maybe so (i.) | myg
↳ summary: when yoongi asks you on one fake date to save him from family embarrassment, he really isn’t expecting you to say yes. or to the next one. or to come with him on the goddamn trip back home for spring break. either you’re a really good liar, or maybe, just maybe this was growing to become more than what it was.
alternatively: how do you fake date someone you’re already in love with without being obvious about how you feel?
↳ genre: fluff; humor; fake dating au; min yoongi x reader
↳ rating: pg-13
↳ warnings: light alcohol consumption; mention of food poisoning; petty family drama (and resounding self-deprecation and spite); i’m pretty sure that’s it for this chapter
↳ word count: 13k
↳ a/n: this fic may have been giving me brain damage for three weeks straight, but it’s my baby so that’s okay. this is quite possibly the most self-indulgent thing that i’ve ever written but enjoy! if you’re looking for music to listen to accompanying this fic, i highly recommend the entirety of niki’s wanna take this downtown ep, as it inspired various aspects of this fic! stay safe and wash your hands!!!!
↳ PART ONE | PART TWO (finale)
If Yoongi’s current reality were categorized into a film genre on Netflix, it would most definitely be a drama. One of those overly-exaggerated, cheesy Korean dramas that his younger sister was terminally addicted to watching, sans the whirlwind romance that makes all of the tribulations worth it.
For starters, Min Yoongi is running late to his own impromptu family birthday dinner, which definitely was not even his fault. He did not have control over the impulsivity of his headass of a roommate, Park Jimin, and he definitely didn’t anticipate that aforementioned headass would impulse dye his hair hot pink and subsequently clog the only bathroom sink in their shared apartment from further use. How he managed to do that was a mystery for another day.
Yoongi did, however, have control over the accidental twenty-minutes-turned-
three-hour-long nap he took. It happened like this: he got back to the apartment after class around 10AM, then received a text from Jimin forewarning him that a plumber was coming at 11 to fix the sink. After that ordeal was finished, Yoongi flopped down on the couch and decided to take a quick nap under the warrant that he deserved it for having to deal with Park fucking Jimin every single day of the week. Also because he drank a little too much at dinner with Jungkook and Hoseok last night and was awarded with a headache in the morning as a shitty consolation trophy, but that detail wasn't important.
The only thing remotely important right now was Yoongi’s untied left shoe that was holding onto his foot for dear life as he sprints down the entrance stairway into the web of the metro system. He’s certain he looks downright comedical with the way he hurriedly scans his card and busts ass to get to the train platform. Perhaps if he were an anime character, he’d have those white dashes around him to denote that he was moving at a near-inhuman speed.
The train shouldn’t take more than twenty-five minutes to get to Koreatown despite it being on the other side of the city, but then again, Yoongi should know better than to think that luck was ever in his favor. There was a delay, for God knows what reason, that fills Yoongi with dread from where he stands with his hand hooked around the railing as the notification passes through the intercom.
Was it straight two blocks then make a left? Or was it left two blocks then a right turn? God, he really should have at least looked it up on Google Maps during the train ride—it would have at least lessened his rapidly increasing stupidity stats, albeit by a fractional amount. He stopped to ask a girl for directions, and even though she gave him the easiest route to the kbbq restaurant in question, she scanned his disheveled state with a look of mild confusion and maybe a hint of concern. Oh well. It’s not like he was going to be seeing her around any time soon.
When Yoongi gets to the front of the restaurant, he knows he’s in the right place, not just because of the gigantic sign that says HOME KBBQ across it in fluorescent blue lighting, but because of the familiar head of brown hair that belonged to none other than his lanky dork of a younger brother. Namjoon hasn’t yet noticed his brother’s arrival, much less acknowledged it, far too occupied in the contents of his phone screen.
Yoongi’s manic wheezing seems to have finally caught the younger boy’s attention, causing his gaze to snap away from the screen and a wide dimpled grin to spread across his face. “Hyung! Happy late birthday!”
Yoongi’s still too busy trying to catch his breath, resting his hands on his knees like the heathen he is, no matter how many people tell him specifically not to do so when out of breath. “Thanks. Is Mom mad I’m late?”
The grin on Namjoon’s face doesn’t falter. “Oh, everyone’s pissed. That’s why they made me wait out here for you haha. But it’s okay because you’re here now! Wipe the drool off the corner of your mouth though.” He slaps Yoongi’s shoulder in the annoying-younger-sibling-way before walking past him to hold open the door.
“After you, birthday boy.”
“Shut the hell up.”
“Look who decided to show up,” his mother says with an exaggerated sigh as Yoongi appears, Namjoon following immediately behind. He’s guilty, definitely, but getting called out immediately doesn’t exactly make him feel any better about it.
A “nice to see you” or “wow! I haven’t seen you since winter break nearly three months ago!” would have sufficed, perhaps even a belated birthday wish like Namjoon, he thinks to himself, but who was he kidding, this was his family he was dealing with. No such thing as civil salutations existed as far as the Mins were concerned.
“Sorry,” he mumbles, to which he gets no response. The rest of the table’s greetings all ring in that same tone of general disappointment and agitation, despite the “Happy Birthdays” that are said monotonously by each family member as he goes around the table to greet them. (Except for his cousin Seokjin, who actually stands up and gives him a pseudo-bro hug and a tacky Hallmark birthday card.)
There’s a grand total of nine people at the table: from the seats on Yoongi’s left all the way around to his right sits Ryujin, Seokjin and his girlfriend, his father, Namjoon, his grandmother, his maternal aunt and uncle (otherwise known as Seokjin’s parents), and his mother. And with himself makes ten. The tables at this restaurant are homey to the point where it’s suffocating, everyone’s elbows practically touching one another’s.
Regardless, everyone resumes eating, the conversation stirring up once again when Ryujin mentions how much she absolutely despises her AP Microeconomics teacher and everyone in the class. “That’s life,” their aunt speaks, warning tone in her voice. “You can’t expect to learn in an environment that you enjoy being in. That’s how you get lazy.” Yoongi disagrees silently.
Here’s the thing: Yoongi was never very fond of his aunt Kim Eunjung, and quite frankly, the feeling was not one-sided. She thought that Yoongi was too stubborn and indecisive to ever amount to any form of success in his life. Yoongi thought she was sickeningly traditional to the point where she was practically breathing down the necks of the entire second generation of the family (there’s a reason why Seokjin is the way he is, unfortunately). It was like a symbiotic relationship of general disdain masked by familial politeness.
Apparently she could fucking read minds too, because the second Yoongi’s disdainful thoughts formulate in his head, she’s already looking at him with a direct attack ready. Yoongi acts indifferent to what he knows is about to come, taking a sip of his water through the provided paper straw.
“What about you? You’re so skinny, Yoongi,” she points out with a wrinkle of her nose, sounding more annoyed than genuinely concerned about his health. “Do you even eat anything?”
“Yoongi, I’ve been telling you to stop skipping meals,” his mom points out, disappointment ringing through the way her metal chopsticks clang against her rice bowl. “We don’t pay for your dorm and meal plan for you to only eat one bowl of cereal every three days. That doesn’t count as eating.” Will his parents ever let him live down the fact that there’s an agreement between them and him for them to pay for his tuition? No. Never.
“I eat,” he replies earnestly, but nobody’s fooled. He can’t say that either of them are wrong on this argument. The last thing he recalls eating was a granola bar that Jimin had tons of stashed in their shared room. And that was, like, at four in the morning yesterday.
His dad lets out a heavy guffaw from across the table, patting Namjoon on the shoulder in a manner that makes the boy almost choke on his samgyeopsal. “Keep that up and you’ll never get a girlfriend. Isn’t that the new thing? Aren’t girls into the ‘swole’ guys these days, huh Ryujinnie?” he adds, turning to Yoongi’s sister.
“Dad, please never say the word ‘swole’ ever again.”
Eunjung looks amused as well, but if the quirk in her brow was any indication, it’s not because she thinks that her brother-in-law’s attempts to use millennial terminology is amusing. Oh no, this was much worse.
“Our Yoongi? With a girlfriend? It’s hard to believe that’s even possible considering how he is. Especially with his hair dyed that horrible red color.” Eunjung’s words are just backhanded enough not to be rude—perhaps even enough so to be played off as a joke, yet the implication of them holds such malice that it hurts a Yoongi’s pride a little.
You see, there’s an uncanny valley that sits right between “Yoongi disagreeing with his family members because they’re wrong and their viewpoint is scalding and narrow-minded” and “Yoongi disagreeing with his family members because he’s young, dumb, and needs to be taught a life lesson out of this”.
Yoongi doesn’t know where he is on that spectrum at all right now, but quite frankly he doesn’t care right now. As the saying goes: pride comes before the fall.
“Actually, I do.” Wait, what?
Yoongi has absolutely no idea where that came from. He was never a compulsive liar, save for when playing Uno with his friends, but still, he’s never told a lie of this caliber before. In front of half his family, no less. Even though it’s a solid lie, he can’t help but feel triumphed by the shock that falls across the table. It doesn’t last long, questions beginning to roll in.
“Where’d you meet her?”
“No way!” (That one comes from Ryujin, to absolutely nobody’s surprise.)
But Eunjung’s question is the only one that Yoongi chooses to answer. “How long have you had this girlfriend of yours?”
“Five months.” There’s no rhyme or reason to his answer—it was legitimately the first number to come to mind.
Eunjung laughs exaggeratedly, head thrown back and eyes wiping away faux-tears, as if this new finding wasn’t believable in any way, shape, or form. The sheer condescension makes Yoongi’s blood boil, despite the fact that, you know, she was right. “So what you’re saying is that you’ve been in a serious relationship for almost half a year and you just decided not to tell anyone?”
“Yes,” he answers, refusing to break eye contact.
“And why is that, hm?” she pries, and Yoongi tells himself that she’s only being especially pretentious tonight because she’s beyond drunk. It’s the only thing conclusion he can conjure up to prevent himself from saying anything so disrespectful that he’d get disowned by the entirety of his family, cursed for the next four decades, and not to mention, dishonor on his cow.
“I just… didn’t wanna jinx it. I didn’t want to bring her around everyone too soon in case things went south and it became awkward for all of us,” he explains, a little scared of how easily the lie comes out of his mouth. The grave he’s digging himself only gets deeper, but Yoongi feels like his hands are glued to the shovel at this point.
Eunjung looks surprisingly satisfied with his answer, but there’s no way she wouldn’t be able to find something to interject, something else about him that she could nit-pick at. That’s just not her. Her mouth quirks up at the corner, as if Yoongi has just read her mind. “When are we going to meet her?”
However, she doesn’t get the chance to hear the boy’s answer, as Yoongi’s mother finally deems it time to put an end to the interrogation she had just witnessed her eldest son go through. “Unnie, I haven’t even heard about this girl before. We need more time to just let this sink in. Besides, it’s getting late, and we both know we all have a long way home from here.” Despite just saving Yoongi’s ass from the impending trial, his mother shoots him a small glare in reference to his late attendance despite being geographically closest to the damn restaurant in the first place. That’s motherly love for you.
After a ten minute debacle starting and ending with Seokjin insisting that he picks up the tab, everyone finally leaves the restaurant—and the conversation—behind.
Waving off his relatives goodbye, the only ones left congregating outside the restaurant alongside Yoongi are his siblings and his parents.
Yoongi walks them to their car, where the SUV sits parked aside a meter that’s already run past its two-hour time by forty minutes. Had the dinner really gone on for that long?
“Hyung, don’t leave yet,” Namjoon says, holding up his hands as if he were a crossing guard as a preventative measure in case his brother decided to just take off. “I got you a birthday present.” He tugs at the door the instant his dad unlocks it with the telltale click and flash of lights inside. It’s not like Yoongi could just scram anyways, despite the fact that it seemed incredibly appealing with the way this evening went.
So he watches as Namjoon fumbles and nearly hits him in the face with the door, pulling out a small and poorly-wrapped box that’s no bigger than the size of his palm. Yoongi can only imagine the laugh that the younger boy had with himself whilst wrapping such a small box as neatly as he could muster.
Ryujin rounds the back of the car, plopping a significantly larger (and much, much better wrapped) box into his arms as well. “You don’t have to open them right now,” she declares, and Yoongi isn’t sure if it’s for his benefit or her’s. She probably has hours of AP homework waiting for her on top of the hour and a half car ride home.
“Thank you,” he replies as he tugs them both into a stiff hug. Being genuinely affectionate towards his siblings will never not be awkward for him to do. Does he love them? Sure. But can he say it out loud, or express it in any way that wasn’t him just silently caring for them or downright insulting them? Absolutely not. And it wasn’t one of those I’m-edgy-and-hate-letting-people-know-I-care sort of things. That just wasn’t how having siblings worked.
He hugs his parents goodbye before they too get into the car, with yet another thank you for dinner and a promise that he’ll make time to visit soon. And that’s the end of the wildest birthday dinner I’ve ever had in my twenty-two years of life, he thinks to himself, more in disbelief than with mirth as he begins to turn to leave in the direction of the metro station.
“Yoongi.” He stops and turns back slowly, like the voice of his mother would stab straight through him if he made any sudden moves. “Yes?”
Window rolled down, the head of black hair belonging to his mother juts out enough for her to lean forward and speak to him. “Your girlfriend. When were you planning on telling us?”
“Oh,” he says with a swallow. It wasn’t over yet.
It takes him a little longer to think of a response, now that this is when his words will actually count and error will not get lost in the initial shock. He contemplates what his reasoning would be had this been real and not just a spite-fueled fabrication.
(He also contemplates coming clean, but decides against it simply because of how embarrassing and downright pathetic it would sound coming out of his mouth, not to mention the fact that he did so just to get everyone off his back about it. Yoongi’s pride > integrity—apparently that was the moral of tonight’s story.)
“I swear, I was going to tell you guys soon. But we both agreed that winter break might’ve been a little bit too soon for her to meet you, and same with me for her family. And then the beginning of this semester has just been really rough on both of us; in fact, we’ve barely spent any time together at all. And I don’t know, I thought maybe we were starting to lose interest in each other or something.”
It’s a very plausible sob story—despite Yoongi’s distaste for forcing sympathy—and although his mother generally hates it when he complains about how “difficult” his life is as the average middle-class student at a decent university, she accepts it. Thank every unknown deity out there that she does, because Yoongi doesn’t think he could pull any more false information out of his ass for the rest of his life.
“But do you still want to be with her?”
“Yeah,” he sighs, and if any of his friends were here right now, they’d probably burst out laughing at the fact that there literally is no “her” and this entire thing is just on-the-spot bullshit that he’s spouting out like a water fountain. The thought makes Yoongi kind of want to die of embarrassment. “I do.”
Now that he thinks of it, this is actually perfect. You know, since all he had to do now was make up a break-up story in a couple weeks and the whole thing will blow over. Sure, he’ll have to face the scrutiny of fucking up his “relationship” for a while, but—
“So we should meet her then.” What.
His mom is unaware of the panic in his eyes, the flush in his face looking more like a side effect of the cold and the pure unadulterated fear in his eyes masked by the dim street lights above him.
“Meet her,” she replies, like it’s that simple. Well, it is, when you have an actual girlfriend to make these plans with. “Next Wednesday night your father and I don’t have anything planned. If you’re both trying to make things work, the only thing you can do is take the next step.”
“I… guess you’re right. We’ll try to make it.” Oh God, what was he supposed to do now?
“Trying isn’t enough, Yoongi,” his mother warns. It’s something that he already knows from years of her ingraining it into his brain—starting with when he missed a note during his first piano recital, to when he didn’t make the varsity basketball team as a freshman in high school, to when he didn’t get into the university his parents wanted him to, to now. He knows it, yet that damn barrier between doing his best and succeeding has always been nearly impossible for him to break through.
“Relationships take work. All things do. You have to be there.” She’s undeniably correct, and Yoongi is positively screwed. Then she waves her hand at him the way that you would when an insect comes too close and you’d like it to go away. “Go home, Yoongi. It’s getting late.” It’s been getting late, he thinks to himself. You’re the one who prolonged this conversation.
“Okay,” is what he says instead. “Drive safe. Text me when you get home.” It’s something he always tells her to do, but she never does.
“Speaking of,” she adds. Yoongi fidgets, feet are starting to go numb from standing in the cold. “Can you come home tomorrow to drop off your car? Ryujin finally got her permit and she needs to start practicing for her driver’s test. You don’t even drive that often anyways, and it’s not like Namjoon has any skills or even a car for her to borrow.”
(“Ouch,” Namjoon cries indignantly as ever from the back seat.)
“Okay,” he agrees again, no ifs, buts, or whys to add to it. Yoongi takes really good care of his 2013 Honda Civic, and it’s really fucking hard for him to entrust his younger sister with it considering that she lacks experience and could very easily destroy its current near-perfect condition that he’s prided himself in maintaining. But Yoongi complies, because he’s already given his mother enough aneurysms this evening for a decade, and he didn’t need to add this to the list of reasons why he’s a pain in her ass.
“Mhm,” she offers with a tight-lipped smile to accommodate it. “Go home.” Again, it wasn’t his fault he wasn’t already settled into the dinky and stiff leather seats of the red-line train back to his campus. She rolls up the window without a formal goodbye.
His dad starts the engine back up again, the car finally pulling it out of its place on the curb. If Yoongi squints, he can see the vague outline of Namjoon giving him a wave from the tinted window of the back seat.
Min Yoongi is incomprehensibly, impetuously, and irrevocably stupid. And those were only the words starting with ‘i’.
If he were writing a lab report, that would be his claim, and his data that follows would be taken directly from the events of tonight. Granted, you could probably pull half a million other moments of idiotic embarrassment from any period of time in his life, but this incident genuinely takes the cake.
And so Yoongi does what anyone does at the first instance of trouble: he messages his best friend.
(No, not Jimin. He’s already out cold by the time that Yoongi gets back to their apartment anyways, and even if he were awake, he would most definitely not be the first person he’d turn to for advice.)
[12:54am] yoongi: wake up
[12:54am] yoongi: we have a problem
He’s in the middle of typing out another message—something blithe and bitter because it’s been well over eight minutes since she’s read his message and still hasn’t responded—when his screen is suddenly taken over by an abhorrent low-angle meme image of none other than Kang Seulgi herself, the message on the screen happily reading out, “seulgi 🥳 would like to FaceTime…”.
Unfortunately for Yoongi, his heathen of a best friend preferred FaceTime over any other medium of digital communication. Sure, it was a good option for long-winded stories or for when he’s alone and face-to-face communication seems appealing. But at its worst, it was inconvenient when he was a) trying to be discreet about who he was talking to or the contents of the conversation, or b) when he was too damn tired to actually speak, leaving typing using only his thumbs to be the more appealing approach.
(Not that either of those were an issue right now; he was definitely alone and was too adrenaline-induced to even get to his threshold of exhaustion.)
When Yoongi begrudgingly accepts the FaceTime call, he is immediately greeted with the sight of Seulgi’s sheet mask-clad face, dark hair tucked back into a bun behind her Kakao Friends Ryan headband. There’s no greetings, no preface to the scolding that she’s already ready to deliver. “Don’t look at me like that,” she says, narrowing her eyes. “It’s Friday. That’s self care night.”
Yoongi glances at the time glowing in the upper corner of his screen. “Technically it’s Saturday. And what happened to ‘Sundays are self-care nights’ and ‘Wednesdays are also self-care nights’?”
“Fuck off. Not everybody can get perfect skin just by inhaling particles in the air the way that you do.”
“It’s called drinking water, Seulgi.” She rolls her eyes.
Yoongi sighs, feeling the need to fidget. He drags his hand through his maroon-tinted hair—a bad habit that he attributes to being roommates with Jimin for far too long and unintentionally picking up his shitty quirks.
“So are you gonna tell me what happened, or is this just another self-wallowing party where I just sit here and watch? C’mon, I could be doing a hundred other things right now than seeing you sulk, à la Twitch streamer,” Seulgi comments annoyingly, leaning unsettlingly close to the camera until her eyes took up a vast majority of Yoongi’s phone screen.
Yoongi takes a breath. “Okay, so at dinner I accidentally told my parents that I have a girlfriend and have had one since November of last year because they kept clowning me over being undateable. Then they asked why I haven’t even mentioned her at all before, so now they wanna meet her next week. I’m so fucked, what do I do now?” Holy shit, that sounds a lot worse when you say it out loud.
Knowing Seulgi for well over ten years of his life makes Yoongi damn-near telekinetic when it comes to gauging how she would react to any information presented to her. This notion is only reinforced by the way that she, as expected, lets out a painful-sounding wheeze and doubles over laughing (at least, to the best of her ability, as the sheet mask on her face is inhibiting the full range of emotion she has to show). “Stop! This isn’t supposed to be funny! I am your best friend in an embarrassingly real crisis!”
“What I wanna know,” Seulgi lets out between fits of laughter. “Is how you even managed to convince anyone of that. We all know you’re a shitty liar, and your romantic history isn’t even existent enough for that story to be backed up. Plus your family can read people like their skulls are made of glass. They’re terrifying.”
Yoongi ticks. “Fuck off, I’m a good actor. If I weren’t already majoring in architecture, I would probably have a lead role in a K-Drama by now.”
Seulgi composes herself enough to roll her eyes. “Yeah, because your performance as the fifth dwarf in the fourth grade production of Snow White was absolutely phenomenal.”
“Look,” Yoongi says, leaning closer. “You know how adament my family is when it comes to making plans with them—there’s no way I’m getting out of this. It’s only one date, but, I mean, it’s not like I have people lined up in my contact list for the spot of a believable date.”
Seulgi fans at her face, the acidity of her face mask starting to sting. “That’s very true,” she muses. The confirmation doesn’t help whatsoever. “And it’s not like you can bring me, because they already know me and hate me on top of that. There has to be some girl that we’re close enough friends with to ask her, right? Hey—how about Soojin?”
“Uh, you mean the one that asked for my number at the beginning of the semester, then proceeded to ghost me when I texted her to study for midterms together? Yeah, no.”
Seulgi opens her mouth again. “And don’t suggest Sihyeon next, because you know how bad that blind date went and I am not doing that again,” Yoongi warns. She closes her mouth. There’s a daft silence as both are left contemplating.
There’s still Y/N, Yoongi reminds himself, but it’s a thought he does not want to bring to light, especially to Seulgi.
There were a plethora of different adjectives that Yoongi could use to describe you, but even using just that as a measure to describe you didn't seem to be able to do you any justice. You were witty and charming in all the best ways, and you were one of the only people Yoongi has ever met that was capable of making him tongue-tied. Sure, you were friends and you actually talked quite frequently, but that still didn’t stop his brain from turning into putty at every interaction. To put it shortly, Yoongi had a fat crush on you.
And for that reason precisely, there was no way he could ask you to fake date him.
Wait. It had grown oddly quiet, the sound of Seulgi’s voice no longer being white noise to Yoongi’s muddy thoughts. He directs his focus back to the FaceTime screen, only to be greeted by a cheshire cat-like grin decorating the girl’s face. He had no idea what she’d been rambling about while he was thinking, but after ten years of friendship, Yoongi has become classically conditioned enough to know that the smile plastered across her face was not a good sign.
“Easy solution. Ask Y/N,” she says, like it’s the easiest damn thing in the world. But she knows. While Yoongi refused to tell her anything directly, Seulgi could tell from the way he got nervous around you that the way he saw you was more than just platonic. The only downfall was that you were completely oblivious to how he felt, making every interaction between the two of you almost painful to watch. Seulgi really wonders most days if she was just born to be a magnet for dumbasses.
“...which Y/N?” he asks, stalling for time, as if he meets someone named Y/N—as if he meets someone like you—every goddamn day. Seulgi doesn’t spare him much more than a few seconds. “You know exactly who I’m talking about.”
“No,” Yoongi protests. “I can’t do that—”
“Why not?” She doesn’t need the answer to know she’s won. Checkmate, bitch.
“Dude, I swear these face masks never fit over my gigantic forehead, how do you do this all the time—oh! Hey Yoongi!”
How could Yoongi possibly forget that you and Seulgi were roommates? You pad across the room towards Seulgi’s desk, leaning down with a wave, a face mask identical to Seulgi’s covering your own face (all due respect to Seulgi, but Yoongi thinks you look a hell of a lot cuter with it on than she does).
“Hey!” he responds, and immediately regrets it because he sounds a hell of a lot more enthusiastic than he does on a regular day.
“Perfect timing, because Yoongi was just about to ask you something!” Seulgi says as she clasps her hands together innocently, you know, like the shithead she is. Because if there was anyone who loved to exploit Yoongi for all of his weaknesses (especially when it came to you), it was his own goddamn best friend.
“Oh really?” you ask, attentively looking towards the camera with a slight tilt of your head. “What’s up?”
Yoongi’s mouth runs dry. Now what?
Your face softens as you catch onto the unexpectedness that flashes in his eyes. “Hey, it’s fine if you don’t wanna talk right now. You can tell me tomorrow at Jungkook’s, right? I’m gonna go make coffee, so you and Seulgi can go back to talking about whatever it is you were talking about. Hah.” The laugh you tack onto the end feels a little forced.
“See you tomorrow,” he mumbles, looking down.
Seulgi watches as you leave, only turning back around once she’s certain that you’ve left the room. “You are so whipped.”
“Am not!” Yoongi whines, despite the fact that she was very much right. “You put me on the spot! I didn’t even plan on what I was going to say!”
“You and your plans my ass!” she exclaims. “You’re a total chicken!” Yoongi scrambles to turn down his phone’s volume to prevent waking up his roommate.
“All I’m saying is that if you’re not ever planning on asking her out on a real date, then you might as well just play pretend, right?” Seulgi acknowledges. “Isn’t that easier and, like, not to mention, an opportunity for you guys to get closer? I mean, it’s not like I’m an expert on this kind of stuff. After all, I'm just a girl, who also happens to have experience with asking girls out.”
Yoongi considers his options. Yes, pretending to date someone is probably a lot easier than actually asking someone out formally. Yes, this would be an opportunity for you and him to be closer as friends (emphasis on friends), and not to mention a horrible debacle for you two to look back on five or six years and think “Damn, remember that time when you and me fake dated because you lied to your parents! That was quite the time to be alive!”. Yes, he did like you, and he wanted to be closer to you, but this was probably not the best way to go about that.
Plus there was one factor that was unavoidable and, up until this point, not considered: Yoongi is a shitty liar. It’s up for debate on whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing considering it was you, someone who he very much currently had feelings for, and the fact that the entire relationship would be fabricated, meaning more lies. And there’s the fact that doing so would require you to meet his parents. He’d have to have less than two-fifths of a brain cell to not know that that would be asking too much of you. Yoongi’s on the verge of flatlining.
“No,” Yoongi decides, sealing his fate. “It’s a stupid idea and we are definitely not going to go through with it.”
This was a stupid idea, yet here Yoongi was, decidedly going through with it.
Here’s the thing: Yoongi genuinely did not believe there was an abundance of things that were even remotely dateable about himself—sure, he can build Ikea furniture decently, he’s an architecture major (great for impressing parents), and he has too many damn hoodies and t-shirts to let people borrow without even realizing if they ever give it back. But other than that, nothing. At least, not enough for him to be deemed Boyfriend Material or whatever.
On top of that, he’s worried about what you’d say when he asks. Would you laugh at him? Outright reject him? No, that wasn’t you—you were more likely to say yes out of pity and hate every second of it without letting him know. Oh God, that was so much worse.
You two are friends, he reminds himself. It can’t possibly be that embarrassing or outlandish to ask to fake a date as a friendly favor, not when you’ve probably seen each other at rock bottom at least nine times within the span of your friendship. Logistically speaking, that reasoning would make sense, had there not been the glaringly palpable fact that he already had feelings for you. If he hasn’t had the nerve to legitimately ask you out yet, what would make this any easier? Yoongi hates this plan more and more the longer he is left alone to think about it.
This wasn’t just a stupid idea. This was a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad idea.
It’s currently ten minutes past six, and he was supposed to be at Jungkook’s apartment nearly forty-five minutes ago. Instead, he’s still very much at his own dorm, waiting for Jimin to finish taking a damn shower, sitting at his desk and watching some cat compilation that showed up on his Instagram feed.
If there was one thing that Min Yoongi was aware of, it was knowing exactly when his friends were planning something. All it took was a panicked look across the room, or a nervous laugh, or one too many reminders for Yoongi to be at A Very Specific Location at a Very Specific Time.
Added to the fact that his birthday had just passed, it doesn’t take Yoongi long to connect the dots.
Even if he weren’t perceptive enough to catch any of those signals, he knows that Jimin is never late for an event. In fact, he was constantly on Yoongi’s ass about his punctuality—it was one of the few things that they regularly squabble over as roommates. So when Yoongi is actually ready to leave, but exits the bathroom only to be greeted with the sight of Jimin sprawled out on his bed, still in his raggedy pajamas and definitely not ready to leave, his eyes narrow with suspicion.
“Weren’t we supposed to be there almost an hour ago?”
Jimin shrugs with wide eyes, but it is for naught—the exaggeration of his nonchalance clearly shows that yes, they were definitely supposed to be at Jungkook’s place an hour ago, and yes, there was definitely a reason behind why he was stalling. He was never that great of an actor.
But Yoongi plays along, because there’s something so strange yet so fucking endearing about the extent of effort that his friends put forth when it comes to things like this. He knows how much they genuinely care about him, since there've been far too many instances where he’s been on the delivering end of a surprise birthday party for someone else—they all get an adrenaline rush from planning and executing, and there’s never any feeling of obligation that comes with doing so. A total light switch from the way that his actual family celebrated his birthday with him.
So when they finally leave their room nearly an hour and a half later than they were supposed to, Yoongi doesn’t comment on the obviousness of his friends’ scheme. He teases Jimin for being a trainwreck of a person, even for a college student, but beyond that, he pretends he has no idea what awaits him at Jungkook’s flat.
Yoongi feels like he should be surprised by the chaos already unfolding the second he opens the door, but then again this was his friends that we’re talking about.
“Jungkook, I swear to God you’re stupider than that huge ass moth that keeps hitting the window!”
Irene stands in the kitchen with her hands on her hips as she looks down at Jungkook, stance a perfect mirror to every mother when scolding their child. Jungkook is on the floor, rubbing paper towels across the linoleum and staining them in a red substance that looks suspiciously like spicy ramen sauce. If Yoongi strains his neck a little, he can see that you and Hoseok are also helping with the damage control, although you’re both laughing far more than you are cleaning.
“First the three cakes, now this,” Seulgi mutters. Her hair is tucked into a shittily thrown up bun and there’s frosting smudged on her cheek.
“There goes my two dollars,” Taehyung wails, like it’s the end of the world. For a college kid like him, it practically was. He turns his head as he buries his face in his hands dramatically, but at the gesture, he notices Yoongi and Jimin’s arrival, and it’s like a light switch is flicked. He screams in that loud, booming, excited voice of his.
In two seconds flat, Taehyung is already tackling them both in a bone crushing hug, while the rest of the group shouts out a chorus of “who’s here?” and even a “wait, we ordered pizza too?” from Hoseok. He gets a not-so-gentle smack on the shoulder in lieu of a response.
There’s a hush that falls over the room, like they’re all waiting for someone to do something.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOONGI!” Hoseok is the first to shout it, but he’s soon joined in by the rest of the group halfway through the first word. Jimin and Taehyung each take hold of Yoongi’s arms and drag him forward towards the kitchen island where his friends are all gathered.
There’s three cakes on the table: one that’s neatly frosted and has pretty red strawberries thrown in a pattern over the top (by the looks of it, it’s from the bakery inside H-Mart), a whole sheet cake from Costco that’s nothing but solid white frosting, and one that’s certainly… something. It’s significantly smaller than the other two, and it’s a mess of frosting and fruits on top of it. Suddenly Seulgi’s earlier words start to make sense (not to mention, the frosting on you and Seulgi’s cheeks matches the shade of the one that decorates the last cake).
You pull up a chair for him to sit at. “Something tells me this wasn’t on purpose?” he asks with a grin, and you roll your eyes fondly.
“Apparently none of us know what it means to stick to a plan. Also we’re all mad at Hobi and Jungkook for taking you out to dinner on your actual birthday, but failing to invite the rest of us.”
Yoongi pulls a smile as he watches you lean over and light the candles sitting on top of the cakes (yes, all three of them). He’s surprised that there aren’t over twenty candles on the cake, considering that it was something that his friends have done before.
When they sing happy birthday to him, it’s comedically off-key—with the exception of Jungkook, because he’s, you know, Jungkook—and Yoongi can do nothing but watch with fond eyes at his friends. Don’t be mistaken though—that doesn’t mean he actually knows where to look when people are singing it to him, because who is good at that?
And when Yoongi blows out the candles, he honestly isn’t sure what he’s even got to wish for. Perhaps enough money to clear his tuition debt. Or the ability to survive the accidental fake-dating mess he got himself into.
But Yoongi settles for the one thing that he wishes for every time he’s given the opportunity, from throwing pennies into fountains to stars in the sky that fall when he’s lucky enough to see them to the candles sitting on the cake(s) in front of him: Happiness—or at the very least, contentedness—with where he is in life. Tomorrow, ten years down the line, whenever it decides to come. And maybe, just maybe he wants to find his soulmate sometime soon. (It’s sappy, he knows it. Perhaps he spends a bit too much time with Jungkook these days. Sue him.)
Yoongi doesn’t think about his wish afterwards though—he never does, because even he knows it’s better to focus on what’s in front of him than to dwell on an intangible wish he made over a strawberry-covered pastry. Especially when the thing that’s in front of him is an intense tag-team game of Scrabble, commentated by none other than Jung Hoseok himself.
You’ve picked Yoongi as your partner, and he pretends that it doesn’t make his heart swell a little bit. He leans over your shoulder to look at the rack that sits in front of you both, but he can’t pick a single word that could come out of the seven letters present.
Your face is twisted in deep concentration as you stare at your shared tiles. If Yoongi didn’t know any better, he’d think you were a finalist at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and not in Jungkook’s living room in a shitty Scrabble game against equally illiterate college kids.
“Do you think ‘dipshit’ is an acceptable Scrabble word?”
Hoseok’s already taking out his phone to google it before Yoongi stops him. “Jimin almost threw his chem textbook at me last week when I called him one. It definitely should count as a real word.”
“You’re a fucking snitch, Yoongi,” Jimin hisses in response. Laughing, you put the seven-letter word down on the board. Jimin begrudgingly totals up the points.
It’s ten minutes to midnight when Yoongi finally drags himself to the kitchen and away from all the noise of the living room. His throat hurts, not only from the alcohol, but from all the screaming that inevitably came from doing anything remotely competitive with his friends (especially when Hoseok busted out his switch to play Mario Kart).
He prays that Jungkook even has water, and not just chocolate milk and soju filling his fridge to maximum capacity.
“This party is boring, do you wanna leave together?” you ask smoothly as you appear beside him, delivering an entirely not-painful punch to his arm as you smile.
“W-what?” Yoongi chokes on his water.
Your cheeks suddenly flare up at his reaction (cutely, might he add). “Ah! I was talking about that one meme. Y’know, the one where you’re supposed to respond by saying ‘this is my birthday party…’. Yeah, that was it. Didn’t mean to, uh, imply anything.”
Right. “Oh, haha. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that,” he replies with a laugh. Quite frankly, he has no idea what meme you’re even talking about (he doesn’t keep up with Twitter much these days).
“Also I came here to apologize.” Huh?
“For what?” Yoongi asks, meeting your eyes. You avert them instantly, looking down at your socks.
“Last night—I really didn’t mean to interrupt your conversation like that. I mean, I’m guessing it was something serious? Since you didn’t wanna say what was happening and then neither did Seulgi once she hung up. So, uh, sorry if I came across as nosy.”
“Oh,” Yoongi responds. “No—no, that’s definitely not what happened, don’t apologize. Actually, uh, I was gonna ask you something.” Now or never, he reminds himself. You look up at him, innocent expectancy in your eyes.
Yoongi closes his eyes, short enough to be considered a blink, but also long enough for him to anticipate his impending death that he wishes for in order to rid himself of his own embarrassment. It never comes.
“I… need your help with something.” It’s too cryptic of an answer, but it’s a start. He continues, despite the embarrassment that rises in his cheeks in the form of a pink flush. “I accidentally lied to half my family about having a girlfriend, and now they all want to meet her even though I’m literally single as fuck and now I don’t know what to do. Do you—do you want to cometodinnerwithmenextweek?”
You blink back up at him, like it’s taking a couple seconds for your brain to process this new information. Because wow, talk about a mouthful. Oh fuck. You don’t have an answer, and Min Yoongi is this close to saying “fuck it” and moving to Antartica where he’d die a slow and painless death, withering away in subzero temperatures until his skin turns blue instead of being right here right now.
What he doesn’t expect is for you to start laughing.
It’s not a mean laugh. It’s not one where it’s blatantly obvious that you think this is a prank on his part and you’re just laughing to fill space, or where you’re condescending him because you think he’s pathetic. It’s a laugh that shows that no matter how outlandish and horrible-sounding of a predicament this is, you believe him. “Please tell me you’re being serious. Please. I might cry if you aren’t.”
Yoongi cracks a smile with you. “Trust me, I couldn’t make this shit up even if I wanted to.”
“This is the kind of thing you only see in movies, y’know?” You muse, still laughing. “I can’t believe you actually did this to yourself. This is, like, real.”
“Please don’t remind me of how much of an idiot I am,” Yoongi whines, before realizing that you’ve managed to avoid giving him a definitive answer still. “So… is that a yes? No? Maybe so?”
You crease your brows slightly, still an endeared smile faint on your cheeks. “Maybe so? What would that even entail in this type of situation?”
Yoongi grimaces. “I have no idea. Force of habit.”
“You talk like a suburban dad,” you snort. “But to answer your question, yes. I’m all in.”
Yoongi releases a breath he hadn’t known that he had been holding. He leans back against the kitchen counter, body turning lax now that the weight of his stress over the past twenty-four hours was now freed from his body.
“Also it’s just one date,” Yoongi adds, rubbing at the back of his neck. “Or, like, a few weeks max. I have a whole plan and everything, so it should blow over soon and we can just move on from there. You don’t have to, like, blow my parents out of the water or anything.”
“What if I want to though?” What the fuck.
“Why?” Yoongi asks. It’s not meant to come out rude, and you don’t take it that way. It’s just such a brutal and difficult task, and it’s not particularly one that he would recommend to anyone to partake in. After all, it was something he had no choice but to succumb to, for the past twenty-two years of his life.
“I want them to like me,” you state simply. “Even if it’s just a fake date or whatever, we’re still friends so the circumstances aren’t that different. Your parents should still at least know me, right?”
It is so much different. Because if you get his parents to like you, and they will, you’ll become a semi-permanent fixture in his life, and that sounds like a specific type of torture catered towards people who would rather keep their feelings under wraps instead of actually doing something about them. A very Yoongi-specific kind of torture.
“That… makes sense,” Yoongi supposes. He’s not sure how applicable that sentiment is in your life, but it wasn’t exactly shared with his family, considering he doesn’t date and the only friends of Yoongi’s that his parents have ever met are Seulgi and Hoseok. “But I’m warning you, they aren’t exactly easy to impress.”
“Are you saying you don’t think I’m capable of impressing them?”
“No! Not at all,” he backtracks. “They’re just really high-strung—actually, it’s my mom who’s mostly like that. Not my dad so much. I just don’t want you to feel hurt if they’re… cold towards you. Especially since you’re supposed to be my girlfriend too.” He trails off at the end, and he swears that he sees your cheeks redden at the label.
You shake it off with a smile. “Don’t worry, I can take a little criticism. Just text me when and where and I’ll be there. You still have my number, right?”
“Yeah.” He pauses momentarily. “Wait, I don’t, actually. I got a new phone a couple months ago and I lost all my contacts.” Yoongi can’t believe that he forgot to ask for your number again. This is what he gets for having the group chat muted.
You click your tongue. “Can’t believe it’s been months and you never once thought to text me.” There’s a smile playing on your face when you say it though. It’s not like you two even text at all outside of your group chat. “I’ll just call it right now so you can add my number faster.”
He reads across his contact on your phone, as you press the call button.
“Why does my name have the moon emoji next to it?” he questions with a tilt of his head. It’s cute, he thinks and it makes his chest feel funny knowing that there had to be some sort of conscious reasoning behind it. (For once, object permanence doesn’t feel so bad.)
“Not sure, actually.” You offer a small shrug and a smile. “Just reminds me of you, ‘s all.”
Yoongi blinks. There’s a slight pause before he swipes at his phone screen to create a new contact for your own phone number. “Well if that’s the case, I’m gonna have to put the sun emoji next to your name then,” he concedes. God, when did he get so cheesy?
You smile, and it makes Yoongi’s chest warm with content. Something inside tells him that maybe, just maybe, this plan wouldn’t turn out so bad after all.
Yoongi swears he sees Seulgi shoot up a thumbs-up gesture as she passes the kitchen, though he isn’t sure if it was directed towards himself or to you.
You and Yoongi are not best friends, but you’re not complete strangers. You’re in a weird state of limbo, where you see each other often enough to be close, but never together outside of a group setting enough for it to be anything more than that. At the very least, you’re beyond that stage where you aren’t sure whether to refer to one another as “someone I know” as opposed to “my friend” when each other’s names come up in conversation.
But it is enough, Yoongi thinks—hopes, too. You’re smart, and sweet, and convincing, and a hundred other traits that Yoongi adores, and he thinks that it’d be a goddamn fluke of nature if his parents end up not liking you. But then that’s just another reason for Yoongi to fall for you, another reason that he’ll never be able to get over you, even once this single fake date is over.
His phone buzzes from his pocket.
[4:56pm] y/n ☀️: on a scale of 1-10 how formal am i supposed to dress
[4:56pm] y/n ☀️: like from typical cute first date outfit to daisy buchanan status what do i wear
[4:58pm] yoongi: you are putting so much effort into this date i admire your grit but quite frankly im intimidated
[4:58pm] yoongi: if it helps tho im wearing a button up shirt and black jeans so like…. maybe three on your scale
[4:58pm] yoongi: nothing too much, yk
[4:59pm] y/n ☀️: i’m meeting your parents of course i have to put effort in :(
[4:59pm] y/n ☀️: oh for fucks sake yoongi thats practically a TEN i need to go change
You’re cute, he thinks. It’s something he’s always thought—even that day that you two met, despite the fact that the details are hazy and you barely spoke more than ten words to each other—but the thought crosses his mind more and more frequently the more you’re around.
He can feel the anticipation rising in his throat as he makes the walk from his dorm building to yours. It rises and rises the closer he gets, like a tidal wave that’s building up to its crescendo before it crashes down. It’s not a bad metaphor to match his whole situation, actually. Part of him is afraid he might sweat through his dress shirt, even with the winter air that nips at his exposed skin in the slightest.
And when you finally step out, he feels like all the air in his lungs is knocked out of him again.
“Hey Yoongi,” you breathe out.
“Hi. You look—really nice, Y/N. You’re beautiful.” Your eyes shine like the moon.
“Look!” You say excitedly. “The dress has pockets, too!” You stick your hands into said pockets as proof of their existence.
“Hey—are you okay?” you ask, reaching up to straighten out the collar of his button-up shirt. The proximity makes him nauseous—in the best way possible, of course. “You look like a ghost. A cute ghost, don’t worry,” you add, noticing his sharp inhale. The reassurance doesn’t help.
“Just nervous,” he mumbles when you pull away.
“Same,” you hum in agreement, but you slip your hand into his. You stay like that the entire walk from your dorm to the bus stop.
“So what got you in this kind of situation in the first place? I mean, I know you lied to your parents, but like, why?” You tilt your head, and Yoongi finds the gesture uncharacteristically cute considering you were psychoanalyzing him in the back of a bus full of other people.
Yoongi wets his lips. Why was he doing this?
“You know what’s funny?” You nod but don’t offer more commentary, and so he continues. “Even though I made this whole plan out of spite for them, a small and incredibly horrible part of me knows that subconsciously, I’m also doing this to impress them.” It’s not funny at all, actually—he backtracks as he realizes what he’s saying is literally contradicting himself. “That doesn’t make any sense, huh?”
“No, I definitely get that,” you say however, the intonation of your words expressing just how much of these double-standards were likely a solidarity among you two.
“Also my parents think I spend too much time with Seulgi and that’s why I can’t get a girlfriend.”
You both laugh at that. While both of you knew and were fond of Seulgi at her best, you’ve both also seen her at her worst. As in, her boldy arguing back with that professor who had disregarded her by way of a two-sentence-long email, or her never being shy of expressing how much she hates men. She wasn’t a bad person for these traits, of course, but those impressions that were given don’t quite rub parents as “oh yeah, I love that my child is constantly spending time with you. Come to dinner soon, okay?”.
“So basically you did all this just so they wouldn’t nag you about it anymore?”
“It’s a very Yoongi thing to do. I like it.”
“And what is that supposed to mean?” Yoongi asks with a raise of his eyebrows.
You smile again, and Yoongi can feel his insides liquify like honey. “I dunno. Convoluted. Stubborn. Endearing. Seems like you, but you’re an enigma, Yoongi, so who knows.”
And somehow, that answer is more than enough.
The moment you’re in the restaurant, you’re hit with a whoosh of warm air, a stark contrast to that of the wind that billows throughout the streets. Revolving sushi bars are a good date location, Yoongi had been certain of that, but he doesn’t anticipate how crowded the restaurant would be. Luckily for him though, his parents were early, and it’s impossible not to spot them from their table as soon as you enter.
“Oh my God, I’m so nervous.”
Punctuating your words, you reach out and grab his hand in yours. Well now he’s nervous too, just for a completely different reason.
Yoongi waits with bated breath as his mother stares, like she’s looking for something in your face. Like there’s something about you that bleeds familiarity. She doesn’t say a word.
Then, you extend your hand. “Hi, I’m—”
“Y/N,” she finishes for you, rejecting your handshake in favor of pulling you into a taut hug. “It’s been quite a while, no? I’m a little surprised that we haven’t done this sooner, considering we’ve met before.” Her statement is simple, polite, and delivered with a smile, yet was so goddamn nerve-wracking to be in conversation with, which honestly wasn’t anything out of the ordinary when it came to his mother.
Even you look stunned at her announcement. “W-we have?” You pass a side glance to Yoongi, barely lasting two-fifteenths of a second because you don’t want his mother to think that even you had forgotten something that she apparently kept stored in her memory after all this time. That doesn’t make for a very good first impression. “Oh, that’s right! The family weekend during freshman year!”
Yoongi has no idea what either of you are talking about. Again, asking him to reach back through four years of memory was like asking him to find an origami crane inside a ten-story building full of shredded paper.
“Yep.” You look to Yoongi once you’ve shaken hands with his father. “When they were looking for your dorm, they ran into Seulgi and me and asked for directions.”
“Doesn’t surprise me that you met through Seulgi,” his dad starts as he pulls out the chair to sit down. “She’s quite the social butterfly, that girl.” Understatement of the century.
“We didn’t actually!” you say, and even Yoongi’s a little caught off guard. “We met at orientation, then we just kind of kept in contact after that. Seulgi being my roommate just meant that we saw each other more often, and we shared mostly the same friends. We’ve been friends for so long, ending up where we are today seemed like it was impossible all these years.”
It’s ridiculous how everything that’s being said is made up on the fly, yet somehow rings truth in it. It’s ridiculous—especially the way that all of it is true, save for the actual dating part, and it seems entirely plausible. It makes Yoongi wonder if alternate universe him ends up in this exact place too, just under different circumstances. If this was meant to be, if his own stupidity actually led him to his fate.
His mother nods. “Ah, friends first, relationship later. The best ones always start out that way.” You squeeze Yoongi’s hand under the table.
The rest of dinner runs fairly smoothly. His parents ask the typical questions that are to be expected when meeting The New Girlfriend—your major, future goals, how you started dating, things about your family.—you and him make shitty jokes, you all eat. You answer all of their questions easily, and it’s a wonder that you’re not even dating anyone for real. You’re awfully good at this. Yoongi thinks that he’ll have to ask about that sometime.
It’s all going surprisingly perfect. That is, until his mother throws a curveball into the conversation:
“You should definitely come home with Yoongi to visit during break!” What.
Either his mother really liked you, or the universe fucking hated his guts and wanted to prolong this fake dating thing as long as possible, just to see how much spicier that Yoongi’s life could get before he implodes. Maybe it was both.
He really isn’t expecting you to agree—after all, you had family to visit too, and surely you’d rather spend your break doing anything other than spending it with him and his family, right?
“I’d love to.” Uh.
Yoongi is a little concerned with your seeming enthusiasm to save his ass from family embarrassment. Maybe you were just really good at pretending (a better liar than Yoongi himself, not that there was much of a comparison there). Or maybe you’re playing up the excitement as a front, only for you to shut it down once you and him are alone, and he can give his parents some cheap excuse and it’ll be over. Yoongi doesn’t like that thought much either.
He manages to stop himself before he dwells on the unforeseen third possibility, the one where you like him just as much as he does you, and this whole thing was just an excuse to bring the two of you closer—you know, the most unrealistic of the three.
“You have to meet our other kids too—they’re absolute angels, unlike Yoongi here.” Yoongi can’t even get offended because he knows that his mother uses a plethora of words to describe his siblings, but “angels” was nowhere near one of them. He tries and fails to suppress a laugh.
“I wouldn’t doubt it,” you laugh along, and the adoring glance you pass to Yoongi beside you nearly makes his heart stop from how real it looks. “Yoongi’s a real pain in the butt.”
His parents laugh, and it’s almost too much how well you seem to fit in with his family. In a perfect world, this would be his reality. Where you love him and he loves you, and his parents don’t hate you the way they seem to hate every decision that Yoongi makes for himself.
Yoongi picks up the tab at the end of the night. When his parents wave him and you goodbye at the bus stop when the bus arrives, Yoongi can’t help but feel like this entire night was a dream.
“Well,” you start with a laugh once you’ve taken your seats. “That was fun.”
“Yeah.” He has to agree. He had almost forgotten why he’d been so nervous in the first place. It felt so natural, being there with you.
You rest your head on his shoulder for the rest of the bus ride. Friends do that, right?
“Hey Y/N?” he asks, stopping you in your tracks, just before you go into your building.
“Were you serious? About the spring break thing?”
“Of course I was.” Your reply is firm, but not in an offended or indignant manner. Like you’re simply stating a fact. “I wouldn’t have said so if I wasn’t, would I?”
Yoongi releases a breath he hadn’t known that he had been holding. Relief washes over him. “Why? Was that not okay?” you question, now looking a little worried.
“Of course it’s okay,” Yoongi reassures. “I just figured that you probably had family to visit too, or you already had plans. It’s really not too big of a deal if you can’t go. Makes it easier to pretend we ended the relationship too.”
“Ah, I guess,” you reply, and there’s a detectable amount of reluctance in your voice. “I didn’t have plans for break anyways though, so that wasn’t an issue at all. It’s my parents’ anniversary that week too, so they’re probably gonna be vacationing somewhere without me. So yeah. Not a big deal.”
It’s the exact opposite of not a big deal. “Dude, I owe you for this. So much.”
“Nah,” you say. “Unless you’re willing to buy me the new Animal Crossing game, because if so, I won’t be opposed to that.”
Yoongi laughs at that, but he makes a mental note. “Deal.”
“So… see you in two weeks,” you say, a smile still prominent across your cheeks. You raise an eyebrow. “Or maybe sooner than that?”
It’s not a rhetorical statement. It’s a question, like it’s something that you want, something that you hope is going to happen. Oh, how he wants to kiss you right now. But he doesn’t, and instead he watches as you swipe your keycard for entrance to your dorm, and turn back to offer him a small wave to bid him goodnight.
Two weeks can feel like no time at all, or eons and then some, depending on how you look at it. Like if you have two weeks left before a scholarship application is due, it feels like you’ve got until the end of time, whereas if you have two weeks on a vacation, it would feel more like it lasts longer than a single blink of your eyes.
But this, this painful waiting between Yoongi’s next fake dating endeavor with you, feels like it belongs on an entirely different scale of its own.
You haven’t replied to his text. In fact, you haven’t even looked at it, even though it's been well over two days since they were sent. And like the dwelling and self-destructive creature he is, Yoongi rereads his message again and again, like he has the power to rearrange the words he had sent simply by staring at them.
[10:03pm] yoongi: hey thanks for coming with me again tonight :) you’re the bee’s knees
[10:03pm] yoongi: pretty sure my parents love you more than they love me lmfao
Really? Did he really call you the bee’s knees? No wonder you were ghosting him, goddamnit.
But when two days go by without a single word from you, not just to Yoongi himself but to all of your mutual friends as well, Yoongi’s worry begins to kick in. What if you had some sort of family emergency? Or if you got kidnapped or something when you went for a walk?
“Is Y/N doing okay?” Yoongi says, skipping over even saying hello as soon as Seulgi picks up the call. He’s already begun chewing on his nail as he speaks, a horrible nervous habit that he promises himself again and again that he’ll break every time the new year rolls around, but never lasts longer than a week or two before picking it back up again.
“...Yeah, she’s fine,” Seulgi assures, albeit the pause she takes before speaking doesn’t offer much reassurance. “She’s just been a little sick with food poisoning the past couple days and been throwing up nonstop, but yeah! Totally fine in the Kang-slash-Y/L/N residence!” He can practically feel the grimace in Seulgi’s tone, implying that she was not, in fact, totally fine and she was undoubtedly the person who has had to deal with a sick Y/N for the past two days.
“Oh shit,” he mutters.
“Oh here she comes!—Hey Y/N, honey, do you wanna talk to Yoongi? He’s on the phone right now.”
“You don’t have to do that—” He begins. There’s a muffled screech of protest through the phone and static shuffling before you’re suddenly on the other end of the line. Then, there’s your voice. “Hi Yoongi.”
“Hey.” It’s silent for what feels like forever. “You doing okay?”
“Peachy,” you say. There’s another prolonged awkward silence. “Sorry about not responding to your messages.”
“‘S fine. Texts aren’t as important as your health is,” he replies softly. “Do you need me to bring anything? I was thinking of coming over in a little bit in case you guys did.”
“Oh my God, please don’t. We’re fine and thank you for offering, but I look like absolute shit. I’m gonna be embarrassed, even if you already know how bad it is. And I’m gross.” Yoongi laughs, and just like that, the tension in the room—or rather, through the landline—is gone.
“Got it,” he says, fondness coloring his voice as he moves to recline back onto his bed. He sinks into the duvet. He feels warm, both inside and out. “I’ll stay right here at home, I promise.”
Yoongi thinks he’d be willing to make you a thousand promises over and over if he gets to hear your laugh as soft and sweet as it is right now.
“We shouldn’t have gone to that sushi restaurant,” you muse.
“My fault for suggesting it,” Yoongi all but groans. “You should’ve picked the restaurant.”
“Guess that means we’ll have to try that again, huh?” You ask, and there’s a hint in your voice that tells Yoongi that the that that you are implying was probably not having dinner with his parents again. But he doesn’t assume, because the last thing he wants is to cause a fracture in this thing—this developing friendship—that’s slowly but surely budding between you two.
So instead, he takes the cynical route. “What, meeting my parents again? Hate to break it to you, but first impressions only happen once.”
And you, being you, take the opportunity to spell it out for him, albeit there’s a huff in your voice at his sarcasm. “No. Dinner. You ‘n me.”
“Yeah?” He asks, less for confirmation than it is out of surprise. “Where at?”
“Not sure,” you contemplate. Yoongi can hear you shifting around on the other end of the line, and he wonders if you’re settling down into bed the same way he is. He wonders if you’re as comfortable as he is right now. “We’ll figure it out.” Those
“On a scale of one to ten how formal am I supposed to dress?” Yoongi teases, the grin on his face so wide that his cheeks ache a little bit. He can’t help it though, not when it’s damn near impossible to be in your presence and not smile.
“Oh my God, shut up.”
“Okay, okay,” Yoongi laughs. “How about we both just show up in pajamas instead?”
“Not a bad idea,” you concede. Then, “Oh shit, Seulgi’s phone is about to die. See you soon.” Yoongi feels a pang of disappointment at your sudden need to depart. You also have a habit of saying that instead of a goodbye, Yoongi notices. “Promise?”
“I promise,” he assures, and again, you could probably ask him for a piece of the sky and he’d promise you that he’d have it in an hour. He supposes that Seulgi and Jimin were right—he was whipped.
There’s this adoring little grin playing out on his face that Yoongi knows you can’t see. Part of him wishes you could. “See you next time.”
Next time comes sooner than expected. It comes exactly four days later, in the form of dinner at some hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant past midnight that you told him that you’ve always loved going to since you were younger. There’s no button-up shirts, no dresses with pockets, no parents. In fact, you both show up in pajamas, true to Yoongi’s snarky comment.
(He had been dressed in nice-but-standard datewear, but you promptly forced him to change when he was greeted with the sight of you wearing Apeach pajamas when he picked you up from your dorm. “Nobody’s gonna care,” you assured him with a roll of your eyes as you pushed him back into his room. “It’s half past midnight and I know the family that owns the restaurant.”)
So there was that. As promised, there was good food, and Yoongi’s pretty sure he hasn’t laughed that hard with someone in an awfully long time. He likes spending time with you, he comes to realize, and in the back of his mind he wonders why you and him didn’t do this more often—just two friends and nothing more, just killing time together for the hell of it. You still give him butterflies like hell, but those nerves that prevented him from talking to you are now recycled into longing enthusiasm to be around you.
There was a brief moment where the owner—an older woman who you had referred to as your auntie (re: a somewhat-familiar friend of your parents) for the entirety of the night—had asked if you two were dating when she came by to refill your water cups. You had both exchanged an uncertain glance with one another, but in the end, you had refuted her claim. It’s nothing if not the truth, but there’s a pang of disappointment that finds its way up Yoongi’s throat when you say it. Nope, just friends.
She looks skeptical though, and she expresses as much with what she says next: “You kids nowadays don’t pay much attention to detail, do you?”
And that was that. Neither of you mention it again.
But here you are again, together, this time in the comfort of your dorm room.
You insisted he come over to help you pack—after all you’re leaving tomorrow morning. And like the lovesick fool he is, he can’t ever say no to you. When he arrives, Seulgi leaves, but not before shooting him a wink and stating “Don’t do anything I would or wouldn’t do!”. You usher her out of the door faster, looking flustered.
“Isn’t the weather supposed to be gloomy for all of next week?” You ask, hands on your hips as you look at the crammed wardrobe unit with a concentrated stare. There’s an awful lot of clothes in it, both yours and Seulgi’s, but Yoongi doesn’t comment on the mess.
He pulls up the weather app on his own phone. “Nope, it’s supposed to clear up after Saturday.”
At his okay, you pump your fist slightly in triumph. You lay out your outfits on the bed carefully, right next to where Yoongi sits. “What if your siblings hate me?” You wonder aloud, but there’s a hint of insecurity in your tone.
Yoongi shuts it down. “I promise you they won’t. Namjoon’s too occupied playing Pokemon Go all the damn time, and Ryujin—she’s funny and she loves rom-com K-dramas a little too much, but she’s probably the only tolerable high schooler that you’ll ever meet.”
You sit down beside him. “You’re close with them,” you conclude. “That’s cute.”
“I guess you could say that.” Yoongi rubs at the back of his neck. “I mean, the last time I’ve talked to either of them was nearly a month ago on my birthday, except for Namjoon sending me TikTok videos he thinks are funny every other day.”
“At least you have that,” you laugh, and yeah, Yoongi supposes that you’re right. “You’re the oldest, right?”
“Only by a couple years.”
“I bet they look up to you a lot though,” you muse.
“Probably not,” he snorts. “I’m, like, the antithesis of who they should be. But I’m glad that I have them around.” You nod in keen understanding.
Yoongi’s also glad that he has you. At the very least, until next time.
2K notes · View notes
switching my positions
summary: Fresh out of college, Min Yoongi makes a name for himself amongst his online fanbase as an artist who writes about the ins and outs of falling in love. But when he is signed to a record label, his producer insists that he reveal a public romantic relationship to weed off any potential scandals or dangerous assumptions about the source of his love songs. So who else should Yoongi turn to, but you: his manager—but more than that, his best friend and secret crush.
pairing: yoongi x fem!reader
genre: solo artist!yoongi, manager!y/n, fake dating au, friends to lovers au | fluff/angst
warnings: yoongi starts off as a musician on youtube but it’s not really highlighted for most of the story, kim seokjin is a Hot Music Executive who’ll take good care of his favorite boy, jungkook gets promoted from a cameraman to a bodyguard and i love to see it <3, nayeon + hoseok cameo as radio show hosts BECAUSE THIS STORY HAS SO MANY CHARACTERS I’M SORRY, IU shows up as a ~superstar~ because i love her so much, it’s a slow burn fic what can i say, mutual pining, actually an idiots to lovers plot tbh ????, recreational alcohol consumption, POV switches occasionally but i try to make it as obvious as possible as to what is going on, mentions of insecurity, there’s angst BUT IT’S A HAPPY ENDING !!!
word count: 40.1k
a/n: big big thank you to @gukyi for being my fic consultant for this story! she encouraged me and believed in this story more than I ever could (and contributed like 50% of the foundation that made this fic into what it is), and also reminded me that yes this is a fic so no it doesn’t require one hundred percent accuracy to the music industry despite every discord message i sent her falling somewhere along the lines of “how realistic is this scenario…” she was a very big support for this fic, and this story wouldn’t have existed without her!!
and regarding the word count… my hand slipped. I’ve clowned this fic a lot over the past month but I am really happy that this is done and so so excited for you all to read it. Pls enjoy!!!!!!! Xx
CHAPTER 1: THE DISCOVERY
Yoongi lets you know that much as you have to shove your way through a rather large crowd of people to reach him. When he turns away from his keyboard to glance down at you, your chest is heaving and your knees are bent in order for your hands to rest upon your thighs. There’s a plastic bag curled on your arm, the hard plastic of CD cases reflecting off the street lamps.
“Sorry, sorry!” You breathe out, giving yourself a few more seconds to catch your breath. Nothing more, nothing less, because there is a crowd of people around you, currently staring you down, counting down the seconds until the clock struck 8:00—but many people wondering just who were you to shove your way towards the front. “The printer wasn’t working, and do you realize how difficult it is to get your stupid picture into these cases?”
Yoongi scoffs, walking towards you and holding both his hands out. “Don’t call them stupid, you took the picture,” He hisses, taking the plastic bag from you and rummaging through the many CDs you had to make for him last minute. After ensuring that everything he had asked for is in this very bag, he softens up. “But thanks for getting these done for me.”
You finally are able to straighten up into a full standing position. “Not my fault you underestimated how many of your wonderful fans were going to show up.”
Yoongi reaches over and presses his index finger straight into your forehead for that comment. The force knocks you back a few steps, and Yoongi takes your few seconds of distractions to pull a phone out of his pocket. “Just go off to the side, dummy, my show starts soon.”
“Fine, fine,” You tease back, easy smile, but your hand goes up to take the phone from him. “Break a leg, Min Yoongi.”
Yoongi gives you a playful glare but he turns away from you to line up his CDs along the now-table next to his set. As soon as he starts placing CDs atop the surface, a small line of people step from the crowd—pointing to the CDs and holding out a stack of cash. Yoongi nods, takes the money, and hands over the CD. This happens a few more times before the line of people have died down. Yoongi looks over at the significantly less amount of cases at his table, and looks over at you, where he flashes a thumbs up.
As Yoongi steps up to his keyboard and microphone, the crowd around him starts to cheer. The claps echo through the gathering of people, enough to draw the attention of passersby who crane their heads to see who has attracted so many listeners.
Yoongi’s fingers curl around the microphone. “Hey guys, thank you all for coming out today.”
The crowd claps back in acknowledgement, a few of them giving their own shy nods and waves towards Yoongi—gestures that the boy responds with his own nods and gummy smiles.
His attention returns back to the next set of words he’ll speak into the microphone. “I got a couple covers and original songs for tonight, all requested by you guys—so let’s have some fun today.” His voice is deep, raspy and gentle, croaks slightly along the edges, but a perfect reflection of the soothing nature he brings to his audience.
And you are attune to every single second of it. Of course you are. You blend into the crowd but really your responsibilities for Yoongi lie far beyond just packaging CDs for him and dashing through hoards of people at the last fucking second to make your delivery. You further prove this further by logging into his phone and clicking into the first background music he’s produced for today’s show. Using the music as a guide, Yoongi starts to sing. His fingers dance across the keyboard to bring an extra sound to his performance—to give it that extra live element that his fans love.
You know that Yoongi has added these additional things over the months because he adores his fanbase and would likely do anything and everything he could to give them the best experience he could offer. After all, they’ve propelled him to this very spot—his own little corner of the bustling city streets amongst all the bars, shops, universities, street food stalls, and cafes.
As the music continues from one song to the next, and Yoongi shifts his focus from singing to rapping to the in betweens, you see his passion. You hear it in his voice, in the way his lines string together where it seems like the boy doesn’t require oxygen anymore. Months of these live shows, even longer years to get here—and the people around him only continue to watch him in awe. Just like he’s done since the beginning.
Min Yoongi started off his music career on Youtube, where he uploaded music covers with his own special beat thrown into the mix. Yoongi enjoyed music arrangement (still does), and used his videos as an opportunity to explore that hobby and share it with people who could also enjoy it. And enjoy it people did, as viewers started pouring in and his fanbase grew in the form of positive comments and increasing subscribers. From some videos, Yoongi had always teased the idea of original songs he had written in various notebooks that expressed the wide range of his emotions—overall all the trials and tribulations of growing up: the notion of love in all its forms. Normally, there was always a fear of an audience losing interest at the prospect of original songs, especially coming from someone who previously arranged already popular #1 hits.
But that never happened with Min Yoongi. His songwriting abilities became part of his brand—became his entire brand. Yoongi always wrote out love to be more than sappy pop songs or tragic heartbreak. He established himself as someone who seemed to speak from the mind of every single person he came into contact with. At least, that’s what his comment section claims.
In the beginning of his Youtube career, you found Yoongi’s online persona unusual and amusing to say the least, but it was always clouded with an air of sweetness and sensibility. After all, you had known him about a year before Youtube was even an option for him to pursue. The pair of you met in a general ed college class—big lecture halls and voices getting lost in the background as the professors’ voice boomed through speaker systems. Yoongi had asked to borrow a pencil, and the pair of you spent the rest of the class making side-handed comments about the lecture material. You sat next to each other for the rest of the semester and have been friends ever since.
So it’s not like Yoongi’s core characteristics have ever been anything other than caring, thoughtful, or loyal—he’s just never been outwardly expressive about those emotions. But Youtube changed everything: it’s made him a more vocal person, more open about his feelings as well as his need to share those feelings with the world.
The world responded positively—wrote in the comments that they would love to hear some of his original songs, that he had already provided just a small taste of his talent and left them an insatiable desire for more.
As soon as you and Yoongi graduated, his commitment to Youtube increased tenfold. With the previous obligations of assignments, papers, and research internships out of the way, it left more time for writing, for filming, for editing, for sharing. As his work levels increased, so did his subscribers. And so did the attention.
You’ll never forget the day his followers suggested live street performances in one of Yoongi’s neighboring cities—a city street more specifically that was famous for taking in street performances of all origins and talents, a place for him to show off his freestyling on a keyboard and finally meet his fans firsthand. The idea caught on so quickly and vividly that Yoongi was immediately attracted to the idea. He held his first performance just a few months ago, as a thank you present for reaching one million subscribers. If you had trouble materializing Yoongi’s musical success before, the first live performance and meet and greet Yoongi hosted did well to eradicate all those thoughts.
Hundreds of people showed up—standing alongside the shops, restaurants, food vendors, and cafes that already lined the streets, everyone intersecting to meet the artist who made them feel heard.
You still remember that day very vividly. Yoongi had been so nervous that day, had worked so hard to put together the perfect set for his fans. Obviously, though, he had nothing to worry about. Soon, one show turned into two, and just like the request for live performances and meet and greets, the question of monetary compensation became a topic of discussion amongst Yoongi’s fans. That’s where the question of albums came into play: a singular place for Yoongi to put his covers and original place—and charge money for it as well!
As per the request, eventually you and Yoongi decided that exclusive covers and original songs would be part of his album as a way to open up different modes of access rather than take away an individual’s general (free of charge) chance to view Yoongi’s content and just simply support without having to spend money. The introduction of his albums has been a very recent development, something added into Yoongi’s live performances after the tenth show and usually always sold out by the end of any aforementioned show. From what you’ve been able to see as of now, the albums have been a good addition.
In terms of Yoongi’s current career, you acknowledge that it has always been you and Yoongi—him staying up late for last minute song-writing sessions or recording or arranging a specific set of chords he had been holding off for weeks, or you arranging the time and date of his live shows and fulfilling requests to put songs on CDs and figure out how to market those in an era of streaming services. And if there’s anyone who knows that he has what it takes to get big—it’s you. After all, you would do anything for him. As you would have done from the moment you met him.
An hour later—after twenty songs and a swaying crowd around him singing along—the last song fades out and Yoongi pulls back from the microphone to catch his breath. Everyone else around him seems to hold onto their own, before Yoongi pulls himself back towards the mic to utter his last words for the night: “Thanks for coming out you guys. I really, really appreciate it.”
In the midst of the claps and cheers, Yoongi smiles towards the audience, turns around to address the circle of crowd that has formed around him.
As some of the crowd begins to disperse and some begin to linger for a potential meet and greet, Yoongi hastily remembers to return back to his mic for one last word to his audience. “And thank you guys so much for one million subs!”
You smile to yourself as members of the crowd acknowledge his thanks with thanks of their own. As you watch Yoongi start disassembling his equipment for the night, you simply stand where you’ve stood for the past hour, allowing the crowd to simmer past you towards their next destination for the time. You pocket Yoongi’s phone into your coat, waiting for a few minutes, before you slip around towards the front of the crowd. There, a boy stands in front of a tripod, and his fingers dance around to unclip his camera from the standee.
“You get the whole thing, Jungkook?” You ask with the tilt of your head.
Jungkook whirls towards you, bright eyes full of excitement as he holds the camera with both his hands now. He utters your name. “Oh shit, yeah I did. We’ll get to see how Yoongi’s mic set up works.” He taps to the cord that connects the mic on Yoongi’s clothes and on his piano into the camera.
You perk up at the sight of new technology. “Oooh, going fancy with us, I see JK. Very future.”
Jungkook’s grin widens, as it always does when talking about cameras and filmography. “Yes. Future…” He stretches out the word with the exact dips, curls, and croaks the way Squidward does in that one Spongebob episode, which makes you laugh. Jungkook clicks through the video of Yoongi’s set that he’s just recorded, before he clicks the screen off and lowers the camera. “It’ll probably be better if I wait until we get back to look through the footage. I’m sure Yoongi is anxious to get back too…” He looks up towards where Yoongi is supposed to be standing a few feet away, but the younger boy trails off. “Hey, look over there.” He jerks his chin towards Yoongi. “Some guy is talking to him. Do you know him?”
Furrowing your eyebrows in confusion—none of your college friends had texted saying they were going to come by and listen in on Yoongi’s set—you crane your own neck towards the direction Jungkook is gesturing to. Up ahead, Yoongi is indeed talking to some guy that you don’t recognize so of course it would peak your curiosity.
It’s a feeling that increases tenfold when Yoongi looks up, seems to find you from his search, and points across the space right at you. There’s even something in his eyes that beg you to walk over to him. This makes your frown deepen, because what the hell is this about?
Min Yoongi doesn’t allow for too much vocal expression that doesn’t involve the assistance of a keyboard or a music arrangement, but he speaks into the microphone without thinking. “And thank you guys so much for one million subs!” His smile widens as the crowd responds with the claps and cheers of their own—all responding to him and communicating with him. This is it, this is what makes coming out to do these shows all worth it. Obviously there’s a thrill he gets from being in front of a camera and another thrill from uploading a video that people can access from all over the world. But to see the faces of the people who have left positive comments underneath those aforementioned videos… now that’s a completely different kind of feeling he didn’t think he would enjoy so much.
So Yoongi steps away from the mic to put away his equipment for the day. He only gets so far as to open the case for his microphone and mic holder before he’s hearing his name behind him. Turning around, he is faced with a few unfamiliar and a few familiar fans that are asking him for pictures and a short conversation. He indulges them, of course he does, and he signs a few albums while he’s at it.
It’s like you always teased him about: he really is a softie for his fans.
The fan interactions only last for a few minutes, before another voice comes in—it’s a deeper voice and radiates so much confidence and presence that it actually halts the next fan from trying to finish a conversation with Yoongi. All gazes turn towards the source of the voice: it’s a tall man with broad shoulders, pointy boots and a long coat that drapes down, hands stuffed into the pocket of that very coat. He looks like a model.
The man gives an apologetic smile. “Sorry for interrupting, but I need to request a chat with Mr. Min and am in a bit of a hurry. Do you mind if I cut in for a moment?”
The fan gives a weak smile. “N-No problem.”
Yoongi gives his own small smile. “Sorry about that. Oh, here.” He quickly makes a grab for the CD in her hesitant hands, signing his name across the sleek surface. “Thanks for coming by. Have a good rest of the night.”
Her smile brightens. “Thank you so much!” With a quick little bow, she runs off towards her friends.
This leaves Yoongi alone with the stranger. “What can I help you with?”
The stranger extends his arm. “Mr. Min, I’m Kim Seokjin. I’m a music executive. Nice to meet you.”
Music executive. These two words pique Yoongi’s interest. Just enough. “Wow, uh, nice to meet you sir.” Yoongi can’t help but lower his head slightly in a small bow as he returns Kim Seokjin’s handshake.
Seokjin waves him off. “Oh, no need to be so formal Mr. Min. I just thought that I should finally come by to introduce myself. I’ve been following your Youtube channel for awhile and think that you’re extremely talented, very capable to be a recording artist, in fact.”
Yoongi blinks in surprise, completely taken aback by the direction of this conversation. When he came out for his show today, having a conversation with a whole ass music executive hadn’t been on the list of things he was expecting. Of course, it was always a dream of his to be a recording artist. But he thought something like that would always just remain a dream. “T-Thank you.”
Seokjin continues. “Honestly, this is the third live performance of yours that I attended. Artists like you who radiate lots of passion and dedication both through the screen and on a stage are pretty rare. But your confidence and presence is quite admirable.”
At that, Yoongi can’t help but laugh a little. He scratches the back of his neck. “Well, I wouldn’t call this a stage, Mr. Kim, it’s just a small street corner.”
Seokjin laughs. “Fair enough—but you treat this little street corner like a stage and I find that cool. It appears that that’s what a lot of your fans think as well.” He pauses. “Mr. Min,” He starts up again after a moment. “Have you ever considered becoming a recording artist? Signing with a music label, releasing music and being able to reach millions of people? Having concerts in venues all over the world?”
At the question, Yoongi utters a scoff of disbelief. “I have,” He acknowledges after a few minutes. “Having this youtube channel and these street performances is amazing…”
“Of course,” Seokjin replies with a nod.
“But sometimes I do wonder what it would be like to do more than that. So, to answer your question, I have thought about it before. Many times, in fact.”
Seokjin nods again. “What if I told you that I was interested in signing you, Mr. Min?”
Yoongi stares at that, stares and stares with unblinking eyes, one hundred percent of his attention on the man standing in front of him—waiting for the signs, waiting to see the laugh or the glint that gives away his prankster tendencies. But none of those things come. Seokjin just stares right back, challenging him to question him and agree to his claim.
But Yoongi is younger, more naive, so of course he falls for it. “Why would you want to sign me?”
Seokjin grins. “Mr. Min, I like to think I’m pretty good at spotting talented people who have a fully fledged career ahead of them—which is something my gut is telling me that you can do. And don’t worry, it’s not just the gut feeling I have. Like I mentioned, I’ve been keeping tabs on you for a few months and I’ve seen the numbers and the turn out. You clearly have what it takes to bring fans in, keep them, and create events that’ll drive their attention—and I want to help you make an opportunity out of that.”
Yoongi hears the words of the older man, he really does, but he still cannot help the feeling of his head spinning at all the positive things Kim Seokjin says to him. Not only that he believes Yoongi has what it takes to make it, but that Yoongi has the concrete numbers to back that up. He is offering Yoongi an opportunity—an opportunity that seemed much too big for his youtube channel to birth, an opportunity that he had always just written off as nothing more than a dream. Yet for Seokjin to say that it could be more than that? And for all of this to happen on a normal performance night?
Was Yoongi about to faint right now or what.
Seokjin takes in Yoongi’s stunned silence and smiles. “I understand that this could be a lot to take in. No worries. I have a card for you to take—so call me when you make up your mind, alright?” He rummages into the pocket of his coat before producing a business card. The name KSJ RECORDS is printed on the surface, shiny lettering in sleek font.
Yoongi takes it wordlessly.
“By the way, do you have a manager?” Seokjin asks. “You can have them reach out to me if that’ll make it easier.”
Yoongi stays quiet for a moment. He doesn’t have a manager; he never really saw the need for one if his schedule was as simple as it was. After all, it was more than enough for him to handle with you—!
His mind explodes, as if someone had just plugged it into an outlet. His gaze flickers to you, where he sees you now standing just a few feet away next to Jungkook. You’re already staring back at him, but your head tilts slightly as if you could read his internal struggle. Before Yoongi can even figure why he’s looking at you, his body seems to act on its own. His arm raises, finger pointing straight at you. “She’s over there.”
You furrow your eyebrows in confusion, seeming to read something in his gaze that even Yoongi couldn’t figure out. Still, you walk over to them. “What’s going on?”
Seokjin acts first, turning towards you and giving you a nod in greeting. “Hi there, I’m Kim Seokjin. Yoongi says you’re his manager, is that correct?”
You blink, caught off guard by the question because you definitely were not Yoongi’s manager. He knows that you know this. You give Yoongi another look, and his eyes widen at you, poorly attempting to transmit a singular message: please.
You understand immediately, of course you do (you’re his best friend), as you turn back to look at Seokjin. “I am, it’s nice to meet you.”
The pair of you shake hands. “I was just telling Mr. Min over there that I was interested in signing him to my company. I’m a music executive for KSJ records, and think that he would make a great addition to the team.”
It takes you a second to process the news, but you do so quicker and much more graceful than Yoongi could ever hope to do. “Oh my gosh, are you serious?” You turn to look at him, bright-eyed. “Yoongi, that’s amazing!”
“He hasn’t made a decision yet,” Seokjin continues to explain. “I don’t blame him, it’s a lot to process. I just told him that he could have you call me once he made up his mind. Then, contracts could be drawn up.” He pauses for a moment, then seems to scramble on something when you don’t say anything immediately. “Of course, you would remain his manager. I’m sure that he’s gotten as far as he has with your help. I would want you part of Mr. Min’s team regardless.” Seokjin composes himself quickly afterwards. “Like I said, take some time to come to a decision and let me know. Let me give you my card as well.” He mirrors his previous movement at Yoongi towards you now until you have his business card between your fingers.
“W-Well,” You start, lowering the card and offering up your hand. “Thank you so much for coming by, Mr. Kim. We’ll be sure to send you a response soon.”
Seokjin takes your hand carefully, giving it a firm shake. “I look forward to hearing from you.” He turns to Yoongi. “And I hope we’ll be able to work together, Mr. Min.”
Yoongi blinks, but he snaps himself out long enough to return Seokjin’s handshake. “Y-Yes…” He replies, still feeling completely starstruck by what the fuck this encounter had just been. “T-Thank you for stopping by…” He trails off. He stays quiet as he watches Seokjin give one last departing word before he’s turning around and making his way down the street of the city.
When he regains some of his attention back, he turns to find that you’re already staring at him with an unreadable expression across your face. “Let’s head back,” You say at least, holding up the business card. “We have a lot to talk about.”
“No way,” Jungkook utters, completely shocked as he practically throws himself onto the couch in the living room. His camera equipment has been set down near the door, too much exhaustion present in its owner for the trudge back into his room. “You got casted today? That’s incredible, hyung!”
“I-I didn’t even realize what was going on,” Yoongi grumbles back, crossing his arms over his chest. “I still wonder if that moment even happened or if I conjured it up in a strange fever dream.”
You raise your hand slightly. “I was there. Can confirm that it was real.” You dig the business card out of your pocket and stare down at it.
Jungkook hikes himself deeper into the couch as he turns on his phone to start scrolling. “I gotta know who this guy is. Kim Seokjin you said? Of KSJ records?”
“Yeah, KSJ records,” Yoongi replies, looking down at his own business card. “He seemed pretty legit.”
A whistle from Jungkook confirms that. “Yeah, he’s definitely real. And look at that!” Jungkook turns the phone over to expose the photographs of Seokjin. “Used to be a singer as well. I bet he knows a lot about the industry.”
Yoongi nods. “He did seem nice.”
“So, does that mean you’re planning to meet up with him? Get signed and all that jazz?”
“All that jazz?” Yoongi echoes, but he shakes his head before he could go off on that tangent. “But honestly? Yeah, I’m thinking about it. I really do love youtube and do want to continue that, but I just feel like there’s more for me to explore with the right connections.”
Jungkook grins. “Wow, I can’t believe my roommate is gonna be famous.” He says the last word with a bite of curl in his tone, flashing a teasing smile when Yoongi merely glares in embarrassment. Jungkook’s eyes flicker further back towards where you are standing in the apartment, calling your name to get your attention. “What do you think of the idea, Miss. Manager?”
You perk up at that. “Before I get into my answer—when did I suddenly become your manager? I don’t remember us ever having that conversation.” You’re situated in the kitchen, drumming one hand on the counter and using the other hand to stir some last night boxed mac and cheese.
Yoongi coughs at your observation, sinking himself further down into the couch. “I didn’t want Seokjin to think I was an idiot or something for not having a manager. But when I do officially make up my mind…” He angles his head to stare over at you. “You’ll do it for me, right? You’ll actually be my manager?”
You frown, hesitant. “You’re serious about asking me? I don’t know anything about being a manager though.”
Yoongi almost pouts at that, sitting up so he can whirl around completely on the couch to face you. “But you know me and my music career almost better than anyone! And you graduated with a business degree, what do you mean you don’t know anything about being a manager?”
You flush hotly at that. “It was just a general business degree, Yoongi, it seems like what you need to make it big is a legit artist manager! Someone who will actually know how to schedule your tour dates or keep up with your public image and know exactly how to market you to the general public. You really want me doing that for you?”
Yoongi gaps at that. “Okay, but who’s the one who literally schedules my street performances and helps me with editing my videos?”
“Jungkook does some of the editing too,” You grumble underneath your breath.
“Yah! Stop selling yourself short!” Yoongi interjects, pointing at you accusingly. He does, however, lower his finger long enough to turn and address his roommate. “Not that you don’t help out with any of the editing, Jungkook…”
Jungkook waves him off. “I know where my talents lie.”
Yoongi turns back to you. “Besides, Seokjin acknowledged that you and I basically come as a packaged deal. He saw that you were working just as hard to get me my gigs.”
You give him a one-shouldered shrug, the hesitation still laced in your tone. “I don’t know Yoongi. I just don’t want to fuck up and jeopardize your shot.”
Yoongi’s attention is one hundred percent focused on you now, so much so that he has made his way into the kitchen and has come so close that he can switch off the stove that held the macaroni and cheese. “Hey, listen, the only reason I’ve even been given a shot was thanks to you. You work just as hard as me to keep my channel up and running—and you already have another job on the side, so you don’t have to do anything for me. But you do.” He plants both his hands on your shoulders and twists you around. “Would you be my manager? Please? I seriously don’t trust anyone else enough to do this for me.”
You sigh, staring down Yoongi as tensely as he’s staring you down. He sees the flicker of continuing hesitation in your eyes, and responds with just tightening his grip on your shoulders—trying to convey as much pleading as he could to you. Honestly, if you rejected his request, he knows that he wouldn’t be able to do this without you.
So when you seem to realize that he won’t give up, you sigh and look down for a moment. “Damn that I can never say no to you, Min Yoongi.”
Hearing those words of confirmation, Yoongi’s gaze hyper focuses on you. Even when you look back over at him, you don’t look away and that merely confirms the unspoken question of your participation.
When he realizes that you aren’t going to outright reject him, and that you’re actually on board for him, Yoongi’s face lights up as he immediately envelops you into a hug. “Thank you! Thank you—wow, that means a lot to me.”
You suck in a breath at his words, tensing slightly at his words, but you eventually learn to relax long enough to pat him slowly on the back to return his hug. “Don’t thank me yet,” You grumble into his shoulder. “We haven’t even had a meeting. I may not be able to negotiate as well as you think I can.”
Yoongi shakes his head at that, tightening his hold on you. From his close proximity to you, he doesn’t notice the way your breath seems to shake and your heart seems to quicken. “It doesn’t matter,” He reassures, finally backing off. “I don’t care if you don’t know how to do all those fancy manager things. Like I said, you’re the only one I could trust to do this.”
You stare at Yoongi for a few more seconds before you sigh in defeat, knowing that you’ve just put all your thoughts and feelings on the table for him to react to. “Alright then,” You say, placing one of your hands across your chest and onto your shoulder—atop his hand still lingering. “I’ll make the call tomorrow then.”
Yoongi nods. “Thank you.”
There’s a brief silence that covers the pair of you, before a voice rings from the living room. “Do you mind bringing the mac and cheese over here?”
CHAPTER 2: THE REQUEST
One year later, and you learn that the crowds from Yoongi’s street performances are nothing in comparison to this. This—overwhelming and unmatched in all degrees, the screams and the cries and the shoves, all of it echoes around you just as it has for the past few months. Surprisingly, you’ve always been okay with being a little more firm if the situation called for such and today is absolutely no exception.
“Off,” You say gently, tapping an outstretched hand trying to get past you and grab at the person behind you.
The girl you’ve intercepted jerks her hand back as if you’ve burned her, her eyes wide and vaguely hurt as if you’ve singled her out specifically from this crowd. Rather, it’s more along the lines of keeping your client safe and trying to avoid the incident from last week. You block the memory out for the time being.
You feel a hot breath at your ear. “If you make my fans cry, I swear—!”
“Try to be less desirable then,” You bite back over your shoulder, holding up your hand when another fan tries to shove a sharpie past you. “Sorry, but we’re in a bit of a rush,” You say to the boy. “Come to the next concert—we’ll have a meet and greet then too.”
The boy deflates, but that expression only lasts for a second before he seems to brighten slightly at whatever has just occurred behind you. Stealing a glance, you realize it’s because Min Yoongi has just thrown him an apologetic wink.
The car appears in view a lot quicker than you had been anticipating, which is good as you muster all your energy to pull the handle that opens the car door. You step off to the side, further cutting off the fans who are trying to keep Yoongi from entering the vehicle. Soon enough, a taller and more dominating figure appears next to you as Yoongi manages to slide his way into the back seat. You and Jungkook exchange a nod—you had been in the front of Yoongi’s protection squad and he had been in the back, and the arrangement continues to work wonders. As long as Yoongi doesn’t lose a whole sleeve (like last time) then you would consider this departure a success.
Jungkook tilts his head towards the still opened car door, allowing you to enter the car yourself. As soon as you’re settled, Jungkook leans forward to join you. He slides his way into the seat all the way in the back of the car. Closing the door behind him, you signal Taehyung to take off with a nod into the rearview mirror.
The screams and calls of Yoongi’s name are loud, and pass through the metal structure of the car as if it is nothing. But you know that the boy doesn’t mind, and that he lives and breathes moments like these as he has for the past few months.
It’s crazy to think how much a year could change, after you and Yoongi decided to meet up with Seokjin to discuss how Yoongi was going to be signed under KSJ records. Seokjin had talked about the big plans he had in pushing Yoongi towards the spotlight—and goals like an album, a concert, and meet-and-greets around the country had been promised for Yoongi’s first year.
And of course, Yoongi was completely enchanted by the promises. Just one final ‘of course’ confirmation to have you as his manager, and Yoongi was signing on the dotted line. Truth be told, you didn’t know what KSJ records would have in store for Yoongi—how long that glimmer of passion would remain in the boy’s eyes.
A year later, and you acknowledge that you might have underestimated Kim Seokjin. As a former performer, he knew all the ins and outs of the music industry and his well established connections as well as his good ear for good music meant that Yoongi was allowing his music to get the treatment it deserved. Pair that with Yoongi’s growing popularity on Youtube, and it all equates to an EP that debuts with tens of thousands of copies sold within the first week. The EP itself hadn’t been much—just six songs that contained a mix of old songs and new songs, but all written by Yoongi. His previous (although small) experience with producing and arrangement allowed him constant access into the various studios at KSJ records, where he learned from all the other producers on how to make good music.
The hands-on, personal touch Seokjin allowed Yoongi to deliver in his music had been a good call and a large contributor to the success of the EP. You recall fans praising the album and talking about how it matched Yoongi’s youtube aesthetic perfectly, but just with the higher quality element that top notch equipment could bring to music.
In a way, the current atmosphere of concerts and meet-and-greets is just a way to celebrate the success of Yoongi’s music career launching off into the stratosphere.
“Hey.” There’s a gentle tap against your head, and you jump before turning to face Yoongi in the seat next to you. “You good?”
You blink, bringing your finger up to brush the hair out of your face. “Yeah, just spaced out.”
“Cool. I thought you might have fallen asleep.”
“If anyone should have fallen asleep by now, it’s you,” You point out. “I think that today’s meet-and-greet was the largest one you’ve had so far.”
“Don’t worry,” Yoongi says. “I have every intention of following asleep as soon as I fall into bed. Plus, don’t let me hold a pen for the next week—I think my wrist almost fell off.”
You laugh, angling yourself so you can face him. “But you love it, don’t you?”
Yoongi’s gaze softens as he lets your question sink in. “Course I do. I never realized how cool it would be to have an audience sing my lyrics back to you. More than that, it was all lyrics I used to write in the apartment, or in between lectures back at college, or late into the night on my phone… back when the idea of all this was just a dream.” He pivots his body towards you, eyes bright as the passion for his current place in life seems to have gotten him hyped up again. “You know, during the meet and greet, this girl came up to me all confidently and told me that my album got her through a tough time. I think that’s when it really hit me that this was all happening.”
The corner of your lips quirk up into a smile. “Oh yeah, I actually do remember you writing those songs and you showing me the lyrics. You speak from the heart, and your fans understand that. Helps that you’re pretty cute too. Anyone with eyes could see that.” As soon as those words escape your lips, you almost want to chide yourself and immediately throw yourself out of the car. Why would you say something like that—why would you openly admit to Yoongi’s cuteness? Your face grows warm at the realization, leaving you to hope that Yoongi won’t notice your flustered state.
Yoongi doesn’t notice. He’s too busy gawking at your observation, too busy tearing his gaze away from you to stare firmly out of the car window.
Jungkook simply shifts his gaze between the two of you.
In the midst of the silence, you fish out your phone and start scrolling through your social media pages. Due to the third party cookie ads that follow you around, you immediately notice news of Yoongi’s concert of the day has started hitting various news sites—most articles praising Yoongi on his song selections and live adaptations of his music to suit the concert style more. Reading these articles leave you unable to stop the grin, because Yoongi deserves this so fucking much that you could have sworn your heart sings a little as you continue reading.
It’s a moment that lasts for only a couple of seconds, as recommended articles start coming up that do well in setting up the gray cloud. With the increased amount of attention that comes from being a newly top rated best selling album artist, so does the intrusion into personal life that follows—the dark side of the media, the side that just loves to stick its nose in places it does not belong. It’s something that you had been seeing since Yoongi’s youtube account hit five hundred thousand, but at the time these kinds of questions were more dark shadows or curious inquiries taken in the form of casual comments.
Now, those questions have become much more normalized, as a common curiosity seems to have taken form from all these drama articles: was Min Yoongi dating anyone? And even better: who is Min Yoongi writing all his love songs for?
As if love was limited to romantic relationships, and wasn’t a feeling one could recreate from other love songs or romantic comedies. Or just the feelings of growing up.
“We’re here!” Taehyung calls from the front seat, as you jump up from your train of thought. Refocusing on your surroundings, you realize that you’ve made it into the parking lot of the hotel.
You sigh, regathering your belongings that have moved around during the drive. “Thanks, Taehyung.”
“Hey.” Taehyung utters for you to come closer to him as soon as the pair of you step out of the car. He jerks toward Yoongi, who is exiting from his side of the car before quickly side-stepping to let Jungkook come out as well. “Was that flirting back there?”
You protest hotly at once, your hand raising up and wave side-to-side frantically in complete denial. “N-No, it wasn’t—!”
“Okay, good,” Taehyung interrupts, leaning back to stuff his hands into his pants pockets. “Because if that was the case I think we would have had to re-evaluate your definition of flirting—!”
“Will you stop?” You squeak.
“Is everything okay?” Yoongi asks, having rounded around the car to stare over at you and Taehyung.
You whirl around quickly, tightening up your expression once more to make sure that any remnants of your conversation with Taehyung would be undetected. “Yep!” You say immediately. “Everything is fine. Let’s get going, yeah?” You allow Jungkook to lead the four of you out of the parking lot and into the elevator that’ll take you to the main floor of the hotel room. Yoongi has to slip on a pair of glasses and a baseball cap, just on the off chance that a fan might be staying in the same room—it happened a few stops ago—before the four of you are making your way through the lobby. The four of you have reserved four separate rooms for your overnight stay in the city, rooms that you have already checked into earlier that day, so it feels nice to just make your way to the elevator and select the correct floor.
Taehyung decides to check in first for the night, waving you all off and congratulating Yoongi on another well done performance. Jungkook lingers around as you make your way to Yoongi’s room next.
“Thanks for walking me,” Yoongi says, sliding the key card into the slot and pulling out when he hears the beep of confirmation on his door.
Jungkook flashes him a thumbs up. “Good show today. Now get some rest.”
Yoongi nods, just about to close the door when you make a sudden noise from the back of your throat. “OH!” You call out suddenly, startling both boys as you reach your arm out suddenly to prevent Yoongi from closing the door. He had been so close too. “Sorry, I just realized. Seokjin sent me an email of some deadlines he wanted me to go over with you. Your sleep is gonna have to be put on hold.”
Yoongi grumbles something under his breath.
You turn to look at Jungkook. “We’ll be fine, Jungkook, go rest up—you deserve it.”
Jungkook nods, grinning at Yoongi. “See you guys around.”
“No fair…” Yoongi pouts as he watches Jungkook stroll down the hall to reach his hotel room. “Why do they get to rest and I don’t? I’m so tired…”
“Well, this is the price of fame,” You retort with the shrug of your shoulders. “You have your face the paparazzi want to see, and the name that sells the albums. Naturally, it means you just have to put in more work than everyone else.”
Yoongi runs a hand through his hair, still pouting but less so as he opens the door once more for the both of you to enter. “When you put it that way…”
You giggle behind him. “For the fans, Min Yoongi.”
You immediately task yourself with throwing yourself atop his bed, surprisingly put together despite the fact that you had checked everyone in earlier that day. You would have assumed he would have taken a nap. But the bed doesn’t look slept in at all.
Yoongi notices your observation immediately. “I was too nervous to fall asleep earlier today,” He provides, taking a seat on the couch on the other side of the room. “So what was it that Seokjin needed you to go over with me?”
“It’s short, I promise,” You reassure, pulling out the iPhone from your pocket. As soon as you unlock the device, you’re faced with the articles you had previously been looking up—the ones about Yoongi’s dating life. Without meaning to, you sigh heavily at the sight.
Yoongi quirks an eyebrow. “What’s up?”
You jerk up. “Oh, no, nothing sorry. I just…” You hold the phone up for Yoongi to see. “These articles about you and your dating life—it’s getting worse.”
“Oh.” Yoongi’s fingers fiddle with each other. “Yeah, I’ve seen a few of those floating around too. Honestly, for someone who writes a lot of songs about love, these curiosities don’t really surprise me. I wish that they wouldn’t be so intrusive.”
“Unfortunately, people always think it’s their right to know who these love songs are for.” You spare him a quick glance, only to realize that he’s already staring at you. Hastily, you look back down. “If the songs are even for anyone, that is.”
Yoongi is quiet for a moment. “Right.”
“Anyways…” You exit your internet app, tapping through until Seokjin’s email comes up. “Seokjin just wants to know your progress on the new songs. He’s trying to gauge your progress so he can see whether or not to arrange studio time for you to start recording.”
The new songs—it’s a reference to Seokjin’s next plan for Yoongi’s career. With the launch of the EP and the current success that it has been harboring, it makes sense that the next step would be to launch a full-length album. Technically it could be called a repackage, since the album would most likely feature a few songs from the EP and cover the rest of the spots with new music.
But aforementioned new music takes time to write, not that Yoongi ever had a problem with writing music. That has always been second nature for him—and was something he could do anywhere so long as he had a functioning, conscious mind. It was all just a matter of whether or not he could create the required number of actual songs within the scheduled deadline. With those higher expectations, time definitely plays the biggest issue and it makes sense if Yoongi couldn’t write proper songs given the current circumstances.
Nonetheless, Yoongi nods at the question. “I actually have rough drafts of most of the songs, if that was okay with Seokjin. We could probably schedule some meetings to polish up the writing, since a lot of them are still in the beginning stage.”
You blink at his answer, surprised by his response. You had been expecting one, or maybe two songs to be written out but to have all eight songs written out? “W-Wow…” You utter. “You wrote so many songs so quickly.”
Yoongi shrugs, but he does look a little prideful at your words. You don’t notice his lingering gaze. “I have a lot to reflect on, what can I say.”
“I-I mean,” You stammer, not really hearing his response. “I could schedule the meeting with Seokjin, but if he knows that you have everything basically done, he’ll probably be okay with giving you a little more time to polish up your work yourself.”
Yoongi ponders this, but he shakes his head. “No, go ahead and schedule the meeting. It’s actually nice having extra hands in the music.”
You nod. “Alright then, I’ll go and do that. I think I should also just go over tomorrow’s schedule with you.” Quickly, you relay the time details of what tomorrow’s day will look like since you’re flying out for another show the next morning. You give him some details about the stage, how many people are going, and how many people he will be meeting afterwards. It’s a standard review conversation, one of the many that you’ve had with Yoongi over the year. “And… that should be it,” You wrap up as soon as you’ve reviewed the day. Looking over the schedule once more, you cannot help but sigh once more.
“What is it this time?” Yoongi asks from the side.
“Oh, no nothing!” You reassure with a promising smile. “Just another busy day.”
Yoongi gives you a grin, but you can see the exhaustion clinging to the corner of his eyes. “There’s only a few more stops left of the concert—what happened to you being positive rock?”
At that, you laugh nervously. “Sorry, sorry. You’re right.” You clench a fist in front of him and pump it up to showcase a display of energy. “Another day of excitement and one more day towards fulfilling your dreams!” You lower your fist and give him a slightly dryer look. “How was that?”
“I could have done without the look at the end, but it’ll do, I guess.” Yoongi stands up from his place on the couch and throws himself atop his bed. His head ends up near you, his back on the mattress, and his feet dangling off the side. “There’s only a few stops left of the tour, and for some people this is their first time seeing me live. And for other people, maybe they saw me back when I would perform on the streets, so in that case it’s their first time seeing me perform on a stage and everything!” He lifts one of his hands up into his field of view. “Either way, I just want to do the best I can for the people that take time out to come see me and support me. Because I owe them everything—I owe them more than what I can give them.”
You don’t say anything to that. What could you say, anyways? Instead, you reach over and run your fingers through his hair. After a second, you retract your hand. You shouldn’t let yourself linger for too long anyways. “It’s late,” You say, a tone of finality in your voice. “I should head to my room. I’ll make sure to let Seokjin know your update.” You slide off the bed into a standing position. “You should get some rest.” You turn to him. “You may not think you can pay back your fans, but you probably help them out every single day. The same way they help you out too.”
Yoongi tilts his head back to see you. Upside down, but still look at you nonetheless. He grins. “There’s that positive energy I was looking for. Thanks.”
You laugh, already making your way towards his hotel room door. “Thank me by giving me another kickass performance tomorrow. Makes my job a whole lot easier.”
The following weeks of concert tours pass by without a hitch. To Yoongi, any event now that doesn’t end up with a torn sleeve and nail scratches up and down his arm is a success. And you haven’t freaked out for the remaining dates as you had when security had been at its worst—so he’d consider that the icing on top of the cake. Although he’s glad to finally be be home and be anchored to his own bed and be in his own space for the first time in months, he knows that his first concert experience to celebrate his first EP had truly been a memorable undertaking.
And it had been more successful than anyone at KSJ records could have predicted. At least, that’s what Seokjin tells him when Yoongi arrives at the studio the following day to start going through the process of polishing up his song lyrics.
“It seems that you really enjoyed yourself throughout the tour,” Seokjin remarks as Yoongi steps into the former’s office. Seokjin is scrolling through some articles on his laptop. He closes it as Yoongi takes a seat and regards the younger boy with a look of curiosity and wonder. “How was it?”
Yoongi brightens. “So much fun. I didn’t realize how cool it would feel to have audience members sing song lyrics right back at me, but that was probably my favorite moment.”
“Ah, of course, first time for everything as they always say.” Seokjin folds his fingers atop one another. “And how was your team?” He says your name, given that you are Yoongi’s manager. “Along with Jungkook and Taehyung? I wish I could have given you more people, but we didn’t know how crazy moving you around was going to be.”
Yoongi nods. “I mean… it was fine. Jungkook was really good.” He can’t help but think that Jungkook should have been good—after all, Yoongi is the reason why Jungkook has been getting safe with job security recently. “And Taehyung too. I think having the small team was good because we ended up all getting really connected and had this whole system in place after a few stops.”
“I heard a fan tore your sleeve,” Seokjin points out, looking mildly concerned. “How did that go?”
“Oh, it was just a one time thing,” Yoongi tries to brush off with the wave of his hand. He thinks of you, because of course he does. He mentions you. “She would tap the fans who were getting too close. It was reassuring, honestly.”
“That’s good to hear,” Seokjin says. “And I’ve heard that you’ve been making a lot of headway with the upcoming album. So we’re definitely gonna set some time for us to go through the lyrics and structure what you’ve come up with already. But I did want to go over something with you first—the main reason I called you in, actually.”
Yoongi tilts his head. “Okay, what’s up?”
Seokjin re-opens his laptop, and clicks through a few links before he’s pivoting the laptop in a 180 degree motion so Yoongi can see the screen. At once, he’s faced with several articles, all centering around the topic that has been haunting him since the beginning of his concert journey. He gets a flashback to one of the nights you came into his hotel room to discuss scheduling, and how you had mentioned this particular topic showing up more and more.
Yoongi had known it was becoming a problem. He just didn’t think it was something that required urgent discussion.
“As I’m sure you’re aware, your growing popularity means that people are developing a growing interest in your relationship. Since you are labeled specifically as a song-writer who writes songs about growing up, struggles, and love, this only heightens people’s curiosity.”
Yoongi allows Seokjin to continue talking, as he moves forward in his chair to actually scroll through one of the articles Seokjin has pulled up. It’s entitled: UP AND COMING SINGER SONGWRITER MIN YOONGI IS DEFINITELY IN A RELATIONSHIP, BUT WITH WHO? As he scrolls down, there’s several people that are listed as potential girlfriends to Yoongi’s partnership—some people he does not know at all, some people he has only seen once.
You’re on the list too, and Yoongi’s eyes widen when he identifies your picture amongst the lot. He zeroes in on the description underneath the simple title: Yoongi’s manager? Although most manager and artist relationships are platonic, we can’t leave this one out! Fans have tracked down Min Yoongi’s current manager as an old assistant from Min Yoongi’s youtube days, so there’s definitely some history between them!
“This article has been blowing up. You may or may not know, but people making assumptions about your relationship status could be dangerous. Since you write songs about relationships, it leaves a lot of room for error and scandals, especially if news sites decide to publish something or someone else with bad intentions try to claim you wrote a song about them. Or something else of the sort.”
Yoongi nods slowly at that, not entirely understanding what direction Seokjin is going with his build up. It makes sense though. Leaving Yoongi out in the open like this could be dangerous for his career. “S-So, what ideas do you have to combat that?”
“I’ve been thinking about this in the recent weeks you’ve been on tour,” Seokjin says quietly, pressing his hands together. “I think that we should push your relationship status into the public—get you a girlfriend to maintain your ‘pure romantic heart’ reputation so it looks like you’re writing love songs solely for your girlfriend.”
It takes a second for the words to sink in. “Aaaaah,” Yoongi finally says, but his voice sounds far away all of a sudden, the further time seems to creep on. Sure, he’s seen this concept of surface relationships between in film and television—and the idea of it makes some sense. For someone whose best songs were related to moments of being in love, surely most people would suspect that the inspiration for those songs had to come from somewhere. If Yoongi came out to admit his lack of relationship experience, would people approve of that? Or would they think he was lying?
In that regard then, it makes sense that Seokjin would come up with the idea. But faking a relationship for the sake of faking a relationship has never been something Yoongi thought he would ever have to go through.
Mainly because first of all—who would play Yoongi’s girlfriend?
Now, Yoongi isn’t the worst actor in the world. But he can be stiff at times, and if Seokjin wants to push a relationship status into the public eye then Yoongi imagines that this girlfriend would be someone Yoongi felt the most natural around. Someone he wouldn’t mind pretending to be in a relationship with.
Would Yoongi even get a say in the matter? Or would Yoongi’s approval be the only requirement before Seokjin went off to find a girlfriend for Yoongi himself?
“D-Did you have someone in mind?” Yoongi finds himself asking instead.
Seokjin hums, tapping his chin with his finger. “Not at the moment. I just wanted to bring it up with you in case you had an idea for someone.” Mindlessly, he reaches to take back the laptop and flip it back towards him. This exposes him to the article Yoongi had been previously scrolling through—one where pictures of you are plastered over the current screen.
At the sight, Seokjin wavers slightly, staring down your pictures and furrowing his eyebrows. Yoongi looks over, noticing immediately that the laptop (and the pictures of you from that article) is no longer right in front of him but rather in front of Seokjin instead. When he glances over at Seokjin, he finds the older man lost in thought, running the side of his finger across his lip. Back and forth, clearly pondering something.
“Yes…” Seokjin says after a moment. “That could work, actually.” He looks across the desk at Yoongi. “Good idea, Yoongi. I think originally, I would have said no, but these pictures and this description actually makes a valid point.”
Yoongi blinks, not really connecting the dots right away. “Uh, sorry, Seokjin, but I’m not really following…”
Seokjin makes a noise, gesturing to his laptop screen that he has just gotten back from Yoongi. “You were suggesting Y/N as your fake girlfriend, weren’t you? I’m assuming that’s why you stopped on these pictures. My initial thought was that it probably wouldn’t work, but actually considering your history with each other it seems like this could be the most likely case scenario.”
It takes another second for the information to fully process. You. His fake girlfriend. Seokjin misunderstanding that unintentionally stopping on your pictures meant that Yoongi was trying to convey some sort of message.
You—playing the role of his fake girlfriend, the ‘supposed’ inspiration for all his music. It would be funny if it wasn’t so ironic.
It would be funny if you didn’t inspire all of his music—but you do. And Yoongi isn’t laughing.
He should say something. He knows that it would make sense, as Seokjin is claiming, but it would also potentially inch him towards a can of worms he has been so sure would never see the sunlight. More than that, having you as his fake girlfriend would bring him the closest he has ever been to feeling hopeful.
He really should say something.
But for some reason, the words don’t come out. He just lets Seokjin believe his ingenious plan. “Yes, yes!” Seokjin continues after the many moments of silence that lapse between the two of you. “This could work actually. You guys have known each other for years, and older fans of yours from the youtube days would definitely recognize Y/N. That way, the announcement of your relationship wouldn’t seem entirely out of line, especially if we say that you guys have been dating for years. It also makes sense that we could say you becoming Yoongi’s ‘manager’ was always part of a cover up—after all, that’s what they did in that movie That Thing You Do…”
The more Seokjin drones on and on about his plan, and how exactly he intends to work up to it, the more nervous Yoongi gets. Was Seokjin actually planning on doing this—enlist you as Yoongi’s fake girlfriend and drag you along to participate in this facade? Yoongi is mildly shocked. He should have known Seokjin would follow through on the question, but he had just assumed that today was just the idea phase and that plans to arrange this fake relationship would take weeks.
But if there’s anything Yoongi knows about Seokjin, it’s that the man knows how to get something done. Quickly, too. In Seokjin’s word, it’s a natural occurrence for a simple idea phase to morph into actual concrete plans within the time span of a day. Yoongi should have planned this out better—but then again, he didn’t think that him accidentally stopping on a picture of you from a fucking drama article would serve as the catalyst for Seokjin’s ideas.
Yoongi straightens up onto his feet. “Why don’t I talk to Y/N first about this?” He asks. “The idea may seem good on paper, but if she’s uncomfortable then it’s a no go.”
Seokjin studies Yoongi carefully, before the former relents. “Okay, fair enough. Let me know what happens.”
As soon as the pair of them exchange the last nods, Yoongi is dashing out of Seokjin’s office with one clear objective in mind: to talk to you.
Luckily, you aren’t too far away. You’re in your office, typing up something on your laptop and your eyes scanning through what he can only assume are emails. It’s eyes that widen when Yoongi practically storms into your space, shutting the door behind him.
You straighten up. “Yoongi, you alright? You look like you just ran a marathon.”
Yoongi doesn’t even realize that his chest is heaving until you point that out. He coughs. “Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Didn’t run a marathon though.”
Your eyebrows furrow, but the corner of your lips turn up in mild curiosity. “Okay. What’s up?”
Yoongi presses his lips together. Even with the many feet of space between the two of you—he can make out the glimmer in your eyes from the sunlight pouring through the window, he can see the shadow of your eyelashes and the line where your collarbone dips below your blouse. Fuck, he’s in deep. There’s no way he could ask you something so monumental to the downfall of his sanity. But he knows that it’s too late to just walk away. Partly because he’s already in your office and partly because the idea has already been planted into Seokjin’s head. And if Yoongi didn’t speak up, then Seokjin was going to.
So Yoongi opens his mouth. “I may or may not have gotten you into a situation,” He starts up.
You snort, of course not taking him seriously. “That might just be the summary of our relationship.”
“No, I don’t think you understand…” Yoongi pleads, stepping deeper into the office.
You frown at his behavior, closing your laptop this time to address him completely. “Okay, what’s up, really? You’re kind of scaring me…”
“Oh, don’t worry, it’s not… scary or anything…” He trails off.
You raise an eyebrow. “Let me be the judge of that.”
So Yoongi shoves his hands deep into his coat pocket, and slides next to your desk, leaning against the surface as he starts his story. He covers everything: from Seokjin bringing up the drama articles about his relationship status, how he had scrolled through and saw your name, how Seokjin had misinterpreted that as a sign, and worse of all, how Seokjin thought it would be a good idea for you to play as Yoongi’s fake girlfriend.
To say you’re appalled would be an understatement. You’re staring up at him, eyes wide and lips parted. “Are you serious?” You ask. “B-But I’m your manager!” You scoff at yourself. “No, more than that—I’m your friend, Yoongi. Seokjin must be on something. He has to be. What did you guys decide on? Please tell me that you said no.”
“W-Well, there was no agreement or disagreement,” Yoongi argues weakly. “I walked out before Seokjin could make up his mind.” He pauses for a moment, something sinking in. “Wait a minute,” He brings up, a slightly teasing smile across his face. “Do you really find the idea of dating me that gross?”
You make a noise in the back of your throat at his accusation, and you immediately begin to scramble. “I-I mean,” You start, the flush present in your throat as you start speaking very quickly at once. Both your hands go up in a defensive position. “It’s not that I don’t find you gross… because I don’t! You’re a very attractive person—it’s just that—we’re friends and—stop looking at me like that!” You stand up, slamming your palms onto the table when you realize that he’s just flashing you a shit-eating grin.
He has half the mind to be mildly disheartened that you are so against the idea of dating him. But then again, he’d probably say no to fake dating you if he was being forced into a situation like this. He’d definitely say no.
Okay, he’d probably say no.
“Well, I told Seokjin that if you were uncomfortable with the idea, then it’d be a no go and he seemed to respect the idea.”
Still standing, you sigh and press your face into the palm of your hand. Your fingers brush through your hair. “Okay, let’s step back for a moment.” You remove your hands from your face. “If I were to say yes, what exactly would that entail?”
Yoongi manages a weak one-shouldered shrug. “I’m not sure exactly. Seokjin would probably have a better idea of that. I imagine KSJ records would release a statement about our relationship, and we would be scheduled to go to variety shows or press interviews together. We’d probably have to go out to restaurants together too. Hold hands…” The thought of holding your hand dries up his throat a little, but he passes it off well by faking a cough. “That sort of stuff.”
You glare at him. “And what about your fans? You’re trying to preserve this ‘pure romantic heart’ image, but I’m sure there’s a lot of fans that like to believe the songs could be about them.”
He shrugs. “That—I’m not too sure about. I imagine Seokjin prefers the idea of my fans believing that my heart only belongs to one person rather than them believing that I’ll just write a love song for anyone.”
You nod. “That’s valid, I guess.”
Yoongi stares at you from the smaller space of distance between the two of you. “Again, you don’t have to say yes. Frankly, I think it’s a batshit crazy idea.”
“It’s not… completely out of line.” After a moment, you sigh. “I can actually understand why Seokjin would get the idea of trying to set you up like this. The news articles will probably get worse. And since your songs market themselves on being personal, people want to know who the songs are about. If Seokjin gave the public a face, then there’d be no room for assumptions and even less room for scandals to come about.” You give him a look. “Sadly, if you were to stay single, there’s only so much I could do as your manager to control that bad press.”
Yoongi raises both his eyebrows up. “Does that mean you’re saying yes—?”
“I’m not… saying anything yet.” You plop yourself back down into your seat. “I’m not saying yes. But I’m not saying no either.” You sink further into your seat. “Hopefully Seokjin will change his mind before I have to make up mine?”
That’s an unlikely case. But Yoongi doesn’t argue with you, and you don’t wait for him to. He simply nods one more time before leaving your office.
You would be lying if you said you never thought about dating Yoongi. Of course you have. You’re sure that you’ve had a crush on the boy within the first week of your introductions. This crush explains so many of your past actions—your support for his Youtube channel, your fulfillment as his manager, and now this pull towards agreeing to become his fake girlfriend. And you hate yourself for the every second you consider it a good idea.
Because it’s not a good idea. It’s a terrible idea. More than that, it’s an unfair idea. Agreeing to fake date someone you actually want to date seems like too cruel a hand to be dealt. Considering your more-often-than-not fragile state, setting yourself up with Yoongi in this way already seems doomed to fail. It would be unfair to Yoongi, because agreeing to this would deprive him of an actual relationship he could be happy in. But it would be more unfair to you, because losing control would mean losing your best friend.
So you don’t give Yoongi a positive confirmation. But you don’t give him a negative one either. See, you don’t have the heart to just outwardly reject him, because you know that he needs you to help him with this. You know that he understands the situation he’s been put in, and that getting a fake girlfriend seems to be the best case scenario. You know that it wouldn’t make sense with any other girl—it had to be you. Saying no straight to face is something that you don’t have the heart to do.
Rather than give a yes or no answer, you opt for the second best option: hold off and avoid indulging too deeply.
It’s a strategy that works for a grand total of one day.
The following day post Yoongi’s conversation, you show up to work with information that Yoongi is going to start recording songs for his new album. His first full-length album, at that—something he has been working hard for since the beginning. Every second of free time available to him during the tour, during off-days had been dedicated to writing the music necessary to fill the album. You know how hard he’s been working—you’ve watched throughout the duration of his tour, and spoke to him for many nights about the progression of this album.
You just didn’t think that the recording part would be coming around so soon.
This is a thought you reflect to Seokjin when you enter the recording studio. Yoongi is already behind the glass, and his voice is amplified in the studio, where they appear to be discussing the arrangement for how a song is going to go. This leaves you vaguely surprised—if Yoongi is in the booth already, it means that there must have been some ground covered on how the arrangement was supposed to go. Just how long has Yoongi been in the studio before you showed up?
“Ah, good morning,” Seokjin greets from the back of the studio, seated on the couch and his arms resting along the back. “Don’t get mad, but Yoongi worked through the night again.”
Your lips part into a gape as your eyes widen in disbelief. “Please tell me you’re joking,” You return.
Seokjin merely laughs in return. “I wish I was! When I left, he was going at it with Namjoon and when I came back this morning they were still going at it. But, you know, who am I to rain in on a breakthrough moment?”
You relent your control of the situation slightly (only slightly) at Seokjin’s rhetorical question. Namjoon is one of Seokjin’s top producers and arrangers—very gifted in songwriting and how to make a good song. From the year that you and Yoongi have been a part of KSJ records, Yoongi and Namjoon have gotten along great and their close relationship has been the reason for many late nights. The pair of them were always caught in the drift of making sleepless but record-selling hits.
Like Seokjin said, who are you to interrupt art in progress?
Although you have a sudden flurry of desires and objectives (mainly to reprimand Yoongi for being so careless with a slap or a hit where you could put him to sleep yourself), you bite it down long enough to shed your jacket and rest it on the armrest of the couch. “Fine, fine, I’ll let it go this time.”
Seokjin chuckles at that, removing his gaze from you and sliding it across the studio back into the booth where Yoongi is still in the midst of discussing something with Namjoon. Something about how the arrangement isn’t as smooth or on beat as they had originally intended. “You’re a good manager,” He says at last. “I can tell that you really do care about him and will definitely give him a peace of your mind once he’s done with today’s session. And what’s more…” He laughs. “He’ll actually let you walk all over him. You’d be surprised how often I see managers in it just for the money, where they don’t have their artist’s best interest in mind. You’re definitely not like that.”
You slide into the vacant seat next to Seokjin. “If I don’t keep an eye on him, I know that no one else will. It’s nothing against other people, but no one else in his life is as involved in his career as I am. But I’m his friend first, and his manager second.”
The pair of you are quiet for a moment, as you watch Namjoon fiddle with some of the switches on the music panel. They seem to come to an agreement on the newly modified beat, because it starts playing through the speakers in the booth. Yoongi presses his hands against the headphones he’s wearing, and starts to relay the lyrics into the microphone. It starts off slow—Yoongi has his phone in his hands to read the lyrics, to double check the flow and the tempo. After a few lines, he stops. “Ah—let’s reword this line. I do like the change we made to the music, so let’s change the lyrics to match.” His voice is amplified through the studio.
Namjoon presses a button on the music panel, allowing him to communicate with Yoongi. “Sure. Want to head in and make the changes?”
Yoongi ponders this for a moment, but shakes his head. “Give me a second. Maybe if I listen to the song again, I can feel what I vibe with.”
“Sounds good.” Namjoon releases his hold on the button, and turns around in his chair to face you and Seokjin. The sight of you makes his eyes widen, as Namjoon coughs back a choke. “O-Oh, Y/N, you’re here—!”
His words make you narrow your eyes as you point a finger at him. “YAH! Which one of you was it that contributed to your all-nighter?”
“I don’t know, I don’t know!” Namjoon protests, raising both of his hands up in defense. “We were both in the groove!”
You lower your finger with a sigh. “You’re lucky that you’re in the middle of helping Yoongi achieve his dreams. Otherwise I’d kick both of your asses.”
Namjoon seems to realize that you’re not messing around, because he emits a nervous laugh. “I promise we’ll be a little more careful next time…”
“Oh, Namjoon, I rewrote some of the lines!” Yoongi calls from inside the booth.
Namjoon whirls around in his chair again to press the button. “Sounds good, let’s do it.”
As the music starts up again, Seokjin decides to speak up once more. “Yoongi told me that he talked to you about the little fake dating plan I had.”
The mention of it, as well as your previous internal insistence of not talking or thinking about that, makes you stiffen. “He might have mentioned something like that.”
When you turn to look at Seokjin, he has an unreadable look glinting in his eyes. “Since you were talking about achieving Yoongi’s dreams and all…” He trails off. “I wanted to apologize for bringing that idea onto you so quickly. I didn’t really consider how you’d feel about the arrangement. I just wanted to try and do what I thought was best for Yoongi.”
You sigh. “I know why you thought of the idea. And I totally agree with you—I think that if he wants to carry on, this is the least costly next step that should be taken. I just… I don’t know if I’m the best fit for it.”
Seokjin nods. “I respect your decision. After all, Yoongi told me that if you were uncomfortable with it, then it’d be an immediate no go.”
The corner of your lips turns up upon hearing Yoongi’s thought process. Even though you’ve already heard the words from the man himself—it’s nice to hear that assurance from his boss. Knowing that Yoongi puts your thoughts and feelings on the forefront of his mind is a nice feeling. A misleading feeling if you let yourself think too deeply into it. But a nice feeling, nonetheless.
You decide not to comment immediately on Seokjin’s apology; rather, you tune into what exactly Yoongi is singing about in the song. It’s got a softer beat to it—an opening song to the album, perhaps? It’s much more whimsy compared to his hard-hitting personal rants that touch on the frustration of miscommunication, of not saying something when he should have said something.
Instead, this is a song about distance—about missing someone due to distance and the longing of returning home because of the normality it brought. About how even closeness sometimes isn’t enough to fill the gap of desire in his heart. It takes on a beat you’ve never heard before, and a feeling of missing something that isn’t even tangible for you as a listener. Nevertheless, his words, his raspiness, and the hard lines hidden within the otherwise soft tone of the song work hard to poke at your edges and your weak spots. The parts of you that have always been willing to cave for Yoongi, the part of you that has never hesitated to do what needed to be done if it benefited Yoongi.
You were his manager, so you always want what’s best for him. But you’re also a friend who has been in love with him for years, so you will do whatever it takes to get him there.
You hope you don’t regret this.
“Actually,” You admit quietly, but it’s loud enough to perk Seokjin’s attention. “I’ll do it.”
Seokjin blinks, clearly trying to process your words right off the bat. “You’ll…” He trails off.
You look away. You have a feeling that if Seokjin looks at you for too long, he’ll see your emotions spill out across the entire fucking studio. “Do the fake dating idea.”
Seokjin fumbles a little. “H-Hold on a second—are you sure? Seriously, I’m not trying to pressure you or anything. Since you’re the one least adjusted to being in the spotlight, a lot of this pressure is going to fall onto you. I don’t want you to say yes and then regret it later on… so maybe you should think a little more about this…”
You steel yourself. It feels a little bit like holding your breath. Finally, you spare Seokjin a look. “I won’t regret it,” You say. “You and I both said that Yoongi needs me to keep going at this pace—I was going to get roped in eventually, so I think it’ll just be easier if I agree now rather than drag this thing around for a couple of months. Besides…” You try to relax a little in your seat, but it’s hard to tell if you’re being convincing or not. “It’s nothing too serious right? You just want us to go out together, hold hands occasionally, speak highly of each other… We already do half of those things but it’ll just be emphasized now. No big deal.”
Seokjin is wearing that unreadable look in his eyes again, like he knows something that you don’t even know yourself. “You’re right,” He settles with after a long pause. “It’s nothing too serious. You’ll probably have people also digging into your space though, but we’ll make all the necessary arrangements before any sort of announcement.”
“If that’s the case,” You reply. “Then I’m sure it’ll all be fine. Besides.” You try for a smile. “It’s all just fake anyways, right? As long as the ones who really matter know that, then I don’t really see the harm in it.”
Seokjin only continues to stare at you, before he relents. You know just as well as he does that your decision is one of an adult, and that if you really had a problem with something you would vote your opinion without hesitation. No matter if he can somehow read the thoughts in your head.
At last, he nods. “We might need you to sign another NDA but…” He extends an arm out towards you. “Welcome abroad, Min Yoongi’s girlfriend.”
You laugh a little, hollow but still present, as you reach over to take his head. “We’ll start having problems if that nickname becomes a regular thing.”
Seokjin laughs a little louder, a complete opposite of his more quiet and observant side displayed just a few seconds ago. “Don’t worry—just for formalities. HEY, Namjoon, let me talk to Yoongi for a second.” He practically throws himself off of the couch and towards the music panel where Namjoon and Yoongi are still mid-discussion about another aspect of music you do not understand. Namjoon relents, pushing himself and his chair off to the side as Seokjin comes up to press the button on the panel that allows for discussion between the booth and the studio. “Hey, Min Yoongi, there’s been some discussions behind the scenes. Say hello to your new girlfriend!”
There’s a brief silence in the studio, and Yoongi’s eyes immediately bug out of his head like this is the last thing he expected to hear on this very casual Wednesday morning. Knowing the agenda for the day, it probably has been. “What?” Yoongi says after a long moment, his voice amplified by the speakers in the studio.
Seokjin turns towards you, jerking his head at the booth, and you get up with a sigh. You approach the music panel where Seokjin and Namjoon are currently situated—and aren’t sure how to feel when you see the way Yoongi’s eyes widen at the sight of you through the window.
Still, you cannot help your own weak smile as you lean in towards the microphone. “Hi honey,” You say.
Yoongi continues to stare at you, before his lips part and his face takes on a very unusual shade of red. “HUH?”
CHAPTER 3: THE ANNOUNCEMENT
KSJ records releases a statement within the next following days, and it gains momentum like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
HELLO, WE ARE KSJ RECORDS.
Recently, we acknowledge that many fans have developed a curiosity about the relationship status of our newest artist Min Yoongi. The release of his latest EP and the undertaking of his concert has left many questions regarding who he writes his songs for—and many of the different assumptions made by people around the world could leave very dangerous and lasting impressions on people that our artist sees as platonic. We want to respond properly and say the truth.
Min Yoongi has been in a relationship with his current manager, Y/N, for the past three years. When Min Yoongi was first signed to KSJ Records, they were already in a relationship and Y/N was assigned the task as Yoongi’s manager given her experience working alongside him during his Youtube career. They have good feelings about each other, and have agreed to make this information public to avoid future misunderstandings. KSJ Records and Yoongi hope that you all will support their relationship as they continue to navigate through Yoongi’s growing career together.
You cannot help but laugh a little at the statement, which is flying so close to the truth that it might as well have been your reality. And in a way, it is. You’ve already prepared, molded your online presence just barely to meet these new expectations to the new facade you have to put up.
And it’s not like the announcement actually changes anything in your daily life. In the days leading up to the post, you had decided to delete your Twitter account (you weren’t making much use of that platform anyways—what, with all the thirst accounts for Yoongi that you were stumbling upon due to internet cookies and the algorithm), and archive a fair number of your Instagram photos on an account that was already set to private. For someone who didn’t live and breathe social media, it wasn’t too hard to rid of that element in your life.
One thing you hadn’t really accounted for, however, were the news stories that wrote about you in the hours following the press release. Several of them were base-level lists about your childhood and how your relationship with Yoongi could have festered—most of which were correct given that older fans of Yoongi knew what university he attended and how you were also a student there. But that information is generally public, and it’s not like you attend the university anymore.
Other than that, there are a few comments on your looks, a few assumptions on your personality. But surprising, there’s nothing too severe. At least, from the surface-level information you can collect from just doing a basic google search. Social media would probably be a more difficult battle, one that you would need nerves of steel and a hardened heart in order to navigate, but like mentioned: professionally managing your own personal social media isn’t exactly your forte.
Over the next week, you follow Seokjin’s advice to lay low and let the news of your relationship with Yoongi continue to spread through the ranks. You spend that time in your apartment, answering a few messages from friends and family but doing what you could to keep the information as limited as possible. You assume that too many people knowing, regardless of how close or trustworthy they were, sort of went against the NDA you had to sign. And you’re not sure how your friends would react if they found out you were only dating Yoongi for a cover-up. Especially since some of them actually are fully aware of your feelings for him.
Regardless, you carry on. Yoongi sends you some screenshots he takes of supportive messages from his fans wishing the both of you the best in your relationship, and he also sends you some memes about your relationship that make you laugh. His fans have a good sense of humor, what could you say.
However, a week is the most you allow yourself to hide away within the comfort (and boring nature) of your apartment before you’re already texting Seokjin with news that you were showing up to the studio.
Surprisingly, Seokjin doesn’t question this. He calls you. “I was just about to ask if you were going to come over anyways!” He says in a rather upbeat nature. “So it’s good to hear that we’re both on the same page.”
So you step out of your apartment, dressed up in your usual work uniform and feeling much more put-together than you had been for the week you were ordered to remain quiet and lowkey. There’s something exciting about stepping out after being unable to do so for an extended period of time—and it shows in the little bounce that occurs with every step that you take down the sidewalk. Since you usually take the subway to work, you decide to dawn a bucket hat with a face mask tucked over your nose and mouth to blend in just enough but not so much so that your strange fashion choices could draw attention.
It doesn’t, and you enjoy the rocking of the subway racing down the tracks as you peer out of the window quietly. KSJ Records is just a few stops away from your apartment, so you waste no time standing out and stepping out as soon as the doors of the subway open at the right stop. You bound up the stairs, through the familiar pathways you’ve always taken to get to work, and after a few blocks, you arrive at the building of KSJ Records.
As you shoulder open the door, you greet the secretary behind the table, who smiles back at you. “Oh, good morning!” She greets cheerfully. “Seokjin is waiting for you in his office. I believe Yoongi is already with him.”
You nod. “Sounds good, thank you so much!” You bound deeper in, navigating through the different hallways until you arrive at Seokjin’s office. True to the word from the front desk, Yoongi is already there. He looks surprisingly meek for someone who has been trending on Twitter for a few days, but you suppose that he’s still trying to adjust to the fact that Seokjin’s plan is already in motion. After all, he didn’t even get the final say before Seokjin started taking the situation into his own hands. The last he had heard of it was your apparent agreement before Seokjin drew up a company statement for him to approve.
A part of you feels guilty—but Yoongi had been the one to ask you first! Perhaps he’s still in that normal state of uncertainty. After all, you feel like that as well.
“Good morning guys,” You greet as soon as you register who exactly is in Seokjin’s office. You close the door behind you as both boys turn to acknowledge you.
Seokjin grins. “Hi, thanks for coming in.”
You wave him off. “You gave me the week off. I was starting to get a little restless.” You take a seat in the other vacant chair, in front of Seokjin and besides Yoongi. “What’s up, Yoongi?”
Yoongi is already looking at you when you turn to greet him, but as soon as you ask your question, the corner of his lips quirk up into a vaguely uneasy and nervous smile. “H-Hi honey.”
You freeze at that, immediately furrowing your eyebrows as you produce your own nervous smile. “Hi?” You return. “What the fuck are you on?”
Seokjin interrupts before Yoongi can get an answer in. “Stop, stop, you’re way too stiff, Yoongi!”
“Well, I’m trying!” Yoongi spits, before looking back at you with an utterance of your name. “Sorry, Seokjin wanted me to try treating you the same way I would treat a girlfriend. Apparently I didn’t do too hot.”
“Not apparently, you just didn’t do hot at all,” Seokjin retorts back, flashing you an apologetic smile. “We were trying out a few moves easier to see how well you guys can adjust from having your normal manager slash artist relationship to displaying a long term, healthy and happy romantic relationship. It’s one thing to say that you guys are dating, but you guys do need to have something of an act ready.”
You fold your fingers over each other, your mind on a dissociation for the briefest of seconds as the realization sinks its teeth just a little deeper. Holding hands and saying cute shit to each other had been easy to talk about in passing dialogue to Seokjin—but actually having to do it is a hurdle you hadn’t considered to the fullest.
“I mean…” You speak up after a moment. “What if we’re just one of those couples that aren’t handsey with each other? Or don’t need that lovey dovey look in each other’s eyes to prove that we’re in a relationship?”
Seokjin ponders this for a second. “True. But if we’re starting this, there needs to be a full level commitment on the act. If people start questioning the legitimacy of your relationship, that would be an even worse scandal than just letting people make assumptions about Yoongi’s relationship status in general! We definitely, at least, need to develop a basic level of your relationship, and then you guys can work around your own varying levels of comfort. This is something that we need to get rolling as soon as possible, because you.” He points at Yoongi. “Are booked in the next few days to do some radio interviews. And you.” He points at you. “Are going to go with him, as his girlfriend.”
Even though you had known the label was coming, you can’t stop from feeling hot all over at how you were now technically Yoongi’s girlfriend.
“So,” Seokjin continues. “How about I give you a base level of what I’m looking for. And we can do a few practice runs to make sure you guys are comfortable enough with these expectations?”
Yoongi nods, leaving you little option but to do the same. But the thought from the recording booth bubbles up again: you hope you won’t regret this.
A few days later and you don’t think you’ll regret the outcome of this situation. But you’ll definitely get a little sick on the way.
“I don’t know if I can do this,” You say in the car. You’re sitting in the back, next to Yoongi, staring straight ahead at the passenger seat before you. “And stay all in one piece,” You add as an afterthought.
Yoongi glances over at you, looking nervous enough to admit a pout. “At least you don’t have to say anything—I’m the one doing all the talking…”
You huff out a breath. This is true. You’re just here to play the supportive girlfriend, the agreeable partner who’ll publicly accompany Yoongi to a public event since a public announcement. Seokjin says that doing this with the lense of a romantic relationship makes you seem friendly, open, and supportive of the relationship. You’re not too sure how public perception is shaped, but you understand where Seokjin is coming from. Tagging along to an event as a girlfriend instead of a manager makes you and Yoongi seem free. Like you have nothing to hide.
Only in reality, it’s the complete opposite. With everything coming out to the surface, you have everything to hide.
It only takes a few more minutes of driving before you arrive at the radio station. The instructions for today’s assignment have been easy: get out of the car, and walk the many steps needed to reach the entrance of the station. The empty step ahead is surrounded by paparazzi and fans, all screaming and shouting—trying to get their fill of Yoongi.
You sigh. You could do this. You and Yoongi have been practicing for the past few days. Albeit, ‘practicing’ just mainly consisted of the pair of you walking down a hallway close together. It was more lackluster than anything else, and you don’t think it was entirely productive use of time. Seokjin seemed to think that the pair of you needed to work on a closer level of proximity. But you know the truth about your feelings, and know that the complications will come from just being too close to him.
Yoongi unbuckles his seatbelt and is already moving to tug at the handle that’ll open his side of the car door, immediately exposing him to the walkway along with the flashing cameras and loud screams. Before he can pull all the way, however, he stops short. You’re about to ask what the problem is, before he angles towards you and flashes you that grin he has when he’s thinking of ideas you wouldn’t approve of. “I have an idea,” He breathes out, quickly reaching over to grab your hand.
You stiffen at the contact, trying to ignore the flash of your heart speeding up in your chest. You and Yoongi hadn’t agreed on this—if you had, maybe you would have been a little more prepared for the situation! Oh god.
On instinct, you try to wiggle out of his grasp. “What are you doing?” You hiss.
Yoongi gives you a dry look, reaching over to grab your hand again. “Calm down,” He argues back, lacing your fingers together for extra measure, like that’s gonna be the thing to help you calm the fuck down. “This’ll help sell it, okay? Just trust me.”
Leaving little room for arguments, he squeezes your hand briefly before loosening it enough. He pulls the car door handle, pushing it outwards, and stepping out into the wild. People notice his appearance immediately, because the screams grow louder as Yoongi uses his unoccupied hand to wave and bow towards those who have come out to see him.
You trail behind rather helplessly; the hand connected to Yoongi pulling you out of the car. Yoongi stays near the door, staring down at you with a rather watchful gaze that only leaves you feeling hotter than before. Still, you don’t speak of it as Yoongi steps back just enough for you to step out of the car. “You okay?” He asks.
You nod, readjusting yourself with one hand before Yoongi starts to pull you alongside him to walk the distance towards the radio station entrance. Although you want to engage slightly with the crowd, your nerves keep you mainly at bay, forcing you to angle your head downwards just enough to avoid any serious eye contact. Yoongi keeps his gaze ahead, walking a rather brisk pace towards the radio studio—where security leads the way in opening the door for the pair of you. Whether he’s walking fast because he doesn’t want to keep up the charade of holding your hand for so long… or because he can feel how sweaty your palm is getting. You don’t know.
It’s only a few more steps before you and Yoongi are entering the building for the radio show, where Jungkook is lingering near the entrance. He’s on his phone, probably having just made a call with Seokjin about your arrival, before he spots the two of you entering. “Hey guys, how was it?”
Yoongi nods. “A little loud, but I think it went alright.”
Jungkook’s eyes flicker down to your intertwined hands. “Wow, you guys are committed,” He comments.
You seem to remember that your soul has returned to the body that is still currently holding hands with Min Yoongi. Alarmingly, you take your hand back. “Y-Yeah, Yoongi thought it would be a good show for the people outside! No biggie—just a simple hand holding technique, people do that all the time!” You realize that you’re rambling.
Yoongi, oblivious as always, raises an eyebrow. “You okay?”
“Y-Yeah,” You manage. “Why do you ask?”
Yoongi is about to answer, before an intern shyly approaches the three of you with an iPad in hand.
“Are you all under Mr. Min’s team?” She asks, fishing out some badges when you nod in confirmation. “Okay, so make sure to take these so everyone knows who you are. Mr. Min? I can lead you to the studio you’ll be interviewing in, if you’ll follow me—did you need me to grab a soda for you?” She begins listing a series of questions about his well-being, leaving you and Jungkook behind in the hallway with your newly acquired badges in hand.
Jungkook, observant as always, gives you a look. “What was that all about?”
“Huh? I-It was nothing…” You trail off looping the badge around your neck, meeting Jungkook’s eyes and realizing that he’s wearing a shit-eating grin. The same kind of grin that Taehyung gives you when you’re standing too close to Yoongi. Your eyes flare. “WHAT DO YOU KNOW?”
Jungkook laughs. “Calm down, calm down, Taehyung and I gossip a lot on the side—hey, what the fuck, don’t hit me—we’re in a public place!”
You relent your aggression, but only slightly. You lower your arms as well. “Just—don’t tell Yoongi.”
Jungkook levels with you a dry look. “Do you think I have a death wish? C’mon, let’s head over.”
With a hesitant sigh, you relent and let Jungkook lead you down the halls of this studio, until the pair of you find a door with Yoongi’s name written on the white board. There’s a darkened LIVE light panel above the frame, indicating that Yoongi’s radio interview hasn’t started yet. There’s some people lingering about, who nod and open the door for you when you present your TALENT badge at them. The inside of a radio booth is similar to the recording booths Yoongi has found a home in as of late. There’s people in this current room, headphones on and monitoring what’s happening before them while being surrounded with sound panels and laptop screens. On the other side of the glass is Yoongi, and the main hosts of the radio station, Jung Hoseok and Im Nayeon.
From your side, you can hear their conversation amplified through speakers in the studio. They’re all currently joking around about external matters—it makes sense too. Yoongi has been on this particular radio show a handful of times.
“Okay, okay, you guys,” Hoseok speaks after a few more minutes of playful banter. “Today, we have a very special guest with us today. He’s fresh off the tour of his first and most recent EP, we have Min Yoongi in the studio! Yay!” He claps. Nayeon follows suit.
Yoongi stops his clapping sooner to speak into the microphone in front of him. “Thanks for having me back.”
“Thank you for deciding to hang out with us for the afternoon,” Nayeon says. “Especially since you’re a big hot shot now.”
Yoongi laughs. “I wouldn’t say that… I just finished my first tour, Nayeon, no big deal.”
“‘No big deal’,” Nayeon quotes him. “As if your EP didn’t chart into a top 50 list or anything like that.”
The conversation trails like this for a little bit. Yoongi is scheduled to spend thirty minutes doing a segment, which is meant to be uploaded onto Youtube later, so it gives the three of them a lot of legroom to play around and play off of each other. The purpose of the interview is to discuss the tour, the progress of the album, and (if anyone dared venture there) the status of his relationship—!
“Well, moving on from the album—which I’m sure is going to be a huge success, by the way,” Nayeon continues on, bringing you back from the daydream that you’ve slipped into. “Seriously, it’s a very highly anticipated release.”
Yoongi manages a nervous smile. “I’ll make sure not to let anyone down.”
Nayeon nods. “I think it’s a good time to ask about a recent development that has occurred with you as of late.”
“And, that is the announcement of your relationship,” Nayeon carries on. She glances at Yoongi from across the table. “We’re allowed to ask you questions about it, right?”
Yoongi nods, choosing his words very carefully. “I’m all ears for your questions, Nayeon.”
Nayeon brightens at that. “I just think that a lot of people want to know: how are you guys doing since the announcement?”
He takes in a breath. To the general public, it’ll probably look as if he’s steeling himself to finally come clean about a relationship he’s been hiding for three years. But to you, you know it’s because he’s just trying to figure out what exactly to say.
“We’ve been doing well,” He says with a nod of assurance. “It was a little stressful at first, and it still is because of how recent the news is, but I am glad we decided to make this call. Y/N has been with me since the beginning and has supported me and has been the inspiration for a lot of my music—and I’m at a point in my life where I want my fans to know that rather than drag them along and just make them assume these parts of my life.”
“That’s so sweet,” Nayeon gushes. “So Y/N wasn’t always just your manager, even back in your Youtube days?”
Yoongi shakes his head. “Actually, she was my girlfriend before I decided to upload song covers.”
Nayeon swoons a little. “Can you tell us the story of how we met? You can be brief, of course.”
Yoongi laughs. “We shared a class together in college, and she was probably the funniest person I had ever met—of course, we were friends for about a year before we started dating. But Y/N was always very supportive about me pursuing music, even when it was just a hobby. When I did start my Youtube channel, she stayed up to help with editing and just letting me know how some lyrics I had written would sound. She was a business major in college, so it felt right to let her have the reins on scheduling my appearances—and now she’s my manager. Besides just being my girlfriend, we work together really well.”
You huff out a breath, something you hadn’t even realized that you were holding. You didn’t think Yoongi lying straight through his teeth could cause you so much anxiety. As if there are people around this radio station to fact check everything leaving Yoongi’s mouth.
Nayeon hesitates for a moment. “Alright, I want to ask one more question.”
Yoongi gestures for her to continue.
“You write a lot about being in love and all these little moments of stability and that feeling of contentment—but what is your experience with love? How did you know that you were in love?”
Your lips part in shock at the question, having not expected it. After all, Seokjin didn’t quiz Yoongi on this answer. And to talk about love in such a personal manner—would Yoongi even have an answer for everyone?
Your gaze is trained on Yoongi, watching them through the glass separating you from him. It seems as if the entire room is silenced in anticipation. You can feel Jungkook’s gaze hot on your back, clearly trying to gauge your response—but you try not to give him the satisfaction of a reaction.
“It’s actually funny,” Yoongi speaks up after a moment. Your heart lurches, thinking that he’s going to divert from the question. But you should know him better. “I always thought love, when it came to romance, was supposed to be this big explosion of fireworks and what not—like in the movies. You see someone and there’s this feeling in your gut right away, you know, this whole concept of love at first sight. I used to think that was how I was going to fall in love. It was going to be dramatic, but everything I wanted right away, and I was going to be whisked off and everything would be sunshine and rainbows. I thought that I’d meet someone, and they’d be everything I wanted them to be right off the bat, and that I’d know right away they’d be the one.
But the truth is, through my relationship, I realized that it’s not like that. I didn’t know Y/N would be the one right away. It took a long time—because we liked each other, but that’s not the big explosion of fireworks I was promised. We liked each other, but it was never love at first sight. And truthfully, she wasn’t even everything I wanted right off the bat. I’ve realized that love is more about these adjustments you as people have to make to fit, and it happened so subtly with me that then I didn’t realize it was happening until I just woke up one day and knew.
I knew because one morning, I woke up in a fit—I had fallen asleep at my desk again trying to get through some of the music arrangement of this one video I was working on, or something like that. I was always working on music and editing—so I actually don’t remember. Anyways, I woke up and my head was resting on a pillow, and there was a blanket over my shoulder, which I didn’t remember fixing up the night before. I got out of the little makeshift studio I had in my apartment, and there was breakfast food from this cafe I really like around the corner at my table. It was a little cold, but Y/N had taped a little note on the bag with heating instructions and what not, just telling me to do my best—really nice and supportive things. I had assumed that she had gone back home, because she knew I was pulling another all-nighter for work. That’s what I thought, until I look into the living room and find her sleeping on my couch. More than that, her hands were still on her laptop, where she had been in the process of still editing one of my videos. She still had her headphones on and everything. We had been dating for a little less than a year at that point, so it wasn’t like this was a rare thing. It was a pretty normal thing for her to do—wrap me up in blankets and buy me breakfast food the following morning, even falling asleep on the couch was a weekly occurrence. But I just saw her sleeping on my couch and I felt this wave of warmth and contentment. Like I always knew that she’d be on my team. I think that was the moment I really knew what love was.”
It’s a long story, one that ends with a stunned silence—like no one had expected him to give out such a detailed answer and make it sound poetic at the same time. That’s the songwriter Min Yoongi for you, you supposed.
Quickly, both the studio and the booth give out a chorus of aw’s and ooh’s, gushing amongst one another over the charming nature of Yoongi’s story. But you are still trapped into submission, staring straight through the glass with millions of questions still going through your mind. The spike in your heart rate also points to the rush of adrenaline flowing through you. Because you know this story that he is telling. He’s not lying through his teeth. You remember this night. Or, one of the nights, at least. Like Yoongi had said, you giving out blankets and food like air was second nature in your friendship. So was you falling asleep on the couch.
Did those situations hold as much weight for him as they did for you? Or, was he just making up his feelings? After all, the key to lying was skirting as close to the truth as possible. That kind of situation may work for Yoongi, as the liar, but it wasn’t as comforting for you.
You watch the way Yoongi laughs at the gushing Nayeon does, the way he smiles brightly and continues to reinforce how important you are—and you recognize his facade better than anyone else. Of course he’s lying, and you reach their realization with a bit of downfall in your stomach. There’s no way he would be telling the truth, especially considering the situation the pair of you are now in where Yoongi’s career is dependent on his ability to tell a proper lie.
You allow yourself to sink a little deeper into the studio, near the back where the producers of the radio station can discuss amongst each other. This puts you with Jungkook, who has been watching the situation closely the entire time.
“Yoongi can be quite the actor,” Jungkook mumbles. He has this unreadable expression in his eyes, but you know that Jungkook knows that situation Yoongi is describing. It had been Jungkook’s apartment as well. He glances at you, but says nothing.
You continue to stare ahead. That pensive silence continues as Yoongi is released from the radio interview, and thanks Nayeon and Hoseok eagerly for their time and energy. Nayeon returns the gesture, waving to you through the glass when Yoongi points you out. You weakly return the action.
It isn’t until you get into the car, where the pair of you are safe from the wandering eyes and careful ears of the entire world, that one of you elects to speak up. “So, what did you think?” Yoongi asks.
By this point, you’ve recovered swiftly from your disappointment. You smile like it’s your only shield. “As your manager, I’m glad that you were able to make love so poetic—just on brand for you. As your fake girlfriend, I also really have to congratulate you for your storytelling. I even remember those nights too, so it was definitely a good memory to lie about.”
Yoongi flushes a little at your comment, looking pleased with himself for a moment. You smile at his expression, before turning to train your gaze out of the window. The gesture makes you miss the way the smile slips off his face, the way he glances over at you. A good memory to lie about—right.
Yoongi’s radio interview goes viral, and so does any hope you have in trying to forget the tale he had spun during it. Granted, you are happy that people bought his story. You just wish that it wouldn’t have muddled up all your thoughts and feelings along the way.
Naturally, Seokjin is excited about the good press and the fact that the pair of you completed your first assignment well enough. At least, that’s the display he’s presenting when you walk into his office two days after the radio interview. Yesterday was spent looking over social media to see the public’s reaction to Yoongi’s speech about love, and if you as his manager would need to do any damage control. Luckily, you do not. As his manager, it leaves you in good spirits.
But as someone who actually has a crush on Yoongi, it’s less so.
That dejection only furthers itself when you see how excited Seokjin looks, like he’s already plotting the next steps to his little project.
“Ah, Y/N!” Seokjin greets carefully. “Hi, hi, congratulations on your first successful outing with Yoongi! Per the reports I’ve been seeing over social media, you guys did a very good job.”
You sigh, placing four coffee orders onto the table and sliding into the seat in front of Seokjin’s desk. “I didn’t really do that much,” You admit with a half-hearted shrug. “Yoongi did all the talking. I just waved at Nayeon through the glass window.”
“Aaahh,” Seokjin hums, opening up his laptop and turning it around in order for you to see what is on his screen. “Seems like you did a little more than that.”
Your gaze flints down to the big, bold words across the screen: THE INSIDER REPORT ON MIN YOONGI’S RADIO INTERVIEW: Employees at the K-IM Radio Station detail their experience meeting Yoongi and his girlfriend following the announcement of their relationship.
That piques your interest, and you scoot forward in your chair slightly in order to reach out and see what Seokjin is talking about. It’s not a very lengthy article—there is a summary detailing Yoongi’s interview, of course referencing his grand speech about love—but that’s not what takes up the most space.
Your eyes continue to skim over, almost not even believing what you were reading. The intern that first greeted you and Yoongi is in here, talking about how the pair of you were holding hands “in such a loving way, and the way they looked at each other before I led him to the radio booth was so romantic!” (The intern’s words, not yours). There’s even some excerpts from the employees and producers inside the radio booth, the same room you had spent the interview in. Surprisingly, a lot of the accounts are not talking about what Yoongi said. It’s all about how you looked when Yoongi was telling his story.
“It was such a powerful speech, I couldn’t help but look over to Y/N to see her reaction, and she was staring back at Yoongi in such a way that I knew immediately that the genuine nature of their love was a two-way street.”
“... a definite softness in her gaze, like she was reliving that memory with him.”
And so on, and so on.
Your face feels a little warmer when your eyes as you push the laptop away, glancing up to see Seokjin’s staring at you. “See? You did good. The small gestures you do can go a long way—especially when you don’t notice you’re doing them.”
You close the laptop, as if that can physically distance yourself from the assurances of those who had been around you. “Right…” You manage weakly.
“Well,” Seokjin hums, already moving onto the next point of the conversation. If he senses something fishy in your response, he doesn’t comment on it. “Anyways, Yoongi is in the studio right now with Namjoon, so I just want a little update report on your relationship with Yoongi. As in, how is it going between the two of you?”
You ponder this for a moment, thinking about how he took your hand in the car, how he recounted such a personal story to explain the details of his love, the look he gave you when you congratulated his storytelling abilities—like he knew something that you did not.
At the same time, it was such a minor appearance that you didn’t get much of a feel about the romantic aspect of this fake relationship. This is why you sigh. “I’m not too sure. We had such a minor acting role together that it’s hard to say. I will say that right now it feels pretty much the same.”
“Alright, fair enough,” Seokjin approves with a nod. “So you don’t have a problem if I want to plan some informal hang-outs for you and Yoongi? Just as a way to keep your guys in the public eye enough times that fans don’t start doubting your relationship.”
You smile weakly. “Of course. That’s what I signed the NDA for.”
Seokjin laughs, finally waving you off. “Okay, sure. I’ll look into where I think your relationship will make the biggest impact and will update you and Yoongi when I’ve made my decisions.” Finally, he looks over the multiple cups of coffee you had brought over on your cardboard tray, and fishes out the one with his name on it. “This one for me?”
You lean over, flickering your gaze from the cup to his face. “Well, at the very least, I know you can read now.”
His relaxed expression morphs into a playful scowl. “Get out of here brat.”
Your laughter echoes through his office as you take your cardboard tray of three coffee cups and reemerge back into the hallway of the record studio. You walk the familiar path until you reach the door to the recording room—pulling open the door and letting yourself in. Inside the booth, Yoongi is rapping away into his microphone, as his low voice fills the tiny space of this studio. You place the tray down onto one of the tables, picking up your own before sliding over to take a seat on the couch.
As you continue listening to Yoongi wistfully hum about a desire to cross an emotional distance, about how he tells the truth because “it’s you, it’s always been you”—you cannot help your mind wandering into what Seokjin has in store for you over the course of the next few months.
CHAPTER 4: TURNING POINT
Yoongi’s first full length album is set to release in two months.
At least, that’s what KSJ records claims after uploading a quarterly report of Yoongi’s schedule. At first, you don’t think it’s a big deal for Yoongi’s label to post a tentative update about his music progress, but his fans are extremely observant and catch on immediately. It’s good to draw up the hype, you suppose.
Anyways, at the rate that Yoongi is working on the songs for the album, you won’t be surprised if he manages to follow the schedule down to a T. The boy lives and breathes music, and last time you checked the album would consist partly of songs from his EP and new songs—meaning that it cuts down Yoongi’s usual workload into half. Not that he minds, at any rate.
“Okay, Min Yoongi,” Seokjin starts up, standing at the head of the meeting room which only consists of three people. Normally, with meetings with the head of KSJ records himself, there’s a lot more people around to discuss schedule, promotions, and the likes. The fact that it’s just you and Yoongi tells you exactly what you’re doing here. “It’s been a few weeks since your radio interview, and I know that you’re doing well in your progress of the album—but I think it’ll do you well to take a break.”
Yoongi huffs. “It’s nice that you’re reminding me about this, but I’ll rest when the album is released.”
Seokjin snorts. “When did I say rest? I just meant take a break from your album work. Plus you need to get some vitamin C, or whatever shit you get from the sun.”
“It’s vitamin D,” You interject gently.
“Pish posh,” Seokjin waves away your interruption. “Anyways, like I was saying, there is a way for us to kill two birds with one stone. So that you.” He points to Yoongi. “Can get out of the studio for a few hours and you.” He points to you. “Can play into a relationship that’ll help us kill two birds with one stone.”
You raise an eyebrow. “What exactly are you proposing?”
“Well,” Seokjin continues, leaning over his side of the table to get a few good at his laptop, where it appears that he has a few notes written down regarding the direction of this meeting. “In order to continue generating curiosity about Yoongi’s upcoming album and maintain the public’s constant queries about your relationship, I want you two to go on public outings. I have a few specific places I think would be good cornerstones to touch on, but I’m also willing to let the two of you figure out where you want to spend your time.” He glances up at the two of you. “That should be okay, right?”
You and Yoongi glance at each other. Come to think of it, the pair of you haven’t talked about nor reviewed the events at the radio station since it happened and the underlying questions you still have about his side of the story feels vaguely like a weight hanging over you both. But Yoongi smiles at you, and you think that you can continue to do what you’ve done for years: hide away your feelings.
“Yeah, that should be fine,” You speak up first, smiling back at Yoongi. You turn to Seokjin. “What did you have in mind?”
The question is how you find yourself in a car with Yoongi a few days later, your hands in your lap and your mind spinning with nerves. The radio interview had been one case, but a limited one at that—your role had been very minor and your interaction with Yoongi had only been seconds long. They had definitely been a lot smaller than this new role that Seokjin has assigned to you.
For today, Seokjin has directed the pair of you to the streets of Yoongi’s old stomping ground—the same shopping district with the same corner Yoongi spent all his nights performing in from a time period that seems so long enough. Not long enough, apparently, as Seokjin thinks it would be a nice nod to be ‘accidentally’ discovered walking along a place that holds so much memory.
“I just want you guys to walk around—be happy, but be close,” Seokjin had noted just a few hours prior to you and Yoongi’s departure. “Just look like the pair of you are on a date. Hold hands, smile at each other, all that jazz. Nothing too serious.”
Too bad it actually was kind of serious for you.
You and Yoongi make minor conversation, making some jokes here and there that do well in helping to ease your nerves. You don’t think Yoongi would take notice, but he can be strangely observant. Perhaps the way you keep bouncing one of your legs helps let him know that something is up.
“Are you okay?” He asks.
You stop bouncing your leg. “It kind of feels like I’m about to perform, or something—it’s that same kind of rush.”
Yoongi stares at you for a moment, before he looks out his side of the window. “Well, technically speaking, you are about to perform. You know, with this whole relationship being an act and all.”
“Very true,” You say, nodding your head. “Do we need a game plan?”
Yoongi shrugs. “I thought that we’d just wing it. We held hands back at the radio station so, uh, I’m assuming that you’re still comfortable with doing that?”
“O-Oh yeah, of course!”
“Then, we can do that. And walk around. Improvise while we do so—just see how the day goes.”
You nod. “Okay, true, true. That sounds good.” You can’t help but give him a sneaky smile. “Look at you, Min Yoongi, you’ve become quite the performer. Improvisation used to be something you were never too good at.”
Yoongi flushes a little, smiling back at you. “Give me a little credit. You gotta have backups for your backups, especially in situations when your sound gives up on you in the middle of one of your sets.”
You laugh, because this reminds you about one of Yoongi’s first live sets along the very street the pair of you will be approaching shortly. His speakers had just given up, forcing Yoongi to go entirely acapella. In a way, that mistake ended up garnering him more fans who grew to respect his craft and talent for music and singing. But as they say, hindsight is 20 20.
You and Yoongi continue to laugh about that memory for a few minutes before Taehyung arrives along the outskirts of the shopping district, pulling up along the curb. The car is on the other side of this bustling area, just a few feet away from the pedestrian walkway that is littering with people going to and fro.
Taehyung turns around in his seat to give the pair of you a look. “Now kids, I want you to call me whenever you’re ready to get picked up.” He’s grinning around the words though
You glare at him. “Sure thing dad,” You bite back, already opening the car door to take your leave. Your feet land onto the concrete of the sidewalk as you pull yourself into a standing position. Yoongi joins you shortly after, standing close to you. “Bye,” You say, slamming the door into Taehyung’s face before he can get in one last snarky reply.
Yoongi looks like he’s trying hard not to laugh for Taehyung’s benefit. But it’s an act he can only hold together for so long, because he does start to laugh as soon as Taehyung and the company car turn the corner and disappear out of sight.
After a second, Yoongi turns to you and gestures towards the pedestrian walkway just a few feet ahead. “Shall we?”
You nod, taking the hand that he extends out to you. Just an act, you tell yourself, you allow him to lace your fingers together. Nevermind the fact that the weight on your hand feels entirely too reassuring and comforting for the current context.
Ignoring that feeling, you squeeze his hand and let him lead you towards the walkway, where you cross the street with no problem. Since Yoongi nor Seokjin had announced Yoongi’s presence at this plaza for the day, you can only hope that too much attention won’t be drawn to you.
It’s a thought that you are able to entertain for a few minutes. Yoongi may not have the star quality status of mainstream celebrities (yet), but he’s still someone who has been on the radio, has done a country-wide tour, and has a youtube following of a couple million people (four now, the last time you checked—subscriber counts tend to zip by after a person hits a million). That small list of accomplishments is more than enough to drag in a few wandering eyes. Okay, maybe a little more than a few.
You think that you’ve kind of developed a seventh sense to knowing when Yoongi was being recognized. It’s shown in the double-glances some people start shooting at him, at quick whispers behind closed hands, and craning necks over shoulders.
You’re okay with people knowing about Yoongi’s current location, but the memory of his tours and even the crowd problem that came up during his street performances flashback in your mind. You don’t think you want to deal with that situation right now—secretly preferring if people just observed from a distance.
Without thinking twice, you tighten your hold on Yoongi’s hand long enough to lead him into one of the stores along the sidewalk—an accessories booth with fake glasses, rings, earrings, the likes.
Yoongi watches you, a touch of amusement in his eyes like he knows what you’re thinking. Still, he asks. “What are you doing?”
You rummage through the wide selection of glasses, fully aware that one or two people have spotted the pair of you and are lingering near the entrance to catch a glance at what you two are doing. From the looks of it, no one is going to stir up a commotion. You still want to make sure.
“You stand out,” You explain vaguely, finding a pair of circle glasses in black-rims from the pile before turning around and more or less smashing the glasses against his face. It’s difficult to try and put glasses on another person, you miss his ears a few times and almost get him in the eye, but Yoongi strangely enough lets you manhandle him.
In the midst of your last few attempts you step forward and scoot even closer to him to try and get the glasses more properly situated on his face. Due to the proximity, Yoongi’s hands fly up from his side to avoid being pressed uncomfortably against his chest, choosing to rest at your waist. At first, you don’t feel the weight of his hands, you’re too focused on making sure the fake glasses you’ve selected can fit in place.
As soon as you’ve properly aligned the glasses to his face, you lower your hands from his face. The action makes you suddenly hyper aware of the current position you’ve put yourself in. It’s not very often that you get handsy with Yoongi, it’s a side of you that comes out when the pair of you are in a hurry, but hardly during candid moments like this.
Immediately, Yoongi’s hands feel like warm flames tickling your skin, and you suddenly feel hyper aware of his position, of his closeness. Your eyes flicker up, seeing his face with those glasses you’ve just shoved onto him sitting nicely at the bridge of his nose, highlighting the intensity of his gaze. The stare he’s giving you only heightens the gravitational pull you feel towards him.
You don’t know how long the pair of you are just standing in the middle of the store, staring at each other, until you feel the weight of a third party approaching the pair of you.
You practically shove yourself away from Yoongi, trying to make it seem as if you’re just stepping back to get an overall look at his face (Yoongi featuring glasses). Yoongi lets you go.
The third party is an employee of the accessories booth, smiling widely. “Sorry to interrupt,” She says, looking over at Yoongi. “Sir, I just want to say that those glasses look great on you. And just to let you know we’re having a sale on that collection so it’s a buy one get the other one half off so maybe you two can match if you’re up to it…”
You tune her out after a second, realizing that you can’t really keep up with what she’s saying considering the current firestorm that’s going on inside your head. Why couldn’t you have just asked Yoongi to put the glasses on himself? You curse yourself for letting your guard down—sometimes you try to do things of your own accord, and today you were paying the price.
When you don’t speak after a few seconds, Yoongi smiles at the employee. “Got it, thanks a lot.” He waits until the employee returns back to rearranging some earrings on a nearby shelf before turning back to you. “How does it look?”
He does look good, but you play it down by tilting your head and settling with a shrug. “Well, you’ve looked better—but this’ll have to do.”
Yoongi laughs, before he does something that catches you off guard. He steps closer to you. “So you think there are times when I do look good?”
You try not to look too bewildered at his gesture. You can tell that he does feel a little nervous about the fact he’s testing the waters so boldly without any practice, but it’s all part of the act. Just as Seokjin said: be happy, be close.
So you place a hand on his chest, pushing him slightly with your own little teasing smile. “I said better—that doesn’t always mean you were ever good to begin with.”
Yoongi makes a noise of protest, and without warning just swings his arm around your shoulder and pulls you close to his side. “You’re breaking my heart everyday!”
“You must like the abuse, you’re still with me,” You bite back playfully without thought. For a split second, it doesn’t feel like you’re in a store with people who vaguely recognize Yoongi’s appearance—for a split second, it feels like just you and him, and everything you’ve ever wanted.
Upon Yoongi’s lips hover over the shell of your ear. “Good job, I think the group of girls outside caught our picture.”
That dreamy fantasy where it was just you and Yoongi and nothing else mattered came crashing down, squaring you right back into reality. It’s not a disappointing feeling per say—just a vague extra hammering of your heartbeat, a vague guilt that you let your mind let its guard down like that. “Right,” You say. “Uh…” You try to think, which proves to be a difficult thing to do with Yoongi’s weight pressed up against you and everything. You clap your hands together. “Okay, let’s grab a hat and then we’ll be on our way.”
You make sure to be a little less handsy when it comes to hat selections, but you knew there was only so far you could escape given the current context of the situation. Yoongi seems to know that, because he stays close to you as you’re both shifting through hats, and even when he pays for his hat and glasses combination before exiting the booth. The pair of you pass through the two girls that were lingering outside of the booth, where Yoongi gives them the smallest wave and hello before carrying on with the rest of the trip.
With the hat and glasses combination, it definitely draws less attention to Yoongi’s classic fluffy black hair and gummy smile—especially if you’re using what was going on in the beginning of your trip as a baseline. This means that you and Yoongi can carry on with the rest of your outing with feeling the obvious heavy weight of gazes on your shoulder.
With intertwined hands the pair of you first stop by one of the local cafes and sit right alongside the window to enjoy some pasta and soda combinations. You roll up the noodles onto your fork and clink utensils with Yoongi before slipping the noodles in your mouth—tomato sauce with flavor slipped into every side piece of noodle. It’s amazing, and you cannot help but gush so as you smile brightly around your fork.
You’re too busy stirring your fork around yet another string of pasta that you fail to see the softening look of the boy across the table from you. It’s a look that disappears by the time your gaze glints back up to resume the conversation. The pasta is considered a snack above all else, so it doesn’t take long for the pair of you to finish up your meal. Leaving a tip behind on the table, Yoongi walks over to you just as you’re straightening up from your chair. Silently, he offers his hand to you.
Knowing the routine by now, you take his hand, silently lacing your fingers together and letting him lead the way out of the cafe and back onto the sidewalk. The later afternoon shows itself in the steady increase of people, which is good because it makes you feel as if you can blend into the crowd either. There are still the occasional phones out, trailing after you and Yoongi as you walk along the sidewalk, but nothing that ever makes you feel as if you need to call Taehyung.
“Actually, this isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be,” You grumble to Yoongi quietly, a comment that he laughs at.
“I’m not that famous,” Yoongi jokingly teases you. “And my fans are just being respectful—give them a little credit.” His voice dies down shortly after, however, but it only takes you a few seconds to realize why.
The pair of you, in the midst of your simple ‘walk along the sidewalk’ plan, have arrived at a very familiar street corner. The sunset means that arriving performers who work best once the sun leaves are just beginning to set up their stage—laying out equipment, testing out sound systems, saying hello to some passersby who recognize the artists getting ready. You can read the signs of these interactions very easily. After all, it’s what Yoongi used to do a year ago, at this very spot too.
In front of you, a new performer, a singer, is setting up her own equipment—guitar in hand as she practices her strumming. You inch closer to Yoongi, your arms molded against each other. “Hey, hey,” You whisper at Yoongi. The boy leans over to better hear you. “She reminds me of you.”
Yoongi laughs. “What do you mean? How?”
You glance over at the girl again, not noticing the way Yoongi is still staring at you, quietly awaiting your answer. “You guys have the same drive,” You eventually note. “And the same determination. It’s easy to see in her, just as it’s always been like that for you…” You trail off, looking over to realize that he’s still looking at you.
“You noticed those things, huh?” Yoongi asks quietly.
His gaze is too enticing to look away from, pulling you in through a situation not unlike what had happened at the accessories shop earlier that afternoon. “I-I mean, of course I do…” Yoongi’s gaze feels like hot magnets that are just pulling the next words out of you. “I always notice with you.”
The world seems to quiet down at that, everything slowing down as you feel yourself mentally curse yourself out for those words. Why would you say it like that?
A million thoughts go through your head at once. You weren’t really lying or trying to play a part. You were being honest. You do always notice with Yoongi. And since he clearly only sees you as a friend that could participate in whatever scheme he can get himself into, then he would obviously hear your statement and think of it as nothing more than a friendly complement. Right? RIGHT?
Except, Yoongi is still just standing next to you, staring at you, not making any sort of comment whatsoever. He has that unreadable expression in his gaze, a look he always gives you when you let the cracks slip in your facade, but it’s something he never talks about, never explains to you—just like right now.
The silence grows tense, so tense that it begins to feel like weights on your shoulders, like a coil wrapping itself around your heart, because why isn’t he saying anything?
Yoongi hums, low and throaty and that coil around your heart drops into your stomach. “Is that so?” He inquires softly, continuing to gaze at you.
His gaze drops down to your lips, and that coil is replaced with butterflies all around you. It starts are a flutter in your stomach, in your heart, and your mind starts to race because what the fuck is happening?
Around you, the growing number of people means that someone accidentally bumps into you, driving you forward right into Yoongi’s chest. The pair of you stumble, effectively dissipating that cloud of tension that had threatened to curl through you. You cough, taking a small step away from Yoongi so that while the pair of you were still holding hands, that was the only thing connecting the pair of you.
You and Yoongi don’t have another run in like that for the remainder of the date, as that late afternoon sunset fades away into nighttime and you and Yoongi spend that time trying to enjoy each other’s presence whilst also not engaging in too much physical contact. Your fingers remain loosely intertwined but it never tightens as if the small air of space between your hands can hide away the nerves and tension you feel yourself trying to contain.
Even when Taehyung comes to pick the two of you up, and you no longer are under the obligation to hold hands, that air of space still feels heavy between the two of you.
The overwhelming positive response of your first official public date sends Seokjin through the moon, as well as provides him with a drive to arrange and send you and Yoongi out on more dates. All of which, fortunately for you, don’t come nearly as close to the level of tension experienced from the first date. Partly because you know your limits, and go into each planned date with a level of expectation for yourself as well as rules that you’ve internally programmed yourself to follow every time you and Yoongi step out of the car.
At the museum date, you make sure to keep your distance, using your intertwined hands with Yoongi as the only signal of your relationship. The pair of you joke around about the art pieces, whispering between each other about how many fans have taken pictures of the pair of you lingering about the museum, as well as relay information to each other about various rooms that you are interested in. But in a way, it definitely feels more like a typical friendly hang-out rather than a date.
The same idea can be applied to the next date Seokjin sends you on—a casual date at one of the local botanical gardens, each garden filled with a different culture to serve as the theme for its layout and plant growth. Some gardens have little cafe booths and grassy fields to buy some snacks before sitting down to enjoy the sunlight, which is an idea that Yoongi suggests that the two of you do. He points to one of the ice cream shops along the outskirts of a garden, and claims a seat on one of the benches so the two of you can enjoy your treat. The current summertime weather emits a warmer heat and breeze that curls lightly through the air throughout the day, making for a perfectly comfortable season to wear a sundress. It’s also the kind of undetectable weather for ice cream to melt down the cone, onto unsuspecting fingers curled into the dry waffle texture. Yoongi makes that well aware by poking your cheek with his sticky finger, garnering several pictures of the encounter.
Seokjin has even tried to implement studio life into his constant narrative to keep up the facade of your relationship with Yoongi. While the pair of you go on these occasional dates, Yoongi also has a deadline to fulfill with his album release. On the days where dates are not planned out, he’ll be in the studio—rearranging songs to fit in with the music beats that have more or less been tapered down to perfection. As his manager, sometimes you find yourself staying past your allotted time slot of being at the studio, before sneaking into the recording booth way past midnight to see what Yoongi and Namjoon are up to.
Just as it follows: you straighten up, craning your neck backwards a little to allow for slight muscle extensions after sitting at a desk for an extra hour too long. With Yoongi’s album steadily approaching, there are interviews that need to be arranged, magazines and newspapers and radio shows alike all reaching out to you for the opportunity to cover Yoongi’s growth as an artist. Albums also equate to tours to help promote the album, and with the close call from Yoongi’s last experience with such, it means that you need to book more locations—or the same location across multiple dates.
Overall, the growing pile of work means that you and everyone else at KSJ Studios are just as anticipated for Yoongi’s album release as the general public. It seems as if his collective fanbase are hoping and waiting under the same parameters: was the album going to be as good as they were expecting?
You shoulder your purse, stepping out of your office and shutting it behind you. You navigate through the hallways, glancing sideways to peek out the long glassway of windows, all overlooking the city skyline, the multicolor lights flickering ahead in the distance. You quirk a lip.
Your usual brisk pace dies down when you pass the studio you know Yoongi and Namjoon are recording in. The soundproof walls inside mean that hardly any music ever seeps out from between the cracks, only heightening your curiosity. Your busy schedule recently has made it so you have hardly been able to hear what Yoongi and Namjoon have come up with.
You glance down at your watch. It was nearing midnight. Well, you think to yourself, a little peek wouldn’t hurt. You reach over to grip the door handle, pushing it down and pushing it open. Inside is the usual scene: Yoongi behind the glass, his fingers curled around the headphones as he speaks into the microphone. His voice filters through the main studio area, where Namjoon sits behind computers and music panels, capturing every single second of what is going on.
Further driven by curiosity, you find yourself pulling harder at the door to let yourself in. Namjoon turns at the sound, but softens a little when he sees that it’s you.
“Burning the midnight oil?” You tease, standing next to Namjoon at the table, watching Yoongi’s closed eyes as he loses himself in the song.
Namjoon grins back. “You’re not gonna tell us to stop, are you?”
“Hey.” You bring both arms up in a sign of surrender. “I’m off the clock on this one. Just wanted to see what you two were up to.”
Suddenly, Yoongi calls your name from behind the glass, as the noise is amplified through the studio. You jump slightly, having not expected to be noticed so soon. Yoongi waves. “It’s late!” He calls. “What are you still doing here?”
You lean forward to press the button that opens the two-way communication. “I’m not sure you heard, but there’s an artist in this studio that’s working on an upcoming album—it’s causing a lot of pain for the rest of us.”
Yoongi laughs at that. “Touche, touche.” He brightens up slightly. “Hey, we’re wrapping up on this song, so if you stick around I’ll drive you home.”
This is a natural offer for Yoongi to make, considering the extent to which you’ve spent long nights here. Brushing it off as nothing more than Yoongi just being a good pal, you nod and flash him a thumbs up. “Sounds good, sounds good. But take your time. Don’t let me get in the way.”
You turn around, allowing the music of Yoongi’s song to refilter back through the studio. You park yourself atop the couch at the back, settling into the soft cushions. Come to think of it, falling asleep definitely isn’t the worst thing in the world to do—especially on this couch. And you’re exhausted, what with scheduling events all day and having to burn through your social battery by making one too many phone calls with various people within the industry.
The last thing you remember is Yoongi’s soft humming that fades away into a quiet static.
You jerk awake after what feels like a few minutes—but judging from your new position on the couch (horizontal this time, instead of vertical) and the blanket that has been tucked under your chin, you realize quickly that this few minutes has actually been a few hours. It might be hard to believe that, because the world around you still seems very similar to what it had been when you fell asleep. The lack of windows in the studio make it very difficult to distinguish time—although Yoongi’s voice sounds much closer than it had when you first fell asleep.
You sit up.
Namjoon and Yoongi jolt at your sudden movement. “Woah! She’s awake now,” Yoongi teases.
Blinking for a few seconds, you turn your head to find Yoongi out of the recording booth and instead sitting at one of the tables in the actual studio setting. Surrounding Namjoon and Yoongi looks like an entire McDonalds family meal: chicken nuggets, $1 menu burgers, lots of french fries…
You let out a breath to help further situate you to your new surroundings. “Min Yoongi…” You start, voice hoarse. “You said you were just finishing up.”
“I was,” Yoongi explains, looking vaguely guilty. Only vaguely though. “But I had this sudden epiphany, like holy shit you really had to be here—it was crazy.”
“I was here,” You choke out.
Yoongi waves you off. “You know what I mean—here here. Anyways, yeah, we realized that we couldn’t leave, especially when I got Namjoon on the same page. He was just as excited as I was!”
Namjoon slaps his hand. “Don’t drag me into this!”
Yoongi ignores him. “Anyways, it’s like two in the morning and we got hungry. McDonalds is the food of champions, after all. You hungry? Here, have some water first.” He grabs a bottle of water from the table and unscrews the cap. Suddenly, he’s standing up and making his way towards the couch. He sits down next to you, offering the water to you. “Here. You must be thirsty.”
You are. Still heavy-lidded too, but you try your best to blink away the exhaustion as you blindly reach for the water and manage to grab it after Yoongi adjusts his own angled arm. He watches you as you tilt your head back to down some of the water, accidentally drinking a little more than your mouth can handle. Some of it slides down the corner of your lip, making you angle your head back properly and remove your lips from the bottle head.
Yoongi softens a little at your clumsy nature, tugging the sleeve of his long-sleeved forward in order to pat the corner of your mouth. “Aw, look at my tiny little baby, can’t even drink water properly,” He coos.
You flinch slightly away from him, trying for a glare that comes out more like a pout. Yoongi laughs softly at the sight. “There are no cameras around us, Min Yoongi,” You grumble out. “You don’t need to be so attentive.”
“Nevermind that, I’m just trying to be a friend. You want a french fry?” He reaches across the space separating the couch from the table, and grabs the box of salty french fries. His voice carries that usual positive disposition from previously, but the light in his eyes has died down a little. You don’t notice it, too busy looking at the french fries and realizing that you are actually a little hungry.
The remainder of Yoongi and Namjoon’s break is dedicated to finishing up the family meal, before Yoongi looks at the clock and claps his hands together. “Hey Namjoon, I think I should take my girl home before we get back to working. Is that okay?”
Namjoon’s eyes flicker between the two of you, but he relents. “Of course.” He utters your name. “Have a good night.”
“I should be saying that to you,” You return teasingly, more of your senses have returned since putting food into your stomach. “See you tomorrow, Namjoon.”
So Yoongi takes you home, driving through the darkened streets, making light conversation with you, completely ignoring the fact that he has just addressed you as his girl, before your phone starts to buzz in your lap. It’s a notification from Instagram, saying that Namjoon has tagged you in a picture. Raising an eyebrow, you tap the alert, which takes you to a picture from just a few minutes ago—you and Yoongi at the studio, Yoongi tapping gently at your face with his sweater paw. The caption burns into your mind: three am company, ft my favorite artist and his favorite girl.
His favorite girl.
CHAPTER 5: HIS GIRL
Yoongi’s album is entitled Y2, and it releases in the autumn, when the leaves are colored orange and the breeze has called for cozy jackets and big sweaters. It’s the perfect attire to wear as the earphones get plugged in and slipped into ears—curled up by soft cashmere and Yoongi’s luring voice. He’s got about sixteen songs on the album, a sweet mixture of loose beats and soft vocal voices that seem to simultaneously battle the drawn out harsh tone of stories extended across various three minute arrangements. The stories cover the low point—passive aggressive fights, of late nights, of “holding your hand, being so close, yet feeling so lonely”. But the songs also touch on the high points—coming back together, of soft morning light, of “being with you, wiping the traces of exhaustion from the corner of your lips, so close yet so far away, and still knowing you’re all I [he] could ever want”.
At least, it is what one article touches upon in a Y2 review, where the journalist gives high remarks to Yoongi’s album. She calls it a refreshing interpretation of music, continuing in the era of singers actually singing about their feelings. More than that, an era of storytelling in music. Of anything, of life, of the highs and the lows—the sadness, the happiness, the softness.
Safe to say that Yoongi is very excited to read this review on his phone, along with the surplus of positive things people have to say—from highly regarded journalists who belong to highly regarded newspaper companies, from social media, from his friends and family. Most especially, from you. You: whose hand he holds underneath the table as the numbers of listens start pouring in from various streaming websites.
He’s been nervous about this. He’s put his blood, sweat, and tears into the creation of this album, every song has been nailed down to perfection. His name, and his heart, is back out into the world.
The night of the album release is the launch party.
“Dude, it’s supposed to be a chill night,” Jungkook calls from the hallway, and you can’t help but laugh at how exasperated the boy sounds. “Would you just calm down?” Jungkook emerges from the aforementioned hallway. Despite his mention of this ‘chill night’, he’s still wearing something vaguely casual chic. “You’re his manager. Manage his overthinking tendencies.”
You laugh, watching as Jungkook plops down into the empty spot next to you on the couch, immediately leaning back into the cushion. “You know as well as I do that I don’t have that much control over him.”
Jungkook shrugs his shoulders. “You probably have more control than you think.”
Before you can ask more questions, think more deeply into what the fuck Jungkook means by that, his eyes land on the hallway entrance before straightening up in the cusion. Your eyes follow Jungkook’s movement, where Yoongi is now standing in the once vacant space of his apartment. But his stance isn’t what gets you to stare, what makes your breath feel like it has just caught in your chest. Although he’s following the ‘casual chic’ dress code that Seokjin has ordered, there’s something about a white t-shirt that hits differently when it’s paired with a coat and dark jeans that highlight his long legs.
Yoongi gestures down at what he’s wearing meekly. “What do you think?” Although it appears that he’s addressing both you and Jungkook, his gaze is almost entirely fixed on you.
Trying hard to ignore the racing of your heart, you straighten up and somehow manage to make your way over to him without snapping your ankle on your chunky platform boots. Doing your best to pay attention to his outfit over his face, you reach over to straighten out the silver necklace he’s got dangling at his chest. “You look good,” You settle calmly. “And Jungkook is right—it’s supposed to be a chill night. Seokjin just invited people from the label. And some of your friends as well. Relax a bit, will you?”
Finally, you force yourself to level your gaze with Yoongi’s, fully confident that he’s just staring at you and probably wondering why you aren’t making eye contact with him. But when you do manage to glance at Yoongi’s face, you realize quickly that he’s not even staring at you. Instead, he’s staring down, at the curve of your throat.
Without warning, your cardiac system seems to pump itself too hard, because your breath of surprise comes out through your nose, effectively bringing up and lowering your lungs so fast that anyone would be able to read your vital sounds now. This proves to be true, because Yoongi’s gaze darts up from your neck to your eyes so quickly, that you probably wouldn’t have noticed had you stuck around without looking at his eyes. Doing that, however, might have saved you from this now tricky situation. “Sorry,” Yoongi manages, eyes flickering between yours. “I, uh, didn’t hear what you said.”
You realize the gravity of your position—your fingers now curled around the lapels of Yoongi’s jacket and one of his hands curled around your waist. That gravitational pull from every single one of your dates with Yoongi comes back again, curling around your neck and seeming to push you closer, closer—!
Jungkook coughs loudly from behind you.
You and Yoongi tear your gazes away from each other, as you uncurl both of your fingers from around Yoongi’s coat. “I-uh,” You start. “Was just saying that you should relax a little. You don’t have to try and impress anyone tonight.”
Yoongi sneaks one last glance at you. “We’ll see,” He says, before stepping away from you and brushing past Jungkook to make his way towards the door. Jungkook turns to look at you, wide-eyed and mouthing the words ‘what the fuck was that?’
To which you shake your head, very sure that you don’t want to get into this tonight of all nights. This was supposed to be a celebration for Yoongi. Just as you’ve done for the past few months, you can continue to keep your emotions in check. Easy-peasy.
Except it’s not easy-peasy because you see Seokjin at the club that he’s reserved for Yoongi’s album release party, and you realize that this is not a chill event for you—you still have to keep up the facade of your relationship in front of everyone.
Yoongi seems to realize this at the same time you do, because he inches closer to you and laces your fingers together. From afar, Seokjin nods in an unspoken confirmation regarding your behavior.
The beginning of the party starts with the trickle in of the various guests Seokjin has invited—from the friends he has made in the business, to others signed under the KSJ records label, to you, Jungkook, and Yoongi’s personal friends from college. The onslaught of new people fills you with the usual sense of excitement after not having attended a party in what feels like years. Working as a manager for a budding new artist is a lot less about the parties and more about the hustle.
The first hour of the event is dedicated to the mingling of people—of free food and conversations around the bottomless cocktails that every guest rushes to the bar to take full advantage of. It’s nice to be able to catch up with the friends that you and Yoongi haven’t spoken to since graduation—which is the group you and Yoongi first approach, as Yoongi is slinging his arm around one Park Jimin. The latter whose eyes widen and lips curl up into a grin at the sight of the two of you. It’s nice to see an old friend again, it almost brings you back to a time where you and Yoongi were both in-tune and surface-level friends.
“Hey, congratulations on the new album release!” Jimin exclaims brightly after the three of you have acquired some drinks from the bartender. Jimin raises his drink first, to which you and Yoongi follow suit.
As the glasses clink into the air, Jimin adds in another thing that reminds you of the fact that you and Yoongi are not back in college. You are here, in the present, with a fake relationship on the line.
“And congratulations to your relationship announcement,” Jimin continues.
You cough on your drink at that, lowering the glass immediately, feeling guilty all of a sudden. “Jimin, I know what all those reports have been saying…”
“Don’t worry,” Jimin brushes off. “I read through some of them. You guys have been dating for three years, right? I’m honestly surprised I never saw it. In hindsight, it makes sense.” Jimin takes a longer sip, gesturing towards Yoongi with a noise of acknowledgement coming from his throat. “Hm—I guess because you guys are dating now, I can let the cat out of the bag—but, Yoongi liked you from the first moment he met you.”
Now it’s Yoongi’s turn to choke on his drink, his chest heaving as he coughs into his sleeve. “Jimin, ah, you don’t need to talk about that—!”
Jimin laughs, naturally assuming that Yoongi’s choke was done out of shyness and not something deeper than that. “What, you think just because this happened when we were at college, I wouldn’t have said something all these years later?”
You can’t help but smile at their exchange. Although Jimin’s comment about Yoongi’s crush definitely piques your interest. You turn to Yoongi. “You had a crush on me back then?”
Yoongi opens his mouth, but Jimin beats him to it. “Oh yeah, he wouldn’t shut up about you—said that you had this smile like starlight and were super easy to talk to.”
“You have a great memory for someone who almost flunked college algebra,” Yoongi bites out hotly.
Jimin, clearly oblivious to the situation, laughs out loud. “I agree. Normally I would have forgotten all about that. But.” With Jimin’s fingers still curled around the wine glass, he is only able to point an index finger out at Yoongi. “I’ll never forget that look in your eyes. Like you saw something you were never going to let go of.”
You know Jimin is the one talking, but you cannot help but look at Yoongi as you feel your world spinning slightly around you. You blame it on the alcohol—as small of a sip as you have taken so far. Jimin, unlike a lot of the other parties you’ve been spending your time with, is not in on the joke of your relationship with Yoongi being a PR cover story. So there has to be some merit to it. Right?
Before you can even think how to phrase the billions of questions flying through your mind, the soft beat of a hand against a microphone sounds through the bar, as the original music that has been pounding through the club gets lowered to show that someone is trying to command everyone’s attention.
It’s Kim Seokjin, situated at the stage, with the microphone in hand. “Hey everyone! Before we actually start unveiling the numbers that Y2 has hit so far, I just want to say a few words. First of all, thank you everyone so much for joining us tonight as we celebrate the anticipated release of Min Yoongi’s album.”
Lots of claps sound from the guests, several cheers, one of you and Jimin join in just for the sake of embarrassing Yoongi. If he’s flustered with the attention, he’s gotten a lot better at hiding it.
“Actually,” Seokjin continues. “Why don’t we have the man of the hour join us? After all, my words don’t mean shit up here—I wasn’t the one who just released new music. Yoongi, come on up!”
Lots more claps and cheers, and the music volume increases dramatically just to give Yoongi some sort of platform to enter on. It makes you laugh. Seokjin is clearly having fun with his role. So you watch, sticking by Jimin, as Yoongi emerges from the crowd to step onto the stage. Seokjin pulls the microphone away from the pair of them as he leans over to whisper something into Yoongi’s ear, where the latter nods a few times before accepting the microphone that is now being extended out to him.
Yoongi clears his throat, speaking over the lowering music. “Hi guys, thanks so much for coming out,” He starts, laughing a little when there is another round of cheers. “As I’m sure a lot of you know, this is my first full length album that’s being released out into the world and it’s basically everything I ever could have dreamed of. One lesson that I’ve learned is that making albums of both the cover songs I did and the original songs I would produce in my shitty college apartment is a completely different experience than getting professional equipment to do a lot of the work for me.”
You laugh at that, the memories floating through your mind.
Yoongi smiles a little at the feedback he gets. But he continues. “And of course a lot of that professional equipment was able to work in my favor because I had helped. Seokjin of course, deserves a thank you for letting me learn and experiment with new sounds, and for letting me take a risk by trying out beats and stories that a lot of people might have turned down. And Namjoon.” He seems to spot Namjoon from the crowd, because he delivers a nod. “For being more than my favorite producer, but also my mentor and my guide. We had a lot of lightbulb late nights together. And finally…” His eyes land on you, and you feel yourself self-consciously straighten up. “Y/N—my Y/N. For those of you who don’t know, my girlfriend is my manager and we recently made our relationship public. I thought the transition from private to public would have been the hardest thing of my life, but she made it so easy. Just as she’s always made it so easy to inspire my music, to be my best friend—and to love her.”
You suddenly feel like you’re seeing the world through a small lens, unable to believe the words you are hearing and the sights you are seeing. Yoongi is staring right back at you, with all this love and adoration in his eyes, lips quirking up as a result of the coos from the audience.
It’s a vague kind of spotlight anxiety from seeing so many people looking at you considering the circumstances. It’s a feeling that only heightens when Yoongi opens his mouth again to continue speaking. “Actually, honey, why don’t you come up here, so I can thank you properly.”
The whoops and cheers sound again, and Jimin has to nudge you in the ribs to get you to move. Your initial thoughts are one of panic, suspicion, and curiosity. One glance at Seokjin’s direction conveys the high influx of questions that are flowing through your mind—what exactly are those two boys planning?
Yoongi’s hand extends out to you, helping you up onto the stage, as you turn around to face the crowd of people Yoongi has just been addressing. Of course, you have less experience hiding your general shyness around crowds, so the most you can muster is a smile and a wave.
Yoongi laughs into the microphone. “Don’t worry baby, I didn’t call you up to embarrass you. I just wanted to show you that all of this…” He gestures to the whole club, the crowds of people who have taken time out of their schedule to show support, the sounds of his album now filtering through the speakers. “All of this was possible because you believed in me, you supported me, and agreed to help me work toward my dream. This is all as much yours as it is mine.”
Then, he surprises you by leaning forward to brush his lips across your cheek—a gesture that further incites a bigger reaction of positive cheers and hoots from the audience. You turn your head immediately towards him as soon as he pulls away, your eyes wide with surprise. After all, you and Yoongi have never discussed the rule on kissing before, have never brought up any sort of lip contact to any degree. His boldness is something that takes you completely off guard.
And judging from the uncertain look that dances behind his eyes, a flicker that only you can see and decipher, you can tell that he hadn’t been expecting that from himself either.
You’re about to pull away, maybe walk off the stage and take another drink to whatever the fuck that was all about, before Jimin’s familiar voice sounds off from within the crowd.
“You call that a kiss, Min Yoongi?” Jimin calls, close enough now that it’s easier to see him. “C’mon, kiss your girlfriend like you mean it!”
The rest of the crowd immediately catches onto what Jimin is doing, and they play into it immediately. Suddenly, shouts of “KISS HER, KISS HER!” sound throughout the guests.
The new direction that this has taken over the span of just a few seconds seconds you into another wild onslaught of differing emotions. Nevermind the fact that you’ve never agreed to actually kiss Min Yoongi. Obviously, the internal choice has been made for a handful of reasons, none of which you can explain to Yoongi or Seokjin without digging yourself further into this hole where you would truly have no way of escaping.
Which is why you clearly can’t say anything of protest right now. Everyone thinks the pair of you have been dating for years, and that kissing has become a natural action for you both to do. Of course they would play into Jimin’s game, thinking nothing harmful of it.
Your heart pounds loudly in your ears as you shift your gaze from the crowd of people before you to Yoongi, who looks equally as stunned by the request as you. He plays it off a little bit, however, smiling as he brings the microphone close to his mouth again. “I’m not sure you all would want to be subjected by some PDA, especially you over there, Park.”
Jimin makes a noise of disapproval. “It’ll just be this one time! I’m sure people don’t mind! Spread the love, Min.”
Other people from the guest list add on that they don’t mind in between their laughter and giggles, probably writing off you and Yoongi’s shy disposition as just that: a shy, private couple who is still getting used to the watchful eye of the general public. Nevermind the fact that you and Yoongi have just never kissed each other before.
Yoongi then turns to look at you, microphone down to his legs so that it can’t pick up the small whispers the pair of you start exchanging. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have brought you up here…”
“No, no, it’s fine, I understand why you did it…” You trail off. “Kissing my cheek, on the other hand…”
Yoongi groans. “Yeah, that’s my bad. Seokjin said I could consider doing it but I wasn’t thinking when I leaned over. I completely forgot that Jimin is a menace to society. I’m gonna kick his ass after this.”
You want to continue this private, side-lined conversation, but it is overrun by the louder voices that keep repeating the same two lines over and over again: “KISS HER, KISS HER!” until the echoes of it start ringing in your ear drums.
Yoongi switches topics to the more pressing one at hand. “So, uh, I guess we should…”
You exhale quickly, nodding. “It seems so…”
Yoongi inches closer to you, his breath fanning your lips as your eyes instinctively close. “I’m sorry,” He whispers, the final thing he says to you before he kisses you.
Now, let’s backtrack a little. You’ve liked Yoongi for years, so to say that you’ve never thought of this moment would just be a lie to yourself. Of course you’ve thought about kissing Yoongi. Or, at the very least, you’ve caught yourself staring at his lips when he would go off on another spiral about his passions. That type of talking is very hot, so what?
But you never thought you would be able to experience it, to kiss the lips you’ve flickered your eyes to more times than you’re willing to admit. So as soon as you feel the weight of his mouth against your own, your brain goes haywire. Suddenly, all your senses are hyper focused on Yoongi—from his lips, to the warmth of his body wrapping itself around you, to his fingers curled around your wrist.
You hardly hear the cheers from the audience, too busy allowing your heart to melt into butterflies as he presses harder into you, moving his lips against yours. You part your lips as well, curling your wrist to gather the material of his shirt into your hands.
It feels like time has stretched out before Seokjin claps both of you on the back, forcing you to jolt away from Yoongi. He actually looks flustered this time—pink cheeks and reddened lips, his eyes are fixated on you, chest heaving. You feel like you’re in a similar state of shock, especially because kissing Yoongi makes something dawn on you. A realization of ice cold water.
This isn’t just a crush you’ve harbored on Yoongi for the past few years. This isn’t just some small schoolgirl crush living out a fantasy, or something you can easily brush off, or simple butterflies you can squash everytime he reaches out to hold your hand. This is love. You’re in love with your best friend. And you have absolutely no fucking clue what to do about it.
If the audience is taken aback by this long-term couple in front of them looking zero point two seconds away from devouring each other in a frenzied passion, no one settles long enough to comment or stare upon it for too long. Seokjin does well to grab the microphone from Yoongi and bring the attention back to the actual party on hand. He mentions another round of free alcohol, which are two words that can take anyone’s attention away.
“And Yoongi, uh, I actually need to borrow for you a moment,” Seokjin murmurs in a low voice. “So I hope I’m not taking away from…” He trails off, gesturing awkwardly between the two of you. “Whatever this is…”
“Oh no!” You interject quickly, taking a step away from Yoongi. “Not taking away at all.”
Yoongi gives you a concerned look. “Maybe we should, uh, talk about that…”
You shake your head. “No, it’s okay, seriously.” You shrug a shoulder. “Just part of the act, right?”
Yoongi’s concern melts away into something that might be hurt, but it’s gone just as quickly as it had come. “I’ll try not to be long then.”
You nod. “Yeah, no problem—no need to rush or anything… I’ll just be hanging out with Jimin…”
Yoongi gazes at you for a few seconds longer, before he lets himself get dragged off the stage by Seokjin. Rather than immediately go out to seek your old friend, you find your gaze following after the two of them, trying to see where exactly Yoongi is getting roped into.
You continue to trail after them in the club, until the two of them are pulled into a booth—the person opposite of them makes your lips part in utter shock.
“Yoongi, I want you to meet an old friend of mine,” Seokjin starts as he and Yoongi dive deeper into the thrones of people. Yoongi feels himself being directed towards a corner booth, currently occupied by two people. “She wanted me to introduce you.” Finally, the pair of them stop at the head of the table. “This is Lee Jieun.”
Right off the bat, Yoongi is vaguely insulted that Seokjin thought that someone like Lee Jieun needed an introduction—because who wouldn’t know who Lee Jieun?
Lee Jieun, like Yoongi, is a singer-songwriter with a sweetheart reputation, who weaves stories and experiences through her music. But unlike Yoongi, who got his start through Youtube and built himself from the ground up, Lee Jieun signed into a record label at the age of 15. As one could tell, she was that talented. Still is, as a matter of fact. Her albums are continuously winning awards, establishing herself in the charts, connecting with people all over the world. He would know—when Yoongi finally discovered Jieun in the midst of his Youtuber days, it was the catalyst that served as the biggest influence towards the release of his original songs. The fact that they’re both the same age only makes Yoongi even more in awe of her.
Yoongi being able to see Lee Jieun, in the flesh, is a powerful enough sight to leave him speechless.
Lee Jieun sits at the booth, looking all prettied up with her big eyes and red lips. Everything about her seems regal, from the smile she flashes Yoongi to the hand she extends out towards him.
It takes a second for Yoongi to register what he needs to do. Hastily, he steps forward and takes her hand in his. Despite her delicate nature, her handshake is firm as the pair of them move their joined hands up and down once. Honestly, considering their status difference, he feels like a handshake is too casual for them, but he doesn’t speak of it. He just basks in the moment, until he lets go of her hand.
Afterwards, he joins Seokjin in the booth, sliding into his seat.
Jieun smiles brightly at the two of them. “Thank you for going out of your way to come talk to me. I hope I wasn’t disrupting your night.”
Yoongi shakes his head immediately. “Oh, god no. Of course not. I’m just—I’m really honored to see you here. I-I had no idea that you were friends with Seokjin.”
Jieun laughs. “Oh yeah, we go way back—we were actually signed under the same label. Seokjin left to pursue management a few years ago, but we’ve always kept in touch.” She reaches over to take her glass of soda from the table. “He told me when he signed you, you know. He said that you were doing street performances a few cities down?”
Yoongi flushes at that. “Oh yeah—my origin story.”
“I mean, everyone starts from somewhere,” Jieun brushes off, laying down her cup again. “So I’ve honestly been looking out for your name since Seokjin signed you. I heard about your tour, but knew that I wanted to wait until your first full length album just to make sure your reputation was a little more fleshed out before bringing up my idea with Seokjin.”
Yoongi blinks, switching his gaze from Jieun to Seokjin. The latter nods, as if to let him know that Jieun would be the one providing information. So Yoongi turns back to Jieun.
Jieun continues. “Since it seems that we’ve both developed a songwriting, storytelling reputation amongst the music industry, I was hoping that you’d agree to do a collaboration with me. Just one single, both of our names attached to it. It’s been awhile since I worked with another artist, and I’m sure that doing this will only further put your name out there. It could also be a really good learning experience.”
Yoongi almost cannot believe his ears. Lee Jieun wanted to do a collaboration? With him and his inexperienced ass?
Yoongi coughs out in wonder. “Wow.”
Jieun smirks. “Not what you were expecting?”
“No, no, not at all!” Yoongi reassures, but then he backpedals a little. “I mean, it’s not that I was expecting you to ask for a collaboration—I just—!” He cuts himself off, exhaling heavily to calm his nerves. “It’s just, you were a very big reason I even wanted to sing my original songs back when I was street performing. So the fact that you’re asking me to do a song together is honestly so crazy to me.”
Jieun grins. “I’m honored—so are you agreeing to my request?”
Almost on instinct, Yoongi turns to Seokjin. It’s not that Yoongi doesn’t want to do the collab, it’ll probably be the single most greatest thing to happen in his career, but Seokjin was technically his boss and their contract had it so Seokjin usually had to final say in what he believed would be best for him.
And for the briefest flicker of a second, Yoongi’s mind switches to you. More than Seokjin’s approval, he finds himself seeking your praise the most. After all, you know how much he admires Lee Jieun. He wants to share this moment with you.
Instead of jumping up to go find you, he forces himself to stay rooted to his seat. “I-I think I would be the one who feels honored. T-That is, if Seokjin says it’s okay.”
Seokjin holds his arms out. “Of course it’s okay! The collaboration was also partly my idea. Anywho.” He turns back to Jieun. “We’ll have to run through Yoongi’s schedule with his manager just to see when he’s available. But after that, we can get started.”
At the mention of you, Yoongi’s manager, Jieun’s eyes brighten with her smile. “Oh yes, your girlfriend.” She sits a little straighter, trying to seek you out. “She’s here at the event right? I’d really love to meet her, if that’s okay?”
Yoongi nods immediately. “O-Of course!” He also sits up a little straighter, moving about in his seat to try and locate you. He finds you near the bar, seeming to have ditched your hang-out with Jimin, as you take an occasional sip of your drink. “She’s over there.”
With a nod, the three of them move out of the booth and towards the bar, where you’re still slouched over, scrolling through Instagram on your phone. You seem to notice their approaching presence, because you take a quick glance over to acknowledge them, before doing a double take when you realize who else is in Yoongi’s company.
“Oh my gosh!” You exclaim, immediately sliding out of your bar stool, your gaze fixated on Jieun.
Seokjin laughs at your starstruck reaction. “Y/N, this is Lee Jieun—but I’m guessing you already knew that?”
You seem to realize your behavior, because your shyness comes back. “I do. Um, hi! It’s really nice to meet you.” You reach over to offer your hand.
Jieun takes it, shaking for a second. “The pleasure is all mine.”
Your gaze immediately flints to Yoongi. “Yoongi, you didn’t tell me that you were acquainted with Lee Jieun herself!”
Yoongi waves you off. “Actually, Seokjin is the mutual party.”
Your lips part in shock, as you nod once, twice, in understanding. “Well, uh, in that case, I hope you’re having a good time tonight, Jieun.”
“It’s really a wonderful launch party,” Jieun praises. “But I do admit to having ulterior motives. I actually came by to ask Yoongi if he wanted to work on a collab song with me.”
Your lips part, and Yoongi feels a vague sense of pride swell up in his chest when you turn to look at him, eyes brighter than they have been all night. “Yoongi! That’s so amazing! I hope you agreed.”
“I did, actually,” Yoongi says with the nod of his head. If you notice that he’s puffing his chest out a little as your words go straight to his head, you don’t comment on it. “We’ll definitely have to go over my schedule with you, pick some dates where Jieun and I can have some writing sessions, and then the recording sessions, just to name the big picture stuff that’ll have to get done. But we should all be good to go.”
As Yoongi continues to list everything that’ll need to be done in order to create music together, your gaze shifts between Yoongi and Jieun occasionally, taking in their equal excitement and passion for the long project ahead. It isn’t until the end, when you and Yoongi leave the launch party, after having collected praise and much more from the many friends and connections that have been gained throughout the night, you enter the car wearing an unreadable expression—like you’re pondering something that threatens to break you.
To be frank, you aren’t surprised that Lee Jieun asks Yoongi to collaborate together. Sure, maybe she came a little earlier than you had expected, but you always knew it was a matter of time before the pair of them met. Their reputations are too similar, their personalities too good together; you’re sure that fate would have lined them up at some point.
It just feels like maybe the universe made them a little too perfect for each other—and it’s something that becomes glaringly obvious as a month of songwriting goes by without a hitch. Every few days, Jieun would turn up to KSJ Records, bright-eyed and always looking so, so pretty. Every few days, Jieun and Yoongi would sit next to each other, conversing about the story of their song, both bright-eyed with unbridled affection for what they were writing. And sure, Namjoon would be a part of these songwriting sessions. But that’s not the point.
The point is that as Yoongi gets bigger and success becomes a more natural occurrence in his life, the more people he’s going to meet with whom he shares a common interest and dedication for. People he would probably (most definitely) get along with a lot better than he could get along with you. Friendship is nice and all, but it can’t substitute for the powerful combination of passion, intimacy, and commitment that comes out of romantic companionship.
And you see it in his eyes: the excitement he gets when he’s surrounded with like-minded people. You’re Yoongi’s manager, sure, and one of his best friends, obviously, but there’s only so much you can contribute to conversations about the actual music. Truth be told, when it comes to editing, you just do whatever Yoongi tells you to. And don’t even get you started on the music arrangements—you can’t even lift a candle to what Yoongi himself can do. Or Namjoon. Or especially Lee Jieun.
And although you know that Yoongi means no ill-intention, it feels as if he takes every opportunity to remind you of that fact.
“I mean, she’s amazing.” He’s sighing dreamily over his bulgogi. The pair of you are at a corner booth in a Korean barbeque restaurant, on another fake date Seokjin has prearranged for you. It’s not the first date you’ve been on since Jieun entered the picture, and it’s definitely not the first time Yoongi is bringing her up. And although this isn’t even a real date, and although this isn’t a real relationship, there’s only so much you can take—both as a friend and as someone who is starting to feel the curl of jealousy in your stomach.
Still, you refuse to let the cat out of the bag. So you sigh, picking up your chopsticks and digging into your meat. The only thing you can manage is: “I bet she is.”
But Yoongi doesn’t stop there. “You should have seen her today, she was on fire. Songwriting abilities, obviously. We were stuck on this one part of the song, but then she just swooped in with this perfect one-liner that made my heart drop. Seriously, it was so cool. I don’t know how her mind works, but I want to keep hanging out with her to learn more.”
You almost drop your meat completely into your salt dish, but you recover quickly with a cough. The noise helps cover up the fact that your heart feels the white-hot burn of frustration and confusion. “W-Well, you guys do make a good team. You know, being on the same level talent-wise.”
Yoongi laughs at that, completely oblivious to your state of mind. “Talent-wise? I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere near the level Jieun is at…”
As he trails off, you dare yourself to flicker your gaze up to him, seeing the pink flush that dusts along his cheeks. Interpreting this as shyness for the internal praise and fondness he has for Jieun, you look away and pick up the plate of raw beef brisket to dump into the grill.
Yoongi notices what you’re doing, and immediately reaches over to take the plate from you. “Here, let me do it.”
A part of you wants to fight about it, but you know doing so will just lead you down the path of no man’s land. So you let go, offering the tongs to Yoongi as he takes it to scrap the meat into the grill between the two of you. He takes the silence as an opportunity to further gush about Jieun, and how he can’t wait to work on music arrangements with her, how he’s excited to record the song with her, so on and so forth.
How could you even contribute to a conversation like this? He’s talking to you about a girl in a way that reminds you of your college days—back when the pair of you were strictly friends and nothing more, and he would talk to you about girls he thought were cute. It feels a little bit like right now. Yoongi and Jieun do make a good team, they get along together, and have formed a closeness within such a short period of time that anyone passing by the studio would assume they’ve been friends for years. Or, even further, that they were dating. At the very least, Yoongi speaks highly enough of Jieun that one could assume that she was the one he liked, and not you.
It feels a little bit like being left behind—it’s a thought that only continues to fester.
It takes a few more weeks, but you eventually draft up Yoongi’s tour schedule. It’s a few sheets of paper that detail the duration of the tour, the cities, the locations, the dates of each location, the size of the venue, how ticket distribution will work, on, and on, and on—all information that Yoongi has insisted on knowing about ever since he was signed into KSJ Records. The man just likes to know what his fans have to go through in order to see him, and you respect that.
However, before you can officially create the tour post that’ll be up on the KSJ Records social media account, it needs to go through a final approval: from Yoongi himself. And because he likes to take notes with paper and pen, like the old-fashioned songwriter he is, he’s asked you to print everything out for him.
This is what leads you to stand near the printer in your office, waiting for the last page to print and slide into your awaiting hands. Once all the pages come out, you flip through them to make sure that every city on the tour is accounted for. You turn back to your desk, collecting some magazines that have been stacked on top of your table.
Along with getting the setlist for the tour, Yoongi had also asked you to get a hold of some magazines and articles that provided reviews from his first tour. Something about wanting to read any critiques people might have had for his show.
You gather the small stack as well before sliding it into your bag and stepping out into the hall. It’s surprisingly early for you to be leaving your office, the late afternoon, but there’s a part of you that just wants to give the document stack to Yoongi and dip out for the rest of the night. By now, the doubts of Yoongi’s affection for Jieun has dug itself deeper into your mind and letting yourself be around Yoongi for too long brings up too many questions that cannot be good for your mentality.
Questions like: If he could, would Yoongi prefer to date Jieun for real?
Was Jieun better than you?
And the best one of them all: Were you just holding Yoongi back from better relationships?
You continue to walk down the hallway of the building, your pace a little slower than normal because of the cloudy thoughts that threaten to overtake your mind. Finally, you stop outside of the studio you know Yoongi and Jieun are recording in. You take in a deep breath, forcing your usual cheery personality to shine through as you pull down on the handle and let yourself into the studio.
As soon as you step inside, you almost wish that you had just slid the documents under the door. The sight of that would probably have been easier to process than the one in front of your eyes right now.
Namjoon, as usual at the desk surrounded by music panels and laptops, playing the recently finished music through the recording booth situated on the other side of the glass. Behind this aforementioned sheet of glass are Jieun and Yoongi. With headphones on, they’re standing next to each other behind the microphone. Their shoulders practically touching, you don’t miss the way they both keep sneaking glances at each other, the corner of their lips turning up, looking like they’re having the best time together.
You try not to slam down the door behind you, but your grip on the knob is a little too harsh to call for a softer click. Fortunately (or unfortunately, given how much fun Yoongi and Jieun look like they’re having—wait, did Jieun just touch Yoongi’s arm), neither of them notice your arrival.
Namjoon, however, notices.
He turns around to look at you. “Hey, what’s up?”
You try for a smile, your hand brushing against the door. “Sorry, I slipped a little,” You lie cleanly. You hold up the documents in your other hand. “Yoongi wanted me to prepare a few things for him, stuff for the upcoming tour.”
Namjoon gestures for you to sit next to him, something that you follow. As soon as you sit down, Namjoon asks to see these aforementioned documents, which you pull out of your bag and hand over to him. It’s quiet between the two of you, the only sounds being the laughs and giggles between Yoongi and Jieun—as if one has them as just told a secret only understood between them. It’s a feeling that doesn’t settle well in your stomach.
“Wow, this is very efficient,” Namjoon observes, seeming completely oblivious to your internal seething.
You shrug, eyes still locked in on the inside of the recording booth. “Yoongi asked for the best, so I gave him the best. Hey, so—!” You change topics. “Is there a reason they’re in the booth together? Don’t a lot of collabs nowadays just exchange everything virtually?”
Namjoon hums. “I didn’t know the jealous girlfriend was a full time act of yours now.” He’s clearly just trying to have fun. After all, only Taehyung and Jungkook know about your crush on Yoongi. “But honestly? I’m not too sure. They just wanted to go in together—said that they could be more personal when working in a face-to-face setting. And they’re actually making a lot of changes as they keep going through the song and hearing how the music is turning out. They’re a good team.”
Namjoon’s usage of the very same phrase that has been haunting you for the past few weeks doesn’t sit well in your stomach.
Namjoon returns the documents to you. “Did you want to talk to him now? See if he’s cool with you just dropping it off?”
You nod. “If that’s okay?”
Namjoon smiles. “We’ll just wait until they take a breath.”
Waiting doesn’t turn out to take a long time, because Jieun stops the song to make another statement about what line should replace the one they just sung. And Yoongi looks at her like she’s just hung up all the stars in the galaxy.
“Namjoon, do you mind starting the song over? We got a new idea for this part,” Jieun calls from inside the booth.
Namjoon leans forward to press the button. “Actually, you guys have some company.”
You lean forward as well. “Hey guys.”
Jieun grins, waving at you through the window. Yoongi acknowledges you as well, but there’s something suddenly stiff about his movements. You notice that he’s also stepping away from Jieun, as if to hide what has been going on between him and Jieun. As if that makes you feel any fucking better.
“Hey, uh, Yoongi?” You continue. “I have the documents you asked me to prepare for you. I can just leave it here for you to go over if that’s cool. Maybe take a little bit of time today to go over everything.”
Yoongi thinks about this for a moment. “Actually… honey,” He adds the pet name as an afterthought. “Do you mind dropping it off at my apartment? We’re probably just gonna be focusing on the song until pretty late tonight.”
The acknowledgement Yoongi has that he and Jieun are in for another late night only grows the seeds of doubt in your mind, as you clench your teeth. You can’t let your insecurities get the best of you. Not now. “Sure,” You manage, trying for a small.
Yoongi grins. “Thanks baby. I’ll make it up to you this weekend, okay?”
At this point, it just feels like he’s teasing you and it’s something you find you aren’t really in the mood for. So you manage a curt reply, giving a positive response that you’ll drop by his apartment to deliver the documents regarding his upcoming tour, before you’re up and out of the studio before Jieun, Yoongi, or Namjoon can say one last thing. But you don’t care. The sooner you’re out of there, looking at the heart-eye festival between Jieun and Yoongi, the better you feel.
So you take the train to Yoongi’s apartment, a now much bigger space in a slightly nicer area of the city. At least, nicer than the college apartment he shared with Jungkook that was no stranger to bed bugs and constant maintenance issues. The newer apartment Yoongi has recently acquired is nicer, has more modern finishes, and is now a space he fills in all by himself.
As you unlock the door to his apartment, you immediately make your way down the small hallway entrance, where a mirror and his shoes occupy a small corner of the area. The hallway opens up into the living room, and you turn on the light and take in the vaguely familiar sight of his new furniture—home pieces that you helped arrange with him a few months ago. Come to think of it, that was probably the first and last time you had come by Yoongi’s apartment. Before certain life elements got involved.
Tonguing the inside of your cheek, you plop yourself down on the couch and place the document stack at the corner of the coffee table. It looks rather strange just stacked like that, no context provided, so your eyes shift over for a pen and a post-it note.
You find a stack of post-it notes, and find a pen sticking out from inside a notebook. Paying little attention to the notebook, you just make a grab for the pen and rip it out of the notebook with the aggression of a gorilla. The notebook flies open, the contents inside barring itself right at you.
Your immediate reaction is to close the notebook. After all, it just takes one glance at Yoongi’s scrambled handwriting to know that this is one of his writing journals. His most recent one, in fact, judging from how flat the pages after the one currently open appear—like it hasn’t been stained with a pen yet.
You want to close it—you really do. You and Yoongi have built a friendship on trust. That’s what kept you both together throughout the long years, and you know better than to risk everything just for the chance to scope through what is essentially a songwriter’s diary.
Your fingers inch towards the edge of the book, about to close it shut, before the title at the top header makes you freeze.
Without meaning to, your eyes read over the lines. And you feel sick to your stomach.
The song is so raw, so personal, brimming with desire in every verse. It covers lingering stares, secret smiles. A barrier. How Yoongi “wants you more and more with each day, but I know I can’t have you, that I shouldn’t have you”. And you know Yoongi—you know him better than anyone. You know that for all the love songs he sings and the topics he sings about that he feigns ignorance for, he draws on personal experience to write his music. How else could he make everything so personable?
How could this song not be about Jieun?
The lingering stares, secret smiles: it clearly points to the events in the recording booth you saw earlier that day, and if he’s writing a song about it, it’s obvious that today hadn’t been the first time for those stares and smiles.
The barrier: obviously you. The relationship facade he’s forced to put up with you, when he’s clearly so much happier with someone else.
With those factors, it’s so clear that Yoongi would want Jieun, but would be unable to have her.
And you’re just the girl in the background with the starry eyes for a guy who would never even look at you the way you want him to.
That realization brings the hot tears to your eyes, as you slam the notebook shut and bring your hand to your mouth, biting your finger to muffle your sobs. What comes out is the build-up of months of insecurities, of having to keep the biggest secret of your life to yourself, and the additional jealousy brought in by a third party.
This despair and sadness isn’t good for you, and you know that only continuing to hide it away in light of Yoongi and Jieun’s partnership, in light of your feelings, and Yoongi’s exploding career—you should only be able to handle so much. You’re a human being, and you have your limits.
And you think this might be it.
CHAPTER 6: TRUTHS
“Y-Yeah, I think it’s food poisoning or something,” You speak quietly into the phone, playing with the edges of your blanket. “I’m really sorry, Seokjin, I’ll try to send out some emails to respond to news outlets today…”
“Hey, no, you’re totally fine,” Seokjin replies hastily. “I don’t blame you for that. Just try and get some rest today, and update me on how you feel tomorrow.” A pause. “What was it?”
“Uh, it must have been in the takeout I got last night.” That’s a lie. You cooked your own dinner last night, and are lying straight through your teeth regarding your condition, but you can’t find it in yourself to go to work today. Not since the discovery of Yoongi’s crush on Jieun made you want to dig yourself into a hole and never crawl out.
It’s not like you ever thought you had a chance with Yoongi—but you had just thought maybe something would be different after the hand holding, after his radio interview, after your kiss together.
But Jieun serves as that nice splash of reality that Yoongi wants someone better than you. Someone more like him—someone passionate about music, who gets along with him better, who can write music with and write music about.
At this point, it just feels like you’re a weight, dragging Yoongi down in the waves of his past.
On the other side of the phone, Seokjin sighs. “Damn, that’s always the worst. Those are the ones you suspect the least. Anyways, I’ll let you go. Get some rest. Maybe I’ll let Yoongi know so he can bring some soup.”
The mention of Yoongi makes you feel like you could actually get food poisoning. “You can let him know, but he’ll probably be too hung up on Jieun to give a shit.”
Seokjin, of course, knows nothing, so he laughs at what he thinks is your joke. “That’s true. They’re actually at it again today, which is surprising considering Jieun only comes by a few times a week. But no, she was here bright and early and so was Yoongi. Basically, they showed up to the studio at the same time. They called it fate, or some shit like that.”
“You don’t say,” You return dryly.
Namjoon’s confirmation that they make a good team, paired with Seokjin’s admittance that Yoongi is hung up on Jieun, puts you in a delicate mood for the rest of the day. You try to watch some TV shows, some movies, play some video games, but you are constantly distracted by thoughts of Yoongi and Jieun.
You’re all curled up on the couch, about to click into another movie, when there’s a knock on your door. Your heart leaps in your throat as you stand up. You hate the brief flicker of hope in your chest, the curiosity that perhaps Yoongi is the one knocking.
All those hopes are dashed when you see it is Jungkook on the other side of the door.
“Oh,” You remark, the smile dropping from your face. “It’s just you.”
Jungkook looks at you like you pissed in his cereal. “Uh, I don’t see other amazing friends over here bringing you store-bought chicken soup because they heard you got food poisoning last night.” He holds up the bag for extra emphasis.
You roll your eyes, grabbing the bag from him. “I don’t actually have food poisoning, I just didn’t want to go to work today.”
Jungkook furrows his eyebrows at your statement. There’s a lot you’ve given him that he can work with, lots of things he can ask about. Maybe ask why you would lie about your food poisoning, maybe ask why you didn’t want to go to work today, maybe ask why you still looked like shit.
But the first thing he says: “You owe me twenty dollars.”
You roll your eyes, beckoning him inside with the jerk of your head. “Sure.”
Jungkook laughs a little. “Wait, okay, I was actually kidding.” But he still steps into your apartment. “I’ll be serious now. Why lie about food poisoning? And since when do you not want to go to work? If anything, you love to go so you can stare at Yoongi’s ass through the recording booth—!” He cuts himself off when you give him a glare of such pure hatred that it actually shocks him. “Wait, are you mad at Yoongi?”
You tear your gaze away from him, placing the bag of groceries on your countertop. Sorting through what Jungkook has bought serves to be a good distraction.
Jungkook continues to look at you. He’s quiet, but he always has a lot to say, and since you’ve been his friend for so long that only heightens his need to talk. “I knew it!” He finally says. “I knew you were mad at him. Taehyung and I were placing bets down.”
You slam the can of chicken soup on the counter. “HEY. What did I say about gossiping?”
“Not in front of your face?”
Your hand flinches, as if to stop yourself from grabbing the can and throwing it at his stupid face. Jungkook doesn’t even move in fear, the bastard. “I’m just gonna pretend I don’t know about the bets. You want a can of chicken soup?”
Jungkook confirmation finds you at the stove, heating up two of the many cans Jungkook had bought for you. Included in his twenty-dollar purchase had been a few containers of tums, and some orange juice.
Jungkook lingers in the back. “You wanna tell me why you’re mad at Yoongi?”
You whirl around to face him. “How did you even know I was upset?”
Jungkook snorts, but quiets down when you glare at him. He coughs. “You’re pretty easy to read, you know. You’ve been acting weird ever since Jieun started coming by the studio.”
He shrugs. “I don’t know. You’re just a little quieter. And you haven’t been spending as much time in the studio as you used to. That was the biggest giveaway.”
You’re quiet for a moment. You rub at your cheek. “Does Yoongi know?”
Jungkook shakes his head. “Doubtful. But I think he knows something is up. I was on the phone with him last night.”
It’s your turn to snort. “Okay, that’s really fucking funny.” At Jungkook’s raised eyebrow, you explain. “I thought he’d be too busy comparing Jieun to sunlight, or something, to notice me.”
“Oh, so you’re jealous.”
You and Jungkook have a staring contest, before you sigh. “I accidentally saw Yoongi’s writing notebook yesterday. It had all these love confessions in it, and I’m pretty sure he was talking about Jieun.”
Jungkook’s eyes widen. “No way? Are you sure?”
You cough. “Well, I’m not a hundred percent. But it was all about this forbidden crush he couldn’t act on because of a barrier. Who else could be the barrier? He obviously thinks I’m holding him back from pursuing a relationship with Jieun.” You think about your words for a second, trying to decide if Jungkook is trustworthy enough to disclose this information to. “I think I’m gonna break it off with him. Maybe quit too, while I’m at it.”
Jungkook’s lips part. “But why?”
“What else am I supposed to do?” You cry. “I can’t keep up this fake dating with Yoongi anymore, it’s too complicated, and I’m actually in love with him so that opens up this whole other series of complications. And it’s not fair to Yoongi—he shouldn’t have to deal with feelings he obviously doesn’t return. The whole charade thing just isn’t doing me any good. And even if I break off the relationship, I would still have to see him all the time because of the whole manager situation. Quitting just seems like the best option for me.”
Jungkook is quiet for a second. “How do you even know he wrote that song about Jieun?” He finally asks, speaking carefully.
You shrug. “I don’t know. I just have this feeling. Who else has he been spending all this time with? Who else could that song possibly be about?”
Jungkook gives you a long, hard look, like he almost can’t believe your brain can be thinking those thoughts. But he relents. “I think you should talk to Yoongi before quitting. He’s one of your best friends. He deserves to know why, at least.” He looks over your shoulder. “The chicken soup is done.”
You whirl back around to turn off the stove. But also so Jungkook can’t see the tears glassing over your eyes.
It turns out, telling Yoongi you want to quit is a much more difficult task than you could have thought. For starters, Seokjin sets the pair of you up on more dates than before. Apparently, there are some rumors going around regarding Jieun’s more and more frequent turn-ups at KSJ Records, and people have started connecting the dots that her appearances are tied to either one of two reasons. Either Yoongi and Jieun are collaborating on music. Or they’re dating.
The second reason is a lot juicier, much more exciting, so naturally a lot of people have gravitated towards supporting that reason. To try and expel those thoughts, Seokjin sends you out on more dates with Yoongi. It’s all fine, but your thoughts about breaking off this relationship and quitting just makes you more quiet and closed off as you wallow deeper into your thoughts.
You suddenly don’t know how to contribute to the conversations Yoongi tries to bring up to you. The words seem to fail you every time, and you feel yourself constantly resorting to silence or one-worded answers. And it constantly always feels like Yoongi is standing too close to you. Every step towards you is a step away from him. When he tries to hold your hand on the sixth date in two weeks, you wiggle out of his grasp and pretend that you need to fix your jacket.
Your own journey to self-destruction means that you are completely oblivious to the hurt in Yoongi’s eyes with every step you take to distance yourself from him. But what could you even say to him?
How could you tell him you want to quit your job in public? That would obviously lead to a fight, and it would reflect badly on Yoongi’s public image. Just because you want to quit doesn’t mean you still care about him, because you do. And you still want him to succeed. With Seokjin’s constant scheduling of dates, it leaves little room for you to share in an actual private discussion. The only off times Yoongi has are the days Jieun comes by the studio, and you try to stay a mile away from that place now.
But it turns out, you don’t have a choice today, because Seokjin calls you into his office and tells you to drop off the samples of cover art that has just been dropped off at the studio. The cover art is something that Jieun and Yoongi have designed together for the album, to be displayed when the single is released.
With heavy feet, you make your way through the hallways and towards Yoongi’s studio space. Every fiber in your being hopes that Yoongi and Jieun will be in the recording booth, working on their song (or even better, just not in the studio at all), so that you don’t have to face them enjoying each other’s company right in front of your face. There’s no music coming through the door, so your heart soars that latter prospect.
As you open the door, however, you realize that there’s no way for you to be so lucky.
Inside, Yoongi and Jieun are eating lunch, takeout noodles split between the two of them, and they’re in the middle of laughing. The laughter, however, stops when you open the door, effectively interrupting their fucking date. Which is a thought that does nothing to make you feel better. The silence that echoes on only further makes you feel like shit.
You and Yoongi sharing a room privately nowadays is a rarity, since you’ve been doing a good job at avoiding him at all costs. His unanswered text messages and shortened calls echo through your mind at the sight of him. With the look he’s giving you, you wonder if he’s thinking the same thing.
Jieun, however, remains completely oblivious to the situation as she gives you her normally bright cheery greeting. You stare at you, momentarily stunned. You would have thought Yoongi shared the troubles of your relationship with her, for some reason. You try to remain nice about it, though, giving Jieun a small smile as you return her greeting.
“I, uh,” You start, bringing the package up for both of them to see. “Your cover art came in today. Seokjin just asked if I could drop it off here.”
Jieun brightens at the sight. “Oh my gosh, it came! Do you mind if I…?” She trails off, hands reaching out to take the package from you. You give it to her. “Yoongi, isn’t that so exciting?”
“Yeah…” Yoongi trails off. A quick glance at him tells you that he’s staring at you. You look away. “Did you see it yet?” He asks you.
You shrug. “I, uh, haven’t. But, anyways, I have to get going.”
“Hey,” Jieun calls, freezing you slightly in your path. “Thanks for bringing this over. We really appreciate it.”
The use of that specific noun, while supposedly harmless in the current context, makes your stomach flare with that white hot curl of jealousy. Your teeth clench, as you swallow down the spiteful words that almost manage to escape into the air around you. You smile, no teeth. “You’re welcome.” That’s the only thing you can manage before you’re turning around to open the door and practically bolt yourself out of the studio.
You only make it a few feet before the door to the studio opens and you hear footsteps trailing after you. He calls your name, and your heart drops. You are so not ready for any type of one-on-one conversation with Yoongi right now.
But your entire soul still gravitates toward him, so you stop and turn around to face him.
Yoongi is by himself this time, and looking like a mixture of confused and defeated as he approaches you. “Listen,” He starts. “I know that we haven’t had a lot of time to really talk…”
“It’s okay,” You brush off.
Yoongi says your name again. “You know, you don’t need to lie to me. You’re my best friend—I can tell when you’re hiding something from me.”
You sigh, shaking your head as every nerve in your body is telling you to walk away. “Yoongi, I’m not sure I can do this right now.”
“Do what?” He presses. “I know that I’ve been super busy, but if you want to talk you can just let me know. Tell me what’s bothering you, okay? Because I…” He trails off, sighing, and you feel that vague sense of guilt wash over you. “I can tell that you’re avoiding me and it’s really shitty. I can’t even focus that much on my song with Jieun.”
The mention of Jieun stiffens you up again. “Well, sorry for being an inconvenience,” You spit. “Why don’t you go back to your new fucking girlfriend if you’re gonna bring her up to my face again.” You couldn’t stop yourself this time—the words were too ready at your lips. Your chest is heaving from it too, but it is things that you know that you will regret saying.
Yoongi’s eyebrows furrow deeper together as your words.
You stare right back at him, the shadow of a thought passing over you. If you’re going to tell Yoongi your biggest secret, it might as well be right now. You don’t know the next time you will be this brave, this reactive, this bold.
Both of you open your mouths at the same time.
“Did you just call Jieun my girlfriend?”
You clamp your mouth shut. You hadn’t meant to speak at the same time as him. A small wave of regret passes through you, as you hope that Yoongi wouldn’t have heard your statement over his question. But of course he does.
Yoongi’s frowns at you. “Did you just say you were quitting?”
You take a step back, running a hand through your hair as your exhale comes out shaky. More shaky than you intended it to. Oh no. “Yeah,” You manage, already feeling your emotions bottling up. “I was gonna try and talk to Seokjin about quitting before I left.”
If Yoongi thinks you were joking before, he definitely doesn’t now because he takes a step towards you and catches your wrist before you can go that far. “B-But why?” His eyes have gotten a little wider, and he’s staring at you like his world is being pulled apart.
You try to tug your wrist away to no avail. Your mind tries to flash through several different excuses, but you realize that you need to tell him the truth. Yoongi deserves that much, at least.
As you try to collect your thoughts, Yoongi starts scrambling. “W-Was it something I did?” He asks quickly. “Because normally you’d always try to call me out and I’d fix myself immediately. A-Are you unhappy with your position? Because I can try to get Seokjin to give you less workload or something. I-I’m really sorry if it was something that I did to hurt you. I-I just really need you here so talk to me… please…”
You shake your head. “It’s a little more complicated than that,” You whisper. “I know your secret, Yoongi, and that’s why I can’t do this anymore.”
“W-What secret?” His eyes are still on you.
You take in another breath. “I went over to your apartment that night,” You start. “And I saw what you were writing in your journal. I know that you’re in love with Jieun, and that you only see me as a barrier to pursuing a relationship with her. And that sucks because normally, I’d encourage you to go after her. But we’re doing this whole dating thing, and I feel like I’m neck-deep because…” Your words come out a little more shaky. “Because I’m in love with you,” You whisper. “I’ve been in love with you for years. B-But I know now that I’ll never measure up to Jieun, or any of the other girls in this industry who deserve you more than I do. I thought that I could keep being professional for you and your career. But it’s too hard for me.”
“W-Wait,” Yoongi says, tightening his grip on you. “Can you just let me explain, please? It’s not like that, I promise you.”
You rip your wrist from his hand. “I read it!” You retort loudly. “Who else could be the person you want more than anything, but can’t have because of a physical barrier? When else have you used a real person to inspire your music? It’s too hard for me, Yoongi! I can’t keep doing this!”
Yoongi seems to be struggling with his next words. “So, what?” Yoongi asks, circling around his next question carefully. “You’re just going to leave? Is this… the end of our friendship?”
You sigh, running a hand through your hair. “I don’t know! I haven’t thought this out that far. But I know that we shouldn’t be doing this fake dating charade anymore, because I know there’s no way these past few months have meant the same to you as it did to me. I also know that I can’t really be in the same room with you right now.”
Yoongi hopelessly gazes over at you, his own chest heaving as he himself struggles with what to say. “Please don’t do this,” He returns softly.
Your gaze lingers on Yoongi’s for just a while longer, trying to burn the image of him in your mind, before you shake your head. “I’m sorry.”
As it turns out, Seokjin is out of the office for the rest of the evening. Which is fine, right? Whatever. You can just call him tomorrow morning and schedule a meeting with him, tell him the urgency of it and will definitely be able to muster your strength for another conversation about your secret feelings for Yoongi.
You return to your apartment and immediately burst into tears as the weight of today’s confrontation sinks its teeth right into your neck. You just shared your feelings with Yoongi, you threatened your employment, and almost cut off your friendship with Yoongi as a result of that.
Your many years of friendship, of late nights, of laughter together. It seems silly to want to cut off an important friendship just like that—but it just seems unfair of you to carry on with a friendship where you’re always going to crave more. And if Yoongi is smart, he’ll know that as well, and he won’t come back.
Still, a part of you just hopes a little. Even though, of course, it’s a stupid thing to hope for. Yoongi has already established his taste, and it’s definitely for people leagues above you. The thought only makes you cry a little harder, so much so that you try to drink some water in order to calm down.
You’re in the beginning stages of patting down your face, of grabbing some spoons to put into the freezer, when there’s a series of frantic knocking at your door. You turn your head towards the source of the noise, trying to figure out who could be visiting at a time like this. It’s been a few hours since your confrontation with Yoongi at the studio, but you assume that he’s probably blowing smoke up Jieun’s ass. There’s no way that it could be him.
So you open the door, and freeze when you realize that it is Yoongi.
More than that, it’s Yoongi with his chest heaving. Almost like he has just run around the entire city to reach you.
The only thing you can manage right now is a wide-eyed stare.
Yoongi stares right back at you. Just a few hours ago, he had looked so helpless and lost for words. A first, actually. But this time, he’s staring at you with so much intensity that you cannot look away.
Yoongi finally seems to catch his breath. “You’re an idiot,” He states.
You’re so caught off guard by that statement that you forget you’re supposed to be upset with him. “I’m sorry?” You ask.
Yoongi huffs, practically barreling past you to step into your house. You try to tell him to stop, but he’s distracted by rummaging through his backpack for something. With a sigh, you decide to close the door. As soon as he’s standing in your kitchen, he finds an old, beaten up notebook that you vaguely remember from his college days. He points at you with his notebook. “You’re an idiot,” He repeats. “If you think that the lyrics on my coffee table are the first time I’ve written lyrics about a specific person.”
At your shocked expression, he immediately starts flipping through the notebook. You notice that certain pages are marked with sticky tabs.
Yoongi settles on a page and clears his throat. “Hidden within the walls of our lecture hall, your laughter curls through the cracks like liquid fire. You light up my day amongst borrowed pencils and shared jokes. I knew that you were going to change my life,” he reads. He looks up at you. “The first day I met you, when I asked you to borrow a pencil.” You remember those lyrics. It was from a song he had written called ‘starlight’—the opening song on his first EP.
He flips through a few more pages. “I never learned about love, but I watch her believe in my dreams, take the same steps to join my team, and I feel like I could figure it out.” He looks at you. “When you agreed to help me with my Youtube channel.”
He continues through his notebooks of lyrics, of stories, of secrets. Every single lyric he reads to you connects back to some memory he holds of the two of you. All the memories together in college: from the panic attack he had in the bathroom of the first party the pair of you attended, to exploring the nearby cities via subway until early mornings, to corner ramen shops.
Soon enough, he moves on to the lyrics he had written during his first tour. The distance he felt, and how that related to the emotional distance he felt with you—that desire he constantly felt for more, and how the manager and artist relationship the pair of you had couldn’t hold a candle to the friendship you once held. The distance was never a physical challenge, and that was something you could never connect the dots on.
Every stone of his hidden affection is turned over, every lyric he has marked read over and explained with such a passion. It’s like he has waited years to finally have his turn, to finally speak the way he’s always wanted to—directly, with no tricks of music and whimsical arrangements to make you doubt everything he could say.
He had written whole songs about the fake dating experience, of how he wasn’t sure he could only pretend to love you when it was the only thing he ever knew how to do.
Finally, he flips to his most recent song. The very song that you had stumbled upon the other day in his apartment. “I want you more and more with each day, but I know I can’t have you, that I shouldn’t have you,” He reads. He looks up at you. “The barrier was the blanket of our fake relationship. You were never stopping me from doing anything, because you were the only thing I have ever wanted. So…” He gestures to all the notebooks that he has laid out across your kitchen counter. “Do you now see how many song lyrics are actually about you? All about you. Because you’re all I’ve always known.”
Your gaze carefully studies each notebook, layered over each other, overflowing with dedication and passion. The privacy of someone who has surprisingly spent his entire singing career sharing nothing but his darkest secrets. Your arms are overlapped with each other, tightening against your form. “I-I had no idea.”
Yoongi shakes his head, but when he looks at you, his eyes are soft. “I figured that.” He’s leaning across the counter to keep his gaze leveled with you, but he pushes himself even closer to tap a finger on the spot between your eyes. “I thought I made it so obvious. You were never listening.”
“I-I never thought to,” You admit softly. But Yoongi has a point. Ever since he started writing and sharing his original songs, he has done nothing but sing them to you in any and all forms. From the private sessions the pair of you shared in his college apartment, to the performances he would deliver on the street, in the recording booth at all hours of the day, to the tours and the audiences that sing those love declarations right back at you. For years, Yoongi has done nothing but give, and give, and give. And you had no idea.
Your breath hitches, and Yoongi rounds the counter and gathers your face in his hands. “Shh,” He coos softly. “It’s not your fault.”
You sniff. “It is my fault! I’m such a stupid bitch. And I treated you and Jieun like shit because I thought you were in love with her. I thought I was holding you back from being able to date who you really wanted to be with.”
Yoongi shrugs. “I mean, technically, you were.” At your look, he hastily goes to explain himself. “The person I really wanted to date was you. But since we were, uh, fake dating, that prevented me from being able to date you for real…”
You groan at his teasing grin. “You idiot, that was so bad.”
“Sorry, sorry.” Yoongi is still grinning though, tracing his thumb over your cheekbone. His eyes follow the movement, mentally outlining you into his mind. “I just wanted to see you smile.” His smile slips a little. “Since you had been ignoring me for so long.”
You pout. “I told you, I thought you were in love with Jieun. And honestly, that would make a lot of sense… she’s really pretty and talented and you guys could talk about music for hours, especially compared to me—!”
“Stop,” Yoongi cuts in, closing his eyes briefly. “I’m gonna stop you there before you say something I don’t like.” He angles his head to level his gaze with you. “Jieun is really cool, I’ll probably be the first one to admit that. But she’s not you. Hey, c’mon, look at me.” He forces you to look at him again. “You are also so, so pretty and smart and talented. You may not know a lot about music and songwriting, but you were always the one who pulled all-nighters with me to edit my videos, or learn music with me, or point out if something in my music didn’t sound right. Your passion to help is something I really love about you.”
You pursue your lips to hide your smile. “Love, huh?”
Yoongi doesn’t even hesitant. “Well, yeah, because I’m in love with you. I thought that was obvious.”
You exhale. “Yeah, well, it’s different hearing you say it outloud.”
Yoongi grins. “Well, hopefully you’ll get used to it. I have many years to make it up to you.” His smile dies down a little. “I’m sorry,” He finally settles with. “I should have been more straightforward and honest with you about my feelings. You must have been suffering for so long, having to keep it all in and everything.”
You shake your head. “I’m also sorry,” You whisper. “For jumping to conclusions so fast. And also not really listening to your lyrics. That was kind of stupid of me, considering I’m your manager and everything.”
Yoongi laughs. “It seems like you’re good now, seeing as you’ve just gotten an exclusive behind-the-scenes artist cut and commentary about his songs.” He pauses for a second. “So, I hope this means that you won’t quit being my manager. And that, maybe, we can promote our relationship from fake dates to real ones.”
You smile. “I’d like that.”
His smile turns softer. “And I was hoping that maybe I can kiss you again. For real, this time. No cameras, no Seokjin breathing down our necks.”
You giggle. “Just so you know, if the kiss at your album release party had been a real one and we were actually dating at the time, I probably would have wanted you to fuck me in the bathroom or something.”
Yoongi groans. “Don’t say that with that cute smile on your face. Makes me want to do things to you.”
“I don’t see you pulling away though.”
“Of course not.” Yoongi’s figure loams over you now, his lips brushing against yours. “I have three years to make up to you.”
With that, he kisses you, silencing whatever next words you were going to say. That is, if you even had any to begin with. Now that he’s kissing you, stealing the breath from your lungs, you’re not even too sure any thoughts have been floating around at all. Unlike the kiss at the album release party, which had been softer and dainty, held back to hide a secret, this kiss is rougher. Yoongi is already moving his lips against yours, already parting his lips to brush his tongue against your lower lips. His hands are already sliding across the counter, trying to cover you more and more.
His hand slips on the counter though, almost sending his sprawling on top of you. You catch him with your hand on his chest, as the sudden action makes both of you pull away from each other. The sight you both face is very much like the sight from the launch party: flushed cheeks and redden lips, a desire for more flickering behind eyes.
But this time, there is no expectation to carry on in a party like a long-term couple. That is what allows Yoongi to wrap his arms around you, pulling you to his chest this time. He kisses you again, slower, softer, but you deepen the kiss with the part of your own lips this time. There is an unspoken agreement between the two of you as he lifts you into his arms and blindly navigates through your apartment, into your bedroom, where you both fall atop the mattress.
“And just for the record,” You whisper, right when Yoongi pulls away to let both of you catch your breath. “I love you too.” You’ve already admitted your feelings earlier in the day, but it’s worth it to see Yoongi deliver that heart pounding gummy smile.
881 notes · View notes