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Beating So Fast (A Love That Will Last)

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"..Is that my toothbrush?" Namjoon's fingers still on his keyboard, looking up at the wicked foamy smile on Seokjin's face. "Ew! You used my toothbrush!"

"Hey! Namjoon! There's an Andrea Gibson poem where their girlfriend uses their toothbrush for the first time and they say they brush their teeth like.. thirty times. So..." He gesticulates angrily with his toothbrush in his mouth. "Yeah. You're welcome." Namjoon stands up flabbergasted, following Seokjin back into the bathroom.

"That was literally a break-up poem."

Seokjin gargles, brushing it off. "We're getting married. We're meant to share everything."

"That does not mean I wanted to share bacteria!" He runs a hand down his face. "Bacteria was not in the contract." Seokjin spits out the swig of mouthwash he takes and sets the toothbrush down with a clatter.

"We share food. Plus, my tongue has been in your mouth, how is this any worse?" Namjoon looks like he's thinking so hard his head is going to explode, but Seokjin knows he's got him there. He puts his hand on his hip. "So it's fine when they're just sitting there head to head, touching?" Namjoon looks dazed.

"..That's hot. --But yes, it is! Or it was.. Now I have to go buy us seperate toothbrush cases." Seokjin laughs at Namjoon's groan as he heads for the door, eyes scanning the room. "Where's my wallet?

"It's in the breadbin."

"Wha- Why is my wallet in the breadbin?" Seokjin hears muffled clanging as Namjoon gets further away. "That is the last place I would have looked." Seokjin scoffs. "What?"

"Obviously it's the last place you would look. You're not gonna keep searching after you find something?" There's silence in the apartment after that, so much so that Seokjin is starting to get worried. He wonders how likely it is that Namjoon choked to death on a piece of bread.. The answer is very. He holds his breath for a few moments, straining his ears to try and listen for any animal like whimpers of anguish.

"..Wow, hyung. You just blew my mind." Seokjin breathes a sigh of relief and rinses his mouth out, with water this time, shaking his head.

"So, acknowledge my genius and stop disrespecting me.

"Fine. But don't think this means it will be a regular occurance. You owe me for the new toothbrush!" Namjoon leaves, slamming the door shut behind him. Seokjin sighs.

It's June. There's a week and three days left until Seokjin is tied down forever, destined to spend all of eternity dying on the phallic rock that is his life bound with Namjoon's. It's not a bad thing. He knows that. As much as he teases Namjoon about it, he knows he's the luckiest man alive, and he never wants to take that for granted.

Being June, it is also pride month. Seokjin jumped at the chance to walk down the aisle during the summery season of rainbows and Namjoon jumped at the chance of marrying Seokjin so soon. All of that made Jimin pout because "I wanted to get married during pride month." To which Seokjin had, not so genty replied, "Well do it next June then. Were you really expecting me to get married in the spring? Because I'm sorry but that is not happening."

Seokjin is the bride, and he will enjoy his day, so help him God. And there is no room in his head for remorse amongst all the plans he has to make, people he needs to call, and recipes he has scribbled down to trial make all before the wedding. He did feel slightly bad for Jimin after that, but not enough to uproot all of his own plans and hopes and dreams. Plus, Yoongi and Hoseok had almost broke down crying as they thanked him on their knees the next day, terrified of how little time they could have had left. It was a bit dramatic, even for Seokjin's tastes, but he appreciated it nonetheless.

Today he's making sure to finalise all of the invitations - making sure no one they actually care about is going to be left out so the happiest day of their life can't come back to bite them in the form of a late wedding present that is actually a gift wrapped snake that will proceed to eat himself, Namjoon and which ever members of their little squad happen to be there with them when The Time comes. Seokjin shudders.

He can't let this happen. It almost pains him to do it, but he writes out a couple of courtesy invitations to a couple of aunts and cousins he really kind of hopes will not attend. This part of the invitation sending has been left this late for a reason.

Neither Seokjin or Namjoon have many relatives attending, but between them both they have plently of family and that's more than enough for them. Still, Seokjin can't seem to take his eyes off from Namjoon's list, crossed through on day one, only his sister's name scrawled across the top of the page.

His own list at least had his parents, his brother -their friends were a given- and an obligatory invitation to his grandparents. Who had called his parents, no they could not make it, (but probably have the card stuck to their fridge under a little magnet in the shape of a caravan or something,) murmering under their breath about how Namjoon is an unusual name for a girl.

Namjoon and Seokjin have known eachother for fourteen months now. Technically, they've only been together for a little over six months of that, but technicalities are stupid and should be kept secret from all unaware loved ones at least until after the honeymoon is over. The honeymoon which they aren't even going on. Seokjin smiles to himself, overwhelmed with the happiness he feels at being able to just go home after their wedding and not be whisked off to spend an extortionate amount on a holiday that neither of them will be able to afford or enjoy when they don't exactly have anything they want to escape from.

Instead, they can just curl up on the couch and snuggle. He had whined to Namjoon about it, but they both knew he was kidding. That's one of Seokjin's favourite things about Namjoon. He always knows when Seokjin is kidding.

They've both officially moved into Seokjin's apartment, Jimin having permanently relocated to Yoongi and Hoseok's place after the triad being kicked out of his and Seokjin's place one too many times, and everything is working out great. Although Seokjin does miss coming over to find Jimin, Hoseok and or Yoongi in his living room every other night. Especially on nights he's alone in the apartment. Not that they don't come over now - it's just harder for anyone to justify.

But there have been enough "emergencies" in which the spare key has been used for Evil Doing that Seokjin isn't going to lay down the welcome mat for them as if they can just move in. It's still his home, after all. And he does value a bit of privacy every now and then no matter how selfish it may be to keep such a beautiful face to himself. And, of course, Namjoon.

Namjoon's own apartment had become like a second home to Seokjin previously. Obviously, because their apartment was like a university dorm with all the people coming and going, and Namjoon's was the only place they could go to get any peace and quiet. But letting it go had been easier than either of them expected. Namjoon said he found Seokjin's apartment more quirky and endearing, and Seokjin had to agree. They do have a pretty great window that will make jumping out a lot harder when they inevitably get on each others nerves. Plus, here they have two bedrooms.

The spare bedroom was converted into an office space, with two desks seperated by a large wooden screen coming out from the wall. Seokjin remembers when it happened. The day before Namjoon began working on it, they'd visited Yoongi, Hoseok and Jimin to borrow Yoongi's tools. Yoongi and Jimin had exchanged wide eyes with Seokjin who just shrugged helplessly as Hoseok handed over the box to his butterfingered fiance.

The next morning, the partition was there, as if by magic. When Seokjin called Yoongi, in a fit of confusion and suspicion, the man had the audacity to laugh at him. Actually laugh at him. Is Seokjin stupid? Obviously it was fairies. Why the hell would Yoongi have given up his precious sleeping time to help his two idiot friends. He had a point. So Seokjin remained quietly grateful for the.. fairies help and loudly grateful that all of Namjoon's fingers had remained intact. Though Namjoon's pout had taken a while to go away.

Stylish and functional, Seokjin had told Namjoon as they decorated, Seokjin pinning glossy prints of Brad Pitt up to his side. To.. motivate him whilst he works. Namjoon's own side is filled with boring things, like documents and notes and to do lists, but it still manages to do the trick. They both work comfortably side by side every day without distracting the other enough to trigger a break-up inducing breakdown.

"The family that works together stays together!" Seokjin exclaims one day, thus inadvertently creating an unspoken agreement between the two of them, in which Namjoon puts on his headphones, and Seokjin doesn't try and pull them off.

Namjoon's current project is exciting to both of them, a lot different to anything he's got to do in the past. Mostly because Namjoon is his own client this time. His last project was translating a book, a best seller, and it's brought in enough money that he doesn't have to work as much for a while. Although not enough that he can spend it on anything other than time. So he's been spending it carefully, working on a book of his own. A poetry book. He's really into poetry lately. Both of them are. Seokjin thinks it's cliche and sappy, but extremely romantic.

Seokjin's own job requires a little less concentration, though it's just as time consuming. When he was younger, and the company he created was still small, he'd have to work his fingers to the bone, doing several catering jobs a week earning less money than he'd have liked, just to keep it afloat. Until people tasted his cooking, recipes passed down from his mother, from her mother, that he'd worked on himself trying to get better each time. He started getting reccomendations and offers of more money and could finally hire some staff.

Now, he gets to work mostly from home, only actively going out to work when they have high profile clients, clients who request him specifically. So his job is pretty much sorting through emails, replying to them, hiring, firing, occasional training, filling in his staff's timetables, organising the recipes, the purchases, the payments. It is a lot of work. But he doesn't mind it at all. Especially with the sound of furious typing across from him, and Namjoon's furrowed brow, hoodie tassle worried adorably between his teeth.

It's basically his dream job because he gets to cook, but not all the time, and gets the same amount of money to sort his emails out sitting in a room across from his fiance drinking wine (just sometimes - usually it's strawberry juice) and then when they decide their work day is done they can go snuggle on the couch with cups of tea watching British period dramas with the subtitles on so Seokjin can practise his english, and Namjoon can practise his lovely British accent.

As the most high profile client there is, Seokjin is of course catering their wedding. He is determined for it to be better than Taehyung and Jungkook's wedding. Or not better, but different, as Namjoon had reminded him to say instead. To spare feelings. Seokjin doesn't need to be reminded of how cute their wedding was, but he wants to make sure the guests are going to have more than cake to eat. Even though the cake was genius.

Later, when Seokjin goes over to Taehyung and Jungkook's place to talk about the last minute invites and who they have or haven't heard back from, they bring it up. He had thought about it many times over the past few days, as the wedding draws closer, and is relieved someone else has brought it up. So he doesn't have to. Taehyung flips the list over, scrutinizing the names. "Were Namjoon's family invited?"

Seokjin sighs. "Just his sister. Is that bad?" Should he ask them to come? Taehyung and Jungkook look at eachother, and Seokjin can't tell what it means. Stupid, selfish soulmates. Taehyung hands him back the list.

"You should probably leave it up to Namjoon if he doesn't want them there." He knows that's true. There's a reason they've been left off from the list, after all, but Seokjin thinks its a good idea to just check.

So he rings Namjoon's sister. Talking to Geongmin makes him bitter about never getting a baby sister of his own, but he supposes Jungkook is okay and he can just borrow Namjoon's sister from time to time. They quickly get to talking about the wedding, which she's moving mountains to attend, because she lives unfairly far away. So much so that Seokjin has never actually met her in person before. Then of course, she asks if Namjoon is alright. And Seokjin, sobering their excitement, pauses.

"Seokjin? Is everything okay with you guys?"

He pauses again. "..Yes, but I wanted to ask you something.. About your parents."

"Oh."

"Yeah.." He feels really uncomfortable doing this now, definitely feeling like he's overstepped some kind of boundary. He forces himself to ask. "Do you think we should have invited them?"

There are a lot of heavy pauses in this conversation. "Honestly, I'm relieved that they're not going.." she starts and Seokjin sighs in relief. "They haven't even mentioned it and I feel like if you invite them, yeah, maybe they'll turn up.. but there'll be a lot of tension. Namjoon doesn't need that. Neither of you do." He thinks he can hear the melancholy smile in her voice even through the fuzzy phone static. "I think you should just count your blessings with all the people you do have going, who genuinely want you to be happy! And gay, forever!" He laughs a little. "Instead of people who are gonna sit grumbling in the corner bringing down the mood.. And I'd tell him the same thing."

Seokjin feels a lot better about it now, despite his regret at asking such a potentially invasive question over the phone. "Okay thanks." They talk for a little while more, before Geongmin has to go, and Seokjin is left sitting on the couch alone, just thinking.

When Namjoon comes in that night from Yoongi, Hoseok and Jimin's, he's grinning ear to ear. Seokjin tries grinning back just as bright but it doesn't reach his eyes, and his posture is too rigid on the couch. "Hey, can I talk to you about something?" Seokjin feels guilt churning inside him as Namjoon's face falls and he edges foward cautiously.

"..Okay?"

Seokjin smiles again. "It's nothing bad, I promise."

- - - - - - -

Namjoon is half draped over Seokjin's body, cuddling into his side, when Seokjin asks. "..Are you sure you don't want to invite your parents?"

Namjoon has just turned 18. He has an apartment, he's going to school, and he has a part-time job combined with his freelance translating bringing in enough money that he now feels comfortable enough about doing this. This being him, after years of guilt and fear and secrets, telling his parent's he's gay.

He takes a deep breath, and knocks on the door of his childhood home. The wreath on the door jiggles as it opens and he's pulled into a bone crushing hug. "Please- Geongmin," he manages through empty lungs. She laughs brightly and let's him go, taking his hand instead and tugging him into the house.

He had called ahead and told them he was coming. Warned them he had something he wanted to tell them. They replied coolly, telling him to come over at the weekend so they could talk. It wasn't his plan to do this so close to Christmas, with December 24th tomorrow, but he can't spend another year lying when his parents ask him about his love life over the kitchen table. He needs to be the real him now.

The next morning, he does it. He tells them. He barely even hears himself say the words over the bone chilling anxiety thrumming through him. He forces his mouth to form the words. "I'm gay." He hears everything after. He sees it, too.

His fathers face curls up in confusion, twisting into disgust, hands curling into fists at his side. His mother can't even look at him, but Namjoon can see the way her face scrunches up, standing behind his father crying. "I can't have that in my house." Namjoon is paralyzed, his heart weighing him down as the words sink deep into his skin. "You need to leave, now."

His father doesn't shout. He's never had to shout to be listened to, and Namjoon finally snaps out of his trance. He turns to his mother, and begs. "Please-" He takes a step closer, trying to get her to look at him, but his father gets there first.

He curls around his wifes weeping form, chest against her bowed head so she can't look at Namjoon even if she tries. "Can't you see you're making your mother cry? Leave, Namjoon. And don't think about coming back. You're not welcome here."

It stings. Of course it stings. But he half expected it. He had to expect it. Considering the way he grew up. The toxic masculinity he tried so hard not to be influenced by, when his father would tell him "Boys don't cry," after his cat dragged a still twitching bird to their doorstep, and he wept with it in his hands for hours. When he stopped bringing friends home, because all his friends were girls, and his father wouldn't stop asking- and asking which one is his sons girlfriend? Would they like to be his sons girlfriend? Why doesn't his son have a girlfriend?

His mother wasn't much better. Her wings were clipped from the day she married his father, and she seldom had any opinions of her own. Sure, she'd brush away his tears when he cried, and she'd lightly scold his father for teasing him when "He's just a boy! He doesn't need to be thinking about girls yet.." but she couldn't fight for him. Namjoon wasn't sure if she even wanted to fight for him, but he never stopped wishing she would. That's the part that hurt the most.

The gut-punch feeling of being marched to the front door, blocked from any chance of speaking to his mother one last time, or saying goodbye to his sister, like he was something they should be protected from. Like his heart was something dangerous, to be guarded against.

He holds in his tears until the house is out of sight, the twinkling lights blurring indistinguishably into the ones donned by every other house, before collapsing on the sidewalk with his head in his hands, sobbing quietly just to take the edge off so he can gather himself up again.

Now he's stranded in town for the holiday, so he just walks. It's not quite aimless, but his head feels so empty and his heart so hollow that he barely thinks of anything except putting one foot in front of the other until they deliver him to another doorstep.

It looks just like it did when he was last here; the old nursing home his parents put his grandmother into a few years back after she got sick doesn't even look like it knows what day it is. It breaks his heart that she could be in here.

His grandmother's house was always a safe place for him to go to when he needed to. She would let him vent about the kids who'd talk about him behind his back - for being too clever, or too clumsy, or too kind - and remind him that his heart was still in the right, no matter how wrong it felt when everyone around him told him otherwise. She would listen to all the crushes he caught on boys who would look down on him, or step on his feet, or trip him in the hallway, and dry his tears. She let him cry and didn't tell him it wasn't 'manly' to do it.

He's crying now as he spills his soul out to her, the events of the night pouring out of his heart like it's a wound left wide open and gaping. "Namjoon," she says so soft and loving, "your parents don't know what they're missing out on." She lifts a weak hand to his heart. "This.. is your most precious gift. Don't let them make you feel like you can't use it." Then she grips his hand in her own tightly, pulling him in. "You're going to meet a nice boy and bring him to meet your embarassing old grandmother, or I will drag myself out of this bed, hunt you down, and slap you." He laughs through the tears still rolling down his face, and it's comfortable for a while.

It feels like Christmas for a few moments, as they talk like old times, when his grandmother's house was just around the corner, just waiting for him with outstretched arms. Then his phone rings.

"Hello?" He pulls the door shut behind him, brow scrunching at the unknown number.

"Namjoon! I don't have long."

"Geongmin, why aren't you calling me on your own phone?" There's an uneasy silence on the other line before his sister seems to remember what she told him seconds before.

"I don't have much time. I'm at a payphone, I told dad I was going to post a letter.. I didn't get to say goodbye to you." Her voice is close to cracking, and Namjoon wants to cry all over again. Instead, he smiles.

"Hey, this isn't goodbye. It's just see you later.. And I'm sorry.. I don't know if you heard, but I wasn't really given the opportunity."

"Yeah," she sniffles, "I know, I heard." She sniffles again, harder. "I wanted to say Merry Christmas. And to know you were safe." Namjoon's smile grows wider, despite everything. He can't believe how lucky they got growing up to be decent people in spite of who raised them. Then he remembers where he's standing, and it makes sense to him.

"I'm with grandma."

Geongmin's voice gets louder somehow, as if she's closer to the phone. "Really, how is she?" He can hear the simultaneous concern and happiness in her voice as she leans in.

He sighs happily. "She seems really good today. She's good."

"Did you.. did you tell her what happened?"

Namjoon kicks his foot back, and lets his head fall againt the wall. "I did." He smiles gently. "She said they were missing out.. and that she loves me."

"I love you, too. No matter what." Just like that, his vision is blurring again, and he's bringing his spare hand up to swipe at his eyes desperately.

"Merry Christmas, Geongmin."

"Merry Christmas, Namjoon."

When he opens the door to his grandmothers room again, her eyes widen in surprise, wrinkles deepening in happiness. "Namjoon! You're here!"

He forces his smile to stay on his face. "Yeah, grandma. I'm here."

"Yeah." Namjoon finally speaks. "I'm sure."

Before they get up to go to sleep, Namjoon makes sure Seokjin knows just how sweet he is. "You're so thoughtful." He kisses his cheek. "But I just want this day to be people who love us for us.. Unconditionally." He moves in to kiss Seokjin's cheek again, when he swerves, knocking Namjoons lips into his own.

"So long as you're happy." He whispers against Namjoon's lips, igniting little bundles of fire logs all along his spine.

"I am." Bones still tingling, they go to bed.

After his conversation with Seokjin, Namjoon's mind isn't exactly filled with thoughts of his parents, but they're definitely popping up in his head more frequently. He knows, he doesn't want them there now. Or next week when it's the actual day of the wedding. It's the long-term he's worried about. How he'll feel about it in three months, or a year. If his family could ever come back from this. He tries to quiet his mind and focus instead on the scene in front of him.

Seokjin, pulling on his shirt, not bothering to button up before yanking a pair of jeans over his legs. He knows he won't regret marrying Seokjin, and there's no way he'd ever postpone this wedding. Except for maybe if Seokjin went into a coma after tripping on his own legs one two many times and actually did some damage. "Careful!" Seokjin looks up from his seat on the floor accusingly.

"Like you're not infamous for the exact same thing." He scoffs as he rises to his feet, pulling his jeans halfway up his hips before giving up and stumbling out of their bedroom with a finger through the loop to hold them up.

He only gets a couple of steps before pausing. Namjoon walks around him to see what's going on. "Hyung, wha-"

The hushed voices are snuffed out instantly. Taehyung, Jungkook, Jimin and Hoseok all freeze like deer in headlights. Seokjin is the one to break the tense silence.

"This isn't why you have a spare key."

"But we never get to use the key otherwise!" Jimin pouts cutely, trying to work his powers on Seokjin, but it doesn't seem to be working.

"So.. you decide now would be a good time to use it? To have a.." Seokjin waves at the group of huddled men "..have a secret conversation in the middle of our apartment?"

Jungkook blushes deeply. "Hyung..s, we thought you were busy." Jimin and Taehyung laugh at the expense of everyone else in the room like this is the epitome of humour. Namjoon disagrees. He looks between his own jeans and shirt, crinkled from how long he's been curled up in bed this morning, and Seokjin's haphazard appearance, chest on full display and zip undone. He looks back to Jungkook, follows his gaze and realises what they're being accused of.

"For God's sake, it's ten in the morning!" He knows his own face is growing hot, and hopes his friends know that the reason is because of how angry he is, and not because he's embarassed to be having a conversation about his and Seokjin's nonexistent sex life. Jimin's little smirk tells him they probably don't know that.

"Hobi and I have been awake since six in the morning, isn't that right, hyung?" Hoseok, God bless his soul, looks as flustered as Namjoon feels as Jimin jabs his ribs, wiggling his eyebrows at him suggestively.

"Gross." Seokjin looks between them in horror. "Six in the morning is not something you are ever supposed to see, and it is definitely not the appropriate time for exercise!"

Taehyung puts his hand in the air, his body asking permission for the words his tongue is just going to spit out regardless. "Did you just lump sex - the best creation on this earth - into the catagory of excersize. Like, olympic sports excersize. Rowing, and curling and.. and.." Seokjin smells weakness and leaps at it.

He claps his hands. "-Alright! One. Did you just use the word lump in the same sentence as sex? Because.. gross. Two! I am the best creation on this earth, and you don't want to forget it, and three! Out of all the sports in the world, you mention curling? Shame on you, Tae. Shame. On. You."

Taehyung pulls his hand back down and sulkily mumbles a "You're gross," into Jungkook's neck that Namjoon think Seokjin probably did hear, but just chose to ignore. For now. He's merciful like that.. sometimes.

Hoseok clears his throat. "We uh.. did actually have plans though? So, it's not like we're just uh.. here to interrupt your.. quiet time."

Namjoon breathes in deep through his nose, gathering strength. "There. Is. No. Quiet. Time." God, how can these people just barge into his house, asking invasive questions and implying they know anything about his life wh-

"Shut up, Namjoon. Hobi was talking." Seokjin hand is clamped over Namjoon's red face even though he'd stopped talking. "Go on, Hobi. Our plans.."

Hoseok smiles, bouncing on his heels. "Hyung! We're going veil shopping remember!" Namjoon speaks into Seokjin's palm and gets an exasperated look before the hand pulls away.

"I thought you weren't wearing a vei-" The hand is back there hovering over his mouth before he can even finish. He just sighs into the soft skin, and relishes in getting to be this close to his annoying fiance.

"Oh my God! Of course! God, what am I meant to wear!" He turns on his heel, darting in the direction of their bedroom. "Come on, squad. Help. Me." The others stutter forwards into the room, where the door slams shut behind them.

Namjoon stands there for a few minutes, nibbling on his finger indescicisvely, lifting his hand up to knock, and bringing it down again.

"Uh.. I'm uh.." He wonders if they can actually hear him in there. "I'm gonna go see Yoongi, I'll see you later." Silence. He's just about to leave when there's a clash from behind the door and four screams of horror. Seokjin's head pops out. He grins.

"Okay, I love you."

"Love you too." Namjoon smiles, stepping closer to peck Seokjin on the lips.

Yoongi is working today, of course, since his only other colleagues seem to also be his fiancees so group activities can usually only happen two people at a time. Not that Yoongi looks that stung by not being invited veil shopping. It's not busy today, so Namjoon doesn't feel too guilty about the business he could be stealing away. Namjoon chooses a seat in the centre of the bar top, picking at peanuts whilst Yoongi wipes things down half-heartedly.

"Hey, Yoongi?" He grunts in response, so Namjoon keeps talking. "Do you think it's selfish I'm not inviting my parents to the wedding?" He fiddles with a peanut, breaking it in half with his fingernails. "We didn't exactly end on good terms and I'm not exactly thrilled by the idea of talking to them but.. am I just quashing any hope of us reconciling?" He sets the broken peanut aside, brushing his hands of the debris. "I don't know, hyung. I just don't want to regret it."

Yoongi purses his lips. "It being inviting them, or not inviting them?"

"Not inviting them? I guess.. Or both? Whichever I do." He runs a hand through his hair, and sighs heavily.

Yoongi is a quiet for a minute, just wiping down the same glass over and over and over until Namjoon feels the urge to tug it free from his restless hands. "You got lucky, you know."

"What?" Namjoon's eyes snap up, but Yoongi isn't looking at him.

Yoongi shrugs. "You're lucky." He twists the cloth inside the glass harshly. "At least you have your sister; I haven't talked to my brother since my parents cut me off." His hands shake slightly around his hold on the fabric.

"You've never told me about that."

Yoongi shrugs again, eyes still down on that god forsaken glass that Namjoon swears Yoongi will scrub until a hole wears into the side. "There wasn't time for it before." His eyes flick up briefly. "I wasn't prepared before I came out.. I was fifteen and naive enough to think that even if they didn't support me, I'd still have a place to sleep." His voice is bitter, even now, years later.

"I'm sorry." Yoongi waves him off with the cloth.

"Don't do that. I'm not telling you this to make it all about me. Hell, I'm lucky. If I hadn't been homeless, I never would have met Hobi." His lips curl up briefly before he forces his expression back to neutral again and wipes down the bar vigorously. "You know, Jimin got lucky too."

Namjoon makes a noise in the back of his throat, and Yoongi looks up to meet his eyes.

"You know I don't mean it in a dismissive way because you know how bad it was for him.. how much damage and self hatred there was to undo. But he was lucky that.. after everything, he had a friend like Jungkook to take him in with a family so patient, and supportive." He finally puts the glass back and leans his palms against the bar. "Jimin told you this stuff, right?"

Namjoon gulps. "Yeah.. kind of. We talked about some stuff, but I haven't really known him very long in the grand scheme of things. I knew some rough stuff happened with his family, but I kind of assumed he fixed it since he talked so highly of them." He scratches his ear. "I filled in the gaps at Christmas."

"I'm lucky Hobi found me. Jimin's lucky he had Jungkook. You're lucky for.." Yoongi waves his hand "..the chance to get your shit together before you were disowned." He winces at his own words, but Namjoon knows exactly what he means. His family's distance even before he came out was what allowed him to get his life together so early on. "We're all lucky.. Your family might come around, Namjoon. But you do not have to invite them to the wedding - I promise you you're not going to regret that."

Namjoon smiles, feeling a little lighter. "Thanks, hyung. I'm glad I met you."

Yoongi makes a dismissive sound, before suddenly realising there's nothing in his hands. He looks exposed now, after that heavy conversation, and Namjoon takes pity on him.

"So, how are the kids?" Yoongi sighs, a tired smile on his lips as he mulls over the question.

"Selfish hypocrites. They keep me up all night crying and then sleep the entire day. Wanna come see?" His eyes light up and Namjoon doesn't see why not. He nods, pushing himself up to follow Yoongi through.

He walks them straight through the kitchen to the bedroom, clothes strewn about on the bed and sheets crumpled. "Sorry about the mess. Jimin and Hobi would kill me if they knew I'd brought you in here, but we haven't really had time to tidy." He grabs the handle of the wardrobe and twists. Namjoon frowns.

"Wait, you keep them in the wardrobe?" He narrows his eyes at Yoongi in accusatory concern, and he just smiles back sheepishly.

"I already told you they sleep all day. We have a baby monitor, but they only start yowling when we're trying to sleep." He ushers Namjoon into the little room, crouching down to ruffle the fur of a little black kitten. "They're gonna need homes in a few weeks. We'd keep them all if we could, but six cats is not an option right now." Namjoon joins him on the floor, sitting criss cross and scooping a tiny cat into his arms.

The kitten meows at him and his heart turns to mush. They sit there for a while, just stroking cats and scuttling their fingers along the floor to entice them closer so they can grab them when they least expect it. It's more fun than Namjoon would have thought, actually.

"Oh. By the way, Namjoon, that stalker guy came into the bar the other night." Yoongi speaks against the cat pressed to his face. "He has no idea we're all best buddies, it's pretty funny actually." Namjoon thinks Yoongi should tell that to his face.

Finally, he might get some of the answers last year failed to provide. "Call me the next time he's here. I want to talk to him."

"I'm going to let you be rude to me just this once on account of me telling you the man who stalked you and your fiance has just turned back up in the very same bar he first saw you in and could potentially be searching for his next victim.. but next time, you're dead."

Namjoon dips his head. "Sorry, hyung."

Namjoon goes home feeling so light he's almost floating, and it only gets better from there. He finds Seokjin at the sink washing dishes and wraps himself around him, stealing a back hug with his face digging into his neck. "I love you."

"I love you too." Seokjin laughs, twisting to boop Namjoon's nose with his bubbly hands. Namjoon grimaces, loosening the hold, and Seokjin just laughs more, wrapping both soapy hands around him.

"Did you find a veil?" He asks when Seokjin turns back to the sink, and bends his knees so his chin fits into the curve of Seokjin's neck.

"You know full well I am not wearing a veil." Namjoon tightens his arms and clasps his hands together around Seokjin's waist easily.

"Just making small talk. Trying to avoid that 'quiet time' I keep hearing about."

Seokjin laughs as he takes off his rubber gloves and drapes them over the sink. "Does it count as quiet time if we sit together, necking, but we keep the television turned off?"

Namjoon screws his face up. "No, we're going to bed." He pulls Seokjin's wrist and moves them towards the bedroom.

"How alpha of you.." Seokjin giggles, making Namjoon stop in his tracks.

"Do you know how many times we've fallen asleep on the couch this week? Hyung?" He gives him a hard look. "Too many. I do not want to wake up to you complaining about your sore neck tomorrow."

"Oh yeah?" Seokjin smirks. "How about my sore throat?"

Namjoon blushes. "Shut up."

Namjoon and Seokjin still haven't slept together. Even after Namjoon proposed to him for the seventh time, and they acknowledged that very fact, they still haven't actually done anything. It's not like it's been a cause of concern. Namjoon and Seokjin are very happy with how much time they spend just working, in each others company, or watching stupid shows on netflix, tangled together.

Namjoon has definitely thought about what it would feel like to be with Seokjin. It's not like they're completely innocent to each other. They like to save money on water bills and the like so, naturally, shared showers are a Must. And you can make things pretty interesting with kisses and love bites alone if you need to. It's not like Namjoon wouldn't jump at the chance to be with Seokjin, if he'd just say the word. But he won't. And that's fine too.

("Imagine how romantic it would be for us to wait." Seokjin had grinned from underneath Namjoon, who had one hand up his shirt, the other keeping him from falling flat onto Seokjin's face.

"Er.. yeah?" Namjoon paused his hands movement and flipped to rest on his side next to Seokjin. "Wait for what?"

"Our wedding day, silly." He arched his back in a yawn, folding into Namjoon's body. "We've already waited 10 months. What's a couple more?")

Namjoon loves Seokjin. He had imagined that Seokjin was traditional anyway, which is why he thought things hadn't progressed between them all those months ago, so it's not a hard thing for him to come to terms with. Waiting. The best part is, their friends don't even know. It's something private, just between Seokjin and Namjoon, just another thing binding them even more tightly together through these past months.

Seokjin crawls into bed beside him, and flops half his bodyweight on top of Namjoon, anchoring him down effortlessly until he falls into a long and peaceful sleep.

Namjoon is banned from the kitchen the next morning; Seokjin is practice baking for the wedding and doesn't trust Namjoon to help anymore. To be fair, he did drop a spoon when he was in there before. And that spoon may have held oil on it. And he may have slipped on said oil. And pulled a bowl of cake mixture to the floor with him when he fell, scrambling to stay upright. So now he's sat sulking in the living room, looking straight ahead to where Seokjin is speedily working to replace the lost ingredients.

Namjoon watches as Seokjin takes something out from the fridge and his eyes can't help but linger there. He remembers the first time he was here, when the only photograph on Seokjin's fridge was of him and Jungkook. There are a lot more now. Pictures of them all at Christmas taken by Seokjin's parents, and of course Jungkook and Taehyung's wedding pictures. Then there are the ones of himself and Namjoon, taken by Jimin or Taehyung on an instant camera, looking homely and fuzzy and professional in their own gritty, grainy way. And then, exactly where he left it, is the post-it-note.

Jungkook and Taehyung are coming around today, so Seokjin has prepared a ridiculous amount of bagged fruit in an attempt to keep his baby brother from eating everything he's worked so hard on.

Jungkook flattens his palms together at his chest. "But it's going to have to be eaten at some point anyway."

Seokjin raises his eyebrow. "You were not raised to eat cake like a meal, okay?" He continues rolling out cookies. "But.. I grew up with you and I know you are an unstoppable force of destructive nature. I'm just trying to minimize the damage." He boops his nose with icing sugar. "Cake later."

Jungkook and Taehyung nibble at pieces of apple, joining Namjoon on the couch to brood.

Namjoon's phone buzzes in his pocket, pulling him out of his grumpiness when he catches the name. "Hey, it's Hobi? Erm.. Yoongi hyung said I should call you and tell you he's here. He said you'd know what that means. Sounds really ominous but there you go.." Namjoon freezes. The stalker is back at the bar again - and this is his chance to go and talk to the guy. "Namjoon?" Right. The phone.

"Thanks hyung. And tell Yoongi hyung thanks too." Or.. "You know what? Nevermind - I'll tell him myself."

"Wha-" Namjoon hangs up, and shoves his phone into his pocket, grabbing his hoodie from the couch and heading for the door. Seokjin is too busy with his mission of force feeding fruit to prepare his lab rats to even look up until after the door slams shut.

Chapter Text

"You." Namjoon thuds down beside the guy, and grimaces through gritted teeth. "God, these seats are hard." The man jumps, stiffly, before smiling when he recognises Namjoon. He laughs lightly, and waves over the bartender - Hoseok - who he still doesn't know is best friends with Namjoon and Seokjin.

"You look like you could use a drink." He smirks, digging in his pocket and coming up with a few crumpled notes. "It's on me." Namjoon tries to harden his expression.

"Look, I'm not here to drink." The stalker raises his eyebrows.

"Oh yeah? Then why are you here, huh?" He grins lopsided at Namjoon, looking him up and down slowly. "I hope you know.. You're not really my type." Namjoon growls at him, and the guy laughs again. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding! But seriously, what do you want?"

"I want to understand." He sighs, frustrated. "Why would you stalk my fiance and I for eight months - I know you told the police it was because you thought we were frauds but eight months? And you weren't even there for all of the proposals so what kind of.. loser do you have to be.. to spend that much free time following us?" He stares hard at the guy, not breathing, until his face softens slightly and he exhales. "Please. I just want to understand."

"It's not that deep," the guy forces out, looking down at his fingers nervously tapping his glass, "I'm just.. very paranoid. And I don't like to see people being taken advantage of! Not a good combination, because I think everyone is being taken advantage of. Really, it's an issue." He finishes, looking up at Namjoon with wide eyed, then buries his head in his hands. "Oh God, you think I'm crazy. It's okay. You're right." He's muttering quieter to himself until Namjoon can barely hear him at all. Namjoon eyes Hoseok quizically, mouthing a question. Hoseok mouths back an answer, the guy isn't drunk, and points subtly across to his half full beer on the table. Namjoon is stumped.

"..It's alright." Namjoon pats the guys back awkwardly, and using the other hand slides the beer away. "I don't think you're crazy.." It's not a total lie! He knows a lot of wacky people and this actually appears pretty tame in comparison! Although he does wonder why this guy even cares what he thinks. "Hey, what's your name? I never got it back when.. you know.."

"Daesung." The guy sniffles and Namjoon is so out of his depth here. He doesn't know what to do? How does he make the crying stop. And Hoseok isn't helping, just standing there clunkily behind the bar without anything to do except watch and silently scream at Namjoon to 'just do something for God's sake!'

"So, Daesung.. How would you like to go to a wedding?"

Hoseok gasps, slapping a hand over his mouth, turning on his heel to speed through the back. He comes back instantly, dragging Yoongi behind him in one hand, already on his phone in the other. There's a moments ringing before he hurriedly speaks.

"Jimin, you need to come to the bar. Right now." He hangs up, not even looking at his phone. His eyes latch onto Namjoon's and stay there, wide and confused before he looks across briefly to Daesung, and then back to Namjoon judgingly.

Yoongi looks between Hoseok, Namjoon, and Daesung blearily, hair still ruffled from where he probably had a nap. He still looks half asleep, swaying on his feet and drinking in the scene before him. "..I've been summoned." Everyone tenses - except the stalker, Daesung, because he doesn't know Yoongi, and because he definitely doesn't know just how much Yoongi knows him. "Why have I been summoned?"

Namjoon takes a deep breath in and holds it, cheeks puffed up like a balloon as Hoseok lifts a cruel finger. "It was his fault! He invited the stalker to Seokjin's wedding!"

"Hey!" Yoongi cuts him off, making everyone flinch. Wow, a domestic. If Namjoon wanted relationship drama, he could have stayed home and waited for Jimin to tell him about it. That way at least he was a safe distance away from it all. "That's Seokjin hyung to you.." Yoongi mutters to himself as he turns, pouring out a glass of wine from the rack behind him and rubbing his temples. "Kids these days.. No respect for their elders.."

Hoseok mouth falls open like a disbelieving fish, his finger still pointing. Namjoon sends a smug look towards Hoseok and then, because Yoongi's back is still turned, he sticks his tongue out. At Hoseok's outraged gasp, Yoongi turns around, free hand now on his hip. Namjoon is sat still at the counter beaming like a little angel.

Inside, Namjoon is not beaming. Namjoon is on fire. He had regretted the words the moment they left his lips. Why the hell did he say that? He just hopes and prays that this will be resolved without Seokjin leaving him after finally coming to the harrowing conclusion that he's about to marry an actual idiot.

"My husband had just left me, okay?" Namjoon flinches as Daesung starts ranting again from beside him, hands in the air. "I needed a distraction, and there you were! Free entertainment all night! But when you proposed the second time, I was sure there was something going on! But I swear.. I only ever followed you by coincidence."

"You just happened to be standing behind the bushes outside the bar just after Namjoon and Seokjin left.." Yoongi clarifies, dryly.

"Okay, well.. maybe not the first time." He has the audacity to blush. "But I swear everytime after that I only followed you after I saw you in the same places I was already at! I didn't have any way of knowing where you would be!"

"..Okay." Namjoon allows, slightly baffled. "So you followed us because you were bored, and because you thought we were scamming people."

Daesung folds both arms behind his head, lacing his fingers together stressily. "Can you blame me? Everytime I saw you, you were getting engaged! Either you were both extremely fickle hearted, or the two of you were following some elaborate scheme in order to get free stuff! Either way, I wasn't gonna miss out on seeing any of it.. I swear, that's it."

"Alright, weirdo." Namjoon sighs. "I'm still pretty creeped out, but you seem like a decent guy."

"Thank you." Daesung grins at him, and that's all they have time to say before the door is swinging open.

Seokjin holds the door open for Jimin, and Namjoon almost cries with relief. Thank God. Seokjin is here. He'll fix this. He'll give Namjoon hell, but he'll fix it. "There you are!" Seokjin chirps as he follows Jimin in, completely oblivious. "Tae and Kookie went home and I was lonely."

Namjoon's nose scrunches up, and he tilts his head. "Before Jimin even left, you were lonely?"

"Yes." Seokjin sighs. "I need a lot of love and attention, you know this!"

"Yes I do." Namjoon agrees, taking a swig from Daesung's beer for courage. Just in time too, because Seokjin finally realises they're not alone at the bar.

Hoseok catches him staring and decides to fill him in. "Your sweet fiance.. decided maybe Daesung here.. would like to go to a wedding next Sunday.." He hints, carefully. "That's why I called you." He nods to Jimin. "I needed some more eyes on this.. situation."

"Our wedding? You invited him to our wedding?" Seokjin's eyebrows furrow dangerously inwards, making Namjoon shrink backwards in his seat.

"Mayhaps..?" Namjoon is sure he's going to fall off the edge of the seat, sure Seokjin is going to laugh at him when he falls on the floor, sure he's going to be dumped right here, surrounded by his friends and- and Daesung, of course, which makes it even worse. God, why does he have to screw up good things? Why can't he ju-

"-Of course Daesung can come to the wedding! The more the merrier!" Seokjin beams, all the concern he feels being overshadowed by how glad he is that he has another name to put on Namjoon's guest list. Namjoon blinks. Then blinks again.

"I'm sorry, what?"

Seokjin turns to him with his hands up, defensively. "If you want him there, that is, but I think it's a great idea!" Then he's smiling again, and the anxiety eases out of Namjoon's bones quicker than it wormed it's way in.

Namjoon sighs, dragging a hand through his hair roughly. "Yeah.. Yeah, maybe it'll do you good." Daesung nods, a small smile on his lips, and Seokjin bounces forwards on his heels excitedly. He grabs the beer glass and takes a happy sip. Daesung's eyes follow it, and his eyes land on Seokjin's hand.

"So, you're still wearing the ring, huh?"

- - - - - - -

"Namjoon! I'm going on a juice diet!" Seokjin shoulder barges the door as he enters, armfuls of shopping bags in his faltering grasp. His feet blunder forwards before he stops dead still. "Namjoon!"

Namjoon looks up in time to see Seokjin bag-laden and lowering himself to a crouch on the floor, very slowly. "Hyung, are you okay?" Once Seokjin is low enough he lets his knees hit the ground and drops the bags, rifling through them on the floor.

"No." He keeps rummaging whilst Namjoon patiently waits for the explanation that is probably coming; Seokjin has a flair for the dramatics- and Namjoon loves being a part of the script. He unearths a bag of cucumbers and a lemon. "But I will be."

Namjoon takes a break from his book writing, finding it hard to concentrate. He had decided to do the juice cleanse with Seokjin, ending the night before their wedding day, but Seokjin has other plans. The sugary syrupy smell of whatever Seokjin is baking (suprise, suprise) infects the air, and Namjoon is weak from resisting. As soon as he leaves he office he knows he's made a mistake.

Seokjin falls to his knee in front of Namjoon and throws an arm over his eyes. Namjoon is alarmed for a moment, forgetting himself, before he follows the line of Seokjin's other arm to a shaky tray of cookies. "You're going to have to do it, Namjoon." He looks up and there are - he swears to god - literal tears in Seokjin's eyes. "You're going to have to be my taste tester."

Namjoon stares down at his mess of a fiance for a second, weighing his options. They are few. They are oh so few. He sidesteps Seokjin's crumpled form like an elegant crab and waddles a safe distance away. He pulls himself up to sit on the side, ignoring Seokjin's groans.

"Namjoon, my goal was not to put ass prints in my cookies.. my goal was to put cookie prints in your ass." Namjoon is running out of ways to be confused.

"Jin hyung, we're doing a juice cleanse. I can't eat cookies either!" He leans over the edge of the counter. "And stop trying to make me fat!"

Seokjin sets the cookies down on the floor, and looks up, crossing his legs beneath Namjoon. "I'm not trying to make you fat.. but you are not doing this juice cleanse with me. I just want to unearth the true potential of your thighs. Achieve maximum thickness. Unlock the ulti- Ow!" Seokjin falls back, hand over his face. "We are getting married in a week and you just kicked me!"

Namjoon's face is bright red. "I'm so sorry hyung it was an accident I swear! It was an involuntary reaction to your unrelenting harassment.. That makes it sound like it wasn't an accident but it wa- I'll go get the peas." He rushes to jump down, skidding across the floor towards the freezer. He finds the peas quickly, racing back over to Seokjin and presses the cold bag to his face.

"If this bruises, I'm not marrying you." Seokjin lifts his hand questioningly. Namjoon accepts solemly, biting the cookie.

"Understood."

It isn't a shock to anyone that the whole 'Daesung' thing didn't turn into an argument. Or the 'Juice cleanse' thing or basically any other crazy thing the two of them have done recently. Namjoon and Seokjin are basically as happy as can be together. Sure, they've have their problems..

- - -

"Yoongi, help!" Seokjin shrieked down the phone.

"What's wrong?" Yoongi sighed gently.

"Namjoon locked himself in our bedroom and he won't come out."

Yoongi sounded exhausted. "Uhuh, what did you do this time?"

Seokjin pulled the phone away from his face to scoff at the screen, incredulous. "I am your hyung."

"..What did you do this time, hyung." Seokjin would let it slide. This time.

"Hey, I put the ice cream in the sauce for a very good reason and I don't tell you about it for an even better one.."

"..I'm waiting.."

"You all need to chill!" He giggled despite himself, then folded himself in half laughing, trying to keep his lungs inside his chest.

A Sigh. "Really, hyung."

Seokjin wiped a tear from his eye before straightening up, his smile vanishing. "Who feeds you, Yoongi?"

Yoongi yawned. "Fine.. continue.."

"Alright. So, I was making dinner and Namjoon came in, and said 'Hey! How did you make that? We don't even have any passata.' So I said-"

"-Oh no."

"I'm very.. re-sauce-ful.." Seokjin emitted a high squeaky laugh, pulling the phone away from his ear to brace himself against the table until he could stand up independently again. He lifted his phone back to his ear, still hiccuping. "Hello? Yoongi?"

Yoongi had hung up.. But Seokjin was nothing if not persistent..

sj:yoongi?

sj:yoongi!!!

sj:please, it's been an hour. he won't even talk to me!

sj:im not even sure he saw the ice cream.. *gasp* was it my pun?!

sj:yoongi!

yg:jin hyung

yg:i would die for u but it's 4am

yg:go to sleep

Seokjin grimaced. Easy for someone with access to their bed and partner/s to say. No matter, he had a couple more tricks up his sleeve.

"Joonie, please.. I know you're in there." Seokjin sung softly, pressing himself flat against the door. "Yoongi is asking where you've been."

A muffled groan was heard from the other side, where Namjoon was busy burying his ears in his pillow, desperately trying not to be affected by Seokjin's singing.

- - -

..but they're usually extremely easy to resolve. A good solution, for example, is climbing into your own bedroom window at two in the morning to sleep beside your fiance, who in his sleep deprived state will be so glad to see your warm, koala hybrid self that he won't even question how you got in when the door is still locked. But Seokjin only did that once. Apparently it's "irresponsible" and "dangerous" and "could get us evicted."

- - -

Namjoon feels lucky. His own perception of grown-up relationships was skewed early on. His idea of 'love' has always been backing down from a fight you were too weak to win. Until he met Seokjin. Now he knows that's not it. Love is never backing down, never letting the other person hurt you because if they know they're hurting you and they keep on doing it, it isn't love. It just isn't. Love isn't a power trip.

He's reflecting a lot on his upbringing lately. How much he had to grow up to survive it. How naive and youthful it left him at 21. How he's grown with Seokjin every single day since they met. How he's still growing. It's cheesy as hell, but he's reflecting on everything past and present like this is some movie and he's about to die, and eveything he ever did right or wrong in his life is passing right in front of his eyes.

If nothing else, he can say he did this right. This 'love' thing he was so reluctant to try. He's doing alright.

- - - - - - -

Namjoon and Seokjin decide to split up for their stag-do's. Namjoon doesn't even want one, and Seokjin is happy without a plan, so now all that's left for them to decide is which groom gets which friends. Naturally, Seokjin finds a perfect solution.

"I'm heads, Joonie's tails." Seokjin decides, before tossing the coin in the air. "This one's for Yoongi. Age order." Everyone crowds round the coin when it drops, eagerly awaiting instruction. Seokjin smirks over at Yoongi. "You're mine."

Namjoon frowns deeply, willing Seokjin's attention back to the game. "It's Hoseok next, hyung." And so the coin is flipped. And then again. And again. And again. Until all friends are accounted for.

"Since you've only got Hoseok and Taehyung, you get the wildcard. Congratulations!" Seokjin beams, after he's finished hugging his own team members.

"What? Who is that?" Namjoon can feel a headache coming on, and just wants to go to bed as a preventive measure, but he'll humour Seokjin for a little longer, sure.

"Daesung hyung! Yay!" Seokjin claps and cheers a little, letting the news sink in for a second too short. "..Now, let's get moving.. while the night is still young, alright?"

"Alright! Let's get this bread." Jungkook grabs the nearest available wallet; Namjoon's wallet, lobbing it at the breadbin. It flops sadly to the floor.

Namjoon's eyes narrow into tiny laser beams. "So that's why.."

"Huh?" Jungkook's cute little bunny teeth appear as his eyes widen in confusion and it makes Namjoon angry how innocent he looks.

Seokjin barks. "Namjoon, stop bullying my brother and go call hyung to let him know what's happening." Adding a "Quick, quick!" when Namjoon doesn't immediately stop his glaring.

- - - - - - -

Needless to say, Namjoon's group are awkward as hell. Whilst they are technically "out on the town" so is the elderly woman who just walked past with a zimmerframe. Namjoon, Hoseok and Taehyung are all missing their other halfs, whilst Daesung misses his and they all just seem really pathetic, making Namjoon wonder if they should've done pre drinks before all this. Bars are expensive when you don't know the owners. Ah, hindsight.

"Heu guys, I've got an idea!" Namjoon eyes Daesung dubiously.

"Really, hyung? You do?" Daesung's face breaks out in a huge smile as he advances forwards on the balls of his feet, beckoning everyone along.

They end up at a rickety, worn down little house. "This is the place, hyung?" Hoseok asks, straining to keep his lips stretched up around his concern and confusion.

Daesung skips ahead, fumbling trying to get his keys out from his pocket. "Oh yeah, it'll be awesome! I have an indoor swimming pool" Namjoon's eyebrows shoot up, and he turns to Hoseok, who looks just the same. Namjoon is just about to come up with an excuse to get them out of this sketchy situation when Taehyung jumps forward.

"Okay!" His excitement is close to overflowing as he follows up the steps of Daesung's house and dissapears inside.

Hoseok looks at Namjoon for help, and Namjoon just runs a hand down his face, and sighs heavily. "Okay!.." So inside the creepy little house they go.

They follow the sounds of splashing they can hear, and Namjoon is surprised - had thought this was some creepy, elaborate scheme for Daesung to lure his new friends home so he wouldn't have to be lonely anymore, but.. he actually has a swimming pool in here?

The swishy sounds get louder as they make their way down the hall, until they stop outside a closed door. "Well alright, I guess this is it." Namjoon pushes the door open.

It swings open to reveal Daesung, in his underwear, floating on the surface of the water with his face down. "What?!" Namjoon and Hoseok lunge forwards, until they're pulled back by something.

"Hyungs, hyungs! it's fine! He has like.. an oxygen tank down there..it's so cool!" Taehyung pants "He said he'd let me try!" Namjoon and Hoseok look towards the uncorpse in the little rainbow paddling pool. Namjoon wonders if it would be socially acceptable to just leave him there..

Namjoon turns to Hoseok. "Did he drink anything tonight?" Hoseok's eyes are huge, fixed on the body lying still in the water.

"Nothing. Not a damn thing." So, obligations for stopping a drunk man from drowning to death in his own paddling pool are out of the window. Namjoon breathes a sigh of relief.

Taehyung is tugging his shirt up over his head in Namjoon's peripherals, spurring him into action. "Okay! We'll we're gonna be moving on, you can stay here.. if you want." He's not sure if Daesung's ears were even capable of hearing that, but he doesn't care. He yanks the back of Taehyung's shirt harshly before he can pull it all the way off, pulling them towards the exit, only letting go once they're safely outside.

"Taehyung!" Namjoon screeches. "That pool could have been filled with acid! What would I have told your husband if you'd have died tonight, huh?!"

Hoseok and Taehyung blink at eachother slowly before Taehyung turns back to Namjoon. "You don't think we'd have noticed if the guy was swimming in acid? Sheesh.. and you're supposed to be smart." Taehyung turns and start walking, and Hoseok just shrugs before joining them, leaving Namjoon scrambling to catch up.

They all sit down on a park bench a little ways away. Namjoon has his head buried in his hands, Taehyung looks half asleep, and Hoseok is basically just twitching to get back out there. "Guys, listen. I know this night has had a few setbacks, but I know how we can get the vibe back up. I was meant to give these out earlier, but here." In his hands are three black lacy.. chokers?

"Hobi, what..?" Namjoon reaches for one of them, and toys it inbetween his fingers.

"I got us friendship chokers! So everyone knows we're bro's and we'll look so hot everyone will want a piece of us!"

Namjoon deadpans. "We're all either engaged or married.. This is literally my stag do." Hoseok smiley face drops. Even though the thick layers of inebriation, Namjoon feels a twinge of guilt. "But this was a super.. nice idea, Hobi." Oh no, his mouth is doing that heart shaped pout thing. "Here, here! Look! I'll put it on.." He jams Taehyung's ribs with his elbow.

"Agh God why!" Taehyung clutches his side in pain, eyes still screwed tightly shut.

"Quick, Tae.. help me put this choker on." Namjoon thrusts it at him urgently.

Taehyung opens one eye reluctantly. "You needed my help for that? You couldn't have asked Hobi hyu-" He twists around and takes in Hoseok's disheartened expression, crumpled like the discarded takeaway wrappers scattered all around them. "Oh." Taehyung elbows Namjoon's ribcage, hard.

"Hey!" Namjoon cries.

"Oh, just give me the damn thing, you big bully."

- - -

Seokjin's group, on the other hand, are having a great time. Probably. Right now, all Seokjin can see is the huge guy towering over him, his huge beard dangerously close to Seokjin's face. He giggles. "Excuse me, are you my daddy?" He guffaws to himself, too drunk to notice the way the guys nostrils flare.

"Say that to me again." He growls, his friends blurring behind him as he stands around Seokjin.

"Daddy?" Seokjin asks, and the guys lurches forwards. Seokjin dances back slightly, sticking his tongue out teasingly when the guy stumbles in his absence.

"I'm gonna rip your tongue out of your head." Seokjin knows in the back of his mind that's a bit of an overreaction, but he can't push the logic to the forefront long enough to take the hint and run. The fuzzy, warm parts of his brain probably have a better plan anyway.

Seokjin licks his lips, slowly, and speaks low and sultry. "Try it, and I'll bite your fingers off.. and you don't want me to get a taste of human flesh.." He licks his lips again, pulling his bottom lip into his mouth as he looks at the guy. "..I'll be insatiable."

And that is when his legs decide to work again. He runs away backwards with his middle fingers up, narrowly avoiding tripping every few seconds from sheer luck, whilst they yell homophobic slurs after him, and he just laughs deliriously until he's so lost not even God could find him.

Really, though. He's lost. He pulls his phone out from his sock; you should never keep your phone in your pocket on a drunken night out, and taps a few buttons.

"Namjoon? You wanna marry me? You have to find me first."

Namjoon turns up an indeterminate time later, breath coming in heavy as he comes to a stop in front of Seokjin. "Are you okay? Seokjin? Where are the others?" Seokjin waves him off, with a very wavy hand from his seat on the ground.

"Had to go." Namjoon sighs, pulling Seokjin up when he reaches out his hands to him. He squints.

"Did you though? Did you really?" Seokjin pouts as Namjoon dusts him off, checking him over for scrapes and bruises. "..You're okay.."

Seokjin rolls his eyes. "Obviously.. how did you even find me?" He gasps. "Are you stalking me?"

Now it's Namjoon's turn to roll his eyes. "Please, that's so last year. Besides, we ditched Daesung so we couldn't use his expertise.. I track your phone, remember?"

"God, that's creepy." Hoseok whispers loudly to Taehyung, who nods vigorously.

"We track each others phones." Namjoon clarifies grumpily. "In case of any more stalker like situations." That seems to explain it to them, and they both open their mouths in wordless affirmations, before.. doing whatever they were just doing. "Hold on.. what's that.."

Namjoon prises the phone from Seokjin's pocket, where it was buzzing, and answers it as Seokjin has a lightbulb moment. "That's why my ass was vibrating!"

"..Hello to you too." Yoongi is slurring more than usual, and Namjoon can vaguely hear commotion in the background.

"Give me the phone, you tiny goblin man."

"Hey, don't call him that, you- you--"

Jungkook laughs. "Bitch please, you've got nothing on me."

"That is a bare-faced lie."

"Jimin, no it isn't.. I borrowed your make-up, remember?.."

"Hyung, why did you leave me?" Seokjin reaches forwards to grab the phone from Namjoon ignoring Taehyung's worried rambles.

"Yoongi, I'm very sorry, I was mobbed by the straights, but I almost cannbalised a man, and I'm coming back now.. Please don't let Jimin rip my brothers hair out - he is not staying in my home after his husband leaves him, so.. you're gonna have to deal with that, okay? Okay. Good." Seokjin flips his phone shut with one hand, and presses it into Taehyung's pocket, making dead eye contact. "He said Kookie misses you."

Taehyung's face tenses. "..Which bar are they at!?"

So they end up at friendly's, which on any other day would be shut, but (wiggly eyebrows) Namjoon and Seokjin know the owners.

"You hired me three whole bartenders? And the only cheque they accept is love?!"

"Shut up, Jin, and drink the damn thing." Jimin passes him a screwdriver and smiles deceptively.

Jin pouts. "You've been spending too much time with Yoongi." He turns to Hoseok instead, who has something looking really good around his neck. Not ditch Namjoon at the altar good, but still good. But wait- "You guys all have chokers?

"Hyung! I have more! I got one for us each!"

Bless. "My literal sunshine." Seokjin ruffles Hoseok's hair, hand slipping and almost taking out his eye. "Where is Namjoon? This is a matter that requires my immediate attention!"

Namjoon is sat at the other end of the bar, Yoongi passing him drinks so strong Seokjin can smell them from a metre away. He heads over there, swaying sexily, and takes a long sip from his fiance's glass, before climbing into his lap with relative ease - at least in his drunken mind.

Namjoon winces, shifting uncomfortably. "I thought you were on a juice cleanse."

Seokjin looks bored. So bored. "Vodka is a juice, Namjoon." He hooks his legs around Namjoon's waist to keep himself up, and reaches towards Namjoon's neck, tracing the choker. "That's not why I came over here, though."

Seokjin feels Namjoon gulp as he traces his throat. "Oh, it isn't?" Seokjin shakes his head slowly, before leaning in for a kiss. It's sloppy, intoxicated, and desperate in a patient kind of way, and it's nowhere near enough, but they pull away anyway. Too drunk to figure out how to breath any other way than just panting heavily against each others open mouths.

"Ew!" Jungkook exclaims from beside Namjoon. "Hyungs, do not tell me being drunk makes you blind too. There are children here!" His hand is covering Taehyung's eyes beside him, or trying to, but he's really just making it difficult for him to breath.

"Hide your eyes!" Taehyung flails, lurching forwards to put one hand around Jungkook's face from behind. The other pulling on his neck. "I'll protect you, Kookie."

Seokjin and Namjoon just smirk lazily, and keep staring at eachother through hazy doe eyes, waiting for the calm to pass and another wave of shenanigans to hit.

"We should pierce our ears!" Taehyung gasps, giddily.

"Oh! Like as a couple thing!" Jungkook exlaims, already on board with the idea.

It's not that Seokjin can't hear it as Jungkook asks Yoongi to steralize his safety pin, it's just he doesn't feel like it's turn to do damage control. Thus, the night goes on.

Somehow the two of them end up in their bathroom, crinkly disposable gloves and hair bleach spread all around them as they muddle through with no instructions.

It's all a blur. Seokjin recalls a very nice scalp massage after that from someone with little, stubby fingers and supposes that's when he must have fallen asleep.

The last thing you want when you're hungover is to be woken up at 8am by your phone ringing. Seokjin has half a mind to just ignore it, and join Namjoon back in sleepy land, until he sees who's calling. He sits up immediately, despite the pounding in his head, and accepts the call.

"Yoongi?"

"Hyung! Thank God, I thought you weren't going to pick up. Listen, is Jimin with you?!"

Seokjin yawns lazily. "Not to my knowledge.."

Seokjin imagines Yoongi is probably pacing on the other end of the phone. "Well, could you please check? I'm kind of freaking out here. I just woke up and he's not home, and I texted Taehyung and he hasn't even replied to me!" He's breathing heavy by the time he's done, and Seokjin reassures him.

"Alright, alright. Namjoon and I will look." Seokjin turns over to shake Namjoon awake and screams. The phone clatters to the floor.

"Seokjin? Seokjin!" Yoongi's voice is muffled by the floor and carpet surrounding it, rendering it ignored.

Namjoon wakes up with a start, and takes a moment to assess the scene in front of him. Seokjin, his fiance Seokjin, his Jin hyung.. has purple hair. "What the fu-

"-Namjoon! Jimin's missing!"

Namjoon rubs his eyes, suppressing a yawn as he tries to sit up. "You mean he left?" Seokjin tries to fill in the gaps, but there are too many.

"You're saying he was here?"

Namjoon looks more awake now, sitting up properly in the bed. "You don't remember?" Namjoon shakes his head. "Jimin came in at like.. five in the morning stumbling about and then he passed out in his old bedroom..

"You mean the office?" Seokjin interjects, confused.

"I do, but I think he forgot he didn't live here anymore, so for the sake of the story, Jimin's old bedroom.. So yeah, unless he left again, he's still in there."

- - -

Seokjin stands over Jimin's unconcious form, amazed. "How do you even get that drunk?"

Namjoon wrings his hands. "Er, hyung? You couldn't even remember him being here last night.."

"Wasn't I asleep?" Namjoon's gaze is somewhere above his eyes.

"Not exactly, no."

They're interrupted by the sound of footsteps clomping closer to their door. Seokjin braces himself, whilst Namjoon runs for the door, trying and failing to get there before the frantic knocking starts.

"Yoongi wh-"

"Where is he?"

"Wow, deja vu.." Seokjin whispers into Namjoon's ear, whose eyes widen as he nods.

"He's fine, hyung. He's in the office sleeping." Yoongi nods for a second, calming down, sparing a glace towards Namjoon and Seokjin before looking away. He does a double take.

"What happened to you two?" He raises an eyebrow and smirks, heading in to see Jimin.

Seokjin's eyes narrow in suspicion. "Us two? ..Oh no. Quick, give me your phone." He follows Yoongi, making grabby hands until he hands it over. Seokjin turns on the front camera, and almost faints.

Seokjin's hands twitch around Yoongi's phone as he stares over Jimin's sleeping form, sprawled out in an office chair, every single one of his fingers a gaudy, bright pink. No matter how good he may look, this is not acceptable. He is going to kill him.

At that moment, Yoongi's phone rings. The caller I.D says 'Jungkook' and Seokjin wonders briefly what Jungkook could possibly be calling to tell Yoongi about that he hasn't told Seokjin. Reluctantly though, he sets his jealously aside, and hands back Yoongi's phone. Only semi-agressively.

"Hyung... promise.... ... Seokjin... hyung.." Try as he might, Seokjin just can't strain his ears enough to hear his brother's words.

Yoongi, obviously picking up on this and forever somebody's angel says, "Sure, I promise I won't tell Seokjin hyung", and proceeds to put him on speaker.

"Okay, cool. So, I'm in the hospital."

"What!" Seokjin explodes, ripping his rage away from Jimin. "What do you mean you are in the hospital?"

There's a shaky inhale and Yoongi winces guiltily. "Oh.. hi, hyung.. I didn't want to bother you."

"Tell me why you're there, Jungkook, I swear to God.. and where the hell is your husband? Why are you ringing Yoongi, why no-" His mind is running a thousand miles a second. "-Is Taehyung okay? Where is he? What's going o-"

"Jin hyung, please, we're okay!.. At least I think we're okay. I'm not exactly sure where Tae is right now.."

Yoongi's phone buzzes at that exact moment, and he pulls it up his face to see. "Promise me you won't tell anyone, but I'm in the hospital." He reads. "Whoops."

"Why.. are my brother and brother-in-law.. coming to you instead of me for help?" Seokjin grits, livid.

Yoongi shrugs. "I guess I'm the cool dad."

"Hey!" Namjoon starts, before trailing off when he realises he has too little to be offended by. "..It makes sense, I go to Yoongi hyung for advice too.. He's my sage."

"Shut up Namjoon, this isn't boost Yoongi's self esteem day, alright? It's find out why the hell my stupid little brother and his stupid little husband are in the hospital day!"

Jungkook finally speaks up again, voice small and unassured. "Um, this is going to sound stupid, but.. I needed stitches.. in my ear.."

Yoongi, Namjoon and Seokjin all look at eachother, and the events of last night rush back to them so fast it leaves them dizzy. "..Taehyung pierced your ear with a safety pin.." Seokjin confirms.

"Yes, yes he did.. and then he slipped.. and ripped my ear in half."

"Oh my god." Namjoon says, face scrunching up. "Is it.. is it okay?" Seokjin hits him for asking a stupid question. "Ow, hyung!"

"Yeah, it's.. okay is.. one word for it.." He breaks off. "The doctor said I'm gonna have a pretty cool scar though! That is, if my ear doesn't split during the healing process. Pretty neat, right?"

A heavy silence hangs over the room, until Yoongi dares to break it. "All right, I'm driving."

So that's how Yoongi, Namjoon, Seokjin, and a very tired Jimin end up in the hospital at 9am waiting for Jungkook to be discharged so they can start the job of finding the other idiot who goes by the name of Kim-Jeon.

"You didn't, by any change happen to pierce Taehyung's ear, did you?" Jimin asks worriedly after he's been filled in.

Jungkook laughs lightly. "Of course not!" And Jimin slumps in relief.

"He pierced his own." His laughter trails off at his own realisation, and he clears his throat awkwardly. "I don't suppose any of you want to go ask the nurse where Taehyung is again? No? Okay.. I'll go." He hauls his legs over the edge of the bed clunkily, and stands to brush off imaginary dust from his knees. "Men, eh?"

Eventually, they do find Taehyung, whose pride hurts worse than anything else, having been scolded for a good ten minutes by Seokjin, and then by Yoongi for dragging him into all of this. His own ear only required one stitch, so somehow karma decided Taehyung shouldn't suffer as much as Jungkook - not that Jungkook seems to mind.

Seokjin's mother is supposed to arrive today to help Seokjin trial make even more food for the wedding. After they get home from the hospital, Seokjin threatens to put a hole in Jungkook's other ear if he and Taehyung don't keep quiet about what they did last night to save his poor mother's soul.

The woman has enough to deal with when the door opens to reveal her son and his fiance with matching pastel purple hair, but if she doesn't like it, she's very good at hiding that fact. Taehyung happily screaming "It's the colour of love!" in her ear probably had a little something to do with that.

Seokjin and his mother decide to let Jungkook and Taehyung help with the baking, offering very careful instructions, Seokjin ten times more wary of just how badly this could go wrong what with all the sharp knives and God knows what else.

At one point Namjoon offers to help, and Seokjin's mother screams at him before he even has the chance to touch the boiling hot pan. So, that's nice. It's homely. To Namjoon's credit, he doesn't even cry! He just turns a deep pink colour and backs out of the kitchen to return to his office.

When Hoseok and Yoongi show up a little while later, she don't even let them in the kitchen, terrified of them infecting the sterile workspace with cat hair. And all it takes is one excited "Yoongi hyung!" from Taehyung and a "Hobi hyung!" from Jungkook before they both are banned too.

"But Mrs Kim.. you hugged Jimin when he came in.." Yoongi notes shyly, looking down to the ground. Mrs Kim freezes.

- - -

When Namjoon comes in again, he knows something is wrong.. but he can't quite put his finger on what it is. When his soon to be mother in law approaches him with outstretched arms he falters. Is that? He looks around. Seokjin, he can understand but.. "Why is everyone wearing my clothes?"

- - -

"Namjoon, when will your sister be getting here?" Mrs Kim asks as he stirs.

He smiles. "Very soon. " She smiles back. There's no mention of his parents, as she's a very considerate woman. As considerate as her son.

Seokjin huffs and pouts. "You should have had a daughter so I could have a little sister like Geongmin." He glares at the back of Jungkook's head resentfully.

"Well you know, we thought you were going to be a girl."

"..Why?" Seokjin starts, face already turning pink.

Mrs. Kim laughs, cackling over the bowl of cake mix she's still managing to stir until her knees start buckling. "It was so small." She manages before dissolving back into evil laughter.

"Shut up.." Tomato-Jin mutters grumpily, turning away to work on something across the kitchen. Namjoon just laughs along with her, glad someone is able to tease Seokjin like he does to Namjoon, even if it isn't him.

When Jungkook comes over to take the bowl away, he almost gets caught by his mother. "Hey, what's that?" She prods at the plaster over her sons ear.

"Oh, nothing. Just a, uh.. new piercing? You can see it when it's.. done."

"I can't wait!" She smiles. "I'm so jealous of all the jewellery you boys have. "Your father never bought me pretty earrings, although I guess that's a sacrifice you have to make, raising three teenage boys."

"At least I know what to get you for your birthday now." Seokjin mumbles, and his mother laughs at his petulant, sulky voice.

- - -

Finally, after a whole day of baking, the official practice cake is complete. And it looks just like how Namjoon had dreamed it would. Not that he does that; dreams about his perfect wedding cake, but it looks just how Seokjin had told him it would that day, three weeks after they met.

The cake is three tiers, white icing with rainbow dyed cake on the inside, and it is absolutely dripping with butterflies. They cascade down the side in every colour of the rainbow, and they look so realistic Namjoon half expects them to take flight at any moment.

Seokjin puts an arm around Namjoon's waist, pulling him in close so he can kiss his cheek.

"Now, to make the real cake."

Chapter Text

The last few days before the wedding are a kind of peaceful blur. A steady thrum of activities and last minute preparations. Maybe it should be stressful, but Seokjin is kind of just used to it at this point, letting the wave of nervousness wash over him and lift him up to a higher place. Anxiousness is next to Godliness, after all.

Namjoon's sister arrives the Friday before the wedding. Seokjin basically smothers her when she arrives, ripping the door open before she even has a chance to knock. "Oh my god, you actually exist." She laughs hard, the sound muffled by Seokjin's huge shoulders, before pushing back and trying to move around him.

"Nice to see somebody loves me." She rolls her eyes at her brother, sat sipping coffee at the counter, as she moves in slowly, trying to shrug off the huge lump before he slumps down to her waist.

Namjoon's face splits into a huge grin, and he stands up instantly. "Geongmin!" His foot catches on the stool as he walks, flinging him into her arms, sending her flailing backwards, Seokjin's tight hug the only thing keeping the three upright.

She gasps, pancaked between the two heavy men, and attempts to wriggle free. "You're.. killing me.." She manages, and Namjoon pulls back, smile still dimpling his cheeks.

"Sorry, I tripped." He rubs his ear, face slightly red. She grins at him, reaching up a finger to squidge his soft dimple, whilst Seokjin scoffs meanly.

"Yeah, no shit, Joonie." Geongmin slaps Seokjin's hands away from where they're still wrapped around her waist like a needy sloth. He whines as he let's go, standing back up to reluctantly rejoin the independent grownup bandwagon.

"Hey, he may be a clutz, but no one gets to be mean to my brother except me."

Seokjin looks over at Namjoon's face, eyes bright and so happy, white teeth all on show, and face still splotched with the light humiliation that, let's be real, comes hand in hand with having a sibling. Basically, he's glowing.

"Yeah, I think I'm okay with that." And that damned, forsaken smile.. it only grows.

The next day she meets Seokjin's mother. It's a meeting that Seokjin himself has been looking forward to, wanting to share his Saint of a mother with as many people as possible. Geongmin gets another huge hug, this one arguably tighter than the last. Seokjin wonders if Namjoon will still want to marry him once his soon to be in laws cause his only sisters ribs to crack.

"Do you cook, Geongmin?" His mother asks kindly, and Geongmin says she can. Can, but doesn't like to.

"I had to learn growing up because Namjoon oppa was banned from the kitchen," she tells the room, "he was too clumsy to be trusted to even stir bread mix," and everyone laughs, including a flustered Namjoon.

Seokjin and Namjoon do both notice, however, she leaves out the "traditional" aspects of their upbringing. She leaves out that particular motivating factor. Seokjin knows though, for a fact, that she suffered just as much as Namjoon did, but in very different ways.

"I liked to bake though, but I didn't really get a chance to." Geongmin leans back against the counter, looking like she belongs here, chatting with Seokjin's mother, who tells her to call her 'mom' after she offers to teach her how to bake something and Geongmin smiles and says thank you a little awkwardly.

Seokjin doesn't blame her. Between calling the woman who birthed him 'Mrs Kim' or 'mom'.. yeah, he'd definitely go with 'Mrs Kim.'

"My Seokjinnie loved to cook and bake with me growing up.." Her voice shakes with how vigorously she's whipping the mixture. "..which was a blessing to me, because Jungkook and Jimin couldn't have cared less if they had tried."

"And look at him now." She waves her floury hand around the room. "My other children don't even know what a sieve does."

"Hey!" Jungkook shouts, outraged. Jimin shoots him a funny look. "What..? It shakes things." Jimin stares him down for a few more seconds, before he finally blinks, patting jungkook's knee as he stands.

"Yeah, that's basically it, right?" Both boys look to 'mom' for approval but she just turns away, sighing wearily to their replacement.

"You see what I had to put up with?"

- - - - - - -

It's Saturday evening when they hear the news. Geongmin is just getting ready to go back to her hotel - Seokjin offered to let her stay with them but she'd have to sleep on the couch, and no way was he going to subject her to That. Plus, you know.. Namjoon wouldn't even be here.

He's in the bedroom packing his bag when he hears Seokjin's banshee wail, and sighs tiredly.

Everyone is huddled around the television when he goes in, hands clasped tight together as they watch, eyes glued to the screen.

For a moment, adrenaline rungs it's way up Namjoon's spine as he tenses, unable to stop thinking about the worst case scenarios: a national tragedy, the start of world war 3, an Oasis reunion..

Then Seokjin turns to him, eyes wide and teary and says "It's raining."

Namjoon slumps over, sighing in relief. "Oh, thank God." He wipes the sweat from his brow, and braces his hands on his legs. "I thought John Lennon had died again."

"Namjoon, did you hear me? I said it's raining." Seokjin's frown is so loud in his tone, Namjoon doesn't have to look at it to know it's there.

Namjoon smiles so hard he swallows his lips, closing his eyes as aggressively as he can in Seokjin's general direction.

"Oh, I heard you alright."

Jimin rubs a hand over Seokjin's back trying to delay the building outrage, smiling warmly over to Namjoon. "Take an umbrella when you go, hyung. It's ra-"

"It's raining, yeah, yeah, I know." Namjoon heads back into the bedroom, waving Jimin off, and swiftly finishes packing his bags.

He leaves the bedroom lugging them beside him, swipes an umbrella from beside the door, and opens it before leaning back into the apartment. "Stay out of trouble."

Seokjin scoffs, eyes still stuck on the weather forecast, and waves him away dismissively. Namjoon just shrugs, waves lightly to Jimin, and ducks out of the apartment again.

The weight of his bags is comfortable on his back, easing the mixture of anxiety and excitement he feels everytime he thinks about tomorrow. Regardless of how huffy Seokjin acts, Namjoon is at least 92% sure he'll show up.

He doesn't get very far down the hallway before he feels something punch into his back, knocking all the air out of his lungs. He thumps against the wall. "What the hell!"

He spins just in time for a face to squish into his neck, hands flung around him like Namjoon is his loving husband of twelve years and this is the last time he'll get to hold Namjoon before he goes to war, never to return.

When the shock wears off, he whispers softly into Seokjin's hair, sinking into the embrace. "Hey." Seokjin looks up at him, face smushed up against Namjoon's shirt so they don't have to seperate even a little bit. "We can figure out the rain, you know."

Seokjin smiles contendedly. "I know. I love you so much. I needed a last kiss before tomorrow, I couldn't wait."

"Okay." Namjoon thumbs Seokjin's sides, pulling him closer somehow. Their lips meet, bittersweet with the reluctance to leave one another, even if it's just for a night, and the knowledge that after tomorrow they'll never have to do it again.

When they break apart, Namjoon feels his bags full of clouds and marshmallows with the anodyne of Seokjin's love on his tongue. He pecks him once more, for the strength to pull away.

- - - - - - -

"Okay." Seokjin breathes out, fingers dancing across his lips as he starts walking away.

It rains the night before the wedding. It rains a lot.

Jimin is hanging out with Seokjin at his and Namjoon's apartment under the guise of it being "Just like the old days!" but really it's because Taehyung and Jungkook are searching through every convenience store in town for some vague reason that Jimin is trying his very hardest to brush over.

Seokjin is freaking out about the rain and Jimin just tells him to stop worrying about it.. we're taking care of it.

"You just worry about the catering side of things. And the - you know - getting married.."

Seokjin is gulping down water like his life depends on it, throat literally glugging with the speed. Jimin just watches on, horrified and amazed. "Maybe you should slow down, hyung?"

Seokjin gasps frantically, trying to get enough air in his lungs, before he goes back under for round two.

Jimin stands hunched over like a goalie, unsure of what to do if he's needed, but very sure he can't let Seokjin drown on the eve of his wedding day. It's just not good etiquette.

"Jin hyung, please, he whines, tugging the rapidly emptying bottle away from his lips, "you've had enough." Seokjin relents, letting it be pulled from his grasp, only half reluctantly.

"I'm not gonna walk down the aisle if my eyes are swollen, Jiminie," he licks his lips, bringing his sleeve up to wipe away the excess water, "I would call the whole thing off."

Jimin's mouth drops open. "You're kidding, right?" He shakes his head in disbelief, mirroring Seokjin's 'no'. "Hyung, you're a fucking adonis."

Seokjin picks up his phone, checking his reflection in the front camera. "If an adonis has puffy eyes then yeah, sure." He prods under his eyes with his fingertips. "I'm an adonis."

"Hyung-"

"-And watch your language, you're like, two." With that he tugs his water bottle free from Jimin's angered grip, continuing to gulp it down like a fish.

- - - - - - -

"Why do you have four water bottles, Joon?" Hoseok's face appears on his left shoulder, watching him curiously.

"You planning on a hike?" Yoongi appears from over his right shoulder, standing on tippy toes to fit his chin at Namjoon's neck.

"What?" Namjoon frowns, shrugging his shoulders urgently. "No! Go away, Thing 1 and Thing 2."

Yoongi stumbles back, defeated by Namjoon's height and impressive shoulder shaking skills, but Hoseok holds on tight, digging his heels in and wrapping his arms around his waist. "Then what'ya doin'?"

Namjoon sighs. He gets enough of this at home, as is. "I don't want to be all bloated for the wedding; it's a Seokjin pro-tip."

Hoseok drops his hold and turns to Yoongi, elated. "Hyung, let's also do that!"

Yoongi smiles flatly, kind of like a frog. "I'm good."

Frogs do need water.. "Hyung, please? It'll be fun!" Yoongi looks at Namjoon like he's lost his mind.

"So, let me get this right. You're in a bar, with two of your best friends, the night before your wedding." Namjoon nods along like a confused puppy. "Your friends own the bar, meaning you can drink anything you want for free,"

"-I would never take advantage of you like that, hyung."

"Shut up, let me speak. So you can drink, anything, for free, yes?" Namjoon nods unsurely. "And you're standing there begging me, telling me, it would be fun for us all to drink water?"

Namjoon doesn't answer straight away, wanting to make sure he gets the right answer. "It's a lot of water, Yoongi hyung."

Yoongi leans in closer now. "How much are we talking?"

- - -

Hoseok comes into the bedroom with twelve bottles of water, spreading them out in front of them on the bed. "Okay, ground rules. No one is allowed to drink more than two litres of water, okay? I'm not having either of you die on me.. tonight." Namjoon looks up in alarm, unsure if that last word was really necessary, but neither Yoongi or Hoseok even bat an eyelash.

"Sure." He agrees uneasily, reaching for his second bottle of the evening.

"What's in the bag, hobi?" Yoongi gestures lazily over to him from where he's flopped over, at one with the bed.

Hoseok grins, rummaging through the bag almost manically. He brings out.. cucumbers and..? "Face masks!" Hoseok exclaims. "I thought we could do them tonight because one.. sleepover, two.. skin care, and three.."

He keeps rambling excitedly as he dances around the room, moving the bottles and the masks and the.. cucumber.. around them and isn't the point of stuff like this meant to be relaxation?

Yoongi seems to be having the same kind of thought because when Hoseok skips around to his side of the bed, Yoongi's leg kicks up to trip him. Hoseok doubles over, comical if not for the concern, and barely catches his balance before Yoongi is grabbing his hand and pulling him onto the bed. On top of him.

"So, uh." They both glance up from their little tangle. "Face masks, huh?" Namjoon grins in compensation for the awkward feeling making him want to go and hide in the cupboard with the cats.

- - -

Hoseok and Yoongi are on their bed in tatty old pajamas, hands intertwined and cucumbers over their eyes, as they lie back on their bed.

Namjoon is playing with the cats, who have come out to play now that they can see two out of three of their daddies lying motionless on the bed. Namjoon himself isn't even sure if they are actually sleeping, so he keeps the cooing noises to a minimum, and keeps a careful watch to make sure neither of them rub their face masks into their eyes. They don't need half the wedding party losing their eye sight this late in the game. And he makes sure the cats don't eat the cucumbers. Hey, don't judge. Some cats like cucumbers.

They probably are asleep, he thinks, remembering their pleas for Namjoon to join them.

"Joon, please get into bed." Hoseok pouted, trying to grab at him with his arms without making any effort to move his torso at all. "I'm tired."

Namjoon just chuckled, and picked another cat up, hugging it close to his face.

Yoongi groaned, "It's because we're gay isn't it?" Namjoon ignored him, too busy trying to give enough attention to each and every ball of fluff. "You know, you're gonna have to get used to gay people if you're gonna spend the rest of your life with one, Namjoon."

"Seriously though, Namjoon!" Hoseok flails his arms, vision impaired and energy sucked away by too much contact with Yoongi. "Why don't you join us? Our bed is made to fit three!"

Namjoon snorts. "No thanks. I don't think my fiance would be too happy about that."

- - - - - - -

Seokjin tugs Jimin closer in the bed with an arm around his shoulder, so he can wrap the cover tighter around them both. They're making their way through all the classic sleepover movies. Seokjin had very generously suggested they wait for Taehyung and Jungkook, but they're taking forever to come back.

"Where did you say Kook and Tae were again?"

Jimin slaps Seokjin's thigh with the remote control. "I already told you! They're looking for.." Seokjin has been told his intense expectant gaze is able to render people speechless, but this is the first time he's actively used it for Evil. He holds the stare until sweat starts beading up at Jimin's hairline, before he decides to take pity on him.

"You better have tomorrow under control or I will cry at my own wedding - and I don't mean tears of happiness either," he shakes his head frantically, "I will start sobbing, I swear to God, Jimin, do not test me."

Jimin has seen Seokjin cry. Everyone has seen Seokjin cry. It's, for lack of a better word, pathetic.. It's so pathetic. They think he does it on purpose, morphs into a wounded animal to scratch at the urge deep down inside people to please him.

Well, it must work, because Jimin goes wide eyed, frantically nodding back at him, the movie all but forgotten in his terror.

- - - - - -

Namjoon twizzles his bottle cap, brow furrowed up in concentration. "Hyung, why is your bar called 'friendly's'?"

Yoongi looks up from under his cucumbers, stare hard as he's forced to leave the complete numbing darkness. "Because.. he's friendly, and I'm his." He waves a thumb somewhere beside him, not checking to see if it reached his target.

There's a long pause whilst Namjoon thinks about it, mouth hanging open dumbly. Yoongi finally looks up properly. "..What?"

"..Hyung, that's so clever."

Yoongi shrugs, blush crawling up his neck. "Well, I try."

- - -

"I love these kittens so much." Namjoon takes both of its front paws in his hands, gently waving them about. Yoongi and Hoseok bolt up, turning to give each other that look, cucumbers slipping from their faces. "What's going on?"

So, Yoongi and Hoseok ring Jimin. Hoseok taps his fingers anxiously against his thigh waiting for him to pick up. It's really quite unnerving to see. Especially from Mr. Happy.

"Babe, it's time to talk about it." They're all on speaker phone, after Jimin had finally picked up. Or, Seokjin picked up and then Jimin joined them.

Seokjin laughs nervously. "Is it that serious? Really?"

"Yeah, guys, just spit it out!" Namjoon demands, heart thudding in his chest.

"Well, we.. uh." Yoongi starts. "We wanted to uh.."

Jimin sighs. "Oh for God's sake - We wanted to give you a kitten as your wedding gift but we weren't sure you would want one."

"-And they're not quite old enough, yet," Hoseok chips in.

Seokjin and Namjoon both take deep breaths on opposite ends of the phone line, and open their mouths to speak at once.

"I want one."

- - - - - - -

Namjoon: her name is koya

Seokjin: excuse me??

Seokjin: you do not??

Seokjin: get to just??

Seokjin: name??

Seokjin: our??

Seokjin: child??

Seokjin: without consulting me??

Seokjin: their papa???

Namjoon: stop spamming

Namjoon: hyung is trying to sleep

Seokjin: do u think i care abt that rn mister

Namjoon: ..

Namjoon: ..no?

Seokjin: what if i had wanted to name her after my great grandfather namjoon

Seokjin: so selfish

Seokjin: i cant believe u

Namjoon: ...she's a girl, hyung..

Seokjin: u think i don't know that

Seokjin: ur giving me stress lines

Seokjin: bags under my eyes

Namjoon: then go to sleep

Seokjin: oh i will

Seokjin: just as soon as jimin brushes his teeth

Namjoon: hold on are u..

Seokjin: ??

Namjoon: are u two sharing our bed

Seokjin: no i told him to sleep in the office again

Seokjin: i cleared a space for him on ur desk and tossed him a spare blanket

Seokjin: and when tae and kookie get here, they're sharing the couch

Namjoon: omg really

Seokjin: no u dumb

Seokjin: of course we're sharing the bed

Namjoon: oh.

Seokjin: problem?

Namjoon: does that mean..

Namjoon: hyung pls can i share with hobi and yoongi hyung??

Namjoon: hyung??

Seokjin: joon u rly didn't have to ask me that..

Seokjin: i wasn't under the impression you'd be sleeping on a bar stool

Seokjin: u need ur sleep if ur gonna carry me over the threshold

Seokjin: jimins back gtg

Namjoon: oh. yeah. thanks hyung.

Namjoon: goodnight. i love u.

Namjoon: promise you'll show up tomorrow?

Seokjin: love u too, idiot. <3

Namjoon: hyung u didn't promise

Namjoon: ..hyung???

Chapter Text

Since 5am Seokjin has been sitting in front of the mirror doing everything he can to make sure he looks absolutely stunning. Even for an adonis like he is, it takes.. a lot.

It's his wedding for goodness sake - and if things go well, he only gets one of those. So he gives himself plenty of time to primp and preen.

The maknaes on the other hand.. they have not been awake since 5am.

So now, it's 8am and they're frantically rushing about, whilst Seokjin just sits there looking like a God. A very cruel God, but a God nonetheless. The only reason they woke up at all is because of Seokjin's.. ear traumas.

"Oh my God," Seokjin gags as he pulls the chain through his ear, "that's disgusting. Why is this happening?" He's dry heaving, only half joking, as the tiny links are swallowed by his skin, when Taehyung appears looking all bleary eyed and sleepy.

"Hyung, give," he commands, making grabby hands at nothing with his eyes half shut. When nothing is placed in his hands, he steps forward towards Seokjin.

Seokjin screams.

"No!"

Taehyung steps back again, affronted. "What's wrong?"

Seokjin sighs in relief, turning to the mirror to dab away the solitary bead of sweat threatening to unravel his entire face. "Taehyung, really? You really have to ask?"

He looks dumbfounded, eyebrows furrowed in concentration in the doorway, until someone barges past him. "Ow! Hey!" Then, like a sweet epiphany he squints over at Jungkook's face, the ear still plastered up, and reaches up his hand to feel the plasters over his own. "Jin hyung, you know I was drunk, right?"

"And I also know that right now you're half asleep."

"Yeah.. about that." Jungkook's voice comes from where he's leaning up against the wall antsily.

Then Jimin pushes through too, looking fresh and well rested, but slightly concerned. "What the hell is going on in here?"

Seokjin sighs lightly, looking over to Jungkook with a polite and innocent smile, as he waves for him to continue. "Let's find out."

"Well, erm, Jin hyung?" Jungkook sings sweetly. "I was wondering.. did you set all the clocks on our phones back as some kind of hilarious and elaborate joke?"

He's holding three phones tightly, gripping them so hard Seokjin is surprised the screen haven't cracked, but there's a light smile straining his face. At least he's trying, Seokjin supposes.

"Nope!" He chirps back.

Jungkook stands in the doorway, eyes fixed on Seokjin and hand shaking with the effort of not crushing the phones. "Okay.. Just wanted to make sure..

He leaps for Seokjin, tackling him off his chair before Jimin and Taehyung can wrestle him backwards. "Please, Kookie, we have very little time!"

"And whose fault is that? I had- I had an alarm set, hyung." Jimin pats his head lightly as he stutters and rants, accepting his position as the one to clean up the mess yet again.

When everything's calmed down a little, and Jimin is done with fixing Seokjin's ear, Jungkook laughs out abruptly. Seokjin strains his neck to find Jungkook in the mirror, and at once sighs, drained.

"It's a poem."

Jungkook is clutching at the paper, eyes bright and wild, as he scans it's contents hungrily. "Ha! ..So gay."

And so, Jimin tackles Jungkook, and Seokjin pushes his palms into his weary eyes, whilst Taehyung stuffs his tie into his mouth trying not to laugh out loud.

- - - - - - -

Meanwhile, Namjoon was woken up at 6 by Hoseok on Seokjin's orders to inflict the worst type of torture on him; he's had his face prodded with at least ten different brushes now, and that's just so far.

This all happens whilst Yoongi sleeps in until the blissful last possible second because "It doesnt matter, I know I look good in lapels."

He rolls over too quickly to see the way Hoseok threatens him, grip tight on the brush which could evolve from innocent wedding preparation implement to cold blooded murder weapon too quickly for Namjoon's hazy mind to even do anything about it.

They're all pretty tired, really. Namjoon has no good idea about how Hoseok is even standing upright, let alone how he hasn't blinked in an uncountable number of minutes. It's the longest, most invasive staring contest Namjoon has ever been a a part of.

There was a lot of waking up all through the night because, suprise, suprise.. they needed to pee. Plus, since they were all sleeping in the same bed, everytime one person woke up so did the other two, and there was a whole 'move I need to pee' situation going on every twenty minutes.

And because somehow in the night Namjoon had ended up between two cuddle magnets with arms wrapped around him from both sides, which was very upsetting to his poor bladder, he literally couldn't move. Physically or emotionally. Of course, he only had to hold out until the next round of musical bathroom tiles.

Even if you didn't need to pee, you had to feel yourself be scrambled over by the feet of a desperate cat and puppy which is strange in itself because Namjoon was in the middle of the snuggle pile. So, he thinks at a certain point they were just messing with him.

Who knew drinking that much water would be a bad idea, Namjoon wonders, fingers drifting over his now very clear skin.

Currently Hoseok is holding up different earrings up to Namjoon's face. He's umming and ahhing over all the many possibilities of Jimin and Yoongi's own jewellery box for a tediously long time.. until Namjoon is back in an unresponsive sleep like state, head resting so far back on his neck that he's awake snoring when finally! Finally!

Yoongi pulls the cushion off from his head and heaves himself up from the bed like a weary old man to help him.

"Oh for the love of God, you have no clue what you're doing, clip-ons, move!"

Hoseok gasps, lifting an offended hand up to smooth over his own earrings, but does as he's told anyway. "F.Y.I. Yoongi, darling, love of my life.. They're magnetic."

Namjoon's ears tune out as the bickering commences and he wonders what Seokjin is doing right at this moment.

Seokjin is never ever late to job interviews or anything professional - in fact, he makes a point of being professionally early - but Namjoon still texts him frantically begging him to actually turn up on time to the wedding as if that will make any positive difference, whilst Yoongi and Hoseok are messing around cooing and holding different things up to his ears finally agreeing on one thing.

"We really should have thought about this sooner."

- - - - - - -

A little while after Namjoon's own arrival, Geongmin shows up outside the church with a camera draped around her neck, saying she's filming everything.

"Maybe they'll regret not being here but you'll never have to regret them coming."

They, of course being his parents. He thinks he's found some peace with that, though. It's their fault they're not here. He has nothing to regret.

"Thank you." Namjoon smiles, her presence easing the anxiety he feels at Seokjin's blatant absence. And the lack of notifications on his phone.

Namjoon is nervously biting his lip waiting for Seokjin to show up, worrying it between his teeth. Comforting himself in case of the devastating scenario in which the love of his life has left him forever.

Jungkook and Taehyung were there early, before even Yoongi, Hoseok and Namjoon (because according to Jimin they had to a trip to make first regarding a secret mission which everyone has been given worryingly little information about).

One good thing about arriving early is that Namjoon can mediate the interaction between Jungkook and stalker guy when they finally come face to face.

Namjoon is standing with Daesung when Jungkook and Taehyung sidle on up to them, Taehyung grasping both their hands dramatically in his own and bowing so far down he almost topples. Junkook smiles, and offers an introduction, taking the opportunity to excuse Taehyung's silence.

Namjoon narrows his eyes. "Tae, why aren't you speaking?"

"Oh, he's taken a vow of silence."

"Since when?!"

"Since now, hyung! It's kareoke night!"

"No.. it's my wedding night." But Namjoon has lost Jungkook's fleeting attention already, as he looks askance at the man at his side.

Namjoon's phone buzzes in his pocket, and he picks it up as soon as he sees who it is. "Jin hyung, are you okay? Are you nearly here?"

There's a pregnant pause on the other side. "Yeahh.. see, Joonie, about that.." Namjoon's stomach drops.

"Oh my God, you're not coming, are you? Oh my- hyung please don't do this to me now this is so-" Seokjin hangs up.

"So you're the guy who was stalking my brother." Daesung is cowering like he's about to be hit and Namjoon wonders if he should step in, although his mind is in the wrong place for this. "And his fiance." Daesung winces. "You know you made hyung cry, right?"

Daesung bows his head, ashamed. "Go ahead, hit me. I deserve it."

Jungkook laughs, bringing his hands up to eyeline to showcase all of his many rings, before dropping them back to his sides. "My brother is an excellent judge of character.. and if he wanted you at his wedding then you must be alright."

So Jungkook slaps the hunched over man on the back and keeps walking. "..Ow." Daesung pouts.

Namjoon rolls his eyes.

Jungkook gets approximately ten steps away, before his phone rings. Namjoon watches numbly as he pauses where he stands, speaking at length into the phone, before finally moonwalking back over.

Moonwalking?

Namjoon wants to ugly cry, that's so innapropriate, and now all he's going to remember about this day is his fiance leaving him via his sick and twisted moonwalking brothe-

Jungkook spins around. "Hyung said the priest can't get here, and you were getting all hysterical? So, he rang me and ..uh, yeah. That's a challenge alright." He digs his hands deep in his pockets, and rocks back on his heels. "Wow, this is awkward. Okay. Well, hyung, I'm gonna go now.. Good luck?"

Namjoon watches Jungkook's back helplessly as he walks away. Any protests are caught in his throat, and he can't quite choke up the words right now.

So Seokjin hasn't left him? Then where the hell is he? And what the hell are you supposed to do when the damn priest can't get to your wedding?

Daesung's hand comes down hard and reassuring on Namjoon's shoulder, as he slides a whiskey flask into his shaking grasp.

..Daesung.

"Hey, hyung? How much do you know about officiating a wedding?"

- - - - - - -

The church is simple. Small. The wedding itself isn't a huge affair - if you're counting heads, that is - but they have everyone they need here, here. Including a few people they don't. There's only one person now whose presence could make this day better.

Oh, that's right. It's Seokjin.

Namjoon stands at the altar trying not to wring his hands, or bite them, or pull his hair out of his scalp, with Hoseok and Yoongi stood close behind him, as they wait for Seokjin to arrive and hopefully walk down the aisle with even a speck of intention to get married today.

Namjoon and Seokjin both agreed to wear lilac, just slightly lighter than the hair they for some reason refuse to change. They each parted ways with a colour swatch, et voila!

Namjoon's tie matches their hair, and he knows his suit will match Seokjin's own. He still thinks it's kind of suspicious how a hairdye "accident" at their damn bachelor party could fit so well into the theme of their wedding last minute, but he's not complaining.

They're a perfect match.

Daesung stands just behind him, awkwardly leaning against the altar in his black pin stripe suit. He looks snazzy, but in a wedding appropriate kind of way. Namjoon thinks Seokjin would appreciate that.. if he were here, that is.

When they were flooding into the church, it was pretty much (first) groom first. They agreed that Namjoon would be the one standing at the altar waiting for Seokjin because Seokjin was the one who would take Namjoon's name.

Really, it's because there's nothing Seokjin loves more than a grand entrance. Namjoon would say he himself is a fan of a slightly less highkey entrance, but at this point he's very open to compromise.

Traditionally, it's the grandparents who go in first, but there aren't an awful lot of those going around anymore. Namjoon smiles softly, giving a small nod to the end of the first pew where a wreath of purple flowers sits as a placeholder for someone very special without whom he knows he'd never be here.

The first row is almost empty, but that's okay, because this is all Namjoon needs.

A promise.

He promised her he'd bring a nice boy home to her. His chest and throat swell with pride.

Then Seokjin's parents come in, followed by Geongmin, splitting off to different sides, shortly followed by Daesung, Hoseok and Yoongi coming after him. And then, you know some of Seokjin's odd friends, strange relatives or family aqaintances, including a couple of babies.

He even sees some couple he doesn't know clambering into the pew on his side, much to his confusion. He figures it's probably Seokjin trying to make him look less lonely.

So now there's only one person left to arrive.

The door slams open, and Seokjin bursts into the church.

"A bird stole my ring!"

He's screaming, flapping down the aisle in a blur of colour, leaving Namjoon so stunned it takes a second for his mind to catch up to him.

"Oh my God." The church lets out a collective gasp as Namjoon begins freaking out.

They've just got to organising a split second witch hunt, people clambering out of their pews, Namjoon watching it all happen frantically, too frazzled to even look at his fiance, when Jimin comes in through the door panting heavily, "Here you go, hyung," and hands Seokjin back his ring pop.

At which point Hoseok and Yoongi come to the amazing realisation that "Wait a minute, hyung has the the rings in his pocket."

Or Hoseok comes to that realisation, eyes wide, whilst Yoongi just stands there shamelessly, shrugging his shoulders when all eyes turn to him as daggers.

Seokjin clutches at his heart, scandalised. "And to think.. I asked you to be my best man."

Namjoon turns to watch Yoongi roll his eyes so far back into his head, he wouldn't be shocked if they stayed there. He rolls his eyes hard enough for the both of them, leaving Namjoon free to turn all his attention back to what's happening a little further down in the church.

Seokjin strolls up the aisle swaying his hips, as Jimin, Jungkook and Taehyung hurry after him bowing low as if they carry the insibible veil of royalty, sucking his ring pop as obscenely as he can, pulling off with a truly onomatopoeic sound as he reaches the ground where Namjoon stands.

Namjoon shudders.

Seokjin kisses Namjoon's cheek, cringing in hasty apology. "Sorry baby, the car was late."

"The car was late?"

"Because he asked for it to be." Jimin whispers before turning back to Seokjin with a smile like butter wouldn't melt.

"..A ring pop though, hyung. Really?"

"Hey, it's a blue one! Want some?"

Namjoon grimaces as Seokjin holds his candy clad hand up to his face, bringing it dangerously close to his tightly closed lips.

"Oh come on, that is ridiculous." One of the five says.

"Thank you!" Namjoon throws his arms up, ducking back slightly to avoid Seokjin's attempts at sticking the thing in his now open mouth.

"Everyone knows that the red is the best.."

"...What?!"

"I'm sorry to interrupt, but could we please maybe hurry this up a bit?" Daesung checks his watch nervously. "I have another service in twenty minutes."

That shuts everyone up pretty quick, turning their attention to their local stalker turned makeshift priest, in collective wonder and amazement.

A quiet voice in the back speaks. "But he was a guest at your wedding.. he's just gonna come sit back down again.."

At the same time Jungkook whispers across to Taehyung a little too loudly for comfort "Isn't their reception in 20 minutes?" He promptly gets a slap upside his head from his silently exasperated husband.

"Well if his next 'service' is scoffing cake at our wedding reception, he's not exactly wrong. We're behind schedule." Namjoon proclaims loudly, although he leans in close as if the plan was to whisper it in Seokjin's ear.

"Oh yeah? And who made that reception possible?"

Namjoon sighs deeply. "Me, by agreeing to marry you."

Seokjin frowns, opens his mouth to speak but Geongmin beats him to it. "You realise the cameras started rolling the second those doors flew open, right?"

Daesung takes their silence and hesitation as his cue to begin.

"Okay! Thank you, everyone, for being here today to witness this momentous occasion; Welcome to the union of our very own Kim Namjoon and Kim Seokjin." He laughs suddenly. "Could you have imagined this would be happening a year ago? Because I sure couldn't!" He laughs again, strained and awkward when no one joins in. "A love that will - hopefully - last forever. Although, when I was getting marri-"

"Maybe stick to the script, buddy." Namjoon smiles tightly, patting Daesung hard on his back, half in support, half in threat.

He gulps.

"We are gathered here today to celebrate the joining of Kim Namjoon, and Kim Seokjin, in holy matrimony."

"Even though neither of them are religious and this guy's not even a priest." Jungkook snickers loudly to Taehyung, who shoves him hard towards Seokjin's warning glare.

Daesung, although in perfect hearing distance, continues unfazed. "As I'm sure many of you already know, they've each planned out a speech for the other to accompany their vows, which they're going to share in front of all of us, now." Daesung steps back a little, nodding kindly in Seokjin's direction.

Seokjin clears his throat.

"Actually, hold on a sec." Daesung interjects, "I have to say it.. If anyone here knows of any reason why these two men should not marry, speak now or forever hold your peace."

It's pindrop silence in the room for a few moments, a tense but humorous silence that should end in a few chuckles, and the commencement of the vows.

How often do the things that should happen actually end up happening though?

The unidentified man from before stands in his pew, dusting down his slacks, and straightening out his tie with a determined look on his face.

Namjoon instantly feels cold sweat drip down the back of his neck. His mind flails as he tries to grasp onto an idea of what he could have done; of who this man is and why he is here.

What if he's been accidentally evading his taxes? What if he's about to be arrested?

He turns to look at his fiance in horror, but Seokjin just stands there, a satisfied smirk playing at his lips.

He gasps. "You hired an actor to object at our we-"

"I hired an actor to object at our wedding." Seokjin nods, sagely.

The mans wife pulls desperately at the fabric of his jacket, pleading with him to sit down, trying to juggle the baby she holds in her other arm.

"Harold, please!" He slaps her hand away, and stands up even straighter, opening his mouth to speak.

"Okay seriously hyung, what the fuck."

It's a shitshow.

Everything is blurry, it's all swaying and somehow this huge room has walls so tight that Namjoon's ribcage is being squeezed tighter and tighter and his lungs are being crushed.

"I can't do this." Namjoon splutters out.

"Alright, can we take a five minute break please?" Daesung opens his mouth to protest but Namjoon just grabs Seokjin's arm and starts walking out not entirely sure his legs won't give out in the aisle. "Thanks."

Namjoon near drags Seokjin down the steps, only slowing when Seokjin stumbles in his.. heels. Seokjin is wearing heels.

Namjoon's hazy mind stores that information away for later, because right now it's just one thing on a whole list of things that he can't process.

"Just tell me.. have you got anything else crazy planned."

"Wouldn't you like to know.." Seokjin tries.

"Look, I need you to be straight with me." Namjoon almost begs, hands pressed together in front of him to try and calm himself down. "I'm getting dizzy," he mutters under his breath absentmindedly.

Seokjin gives him a cynical stare, one hand on his hip. "I think we both know that's not going to happen."

"For god sakes Jin! I'm serious." Namjoon rubs his head frustratedly.

"So am I! Best case scenario - You be gay with me!"

"I already am!"

"Well, good!"

"Good!"

"What are they arguing about now?" Jungkook asks around a mouthful of pilfered cereal. Taehyung, torso twisted around the door frame to see, shrugs his shoulders whilst scrunching his nose up.

"It doesn't look like he's gonna kill him though.. I think we're in the clear." They turn to see Jimin's thumbs up, and decide to let Namjoon and Seokjin figure this bit out on their own.

Seokjin laughs humourlessly, but a small smile still graces his lips. "Look at them, they're getting antsy." He flicks his head back towards the church, and Namjoon turns his own to see.

A heavy sigh escapes him, but above all, Seokjin looks beautiful, and now that he's decided not to kill Seokjin just yet, he supposes they should be heading back inside.

It's only now, after all of his distracting antics, that Namjoon gets a good look at Seokjin. It takes his breath away.

His face is all shimmery, an elegant sweep of lilac makes his eyes glimmer, and he has shiny pale purple tinged lips that just beg to be kissed.

Fighting sucks.

But.. "Why have you hired us an actual circus complete with clowns and not even given me a red nose or a wig I-" He sighs heavily, rubbing his head. "This is all going down on the record of dumbest things I have -ever- said but you made me look like a clown.." He frowns. "But worse than that, because I still don't fit in. You know what, this was a bad metapho-"

"-I got anxious, okay?!"

"What?" Namjoon finally looks back up to see Seokjin's face. It's fallen, though he still looks strikingly beautiful.

"I panicked about the seriousness of a wedding ceremony and I wanted some way to.. I don't know. Step back from it?" He scratches at his earring, struggling to find the right words but knowing those ones are wrong as soon as they leave his lips.

"Hyung, that sounds like you don't want to marry me.." Although Namjoon knows that's not what he meant, it's a little hard not to be hurt by it.

Seokjin's eyes widen in fear. "No, no, Joon, I swear it isn't that! It was meant to be funny, with Harold. Remember?"

"You're asking if I remember the fight we had when you walked out on me for a guy named Harold? Yes, I do and I get that all of that oddity was just your way of dealing with things. I get it, hyung. You're acting. To make it easier." He winces at his own summary, and then at the pained expression on Seokjin's face seconds before he falls to his knees in his lavender suit.

Seokjin's face has never looked more serious, as he digs through his pocket, relying on some impressive hand-eye coordination, before coming up with a little black box, all while maintaining very intimate and very intense levels of eye contact.

"I chose this ring with more care than I have ever taken with anything else in my life." He snaps the box open, holding it over his head, and Namjoon's breath catches in his throat.

"Oh! Wow it's.." he tries and fails to hide the suprise on his face. For lack of a kinder word it's.. hideous. Not what he would expect from Seokjin at all. He opens his mouth to ask what this unexpected gesture is supposed to mean, but then Seokjin is rambling out an answer anyway.

"I wanted to give you a ring so ugly that no one could even think about stealing it from you. Jimin told me I shouldn't, but.. I put it in my pocket this morning before we left, and I'm glad I did. I promise you I'm not just here for the bits that are pretty and fun. If you asked me to I would wear this disgusting ring on my finger every single day."

His eyes are so wide and sincere as he says it, desperate for the sincerity to seep through. His lips are parted almost in plea, and he hasn't blinked in a concerning amount of seconds.

"That's.." beautiful. It's beautiful. A strong wave of love and affection surges through him and Namjoon can't resist the urge to crash down to the concrete and join Seokjin, caving in to capture his lips in a kiss he hopes will be sweet enough to say everything he can't.

"Thank you." Namjoon whispers softly against Seokjin's lips, breathing him in quietly, now that they're alone away from all the chaos that has come along with this clusterfuck of a day.

Seokjin smiles gently against Namjoon's own lips before they part, hands never leaving the others body using their combined steadiness to get back up to their feet without too much mishap.

They're at the exact same height right now. Courtesy of Seokjin's heels. Which, Namjoon has to admit, Seokjin is more than capable of pulling off. Not that he has to, when Namjoon could do it for him. The opportunity to make a (semi-dirty) dad joke infiltrates Namjoon's mind and he pushes it away quickly, letting it simmer down in his throat before it drains completely and Seokjin can't get any further into his head.

"I want to marry you more than I want to skip our wedding ceremony and go straight to the reception."

Namjoon just chuckles, and Seokjin frowns, unsatisfied. "Namjoon, hey! Did you hear me?" He whines, stomping his foot lightly as Namjoon continues to disregard his admissons. "I just told you I love you more than cake!"

Namjoon feigns negligence with his nose turned up and his eyes unfocused on Seokjin. "But I didn't ask you to do that."

Seokjin scowls, crossing his arms in a huff, only to let his defences fall when Namjoon boops his nose with a grin, mouthing 'Maybe cake will be our always' and Seokjin's smile threads across his face despite it all.

Namjoon links their hands back together reassuringly, and squeezes. "Come on."

- - - - - - -

Seokjin stands at the altar, feeling jittery, but in a really good way. Like being drunk, with all of the buzz and none of the haze. Standing here, in front of his family, his friends and the love of his life, he has reached an ultimate clarity.

"I'll go first - because you're the poet out of the two of us, and I don't want to overshadow your proffessionalism with my outstanding abilities as a mere amateur." He thinks he hears laughter somewhere behind him but it all echoes so far away when he's looking at Namjoon.

"These aren't my words, but I wish they were.. I feel them so strongly. I wish I could write it all down like this; the way I love you, instead of it just being a confusing clump of uncontrollable urges to be close to you.. but for now, I can only give you this. This is one of my favourite poems.. It's only since I met you that I have someone to read it for."

His hands are shaking as he attempts to steady the sheet he reads from, scared he'll suddenly forget words he's known for years before this, before he even knew Namjoon existed.

He takes a deep breath, and reads it anyway.

- - - - - - -

Come see me in the good light.
Come tell me what you tell the truth.
Come trouble me.
Come lightning strike.
Come read out loud what I can't yet pronounce of my own life.
Come wiser than the past.
Come make me make you proud.
Come hope too much.
Come with all your ghosts.
Come clown around when the timing's bad.
Come empty-handed.
Come full of regret.
Come know where it hurts when it doesn't hurt.
Come count to ten with your eyes closed.
Come find me hiding in the place I know you'll look first.

Come promise me the world.
Come trust me to do my best even when I don't.
Come ask me to give you everything I have.
Come knowing I'll give you my word
that if you fall in the forest when there's no one around
I'll be there before you land.

Come kind, come searching, come lost.
Come let me find you out.
Come with all your bagged mailed to our house.
Come be everything you are, my love.
Come love this world, come hate it, too.
Come undone, come falling apart.
Come every age you have ever been.
Come tantrum in the grocery store.
Come screaming for what's sweet,
Come willing to spill, willing to stain
the windows of the angry church.
Come nervous-brave.

Come tender as the trees,
forgiving the books,
for asking to be made.

Come with all your beauty, leaving evidence behind:
your fingerprints all over the thing that changed my mind,
that made me better than I was.

Come love, make me better than I was.

Come teach me a kinder way
to say my own name.

Come knowing I, like everyone, have had my own blood on my hands,

Come help me to a gentler truth.
Come share my parachute.
Come let me share your storm.
Come hush the weatherman when he calls it "bad weather."

Come light as a feather on the bird that stuck around to see the snow.

Come make it count: our finding each other like we found God,
come believing we can heal it all, even everything.

I know how much the pain of this world weighs,
but I can still tip the scales in light's direction


whenever I have your name on my tongue.
Whenever you say love is a ladder


to our highest selves, I say 'May our falling
be the most beautiful climb.'

In the good light, and in the lightning strike,
come become beside me

till I find your first silver hair in our tub.
Till I find your last silver hair in our tub.

- - - - - - -

His voice cracks on the last line, and when he looks up at Namjoon to gauge his reaction, tears are streaming down his face.

"I'll love you so well, for as long as I can." Seokjin chokes out, before Daesung gives Namjoon the nod to start his own vows.

Inbetween the lines of every word Seokjin says is a promise to always be Namjoon's family. It hurts Seokjin to think that with the exception of his little sister, Namjoon's own family aren't here, but more than that it feels so wonderful to think about how just over a year ago Namjoon had said he was almost numb to life, even though he was so young and now he has someone to love - someone who he can soon call his husband.

Plus his parents may not be there but the guy who stalked them is and he's bawling right beside them to their beautiful vows and clutching a bible to his chest.

"Seokjin, hyung, do you remember what I said the night we met? Something about chasing a monumental high only to be left with a monumental low the next day? Did you know that because of you that low never came. Sure I lost my keys, and I had to deal with Yoongi hyung first thing in the morning," he pauses to hear the inevitable growl, smirking around his next sentence, "but I never would have imagined I could be so happy."

He shuffles in place, clears his throat. "Maybe all this is too much to share in front of everyone, but isn't that what today is about? So, I'm gonna be vulnerable for you." Namjoon looks up at Seokjin. "I promise never to be closed off to you."

Tears sting at Seokjin's eyes already, his resolve is breaking and all he wants is to embrace Namjoon for a short eternity. "I was going through life like every day was a hangover, a headache, until you showed me things could be different. Until you held my hand like anodyne in the back of that taxi. Until you shared my bed to wake me up like medicine. Lately trying to love myself hasn't seemed so impossible. Maybe I'm not quite there yet, but I want to be."

His voice is thick with humour layered on happiness as he powers through his speech. "You have taught me the art of faking it until you make it just by being you, because I knew you couldn't possibly be that confident and still do things like cheat on me with bread, but it's so impressive and amazing and inspiring and I love you."

"It's said that we're most alive when we're in love, and it was only after I met you that I really started living. I can borrow lines from a hundred poems, books or songs to expand on, but you know how much I love you without me boring you to death before we're even married." The audience laughs, Seokjin feels his cheeks sting where they already ache from smiling.

"I didn't really used to believe in love. I just worked all the time, and took my friends for gra-" Jimin clears his throat loudly. Namjoon rolls his eyes and nods in confession. "Okay, fine. I took my friend for granted.. but now, I want to live. And I want to love you, and I want to be loved by you. And when I'm gone I want to be remembered by you. That's all the legacy I need."

He lowers the sheet so he can speak from memory and heart, directly into Seokjin's glossy eyes. "You make me want to love myself. You make me want to be happy."

Now that the focus is off them a little again, and the background noise floods back in, Seokjin notes the audible sobbing coming from at least three different directions. The audience makes sense, and then there's Daesung, but..

"..Yoongi?"

The man has his face tucked into Hoseok's shoulder, his own shaking up and down with muffled cries. He musters up the strength to sob something unintelligible and very emotional into the armpit he's smushed under.

Seokjin looks to Hoseok for translation. "He says 'Don't look at me, it was Jimin, knew it's fake," Hoseok soothes with a little smile as he rubs a hand over Yoongi's back.

All eyes snap to Jimin, looking very affronted. Like a child caught with his hand stuck in the cookie jar.

"Show me your fingers!" Seokjin snatches up Jimin's hand, tugging it close to his face to inspect it. "Hm, no crumbs.." Jimin tears his hand away away, eyes darting about.

"That doesnt even make sense!" He splutters like he's on trial for his life. "I wasn't crying, Yoongi hyung lies!"

Taehyung suddenly jumps up and down, trying to attract someone's attention. Someone bites.

Jungkook bends down with his hands rested on his knees and uses his most patronising voice. "What is it, boy? You want head scratches?"

Taehyung groans, and pulls out his phone, elbowing Jungkook in the face in the same move. It could have been an accident, except no apology was even attempted and Seokjin is seriously considering sending those two to marriage counselling.

"Why.. do you hate me." Jungkook clutches at his nose, stumbling back.

Seokjin's phone pings. "Oh. Thanks, Tae."

"Yoongi said 'Don't fuck with me, Kim Seokjin. You big gay."

Yoongi cackles through the fabric of Hoseok's blazer and Seokjin squints over, wondering what it would take to pry the small man away from Hoseok's protective grip.

Namjoon sighs, "Daesung I'm so sorry about this."

Daesung jumps, shoving a wad of tissue into his pocket, sniffling in vain. "It's okay, we all needed time to grieve."

Namjoon twists his neck, nodding confusedly. "Well, we're ready now.."

"I think you should just take this handy sheet I carry around in my wallet, it's probably easier for you to read it all in one go rather than having to repeat after me." Namjoon takes the sheet of paper, smiling gratefully. His eyes scan over the words, and he almost flings the sheet to Seokjin, graciously letting him go first.

"No, wait, give me it back."

Seokjin wordlessly hands over the sheet, and Daesung apologises, sheepish. "Sorry, I just realised it's way more romantic this way." He clears his throat, face tinged red, and begins.

"Do you, Kim Seokjin, take thee, Kim Namjoon, to be your wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?"

Namjoon leans in, deciding to sweeten the deal with a whisper. "I promise to pluck your silver hairs whilst you're sleeping so you think you're aging slower than me."

Seokjin presses his hand to his heart.

"That's the most romantic thing anyone's ever said to me."

Daesung has to 'cough cough,' yet again more throat clearing, to get Seokjin to realise he should be taking the imposing candy ring off now so he can put his wedding ring on.

Begrudgingly, Seokjin hands it to Jungkook, who immediately starts sucking it, and then hands it to Taehyung, who takes over from him. An olympic display of relay candy eating.

"I do." Seokjin watches Namjoon shakily push the ring onto his finger.

"And do you, Kim Namjoon, take thee, Kim Seokjin, to be your wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?"

"I do." Namjoon grins, tears springing to his eyes as Seokjin fumbles with the ring, struggling to see through the blurring of his own vision.

"Then you may kiss the groom."

The whole room hums in happy silence as Namjoon's lips meet Seokjin's. Butterflies erupt from his stomach like confetti out of a cannon and he grins into the innocent kiss, more symbolic than anything else. More perfect than they could ever wish.

Especially since Namjoon is wearing cherry coca cola chapstick, and Seokjin tastes like blueberries and candy.

The silence stretches on with everyone else blurred into the background of their new beginning, just Seokjin and Namjoon, caught up in each others loving gaze, forever and always.

Until Seokjin throws a handful of glitter in Namjoon's face and he starts choking on an exhale.

"Hyung!" Jimin chides, whilst also trying to hide his smile between the sweater paws he has somehow managed to stretch out of his regular sized shirt.

- - - - - - - -

Next is their handfasting ceremony - Seokjin has plans to hang the knot up somewhere special when they get home and also just wants to involve as many traditions in todays service as humanely possible.

Geongmin does it for them using both a shawl that belonged to their grandmother and an impressively thin rainbow scarf that Seokjin's own grandmother had knitted him for this occasion at his mothers request - he wouldn't be surprised if she had no idea who or what the scarf was for but she still did it - and ties it very tightly up their arms to which Taehyung desperately shoves at Jungkook until he sighs and gives in.

"Kinky." Jimin shoves at his other side, just trying not to cry but also wanting to cry at the same time and Taehyung and Jungkook keep ruining the magical mood.

They then attempt to light one candle with two, holding the same big candle in their bound hands and the little ones in their free hands. Geongmin moves and Namjoon just figures its to get a better shot of this moment. Another picture to go up on the fridge.

"Don't people usually keep these traditions seperate?" Yoongi asks, knowing full well that the answer is yes, yes they do.

But whatever makes him feel better two seconds later when disaster inevitably strikes.

Namjoon lights the rope on fire and everyone screams as Geongmin, on standby with a fire extinguisher bravely conquers the flames as Seokjin and Namjoon shriek, pulling against the knot to escape.

Meanwhile he camera sits nestled in their grandmothers flower wreath capturing every flailing moment of horror.

Namjoon smiles sheepishly when the singed knot is finally off and resting in his palms, and Seokjin can't really be upset with him. For one, it was a shared idea. A single braincell working between them both - although it was Namjoon's fault.

The scorched bits make it all the more special. Although the smell of burnt plastic is undebatably sickening, making everyone's departure from the church a much swifter affair than it otherwise would have been.

Seokjin prods at Namjoon's chest as they're exiting the church, jeering at him for being so poetic but Namjoon remembers him crying so he just nods along grinning.

He'll let him have this one.