(A/N: So sorry for the delay. Life got busy)
Waking up to a soft poking on the center of his forehead, Hoseok’s eyes fluttered open to stare up at the smiling Seokjin. Groaning, he sat up slightly and scrunched his nose up at his friend who laughed and gave him one final poke. Taking a deep breath, the enchanting scent of the food Seokjin had whipped up filled his nose.
“How do you feel?” Voice gentle and bright, Seokjin reached out to ruffle Hoseok’s hair, making the man flinch back as thoughts of the kiss they shared ate away at him. Why would he even bother asking that question? What did he expect him to say?
"I feel… Numb. I don’t feel anything. It’s like being trapped in a nightmare. You know you should feel something but you can’t because it isn’t real.” Taking a shaky breath, Hoseok met Jin’s eyes, trying to find some form of comfort in those stunning chocolate orbs. “But this is real… So why can’t I feel anything? I’m not happy. I’m not sad or angry or heartbroken. I’m just… I’m nothing.” Sighing, he dropped his gaze and glanced blankly at a frayed thread in Jin’s blanket. There was no solace anymore? The one person he had always been safe with… Seokjin was turning him into a monster. The same kind of monster Taehyung had become, the kind that selfishly broke hearts for their own happiness. Because he had no doubt he could be happy here with this man. But Jin wasn’t his man and Namjoon deserved better.
”Hoseok…” Frowning in concern, Jin hesitated and Hoseok could tell he was sizing up the situation. Desperately, his friend tried to walk on the broken glass that was Hoseok’s emotions without getting himself cut to pieces.
“It’s fine, Seokjin.” Giving a weak smile in an attempt to sooth his companion’s worry, Hoseok shifted uncomfortably on the bed. “I’m fine. Don’t worry about it.”
“Jung Hoseok…” Clearly unconvinced, Seokjin’s voice was a little more stern this time. It was a tactic Jin had always used when he thought Hoseok wasn’t taking care of himself physically or emotionally and sympathy wasn’t working, he’d scold Hoseok into submission. But he couldn’t allow Jin to break him down this time.
“That smells amazing.” Sniffing the air, he let out a resigned sigh before gently tugging a lock of Seokjin’s hair. “Let’s go eat, yeah?”
“You rest. I’ll go get you some food...” Attentive, Seokjin reached out to stop him from getting out of bed, grabbing his hand to keep Hoseok beside him. The gesture brought back memories of the kiss they had shared again, driving it deeper into his guilty conscious, and Hoseok stopped in his tracks, suddenly questioning if he should just leave before things got more complicated between them. Maybe all he was good for was complicating things.
“Jin…” Pleading softly, he pulled his hand away from his best friend and practically bolted off the other side of the bed. I part of him knew he was being unreasonable. Seokjin wasn’t currently doing anything more than trying to take care of him. But the rest of him wanted so much more and he hated it. Maybe he was trying to flee from his own feelings more than he was from Jin’s actions.
“I know what you’re going to say, Hoseok.” Making no further physical attempt to stop him, Seokjin seemed drained of all of his usual energy. “You’re going to tell me to stop, not to worry about you. To focus on things that matter. But don’t you get it yet? You are what matters. You’re all that’s ever mattered. Damn it, Hoseok. I’m in love with you.” It was amazing to Hoseok how one sentence could make his heart swell with extreme joy and feel like someone had stabbed him in it all at the same time. He felt sick at his own impulse to embrace the other man. Gripping his hands into fists tight enough for his nails to draw blood from his palms, he swallowed down a wave of vomit in an attempt to speak evenly and with conviction.
“You love Namjoon.” Voice barely a croak and wavering like ripples on the water, he managed to get words of protest to come out.
“It’s not the same.” Shaking his head, Seokjin took a step toward him and Hoseok felt shame and anger rise up inside of him. Before the other man could approach him any further, he closed the gap between them and pushed Jin as hard as he could, causing them both to stumble back a few steps.
“STOP! Stop it! S-stop it, Jin… I can’t do this with you.” Rage gave way to pain and it was all he could do to keep himself from crying again. “I can’t. You’re in a relationship. And I’m not going to hurt someone like Jimin hurt me. Like Taehyung hurt Jungkook. I’m not a ing Home-wrecker. So stop.”
“I… I’m sorry. I just…” It was obvious that Jin was ashamed of his own actions as he fumbled for something to say to explain himself. “I needed you to know...”
“And what about what I need, Jin?” That hollow feeling he had woken up with was beginning to set in again as he gathered his phone and wallet. Hoseok needed to get out of here before he suffocated on his own feelings.
“You need to know that you’re worth so much more than you think you are.” Eyes sad and glazed with his own unshed tears, Seokjin reached out for him again, hand shaking as badly as Hoseok’s were.
“You don’t know what I need!” Managing to avoid his touch, Hoseok dodged out of the room, barely stopping to put on his shoes with Jin following close behind.
“I know you more than I know anything in my whole life, Jung Hoseok.” Hands gripped his shoulders gently as he opened the front door and the feeling of Jin so close to him made him weak in the knees yet he managed to find the will to stay on his feet.
“I’m going to go pick up some more of my stuff from Taehyung’s. I’ll let you know if I’m getting a hotel tonight.” Closing his eyes, he inhaled the comforting scent of the most important person in his life and hated himself for it. He had to get out of there.
“Hoseok, please…” Strong arms wrapped around him as Jin held him tightly to his chest. A frantic heartbeat pounded at his back, echoing his own. Thinking he could be hurting Seokjin killed him but anything else would be disgusting. Giving in to their feelings while Namjoon was still in the picture and unaware of the situation would turn them into wicked monster and Hoseok couldn’t be a monster. He wouldn’t be able to live with it.
“I’ll see you later.” Pulling away, he took a quick step forward and closed the front door between them. Wasting no time, he sprinted into the elevator where he proceeded to crumple to the carpeted floor and sob into his hands. How had everything become so broken? Why did his heaven have to become his hell? It wasn’t fair and he was at a loss for what to do. In the end someone would have to end up hurt. His only question was if he could follow his heart or morals.
Pacing his living room in front of his front door, Seokjin kept looking at the clock on his wall. It was starting to get late and he hadn’t heard anything more form Hoseok. Worry was beginning to dig at him and he was contemplating calling the local hospitals to see if he’d ended up there somehow. Gripping his phone tightly in his hands, he tried Hoseok’s number again, hoping against hope that this time the other man would answer his call. He needed him to answer before he lost his mind completely.
“Why do you keep calling?” Hoseok’s voice sounded distant and it made Jin’s chest feel tight with anxiety and remorse.
“I know you never went to Taehyung’s. I called him to check on you. Just…” Remnants of tears slid down his reddened cheeks as he chewed his bottom lip nervously. “Hobi, come home. Please.”
“Jinnie… Seokjin. I…” Hoseok’s voice cracked on the line and Jin found himself physically flinching at the sound, knowing it was his own fault. “I don’t think we can be friends anymore.” Almost dropping his phone in shock at Hoseok’s words, Seokjin’s mind went blank.
“I broke up with Namjoon!” Before he even realized he had anything to say, panic overtook him and the words spilled out of his lips. Heart stopping, he mentally cursed himself for telling the fragile man such a blatant lie. Sure, he was going to leave Namjoon, but he hadn’t yet.
“What?” Just as shocked by Jin’s outburst, Hoseok sounded hesitant and confused, as though he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Knowing he should tell the truth, Seokjin couldn’t. He could not risk losing Hoseok. The best he could do was avoid talking about his lie until he made it a truth. And to speak with as much honestly as he could…
“I don’t want to be with him.” Confiding the emotions he had tried to ignore for so long felt like a relief, even if he was using that confession as a way to sell his lie and get Hoseok back by his side. “I haven’t been happy for a while now and… Hoseok I’ve always wanted to be with you.”
“You broke up with Namjoon?” Tone laced with guilt, Hoseok still seemed to resit their fated romance and Jin wished he had some sort of evidence to support his lie and ease Hoseok’s soul. “Seokjin…”
“Just come home, okay? I’ll even come pick you up.” Snagging his car keys off of the end table beside the door, Seokjin prepared to search all night to find Hoseok if he had to. “I… I want you here with me, Hoseok.”
“I’m at the park.” Seeming to give in, Hoseok finally disclosed his location, setting Seokjin’s mind just a little at ease. “… Seokjin?”
“Mm?” Locking the apartment door behind him, Seokjin barely managed a grunt in response as he rushed out to his car.
“I’m sorry I caused you pain.” Hoseok’s apology caught him off guard, knowing it was the last thing he actually deserved. Almost confessing his lie, Seokjin bit his lip hard to hold the words back and gather his resolve. He was not going to ruin this.
“You don’t need to apologize, my Hope.” Hoping he sounded joyful on the phone, Seokjin closed his car door and buckled himself in. “I’m the one who’s sorry. I’ll be there soon. I love you.”
“.… I… I love you too, Jin.” Despite his hesitation, Hoseok sounded relieved to finally say the words and Jin just hoped that relief could remain. The line clicked and he knew the other man had hung up so Jin could drive safely. Hoseok always did force him to take great caution when driving.
“…” Sitting in the car a moment, Seokjin punched the dash and growled at the pain it caused his hand. How could he lie to the one person he loved more than anything? What if Seokjin found out? What if he hates him? No! Seokjin was going to break up with Namjoon soon. Before Hoseok ever found out it was a lie. Everything was going to be okay. It had to be.