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Jung Hoseok vs. Min Yoongi (According to Jung Hoseok)

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“This is fucking stupid,” Hoseok gripes, yanking roughly at the collar of his shirt. “I do not need to go to this yearbook party. I don’t even remember buying a yearbook, what would I even want one for?” He turns around and frowns at Namjoon, who is sprawled out on his bed, already dressed, flicking through his phone. “And you’re not nearly as annoyed as I thought you’d be.”

Namjoon looks at him from an awkward angle and Hoseok has to suppress a laugh at how many chins Namjoon has. Namjoon sighs. “It’s only for a couple hours, okay? And besides, you have me. We’ll go, gossip like old ladies for a bit, and then leave. Okay?”

Hoseok can’t believe this. How can Namjoon be so calm? When they first got the invitation, Namjoon had been just as displeased as he was, and now he’s tying his shoes without a care in the world. Well. Well then.

Fine,” Hoseok says, pouting, “just a couple hours. But you’re doing all the talking.”

Namjoon rolls his eyes. “Just be glad you don’t have to wear a suit.”

 

“It’s been ages, hasn’t it?!” Hyeri exclaims, pulling Hoseok into a hug. Hoseok pats her on the back and offers a smile, refusing to point out that they only graduated a year ago.

“How’s school going?” He asks politely instead.

She rolls her eyes. “Oh, you know. The usual, nothing exciting there.” She turns to Namjoon, who, annoyingly, is much warmer than Hoseok is. But he doesn’t even want to be here in the first place and he may or may not have the intention of letting every single person here know that.

It gets kind of difficult though, because Namjoon isn’t ditching him for anyone, leaving him to sulk in a corner and Hoseok actually did have a lot of friends in high school so he finds himself getting carried away talking to Jaebum and Youngjae and then Jackson comes over and smothers him and before he realizes it, it’s almost over and Hoseok forgets about why he was so unwilling to come –

Until he bumps into someone from behind, and when he turns around to apologize, he’s met with mint green hair and tired eyes and –

You,” Hoseok hisses, watching as Min Yoongi’s eyes narrow in return. “What are you doing here?”

“Wow, amazing that you even decided to talk to me,” Yoongi snaps. “In case you already forgot, I went to this high school too. We even graduated together, remember? What is university doing to your memory, huh?”

Hoseok bristles. Where the fuck did Namjoon go? He was here a moment ago. “My memory is just fine when it comes to things I actually care about,” he retorts, and Yoongi just rolls his eyes. “Now if you’ll excuse me,” he continues, “I really have to go find Namjoon. Hopefully I don’t actually see you around.” He turns around and walks away quickly, missing the way Yoongi blinks at him, before shaking his head.

 

“You’re so immature,” Namjoon says when they return to their dorm. “That’s why you didn’t give me a real reason why you didn’t wanna go to that thing. You just didn’t want to run into Yoongi.”

“Namjoon, how many times to I have to remind you? He humiliated me in front of everyone! I told you this story!”

Namjoon pulls off his shirt before giving Hoseok a look of utter distaste. “You mean that time all the way back in third grade when he scared you from behind and you peed your pants? I’m pretty sure no one remembers that except you.”

“Um, clearly you remember it. And people made fun of me for an entire week, excuse you, and it was embarrassing and I am forever scarred,” Hoseok sniffs, throwing his clothes on the floor. “How dare you underestimate my childhood trauma, Namjoon. I thought you were more sensitive than this.”

“Are you even listening to yourself?” Namjoon asks, sitting on his bed with a box of cereal. He pulls out a handful and stuffs it in his mouth, completely ignoring Hoseok’s look of disdain. If Hoseok wants to be petty then he can suffer and vacuum the floor. It’s only fair.

“I thought you were my friend, Namjoonie,” Hoseok wails, flopping on Namjoon’s bed. “How could you betray me?” Always one for dramatics, Namjoon thinks.

 “Go to sleep, Hoseok,” Namjoon mumbles around his cereal. “You have dance early tomorrow.”

“Fuck, you’re right,” Hoseok groans, and rolls himself into a more comfortable position, ignoring Namjoon’s protests to go to sleep on his own fucking bed.

 

***

[12:32 a.m.]

so he still doesn’t like you?

[12:33 a.m.]

still doesn’t like me

don’t even know why

[12:33 a.m.]

maybe you should ask

[12:34 a.m.]

you think I haven’t tried that?

he just goes “you know why”

except i don’t fuckin know why

[12:34 a.m.]

excuse me I’m your hyung

it still sucks though you’ve liked this kid for a long time

[12:34 a.m.]

hyung

and yea i know but it’s whatever I guess

***

 

 

 “Okay, I think that’s enough for now.”

“Thank god,” Jimin groans, and collapses into a heap on the floor. Jeongguk quickly follows his lead, but instead of collapsing on the floor, he collapses on Jimin, who voices his displeasure in a series of loud whines and expletives.

“Don’t crush my boyfriend,” Taehyung calls from the corner. “That’s my job.”

“What kind of shit boyfriend doesn’t even help his boyfriend off the floor?” Jimin wheezes. He hits Jeongguk on the shoulder. “Why are you so fucking fat?!” Jeongguk grunts and rolls off.

Hoseok watches them with amusement, toweling off his sweaty hair and gathering his things.

“Good job guys, we’re really coming together,” he says, earning him two tired smiles. “The showcase is in a couple weeks and I want to put together one more routine, starting Wednesday, alright?”

“Sounds good,” Jimin says, sighing as Taehyung massages his neck. “Hey Tae, when is our ride getting here anyway?”

“Oh, Yoongi hyung says he just walked in.” Hoseok’s blood freezes.

“Excuse me?” he says, rounding on Taehyung. “Yoongi? Min Yoongi? Short and grumpy and has green hair?”

Taehyung raises an eyebrow. “Yyyess? How do you know Yoongi?”

Hoseok sniffs. “I’ve known him since first grade. How do you know Yoongi?”

“We live in the same apartment complex,” Taehyung says, shrugging. “Met a couple months ago, I think he goes to the other uni not too far from here.” Hoseok scowls. The nerve.

“Why does Hoseok look like someone just shit on him?” Jeongguk says from the floor.

Because,” Hoseok says petulantly. “He’s my mortal enemy who has done me the greatest wrong. You are fraternizing with The Enemy”

Jimin rolls his eyes. “I bet it’s not even that big of a deal.”

It’s at this moment that Yoongi chooses to stroll in. “What’s not that big of a deal?”

Nothing,” Hoseok barks out, cutting Taehyung off before he can say anything. “Why are you here.”

“Relax,” Yoongi says, looking at him weirdly. “I’m just here to pick up Tae and Jimin.” His eyes flicker over to them. “Wanna get lunch? Jeongguk can come too, if he wants.”

“Lunch!” Jimin cheers. “I want ramyun.”

“Let’s go then, hyung will pay.” Yoongi spares Hoseok a glance. “I would invite you, but then again I wouldn’t. See you around, Hoseok.”

“Get out of my studio.”

 

A week passes with no sightings of one Min Yoongi and it’s great. Hoseok is great. Hoseok is cool, calm, and collected. He’s been sleeping peacefully. He makes his way to the library downtown because during midterms, the campus library is way too crowded to find a table and he has the full intention of being Productive and Getting Shit Done.

So when he enters the fourth floor of the library and heads over to his usual spot, he almost walks into a column when he sees none other than Min Fucking Yoongi sitting at his table near the window. He seems very absorbed in his work. It doesn’t seem like he’s noticed Hoseok at all. Excellent, Hoseok thinks, and quietly flees.

 

After that particular Incident, suddenly, Min Yoongi is everywhere. He’s picking up Jimin and Tae from dance every afternoon, and he seems to have a permanent residence on the fourth floor of the library. Hoseok checks whenever he goes there, just to see if his table has been so kindly returned to him, only to be met with disappointment every time he sees a head of mint green hair. He is forced to slink off to a different floor, which shouldn’t matter because they’re all the same, but that isn’t the point, Hoseok tells himself. Absolutely not the point.

Yoongi, for some reason, seems completely unfazed whenever they have a run-in. Hoseok lies to himself, saying that Yoongi is definitely not more mature than him, that he’s just mocking Hoseok every chance he gets. How dare he be so calm in the face of an enraged Hoseok? Hoseok is a force of nature.

(“If by force of nature you mean the gentle rays of sunshine in the morning, then yes, you are absolutely a force of nature,” Namjoon says, ignoring Hoseok’s pout. This is what he fucking means.)

Yoongi is immoveable. Most of his reactions to Hoseok’s snide comments and blatant rudeness are just a lot of slow blinking, or a sigh as he shakes his head and turns away slightly, hand going straight for the phone in his pocket. That’s something that Hoseok wonders about, actually, when his entire being isn’t focused on hating Yoongi. He goes for his phone nearly every time Hoseok interacts with him. It’s interesting, to say the least. Sometimes Hoseok wonders what that’s about.

“You know,” Namjoon says, flicking a ball of paper in Hoseok’s direction, startling him out of his hate-induced fugue state. “For someone who claims to despise Min Yoongi, you sure spend an awful lot of time talking about him. And thinking about him, apparently.”

Hoseok regards Namjoon with a look of disgust. “I don’t talk about Yoongi, I complain about him. There’s a difference.” He is completely serious. Namjoon can feel his willpower melting away. “Second of all,” Hoseok continues. “It’s hard not to complain about him when he butts his way into my life all the damn time? He started picking up Tae and Jimin from dance every time, and he stole my floor of the library!”

“Your floor,” Namjoon repeats flatly.

“My floor,” Hoseok insists. “I can’t exist within the same space as him, Namjoon! I would go crazy. Or throw things at him. Either one. Both, probably.”

“I think,” Namjoon sighs, “that you’re mildly obsessed with him. You always used to harass him in high school, right? If you hated him don’t you think you would avoid him at all costs?”

“Of course not!” Hoseok says, looking at Namjoon with disbelief. “It’s my job to antagonize him until he apologizes for what happened. Until then, I’m going to piss him off forever.”

“Forever is a long time,” Namjoon says slyly. “A real commitment. Almost like marriage.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

***

 

[8:46 p.m.]

haven’t you ever considered moving on?

 

[8:47 p.m.]

yea well if that worked we wouldn’t be having this conversation

[8:50 p.m.]

I’m sorry

I don’t like seeing you this frustrated

[8:51 p.m.]

its okay

im used to it

***

 

 Hoseok shifts on the floor, adjusting his laptop on his knees as he reads an article. There’s at least forty-five minutes before his lecture starts and he didn’t do the readings so here he is, sitting on the floor, a bagel in hand. Hopefully he can finish this in time. His professor has the nasty tendency to call on him on his off days, and he’s pretty sure that everyone in that class thinks he’s stupid, which is the exact opposite of the truth, thank you very much.

His eyes flicker up when someone sits next to him and he tenses for a moment before he realizes that it’s just Taehyung. “What’s up?”

Taehyung holds up a long finger and pulls out his phone, scrolling for a bit until he comes across what he’s looking for, and promptly shoves his phone in Hoseok’s face. Hoseok squints against the bright light until he can make out what he’s supposed to be looking at. It’s a conversation with Yoongi. About him. “What is this?” Hoseok asks calmly.

“It’s what it looks like? Duh?” Taehyung says, putting his phone away. “You know, I really don’t get why you hate Yoongi so much, and neither does Jiminie. He’s actually really nice, even if he’s the exact opposite of a morning person until you get caffeine in him.”

Hoseok frowns. “You don’t understand.”

“Well, clearly Yoongi doesn’t either,” Taehyung says. “I literally asked him why you hate him so much and he literally said that he, and I quote, “doesn’t fucking know.” What gives, hyung? I didn’t actually think you were capable of hating anything. Can’t you try being nice to him?”

“Maybe somewhere there exists a parallel universe in which Yoongi and I are best friends. More than that, even,” Hoseok says sagely, trying to ignore the small voice in the back of his head. It’s trying to remind him that he and Yoongi were, in this particular world, best friends. “Unfortunately for you, and everyone, really, that is not this world. This world is cold and dark and Yoongi is The Enemy, so no, I will not be nice to him.” He pats Taehyung’s knee. “If you want, you can tell Yoongi that we had this conversation. Although I’m not sure how he would feel if he knew that you showed me that conversation.”

Taehyung shakes his head. “I wasn’t planning on telling him. I just think that you should be nice to him. You’re a nice person, hyung. Mean isn’t a good look on you.”

***

 

[4:54 p.m.]

I can’t believe things like this actually happen

Or why they would happen to you, of all people

[4:56 p.m.]

what the fucks that supposed to mean

[4:46 p.m.]

just that you’re generally unbothered by most things

[4:57 p.m.]

this kid used to be my fuckin best friend

then one day he just stops talking to me

obviously im gonna be bothered

[4:58 p.m.]

and he still really won’t talk to you?

[5:00 p.m.]

nope

just gets mad

[5:01 p.m.]

pretty stubborn, huh

[5:01 p.m.]

you have no idea

[5:02 p.m.]

I can hear how fond you are through my screen

[5:06 p.m.]

fuck off

***

 

Try being nice to Min Yoongi. It sounds even more ridiculous than when Taehyung said it the first time, Hoseok thinks. But he does not back down. He walks right up to the coffee bar on the first floor of the library and opens his mouth to tell the barista his order and that’s when he realizes that he actually has no idea what Yoongi likes to drink. This is what he gets for being stubborn.

He comes back to his senses when the barista timidly says “sir?” and he blinks wildly at her for a few seconds before remembering that he is on a Mission. He clears his throat. “Sorry,” he says, smiling kindly, and he internally sighs when he sees the barista relax. “Um, can I have a hot chocolate? A large hot chocolate?”

When he pays, he tells her to keep the change.

 

There’s the small sound of someone setting something down near his elbow, and Yoongi looks up from his textbook to see Hoseok, for some reason, making himself comfortable next to Yoongi and taking a sip from his own cup. Yoongi blinks for a minute, staring, until Hoseok finally looks over and gives him a customary ‘sup’ head jerk.

“Um,” Yoongi says. “What are you doing?”

Hoseok swallows and gestures towards his laptop. “What does it look like? I always study here, just because you’re here doesn’t mean I’m gonna sit somewhere else.”

“That doesn’t explain why you brought me a coffee.” Yoongi waves his hand, very nearly knocking it over. “You got some ulterior motive?”

Hoseok pretends to think for a bit. “You know, I didn’t have one, but since I bought it for you, now you can owe me.” He gives Yoongi a wide, shit-eating grin, ignoring Yoongi’s scoff before beginning to type rapidly. “Now, I was nice enough to bring you a drink, so kindly shut up so I can write this paper.”

Yoongi squints at him but it goes ignored, Hoseok now completely absorbed in his paper and the notes spread out next to his laptop. Sighing, Yoongi gives up and turns back to his own work, but not without picking up the cup. He glares suspiciously at it before taking a sip, nervous about burning his mouth. He’s pleasantly surprised when it’s just hot chocolate, and takes a larger sip and sets it down before looking up and realizing that Hoseok is staring at him.

Yoongi ignores his fluttering insides. “Can I help you?”

“No.” Hoseok’s response comes quickly. “What’s wrong, did you think I was gonna get you something you didn’t like? Maybe I should’ve.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Fucking chill,” he snaps. “I didn’t want to burn my mouth. I mean, lord knows you’re not going to kiss it better.” Fuck. Fuck. Why the fuck did he just say that?

Hoseok chokes on his drink and spends a few minutes coughing his lungs out. Yoongi, too busy yelling at himself, can do nothing but watch as Hoseok tries not to die. “No,” Hoseok rasps, swiping at his watering eyes, “no, I’m not. Jesus.”

“Exactly,” Yoongi says, eyes already turning away. “Your turn to shut up and let me work.”

***

 

[8:33 p.m.]

lol cant believe you actually said that

[8:34 p.m.]

you know I came here for moral support not this

[8:34 p.m.]

haha sorry Yoongi ah

who knows maybe he’ll take a hint

[8:35 p.m.]

or I couldve just freaked him the fuck out

he practically had a heart attack

[8:40 p.m.]

well it was pretty unexpected

I would expect Namjoonie to pull that shit

[8:41 p.m.]

well it would work

since youre fuckin whipped

[8:42 p.m.]

I didn’t come here for this

***

 

 “Hyung I’m so proud of you!” Taehyung beams after Hoseok tells him about yesterday’s trip to the library. “I was wondering why Yoongi looked so happy this morning.”

Hoseok huffs. “Probably just happy that he didn’t have to spend his own money.” But on the inside, he feels kind of warm.

Taehyung just shakes his head, tapping away on his phone.

Hoseok glares at the side of his head. He really wishes people would stop taking their phones out in the middle of conversations. Maybe Taehyung should stop spending so much time with Yoongi. He’s going to adopt all of his bad habits.

 

It becomes a weirdly regular thing, the library. Yoongi seems to have taken the hot chocolate as an invitation to stay at Hoseok’s table, and now Hoseok never has the table to himself anymore. Yoongi even sits there on the rare occasion that Hoseok is there first. Hoseok is very aware that he could probably tell Yoongi to fuck off at any time, but for some reason, he holds back. For some reason, he can’t bring himself to do it, and Yoongi becomes a permanent fixture at his table.

It always goes like this: Hoseok walks in and buys two hot chocolates before making his way upstairs. More often than not, Yoongi is there before him, either arriving just a few minutes before, or having arrived several hours ago. Despite what Hoseok had said about Yoongi paying him back for the hot chocolate, he never does, it never comes up, and eventually, they both forget about it. It just continues like this, and Hoseok honestly can’t say he minds too much.

Sometimes, he really wishes that he was alone again. Sometimes, several rude comments are exchanged before Hoseok finally pulls out his textbooks and gets to work. But most of the time, there is nothing more than a gentle silence between them, like an unspoken peace treaty.

He would never admit it out loud, but Hoseok almost enjoys it.

 

Hoseok is in a good mood. He turned in a project early, and he has time to get a head start on another paper. He is in such a good mood that when he remembers that Yoongi is sapping all his money, he doesn’t go through with asking Yoongi to pay him back for the hot chocolate he always buys him now.

However, just like every Thursday it seems, the universe is Out To Get Him, and he arrives on the fourth floor, approaching his table, to see Yoongi sitting there. Totally not working hard at all. Laughing at something that the girl sitting with him is saying. Girl sitting with him. Girl. Sitting. With. Him. At Hoseok’s table.

And here we are, back at Square One, where Hoseok cannot exist in the same space as Yoongi without going crazy, or throwing things, or possibly both. And you know what? Right now, there is nowhere else Hoseok would rather be, here at Square One, so he does exactly what he’s done so many times in the past. He turns right back around and heads to a different floor, dropping the hot chocolate in the garbage along the way.

He completely misses Yoongi turning around for a brief moment, searching.

 

“First, he invades my table,” Hoseok rants, as Namjoon sits next to him and listens. “Now, he thinks he can just bring other people to my table without telling me? Who does he think he is!”

Namjoon looks down at Hoseok, who is sprawled in an ungainly starfish position on his bed. “You know,” he comments. “It doesn’t really make any sense for you to be so upset over this. I thought you liked meeting people.”

“I like meeting people on my own terms,” Hoseok corrects him. “I don’t really appreciate it when people are suddenly flung into my space of existence, especially not when they’re flung there because of a very rude and inconsiderate Min Yoongi.”

“You’re getting too worked up over this,” Namjoon says, reaching over to the nightstand to grab a book. “Just sit there like you always do. Be nice. I know you know how to be nice to people.”

Why are so many people trying to tell him to be nice lately? Hoseok feels like a child, and frankly, he does not appreciate it.

 

When Hoseok next walks into the library, he walks with confidence. He is here on Another Mission. He is going to walk right up to the fourth floor of this damn library, sit at his table regardless of whoever the fuck is there, and start reading the articles for class on Monday. He will not let his professor make a fool of him again. And he is going to be very focused, and completely unbothered for the entire time he is there.

He repeats this as a mantra to himself over and over as he climbs the stairs, and it isn’t until he reaches the third floor that he remembers that he forgot to buy hot chocolate in a vain attempt to appear normal. He presses forward however, sure that if he walks back down the stairs, he might accidently walk right out of the building and back to his dorm. And once he is back at his dorm, he will have to face a disapproving look from Namjoon, who will undoubtedly know why he returned too early and proceed to lecture him once again on topics that he does not care about, such as Why He Needs To Try Harder and Why Min Yoongi Deserves Better. Disgusting.

He makes his way to his table, ignoring the thundering of his blood as he takes in Yoongi, poring over textbooks, and that girl – whoever she is – sitting next to him, scribbling away in a notebook.

“Hello Yoongi,” Hoseok says, in a friendly voice that may or not be forced, and preens when Yoongi jumps a little. Finally. He was beginning to wonder if Yoongi ever reacted to anything at all.

“Hoseok,” Yoongi says. “What a surprise.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, seeing as this was my table,” Hoseok says, smiling widely. He turns his attention to Yoongi’s friend, who is peering at him curiously. “I don’t believe we’ve met before,” he says, bowing slightly. “Are you a friend of Yoongi’s?”

She nods. “Gong Minji,” she says brushing hair out of her eyes.

“It’s nice to meet you!” Hoseok replies. “Jung Hoseok. Mind if I sit here?”

She grins. “Well if it was your table first, I don’t see why not.”

Yoongi snorts. “See, Hoseok, Minji knows how to be nice to people.”

“I’m nice,” Hoseok says, pulling out his laptop. “I’m a ray of sunshine. Just ask Namjoon.”

“Namjoon doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

“Yoongi,” Minji says, already back to taking notes, “I love you and all, but your beautiful voice is preventing me from taking notes, so would you please shut the hell up and let me work?”

Yoongi shakes his head in mock disappointment. “I take it back. Minji, why are you so cold to me?”

“I’m doing it for the GPA.”

“Fair enough.” Yoongi shrugs. “You heard the girl, Hoseok. Let her work.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes and holds up his earbuds before effectively blocking the world out.

Or, almost effectively. It’s a little difficult to focus on his reading when Yoongi and Minji are sitting across from him, exchanging words every so often when Minji has a question. Sometimes, Yoongi will point at a passage, using his other hand to emphasize whatever he’s saying. Sometimes, he’ll grab a stray pen or highlighter and write down something in the margins, or highlight an important concept, or add to Minji’s notes himself. Sometimes, he gives her this little side smile when he’s done explaining a topic and she will return it with a small smile of her own and a nod.

Not even an hour passes before Hoseok starts to feel restless. Not even an hour and a half passes before the words start to swim before his eyes. At the two-hour mark, he excuses himself quietly and goes back down to the main floor, ordering three hot chocolates. Minji accepts hers gracefully, pushing change into his hand and murmuring a quiet thank you before turning back to her books. When Hoseok sets the cup down near Yoongi’s elbow, Yoongi doesn’t even blink.

At the third hour, Hoseok leaves.

 

It happens a couple more times before Hoseok starts to really get sick of it. He feels like a third wheel, even though Minji is nothing but nice and welcome towards him. They had lunch in the café downstairs once while waiting for Yoongi, and Hoseok is completely won over. Minji is kind and funny, and once he finds out that she dances too, Hoseok makes her promise that she’ll dance with him sometime. They exchange numbers just as Yoongi arrives. And of course, when they go back upstairs, it continues just as it did on the first day, with Yoongi and Minji completely unaware that Hoseok is unable to focus, unable to stop himself from staring over his laptop to watch them interact as his mood slowly declines.

It makes sense that they’re close, Hoseok tells himself in the bathroom. They go to the same school. They have the same classes, probably, which would explain why Minji will have Yoongi explain topics to her sometime. But he can’t push away the looks that pass between them, of gentle familiarity and possibly something more. It grates at Hoseok’s nerves more than he ever expected and suddenly, he doesn’t really know what to do with himself anymore.

He certainly can’t bring it up to anyone. Namjoon would try to lecture him, Taehyung would draw the wrong conclusions. Jimin would do the same as Taehyung, and Jeongguk is just downright useless when it comes to girls or interpersonal relationships of any kind. The only person he wants to talk to about Yoongi is Yoongi, and obviously he can’t do that.

He has a miniature heart attack at the end of that particular train of thought, because talking to Yoongi? When did that become something he wanted to do?

 

That particular unwelcome train of thought persists, and it drives Hoseok crazy. He starts doing everything in his power to distract himself from anything and everything that might have something to do with Yoongi. In the back of his mind, there’s a tiny voice that suggests that maybe he’s being too drastic about things. He ignores that voice because he is a Rational Being according to Himself. He spends more time dancing at the studio, he catches up on all his readings, and eventually he ends up running out of distractions.

He starts skipping the library, choosing instead to use the study rooms on campus, telling himself that it’s easier to focus this way, without people constantly walking in and out of the library and of course, without Yoongi and Minji sitting across from him speaking their own silent language. Once, though, he spends so much time distracting himself that he ends up staring out the window for several hours before leaving the lonely room, having accomplished nothing.

 

“I miss you, you know,” Minji says, wiping sweat off of her face. “You should study with us again sometime, Hoseokie.”

Hoseok laughs awkwardly, scratching the back of his neck. “Sorry about that, Minji. Sometimes It’s just easier to focus in my room, you know? Less distractions.”

She shrugs. “I guess. You know Yoongi turns around to look at the door a lot? Like he keeps expecting you to appear or something.” She giggles, a fond look in her eyes. “It’s pretty cute.”

Hoseok laughs uneasily. “He’s probably just wondering where his hot chocolate is.”

“Maybe,” she says. The smile on her face, however, says something else that Hoseok doesn’t want to think about.

 

“What are you doing here?” Yoongi says as Hoseok makes himself comfortable across from him. “You can’t just waltz back here like nothing.”

Hoseok smiles brightly. “Sure I can! This was my table first, in case you don’t remember. Besides, Minji missed me.” He grins at her, and she just rolls her eyes and laughs before returning her attention to her laptop.

Yoongi doesn’t even want to know. He picks up his hot chocolate, which he has absolutely not missed, thank you very much, and when Minji meets his eye again, she just winks.

***

 

[4:55 p.m.]

I feel like I’m watching a drama

[4:56 p.m.]

i knew you only kept me around for entertainment

[4:56 p.m.]

oh shut up

things can only get better, right?

[4:58 p.m.]

i hope so

***

 

Saturdays are for Hoseok. Saturdays are when he sleeps in, watches shitty dramas, and then heads off to the studio alone because as much as he likes dancing with Jimin and Jeongguk, sometimes he just needs time to run through older, more familiar choreography, and to fool around without the real intention of being perfect. It’s where he listens to old songs and hey, he didn’t think of trying this before and it fits pretty well and what would go next, and then suddenly he finds himself running through an entirely new routine. It’s where he gets inspiration. It’s where he decompresses. It’s where he forgets about everything. It’s where he can be purely himself without any limits and where he truly and completely remembers why he loves dancing so much.

It takes a while for Hoseok to notice that someone is watching him. When he does notice, he’s thankful that he just finished dancing because getting startled during a dance routine could mean a twisted ankle, and that isn’t something Hoseok can afford right now. But Yoongi is here, quietly watching him. Hoseok wonders for how long.

“What are you doing here?” Hoseok says, and tries to ignore the small voice in the back of his head that tries to tell him that that came out harsher than expected.

Yoongi just sighs. “I was in the area and thought you might be here. So I decided to drop in.”

Oh. Um, Hoseok doesn’t know what to do with that. “Oh,” Hoseok says. “Well, a showcase is coming up, so I’ve been choreographing. Kind of. Trying to relax.” He shrugs. “I mean, not that you’d care or anything,” he adds after a beat.

Yoongi’s eyebrows furrow. “There’s no one else here, Hoseok,” he says, voice hard. “You can stop acting like you hate me now.”

“What are you talking about?” Hoseok walks over to the stereo, unplugging his phone. “I’m just stating the truth.”

Yoongi exhales loudly. “Okay, you know what, forget it. I came here because I thought you might be tired and hungry. I thought we could get some food, but since you obviously don’t want me here, I’m just gonna go.”

Wait, what? Wait, no. Fucking fix this, Hoseok. “You just got here,” Hoseok says, trying to rewind. “Calm down, jeez.”

“Calm down,” Yoongi repeats, like he can’t believe what he just heard. “You’re telling me to calm down.”

“Well yes,” Hoseok says, cocking his head. “What’s your problem all of a sudden?”

Disbelief takes over Yoongi’s face. “My problem?” He shakes his head. “What’s my problem? What’s your problem?”

Hoseok scoffs. “I don’t have a problem.”

Yoongi glares at him. “Yea, I’m so fucking sure. You have no problem whatsoever, yet you still try to start shit whenever we’re in the same room.”

“Oh fuck off, will you?” Hoseok snaps. “Stop exaggerating.”

“Like that! Just like that!” Yoongi says, arms flinging out. “Quit telling me to fuck off! I can’t stand!”

Hoseok points at the door. “Didn’t you say you were going to leave? I’m really busy, you know. You’re kind of interrupting me. I was actually having a good time before you got here.”

Yoongi looks like Hoseok just slapped him. Hoseok’s mind is screaming that he should really shut the fuck up right now before he makes things worse, but his mouth doesn’t get the memo. “Seriously, you should go,” Hoseok says. “Figure out what your problem is and then come back.”

“I already know what my problem is!” Yoongi seethes.

“Well then please,” Hoseok says mockingly. “Enlighten me.”

“I just don’t get what your fucking problem is all the time!” And now Yoongi is shouting and suddenly Hoseok is feeling a bit overwhelmed. He’s never been on the receiving end of Yoongi’s temper before. He feels quite small, stunned into silence by Yoongi’s laser beam glare.

Yoongi, apparently, is just getting started. “You bring me hot chocolate one day, but when I come to your studio to pick up the kids you tell me to fuck off. You make friends with Minji and then avoid us for weeks before coming back like nothing’s wrong. One minute it seems like we’re okay and then something happens that apparently makes you remember why you hate me so fucking much. And I don’t even know what I did! I have literally no fucking clue what I did to make you hate me so much. Can’t you even just give me an explanation? Tell me what I did so I can try to apologize before “fucking off.”” He huffs, frustrated, before glaring expectantly at Hoseok.

Hoseok glares right back. “See, you almost don’t deserve an explanation just because you can’t even remember what you did! You humiliated me in front of everyone!”

Yoongi stares. “I have literally no idea what you’re fucking talking about.”

Hoseok gestures wildly. “You humiliated me! You knew I get scared easily and you snuck up behind me at recess and screamed and I literally peed my pants in front of everyone. It took fifteen minutes to convince me to calm down and go inside! It was awful and everyone made fun of me for a week!”

Yoongi opens and closes his mouth a couple times. He squints. His fingers twitch. Hoseok stands there, waiting for a reaction for what feels like forever. Finally, Yoongi moves. His hands come up and tangle in his hair and when he speaks, his voice is hoarse. “You’re kidding me. You’re joking, right Hoseok? Please tell me you’re fucking joking.”

Hoseok makes a face. “Does it look like I’m joking?”

“Oh my god,” Yoongi breathes. “You mean to tell me, that you’ve been holding a grudge against me, for something that happened in third grade?”

“Yes,” Hoseok says. He ignores the part of his brain screaming about how ridiculous he’s being.

“You are a piece of fucking work,” Yoongi groans, before fixing Hoseok with a look that is absolutely poisonous. “I can’t believe this! I let myself believe that I must’ve done something horrible to you! Do you know how long I’ve felt like shit because I couldn’t remember? Do you know what it felt like when my best friend stopped coming over to play? Or talking to me at all? My little third grade self thought that you’d found someone better than me and that’s why you didn’t want to be my friend anymore! And then – and then,” Yoongi covers his eyes for a second. When his hand comes away, his eyes look red. “And then you grew up into this wonderful, amazing, gorgeous fucking person that I couldn’t even get to know because you fucking abandoned me. Just like that.” He looks at Hoseok and shakes his head. Hoseok stays rooted to the spot. Whatever he was expecting, it wasn’t this. On a wide range of reactions, Hoseok was absolutely not expecting this.

“I couldn’t even do anything about it,” Yoongi continues. “I had to just force myself to stay away from you while trying as hard as anything to make my feelings for you go away. Believe me, Hoseok, I tried to hate you. But it didn’t fucking work. And now I’m here, still in love with you, in fucking love with you, and it turns out that you’re just the pettiest, most pathetic person to ever walk this planet.”

He turns, grabs his jacket, and yanks it on. “I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do at this point. I don’t even know if I want to look at you right now.” And he doesn’t, just scrubs a sleeve over his eyes and walks towards the door. “I don’t know, Hoseok,” he says, voice thick. “I think I’m done caring about it.”

He leaves.

***

 

[10:23 p.m.]

I really thought this guy was worth it

Im sorry, Yoongi ah

[10:24 p.m.]

thanks hyung

im sorry too

***

 

“I’m not going to say anything,” Namjoon says, carding a hand through Hoseok’s hair. “ But only because I think Yoongi kind of put you through it enough today.”

“I deserve it,” Hoseok mumbles, wiping his face. “I was a jerk to him, Namjoon. I was terrible.” Tears well up in his eyes again and he wipes at his eyes furiously. He doesn’t deserve to cry over something that was his fault. He feels like a child, and this time he knows he deserves it.

“You’re admitting it though,” Namjoon says, grabbing the remote and changing the channel. “That’s the first step. A good start. The second step is apologizing to Yoongi.”

Hoseok shakes his head as well as he can while lying on the couch with his head on Namjoon’s lap. “He doesn’t even want to see me, Namjoon. And how the hell am I supposed to apologize for fucking years’ worth of being a complete and utter fuckface? What would I even say.”

Namjoon grimaces. “I don’t know, Hoseok-ah. But for now, I think it’s a good idea to give him space. Then you can work your way up to an apology. What do you think?”

“Okay,” Hoseok says. “But how do I deal with the fact that he’s in love with me? If he even is anymore.”

“That’s probably easier than you think,” Namjoon says, looking down at Hoseok. “You’ve been obsessed with him for the longest time, Hoseok. And I’ve been around for a whole lot of that time. I don’t think you’ve ever actually hated him that much. Even when you spent all that time antagonizing him, you always automatically went for him. Like you just had to be near him no matter what.”

 

Giving Yoongi space is much easier than Hoseok expects, but maybe that’s because Yoongi appears to be doing everything in his power to avoid Hoseok as well. On the off chance that his table will be vacant, Hoseok makes his way to the library. Upon his arrival, he doesn’t know if he’s happy or not when he finds his table empty for the first time in several months. He sits down and it feels weird. He doesn’t get any work done that day.

After dance practice, Yoongi still picks up Taehyung, Jimin, and Jeongguk, but he doesn’t come in. He just texts Taehyung telling him that he’s outside, presumably, because now they all just leave with a pretty awkward goodbye. Hoseok doesn’t like it, and he would call them out on it but he can’t because it’s his fault that everything is like this.

Namjoon doesn’t say much about it anymore, just gives Hoseok his space when he needs it and lets Hoseok sleep in his bed when he needs that. The first several nights went all the same, with Hoseok crawling into Namjoon’s bed in the early hours of the morning, mumbling something about not being able to sleep while totally failing at concealing that he’s been crying. After that passes, Hoseok still crawls into Namjoon’s bed sometimes, but he doesn’t cry and he passes out completely under Namjoon’s tired, watchful eye. He makes sure that Hoseok eats meals and drinks water when he needs to, and occasionally tries to remind Hoseok that he doesn’t need to hate himself so much.

“How can I not?” Hoseok whispers one night, staring into nowhere. “I ruined everything, Namjoon. I’m pretty sure that’s worth hating myself over.”

Jeongguk never says anything, but that’s most likely because he doesn’t really know what’s going on. He only ever sees Hoseok during dance rehearsals, and it’s during those times that Hoseok puts up his front, refusing for even a moment to appear anything less than happy.

Jimin, of course, is fully aware that something is wrong. He never says anything, but sometimes Hoseok catches him watching him thoughtfully, before he turns away and goes back to stretching or annoying Jeongguk or his boyfriend.

Taehyung isn’t stupid. He has a pretty good amount of knowledge about what’s going on, having managed to pry some of the story from Yoongi after one too many drives back to their apartment complex spent in stony silence. It’s exhausting Yoongi, Taehyung can tell, but it’s also taking a toll on Hoseok as well. Guilt is not an easy burden to bear, and Hoseok seems to be doing everything he can to not collapse under the weight of it.

For a while, nothing happens. They all just watch their two friends suffer quietly, wanting to help but not even knowing where to begin.

***

 

[11:33 p.m.]

it’s been a while, hasn’t it

[11:34 p.m.]

yea

been a couple weeks

[11:34 p.m.]

how do you feel

[11:35 p.m.]

shitty

i dont wanna see him but i dont like not seeing him

ya know?

[11:36 p.m.]

yea kinda

I think it’s good for you though

[11:38 p.m.]

i don’t know about that

***

 

It takes about a month and a half. An entire month and a half before Hoseok walks up to the fourth floor of the library and stops dead in his tracks because there’s someone else sitting at his table. And his hair might not be mint green anymore but there’s no mistaking that that is Min Yoongi, sitting at Hoseok’s table on the fourth floor of the library, facing the window, textbook open in front of him, but looking like he’s getting nothing done.

As quietly as he can, Hoseok backs out back onto the staircase, slowly puts his face in his hands, folds himself in half, and proceeds to have the most silent panic attack in the history of everything ever. He has literally no idea what he’s supposed to do. He was fully prepared to avoid Yoongi for a very, very long time until he could pull himself together enough to compose a very eloquent apology, and then practice it in front of a mirror for a very long time. Maybe use Namjoon as a stand-in. As of right now, however, he hasn’t even begun to think about thinking that far ahead. Hoseok is still in the phase where he’s trying not to cry when someone even mentions Yoongi’s name, and thankfully, people began taking the hint about three weeks ago.

Hoseok doesn’t even know if he even has the right to approach Yoongi right now, given the circumstances. Yoongi had taken the “fucking off” to heart, as Hoseok had intended at the time and Hoseok still can’t wrap his mind around his own actions. Not even just for that night, no, but for all those years as well. What had he done? Why did he do that? Looking back on it, none of what he did or thought even makes any sense, and it hurts so much that Hoseok almost stops breathing for a second. Now is not the time to revel in his own misery over how much of a fuckwit he is. Now is the time to get his shit together and Do Something before he loses his nerve, or worse, before Yoongi leaves. Or before someone walks in on him having a crisis on the stairwell of a very public library.

He does the first thing that comes to his mind.

 

Yoongi has probably been here for the better part of three hours and he only has one lousy page of badly written notes to show for it. Minji texted him the other day asking about the new chapters and if he’s going to be of any use to her, he needs to get his ass in gear and read before the library closes.

He takes a deep breath and picks up his highlighter, determined to get at least one more chapter done, when suddenly there is a cup being set down where his hand just was, and Yoongi looks up to find Hoseok, staring at him, wide-eyed and skittish, looking like he’s just been caught committing a felony.

Yoongi can’t speak. It’s been – god, it’s been weeks since Yoongi turned away from Hoseok and fled that abominable room so Hoseok wouldn’t see him cry after his way too over-the-top outburst. He didn’t know when he’d be ready to see Hoseok again, but apparently the universe didn’t want to give him enough time to prepare himself because here Hoseok is, looking stupidly beautiful in sweats and a winter coat, and Yoongi wasn’t ready. Isn’t ready. He was never going to be ready.

Talk about unfair.

He watches Hoseok’s throat work as he swallows, hating himself for doing so. “Um,” Hoseok says quietly. “Sorry for interrupting. You, uh, I figured you must’ve been here for a while so.” He doesn’t look at Yoongi the entire time he stutters through the sentence and Yoongi doesn’t like it one bit. Hoseok isn’t a timid person. Yoongi doesn’t recognize this version of Hoseok, who looks like he’d rather be anywhere else but here. It stings. This was Hoseok’s table. For a while, it was theirs.

Hoseok clears his throat. “It’s hot chocolate. Anyway, um. I’ll just.” He jerks his head stiffly towards the door. “I’ll just be leaving now.”

He’s gone before Yoongi can even think of a response.

 

Fuck. Fuck. Hoseok clearly doesn’t know how to function like a normal human being in the face of an obstacle. He should’ve set the hot chocolate down and offered a smile, maybe. A precursor to the apology that he needs to begin working out as soon as he gets home.

He lost it. He completely fucking lost it when Yoongi turned his head and looked up at him through his now black fringe. Every single thought that was going through Hoseok’s head was brought to a screeching halt as a new one began whirling around.

Beautiful.

Because why did he not notice it before? Why did Hoseok not stop just once and take a look at the person he was trying so desperately to remain at odds with? He’s pretty sure that if he just shut up for once and took a real good look at Min Yoongi, he would’ve fallen in love in two seconds flat.

And is that what this is? Is that what it’s been this whole time? Or at least for a really long time, anyway. If Hoseok thinks long and hard about it, it makes sense. Probably a day hasn’t gone by that Hoseok hasn’t thought of Yoongi at least once or twice, hasn’t spoken (complained) about him to Namjoon, and once Yoongi reappeared it just got worse.

Hoseok was able to deal with hating Yoongi. But liking him? He has no idea what to even think.

***

 

[10:34 p.m.]

guess who I saw today

[10:34 p.m.]

shit are you okay

do you want me to come over

[10:35 p.m.]

nah its too late

thanks tho

[10:35 p.m.]

but are you okay

[10:36 p.m.]

I think so

Kind of in shock

[10:36 p.m.]

well yea

you probably weren’t expecting to see him for a while

[10:37 p.m.]

nope

tbh i don’t think he was expecting it either

***

 

 “Okay,” Taehyung says, waving a hand. “This is a very stupidly complicated situation you have presented me with. Let me make sure I have this correct. I need all the details to be in order.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes. “Okay.”

Taehyung shoots him a meaningful look before he goes on. “Okay,” he says again. “So you spent a really fucking long time being an asshole to Yoongi hyung for your apparent Reasons That Do Not Need To Be Disclosed.”

“Yes,” Hoseok says flatly.

Taehyung nods sagely. “Furthermore, it has come to your attention that Yoongi has been in love with you for just as long through Events That Will Not Be Disclosed and now you have come to the realization that you might actually be in love with him as well.”

Hoseok’s face burns. “Not love. I just. Think I like him. Probably.”

“Yea, yea, technicalities.” Taehyung says dryly, and then claps his hands together. “First of all hyung, I must congratulate you on managing to get yourself into a situation that only young adult authors could possibly dream up. Real nice job you did there.” When Hoseok responds to this comment only with a dark stare, Taehyung relents. “Alright. Well, at this point in time I think the only thing you can do is try to get him to warm up to you again? The hot chocolate thing is pretty cute, maybe you should start doing that again for a while, see what happens. He’s obviously not going to believe you if you just jump right into ‘I spent my entire life hating you but now I think I love you.’ That actually might make it worse if he thinks you’re lying to him.”

Like,” Hoseok corrects him. He sobers up when he remembers the real problem. “I don’t know if he’ll ever believe me,” he says quietly.

Taehyung looks pained, like he doesn’t want to say the words that sit on the tip of his tongue. He says them anyway. “Well, hyung, that’s kind of your fault.”

Hoseok shoots him a sharp look. “Why did I even talk to you? You’re supposed to be helping me figure out how to fix this, not make me feel like shit. I’ve been doing just fine in that department on my own, thanks.”

“I’m just being honest, hyung,” Taehyung says, giving Hoseok an apologetic grimace. “You did this. It’s up to you to fix it as well.”

 

Taehyung’s words echo in Hoseok’s skull as he walks into the library for the second time that week. He walks over to the café and orders a large hot chocolate, as per usual, and makes his way slowly to the fourth floor. This time, he’s at least semi-prepared to encounter Yoongi, even if it’s only for a short period of time. He doesn’t plan on staying long. He’s probably just going to set the cup on the table, stutter just as badly as the first time, and then leave to go to another floor. It’s not the greatest of plans, but Hoseok’s general plan is to take it slow. Maybe after enough days of just delivering a hot chocolate to Yoongi, he might be so bold as to take a seat. Assuming that that goes well enough for a decent period of time, eventually he might try starting a conversation.

He hasn’t thought of what might come next. He’s not even sure he’ll make it past step one. At least he can say he tried, right? Maybe then he won’t grow up to be old and bitter and full of regrets.

Hoseok’s heart skips a couple beats when he sees that Yoongi is indeed sitting at his table, despondently poking at his laptop. He steels himself, straightens his back, and walks forward. Briefly, he contemplates setting the cup down as quickly as he can and then walking away before his presence can be acknowledged, but that train of thought gets derailed as soon as Yoongi looks up when Hoseok sets the cup down.

Yoongi looks at the cup for a minute before returning his gaze to Hoseok. He looks exhausted. There are dark circles under his eyes and his eyelids look even droopier than before. His hair is kind of a mess but Hoseok’s heart still clenches as the sight of him. He doesn’t know what else to do except stand there and stare back, trapped once again under Yoongi’s gaze.

Finally, after a very brief eternity, Yoongi speaks. “What are you doing?” he asks quietly. He sounds neither mad nor defensive; just tired.

Hoseok shrugs, even though any semblance of casualness has already been flung out the window. “Nothing I haven’t done before.” And he tries to smile before walking away.

***

 

[6:23 p.m.]

you’re serious?

What do you think he’s trying to do

[6:24 p.m.]

fuck if I know

I’m kinda nervous about it hyung

[6:24 p.m.]

you could always tell him to fuck off, you know

he definitely deserves it

[6:27 p.m.]

yea but I don’t want to tbh

idk maybe I should just wait

[6:27 p.m.]

if you think it’s a good idea

just be careful. I don’t want you to get hurt again

***

 

It’s a slow-going process. It’s the slowest going process in the entire world, trying to blindly feel his way back into Yoongi’s life while still giving him space and maintaining every single semblance of respect that he can possibly thing of. Hoseok doesn’t know how long he can keep this up, but at the same time he’s still absolutely terrified of what might happen if he tries holding a conversation with Yoongi. He doesn’t know if he’s ready to be shot down.

There’s a lot of hot chocolate and a lot of awkward departures before Hoseok even begins wondering whether Yoongi would throw him out the window if he tried sitting at his table again. It’s funny. Hoseok hasn’t actually sat there in weeks and still calls it that. Might as well be Yoongi’s table. Even for a while, Hoseok sometimes called it ‘theirs’.

He stops that train of thought before he gets too emotional.

Fortunately, and completely out of the blue, Hoseok doesn’t even have to think about sitting there because one morning, Hoseok walks in and buys two hot chocolates, intending to set up on the fifth floor after dropping Yoongi’s off and study for a while. He room is beginning to bore him.

“Wait,” Yoongi says, when Hoseok turns away to leave.

Internally, Hoseok jumps a mile in the air. In the real world, he just starts a little and turns around. “Yea?”

“Do you seriously just come to this floor and then go to another one? Just sit down.” Yoongi waves at the chair across from him and then turns back to his book.

Boundaries, they exist. “Are you sure?” Hoseok asks tentatively.

“If I minded I wouldn’t have asked,” Yoongi says, not looking up. “It’s fine. Really. It was your table first anyway.”

“Yea, that’s. That’s right.” Hoseok quickly walks around the table and sits down, looking directly at Yoongi for the first time in weeks. He’s wearing glasses. Hoseok might throw himself out the window. Yoongi wouldn’t even have to do it for him.

Yoongi nods, eyes unreadable. “Just think of it as repayment for all that damn hot chocolate.”

It makes Hoseok wonder if he ever did ask Yoongi to pay him back.

 

The next day after that, and for some time after as well, it repeats. Each time, Yoongi has to tell Hoseok to sit because Hoseok doesn’t want to be there without affirmation that Yoongi doesn’t mind it.

Sitting at the same table as Yoongi doesn’t really lend itself to a lot of productive studying. Hoseok is way too wired from being around Yoongi that he often just pretends for a couple hours to look productive, and then goes back to his room and actually studies. He’s too aware that Yoongi is just sitting there, existing in the same space, right over his laptop screen, eyes skimming books and notes and his own laptop. Yoongi is sitting there, right across from him, drinking the hot chocolate that Hoseok brings to him when he invariably ends up there several times a week. It’s kind of overwhelming, although in reality, Hoseok is probably just overreacting. He can’t help it. Every single nerve of his being, it seems, has been attuned to Yoongi’s presence.

It’s when Hoseok arrives at the fourth floor one day to see Yoongi with large headphones on that he hesitates. Is this a silent message that he wants to be left alone? Should Hoseok just leave?

After weighing his options for a moment, Hoseok decides that he’s just going to go back to what he’d done before. He’s going to set the hot chocolate down as quietly as he can, hopefully not disturbing Yoongi, and then leave and study on a different floor. Great. Plan constructed. Time to execute.

However, when he sets it down and turns to leave, he hears a voice. “Really. You’re back  to doing this again.”

Hoseok looks down. Yoongi is looking up at him, decidedly unimpressed. His headphones are down around his neck. “Where are you going?”

Hoseok shrugs. “You looked like you, um. Wanted to be alone.”

“Didn’t realize you needed permission to sit at your table, Hoseok.” Ah, his name. That’s his name. Hoseok hasn’t heard Yoongi speak his name in the longest damn time, and it didn’t occur to him until now just how much he likes hearing it. He wants to hear it again. He wants to hear it a lot more.

“Right, Yoongi,” Hoseok says. He makes his way around the table and pulls out his books, ducking down and pretending to search for a pen so he can try to get his smile under control. When he resurfaces, Yoongi is looking at him strangely, but it’s over in a second when Yoongi puts his headphones back on and turns back to his work.

 

“You look happy,” Namjoon comments when Hoseok returns. “Did something happen?”

“Not really,” Hoseok admits, flopping on his bed. He might take a nap. A nap sounds like a good idea. “Just. I think things with Yoongi are going in a good direction.”

Namjoon nods. “Are you going to tell him that you like him soon, then?”

Hoseok shoots Namjoon an incredulous look. Namjoon doesn’t even notice. “Are you crazy? I’m not gonna tell him shit about that yet. I’m still not even sure that we’re completely All Good, you know?”

“You said things were going well!” Namjoon says defensively.

Hoseok rolls his eyes. “Not that well, jeez. Just. I think we might actually be getting closer to being friends.”

“Friends,” Namjoon echoes. “And you’re okay with being just friends.”

“I don’t really think I have a choice in this situation,” Hoseok says. “It’s been a shitshow, and before you say anything I am still completely aware that it’s my entire fault. Right now things are still pretty awkward, but yea. Friends. I’m okay with it. I can be friends with Yoongi.” He considers his next words. “We were best friends.”

 

Being friends with Yoongi is a weird concept. Sure, they were friends when they were younger but that’s when they were a lot younger. Like, third grade younger. Being friends in third grade was easy as shit. All you had to do was play at recess together and sometimes go to the park. Or Something.

Now, however, Hoseok is trying to comprehend being friends with Yoongi now. Like, present tense. He doesn’t even know what Yoongi’s interests are anymore. With Namjoon, they just watch shitty Netflix and sometimes they get drunk which means that Hoseok has to listen to Namjoon wax poetic about the universe. With Taehyung, Jeongguk, and Jimin, they just fuck around, playing video games and watching shitty Netflix and getting messily drunk and almost blowing up Taehyung’s microwave. With Yoongi, all Hoseok knows is studying in the library. He doesn’t even have his number. He doesn’t even know how to go about acquiring such a thing. Hoseok almost gives up right then and there because it seems like such an insurmountable task. Again, he’s probably just being a wuss.

In his desperation, he pulls out his phone and sends a text.

 

“You know,” Minji says after she orders, turning a pleased smile in Hoseok’s direction, “I was wondering when this day would come.”

Hoseok looks at her. “You were wondering when I would ask you to lunch so I could pathetically interrogate you about Yoongi’s interests.”

“Well, maybe not that particular bit,” she sing-songs, “just more like when you would finally admit that you like him.”

“Trust me,” Hoseok mumbles darkly. “You should’ve been kept waiting for a long fucking time.”

“Ah, don’t say that,” she says, covering his hand with hers. It’s comforting. Minji is nice. If he wasn’t strictly into dudes, he’s pretty sure he would be into her. “Yoongi-ah really likes you, you know? You just have to soften him up. I’m sure he’ll come around eventually.”

“Yea, maybe when we successfully land humans on Mars,” Hoseok says glumly. “How are you so sure that he’ll come around after years of me being a dick?”

Right then, the waitress arrives with their drinks, and Minji takes a long sip of her lemonade before replying. “If he liked you during all that time, I don’t see why not.”

“Huh,” Hoseok says. “I didn’t think of that.”

Minji laughs. “Of course you didn’t. What do you specifically want to know, anyway? Wouldn’t it just be easier if I gave you his number?”

Hoseok shakes his head. “That’s not good enough. I feel like I have to work to get his number. I want him to see that I’m really trying to make it up to him.”

“So cute,” she coos. “He’ll definitely come around, Hoseokie. I can feel it.”

 

The next time Hoseok goes to the library, he is armed. He walks straight up to the café and instead of ordering hot chocolate, he orders a caramel latte. He also, with a very red face, asks the barista to draw a smiley face on the cup. He internally curses both himself and Minji on the way up the stairs, the barista’s amused smile imprinted on his eyelids. The things he does, seriously.

Unfortunately for him, Yoongi is looking Too Cute today in an oversized sweater. He’s even wearing glasses again. The window looks very enticing, but Hoseok just shoots Yoongi a small smile as he sets down the cup and pulls out his laptop, momentarily distracted by the prospect of writing up a lab. He glances up just in time to see Yoongi pick up the cup and take a sip, only to set it down and blink at it in a very confused manner. He looks up and eyes Hoseok, eyebrow raised.

“Something wrong?” Hoseok asks.

“No, I just.” Yoongi blinks some more. “How did you know that I like caramel lattes?”

Hoseok shrugs. “I just thought you might be getting tired of hot chocolate.”

Yoongi huffs a little before picking up the cup and taking a much longer sip. Hoseok tries not to be creepy as he watches Yoongi’s eyes flutter shut as he lets out a pleased sigh.

Of course, it ends up distracting him the entire time he sits there.

 

That’s only one step, though. Hoseok kind of gets stuck after that one, mainly because he doesn’t think he can just randomly start talking about things Yoongi likes without him getting at least a little bit suspicious. Then again, maybe if Yoongi finds out that Hoseok went so far as to ask Minji for help, he could see that Hoseok’s trying real hard here. Or he might just think Hoseok’s creepy. It could go either way, and Hoseok doesn’t want to think about that latter option.

 

A couple days later, Hoseok is listening to Kanye West in the library. He goes to reach for something and accidently yanks the cord out of his laptop, briefly blasting music into the otherwise quiet library that Hoseok hurriedly silences, panicked. When he looks up, Yoongi is looking at him.

“What?” Hoseok asks.

“Nothing,” Yoongi says. “’s a good song, is all.”

Hoseok silently thanks Namjoon for his taste in music and makes a mental note to buy him a drink sometime.

 

A week after that, Hoseok gets Yoongi’s number. Or rather, he gives his to Yoongi. It isn’t even as difficult as Hoseok thought it was going to be.

Hoseok’s fucking around, done with his homework to a point where he doesn’t feel too bad about taking a break, and he looks over at Yoongi quickly only to look back again when he sees Yoongi glaring at his textbook. He pauses his music and removes an earbud. “You know,” he says, catching Yoongi’s attention, “you might set that book on fire with the way you’re looking at it.”

Yoongi turns his glare onto him. Yep. Hoseok feels like he’s about to burst into flames. Hoseok turns his gaze onto the book, which is much kinder than Yoongi’s stare. “What is that?”

“Psychology,” Yoongi mutters. A beat of silence, and then “I don’t suppose you’ve taken a gen psych, have you.”

“I did, actually,” Hoseok replies, trying to get a better look at the words on the page. “Why? Are you having trouble?”

Yoongi huffs, obviously frustrated. “Well yea,” he says, and flips the book around to jab at a paragraph. “This. I don’t get this.”

The book isn’t fully turned around so Hoseok has to turn his head a little. He leans over the table and puts his hands down for leverage and completely misses the reality of his hand being a little too close to Yoongi’s. “Oh, I remember this,” he murmurs. “Yea, it was kind of annoying at first but I can explain it to you if you want?”

Yoongi looks out the window behind Hoseok, making a face at how late it is. “Maybe another time,” he says. He takes his book back and closes it. “It’s getting late. I should go.”

“Wait!” Hoseok says. He peels off a sticky note from his pile and quickly scribbles his number on it, slapping it onto the cover of Yoongi’s book. “Here. Just. If you have any questions text me. Okay?”

Yoongi stares at the sticky note for a bit. He stares at it so intensely that Hoseok wonders if he’s made a mistake, moved too quickly or something. But then Yoongi just nods. He peels the sticky note off the cover and carefully slips into his pocket. He says “sure” and leaves.

Hoseok sits back in his chair, kind of winded from what just happened. It was a complete spur of the moment thing, he was just taking advantage of the situation. Maybe he should do that more often. It seems like lately, a lot of things are going better unplanned.

He grins widely and pulls out his phone to text Minji, completely forgetting that he hates it when people do that to him.

***

 

[12:23 a.m.]

you should give me his number

so I can blackmail him

[12:24 p.m.]

wtf hyung no

do you want him to get mad at me again

[12:25 a.m.]

oh right

I was mostly joking lol

***

 

It takes five days. Five days of Hoseok checking his phone like a nervous tick to the point that Namjoon threatens to throw it out of the window until Hoseok finally gets a text from an unknown number. He screeches right in the middle of dinner with Jimin and Taehyung, jumps about a foot in the air, and gets up and starts walking crazily around their apartment.

“Wow,” Jimin comments mildly. “You’re almost as obsessed with Yoongi hyung as Taehyung is obsessed with me.”

“What’s not to be obsessed about?” Taehyung argues, mouth full of noodles. “How many people do you know have been graced with being the most wonderful person in the world as well as being graced with the most amazing ass in the world?”

Jimin just laughs fondly, letting Taehyung rant indignantly at him about his own apparent perfection. “What did he say, hyung?” he calls over to Hoseok who somehow ended up in the other room. “Is it really that big of a deal?”

Hoseok pokes his head in the room. “He had a question about psych.”

Taehyung looks at him. “That’s the most underwhelming thing I’ve ever heard. You better have at least saved his name as something cute.”

When Hoseok shifts, Taehyung stands, a menacing smile on his face. “Lemme see.”

“No,” Hoseok says, backing away, “absolutely not. Get away from me.”

 

Helping Yoongi with psych sometimes is the best thing that’s happened to Hoseok in a long time, even if he is just explaining the differences between classical and operant conditioning, and the particulars of a neural synapse. It gives him an excuse to sit right next to Yoongi now, though still with a little bit of space between them because Hoseok doesn’t know if they’re At That Level yet. It’s also extremely torturous because Hoseok can just tell that with their height difference, he could put an arm around Yoongi and pull him right up against him and Yoongi would fit perfectly. Like he belongs there. His hands start twitching so much that Yoongi jokingly offers to buy Hoseok one of those stupid little fidget cubes that Hoseok always sees on Instagram. After that, Hoseok just plays with his keychain and tries to ignore the heat coming off Yoongi.

“I have a test next week,” Yoongi complains. “And I haven’t even read all the chapters yet.”

“Well the library closes soon,” Hoseok points out and sure enough, the employees are not-so-subtly beginning to walk around the floors, glaring at people until they leave.

“Fuck,” Yoongi sighs, closing his book. “I guess I’ll just have to finish this later.”

Hoseok spots another opportunity coming, but this time, he might hesitate a little. He doesn’t want to seem too eager, doesn’t want Yoongi to think badly of him. He doesn’t really know if they’re even on their way to doing things together that aren’t studying in the library. Hoseok never used to study this much. His grades are excellent. Now might not be a bad time to try and improve on other aspects of his life.

“Have you eaten?” Hoseok blurts out.

Yoongi looks at him strangely. “We’ve been here this entire afternoon. You should know that I haven’t.”

Hoseok coughs. “Right.” He says. “Well, obviously I haven’t either.”

“Yes…” Yoongi says.

“Well, um,” Hoseok says. His hands are twitching again. “My dorm isn’t far from here. We could order pizza or something. And keep looking at psych. Since you have a test.”

Yoongi bites his lip. “I don’t have any money.”

“I’ll steal some from Namjoon,” Hoseok says, shrugging. “Wanna come? It’s up to you.”

“I guess,” Yoongi says. “I mean, it is a pretty important test.”

 

They arrive and Namjoon’s struggling into a coat, yelling at someone on the phone. He turns, catches sight of Hoseok with Yoongi in tow, and promptly falls over. Hoseok can hear laughing coming from the phone as Namjoon struggles to get himself in order.

“Shut the fuck up, I’ll be there in twenty…yea no, not happening. Fuck off.” Namjoon hangs up and with the look in his eyes, Hoseok can tell that if Yoongi wasn’t there, he would be getting the interrogation of a lifetime.

“You’re home,” Namjoon observes. Hoseok does not like the look on his face. “And you’ve brought Yoongi? How’s it goin’ man?”

“Alright,” Yoongi says, smiling easily. Hoseok is absolutely not jealous. “I have a test and for once this loser seems to be knowledgeable in a subject. He’s going to buy me pizza and help me study.”

“This time I actually want you to pay me back,” Hoseok says with a poisonous look.

“Right, a test.” Namjoon looks over at Hoseok. “I’m going out, Jackson wants to get drinks. Come with us next time, alright?”

“Sure thing,” Hoseok says, “just give me ten thousand won for pizza.”

“Fine,” Namjoon grumbles. “I’ll text you.”

Hoseok tries not to think about that.

 

“Okay,” Hoseok says. “One more time. What are those?”

“Dendrites,” Yoongi says. “And they receive messages. The axon is the one that sends them. There are usually a lot of dendrites.”

“Awesome,” Hoseok says. “I think you’re pretty much good, and don’t worry about the different experimental setups, they’re pretty easy to confuse but I think you’ve got the hang of that. Wanna take a break?”

“Sure,” Yoongi says, and slumps on Namjoon’s bed, another slice of pizza in his hand. They’re sitting on opposite beds, and the distance annoys Hoseok, but he let it go, instead focusing on the issue at hand. He’s been drilling Yoongi for almost two hours now, and if he doesn’t pass this test, Hoseok will return to that option of jumping out the window. Sometimes it is pretty appealing.

“Thanks, by the way,” Yoongi says, sitting up again. “Seriously, none of this made sense before.”

Hoseok flushes a little, shrugging. “It’s no big deal. I liked psych when I took it. I know how confusing it gets.”

“Yea,” Yoongi says. “There are more confusing subjects out there, though.”

Hoseok stares at Yoongi, not really seeing anything. “Yea, there are.”

He doesn’t know what he sounds like in that moment. He just knows that Yoongi is staring back. It’s odd. It’s too intense. And Hoseok doesn’t really know what to do with himself.

He glances away awkwardly. “You, uh. Do you still, um, do you still like me?”

Yoongi starts a little. His face blanks out, like he’s trying not to give anything away. “You don’t have to worry about that, Hoseok,” he says. He looks down at his hands.  “I’m trying to get over it.”

Did someone just dump a bucket of ice on Hoseok? That’s certainly what it feels like. “Get over it?” he squeaks. “Um, that’s. Really?”

“What’s your deal now?” Yoongi says, looking up and frowning. “It’s not like it ever even mattered in the first place. You didn’t even know until, like, a couple weeks ago. So yes. I’m trying real hard here, and maybe soon it’ll even start to work.”

Hoseok sits in silence for a while. He doesn’t know if this is even the right time, or if any time will be the right time. But time, apparently, is something he doesn’t have a lot of. “Maybe,” he starts. “Maybe you don’t have to do that.”

There’s silence.

There’s a lot of silence. It’s a really fucking awkward silence and it goes on for so long that Hoseok feels like he’s about to shit himself, or at the very least, die. Death might be upon him. He thinks he might be getting pretty close when Yoongi speaks.

When he speaks, it sounds like he’s having trouble. All that comes out is an “excuse me?”

Hoseok squeezes his eyes shut. “I know,” he begins, “That this might sound ridiculous. But at least just let me get it out before you say anything else.”

Yoongi waves a hand. “Go on.”

Hoseok nods. Now or never, right? He doesn’t even know how he’s supposed to say anything at all, why didn’t he practice beforehand?

He opens his mouth. “So, like, since third grade I did, ya know, spend a really long time trying to hate you with every fiber of my being. But Namjoon says that he doesn’t really think that I hated you because when I was trying to hate you I thought about you. A lot. Like I don’t think there was ever a day that I didn’t think about you. Um. Which now that I think about it doesn’t really make it sound like I hate you. And so when you just started showing up everywhere I think I freaked out?” He huffs out a laugh. “It seriously took me a lot of convincing from everyone for me to try to be nice to you but once I started it was actually kind of easy. I mean, we used to be friends, so. Anyway and then I saw you like a few weeks after we stopped talking and you were at my table in the library and your hair was black and I actually thought you were pretty. So there’s that. So a lot of thinking has happened over the past couple weeks and I think I might actually like you.”

Yoongi swallows. Doesn’t look at Hoseok. Rubs a hand over his face and swallows again. When he speaks, it still sounds like it’s difficult. “So, you say that ever since third grade you haven’t stopped thinking about me even though it was in the supposed context of hatred.”

Hoseok nods. “Yes.”

“And Namjoon pointed out that being obsessed with me doesn’t really lead to the assumption that you hate me.”

“Yes.”

“And now, after years of being an absolute shithead, you take the time to think long and hard about it and come up with the conclusion that you might actually like me.”

Hoseok bites his lip. “Yes.”

“Okay.” Yoongi says. He looks at Hoseok. His face is completely blank and his voice is calm. “You understand that this is kind of sudden.”

“Yes,” Hoseok admits.

Yoongi nods. “And that I actually have no idea what to do with this information.”

“That’s,” Hoseok coughs. “Understandable.”

“Good,” Yoongi says. “So you’ll understand when I say that I really don’t believe you.”

There it is. Right there, are the words that Hoseok had prepared himself to hear. Honestly, the preparation can go fuck itself because it still stings like a bitch and Hoseok is probably going to cry when he gets the room to himself again but really, what did he expect? For Yoongi to immediately forgive him for being an absolute shithead and then proceed to jump his bones? This isn’t a shitty young adult novel, that’s not how things work here. This is the real world where everything is hard and life isn’t fair.

He must be quiet for a long while because Yoongi speaks again. “What’s with that face, huh? You knew what my response was going to be, didn’t you?” His voice isn’t cruel. Small mercies.

Hoseok breathes. “Yea, I did.” He makes a vague attempt at a smile. “Like you said. I actually have no idea what to do with that information.”

“Yea, figures.” Yoongi sighs and checks his phone. “It’s getting late, I should head out.”

Hoseok stands. “I’ll walk you to the door.”

They make their way to the door and Hoseok stands silently as Yoongi struggles with his shoelaces. Already a million things are running through his head, starting with maybe having an existential crisis and ending with seeing Taehyung.

He’s broken out of his planning when Yoongi stands. He opens the door and Yoongi takes a step and then looks back. “You know,” he says casually. “I thought it would be obvious. You know. What you should do with that information.”

Hoseok chuckles weakly. “I must have missed it.”

Yoongi shrugs. “Prove it.”

And then he’s gone.

***

 

[9:56 p.m.]

Yoongi

You’re gonna put him through the ringer aren’t you

[9:57 p.m.]

lol

***

 

“Prove it,” Hoseok repeats, about an hour later, lying facedown on Taehyung’s couch. “Prove it.

“You’ve said that,” Taehyung says from his seat on the armrest. “Quite a few times actually. What are you going to do?”

“Now isn’t the time for planning,” Hoseok responds weakly, flailing an arm off to the side. “I’m still in the stage where I’m having an existential crisis.”

“I’m ordering pizza,” Jimin calls from the living room. “When Hoseokie hyung is done with his crisis he’s going to be hungry.”

“Wow babe, you’re so thoughtful,” Taehyung calls back, a wide smile on his face. “I’m definitely going to bend you over the kitchen table later.”

Hoseok groans. “Is now the time?”

Taehyung shrugs. “Just because you aren’t getting laid doesn’t mean I can’t.”

“Whatever,” Hoseok grumbles. “Just as long as you bend him over the table after I’m done eating on it.” He rolls onto his side. “You have to help me Taehyungie, you know Yoongi better than I do at this point, how the fuck am I supposed to prove that I like him?”

“How do you prove that you like anyone,” Taehyung supplies very unhelpfully. “I don’t know, buy him shit? Compliment him, ask him to go somewhere that isn’t the library or your room, drill it into his skull that you like him.”

Hoseok squints. “How the fuck did you get so lucky as to date Jimin.”

Taehyung sighs, and Hoseok rolls his eyes when he sees Taehyung practically shooting love hearts out of his eyeballs. “Man, beats me,” he says. “All I know is that I am very persistent.”

“He followed me around for three months before we actually met at a party while very drunk,” Jimin explains, shooting Taehyung a fond look as he emerges from the kitchen. “And then we made out a lot.”

“So romantic,” Hoseok deadpans.

“It’s better than anything you’ve done so far, Casanova,” Taehyung defends. “You better get cracking.”

 

Hoseok has, of course, no fucking idea what “Get Cracking” means, and after that completely unhelpful existential crisis at Taehyung’s, he’s back at square one. Not even. He’s probably at square zero with how well his life has been going lately. Whatever. He winds a scarf around his neck and heads off to the library.

He buys a drink for himself this time too, because normally he completely forgets. But the weather is absolutely unforgiving today, so he buys himself a chai latte to thaw his hands along with Yoongi’s caramel.

“I’m surprised,” the barista comments when she hands Hoseok his drinks. “You don’t buy hot chocolate anymore.”

Hoseok turns red. He hadn’t realized that sooner or later, the barista was going to remember his order. He laughs sheepishly. “It was time for a change,” he replies. “Um, anyway, I have a favor to ask…”

Hoseok runs to the fourth floor in utter humiliation, the barista’s face stuck in his mind. He’s pretty sure that it’s going to haunt him forever, but if everything turns out well then that’s perfectly fine with him.

The fourth floor is more crowded than it normally is, and on normal days Hoseok would worry about his table being taken by someone that is definitively not Min Yoongi but Yoongi always seems to get there earlier than Hoseok (Hoseok makes a mental note of this, plans to ask about it later), so nothing to worry about, the table is safe.

“Hello,” he says quickly before depositing the cup next to Yoongi’s elbow and taking the seat across from him. He can already feel his face gearing up to burn him straight to hell and he tries to not make it too obvious that he’s waiting for Yoongi’s reaction. Yoongi must be particularly tired today, just nods hello and blinks at the cup for a couple seconds before taking a drink and he pulls back and makes a face. Holds the cup up to eye level. Looks over at Hoseok who is not-so-subtly hiding behind his laptop.

“Hoseok,” Yoongi says calmly.

Hoseok emerges from behind his laptop. “Yes?”

Yoongi taps the lip of his cup before turning it and revealing the heart that Hoseok had reluctantly asked the barista to draw. “You know, I know I said prove it. But I wasn’t exactly expecting this.”

Hoseok wants to crawl under the table and wither away, but he takes a good look at Yoongi’s face and oh. His face is turning kinda pink and are his eyes sparkling? His eyes are sparkling. His eyes are fucking sparkling and he almost looks like he’s trying not to smile and Hoseok grins. “I made you blush though. It’s cute.”

Yoongi flushes even darker at that before huffing and setting the cup down and shoving his chair back from the table. He gets up and Hoseok panics.

“Wait, you’re leaving?” Hoseok blurts. He has the urge to get out of his seat and stop Yoongi. “Why are you going, was it really that bad?”

Yoongi regards him with an amused facial expression. “I’m just going to the bathroom, chill out.”

He walks away and Hoseok slumps back in his seat and contemplates just what he’s going to have to do to come out on top. He concludes that it’s going to be one hell of a slippery slope.

 

Hoseok starts keeping a sharpie in his pocket so he doesn’t have to ask the barista to write embarrassing things on the cups anymore. Instead, he gets the coffee and waits until he’s on the fourth floor landing before scribbling something stupid on the cup and presenting it to Yoongi.

At first, the messages are things like hearts and smiley faces, simple things like that because Hoseok is no artist. Those get pretty old quickly, Yoongi only glancing at the cup before drinking the contents. It’s a little disheartening. (Ha.)

He switches to simple compliments like “I like your hair” and “you look cute when you wear glasses”. The glasses one was an excellent idea, if Hoseok does say so himself. After that particular message gets delivered, Yoongi is wearing glasses more often than not, and there is one unforgettable moment when they slip down his nose and Hoseok immediately reaches out to push them back up the bridge of Yoongi’s nose. Yoongi had turned bright red, as well as going cross-eyed, and Hoseok had almost died right then and there at how adorable Yoongi was.

He starts bringing other things, too. He pesters Minji to no end to find out Yoongi’s favorite foods and he’s more than thankful for his job in the student union. Otherwise, he would have no idea how to keep this up.

“How much money have you even spent on me?” Yoongi asks one day after Hoseok delivers him a cupcake. “You don’t actually expect me to pay you back, do you?”

“Making you happy is payment enough,” Hoseok says. Yoongi turns into a tomato and tells him to fuck off.

***

 

[3:45 p.m.]

I take it back

You should totally date him

[3:46 p.m.]

that was fast

***

 

“I think we’re getting somewhere!” Hoseok says to Namjoon when he gets home one night. “I mean, it’s still kind of a slow process, but I think that’s because Yoongi likes not having to buy food for himself.”

“Maybe he’s just dragging it out so he can get as much out of you as he possibly can,” Namjoon says, typing away at a paper. “And then he’ll reveal that he was leading you on the whole time.”

Hoseok’s face drains of color. When he doesn’t say anything, Namjoon looks up to see his reaction and then has to do damage control because Hoseok is freaking out now. “Shit man, I was joking,” he says, watching as Hoseok slowly comes back to life. “Jesus, he’s not gonna do that. He isn’t like that. Calm down.”

“It’s your fucking fault,” Hoseok pouts, and closes his eyes for a nap.

 

Hoseok invites Minji to the dance studio again, thinking that he hasn’t seen her in a while. “You never come study anymore,” he grunts as he stretches. “And to think that you complained when I stopped showing up.”

“You stopped showing up for stupid reasons,” Minji points out, an amused expression on her face, “while I’m not showing up because I know that you’re still too chicken to ask Yoongi on a date.”

“It’s only been a couple weeks,” Hoseok defends. “I still don’t want to go too quickly.”

Minji shakes her head. “If anything, you’re going too slowly. He’s liked you for a really fucking long time, remember? Which means he’s kind of been waiting for a really fucking long time here.”

“Well-“ Hoseok tries, but Minji doesn’t even let him explain. Rude. She just shakes her head and tells him that if he doesn’t ask Yoongi out soon, she’ll skewer him.

Hoseok loves Minji, but sometimes, he’s kind of afraid of her.

 

“I love when you come to me for advice,” Taehyung says, eating another spoonful of frosting. “It reminds me of just how ahead I am in life compared to you.”

Hoseok gives the container of frosting a pointed look. Taehyung waves his spoon in dismissal and licks his lips. “Anyway, what do you need help with, my poor, emotionally undeveloped hyung?”

“Sometimes I really wonder about you,” Hoseok says. “ But I’ll beat the shit out of you later. Where do you think Yoongi would want to go on a date?”

Taehyung lights up. “Finally!” He says. “I’ve been waiting eagerly for this day, hyung, you literally have no idea.”

“You ask me about it every week.”

“That’s not the point,” Taehyung counters, jabbing his spoon in Hoseok’s direction. “The point is that you are clueless about the love of your life and that is why you have come to me, so I can guide you.”

Hoseok really hates dramatics.

“I literally just need ideas for a place,” Hoseok says. “And nothing that has to do with coffee. I’ve been buying him coffee several times a week for the past several months.”

Taehyung shakes his head. “Yoongi’s actually not really much of a date person,” he says. “I mean, he’ll go out with you if you ask him, but he’d much rather just stay home. Or at your room. Watch a movie or something. And then make out with him a lot.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes. “I’m going to ignore that last piece of advice.”

***

 

[5:47 p.m.]

guess who has plans for tmrw night

[5:47 p.m.]

DID HE ASK YOU OUT

FINALLY

[5:48 p.m.]

chill

were just gonna watch a movie

[5:50 p.m.]

I’m underwhelmed

[5:53 p.m.]

shut up

you should be happy for me

[5:55 p.m.]

you know I am

***

 

“We can watch whatever,” Hoseok says as he kicks the door shut behind Yoongi. “I don’t really know what kind of moves you like, but I’m just gonna ask that we don’t watch anything scary.”

Yoongi snorts. “I should’ve known that you still scare easily.”

Hoseok pouts. “I can’t help it.”

“’S fine Hoseok, it’s cute,” Yoongi sighs, flopping onto Hoseok’s bed. He makes himself right at home, and Hoseok’s chest does a thing at the sight of Yoongi making himself comfortable in his bed. He might implode before the night is over. He really hopes he doesn’t. Yoongi’s speaking again. “Do you have Netflix?”

“Yea,” Hoseok says. “It’s bookmarked, you can look for something. Wanna order takeout?”

“Sure,” Yoongi says, clicking through Hoseok’s Netflix account. “I have money this time.”

Hoseok shrugs. “I don’t mind paying.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “If you think you have to pay just because we’re on a date, apparently, then shut up and let me pay. We’re literally going to be sitting on your bed watching Netflix.”

“You said you didn’t want to go out when I asked!” Hoseok says indignantly.

Yoongi smiles. “Yea, because this is better. Hurry up and order, I’m going to start this without you.”

“What did you pick?” Hoseok asks as he looks up the number.

“V for Vendetta,” Yoongi says. “It’s my favorite.”

“Stop,” Hoseok says. “That’s actually my favorite movie.”

Yoongi grins. Hoseok almost wants to list making Yoongi smile as an accomplishment on his resume. “Good to know you have good taste.”

“Of course I have good taste,” Hoseok scoffs. “I like you. Now quiet, and let me order.”

Yoongi pretends not to choke. When Hoseok gets off the phone, his face has mostly stopped burning. “Where’s Namjoon, anyway? Haven’t seen him in a while.”

Hoseok smiles. “I kicked him out for the night. He said he’s going to stay at a friend’s.”

“Does he think we’re gonna fuck?” Yoongi asks flatly. “Because we’re not.”

Hoseok laughs at that. “He said it would feel too much like third-wheeling, which I guess makes sense. I can invite him though, I didn’t know you wanted to go on a date with Namjoon.”

“Just forget it and get over here before I watch this without you,” Yoongi snaps.

Hoseok shuts up and gets over there.

Watching a movie on Hoseok’s shitty laptop is the best thing that’s happened to him all week, because Hoseok totally has an excuse to sit right up against Yoongi and let himself soak up his heat so the laptop can balance evenly on their legs. He tries very hard to keep his hands to himself, even though all he wants is to pull a stupid move and see if Yoongi fits perfectly against his side like Hoseok dreams about. Hoseok doesn’t want to miss a second of it, and only gets up very reluctantly when he gets the call that their food has arrived. Yoongi pauses the movie and shoves money into Hoseok’s hand and absolutely refuses to take it back so Hoseok pays with Yoongi’s money, which Yoongi looks rather pleased about.

They watch V for Vendetta not-so-quietly, because Yoongi has to wax poetic about the plot too often and Hoseok is all too happy to listen, having watched it a thousand times already anyway. Yoongi doesn’t look at him when he rants, being too engrossed in the movie and whatever he’s saying, hands waving around, and Hoseok is grateful because Yoongi can’t see him staring at him with a really stupid smile on his face.

Yoongi takes a breath after he finishes another mini rant and says, “Don’t think that I can’t feel you staring, because I totally can, and it feels like you’ve been staring at me for the past forty-five minutes.”

“Maybe,” Hoseok shrugs. “That didn’t sound like too much of a complaint though.”

“It wasn’t,” Yoongi admits easily. “It’s nice to have you paying attention to me in a way that isn’t negative.”

Hoseok clams up, looking away for the first time in a long time. Yoongi doesn’t notice, and it’s silent for a while until Yoongi pauses the movie and looks at Hoseok. “Hey.”

Hoseok looks at him, not really seeing, and doesn’t say anything.

Yoongi tilts his head. “Hey, don’t look like that. I was mostly joking.”

“Mostly,” Hoseok says quietly. “Which also means that you kind of weren’t joking.”

“Maybe,” Yoongi says, “But I mean it. Really. I’m having a good time. Don’t look so sad. It was a stupid thing to say.”

“I can’t help it,” Hoseok says, staring down at his hands. “I’m still pretty fucking surprised that you’ve let me come this far at all. It doesn’t make any sense. You should hate me.”

Yoongi sighs. He takes the laptop off their legs, and it’s suddenly cold. He sits up and turns so that he’s facing Hoseok more. “Hey. Look at me. Didn’t I tell you that I tried to hate you and it didn’t work? What would be the point of me giving up on you just when you’ve done so much to apologize?”

“Because I deserve it?”

“No,” Yoongi says. He frowns. Hoseok still isn’t looking at him. “Hey. Look at me, Hoseok-ah. Hoseok.”

Hoseok finally looks at him and Yoongi’s heart drops. His eyes are watery. “I’m sorry,” he whispers. “I’m ruining our date.”

“Oh my god, Hoseok, no,” Yoongi sighs. It’s funny. Weeks ago (so long ago Yoongi can barely remember), Yoongi was the one running out and crying over something that he was so sure wouldn’t be repaired. Now, it is repaired, and Hoseok’s the one crying about it. Yoongi wants to punch him in the mouth just so he can have an excuse to kiss him. It’s not like he needs an excuse anymore, but here Hoseok sits, completely unreactive to the tears that start to slip out of his eyes, so maybe Yoongi does need an excuse. Just a small one.

They haven’t overstepped many physical boundaries. Yoongi was kind of hoping that Hoseok would pull some lame move and try to put his arm around him, but that didn’t happen and Yoongi had to content himself with the warmth radiating from Hoseok’s side. Now, though, Yoongi doesn’t think that those boundaries can stay where they are. Not anymore. Yoongi reaches out and drags Hoseok in. He goes willingly. He’s shaking like a leaf. “Hey,” Yoongi says softly. “What’s this now? Have you been thinking about that all night?” He feels Hoseok nod. Yoongi presses his forehead to the top of Hoseok’s hair. “Why would you do that to yourself?”

It takes a few tries for Hoseok to speak. When he does, it’s with a choked voice that winds around Yoongi’s chest. It cracks his ribcage and stabs him in the heart. “I can’t help it,” Hoseok says again. “I was such a fucking shitty person. I don’t deserve it. You don’t deserve it. Why are you even here?”

Yoongi wraps his arms tighter around Hoseok. “Because you apologized.” He says it like it’s obvious. “Maybe you didn’t apologize with words, but with everything you’ve been doing these past couple weeks, I know you’re sorry. I really do. The first time I saw you again, you looked like you got hit by a train. You knew you fucked up. You’ve been trying so hard. I know you’ve been going to Taehyung for advice and I know you ask Minji what to do. I’ve never had someone put this much effort into making things right. I’m here because you did all that without even thinking about it. Please stop beating yourself up,” he whispers. “I’m here because I want to be here. I’ve wanted to be here for the longest time.”

Hoseok doesn’t even try to stop himself from crying anymore, even if he still thinks that he’s ruining their date by getting all emotional. He just lets Yoongi squeeze him tighter and tighter because it’s the only thing keeping him together anymore. He’s been sitting here, trying to let himself believe that he’s allowed to have Yoongi here, doing nothing more than just sitting and watching a movie together. He’s been sitting here, staring at Yoongi because he can’t believe that he’s actually here. He’s been sitting here, not believing for a single second that he deserves it. He still feels like a failure, that he has so much more work to do before he can even begin deserving to have Yoongi so much as sitting next to him.

But Yoongi’s been sitting here thinking about none of that. Instead, Yoongi’s been sitting here because he wants to be here, and he’s happy to sit here with Hoseok and watch a movie. He’s sitting here because he wants to, because he’s liked Hoseok for years and it’s all he’s wanted all that time. Hoseok really, really doesn’t deserve it.

One thing Yoongi says stands out. Yea, Hoseok’s been doing all these gestures to convey how sorry he’s is and how wrong he’s been, but he never actually did say it in words, even if he has thought about it a lot. And if there was ever a time to do it, it would probably be now.

Hoseok mumbles something that Yoongi doesn’t quite catch. “Hm?”

“I’m sorry,” Hoseok says. He pulls back and his face is wet and flushed and his eyes are shiny and he looks like nothing Yoongi deserves and everything he wants. “I never actually apologized in words, and maybe you think it doesn’t matter but it matters to me.” He takes a deep breath. “I’m so sorry,” he says as fresh tears make their appearance. Yoongi’s eyes skate over his face, follow the tracks down his face, but he doesn’t interrupt. “I’m so sorry for being so terrible to you all those years. It was stupid, and I didn’t really think about what it might to do you until you told me, and I’ve never felt more terrible for anything in my entire life. You were my best friend, and I just cut you off for one stupid thing that didn’t last more than week. I left you and I didn’t think about what went wrong until it was too late. I really don’t deserve to have you here, sitting next to me, but here you are.”

Hoseok takes a deep breath. “I swear I’m going to spend every single second making it up to you. I don’t care if you think it isn’t necessary. I need to do it or I’m going to spend every single second still believing that I don’t deserve you.

“We were best friends,” Hoseok says again as the guilt washes over him in a stinging rush. “And even though it took me a really long time to realize it, I’ve spent every single second of that time missing you. It took me a really long time to realize it, and I just want my best friend back.”

The look Yoongi gives him almost slices Hoseok clean in half. It’s the most gentle smile he’s ever seen, so soft that it almost looks strange on Yoongi’s otherwise stoic face. His eyes are melting Hoseok’s face off with how warm they are. It’s overwhelming. Hoseok feels like he’s suffocating.

“You have me,” Yoongi says. “I’m right here.” And then he kisses him.

It’s short but it’s all Hoseok needs. Reassurance floods over him in a cool wave and he feels like his head is going to pop off and the rest of him is going to float away. But Yoongi is there, anchoring him close with hands around his wrists and Hoseok doesn’t think about it anymore. It might take a while to stop feeling like a complete failure, but it’s fine. Yoongi will remind him, again and again, just because he’s here.

They pull apart and Yoongi pecks him once on the nose before looking at him closely. “Alright?”

Hoseok nods and wipes at his face. “Alright.”                                                                                  

“Good,” Yoongi says. His face is still soft. He twists around to retrieve the laptop, settling in right against Hoseok’s side. “I really want to finish this movie, by the way. The fireworks at the end is my favorite part.”

“Yea,” Hoseok says. “Mine too.”

***

 

[12:36 a.m.]

congrats

[12:36 p.m.]

thx hyung

is Namjoon there?

[12:37 a.m.]

how did you know?

[12:38 p.m.]

just a guess

[12:39 a.m.]

yea he’s here

he says congrats btw

[12:40 a.m.]

tell him thx

[12:41 a.m.]

are you still with him?

[12:42 a.m.]

yea

didn’t wanna leave

and anyway he won’t let go of me

[12:44 a.m.]

it’s literally been 2 seconds and you guys are already disgusting

[12:45 a.m.]

ive waited years

we can be as disgusting as we want

[12:45 a.m.]

good point

***

 

 “I might be running late,” Yoongi says. He sounds frustrated. “I forgot I had to go to office hours this afternoon.”

“Thar’s fine,” Hoseok says, hurrying down the street. “I’ll be here all night.”

“Don’t buy anything to drink. You know the rules, last one there pays.

Hoseok rolls his eyes and he laughs. “Yea, yea, I know. See you in a bit?”

“See you, Hoseok-ah.”

Hoseok ends the call, smile still on his face. Lately, Yoongi’s always been showing up second to the library, and Hoseok’s beginning to think that it’s just an excuse to buy Hoseok drinks, but he can’t say he minds too much. They both know each other’s favorite drinks by now, and they both carry Sharpies in their pockets so they can write stupid things on each other’s cups. Hoseok would be lying if he said he didn’t save the little cardboard sleeves.

He waves to the barista as he passes. Her name is Lisa, and she’s there every day except the weekends. Buying all that coffee for Yoongi resulted in him making a new friend, and whenever it’s his turn to buy drinks, she always asks how things are going with a sweet smile. She always gives him a small discount when he buys a drink for Yoongi.

When he gets to the fourth floor, he notices that there’s someone sitting at their table. He isn’t facing away from the door, though. He has his back to the window, and he looks expectant, like he’s waiting for someone. Hoseok doesn’t know whether he should approach or not, but the man catches sight of him and raises a hand, beckoning him over. Hoseok points to himself with a questioning gaze, feeling even more confused when the man nods. He walks over slowly and sits down carefully. “Um, do I know you?”

“No, we haven’t met before,” the man says casually. He’s actually really attractive up close. “I’m Kim Seokjin. You’re Hoseok, right?”

Hoseok frowns. “How do you know who I am if we’ve never met?”

Seokjin shrugs. “I’m friends with Yoongi.”

“Really?” Hoseok is skeptical. “I don’t think he’s ever mentioned you before.”

Seokjin shrugs. “That doesn’t surprise me.”

“Okay…” Hoseok shifts in his seat. He doesn’t really know any of Yoongi’s friends besides Minji, but he feels kind of weird. “Is there something you want from me?”

“Yes,” Seokjin says. “Yoongi’s told me all about you.”

Those words hit Hoseok like a ton of bricks. He finds himself sobering up pretty quickly. “I see,” he says tightly. He doesn’t like being reminded of his guilt when Yoongi isn’t there to dispel it.

Either Seokjin doesn’t realize that he’s making Hoseok uncomfortable, or he doesn’t care. Hoseok finds him objectively attractive, but he’s also kind of scary. He feels like he’s meeting Yoongi’s parents, which is kind of ridiculous, if you ask him.

“I just want to make sure that you’re not going to put him through any more bullshit,” Seokjin says. His voice is even and his aren’t harsh. Hoseok can definitely see why they’re friends, now. Seokjin is even more blunt than Yoongi. “You did put him through a lot, you know. I heard all about it.”

Suddenly, Yoongi always going for his phone makes a lot more sense. Hoseok might hate Seokjin a little more now.

He isn’t going to wither away in front of Seokjin, though. Hoseok’s put in a lot of hard work, thank you very much, and he intends to keep doing so for a very long time. “If you’ve heard so much about me, you should also probably know how hard I’ve been working to make everything I’ve done up to Yoongi,” Hoseok says, sitting up straighter. “No one can remind me that I’ve fucked up more than myself, and I plan to make it up to him for a very long time.”

Seokjin regards him silently for a bit, face thoughtful, before smiling a blinding smile. He extends a hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Hoseok-ah.”

Hoseok starts a little, but he’s guessing that he’s said the right thing. He takes Seokjin’s hand, albeit still a little cautiously. “Nice to meet you too.”

“Call me hyung,” Seokjin says warmly. “You’re the same age as Yoongi, right?”

Hoseok nods. A voice comes from behind him, and a cup is being set down next to him. “Hey hyung,” Yoongi says after he kisses Hoseok on the temple. “Are you scaring my boyfriend?”

“Of course,” Seokjin says, preening. “Who else is going to do it? Also why didn’t you buy me a drink?”

“You didn’t tell me you were going to be here,” Yoongi says, shrugging. He pulls out his textbooks. “Is Namjoon here?”

“He’s on the upper floor, I think,” Seokjin says, looking at the door. “Apparently he needs this really specific book about a really specific worm.”

Hoseok feels extremely out of the loop. “You know Namjoon?”

Seokjin nods. “Yea, we’re dating.”

Hoseok does not feel out of the loop anymore. Now he just feels betrayed. “He never told me that!”

“Yea, I know,” Seokjin says, shrugging. “I think he didn’t want to make you feel bad because your life sucked so much.”

“Wow,” Hoseok says, tilting his head. “I can’t believe I’ve finally met someone even more blunt than you, Yoongi.”

Yoongi laughs. Hoseok smiles. He always smiles when Yoongi laughs, it’s like some kind of Pavlovian response. “It’s true,” Yoongi says, grinning at Seokjin. “Where do you think I get it from?”

Hoseok shakes his head and looks down at Yoongi’s textbook. “You said you have a test coming up, right?”

Yoongi nods. “Mental disorders.”

“No problem,” Hoseok says. “They’re pretty interesting, so they should be easy to learn.”

“I guess that’s my cue to leave,” Seokjin says, grinning. He stands. “I should probably go find Namjoon, anyway. He’s probably sitting in one of the aisles again. It really was nice to meet you, Hoseok,” he says, smiling down at Hoseok. “I can tell you guys are really happy. That’s all I wanted to see. I’m sure I’ll see you at some point.”

“Of course,” Hoseok says. “Thanks, hyung.”

When Seokjin leaves, Yoongi starts laughing, burying his face in Hoseok’s shoulder. “Man, I can’t believe he came all the way here just to try to intimidate you. And I can’t believe it actually worked. Trust me, when you get to know him, you’ll realize that he’s the softest person on the planet. Just ask Namjoon.”

Hoseok leans his head against Yoongi’s. “I’m just confused as to how Namjoon managed to keep his boyfriend a secret from me,” he says, mildly in shock. “He can’t keep a secret to save his life.”

“Did a pretty good job this time,” Yoongi says. “Now come on, help me. The font is too small and I didn’t bring my glasses with me.”

“I’m not going to read your psych textbook to you.”

Yoongi pouts at Hoseok and he gives in. Hoseok tries not to think about how easy that was.

 

Hoseok gets home later to find Namjoon there with a sheepish expression and a plastic bag of takeout. “So I heard you met Seokjin hyung,” he says.

“I can’t believe you,” Hoseok says, jabbing a finger in Namjoon’s direction. “How come I didn’t know that you’ve been dating someone? You could’ve told me, you know.”

Namjoon shrugs. “You were having a rough time,” he says, shrugging. “I didn’t want to rub in your face that I was dating someone.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes. “That doesn’t make any sense,” he points out. “Taehyung has no problem rubbing his relationship in my face no matter what state I’m in.”

“Taehyung rubs his relationship in everyone’s faces all the time. I like to think I’m more sensitive than that,” Namjoon replies. “I mean, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. But we both know that it would’ve made you feel like shit.”

Hoseok pouts. “I hate it when you’re right. But you bought me food, so it’s okay. You should invite Seokjin over sometime, okay? I don’t really believe Yoongi when he says that Seokjin is a marshmallow.”

Namjoon laughs at that. “Don’t worry,” he says. “He’ll prove it really quickly.”

 

“Three, and four,” Hoseok counts loudly, going through the final steps slowly. He turns around to Jimin and Jeongguk, who are focusing intensely on their reflections in the mirror. “Got it?”

Jimin nods. “I think so.”

Jeongguk wiggles his hand. “Can we do the transition one more time? I think my counting’s off.”

“Yea, sure! Here, you try it, I’ll count for you.” Jeongguk starts moving to Hoseok’s counting, stopping when he’s told so Hoseok can correct him. In two runs, Jeongguk’s fine.

“Alright,” Hoseok moves back up to the front. “Ready for music? We won’t be here much longer, you guys are picking it up quickly.”

Jimin gets up from his position, crouched over his bag. “Good timing, Tae and Yoongi hyung should be here soon.”

The music starts and stops over and over for a while. Twenty minutes later, everyone is tired and stretching when Taehyung and Yoongi walk in, to the relief of their boyfriends. Yoongi crouches in front of Hoseok, who’s finishing up his stretching. “Hey, you. Working hard?”

“Of course,” Hoseok says, smiling at Yoongi. “Don’t I get a kiss?”

“I don’t know,” Yoongi says teasingly, “I mean, you’re kind of gross right now.” He leans in anyway, kissing Hoseok and completely ignoring the screeching coming from Taehyung now.

“When did this become a development?!” Taehyung glares accusingly at the both of them. “I think I liked it better when you guys were having twin crises. At least then I was in the loop.”

Hoseok ignores Taehyung and stands, pulling Yoongi close. He’s probably never going to get over how perfectly Yoongi fits by his side. Even though now, he knows that by his side is exactly where Yoongi belongs.