together and says:

"Cockroaches, mostly, and don't ever ask me about Kafka's Metamorphosis, but yes, it's terrifyingly good. Falling out of love like my parents did. It terrifies me, the thought of becoming repulsed by what once had enchanted me. I'm afraid that someday I'll wake up and no one's gonna remember me. Oh, and heights. Holy shit, heights. You?"

"Water," Yoongi replies. "The sea, to be more specific. It's too strange and gives me a wicked feeling. My mother, she believes in things, you know. It's a little creepy, but she said that maybe I died in the sea, in another life."  

He's never told anyone that, ever. He waits for Jimin to reply, playing with the hem of his own sweater.

"Maybe you were a fish, and you drowned because you were bad at being a fish," the other nudges his ribs with his elbow, laughing, but then he leans closer, as if to whisper him a secret. His lips brush Yoongi's earshell and he blushes, hoping Jimin won't notice. "Or maybe fate is a funny thing, maybe you drowned in the sea while I was stuck somewhere up in the sky."

This time, it's Yoongi who laughs, and he whispers that Jimin's creativeness is borderline creepy, but said boy just hides his face in the crook of Yoongi's neck and says nothing. After a minute or two of silence, Yoongi feels free to ask the second question.

"Yes, I do like dogs," replies Jimin, and his breath sends shivers up Yoongi's spine. "I would call myself a dog person if I could have one. My building doesn't allow pets. I do have a friend, Seokjin, who recently adopted a stray dog named Peanut, and she's amazing. Although she farts sometimes, which is not cool at all."

Yoongi tells him that he always wanted a dog, and asks him what does he do when it rains.

"Sleep, if it's possible. But, I also like to sit by the window and watch the rain droplets race. It calls me down, you know, the sound. It makes me feel less alone."

"Why?"

"Because, when it rains, I know someone out there's listening to it as well."

Min Yoongi learns three things that day, and he digs them deep, deep in his chest so no one's going to bother looking – and so he can keep them to himself only, a treasure hidden in his soul.

One . If someone's not afraid of something, then they don't believe in anything either.

Two . From now on he would hear the rain and think of the Sun.

And three . His mother told him that he should ask those three questions until he found someone who was just made for him. And Yoongi feels like he won't be asking them to anyone else ever again.

 

– x –

 

"I wrote you a song."

"Oh" Yoongi replies. "You did?"

Jimin smiles, he takes the other's hands on his smaller ones and kisses his knuckles, one by one. Yoongi thinks that maybe he'll combust, turn into ash and dust, fly away. He says, quietly, "No one’s ever made something like that for me before, Jimin."

"Then I’ll write a million songs just for you."

 

– x –

 

In this life, Yoongi’s mother had told him that love is never cruel, but circumstances are. Yoongi might not remember, but he learned this the day he was reborn for the first time.

Love is never cruel, but her sisters are .

So, they were born in similar bodies again – in this age, it should not be a problem anymore, but sometimes it is. In this place, it is. This time it’s one of those times, and Yoongi feels the bitter taste on his tongue that tells him Fate had been playing chess with them again, and she had always been the deadliest piece in the game.

It happens at night. They're walking, hand in hand, too lost in each other's eyes to realize what's going on. Jimin's in the middle of a sentence – he was talking about a book he had read a few days before, so enthusiastic that Yoongi can't help but smile at the sight – when they hear it.

And it hurts. It hurts like hell and it makes Yoongi want to hide somewhere, anywhere, but mostly of all, it makes him want to take Jimin by the hand – they had separated when it happened, out of pure instinct – and run away.

That's what they do. Yoongi lets out a shaky breath when he locks his apartment's door, hands trembling as he drops the keys in the bowl on the counter and immediately reaching for Jimin.

Said boy is standing awkwardly in the middle of his living room, coat still on. Although the lights are out, the faint moonlight is enough for him to make out the lines of Jimin's face. Yoongi touches his arm briefly, waiting to see how he'll react. He doesn't, at all, so the older pulls him into a tight hug. It's bone-crushing, but Jimin doesn't mind, he wraps his arms around Yoongi's torso and buries his face on his black sweater.

(It smells like sunny days and peppermint, like something he had known for a really long time, it smells like home)

"I just don't get it," it's what he says, voice cracking, and his cheek feels damp against the clothing of Yoongi's sweater but he doesn't care. "I don't get why it happens."

"People are full of shit, Jiminnie, but they won't get to us. Shit like this happens, but it doesn't matter. Doesn't. Matter . Alright?"

They end up bundled up on his bed, a comforter around their shoulders and his notebook, still playing some random tv show, long forgot at their feet. As Yoongi whispers sweet nothings to Jimin's ear, pressing kisses to the side of his head, Fate is sitting on the leather sofa across the room. She sighs, chin resting on her knees, wondering if it was too much. They're just kids.

No , she thinks, as they fall asleep, bruised lips and lost in each other's limbs. She pecks both on the forehead as a mother would do, because she's been watching them for so long now it feels just right. They're just kids, but all kids need to grow up.

 

– x –

 

Yoongi thinks Jimin is so pretty that he might stop breathing one day.

it’s something about the way he holds his phone in one hand and clutches the shoulder strap of his backpack, casually typing on the screen, when they're walking together to get breakfast at the nearest Starbucks because they're both too lazy to do it at home.

Gods, he's stunning . It's the way he moves his shoulders and the way he walks and how he presses his lips to Yoongi's temple when he thinks he's sleeping. He likes-- no, no, he loves the curve of Jimin's lips, the color of his cheeks when he's blushing, every single mole of his body, even the shape of his nails. It's his hands and how tiny they are, how they fit perfectly in his when they hold hands.

"You're so pretty, babe," he'd whisper in Jimin's ear, preferably while it's dark so the other wouldn't notice him smiling. He'd never been too fond of compliments, but he just can't let Jimin not know about it. "You're so pretty, you even take my breath away."

"Oh my God, Yoongi," Jimin would groan because he, too, has never been too fond of compliments. "You're such a sap, sometimes."

(He wouldn't only do it to see Jimin blushing, no. He'd do it because sometimes he catches Jimin sighing at his own reflection in the mirror, he catches the way the other touches his hair with an expression of disapprovement, the way sometimes he wears long sleeved shirts even though it's too warm outside. He'd whisper those words to Jimin's sunkissed skin at night, before pressing his lips all the way up his arms, fingers hovering above his waistline, kissing Jimin's insecurities away even if just for a moment)

One day, Yoongi paints him with all the colors of the world.

Jimin thinks the painting is way more beautiful than he ever will be – his skin looks better, his eyes are brighter, it's him but it's not him. When he tells Yoongi that, hoping not to hurt his feelings, Yoongi takes his hand and kisses it.

"This is what I see," he says. "This is how you look like, Jiminnie, you believing it or not."

That same night, Yoongi uses his body as his canvas as well. He paints galaxies on Jimin's skin with his lips, draws constellations on his back with kisses and counts the stars hidden inside his eyes. He whispers quietly against his mouth that he's the prettiest thing Yoongi's ever seen.

And, for the first time, Jimin believes him.

 

– x –

 

Yoongi is home alone on a friday night when it starts to rain.

He smiles at himself, sitting on the chair near to the window in his parent's living room, resting his chin on his knees as he watches the water droplets run down the glass. His parents are out of town – Yoongi had bought them ferry tickets and rented a nice stay at Jeju as their wedding anniversary present –, and his older brother was out with some friends. He asked if Jimin wanted to come with him, but the boy said he'd visit his parents back in Busan. Now, his only company was Holly, the dog, that slept peacefully on the carpet near the fireplace.

Yoongi enjoyed times like these. He liked spending a week or two with his parents during college breaks, and liked it even more when the house was calm like this. He closed his eyes, listening to the downpour.

He wondered if it was raining in Busan as well.

And he wondered if Jimin was thinking of him too.

 

– x –

 

They're holding hands under the table at Jimin, Hoseok and Seokjin's house.

Not because their friends don't know about them yet, because they do, but because it feels nice and intimate, because it's their thing. Yoongi brushes his thumb against the soft skin of Jimin's hand, enjoying the warmth coming from it. He kisses the side of Jimin's head quickly before answering whatever Namjoon said to him, something about going out to buy Christmas presents next week.

"I literally have no idea what to buy for Jeongguk," says the older, holding out a fork to Seokjin, on the other side of the table, "What do kids even like these days?"

"You talk like you're old as hell," says Jimin, laughing.

Seokjin doesn't look amused. "Yeah, and he talks as if he's going to buy the gifts. Last time that happened, he bought Taehyung a wrap machine. As in, the food . A machine to make wraps. I didn't even know such thing existed."

"I just bought it because we wanted to start a sandwich shop together," Namjoon replies. "I'd make some nice wraps. I'd be the king of wrap. The wrap monster."

"Oh my God, just shut up already."

While Jin and Namjoon argue over (terrible) ideas for gifts, Yoongi quietly leaves the table and takes Jimin by the hand with him. They walk past Hoseok and Taehyung in the living room, who were too busy drawing dicks on the face of an asleep Jeongguk to notice they were headed to the balcony.

Yoongi leans his hip on the small concrete wall, peeking over to see the traffic lights and the cars passing by many, many floors below. He feels Jimin's arms closing around his torso, nose pressing against the back of his neck.

"I used to dream about falling all the time," Yoongi says, quietly, kind of expecting Jimin not to reply because he never told that before to anyone.  "But it stopped."

But it's Jimin, and he always replies. Even when Yoongi texts him in the middle of a boring class with memes and pictures of his foot, even when he drops by at his place at three in the morning and throws little rocks at his window because he's lame – and because he doesn't want to deal with Seokjin's fury if he shouts at unholy hours. He always replies. He's always there. Just like he's here right now.

"When did it stop?" he asks, and his breath tickles Yoongi's skin.

He's glad Jimin can't see his face, because he's blushing furiously. He grabs his hold on the balcony a little bit harder, and the traffic lights under them seems less terrifying than they would a few months ago.

"It stopped when I met you."

 

– x –

 

Min Yoongi falls for Park Jimin somewhere in between late night conversations and hands slipping into the other’s pockets, quietly whispering in the middle of public libraries and lying on the grass outside the house Jimin shared with two other guys.

He thinks that it’s his chocolate eyes and smile made for the beautiful things. It could be that sweet voice of his, the way Jimin’s lips curls up when he sees children playing on the street, his love for green apple flavored bubblegum. It could also be his childish laugh, the way his feet are always warm and how he hides his face when he’s shy.

When he really thinks of it, Min Yoongi has the feeling he falls in love with Park Jimin every day. He feels in it his chest, something old and deep, every damn time he looks over at the other and see everything good and bright and real. He falls a little bit more in love with Jimin especially when he presses both of his hands to Yoongi’s bare back in the morning, right above his shoulder blades.

"I’ll give you wings," he says, one day. "We’ll fly away."

"You’re afraid of heights," Yoongi replies.

(He would press a kiss to the back of his neck, slow and chaste)

"Not when I’m with you."

 

– x –

 

It's a ritual.

You wake up, every day, same body, same soul, same room. The day, although, is always new. You breathe, in and out, in and out, in and out, just like a thief — you know your heart’s been stolen, you couldn’t be more happy about it. There’s something about the way he kisses you that pulls a trigger inside your chest.

When you’re with him you feel like you could set the world on fire. You touch him, every part of him, and you burn, you burn, you burn. There’s something about his soul that is so beautiful, so old, so familiar and so similar to yours that it’s got you thinking this is what it must feel like to be alive.

You watch him as he stumbles out of the bed — your bed —, dragging the sheets along with him, and his steps are so careful and precise, he pets your dog’s belly on the way out of the room and you lay there, quiet, breathing, living, loving . You love him. You always did. The feeling consumes you from inside, burns you alive, lifts you up to the sky. You get up, eventually, and your steps are not quiet and your head is filled with sleep but you make it to the kitchen, yes, you always do. You lean on the doorstep as you watch him and he watches you.

“You look like the Sun,” you say. He kisses you until you’re both dizzy and breathless.

You don’t want him to stop. Ever. When the sun comes up and the light peeks shyly through your window's curtains, you're looking at him. And he's looking at you.

 

Little did you know, dreamy boy. He’s the Sun and you are his Icarus, and if you fall, you fall together. Just like you always did, just like you'll always do.

 

– x –

 

"Yoongi?"

"Yeah?"

"I love you more than the Sun loves the sea."

"Why'd you say that, Jiminnie?"

"Well, it sets every day just to kiss him, right? Hoping that boy Icarus will feel it as well. And I love you more than that. Will always love you more than that."

"That's right, Jiminnie. I'll love you more than that too. Don't forget it."

"I won't."

"Good. Me neither."