ao3 | aff
The Other Side
When Yoongi was a kid, just a few weeks short of turning twelve, he had nightmares.
His older brother used to tease him when he talked about it, but without any real malice. He remembered staying up in bed, shaking and sweaty, too scared to sleep again in case he had the same nightmare.
On one of those nights, he got up and found his mother in the living room. Her head was resting on the back of the couch, a TV show was playing in the background.
She opened one of her eyes as soon as he entered and beckoned him to come closer. He shuffled towards her until he was sitting on the couch, legs dangling.
She put her hand on his head, stroking his hair. He closed his eyes and let himself relax. He lay down, head resting on her legs. She started to hum a familiar tune under her breath but he was asleep before he realised what song it was.
On nights like that one, nightmares didn't come back.
* * *
And then he grew older, and nightmares became real.
The basin was cold beneath his sweaty hands as Yoongi took a deep, long breath. He washed his face with water, trying to calm down. His stomach was in knots, his heartbeat beating rapidly in his ears ever since he glanced at the people expecting to watch him perform in a couple of minutes. People who were going to watch him as he fucked up or said the wrong line, staring with judgemental eyes that seemed to bore into his skull.
He heard footsteps behind him and when he looked at the mirror, he saw the reflection of Jeongguk.
"You okay, hyung?"
"We are going to start in a bit."
"I know," Yoongi said. "Just give me a minute."
The 16-year-old watched him closely, shifting his weight, hesitating. Yoongi had to stop himself from saying anything stupid or mean just to get the kid to leave so he could have a moment alone. So he could calm down and stop the nearing panic attack, so he could think and remind himself of why he was doing this. That he wanted to do this. That he wanted to go out there and perform in front of all those people. It wasn't the kid's fault that he was suddenly so overwhelmed.
Jeongguk seemed to realise it on his own, though, because he headed for the door. But just before he was out of the small bathroom, he turned around and walked towards Yoongi again, placing a hand on his shoulder, squeezing lightly and offering a small smile.
Yoongi found himself smiling back at the kid and nodding in silent gratitude as Jeongguk said that he was going to try to postpone the show for a couple more minutes.
Yoongi glanced at his reflection in the mirror again once Jeongguk left and swallowed. Minutes ticked by quickly and suddenly he was faced with either going to perform or leaving and disappointing his group members, his boys.
* * *
Jin smiled as soon as he entered and a moment later they were all in front of hundreds. Everything was suddenly too loud, too many people looking at him and he wanted to take a couple of steps back and leave before he did anything he'd regret.
And then the music started to play. His body seemed to work on his own, following the dance steps they had been working on, rapping the words he'd spent nights writing and agonising over, his heartbeat thundering in his chest in both fear and excitement as the cheers around him got louder.
And then it was done. Namjoon was talking to the fans, and Yoongi was left standing behind him, trying to catch his breath and appear calm as he watched the fans' smile and laugh at the leader's words. Hoseok was standing next to him and the energised boy grinned when they locked eyes.
A couple of minutes later and they were standing backstage again, watching the next group perform. Someone was talking to them about how good their performance was but all Yoongi could focus on was the six other young men standing next to him. His anchor and his constant group of support.