He could barely remember the last time they saw each other. Two years, maybe even more passed since Yongguk last saw Jeongmin. He remembers the older one hugging him tightly, even pressing his lips against the skin bellow Yongguk's ear.
“Don’t get yourself into shit, ‘kay?” he said, a faint blush spreading over his cheeks as his fingers lingered over Yongguk’s shoulders for a second longer.
Yongguk just laughed sheepishly. He never thought this would be the last time he saw Jeongmin, his hyung.
“If I do I’ll come to you for an advice.” He took one of Jeongmin’s hands in his, thumb stroking over the smooth tanned skin of Jeongmin's palm. “You seem to know a thing or two about scandals, hyung.”
Jeongmin laughed half-heartedly, his fingers curling deeper into Yongguk. “Brat,” he spat out and pulled his hand away from Yongguk’s. “How dare you speak like that to your hyung?”
The other’s smile only widened, his gums showing. “I’m always rude to my hyung.” A flash of pink blush spreads over Jeongmin's cheeks, his eyes shooting to the ground.
“Aish, Jeongmin,” Yohan clasped his palm against the latter’s back. “Stop acting like he’s going to army. He’ll be just around the corner.” A smile spread over Yohan's lips as he wrapped his hand around Yongguk’s shoulders and pulled him against his shoulders.
“Promise to get world famous and then collab with me?” he joked, fingers jabbing into Yongguk’s neck. “I want a share of your fans too, you know?”
Yongguk laughed, slipping out of Yohan’s grip. “I really don’t want young girls to be your fans. You’re dangerous.” His lips stretched into a wide grin, dodging Yohan's blow to his face. “Fucker,” the elder mumbles and grabs Yongguk into a headlock; a small grin spreads over Jeongmin’s face as he watches the two play.
“Stop that,” Inyeop scoffs, his fingers buried deep in his jacket pockets, “you’ll strangle the boy before he even debuts.” He has a small smile lingering in the corners of his lips.
Yongguk jumps away from Yohan, hands wrapping around Inyeop. “Thanks, hyung,” he mumbles when the grip around him loosens and Inyeop pulls back. “Thanks for all of this.” There might be tears in his eyes but he fights them off.
Inyeop hits his shoulder. “You’ll pay us back,” he smirks. “One way or another.”
Yohan laughs in the back and Yongguk can feel Jeongmin’s eyes on his back.
“Am I missing on something, or?” he asks, brows furrowed.
Inyeop laughs, whole heartedly and pushes him into Jeongmin’s arms. “We know, you can kiss goodbye, it’s not a problem.”
Yongguk’s cheeks flush a deep red colour as he feels Jeongmin's fingers on his cheek. The elder’s lips press against his only for a brief moment. Lips ghost against one another, Yongguk wonders how long it will fuel him.
“You should go,” Jeongmin mumbles against his lips, cheeks ruddy and lips wet. “You’ll be late.”
Yongguk doesn’t want to leave. He’ll be away from him, from all of them. This might have been the biggest mistake he’s done in his life.
“Go,” Jeongmin nudges, pushing him away. His fingers are tangled into Yongguk’s jacket, unwilling to pull back but he knows that he has to, so he forces himself to. Forces himself to let Yongguk go because it’s for the boy’s own good. Yongguk will be better where he’s off to.
Yongguk moves away reluctantly and runs up to the car that has been waiting for him. just before he climbs in he hears Jeongmin say, “Be safe,” and then three of his best friends, his hyungs, his mentors are gone behind him and he’s off into a whole new world.
“Hey hyung,” Jongup called one night. He had Himchan curled up to his side, snoring quite loudly.
Yongguk nods his head mumbling a small, “What’s up?” to the younger boy before taking a seat on the floor next to where the two sat.
“Do you ever miss your hyungs?”
Jongup wasn’t stupid, no. He was the one that could see the sadness in the members’ eyes when someone would mention family, or friends. And he could see it in Yongguk’s eyes every single day since they’ve met.
Yongguk lets his head fall onto his chest. A bitter smile on his lips. “Of course I do, Jonguppie. How wouldn’t I, they were like a family to me.”
Jongup shuffles on the sofa above him, flopping onto the floor next to Yongguk only a moment later.
“How come you never went to visit them?”
Yongguk wonders too. Why didn’t he go visit them? He knew their addresses, knew where their studio was, heck he could have called Inyeop’s secretary and arrange a meeting if necessary. But why didn’t he?
“I don’t know, Jongup.” He released a deep sigh. “I don’t know.”
Sometimes when he looks at Junhong he can see himself. The pure passion in the boy’s eyes as he memorises his rap parts, the small smile that forms on his lips and in the corner of his eyes when he gets praised. It reminds him of his younger self, the one that practiced in Jeongmin’s apartment and in Inyeop's studio.
“Hyung,” Junhong calls out for what seemed not to be the first time. “Something wrong?” he looks concerned, he always does, like it’s the only expression he knows how to keep permanently stitched to his face. But Yongguk had noticed that it melts away when he’s with Youngjae, or Jongup. They make him stop worrying because he knows the two will do anything to keep him safe.
“If there’s something that’s bothering you,” Jeongmin said against Yongguk’s neck, shivers running down the younger’s spine as the elder pressed his fingers deeper into his back, “come to me. I’ll help you.” He kissed the corner of Yongguk’s mouth. “Always.”
Yongguk shakes his head; he didn’t need Jeongmin right now. “I’m fine, tired.” The lie was so obvious Junhong didn’t even try to hide his ‘are-you-fucking-kidding-me’ face.
He rolled his eyes. “Should go visit them,” he muttered as he passed by Yongguk towards the doors of the studio. “Might be good for you.”
Yongguk feels lost. But then he connects the dots and Junhong is already down by the elevator, pressing the buttons. The doors are closing, but Yongguk makes it in time.
“Would you like to go with me?” Yongguk asks out of the blue when the two make their way up the stairs in their dorm. “I don’t think I can go alone. Not after this long.”
Junhong isn’t sure if that is sadness in Yongguk’s voice or is he scared but nods his head either way. “You’re my hyung. Of course I will.” And then there is it, the slight hint of affection Junhong has always felt towards Yongguk. All of the affection, brotherly, romantically, all of it was cramped into that one word, and Yongguk felt like home again. Like the times when Jeongmin would keep him in his arms, tightly pressed against his chest.
“I love you.” Yongguk remembers him say. He never said it back, he couldn’t. But now, after all this time he might actually be able to, and that scares him more than it excites him.
But, will Jeongmin still love him though?
“You’re shaking,” Junhong notes as the two make their way down the street. They have only three more blocks to go and Yongguk can’t make his body still. “They aren’t going to eat you. They’re your friends.”
Yongguk wonders, is this the time to tell him about Jeongmin, or should he wait until they meet up, and he latches his lips to Jeongmin’s.
“Jeongmin,” he stuttered, almost falling over his feet. “He and I, um—” How can he do this, how can he ruin it all up like this.
“Maslo sunbaenim, he’s your favourite right?” Junhong asks, his fingers brushing over Yongguk’s.
Yongguk’s breath hitches in his throat. ‘Jeongmin was much more than a favourite, so much more.’ But he can’t tell him, not when he looks so happy to be with him, so happy to finally see the other side of Yongguk; the one that he kept strictly for Himchan or his brother when he’d venture into their dorm in the middle of the night.
“It’s here,” Yongguk mumbles instead, finger pointing at the building on the other side of the road. He can see the window he and Inyeop used to sit by and chill to some mellow hip-hop. Things were so much easier back then.
Junhong’s face lights up. “Let’s go then.” He grabs Yongguk by his wrist, pulling him across the road.
Something about this feels wrong. Something about this screams danger and sadness and regret, but Yongguk still walks in. the woman on the reception is still the same; Jiwoo. She had a bright smile and was always too short to reach the top shelves.
“Yongguk-ah,” she called, her smile spread wide as she called him closer. “Didn’t expect to see you here.” She still talked in that sweet, almost motherly tone that would soothe Yongguk.
Yongguk laughs awkwardly and scratches the back of his neck. “I should have arranged a meeting, shouldn’t I? They’re not here right?” he asked almost hoping that she’d confirm it.
“No, no,” she quickly replied, her fingers tapping along the keyboard she had in front of herself. “They are upstairs. At least Inyeop and Jeongmin, Yohan left us.”
Yongguk nods. Yohan left a not a long ago. “The studio?” he asked, already knowing that the answer would be a mere nod from the girl and a small smile.
“He missed you,” she whispered as they passed by and it took every bit of will for Yongguk to keep on going.
Jeongmin missed him. He actually missed him.
“Whoa,” Junhong exclaimed as they entered the elevator. “Is everyone here so nice, or is it only the girls?” there was a hint of mocking in his voice but Yongguk decided to ignore it. They were only two floors away.
“Let me do it,” Inyeop hissed. “I do it better.”
Jeongmin was about to protest, but in the corner of his eye he was something move at the doors and quickly averted his eyes there. And when he realized just at what he was looking at, his expression dropped.
“Y-Yongguk,” he muttered, papers slipping from his fingers, legs moving before he could stop them. “You’re here.” He stopped only a few inches before Yongguk, his face so close, completely unchanged.
Yongguk nodded his head. “Yeah,” he muttered before his fingers tangled into Jeongmin’s almond coloured hair and their lips met.
His lips were just as soft as Yongguk remembered them. Plum and warm, and welcoming, and soft, and his.
“I missed you,” Yongguk mumbled against Jeongmin’s lips as the other pulls back.
Jeongmin smirks, his fingers threading through Yongguk’s hair as he meets their lips once more. “Who’s that?” he asks, body still tightly pressed against Yongguk’s, fingers of his hand secured protectively into the hooks of Yongguk’s trousers.
Yongguk coughs awkwardly. “This is Junhong, my band mate.”
Junhong had the expression of someone who just watched his puppy getting beaten to death. But nevertheless he bowed to Jeongmin and greeted him with respect.
Jeongmin laughed, his hand falling around Junhong’s shoulders. “No need to do that here kid. We’re all local here.”
Junhong returned the smile, even his dimples showed, but somewhere in his eyes Yongguk could see the disappointment. He could see his heart break.
When they walked home Yongguk couldn’t stop thinking about Jeongmin. All he could think of was Jeongmin, his hands, his smile, his lips, his tongue. All of his senses started to work properly again.
He was home, finally. Right there where he belonged; tightly wrapped in Jeongmin’s arms, with the elder’s taste on his lips and on his tongue, dominating his mouth, and with his hands every where over his body, and words ‘I love you’ whispered into his ear.