The deal was that Hoseok would use Yoongi's bunk when Yoongi was working all night, which he did more often than not, so it ended up adding up to more hours of sleep overall for Hoseok. He was finally starting to get over this persistent dripping cold he'd been feeling for the last few--however long he'd been here, in Seoul, trying to make this happen.
Look, the amount of time wasn't important, and neither was that seed of doubt. If it didn't work out, Hoseok would deal with it then, but in the meantime, Yoongi-hyung had been really nice about feeding Hoseok and taking him to the clinic when he needed his booster shots, and about letting Hoseok sleep in his bed which had an actual blanket, even if it was on a bare mattress. It was quantifiably better than it had been when Hoseok was sharing the floor with three other boys in the living room, and just had his own clothes to curl up with.
Seriously: he could actually breathe through both nostrils. It felt like a miracle after this last week especially, a whirlwind of more friends leaving the company to try to find something they had more hope in, more hours spent trying to force his body further, more brainpower wasted to get words to flow from his head to his lyrics.
He'd managed to catch a few minutes with Namjoon last night, both of them heading to the diner in the bottom floor of the building together, with the auntie who always gave them more than they paid for because she said they reminded her of the kids she never had.
"Hey Hobi, I think the bags under your eyes are gonna get sued for being Gucci knockoffs," Namjoon joked around a mouthful of noodles.
It wasn't really funny, but Hoseok laughed anyway, and came back with his own weak jab in response: "The pimples on your cheeks are going to get mistaken for a mountain range if you don't start washing your face."
There was something comfortable about the awkwardness. Hoseok had been so glad to have a few same-age friends, but Namjoon was the important one, and not just because his graceless sincerity made it easy to share burdens with him. Hoseok knew that if--when--they debuted, the group would be circled around Namjoon. Hoseok knew he was lacking, but if he could get Namjoon to stand with him, to teach him the stuff he was missing--he could definitely teach Namjoon a few dance steps in response.
Maybe that was too political, and Hoseok's feelings definitely changed over time, but he wanted so badly to succeed. He couldn't regret being strategic in befriending this Namjoon.
"Really, though, Hobi-yah, it's like. Not your best look?"
"Ah, just what I wanted to hear from a dude whose best look is inspired by Squirtle." Hoseok stuffed his mouth full of noodles to avoid saying anything else. He was weirdly touched that Namjoon had noticed anything, honestly, with all the responsibilities on his shoulders, the weight of the whole future of this potential group resting there.
"Look, Squirtle is the best," Namjoon said, dropping the subject of Hobi's facial accoutrement after that, but Hobi took it to heart anyway, heading to the dorm after dinner instead of going with Namjoon to the studios.
He took out his phone to text Yoongi on the short walk back.
r u working? i'm heading back to the dorm but i won't bug u if ur sleepin
There was no answer by the time he got to the building, and then of course nothing in the deadzone elevator, and nothing when he was walking towards their door. His phone buzzed in his hand when he was punching in the code for the door, though, startling him so he had to wait for the keypad to time out and then start over.
no worries, it's all yours, Yoongi sent.
if u need it, just let me know, Hoseok sent.
There was no response.
It had been days--not an exaggeration--since Hoseok had last seen Yoongi face to face. It was just a quirk of timing, honestly; last week he and Yoongi saw each other every single day, both passing in and out of dorm and helping each other out at the studio. Yoongi wasn't the best at texting, either, so if Hoseok didn't see him face to face he often didn't hear from him at all.
There was an element of anxiety, too, in texting Yoongi about their shared bed--about Hoseok sharing Yoongi's bed. He couldn't stop thinking about it as Yoongi's bed, even though it had been weeks now of this arrangement, and Yoongi always told him, "It's yours, just think of it as yours," whenever Hoseok said something like, thanks for letting me sleep in your bed, his ears burning.
Yoongi's ears had also burned, the tips pink through his unwashed hair.
Hoseok had been political, when he set out to befriend Namjoon. But this anxiety in interacting with Yoongi, that anticipation of Yoongi saying, it's yours--he was compelled to text Yoongi, to find him at the studio if he thought Yoongi would be free, to ask for Yoongi's help first, when he was sick and had to go to the clinic. Compelled by what, exactly, well.
He knew what it was. This anxiety/anticipation, the way he just wanted to stare at the tips of Yoongi's ears when they pinked up like that--Hoseok knew what it was. There just wasn't time to do anything about it, to express it out loud or stuff it away. He was too busy, and too sleep deprived, and honestly a little too drippy in the face to do anything much at all.
He was really trying to stay focused here, and sometimes those little glances of Yoongi's pink ears just seemed. Like a nice little thing to look at in the meantime. A brief respite, like the emotional equivalent of resting under Yoongi's blanket.
The dorm was quiet when he came in and slipped off his shoes. No one was in the living room, and the bathroom was clear for him to brush his teeth and wash his face. Even the beds were empty. On some level that must've meant that Hoseok should be working, too, but Namjoon had a point. Sometimes a person had to take just the tiniest break.
He plugged his phone into the communal charger and tucked it out of the way under the bunk. He took off his pants and his coat and stuffed them in his bag, then crawled onto Yoongi's bunk and under the blanket. He closed his eyes and his whole body just went heavy and quiet, and sleep overcame him.
He woke up warm all along his front and cold all along his back, where he was pressed up against the wall and the blanket betrayed him for the cool air. He didn't know what time it was, just that it was gray behind his eyelids and he could smell something--through his nose!--vaguely pine-and-sweat.
His face itched, so his hand wandered up to scratch, running into something along the way, soft and warm and giving under the light press of his fingertips.
"Hoseok-ah," Yoongi grumbled, "stop moving." He wriggled just a little, and Hoseok felt Yoongi's hand wrap around his wrist. Hoseok had always noticed how big Yoongi's hands were, and he really felt it, the spread of Yoongi's palm on the inside of his wrist.
Hoseok's face still itched, though at least it seemed like Yoongi had washed his hair finally before getting in bed. That took a moment to process. "You're in bed, I'm sorry," Hoseok said into the back of Yoongi's neck.
Yoongi said something, but Hoseok couldn't really hear him, turned away and quiet as he was, so Yoongi turned over, letting go of Hoseok's wrist and pushing the blanket more evenly around in the process.
The bed was so small. Their faces were so close.
"You didn't wake up when I came in," Yoongi murmured, meeting Hoseok's eyes and then looking away. "But I wasn't going to sleep on the floor, so."
"No, it's fine, hyung," Hoseok said, and then his hand was wandering again, reaching out just under the blanket to touch the very tip of Yoongi's pink ear.
Yoongi didn't say anything, just took one deep breath between them, and closed his eyes. "Go back to sleep, Hoseok-ah, if you can. We don't have to be up yet."
"Okay, hyung," Hoseok said, but he still watched through sleepy eyes for one more minute as Yoongi's face relaxed. When Hoseok closed his eyes, too, he leaned his head forward and felt the heat of Yoongi's forehead through his bangs. His mind wasn't as quiet as it had been a few hours ago, but that was okay: he just let it go, let it think about how warm the pink tip of Yoongi's ear had been in that gray light, the way Yoongi's weight in the tiny mattress made Hoseok's body lean forward despite itself. The soft pine scent of Yoongi's shampoo.