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"I am getting married."

That’s how it starts.

It starts with the buzz of his phone at 3 a.m because Yoongi is in Korea and Seokjin is in New York and time was never on their side anyway.

He does not even have time to process it, to see what the rest of the text said because his beeper flashed with a code.

He had lives to save.

*

The girl is a teenager. Freshly 16, from what her chart says. What he gets from the friends that surrounded her is that they don’t know what had happened. One second, she was driving, next second her body was shaking, and the car went straight into a tree.

“Do you know if she was on any seizure medications?” he asks quickly, eyes darting at the monitor wondering how much time he had before they had to go into emergency surgery.

“We…I don’t know… we don’t tell each other that kind of stuff,” the girl with the nose piercing cried. “She wasn’t even supposed to be driving, she was grounded but I don’t have my license and-“

“Please will she be okay?”

Seokjin watches as the monitor begins blaring. He looks at the nurse as the friends scream in terror. “Get these two out of the room and get me a crash cart now!”

“3,2,1 clear!”

The paddles touch the girl’s porcelain chest, but the monitor keeps beeping, yelling at Seokjin to do something. He ignores it and yells to increase the charge. “Okay again, 3, 2,1 clear!”

Her body is moved up because of the shock, but the monitor is still blaring. “Come on! Don’t give up on me,” he yells as if she can hear.

He gives up on the paddles and just starts doing chest compressions. “Come on, come on!”

There’s a crack as he feels the girl’s ribs break from the pressure. Seokjin’s mind is going at 75 miles per hour. “Come on!”

He feels a hand on his shoulder, squeezing. “Kim-let go.”

Seokjin ignores it. He has time. He still has time.

Another crack is heard and Seokjin wonders why it is so loud when he realizes the monitor is silent now, showing one straight line. One long continuous beep.

Something breaks then. Not the girl’s ribs, but something inside him, as he sees he stares at the monitor. He moves away silently, backing up into the counter. His eyes dart to the clock.

“Time of death, 4:32 am.”

*

So that’s how it starts.

And that’s how he ends up at a shitty bar somewhere in the city the next night because Hoseok told him to. The younger is staring at him, curiously, and Seokjin finds it annoying.

“Whatever you were going to say, don’t.”

He sips on the vodka peach soda, but it does not taste like anything. He really needed to try something different next time.

“You lost a patient hyung. You should talk about it.”

Seokjin snorts. “I work in the emergency department Hoseok. I see death every day. You think one patient is going to affect me? I’ll get over it.”

The younger shifts, eyeing the drink that Seokjin has just downed. “Is that what you tell yourself? You’ll get over it?”

Seokjin’s feels his body go warm, the alcohol burning his throat. “I have to get over things. That’s our job as doctors Hobi.” He waves his hand around, “All this? Temporary. You know how quickly everything can be taken away?”

“Hyung.”

He snaps his fingers. “Just like that. There one second, gone the next.”

“Are we still talking about your patient?”

Seokjin fidgets, pulling his sweater further down to cover up his hands. It was barely the start of October, and New York was only just getting cold. October, right. He should probably get some Halloween candy, maybe some decorations. A pumpkin too. He swears he had some fake cobwebs he could put over his bushes.

“Hyung!”

Seokjin blinks. “What?”

Hoseok looks worried. But Hoseok is always worried, that was his job as his best friend. It was also his profession, as one of the best pediatric psychiatrists in the city. But Seokjin was not a child, and he did not need his shrink of a best friend to psychoanalyze him.

They had met in medical school. Somewhere between the all-nighters, the coffee runs, and the stress, he found himself enjoying the younger’s company. Both of them had the same drive and passion and sometimes Seokjin would let his mind wander. He thinks he could have loved Hoseok, maybe. There were times when he saw the look in the younger’s eyes, the want for more, but it would be gone a second later. Hoseok was good at that. Compartmentalizing.

Anyways, not that it mattered. They slept together a couple of times. Maybe more than a couple. It would be a hard day at school which over the years turned into a hard day at work which turned into a hard day in general.

Seokjin should feel bad.  He knows that no matter how many times they have sex, it will not fill the void that Yoongi left behind.

Yoongi.

God, he needs another drink.

“Hyung, I’m taking your credit card away,” Hoseok says when he sees Seokjin wave for the bartender, barely audible over the buzzing in Seokjin’s ears. “I think we should go home.”

“Nobody is waiting for me at home. I don’t want to go there.”

“We can go to mine then, I am sure Jimin won’t mind.”

He shrugs. Of course, Jimin would mind. Jimin has been in love with Hoseok for years, and he hates Seokjin for being a constant cockblock.

Hoseok frowns. “He does not think of you like that. He is just my roommate.”

Seokjin snorts, realizing he said all that out loud. He would be embarrassed but the liquid flowing through his veins is not letting him feel anything. “Right.”

“I’m serious. He’s dating Kook. Promise you won’t say anything weird if I take you home with me.”

Kook? Seokjin furrows his brow, trying to remember who that is. Then he remembers the bunny faced but fully built boy. Orthopedic surgery if he remembers correctly. They met a couple of times in the kitchen of Jimin and Hoseok’s apartment, a common sight after both of them had slept over.

“Okay, but I’m not wrong.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes.

*

When they enter the townhouse, Seokjin immediately regrets it. Moans and creaking can be heard from the bedroom downstairs, and he groans out loud.

A little too loud apparently because the sounds stop immediately. Both him and Hoseok just shake their heads and toe-off their shoes, placing them neatly on the rack next to the door. Seokjin takes off his jacket next, handing it to Hoseok who puts it in a hanger in the closet.

“You want any water before we go upstairs?” the younger says, and Seokjin just shakes his head. Too much liquid in his body for today.

“That wasn’t a question. Come here.”

Seokjin sighs and walks over to the kitchen where Hoseok was standing and takes the glass from him. As he drinks it, a door from the hallway opens and he sees Jimin come out, only wearing a long sweater that hung low, his boxers barely peeking out. Seokjin almost calls him out for the obscene outfit but remembers the promise he made to Hoseok and just raises his eyebrow instead. Jimin ignores him and looks at Hoseok.

“I thought you were on call today? You’re back early.”

“Why, were we interrupting something?” Seokjin asks because he can’t help himself. Jimin flicks his eyes toward the elder and is about to retort back, but Hoseok quickly intervenes.

“I am, I didn’t drink though. Hyung did, but we decided to just call it a night.” He pauses for a second, then nods his head to the hallway. “Is that JK?”

JK? God, how many nicknames did this kid have, Seokjin thinks.

Jimin flushes. “Yeah um. We are both on call too, and so you know. “

“Oh we know,” Seokjin says, winking. He finds it funny and giggles, but Jimin does not.

“Well nice to see you hyung. I better try and get some sleep before I get paged or something.”

And with that he turns around, disappearing into the hallway.

“You know, for being a cardiologist, he sure has a pretty cold heart.”

Hoseok pinches him and Seokjin lets out a yelp.

*

The city never sleeps and neither does Seokjin.

It was a problem he had acquired in undergrad, the Adderall that he got from his classmates and the Red Bull from vending machines keeping him up as he studied for exam after exam. Now the only way he can find himself sleeping is if he exhausts himself to the point that he passes out.

When he was young and did not know of the coldness of his world, he had real dreams. He was going to be the best doctor in the world, he was going to have a wife who is also a doctor and kids who would run around the house and keep it loud. Dreams spoon-fed by his immigrant parents who worked hard to come to the USA from Korea, sending him to college when they barely had anything to live by.

It was definitely an immigrant child thing. That you had to prove yourself worthy, to give a reason for your parent’s sacrifices. And he was not mad about it. Unlike other immigrant kids who rebelled and refused to do what their parents wanted, Seokjin did not mind becoming a doctor. Maybe he was influenced a bit, but he fell in love with the career all by himself.

He still remembers his parents’ reactions when he got into a top college. Then into a top medical school. Always top of his class. He was the golden standard, the one parents would show their kids to look up to and be inspired.

He was it. He was what everyone should be.

But they didn’t really know him, did they? Not his parents, not Hoseok, not the neighbor kids, not Jimin or Kook.

They didn’t know him like Yoongi did.

He pulls up his sweater and sees the tattoo etched there, tiny and on his wrist.

A tear rolls out as he listens to Hoseok’s deep, steady, even breaths. 

He opens up the conversation between him and Yoongi.

Min Yoongi:

I am getting married

I’m getting older you know?

His name is Kim Taehyung, my parents picked him out

Think we are meeting this weekend

Hopefully it works out I guess

Me:

I’m happy for you

Let me know how it goes!

The text bubble pops up immediately, and Seokjin stares, as it disappears, then pops up again.

Min Yoongi:

Jin-ah. Tell me how you are?

Me:

A girl died

So not great

Min Yoongi:

Shit

Wanna talk about it?

I’m here for you

Always

Me:

I’m fine, was just about to sleep

Hoseok keeps tossing and turning

He hates the light, so I better go

Min Yoongi:

You’re sleeping w him again?

Min Yoongi:

You know how he feels about you

Don’t lead him on

Me:

He’s my best friend

Min Yoongi:

Right

Me:

I’m going to bed

Min Yoongi:

Ok,tell Hobi I said hi

Me:

Sure

Min Yoongi:

Goodnight Jinnie

Me:

Night

*

He wakes up to the sound of shuffling.

Hoseok is pulling on some dark blue scrubs, moving around the room as he throws stuff into the bag he carries to work. It was unusual to see the younger in scrubs, mostly wearing just business attire, so Seokjin perks up.

“Where are you going?”

The psychiatrist looks up from his phone. “Some new case, they need a psych eval before they can proceed with anything. I’m on call today remember?”

“I’ll come with,“ he says immediately, pulling the covers to the side. He was sober enough.

“No, you are off. And you know the Chief is going to get pissed if you work another day without a break. There are laws for a reason Jin hyung.”

Seokjin frowns. “I hate that old white man.”

Hoseok laughs, before sitting on the edge of the bed, next to Seokjin’s legs. He tilts his head to the side and brings his hand to the elder’s cheek. For a second, Seokjin thinks Hoseok is going to lean in and go for a kiss but he just smiles.

“Just…keep moving today okay? You can stay here, I think Jimin already left but Jungkook will be here. Maybe you guys can like bond and shit.”

Now Seokjin rolls his eyes. “I highly doubt the child is going to want to hang out with me.”

“I think you’ll be surprised.”

And with that, Hoseok leaves the room and Seokjin is left in the dark again. He decides it is pointless trying to go back to sleep and forces himself to go to the bathroom and freshen up.

He has spent countless nights at Hoseok’s to the point that he has an extra toothbrush waiting for him at the sink, and his clothes in the younger’s closet. He tries not to think about what that means, or implies.

By the time he makes it downstairs, Jungkook is already there, drinking coffee. His long hair is tied up in a messy bun, and he was only wearing sweatpants with a loose long-sleeved black shirt. Seokjin is reminded of his scene phase in high school and shudders.

“Dude! What’s up? I did not know you slept over last night.”

It was too early to deal with this much talking. He just grunts and goes to open a cabinet, grabbing his mug. Yes his mug that he got Hoseok, which says, “You’re my person” because they both watched Grey’s Anatomy and were cute like that.

“Any plans for today? Are you on call?”

Seokjin blinks. “No, I’m not. You?”

Jungkook shakes his head. “ I was but then someone said they would take it so. I was about to hit the gym. Want to come?”

“Are you sleeping with Jimin so you can get access to their gym?”

The younger smirks. “One of the many perks. So you in?”

*

There are stereotypes about orthopedic surgeons and somehow Jungkook meets all of them.

“You are fucking insane do you know that?” Seokjin pants, as Jungkook increases the speed on his treadmill.

“Come on old man, it’s only a couple miles. We need to do a set of pull-ups next.”

Jungkook is a fitness maniac, but he was patient. He does the same things he asks Seokjin to do, but more sets and with heavier weights. Seokjin spots the younger as he bench presses, and he prays to God he never gets on Jungkook’s bad side.

By the time they finish their entire routine, Seokjin feels his body shaking. They both make it to Jimin and Hoseok’s apartment before he collapses on the living room floor. Jungkook lets out a laugh before walking to the kitchen and filling up his water bottle with water. He walks back over and squats next to the elder. “Here take it.”

“Thanks,” he replies, before sitting up to gulp it down. “You know, if this is how you are at the gym, I pray for Jimin.”

Jungkook giggles and Seokjin finds himself looking fondly. “Jimin hyung likes it though.”

“Ugh, gross.”

“Oh come on. I feel like this is the beginning of a new friendship. And I feel like I should be able to tell you about my love life.”

“Love?”

Jungkook turns red and immediately starts picking at the carpet. “Just a phrase.”

He clears his throat, thinking about if Jimin knew. Or if Hoseok knew. “Well anyways. I probably should head back home.”

“Yeah, me too. Can I have your number though? I think we should hang out again soon. You’re super cool hyung.”

Seokjin pauses. The last thing he needs is for Jimin to find more reasons to hate him, and becoming Jungkook’s new buddy would probably piss him off. But it was nice hanging out with someone who wasn’t Hoseok. When is the last time he made a genuine friend?

Jungkook looks expectantly, and honestly how could anyone say no to that bunny face. He sighs and hands over his phone.

He better not regret this.

*

“Please tell me that blood is fake and not real.”

Halloween is a special kind of hell for the Emergency Department. Seokjin really hates working holidays in general, and he technically could have opted out for this Halloween but he would rather be here than trust any of the new hires who were forced to work.

His first case is a little girl, dressed as Elsa, but her dress was splotched with red everywhere. Her face is contorted into a painful expression as her mother looks worriedly.

“She couldn’t be a normal Disney princess, she had to make it all bloody and dark, I swear your father is always letting you get away with everythin-“

Seokjin clears his throat and faces the child. “Hey sweetie, can you tell me your name?”

A sniffle, before, “Mina.”

“Mina, can you tell me where it hurts?”

She points to her head, and he sees the nasty gash, grimacing as he realizes that it would definitely need stitches. He puts some gloves on. “Okay we are going to get you cleaned up okay? It’s going to hurt a little bit, but I promise you’ll feel better.”

“Will I have a scar?”

The gash was pretty big, and pretty deep, and he can see that the mom is anxious, so he decides to be light about it. He takes the gauze and alcohol from the nurse and starts wiping down the affected area. “Have you seen Harry Potter Mina?”

“I read all the books!” Mina says, even though she is squirming, tears dropping as the alcohol burns her skin. “I know it hurts sweetheart, I’m sorry. Just a little bit longer I promise. You can squeeze Mom’s hand though?”

He looks over to the Mother who nods, and holds on to her daughter’s hand.

“Well you’re going to have a cool scar just like Harry! Now you will have a story to tell everyone at parties. You’ll be the coolest kid in school.”

As he gets ready to put the stitches in, the door opens.

He turns to see probably the most gorgeous man he has ever seen. Just like Seokjin, he was in scrubs, but unlike Seokjin, his were light blue instead of dark blue. His brown eyes were etched with worry as he rushes over to the side of the hospital bed. Seokjin sees the badge hanging on his waist.

Namjoon Kim

M.D

Fellow

Cardiology

 

“Mina! Are you okay? What happened?”

His voice is deep, and something stirs inside Seokjin seeing the interaction.

“Daddy! I’m fine! I promise.”

The doctor ignores her and turns to Seokjin who feels hot under the man’s gaze. Get a grip Seokjin. He has a wife and child.

“Why are you not doing anything? She is literally covered in blood!”

“Um-“

“Mina, it’s okay baby. Daddy’s here, I’m gonna make sure you’re okay alright? Okay hold on-“

“Sir!”

The man looks at an annoyed Seokjin. “What? My daughter is bleeding out on this table and you have the audacity to yell at me?”

“Daddy it’s fake blood!”

Seokjin watches as the man looks from Mina back to him. “It’s wha-oh Jesus Christ.”

“Can I do my job now?” Seokjin says, giving a half-smile. “How about you hold her other hand?”

The cardiologist nods, shifting to the other side of the bed where Seokjin sat on his wheely chair to hold his daughter’s hand.

“I thought you were going to be Elsa.”

Mina looks up. “I am Elsa! Bloody Elsa!”

“Well Miss bloody Elsa, it is time to put these stitches in. You ready?” Seokjin directs.

The girl’s lip is shaking but she just nods, holding tightly on to her parent’s hands.

*

It takes a half-hour with a lot of consoling and some screaming, but Seokjin finishes the job. Before he can properly say goodbye to the family, he is dragged into another room.

As he continues working the night, he can’t help but think about Namjoon Kim. He was a cardiology fellow, so that’s probably why he never saw him at work, but he wonders why he never bumped into him ever. A lot of the attendings would send their residents or fellows to do their dirty work in the ED so they can focus on higher priority patients.

Cardiology…hm. Jimin was a cardiology resident, and he wonders if the younger knew him. Though he feels Jimin would not tell him even if he did.

A part of him feels a bit unsettled, a little on edge. That’s how he always imagined he would be by that age. To have a wife and a kid. Or maybe a husband and a kid. Now he has nothing.

He pushes his existential crisis to the side and continues working until it finally slows down at five a.m. He bumps into Jungkook more than once, which wasn’t a surprise considering the number of broken bones he had seen today.

As he walks into the parking lot, he feels his phone beep.

Min Yoongi:

Hey

Miss u ☹

We should catch up soon

Seokjin almost turns off his phone, but sighs and answers anyways.

Me:

Just got off a night shift

But yeah we should eventually

Min Yoongi:

Taehyung is nice

I really like him I think

Me:

You think?

Min Yoongi:

Yeah I mean I don’t know him

But he’s good so far

So if you get a wedding invite soon

U better come

Me:

Of course

Wouldn’t miss it

*

He’s drinking again.

It’s another off day, the old white devil(“stop calling him that, he’s very nice,” Hoseok had said) telling Seokjin he had to take the weekend to rest.

A football game was playing on the screen, college students gathered around in face paint, cheering as another touchdown was scored.  Seokjin watches them laugh and hug each other in a drunken haze, wondering how long it had been since he was happy like that.

One of the students turns from the screen and accidentally manages to lock eyes with Seokjin. The man smiles, teeth shining white against the lights of the small bar. Seokjin feels the sides of his mouth turn up as well and lifts his drink in the direction of the crowd before rising it to his lips, never dropping eye contact. I still got it.

Somehow the drink does not end up inside his mouth, but on his shirt and pants. It happens so fast, that when he blinks again, there is a mountain of a man standing in front of him.

“Shit! Sorry, sorry, I can buy you another drink?”

The worried brown eyes are still present in Namjoon Kim, and Seokjin just watches as the guy grabs tissues off the counter and starts handing them over to Seokjin, who just silently pats them on his sticky pants.

“I’m so sorry, god first I yelled at you in front of my daughter and now I spilled a drink on you. Shit fuck-“

Seokjin’s ears perk. So he did recognize him. “I deal with way crazier and more overprotective parents every day.” He motions the man to sit across from him at the stool.

Namjoon seems to ease, but only a little. “Still it was so unprofessional, I just saw so much blood and kind of freaked.”

The elder laughs. “A cardiologist being scared of blood? Bit ironic don’t you think” Seokjin freezes for a second when he realizes that the man probably thinks he’s a stalker. “Saw your badge that’s how I-anyways I’m Seokjin Kim,” he says extending his hand out. “Emergency Department attending, but you probably figured that out.”

“Namjoon Kim, cardiology fellow, the younger replies with a chuckle as he shakes Seokjin’s hand. “I’m not scared of blood, just of people I care and love for getting hurt.”

“Understandable,” Seokjin says. He takes another tissue and starts wiping his shirt. “So what is a cardiology resident and loving father and husband doing at a bar on Friday night?”

Namjoon waves for the bartender to get them drinks before he answers. “Just father actually. Mina’s mother is my ex.”

Ex.

The man is looking at Seokjin with his head tilted. “I got off today because Chief is demanding we start assigning our work to the residents and interns-be teachers instead of doing it all ourselves.”

“God I hate that white devil,” Seokjin says in Korean, causing Namjoon to laugh out loud in response. Seokjin’s face heats as he realizes the cardiologist has deep, deep dimples. Fucking hell.

“Do you speak in Korean a lot?”

“Not really, just with my parents. Sometimes my friends when I don’t want white people to know what I’m saying.”

“Brought up here I’m guessing?”

“Boston.”

“Chicago.”

And so the night passes like this, Seokjin learning bits and pieces of Namjoon Kim. Of his tiny hometown in the suburbs of Chicago, how he stayed in state for both undergrad and medical school and cardiology residency, how he got matched for a fellowship here for pediatric cardiology.

“And how does the ex fit in this grand story,” Seokjin states, his mind a little blurry and his inhibitions a little lowered.

“She doesn’t,” Namjoon replies matter-of-factly. “Only Mina does, and she’s safe at a friend’s slumber party tonight.”

Seokjin downs his drink.

*

“You know this is a bit unethical,” Seokjin breathes out as Namjoon bites down on his collarbone.

“The sleeping with a coworker part or sleeping with your patient’s father part?”

Seokjin rolls his eyes as he makes a quick scan of the apartment he was in. It was a massive loft, but he was not able to take in much of it as Namjoon pushes him into the hallway and into what looked like the master bedroom.

Hook-ups are not new to Seokjin, and he was well versed in the etiquette of how quick they go, but Namjoon Kim was taking his sweet time.

They were on the bed, still kissing, hands wandering, helping each other take off the items of clothing. “You always this slow with the people you bring home?” Seokjin asks in between breaths, wincing as the cold air bites against his naked body.

“You always this talkative before someone puts their dick inside of you?” Namjoon asks as he spreads the lube over his fingers. Seokjin gulps at the action, his head going back and hitting the pillow as he feels himself slowly be opened up.

“You’re so pretty like this baby.”

“You know,” Seokjin says, moving upward until he was almost on the younger’s lap, his mouth moving to Namjoon’s ear for a whisper. “Back home, you would call me hyung.”

The younger raises an eyebrow, looking Seokjin up and down. “Well, hyung, do you think you can ride me?”

Seokjin feels a chill run up his spine as Namjoon stares, his eyes full of want. “Do I think? You’re about to get the be-“

And Namjoon’s lips are on him again before he can finish his sentence, both of them shifting around until Seokjin was fully on the younger’s lap, Namjoon holding him steady with a hand on his back. “You ready?”

Seokjin doesn’t answer and instead slowly lowers himself down on to the man, thankful that Namjoon had slid on a condom. He feels the burn as he slowly adjusts, the younger encouraging him by rubbing the sides of his waist. When he has finally taken all of it in, he feels himself let out a breath. God-fucking shit, maybe he should thank the white devil for forcing him to take off.

“Just like that,” Namjoon breathes out, and Seokjin almost snaps at him that he knows what he is doing but then Namjoon shifts and Seokjin can feel his insides go to mush.

Seokjin ignores the burn in his thighs and without shame, moves himself up and down Namjoon’s cock.  He hears a “Shit hyung,” and finds himself smirking at the younger’s shocked face. He looked a bit ridiculous actually, and Seokjin giggles in endearment.

Hands grip tighter around Seokjin’s waist, and he knows there will be a bruise tomorrow. “What’s so funny?”

Seokjin just shakes his head and instead wraps his hand around Namjoon’s neck, pulling him in until they were kissing again. He was slowly losing rhythm, allowing Namjoon to finally take over, fucking up into him as his grip on the other’s shoulder tightened.

“Let me,” the younger says in between breaths, letting go of Seokjin’s waist for his length, working it as Seokjin tried to not see stars.

Namjoon was whispering obscenities in his ear something about baby and look how good you are for me and Seokjin was melting, he was melting and he was so so so close-

“Come for me baby, come on,” he hears, and with one more stroke from the younger, he finally spills out. Everywhere, on the younger’s hand to Namjoon’s chest, and a little on himself.

Seokjin waits as Namjoon tries to chase his orgasm, fucking into him a couple more times, needy thrusts as he finishes off with a groan. Seokjin feels so fucked out, he doesn’t even have the energy to move off the younger. When Namjoon finally moves them apart, he winces.

They both roll off of each other, panting and flushed. Seokjin is staring at the ceiling, but he can hear Namjoon get up to throw away the used condom as the wooden floor creaks.

“So, that was fun.”

Seokjin raises an eyebrow and turns to see the younger walk back to the bed, laying down next to him. What he doesn’t expect is the younger to raise his hand up.

“Are you trying to high five me?!”

Namjoon frowns, his hand slowly going down. “I always high five after a job well done.”

Seokjin is appalled. “We had sex, we didn’t win a baseball game or something.”

The younger is still frowning, and his eyes a little hurt, god- a grown-ass man was using puppy dog eyes at him. God, what has his life come to that-

“Fine here, high five.”

The younger brightens at the sound of the clap, smiling. “See, don’t you feel like you accomplished something great? Don’t you feel happier?”

Seokjin snorts. Weirdly enough, he did find himself smiling, a little bit more cheerful than he usually would feel after a one night stand. Not that he would ever admit that to this half-stranger anyways.

“Well, this has been fun, I should,” he points his thumb to the door, “So yeah, was nice meeting you Namjoon Kim.”

And he meant it, Namjoon had been sweet and courteous, something you usually would not get with random guys from a bar who just want someone to fuck.

The younger looks like he’s about to protest, but Seokjin is already searching for his clothes, getting ready to pull them on.

“Your clothes are probably all sticky from the beer I spilled on them. If you aren’t going to stay the night, at least take something to wear.”

Seokjin looks from the dirty clothes to Namjoon. The last thing he needed was to be walking in the cold with wet, sticky clothes. “Fine, but how will I give them back?”

Namjoon is already walking to the closet, throwing out a sweatshirt and sweatpants on to the bed. He looks from out of the closet and smirks.

“Did you forget we work together?”

*

Seokjin had planned to keep whatever happened with Namjoon under wraps, praying that maybe he could hand him his clothes in a back alley behind the hospital or something. The last thing he needed was for gossip to filter around his place of work about his sexual history.

So at 8:45 on a Tuesday morning, he was not expecting an excited Dr.Jeon to burst into the attendings' lounge, screaming, “You slept with Namjoon?”

Credit to him, he did say it in Korean, which gave Seokjin some hope that the kid had some sense in him. Seokjin jumps and almost spills his coffee at the outburst, looking around to make sure nobody else was present. Except for some other internal medicine attending who was sleeping on the couch, the lounge had luckily been vacant.

Jungkook rushes forward to him, ignoring the glare he was getting from Seokjin. “Is it true? Did you really sleep with him?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Seokjin says, scanning his scrubs to see if there was any coffee spilled he didn’t see.

“Oh come on. Jimin was telling me that Namjoon told him about a Korean EM doc from this hospital that he slept with this Friday and you are like the only one!”

Seokjin’s eyes meet up to Jungkook immediately. “Wait, Jimin knows?”

The surgeon nods. “Yeah, he was pissed. He kinda thinks Namjoon is his mentor and/or God himself. Kind of annoying really, makes me wonder if Jimin likes him. But at the same time, have you seen that man’s thighs? Oh wait you have but anyways I can’t blame him honestly I wouldn’t mind having a piece of that either-“

Seokjin filters out whatever Jungkook is saying into a buzzing noise, his mind only thinking one thing: Jimin knows.

Jimin knows which means-

He feels his phone beep on cue.

Hoseok

Anything you forget to mention to me?

Oh fucking hell.

*

Seokjin ignores his phone the rest of the day and avoids the attending lounge entirely in fear of seeing Hoseok or worse, Namjoon.

It doesn’t matter in the end, because as he is getting ready to go to his car after his shift, he hears the tell-tale laugh of his best friend and his roommate.

When Jimin and Hoseok approach him in the parking garage, they aren’t smiling anymore. Seokjin would comment that both of them look a bit stupid trying to corner him like they were some drug overlords.

“So, heard it is supposed to start snowing tomorrow,” Seokjin says lightly, glancing between the two. “We should probably carpool or something so we can just save on the gas-“

“Cut the bullshit and drive to our place,” Jimin says, voice colder than the wind outside. Even Hoseok seems surprised and raises an eyebrow at the youngest.

“Hyung, we just want to talk,” he says, treading more lightly. “Just come over, okay?”

 Hoseok seems so sad, his face filled with pity that Seokjin can’t stand to look at him. “Yeah sure.”

And that’s how he ends up at the ParkJung residence an hour later, making sure to take the longest route possible, blaming the New York traffic when Jimin asks why he took forever.

All three settle down at the dining room table, equipped with some coffee that Hoseok had made. It tastes bitter, but Seokjin refuses to add any sugar.

“Is Jungkook not staying over tonight?”

Jimin’s eyes darken at the mention of the younger’s name. “He isn’t needed for this conversation.”

Seokjin sits back and crosses his arms. “Well? Go ahead and say your pieces about how I am being self-damaging by sleeping with strangers. Go ahead and tell me I’m doing this because I’m not over Yoongi or that I need to learn to love myself before I find someone else.”

Hoseok sighs. “Hyung, we know how you get when shit hits the fan. You have been drinking more than usual, and Yoongi-hyung told me about how he’s getting married-“

Seokjin feels the breath get knocked out of his chest. “What?”

Jimin is biting his lip looking anxiously from Hoseok to Seokjin. “He told you right? About Taehyung-“

Seokjin waves Jimin off. “Obviously, yeah. He said he liked him and they were dating.”

“I mean yeah,” Hoseok starts, “but they announced they’re getting married a couple days ago. On Friday, actually. That’s why I thought you-“

Seokjin doesn’t hear anything anymore. Outwardly, he knows Hoseok and Jimin are talking to him, but inside all he hears is Yoongi is getting married. Yoongi is getting married to some guy named Taehyung. Yoongi is getting married. It’s over.

Every second of their relationship plays in Seokjin’s head, every kiss, every birthday, every New Year’s. It was done. It was finished.

It’s over.

Yoongi is getting married.

“Hyung? Are you okay, shit, hyung!”

Seokjin blinks and is brought back to reality. Hoseok and Jimin look worried, a first for Jimin, Seokjin thinks. He wonders why Jimin is even here, probably to defend Namjoon’s rights or something. Or maybe he was a sadistic fuck who liked watching Seokjin in agony.

Regardless of Jimin, the last thing he needs is for Hoseok to worry. The younger had been nothing but supportive since the beginning and had been there holding him through every coping mechanism Seokjin had used to get over Yoongi. He can’t let Hoseok down again.

And that’s when it hits him.

“Namjoon and I are dating.”

Jimin starts choking and Hoseok just stares in disbelief. He knows both of them are about to call him out on his bullshit, but he thinks he can make it work.

“We didn’t want to tell anyone yet, and he was testing the waters by telling Jimin he slept with me,” Seokjin continues. Jimin opens his mouth in protest, but Seokjin keeps going. “We ran into each other in a bar one day after work and slept together but then went out a couple times after that. The reason we have kept it under wraps is because it is all very new, and I haven’t met Mina properly yet.”

Mentioning Mina was the final punch, and it shuts Jimin up immediately. He hadn’t told anyone about meeting Namjoon or his daughter on Halloween night, and he decides at the moment, it was the best that way.

When Jimin and Hoseok still don’t say anything, Seokjin sighs. “I’m going to admit, I am really shocked about Yoongi, he didn’t tell me all this. But I am going to be okay. I’ve moved on.”

There’s a silence, and Seokjin can hear the heating turn on.

“Namjoon hyung is a good person,” Jimin says finally. “If you even think about hurting him-“

Seokjin knows what he means when Jimin turns slightly to Hoseok. No more messing around with his best friend. He just nods, and Jimin sits back, face still in a frown.

Hoseok still seems uneasy, but just looks Seokjin up and down. “Okay.”

Seokjin breathes out.

Now he just needs to convince a certain mountain of a man to be his pretend boyfriend.

Chapter Text

“What do you mean no?”

“I mean no.”

Seokjin huffs in frustration, trying not to glare at his boss, who didn’t even look up at him from the paperwork at his desk.

“I don’t get it,” he says after a pause. “Thought you would want me to work more. I like working. And I can do a damn good job too. You know I’m the best EM doctor we have.”

The Chief of Surgery finally makes eye contact. “That is the exact problem Kim. We are a team here, I need you to start trusting in other doctors as well to do their job.”

Seokjin opens his mouth to retort back a response but the Chief is not done.

“You are not working Thanksgiving. I already told Miller to take your shift. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get this report done.”

*                                                                                          

“And then he has the audacity to tell me to get a hobby!” Seokjin says angrily between bites of the bland salad from the hospital cafeteria. Usually, he packs his lunch, but since he had the meeting with the Chief early this morning, he did not have time.

Jungkook just nods his head, scrolling through his phone. “Maybe he should get a hobby.”

“His hobby is torturing me,” Seokjin muttered. “What am I supposed to do all Thanksgiving now?”

The younger perks up. “You aren’t heading back to Boston?”

Seokjin shakes his head. “My parents decided to go on a two-month long cruise because that’s apparently something you do when you are retired.”

“What about Namjoon Hyung? You guys aren’t spending it together?”

Namjoon. Jungkook had learned the news from Jimin last night, frantically texting Seokjin, I knew it!!!

He still has not managed to talk to Namjoon, avoiding it until it physically was impossible not to. Jimin was off today, so there was still a chance that the both of them have not spoken. Even though Jimin had told Jungkook, he knew the younger would never directly ask Namjoon about his love life over text. There was too many professional boundaries. Seokjin is thankful for once that Jimin is a stickler for rules.

“Don’t know his plans yet,” Seokjin says, “I don’t want to intrude on anything, so I haven’t asked.”

Jungkook nods understandingly. “If he’s free, you should bring him to dinner. Would be cool to meet him outside of work anyway.”

Seokjin raises an eyebrow. “I thought you all were working that day?”

“We are,” the younger says, mouth full. “But we should be home for dinner.”

Seokjin smiles at the term we. “You sure Jimin won’t mind?”

“Even if he does, you know Hoseok hyung will insist.” A pager goes off, and Jungkook groans looking at it. “I need to get to this surgery, but think about it okay? And ask Namjoon hyung if he’s free.”

He watches Jungkook walk away and he almost laughs. Sure, of course he will ask Namjoon Kim, his one night stand, if he’s free to play pretend boyfriend for Thanksgiving.

*

“Okay.”

Seokjin pauses. “Did you just hear what I said? I need you to-“

The cardiologist leans against the counter, next to the coffee machine. They were in the attendings' lounge, mostly deserted after a long day. Soon enough, the night shift would start trickling in.

“Yeah, I did. I’m down, but I just have one rule.”

A part of Seokjin was hoping that Namjoon would disagree, or at least say he was busy and could not make Thanksgiving dinner. To be honest, he did not think he would get this far in the conversation, and so he just nods his head as a response.

“Mina cannot know that this is fake either.”

The kid. Seokjin almost forgot for a second that Namjoon is a father, with parental responsibilities. “What do you mean?”

Namjoon bites his lip, and Seokjin tries not to stare at the movement. “Mina has been on my case about finding someone. She thinks I’m lonely and asks why I don’t have anyone like her mother does.”

Seokjin stills. “You want me to lie to your seven-year-old daughter?”

“Okay when you put it like that,” Namjoon starts but then stops before letting out a breath. “Look, we both have our reasons for doing this.”

“I guess that is fair,” he replies, trying to sound casual. “So deal then? We both just text each other when we need our services or whatever.”

Namjoon laughs at that. “Services? What am I, an escort?”

Seokjin reddens. “Shut up.”

The younger is still chuckling, shaking his head. “I do need your number to be able to text you though.”

They both exchange phones, Seokjin quickly typing his name in. When he gets his phone back, he sees that Namjoon had put himself in as Babe with two hearts afterward. He looks up and raises his eyebrow.

“Don’t look at me like that,” Namjoon says, with a half-grin. “If you want people convinced, you can’t just have your name.”

Seokjin is about to retort when he sees a notification pop up.

Min Yoongi

Can’t sleep-r u free to talk?

 

He feels acid build-up and swirl around his stomach. What time was it in Korea? Like 4 in the morning? Is Yoongi going to finally tell him that he and Taehyung are getting married? Or maybe, just maybe, Yoongi is not having a wedding at all and Hoseok just dreamt it and Yoongi needs Seokjin to hear a track-

“Seokjin?”

The doctor looks up from his phone to Namjoon scrunching his brow in confusion. “Sorry-I have a call I gotta-“  He goes to his locker and grabs his coat. As he puts it on, he finishes his sentence. “I’ll text you the address and details for Thanksgiving.”

*

“Hello?”

It hurt to hear Yoongi’s voice.  

Before, it used to be a source of comfort, especially when they were doing long distance. His phone automatically connects to the Bluetooth speaker when he turns on his car, and it feels like his eardrums burst when he hears, “Jin-ah?”

“Right here,” he answers, staring at the stereo.

“Ah hey, it’s good to hear from you, you just got done with a shift?”

“Yeah, just finished.”

“Any cool cases today? Or was it just a bunch of kids with nosebleeds?”

And Seokjin hates this, he hates small talk, hates acting as if his heart isn’t aching. But he responds anyways because the last thing he needs is another person on his ass. “Had a kid who swallowed his mom’s button collection. Made my medical student in charge of him and to wait for them to pass through.”

Yoongi laughs and it echoes throughout the car, Seokjin having to force himself not to turn the volume up. “You are the best at delegating tasks you don’t want to do.”

Seokjin scoffs, frown present, even though Yoongi could not see him. “Excuse you, I hope you remember I hated doing the dishes during college and I still did them.”

There’s an unpleasant pause, and for a second Yoongi doesn’t say anything. Seokjin feels the fear creep in again, as he waits for a response.

When he hears Yoongi take a deep breath, Seokjin quickly cuts in. “I can’t believe you told Hoseok before me.”

There. It was out in the open.

“I…” Yoongi starts, a little hesitant. “I was going to tell you, I specifically told Hoseok not to tell because I wanted it to come from me. ”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “How considerate of you.”

There’s a sigh heard over the line. “I didn’t know how to say it.” A pause before, “It just seemed easier saying my parents want me to get married than saying I proposed to Taehyung.”

He tries to register what he heard. “You…proposed? But it’s been barely a month? How did you even think-“?

 “I mean, I’ve known him for longer than a month, their family owns a farm in Daegu. We used to hang out a lot as kids before my family moved to Boston. We reconnected a year ago when he needed a place to stay in Seoul and I wanted to take it slow but Jin, he’s-“

Seokjin doesn’t want to hear this. Doesn’t want to hear about Kim Taehyung the farmer boy who stole Yoongi’s heart. He doesn’t want to hear about how wonderful Kim Taehyung is, how much Yoongi’s parents love him, how he has a dog named Yeontan who loves Yoongi’s dog Holly, how Kim Taehyung doesn’t know how to cook but that’s fine because Yoongi loves to anyways, how Kim Taehyung was absolutely perfect in every way.

He doesn’t want to hear this, but he does anyways. He listens until Yoongi runs out of breath listing all his favorite qualities about his fiancé and Seokjin listens because that is what friends do.

“I know I told you that I was meeting him that one weekend, and I guess I was just trying to warm you up to the idea of it all. We truly didn’t go on a proper date till that day I told you, but I think I loved him way before that. And one day I just said fuck it, because life is short you know? And I asked him to marry me.”

Ouch.

Seokjin can’t even find the energy to find himself to be mad. He just feels ashamed, like he had a sign over his head, clearly reading: IDIOT.

“When’s the wedding?” he finally says, trying to keep his voice as calm as possible.

Yoongi brightens. “Tae wants a summer wedding outdoors, but I keep telling him that’s the worst possible idea. Like people get sweaty and then it’s all smelly.”

“I get that,” Seokjin replies, forcing out a half-assed chuckle, “Wouldn’t want your wedding party to ruin your perfect day.”

“Speaking of!” Yoongi says, and Seokjin doesn’t think he has ever heard the man be so happy. “Hyung is best man, but I want you and Hoseok to be groomsmen. If you’re willing to?”

“Decide a date and I’ll let you know.”

“And of course, you can bring a plus one.”

Seokjin almost snorts at that. “Yeah I’ll pick one of my many suitors.”

Yoongi chuckles before letting out a sigh. “I’m so glad we were able to talk. I really do hope you are able to come.”

 “Yeah me too.”

*

This movie sucks.

Jungkook and Hoseok were over at Seokjin’s place, cuddled together on his ratty old couch, watching some random romantic comedy.

Lately, Jungkook had attached himself to Seokjin and declared himself as the elder’s best friend. He thought this would cause Hoseok to be upset, but Hoseok gladly took the younger in, probably used to him from the numerous nights spent at his and Jimin’s house. Seokjin won’t admit it out loud, but he enjoyed the dynamic between the three of them. For a while he believed he would always be the one to bring Hoseok’s usual cheery personality down, and it led to a lot of self-guilt. It wasn’t even like he could fake being happy because Hoseok could see right through his bullshit.

Jungkook was lively though, and it was refreshing. He had an aura of youth emanating from him even though he was only a couple years younger than Hoseok and Seokjin. The atmosphere when it was the three of them was always lighter, a bit more joyful, something Seokjin did not know he had been missing for so long. And he doesn’t know how many times he caught Hoseok looking fondly on the youngest.

Anyways, while he can wax poetry about Jungkook, he cannot about this movie because it sucks. Or maybe it doesn’t totally suck, but even Eric Dane couldn’t get his attention. His mind just keeps replaying over and over again Yoongi saying that he loves Taehyung.

Seokjin didn’t even know that Yoongi had a roommate, which meant that Yoongi had been keeping it a secret from him on purpose. He would be angry, resentful even, but it was not like he shared much of his life with Yoongi outside of work.

They used to know each other so well, Seokjin making every part of himself vulnerable for the man. He used to think that was love, showcasing every part, the good and bad. Yoongi would hold him the nights the world would be too much, the anxiety crippling him from being a functioning human but also be there to celebrate when Seokjin aced his entrance exams.

Maybe it was too much in the end. Seokjin was too much, wanted more and more and Yoongi had nothing left to give.

 “Hyung, I think someone’s texting you,” he hears over the hum of his thoughts. He looks over to see Hoseok reach for Seokjin’s buzzing phone off the table to hand it over to him. For a second, he looks at the screen and frowns.

“Who is it,” Seokjin asks, stretching his hand out to take the phone from Hoseok’s hand. When he looks at the notifications on the screen he feels his face heat up.

Babe <3 <3

Hey baby

I’m sorry we didn’t talk much this week

Work sux

Let’s have dinner at my place tomorrow?

You can stay over ; )

“Wow, someone’s getting laid tomorrow,” Jungkook says, reading over Seokjin’s shoulder. Seokjin snaps backward, shifting away from his two friends staring at him. He lightly kicks the younger, who screams that his feet are cold. Seokjin rolls his eyes, careful to not look at Hoseok before opening his messages.

Me:

Uh what the fuck

Babe <3 <3:

Im at work

Jimin told me you were w your friends rn

Well he said you were with HIS roommate and HIS boyfriend

Me:

Of course he would say that

But that doesn’t answer the question

What the fuck

Babe <3 <3

I’ve decided that all my texts will start off w something like that

If anyone sees notifs on your phone then they’ll be convinced

I’ll probably talk regularly after you respond

Or like give me a signal

Should we have a code word

Me:

No we don’t need a code word

Babe <3 <3

Are you sure because I have thought of

Plenty

Me:

This is why I advocate against the 48 hour working rule

Some of us have too much time on their hands

Babe <3 <3

Hey : (

I meant it, do you wanna come over tomorrow?

Seokjin stills.

Me:

I’m really not looking for anything rn

Sorry

If I made it seem like I did

Babe <3 <3

Lol chill

I just meant we can come up w a story for Thanksgiving?

Me:

Oh, right yeah

Sure

Babe <3 <3

Cool also bring my clothes back plz

*

Deja-vu hits him as he stands in front of Namjoon’s door. While he doesn’t remember much of that fretful night, he does recall a drunken Namjoon not being able to fit his keys into the hole. Seokjin smiles at the imagery.

“Seokjin!”

The door opens to reveal Namjoon in grey sweatpants and a black shirt that says University of Chicago College of Medicine. The usually neatly styled brown hair was ruffled, as if he just woke up from a nap, even though it was only noon.

“Namjoon,” he replies back with a hesitant smile as he allows himself inside. It was different seeing the apartment at daytime. Now he notices the various toys scattered about the living room, and the countertop in the kitchen is filled with crayons and markers.

Seokjin takes off his shoes and allows himself to look closer at the pieces of paper. All drawings, filled with stick figures and flowers, and a lot of glitter. On each one, signed at the top in bold letters and all capitals read: Mina Kim.

“She’s good isn’t she?” Namjoon laughs, picking up a drawing of a sunset on a beach. A couple of forms that looked like ducks sat on the water.

“Picasso wishes he was this talented,” Seokjin replies, his lips turning up as he imagines his old patient sitting on the countertop drawing while Namjoon sat and watched.

There’s some shuffling, and he sees Namjoon walk over to the fridge and take out two soda cans. “Coke or Pepsi?”

“Water should be good,” he replies.

Namjoon grabs a water bottle before closing the fridge. “Did you have lunch yet? I can order us something.”

Seokjin shakes his head as he accepts the water. “No I ate before coming.”

A lie. But he wants this meeting to last as short as possible.

The younger raises an eyebrow but shrugs and motions for Seokjin to sit on the couch. As they both get settled, Seokjin starts to feel antsy. His fingers twitch, and he moves to rubs his hands over his jeans, back and forth.

“So, what did you tell your friends so far about us?”

Seokjin stops rubbing and looks up to meet up Namjoon’s eyes. “The truth, sort of. We met at a bar after work, slept together. Then went on a couple dates. But I’m known to undersell.”

“Okay, that sounds good enough,” the cardiologist hums. “We should probably know stuff about each other though, you know personal details. So we aren’t caught off guard if they ask us something”

He takes a deep breath, trying to tell his stupid brain not to panic. “Well you already know I’m from Boston and I did my medical school there, and my residency and fellowship here in New York. My favorite color is pink, my music taste consists of the pop top 50 on spotify, I prefer tea over coffee, I-“

“Okay, that’s not what I meant.”

Seokjin frowns at being interrupted. “Excuse me?”

Namjoon lets out a hesitant smile. “I mean, that’s all good to know, but like that is so superficial.”

“Well we haven’t been dating that long,” Seokjin retorts. “What else would you know?”

The younger shrugs. “I don’t know. What makes you happy? What gives you joy on a shitty day?”

Seokjin pauses as he tries to think of an answer. The condensation on the water bottle is dripping onto his hands as he feels his mind turn like a hamster wheel. When he doesn’t respond for a whole minute, Namjoon starts talking.

“For me, it’s Mina,” Namjoon says. He chuckles for a second, and Seokjin can see the dimples again. “You know before she was born, I used to be worried all the time. Would I be a good father? How was I going to handle this job and being a Dad at the same time? But the second I held her, and looked at her, like really looked at her, all of my worries dissipated. As time went by, I still struggled and the worries were still there, but just looking at her was enough sometimes, you know?”

Seokjin feels his body go warm, hearing Namjoon’s words. That kind of unconditional love, it was beautiful, and sometimes he forgot it existed. He thinks of his parents whose phone calls he would ignore when he was busy, or of his friends who always stood by him regardless of his actions.

“Work,” he finally says, making Namjoon look confused. He takes a shaky breath. “When things get shitty, when I’m worried about things, I work. It feels good, to be worried about someone that isn’t yourself for once. That’s why I chose emergency medicine. People are in their most vulnerable state when they come to the ED, we are the first people they see, the ones they attach themselves to. I get to be the person they put their faith in.”

Namjoon leans back on the couch. “Isn’t that a bit frightening though?”

 “Yeah. That’s why I love it.”

*

“Michael Williamson 16 year old male with leukemia, shortness of breath and a 101.5 degree fever.”

Seokjin nods and starts pushing the patient into the next room. “Did you notify the parents?”

The EMT replies quickly as both of them heft the child on to the hospital bed. “Mother is behind us, says he probably caught something.”

He puts in his stethoscope and examines the lungs. The familiar crackling and bubbling as the patient inhaled rises an alarm in his head. “Breath sounds abnormal, I’m going to need an X-Ray stat and someone get me a CBC and a blood culture.”

As the portable X-Ray machine is brought into the room, he looks to the mother. “Do you have any idea what happened?”

The mother is in tears, shaking her head. “He was shaking and said it was hard to breathe when I came home. His entire body was burning up too. I was at work, I said he could have friends over, but they were all gone by the time I got ho-wait.”

She pauses and looks over to her child, her face in shock. “Did Maya come? Michael you can’t be serious!”

Seokjin sees his patient just stare back, and while he couldn’t speak with the oxygen mask on him, his eyes gave an answer: yes.

The nurse who just finished taking a blood sample looks curiously. “Who is Maya?”

“Some girl he likes,” the mother says, tears flowing. “I told him to stay away since she isn’t vaccinated but of course he doesn’t listen to me, God what if she gave him something-“

“Okay,” Seokjin cuts. “We need to get the X-Ray, so everyone move out of the way.”

The image pops up in two seconds and its exactly what he expects. Pneumonia.

“Shit,” he says out loud to nobody in particular. The adrenaline is pulsing through him, and he has to think-fast. “Get him to CT fast and then I want a pleural fluid culture. And tell the lab to rush the order! I need those quickly!”

The nurse speeds out the room as Seokjin pulls up the rails on the bed, motioning for the medical student to move him.

As the patient leaves, the mother breaks down. Seokjin sighs and walks over to her, looking her in the eye. “Has he been with Maya before? Is this the first time he was exposed to her?”

The mom shakes her head. “I don’t know. I usually never leave him alone, this is one of the few times and I thought he’s a teenager, he probably should do teenager things for once. I would have never left him if I knew.”

It’s hard for Seokjin to empathize with the mother. But what he has learned from his time in pediatrics is that you cannot get emotional. It does not matter how good of a doctor he is, he has no right to judge a terrified parent.

He takes a deep breath before replying. “Do you have her parents information? I can call and check to see if they had met before or see how long she has been sick. Though, even if she was not outwardly showing it until later, she could have infected him.”

“Yeah, I can call, I will give them a piece of my god damn mind,” she says within hiccups. “Just take care of my baby please.”

Seokjin hesitates. “Let me call, okay? Maybe you could call other family while you wait for the CT.”

Reluctantly, the mother goes back into the room to call her husband while Seokjin goes to call Maya’s family.

After three rings, a man’s voice picks up. “Hello?”

“Hi, this is Dr. Kim calling from the Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital. I’m calling to inquire some information about your daughter Maya King?”

“Yes, this is her father.  What is this about? “

 “Is it true she has not had any of her vaccinations?”

The man on the phone lets out an annoyed huff and Seokjin tries his best not to lose his cool. “Oh god really? You people are crazy, which parent from the school called you guys? She really just had a tiny cold. If you have to know doctor, she is doing absolutely fine.”

And that’s when Seokjin loses it.

“Oh she’s fine? How about the boy with leukemia who is in our ED right now with pneumonia that could potentially kill him most likely because your daughter decided to be around him? Do you know how lucky he is that she didn’t give him something more dangerous?”

There’s a silence and Seokjin can hear his own heavy breathing before the man responds with, “If this is about the Michael kid, you don’t know that.”

“Did you not hear me?” He’s yelling now, and he doesn’t care. Farther down the hallway he sees that Hoseok stood in front of a computer, his face scrunched into worry, looking at Seokjin. Seokjin looks away and continues the conversation. “This child could DIE.”

“Look, I don’t know what to say. This is our choice, and it is not our fault that-“

All his rage is building up, and he swears he’s going to kick something when he gets a page from Radiology. The CT results must have come in. “Look, I don’t give a shit about your values or choices. Just tell me if Maya had met Michael anytime in person before today.”

“No, they never met past today.”

He grits his teeth. “Are you absolutely sure?”

“Yes, my wife has been monitoring our daughter’s phone, the two had been texting. If it helps we told her we did not approve of her seeing him either.”

Seokjin ends the call.

*

Hoseok makes himself visible to the elder later in the day, right before Seokjin’s shift ended. He almost scares Seokjin, coming up behind him as he is typing up a patient note.

“You almost gave me a heart attack,” he mutters, covering his racing heart with his hand.

“Well thankfully, we are in a hospital.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes before going back to typing. “Why are you here anyway? Psych consult?”

The younger looks the elder up and down. “You could say that. How did the pneumonia cancer patient go?”

“Good,” he replies curtly. “Infection happened less than 72 hours ago, so we were extremely lucky. CT showed it didn’t spread far. We admitted him and gave him antibiotics, last I checked he’s responding well.”

“That’s great, I’m glad,” Hoseok replies, but he doesn’t move from his spot. Seokjin looks up to meet his eyes.

“What?”

The younger shakes his head, but Seokjin crosses his arms. “Seriously, what?”

“You think you were being a bit harsh with the anti-vaxxers on the phone?”

Seokjin straightens up. “No, I think I was too nice actually. Probably should have mentioned that the mother was thinking of suing them for endangerment of her child.”

Hoseok doesn’t respond and Seokjin feels himself get angrier at the memory. “She could have given him a variety of shit. What if she had passed a deadlier bacterium, like measles or gave him whooping cough? He wouldn’t have made it to the CT machine.”

“Hyung- “

Seokjin interrupts. “How can someone be so reckless? How can someone just not care? You should have heard that bastard on the phone Hobi. Making it seem like he was protecting his child.”

The younger sighs. “I never understood the reasoning behind it, but we cannot change their minds. It’s like talking to a brick wall, so we have to remain calm. You know that. ”

“Yeah, I guess,” he replies. “But I’m not sorry for what I did.”

Hoseok eyes him, realizing it was a lost cause. They stand quietly for a few moments before the other shoe drops. “Worked with Namjoon Kim today.”

Seokjin immediately turns his head upward, meeting the gaze. “Oh?” he says, in the most casual tone as possible.

“Yeah, a teenage girl with an eating disorder,” he explains. “Her heart was giving up on her.”

“Do you think she will make it?”

Hoseok shrugs. “Cardio says it’s a long uphill battle. And it’s only going to happen if she wants to get better.”

Seokjin sighs. “I don’t know how parents do it. Every day something might go wrong. It just takes one second.”

The younger tilts his head. “Maybe that’s something you should talk to Namjoon about. He seems pretty well versed in the etiquette of parenting. He was great with our patient today.”

“Maybe,” he says, brushing it off. He wondered what it must have been like to get the phone call when Mina was brought to the ED. Namjoon was a hardcore cardiologist who places stints in kid’s hearts, but when his own child was getting stitches he was in tears.

He doesn’t know how they do it, how any of these parents do it.  How they deal with having their heart wide open like that, with the knowledge that any day, any second, something could happen to their kid.

The last time he had his heart wide open, he thinks, was maybe for Yoongi. And look how that turned out.

Maybe it was best that he did not have children, or a relationship, or anything. It was easier to be alone, simple risk management.

As if on cue, his phone starts buzzing with notifications. Hoseok had muttered about leaving and Seokjin had dazedly waved him off in the midst of his crisis, so at least he wasn’t there to witness Seokjin’s wince when he sees who it is.

Babe <3 <3:

Hey what should I bring to dinner tomorrow

Should I make something

Seokjin hesitates, considering ignoring the message until he was not busy. Knowing him though, he would definitely forget.

Me:

You can cook?

Babe <3 <3:

Kinda

Do peanut butter jelly sandwiches count

Me:

Poor Mina

I thought you would at least make her a lunchables kid

Babe <3 <3

my PB&Js are out of this world

the PTA mothers are always jealous

Despite everything that had been going on today, Seokjin finds himself smiling as he continues to text the younger. It was oddly calming. Namjoon was funny, he had quick responses, and was able to uphold the banter that Seokjin would start.

It was cute and Seokjin tries to ignore the squirming sensation he feels.

Me:

To answer your question

No, you don’t need to bring anything

I volunteered to cook

Babe <3 <3

What about your friends?

Me:

They’re all working that day anyways

Plus if u think you are bad

You should see jimin and Jungkook

Babe <3 <3

Define bad

Me:

Let’s just say Hoseok and Jimin’s neighbors hate them

With the number of times the fire alarm rang

Babe <3 <3

Well now I feel so much better about myself

Thanks Seokjin

Me:

Anytime

*

Okay maybe there was something that Seokjin loved just as much as work.

Cooking had always been his favorite past time, something he was forced to learn as he moved away from his parents. Even when he was younger, his mother would sit him on a stool next to her, allowing him to taste-test everything she made.

He wonders how she’s doing. There’s almost no reception on their cruise ship, but he had gotten a picture of them on an island a week or so ago, sipping martini’s on a beach.  Wish you were here Jin-ah, it was captioned.

Seokjin smiles as he cuts up the green onions. The last time he saw both his parents in person was probably last May. Maybe June. Boston was busy with tourists during the summer, and he ended up just staying at home the entire time to avoid the rush.  His mother had decided he wasn’t eating enough and stuffed his face for nearly a week. His father caught him up on political and family drama happening back in Korea during their nightly strolls in the neighborhood. It was a peaceful time.

A part of him feels bad he could not make it home for Chuseok early October, knowing that they would be leaving for the cruise a couple weeks later.

This was their Chuseok 2.0 anyways. It was an idea that Hoseok had propositioned a couple years back when both of them never could find time off to go back home because of their busy schedules. Instead of celebrating a holiday that ignores the genocide of Native Americans, they decided to just push their Chuseok to Thanksgiving Day.

Of course, this takes too long to explain, so he just tells colleagues who ask him of his plans that he is celebrating Friendsgiving.

Anyways, this year, since Seokjin is cooking, he decides to have it at his place. He had decorated the place with fairy lights, put up a candle even, so it smells nice.

The doorbell rings just as Seokjin was drying his hair, his shower taking longer than he expected it to be. He opens the door to Jimin and Hoseok, Jungkook trailing in after them with a case of beer. “Guess who brought alcohol!”

Hoseok shakes his head fondly at the younger as they all toe-off their shoes. “He is definitely not driving us back home tonight.”

Seokjin tries not to hang on to the word home too much. He knew that the youngest was staying over at Jimin and Hoseok’s a lot, but it seemed he was there nearly every night. He makes a mental note to ask Hoseok about it later.

“I was just about to set the table, you guys got here earlier than I expected,” he says, reaching for the plates and mats.

Jimin smiles at him and takes the plates from him. “We wanted to see if you needed any help Hyung.”

Seokjin is taken aback at the formalities. When Jimin has his back to him, he gives a questioning look to Hoseok who just giggles.

It was only going to be the five of them at dinner tonight, so setting up the table does not take long. Jungkook perhaps spends too much time bargaining with Seokjin on whether he can taste test some of the food.

They sit on the couch for barely a minute when the doorbell rings. It echoes throughout his head, and as Seokjin opens the door to a bashful looking Namjoon, panic is slowly starting to settle as he realizes what he got himself into.

“Hi.”

Seokjin gulps as he lets him in and takes his coat. “Hi.”

Namjoon is dressed in a creme button-up, which looks like something he would wear to work, but his sleeves are rolled up and he’s wearing black skinny jeans to match that hug has thighs. Seokjin tries not to look to affected.

“I brought this-since you refused to let me bring food,” the younger says, and Seokjin finally realizes that Namjoon brought a wine bottle. It looks expensive.

“Um, yeah I’m sure Jimin will appreciate-“

“Hyung!”

Seokjin turns to see Jimin walking towards them, Jungkook and Hoseok trailing behind shyly.  Namjoon smiles at the group. “Hey Jimin.”

Jungkook tilts his head to the side. “It’s weird seeing you outside of the hospital. It feels like you belong there.”

Hoseok nudges him. “Don’t mind this brat, he has no filter.”

Namjoon just laughs, and Seokjin is grateful.

“Well,” he says, clapping his hands together. “Should we eat?”

*

They all settle around the dining room table, and Seokjin finds himself drumming his hands over his knee as he moves it up and down. It was a bad habit, something he does when his anxiety starts peaking.

He does not know what the other three had planned to talk about with Namjoon, what questions they would start asking about their fake relationship. Now that he thinks about it, he doesn’t know enough about Namjoon. Their meeting at Namjoon’s apartment did nothing for Seokjin except make him realize that he was lonely.

“So the mother full-on was flirting was Jungkook, and Jimin looked so mad!”

“Hyung I was not mad!” Jimin whines, giving a slight shove to Hoseok who just shakes his head. “She was paying more attention to Jungkook instead of her daughter who literally was being told she needed surgery.”

Namjoon chuckles. “Jimin, come on I was there too. I saw the way you kissed him on the cheek before you left.”

Jungkook nods as he shoves some of the pork belly into his mouth. “I love you babe, but you were super jealous.”

Jimin pouts and then looks at Seokjin. “Hyung, come on you get me right? If a patient’s parent was hitting on you, you get uncomfortable right?”

Seokjin stops shaking his leg, trying to figure out how to navigate nice-Jimin. He kind of thinks the younger is just being a suck up so he doesn’t give a bad impression to Namjoon, but it’s better than stick-up-the-ass-Jimin.

Either way, the question almost makes him laugh, considering how he and Namjoon met. Not that he was ever going to tell the three sitting across from him that. And just as he thinks that, he hears-

“Well that’s how I met Seokjin,” Namjoon says all of a sudden, and Seokjin mentally face-palms.

Three pairs of eyes go wide, and Seokjin really wishes the floor would just take him. He wasn’t even on call today, but he stares at the beeper on the countertop and tries to Matilda his way into getting it to beep. When it refuses to listen to his telepathy, he can feel his heart start racing again, trying to think how he was going to get himself out of this. They didn’t even make it to dessert. This was his fault really, for trusting some random dude he hooked up with once with something as fragile-

He feels a hand on his thigh, squeezing it. Seokjin looks up to see Namjoon smiling gently at him. Relax, he was saying with his chocolate eyes. There’s another comforting squeeze before the younger turns to look at the others, who were confused.

“Did he not tell you guys?” Namjoon chuckles and winks at Seokjin. “Always the one to keep secrets.”

Jimin blinks. “Mina was hyung’s patient?”

Namjoon nods. “She fell down and was bleeding. All she needed was stitches, but you know, as a doctor, I go to worst case scenario. It was kind of embarrassing.”

Okay, Seokjin can work with this. He takes a deep breath and lets out a smile, the hand Namjoon left on his thigh stabling him. “You were cute though, I couldn’t stop thinking about the him for a long time. I was really glad we ran into each other again in the bar sometime later. Even if you did spill my entire drink on me.”

That wasn’t a lie, and Namjoon flushes at the mention. Jimin sees it, and so do Jungkook and Hoseok. Their shoulders relax and Jungkook teases Seokjin about having a thing for hot dads. Seokjin threatens to never cook for him again.

After that, they settle into a more calming conversation, mostly to do with work. Hoseok shares his fair share of crazy stories from working in the psych department, and Jimin talks about a patient that he and Namjoon were treating. Seokjin pitches in his own.

The conversation takes them well past dinner, and onto the couch where they sip the wine that Namjoon brought along. Jimin was obviously drunk and giggling, getting handsy with Jungkook.

“The bottle is done!”

Seokjin laughs at Jungkook’s state. “I think I should have some more. Let me go look.”

He gets up and heads over to the kitchen, hidden away from the living room. As he opens the wine rack, he sees a figure approaching.

“Did you find some?”

Seokjin laughs. “Yeah. But Jungkook and Jimin are already beyond wasted. They are not getting anymore.”

Namjoon raises his eyebrow. “Why did you come in here then?”

He shrugs. “To breathe.”

The night had gone better than expected, but that does not mean he was off the hook. He saw in between the drunken rambles and overly compensating niceness, that Jimin was still unsure of the situation. Hoseok too, was relatively quiet tonight, just watching. Only Jungkook seemed to be convinced fully. But Jungkook would believe Seokjin if he said he can walk on water.

Namjoon nods, not saying anything. He opens his mouth, and Seokjin will never know because-

It was too quick, he doesn’t think he processed Namjoon caging him against the countertop, hands on either side of Seokjin’s waist. He stares at Namjoon, who was looking at him curiously, the hands burning through the fabric and onto his skin. He wants to ask him what Namjoon thinks he was doing when he gets his answer.

“Hey I think we shouldn’t give them any mor-oh.”

Seokjin turns to the side and sees Hoseok standing there, his face indiscernible. He feels his cheeks burn in embarrassment, but also a little in guilt. The pressure of Namjoon’s hands had not left his waist and he can see Hoseok eyeing them.

The kitchen is silent for a moment before another voice bursts in. “Hyungggggggggg, where is the promised alcohol?”

Jungkook saunters into the room with Jimin trailing behind him, holding onto one of the younger’s belt loops. Both of their eyes go wide when they see Namjoon’s hands on Seokjin’s waist, and Jimin bursts out into laughter.

Namjoon quickly lets go of Seokjin, and scratches his neck. “Was just getting some water.”

Jungkook nudges Jimin. “Someone is super thirsty.”

Jimin continues his drunken laughter, holding on to the younger. Hoseok doesn’t even crack a smile though, his face still impassive. Seokjin doesn’t know what to say and continues his silence.

It’s finally Namjoon who breaks in between Jimin’s giggles. He pouts. “Oh come on, Jimin. You and Jungkook are even worse at work and I never make fun of you both.”

Jimin shakes his head. “Me and Kook keep it PG. Right, Kookie?”

Jungkook nods in affirmation. “I have never screwed Jimin at work. Ever.”

“You do other shit though,” Hoseok says, catching everyone by surprise. Seokjin thinks he catches a teasing smile. The tension seems to ease a little and Seokjin feels his body relax.

“You’re always welcome to join hyung,” Jimin says, wiggling his eyebrows, and Seokjin sees Hoseok turn bright red. It makes Seokjin snort.

“I think we all need to head home,” Namjoon says, letting out at a chuckle at Jimin’s state. “It’s getting late and some of us have work tomorrow.”

Seokjin hears a chorus of whines saying no, but they all eventually shuffle toward the door. Hoseok has to help Jimin put on his shoes while Jungkook is being helped into his jacket by Namjoon. It was quite a sight, but eventually, they all are dressed.

“You sure you can take them both?” Seokjin asks, gesturing to the mess that is Jikook(a nickname he and Hoseok would often call them).

Hoseok shakes his head as he zips up Jimin’s coat. “I’m good. Thanks for having us though, and it was nice meeting you Namjoon.”

Namjoon shakes Hoseok’s hand. “Likewise. Hopefully, we will work together more often.”

Seokjin lets out a strained smile as he sees this interaction. It was actually working holy shit. His friends actually believe that this stranger was dating Seokjin.

Before he can spiral into a dark hole of what this means, Namjoon turns to Seokjin. “Thanks for the food. I’ll call you later, okay?”

And before Seokjin can even let himself respond, large hands cup his cheeks. Namjoon stares into his eyes, almost as if asking for permission before leaning in. And who was Seokjin to say no? Not with the audience of three watching their every move.

When Namjoon kisses him, it feels like an eternity. Seokjin feels his eyes flutter shut as the younger presses further into him, and maybe his hands held on tightly to the front of Namjoon’s shirt. He finds himself melting into the kiss, and for a second a calm just comes over him.

A whistle interrupts his thought process and he and Namjoon break apart, Namjoon’s hands leaving his face, but leaving what felt like burn marks. The part of the shirt Seokjin held on to looked crumpled, and Seokjin feels something twist in his stomach.

“I thought we agreed to keep it PG,” Jimin whines, his hands on his hips.

Jungkook giggles and lays his head on Hoseok’s shoulder. “Hyung take us home, I can’t take them anymore. They are disgusting.”

Hoseok pats Jungkook’s head before turning to Seokjin with a smile. A good sign, Seokjin thinks. “We better get going.”

Seokjin nods and opens the door, the cold air causing him to shiver. The four guests step outside and say their goodbyes again before walking to their respective cars. Seokjin watches their retreating figures and tries his hardest to smile and wave.

When he finally closes his door, he stands there for a minute, reeling in what just happened. Just as he finally decides to move and go clean up, he hears his phone buzz.

Babe <3 <3

You taste exactly like how I remember

Seokjin gulps.

Fuck.

 

 

Chapter Text

“My hip hurts, like a LOT.”

Seokjin nods at the teenager and starts pressing against the area of concern. The patient winces and Seokjin looks at the X-Ray images taken a couple of minutes earlier. “Do you do any activities outside of school?”

The father cuts in. “She’s a tennis player. Ranked Number 3 in the state actually.”

He smiles. “That’s so awesome, my friend used to play competitively. Sadly, he decided to become a doctor but I’m sure he would have made it pro.”

The mother looks from the father to the daughter. “These two, I swear tennis is their life. That’s why when she could barely walk today we were so concerned.”

Seokjin takes off his gloves and stands up to throw them away. “Well, I’m just going to talk with one of my colleagues and we will figure out the next steps okay? Just hang tight.”

With that, he pulls the curtain and walks back into the ED. It was another quiet evening shift, and Seokjin feels the silence keep him steady. He turns to the nearest nurse and asks her to page ortho for a consult.

When Jungkook is walking toward him five minutes later, beaming, he isn’t surprised.

“Hyung, you could have just texted me,” he says, pouting a little.

Seokjin rolls his eyes and instead scoots over so Jungkook can look at the X-Rays pulled up on the computer. “17-year-old female complaining of left hip pain. Don’t really see anything on X-Ray but told me when she walks, her hip clicks.”

Jungkook furrows his brows together, looking forward at the screen. “Did you see her hip clicking? Or popping out of place?”

He shakes his head. “I tried making her walk, but she barely made it two steps before saying she can’t do it. Mom said she’s a tennis player, think Dad is the coach, but she hasn’t had any known injury.”

“How old did you say she was again?”

“17, she just made it to some team or was ranked, I don’t know tennis-“

“Let me go examine her, but I think I know what’s going on,” Jungkook says.

“And that would be?” Seokjin asks but Jungkook is already off.

They get back into the patient room and Jungkook runs through a more thorough orthopedic exam. The room is silent except for the occasional gasps of pain from the patient. When he’s done, the younger sits down on a chair and faces the parents.

“From an orthopedic standpoint, there is really nothing wrong. My best guess is a strained IT band, but I cannot get that from just the X-Ray and exam. I could order an MRI, but I feel that is unnecessary radiation at this time.”

The father looks confused. “If there is nothing wrong, then why is she unable to walk? She has a competition next week, and there are going to be sponsors there as well as recruiters. Can’t you give her medication?”

Seokjin watches Jungkook’s back tense up but he knows better than to jump in. 

“Right now, I think the best medication is rest. I would suggest that she take the season off, or else her pain could just get worse and lead to an actual stress fracture or deterioration.”

The patient just looks curiously at Dr. Jeon. “So I really can’t play next season?”

Jungkook shrugs. “You can, but I just highly suggest you don’t. Even the professionals make sure to rest.”

“But this season is important,” the father says, looking back forth at his daughter and the doctors. “She will be off to college next year and-“

“And her health is more important,” the mother states, putting her hand on the father’s thigh. “You can take off this season. Maybe you can pick up a new hobby while you rest.”

For being told that she can’t play the upcoming season, the patient does not seem that upset. Seokjin is shocked when he hears her say, “I can do the photography club after school now.”

After a couple of discharge formalities, both Jungkook and Seokjin leave the room.

“I have never seen someone that happy to quit tennis,” Seokjin says, and Jungkook laughs.

“That’s because she was lying.”

“What?”

Seokjin has been working in pediatrics for years now, and he thinks he has a good grip on when a patient was lying about an illness. Kids were too predictable.

Jungkook hands over the iPad with the chart to the elder. “See like 100s of these kinds of patients every day in clinic. Poor kid probably doesn’t want to play tennis anymore and doesn’t want to disappoint her dad.”

Seokjin struggles to understand and crosses his arms. “If nothing was medically wrong with her, then why did you tell her to take the season off?”

The younger shrugs. “Because that’s what she needs. And I believe her about the pain, probably not about the hip clicking and inability to walk though.”

Before Seokjin can respond, Jungkook’s eyes light up. “Hi hyung!”

Dread settles in when he hears a familiar voice. “Hey, Jungkook.”

He turns around to meet the eyes of the 6-foot dimpled monster. Okay, maybe monster is a bit strong. More like 6-foot teddy bear.

Namjoon turns to Seokjin and continues smiling. “Hey, babe.”

Jungkook saves Seokjin from responding and starts up a conversation. “I didn’t know you were working the night shift! We should all go get dinner at the cafeteria, I’m starving.”

Say no. Say no. Have a patient you need to check on.

“Yeah, sure.”

*

By the time the three of them settled into an empty table in the hospital cafeteria, it was nearly 11:30 at night. Namjoon had sat right next to Seokjin, and he tries not to think about their thighs touching as Jungkook starts telling the story of their patient. He tries to pay attention, but Namjoon is too close, too close, and he smells nice, fuck why does he smell nice? This is a hospital, none of them ever smell nice. Seokjin is grateful that he changed out of his scrubs that had blood all over them from a patient earlier in the night.

“You know Hobi hyung plays tennis too,” Jungkook says, mouth full of French fries. “He took me out to play the other day.”

Seokjin perks up at the statement. Hoseok refuses to play tennis with anyone other than Seokjin.

(“Why don’t you play with anyone else?” Seokjin asked once, in the midst of a match, out of breath.

“Because it’s too intimate. I don’t want anyone else to see me like this. Not anymore,” Hoseok had replied.)

Seokjin hums, trying to be casual. “I wonder why I wasn’t invited.”

Namjoon snorts and Jungkook stops chewing, deer caught in headlights. “Hyung, he said you were busy, or else I would have definitely texted you. But you know how he is with tennis.”

Seokjin just shrugs it off, adding another thing to put on the list of stuff to ask Hoseok about. “I’m glad you had fun. Did you win?”

The younger shakes his head and then scratches his head. He looks at his phone and feigns shock. “Oh shit, I gotta go. I’ll meet up with you guys later. Bye!”

Seokjin squints as he watches the orthopedic surgeon rush and walk away from their table, gone from sight within a second.

“Something is definitely up with your friends,” he hears. He blinks and turns to his side, realizing that Namjoon is staring at him. He gulps and trains his eyes back to his food, picking at it.

“Yeah,” he says quietly.

“So…” the cardiologist starts. “You still avoiding me?”

Seokjin snaps his head up. “I’m not avo-…I’ve been busy with work and all.”

Namjoon tilts his head to the side. “You know I can see when you’re working and when you aren’t right?”

“I have a life outside of work you know?” he says, a little defensive. It was true, to a certain extent. The past two weeks he had been busying himself with a multitude of activities when he wasn’t working. He was reading a book, something about Buddhism, he was watching TV shows, he was working out, he even helped his elderly neighbor with groceries. It was like he had to keep his mind busy at all times so he would not have to think about what an utter mess his life had become.

“I never said you didn’t. But you also haven’t talked to me since that dinner. Or replied to my text messages.”

Namjoon looks annoyed, which Seokjin finds funny. What right did he have to be annoyed?

 He figures the best way out of this is to just apologize and then find an excuse to get back to the ED. He gets up and places his tray on the tray return area. To his side, he sees the younger doing the same.

“Look I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to avoid your messages.”

“Was it because I was too forward that night?” Namjoon pries further, and Seokjin doesn’t think a hospital cafeteria is the right place to discuss this. Without looking if Namjoon is following, he walks out of the cafeteria and into the dimly lit hallway.

“I mean, we did have to convince my friends. You were doing what I asked.”

Namjoon huffs as he tries to catch up with Seokjin’s fast-paced walking. “We both know that’s not what this is about.”

Seokjin doesn’t know what to say, and he doesn’t know why Namjoon is even mad. He looks from right to left. Nobody was here, but the last thing he needed was to get in trouble with HR for arguing with a colleague where everyone can see. He peers into the peephole of a patient room on the right and sees its empty. Without thinking, he opens it and walks right in before turning around, a little too fast. He can see the younger walking in too, closing the door behind him.

 “I told you that I wasn’t looking for anything. And you went and texted me about how I taste. How was I supposed to react?”

Namjoon throws his hands up in the air. “If you weren’t looking for anything, then why the hell did you kiss me like that?”

Seokjin feels blood rush to his cheeks, thinking about that day. It would be a lie to say it hadn’t plagued his mind for a while, the way Namjoon’s lips had felt so soft, the way he had never felt calmer in his life, but he wasn’t going to tell the cardiologist that.

 “We were supposed to be convincing them, that’s what I was doing.”

The younger lets his frown deepen before he takes a deep breath. “Okay, I’m sorry I misunderstood things.”

“I’m sorry you did too,” is all he can reply but his eyes are zeroed in on Namjoon’s lips and-

And Seokjin is a masochist, he really is, because he wraps his hand on Namjoon’s neck and pulls him down till their lips meet. This was insane, really, the way the younger doesn’t even resist, pushing Seokjin’s mouth open with his tongue, and Seokjin welcomes it. It was insane how Seokjin finds himself moving backward until he hit the back of the bed. Namjoon pushes him down, slowly, as he ends up sprawled with the younger on top of him. This was all insane.

The kiss becomes sloppier, Namjoon moving away from Seokjin’s mouth to his jaw, peppering kisses. Seokjin bites his lip to stop himself from moaning as he feels Namjoon lick his ear.

“Seokjin, fuck,” Namjoon says breathlessly, in his ear, and hearing his name finally lets the alarm bells ring. He can’t do this. He pulls back immediately, shifting underneath the weight of Namjoon.

“I-I mean we, shouldn’t. I just-“

Slowly, the younger moves off of him, adjusting his white coat when he was standing again. “Right, well. That’s fine. It won’t happen again.”

Seokjin nods as he sits up, trying to steady himself.

“We did have a deal though,” Namjoon suddenly says, “And I need you to come with me to Mina’s Winter concert.”

That’s not what he was expecting. He still feels out of breath, his mind whirling from what just happened minutes earlier. The ghost of Namjoon’s kiss burns like fire against his skin.

 “Um.”

“It would be a good place for you to meet Mina, she has kind of been telling everyone that her Daddy is bringing his boyfriend.” Namjoon looks nervous, picking at his fingernails.

Seokjin gives a shaky smile as he gets off the bed. “I hope I can meet her standards.”

The younger finally looks up, looking Seokjin straight in the eyes. 

 “You won’t need to worry.”

*

Seokjin is worried.

He is very very worried because he said that he would bake cookies for PTA bake sale, and his last batch turned out to be absolute garbage. They all got burnt, and now he has to make a new batch, and on top of that, he hasn’t even showered. His eyes glance at the time on the microwave. He has 20, no maybe 30 minutes.

Just as he feels himself wanting to scream in frustration, he hears a knock on his door. Without thinking, he opens it to see the smiling face of Jimin.

“Why are you here?” he finds himself asking, a bit dumbfounded.

Jimin lets himself in, toeing off his shoes and placing his coat on the arm of a couch.  “Heard you were going to meet Mina for the first-sorry second time.”

Seokjin winces at the comment.

“Oh come on, I’m not mad,” Jimin waves and starts peering into the kitchen. “Are those for the bake sale that Namjoon hyung was talking about?”

He walks over and takes the pan from Jimin’s reach. “They were just a test batch they aren’t even-I’m sorry, I’m still confused to as why you are here?”

Jimin grabs a cookie off the pan and bites into it. His face breaks into a frown. “You want to make a good impression right? I’m here to help.”

If Seokjin wasn’t so ridden with the anxiety of PTA moms saying his cookies are horrible, he would have laughed. “You want to help me?”

The cardiologist nods his head and then takes the pan from Seokjin. He proceeds to throw all the cookies in the trash can. “You go and get ready. I’ll put another batch in and make sure to take them out before they are burnt.”

And Seokjin has no time to protest, so he just prays that Jimin doesn’t burn his kitchen down. He finds himself showering at superhuman speed, then changing into some jeans and dark button-up shirt. He looks at himself in the mirror. “Get yourself together Seokjin,” he says, slapping himself slightly. “You’re meeting a seven-year-old, not the queen of England.”

When he gets back to his living room about 20 minutes later, Jimin is putting fresh cookies into a clear plastic box. He snaps the lid shut, and smiles in satisfaction.

Seokjin clears his throat, and Jimin looks up. He scans over Seokjin’s outfit, before coming over and standing in front of him. “Bend down a little.”

He does, and Seokjin feels Jimin use his little hand to ruffle Seokjin’s styled hair. Seokjin pulls back. “Hey, that took me like 10 minutes.”

“And this looks better,” Jimin says matter-of-factly. “You don’t need to look perfect all the time hyung.”

Seokjin ignores him.

*

The Winter Musicale is a show put by Mina’s elementary school to raise money for art funded programs at the school district. At least that’s what he got from the program guide he was reading as he waited for Namjoon to show up. He had texted that he had to drop Mina backstage before he could get to their seats.

“Seokjin Kim?”

He looks up to see a familiar-looking brunette walking toward him, smiling. He tries to rack his brain where he knew her from when it hits him.

“I could have sworn Joon was making you up!” Namjoon’s ex giggles, extending her hand that Seokjin shakes. “But of course, he managed to get another hot doctor to date.”

“Are you harassing my man, Hyeri?” says a voice and Seokjin feels a hand snake its way on to his waist. He turns to his side, and Namjoon is there. Again.

“Of course not, was I?” she says, pouting at Seokjin, and Seokjin really is at a loss for words. He completely forgot that Mina’s mother was probably going to be at the show too, considering it is her daughter as well. Also, it was weird to see exes be this casual with each other. Namjoon had never mentioned anything about her since the day at the bar, and Seokjin assumed they just didn’t speak unless necessary.

“No we were just greeting each other,” Seokjin finally chokes out. “It’s been a while since the emergency room visit.”

Hyeri groans and then points at Namjoon. “I’m still not forgiving you for allowing her to use fake blood.”

“Hey, not my fault, she told me it was for a school project.”

“Why would you go to Party City for a school project, Namjoon I swear!”

Seokjin feels a bit awkward standing there in the middle of the ex-couple having their playful banter, and finds himself squirming under Namjoon’s grip. Namjoon notices, and his hold loosens.

“Well we better get inside, I want a good view.”

Hyeri agrees, and the three of them shuffle into the theater, finding seats in the middle. They are joined a couple of minutes later by Hyeri’s date, who mutters his name quickly before sitting next to Hyeri.

The room goes dark and Seokjin hears Namjoon bend over to his side. “You doing okay? Sorry if Hyeri is a bit, much.”

Seokjin shakes his head, then realizes Namjoon probably can’t see. “I’m good. Now shh, the show is starting.”

The stage lights turn on and the show begins. The second Mina comes on stage, Namjoon whistles and Hyeri lets out a scream of support. Seokjin watches the young girl do her ballet solo, nailing every step. She was talented, that was for sure. Another round of applause goes around as Namjoon and Hyeri cheer after Mina bows. The show continues with more musical acts, and Seokjin finds himself laughing at some of the jokes. It was cute, very cute.

At the very end, all the kids line up and bow together. Seokjin and every other person in the audience get up to give them a standing ovation.

“Quick, move, move,” Hyeri hisses. “We got to make it backstage first before it gets rushed.”

They find themselves leaving before the crowd disperses so they can head backstage. Seokjin hangs back a little, trying not to take the spotlight away.

“Mommy! Daddy!”

A pink flurry rushes past him and into Namjoon’s arms. Namjoon lifts Mina up and spins her around, causing the young girl to giggle. Hyeri pulls out her phone to take photos. “You did so well!”

Mina hugs her father again, wrapping herself around Namjoon and something twists in Seokjin’s stomach as Namjoon smiles and places a kiss on top of her head. He feels his body go warm seeing the two of them interact, Mina telling about how she almost tripped but Namjoon saying he couldn’t see anything and that it looked perfect.

After five minutes of wrestling around with her mother and father, Mina finally sets back down on her two feet.  She lets a couple more twirls for the camera before her eyes find Seokjin’s.

Seokjin holds his breath while she walks over and looks at the bouquet of flowers in his hands. “Are those for me?”

He smiles and squats down to reach her height before he places the flowers into her arms. “I heard your favorite color is purple.”

Mina still looks hesitant, raising her eyebrow a little. “Are you my Daddy’s new boyfriend?”

For some reason, he feels his tongue get tied trying to answer her. It felt wrong, to lie to such an innocent child.  He just decides to nod.

Namjoon’s daughter hums for a second before looking Seokjin up and down. Seokjin feels his heart beating in his ears as he awaits the child’s response.

Mina breaks out into a grin and turns to her father. “I can’t believe you actually listened to me! I love you so much!”

Seokjin watches as she goes for another hug, and Namjoon picks her up again.

“After you had stitched her up that day,“ Hyeri states with fond eyes, “She kept telling her Dad to ask you out. Our little matchmaker.”

Seokjin lets out an “ahh” before turning to Namjoon. The younger meets his eyes, but Seokjin can’t read them.

“How about we all go get ice cream as a treat for such an excellent performance?” says Hyeri’s date, Nate or some other name that Seokjin can’t remember.

“Yes, ice-cream!” Mina yells, pumping her fist in the air. She turns to Seokjin. “Will you join us Dr.Kim?”

Seokjin wants to correct her and say he doesn’t need to be called Dr.Kim, but guilt is already seeping through him. Maybe it was best that she kept calling him that.

“Of course, we have to celebrate the star of the show!” he exclaims, reaching out to tickle her.

*

The ice-cream parlor is relatively quiet, considering it was the middle of winter. Seokjin finds it amusing as Mina and her father playfully argue over whether mint chocolate was good.

“It’s like your toothpaste, come on, I don’t know how you eat that,” Namjoon says with a frown as Mina gets drops of the green liquid on her tutu.

“Well I for one, love it,” Hyeri says, as she wipes her daughter’s dress. Nathan(?) nods in agreement.

Mina looks at Seokjin. “Are you team mint-choco?”

Seokjin laughs. “I have to go with your Dad here, I’m not a big fan.”

Namjoon beams at him. “Finally, someone agrees with me! Mint chocolate is an abomination.”

“I don’t know about that,” he hums while looking at Mina, “We got to respect other people’s choices right?”

Mina thinks about this for a moment. “Yes, respect my choice Daddy!”

Her father looks fondly as Mina goes back to licking at her ice cream. “I do respect your choice Mi.”

More chatter goes on, and Seokjin finds himself enjoying the conversation. He learns more about Hyeri, who also turns out to be a doctor. She was a plastic surgeon, completing her residency at NYU. Nathan was her colleague, and they joke about how doctors cannot date anyone other than doctors. Even though he doesn’t voice it, he wants to disagree.

Yoongi was never interested in the medical field, no matter how much his parents pushed it. Seokjin and he would stay up late nights in college-Seokjin studying for his organic chemistry exams and the younger grueling over his mixtape.

Right after they broke up, Yoongi would release songs to the public about pain and heart break. Every line would be about Seokjin, and it gave him a sick sense of satisfaction that Yoongi was suffering like him.

Then as time went on, Yoongi’s songs became less about heartbreak, and more about hope and moving on. About finding joy again.

He should’ve figured it out sooner, he should have seen the signs, that Yoongi was in love. The man always wore his heart on his sleeve, especially with his music. Whether another idol was singing it, or it was on Yoongi’s own albums, he would lay out all his feelings.

Seokjin takes his last bite of ice cream. Yoongi was in love, probably in the studio right now, writing sappy love songs about his roommate turned fiancé while Seokjin was thousands of miles away, pretending to be the boyfriend of someone he doesn’t know.

“Hey, are you doing okay?”

He blinks and looks at Namjoon. “Yeah, this was filling.”

The younger doesn’t look convinced and glances at the clock on his phone. “I’m sorry we kept you so late, I know you have work tomorrow.”

Seokjin should be concerned that Namjoon knows his work schedule, but he’s too tired to express it. “It’s okay, I’m glad I got to meet Mina.”

Said child had fallen asleep on her mother’s lap. Hyeri moves to carry her, while Nathan holds the bouquet that Seokjin had gotten.

“Thanks for coming Seokjin, it was so nice to meet you,” Hyeri says. “Hopefully we can do this more often. I think she really likes you.”

Seokjin lets out a pretend sigh of relief. “You have no idea how nervous I was to meet her.”

“Well, your first official meeting turned out way better than mine.”

Namjoon snorts. “Mina poured glue all over Nathan’s head.”

Hyeri lets out a giggle while Nathan groans. “It was kind of funny at the time.”

“It took forever to get out of my hair though.”

They chat a little bit more before Hyeri and Nathan bid goodnight. Seokjin is left outside, standing on the curb in front of his car. Namjoon stands next to him, both of them waving off the couple.

It’s silent for a moment, and Seokjin feels himself shiver.

“Thanks for this,” Namjoon finally says, quietly, looking at the elder.

Seokjin shrugs nonchalantly. “We had a deal.”

“Right, the deal,” he gets as a response, and there is obvious hurt in it. Seokjin forces himself not to dwell on it.

Namjoon is a good man, he has the world’s cutest daughter, a lovely ex that co-parents with him. He had his life together, not like Seokjin. Seokjin could not afford to be emotionally invested, or even be physically invested with anyone right now. Not when he’s holding himself together barely with tape and glue.

“Well, I’ll see you,” he states abruptly. “Text me, if you need anything. I promise to like, respond this time.”

The younger looks carefully. “I’ll hold you to that.”

*

Lecture days were probably the worst days at the hospital. Once a month, they would gather and discuss all the patients that had died, going into detail about what they could have different. It was depressing, and Seokjin absolutely hated attending. He always made sure to tell a resident to page him within ten minutes of the lecture so he could leave early.

It’s been 11 minutes and still no page. This resident was definitely going to be doing scut work for the next six months at least.

He was currently scrolling through the Instagram of Kim Taehyung. It was long overdue to do a full social media stalking of his ex’s new man. There’s a lot you can learn from social media, he thinks. Taehyung was an upcoming idol, recently debuting as a solo artist at the same company that represented Yoongi. His Instagram was filled with mostly artsy pictures of nature, but he catches hints of Yoongi in between them. Not full-face selfies, but he sees two coffee cups, two wine glasses, and a blurry shot of the elder facing the ocean.

The most damning picture was of the engagement. It had Taehyung covering his face with his hands, a shiny black ring catching the attention of the viewer. Taehyung, with his boldness, had tagged Yoongi on his official account. According to the Naver search articles, it caused quite a riffle in Korea, some users online giving heavy backlash. Seokjin feels a pang of pain as he imagines how hard it must have been to be an idol and be in a dating scandal. But Yoongi and Taehyung seem to have taken it with stride, and the fans that were loyal stayed.

Seokjin wonders how he missed all this, how he was so wrapped up in his little world of self-pity that he didn’t even think about what Yoongi was going through back home. He thinks about his last phone call with the younger, how ecstatic he was to marry Taehyung.

A part of him hurts too, thinking that it should have been him. It should have been him, posting his engagement with Yoongi. It should have been him, holding Yoongi telling him to ignore the backlash, because they love each other and that’s all that matters.  It should have been him.

“How are you still here?”

Seokjin locks his phone quickly and turns to see Hoseok plop down next to him. “I’m wondering the same thing. I’m going to kill my resident.”

The younger laughs. “He probably got wrapped in a case, don’t torture him when you get back.”

“Doubtful.”

They sit in silence for a while, watching the presentation. The person ends their segment, and then the Chief of Surgery announces the next doctors.

“Oh this was a bad one,” Hoseok mutters underneath his breath. “Jimin was nearly inconsolable for a whole week.”

Seokjin hums as he carefully watches Jimin and Namjoon go up on stage along with another doctor that he didn’t recognize. They begin presenting their case, a baby born with a heart defect.

“They’re too hard on themselves,” Seokjin says absent-mindedly, trying to gauge Namjoon’s body language as he clicked through his presentation and spoke. He looks nothing like the excited father a couple of nights ago at the winter concert. The Namjoon up there has sadness in his eyes, his hands looking like they were trying not to shake. “It’s a miracle that the child even made it out of the mother alive.”

Hoseok nods. “Think that’s why they fought so hard for her. She wasn’t supposed to make it this far.”

Seokjin watches as the presentation ends and other doctors, mostly cardiothoracic surgeons, start giving their input. Namjoon is stiff as he answers the questions, explaining multiple times why he was against a certain surgery.

“It wasn’t practical at the time for us to even consider open heart surgery, she was anemic. We didn’t want her to bleed out on the table,” he says.

The cardiology resident keeps with his question. “You could have transfused blood before the surgery though, right Dr.Kim?”

Jimin cuts in, his voice in a low pitch. “If you were paying attention to the presentation, you would have known that we wanted to do that, but her levels weren’t low enough for us to meet the guideline.”

“So she was too anemic to get open heart surgery but not anemic enough for a blood transfusion?”

Namjoon nods. “Yes, we thought we could monitor her until her hemoglobin levels lowered a bit more so we could transfuse and go ahead with the surgery.”

The other doctor, whose name Seokjin didn’t catch earlier, speaks up. “Her levels wouldn’t go lower though, and we put her on the heart transplant list. But considering she was a newborn-“

“It’s nearly impossible to find viable donor organs at that age,” Namjoon says quietly, and Seokjin is worried the man was going to faint.

The resident who had been asking the questions finally lets out a breath. “You had to just watch her die, knowing there is nothing that you can do.”

It’s silent in the lecture hall, and Seokjin knows everyone in the room knows how the three doctors up there are feeling. They’ve all been in that same situation, unable to help, and that’s truly what was the shittiest part about this job, Seokjin thinks. They were supposed to save lives, to do anything possible so that the patient will survive. But it doesn’t always work like that.

Namjoon, Jimin, and the other doctor exchange a few more words with the Chief of Surgery before they exit behind the stage. The next one starts, and Seokjin immediately tunes it out, reaching for his phone.

“What are you doing?” Hoseok hisses, looking at Seokjin. “If Chief catches you on your phone, he’ll be pissed.”

Seokjin snorts. “He won’t do shit.” He hesitates. “I just want to make sure Namjoon is okay. That was rough.”

Hoseok nods. “Be quick.”

Me:

Hey u okay?

Namjoon doesn’t respond immediately, much to Seokjin’s dismay. He checks his phone periodically throughout the lecture, ignoring Hoseok’s confused glances.

They break near lunchtime, and Seokjin still feels a bit antsy. He could understand why the younger wouldn’t respond, wanting to be alone after having a presentation like that. However, he had never seen Namjoon look so sick, so fragile. Seokjin knew firsthand the pain of losing a patient that meant a lot to him, and for some reason, he doesn’t want Namjoon to go through it alone.

He almost slaps himself for that. The man is a fellow, he’s had other patients die before, he reminds himself. You aren’t his real boyfriend to check on him.

Regardless of what his mind is screaming at him, he finds himself walking toward the elevator after Hoseok and he have lunch together.

“You realize the ED is on the first floor right?” Hoseok says, hiding a smile. That fucker. “You don’t need an elevator.”

“Oh fuck off,” Seokjin says. “I just want to make sure he’s okay.”

Saying that out loud makes him want to projectile vomit, but it brings about a fond look in the psychiatrist’s eyes. “I’ll see you later then. Tell Jimin I said hi.”

“Will do.”

*

The Cardiology floor is pretty much like any other floor of the hospital, and Seokjin doesn’t find himself getting lost. He even had managed to stop by at the vending machines on his way to the main clinic area filled with outpatients. 

 “Is Dr.Kim in a patient room?” Seokjin asks one of the nurses at the Nurse’s Station. She shakes her head no and instead points him toward the staff room.

“Namjoon?” he says quietly, opening the door. Inside, he finds the younger huddled over a bunch of papers, most likely a case.  He looks up when he hears Seokjin enter, his mouth opening a little in shock.

“Seokjin…you’re here?”

He lets out a nervous chuckle. “I am in fact here.”

Namjoon gestures for him to sit down just as Seokjin hands him the soda from the vending machine. “Figured you probably needed a pick-me-up. I would have gotten you coffee but I don’t know how you like it or whether you like it at all and then I remembered at your house you liked Coke-“

“Thank you,” he says, cutting of Seokjin’s rambling. “Definitely needed this.”

He shakes his head. “It’s no problem, I wanted to check on you anyway.”

The younger meets Seokjin’s eyes. “You didn’t have to.”

“I wanted to, you looked really upset on stage. Sorry that resident was bugging you guys.”

Namjoon sighs and leans back on his chair. “It’s supposed to be a learning opportunity for all of us, those lectures. I don’t mind getting asked questions, but this case really got to me.”

Seokjin waves for the younger to continue.

“It’s just-I don’t know Seokjin. I really thought her levels would lower enough for us to give her the transfusion. I even for a minute considered just asking Chief if I can transfuse regardless of her level.”

“That has it’s own complications,” Seokjin points out. “You know that.”

 “Yeah, but I was still thinking there would be some miracle. It’s my fault I guess, for having hope.”

The elder hums. “That’s the first thing they teach you in medical school, isn’t it? Never give the patient or their family hope. But we never got taught how to deal with managing our own expectations.”

Namjoon takes a sip of his soda. “Weirdly, it was easier to do that when I wasn’t working in pediatrics. I was able to compartmentalize, to not have unnecessary feelings. But now, every patient that I lose, it’s ten times harder.”

“Do you think of Mina?” Seokjin asks. He had always wondered how doctors with kids are even able to sleep at night.

“A lot, yeah. I’m trying not to project my feelings on to random patients though,” he gets as a response. “Being a parent is definitely a weakness for me.”

“It’s also your strength. You’re doing the absolute best that you possibly can, both as a Dad and as a cardiologist,” Seokjin firmly states. “That’s all that matters.”

Namjoon looks at him carefully, his mouth slightly open as if he wants to say something, but nothing comes out. Seokjin thinks maybe he should say speak when his pager goes off.

“Shit, well I-“

“Gotta go?”

Seokjin looks up from reading the page to see a smiling Namjoon. “Yeah, duty calls.”

The younger stands up with him and walks with him to the elevator. They don’t say anything as they wait, Seokjin drumming his fingers on his white coat.

The elevator dings and Seokjin goes to walk in when he feels Namjoon’s hand wrap around his wrist. He looks curiously at him. “What?”

Suddenly, he’s enveloped into the warmth of the younger. His arms are frozen mid-air for a second, confused.

“Thank you, for coming to see me.”

He slowly lets his hands come down on to Namjoon’s back, rubbing up and down. Even though he was the one comforting Namjoon, he felt a sense of calm rush over him. Holding Namjoon, it felt like everything in the world disappeared-every worry, every patient, everything.

Just as he thinks that, the younger pulls away. He’s still smiling. “Hopefully I’ll see you soon?”

Seokjin scratches his neck. “Yeah, Hoseok and Jungkook have been wanting you to join our group activities.” He pauses for a second. “Actually, we were going to Billy’s after work, you know that bar, maybe you want to join? Usually like half of our colleagues are there anyways.”

Namjoon nods. “Yeah, sounds good. Mina is spending the weekend with Hyeri so I can stay out past 7 for once.”

Seokjin feels the corners of his mouth twitch up in a smile as he walks into the elevator and presses the button for the ground floor.

“I’ll see you there then.”

*

Seokjin is drunk.

(Again)

Or maybe, just maybe, he was pretending to be a little bit drunker than he really is. See the thing is, Seokjin has always not been a fan of cardiologists, but he especially hates them now.

“Dude, she is like, all over your man,” an equally drunk Jungkook whispers to him. “Go do something.”

Seokjin had joked that half their colleagues would be here, but it seemed like everyone wanted to get wasted after a day of lecture. Dr. Rebecca Adams was the cardiothoracic surgeon that worked closely with all the cardiologists at their hospital. Specifically, she worked closely with Namjoon and Jimin on the case they had presented at the lecture. However, she only seemed to be getting handsy with Namjoon.

A part of Seokjin is reminding him that Namjoon can do whatever he wants, but another more intoxicated part of Seokjin is reminding him that outside, Namjoon is supposed to be his boyfriend. By letting that surgeon put her hand on his thigh, what message would that be sending to his friends? Hoseok, Jimin, and Jungkook were all there watching as this woman heavily flirted with Namjoon, and Namjoon wasn’t doing anything to stop it.

He tries using his telepathic communication and gives the younger an eyeful, but Namjoon just looks at him confusedly. He sees the cardiologist mouth a, “What?”

“Think she has a thing for hot dads,” Jimin says, grabbing a chicken wing. “She even flirts with him at work! Hyung is too nice to say anything though.”

“He doesn’t mention me?” Seokjin says warily.

Jimin shakes his head. “He tried to once, but she concluded you guys were friends. Oh, look she’s getting up for the bathroom. Now is your chance!”

Seokjin scoffs. “I don’t need to prove anything to her.”

“Just go,” Hoseok says, shoving him a little. “Show everyone he’s yours.”

As Seokjin walks over to the area that Namjoon was sitting at, he can feel his mind start racing. Shit Shit Shit

He sits next to the younger, moving a pillow to get situated. Seokjin glances over to where his friends sat, the three of them waving and/or giving him a thumbs up. He’s grateful for the dim lighting, so it could cover his reddening cheeks.

From the corner of his eye, he sees the familiar figure of Dr. Adams exiting the restroom and making her way over. Quickly, he turns to Namjoon who is already asking him what’s going on.

“Please don’t kill me for this,” Seokjin says before he leans forward and presses his lips against Namjoon.

The younger is taken aback at first but starts responding quickly. Seokjin feels the cold of Namjoon’s watch as he wraps his hand around Seokjin’s neck, pulling him in closer. As much as he hates to admit it, he missed the feeling of Namjoon. He scoots over so easily until he was nearly on the younger’s lap. How did he end up here again? Whatever it didn’t matter, Seokjin’s drunk mind tells him. All that matters was the way Namjoon was biting down his lip, all that matters was the way Namjoon’s other hand had sneaked underneath Seokjin’s shirt, all that matters was-

“Um, excuse me?”

Reluctantly, Seokjin breaks apart from the younger to look up at the stranger. No not stranger, it was Dr. Adams and boy did she not look happy. Seokjin tries not to burst out laughing.

“Yes?” he says, making sure to turn and sit right on Namjoon’s lap.

“I’m Becca Adams, cardiothoracic surgery-“

“Oh Becky!” Seokjin exclaims, a little too into this role now. He extends out a hand and shakes it. “Seokjin Kim-EM. But of course, my lovely Joonie has told me all about you.”

He turns to the side and kisses Namjoon on the cheek. “Didn’t you baby?”

Namjoon is biting his lip, trying not to laugh and Seokjin wants to pinch him. “Of course I did Jinnie.”

“But we promised no work talk tonight, right?” Seokjin says in a pout, and Namjoon nods his head.

“Yeah, sorry, no work talk today. I’ll talk to you later,” the younger says to the surgeon. “Date night and all.”

“Right, well nice seeing you both, I’ll probably go home now.”

“Bye Becky!” Seokjin says, waving. He waits until she’s out of sight to turn to Namjoon and pinch him.

“Hey, ow! What was that for?”

“Did you forget you’re my boyfriend?”

“Of course I didn’t forg-“ Namjoon pauses his sentence and raises his eyebrow, seeing that Seokjin hasn’t moved his position.

 Seokjin notices the stare and feels he has to defend himself. “They’re still watching us.”

The cardiologist peers past Seokjin to the other side of the bar where the three sat. Not a single one of them was watching, too heavily invested in what Jungkook was showing on his phone.

“I can’t believe you called me Jinnie.” Seokjin says when the younger doesn’t say anything. “I hate it.”

“Well, you called me Joonie,” Namjoon points out. Seokjin wants to smack the smile off the man’s face. “It was only fair.”

“Joonie sounds cute,” he states. He thinks for a second. “Joonie, joonbug, joonmoon.”

Namjoon laughs a full-body laugh, and Seokjin feels his cheeks warm up as his body shakes along with the younger because of their proximity. “I think you had too much to drink.”

Seokjin scoffs. “I did not. I can be funny without alcohol, you know.”

“Sure.”

“I’m serious!” Seokjin whines. “Seriously. Knock Knock.”

Namjoon raises his eyebrow. “A knock-knock joke? Really?”

“I said, knock knock.”

“Fine, who’s there?”      

“Disguise.”

“Disguise  who?”

Seokjin points at himself. “Disguise your boyfriend.”

Namjoon lets out a chuckle. “That was pretty bad.”

“It was a reminder,” he replies, trying not to sound too affected by the younger’s laugh. “You can’t just forget that when you’re in public.”

“Right, I will remember next time,” Namjoon says. His eyes are focused on Seokjin’s lips, and Seokjin tries not to think about how warm Namjoon’s arms feel around his waist. “I’ll make it believable.”

“Yeah, you…you should try harder,” Seokjin stutters, feeling Namjoon pull him in closer.  

“I feel too old to be making out with you in a club though,” Namjoon finally says, his breath fanning over Seokjin’s mouth. His voice lowers. “They’d really believe it if we said we are going home together.”

Seokjin feels very hot then, all of a sudden, underneath Namjoon’s gaze. His lips still feel swollen from just a few minutes ago. “I thought we decided this isn’t going to happen anymore.”

Namjoon leans in closer, his nose grazing Seokjin’s as their foreheads press together. “Then stop driving me crazy,” he whispers.

Seokjin has two options here, he supposes.

He can tell Namjoon to fuck off, and Namjoon, the gentleman he is, wouldn’t take offense. Everything would be fine, and they could just stay pretend boyfriends until further notice.

Or.

Seokjin could walk out that door with Namjoon in tow. They could go to his place, this time since it would be convenient.  

*

Namjoon is a gentleman after all because Seokjin and he end up at Namjoon’s place again.

Both of them don’t speak as he pulls off Namjoon’s shirt after he had taken off his own. The younger just hums, smiling as the garment lands on the floor, Seokjin going to kiss Namjoon again.

They keep kissing, and it’s a bit rushed, like the first time. Seokjin maybe didn’t realize how much he has wanted this, how much he missed Namjoon’s hands running up and down his waist. Namjoon is smiling into the kiss, and Seokjin leans back to look at the younger questioningly. “What’s so funny?”

Namjoon shakes his head. “Nothing.”

“You were smiling.”

“Oh it’s a crime to smile now?”

“I never said it’s a crime, I just want to know.”

Namjoon moves forward and presses his lips against Seokjin’s neck, the sensation making Seokjin shut up immediately. “Was thinking about your joke.”

And before Seokjin can retort, Namjoon starts kissing down the elder’s body-from his neck to his chest to his toned stomach. Seokjin’s breath catches as the younger drops to his knees, gently pushing Seokjin to sit on the bed. Seokjin watches intently as Namjoon unzips Seokjin’s jeans and pulls them down along with his boxers.

Seokjin is embarrassingly hard already, his skin heating up as he sees Namjoon look at him for reassurance. He finds himself nodding.

The younger slips his length into his mouth, and Seokjin thinks he isn’t going to make it, his hands immediately reaching for Namjoon’s hair, grabbing at it. He can’t help fucking into Namjoon’s mouth, his mind spinning through the small motions as Namjoon deepthroats him. For a second, Namjoon flits his eyes up at the elder, and Seokjin nearly comes right then.

“Joon,” he pants, the nickname from earlier that night slipping out of his mouth, “I’m not going to make it if you keep doing this.”

Namjoon seems to understand and lets go with a pop, his mouth shiny and making Seokjin's stomach curl. He licks a stripe against the base before kissing Seokjin’s hip. Seokjin whines. “Stop teasing.”

He hears a shuffle as Namjoon reaches for the lube and condom from his bedside drawer. Seokjin ends up on his back, watching as Namjoon slips the condom on. “You ready?”

“Are you seriously asking me that right n-“

Namjoon leans down and kisses him, cutting Seokjin off. He continues kissing him as he slowly opens him up with lubed up fingers. It’s been a while since Seokjin had gotten laid(Namjoon was the last one to open him up like this his stupid brain reminds him), so it takes a bit longer for Seokjin to get comfortable, but Namjoon is nothing but patient. To be honest, Seokjin thinks Namjoon likes Seokjin fucking into his fingers.

“Ah-right there,” he moans into the younger’s lips. “I’m ready, shit.”

Namjoon nods, and Seokjin would ask why he’s being so quiet, but his body is feeling every sensation everywhere, and he doesn’t think he’s capable of speaking.

The younger enters slowly, adjusting until Seokjin says he can move. Seokjin finds his legs wrapping around Namjoon’s waist as the younger starts changing up the speed of thrusts.

Seokjin feels his body convulse, closing his eyes, whispering a collection of curse words of his choice. His back arches and toes curl as he grips the sheets.

“You’re so beautiful,” Namjoon says in between thrusts, his voice strained. Seokjin opens his eyes and the sight before him is even more beautiful he thinks. Namjoon is glistening in sweat, looking like some action movie hero and Seokjin wants to touch him badly.

He moves up until he’s in Namjoon’s lap again, both of them adjusting before Seokjin wraps his arms around the elder’s neck and starts kissing him, licking into his mouth. Namjoon fucks up into Seokjin, his own arms wrapped around Seokjin’s waist.

“I’m not going to last like this,” Namjoon says breathlessly, rubbing his hands over Seokjin’s back, guiding him with each thrust.

“Then don’t,” Seokjin replies, mostly because he doesn’t think he’s going to make it much longer either. “Come for me.”

And Namjoon does, with a guttural moan, Seokjin spilling out a couple of seconds later. They both stay in their position, panting, before Seokjin winces and rolls off the younger.

He watches as the younger goes to throw the condom away, and if he wasn’t so fucked out of his mind, he would maybe think the scene was a bit too familiar.

Namjoon comes back with a washcloth and hands it to Seokjin. “Here.”

Seokjin thanks him and wipes himself clean before grabbing the boxers that lay on the floor. He slides them on and turns to hand the cloth to Namjoon.

The younger takes it and walks over to the attached bathroom, throwing it into the laundry basket before slipping into boxers himself.

Seokjin doesn’t know what to do with himself when Namjoon yawns and pulls the covers aside. “I promise I wash the sheets. Don’t worry they’re clean.”

“No it’s not tha…I don’t know if I should. Stay.”

He can feel his anxiety start bubbling up, his fingers twitching again. Seokjin can’t do this, he told himself that he wouldn’t be physically invested in anyone right now, and yet-

 “Just stay, Seokjin, come on get in,” Namjoon says. He doesn’t give any reasoning, doesn’t say that his bed is comfortable or that it is 2 am and you have to pay an arm and a leg for an Uber on Friday nights. No, he just pulls the covers and pats the spot next to him.

Seokjin should go, he really should go. He really should.

“Okay,” he says softly. Namjoon watches him as he gets in the bed, pulling up the covers over his shivering body.

“You’re freezing,” the younger says, and Seokjin doesn’t even protest when Namjoon pulls him in closer, Seokjin’s back pressed against Namjoon’s chest. Usually, Seokjin would hate this kind of closeness, but as Namjoon lays his arm around his waist, he feels his breath go steady. “Is this okay?”

Namjoon’s breath ghosts over his neck, and Seokjin feels his skin prickle.

He closes his eyes, letting the darkness consume him.

“Yeah, it’s okay.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

December bleeds into January and Seokjin finds himself enjoying the freshness of the new year. He ends up working on New Year’s Eve, but he doesn’t mind much because his lips find Namjoon’s at exactly midnight.

It was a mistake actually, Seokjin was looking for a nurse to help him clean up a wound. The ED was packed, as it is on every holiday where people are more reckless, and staffing was short. When he couldn’t find a nurse, he had just sighed and went to the medical supplies closet himself. Just as he had started rummaging through the racks, he hears someone else open the door and enter.

He blinked. “Namjoon?”

The younger smiles. “Hey.”

Seokjin looks at the rack in front of him and back to the younger. “You guys have your supplies upstairs. Don’t steal. We already are running low tonight, literally had 5 drunk underage teenagers toda-”

“I’m not here to steal your supplies.”

“Well?”

Namjoon takes out his phone and taps it, lighting up to show a picture of Mina laughing. The clock reads 11:58 pm. “It’s almost New Year’s.”

Seokjin feels his ears go red, realizing he was so busy he forgot about New Year.  He was never one to celebrate anyway, finding it a pretty useless holiday. “Oh.”

“I knew you would busy yourself in work, I was gonna pull you aside actually, but I saw you walking in here.”

Seokjin just nods, still a bit confused.

“I know it’s shitty we both got stuck working New Year’s Eve, considering our friends aren’t working. You know even Hyeri is off? Like they’ll give residents off but not fellows and attendings? No respect honestly-“

“Namjoon,” Seokjin says, seeing the clock on the phone change to 11:59. He starts a mental countdown in his head. 60, 59, 58…

“Right, anyway,” the cardiologist says hesitantly, biting his lip. He pauses before continuing. “I just thought, I don’t know. We both are working tonight, and-“

“And?”

Seokjin feels his heart racing as Namjoon gets closer. He watches the younger’s lips as he talks, letting the words wash over him.

“I just thought instead of being lonely separately, we could be lonely together.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” he replies, but Seokjin is smiling, feeling the familiar warmth run over his body. 10,9,8,7…

Namjoon scrunches his brow. “I just mean that you know-“

5,4,3

Seokjin reaches for Namjoon’s cheek, getting on his tippy toes a little, effectively shutting Namjoon up.

2

Namjoon opens his mouth slightly in shock as their faces get nearer.

1

“Happy New Year Joon,” Seokjin whispers, pressing his lips into the younger’s.

*

So that was New Year’s.

Don’t get him wrong, Seokjin still thinks it’s a useless holiday, and time is still definitely a social construct, but it was quite a start to the year.

He’s floating. It’s a bit of a strange feeling, like a buzzing in his chest when he sees Namjoon waiting for him at the end of a shift to walk him to his car. He knows that it’s all for show, that Namjoon is only holding his hand so their co-workers will see. But he finds himself looking forward to it nearly every time their schedules align, enjoying hearing the stories about what patients Namjoon encountered that day.

More times than not, Namjoon or Seokjin would reach their car and just stand there, waiting for someone to say the magic words. Come over.

They’ve been sleeping together a lot lately, and Seokjin tries not to think much about it. They haven’t labeled or discussed what this pseudo-relationship with benefits is, but he thinks he likes it better this way. Seokjin doesn’t have to worry about anything falling apart because there is nothing to begin with.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, Seokjin has learned quite about the man, finding himself in the company of the younger often. He’s also spent a significant amount of time with Mina as well. It seemed Mina was active in nearly every sport and after school activity from soccer to theater. She was a curious child, always questioning everything, much to her father’s delight. It was something that Seokjin noticed about Namjoon and Mina. They both were constantly noticing things that the rest of the world didn’t. Seokjin finds himself enjoying Namjoon’s rants about global warming or Mina’s questions about why the sky was blue or-

 “Hey, when you’re done daydreaming, can you help me with this?”

Seokjin blinks and looks at Jimin, who is looking over a case. “I wasn’t daydreaming. I was just thinking about something Namjoon told me,” he says, trying to cover his ass.

Jimin rolls his eyes. “We get it, you and Namjoon hyung are the most disgustingly happy perfect couple.”

“Okay, first off we are not, perfect,” Seokjin says, defensive.

The younger goes back to looking at the computer screen. “Yeah right, you guys have been in the honeymoon phase for like months now. I haven’t even seen you fight once.”

Seokjin crosses his arms. “Not all of us like to air out dirty laundry in the public eye.”

“Sure, whatever you say.”

He is appalled. “What the hell is up with you today? Did Jungkook not fuck you last night or something?” Seokjin says, his voice low, a little vicious. He doesn’t know where the anger is coming from, or why he needed to defend his and Namjoon’s fake relationship.

“You know what Seokjin?” Jimin says finally, looking him in the eye. “My shift is over, I just came as a consult because I was being nice. Go page someone else.”

And with that, he walks away, not sparing Seokjin a second glance. He’s probably in a bad mood and you just worsened it, Seokjin thinks. He forces himself not to take it personally and instead takes Jimin’s advice and pages for another cardiology consult.

As he continues throughout the day, his mind wanders to what the younger had said about Namjoon and him being stuck in the honeymoon phase for months. Were they being too obvious? He tries to remember how he had acted like in past relationships.

It dawns on him that after Yoongi, he never cared for any of the people that he had been with. Most of it was physical, nothing more than a warm body at night. He can’t recall a single name that stands out where he had a “honeymoon phase.”

Even with Yoongi, he thinks, he never experienced it. They had known each other for too long, their relationship had already been set. They were best friends and even after they confessed to each other under the covers one fateful night, that bond never really changed. The only real change was that they were sleeping with each other. Seokjin was comfortable with Yoongi and Yoongi was comfortable with Seokjin. It was a slow and steady love. One that slowly consumed him as the years passed by, until it made him codependent on that love to survive. All for it to be yanked away, leaving Seokjin gasping for air.

He lifts his hand and looks at the small tattoo etched on his wrist. M.Y.G It stares back at him, laughing.

Yoongi and he hadn’t spoken in a while, Seokjin always blowing off texts or missed calls with lame excuses that he knows the younger can see through. But he doesn’t have the energy to lie to Yoongi or worse, tell the truth. The younger definitely knew that Seokjin was seeing someone, Hoseok mentioning that he and Yoongi had several conversations about it.

Min Yoongi was nice enough to not mention Namjoon in any of the texts they do send to each other and Seokjin is grateful.

Just as Seokjin is about to walk into another patient room, he hears the ding of his phone.

Babe <3 <3 <3

Bro is it just me or was jimin super weird today

Heard he came down to ED for a consult

Me

Did you just call me bro?

Babe <3 <3

Yeah, a patient told me that’s like cool now

Bro

Me

I dare you to call Hyeri bro

Babe <3 <3

She’d probably punch me

No thanks

Bro

Me

Bro…I gotta go see this last patient

Babe <3 <3

Ok but jimin

Me

Yeah I may have pissed him off a bit more

But he was being kind of an asshole

Babe <3 <3

What he say

Me

I’ll tell u tonight, come over?

Mina’s at the away soccer tournament right

U can stay over and we can drive to the game tomorrow

Babe <3 <3

Yeah she is

Cool ill see you then

*

Seokjin locks his phone and gets through his last patient, which takes much longer than he had expected. From the looks of it, it was just a fever, but the parents had googled way too much on WebMD. After an hour reassuring them, he sighs and heads over to the attending lounge.

What he sees when he enters makes him nearly fall.

Hoseok and Jungkook are kissing, Jungkook pressing the elder into the countertop as Hoseok wraps his arms around Jungkook’s neck.

The door closes behind Seokjin and for a second nobody moves, Hoseok’s eyes going wide. Jungkook looks confused as to why the elder had stopped and turns to face what the psychiatrist was looking at. When Jungkook’s eyes meet Seokjin’s, his face goes pale.

“I…um. I need to get my stuff. It’s in the locker behind y-you,” Seokjin stutters, forcing his feet to walk in the direction of his friends.

Both doctors move to the side quickly. “Yeah here, go ahead hyung,” Jungkook says, but Seokjin doesn’t hear it over his heart beating in his head.

He quickly opens his locker and puts on his jacket, zipping it up quickly.

“Look hyung, listen-“ he hears Hoseok start.

Seokjin ignores it and grabs his bag.

“I have to go. See you guys, have a nice day.”

*

Namjoon notices the tension in Seokjin’s body immediately when he pecks the younger on the lips as he enters Seokjin’s house. He frowns at the lack of response.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m f-fine, yeah,” Seokjin replies, taking the younger’s coat and waving him off. “Want something to eat?”

The cardiologist raises his eyebrow looking at the kitchen island. This was not something they do, have dinner. Usually, Namjoon would come over or Seokjin would go to Namjoon’s and they would have sex.  Then Seokjin would lamely say something about having to go and Namjoon would give him a look and Seokjin would get back into bed.

They don’t do dinner.

But see, Seokjin is a stress cooker, and so he may have gone overboard. “You don’t have to eat, I’m sorry I didn’t even ask if you already ate.”

“No, this looks really good,” Namjoon says with a smile. “I’m starving.”

Seokjin nods and hands a plate to the younger. After they had gotten their food, they both settle in the couch. He turns on the TV, scrolling through the channels until he finally settles on HGTV.

Both of them don’t speak as they watch a family of four try to revamp some old ratty house that had been foreclosed.

“You know,” Namjoon starts quietly, waving his fork at the TV. “I always felt bad for the kid because they would get this massive makeover and fixate on like only one thing they probably won’t like in five years’ time.”

Seokjin chuckles. “Imagine if they got Mina a Frozen room in your house.”

The cardiologist shakes his head. “She liked Frozen long enough for the movie to come out and then she like moved on to a different princess within a week!”

“First of all, Elsa is a queen. Anna is a princess,” Seokjin says.

Namjoon swallows his bite before replying. “Did you not see the second movie? Anna is the queen now.”

“Wow way to spoil it, I was going to ask Mina if she wanted to watch it with me.”

“The first one is better anyway,” the younger grumbles, but there’s a smile leaking out. “Plus my neighbors are sick of hearing different 70 different renditions of Into the Unknown.”

Seokjin laughs. “Oh come on you must have had some obsession when you were younger.”

“Not really. I just studied. Didn’t see the point in becoming some fanatic.”

“Not even like, Star Wars?” Seokjin says, a little shocked.

Namjoon frowns. “Especially not Star Wars.”

“What about music?” Seokjin prods. “Come on, you must like some genre more than others.”

He gets a shrug as a response. “I really liked, well still like, Nas and stuff.”

“I love Nas too!” It’s kind of weird, Seokjin thinks, that he spent this much time with Namjoon and he is only just learning his music taste. He takes another bite. “Who else?”

The younger scratches his neck, a nervous habit that Seokjin noticed he does a lot. “I don’t know if you’re up to date with like rappers back home? Usually, I’m not a fan of idols, but AGUSTD has some great stuff out there.”

“Right, never heard of him. Should check him out though,” he says, visible droop in his shoulders now, focusing his attention back to his food.  The mood was ruined. Of course, Namjoon would be a fan of Yoongi.

“You really should, there’s some raw stuff on some of his old mixtapes.”

Seokjin hums, still not looking at Namjoon. “Oh yeah, what is it about?”

The younger notices the solemn attitude. “We don’t have to talk about this you know.”

“No, I want to know, it’s okay,” Seokjin says, looking up and forcing a smile. “I’m sorry if I’m off today. Just weird day.”

“You want to talk about it?”

No. “I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about it.”

Namjoon sets his plate on the coffee table and then does the same thing with Seokjin’s. He places a hand on the younger’s thigh, the warmth seeping through Seokjin’s jeans. It’s a gesture he’s learned to love. “I’m not going to force you to tell me, but I think it will ease the burden a little, won’t it? And my lips are sealed.”

The TV is still blaring, but Seokjin can only hear static as he sees Namjoon wait for him to talk. His fingers are getting ready to twitch. He sighs. “I saw something I probably shouldn’t have.”

“Like a doctor at the hospital doing something illegal?”

He frowns. “Well it wasn’t illegal…but just morally wrong.”

Namjoon tilts his head. “If it was a doctor doing something morally wrong, it should be reported to Chief.”

“No, it was like,” Seokjin bites his lip, trying to see how he can figure out how to word this without giving Hoseok and Jungkook away. “Two people doing something behind someone’s back. They shouldn’t be doing.”

“So like cheating,” Namjoon says with an eyebrow raised.

“Perhaps,” Seokjin says in a weak voice. “And perhaps I don’t know if I am allowed to meddle or not.”

The younger is quiet for a moment. “Do you know the person who is getting cheated on personally? Are you friends?”

“Friends is pushing it,” Seokjin replies. “But still…who do I confront? It just doesn’t feel like my place.”

“This is your decision but, I think you should give them an ultimatum. Say if they don’t tell, you will.”

He bites his lip. Hoseok and Jungkook are his best friends, they were good people, or so he thought. The fact that he would have to confront them about this makes him sick to his stomach.

“If you want, I can drop you off at Jimin and Hoseok’s house?”

Seokjin eyes flit up. “I never said it was one of them!”

The younger shrugs. “It was kind of obvious.”

Seokjin stands up, the warmth from Namjoon’s hand leaving him. “Why was it obvious? Because I have no friends outside of them?”

His mind is racing, and he starts pacing. Namjoon probably thought he was some loser, and now he broke his other friends’ trust, even if it was by accident. Also, said friends were having an affair behind his other somewhat-friend’s back. Fantastic.

“Seokjin, wait. That’s not what I meant. I just wanted you to go and talk to the-hold up,” Namjoon starts but just as Seokjin is about to retort, his phone buzzes.

Jimin

Hey, im so sorry about how shitty I was behaving

Had a tough day at work

Im sorry hyung, i’ll make it up to u

Let’s get dinner sometime! (:

“Seokjin, are you listening? I didn’t mean to say it was obvious, it just kinda slipped.”

He looks up from his phone to see Namjoon looking at him, the sadness present in his eyes.

“You should go,” he says, finally, voice shaky. “I have to catch up on notes and stuff. Sorry.”

Namjoon looks at the elder and opens his mouth to say something, but then closes it. His face hardens. “Okay, see you at work.”

The door shuts, and Seokjin drops on to the couch.

“Well you wanted us to break our honeymoon phase,” he says to nobody in particular. “There you have it.”

*

Seokjin is an expert at avoiding his problems. He should write a book, called: How to Pretend Everything is Fine.

It has been a week since the incident and honestly, he thinks he is dealing with it pretty well. Hoseok and Jungkook had texted him several times throughout the week, asking to meet, but both of them haven’t had the guts to face him in person. Namjoon too had not texted or seen him, and well. What can he expect really out of a fuck buddy?

He was on the day shift today, and it was relatively busy. There was an apartment fire, and the ED was filled to the brim with more and more kids suffering from smoke inhalation and burn marks. Seokjin puts on his mask and goes into the next room, two nurses tailing behind him.

“Annie Smith, 7, was part of the apartment fire on 17th  at that afterschool club, “ the EMT tells him as Seokjin looks over at the child. She was so little and hearing that she was 7 makes Seokjin feel a little nauseous. Another seven-year-old comes to mind, one who loved mint chocolate ice cream.

“Where are her parents?” he asks, as he presses the stethoscope against her skin to listen to her heart and lungs. “I barely got a pulse, she’s not breathing. We gotta bag her.”

They all rush forward as the EMT tells him that the parents are on the way, but that it might take a while. “Fuck her air is dropping,” he says, realizing that her airways were slowly closing up. “Someone get a crash cart in here while I intubate.  And someone get cardio!”

A nurse hands him the kit as he opens up the girl’s mouth, being careful as possible to put the tube down her throat. “Fuck it won’t-“ Seokjin says, struggling, realizing the upper airway had closed. “ I think I have to go for an emergency trach.”

“Dr.Kim are you sure?” the nurse asks hesitantly looking between Seokjin and the monitor. “Maybe we should wait for cardio to get here to assess-“

“We don’t have time,” Seokjin pants, already feeling the area of the neck that he was going to make the incision. “Give me the scalpel and kit.”

The nurse nods and within thirty seconds, Seokjin has a scalpel in his hand. Carefully, he makes an incision, making sure to use his pinky to feel he was in the right area. His veins are thumping with adrenaline, but his hands don’t dare shake as he inserts the tubing.  

“Almost…okay it’s in.”

The monitor stops giving warning signals as the patient returns to back to a normal breathing pattern. He heaves out a breath, watching the girl carefully.

“Heard you needed cardio?”

Seokjin turns and sees Jimin standing near the entryway, slowly walking over. He looks at the young girl in front of them, tube in her throat. His eyebrows raise up.

“Did you-?”

He sighs.

*

Seokjin stands near the Nurse’s station of the ICU wing, looking at the glass room that held their patient from earlier today. Jimin was inside, talking with the parents. After a few moments, he slides the glass door open and comes outside, surprised to see Seokjin there.

“Her 02 levels have been increasing steadily. Her lungs weren’t too damaged by the smoke and I think she will be okay. None of her wounds are infected yet either, but I got a first-year to stay overnight to observe. She’ll call if anything happens.”

Seokjin just nods, still unable to say anything.

Jimin puts the iPad down on the counter. “Hyung, you saved her. This is good, I’m glad you decided to cric her.”

“This is not good,” Seokjin says quietly. “None of this is good. This is fucked up.”

“What are you talking about?” Jimin says, looking the elder up and down. “Are you okay?”

“You know how that fire started?”

“I’m not sure I’m following.”

Seokjin closes his eyes, forcing himself to breathe in. “Because their lovely instructor went out for a smoke and didn’t extinguish it properly.”

Jimin remains silent.

“Annie could have died, so could have all those other kids. How is that fair? They’re kids!” He can feel himself breathing heavily now, the anger and fear rushing through him. “What if it was-?”

“Mina?” Jimin finishes for him. “Hyung, she’s safe. She was nowhere near that building, I talked to Namjoon hyung earlier,” he says as he pats the elder on the back.

Seokjin doesn’t respond.

Jimin sighs. “How about you go and check with Namjoon hyung about how Mina is yourself? I think that will calm you down a little. Want me to walk you to cardiology?”

“No. I c-can do it,” he replies. Which wasn’t very assuring, but he walks away anyway, making his way on auto-pilot to the Cardiology floor of the hospital. It was nearing the end of the day, and it was more than likely Namjoon had already gone home.

When he sees the familiar tossed up brown hair, he doesn’t know what to do. Namjoon is in the midst of a conversation with some other doctor and it takes approximately one minute for the younger to meet his eyes. It feels like it has been a century since he had seen the cardiologist, and his hands itch to touch him.

Namjoon bids goodbye to the other doctor and makes his way to over where Seokjin is standing near the staff room. They both enter, Seokjin following silently behind.

He half expects Namjoon to yell at him, to curse him out.

“God, are you okay?”

Seokjin nods his head, a little confused on how the younger could read him so easily.

“I heard about the fire on 17th, the ED must have been packe-“

“Yeah, I just-how is Mina?” Seokjin replies, cutting him off.

This takes the cardiologist aback. “I-wait what? She’s fine, she’s with a babysitter at home.”

“Can you show me?” Seokjin’s voice is frail, the tears about to make their debut. He forces them down. Namjoon looks confused, but considering Seokjin’s state, he doesn’t object.

Mina’s face shows up on facetime within one ring. “Hi Daddy! Hi Dr.Kim!”

A rush of relief falls over Seokjin. She was safe. Mina was safe.

“Hi angel,” he says weakly. “I’m sorry I missed your game last week.”

The pixelated form of Namjoon’s daughter smiles. “That’s okay Dr.Kim, you had work. You have to save lives. That’s way more important than stupid soccer.”

Seokjin smiles just as Namjoon frowns. “What did we say about the s word Mina?”

Mina giggles. “I’m sorry I called soccer the s word.”

“Well anyways,” Seokjin says with a smile. “I hope I can make it up to you. How about we go get pizza soon?”

“Yes! Pizza, pizza, pizza!”

Namjoon looks fondly at his daughter. “Don’t give Jessica any trouble okay? I’ll be home in a bit.”

“Okay, bye Daddy! Bye Dr.Kim!”

Seokjin waves goodbye and then the call is ended. He feels a bit calmer now, less on edge. It was amazing how a one-minute phone call with Mina drastically changed his mood.

“So…”

Namjoon is looking at him expectantly and Seokjin bites his lip. He can’t do this right now, he can’t.

“I know we need to talk, but I really do have to do something first.”

The younger crosses his arms. “Are you serious right now?”

“I promise, we will talk soon. I’ll text you tomorrow okay?” Seokjin says, desperation present in his voice. He searches Namjoon’s face for something, anything, to hold on to. “Please wait one more day. Please.”

Namjoon face softens, just a little.

 “Okay.”

*

“You both need to tell Jimin that you guys are having an affair behind his back. Or else I will.”

Seokjin didn’t mean to sound so uptight but he was sick of procrastinating the inevitable. He had driven over to Hoseok’s house with a twenty-minute heads-up. Not that Hoseok’s place was far, but Seokjin had to mentally prepare himself in the parking garage of the hospital for ten minutes.

Jungkook looks at Hoseok and then back to Seokjin. “Hyung it’s not like that.”

“How are you denying this?” Seokjin says exasperatedly. “I legit saw you guys eating each other’s face off with my own eyes!”

“Hyung-“ Hoseok starts.

“No don’t hyung me. This fucked me up for a week because I couldn’t believe that both my best friends would do this. I literally got into a fight with Namjoon because of you guys! Did working at a pediatric hospital make you guys become children too?”

“You got into a fight with Namjoon?”

The voice comes from down the hallway, and Jimin walks into the living room, his hair up in a towel. He takes it off and starts drying his hair with it.

“I-“Seokjin is a bit stunned. He had not planned for this. “You were supposed to have a night shift.”

Jimin scrunches his brow. “I got someone to cover it once I heard you were coming over from these two.”

Now Seokjin is confused and looks at Hoseok and Jungkook. “Why would you tell him I’m coming?”

“Okay, I know I was rude the other day, but I said sorry,” Jimin replies, face in a bit of a pout.  “I told you I would make it up to you.”

“Maybe this isn’t a good time,” Seokjin says, eyes darting between the three of them. “I’ll talk later.”

Hoseok sighs. “No, I think you should sit down. We need to talk.”

Seokjin raises his eyebrow. “I really don’t think that’s a smart-“

“Just sit down hyung, we will explain,” Jungkook says quietly. Seokjin thinks this is the first time he had seen the youngest so withdrawn, like a puppy with its tail between its legs.

So, he sits and waits in the living room as the other three go into the kitchen. He can hear whispering and he taps on his phone.

No new messages from anyone.

Maybe Namjoon was right, it was obvious. He had nobody except for these three. If he loses these friends, then he really was going to be alone again.

“Okay, hyung, we have something to tell you. But please don’t freak out,” Jungkook says after that the three of them come back to the living room.

Seokjin crosses his arms. “Oh, believe me, we are way past that.”

Jimin looks at Jungkook and Hoseok and then back to Seokjin. “All three of us are together.”

“Together,” he echoes back, a bit stupidly.

The cardiologist nods. “Yeah, the other day when you saw Jungkook and Hoseok-Jungkook wasn’t cheating on me. We are all together.”

Seokjin tries to piece the words together, trying to understand. He waves his finger between the three of them. “So you guys are like, boyfriends?”

“We are,” Hoseok breathes out.

He’s still confused. “How…What?”

“Well, actually we owe that to you and Namjoon hyung,” Jungkook says with a hesitant smile. “At Thanksgiving, just seeing how open you guys were with your feelings kind of inspired me to tell Jimin about my feelings for Hoseok.”

Oh. Oh this is bad, Seokjin thinks.

“And of course, I felt the same way,” Jimin adds. “I tried to hide my feelings for a while because I didn’t want to ruin things with Jungkook.”

Seokjin almost snorts at the hiding my feelings.

 “I was hesitant at first,” Hoseok says, biting his lip. “But as I spent more time with these two, I knew this was the right thing.”

“It took a lot of seducing on our part.”

“Yeah and we still figuring out the sex but-“

“Okay I get it,” Seokjin interrupts, standing up. He wipes his sweaty palms on his pants and then looks between the three faces. On one hand, he feels immensely guilty that his and Namjoon’s fake acting is what led the three of his friends together.

On the other hand, he was the reason his friends got together. For years, he felt all he did was take and take from Hoseok. Not being able to offer anything other than his body. Now, Hoseok is smiling, filled with happiness. All the memories of Hoseok looking fondly at Jimin or Jungkook over these past couple months come to him. Of him offering to play tennis with Jungkook. Of him taking care of a drunken Jimin.

Hoseok was in love.

Seokjin looks at the other two. He thinks of Jungkook’s rambles about Hoseok during lunch or the way his eyes would grow wide when the elder touched him. He thinks of Jimin’s jealousy when Hoseok was with Seokjin or how Jimin was known to be messy but kept the house clean because Hoseok loved neatness.

Jimin and Jungkook were in love too, but not just with each other.

It’s an odd realization to come to at 8 pm on a Tuesday. The world comes to a halt, the wind stops blowing, the snow melts.

“I’m so happy for you guys,” he finally states, smile slowly growing. “I really, really am. So happy.”

Jungkook is the one who runs up to him and goes for a hug. Seokjin allows it, getting crushed in the orthopedic surgeon’s arms. He looks up to see Hoseok and Jimin waiting hesitantly, and he laughs.

“Come on, get in here.”

Two more sets of arms wrap around him, and Seokjin closes his eyes. It didn’t matter if these were his only friends.

This was more than enough.

*

Seokjin stays around that night, Jimin demanding that he should have dinner with them. At first, he says no, but then caves while looking at Jimin and Jungkook attempting to cook.

The four of them chat idly as Seokjin designates the task of cutting up vegetables for the youngest two. Hoseok takes care of the boiling pot on the stove with Seokjin. He learns about their relationship, having to stop Jungkook from talking about their sex life more than once.

It felt nice. He didn’t even feel any malice that he wasn’t informed of the development until tonight. The three of them had obviously gone through a tough patch trying to figure out how it would all work out. He’s just grateful they came out better.

“So what’s up with this fight with Namjoon hyung,” Jungkook says in between bites of a carrot. “You guys okay?”

“That’s like the third one. We need those,” Jimin whines, lightly slapping the younger. He then turns to Seokjin. “But true, what is up with you guys?”

He doesn’t want to talk about this. “It’s nothing, it’s whatever.”

“Obviously not,” Jimin replies. “Namjoon hyung has been so glum.”

Seokjin tries not to think about the younger being sad over a stupid fight with him. “I’ll talk to him.”

“You better,” Hoseok adds. He stops stirring and looks at the eldest. “You guys are like, perfect. I didn’t even think you were capable of fighting.”

“That’s what I said!” Jimin exclaims. “They were on the honeymoon phase for so long.”

“Yeah, you guys are like the Meredith and Derek of our hospital,” Jungkook states.

Seokjin scoffs. “Derek died.”

 “Okay instead of Team MerDer, we can all be team NamJin,” Jimin points out.

“What the hell is a NamJin?” Seokjin says, but he feels his face heating up, and it wasn’t just that he was next to a burning stove.

“Team NamJin!” Hoseok teases.

“Team NamJin!” Jimin echoes.

“I am not saying that,” Jungkook replies, and Seokjin grins. This is why Jungkook was his favorite.

“Say it,” Jimin says , pointing his knife menacingly at Jungkook.

The youngest laughs. “You look so cute when you’re trying to threaten me.”

“Hey!” Jimin exclaims. Jungkook ignores it and goes to peck the cardiologist’s lips, Jimin being taken aback.

“You’re not off the hook,” Jimin whines, but he’s smiling. From the side, Seokjin can see Hoseok is too.

“Anyways,” Seokjin says, probably interrupting the moment.

“Yes anyways,” Hoseok replies. “You’ll talk to Namjoon right?”

He nods. “I will.”

*

Me

Hey u up?

Babe <3 <3

Yeah

Me

Mina already in bed?

Babe <3 <3

Yeah

Me

Joon look im sorry

I didn’t mean to snap so bad that day

And I don’t wanna give shitty excuses

I’m really sorry

Babe <3 <3

Its ok

Thanks for apologizing

Im sorry for being rude too

And ignoring u for like a week instead of talking about it

I don’t wanna give a shit excuse either

I’m sorry too

Me

I appreciate that, thank u

Im sorry I missed mina’s game bc of this

Did she win?

Babe <3 <3

Their good luck charm wasn’t there

So no

But also I think the other team lowkey cheated

Me

How can u even cheat in soccer for 7 year olds

Babe <3 <3

Ill explain to u sometime

When he started texting Namjoon that night, the last thing he was expecting was an apology or even going back to a normal conversation. As they continue talking, it felt like they were almost on equal footing again.

Almost…

Seokjin bites his lip and opens up his front camera.

Me

I’m gonna go to bed now

[image attached]

Babe <3 <3

Fuck

God , holy shit??

Me

My name is Seokjin actually

Babe <3 <3

-_-

I cannot believe you

U couldn’t hold that in until I was done w my speech on how pretty u are?

Me

Pretty?

Babe <3 <3

yes

Youre so pretty fuck

Wish u were here rn

Me

Yeah?

Babe <3 <3

Its so damn cold in NY

And you’re like a  human space heater

Me

Now it’s my turn to -_-

Maybe if u slept with a shirt on once in a while

You wouldn’t be so cold

Babe <3 <3

[image attached]

I wore a shirt today tho

Me

That is not

Even?

That’s a TANK

Babe <3 <3

Tank, shirt same thing

Me

Shirts dont cut that low

They don’t show all…that

Babe <3 <3

Well its not something u haven’t seen

Me

Ur so annoying

Babe <3 <3

And sexy

Me

GOODNIGHT

Babe <3 <3

Goodnighttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

Me

One more t and im blocking u

Babe <3 <3

t

wait

THAT was an accident

Don’t block me

Seokjin after all we been thru

I cant believe u would block me

Over TEA

Get it

t

Seokjinnnnnnn

Unblock me

Me

I went to get water

If I had blocked u , the message wouldn’t send

How do u not know this

Babe <3 <3

Oh..

Anyways wanna come over Thursday

Me

Classy as always

Babe <3 <3

Is that a yes : )

Me

Gooodnight joon

Babe <3 <3                                         

Goodnight seokjin

*

Chuck-e-cheese’s is packed on a Friday, crowded with kids screaming.

They had to drive a while to get here, forced to go to the suburbs for the entertainment place. Namjoon insisted they could get some street pizza, but Seokjin refused to waver. He had already felt extremely guilty he missed Mina’s soccer game and wanted to make it up to her.

Said child was going through the arcade, trying to score as many points as possible. She had made a friend within the ten minutes of them arriving and both of them were running around clutching hundreds of tickets.

Namjoon and Seokjin sat at one of the booths where they had ordered pizza, watching Mina as they ate. They haven’t talked much about their fight or of Seokjin’s panic at work the other day. Namjoon knew about Hoseok, Jimin, and Jungkook- the three of them cornering him at work the other day. The other parts of that week were left undiscussed though, mainly the part about Seokjin crying and asking to see Mina on facetime. It was like a massive elephant in the room anytime they were together. Usually, he ignores it, but it was bothering him a lot more today.

“I think she’s having fun,” Seokjin finally says, attempting to start the conversation. “Think she will win big?”

Namjoon snorts. “Those games are rigged, no way.”

“You have little faith,” he replies and the younger just hums, taking another bite of his pizza. Seokjin picks at his food before continuing. “I’m glad we’re talking again.”

The cardiologist looks up and gives a hesitant smile. “Me too. It kinda sucked not talking with you.”

Seokjin can feel the familiar warmth spread into his face. “Yeah, I feel.”

“Let’s make a deal to communicate properly anytime something upsets us?”

He nods in response. “Yeah, we should. Have healthy communication I mean.”

“I do have to ask though, what happened that day at work? You asked me to facetime Mina?” Namjoon says after a beat, softly. “You seemed really upset that day.”

He returns his attention back to Namjoon’s daughter, who was in the midst of whack-a-mole while her friend cheered her on. “I’m just not used to this, I think?” Seokjin finally breathes out, his voice a little shaky. “Caring so much.”

Namjoon reaches across the table and squeezes his hand and Seokjin laughs a little inside thinking about how greasy they were.

“I’ve been working in pediatrics for years now, but I don’t know. I never reacted that badly to a patient, who lived by the way. I think the reality of how scary the world is just hit me.”

Namjoon waves for him to continue.

Seokjin watches Mina and her friend go to the little machine that counts tickets. “I see so much stuff in the ED, all these accidents, they happen within a second. Just look away for one second and your kid falls from the couch or they try to reach for the cookie jar but touch a stove or their apartment goes up in flames. How do you do it? How do you live with having your heart wide open like that?”

He takes a breath and looks back at Namjoon who had an unreadable expression. “I used to joke around about these overprotective parents. Hell I even joked about you that time when Mina fell and needed stitches. But now I get it. I really get it, Joon.”

Seokjin feels a tear slip just as Namjoon gets up and comes to slide beside him in the booth. The younger smiles and wipes away the tear with a thumb. “It’s super scary,” he whispers. “I get scared all the time, even when Mina’s bus comes a minute late.”

“Yeah?” Seokjin says with a sniffle.

Namjoon nods. “Definitely have pissed off the principal more than once calling to ask where the bus is. But the point is, I can’t always watch over her, and she will get hurt. But that’s life Seokjin. We get hurt and then we pick ourselves back up.”

Seokjin just nods, smile slowly coming out.

Namjoon presses a kiss to Seokjin’s forehead and he still feels it even after the younger pulls away. “We just have to do our best each day and hope we make it to the next day.”

“Dr.Kim are you crying?”

Both of them turn to see Mina standing next to their booth, holding a teddy bear twice her size. She frowns, looking from her Dad to Seokjin.

Seokjin shakes his head and wipes at his face. “I had something in my eye, your dad had to blow it out.”

“Ohh…,” she says, but does not look fully convinced.

“Did you win that?” Seokjin asks, changing the subject quickly. Mina brightens.

“Yes! You should have seen me, I literally had one coin left. I closed my eyes and said please please and then I won the jackpot! Can you believe it?”

Namjoon fixes his daughter’s bangs. “Of course you managed to win the jackpot.”

Mina slides into the booth on the other side of the table and immediately begins to dig into the pizza. With her mouth full she points at Seokjin. “I told you Dr.Kim was my lucky charm!”

Her father just smiles and wraps his arm around Seokjin, pulling him in closer. Seokjin allows his head to rest on Namjoon’s shoulder as he feels another kiss being pressed to his head.

“He sure is.”

*

 “First meeting of Operation: Hobi hyung Birthday can now commence,” Jungkook says, clearing his throat.

Seokjin sighs. “There are only three of us here, you don’t need to announce it like that.”

They were gathered at his place. Jimin and Jungkook had come over after work, claiming they would be bored since Hoseok was working the night shift.  Seokjin was in the midst of putting his coat on to head over to Namjoon’s when the pair had shown up at his doorstep.

“Ignore him,” Jimin states as he reaches over Seokjin to pour himself more wine. “Point is, we want to make this the biggest surprise party ever.”

Jungkook nods in agreement. “We have to show Hobi hyung that we really appreciate him. It’s the first birthday since we started dating.”

“You know he would love anything that you guys do for him, he’s like the biggest softie,” Seokjin points out. “You don’t need to go crazy.”

“But we must!” Jimin says dramatically. Seokjin thinks the cardiologist needs to be cut off from the alcohol. “I want it really special, Jungkook read off our ideas.”

Jungkook unlocks his phone and clicks on the notes app. “Where is…ah here. Okay, so we were thinking of having it at home? And we would invite friends from your med school class and Hoseok’s old dance crew, and his sister already called and said she would come too!”

Seokjin has to resist the urge not to coo at the younger. “That’s so sweet…I honestly was expecting a very different list.”

“What did you think he would say?” Jimin asks.

“Oh and fireworks. Also maybe a stripper.” Jungkook finally looks up from his phone. “What? Why are you both staring at me?”

Jimin face-palms. “We agreed fire-works are not feasible. We live in the city Jungkook.”

“We can go to the suburbs!”

Seokjin looks at them fondly as the two of them bicker. Even in the midst of a drunken argument, he sees the way Jimin and Jungkook’s feet are entangled, how Jimin still was massaging the younger’s hand even while he was trying to explain why fireworks were a safety hazard.

His minds drift to another man, someone who he was supposed to see today. Without thinking, he reaches for his phone. The last message was from an hour ago, Namjoon saying it’s okay that Seokjin couldn’t come over tonight.

Nervously, he starts typing again.

Me

Jk and jimin are planning hobis bday surprise

Its going how u would expect it to go

Babe <3 <3

That’s cute

Me

Jk wants fireworks

Babe <3 <3

Not so cute

That’s def a fire safety hazard

Me

Right?

But the other ideas are good

Like a stripper

Babe <3 <3

Wow babe idk how I feel about u stripping in front of our colleagues

Again

Me

That was ONE TIME, and u stopped me

Im telling u becky spiked my drink

Babe <3 <3

This is your worst conspiracy theory

Me

Have I told u that I think the earth is flat

Babe <3 <3

Yeah ik for a fact you hate flat earthers

Nice try

Me

Damn u got me

I do legit think the moon landing was faked though

Like seriously if we think about it

The pics clearly show the flag flapping in the wind

But theres no wind on the moon?

Also u cant see the stars

Babe <3 <3

i-

I cannot even begin to express how wrong u are

Me

Tell me over dinner Saturday?

Babe <3 <3

Was this an elaborate plan to get in my pants

Me

:o

Babe <3 <3

Ur sick

Im in

“Hyung, please tell Jimin that sparklers are not the same as fireworks,” Jungkook says, pulling Seokjin away from his phone.

Jimin has his arms crossed. “I know they aren’t the same but it’s still unsafe. Especially with that many people.”

Seokjin stretches and gets up. He takes the bottle of wine from Jimin. “Okay, sparklers are not important now. We need to figure out invitations for the out of town people. I’ll call Hoseok’s and I’s friends from med school, Jimin you get ahold of his old dance crew and his sister, Jungkook you pick out decorations and the cake. And no sparklers or fireworks, Hoseok gets scared easily, you both know this. Get a karaoke machine instead and he will enjoy it 100 times more.”

Both Jimin and Jungkook have their jaws dropped, mouth a little open.

“Wow hyung you’re kind of hot when you tell me what to do,” Jungkook states, a little baffled. Jimin nods in agreement.

Seokjin grins.

“Sorry boys, I’m taken.”

*

February comes crashing in without warning. New York City is still chilly as always, the trees naked and snow still fresh on the ground. February was special, in that it tricked you some days that spring was coming, only for another blizzard to hit. He gets why people hate the winter, the unforgiving ice and cold seeping into your home uninvited. Yet somehow, he finds himself constantly warm this February, frost-bitten winds not affecting him at all.

On this particular Saturday in February, Seokjin finds himself in an intense game of Scrabble with a certain cardiology fellow.

“You cannot put acronyms as words! That definitely doesn’t count.”

“Acronyms stand for real words though.”

“Not this again. Friendlily is a word Namjoon!”

The younger shakes his head. “It’s friendly, you were just trying to use up more space. Friendlily does not exist.”

Seokjin takes out his phone and goes to an online dictionary. “I cannot believe you don’t believe me…aha HERE!”

He shoves the phone into the younger’s face and Namjoon takes it, scanning the page. “So it’s just the adverb version of friendly…it still doesn’t count.”

“We can’t use adverbs now?” he exclaims, but he finds himself laughing halfway through it. “God, you should see your face right now.”

Namjoon frowns. “What’s wrong with my face?”

The elder just shakes his head and takes the phone away from the younger’s grasp. Their eyes meet, and for a second it seems like everything goes still. Seokjin thinks he could get used to this.

He thinks he could get used to this, staring at Namjoon’s eyes forever. There’s a million emotions in them, the soft brown reflecting Seokjin’s own. He wants to learn every single one, wants to see and experience the anger and the sadness and the joy and the adoration. He wants it all.

Without hesitation, he moves forward and presses his lips against the soft plush ones he’s gotten to know. There’s no heat to it, no need to lead to something more. His lips curve into a smile as they both breathe together, their hands intertwining in their laps.

When Seokjin pulls away, Namjoon’s cheeks are tinted red and he can imagine he looks the same.  

“I’m kinda sleepy,” he finally says with a yawn. “Want to head to bed?”

Namjoon just nods his head and together they both clear the coffee table from Scrabble pieces. They go through their usual night-time routine without talking much. Usually, this would be done after a round of sex so it feels a bit strange, but not in a bad way.

“You got toothpaste on my shirt,” he points out to the younger, though it sounds mumbled since he had his own brush in his mouth.

“Guess I can’t wear this to bed now,” Namjoon replies with a grin, more toothpaste falling.

Seokjin rolls his eyes, but when Namjoon gets into bed shirtless, he does not complain. He allows himself to melt underneath the covers, closing his eyes as Namjoon fiddled with his hair. He uses Namjoon’s chest as cushion, hearing the cardiologist’s heartbeat.

“Hey, can I ask you something?”

Seokjin pulls back, shifting his body so he was eye level with the younger. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah, I was going to tell you some good news actually.”

“Well, what is it?”

Namjoon scratches his neck. “Chief selected me to go to that international conference in Paris.”

Seokjin sits up immediately. “He selected your research plan to present? Oh my fucking god this is amazing Joon!”

“Yeah, hopefully, it’ll get approved and I get some funding.”

“Not hopefully. You will! Oh my god, you must be like the youngest person to get invited to that conference, holy shit!” Seokjin’s mind reels. This was a massive accomplishment, it was pretty easy to squeeze yourself and your research proposals into domestic conferences, but international? You had to really stand out.

“We need to celebrate! Wait, I think I have a champagne bottle,” he starts and pulls the covers to the side. Just as he goes to move, Namjoon grabs his wrist.

“We can celebrate together soon…in Paris maybe?”

It’s said so quietly that Seokjin thinks he mishears it. “What?”

Namjoon lets go of Seokjin’s arm and goes to brush his bangs. “I want you to come with me. It’s only a couple of days, but I think we could have fun, see the city. Also, it would be cool to interact with some of the most respected physicians and researchers in the world.”

Paris…with Namjoon. That is…that is... something, he thinks, stupidly.

“I fly out next Friday and return the following Wednesday. The conference is from Monday to Tuesday. I know you have Hoseok’s party on Friday, but you can leave the next day. They said I can bring one guest, all expenses paid.”

“And you want…me?” Seokjin still isn’t processing this, his brain just a blank slate.

Namjoon leans forward and gives a chaste peck. “I want you Seokjin.”

And Seokjin looks at Namjoon, really looks at him. He remembers when they were first getting to know each other and the younger had told him that looking at Mina would cause all his worries to disappear. That just seeing her face would make Namjoon realize everything will be okay.

Seokjin looks at Namjoon, really looks at him.

He realizes then, all those emotions, from the sadness to the anger to the fear to the joy to the adoration that resonated in Namjoon’s eyes all together was…

Love.

*

Seokjin fiddles with his phone as he takes another sip of his beer. Namjoon was on his flight to Paris, so he wouldn’t be answering any of his messages anytime soon. He sighs and locks his phone, going back to look at the vibrant party before him.

Jungkook did great with the decorations, streams of light decorating every wall and the staircase of the townhouse. Balloons were spread throughout and a cake with a picture of baby Hoseok was safely in the fridge.

 Jimin did great too, for the most part. A lot of Seokjin and Hoseok’s medical school friends, as well as the psychiatrist’s old dance crew, were able to make it, some bringing along their family.

(“They didn’t say they were going to bring their partners,” Jimin had hissed after letting another group in.

“You didn’t check the website with RSVPs?” Seokjin had questioned.

“I thought you were going to do that,” Jimin replies, looking anxious at the number of people in his house. “We definitely don’t have enough food.”

“I’ll call for more pizza to be ordered, but we should be good. Relax!”)

“Well don’t you look lonely all the way over here,” a voice says, and Seokjin turns to see Hoseok’s older sister, Jiwoo, walking toward him.

“Just staking out, making sure nothing goes wrong,” he replies with a chuckle after giving her a hug. “How are the kids?”

Jiwoo waves her hand. “Little one wants to start dance, just like his older sister.”

Seokjin laughs. “I think it runs in the family.”

“Getting on my nerves? Definitely.”

“Aw come on, it’s his birthday, we can’t be mean to him.”

“Oh please,” Jiwoo says, “You know he is due for his birthday kicks for me.”

“Well, now he has two protective boyfriends that won’t allow that,” Seokjin points out. “Jungkook is an orthopedic surgeon and you know how ripped they are.”

“So I’ve heard,” she replies, eyebrow rising slightly. “I’ve known Jimin, but this younger one is still a mystery to me.”

Seokjin smiles gently. “Hoseok could not have gotten himself a better pair. Trust me.”

“You know, for a while, I thought you and Hobi would get together. But from what I hear, you been pretty busy with another cardiologist?”

His face burns a little red. “Hoseok doesn’t know how to keep anything a secret.”

Jiwoo giggles before sighing. “I should go and greet some of my brother’s old friends, but I need to say, you look good, lighter somehow.”

His eyebrows brunch, a little confused. “Lighter?”

She nods before patting his arm. “You look happy, more than I have ever seen you been. Send my regards to that cardiologist.”

Jiwoo winks and then is gone in a flash, her body mixing into the crowded house, and Seokjin is left with his own thoughts.

He had told Namjoon that he would fly out tomorrow, and a part of him is nervous. This would be the first time with them alone, in another country. There was going to be nobody there for them to act like a couple, but over this past week, Seokjin thinks it wouldn’t be so bad if they were.

It still scares him out of his mind though, this hope. He’s waiting for maybe Ashton Kutcher to come out and say you’ve been Punkd! Everything was scary and all of these conflicting emotions have been keeping him up at night, making him wonder what his next move was.

Now is not the time to have a crisis about his fake-somewhat-real-relationship though, he realizes as his phone bings with a new message.

Jungkook

Ok ETA 2 min

We just got out of the car

“Okay, he’s here. Get in your places!” Seokjin shouts over everyone speaking. It takes a bit of shuffling, but within a minute, the lights are turned off and everyone is hiding behind something.

The door starts jiggling, and Seokjin feels himself smile in anticipation as he can hear Jungkook and Hoseok’s voice.

“I’m so glad we got dinner, it was sweet, thank you baby. Too bad Jimin was at work though.”

“Yeah too bad,” Jungkook says, and the door opens.

“Surprise!”

Everyone jumps up and Seokjin turns the lights on. What he sees makes him full-body laugh. His friend had fallen backward on to the floor, clutching his heart. “What the hell?”

Cue Jimin.

Jimin walks into the living room with the cake, the candles flickering. “Happy Birthday Hobi hyung.”

Seokjin watches fondly as everyone gathers around to watch the psychiatrist get off the floor and look around. “Donghyuck? Sam? What are you guys doing…Noona?”

Jiwoo comes forward and kisses her brother on her forehead. “Blow out your candles, come on. We have been waiting forever.”

Everyone cheers and sings happy birthday, Seokijn making sure to get a little bit of icing on Hoseok’s face.

“Hyung, it’s in my nose too!”

 Okay maybe a bit more than a little.

*

“This is so crazy, I cannot believe you guys planned all this,” Hoseok says, a bit later when all the cake from his face was wiped. He looks around. “I haven’t seen some of these people in ages.”

Jiwoo laughs. “I think the credit goes to your two boyfriends. They seem to be excellent hosts.”

The three of them watch Jungkook and Jimin flit around different groups, introducing themselves and having conversation. Hoseok sighs happily. “They really are, aren’t they?”

Seokjin mimics puking and Jiwoo giggles. Hoseok frowns. “You aren’t allowed to be mean on my birthday.”

He laughs and pinches the younger. “You’re still due for some birthday kicks and pinches from Noona and me, you know?”

“I hate when you guys are together,” Hoseok grumbles. “Always picking on me.”

“Noo, birthday boy turn that frown upside down,” Seokjin demands, poking Hoseok’s face. “Come on smile, smile…there you go.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes and goes to grab another can of beer just as Jiwoo looks at Seokjin. “You know this is pretty tame, considering you helped plan it.”

As if on cue, the doorbell rings. Seokjin looks over to Jungkook questioningly, who looks back with a grin. He mouths, “Stripper,” and Seokjin sighs before he gets his phone out. This demanded to be on camera.

Jimin goes to the door, opening it wide.

There stands a man with a suitcase wearing a black turtleneck and tight ripped black skinny jeans. He had a long black peacoat on top of his outfit, as well as a black hat. Silver hoops dangled from both ears.

Min Yoongi has a slight grin on his face as he takes off his face mask. His eyes lock with Seokjin, who was stood right next to the birthday boy.

“Surprise?”

Chapter Text

Suga, Seokjin used to jokingly call him because that was what Yoongi was. Sweet like sugar. Yoongi pretended to hate it, said babe please stop calling me that, but he would smile wide, the pink gums showing. Seokjin thought he would never see the toothy grin in real life again, thought he would avoid forever and yet here was the man who took over most of his life, walking over.

The rose-gold lights flicker on to the rapper’s pale skin, creating a delicate glow. He looks good, anyone with eyes can see that. Min Yoongi is dressed in all black, probably to blend into the crowd, to keep wandering eyes away from him. But he has the attention of everyone in the kitchen as he enters.

He had grabbed Hoseok’s wrist at some point, cutting off circulation to the younger’s hand as he squeezes it tighter. Hoseok looks bewilderingly at Jungkook and Jimin, who seemed just as confused.

Yoongi crosses the threshold and into the kitchen. Seokjin continues staring, eyes unwavering.

“The last person you probably expected huh,” the rapper says with the familiar throaty laugh that brings a shiver to Seokjin’s spine. “Oh, I almost forgot, here. Happy Birthday, Seok-ah.”

A small box is procured from inside the black pea coat, Hoseok mumbling thanks and giving him a hug. The psychiatrist was still giving worrying looks to Seokjin over his shoulder.

This is fine.

 “It’s been a while hyung,” Hoseok says with a smile.

“Five years,” Seokjin says, his voice cold. Yoongi and Hoseok both turn to him, and the tension is present in the room. He sees Yoongi open his mouth, but Seokjin can’t handle being in this kitchen anymore.

“Nice to see you Yoongi,” he continues, the name tasting metallic in his mouth. “I have to go and catch up with some old friends, see you later.”

And with that, he leaves, walking out and finding himself go up the stairs to Hoseok’s room. He shuts the door, sliding down on to the floor, shoving his head into his lap.

Yoongi was here, he was here, in the same house as him. If Seokjin opened the door and walked downstairs, he would be there in flesh.

He goes to wipe his face with his sleeve and when it rides up, it reveals the M.Y.G. He rubs at it, back and forth, back and forth. He keeps on rubbing until the area is irritated and red, the M.Y.G in black ink standing out more now.

Seokjin lets out a frustrated groan just as he hears a knock on the door.

“Occupied,” he calls out, not wanting some couple to deflower Hoseok’s bed.

“It’s me,” Hoseok replies softly, just barely audible over the music playing in the house. “Hyung, let me in.”

Fuck. It was Hoseok’s birthday and he was ruining it, he was ruining Hoseok again. He feels his self crumbling, tears flowing.

“Hyungie, please,” Hoseok says, a little more persistent. “Let me in.”

Hoseok sounds so broken, pitying poor Seokjin. He can’t have this, can’t have Hoseok and Jungkook and hell, even Jimin break because of him again.

He wipes his tears, making sure he looks presentable and opens the door to the younger who was in the midst of a plea.

Seokjin forces out a laugh. “What are you doing?”

“Hyung, you don’t need to pretend you’re okay,” Hoseok starts. “He came unexpected and you were-“

“Caught off guard,” he finishes, a bit quieter. “Yeah, I was. I just needed to breathe. It was a lot at once. I’m okay though, seriously. Come on.”

Before Hoseok can protest, he grabs the younger’s hand and drags him to the make-shift dance floor in the living room. “Let’s have it for the birthday boy!”

Everyone cheers, the ultraviolet lights from the disco ball and the music getting more intense. Seokjin closes his eyes and feels himself dance along, the alcohol from earlier finally hitting him.

There’s no Hoseok, no Yoongi, no Namjoon. Just the music and him as he dances around the living room along with the other guests.

*

He needs a toilet break eventually and slips into the one in the hallway across Jimin’s room. After he finishes his business he finds himself looking into the mirror.

Seokjin Kim, the coward, stares back at him.

He slaps water on his face. Now is not the time.

“How long are you planning on avoiding me?”

Seokjin almost smacks the door into Yoongi’s face, considering how close he was. “I’m not avoiding you.”

It’s weak, and Yoongi can see right through it. Seokjin sighs, his resolve letting go. From the corner of his eye, he sees Hoseok was chatting with his friends but glancing over to where Seokjin was.  Even Jimin and Jungkook seem to flit their eyes to Seokjin from time to time, giving him looks of concern.

“I think we should talk,” Yoongi finally says after a beat. He fumbles with his bracelets on his wrist, skin slowly revealing. Seokjin immediately looks away. “I’m in town for a couple of days, maybe we could catch up. I know I haven’t been a great texter.”

A lie, they both know Seokjin is the one who has not been responding to messages.

“I’m leaving for Paris tomorrow, I can’t,” he replies back, fingertips twitching thinking about how Namjoon probably landed by now, should be texting him any minute.

“So I guess we only have tonight then,” is the response he gets. Yoongi looks him up and down. “How about we head out?”

Seokjin crosses his arms. “It’s Hoseok’s birthday, I can’t just leave.”

“You’ve been here for hours, I think he will understand,” Yoongi replies with a sigh. “Look hyung, I think we have a lot to talk about. Please.”

*

The car ride is silent, Seokjin turning up the radio high to drown his thoughts. A pop song filters through the car, something about partying all night and how tonight is all we have.

It was funny, Seokjin realizes. After years of being together, they learned it was okay to not always speak. Being in this car was not a comfortable intimate silence like they once shared, however. Every second, Seokjin has to hold himself back from attacking Yoongi with questions or from just turning the car around and going back to Hoseok’s.

He wonders what the others are thinking, he had felt his phone vibrate multiple times but elected to ignore it. Hoseok had given him a worrying look but before he could say anything, Seokjin had left with Yoongi.

Speaking of the man in question, Seokjin had glanced to the side and noticed the younger was not on his phone like expected. He was staring out into the dark New York streets, the lights illuminating his face as they passed streetlamps.

The GPS with an address Yoongi had punched in earlier announces to turn right and Seokjin immediately recognizes where they were headed. “Oh.”

Yoongi speaks for the first time. “Like old times.”

“Right.”

Seokjin manages to find parking in the midst of a busy k-town, skilled with street parking after years in the city. Both of them get out and head towards the restaurant/bar in question, stopping in front of the door.

Itaewon,” Seokjin says quietly. “It’s been a while since I’ve eaten here.”

It was his and Yoongi’s favorite spot to come to when they would make weekend trips to New York from Boston. He used to bring Yoongi to k-town anytime the younger had felt homesick. Seokjin used to think that would be the cure for Yoongi’s homesickness, some good Korean food.

But that was never enough.

As they both are seated, Seokjin’s mind wanders to back when Yoongi and he first met back in high school. The younger and his family had freshly moved here from Korea, moving three houses down from Seokjin. Seokjin was a year ahead, but Yoongi and he met when Seokjin’s mother had invited the Mins to their house.

It wasn’t an instant connection, Seokjin thinks. Yoongi was highly reserved, constantly dismissing Seokjin’s attempts at friendship. It took some persistence, but the younger finally found himself opening up and Seokjin learned all things that were Min Yoongi.

And how could he not fall in love? How could he not fall in love with one of the most passionate, most compassionate, loyal, understanding people in the world?

Seokjin watches as Yoongi flips the meat on the tiny stove and he feels his heartache. His heart physically aches because Yoongi was his first love, his first kiss, his first boyfriend, his first everything. And now they were sitting across each other no closer than strangers.

“Why are you here,” he finally says, his voice a little shaky. He wants to leave, wants to say fuck it all and never see Yoongi again.

Yoongi dips the meat in sauce before chewing on it. He starts talking with food in his mouth, a habit Seokjin used to hate. “I have some business with a couple of artists here who want to collab. I’ll be here for the weekend.”

“Well I won’t,” he replies back, a little too quickly.

“Paris, I know, you told me,” Yoongi says. “You going to tell me what that’s all about?”

“Not until you tell me why you didn’t tell us you were coming.”

“That’s the point of a surprise.”

“Oh fuck off Yoongi.”

Yoongi raises his hands up in mock defense. “Okay, maybe I had my reasons. I knew you would make up an excuse to not be in town if I said I was.”

Seokjin frowns. Did he have that kind of record?

“I hate when you start acting like you know what I would or will do. It’s irritating.”

“You have been ignoring all my messages recently,” Yoongi juts back. “I just wanted to check if you’re okay.”

Seokjin’s eyes widen as his grip on his chopsticks tightens. His voice is low. “You don’t get to do that. You don’t get to ask if I’m okay anymore. You don’t have the right.”

“Hyung, I’m your friend.”

“And that’s all you are.” It comes out of Seokjin’s mouth before he can stop it. He wants to apologize the second he says it and sees Yoongi’s reaction of shock. “Fuck, I didn’t mean that.”

“It’s okay, it’s the truth,” Yoongi says with a shrug, but the pain is present. “Some days I feel like I lost even that status. So at least I’m a friend.”

“We don’t feel like friends,” Seokjin replies quietly. “It hasn’t felt like that in years.”

Yoongi then does something that Seokjin in a million years does not expect. He pulls up the sleeve of his turtleneck, pushing the bangles and bracelets down. There in faded ink on a pale wrist was a K.S.J.

“I still felt it every day though.”

*

5 years ago

Yoongi lets his lips wander around Seokjin’s chest, pressing them against every divot.

“Yoongi-ah,” Seokjin breathes, pulling Yoongi’s face up to his own as he crushed their lips together. It was soft and comforting. They pull apart and Seokjin gives a toothy smile. “I know you didn’t go on a 14-hour plane ride for this. You’re classier than that.”

“Hmm. I think my boyfriend is the classy one. I’m the sexy hot and rugged one,” Yoongi replies, going back to kiss Seokjin again, only to have him move at the last minute.

“Come on, tell me what’s up. You seem stressed?”

Yoongi shakes his head and sits up to face the elder. “No, it’s actually-” He reaches over to the bedside table and pulled out an envelope. “Here.”

It feels like hours as Seokjin reads the letter, his face going from confused to a full-on frown. Yoongi picks at his nails as he watches Seokjin look up at him. “Well?”

“You got an offer from a company?” He pauses to read off the paper. “The one you’ve been producing at?”

Yoongi smiles. “Yeah I would be able to train, and I told them no dancing, but I would be able to learn new vocal and rap techniques. They already know me because I work for them and make songs for their groups. They think I have the potential to be a full-fledged idol.”

Seokjin stares at him. “So, you are going to keep living in Seoul and become a trainee.”

“Yeah! I know I’m a bit older, but with a bit of makeup, I should be fine. They already really like my mixtape you know? This is so amazing.”

“I…yeah, it’s fantastic Yoongi,” Seokjin says, his voice a bit deflated. “But if you’re a trainee and then become an idol…what about us?”

Yoongi holds both of his hands in his own. “We can manage, just like how we have been doing now. Anytime you have a break you can visit, and things might become more relaxed after I debut.”

Seokjin snatches his hands away, his body shaking. “I’m gunning to be Chief Resident in a couple of years Yoongi, I barely have time to make it to your Facetime calls as is! And I don’t know if I want to do a fellowship in pediatrics yet. I can’t come to visit you whenever. And you won’t be able to either? You’ll be famous and shit!”

“Hyung, come on,” Yoongi says, standing up. “We have made this work so far, why won’t it work longer?”

“Why are you deluding yourself like this?” Seokjin exclaims. “This isn’t going to work. And what about the future, what about spending our lives together? How can we do that if you are living in another country? Or if you’re some famous idol?”

“Hyung, don’t ask me to choose between you and my career,” Yoongi says softly. “I wouldn’t ask you to do that either.”

“But you are though?” Seokjin cuts back. “You expect me to give up my career to follow you to Seoul?”

“I didn’t say you had to follow me,” Yoongi insists, but his voice is cold now too.

“Well then will you stay here in America?”

Yoongi does not say anything, but his silence is enough of an answer for Seokjin.

“I think we know the next step then,” Seokjin finally says, heart in his throat. “I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

*

The lights flicker around the bar and Seokjin can hear a drunk group laughing and cheering their friend on as he took another shot. Seokjin feels like everything is going slower, his mind not catching up with what he was visually processing.

“I know you still have it too,” Yoongi finally says, putting his arm down finally. “I saw it when you almost slammed the bathroom door on my face.”

The tattoo burns a bit more and Seokjin clenches a fist underneath the table. “Tattoo removal is expensive.”

“You’re a doctor and I’m an idol, we both have money. That’s a shit excuse and you know that” is the response he gets.

“I don’t know what you’re expecting from me, “Seokjin says and he pours himself more soju. The familiar warmth spreads throughout his body. “I don’t know what you want.”

Yoongi shrugs. “I think it’s something we both want.”

“What is that?”

“Closure.”

Seokjin hiccups. “So, you won’t feel bad about marrying Taehyung?”

The rapper opens his mouth and then closes it. He sighs. “I mean truthfully, yeah. I can’t marry him when a part of me is latched on to you.”

Seokjin should feel triumphant, should feel happy that Yoongi still might have wavering thoughts about him. But that feeling never comes. It just feels…like a loss.

“Does your fiancé know you’re here?”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow. “He trusts me. Of course, he knows.”

Seokjin snorts. “Right.”

“Can we just-“Yoongi starts and then stops. “I just want to talk. About everything.”

Seokjin pours another shot and gulps it down, ignoring the burn. “Fine, you want to talk? I hated how you expected me to be your best friend right after we broke up. As if I wasn’t hurting.”

“You don’t think I wasn’t hurting too?” Yoongi replies. “I just wanted to save the friendship that we had built for years.”

“So, telling me about your job constantly, which was the reason we broke up, by the way, was supposed to make us go back to back to being friends?”

“Maybe I just didn’t want to let you go, have you thought about that?” Yoongi snaps and even Seokjin is taken aback.

“What?”

He watches as Yoongi takes the soju bottle from Seokjin’s hand and starts pouring himself a shot. Yoongi sighs as little spills over the rim, taking a napkin to clean the table.

“I was so used to you always being there, you had always been the one I went to about everything. Whether we were friends or boyfriends. And the thought of not having that kind of communication with you anymore scared the shit out of me. I know what it was like to be lonely. I didn’t want to experience that again.”

Seokjin feels himself hold his breath, tears coming to his eyes as Yoongi continues speaking.

“Fuck, you were all I had hyung! I didn’t even care if your responses were dry and you were upset because I just could not fathom letting go.” Yoongi pauses again, licking his lips. “You know Seesaw was about you?”

“I-“Seokjin starts, the alcohol making him stumble over his words. “I figured it was, yeah. I’m sorry I wasn’t there as a proper friend when you were lonely.”

Yoongi waves his hand. “I never explained myself, just expected it out of you and that was probably my biggest mistake. Obviously I got more friends as the fame grew, but a part of me still craved your validation, your attention. That’s why I always told you things.”

“It took you a while to tell me about Taehyung though,” Seokjin says, the alcohol taking out the filter in his mouth.

Yoongi bites his lip. “I wasn’t expecting him. I thought I would just live forever being bitter about love, putting my emotions into song instead of talking like a normal person. But I reconnected with Taehyung and it just felt-“

“Right?” Seokjin asks, but not with bitterness.

“It was just so easy to fall in love with him,” Yoongi says, nodding. “His outlook on life, it was so different than mine. He just thinks the best of people, always sees the good. Looks at life with rose-colored lenses. I used to hate that kind of mindset, but he has taught me so much?”

It should hurt to hear Yoongi talk about his fiancé like this, but Seokjin can only look with fascination. The younger had a glow, his eyes sparkling as he recounted how he fell in love with Kim Taehyung. Seokjin had spent most of his post-breakup just hoping Yoongi was as miserable and bitter as he had felt. But seeing Yoongi content and in love with Taehyung stirs a new emotion inside him: happiness for his friend.

“Taehyung and I were close before my family moved to Boston, he would always follow me everywhere. I used to find it annoying as a kid, but now as an adult, I miss him whenever he’s not with me.”

Seokjin is trying hard not to project, he really is, but every reason Yoongi is giving to discuss his love for Taehyung makes him realize that he feels the same way about Namjoon.

“It’s like, I’ll do something fun and my mind would just be like: this would be even better if Tae was here. The first time I thought that I knew it. I knew I was in love with Taehyung.”

Fuck, fucking hell. Seokjin’s heart lurches. “That must have been scary, telling him though. Considering everything.”

Yoongi nods. “Definitely, I think a part of me didn’t want to move on from you, but it was hard to deny the surmounting evidence that I was in love with him.  I finally did though and had the biggest sigh of relief when he said it back.”

Seokjin feels small as his intoxicated brain starts spinning with thoughts of a certain cardiologist.

“You doing okay? I’m sorry I didn’t mean to just unload about my love for my future husband like that on you.”

Seokjin stands up abruptly, nearly knocking down the chair. “We…have to go. Now.”

Yoongi raises his eyebrow. “What would be open at this hour?”

“It’s New York City.”

*

The tattoo shop is pretty empty, considering the timing, but nevertheless two artists are willing to take Yoongi and Seokjin in.

“You decided what you are going to get?” Yoongi asks as he hums through the laminated pages of possible ideas.

“Yeah, I want a moon,” Seokjin replies. “I’ve always wanted one. Something beautiful about the moonlight and how it shines on the darkest of nights. “

Yoongi nods in agreement. “I want a dove I think.”

“So pure, unlike some of your music,” Seokjin says as the tattoo artist cleans the area where the M.Y.G lay, getting ready to cover it up. 

“Hey, my music is pretty pure.”

“Pretty sure Converse High is being horny about someone wearing a certain brand of shoes.”

“One song! It’s not my fault Taehyung looks good in converse.”

“I really don’t want to know any further details to be honest.”

Yoongi laughs and for a while, they both sit in silence, the only sound being the buzzing of the needles and occasional winces from the two of them. Now this was the intimate quiet that Seokjin was used to. The quiet that made him comfortable and at peace.

It doesn’t take long for their respective tattoos to be done, and Seokjin praises the artists. “This is amazing thank you!”

They both pay, Seokjin still fumbling a little from his drunken stupor as he reached for his wallet. Yoongi rolls his eyes and grabs it for him. Seokjin is grateful.

As they step out into the cold again, Seokjin finds himself looking at the moon shining above. “I have you on my arm!”

“You are definitely not driving us back to Hoseok’s,” Yoongi says with a sigh as he tugs Seokjin along the sidewalk. “I’ll call an Uber.”

“Hoseok worries too much,” Seokjin says, his concentration still on the moon above him. “He cares so much.”

“I know he does, he’s your best friend. Honestly, I thought-“

Seokjin turns to look at Yoongi, who had just pocketed his phone after ordering the cab. “What?”

Yoongi shrugs. “I always felt inferior. He seemed to be able to give you what you wanted, without complications. He didn’t have any commitments in another country, and he was going to be a doctor just like you. You guys seemed like the perfect match. I wasn’t surprised when you guys started hooking up after we broke up. It seemed right.”

“Except it was never going to be right. It didn’t matter if he was perfect for me,” Seokjin says, voice a little sad. “Just because something seems like the right thing doesn’t mean it is.”

“Yeah, I know,” Yoongi replies quietly. “Anyways, he seems happy with his two boyfriends now. The little one is a fan, from what I heard.”

“I know you aren’t calling Jungkook little. Have you seen him?” Seokjin giggles. “He could bend you like a toothpick.”

“I don’t doubt it, he looked like he was going to kill me when he saw both of us talking.”

Seokjin hums. “He’s a bit protective, but he’s a good guy. Jimin too, heart of gold.”

The uber pulls up and Seokjin and Yoongi shuffle inside, Seokjin immediately leaning his head against the window and looking at the moon as they drove through the city.

“You ever going to tell me about the mystery guy you’re going to Paris for?” Yoongi says when they get stuck in traffic. “You know since we both are cool now.”

Seokjin turns to the younger, barely visible in the night in his black outfit. “I didn’t tell you I was going to Paris for him.”

“You hate French food and think France is racist,” Yoongi points out. “If you’re going there it must mean you have a really strong reason. Like a guy perhaps?”

He doesn’t have the energy to argue with the facts and just sighs, leaning back on to the seat.

“I think I’m in love with him.”

It’s weird saying it out loud in a cab, with an ex he swore he would never get over. It was weird, but it was freeing.

He loved Namjoon, really loved him, just like how Yoongi loved Taehyung. Seokjin gets reminded of the multiple times he would page Cardio at work, hoping Namjoon would show up or when he would find random excuses to show up at Namjoon’s apartment with food or how he could not watch a single show without texting Namjoon his thoughts about it.

It should be harder with Namjoon being a parent, but somehow Seokjin loves that too. He loves seeing Namjoon fight with the referee at Mina’s soccer games and he loves watching Namjoon teach Mina math and he loves how Namjoon tells Mina ridiculous stories from work.

He loves everything about the duo and loves being a part of it.

He loves singing along to the Frozen soundtrack with Mina as Namjoon begs them to stop, he loves picking Mina up from school when Namjoon and Hyeri are stuck at work, he loves pinning Mina’s artwork on his refrigerator.

He loves it all and it scares him. It scares him how much Namjoon and Mina have become part of his life, how much he wants them to always be there.

“And have you told him yet?” Yoongi says, bringing him out of his thoughts.

Seokjin shakes his head. “I’m scared.”

“You need to tell him, regardless,” is the reply he gets. “Because I need to meet this mystery guy myself at the wedding.”

Seokjin watches as Yoongi pulls a square white envelope from his pea coat.

“For you.”

He takes it from Yoongi, looking at the intricate detailing. Seokjin raises an eyebrow at Yoongi who just gestures for him to go ahead and open it. He does and out slides a card with gold and black lettering. His Korean is rusty, but it becomes obvious what the card was for.

“Holy shit, you decided a date?” Seokjin’s eyes scanning the paper. March 14th. “This is in like a couple of weeks?”

“Taehyung wanted a summer wedding and I wanted a winter wedding, so we compromised and decided spring.”

“March is not spring.”

“That’s not the-anyways did you look through the whole thing?”

Seokjin scrunches his brow together as he realizes there is another card inside, a smaller one with a personalized note from Yoongi.

His breath catches when he reads it, immediately looking up. “Yoongi, you can’t just-“

The younger smiles, gums present. “But I can. I want you to be the best man at my wedding.”

Seokjin shakes his head. “I…but your brother? Yoongi I don’t deserve that kind of honor.”

“Hyung has been so busy with the new baby, I don’t want to stress him. But regardless, you were going to be my first pick, I was a bit scared to tell you because we were in a weird place and also so far apart. I wanted to talk to you in person after we finally got our shit together.”

He thinks he’s going to cry, the tears starting to blur his vision again. “Yoongi-ah…”

“You were probably the reason I even made it this far in the American school system. I really despised moving to Boston, but you made it a home for me. Your family was so wonderful and your constant efforts to help me overcome my homesickness did not go unnoticed. You’ve always supported me Seokjin, even when it felt like the whole world was against me whether it was with what went in my head or my career path. And I can’t think of someone else more worthy of being the best man at my wedding than my biggest supporter and best friend.”

Seokjin is fully crying now, and he has to wipe his nose on to his jacket. “Fuck you and your sentimental ass.”

Yoongi laughs. “So, is that a yes? Will you be my best man?”

 “I’m going to be the best best man ever. You just wait.”

The younger reaches over and wipes away a stray tear. “You’ll bring your mystery man, won’t you?”

Seokjin sniffles. “He has a name. It’s-“

“Shh. Don’t tell me. I want to meet him for the first time at my wedding,” Yoongi says. “First impression and all.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes and Yoongi catches it. “I’m serious. You better tell him you love him and then come to my wedding so I can give my blessing.”

“I’ll tell him.”

*

After an uneventful 7 hour flight, Seokjin lands in the Charles de Gaulle Airport at nearly 10 p.m Paris time. It was still only four in New York and so he opens his group chat with his friends while he waits for his Uber to arrive.

Jungkook

Hyung!!

Yoongi wants me and jimin to be groomsmen too

Apparently taehyung has way too many groomsmen and it needs to be symmetric

Wtf

I cant believe im gonna be in agust d and V’s wedding

Jimin

Ignore his fanboy ass

How was your flight hyung?

Me

Why are you acting like you aren’t a fan too Min

And it was boring

The food was ass

Hoseok

They have been asking Yoongi the most ridiculous questions about being an idol

ALL DAY

Jungkook

It is valid to ask if seulgi and joy are dating

Jimin

It really isn’t

Neither is asking if it was true that park seojoon has a tattoo on his ass

Jungkook

To be fair when Yoongi facetimed V today, I asked and apparently HE DOES

Jimin

He told u to call him Taehyung

Jungkook

But I cant say Taehyung-hyung

That’s like hyung twice

I like saying V-hyung

Jimin

You don’t even know him!

Hoseok

Hyung pls save me

Me

Have fun boys

Gotta go

Au revoir

Jungkook

Oui oui croissant

Yoongi

Why was I added in this chat

Seokjin rolls his eyes as Jungkook and Jimin continue flooding the group chat with messages. He feels himself sigh with relief. When Yoongi and Seokjin had come back the night before, the party had mostly disbanded, with one last drunken straggler saying bye. Hoseok, Jimin, and Jungkook looked worried out of their minds, but after a reassuring talk with them, everything went peaceful. The five of them had stayed up all night just chattering and drinking.

Hoseok announcing that it was his best birthday because he was surrounded by so much love was what really made Seokjin’s night. The warmth of that feeling continued on as he boarded the plane and fell asleep swiftly.

“Avez-vous besoin d'un taxi monsieur?”

Seokjin waves away the person standing near him without looking up, assumedly trying to get him into a cab. “No, I’m good thanks.”

“Monsieur!”

“I really don’t nee-Namjoon?” Seokjin stands up and looks at the cardiologist who was grinning from ear to ear.

Namjoon doesn’t respond and instead takes Seokjin’s hand into his own and grabs the handle of the suitcase with another before pressing a chaste kiss to Seokjin’s lips. Seokjin’s face reddens but he feels himself smile. “When did you learn French?”

“Bit in high school and declared it as a second major in undergrad.”

“Of course you did,” Seokjin says with a roll of his eyes but follows as Namjoon and he walk out the sliding glass doors of the airport.  “I told you I would order an Uber, you didn’t have to come to pick me up.”

Namjoon walks them to a black SUV and points it out. “Conference gives us a free car driver to go anywhere.”

They both settle in the backseat after Seokjin’s luggage is stored away in the trunk. Namjoon rattles off something about going back to the hotel to the driver and they are off.

Seokjin finds himself entranced with the city as they drive through the night, the beautiful lights twinkling in his eyes. The Eiffel Tower is in the distance, standing tall among the short buildings.

“It’s breathtaking,” Seokjin mutters, eyes glued to the window.

“You know most French people hate it, they think it is ugly,” Namjoon hums back.

Seokjin snorts. “What do they know about art?”

The younger lets out a loud laugh. “Only you, Seokjin Kim, would claim that the French don’t know anything about art.”

He shoves Namjoon a little, but the younger ends up just catching his arm and instead of pulling him into another kiss. Seokjin whines into it, not wanting to give into the younger’s playfulness, but also not minding it. It had been an emotionally tolling two days and he had missed Namjoon terribly.

“Fuck-“Namjoon says as Seokjin bites the cardiologist’s lips. “Fuck baby, we haven’t even made it to the hotel yet.”

And hearing Namjoon call him baby puts him over the edge. He unbuckles his seatbelt, looking over his shoulder to see if the divider between the driver and passenger was closed before climbing into the younger’s lap. Namjoon seems to get it quickly, eyes widening as Seokjin unbuckles the younger’s seatbelt as well.

“You’re absolutely crazy,” Namjoon whispers as Seokjin finds his mouth on the cardiologist’s neck. His tongue swirls over the tiny birthmark there before biting down hard, making Namjoon moan out loud.

“You have to be quiet,” Seokjin says softly coming back up to look Namjoon in the eyes. He places his thumb on the younger’s bottom lip, already plush and swollen from a minute ago. Namjoon opens up voluntarily, his eyes still focused on Seokjin and it just gives Seokjin more confidence. He watches as Namjoon swirls his tongue around the pad of his tongue, mimicking a motion that Seokjin knows too well at this point.

“Jesus, fuck,” Seokjin murmurs, and he can’t take it anymore, his body feeling too much at once as Namjoon sucks on his finger. He removes it and replaces it with his mouth instead, Namjoon happily licking into his mouth as his hands dug into Seokjin’s sweatpants, pushing them closer. 

The city passes them as Seokjin continues kissing Namjoon, the dark night covering them like a thick veil. The lights flicker on to them and as Namjoon’s warm hands press on to his bare skin under his sweater, he thinks, maybe France wasn’t that bad. France can’t be that bad if he gets to be touched by Namjoon like this in the back of a car that they didn’t even have to pay for.

The car suddenly slams to a break and Seokjin falls off Namjoon and into the area where feet are supposed to go. He rubs the back of his head. “Ow.”

The car door opens just at the moment with the car driver looking curiously between them. Before either of them can explain he just goes around the back and starts unloading the luggage.

Seokjin looks over to Namjoon who starts giggling. Giggling! The audacity! “Is this funny to you?” he says with as much fake anger as possible.

“No of course not,” Namjoon says, but he’s still laughing and Seokjin can’t help but be endeared.

“Ass.”

“Which you have eaten by the way.”

“Oh my god, Namjoon!”

“What, it’s not like they can understand.”

“Can you just, help me up.”

Namjoon gets out of the car door on his side before walking to Seokjin’s side. He lends out a hand and Seokjin manages to pull himself out of the car, dusting himself off as Namjoon goes to take the suitcase and talk with the driver.

They talk for nearly five minutes, and Seokjin is confused. As they start walking into the hotel, he asks Namjoon. “What was that about?”

“He was asking if he needed to clean anything in the backseat.”

Seokjin feels his face heat up. “He thought we fucked in the back of his car?”

“Well to be fair, we were about to,” Namjoon points out. When Seokjin opens his mouth to retort, Namjoon shuts him up with another kiss.

“So annoying,” Seokjin says with a roll of his eyes, but takes Namjoon’s hand as they head to the elevators.

The room they have is with two beds, but Seokjin has a feeling that the second one was not going to be used much. After dumping his suitcase on the ground, he goes to the window and opens the curtains. Paris is stretched before him, the lights dancing around under the moonlight.

“Weird how in every movie ever, the Eiffel tower can be seen from the window. But we didn’t get that view.”

“Mmm... I like this view better.”

Seokjin feels arms wrap around his waist as Namjoon comes up behind him for a back-hug. He melts under the pressure, and he can feel his brain yelling at him to just tell Namjoon that he loves him.

Not now, not like this.

He wants to stay like this forever, just Namjoon, him, and the moon.

*

Seokjin has an entire day of tourist stuff planned for them on Sunday.

“Okay so if we start with the Palace of Versailles then the Louvre, afterward we can eat in Champs-Elysees and then see that Arch thing. Then finally finish with Eiffel tower at nighttime, but still come home in time for you to practice for your presentation tomorrow.”

He points out each spot that he circled on the map he had gotten in the airport as they head out of the hotel. Namjoon furrows his brow. “When did you do all this?”

“When you were snoring last night and I couldn’t sleep.”

“Hey! You told me that my snoring is cute. Also sorry I got exhausted after we-”

Seokjin just shakes his head and pats Namjoon on the cheek. “Five times is too little. I know you can do better.”

Namjoon takes Seokjin’s hand and kisses it. “What do you say we just stay inside and find out.”

“As tempting as that is,” Seokjin muses, “If I don’t see The Monalisa I will never forgive you.”

And so they head into a day full of Parisian adventure.

Seokjin isn’t one to care much for tourist things and he finds more comfort at home in New York, but there was something magical about walking in an unknown city with the one you love. All-day, Seokjin almost says it, the three special words.

He almost says it when Namjoon starts stuffing himself with macaroons in the shops of Champs-Elyses while they were buying gifts for their friends and Mina. (“Seokjin there are so many flavors, come on try one!” )

He almost says it when Namjoon explains the history of the Arch thingy, which was apparently called the Arc de Triomphe. (“Seokjin, did you know how historic this is? It’s for all the people who fought in the French revolutionary war! It has all the French generals and victories inscribed on it!”)

He almost says it when he watches Namjoon silently go through the Louvre, looking at each artwork with so much thought (“Seokjin, I’m so happy.”)

They reach the top of the Eiffel tower just as the lights are turned on. It was windy this high up and Seokjin shivers in the February cold as he stares out into the city.

Namjoon shuffles closer and Seokjin is grateful for the extra warmth. They both stay silent, just taking in the beauty before them, each other’s presence being enough.

“Thank you for today, Seokjin,” Namjoon breathes out. “I had fun.”

Seokjin allows his head to rest on the younger’s shoulder. “I wish we could have gone to more spots, there was probably so much we missed.”

Namjoon wraps an arm around Seokjin’s waist before placing a kiss on Seokjin’s head. “We are always going to miss something, no matter how hard we try. Let’s just live in the moment.”

And Seokjin almost says it then, almost blurts out I’m in love with you but he doesn’t.

“Okay. Let’s live in the moment.”

*

“Can I ride you?” Seokjin mutters into Namjoon’s lips, and Namjoon smiles into it.

“Since when have you asked before?”

“Don’t be a smart-ah-ass,” he replies wincing as Namjoon circles a finger around his rim. “Stop teasing.”

The younger just nods and opens up Seokjin up slowly, letting the elder fall apart underneath his fingers. “This good?”

Seokjin can’t even speak, body flush and warm from the feeling the younger was giving him. He nods and gasps as Namjoon finds the sensitive area.

“Fuck Joon, I change my mind,” he manages to say out in a croaked out voice. The cardiologist just raises an eyebrow and Seokjin looks at him. “Want you on top, I want-“

Namjoon understands immediately and pushes Seokjin on to his back on the mattress before reaching down and connecting his lips to Seokjin’s, kissing him as he continued to use fingers to fuck into the elder.

“Joonie, please, I need-“ Seokjin pants, beads of sweat rolling down his face.

And Namjoon was not a sadist so he reaches over to the bedside table to get the condom, but Seokjin stops him. Namjoon looks confused. “What?”

“Just you, I need just…you,” he says, a little bit of fear in his eyes. Namjoon stares back at him, breathing heavily, and the tension could be cut with a knife. Seokjin almost contemplates saying never mind, but he just waits. And waits.

“Fuck.”

“Um.”

“You’ll be the death of me Seokjin,” Namjoon says before grabbing the bottle of lube, pouring some more on to his own hardening length.

When Namjoon finally presses into him, it’s very gentle, as if he was being extra careful. He holds a steady hand on the back of Seokjin’s thigh as he slowly moves in and out. Usually, Seokjin would scold him telling him he wasn’t a fragile thing. But, this felt different somehow.

Namjoon moves slowly and presses his lips up against Seokjin’s neck, Seokjin immediately pressing his fingers into the firmness of Namjoon’s muscular back.

Joon-ah,” Seokjin moans out loud, enough for Namjoon to lift his head up and go back to kissing the elder. They continue like that, moans falling into each other’s mouths, Seokjin wrapping his hands around Namjoon’s neck.

Maybe he should say it now, now when they were drunk on each other. Maybe he should just say it.

He was so close, Namjoon was moving faster, hand going to Seokjin’s cock and jerking it to the rhythm of his thrusts.

Say it Seokjin.

“Namjoon I-“ Seokjin starts and that seems to be the last straw for both of them as the heat becomes too much. He feels Namjoon finish with a guttural moan, Seokjin coming nearly a second later.

Seokjin feels the soreness in his legs, from not only this enduring session but the walking throughout the day. He winces as Namjoon pulls out.  “Fuck I can’t believe I got you to come in me.”

Namjoon smiles and moves Seokjin’s sweaty bangs out of his face. “Should I get you Plan B babe?”

“Oh fuck off and help me get into the shower. I don’t think I can move.”

*

They finally settle into bed (the unused one since the other one was ruined beyond repair) after a shower and a bath. Seokjin puts on a long loose white t-shirt with fresh boxers and Namjoon, in typical Namjoon fashion, only wears boxers.

“Can I ask you something?”

Seokjin nods, looking over to the man lying next to him. “What?”

“The tattoo you have, I’ve never asked you about it, but I’ve always noticed it. The M.Y.G. You have it covered in a bandage.”

Seokjin clicks his tongue, thinking about how to navigate this. “It was a tattoo with my ex. It’s not there anymore.”

Namjoon raises an eyebrow. “You removed it?”

He shrugs. “Covered it with something else. Same thing.”

“You’ll show me after it’s healed?”

“I will,” Seokjin says with a smile before pressing a kiss to Namjoon’s cheek. “Now can I ask you something?”

Namjoon nods. “Of course.”

Say it, say it Seokjin.

“How did you and Hyeri happen?”

Namjoon bites his lip as if thinking about how to start the story. “She was my friend we had a fling for like one summer but that was it really. Decided it was best to stay friends and we got closer in med school. And you know, one night we got drunk-“

“I really hope this is not the story you tell Mina,” Seokjin says with a giggle.

The younger shakes his head. “No, we tell her that Mom and Dad went camping one weekend and then we were visited by an angel at midnight who asked us if we wanted her.”

“She’s 7, not 5 Namjoon.”

“Yeah, yeah whatever. Hyeri got knocked up and I was freaking out because we both had board exams to take and navigating medical school was already hard. But now a baby? I was scared out of my mind.”

Seokjin hums.

“I proposed to Hyeri and asked her if we should just get married. That’s what our parents wanted anyways, but Hyeri and I both realized that it would be worse for our child if she had to live in a household with two parents that don’t love each other like that.”

“I’m sure your families were ecstatic.”

Namjoon laughs. “Oh, they were pissed. Hyeri’s brother came to my apartment one day asking me why I wouldn’t marry his sister. You know that scene in Friends when Rachel’s dad yells at Ross after Rachel gets pregnant? It was legit like that.”

Seokjin echoes his laughter. “You are the worst.”

“But anyway, everyone forgot about all that when Mina was born. We had so many people that came over whether it was my mom or Hyeri’s parents or my cousin to take care of Mina while both of us studied for medical school. It was beautiful really and I’m still grateful to this day.”

And Seokjin doesn’t think it was possible to fall more in love with Namjoon, but he does. At that moment, just hearing Namjoon talk about his struggle, he can’t help but fall more in love.

Say it Seokjin, say it.

“Well, we probably should go to sleep,” Namjoon says with a yawn and lays an arm around Seokjin’s waist. “Let’s hope I don’t fuck up this presentation tomorrow.”

“You won’t. You worked hard.”

“Mmmm…”

Seokjin thinks Namjoon falls asleep within minutes, but the younger then speaks again.

“On n'aime que ce qu'on ne possède pas tout entier.”

He blinks and looks at the younger who had his eyes still shut. “What does that mean?”

“Can’t tell you.”

Seokjin pinches the younger who yelps. “Tell me.”

Namjoon opens his eyes and Seokjin is taken aback by the sadness in them. He just smiles, placing his hand on Seokjin’s cheek. “On n'aime que ce qu'on ne possède pas tout entier.”

“Namjoon.”

“Goodnight hyung.”

*

The conference was held in one of the most prestigious hospitals in the world-Hospital Necker. As they enter, Seokjin and Namjoon are given lanyards while a tour guide starts highlighting the pediatric hospital. He learns a lot just from the tour itself, apparently, this had been the first pediatric hospital in the entire world, and they invented the stethoscope here as well. Needless to say, he was impressed.

Namjoon was a ball of nerves next to him and Seokjin continuously rubbed his hand as they walked through each ward of the hospital. They eventually finish off and head to the auditorium where each person was given a place to sit and listen to the lectures.

It was brilliant really, and Seokjin is continuously memorized by all the research that was being done all over the world. There were representatives from over 50 countries, all showcasing their latest technology or advancements in pediatrics.

As an ED doctor, Seokjin was never a big fan of specializing in one specific field. He liked them all, liked every body system. The Emergency department allowed him to become good at all specialties while also being able to do procedures. Some doctors these days end up stuck in their labs never even seeing the outside. That was never going to be him.

Regardless, he loved listening to the research proposals, and he wonders how many big donors were in the crowd. Every topic seemed worthy of getting more funds, but he really hoped that Namjoon got the most.

Namjoon finally speaks right after the lunch-break, which was perfect timing because people were most alert and satiated. Seokjin gives him two thumbs up to which Namjoon just lets out a hesitant smile.

The nervousness is gone within a second though, like a switch being turned on. Scared Namjoonie becomes Dr.Namjoon Kim, a Pediatric Cardiology fellow.

“We wanted to see whether flecainide acetate dosed to therapeutic levels as a supplement to beta-blocker therapy versus just beta-blocker therapy alone would prevent arrhythmias in CPVT.”

Seokjin feels himself smiling wide as Namjoon continues, explaining about the clinical trial they had conducted at their hospital and showcasing the graphs on his PowerPoint slide. He grins remembering Namjoon freaking out over why the error bars weren’t working and saying that Excel could go fuck itself.  

The presentation goes for a clean twenty minutes, which was short on most medical professional’s accounts, but it was meant to be succinct. Namjoon needed funds to run more trials with different supplements to add to beta-blocker therapy to see what is most effective.

“Overall,” Namjoon finally says. “Dosed at therapeutic levels, flecainide acetate is highly effective against ventricular arrhythmias in patients with CPVT. However, long term studies due need to be conducted to see how effective this can be for pediatric patients as they grow older.”

Seokjin makes sure to clap extra loud and if he was allowed, he would have whistled as well. Namjoon looks in his direction and the switch is off again, Dr.Kim retiring to go back to the Joon he knows. He places his hand over his heart and mouths a thank you before heading off stage.

*

“I could literally suck you off right now, do you know how hot you looked up there?” Seokjin murmurs into Namjoon’s neck in the bathroom. They had another break before the conference was going to have its closing remarks and they could finally go back to the hotel.

They wouldn’t be staying long though, just going to pick their bags and then head to the airport. The conference was also tomorrow, but it was mostly for adult care and both Seokjin and Namjoon were only in pediatrics. They both decided to opt-out of it and just go home early.

“You’re a menace,” Namjoon says with a smile, allowing Seokjin to kiss him. He pulls away and looks at the elder. “Are you sure? Was it good?”

“Joonie, oh you sweet oblivious thing. Everyone at my table was still talking about your presentation even like an hour later! You’re going to get so many funds, don’t worry.”

Namjoon sighs a bit. “Let’s hope its enough for Chief.”

Seokjin frowns. “Can we not talk about that demon when my tongue was literally in your throat a second ago?”

“You’re so cute when you call him a demon.”

“Thank you,” Seokjin says with a laugh. His phone starts buzzing all of a sudden and he looks to see that it was just the group chat being annoying again. Yoongi seemed to have texted him outside the chat too and he decides to reply.

“Who is it?” Namjoon asks.

“Ah nobody,” Seokjin waves and goes to text Yoongi, not noticing the souring expression on the younger’s face. “You go back in I’ll be there in a minute!”

“Okay,” the younger says quietly and walks out.

Seokjin opens up the chat with Yoongi. He had finally renamed the younger’s contact name to just Yoongi.

Yoongi

[image attached]

These three are more disgusting than me and tae

And im the one getting married

Me

You are the one who wanted to stay an extra day

After spending a whole weekend with them

Your fault

Yoongi

Yeah I leave tonight , sorry I couldn’t extend it more

To see you come back

Me

Its chill ill see u at your wedding

Yoongi

Speaking of

Did you tell your mystery man you love him?

Me

Um

Yoongi

Its been three days wtf

How have you not

Me

IM SCARED ok

Let me live

Yoongi

Absolutely not

Go tell him before I kick your ass

Me

Im literally older than you

Yoongi

Okay and?

TELL HIM

Me

I WILL

*

Seokjin feels a bit nervous as he goes back into the auditorium, slipping into his seat. The formalities and goodbyes are pretty quick, and they are out of the auditorium within a half hour. Seokjin exchanges a couple of words with some of the other doctors he had met before he steps out, looking for where Namjoon was.

“Holy shit, Seokie is that you?”

Seokjin turns his head and sees a tall, muscular man coming towards him with a bright smile. He tenses a little, Jack was a one-night stand in medical school, one of many, but he was a good guy.

“The one and only,” he says with a laugh and embraces the other. “God it’s been forever.”

Jack nods. “Feels like just yesterday we were cramming for Step 1. Now, look at us.”

“UCLA right? How is California treating you?”

“Dude,” Jack says with a deadpan face. “It is a million times better than Boston. Imagine the sun all the time and everyone is hot and you can go surfing whenever. It’s paradise.”

Seokjin hums. “Sounds like torture to me. I need the cold.”

“Spoken like a true New Yorker. I can’t believe you decided to stay in the North East.”

He is about to tell Jack that the east coast is the best place to live when he hears a “Seokjin?”

Namjoon walks toward him with a bag in his hand. “They gave me a shitload of free stu-oh hi.”

Seokjin clears his throat. “This is Jack Kipley, pulmonary. We went to medical school together.”

Jack just grins and puts out a hand, which Namjoon shakes. “You’re Dr.Kim, right? Dude your presentation about supplementing the beta-blockers for CPVT was amazing. I was sitting with these people who looked like they have fat ass checks and they were floored.”

Namjoon smiles graciously. “Ah thank you, let's hope so.” He pauses before continuing. “So same medical school, you probably know Hoseok Jung right?”

Seokjin was not liking where this was going, at all. Jack was an oversharer, and Namjoon was a curious person.

“My man J-hope! Yeah dude all of us were so close back then. Some of a little too close, huh Seokie?” Jack says with nudge and Seokjin just forces a smile. “I’m sad I couldn’t make it to his party though because of this conference, I heard it was wild.”

“It was pretty tame actually,” Seokjin says with a fake laugh that Namjoon raises an eyebrow at. “Look Jack we gotta-“

“Wait, wait you have to tell me if it was true your ex showed up,” Jack says. “Sam told me you guys left together and everyone was cheering for you.”

Seokjin feels like he’s going to throw up as he watches Namjoon turn to him, his face blank. It’s okay he can explain, it’s alright.

“We didn’t leave together we just talked, you know,” he replies, teeth gritted.

Jack hums. “All night? Come on...anyways be careful Seokie, he already broke your heart like once. And now Hoseok has gotten two boyfriends apparently so he can’t even be your backup anymore.”

There’s a silence as Jack’s phone rings and he looks at it. “Oh shit, I gotta go meet the person I came here with. But it was nice meeting you again, call me some time,” he says with a wink. He then turns to Namjoon and waves bye as well. “It was nice meeting you Dr.Kim, I hope you get lots of funding!”

The pair of them watch as Jack walks away.

Seokjin immediately turns to Namjoon. “Joon-“

The cardiologist’s face reveals no expression, his mouth in a straight line. “I got a text saying our ride is here. We should probably go and get out stuff and go to the airport.”

There was no warmth, no emotion, nothing, present in Namjoon’s voice, and somehow that hurt Seokjin more.

*

“Can we please talk?” he finally lets out as they sit in the corner of an airport terminal. It was hardly the place to have an argument, but at least there was no escape. They were stuck here for another hour, their flight being delayed.

“About what,” Namjoon says tiredly, currently scrolling through his iPad.

Seokjin feels his fingers itch and so he rubs them again on his jeans, his nervous tick showing up again. The younger notices it from the side of his eye and looks up. “What is it?”

“This afternoon with what Jack had said, about me going out with my ex at Hoseok’s party. It wasn’t like that, you can ask any of the others, they know it wasn’t like that.”

Namjoon sighs and closes the flap on the cover of his iPad. “I don’t know why you are explaining it to me. You don’t owe me anything, let alone an explanation for who you fuck and why.”

The last part is said with obvious distaste and now Seokjin feels himself get mad. “I just said I didn’t sleep with him, we just talked.”

“I’m saying it is none of my business?” Namjoon states. “We never said we were going to be exclusive.”

“Well, I know that, but you just seemed mad or jealous or whatever the fuck, so I just wanted to assure you that nothing happened.”

“Obviously something did,” Namjoon shrugs. “You have a bandaged area on your arm where the tattoo of your ex is and you brushed me off when I asked you earlier who you were texting. It was him right? M.Y.G? Also, how come I didn't know you and Hoseok used to be together?”

Seokjin is taken aback by the bitterness of Namjoon’s words. “I thought you just said it wasn’t any of your business.”

“It isn’t, but I’m right aren’t I?”

“Why are you being so fucking rude right now?” Seokjin asks. “You realize how much of an asshole you’re being?”

And that seems to finally take Namjoon down a notch. He sighs and leans back into the airport chair. “I’m sorry, it was out of line.”

“It was,” Seokjin says, a little deflated. “But I get it.”

Namjoon nods. “Yeah, you know I’ve been thinking. Maybe it’s best we stop this before things get weird again like what just happened.”

“I’m not following,” Seokjin says with a furrow of his brow. “Are you saying..?”

“That we should break up, or fake break-up whatever,” Namjoon says, and he says it so easily and smoothly that Seokjin doesn’t have time to process it. “We’ll just tell people it was mutual.”

“But why?” And Seokjin hates that he asks that, hates how desperate he sounds, but Namjoon doesn’t seem to notice, too busy picking at his nails.

“I really like you as a friend and I think we managed to turn this weird situation into a good friendship you know? Like yeah, we fucked around, but we also had fun as friends right? I don’t want that ruined by us getting into fights like this over what we owe each other and exclusivity.”

“Right,” Seokjin says, and he thinks he’s going to throw up. Fuck, he was going to tell this man he loved him, and all this time Namjoon thought of him as a fuck buddy whom he enjoyed the company of.

Namjoon lets out a chuckle. “We can be all dramatic, you know, we broke each other’s hearts in the city of love.”

Seokjin forces out a hoarse laugh. “They won’t bother me about relationships for a while now.”

“I don’t know how Mina’s going to take it,” Namjoon says quietly and Seokjin almost starts crying right there. “But she’s strong, I think it will be a good lesson, plus it was best to stop lying to her you know?”

Namjoon keeps saying “you know” but honestly, Seokjin does not know. He does not know why this keeps happening.

“Oh and don’t forget to change my contact name, make it like poop face or something,” says Namjoon with a grin.

“Passengers for the 11 pm flight to New York may now begin boarding,” states a voice on the intercom above. It’s repeated again in French.

“Time to go home,” Seokjin says with a fake smile. “Can’t wait to pretend to be gloomy over this breakup.”

Namjoon laughs. “You were a theater kid, weren’t you? You’ll act great, don’t worry, they’ll really think I broke your heart.”

Seokjin doesn’t need to act this time.

Chapter Text

Hoseok’s eyes go wide when he opens the door up to Seokjin.

“Hyung?”

The voice does not come from the psychiatrist, but Jimin, who was rubbing the sleep out of his eye as he walks into the living room. Jungkook follows behind, yawning. Seokjin feels bad immediately, realizing it was 3 a.m. “You guys can go back to bed, I’m sorry. I don’t know why I told the Uber driver to come here.”

Jungkook frowns as he eyes the suitcase Seokjin was gripping to tightly. “Is everything okay? How was the flight?”

“It was fine,” Seokjin says, but the strain is present in his voice. He had already finished his crying in the Uber on the way from the airport and now just felt empty.

“I’m going to start some tea. Jimin turn the fireplace on and Jungkook get the blankets from the cupboard,” Hoseok states before squeezing Seokjin’s shoulders.

“Hobi-“ he starts in protest but the younger just shakes his head.

“We got you. Now go get changed. It might be a long night.”

*

A half-hour later Seokjin finds himself wrapped in a warm blanket as a fire roars next to him. Jungkook sits next to him and he finds himself leaning into the comfort. Across from him but not far, Jimin and Hoseok also share a blanket.

It was the dead of night- 4 am last time Seokjin checked his phone. He wonders if Namjoon was asleep by now, alone in his apartment since Mina was spending the week at Hyeri’s. He thinks about the sweater he left at Namjoon’s and wonders if he will get it back.

“Hyungie are you okay,” Jungkook says again, a bit softer and Seokjin feels himself sigh. Hoseok and Jimin look at him too, worry all over their faces.

Once again, he was broken. This is what he had wanted to avoid, his friends being concerned about him. He started all this bullshit so long ago just so that his friends would stop asking if he was okay. And he somehow ended up in the same situation all over again.

What was the point?

“Namjoon and I,” Seokjin says, biting his lip. “We were never really dating.”

A pause.

Nobody reacts, there are no follow-up questions. Jungkook does not even stiffen next to him.

“We know,” Jimin finally breathes out. He looks at Hoseok before turning back to Seokjin. “We all know…that it was fake.”

And…Seokjin is confused. His brain is muddled, foggy from the seven-hour plane ride. “What?”

“Jimin overheard you guys talking about your deal the day after,” Jungkook states and Seokjin feels his brows furrow.

“But I remember Jimin was off that day…”

Jimin shakes his head. “I was on call and had to come in. I was about to enter the lounge that day and I swear I was not trying to eavesdrop but then Jungkook saw me and came over to where I was standing and …we both heard it.”

Hoseok nods. “Then they told me.”

Seokjin could be angry.

He could ask his friends why they let him act like a fool for so many months straight. Or maybe he could storm out and never speak to them again.

But a part of him, the part of him that loves Namjoon and that is hurting, is thankful. He never thought he was ever capable of loving anyone ever again, and yet here he was.

Upset and heartbroken over a man who did not feel the same way.

“We were going to confront you about it, but we thought it would just make you feel bad. So we played along,” Hoseok says quietly. “I thought it was the least I could do since you felt you needed to make a fake boyfriend up in the first place. I obviously hadn’t been a good friend.”

Seokjin sees tears in the younger’s eyes and he feels his own vision get blurry.

Jimin sniffles. “And a selfish part of me wanted Hobi hyung and Jungkook to myself. I thought you doing this would finally allow...you know. I’m sorry. But then I felt even worse thinking about how harsh I was treating you before because of that and so figured I’ll play along. ”

“We thought it would only last for a little while,” Jungkook says, Seokjin turning towards him. “I guess we all thought it was what you wanted, for us to be off your back.”

Seokjin is stunned, still not responding. His brain slowly catches up to the words his friends are saying. They knew…they knew and didn’t tell him because they didn’t want him to be hurt. They knew and felt bad because they thought Seokjin did this because he thought they were horrible friends.

“I didn’t do it because I thought you guys weren’t being good to me,” Seokjin finally lets out, a tear falling. “You are too good to me. So good that I don’t deserve it.”

And that’s when he breaks, really breaks.

He feels Jungkook hold him in his arms as he cries, Hoseok and Jimin immediately coming over and rubbing his back, saying soothing things in his ear. He can see from his blurry vision they are crying and apologizing too.

Jungkook’s pajama shirt is fully wet by the time Seokjin finally pulls away. “I’m sorry,” he says with a sniffle and the younger just shakes his head.

The four of them sit huddled together, not saying anything for a while, just listening to each other breathe.

It’s Jimin who breaks the silence. “As time went on, we got worried. You were spending more and more time with him. Getting closer. And then you started actually sleeping with him.”

“I wanted to say something hyung, but-“ Hoseok says hesitantly. “I haven’t seen you that happy in… so long. Years even.”

“You guys really seemed to be good for each other,” Jungkook adds. “So we all agreed to be matchmakers.”

Seokjin raises an eyebrow. “Matchmakers?”

Jimin lets out a smile. “We kept trying to get you guys together. Like for real.”

“Like pushing me in his direction at the bar that one time?”

“Exactly,” Hoseok says with a hesitant chuckle. “And you guys were honestly acting like you were dating, I think we just started deluding ourselves too.”

Seokjin feels his smile crumble. “I’m sorry your efforts went to waste though.”

Jungkook pauses his massaging of Seokjin’s hand to turn to the elder. “What do you mean?”

“Did something happen?” Hoseok asks, brow furrowed.

Seokjin leans back against the couch before looking at the three friends near him. “He ended it, said fucking around was fun but that we should probably stop.”

Silence.

“No…he wouldn’t,” Jimin says with a frown, finally. “I work with him, I see the way he talks about you, the way he’s always excited to text you or to go down to the ED to see you.”

Seokjin shrugs. “He’s one hell of an actor.”

“What did he specifically say?” Jungkook prods further. “Maybe you are interpreting it wrong-“

“He said that fucking around with you is fun but I like being friends and don’t want that ruined with expectations.”

Hoseok’s breath hitches and Seokjin can see Jimin’s eyebrows raise.

“What about you hyung?” Jungkook asks. “What do you think?”

Seokjin picks at his nails. “He didn’t even give me a chance to say I love you, so it really doesn’t matter what I think.”

“You love him?” Hoseok whispers, barely audible over the sound of Seokjin’s heart breaking.

Seokjin nods, head bowed.

“Oh…fuck.”

Oh fuck indeed.

*

When things go to shit, when the world is literally crumbling, Seokjin goes to his safe place: the ED. Here, he wasn’t thinking about exes and fake boyfriends or of Eiffel towers and airport terminals.

He had lives to save.

“12-year male, blunt abdominal trauma and penetrating injury in his upper thigh. Couldn’t get a BP but palpable radial pulse of 112.”

“Trauma Room 4,” Seokjin yells out, putting on some gloves as he follows the paramedics into the room. He puts on a gown on top of his scrubs as he scans the patient. They place him on to the bed, quickly connecting him to monitors in the room.

“Oh my mom is so going to kill me,” the kid yells out, groaning in pain. 

“Start a fentanyl drip for the pain,” he beckons to the nurse and resident who nod in response, getting ready to start a line. Seokjin walks over to the side and tries to assess the injury to the thigh while he looks at the patient.

“What’s your name buddy? And how did this happen?”

“I’m Cameron…I was playing football inside the house with my dog,” he lets out, eyes still closed. “I was running and tripped on to our glass coffee table. Oh god, that’s my mom’s favorite table. She’s going to kill me!”

Seokjin watches the kid open his eyes and start begging for him not to call his mother. “And then she’s going to tell my Dad and I’m going to get grounded and I won’t be able to go to Kyle’s birthday party and oh my god I am so screwed.”

The monitor starts blaring as Cameron tries to jostle around. Seokjin eyes the big glass shard located on the thigh. “Okay buddy, we are going to take good care of you. But you cannot move okay?”

The kid only groans louder in pain and Seokjin feels the adrenaline rush through his veins. “The shard is very very close to his femoral artery.”

The resident gazes at Seokjin. “You think we can take it out without him bleeding out?”

“Bleeding out?” The patient groans, slowly trying to get up. “Am I going to die?”

“No you’re not going to-“Seokjin glares at the resident who has the decency to look embarrassed. “We just need you not to move. We are going to take this thing out real quick.”

“Then why did he say I was going to bleed out?”

Seokjin bites his lip before sighing and walking to wear the patient’s head lay. He squats a little, so he meets the younger eye-to-eye. “You’re a smart kid right?”

Cameron sniffles and nods his head.

“So I’m going to tell you what’s going on, because you’re so smart and want to know what is going on.”

“Okay.”

Seokjin smiles and pets the younger’s hair. The fentanyl seemed to have been working, but it wouldn’t last for long the second Seokjin pulled that shard out of the patient’s thigh.

“So you have this big artery in your leg. It is one of the biggest arteries in your body. You know what an artery is?”

Cameron nods his head. “They carry blood to the parts of your body, we learned about it in science class.”

Seokjin smiles. “See look at you, you already know what it is! Now, when you fell and got the glass in your thigh, the shard came very very close to your femoral artery. That’s the big artery I’m talking about. But it’s not stuck there.”

“You mean…it can move?” the kid replies, eyes wide. “And cut the big artery?”

He sees the heart rate monitor go up as the patient gets more anxious. Seokjin squeezes the kid’s shoulder. “Yeah but that won’t happen if you stay very very still. So we have a deal?”

Cameron nods. “Okay, I’ll be still.”

And with that note, Seokjin motions for everyone in the room to move to their position.

“Bring the light over here,” he instructs the resident as he starts sterilizing the area. The patient winces. “Cameron, we have a deal remember, no moving. You got this.”

The nurse hands him over a pair of tweezers and he latches them on to the glass shard. “Put compression the second I take this out,” he says to the resident who nods.

“Okay, Cameron are you ready? I’m going to count. 1,2,3-“

Cameron lets out a bloodcurdling scream.

*

Seokjin is stretching out his neck after his shift when he hears someone call his name.

“Dr.Kim?”

He looks over to see one of the residents from earlier approach his table in the cafeteria. The man was also carrying a tray of food and Seokjin beckons for him to sit down.

“Ah thank you, sorry there were no seats anywhere else.”

“No problem,” Seokjin replies as he bites into his apple. He squints at the nametag on the badge hanging. “You just get off your shift now too Dr.Brown?”

“Oh, please call me James,” the resident says with a wave of his hand. “Yeah, just got off a 24 hour. I think I am going to collapse.”

Seokjin laughs and takes a sip of his soup. “Well better eat up. Knowing this hospital’s scheduling, you’re probably on another 24 hour in a day or two.”

James grins and also starts eating. They both chatter animatedly about things going on in the world and Seokjin finds himself thoroughly enjoying the conversation.

“I have to say, I’m really sorry about talking like that in front of that femoral artery kid. I sometimes forget that they freak out easily.”

Seokjin shakes his head. “You were lucky it was only the kid. They can be easily reassured. Parents, not so much.”

“Yeah, you were so good with him,” James says with a sigh. “Do you have kids?”

And something inside Seokjin twists. He focuses his attention back to his food. “No, just lots of practice. You’ll get there.”

“I’m sorry was that a sensitive topic, I didn’t mean to-“

“James,” Seokjin says, forcing a smile. “You need to stop apologizing, seriously. It’s not a sensitive topic.”

The younger nods his head hesitantly. “I know, it’s just I get it. My parents have been on my back since medical school, telling me I need to get married and have kids.”

Seokjin hums. “The first doctor in the family I’m guessing?”

James picks at his sandwich as he nods. “Yeah, but I guess they get worried that I’ll end up choosing this career over an actual family.”

“Nothing wrong with choosing to be ambitious and to focus on career rather than relationships,” Seokjin replies, thinking out loud.

“I guess, but what would be the point at the end of the day?”

Seokjin raises his eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

The resident shrugs before taking a bite. “I just mean…What is the point of this entire career if you don’t have someone to share your struggles with? If you don’t have someone to tell your victories with?”

Seokjin is silent, his fingers twitching underneath the table.

“I know it’s easy to brush off our parents about finding someone and starting a family, but sometimes I do think they are right. Doctors have the highest rates of burnout compared to most jobs. Why? Because we put the career over everything. All for what?”

“It’s not for nothing though,” Seokjin states firmly. “Every day we are saving lives and preventing deaths. We are the closest thing to God that people have. That’s what. It’s the people who matter.”

James shakes his head.

“But until what point? To the point you are forgetting about yourself in the process? You matter too Dr.Kim.”

*

He wakes up with a headache and what feels like a log across his chest. As he blinks his eyes slowly open, he realizes that wasn’t a log, but a whole human arm. Which was connected, to his horror, a human body that was spooning him?

An alarm rings from his phone and before he can even tell the man in his bed to get off of him, the warmth is gone.

“Mmm- what time is it,” he hears a sleepy voice next to him say. Seokjin rolls over and grabs his phone. 7:30 am.  He had to be at work in a half-hour. Wait, what day was it? Saturday?

He scrolls through his texts, mostly from the group chat asking where he was when he hears shuffling and groaning next to him.

“Look…,” Seokjin starts, staring at the bump hiding under the pillow.

“James.”

“I remember your name, Dr.Brown,” he replies as sternly as possible.

James, eyes still closed, stretches and gets out of bed. Seokjin feels his face redden at the sight of the younger shirtless and looking around for his clothes. Memories of last night fade in and he feels himself get embarrassed.

The resident finally manages to pull on his clothes as Seokjin throws the covers to the side and gets out as well. He grabs the shirt from the floor and tugs it on, letting it fall past his boxers and on to his upper thigh.

 “Well I best be going then,” James says with a hesitant smile as they both walk out the bedroom to the front door. “Maybe we can get a coffee or something?”

Seokjin scratches his neck. “I’m sorry… I’m not...Last night was just…”

The younger nods understandingly. “I get it. If you ever want to though, you know where to find me.”

And Seokjin is thankful it isn’t awkward, that the younger gets it was just a hookup. At least he was thankful until he opens the door to let the resident out and is instead met with the familiar brown eyes of Namjoon Kim.

It’s like the world stops moving at the moment he sees the man. It had been nearly a week and a half since they had said goodbye at JFK airport, each going their separate ways. Even though they worked in the same hospital, they never saw each other. It had only made Seokjin realize how much of an effort the two had made in the past to actively seek out another.

Namjoon scans Seokjin’s outfit and the expression on his face sours just as Seokjin feels his stomach sink.

“Dr.Kim? What are you…?”

Both heads turn to James, who looked confused.

“I was returning some of my ex’s things. That’s all,” Namjoon replies curtly and Seokjin can feel the ice in the tone. He really should be an actor, Seokjin thinks.

“Oh, I’m sorry…I didn’t…” the resident stutters. “I should get going anyways. See you guys later!”

Before Seokjin can even say anything, his one-night stand was scurrying down the hallway, disappearing into the elevator.

“Do you only sleep with your coworkers?”

Seokjin turns his head back to Namjoon. He feels himself get defensive, annoyed that the man was still continuing the little drama. “You can cut it out, he’s gone.”

They both move inside and Seokjin shuts the door just as Namjoon raises his eyebrow. “Cut what out?”

Seokjin huffs. “The acting, whatever. You don’t need to do the whole hurt ex-boyfriend thing.”

“Oh…yeah right. Sorry.”

They both look at each other for a minute and Seokjin is suddenly more aware of the fact that he was only in boxers and a t-shirt. Not that it wasn’t anything Namjoon hadn’t seen, but he still felt bare. Out in the open.

He wonders if the younger could tell. If Namjoon could see it in Seokjin’s face that he was in love with him.

“Anyways,” Namjoon states, clearing his throat. “Just realized you forgot your sweater and a couple of things at my place. I wanted to give them back to you.”

He hands the bag over and Seokjin can see a sweater and several other clothing items neatly folded inside. “Thanks.”

“No problem.”

This is so awkward and it kind of makes Seokjin want to die. “How is Mina?”

“Good, she’s been handling it well. How are your friends taking it?”

“Also good. They’ve been supportive,” he lies. “You know-the breakup protocol of vodka and cursing your name.”

Namjoon frowns. “Don’t drink too much though. It’s not good for your-“

“I think I know what is good for me thanks,” Seokjin cuts. He hates how affected he sounds, but he can’t help it. “Sorry, I just need to go get ready. I have to go to brunch.”

“It’s alright,” the younger says. “I’ll see you around then.”

“Yeah, see you.”

*

Yoongi

Pick up your phone

Answer my calls u idiot

Hyung you have read receipts on

I know you can see this

Seokjin sighs at his phone. It wasn’t like he was actively trying to avoid Yoongi. Everything just felt too much right now, all at once. He was already scheduled for so many shifts at the hospital he barely had time to see his Hoseok, Jimin, and Jungkook.

The three of them managed to somehow find him anyways, always surprising him at work or showing up to his apartment, uninvited. Seokjin could be mad, but he’s grateful for their love and support. Even if it means brunch way too early on Saturdays.

“You need to talk to him,” Jimin says with a sip of his iced tea.

“And say what?” Seokjin asks. “That the boyfriend I told him about was fake because I couldn’t get over him? But I somehow ended up falling in love with the said fake boyfriend?”

“Okay, don’t say it like that,” Hoseok starts, “He’s just worried about you, you haven’t talked to him since the break-up with Namjoon.”

“It wasn’t even a break-up, it wasn’t real,” Seokjin whines.

“Your love for him was, sorry is real though,” Jungkook points out as he attempts to take a grape off Jimin’s plate.

“You’re his best man dude,” Jimin states as he lightly smacks Jungkook for stealing his food. “He really cares for you and wants to be there for you. Let him.”

“I hate when you three gang up on me,” Seokjin mutters. “But fine. I’ll call.”

*

“If I wasn’t knee-deep in wedding preparations, I would literally fly to New York and kick your ass.”

Seokjin snorts. “Kinky.”

“Hyung, be serious. Tell me what’s going on.”

And Seokjin is tired of telling the entire sob story of his fake boyfriend Namjoon Kim, he really is. But he does it anyway.  

He narrates it from Mina’s visit to the ER to the bar that they met to Thanksgiving to kisses in supply closets to mint chocolate ice-cream to intense scrabble games to Eiffel Towers and to airport terminals. He narrates it all, lets the words sink into the phone so Seokjin doesn’t have to carry them anymore.

Yoongi is quiet when Seokjin finishes, the only evidence of him being on the line was the slight steady breathing being heard. He wonders where Yoongi is now, maybe at home, with Taehyung.

He has still yet to meet the fiancé of his best friend. Though he and Yoongi had made up, a part of him still fears meeting Taehyung. He fears Taehyung not liking him or worse, not caring. From the multiple shows and V-lives he had watched that gave an insight into the younger’s personality, that was not something to be afraid of. Yet he still kept himself a distance away.

“Well, that sure is something.”

Seokjin chuckles. “It sure is. You asked for it.”

 “How have you been dealing with it?”

He shrugs, even though Yoongi can’t see. “I’m working. Keeping myself busy. I tried sleeping with someone else, but that didn’t exactly make me feel better.”

“Please tell me that person was not-“

“It was not Hoseok, Jesus who do you think I am,” Seokjin says, a little offended. “I wouldn’t.”

“I know,” Yoongi replies. “I just was making sure.”

“Right.”

“So...you love this guy. Have you ever thought about telling him how you feel? Maybe he-“

“Absolutely not,” Seokjin says. “He made it clear we are friends and I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on him. He’s a good guy, he doesn’t deserve that.”

Yoongi is quiet again before letting out a breath. “You are too hyung. You are good too and deserve good.”

And Seokjin smiles at that. “That’s why I have you…Jimin, Hoseok, Kook…you are all the good I need.”

“What about love? What are you going to do?”

Seokjin picks at his nails, tears starting to come back into his eyes. “Everyone gets the ability to love. But only a few people get someone that loves them back.”

“Hyung but-“

“How are Taehyung and everyone doing? You said you were preparing for the wedding right?”

Yoongi sighs, knowing it was a lost cause. “It’s going well…actually I was wondering something.”

“What?”

“How about you come here a bit early?”

Seokjin is baffled. “What?”

“I think it would be good for you to get a break from everything. You can come a couple of days early before everyone arrives. We could use all the help we need, and it would be a great way for you to keep yourself away and busy. You can also get to know Taehyung.”

“I…” Seokjin starts. It was tempting, to just leave everything and head across the world. “How many days before?”

“We booked this entire area in Jeju for a whole week so we can have time to decorate and also party. The rooming is legit not even a foot away from the main fortress where we are getting married.”

“Hold up, please tell me you did not rent out a whole fortress for your wedding,” Seokjin says, realizing what Yoongi was referring to.

“It’s supposed to be the wedding of the century, according to Dispatch,” Yoongi laughs. “Also you know how I feel about architecture.”

Seokjin smiles. “Of course.”

“So, what do you say? How about a little vacation?”

*

“Go with me.”

Jimin pauses typing the note from the patient that they had just treated. It was not anything serious but Seokjin had figured Cardio should probably clear the patient before they could be discharged. A part of him was hoping Namjoon would show up as the consult and was only slightly disappointed when Jimin came instead.

“I planned to go Wednesday along with Hobi hyung and Kook, the welcome party isn’t even until Thursday.”

Seokjin bites his lip. “I can’t go alone, okay? It’s intimidating.”

The younger furrows his brow. “You and Yoongi are good now, what is there to be scared of?”

He shrugs. “What if Taehyung doesn’t like me? Or Yoongi’s family thinks it is weird for me to show up so early? It would just be easier if I had one of you with me.”

“Hyung, first of all, you have nothing to worry about,” Jimin says, getting up and placing a hand over the elder’s. “And second of all, if you really need someone for support, I’ll definitely go.”

Seokjin’s eyes widen. “Really? You’ll leave Saturday with me?”

The cardiologist smiles. “Of course hyung. But can I ask, why me?”

“Jungkook and Hoseok,” Seokjin starts, “…are really good to me. A little too good. But they can be soft. I need someone to call me out when I’m fucking myself over but also be there when I want to cry. You’re that person.”

Jimin’s smile widens even more. “Aww hyung.”

“Stop I’m not giving you a hu-okay fine.”

Seokjin feels a bit ridiculous embracing Jimin in the middle of the Emergency Department, but he finds the corners of his mouth lifting too.

*

“Sir do you want anything to drink?”

Seokjin looks up from the book he was reading to see an air host eyeing him up and down, smiling. He waves him off. “I’m good thank you. And before you ask, my friend is fine with water too.”

Jimin slaps his arm the second the guy was out of earshot. “He was so cute! You could have entertained him by buying wine or something.”

“You really want to land in Jeju with a hangover? I don’t know how you aren’t already tired from the Berlin to Incheon flight.”

“Ugh the first thing we need to do when we get there is get you laid,” the younger mutters. He pauses for a second before smirking. “You know what they say about weddings-“

Seokjin doesn’t hear the last part of it as he does a dramatic show of putting his noise-canceling headphones on. Jimin looked slightly annoyed but shrugged and went back to working on his laptop.

He would have to be lying if he said that he wasn’t at least a little worried about seeing Taehyung. Beautiful, gorgeous, talented Kim Taehyung.

Would he even like Seokjin?

*

“Why isn’t he answering his texts? We have been waiting for him for twenty minutes!”

“Believe me, this has been a problem for as long as I’ve known him,” Seokjin retorts. It really hadn’t been that long of a wait, and personally, Seokjin was glad to keep postponing his meeting with Taehyung.

“Just arrived and already talking shit about our relationship? Typical.”

For a second Seokjin stays frozen in his spot, watching Jimin exclaim and hug Yoongi. The rapper is dressed in his typical fashion, dark jeans accompanied by another dark sweater. Standing next to him was another man. Seokjin has to blink twice before taking in the other’s appearance.  He gets a clearer look when the man looks over at him, giving him a wide boxy smile.

Kim Taehyung was a kind of timeless beauty, the one that everyone is attracted to. He was dressed in a simple gray sweater and baggy cream pants but looked like he stepped off a runway. Seokjin thinks about his own black jeans matched with a white shirt that he got from the gift shop in the hospital. The most effort he put in was the expensive peacoat that Jimin had convinced him to buy.

Taehyung is smiling, going forward to hug Jimin like they were long-lost friends. As they chat, Yoongi moves toward Seokjin and grins. “Glad to see you made it.”

“Yeah, me too,” Seokjin says, but his eyes are focused on Taehyung who had finally stopped talking to Jimin.

He watches the idol come forward, bowing at nearly a 90-degree angle before coming back up. Seokjin reciprocates, staring at the shiny metal ring on Taehyung’s hand before shifting his gaze back to the man, whose smile was still present. “It’s so nice to finally meet you Seokjin-ssi.”

“Oh please, hyung is fine,” Seokjin feels himself saying in Korean without thinking. From behind Taehyung, he can see Jimin giggling. He ignores him. “It’s great to finally meet you too.”

“Okay, so we have a slight problem.”

Another man, who had been lingering behind Yoongi and Taheyung the entire time, starts speaking, causing all four heads to turn.

“What is it,” Yoongi asks the dude, who Seokjin is starting to guess is his bodyguard.

“Someone leaked your location, there’s a shit load of fans and newspapers outside.”

Taehyung frowns. “We will just use the back entrance like we always do.”

The bodyguard shakes his head. “There’s construction going on back there. We can’t. We have to go through the main entrance.”

“Shit, I’m sorry,” Seokjin says, feeling bad, “We could have just come by ourselves. We didn’t mean to cause any trouble.”

Taehyung waves his hand. “No, no it’s okay. We are used to this. We are more worried about you guys. How are you with cameras?”

Jimin looks confused. “What do you mean?”

Both Yoongi and Taehyung look at each other and wince, which doesn’t ease Seokjin’s tension. “What?”

“Okay so here’s what we do,” Taehyung states after a minute. “Both of you just follow hyung and I. We have to wave and say hello, but you don’t need to do that.”

Seokjin frowns. “Why do you have to wave? They are invading your privacy.”

Taehyung pauses, looking curiously at the elder. “You know what, you’re right hyung.”

“He is?” Yoongi asks, looking at Taehyung’s thoughtful expression.

 “Yeah, come on now. Let’s go.”

Seokjin is astonished by Taehyung’s confidence and he thinks if Taheyung asked him to jump into a fire, he would. Jimin’s eyes flicker towards Seokjin and Yoongi, who just shrugs.

“You guys will be fine, it’s a lot of flashes, but it will be gone in a minute. The barricade holds them back anyways, so they can’t jump you or anything.”

Jimin raises his eyebrow. “Thanks for being so reassuring.”

Regardless of their concerns, they follow Taehyung and his bodyguard out into the main entrance of the Jeju airport. Seokjin is greeted by a slight chill of wind at first before the deafening screams overpower it.

It’s hard to see, the bodyguards from earlier pushing him in the direction of a car parked on the street. He hears shouts, trying to decipher what he was hearing. He catches Agust D, V, Taheyung, Yoongi, Taegi, and every other variation of the engaged couple’s names.

“Who is that? Oh, he is so handsome!”

Seokjin almost trips as he looks into the direction of the voice and is instead met with a flash in his eyes. To his right, he sees Jimin had kept his head down, using a mask and hat to cover most of his face. Taehyung and Yoongi were already at the car, quickly getting inside.

Jimin follows suit and Seokjin is right behind him. When they are all finally safe inside the car, he allows himself to breathe. “Holy shit.”

Taehyung laughs. “It can be a lot, I’m sorry.”

“I don’t know how you guys don’t go blind with all those flashes constantly,” Jimin mutters as he takes off his mask. “I can’t imagine doing that all the time.”

“You get used to it…sadly,” Yoongi hums. “Privacy is a luxury idols don’t really have here.”

“That’s why our wedding location is kind of in the middle of nowhere,” Taehyung adds. “We wanted to make sure it was private, including the lodge where all the guests will stay.”

“Are there other idols on the guest list?” Jimin says, eyes widening. “Jungkook is going to shit himself if his hotel room is next to like IU or something.”

 “We invited her, but she had overseas schedules.”

“Dang it.”

The conversation is pretty light-hearted from then on, but Seokjin is grateful that Jimin was great at talking, especially with Taehyung. It seemed the two of them had clicked since the facetime calls that introduced them when Yoongi had stayed for a weekend. They had been texting constantly, becoming close. Multiple times he finds himself just exchanging glances with Yoongi as Taehyung and Jimin continued to chatter. They both just smile, happy to see a new friendship blooming.

Seokjin ends up staring out the window the rest of the trip and as the city lights slowly dimmed from suburbia to country, he fell fast asleep.

*

They arrive at the lodge near midnight on Sunday. The moon shines brightly on Seokjin before he and Jimin head towards the elevators, each armed with their own room key after they had bid goodbye to Yoongi and Taehyung. Hoseok and Jungkook would be joining Jimin’s room in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, Seokjin would be sleeping alone throughout the entire trip.

He’s not thinking about it.

Jimin nudges him, taking his hand in his own, giving it a squeeze. “I’m right here.”

Seokjin blinks, staring down at their interconnected hands. “Thanks, Jimin.”

“Seriously, you need anything and I’m only a door away.”

“I kno-“

“You know. If it ever gets too much and you want to leave, I have loads of air miles. We can get tickets cheap.”

“I’m the best man, I legit cannot leave.”

Jimin taps his hotel keycard. “Okay, well then try not to fuck up.”

Seokjin turns to face Jimin and rolls his eyes. “Thank you Jimin-ah. I’ll hold you to that. Now sleep.”

Jimin smiles back and gives one last squeeze. “Goodnight hyung.”

 “Goodnight Jimin.”

*

Seokjin makes his way outside the lodge at around 9 in the morning the following day. It was still early, not many people roaming outside. It was a warm day, springtime seeming to have come early. Jimin was eating breakfast still, so he decides to go ahead and start exploring the area around him.

The lodge they were staying at was not that big, only a couple of floors, but it overlooked cliffs and the sea. It could barely be seen in the pitch black last night, but Seokjin can see it clearly in daylight as he walks across the black stone. The smell of saltwater fills up his nostrils and he feels himself becoming calm at the sounds of the waves crashing the stones below.

“Gorgeous view isn’t it?”

Seokjin blinks and turns to see Taehyung, a boxy smile present once again. He can’t but help smile back. “You’re up early.”

“Yoongi didn’t let me sleep last night.”

He feels himself squirm. “Gross.”

Taehyung laughs and comes to stand next to Seokjin. Seokjin looks at the younger’s outfit, another pair of baggy pants paired with a t-shirt and cardigan. He wonders how the man looks so effortless all the time.

“He kept discussing wedding things, talking about whether gold really did match with black and if we should just scrap it and go with navy blue.”

Seokjin is appalled. “Your wedding is in literally a couple of days? How can he say that?”

The younger just giggles. “He just wants everything to be perfect, you know how he is.”

“Yeah, I do,” Seokjin hums, looking back at the sea. They’re both quiet for a moment, just letting the water talk instead of them. “I think I could stay here, staring at it forever.”

“Me too,” Taehyung agrees. “But it’s even better at night, with the moon shining.”

Seokjin lets his fingers gravitate toward the moon on his wrist, swiping his thumb over it. Taehyung watches the movement and raises his eyebrow. “Can I see?”

He hesitates at first but finally extends his arm in front of the idol, pulling his jean jacket sleeve up to reveal the moon. Taehyung places delicate fingers on the tattoo, tracing it.

“Yoongi told me about everything,” he says quietly, without looking up. “I have to admit, I was scared.”

“Of what?”

Taehyung lets go of Seokjin’s arm and turns. He starts walking further down the path and Seokjin finds himself shuffling to catch up.

They keep walking along the cliff edges, silent. Seokjin takes in the beauty of the nature surrounding him. Being stuck in New York City and being raised in Boston, all he had ever known was the city life. He was used to loudness from the constant honking to the rush of people who don’t have time to look at each other in the eye.

Out here in barren land next to the sea, it was nothing like that.

“Sit, come on,” Taehyung says suddenly, pulling Seokjin out of his thoughts. A bench had appeared in the pathway, probably a rest stop for many hikers or runners.

They both settle on the wooden bench, leaning back to continue admiring the nature.

“He proposed to me, right here,” Taehyung says, still focused on the sea. Seokjin tears his eyes away to see the younger’s expression. He remains calm, letting out a half-smile. “He almost dropped the box off the cliff because he was so nervous.”

Seokjin chuckles. “He really loves you.”

“I know…but that fear,” Taehyung whispers, barely audible over the waves. “It was still there.”

This time Seokjin doesn’t respond, just stares at Taehyung, waiting for him to speak.

“I know you barely know me,” the idol says with a laugh, “but it seems like I know all about you.”

“Taehyung-“

“I’ve loved him for a long time. Since I could probably walk,” the younger continues. “When he moved to the States and you two became a thing, it felt like my entire world crumbled.”

Seokjin feels his shoulders slump. “I’m sorr-“

Taehyung shakes his head. “For years, I detested you, blaming you for the reason I wasn’t in much contact with Yoongi anymore. It was like a weakness. I was known for being outgoing, happy, lovable, nice, whatever. But when it came to you, I only had anger. Nobody ever saw that side of me.”

He is stunned at Taehyung’s words, unable to process what he was hearing. Seokjin feels his mouth open a little in shock.

“It wasn’t until Yoongi and I became roommates when I needed a place to stay in Seoul that I realized how wrong I was. How wrong it was for me to ever hate you.”

Taehyung finally looks up, looking Seokjin in the eye. “You were there for him, stood by his side when he had nobody. You took him under your wing and helped him through so many difficulties whether it was his career or dealing with his parents or his mental health. You were there for him when I had abandoned him because I was what, jealous?”

“Don’t be so hard on-“

“I felt like I wasted so many years hating you when I should have been thanking you. Thank you for taking care of Yoongi, and for letting him come back to me. Thank you for letting me have another chance at loving him properly.”

Seokjin rubs his hand on his jeans. “I didn’t do anything though.”

Taehyung sighs, turning back to the sea. “I’m the one who told him to go to New York and talk with you personally. You meant a lot to him and seeing your friendship be so…turbulent was affecting him badly. A part of me was still scared, that he would choose you, that he would come home and say the wedding is off. But instead, he comes home with 20 different Statue of Liberty collectibles and a new tattoo covering an old one.”

Seokjin stares at Taehyung, waiting for him to continue.

The idol grins. “I used to get annoyed at his stories of you, but now each time he talks about you, I see his ability to care so deeply. I see the loyalty in his actions, the persistence in his voice. That’s why I said yes when he asked to marry me. But it was really after seeing him come back to me even when I gave him a chance to choose you. That's when I knew that this would last forever. What Yoongi and I have.”

Without thinking, Seokjin goes and pats Taehyung’s hair, smoothing it down from the wind. “He would choose you every time. You're his soulmate Taehyung-ah."

Taehyung lets out a sniffle. "I really am, huh?"

Seokjin nods. "And if you think he’s bad when describing his friends, you should hear him talk about you. He can go on for hours talking about how cute the mole on your nose is.”

Taehyung barks out in laughter. “Please tell me he didn’t do that.”

“He doesn’t even need alcohol to start preaching about your acting or your singing voice or how pretty you are. Won’t let us get in a word! Not that he’s wrong.”

Seokjin feels himself brighten as Taehyung covers his face in shame. “God I can’t believe I’m marrying someone who would embarrass me like that.”

“Are you both shit-talking me?” Both heads turn and see Yoongi walking towards them, frowning. “We all were wondering where you guys were.”

“Seokjin hyung wanted to see the sea,” Taehyung hums, walking to the rapper and placing a kiss on his cheek. It makes Seokjin’s heart warm and he puts his hand over his heart.

“You guys are so sweet I think I might get a toothache.”

“No dad jokes allowed on wedding ground premises,” Yoongi mutters but he’s smiling too, interlocking his fingers with Taehyung’s. “Anyways come on, vacation comes at a price. You need to help with decorating.”

Taehyung rolls his eyes. “You really don’t, we have a wedding planner.”

“Which we paid way too much for. I still think the black and gold might be a little-“

“Oh you guys definitely need my help,” Seokjin says with a grin. “Come on, let’s get going.”

*

Jimin, Taehyung, Yoongi, and Seokjin spend all of Monday tending to wedding preparations. Seokjin learns more about the lay of the land and the four of them were currently strolling through the nearby village as a way to relax from the day’s activities.

“Aren’t you scared someone’s going to recognize you?” Jimin asks Taehyung as he hands over a figurine they had just bought, thanking the lady at the counter.

“Nobody really cares over here,” Yoongi answers. “It’s a quiet town, a good place to escape when you need to. Taehyung and I use to come here often when being a celebrity was too much.”

Seokjin thinks about what Taehyung said earlier that morning. “Is that why you proposed here?”

Jimin doesn’t seem to be surprised, but Yoongi blushes as Taehyung latches on to his arm. “Yeah, it’s a special place, isn’t it baby?”

“It is,” the younger replied, placing another kiss on the elder’s lips.

Jimin pouts. “You both are making me miss Jungkook and Hoseok, stop being so grossly in love.”

Taehyung smiles. “I can’t wait to see meet them in person.  I hope I don’t disappoint Jungkook’s fantasies of what idol life is like.”

“Oh you definitely won’t,” Seokjin snorts. “He will have his mind blown just when he sees Chungha is going to dance at the welcome party.”

“Shh…that’s supposed to be a surprise,” Yoongi hisses. “Nobody is supposed to know that.”

“Stop making fun of my boyfriend anyways,” Jimin says with a whine, slightly pushing Seokjin, who just shoves back. They both almost trip and fall on the dirt road, giggling.

“What about you hyung?” Taehyung asks Seokjin after they had exited the village and were back to the lodging area. In the distance, the fortress where the outdoor wedding would be held stands proudly. “Nothing in that department?”

Seokjin freezes, but only for a moment. He kicks the rocks at his feet, not wanting to discuss this subject. “Not at the moment, no. Just got out of a relationship so I’m kind of just chilling now.”

Yoongi looks at him curiously and Jimin is tilting his head to the side, but both don’t say anything. Taehyung just smiles. “That’s the best anyways. I remember when I was single and didn’t have to worry if Yoongi did the laundry or not at home.”

Yoongi scoffs. “I forget sometimes, not as much as you forget doing the dishes though.”

“Who takes Yeontan and Holly out in the morning?”

“The grad student two floors down from us, yeah I know about that.”

“Oh, damn. Well, I still take them in the evenings.”

Yoongi just grunts. “I make better food though.”

Taehyung squeezes Yoongi’s cheeks. “The best cook in the world. I am so grateful.”

“God, we get it you’re getting married,” Jimin says teasingly. Taehyung responds by sticking out his tongue and wrapping himself tighter around Yoongi’s arm.

“Go have skype sex with your boyfriends Jimin-ah, I know you’re jealous.”

“Rude!”

Seokjin finds himself laughing at Taehyung and Jimin’s witty banter, grateful that the topic had changed so fast. It gave him a source of comfort, seeing how Taehyung was easily willing to let it go and brighten things back up.

He falls behind a bit, watching the other three continue talking, but focusing on Taehyung. He really was like a beam of sunshine, spreading warmth to everyone.

Seokjin can’t think of a better person to marry his best friend.

*

Tuesday and Wednesday pass just as smoothly, Seokjin finding himself enjoying his time off. He was never idle though, always helping get last-minute decorations or flowers needed. The plan was there to be a Welcome Party on Thursday in the hotel ballroom for all the guests and Friday would be the actual wedding. Saturday was a reception and Sunday was a goodbye brunch. Seokjin thinks it’s a bit ridiculous that a wedding would have these many events, but no bachelor party.

“I still don’t get why we don’t have one,” he asks as he cuts flower heads from a bouquet on Wednesday. They would be part of a garland that hung at the entrance of the fortress. “I would have planned the best bachelor’s party ever. You know, as your best man.”

Jimin nods. “I’m surprised you didn’t want a wild one. Hangover style.”

“I don’t have much fun partying anymore unless Taehyung is there. He always makes things more fun,” Yoongi says with a shrug. “The point of a bachelor’s party is to act crazy before you have to commit. I don’t need that, and Tae doesn’t want one either.”

“Ugh that was so sappy and gross,” Seokjin says, throwing a flower at Yoongi’s face who just throws one back at him. “When is the rest of your family arriving, I don’t think I can bear just it being you two anymore.”

“I agree,” Jimin says. “Hoseok and Jungkook aren’t arriving until tomorrow, but you said your and Taehyung’s family are coming today right?”

“Yeah, most of my family should filter in today. Taehyung’s too. He has a lot of kids on his side, so you guys might get entertained.”

Seokjin laughs. “Jimin and I are probably going to be the go-to for child-care because of our jobs.”

“I don’t mind that at all,” Jimin replies. “Hobi hyung and Kook can help too once they get here.”

Yoongi gets up, dusting off his pants. “Some of the Kim kids are adorable but some are…crazy.”

“Believe me,” Seokjin says. “I have seen the worst of the worst. I can handle any kid.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Sure hyung. Anyways, come on let’s go get something to eat before we get back it, I’m starving.”

*

It’s nearing nighttime when they call it a day, Jimin yawning and saying that he had to go and facetime Hoseok and Jungkook. Yoongi and Seokjin bid him goodnight and decide to sit in the dining area outside of the hotel lodge, drinking.

“I’m really glad you came,” Yoongi says after a bit. “It’s been nice getting to just hang out with you like this.”

Seokjin pours a bit more soju into his shot glass and downs it. “Me too, I forgot how much fun we used to have together.” He pauses. “I really like Taehyung too and am glad I got to really know him over the past couple days.”

Yoongi smirks. “I knew you two would get along, I mean you both have great taste in men obviously.”

“Please, your ego cannot get inflated anymore, I can’t handle it,” Seokjin whines, dramatically laying a hand on his forehead.

The younger just laughs and they continue to talk about the wedding and what else needed to be finished before the Welcome Party tomorrow evening. A lot of the guests had already arrived today, but it was mostly family and close friends. Other guests would most likely arrive tomorrow morning or afternoon.

“Your mom was pretty sweet to me,” Seokjin adds, thinking about an encounter with Mrs.Min earlier when he had run into her at the hotel lobby. “Your brother too, I got to meet your little nephew. He’s adorable.”

“They’ve missed you,” is the reply he gets. “You were like another son to my parents, another brother to mine.”

Seokjin smiles. “I missed them too.”

There’s suddenly lots of noise and commotion coming from the other side of the hotel, not visible from where Yoongi and Seokjin were sitting. He hears lots of talking and car doors being open, probably more guests arriving.

“I think Taehyung’s family finally showed up,” Yoongi hums. “Come on, I’ll introduce you.”

Seokjin nods and finishes off his drink before standing up, a little wobbly, but otherwise coherent. “I wonder if they’re all as beautiful looking.”

Yoongi laughs. “Honestly think it runs in the family, they all turned out gorgeous and successful.”

“Oh, how much money?”

“God you’re the worst,” Yoongi sighs as they both start walking out of the dining hall. In front of them, the other groom is also present, waiting. “Ah, here we are, Tae. Baby, is your family from America here?”

Seokjin blinks as Taehyung turns around to greet the two of them. “They’re also from the States?”

Taehyung nods and pulls Seokjin toward the pool area where a group had gathered. “Yeah! My cousin is also a doctor like you. Kinda cool that both best men at our wedding will be doctors.”

“Will be helpful in case Yoongi starts choking during his vows,” Seokjin notes, making Taehyung laugh.

“Are you drunk hyung?”

“He’s younger though, isn’t he Tae?” Yoongi says, going back to the main topic.

Taehyung nods. “Yeah 94 liner, just like Hoseok hyung!”

 “Dr.Kim?” lets out a young girl’s voice.

Really, Seokjin should have expected it. He really should have.

It happens in slow motion, Mina running over to where Seokjin, Taehyung, and Yoongi stood. The child still looked half-asleep from an airplane ride, her ponytail sticking up in random places. In her arms was a familiar-looking teddy bear that had a tiny Eiffel Tower on its shirt. She looks up curiously. “What are you doing here?”

“Mina, don’t go running around in a place we don’t kno-“

Namjoon stops midsentence as his eyes meet Seokjin’s. Maybe it was the drink he downed earlier, but Seokjin doesn’t feel anything, just watches as Taehyung goes up to Namjoon and then turns back to Seokjin, a little confused.

“You guys know each other?”

This time even Mina is silent, slowly retreating back to her father’s side.

“Namjoon is my…ex,” Seokjin says, voice barely audible. “We broke up about a month ago.”

Yoongi and Taehyung’s eyes go wide but Namjoon still hasn’t moved.

“Wait…Namjoon-ah is your…-“

“Yes,” Seokjin finishes for him. He thinks he would die on the spot if Yoongi referred to Taehyung’s cousin as Seokjin’s mystery man.

“Why are you here?” Namjoon asks, a little harshly. He says it in English, unlike the rest of the conversation and it makes the words cut deeper. Seokjin finds himself stepping back at the anger in the younger’s voice, wondering if this was still an act.

“He’s hyung’s best man,” Taehyung explains, worriedly looking between Seokjin and Namjoon. “Remember I told you that-“

“That he was hyung’s old friend.” The cardiologist was speaking Korean this time and if Seokjin wasn’t in such a horrible position he would say that it was kind of hot. Namjoon looks like he’s thinking through something, his mind in a puzzle. “M.Y.G….” He turns to Yoongi, his brain slowly realizing. “Min Yoongi. You’re Seokjin’s-”

“Namjoon enough,” Seokjin says immediately, afraid of the accusatory tone. He looks down to see Mina is still standing, watching with wide eyes. Namjoon follows Seokjin’s line of sight and immediately stops his previous sentence.

“Mina, let’s go, your grandmother is waiting. Come on,” the cardiologist finally states, taking Mina’s hand and turning around. Seokjin watches them walk away back to the group, Mina looking back at them, her eyes filled with confusion.

Taehyung turns to look at Seokjin, mouth slightly ajar.

“What the fuck just happened?”

Chapter Text

“I mean…it could be worse.”

Five heads turn towards Jungkook, who was biting into an apple. The youngest and Hoseok had arrived earlier that morning and had learned the news when they saw Namjoon coming out of the hotel.

“Seokjin hyung is the best man for his ex, whose fiancé’s best man is his other ex,” Hoseok exclaims. “How could it be worse?”

Yoongi frowns just grows. “Hey, I’m more than just an ex. I’m his best friend.”

“Yeah well, Namjoon doesn’t know that. And now he probably is going to tell Taehyung that something happened when it didn’t and it’s all my fault because I started this stupid fake boyfriend thing instead of talking to my friends like a normal human being- “ Seokjin rambles.

“Okay that’s enough self-pity,” Jimin states. “None of that is going to happen. It won’t right, guys?”

“Uh-“

“Well…I mean…”

“You guys are all being a bit ridiculous,” Yoongi says, getting up from the chair. “Will you let me talk?”

Everyone turns to the groom, who had his arms crossed.

“Taehyung knows the truth, he trusts me and Seokjin. My relationship will be fine. We still talked last night, and Tae said he will talk to Namjoon. Everything will be okay. So, please relax! Welcome Party is today, and you all are my groomsmen. I need you extra cheery.”

“Doesn’t solve Jin hyung’s problem though,” Jungkook points out. When Seokjin gives him a look, the younger just shrugs. “He’s in love with Namjoon and it’s going to be super awkward-“

“Can I talk to Yoongi,” Seokjin says suddenly, looking towards the trio. “Privately.”

The three of them look at each other in confusion but eventually decide to exit Seokjin’s hotel room. Once the door closes, Seokjin finally lets out a breath.

“Ignore them, they just are being protective,” he starts. “If Taehyung is willing to rest Namjoon’s suspicions, then everything else will go perfectly. You don’t need to worry at all.”

“Hyung, you know it’s not me that I’m worried about.”

Seokjin bites his lip. The situation was not ideal in any way, but if he kept thinking about Namjoon’s presence, it would ruin him completely. He needed to be kept busy and the best way was to fully participate in the wedding festivities. These were the most important moments of Yoongi and Taehyung’s relationship. The last thing he wanted to do was ruin it.

“I know you and the others are worried,” he continues. “But please trust me when I say that I want to only celebrate you and Taehyung. If you let me just have this weekend to do that, I promise maybe sometime in the future we can talk about feelings and garbage. But let me have this. Please.”

Yoongi looks at him with a half-smile. “You know I’m here for you whenever you need to talk.”

Seokjin smiles back. “I know, thank you.”

There’s a noise heard outside the door and Seokjin can hear Jimin shush Hoseok and Jungkook. Both Yoongi and Seokjin just look at each other and let out a chuckle.

“Oh no Chungha said she needs some help with her microphone, I better go see. Hyung do you want to come with?”

The hotel door opens immediately, Jungkook rushing in. Seokjin wonders where the younger even got his extra keycard. The orthopedic surgeon races over to Yoongi, looking a little crazy in the eyes. Behind him, Hoseok and Jimin are pretending to talk to each other casually, as if they weren’t listening behind the door.

“Chungha is performing?”

*

Having what was basically a mini-concert by one of the top female solo-artists in the country is what made Seokjin realize the influence that Yoongi and Taehyung had. It was strange to walk into the ballroom of the hotel and be surrounded by highly esteemed officials of the entertainment industry. Seokjin cannot even recognize some of the people, just watching in awe at how beautiful everyone looked. People would probably pay millions to be in his position right now.

He eventually finds his table near the front of the stage. A couple of kids were dancing, something they had prepared specifically for this event. Seokjin finds himself smiling at the parents recording them with the phones.

“They’re adorable aren’t they?”

Seokjin turns to the side and sees a familiar-looking woman arrive and sit down next to him. He glances at her nameplate, even though it was not needed.

“You forgot who I am already?”

He shakes his head and lets out a smile, ignoring his heart racing. “How could I forget you? Beautiful as always.”

Hyeri lets out a laugh. “Oh and you, Seokjin, are charming as always. How have you been? I have to say, I was not expecting you to be here.”

“Honestly have to say the same with you but yeah I’ve been good,” Seokjin lets out hesitantly, but his mind is distracted. If Hyeri was sat here, then Namjoon and Mina must be arriving soon too. He tries to glance at the other name cards on the table, but the font is too small and far away for him to read it.

Hyeri notices the glances. “Don’t worry, this table is only for Yoongi’s side only. I was just placed here because there was no more room at the Kim table over there.”

Seokjin looks over and true to Hyeri’s words, the Kim table was bustling with kids and all of Taehyung’s groomsmen. His eyes try to scan for familiar brown eyes, but they are nowhere to be found. Get a grip, Seokjin tells himself.

“He’ll show up, probably spraying on extra cologne or something.”

It’s like this woman knows what goes on inside his brain. “Right.”

“Seokjin.”

“Yeah?” he says, but he’s just pouring himself some wine, wondering when the troubling trio would show up. He catches glimpses of Yoongi and Taehyung flitting in between tables, greeting everyone. They were smiling and looked in love.

“Permission to tell you an unwarranted story about my life?”

Seokjin glances up and lets out a smile, getting some energy from seeing the grooms happy. “Permission granted.”

Hyeri lifts her wine glass and lets Seokjin pour some into it. “When Namjoon and I decided to not get married after Mina was conceived, there was a lot of backlash from our families.”

“So, I’ve heard,” he muses, wondering where this story would go.

“Mhmm…there was a lot of fighting between my side and Namjoon’s family about it and it really wasn’t a great added stressor to my time in medical school. I was gunning for the most competitive specialty in the country and it didn’t help that I was also pregnant plus had two families on my ass.”

“I imagine it was difficult, the entire process.”

“Namjoon and I both cut our families off for a while,” Hyeri states, and Seokjin is stunned, realizing Namjoon never told him that. “It was the best decision given the circumstances, but God it was hard. The entire nine months of pregnancy was absolute hell. The only reason I made it through was because of Namjoon who was constantly there for me. It was unconventional, maybe. But he became my best friend and to this day he still is.”

Seokjin watches as Hyeri takes another sip of her wine, the liquid making her red lips stand out more. “I know he can be stupid and clueless sometimes, but I also know how much he cares and the lengths he will go to for people. He’s also crazy smart and somehow managed to pass that gene on to our daughter.”

There’s applause heard and both Hyeri and Seokjin see the kids have finished performing. A different entertainer, another kid, goes on stage and starts singing her tune sweet and soft. Seokjin thinks that maybe he wants to cry.

“He’s a good man,” Hyeri states, without looking at Seokjin, eyes still focused on the stage. “I can see he cares about you a lot and vice versa. I’m telling you that as the mother of his child, he is worth it.”

“Hyeri-“

“Nope. Let me finish.”

“Okay.”

“Point is,” she continues. “I don’t know what happened between you two, but it’s affecting him terribly. At least talk to him.”

Seokjin twiddles with his fingers under the seat before glancing back over at the Kim table. Yoongi and Taehyung were standing next to it, joking with all the groomsmen. Namjoon was there, dressed in a crisp cream suit, hair slicked back. He looked good, smiling and laughing with everyone else, the deep dimples popping out as he listens to Yoongi say what seems like a joke of some sort.

“He seems fine,” Seokjin says, shifting his attention back to his own table. “I think it’s best if he and I just steered clear of each other.”

Hyeri smiles.

“He’s related to the person your best friend is going to marry. Plus you guys work together. You cannot be like ships in the night. He’s here to stay.”

*

Seokjin is walking.

Where? He has no idea.

Ships in the night, huh. What a weird analogy.

“People who meet for an intense moment and then part…much like ships who greet each other with flashing lights and then sail off into the night,” Seokjin reads out loud from his phone to nobody in particular. He was outside the hotel with his feet dipped in the pool, which was illuminated. In the distance, he sees a couple in the hot tub whispering to each other.

Hyeri’s right. Namjoon and he weren’t like ships in the night. Seokjin was more like the Titanic and Namjoon was the glacier he hit, breaking him into pieces.

Okay, maybe he had too much to drink.

The Welcome Party should be wrapping up soon, Seokjin can hear the music had been turned off, the only evidence of a party was the lights streaming out from the side windows. He had managed to slip away sometime between dinner being served and the DJ announcing the dance floor was open.

He meant it when he said he wanted to make this weekend about Yoongi and Taehyung, nobody else. That’s why he had to remove himself, stop himself from going to Namjoon’s table in a drunken stupor and demand to speak.

Seokjin grabs the wine bottle next to him that he took from his table inside and chugs it until the bitter taste floods his brain. He hears his phone ring next to him and ignores it, focusing on his feet in the pool.

He doesn’t know how long he stays out there, just sitting and thinking.

It was nice, calm and peaceful.

“WE WERE LOOKING FOR YOU,” he hears and turns to see Jungkook coming toward him. Jungkook also looked really nice, dressed in a baby blue button-down and black slacks. It was different from his usual attire of either scrubs or sweatpants. Seokjin gets out of the pool, a bit unsteady, so he can go and tell Jungkook that he looked all grown-up. Somehow in between getting out of the pool and reaching for his shoes, he manages to trip and fall.

The first thing he registers is red. So much red, all over his arm. He lifts it carefully, wincing at the sight.

Jungkook starts running, coming to wear Seokjin lay. “Hyung, fuck are you okay? Come on let me help-“

“I’m fine it’s just a little bit of blood, I scratched myself,” he says, forcing out a laugh. “I’m fine.”

The orthopedic surgeon frowns. “Just let me check you out inside okay?”

And Seokjin is in no position to say no, following Jungkook back into the hotel. At first, Jungkook leads the way to the ballroom but with one glare from the elder, Jungkook just sighs and goes to the elevators.

They go to Seokjin’s room and Jungkook gets to work, regardless of Seokjin’s complaints that he was fine. “Fuck, how did you cut yourself this deep? We need to go to a hospital nearby and get stitches.”

“Absolutely not,” Seokjin says, ignoring the younger’s concerns. His mind still feels a bit fuzzy from the alcohol he had drunk, all he wanted was to sleep. “And don’t tell anyone about this.”

Jungkook bites his lip and as if on cue, Jimin and Hoseok enter his hotel room. Seokjin is once again wondering how they have an extra hotel key.

“God, how did you do this?”

“Hyungie are you okay? How bad is it bleeding Jungkook?”

“I don’t know he stopped letting me touch his arm and he’s drunk-“

“I am not drunk,” Seokjin states but the other three ignore him, talking with each other as they decide what to do.”

“Should we take him to a hospital and get him X-Rayed? I need to see if he has a fracture or not. He’s guarding his wrist, might be a fracture on his distal radius.”

“You can’t tell that from him guarding his arm.”

“Exactly why we need to get him to a clinic or an ED.”

“Do we call Yoongi? Or Taehyung?”

“No,” Seokjin pitches from his spot on the bed. They all turn to him with various amounts of worry. “I’m not going to worry them on their special weekend. Please understand.”

“Okay…” Hoseok says eventually. “We won’t tell. But you need to go get some stitches in a sterile environment. “

Jungkook crosses his arms. “We aren’t budging on that. Come on.”

Jimin and Seokjin raise their eyebrows in shock, exchanging looks. Maybe they did underestimate Hoseok and Jungkook.

*

He gets back to his hotel room late with 6 stitches in his arm and an ace wrap covering them. It turned out there was no fracture or sprain, just a bit of bruising and cuts from the area where he fell. Seokjin was discharged with care instructions for the stitches and a prescription for an ointment that he would pick up tomorrow at the village either before or after the wedding.

Seokjin had just changed into sweatpants and a t-shirt when he hears a knocking on his door. He furrows his brow, wondering who would come at this time of night. Maybe Yoongi or Taehyung found out and came to check on him.

To his surprise, he opens the door to Namjoon. The cardiologist was still in his cream suit, but the blazer was hanging loosely over the younger’s right shoulder.

“Uh hey.”

Seokjin holds on to the handle of the door a bit tighter but outwardly tries to maintain nonchalance. “Hey.”

“Can I-?” Namjoon makes a motion to go inside and Seokjin thinks that’s dangerous because all he can think about is the last hotel room they were in. Where Namjoon whispered pretty French words in his ear, where Seokjin was almost going to confess, where they-

“Yeah, sure. Come in.”

The air is tense, the obvious elephant in the room glaring at them. Seokjin watches Namjoon shuffle inside, looking uncomfortable. He asks him to sit, going to grab a chair when Namjoon lets out a gasp of shock.

“What happened to your arm?”

Seokjin had forgotten about the bandage entirely, his mind a bit preoccupied. “Oh, it’s nothing, just fell on the rocks near the pool. Got a couple of stitches that’s all.”

The younger gets a crazed look in his eyes and immediately rushes to Seokjin’s side, Namjoon’s cologne immediately overwhelming Seokjin’s senses. It was so familiar and Seokjin wants to die. He can’t do this, he really can’t.

“When did you…?”

“Hour or so ago.”

“Was there any fracture or a sprain?”

“No.”

“Do Yoongi-hyung and Taehyung-“

“No, and I would prefer they don’t know.”

Seokjin is trying, he really is trying, but Namjoon is so close. He is so close and Seokjin misses him and he loves him and he kind of wants to cry.

Namjoon finally moves back and Seokjin can breathe again. “It’s funny.”

Seokjin looks up. “What is?”

“I met you when you were putting stitches on Mina,” is the response he gets. Namjoon runs a hand through his hair. “Kind of like a full circle.”

He’s saying this is the end. “Yeah, I guess.”

“Look Seokjin-“

He gulps at the way his name forms in Namjoon’s mouth. He could write poetry about how beautiful his name sounded in the younger’s voice. Hearing the younger say his name makes him want to go call his parents and thank them for naming him Seokjin.

“Yeah?”

“I talked to Taehyung and I just…,” Namjoon starts but then stops. He huffs out a breath. “It’s really hard to wrap my head around all this.”

Seokjin waits, letting Namjoon continue.

“Why would you say you don’t know who Agust D is when I recommended his music?”

He wasn’t expecting that question. “What was I supposed to say? Yeah, he’s my ex-boyfriend? Why would I expose him to a random fan?”

“But I’m not a random fan.”

“Yeah well, I didn’t know that,” he snaps, but regrets the tone of his voice immediately. “I’m sorry.”

Namjoon sighs. “I’m sorry too. For being an ass this past month and in Paris. We promised we would communicate if we were upset with each other and I didn’t follow through with that.”

“It’s okay,” he starts, a little carefully. “We kind of blurred the lines with everything we were doing, and it probably wasn’t a good idea.”

The younger looks a bit shocked at the response but recovers quickly. “I meant what I said though.”

“Which part?” Seokjin asks, telling his heart to shut up and stop beating so fast.

Namjoon lets out a smile. “That you are one of the coolest people I’ve met in a long time. I really really miss our friendship. I don’t know about you, but I have been having a super shitty month and it may have to do something with not being able to fight you in Scrabble anymore. I just wish we could start over again and just be…I don’t know…proper friends…. without any fucking around.”

And that hurts. It feels like a metaphorical knife had been stabbed in Seokjin’s heart. Here was the man he loved, telling him he wants to be friends again. He missed Seokjin, yes, but he didn’t miss the intimacy they shared in bed or the hand holding or cuddling. He missed Seokjin being his friend.

He clenches his fist, pushing his nails into his palm until it hurts.

The plan was to make it through this weekend and somehow manage to avoid Namjoon at all costs when they got back home. What the hell was he supposed to do now?

“They know. Everyone knows.”

Namjoon furrows his brow. “What?”

“Hoseok, Jungkook, and Jimin knew the entire time we were faking it but didn’t say anything,” Seokjin continues blurting. Anything to distract from Namjoon friend-zoning him.

“They knew?” the younger exclaims. “Why did they keep quiet?”

Seokjin shrugs. “They were being good friends. We talked about it though so no hard feelings.”

“I mean…I guess.”

He ignores the reply. “Yoongi and Taehyung found out recently too.”

“What?! Why they didn’t say anything to m-”

“I’m saying this because,” Seokjin responds, “You don’t have to pretend anymore. I know I roped you into this mess, but-“

“We can actually start over,” Namjoon says quietly. “We can do that now, can’t we? Since we don’t need to pretend to hate each other or be exes.”

Seokjin bites his lip, forcing his tears to stop from coming out. He instead lets out a smile. “Yeah, we can be friends. Like normal now.”

The younger bursts into a grin, his dimples out on display. Before he can process it, Namjoon comes forward and wraps himself around Seokjin, pulling him into a hug.  “This is amazing! God, you have no idea how much I missed you.”

And Seokjin just smiles, his entire body still reeling from the feeling of being touched by Namjoon. The hug lasted only for a second, but Seokjin feels the remnants on his body, burning him.

“I missed you too.”

*

“You have to be fucking kidding me.”

Seokjin continues adjusting his tie in the mirror, annoyed that it looked crooked. He huffs and pulls it out, ready to do it again. “I’m not. He wants to be friends.”

“I just think that’s not going to end well.”

“Yeah, well I would rather be friends than whatever the hell we were doing before.”

He starts tying his tie again, only for it to hang loosely. He lets out a groan of frustration before Hoseok just sighs and walks over. “Here, let me do it.”

The psychiatrist was already ready along with Jimin and Jungkook, the pair who were lounging on one of the beds in their hotel room, scrolling through their phones. The wedding was in an hour and a half at the fortress, but they were meant to meet up with Yoongi beforehand.

Hoseok tightens the tie, smiling as he finishes. “See, not that difficult.”

“Thank you, now let’s get going,” Seokjin says, addressing the two on the bed.

“Yeah, Yoongi hyung is probably freaking out,” Hoseok adds.

“I am definitely not freaking out,” is what Yoongi says about twenty minutes later. They were at the penthouse where Taehyung and Yoongi were meant to stay after the wedding. They both had been using another hotel room until last night when they had separated per tradition.

“You kind of look like you’re freaking out,” Yoongi’s brother points out. It was strange to see the man without his child cradled in one arm, but Seokjin figures it was best not to add a crying baby to the already stressful atmosphere.

“I am not…that’s just a little sweat.”

“Doesn’t seem like it,” Jungkook says.

“What are you stressed about?” Seokjin asks, trying to be sympathetic.

Yoongi sighs, realizing that it was pointless to keep pretending. “I haven’t seen Taehyung since yesterday and I hate that, okay? I always talk to him even when I’m away in another country. This is the first time I haven’t seen or heard from him in over 24 hours and he’s literally in the same building!”

“Oh my god.”

“That is so fucking adorable.”

“Also, kind of embarrassing.”

“It’s okay, I bet Taehyung feels the same way,” Seokjin replies, glaring at his friends. “It’s just tradition. In like five minutes, you will never have to do this again, okay?”

The groom bites his lip. “I’m scared.”

“Of what?” Hoseok asks. “Taehyung loves you and you love him.”

Jungkook nods. “And you both will be surrounded by people who also love and support you.”

“Plus, it’s a beautiful sunny day outside. Just enjoy your big day hyung,” Jimin adds.

“What they said, “Seokjin says with a smile. “You got this Yoongichi.”

Yoongi looks at the room filled with his groomsmen and lets out a hesitant chuckle. “Let’s go do this thing.”

*

[mood music-Sweet Night by V]

A guitarist plays lightly while someone sings quietly, humming. The wind blew gently, the seawater smell spreading across the Fortress. The flowers that had been decorated meticulously this past week hung above them in threads, some petals falling off and dropping on the stage and the guests.

Yoongi and Taehyung stand in front of each other smiling wide and holding their hands together as the singer continued a soft ballad. Yoongi starts crying half-way through the first chorus and Seokjin would not have noticed it from his position if it weren’t Taehyung reaching up to wipe the elder’s tears.

The ceremony continues and Seokjin is shocked they went through it all, considering Taehyung was Atheist. Yoongi was not, so it was even sweeter to see Taehyung willing to go through all this for his fiancé.

Seokjin was on the brink of tears throughout, but when the couple starts reading their vows, he really feels himself melt.

“Taehyung,” Yoongi starts with a sniffle. “Sorry…I can’t see the paper because-“

Laughter echoes from the crowd and Taehyung chuckles as well. “It’s okay, we have plenty of time.”

The elder takes a breath in.

 “Tae, you and I met when we were children and now even though we are adults, you still carry that child-like innocence. Every day with you, I feel like I’m young again like we are just running around your uncle’s farm. You bring so much warmth into my life and have helped me look at the world in a better light. You are kind, intelligent, and beautiful. I am grateful to even stand here opposite of you and say these words. I promise to treat you just as you have treated me, with compassion and respect. I love you Kim Taehyung and will always love you.”

Water fills Seokjin’s eyes just from hearing the adoration and love in Yoongi’s voice. He can see that he isn’t the only one, Taehyung biting his lip as more tears fall down his face.

“I should’ve gone first, “Taheyung mutters, wiping the streaks on his face. “Always have to one-up me.”

“Go ahead,” Yoongi replies with a smile, squeezing the younger’s hand.

“Min Yoongi,” Taehyung starts, finally looking up. “For so long, I projected my victories to everyone and only showcased how happy I was, blocking out my true feelings. You have somehow taken a sledgehammer and smashed through every wall I had up, beat up the prison guard I had appointed, and unlocked the door to my heart.”

Seokjin makes the mistake of looking to the side of Taehyung just at that moment and his eyes meet with Namjoon, who stood opposite him. He was dressed in a similar suit to Seokjin’s, but Seokjin thinks he looked 100 times better. The younger seemed to also be emotional but didn’t tear his eyes away from Seokjin. In the background, Taehyung continued.

“You have taught me so much, given me so much. Every day with you feels like an adventure and I miss you whenever you aren’t with me.”

Seokjin thinks his heart is going to beat out of his chest, his tears falling freely now as he looked at Namjoon.

“I thought it was going to be hard, to stand up here and say what I truly feel for you because it seems impossible. How would I even begin to describe how much you mean to me? But now that I’m up here, I realize I don’t need to say it because you already know that I love you. I love you and that’s all that matters.”

A tear falls down Namjoon’s cheek, Seokjin fighting every urge in his body to go and wipe it. The younger turns to Taehyung quickly and Seokjin does the same.

“That’s all that matters Min Yoongi. I will always love you and I can’t wait to yell at you about leaving the lights on in our house and I can’t wait to adopt 10 more dogs and mostly…I can’t wait to grow old with you. I can’t wait for the rest of my life with you as your husband.”

“With the power invested in me, I declare you-“

Before it could be even said, Yoongi had reached forward and pulled Taehyung into a kiss. The wedding crowd erupts in cheers and whistles. On cue, flower petals fall from the ceiling in a bunch. With the wind, it looked even more stunning, like the petals were swirling around the married couple.

The sea seemed to agree with the celebration, waves crashing louder, as if they were clapping as well.

*

Later, Taehyung and Yoongi cut their wedding cake in front of everyone, making sure to smear some on each other. Seokjin watches fondly as the two of them kiss again, not caring about their cake covered faces.

Their first dance is beautiful as well and Seokjin thinks he has never seen two people who are more in love with each other. Other people start joining the dance floor and Seokjin catches sight of Jungkook dancing with Yoongi’s mother while Hoseok and Jimin are together. He sees glimpses of Yoongi’s other groomsmen as well as Taehyung’s join too, grabbing their dates.

“You not going to dance?”

Seokjin looks to his side and sees Namjoon had appeared. He had cleaned up from earlier, his eyes showing no evidence of having cried. The brown still brought Seokjin some comfort though and he feels himself get warm.

“Prefer the sidelines,” he replies with a smile. “Better not.”

“The Seokjin I know would never put himself on the sidelines,” Namjoon says. He extends out a hand. “Come on.”

Seokjin stares at the palm and then back to Namjoon, who tilts his head toward the dance floor. He doesn’t know what comes over him, maybe it was something about weddings like Jimin had said. He presses his hand in the younger’s, watching his face light up.

He’s led to the dance floor where a soft slow song was playing. Seokjin feels a pair of arms wrap around his waist and he allows his own to fall delicately on Namjoon’s shoulders. They move slowly, Seokjin still not making eye contact with the younger. He instead manages to catch the sight of Taehyung and Yoongi across the room, both of who have their eyebrows raised at him. Yoongi whispers something to Taehyung but the younger doesn’t look convinced.

Seokjin just smiles and mouths a, “I’m good.”

He leans back and finally looks into Namjoon’s eyes. Maybe it was the lighting or maybe it was the music clouding his mind, but Seokjin finally gets some clarity.

It is hard, loving Namjoon. Loving someone who doesn’t love him back. Unlike Taehyung and Yoongi or Hoseok, Jimin, and Jungkook it wasn’t a shared bond. This unrequited love was all his, his alone.

It’s still love though, isn’t it, even if it was not shared by the other person? So what was he afraid of?

Love is like that, he figures. It would be wonderful if it worked out.

But all is not lost if it didn’t.

“I didn’t know you could dance,” he says with a chuckle as he allows Namjoon to twirl him. “Where did you learn this?”

The cardiologist shrugs. “I have been to prom.”

“Please tell me you didn’t get lessons for a high school dance.”

The younger laughs and it’s the most beautiful noise in the world. He forgot how much he missed it. “Hey, it was worth it, in the long run, wasn’t it?”

Yeah, it was. “You haven’t broken any of my toes like the date I took to high school, so yeah definitely.”

“Speaking of, how is your arm?”

“Good, it doesn’t even hurt.”

They both are silent for a few moments, just allowing the music to guide their movements.

“You doing anything before the reception tomorrow?”

Seokjin shakes his head. “Why?”

“Want to explore the area? It’s my first time here and heard there’s a lot to do here.”

“Yeah, I saw some of the village this week but there are a couple more towns I noticed on the way to the hospital yesterday. I wouldn’t mind exploring,” Seokjin replies, feeling the corners of his lips turn up. It would be nice to spend time with the younger again.

“Okay, then I’ll come to your room first thing in the morning? I’ll text you.”

“Yeah that should be g-“

“Excuse me?”

Both Namjoon and Seokjin break apart and see a small figure standing near them. Mina, dressed for the occasion in a frilly dress, was tugging on Seokjin’s blazer. He smiles at the younger. “Hey! You look so pretty.”

She was still looking warily at the two adults but eventually caves. “I picked it myself!”

“And you did a great job,” Namjoon says approvingly. “Want me to take a picture?”

Mina nods and then looks at Seokjin. “Can I take one with Dr.Kim?”

He almost corrects her but realizes he’s come to love the endearing way Mina said it. “I would be honored to take a picture with you.”

They both smile as Namjoon takes a picture of Seokjin squatting next to the child.

“Daddy you too!”

Seokjin reaches for the phone so he can take one of Namjoon and Mina, but Mina pushes him back to his spot. “No, I mean all of us! Oh, look, Mommy!”

Hyeri appears out of nowhere, champagne glass in her hand. She was talking to an elder woman who Seokjin didn’t recognize. She turns to look at the group, questioning.

“Mommy, can you take a picture of me with Daddy and Dr.Kim?”

The plastic surgeon raises her eyebrow looking between Seokjin and Namjoon, who had no answer. “Sure, give me the phone Joon.”

Namjoon hands the phone over and positions himself on the other side of Mina. Mina then wraps each arm around both their necks. Namjoon is surprised and the shocked expression makes Seokjin laugh, teeth on display. Mina follows suit, giggling and Namjoon ends up laughing too.

The flash goes off.

*

There are three knocks on his door.

Seokjin glances at the clock on his phone. It was barely 10 am, and he would not need to be back until nearly seven that night to get ready. Hesitantly he gets up from his stool and walks over to the door to open it.

“Hyung! Hi! You weren’t answering your phone I was scared you were still asleep.”

Seokjin hates how good Namjoon looks so early in the morning. His hair is fluffy, not styled for once, and he’s wearing a simple black sweater paired with a silver necklace. His blue jeans were ripped carefully, but nothing too revealing.

“Did you just call me hyung? You never do that,” He finally manages to say after raking in how good the younger looks. Technically the cardiologist has called him hyung several times, but it was usually in bed.

Seokjin pushes that thought away.

Namjoon stares back for a second before shrugging. “I’m testing it out.”

“Right, well,” Seokjin replies with a hesitant smile. “Fine. Let me get my coat. But I like it better when you just called me Seokjin.”

Namjoon’s eyes go wide in surprise before bursting into a bigger grin. Seokjin ignores the blood rushing to his ears at the sight.

“Shall we get going then Seokjin hyung?”

*

They take a taxi to a big market in the center of the nearby town, Seokjin oddly feeling calm. The realization last night at the wedding really did help him with his anxiety surrounding the feelings he had toward Namjoon.

“Which looks better,” Seokjin mutters as he fingers through another shelf of clay figurines. He hadn’t managed to pick something out something to buy last time he was shopping because of his indecisiveness.

Namjoon comes over and stands next to him. “Why are all of them naked?”

Seokjin sighs. “It’s art, you wouldn’t get it. Plus, they’re wearing that little scarf. They aren’t totally naked.”

 “I just think it would be better if they didn’t have their dicks out.”

He feels his cheeks flame up but manages to stay calm enough to smack Namjoon lightly. “You know what, I’ll take the one that has absolutely nothing on.”

Namjoon is laughing with his mouth open, his beautiful white teeth showing as his face scrunches. Seokjin wishes he could take the scene and capture it. Maybe frame it and hang it up on his wall.

Namjoon finally calms down and watches as Seokjin pays for the naked figurine.

“I’m hungry, let’s go get food hyung.”

Seokjin nods and they walk over to a little noodle place after asking directions from a local. As they sit down in a booth, Seokjin glances over the menu, thankful for the English translation underneath the Korean, his reading still a bit rusty.

Both of them are hungry from the walking they had done so far and ended up gobbling down their food in silence. It wasn’t uncomfortable though, and Seokjin finds it peaceful. The town was relatively quiet, with more people walking than taking cars. He hears the birds chirping and people chattering outside as they passed.  

“Where do you want to go next,” Namjoon asks, his mouth still filled with meat. Seokjin finds it cute.

He raises an eyebrow. “Why the rush?”

 “I have so many places that we have got to see. I made a list.”

Seokjin smiles and forces his heart to stop thinking about Paris. “Well, we have a month’s worth of catching up to do. Might as well see all the sights we can.”

*

 “So do you have your best man speech prepared for tonight?”

Seokjin fiddles with the straw in his drink. “It’s in a few hours, of course, I have it prepared.”

Namjoon hums. “I think mine is going to better.”

He looks at the younger, who had a smug look on his face. “I didn’t realize best man speeches were supposed to be a competition.”

“Hyung come on. You know how I have a way with words. Mine is going to better.”

I know you do. Seokjin stops in his tracks and points a finger at Namjoon. “You’re just trying to scare me. I know mine is better.”

Namjoon chuckles and wraps his hand around Seokjin’s finger, pushing it down. “Yeah, I’m just messing. I bet they’ll love both of ours.”

He tries not to think about the younger touching him. “They’ll still love mine better though.”

It’s quiet between them as they walk further along the road, Seokjin thinking. They walk in silence to a park, passing by runners with their dogs and children playing around.

“You and Taehyung must be close if he made you his best man. I don’t think I can even stand my cousins.”

Namjoon looks over and raises an eyebrow, beckoning Seokjin to continue.

“I promise I’m not trying to get your speech out of you.”

The cardiologist smiles and looks in the distance as if remembering a distant memory. “Remember how I told you after Mina was born, lots of family came over to help?”

Seokjin nods, trying his best not to think of the context of when Namjoon told him the story.

“He was the cousin I was talking about. I think he was in a bit of a gap year after university, still unsure of what to do and decided to come and help me. He could have done anything with that free time to help his future career, but he chose to leave home and come to America to help his cousin who had a baby out of wedlock.”

He watches Namjoon continue walking, following the path that was set in the park that they had just entered.  “Taehyung and I became really close then. I remember the days where we would spend hours on the floor watching shitty anime or arguing over board games. Sometimes just drinking cheap beer and listening to each other talk while we got Mina to sleep.”

Seokjin smiles, feeling more warmth come over him. “Taehyung seems like a really good guy.”

“He is. I have to admit I’m a bit protective over him,” Namjoon says, kicking a rock in his pathway. “That’s why I got a bit hysterical when I found out Yoongi hyung was your ex.”

He laughs. “A bit?”

“Okay, a lot. I’m sorry though.”

“It’s fine,” Seokjin says, digging his hands into his pockets. “I’m the same with Yoongi, I want him to be happy always.”

“Taehyung said you guys met in high school?”

He nods. Usually telling this story would hurt, but Seokjin finds himself looking back at the time fondly. “He was my neighbor back in Boston. I helped him get used to America and we just became best friends.”

The relationship aspect is left out of the story, but he knows Namjoon is thinking about it.

Surprisingly the younger replies with a chuckle. “Yoongi hyung was basically part of our family. I moved to Chicago when I was pretty young, so I don’t remember much of my time living here. Mostly us screwing around as most kids do. I lost touch with Yoongi hyung for a while until he and Taehyung became roommates.”

“The farm that Yoongi mentioned, was it your father’s?” Seokjin asks.

Namjoon nods. “Taehyung’s father and mine are brothers. My dad really wanted to get us out of the country though and was taking some computer science classes course at a university nearby so he could land a job that would take him to America. Taehyung’s father ended up taking over the farm when we moved.”

“Bet you never stopped hearing that story when you were being ungrateful growing up,” he laughs, thinking about his own experiences as an immigrant child.

“Why else do you think I became a doctor?”

Seokjin feigns a shocked surprise. “You mean to tell me you didn’t go into this career because you love science and want to help people?”

They reach the end of the trail and were back at the entrance of the park. Namjoon rolls his eyes. “Come on, we have to go to our next spot.”

The next spot turns out to be a trek. They climb up a hill, Seokjin complaining most of the way up.

“Do you want me to carry you?”

Seokjin feels his ears burn again for the millionth time today. He’s your friend, calm down. “So you can bring it up for the rest of our lives? Absolutely not.”

With that, he just keeps going up, making sure to not fall over the weeds and rocks in the way. Namjoon just laughs and follows behind him.

They finally reach the top after an hour or so of climbing. To their right was a ledge, a perfect place to put down their things and sit down. Namjoon and Seokjin’s legs hang over the edge, dangling in suspension.

The view was beautiful, the sun slowly setting on to the city. The sea could be seen in the distance, glimmering before them.  Seokjin leans back, eyes taking in the beauty of nature before him.

“It’s like the sun is bathing in the sea,” Namjoon whispers, as if talking would ruin the moment.

Seokjin hums. “It kind of looks like egg yolk.”

The younger laughs. “It kinda does.”

They sit there in the silence after that, watching the sun slowly melt into the city. It’s a comfortable silence, Seokjin allowing his mind to drift to other thoughts. He glances to the side at a point, seeing Namjoon was focused on the nature before him. He looked so genuinely happy that Seokjin finds himself smiling.

Namjoon was beautiful.

The sun’s rays hit the man gently, creating a delicate glow. Looking at him, like this, Seokjin gets further confirmation that he was okay with being friends with the cardiologist. They had spent the entire day together today and not once did he feel the urge to confess his feelings to the younger.

He keeps thinking of Taehyung’s vows. “I realize I don’t need to say it because you already know that I love you. I love you and that’s all that matters.”

There are different types of love in the world, he realizes. One wasn’t superior to another. Love was love. Namjoon may not have loved him in the way Seokjin had hoped for, but it was love, nonetheless.

Honestly, he was lucky. How lucky was he to have met someone like Namjoon? How lucky was he to fall for a man so golden inside and out?

 “I’m lucky,” he says out loud, causing the younger to turn to him with a questioning look. Seokjin just smiles, finding it reaching his eyes. “I’m lucky to have met you Namjoon-ah.”

It’s the first time he’s called him that and Namjoon raises his eyebrow. “Namjoon-ah?”

Seokjin shrugs. “Testing it out.”

Namjoon looks at him carefully, as if searching for something in Seokjin’s eyes. The sun makes its final descent, the shadows moving further down Namjoon’s face until it was completely gone.

*

Lights decorate the entrance to the tented area behind the hotel. It was a dark night, but strings of lights and candles were everywhere, creating the perfect atmosphere under the moonlight. Tables were scattered, each with guests dressed for the evening.

Seokjin sees Yoongi and Taehyung standing in the front where a stage similar to the wedding was created. Guests keep going up to take a picture with the grooms and he’s happy to see that everyone is laughing and in a good mood.

“You ready for your big speech?”

Jungkook slides in the chair next to him, drink in hand. Seokjin nods. “I think Namjoon is going first but I’ll be after.”

He notices the way the younger’s eye twitches at the mention of the cardiologist. “How was today, you know…the whole exploring thing.”

Seokjin lightly shoves the younger before sighing and wrapping himself around Jungkook’s arm. “Oh, Kookie. It was so much fun, a lot of fun.”

The orthopedic surgeon tilts his head. “Hyung, you have to be careful though. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

He leans back up, stretching as he does. There’s a bit of motion in the front and Seokjin sees that Namjoon was heading toward the stage, probably to start his own speech. Their eyes meet and Seokjin finds himself grinning, giving the younger a thumbs up.

Namjoon notices the signal and places a hand over his heart. Thank you, he mouths.

Jungkook swings his head from Namjoon to Seokjin several times before his eyes rest on Seokjin. “Are you sure about this?”

“I love him,” Seokjin says, and it’s a bit freeing. “And he does too, just not in the way I had hoped. That’s okay with me because it was an honor to fall in love with him at all.”

“I just don’t want you hurt.”

“It’s love Kook-ah,” he replies with a chuckle. “It’s always going to hurt. But it’ll hurt more if I push him away. I want to be friends with him.”

Before Jungkook can respond, the MC announces that everyone should settle down and find their seats so the speeches can start. Namjoon is introduced just as Hoseok and Jimin find themselves to Jungkook and Seokjin’s table.

The man clears his throat before letting out a grin. “Good evening everyone. Firstly, I would like to admit that I am very nervous to make this speech. As the people who were sitting at my table can testify, you can literally smell the fear. I don’t think I’ve been this nervous since I was six and Taehyung dared me to jump in a pool naked and then ran away with the clothes.”

Seokjin laughs along with the rest of the wedding crowd, watching as Taehyung blushes in embarrassment.

“As most of you might know, I’m a cardiologist, so I’m kind of an expert at all things heart related,” Namjoon continues. He turns to the couple of the hour, both who sat at the table in front of him. “And as an expert on the heart, I can say that I have never seen two people more in love. Yoongi-hyung, thank you for loving our Taehyungie so dearly and passionately. You have always been like family, but I am glad it is official. Welcome to the crazy Kim clan, no takebacks.”

Yoongi grins, his gummy teeth showing as he interlocks his fingers with Taehyung.

“And Taehyungie, you have been more like a little brother to me than a cousin. You have been there for me always and I want you to know that there is nobody happier than me to see you flourishing. You are glowing dude! I’m so happy for you, for both of you, to start your life together. To Taehyung and Yoongi!”

Seokjin hears everyone clapping around him, a couple of whistles going around as Namjoon goes to hug the two grooms. He watches fondly as Namjoon presses a kiss to Taehyung’s forehead.

Just as soon as Namjoon ends, the MC calls his name.

“You got this,” Hoseok whispers, pushing him forward.

“Good luck hyung!” both Jungkook and Jimin say at the same time.

He just nods and makes his way up to the stage, feeling bubbling in his stomach. It had been a while since he did any public speaking and he feels the nerves getting to him. He takes the mic from the MC and looks out into the audience. He sees his best friend trio to his left, all smiling up at him. He sees Yoongi’s parents also looking happy to see him standing up here. On his right, the grooms look at him with tenderness and warmth, ready for him to start.

And to his center sat Namjoon, Mina on his lap. They both are making finger hearts at him, Mina grinning wide. Namjoon was looking at him with affection and Seokjin finds himself returning it.

“I’m also a doctor, but not the most eloquent speaker. If I start rambling about Yoongi’s Pokémon collection that he had until we were seniors in college, feel free to cut me off,” he says with a grin.

Yoongi covers his face with his hands as everyone starts laughing.

“As Yoongi’s best friend, I’ve seen him go through so many phases. You know the leather jacket phase, the astrology phase, and his ‘I am a professional photographer’ phase.”

He sees Taehyung grin, poking Yoongi who looks like he was denying it all.

Seokjin takes the champagne glass from the stand next to him. “These all came and went by, just like clouds in the sky. The only two times I’ve seen him unwavering was with his career and with Taehyung.”

He turns to Yoongi and Taehyung, who both watch him intently. “Taehyung-ah, I know we are still getting to know each other, but I feel like I’ve known you my entire life. You bring that feeling to people, this warmth, this sunshine. I spent this past week with you, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how Yoongi couldn’t have found a more beautiful and kinder person to spend the rest of his life with.”

Taehyung looks a bit teary-eyed, so Seokjin shifts a bit over to turn to his best friend. “And to Min Yoongi, my best friend. You have continued to show how compassionate and persistent you are with the ones you love and care for. I can only wish you the best for the future and hope both of you have a blessed marriage. I know I’m speaking for everyone when I say you both show us that true love is out there and that it is real. Here’s to Taehyung and Yoongi and here’s to a wonderful future filled with unconditional love and happiness.”

He lifts his glass just as everyone starts clapping. Without thinking, he finds himself glancing at where Namjoon and Mina sat.

He sees Namjoon clapping but catches the younger mouthing something to him.

You won.

*

The party wraps around midnight, everyone slowly drifting out of the tented area. Most people had their flights booked for tomorrow afternoon after the Goodbye Brunch and needed to wake up early to pack. From the looks of it, most people were in too much of a drunken state to do it tonight.

Seokjin finds himself wandering through the groups of people he had met this weekend, making sure to let everyone know it was nice to meet them. He gets plenty of compliments about his speech and overall, he is happy.

“I still can’t believe you mentioned the Pokémon thing, I hate you,” Yoongi says a while later. They were both sitting down at a table, having some of the leftover champagne while they watched the event planners slowly fold up the chairs.

“Now your husband and the entire entertainment industry knows you’re a weeb,” Seokjin says with a chuckle. “You can’t hide things like that.”

“Are you calling my husband a weeb?” Taehyung walks toward them, reaching down to kiss Yoongi on the lips. He rises back up and presses his hands onto Yoongi’s shoulders, massaging them.

“Yeah he is, can you believe it, baby?”

“I can because you kind of are a big weeb.”

“Hey! Appreciating Pokémon for the artistic excellence and beautiful storyline does not mean-”

Seokjin laughs into his glass and the couple looks at him, Yoongi rolling his eyes a little bit.

“Anyways,” Taehyung says with a chuckle, “What time is your flight tomorrow hyung?”

“12:30,” Seokjin says, downing the rest of the drink and then getting up. “I better go and say bye to a couple of other people in case I don’t see them tomorrow at brunch.”

“You can Namjoon at work when you go back,” Yoongi mutters and Taehyung snorts.

“What did you say?” he replies, a little distracted, too busy scanning the area for a familiar tall man.

“He said we shall see you tomorrow,” Taehyung says with a smile. “Thanks again for a great speech. It was wonderful.”

Seokjin smiles, “Of course, goodnight you two. Don’t go too hard tonight!” He winks and walks away, ignoring Yoongi’s whine.

As he hits the clearing, he catches sight of Hyeri and Mina sitting on one of the outside patio tables next to the hotel. It was where he and Yoongi had sat the night before the Welcome Party. Hyeri catches sight of him and waves him over.

When he reaches them, he sees that Mina was reading a book, a French learning book to be exact. It looked familiar and he guesses it’s one of the books that Namjoon had picked up when they were touring in Paris.

“Studying so late at night?” he asks the child who looks up from her book and grins at the sight of him.

“Dr.Kim!”

“Hey Mina,” he replies, hugging her before she goes back to sit in the chair adjacent to her mother. “Hyeri.”

“That was quite a speech Seokjin,” Hyeri says as she rakes her fingers through her daughter’s black hair. “It was beautiful.”

 “Thank you.”

“What time are you leaving tomorr-“

“Mommy…” Mina interrupts. Hyeri looks down at her daughter.

“What is it, sweetheart?”

“What does this mean? ”

“Have you tried breaking it down? I don’t want to give you the answer right away.”

“You know French too?” Seokjin asks, impressed.

Hyeri laughs. “If you are around Namjoon long enough, you’ll learn it. I don’t know why he adores it so much. He’s a romantic I guess.”

“Hmm,” Seokjin replies, shrugging it off. “Anyways, what were you saying Mina, sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“It’s okay Dr.Kim!” the child replies. “It’s a quote by some old guy so it doesn’t matter anyway.”

“Mina, come on you know you don’t give up when it’s hard. Say it out loud and then we can break it down okay?” Hyeri says, encouraging.

Mina nods. “On n'aime que ce qu'on ne possède pas tout entier.”

Seokjin freezes, recognizing it immediately. It’s like his brain doesn’t process it, but then Mina is saying it again and again and Seokjin is transported back to the hotel room in Paris when Namjoon whispered the same line to him. If it was anyone else saying it, he wouldn’t have recognized it, but Mina is so much like Namjoon in the way she spoke, even in her French, that Seokjin gets immediate confirmation that it was the same.

“Who said that,” Hyeri says, looking at the book in Mina’s hands. “Marcel Proust…this quote’s from his novel La Prisonnière. Hm, such a weird quote to put in a beginner’s book.”

“It has quotes from a lot of authors,” her daughter replies. “I think to help us understand stuff better. But what does this mean Mommy?”

Seokjin stays silent, watching as Hyeri takes the book and go to the answer page at the back. Every second feels slowed down, and he can feel his fingers twitching.

“Oh here, I found it.”

“Read it! Read it!”

Hyeri looks a bit confused at first but clears her throat.

"We love only what we do not wholly possess."

*

Seokjin is fine.

He is fine. He was just admiring the sea at night time. Taehyung was right, it was way more beautiful with the moon shining down on to the black water below. The waves crash harder and Seokjin feels his body go numb.

“Hyung!”

Seokjin turns. Namjoon walks over to him, face a little contorted with worry. He comes closer and Seokjin finds himself stepping back.

The action doesn’t go unnoticed and Namjoon scans the elder’s face. “Hey, what’s wrong? Why are you here? It’s getting cold, we should go inside-“

“I don’t want to,” Seokjin replies curtly, forcing the words out as he turns back to look at the sea. He can't bear to look at Namjoon.

“Hyung, talk to me, what’s wrong? Did something happen?”

“Why don’t you tell me?” he snaps back. “Did something happen between us?”

Seokjin turns back to face the younger, seeing that he had gone pale, the moonlight shining on his face. The waves crash harder.

“I don’t know what you are talking about, but if I did something that was wrong I’m sorry.”

Somehow that pisses of Seokjin even more.

“Oh don’t act so clueless right now,” he says and Namjoon backs up a little at the tone of Seokjin’s voice. “You knew what you were doing, let me just fucking go around like an idiot!”

“If you’re talking about the fake boyfriend thing, we both agreed to that,” Namjoon says, brows furrowed.

“I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about this thing that started months ago when you came up to me in a bar and we slept together. And we just kept sleeping together when all we were supposed to do is act as boyfriends and then fucking Paris happened-“

Namjoon has his mouth slightly ajar. “I already apologized for being an ass then, I really am sorry. I know I was being rude, and I genuinely am sorry.”

“I’m not talking about the…the fucking breakup. I get why you did that.”

“You do?”

We love only what we do not wholly possess,” Seokjin finally says, his voice tiny. He repeats it for emphasis. “That’s what you said to me that night, isn’t it? In French.”

Namjoon stills, his eyes going wide at Seokjin’s words. It’s enough confirmation.  “How did you-“

“Mina’s French learning book,” he replies with a gulp. “The one you bought for her in Paris.”

“I’m sorry, fuck, I’m sorry,” the younger says and Seokjin can see the tears in his eyes, which he doesn’t get. “You were never supposed to know, I swear I was just so blissed out that night and I thought you would never know what it means anyways-“

“How the fuck could you do that?” Seokjin replies, and now he’s angry again. “When you know how I felt, how could you even say that to me? I don’t care if it is in French. Am I joke to you?”

Namjoon wipes his face. “I swear, it was a moment of weakness. It won’t ever happen again, I won’t ever bring it up. I like where we are, I like our friendship. Please.”

Seokjin bites his lip, not knowing what to do. The younger seemed genuinely sorry, but a feeling of shame still washed over him. “I just wish you told me you knew earlier. It would have saved me a lot of embarrassment. If it helps I never wanted you to find out either, but I guess I am obvious.”

Namjoon opens his mouth, his brows furrowed but Seokjin doesn’t let him talk.

“I’ve been trying too! I really have, especially this entire weekend. I like our friendship and I’m sorry I had to go and fuck things up.”

“Hyung what are you even-?”

“I’m trying okay! I really am and none of our friends are convinced that I am over it, and they’re not wrong but I am trying! It’ll take time, but I don’t want you to ever feel uncomfortable ever, I am sorry I did in the past. I will be fine though, okay? You don’t need to worry.”

“Um,” Namjoon says. “What?”

“I’m just saying,” Seokjin says, a little exasperated. “I wish you never found out and I wish you told me that you knew-“

“Knew what, hyung?” the younger replies softly, stepping a bit forward so that he meets Seokjin’s gaze.

Seokjin blinks. “Don’t make me say it.”

The cardiologist shakes his head. “No, I think you need to say it because what you are saying is not adding up to what I have been thinking, and I am very confused right now.”

They both just stare at each other, Seokjin trying to see if Namjoon was lying, scouring his face for something. “I-“

“What is it hyung,” Namjoon says, his voice desperate now. “What did you think I knew?”

“I don’t want to say it, dammit.”

“Well, I need to fucking know what you think I knew because I’m about to go crazy!”

“I just said I don’t want to tell you! You already fucking know anyways, why the fuck are you trying to push it out of me?”

“I’m not trying to push it out of you what the…Just tell me what you think I know?”

“That I am in love with you,” Seokjin finally exclaims. “You fucking knew, you absolute dick! That I was in love with you and instead of telling me like a normal person you don’t feel the same way you said fucking around was fun and we shouldn’t do it anymore!”

Silence.

Well, he said it. It was out in the open. Namjoon already knew, but now Seokjin had screamed it loud enough for the sea to hear as well. He turns away from the younger, facing the cliff.

Namjoon still hasn’t said anything and Seokjin thinks that their friendship might have just ended right then and there. He made it weird, screamed the confession and then called Namjoon a dick right after.

The waves continue crashing into the rocks below, following the moon’s direction. From the distance, he can hear shouts of the event planners packing up the last tables and the tent.

I love you.

Nobody can hold it against him anymore.

“I love you and I’m sorry,” he says again, taking the control in his hands again. This was his love, his alone. He didn’t need Namjoon to be there for him to love the younger.

“I love you and I promise I will never bring it up again,” Seokjin says, still not looking at the younger. He looks at the moon and it brings him a sense of calm. “You have been a good friend to me, and I would like to continue being friends, but I understand if you don’t want to. “

It’s silent again, and Seokjin finally turns around to make sure Namjoon hadn’t run away or something.

He’s met with Namjoon…crying?

The younger had tears falling down his cheeks and Seokjin immediately walks over. “Hey, don’t cry. I said I’ll be okay. You don’t have to hold this burden anymore. It’s okay.”

He reaches up to wipe the stray tears on the younger’s face when Namjoon catches his wrist. Seokjin watches the action happen, confused. Namjoon brings Seokjin’s hand down and presses it against his chest. Seokjin can feel the thrum of Namjoon’s heart beating.

He looks at Namjoon who just sniffles before placing his other hand on Seokjin’s so that Seokjin’s hand was surrounded by Namjoon’s. “On n'aime que ce qu'on ne possède pas tout entier. We love only what we do not wholly possess.

Seokjin is still confused, looking up at Namjoon again, who just looks down at the overlaid hands on his chest. He looks back at Seokjin. “Can you feel how heart my racing is right now?”

He nods.

“It’s because of you. For you. You have that effect on me.”

The rhythm of Namjoon’s heart increases and Seokjin can feel every beat.

“When I said that quote, I was thinking about me, not you. I was thinking about how I was breaking every rule you had set up in the beginning. I fell in love with you Seokjin, fell absolutely devastatingly in love with you.”

What.

Namjoon continues and Seokjin stares at the brown eyes, looking.

“You made it clear you didn’t want anything since the beginning, but you were just so, charming. So charming and beautiful and intelligent and funny and caring and you were good with Mina and…I fell in love with you. But you were never going to be mine, not really. That’s why I said that. That night was the closest I got to confessing.”

Seokjin thinks his brain isn’t processing half of what is being said.

“I admit, I get jealous easily,” Namjoon chuckles, taking the hands off his chest and interlocking their fingers together. They fit a bit crooked, but Seokjin feels the familiar warmth that Namjoon always brought with him spread. “I was planning to break it off eventually, especially after Paris because I realized I can’t just force myself and my feelings on to you forever. Then your friend showed up and I got angry and lashed out, I’m sorry.”

“What-“ he finally coughs out. “What is even-since when?”

“Remember when you beat me in Scrabble?”

“I beat you several times, so no.”

“That’s not the…when I asked you to come with me to Paris?”

Oh.

“When you spilled toothpaste on my shirt,” Seokjin says, eyes still on their interlocked fingers. Namjoon hums and then walks closer, their foreheads touching.

“You looked at me while we were both brushing, and I just knew. I just knew I was in love with you.”

Namjoon loves him.

He loves Seokjin.

He wasn’t in this love alone.

“I know you’ve said it like-um,” Seokjin stutters out. “Like a thousand times in the past minute, but I just need to know if you’re like legit because I’m still not processing-“

Namjoon pulls up their interconnected hands, pressing his lips to Seokjin’s right hand. “I love you.” He then goes for the left, kissing that too. “I love you.”

Seokjin watches as Namjoon keeps repeating it and he thinks he could never tire of hearing those three words come from the younger’s mouth as he feels more kisses being peppered on to his knuckles. “I love you so fucking much.”

“Okay, um.”

Namjoon looks up and grins. “Nope, you don’t get to stop me this time.  I’m going to say it all the time now. I’ve held it in for way too long. I love you.Je t’aime. Aishiteru. Wo ai ni. Ti amo-”

“Oh my god.”

“I can keep going, I know it in at least five more languages.”

And Seokjin.

Seokjin takes one look at the man before him and realizes that it was real. He wasn’t dreaming, this was real, this was now.

Namjoon and he are in love.

He steps forward until their shoes are touching. A hesitant smile pops out and Seokjin presses his forehead against Namjoon’s. He can hear the younger’s breathing, slow and steady. Carefully, he unlocks his fingers from the younger’s and wraps his arms around the neck of the man who loves him.

“I love you,” he whispers, his breath fanning over Namjoon’s lips. He’s afraid the waves are too loud and that Namjoon doesn’t hear it. So he says it again, for good measure. “I love you. I love you so fucking much.”

“I love you too.”

He doesn’t know who pushes in first, but Seokjin closes his eyes immediately. Namjoon loves him and was kissing him, was kissing him like there was no tomorrow. He finds himself smiling into it, opening his mouth and letting the younger in.

Namjoon detects the smile and pulls back. “What’s so funny?”

Seokjin’s chest is so full he thinks he might burst. “Nothing, shut up and kiss me.”

The younger lets out a high pitched laugh and Seokjin rolls his eyes but Namjoon pulls them back in. Seokjin feels arms wrap around his waist, pushing him closer and he can only wrap his arms tighter. They were so close and were so in love and Seokjin thinks that this might be the best day of his life.

They keep kissing and kissing, and Seokjin marvels in the way that he can taste the champagne in Namjoon’s mouth, the way his entire body is running on endorphins because of the intimacy. The moon seems to shine brighter, creating a spotlight on them.

Seokjin is in love.

In the distance, people were heading back into their hotel rooms, calling it a night. Taehyung and Yoongi were probably in their penthouse suite playing with Holly and Yeontan. Jungkook and Jimin were probably messing with Hoseok and he was probably more endeared than annoyed. The event planners were probably done cleaning up now, ready to go back home to their own families.

And Seokjin?

Seokjin was kissing the man he loved. Kissing a man who loved him back, who wanted him.

The kiss becomes a little desperate, a bit bruising, as if they were both trying to make up for the time lost. Namjoon pulls away again, with a chuckle. Seokjin finds himself heavy breathing, blood rushing south at the sight of Namjoon with swollen lips.

“Do you want to go back to my room? We can talk more and stuff if you want?”

Seokjin raises an eyebrow, leaning back. “You want to just talk?”

Namjoon grins. “Do you have something else in mind?”

He hums, feeling brave. Seokjin puts his mouth next to Namjoon’s ear. “I think we both have done enough talking for tonight, haven’t we?”

*

Time passes slowly at night, Seokjin thinks.

It passes slowly as Namjoon pushes Seokjin onto his hotel bed, their clothes slowly getting discarded. Seokjin pulls Namjoon by his tie, bringing him into another searing kiss. “You realize how fucking good you looked this entire weekend?”

The younger chuckles as he unbuttons his shirt. “Me? Have you looked in the mirror? The amount of cold showers I had to take these past couple days is a bit ridiculous.”

Something stirs inside Seokjin at that, knowing that he was the reason that Namjoon was so flustered, was the reason Namjoon was in love.

“I love you,” he says again, his voice rough.

“So I’ve heard.”

Seokjin pinches him and the younger yelps. “Hey!”

Thunder roars and a flash of lightning is seen, causing both of them to jump. The hotel window is soon heard with the soft sound of rain pouring. He finds it oddly calming and is thankful they made it inside before they got drenched. This suit would not bode well in the weather.

Said suit was mostly on the floor now, both Namjoon and Seokjin shuffling out of their slacks. Seokjin looks up to see Namjoon looming over him, the raindrops and moon creating shadows on his body. He looked beautiful, ethereal, and Seokjin cannot believe this was really happening.

Namjoon smiles affectionately, moving a strand of hair away from Seokjin’s eyes. “I love you.”

“Joon-ah,” Seokjin whispers, eyes locked on the younger. His hand reaches upward and Namjoon kisses it gently, then each of his fingers, pressing kitten kisses to them.

The gentleness is gone within a second as he strips Seokjin of his underwear, removing his own too with a swift movement. Seokjin is embarrassingly hard, but he can see he’s not the only one. 

“You are so fucking gorgeous,” Namjoon pants into Seokjin’s mouth as he leans down and presses his forehead against the elder’s. Seokjin watches the rise and fall of Namjoon’s chest. “I got so jealous, thinking about someone else having you, being with you. It drove me fucking insane.”

Seokjin bites his lip, desire coursing through him as shifts to pull the younger down for another kiss. It was dirtier this time, both of them opening up immediately. Seokjin sucks on the younger’s tongue, his mind just wanting more and more.

He finally pulls away, trying to catch his breath. Their eyes meet again and the stare is electrifying, Seokjin’s entire body burning hot under Namjoon’s gaze.

“I’m yours Namjoon. Nobody else’s. Yours only. I love you,” he responds. Namjoon is still breathing heavily above him, watching his lips move as he talks.

“You’re mine,” the younger finally lets out. “You’re really mine.”

“I am,” Seokjin stutters, feeling himself getting overwhelmed with desire at Namjoon saying that. “Now fuck me like I’m yours.”

Namjoon watches him hungrily and is quick to pull him into another kiss. “What do you want hyung?” he whispers.

The elder leans forward and kisses Namjoon. “You baby. I want you.”

The damn breaks and Seokjin feels his body move on its own as he opens his legs a bit wider, allowing Namjoon to have access.

He feels his face burn at the gaze. “Stop staring at me like that and fuck me already.”

“Forgot how cranky you get when I go slow,” Namjoon says with a chuckle, reaching for the side table for his wallet. He pulls out two packets, tearing them open with his mouth.

“Why do you have lube and a condom in your wallet?” Seokjin asks, watching as Namjoon rubbed the blue liquid in his fingers, warming it up.

The younger stops rubbing and slips the condom on. “I used to have a fantasy of us randomly hooking up at work.”

Seokjin feels blood rush to his ears. “That is definitely not allowed.”

“A man can dream,” Namjoon says with a laugh. “Are you ready?”

He leans forward and pecks the younger’s lips before laying back down. “I’m ready. Now stop making me impatient.”

Namjoon smiles then and for a second Seokjin thinks his heart rate goes up. But he isn’t able to think about it much because Namjoon lunges and kisses him like he’s dying like Seokjin was a glass of water in a desert. The elder moans into the younger’s mouth and licks against his tongue. He feels his body tingle and heat up as fingers press against his rim, slowly opening him up as Namjoon continues to kiss him, pressure increasing. It was amazing how good Namjoon was at this, Seokjin thinks. The way he had memorized the elder’s body, knowing exactly would make him keen.

“Joon-ah I need you, now,” Seokjin begs, his cock straining and begging for attention after the fourth finger in him. Namjoon stares for a moment and gives one last kiss before leaning back.

Before Namjoon enters him, he feels a kiss at the junction of his neck. It brings a tingle throughout his entire body, and he barely has time to register before the younger is inside him. When Namjoon pushes into him slowly, Seokjin moans and pushes back, his head falling back on to the hotel pillow.

“Shit, hyung you’re so hot, fuck-“

“Joonie, you can move,” he replies after a minute. He tries not to think much about the nickname that came out of his mouth, blaming it on the hormones raging through his body.

Seokjin squeezes his eyes tight as Namjoon builds up a pace, and he tries to move his hips in a way that follows. Namjoon seems amused at this and presses in harder with his thrusts and Seokjin wonders if he is even going to be able to walk to the airport tomorrow after this.

“God you are a dream Seokjin,” Namjoon whispers into his neck, his fingers tightening around the elder’s hips.

Seokjin lets out an exhale and reaches for the younger’s ass, digging his fingers into the flesh, pushing Namjoon’s cock further into him, causing the younger to moan as well. “That’s hyung to you.”

“So you do like it when I call you that.”

“F-fuck-ah off.”

Namjoon bites his neck at that, making Seokjin hiss. “Come for me hyung.”

“Ask me nicer, and maybe I-“

Seokjin lets out a strangled noise as Namjoon shifts and brushes the sensitive area. “Would you like to rethink that?”

Before Seokjin can answer, Namjoon grabs his cock and jerks it while he still moves around inside Seokjin. He feels his body go numb as his orgasm spills all over the bed.

“Fuck baby, you’re so beautiful,” Namjoon murmurs in his ear, his breathing slowing as he comes as well.

Seokjin collapses watches as Namjoon gets up to throw away the used condom. The younger goes into the bathroom and grabs a towel that he flings at Seokjin, who busies himself in trying to clean himself up despite his entire body feeling like mush.

They both settle back into the bed after cleaning up, pulling their boxers back on. He feels Namjoon pull into him, wrapping two muscular arms around Seokjin’s chest.

“Have I told you that I love you,” Namjoon says with a hearty laugh, his chest rumbling and causing Seokjin’s entire body to feel it.

Seokjin snuggles further into the cocoon of blankets and Namjoon, closing his eyes. “A couple of thousand times only.”

“That’s far too little.”

“Well we have plenty of time,” Seokjin hums back. “Goodnight, I love you.”

He feels a kiss to his forehead. “Goodnight baby, I love you too.”

*

Getting with Namjoon was amazing, being able to wake up and call this man his boyfriend was amazing, being able to say that Namjoon loves him was amazing.

What was not so amazing was the screech that was let out by Jimin when he and Namjoon walked downstairs for the Goodbye Brunch the next morning, hand in hand.

“I fucking knew it! I knew it would happen! Jungkook you owe me fifty bucks!”

Seokjin frowns. “What exactly did you bet on?”

Jungkook pulls out his wallet just as Hoseok sighs, rubbing his forehead. “They were convinced you guys would get back together, for real this time.”

“I said you guys would be together by Sunday, Jungkook said Saturday,” Jimin exclaims, counting the five tens that Jungkook had handed over.

Namjoon giggles. “Well actually, if we are speaking specifics. It did happen Saturday night.”

“Though it did carry over to this morning,” Seokjin adds with a grin. “So I don’t know how you want to split that-“

“Ew gross hyung!”

“Hey! I had to hear about your sex lives for so long!” Seokjin snaps at Jimin, but he’s only half-serious. “So you guys are going to hear about mine.”

“They really don’t need to though,” Namjoon points out.

Seokjin is about to reply when he hears another pair approach them. Hear is the correct word because he hears a “FUCKING FINALLY!” before he actually sees Taehyung and Yoongi walk toward them.

The couple were grinning and Seokjin feels himself blush at the attention of all his friends.

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Oh so now he’s shy, but he wasn’t shy when describing how much Namjoon meant to him.”

“Aw babe, you had a crush on me?” Namjoon says with a grin. “That’s adorable.”

“I hate all of you,” Seokjin mutters, but he’s smiling as he watches everyone chat idly, his hand still intertwined with Namjoon’s. Even when Namjoon moved a bit away to talk to someone else during the entire Brunch, he was never far.

“Dr.Kim! Is it true?”

Seokjin turns to Mina, who looked up at him curiously. “Is what true sweetheart?”

“That you and my Daddy are boyfriends again?”

And he figures that one day when Mina was older, she would know the truth of his and Namjoon’s love story. Knowing her, she would probably laugh at them and say they were silly for thinking that something like a fake-boyfriend would ever stop real feelings from coming out.

Right now though, he just looks at her and squats down, reaching her height. “We are.”

She furrows her brow and the action is very much Namjoon, Seokjin finds himself trying not to coo at the younger. “Do you love my Daddy?”

A shadow comes over the both of them and he looks up and sees that Namjoon had walked over, eying them curiously. He smiles at the younger and goes back to looking at Mina. “I love him a lot.”

“How much?”

“So much.”

“Will you take me to Chuck-E-Cheese’s again?” Mina asks, but she’s already smiling and Seokjin knows he’s won her over.

“We can go to Chuck-E-Cheese’s every weekend if you want to,” he replies.

Mina immediately yells in happiness, jumping off her chair and into Seokjin’s arms. Seokjin catches her and pulls her up, swinging her around.  He finally manages to just hold her, her tiny legs dangling.

Namjoon has a wide grin as he sees them messing around. He kisses Mina on the forehead and then Seokjin on the cheek. “The two people I love the most.”

Seokjin doesn’t respond, probably because his entire body feels like it’s going to explode from joy and happiness. Namjoon looks a bit confused though and tilts his head. “You okay?

And Seokjin.

He looks around, looks at Taehyung and Yoongi holding on to each other tightly as they said goodbye to each guest personally. He looks at Jimin, Jungkook, and Hoseok who all looked like they were in the midst of debate of whether ketchup should be allowed on eggs. He looks at Hyeri who winks at him, nodding approvingly.

He looks at the child in his arms, who had rested her head against his chest. Then he finally looks at Namjoon, the man who he was in love with, whose warm brown eyes shined bright in the warm sunlight.

“I’m okay.”