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yoonjin time travel au

On his 55th birthday, Kim Seokjin, also known in his neighborhood as “insufferable old Kim”, makes a wish to feel genuine happiness. The next day he wakes up 22 years old again and on the day he first meets his ex-boyfriend, Min Yoongi.

#YJweek18 #day1
to anyone who might read, qt only & don't reply so thread doesn't break cuz this is a looong au and my first uwu
there is some swearing just a heads up and this is angst w a happy ending so im sorry in advance
also this is lowkey inspired by Miss Granny (ph ver). haven’t watched the film but there’s a song on the OST that just FITS and i cry

here's the song:
Profiles of Kim Seokjin (55) and Min Yoongi (54)
Profiles of Kim Namjoon (53) and Kim Taehyung (52)
Profiles of Jung Hoseok (53), Park Jimin (52), and Jeon Jungkook (50)
1.
Seokjin knows he’s not everyone’s favorite old person. He’s grumpy, he starts fights, he complains a lot; Basically, he’s not a fun person to be around. But his dishes are inarguably the best in the block, so he can do whatever he wants no matter what anyone thinks.
2.
His younger brother, Namjoon, disagrees.
“It’s my birthday, Joon-ah. Can’t you just drop it? For my special day?”
“Hyung, you twisted Mr. Kang’s arm behind his back and screamed that you won’t let go until he, and I quote,
3.
‘take back the shit you said about my restaurant’s décor, you little bitch’."
"In my defense, he’s always been a little-"
"Don’t finish that statement."
Namjoon rubs at his temples and releases a deep sigh.
"Hyung, you're 55. Aren't you tired of being like this?"
4.
"And what exactly is THIS Namjoon? An embarrassment to the family, a burden?"
"Sad," his youngest brother, Taehyung interjects. "You're sad, hyung. And angry."
"You too, Tae?"
"Hyung, you know we love you," Jimin pouts at him.
"We just want you to be happy," Hoseok adds.
5.
"It's my birthday and everyone's ganging up on me. Of fucking course."
"Hyung," Namjoon starts again. "This isn't you. Despite the reputation you've built for yourself, we know that you're still the same selfless and loving hyung. Why don't you just move on?"
6.
"Move on? You don't think I've tried to move on? You're not the one who had your heart ripped out of your chest and stepped on. I gave him everything I had but he threw it all away for his stupid career. He even had the gall to use the song. The song he said was only for me--
7.
"for us. He used me, Namjoon. Don't I have the right to be angry? Don't I have the right to feel pain?"
"It's been 33 years! Time itself has moved on without you. You're getting angry at a world that had nothing to do with your pain!"
"Well, maybe I want it to feel my pain!
8.
"Maybe I want it to suffer like I did. He got everything he wanted. He's a hotshot CEO now and I'm still just me. Why does he get to be happy when he hurt others to get there?"
Silence falls over the room. Seokjin looks at the face of his family, feeling tears prick his eyes.
9.
He rubs them away before standing up and saying he's going to the bathroom. Closing the door behind him, he falls to the floor and cries like he's never done since Min Yoongi broke up with him. The scars on his heart open up again as he remembers what he wants to forget.
10.
Seokjin and Yoongi met in college through Namjoon. It was during one of Namjoon's underground rap shows and Yoongi was the one who asked to be introduced to Seokjin when he found out they were brothers bec Yoongi had been a fan of Seokjin from videos of him online busking.
11.
They see each other and it was like love at first sight. They start to talk and hit it off like wildfire, finding common interests like music, aversion to cold, and coffee. Their personalities fit each other like puzzle pieces. By the end of the night, they were inseperable.
12.
They start dating and it's every bit a whirlwind romance. Every time they look into each other's eyes, they see galaxies. Every time they kiss, fireworks. Every time spent with each other was like finding forever with a one in a million chance every single time.
13.
With Yoongi, Seokjin learned to let go of his inhibitions. He started taking risks he used to be afraid of. He felt so happy bec with Yoongi he is his happiest and he is sure of that. He could see a future with him. He wanted a future with him and he was sure Yoongi did too.
14.
Or he thought he did.

On the day of his 23rd birthday, he gets a call from Yoongi.
"We need to break up."
"What?"
"I'm leaving."
"Wait--I don't--you're leaving?"
"I got an offer to go to Hong Kong. I took it. My flight is today."
"What? You never told me this. Yoongi-"
15
"I'm sorry."
"No. We can still make it work! We can call and text and videochat and-"
"I'm sorry, hyung. I don't think I can."
"Yoongi, no. You can't do this! Please, Yoongi. I love you."
"Goodbye, hyung. I'm sorry."
Yoongi hangs up and Seokjin's world crashes into pieces.
16.
He didn't celebrate his birthday that day. Instead, he gave the keys back to his almost-landlady saying that something came up and he couldn't move in after all. He doesn't know why but before he leaves, she gives him a tight hug and wishes for him to have a good life.
17.
Seokjin tries to move on from Yoongi. He graduates uni, gets an entry-level job at a small firm, he hangs out w his friends, his co-workers, gets a dog, just trying to live his best life and forgetting him. And all is well until 8 months later and he's out with Taehyung
18.
grocery shopping when the music playing in the mart sings lyrics that he's all too familiar with.
/And you're the reason I'm happier now. My one last hope, my paradise./
He stops in his tracks. Taehyung asks him what's wrong but all he can hear is the song and the unfamiliar
19.
voice singing it.
"Do you know this song, Tae?"
"Hmm? Yeah! It's from a new artist named JK. All-kill on the charts right now. It's popular too cause it's this famous indie pd's first mainstream release; name's Suga I think. You like it?"
"No. I hate it. I hate it so much."
20.
When they get home, the first thing Jin does is search the song. Everything Taehyung said was right and his heart clenches when he sees Yoongi's face on the screen. He looks up the song lyrics and as he reads them, a melody from so long ago plays in his mind and tears fall.
21.
He sees the piano, the bed sheets, and the notes scattered on the desk. He smells the pine of Yoongi's perfume, the citrus of his, and the coffee on the night stand. He hears the early morning traffic and the soft deep voice next to his ear, singing the lyrics in his hand.
22.
"It was the first time he told me he loved me," he breaks down in front of Jimin. "But he never did."
Jimin strokes his hair, "Oh, I'm sure he loves you, hyung."
"How? You don't just tell someone you love them then leave them."
"He loves you, hyung. He loves you."
23.
Seokjin didn't believe it then and he doesn't believe it now. Having cried as much as he silently could, he stands up from the bathroom floor and looks at himself in the mirror. There are crow's feet and bags around his eyes, age spots on his cheeks, and wrinkles everywhere.
24.
Wipng at the tears, he notes that he's not as youthful as he used to be and he's nearing retirement age. Oh how time passed him so quickly but he never realized. He knows he's done a lot over the past 33 years, he opened up his own restaurant, he bought a house,
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he's raised a handful of pets, watched both his brothers get married, helped them raise children of their own, witnessed the neighborhood grow into what is it today, and yet it still feels like nothing much has changed. He's still angry and sad. His heart is still hurting.
26.
No matter what Namjoon thinks, he really does want to get on with his life. He does want to be happy. But he can't. Seeing Min Yoongi happy at his expense, it just makes him--just makes him--
"Miserable."
The word leaves his lips and he almost starts crying again.
27.
He's stuck in a cycle. He knows he is. He knows he wants to be happy. Just genuinely happy.
A knock on the door pulls him from his thoughts.
"Hyung?" It's Jimin. "Are you okay?"
He turns on the faucet and splashes water on his face.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
28.
"Are you sure? 'Cause if you're not we could just g-"
He opens the door and gasps.
"Did you seriously just insinuate leaving me alone ON MY BIRTHDAY?"
"B-b-but we thought you-"
"We haven't even had cake yet! Jimin, you're supposed to be the closest to me out of everyone."
29.
"I--"
Seokjin leaves him for the kitchen where he gets his cake from the fridge and saunters in the dining room where the others are. Namjoon stands up upon seeing him.
"Hyung, I'm sor--"
"Don't apologize, Joonie. It's not a good look for you. And you're right.
30.
From now on, I'm going to try to be a better citizen."
"You--you are?"
"Yep! It's going to be hard changing my ways but I'll try to bully Kang a little less. Isn't that great?"
"Um, well yeah but that's not--"
"Look, Joon, I know I'm closer to death than you all are
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and I'm not getting any farther away from it. So I promise you now that I'll be on my best behavior, okay? Wouldn't want to go to hell and all that jazz."
"Hyung," Taehyung cautioned him.
"I'm fine, everyone really. You don't have to worry about me, okay? I'll try. I'll try."
32.
Something in his tone makes everyone visibly relax a little though Seokjin can tell Taehyung is only partly convinced but he'll take it. He inserts the birthday candles into the cake and lights them up with the match that came with it. They were very pretty candles,
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red and very sparkly.
"I'm going to make a wish now. Everyone better sing, especially you, Junseo."
And everyone does. Seokjin watches the flames dance in front of his eyes before closing them and making his wish: 'I wish to feel genuinely happy again.'
34.
He blows at the candles and opens his eyes to everyone cheering for him. The rest of his small birthday party goes well or as well as it could with a bunch of old men in their 50s and their children in their 20s. The night wraps up and Seokjin is hugging his nieces goodbye.
35.
"What did you wish for, Uncle Jinnie?" Naeun asks him.
"Hmm?"
"Your wish," Daeun clarifies. "On the birthday candles?"
"Oh, well wouldn't both of you want to know?"
"We're curious, Uncle!" they reply in unison.
Jin shakes his head, fond, "Oh, girls, don't you know that saying
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your wish won't make it come true? And I very much want this to come true you know?"
The twins pout at him but laugh with him soon after.
"Whatever you say, Uncle. Take care okay?"
"Yes, yes I will. Oh and tell your papa to loosen up a little. His hair's turning gray."
37.
"Yes, Uncle!"
The girls leave and its just Seokjin alone in his home. He releases a deep sigh before getting ready to go to his bed. He goes along with the motions and before he knows it he's under the covers and falling asleep. The last thought that runs through his head
38.
is his wish. Though he was just humoring his nieces, somewhere deep inside him terribly wants his wish to come true. He wants to forget about Min Yoongi and just cook in his restaurant and live his best life. Maybe meet someone new despite his age. Oh, to be young again.
40.
The morning sun greets him rather harshly and he tries to cover himself with his blanket before his alarm clock suddenly goes off and wait--he doesn't have an alarm clock. He bolts upright into a sitting position and cringes at the pain that he knows will shoot up his back
41.
Except it doesn't come and he's more confused than ever as he takes in his surroundings.
"What the actual-"
He catches sight of his reflection before screaming his head off into oblivion.
He scrambles out of bed to get closer to the mirror when the door slams open,
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Namjoon--A VERY YOUNG NAMJOON--entering in a panic with a vacuum in his hand and swishing it at the room in general.
"WHAT IS IT, HYUNG? WHO DO I HAVE TO MAKE UNCONSCIOUS?"
Seokjin just gapes at him until he stops swinging his "weapon", spotting Seokjin on
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the floor and seeing the otherwise empty room.
"What are you doing on the floor?"
Seokjin screams his head off again before fainting.
He comes to in his bed, a damp cloth on his forehead, and a pack of oranges on the sidetable with a note: "hope you're ok hyung! i notified
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your professors that you're taking the day off. also got you oranges and there's soup in the kitchen. don't worry, it's takeout. text me if you're feeling better & if you still want to go to the show today. love you! -joonie"
Seokjin drops the note and takes a deep breath.
45.
He turns his head slowly to the mirror and clamps his hands over his mouth to keep himself from screaming again. The reflection he is seeing now is nothing like the reflection he saw last night. It's younger, has completely black hair, still handsome as always though.
46.
He rubs at his eyes, pinches himself a couple of times, and even does a couple of burpees to prove that he isn't imagining things and he's actually young again. He laughs at the surreality of it all. But Namjoon is young too, isn't he? He turns to the bedside table where his
47.
phone is and turns the screen on to show the date. He almost drops it when he sees that it's June 4 but June 4, 32* years ago. He tries to steady his breathing bec June 4 is THE day but he's actually in the year it happened and shit he's supposed to meet Yoongi later.
*um hi just interrupting the flow cuz earlier Joon screamed 33 years ago but its actually 32. i miscalculated. i am bad at math orz sorry about that. okay carry on.
48.
He rushes to pick the note Namjoon wrote for him and rereads the second-to-the last sentence. He takes deep breaths and tries to keep his hands from shaking. If he really went back in time, then there has to be a reason right? And all the more that he went back on the day he
49.
first meets Yoongi. And he made a wish to be happy again. Call him crazy, but maybe this is a sign that he can start anew. Maybe this is the chance for him to finally have that happiness.
He rushes to unlock his phone, entering the passcode he's used since forever (honestly
50.
how did he not have any security issues in the last 3 decades) and texts Namjoon that he's fine, thanks for the food and that no, he's not going to the show anymore. He hits send and it's not even a minute when his phone rings showing "Kim no. 2" calling him.
51.
"Hello?"
"Hey, hyung, glad you're doing fine!"
"Uh yeah... me too."
"What happened earlier anyway? Why'd you scream?"
"Oh. Um, had a bad dream. I, uh, thought I didn't graduate?"
"Ooh. That's harsh."
"Yeah."
"Well, if it helps, just know that I think you got this in the bag!"
52.
Seokjin smiles fondly at the phone, seeing his brother in his mind, young again and carefree, grinning at him.
"Thanks, Joonie. Really."
"No worries, hyung! What are brothers for? Anyway, you sure you can't come to the show today? Yoongi-hyung's really looking forward to
53.
finally meeting you."
"NO!" (Oh shit.) "I mean, no I can't come to your show. The nightmare really affected me and I think I should take it slow, tonight."
"Okay? Yeah I think you need to rest too. Sucks though. He really wanted to meet you and I think you'd really like him."
54.
(I'm pretty sure I won't.)
"Yeah, sucks. But health and safety first, ya know? Hahaha speaking of, don't stay out too long. Jimin's gonna be pouty all night if you do."
"Jimin? Why would he be...pouty?"
Oh wait. They aren't together at this time yet.
"Jimin? Did I say Jimin?
55.
I meant me! Jin not Jimin. Jinjin. Jinnie-hyung. I'll be pouty."
"Right. Just get some rest. I'll be back before you know it."
"Okay, bye."
That was too many close calls than his heart could handle but good thing he's young again or he might've actually had a heart attack.
56.
Seeing as this is his second chance at life, Seokjin comes up with a game plan that guarantees he will NOT have a relationhsip with Min Yoongi.
One, he will refuse any and all invitations from Namjoon and/or Hoseok to meet with Yoongi.
Two, he will stay away from all the
57.
places he knows Yoongi hung out in to lessen the chances of meeting him.
And three, on the off-chance that they do meet, he will cut conversations as short as he can and act as cold as possible to make Yoongi not even bother to LOOK at him ever again.
And he only has to do
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this for six months, then he will be free. He will finally be free from Min Yoongi and fuck if he doesn't have his best life then. The source of all his pain and anguish will never have the chance to enter his life and he's going to make sure of that. Just watch him.
Profiles of Kim Seokjin (22 again) and Min Yoongi (22)
Profiles of Kim Namjoon (20) and Kim Taehyung (19)
Profiles of Jung Hoseok (21), Park Jimin (19), and Jeon Jungkook (17)
59.
It's been two weeks since Seokjin went back in time and he's honestly having the time of his life. He's young again and can do the things his older body stopped being able to do a long time ago. He's also around his brothers and Jimin and Hoseok a lot more, something he
60.
didn't realize he missed until they all went out for karaoke last week and just let loose. He wonders why they all stopped spending time like this, like the world was free for them to conquer. Was it their age? The responsibilities? He can't believe he's thinking this but
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he misses them already, Joonie, Tae, Jimin, and Hoseok in the future. He doesn't even know how that makes sense 'cause technically they don't exist yet. Maybe it's just old man wistfulness what does he know? But he'll get there when he'll get there and he'll make sure that
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they all don't stop. That they'll come together once in a while to just talk and hang out, just like the good old times, or the good now times? Eh, tomato, tomahto. But that isn't even the best part. The best part about being young again is knowing the good decisions from
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the bad and he's more than willing to let go of the bad. So far, he's been successful in his goal of avoiding Min Yoongi. There had been a close call when he was going to pick Jimin up from dance class bec they were supposed to go busking after. But Jimin, sweet, sweet
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Jimin (bless his heart) gave him a heads up that Hoseok was thinking about coming too and is planning to invite a certain blonde. Well, unfortunately, flight KSJ bound to genuine happiness has already taken off and all passengers who missed their flight can suck it.
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He tells Jimin that he'll take a rain check 'cause something came up and spends the rest of the night locked in his room, pretending he isn't playing video games so Namjoon doesn't go suspicious. Though he does feel a little bad about leaving Jimin which is why now, on a
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Sunday night, he's setting up the mics and the speakers, tuning his guitar while Jimin is next to him doing vocal warm ups. Taehyung fiddles with his camera a little off to the side, setting it up at the perfect angle. Jimin turns to him.
"Thanks for not backing out on me
67.
this time, hyung."
"You know I'd never back out on you, Jimin-ah. Something really did come up last week!"
"Mmm-hmm and if that something hadn't been invited, you'd come running faster than the speed of light."
"I regret telling you things sometimes."
"Aww, hyung, I'm just
68.
teasing! But seriously, Yoon--"
"Stop trying to change my mind."
"Well, if you'd just tell me WHY you don't want to meet him--"
"It's--"
"Complicated. You told me a thousand times already. But seriously he's not half bad. Joonie-hyung's right and I think you'll like him too."
69.
"I know what's good for me, Jimin-ah, and he's not it."
"Not even just one chance?"
"Nope."
"Not even a short introduction?"
"Never."
"Yo!" Taehyung calls their attention. "Camera's locked and loaded, am ready whenever you guys are."
Jimin and Seokjin turn to each other and
70.
stand in front of their mics.
"Do you want to stick with the setlist or...?"
"Whatever you want to do, hyung. I'll follow your guitar."

The night ends soon enough and Seokjin can hear his heartbeat in his ears. He hasn't busked in years and it's a lot more fun than he
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remembers it to be. The applause of the crowd, requests from some less timid souls in the audience. Hearing Jimin sing again, hearing HIMSELF sing again, seeing Taehyung smile from behind the camera, and just letting the music take over his soul, it's almost healing in a way.
72.
He hated music when he got older, he WANTED to hate music because music was what made Yoongi leave him. But now, he realizes maybe he shouldn't have equated music to pain. Music is a sweet release, a comforting hug, an old friend he's pushed away all those years ago, it was--
73.
"Yoongi-hyung! Hi!"
Oh no.
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no.
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no!!!! And he was doing so well too, fuuuuu--
"Jin-hyung!"
"Yeah, Jimin?"
"There's someone here who wants to meet you! Hyung, this is--"
A deep voice talks to him, "Hi, I'm Yoongi."
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Seokjin doesn't want to turn around. He really, REALLY doesn't want to turn around. He looks out in front of him trying to see if there's a path he can escape through in the crowd but it's too dense 'cause there's so many people. (CURSE YOU, NIGHT LIFE IN HONGDAE!)
75.
'It's ok, Seokjin,' he thinks to himself. 'You're fine, you're fine. You still have point number 3 in the game plan. Just roll with it and make Min Yoongi hate you, okay? Okay.'
He turns around, ready to brandish out insufferable old Kim once again, but he didn't know
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that Yoongi was standing closer than he thought and his heart drops. He's brought back to a couple of weeks ago or what was supposed to have been a couple of weeks ago but now is just a distant memory only he knows about. Yoongi's got the same platinum blonde hair, the same
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black rim glasses, the same mostly-black getup, and the same lopsided smile. The damn smile that made his heart flutter for the first time all those years ago and fuck it why is his heart beating like it's never been broken by the very same man standing before him now?
78.
He hates Yoongi, has hated him for 32 years and yet--
"Are you okay?" the words leave Yoongi's lips and his eyebrows furrow in concern.
"You can't..."
"I'm sorry?"
"No, you're not."
"Um, what?"
"I don't want to see your face ever again."
"Hyung!" Jimin calls after him.
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As Seokjin walks away from the group, he knew he blew it. He couldn't keep his cool around Yoongi. The tears that are forming in his eyes can attest to that. Why does his chest hurt so much? He wants it to stop, he just wants it to stop.

Jimin watches Seokjin's back move
80.
further away from them. He's never seen Seokjin that upset before. Maybe he shouldn't have pushed it.
"I didn't know he was such an ass. I only asked him if he was fine." Yoongi tells him, his eyes also following Seokjin.
Jimin shakes his head. "No. Hyung's never acted like
81.
that before. Usually, he's the friendliest person anywhere."
"Really. What does he have against me then? Why'd he tell me he doesn't want to see me?"
"You've never met each other before right?"
"Nope. It's my first time."
Jimin shrugs. "Then I don't have a single clue."
82.
Seokjin ignores Namjoon's greeting and heads straight to the bathroom. He turns on the shower, doesn't bother taking his clothes off, before stepping under the water and letting his tears flow with it.
"Get a grip, Seokjin. You don't love him. You stopped loving him since
83.
he left you. You don't love him. You don't love him."
But with how every word leaves a bitter taste in his mouth, he knows he's wrong. He does love Yoongi and he's never stopped loving Yoongi. And he hates that fact because he'll always be the fool.
He's always been the fool.
84.
The first time Yoongi saw Seokjin was over a year and a half ago. He was with his cousin Jungkook who had just moved to Seoul and wanted to sight-see. It was at a park and Jungkook was actually the one who lead him there, fascinated by every single busking performance. But
85.
this one in particular really caught the kid's eye. It probably helped that the singer was singing one of Jungkook's favorite songs and putting his own twist to it at that. Yoongi just let himself be dragged by the 16-year-old, smiling to himself bec the kid was too adorable
86.
okay? He wasn't heartless.
The crowd that had gathered around the singer was huge. There were also a lot of girls with their phones out which meant that whoever this is must either be famous or handsome or both. He and Jungkook end up at the edge of the crowd. Because there
87.
was so many people, the only thing Yoongi could see of the singer was the top of his head which was a shade of brown and that's him on his tiptoes. Beside him, Jungkook is hopping up and down to try and catch a glimpse of the singer. The kid was yet to have his growth spurt
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so he's shorter than Yoongi and it's obvious on his face how it's frustrating him. The singer is already at the second chorus and knowing Jungkook, he's going to want to see him before he ends the song. So Yoongi does what every other person will do in this situation: he
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grabs Jungkook by the wrist and elbows his way through the crowd, ignoring the dirty looks he gets and the snide remarks.
"Out of the way! Out of the way!"
Yoongi can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and tightens his hold on Jungkook, keeping the kid close. They
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finally break through the crowd just as the singer belts the bridge with such emotion that Yoongi finds himself enchanted, looking at the young man in front of him who might as well have been sculpted by God himself. His breath is taken away and he is just standing there
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enamored bec how can someone so beautiful share the same plane of existence as him? He doesn't even realize the singer has finished until Jungkook is slapping him on the arm asking if they could approach the guy and ask for a picture with him. Wow, someone's already a fan.
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But Yoongi wouldn't mind getting the chance to talk to the guy, he seems nice enough. Though in this industry, he's aware you can't really trust outward appearances. But he's willing to take the risk; he has a good feeling.
So they walk towards the guy who seems to have
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finished his set and is fixing his guitar and equipment with a couple of other guys (his friends maybe) when a number of people in the crowd decide to do the same thing they were doing. A girl bumps into him in her haste to get to the singer and he almost falls if not for
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Jungkook steadying him.
"Hey!" he calls after her though she doesn't really acknowledge him.
"Guess this guy's really popular huh, hyung."
"Guess he is," Yoongi notes, seeing the amount of people around the guy, talking to him and asking for a photo which he seems to shyly
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accept. Well, at least he doesn't seem obnoxious. Yoongi turns to the guy's friends and find them unpertrubed by the commotion around their friend. They even seem like they're supportive of it, shooing at the guy to just interact with his fans when he tries to help them fix
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the equipment.
Unfortunately for him and Jungkook, though, it's already getting late and the crowd hasn't lessened at all. He looks at his cousin who's eagerly standing on the balls of his feet awaiting his turn. Yoongi doesn't want to be a spoilsport but the kid has a curfew
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and it was hard enough as it is to convince his aunt and uncle to let the kid have his fun.
"Gguk-ah."
"Yeah, hyung?"
"It's getting late."
"What? Aww but hyung!"
"Hey, you know what's in store for the both of us if you don't get home in time."
"But--but--"
"Would you rather
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you never went out again?"
He watches as Jungkook thinks about it in his head before slumping his shoulders.
"Fine," he sighs in defeat. Yoongi ruffles his head to comfort him.
"Hey, we can always look out for him the next time we go out."
"Next time? You mean that, hyung?"
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Yoongi laughs at Jungkook's excitement. "Yeah I do. We can even have those lamb skewers you wanted to try."
"(gasp)You're the best, hyung!"
"Alright, alright. Let's just go so we can catch the next ride."
"Got it, chief!"
As Jungkook starts walking away, Yoongi takes one last
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look at the singer, wanting to remember his face so he can look him up online later. What he doesn't expect is to catch the singer's eye who smiles at him briefly before turning back to the people in front of him.
Yoongi swears that, at that moment, time just stopped.
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The next day after meeting Yoongi for the first time again, Seokjin stays cooped up in his room. Jimin and Taehyung's left him a combined total of 9 missed calls and 17 unread messages. Namjoon's knocked on his door three times, once yesterday night after he left the shower
102.
asking him what's wrong, one earlier that morning to tell him that he bought breakfast, and lastly just a while ago to tell Seokjin he's leaving for class. The bed covers become his solace as he finally acknowledges what he's been avoiding all these years. He hasn't moved
103.
on. Not even a single ounce of it. Seeing Yoongi again made their very last conversation replay in his head. It was cruel and selfish and unforgivable. But his heart, his stupid, stupid heart wants to reach out for Yoongi and scream out to the rest of the world that he--
104.
that he--

Namjoon opens the front door just as Seokjin is putting on his shoes.
"Hyung? Where are you going?"
"Out."
"Out? Out where? It's the middle of the night. Most establishments are already clos--"
"I don't know, Namjoon. Just OUT okay? Get off my back already."
105.
"Hyung--"
The door slams in Namjoon's face before he could get another word out.

Seokjin leaves the apartment with no direction. He just knows that his room is suffocating and he wants out. His feet end up leading him to the park he used to busk at more than a year ago.
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It's a lot more quiet now seeing as it's very late at night and there are only a handful of people strolling or jogging or having an existential crisis like he is. He finds a spot on the grass and plants himself there, listening to the cicadas and crickets chirping. He
107.
releases a deep sigh. This whole new chance at life thing feels like utter bullshit. It was supposed to be easy, he thinks it's supposed to be easy, but now it's just getting more and more complicated because he's a complete idiot who can't control his feelings.
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He hates Min Yoongi, he's supposed to hate Min Yoongi but all he wants to do is keep him close and never let him go. He knows Yoongi will leave, he will leave and break his heart all over again. And yet despite that, he's still willing to take another chance, take another
109.
chance to get his heart broken.
"AAARGH WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID?!"
"Why are you so loud?"
Seokjin turns to his side and finds none other than Min Yoongi sitting a few feet away from him.
"Hey," the blonde waves at him lazily.
"Are you following me?" Seokjin squints.
"Uh, no?
110.
Full of yourself much? I like this park. It's quiet once it gets late."
"It's the same with all parks."
"Hmm, yeah I guess. But I like this one in particular."
Seokjin knits his eyebrows. That's weird. He never knew Yoongi liked parks, let alone a specific one. He tries to
111.
rack his brain for any memory where Yoongi might've said something but he's got nothing.
"So," Yoongi starts again. "What are you doing here on this fine summer evening?"
Seokjin rolls his eyes. "Wouldn't you like to know?"
"I'd like to know a couple of things actually but
112.
I'd rather you not walk out on me again."
Seokjin doesn't respond to that. Instead, he starts to stand up.
"Hey! Where are you going?"
"Far away from you."
"But why? I only asked what you were--"
"I know what you said."
"Then why don't you answer it?"
"I don't want to."
"Why
113.
not?"
"Stop following me!" Seokjin snaps at Yoongi, turning around to face him. The blonde stops in his tracks.
"Look, Yoongi, was it? Why do you care so much?"
"You looked sad and I thought you might need someone to talk to, like a friend."
"Well we're not friends, are we?"
114.
"Can't we be? I'm already friends with your brother."
"Don't drag Namjoon into this."
"But what IS this? We barely know each other but you're already pushing me away."
"Maybe I don't want to be associated with you."
"Why? Was it something I said? Was it something I did? Do I
115.
smell?"
"Just stop okay? Stop. Just-- leave me alone."
Seokjin starts walking again but he can hear Yoongi behind him. He turns his head towards the sky in annoyance before turning around again and looking at Yoongi. The blonde abruptly stops again in his tracks.
"Why do you
116.
want to be friends with me?"
Without missing a beat, Yoongi looks Seokjin dead in the eye and says, "Because I like you."
Seokjin ignores the flips that his tummy is making.
"How could you like me? Like you said we barely even know each other."
Yoongi shrugs, "You seem like
117.
a pretty cool guy. Joon talks about you a lot, same with Hobi. You sing really well and nice to pretty much anyone."
Yoongi then rubs at his nape and looks to the side, a mannerism Seokjin knows he does when he's embarrased.
"I also think you're really beautiful."
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Seokjin feels his ears go hot. He abruptly turns around and starts walking again.
"Hey! Stop walking away from me!"
"You can't just say things like that!"
"You're the one who asked for it!"
"Well, I didn't know what you were going to say! Who even says things like that? And
119.
stop following me!"
"If I do, will you be my friend?"
"Ugh, whatever. Just leave me alone already."
"Cool. I'll get your number from Joon. See you around, /friend/! Don't stay out for too long."
Seokjin continues walking and Yoongi does stop following him.
He makes his way
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back to the apartment, with a slight headache. He never knew Yoongi could be so insistent. Was this the same Yoongi he fell in love with all those years ago? Now that he thought about it, he'd never seen Yoongi this playful (re: annoying) before. He'd always been calm and
121.
composed to the point of being cold and distant at times. Seokjin's always had a sense of pride that he was the only who broke those walls down with how Yoongi would turn to him for cuddles after a bad day or the rare gummy smile that Yoongi made when he cooked his favorite
122.
meal. But now he thinks that maybe what he'd thought was the bottom was only the tip of the iceberg that is Min Yoongi. Maybe he'd been so caught up in the euphoria of having a seemingly perfect romance that he failed to really know Yoongi. Like the Yoongi awhile ago at the
123.
park. It would explain why Yoongi would leave him at such short notice. Why he never told him about the Hong Kong offer. Why he felt like such a stranger despite the amount of time they spent together. Seokjin rubs at his temples, his headache getting worse with every step.
124.
He enters the apartment to Namjoon asking him, "Uh, hyung, Yoongi-hyung is asking for your number. Should I gi--"
Seokjin waves his hand in a shooing motion.
"Really? But I thought--"
"Just give him the fucking number, Joon."
And with that Seokjin enters his room, slams the
125.
door close, before dropping onto his bed face first. So much for his "genius" game plan. He grabs a pillow, stuffs his face into it, and screams. As soon as he finishes, his phone signals a message:
"From: 010-XXXX-XXXX
hey friend. its yoongi."
Fuck his life, honestly.
126.
Seokjin doesn't like how Yoongi's just cheekily meandered his way back into his life like a leech sucking the blood out of his elbow. But he only has himself to blame bec HE let it happen. The mundane parts of his days now have splashes of Yoongi in them bec since he
127.
gave Namjoon the 'ok' of giving Yoongi his number, the younger interpreted it as permission granted to everything that was Yoongi-proofed. And that's also how he learned that his friends have a gc where they talk about him behind his back.
When he leaves his room to go to
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class, Yoongi's out in his living room hanging out with Namjoon and Hoseok. When he and Jimin go busking on weekends, Yoongi's standing next to Taehyung behind the camera. When he goes to Namjoon's rap show, Yoongi's on the stage or trying to make small talk with him at the
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bar. Key word: trying. As much as his life is suddenly filled w Yoongi, Yoongi, Yoongi, he's not about to let him win, win, win.

"Hey, friend-hyung. Leaving for class?"
"Already out the door, Min."

"Anything I can help with?"
"Ask Jimin, Min."

"Why do you call me 'Min'?"
130.
"Shitgi or Yoonsuck. Take your pick."

Call him immature, call him petty, he doesn't care bec Namjoon already does that 12 years later. He is immovable like a mountain. Unnegotiable like a fixed price. He is transcendent, he is headstrong, until the 3rd week of July happens
131.
and it all goes downhill from there.

He is just idly walking on the streets of Seoul, minding his own business, when a wild Yoongi pops out of nowhere nearly making him jump out of his skin.
"What the shit, Min? I could've punched you!"
"Sorry, hyung. But I really need
132.
your help right now."
"Can't. I'm busy," he says as he starts to walk away but Yoongi stands in front of him, arms stretched at his sides, stopping him.
"Hyung, please. I know you hate my guts, but just this one time can you give me the time of day?"
He looks at his phone.
133.
"11:58 am."
"That's not what I--argh! Why do you make it so hard to deal with you?" Yoongi unlocks his phone and presses on it a few times before he shoves it in Seokjin's face, a photo of what looks like a high schooler laughing displayed on the screen.
"That's my cousin,
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Jungkook. He's 17 and we were buying lamb skewers when he just disappeared."
"Hold up. Did you just say Jungkook?"
"Um, yeah? What does that--"
"Like 'JK', Jungkook?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Ugh, what's his last name?"
"Jeon. Wait, you're actually going to
135.
help?"
Seokjin ignores him because what the actual fuck, Jeon Jungkook is his cousin? He never knew about this. He thought Jeon Jungkook was just this random artist Yoongi met and produced for bec he needed a platform to go mainstream. (And maybe he also thought they were
136.
together bec all evidences pointed to it like going to events together, getting pictured by Dispatch on 'outings', always collabing for songs, and yes, Seokjin knows this bec he secretly used to stalk Yoongi and Jungkook on SNS until Taehyung found out and berated him for
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it bec it kept him in a 'cycle' or whatever.) But they're cousins! And it's really bothering him bec HOW did he not know? Why didn't Yoongi tell him?
"You have a cousin?"
"Yes! And he's still currently missing and a minor! Look, I know I'm not your favorite person in the
138.
world but I thought you'd at least care enough about the well-being of another person and look past that. Guess I was wrong."
Yoongi turns to leave but Seokjin grabs his wrist to stop him.
"Oh my god, you're so dramatic." He turns Yoongi to face him before crossing his arms.
139.
"Start from the beginning."
Yoongi recounts his past 30 mins, telling Seokjin about going out w Jungkook to eat, but as he's done ordering, the kid is nowhere to be found. He looked for him in the restaurant but he wasn't there. He asked the staff, they said he went outside.
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He followed the direction they said he went but he doubts he'll be able to see him. He calls the kid, doesn't get an answer. He calls again, he's already blocked. He goes back to the restaurant in hopes that he's just being pranked but Jungkook's still nowhere to be found.
141.
"I've just been going around this area until I saw you. I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do now. What if he got kidnapped? Shit." Yoongi ends, panic settling into his tone and Seokjin's hands are moving before he can stop them. He cups either side of Yoongi's face
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and forces the blonde to look at him.
"First of all just breathe okay? Focus on the tip of my nose and breathe deeply."
Yoongi furrows his eyebrows but does as he is told.
"You calm now?"
"A little bit yeah."
"Okay." Seokjin gently lets go of Yoongi's face. "Second, has
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Jungkook done this before?"
"No? Not when he's with me at least."
"Did you plan to go out?"
"I guess? Well, he asked me to take him out today. Said he was stressed bec of school."
"Ah, is he having problems at school like with school work, grades?"
"I don't think so?"
145.
"I see. Are you two close?"
"Yeah. He's like the brother I never had."
"Hmm. What about his parents?"
"They're a little strict but they mean well and he knows that."
"Well, Min, did you think of the possibility that he doesn't want to be found?"
"What? Are you telling me he
146.
ran away?"
"No. Nothing that drastic or at least I hope not."
"What do you mean?"
"He blocked your number after you called him right? It couldn't be kidnappers or a pickpocket cause most of them just take the sim out. He probably just doesn't want to receive your calls right
147.
now. Personally, I think he used you to get out of the house and, once you weren't looking, went gallavanting to wherever he really wanted to go. You seem like you spoil him so he's not too worried about leaving you cause you'll forgive him eventually. Just pull a couple of
148.
puppy dog eyes & you're wrapped around his finger again."
"I'm not even going to comment on that last part."
"You know it's true."
"/Shutup./ But where would he even go?"
"I don't know. Girlfriend, boyfriend, pluralfriends? Drugs, alcohol, sex?"
"OHMYGOD." Yoongi facepalms.
149.
"It's more prevalent than you think!"
"No, not that! I know where he went."

Seokjin follows Yoongi to a building where a lot of people, mostly kids around Jungkook's age, are standing in line. He watches Yoongi approach a desk, talk to the staff, and get directed somewhere.
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He trails behind the blonde, looking around where, when he sees a sign that says 'auditions' just as Yoongi yells, "JEON JUNGKOOK!"
He could only blink as Yoongi pulls the kid out of the line by the ear.
"Ow ow ow hyung, I'm sorry!"
Seokjin covers his smile with his hand.
hi! cutting the flow again bec that random 'where' after 'looking around' isn't supposed to be there ok. carry on again.
151.
"Thanks for helping me out, hyung. I really appreciate it," Yoongi says to Seokjin as they walk out of the building, a sulking Jungkook behind them, his head hung in defeat. Needless to say, the kid ISN'T going to audition today or ever again. Well, at least not until after
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he turns 18 which is only like a little over a month away apparently. Seokjin was right: Yoongi is extra soft for his cousin.
"As much as I like to see you suffering, your cousin's life could have been at stake and I don't want to involve innocent parties in my affairs."
153.
"Oh. So we're going back to our original dynamic after this?"
"Yep."
"But why?"
"What do you mean 'but why'?"
"You're literally nice to everybody but me. Why do you hate me so much?"
"I just do, Yoongi. Now get it over your head. I don't do heart-to-heart talks."
He doesn't
154.
notice that Yoongi stopped walking until he turns back.
"What's the hold up, Min?"
"Yoongi."
"Yes, that is your name."
"You called me Yoongi."
"Uh, no I didn't. I called you Min."
"No. You called me by my first name. I have Jungkook as witness."
Jungkook looks between the
155.
two of them before turning to him and warily nodding his head.
"I did /not/ call you Yoongi."
"Yes, you did."
"No, I didn't!"
"You like me."
"No. I hate you."
"You like me."
"No, I don't!"
"You /like/ me."
"Shut the fuck up Min Yoongi. Say that I like you again one more time
156.
and I swear to God I'll skin your face and claw your eyes out."
Yoongi and Jungkook stare at him. He stares at them back.
"Okay, you /don't/ like me. But you do hate me a little less."
"I do not."
"Yes, you do."
"I do NOT."
"So we're just going to forget how you calmed me
157.
down by cupping my face and making me focus on your nose. Most people just stick to the calm down part."
"IT'S WHAT WE ALWAYS USED TO DO!"
"We?"
Oh no. He didn't mean to say that. That was something he and the /other/ Yoongi used to do.
"Um, uh, me and my brothers! I used to
158.
calm them down like that when we were younger."
Okay, nice save, Seokjin.
"Oh okay. For a second there, I thought you were talking about us."
Shit.
"How could I? That was the first time I ever did that to anyone in a long time."
"Yeah, well, it felt right to me. Like you
159.
were meant to do that."
Seokjin's lost count of the times he's ignored the somersaults in his stomach or the rapid beating of his heart.
"Stop saying things like that! I'm leaving."
"No, wait, hyung! I was thinking about treating you to some lamb skewers for helping me find
160.
this brat."
"Thanks but no thanks, Min. I've had enough activity for today."
"Next time then?"
"No, you don't have to."
"But I want to. I mean it when I said that I'm grateful. I don't know if I could have gotten anywhere without you. I owe you one."
"Seriously, Min, you
161.
don't--"
"Just one time. It could be anywhere you want."
(Don't do it, Seokjin, don't do it.)
"Fine. I'm free next week. Text me the details."
(Idiot.)
"Okay. I knew you like me."
Seokjin doesn't respond, walking away instead.
"For what it's worth," Yoongi calls after him.
162.
"I wasn't looking at your nose. I was looking at your lips."
Seokjin flips him off.

"So," Namjoon raises his eyebrows at him. "Heard you and Yoongi-hyung are going on a date?"
"Wha-? Is that what he's calling it? That little bi--"
"No. Hobi's the one who told me. He, uh,
163.
'ships' you guys."
"Can you tell him to stop that? And it's not a date," Seokjin stuffs his mouth with rice. "I helped him find his cousin and he wants to pay me back."
"Oh. But still, you and Yoongi-hyung, huh?"
Seokjin sighs. "What are you getting at Joonie?"
Namjoon
164.
scratches his chin. "I dunno. I mean, 2 months ago his name was like poison to you. Now you're helping him find people and going on thank you dates."
"It's not. A date."
"Okay it isn't. But you're still going out together."
"It's only to get him off my back."
A pause.
165.
"He likes you, you know."
"I'm /sure/ he does."
"No, he genuinely likes you. Despite how shitty you've been treating him (I still don't get that, by the way.) he still looks at you like you hung the moon and the stars yourself."
"...why would he do that?"
"I don't know.
166.
you're both weird, tbh. Must come with age."
"Yah, I'm only 2 years older than you."
"Yet you act like an old man in his 50s. Don't worry, hyung. I honestly think you & Yoongi-hyung are good for each other. You have my blessing."
"It's not a date & I don't like him!"
"Okay."
167.
Yoongi leads Seokjin into a narrow alley in the market flanked on either side by small family-owned restaurants each having their own specialty dish. His mouth practically salivates at the aromas wafting from the half-open doors; sizzling pans and the clanking of utensils
168.
music to his ears. It makes him reminisce about his own resraurant back in the future. He started out exactly just like these stalls and he was able to expand it gradually over the years until he had a space to call his own. His restaurant was by no means grand but it was
169.
his pride and joy, the one thing that made him look forward to each day that comes. He'd like to open it up again in this timeline too.

"Choose your fighter." Yoongi motions to the restaurants.
Seokjin checks each specialty item and decides that he's in the mood for some
170.
jokbal and kimchi jjigae. They go to a stall a little further down the alleyway. They squeeze themselves past a table of old businessmen and settle in a tiny corner at the back. Yoongi orders for them and then it's the waiting game.

"So. Um." Yoongi clears his throat,
171.
rubbing at his nape and not meeting Seokjin's eyes. "Thanks for coming?"
"You're paying. I'm just here for the free food."
"Right."
Silence covers the both of them. Yoongi tries again.
"Thanks for helping me find Jungkook."
"You said that so many times already you make me
172.
want to cut my ears off."
"I--"
"Excuse me, your jokbal is here." The lady sets the dish on the table. "The kimchi jjigae will follow in a few minutes."
"Thank you," Seokjin says to the lady before picking up his chopsticks. "Let's eat then."
He picks up a piece of lettuce,
173.
dips the pork in ssamjang before wrapping it in the lettuce. He also adds a piece of garlic and piece of kimchi before eating the wrap in one bite. He's halfway through making his third wrap when he notices that Yoongi hasn't touched the food at all.
"Yah, why aren't you
174.
eating?"
"You eat like a hamster."
"Excuse you!"
"It's cute."
Seokjin feels the tips of his ears redden and he forgets to add meat to his wrap before he devours it. His face contorts into a look of extreme confusion to which Yoongi laughs and it takes the lady coming
175.
back with the jjigae to keep him from reaching over the table and smacking the blonde upside the head.

They walk out the restaurant, Seokjin patting his now full belly because of the meal. He turns to Yoongi.
"Thanks."
"What?"
"For the meal. It was good."
"Can you say that
176.
again?"
"It was good."
"No, the very first word."
"In your dreams, Min."
"Eh, was worth a shot."

They leave the alleyway, walking side by side bec the crowd in the market doubled during the time they spent in the restaurant. Their hands brush against each other a few times
177.
and Seokjin resists the urge to grab onto Yoongi's hand and go. His heart flutters but he steels it.

They reach the outside of the market unscathed.
"Thanks for today, hyung," Yoongi tells him. "I had fun."
"Good for you, Min. And--thanks again for the food, I guess."
178.
"You're welcome," Yoongi replies, gummy smile on his face. Seokjin's heart clenches so he turns to go.
"Ah hyung! Wait. I'd like to do this again."
"Hmm?"
"I'd like to hang out with you again. Like hang out hang out. Without it being a returned favor. I really enjoyed
179.
spending time with you and I'd really like to do it again."
Seokjin's glad he's facing away from Yoongi. He doesn't think he could handle seeing him say that.
"No."
"No?"
"No. It's never gonna happen, Yoongi."
"But why?"
"Why? You already know why."
"No I--are you still
180.
saying you hate me?"
"Yes, I hate you so much. Too much."
"That doesn't even make any sense! We just met 2 months ago; you barely even know me. How can you already hate me so much?"
Seokjin starts heading to the direction of the station.
"Don't fucking walk away from me,
181.
hyung! Stop. Walking. Away!"
Yoongi grabs Seokjin by the shoulders and turns him around to face him. He almost shouts again but stops at once when he sees that Seokjin is crying.
"Hyung?"
Seokjin's knees buckle and Yoongi moves forward to catch him before he falls. Seokjin
182.
grabs at the front of Yoongi's shirt, his tears continuously falling.
"I hate you so much, Yoongi. You don't understand."
"Tell me then. Tell me why you hate me."
"You hurt me, Yoongi. You hurt me so much. I hated you for so long. I hated you. I hate you."
Yoongi still
183.
doesn't know what Seokjin is talking about but the pain in his voice is too raw, too real. Gently, he wraps his arms around Seokjin. He rubs on the older's back as he sobs, breaking Yoongi's heart.
"I won't hurt you. I'll never hurt you," he says, kissing Seokjin's forehead.
184.
"I promise you that."

"How is he?" Yoongi asks Namjoon over the phone.
"Still asleep but his fever's gone down."
"That's good."
"Yeah, the doctor says he can be discharged tomorrow cause they saw nothing from the tests. They said it's most probably stress and fatigue."
"Oh
185.
okay. Keep me posted."
"Sure. Yoongi-hyung?"
"Hmm?"
"Thanks for taking care of Jin-hyung. I'm sure he'll appreciate it."
"No worries, Joon. Make sure to rest yourself."
"I will."

Seokjin fainted after crying in Yoongi's arms. He's just glad there were people around to help.
186.
He doubts he'd have kept a completely calm mind. From the market to the hospital, he doesn't leave Seokjin's side. He paces in the waiting room as they check up on Seokjin. Once he's allowed in the ER, he sits by Seokjin's bed until his brothers arrive. He goes home but not
187.
without brushing the hair out of Seokjin's face first. He takes in the older's sleeping form, serene and without a care in the world, unlike when he was crying; he looked so devastated and broken. The pain that in Seokjin's voice, Yoongi doesn't think he'll ever forget it.
*'pain in Seokjin's voice' not 'pain that in Seokjin's voice' ahskslshsldljk
188.
He gets a text the next morning.

From: Seokjin-hyung

09:47
thank you for yesterday. im sorry for troubling you.

09:56
and about what i told you. im sorry for that too.

09:57
its not you. not really.

10:23
if ever you're free, can u come over to the apartment? i want
189.
to talk to you.

10:24
personally.

To: Seokjin-hyung

10:27
omw

"Hyung, stop pacing," Taehyung scolds him. "You just got out of the hospital. You're gonna tire yourself out."
"I'm fine, Tae. It wasn't serious."
"You fainted & got a fever. That isn't serious," Taehyung
190.
deadpans.
"The doctor said it wasn't serious. I just, pushed myself too hard is all."
"Mm-hmm, you were just out chilling w Yoongi-hyung and got stressed to the point of falling unconscious. Sure, hyung."
(Oh, Tae, you have no idea.)
Seokjin does stop pacing though, "Don't
191.
you have class?"
"Well, I can't just leave you here alone, can I?"
"Taehyung--"
He gets interrupted by a couple of knocks on the door.
"Huh? Joon-hyung's back?"
"No. I was expecting company," Seokjin replies as he moves to let whoever's outside in. He pulls open the door,
192.
revealing Yoongi on the other side.
"Hey."
"Hey."
"Yoongi-hyung! What are you doing here?" Taehyung pipes up from the couch.
"Oh, uh, Seokjin-hyung invited me over."
"Ooh, interesting."
"See, Tae? I'm not alone now so can you go to your class. Please."
"Yeah, yeah. I'm going
193.
I'm going. Wouldn't want to intrude in your...whatever this is. /The gc's gonna love this!/"
"What was that?"
"Huh? What? I didn't say anything. I'm leaving now. Byiieeee!"
Taehyung slams the door closed and it's just Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi, and the awkard silence. Great.
194.
"Can I get you anything? Juice? Water? Coffee?"
"Nah, I'm good. Thanks though."
More silence.
"So."
"So?"
"I'm glad you're okay, hyung. You, uh, gave me a scare back then," Yoongi laughs uneasily.
Seokjin nods, avoiding Yoongi's eyes. "Yeah, haha, me too. Sorry about that."
195.
"Do you often have fainting spells?"
"Not really. It's only my second time. The first was when I found out I--"
Seokjin stops himself from speaking further, prompting Yoongi to raise his eyebrows at him.
"Found out you...?"
"Um. Failed to graduate college. It was a dream. I
196.
fainted bec of a dream."
Yoongi looks like he's about to laugh but is keeping a straight face for his sake.
"You're kidding right?"
"Nope. Just ask Joon. I woke up screaming and he thought someone broke in so he came into my room swinging the vacuum around. Then I screamed
197.
again and blacked out."
"I'm sorry but that's the funniest thing I've ever heard."
"You should've seen his face. He was like 'WHO DO I HAVE TO MAKE UNCONSCIOUS, HYUNG?'"
"'MAKE UNCONSCIOUS'??? What is he, twelve? Even kindergartners threaten to kill nowadays."
Seokjin finds
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himself clutching his stomach bec of how hard he's laughing with Yoongi. He's got legitimate tears in his eyes and his sides hurt but, god, he hasn't laughed like this in years. It feels nice, very cathartic.
He and Yoongi eventually settle down before erupting into a fit of
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giggles and it starts all over again. Seokjin looks over to Yoongi and watches as his eyes crinkle at the sides and his gummy smile stretches out to a grin. It is the cutest thing and a warm feeling blooms in his chest, coupled with the nerves he's been trying to keep at bay
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since he sent the text. He's nervous because he doesn't know how Yoongi will react. He's treated him so badly since he met him again and it's just so selfish of him to even ask him this. Not to mention that he'll be throwing his game plan out the window entirely and he
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knows he could just be wasting this new chance he's been given but he's willing to risk it now. He doesn't care anymore that Yoongi will leave on his birthday or that Yoongi is never meant to be his. What he knows is that he wants Yoongi back in his life; whether as a friend
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or a boyfriend, it doesn't matter. It hurts him to hurt Yoongi and no matter how much bitterness he let stew in his heart over the years, he just doesn't want to hurt anymore. Not his friends, not his brothers, not himself, nobody. And Yoongi. He loves Yoongi. He doesn't
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think he'll ever stop loving Yoongi. He misses him. He misses him so much.
"Yoongi, I--I'm sor--"
"Don't apologize."
"What? But you don't even know what I'll say."
"I figured you called me here to say sorry about how you've treated me & it's okay. I've already forgiven you."
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"But I told you I hated you."
"You did & you also told me why. I'm not entirely sure how I hurt you 'cause we've literally never met before but I felt it. I felt your pain. So for that, I'm sor--"
"No no don't say sorry to me! It's not your fault. It's not you. Not really.
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I directed my anger towards you when you had nothing to do with it. I--I don't know how to explain it without sounding like a lunatic."
"Then don't. I don't need you to explain and you shouldn't feel the need to, if you're not ready. How you felt, even though it didn't make
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sense to me, it made sense to you. If you can't talk about it now, then that's okay. We have all the time in the world."
Yoongi smiles at him with that same lopsided smile like when they first met and he finds it fitting because--
"Yoongi, can we start this all over again?
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You and me?"
"Hmm, I don't know." Seokjin's heart drops until he sees Yoongi wink at him.
"I don't even know your name. How can we start again?"
Not hiding his smile, Seokjin puts his hand out.
"Hi, I'm Kim Seokjin."
Yoongi shakes his hand.
"Min Yoongi. Nice to meet you."
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With the literal changing of the seasons, the next two months pass by in a blur. The weather becomes cooler, school starts again, and Seokjin and his group of friends grow from 5 to 7.

August brought in the introduction of Jungkook to Taehyung, Jimin, Namjoon, and Hoseok.
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Safe to say, their two previous youngest have officially adopted the kid into their 'maknae line' clique, Hoseok has a protege, and Namjoon officially has a fan club and fan club president.
"What about me and Yoongi, Gguk?"
The kid purses his lips and there's a glint in
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his eye that Seokjin's identified as the 'bratkugan'.
"You're the grandpas."
"Yah, show some respect to your elders."
"Case in point."

September brought with it celebration as both Jungkook and Namjoon were born during the month. They decided to just have one party for both
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because they were college students (and one high school student) meaning they were useless and broke. Except for Taehyung. He has a stable part-time job.

They hold the party at a barbecue place and no they did not drink any alcohol bec Jungkook isn't of legal drinking age
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yet. Snapshots of the party included (1) Yoongi reaching for a piece of meat from the grill as Seokjin, who is the official cook of the night, swats his hand away not noticing Hoseok beside him sneak meat for himself, (2) Namjoon about to cry in anguish as the piece of meat
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he was about to eat slips from his chopsticks due to Taehyung's butt bumping against his shoulder, (3) a meat-eating contest between Jimin and Jungkook with Hoseok and Yoongi cheering them on respectively, and Taehyung as the referee (no one won. they all got flicked on the
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forehead by Seokjin who scolded them about 'limited amounts of meat') and (4) a group selca of them after the damage had been done; it was a little blurry but the wide smiles on their faces were unmistakable.

"Thanks for inviting me, hyungs!" Jungkook says as they get ready
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to part ways.
"Oh, Gguk," Jimin coos, ruffling the kid's hair. "That party was for you too, you know."
"Yeah, it's for both our birthdays not just mine," Namjoon adds, sliding next to the youngest.
"But, but--you didn't have to--"
"Didn't have to?" Hoseok exclaims. "Of
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course we had to. It's your birthday!"
"You're part of the fam now, Gguk," Taehyung pats Jungkook's shoulder as he grins. "Always remember that."
Seokjin watches the scene unfold, Yoongi standing next to him.
"Really though, hyung," Yoongi starts. "Thank you all for this.
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No matter how much of a brat he can be, Gguk is pretty shy and reserved, especially around his peers. His parents are really over protective of him so he doesn't get the chance to go out and just have fun. I'm sure he'll never forget this day."
Seokjin hums in response, his
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mind wandering to the other timeline where they never met Jungkook. What had the kid done on his birthday? Yoongi never talked about him but they still seemed pretty close if their relationship in and out of work for the years to come was any indication. Regardless, Seokjin
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definitely likes this timeline way better. Sure, he's repeating the past 32 years of his life but it's better now.
"I'm glad."
"Hmm?"
"I said, I'm glad to have met you Yoongi," he adds 'again' in his mind. "You and Jungkook. I like spending time with you."
"I like spending
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time with you too, hyung."
"OHMYGOD JUST GET MARRIED ALREADY."
"Really. In front of the baby."
"I'm not a baby, hyungs!"
Seokjin and Yoongi turn to their friends who are jeering at them. Seokjin only notices then just how close they were standing next to each other and steps
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away from Yoongi, his ears going red like it almost always does.
"Yah, don't you have something better to do like, I dunno, go home?"
"We live together, hyung."
"Gguk's the only one with the curfew."
"Can we please stop dragging me?"
Seokjin rubs at his temples, muttering
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under his breath at how annoying his friends are, when he sees Yoongi's face, the faintest crestfallen look going over his features before he schools them into something more 'normal', more Yoongi. Yoongi catches his eye and offers him a small smile before joining the others
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and telling Jungkook he really should take him home now.
Seokjin knows what's going on. He's not denying it, he and Yoongi have gotten a lot closer in a short amount of time and he's seen the looks Yoongi's given him. He's been caught by the others (Jimin & Taehyung mostly)
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giving Yoongi those same looks when the younger isn't looking. He knows, he knows. But he's afraid.
For all the talk that he gave himself over wanting Yoongi back in his life, now that he does have him, he's afraid of letting go again. He's scared that if he pursues another
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relationship, he'll just invite fate to take it all away. He knows Yoongi will leave. Opportunities like that don't come in abundance. And Seokjin knows Yoongi's first love is music. And you don't forget your first love, not even when you have new love. Seokjin knows this.
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And yet. And yet.

It is October and the night of Jimin's first performance as the lead in a musical. They were all settled into their seats when they all receive a frantic text from Jimin to meet him backstage. They get there and see Jimin panicking with a couple of the
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other actors and backstage crew.
"What's going on?"
Jimin explains to them that one of their propsmen accidentally spilled coffee on the most important costume of the night and sent it to be cleaned thinking the replacement costume is available to be used but the replacement
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had also been sent to the dry cleaners a couple of days ago and they need someone to get it but the dry cleaners is on the other side of town and it's going to be used by the 2nd act and--
"Jimin, calm down--Jimin, look at me. Look at me," Seokjin places his hands on Jimin's
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shoulders.
"We're going to get that costume okay? We'll get it here before the 2nd act and with more than enough time to spare. Now, chin up and no more crying! You'll ruin your make-up."
"Okay, hyung, I trust you."
"Alright! Everyone just do your best. We'll be back before
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you know it."
The six of them leave backstage.
"How are we gonna do this, hyung?" Hoseok asks. "Will we take a taxi or the subway or--"
"No, I'LL take a taxi, all of you stay here. Jimin's going to need all the support he can get and seeing you guys in the audience will calm
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him down."
"You can't go alone," Jungkook protests. "What if something happens to you and you don't get here on time?"
"But I can't take you all with me!"
"Then take just one of us," Yoongi says. "Take me. Gguk's right. You can't go alone but we can't all go either."
"Fine,
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fine. The rest of you go back to your seats and cheer for Jimin while Yoongi and I get this costume. We'll be back soon enough."
"Fighting, hyung!" Taehyung calls after them as they leave. They run out into the street and flag down the first taxi they see. It takes them to
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the laundry shop just fine. They go inside, ask for the costume, sign a few receipts, and they're back out the door when the sky crackles and a storm pours over the entire city.
"ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" Seokjin screams to the heavens just as Yoongi succesfully grabs a
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taxi and they rush inside careful to keep the costume out of the rain and not get crumpled at the same time. They tell the driver to drive as fast as he can to the theatre but as soon as they hit the main road--
"FUCKING TRAFFIC!"
It's an endless sea of bumpers and Seokjin
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wants to cry. They're still a ways away from the theatre and the first act is finishing up soon. Seokjin bites back a sob.
"Hyung. Hyung. Jin-hyung!"
"Wha--"
Seokjin feels a pair of hands cup his face and then he's looking into Yoongi's eyes.
"Just focus on me okay, hyung?
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Just breathe."
Seokjin's eyes wander to Yoongi's lips before closing them and counting from 1-10.
"Feel calmer?"
"Yeah, thanks."
"How much time before the 2nd act starts?"
"15 minutes."
"We can make it," Yoongi says as he hands the driver money.
"Yoongi--WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
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Yoongi's already halfway out the door, the costume in his hands. "You said 15 minutes. The taxi's never gonna get there in time but if we run, we might just make it."
"But it's pouring like crazy!"
"Do you want to get this to Jimin or not? He's waiting for us, hyung. He
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trusts you. And I want you to trust me," Yoongi puts his hand out for Seokjin to take.
Seokjin looks at it once and shouts in his head 'fuck it', taking Yoongi's hand, as they run as fast as they can through the streets of Seoul.
Running under a storm isn't fun, he slips a
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a few times but Yoongi's grip on his hand keeps him steady. They traverse through the streets like madmen, screaming at people to move out the way, cradling the costume like a new born baby, when they're suddenly in front of the theatre, one of the actors and Namjoon meeting
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them. They hand the costume over, the actor bows them a thanks, while she rushes back inside with Namjoon to bring the costume to Jimin. Yoongi checks his watch, panting, "Three...minutes...to...spa--"
He doesn't get to finish what he's saying because Seokjin's pressed his
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lips to his, and they're under the rain, and it's cold and it's wet, but Seokjin is warm, warm, warm and kissing him.
Seokjin breaks the kiss, eyes wide with surprise & he stutters, "I-I-I'm sorry--I-I don't know what came over me--"
Yoongi shuts him up by kissing him back.
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Starting a relationship with Yoongi again was like jumping off an airplane, nerve-wracking but exhilarating at the same time. That kiss under the rain was accidental, unplanned, but deep inside him it felt like it was meant to happen, like everything has finally fallen into
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its proper place. But does it mean he's stopped being afraid of what he knows is going to come? No. In fact, he's terrified. But every time he looks into Yoongi's eyes, every time their fingers intertwine, every time the other says their name, he tells himself it's alright.
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He tells himself he /can/ have this. While he still can, he will.
They take things a little more slowly this time around, waiting for each other after class, walking home together, calling late at night to keep the other sane from upcoming deadlines, mundane stuff really.
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They haven't even gone on a proper date yet. The maknae trio gasp like scandalized elderly when he mentions it to them.
"What the actual shit, hyung?"
"Language, Jungkook."
"You're not Yoongi-hyung and it's not like you actually care if I swear or not."
"True. But I'm his
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boyfriend, so that gives me the right to scold you in his place."
"Just say you like killing my vibe and go."
Jimin brings them back to the topic.
"You've seriously never gone on a date."
"Yeah. I mean, it doesn't really matter. We text and call. We go out practically every
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weekend for the rap show and for busking. And he walks me home all the time, sometimes he stays over for dinner. We spend almost everyday together."
"It's not the SAME," Taehyung cries exasperatedly. "It's been, what, a month since you guys got together?"
"I guess?" Seokjin
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recalls the musical to be on October 24 and it's November 22 now, so yeah it's been about a month-ish. He pushes back the haunting reminder that his birthday is also getting closer, only 12 days away.
12 days until Yoongi leaves him. 12 days until he loses him again. But
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what he's learned in this second chance is that he doesn't mind Yoongi leaving as much anymore. Sure, it hurts to think about it, and yes he still feels like he got stabbed in the chest but this second chance showed him a Yoongi he never knew. He's still the same Yoongi he
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fell in love with, still charming, still stubborn, still rough around the edges, but he is also hardworking, mischievous, and selfless. And maybe he wants what's best for Yoongi now, that is (and his past-future self would turn in his figurative grave if he hears this) he
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WANTS Yoongi to take the offer. He wants Yoongi to go to Hong Kong and pursue his career. He'll be left alone in Korea but Yoongi will achieve his dreams and that's more than enough for him.
Maybe he is a fool but he isn't foolish. Loving someone isn't foolish. And all he's
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ever done is love Yoongi.
"Earth to Seokjinnie-hyung!" Jimin's voice pulls him from his thoughts.
"What?"
"Were you seriously not listening to anything we were saying?"
"Um, no?"
"Ugh, forget it. Your relationship is doomed forever."
"Just because we don't go on dates?"
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"EXACTLY because you don't go on dates. Dates are essential in keeping the passion alive! You and Yoongi-hyung are basically grandpas already so passion is like virtually non-existent. Have you guys even thought about fuc--"
"Finish that sentence and I'll tell mom and dad it
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was you who broke the ceiling fan AND the underfloor heating."
"AWW COME ON, HYUNG, YOU PROMISED."

"I heard from Gguk that you told him, Jimin, and Tae that we never went on a date."
He turns to look up at Yoongi, his head on the younger's lap as they wind down by watching
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a movie. "You too? Are dates THAT big of a deal?"
"Well, no. I personally think it's unnecessary 'cause we just spend more money to spend time with each other, like we don't already hangout all the time."
"Okay. I can feel a but coming."
"/But/ it would be nice to go out
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with you again. Just spend the entire day with you. I mean, it's our 30th day tomorrow and don't other couples usually celebrate milestones like that or something?"
"Min Yoongi, are you asking me out on a date?"
"Maybe? I dunno. Only if you want to," Yoongi shyly looks away.
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Seokjin reaches for Yoongi's face, making the younger look back at him. "You're too cute sometimes, you know that?"
"Is that a yes or a no?"
"Oh, stop pouting. It's a yes."
"Oh okay. Cool. Nice."
"Now that that's over with, I need my kisses, Yoongichi."
"You're so clingy,"
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Yoongi rolls his eyes but bends down to peck him on the lips anyway.

Tomorrow comes by quickly & Seokjin goes back to the apartment to take a shower and change into more date-appropriate clothes. He puts extra attention to his hair and even sprays on a different perfume.
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He texts Yoongi that he's ready & Yoongi replies w the address of the restaurant he made reservations for.

From: 🐱❤
hope you like steak

Seokjin gets there before Yoongi & he plays w his phone for a bit when someone stands in front of him. He looks up & sees a bouquet.
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Yoongi peeks out from behind the flowers, "Hey."
"Hey. You got me flowers?"
"Yeah. Roses. Um, here." Yoongi hands the bouquet to him and he takes it, taking a whiff and looking at the blooms.
"You didn't get the red ones?"
"Did you want the red ones?"
"No, these are way
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prettier but just out of curiosity."
"Oh. Well, I WAS gonna get the red ones cause you know, it represents love or whatever. But the florist showed me the pink and white ones, and I guess I liked their meanings more."
They enter the restaurant and get shown to their seats.
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"What do they mean?"
"Well, pink is love but also gratitude and appreciation. And white is for new beginnings. And I, uh, thought it was fitting. For us." Yoongi looks at him intently and Seokjin can't help the blush creeping onto his face.
"It's cheesy, I know."
"No, it's
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perfect. I love it." He sniffs the roses again before placing them on the table as the waiter gives them the menu.
The rest of their FIRST date goes as well as every other 'unofficial' date they've gone on. They order their steaks, eat their steaks, talk about things like
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they always do, joke around, teasing each other bec that's their thing, business as usual. But there's also more handholding and gazing into each other's eyes and random whispers of affection thrown into the conversations and it's sappy and gross but Seokjin won't have it
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any other way.
They end their dinner and stroll around in a nearby park, hands intertwined, and just enjoying each other's presence. They sit at a bench, watching the lake in front of them. Seokjin's got his head on Yoongi's shoulder while Yoongi's got his arm draped over
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his shoulders and they're cozy despite the crisp autumn air when he feels something vibrate against his side, specifically coming from Yoongi's coat. He pulls away, eyebrows raised.
"Your coat's vibrating."
Yoongi smiles at him sheepishly. "Yeah, someone's been calling and
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messaging me, halfway through dinner."
"Eh, why didn't you answer it then?"
"We were on our date! I didn't want to ruin it by answering some random calls."
"Oh, you sap."
Yoongi's coat vibrates again and Seokjin just tells Yoongi to take it.
"Oh, it's Joon? Hey. What's up?"
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Yoongi recoils from his phone as Namjoon's frantic (excited?) shouts resound from the speaker.
"CALM DOWN, JOON-AH. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE SAYING."
Seokjin watches as Yoongi's eyes grow the size of the moon as Namjoon relates to him whatever reason he's been calling
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for since a while ago. Yoongi stands up suddenly, startling Seokjin, and something in his heart tells him that the thing he's been avoiding is finally here to take its dues and it's not going to give him any more extensions.
"YOU'RE NOT SHITTING ME, RIGHT?"
Seokjin strains
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his ears to try and catch what Namjoon is saying. He is able to make out 'he's here' and 'looking for you' and 'offer'.
Offer.
The word echoes in Seokjin's head like the ticking of a clock. He knew it was coming, knows he can't avoid it, and he schools his features into
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something nonchalant like his heart and entire world isn't on the verge of collapse. Again.
"Really? Okay, okay. We'll get there, we'll get there. Yeah, yeah. We're just a train ride away. We will, we will. Okay, see you! Bye."
Yoongi turns to him, eyes bright as the stars.
272.
"You won't believe this, hyung, but Joon's just said that Choi Yoonsung, a very popular music producer based in Hong Kong, is at the rap show right now and he's looking for me because he wants to offer me a music deal."
"Holy shit, Yoongi, that's amazing!"
"I know! But Joon
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says I need to be at the show right now 'cause they're leaving soon and if I don't show up he might give the offer to one of the other guys instead 'cause he watched the show and really liked some of them."
"Oh no! Well, you better hurry now then. The next train should be
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arriving soon. The closest stop is just over there, I think."
"Wait, you're not coming with me?"
"I'll just slow you down. You need to be there asap."
"But I want you to come with me. I want you to be there. We got in time for Jimin's show. We can do it again!"
"Oh, Yoongi."
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Seokjin thinks he's an idiot. But all he's done in the past almost 6 months were pretty idiotic things anyway so what does it matter. He lets his heart control his life yet again, standing in front of Yoongi and hugging him as tight as he can.
"Hyung, wha-?"
He blinks away
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the tears about to form in his eyes before pulling away from Yoongi and grabbing his hand.
"Well, what are you waiting for? We have a rap show to go to!"
"Wait, hyung, the flowers!"
"Just leave them! You can buy me new ones to celebrate you getting the offer."
So they run
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off into the night, rushing down to the train station and barely missing the next ride. Their hands stay interlocked as they stand next to the doors waiting for the lady on the intercom to announce their destination. Seokjin can sense Yoongi's excitement and nervousness, the
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younger practically shaking where he's standing, checking his phone every minute that passes. Seokjin clamps down on the turmoil brewing inside of him cause he knows Yoongi deserves this, he wants Yoongi to have this and he's happy for him but his chest has become so hollow.
279.
He might be holding Yoongi's hands tight now but it feels like he's letting him slip right through his fingers.
They get to the show and its deja vu with Namjoon meeting them out front. But instead of them staying outside, only he stays behind and Yoongi goes on without him.
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He follows inside after a while, making his way to the main stage area. He's about to head to the bar when he sees Hoseok waving at him & he decides to join him instead.
"Hyung, you're here! Is Yoongi-hyung--"
"Yeah, Joonie's taken him to see the producer guy."
"Sweet. It's
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so cool that Yoongi-hyung's getting this opportunity though. Choi Yoonsung is like a really renowned producer, especially in the hip-hop scene. And Yoongi-hyung getting specifically scouted by the guy? Kappoosh!" Hoseok makes a motion as if his head is exploding.
"Is that
282.
so? That's good, that's good."
"Are you alright, hyung? You don't sound okay."
"What? No, I'm fine. I'm fine. Just sleepy, I guess. Had a big dinner."
"Ahh. You're sure? When you entered the room, you looked a little sad."
"Did I?"
Hoseok pauses and looks at him closely.
283.
"What is it, Hobi?"
"Is this about Yoongi-hyung getting the offer? Are you not okay with it?"
"What? No no! I'm happy for him. He's always loved music and he's so good at it and he's worked so hard for it. He deserves being noticed by an actual big shot producer. He deserves
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this offer."
"You didn't answer the question. Yeah, you're happy for him but are you okay with it?"
"I--"
Truthfully? He isn't. He isn't okay with Yoongi getting this offer because he knows what comes after it. He knows the pain. He's suffered years upon years of it. He
285.
knows what it's like to be the other choice, the one that doesn't get picked. He hates it actually, hates what this offer will bring for him. But, it's not about him anymore. This is about Yoongi. He may not be okay with it now but he--
"--will be. I will be okay with it."
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"Hyung--"
"Don't think about it too much okay? This doesn't involve me & however I feel about it doesn't matter. Yoongi deserves this opportunity and I can't be the one to drag him down."
He offers a smile at the younger who looks like he wants to say something more. Seokjin
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doesn't like seeing Hoseok, who's always all smiles and laughter, frowning like that. He bumps his shoulder against the younger.
"Come on, Hobi. I'm going to the bar. Do you want anything? It's my treat."
"But what about how Yoongi-hyung feels?"
"Hmm?"
"Don't you think he
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wouldn't be okay with accepting the offer if you weren't okay with it?"
"Yoongi doesn't have to know."
"But you're his boyfriend. He has to know."
Seokjin shakes his head. "I'm /only/ his boyfriend. It's not like I can make his decisions for him."
"But he loves you! You love
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him! You love each other!"
"That's why I'm letting him go. I love him so much, Hobi. /Too/ much, it hurts sometimes. When you love someone as much as I've loved him, you want to give them everything even if it means you get left alone so they can spread their wings and fly.
290.
It hurts but keeping him all to myself won't do either of us any good. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. He shouldn't waste it on someone like me."
"But hyung, you're worth every single opportunity of a lifetime there is! I know that and I'm sure Yoongi-hyung does too."
291.
"Thanks for the kind words, Hobi, but what I have to give him is nothing compared to this. I'm just a guy he fell in love with."
"Don't sell yourself short like that."
Seokjin turns around and finds Yoongi & Namjoon standing behind them.
"Yoongi--"
"/Never/ talk lowly about
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yourself like that," Yoongi continued, walking towards him. Seokjin watches as Yoongi cups his face, pulling him closer & pressing their foreheads together.
"You're not just a guy I fell in love with," Yoongi whispers for only him to hear. "You're the one I chose to love."
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Seokjin's breath hitches. He closes his eyes and counts from 1 to 10 in his head. His eyes stay closed as he whispers back to Yoongi, "How long were you standing there?"
"Just in time. Hyung, you know you're not a waste of my time, right?"
"..."
"Hyung."
"It's hard to
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believe, Yoongi. I know it doesn't make sense but--"
"Is that how I hurt you?"
"..."
"Did I make you feel like you weren't worth every single moment of my time?"
"It's not--"
"It's not me, I know. Not really. But it is. It is still me. It's still me who hurt you like that."
295.
"You were the best thing that ever happened to me. You still are, after everything."
"But I didn't deserve that. The past me or whoever that me was, he treated you like shit. But I promised you. I promised you I wouldn't hurt you. Not like that, not like anything."
"I know.
296.
I know you did."
"Did he promise that too? Did the other me promise you too?"
"...no."
"Then he's an idiot! He doesn't know what he gave up. You're amazing, hyung. And I know we haven't been together for that long but I already know that I'll love you for the rest of my
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life. I'd probably be called dumb or naive but it's you. It's you."
Seokjin opens his eyes slowly and is greeted by Yoongi's gaze. It's so full of care and affection, Seokjin almost cries again but he doesn't, he doesn't. Instead, he smiles; he smiles because Yoongi loves
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him. Yoongi loves him. Yoongi loves him.
He tells himself, it's okay now. Yoongi might be leaving soon but he won't be leaving him. At least, he doesn't think he will. You don't tell someone you love them and then leave them. And Yoongi loves him. Yoongi loves him. Yoongi
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loves him.
He wraps his arms around Yoongi, burying his face in the crook of the younger's neck.
"I'm sorry."
"Don't apologize, hyung. Never apologize for that."
Yoongi hugs him back tightly.
They stay like that for a while before he pulls back and just looks at Yoongi. He
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looks exactly like he used to, speaks exactly like he used to, and makes him feel exactly he used to. But it's different this time because Yoongi is standing in front of him and telling him that it is. Telling him that he can have this. He won't get hurt. Not anymore.
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Well, he supposes he can't avoid the elephant in the room any longer.
"So, what happened with the offer?"
Yoongi shrugs his shoulders.
"I didn't take it."
Wait--
"You what?!"
Seokjin and Hoseok look at each other because they just shouted the same words at the same exact
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time. He processes what Yoongi just said, turning to Namjoon who nods in affirmation.
"But it was a chance of a lifetime! You could have been signed to a label! You could have been famous!"
"Fame is nothing if I couldn't have you."
"Huh?"
"The deal had a contract," Namjoon
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explains. "It said that Yoongi-hyung would be considered a trainee under the company first and he'll have to train for an indeterminate amount of time before they can assess if he'll be an artist or a producer. During that time, he only has limited communication with his
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immediate family and can't keep in touch at all with anyone else. He also has to move to Hong Kong. The flight is on December 4."
"My birthday."
"Yep. So basically, it wasn't /that/ worth it and Yoongi-hyung chose us. Or I guess, more accurately, Yoongi-hyung chose you."
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Seokjin couldn't believe what he was hearing. It's like he got hit by a tidal wave because there's no way this is real. Yoongi wasn't supposed to choose him. Yoongi was supposed to leave and never look back. The Yoongi back then didn't--
He feels Yoongi's thumb wipe at his
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eyes and that's when he realizes he's crying again. God, he's so tired of crying. He steps back and rubs at his eyes but he can't seem to stop.
"I-I'm sorry."
"Hey, hey," Yoongi consoles him. "I told you you don't have to apologize."
"But--"
"I chose you, remember? I meant
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that. You're more important to me than that offer. You all are & there are other ways I can make it in the industry. I'm Min Yoongi aka Suga aka Agust D. They won't know what hit 'em!"
Seokjin lets out a laugh bec he understands that feeling so well. Yoongi came into his
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life without warning and he never realized loving him would lead him here. His life has been a series of ups and downs since he came along and for the longest time he regretted ever meeting him. But this second chance made him realize he could be happy.
"Yep, they won't."
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He could love again and he could heal, even if his heart would break a million more times. Whether it was Yoongi or not, he loved someone and loving someone meant that he can. And maybe he needed to learn that he had to love himself. And be kind to himself. And let himself
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understand his pain and not just brush it aside and pretend that he's okay. And people leave but that doesn't mean he wasn't good enough. Maybe in that lifetime it wasn't meant to be. And in other ones, maybe they'd get their happy ending. Maybe this is his happy ending.
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His birthday arrives in the blink of an eye and he's blindfolded and being led somewhere by Jungkook and Taehyung.
"Can you at least tell me where I'm gonna have my surprise birthday party?"
"Hyung, you already know it's a surprise. Can you at least LET us surprise you?"
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"Ugh, fine. But ONLY because this is Jungkook's first time celebrating with us."
"Aww, I didn't know you loved me so much, hyung."
"Don't be a brat about it and MAYBE I'll let you stay until we eat cake."
"I love you too, hyung."
"I shouldn't have let Yoongi ask your
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parents to let you stay out past your curfew."
"But you did."
"Okay, turn to the right, hyung," Taehyung orders him and he follows.
With his sense of sight out of commission, he relies on his other senses to guess where they could possibly be. He is NOT having a repeat of
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his 20th birthday. Taehyung and Hoseok have since been banned from planning birthday parties together. Their son, Junseo's birthdays were always handled by him, Namjoon, and/or Jimin lest the poor boy get risked being scarred for life accidentally by his parents.
Seokjin
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catches wind of doors opening and music coming from them. Specifically, music coming from a karaoke machine. Just to be sure, he listens more closely & hears a couple of badly sung notes just as a door closes somewhere to his right. They're at a norebang. Okay not too wild.
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Since they have Jungkook with them, there won't be any alcohol involved so he allows himself to relax as Taehyung tells him to, "Turn to your left and we'll be there."
He does as he is told and just walks until Jungkook's hand on his shoulder stops him from walking further.
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"Okay, hyung, you'll be passing through a door okay? Be careful of the table directly in front of you! Alright, Kookie, help hyung walk sideways so he can get to the seat. Okay, seat down, hyung. Here, put this on him."
Seokjin feels something placed on his head and a piece
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of elastic wrapped around his chin.
"Okaaayy and take off the blindfold, Kookie!"
Seokjin feels the handkerchief wrapped around his eyes loosen and the world is a blur before it clears and all around him he hears,
"Happy Birthday, Jin-hyung!"
In front of him stands everyone,
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Taehyung, Jungkook (rushing from his side to stand with the others), Hoseok, Jimin, Namjoon (who are standing a little closer to each other than usual, he might have to tease the two of them later), and Yoongi (his Yoongi), with huge smiles on their faces. The booth they
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rented is decorated with Super Mario everything from the balloons to the streamers to the party hats. The party hats were literally Mario's hat! On the table is a wide array of food such as fried chicken, pizza, and fruit sandwiches. In the corner, he spies a cake box and he
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bets (hopes) it's still Mario-themed.
Seokjin doesn't know why but he feels choked up. He, Namjoon, Taehyung, Jimin, and Hoseok have been doing this since they were high schoolers. Eventually with Naeun, Daeun, and Junseo, they continued to do this. He knows how this goes.
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He's more than used to it. Maybe it's because Yoongi & Jungkook are with them now. Maybe it's because he's celebrating his 23rd birthday as opposed to the last time. Maybe, maybe he just feels the love from his brothers, from his friends, from Yoongi. Maybe he's just happy,
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genuinely happy.
He rubs at his eyes 'cause seriously why is he being such a crybaby? He looks at his friends and smiles, "Thank you, everyone."

They plow through the food and have an impromptu singing competition. It's Namjoon, Jimin, and Jungkook vs Hoseok and Taehyung vs
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him and Yoongi. He and Yoongi end up winning and are exempted from cleaning duties. Soon it's time to give the gifts. Jimin goes first and gives him a big fluffy sweater. Taehyung is next who gives him a customized winter coat. Hoseok gives him a set of his favorite skincare
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products. Jungkook shyly gives him a portrait of him as Mario which the kid drew himself (he receives it with a scream of delight and a hug). Namjoon gives him a giftcard he can use to pay for games (he almost cries). Lastly for Yoongi's turn, the blonde steps away from him.
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Yoongi fiddles with the karaoke machine and when he finishes, he's connected the speakers to his phone. He turns back to everyone but looks only at Seokjin.
"So, I uh wrote a song for you. That's it. That's my gift. I actually wrote it a couple of weeks back, a few days
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after we--um--after Jimin's show--"
"Stop being so discreet. We all know you kissed under the rain," Taehyung comments, earning him an elbow to both of his sides, courtesy of Jimin and Namjoon.
"Well, yeah--that. It's after we got together, basically. I, uh, don't know what
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else to say 'cause the song basically does that for me. But I want you to know, hyung, that I love you and I don't think I'll ever stop loving you. Not now. Not ever. Not even for a thousand different lifetimes."
Seokjin clutches at his heart before playfully sending Yoongi
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a handkiss to which the younger catches and keeps in his pocket like it's nothing causing almost half the other people in attendance (Jimin & Hoseok) to coo and the rest to either shudder in disgust or not react at all (re: Namjoon). Yoongi presses the play button and the
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first note plays. Seokjin's eyes grow wide because it can't possibly be.

'From which stars have we fallen to meet each other here,
Two wayward souls lost in translation,
The farther apart we stay, the closer I want to be,
Being with you is more than enough for me.'
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This is their song. There's no mistaking it.

'Hold on to me, I'll keep you safe,
These galaxies are nothing compared to you,
'Cause you're the reason I breathe and wake to every sunsrise,
You're the reason I'm happier now. My one last hope, my paradise.'

Seokjin promised
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himself he wouldn't cry, not on his birthday he won't. But now that Yoongi's dropped something this big, like seriously what were the odds that he made the same exact song and everything? Is this fate playing with him or is Yoongi really meant to make their song? Does it
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mean that he and Yoongi are meant to be together from the very beginning? This song had been the old Yoongi's first 'I love you' and this song was the one that crushed his heart when Yoongi had left. But now, this song is a gift to him by the Yoongi he's with now and though
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he knows the lyrics by heart, he listens to them again like he's hearing them for the first time. He understands the words as if it was Yoongi saying them to him in that moment when it's neither night or day. A time between just the two of them. And he cries silently but
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he smiles his widest through the tears because he loves Yoongi. He loves Yoongi so much. He doesn't think he'll ever stop loving Yoongi because Yoongi makes him happy. Yoongi makes him feel loved. Yoongi chose him to love. And Yoongi loves him back just as much, if not more.
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The song ends and Seokjin's rushing around the table to go to Yoongi. He grabs the younger by the front of his shirt and kisses him fully on the lips. He ignores the jeers and teasing of his friends, flipping them off for good measure. He feels Yoongi's arms wrap around his
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waist as he brings them closer, deepening the kiss. They pull apart to breathe, pressing their foreheads together.
"I'm guessing you liked the song?" Yoongi asks him, beaming.
"I loved it. I love you. Thank you. Thank you so much."

The party continues and they sing more
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songs badly. Someone orders a couple of (non-alcoholic) drinks and snacks because they officially ran out of food. Seokjin was banging his head to Namjoon and Hoseok's rendition of a rock song when he notices Jimin and Yoongi off to the side, looking around for something.
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He leaves Namjoon and Hoseok to their devices and approaches Jimin and Yoongi.
"What are we looking for?"
"Candles, hyung," Jimin answers him. "To put on your cake."
"They were literally there a while ago," Yoongi adds, scrunching his eyebrows.
"It's not in the box?" he
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asks.
"Nope. We already checked."
Seokjin goes to check anyway (mostly because he wants to see if the cake is still Super Mario-themed) and he sees a cake shaped like a star (fuck yeah) but no sign of any candles.
"I'll just go out and buy new ones." He overhears Yoongi say
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as the younger puts his jacket on. "Wait, what? You don't have to go out. We can just cut the cake without the candles," Seokjin pouts.
"But how will you make your wish?" Yoongi walks towards him and gives him a peck on the corner of his lips. "I'll be back before you know
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it."
"Okay. Just stay safe."
"I will. Don't miss me too much."
"Don't give me a reason to."
Yoongi waves goodbye before closing the door as he leaves.
"It's like you guys are married already," Jimin tells him.
"Even /you're/ joining the bandwagon?"
"I'm not teasing, hyung.
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It's a good thing. Feels like true love does exist."
Seokjin could only smile as he feels a blush coming.

As they wait for Yoongi, they eat through their second set of snacks and have another singing competition. But as the hands of the clock keep turning and Yoongi still
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hasn't come back, Seokjin starts feeling nervous. He tries calling the younger but he isn't answering his phone.
"What's taking him so long? Isn't the mart just across the street?"
"Yeah. We passed by it on the way here. It's beside the tea place."
Seokjin grabs his coat
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and Taehyung asks him, "What are you doing, hyung?"
"I'm going after him."
"But he could be on his way already."
"Then I'll meet him halfway. Just stay here and have fun. I'll text you when we're coming back."
"Don't leave us to go off somewhere on your own," Taehyung calls
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after him.
He walks as fast as he can out the building, telling himself not to worry too much. The cold air hits his face as soon as he steps outside and he wraps his coat tighter around him. He weaves around the other pedestrians still out at this time of the night and
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walks over to the crosswalk. He waits for the sign to turn green when he hears someone call his name from across the street. He turns and sees Yoongi waving at him with a big smile on his face, a paper bag which he assumes holds the candles under his arm. The worry that
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lodged itself in his heart dissipates and he waves back, mist forming from the sigh that he releases. The street light turns green and he watches as Yoongi runs ahead of the other pedestrians to reach him.

It happens in a split second, the sound of tires screeching, people
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standing back as a body drops hard onto the pavement. Seokjin's body turns cold and he's frozen to the spot. His eyes focus on the body on the ground, lifeless and still. People start to crowd and he forces his legs to move. The scream that escapes his lips is raw.
"YOONGI!"
tw, vague descriptions of injury and blood. found in 350-351
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Seokjin drops to his knees as he takes in the sight of Yoongi on the ground. The paper bag he was holding lays crumpled beside him, its contents having spilled onto the road. A bright red taints Yoongi's blonde hair, flowing to his cheeks and drenching his jacket collar.
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Seokjin couldn't keep the sob that erupts from his lips. He grabs Yoongi by the shoulder and gently jostles him.
"Wake up, Yoongi," he whispers. "I'm here. Hyungie's here."
He places his hands on Yoongi's face, ignoring the warm, slippery liquid that coats his fingers.
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"Yoongi, wake up. Please? Yoongi. I'm here. Hyung is here. Just open your eyes, Yoongi. Please. I'm begging you. Please!"
His cries turn into wails and his tears turn into waterfalls. He brushes Yoongi's hair out of his eyes and pats his cheek to get him to react.
"Yoongi,
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"Yoongi," he tries again. This isn't funny, Yoongi. You promised me! You promised!"
Seokjin barely registers a clamor of footsteps behind him.
"Jin-hyung!"
"Oh my god."
"NOOO, YOONGI-HYUNG!"
"Hoseok, hold Jungkook back. Taehyung call 119."
Seokjin feels a hand on his
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shoulder pull him back but he pushes it away, holding onto Yoongi, not willing to let go.
"NO, YOONGI, NO! PLEASE! PLEASE WAKE UP! PLEASE, YOONGI, I BEG YOU. JUST OPEN YOUR EYES!"
But Yoongi doesn't. He stays laying on the ground, eyes closed and his body slowly losing
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warmth.
Seokjin doesn't understand. He doesn't understand anything at all. But what he does know is that he can't lose Yoongi. Not again.
"WAKE UP, YOONGI! YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME, NOT AGAIN. NOT LIKE THIS. YOU PROMISED ME,
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YOONGI. YOU PROMISED ME!"
Seokjin feels himself pulled back again but this time it's stronger. He feels his grip on Yoongi loosen so he thrashes about to try & stop whoever it is taking him away from Yoongi.
"NO, LET GET OF ME! YOONGI! NO, GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME! HE NEEDS ME!
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YOONGI! WAKE UP! PLEASE!"
Seokjin hears sirens sounding in the distance as he is being dragged further away from Yoongi.
In a last effort to escape, Seokjin hits his captor and breaks free when their grip loosened. He is able to reach Yoongi's side when he feels a hand grab
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him again. He tries to scramble away and stay close to Yoongi when in the corner of his eye, he catches something red and sparkly, stark against the dark asphalt. What? There's literally no way. The hand then wraps itself around Seokjin's waist and starts pulling him away
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again. Knowing the hand will not let him get him away anymore, he reaches for the items he saw instead. Clutching his new possession like a lifeline, he could only watch as Yoongi grows farther and farther away from him.
"Now please just stay here. The ambulance is on its
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way," someone tells him.
But he ignores them, his eyes never leaving Yoongi.
His heart feels like it got stabbed all over again but this time he doesn't know if he'll recover. It's one thing to lose someone because they walked away from you. It's an entirely different thing
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when you get them back only to lose them again because their time in this world is up. He doesn't want to believe it. After all that's happened in the last 6 months, in the last 32 and a half years, meeting Yoongi all over again, falling in love with Yoongi all over again,
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letting himself love Yoongi as he always has, it can't just end with Yoongi dying. He can't just lose this when he's barely even had it.
The ambulance arrives and the onlookers start to scatter. Seokjin stays where he is, unwilling to let Yoongi out of his sight. Paramedics
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get off the ambulance and start checking on Yoongi. They assess his vital signs and Seokjin watches as their faces gradually turn grim. They start to move quickly and one of the medics dispatch a message using a radio. That's when Seokjin remembers the items he got from
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beside Yoongi, the very things that started it all: the candles. He hurriedly opens their plastic packaging before taking one out and holding it between his fingers. He seriously can't believe his eyes. These were the very same candles that were on his birthday cake, still
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red and still sparkly. Other than the fact that they were very pretty, they seem just like any other birthday candle. But Seokjin knows they're more than that because he made a wish and he went back in time. He's not sure if the candles themselves actually do grant wishes
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or not but he's desperate. He is willing to risk anything just to stop what's happening now from happening. He knows it's crazy betting his chances on some birthday candles and wishes but the same exact candles appearing again in his life right now, of all times, it must
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hold some meaning, right? If he made a wish again, he can use it so he doesn't lose Yoongi, right? He doesn't want to lose Yoongi anymore, not like this, not when he's finally found his happiness, not when he finally understands what it means to be genuinely happy.
Not when
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he and Yoongi are finally meant to be.
The medics bring out a stretcher just as Seokjin takes the match that came with the candles. He lights the match just as they put Yoongi on the stretcher and bring him inside the ambulance. He puts the flame on the wick of the candle
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just as the medics enter the ambulance and get ready to leave. The last thing Seokjin sees before he closes his eyes is Yoongi just as the ambulance door closes. He takes a deep breath, tears falling from his eyes as he makes his wish: "Please don't take this away from me.
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Please don't take him away from me."
He blows on the candle and feels the flame die out. The smell of smoke reaches his nose and a hand touches his shoulder lightly.
"Hyung, are you okay?"
Wait, what?
He opens his eyes and sees a cake that says "Happy 55th Birthday!"
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He looks in front of him and sees the familiar faces of Namjoon, Taehyung, and Hoseok but older. He also sees Naeun, Daeun, and Junseo.
"Hyung?"
He turns to the hand and sees Jimin, older too and his eyebrows knit in worry.
"Are you okay?"
That's when he breaks down.
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Multiple questions pop into his head in rapid succession. What is he doing here? Where is Yoongi? Why is everyone old again? Is he old again? Why is he old again? His nephew and nieces are here, did he go back to his original lifetime? If so, then does that mean everything
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that happened /didn't/ happen? But what about his wish? Or is this still the new timeline but he just skipped a whole 32 years? What happened to Yoongi? What about Jungkook? Did Yoongi survive? Is Yoongi okay? Is Yoongi alive?

Namjoon can only watch as his brother falls
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apart in front of them, a little shell-shocked because Seokjin has never allowed himself to show any kind of vulnerability in front of other people, much less cry like he's just lost a piece of himself. It's heartbreaking to look at because Seokjin was just sitting there
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having blown on the candles but he didn't open his eyes for a while. They all looked at each other confused as to why Seokjin isn't doing anything.
"Did he fall asleep?" Daeun asked prompting Jimin to approach him and ask him if he's okay. Seokjin's opened his but he looked
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surprised and confused to see all of them. Jimin talked to him again and that's when Namjoon saw it, the look of utter heartache on his brother's face before his eyes turned glossy and the tears fell from his eyes one at a time. Seokjin then crumbles in on himself and sobs.
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Namjoon doesn't know what to do so he turns towards the others but finds that they're at a loss like he is. He locks eyes with Jimin whose face is tinged with worry for the eldest and he urges him to ask what's wrong.
"Hyung--"
"Is Min Yoongi still Min Yoongi?" Seokjin asks
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quietly and Namjoon's not sure if he heard that right.
"What did you say, hyung?" he asks.
"Is Min Yoongi still Min Yoongi?" Seokjin repeats with more urgency, looking up at them in desperation, tears spilling from his eyes.
"I-I don't--"
"Is Min Yoongi still the same?"
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Seokjin pleads, like this question will make or break him. "Did we meet each other at the rap show? Were we together for six months? Did he break up with me to go to Hong Kong on this day 32 years ago? Did all of those things happen? Is Min Yoongi still Min Yoongi?"
"Yes,
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hyung," It's Taehyung who answers. "All those things happened and Min Yoongi is still Min Yoongi."
Seokjin's eyes soften and he lets out a defeated breath before smiling sadly to himself, "Oh. I see."
Silence falls over them and all eyes are on Seokjin as he closes his eyes
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teetering back and forth before falling forward onto the table.
"HYUNG!" Jimin shouts, reaching for Seokjin who isn't moving.
Namjoon rushes to them and tries to shake Seokjin awake.
"Hyung, wake up!" When Seokjin doesn't come to, he turns to the others. "Someone call 119."
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Min Yoongi is not a man without regrets. In fact, throughout his early adult life, it felt like he was just making one poorly made decision after another. Signing to a label without reading the subtext, moving to Hong Kong and not securing his degree, overworking himself &
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inadvertently pushing people away. But of all the things he's done, what has to be his biggest regret of all is breaking Kim Seokjin's heart.
He knew he didn't have to. Even if the contract stated he shouldn't have any contact with anyone outside his immediate family, he
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could have just been discreet. He could have just explained to Seokjin his situation and they could have had a long distance relationship. He knew they could have because Seokjin used to look at him like he was made of stars, a constellation in his own right. Seokjin had
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loved him very much and had loved him very true. Yoongi understood that and he felt it. But still he threw it all away. He threw it all away because he thought he had to choose: his future or his present, his career or Seokjin.
Seokjin to Yoongi was the sun peeking through
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the clouds on a rainy day. He was the cup of coffee warming his hands on a cold night. He was an Adenium blooming in the desert and the sea breeze cooling his skin. He was the moon lighting up the entire night sky and the gentle wave lapping against his feet in the sand. He
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was the shooting star he made a wish on and the dreams he had on a good night's sleep. He was the best part in a sad song, the part that gives hope, the part that he never gets tired of and repeats over and over again. Seokjin was his happiness, a home he could return to, a
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place that would take him in no matter how far he left or how long he was gone. He loves Seokjin. It took him a while to say it but he felt it since he first laid eyes on him.
But it hadn't been enough. Loving Seokjin hadn't been enough for him to stay. His mind convinced
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him that they weren't together long enough. He believed that six months together can't be love. He can't have loved Seokjin in that short amount of time. It wasn't enough. What he felt wasn't enough. So he cut the flower that bloomed between them and Seokjin became the dead
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leaves in autumn, falling away as Yoongi left when winter came, bringing with him the end to their story. But he never forgot him. There wasn't a day in the last 32 years that Seokjin ever left his mind. He has never loved someone as much as he loved--still loves Seokjin. He
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thinks about what could have been if he hadn't ended it. What life he'd have had with Seokjin still in it. Would they have stayed together until now? Would they have moved in together, get married and start a family? Would they continue to feel what they felt in those six
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months?
Yoongi thinks they could. He'd guarantee it because he would try, he would try his hardest to love Seokjin and to make Seokjin feel loved. If he could go back in time and have a do-over, he wouldn't make the same naive mistakes. He'd hold onto Seokjin and never let
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go, not even if it cost him his life. Unfortunately for him, all of that is just wishful thinking. What's done is done and what's past is past. Though he gained fame and fortune, he lost the one person who made him feel whole. No amount of songs he's written about and for
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Seokjin could act as a proper apology. No amount of awards and trophies could replace the regret and the emptiness that's made a home in his heart. No amount of wishing could make him go back and change what he did. He has nobody else to blame but himself. Only himself.
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The elevator doors are about to close when Yoongi hears someone frantically yell for them to be kept open. He holds it until Hoseok safely passes through.
"Oh Yoongi-hyung! Thanks for that," the younger pants, smiling gratefully at him.
"No problem. What's the hurry though?
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Important lunch date?"
"Ah no," Hoseok shakes his head, his tone becoming hesitant. "Just some family matters."
"Oh... Did something happen?"
Hoseok pauses as if mulling something over in his head before turning back to Yoongi.
"Yeah um, Seokjin-hyung collapsed last night."
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Yoongi's breath gets stuck in his throat as his brain processes what Hoseok just said.
"Seokjin-hyung...collapsed...?"
Hoseok nods forlornly, running a hand through his hair.
"Yeah but I guess faint is more accurate? Regardless, we all aren't getting any younger anymore so
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it's alarming considering it happened out of nowhere."
Yoongi stares at his reflection on the elevator walls, unsure of what to do cause the thought of Seokjin suddenly fainting, at their age it could mean--
"/Why/--" he steadies his voice. "Why did he faint?"
Hoseok looks
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at him, probably noticing how his stature became rigid but makes no move to point it out.
"We don't know yet. Hyung's quite healthy and he's never fainted before. The doctor ran a few tests on him and we're just waiting for the results."
"I see. How is he doing now?"
"He
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woke up this morning, according to my niece, thankfully. But he still looked a little pale so he's going to stay in the hospital for the time being. That's where I'm going right now."
"Ah." Yoongi nods absentmindedly, worry continuing to envelop his heart.
The elevator comes
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to a stop and opens with a ding. Hoseok starts to leave when he notices Yoongi standing still.
"You're not getting off, hyung?"
"What? Oh--um yeah. I forgot something in the studio."
"Oh okay. I'll go ahead then."
"Yeah. See you."
Hoseok walks away without looking back. The
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elevator doors close behind him and it's just Yoongi by himself again.
He presses the button to his studio's floor without thinking about it, the only thing on his mind is Seokjin and how he could have--no. Don't think like that, Yoongi. Hoseok said he's fine so he's fine.
403.
He woke up this morning, albeit still a little pale, but he woke up & that's what matters.
Why is he even getting worked up about this? It's not like he has any right to care anymore. He threw it all away remember? He's not a part of Seokjin's life. He hasn't been a part of
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Seokjin's life for the past 32 years. Why does he care so much? Why is he so scared of losing him now when he /chose/ to let him go all those years ago in the first place?

He gets off the elevator in a daze, his feet taking him to his destination. He inputs his password
405.
like clockwork and lets himself into the studio. Jungkook, who was hunched over something on the table, looks up at him confused.
"You're back already, hyung? Where's the food?"
Yoongi heaves a disappointed sigh, rubbing a hand over his face.
"I'm such an idiot, Gguk."
406.
Jungkook blinks at him. "Well, we already know /that/ but care to expound?"
Yoongi wants to glare at his cousin for the jab but it's not like Jungkook knows what happened. He walks over and slumps on the couch, closing his eyes.
"Kim Seokjin is in the hospital right now
407.
because he collapsed last night."
Jungkook's eyes widen in surprise, a tinge of guilt crossing his features.
"Oh shit. I'm sorry, hyung. But wait, how do you know this?"
"Hoseok told me in the elevator awhile ago." Yoongi puts his head in his hands. "I don't know what to do,
408.
Gguk. I know I fucked up big time but I can't stop caring about him. When Hoseok was about to leave, I wanted to go too. I wanted to see him. I wanted to see for myself that he's actually alright. After 32 years, it had to take a life and death situation for me to get the
409.
courage to want to see him again. It's pathetic."
Jungkook doesn't say anything for a while and it's not like Yoongi is expecting him to. The younger's been his sounding board since forever and all Yoongi needs really is for someone to listen.
"Hyung. I know you think you
410.
don't deserve to feel what you still feel for Kim Seokjin-ssi but know that it's not beyond you to want to care about him, to want to see him."
He sighs. "You know, Hoseok's a really good friend and he tells me all about his family and Seokjin-hyung when he doesn't have to.
411.
I honestly don't know why he even agreed to work here in the first place when it almost drove his relationship with his brother-in-law apart. Seokjin-hyung hates me. He hates me so much because I was more than a jerk. I was selfish and only thought about myself. Did you know
412.
I left on his birthday? It completely slipped my mind because I was too caught up in my own delusions and I thought it would've been easier if I left him on the day I left Korea. I didn't want to have to face him because if I did, I knew I'd cave. He meant so much to me and
413.
I meant even more to him but what did I do? I broke it all to pieces. I broke his trust. I broke his love. I broke him. If I had been in his place, I'd despise the hell out of me too."
"But you still love him, don't you?"
"..."
"Regardless of your mistakes, hyung, you still
414.
think about him. You still care about him. You still love him, don't you?"
Yoongi takes his hands away from his face and just stares at them. A memory filters through his eyes of an early morning in between the sheets.

His hands were intertwined with another's as he sang a
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song softly like a lullaby. He was never particularly the best at singing but this time he wanted to because he had something he needed to get off his chest, something important he wanted to say. After the song, he pressed kisses onto the person's neck before hooking his
416.
chin on their shoulder.
"What do you think, hyung?" he asked, butterflies squirming in his tummy.
"Hmm." The person pursed their lips. "Your singing could use a bit of work."
"Hey! I took it seriously this time." He pouted. "And you said you wouldn't comment on that."
"Did
417.
I?" the person asked, feigning innocence.
"Hyuuung," he whined.
"Oh, Yoongi. You know I'm just teasing." The person turned around to face him before pressing a kiss to his forehead then to his nose then to his lips. The person then smiled at him in a way that made his heart
418.
skip a beat. "I love it, by the way, if you didn't already know."
The words escape Yoongi's lips naturally: "I love you too, hyung, if you didn't already know."

Back in the present, he takes his eyes off his hands.
"Yes," he tells Jungkook. "I still do. I still love him."
419.
"Then that should be enough. You regret what you did. You've been regretting it since you ended that phone call. You made a very stupid decision but you learned from it. You shouldn't stop yourself from loving him when you clearly still do. It's not wrong, hyung. Loving him
420.
isn't wrong."
Yoongi shakes his head. "But I hurt him. I loved him all the same back then but I still ran away."
Jungkook releases a sigh of exasperation. "Then don't run away now! You keep thinking that you can't be worthy of loving him but you're only pushing him further
421.
away when all you've ever needed to do was keep him close." Jungkook crosses his arms before giving him a pointed look. "Look, hyung. You already lost him once. What will you do if you lose him forever? You've had 32 /years/ to ask for a second chance--and I'm not saying you
422.
ask to get back with him but you owe it to him to let him know that it was never his fault. That you regret what you did. That you're sorry. You still love him & you never stopped loving him even after all this time. He needs to know how you feel, hyung. You need to let him
423.
know and you need to let yourself feel. Both of you will never get closure if you don't tie your loose strings."
Yoongi knows Jungkook has a point. But Jungkook doesn't know the guilt of hurting someone else. Yoongi knew what he was getting into. He knew the consequences.
424.
What he didn't realize at the time was how much it would impact Seokjin. He had received messages of confusion, of questions he knows the answer to but is too ashamed to say, messages of betrayal, of words that stab like arrows and his heart their sole target, messages of
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anger, of hatred that boiled over so much it burned him. Then it simmered down gradually into nothing and he was all alone in radio silence. He didn't like receiving those messages because it showed to him just how much he tore Seokjin apart. How much pain he brought to
426.
someone who showered him with only love and affection. It was crippling. He was so ungrateful and so selfish. And then his heart is pushing him to continue to love? He doesn't think he should be allowed to love him again, not after that. He doesn't deserve to love him. He'll
427.
never deserve to love him.

But the heart remains stubborn and it tells him to care, to /want/ to care, to fix his mistakes no matter how much pain he caused. And it tells him to continue loving Seokjin because loving someone doesn't mean they have to love you back. It's
428.
difficult wanting to love someone who won't love you back, someone who has every right to not love you back, someone who used to love you. Maybe he's afraid. It's stupid and selfish again but he doesn't want to be rejected by Seokjin, if he ever does go and see him again.
429.
But Jungkook's right and that he owes Seokjin an apology, an explanation, a goodbye, a REAL goodbye face to face. Because he loves Seokjin and he doesn't want him to hurt anymore. He knows that the chances of him becoming a part of Seokjin's life again is zero to none. He's
430.
not hoping for that. He's not even hoping for forgiveness but if he could just tell Seokjin that he's sorry, and that he misses him, and that he wishes he has his best life, then maybe loving him, if only on his own, wouldn't be so bad.

Asking Hoseok which hospital Seokjin
431.
is confined in is already awkward enough but it has to be through the phone so he doesn't know how Hoseok is reacting.
"Yeah, he was awake. Still a little weak but he looks a lot better."
Yoongi nods, forgetting that the younger can't see him.
"Do you--do you think it's okay
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for me to go there? I don't want to aggravate his state any further and I know how much he hates my guts."
Hoseok hums through the speaker. "No, I think you're good. Hyung is...not as averse to your existence as he usually is."
"Really? Why?"
"That I don't know. But he was
433.
asking about you before he fainted."
Yoongi could only blink at that. "He was?"
"Yeah. I don't know if it was just me though but there was a sad kind of fondness around his eyes when he mentioned your name, like longing."
The smallest piece of hope blooms in Yoongi's chest
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but he is quick to push it down because that's not what he's going there for.
"If you're sure. I really don't want to cause trouble. I just want to wish him well."
"Don't worry, hyung. It's fine."
"Okay. I trust you."
The younger hums in response again before continuing, "I
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can't accompany you though. I'm already on my way back to the company."
"Oh." Okay, maybe Yoongi is biting off more than he could chew.
He hoped for Hoseok to be there so he could have some form of support/buffer in case Seokjin doesn't take to him well. But that just flew
436.
out the window and maybe he's panicking a little bit. He almost misses when Hoseok talks again.
"It's my son's turn to watch over right now. I'll just let him know you're visiting."
"Okay. Thank you, Hoseok."
"No need to thank me, hyung." A pause. "You know, I'm glad you're
437.
doing this. It's been a long time coming but you and Seokjin-hyung--you both need this."
"I--I'm sorry for what I did."
"Bah! Don't apologize to me! Seokjin-hyung's the one who should hear those words."
"R-right."
"You can do this, hyung! Fighting!"
The call ends with a
438.
click.

The door to Seokjin's hospital room is intimidating. Yoongi can't help but feel nervous to the point of being clammy but Jungkook rubs at his shoulders and tells him he can do this. He hovers his hand over the door--god, he's actually doing this--before knocking.
439.
He waits. And waits. And waits.
He turns to Jungkook with a confused expression, the younger shrugging in reply. He knocks again but the door remains closed.
"We /are/ at the right room, right?"
He squints at the name of the patient on the door and it says 'Kim Seokjin" but
440.
why isn't anyone answering?
"Didn't you say Hoseok-hyungim's son is supposed to be here?"
"Yeah. Maybe I should call him?"
He knocks on the door one more time while dialing Hoseok's number. He tries to listen for any movement coming from the inside the room but it's like
441.
it's completely deserted.
"Hello! This is Jung Hoseok of Genius Entertainment. You are receiving this message because I am unable to answ--"
"Hoseok's not picking up. Must be in a meeting."
"What do you want to do now, then?"
Yoongi looks at the door and throws all forms of
442.
hesitation and reason away. He reaches for the doorknob and twists it, finding it unlocked. He turns back to Jungkook who looks just as bemused as he is. The younger urges him to go on and his heart starts beating faster. He's never been more nervous than he is now and he
443.
tries to calm himself down because his age doesn't really warrant this much emotional activity. Taking one last deep breath, he opens the door wider, peeking into the room.
"Hello?" What was Hoseok's son's name again? Jinyoung? Junyoung? Jinseo? "Kim Junseo-ssi?"
No one
444.
answers. Is the kid not here? But what about--
"Hyung," Jungkook calls him with a loud whisper. He looks back and the younger is handing him--oh right, the bouquet. He takes it from Jungkook who offers him an encouraging smile and two thumbs up. He tries to smile in return
445.
but it probably looks like a grimace. Still he presses on. He walks further into the room, the door closing behind him. He stands on what looks like a short hallway with doors on both sides, probably the closet and the bathroom. The hallways opens up into the rest of the
446.
room. He sees the edge of a bed and his heart only picks up the pace. He starts walking, a million thoughts passing through his head like how will Seokjin react and what he is going to say and--shit, he doesn't even know what Seokjin looks like after all these years. That
447.
thought makes him stop in his tracks just before crosses the end of the hallway and he has to take another deep breath. He probably spends half a minute collecting himself before he feels ready and that's when he notices how awfully quiet the room actually is. He furrows his
448.
eyebrows in confusion because Hoseok had said that Seokjin was already awake. Shouldn't he have heard him enter the room by now? Why isn't he saying anything? Yoongi walks a few more steps, the bed becoming more visible with each one until he's fully out of the hallway and
449.
standing in the room. He takes a sharp intake of breath as soon as he lays his eyes on the person lying on the bed asleep.
His lips start to tremble and he has to cover his mouth with his hand to keep himself from making noise because right in front of him is Kim Seokjin.
450.
He takes in Seokjin's sleeping form, the older lying on his back on the partly inclined bed, his chest rising up and down in a slow but steady motion. Yoongi's eyes get drawn to Seokjin's face, calm and without worries. Before he can stop them, his feet take a few steps
451.
forward. Closer to the bed now, Yoongi sees the wrinkles around Seokjin's eyes and forehead. A couple of age spots are also scattered on his cheeks. His hair isn't completely black anymore, graying in some areas, and shorter than how he kept it back when they were younger.
452.
It's obvious just how much time has passed and it's a little shocking to Yoongi because in his mind he'd always imagined Seokjin like how he last saw him, young and so, so beautiful. He's definitely not as young-looking now (likewise with Yoongi) but even if time took away
453.
their youth, it could never take away Seokjin's beauty. He's still as breathtaking as ever, his eyelashes softly gracing his cheeks and his lips poised to a full pout. Yoongi has to still his heart because seeing Seokjin after all this time makes his heart beat like it's
454.
falling in love all over again. And he knows that is exactly what's happening. The sky outside is a deep orange because of the setting sun, making Seokjin and the entire room glow gold. It feels like he's stuck in time in a precious moment and Seokjin's just sleeping but
455.
he's so ethereal and pure and that's how Yoongi knows he loves him too much.

He moves closer as if in a trance and starts to reach out a hand when Seokjin moves in his sleep, crinkling his eyebrows.
"Yoo...ngi..." he whimpers and Yoongi has to take a step back. Is Seokjin
456.
awake?
"Don't...don't leave me, please..." Seokjin continues and Yoongi drops the flowers. "You can't...do this..."

Jungkook was just minding his own business, waiting for Yoongi in front of Kim Seokjin's hospital door, when someone approaches him, "Excuse me? Can I help
457.
you?"
He turns to the voice and sees a young man holding a carton of food, looking at him inquisitively.
"Oh? Are you Hoseok-hyungnim's son?"
"Ah, yes, sir! You're here to visit Uncle?"
As Jungkook is about to answer, the door to Seokjin's room opens suddenly & Yoongi rushes
458.
out of it, pale like he's just seen a ghost.
"Hyung!" Jungkook exclaims. "How'd it go?"
Yoongi pauses for a bit as if distracted, unease clear on his features, before shaking his head.
"He's asleep."
"Aahh," Jungkook nods in understanding. "Hoseok-hyungnim's son is here."
459.
Yoongi turns to the young man beside him, staring at him before half-bowing. "Please tell your father I said thank you."
The kid scrambles to bow back. "Oh! Um, yes, sir."
Yoongi then starts walking away quickly and Jungkook is a bit perplexed at that.
"Hyung, wait!"
He nods
460.
at Hoseok's son, saying his own thanks and an apology for Yoongi's behavior before jogging off after his cousin. Yoongi is already entering the elevator and Jungkook rushes to catch him before the doors close.
He's a little out of breath when he reaches the elevator.
"What
461.
the hell was--"
Jungkook stops mid-scold when he sees Yoongi hunched over himself, hand over his eyes, and tears falling down his cheeks.
"What happened, hyung?" he asks gently.
"Coming here was a mistake. I can't barge into his life again. I shouldn't. He deserves better."
462.
Seokjin wakes up to the smell of seafood and the sound of rustling somewhere in the room.
"Junseo? Is that my soup?"
"Oh, you'e awake already, Uncle. And yes. Thankfully I was able to find a shop selling this."
"Aah, you're such a good kid, Junseo. You're really my favorite
463.
nephew."
Junseo shakes his head, chuckling as he rolls the overbed table closer to Seokjin. "I'm you're only nephew," he says as he places the food Seokjin asked him to buy on the table.
"I know."
Seokjin props himself up to sit a little straighter prompting Junseo to
464.
reach over and help him.
"Aah, really my favorite nephew.

Seokjin watches as Junseo takes the lid off the container of the soup, making the seafood smell spread more in the room. His stomach grumbles and he starts to salivate a little bit. He grabs the spoon on the table,
465.
not waiting for Junseo to finish setting out the kimbap, and takes a sip of the soup. He feels the hot liquid pass through his throat to his stomach, warming him up.
"This is really good! Where did you buy this?"
Junseo searches his pockets before pulling out a card.
"It's a
466.
restaurant called Hansik Gungjeon?"
"Oh?" The name is familiar to Seokjin. Wait-- "Did you go to a market to find this?"
"Nope. It's just down the street. Why?"
A memory resurfaces and Seokjin is hit with bittersweet nostalgia. Should he still call it a memory?
"Nothing. I
467.
remember eating at a place with the same name a long time ago. One of the best jokbal I've ever had." 'Best company too,' his mind adds for him.
"Oh! This place sells jokbal too. It's their specialty, I think, along with kimchi jjigae. A lot of people were ordering it when I
468.
was buying the soup. Apparently, it's super popular."
Huh. They also ate kimchi jjigae back then. Could this really be the same restaurant? If it is, it must have expanded then since that time. That's a nice thought. But Seokjin remembers that he never actually visited the
469.
restaurant in /this/ timeline. It was back in the other one. The one that was supposed to be his new beginning, his second chance. Or at least he thought it was. Now it was just a memory. Or maybe a dream? But reliving six months of his life feels like more than a dream. It
470.
felt so real and so tangible. The sights and the sounds, his brothers and his friends young again, meeting Jungkook, reuniting with Yoongi--Oh, Yoongi.
"Uncle!" Junseo rushes to his side in concern and he has to wave his nephew away as he wipes at his eyes.
"It's just tears.
471.
Why are you overreacting?"
Junseo purses his lips, staying beside Seokjin.
"You never cry. And the last time you did, you fainted."
"I feel like you're meant to be Jimin and Joon's child not your fathers'." Seokjin releases a deep sigh. "I'm fine, Junseo, really."
"But--"
472.
"Just sit down already. The food is getting cold."
Junseo does as he is told and Seokjin makes sure that he doesn't let his guard down again, or at least not while he's around any of the others.
He understands their concern for him, really, but it just gets a little bit too
473.
much like, if they don't fuss over him, he'll have another fainting spell. But he is fine. He meant what he said to his nephew that he's fine. He's had enough time to mull over what happened to him since he first woke up this morning. It's still a bit surreal to think about,
474.
definitely. What can a person make of time travelling really? And he's not completely emotionally constipated, no matter what his family thinks. So a few drops of tears here and there do escape from time to time but he's gradually accepting the end result of whatever it is
475.
the candles and his wishes made him go through. One of the few benefits of being old is being wiser about certain things even if those certain things are just completely bonkers that making sense of it doesn't even seem like a virtual choice. Of course, it didn't come to him
476.
at the snap of a finger. Before he blacked out last night, he /didn't/ know what to think or what to feel. One moment he was 23 and on the streets of Seoul, helpless because he thought he was going to lose Yoongi forever, then he blinks and he is 55 again, everything that
477.
happened apparently never happened and at first he felt cheated. The past six months that he's been living, every single day of it, is lost to whatever power brought him there in the first place. It's like he was given something with the promise that it's his to keep then he
478.
finds out that wasn't true at all and he's only spending borrowed time and he has to return everything now. Yoongi--the other Yoongi--was dying in his arms and when he made his second wish, all he wanted was just a little more time. A little more time to spend with Yoongi to
479.
stop him from leaving the party and eventually getting hit by the car. Obviously his wish didn't give him that & brought him to his old life instead. He didn't get it. Why is it that when he asked for Yoongi to not to get taken away, when he asked for the genuine happiness
480.
that he had with his brothers and his friends to not get taken away, it drops him in a life where Yoongi left him and he's lived every single waking moment of the past 32 years a miserable shell of a human? And then it hits him. It hits him so hard, he loses consciousness.
481.
Obscure old person humor aside, his wish might not have given him exactly what he asked for--He did not get more time with Yoongi like he wanted. He did not stay in his new life but returned back to his old one--but it showed him what he needed. In this old life, Yoongi
482.
chose his career and broke his heart. This heartbreak made him bitter, made him insufferable. He hated so many things, so many people. He hated Yoongi a LOT and blamed him for making him this way. But Yoongi was only one part of the equation. The other half was him. Going
483.
back in time and redoing everything showed him that he had a choice. He always had a choice: to let hate envelop his heart and reject the love that he deserves or to forgive, move forward, and let himself love again. He realized that he needed to heal. He needed to be kinder
484.
to himself, needed to be more patient. He didn't need to hide behind a facade that made him appear strong when he was crumbling all alone on the inside. He needed to let people in. He needed to open up his heart and understand that love wasn't a weakness. It wasn't his fault
485.
that Yoongi left him but he isn't wrong for still loving Yoongi after all this time. He could love Yoongi again so long as he did it without the self-righteous naivete he thought love was supposed to be. He had to be his own person and he had to let Yoongi be his own person.
486.
That was what it meant to love and be loved in return. He also understands now that happiness does not equal being with Yoongi. It contributed to it but at the end of the day, his happiness was how he felt about his life as a whole, whether every single day was worth waking
487.
up for and if the things he did gave him purpose and made him content. His old life had been dull because he didn't appreciate the little things. He forgot how he used to spend time with his brothers. He rarely did anything for the sole reason of just experiencing it for
488.
what it is. He was so caught up in his pain and in his suffering that he neglected the things that made life more enjoyable, more memorable, more unforgettable. In his new life he got all of that. He let go of what he was afraid of and really lived and loved in every sense
489.
of the two words. But it was not for him. He knows now that it's not for him. The new life had been ideal, perfect. But it was too perfect. Had he stayed there, he would have been doomed to repeat the same mistakes he made. He might have even ended up worse than he is now
490.
because the loss that he would have experienced was something he could never get back. And as much as he wanted that life to be his real life, it isn't. This old life, this is his life. This is his truth. This is the life that he has to face, that he has to live, that he has
491.
to love. He doesn't need to start again in a new life. He needs to start again in this one. He needs to open up to his brothers, needs to rekindle his closeness with Jimin and Hoseok. He needs to stop blaming others and to stop getting angry at the world. And most of all, he
492.
needs to forgive Yoongi and forgive himself. He let the pain trap him for so long. He needs to let go and finally move on. 32 years is a long time to hold grudges & he's tired. He didn't want to admit it before but acknowledging it is the first step to owning his happiness.
493.
He's about a quarter into his soup when he notices the flowers on the visitor bed. Seokjin blinks.
"Junseo."
"Mmm?" His nephew just ate two pieces of kimbap in one go. He's his nephew alright but now is not the time to feel proud about eating habits.
"Why is there a bouquet
494.
on the bed?"
Junseo follows his line of sight and finishes his kimbap before answering him.
"I found it on the floor."
"The floor," Seokjin deadpans.
Junseo nods, standing up to get water from the bedside table. Seokjin keeps staring at the bouquets that are clearly new but
495.
he knows he's seen this same arrangement before: pink and white roses.
Actually no, these flowers are a CARBON COPY of the bouquet Yoongi gave him, up to the wrapping and everything! And that's the second coincidence today, the first being the restaurant Junseo happened to
496.
get his food at. What are the odds really? But what does Junseo mean he found it on the floor?
His nephew returns to his seat before continuing, "There were a couple of people who visited you while you were asleep. I wasn't here 'cause I was buying food and when I came back
497.
one of them was just leaving the room. The bouquet might've been from them 'cause I found it after they left. It was on the floor beside your bed so I assumed it must have fallen off the sidetable or something."
"Wait a minute, someone visited me?"
"Yep. Dad actually called
498.
to let me know about it. But because I bought the food, I guess we missed each other."
"Your dad called you...?" Seokjin's voice trails off when he realizes what that meant. "Did Hoseok say /who/ was visiting?"
Junseo shakes his head. "He just said it was someone you knew
499.
and they wanted to wish you well or something."
Ugh, why is Hoseok being vague NOW of all times?
"Did you see what the people looked like? Like their faces?"
"Nope. They were both wearing masks but they looked around your age. The one who was outside when I arrived looked
500.
a bit younger than the one who left your room. Oh! I think the older one wore glasses?"
Seokjin can't be entirely sure because Junseo's description can fit anyone but if there were two of them and one was younger than the other and Hoseok knew them. It couldn't be, could it?
501.
But if it /was/ Yoongi and Jungkook, what would they even be doing here? How do they even know he was in the hospital? No, scratch that, Hoseok is why they'd know he was in the hospital. But still, why would they visit him when, for Jungkook's case, they've never even met
502.
and for Yoongi--well, Seokjin has a list of why he'd have no business being here. It's been so long since they last saw each other and their last conversation didn't really leave them in the best of terms so why now? Why after 32 years would Yoongi (Seokjin thinks Jungkook
503.
was only here to accompany his cousin) want to see him again and wish him well of all things?? The cynical part of him is pushing him to believe that Yoongi is merely paying his dues, that when he heard that he got sent to the hospital, it forced him to feel guilty and he
504.
just wants to get rid of all traces of Seokjin from his conscience. But the other more hopeful side of him, the one he used to call foolish and weak, the one who stayed loving Yoongi in spite of the hurt, wants to believe it's because Yoongi still cares about him. That
505.
Yoongi, even if he left, even if he told him he can't continue their relationship anymore, still has a place in his heart for him. It could be love or it could be just concern for someone you once felt love for. Maybe Yoongi had his reasons for taking so long. If the roles
506.
had been reversed, Seokjin knows he can't just barge into Yoongi's life. Before he timetraveled, he'd probably wish for Yoongi to perish. But even now, it feels complicated because it takes guts to face someone who hurt you. But it definitely takes a lot more to face someone
507.
knowing you hurt them. Or maybe Seokjin just became extra soft after becoming 22 again, who knows? But seeing those flowers again, IN A DIFFERENT LIFETIME MIND YOU, and knowing Yoongi has a penchant for symbolism, if it /was/ him who gave them, maybe he could hope for a
508.
better ending to their story. It doesn't have to mean they end up together again or anything but if he could just get answers to the questions he's been asking since so long ago, he's willing to let Yoongi enter his life again one more time. Now, he kind of regrets sleeping.
509.
Seokjin gets discharged from the hospital the next day. He tried asking Hoseok about the visitors but the younger chose to stay mum about it and it's frustrating him. He even asked him directly if it was Yoongi but Hoseok just smiled at him with a twinkle in his eye and he's
510.
even more annoyed now because what the actual fuck, Hoseok. What does he even get from keeping it to himself? Seokjin swears that the older he gets, Hoseok becomes more and more chaotic. But he lets it go for the time being because he has more important matters to attend to.
511.
Stepping into his restaurant, he is hit by a strong wave of nostalgia and wow, he missed his baby terribly. He takes it all in from the chairs to the tables to the décor to the KITCHEN. He sheds a tear because he hasn't had access to so much stainless steel in so long; he
512.
almost sobs.
"You really shouldn't work today, hyung. You just got out of the hospital."
He presses his lips into a straight line before turning around and facing Namjoon.
"I already said I wasn't going to so can you like not kill my vibe for ten minutes, Joon-ah?"
"Why are
513.
we here then? You should stay at home and rest."
"For the love of--I JUST WANT TO SEE MY ENTIRE LIFE'S ACCOMPLISHMENT, JOON. IS THAT SO WRONG?"
"You were just here a couple of days ago! Why do you need to check up on it? Seungkwan's doing a good job of managing it."
"I KNOW
514.
Seungkwan's good at what he does. It's why I hired him in the first place."
He waves at Seungkwan who is standing behind the register and the younger responds by giving him a wave back.
"But this isn't about that. Sometimes I just want to breathe in the air of my
515.
restaurant. If you had a business you were passionate about you'd know what I'm talking about but you don't."
Namjoon looks at him incredulously. "Why are you suddenly talking in memes from thirty years ago? That's not even how it went! It's 'you'd know what it takes to run
516.
a business' not 'you'd know what I'm talking about'. /Honestly/ hyung."

Seokjin lets out the biggest laugh Namjoon's ever seen him do in the past 30 years & it takes him & everyone else in the restaurant who's known him for a long time by surprise. He gapes at Seokjin a
517.
little bit, the windshield wiper sound of his laugh both a familiar & strange sound bec it’s been so long since Seokjin laughed like this. He's astounded bec Seokjin’s laughing again, like really REALLY laughing again. He doesn’t stop the grin spreading across his face.
518.
"Seokjin-hyung?"
Seokjin looks up from the register--yes, he couldn't help not going back to work (he lasted a total of two days) but he reiterates that it's his business and not Namjoon's and it's not like he /actually/ intended to rest the entire week (he was thinking 4
519.
days max) but tried for his brother’s sakes—to Seungkwan holding a newly refilled vase, the roses he received from (probably) Yoongi a few days ago looking fresh again in them.
“Thank you, Seungkwan.” He takes the vase from the younger and places it on the counter beside him
520.
“I never knew you liked flowers, hyung.” Seungkwan notes, pointing to the arrangement.
“It’s not that I like them. These ones are just special to me.”
“Oh?” Seungkwan raises his eyebrows, pausing before wiggling them. “Is there a /someone/ attached to that special?”
Seokjin
521.
shrugs uncommittedly. “I guess you can say that.”
It takes a couple of blinks and Seungkwan’s eyes bulge out of their sockets as he looks between Seokjin and the flowers a couple of times.
“YOU’RE SERIOUS?” the younger shouts in disbelief, catching the attention of their
522.
patrons. He nods to them apologetically before freaking out in front of Seokjin but with his inside voice this time.
“I didn’t know you’re in a relationship! How come you never told me? You said I was your most trusted person after the rest of your family,” the younger pouts
523.
pressing his pointing fingers together.
"I'm not in a relationship. Haven't had a serious one for the past 32 years."
"Huh? But you said--"
"It's someone special not a special someone. They're different."
Seungkwan looks at him like he doesn't fully believe him. "Well, okay.
524.
But you really haven't had a single relationship for /that/ long?"
"Nope," he replies popping the 'p'.
"Why?"
Seokjin looks at Seungkwan pointedly. "My last serious relationship broke up with me out of the blue through the phone and on my birthday."
"Oh."
"Yeah, I got over
525.
it eventually but it took a long time." 'A /really/ long time,' he adds in his head. "And for most of my adulthood, I focused on the restaurant so I didn't really think about having a love life."
"Wow," Seungkwan breathes out in amazement. "I can't imagine living life for so
526.
long without someone else by your side to keep you company. Didn't it get lonely? I think I'd be pretty lonely without Hansollie."
"Ah right. You and your husband have been together since--what, kindergarten?"
"Infancy, hyung. We got married in our diapers."
Seokjin lets out
527.
a chuckle. "Of course. Sorry I forgot. But yeah, it got lonely at times, especially when my brothers and their bestfriends got married. But you know, for the long time I've been living in this world, I learned that I didn't really need somebody else for me to be happy. I can
528.
be fine on my own so long as I know who I am, live for what I love, and love myself. It gives you purpose. Besides, how can I love somebody if I don't know my own worth, you know?"
Seungkwan lets out a low whistle. "That's really deep, hyung."
"I guess it is."
"But I'm glad
529.
for you, you know."
Seokjin puts his eyebrows up in silent question.
"You have this glow about you like you've found inner peace or something. Also you're not as frowny anymore. And you just opened up to me about your love life. That's like a huge honor. Thank you, hyung."
530.
Seokjin rolls his eyes before shaking his head fondly at the younger.
"Excuse me!" one of their customers call out to them. "We'd like refills of the pickled radish, please!"
"Coming!" Seungkwan calls back and starts to leave when he turns back to Seokjin.
"Ah, hyung,
531.
Taehyungie-hyung told me that you're going busking this weekend?"
"Yep, why?"
"Can I join you? I'm not a professional but Hansollie says I'm pretty good and we could really use a day to just relax and have fun."
"Yeah, sure. I'll message you the details."
"Thank you, hyung!"
532.
Yoongi has cooped himself up in his studio/office again. Jungkook's been trying his best to get him to come out or to let him in instead but Yoongi doesn't want anything to do with anyone. He tried bribing him with their favorite lambskewers but Yoongi just said he's not
533.
hungry. Jungkook is both worried and frustrated because (1) it's only going to take a toll on Yoongi's health if he keeps this up and (2) whatever progress Yoongi made with his feelings for Kim Seokjin just got set back to point zero after their visit to the hospital and
534.
Yoongi won't tell him why. The older just keeps saying that he can't ruin Seokjin's life anymore. Jungkook doesn't get it because from what Hoseok told him when he asked about it, Seokjin /had/ been asleep at the time and didn't even know he had any visitors until his nephew
535.
told him. But Hoseok also mentioned that Seokjin had asked if it was Yoongi which is, in itself, VERY interesting and he tried to tell Yoongi this, just for any sort of reaction really, but the older turned a deaf ear and even slammed the door to his studio in his face.
536.
That's the telltale sign that it's serious and honestly Jungkook doesn't know what to do anymore.

Hoseok sits across from him in the company's cafeteria during lunch that Friday.
"Any progress?"
"He's stopped spending his nights at the studio at least. His back is probably
537.
screaming at him to sleep in an actual bed already. But he still won't talk to me about it. If I even so much as imply that I will, he just cuts the conversation off or ignores me altogether."
Hoseok shakes his head. "He's acting like such a kid right now."
"Tell me about
538.
it. But he's pretty adamant about not wanting to see Kim Seokjin-ssi. You're sure he wasn't awake then?"
"Oh, I'm sure. Yoongi-hyung would probably not have come out of there that fast. I'd say he wouldn't have come out of there alive but Jin-hyung isn't out to kill anymore.
539.
It even seems like he's never despised him at all. He's been keeping those roses alive, you know, the ones you guys gave him."
"I had no say in those. The bouquet was all Yoongi-hyung."
"Well, that just makes this even more dramatic."
Jungkook releases a sigh. "I honestly
540.
don't know what to make of this. The moment Kim Seokjin-ssi stops hating hyung is when hyung doesn't want to have anything to do with him. It's exactly the kind of drama that the entire country would tune into every week."
He rubs his hands over his face. "I just want hyung
541.
to get his shit together. But whatever happened in that room affected him so much that he thinks Kim Seokjin-ssi is better off without seeing him ever again. I mean it's not in my place to say what is better for either of them, but I know hyung. And as much as he'd like to
542.
deny it, he needs to see Kim Seokjin-ssi again, even if just to apologize for what he did because he owes Kim Seokjin-ssi that and he needs to own up to his mistakes. But that doesn't seem like it'll ever happen with how stubborn my idiot of a cousin is being. And he's
543.
supposed to be the older one."
Hoseok purses his lips together as if in thought.
"He will talk to you so long as you don't bring Jin-hyung up right?"
"Yeah. It's so stupid. I thought people get wiser with age?" Jungkook laments.
"This /is/ Yoongi-hyung we're talking about."
544.
Hoseok shrugs. "He has a lot of insightful thoughts about the world like really deep stuff that could rival only my friend Namjoon's way of thinking--and he's a philosophy professor--but when it comes to himself, he kinda misses the point a lot."
Jungkook hums in response.
545.
"But anyway," Hoseok continues. "I have an idea how we can get Yoongi-hyung to see Seokjin-hyung again."
Jungkook raises his eyebrows. "No offense, hyung. But if Yoongi-hyung straight-up ignores me--and I'm his cousin--I doubt he'd listen to you."
"Who says he has to know?"
546.
"I didn't know you still played the guitar." Jimin tells Seokjin just as he places the instrument in the back of the car.
"I bring it out every once in a while just to see if I've still got it. I didn't allow him to completely ruin music for me, you know."
"You let him do it
547.
for your life though."
"Sometimes I really regret telling you things."
"But you do it anyway." Jimin smiles at him innocently but the teasing in his tone was clear.
He vaguely remembers a similar scenario happening before. His chest tightens a little bit.
"But I've gotta say
548.
hyung," Jimin continues. "To go busking again after all these years? I honestly thought you officially lost it. You've been doing the exact opposite of what you used to do before you fainted and I had to wonder: 'Is this the same Seokjin-hyung?' Then I realized that, yeah,
549.
this is you. This is the you I've known since we were kids. The caring, selfless, and happy Jinnie-hyung."
Seokjin sees the mist forming in Jimin's eyes as the younger looks up and starts to blink it away.
"Jimin-ah..."
"It's a good thing, you know. A really, really good
550.
thing. Joonie and Tae don't have to worry as much anymore. /I/ don't have to worry as much anymore. We have our hyung back. You're here and you're smiling and laughing! I missed your squeaky laugh so much, hyung. Everyone did. Now, the kids get to hear it too. Your real
551.
laugh."
"Jimin-ah, you're crying."
"I know I am. You are too, you know."
And he is. He is crying but they're happy tears.
"Ugh, we're such crybabies."
"Speak for yourself. I just got touched by your words is all."
"Of course you did."
They laugh together, wiping at their
552.
eyes and Seokjin finds it freeing. All throughout the past week, people have been telling him how they've noticed a change in him and that it's good. And honestly? He FEELS good. He feels great. It's been so long, too long. What his family always saw in him, he sees now too.
553.
It doesn't take long for the twins and Namjoon to finish getting ready and soon they're all getting in the car. He climbs in first, followed by Jimin, and then Naeun.
"Ooh, Daeunie's driving us?" Seokjin says as Namjoon takes the passenger seat.
"Don't encourage her." His
554.
brother pleads, snapping his seatbelt in place and holding onto the roof handle a little too tightly.
"Just to be fair, Papa, I don't think those who don't drive have a right to judge mah skillz." Daeun puts a hand up to which Naeun high fives.
"Ooohh, she went there."
555.
"Jiminie, you're my husband."
"And she's my daughter." The twins both high five Jimin.
"You know what I just realized?"
"Hyung, please don't."
"You don't get roasted by your family enough. We should add that to the list of family activities, a Kim Namjoon Sunday roast."
"Ooh
556.
that's a great idea, Uncle!" The twins say at the same time.
Namjoon groans into his free hand as Jimin laughs and reaches out to pat his shoulder.
"Don't worry, babe. I'll put the ice on your burns."
"Thank you," Namjoon replies in deadpan. "That means a lot."
Daeun starts
557.
the car and they're on their way to their destination. Seokjin can feel the excitement and nervousness thrum through his veins, not because of the fact that he's going to sing in a place full of strangers but becaue of one of the songs he chose to sing. It's a big step for
558.
him really and he's got a lot to think about like if he can even pull it off or if he'll end up being an emotional wreck instead (he practiced and it went about as well as you'd think). It's a pretty big deal but he reminds himself that he isn't singing for anyone else but
559.
himself tonight. He's going to have fun like he used to and nothing will stop him.
"Tae, Hoseok, and Junseo are going to meet us there right?"
"Yup. Tae just messaged me that Hoseok just got off work and they're on their way too."
"Seungkwan & his husband are there already.
560.
Should I tell them to look for a spot?"
"That'd be great, hyung. Tell them to choose an area with enough lighting. Tae will want that since he's going to record this."
"Ahh that takes me back. We also used to busk on weekends. Fun times."
"They really were." Seokjin smiles.
561.
"Okay, where are you taking me?" Yoongi turns away from the car window to Jungkook in the driver's seat. "You said we were going out to eat but you literally just passed by all the food establishments we like."
"Ohmygod, hyung, lighten up. We always eat inside a restaurant.
562.
I wanted to try something different this time around." Jungkook turns on the blinkers and takes a turn on the left before continuing. "Like I said, we both need a change in scenery and going out every once in a while even if just to clear our heads will do us both good."
563.
Yoongi sets his mouth in a straight line. It's not that he doesn't trust Jungkook but the younger has been prodding him about the whole Seokjin thing and he doesn't really want to talk/think about that. He's made up his mind and no one, not even his cousin, can make him
564.
change it.

He stays silent for a while, letting Jungkook drive them wherever it is he wanted to go to. That is, until he sees a sign and he thinks he knows where they're going now. Why though, Yoongi isn't sure.
"Gguk, how are we going to eat there?"
"Aww you saw the sign
565.
didn't you?" Jungkook puffs up his cheeks. "I had hoped you didn't 'cause I wanted to make this cheesy as fuck but guess I can't now."
His cousin pouts at the road and Yoongi feels it tug at his heartstrings. His cousin might be 50 years old now but he's still that same
566.
adorable brat that he unofficially adopted as his baby brother. He reaches over and ruffles the younger's slightly graying hair.
"Hyung, what the hell?" Jungkook panics. "Don't pull things like that out of nowhere. I could've caused an accident!"
Yoongi rubs at his nape.
567.
"Sorry, couldn't help myself."
"Well, you /should/. Whatever that was almost cost us our lives." Jungkook snaps at him before muttering, "Now I have to fix my hair too."
Yoongi allows himself to smile, covering his mouth with his hand and looking out the window again. He
568.
doesn't catch Jungkook watching him from the corner of his eyes, the younger smiling a small smile to himself as well. Jungkook schools his features into something a little more miffed before telling the older, "To answer your question though, I was going to get the food
570.
delivered."
Yoongi scrunches nose. "Couldn't we have bought the food as takeout & gone here after? It'd cost less."
Jungkook rolls his eyes. "Then you'd have known about my plans, duh."
"You could've bought it ahead and just kept it in the car?"
"Then you'd smell the food."
571.
"If you wrapped it tightly enough so the smell doesn't escape--"
"Hyung, just admit that you didn't think that one through. We're only human. We make mistakes."
Yoongi squints his eyes. "Is this your way of getting me to talk about him? Because if it is, I'll jump out of
572.
this car, if I have to."
He makes a move to grab the door handle and Jungkook practically screams.
"OHMYGOD, HYUNG, STOP. I JUST WANTED A NICE PICNIC DINNER WITH MY COUSIN AT THE PARK HE FIRST TOOK ME TO WHEN I JUST MOVED TO SEOUL. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?"
Yoongi stops
573.
himself and looks at Jungkook--like really look at him--before noticing the completely worn out expression on his face and he knows it's his fault.
"I--I didn't know. I'm sorry," he replies guiltily.
"Yeah, well you could have if you didn't act like such a big bitchbaby
574.
every time you /think/ I'll even mention Kim Seokjin-ssi. Fucking hell, hyung. I know you have your regrets and baggage but that doesn't give you the right to full on disregard people and threaten to jump out of a moving car. You're 54 for crying out loud! I don't know what
575.
happened in that hospital room but I sure as hell don't believe your actions are justifiable by any means. Kim Seokjin-ssi has lived his life without you, yes, but you seeing him again won't ruin it. How full of yourself can you actually be? The LEAST you owe Kim Seokjin-ssi
576.
is an apology /then/ you can avoid him all you want for the rest of your life. Sulking in your studio office and blocking out people who only want what's best for you just makes you even more of a selfish jerk than you made yourself out to be. Get out of your mind, hyung.
577.
You were already there. Stop going back into this hole that you dug for yourself. You're not hurting him anymore. You're only hurting yourself."
Jungkook's words hit him like a sack of bricks. He leans back against the passenger's seat and just watches the scenery pass by as
578.
Jungkook drives them to the park. He never saw it the way Jungkook saw it and now that he knows, he realizes he's been so self-absorbed this entire time. Only thinking about himself and how his past haunts him, not seeing how his actions because of this also affect others
579.
and hurt them too. God, he's so stupid. He's the stupidest person in the entire world.
"I'm sorry, Gguk-ah. I'm sorry I treated you like shit the past week and compromised my health in the process. I'm sorry I threatened to jump out of the car, slammed the door in your face,
580.
and hung up suddenly in our calls. I was an asshole and you didn't deserve that. I'm sorry."
Silence stretches between them in the car. They reach the park and Jungkook pulls into one of the parking spots, never looking back at Yoongi or asking him for help and Yoongi's even
581.
more afraid to. He stares straight-forward but glances at his cousin every so often. Jungkook finishes parking the car and moves to unfasten his seatbelt when Yoongi can't take it anymore.
"Gguk-ah?"
"You apologize better than that to Kim Seokjin-ssi and we're even. Now
582.
get out of my car. I still want that picnic AND you're paying."
Yoongi releases the breath he had been holding and nods.

Jungkook wasn't exactly lying when he said that he brought Yoongi to this park because he wanted a sentimentally-driven picnic. If Seokjin and the others
583.
chose to busk at a different location, he'd come up with something else entirely. But it just so happened that this park is significant to Yoongi and to him too, so he might as well milk the coincidence to give himself a solid alibi. What's intriguing to him though is how
584.
this park is also significant to Seokjin. Apparently, it's where he first busked at back in college. This information is serendipitous and he's thankful. It makes his job easier. Now if Hoseok can text him where they are, then he can stop playing this charade for longer.
585.
Hoseok discreetly taps his reply as soon as Jungkook messages him that he and Yoongi are at the park already. He looks around him, Jimin's voice filtering through his head, and the amount of people that have come to watch them gradually increasing in number. He didn't know
586.
that old people busking would be such a sensation but here they are. That or Jimin's fame brought in the buzz, Jin's honey sweet voice brought in the middle-aged, and Seungkwan's power vocals brought in literally everyone else. Seriously, who knew Seungkwan had that in him?
587.
(Answer: His husband did.) But that's not what he's concerned about. What's got him on his toes, literally, is that Jungkook might have a hard time finding them with all these people surrounding them now. They decided to camp beside a stone statue but he's just looked beside
588.
him and it's completely gone. He just sent the message too. He wracks his brain trying to think of other landmarks he can tell Jungkook to look out for when he has a lightbulb moment and he facepalms himself hard because he's dumb.
"Seokkie, are you okay?" Taehyung asks him,
589.
appearing from behind the camera to look him over from head to toe.
"I'm fine, baby. Just remembered something."
"Okay? If you're sure." Taehyung looks him once over again before turning his attention back to the camera.
He quickly types in his message, hitting send just as
590.
Jimin finishes his song and the crowd applauds. He takes his bows, the showman that he is, and Seokjin takes the mic for his third song. He clears his throat before speaking.
"This song has a very special meaning to me and I'm sure to a lot of you as well. It means so much
591.
because I've loved and hated someone dear to me and this song reminds me of them. But I'm learning to love again and I believe singing this song and coming to terms with it can help me get there. If you know it, please feel free to sing along."
With how Seokjin worded that
592.
ment, Hoseok /thinks/ he knows what song Seokjin is talking about. But it can't be. This song is THE song. It's practically taboo in the family and Seokjin is singing it?
Seokjin strums his guitar and sings the first note and all hell breaks loose in Hoseok's mind.
He turns
593.
to his husband. "HE'S NOT ACTUALLY--"
Taehyung stops him with a finger pressed to his lips and his other hand motioning to the camera. Hoseok opts to mouth his disbelief and Taehyung simply nods.
Seokjin is actually singing this. Holy shit. He messages Jungkook right away.
594.
"Okay, yes, thank you," Jungkook ends the call with the restaurant just as he receives the text from Hoseok.

From: Hoseok-hyung
we're next to the stone statue that looks like a geometric dog

'Geometric dog stone statue,' Jungkook repeats in his head as he locks his phone.
595.
Seems easy enough to find. This park doesn't really have many stone sculptures and he guesses that the sculptures would be closer to the center so that's where they need to go. He approaches Yoongi who is sitting on a bench, fiddling with his phone.
"Come on, hyung, let's
596.
go."
Yoongi looks at him confused.
"Go? Go where? You're not telling me the food's here already. You just ended the call."
Jungkook resists the urge to roll his eyes and proceeds to just walk away, hoping that Yoongi follows him which he always will.
"Let's look for a place
597.
to sit."
"I was literally sitting on a bench, Gguk."
"I meant something with more grass? So I can actually use this." He pats at the blanket tucked under his arm. "Also, the food's going to take a while to arrive. I want to check out the busking performances. You know, just
598.
like back then? God, I was such a dweeb. I just hopped from one busker to another."
Yoongi laughs behind his face mask. "But you were adorable. You weren't even close to my height back then."
"Yeah, but that didn't last very long, did it, Mini-hyung?" he smirks from behind
599.
his own face mask not that Yoongi can see but it's the thought that counts.
Yoongi presses a hand to his chest in mock offense. "I raised you, fed you, gave you the clothes off my bare back, and /this/ is how you repay me?"
Jungkook laughs at Yoongi's short jeremiad when his
600.
phone vibrates in his pocket. He brings out and sees a message from Hoseok.

There are a total of three things that Jungkook makes note of as he opens the message. 1. That they are already near the center of the park (geometric stone dog statue nowhere in sight yet). 2. That
601.
there's a rather huge gathering of peope off in the distance. and 3. There's a really lovely voice coming from within the huge gathering and if he had to take a guess, it's a busker and a popular one gauging from the size of the audience. He wonders where Hoseok and the
602.
others are.

From: Hoseok-hyung
if you see a huge crowd, that's us

Jungkook has to pause. He looks again at the size of the audience and whistles. From where they stand, he can kind of make out the song ending and it's followed quickly by the clapping of people. Was the one
603.
who just sang Seokjin or is it someone else? Hoseok mentioned that his brother-in-law and a family friend was singing too so was that one of them?

The applause dies down just as a voice starts to talk. Okay, focus, Jungkook. The task is to bring Yoongi to Seokjin. Don't
604.
mess it up.
"Hyung, I want to check what's going on over there. Seems like a popular busker with the amount of people."
Yoongi shrugs and motions for him to lead the way. Jungkook quickens his pace, looking back once to see that at least Yoongi is keeping up with him.
They
605.
get closer and the strumming of a guitar reaches his ears. The singer starts to sing--He stops in his tracks and turns back to Yoongi who also stopped. This is his debut song, Yoongi's song for Seokjin. His phone vibrates.

From: Hoseok-hyung
JIN-HYUNG IS SINGING THEIR SONG
hi interrupting the flow again. i wanted to post a couple more scenes today but i had to restrain myself cause i still have to review for midterms 🙃also a head's up that the next update won't be until this weekend/next week cause again midterms. sorry and thank you! 💜💜💜
606.
Hearing his song for Seokjin being sung by someone in this day and age is always surprising. Back in its heyday, saying it was popular was an understatement. Everyone and their mothers knew the song. Covers of it were being made left and right and it received so much radio
607.
play that you can't go out without at least hearing the song twice. But 31 or so years is a long time and trends change. Though the song is considered a classic, it's not a choice people would gravitate towards outside of a noraebang. So hearing it now, out in the open, he's
608.
caught a little off guard. Also, the song doesn't exactly inspire in him the most positive of feelings. When he first made it, there was only one person he had intended it for. Then he fucked up and seven months later he thought it was a good idea to let his cousin record
609.
it because Jungkook needed a song to debut and /he/ needed a way to let this person know he was sorry and that all this time he never stopped loving him. Two birds with one stone. It wasn't a good idea. He hurt a lot of people. That's why hearing this song is always
610.
bittersweet because he has so many good memories attached to it but also very bad decisions and he should have known better. It's still a really weird coincidence though that this busker is singing this song and very well too. He's only ever heard one person sing with that
611.
much emotion and it's only the 1st verse of the song. Such a weird coincidence really.
Looking at Jungkook, he can tell that the younger is itching to go see whoever is in the middle of this crowd. He smiles to himself because this has happened before. He tilts his head in
612.
the direction of the busking.
"Just go already."
It would also be fun if Jungkook joined in with whoever is singing. That would go viral instantly and it's not like his cousin never did that before. He's about to suggest it when Jungkook says, "Come with me, hyung."
"Hmm?
613.
You don't need me there, Gguk-ah. Besides, I like it here, where it's spacious and not crowded."
"Aww come on, hyung. It's technically /your/ song. Whoever that is would flip if he saw not only me but also the producer."
"They'd flip enough just seeing you."
"Please, hyung?"
614.
"No. I'm fine here."
"But hyuuunggg."
It's strange to see a 50-year-old whine but endearing when that 50-year-old is your baby cousin. But Yoongi stays firm.
"Just go. The song will end soon."
Jungkook sighs at him and turns to leave so he brings out his phone to while the
615.
time away when he feels a hand wrap around his wrist. Jungkook pulls him towards the crowd.
"Gguk, what are you doing?"
"You're coming with me and I won't take no for an answer."
Yoongi tries to pry his hand away but to no avail. Jungkook's hold on him a vice-like grip.
616.
"What's gotten into you?" is what he wanted to say when he remembered why Jungkook brought him out here in the first place. He stops resisting and allows Jungkook to lead him.
It's like deja vu except instead of him plowing through the crowd, the roles have been reversed.
617.
Also unlike before, the crowd parted a lot more easily and what had been a tunnel for him back in the day became a tall field of grass. Old age has its perks.

The song is a lot louder now and the voice of the singer a lot clearer. Huh. Has he heard this singer somewhere
618.
before? Their tone is really familiar now as they get closer but it's such a distant memory he can't quite pinpoint where he might've heard him. Now Yoongi himself wants to know who this person is. Thankfully, he and Jungkook are near the end of their journey and the singer
619.
goes into the 2nd chorus just as they break completely through the crowd.
Yoongi's heart drops because right in front of him singing his song is none other than the person he made the song for.

He doesn't get it. How is Seokjin here? Why is he singing his song? Their song?
620.
Seokjin gives his all into singing. He doesn't fully allow himself to remember every single detail of his relationship with Yoongi but he does let himself think of the moments that made what they had a lot more beautiful in retrospect. It reminds him that while what they had
621.
had ended and he knows that it's not something he can have again, he did have it. And he learned from it. And he grew from it. And he's here now, embracing his past, living his present, and welcoming his future.

Somewhere during the song, he closes his eyes and loses
622.
himself in singing--wow he never thought that's something he'd ever do but it's happening--and he /doesn't/ choke up which is his main goal for the evening so yay.

He ends the song and applause reaches his ears. He basks in it for a while, living in the moment or what have
623.
you, before he opens his eyes slowly and catches the eye of a man in the crowd, standing directly across him. The man had tears in his eyes and Seokjin wonders why before he realizes that this man is really familiar. The lower half of his face is hidden behind a face mask
624.
but his eyes and the way they're looking at him with so much tenderness, tears and all, reminds him so much of how Yoongi used to look at him back in the day and in the new timeline. It's so uncanny because it's the same exact--wait a second.
He blinks and the name slips out
625.
before he could stop it.
"Yoongi?" the mic catches, echoing the name through the speakers, and just like that whatever spell the man had been on breaks. His expression turns into that of panic and he looks anywhere but at Seokjin. Oh my god.
"Yoongi!" Seokjin calls out again
626.
louder and farther from the mic. Is this really happening? He's dreaming, right? But the man reacts again, albeit not very well as he starts to meld back into the crowd.
"Wait! No. Come back!" Seokjin calls after him, taking off his guitar before following the man, Yoongi.
627.
Seungkwan has little time to process what just happened when he feels Jimin squeeze his shoulder gently and motions for him to start his next song. He looks from the older to Seokjin who places his guitar on the ground before hurriedly walking away to the crowd. The crowd
628.
who seem just as lost as he is and their eyes all on Seokjin. Again, he isn't exactly sure what just happened but he knows what he saw and he's never seen Seokjin light up at the mere sight of someone like that. He thinks that whoever that person is is the someone special
629.
that Seokjin talked about. And if the way that person left and how Seokjin went after them is any indication, prying eyes are the last thing they need. He grabs the mic and draws the crowd's attention back to himself, bringing out a surprised Hansol to join him in a duet. In
630.
the back of his mind, he wishes Seokjin and Yoongi, he thinks their name is, the best.

Seokjin squeezes through the crowd, following where he thinks he saw Yoongi. It's so weird because he's never really seen Yoongi in real life since he was 22 and he knows he stopped
631.
bleaching his hair blonde but seeing him again, the black hair really struck him the most. It's just so weird and he almost didn't recognize him basing from that alone but his eyes, Seokjin will never forget his eyes. And the way they looked at him, it reignited a few hopes
632.
that maybe, just maybe.
But Yoongi was crying too and Seokjin could only wonder why. If things had been the other way around, Seokjin knew he would be sobbing but for Yoongi to cry upon seeing him? He--he doesn't know what to think. Is it guilt? Did something get in to his
633.
eyes? Or is it something else entirely? Something. Something.
He reaches the other side of the crowd and looks around for a bit. Just as he fears he lost Yoongi so easily again, he spots someone who looks like him walking away.
"Yoongi!" he cries and the person walks faster.
634.
He tries to keep up with Yoongi, eyes trained on the younger's back, his black coat fluttering behind him as he weaves through the other park goers. Why are there so many people in the park today anyway?
"Oh! Excuse me," he says, almost walking into someone.
He looks up and
635.
spots Yoongi's head already further away and he starts moving again, breaking out into a jog.
He continues to follow Yoongi, taking wider steps every time his feet hit the pavement until he's only a few meters away from him. That's when he runs. He reaches out a hand and
636.
grabs Yoongi's arm.
"Yoongi-ah," he manages when Yoongi turns around and--it's not Yoongi. The stranger furrows his eyebrows at him and he takes his hand away, bowing in apology immediately. The stranger walks away and Seokjin turns around, lost. He can't believe he mistook
637.
someone else for Yoongi. The person didn't even have a mask on. He runs a hand through his hair in frustration because how can he make such a simple mistake now. He looks at his surroundings in hopes of maybe spotting a glimpse of Yoongi but who is he kidding? He lost him.
638.
It was probably when he bumped into someone and he should've called out again but he didn't because he was so sure. He was so sure.
He heaves a sigh and feel his eyes start to water. He blinks them away because what's the point of crying really? What was he even expecting?
639.
Yoongi ran away from him for a reason. It's not like he told Seokjin to catch him. Seokjin just followed. Yoongi doesn't want to be caught. Yoongi doesn't want to meet Seokjin. He should've known but he still hoped because Yoongi was there. Yoongi was standing right in front
640.
of him as he sang their song. That should have meant something, right? Because to him, it meant something. It meant that Yoongi didn't forget about him just yet. It meant that Yoongi must have cared. When he received the flowers, he was only holding onto a possibility. Now,
641.
upon actually seeing Yoongi, he wanted to hold onto the truth. He wanted the flowers to be from Yoongi. He wanted Yoongi to be there because of him. He wanted Yoongi to stay and not run away. But as he stands alone in one part of the park, away from his family, and Yoongi
642.
nowhere in sight, he knows he made a fool out of himself again.
"Why? Why do I keep doing this to myself?"
"Hyung?"
Seokjin stops in his tracks. The voice came from somewhere behind him and he knows. He just knows.

He turns around and the world is in slow motion. It's like
643.
when he went back in time and they met again for the first time. Just like then, he is standing closer than Seokjin anticipated. And just like then, the butterflies in his stomach flutter upon seeing him so close. But unlike then, it doesn't hurt him. Not anymore.
"Yoongi."
644.
They walk along the path beside the lake. A certain distance between them, not too close but not too far either. Already behind them are the awkward pleasantries that come with meeting an ex for the first time in 32 years, as evidenced by the respective hot drinks in their
645.
hands bought from a nearby vending machine at the suggestion of Yoongi. What remains now is the answer to the question: Now what? They meet each other yet again, asked how the other was doing, received more or less the typical response of 'alright' and 'okay'. Though Seokjin
646.
added that he is "better" too. "Better now", to which Yoongi had to wonder if it's because of them meeting or just in general. He takes a sip of his canned coffee, mind constantly flitting from 'is this really happening' to 'this is actually happening, right now'. He sneaks
647.
a glance at Seokjin, the older wrapping both his hands around his canned tea, probably to warm them up, and it comes to Yoongi naturally.
"Here," he says, offering the gloves he keeps in his coat pocket. He would have used them but the night isn't as cold, his coat enough to
648.
combat the low temperature. All Seokjin has on him is a cream knit sweater over a collared shirt. It's very grandpa-chic (Yoongi makes a mental note of how Seokjin always looks good in sweaters) but not so useful in keeping grandpa warm.
Seokjin turns to him, lock eyes with
649.
him for a short second (making his heart skip a beat for the umpteenth time, he probably needs to get it checked at this rate), and drops his gaze to the gloves in his hand.
"No," Seokjin shakes his head expectedly. "It's okay."
"Your tea's going to get cold because your
650.
hands are taking all of the heat."
Seokjin furrows his eyebrows.
"That's not how it works."
"Whether it's how it works or not, your hands are still cold."
/Stop being so imposing, Yoongi. You just met./
"Just take it, hyung."
/You don't have the right to tell him to do
651.
anything. Who do you think you are?/
"Would you hold my tea for me then?" Seokjin concedes, taking the gloves from his hand.
"Yeah, of course." He moves to get the drink but, in his haste, he accidentally brushes his hand against Seokjin's and almost drops the tea.
"You
652.
okay?"
"'m fine. Crystal."
He doesn't watch Seokjin put on the gloves but instead berates himself for almost losing it over a simple contact. Get a grip, Yoongi.
"Thank you."
"No problem."
They continue to walk again, silence falling over them once more. Yoongi's chest
653.
swells a little bit, seeing Seokjin wearing his gloves, and honestly what is he, 15? There are more important matters at hand and he's feeling giddy over something so juvenile when not too long ago he was literally running away from the very same man his idiot self is
654.
squealing about. It's not like he broke Seokjin's heart over the phone without so much as an explanation why and now he's strolling in a park with him and sipping on drinks and it's comfortable and he never even apologized but wait, no, it's exactly like that. What is he
655.
doing taking advantage of Seokjin's apparent lack of hatred towards him and feeding his inflated ego with thoughts of being with Seokjin again like what the actual fuck, Yoongi? Is he serious?
"Yoongi."
Is he actually serious?
"Yoongi!"
"Huh? What?"
"Are you okay? You were
656.
looking at your coffee like it violated your basic human rights."
Yoongi looks at the can in his hand and sadly notes the slight dent it now has due to his grip. He sighs.
"I'm sorry, hyung, it's just--"
/It's now or never, Yoongi. Now or never./
"Why don't you hate me?"
657.
Seokjin looks a little taken aback by his question but it does little to stop the words from gushing forth now that the dam is broken.
"Why aren't you getting angry? Why aren't you pushing me away? I don't deserve /this/." He motions to the two of them. "I left you. I hurt
658.
you. Why--why are you acting like I never did you wrong?"
Seokjin searches his face for something, his expression unreadable. Yoongi, for the most part, wants to shrink into himself. He's never been good with confrontations. His instinct was always to run away so he doesn't
659.
get hurt. But problems don't get solved by running away from them. No matter how much distance he thinks he's putting between himself and his mistakes, he doesn't get any further than where he started. Problems stay as problems. Mistakes stay as mistakes. He knows that now.
660.
He has to face his regrets. He has to face Seokjin.
The older stops looking at him, opting to lower his gaze to the ground, a sad smile grazing his face.
"It had been my birthday, you know. You broke up with me on my birthday. I was so confused because I thought you knew.
661.
I told you when my birthday was but you left me on that special day and you didn't even act like you remembered. That's what made it hurt more. That the person you thought had cared about you, had told you they cared about you, could forget something they knew was important
662.
to you. That's my first question: how could you forget?"
Seokjin looks up at the sky and Yoongi could see his eyes glisten ever so slightly before he takes a deep breath and continues.
"Second: Hong Kong. When we were together, I told you I wanted to open up my own business.
663.
It didn't matter to me at the time what it was: a bookstore, a restaurant, a funeral home. It didn't matter so long as it was mine. I told you I didn't want to get stuck with a 9-5 job working my ass off for very little pay. I wanted to be in charge of my time, to personally
664.
oversee my earnings. I wanted to own my job. It was my dream. A very mundane one but a dream nonetheless. I told you this and you said it was a wonderful dream and you're jealous because you didn't have any dreams. So I asked you to come up with one. Something you loved.
665.
Something you could see yourself doing forever and ever. Do you remember what you told me?"
It takes him a few blinks to realize that Seokjin is talking to him now and waiting for his answer. He recalls and remembers, the word leaving his mouth in a pained whisper.
"Music."
666.
"Right. You said you wanted to make music. It was a perfect dream. And you got it. I got mine too, eventually. But before that, we both promised to support each other in our endeavors not just as partners but as people who wanted what's best for each other. You helped me
667.
do my best for my major and I cheered for you in every performance you had. We were a team. A pair of dreamers. But then you got the offer and you never said a word. I get that you didn't really owe me anything but I had thought that I mattered enough to know. You made me
668.
feel as much. So, second, why didn't you tell me?"
Yoongi doesn't look at Seokjin and he doesn't think he can. His questions tear at Yoongi's heart and it pains him but it's his fault in the first place. He asked for this. He shouldn't complain.
"Lastly," Seokjin starts
669.
again. "Eight months after we broke up, a solo artist named JK came out with a song entitled 'Galaxies'. There had been a buzz around it because apparently it was a popular indie producer's first mainstream release. The producer's name is Suga. Long story short, the entire
670.
country loved it. It peaked at no. 1 in all the charts and it made both JK and Suga household names. When I heard this song for the first time, I was so perplexed. I knew this song. I had heard this song before but the singer who sang it wasn't as good as JK. But still, I
671.
loved it, raw and unpolished as it was. You said you made that song for me. I thought that after we broke up, it was the one thing from you I could keep to myself. I had hoped you would let me have that but you didn't. You shared it with the world, gave it for someone else
672.
to sing. It was so special to me Yoongi. Do you know why?"
Seokjin doesn't wait for him to answer.
"Because it was the first time you said you loved me. You made the song and sang it to me. Then you told me you loved me, if I didn't already know."
Seokjin's voice breaks and
673.
Yoongi's heart breaks with it. He looks up slowly and sees Seokjin smiling at him, tears like crystals dotting his eyes and threatening to fall.
"My third question: Was that a lie? You loving me, was that a lie?"
"No." Yoongi shakes his head at once. "I never lied about
674.
loving you."
"Then why'd you do it? Why did you forget? Why didn't you tell me? Why did you leave me?"
It hurts Yoongi to say this but he already has an answer. He's known this for a long time and it's why he regrets leaving Seokjin so much. Because it made it so easy.
675.
"I'm sorry." Guilt crosses his face but this is his truth. "I didn't love you enough."
Seokjin nods like he understands and it hurts Yoongi that he does. He probably already knew. He just waited for Yoongi to be the one to say it.
Then he speaks, "And I loved you too much."
676.
That's when Yoongi breaks. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I took you and your love for granted and I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't have hurt you like that. You only ever gave me what I needed and more but I was too greedy and thought it wasn't enough. I got blinded by my
677.
desire to succeed that I pushed you away and threw everything we had. You were the best thing that ever happened to me. Truly the best, hyung. But I acted like I was better. Like I could do better without you. I didn't. Leaving you was the biggest mistake of my life. And I'm
678.
not asking you to forgive me if you can't. What I did was selfish and insensitive. I was an asshole and didn't give you what you deserved. But what I want you to know is that it wasn't your fault. You never did anything wrong. You only loved and I broke that. I'm sorry."
679.
"He loves you, hyung. He loves you."

Jimin was right. Yoongi's apology was nothing short of an explanation that he had loved Seokjin but took him for granted. Seokjin hadn't known at the time that it was possible to love someone but not love them enough but he also thought
680.
that Yoongi couldn't not have loved him enough. But he knows now, he knows. And hearing it from Yoongi himself, he thought it would hurt. But it doesn't. It just felt like things finally fell into their proper place and his heart feels lighter than it had ever been.
681.
"Thank you." Seokjin says after a while. "Hearing you say that, it means a lot."
Yoongi shakes his head. "I'm sorry I took so long. I should have done it sooner. Should have met with you sooner."
"No. If you had, I wouldn't have listened. I hated you so much for so long; it
682.
wouldn't have worked out. But I've moved on now. Moved on from blaming you and moved on from blaming myself for loving you. Getting caught up in the past isn't worth it. Getting caught up in what we couldn't have isn't worth it."
Yoongi nods in understanding, Seokjin's words
683.
echoing in his head. He feels a heavy weight lifted off his chest now that he's finally apologized (Jungkook would be so proud) but there's also a tinge of sadness that replaces it but only the smallest amount.
hello! sorry for interrupting again but just announcing that i deleted the last two tweets bec they didn't fit well with the rest of the story. it was an oversight on my part and i should've double-checked before posting. super sorry again! orz
684.
"I just wish I could've been more for you, you know? For us."
"You couldn't have known. Everything that happens in life happens for a reason. We both loved each other, definitely, but that love we had was never equal. You didn't love me enough and I loved you too much. In
685.
the long run, it wouldn't be healthy. We would've crashed sooner or later. Breaking up had been what's best."
It's not easy to accept that but he knows that Seokjin is right. The him in the past hadn't been the best version of himself and even now at 54, he still has a lot
686.
to improve upon. But life is full of lessons and all mistakes leave room for growth. Meeting Seokjin again and finally apologizing to him, it's progress.
"Thank you, still, for having loved me like you did. Being with you had been the best moments of my life."
"Thank you
687.
too. For loving me back. It might not have been enough when it mattered but I felt it. And I felt you. I don't regret being with you. Not one bit."

They stand across from each other, the sounds and sights of the park far removed from their senses as their love story reaches
688.
its finality. Neither of them speak for a while, just letting everything sink in and process on its own. There isn't really much left for them to say or do. What's done is done and what needed to be said has been said. It's over now, like saying goodbye.
689.
Flecks of white flutter down in front of Seokjin. He looks up at the night sky just as Yoongi puts a hand out to catch the--
"Snow," Yoongi notes.
Seokjin hums. "The first snowfall of the year."
Around them, the park comes to a standstill as the other parkgoers marvel at the
690.
precipitation dropping down on the earth like stardust.
There's always something magical about witnessing the first snowfall. The sky starts out pitchblack, the stars littering its canvas, and then suddenly, a snowflake floats down from somewhere. Then another follows.
691.
And another and another until a flurry of feather-like crystals glitter down from the sky not like rain but something you can hold onto for longer. Everything gets covered in white and it starts to really feel like winter.
Seokjin lets out an amazed breath. "It's beautiful."
692.
"Yeah, it is," Yoongi replies just as breathlessly.
Seokjin turns to him but finds that he isn't looking at the sky but at him.
"You weren't looking at the sky."
"I know. But if I can be bold, hyung. You're still as beautiful as the first time I laid my eyes on you."
"But
693.
the rap show had shitty lighting."
Yoongi shakes his head. "That wasn't the first. It was right here, a year and a half before we met. You were busking. The song was 'Breathe'. I didn't know if you planned that out because you were simply breathtaking."
Seokjin blinks a
694.
couple of times. "Did--did you just make a dad joke? You used to shit on me when I made them!"
"Hey, I'm old now. I'm entitled to make them."
"I can't believe you," Seokjin rolls his eyes but finds himself unable to hold in his laughter. "It's a good one too. I hate it."
695.
Yoongi joins in with a small chuckle, eventually settling for a shy smile. "I'm glad."

"You never told me that though. That you saw me here."
"I wasn't able to tell you a lot of things."
"Why?"
"I'm not sure. I might've thought it didn't matter. Or I didn't want to get too
696.
deep. I had a ton of issues."
"Hmm."
"We really weren't right for each other back then, were we?"
"Yeah. We weren't."

"Can I ask you something?"
"The floor is yours."
"Were you the one who visited me at the hospital last week?"
Yoongi stops, eyes wide.
"You knew?"
"Well no.
697.
It's why I'm asking. Hoseok was being really vague about it but there are only so many people he knows and who I know too. And really, who else could he act vague about? But I wanted to make sure."
Yoongi coughs, avoiding his eyes. Seokjin follows his gaze though, making
698.
sure to stay in Yoongi's line of sight. He dares to get close to Yoongi's face before tilting his head to the side.
"Well? Is it you or not?"
"You're teasing me."
"Maybe. But I'm looking for a yes or a no."
"Yes. It was me and my cousin, Jungkook."
Seokjin steps back a
699.
satisfied smile on his face.
"Good. And the roses?"
"They were for you."

"Why were you there?"
"I wanted to see you again, apologize, and wish you well."
"Because I fainted, right?"
"Yeah. I couldn't handle the thought of never seeing you again. So I wanted to, even if only
700.
to say sorry and goodbye."
"But the roses."
"What about them?"
"Pink is for love, gratitude, and appreciation. White is for new beginnings. They say thank you and hello, not sorry and goodbye."
"I didn't know if you'd be okay with that."
"You never know unless you ask."
701.
Seokjin walks ahead and Yoongi stares after him.

Seokjin turns back to him. He puts his eyebrows up as if to ask,
'Well?'

He thinks for a moment.

Then he puts one foot forward and follows after him.
702.
Profile of Kim Seokjin (60)
end.
ahhhhhhhh I had planned to finish this by the end of yoonjin week LAST MONTH but the story turned into this monstrosity. it was supposed to be long but like 250 tweets not 452 more. but yeah sorry if the ending became a bit underwhelming? idk i'd been going through some things
these past couple of weeks and i just feel overly critical of everything i do sigh. but this IS how it was supposed to end and how i wanted to end it. my apologies if it's not *motions to the air* enough. but i just want to say to everyone who's been keeping up and sending this
au lots of love, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCCHHHHH!! it really means a lot that you liked and enjoyed reading this. im also super sorry for the rollercoaster ride of emotions and making a lot of you cry TT im super grateful for the support you all
all gave this au & just thank you a million times!!! this is my very first au on here & i've learned a lot. i'll be taking a break for a while bec i swear this au cost half of my soul but i do intend to make more in the future.

thank you again!! i hope you all have a lovely day!
oh also, feel free to dm me if ever you have any questions or just want to scream about anything. i also have a cc btw so, you know, just ask away if you're curious about anything. curiouscat.me/sofarahway
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