|"This isn't a food show; this is season seven of a romcom featuring two idiots dancing around." Victoria heaves a sigh. Seokjin looks up from where he's been munching on his burger, risks Victoria a glance, then shifts his attention back to what he's eating for fear of being on the receiving end of a hard pinch on the arm if and when their eyes meet. He has has been avoiding Victoria's discerning gaze for the past few minutes already, after all. "Seriously, Jin, I don't have to know this guy personally to know he has the biggest crush on you, and I definitely don't have to know your elaborate history with him inside and out to know that you two should be dicking each other but aren't. Se-ri-ous-ly, what the hell are you two doing?"|
Seokjin chews on whatever chunk of meat he still has between his teeth and gulps down hard. The simplest, most apparent answer he can give is they're doing a food review that will be shown worldwide, online, but the most honest, the most accurate answer has to be 'well, we're probably tricking ourselves into thinking we're not flirting with each other but we actually are'. Not that he's been deliberately trying to charm his way into Yoongi's pants or heart for the... for the past few months, actually. It's just that Yoongi has been less receptive to the idea of pushing him away, and he's more than willing to give Yoongi ten million reasons to bring down all of his walls and get rid of his shields altogether.
And yet you two are still being doofuses, dancing around each other like that, grumbles a voice in his head. He shakes that off, takes another generous bite of his burger, then says when he catches Victoria staring at the can of beer in her hand, "You're drunk. You started chugging this down, what, ten minutes ago? And now you're almost done with it? God, noona, if you pass out here, I swear I'm not carrying you—"
"Shut up. I'm not drunk. You're just too sober. Now, start drinking your beer." Victoria lets out a huff. She isn't lying, though — her cheeks take on a certain kind of blush and her eyes turn red whenever she's nearing tipping point, and right now her vision seems as clear as crystal and the only thing that's beet red on her features is her nose. Probably the product of the colds she's been nursing for weeks already, even before she got back from a long, long business trip to Europe. She always gets the worst sniffles just before autumn starts. "Okay, fine. I'll rephrase my question: why are you not fucking yet?"
Seokjin nearly chokes on a pickle and wheezes. If he wanted to be sarcastic in an attempt to wear down Victoria's enthusiasm in grilling him 'til he's caving or drunk enough to spill, then he can easily say of course he and Yoongi can't fuck each other right now because they're, well, in two different places. Yoongi's on his way to Daegu right now or maybe stopped over somewhere to grab a light dinner before embarking on a long-ish train ride — Seokjin hasn't checked his phone yet; he will, once Victoria stops staring at him like it'll convince him to cave faster. Seokjin is somewhere in Bundang, playing good friend and drinking buddy to an old friend from university who's just come home after a very long and tiring stay in another country. They're miles apart. Also, Seokjin isn't quite sure if Yoongi is into remote-controlled toys or anything, so yeah — they definitely can't work each other up right now, in a popular burger restaurant, and sorry, noona, you can't watch us dick each other 'til we cum. The problem is, Victoria's a lot better than him at the sarcasm game, and Seokjin's much too tired to try to exert more than fifty percent of effort in fending off Victoria's questions. Besides, it's not as if he's ever thought of getting it on with Yoongi. Strangely enough, even with all the touching they've been doing these past few months, all of them wholesome, the thought of fucking Yoongi open with three fingers has never crossed his mind.
Until now, yikes, he thinks to himself, then breathes in deeply. He lifts the tab of his beer, takes a generous swig, then finally answers, "Okay, first thing's first: there's no reason for us to fuck, really. We're officemates. We run a food vlog. We don't run a sex toys Youtube channel, geez. And he probably doesn't want us to... start rubbing dicks or something— Second: what they hell happened in that business trip of yours? The hostility, man, I don't get where it's coming from— Noona, stop hitting me—"
Victoria cocks an eyebrow at him. "Oh yeah? Have you ever asked him?"
"If he wants to review sex toys with me?"
"Yes, genius. Of course." Victoria flashes him a wry smile. A beat, then she's saying, "No, I mean did you ever ask him if he wanted to sleep with you—"
"Does sleeping on the same bed count?"
Victoria snorts. "Only if you were both naked."
Seokjin's nose twitches. If, by 'naked', Victoria meant stripped of their defenses and personas, just plain ol' Seokjin and Yoongi instead of Jin and Suga sharing a bed with pillows lodged between them because they're too darn afraid to touch, then yes, Seokjin answers in his head. Yes, they've already shared the same tiny space without any of their guards up. Yes, he actually stirred when Yoongi jerked awake that time in Mapo and decided to literally roll out of bed after realizing he'd been breathing Seokjin in the whole time they were asleep, his face buried in Seokjin's chest and his arms wound around Seokjin's waist like they belonged there and nowhere else. Yes, they've already slept with each other, but that's it — they never talked about their feelings or their past or the reason why Yoongi never showed up when Seokjin told him one fine afternoon in autumn, "Hey, Yoongi, do you— Are you busy after class? Can we talk? I'll— I'll be waiting at the rooftop. After class, alright? See you!"
"Nah, we were both clothed," Seokjin murmurs, and Victoria hangs her head low at the same time that she heaves a sigh. It's funny how his friends are just as emotionally invested in his not-love-life as he is, really, but it's also frustrating that they are because it means there isn't anything to read between the lines anymore. There's only that thin barrier to cross, that single important conversation to have, and everything—maybe everything will finally fall into place.
"That's—That's not the point, though," Seokjin murmurs. He takes another long swig of his drink, then rolls his eyes when he hears Victoria mumble, 'yeah, the point is that you two are weirdos'. It would be so easy to just assume a long and meaningful talk about a topic he and Yoongi have been carefully avoiding all these years will thin that twenty-year-long distance between them, maybe even get rid of it entirely, but then nothing has ever been easy with Yoongi. Yoongi is the one acting all weird and cryptic and shit; Seokjin has always been forward with his actions, deliberate with his words. He hasn't changed since they were kids and Yoongi has known him even before they'd graduated from diapers and if there's anything Yoongi can definitely count on not changing, it's the fact that everything Seokjin says, albeit delivered in the most playful manner possible, is a hundred percent true. "The point is, he's actually not dying to run away from me every chance he gets anymore. Which is a huge improvement. He doesn't look like he's scared I might pass on my coughs and colds to him or whatever anymore, and if you ask me, if you just listen to me for a second, noona, I swear to God you'll know that's a big deal already—"
"What I know is that you two have been putting off talking about whatever it is that pushed you two away from each other. That's what I know for sure, and that's the only thing I'm willing to wrap my mind around 'til you two get your act together." Victoria takes a deep, shaky breath, then lets her shoulders fall forward. She's facing him a little now, torso twisted such that Seokjin can see more of the look scrawled across her features instead of just half a scowl or a frown, and even through the haze of exhaustion and just the light buzz in his head, he can catch that small, upside down smile on her lips. A small, wistful smile that makes his chest ache and his breath catch in his throat. "I've seen how this thing's beaten you up, Seokjinnie. I've seen you get wasted because you saw the guy in Hongdae but never had the balls to walk up to him to say 'hi'. I've seen you get out of your rut and get back up. And now—"
And now I can easily see you falling back into the old habit of trying to figure out what happened when you were still kids, but nope, Seokjin wants to say, wants to argue — he won't go there, back in the dark. He won't make the mistake of slipping back into that really rough patch of his life, when nearly everything was perfect already and his closest, dearest friend just had to walk away. Sure, he and Yoongi are getting really chummy again, and he might have let his defenses down at certain points, but—
"I know what I'm doing, noona," he says, voice steady, strained. His throat feels tight and dry and his chest feels heavy, but it's nothing a good chug of water or beer can't cure. Or maybe even coffee. He just has to be extra careful about taking his coffee too hot, else he'll burn his tongue again. Yoongi won't be around to remind him this time around, and while he's always been great at looking out for people he's never been quite good at looking out for himself. "I won't make the same mistake twice. Now, if you're not gonna touch those onion rings then I'm gonna—gonna help myself to this nice, golden piece right here—"
"I know. I'm just— I just don't understand why you two aren't actually fucking yet," Victoria finally says, then huffs. She reaches over, swatting Seokjin's hand lightly to snatch the biggest onion ring from the bunch, then turns to him with a tiny, little curl perched on a corner of her lips. "I mean, you could've just split ways when you got to the station since you did say he still had to go to Daegu to visit his family, but nope — he just had to make sure you got to this place safely. He just had to make sure you won't pass out while walking here because you're still sick and he doesn't want any hot guy out there pouncing on you the first chance he gets."
Seokjin looks to his side and widens his eyes a little. He had to dump stuff at his house before going to Daegu and the resto was near his house, ish, he wants to say, but all of a sudden it hits him — the reality that Yoongi could've had a shorter walk home if he'd just walked in the direction of Sunae station instead of Ori, that the restaurant was actually out of the way and nowhere near where he and Yoongi lived or even the Buzzfeed office. The reality that Yoongi could've easily just waited 'til Seokjin got seated in the restaurant and left because he was too full to eat anything for dinner but didn't, instead opting to stay 'til Victoria arrived so Seokjin could take a nap during the lull. The reality that Yoongi could've insisted to sleep in that morning instead of dragging his ass across town just so he could accompany Seokjin on a coffee adventure, but didn't.
The reality that, Seokjin realizes when he feels his phone stir in his pants and pulls it out of his pocket, Yoongi could have stopped caring, but didn't. That Yoongi shouldn't be apologizing for 'snatching' one of Seokjin's pain relievers because Seokjin needed it more than he did, but actually is.
"Trust me," Seokjin says after a heartbeat, voice cracking as he takes a generous gulp of his drink, "You're not alone." He gives his phone another look, carefully going through the message a second time in case he'd mistakenly read anything, then takes a deep breath when another message comes in, this time saying, 'Promise I'm gonna pay you back Monday. I don't want to be the reason why you won't show up in the office next week.'
Don't worry about it :), Seokjin says in response, then slips his phone back in his pocket. He calls for the waiter, then asks for three more cans of beer. He ignores the next buzz in his pants, the growing burn in his cheeks, the dull ache in his chest.
"I don't get it, either."
airplanewishes, you're up!