The Most Beautiful Moments in Life…Are Together
Suga: so we go to the same school?
RapMonster: Looks like it.
Suga: did you wanna meet up?
RapMonster: you sure you want to drop your cool-factor by hanging with an underclassman?
Suga: ..im usually alone, but sometimes i have some friends
Suga: youve met one on here
RapMonster: Ah, yeah. I have a friend or two as well. They don't have cool names or anything, but one of them is obsessed with the letter ‘V.’
Suga: thats weird
RapMonster: Hey, he's one of my closest friends.
Suga: i didnt mean to offend you
RapMonster: It’s cool.
Suga: so then are we good to meet up?
RapMonster: I’ll bring my friends and you bring yours - we can guess who each other are, since two of you know me.
Suga: meet me under the tree in the corner of the patio at lunch
RapMonster: That sounds like you're issuing a challenge.
Suga: don't fight me
Suga: i wont fight back
RapMonster: See you tomorrow, Suga.
-[RapMonster] has logged off-
Yoongi sat back, having been leaning forward to squint at the screen of his laptop. He was going to meet his best friend finally. The two of them had been friends for the better part of a year now. It was found out that he and RapMonster attended the same school, and that Yoongi was two years older - he was a senior and RapMonster was a sophomore.
There was a knock on the frame of Yoogi's door. He looked up and saw his brother, who he thought was away for college. He must have been on break.
“Are you seriously on your laptop in the dark again?” Yoongi rolled his eyes.
“I wasn't aware that I wasn't allowed to.” His brother chuckled.
“C’mon you dork. Dinner’s ready.” Yoongi set his laptop aside and crawled to the edge of his bed and heaved himself onto his feet.
“What's for dinner?” Yoongi asked.
- - - - - - -
Yoongi waited with Seokjin and Hoseok beneath the tree. Seokjin was a senior, like Yoongi, and was a few months older, while Hoseok was a junior, and about a year younger.
Seokjin and Yoongi had met in their sophomore year when they had both submitted something to their school’s magazine, and got into trouble. Seokjin submission had been a somewhat suggestive photograph, and even though nothing was showing, it was implied that the subject was naked, and that wasn't school-appropriate. Yoongi thought it was a nice picture, in grayscale. Yoongi’s submission had been the lyrics to a rap that he had written by himself (disguised as a poem) and the school thought it too violent for a fifteen year old boy. Yoongi and Seokjin had bonded over the mutual hatred they had for ‘the system.’
Yoongi had met Hoseok through Seokjin. The two of them were acquainted at a cafe one morning. Seokjin was sitting near the window, taking pictures, as he liked to do, of what he called ‘everyday human interactions.’ Hoseok had come in for a black coffee on his way to dance practice one Saturday. Seokjin saw the way that Hoseok held himself - with confidence and grace - and knew that Hoseok was his new muse. Seokjin wanted to photograph the dancer when he was dancing when he was catching his breath after exerting all the energy he could spare, when he was standing still and ordering coffee. Hoseok found that ridiculous, that anyone would want to take pictures of him, but during the year that he had known Yoongi and Seokjin, he had gotten used to the click of a camera whenever he did something pretty to Seokjin’s artist eyes.
It also helped that Hoseok liked to dabble in writing raps like Yoongi. The two of them became friends quickly when Seokjin had introduced them, and soon, Yoongi had shown him a website where one could get helpful advice and feedback when one didn’t know where to go next in a piece of writing, be it a song or an essay, and there was even a category for fanfiction. The song section was where Yoongi had met Rap Monster (a pretty cocky name, he’d have thought, if the guy’s lyrics weren’t so beautiful, and powerful. He wrote them too fast for his fingers to keep up sometimes, and the typos got really bad sometimes.)
The two, Yoongi and Rap Monster, were never brave enough to exchange names, so the rapper on the other side of the computer screen remained anonymous. For some reason though, even if they won’t say their names, they’ll show their faces.
“Party at three o’clock. That’s some bright hair.” Hoseok was referring to who he’d learn to be Jimin.
“Is one of you RapMonster?” Seokjin asked, even though he was the one that didn’t know him.
“Yup. Two of you Suga and J-Hope?” Taehyung often gave off an unapproachable vibe, since his eyes were usually so intense, and his voice very deep. Namjoon, the sixteen-year-old boy behind the username ‘RapMonster’ was also often mistaken as intimidating, so he and Taehyung had flocked to one another during lunch on the first day of school, Jimin hot on Taehyung’s tail. Those boys both fourteen and freshman (well, Taehyung was fourteen, Jimin was three months older and had just turned fifteen two weeks prior. He had invited Namjoon and Taehyung to his party and they drank Capri Suns and played Just Dance until one in the morning) met on the first day of school as in English, and again in History. They had been fast friends as well, and Taehyung almost looked like a bodyguard for Jimin, who had a much smaller stature than both Tae and Namjoon on either side of him.
Jimin waved to Hoseok, knowing him from the dance studio they both frequented - along with a seventh grader that Jimin was trying to convince to go to their high school.
Hoseok waved back with a brief, knowing smile. Yoongi eyed the two of them for a moment, before turning to Seokjin. “Which one do you think it is?”
Seokjin hummed. “Hmm. Tall, dark and handsome number one, number two, or the crayon in the center?” Yoongi smirked.
Simultaneously, the younger group also guessing among themselves, who the two rappers were. “J-Hope is the dork I was waving to,” Jimin said.
“Are you sure?” Namjoon wasn’t doubting Jimin, just being sure. There wasn’t a penalty for guessing wrong or a prize for guessing wrong, but Namjoon just really didn’t want to lose. Jimin nodded.
“Describe Suga again?” Taehyung had his concentration face on again - something that Seokjin found himself wanting to photograph, even more than Hoseok.
“He’s powerful, and never typed more than he had to. His humor is a little dry, but still a bit funny. “Namjoon though for a moment. “He’s very understanding, and knows every line to at least eighteen Kanye West songs - I quizzed him.” Jimin held up his hand to pause him.
“Hold up, does that mean that you know every line to at least eighteen Kanye West songs?” Namjoon had paused.
“That’s not the point, Jimin.”
“So, what do you think, Hoseok?” Seokjin turned to his friend, asking his opinion on the matter.
“It’s not the red one in the middle - I think it’s the dangerous one on the left.
“The one with the dark brown hair?” Hoseok nodded. The two looked ot Yoongi for his final opinion. He watched the three younger boys arguing about Kanye West as he thought.
“No, I’m not going to start rapping Kanye West right now, it’ll be a dead give-away.”
“Well, I don’t know any Kanye.” Jimin passed the torch to Taehyung, who hadn’t said anything in awhile.
“I mean, I know some, but you both know that I’m no rapper.” He put his hands up in surrender.
“Man,” Jimin said. “I don’t know which of us is in the harder situation, us or them.” In fact, they were both in the situation of having to guess between two people.
“I have an idea!” Jimin’s eyes lit up as he called five people’s attentions to him. “Why don’t we introduce ourselves? We’re guessing usernames, so there’s no harm in that, right?” He ended with shrugged shoulders and high eyebrows. Everyone nodded in agreement. “Okay, I’ll start. I’m Park Jimin!” His excitement was infectious, not only to Taehyung, but to Seokjin and Hoseok as well, who all but ran each other over to go next.
Yoongi and Namjoon locked eyes and they just knew. Their silence was enough to say who they were to the other - best friends, meeting in real life for the first time. Namjoon introduced himself first.
“Hey, Suga. I’m Kim Namjoon.” He held his hand out to Yoongi.
“RapMonster, it’s nice to finally meet you in person. My name is Min Yoongi.” Seokjin and Hoseok has essentially deflated when they heard this - they were having fun guessing who the mysterious ‘RapMonster’ was. Taehyung and Jimin were unaffected, and proceeded to dump their bags on the ground next to the table outside.
“Thank God this area is shaded,” Jimin said as he sat next to Hoseok and across Taehyung, who sat next to Seokjin.
“For now. It’s autumn,” Seokjin said. “The leaves will fall, but it’s cold out here in the winter.” He was studying Taehyung’s profile out of the corner of his eye as he said this. On the other side of the table (and on the other side of Hoseok), Yoongi rolled his eyes. He knew that look. Seokjin considered everyone as a subject before he accepted them - he had a phase where he wanted his camera always trained on Yoongi as well.
Namjoon sat next to Yongi, filling one side of the table and leaving two empty spots across from the best friends, only one of which would be eventually filled.
- - - - - - -
Seokin was crushing.
On a freshman.
It was like an unwritten rule, somewhere in the high school rulebook, that a senior should never, ever, fall for a freshman - especially since he was eighteen now, and the freshmen was actually turning fifteen in three days.
Was it still considered illegal since they were both in school together? Probably. And if he asked anyone in the friend group, said freshman would inevitably find out, and that was actually the last thing that Seokjin needed right now.
But he had been so kind to Seokjin, listening to his every direction when he had finally agreed to a photoshoot. It had taken some convincing on Seokjin’s end though.
“Oh, I like to take photos, and so I’ve done shoots for some of the others,” he assured Taehyung. And he did have stacks of photos at home, of Yoongi and Hoseok. Seokjin had printed them all with a special photo printer that his mother had given to him for his birthday two years ago, that way he could keep plenty of space on his digital - although he did love his pink polaroid as well.
Taehyung had been a perfect model, so beautiful and so compliant, so open to possibility. They had taken the photos at an old faded playground, the equipment sun-damaged and no longer colored in bright primary hues. The wood ships were a full beige, dirty and worn from years of wear-and-tear, years of parents running to their crying children, of those same children running because they were so excited to go to the park and play with their friends. These chips had probably seen those children grow up - they had certainly watched over Seokjin as he grew into the young man that he was now.
Taehyung stood out from the surroundings perfectly - a dark leather jacket that fit him perfectly was laid over a black and white graphic t-shirt, paired with black vans and maroon jeans.
“Here, take this,” Seokjin said, handing his black, wide brimmed hat to Taehyung. The younger boy gave him an incredulous look, like he had never seen anyone so excited to take pictures before.
“Why do you want to take pictures of me though?” Taehyung was looking down at the hat in his hands.
“Uh, Taehyung?” Seokjin called his friend’s attention, but Taehyung didn't look up. Well, his eyes did, but he didn't move his head. His pout was killing Seokjin. “I like to take pictures of everyone. Did Hoseok tell you how I met him?” Taehyung shook his head, eyes still trained on his hyung. “I like to go to crowed areas and take photos of people. I met him at a cafe when he want one day while I was there, and he is one of the few people that I want to be able to take pictures of forever.”
“Who are the other few?” Taehyung looked up now, and Seokjin took a step closer.
“Yoongi, Jimin, Namjoon, myself.” Taehyung chuckled when Seokjin pretended to flip his hair over his shoulder. “And you. I want to take pictures of you, Taehyung.” He shook his head. “You're one of the best looking people that I've seen, Taehyung. The camera will love your face as much as I do.” Seokjin’s face told Taehyung that he was completely serious.
“Alright,” Tae said as he looked Seokjin straight in the eyes. “Where do you want me to go?”
Seokjin was falling so hard.
Two months after the shoot, there was a contest held by a popular magazine, and Seokjin had entered his favorite picture of the Taehyung shoot.
“Ah, Taehyung?” Seokjin came last to the lunch table, as usual. Ever since the two groups had merged in October, they had laid claim to the table outside, and they always sat there, unless it was raining before lunch had started. Then, they'd migrate inside to the senior dining hall where they could all get in because of Yoongi and Seokjin.
The freshman looked up at Seokjin. “Yes?” That look of innocence drove Seokjin mad.
“Don't be mad, alright?” Seokjin set down his backpack, and sat across from Taehyung. Hoseok was the only one he had told about the submission, so he knew what this was about - he also knew that the results had come this morning. Seokjin must have already opened his email.
“Um, okay?” Taehyung raised an eyebrow and Seokjin wanted his camera.
“Remember the photo shoot?” Taehyung nodded. “Well, I submitted one of the pictures to a contest, and, uh. Well, you won, Tae.” Jimin slapped Taehyung on the back in celebration, and Namjoon clapped politely. Yoongi kept eating, and Hoseok set the record straight.
“I hope that you mean the both of you won together, hyung?” Seokjin flushed. Nobody had ever complimented his shots before, and he really always gave all of the crust to the subjects. He didn't consider himself part of the equation - it had always been the subject and the camera.
“So, what exactly did you win, Seokjin-hyung?” Namjoon asked between bites.
“Oh. I won an internship for the magazine, as well as a bit of prize money. I'm going to be a photojournalist.” Everyone got silent. It was like they had all, simultaneously remembered that Seokjin (and Yoongi for that matter) were going to graduate in a few months.
Yoongi spoke up. “I got one at one of the local radio stations.” Namjoon looked shocked.
“Really? That's amazing!” He looked like a puppy, showing the excitement that Yoongi hadn't. He also looked like he wanted to give him a hug, but he knew that Yoongi didn't like human contact in any way, shape, or form. Hoseok didn't respect his boundaries as much, and proceeded to throw his arm around his hyung’s shoulders.
“Whoa! Nice one, man!” His enthusiasm and smile transferred to Yoongi, like only Hoseok could do.
“Yeah. I sent them one of my raps, and they liked it,” Yoongi began. The others payed attention, because storytime with Yoongi was a rare occurrence. “So I go in every Thursday, and I get to mess around with the equipment for two hours. Sometimes, I get to play my own stuff.” Really, the only way for anyone to get Yoongi to talk was by bringing up his music. His parents don't approve, but it's all he wanted in life - to be recognized as an artist, to be worthy of praise, to make his parents proud.
“Man, that's awesome,” Namjoon said. “I'm proud of you.” Jimin nodded.
“Yeah! We're all so proud and excited for you, hyung!” He turned to Seokjin. “You too, Jin-hyung!” He got up from his usual seat beside Hoseok and hugged the newly-nicknamed oldest member of their friend group.
And then lunch when on as normal. Seokjin spouted a multitude of puns (some good, some bad. They were judged by the number of laughs or groans) and Namjoon shared random facts, with the help of Taehyung, until the three of them got hit by grapes that the other three had thrown.
“Hey, I have this chemistry joke that you all need to hear...it's sodium funny.” There was silence for all of two seconds before Jin started laughing at his own joke, almost to the point of tears, like usual.
“Hey, hey.” The group looked to him as he struggled to not burst out laughing again. “What did the blanket say as it fell off of the bed?”
Jimin, like usual, answered. “What?”
“Oh, sheet.” He laughed so hard that some of the other students that are outside have him looks. Namjoon and Jimin laughed too, while Hoseok smiled and Taehyung suppressed his giggles.
They had fun at lunch.
But the seniors proceeded to graduate that year (Jin always teased Yoongi, asking how he scraped together enough credits with how often he skipped) and the next school year was a bit more dull without them. Sometimes, one of Namjoon’s friends in Hoseok’s grade would come sit with them, but he also had a friend group that Namjoon would sit with. He also was on the site that Namjoon met Yoongi on.
The year after that, Jimin was practically bouncing in his seat on the bus to school. Hoseok, who said that he wasn't going to college, rode with him on his way to work at a cafe. He knew why Jimin was excited, but he did nothing to earn Namjoon and Taehyung of their friend’s condition.
At lunch on the first day, Taehyung looked around expectantly, having already claimed the group’s usually table, even though it only consisted of Namjoon, a senior, and him and Jimin who were both juniors.
“Hey. Where mochi?” He looked up to to see Namjoon bedside him. The older boy sat across from Tae.
“I dunno. Maybe he already got into trouble?”
“Hmm. Maybe.” Taehyung looked back at the entrance of the courtyard where they sat. “Wait, there he is. Does he have a freshman with him?”
“How did Jimin already make friends with a freshman?” Taehyung then realized that he was no longer the maknae if this newcomer joined their group.
“Tae, Namjoon-hyung, this is my friend Jeongguk. He goes to the same dance studio as Hoseok-hyung and I.” The boy looked so nervous. He was about Jimin’s height and had black, almost purple hair.
“Uh, hello. I'm Jeon Jeongguk. Jimin-hyung likes to call my Kookie, so I guess you can too.” He bowed respectfully.
“Hey, Jeongguk. I'm Kim Taehyung.” He stood from the table and reached over it to give little Kookie a handshake, which was returned eagerly. “I'm a junior.” He was really happy that he was no longer the youngest. Jin and Yoongi always sent him on errands.
“I'm Kim Namjoon. Senior. Pleasure to meet you, finally. Hoseok and Jimin like to talk about you. A lot.” Jeongguk looked at Jimin, scared.
“Only good things, I swear. We'd never say anything bad about you, Jeonggukkie~”
Namjoon had a feeling that Jimin would often flirt with Jeongguk. The frightened freshman nodded, and hesitated before sitting, not knowing which upperclassman to sit by, Namjoon or Taehyung. Jimin chose for him when he went around the table and sat by Taehyung. Jeongguk was made to sit by Namjoon.
They both made fun of Hoseok the whole lunch period, but they both could tell that the other respected the ray of sunshine that was Jung Hoseok.
On the weekends, everyone in the original group would meet up, and this weekend, it was Taehyung’s choice of place to meet up. They started rotating every week after Jimin took them to the arcade three weeks in a row when they started this the year prior. Tae chose the skatepark pretty often. Even though Seokjin hated the skatepark, and the idea of his crush in danger made a knot in his stomach, he loved these weekend meetups. After he graduated, he continued his photojournalism career, and he was good at it. His favorite part of the weekend meetups was that he could take more pictures of all of his friends, as well as Tae.
Yoongi’s internship had also gone well, but while he was writing more music, he was technically unemployed, gaining his income from YouTube videos. He was slowly gaining popularity and sometimes, he’d feature Namjoon or Hoseok in a song, and they had some fans as well. They were always asking for another collab.
Hoseok, like mentioned earlier, was working at a cafe and was hoping to audition for a dance competition as soon as he saw one that fit him. One that was he was sure that he could win. Jimin was trying this best to encourage his friend, and always brought him flyers on the Saturdays that the three dancers all met up at their mutual studio.
At the skatepark on Sunday, Jimin brought Jeongguk to meet the other three friends. Taehyung and Jimin went immediately to challenge one another to the cooler tricks, and left Jeongguk with two strangers and two friends.
“Hello.” Seokjin waved to the young oy half-hiding behind Namjoon. “You must be Jimin and Hosoek’s friend. I’m the oldest, Kim Seokjin. Just call me Jin, please. It’s easier.”
Jeongguk nodded, and Yoongi muttered his name as an introduction. There was some odd feeling he got from looking at the freshman, so he was going to stay back until he figured out what it was. Jeongguk bowed deeply again to his two new older friends, intimidated by them both. Seokjin was very obviously older, and almost subconsciously commanded respect. Yoongi did too, but not so much in a physical war. His controlled expressions and quiet nature put Jeongguk on edge.
After introductions were made, Namjoon pulled out a notebook from his bag and sat off to the side. Hoseok and Jin both started talking about another candid photo shoot, and Jimin and Taehyung were still having a trick battle - Taehyung now with a few bruises from falling. Jeongguk approached Namjoon.
“Hyung.” Namjoon held up a finger, letting Jeongguk know that he'd be finished soon. When he drilled his pencil, he looked up.
“Yeah. What do you need?” He had set down his pencil on the notebook that was resting on his long, folded legs. It was almost hard to believe that he'd be turning eighteen in a few weeks.
“Why aren't you skating like the others?” Jeongguk sat beside Namjoon, facing him. Namjoon chuckled, his eyes closed, and shook his head.
“Seokjin said I wasn't allowed to skate, that I was ‘too much a danger to not only myself, but to everyone else as well.’ I didn't sprain my wrist on purpose, I was just catching my fall.” Jeongguk had heard about this from Hoseok and Jimin - something about one of their friends being so clumsy that he had chartered the nickname ‘God of Destruction.’
Jeongguk didn't know that he'd get to potentially see the god in action. “Oh,” he said. “Then what are you doing instead?” Namjoon shifted his notebook so that Jeongguk could look at the lyrics he was writing. “Wow! Do you know what you want to call it yet?” Namjoon shrugged.
“I’m thinking ‘No More Dream,’ but maybe not. I still haven't decided. I was going to ask Yoongi where he thought before I put it on SoundCloud. He's kind of a musical genius.” Jeongguk thought back to lunch on Friday, when Namjoon was complaining about his hard advanced classes.
“But hyung, you're so smart. You could make it big in the world - especially with scores like yours!” Over the summer, Namjoon had gotten test scores back for some pretty important exams, and he had told the lunch group about them. Even if he wasn't likely to take those tests, Jeongguk knew that they were extremely impressive. If Jeongguk was half as intelligent as Namjoon, he'd be set for life too.
Namjoon shook his head. “Not with my outlook and beliefs. I'd much rather write, and if Yoongi’s turned off YouTube notifications are anything to go by, maybe it's okay that I feel like this.” He gestured to his spiral notebook.
“Hey!” Hoseok called out to Namjoon and Jeongguk. They looked up at him. “You guys should watch this.” He proceeded to land almost any trick that Jimin and Taehyung could think of. Then Jeongguk called one out, and the juniors nodded and egged Hoseok on.
Seokjin, who had been quietly snapping pictures, put a stop to that quickly.
“No. Even I know that trick, and I also happen to know the chance of success for that trick, and I don't happen to feel like taking you to the ER when you land on your arm wrong or hit you head.”
Hoseok groaned, as well as Jimin and Taehyung. Jeongguk simply grinned, happy that his trick was so hard that momma Jin wouldn't let Hobi perform it. Namjoon chuckled and Yoongi rolled his eyes.
“Yo! I'm hungry. Let's go get-” Jimin began.
“Were not getting pizza again,” Namjoon said, exasperated. Jimin had suggested pizza every other week for the last two months. Jimin and Taehyung were both disappointed.
“How about burgers?” Jeongguk was nervous, speaking out to a group older than him, still, but Seokjin and Yoongi nodded. “We haven't had that in a while. Which place?” Yoongi poured when Jin asked another question. He wanted to go back inside and sit down on a chair, not the ground.
Jimin and Hoseok started listing ideas before Yoongi chose one at random. “It's decided. Let's go.” Since Jin had known him for so long, he recognized the pleasing look in his eyes.
“Yeah, alright. That sounds great. Does everyone have everything?” Everyone looked around, and the three skaters all made sure they had their boards before they all took off. “And no riding them while we walk. We don't want to run anyone over.” Jimin pouted and Jeongguk resisted the urge to laugh. He was going to like it in the group.
A little over a month later, Seokjin texted Jeongguk, asking where they should all meet up tomorrow.
MommaJin: Hey Kookie~
MommaJin: Where are we going to spend tomorrow?
Jeon-kookie: What do you mean?
MommaJin: Tomorrow is Sunday, and it’s your turn to pick where we all hang out.
Jeon-kookie: Are you sure? I just met you guys.
MommaJin: Absolutely sure. You’ve been hanging out with ous for a week and a half.
MommaJin: Plus, Yoongi won’t stop talking about you - I think he wants to see you again, because he’s under the impression that I know everything about you.
Jeon-kookie: Oh. Well, I know a place. I can take you all there tomorrow. Meet up at the skatepark.
MommaJin: Alright. I’ll let the rest know. See you tomorrow, Kookie~
Jeon-kookie: Yeah. Tomorrow.
That week, Jeongguk showed the group the place he went when he was feeling alone.
“So, where are we going?” Jimin called from the end of the single file line of boys on the sidewalk. It was surprisingly crowded on the streets, but they soon left the city behind. When Jeongguk led them to an old building on the edge of town, loud complaints turned to silent curiosities. None of the older boys had been here before, but Kookie obviously had. He knew exactly where in the overgrowth in the back his path started.
The group walked along in almost silence - only breathing and the crunching of leaves beneath their shoes said that they were there at all.
“Is this legal?” Taehyung broke the comfortable silence.
“I don’t know. But come on.” Jeongguk gestured them forward. “We’re almost there.”
They all continued for another couple of minutes, until the maknae in the lead stopped walking. Namjoon nearly ran into Yoongi, and Hoseok did run into Taehyung.
“A little warning next time?” Jin was kind in his suggestion.
“Yeah,” Jeongguk dismissed the comment in the moment but remembered it for later. “Alright. Are you all ready?” Jeongguk had been nervous around the group on very many occasions, but not so bad as he was now. Everyone nodded. Jeongguk pushed through the last line of foliage into a clearing. Well, it seemed like a clearing, but that’s not quite what it was.
It was a large, old, drained, abandoned pool.