The floorboard creaks when Yoongi walks into his apartment. He locks the door behind him. He slips off his shoes and flips the light switch on. The lights give a bright, sharp flash of light before immediately fizzling out. He flips the switch off and on again, but the hallway stubbornly remains dark.
Yoongi knows his building is falling apart by the minute, but he didn’t realize that the impairments had gotten this bad. He grumbles and makes his way down the hallway when the lights flick on with such an intense power that it momentarily blinds him.
Yoongi blinks away the black spots from his vision, a cold shiver making its way up his back. This could just be the building falling apart, but something is telling him this isn’t old wiring giving out its last few watts of life.
He shrugs it off and goes into the kitchen. It’s been a long, grueling day at work and he wants nothing more than to start his bedtime routine. Yoongi puts water onto boil and is rummaging through his eclectic collection of tea bags when he hears the door open.
He locked that door. And no one else beside him has the key.
For a second, the world freezes and Yoongi is like a bird watching over the scene. There he is, hunched over his box of tea. And there’s something dark looming by the doorway, watching Yoongi with pernicious eyes.
And then Yoongi is back to seeing things as himself.
The floorboards creak.
Yoongi grabs the closest sharp object that he can get his hands on. It’s a dirty kitchen knife that he didn’t bother cleaning this morning after cutting up fruits for his lunch. He hunches down next to the archway that leads into the hallway.
Yoongi hears footsteps, light and steady, as if someone is trying their best not to disturb the house. They’re methodical, evenly spaced, and Yoongi has lived in his apartment long enough to know that whoever is walking up is closing in.
The person, the thing, the whatever crosses into the kitchen and Yoongi wastes no time in jumping up and aiming the knife towards them.
The blade easily pierces through.
Yoongi pokes the knife one more time through. He sighs. He doesn’t know why he continues to play along with this ghostly game.
“Hyung, you stabbed me.” Jungkook, Yoongi’s resident ghost and the newest addition to Yoongi’s growing friend group (If he can call the three ghosts that haunt him his friend group. He really needs to get out of the house more often.) clutches at his stomach as if he’s in pain. “Last time you threw holy water at me! Water’s much better!”
“Please, as if anything can actually hurt you.” The kettle starts to whistle and Yoongi turns his back on Jungkook to finish making the tea.
“Your words hurt me.”
Yoongi more feels than sees Jungkook float towards him. “Stop haunting me, you menace.”
Jungkook smiles and not for the first time Yoongi wonders if this is how Jungkook was when he was alive. “You know me. I’m never going to do that.”
Breakfast is a chaotic affair. Yoongi’s table sits four comfortably, but he’s sure that the manufacturer made this piece of furniture with four humans in mind, not a human who was born with the ability to see ghosts and the three freeloading ghosts who have taken up permanent residence in Yoongi’s life.
Yoongi pours cereal into straight into his mouth and washes it down with milk. “Could you guys stop?”
The guys in question shake their heads. Jungkook and Seokjin are sitting on the opposite side of the table, mouths open as Taehyung, from across the kitchen, throws cheerios into their mouths. They’re corporeal just long enough to try to make the cereal land in their mouths.
Taehyung throws a cheerio way too high into the air and Seokjin doesn’t even try to catch it. It phases through his forehead and clatters against the tabletop.
Yoongi looks between the three of them. “What are doing?”
“I’m winning ,” Seokjin says as Jungkook fails to catch a cheerio. “And Jungkook is losing.”
Taehyung adds, “Seokjin is on a real streak here, hyung. If he keeps on–”
Yoongi has long since given up on trying to follow everything that his ghosts are up to. Yoongi waves him off. “You know what, don’t explain that to me. I’m okay.”
Yoongi takes one last mouthful of his cereal and milk combination before gathering his stuff. “I have to leave.” Jimin, his coworker whose ghost-seeing skills are shoddy at best, wouldn’t be very happy with Yoongi showing up late to work.
Taehyung pouts. “But then you won’t see the finale!”
“ Someone has to pay the bills. You guys could go out and work if you want me to stay.”
Seokjin laughs. “Please, as if anyone can see us.”
“How did I get a bunch of freeloading ghosts stuck to me? You guys are like sticky, dubble bubble gum.”
“I found you when you were lost in the woods,” Seokjin says, catching another cheerio and grinning triumphantly. “You were five, Yoongichi. What was I supposed to do? Leave you alone?”
Taehyung shrugs. “I don’t know. Your family moved into my house. If anything you owe me rent.”
“I… don’t really remember how I got here,” Jungkook admits. He head hangs, as if it’s shameful and not totally normal for new ghosts to forget things about the lives they no longer have.
Yoongi doesn’t know how to respond to any of them, so he doesn't. “I’m going to work now.” He takes out his phone and checks his calendar. Yoongi’s calendar is a mess of colors that represent due dates and meetings and most importantly, which ghost he is supposed to take to work that week. (It’s a rotating calendar, just to keep things fair.) “It’s Jungkook’s turn to come, if you’re done with your game.”
Jungkook shoots up from his seat, solid enough to rattle the table but intangible enough to phase through it. “We can continue our game later,” he declares and then he strides to the door with a pep in his step.
“See you guys later,” Yoongi says and Taehyung and Seokjin waves him off.
“He’s just excited to see Jimin,” Seokjin says. “As if Jimin can see him.”
Taehyung throws a cheerio into the air and catches it with his mouth. It falls through his jaw and onto the floor. He smirks at the fallen cheerio and Yoongi can feel the bad ideas swirling around in his head. “Jimin’s getting there. He just needs a near-death experience to really open his eyes up.”
“I’m gonna go,” Yoongi says and he walks away, hoping his ghosts are planning something that they shouldn’t be.
Yoongi doesn’t understand why his ghosts insist on tagging along with him to the grocery store. None of them can even eat, but all of them apparently have very strong opinions on which type of yogurt Yoongi should buy.
Yoongi leans against the handle of the shopping cart, his head in one hand as he thinks about how much time would pass before his ghosts would notice that he’s gone. Yoongi gives it at least ten minutes. Ten minutes of peace and quiet is better than none.
All three of his ghosts stop immediately stop talking. The sudden silence would be creepy if Yoongi didn’t already know the voice. Yoongi turns around to see Namjoon standing a few feet away, his own grocery basket looped through one arm and filled to the brim with healthier stuff than Yoongi has seen in the past month. He’s surprised that he hasn’t turned into a ghost yet, if he’s being honest.
Namjoon has a small, surprised smile on his face. It’s the same face that Namjoon has every time Yoongi gets to work early enough to greet Namjoon as they walk into their respective parts of the building. They’re not coworkers –Yoongi is pretty sure that Namjoon is a therapist of some sorts while Yoongi, as a medium, is also a therapist of some sorts, just for the dead–, but Yoongi sure wishes they were. They would see each other more often, at least.
“Is this the guy?” Seokjin asks, walking over to Namjoon and inspecting the food in his basket. “The one that you won’t shut up about?”
“Hey, Namjoon,” Yoongi greets, pointedly ignoring his ghosts as they crowd Namjoon. It’s not like Namjoon can hear them, let alone see them. “Weird seeing you here.”
Taehyung gasps and puts his finger next to Namjoon’s face. Namjoon shivers slightly. “It’s him. He has the dimples and everything!”
Jungkook’s face is thoughtful, pensive. “You’ve written a lot about him in your diary. I thought he would be… more.”
Yoongi clenches his teeth. He doesn’t have a diary, thank you very much. It’s a journal. But he can’t do anything but act like Namjoon has his entire attention.
“How have you been?” Namjoon asks. He shifts his weight and Jungkook decides to pass right through him. Jungkook’s control slips and Namjoon goes rigid for a second as Jungkook tries to unstick himself from Namjoon’s body. The basket falls to the floor, groceries going every which way.
Jungkook looks at the mess, big eyes wide in surprise and tinge of shame. “That wasn’t supposed to happen.”
“Don’t worry, you’ve just given more time for Yoongi to try to get into his pants,” Seokjin says and Taehyung gives Yoongi an overly enthusiastic thumbs up and Yoongi kneels down to help the shaken Namjoon collect his fallen fruits and veggies.
“I’m so sorry,” Namjoon says, gratefully taking the items that Yoongi passes to him and putting them back in his basket. “I don’t know what happened.”
This is not how he wanted to explain things. “It was my ghosts,” he says, ignoring how his said ghosts gasp at his words. In their defense, Yoongi tries to keep the knowledge of his ghosts to limited group of people. “You know how I’m a medium right? I have three ghosts that follow me around. They’re annoying.”
They get up from off the floor. Yoongi stares at a very interesting spot on the floor. “Your ghosts?” Namjoon asks.
Yoongi nods. “My ghosts.” Taehyung, Jungkook, and Seokjin are all now trying and failing to stifle their laughter. Yoongi looks right at them. It’s like they thrive off of Yoongi’s misery. “Who can shut the fuck up and meet me at the car.”
They all grumble, but leave. “Good luck,” Seokjin whispers and it takes every fiber in Yoongi’s being to not snap right there and then.
“So,” Namjoon says. “I haven’t seen you in a while. Did you maybe want to get a coffee? Later? Without your ghosts?”
Yoongi takes a deep, calming breath and smiles. “That sounds great.”
The door is unlocked, which isn’t surprising since Hoseok is over. While Yoongi’s longest living friend also shares the gift of being able to see the dead, he doesn’t share the gift of remembering to lock up after himself. There’s laughter drifting from the living room and Yoongi sees four forms sitting in a circle on the floor.
The TV is buzzing, obviously broken as it’s sparking and the screen is an ugly mess of static. Based off of how Jungkook is looking at the floor like a kicked puppy, Yoongi doesn’t have to ask many questions.
“Hey guys,” Yoongi says, throwing his jacket and bag onto the couch and sitting down on the floor with them. “What are we playing?”
“Clue,” Taehyung says, crossing off something so intently that Yoongi is surprised that he isn’t breaking through the paper.
Hoseok folds his cards down and puts them on the floor. He gets up tilts his head towards the TV. “Jungkook’s been having trouble staying corporeal tonight.” As to prove Hoseok’s words, Jungkook’s cards fall through his hands. He frowns, clearly frustrated at himself. Hoseok stretches and gives them all a grin.
Yoongi tries to ruffle Jungkook’s hair, but his hand meets nothing but cold air. “That’s okay, Kook.” Yoongi collects Jungkook’s scattered cards and Hoseok’s neat pile. “We can play together. Thanks for babysitting, Hobi.”
Hoseok laughs. “It’s no problem. I’ll see you later, then!”
Seokjin rolls his eyes. “I’m older than you, Yoongi. I don’t need a babysitter.” He rolls the dice. “Anyway, how did your date go?”
Yoongi shrugs. “It went well. Joon’s nice.”
Taehyung quirks an eyebrow. “But it’s better here with us, right?”
Yoongi laughs and looks at the three ghosts haunting him, his three ghosts– his three friends. “Yeah,” he admits. “It’s better here with you guys.”