you’re my person
my one and only love
Namjoon has always distantly thought Christmas was a bit overrated.
Disregarding the fact that Christmas in Korea was approached somewhat differently than Christmas in the states was, Namjoon could never find its appeal. It was a day he felt mostly reserved for couples, and generally as a valid excuse to take a weekend off work, and that was essentially it.
He won’t sit and pretend as if the idea of it isn’t exciting, though.
The streets of Seoul seemed to increasingly get prettier and prettier as the days crawled by. It had long become necessary to double up if one planned on leaving their home. The air was crisp and biting and the promise of cold was there every morning in the sheen layer of frost that dusted everything. Outside the warm haven of the apartment he’s beginning to call home, lies another promise of bare trees and frozen lakes and red noses, and he won’t sit and pretend as if the idea of it isn’t exciting.
But, it also meant the promise of longer, more difficult journeys to work. It also meant the promise of toiling twice as hard to drag Yoongi out of bed in the mornings, although Namjoon doesn’t think he minds that one as much.
The prettiness distracts from it. Yoongi is softest in the morning, hair messy and eyes closing and shirt falling off his shoulders, and the sun that makes it past the blinds settles into the dips of his face and when he murmurs, mornin’ Joon-ah, could you grab me my mug , and Namjoon will feel warm enough that winter is a Galioth to his David. Namjoon will feel warm enough that he thinks he can get used to it.
“It’s Christmas Eve,” Yoongi notes idly, setting his mug down. Namjoon glances up at him, eyebrows raised in question. Yoongi raises his eyebrows back. “Don’t give me that look.”
“I didn’t give you any look.”
“You absolutely did.”
“I just want to know why you felt it was worth mentioning,” Namjoon protests, and Yoongi pouts in his seat. “One more year won’t hurt.”
“See, relevant to nothing.”
“It’s Christmas Eve, Joon-ah.”
“It’s cold , hyung,” Namjoon moans. Yoongi’s pout deepens, dissatisfaction radiating off of him unbearingly. Yoongi is about just as religious as Namjoon is, which is not at all, but he’s all for going out of his way for the holiday. He adores it, even. So without fail, every year (for the last nine, that is) Namjoon tagged along, only moderately reluctant. That wasn’t going to change this year. He simply liked to hear Yoongi whine.
“Fine,” Namjoon pretends to relent, gut squeezing as the pout melts off Yoongi’s face. “What do you have in store for us today, Saint Nicholas?”
Yoongi brings his mug back up to his lips, smiling as he sips, slowly. Namjoon waits, letting him swallow, letting him set the cup down again, letting him adjust his thoughts.
“Well,” He starts. “We need to decorate the Christmas tree.”
“Yes,” Namjoon agrees.
“We needs gifts, and food. Lots of it.”
“Jungkook has become a black hole vacuum lately.”
“And we need to cook—“
“ You need to cook,” Namjoon interrupts again. Yoongi smiles, and corrects himself, “I need to cook.”
Namjoon hums, watching Yoongi’s finger tap against his coffee mug. “Is that it?”
“Lame,” Namjoon says.
Yoongi calls him the Ebenezer Scrooge of Christmas season, and Namjoon spends more time laughing than he does arguing back.
The store was unusually but still understandably full when they arrived, bustling with last-minute Christmas shoppers just like the two of them. Namjoon doesn't think he’d be able to count on all of his fingers and toes the amount of times Yoongi has complained from the second they've stepped through the threshold of the grocery store.
“Have I told you how much I hate Christmas shopping?” Yoongi comments, slugging his feet along beside Namjoon as he tugs the shopping cart around.
“Yes,” Namjoon says patiently, stopping to reach over to grab a container of salt. “Repeatedly, actually. For the past ten minutes.” Steering then into the meat aisle, Namjoon leans into the chilled area, scanning the stacks for what the chicken they’re looking for. His head bumps against something hanging from above, and he instantly jerks back with a yelp. His hand involuntarily shreds through the air above him, before peeking up at what monstrosity was waiting to attack his face.
It’s mistletoe. A small, artificial leaf of it, dangling above him on a string.
Yoongi starts to laugh while Namjoon groans, making a face at him. “I thought it was a spider!”
“You’re an idiot,” Yoongi huffs out in between quiet heaves of the odd-ball way he laughs, and Namjoon pouts for all of three seconds, before his face cracks, too. He loses track of time, space and matter for a moment or two standing there, cracking up next to stacks of chicken breasts and turkey. If any of the other shoppers are looking at them oddly, Namjoon thinks maybe he would mind a little in some other world, some other circumstance.
Let them look, he thinks. Yoongi’s face glows warm despite the cold, now, traces of laughter still nestled across his features. Let them look.
“What kind of store puts mistletoe above the meat section, anyway,” Yoongi muses after a beat, and Namjoon’s cheeks ache a little when he huffs out a laugh. Yoongi is smiling up at him, and if Namjoon lets himself look close enough he thinks it looks a little shy, and little curious.
He barely pauses for a moment before stopping down and pressing a chaste kiss to Yoongi’s cheek.
Yoongi blinks, stumbling back a little. He looks pleasantly stunned, hand subconsciously fluttering over where Namjoon’s lips have been a moment before. His face is warm with the remnants of laughter, yes, and maybe something else too.
“Well,” Namjoon says gustily, reaching around Yoongi to grab the turkey he spots. “Christmas waits for no one, hyung. Let’s go find where they hid the eggnog this year.”
The walk home is quiet.
The sun isn’t quite setting yet, stuck in between a crossroads of faded secondary colors, a dust of orange, a smudge of purple. Namjoon hears Yoongi shift beside him, and looks over to see him sinking deeper into his coat.
“Chilly?” Namjoon murmurs. Yoongi shrugs. Shifts again. “Maybe a little,” he admits, exhaling a bit, letting wisps of smoke bellow from his lips. Namjoon adjusts the groceries higher up his arm, before unlooping the scarf he had thrown over his shoulder before they left the house that morning. He doesn’t ask before reaching over, momentarily stopping Yoongi from walking forward so he can carefully wrap it once around Yoongi’s neck, another time to cover his paling lips, another time to shield his reddening nose.
“There,” He says, stepping back. He pulls the groceries back into his gloved hands. “Better?”
Yoongi glances at Namjoon for a breath. His face is hard to read when there’s nothing visible but his eyes peeking between his beanie and Namjoon’s scarf, but there’s a curious catch in his voice when he mumbles out a thanks, Joon-ah.
They lapse back into a comfortable silence. The world isn’t exactly silent around him, but it buzzes quietly, a hushed reminder of its life, and it’s times like these where Namjoon would settle back into his thoughts as he usually. The sharp wind against his cheek drags him back to earth, though, enough so that after a moment, he thinks he can almost feel Yoongi’s mind tossing and turning beside him. Namjoon is most usually the thinker between the two of them, and somehow you’d think that would mean he’d make the smarter decisions, but he’s always had Yoongi there to be his voice of reason, when his brain disagreed with his heart.
He extends his arm out, guiding Yoongi to the side before his foot can catch on the curb they were rounding. Yoongi blinks out of his head, turning back to see how closely he missed a possible impendent death. Or a bruised ankle, at the very least. He hums gratefully when he turns back, resting his hand where Namjoon’s rested on his waist before Namjoon can pull it away.
“Where did you go?” Namjoon asks teasingly, bumping Yoongi’s hip. Yoongi huffs (another small cloud of smoke — Namjoon sort of wants to pull Yoongi into a hug, resists the odd urge to), and shrugs into Namjoon’s side. He isn’t given a chance to answer, though. The sound comes into focus slowly and then all at once, I don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need...
“Oh my God,” Yoongi says, and Namjoon starts huffing out short bursts of laughter. Yoongi positively hates Christmas carolers more than he loves celebrating the holiday. He claims he always has, but he’s suspiciously only been increasingly vocal about it since the day a few of them woke him up from his evening nap to personally serenade him at their apartment door with traditional bible hymns. He was a sophomore in college then. Seven years later, nothing has changed.
“Remind me why I can’t kill the carolers again?” Yoongi grumbles, burying his head in Namjoon’s shoulder. Namjoon bites his bottom lip, glad that Yoongi can’t see how much he’s smiling.
“Jail would not be a fun place for you,” Namjoon says, and Yoongi nods regretfully, mumbling to himself, “Yes, the beds will be too small.”
“And my terrible hot chocolate won’t be there to warm you up,” Namjoon adds. The voices of the carolers get louder as they get nearer. Namjoon can feel Yoongi’s eyes fighting not to roll in his skull out of aggravation, and he wants to snicker. He thinks Yoongi knows he does, too, cause he huffs defiantly, “Terrible, yes.”
“And movie nights,” Namjoon continues. “Movie nights where the heater is digesting all of our money faster than we make it. Your favorite Pikachu blanket that used to be mine until you decided it wasn’t anymore. Those ugly pair of pajamas you're always wearing — can’t find those in jail, can you? Your favorite mug. The one you claim magically makes everything taste better. Oh, and Taehyung gave us a whole box of Studio Ghibli movies on CDs. You were skeptical at first, cause you’re skeptical of everything, but now watching Ponyo is a priority on your nightly routine.”
“It is not,” Yoongi protests, but he sounds a little more appeased. He sounds like he’s smiling and trying hard not to. It takes a few moments of silence for Namjoon to realize the carolers are behind them.
“And all of those things can only be found at home,” Namjoon concludes brazenly. “The carolers are gone, now. So is the slightly concerning question of imprisonment.”
“What would I ever do without you,” Yoongi sighs, while Namjoon grins.
He feels the difference between the earth outside and their apartment instantly upon stepping inside. Yoongi unravels the scarf and Namjoon paws off his gloves as the elevator rises, rises, rises, stops, and the warmth was sudden enough that his hands are still struggling to keep up, shaking and fumbling on their apartment door’s keypad. Yoongi gently stops him with a laugh through his nose on his third failed attempt, and Namjoon generally thinks it’s unfair that Yoongi’s hands are that warm after the long journey they’ve been through, and then has another thought about using them as hand-warmers for his own. He’s not sure if he’s allowed to think that one, though, so he shakes it off before stepping through the threshold once again.
“Home sweet motherfucking home,” Yoongi exclaims, collapsing into the couch. Namjoon chuckles, dumping his bag of groceries onto the counter.
Namjoon feels himself slowly thawing in the room‘s warmth, and thinks that the cold reminds him to be especially grateful in times like these. He shrugs off his coat, draping it over a nearby chair. “Not gonna take your jacket off?” He asks Yoongi, who has his arm dramatically flung across his eyes.
“In a minute,” Yoongi sighs.
Namjoon peels Yoongi’s grocery bags out from his fingers, tsk ing as he made his way to the kitchen. “This was your idea, hyung. You’re that tired already?” He smiles in amusement as Yoongi grumbles into his arm.
Namjoon rests his chin on the counter, head falling over to lean against his arms, and considers Yoongi quietly. He thinks of his usual mantra, have you actually been taking your meds for the past week, did you eat breakfast? For Christ’s sake hyung, I hope you at least grabbed a granola bar before we left , he thinks about asking who’s turn it was to pay the electricity bill, he thinks about filling up the silence. But then Yoongi stretches his legs out in exhaustion, making a weird, deflating balloon noise, and then—
And then he thinks about Yoongi.
Every year he has to help Yoongi hang the decorations even though he swears he can do it on his own. This year won’t be any different. The bottom hem of the shirt Yoongi is wearing will draw up and reveal pearly, smooth stomach and Namjoon will feel odd, weird, wrong, for all the ways his neck heats up, for looking away almost guiltily. Yoongi adapts this specific type of look when he’s content and satisfied, and it might just be Namjoon’s favorite, quiet and warm and loud all at once.
Namjoon’s phone buzzes in his pocket, and it reminds him of Christmas again. He likes to overthink a lot of his actions before he makes them, but it’s always easy with Yoongi. He crosses around through the kitchen until he’s within a close enough distance to the couch to flop down next to Yoongi’s boneless figure. Yoongi peeks through his arm and smiles at him, and shifts until he’s leaning into Namjoon’s side.
“My bones just don’t work the way they used to, Joon-ah.”
“Your bones are fine, hyung,” He laughs, poking him in the side. “I promise you are not the dying old man you think you are.”
He thinks about the way Yoongi grumbles again at the callout, he thinks about how they’ve cycled through the same heatless quarrel so many times before. He tries to think of a future where they don’t anymore.
“What about you?” Yoongi murmurs, eyelids fluttering shut.
“Don’t fall asleep yet, hyung,” Namjoon reminds him. “What about me?”
Yoongi eyes remain closed. “On the way back. You were listing things that I could only find at home. You’re here too.”
Namjoon’s body feels funny all of a sudden. Too hot and too cold and too inbetween. He tries to think of a future where this— he and Yoongi, Yoongi and him — isn’t anymore. He can’t.
“And me,” Namjoon says lightly. He feels a little like he’s suffocating. “I’m here too.”
The Christmas tree lights go up first. Yoongi insists that this year he can actually, really do it on his own, he swears . So Namjoon lets him be, playing word puzzle games on his phone while waiting for Yoongi to struggle for long enough so he can laugh and tease him about it, and then help him anyway, cause that’s how it always goes.
The biggest one , Yoongi had insisted. Get the biggest tree. The one right over there .
Yoongi hated half-assed things. He also hated half- assing things, so he’d push himself to carry the tree up to their room every year and would stretch himself as far up as he could to dress it for all it’s hard work, and—
He sticks it in for much longer than Namjoon thought he could.
He glances up momentarily, to check to see if he’s showing any signs of giving in yet, but Yoongi has dragged a chair up to the tree, stretching up to place the final star at the top. Namjoon’s face warms before he even sees it, and hunches wearily back over his phone.
Yoongi is busy setting out the cookies, all three different flavors in different platters. It’s another of the first things Namjoon came to learn about him. He loved order and organization, something that clashed with Namjoon’s strict philosophy of an organized-mess lifestyle. At first it was something that pushed them apart, and then became the thing that held them together. Yoongi could spend weeks working if Namjoon didn’t intervene. Namjoon could survive an entire year on ramen only if Yoongi didn’t intervene. They both forget to take care of themselves, and somehow that’s how they take care of each other.
It was unintentional at first. They did it in little sarcastic jabs, genuine concern cloaked by taunting sentiment. Namjoon thinks now, that neither of them truly hated each other. Not really. They both seemed to have been at a point in their lives where kindness felt like vulnerability, and vulnerability was weakness. The world laughed at vulnerability. The world took your wounds and exploited them, poured salt on them, stretched and wore them out until you were battered and sore, and maybe more or less defeated, a tad bit broken.
What little they both knew of life had been refined through years of hardships and more of brutal reality. Some they spent on their own, alone, and others spent together. Luckily now, the sarcastic jabs are less of a defense and more an endearment, a storm they fought hard to get through.
“Staring is rude, Joon-ah,” Yoongi says over his shoulder. Namjoon drags his eyes away, before looking up to the back of Yoongi’s head. “I wasn’t staring.”
“Yes, you were,” Yoongi says, glancing at him teasingly. Namjoon makes an indignant face at him. “Wanna know how I know?”
“Not really,” Namjoon responds.
“I know because I know you well.” He places the last handful of cookies in their corresponding platters. “You forget that a lot.”
Namjoon rolls his eyes. A small, pleased smile crawls onto his face. “Whatever, hyung. I have something for you.”
That catches Yoongi’s attention. He twists around, eyebrows arched in intrigue. “Oh? What kind of something?”
Namjoon’s smile finally blooms, sidling up next to Yoongi, who was watching him with weary curiosity.
“You’re gonna love it,” Namjoon promises him, whipping out the gift bag from behind his back. Yoongi looks at him for a long, skeptical moment, before taking the bag from him.
“It’s pretty light,” He observes, and Namjoon rolls his eyes again. “Hyung, we’re not millionaires. Open it. It’s a Christmas sweater!” Namjoon exclaims excitedly as Yoongi pulls it out.
Yoongi unfolds the sweater and holds it up to the light. He stares for a moment, and then deadpans, “It’s kinda ugly.”
“No it isn’t ,” Namjoon protests. He isn’t hurt, not really. He knew it was at least a little bit ugly while picking it up. But the kittens in Santa scarves were unbelievably hard to resist, despite the material that made Namjoon itch only by looking at it. He pouts anyway. “Take that back.”
“Take your money back,” Yoongi says, but he doesn’t put the sweater away. “And give that to me instead.”
“And I’m the Ebenezer Scrooge of Christmas,” Namjoon grumbles, and Yoongi’s face cracks into a smile.
Namjoon comes back from a bathroom break, and returns to find Yoongi on the living room floor. He’s bent forward in concentration with gifts to one side of him and wrapping paper to the other, clad in kittens and Santa hats.
Yoongi doesn’t let Namjoon within a yard of the stove. Something of which Namjoon had both expected and prepared for, sulking over it at the kitchen table, armed with a fierce pout.
“No offense,” Yoongi says appeasingly, “I just don’t trust you to carve the turkey.”
“That is very offensive,” Namjoon argues, slumping forward pitifully. “I am not five years old. I don’t think I’ve contributed a single thing to this evening so far.”
“It won’t look like a turkey anymore after your hands have put a knife near it, Joon-ah,” Yoongi responds, waving the utensil in his direction. Namjoon makes another face at him, and Yoongi mirrors it instantly. “Besides, yes you have. Your presence contributes enough in itself.”
“You’re starting to sound like me,” Namjoon says miserably, and Yoongi snorts.
The doorbell rings, and Namjoon sits up in confusion, before jumping up out of his chair. “That must be Hoseok, I’ll get it.”
He hears Yoongi’s chuckling behind him as he slides out of the kitchen, peeking through the peephole to confirm who was at the other side. It was Hoseok, and he brought Seokjin with him, who was also leaned into the peep hole, like he knew it was exactly the first thing Namjoon would do.
He swings the door open with a big grin, and the noise Hoseok makes is pitched and delightful, rushing forward to bury him in a hug.
“Hoseok-ah, I saw you at work just last week,” he laughs, before grunting as Seokjin latches onto them, too. “You didn’t miss me too, Namjoonie?” Seokjin complains.
“Of course I missed you, hyung,” He responds. They smell like pine trees, like snow, like home again. It’s nice to see them, outside of obligation. It’s really nice.
“It’s so good to see you two again,” He says sincerely as Hoseok finally peels himself off, and Seokjin steps back too. Namjoon takes Hoseok’s bags off of him as Seokjin helps him shrug out of his coat, before turning around so Hoseok can help him do the same.
“I can smell your sappiness from here,” Yoongi calls from the kitchen, and Hoseok’s entire body lurches to attention again, before he skids away with another loud, delighted noise. Seokjin laughs, lumbering after him, singing a chorus of Yoongi-yah’s, hyung missed you’ s, and Namjoon thinks with a chuckle that maybe Yoongi was right to love the holiday so much, if it gave them this.
Namjoon sits off to the side with Hoseok and Seokjin for a moment, watching Yoongi busy himself. Seokjin angles his head a bit in amusement. “He really gets into this holiday doesn’t he?”
“Look at his sweater,” Hoseok giggles, and Seokjin clamps his mouth together to keep his laughter behind his cheeks. A long whine involuntarily makes its way out of Namjoon. “Don’t make fun of it. I bought that for him.”
Seokjin barks out a laugh, while Hoseok turns odd shades of red trying to keep his amusement contained.
“How’d you force him into that?”
“First of all, it’s not even that ugly so stop,” he complains, smacking at Hoseok’s knee, who proceeds to hunch over with a gasp of laughter. “Second of all, I didn’t force him into anything. He just wore it.”
Hoseok straightens up, oddly sobered. He glances over at Seokjin, who looks back at him for a moment, before turning to Namjoon.
“You don’t say,” Seokjin pipes up, odd and playful but also knowing in a way that makes Namjoon feel uncomfortably transparent. It feels as if he’s seeing something that Namjoon doesn’t know is there, like a secret everyone is in on but him.
“Yeah,” he says slowly. “He called it ugly at first, though, which broke my poor heart. But ended up putting it on anyway.”
“Oh really,” Seokjin says in the same weird tone, and Namjoon furrows his eyebrows, glancing between the two of them. “Why do you sound like that?” He asks carefully, not sure how to feel about the merriment in Seokjin’s eyes.
“If I gifted him that he would burn it straight before my eyes,” Seokjin shrugs innocently. “I wonder what makes you special.”
“Nothing,” Namjoon says. “That’s just how Yoongi is.”
Hoseok and Seokjin share a similar look, and it makes Namjoon a little uneasy. He thinks there’s something he’s missing that he’s supposed to understand, but he doesn’t.
“Of course,” Seokjin agrees, sounding like he means to say something entirely else. He gives Hoseok one more look, who purses his lips in response.
“I’m gonna help Yoongi with the chicken,” Seokjin excuses himself, dragging himself up with a wide stretch. He pats Namjoon on the shoulder before walking away. Namjoon watches him go.
“That was weird,” Namjoon mutters, turning to Hoseok. “Am I overthinking it or was that weird?”
“Both and neither,” Hoseok says vaguely, slinging an arm around his shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. How about we go make the Christmas playlist for later?”
Namjoon likes to think that he holds a decent amount of knowledge in his head. He’s told that he spends too much of his time up there, and he wouldn’t be able to disagree. He’s come to learn that he has to learn about himself the same way he would an old friend, treat himself the same way he would someone he loved very much. He spends most of his time writing lyrics, taking walks to the park, sitting under trees and watching people pass by and pass by and pass. He spends most of his time with nature, with himself, and with—
Night has crept on them, slowly and then all at once, blanketing the world outside. The apartment glows warm with the light emitting from the Christmas tree, from the lights and the glass ornaments and from Yoongi’s proud, radiant eye smile.
“You’ve been looking at me weird all day,” Yoongi comments, plopping down next to him on the couch. Taehyung shrieks in delight as Hoseok joins Jungkook in attacking him with bow ties and wrapping paper, rolling around on the carpet to escape their grabby hands. Jimin is hunched over, desperately trying to keep the hand that’s recording the mess from falling as he loses his breath laughing.
Namjoon nudges him with his socked foot. “You have no clue what you’re talking about.”
Yoongi nudges him back, chuckling softly. “Of course I do.”
Namjoon’s body buzzes funnily, but he shakes it off by nudging him again. “Just how much eggnog did you have?”
“Don’t disrespect me like that,” Yoongi says, turning away in disdain. “That’s the devil’s drink. Only Seokjin and weird Americans like it.”
Namjoon grins. “Oh really.”
Yoongi takes a moment, before mumbling, “I had three bottles,” and it isn’t funny enough for Namjoon to start laughing as breathlessly as he does, but then Yoongi starts laughing too, in the odd way that he does, and Namjoon doesn’t think, in that moment, that he could ever stop. Or that he ever wants to.
(— with Yoongi.)
“Yoongi sure does love you,” Taehyung hums, kicking it back with one entire of the platters of cookies. Namjoon glances away from the movie running softly in the background, to find Taehyung looking at him the same way Seokjin and Hoseok have earlier. Like the final piece of the puzzle they’ve been figuring out is sitting right underneath his nose.
“Is it the sweater again?” Namjoon asks. “I swear—“
“Nah,” Taehyung shakes his head, then after a moment, “Wait, did you give that to him?”
Namjoon grumbles, waving his hand dismissively through the air, but Taehyung furrows his brows, squinting over at where Yoongi sat, crisscrossed in the armchair across the room. “Have the others been making fun of it? Don’t listen to them. Nobody appreciates the artistry of cats in Santa hats anymore.”
Namjoon’s pout melts into an appreciative smile. “I couldn’t have put it better myself.”
Taehyung hums, settling back on the sofa. They sit in silence for a moment, attention drifting from the movie to the music (to Yoongi, to Yoongi), before Namjoon kind of bursts out, “Yoongi loves everyone.”
Taehyung doesn’t look startled at the outburst. “That’s true,” he agrees. “But Yoongi loves you different.”
The room is getting warmer and warmer. Namjoon doesn’t remember drinking any eggnog yet.
“Because we’re roommates,” He insists genuinely. Maybe a little desperately. “And best friends.”
Taehyung looks at him for a long moment, and Namjoon thinks he can hear him asking, is that what you think I mean? Is it, Namjoon? Is that what I mean?
Taehyung smiles kindly, offering the plate of cookies. “Sure, Namjoonie hyung.”
Namjoon takes a cookie, munching on it in distress. He tries to focus on the movie before them, but his eyes keep drifting over to Yoongi, and he tries to fight it for a while. He does. But he’s learned over time the more you deprive yourself of something the more you want it, so Namjoon lets himself look. He lets himself trace Yoongi’s face with his eyes, the way his face glows pink from all the soju and the eggnog, the bandaid on his ring finger and the mess that is his hair. The sweater fits him loosely, falling off his shoulders and pooling around his knees. He lets himself look at Yoongi, half drunk and droopy eyed who’s looking dizzily and fondly at all their friends, and he thinks somewhere in the back of his subconscious he can feel Taehyung’s eyes burning through the side of his face, like he’s waiting for it, he’s waiting for it, and—
(Yoongi glances over, catching him in his haze. Smiles softly, and—)
Namjoon stops crunching on the cookie.
Taehyung doesn’t ask him what’s wrong, or what happened, only asks if he wants something to drink. Namjoon nods distractedly.
So this is what love is.
Namjoon thinks he’s waiting for the fear. He’s waiting for something , breath baited carefully, staring down at the cookie in his hand. He knows that he thought for the longest time that love would feel like fireworks and frogs in his stomach and maybe there is a bit of that, but.
It feels like realizing something he’s always known, somehow. It feels gentle, and warm, and—
Namjoon’s in love with Yoongi.
He’s always been in love with Yoongi. He wishes he can remember from and since when, but then he thinks that maybe it was a gradual thing, something he fell into like the seasons fall into each other, or snow falls into the ground. Quietly. Patiently. Calmly.
Namjoon’s in love with Yoongi.
The puzzle piece falls in place, finally, the strange looks, the buzzing feeling, the warmth, he’s—
He’s in love with Yoongi.
“I’m in love with Yoongi,” he says breathlessly, before clamping his mouth shut, eyes darting up towards where he’s sat across the room. He’s unmoving, his eyes closed and his head tilted back against the armchair.
“Took you long enough,” Taehyung says, coming around the couch with a glass of water. Namjoon grateful takes it, throwing back a large gulp. Taehyung descends back into his spot next to him. “I think everyone knew except for you.”
“Jesus Christ,” Namjoon mutters, downing the cookie next. “Taehyung, I’m in love with Yoongi.”
Taehyung laughs quietly, watching with Namjoon as Yoongi stretches off the couch. Hoseok claps loudly, and announces that it’s about time the start opening gifts. The clock reads almost an hour left till midnight. Seokjin suggests they hang up mistletoe for unlucky victims to stumble beneath when the clock strikes midnight, and Jungkook shuts him down by laughing, New Year’s Day is in a week, hyung, that can wait .
Taehyung grips onto Namjoon’s hands as he drags the both of them off the couch to join the rest. Namjoon thinks he should be scared. He’s waiting for the love to hurt. He sits across from Yoongi and tries not to be aware of how happy he is, how warm he feels, how desperately he wants and wants and wants. He wonders if he should be scared, but then he thinks, when Yoongi looks back at him and smiles again, with a bit of the moon in his eyes, he thinks maybe there’s also a morsel of a chance that Yoongi might just love him back.
The party ends the way it began, with loud, kiss ridden and hug filled goodbyes. Hoseok and Taehyung were the most dramatic about it, wiping tears that could be just as real as they could be fake, wailing about how lovely the night was, and how much they miss everyone already. Jimin demands a group hug before they all disperse, and something warm and tight fills Namjoon up to the brim.
“Go get ‘em, tiger,” Taehyung whispers in Namjoon’s ear, pulling away with a kind grin. It’s when Namjoon realizes he hasn’t prepared for this part. His puzzle is complete, in a sense, but Yoongi doesn’t know that. Namjoon forgot that Yoongi doesn't know that. Namjoon suddenly isn't sure whether he wants Yoongi to find out.
But Taehyung squeezes his hand reassuringly, as if he had read Namjoon’s every thought as it painted itself across his face, and slipped out of the front door with the promise to call and text. The apartment is empty, now, save for Yoongi standing beside him, and the small mess their friends left behind. This feeling is an odd one, Namjoon thinks and has thought before. The way home feels whenever they have friends over and when they leave, like they all have taken a tiny piece of it back with them.
Yoongi claps once, breaking Namjoon out of his thoughts. “Well,” he announces, patting Namjoon on the shoulder, before turning away. “Guess it’s clean up time.”
“Yeah,” Namjoon mutters, but his feet stay rooted. It's now or never. Is it now or never? He can tell him tomorrow. Or the next day. Or maybe— maybe he can just be content loving Yoongi like this, just knowing he loves Yoongi— maybe he can be content like this. Maybe this can be enough. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe—
“I’ve been thinking,” he blurts out, whirling around, cause he’s never been good at keeping secrets, especially when he’s keeping them from Yoongi. Yoongi stops, turning to face him. His brows are creased in concern, but he smiles fondly amidst it. “You do that a lot,” Yoongi agrees.
“I’ve been thinking,” he plows on, shutting his brain off, swallowing the odd lump in his throat, letting his heart take the reigns. “Well, actually, I don’t think I have been. Thinking, that is. Or maybe I’ve been thinking too much, or the wrong way, and it’s distracted me from what I actually should have been thinking about, and—“
“Namjoonie,” Yoongi laughs lowly, taking Namjoon’s fisted hands into his. They loosen instantly, and Yoongi works slowly to unravel them the rest of the way. “Slow down a little, yeah?”
Namjoon nods, and breathes deep, clutching hard onto Yoongi’s hand. Yoongi has always his buoy in a sorts. He doesn’t keep him afloat, because Namjoon navigates that battle on his own, but exists with the promise of just being there. It’s more than enough. He doesn’t think he could ever want more.
So he breathes. And looks at Yoongi. Really looks at Yoongi.
“We’ve been living together for nine years, one month and twelve days,” he says factually. Yoongi looks a little surprised.
“You keep track of that stuff?”
Namjoon‘s chin dips in a nod. “Of course I do.”
Yoongi’s face contorts a little, but Namjoon continues before he loses the spark, “And I realized today that I want that number to go on forever. I don’t ever want it to stop. I never want to stop helping you be as happy as you were tonight.”
Yoongi has gone still. Namjoon thinks he should be scared, but his heart pulses calmly in his chest.
“I love you, hyung,” he says.
There. There, he did it, it’s out there, he did it, he did it, he did it, but then he thinks maybe he wasn’t clear enough, so he barrels on, “Not in a best friends way. Or even a roommates way.” His grip on Yoongi’s hand tightens a bit, trying to deliver his sincerity. “I love you. Really love you. I think I have for a very long time.”
Yoongi’s mouth opens and closes. He blinks a little, and then suddenly his eyes are glossy, and Namjoon’s heart skids dangerously. Ah, he finally thinks. So this is fear.
“Hyung,” he starts. Yoongi brings up his arm to wipe at his tears before they fall, and Namjoon realizes Yoongi hasn’t let go of his hands yet, and his head start to swim a bit, why is Yoongi crying?
“I love you, too,” Yoongi rasps, and Namjoon feels like he’s been plunged underwater and then saved from it, as Yoongi swallows, then clears his throat. “I love you, Namjoon. Fuck, I—“ he laughs, slumping forward, and Namjoon instantly steps closer, let’s him lean his forehead on his shoulder.
“Why are you laughing,” Namjoon croaks, before snorting a little too. Yoongi starts to laugh again, quietly. His shoulders are shaking a bit. Namjoon isn’t sure if he’s still laughing anymore, but he doesn’t step back to check.
“I’ve been,” Yoongi starts, breathing in, breathing out. “I’ve been trying to love you quietly. Trying to move on.”
“Please don’t move on,” Namjoon whispers. Yoongi steps back, wiping at his face again. Namjoon cups his cheek in his hands, catching the last tear before it touches his cheek. Yoongi smiles gratefully, eyes shining again. Namjoon isn’t drowning, not with Yoongi looking at him like that. He thinks he could take on a wave any size in this moment, feels like he could close the distance and kiss away every moment he’s let Yoongi sink.
“Your hands are sweating,” Yoongi chuckles. Namjoon blinks, then protests, “Because I’m nervous , hyung.”
Yoongi laughs a little harder, gripping Namjoon’s hands tighter. Just tight enough that Namjoon knows he doesn’t plan on letting go. “Oh? I make you nervous?”
Namjoon rolls his eyes, but he’s cracking up, cracking open, wider and wider from the inside out. ”In your dreams. Just look at the mess we have to clean tonight. It’s catastrophic, even my legs are shaking, look.”
Yoongi thwaps at his arm, sniffling in once more. Namjoon smiles fondly, tipping forward, pressing a ghost of a kiss against his teary cheek. “You sap,” he murmurs. “I’m the one who confessed, why are you crying?”
Yoongi grumbles, “I’m not crying,” and then, “You missed.”
“I missed?” Namjoon blinks in confusion. Yoongi taps his bottom lip expectantly. “Oh. Oh .”
Yoongi flushes as Namjoon grins, pursing his bottom lip exaggeratedly. “Well don’t make a big fuss about it or whatever. Just do it.”
“Do what?” Namjoon teases, already leaning in closer. Yoongi glares hard at him, and then pushes forward himself, pressing something soft and sweet against his mouth, and Namjoon thinks he could die right here, in this moment, and be content.
So this is love , Namjoon thinks, wrapping his arms around Yoongi tight.
The mess doesn’t take as long to clean as Namjoon thought it would. Not when he feels as weightless as he does. He spends a decent amount of time cleaning up and the majority of it kissing Yoongi, (“I’ve got to make up for lost time!”), and Namjoon insists that Yoongi takes a shower first so that he can surprise him with a cup of hot chocolate when he emerges, just to see his face smooth out with surprise.
“I was just drinking eggnog an hour ago,” Yoongi says while taking the drink. He brings the mug up to his face, closes his eyes, soaks in the warmth. “This aftertaste will be awful.”
“Yet you’re gonna drink it anyway,” Namjoon says. Yoongi sniffs. “It’d be a waste of money,” he says, tipping it back.
He shows up at Namjoon’s door while Namjoon is toweling his own hair dry, carrying a blanket, Namjoon’s sweater and a smile.
“My room’s a little cold tonight,” he says sheepishly, and Namjoon rolls his eyes, patting the bed beside him. Yoongi doesn’t waste a moment, making himself at home.
Namjoon thinks this should take some time to get used to, being able to wrap himself around Yoongi’s frame, being able to kiss his neck just to hear the way his breath catches in his throat a little, the way he grumbles and complains as Namjoon giggles into his hair. He thinks it should take some getting used to, but nothing has ever felt so right before. It felt, almost, as if he had had Yoongi like this forever.
“What do you want to do for Christmas tomorrow?” Namjoon asks into the dark. He thought of asking if Yoongi was awake first, but he felt he already knew the answer.
Yoongi hums, confirming his assumption. “Thought you hated Christmas?”
“Well, it gave me you,” Namjoon says, “So maybe not so much anymore.”
Yoongi breathes out a chuckle. “Romantic.”
“So,” Namjoon prompts, poking him on the arm. “What do you want to do?”
There's a pause, where Yoongi thinks for a moment. “Dress warmly,” He hums. “Hold your hand, drink your coffee.”
“You can do those things any day, though.”
“And,” Yoongi says, cause Namjoon’s chest couldn’t squeeze any tighter today. “I want to do them tomorrow, too.”
Namjoon smiles into his neck, You’re a loser, I love you, hyung, I love you,
and wonders how the world would be if everything came as easily as loving him.