Once upon a time in a family group chat:
“Now just hear me out, what if… you just drove to Scotland and got married at Gretna Green, we could avoid all this…”
This last comment had earned Namjoon a clip around the ear from his mother and a unanimous NO in caps lock from the rest of the family.
"I was just trying to look at it logically,” he’d grumbled into his rhubarb crumble. Yoongi, who was sitting next to him at the table that Sunday, had elbowed him in disapproval.
“We can go to Gretna if you want.” he’d mumbled. “But that’s not Jungkookie’s style.”
Namjoon had almost finished his whole bowl and was eyeing up the jug of custard before those words sunk in. He dropped his spoon with a clang and looked at his boyfriend of almost 10 years.
“You want to?” he whispered?
Yoongi nodded once and kept his eyes on his dish. Joonie reached his hand across and squeezed Yoongi’s thigh. He had shorts on as it was so warm, and Namjoon’s long fingers skirted the hem of the leg to stroke the soft pale skin.
“Ok. Let me.. I’ll. Look that up. Yeah.”
Namjoon had indeed gone away and looked that up.
The next day, in his lunch break, Namjoon had stayed in his little office and googled Gretna Green as he ate his sandwiches.
There were several deals in different hotels and the classic Blacksmiths in the town. It was pretty popular, and looked like they would have to book in advance though.
- (AUTHORS NOTE: Legally you have to give 29 days notice to the registrar, unlike the old days where you could just turn up. However, for the sake of poetic license, in my story, you can still go with short notice)
“So much for running away to Scotland.” he rumbled as he clicked on a link for more information.
There were packages for small parties and whole wedding parties. That definitely wasn’t what they wanted. But then, hang on…
He clicked on a small icon and found a package for just two people. They could travel up, get married, have one night stay in a hotel and come back the next day. The wedding would be witnessed by the staff.
He found a phone number and decided to go for it.
“Hello? I’m calling to inquire what the soonest date you have available for me and my partner to get married. Just the two of us, no wedding party.”
After a 30 minute conversation with a very nice calm Scottish lady, Namjoon ended the call, sat back in his office chair and took some deep breaths.
“Ok, ok, ok. We are really doing this.”
His email inbox pinged with incoming mail. There was the confirmation from the hotel in Gretna, with receipt for the booking he’d made, attached forms for him and Yoongi to complete and submit to the registrar in the next two days and information on trains and other requirements.
After the sweaty glaze had cleared from his eyeballs, he picked up his mobile phone and speed dialled the number one starred contact.
“Hey.” came the deep voice. “OK?”
“Hey Yoon, I may have done a thing… Do you think you can book off Wednesday and Thursday next week?”
“So you know you said you would run away to get married?”
Namjoon let out a little nervous laugh. He heard Yoongi snort softly on the other end of the call.
“I wondered if you’d come with me to Gretna Green on Wednesday?”
“Namjoon, are you proposing to me over the phone in your lunch break?”
“Looks like it.”
“Ok, I will come with you to Gretna Green on Wednesday.”
“You thought I’d say no?”
There was some sniffing,
“I love you.” Namjoon took his glasses off as they started to steam up.
“I know you do. That’s why I’m coming with you.” Yoongi shifted the phone from one ear to the other so he could change tabs on his laptop to the google calendar where he could view not only his own appointments but those of his
“Joonie, have you booked next Wednesday and Thursday off yet?”
There was a gasp.
“Oh, no, I wanted to call you first. Oh shit.”
It will be fine.”
Yoongi had such a soothing tone, whenever Namjoon’s brain ran away with him, frantically hurtling ideas and problems at him, Yoongi was able to anchor him. His calm assured certainty that Namjoon could do anything he put his mind to, actually helped him to do just that. Once he was sure that there was no attack of nerves happening, he said goodbye, urging Namjoon to go see his father.
Sejin was a partner at the law firm where Namjoon was now a Legal assistant. He had got his music degree and then left University without a solid plan other than wanting to make enough money so that he could support Yoongi in his fledgling producing career at a new studio. Sejin had suggested that he come work at the firm, get an income and consider doing some inhouse training on Media Law. That way he could work with the music industry from another angle if he liked it and if not, then at least he’d have some good foundations on protecting his and Yoongi’s interests if he chose to go back to making music in the future.
Sejin was a very sensible man and he always made time for his sons.
Namjoon knocked at his door.
“Joonie, come in. Do you want some cake? Your mum packed me extra slices.”
“Oh nice! Yes please. Thank you.”
He sat down and took the proffered cake. He had shoved most of it in his mouth and was happily chomping when he remembered why he’d come and promptly choked on a raisin.
After some splutters and dramatic coughing into the tissue thrust into his face by his father, he sat back and in true Namjoon fashion blurted it out.
“Please can I take next week off, it’s important.”
“Everything ok?” Sejin raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, it’s all great, but I can’t tell you why. I just really need the time”
“Ok. That's fine, just let me know if you need help ok?”
“I will. Thank you Appa.”
On Saturday, they went ring shopping. There wasn’t time to have special ones made or sent away for sizing, so they chose plain gold bands that were available in the right sizes.
“We can save up for personal ones.” Namjoon suggested. Yoongi tangled their fingers together and squeezed his hand gently.
“I don’t mind, I just want to be married. All the rest is decoration.”
On Sunday, they went to buy outfits. They visited shop after shop, looking at traditional formal wedding attire, everyday suits, smart casual slacks, fancy shirts.
“None of this feels right.” Namjoon huffed in frustration. They were sitting in the food court at the centre of the shopping mall, picking over a bucket of fried chicken.
“Why do we need to be dressed up?” Yoongi mused.
“Because it’s our wedding!”
“But consider this.” Yoongi took a sip of iced coffee and then sat back, slinging an arm across the back of Namjoon’s chair.
“We are deliberately going to Gretna Green to avoid having a fuss, no big wedding full of people, no worrying about food or venues or guest lists. Just you and me and the Blacksmith.”
“You know it’s not actually a blacksmith anymore. That was just in the Regency period when..”
“Joonie, baby. What I’m trying to say is that this wedding is going to be precisely what we need it to be. And if you want to get married wearing that linen shirt with the top four buttons undone and those stone washed jeans that make your legs look amazing, then you should.”
“That was very specific.”
“So sue me. I like your legs. None of this is a secret.”
“So maybe you could wear your black skinny jeans and your V neck cotton shirt and the diamond choker?”
“If that’s what you want, that’s what I’ll wear.”
“Ok. Yes please.”
“Shall we go home now?”
“Can we get another bucket of chicken to take back?”
“Whatever you want baby.”
On Monday, Yoongi had to go into the studio, so Namjoon took their chosen outfits to the dry cleaner and spent the afternoon feverishly writing down the words of love that were tumbling around in his mind.
As a little boy he had always been precociously intelligent, fascinated with maths, physics and the very tangible, logical things of life. But meeting Yoongi had awakened a part of his brain and heart that suddenly relished in the intangible. The beauty of feelings, the magnificence of how love could transform the ordinary into something so breathtaking you had to stop and take a moment to catch your breath.
He sat in the little park nearby their flat, scribbling into his old battered notebook. The pages were already half filled with hundreds of the abstract thoughts and verses that constantly permeated his thoughts.
As he wrote, his mind sifted through memories of their life together, from meeting at high school and becoming friends by default of being the only two Korean boys in a school full of English, Pakistani, Indian, Caribbean and Eastern European students.
They discovered a shared love for music, especially hip hop, and soon became closer than brothers.
Namjoon knew what brotherly love was, he had four of them. So realising when he was 16 that what he felt for Yoongi bore little resemblance to the feelings he had for his brothers, or any of his friends, was like an epiphany. Where he felt affection and had fun with the others, with Yoongi there was fierce loyalty and this inexplicable craving to be near him all of the time.
When Yoongi struggled at home with the burden of expectations from his very conservative family, he found a safe haven at the Kim house. Namjoon rejoiced that he had his friend, his person so close and that he actually seemed to want to be there all the time.
They made plans that always seemed to include each other, even if unconsciously made. By the time they started university, in the same music production degree and in rooms on the same floor at the halls of residence, they finally acknowledged to each other what they had been keeping secret in their hearts.
It had started innocently enough, falling asleep in Namjoon’s room, on his single bed, while watching a movie on his laptop. They’d eaten their body weight in lamb kofte and both dozed off before the final credits rolled. Namjoon had woken with a start sometime around 3am, fully clothed, laying on top of his bed with Yoongi curled up at his side clinging to him, fast asleep.
The moonlight came through the window and shone on Yoongi’s face, making his pale cheeks gleam silvery white against the stark blackness of his hair. Namjoon had looked at him silently for what felt like hours, feeling the soft puffs of breath against his chest. He lifted his hand without thinking and gently traced the shape of his sharp cheekbones, down to his slightly parted lips. He must have tickled the sleeping boy, and suddenly Yoongi’s black eyes were open and looking up at him.
“Hey.” His voice, usually deep, was like gravel when just waking. The sound made Namjoon feel a frisson of pleasure.
“Sorry if I woke you.” he whispered back, not wanting to break whatever spell they were under. But Yoongi had just reached up, placing his hand on Namjoon’s cheek and pulled him closer, brushing their lips together.
Leaning back, Yoongi’s face had softened into an affection grin as he stared at a very stunned boy looking back at him.
“Joonie” he’d murmured, “You should breathe.” He’d gently stroked his face with his thumb and pulled him down again for another kiss. This time Namjoon’s brain recovered from it’s momentary lapse and he responded in kind.
There had been some sleepy kisses and murmurs that soon gave way to sleep. In the morning, Namjoon had woken, afraid that he’d made a terrible mistake. Not for kissing the boy he now was certain that he was completely in love with, but that by doing so, he would have ruined their friendship.
Yoongi had woken, yawned widely, and opened his eyes to see Namjoon standing over him. He sensed the awkward silence emanating from his best friend and regarded his face with sleepy eyes for a long moment.
“Are we ok?” Namjoon had said, so quietly that Yoongi almost missed it. By this time, four years into their friendship, Yoongi knew how to read every expression and unspoken feeling of Namjoon’s. It came as easily as reading his own mind. So now, he hummed, the sound reverberating deep in his chest and grabbed Namjoon’s wrist to pull him back down onto the bed next to him.
“I kissed you first, didn’t I?” And then kissed him again.
After that, Namjoon had been fairly certain that his feelings were reciprocated and their sleepy kisses progressed to a regular schedule of getting food to eat in one of their rooms together and some lazy making out.
“We’ve been not watching a lot of movies lately.” Yoongi had quipped as the ending credits of some random thing on Netflix moved up the screen behind him. He sat across Namjoon’s lap, hands braced against his chest as Namjoon fed him fries dipped in ketchup between kisses.
“I only ever want to watch you.” Namjoon had said with painful honesty. “I think I… I think.” he’d blushed and shoved four fries into his mouth.
“I think.” Yoongi said carefully, “That you should ask me to be your boyfriend.” Namjoon had choked on the fries.
“Why can’t you ask me?” he’d said, wiping tears away, and managing to get ketchup on his cheek. Yoongi had wiped the sauce with his finger and licked it off with a pop.
“Because I kissed you first, so you have to ask me out first.”
“Says me.” Yoongi had sat back onto his heels and crossed his arms, cocking his head and winking at Namjoon.
“This is blackmail, or extortion or something.” Namjoon had grumbled. Yoongi had snorted,
“This is none of those things, and your dad is a lawyer, honestly…”
“Fine. Yoongi, will you be my boyfriend?”
“Please be my boyfriend.”
“Yeah, cool, ok. Come on, let’s go eat to celebrate.” he jumped off his lap and waddled to the door leaving his now boyfriend gaping at him.
“So romantic.” Namjoon had laughed and got up to follow his heart.
The sun had almost set by the time Namjoon looked up from his notebook and checked the time. It was cold and he was hungry. He put everything back into his satchel and hurried back to the flat, via the chip shop for a quick and easy supper.
He could hear the shower running as he let himself in and went to the kitchen to get plates for the food. He was sharing out the steaming pile of salty vinegary chips when two pale damp arms circled his waist and he felt the steamy heat of a freshly showered and still quite wet body pressed against his back.
“Why would you do that?” he whined, feeling the dampness seeping through the back of his t-shirt.
“I was thinking about how much I wanted to hug you in the shower, and then I came out and saw you standing there, all defenceless.” He felt Yoongi press a kiss to his nape and some cold drips fell from his hair down his collar.
“You’re lucky you are cute.” He grumbled half heartedly. “I’m going to change quickly. I got a piece of fish for you, don’t steal my sausage.”
“No fair, you know I love your sausage..” he heard Yoongi laughing as he disappeared into the bedroom to put on his pyjamas.
“You’ve been hanging round with Jin too much!” he yelled back. “That joke was terrible.”
“Who said I’m joking?” Yoongi said innocently and took a bite out of Namjoon’s extra large sausage.
Namjoon didn’t like seafood. He liked to keep sea creatures alive, not eat them, so on the occasion they would go to a Fish and Chip shop, he would avoid the fish.
Yoongi loved the fish. He loved the crisp batter and the tender white flakes of cod, however, he also liked sausages.
Ultimately, the thing that Namjoon liked the most was Yoongi, so more often than not, he would let Yoongi eat half his sausage and end up eating some of Yoongi’s chips instead. It was a well practiced arrangement that they had perfected over the years. However, Namjoon never stopped trying to get Yoongi not to eat his sausage and Yoongi never gave up such a ripe opportunity for terrible jokes and getting a bite of said sausages.
On Tuesday, Namjoon woke up to a text from his mother inviting them over for dinner on Wednesday. He spent an agonising half hour typing, deleting, retyping excuses for why they couldn’t go when eventually Yoongi swiped the phone from his hands, typed about three words and dropped the phone on the floor, out of Namjoon’s reach.
He reached over Yoongi trying to grab the phone, but it had slid under the bed and Yoongi was very firmly not getting out of the way.
“What did you say?”
“I said you were taking me out on a date so we couldn’t go.”
“Oh my god, what if she gets suspicious?”
“I know it’s highly unusual that you would be brave enough to ask me out on a date, but she’ll just assume that I told you to, so it’s ok.”
Yoongi ducked the incoming pillow and buried his face in the broad chest next to him. He wrapped his arms around Namjoon’s waist and clung on like a koala hugging a tree.
“My Namu” he mumbled into his neck. Namu gave up fighting and allowed himself to be hugged.
Later on, Yoongi left to wrap things up in the studio before his few days off, leaving Namjoon with a kiss and a “very important list of things you must not forget to do.”
- Collect clothes from dry cleaners.
- Pack overnight bags with:
- clean clothes.
- pairs of socks each, underwear, clean t-shirts for the next day.
- Polaroid camera and spare film
- Phone chargers
- Your passport and my driving license.
- The rings
- Make yourself a decent lunch
- Finish writing your vows
- Meet me at 6 at the studio.
Namjoon worked his way through the list, leaving at 11 to walk into town to collect the clothes and get himself a large portion of noodles with salt and pepper pork from the kiosk in the shopping centre.
When he got back to the flat, he sat at their little dining table with the food and his notebook and ate with the starvation of a desperate man.
He’d underlined a handful of the lines he had written in his notebook over the last few days, but nothing was coming together coherently yet. It was now mid afternoon and he still had to pack their overnight bag with the rest of the things on the list, so he laid the notebook face down and abandoned it for their shared sock drawer.
After texting 4 times and getting no reply between 5.30 and 6.15, Yoongi suspected his gentle giant had conked out and headed home instead of waiting any longer. He found him face down on the bed fast asleep, clutching one of Yoongi’s shirts to his chest.
Namjoon woke to the smell of food and shuffling sounds just out of his field of vision. Without his glasses, he could tell that it was now dark outside and the low lamp was on. He felt about blindly for them and knocked his phone on the floor in the process.
“Here.” the glasses were put into his hands and once on, he sat up to see Yoongi zipping up a black leather overnight bag.
“Oh I was going to..”
“It’s fine. You did all of the hard work, love, I just finished it off.” Yoongi smiled at him affectionately. “Come on, let’s eat.”
The alarm went off at 4.30am. Usually they only saw this time of day when they worked all nighters on music, this was the first time either of them had voluntarily got up this early. They had booked a taxi and were on the train by 6. The journey to Scotland would take about 6 hours.
Somewhere on the way, between the Home Counties and the Midlands, they both fell back to sleep.
They arrived at the hotel just after 1pm and were shown to their room, where they ordered room service for lunch. The ceremony would be at 5pm, followed by their dinner for two, so they had just a few hours to get ready and try not to freak out.
Yoongi decided to have a long hot bath after lunch, leaving Namjoon to go over his vows for the 784th time.
Yoongi had just submerged into the deep neroli scented bubbles when there was a shy knock at the door.
“Yooni?” the door opened and there was his beautiful, tall, dimpled fiance, looking wide eyed and scared.
“What's the matter?”
“It’s my vows. I can’t get them right and it’s too late and..” he broke off and rubbed his face in frustration.
Yoongi reached out a wet hand and beckoned him over. Namjoon shuffled over and sat on the bathmat, holding Yoongi's hand to his cheek.
“Baby, it’s ok. Stop worrying. You don’t have to write an essay or spout profound words of poetry. I know you love me with every look and touch and kiss.”
Namjoon kissed his palm and sighed.
“Take your clothes off.”
“Get in the bath with me and relax. We have an hour before we need to get dressed and go down. Come sit here behind me, scrub my back and forget about your vows for a minute.”
Namjoon got up, stripped off and stepped in behind his love.
“Good job you are tiny.”
“Big enough to take you on sunshine. Now scrub.”
One hour and 15 minutes later, they stood hand in hand at the entrance to the pretty conservatory at the back of the hotel that overlooked the gardens, and hills beyond. The wedding coordinator was giving them a last few instructions, checking off her list and then taking Yoongi’s phone, so she could record the ceremony for them. Another member of hotel staff, Tom, was going to take photos, as that was included in the package.
“OK you two.” Helen, the coordinator took their clasped hands between her own and squeezed with encouragement.
“Tom and I are the witnesses. Do you want one of us to hand you your rings, or are you good to hold onto them yourselves?”
They both patted their shirt pockets reflexively to check they had them.
“We can keep them,” Yoongi looked at Namjoon for his agreement. He nodded back.
“Thank you so much for filming it, my mum will be less likely to kill me if I can show her the video.” Namjoon laughed nervously.
“She doesn’t know you are here?” Helen asked, wide eyed.
“Nope. Ha. We don’t really like fuss, so this is just for us.”
Helen nodded in understanding.
“Well then. I am honoured to be part of your day. Are you ready?” she looked over to Tom and the registrar who both gave her the thumbs up.
Tom started the music, a soft melody that Namjoon had composed at university for their first anniversary. Yoongi had cried when he first listened to it back then, it had become their song, the anthem of their special love.
A few months ago Namjoon had dug out the original recording, looked up one of his friends from his old class who played cello and they’d recorded it again. Namjoon had intended to give it to Yoongi for their 10 years together, but then he’d booked this last minute wedding and it was perfect.
As he processed the first few bars, Yoongi looked up at Namjoon with teary eyes.
“I can’t believe you.” he wiped at his eyes, “Making me cry before we even start.”
They walked hand in hand through the opened french doors to the waiting registrar.
She ran through the legal preliminaries and then invited them to say their vows.
Yoongi went first. He held Namjoon’s hands carefully in his own.
“Namjoon ah. I feel like I’ve known you all my life, at least, I wasn’t living before then, just existing. You were my closest friend at school, my safe place when my house was no longer my home. You became my family when my own rejected me.
I can’t imagine a future that you aren’t a part of, I want to share every adventure and moment with you.
Getting married is only making official that which my heart already knows, that I love you and want to be with you for the rest of my life. ”
Namjoon sniffed and his sight went all blurry with the tears. A tissue appeared at his elbow and he took it gratefully from the photographer. He dabbed his tears, cleared his throat and took a deep breath. He never had written down anything, so now he just looked at the love of his life and let his heart speak its truth.
“Yoongi. I grew up in a house full of noise and love. Yet even when I was full with that life, meeting you completed that last part of me I didn’t know was empty. In the noise where sometimes I fade to the background, your peace shines bright on me.
When I am exhausted from the brightness, your comfort refreshes me.
The world outside is a desert, my family is the oasis, but you, you are the cool deep well, full of love and support and life that never runs out, no matter how much I drink from you.
I love you.”
They gripped tight onto each other’s hands, Yoongi trying hard to stop the tears that brimmed in his eyes from tumbling down his cheeks. Namjoon raised one hand and thumbed them away gently.
The registrar took them through the legal vows, and then asked for the rings.
“With this ring, I thee wed.”
They repeated the words and slipped the golden bands on each other’s hands. They grinned at each other as the registrar concluded.
“With the power vested in me, I now pronounce you Husbands. You may now kiss your spouse.”
And they did.
After signing the register, having photos with the registrar and also with Helen and Tom, they thanked the three for their service and headed to the restaurant. They were shown to a secluded table for two in the most beautiful corner of the hotel. It was an orangery and there were espaliered trees growing up the walls, creeping vines along the rafters and the night sky showing through the glass panes of the ceiling. They were surrounded by gently twinkling fairy lights and had storm lanterns with real candles on their table.
They sat on a softly upholstered couch, sided by side at their table and were served by a very affectionate and friendly older lady called Jean, who turned out to be the one that had spoken to Namjoon when he originally called the week before.
She congratulated them and served them champagne as she explained the dinner to follow.
“Mr Kim explained that your family would probably do something special with Korean food for you at home, so requested this dinner to be very typical of Gretna. We have two choices for each course, so he chose one of each so you can share everything.”
“I married a wise man.” Yoongi grinned. The courses were brought out with a matching wine for each meal.
By the time they were served desert, they were comfortably full and ready to retire to their room.
Jean bid them a good night and best wishes for their future together and they left hand in hand.
Namjoon and Yoongi. Yoongi and Namjoon. They had been together for a decade and friends even before that. Sleeping in the same bed was nothing new to them, but this night, as they locked the door and turned out the lights, it felt exciting and wonderful. Something new had blossomed, they’d turned a page in their book of life, on their own terms and were starting this new chapter together.
As they lay facing each other, both knew without a doubt that they would never let the other go.
On the train the next morning, Namjoon gathered his husband up under his arm and kissed him on the temple.
“Mhm?” Yoongi was still sleepy.
“You know how my family is now legally and officially your family?”
“Mhm?” Yoongi sounded less sleepy now and more suspicious.
“Can you tell them we got married?”
He squeaked as his nipple was very firmly pinched.
“Let's tell them together while we are on the train and no one can kill us for at least 6 hours.”
Operation Taekook Wedding
How upset on a scale of Dad in general (0), to Mum finding out you broke one of Grandma’s plates (99), would you be if me and Yoon just accidentally got married on Wednesday?
Asking for a friend.
WHAT THE DUCK?
WHY IS EVERYONE HIDING VITAL INFORMATION?
FIRST OF ALL, what do you mean you broke one of my plates?
Why is your dad the measure of calm? I’m calm? I can be calm?
Soooo, as you were saying….
Me personally? Like a Dad to maybe a Tae (-0.5) level of unbothered. Why?
Did you mean next Wednesday or last Wednesday?
My man, asking the important questions.
OH MY GOD THE SUSPENSE
@Tilly can you disable the caps lock on Jimin’s phone please?
Yoongi. My precious son in law.
Erm, the one just gone.
We got the train.
Put a ring on it.
Taehyung changed the group name to
I can’t believe Namjoon beat me down the aisle
Kookie changed the group name to
My wedding DJs got married before I did...