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All The Things You Said

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Jimin wasn’t a nosy person. Somewhere Taehyung snorted. He wasn’t. He just wanted everyone to find love. He considered himself very lucky in that regard, having two of the best people in the world close to him at all times, and he wanted to spread the love. Literally.

 

It wasn’t his fault that he noticed how hopelessly awkward their English teacher was. The man was a walking disaster with an odd fashion sense but the cutest dimples. Jimin figured those could be used to his advantage if needed.

 

Jimin’s current plan had been formed when he noticed the teacher in question sighing hopelessly when the drama teacher had come by to discuss their upcoming play. He wanted to do Shakespeare because “it’s classic, Mr. Kim” and he was trying to enlist the help of the other Mr. Kim – yea, it was confusing – so the play went well.

 

Now, again, Jimin wasn’t nosy, but this was the perfect opportunity. How often did an obviously pining English teacher get the chance to work closely with an oblivious drama teacher? Never, according to Jimin’s very limited knowledge.

 

Feeling accomplished and ready to start, Jimin slammed his lunch tray down on the table in the cafeteria and startled Jungkook so bad he jumped nearly a foot and looked at him with large, shocked eyes.

 

“Is everything okay, hyung?”

 

“Perfect, Kookie-ah! How was class?” Jimin asked, deciding he should probably make small talk before he tried to rope them into his plan.

 

“It was good, Mr. Jung is teaching us dance right now so it was really fun.” Jungkook reported, settling now that he knew his hyung wasn’t upset or in trouble.

 

“Ah, I remember that. I loved his dance classes! He really should just teach dance. Too bad he gets stuck teaching up soccer and shit too.”

 

Jungkook shrugged, “I think he likes all of it. Plus, he said dancing is a hobby, that he couldn’t think of it as work.”

 

“I guess, but Mr. Min does music for both and he seems fine,” Jimin observed.

 

“Maybe. Speaking of Mr. Min, he came in all mad today. I guess Mr. Jung used one of his original pieces to teach us moves. I’ve never seen Mr. Jung laugh so hard.”

 

Jimin laughed, “He did the same thing with us! Mr. Min really needs to stop letting Mr. Jung anywhere near his music if he doesn’t want it spread anywhere. He doesn’t know the meaning of quiet.”

 

Jungkook nodded in understanding. As if summoned, Mr, Jung came into the cafeteria. He was talking loudly and gesturing wildly, clearly mid-story. Mr. Min followed closely behind, nodding silently every few seconds to show he was listening.

 

“Like Yin and Yang, those two. Seriously. I don’t know how they’re even friends.” Taehyung said, sitting down.

 

“Opposites attract, I suppose,” Jimin said with a shrug, “now that you’re finally here: I have a plan and I need your help!”

 

“Oh, god, now what?” Taehyung whined, already sensing how chaotic his life was going to become.

 

“Don’t act like that! You love my plans!”

 

“No, no I don’t! Last time you came up with a plan, I was grounded for a month, Jimin!” Taehyung sighed, knowing full well he was going to do whatever Jimin wanted anyway.

 

“Okay, true, but you had fun, right?”

 

Looking to the sky for help, Taehyung gave up, “yes, Jiminie-ah. I had fun.”

 

“Exactly! This time will be fun too. Plus, we’ll be helping someone!”

 

“Helping? Who?” Jungkook asked, glad the discussion had changed directions.

 

“Mr. Kim and Mr. Kim,” Jimin said confidently.

 

“Dude, there are like four Mr. Kims here. You gotta be more specific.” Taehyung reminded him.

 

“Right. Drama teacher Mr. Kim and English teacher Mr. Kim.” Jimin clarified.

 

“Oh, is that all?” Taehyung asked, suddenly relieved, “I was already going to audition for the play anyway. I’d make a great Rosencrantz if I do say so myself. You should be Guildenstern, Jiminie-ah! Kookie-ah can be Hamlet.”

 

“Wait, why am I the crazy one?”

 

“Because Hamlet is younger than them!” Taehyung said wisely.

 

“Really?” Jungkook asked, he’d never read the play so he had no idea.

 

“Um, yes.” Taehyung also didn’t know but he wasn’t going to admit it now.

 

“We should definitely all audition, but that’s not what I meant.”

 

Taehyung knew it was too easy, “Okay, then what did you mean?”

 

There was suddenly a very loud bang, followed by frantic apologies and an energetic laugh that sounded vaguely like a squeaking windshield wiper. The three boys looked over to see Mr. Kim covered in what appeared to be his lunch, waving his arms in apology, while the other Mr. Kim laughed at his antics.

 

“We, my friends, are going to set those two up.”

 

“We’re going to what?” Jungkook asked, shocked.

 

“You heard me. We’re playing matchmaker.”

 

Despite himself, Taehyung leaned forward, “those two? Why?”

 

“Come on. Look at the way Mr. Kim, oh my god, what are their first names? This is so confusing.”

 

“Um, Mr. Min called Mr. Kim, uh, the drama teacher, Jin-hyung. And I think Mr. Jung called the other Mr. Kim, Namjoon-ah.”

 

Jimin nodded, “Perfect. We’ll go with that. Anyway, look at the way Namjoon-ssi looks at Jin-ssi! It’s so obvious he’s in love! He’s just awkward and needs help!”

 

Taehyung and Jungkook followed Jimin’s gaze and looked at their two teachers. Jungkook hadn’t had either of them yet so he wasn’t as familiar with their expressions, but he could see the blush on Namjoon-ssi’s face. He figured that meant something. Taehyung wasn’t so sure, but he had done very poorly on his last essay, so he figured if his teacher was happier, he’d do better. Win-win.

 

“Alright, I’m in.” Taehyung nodded.

 

“Me too!” Jungkook agreed, smiling wide.

 

“Awesome! I knew I could count on you guys. This will be great.”

  


 

 

Namjoon kneeled, very close to Seokjin, and tried to help clean up. Seokjin slapped his hands away.

 

“You’ll just cut yourself, Joonie-ah. Let me do it!” He chastised.

 

“I’m sorry, hyung. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.” Namjoon said, head in his hands.

 

“Oh, calm down. It all spilled on you anyway, if anything, it was entertaining. Do you have clothes to change into?”

 

A sigh, “yes, this happens a lot.”

 

Namjoon looked up at the sound of laughter, Seokjin was smiling and clapping, unable to hold back any longer, “god, Joonie-ah, why are you so clumsy?”

 

“My mom says it’s because I’m so tall,” Namjoon admitted weakly.

 

“I don’t think so, but nice try. You’re not that much taller than me and I don’t break everything I touch,” Seokjin said, still laughing.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“I was kidding, come on! Go get changed!” Seokjin said, standing up with all the broken glass and as much of the food as he could recover. He wanted to make the poor janitor’s life a little easier. He was sure Namjoon supplied the man with enough jobs as is. He reached out his hand, offering to help Namjoon up.

 

For a second, Namjoon just stared at his hand dumbly, then reached out and took it. He was instantly engulfed in the warmth of his hand. As soon as it started though, it ended. Namjoon could still feel the warmth and wanted it back.

 

But he couldn’t say that.

 

So instead, “You’re the best, hyung. I don’t know what I would do without you.”

 

“Die, probably.”

 

Namjoon laughed, “yes, probably. Guess you’ll always have to be with me.”

 

Oh, wow, Namjoon, smooth. That wasn’t creepy at all.

 

“You couldn’t afford me,” Seokjin said with a saucy wink before laughing and stepping away, “now I’m going to get a lunch that isn’t all over the ground or your shirt. Do you want me to grab you something while you change?”

 

Namjoon felt how red his face was, you couldn’t afford me, “thank you, hyung, that would be great.”

 

“I’ll meet you in your classroom?”

 

“Yes, thanks again.”

 

Namjoon left feeling two things very intensely. Embarrassment because once again he was covered in something he had inadvertently spilled all over himself like an idiot. And pain. Being near Seokjin had that effect on him.

 

He had been in love with Seokjin ever since he had started at the school. They had met in a way very similar to today. An anxious Namjoon had been running to his class, paranoid about being late on his first day, and tripped on the curb. He had spilled his coffee all over the innocent man who happened to be walking by. That man had been Kim Seokjin. He had laughed it off then as he had today. Namjoon had been instantly enamoured. Not only was he beautiful but he was incredibly nice. Even though Namjoon had destroyed his outfit, Seokjin had still given him a tour of the entire school and introduced him to all the teachers. Hoseok had thought the whole thing was hilarious, but had thankfully kept his mouth shut during introductions.

 

He had thought he made it out of the encounter unscathed, but then Seokjin had shown up at his classroom wearing a pirate outfit and Namjoon had been lost. The man had been wearing tight black pants, high boots, I had to complete the aesthetic, it’s about commitment to art, and a billowy white shirt. Apparently the last play he had put on was about pirates, so he still had the costumes. Namjoon wasn’t sure if there was a heaven, but he was damn sure that if there was Seokjin would own it.

 

So, Namjoon had fallen hard. That had been 3 years ago. Over that time, they had grown very close. Since Seokjin was long-time friends Yoongi, who had been friends with Hoseok since childhood, Namjoon had been introduced to their group effortlessly since he had gone to teacher’s college with Hoseok and Seokjin had decided the awkward English teacher was his new bestie. His words, not Namjoon’s.

 

Thus began Namjoon’s suffering. Day after day, month after month, year after year. Hoseok thought he was pathetic, Yoongi said he understood. Either way, Namjoon just wanted to suffer in peace.

 

His life was much easier when he could just stare at Seokjin when he wasn’t looking and convince himself that, maybe, one day, the tight feeling in his chest would go away whenever Seokjin smiled at him.

  


 

 

Yoongi watched Hoseok as he talked. He was ranting long and loud about the guy he had just broken up with. Yoongi was sure he knew his name, but he couldn’t remember and he didn’t care enough to ask. Hoseok was always dating. He was fun and lively and beautiful, so of course, he would date a lot. For self-preservation purposes, Yoongi had stopped paying attention to the details.

 

“And then, get this, he says I’m not talented enough to make it as a dancer, that’s why I teach. Like that old bullshit saying, ‘those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t teach, teach gym.’”

 

“Wait, what? He said that!?” Yoongi was going to commit murder. What was that guy’s name? Fuck. Now he really needed to know.

 

“Yes! Then he said maybe if I was more attractive, they would overlook my lack of skill but since I’m not, they can’t.” Hoseok continued, his light dimming as he continued to talk.

 

“What the fuck, Hoseok-ah? Why do you date assholes like that?!”

 

“Language, hyung. We’re at school. And he wasn’t an asshole. At least not at first.”

 

“I’m sorry, but that kind of shit doesn’t just come out of nowhere! He’s definitely always been a tool.”

 

Hoseok sat in a chair, his chair, as Yoongi thought of it, since that was the one he always sat in when he came to visit Yoongi in between classes.

 

“I don’t know. Maybe he’s right. I did audition for those companies once upon a time.”

 

“Yes, and I rapped under a Google translate version of my name. We all do stupid shit when we’re young”

 

“But you’re good, hyung. Still are.”

 

“Yes, I am. But no label ever picked me up, did they? Just because you don’t get picked doesn’t mean you aren’t good.”

 

“I guess.”

 

“And you love teaching gym, Seokie-ah. Don’t let some dickbag convince you that you shouldn’t”

 

Hoseok laughed, “how many nicknames do you have for him?”

 

Yoongi smirked, “how much time do you have?”

 

Shaking his head, Hoseok stood up as the bell sounded, “hey, um, hyung, would you be up for hanging out tonight? It’s totally cool if you’re busy or whatever…”

 

“I’m always free for you, Seokie-ah, you know that.” Yoongi said without thinking.

 

“You’re the best, hyung. Thank you.”

 

Yoongi watched as Hoseok left the room, smiling at the students who were already shuffling their way in. Thankfully, since class was about to start, Yoongi couldn’t spend as much time as he usually would lamenting his own stupidity.

 

I’m always free for you, Seokie-ah.

 

God, could you sound any more desperate. You’re pathetic, Yoongi.

 

Trying to distract himself, Yoongi began writing the day’s plan on the bored. It didn’t help, all he could see was the way Hoseok’s face has slowly fallen as he related his story. Though he was an incredibly bright and cheerful person, Hoseok had the worst self-confidence. He tended to just believe whatever bad things people said about him and internalize them.

 

When they were younger and Hoseok had started posting dance videos on YouTube, Yoongi had been his first subscriber. His only subscriber. For a while, he received no comments. Or worse, just negative ones. Hoseok had been crushed. He had even started to talk about quitting dancing entirely.

 

Like any good friend, Yoongi had taken it upon himself to provide positive comments. Under the guise of someone else of course. He had created a fake account and flooded Hoseok’s videos with positive and uplifting comments. The change had been immediate. It wasn’t that Hoseok needed praise or validation, he just wanted to know that what he did touched people. Yoongi, or his pseudonym Yoonji – he wasn’t creative, so sue him – had given him that.

 

Eventually, though, it had changed. Yoongi had unwittingly begun to use it as a funnel for his emotions. It had started innocent enough, but eventually the ability to hide behind a computer screen gave him to the confidence he would never have in real life.

 

Oppa, I wish I could move like you!

 

You look so happy and confident when you dance, oppa, it makes me happy too.

 

Oppa, you look so handsome!

 

I love the way you smile, oppa.

 

I love you, oppa.

 

I love you, Hobi.

 

And now, here they were, nearly a decade later in the same situation. Hoseok no longer had a YouTube channel Yoongi – Yoonji – could comment on. He had closed it when he got his first teaching job. How, then, was he supposed to help? Hoseok would never believe him if he said it. As much as he loved his best friend, Hoseok always saw Yoongi’s praise as something he had to give, since they were friends, not something he wanted to give. Yoongi was at a loss, but he knew he would come up with something eventually. He was a genius after all.

 

His inspiration came halfway through class when he saw one of his students passing a note. He was actually a little shocked, which was why he didn’t call them out. Who passes notes nowadays? But, regardless, Yoongi had an idea. A note.

 

An anonymous letter would do. He could just put it in Hoseok’s desk in his office. If Yoongi poured everything he felt, just like he had when he pretended to be Yoonji, it would be perfect. He would find it and feel better. He could disguise his handwriting, maybe even type it, so Hoseok would never know it came from him. Just the thought of Hoseok smiling like he had when Yoonji had left her, his, first comments, made Yoongi feel better himself. Hoseok always had that effect on him. He’d talk to Hoseok tonight, see how he was feeling, and if he was still down, Yoongi would leave him an anonymous letter.

 

What could go wrong?

 

Chapter Text

Despite being entirely well-intentioned, it because very clear within a few days of Jimin’s original suggestion, that he didn’t actually have a plan. He had no idea how to set his two teachers up. He was not to be discouraged though, so he used Taehyung’s idea to audition for the play and made sure all three of them not only auditioned but were accepted as well.

 

As he had predicted, Taehyung and Jimin were cast as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern because the role of two idiots who just want to have fun and help their friends seems to suit you two. Jimin wasn’t entirely sure it was a compliment but he went with it.

 

Jungkook, however, ran into some issues. The boy was, unfortunately, very shy. He had spoken so quietly that Seokjin had taken pity on him and told Jungkook he could be a tree. A tree. Jimin had laughed so hard he had cried. Jungkook hadn’t been fazed though, declaring he would be the best damn tree. Taehyung had nodded sagely and given him a thumbs up.

 

So, now, they were in the play. The next question was: what next? Jimin hadn’t been sure. His only real experience with romance came from the dramas he watched on TV. Taehyung had suggested they start there since they have to know something, right?

 

Which is how three teenage boys ended up binging every romance drama they could find. Taehyung owned most of the good ones – according to him – on DVD so they had congregated in his living room with snacks and notebooks. Taehyung’s mom thought they were trying to learn how to talk to girls. They hadn’t had the heart to tell her they were trying to set up their two male teachers so they had just smiled and let her think whatever she wanted.

 

“Okay, so like every single one of these has some childhood friends plot. Does that matter?” Jimin asked, making notes in his book.

 

“I don’t think so? Like, Mr. Jung and Mr. Min are childhood friends, but they aren’t dating so I don’t think it really matters.”

 

“They aren’t dating?” Jungkook asked, looking away from the TV.

 

“Nope. They’re just really close, like us!” Jimin informed him.

 

Jungkook thought about the letter he had seen Mr. Min put in Mr. Jung’s desk while he had been assigned to help in the teacher’s offices. Mr. Jung’s reaction to it has certainly indicated it was a love letter. Jungkook felt his eyebrows knit together. If they weren’t dating what had Mr. Min put in Mr. Jung’s desk? Why had it made Mr. Jung blush?

 

“Oh. My mistake.” Jungkook said instead. He figured whatever was going on there was their own business. If Jimin found out, he would want to help and Jungkook couldn’t handle two love plots at the same time.

 

“Okay, what about the awkward initial meeting? That’s common too.” Jimin suggested.

 

“But they’ve already met.” Taehyung reminded him.

 

“Right. Do we know how they met?” Jimin asked.

 

Jungkook and Taehyung shook their heads. Jimin sighed, this was harder than he thought.

 

“Well, we can’t do the amnesia trope. I’m not hurting anyone. We can’t control either of their families either so no go for some big family secret or interfering parents.” Taehyung said with a frown.

 

Jungkook nodded, “what about the living together one?”

 

“Living together?”

 

“Yea, like 4 of these had the main couple being forced to live together and then falling in love.”

 

“We can’t make them live together.” Jimin reminded him.

 

“No, but we can make them work together.”

 

“They already work together,” Jimin said slowly, unsure why Jungkook was so set on this idea.

 

“Ugh, yes hyung, I’m aware. I meant the play. Remember you said Mr. Kim, um, Seokjin-ssi asked Namjoon-ssi for help with the play because he wanted it to be perfect?”

 

Jimin nodded, suddenly getting it.

 

“All we have to do is make sure they work together a lot.”

 

Taehyung nodded too, “I like it. But how will that make them fall in love? If close proximity was all they needed, they would be together already.”

 

Jimin smiled, “accidents.”

 

Looking at him worriedly, Taehyung repeated him, “Accidents?”

 

“Yup. Accidents. They put you on set design, right Kookie-ah?”

 

“Um, yea, since I don’t have lines and I’m strong,” Jungkook admitted.

 

“Perfect! If we create near accident scenarios to force them together it will be perfect.”

 

“We’re not hurting anyone Jimin-ah!”

 

“Of course not. Namjoon-ssi is clumsy enough as is, we just need to create enough scenarios so that they save each other!”

 

Jungkook thought about it for a second, “that did seem to work in like all the dramas. Even the really happy ones had a near-miss scene…”

 

Taehyung had a very bad feeling about this, “Just promise me you won’t do anything crazy.”

 

Jimin looked at him with a huge smile that was not in the least bit reassuring, “Of course not! You’ll be there to help!

 

With a heavy sigh, unable to deny Jimin anything, Taehyung committed to the plan, “okay, but I want to create a list of things we’ll do. Let’s watch the dramas again and make note of the type of accidents that work that we can actually recreate without hurting anyone.”

 

“Awesome!” Jimin said, reaching for the remote.

 

Over his head, Jungkook looked at Taehyung and nodded in silent agreement. Jimin had always been the person that just wanted to help. No matter what. Sometimes that desire got the best of him and he overdid it. He didn’t mean too and it was never ill-intended but it often ended in some gigantic misunderstanding or Jimin feeling bad for his involvement. The other two boys had long decided to make sure that never happened again. A sad Jimin was not something they wanted to see, so they made sure it didn’t happen.

  


 

 

Yoongi was freaking out. Maybe freaking out wasn’t the right expression. Fucking freaking out was more accurate. His plan had been simple. Elegant even. Disguise his writing, hide a letter in Hoseok’s desk, watch Hoseok’s self-confidence improve, and then return to normal. Admittedly his normal involved staring after Hoseok wistfully and whining into a wine bottle and a half about how perfect Hoseok was whenever Seokjin brought him out, but that wasn’t important.

 

So, in sum, Yoongi was freaking out. What did he do when he was freaking out? He found Seokjin. Since the man was so dramatic naturally, he was good at calming Yoongi down. Or amplifying his worry. It was honestly a toss-up.

 

Yoongi found Seokjin in the theatre, making notes about background displays and set designs. He had forgotten they were putting on a new play. Seokjin looked like he was concentrating. Too bad that Yoongi didn’t have time for that.

 

“Hyung, I’ve made a huge mistake and I need your help.”

 

“Mr. Min, what– ” Too wrapped up in his own drama, Yoongi didn’t notice that Seokjin was using his last name.

 

“I sent a love letter to Hoseok and now he isn’t talking to me. I fucked up and I don’t know what to do.”

 

“Mr. Min, there are stud– wait, what? You did what?” Seokjin gasped, dropping the arm that had been frantically waving at him to his side.

 

“Well, not from me, obviously. It was anonymous. But now he’s avoiding me.”

 

“Jesus Christ, you gave me a heart attack. I don’t think he’s been avoiding you. You know he’s been busy since he started looking into those dance classes downtown.”

 

“Yea but we always talk and now I feel like it’s different,” Yoongi whined, dropping to the ground so he could lean his head on his hand.

 

“Did he mention the letter?”

 

“No.” Yoongi admitted.

 

“Then how do you know that’s the problem? How do you know he even got it?”

 

“Um, sorry. Ah, I just – he did. Mr. Jung got the letter.” Jungkook stepped out from behind the wall he had been painting. His whole face was red and he looked like he wanted to flee. He hadn’t intended on making his presence known, but since he knew for a fact that Mr. Jung had gotten the letter, he felt the need to tell Mr. Min. He liked him, he was a good teacher and a nice guy, despite being sleepy and sarcastic 90% of the time.

 

Yoongi shot up, now sporting a matching blush, “Jungkook-ssi, I didn’t realize there were students around.”

 

Seokjin sighed, “yes, that’s what I was trying to tell you earlier, but you were already well into your story. But, Jungkook-ssi, how do you know Mr. Jung got the letter?”

 

Jungkook snapped his eyes to Seokjin, “Oh, um, I was assigned to help out in the teacher’s offices. I saw Mr. Min put some paper in Mr. Jung’s desk, then I saw him open and read it later. He blushed a lot so I’m assuming that’s what Mr. Min was just talking about.”

 

“He blushed?” Yoongi asked, unable to stop himself.

 

Jungkook nodded. He had been tasked with watching Seokjin by Jimin and Taehyung but given the way this conversation was going, he figured they wouldn’t mind if he just ran and never came back.

 

“See! He liked it. If he’s avoiding you, it’s not because of the letter. You guys have been friends for over 20 years, just talk to him. I’m sure it’s something stupid and completely unrelated.”

 

Yoongi thought of Hoseok blushing and smiling because of the letter he wrote and smiled at Seokjin, “thanks hyung. Oh, and, uh, thanks Jungkook-ssi. I’m sure we don’t have to mention to keep this private?”

 

“Of course not!” Jungkook promised.

 

With one last nod to Seokjin and Jungkook, Yoongi left the theatre and went to find Hoseok. Seokjin was right, he had to ask what the issue was. Otherwise, he would just keep fixating on the issue with no solution in sight.

 

There was no way the problem was the letter.

 


 

Who knew an anonymous letter could cause so many issues? Hoseok had spent the better part of the last week pacing back and forth unsure how to proceed.

 

He had received a letter.

 

At first, he had been flattered, it was cute and genuine, written in pretty handwriting and sealed with a sticker. He’d never received a love letter before so he had been shocked and immediately endeared to the author.

 

The problem arose when he realized how much of the letter discussed his personal life and actions. The author knew about his dancing and his self-confidence issues. She – he was assuming she based entirely on the handwriting and the cute sticker – knew a lot about him and had clearly been trying to cheer him up. Now, normally, that wouldn’t be an issue. He wasn’t shy about his extracurricular dance or his sexuality so he wasn’t surprised the author knew about that.

 

The actual issue was the age of the author. She had to be high school age. One of his students even. He had received a love letter from a teenager and he didn’t know what to do. He knew he had to address it, find out who she was and explain why it was inappropriate, but he felt bad. Who was he to call this girl out when she clearly wanted to remain anonymous? What was worse was the letter had made him feel better. It had reminded him of all the things he had forgotten after he who shall not be named tore him down just to make him feel better for breaking Hoseok’s heart.

 

The conflict between how he felt about the letter and the reality that it was incredibly inappropriate had driven Hoseok to fixate on the issue. When he fixated, he forgot about everything else. It wasn’t until Yoongi appeared in his office looking awkward that he realized he had been ignoring him too.

 

“Hey, Seokie-ah. You look busy, but, uh, I just wanted to see if you were okay? If– well if we were okay?”

 

Hoseok groaned, “I’m sorry, hyung, I’ve been so distracted. Do you have a minute?”

 

“Of course, Seokie-ah.” Yoongi said, sitting down in the chair normally reserved for students beside Hoseok’s desk.

 

“So, this is the problem,” Hoseok said, reaching into his desk drawer and pulling out the letter. He placed it in front of Yoongi.

 

Yoongi felt his heart stop. Panic squeezed his lungs, “oh?”

 

“You can read it, hyung, I don’t mind,” Hoseok said, nudging the letter closer.

 

Oh, thank god. He doesn’t know it was me.

 

Yoongi picked up the letter with nervous hands and read his own words quickly, “Well, they’re not wrong. What’s the issue?”

 

“The issue is that she’s probably like 16!” Hoseok lamented.

 

“She?” SHE?!

 

“Oh, I don’t know who it is, but like, the sticker is small and cute so I just figured… but that’s not the point! She’s a minor, hyung.”

 

Yoongi wanted to laugh but didn’t, “How do you know?”

 

“We teach high school.”

 

“And teachers can’t leave letters?”

 

“I – I never thought of that,” Hoseok admitted.

 

“Plus, the sticker looks like the ones we always put on assignments.”

 

“I – you’re right. It does.”

 

“So it’s probably a teacher, not a student.”

 

“That makes more sense. The author knew so much about me, the other teachers would overhear that stuff easily.”

 

“Yup.” Yoongi agreed. He didn’t really want to make Hoseok suspect it was a teacher, but the idea that his friend had been agonizing about the appropriateness of the letter for a week when all Yoongi had wanted to do was make him feel better made him feel bad.

 

“What do I do then?” Hoseok asked.

 

“What do you mean, what do you do?”

 

“Well I should respond, right?” Hoseok asked, picking up the letter and scanning the words. They were so sweet. He knew the person behind them had to be sweet too.

 

“I– how? You don’t know the author.” Yoongi reminded him.

 

“True, but I could just leave it on my desk addressed to anonymous and if she sees it, she’ll pick it up!”

 

“Do– do you want to reply?” Yoongi was having an out of body experience. When Hoseok had replied to his Yoonji persona in the past it had been generic, a simple thanks for your support but this, this was different.

 

Hoseok smiled down at the letter, “I think so, yea. I– I want to get to know this person.”

 

Yoongi was going to hell, “then you should.”

 

He perked up immediately, “you think so?”

 

Yoongi nodded and smiled a small smile. He knew this was terrible but he couldn’t help but feel excited at the possibility of conversing with Hoseok without hiding his true feelings for once. This was not the outcome he intended but he was going to take it.

 

“Then I will! Thanks, hyung!” Hoseok said, grabbing his things and running out of the office, “I’m going to buy stationery! It should be pretty, right?”

 

Yoongi watched him go and sank into his chair. He was going to regret this. He could already feel it.

 


 

Namjoon loved his job. He did. But sometimes, just sometimes, he wanted to smash his head against the desk and ask god why he had chosen the profession he had.

 

Today was one of those days.

 

Currently, Park Jimin and Kim Taehyung were standing in front of him ranting about historical accuracy and the need for the play they were cast in to be as authentic as possible. Which, apparently, only he could help with.

 

“I want to be an actor Mr. Kim! Do you know how many people get their start with Shakespeare? It has to be perfect! Please, help! You hold my future career in your hands.”

Taehyung lamented.

 

Namjoon supposed, judging by how dramatic the boy was being, Taehyung would make a damn fine actor one day.

 

“Look, I’m glad you care about the play, but I trust Mr. Kim can do this without my help.”

 

“But, Mr. Kim already asked you for help, remember? Are you just going to ignore him?” Jimin added slyly.

 

“I– what? No he didn’t”

 

Jimin pretended to look confused, “I could have sworn Mr. Kim came in to ask for help when he decided what play to put on.”

 

Namjoon reflected. Seokjin had come and asked for help, but he didn’t think he was serious. Was he? Did he need help and Namjoon was just ignoring him? The thought of being close to Seokjin after school hours both excited and terrified him.

 

Looking up at the large puppy dog eyes of the two students in front of him, Namjoon caved, “Okay, I’ll ask Mr. Kim if he needs help, okay?”

 

Both boys jumped up and shrieked.

 

 “Thank you, Mr. Kim! When I win an Oscar I’ll make sure to thank you!” Taehyung said happily.

 

“You do that, Taehyung-ssi.” Namjoon said wearily.

 

Thinking the conversation was over, Namjoon was confused when neither boy left. They were staring at him expectedly. He looked at both of them, moving his eyes back and forth.

 

“Um, I’ll go now?” Namjoon said hesitantly.

 

“Perfect!” Jimin said with a smile before grabbing Taehyung’s hand and pulling him away. Taehyung waved happily before letting Jimin pull him out of the room.

 

Those boys were weird. He envied their friendship a little, if he was honest.

 

With a heavy sigh, Namjoon stood up and made his way to the theatre. The second round of auditions was taking place so he found Seokjin sitting in one of the seats, alone, making notes.

 

“Hey, hyung.” Namjoon said quietly, taking a seat beside him.

 

Seokjin glanced over quickly before returning his attention back to the stage, “Hi Joonie-ah, what brings you here?”

 

“I was just accosted by two of your actors who demanded I help out with the play so it’s as accurate as possible,” Namjoon informed him.

 

“Jimin-ssi and Taehyung-ssi?” Seokjin asked with a sigh.

 

“Jimin-ssi and Taehyung-ssi.” Namjoon confirmed.

 

“Those boys, I swear. I would love your help, Joonie-ah, but if you’re busy it’s okay. I can make do.”

 

“I’m not busy, not really. Just marking and the like. Nothing serious.” Namjoon found himself saying.

 

“Really? Thank you so much!” Seokjin said, smiling at him widely, “It will be so much easier with two teachers around, especially since you actually know the play! Yoonie-ah offered to help but you know how he is.”

 

Namjoon laughed, “Yes, I do. You’d find him sleeping in the props.”

 

“Exactly. You’re amazing, Joonie-ah! Thank you!”

 

Namjoon felt himself blush, “it’s nothing, hyung. Don’t sweat it.”

 

From a few rows behind, Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook watched the exchange, feeling triumphant.

 

“Step one: complete!” Jimin declared.

 

“Now all we have to do is make them fall in love!” Taehyung agreed.

 

Jungkook didn’t comment. He was too busy watching the way the teachers interacted. Namjoon was blushing and Seokjin’s ears were pink. They were both smiling really wide and staring at each other despite the fact Seokjin was supposed to be watching the audition. Jungkook glanced at his two friends and watched the way they leaned into each other, intent on making plans. Taehyung was holding Jimin’s hand and pointing at the notebook with their plans on it.

 

People were stupid sometimes.

Chapter Text

BANG!

 

Startled, the students, who had previously been chatting and working on building the set, turned to see Seokjin huddled on the ground clutching his ankle with an anxious looking Namjoon standing above him.

         

20 Minutes Earlier:

 

“I just think this is the easiest method. Jungkook-ah is tasked with painting the wall anyway, if we just set it off balance, Namjoon-ssi can save Seokjin-ssi and BAM, they fall in love!” Jimin suggested.

 

“But how are we going to push over a wall without it being obvious?” Taehyung asked, immediately dreading the yearlong detention that was surely coming his way.

 

“Well, there are small supports. They don’t do much, just keep it up if someone leans on it while painting. If we tilted or moved one the wall would fall pretty easily,” Jungkook admitted hesitantly.

 

“See! Perfect. If we make it look like one of the stands was kicked out of place by accident it will be easy.” Jimin said, jumping up to scope out the wall situation.

 

“But we aren’t actually going to hit anyone with the wall, right?” Taehyung clarified.

 

“No, of course not. We’ll wait until Namjoon-ssi walks by, then push the wall just after Seokjin-ssi passes the middle. Then Namjoon-ssi will pull him out of the way,” Jimin planned.

 

“You’re basing this entirely on his ability to think fast.” Taehyung pointed out.

 

“We’ll yell out a warning! It’ll be fine.”

 

“Okay, but I’m setting the timing,” Taehyung said, caving again.

 

“Perfect!” Jimin tackle hugged Taehyung, then jumped to Jungkook and hugged him too. He was incredibly glad he had met Taehyung and Jungkook. He wasn’t sure what he would do without them.

 

Present:

 

If this was any other teacher, the students would have assumed Namjoon had hurt their drama teacher, based solely on the position they were standing in, however, the students were very familiar with Namjoon and knew immediately he had done whatever it was he had done entirely by accident.

 

“Oh, god! Hyung, I’m so sorry, are you okay? Did I hurt you?” Namjoon said, kneeling down beside Seokjin, who was rubbing his ankle with a pout on his face.

 

Seokjin glanced up at Jungkook and Taehyung, who were looking at him with horrified expressions, since they were the two painting the wall, and then reassured Namjoon.

 

“I’m fine, my ankle just hurts a bit.”

 

He stood up, put pressure on his ankle and immediately dropped down again, grabbing Namjoon’s arm to prevent him from hitting the ground.

 

“Mr. Kim, I’m so sorry! I must have leaned on the wall!” Taehyung apologized, he looked upset.

 

“It’s okay, Taehyung-ssi. Don’t worry. It was an accident. Mr. Kim, could you bring me to the nurse’s office to get something for this?”

 

Namjoon snapped out of his panic and nodded frantically, “yes, yes, of course, here, I’ll carry you!”

 

Seokjin didn’t have a chance to react before Namjoon picked him up in a princess style carry.

 

“Are you insane!? Give me a piggyback ride. God, Joonie-ah.” Seokjin protested, slapping his chest in an effort to be put down. His whole face turned bright red as the students snickered.

 

“Oh, right. Okay. Piggyback ride.”

 

He crouched down and helped Seokjin get on his back. Namjoon momentarily remembered he was supposed to be a teacher and called out orders, “we’ll be back soon, continue what you were doing. Don’t think that just because we’re gone we won’t know if you slack off.”

 

Jimin watched as they left, unable to contain his excitement. He was upset Seokjin had gotten hurt accidently. It just figured Namjoon would be a total klutz. He made a mental note to factor that into his future plans. Clearly, calling out wasn’t the best option.

 

Despite the injury, Jimin called this plan a success. He had, after all, gotten exactly what he wanted. In fact, he had gotten more. He had only originally aimed for the hero saving the hero(ine) trope, but he had gotten the piggyback ride trope too. Two for one!

 

Attempt number one? Success!

 


 

 

Hoseok could barely contain his smile as he practically ran to the stationery store. He had seen one by his house countless times before, but had had no reason to go in.

 

He had one now.

 

The shop was small and quaint, clearly aimed at people who knew something about stationery and had a specific purpose in mind. Hoseok was not that person. He knew nothing about stationery. What was the difference between the weighted paper and papyrus? Did it matter?

 

He had only been in the shop for 5 minutes when he felt himself become demoralized. He didn’t think it would be this hard to choose fancy paper. He was about to leave, maybe call Yoongi for help, he knew about these things, when he saw the same paper as the letter he had received. Without thinking, he grabbed it and smiled. Perfect. It wasn’t weird to use the same paper, right? Hoseok decided it wasn’t and skipped to the cashier.

 

“We’re going to go with this set today?” The cashier asked.

 

“Yes, please!” Hoseok, adding a fancy pen to his purchase, go big or go home.

 

“Ah, this set again. You know, I’ve had it in my shop for nearly a year and no one bought it but I’ve sold two sets this week.”

 

Hoseok froze. Two sets? Did that mean…?

 

“Oh, someone else bought it?”

 

“Yup. Just a few days ago.”

 

Hoseok couldn’t help but ask follow-up questions, “What were they like?”

 

The old man thought, “about your age, small and cute. Dark hair with really pale skin. Kinda like alabaster.”

 

“Sounds pretty.” Hoseok was screaming internally.

 

The old man laughed, placing Hoseok’s purchase in a bag and handing it to him, “Yes, but I don’t know how he’d feel about that description.”

 

But Hoseok wasn’t listening. He was too busy picturing the anonymous author in his head. His image was of a very beautiful woman, petite with long dark hair and skin like Snow White. He thought she sounded like a k-drama lead.

 

Returning home in high spirits, Hoseok quickly opened his new stationery and began writing. He had so much to say and so little space. It had been a very long time since he was this excited to talk to anyone. The last time had been when he gained a fan on his YouTube channel. Yoonji had been the best part of posting videos. She was always nice and encouraging. When he had closed his channel, he had been genuinely disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to talk to read her comments anymore. But this was better. Someone who liked him for him.

 

Hoseok couldn’t wait to read her reply.

  


 

 

Seokjin leaned into Namjoon’s back and sighed. He had wrapped his arms around his neck and let his legs dangle idly, since they were being held up by Namjoon’s hands on his thighs.

 

It had been a stroke of genius when he suggested a piggyback ride. His ankle didn’t actually hurt, not really. He had landed on it weird, but this wasn’t some cheesy drama and he wasn’t a delicate flower, he could handle a little roughhousing. Seokjin, however, loved cheesy dramas and he’d be lying if he said he hadn’t often fantasized about a strong man carrying him off into the sunset.

 

Resting his cheek on Namjoon’s shoulder, Seokjin sighed again. He loved how strong Namjoon was. Though Seokjin himself was not a small man, Namjoon had the ability to make him feel small. He loved that. Almost as much as he loved dramas. Since Namjoon wasn’t exactly a physically affectionate man, this was one of the few opportunities Seokjin had to touch him without it being weird and he was going to take advantage of it. Generally, Namjoon only touched him when he had caused some accident or another. As annoying as it would be if any other person was like that, it was one of the main things that made Seokjin loved Namjoon so much. He was like a giant puppy, affectionate and happy, unsure of how to use his own limbs without hurting anyone or anything.

 

When Seokjin had first met Namjoon, he had been knocked of his feet. Literally. The man had ran into him so hard he had almost fallen to the ground. Namjoon had caught him easily and set him back on his feet. He had succeeded in saving him, but not his coffee. Seokjin had been so enamoured that he had volunteered to show Namjoon around, despite the fact he had been in the middle of organizing an entire play.

 

Namjoon had taken priority in a lot of things in Seokjin’s life since then. Seokjin had (un)intentionally attached himself to Namjoon in a desire to simply be near the man at all times. When he found out he and Hoseok were friends, Seokjin had made sure he was initiated into their group of friends. He hadn’t taken no for an answer. He supposed he was lucky Hoseok liked him and Yoongi did anything Hoseok wanted. Now, they were a mess, but Seokjin didn’t have time to worry about that. He was sure Yoongi would update him the next time he downed a bottle of wine at their semi-weekly dinner.

 

His pining was interrupted when Namjoon set him down on the nurse’s table and looked around for help.

 

“Are neither of them here? Why are they both gone?” Namjoon said, his voice betraying his worry.

 

“Joonie-ah, calm down, I’m fine” Seokjin revealed, unable to see the worry on his face any longer.

 

“Where are– what? You’re fine?” Namjoon stuttered.

 

“Yes, I just wanted to teach those boys a lesson. They need to be more careful. What if the wall had landed on someone?” Seokjin had just made that up, but it sounded good so he went with it.

 

“Y– you wanted to teach them a lesson,” Namjoon repeated, dazed.

 

“Yes, Joonie-ah, so calm down, okay?” Seokjin said with a smile.

 

“But we should still– ” Namjoon began.

 

Grabbing his face and smushing his cheeks, Seokjin had always wanted to do that, he stopped Namjoon from rambling, “I promise I’m okay. I would tell you if I wasn’t, okay?”

 

Eyes-wide, Namjoon looked down at Seokjin and blushed fiercely, “okay. I’m still sorry though. If I hadn’t pushed you…”

 

Seokjin shook Namjoon’s head, “If you hadn’t pushed me that wall would have hit me and I would have been seriously hurt. I’m thankful to you Namjoon-ah. Thank you.”

 

Grabbing Seokjin’s hands and standing up straighter, Namjoon nodded, “Um, you’re welcome, hyung.”

 

He was looking at him sincerely, with a small smile that still somehow revealed his dimples and Seokjin wanted to kiss him. Or throw him down on the table. He hadn’t entirely decided. Either way, he couldn’t – wouldn’t – though, so it didn’t matter.

 

“Let’s hang out a bit before we go back. Keep the suspense up.” Seokjin suggested.

 

“Whatever you want, hyung.” Namjoon agreed.

 

 

From outside the room, Jimin barely restrained his squeal, “That was amazing! Did you see the way he grabbed his face!?”

 

Taehyung nodded, “It certainly looks like your plan is working.”

 

Jungkook turned to look back in the room and saw Namjoon grab Seokjin’s hands and remove them from his face before standing up. Seokjin looked upset by that but covered it quickly. Jungkook looked back at his friends, Taehyung was watching Jimin jump up and down fondly. Maybe he just wasn’t as experienced as his hyungs but he felt like they didn’t need to interfere. It seemed obvious to him that Namjoon and Seokjin would figure it out themselves, regardless of their actions. Seeing the delight on Jimin’s face though, Jungkook couldn’t bring himself to point that out. It was harmless anyway. Mostly.

 

As if sharing the same thought, Taehyung spoke to Jimin softly, “look, Chim, I’m glad this is working but we need to be careful, okay? Seokjin-ssi could have gotten seriously hurt today.”

 

Jimin dimmed a bit and bit his lip, “I know, but he didn’t!”

 

“But he could have. We can’t try stuff like that again. It’s dangerous. I know we decided accidents were the best way but what if we tried something else.”

 

Jimin pouted, “Like what? It’s not like I meant for him to get hurt, Taehyung-ah!”

 

“There are a ton of other non-violent tropes. Why don’t we do those? I promise I’ll re-watch all those dramas with you and we can make a list. I just think we should be more careful.”

 

Jimin hated it when Taehyung looked at him like that. He was looking at him like he was a child that needed to be explained the simplest thing. He knew the plan hadn’t gone right today. He did. He wasn’t stupid. He just wished Taehyung didn’t assume he didn’t care.

 

“Okay, I guess. There were a ton, I just don’t know how we can control them.”

 

“We’ll come up with something, I promise,” Taehyung said, bringing Jimin in for a hug.

 

Despite what Jimin thought, Taehyung didn’t think he was an idiot. He knew Jimin just meant well. He also knew Jimin had taken his comments personally, like he always did. There was no helping it though, since Taehyung was just trying to look out for his friend. Like he had since they first met.

 

Protecting Jimin, even from himself, had always been and would always be Taehyung’s first priority.

 

Jungkook wondered, not for the first time, why someone so intent on helping everyone find love was so blind.

  


 

 

Yoongi was going to hell. He was going to the seventh ring of hell. Or whichever ring was the worst. He was a Music teacher, not English. Namjoon would know, but he wasn’t Namjoon. Namjoon wasn’t going to hell. Not like him.

 

A single letter, sitting neatly on Hoseok’s desk, on the same stationery he himself had purchased on his way to Hoseok’s house a few days before, had started this downward spiral.

 

He picked up the offending letter and flipped it around in his hands. In delicate handwriting, the front of the envelop read:

 

To my anonymous saviour,

 

Yoongi wanted to die.

 

Sitting at his desk, Yoongi looked around quickly to make sure he was alone and opened it. Doing a quick scan, he slouched in his chair and covered his face with the letter. GOD.

 

To my anonymous saviour,

            I’m not sure how to address you, so I decided on naming you what you are, my saviour. When you left your letter, I was in a really bad place. I’m sure you knew that. Your comments reminded me all the things that I had forgotten. My friends tell me these things, but somehow, coming from someone who has nothing to gain from those words made them carry more weight. So I wanted to thank you.

 

            I was concerned at first, since you could easily be a high school student, but the lovely man at the stationery store described you to me, so I am reassured. Is it okay if we talk more? I understand if you choose not to respond to this letter, but as long as you know how thankful I am, I will be happy.

 

            It seems, no matter who I chose to invest my time in, they disappoint me. Not because of who they are, but because they don’t take the time to get to know me and are upset when they realize I am not who they thought I was. Why is it that, unlike everyone else, you seem to know so much about me and who I really am? I’ve never had that before. Not really. I only have one person in my life that loves and accepts me for me, and I believe that is a truly valuable trait in a friend. Even remaining anonymous, could we still be friends?

 

            Enough about me, I want to know about you! How are you? Is your life going well? If you’re troubled, please use me as an outlet. I do not know you, so I cannot judge. What are your favourite hobbies? What makes you smile? I find I am curious about everything, so please tell me all you are comfortable revealing.

 

            I’ve never written something like this before, so I’m not sure how to do this or what to include, so to save time (and potential awkwardness). I’ll end it here. If I never hear from you again, I hope you have a fabulous life filled with love and affection. If I do, I look forward to your response.

 

Yours,

 

Jung Hoseok

 

Yoongi couldn’t feel his face. He was smiling so hard his face went numb. Hoseok was awkward and sweet. He was trying so hard to be casual and cool but his sincerity still leaked through the words. Yoongi had been surprised Hoseok had been so honest. Some of the things he revealed had only been told to Yoongi in the dark of night with a bottle of soju between them. But he revealed those things so easily here. Yoongi couldn’t help but feel jealous of his own persona. But then he had seen himself appear in the letter and had nearly squealed. Even in this scenario, Hoseok was thinking of him and that made him warm all over.

 

Tucking the letter away in his bag, Yoongi grabbed his own stationery and began to write a response. Unlike when he wrote music, which lately had been an unbelievable struggle, the words just flew out. For once, he could be honest about his feelings and what he thought, and Hoseok would believe him.

 

He was so engrossed in writing he didn’t hear the door of their offices open until Hoseok threw himself on his back and hugged him tightly. Gripping the letter frantically, Yoongi hid it in his lap.

 

“Awww, hyung. Come on! You never let me see your songs anymore.” Hoseok whined.

 

He thinks it’s music. Thank god.

 

“When it’s done Soek-ah. You know I’ve been having trouble writing lately.” Yoongi deflected.

 

“But you were writing so intensely! You must have had some inspiration.”

 

Yoongi sighed, “I read something that resonated with me, so I wanted to jot some things down.”

 

“Fiiiiiiine, be that way. You know I– THE LETTER IS GONE!” Hoseok screamed, running to his desk.

 

“What?”

 

“The letter! I left it here! Today! It’s gone. Did you see her?” Hoseok demanded.

 

Yoongi shook his head, “No, no one has come in since I got here until you.”

 

He winced. Yoongi figured he wasn’t lying per se. No one had come in. He hadn’t seen anyone. He was just leaving out the part where he had been the one to take the letter.

 

Hoseok sighed, his shoulders dropping, “that’s okay. It doesn’t matter who she is. I just want to talk to her. Letters will do.”

 

“You think you’ll get a response?”

 

“I hope so!” Hoseok looked at him with huge eyes and a shy smile. Yoongi wondered how many times today he would wish for his own death.

 

“I’m sure you’ll get one,” Yoongi reassured.

 

“I hope so. The stationery guy remembered her! He said she was small and cute with dark hair and pale skin.”

 

“Oh?” Yoongi had been worried about the description in the letter, but it seems the cashier was vague enough that Hoseok hadn’t connected the dots.

 

“Yup! She’s basically a female you! Maybe we’re meant to be!” Hoseok said with a wink.

 

The laugh that escaped Yoongi was not one people would classify as genuine. If Hoseok had been paying attention, as he usually was, he would have heard the panic there. Since the first letter though, Hoseok had been increasingly distracted. It was both a good and bad thing for Yoongi’s heart. It meant he didn’t notice the tells or giveaways, but it also meant Yoongi was in a state of perpetual panic because Hoseok on any other day was incredibly attentive and would never have missed those things.

 

Hoseok walked away from his desk and back hugged Yoongi again, “okay, let’s not talk about that anymore. It will make me anxious. Are you almost done, we have dinner plans, remember?”

 

“Yup, just give me a second to grab my stuff.”

 

“’kay, hyung.” Hoseok said, giving him one last squeeze, and leaving the room.

 

Yoongi watched him go and the second he heard the door close, he turned back to the desk, pulled the letter out of his lap and calmly placed it in his bag. Then proceeded to smash his face on the desk. The resounding WACK was as much cathartic as it was painful.

 

Never again.

 

Letters are from home.

 

From now on you write at home where he can’t see you, you unbelievable moron.

 

It wasn’t until that moment that Yoongi realized he intended to keep this going. As long as Hoseok was writing to him, he would respond.

 

Yoongi was a weak man. Thankfully, he had long come to terms with that.

Chapter Text

11 years ago:

 

6-year-old Jimin was a very small child. That hadn’t bothered him in kindergarten, but when he moved to the next grade, it had become an issue. All of a sudden, the boys had noticed that Jimin was not only smaller than them, but he was smaller than the girls too. That’s when the bullying started. Every day, when Jimin went to school, the best he could hope for was they would just exclude him from games or sports. The worst was pushing and shoving. Since he was small, he could never hold his balance and it always got worse when he fell to the ground. That had been the worst.

 

Eventually, he learned to deal with the bullying. The girls liked him, so he played with them. It was fine. Or it was fine until the boys decided that since he played with the girls and was small like the girls, he should just be one too. During gym, they had stolen his clothes and replaced them with a girl’s uniform. That day was both the worst and best day of his life. It was the worst because he cried so hard his eyes swelled. It was the best because that was the first day he met Kim Taehyung.

 

Kim Taehyung had transferred to his school earlier that week. On his first day, he had finished gym class and walked into the change room to find a small, very pretty boy crying over a girl’s uniform.

 

“Why are you crying?” Taehyung had asked.

 

“I– I don’t want to wear a girl’s uniform.” Jimin protested, immediately assuming Taehyung was one of the boys who had stolen his actual uniform.

 

“So don’t?” Taehyung advised with a smile, thinking he had just solved the issue.

 

“B– but they stole my uniform. They think I’m a girl just because I’m small! I’m not. Why is it bad to be small?” Jimin cried, fully wailing now.

 

Taehyung panicked and hugged the small boy, “It’s not bad to be small. I bet you find the best hiding spots during hide and seek. And I bet no one can hit you during dodge ball!”

 

Jimin looked at him tearily, “I– I am good at hide and seek.”

 

“I knew it! Being small is great! If I was small I’m sure I would have been able to hide from my mom so we never moved here.” Taehyung pouted.

“Y– you’re new?”

 

Taehyung nodded, relieved to see the boy had stopped crying at least, “Yup. I transferred from– well, you won’t know what town, Daegu is easier.”

 

“But you’re not scary?”*

 

“Not everyone from Daegu is scary. My mom is though.” Taehyung said seriously.

 

“Mine too.”

 

Taehyung smiled, “It’s a mom thing!”

 

Jimin nodded and looked down at the uniform, “I don’t have any other clothes.”

 

His chin started to tremble again and Taehyung made a quick decision. The boy was so nice, he didn’t deserve to be sad. Not ever.

 

“Wear mine,” Taehyung suggested.

 

“But then you won’t have clothes.”

 

“Yes, I will. Don’t worry.” He reassured him.

 

Five minutes later, Taehyung stood, smoothed wrinkles out of his new skirt and smiled at Jimin.

 

“My name is Kim Taehyung by the way. We should be friends!”

 

Jimin looked at him in horror. He was wearing the girl’s uniform and he didn’t seem to care, “I’m Park Jimin. Are you sure that’s okay?” He asked, gesturing to the uniform.

 

“Yup, let’s go!”

 

Taehyung grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the change room. The class was waiting outside. The girls weren’t paying any attention, but the boys were watching with eager eyes. When they saw Taehyung wearing the uniform instead of Jimin, they were disappointed but figured they could make fun of the new kid just as easily.

 

“Look the new kid is dressing like a girl!” One boy yelled.

 

“What about it?” Taehyung said angrily. They had made Jimin cry for nothing, now they were pointing and laughing at him and he didn’t like it.

 

The boys recoiled a bit. Taehyung heard whispers, they were scared of his accent. He smiled at Jimin then yelled out, “Jimin-ah is my friend and no one better mess with him!”

 

Jimin gaped at the new boy. He was officially young Jimin’s hero.

 

“Kim Taehyung-ssi! What are you wearing?!” The teacher asked, shocked.

 

“This is the uniform that was in my bag, I don’t know what happened,” Taehyung replied shyly, looking at the group of boys out of the corner of his eyes.

 

The teacher noticed and snapped, “You boys give him back his uniform now! How could you bully him just because he’s new! I’ll be talking to your parents!”

 

When Jimin was seated back in class later that day, the shock of all that had happened hit him. He had made a new friend. A friend. And that friend had protected him and made sure his bullies would leave him alone. Plus, he had saved Jimin from dressing like a girl. The worst thing ever, in his young mind. Girls, after all, were gross. Unless they were nice to you and let you play with them. But Jimin didn’t make that distinction.

 

Jimin leaned forward to tap Taehyung on the shoulder, “were you serious about being friends?” he asked once the boy had turned around.

 

“Of course, best friends forever?” Taehyung replied, holding out his pinky.

 

“Pinky promise.” Jimin agreed.

 

The smile Taehyung gave in return would end up being a fixture of Jimin’s life for the next ten years. Everywhere Jimin went, Taehyung came along and visa versa. When they had met young Jungkook, who was shy and sweet, the two boys had adopted him into the group without bothering to ask how he felt about it. Jungkook was happy though, so it didn’t matter.

 

The three boys were inseparable and that wouldn’t change. At least that’s what Taehyung told himself every time his heart gave this strange squeeze when Jimin looked at him.

 

Present day:

 

Jimin and Taehyung sat in English class, trying to decide which of the tropes would be their next avenue of attack. Jimin had thought it was a little bold to be discussing Namjoon in his own class but Taehyung shrugged it off. Half their teachers were friends so it didn’t matter where they made their plans.

 

The previous week had been used to re-watch all the dramas and see if anything developed after the Piggyback Incident TM. Much to Jimin’s chagrin, the two had returned to normal as if nothing had happened. So, Jimin and Taehyung began to consult their master list of tropes. The list had originally been way too long so they narrowed it down to easily recreated ones that likely wouldn’t hurt anyone. Namjoon was always a wild card though, so they had to keep that in mind.

 

Tropes:

  • Piggyback rides
  • Caught in the rain
  • Broken elevator
  • Gifting or talking to a large stuffed animal
  • Locked in a room together
  • Sharing one coat
  • Getting wet for fun
  • Near misses

 

“There’s no elevator at the school so we’d have to, like, follow them somewhere to do that one,” Jimin commented.

 

“Yea, probably. I included it because I heard Namjoon mention they were going to go buy supplies. They didn’t say when though.” Taehyung revealed.

 

“Hmm, okay. We’ll keep that one open then. I also feel like it’s too early for the stuffed animal one. I feel like that one always happens when they’re already mostly in love.”

 

Taehyung nodded, “Yea, stuffed animal monologue is a prime ‘I’m not in love’ trope.”

 

“We could lock them in the storage room?” Jimin suggested

 

“Maybe, but I think after last week we should do something less obvious. Otherwise, they’ll catch on. It’s supposed to rain all night and day tomorrow, what about the caught in the rain one?”

 

Jimin considered, “that could work. If we got here early, we could do it in the morning. Pretend the doors haven’t been opened yet.”

 

“Do they get here at the same time?” Taehyung asked.

 

“I’m not sure. Jungkook would know. He’s always here early for dance practice.”

 

“We’ll ask him at lunch, until then let’s assume they do and plan.”

 

“Deal!” Jimin said, shifting closer to Taehyung so he could see the notebook better.

 

“Okay, so first…”

  


 

 

Jungkook often felt he was experiencing life from the outside looking in. Like now. It wasn’t that he didn’t like people or had any sort of disorder, it was just that he was incredibly shy and had problems talking to people he wasn’t comfortable with. There were very few people that made him feel comfortable. Only three in fact. Jimin, Taehyung, and the music teacher Mr. Min. The first two had frightened him at first but they were so nice and genuine that he had eventually warmed to them. Mr. Min just gave off this calm and collected vibe that made him feel at ease.

 

Mr. Jung was the opposite. He liked him, he was a really good teacher and seemed to care about his students but his energy intimidated Jungkook. He was always lively and loud. Jungkook envied that ability a bit, since he wasn’t sure he would ever be able to give off the same vibe.

 

But that wasn’t the point. The point was that instead of dancing as he usually would be at this time in the morning, he was staring at Mr. Jung. He was the teacher in charge of the dance team and since he was an actual dancer he often helped them create choreography and perfect moves. Usually, he was excited to help, but today he was quiet. The last time he had been like this, Mr. Min had run to Seokjin for advice. Jungkook wondered if Mr. Min had sent another letter. It was none of his business, but since he was one of the few people that knew who the actual author was, he supposed he was invested in the outcome. Just a little bit.

 

Jungkook figured he had done something truly terrible in his last life, since he was constantly forced to observe the love lives of those around him but lacked the confidence to actually interfere or help. It was at times like this that Jungkook admired Jimin. He never let anything get him down or stop him from helping people. Too bad he was just as blind as the rest of them.

  


 

 

Hoseok watched the students dance and spaced out. He had promised himself he wouldn’t get upset if the author of the letter didn’t respond, but he couldn’t help it. He had unintentionally begun to look forward to the letter, even without knowing for sure there would be one. It had been a week and he hadn’t seen or heard anything. He supposed he should just accept the fact he was never going to hear from her again.

 

He noticed Jungkook watching him worriedly and decided to focus back on the dancers. Hoseok worried about that boy. He was shy and quiet, and seemed to be incredibly empathetic. Jungkook seemed to pick up on what everyone was feeling easily and take that on himself. Hoseok had noticed it first with his friends, the terrible two, Jimin and Taehyung, then even with teachers like Namjoon and Seokjin, even Yoongi. It wasn’t that Hoseok thought Jungkook had a problem, it was that he worried the boy would take too much on himself and feel guilty when he couldn’t help.

 

After the practice ended, Hoseok headed to his office to prepare for class. He still had an hour, so he took his time, wondering idly if Yoongi was in yet. He made the best coffee. When he arrived at his office, he noted Yoongi’s bags and jacket were on the chair, still wet from the rain, but the man himself was nowhere to be found.

 

Must be making coffee.

 

Suddenly, Hoseok stopped dead in his tracks. There, on his desk, was a letter. He couldn’t breathe. Did she respond? I’m not dreaming, am I? Hoseok glanced around, noted that about half the teachers were in already and pouted. Figures it wouldn’t be that easy.

 

Running to his desk and dropping his bags, Hoseok grabbed the letter.

 

To Hoseok-ah,

 

Hoseok plopped down on his chair, placed the letter back on his desk and rubbed his face. He was already smiling uncontrollably and he hadn’t even read the letter yet. It could be a curt “fuck off” for all he knew. Okay, get it together. Opening the leader, Hoseok began to read.

 

To Hoseok-ah,

 

            I honestly don’t know what to say. Never in my wildest dreams did I think you would respond to me. Let alone so sincerely. I’m so incredibly glad my words helped you, even if only in some small way. I noticed how the light that makes you who you are dimmed and I wanted only to help brighten your day, as you always do mine. I know sometimes it is hard to believe the words that friends and loved ones say, but I think you should believe them. The people you have gathered around you don’t seem to be the types to say anything without sincerity.

 

I am not a high school student, just to be clear. I am also a teacher, though I won’t tell you which subject I teach, since that would give me away. For now, I wish to remain as we are, if that is okay? Maybe, one day, I will reveal myself to you. It is something I think about often, almost every day. What would you say? What would I say? Fear has kept me quiet, but maybe one day that will change. Until then, I will write to you, at least until you stop replying.

 

I’m so sorry you’ve been having a rough time. I think, one day, you will meet someone who not only takes the time to get to know you but cherishes the time it takes. Even if that person is not me, I hope you find exactly what you’re looking for. You deserve it. You are sunshine. Don’t ever let someone tell you otherwise.

 

I’m glad you have friends who cherish you, and I would be honoured to be one of them.

 

You want to know about me? There is nothing much to tell, I’m afraid. But I’ll answer your questions anyway. I’m fine. I am happy at this school and find solace in the enjoyment of my students in the subject I teach. My life is going as well as it can be. I find, outside of work, that very little goes as I want it to. Do you ever feel like your dream is slipping away? I don’t have many hobbies, but mostly I like to create things. Something new that others will enjoy. Many things make me smile. Rain on my day off. Huddling on the couch watching movies. Hearing my friend’s laugh. Seeing you smile or the passion you dedicate to dance. A quiet night spent with those who are important to me. I try and find joy in simple things. If you cannot achieve your dream, it is best to live happily is it not?

 

I’ll end my letter much the same as you. I never thought I would get a reply, but I find myself hoping for another one. If I don’t hear from you, live happily. Promise?

 

Yours,

 

Sunflower

 

Unable to contain himself, Hoseok clutched the letter to his chest and began to jump up and down. This was how Yoongi found him. Squealing and jumping.

 

“Are you okay, Soek-ah?” Yoongi asked, quickly placing the two coffees he was carrying on his desk.

 

Hyung!” Hoseok yelled before tackling him in a hug. It was enough to knock him off balance and Yoongi tumbled to the ground with Hoseok on top of him.

 

“Ugh, fuck, that hurt.” Yoongi groaned.

 

“Sorry, hyung! I’m just excited. She wrote back!” Hoseok explained, still laying on top of him.

 

Yoongi was having a very hard time concentrating. Hoseok was on top of him and smiling down at him. He was pretty sure this was how 90% of his fantasies started.

 

“Seok-ah, could you let me up, the ground is kinda hard and cold,” Yoongi said, praying Hoseok would get off him before his overactive imagination caused some things to stir.

 

“Oh, sorry, hyung.” Hoseok said, standing up and pulling Yoongi with him.

 

“It’s okay, I get that you’re excited. You said there was a reply?”

 

“Yup! It was on my desk when I came in! Did you see any woman around when you came in?” Hoseok asked.

 

“No, there was no letter on your desk when I came in.” Technically, not a lie.

 

“Oh, she’s sneaky.”

 

“Maybe you should stop trying to figure out who it is. I’m sure they’ll reveal themselves if they want you to know.” Yoongi advised.

 

“I know. That’s what the letter said too but I can’t help but be curious. She’s perfect, hyung.”

 

Yoongi grabbed his coffee, handed the other cup to Hoseok and sat down, “You’ve exchanged like one letter.”

 

“I know, but she’s just great. She told me what makes her happy and it was just so perfect. Honestly, she reminds me of you. I think we could be really great together you know? Like, I could have someone who had all the features I love about you but with someone I’m attracted to, you know?”

 

How high does a building have to be for the impact to kill you? Is the school tall enough? Maybe the bridge by my house. If I walk into a shady part of town, maybe someone will just PUT ME OUT OF MY FUCKING MISERY.

 

“Woow, you’re ugly too, Seokie-ah.” Yoongi said instead.

 

Is it attempted suicide if I ask a gang member to kill me? I’m sure pity murder is a thing, because I’m FUCKING PATHETIC.

 

“Awe, hyung, don’t be like that. I didn’t mean it that way. You know you’re all small and cute. Like an angry kitten you just want to love. One day, you’ll make some man very happy. I just meant, you’re my best friend, it would be awesome if I could have a best friend I could date too!” Hoseok explained.

 

YOU CAN. THAT’S LITERALLY WHAT DATING ME WOULD BE LIKE.

 

“I know, Seok-ah. I was just kidding.” Yoongi said aloud.

 

“I have no idea how I’m going to respond to this letter.” Hoseok lamented.

 

“Where are Namjoon-ah and Jin-hyung by the way? Hyung’s stuff is here but I haven’t seen either of them yet.” Yoongi asked, desperate to change the subject.

 

Hoseok looked around, “I don’t know. Maybe they’re late?”

  


 

 

They were not late. Seokjin, in fact, had been very early. He had had to come in to finish the budget so that he and Namjoon could go buy the final props and accessories needed for the costumes. They needed to have their spending approved before they did anything. He had noticed, however, that in his haste to get inside before the rain started, he had left his planner in his car with all the necessary numbers inside. With a heavy sigh, Seokjin had gotten up and ran for his car, passing Namjoon on his way in.

 

Namjoon watched Seokjin run passed him and turned back, “Everything okay, hyung?”

 

“Yup, just forgot my planner!”

 

Nodding, Namjoon continued for the front doors. Finding them locked, he stared at them dumbly. He was completely at a loss.

 

Years of schooling. 148 IQ. Teacher of young minds. No idea what to do if the front doors of the school were locked.

 

Seokjin ran up, soaked even from such a short run, and looked at Namjoon.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

“The doors are locked.”


“What?”

“They’re locked.”

“No, they aren’t. I was literally just– ” Seokjin now also stared at the door, “what the hell?”

 

“what do we do?” Namjoon asked.

 

“I don’t know. Call the janitor?” Seokjin suggested

 

“Do you know his number?”

 

“Why would I know the janitor’s number?”

 

“Because you suggested it.”

 

“Ugh, fuck. This is the worst day already and it hasn’t even started,” Seokjin whined, wrapping his arms around himself.

 

Namjoon looked down and realized Seokjin didn’t have a coat. He must have left it inside.

 

“Here, take my coat. I’m not wet,” Namjoon said, already pulling it off.

 

“Don’t be stupid, you’ll just get wet too,” Seokjin warned.

 

Namjoon furrowed his brows and looked at the rain. It wasn’t going to let up anytime soon and if Seokjin stayed out any longer the way he was dressed, he would definitely get sick. Deciding a compromise was key, Namjoon walked over and wrapped Seokjin in his coat.

 

“We’ll share,” Namjoon explained.

 

Seokjin huffed, but wrapped his arms around Namjoon and snuggled in further, “maybe call Hosoek-ah? I think he had to supervise the dance team today.”

 

He nodded and called Hoseok. There was no answer so he tried Yoongi instead. The man picked up on the second ring.

 

I was just asking about you. Where are you?

 

“Jin-hyung and I are locked out. The front door is locked for some reason, can you come open it? Jin-hyung didn’t bring a coat and he’s soaked.”

 

Of course you’re locked out. Only you, Namjoon-ah, only you. I’ll be down in a second.

 

Namjoon hung up, “Yoongi-hyung will be down in a second.”

 

He felt Seokjin nod into his chest and sighed. Namjoon had previously been so concerned for Seokjin’s health that he hadn’t even thought before offering to share his coat. He was quickly regretting that decision. Now Seokjin was not only pressed up against him but he was clinging to his back and he was wet. At the moment, Namjoon was thinking of every non-sexy thing he could.

 

Marking English essays.

 

Explaining why I can’t just give someone a mark.

 

Long lines at the supermarket.

 

The look Yoongi-hyung is currently giving me through the window.

 

The man in question was standing by the front door with his arms crossed and an eyebrow raised. He made a gesture, as if asking if he should leave them alone and then smirked. Namjoon briefly fantasized about smacking him then shook his head. Yoongi nodded and opened the door.

 

“Come on in you two. Hyung, you need to dry up.” Yoongi called.

 

Seokjin stepped away from Namjoon and thanked him.

 

“Hyung, you’re all red, are you feeling okay?” Namjoon asked worriedly.

 

“I’m fine. Just cold. Let’s get inside.” Seokjin said, scurrying away from Namjoon and passed Yoongi.

 

From the stairwell, Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook watched. Taehyung reached across Jimin, grabbed the notepad and crossed off two items.

 

Tropes:

  • Piggyback rides
  • Caught in the rain
  • Broken elevator
  • Gifting or talking to a large stuffed animal
  • Locked in a room together
  • Sharing one coat
  • Getting wet for fun
  • Near misses

 

“Did you see that blush? Seokjin-ssi is definitely starting to see Namjoon-ssi differently,” Jimin observed.

 

Taehyung nodded, “I think so. Namjoon-ssi is getting to play saviour instead of a klutz. It suits him.”

 

Jungkook laughed, “That’s mean, he’s not always a klutz.”

 

The older two boys looked at him in shock.

 

“He hasn’t had him as a teacher yet, has he?” Taehyung asked.

 

“No, he has not,” Jimin replied.

 

“Ah, he knows not what he says. The poor soul.” Taehyung said, clutching his chest.

 

“Poor soul indeed, so innocent, so naïve,” Jimin said in a similar tone.

 

“You two are dorks. Why am I even friends with you?” Jungkook asked.

 

“Because we’re awesome and you love us?” Jimin supplied hopefully.

 

“No, I think it’s because you two wouldn’t leave me alone and eventually I got used to it,” Jungkook pondered, “like Stockholm Syndrome.”

 

“Wooow, that’s enough out of you, brat!” Taehyung yelled, reaching to smack Jungkook who was already giggling as he climbed the stairs on all fours.

 

“Yah! You’re not getting away with that!” Jimin yelled too, jumping up the chase after him.

 

Taehyung watched them both go fondly. He could hear their laughter still, even if they were out of sight. He stood up and followed after them, as he always would. Even if he was reincarnated, those two boys would be the best part of his life.

Chapter Text

Seokjin stood on the escalator, nervously smoothing nonexistent wrinkles out of his shirt. He had chosen to wear a pink button-up and simple black skinny jeans. He knew he looked good in pink and the jeans made his butt look great. Not that he was trying to attract Namjoon, but he definitely wasn’t trying not to.

 

He had originally intended to be late, because beautiful people were always fashionably late. They were busy doing what beautiful people did. Seokjin wasn’t actually sure what beautiful people did that made them late all the time but he figured since he was continuously described that way, he should try and meet expectations.

 

The problem became that he was too excited to meet Namjoon, alone, on their day off, that he had ended up being perfectly on time. In fact, if he hadn’t been anxiously checking his appearance in a storefront window, much to the chagrin of the poor worker on the other side who had to watch him make an ass of himself, he would have been early. There was nothing further from being fashionably late as being early. Maybe he should coin a new term: fashionably early. He snorted at his own joke, then stepped off the escalator, scanning the area for Namjoon.

 

Namjoon was the opposite of Seokjin. He had been so excited for his outing with Seokjin that he had spent most of the night tossing and turning. He had even left his house nearly an hour and a half early. He had been so embarrassed when he realized that he was an hour early that he had wandered around a bookstore and grabbed something to read so at the very least, he wouldn’t be standing in front of the same store for a whole hour like a creeper.

 

They had never actually been out alone before. They had gone out with Hoseok and Yoongi plenty of times but never alone. That fact alone had kept Namjoon up until well after midnight. He was mostly concerned he would make a fool of himself. Or they would have nothing to talk about. Namjoon couldn’t decide which was worse.

 

When there were only 10 minutes left before Seokjin was set to arrive, Namjoon went to a small coffee shop to grab them some coffees and went to their agreed-upon meeting spot. When Seokjin appeared on the escalator, Namjoon felt his heart stutter. Like most things related to Seokjin, his entrance was beautiful. Seokjin was looking at his feet but glanced up when he stepped off the escalator. When he spotted Namjoon waiting for him, he smiled wide and waved. The sun literally shone behind him and made him look like an angel. When Yoongi teased him later about over-exaggerating, Namjoon would deny it. He was convinced even the sun loved Seokjin.

 

“I hope I didn’t keep you waiting, Joonie-ah!”

 

“No, I was up early so I went to grab us coffees,” Namjoon reassured him, handing over his coffee.

 

Seokjin took a sip and pulled it away, surprised, “How did you know how I take my coffee?”

 

Namjoon shrugged, “2 milks and a shot of vanilla, right? I remember a lot of small things, it’s a useless talent of mine.”

 

“It’s not useless! Someday you’ll make someone incredibly happy just by remembering all the little things.”

 

Finding a shred of confidence, Namjoon asked, “Would that work on you?”

 

“Oh, definitely,” Seokjin said immediately.

 

Silence.

 

Soon, Namjoon realized his shock at Seokjin responding so quickly and positively had caused the conversation to halt awkwardly.

 

He coughed and made an effort to restart the conversation, “shall we head out? Do you have a list of stuff we need to get?”

 

Seokjin nodded and whipped out a well-ordered list with bullet points and section titles, “you bet I do.”

 

“Then let’s get to it!”

 

Seokjin and Namjoon proceed to jump from store to store, picking up the costume items and props needed for the play. The day proceeded effortlessly and quickly. Seokjin didn’t realize how comfortable he was with Namjoon until he caught himself posing for a photo making a silly face. He had found a long pink coat that had literally made him stop in his tracks. Namjoon had convinced him to try it on and now he was taking pictures of him in it.

 

“You need to buy it, hyung. It looks really good on you!”

 

“I don’t know, it’s a bit expensive,” Seokjin sighed, fiddling with the price tag.

 

“If you don’t buy it, I will. You have to have that coat, hyung,” Namjoon threatened.

 

“Ugh, I thought teachers were supposed to stop peer pressure,” Seokjin whined.

 

Namjoon shrugged and Seokjin stuck out his tongue, “I’m getting it, shut up.”

 

The sound of Namjoon’s laughter followed him to the checkout.

 

“Your boyfriend is really cute,” the saleswoman commented, looking over his shoulder.

 

Seokjin followed her gaze to Namjoon, who was smiling down at his phone, I wish, “He is.”

 

Walking back to where Namjoon was waiting for him, Seokjin glanced at his phone but Namjoon hid it quickly, “Whatcha got there?”

 

“Nothing. Just deleting all the terrible photos I took of you.” Namjoon deflected.

 

Seokjin scoffed, “As if it’s possible for me to take a bad photo.”

 

“Right, my mistake.”

 

The two left the store, leaving a very star-struck saleswoman behind them, “There should be rules against beautiful people dating each other,” she commented to her co-worker.

 

The other woman snorted, “Right? Spread the attractive genes out.”

 

Clutched his new coat to his chest, Seokjin spun around to look at Namjoon, “is there anything else left on the list?”

 

Namjoon pulled out the list he had somehow ended up carrying and noticed everything had been crossed off. He tried not to let his disappointment show on his face.

 

“We are officially done the list,” Namjoon revealed.

 

“Oh, really? I thought this would take much longer.”

 

“I guess we just make a good team.”

 

“I guess so.” Seokjin agreed.

 

“Did you park in the parking garage, hyung?”

 

Seokjin looked up from where he’d been staring off, “ah, yes.”

 

“Me too. I’ll help you carry everything to your car. Do you want to take the elevator or stairs?”

 

“The stairs are fine.” Seokjin decided.

 

It turned out the stairs were on the other side of the mall, so they took the elevator instead.

 

Namjoon leaned against the back wall and laughed a little, “honestly I wanted to take the elevator anyway. Who knew shopping could be so tiring.”

 

Seokjin laughed, “You’ve clearly never shopped with me. Last time I brought Yoonie-ah he fell asleep outside a change room.”

 

“oh my god.”

 

“Yea, I have pictures.”

 

“It was fun though. Feel free to drag me along anytime.”

 

“Be careful what you wish for.”

 

“Trust me, I– ”

 

The abrupt jolt of the elevator as it came to a stop interrupted Namjoon. The lights flipped to emergency and the small room turned dark. Both boys looked around and then at each other.

 

“Is the elevator stuck?”

 

“Looks like it. Do you have service? We’re already underground so I have nothing.” Namjoon asked, checking his phone.

 

“No bars. Fuck. Now what?” Seokjin asked, looking around.

 

“We wait?”

 

“Fuck.”

 

“Yea.”

 


 

“Come on! You have to wear the hat. It’s like the entire point. We have to complete the aesthetic. Commit to the aesthetic.”

 

Taehyung, who was holding a plain black cap in his hand with a faint sense disdain, looked at Jimin and Jungkook with exasperation. Both Jungkook and Jimin were already wearing theirs, waiting patiently for Taehyung to join them.

 

“Don’t you think it will be a little obvious if three teenagers run around the mall stalking two people wearing matching black hats?” Taehyung asked.

 

“First of all, it’s not stalking, we’re supervising. It’s different. Secondly, no one will notice. There are like 2 000 people in this mall right now, do you think they care who is wearing what?”

 

“Just wear it, hyung. It’ll be fun.” Jungkook added.

 

With a heavy sigh, Taehyung put on his hat, eliciting matching wide grins from Jungkook and Jimin, “I don’t know why I’m friends with you two.”

 

“Oh shush, let’s get into position, I saw Seokjin-ssi get on the escalator.”

 

The three boys ran to hide behind a pillar and random plant. The ridiculousness of the situation was not lost on them and they spent most of the day laughing and playing around while partially following their teachers. If Namjoon and Seokjin had been paying attention to the world around them instead of each other, they would have seen them easily, but they weren’t.

 

Later on, Jimin and Taehyung found themselves in a novelty store of sorts, which seemed to specialize in stuffed plushies and accessories. Jimin picked up a large yellow duck plushie and hugged it to his chest, “I need this.”

 

Taehyung rounded the corner to see Jimin clutching the plushie and petting its head, “So get it”

 

“No, I shouldn’t. I already have so many and I need to save money.”

 

As Taehyung watched, Jimin placed the plushie back on the shelf, patting its head once. He had a slight pout on his face but turned back with a smile, “I’m going to go make sure Jungkook is watching carefully, that store next door is so small they’ll probably spot him”

 

“Okay.”

 

The second Jimin left the store, Taehyung picked up the plushie and walked to the cashier, “I’ll take this.”

 

“He really wanted it, right? It’s nice of you to grab it for him.”

 

Taehyung nodded and paid. Walking out of the store, Taehyung spotted his two friends sitting on a bench, they were pointing at a photo booth and discussing something eagerly. Taehyung walked up, tossed the duck at Jimin, and walked to the photo booth.

 

“Are you two coming or what?” Taehyung asked, trying to play off his embarrassment at having just purchased a plushie for Jimin.

 

“You didn’t have to buy it, Taehyungie-ah,” Jimin commented as he walked up. Despite his words, he was clutching it in a death grip.

 

“Don’t worry about it.”

 

“Let’s take some pictures!” Jungkook yelled, barreling into them and pushing them into the photo booth.

 

The first two were just the three of them laughing, trying to right themselves after Jungkook manhandled them. The next one they all made a funny face and the last one featured their new addition, the yellow duck.

 

Jimin picked up the pictures and smiled down at them, “I’ll make copies so we all have them”

 

Taehyung heard Namjoon speaking from a distance, “me too. I’ll help you carry everything to your car. Do you want to take the elevator or stairs?”

 

“Shit, they’re about to leave. Kookie-ah, watch them, let us know where they are going. Jiminie-ah, come with me! We have to be quick or this won’t work.”

Without thinking Taehyung grabbed Jimin’s hand and pulled him along as he ran. He led Jimin to the inner part of the mall reserved for employees and to the stock elevator at the centre of the mall. They got off at the bottom level and Taehyung continued to the old maintenance room.

 

“How do you even know about this place?” Jimin asked, looking around. The basement of the mall was cold, dark, and wet. He didn’t like it.

 

“My sister works in the mall. The garbage disposal and extra stock rooms are down here. She mentioned how creepy it was a few times. When we decided to do the elevator trope, I came and scoped out the area.”

 

“Wow, that’s awesome Taehyungie-ah” Jimin marveled. Even if Taehyung didn’t really want to do this, he was really helping out and Jimin appreciated it.

 

“I guess, there’s an emergency stop button in the maintenance room. It’s not the same as the one in the elevator so they won’t be able to just press it and start the elevator again. Basically, they’ll be stuck until someone thinks to check this room.”

 

Jimin clapped and crushed Taehyung in a hug with the duck smushed in between them, “this is perfect! Thank you Tae-ah!”

 

A ringing phone ended the hug, making Taehyung’s heart twinge a bit. He rubbed his chest with furrowed brows, unsure what that was.

 

“Hello? Now? Okay!” Jimin replied, then hanging up he turned back to Taehyung who still had his hand on his chest, “that was Kookie-ah, they’re in the elevator now… are you okay?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Are you okay? Does your chest hurt?” Jimin asked, worried.

 

“A little? My heart like squeezed for a second. It kinda hurt.” 

 

Jimin placed his hand over top of Taehyung’s and looked at him worriedly, “it hurt? Do you think it’s serious?”

 

There it is again.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“Maybe you should go to the doctor?”

 

“I’ll ask my mom when I get home, for now, we need to press that button.” Taehyung gestured to the emergency stop, hoping to ease Jimin’s worry, “you may do the honours.”

 

Jimin glanced at him one more time but stepped forward and pressed the button anyway, which immediately lit up red to indicate it was activated, “it’s done!”

 

“Now let’s get out of here before someone comes to check!”

 

The confusing pain from earlier completely forgotten, Taehyung and Jimin ran out of the room and made their way back to Jungkook, laughing the entire way.

 


 

If anyone were to ask him, Yoongi wouldn’t describe himself as a masochist. Sure, he liked to be manhandled a bit in bed, but who didn’t? He certainly didn’t like pain or invite it upon himself. At least, that’s what he told himself as he stared down at the letters scattered in front of him.

 

Yoongi was currently seated at his coffee table, legs stretched out while he leaned against his couch. His dog Holly was laying beside him, head resting in his lap. He had received a new letter from Hoseok today and he was trying to figure out how to respond. The issue was that it was becoming more and more obvious that Hoseok wanted to meet him. Or rather, the author of the letters. He wasn’t being subtle either. Hoseok had asked multiple times.

 

Since the initial delay in responding to Hoseok’s letter, they had been exchanging them pretty much every day. They didn’t usually talk about anything important. Just things like what they liked, what they did that day, or how they felt. It was completely innocent. Honestly, it was fairly similar to what he and Hoseok usually talked about but the tone was different. He was interested in the person behind the answers so he was invested.

 

The other issue was that Hoseok kept mentioning him in the letters. Just simple things, you sound just like my best friend, or my best friend said something similar. Hoseok had been unintentionally hurting Yoongi a lot lately. It wasn’t his fault, he didn’t know Yoongi loved him and he certainly didn’t know Yoongi was the author of the letters.  

 

Like, I could have someone who had all the features I love about you but with someone I’m attracted to, you know?

 

I just meant, you’re my best friend, it would be awesome if I could have a best friend I could date too.

 

Just that conversation alone had been enough to cripple Yoongi emotionally for days. He had cried all over poor Seokjin that weekend.

 

Yoongi shrugged off the thought and re-read the last few letters.

 

You sound just like my best friend, I bet you two would get along great!

 

We should meet, I know I’d love you if we met.

I want to hear your voice.

 

You have all the qualities I’m looking for.

 

Hoseok’s replies had grown more bold and forward. The letters had clearly given him a way to communicate with a significant other he never had before. Since they never met in person, there was no fear of judgment, which meant they shared more honestly and openly. They were truly being themselves, with no pretenses so their relationship had deepened quickly.

 

Too bad it wasn’t real.

 

Not really.

 

Because it was becoming increasingly obvious to Yoongi that he was perfect for Hoseok, but not as he was. It wasn’t how he was that as the issue, it was who he was. If they hadn’t met growing up, they would likely be dating now, if Hoseok’s responses to him in the letter were anything to go by. When Hoseok was presented with Yoongi without the ‘childhood friend’ tag, he loved him romantically. But when he saw Yoongi all he saw was someone he wasn’t attracted to.

 

Like, I could have someone who had all the features I love about you but with someone I’m attracted to, you know?

 

Yoongi was sure the letters would eventually crush him in ways he hadn’t expected. It was becoming more and more painful to be around Hoseok and not be with Hoseok. Not after reading the way he talked to him – not him – in the letters.

 

He was at his breaking point. He could feel it. Even Holly could feel it, if his constant need to be closer to his owner recently was any indication. He didn’t want to become the person who cried all over his friends every time they met. Seokjin didn’t deserve that.

 

Yoongi picked up his pen and began to write. He knew he was going to regret this next letter, but he had to do something.

 


 

Hoseok couldn’t remember a time he was this happy. For once in his life, he felt like everything was going to the way he wanted it to go. He had a job he loved, he was finally doing some dance for himself on the side again, he had great friends, and he felt like he had met someone who understood him. Sure, he hadn’t actually met her yet, but she was so sweet and honest in her letters that he felt like he did. That’s what counts. They had only been exchanging letters for a few weeks, but it felt like he had known her his entire life. The only thing that would make his life better was if they actually met. Then everything would be perfect.

 

At first, the intensity of his feelings for a faceless girl had scared him. He had grown attached so quickly, which was entirely unlike him, and it scared him. Then he realized the reason for his feelings was because they weren’t pretending. New relationships always began with a period of pretend where you tried to convince the other party you were better than you were so they liked you. The letters didn’t have that and it made him feel more comfortable immediately. It was like they skipped the initial awkward stage. Once he had realized his feelings were normal, Hoseok had decided it would just be a cute story to tell their kids one day.

 

He wished his friends had shared the same confidence. Seokjin and Namjoon had been pretty adamant in their disapproval. At least Yoongi supported him.

 

A week earlier:

 

“So, let me get this straight, you think you’re in love with this girl but you’ve never actually met her?” Namjoon asked, sipping his beer.

 

“Well, no, and I didn’t say I love her. I said I could, if we met.” Hoseok clarified, reaching for his own drink.

 

“Sorry. Let me ask again: let me get this straight, you think you could be in love with this girl but you’ve never actually met her?”

 

Hoseok sighed, “Basically.”

 

“You don’t think it’s weird to develop feelings for someone through letters?” Seokjin asked, glancing at Yoongi who was staring at his beer intently.

 

“No, why would it be?” Hoseok defended.

 

“What if you’re not physically attracted to her? What is she is actually a he? You never did get a confirmation.” Seokjin pointed out, still glancing at Yoongi.

 

“That stuff doesn’t matter!” Hoseok replied, shocked Seokjin would suggest he cared about stuff like that.

 

“Oh?”

 

“Of course not. I like her personality. Or his. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care who they really are because I really like who they are. Like in the letters. Their true self.”

 

“I see. So you don’t care who it actually is?” Seokjin continued with a raised brow.

 

“No,” Hoseok replied with a firm nod.

 

“What do you think about all this, Yoonie-ah?” Seokjin asked.

 

Yoongi’s eyes didn’t leave the label he was peeling off his beer bottle, “Whatever makes Seok-ah happy.”

 

“Awe, hyung, you’re the best!” Hoseok squealed, giving him an awkward one-armed hug.

 

Present:

 

Hoseok was so glad he had Yoongi. He was the type of person who was always there for you, no matter what. He didn’t know how he would have gotten through a lot of things in his life without Yoongi.

 

His thoughts were momentarily interrupted when he saw a new letter on his desk. Hoseok picked it up and ripped it open. He was about to read it when he heard a light snore. Glancing over at Yoongi’s desk, he saw the man passed out on top of a stack of papers.

 

Midterms were a bitch.

 

Putting the letter down, Hoseok walked over and covered Yoongi with a coat and moved his coffee out of the spill zone. He saw Yoongi twitch a little and curl into the coat.

 

He’s a literal cat, I swear, Hoseok thought with a snort.

 

Returning to his letter, Hoseok pulled it out of the envelope and began to read. When he was finished, he was horrified.

 

I think you like the idea of me, not me. We’ve met before Hoseok-ah. Quite frequently. You don’t see me that way and that’s fine. I understand. Things will change if you met me as the author of these letters. I don’t want to lose what we have now. Not in real life and not in these letters. Can you just let us exist and love each other as much as possible in this medium alone?

 

Hoseok was having a hard time thinking straight. A million thoughts were scattered through his mind.

 

I know her?

I don’t like her?

Who could she be?

Why would I not like her? She’s perfect.

 

Deciding enough was enough, Hoseok grabbed the staff list and started going through the names. He was friendly with all the teachers at the school. He prided himself on that fact, but that meant it could be literally anyone. He went through the names and tried to pick out anyone who had a similar personality to Yoongi, since that was the first thing he noticed about her.

 

Wait. Yoongi.

 

Hoseok ran over and woke Yoongi up, “hyung, hyung, wake up. I need you.”

 

Very slowly, Yoongi woke up and blinked at Hoseok sleepily, “what Seokie-ah? I’m tired.”

 

Grabbing his cheeks, Hoseok smushed his face, “don’t pout, I need your help.”

 

“Mmmhm” Yoongi replied, unable to move his face.

 

“I need you to tell me who at this school is the most similar to you.”

 

Yoongi blinked, unsure if he heard him correctly, “what?”

 

“Who is the most similar to you? I think that will be the author of the letter.”

 

“I thought you weren’t going to try and find her.” Panic. Blind panic filled Yoongi’s heart.

 

“I know, but I changed my mind. I won’t mention the letter, since she doesn’t want me too. She’ll just think it’s natural!” Hoseok revealed.

 

An odd feeling settled in Yoongi’s heart and spread throughout his body, “you won’t mention the letter?”

 

“No, not unless she brings it up.”

 

Yoongi stared at him blankly. Hoseok had just asked him to pick out the person that was exactly like him but not him. Yoongi was sure this was the worst thing that had ever happened to him in his life. The man he loved not only didn’t love him back, but he wanted Yoongi to choose his next girlfriend for him.

 

“What’s your plan?”

 

“Well, once you tell me who you think is the most similar to you, I’ll go ask her out. Real casual like. If she’s who I think she is, it will be amazing. We won’t even need the letters.”

 

who you think is the most similar to you, I’ll go ask her out

who you think is the most similar to you, I’ll go ask her out

who you think is the most similar to you, I’ll go ask her out

who you think is the most similar to you, I’ll go ask her out

who you think is the most similar to you, I’ll go ask her out

who you think is the most similar to you, I’ll go ask her out

 

Like, I could have someone who had all the features I love about you but with someone I’m attracted to, you know?

 

Whatever makes Seok-ah happy. Awe, hyung, you’re the best!

 

Suddenly, Yoongi felt very calm. Numb even. His friend needed him. Hoseok needed him. That’s what matters.

 

“Park Soyi-ssi,” Yoongi said without hesitation.

 

“Park Soyi-ssi?” Hoseok repeated.

 

“Yes.” She was the grade 9 and 10 English teacher. Soyi was beautiful, with black hair and pale skin, just as the cashier at the stationery shop had described. She was a little shy but since Yoongi taught with her quite often he knew she had a wicked sense of humour. In fact, they got along quiet well, which is why he knew she had a thing for Hoseok. Soyi was many things: funny, beautiful, smart, and caring. Subtle, however, was not on that list. If Hoseok asked her out, she would say yes and they would be great together. Yoongi knew that.

 

“Are you sure? She’s kinda quiet.” Hoseok questioned, scratching his cheek.

 

“I’m sure. I work with her a lot since we both teach grade 9 and 10 the most, we have a similar sense of humour. If you want someone as close to me as possible without it actually being me, she’s your best bet.”

 

Hoseok thought about it then smiled, “thanks, hyung, you’re the best.”

 

Giving Yoongi a quick hug, Hoseok bounced in place, “I’m going to go find her now, before I lose my nerve. She might be here marking too! Fighting!”

 

“Fighting,” Yoongi replied, watching him go.

 

Without a word, Yoongi picked up his jacket, which had fallen off when Hoseok had shaken him awake, and went home, leaving all the work he had to do on his desk. He would go home. He would cuddle Holly. He would cry until he had no more tears left to cry. Then he would never think about it again.

 

Whatever makes Seok-ah happy. Awe, hyung, you’re the best!

 


 

“Well, I suppose, at least we’ll get to see sexy firemen,” Seokjin observed, sitting against the wall of the elevator. They had only been stuck for 20 minutes, but he was already bored.

 

Namjoon sighed, “Oh? Is that your type?”

 

WHAT THE HELL DID YOU JUST ASK, NAMJOON!? STUPID.

 

“No, not really. I’m more into the intellectual type to be honest. Tall and smart. Pretty too. That’s always a plus. But intelligence is more important. What’s the point of dating someone pretty if you can’t talk to them? Maybe you can cover their mouth and have fun for a bit but that won’t last.”

 

NAMJOON!? Buddy? You there? THAT’S YOU! SAY SOMETHING! STOP BEING A LOSER AND SAY SOMETHING!

 

Listening to the angry voice in his head that sounded oddly like a frustrated Yoongi, Namjoon commented, “that sounds a lot like me.”

 

HOLY FUCK.

 

“Yes, it does, doesn’t it?”

 

Unbeknownst to the two men stuck in the elevator, their thoughts were completely in sync. They looked something like this:

 

HOLY FUCK I CAN’T BELIEVE I (HE) SAID THAT!

 

WHAT DO I SAY NOW?

 

WILL HE REJECT ME IF I MAKE A MOVE?

 

God, I love him.

 

When they had both finally gotten over their inner monologues, Namjoon and Seokjin found themselves looking at each other intensely. The atmosphere suddenly changed and became heavy with unspoken words and desires. Namjoon took a sharp intake of breath and leaned forward, Seokjin mirroring his movements. He could feel Seokjin’s breath on his lips and closed his eyes, only to snap them open again as the elevator jolted to life.

 

Whatever spell had held them was suddenly broken and both men stood up quickly, awkwardly grabbing their things. When they reached their floor, Seokjin took the bags he needed to bring back to the school and left quickly.

 

Once in his car, he called Yoongi, “I need a fucking drink.”

 

Oh, hyung, you have no idea how much I wanted to hear you say that.

 

“Have you been crying?” Seokjin asked, hearing the scratch in his voice.

 

“I’ll explain later. Come on over.”

 

 

As always, Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook watched the scene unfold.

 

“Oh, something definitely happened. Look at them!” Jungkook observed. It was so obvious even Taehyung and Jimin couldn’t miss it.

 

“Yea, seriously, look at that blush,” Taehyung commented.

 

“This is going so well! We should lay low for a few weeks, see how this plays out. Then we can plan our next step.”

 

“Deal” Jungkook and Taehyung agreed.

 

“I can’t believe this is almost over!” Jimin smiled, burying his face in the giant duck plushie he still carried.

 

Taehyung was surprised that he felt a twinge of disappointment, “it’s going faster than I thought.”

 

“It’s because we make the best team! Best friends forever, right?”

 

“Right” Taehyung agreed with Jungkook, both linking their pinkies with Jimin as they always do, “pinky promise.”

Chapter Text

“Okay, look, I’m not impatient,” Jungkook snorted, “I’m not, but what the hell!? I thought for sure they would get together after the elevator incident. Like, they were blushing and awkward and cute.

 

“We were all there, hyung. We saw,” Jungkook reminded him, having listened to this exact rant for the last 3 weeks ever since they returned to school after they stopped the elevator with their teachers inside.

 

“Yes, I know, but why isn’t anything changing! They’re acting completely normal!” Jimin whined.

 

“Maybe they’re different outside of school. You don’t know,” Jungkook added.

 

“I do know! Namjoon-ssi is too awkward to pretend to be anything else. They have definitely just returned to normal. We need to do something,” Jimin decided firmly.

 

“I don’t know hyung, maybe we should just let them figure it out alone! We’ve given them a push, we should just wait,” Jungkook suggested.

 

“We waited 3 weeks! 3 weeks! That’s more than enough time. What do you think, Tae-ah?” Jimin asked.

 

But Taehyung was not listening. He was too distracted by his phone to pay attention to an argument he had heard half a dozen times over the last few weeks. His current distraction was looking up his symptoms. Since the mall when he noticed the sharp pain in his chest, the pain had become more frequent. Taehyung was genuinely starting to worry but he was too self-conscious to bring it up to his mom.

 

So he went to WebMD and typed in his symptoms. This was probably not his best plan since now he was convinced he was having a heart attack. Either that or heartburn. Regardless, it was not a good plan and Taehyung decided he really needed to talk to someone.

 

“Tae-ah? What do you think?” Jimin asked again.

 

“What?” Taehyung replied, finally looking up from his phone. He had moved on to other heart attack symptoms just in case.

 

“What do you think about Namjoon-ssi and Seokjin-ssi? Should we leave them alone?” Jimin repeated.

 

Taehyung glance over to where the two teachers were standing. They were looking at the script. Namjoon was pointing and gesturing while talking animatedly and Seokjin was smiling and watching him with a soft look on his face.

 

Taehyung shrugged, “Wouldn’t hurt to push them one more time. See if it helps.”

 

Jungkook sighed but nodded, bowing to the decisions of his hyungs. As he watched, Jimin pulled out the list of tropes and started going through them, deciding on their next move. He soon circled something and close the book with a satisfying thud. Unlike every other time, Jimin didn’t explain his new plan.

 

He was going to ask what Jimin had decided, but Jungkook noticed that Taehyung had once again returned to his phone, anxiously biting his lip as he scrolled. Wondering what he was doing that could distract him so completely, especially when Jimin was planning something, Jungkook leaned over and glanced at the screen. He saw the symptom list and diagnosis given by the website and furrowed his brow.

 

Heart pain? Why would he have hea– oh.

 

"Are you okay, Taehyungie-hyung?" Jungkook asked, fearing his own thoughts.

 

Taehyung looked up and shrugged, "my chest has been hurting a bit lately and I'm just looking up causes. I'm sure it's fine though."

 

This caught Jimin's attention too, "It still hurts? I thought you were going to talk to your mom!"

 

"I will, I will. I promise," Taehyung assured.

 

The two continued to talk but Jungkook had tuned them out. Years of assumptions fell away as it suddenly became apparent to Jungkook that Taehyung wasn’t aware of his own feelings. Why else would he be searching for reasons for heart pain? He had always just assumed Taehyung was aware of his feelings because he was the one displaying his affection so openly, but he was wrong. It wasn’t just Jimin who was oblivious, it was both of them. Jungkook wondered if he should mention something. Was it too much to explain to Taehyung what he saw? Would Taehyung accept it if Jungkook told him that he was clearly in love with Jimin?

 

Jungkook was conflicted.

 

On one hand, he had watched his best friend fall in love with his other best friend for years, always assuming that one day they would get together and live happily ever after. Even now, it didn’t occur to him that Jimin would say no or Taehyung would be upset. They would simply fall together as they always do.

 

On the other hand, it wasn’t Jungkook’s business to butt in. If Taehyung was just now figuring out what Jungkook had noticed almost immediately after meeting them both, he didn’t think adding his opinion would go over well. He just wasn’t sure how Taehyung had never noticed before, it had always been obvious to him.

 

Four years ago:

 

Jungkook entered the classroom slowly, with his head tucked low and collar pulled up as high as possible. Since he had been told he would be moving and starting at a new middle school, he hadn’t been able to feel comfortable. He didn’t want a new school or new friends. He wanted his old school and friends. He wanted Busan. The air in Seoul smelled weird.

 

“This is a new transfer student. His name is Jeon Jungkook-ssi. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?” His new teacher asked.

 

Jungkook looked up at him with wide eyes and shook his head, terrified at the possibility of talking in front of a new class. The teacher seemed to sense his discomfort and allowed him to take his seat without introductions. Jungkook fled to his empty seat and immediately sunk into his chair, praying all the curious eyes would turn away soon.

 

“Okay, since this is the beginning of the next chapter of your life, we’ve established a peer mentor program. We will pair you up with some seniors, who will help you adjust to the school and can offer help with whatever you need,” his teacher explained.

 

He tuned the list out until he heard his name, “Jungkook-ssi, you’ll be with Park Jimin-ssi, he’s a –” there was a heavy sigh, “It also seems you have Kim Taehyung-ssi assigned to you as well. I don’t know how this even – you know what? Whatever. Jungkook-ssi, you will be mentored by both Park Jimin-ssi and Kim Taehyung-ssi. Good luck.”

 

Jungkook looked back down at his notebook and shrugged. How bad could it be?

 

 

 

Bad. It could be bad.

 

Jimin and Taehyung were energetic, loud, and overall way too much for Jungkook to handle. For some reason, they took their peer mentoring to heart. Both boys would appear at the window during class and wave wildly at him when the teacher wasn’t looking. When they found him eating alone, they would accost him and demand he eat with them. They dragged him to clubs and events without asking if he wanted to go. They made him talk to people.

 

They had started to spend so much time around him that some girls in the class were side-eyeing him out of what he could only assume was jealousy. He didn’t know why they bothered, Taehyung and Jimin were clearly dating. Anyone with two eyes could see that.

 

During one lunch, Jungkook decided to bring it up, “so, how long have you guys been together?”

 

Jimin smiled and looked at Taehyung, “since we were like 6? He saved me from bullies. My hero.”

 

Taehyung smiled and nodded, “I had just moved from Daegu.”

 

Jungkook furrowed his brow, “no, I mean, like together. As in dating.”

 

“What?” They asked in unison, “we aren’t dating.”

 

“Excuse me?!” Jungkook exclaimed.

 

His outburst surprised both Jimin and Taehyung. They had been following the boy around and forcing their friendship on him for the better part of 2 weeks but he had never shown this much emotion.

 

“We aren’t dating? We’re just friends,” Taehyung explained.

 

“Yea, I even have a crush! Who is a girl,” Jimin added.

 

Jungkook leaned back and watched them. Taehyung had his arm around Jimin and was playing with his hair. Every time Jimin smiled, Taehyung would immediately smile too. When Jimin told stories, Taehyung would always listen intently with undivided attention. During Jimin’s dance practice, Taehyung would always go, often dragging Jungkook, to offer moral support. How could they not be dating?

 

Ah. Unrequited love. Jimin-hyung likes a girl.

 

“My mistake,” Jungkook replied, watching Taehyung, who was now trying to feed Jimin. Jungkook wondered how long it would take before Jimin caught on. He hoped their friendship survived the revelation. He didn’t really care what happened to them, but they seemed close and it would suck for them to lose that. Jungkook figured he would just have to wait and see.

 

Present:

 

Four years later and the shoe was finally about to drop. Jungkook was surprised it had taken this long but considering it appeared Taehyung hadn’t known, the delay made sense. Unlike before, when Jungkook hadn’t been invested in their friendship or lives, now he cared. Now he was scared. Now he wanted everything to work out.

 

Maybe that’s why Jungkook decided not to say anything to Taehyung. Maybe he was afraid their friendship would change forever.

 

Maybe he was being selfish.

 


 

Hoseok was grateful for a great many things in his life and, if he was being honest, Yoongi had been around or involved in almost all of them. His current relationship was no different. Having found Soyi in her classroom marking after Yoongi’s suggestion, Hoseok had promptly asked her on a date and they had been seeing each other ever since.

 

The past few weeks had been great and Hoseok was thrilled. Soyi was smart and funny, with a huge smile and eyes that twinkled when she laughed. When Hoseok was being extra silly, sometimes he would make her laugh so hard she snorted, which would make her blush until her entire face turned red and Hoseok loved it. Whenever they were together, conversation flowed easily and Hoseok never felt awkward or pressed to make small talk. Unlike all his previous dates and lovers, being with Soyi was easy. She never expected more from him or pushed expectations about who or what he was on him. It was nice. Finally, Hoseok found someone to be around who made him as comfortable as Yoongi always did.

 

Soyi was everything he imagined from the letters and more. They hadn’t talked about the letters at all, which was fine with Hoseok, since he could call or text her whenever now, so he didn’t have to wait for an anonymous letter to appear anymore. He had stopped writing them when Soyi had agreed to go on a date with him anyway. He knew she didn’t know that he knew she was the author, so he didn’t want to give the impression he was pseudo-seeing someone else. He figured she would appreciate the thoughtfulness when they eventually talked about the letters, which he knew they would eventually.

 

Hoseok didn’t know how to categorize the feelings he had now. Contentment? Happiness? Satisfaction? Whatever it was, Hoseok was not going to question it. For once, he was happy and he wasn’t going to lose that.

 

Hoseok entered the office with a pep in his step and slightly humming. He had just left Soyi’s classroom. She looked so pretty erasing the board. When she had gotten dry erase marker dust on her white blouse and pouted, Hoseok was sure he was going to die then and there. She was so cute. Hoseok was so lost in his reminiscing that he didn’t notice Yoongi frowning at him until he had reached his desk.

 

“Good day?” Yoongi asked.

 

“The best. Soyi-ah has the cutest pout and I just want to smush her cheeks,” Hoseok revealed, still lost in his own mind.

 

Yoongi snorted, “I’m sure. Are you about ready to go?”

 

That caught Hoseok’s attention, “Go? Go where?”

 

“To dinner? Like every other Wednesday since, like, forever?” Yoongi replied, looking at him in confusion. They always went out to dinner on Wednesdays. It was their thing. Even some of the students knew about it because they were so consistent.

 

“Oh, god! Hyung, I’m so sorry. I forgot!” Hoseok exclaimed, horrified.

 

“You… forgot?” Yoongi repeated, unsure if he had heard him correctly.

 

“I did! I’m going out for dinner with Soyi-ah! We made plans a few days ago. I’m so sorry. Raincheck?” Hoseok pleaded, raising his clasped hands and shaking them.

 

Yoongi stared at him for a second. He was in shock at this point. He had known giving Hoseok a name would change their dynamic. He wasn’t stupid. He realized that once Hoseok started dating, they wouldn’t be able to spend as much time together as before but this was different. Hoseok had dated before, but he had never missed a Wednesday. Never. Not once. Now he just forgot.

 

“Don’t worry about it Seok-ah. We can go out another night,” Yoongi assured, feeling his shoulders droop.

 

“Yes! We’ll go out next week as usual, okay? Jin-hyung and Namjoon-ah want to do karaoke so we can do that next Thursday! It will be fun,” Hoseok suggested, jumping on the chance to make sure Yoongi wasn’t upset by the change in plans.

 

“Sure, that sounds fun Seok-ah. Have a good date,” Yoongi said, putting his bag and jacket back on his desk.

 

As he watched, Hoseok grabbed his things and ran out of the office, leaving Yoongi alone. It seemed he was always alone. He spent his entire adult life alone because he had been chasing behind Hoseok as he jumped from lover to lover. Yoongi had made sure to be there whenever Hoseok stumbled or fell. The problem was now, Yoongi didn’t think he would fall. This was different. Hoseok was leaving Yoongi for good and Yoongi had nothing to fall back on. Hoseok was his world, his sunshine, and suddenly he was gone, leaving Yoongi alone in the dark.

 

Whatever makes Seok-ah happy. Awe, hyung, you’re the best!

 


 

When Jimin arrived at school the next day, he was feeling very accomplished. For once, he had come up with a plan without Taehyung’s help and no one would get hurt. It wasn’t that he wanted to hurt people but his plans, pranks included, tended on the extreme and Taehyung often spent just as much time doing damage control as planning. Like the time Jimin wanted to surprise Jungkook for his birthday and ended up making him cry. They didn’t talk about that incident but Jimin still felt a little bad about it, especially whenever they surprised Jungkook for his birthday now. Jimin would like to point out, however, that they had only known him for a brief time when they surprised him so it wasn’t exactly his fault that he didn’t know Jungkook would react like that. Whatever, he still felt bad. Which was why he felt awesome right now. He would give his teachers one final push and then they could live happily ever after. He couldn’t wait.

 

After school, Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook always had rehearsals and this Wednesday was no exception. The opening night of the play was coming up fast and they were getting closer and closer to being able to do a complete run-through without mistakes. Unless, of course, he and Taehyung were goofing off, which they were today, which always meant things didn’t go quite right.

 

“Okay, we’ll just call it a night,” Seokjin yelled out with a sigh, having watched the scene devolve into a sword fight between Jimin and Taehyung. Those two were chaos incarnate. Seokjin thanked his lucky stars Jungkook was in a calm mood today or the theatre would have likely caught fire somehow.

 

Taehyung smiled at Jimin and Jungkook, “You guys wanna do dinner? I’m craving jaeyuk-bokeum!”

 

“Oh, I’m down. I’m always hungry,” Jungkook agreed.

 

“Me too. Just let me do one thing!” Jimin promised, running backstage.

 

Watching him run away, Taehyung and Jungkook looked at each other, “you know what he’s up to?” Taehyung asked.

 

“No. He did say he had a plan for the next trope so maybe that’s it?” Jungkook suggested.

 

“God, I hope not. Last time he came up with a plan alone you cried for an hour.”

 

“Hey! It was only like 30 minutes tops,” Jungkook corrected.

 

“Sure, I don’t know– ” Taehyung was cut off by the look on Jungkook’s face.

 

Jungkook was currently looking over Taehyung’s shoulder with a shocked and sad expression on his face. He looked like someone had just turned off his console in the middle of a game of Overwatch. Taehyung turned to see what had caught his attention but was promptly grabbed by Jungkook and forced to look back at him.

 

“Why don’t we leave for dinner now? Jimin-hyung can meet us later, right? Let’s go!” Jungkook practically begged.

 

“What are you doing, Kookie-ah? Let go of me,” Taehyung said, shaking off his hands.

 

The second he turned around he realized exactly what had caused Jungkook’s expression. Jimin had reemerged from the backstage area carrying a plushie for his plan. He had clearly decided the next step was to have one of the teachers gift the other a plushie as every couple does in pretty much every drama there is. That wouldn’t have been a problem if it wasn’t for the plushie Jimin currently carried.

 

It was a duck.

 

A giant yellow duck.

 

The same yellow duck Taehyung had purchased for Jimin a few weeks before.

 

Jimin was giving away Taehyung’s gift to make sure some scheme worked.

 

It was at that moment, Taehyung finally understood why his chest had hurt for the past few weeks. But only because he could feel his heart shatter in his chest. Jungkook jumped into his line of sight and looked at him with big eyes and a slight tremble on his lips.

 

“Hyung– ”

 

“I need to go. I can’t– ” Taehyung said before bolting for the door. He didn’t pause to see Jungkook’s reaction or watch how Jimin’s plan played out. He just needed to get out of there. Away from Jimin. Away from the stabbing pain in his chest. Away from these new feelings that threatened to overwhelm him at any second. Just, away.

 

Jungkook watched him run away and felt a crippling sense of guilt wash over him. If he had said something sooner would this have happened the same way? If he had talked to Taehyung would he have been able to stop him from realizing he loved Jimin in the worst possible way?

 

I was selfish and now I hurt my hyung. I am the worst friend.

 

Unaware of the epiphany Taehyung had just suffered through and Jungkook’s guilt, Jimin walked up to Namjoon confidently and held out the duck plushie. Namjoon looked down at the doll then back at Jimin with confusion written all over his face.

 

“This is a duck plushie,” Jimin said, waving it a little.

 

Namjoon looked down at it again, “Yes, Jimin-ssi. It is.”

 

“People often say you should give gifts to people you care about,” Jimin continued.

 

“Um, I don’t know if that’s really appropriate– ” Namjoon began.

 

“No, no. Not from me. From you. I think someone would really appreciate a gift from you. Someone special,” Jimin said gesturing meaningfully to Seokjin who was off to the side of the stage talking to the student playing Hamlet.

 

“I– um, I don’t– ” Namjoon stuttered.

 

“Here, take it. It’s up to you to decide what to do with it,” Jimin said, shoving the duck into Namjoon’s hands.

 

His panic must have drawn Seokjin’s attention because he came over. By the time he had arrived though, Namjoon had hidden the plushie behind his back and was staring at Jimin with wide-eyes silently begging him to leave.

 

With a bright smile, Jimin skipped off, “Bye teacher-nimmmmm”

 

“Um, what was that?” Seokjin asked slowly.

 

“Uh, nothing,” Namjoon replied, voice high. He tried again, “nothing. He just had some tips. You know. For the play.”

 

“Okay…” Seokjin said dragging out the word. He watched Namjoon closely but he was avoiding his gaze.

 

Seokjin walked off with a shrug and Namjoon felt his shoulders droop in relief.

 

What the hell am I supposed to do with a giant duck?!

 


 

Hoseok straightened his collar and stepped into the restaurant where he was supposed to meet Soyi. He found her sitting at the bar, idly swirling a glass of wine while reading a book. He loved how she always had her nose in a book. Another similarity with Yoongi, who always had a pen in hand to write music. He understood now why he had seen so much of Yoongi in her writing and why Yoongi had known it was her without hesitation. They were very similar, the only real difference being how open Soyi was with her feelings. She didn’t believe in subtlety and Hoseok found it incredibly refreshing.

 

Walking up to her at the bar, Hoseok slipped into the chair beside her, “hey, pretty lady, can I grab you a drink?”

 

Soyi snorted, “Ah, quickly. My boyfriend is coming and he might not approve.”

 

Hoseok paused, “boyfriend?”

 

“Is that– are we not? Um…” Soyi panicked, looking around for an escape route. She was mortified.

 

Hoseok jumped up, “NO! I mean, yes. I didn’t know if you– um, thought we were there yet. I would like to be, uh, there. If you wanted.”

 

Soyi looked at Hoseok, who was flushing red and looking at his feet, “I would like to be there too.”

 

Smiling wide and clapping his hands on Soyi’s shoulders, Hoseok laughed, “thank god, otherwise this would have been so awkward.”

 

“Please, I was about to run out of that door and never come back. Quit my job and become a hermit because I called you my boyfriend prematurely,” Soyi joked.

 

Throwing his arm around her shoulders as they walked to their table, Hoseok laughed again, “you’d be the prettiest hermit.”

 

“You haven’t seen me during finals’ marking yet,” Soyi reminded.

 

“I will,” Hoseok added confidently.

 

After they took a seat, the waiter came to place water on their table immediately, “Ah, Hoseok-ssi and Yoon– um, sorry. I just– ”

 

Soyi looked confused as to why the waiter new his name, so Hoseok explained quickly, “I come here with Yoongi-hyung all the time. At this point, we’re on a first-name basis with half the staff.”

 

“Oh, is this your and Yoongi-oppa’s secret spot?” Soyi asked.

 

“Yup, I mentioned we’ve been friends since, like, birth, right? Well, it’s hard to find a restaurant we both actually like so when we do, we stick to it!”

 

“I’m glad you’re showing me then,” she said quietly, then looking at the waiter, Soyi smiled, “You’ll have to settle for me then, I’m sorry.”

 

The waiter jumped to apologize, “no, no! It’s my fault, you two look a bit similar, all pale skin and dark hair so I barely even looked at you. I’m so sorry.”

 

Soyi laughed and Hoseok waved it off, “It’s no big deal. We do usually come here every Wednesday.”

 

“Um, did you two break up?” the waiter asked anxiously, looking at Soyi quickly and then away.

 

Hoseok felt confusion cover his face, “break up? No. We were never together, we’re just friends.”

 

The waiter couldn’t hide the widening of his eyes, but he caught himself before commenting further, “oh, I apologize. I’ll be right back with your menus.”

 

As the waiter walked away, he couldn’t help but feel overwhelming pity for Yoongi. Unlike Hoseok, who was oblivious to Yoongi’s feelings, the waiter has seen them very clearly. He had just assumed they were dating based on the sheer devotion he had seen on the smaller man’s face. As a waiter, he saw a lot of dates and even more couples, he prided himself on his ability to read people. There was no way he had read Yoongi wrong, which meant Hoseok had just dealt a fatal blow. Without even knowing the two men personally, the waiter felt himself frown and shook his head. Poor Min Yoongi.

 

Back at the table, Soyi leaned forward, “if you and oppa always come here tonight, why are you here with me?”

 

Hoseok smiled, “because I wanted to go to dinner with you.”

 

“That’s nice, but you don’t need to change long-standing plans for me, Hoseok-ah. You and oppa have been friends for a long time, I don’t mind sharing you.”

 

Hopelessly endeared, Hoseok leaned forward and linked their fingers, “I’ll remember that for next time as long as you remember I’m always where I want to be.”

 

Soyi smiled brighter than the sun, “I am too.”

 


 

Since Namjoon was, by nature, incredibly awkward, he was no stranger to uncomfortable situations. However, he had never been in quite the situation he currently found himself in. Here he was, standing outside the office holding a massive duck plushie because his student had recognized his crush on Seokjin and wanted him to make a move. Namjoon wasn’t sure how he felt about that. First off, his student had noticed his crush. And second off, his student thought he was taking too long.

 

Never mind, he knew exactly how he felt about that. As a literature major in university, Namjoon had become familiar with synonyms. He could list off a few that captured what he was feeling right now: mortified, ashamed, embarrassed, horrified, chagrined, uncomfortable... he could go on. He wouldn’t. But he could.

 

The point was Namjoon was at a loss. Did he give the duck to Seokjin? Would that give Jimin the impression he was allowed to interfere in other people’s lives like that? Did he just take it home? Would it be weird to just have a gift from a student? Namjoon just wasn’t sure. There was no rulebook for how to deal with students intervening in a teacher’s love life.

 

Seokjin took the decision out of Namjoon’s hands when he opened the door to the office on his way home for the day. He stopped abruptly, surprised to find Namjoon standing there, and looked down at the duck with a raised brow.

 

“A gift from a devoted fan?” Seokjin asked, still looking at the plushie.

 

“What? No! Of course not. I would never accept something like that from a student,” Namjoon defended.

 

“Oh? Then what is the duck for?”

 

“Um, it’s for you,” Namjoon declared, shoving his arms out so the plushie hit Seokjin in the chest.

 

“For me?” Seokjin asked, mildly confused. He had seen Jimin give it to Namjoon.

 

“Yes, well, um, Jimin-ssi, you know how he is, well he said, uh, that I should give it to someone special and – ah, I thought of you,” Namjoon explained haltingly.

 

Seokjin smiled and took the plushie from Namjoon’s hands. He turned it so it was facing out and crossed his arms around it, holding it to his chest.

 

“Thank you, Joonie-ah. I’ll treasure it,” Seokjin promised.

 

“Oh, um, you’re welcome,” Namjoon responded, slightly shocked it had been so easy.

 

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Seokjin said, leaning up to place a kiss on Namjoon’s cheek, “Thank you again.”

 

Walking away quickly, Seokjin barely contained his excitement. He managed to make it outside the front doors before he let out an excited little squeal and buried his face in the plushie. Namjoon had given him a plushie and he had been so cute. When Seokjin had opened the door, the shock and embarrassment had been clear on Namjoon’s face. He had assumed it was because Jimin had confessed to him or something, but no, it was because Namjoon was shy. SHY! Seokjin had had to restrain himself from jumping on him then and there. God, he was so cute.  He felt like he had handled himself well, giving a cool kiss on the cheek and sauntering off all casual. That didn’t stop him from smiling wide the second he was out of Namjoon’s sight though. He was sure his smile wouldn’t fade the entire night.

 

Back at the office, Namjoon did a small happy dance, which resulted in knocking over Yoongi’s stacked papers, before heading home himself. Seokjin had kissed him. Namjoon was surprised he hadn’t passed out. Did that mean he was interested? Should he ask him out? Namjoon’s ever-busy mind was already contemplating 1000 different scenarios, and for once, they all ended happily. Maybe he should thank Jimin.

 


 

When he was sad, Yoongi found comfort in two things: music and Min Holly. Well, three things but he didn’t want to think about that. The problem with music was that is required music sheets when he wanted to add instruments to the track. Usually paper wasn’t an issue, but he had run out of it months ago and his epic writer’s block had prevented him from replacing it. Now, he felt a pressing need to write, to pour his emotions out onto paper and into song, but he was lacking the proper tools. Min Holly would be so disappointed, he loved sitting with Yoongi when he wrote.

 

This is how Yoongi found himself back at the stationery shop by Hoseok’s place. He always got his paper here, which is why he had come here for the letter paper as well. The place gave him an uneasy feeling now, forcing him to remember how pleased he had been with his original plan to cheer Hoseok up. Who knew it would end up crushing him so completely?

 

You did. But you replied anyway.

 

Deciding to make the trip quick, Yoongi grabbed a few stacks of the paper he needed and practically ran to the cashier. Who, of course, remembered him.

 

“Ah, the young man from before. You know the set you bought is on clearance now, if you wanted to pick up more?”

 

Does this guy have no other customers? Seriously.

 

“Thank you for the offer but the purpose I needed it for is done now,” Yoongi replied quietly.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” the old man replied softly, sensing Yoongi’s distress.

 

Yoongi smiled anyway, “thank you.”

 

When he returned home, Holly immediately ran up to him and began to jump in excitement.

 

“I know, I know. I’m never home this early on Wednesdays. Lucky you, huh?” Yoongi said, dropping down to give Holly a vigorous belly rub.

 

He picked Holly up, which was getting harder and harder nowadays, and carried him to his bedroom and dropped down on his bed. For a second, Yoongi just laid on top of his bed, letting Holly bury himself into his side with his tail wagging. It had been more than a decade since he had been home on a Wednesday night. Even during university, Yoongi and Hoseok had made sure to keep Wednesdays free for dinner. Once, Yoongi had been in the hospital after getting an appendectomy and Hoseok had even shown up with food so they wouldn’t miss dinner.

 

Yoongi wanted to hate Soyi. It was because she had said yes to Hoseok that his life had been so drastically changed but he couldn’t. He liked Soyi, she was a good person, and she was good for Hoseok. He had been brighter the past few weeks, happy. The exact type of happy Yoongi had wanted to see when he sent his first letter.

 

What was killing him was that Hoseok was happy without him. It was making him feel like Yoongi was the reason Hoseok had been unhappy in the first place. Like he was the reason all Hoseok’s past relationships had failed. Like he had been holding Hoseok back.

 

All Yoongi had ever wanted was for Hoseok to be happy. It was unacceptable to him to allow Hoseok to be sad, he couldn’t handle it. If being with Soyi and not Yoongi, romantically or platonically, made Hoseok happy, then that was just how it had to be. Yoongi wasn’t going to pull away, he wasn’t like that, wasn’t sure if he could be, but he would let Hoseok set the tone of their friendship from now on. If he wanted Yoongi there, he would be. If he didn’t… well, that’s just how it would be.

 

Eventually, Holly began to get restless and whine, pushing harder against Yoongi’s side.

 

“I’m okay, baby. Don’t you worry,” Yoongi assured his dog.

 

As if in response, Holly huffed and planted both front paws on Yoongi’s chest heavily, causing him to release a small oof.

 

“Okay, okay, I’m up. Happy now?” Yoongi whined, sitting up and smushing Holly’s face.

 

Holly jumped off his bed and went to the bedroom door, wagging his tail and waiting for his owner to get out of bed. Yoongi was sure Holly recognized his mood and was trying to lighten it, which made him incredibly grateful. Yoongi wasn’t sure what his life would be like if he hadn’t stumbled upon the box that contained puppy Holly in it, and he was glad he would never find out.

 

Relenting under his dog’s incessant gaze, Yoongi lifted himself off his bed, grabbed his notebook, and moved into the living room. Placing himself on the floor by the coffee table and couch so Holly could snuggle up beside him, Yoongi placed his hand on Holly’s head and opened his notebook. Glancing at the lyrics he had already started to scribble down, he grabbed a pen and continued weaving together his next song.

 

The moment I became heavier than you, because there have never been parallels in the first place.

 

Just like the beginning when you weren't here.

 

I'm getting off this seesaw without you.

 


 

Taehyung slammed into his room with all the force of a man on the run from the devil himself. He ignored his mom and sister’s confused looks and questions, and barricaded himself in his room.

 

He needed to be alone.

 

He needed to think.

 

Or not think.

 

Suddenly, Taehyung couldn’t help but go over every interaction he had ever had with Jimin. Had he always loved him? Taehyung wasn’t sure. He remembered thinking Jimin was cute when they first met, but only in the way young minds categorize things. Sure, when he realized he liked men he had noticed that Jimin was very attractive but not in a ‘I want to date you’ way, just in the ‘objectively attractive’ way. When he got older, he had fixated on making sure Jimin was happy, but that had only been because Jimin was often the victim of bullies.

 

Right?

 

He never got bullied after you showed up. Everyone was too afraid. You made sure of that. And you stare at him all the time because you think he’s pretty. Also, if it was platonic why did you never tell him you liked boys? Who are you trying to fool?

 

Taehyung shook his head at his own inner thoughts and started fiddling with his camera as a distraction. He looked through the pictures he had yet to print out. They were mostly of Jimin. Some of Jungkook, but he was camera shy so it made sense that there were more of Jimin.

 

Right?

 

Sure, bud.

 

Putting down his phone, Taehyung grabbed his laptop. Even his screen saver was a picture of him and Jimin

 

Jimin was everywhere.

 

It's just because I’ve known him the longest.

 

Taehyung closed his laptop and tossed it to the end of his bed before sprawling out and looking at the ceiling. Jimin was everywhere. He always had been. They were best friends, of course he would be.

 

Is that all he is?

 

Rolling around on the bed until he could burrow himself under the blankets, Taehyung settled in with furrowed brows. He stayed that way until he heard a knock on the door.

 

“Taehyungie-ah? Are you okay?” his mom asked, stepping in the room.

 

“No,” Taehyung admitted.

 

Coming to sit at the edge of the bed, his mom put her hand on his forehead to feel his temperature, “you don’t feel warm.”

 

“It’s my chest. It hurts.”

 

“You’re chest? How?” His mom asked, slightly panicked.

 

“Sometimes I feel this heavy, squeezing feeling. It hurts,” Taehyung explained, hoping his mom could suggest a different reason.

 

But she couldn’t, “oh, honey, when does that happen? When you look at someone special?”

 

Taehyung sniffed and nodded, “yes.”

 

Not understanding why he was so upset, his mom smiled, “well, that’s your first love. Isn’t that great?”

 

“No, no it’s not, mom. I’m scared.”

 

“What? Scared? Who is it?”

 

Sitting up but maintaining his cocoon of blankets, Taehyung looked at his mom with wet lashes, “Jiminie-ah.”

 

“Oh, I see,” his mom replied.

 

She wasn’t entirely surprised, the two boys had been close since they had moved here, but she was sad to see her son suffering so much. They had never talked about sexuality before so she hadn’t known he liked men. She had made the mistake, she admitted to herself, of assuming he liked girls.

 

“I don’t know what to do, mom. He’ll hate me,” Taehyung said, crying now.

 

Pulling him in for a hug, “Oh, no, honey. No, he won’t. He’s your best friend. I bet if you talk to him he’ll understand. Maybe he even feels the same way but is scared, like you are.”

 

“Y– you think?”

 

“I do,” she replied, petting his hair softly.

 

Taehyung didn’t reply, instead just snuggled closer to his mom. He liked what she said but he knew it wasn’t true. Jimin wouldn’t feel that way about him because it was wrong. They were best friends, it was wrong to feel this way about your best friend. Plus, Jimin liked a girl and Taehyung was very obviously not one.

 

Taehyung cried harder as he realized he couldn’t be friends with Jimin anymore.

 

That would be wrong.

Chapter Text

Seokjin plopped down on Yoongi’s living room floor and sprawled out as an enthusiastic Holly jumped around him barking and wagging his tail, “Ahhh, come here and let me love you!”

 

Holly jumped on his chest and shuffled until his head was tucked under his chin. Seokjin wrapped his arms around the enthusiastic puppy and smiled when both Yoongi and Namjoon pulled out their phones to snap a quick photo.

 

“When’s Hoseok-ah coming over?” Namjoon asked, glancing up from his phone.

 

Yoongi shrugged and sat beside Seokjin to pet Holly too, “not sure, he didn’t give me a specific time when we talked earlier but he knows when you guys were coming over. I’m sure he’s on his way.”

 

Seokjin sat up, dislodging Holly who looked disgruntled and abandoned him from Yoongi, “he didn’t give you a time? Should we just call him?”

 

“Yea, sure. Give me a second,” Yoongi agreed, reaching around a very persistent Holly to grab his phone.

 

Hitting his speed-dial number 2—number 3 if Seokjin asked—Yoongi waited for Hoseok to pick up his phone. After several rings, his answering machine picked up, “Seok-ah, it’s Yoongi-hyung, we’re just calling to see when you’re headed over. Call me when you can.”

 

Tossing his phone on the floor beside him, Yoongi reported what the other two already knew, “Answering machine. He’s probably driving over already.”

 

As he finished speaking, his phone started to vibrate, a picture of Hoseok’s smiling face propped on Yoongi’s shoulder flashing across his phone screen, “There, see?” Yoongi grabbed his phone again, “Seok-ah, are you on your way?”

 

Hyung, I’m so sorry. I’m at home still,” Hoseok said on the other end.

 

Yoongi shrugged, “that’s okay, we’re not in a hurry. Take your time.”

 

Um, actually– you see, Soyi-ah asked if I wanted to come over to her house, for a movie night. Just the two of us. I think, maybe, you know. She wants to be, like, alone with me?

 

Yoongi’s hand stopped moving in Holly’s fur, causing the dog to look up at him and start to whine, nudging his hand sadly, “tonight?”

 

Yea… I’ll tell her no, if you guys want. I totally understand– we had plans first and I– ” Hoseok said meekly.

 

Interrupting him, Yoongi shook his head even if Hoseok couldn’t see it, “no, you go have fun. There’s always another night. I’ll always– we’ll always be here, you know? Build your relationship.”

 

Thanks, hyung, you’re the best!” Hoseok praised before hanging up.

 

Yoongi put down his phone slowly, then glanced at Seokjin and Namjoon, who were watching him closely, “Hoseok-ah is going to have a movie night with Soyi-ah. We’re on our own it seems.”

 

“Oh, I see,” Namjoon replied, suddenly very interested in the flooring.

 

“Ah, I miss Hoseok-ah. We never see him anymore!” Seokjin lamented, throwing himself back on the floor dramatically.

 

Yoongi shrugged, trying not to show how upset he was, “new relationships are always like that. We’ll hang out with him eventually.”

 

“You’re just saying that because you got to see him yesterday!” Seokjin protested.

 

Yoongi winced and looked away, but Seokjin caught it, “What was that?”

 

“What?”

 

“That look!”

 

“What look?”

 

“Don’t.” Seokjin said softly, warning Yoongi not to deflect again.

 

Yoongi winced again and looked away, “we didn’t go out for dinner yesterday.”

 

Excuse me?” Seokjin and Namjoon demanded, almost in sync.

 

“Hoseok-ah had a date with Soyi-ah last week, so we rescheduled for yesterday and tonight, but, uh, yea,” Yoongi explained.

 

“Hoseok-ah bailed on your weekly plans that have been the same for, like, a decade, twice in a row and you’re just okay with him bailing again?!” Seokjin asked.

 

Yoongi scratched his face awkwardly and avoiding making eye contact with Seokjin, “it’s his life. He has a girlfriend now, things change.”

 

“That’s it! I’ve let this shit go on long enough,” Seokjin said, jumping up so quickly Holly jumped too.

“Hyung…” Namjoon said quietly.

 

“No! Enough. I am sick of watching you destroy yourself trying to make Hoseok-ah happy! What about you? When was the last time you dated? Went out to a bar?”

 

“We went out last week,” Yoongi reminded him.

“Yea, and you only came because Hoseok-ah made you! You always do what he wants, never what you want. What do you want to do Yoongi-ah?”

 

“I just– I just want Hoseok-ah to be happy,” Yoongi replied quietly.

 

“And now he is. You did your job. It’s time to focus on you.

 

Yoongi looked up at Seokjin in shock. He seemed legitimately angry. On Yoongi’s behalf. It made Yoongi feel warm inside even if he was incredibly sad, and he smiled, “okay, hyung.”

 

Seokjin nodded in satisfaction, “good. We’re going out. You,” he pointed at Yoongi, “get changed into your best outfit. You better looked super fuckable by the time I get back, and you,” he pointed at Namjoon, “are coming with me. I’ll bring you to your place so you can change into club clothes. We’ll come back and grab Yoongi-ah right after.”

 

“But hyung, it’s a school night,” Namjoon protested.

 

“Shush! Are you the mother of a teenager? We’re adults, we can go out and drink, and still make it to school the next day!”

 

Both realizing that protest was useless, agreed to Seokjin’s plan. Seokjin and Namjoon left Yoongi sitting on his living room floor with his face buried in Holly’s fur. Once they were in Seokjin’s car, Namjoon turned to look at him and sighed, “I always assumed they’d end up together, you know? Especially after the letter thing.”

 

Seokjin nodded, “they would have, but Yoongi-ah told him that Soyi-ah wrote them. He’s too afraid of rejection. He’d rather have Hoseok-ah in whatever way he can than risk losing him.”

 

Namjoon leaned back in his seat and looked out the window, “I can’t imagine.”

 

Glancing at Namjoon quickly, Seokjin hummed in agreement, “me neither.”

 

For the rest of the drive, it was silent. Both men were lost in their own thoughts. Seokjin kept seeing Yoongi’s face as he tried to smile and tell Hoseok to work on his relationship. He looked broken, like something inside him had fractured beyond repair. Seokjin couldn’t imagine loving someone like that and losing them. Namjoon’s thoughts followed a similar path. He feared rejection, just like Yoongi, but he had never thought of the other side. The pain that would come with seeing the person you love with someone else. Namjoon looked at Seokjin and sighed. He didn’t know how he’d feel if Seokjin dated someone else but he knew he would be devastated.

 

For the first time, both Seokjin and Namjoon made a choice for their relationship that wasn’t based on cowardice and self-preservation. Hiding their feelings was not the best way to live their lives and they wouldn’t anymore.

 

Much like he had helped Hoseok with his relationship, Yoongi had helped Seokjin and Namjoon. He was great at that. Helping others. Too bad there was no one to help him.

 

Back in his apartment, Yoongi stroked Holly’s back idly and started off into space. Seokjin was right. He hadn’t done anything for himself romantically in years. He had always been content just being near Hoseok but now that wasn’t an option anymore.

 

Maybe it was time to go out for himself.

 

Maybe it was time to forget.

 


 

After a week of the silent treatment, Jimin decided to hunt down Taehyung. During class, he had been quiet and withdraw and during breaks Taehyung had disappeared. A week of not being able to hang out with his best friend was too much for Jimin, so he started asking around. He had gone to Jungkook first but the younger boy had looked uncomfortable and refused to reveal anything. Not why Taehyung was avoiding him and not where he was hiding. Jimin had given up on him quickly and asked other students who revealed where Taehyung had been hiding all week: the student council room.

 

The student council room was both an odd choice and a perfect choice. Odd because Taehyung was not on the student council nor did he have an interest. Perfect because Jimin would never guess to look there for the above two reasons. When he opened the door, Taehyung didn’t look up. He was curled on the couch reading some manga with his head resting on his arm.

 

Deciding to act as if everything was normal, Jimin ran and jumped on the couch beside Taehyung and smiled, “there you are! How did you get keys to this room?”

 

Taehyung flinched but didn’t look up, “Mr. Min gave them to me.”

 

A week earlier:

 

Taehyung had realized very quickly that avoiding Jimin at school would be impossible if he didn’t have somewhere to hide. Being near him hurt and Taehyung couldn’t handle it. Whenever he was close he felt his mind wander. He thought about what it would be like to hug and hold his hand as a boyfriend rather than a friend. What it would be like to kiss the pout off his lips when Jimin was upset about something. What… other things would be like. He couldn’t be near Jimin and think like that. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair. Jimin deserved a friend that wasn’t projecting fantasies onto him.

 

So, in a last-ditch attempt to protect himself and Jimin, Taehyung sought out Mr. Min and asked for the key to the school council room. Mr. Min was their coordinator after all.

 

“Why do you need it?” Mr. Min asked, looking tired and sad, even to Taehyung.

 

“I– I need to, um, avoid someone. I can’t – I can’t be near them anymore,” Taehyung admitted, knowing he had to give some details if he was going to get Mr. Min to break the rules for him.

 

Mr. Min looked at him for a long time, then sighed, “I’ll give it to you, but trust me when I say that feeling doesn’t just go away. I would know. Talk to him while you still can.”

 

Taehyung had nodded and accepted the ring with a bow. As he had left, Mr. Jung had walked in, smiling and calling out hyung to Mr. Min. Glancing back over his shoulder he saw Mr. Min smile wide and laugh, before making eye-contact with Taehyung, who had paused by the door.

 

Two peas in a pod, Taehyung thought, no wonder he gave me the key.

 

Present:

 

“Mr. Min!? Wow, he never breaks rules. How’d you convince him to do that?” Jimin asked, surprised.

 

“I just explained the situation,” Taehyung said, still avoiding looking at Jimin.

 

Now Jimin became awkward. He pulled away and started to fiddle with his hands, “oh? The situation? What’s that?”

 

Taehyung closed his book with a sigh and leaned back on the couch, looking at the roof. His thoughts were running a mile a minute. He wasn’t sure what he should say but he knew he had to say something. Jimin didn’t understand why Taehyung was acting this way and he never would. Not if Taehyung had anything to say about it. Mr. Min’s warning be damned.

 

“Look, Jimin-ah…” Taehyung began.

 

Jimin flinched, Taehyung never called him Jimin. Not unless he was mad or upset about something. He could only remember one time in the last few months and it had been when he was scolding Jimin when he thought he was going to hurt someone with his plans.

 

He continued, “I need some time. I can’t– I can’t be around you right now.”

 

“Me? You can’t be around me?” Jimin repeated weakly.

 

Taehyung didn’t answer, just added, “I’m going through some things right now and being near you hurts me, Jimin-ah. I need to deal with that first, okay?”

 

Jimin felt his lips tremble but pushed them together. He wouldn’t cry, “If– if you stay away from me, it will make you feel better?”

 

“Yes,” Taehyung said simply, focusing all his energy on looking away from Jimin.

 

He knew if he saw how upset he was right now, Taehyung would break. He never wanted Jimin to be sad. He had spent his whole life making sure he was always happy and now he was the one causing him pain.

 

This is for the best. If he knew what you were thinking he would be disgusted and hurt. You’re doing this for him.

 

“O– okay. I’ll leave you alone. You’ll get better, right? You’ll feel better?” Jimin asked again.

 

Taehyung just nodded, again ignoring the tremble in Jimin’s voice.

 

“Whatever you need to feel better, Taehyungie-ah. I’m always there if you need me. You’ll come back once you feel better, right?” Jimin asked, hopefully.

 

Grabbing his book, Taehyung stood up and shuffled past Jimin on his way out of the room, “Sure.”

 

“Pinky promise?” Jimin asked, holding out his pinky.

 

But Taehyung didn’t link their fingers together, he just left the room silently without a backward glance. For the first time in 11 years of friendship, Taehyung didn’t return Jimin’s pinky promise. Jimin covered his mouth and willed himself to not cry, but it was useless. He didn’t understand why Taehyung hated him all of a sudden. They had been fine and now being near Jimin caused him pain.

 

What’s wrong with me? Why am I hurting him? I don’t want to hurt him! Does he… does he know how I feel?

 

A sob wracked Jimin’s body and he buried his face in his hands. Taehyung was gone and there was nothing he could do about it.

 

No plan.

 

No trope.

 

Nothing.

 

Taehyung was just gone.

 


 

Hoseok arrived at Soyi’s apartment freshly showered and nervous as hell. He was holding flowers, because he figured that was polite, and shifting from one foot to another. He was trying to build up the courage to knock on her door, when she opened it with a raised brow.

 

“Did you want to come in or do you have a thing for my doorway?”

 

Hoseok laughed, he loved her sense of humour, it reminded him so much of Yoongi, “I would love to come in, sorry. These are for you!”

 

Soyi reached out and took the flowers. It was the first time she had been handed a potted plant by a guy but the way Hoseok was smiling at her made her instantly smile back, “thank you, Seok-ah.”

 

Unconsciously mimicking Yoongi, Hoseok rubbed the back of his neck and smiled bashfully, “you’re welcome.”

 

“Take a seat on the couch. I’ll put these somewhere and grab the food. I order pizza, if that’s okay?”

 

“Of course! You didn’t have to do that.”

 

“Then I’ll eat it myself,” Soyi said over her shoulder, causing Hoseok to laugh.

 

Taking a seat on the couch, Hoseok fidgeted. Generally, all his relationships moved fairly quickly. He liked sex and he wasn’t shy about it. Sometimes this didn’t work well for him since his lovers would only want sex from him, but he didn’t think Soyi was like that. Cue his nervousness. He knew what to expect from previous hookups. He did not know what to expect from Soyi. She had invited him over to watch movies but he didn’t know what that meant.

 

Soyi reentered the room carrying a large pizza, a bottle of wine, and a pack of Sprite. She placed it all on the table and smiled up at Hoseok, “you like Sprite, right?”

 

“Uh, yes.”

 

“Perfect. Now, are you ready for this? Because, though I value your opinion, we are watching Fellowship of the Ring and I really don’t care if you want to or not!” Soyi stated, looking at him with a firm expression that was cracking around the edges as she tried to maintain her straight face.

 

“As if I’d argue! Put it on, hurry up! I want to see Boromir fuck shit up.”

 

“Ah, a man after my own heart,” Soyi joked, patting her chest before grabbing the remote and pressing play.

 

She had already cued up the movie in preparation, which caused Hoseok to laugh and shake his head. He had worried for nothing. Being with Soyi was always easy, he didn’t know why he worried.

 

By the end of the first movie, they were cuddling on the couch, throwing out commentary on the movie and making jokes. It was fun and easy, just like his movie nights with Yoongi, except this featured more cuddling. Except when Yoongi was drunk, that was a totally different scenario. Picturing their last movie night, Hoseok snorted, drawing Soyi’s attention.

 

“What’s so funny?”


“Ah, I was just remembering the last movie night I had with Yoongi-hyung. He’s super standoffish but when he drinks he gets all cuddly and soft. He accidentally got drunk and demanded I be his pillow last time, kinda like the way you’re sitting now.”

 

Soyi laughed, “I can see it. Oppa’s not as cool as people seem to think he is. I don’t know why they think that.”

 

“No, me neither. He’s super soft. Always has been.”

 

“Was he okay with you missing dinner the past few weeks?” Soyi asked, genuinely curious.

 

“Of course, we rescheduled for– ” Hoseok broke off.

 

Sitting up, Soyi looked at him with narrowed eyes, “for when?”

 

“Ah, next week,” Hoseok deflected, remembering how upset she had been about him cancelling plans last Wednesday.

 

“It was tonight, wasn’t it,” it was a statement, not a question.

 

“Maybe,” Hoseok admitted.

 

Soyi sighed and shook her head, “Hoseok-ah, I don’t want you to abandon your friends to be with me! I don’t want them to think I’m that type of person.”

 

“They don’t! I promise I see them every weekend and I’ll be out with Yoongi-hyung next Wednesday as usual. I’m not putting anyone above anyone else. I promise.”

 

Soyi looked at his earnest face and relented, “Okay… if you promise.”

 

“I do!” Hoseok promised, smiling wide.

 

Soyi shook her head again, this time at his face. He had the most infectious smile. It was what had made her fall for him in the first place. That and how nice he was to everyone. It was such a rare trait nowadays and Hoseok pulled it off effortlessly.

 

“Ready for the next one?” Soyi asked, gesturing to the TV.

 

“You bet! This one’s the best,” Hoseok said.

 

“I’m going to pretend you didn’t just say that,” Soyi joked, going to switch the DVDs.

 

“Come on, Helms Deep is amazing.”

 

“Shh, stop while I still like you,” Soyi commented.

 

About halfway through the second movie, Hoseok looked down and just watched Soyi’s face. She looked exactly how Yoongi did when he was playing the piano and writing music. They looked enraptured, watching or playing with a deep focus and clear enjoyment that Hoseok admired. Soyi had never mentioned her love for Lord of the Rings in her letters, in fact she had said her favourite movies were the Harry Potter series because she had grown up with the books. Now, he wasn’t naïve enough to think that she couldn’t love both, but he had noticed most people loved one or the other, they were just very different types of fantasy. He and Yoongi had talked about it often since Hoseok himself liked Lord of the Rings while Yoongi had always liked Harry Potter better. It wasn't that they didn't enjoy the other story, it was just that they were looking for different things.

 

“Hey, Soyi-ah, how do you feel about Harry Potter?”

 

“Huh?” Soyi asked, looking up, “it’s fine. I’ve seen them all and read the books but I always liked Lord of the Rings more. The world-building fascinates me.”

 

“I see,” Hoseok said, “How do you feel about letters?”

 

“Letters?” Soyi repeated, still focused on the screen.

 

“Yea, like love letters. Do think they’re romantic?” Hoseok asked.

 

“I guess,” Soyi responded.

 

She guessed? Hoseok was confused, so he broke his own rule and asked the question he had always wanted to ask, “Did you think our letters were romantic?”

 

Now, he had Soyi’s full attention. She reached out and paused the movie before turning to Hoseok, “Our letters?”

 

Hoseok nodded, “the ones we sent back and forth before I asked you out.”

 

Suddenly, everything made a lot more sense to Soyi. She had had a small (not so small) crush on Hoseok for years. She didn’t think he knew she existed, then he asked her out and she had been so happy she had ignored her questions. Now it made sense.

 

“Seok-ah, I never sent you a letter.”

 

“What?”

 

“I have never sent you a letter. If you got a letter, it wasn’t from me.”

 

“I thought– I was so sure…” Hoseok replied, shaken.

 

Soyi looked at him steadily and felt her heart contract a bit, “Did you only ask me out because you thought I sent you letters?”

 

Hoseok’s eyes widened and then he winced. He wanted to lie, but he knew that wasn’t the right thing to do, “yes.”

 

Nodding, Soyi leaned back on the armrest of the couch, “I figured something was up. You never even talked to me before. I figured Yoongi-oppa just told you how I felt and you decided to give it a go.”

 

“Hyung?”

 

Soyi nodded again, “I told him how I felt about you.”

 

Hoseok furrowed his brows, if hyung knew how she felt, was that why he suggested it was her?

 

“He did give me your name…” Hoseok confessed, “but it doesn’t matter. I like being with you. It doesn’t matter if you sent the letters or not.”

 

“Are you sure?” Soyi asked quietly.

 

“Yes! You make me happy, Soyi-ah.” Hoseok told her honestly.

 

“That makes me really happy, Hoseok-ah, you have no idea how much, but,” Soyi paused, looking away, “I think you still need to find out who wrote the letters.”

 

“What?”

 

“You need to know, Hoseok-ah. Or you’ll always wonder.”

 

“It doesn’t matter!”

 

“It matters to me. It makes me feel like I’m stealing someone else’s love. If you meet this person and still want to be with me, I’ll be here. But you need to know. I need to know.”

 

Hoseok looked at Soyi and saw the resolve there. She was right. He needed to know who wrote the letters. He needed to know once and for all if what he had felt for the author was real or not. He liked Soyi. He liked her a lot, but she was right. He would always wonder and so would she. They couldn’t base a relationship on an unsteady ground like that.

 

“I’ll find out who it was,” Hoseok agreed.

 

“Good. Now let’s watch Aragorn sigh internally at Théoden’s choices for the next hour.”

 


 

Now, Jungkook had never had a break down before, but he was fairly certain this was exactly how it would feel. He felt like he was constantly being pulled in two different directions. He had failed both his friends and now he felt like he couldn’t help either of them. Jimin had asked him if he knew what was wrong with Taehyung and he had had to lie and avoid the question. If he told him the truth, not only would Jimin be hurt, so would Taehyung since he clearly didn’t want Jimin to know. Now, he couldn’t even talk to Taehyung because he felt guilty for not talking to him sooner.

 

He had gone to see Taehyung after he had left play practice the week before. It had taken bribery and some serious begging to convince Taehyung’s mom to let him in.

 

After the incident:

 

Once Taehyung’s mom had finally relented, he found Taehyung crying in bed and Jungkook’s heart broke.

 

“Hyung? Are you okay?” Jungkook asked.

 

Taehyung sat up quickly and wiped his face, trying to play it cool, but Jungkook had already seen, “of course. Just watched a sad video.”


“Hyung…” Jungkook said, sitting on the edge of Taehyung’s bed.

 

Looking at Jungkook, who had a look of both pity and guilt in his eyes, Taehyung felt himself crumble, “you knew!”

 

“I– I thought you did too. I didn’t know– I’m sorry, hyung” Jungkook apologized.

 

“You’re sorry?”

 

“Yes. If I had noticed you didn’t know sooner, I could have– I could have talked to you! So that you didn’t find out when– ” Jungkook hesitated.

 

“When Jimin-ah gave away my gift” Taehyung finished for him.

 

“Yea.”

 

“That’s not your responsibility Kookie-ah. I wouldn’t have listened. As much as– as this hurts, I needed to figure it out on my own.”

 

“I just – I’m still sorry.”

 

“It’s okay, Kookie-ah. Come here,” Taehyung said, bring him in for a hug, “I’m going to need some time to figure this out, okay? But we’ll get back to normal eventually.”


“What are you going to do?”

 

“I’m going to spend some time away from Jimin-ah. Deal with these feelings. Then I’ll come back.”

 

Jungkook sat back up, “And if you can’t ‘deal with’ them? Then what?”

 

Taehyung paused, he hadn’t considered what would happen if he couldn’t stop loving Jimin, “Then I’ll stay away. Jimin-ah doesn’t deserve that kind of friendship.”

 

“You can’t just– ” Jungkook protested.

 

“Jungkook-ah. If you care about me at all, I need you to give me the time I need,” Taehyung interrupted.

 

His soft plea made Jungkook pause. He would give Taehyung time, but he wouldn’t allow Taehyung to pull away forever. He just wouldn’t.

 

Present:

 

He had given Taehyung a week. He had expected that Taehyung would get used to his new feelings and come back to the group, but he hadn’t. Jimin was so clearly hurting, avoiding talking about Taehyung directly, but it couldn’t be helped. Where there had always been three, suddenly there were only two and it was obvious. Everyone noticed. Students had begun to whisper. Even those in his class had asked him if the two had fought since they were notoriously close.

 

It was getting out of hand.

 

Jungkook had been worried about losing his friends. He had acted selfishly, thinking he would be left behind if his two best (and only) friends began dating, but this was so much worse. At least, even if they had left Jungkook behind, someone would be happy. Now, no one was. Everyone was miserable and he had to fix it.

 

Early in the week, Jungkook had asked Jimin what his next step for Seokjin and Namjoon was given that they were clearly closer but still not obviously dating, but Jimin had nearly cried when he brought it up. Jungkook had hoped it would distract Jimin, but instead, all it did was remind him of the times they had planned with Taehyung. Jimin had given him the notebook he stored all the tropes in and told him to do whatever he wanted.

 

Pulling out that notebook now, Jungkook scanned the tropes and sighed. He didn’t want to help Seokjin and Namjoon, they were fine. He wanted to help Jimin and Taehyung. His hyungs were all he had. They had been there for him when he needed someone, now he wanted to be there for them.

 

If only real life was like a drama.

 

Wait.

 

Scanning the tropes again, Jungkook smiled.

 

If you two won’t talk this out, I’ll make you!

 


 

When Seokjin had returned to pick up Yoongi, he had been pleased to see that Yoongi did indeed look fuckable. He had styled his hair and worn the jeans that Seokjin had made him buy because they made his butt look good. He had even worn a belt and tucked in his shirt. Now, Seokjin had hoped Yoongi would wear colour, but given Yoongi had let him put some makeup on him that made his eyes look amazing, he couldn’t complain.

 

They were now at a club where Seokjin knew the bouncer so they could get in quickly. Yoongi had made a beeline for the bar, needing copious amounts of alcohol to make him comfortable at a place like this, and Seokjin and Namjoon had followed dutifully behind.

 

Yoongi hated places like these. Not because of the noise or the people, but because they made him feel awkward. He wasn’t good at talking to just anyone, so he needed someone with him at all times so he wouldn’t look like a total loser. Hoseok had been great at that. He always easily fit into whatever room he was thrown into. Ever since they were young, Yoongi had followed him like an awkward shadow. In fact, he had never been to a club without Hoseok. Even when Yoongi had been performing at clubs, Hoseok had been there.

 

The club was meant to make him forget, but all it was doing was making him miss Hoseok more.

 

Downing another shot while waving his hand for another, Yoongi looked out on the dance floor. Seokjin and Namjoon were dancing and making fools of themselves and Yoongi felt envy squeeze his heart. He had always known they would find each other one day, the fact that they loved each other was so clear to literally anyone with eyes that it had been a matter of when not if. He and Hoseok actually bet on how long it would take. If it keeps going like this, Hoseok would win.

 

Hoseok. Why does everything go back to him?

 

Grabbing yet another shot, Yoongi felt the edges of his vision blur comfortably and sighed happily. A few more of those and he would be able to dance without dying of embarrassment. Hoseok always said he was a good dancer, but he doubted it.

 

Hoseok. FUCK.

 

Yoongi pouted and ordered another shot, he would not think about him anymore. Looking back out on the dance floor he saw Seokjin laughed and wrap his arms around Namjoon’s shoulders. They were smiling at each other now. Namjoon’s looked like he was blushing, but it was hard to tell under the lights. Seokjin was absolutely glowing.

 

Seokjin finally broke eye contact and let Namjoon tuck him into his chest. They seemed to be doing some odd slow dance completely off-beat with no discernible rhythm. They looked happy. Yoongi felt that pulse of envy again and forced himself to look away. He grabbed a newly freed seat and sighed, resting his head in his hand. This night was not turning out how he thought it would.

 

Feeling movement on his left, Yoongi dropped his hand and turned his head, catching the eyes of a very cute man about his age. The man in question looked Yoongi up and down quickly before smiling wide.

 

“Hey, cutie. Can I buy you a drink?”

Chapter Text

The first thing Yoongi became aware of was the blaring sound of his alarm. The second was the feeling of his head splitting in half and the taste of death in his mouth. The third was a warm body wrapped around him like an overly affectionate koala. 

 

For a second, Yoongi laid still, trying desperately to remember the night before. He could recall arriving at the club, watching Namjoon and Seokjin dance, downing way too many shots, and a cute boy– fuck . Yoongi rubbed his face and sighed. Had he brought home some random guy because he was lonely and desperate? God, what was he even going to say? He didn’t feel like he had had sex but that doesn’t mean he hadn’t done something .

 

Deciding he needed to deal with the situation sooner rather than later, Yoongi took a deep breath and lifted the blanket. Where he had expected to find some vaguely familiar person, he found Hoseok instead. He was starting to grumble unhappily since Yoongi’s alarm was still ringing but he was still asleep. 

 

Fuck, this is even worse. Why is he here?

 

Yoongi stared at Hoseok, unable to move. Hoseok had definitely not been at the club the night before. At least not as far as he could remember. Yoongi frantically tried to remember him arriving but he couldn’t. He couldn’t even remember coming home. Hoseok interrupted his frantic memory search by sighing loudly and rolling over to turn off Yoongi’s alarm.

 

“Why did you let that ring for so long. It was so annoying~” Hoseok grumbled, flopping on his back and looking up at Yoongi.

 

“I– sorry,” Yoongi replied hesitantly.

 

Hoseok narrowed his eyes and then laughed, “You don’t remember calling me at all , do you?”

 

Calling you?! ” Yoongi squeaked, desperately hoping he was lying.

 

“Yup. Let me set the scene. I’m cuddling with Soyi-ah, really getting into watching Orlando Bloom run around killing people looking all pretty, then my phone starts ringing. Who’s on the other end? Well, my best friend. Why is he calling you ask? Because he’s drunk and crying that’s why,” Hoseok revealed, smiling slightly while trying to cover his worry.

 

“I did not cry!” Yoongi denies.

 

“Oh, but you did. I was so shocked I basically ran to the club! You never cry, hyung”

 

I never cry in front of you, there’s a difference , “I– did I say why?” please, god, no .

 

But Hoseok shook his head, “no, you were pretty unintelligible. I asked the dude you were with but he said he wasn’t sure and you cheered up when I got there so I never found out. Do you remember?” 

 

Yoongi winced, “no, the last thing I remember is getting a drink with some guy at the bar.”

 

“I’m guessing that was the guy I found you with. He seemed nice. He was taking care of you, not trying to feel you up or take advantage at all. He was genuinely concerned that you get home okay,” Hoseok revealed.

 

“I’m sorry for ruining your date, Seok-ah,” Yoongi apologized softly.

 

Hoseok sat up and ran his hand through his hair, “you said that last night too! Don’t be! You’re my best friend, hyung. I want to be there for you when you’re upset. You never tell me when you’re sad or hurting. I know I’ve been MIA lately because of Soyi-ah but that doesn’t mean I don’t care if you’re hurting!” 

 

“I’m okay, Seok-ah. It was just the alcohol,” Yoongi reassured.

 

Looking at him closely, Hoseok tilted his head, now maybe was the time Yoongi would admit to what was going on, “I don’t think so. You were sobbing, hyung. The guy you were with thought someone had died or you had been dumped. He threatened to punch me if I was the reason you were crying.”

 

“What?” Yoongi asked, looking up in surprise. Why would some random dude try and defend him?

 

Hoseok nodded, “He thought you called me because I was your ex and wouldn’t let you leave with me until I convinced him otherwise.”

 

“Oh,” Yoongi said. 

 

"Can you explain what's going on? You never really tell me what you're feeling. I get that you don't like to talk about emotions or whatever, but like, you get like this a lot," Hoseok continued. 

 

"It was just a one off thing, Seok-ah. I'm fine. I promise," Yoongi reiterated, hoping the conversation would end there.

 

Hoseok pursed his lips and sighed, “Look, hyung, I don’t know what’s going on with you or why you won’t tell me what you’re feeling but just know I’m here for you, okay? Whenever you want to talk.”

 

“I know, Seok-ah. I promise I’m okay.”

 

Hoseok sighed, knowing Yoongi was lying but unsure how to get him to be honest, “okay, hyung.”

 

Hoseok got up and stretched, “mind if I grab a shower? I won’t have time to go back home before work.”

 

“Go ahead, I’ll make some food.”

 

With a grunt, Hoseok left the room, leaving Yoongi to flop back on the bed and cover his face with his hands. That could have been bad. He could have revealed everything by accident! Thankfully his drunk self was just happy to see Hoseok so he hadn’t rambled on. Yoongi tried to ignore how sad that made him seem. 

 

You were sobbing, hyung

 

Yoongi pushed himself up and shuffled to the kitchen, quickly feeding Holly, then grabbing the ingredients needed for coffee and a quick breakfast. Yoongi was becoming more and more aware of his need to deal with his feelings for Hoseok. He hadn’t always been like this. There had been a time when he had barely thought of his feelings at all. He’d had them completely under control before, but the letters had given him an outlet. For the first time, he had been able to talk about his feelings openly without fear of rejection. The floodgates had opened and no amount of patching would fix it. 

 

“You know, hyung, you should find that guy again,” Hoseok commented, emerging from the shower with wet hair and wearing clothes he had stored at Yoongi’s for nights just like the last one, and startled Yoongi out of his reverie.

 

“What?”

 

“That guy. He was really nice, seriously. If you hadn’t been drunk, I would have left you with him for sure,” Hoseok revealed, “you never date so it was nice to see you with someone for once.”

 

“Ah, you know I’m just not really into that scene.”

 

“I know. I was surprised you were at a club, to be honest. You’ve never gone without me before,” Hoseok commented.

 

“Yea, which is why I drank so much. Needed to feel comfortable.”

 

Taking a seat at the kitchen table, Hoseok sighed, “Which is why you shouldn’t go to places like that alone. And don’t say you were with Jin-hyung and Namjoon-ah because they were so wrapped up in each other the building could have collapsed and they wouldn’t have noticed.”

 

Yoongi flipped the eggs and turned off the burner, “can you believe those two finally found each other though? Looks like you’ll win the bet.”

 

“Not yet though, the bet isn’t over until they’re officially together.”

 

“Hmm,” Yoongi agreed, setting the food and coffee on the table. 

 

They ate in silence, comfortable with each other as always. Even if Hoseok had missed their last two dinners, there was no awkwardness; they had been friends for too long for that. When they were finished, Hoseok grabbed the dishes to clean them as he always did, while Yoongi took his own shower and got ready for the day, but before he could leave the room, Hoseok called him back.

 

“I was serious before. About that guy. Or any guy. You’re always alone, hyung. You deserve to be happy and feel loved. I want you to find someone who loves you,” Hoseok said, looking at the floor awkwardly. 

 

Yoongi flinched visibly, but Hoseok wasn’t looking at him. His head was down and his eyebrows were furrowed. He looked genuinely concerned. When Yoongi didn’t reply right away, Hoseok looked up and his eyes were also sad. He just wanted Yoongi to understand that he could be happy with someone. He had always been alone and Hoseok worried he would further isolate himself. 

 

“I know, Seok-ah. I think I’m going to try, okay? I just need time to get used to the idea. It’s been years.”

 

Hoseok smiled but his eyes were still sad, “that’s good, hyung. You deserve to be happy.”

 

“I know,” Yoongi replied, leaving the room. 

 

In the shower, Yoongi let himself crumple under the weight of the morning. He had called Hoseok because he was sad and now Hoseok was telling him to find someone to make him happy. Yoongi kneeled down in the tub and let the water flow over his back. 

 

It was time he tried to be happy without Hoseok.

 


 

Unlike Yoongi who woke up with pain and a spotty memory, Seokjin opened his eyes with a happy sigh and small smile. His alarm hadn’t even gone off, he just opened his eyes with the rising sun. Or what he assumed to be the rising sun because blackout curtains were a must. 

 

Seokjin had had an amazing night. Just remembering the way Namjoon had smiled at him and stroked his hair while they danced made him squeal and roll around in his bed like a teenager. He was so happy. He never thought his crush of years would look at him like that. Seokjin was fairly certain if Namjoon kept smiling at him with those dimples he was going to actually die. 

 

Seokjin decided to use his extra time to do an extended version of his skincare routine determined to look as good as possible when he saw Namjoon today. As he washed his face and applied moisturizer, toner, and a little highlighter –so sue him, he wanted to glow – he replayed the evening. 

 

At first, they had been dancing and having fun. Like him, Namjoon was a decent dancer but perpetually off-rhythm unless he tried. They had devolved into silly dance moves, trying to make each other laugh. It had been light and fun and Seokjin smiled remembering it. Then Namjoon had pulled him in and they had danced slow and to their own music. Seokjin sighed remembering the feeling of his hands on Namjoon’s chest and Namjoon’s arms wrapped around him holding him close. He had practically glowed under the flashing lights of the club, the shadows emphasizing his eyes and dimples. Seokjin was sure he would never forget the way Namjoon had looked smiling down at him. 

 

As Seokjin stood in his closest, deciding what outfit would make him look particularly perfect, he caught sight of one of Yoongi’s old snapbacks. Seokjin had taken this one because it was  terrible and made Yoongi look stupid. He had always meant to give it back, but he had forgotten. He frowned now, remembering how Hoseok had shown up at the club to take Yoongi home. He felt like a terrible friend, having missed the fact that Yoongi was crying and looking for comfort. He should have seen it. He should have known. Yoongi had been sad before they left, Seokjin knew that, so he should have paid more attention. Seokjin promised himself he would talk to Yoongi as soon as possible and make sure he was okay. It was the least he could do after forgetting about him the night before. 

 

That thought drove Seokjin forward as he got dressed and left the house for work, but as usual, Namjoon came out of nowhere and surprised him. When he arrived in the office, he found Namjoon frantically trying to re-arrange the Mario figurines on his desk. Some appeared to be knocked over and every time Namjoon place one in its spot he managed to knock over another one. It was as chaotic as it was adorable.

 

“Joonie-ah, what are you doing?” Seokjin asked, proceeding to his desk. 

 

Namjoon jumped, knocking over the figurine he had just place and whipped around holding something to his chest, “um, I was– ahhhh…”

 

“Do you not like the way I have my desk organized?” Seokjin commented, putting his bag and jacket down.

 

“No! Of course not, I just– ah,” Namjoon sighed, why could he never just be cool and smooth, “I wanted to give you this.”

 

Namjoon held out his previously clutched hands and revealed a small Mario and Luigi figurine. The two characters were seated on a mushroom and waving little hands. Seokjin smiled at the gift and took it out of Namjoon’s hands.

 

“Another gift so soon? You spoil me,” Seokjin joked.

 

“Well, I didn’t buy the last one and I wanted to give you something from me. I know you like Mario so I thought this would be perfect.” 

 

Seokjin looked up, idly stroking the top of the figurine, “but I don’t like Luigi.”

 

Namjoon smiled wide, dimples flashing, “but I do, so it’s a perfect match.”

 

Dead. I am dead .

 

“We are,” Seokjin agreed, then remembering his decision to not hide his feelings anymore from the night before, he continued, “I had a lot of fun last night, Joonie-ah. I think we should go out again sometime, just the two of us.”

 

If it was possible, Namjoon’s smile got even brighter, “I’d like that a lot, hyung.”

 

Seokjin smiled in return and soon they were just smiling at each other like idiots, neither willing to break the atmosphere they had created. Yoongi, however, did that for them. He came in slowly, shuffling so that he wouldn’t aggravate his hangover. When he saw how disgustingly cute Namjoon and Seokjin were being he frowned with narrow eyes, but didn’t have the heart to disturb them. 

 

Noticing his entrance, Seokjin looked away from Namjoon and immediately ran to Yoongi’s side, “Yoonie-ah, are you okay? I’m so sorry I left you last night. I know how you are with clubs and I– ”

 

But Yoongi shrugged off his apology and glanced meaningfully at Namjoon who had returned to rearranging the figurines so Seokjin and Yoongi could have a moment, “I get it. I’m not mad. I’m happy for you.”

 

Seokjin blushed and followed Yoongi’s gaze, “I’m really happy, Yoonie-ah.”

 

“I’m glad.”

 

“But I want you to be happy too,” Seokjin added.

 

Yoongi flinched again, this time at the reminder of Hoseok’s earlier words, “you’re the second person to say that to me today.”

 

“Oh?” Seokjin asked.

 

Taking his seat, Yoongi sighed while resting his head in his hand, “Seok-ah told me I should find someone to make me happy.”

 

“That’s it. I’m going to drag his oblivious ass– ”

 

Yoongi laughed, “It’s okay, hyung. He’s right.”

 

This caused Seokjin to pause. Never, in all the time Seokjin had known Yoongi, had he not been in love with Hoseok. Yoongi had never even considered dating anyone else, not really. Hookups and flings, sure, but nothing serious. Seokjin was both disappointed and happy with this development. Disappointed because he knew Hoseok and Yoongi were perfect for each other, happy because he wanted Yoongi to find happiness for himself.

 

So, playing off his conflicting feelings, Seokjin asked, “Are you sure?”

 

Sensing Seokjin’s conflict, Yoongi nodded firmly, “I am. It’s time”

 

“I support you, no matter what. Remember that.”

 

“I know, hyung. Thank you.” Yoongi thanked with a small smile.

 

Seokjin sighed and watched Namjoon smile down at the desk he had finally finished re-arranging, “It seems it’s the time for the beginning of new things.”

 


 

Theatre practice had been something Jungkook looked forward to eagerly ever since they had decided to audition for the play. Despite the fact that he was playing a tree –he was still offended by that– and had no lines, he loved having an excuse to hang out with Taehyung and Jimin on school time. Since the incidentTM, Taehyung had stopped coming, instead practicing alone with Seokjin in his spare time. This had the effect of making Jimin even more upset since Taehyung loved theatre, so he was missing an activity he cared about because he couldn’t be around Jimin.

 

Jimin was a wreck, but he was covering it well. After Taehyung had failed to promise that he would eventually come back, he had been putting on an overly cheerful front. He was constantly hanging out with people he had only ever casually hung out with before. It was like he was trying to replace the hole Taehyung had left. It was painful to watch. Jimin wasn’t being disingenuous, he did like the new group he was hanging out with, but they weren’t Taehyung. And they weren’t Jungkook, because he didn’t deal with new people well so he had avoided all the group hangouts Jimin had invited him to.

 

As of now, their former group of three was divided into three single people drifting alone and Jungkook had had enough. He had given them enough time to figure their shit out and neither of them had done anything. Jungkook had hesitated in executing his own plan alone but desperate times called for desperate measures.

 

This is how Jungkook found himself leaning over the top of a faux wall, smiling down at Jimin in a way he hoped look genuine, “hey, hyung, can you do me a favour?”

 

Jimin looked up in surprise and tilted his head, “sure, Kookie-ah, of course. What’s up?” 

 

“Ah, I need a new step stool. This one is all rickety and I feel like I’m going to fall but I can’t leave the area unattended, can you run to the storage room and grab me a new one?”

 

Looking concerned, Jimin jumped up to agree, “be careful! I’ll be right back, okay?”

 

“I will. Thanks, hyung”

 

Jimin immediately left, jogging to the storage room. Jungkook followed behind slowly, checking his phone to make sure everything was still going according to plan. He saw several angry messages from Taehyung and smiled. Perfect.

 

Driven by worry that Jungkook would get hurt with a faulty step stool, Jimin ran into the storage room. The light was on, which surprised him, but he proceeded to look for a stool anyway, unconcerned with the oddness of the situation. Until, of course, something moved in the corner and he jumped, letting out a high and loud scream. 

 

Taehyung emerged from the corner, holding his phone, with a shocked look on his face, “is the door open?”

 

“What are you doing here?!”

 

Ignoring him, Taehyung made a break for the door, but a loud bang echoed out throughout the room before he could make it. They could hear Jungkook yelling through the door.

 

“I’m sorry hyungs but this has gone on long enough! I’m not letting you out until you talk to each other!”

 

The sound of a lock sliding into place could be heard, as if emphasizing his point. Taehyung felt his shoulders tense and looked back at Jimin. He was looking at Taehyung hopefully, waiting for something but Taehyung wouldn’t accommodate. Shuffling awkwardly, Taehyung moved back to his previous spot on the gym mats and took a seat. Jimin watched as he avoided eye contact and flipped his phone around and around, trying to distract himself. 

 

For what seemed like forever, they sat in silence. Jimin felt himself get restless. They had never sat in silence like this before. Their relationship had always been easy and fun. The fact that suddenly it was awkward and quiet was causing Jimin physical pain. It was this pain that drove him to speak.

 

“Taehyungie-ah, are you okay?” Jimin asked. 

 

There was no response. Taehyung was now laying down on the mat, staring at his phone. He hadn’t even glanced in Jimin’s direction when he spoke. He had reached out with concern and Taehyung had ignored him . That hurt more than anything Taehyung had ever done. He could take being avoided. He could take hanging out alone. He could not handle Taehyung pretending he isn’t there when he was. Unlike last time, Jimin couldn’t hold back his tears. He felt his shoulders shake as sobs overtook his body and covered his mouth.

 

Taehyung heard the muffled sobs though, and immediately sat up, “please don’t cry Jimin-ah.”

 

Jimin sniffed but continued to cry, “can’t you just tell me what I did so I can fix it or apologize? Please? I miss you, Tae-ah. Please .”

 

Flinching as if Jimin had actually hit him, Taehyung rushed to deny Jimin’s statement, “you didn’t do anything wrong Jimin-ah. I promise.”

 

“Then why are you calling me Jimin! You never call me Jimin. You always add the –ie! Always .”

 

“Jiminie-ah,” Taehyung corrected, “it’s not your fault okay? I just need time.”

 

“I– I don’t want to give you time. You never promised you’d come back. If I give you time you’ll stay away!” Jimin protested, trying uselessly to wipe away the tears that kept coming.

 

Taehyung didn’t answer, but he moved further away from Jimin. Hoping to block out the sound of his crying and essentially confirming Jimin’s fears.

 

I have to stay strong. This is for him. It’s better this way.

“Do you hate me?” Jimin asked quietly.

 

Taehyung felt his neck crack when he snapped his head back to look at Jimin so quickly. How could he think that? “Of course not, Jiminie-ah.”

 

“Then what’s wrong ?!” Jimin asked again, “Please just tell me why it hurts to be around me. What did I do ? I can stop whatever it is!”

 

Jimin’s begging broke Taehyung’s resolve and he snapped, “I love you, okay? It hurts because I love you!” 

 

His admission rang throughout the room. All that could be heard was Jimin’s sniffling as continued to cry, then “I love you too, Taehyungie-ah.”

 

If Taehyung thought he knew what pain was before, he was wrong. Hearing Jimin say he loved him but not meaning it in the same way made Taehyung’s whole heart contract. He felt like he was going to buckle under the pressure. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to yell or cry.

 

Jimin continued, “of course I do. I don’t understand.”

 

Yell it was.

 

“No, I love you. Romantically. I want to kiss you. Hold you. Date you. Get it?!”

 

“I– what?” Jimin stuttered in shock.

 

“So, I need time okay? It’s wrong, I know that. I’m getting over it so just leave alone and let me do that, okay?” Taehyung continued, angry Jimin had made him confess.

 

This confession only served to make Jimin cry harder, unsure why Taehyung would hate loving him so much, “why is it wrong? Why am I wrong?”

 

“It’s not you, Jiminie-ah. It’s me.”

 

Now, Jimin wasn’t an angry person. Not by a long shot. He never really had reason to get angry. He loved his life and his friends. When he did get angry, however, it was usually a sight to behold. Very rarely was it not complete and utter chaos. 

 

It’s not you, it’s me?! Are you kidding ?” Jimin yelled, tears burning away with anger.

 

Taehyung’s eyes widened, “Jimi– ” but it was too late. Jimin looked around, found a tub of beanbags they used for games in gym class and reached in. Jimin grabbed a bag and threw it. Then another and another. Taehyung was trying desperately to dodge each bag but Jimin was throwing them too quickly. 

 

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME? HUH? IS IT SO BAD TO LOVE ME?!” Jimin yelled. 

 

Realizing he was running out of beanbags, Jimin looked around for something else to throw. He found some tennis balls in a box beside the rackets and made a grab for those too. Taehyung had gotten a second of relief but as soon as he relaxed, he was hit in the head with a tennis ball. 

 

“AM I REALLY THAT BAD?” Jimin continued, tossing one ball after another. 

 

Taehyung had said nothing the entire time, ignoring Jimin’s screams. He had figured that was the safest bet. Eventually, Jimin got tired and collapsed to the floor.

 

“I love you, you idiot. I always have, but you’re straight or I thought you were. You never said anything so I didn’t– why didn’t you say anything?! I told you when I realized I was bi. You let me cry when I thought everyone would hate me. What happened to telling each other everything, Tae-ah?” Jimin demanded, exhausted. 

 

Shock. What Taehyung was feeling was shock. He couldn’t reply. Mostly because he wasn’t sure how to move his mouth anymore. He had known Jimin was bi, sure, but he had never had a crush on a boy, not once. Taehyung had honestly just assumed Jimin had changed his mind. He knew how stupid that was. He knew that wasn’t how it worked but years of Jimin only liking girls had coloured his vision. He felt immensely guilty now. 

 

Jiminie-ah loves me

 

Taehyung realized that all the pain and suffering of the past weeks were for nothing. That if he had listened to his mom, he could have avoided everything. That if he had told Jimin he was gay when he realized it, they could have had this discussion much sooner. 

 

Why didn’t I say anything?

 

Jimin mistook Taehyung’s silence for disgust, still fixated on Taehyung’s earlier feeling of ‘wrong’ and continued talking, “god, I hate you, you know that? What’s so bad about me?”

 

His last question struck a chord within himself. Age-old self-doubt and hatred rushing up, threatening to swallow him whole. Jimin clutched his hands on his knees and forced himself to continue, “is it because I need your help all the time? I can stop that. I can be more independent. Just, please stop avoiding me Taehyung-ah. It hurts .”

 

Jimin’s plea broke through the shock that had been holding him immobile and Taehyung felt his own lips start to tremble. He scrunched his face as he tried to stop himself from crying, but it became too much. He felt his whole face turn red and his chest squeeze tight. Taehyung curled into himself and covered his face with a hand, letting out harsh cries as a sense of overwhelming relief crashed over his body.

 

“I– I thought– I was so sure you would hate me,” Taehyung confessed between sobs.

 

Jimin felt his own eyes well up again as he watched Taehyung cry. He wanted to go offer comfort but he knew he couldn’t. Not right now. Not before they had worked out their issues.

 

“I could never hate you, Taehyung-ah. I love you. You’re my best friend. You’re the best person I know.”

 

Watching as Taehyung tried to pull himself together, Jimin switched positions so he was sitting with his knees pulled up and rested his chin on the top of his knees. Eventually, Taehyung stopped crying and he came and sat in front of Jimin with his legs crossed. For a while, they sat in silence. 

 

Unlike last time, it wasn’t awkward. They were adjusting to their new reality. They had confessed. They loved each other.

 

Wait. Holy shit

 

Jimin coughed awkwardly and shifted in embarrassment, “so you love me, huh?”

 

“I do,” Taehyung admitted, grabbing Jimin’s hands so he could play with his fingers. He had been right, it felt different when they weren’t just friends.

 

“You wanna date me?” Jimin continued.

 

Taehyung smiled, “I do.”

 

“You wanna kiss~~~ me?” Jimin asked, leaning in with a small smile.

 

“I definitely do,” Taehyung agreed.

 

“What are you waiting for then?”

 

“Permission.”

 

“You have it.”

 

Jimin dropped his legs so Taehyung could lean closer. He was still holding Jimin’s hand, but that didn’t stop him from pulling Jimin in with his other hand. Without closing his eyes, Taehyung placed a light, chaste kiss on Jimin’s lips and waited. Neither boy moved for a second as they tested the waters. Eventually, Jimin smiled and closed his eyes, pressing harder against Taehyung’s mouth. The kiss remained chaste but their lips moved together now, trying to get a feel for each other. For what this meant for their friendship. They stayed like that for a while, exchanging soft, chaste kisses in between smiles and soft comments. 

 

Soon, Jimin shifted his fingers so they were intertwined and pulled back with a smile, resting his head on Taehyung’s shoulder. Taehyung tilted his head so his cheek rested on top of Jimin’s head. He felt rather than heard Jimin laugh.

 

“What’s so funny?”

 

“I’m still going to beat the shit out of Jungkook-ah for this. I hate small rooms”

 

“You’re not claustrophobic, right?”

 

“No, you’d know if I was. I just don’t like it.”

 

“We’ll beat him up together. Our first couple activity.”

 

Jimin leaned back, “Are you asking me out, Taehyung-ah?”

 

“Only if your answer is yes”

 

Laughing, Jimin returned to his previous position, “only if you promise not to leave.”

 

“Pinky promise?” Taehyung asked, releasing Jimin’s hand so he could hold out his pinky.

 

“Pinky promise,” Jimin agreed linking their pinkies together again. 




Outside the storage room, Jungkook sat with his back to the door, listening to the commotion and yelling inside. He hadn’t wanted to listen but he also knew he couldn’t leave the room unguarded just in case someone came by and wanted to go inside. Thus, he sat and tried not to eavesdrop. Which wasn’t easy given how loud Jimin was when he was upset or angry. When the room went silent and he couldn’t hear them talking anymore, Jungkook knew they had settled their issue. He knew, without a doubt, that when they left the room, they would be a couple and everything would return to normal again. 

 

Standing up and shaking his head, Jungkook unlocked the door and left the area, “finally. Always leaving everything to the maknae.”

 


 

Yoongi had had a long day. It had, in fact, been a totally normal day length but since he was incredibly hungover, it counted as a long day. He felt a little bit guilty as he sat at his desk and let his class have a partial free period for the last 15 minutes of class, but his headache would just not go away and he couldn’t be bothered to teach anymore. That’ll teach him for drinking on a school night. He was never listening to Seokjin again. 

 

He glanced down as his phone vibrated and smiled a bit reading the message and typed a quick reply.

 

Bar Boy 2:45 p.m.

Not that I’m saying you can’t call me bar boy

But my name is Kihyun. 

Min Yoongi 2:46 p.m.

I think I like bar boy better

 

His response was almost immediate. 

 

Bar Boy 2:46 p.m.

At least make it cute bar boy.

I am pretty cute

Be honest

 

Yoongi chuckled but quickly covered it with a cough so he wouldn’t be called out by his students.

 

Min Yoongi 2:47 p.m.

You’re alright I guess

 

Cute Bar Boy 2:48 p.m.

Such high praise.

How will my ego handle it.

 

Shoving away his phone, Yoongi spent the last few minutes of his class lost in thought. Lightly flirting with this random Kihyun guy was fun. It felt nice. Yoongi hadn’t realized how nice it would feel to have someone show genuine interest in him. It had been years since he pursued anyone outside a quick hookup and he had forgotten how it felt. His feelings for Hoseok had somehow become the center of his love life and he didn’t want that anymore. If Hoseok wouldn’t –couldn’t– love him back, Yoongi realized he couldn’t just wait in hopes that changed. It wasn’t fair to him and it wasn’t fair to Hoseok. It wasn’t his fault he didn’t love Yoongi that way and Yoongi deserved someone who did. Yoongi wondered if this Kihyun was that person. 

 

When the bell rang, Yoongi grabbed his stuff and basically ran for his office. He wanted to get home and go to bed ASAP. He needed food, Holly, and sleep. Not necessarily in that order. He had neglected him this morning and he felt bad, so Holly was definitely going to come first. Regardless, he wanted to go home . It was not a ‘late night at the office’ type of night. Hell no. 

 

Yoongi felt his phone buzz in his pocket, likely another message from Kihyun, but he ignored it. If he hadn’t, he likely would have avoided a great deal of pain. But he did. Shrugging on his coat and shoving the marking he needed to do over the weekend in his bag, Yoongi prepared to leave the office. It was his one glance backward to make sure he hadn’t missed anything that changed the course of his life. 

 

On Hoseok’s desk sat a single letter with ‘Sunflower’ written on top. Yoongi felt his heart clench and told himself to walk away. To leave the letter. But he couldn’t. Going over to Hoseok’s desk, Yoongi grabbed the letter with shaky fingers and grimaced. The pain in his chest intensified but he opened the letter anyway. 

 

Inside there were two words written in large handwriting. Yoongi dropped the letter and recoiled like he had been burned.

 

Got  you.

 

Yoongi turned to run out the door but halted abruptly.

 

“So, it was you.”

Chapter Text

Hoseok squinted, searching the dark room as a feeling of panic settled heavy on his chest. He had been sitting with Soyi when he received a phone call from Yoongi. Since he rarely called, always preferring to text unless a response was needed immediately, Hoseok didn’t hesitate to pick up, not even waiting for Soyi to pause the movie. Yoongi’s voice had cracked on the other line. He hadn’t been able to hear much, the music was far too loud in the background, but he could hear Yoongi’s sobbing clearly. Less than a half-hour later, Hoseok found himself standing in a random club desperately trying to find his friend. 

 

The longer it took for Hoseok to find Yoongi, the more panicked he became. It had taken him too long to arrive at the club, anything could have happened in that time. He knew Yoongi was drunk, that much had been clear during their phone call, and despite what Yoongi said, he was small and something could easily happen to him while he was incapacitated. Hoseok wasn’t sure what he would do if something happened to Yoongi because he bailed for a movie night.

 

I should have been here

 

Hoseok’s mind had been on a repeated cycle of worry and self-abuse. If he had gone out with them as planned, Yoongi wouldn’t be missing now. If he had been a better friend, Yoongi wouldn’t be alone god knows where. Just as he was about to do his third lap of the club, Hoseok caught sight of Namjoon and Seokjin on the dance floor. They were dancing closely in the centre, completely wrapped up in their own little world. He felt a stab of anger but held it back. 

 

You left him alone too, you have no right to be angry. Shitty friends don’t have the right.

 

His worry for Yoongi overriding his anger that Yoongi had been left alone, Hoseok began to weave his way through the crowd towards Namjoon and Seokjin. He had almost made it when he finally saw Yoongi. He was seated in a small booth near the back. Even from a distance, Hosoek could see that Yoongi was still crying, his head was down and his shoulders were shaking, and clutching his phone. There was a stranger next to him. He was about the same size as Yoongi with a sharp nose and full lips, which were currently downturned as he looked at Yoongi in what Hoseok thought was worry. 

 

Nearly knocking over everyone in his path, Hoseok ran towards Yoongi, skidding to a stop as he kneeled down so Yoongi could see him even with his head tilted down. The second Yoongi realized who was looking at him, his blurry eyes brightened and a smile stretched across his lips seconds before his face crumpled again and he tackled Hoseok into a hug. If there had ever been any doubt, now Hoseok was certain Yoongi was drunk because not only did he very rarely cry, he also almost never initiated skinship. Hoseok’s worry level skyrocketed. 

 

Glancing up, Hoseok saw the stranger watching him warily, concern still plainly written on his face. Once they made eye contact, the man raised a brow but didn’t say anything. Hoseok appreciated this, he didn’t know how he could defend himself right now, and stood up slowly, pulling Yoongi with him. The smaller man clung to him tighter but allowed Hoseok to pull him up. Hoseok could feel that he was no longer crying and felt a sigh of relief escape before he could stop it. 

 

“Ah, hyung, you’re always such a cuddly drunk. You’re okay, right? No one hurt you?” Hoseok asked, reaching up to tilt Yoongi’s face so he could see his eyes. 

 

He could feel the eyes of the stranger burning into his skull but he didn’t look away from Yoongi, who was looking everywhere but him. 

 

“I- I’m sorry for ruining your date, Seok-ah. I shouldn’t have called. I’m sorry,” Yoongi slurred, finally making eye contact. 

 

Hoseok smiled, “Don’t be sorry, hyung. I’m just glad you’re okay. Let’s go home, okay?”

 

While he had been silent for the entirety of the exchange, the stranger now spoke, “I’m sorry but who are you? I’m not just letting you take him.” 

 

The small flash of anger Hoseok had felt before now flared up and he pulled Yoongi closer to his chest, “Look, I don’t know who you are but he is clearly too drunk to consent to anything tonight so why don’t you just go find someone else?”

 

The stranger now stood up as well, “I’m not trying to fuck him, are you nuts? I just want to know who you are! Like you said, he’s too drunk to make good choices. All I know is he called someone sobbing and suddenly you show up? What are you, an ex? Are you the reason he’s crying like that? Because if so, I’m sure as hell not letting you just take him home, I'm more likely to punch you.”

 

Hoseok felt his eyes widen and a blush spread across his face. He had misjudged the man due to his own guilt and anger about the situation. 

 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-- He’s my best friend. I don’t know why he’s crying but I’ll find out. I just want to take him home and make sure he’s okay.”

 

The stranger narrowed his eyes but nodded, he grabbed the phone Yoongi had dropped and punched something in before placing it into Yoongi’s hand.

 

“I added my number. Call me if something happens, okay?”

 

Yoongi looked up at the man and smiled slightly, “I’m okay now that Seok-ah is here. Thank you.”

 

The man nodded and smiled back, “I’m glad,” he replied to Yoongi before looking at Hoseok steadily, “Make sure he gets home safe.”

 

As he watched, the man left, weaving his way through the crowd before stopping at a group of other men. They were talking to him quickly, concern clear on their faces but whatever the stranger said seemed to appease them. Looking back down at Yoongi, who seemed close to passing out, Hoseok sighed.

 

‘Let’s get you home, yea?” Hoseok said, getting no response from Yoongi. 

 

Within a few minutes, Hoseok found Namjoon and Seokjin again and explained the situation. He tried not to feel a sense of vindictive satisfaction when he saw the horrified look on Seokjin’s face and the guilt on Namjoon’s. 

 

You’re one to talk asshole

 

Leading a quiet but still very drunk Yoongi behind him, Hoseok managed to get them out of the club, into his car, and back to Yoongi’s apartment with minimal effort. Thankfully, Yoongi had always been a fairly easy-going drunk, cuddly and talkative, sure, but not hard to deal with. He quickly changed Yoongi into some pajamas, made him drink water and take some aspirin, and tucked him into bed. After making sure Holly was okay, Hoseok grabbed some spare pajamas of his own and crashed on the bed beside Yoongi without a second thought, too exhausted to focus on his guilt anymore that night.  

 

The next morning, Hoseok woke up to the annoyingly insistent sound of a blaring alarm and a slightly cold feeling since the covers were lifted off him. He waited for the alarm to turn off, but it didn’t, so he reached over and turned it off himself. When he looked up at Yoongi, he realized very quickly that he had no recollection of the night prior, if the horrified confusion on his face was an indication. He left out some of the more embarrassing details, like how Yoongi had latched onto him and refused to let go, in his summary of events. What he really wanted to know was why Yoongi was crying. He always did this. He would drink and get emotional but refuse to explain when sober. Hoseok knew he could just ask when he was drunk but he felt like that was cheating. Like he would be taking advantage of his friend while he was in a compromised state. If Yoongi didn’t want to tell him what was wrong when he was sober, he couldn’t force him to do so when drunk, it wasn’t fair. 

 

This time though, Hoseok couldn’t shake the feeling that it was somehow his fault. Yoongi had reached out to him when he was sad and stopped crying when he arrived. Hoseok worried Yoongi was feeling abandoned. Upset that Hoseok had missed their last few outings. While he showered, he tried to replay the way Yoongi had been acting in recent weeks and figure out if he had been acting strangely. Hoseok quickly realized that Yoongi had pulled back when Hoseok had started receiving the letters. He hadn’t noticed at the time, too wrapped up in his mystery romance, but it was obvious now that he thought back.

 

How did I miss this? How could I ever think I’m a good friend?

 

It was so clear that Yoongi had stopped texting and calling him as much after he received the first reply letter. When they did hang out, Hoseok had talked about the mystery girl almost exclusively. He remembered noticing that Yoongi was writing again, but he hadn’t wanted to show Hoseok or talk about it, so, like he always did, Hoseok had dropped it. 

 

The shift was so subtle yet so obvious, Yoongi had been stepping back, making way for something and Hoseok hadn’t even noticed. He never wanted Yoongi to feel like he wasn’t important. He was the most important thing in Hoseok’s life. The person who had been there since the beginning. The person who had seen him through all his phases. But getting older and dating just meant that they didn’t spend as much time together. Hoseok didn’t want Yoongi to think that meant he didn’t care about him. 

 

Maybe if he dated, he would see. Maybe then he would understand. Hoseok wished Yoongi could find someone who loved and cherished him, showed him how special he was all the time. Yoongi deserved to have someone who knew he liked to cuddle when he drank, that he hated horror movies because they gave him nightmares, that he bit his nails when he was writing, or that he rubbed his ear when he was embarrassed. He had so many small and endearing habits, things that someone who cared about him would notice and cherish. Yoongi deserved someone like that, he deserved to be happy

 

It was these thoughts that drove him to suggest Yoongi try dating again. He knew if Yoongi put himself out there he would find someone easily. He was smart, attractive, attentive, and had a good job. Yoongi was a catch and anyone would be able to see that, he just had to put himself out there. His agreement to start dating, to try, didn’t completely alleviate the worry that clouded his mind, but it gave him room to breathe. 

 

Perhaps it was because of the guilt that haunted him the entire morning that Hoseok decided not to tell Yoongi about the development with the letters and author. At least not yet. Not only did he want to prevent Yoongi feeling guilty for suggesting the wrong person, but Hoseok also didn’t want their conversations to centre around him anymore. Maybe if he made Yoongi talk more instead of filling the silence with his own chatter, he would finally tell Hoseok what made him cry whenever he drank. Maybe for once Yoongi would be honest. 

 

That evening, after a particularly long day, Hoseok decided to take Soyi’s advice and finally find out who the author of the letter was. Since the author had always picked up his replies fairly quickly, Hoseok decided to leave a bait letter on his desk and set himself up just out of sight so he could see his desk, the letter, and anyone who came near. 

 

Hoseok was feeling rather accomplished when he noticed Yoongi almost run into the office once class ended. He knew that the author would never show up while Yoongi was there, so he decided he had to tell Yoongi the new development after all, otherwise, the plan wouldn’t work. He sent a quick text message, asking Yoongi to join him, secretly hoping the time alone watching his desk would give them more opportunity to talk about the conversation they had never really finished in the morning, and waited for Yoongi’s reply.

 

It never came.

 

What did come, however, was Yoongi’s figure walking up to his desk slowly. He was wearing his coat and bag, clearly on his way out for the evening. Hoseok could see him staring at the letter with a blank expression on his face. If Hoseok had been closer, he would have been able to read it. Yoongi may look cold and impassive to others, but Hoseok had always been able to read him. But Hoseok was too far away and the glass obscured some of his finer features. 

 

It did not obscure, however, the grimace that overtook his face when he finally picked up the letter. Without thought, Hoseok felt himself stand up and walk towards the room slowly, as if drawn in by an invisible force. His mind was screaming at him but he couldn’t understand what it was saying. Or what he was seeing. Then Yoongi ripped open the letter and he understood. Immediately, Yoongi dropped the letter and turned to leave, but Hoseok was already there. 

 

“So it was you,” Hoseok said, watching as Yoongi blanched, “why did you write the letters, hyung?”

 

Yoongi froze, his hand still clutching the strap of his bad as if he was going to break into a run at any moment. He didn’t reply, just stared at Hoseok with wide eyes as he grew paler by the second. Hoseok watched Yoongi’s reaction closely, trying to ignore the screaming in his head, screaming that threatened to break his carefully constructed calm.

 

Finally, Hoseok asked again, his voice cracking, “please, hyung, why did you write those letters?”

 


 

Namjoon paced to the edge of his living room, looked up at the wall in mild shock that it had appeared so suddenly, then turned and paced back to the other side of the room. He continued this pattern for more time than he’d like to admit while he stared at the tickets sitting on his coffee table. He had gotten them on impulse after a conversation with his friend about Seokjin and now he didn’t know what to do. They were for tonight, so if he wanted to ask Seokjin to come with him he had to ask sooner rather than later.

 

His current problem was he didn’t know if it was too soon to ask Seokjin out on a date. They had only mentioned going out together this morning and he was worried that he would look overeager or that he had misread the signals. Namjoon collapsed on the sofa and stared at the tickets again, elbows resting on his knees. A flash of the night before, Yoongi leaning on Hoseok with a small smile on his lips, overtook his mind and Namjoon sighed. Nothing good came from hiding your feelings and pretending you didn’t love someone when you did. Namjoon decided he wouldn’t wait anymore. If Seokjin thought it was too soon, he would say so. 

 

Grabbing his phone and sending a quick text, Namjoon got back up to pace, his nervous energy preventing him from standing still. When his phone flashed a response, Namjoon nearly knocked over his own table when he dove for it. Rubbing the knee he had smashed on the corner with a slight grimace, he opened Seokjin’s response and smiled. 



Kim Namjoon 5:19 p.m.

Is tonight too soon?

I’d love to take you somewhere.

WWH Kim Seokjin 5:20 p.m.

When and where?

 

After receiving Namjoon’s text, Seokjin stood in his closet once again trying to find the best possible outfit. Thankfully since he had done extra steps in his routine that morning his skin and hair still looked good, he just needed to reapply some of his highlighter and fix his hair a bit. 

 

Namjoon had told him to dress up, but that could mean anything. Seokjin bit on his lip anxiously while scanning his clothing. With a small sigh, he pulled out his simple navy suit and a white button-down with a band collar. Doing a final turn in the mirror, Seokjin nodded to himself. He looked good, dressed up but not overly formal. He did one last check of his hair then went out into his living room to wait for Namjoon’s arrival. 

 

Seokjin sat down and flipped through some magazines, then jumped up and started straightening his bookshelf. He was genuinely considering vacuuming when his bell rang. With a sigh of relief, Seokjin straightened his suit and opened the door.

 

He was greeted by a bright smile and a light blush as Namjoon looked him up and down. Namjoon was wearing a grey three-piece suit that highlighted his figure and made him look incredibly handsome. His hair was swept back from his face but his bangs were beginning to fall down in front of his eye. Seokjin had to remind himself to breathe. 

 

“You look beautiful, hyung” Namjoon said, pulling the flowers he had hidden behind his back out, “A flower for a flower.”

 

Seokjin heard himself snort before he could stop himself. Namjoon looked absolutely horrified he had said something so corny and his face turned a bright red. Seokjin took the flowers with a smile and quickly put them in a vase with water. When he returned, Namjoon still looked embarrassed but the blush had faded a bit. 

 

“So, where are you taking me that I had to get all dressed up,” Seokjin asked, gesturing to his suit.

 

Namjoon smiled and winked, “it’s a surprise! Let’s go.”

 

Taking his outstretched hand, Seokjin followed as Namjoon lead him to his car, even pausing to open the door for him. Seokjin felt like this was the first date he had ever been on, he was so nervous. He kept looking at Namjoon out of the corner of his eye and whenever he was caught, Namjoon would smile or blush, which only served to make Seokjin more nervous since he was so cute

 

Before long, Namjoon pulled up to what a valet entrance and stepped out of the car. Seokjin followed him and looked around, recognizing where they were almost instantly. 

 

“The theatre?” Seokjin asked, glancing back at Namjoon.

 

“Uh, yea, they’re putting on Hamlet and I thought you’d like to see how they did it, get some inspiration,” Namjoon looked up and saw a rather blank look on Seokjin’s face which immediately caused him to panic, “or we could do something else. Because this is stupid. Right. Let’s just go.”

 

Seokjin jumped to grab his arm and smiled up at him, “no, no, I love it. I’m actually a huge fan of the actor playing Hamlet! I was honestly going to come see this alone. It will be great to see it with you Joonie-ah.”

 

“Hamlet? Really?” Namjoon asked slowly.

 

“Yes! I saw him in a few other plays. Rumour has it he’s super energetic and a lot to handle off-stage but onstage he just captures the characters, you know?”

 

“Interesting,” Namjoon agreed, making a mental note of Seokjin’s minor fanboying before leading them to the entrance and their seats. 

 

His friend had helped him get balcony seats so they had the best view of the stage. Seokjin was practically vibrating in his seat and as the play began, and Namjoon found himself just watching Seokjin. He was so focused, desperate to not miss a thing. His eyes were moving quickly between characters and the set. Whenever Hamlet came onstage, he would hold his breath and lean forward, totally entranced. 

 

Namjoon honestly missed the entire play. He was so lost in watching Seokjin’s reaction that when the lights came on and everyone started clapping he actually jumped. As the cast came out to take a bow, Seokjin stood up to clap and cheer, giving Namjoon the opportunity he was waiting for. He quickly took out his phone and began texting his friend, calling in every favour he knew. There was no response, as expected, but Namjoon just spammed his inbox. 

 

Soon, the cast left the stage and Seokjin turned back to Namjoon, only to find him focused on his phone. He felt a moment of hurt but tried to shrug it off. Maybe Namjoon just didn’t like the theatre. It was nice of him to come to something he didn’t care about just for Seokjin, so he couldn’t be mad if he was trying to entertain himself.

 

Namjoon looked up when the clapping subsided and smiled, “did you like it?”

 

“Yes, it was amazing. Hamlet was just as good as I expected. He’s really very talented,” Seokjin responded instantly. 

 

“That’s good, I--” Namjoon stopped to look down at his phone, causing Seokjin to frown and turn away.

 

Before he could comment on Namjoon’s seemingly unending interest in his phone, he hopped up with a huge smile and held out his hand, “follow me.”

 

Unable to say no, Seokjin slotted his hand into Namjoon’s and let him lead him somewhere. He grew more and more tense as he realized they were headed towards the backstage area.

 

“Namjoon-ah, I don’t think--” Seokjin began.

 

“JOONIE-AH!” A man yelled before tackling Namjoon in a huge hug.

 

“Ah, hi Jackson-ah. You were really good tonight,” Namjoon complimented, giving the man a quick hug back.

 

“Thank you! And is this the infamous Kim Seokjin-ssi, drama teacher extraordinaire?” Jackson asked, looking over Namjoon’s shoulder.

 

The man in question was in complete and utter shock. Seokjin had stood there fanboying and Namjoon had failed to mention he knew the man in person. He couldn’t decide if he was happy or horrified. 

 

“Yes, this is Jin-hyung. Jin-hyung this is Wang Jackson-ssi, an old friend of mine. Or rather, Hamlet,” Namjoon introduced, mildly embarrassed that Jackson had revealed how often he talked about Seokjin to his friend.

 

Seokjin was still in shock but he managed to bow politely and smile, “I’m, ah, a huge fan actually. I saw you in A Midsummer’s Night Dream a few years ago and you were amazing.”

 

Jackson smiled and gave him a hug too, “thank you! I love compliments. Joonie-ah should bring you around more often. He never comes to see me perform and when he does he just tells me it was fine! Can you imagine? It’s like he doesn’t even care .”

 

Unable to hold back his laugh, Seokijn found himself becoming more comfortable. 

 

“He compliments me all the time. Maybe I’m just amazing though,” Seokjin commented sliding a glance to Namjoon out of the corner of his eye. 

 

“Wow, the truth comes out. I see how it is Joonie-ah. Long term friendship means nothing, huh?” Jackson joked, throwing an arm around Seokjin’s shoulders, he smiled, “it’s fine. You can just replace him, right?”

 

Seokjin laughed loudly, causing Jackson’s smile to widen, “sure! I need someone in my life more dramatic than me.”

 

“I am that,” Jackson agreed.

 

Namjoon watched at Seokjin and Jackson fell into each other and began discussing theatre and plays like old friends. It made his heart warm to see the most important people --minus Hoseok and Yoongi-- getting along so well. He had been a bit worried, Jackson was a big personality and some people took him the wrong way for no reason, but Seokjin didn’t seem to mind. If it was possible to have his best friend and boyfriend be good friends, Namjoon would be over the moon.

 

Boyfriend? A little ahead of yourself, no? This is literally the first date. Chill.

 

“What do you think, Joonie-ah?” Jackson asked, pulling Namjoon out of his thoughts.

 

“What?”

 

“About dinner? The cast is going out for a wrap party. You and Jin-hyung should come,” Jackson offered.

 

Jin-hyung? I guess they hit it off better than I thought.

 

 “Um, that sounds fun. Whatever Jin-hyung wants to do,” Namjoon decided looking to Seokjin for a decision.

 

Seokjin smiled and bounced on his feet a bit, “that would be awesome!”

 

Jackson returned his smile, “Yea? You guys will come?”

 

Glancing back at Namjoon, Seokjin paused. Namjoon was watching him with soft eyes and a slight smile. He didn’t look upset that their plans had so suddenly changed, he just looked happy that Seokjin was happy. 

 

“Actually, can we get a rain check? I think Joonie-ah was going to take me somewhere tonight,” Seokjin revealed.

 

“Oh~. Hot date. I get it,” Jackson joked,  “Here, let me give you my number, we can hang out!” 

 

Exchanging numbers quickly, Jackson left them alone while he went back into his change room to get out of his costume and head to dinner. 

 

“We could have gone with them. I don’t mind changing my plans,” Namjoon revealed.

 

Seokjin shook his head and grabbed Namjoon’s hand, pulling him towards the exit, “no, I want to spend the night with you. It’s our first real date after all.”

 

There was a pause as Namjoon tired to collect himself. It lasted long enough that Seokjin turned back to see what Namjoon was doing. He had that look on his face again. The soft, clearly in love look. It made Seokjin blush which made Namjoon smile wider.

 

“Yea, it is. Our first date.” Namjoon agreed softly. The first of many, he hoped.

 

Once they arrived back at the valet and their car had been retrieved, Seokjin looked up at Namjoon hopefully, “I really hope we’re going to get food! I’m starving .”

 

Namjoon laughed, “We are. But you have to guess where!”

 

Seokjin pouted and thought about it. Where would Namjoon bring him on a date? Somewhere fancy and refined? Somewhere fun and silly? Or somewhere with really good food? Seokjin wasn’t sure. To be honest, Namjoon wasn’t sure either. He hadn’t really planned this far ahead so he was just going to bring Seokjin to wherever he guessed first. He had seen a meme tweet about doing that with girlfriends and he figured it was a foolproof plan, regardless of gender.

 

Letting his stomach decided, Seokjin settled on a restaurant, “Are we going to the all you can eat barbecue place downtown?”

 

Namjoon snorted before he could stop himself. Of course Seokjin would suggest all you can eat. Of course he would.

 

“Yup. You got me. I was planning to fatten you up as much as possible,” Namjoon joked.

 

“As if. I’m always perfect. No barbecue joint could change that,” Seokjin commented over his shoulder, sliding into the passenger seat of Namjoon’s car. 

 

Namjoon smiled and shook his head. Seokjin was a bundle of energy, projected confidence, and deep empathy. He was sure that even if he stayed with Seokjin for 100 years, he would still learn something new every day. 

 

Dinner ended up being quieter than he expected. Not because it was awkward and they didn’t know what to say, but because they both seemed to be testing their ability to just be together. The hardest part of any relationship was being able to simply enjoy each other’s company without feeling the need to fill the silence. They did talk about their lives before teaching though. How Seokjin met Hoseok and Yoongi; why he decided to be a teacher. Why Namjoon decided to teach high school rather than a university; why he seemed to lack the ability to walk without breaking something. But overall, the dinner was comfortable and quiet. Given that he valued his downtime as much as anything else, Namjoon was very pleased Seokjin could be with him in that way. 

 

After dinner, Namjoon parked his car and walked Seokjin to his door.

 

“You don’t have to walk me to the door, Joonie-ah,” Seokjin commented, secretly happy he had done so.

 

“I want to,” Namjoon responded simply, squeezing the hand he still held. 

 

Too soon, they arrived at Seokjin’s door. He turned and leaned on the offending door and smiled at Namjoon. He wasn’t sure what he was waiting for. Did he want Namjoon to come in? Maybe. Since he couldn’t decide, he waited to see what Namjoon would do. 

“I had a really good time tonight. Hopefully, we can do it again?” Seokjin asked, smiling slightly.

 

“Anytime. I really liked being with you. Even if you fangirled over my best friend,”  Namjoon joked. 

 

“Well, now you know who your competition is.”

 

Namjoon smirked, “I think I’m okay.”

 

“Hmmm. Confident now that you got me out on a date, huh?”

 

Namjoon shrugged and smiled genuinely, “gotta have confidence in something.”

 

As he watched, Namjoon leaned in closer. Seokjin closed his eyes, fully expecting Namjoon to finally kiss him, but he didn’t. He felt a soft press of lips on his forehead before they were gone. Namjoon stepped back.

 

“I’ll see you at school on Monday, hyung. Have a good night,” Namjoon said quietly before turning and walking away.

 

Seokjin was frozen in shock. Namjoon had kissed him on the forehead . Then he had just left . He turned and watched as Namjoon walked down his hallway, hands shoved in his pockets and head down. Was this punishment for when he kissed him on the cheek? Was that the game he was playing?

 

Oh, hell no

 

Pushing himself off the door, Seokjin began to run down the hallway, calling out Namjoon’s name. Surprised, Namjoon stopped walking and turned around just in time for Seokjin to run into him full force, nearly knocking him off his feet. Namjoon instinctively wrapped his arms around Seokjin to steady him. Seokjin smiled and pulled Namjoon’s face down to his, pressing their lips together in a hard kiss. Namjoon’s eyes widened before he realized he should be doing something. He reached up and grabbed Seokjin’s chin, smiling as he returned the kiss. 

 

For what felt like forever but was definitely only a few minutes, they stood in Seokjin’s empty hallway kissing softly. It was everything Namjoon had been imagining and more. 


It was perfect.

 

Soon, too soon, Seokjin pulled back with a small sigh, giving Namjoon the opportunity to speak.

 

“Guess I don’t really have competition, huh?” Namjoon commented, a very confident and seductive smirk on his face. 

 

Seokjin was now more sure than ever that Namjoon would kill him one day. He couldn’t manage to feel bad about that.

 


 

“please, hyung, why did you write those letters?” Hoseok pleaded. 

 

He could understand the screaming in his head now. It was the nasty things every single one of his exes had ever said to him. The things that he had worked to block out, hidden behind a sunny smile and seemingly unending confidence. 

 

Why would I love you? You don’t love me.

 

You’re a fun fuck, Hoseok-ah, but a relationship? Come on.

 

You’re not confident or good enough at anything. That’s why you teach! You couldn’t make it as a dancer and you sure as hell can’t be a good boyfriend. I can’t be around you anymore.

 

Hoseok-ah, are you sure you even like me? We never spend time together, you’re always with that Yoongi guy. 

 

God, why don’t you just date Yoongi-oppa then? He’s the only person you ever talk about anyway.

 

There was more. So much more. He didn’t know why he always attracted people like that. People who felt the need to hurt him before their relationship ended. Yoongi was the only one who knew about everything. He had sat with Hoseok as he cried, as he questioned what was so wrong with him that he drove these people away. Clearly, the only common denominator was him so he was the problem. Yoongi had told him that wasn’t true. Yoongi had made sure he always bounced back afterwards. He was the one pushing him forward, telling him to try being with someone new. 

 

So why, why , would Yoongi be the one sending those letters? It didn’t make sense. He didn’t reveal anything that Yoongi didn’t already know. 

 

As he waited for Yoongi’s response, his thoughts turned increasingly desperate, “why aren’t you saying anything? Just tell me!”

 

Since his entrance, Yoongi had stood in silent horror, unsure how to proceed. He didn’t know what to say. He could either tell the truth and confess or stay silent and let Hoseok form his own conclusions. 

 

His silence allowed Hoseok to do just that. Somewhere, deep in the depths of his memory, he remembered getting a love letter in middle school. He had been so excited, rushing to show Yoongi. He hadn’t known who it was from but he had wanted to meet them regardless. It had turned out to just be a nasty prank some of the other boys had played on him. He had shown up to the meeting spot and rather than meeting someone who liked him he was greeted by some boys who teased him mercilessly for thinking someone could actually like him. Yoongi had punched the leader in the face and got suspended for a week. For years afterward, Hoseok hadn’t dated, that nagging sense of doubt kept him from really putting himself out there. It had only been Yoongi and the comments on his YouTube channel that gave him the confidence to put himself out there again.  

 

It had been years since that happened. Years since he had even thought about it. But now… well, old habits die hard.

 

“Was it a prank? Were you… were you making fun of me?” Hoseok asked quietly.

 

Yoongi felt like he had been hit by a ton of bricks. He didn’t want to confess, but he certainly didn’t want Hoseok to think he was teasing him or playing with his emotions.

 

“No! Of course not, Hoseok-ah. I would never do that,” Yoongi denied quickly.

 

“THEN WHY!? Why send those letters? You acted like-- you acted like you liked me. Why would you do that?” Hoseok asked again, getting more and more upset as Yoongi failed to offer a reason. 

 

Yoongi wasn’t sure what to say so he settled on, “I just-- it wasn’t to make fun of you, I promise.”

 

Hoseok could feel his chest tighten and his eyes burn. He was getting upset, really upset. Both angry and sad. His best friend, his best friend , had been sending him love letters and wouldn’t explain why. Suddenly, Hoseok felt something inside himself shift. If it wasn’t a joke, then… 

 

“Do you-- do you actually love me then?” Hoseok asked, unsure what answer he wanted.

 

As he watched, Yoongi’s eyes widened then an impassive mask fell over his face. For once, Hoseok couldn’t read it. Yoongi just looked blank. 

 

“No,” Yoongi answered softly.

 

“N-no?” Hoseok laughed, almost hysterically, “no. Of course not. If you don’t love me and you weren’t pulling a prank, why hyung?! Why? I just need to know.”

 

Yoongi pursed his lips and looked away, unable to answer. He had dug himself into a hole by denying his feelings so he had no idea where to go from here. He had never expected a time to come where he was discovered so he had no plan. He also couldn’t look at Hoseok because he looked broken and sad. Betrayed. Yoongi couldn’t see that anymore. 

 

Suddenly, Hoseok realized something, “oh, god. Namjoon-ah and Jin-hyung know too, don’t they? That’s why they were so opposed! You told them?!” 

 

Yoongi winced but maintained his silence.

 

Hoseok was laughing now. It sounded fake and brittle, “was it fun to talk about how stupid I am? How easily my emotions are swayed?” 

 

“No! Seok-ah, don’t say--”

 

“Don’t. Don’t call me that if you won’t tell me the truth,” Hoseok interrupted, the tears he had held in so well during the entire argument finally starting to flow. 

 

“Seok-ah, I--,” Yoongi stopped, then changed his mind, “I’m sorry.”

 

“You’re sorry? Sorry for what? Playing with my emotions? Setting me up with someone just because you knew how she felt about me? Nevermind how unfair that is to her! Lying to me? Sorry for what Yoongi!?”

 

“I’m just sorry.”

 

Hoseok scoffed, rubbing at the tears on his face angrily, “you’re sorry. Well, so am I.”

 

Yoongi looked up at that, unsure what Hoseok meant.

 

Hoseok continued, “I should have known it was you. It’s so obvious now. You’re writing style is so distinct. It’s just like your music. I just-- I never thought you could do something like that to me. Guess I’m stupid. Maybe I just couldn’t accept that my best friend would play with my emotions like that.”

 

Finishing his rant, Hoseok waited again. He had been doing that a lot. He hoped, maybe naively, that if he waited long enough, Yoongi would offer some sort of explanation that would make all this make sense. But he didn’t. He just looked at him with a sad but impassive expression on his face. 

 

“You’re not stupid, Hoseok-ah.”

 

Hoseok-ah.

 

That was his answer then. Hoseok had told him not to use his nickname if he wasn’t going to tell the truth. Hoseok felt his shoulders slump and his lips tremble but he straightened up immediately, pulling on his own mask.

 

“Okay,” Hoseok said with a nod, then left the room. Behind him, Yoongi felt his carefully maintained calm crack but held on tightly. 

 

I won’t cry here. I won’t. 

 


 

Jungkook settled into his favourite position, surrounded by pillows and snacks, and waited for his Xbox to load his game. He was feeling fairly good about himself. He felt like he had made up for his earlier blunder. Before he had stayed back, unwilling to risk his current friendship with both boys, and had inadvertently aided in hurting both of them. Now, he was responsible for making sure those two friends worked out their issues. At least he assumed so, since he hadn’t waited around to find out. He knew they’d tell him whenever he saw them next. 

 

His hyungs had been responsible for bringing him out of his shell, mostly. They had given him friendship and comfort when he needed it. When they had first met, Jungkook had been shy and unwelcoming, but they hadn’t let that bother them. Jimin and Taehyung had stuck it out and he wasn’t sure what his life would look like if they hadn’t. The fact that he had been able to --hopefully-- help them find happiness made him feel very accomplished. Like he had returned the favour. 

 

He wasn’t going to pretend like the earlier feeling of fear was gone. He was still worried he would lose them now that they were together. That was a very real possibility. When people started dating, they naturally spent less time with their friends. Priorities changed. It was natural. That scared Jungkook more than anything. He understood it, but he was still scared. 

 

The only thing that kept him going was the fact that he knew his hyungs were happy. They were always happier when they were together. Jimin and Taehyung completed each other in a way that Jungkook had never seen before. If that meant he spent more time alone, so be it. 

 

An unknown number of hours later, Jungkook was not great about keeping track of time when gaming, a pillow to the face interrupted his game and got him killed. 

 

“Yah! What the--” Jungkook began.

 

Before he could finish, he was tackled to the ground by two bodies that proceeded to hit and kick him playfully.

 

“Did you think locking us up was okay, brat!?” Taehyung asked.

 

“Just because you’re bigger than me now doesn’t mean you can just do what you want! Respect your elders,” Jimin added.

 

Jungkook curled up to protect his head, laughing all the while. None of their attacks hurt, it was just a matter of principle. After a little bit, Jungkook reached out and grabbed Jimin’s leg. effectively throwing him off balance so he fell on top of Jungkook. In his panic to stay upright, Jimin had grabbed Taehyung, bring him down as well. They ended up as a pile of limbs with Jungkook on the bottom.

 

“You’re weak! You’re both weak!” Jungkook yelled, pleased he had thrown them off balance so easily.

 

“Yah! Respect your elders, brat,” Jimin said again, giving Jungkook a good smack on the head.

 

Taehyung laughed and rolled off both of them, settling himself on the floor. He stretched out and looked at the ceiling. Jimin followed suit and straightened up, leaning against Jungkook’s pillow setup. Finally free, Jungkook pulled himself up and sat in his original place, legs thrown over the still stretched out Taehyung.

 

After a moment of silence, while the three collected themselves, Taehyung spoke softly, “thank you, Kookie-ah. Seriously.”

 

Jimin nodded, “Yea, thank you. We owe you a lot.”

 

Jungkook looked between them quickly. They weren’t looking at each other but they both had this matching smile on their face. Satisfaction maybe? Or contentment. Either way, Jungkook liked seeing it. 

 

Taehyung spoke again, “I’m sorry I made the last few weeks so hard on you. It’s not your job to deal with my emotions. I’m sorry you had too. I’ll deal with my own problems from now on.”

 

“No, don’t do that. We’re friends. That’s what we’re here for. I never would have been able to help if you didn’t let me in,” Jungkook said. 

 

“Ah, our little Kookie-ah is so smart now,” Jimin joked, leaning into Jungkook with a smile.

 

Jungkook wrapped his arm around Jimin’s shoulder to pull him closer, “So what? You guys together now or?”

 

Jimin and Taehyung looked at each other and smiled. As much as he loved to see it, Jungkook wanted to gag. 

 

“Yea, we are,” Taehyung answered, still smiling.

 

“That doesn’t mean you can escape us though. You’re stuck with us, couple or not,” Jimin threatened.

 

Feeling his chest warm and a smile spread across his face, Jungkook coughed, hiding his happiness, “ah, damn. I thought I’d finally be free of you two.”

 

Taehyung smacked his leg, “whatever, you love us.”

 

“Yea, not enough to see you guys kiss and stuff. Keep that shit to a minimum, alright? I don’t want to have to blind myself,” Jungkook warned, semi-serious. 

 

“And they call me the dramatic one,” Taehyung sighed. 

 

“He gets it from you,” Jimin decided.

 

“How is that possible? I’m literally not his parent.”

 

“Semantics,” Jimin said, waving his hand.

 

Jungkook shook his head and picked up his controller again, “Since you guys killed me, you can help me level up. Come on, grab a controller. We don’t have all day.”

 

The two boys followed Jungkook’s orders quickly, falling into a familiar pattern. As they waited for the game to load, Jimin tilted his head and looked at Jungkook, “Whatever happened with Namjoon-ssi and Seokjin-ssi? Did you help them get together too?”

 

Shaking his head, Jungkook reached into his bad and grabbed Jimin’s notebook. He passed it to Jimin without a word. Curious, Jimin opened it up and snorted, “smart ass.”

 

Tropes:

 

  • Piggyback rides
  • Caught in the rain
  • Broken elevator 
  • Gifting or talking to a large stuffed animal 
  • Locked in a room together (You’re welcome - Kookie)
  • Sharing one coat 
  • Getting wet for fun
  • Near misses 

 

 

Taehyung leaned up to see the notebook and shook his head. Then he paused, “we don’t really have a lot of options left for getting those two together.”

 

Jungkook nodded, “I think we’ll be okay.”

 

Jimin glanced up and shrugged, “He’s apparently a romance guru, let’s trust him.”

 

The game finally finished loading then and the three boys focused back on the screen. As they played, long-standing gaming habits arose. Jimin whined whenever someone killed him. Taehyung was usually the one killing Jimin and pretending otherwise. Jungkook carried the team and used them to boost his numbers. 

 

Though the dynamic was different, nothing had changed. 

 

Jungkook could live with that. 

 


 

Yoongi managed to hold himself together until he got home. The desperate look on Hoseok’s face had haunted him the entire time. He wasn’t sure he would ever be able to forget that look. At first, he had looked almost hopeful, like he had convinced himself it wasn’t that serious, like what he saw wasn’t the truth, but as Yoongi had refused to answer, his expression had darkened. 

 

Dropping down onto the couch on top of Holly, Yoongi pulled the dog into his chest and closed his eyes. Yoongi had spent most of his life trying to remove that exact look from Hoseok’s face and now he was the one who caused it. Hoseok had always been sensitive to other people’s opinions. He suffered from a critical lack of self-confidence. Or rather weak self-confidence. It wasn’t that he didn’t think he was good enough, he just valued other people’s opinions, both the good and bad. For most of Hoseok’s life, it had been bad. Maybe that was why Yoongi was so protective of him. 

 

But now, he was the one causing Hoseok pain. He was the person making Hoseok cry. An offence that he had punched someone for more than once. Holly wiggled in his arms, forcing Yoongi to roll over onto his back. Holly jumped off the couch and settled himself in his own bed by the heater.

 

“You’re abandoning me too?” Yoongi muttered, watching as Holly tilted his head before closing his eyes again. 

 

Yoongi rolled over. He was being ridiculous. Hoseok hadn’t abandoned him. He had merely left a bad situation. They had been at a stalemate. Hoseok was getting more and more upset and Yoongi was pulling just as much. Nothing good would have come if he stayed. Hoseok knew that, so he left. 

 

Staring at the ceiling, Yoongi recalled the day. It had started light enough, if shocking. Hoseok had been smiling. Yoongi pointedly overlooked the worried look Hoseok had given him at multiple points throughout the morning. Hoseok had begun the day with a laugh and ended it in tears.

 

Both were Yoongi’s fault. 

 

The look and sound of Hoseok slammed into Yoongi’s mind again, forcing him to sit up.

 

It was better this way, right? If Yoongi had confessed, Hoseok would have been disgusted. He had looked so confused when he asked if Yoongi loved him, if he had confessed then, Hoseok would have run away. 

 

It was better if Hoseok was upset for now. 

 

He would get over it. Thinking Yoongi had pulled a prank on him was much easier to get over then finding out he had been in love with him for years. They were both violations of trust, but only one could end their friendship.

 

Yoongi knew he was a coward. He knew that. He had always known that. Over the years, countless people had told him to confess to Hoseok. They had tried to convince him Hoseok wouldn’t respond the way Yoongi thought, but it had never worked. Yoongi was convinced he was right and once he set his mind to something, it would never change. It was as much a fault as a virtue.

 

Pushing himself off the couch, Yoongi walked over to Holly’s bed and lifted him up. Ignoring his wiggles and small growls of protest, Yoongi made his way to his bed and plopped them both down. After cocooning himself so both he and Holly were covered and comfortable, Yoongi smushed his face into his pillow.

 

His bed still smelled like Hoseok.

 

Rolling over with a huff, once again earning a puppy glare from his much put upon dog, Yoongi stared at the ceiling. Same actions, different locations. Hoseok had been so concerned this morning. Worried Yoongi had been hiding something from him. Worried Yoongi was sad. He was, but that wasn’t the point. Yoongi couldn’t even imagine the toll it would take on Hoseok if he knew that not only was he right, Yoongi was unhappy, but the reason he was unhappy was because of him. 

 

Hoseok would be devastated. 

 

He would never be able to handle the truth, not if he was to find out that he was the reason he was sad, the reason he was always alone. God, what if Hoseok realized how crushing all the small things he had said in passing over the years were? 

 

No, it was better this way. Hoseok would be mad for a bit, hurt that Yoongi had supposedly played a prank on him, then everything would go back to normal. Lying was the best option for their friendship. In the long run, something like a prank was much easier to recover from. 

 

Feeling partially calmed by his own non-linear rationale that served only to protect himself from rejection, Yoongi settled more comfortably in his bed, idly stroking Holly’s head. He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and remembered he had ignored a message earlier as well.

 

The first two were from Kihyun:

 

Cute Bar Boy 4:53 p.m.

Now that you’ve stroked my ego,

why don’t we go somewhere?

Specifically somewhere that doesn’t include

a bunch of alcohol.

I want to get to know non-drunk you.

 

Cute Bar Boy 5:22 p.m.

Only if you want, obviously. 

 

Yoongi sighed. Bar boy, he should really start using his name, seemed like a really nice guy. Before he could respond, Yoongi noticed he still had an unread notification. 

 

It was from Hoseok:

 

Seokshine 3:34 p.m.

Hey! Can you leave the office asap?

It’s a lot to explain but I left another letter.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier, but I’ll explain everything.

Can you come wait with me? 

It wouldn’t be the same without you! :)

 

Yoongi dropped his phone and rubbed his face, “fuck.”

 


 

Hoseok opened the door to his apartment and was greeted by darkness and silence. Almost mindlessly, he dropped his things by the front door, not bothering to put them in their place, and walked to the fridge. Grabbing a beer, Hoseok collapsed on the couch heavily and threw his head back. His earlier conversation with Yoongi haunted him. He didn’t know what to say. What to think.

 

“Was it a prank? Were you… were you making fun of me?”

 

“No! Of course not, Hoseok-ah. I would never do that.” 

 

“Do you-- do you actually love me then?” 

 

“No.” 

 

He knew Yoongi wasn’t the type to hurt his feelings on purpose, but his refusal to tell him the truth hurt more than any lie. Hoseok wasn’t stupid. He knew Yoongi hid things from him, it was one of the hardest parts of their friendship for Hoseok to accept, but he figured that just because they had been friends for nearly their entire lives didn’t mean Hoseok was entitled to all his secrets. So he didn’t push Yoongi to tell him certain things. He gave Yoongi the privacy he wanted. 

 

But now…

 

But now this was different. This was the first time Hoseok had ever really pushed and Yoongi had just shut down. Maybe somewhere deep inside, Hoseok had always assumed Yoongi would be honest with him one day. That he would trust Hoseok enough to share those secrets. That there wouldn’t be these little hidden things in their relationship. Looks like he was wrong. 

 

“Don’t. Don’t call me that if you won’t tell me the truth.” 

 

“Hoseok-ah…”

 

Hoseok didn’t really know what answer he wanted from Yoongi. He honestly didn’t care. He just wanted it to be the truth. Even if that truth was a mean prank, he wanted to know. But he knew Yoongi well enough to know that the only truthful thing Yoongi had said the entire time was that he hadn’t meant to hurt him. That much was true.

 

Too bad it didn’t matter.

Chapter Text

The stalemate that erupted, or rather, didn’t erupt, between Yoongi and Hoseok could be sensed throughout the school. Unsure what had happened, students first began to worry, then openly speculate, which resulted in rumours and whispered conversations. Such conversations only lasted as long as it took for Yoongi to throw a not so subtle death glare at the group or for another group to see how sad Hoseok was.

 

It wasn’t that they were fighting openly, or even that Hosoek was moping around or crying. It was that neither man was acting as they usually did, which for a group of students adept as spotting even the smallest difference (see: weak spots), was as good as carrying around a sign that proclaimed, ‘we had a falling out.’

 

The students had taken to calling it the Jung-Min war. It was the most uneventful war ever, but it was mid-semester and nothing truly interesting had happened since the Kim-Park incident and the students were bored . Which meant they had more than enough time to watch and track the behaviour of their teachers. In the case of Seokjin and Namjoon, that meant an increase in rumours that they were dating, which gave Namjoon untold anxiety. In the case of Yoongi and Hoseok it meant they noticed every little thing. 

 

Unlike Jimin and Taehyung, who had very little interaction with Yoongi and Hoseok since they didn’t teach them this semester, Jungkook watched the change and it worried him greatly. His gym class had always been filled with Hoseok loud laughter and unending ‘pah, pah’ sounds when he was teaching something but lately the class had been quiet. Hoseok still smiled brightly, but it never quite reached his eyes. Jungkook would admit, Hoseok was a great actor, but not good enough to fool him. These gym classes always had a soundtrack, generally whatever Hoseok was listening to at the time, but again, lately it had been quiet. Music still played, but it was no longer nearly overwhelmed by Hoseok singing along or Yoongi storming in to yell at Hoseok for stealing his music again. Jungkook could barely remember the last time that had happened. It made him realize things had clearly been changing between them long before he noticed. 

 

In his music class, Yoongi was the same as always, or so it appeared. He taught his class quietly and surely, making sure the students were both engaged and learning. It was an environment in which he thrived, but today, and every day since the incident, Yoongi’s eyes looked different. His face was almost always impassive, it was his default, the vaguely bored and tired expression. Usually, however, his eyes were bright. Shining with the happiness only music and Hoseok could bring but now they were dull. Not quite sad, just… dull. Jungkook didn’t like it. He didn’t like it at all. While they had been helping Namjoon and Seokjin get together, while Jungkook himself had been focusing on Jimin and Taehyung, his two favourite teachers were falling apart. Jungkook couldn’t help but think that would have been the fate of Jimin and Taehyung if they hadn’t been forced to confess. If their feelings had been left to fester for years

 

At lunch, while he sat and watched Jimin and Taehyung whisper about something he certainly didn’t want to know about, Jungkook felt his last straw break. That straw came in the form of Hoseok entering the cafeteria, alone, and looking around for someone. That specific someone came in a few minutes later. There was a moment where the two looked at each other, then Yoongi ducked and left the room. As Jungkook watched, Hoseok absolutely deflated and went to sit by himself  at the table he, Yoongi, Seokjin and Namjoon usually occupied. Jungkook was not about to let this continue. Jimin had called him a romantic guru and he’d be damned if he wasn’t going to live up to that name. One way or another Jungkook was going to fix it. 

 

“Hey, lovebirds, pay attention to me for a second,” Jungkook called out, smacking his hand down on the table. 

 

Taehyung looked up, “oh, don’t be like that. We were talking about our English project. We have a presentation.”

 

“Sure, whatever. We have a problem,” Jungkook said, still watching Hoseok in the corner. 

 

That caught Jimin’s attention and he put down the pen he had been chewing on, “Problem? Are you okay, Kookie-ah?”

 

“Not me, them!” Jungkook commented, nodding his head towards Hoseok who still sat alone.

 

“Mr. Jung?” Taehyung asked, tilting his head in question.

 

“Yea. Him and Mr. Min had some sort of falling out. We should fix it, like we did Seokjin-ssi and Namjoon-ssi.”

 

Taehyung watched Hoseok stab at his rice idly while staring off into space. He remembered Yoongi’s words to him weeks before. 

 

Trust me when I say that feeling doesn’t just go away. I would know. Talk to him while you still can.

 

Furrowing his brows, Taehyung turned back to Jimin and Jungkook, “I don’t know if it’s a fallout.”

 

“What do you mean?” Jimin asked.

 

“I think… well Mr. Min told me feelings don’t go away with time when I was avoiding you. He said he knew . I wonder if he was talking about Mr. Jung? They’re childhood friends, right?”

 

Jungkook nodded. He knew they’d come to the same conclusion he had when he noticed their changes in behaviour, “they are. I think it’s a love thing too. I think we should help.”

 

Jimin looked at Hoseok closely. He agreed he looked sad. At the very least less bright than he usually was. He hadn’t really had classes with him in the past few years. He had always meant to join the dance team but his dance instructor didn’t really like him splitting his time so he never did. As he felt his concern skyrocket, Namjoon and Seokjin entered the cafetiera. They grabbed their food and headed for their usual table. When they noticed Hoseok sitting alone, Seokjin paused and looked at Namjoon with furrowed brows. They shared a look then went to the table. Hoseok sat up and smiled. It was a smile Jimin recognized. One he had done himself countless times. A smile that hid sadness so others wouldn’t worry. 

 

Looking back at Jungkook, Jimin nodded, “They need help. We’ll have to scope out Mr. Min though. See how he’s doing so we can put a plan into place. Until then we should wrap up #NamJin.”

 

Taehyung snorted and rested his head in his hands, looking at Jimin with a soft, besotted expression.

 

“I’m sorry, we’re just going to let that go? #NamJin? Are we serious?” Jungkook asked, looking between them.

 

“He’s been saying it for the past few weeks, I’ve just been letting it happen,” Taehyung told Jungkook.

 

“And now look what you’ve done. Now he thinks it’s a thing. Hyung, it’s not a thing,” Jungkook complained. 

 

“It is a thing, and you will use it. Got it?” Jimin said with an angry pout. 

 

Jungkook rubbed his face and looked at Taehyung for help. The boy in question was now pulling at Jimin’s cheeks to stop him from pouting. Realizing he was alone on this front, Jungkook sighed and continued, “alright, how are we going to wrap up #NamJin, then? They’re clearly together. I mean look at them.” 

 

All three boys turned to watch Seokjin and Namjoon. Seokjin was talking quickly, waving his hands and smiling, chopsticks still in his hand. Hoseok was laughing, seemingly genuinely, and shaking his head. Namjoon was seated in the exact position Taehyung had just been in. Head rested on his hand staring up at Seokjin with a look that could convince anyone love is real. 

 

Sticking out his tongue, Jungkook scrunched his nose, “blaaaahhh. Why is everyone around me so stupidly in love?”

 

Jimin snorted, “your fault, Mr. Love Guru.”

 

“You do realize that by helping Mr. Min and Mr. Jung, you’ll just get more people around you in love.”

 

Jungkook shrugged and leaned back in his chair, “I’ll live with it, I suppose.”

 

“Okay,” Jimin interrupted, “Taehyung-ah, you start watching Mr. Min and Mr. Jung, get a feel for what’s going on. I’ll watch Seokjin-ssi and Namjoon-ssi so we can figure out the best method to wrap this up. Jungkook-ah, you know them best so we’ll need your help before we do anything.”

 

Nodding, Jungkook agreed. They were one step closer to making sure everyone around them was happy. Looking back at Hoseok who was smiling down at his rice, expression cracking a little because Namjoon and Seokjin couldn’t see it clearly, Jungkook sighed. 

 

Soon. They’d fix it soon. 

 


 

The next day, the three boys put their plan into action. Well, not so much a plan as the three boys simply started essentially stalking their teachers to figure out exactly what was going on. 

 

Taehyung

 

Since Taehyung was in charge of Yoongi and Hoseok, he had the hardest job. It would nearly be impossible to figure out what had caused their fight without overhearing something and Jungkook had conveniently left out the fact that he knew about a certain letter exchange. 

 

So, Taehyung watched. He saw Hoseok seek out Yoongi on multiple occasions only to have Yoongi turn tail and flee the opposite way. He saw Yoongi isolate himself in the music room and play the piano, making notes as he went. He saw Hoseok frantically slap the ‘next’ button on his phone when a song with a familiar voice came on shuffle. And he watched as both men looked at each other with sad eyes whenever one of them was in the vicinity and not looking. 

 

Taehyung was displeased to say the least. When he had been at his lowest, when he had sought out the only teacher who could help him, Yoongi had offered words of advice. He hadn’t taken it, but the effort had meant a lot to him. Now, seeing Yoongi seemingly disregard his own advice , Taehyung was mad. 

 

He wasn’t aware of the situation, no one had talked about it openly, but it was plain to see both men were alone and hurting. Without knowing the context, Taehyung blamed Yoongi. All he had seen was Yoongi run away from Hoseok. Maybe it was because he saw himself in Yoongi, remembered running from Jimin at every chance, that he was so mad. His issue would have been solved with communication and he was willing to bet Yoongi and Hoseok’s would be too. 

 

Jungkook

 

Jungkook hadn’t really been given a job, since he would be mostly responsible for putting together any future plans, but regardless, he watched. He couldn’t help himself. Hoseok and Yoongi seemed to be getting better at ignoring each other, but the tension was still palpable. Whispers flew through the hallways, speculations abounded, some students even took figurative sides, deciding for themselves who was responsible or not. 

 

Once again, Jungkook found himself in music class. Despite the situation, the mood was light. Students were working on group compositions and that meant they got to sit with their friends and chat under the guise of working. Jungkook had opted to work alone, not wanting to bother with the pain of group work, so he sat off to the side and watched Yoongi, who was marking papers. Every once in a while he would look down and smile. Jungkook suspected he was texting someone and felt his eyebrows furrow. 

 

Was that why? Mr. Min got a new boyfriend? That doesn’t make sense. 

 

As Jungkook watched, two female figures blocked his vision. Without looking up, Jungkook leaned to the side, trying to continue his stakeout. It wasn’t until one of the figures coughed that he actually bothered to look up. 

 

“Uh, yea?” Jungkook asked, confused.

 

“Hey, Jungkook-ah. Are you… are you doing okay?” One of the girls asked.

 

Jungkook-ah? Do I even know her?

 

“I’m fine. Um..?” Jungkook paused, hoping she’d fill the blank for him.

 

The taller girl, who had spoken, jumped, “Kim Chaewon! We-- we’re in the dance club together?”

 

Right.

 

“Sorry, I’m bad with names. What’s up Chaewon-ssi?” Jungkook asked, still slightly irritated he couldn’t see Yoongi anymore.

 

“Oh, I was, um, wondering if you could take this?” Chaewon said, holding out a small pink envelope.

 

“What is it?” Jungkook asked, suspicious. 

 

“A letter”

 

“A letter,” Jungkook repeated.

 

“Yes. It’s, um, important to me that you take it. Please.” Chaewon insisted, still holding out the letter.

 

Jungkook nodded, grabbing it. He flipped it over in his hands. It smelled like perfume. He shoved the card in his bag and leaned back, “anything else?”

 

“No! No, uh, see you around!” Chaewon rushed out. Her friend pulled her away and they began talking quietly and giggling.

 

Jungkook didn’t care enough to figure out why so he turned back to Yoongi, who was now standing up.

 

“Alright, class is just about over. You can start packing up. Before you go, I just want to let you guys know there is a music contest coming up. You have to have an original song but there is prize money and it will look good on any applications for university later on. I’m available to work with anyone who wants to give it a shot.”

 

As Yoongi finished speaking, the bell rang and the class rushed out, barely acknowledging his words. The class may have been uninterested but Jungkook had heard all he needed to hear. An opportunity had just presented itself and he wasn’t about to let it pass by. 

 

Watching his students rush off, Yoongi sighed and began packing up his stuff. A shadow made him look up. Jungkook stood in front of his desk, clutching his backpack strap nervously. 

 

“Did you need something Jungkook-ssi?” Yoongi asked. 

 

“Ah, yea. That contest. I’d like to try. If you’re willing to help.”

 

Yoongi smiled slightly, unsurprised that of all his students Jungkook would be the one willing to try, and nodded, “of course I will.”

 

Jimin

 

Jimin supposed he had the easiest job in the world. He got to watch two dorky teachers in love interact all day. It was honestly adorable. Namjoon would rush around and open doors and try and carry Seokjin’s stuff. Seokjin would laugh and pat him on the shoulder both when he offered and when he inevitable dropped something. Namjoon would go on long rants about something and Seokjin would just listen and nod with a smile. Seokjin would jump around the Hamlet set, waving his script around, desperate to get everything perfect and Namjoon would follow his orders without a word of complaint, even when he had to move stuff back and forth.

 

He felt like he was watching a live-action romantic comedy and he loved it. But it was Namjoon’s look sometimes, whenever Seokjin was looking away that made Jimin concerned. Sometimes, Namjoon would look at Seokjin with worry written plainly on his face. Jimin couldn’t understand why Namjoon looked worried. They were clearly on the same page now, so why did Namjoon look like that?

 

Suddenly, arms dropped down around him and Jimin screamed, immediately pulling away. Even before he turned around, he could hear Taehyung laughing. 

 

“Alright asshole. Thanks for the heart attack!” Jimin said, smacking Taehyung in the arm.

 

“Not my fault you were lost in thought. I called out your name!” Taehyung defended, still chuckling a bit.

 

“Sure you did,” Jimin replied, not entirely believing him, “anything to report?”

 

Taehyung nodded, “they’re a mess. Mr. Min is avoiding Mr. Jung. They both look pathetic and sad.” 

 

Jimin nodded, “yea, based on what little I saw, that isn’t surprising. Kookie-ah is right, we should try and help.”

 

“I agree. What about #NamJin?” Taehyung asked, watching as Jimin lit up because he had used the name he had come up with. 

 

“They’re adorable and sickeningly cute. Definitely together but Namjoon-ssi looks worried sometimes I don’t know why.”

 

Taehyung rested his head on Jimin’s shoulder and thought it over, “you said they’re obviously together but what if they aren’t?”

“What do you mean?” Jimin asked, pulling his head back to see Taehyung better.

 

“I mean, what if they’ve been dating but they aren’t dating .”

 

“Like if no one has asked to be official yet?” 

 

“Exactly. That’d make me worried,” Taehyung said with a shrug.

 

“Huh,” Jimin replied, reaching up to play with Taehyung’s hair as he thought. He didn’t know if they were official or not because he hadn’t been around during the latest development. 

 

Jimin pulled at Taehyung’s hair with a pout, “well someone distracted me during the last development so I can’t be sure.”

 

Rubbing his head with his own pout, Taehyung sat up, “mean.”

 

“You’re mean.”

 

“What if I had an idea?”

 

Jimin stopped pouting and tilted his head, “Like what?”

 

“You ever seen the movie Love Actually ?”

 


 

Suffice to say, Yoongi had had better days. And months. Hell, even years. As of right now, his life was in a state of disorder that he never could have foreseen. He was self-aware enough to know this was partially (see: mostly) his own fault. He had written the letter. He had lied about it. And, oh yea, he was also the one running away from Hoseok at any given opportunity. 

 

Every time he saw Hoseok, he was convinced he would ask about the letters again and Yoongi knew that if Hoseok kept looking at him like he had been, he would definitely reveal the truth and then what was left of their relationship would vanish. Yoongi couldn’t let that happen. 

 

Since the incident, Yoongi had been burying himself in work, music, and Kihyun. They had been texting since they met at the club and Kihyun seemed genuinely interested. They hadn’t gone out yet, in fact Yoongi was on his way to their first date now, but even through text, Yoongi could tell he was a nice guy. He was smart and funny, and unlike most people Yoongi had met, Kihyun was able to keep him interested. Usually, when Yoongi sought out someone it was a quick affair, lasting long enough to satisfy whatever urge had driven Yoongi out of the house. 

 

The main problem is, though Kihyun had kept him interested, that was all he was: interested. He could feel that Kihyun would be an amazing friend but he didn’t feel anything else for him. Yoongi was hoping that seeing him in person would change that. He vaguely remembered Kihyun being very attractive so maybe going on an actual date with him would change his feelings. 

 

Maybe.

 

As Yoongi walked into the restaurant, he was struck by how long it had been since he’d been there. He and Hoseok had come here every week but now it had been weeks since he’d stepped inside. Glancing around, he saw Kihyun stand up and wave slightly.

 

He was indeed very attractive. Dressed in a nice suit and with hair styled, Kihyun attracted the attention of everyone around him. When he smiled as Yoongi approached, Yoongi swore he could hear people swoon nearby. 

 

Yoongi felt nothing.

 

“I’m glad you came! I wasn’t sure if you would,” Kihyun said, taking his seat. 

 

“I said I would, why wouldn’t I?” Yoongi asked, shrugging off his jacket. 

 

“Oh, I don’t know. Just a feeling. That’s a really nice sweater by the way. It brings out your eyes,” Kihyun complimented, pouring Yoongi some water.

 

Thrown off by the compliment, Yoongi looked down at his sweater. It was handknit. A few years ago, Hoseok had gone through a knitting phase and he had insisted on making Yoongi the perfect sweater. Most of what he had made was a mess, but this sweater had turned out amazing. It was Yoongi’s favourite sweater.

 

“Thank you. It was a gift.”

 

“Whoever gave it to you knows you well,” Kihyun commented.

 

“Not as much as he thinks,” Yoongi heard himself say. 

 

Kihyun decided it would be best to avoid that topic. He had hoped they would get further into the evening before the obvious came up, but he supposed he shouldn’t be surprised. He knew Yoongi was going through something. The night they had met was clear evidence of that, but he didn’t want to force Yoongi to talk about it if he wasn’t ready, so he changed the subject. 

 

Ordering food and drinks, Kihyun asked about Yoongi’s job and what he liked about it. Such a simple question seemed to make Yoongi more comfortable so conversation flowed easier after that. As they ate, they talked about work, music, family, friends. Everything. Well, everything but the obvious. As their empty dishes were taken away and replaced with dessert menus, Kihyun felt the tension radiating off of Yoongi again. Suddenly, there was no distraction and Yoongi was uncomfortable again. He seemed to sense this because he looked up and winced.

 

“Sorry, it’s just been a while since I’ve dated. I’m not 100% sure what I should be doing,” Yoongi admitted. 

 

Looking up from the dessert menu, Kihyun watched as Yoongi grabbed his wine, clearly uncomfortable with that admission. Setting down the menu, Kihyun folded his hands. Now or never.

 

“Yoongi-ah.”

 

Yoongi looked up and set down his glass. He folded his own hands on the table nervously. 

 

“Look, I know you’re in love with someone else,” Yoongi looked up quickly, “and I understand. I bet it’s the guy who picked you up when we met. I’m not here because I think we’ll get together right away. I’m here because I want to try being friends first and if that develops so be it.”

 

Yoongi sat silently for a while then nodded, “Thank you for understanding. I want to try, I do. But-- it’s hard. But I’m here because I want to try. I’ll get over it.”

 

Kihyun smiled and reached out to cover Yoongi’s hand with his own, “Maybe you’ll get over it, maybe you won’t. I don’t want you to push yourself out of love just because you think I’m impatient. That’s not fair to anyone. Not me. Not you. And not even that guy.”

 

Surprised by Kihyun’s frank statement, Yoongi blushed and looked down. He felt a smile form despite his embarrassment and nodded, “okay.” 

 


 

Namjoon was ecstatic. and happy. and blissful. and delighted. oh, and jubilant. 

 

Okay. He’d stop now. 

 

The point was that Namjoon was exactly where he had always dreamed of being and he still couldn’t really believe it. They had been going on dates whenever they had time. Sometimes it was fancy and romantic, other times it was fun and involved pizza on his living room floor. Either way Namjoon loved it. Seokjin had even spent the night at his place and Namjoon had woken up in complete shock, partially expecting Seokjin to disappear in thin air. He had not. Namjoon had spent more time than he’d like to admit just watching Seokjin sleep. Waking up with the warmth of someone he cared so much about right beside him was very much something he could get used to.

 

The problem was he didn’t know if he should. 

 

Neither of them had mentioned anything about their future. Going steady as it were. God, Namjoon are you 80? No one talks like that. 

 

Anyway, the point was that Namjoon had no idea what was happening with their relationship and it was making him worried. Anxious. Unsure. Hesitant. Okay, enough .

 

Namjoon had decided that he wasn’t just going to wait for it to come up naturally. It was bothering him, so he would ask. But, just this once, Namjoon wanted to be cool . He wanted it to go well. He wanted Seokjin to look at him with awe instead of fond exasperation when he did something clumsy by accident. 

 

Again, the issue was he didn’t know how . He wanted it to be romantic and suave. Endearing and sexy. Honestly, anything but clumsy and awkward. He wasn’t picky. 

 

His opportunity presented itself when Seokjin asked him to help out double-checking the prompt cards for the opening night. Seokjin had decided to let students do the intro, but that meant they needed lines, god forbid they let them wing it. 

 

This is when Namjoon had an epiphany. 

 

Earlier that week:

 

Jimin threw himself on the theatre chairs and sighed dramatically, “I just wish someone could be romantic, you know?”

 

“Oh, my god, are you serious? I said I’m sorry! I think I did okay!” Taehyung whined, folding his arms.

 

“Sure, but it’s no declaration from Love Actually was it?” Jimin continues.

 

“Okay, you know what, that scene is actually super flawed! There was no way for him to know she would open the door!” Taehyung reminds him.

 

“Still romantic. I’d love if someone did that for me.”

 

Taehyung sighed and dropped down beside him, “noted.”

 

Present:

 

This is how Namjoon found himself awkwardly standing in the middle of an empty theatre holding prompt cards he had switched out with his own when Seokjin wasn’t looking. 

 

God, I hope this works .

 

“Okay, Joonie-ah! Show me the cards. Im Seoungho-ssi is a good kid, but he’s blind as a bat,” Seokjin called out.

 

Okay, you got this Namjoon. 

 

Namjoon took a deep breath and flipped the first card. It was a greeting to everyone.

“Okay, next!”

 

Flipping again, now Seokjin could see a thank you for attending.

 

“Next!”

 

Fuck .

 

Namjoon flipped and waiting for Seokjin to read his own name.

 

“What?”

 

You are the most perfect person .

 

Next.

 

Everything about you.

 

Next.

 

Your kindness.

 

Next.

 

Your enthusiasm.

 

Next.

 

Your dedication .

 

Next.

 

Your love .

 

Next.

 

Please, give me that love officially?

 

Namjoon clutched the cards and hid his face, waiting for Seokjin’s reply. He heard a squeak then sobbing. Dropping the cards, Namjoon looked up frantically only to find Seokjin smiling wide and flapping his hands as he cried. He was nodding the entire time. Namjoon returned his smile and walked back to the stage. Once he arrived, Seokjin pulled him in for a long kiss. Namjoon couldn’t restrain his smile.

 

“Thank god otherwise this would have been awkward as fuck,” Namjoon joked.

 

Seokjin laughed and rested his head on Namjoon’s shoulder, “you forgot something though.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“My good looks. Should have been first, honestly.”

 

“Ah, my mistake,” Namjoon said with a smile.

 

“I’ll forgive you.”

 

Namjoon smiled wider and pulled Seokjin’s head further into his shoulder, stroking his hair. He was so happy he hadn’t messed this up or chickened out and lost this moment. Namjoon rested his cheek on Seokjin’s hair and sighed. Jimin and his band of miscreants had really helped him lately, he really should thank them.  

 


 

Hoseok couldn’t remember a time when he had been this upset. Nothing he had been through, nothing , was as bad as this. He would gladly go through every breakup, every bullying incident, every childhood trauma again, if that meant this current moment would stop. 

 

He would rather hear every cruel word and crippling insult from his exes again than experience the cold shoulder from Yoongi anymore. That hurt more than anything. He had thought having Yoongi lie to his face was bad. Turns out it was only half as bad as seeing your best friend turn from you and run. Or having him screen your calls or ignore your texts. God, Hoseok have even emailed him. 

 

But Yoongi had never replied. 

 

At first, Hoseok had tried everything. Every hour of every day, Hoseok had tried to contact Yoongi. Tried to understand what the letters were about. He had even shown up at his house, but Yoongi hadn’t answered the door. Eventually, the neighbours started giving him weird looks so he left. 

 

After god knows how many ignored calls, texts, and emails, Hoseok had stopped trying. 

 

In a short moment, one decision had lost him everything.

 

Yoongi. 


He had even lost Soyi. Though that had been purposefully and he didn’t regret it. 

 

Sunday after the incident :

Soyi stood at Hoseok’s door, waiting for him to answer. He had been MIA for the past few days and she was starting to get worried. That worry only amplified when Hoseok opened the door. His eyes were bloodshot, there were dark bags under his eyes, and his hair was a mess. The fact he had been crying was obviously displayed on his face.

 

“Soyi-ah? Did we-- did we have plans?” Hoseok asked, a panicked look on his face.

 

“No, I’m just worried. You haven’t been answering the phone,” Soyi revealed, looking him up and down.

 

Hoseok sighed, “Ah, I’m sorry. I’ve been a bit distracted. Come on in.”

 

Hoseok stepped back from the door and let Soyi in. She glanced around the apartment and winced. In such a short time it had become a mess. There were take out containers stacked on the table and beer cans scattered around. It was also incredibly dark. 

 

Soyi sat beside Hoseok on the couch and grasped his hand, “wanna tell me what’s going on?”

 

There was a pause. Soyi watched as Hoseok’s lips trembled and he furrowed his brows, “um, I found out who the author was.”

 

Remaining silent, Soyi waited for Hoseok to tell her who it was. 

 

“It was, uh, it was hyung. Yoongi-hyung.”

 

Soyi felt her eyebrows raise. That was not what she had been expecting. She knew Hoseok and Yoongi were close. Stupid close. But it never occurred to her that Yoongi would write love letters to Hoseok.

 

“And that upsets you?”

 

“Of course it does! He won’t tell me why!” Hoseok snapped, sitting up to rest his elbows on his knees.

 

Why? Soyi had assumed it was obvious why. People don’t just write love letters for no reason. 

 

“What do you mean why?” Soyi asked.

 

“I asked why and he wouldn’t answer. I thought maybe he loved me, like loved me loved me but he said that wasn’t it. Then maybe I thought it was a prank and he just said no but he wouldn’t tell me anything. The only thing he’d admit too was that he didn’t want to hurt me.”

 

“Oh, Seok-ah. I’m so sorry.” Soyi replied, rubbing his back. She doubted Yoongi was playing a prank or trying to hurt Hoseok, he wasn’t that type of person, but his silence hurt just the same. Soyi wondered if Yoongi really did love Hoseok. She wouldn’t be entirely surprised. She had always known Yoongi loved Hoseok but she had taken it as platonic, brotherly love. Maybe it wasn’t.

 

But why lie if that was the case?

 

Also, why was Hoseok so upset?

 

“Seok-ah, I think you need to seriously think about those letters.”

 

“What?” Hoseok asked, looking up.

 

“I think you need to step back from who wrote them and think about how they made you feel. I think… I think right now you’re shocked and I understand but…”

 

Hoseok waiting silently.

 

“I think you need to really consider what it means to you that Yoongi-oppa is the author. Forget the why and think about what that means . You said you loved the author, Seok-ah.”

 

“But it’s Yoongi-hyung.” Hoseok reminded her.

 

“And? Does that really matter? That doesn’t change what you felt. If he was being truthful in those letters, your feelings are based on something real Seok-ah. You need to think about that.”

 

Hoseok leaned back on the couch and closed his eyes. Soyi sat with him silently, rubbing his hair. She knew this was a hard choice for him. Finding out you had fallen in love with your best friend but not your best friend was enough to give anyone whiplash. 

 

After a while, Hoseok sighed quietly, “That probably means we should break up, huh?”

 

Soyi smiled, “yes, I think so.”

 

“I’m so sorry, Soyi-ah. I never meant for this to happen. I do like you, I do. But if what I’m feeling is real…”

 

“I know, Seok-ah. I think you should also think about what you liked about me, but I’m not angry. I kinda expected this to happen when you told me about the letters. The words in them are real Seok-ah. I believe that.”

 

“You think so?” Hoseok asked, turning his head to look at her.

 

“I do. I wouldn’t give you up for anything less,” Soyi joked.

 

“You’re pretty amazing, you know?”

 

“I know. Such a shame you fell in love with someone else.”

 

Present :

 

Hoseok was sad to see his relationship with Soyi end but she deserved more. Someone who wasn’t broken up over the author of formerly anonymous love letters. Someone not locked in a terrible stalemate with his best friend. 

 

As he packed up his things, Hoseok looked at Yoongi’s empty desk. Hoseok had stayed late to fill out paperwork for his club and it had taken longer than normal. Mostly because he kept spacing out but that's beside the point. All he wanted was to grab food and head home to his bed. 

 

No one lied to him there.

 

Well, not recently anyway.

 

Grabbing his bag and jacket, Hoseok left the office and was promptly shoved against it by a very angry looking Seokjin and a nervous-looking Namjoon. Like Jungkook, Seokjin had experienced what he considered his last straw and wanted this fight to end.

 

“What the hell, hyung!?” Hoseok snapped.

 

“That’s my exact question! What the hell is going on between you and Yoongi-ah!? Are you really this childish?” Seokjin snapped back.

 

Hoseok was in shock. Childish?

 

“What are you talking about?” Hoseok asked quietly.

 

“I know you’re upset about the letters but ignoring him like this for a week is too much! He’s obviously devastated.”

 

“Hyung, I’m going to kindly ask you to shut the fuck up.”

 

“Excuse me?!” Seokjin gasped.

 

“Ah, Hoseok-ah, maybe don’t--”

 

“You too,” Hoseok snapped, pointing at Namjoon, “I’m not ignoring him, he’s ignoring me. All I did was ask him why he sent the letters and he fucked off and hasn’t talked to me since. I’ve called, texted, shown up at his house. I even fucking emailed him and he hasn’t said a word.”

 

Seokjin sighed and looked at him in pity, “you’re not that stupid, Hoseok-ah.”

 

Hoseok snorted, “That’s what I thought too but he said no. He would rather let me think he pulled a prank on me than tell me the truth. I asked , hyung. But thanks for just assuming I’m a major tool. Awesome.”

 

Pulling back, Seokjin crossed his arms, “he said no?”

 

There was a nod, then Hoseok pushed past him to leave. He paused and looked back, “I know hyung isn’t the type to play a prank on me but the fact he wouldn’t tell me the truth is somehow worse. Have a good weekend, hyung.”

 

Seokjin let him go, held still in shock. It had never occurred to him that Yoongi had caused the fight. He just figured Yoongi had finally confessed and Hoseok was being stupid about it. Seokjin felt like shit. He had just accused one of his best friends of something terrible.

 

“Hyung? Are we going to talk to Yoongi-hyung?” Namjoon asked.

 

“Oh you bet we are,” Seokjin said, now more angry than ever.

 

The opposite feeling permeated Hoseok as he drove to pick up his takeout. Even his best friends thought he was at fault. Yoongi had hurt him and everyone seemed to think it was Hoseok’s fault. Hoseok hadn’t been lying when he said he knew Yoongi wasn’t the type of person to prank him or hurt him intentionally, but intentionally or not, Yoongi had hurt him and now they couldn’t even talk about it. 

 

The main issue was he couldn’t understand why Yoongi wouldn’t just tell him the truth. No matter what it was, it wouldn’t matter. He just wanted to know . He figured Yoongi was waiting him out. Hoping his anger would fade. In the past, whenever they had fought it hadn’t lasted long. Hoseok never stayed angry, it was a waste of energy. He would lay money that Yoongi was hoping he’d get over being angry and apologize so everything would go back to normal.

 

Hoseok wasn’t sure if he could do that. 

 

Parking his car and looking up at the restaurant, Hoseok felt a stab of pain in his chest. It was their restaurant . He had chosen it without thinking. Their weekly spot had been left vacant for weeks now. 

 

And who’s fault is that?

 

Hoseok couldn’t help but feel like his whole world was falling apart with Yoongi at the centre. He had no idea where to go or what to do. He’d always had Yoongi to help with that and now he had no one.

 

Stepping onto the sidewalk, Hoseok pulled up his collar and walked towards the restaurant. He caught sight of something familiar in the window and felt his feet stop. Inside the restaurant, Yoongi was sitting with the guy from the bar. He was wearing the sweater Hoseok had made for him years ago. But that wasn’t what caused him to stop. What had caused that was Yoongi’s expression. He was looking down and smiling.

 

Smiling

 

He looked… happy.


Yoongi looked happy. 

 

Hoseok felt his face crumple as tears overwhelmed him. 

 

Yoongi was finally happy.

Chapter Text

Jimin had a routine. This routine included spending a night, once a week, at home alone to relax and pamper himself. He always took a long bath, breaking out the special bath bombs and candles that he always had to keep hidden from his brother, who always stole them then lied about it. After his bath, he would do a face mask and lounge around. Sometimes he read, sometimes he watched YouTube. Other times he watched a movie or show he had been wanting to see. Regardless of what he did, he always did it alone and in complete comfort.

 

This evening, however, was tainted by the messiness of the Mr. Min and Mr. Jung situation. Since Jungkook had brought it up, Jimin had been unable to ignore how the air around both of his teachers just seemed sad . Mr. Min was better at hiding it, but it was clear that both of them were suffering. The three had their ideas, but none of them could be sure, which was causing an issue. He couldn’t come up with a plan if he didn’t know why they were fighting. Or not talking. Or whatever their issue was. 

 

Then, suddenly, the problem had changed and Jimin was even more at a loss than before. Out of nowhere, the two were talking again. The stalemate was suddenly over. Or seemed to be at least. Jimin could tell the air around them was still sad. Whatever had been bothering them clearly hadn’t been solved, but for whatever reason they were pretending to be okay again. Jimin didn’t like it. There was nothing worse than putting on a false face instead of dealing with problems. He wanted nothing more than to help solve whatever the problem was. But he wasn’t sure that he could. He may be someone who was always able to read people and Jungkook may (apparently) be a love guru, but the fact of the matter was: they were all inexperienced and Jimin worried that the Jung-Min conflict was out of their depth. 

 

In order to make himself feel better, and more productive, Jimin had downloaded a bunch of new dramas to see if he could find another trope or something to help. He had even branched in anime at this point. He was getting desperate. The thought of just posting a ‘HELP’ message on Naver had even crossed his mind, but he stopped himself. Mostly, again, because he didn’t know enough details to accurately fill out the post. That and he worried someone, especially Mr. Min or Mr. Jung, would recognize the situation and be hurt or upset by his post. 

 

So, because of all this, Jimin found himself doing less relaxing and more worrying on the day that was supposed to be his personal day. He was currently lying on his bed watching Fight My Way , hoping the longtime friend relationship would offer inspiration, while doing a face mask. He was only a few episodes in when a loud clack on his window startled him enough to jolt out of bed and smash the space bar so he could hear any more noises. The sound came again, this time more aggressively, and Jimin realized someone was throwing rocks at his window

 

Standing up and pulling off his face mask in a huff, Jimin walked to the window and whipped it open. He was greeted by another rock that nearly hit him in the face. Thankfully, years of dancing had given him the reflexes to dodge the rock at the last second. As he looked back at the rock currently bouncing along his bedroom floor, he heard a voice yell out from his yard.

 

“Oh my god! I’m so sorry, Jiminie-ah. Did I hit you!?” Taehyung called up from where he was standing underneath his window. 

 

Jimin leaned back out the window, “no, but you almost did! What in the hell are you doing? My parents will flip if you break my window!”

 

“I was trying to get your attention,” Taehyung explained, rubbing his neck in embarrassment.

 

“And what? My phone is broken?” Jimin asked. 

 

“I needed you to look out the window!” 

 

“What? Why?”

 

“Well, I wanted to do something corny and romantic. Like what we convinced Namjoon-ssi to do for Seokjin-ssi.”

 

Jimin laughed and put his face in his hands, “Tae-ah, I was only acting. I’m not mad you didn’t do something like that. I don’t care.”

 

“I know, but I wanted to do something! Can you just let me do it?” Taehyung asked, pouting. 

 

With an indulgent smile, Jimin leaned his head on his hand and rest on the windowsill, “okay, go for it.”

 

Taehyung’s boxy smile could have illuminated the entire yard. He quickly turned around and shrugged into a long brown coat before grabbing a small wireless speaker and holding it up. Before Jimin could ask what he was doing, Taeyang’s Eyes, Nose, Lips began to play through the speakers. It was loud enough for Jimin to hear it, but not so loud that his parents or neighbours would be disturbed. 

 

For a second Jimin was confused, then he remembered the old movie he had watched with Taehyung and Jungkook months before when they were looking for romantic tropes. It was an old American movie from the late 80s called Say Anything

 

Jimin started laughing, “We weren’t even born when that movie was made, Tae-ah!” 

 

Taehyung lowered the speaker a bit and shrugged in mild embarrassment, “I may have looked up romantic tropes and I remembered watching this movie with you. It’s romantic, right?”

 

Unable to respond, Jimin just shook his head. Taehyung was looking up at him with the most open and earnest expression. Taeyang’s voice was still playing in the background. He looked so dopey and eager to please. This Taehyung was the one that Jimin loved the most. The Taehyung that was unabashedly sincere and sweet, set on doing anything, whether it was silly or not, to make someone he cared about happy. Jimin felt his heart swell and warmth spread throughout his body. The gesture was silly and unnecessary, but Jimin loved it nonetheless.

 

Under Jimin’s scrutiny, Taehyung began to shift from one foot to the other. He had wanted to make Jimin smile and now he was just staring at him. Just when Taehyung began to get nervous, worried he had only served to irritate Jimin, a large smile overtook his face, puffing out his cheeks and turning his eyes into crescents. Taehyung’s answering smile was just as bright and sincere. 

 

“Come on up here so I can thank you properly,” Jimin said with a wink and closed the window. 

 

Taehyung stood there for a second, unsure what exactly properly meant. Then he grabbed his bag and phone and ran to the door. Letting himself in without knocking, Taehyung quickly took off his shoes and slipped on the house shoes Jimin’s family had bought for him long ago (Jungkook had a matching pair) and ran up the stairs to Jimin’s room. 

 

This time, Taehyung paused to knock and waited for the door to open. Jimin reached out and grabbed his arm, pulling him in and onto his bed. Taehyung felt his back hit the bed and had a second to look up in shock before Jimin jumped on top of him and proceeded to kiss his face all over. 

 

“Ahh, stop! That tickles!” Taehyung yelled, grabbing a giggling Jimin and rolling him off. 

 

Jimin leaned up and gave Taehyung one final quick kiss on the lips before settling down into Taehyung’s side, “thank you, Tae-ah. That was really sweet.”

 

Threading his fingers through Jimin’s hair, Taehyung smiled, “I’m glad you liked it.”

 

The two stayed silent for a few moments. Taehyung could smell Jimin’s bath bomb on his hair and it made him feel relaxed and comfortable. He had known tonight was Jimin’s relaxation night and he had wanted to make it better. He could feel how soft and pliant Jimin was next to him, all tension having left his body, and he knew he had succeeded. 

 

“I’m worried,” Jimin said finally, “about Mr. Min and Mr. Jung. I don’t know if we can help.”

 

Taehyung’s fingers paused for a second, then he started moving his fingers again, “we’ll be able to help. You’re not one to give up without a fight. Kookie-ah won’t either.”

 

Jimin nodded against Taehyung’s chest, “I hope so. They’re good people.”

 

“Don’t worry, with the three of us together, nothing can stop us.”

 

“Promise?” Jimin replied, reaching up to intertwine his fingers with Taehyung’s. Taehyung kept their fingers separate long enough to hook his pinky with Jimin’s, “pinky promise.” 

 

Soon enough, Jimin drifted off to sleep, holding Taehyung’s hand with his head tucked into his shoulder. He had started the night trying to relax but feeling worry creep in. Now, he slipped into unconsciousness in a state of total relaxation. Taehyung always had a way of making him completely comfortable. 



Maybe, one day, they could help Mr. Min and Mr. Jung feel this way too. 

 


 

Yoongi’s smiling face was something that ended up haunting Hoseok for longer than he would have ever thought possible. That night, he had managed to get into the restaurant and pick up his food without alerting Yoongi to his presence, but he hadn’t gone unnoticed entirely. A waiter, the very one who had called Soyi Yoongi by mistake, had given him his food with such a look of overwhelming pity that Hoseok had practically run from the restaurant to his car. He didn’t understand that look and given the way he was currently feeling, he wasn’t sure if he wanted too. 

 

Since then, the short scene Hoseok had accidentally witnessed had replayed in his mind over and over again. It wasn’t that he had never seen that look before, he obviously had, but seeing Yoongi so obviously happy with someone he just met was incredibly rare. Yoongi was not someone who talked to strangers easily and he certainly wasn’t someone to smile like that unless genuinely happy. 

 

It had been so long since Hoseok had seen that expression caused by someone other than himself that Hoseok was genuinely shaken. There had been a time when only he could get Yoongi to smile like that. Now, whenever Yoongi saw him he frowned, or winced, before running away. The only time Hoseok had seen Yoongi smile since he discovered he was writing the letters was while he was on that date with the guy from the bar. It made Hoseok realize that by being sad, he was inadvertently also making Yoongi sad. They were hurting each other and the cycle would never end unless one of them stopped it. He knew Yoongi well enough to know he never would. 

 

This was how Hoseok found himself once again hiding outside his office waiting for someone to pick up a letter. Only this time, he knew who he was waiting for. He just didn’t know how Yoongi would react. After class, Hoseok had written a quick message and left it on Yoongi’s desk. He had gone for short but clear, hoping his effort would fix the awkward air that had surrounded them lately. On the envelope, he had written Sunflower , like he always did. Inside, he had apologized for overreacting and assured Yoongi he understood that, regardless of the reason, Yoongi would never hurt him on purpose. None of which was a lie. He left out that even thinking about it made him want to cry. Or the fact that he was still upset that Yoongi wouldn’t trust him enough to talk to him, to tell him the truth. Yoongi didn’t need to know that. What Yoongi needed was a time in his life where he was happy in every aspect: professionally, romantically, and platonically. He had never had that before and Hoseok wasn’t about to be the one who ruined it.

 

When Yoongi had found the letter later that day, he had hesitated, unsure if he should open it. As Hoseok watched, he sat in his chair and stared at the letter for what seemed like a long time. Eventually, he opened it and scanned the words quickly, then dropped it onto his desk and buried his face in his hands. Hoseok wasn’t exactly sure what to do now, he had not expected that reaction, so he stepped inside the room and spoke softly. 

 

“Yoonie-ah, I’m sorry if I made you upset. I just didn’t know how else to apologize since you weren’t talking to me.”

 

Yoongi’s head snapped up and he looked at Hoseok with wide eyes that radiated sadness, “you don’t have to apologize, Hoseok-ah. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

 

Hoseok shrugged and walked closer, settling himself on Yoongi’s desk, “it doesn’t matter. None of it does. I just want my best friend back. I don’t care why you did it, I’m over it if it means you’ll talk to me again.”

 

There was a pause as Yoongi searched Hoseok’s face. Hoseok made sure to conceal his current feelings and project an image of sincerity and hopefulness. 

 

He was good at that.

 

Eventually, Yoongi nodded and leaned forward. He fiddled with the edges of the letter then looked up at Hoseok again, “thank you for understanding, Seok-ah.”

 

Hoseok smiled, “no problem, you’re my best friend. There’s nothing anyone can do to change that. Not even you.”

 

Yoongi snorted and smiled slightly, “that sounds like a challenge.”

 

“Good thing you’re not competitive,” Hoseok replied.

 

Yoongi nodded and they fell silent. Hoseok wanted nothing more than to pull Yoongi into a hug like he would any other time, but he wasn’t sure the timing was right. He also wasn’t sure if the way he acted around Yoongi was part of the problem. Since they had always been close, Hoseok had been free with his physical affection. He was a touchy person, always had been, but now he wondered if that was a problem. 

 

When he had realized Yoongi was happy elsewhere, Hoseok hadn’t been able to ignore the timing. They had fought and stopped hanging out and suddenly Yoongi had time to be close with someone else. To be happy with someone else. He had eventually come to the conclusion that he was the reason Yoongi was unhappy. His constant closeness must have been preventing Yoongi from the possibility of doing anything without him.

 

To an outsider looking in, anyone would think they were dating. Half of his past relationships had thought so too, and they weren’t even outsiders. They kept clothing at each other’s houses, they spent at least 2 nights of every week together, often more. They went to dinner and movies all the time. Hoseok had even dragged Yoongi to an amusement park when he had tried to overcome his fear of, well, everything related to roller coasters. Yoongi had held his hand as he screamed the entire time. 

 

No wonder Yoongi could never date. Hoseok had always been there preventing it. Hoseok was honestly surprised Yoongi didn’t hate him. It was this line of thought that made him think that maybe, just maybe, Yoongi loved him, but his soulless denial when they fought quickly crushed that thought. If Yoongi loved him, there was no way he would have let Hoseok break like that. 

 

Due to this revelation, Hoseok had been able to come up with a plan to repair his friendship with Yoongi in a way that didn’t make him feel constrained again but also made sure he wasn’t sad when he thought of Hoseok. He figured, if he could manage to hold himself back, no more skinship, sleepovers, or excessive hangouts, he would achieve his goal. 

 

After nearly a week of what he considered incredible acting he achieved just that. The four of them were eating lunch together again and Yoongi stopped by his class sometimes to kill time, just as he had before. Yoongi had even invited him out for dinner on Wednesday, saying he wanted to restart the tradition. It was like everything was the same but slightly different. The difference came on Hoseok’s side, since he had made sure never to touch Yoongi unless he initiated contact and he didn’t stop by his classroom or suggest an outing without an invitation first. Basically, Hoseok had settled on letting Yoongi set the pace and tone of their friendship. When he wanted to hang out, Hoseok would be there. He figured that was the best way to make sure Yoongi still had time for bar boy, which seemed to be successful since Yoongi had mentioned going out with him a few times since they had started talking again.  

 

All this new free time allowed Hoseok time to think. The past week had been a blur of intense feelings and nearly exhausting levels of acting on his part so he hadn’t managed to really think about what he was feeling aside from what it took to make sure he wasn’t showing any sadness overtly. But now that they had settled into what seemed to be a pattern similar to their previous one, Hoseok had time. Loads of time. Before, he had been busy with both Soyi and Yoongi, but now since he wasn’t seeing Soyi anymore and Yoongi didn’t ask him to hang out aside from their weekly dinner, he had free time. Now he had time to think about Soyi’s parting words:

 

 I think you should also think about what you liked about me.

 

Honestly, Hoseok hadn’t really thought about it. He wasn’t the type of person who analyzed every single feeling he was having. He liked to live in the moment, especially when dating. He always assumed if he over-analyzed every aspect of his partner, he would eventually find something he didn’t like. There was always something about someone you don’t like, it was impossible for someone to be absolutely perfect, so Hoseok tried not to focus on those things. Due to that, he often didn’t focus on the root of his feelings at all, as long as they were positive. So, he hadn’t given any thought to the reasons he liked Soyi. 

 

Now, sitting in his desk, where he honestly should have been marking, Hoseok leaned back and thought about Soyi as a person. At first, when Yoongi had suggested it was her, he had hesitated. She was outwardly very quiet. He had worked with her for years but never really talked to her about anything aside from the basics. Once he got to know her though, he realized that she was loud and funny, with a wide smile that transformed her whole face. It was her humour that had drawn him in first. It was incredibly dry and sarcastic. He supposed after years of friendship with Yoongi, he had grown to really like that type of humour, especially since his was the opposite. 

 

So yes, humour was a big draw, but after that, it was likely how easily they fit together. Soyi had a, well he supposed aura was the best word, around her that made him comfortable almost immediately. With most people, Hoseok had a period of time where he pretended to be more at ease than he was. It wasn’t that people made him uncomfortable, it was that he would take him time deciding how much of his personality or quirks he would reveal. With Soyi, he never had that problem. She made him feel like he could be totally himself right away. He hadn’t felt that comfortable since meeting Yoongi. 

 

They also had tons in common. When they were together, conversations never halted or fell off awkwardly. They had flown easily. Even when their opinions differed they were able to discuss whatever the topic was with ease and sincerity. When he was with her, he felt like he was with someone he had known his entire life. Someone who just knew things about him. 

 

Someone like Yoongi. 

 

Hoseok began to tap his pen on the desk, ignoring the mildly irritated look from the math teacher seated to his left. The man slurped his coffee, he could handle his pen tapping while Hoseok thought. It wasn’t entirely surprising that Soyi and Yoongi were similar, that was, after all, the reason Yoongi had suggested her in the first place. At the time, Hoseok had just been trying to find someone who would write like Yoongi, he hadn’t actually expected them to be so similar. He also hadn’t expected all the things he liked about Soyi to also be the things he liked about Yoongi. 

 

Frowning, Hoseok began to gnaw at the end of his pen. If he liked all the same things about Soyi and Yoongi, that meant he either liked Soyi platonically or he liked Yoongi romantically. He supposed it was possible he only liked Soyi as a friend but… well, they had done things that he could safely say ‘just friends’ didn’t normally do, not unless they were attracted to each other. 

 

Tapping his pen again and shooting a glare when Mr. I Slurp Too Loud but Can’t Handle Noise huffed, Hoseok sat back and began to observe Yoongi. He remembered asking Yoongi to find someone as similar to him as possible. And saying he wanted a best friend he could date. Someone he was attracted too. Hoseok didn’t understand why it had never occurred to him that Yoongi was the author. His writing was so obvious now that he thought about it. Looking at him now, Hoseok also didn’t understand why he had never considered Yoongi as an option before. He supposed it had to do with their friendship. It wasn’t that Yoongi wasn’t attractive or the type of person Hoseok wanted for himself, his feelings towards Soyi made that kind of obvious, but the risk of shifting from friends to lovers was huge. If it didn’t work out, you had the potential to lose everything. 

 

Dropping his pen, Hoseok rummaged through his bag and pulled out his notebook. Folded inside was the last letter the author, Yoongi , had ever sent him. He opened it quickly and found the passage his own thoughts had just mirrored. 

 

We’ve met before Hoseok-ah. Quite frequently. You don’t see me that way and that’s fine. I understand. Things will change if you met me as the author of these letters. I don’t want to lose what we have now. Not in real life and not in these letters. Can you just let us exist and love each other as much as possible in this medium alone?

 

Knowing it was Yoongi who wrote this section completely changed the implications. It was no longer a stranger worried about affecting a work relationship. It was Yoongi asking to protect his friendship with Hoseok. Yoongi asking him to stop looking. Yoongi worrying about Hoseok pushing him away. It was Yoongi asking to keep one private medium where they were honest without fear of loss or judgement. 

 

Shoving the letter away, Hoseok was at a loss. He didn’t know what to think or feel anymore. Yoongi had lied to him, he knew that much, but about what?

 

“Do you-- do you actually love me then?” 

 

“No.” 

 

Was that the lie? Hoseok couldn’t be sure and that was making him more upset. Was the version of Yoongi in the letters the real one or was it the one he saw everyday? He squinted at Yoongi, trying to understand him. He was currently helping a student by explaining some sort of note compilation to a small girl whose entire face was scrunched up in confusion. After a few more moments of explanation, the girl’s face cleared and she began pointing and speaking quickly. A wide, gummy smile overtook Yoongi’s face as the girl spoke, clearly having finally understood whatever had confused her before. Seeing that same smile again, Hoseok felt an answering stab in his heart. 

 

More confused than ever, Hoseok grabbed his things and left the office quickly. The conflicting versions of Yoongi were making him confused, that’s why his heart hurt like that. For the first time in his life, Hoseok wasn’t sure he actually knew Yoongi. He didn’t know what he was feeling or thinking and because of that he didn’t know where to go from here. Hoseok had always known Yoongi had secrets but if that secret was the feelings on which they had based their entire relationship, how could Hoseok claim to know Yoongi at all?

 

Rubbing his chest absentmindedly, Hoseok passed by three students who watched him with worried eyes. He didn’t take note of them as he passed or as they watched him practically flee to his car. 

 

He didn’t notice a lot of things apparently. 

 


 

“I just don’t see why after we spent so much time getting those two together, you wouldn’t let me watch ,” Jimin whined, stabbing at his rice. 

 

Jungkook shook his head with a snort but otherwise remained silent while Taehyung leaned back in his chair and looked at the roof like he was praying for intervention. 

 

“I worked hard , Tae-ah. It’s not fair,” Jimin continued when no one commented. 

 

Taehyung rolled his head to the side and raised his eyebrows at Jimin, “I told you, we’ve been spying on all their private moments. I think the least we can do is give them some privacy.”

 

With a pout, Jimin leaned back, “but we were already there. We could have just stayed.”

 

“We were only there to make sure Namjoon-ssi actually went through with it. Not to spy,” Jungkook reminded him.

 

“Exactly. Supervising more than spy. Besides, did you really want to see them kiss?” Taehyung asked.

 

“YES!” Jimin exclaimed, putting his chopsticks down with a snap, “of course. Do you watch romantic movies then turn it off before the kiss scene?!”

 

Taehyung sighed and returned to eating. This was not a new conversation. Jimin had been pouting about it on and off since he and Jungkook had pulled him away. Basically, whenever he saw Seokjin and Namjoon together, he was reminded that he had missed the official moment and got all pouty. If Taehyung didn’t think it was adorable, he’d probably be irritated by now. 

 

Sensing that the conversation had shifted a bit, Jungkook dove in, “okay, now that #NamJin, which I still can’t believe you’re making me use by the way, is over, we need to refocus.”

 

Jimin looked up and felt his pout melt away, “yea, me and Taehyung-ah were talking about this last night. I’m just not sure what we can do.”

 

Taehyung nodded in agreement, “since we don’t know why they’re fighting, or were, it makes it hard. #NamJin was much easier to figure out.”

 

There was sigh and Jungkook now leaned back, tapping his fingers on the table, “I just wish I knew why they were talking again. Mr. Jung is still clearly sad, you saw the way he ran out of the school yesterday, but they’re acting like everything is fine. Or Mr. Min is at least.”

 

“Do you think Mr. Min did something to hurt Mr. Jung?” Jimin asked.

 

Taehyung shook his head, “I don’t think he could. He basically told me he loves him.”

 

“Do you think he confessed?” Jimin speculated. 

 

Now Jungkook interjected, “no, Mr. Jung wouldn’t look so sad if he did and Mr. Min wouldn’t be able to act so normal.”

 

Making a sound of frustration, Jimin ran both hands through his hair, “this is so frustrating .”

 

Jungkook and Taehyung agreed, turning to watching their teachers table. Yoongi was talking while looking at his food. Hoseok and Namjoon were listening intently, nodding every so often. Seokjin had his head in his hand and seemed to be focused on Yoongi but the narrowing of his eyes suggested his mind was elsewhere. Taehyung was the first to notice this.

 

“I think we have an ally in Seokjin-ssi,” Taehyung observed. When the other two boys looked confused he continued, “look at the way he is watching Mr. Min. He doesn’t look happy. If we’re lucky, Seokjin-ssi will help us sort out their issues personally so we can do something more general. Just like with #NamJin.”

 

Jimin watched the table more closely. He saw what Taehyung was talking about. Seokjin was watching Yoongi with narrowed eyes and every so often they would flick to Hoseok then back to Yoongi. 

 

That could be useful

 

“I may have a way to find out some information. Or at least influence some things.”

 

“Oh? Mr. Love Guru has a plan?” Taehyung joked.

 

“Not a plan, no. I volunteered to participate in a music contest. Mr. Min is going to help me develop an original song. There’s some prize money if I win, but it gives me a chance to be alone with him for an extended period.”

 

“Wait, you’re going to make an original song?” Taehyung asked.

 

Jungkook nodded and Jimin practically flew out of his chair and tackled Jungkook in a hug, “that’s amazing! You’re such a good singer, Kookie-ah. This will be awesome! I can’t wait to hear it.”

 

Coughing awkwardly, Jungkook shifted in his seat, “I just wanted to help Mr. Min. I didn’t really think about the actual contest!”

 

“You should! The contest will be great for you. Helping Mr. Min and Mr. Jung will be an added bonus,” Taehyung commented.

 

Jimin agreed, still perched on top of Jungkook, “two birds, one stone. I want you to take this seriously, okay?”

 

“Okay, okay, now get off of me. The last thing I need is people thinking that--”

 

“Um, Jungkook-ah?”

 

Jungkook felt himself glare up at Jimin before turning towards the new voice. He vaguely recognized her but he wasn’t sure from where.

 

“Ah, yes?”

 

The girl shifted from one foot to the other and looked down at her intertwined hands, “I was just, um, wondering if you had a chance to read my letter yet.”

 

Jungkook’s eyes widened as he realized who this was. Kim Chaewon, from his dance class. He had completely forgotten about her letter. Reaching around Jimin, Jungkook rummaged through his bag until he found the small letter he had hastily put away the week before. 

 

“I haven’t had a chance, Chaewon-ssi, but I can read it now!” Jungkook revealed, already tearing open the side. 

 

“NO! Uh, wait until I leave!” Chaewon demanded, before she ran away. 

 

Watching her go, Jimin stood up and returned to his seat. He glanced at Taehyung before looking back at Jungkook, “a letter?”

 

“Hmm, yea. She gave it to me last week but I totally forgot,” Jungkook explained, pulling out the letter from the envelope.

 

The other two boys waited patiently for Jungkook to read the letter and explain more. Both boys suspected it was a love letter of sorts, but they wanted to see how Jungkook reacted to it. He wasn’t one to get love letters or send them. No matter the situation, Jungkook had always preferred to observe. It was likely the reason he was so good at reading people and setting them up. It also made him incredibly awkward whenever he did anything other than singing and dancing, but that's beside the point. 

 

As Jungkook skimmed the letter he felt uneasy. Then, when he got to the confession part, he understood why. He had no idea how to handle this, but he knew he had to do it quickly. Resting his head on his hand, Jungkook placed the letter down on the table with a sigh. Jimin immediately reached out and snatched the letter, “you’re first love letter, Kookie-ah! Hyung is so proud.”

 

“YAH! Don’t.” Jungkook said, grabbing the letter back, “I’m not going to share her private thoughts.”

 

Taehyung smiled, “that’s very nice of you, Kookie-ah.”

 

“It took a lot for her to give this to me. I’m not just going to spread it around.”

 

Jimin looked a bit guilty, “I’m sorry, I just wanted to see. Taehyung-ah and I always shared our letters.”

 

Jungkook shrugged, “I’m not mad, I’m just not going to do that.”

 

Chaewon wanted to meet him and confess in person, but she had explained her feelings clearly in the letter. Enough for Jungkook to know he had to turn her down quickly and easily, otherwise her feelings would be hurt. She seemed like a nice person, even if Jungkook wasn’t entirely aware of her presence most of the time. It had nothing to do with her, he just didn’t really care enough to pay attention to people outside of those he cared about. He found when he focused on others he began to feel involved in their lives, so he didn’t. Easier that way. 

 

“I’ll be back, I have to deal with this.”

 

“You’re going to reject her?” Taehyung asked.

 

“Yea, I’m not interested and it’s not fair to drag it out.”

 

“You barely know her, how do you know you’re not interested?” Jimin asked.

 

“Because I barely know her. If I cared, I would.” Jungkook said with a shrug. 

 

Leaving his friends behind, Jungkook headed to Chaewon’s table. He paused at the end, waiting for the conversation to pause. The second he arrived, all eyes turned to him and Chaewon blushed.

 

So, everyone knows

 

“Hey, um, Chaewon-ssi, can you come with me for a bit?” Jungkook asked, already feeling awkward in front of the whole table.

 

“Sure!” Chaewon replied, jumping up and grabbing her bag.

 

With a small sigh, Jungkook led her out of the cafeteria. He hesitated for a second, unsure where to go. There were people everywhere. He didn’t want to reject the poor girl in front of an audience, so he needed to find somewhere private. 

 

The roof

 

The roof was always empty. Mostly because you weren’t actually allowed to be up there. If you got caught, you could get in serious trouble, but someone had broken the lock long ago and it was never fixed. Feeling more confident now that he had a location, Jungkook turned on his heel and quickly climbed the stairs. As they got closer and closer to the roof, Chaewon became more and more anxious. 

 

The roof. He’s bringing me to the roof

 

Once they arrived, Jungkook shouldered open the door and stepped outside. It was a bit windy and cold, but it would do. Looking back at Chaewon, who had just stepped outside, he realized she hadn’t brought her coat.

“Ah, I’m sorry. We can go somewhere else. You must be cold.”

 

Chaewon frantically shook her head, “no, no. Here is fine. Um, why did you bring me to the roof?”

 

“Because it’s private,” Jungkook stated simply.

 

Her answering blush was almost instantaneous and Jungkook realized he may have made a mistake. Privacy seemed to mean something different to her than it did to him. 

 

“Uh, look, Chaewon-ssi, you seem nice… and you’re very pretty, but uh…” Jungkook began, unsure where to go from here.

 

With a tilted head and furrowed brow, Chaewon looked back at him. It was clear she was confused. 

 

Jungkook coughed awkwardly before continuing, “I’m sure that, well, I’m sure a ton of guys would be super happy to get a letter from you, but, uh, I’m not?”

 

Seeing her expression, Jungkook rushed, “no! Not like that, I just, um, I’m not looking to date right now? I’m just interested, you know?”

 

Now she looked even more hurt, “oh god, not that I’m not interested in you , just not interested in dating in general… and I guess you by association, but like, not because there’s anything wrong with you or something.”

 

Chaewon was focusing very hard on not crying. The only thing keeping her tears at bay was her confusion. If he was going to reject her, why would he bring her to the roof of all places!?

 

“Why would you bring me to the roof if you were just going to say no?!” Chaewon demanded.

 

“I told you, I wanted privacy. I didn’t want someone to overhear.”

 

“Are you an idiot?” Chaewon asked. 

 

“An idiot? What?” Jungkook replied in shock.

 

Chaewon rubbed at her eyes and laughed somewhat sadly, “ugh, I thought you were going to ask me out. Everyone does that here.

 

“Here…?”

 

“Yes, here. How do you attend this school and not know that?”

 

“I don’t really-- I don’t really pay much attention to gossip…”

 

“Clearly. Everyone says if you kiss someone up here you’ll be together forever. No one comes up here unless they want to makeout or ask someone out.”

 

Jungkook felt his eyes widen, “I am so sorry .”

 

Rubbing her cheeks and eyes again, Chaewon sighed, “it’s fine. I know you didn’t mean it.”

 

“They say that? Really? That you’ll be together forever if you kiss up here? Is it like a true love test thing?” Jungkook asked, suddenly curious.

 

Confused, Chaewon tilted her head, “I guess. But I thought you weren’t interested?”

 

“I’m not, but--”

 

“I’m assuming you two have a great excuse for being up here?” Seokjin asked from the doorway where he stood with his arms crossed and an eyebrow raised. 

 


 

There were several things that Seokjin considered to be the worst part of his job. The first was punishing students for the exact same things he had done when he was in high school. The second was dealing with crying students. Currently, he was dealing with both. He’d be lying if he hadn’t momentarily fantasized about throwing himself off the roof when he realized what the rest of his lunch break was going to entail. 

 

Kim Chaewon sat in front of him. He had passed her tissues and was now patiently waiting for her to stop crying. In the background, Jungkook looked like he was about to cry himself, though Seokjin suspected it was because Chaewon was crying rather than any sadness he himself felt. 

 

“You know the roof is restricted, Chaewon-ssi,” Seokjin reminded.

 

“I know, but he--,” Chaewon began, but stopped when she realized Jungkook would get in trouble, “I forgot, I’m sorry.”

 

Seokjin glanced back up at Jungkook, who looked even sadder now, and continued, “why the roof? You know you probably shouldn’t follow people to secluded places like that. It can be dangerous.”

 

Chaewon nodded, “I know, but I thought-- because it was the roof…”

 

Handing her more tissues, Seokjin patiently waited for Chaewon to finish, “you’re supposed to be together forever if you kiss on the roof.”

 

Seokjin caught Jungkook wince in the background and nodded in false understanding. Chaewon seemed to be encouraged by this so she continued, “see, even you’ve heard about this. I thought-- I’m sorry for being on the roof. I won’t do it again.”

 

Rubbing his face, Seokjin nodded, “I’ll let you off with a warning this time, but if you’re caught up there again, there will be consequences.”

 

Chaewon nodded and left the room with a quick bow, ignoring Jungkook as she walked passed. Jungkook took the opportunity to take the seat Chaewon had just vacated. He fiddled with the seam of his uniform pants and waited for Seokjin to yell at him. 

 

“You want to explain to me why you brought her up to the roof?” Seokjin asked, bypassing Chaewon’s attempt to protect him.

 

Jungkook sighed, “she gave me a letter and I didn’t want to reject her in public. I just wanted a private space in case she cried. I didn’t know about the rumour when I suggested it.”

 

Seokjin watched Jungkook for a second then sighed. He looked sad and guilty. He clearly felt bad both for rejecting Chaewon and getting her in trouble as well. 

 

“But you did know it was against the rules,” Seokjin commented.

 

“Yes,” Jungkook admitted.

 

Shaking his head, Seokjin waved him away, “do it again and I’ll put you in detention for the rest of your life. Go on.”

 

“Deal,” Jungkook agreed and stood up to leave. 

 

Seokjin turned back to his desk and pulled out some marking. He didn’t have enough time to go back to the cafeteria now so he figured he midaswell get some work done. He was trying to not be bitter that he had had to leave lunch early to chase down Jungkook and Chaewon. They had overheard students whispering about two students sneaking onto the roof and he had lost rock paper scissors so he was left to deal with it. 

 

Do not resent students for doing their own thing. Good teachers don’t do that.

 

Sometimes mental notes didn’t help, but they couldn’t hurt. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught Jungkook still standing awkwardly by the door.

 

“Did you want detention now or..?” Seokjin asked cheekily. 

 

Jungkook snorted and shook his head, “will I have to spend time with you?”

 

Seokjin felt his eyebrows disappear underneath his hairline. Jungkook looked like he was desperately holding back laughter.

 

Is he… teasing me? The disrespect

 

“Then what do you want?” 

 

This question served to kill whatever good vibe Jungkook had just had. He now looked awkward and hesitant. The worried expression on his face made Seokjin concerned. It looked like something was genuinely upsetting him. Seokjin pushed away from his desk again and leaned forward.

 

“Is everything okay?” Seokjin asked quietly. 

 

“Yea, yea. I’m okay. I was just-- uh, is Mr. Jung okay?” Jungkook asked. He hadn’t planned on approaching any of them but Mr. Min, but given the opportunity, he figured this was a great way to get Seokjin to act if he really was upset by the interactions between Yoongi and Hoseok. 

 

Never, in his life, had Seokjin been as surprised as he was now. The issue between Yoongi and Hoseok had been driving him nuts but he never, in his wildest dreams, thought students would pick up on their change in behaviour. He figured he shouldn’t be surprised that Jungkook was the one to notice, he had always been an observant kid when it mattered. 

 

“What do you mean?” Seokjin asked, rather than confirming anything. 

 

“It’s just… Mr. Jung looks sad recently and I don’t want to ask him about it, obviously.” 

 

Seokjin winced, “he’s okay. Don’t worry.”

 

Jungkook narrowed his eyes and tilted his head but nodded, “okay.”

 

After a few moments, Jungkook bowed and slipped out of the room. The fact that students were picking up on the tension between Hoseok and Yoongi was a huge deal. Seokjin knew, of course, that the students had been whispering when they stopped talking since it was obvious, but since they had started talking again he had hoped the rumours would die down. Apparently, Hoseok hadn’t been as good at hiding his feelings as he thought. 

 

He still had 10 minutes left of lunch, so he shoved away from his desk and went to hunt down Hoseok. They hadn’t really talked about the fight with Yoongi since he had accused Hoseok of causing the fight in the first place and Seokjin knew he had waited too long. He needed to apologize to Hoseok and he needed to have a serious talk with Yoongi. He was sure that would go over about as well as mixing oil with water, but he’d give it a go. 

 

He found Hoseok making coffee in the staff room. He glanced around and closed the door when he confirmed they were alone. Hoseok looked up at the sound of the door closing and raised a brow, but said nothing. Seokjin took a seat and waited for Hoseok to join him. 

 

After stirring in some milk, Hoseok sat down at the table. He wasn’t entirely sure what to expect since the last time Seokjin had cornered him, he had yelled at him but he sat down regardless. Seokjin paused for a second to collect his thoughts. He knew he had to apologize but he didn’t know how to explain his reaction without revealing Yoongi’s secret. 

 

“Look, Seok-ah, I wanted to apologize for the way I reacted before. I shouldn’t have assumed it was your fault without asking first. I’m sorry.”

 

Hoseok shrugged, “it’s fine.”

 

But Seokjin shook his head, “it’s not. You’re my friend too. That wasn’t fair. It’s just that,” Seokjin sighed, “Yoongi-ah has been sad for a long time and seeing you guys avoid each other just made me think something had happened. But I shouldn’t have accused you like that. I should have trusted you.” 

 

Yoongi-ah has been sad for a long time

 

“Thank you for apologizing. A lot has happened since then, so I honestly forgot about it but thank you anyway,” Hoseok paused, then continued, “do you know why Yoongi-hyung cries when he drinks?”

 

It was becoming very obvious to Hoseok lately that all the secrets he thought Yoongi had were really just secrets from him . Hoseok wanted to confirm this theory. Seokjin’s answering wince was enough answer even if hadn’t actually answered. 

 

“I do,” Seokjin admitted. 

 

Hoseok downed the rest of his coffee and stood up, “don’t tell me. If he doesn’t want to tell me, I don’t want to know,” the bell rang then, announcing the end of lunch was near, “see you later, hyung.”

 

Seokjin stayed in the room after Hoseok left. The conversation hadn’t exactly gone as he had assumed it would go, but he had learned something. It was clear that Hoseok seemed to have an idea about why Yoongi was lying to him, but didn’t want to hear it from someone else. Hoseok’s desire to both hear the truth from Yoongi and repair their relationship was causing clear tension. Though they were talking again, Hoseok was holding himself back and it was making everything slightly awkward. Yoongi seemed to be ignoring that tension so that he didn’t have to address it. It was starting to irritate Seokjin that Yoongi was changing the dynamic of their friend group just so he wouldn’t have to address his own feelings. 

 

I really need to talk to Yoongi-ah. 

 

The door opened behind him and Namjoon stepped in, “what are you doing in here? Class starts in a few minutes.”

 

Namjoon walked closer and rested his chin on top of Seokjin’s head and wrapped his arms around his shoulders. Seokjin reached up and squeezed his forearm. 

 

“I just talked to Hoseok-ah about Yoongi-ah. I think we need to talk to Yoongi-ah. Have an intervention of sorts.”

 

“I don’t know if that will help. Yoongi-hyung is stubborn, but we can give it a try. Why don’t we bring him out for a drink tonight and give it a go?”

 

Seokjin nodded and tilted his head back so he could look up at Namjoon, “sounds like the best possible plan.”

 


 

It was not the best possible plan. Yoongi was not a man who liked to be cornered about something, especially his own feelings, so having two of his closest friends bring him out and criticize his choices was less than ideal. In the back of his mind, Yoongi was very much aware they weren’t actually criticizing him but rather concerned but in the moment that’s not what he felt. 

 

The night had started off simple enough. Namjoon had invited him to a local pub for dinner and a drink. When they were about to order, Seokjin had shown up. That didn’t bother Yoongi at all, they often went out together and that hadn’t changed when they started dating, looks like Hoseok-ah won the bet, but it became clear soon after he arrived that this was some sort of set up.

 

At first, when Seokjin had arrived they had spent what Yoongi considered to be too much time greeting each other. It wasn’t that he hated PDA (he did), it was that they literally worked together and had seen each other less than an hour ago. After the greeting was done, the two had become awkward; conversation stilted. They would look at Yoongi then each other but would say nothing. It was painfully obvious and Yoongi dreaded what was coming. Once they ordered, Yoongi slid down in his seat with his beer and waited for the inevitable. It was only a matter of time now. 

 

Seokjin managed to make it all the way through dinner, mostly because there was food present, before broaching the topic he had organized the dinner for. 

 

“You know, when I first saw that you and Hoseok-ah weren’t talking to each other, I yelled at Hoseok-ah.”

 

That surprised Yoongi, “what? Why would you do that? Hoseok-ah didn’t do anything wrong.”

 

There was a shrug, “I know how you feel, Yoongi-ah, we both do. It never occurred to me that you would purposefully cause a fight to get out of revealing your feelings.”

 

Yoongi scrunched up his face, “it wasn’t on purpose. I didn’t want to fight.”

 

“Really? Because you let him think you had pranked him, then you hid from him and avoided him at school. Even if you didn’t pick a fight, you extended it.”

 

“Look, I made a choice based on context. It was either confess or dodge the subject. I wasn’t about to confess.”

 

“Why?”

 

“What do you mean ‘why’? I’m not going to confess.” Yoongi said, finally sitting up and putting his beer down.

 

“Why not? You think hurting his feelings is better?”

 

“I’m protecting his feelings!”

 

“No, you’re protecting yours. If you’re going to lie, be honest about why .”

 

Yoongi took a sip of his beer and looked away, unsure of what to say. Seokjin used the opportunity to continue, “look, Yoongi-ah, I’ve been here for you for years. I’ve never asked you to tell Hoseok-ah how you feel. I’ve supported your choices, but this time you went too far. You hurt someone to protect yourself. I’ve sat here while you cried over little things Hoseok-ah said in passing that hurt your feelings but now you expect me to just ignore you doing something purposefully that hurt your friend.”

 

“It’s not the same,” Yoongi said at last.

 

“You’re right, it’s worse. Hoseok-ah doesn’t know how you feel. He doesn’t know that he says things to hurt your feelings sometimes because you never tell him. You knew that Hoseok-ah was hurt and you walked away and ignored him. I just want to know, honestly, are you willing to sacrifice your friendship with Hoseok-ah over this? Because that’s where you’re headed.”

 

“No, of course not, hyung,” Yoongi protested, “and it’s getting better. We’re talking again. We even went out for dinner and it was completely fine.”

 

“Fine? Doesn’t seem that way. When was the last time he touched you? Called you? Visited you in class or at home? I know you went to his class and you asked him out for dinner, but when was the last time he initiated anything?”

 

“That’s just how he is after fights. You’ve never fought with him so you wouldn’t know. We’ve fought countless times over the years. If you just wait, it will go back to normal, Hoseok-ah always gets over things like this. It just takes time. He’s fine, I promise.

 

Namjoon cut in then, having stayed silent the entire time, “hyung, Hoseok-ah is clearly upset still. You’re usually the first person to realize that. You know him better than anyone.”

 

Yoongi looked away and downed the rest of his beer, “exactly, I know him better than anyone so I know he’ll be fine.”

 

“Hyung--,” “Yoongi-ah,” both began, but Yoongi wasn’t listening, “I’m going to head home, good night.”

 

Shrugging on his jacket, Yoongi left the pub. He glanced at his car but decided to walk home instead. He’s had a few beers, besides he needed some time to clear his mind. He wasn’t stupid, of course, he noticed Hoseok had been acting differently around him.  He’d felt more than noticed Hoseok pulling away. Since he was a child, Hoseok had been overly physically affectionate. Over the years, Yoongi had just grown accustomed to that form of affection, even if he didn’t use it himself. So, when they had begun talking again but Hoseok hadn’t hugged him, he’d noticed immediately. The problem was, obviously, he couldn't bring it up without mentioning their fight, which meant risking a discussion about why they had fought. Yoongi couldn’t risk that. Yoongi was also self-aware enough to recognize his own stubbornness, but he wouldn’t be swayed from the belief that this path was better for Hoseok in the long run. His feelings would only serve to hurt Hoseok more, not help him get over the sadness he felt now. 

 

He had seen the sadness that radiated off Hoseok sometimes when we thought no one was looking, but he had always been like that. Hoseok excelled at projected happiness and Yoongi knew that better than anyone. Usually, Yoongi was the one to fix that but since he was the cause this time, he couldn’t. He had to let Hoseok fix it himself this time. Or maybe Soyi could help. She seemed like the type that could bring Hoseok out of his own mind. She and Yoongi were very similar after all. 

 

Overall though, they had started to mend. No one could deny that. He hadn’t lied when he said they had gone out for their usual dinner. It had been fun. For a few hours, Yoongi had felt like they were back to normal. Before the fight, even before the letters. Back to a time when his emotions hadn’t been out of control. At lunch, they had been able to laugh and joke again. Neither of them were eating alone, hidden in separate areas of the school. Things were getting better, Yoongi was sure of it. They just needed time. 

 

When Yoongi arrived at the block before his apartment, he felt a raindrop hit the tip of his nose. He squinted and looked up at the sky in disgust, just in time of the clouds to open up. Within moments, Yoongi was soaked. With a deep sigh, Yoongi shoved his hands in his pockets and continued heading to his building. Not even rain was going to force him to run. By the time he arrived back at his apartment, he was completely soaked through. He stripped off his jacket and shook the water out of his hair, unconsciously mimicking Holly, who was looking at him curiously. He crouched down to pet Holly, still soaking wet, and sneezed, nearly headbutting his poor dog.

 

“Ugh, my life is a mess.”

Chapter Text

Thursday:  

 

For the second time this month, Yoongi woke up feeling like he had been hit by a bus. He rolled onto his back and promptly hit the back of his couch. Squinting at the couch in surprise, Yoongi rubbed his face and frowned. He sat up, dislodging Holly from his chest and looking around. He was in his living room and still wearing his clothing from last night. Clothing which was stiff and cold from being soaked through last night. He didn’t really remember falling asleep but he clearly hadn’t changed out of his wet clothing first. 

 

Holly barked from his spot beside his food bowl and forced Yoongi into motion. He groaned aloud, feeling stiff and groggy. He refused to believe it was because he fell asleep in wet clothes. He tried to convince himself it was because he had slept on a couch, even as he sniffed and felt his throat twinge. He wasn’t sick. He wasn’t

 

With a heavy sigh, Yoongi got up and proceeded to get ready for his day. Minor aches and pains from sleeping on the couch (see: sickness) wouldn’t stop him from going to work and going about his day. He had students to teach and a shopping date to keep with Kihyun after all.

 


 

Jungkook arrived to school the day after the roof incident carrying one coffee and one green tea. He found Jimin and Taehyung together in the pavilion and walked up slowly with his head down, holding the drinks up in offering.

 

“Hyungs, I brought some drinks,” Jungkook said.

 

“Jiminie-ah, did you hear something?” Taehyung asked, looking up at Jimin from his position on his lap.

 

“I thought I heard a fake friend talking, but I think it was just the wind. I certainly didn’t hear the voice of someone who left with a girl and then disappeared for the rest of the day and night.”

 

Jungkook interrupted, “I told you guys, I got in trouble! I couldn’t come back to meet you guys.”

 

“There it is again! It’s like I can feel the betrayal,” Taehyung lamented.

 

Jimin nodded solemnly, “I know,” he ran his fingers through Taehyung’s hair, “but we’d never hear something like that.”

 

“Oh my god, can you guys stop being so dramatic. I’m sorry I didn’t answer your texts but I brought a peace offering. I’ll tell you everything that went on!”

 

Taehyung’s eyes narrowed as Jimin’s fingers worked through his hair, Jungkook wasn’t sure if it was in pleasure or contemplation, and he sighed and sat up, sticking his hand out, “fine. It’s not fun if you get genuinely upset.”

 

Rolling his eyes, Jungkook handed Taehyung to coffee and sat down beside them, “I wasn’t upset but I knew you’d stop if I pretended to be.”

 

“What is that? The sound of more betrayal,” Jimin wondered aloud.

 

Jungkook was about to apologize again when he noticed Jimin’s hand reach out and take the green tea he had placed on the bench. He rolled his eyes again and leaned back. His hyungs were always a little ridiculous but he loved them anyway. He wouldn’t have them any other way.

 

“Anyway, what happened? You said you got in trouble? Why? Did she hit you or something?” Taehyung asked.

 

“No, nothing like that. She took it pretty well. Wasn’t really mad or anything. Well, she was mad but not because I rejected her.”

 

“Why then?” Jimin asked, pulling Taehyung back down into his lap.

 

“Oh, I brought her to the roof and I guess it has this--”

 

“Oh, my god,” “are you stupid?” both boys exclaimed simultaneously. 

 

Jungkook looked at them with wide eyes, “you knew about this too?”

 

Jimin rolled his eyes so hard Taehyung was briefly concerned they’d get stuck back there, “I sometimes forget how oblivious you are. Literally everyone knows about this. It’s like the school’s worst kept secret.”

 

Pushing himself up and crossing his legs, Taehyung leaned forward excitedly, “yea! Everyone says if you kiss your true love up there, you’ll be together forever.”

 

“True love? I thought it was just if you kissed at all.”

 

Taehyung shook his head, “no, it has to be your true love.”

 

From behind him, Jimn scoffed, “yea, if it was just anyone, they’d never be able to explain the countless people who do kiss up there but then break up soon after.”

 

Unfazed by his clear disdain, Taehyung continued, “exactly! So if you kiss your true love, you’ll never part, but you won’t know but fate will do it’s thing.”

 

Jungkook took a sip of his own drink, banana milk because it was delicious and anyone who made fun of it could just fuck off, and contemplated. True love, huh.

 

“Have you guys kissed up there, then?” Jungkook asked.

 

From his position, Jimin couldn’t see the way Taehyung’s face lit up at the question, which was probably why he answered the way he did.

 

“Of course not, it’s stupid,” Jimin replied with a snort.

 

Taehyung’s shoulder sagged, which Jimin did notice, and he replied quietly, “yea, stupid.’

 

Nearly panicked, Jimin looked over Taehyung’s shoulder to Jungkook with wide eyes. Jungkook gave him a look that he hoped conveyed you fucked up and shook his head. Jimin winced and nodded his head towards the school, asking for privacy. Jungkook nodded and took his leave quietly. When he looked back, Jimin had his head on Taehyung’s cheek and was smiling softly. 

 

They’ll be okay .

 

Back on the bench, Taehyung looked up as Jungkook left, “why is he leaving? He just got here.”

 

“Because I hurt your feelings and I wanted to apologize,” Jimin said, placing his hand on Taehyung’s face and turning his head so he could see his face.

 

“What? You didn’t hurt my feelings,” Taehyung denied. He was unable to stop his eyes from flicking away though, giving away his lie. 

 

“I did. You like the roof idea, don’t you?” Jimin asked softly.

 

Taehyung looked away again then leaned into Jimin’s hand, “I do. I think it’s romantic.”

 

“Then we’ll go up,” Jimin said firmly.

 

“But you think it’s stupid,” Taehyung protested.

 

“I think the idea of relying on a roof to tell you if you have true love or not is stupid, but if you want to make sure fate is on our side, I don’t think that’s stupid. Why not cover our bases?”

 

Taehyung scanned Jimin’s face for a second, looking for a sign that he was lying or was forcing himself but he saw nothing. Just Jimin’s soft and caring smile. He leaned forward and placed a quick kiss on Jimin’s lips, “thank you.”

 

Jimin smiled into the kiss, “no, thank you. Maybe I need a little fate in my life, yea?”

 

“I can do that,” Taehyung said, pulling back with a small smile. He really had lucked out with Jimin. Not just now, at the beginning too. Without Jimin, and Jungkook, Taehyung was convinced his life wouldn’t be quite as great as it was now. Maybe he didn’t actually need fate’s help. 

 

Couldn’t hurt though. 

 


 

Despite the aches that had settled in his bones over the course of the day, Yoongi actually had a decent day. His students had actually listened for the most part and he had been able to set up a time to work with Jungkook on his contest song the next morning. Hoseok had seemed to be making a real effort to act normal around him as well and it was nice. Like he had told Seokjin the night before, he wasn’t stupid. He had noticed the change so it was comforting to have Hoseok act almost normal around him again. He had missed it. 

“Yoongi-ah! Hi!” Kihyun called, jogging over, “I’m sorry I’m late. I got out of work late.”

 

Yoongi shrugged and shoved his phone away, using all his will power to not sniffle and rub his nose, “it’s not a problem, I just got here anyway.”

 

Kihyun smiled, “perfect. Where are we headed?”

 

“Ah, I need to pick out some new recording equipment. Just some small stuff for the classroom,” Yoongi explained, giving into his desire to rub his nose.

 

“Lead the way,” Kihyun agreed, sweeping his hand away from him with a little smile.

 

With a snort, Yoongi lead the way to his favourite music store. It was fairly small and reasonably priced but always carried the latest equipment. Before long they were inside and Kihyun walked behind Yoongi, listening to him muttering to himself about what he was seeing with mild amusement. 

 

“So what do you need exactly?” Kihyun asked, picking up a pair of headphones and trying them out.

 

“I need a small recorder that will pick up both music and vocals.”

 

“Don’t all recorders do that?” Kihyun asked, putting the headphones back.

 

“They do. But I need one that I can adjust based on what I want to be dominant,” Yoongi explained, perking up when he found the section he was looking for.

 

Kihyun was just more confused, “Don’t most people use a program for that?”

 

Yoongi made a sound of agreement while he read the product descriptions, “They do, but the school’s program is shit and I can’t use my personal laptop to help a student.”

 

“Oh, this is for a specific student?” Kihyun asked, surprised Yoongi would go through so much effort for a singular student.

 

“Yea, I’m helping him write and create a song for a contest.”

 

“Does the school not have a budget for that kind of thing?”

 

“They do, but the music department needs to buy, like, actual instruments for band and such. They don’t have the money for stuff like this. The one I use is old anyway, so I figure I’ll use this one with Jungkook-ssi and then just take it after.”

 

Kihyun nodded, “are a lot of students submitting?” Yoongi almost never talked about his actual job when they were out. He was being so open right now and Kihyun couldn’t help but keep asking questions.

 

“No, only Jungkook-ssi volunteered. Not surprising though.”

 

“Oh?” Kihyun prompted.

 

Yoongi shrugged, “the kid is stupid talented. Like at everything he does. He has an amazing voice and he picks up all my lessons almost immediately. I’ve actually had to give him his own separate assignments just to keep him busy why the rest of the class works. He also dances and Seok-ah says he’s amazing at that as well.”

 

Kihyun noted the mention of the infamous friend but didn’t comment, “if he’s so good why isn’t he an idol or something? He’s the right age, being in high school and all.”

 

Yoongi snorted again, immediately regretting it since it made him cough, “you’d have to meet him to understand. I think I’ve heard him talk in class once and only because he was upset someone was teaching a method wrong. He’s probably the shyest person I’ve ever met. He has exactly two friends and those are the only people he talks too.”

 

“He clearly talks to you,” Kihyun commented.

 

“I guess, maybe because I don’t force him to engage like other teachers do. I let him avoid group work and others don’t.”

 

“Maybe he’s not as shy as you think.”

 

“No, I promise you he is. Like, he auditioned to be in a play,” Yoongi put up his hand to stop Kihyun’s ‘ah ha’ moment and continued, “because his two friends wanted to be in it and he was so shy Jin-hyung couldn’t actually hear him speak. But his friends were cast and Jin-hyung felt bad so he cast him as a tree. A tree .”

 

Kihyun laughed, then immediately felt bad. He shouldn’t laugh at some kid he didn’t even know.

 

“But honestly, I am proud he’s giving this a try. He’ll have to perform the song though, so we’ll see how it goes, but I’m happy to see he’s trying to branch out. If he gets over that shyness he’ll be fucking unstoppable. Like name in lights, fans swooning at his feet and all.”

 

Yoongi kneeled down and started comparing two recorders. He had narrowed down his choices and was trying to decide. One was cheaper but the other was better quality. If he was going to use it himself, he’d want the better one but he still wasn’t completely sure he’d keep it.

 

“You know, you sound excited. I’ve never heard you talk about your work this much.”

 

Having made his choice, Yoongi grabbed the more expensive option and stood up, “huh?”

 

“I said, you sound excited. This is like the most I’ve ever heard you talk at once.”

 

Yoongi furrowed his brows and looked back down at the recorder he was holding. He was excited. The prospect of helping Jungkook write and produce his first song had made him genuinely happy. Music hadn’t made him feel like that in a while. He had been too distracted as of late to write anything that made him feel this way. 

 

“I guess I am excited. It’s a privilege to be able to help someone create their first song. It doesn’t happen a lot in my job,” Yoongi admitted.

 

Kihyun smiled wide and tilted his head, “that’s really sweet.”

 

 He truly was beautiful. Yoongi waited for some reaction. A slight squeeze in his chest, hell he’d take arousal at this point, but he felt nothing. Figures

 

“Thank you. It’s been a bit since I’ve been this excited about a song,” Yoongi explained as they walked to the cashier. 

 

Kihyun turned around and walked backwards, “oh? When was the last time?”

 

Yoongi felt his eyebrows snap together quickly before separating again, “ah, it was this song about finding my love of music when I was a kid.”

 

“That sounds nice,” Kihyun observed.

 

“It was,” Yoongi replied, but he wasn’t really paying attention anymore. He was remembering how he had felt the day. His mom and dad had decided to downsize their house and move into a smaller apartment since it was just the two of them now. His mom had called and asked for help selling the family piano and Yoongi had offered to take it without a second thought. He had had to get Hoseok’s help moving it from Daegu since he had an SUV. The inspiration had come while they had been collapsed against his wall, staring at the piano.

 

Two years prior

 

Yoongi dropped against the wall facing the piano, practically on top of Hoseok, who simply lifted his arm and pulled him in. For a bit, they just sat and stared at the piano while they tried to catch their breath. Trying to move the old piano up to his apartment without using the elevator had been exhausting. Even if Hoseok taught gym, he wasn’t nearly in good enough shape to lift a piano . Yoongi rested his head against Hoseok’s chest as he stroked his hair and sighed.

 

“It’s smaller than I remember,” Yoongi observed.

 

Hoseok looked down at him then back at the piano, “it is. I feel like I remember spending most of my time looking up at it.”

 

Yoongi nodded and took in every detail of the piano. It was an old, simple upright piano. Its old brown wood was dull now after years of disuse and Yoongi knew it would take him weeks to retune and replace the old strings so he could actually use it, but he couldn’t bring himself to regret it. 

 

“You know, this piano is probably the reason we’re both where we are now,” Hoseok observed.

 

“What do you mean?” Yoongi asked in confusion.

 

“You loved that piano so much. I remember just sitting beside you listening to you play. You’d have this focused look on your face and when you got something you’d been working on right your face would just light up. You were so happy . I wanted that. Something that made me that happy. I even took piano lessons thinking that just how piano made people feel.”

 

“You never told me that.”

 

Yoongi felt Hoseok’s shoulder move upwards under his head in a shrug, “it never came up. Eventually, I realized that it wasn’t the piano, it was your love for it. So I tried a bunch of different things and then one day I was watching a music video and the dance just… sucked me in. The rest is history I suppose.”

 

They fell into silence after that, staring at the piano. Yoongi could already hear a melody in his head and felt excitement burn in his stomach as it always did when a new song formed in his mind.

 

“I guess it means a lot to both of us,” Yoongi observed.

 

Hoseok nodded but didn’t say anything else. They simply sat lost in their own thoughts while Hoseok’s fingers ran through his hair idly. After Hoseok left that night, Yoongi had stayed up for hours creating the melody he had heard in his head. That excitement had driven him to complete the song in record time and when he had shown Hoseok he had cried. 

 

“What’s it called?” Hoseok asked.

 

“First Love.”

 

Present:  

 

Yoongi frowned without meaning too. He had forgotten how effortlessly close he and Hoseok had been. There hadn’t been a moment hesitation to sit in each other’s arms. It was nothing, something they had always done. The warmth he had felt regarding Hoseok’s ‘normal’ behaviour towards him just a few hours earlier now felt like a lead weight in his stomach. He understood what Seokjin was saying now. Why he had looked so offended when Yoongi suggested things were getting back to normal. Things clearly weren’t as they should be if Hoseok wasn’t touching him. Yoongi couldn’t believe he hadn’t noticed before now. He was suddenly very thankful Kihyun had asked about First Love, even by accident. He wasn’t sure he would have really noticed the difference if had hadn’t been forced to remember what it had been like before. Yoongi made a promise to himself then and there that he would make an effort to restore their previous closeness.

 

Kihyun smiled at him as they left the store, “I’m starving, wanna grab food?”

 

“Ye-,” Yoongi began, but was cut off by a coughing fit. 

 

With wide eyes, Kihyun reached out and felt his forehead, “you’re a little warm. Are you sure you’re not sick? You’ve been sniffling too.”

 

Yoongi swatted his hand away in protest and held back another cough that wanted to escape, “I’m fine. I don’t get sick. Let’s go get dinner.”

 

Kihyun narrowed his eyes with a frown but nodded. He may not know Yoongi very well but he knew enough to know his stubborn streak ran a mile wide and he wouldn't react well to his pressure.

 

“There’s a new place a few blocks over that I wanted to try, let’s go there.”

 

Smiling Yoongi imitated his early hand motion, “lead the way.”

 

Kihyun snorted and shook his head, “lively for someone who’s sick.”

 

“I’m not sick.”

 


 

Friday:

 

Mr. Min was definitely sick. It was the first thing Jungkook noticed when he arrived at the classroom early Friday morning. He found his teacher rubbing his nose with a tissue and frowning at a cup of what looked to be tea. Jungkook knocked on the door to announce his presence and waited for Mr. Min to invite him in. He looked up and gestured with his free hand. 

 

“Good morning,” Jungkook greeted with a bow. 

 

“Goo--” Mr. Min started before coughing for a full minute, “Good morning.”

 

He looked like death warmed over. His skin was pale and there were dark circles underneath his eyes. His nose was bright red from incessant rubbing and his voice was lower than usual and sounded scratchy. Jungkook felt bad just looking at him.

 

“I have time on Monday if you want to reschedule,” Jungkook offered, “I’m sure you don’t want to help me while you’re sick.”

 

“I’m not sick,” Mr. Min protested before pulling on a mask. Jungkook felt his eyebrow raise but said nothing, “let’s get to work.”

 

With a shrug, Jungkook dropped his bag and sat down at the piano but Mr. Min shook his head, “no, let’s start with lyrics. I think starting with something like that will make your song better in the long run.”

 

Jungkook widened his eyes and nodded, “okay.”

 

“So, what did you want to write about?” Yoongi asked, then continued when Jungkook didn’t answer, “Or have you not thought about it?”

 

“No, I have… I just don’t know-- um, if it’s good or not. For something like this,” Jungkook explained, waving his hand.

 

Yoongi leaned forward on his desk, “won’t know until you tell me.”

 

“Can I-- Can I just show you?” Jungkook asked.

 

But Yoongi shook his head, “no. You have to be able to talk about it if you’re going to perform this song Jungkook-ssi.”

 

Jungkook winced but agreed. He knew he had to get over this shyness, and he was better than he was before, but sometimes he just couldn’t help it. He took a moment to collect himself while Mr. Min waited patiently. Eventually, he took a deep breath and nodded to himself. 

 

Yoongi was suddenly very thankful for the mask so Jungkook couldn’t see his smile. He had a feeling that Jungkook would take it as an insult. 

 

“Okay, um, I want to write a song for Jimin-hyung and Taehyung-hyung. They, um, helped me a lot after I moved here and I really wanted to do something to thank them,” Jungkook explained looking down at his hands.

 

“That’s a great idea, Jungkook-ssi. Let me see what you have,” Yoongi encouraged. 

 

“O-okay,” Jungkook agreed, pulling out his notebook.

 

Yoongi took it and flipped through. He noted scattered lyrics and drawings. The drawings were good too and Yoongi couldn’t bring himself to be surprised. 

 

What isn’t this kid good at? Seriously

 

“You have a good start here. Why don’t,” Yoongi broke off for a second to cough, “why don’t we start with style and structure and we can go from there?”

 

Jungkook smiled and blushed a little, happy Mr. Min had praised him, and nodded, “okay.”

 

By the time the school started to buzz with activity, Jungkook had decided what style he wanted and what sentiment he wanted to include in each section.

 

“Honestly, I think if you follow that plan, you’ll have a decent draft,” Mr. Min observed. 

 

Jungkook noticed his voice sounded a little better now that he had been talking but he still looked really sick. Jungkook was a little worried but told himself he was a grown man and could take care of himself.  Grabbing his bag, Jungkook stood up and thanked Mr. Min before heading to the door, but like with Seokjin-ssi a few days prior, he hesitated. 

 

Mr. Min seemed to notice his hesitation, “what’s up? You okay?”

 

“Uh, yea, I just, I have a question or I guess more of an observation,” Jungkook rambled.

 

Mr. Min raised an eyebrow but gestured for Jungkook to continue anyway.

 

“I know I’m just a kid and my opinion probably doesn’t matter,” Jungkook started but he was cut off.

 

“Age means nothing. It’s about experience. Just say what you want to say.”

 

Jungkook took a deep breath and spoke again, “I’ve, um, noticed that Mr. Jung has been really sad lately. Like in class and practice. He, uh, seems fine when he’s with you,” Jungkook paused for emphasis, “so I was wondering if you could, um, help? He seems happy when he’s with you.”

 

Now, Jungkook was fully aware that what he had just said heavily implied that Mr. Jung was only ever pretending to be happy, but he had wanted to see Mr. Min’s reaction. They had realized fairly early that since they didn’t know what was going on, they couldn’t help. Jungkook figured if he made Mr. Min aware of what Mr. Jung looked like when he wasn’t around, they could get somewhere. 

 

He watched as Mr. Min’s brows furrowed, but he nodded, “I’ll see what I can do.”

 

“Dance practice just isn’t the same without Mr. Jung laughing, you know?” Jungkook added pointedly.

 

“Nothing is,” Mr. Min said, smile clear through his mask.

 

Pursing his lips, Jungkook nodded, bowed again and left with a “see you in class.”

 

Yoongi leaned back in his chair after Jungkook left and winced. It was hard for him to accept that he had been pushing the idea that Hoseok was okay just because he didn’t want to deal with their issues. Hoseok was making all the effort and Yoongi was just letting him. He had decided last night that he would restore their relationship and now he was more determined than ever. 

 

They would go back to normal. 

 


 

Hoseok was having what could only be described as a hell of a day. That morning, Jungkook had skipped dance practice, with notice of course, so the whole class went slower than usual. Typically, Jungkook taught the newer or slower students the moves while Hoseok observed since he wasn’t technically a teacher here, only an advisor, but with him gone, all eyes were on him semi-pleadingly. Then, of course, the stereo had decided that it was not going to do the whole music thing today so he had to use his phone. That would have been fine if some of Yoongi’s, well, less than family-friendly music hadn’t come on while he was too far away from his phone to stop it. The students, of course , recognized Yoongi’s voice immediately and were in shock to hear their teacher talk about things like oral sex . Yoongi was going to kill him when he found out. And he would. The rumour mill acts fast in high school. Hoseok supposed he had lived a good life. 

 

When he had finally seen Yoongi in the staff room before class, he had expected anger. What he got, however, was an obviously sick Yoongi sitting on his desk and talking to him animatedly, between coughs, about Jungkook’s song. It was almost surreal. Hoseok kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it didn’t. When the warning bell rang, Yoongi had jumped off his desk with a large gummy smile and promised to see him later. He had watched Yoongi go in a state of shock and ended up late for his own class. Hoseok had just started to realize that he, maybe, didn’t fully understand Yoongi or his feelings as they pertain to him, and all of a sudden, Yoongi was showing affection. Publically. Like they always had before, though Yoongi would usually throw in a whine or two before giving in. 

 

It had only gotten worse from there. Yoongi had shown up at his class during the break as well, just to talk. He even suggested Hoseok use some of his music while the kids played whatever was the assignment for the day. When Yoongi had shown up for after the second period as well, kleenex in hand looking like death, Hoseok had nearly lost it. Yoongi should have been resting but instead he had shown up at his class again. When Hoseok had finally questioned it, Yoongi had shrugged and said Hoseok always came to visit him and since he wasn’t doing that anymore, Yoongi had to do it himself. The realization that Yoongi had noticed him pulling back was a shock and it made him feel oddly warm. Like Yoongi cared enough to pay attention to his habits. Which was stupid, because of course  he would notice. Just because they had fought didn’t mean that Yoongi suddenly didn’t know him or his habits. Just because Hoseok thought he didn’t know Yoongi didn’t mean the same was true for him. 

 

Yoongi’s change of behaviour threw him off though. He didn’t understand what had caused it. Even if he liked it, he didn’t know why . Both why he liked it and why the change. It seemed like Yoongi was finally putting in effort to get them back to normal and Hoseok supposed he was just going to have to accept that without knowing why. He wanted to know though. He thought about asking straight out, but decided against it in fear that Yoongi would take it as a rebuff and stop. Hoseok didn’t want that. He liked having Yoongi around again. Liked seeing him smile and laugh, even if he looked sick as a dog.

 

His confusion refused to wane though and followed him like a cloud to the cafeteria. After grabbing his lunch and taking a seat in his usual spot, Hoseok glanced around. Yoongi was suspiciously absent. He felt the emptiness like a crushing blow and frowned at himself.

 

“Does hyung have a meeting?” Hoseok asked Seokjin and Namjoon who had arrived earlier. 

 

Seokjin shook his head with a sigh, “no, I had him sent home. He looked like a zombie. His stubborn ass refused to admit he was sick so I had the admin office find him a sub and send him home. He bitched the entire time, but eventually grabbed his stuff and went home to rest.”

 

Hoseok felt the worry on his face, “I noticed he was sick but you know how he is. When I asked he just denied it and changed the subject.”

 

Namjoon laughed, “he hates being sick. I wonder if all that stubbornness actually helps or if it just prolongs it since he doesn’t take care of himself sooner.”

 

There was a pause as Seokjin thought it over, “Definitely prolongs it. Whenever he gets sick he’s down for days. I’m willing to bet that’s why.”

 

They both laughed but Hoseok wasn’t paying attention. The fact that Yoongi had let them force him home worried him. Yoongi never went home sick. Never. If he had let Seokjin make him leave, even with the help of admin, he must really be sick. Really sick. Otherwise he would have stomped into that office and burned down the entire place for daring to overrule him and give his class to someone else. 

 

What especially worried Hoseok was Yoongi’s habit of ignoring his own health when he was working. It was mostly out of sheer stubbornness but it wasn’t healthy. Usually, Hoseok would show up and make sure he was well-rested and eating properly. He’d physically carried Yoongi to bed more times than he could count over the years when pleading and reason hadn’t worked. Any other time, Hoseok would have shown up after school with a pot of his mom’s homemade soup (guaranteed to cure any cold) and the tea that Yoongi absolutely refused to drink because if I’m going to drink something warm it’s going to give me a caffeine boost, keep your leaf water . But now Hoseok was hesitating. He wasn’t sure if he was welcome anymore. Or if their friendship was at a point where it wouldn’t be awkward. Or if he understood his own feelings enough anymore. 

 

For the first time in his life, Hoseok hesitated to see Yoongi. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that. 

 


 

After they had finished their lunch and Hoseok had taken off, lost in his own mind, Seokjin wandered up to the roof. He hadn’t been here in years, but after catching Jungkook and Chaewon up here the other day, Seokjin had made a habit of coming up to think when he had a break. It was quiet and Seokijn liked that. Liked that it gave him the chance to be alone with his thoughts. 

 

Those thoughts were in turmoil. Since Yoongi and Hoseok had fought, Seokjin had been caught in the middle, forever held in a state of worry. He had known Yoongi and Hoseok for years, but he had known Yoongi longer. It made him feel like he should choose a side, but there wasn’t a side to choose. Hoseok didn’t know, or didn’t before, about Yoongi’s feelings so he wasn’t at fault. And Yoongi hadn’t meant to hurt Hoseok with the letter, it had just gotten out of hand. He was mad at both of them honestly: Hoseok for never noticing Yoongi’s feelings and Yoongi for lying about the reason behind the letters. 

 

He was starting to blame himself. He had listened to Yoongi cry over Hoseok for years . He had offered comfort silently, never pressuring Yoongi to make a choice. He wondered now if he should have. If maybe this whole situation could have been avoided if he had forced them to talk about it. But he hadn’t and now Hoseok was lost and confused and Yoongi was trying to protect himself from a threat that simply wasn’t there. Regardless of his feelings for Yoongi, Hoseok would never, could never, cut Yoongi out. His acceptance of the lies about the letter was evidence of that. Despite how upset he was, Hoseok had chosen to overlook it. He wasn’t doing a great job of hiding how sad he was, but he was trying. He was trying for Yoongi’s sake. 

 

Seokjin sighed and leaned over the edge of the roof, looking down. He spotted students running around playing soccer and sighed again. Life was much simpler in high school. Sometimes he missed it. He heard the door open behind him but didn’t look back. He knew it was Namjoon, could recognize his steps. Before long, strong arms wrapped around his torso and a chin rested on his shoulder. 

 

“Whatcha doing up here?” Namjoon asked quietly, thumb stroking back and forth on Seokjin’s stomach.

 

“Thinking.”

 

“About?”

 

“Yoongi-ah and Hoseok-ah,” Seokjin admitted.

 

“Hmm, hard topic,” Namjoon observed.

 

“Yea.”

 

Leaning back into Namjoon’s embrace, Seokjin felt warm and safe. Namjoon always made him feel that way, whether they were simply standing together or having sex. It didn’t matter. Namjoon’s presence calmed him and made him happy. He had gotten so unbelievably lucky and he was suddenly struck by how unfair that was.

 

“Do you think it was too easy?” Seokjin asked.

 

Namjoon tilted his head and looked at Seokjin, “easy?” 

 

“For us. Getting together.”

 

Namjoon snorted and shook his head, “I’ve been in love with you for years, hyung. That was anything but easy.”

 

Seokjin sighed, “that’s not what I meant.”

 

“I know.”

 

He explained anyway, “don’t you ever feel like it was too easy? We both care about each other. The second we start spending time alone together, our relationship just progressed without any real effort. It was natural. It just worked. Don’t you think that’s unfair? We didn’t have any hardship while--” he broke off,  but forced himself to continue, “while Hoseok-ah and Yoongi-ah get nothing but hardship. Even excluding the issue with Yoongi-ah, Hoseok-ah hasn’t met a single person who treated him well. And god, Yoongi-ah has been hiding himself for years and I’m worried he’ll never be able to say it out loud and I just don’t get how--”

 

“Hyung, stop,” Namjoon interrupted firmly, turning Seokjin around in his arms so he could look at him, “there is no way to evaluate suffering like that. Sure, hyung and Hoseok-ah have suffered romantically, but they’ve also been given each other platonically. Most people don’t have a friendship like that. But they do.”

 

“I guess,” Seokjin admitted.

 

“And there is no guarantee that the hardship you think you avoided isn’t going to come later. You don’t know what we’ll experience later. Individually or as a couple. Life offers no guarantees. That’s why we should focus on us and now, okay? Hyung and Hoseok-ah will figure themselves out. They always do.”

 

Seokjin smiled, “I should have known you’d get all philosophical on me.”

 

“That wasn’t even philosophical, read a book sometime,” Namjoon joked, lightening the mood.

 

“Oh shush,” Seokjin chastised, giving him a peck on the lips. He leaned back and took in Namjoon’s face. He was smiling slightly, a single dimple on his right cheek flashing, and watching Seokjin with a soft expression. I really did get so lucky .

 

“You know what they say about this roof?” Seokjin asked.

 

Namjoon shook his head, “it’s dirty?” 

 

Seokjin snorted, “no, they say if you kiss your true love up here, you’ll be together forever.”

 

With raised brows, Namjoon smiled wide, “Oh? Well, I guess we should make it worth it, not just a little peck.”

 

Cupping his cheek, Namjoon leaned in and placed a chaste kiss on Seokjin’s lips before running his tongue along Seokjin’s bottom lip in silent question. Seokjin sighed and moved his lips in answer, lifting his arms to wrap around Namjoons hair. Their lips moved together slowly, both very aware of their location. They were not, however, aware enough to hear the door of the roof open. What actually caught their attention was something else entirely.

 

“YES!” 

 

Namjoon and Seokjin jumped apart and looked at the door in shock. Jimin was standing, fist still raised in celebration with a wide smile on his lips. Taehyung was covering his mouth but his smile was clear, even from the other side of the roof. Seokjin noted Taehyung’s possessive hold on Jimin’s hips and raised a brow. Interesting. I always assumed they were just friends.

 

While Seokjin was evaluating the students who had caught them, Namjoon was having a mental breakdown. He couldn’t believe he had been caught in such a compromising position. Taehyung seemed to notice his panic because he tightened his hold on Jimin’s hips and pulled him back, stepping into the doorway.

 

“We’ll just leave you to it!” Jimin yelled, his smile still wide.

 

When the door closed with a slam, Seokjin began to laugh, burying his face in Namjoon’s chest.

 

“Those fucking kids. God .”

 

“I have to teach them next. What am I even going to say?” Namjoon cried, panic still evident. 

 

Seokjin laughed again and cupped Namjoon’s face, “don’t worry about it. They can’t say anything because they weren’t supposed to be up here anyway.”

 

“That’s totally not the point,” Namjoon whined.

 

“Stop worrying. It’s fine!” Seokjin reassured, pulling him in for a soft kiss. 

 

The warning bell rang then, announcing the end of lunch. Seokjin grabbed Namjoon’s hand and pulled him to the door and back down the stairs. When they reached the main level, Seokjin dropped his hand but smiled at him softly. No one seeing that smile would misinterpret it. Their love for one another was clear to anyone with eyes. Even a few thousand rowdy teenagers. On their way back to the office, they spotted Jimin and Taehyung sitting with Jungkook. They were talking quickly but stopped when they saw them. Jimin waved with his fingers and Jungkook smacked him while shaking his head. 

 

Seokjin paused and watched them for a moment. 

 

Jungkook.

 

Jungkook was working with Yoongi.

 

Jungkook was in the dance club.

 

Seokjin smiled and continued to his office.

 

That could work. 

 


 

Having been ousted by the admin staff -- fucking traitors -- Yoongi went home. He was upset for two reasons: one, he was not sick and two, he had lost the opportunity to hang around Hoseok some more. He had been so surprised when Yoongi had shown up. Surprised but happy, if his smile had anything to say about it. It showed Yoongi how much he had been neglecting his friendship with Hoseok. He had been so focused on how he felt about him romantically he had forgotten that they were friends first. He felt like he had been taking steps to fix that then fucking Seokjin had forced him home. 

 

Once he arrived home, Yoongi dropped his stuff, sent a quick reply text to Kihyun saying he had been sent home, and then crashed face-first on his bed. Holly, unused to having Yoongi home this early, jumped on the bed with clear excitement, tail whipping back and forth, wagging his entire body with it. Yoongi reached out and pulled Holly close and let his eyes fall closed. Maybe he was more tired than he thought. 

 

An unknown amount of hours later, Yoongi woke up in a dark room to the sound of his dog barking and a knock at the door. Pushing himself up with a pained grunt, Yoongi waddled to the door, barely opening his eyes. They didn’t open until he opened the door and saw Hoseok standing there holding a bag of something that smelled heavenly and a teapot.

 

“Ugh, keep the leaf water away from me,” Yoongi whined, his voice cracking after nearly every word.

 

“Oh, hyung, look at you. Come on, let’s get you back to bed,” Hoseok said, stepping into the apartment. He quickly put down the soup and teapot in the kitchen, gave Holly a vigorous rub, and stood up to feel Yoongi’s forehead. He was very warm and clammy. Whatever hesitation Hoseok had felt earlier before arriving drained away, replaced with concern.

 

“Did you sleep?” Hoseok asked.

 

Yoongi nodded, leaning into Hoseok’s hand. It was cold. Hoseok noticed and wrapped his other hand around the back of Yoongi’s neck. 

 

“For how long?”

 

“What time is it now?”

 

“Nearly 6,”

 

“Almost 8 hours,” Yoongi said, doing the math.

 

“Clearly not long enough. Come on, go take a shower and clean off all that sweat. I’ll prep the soup and tea,” Yoongi made a sound, “ and tea , then you can go back to bed, okay?”

 

Yoongi opened an eye, unaware he had closed them when Hoseok had cupped his face and neck, “your mom’s soup?”

 

Hoseok heard the hopeful note, “my mom’s recipe. I made it when I got home.”

 

He smiled tiredly and nodded, “okay, I’ll go shower.”

 

Hoseok watched him go and frowned. He was much sicker than he had been this morning. Hoseok worried that was just because Yoongi was only now letting himself be sick. With a sigh, he went into Yoongi’s room, Holly trotting along behind him. He noted the sheets were all soaked with sweat and shook his head. He stripped the bed and threw the sheets in the laundry. Grabbing a new set, he quickly changed them. He had just finished when Yoongi emerged from the bathroom. 

 

Hoseok glanced up. Yoongi was wearing baggy sweatpants and an even baggier shirt. Hoseok noted, as an odd feeling settled in his stomach, that is was his . He didn’t have time to process that feeling though, because Hoseok noticed that Yoongi’s hair was still wet and he was shivering slightly.

 

“Hyung, come on . You can’t just leave your hair wet. You’ll get sick.”

 

“I’m already sick,” Yoongi muttered.

 

“And I’d bet my entire life that’s exactly how you got sick in the first place,” Hoseok countered.

 

Yoongi looked away and Hoseok placed an invisible mark on his side of their nonexistent tally, “take a seat, I’ll dry it.”

 

“No, I can--”

 

“Shush. If you were going to, you would have already. Sit,” Hoseok ordered.

 

Yoongi pouted but sat on the freshly made bed anyway. Hoseok went to the bathroom, grabbed a fresh towel. Once he got back to the room, he dropped the towel on Yoongi’s head and started rubbing. Hoseok was so focused on making sure Yoongi didn’t get any more sick that he didn’t realize the position he had put them in, but Yoongi did. Yoongi was sitting on his bed with Hoseok standing between his legs. Hoseok would move his head and rub, bending over to see the back of his neck and ears. Yoongi was having a hard time controlling his breathing with Hoseok touching him and standing so close but he figured it could be written off as sickness. 

 

“Tilt your head back,” Hoseok ordered, already applying pressure.

 

“Seok-ah,” Yoongi began, grabbing Hoseok’s wrist to stop him, but the words died on his lips as he looked up and made eye contact with Hoseok.

 

Hoseok was rubbing the side of his head, near his hairline, but Yoongi had begun to lean forward, which is what prompted his order. But when Yoongi looked back, Hoseok nearly stopped breathing. Their position suddenly became very obvious to him. Yoongi was looking up at him, mouth slightly open and eyelids heavy. Hoseok felt his breath hitch and he wasn’t exactly sure why. Maybe because of the way Yoongi was looking at him. Maybe because of the way he had said Seok-ah . Maybe because he was crazy, but he wasn’t sure. His eyes flicked down to Yoongi’s mouth against his will.

 

Yoongi was trying not to freak out. Hoseok had definitely looked at his lips. Definitely . Did that mean something? If so, what did that mean? What did that look mean? Yoongi had never seen Hoseok look at him like that and he was confused. And a little excited. His own eyes traced Hoseok’s lips and he inadvertently licked his own lips and he heard Hoseok’s breath stutter again. Looking back up into Hoseok’s eyes, Yoongi’s grip on Hoseok’s wrist tightened. Hoseok glanced at it before leaning forward. 

 

Holding his breath, Yoongi felt his eyes fall closed. That is, until the doorbell rang again. His eyes snapped open and Hoseok jumped back as if he had been burned. He looked shocked. Yoongi couldn’t say he blamed him. Hoseok rubbed his mouth and looked towards the door, “uh, I’ll get the door.”

 

“Yea, uh, yea. I’ll, uh, finish drying my hair,” Yoongi said.

 

Hoseok left the room without a reply and went to the door, quickly grabbing Holly so he didn’t bolt out. He opened the door, holding Holly to his chest, and got the shock of his life.

 

“Bar boy.”

Chapter Text

Yoongi sat on the edge of his bathtub with his head in his hands as he tried to understand what the fuck had just happened in his bedroom. Had Hoseok almost… kissed him? That wasn’t possible, right? Right? Yoongi stood up abruptly and began to pace. He could hear Hoseok talking to someone but he couldn’t make out the other voice. It didn’t matter. He needed to figure out what just happened if he was going to be able to face Hoseok again. Like ever. 

 

Flipping the lid of the toilet down, Yoongi sat down again and sighed. Hoseok had been drying his hair. It felt nice. Really nice. Yoongi blushed remembered how absorbed he had been by Hoseok’s closeness. When he started to manhandle him a bit, and Yoongi had been into that so he had tried to stop him before he lost his cool, they had made eye contact. This is where Yoongi’s understanding got fuzzy. Hoseok’s breath had definitely hitched. Definitely. Yoongi had felt the movement while holding his arm. And Hoseok had definitely looked at his lips. Or maybe his chin, but that didn’t really make sense. 

 

Unless you have something on your face?

 

Yoongi jumped up and looked at himself in the mirror. There was nothing wrong with his face. He needed to shave, but that was it. And Hoseok had seen him with more facial hair than this. He had tried a beard once. They didn’t talk about it. 

 

He sat back down with a huff and leaned back to look at the ceiling. So, Hoseok had looked at his mouth.

 

Maybe that was just because you licked your lips. You know, movement draws attention .

 

No, I licked my lips after. Cause does not equal effect.

 

Yoongi closed his eyes and pictured the scene again. It seemed like Hoseok was going to kiss him. It seemed like Hoseok had been leaning in. Then the bell rang and now he’d never know. 

 

Was it a one-time thing? A moment of weakness? Did it mean anything? Was it… was it just because of the letters?

 

That was Yoongi’s worst fear. That Hoseok was only acting that way, fulfilling Yoongi’s longest-held desires, because he was swept in the romance of the letters. Sure, he had been honest in them but he didn’t want Hoseok to just like him for who he was in the letters. He was so much more than that. 

 

Rubbing his face, Yoongi felt exhaustion settle in his bones. The adrenaline of their encounter had kept his body going but his cold was making itself known again and his whole body felt heavy. 

 

He had been in the bathroom for too long.

 

He wouldn’t find the answer to his questions alone. Pushing himself up, Yoongi finished drying his hair and left the bathroom. His eyes were drawn back to the spot where he and Hoseok had been standing less than a half-hour before and he sighed again. 

 

Go out. Act like nothing happened. See how he acts. Observe

 

Yoongi closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Feeling slightly more centred, he left his bedroom and followed the scent of Mrs. Jung’s famous soup to the kitchen. When he noticed Kihyun sitting at the table alone, alone , he stopped dead in his tracks.

 

“Kihyun-ah?” Yoongi asked, voice already scratchy again. 

 

Kihyun looked up and smiled, but when he saw the surprised on Yoongi’s face it fell, “I tried to make him stay but he wouldn’t. He seemed to think he was intruding .”

 

“I-intruding,” Yoongi repeated, still unsure.

 

“Yea,” Kihyun confirmed with a small frown, “I didn’t mean to interrupt, I’m sorry.”

 

His apology broke through Yoongi’s shock and he rushed to reassure Kihyun he hadn’t done anything wrong, “no, no, don’t worry! He just dropped off some soup and tea. It’s a tradition. No big deal.”

 

Kihyun watched Yoongi carefully but nodded anyway. Something had clearly happened to make them both so skittish and he wasn’t sure what. At the thought of that, Kihyun was surprised to find that he wasn’t upset or sad. Sure, he was interested in Yoongi, but the thought of someone he genuinely liked as a person finally getting the person he always wanted made him happy. Like he could believe in love, as corny as it sounded. 

 

Without a word, Yoongi busied himself grabbing some soup and tea, “did you want some too?”

 

“No, I ate before I came over. Don’t worry about me,” Kihyun said politely.

 

Yoongi nodded and turned to walk to the table but something caught his eye. He saw a sandwich sitting off to the side. 

 

“Did you make this?” Yoongi asked.

 

Glancing at the sandwich, Kihyun tilted his head, “Why?”

 

“It’s my favourite. For when I’m sick,” Yoongi explained, still staring at the sandwich.

 

Kihyun smirked and rested his chin in his hand, “Hoseok-ssi made it before he left.”

 

Silently, Yoongi grabbed the sandwich as well and sat down. After a few moments of eating in silence, Kihyun noted that Yoongi was drinking tea. The very tea he had been warned would be a battle to get Yoongi to drink.

 

“Do you like the tea?” Kihyun asked, curious.

 

Yoongi looked at the cup and shook his head, “not really. It’s more nostalgia than anything. It helps though. Seok-ah’s mom is a miracle worker with cold remedies.”

 

Kihyun smiled again, “funny. I was told I’d have to force you to drink it.”

 

“Oh,” Yoongi said with a slight blush, “I just complain because it’s like… tradition? Back in college, I got super sick when I was studying for exams so Seok-ah just burst into my room and forced me to rest. We weren’t even going to the same college. But when he tried to give me the tea I called it ‘leaf water’ because it didn’t have caffeine and I needed to stay up and study. Ever since then it’s just been a thing we do.”

 

“That’s really sweet,” Kihyun observed. 

 

Yoongi nodded but didn’t say much else. After he was finished, Kihyun forced him to sit as he did the dishes, insisting washing plates with sickness on his hands defeated the purpose of cleaning. By the time he placed the last bowl on the drying rack, Yoongi was nearly asleep at the table. Kihyun shook his head and helped Yoongi up.

 

“Come on, off to bed with you,” Kihyun said, physically moving Yoongi in the direction his little dog had taken before. 

 

Yoongi muttered agreement under his breath. When they entered the living room, Yoongi sighed sleepily, “I’m sorry but you’re just not Seok-ah, you know?”

 

Kihyun pat Yoongi’s hair before responding, “I know. He feels the same way.”

 

“You think?”

 

“I do.”

 

“I think he almost kissed me, but I’m not sure,” Yoongi admitted, letting Kihyun drop him onto his bed, jostling a sleeping Holly. 

 

Kihyun grabbed the blankets and pulled them towards Yoongi, who was still sitting, looking up at him blurrily. He sat beside Yoongi and smiled, “he was really upset I was here. I didn’t notice until it was too late so I couldn’t leave but he was definitely upset. I think you should talk to him.”

 

Yoongi squinted at him, as if trying to see what he saw earlier, then nodded, “okay.”

 

Observe. Like you were going to before. Act normal and see how he reacts.

 

When Kihyun left the apartment a few minutes later, he couldn’t hold back a smile.

 

Call me cupid, I guess.

 


 

Hoseok sat, tense and awkward, in a booth near the back of a restaurant he didn’t know the name of. He had been told to come here, so he did. In an effort to calm himself down, Hoseok put his hands on the table and intertwined his fingers. This lasted all of two seconds, as he promptly pulled them apart and began fiddling with his own fingers. He wasn’t sure what he was feeling but lost seemed to encompass it fairly well.

 

Before long, a figure slipped into the booth across from him and Hoseok looked up. Soyi smiled but her eyes were clouded with worry. He hadn’t known who to call. Only she knew his side of the story. His side of everything .

 

“Seok-ah? Are you okay? You sounded frantic on the phone,” Soyi asked, putting her purse and jacket on the bench beside her.

 

“I think-- I think I almost kissed Yoongi-hyung,” Hoseok admitted, eyes fixed on his own hands.

 

Silence stretched. Long enough that it forced Hoseok to look up. Soyi was watching him with a look he couldn’t really decipher. She was clearly surprised but there was something else. Something conflicting underneath. Her eyes looked sad but her mouth was slightly upturned, as if she was about to smile. Hoseok didn’t know what that meant. After a few more beats of silence, Soyi sighed and raised her hand to signal a waiter.

 

“Sir, if you could just bring an entire bottle of white wine over that would be great. Whatever you have closeby and cold. I’m not picky.”

 

Hoseok snorted, feeling a bit more at ease, and settled back into his seat. Within a few minutes, a bottle appeared with two glasses. The waiter filled them both silently and left with a small bow. Soyi took her glass, gave it a swirl, then took a sip.

 

“Alright, you’re going to have to run that by me again. You think you almost kissed Yoongi-oppa?”

 

“Well… let me just start at the beginning,” Hoseok said, grabbing his own glass. Maybe going over it again with an outside party was best.

 

The previous evening (Friday): 

 

“Bar boy,” Hoseok said, instinctively clutching Holly tighter to his chest.

 

Oh god. Bar boy. Yoongi-hyung’s... whatever. God. 

 

Kihyun laughed good-naturedly, putting his hands in his pockets, “does he really still call me that? You’d think after the amount of times we’d gone out he’d use my actual name. Which is Kihyun by the way. Yoo Kihyun.”

 

“Ah, Hoseok. Jung Hoseok,” Hoseok returned, unsure what to say.

 

“I know. Yoongi-ah talks about you a lot.”

 

Yoongi-ah .

 

“Oh, um, he’s just drying his hair now,” Hoseok explained. 

 

Holly was starting to squirm in his arms and he looked down in confusion. It was only then that Hoseok realized he was standing in the doorway, blocking the entrance. Kihyun had not asked to come in, he just waited patiently for Hoseok to move, which he hadn’t. 

 

“Shit, sorry. Come in. I’m a little spacey,” Hoseok rushed out, stepping back.

 

Why is he here? I’m taking care of hyung. 

 

Don’t be stupid, Hoseok. They’re dating. Of course he would come by. Hyung probably even called him.  

 

Kihyun smiled, “it’s no problem. I’m sure you’re just worried about your friend being sick! It must be pretty bad if he was sent home. That’s why I stopped by. To see if he needed anything.”

 

See, he even knew hyung was sent home. Clearly they’ve been in contact. Did hyung tell you he was sent home? 

 

 

Exactly. 

 

Hoseok nodded and closed the door behind him then put Holly down so he could move freely. He immediately went over to Kihyun and began smelling his legs and feet. Before long, Holly seemed to be comfortable and plopped his butt down so he could look up at Kihyun. Endeared, Kihyun squatted down and pet the waiting Holly.

 

“What’s his name?” Kihyun asked, rubbing Holly’s belly.

 

“Min Holly,” Hoseok supplied. 

 

“Holly,” Kihyun said with a snort, “why does that not surprise me?”

 

Oh, because you know him so well.

 

Jesus, Hoseok, chill. You’re being bitchy. 

 

Hoseok couldn’t help but watch their interaction closely. If Kihyun had never met Holly, that meant he had never come home with Yoongi. That didn’t mean Yoongi had never gone to his place, but that's beside the point. Hoseok felt better knowing that. Knowing their relationship hadn’t progressed far enough for Yoongi to have brought Kihyun here. It made him feel lighter. That feeling didn’t last, however, because once he realized he was happy Yoongi wasn’t seriously dating someone, he felt sick.

 

How could I think that? I’m a terrible friend. You clearly saw how happy hyung looked when they were together. What the hell is your problem?

 

Holly chose that moment to roll over and walk away, heading towards Yoongi’s room, clearly having lost interest in the new person in his home. Hoseok snorted, “always did like Yoongi-hyung best.”

 

Kihyun smiled, “can’t blame him.”

 

Nodding again, Hoseok made his way towards the kitchen. He glanced back as Kihyun followed and raised a brow, “I’m just going to make him some soup and tea. You can take a seat on the couch if you want.”

 

Please. Please go away. I need a second to CALM DOWN

 

“oh, that’s okay. I’d feel weird just hanging out in Yoongi-ah’s living room alone,” Kihyun admitted with a shrug.

 

“Right, of course,” Hoseok agreed with an easy smile.

 

What did I do to deserve this?

 

Making quick work of the bag the soup was stored in, Hoseok grabbed the pot and began moving around the kitchen quickly. He put the soup on so it would warm up then grabbed Yoongi’s kettle out of the cupboard and filled it up. 

 

Kihyun watched with interest as Hoseok moved around Yoongi’s kitchen with practiced ease. He knew where everything was. Even random small things. He had tasted the soup and immediately opened a seemingly random cupboard for some spice. There was no hesitation in his movements. The only pause happened when Hoseok seemed to be thinking about something, then he shook his head and went to the fridge. Again, as Kihyun watched, Hoseok moved between several cupboards and drawers without pause, grabbing what he needed to make a hot sandwich to go with the soup. Kihyun had never underestimated how close the two were. It was abundantly clear in the way Yoongi had talked about him and the way Hoseok had held him at the bar, but seeing Hoseok display such comfort in someone else’s home, in someone else’s kitchen , Kihyun was surprised. He had never been that at ease in anyone’s home before. Not even in a lover’s home. It was fascinating to see. 

 

Hoseok, on the other hand, was panicking. He was giving himself busy work just so he wouldn’t have to look at Kihyun or make more small talk. All he wanted was for Kihyun to leave. For him to never have come in the first place.

 

Why? So you could continue what you were doing before?

 

Exactly, Hoseok wanted to…

 

Suddenly, Hoseok halted his movements. He wanted to continue what exactly? Drying his hair? Yes, of course, drying his hair. To make sure he didn’t get sick again. 

 

Was that all you were doing?

 

Yoongi’s previous expression flashed through his mind. The way his eyes had looked. The way they quickly looked at his lips before staring back into his eyes. The way his breath had slowed when Hoseok leaned forward.

 

Fuck .

 

Hoseok shook his head and went to the fridge, grabbing the makings of Yoongi’s favourite cold remedy sandwich. He needed to distract himself. He was here to help Yoongi because he was sick. Nothing more. 

 

Why? What else were you thinking of doing?

 

Kissing him, that’s what you were thinking about doing.

 

Before long, Hoseok had made tea, cooked a quick sandwich and heated the soup. There was nothing for him to do now. Yoongi still hadn’t come out of his bedroom. Hoseok was slightly worried but figured Yoongi was just making sure he was presentable since someone had arrived.

 

Yea, his boyfriend. Why are you even still here?

 

With a small frown, Hoseok put down the cloth he had been using to dry his hands and glanced back at Kihyun.

 

“You’re here to make sure he’s okay, right? To take care of him?” Hoseok asked, feeling the tightness in his throat.

 

Kihyun tilted his head, “that was the plan, but you look like you’re doing a pretty bang-up job. The soup smells delicious.”

 

“Oh, uh, thanks. It’s my mom’s recipe. She, uh, always made it for us when we were sick so it’s kinda just a tradition now? The tea too. Though hyung hates it. Won’t drink it unless you force him,” Hoseok explained, eyes moving around the room aimlessly. 

 

“That’s nice. I wish I had a childhood friend like that. It must be comforting,” Kihyun observed.

 

Childhood friend . Not someone who kisses him on his bed.

 

“Y-yea. It is. Um, I’m going to head out actually. Now that you’re here,” Hoseok said, suddenly feeling the need to flee. The prospect of seeing Yoongi after that while his boyfriend was right there was causing Hoseok to panic.

 

“What? You don’t have to go! You put so much effort in!” Kihyun protested.

 

“No, no, it’s fine. I’m sure he’d rather have you here than me! He didn’t even tell--,” Hoseok stopped, laughing mirthlessly, “I just showed up uninvited.”

 

“So did I. Why don’t you at least wait until he comes out,” Kihyun suggested, watching Hoseok closely.

 

But Hoseok wouldn’t be swayed, “no, I should go. Overstayed my welcome and all that. Uh, just make sure he actually drinks the tea, will you? It’s meant for colds but he’ll bitch the entire time.”

 

Kihyun narrowed his eyes at Hoseok. He didn’t understand why-- ah. Too late, you’re an idiot, Kihyun. 

 

“If you’re sure? I can just go instead. I interrupted after all,” Kihyun offered, hoping to remedy his mistake.

 

Hoseok practically jumped out of his skin at that, “of course you should stay. You're his-- uh, you should stay. I’m gunna go. It was nice, uh, meeting you. Bye!”

 

Before Kihyun could pretest again, Hoseok bolted out of the kitchen. Less than a minute later, he heard the door close as Hoseok fled the apartment and leaned back in his chair. 

 

Interesting. Not so one-sided after all

 

Present :

 

“So, you ran away,” Soyi observed.

 

“I wouldn’t say I ran away , I just made a well-timed and hasty exit. His boyfriend was there, Soyi-ah. They clearly wanted time alone.”

 

Soyi sighed deeply and took a long sip of her drink. Hoseok hadn’t been this dumb when they were together. He was observant and caring. She didn’t understand what it was about Yoongi that changed all that.

 

“Did you ask him that? Yoongi-oppa?” Soyi clarified when Hoseok looked confused.

 

“Well, no. He was still in his room,” Hoseok admitted.

 

“So let me get this straight,” Soyi paused to sip her drink again, then “you forced your way into his apartment because that’s what you would have done before your relationship got awkward.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then, you towel-dried his hair like this is some k-drama,” Soyi continued.

 

“Uh, I guess.”

 

“Then you eye fucked each other for a bit until oppa’s supposed boyfriend showed up.”

 

“Eye fucking seems like a really harsh way to put it,” Hoseok said with a wince.

 

“Sorry, you stared lovingly into each other’s eyes and almost kissed. Better?”

 

Hoseok pouted but didn’t comment. Soyi shook her head. She was experiencing an odd sensation currently. She was happy Hoseok had seemed to realize his feelings for Yoongi but she was also sad because those same feelings were tearing him up. 

 

“Look, Seok-ah, I’m trying to understand why you said think before. You clearly almost kissed. And not you almost kissed him. That sounded mutual.”

 

“I don’t-- I don’t know for sure. I leaned in, but like, I’m not sure if I would have, you know? Or if he would have let me. Like, he’s my best friend. Why would I kiss him? Why would he kiss me?” Hoseok asked, brows furrowed.

 

Wait. What?

 

“Why-- what do you mean why? You would kiss him because you love him?” Soyi said slowly, as if talking to an idiot.

 

“What? I don’t-- I don’t love Yoongi-hyung,” Hoseok immediately protested, hoping to rebuild some semblance of order in his life.

 

Okay. What the fuck?

 

“What the fuck? You literally said you loved the author of those letters, Seok-ah,” Soyi reminded him.

 

“Yes, but this is hyung,” Hoseok repeated.

 

Soyi leaned forward in confusion and tilted her head, “and Yoongi-oppa is the author of the letters therefore…”

 

“It’s different.”

 

“It’s not . They’re the same,” Soyi emphasized.

 

“But they’re not. Not really. The-- the persona in the letters is different than the person hyung actually is. They’re different,” Hoseok said, unknowingly proving he was aware of Yoongi’s worst fear and would not fulfill it.

 

Soyi sighed, frustrated now, “but they aren’t , Seok-ah. That’s the point. It’s just a different side of him that you’ve never seen. The side that loves you romantically . Just because you’ve never seen it doesn’t mean it’s not him .”

 

“But what if-- what if it’s not,” Hoseok said quietly.

 

There it is

 

Soyi felt a tug of sadness and reached out to grab Hoseok’s wrist. He was scared. Hoseok was scared because he didn’t understand. He didn’t understand Yoongi’s feelings and he didn’t understand his own. He was lost. 

 

“But what if it is?” Soyi asked softly.

 

“I don’t-- I don’t know,” Hoseok admitted.

 

There was silence then as Soyi let Hoseok gather his thoughts. Soyi was forcing him to think about all the things that had been eating at him since he found out who wrote the letters. Since he found out it was Yoongi . Did it matter that he had written the letters? Well, that depended on his intent. If he meant what he said, then no, it didn’t matter. In fact that would be… ideal, Hoseok admitted to himself. But if he didn’t… if it was just some ploy to do something , then yes, it did. 

 

Hoseok knew Soyi was right. He had fallen for the author. Hard. He knew that. The problem wasn’t his feelings, it was Yoongi’s . Since Yoongi wouldn’t talk to him about the letters, he couldn’t find out what Yoongi was feeling. He didn’t know anything. Seokjin had suggested it was because Yoongi loved him, but did he? There was no way for Hoseok to tell. Not unless Yoongi finally decided to open up to him. Normally, Hoseok wouldn’t see that as a problem, he was, after all, one of the few people Yoongi did actually open up to. Or so he thought. Hoseok didn’t know if that was true anymore.

 

And then there was Kihyun. Yoongi’s boyfriend. Or thing . Or whatever they were. Hoseok couldn’t very well just burst in when Yoongi had someone. Someone that seemed to make him happy. Something Hoseok, apparently, had never been able to do. 

 

God, he was confused. He wasn’t sure how he felt. It was easier to separate the author and Yoongi. He loved the author romantically and he loved Yoongi platonically. That was easy. The problem was, as Soyi said, they weren’t different. They were the same person. Two sides of the same coin. Both parts of the man he loved, regardless of why . Could he feel that way about Yoongi ? His childhood friend? The only person, prior to all this, he ever really trusted?

 

The image of Yoongi licking his lips and breathing shallowly crept up again, the feel of Yoongi’s fingers tightening reflexively on his wrist, and caused his cheeks to flush. He wasn’t sure what had possessed him then. Suddenly, Yoongi wasn’t ‘childhood friend Min Yoongi,’ he was just an incredibly attractive man looking up at him with soft eyes and even softer lips. It had been like their entire history had faded away at that moment. Expect it hadn’t which was also why Hoseok had felt comfortable. Safe. Yoongi always made him feel that way. 

 

Hoseok found himself staring at Soyi’s hand on his arm. It felt wrong. Her hand was small. It barely encompassed his entire wrist. And they were soft. Yoongi’s hands hadn’t been like that. They had been wide, fingers easily wrapping around his wrist. When he had squeezed, Hoseok felt the calluses that had formed after years of playing the piano. Both Soyi and Yoongi had done the same thing instinctively, grabbing Hoseok’s wrist, but it felt so so different. 

 

Pulling his hand away, Hoseok placed his elbows on the table and put his head in his hands, “I don’t know what to do, Soyi-ah. I can’t-- I can’t do anything if I don’t know his side. What he feels. What he was doing. I just-- I can’t.”

 

Hoseok had never been a man confident in his feelings. He didn’t know if he was strong enough to make that leap without being sure of Yoongi’s feelings. Without being sure the fragile ground their friendship had settled on wouldn’t collapse under the weight of his feelings. Usually, when he felt this way he sought out Yoongi, but he couldn’t do that now. He had to make the choice himself. 

 

That terrified him.

 

Soyi nodded, then realizing he couldn’t see her, spoke aloud, “I understand. You need to talk to him.”

 

“But I can’t. If I bring it up, he’ll pull away again. He’ll cut me out,” Hoseok worried, which was somehow worse than anything else. He couldn’t lose Yoongi. 

 

“Then force your way in. Just like you did last night,” Soyi suggested.

 

“I don’t want to do that. If he isn’t-- if he isn’t ready to talk…” Hoseok trailed off.

 

“Then,” Soyi paused, unsure, “then, maybe pay attention to his behaviour. You’ve never looked at him like this before, right? Romantically?”

 

“No. I mean, maybe? When we were kids or something but no,” Hoseok admitted. 

 

“Okay, so watch him. Test the waters. Like you would with anyone you were interested in. Like you did with me. You know how it goes,” Soyi said.

 

“You want me to… what? Court him?”

 

Soyi shrugged, “kinda? You said that you need to know how he feels, right? This is how you find out. Otherwise, you have to just ask him.”

 

“but what about… what about the boyfriend?” Hoseok asked, feeling himself deflate.

 

“Ah, I don’t know about that, Seok-ah. I’m sorry.”

 

“No, it’s fine. Thank you for coming. For listening. I know it’s weird-- that I shouldn’t be telling you of all people but I--” 

 

But Soyi cut him off, “it’s okay. I want to be here for you! We’re still friends, Seok-ah. That won’t change.”

 

Hoseok smiled and nodded, and Soyi grabbed his wrist again to give him a reassuring squeeze. It still felt wrong. Hoseok genuinely didn’t know what to do about that. 

 


 

Jimin was not what you’d call a romantic person. Not really. He was aware that didn’t really make sense since he lived for setting people up and seeing people happy together but he didn’t consider that to be romance per se . He could set up anyone, and he would, but ask him to participate in a silly romantic tradition and he’d bail out so fast he’d leave dust in his wake. His thing was that he could watch romance, he just didn’t really like being the centre of it all. Usually, this was not a problem. That, however, most certainly not the case now. 

 

Taehyung was a romantic person. He went literally starry-eyed at the mention of any romantic gesture or tradition. He loved them. All of them. From a flower heart surrounded by candles to (apparently) finding your true love on the roof of a random high school. Taehyung loved all of it

 

For the first time in his entire life, Jimin felt… separated from Taehyung. They had addressed the issue of the roof, even trying to sneak up and fulfill the request of ‘fate,’ but he could feel that Taehyung was still disappointed. Every time he thought about the way Taehyung’s shoulders dropped when he dismissed the rooftop rumour, Jimin’s heart hurt. He never thought such a casual remark would affect Taehyung that way. He was clearly still holding back some of his more… romantic requests. Jimin shouldn’t be surprised. Taehyung was the one who came up with the most romantic tropes for their plans. He was the one who showed up at his window at night just so he can serenade him like some corny American 80s movie. Jimin just felt like Taehyung was always giving to him and receiving nothing in return. Like Jimin was bringing nothing to the relationship except for his feelings for Taehyung. He wasn’t going to pretend his feelings meant nothing because they did. He loved Taehyung more than anything. Had for as long as he could remember, but he wasn’t giving anything else.

 

It was time to change that. It was time for him to get over his inner cringe factor that activated pretty much every time he thought about engaging in something like that. 

 

He could do it.

 

He could do it for Taehyung.

 

So, after dance class finished Sunday morning, Jimin settled himself at his desk and he went over everything. All the places he loved in Seoul that he knew Taehyung had never been to. All the restaurants and cafes that he had favourited on Maps so he could visit them sometime in the future. Money really wasn’t an issue, he had won a few dance competitions and the prize money was still sitting in his bank account. He had always saved that money so that if he needed something or wanted to do something, he could. Jimin decided planning the perfect date for Taehyung was exactly what he should use that money for. 

 

After a lot of help from Naver planning routes, Jimin settled on a plan of action. He had found a nice Italian restaurant, a place to stop off in the middle, and a romantic spot to end the night. Everything was appropriately romantic and cheesy. He could already see Taehyung’s smile. All the money and time planning would be worth it. Jimin was sure. He was a bit worried about the travel time but he figured it would be okay. Taehyung wasn’t the impatient one, that was him. 

 

Just as he was about to shut down his laptop, a small event caught his eye. It was exactly the type of thing that Taehyung always talked about doing but never actually did. They would have to walk from the train station but it wouldn’t add that much time to their travel and Jimin was now determined to make sure Taehyung went. Making a note of the change of plans, Jimin closed his laptop and rested his head on top. 

 

Okay, maybe he didn’t want to be the centre of romantic things but he definitely liked planning them. If this went well, he’d do it more often. He’d do it until his actions stopped making Taehyung smile. Jimin was confident that that day would never come. 

 


 

In the span of less than 24 hours, Hoseok once again found himself in the back booth of a place he didn’t know the name of because someone had told him to come. Only this time, he hadn’t been the one to reach out. Unfortunately, that did nothing to lessen the anxiety he was currently feeling. For some reason, he felt like he was being called to the teacher's office. Which was ridiculous since he was a teacher

 

Namjoon reached out to him and asked him for coffee. At first, Hoseok had been a little hesitant. Since the letter issue, he and Namjoon hadn’t really talked. Namjoon hadn’t expressed his opinion on the matter one way or another. He hadn’t stepped in when Seokjin was upset and he hadn’t been around when Seokjin inevitably apologized. Namjoon had effectively removed himself entirely from the situation. Hoseok wasn’t upset about that. He understood not wanting to be in the middle of two friends, Yoongi and Hoseok, and also tangentially in between Hoseok and his boyfriend. The situation had gotten complicated quickly, so Hoseok understood. That didn’t stop him, however, from being unsure what the coffee outing was going to entail. 

 

Thankfully, Namjoon arrived exactly on time, as he always did, and sat down with a bright and easy smile, instantly putting Hoseok at ease. Like Yoongi, Namjoon just had that effect. He radiated calm and collected vibes. Even if he tended to break things, Namjoon was still the most reliable person Hoseok had ever met. He felt stupid for being nervous.

 

“Hi, Seok-ah. Did you wait long?” Namjoon asked, sliding into the booth.

 

Hoseok shook his head, “no, I just came a bit early because I wasn’t sure where this was.”

 

“Oh, we could have gone somewhere else. I just like the coffee here,” Namjoon explained.

 

“No big deal,” Hoseok said with a shrug. 

 

They made small talk while they waited for their orders to arrive, but it seemed to second Namjoon had his coffee, he had decided it was time to ‘talk.’

 

“Look, Hoseok-ah, I wanted to apologize,”

 

Surprised, Hoseok jumped a little, “apologize?”

 

“Yes. I know I haven’t really been there for you or Yoongi-hyung recently. Honestly, I was hoping you guys would figure it out without interference from the outside but that wasn’t fair to either of you. You both deserve a friend who was around when you were upset. So, I wanted to say I’m sorry.”

 

Hoseok watched Namjoon, who was looking down at his coffee with a small furrow in his brow, and shook his head, “Joon-ah, don’t worry. I’m not upset and I know hyung isn’t either. We did need to figure it out ourselves. Having people push us one way or another from the outside wouldn’t have helped.”

 

Namjoon nodded and took a sip of his coffee, “how are you doing by the way, I know this has been… a lot of new information all at once.”

 

“Honestly, if you had asked me that question on Friday or even Saturday I would have had no answer but today? I’m fine.”

 

“What do you mean today ?”

 

“Well,” Hoseok began, “I’ve been confused lately,” Namjoon nodded for Hoseok to continued, “especially this weekend because I don’t know how hyung really feels.”

 

“Hyung already told you though. In the letters,” Namjoon observed.

 

“Yes, but how can I trust one over the other? Do I trust the words written in secret or the words hyung himself said to me?”

 

Namjoon sighed and shrugged, “I don’t know.”

 

“Exactly. So I was confused. Am confused,” Hoseok admitted. 

 

“You know, with Jin-hyung, I was mooning over him from a distance for years. But he never knew. I never would have told him, even if he asked. I just pined in silence whenever I saw him and convinced myself that friendship was good enough,” Namjoon revealed.

 

“Our situation is a little different,” Hoseok reminded Namjoon.

 

“Maybe. But maybe not. I never would have what I have now if I hadn’t been willing to risk something. If I had stayed scared I would still be alone. Instead, sometimes I wake up to Jin-hyung’s smile. That alone was worth the risk.”

 

“Jin-hyung didn’t have a boyfriend, Namjoon-ah.”

 

“Boyfriend? What? Who?” Namjoon asked, surprised.

 

“Kihyun-ssi. The guy from the bar.”

 

Namjoon snorted so aggressively that he spilled his coffee all over the table. Hoseok watched as he frantically grabbed napkins to clean the table and dry his face. He missed a bit of foam on his nose, which made Hoseok laugh before he pointed it out.

 

“Uh, Yoongi-hyung does not have a boyfriend. They’re just friends. Trust me,” Namjoon revealed.

 

“Wait, seriously? But he showed up to hyung’s house on Friday!”

 

“Yea… because they’re friends and hyung was sick. You did the same,” Namjoon said, as if that was obvious.

 

This revelation left Hoseok speechless. He had, unknowingly, been using Kihyun as an excuse to not fully decide how to handle the situation. Soyi had given him a plan, but he had used Kihyun as a reason to not do it. But if they weren’t dating, he had no excuses.

 

“Look, Hoseok-ah, I’m not here to tell you what to do or tell you I know what hyung is feeling. I just want to know: is the friendship you guys have now, awkward tension and all, what you really want?”

 

“No, of course not.”

 

Namjoon sighed, “you guys will have to talk eventually. You know that. I think you need to figure out what you want from that conversation. What you want the outcome to be.”

 

The conversation shifted after that to more mundane topics, as it usually did when they were together, but Hoseok’s mind kept repeating Namjoon’s parting phrase over and over: what you want the outcome to be.

 

After leaving the cafe, Hoseok spent the rest of his Sunday working himself up into a little bit of a frenzy. He knew Soyi and Namjoon were right. He knew he had to do something . He just wasn’t sure what. Some hours later, he had decided, at the very least, what he wanted was Yoongi , but he still found himself wavering between just confronting Yoongi about the letter and his feelings or following Soyi’s advice and trying to court him so he could get a better read on Yoongi’s feelings. Both options had good and bad sides and he found himself jumping back and forth between them.

 

Another, smaller part of his mind, was constantly yelling at him demanding to know when he had just accepted that he was attracted to his best friend and he was trying to ignore it. Mostly because it wasn’t as weird as that part of his brain figured it should be. He knew, theoretically, he should be freaking out like he had been since he found the letter. But once he talked to Soyi and Namjoon and came to terms with the fact that, yes, he had tried to kiss Yoongi, and yes, he had wanted to, an odd sense of calm washed over him. Like he had just been waiting for the revelation to come. Like that’s what he had been waiting for. 

 

He supposed what was really weird was the fact that he wasn’t freaking out about it. For some reason, his freak out was solely based on ‘how do I approach him’ and not ‘why do I want to bone my best friend.’ He realized he had never been truly scared of feeling that way for Yoongi. Surprised, sure, confused even, but not upset. When he had found out Yoongi was the author of the letter, he had been unsure of what he wanted Yoongi to say. But again, not scared. When he had noticed himself looking at Yoongi differently, he had panicked a little, but that had mostly been based on his confusion. He didn’t want his feelings to change if he was unsure of what Yoongi wanted. 

 

The near kiss had been an eye-opener. Once he had calmed down enough to talk it out with Soyi and really go through what had happened and what he was feeling, he realized he had wanted to kiss Yoongi. He hadn’t felt scared or unsure, he had simply wanted to do it. It hadn’t been until the knock on the door that Hoseok realized just how little thought he had given it. His panic had not really set in until he realized, or thought he did anyway, that Yoongi had a boyfriend. He had felt like an intruder, like he had done something terrible, so he had left. It had never really been about who he had tried to kiss. Not really. He had just been so unsure of everything

 

So, finally giving the who situation the thought it deserved, Hoseok decided what he wanted. What he wanted was Yoongi, sure, but what he really wanted was to know how he felt. He needed Yoongi’s love before he fell entirely. He needed some confirmation on Yoongi’s side. Not from the letters. From Yoongi

 

Test the waters. Like you would with anyone you were interested in. Like you did with me. You know how it goes.

 

Soyi’s words rang through his head again and Hoseok found himself nodding at nothing.

 

Yes. He could do that. Test the waters. Observe. 

 

That would work.

 


 

Jungkook woke up Monday morning in what could only be described as a bad mood. He sat up in his bed with his hands resting in between his legs and looked around groggily. His hair was a mess and he was frowning. It was entirely too early for him to be up, especially since he had gone to bed well after 1 in the morning, but here he was, up and (theoretically) awake. The previous evening, Jungkook had started writing lyrics for his song. Tried might be a better way of putting it. After hours of writing and then crumpling up the pages angrily, Jungkook had broken down and emailed Mr. Min for help. It had been after midnight, but he had answered anyway, offering to meet Jungkook before class today. At the time, Jungkook had been ecstatic. He needed help sorting his thoughts. However, sitting in his bed at half-past 6 in the morning, Jungkook felt nothing but resentment. Mr. Min couldn’t meet with him after school? 

 

Feeling a touch guilty about being ungrateful, Jungkook rolled himself out of bed, landing harshly on the ground, and proceeded to get ready. Thankfully, most of his clothing looked the same so it didn’t matter what he grabbed without opening his eyes since it would probably still match anyway. 

 

Within 30 minutes, Jungkook was standing at the door to Mr. Min’s music class. He was still scowling. This time, not because he was awake, but because Mr. Min was not. His head was down on the desk, hand still holding his coffee cup, and he was clearly asleep. Jungkook could see pink lettering on the side of the paper cup but he was too irritated to look closer. With an even deeper frown, Jungkook walked up to the desk and kicked the leg. The impact jolted Mr. Min awake, jostling his coffee enough to spill and burn his hand.

 

Mr. Min looked up at him with a pout, waving his hand to cool it from the burn, “was that really necessary?”

 

“If I’m up, you’re up. You chose this time,” Jungkook explained.

 

“Unfortunately. There’s a student council meeting after school I have to attend. Trust me when I say I would rather not be here this early.”

 

Somewhat modified, Jungkook pulled up a chair and sat down, “I need help.”

 

“I figured. Your email was pretty frantic. Maybe read that again at lunch and appreciate how much I let you get away with,” Mr. Min said with a raised brow.

 

Jungkook winced. He had been very tired and very frustrated. He didn’t want to know what that emailed looked like now that he was calmer and more awake. That thought reminded him of last week and Jungkook leaned forward to look over Mr. Min with narrowed eyes. After a moment, he leaned back, satisfied. He looked better. He clearly wasn’t sick anymore. Good. Jungkook didn’t like it when the people around him got sick. It made him feel useless since he couldn’t fix it. 

 

“Are you going to stare at me like that all morning or..?” Mr. Min asked, snapping Jungkook out of his own thoughts.

 

“Sorry. I was just seeing if you were still sick,” Jungkook explained.

 

“I’m good. Don’t worry. Now, show me what you’ve got,” Mr. Min said, holding out his hand.

 

Jungkook pulled out his notebook but held it to his chest, “look, it’s not very good. And I only managed to put together one verse. But even that isn’t very--”

 

“Jungkook-ah. Calm down. Writing is a process. It takes time and lots of trial and error. I’m not expecting a perfect song, okay? I just want to see where you’re at.”

 

The book in Jungkook’s hands suddenly felt lighter, like Jungkook had been putting so much mental weight on it that the book itself had gotten heavier. He looked down at the book then nodded and held it out. 

 

Finally, holding the notebook Yoongi* flipped it open to the flagged page and read the verse written there: 

 

When I was twelve** years old, I had nothing

The world was too big and I was small

Now I can’t even imagine now

I was scentless and completely empty

I pray

 

There were a few other scattered couplets that seemed to be complete thoughts that Yoongi read and considered too:

 

When my brother is sick

It hurts more than when I’m sick

 

You make me begin

Smile with me

 

Yoongi closed the book and sat back. Jungkook had nothing to worry about. It had only been a weekend and he had a full verse and several other themes he wanted to use throughout. He was simply acting like every other student who was unused to being truly challenged. He was getting impatient. 

 

Jungkook waited anxiously for Mr. Min to give him his opinion. He knew the lyrics weren’t good. He knew that. He didn’t know why he even thought--

 

“It’s good,” Mr. Min said, “they’re good. Your lyrics.”

 

“What?”

 

“They’re good. You’re way ahead on this, Jungkook-ah. Seriously. The verse you have is honest and sweet. It would be a good opening. The other two can fit in anywhere. You’re off to a good start.”

 

“I-- are you sure?” Jungkook asked, stroking his notebook hesitantly.

 

“I am. Have you thought about the overall theme you want to use?”

 

“Yes, I said I want it to essentially be a thank you,” Jungkook reminded him.

 

“I know, I meant for the chorus. The sentiment you’ll repeat, have you thought of that?”

 

Jungkook chewed on his lip, “no, I-- should I?”

 

Mr. Min shrugged, “it’s up to you. Sometimes if you get stuck, it’s good to look at it from a different angle. You got stuck on verses, right? So why not think about your hook?”

 

With wide eyes, Jungkook nodded and pulled out his pen, “can I talk out loud? And you can like-- uh, help me?”

 

A soft smile stretched over Mr. Min’s face as he nodded, “sure. Talk away. I’ll listen.”

 

“Thank you, Mr. Min. Seriously,” Jungkook said sincerely.

 

“It’s what I’m here for. Now focus,” Mr. Min said, tapping Jungkook’s notebook.

 

By the time the warning bell rang announcing 15 minutes before class, Jungkook had figured out the sentiment he wanted to use for the chorus and had a better idea of what he wanted each verse to say. He had made a plan the week before but once he got home it had fallen apart in his panic. He felt more confident now. More sure of how he wanted it to sound. Though Mr. Min had mostly just sat there and nodded, offering small suggestions in the form of questions sporadically, Jungkook was indebted to him. He didn’t think he would be as comfortable with his song as he was without him.

 

This feeling followed him out of the classroom and caused him to miss the teacher leaning against the wall just outside the class until he heard his name being called in a less than impressed tone. 

 

“Jungkook-ssi,” Seokjin called, unfolding his arms and pushing off the wall.

 

Jungkook froze and turned around slowly with his head down and shoulders up.

 

“Come with me,” Seokjin ordered, leaving no room for disagreement.

 

He followed silently, frantically going over everything he had done in the past few months. Does he know about us locking the school doors? Oh, god, what about the elevator? THE WALL FALLING?

 

Seokjin sat at his desk and gestured for Jungkook to take a seat. They sat in silence for a second and Jungkook just stared at him wide-eyed.

 

“You’re not in trouble, Jungkook-ssi,” Seokijn assured him.

 

Not in-- OH, this is about the roof.

 

“Uh, you don’t have to worry. About the roof. We won’t tell anyone. We’re not like that,” Jungkook said shyly. 

 

Seokjin couldn’t help but snort, “since you know, those two did, clearly , tell someone.”

 

“Yea, well, that’s just me. I don’t count. We don’t keep secrets,” Jungkook said with a shrug.

 

“Regardless, that’s not why you’re here.”

 

“Uh, it’s not? But you said I’m not in trouble…”

 

“You’re not. I simply wanted to know about the contest you entered with Mr. Min,” Seokjin asked.

 

“The contest? Oh, uh, it’s a music contest, so, uh, he’s helping me write my song and then we’ll like… produce it, I guess? Eventually, I’ll sing it for the committee or whatever.”

 

Seokjin restrained his smile and replaced it with a confused frown, “music contest? It’s not for music…”

 

He waited for Jungkook to question him. Five. Four. Three. Two…

 

“What do you mean it’s not a music contest?” Jungkook asked, frantic.

 

Perfect. I’m the best actor. 12/10 rating. Would get an Oscar. 

 

“Well, I was under the impression it was a performance contest. So you can write an original song, I’m sure that will help, but other people will be dancing and such. I supposed that answers my question of why you sought out Mr. Min rather than Mr. Jung. I assumed you’d be dancing, of course, but I guess you’re doing music instead?” Seokjin asked innocently.

 

God, I’m good. Someone call Hollywood

 

“I-- I didn’t know I could dance. That would be-- I’d like that,” Jungkook said quietly.

 

“Well, it’s not too late! You can always do both! I’m sure the judges would be very impressed if you sang an original song and danced. You’re very talented, I’m sure you can do both.”

 

Jungkook nodded but he was already lost in his thoughts. When the next warning bell rang, signalling 5 minutes left, Jungkook stood and bowed absentmindedly, before leaving.

 

Unbeknownst to both of them, they were thinking the same thing. Seokjin felt confident he had sown the seeds to force Hoseok and Yoongi to work together closely for the next several weeks. While Jungkook was planning how to use the new information Seokijn had given him to create situations where Mr. Min and Mr. Jung were together, just like they had done during operation #Namjin (he was still upset that was a thing but somehow by using it ironically, it had become part of his vocabulary).

 

Finally, Jungkook had a plan he could use to help Mr. Min and Mr. Jung. The dark mood of the morning forgotten, Jungkook walked to class with a bounce in his step and a small smile on his lips, completely unaware of the way the surrounding students looked at him. Like always, his focus was set on the few people he cared about and little else mattered, not even the pseudo hero worship of his fellow classmates. 

 


 

By the time Yoongi had woken up on Monday morning, finally free of the haze of sickness that had clouded his mind all weekend, he had convinced himself that the near kiss had not happened at all. He was sure that he had just dreamt it. That it was a fever dream conjured by his desperate mind that missed Hoseok so much.

 

He felt like he was being practical about this. It didn’t make sense that Hoseok would kiss him. Especially not when he was sick. And Hoseok hadn’t texted him over the weekend about anything other than making sure he was still drinking the tea. Obviously, if something that monumental had happened, Hoseok would mention it, right? And sure, Kihyun said Hoseok was upset, but he probably just wanted to give Yoongi and Kihyun privacy. Yoongi had never told him they weren’t dating after all. 

 

Oh, and Hoseok had Soyi. Hoseok was not, nor would he ever be, a cheater. He wouldn’t kiss Yoongi when he had a perfectly good girlfriend to kiss. Didn’t make sense. 

 

Yoongi was confident in his conclusions. Confident that he had just imagined the entire thing because it was something he so desperately wanted. He was sure the best course of action was to continue with his previous plan. To be as casual and affectionate as he had been before the letter incident so their friendship went back to normal. It was the perfect plan.

 

That confidence lasted all of 2 minutes in Hoseok’s presence. 

 

Due to a frantic email from Jungkook, Yoongi arrived at the school at a time he considered to be the work of the devil. It was only 6:30 in the morning and he wanted to die. Since he wasn’t sure when, exactly, Jungkook was going to arrive, he wanted to go in early. He hadn’t even stopped for coffee. That was a clear mistake. 

 

Hoseok found him, much as Jungkook would later, with his head on his desk, sound asleep. Hoseok laughed, before setting down his coffee and shaking Yoongi awake. Yoongi’s first image upon opening his eyes was Hoseok’s face, so close to his own, smiling down at him. He jolted up, startled, and blinked at Hoseok sleepily. 

 

“What are you doing here so early?” Yoongi asked.

 

“Ah, I have some marking to finish so I decided to come in. Here,” Hoseok said, holding out a coffee tray with a small bag on it.

 

With a furrowed brow, Yoongi reached out and grabbed the bag. Inside was his favourite bagel breakfast sandwich.

 

“You didn’t have to grab me something, Seok-ah,” Yoongi protested immediately.

 

“I wanted to. The coffee is for you too,” Hoseok insisted, shaking the tray a little to force Yoongi to grab the coffee. 

 

Yoongi grabbed the coffee too and smiled, “thank you, Seok-ah. Did you want to eat with me? We can split it.”

 

“No, I really have to mark. This is all for you. Think of it as a get-well present,” Hoseok said with a smile.

 

“Thank you,” Yoongi said again.

 

With a laugh, Hoseok reached out and placed his hand on his forehead. After a few moments, he pulled his hand away and smiled, "you don't feel warm anymore! I told you the tea works!:

 

"Your nasty leaf water did nothing. I just slept it off all weekend and took real medicine," Yoongi immediately said, falling back into old habits."

 

"Break my mother's heart, why don't you," Hoseok gasped, hand on his chest.

 

Yoongi rolled his eyes, "she didn't grow the leaves. She'll live."

 

"The shock. The betrayal." Hoseok continued.

 

Yoongi shook his head and smiled, feeling at ease. Then Hoseok reached out again and began to fix Yoongi’s sleep mussed hair. Yoongi was sure his fingers lingered but as soon as he thought that, they were gone. 

 

“I have to go mark. See you later, hyung,” Hoseok said with a wave on his way out.

 

Yoongi sat still for a moment then grabbed the coffee and took a sip. It was perfect of course. Just how he liked it. Just as the bagel was and the sandwich on Friday had been. A flash of pink caught Yoongi’s eye and he looked down, turning the coffee cup. On the side, in Hoseok’s handwriting was ‘Yoongi-hyung’ with a heart beside it written in pink sharpie. The choice of pink sharpie was very Hoseok and it made him smile. Even if the small heart made his own skip a beat. 

 


 

Hoseok stood in the gymnasium, watching with vague interest as his students stretched for class. The period before lunch on Monday was undoubtedly the worst time slot. No one had any energy or enthusiasm. Hoseok was what he considered a goddamn ball of sunshine, but there was only so much you could demonstrate before the lack of response made you want to turn homicidal. He could sense that mood coming, but his morning attempt at courting Yoongi kept it away. He had looked up with such a startled smile when Hoseok had given him his coffee that Hoseok had wanted to coo. It was ridiculous. And the blush . GOD. When Hoseok had fixed his hair, Yoongi had frozen in place and his cheeks had turned red. It had taken all his will power to leave the room after that. Hoseok had no idea how he hadn’t looked at Yoongi like this before. He was adorable . And very, very easily flustered. He still wasn’t sure what caused the reaction, obviously. It could just as easily been surprise rather than any romantic feelings, but it gave Hoseok motivation to move forward.

 

Just as he was about to start class, he heard the doors open and turned to see who had arrived late. Yoongi wandered in with his hands in his pockets and a smile on his face. 

 

“Hyung, what brings you down to the basement?” Hoseok asked, returning his smile.

 

“I have a free period so I thought I’d come to watch your class. Give me something at least mildly entertaining to do,” Yoongi explained with a shrug.

 

“Well, you picked the worst class. Monday before lunch is a dead zone. I’ll be lucky to get them moving.”

 

Yoongi tilted his head as he watched the slow and very unenthusiastic stretching of the class and then smiled. 

 

“I have a few new songs, why don’t you use them? They’re pretty upbeat so the tempo could help,” Yoongi offered.

 

Hoseok barely contained his squeal, “really!?”

 

He had always loved to use Yoongi’s music in class. Usually, Yoongi said no and got all embarrassed and mad when Hoseok did it anyway. But now he was offering willingly. Hoseok jumped up and clapped his hands before practically jumping on Yoongi to give him a hug.

 

“That’s amazing, hyung. Thank you!” 

 

Yoongi shuffled and scratched his ear in embarrassment, “it’s not a huge deal. Just a thank you for breakfast. I’ll uh, send them to you now.”

 

Within a few minutes, Hoseok had the songs up and ready and the class was about to start. Yoongi leaned back on the wall and watched Hoseok explain the rules of the game and break them into teams. Before long, Hoseok returned to lean against the wall with Yoongi. Honestly, the music didn’t really help. The students were just tired and hungry and no amount of good vibes and music could help. But the class itself went well for him and Yoongi was pleased with their interactions. They were light and easy, just like they had been before. There was none of the awkward tension that had weighed everything down before. He wasn’t sure why it was gone and wondered if it was because they were both making more of an effort, but he was happy regardless.

 

That is, until the moment near the end of class when the game was over and the students were milling around. Hoseok had been explaining that they were going to be playing basketball for the next week and they should remember to bring proper shoes. Yoongi hadn’t really been paying attention until he heard his name.

 

“In fact, Mr. Min used to be quite the basketball star. If we’re lucky, he’ll come by tomorrow and teach you guys the rules,” Hoseok told the class.

 

Everyone looked at him and he waved awkwardly, unsure what to do. A few boys near the back started to snicker and Hoseok called them out.

 

“Isn’t he a little short ?” One called out.

 

Yoongi narrowed his eyes with a frown, “yea, that’s what half the team used to say. Then I made Captain and they stopped talking. Height means nothing if you don’t know how to use it.”

 

The boys snickered some more and another one spoke, “Captain, huh? Did your team go to Hong Kong?”

 

It was at that moment Hoseok realized what was about to happen. He tried to stop the class. He stepped up and dismissed them early, but the class stayed fixed in their spots, waiting for Yoongi’s answer.

 

Innocently, Yoongi tilted his head in confusion, “Hong Kong? Why would we go there?”

 

Hoseok dropped his head into his hands and felt the need to die. Right then. Right there. Death. No other escape.

 

More laughter followed, then: “because I hear you bring anyone there. You know, regardless of whether they’re a boy or girl.”

 

There was a moment of silence as Yoongi processed what the student had just said. The class was desperately trying to hold back their laughter as they watched Yoongi’s reaction. Hoseok peaked out from between his fingers and saw the moment Yoongi understood. The class erupted in laughter and Yoongi slowly turned his head towards Hoseok.

 

“HOSEOK-AH! WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT PLAYING MY MUSIC!?” Yoongi yelled, breaking into a run after Hoseok who had fled the second the first syllable of his name had been uttered. 

 

“DON’T RUN FROM ME!”

 

“IT WAS AN ACCIDENT I SWEAR! IT WAS ON SHUFFLE!” Hoseok yelled, trying to dispel Yoongi’s anger. 

 

The class watched in rapt attention as two of their teachers ran around the gym yelling at each other. This was a somewhat common occurrence. Often, Mr. Jung would use Mr. Min’s music in class without permission. Then, Mr. Min would find out and come running with faux anger and real embarrassment. The class hadn’t realized how much they missed their antics over the past few weeks. 

 

Eventually, Yoongi caught Hoseok and pulled him into a headlock. Hoseok frantically patted Yoongi’s stomach and arms in surrender.

 

“Never again, Hoseok-ah! Come on!”

 

“Fine! Fine! I’m sorry! Never again!” Hoseok promised, jumping up and away when Yoongi released him. 

 

Seeing that the argument was over, the class left the room and Hoseok quickly followed, throwing a cheeky wink over his shoulder. Yoongi maintained his frown but inside he was smiling. For the first time since the letters were revealed, Yoongi and Hoseok had acted exactly as they had before. The whole class had been perfect.

 

Maybe Yoongi needed to come to gym class more often.

 


 

Though he was unaware of this, Seokjin was more like the students he loved to hate than he thought. Just as he had unknowingly mimicked the feelings and planning of Jungkook in regards to Hoseok and Yoongi, he was now doing much the same as Jimin had done the previous Sunday. 

 

Seokijn sat with a small frown on his face as he watched Namjoon talk to some of the students about the costuming for the play. Generally, that was his purview but he had thrown up his hands in frustration about 20 minutes ago and walked away. Namjoon had stepped in then and had spent the last 15 of those 20 minutes trying to explain to the boys playing Hamlet and Horatio that J’s were not historically accurate and I know they’re in style but you can’t wear them and yes, I see that you’re wearing the tights and yes, I know they are not cool but you still can’t wear your J’s and no, you cannot just wear Jordans instead, I know that J’s and Jordans are the same thing and no, you also cannot wear Yeezys.

 

Namjoon’s ability to handle this godforsaken situation in Seokjin’s sted was what prompted his current mood and allowed him to unknowingly mirror Jimin. Namjoon, much like Taehyung, constantly did things for Seokjin. He planned their first amazing date, he brought Seokjin flowers just because, he found a figurine because he wanted to give Seokjin something, he showed up to his house with take-out and a smile when he knew Seokjin was stressed, he even planned a ridiculous and corny event just to ask him out officially. He gave and he gave and he gave . And what had Seokjin done? Very little. His immediate defence was to joke and say he gave the privilege of his company, but that wasn’t right. Namjoon was always there for Seokijn and he wanted to do something the thank him for that. He knew it didn’t need to be something big or extravagant, Namjoon wasn’t the type to care about stuff like that but he wanted to do something

 

His current frown was brought on by his inability to think of something. He could think of a million, random romantic ideas but they weren’t personal . He wanted something from him that only he could do. It wasn’t until his stomach grumbled unhappily (he had missed lunch), that he got an idea. 

 

Namjoon was a self-admitted terrible cook. A disaster in the kitchen he had said. Maybe Seokjin could help fix that. Maybe that was something only he could do.

 

Across the stage, Namjoon seemed to have scored some major victory because he straightened up and turned to Seokjin with a huge smile on his face. For a moment, Seokjin felt like time stopped. He really was the most beautiful man Seokjin had ever seen. Both inside and out.

 

Seokjin wasn’t going to let himself take that for granted ever again.

Chapter Text

Yoongi wasn’t exactly sure how he ended up standing in the gym changeroom in sweatpants and a t-shirt, but he was fairly certain it had something to do with his inability to deny Hoseok anything and his desire to ensure their relationship went back to normal. Oh, and his need to wipe that smug look off the face of the student who had questioned his ability due to his height. But it was mostly Hoseok. Probably. Maybe. Whatever. Either way, he found himself awkwardly entering the gym and waiting for Hoseok to acknowledge him. 

 

“Ah, hyung. Thank you for coming. Seriously. I can teach them of course but it’s much easier to have someone who actually played the sport, you know?”

 

“Don’t worry about it, Hoseok-ah. I have a free period anyway,” Yoongi said with a shrug.

 

Hoseok took a step back and looked Yoongi up and down, causing him to flush and rub his neck, “what?”

 

“Nothing. You look good. I’m just having flashbacks to high school Yoongi-hyung. Blond hair. Piercings. Permanent scowl hiding a gooey centre. I miss him sometimes,” Hoseok revealed.

 

Yoongi smiled, “I’m still mostly the same.”

 

“Yea,” Hoseok agreed softly, “yea, you are.”

 

The rest of the students trickled in then, ending whatever moment they had just been having. That had been happening a lot lately. Yoongi would catch Hoseok looking at him with a small smile and he wasn’t sure what that meant. He couldn’t read Hoseok. Never could. Hoseok was a master at hiding his emotions if he wanted to, so Yoongi was never quite sure what certain expressions meant. 

 

The students were eyeing him suspiciously now, clearly having noticed his lack of usual teacher attire. 

 

“Okay, class! I begged and I begged, maybe offered a bribe, and got Mr. Min to agree to come back and teach you guys the rules of basketball. Thank him for spending his free period here.”

 

The class murmured a less than enthusiastic thank you and Yoongi sighed. 

 

“Alright, I’m going to explain the rules then show you a few things. You’ll have free time to work on the basics of shooting and passing after that before you guys work on the more complicated stuff later this week.”

 

“How are we supposed to believe you know what you're talking about if you don’t show us? You teach music ,” the student from before commented. 

 

Yoongi had to restrain himself from looking up at the ceiling and thanking whatever deity was in charge of this kind of thing for giving him the opportunity to show this snarky kid that sometimes it was better to be quiet.

 

“Okay, come here then,” Yoongi gestured, walking to the centre of the court. He grabbed a ball and waited for the kid to walk up, “try and block me.”

 

The kid raised a brow and looked at his friends but nodded anyway, “okay.”

 

From the sidelines, Hoseok shook his head and sighed, “this is a mistake.”

 

A small group of girls, who had been watching intently, heard him and looked back, “is Mr. Min going to be okay?”

 

Hoseok snorted, “oh, he’ll be fine. Junghwa-ssi is never going to live this down though.”

 

There was a clap sound as Yoongi smacked his hand on the side of the ball, having finished explaining just how to block someone properly. It would be nearly as satisfying if this kid didn’t know how to block after all. 

 

“Got it?” Yoongi asked.

 

“Yes. Come on, I’m going to be as old as you if I keep waiting,” Junghwa joked.

 

Yoongi shook his head and started dribbling the ball. He watched Junghwa’s movements and just as he shot a hand out to take the ball away, Yoongi spun to the side and ran up to the net. He jumped up and heard rather than saw the ball swish threw the net. Turning back, he saw Junghwa staring at him with a frown and Yoongi smiled.

 

“Now, if I could get on with teaching the class?” Yoongi asked, earning a few snickers. He was fully aware that embarrassing a student was not teacher behaviour but sue him sometimes it was needed. 

 

The rest of the class was uneventful. The students were eager to learn and listened intently. It was amazing what class after lunch rather than before could do for moral. He and Hoseok walked around the class in comfortable silence, correcting posture and technique as they went. Yoongi had always liked watching Hoseok work. His demeanour completely changed when he was teaching. He always looked serious and focused, giving all his attention to his students. Before long, the class was almost over and Hoseok let the class leave early so they could shower and change. The students hastily left the gym, leaving Yoongi and Hoseok alone. 

 

“Wanna play a bit?” Hoseok asked, placing the last basketball on the rack.

 

“Play?” 

 

“Yea, one on one. Like we used to,” Hoseok explained.

 

“I used to crush you, Seok-ah,” Yoongi observed, smirking a little.

 

“Maybe you will again. And maybe I’ve gotten better over the years,” Hoseok goaded.

 

“Fine, first to five, let’s go,” Yoongi agreed, passing a ball to Hoseok, “you get to start, since I’m a good hyung.”

 

Hoseok shook his head, but took his position anyway. He tried to rush past Yoongi, but the ball was quickly taken from him. He turned around to see Yoongi shaking his head as he switched sides.

 

“Not better then,” Yoongi joked.

 

“Oh shush. Try me,” Hoseok said with narrowed eyes.

 

Yoongi began to dribble and passed Hoseok easily, scoring a basket. After that, Hoseok got more competitive and the game became more even, but Yoongi was still winning. He blocked another one of Hoseok’s shots and took his position.

 

“Last one then,” Yoongi said, idly spinning the ball.

 

“Only if you score,” Hoseok taunted

 

Yoongi snorted and went for it. Just when he was about to pass Hoseok again, he felt arms grab him around the waist and pull him back, whipping him around until he fell backwards into Hoseok. He dropped the ball in his surprise when he felt his back hit Hoseok’s chest. 

 

“Yah! Foul!” Yoongi yelled out with a laugh.

 

“We never said that was a rule,” Hoseok replied, still holding him.

 

“It’s like the only rule, Seok-ah,” Yoongi replied, glancing back at Hoseok over his shoulder.

 

Hoseok shrugged, “I don’t know that.”

 

“You teach this game to kids,” Yoongi reminded him.

 

“Sometimes,” Hoseok agreed, looking down at Yoongi.

 

It was when they made eye contact that Yoongi realized exactly the position they were in. Hoseok was still holding him to his chest, arms wrapped around his waist. Yoongi could feel everything against his back and immediately tensed. He turned around again and tapped Hoseok’s arms.

 

“Let me go. I have to change for class,” Yoongi said, looking at the floor rather than Hoseok.

 

Hoseok narrowed his eyes but let Yoongi go anyway. He knew he was being more touchy than usual, that was kinda the plan, but Yoongi had never tensed before. What did that mean?

 

“Sorry, hyung. Got carried away,” Hoseok said, putting his hands in his pockets.

 

“Nah, I had fun. I just have to dry off before class. Can’t exactly teach covered in sweat,” Yoongi replied immediately, not wanting Hoseok to feel bad. It wasn’t his fault that Yoongi couldn’t handle friendly touches without turning it into something else. 

 

“Well, you could ,” Hoseok commented, smiling a little.

 

“But I won’t,” Yoongi said with a laugh, walking towards his bag and water bottle.

 

Hoseok watched him go silently. He wasn’t sure what his next step should be. The issue was they were always touchy. They were always close. Hoseok wasn’t sure how to make it seem like more without saying it out loud. But, based on the way Yoongi had tensed in his arms, saying it outright wouldn’t work. Not yet. Hoseok bit his lip as he thought about his next move. Seokjin and Namjoon were busy on Saturday, so they’d be able to hang out alone if needed, but he didn’t know what to do. A date would be too obvious. They just had to… ah .

 

“Hey, hyung?”

 

“Yea?” Yoongi replied, pulling his bag trap over his head. 

 

“Wanna do a movie marathon this weekend? It’s been forever since we just hung out and relaxed. I could bring some snacks,” Hoseok offered.

 

Yoongi could feel the tension that radiated off Hoseok. He wasn’t sure what the origin was, but he assumed it was because Hoseok was offering an olive branch of sorts. Before the letters, they had movie nights and days all the time. They often spent entire Saturdays or Sundays huddled up watching movies. They hadn’t done that recently. Hoseok was clearly trying to get them back to normal just as Yoongi was, he just didn’t know how Yoongi would react. 

 

So, Yoongi smiled wide and nodded, “I’d love to, Seok-ah. Can we watch the Harry Potter movies? It’s been so long since I’ve watched them.”

 

“Of course, hyung. I know how much you love those movies,” Hoseok agreed easily.

 

With a small wave, Yoongi left after that, leaving Hoseok alone. He smiled a little, remembering his conversation with Soyi about Harry Potter . Her lack of affection for the movies was what first alerted Hoseok to the fact that Soyi wasn’t the author of the letters. She had said she liked Lord of the Rings more, while the author had declared their love for Harry Potter . That was one part of the letters that Hoseok could say, without a doubt, was true . It made him wonder how much else was.

 

He couldn’t help but hope all of it was.

 


 

By the time Saturday rolled around, Jimin was practically vibrating with excitement. He had only barely restrained himself from spilling his entire plan to Taehyung the moment he asked. Taehyung was, of course, curious what Jimin had planned and had asked about it repeatedly, but Jimin had someone managed to keep it a secret. By the time they got on the bus towards their first destination, both of them were practically jumping in their seats. The woman sitting across from them watched with a fond look, happy to see the genuine happiness and excitement on their young faces.

 

“Jiminie-ah, where are we going? Come on , you can at least tell me the district, right?”

 

Jimin thought about it, then nodded, “We’re going to Banpo-dong.”

 

“What?” Taehyung exclaimed, “that’s like 45 minutes away! Why are we going so far?”

 

“Dinner,” Jimin revealed.

 

“We could have gotten dinner closer to home,” Taehyung said.

 

“It’s all part of my plan, okay? Trust me. I wanted to do something for you,” Jimin said turning towards Taehyung with a smile. 

 

Taehyung’s eyes scanned Jimin’s face then eventually nodded, “okay. I trust you.”

 

Jimin smiled and turned back towards the window, watching the city pass by. He felt Taehyung rest his head on his shoulder and wrap his arms around his bicep and smiled wider. 

 

Yes. This is definitely worth it.

 


 

Panicked. Namjoon was panicked. Or panick ing . Since it was most certainly not past tense. It was very, very much present tense. He was currently feeling it and he was positive he would feel it until someone just put him out of his misery. He knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, in the non-panicked part, he was overreacting but the thought of cooking with Seokjin was overriding his common sense. 

 

Namjoon could not cook. This was not an understatement. It was not that he ‘hadn’t tried,’ or that he just ‘needed to get some practice,’ like everyone he explained this to seemed to think. He could not emphasize enough that putting him in a kitchen with flammable things and sharp implements was not a good idea .


And yet.

 

And yet he agreed to cook with Seokjin. Because Seokjin had asked and Namjoon couldn’t say no. So, here he was, standing outside Seokjin’s apartment holding a bag of groceries with the ingredients he was ordered to bring, panicking. He didn’t want Seokjin to think he was an idiot. Or useless. He hated that. When people found out he couldn’t cook for himself on top of how clumsy he was they always treated him like he was an idiot. He didn’t mean to mess things up like that. He tried, he really did. It just never worked out the way he wanted it to. He didn’t know what he’d do if Seokjin looked at him like everyone else did.

 

Taking a deep breath, Namjoon knocked on Seokjin’s door, pulling the grocery bag up to his chest so he could hold it like some temporary shield. Seokjin opened the door quickly with a smile. He was wearing a large oversized pink sweater and jeans that made him look soft and comfortable. His presence made Namjoon relax immediately. 

 

“Hi hyung,” Namjoon greeting.

 

“Hi Joonie-ah. Come on in,” Seokjin returned, stepping out of the way so Namjoon could enter.

 

Namjoon took another breath and stepped over the threshold.

 

I can do this .

 


 

“Jiminie-ah, this place is really nice, are you sure?” Taehyung asked, grabbing Jimin’s arm as they stepped inside.

 

“Yes, come on,” Jimin said, smiling back at Taehyung as they stepped inside.

 

He walked up to the maitre’d and gave his name for their reservation and before long they were seated at a small table off to the side. Taehyung looked around the restaurant in wonder. It was nice. Not super fancy and stuffy, but nice. Nicer than anywhere Taehyung had ever been without his whole family going out for a special occasion. Jimin was watching him with a small smile and when Taehyung turned back towards him, he returned it.

 

“What’s all this about? Why plan an entire evening like this?” Taehyung asked, leaning forward to rest his chin on his hand.

 

“I told you, I wanted to do something for you. You always plan these little things for me. You’re always thinking about me. I wanted to return the favour. I planned tonight for you.”

 

Taehyung’s smile could have lit up the room. It stretched wide and turned his eyes into little crescents, making Jimin smile too. No matter how the rest of the night went, Jimin knew he would plan more nights like this. Taehyung’s immediate, honest reaction to Jimin’s confession was well worth all the time and money he would spent tonight. Nothing could compare to seeing how happy he was that Jimin wanted to do something just for him. It did make him a bit sad that Taehyung was so happy that Jimin was planning anything for him, but since Jimin knew he had gone above and beyond for tonight, he let the guilt slide away. 

 

Once they had gotten their drinks and appetizers, Jimin leaned back and just watched Taehyung. He was trying a little bit of everything and deciding what he liked. His first impressions were clear on his face as he smiled and nodded when he liked something and frowned when he didn’t. Jimin honestly wasn’t sure how he had been able to hide his feelings for Taehyung for so long. Looking at him now, Jimin couldn’t remember a not loving Taehyung, not telling him exactly how he felt. It was amazing what a small amount of time being honest could do. 

 

Having finished testing everything, Taehyung split the things he liked and put the rest on Jimin’s plate. Jimin nodded in thanks and began eating as well. After a few moments of silence, Taehyung put down his fork with a satisfied sigh and took a sip of his drink, eyeing Jimin over the top of his glass.

 

“What?” Jimin asked, laughing a bit at Taehyung’s expression.

 

“Just thinking.”

 

“About?” 

 

“You. Us.”

 

“Oh?” Jimin asked, putting down his own fork. 

 

“I feel like all we’ve talked about recently has been our teachers or school. I wanted to just talk to you,” Taehyung admitted.

 

“Yea, we’ve been a bit distracted. What’d you want to talk about?” Jimin asked.

 

“Well, I had a question actually…” Taehyung hesitated, but Jimin waited patiently, “I wanted to know why you didn’t join the contest Kookie-ah is in too. You know it’s dance too.”

 

Jimin tensed and looked away, but forced himself to look back. If anyone else had asked, he would have deflected but this was Taehyung.

 

“Honestly, there are two reasons. One, I wanted Kookie-ah to go out and take home the prize. He never gets involved in stuff like that. If he had to compete against me, he’d be worried about hurting me instead of giving it his all.”

 

Taehyung nodded, understanding. Jungkook is and always has been shy. Especially when it came to performing or talking to a group of people. Half the reason they had been so supportive when he mentioned it was because they never thought he would volunteer for something like that. 

 

“The second?”

 

“Fear,” Jimin admitted.

 

“Oh, Jiminie-ah,” Taehyung began but Jimin shrugged him off.

 

“It’s not a big deal. You know how I get, overthinking. By the time I worked my way out of it, I missed the deadline. But I entered another competition with my teacher instead.”

 

“That’s great. I can’t wait to see you dance on another stage,” Taehyung said.

 

“And I’ll kill it. Nothing less than first place, I am the best after all,” Jimin said, raising a brow.

 

“Damn right!” Taehyung agreed, laughing.

 

He was a bit too loud and people from the surrounding tables looked over. Taehyung noticed and leaned forward, covering his mouth to stifle his laughs. His surprised eyes looked up and Jimin which caused him to laugh too and soon they were both laughing into their hands, looking frantically around, hoping they weren’t interrupting everyone else. 

 

“Shhh, oh my god. I can’t stop if you don’t,” Taehyung gasped out.

 

“You started it!” Jimin protested. 

 

Eventually, their dinner arrived, interrupting their laughter and giving them a chance to settle down. While Taehyung was busy eating, Jimin grabbed his phone and snapped a picture. The darkness of the restaurant had caused his flash to turn on, so Taehyung looked up in surprise. The picture ended up being Taehyung with wide eyes and a fork in his mouth. Jimin turned the phone around and began to laugh again. He leaned so far to the right he almost fell off the chair, which prompted Taehyung’s laughter and they were lost again. The looks from surrounding tables were part exasperation and part fond, but neither boy noticed this time.

 

“No, no, you have to do it again. Let me pose,” Taehyung declared.

 

“Pose? It’s supposed to be candid!” Jimin protested.

 

“You have your candid one. Now let me take one where I actually look good.”

 

“Fine, fine,” Jimin agreed, snapping the photo as Taehyung posed holding his knife and fork to cut what looked to be an olive. He turned the camera around again and Taehyung nodded in approval.

 

“Here, let me get one of you,” Taehyung said, grabbing his own phone.

 

Jimin grabbed his glass and smiled at Taehyung, who snapped the picture immediately. 

 

“Hmm, it’s alright I guess,” Taehyung said with a shrug before handing over the phone.

 

“I look amazing, shut up,” Jimin defended, seeing the picture.

 

“Whatever makes you feel better,” Taehyung said, putting on a sage, slightly worried look. 

 

“I hate you,” Jimin declared, smacking his arm.

 

Taehyung smiled in response, “no you don’t.”

 

“I do now.”

 

“No you don’t,” Taehyung repeated.

 

“No, I don’t,” Jimin admitted, smiling slightly.

 


 

I can’t do this , Namjoon thought as his face turned bright red in embarrassment as Seokjin leaned over his shoulder and turned the knife around so it was facing the right way.

 

“I’m sorry,” Namjoon said.

 

Seokjin laughed, looking up at him with soft eyes, not, Namjoon noted, the look of someone who thought he was stupid as he feared, “it’s okay. I knew what I was getting into.”

 

“I’m really just not good at this,” Namjoon admitted.

 

“I know. But I love cooking and I love teaching so this is mostly for me,” Seokjin declared, still smiling. His confidence that Namjoon could figure this out without judgement made him relax a bit. Seokjin was well aware Namjoon was tense and that tension was causing him to make stupid mistakes. It wasn’t that he was bad, it was that he was panicking and it was affecting his ability to do anything. Namjoon just needed to calm down. 

 

“Here, let me help,” Seokjin said, stepping behind him and wrapping his arms around Namjoon and positioning his arms on Namjoon’s so he could direct him. 

 

Namjoon looked back at him, “if you wanted to grope me, you could have just asked.”

 

Seokjin pinched his side and laughed, “oh shush, come on. I’m hungry. Can’t wait all day.”

 

Positioning himself again, Seokjin directed Namjoon’s movements for the first few slices then stopped moving and let Namjoon work on his own. He didn’t even notice that Seokjin wasn’t controlling him anymore. He looked down at the pepper with a look of complete concentration. Seokjin couldn’t help but watch him in fascination. Namjoon always dedicated himself to what he was doing with complete and utter focus, it was amazing to see. Seokjin would be lying if he said he didn’t envy that ability.

 

“Hyung, I think I’m done,” Namjoon said, looking back again.

 

Seokjin glanced at the pepper and smiled. It was sloppy, sure, and the pieces were uneven, but he had cut it alone and hadn’t hurt himself or anyone else. Seokjin considered that a win.

 

“Perfect. Now do the rest and we’ll add them to the sauce,” Seokjin ordered, stepping away. 

 

Namjoon smiled brightly, clearly happy he had managed to cut the pepper without issue and got to work cutting the rest of the vegetables. Seokjin watched periodically, just to make sure he had a handle on it, but soon realized he didn’t need to. Namjoon had just needed confidence, that much was obvious. 

 

“I’m going to put on some music, okay?” Seokjin asked.

 

“Sure, sounds good,” Namjoon agreed, never once looking up from the cutting board. 

 

Walking over to his stereo, Seokjin looked through his music and then shrugged and put on a random “Hot 90s” playlist from Spotify. A new song started instantly and Seokjin whipped around with a smile on his face. Namjoon put down his knife with a snap and turned around also.

 

“Oh my god, I haven’t heard this song in years ,” Namjoon said, smiling. 

 

“Me neither,” Seokjin agreed, immediately belting out the lyrics. 

 

With a laugh, Namjoon joined in and moved forward to grab Seokjin and spin him into a ridiculous dance. They spent the entire song dancing and scream singing the lyrics off-key, periodically pausing to gesture dramatically as the song demanded. When the song ended, Seokjin collapsed into Namjoon, still laughing, and breathing heavily.

 

“I’m too old for this now,” Seokin admitted.

 

“Practically ancient,” Namjoon agreed.

 

“Yah! You think you’ll be young forever?!” Seokjin asked, smacking Namjoon’s chest.

 

“Always be younger than you,” Namjoon replied, grabbing the hand on his chest.

 

“The disrespect. Kiss me to make up for it.”

 

“Yes, hyung,” Namjoon said softly, leaning in to place a soft kiss on Seokjin’s still pouting lips.

 

“Again.”

 

Namjoon smiled and lifted his hand to cradle Seokjin’s face and leaned in again. The kiss lasted longer this time, as their lips moved together with the ease of people who had kissed many times before. All too soon in Namjoon’s opinion, Seokjin pulled away. His cheeks were red and he had a slightly glassy look in his eyes. Namjoon felt mildly accomplished but kept that to himself. 

 

“I wasn’t kidding about being hungry. Let’s go finish,” Seokjin said.

 

Namjoon snorted, “when are you not hungry?”

 

“When I die, Joonie-ah. Until then I will always be hungry.”

 

“Then let’s get you fed,” Namjoon agreed, pulling Seokjin back towards the kitchen.

 

Okay, maybe I can do this after all .

 

Seokjin followed without complaint and went to the fridge to grab some meat for the sauce. They worked in comfortable semi-silence. As silent as it could be with both of them belting out the lyrics to music from their childhood whenever the mood struck. Once Namjoon was finished cutting the vegetables, Seokjin added the meat to the sauce he already had simmering and stepped away from the stove.

 

“Okay, now you’re going to saute the veggies so we can add them to the sauce,” Seokjin informed him.

 

“Ah, maybe that isn’t the best idea,” Namjoon commented, worried.

 

“You’ll be fine. I believe in you. Now, add them to the pan with the oil. Basically all you have to do is stir them with this every minute or so. That way they don’t burn,” Seokijn ordered.

 

Namjoon nodded and focused his attention on the pan. He was stirring far too constantly but Seokjin figured that was better than not stirring at all so he let it go.  He added a pot to the stove and filled it with water for the pasta.

 

“I’m going to grab some wine, do you want some?” Seokjin asked, heading out of the kitchen.

 

“Sure. Thanks.”

 

Left alone, Namjoon felt his worry creep up again but he focused his attention on the pan. He could tell the vegetables were softening but not burning and he felt a little pleased. It was either undercooked or burnt when he tried stuff like this alone so this was new. 

 

“Here,” Seokjin said, handing him his glass of wine. 

 

Namjoon’s eyes widened as he looked between the glass and the pan. Seokjin noticed and laughed, “you can leave the veggies for a second, I promise. Relax. You’re doing really well.”

 

“It’s never gone this well before. I’m worried,” Namjoon admitted.

 

“I mean, you did almost cut your whole palm open so there’s that,” Seokjin reminded him, giving the sauce a stir.

 

“Right. I forgot about that,” Namjoon said.

 

“You’re fine, Joonie-ah. I promise. You’re just too tense. Once you relax, everything’s fine.”

 

“If you say so.”

 

“I do,” Seokjin said firmly.

 

Namjoon put down his wine and returned to stirring the vegetables, causing Seokjin to shake his head with a small smile. Complete and utter dedication to each task. Still amazed him. Before long, the vegetables were done and Seokjin directed Namjoon in adding them to the sauce. All that needed to be done was drain the pasta and set the table. Slightly worried about his plates, Seokijn asked Namjoon to drain the pasta himself. 

 

This is where the issue arose.

 

Namjoon wasn’t sure how to do that, so he figured removing the pasta was the best way. He didn’t know how to do that, so he used his hands. Seokjin heard a shout from his kitchen table and ran back into the room, only to see Namjoon shaking his hands in the air. 

 

“What happened?” Seokjin asked worriedly.

 

“I tried to drain the pasta,” Namjoon said honestly.

 

“I-- with what?” Seokjin asked, looking around the kitchen and not seeing a strainer.

 

“With my hands.”

 

What? Are they okay? Oh, my god, let me see!” Seokjin yelled, grabbing his hands and flipping them over to inspect them. Thankfully they looked fine, just red. Seokjin rested his forehead on Namjoon’s hands and laughed. 

 

“With your hands , Joonie-ah?” 

 

“I-- I wasn’t sure how to do it and I didn’t want to bother you…”

 

Seokjin laughed again and looked up at Namjoon in amazement, “with your hands . God, I love you.”

 

“What?” Namjoon said, frozen.

 

Seokjin’s eyes widened when he realized what he said, “what?”

 


 

“Okay, Mr. Planner, where are we headed to next?” Taehyung asked, shrugging on his coat. 

 

Jimin smiled and helped Taehhyung do up his buttons, “it’s a surprise.”

 

“Gah, I’m starting to hate surprises!” Taehyung whined, following Jimin towards the door. He was about to complain again when they passed the maitre’d without stopping.

 

“Wait, Jiminie-ah. We have to pay!” Taehyung called out.

 

“I did already, let’s go. We have to catch the bus if we are going to make it on time,” Jimin said, grabbing Taehyung’s hand.

 

“You paid?! Jiminie-ah, I can split it!” Taehyung protested.

 

“Nope. I told you. Tonight is about you!” Jimin reminded him.

 

“Jiminie-ah….”

 

“Hey, not complaining. Let me do this,” Jimin asked.

 

“Okay…” Taehyung agreed, though very reluctantly. 

 

Jimin pulled him onto a bus and they sat down near the back. Jimin leaned down and rested his head on Taehyung’s shoulder with a sigh, “I’m glad I decided to do this.”

 

“Me too. Even if I don’t like you paying for everything,” Taehyung agreed.

 

“You can pay next time,” Jimin offered.

 

“Deal.”

 

After about 15 minutes, Jimin opened his eyes and pulled the stop request. Taehyung looked around in confusion. They were stopping just before a bridge. There was nothing around but he could see several groups of people hanging around. He followed Jimin off the bus and continued to look around. It really was just a bridge. 

 

“What’s going on here?” Taehyung asked.

 

“You’ll see,” Jimin said, glancing down at his watch. It was just after sundown which meant the show would start soon. He was surprised Taehyung had never heard of this bridge before but it just made the surprise better.

 

Within a few minutes, the area darkened and Taehyung looked around in confusion.

 

Jimin spoke up, “So this is called the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain. It changes after dark.”

 

Taehyung’s eyes widened and he looked up just in time to see streams of water stretch over the bridge, a smile overtaking his face. Jimin snapped a quick photo without disrupting Taehyung’s enjoyment. The lights began to change, illuminating the streams in different colours. As Jimin watched, Taehyung spun around and stared at the streams. He moved almost in a trance, walking back and forth across the bridge so he could see it from different angles. 

 

“This is amazing,” Taehyung breathed out.

 

Jimin smiled and nodded, “I knew you’d like it.”

 

“Jiminie-ah, how did you find this?”

 

“Naver,” Jimin admitted with a laugh.

 

“I never want to leave, it’s beautiful,” Taehyung said.

 

“It will end eventually, but we can come back whenever you want.”

 

“Then I’m taking a million pictures,” Taehyung declared.

 

“A million?”

 

“A million .”

 

Taehyung whipped out his phone and started taking pictures of the lights and the view. They took a few silly photos, which they sent to Jungkook, and then Jimin took some posed photos of Taehyung looking up at the lights. His favourite was still the candid one he had taken quickly when Taehyung first noticed the lights, but Taehyung had an aesthetic going and Jimin wasn’t going to deny him that. 

 

All too soon, the lights dimmed and the show ended. Taehyung sighed loudly and latched onto Jimin’s arm. 

 

“That was so amazing. Now I know why you wanted to come all the way out here for dinner. I’d travel double the time just to see this again,” Taehyung admitted.

 

“And we’re not done yet,” Jimin said, leading Taehyung back to the bus stop.

 

“What? How many things do you have planned!? This is already so much!”

 

“Just two more things,” Jimin revealed.

 

“Two?! Jiminie-ah, you didn’t have to do this much!”

 

“I keep telling you, I wanted to,” Jimin reminded him, getting on the bus that would take them to their next destination, “are you coming?”

 

Taehyung grabbed Jimin’s outstretched hand with a long-suffering sigh, “I’m never going to be able to top this.”

 

“Nope,” Jimin agreed.

 

“How long until we get off this time?” Taehyung asked, taking a seat.

 

“Half hour or so,” Jimin answered.

 

“Okay,” Taehyung said, leaning on Jimin’s shoulder. He grabbed his phone and started going through the pictures they had taken so far. Some were silly. Some were beautiful. All were memories of the night Jimin had planned. Jimin watched Taehyung flip through them, editing some and saving others. He had a small smile on his face as he did it and sometimes he would laugh at what he was seeing. Before he realized it, they had arrived at their stop. Jimin had been so enthralled in watching Taehyung that he had almost missed it. 

 

“Whoops, Tae-ah, this is us,” Jimin said, jumping up.

 

Taehyung quickly followed him and they left the bus. After some walking, they entered a small square area surrounded by shops and restaurants. In the middle of the area, some event was going on. There were people singing and others watching and clapping politely or enthusiastically as the performer finished.

 

“What is this?” Taehyung asked, turning to Jimin, “a concert?”

 

“Kinda. It’s a live mic night of sorts.” 

 

“Live mic night?” Taehyung repeated.

 

“Yup. Busking.”

 

Taehyung’s eyes widened and he looked at the people singing. After a few moments, he glanced back at Jimin, “are we here to hear them sing?”

 

“No. Though we could do that. I checked, if you want to sing, all you have to do is ask.”

 

Whipping his head around again, Taehyung stared at the performers, “I could do that?”

 

Jimin smiled, “you could. You’d be amazing.”

 

Taehyung nodded, “I’m gunna do it.”

 

“Thank god, because I already gave them your name. You’re on in 20.”

 


 

God, I love you .

 

Seokjin felt his whole body tense and panic set in. He couldn’t believe he has just said that. Out loud. To Namjoon. He glanced up quickly to see Namjoon’s reaction and found what seemed to be shell shock. He hadn’t moved a muscle. Seokjin still held his hands in his own and he was still mostly bent over them. Hastily, Seokjin dropped Namjoon’s hands and stepped away.

 

“I’m just going to strain the pasta,” Seokjin said, grabbing the strainer and pot. 

 

Namjoon nodded to indicate he had heard him but otherwise said nothing. As Seokjin poured out the pasta, silence spread. The only sound was the water pouring out of the pot and then the tap as he rinsed it. 

 

Namjoon still hadn’t moved. 

 

Hoping to overcome the increasingly awkward atmosphere, Seokjin put the pasta back in the pot and placed it on the stove. Grabbing the sauce since it was harder to carry without spilling, Seokjin left the kitchen while asking Namjoon to grab the pasta and bring it to the table. 

 

Before long, Namjoon followed behind, setting the pasta down carefully. Seokjin wasn’t sure what to do now. They had been having fun and he ruined it by blurting out his love when it was far too early in their relationship to do so. Sure, he had been in love with him for years but that was different from confessing outright. 

 

“Did you mean it?” Namjoon asked quietly, snapping Seokjin out of his thoughts.

 

“What?”

“Did you mean it? What you said?”

 

“I-- uh,” Seokjin stuttered, unsure how to respond. Namjoon was looking at him with wide eyes. He was scanning Seokjin’s face, as if waiting for something, “yes.”

 

“Y-you’re sure?” Namjoon asked, feeling a prickling sensation behind his eyes.

 

Seokjin took a deep breath and nodded, “yes. I meant it. I love you, Namjoon-ah. I have for years. Ever since you knocked me over and ruined my shirt.”

 

Namjoon nodded and covered his mouth, trying to hold himself together. It didn’t work. He kneeled down to hide his face and let out a very unhappy sound.

 

“Are you crying? Why are you crying!?” Seokjin yelled, running up and resting a hand on his shoulder.

 

“You never-- I always say I’ve loved you for years but you never-- you don’t respond or address it. I just thought--” Namjoon explained.

 

Hastily, Seokjin thought over their relationship. Namjooon did say stuff like that a lot but Seokjin had always just written it off. It was always said so casually, he had just assumed Namjoon hadn’t meant it like love love, but in the more abstract sense of ‘I’ve been crushing on you forever.’

 

“Ah, Joonie-ah, I’m so sorry,” Seokjin said.

 

Rubbing his face, Namjoon shook his head, “don’t apologize. I’m feeling a lot of emotions right now but if you could just kiss me that’d be great.”

 

“Done.”

 

Seokjin tilted Namjoon’s face up and kissed his forehead. Then both eyes, which were already starting to swell from crying. Before finally settling on his mouth with a soft sigh. The kiss was slow and soft, both smiling a little as they realized what this really meant. Namjoon reached up and intertwined their fingers before ending the kiss and resting his forehead on Seokjin’s shoulder.

 

“I love you too.”

 

“I know,” Seokjin replied, burying his face in Namjoon’s hair.

 

He wished he could say it was a perfect moment. It very much wasn’t. Dinner was on the table, rapidly getting cold. Namjoon had cried . They were still kneeling on the floor, a position that Seokjin’s protesting thighs clearly didn’t like. The candles they had on the table were unlit. There was no romantic music playing or roses. In fact, the only song that could be heard was an American boyband declaring they wanted it that way . But Seokjin smiled anyway. It was as ridiculous as their courting story had been. Nothing about them was ever going to be normal or simple and he couldn’t make himself regret it. 

 

To Seokjin it was perfect.

 

Or was, until his stomach rumbled, breaking the moment. Namjoon’s shoulders began to shake, this time in laughter, and he pulled away.

 

“Hungry, hyung?”

 

He felt a blush rise on his cheeks, “I told you I was.”

 

“Right, let’s eat the delicious meal I slaved over then,” Namjoon joked, standing up and offering his hand to help Seokjin up too. Grabbing on, Seokjin let himself be pulled up and into Namjoon’s arms. He immediately wrapped those arms around Seokjin and kissed him on the forehead. 

 

“I have never been this happy,” Namjoon confessed.

 

Seokjin was about to reply but his stomach rumbled again and Namjoon snorted, “right. Food first. Mushy romance later.”

 

“A man with priorities. I like that,” Seokjin joked, still clearly blushing.

 

“It’s the little things,” Namjoon agreed.

 

“Yea, I can’t wait to learn all of them,” Seokjin added.

 

“Hey, mushy romance later! We decided!” 

 

Seokjin laughed and took his seat, “right, sorry.”

 

They had all the time in the world for that. Neither man could wait.

 


 

“Um, hi guys, my name’s... V. I’m going to sing Sunday Morning . Uh, yea. Here we go.”

 

V? Since when?  

 

Jimin sat off to the side, holding up his phone, waiting for Taehyung to start singing. He had been panicking less than a minute ago, but with the mic in his hand and lyrics on his phone, he looked calm. Jimin wasn’t sure where the name V had come from but he went with it. It certainly wasn’t the first time Taehyung had given a random name when asked for his. Both he and Jungkook had grown used to it. 

 

When the intro to the song was finally done, Jimin sat up straighter and focused on Taehyung. He was singing fairly quietly, but he could still be heard. Jimin had always loved his voice. Deep and soulful, so different from his own. Jungkook was the same way. Their voices were all very different but somehow worked together. Taehyung’s voice brought emotion and weight to whatever he sang and Jimin wanted to hear more of it. Always did. Taehyung didn’t sing as much as he used to now. He was a boy of many passions and when he found one he dedicated himself to it completely. Right now, it was photography. Jimin admitted that the smile he had when he took photos and looked for the perfect angle suited him just as much as the confidence and atmosphere of performing. 

 

After the first course and verse, Taehyung bowed and thanked the crowd, running to where Jimin was sitting. He put down his phone and threw his arms around Taehyung, who snuggled closer.

 

“That was amazing, Tae-ah! I’m so proud.”

 

“It was offkey.” 

 

“No, you were perfect,” Jimin told him.

 

Taehyung looked up at Jimin, who was still smiling and smiled back, “did you record it?”

 

“I did. I promised Kookie-ah I would show him!”

 

“Let me see it first, I wanna make sure it’s worth showing.”

 

“I’m going to show him anyway. He can and will beat me up if I don’t,” Jimin reminded him.

 

Taehyung laughed, “true.”

 

Jimin handed over his phone and stood up, “you can watch it on our way to the next and final location. It’s only a 10-minute walk from here.”

 

Totally engrossed is the video already, Taehyung only nodded and slotted his fingers in-between Jimin’s so he could bring him where they needed to go. He watched the video over and over. Analyzing every note, every movement, every crowd reaction. It was not his best performance, he was not happy, but he could hear Jimin harmonizing with him quietly throughout the video and it made him smile. He loved Jimin’s voice. Next time, Taehyung would make Jimin perform. 

 

Taehyung only noticed Jimin had stopped moving when he bumped into his back. Started, Taehyung looked up and around.

 

Namsan Tower.

 

“What are we doing here?”

 

“You’ll see,” Jimin said with a wide smile, pulling Taehyung with him. 

 

He left him at the lobby though, while he went to buy tickets. Taehyung had been here before, on a school trip in primary school. He and Jimin had hidden near the middle of the observation deck, too scared to go near the edge. Jimin reappeared holding two tickets and led Taehyung to the elevator. They went all the way to the top. When they stepped out onto the observation deck, it was fairly crowded but not so bad that they couldn’t move. 

 

Eagerly, Taehyung and Jimin weaved through the crowd, eventually finding a spot near the edge where they could see the entire city. Seoul stretched out before them, illuminated by lights. Since darkness had fallen, it was a sea of black with shining and flashing lights giving shape to the city.

 

“Wow,” Taehyung said, looking back at Jimin who was watching the view with equal amounts of wonder, “do you remember when we came here before?”

 

Jimin laughed, “yes, I cried and made you stay with me in the middle.”

 

Taehyung laughed too, “I pretended to be brave for you, but I was scared too. I didn’t want to go to the edge either.”

 

“Wow, the truth finally revealed. Such betrayal from a once loyal companion” 

 

“I beg your forgiveness for the deceit,” Taehyung said, leaning into the joke. 

 

“I forgive you. But only because I am monogamous and kind.”

 

“Pretty too.”

 

“Oh shut up!” Jimin gasped out, smacking Taehyung’s arm before leaning in to rest his forehead on his shoulder while he laughed. 

 

Taehyung wrapped his arm around Jimin and looked out at the view again. It really was beautiful but he didn’t know why Jimin had been so determined to end the night here. 

 

“Why here?”

 

“What?”

 

“Why end the night here?” Taehyung clarified.

 

“Oh, uh,” Jimin began pulling back and looking back over the view, “this all started because I made fun of the superstition you cared about so much.”

 

“The roof thing isn’t a big deal, Jiminie-ah, it’s okay,” Taehyung reassured him.

 

“But it’s not. I didn’t consider how you felt about it. And seeing how sad you were just made me realize how much this stuff mattered to you. Romance and corny dates. It made me realize you do stuff for me all the time and I just take it without giving back. I wanted to give back.”

 

Taehyung smiled even if he felt like he was going to cry. Good cry, not bad cry, but he held himself back regardless, “so why Namsan Tower?”

 

“Because we didn’t make it onto the roof.”

 

“The… roof?”

 

Jimin nodded, “we didn’t get to do the one thing you wanted. Kiss on the roof. I know this isn’t the school roof and the superstition probably doesn’t count, but I thought we could make our own. This is a roof of sorts and the view is beautiful..”

 

Taehyung was in shock. Jimin had planned this entire, amazing night just because he wanted to do something that Taehyung wanted. Everything had gone so perfectly. He had chosen a restaurant with food he knew Taehyung wanted to try. He found a beautiful and romantic show that he knew Taehyung would love. He forced him to try busking when he had always been too afraid but really wanted to do it. And now they were standing on the observation deck of Namsan Tower because Jimin wanted to kiss him on the roof just because it meant so much to Taehyung. 

 

I must have saved the country in a past life .

 

“I love you so much. This night has been perfect and I really want to cry but I’m not going to because I don’t want my eyes to be puffy for the 2000 pictures we’re going to send Kookie-ah.”

 

“I love you too, now are you going to kiss me or what? We have to send at least one traumatizing photo or it won’t  be worth it.”

 

Reaching out with both hands, Taehyung grabbed Jimin’s face and pulled him in for a kiss. It was hard and quick and contained way too much teeth, but it was perfect anyway. They kissed again, properly this time, and pulled away just to smile at each other. Like every other place they had gone to tonight, those around them watched fondly, amazed to see such open love so young. And just like before, neither boy noticed because they were too wrapped up in each other.

 


 

At home, Jungkook heard his phone vibrate but ignored it. He was so close to finishing his song and he didn’t want to lose momentum. Once he had the lyrics down, he could work on the beat with Mr. Min and add a dance component with Mr. Jung. Since time was short, the dance and production of the song had to be done simultaneously so the two teachers would have to work together. It was perfect.

 

Finally finishing the last verse, Jungkook put down his pen and grabbed his phone. He had a new picture message. It was from Jimin. Without thinking, he opened it and immediately threw his phone away. 

 

“GAH! What the fuck,” Jungkook choked out. Jimin had sent a photo of him and Taehyung kissing at Namsan Tower. Jungkook had literally no desire to see that. Ever. His friends were the absolute worst. Time for new ones. But even as he scowled in disgust, he couldn’t help but notice how both boys had been smiling. Happiness radiated off them in waves. Jungkook decided that was okay as long as he literally never saw it again. Jungkook glanced at his phone again, where the photo was still up and sighed, pretending he didn’t feel his own smile overpower his scowl. 

 

He supposed their wedding could be the exception. As long as he got to be the best man for both of them. 

 

Leaning back and looking at his ceiling, Jungkook shook his head. Everyone around him was in love or painfully oblivious and Jungkook just wanted to play video games. He promised himself once he sorted out the Mr. Min-Mr. Jung situation he was giving up the mantle of Mr. Love Guru and playing Overwatch for an entire weekend.

 

He couldn’t wait. 

 


 

Yoongi woke up to the sound of his dog barking and knocking at the door. He glanced at the clock on his nightstand and grimaced. 

 

Who the hell is here at 10 a.m. on my day off?

 

Rolling himself out of bed, Yoongi waddled his way to the door and opened it without checking who it was. Holly ran out, circling Hoseok and jumping in search of affection. Hoseok moved the bags he was carrying to one hand and gave Holly a few rubs, as he always did, before standing up and smiling at Yoongi. 

 

“Did you just wake up?”

 

“Yes,” Yoongi replied, voice still rough and deep from sleep.

 

Hoseok snorted and tried to pat down his unruly hair. It stayed down for all of 3 seconds before popping back up, “did you forget we had plans?”

 

“No, I just didn’t think you were going to come this early,” Yoongi explained, stepping away from the door so Hoseok could come in. 

 

“You’re the one who wanted to watch 8 movies,” Hoseok reminded him, crossing the threshold.

 

He immediately went to the kitchen and began unpacking the snacks he had brought. It looked like he had regular snacks like chips and dip but also actual food including…

 

“Are those waffles? From the place by your apartment?” Yoongi asked, perking up.

 

Hoseok laughed and nodded, “they are, but only people who have showered and dressed themselves can have them.”

 

Yoongi grumbled but nodded, leaving to do as he was told. Hoseok smiled as he watched him go and nodded to himself. So far, so good. He could do this. Sleep addled Yoongi had proven to be something he hadn’t realized could be so overwhelming but he managed to persevere. He had seen sleeping Yoongi and just woken up Yoongi a thousand times before. A million even. But now it was different. He had looked so soft and confused, frowning at him once he opened the door. Hoseok had wanted to bundle him up and carry him back to bed but since he knew that was a no-no, he settled for patting his head. Hoseok figured it was good enough. For now. 

 

In the shower, Yoongi was giving himself a pep talk. You can do this. You used to spend entire days with Hoseok-ah all the time. This is nothing new. You got this. You’ll just watch the movie and hang out and it’ll be fine .

 

That resolve lasted two and a half movies. Mostly because, unknown to Yoongi, Hoseok was pushing all the limits they had set for themselves over years of friendship. After Yoongi emerged from the shower, washed and wearing some clean sweats, they had eaten the waffles Hoseok had brought before settling in for the first movie. They had sat on either side of the couch, stretched out with their own blankets. This was their usual position, but Hoseok was having none of that. When he came back to the couch after setting up the second movie, Hoseok plopped down beside Yoongi and rested his head on Yoongi’s shoulder, snuggling down and pulling his blanket up towards his chin. Yoongi looked down in surprise.

 

“Is this okay? The armest was hurting my back,” Hoseok explained.

 

“Of course,” Yoongi replied, lifting his arm so it rested on Hoseok’s shoulder. 

 

You’ll be fine. This is fine.

 

“Thanks, hyung,” Hoseok said, sliding closer. One step at a time, you got this.

 

Halfway through the second movie, Hoseok shifted. Without thinking, Yoongi had begun running his fingers through Hoseok’s hair. It was an old habit, one developed long ago when Hoseok had gotten homesick at sleepovers. It was something Yoongi did almost mindlessly whenever he and Hoseok were close together. But, unlike before, this time, Hoseok shifted and rested his head on Yoongi’s lap so he was laying down entirely and Yoongi had a better angle to pet his hair. His fingers froze for a second, which caused Hoseok to frown sleepily, so he began moving them again. He could tell Hoseok was only barely conscious, people playing with his hair always calmed him and if he was tired he would pass out. That made Yoongi worry that Hoseok hadn’t been sleeping properly but he shrugged it off. It had been a long week, he was probably just tired.

 

When the second movie ended, Hoseok was completely asleep and Yoongi couldn’t bring himself to move. He grabbed his remote and brought up Netflix so he could turn on the third movie. He liked the DVD version he owned better, it was extended, but he’d sacrifice if that meant Hoseok could sleep more. 

 

For the third and most of the fourth movies, Yoongi remained calm. He kept his fingers moving in Hoseok’s hair as he watched the movies for the millionth time. He had almost forgotten Hoseok was in his lap until he began to move around. Yoongi lifted his hand up and waited, thinking Hoseok was waking up, but all he was doing was finding a more comfortable position. He whined a bit, rolling over, then snuggled his face into Yoongi’s stomach, blindly grabbing for Yoongi’s hand again. 

 

Wide-eyed, Yoongi let Hoseok pull his hand back to his hair. Hoseok sighed and snuggled closer, mumbling a quiet, “soft,” before dozing again.

 

Holy fuck.

 

His face is ON MY DICK.

 

What the fuck.

 

Oh, god. Think sad thoughts.

 

Orphaned puppies. Dating in high school. Holly left alone. Hoseok-ah when his family dog died. Hoseok-ah when he met Holly for the first time. NO! That’s cute. Fuck, uh, getting rejected from that record label. Failing math and having to retake it. Having a math class with Hoseok-ah. NO! What the fuck. Um, grandma’s funeral. Fucking up my shoulder. DEATH. ALL THE DEATH.

 

Feeling like he had finally managed to settle himself, Yoongi threw back his head and stared at his ceiling.

 

I know we don’t talk much. Like ever. Not really my thing. But if you can prevent me from popping a boner while my best friend’s head is on my lap and he LITERALLY SNUGGLES MY DICK that would be great. 10/10 would recommend you to a friend. 

 

Sometime in his panic, Yoongi fell asleep. Likely because he had worked himself up to a state of exhaustion. When he awoke, Holly was snuggled into his one side and Hoseok into the other. It was exactly the scene he dreamed about and he felt a sharp pain in his heart knowing it wasn’t really what he wanted. From his place on Yoongi’s lap, Hoseok began to stir, grumbling unhappily. He rolled over and squinted up. When he saw Yoongi looking down at him, he smiled wide, “good morning.”

 

“Pretty sure it’s after 5 but okay,” Yoongi joked.

 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t sleep much last night. It must have caught up with me,” Hoseok apologized. He had spent most of the night tossing and turning from both excitement and worry. Excited that he would have a whole day alone with Yoongi. Worry that he would somehow fuck it up. 

 

“It’s not a big deal. I just woke up too.”

 

“Hmm,” Hoseok mumbled, lifting his hands above his head to stretch. He was still on Yoongi’s lap, “your legs must be numb.”

 

“They’ve seen worse.”

 

Hoseok snorted, “I bet. Let’s grab some snacks and make the pizza I brought. Then we can watch the rest. How far did we get?”

 

“I fell asleep somewhere during 4.”

 

“Thank god. I am not about to watch Cedric die again.”

 

“Spoilers!”

 

“Okay, first of all, you’ve seen these movies a million times. Second of all, they have been out for YEARS. And there’s a book. That’s not how it works.”

 

“Uh huh,” Yoongi commented, turning on the oven for the pizza.

 

“You’re so annoying,” Hoseok whined.

 

“But you love me anyway,” Yoongi immediately returned.

 

“Always.”

 

“Ugh, did you just quote Snape? Who are you? That’s literally the worst justification for how he treated Harry the entire--”

 

Hoseok ran up and covered Yoongi’s mouth with his hands, “oh, my god, it was a joke and I’m sorry. I DO NOT want to hear the Snape-Lily rant again. I can’t. Please spare me.”

 

Yoongi narrowed his eyes but nodded. When Hoseok’s hands lowered, he smirked, “but only because I love you.”

 

“Whatever works,” Hoseok pleaded, kissing Yoongi on the head before turning to grab the pizza now that the oven was preheated.

 

Frozen, Yoongi watched as Hoseok prepped the pizza and placed it on the centre rack.

 

He kissed me.

 

What does that mean?

 

Hoseok turned around and smiled, “everything okay?”

 

“Yes, yea. Just thinking what snacks to bring out,” Yoongi lied.

 

“Oh, well bring everything. I know how you like to switch between multiple snacks and flavours,” Hoseok told him.

 

Yoongi blushed, curse my fair skin , and grabbed the bag of snacks. He fled to the living room to put them on the table, leaving Hoseok alone in the kitchen. 

 

He probably didn’t even notice he did it. Hoseok-ah is just like that. He’s always been affectionate. He cuddled you because he was tired and he kissed your forehead because he was thankful you stopped rambling like an annoying idiot. It meant nothing. Chill. 

 

Feeling calmer, if a little sad, Yoongi returned to the kitchen to find Hoseok texting. He didn’t bother asking who it was, not his business, but he did see Soyi’s name as he went to the fridge for drinks and the stab in his heart returned with a vengeance. 

 

“Want a  beer?’ Yoongi offered.

 

“Only if I can crash here,” Hoseok replied, shoving his phone in his pocket. Soyi had texted to ask how it was going and Hoseok had sent a text wall in reply. She was going to kill him for that on Monday but he couldn’t stop himself.

 

“You know you don’t have to ask,” Yoongi reminded him.

 

“I know,” Hoseok returned, turning to grab the pizza when the timer dinged. 

 

When the pizza and cooled, Yoongi cut it and brought it to the living room. Hoseok was sitting in the middle, where he had fallen asleep before, drinking his beer and staring off into space. He smiled when Yoongi set down the pizza and moved over a bit so Yoongi could take his former seat. Hoping to give himself room to breath, Yoongi sat on the floor instead, missing the flash of hurt on Hoseok’s face. 

 

Just give yourself a little space. You know he’s not into you that way, you need to chill and remember that. Displays of affection do not equal love. Chill.

 

He just wanted to be closer to the table to eat. It’s fine. It’s not an indication of his feelings for you. Or lack thereof. It’s okay. You have four more movies and an entire night to get close again. 

 

Glancing back, Yoongi made eye contact with Hoseok and smiled. For once, they thought the same thing, though their intentions were very different.

 

You got this .