HULLLLOOOOOO NONNIE… I don’t know why but I find it the cutest when people call me by ma name… I luff it. Feels like we’re pals. Which we are, even if you ask ridic questions!
“Prefer” is not really the appropriate term. “Feel more sincere, deep and unavoidable empathy (and sympathy) for” might be more appropriate. I don’t dislike Robert, I did… for, erm, 2 weeks. But my heart is too soft. Like Aaron’s. Lol… I love him endlessly. But reasons why I love Aaron? Hmmmm….
I love Aaron Dingle more (not really lol) for all the reasons Robert Sugden loves Aaron Dingle more.
1. Because, as well as soft, Aaron Dingle’s heart is PURE. Yes, he has flaws. That boy’s anger issues could fill a case study into boys’ anger issues. But he tries so hard to be GOOD. So hard. 9/10 times he wants to do the right thing. The remaining 1/10 times Robert’s leading him astray or towards the fun (but he’s edging Robert towards a moral consciousness too, the effect they have on eachother is incredible). Andy’s right, he did make Robert a better man. They make eachother better versions of themselves.
Being led astray by Robert
2. Because… and I don’t want to labour this point… but because, Aaron Dingle is a phoenix from the fucking ashes. After everything he’s endured… You could forgive him for laying down and giving up. But he never does. He struggles on. He SMILES! I need to be more like that. Something I admire. Something Robert admires. His strength. His fortitude. I have no doubt that Robert is in awe at what Aaron’s survived. His childhood, coming out, Jackson, prison… But remember when Robert tells him he couldn’t get through prison (when Liv bribes Ryan)? What’s almost as amazing as this resilience, is that other people who’ve suffered less feel they can come to him and tell him their troubles. Leave their worries at his door. He never judges other people for how they measure their own suffering. His childhood was wretched, but he still managed to recognise Robert’s own misery and suffering, and empathise with him. Just… beguiling…
3. Because he loves his family and friends. He forgives his family and friends of almost everything. His heart is so big. The way him and Chas have blossomed. Paddy?? The way he took Liv in straight away, no questions asked. His love and loyalty to Adam. His defence of Vic and her principles. How he loves the wider Dingle clan and feels so honoured to be a part of them. But most of all, his desire to create a real life for Liv and Robert. He was so afraid of who he was once. But he’d do anything for his husband and this tearaway kid they’re looking after together. The way he looks at them? LORD ABOVE:
Ok he’s taking a break. A necessary one. But he adores them and if Robert dropped down tomorrow, you better believe Aaron would rush to his side (I hope this happens!). He’s their protector, their champion. He has so much faith in them. He connects them (god knows Rob and Liv didn’t even like eachother to start with). His perseverance with both of them, and the loss caused by his absence, made them realise they were family. Missing jigsaw pieces.
Finding his Family
4. Because he fucks up. And he knows it. Sometimes, it takes him a while to realise. But that’s okay. He makes colossal mistakes. He tries hard to do better. Sometimes he falls down again. He’s relatable. He has depth. His flaws run through him like ink through a pen. You see them in everything he does. They colour him. But that roundedness, completeness and that humanity - it makes him so intriguing to watch. He feels real where other characters barely feel 2D. We all knew how he would feel about the baby. We know his struggles. The things he can’t get past. We know where his anger lies. Because we know him.
5. Because we’ve watched him grow up. This is related to 4 really. We know him so well because we’ve watched him blossom. Can you believe that that scally on a fixie bike is now a husband and guardian, living in the big house at the end of the lane? I miss his sass and cheek sometimes. But he’s not a teenager anymore. He’s a man. Can you believe these two greasemonkeys are making a life together? It’s almost incredible to me! But everything he has, he deserves it. It’s been brilliant watching his heart get cracked open like an egg and all this runny love seep out of it and through his entire being. Changing him fundamentally and irrevocably.
6. Because of this…
Because of Robron… daft, I know. But I didn’t love Aaron before them.
A/N: Hold onto your hats folks cause chapters 8- like 10 are the ones I’m most excited about! Hope you enjoy <3
On Friday evening Soohyun comes round from her flat (it’s only a ten minute walk away), so we can spend some time getting ready to go out. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve had a night out together, so I’m looking forward to it. She gets on well enough with the boys, too (and I’m pretty sure Jungkook has a little crush on her) so they’re happy to see her.
After a while helping her choose between the three outfits she’s brought, we do our makeup and hair, chatting excitedly.
I hear my phone buzz, and check it to find a text from an unknown number. As he promised, Jimin has texted me.
From Jimin: 21:43 Hey, it’s Jimin! We’re going out tonight, if you want to join. Bring your flat if you want
“Who is it?” Soohyun asks, pulling on her heeled shoes.
I look up at her with an amused grin. “Park Jimin.”
She lets her mouth hang open comically. “No way. I kind of thought he was joking about texting you!”
“Shut up,” I laugh at her teasing. “He wants to know if I’m going out tonight, and if I want to join that lot.”
“Oh my god, say yes! Ooh that’ll be fun, I totally want to meet these guys.” She says excitedly, checking through her clutch and putting her ID in it.
I haven’t told her everything about what happened with Yoongi, but she knows enough to know there’s.. something there.
“We’ll bring Kookie and Hobi too!” She squeals excitedly.
“I don’t know, are you sure?”
But she’s already out the door. With a sigh, I pull on my heeled Chelsea boots and check I’ve got everything. Tonight I opted for black skinny jeans and a blue lace crop top, while Soohyun wore her favourite gold fitted skirt and a strappy black top.
I turn the light off behind me and head to our kitchen, opening the door to hear her explaining the situation to the boys.
“… so why don’t you guys come, too?” She asks them excitedly.
Jin is reading through an academic article and making notes on it at the kitchen table, a mug of herbal tea beside him, while Jungkook and Hoseok are playing videogames on the sofas.
“Soohyun calm down! Jin’s working anyway,” I say, giving him a pat on the shoulders as he nods in agreement.
“Yeah, I can’t tonight. Sorry, girls. Though, if you really are going with the guys from 5B, maybe Kookie and Hobi should go with you. I’d rather you had someone you know there as well.”
“Yes! Why don’t you two come?” Soohyun agrees.
The two boys share a look, then stand up, smiling.
“Well we wanted to come in the first place but weren’t allowed because it was girls’ night,” Hoseok laughs.
Soohyun holds her hands out in a shrug. “Change of plans: Girls night plus boys of flat 5B, plus you two.”
We laugh, forever baffled by her unique logic.
Jungkook nods, “Jin’s right though, I’d rather we were with you if you’re hanging out with them.”
After a brief discussion, Hoseok and Jungkook go to their rooms to quickly change and get ready, while I send a reply to Jimin letting him know that I’ll have them and Soohyun with me too. He asks us to meet them at the nearby bar where we’ll get drinks before heading to a club, and the four of us leave the flat just a minute or two late, Jin waving us off and telling us to be careful.
Soohyun is buzzing with excitement and the boys seem in good spirits too, but I can’t shake the weird feeling in my chest. Something about being with Hoseok and Yoongi at the same time makes me uneasy.
We chat happily as we walk, and it’s not long after eleven when we get there. I immediately spot Jimin’s bright hair as he leans over the bar to order drinks, and lead the others over to him.
Namjoon greets me with a wave. “Glad you guys could make it, it’s good to see you again, Yuna.”
Jimin grins when he sees us, and calls over Taehyung along with two stunningly beautiful girls I don’t recognise.
There’s a series of introductions and I learn the girls are friends of theirs, Eunseo and Hana. At first I’m wary of them, wondering what kind of girls are friends with Jimin and Taehyung, but they seem nice enough, if a little fake.
I want to ask, but thankfully Hoseok says it for me.
“Where’s the fourth one from your flat - Uh, Yoongi?”
Taehyung answers. “Oh yeah, he’s meeting us soon.”
We all ease into chatter, buying a few rounds of drinks as time goes on, making us all progressively more open and loud in our conversation.
I find myself and Hobi getting on best with Namjoon, and I observe with amusement as Jungkook seems to fit in very well with Taehyung and Jimin, all three of them drawing the eyes of girls across the room. They do make quite an attractive trio.
Maybe this lot aren’t so bad, after all.
After a while Jimin gets a call and signals for us to leave, and we stumble out of the bar in giggles, heading toward the club. I walk arm in arm with Soohyun, enjoying the sensation of the alcohol making me feel light and free, the neon lights of downtown bright against the night.
Hana seems to be.. flirting a little with Hoseok, but he doesn’t reciprocate, simply staying his bubbly self and engaging in conversation with everyone. When she laughs far too hard at one of his jokes, touching his chest, he moves decidedly away from her, talking to Jungkook.
As we approach the club, I can’t help how quickly my eyes spot him. Leaning against the wall in the same way as when I saw him outside the bar, his pale skin illuminated by the streetlights, is Yoongi. He wears fitted black jeans, a baggy white t-shirt and a heavily distressed denim jacket with the sleeves rolled up a few times.
Jimin calls out at him, and Yoongi greets his flatmates as well as Hana and Eunseo with familiarity. Then Namjoon introduces him to Jungkook, who shakes his hand shyly, and Hoseok, who simply gives a nod, which is rather out of character for him. He must find it a little weird since he’s the only one who knows about what happened.
And then Yoongi’s eyes finally stop avoiding me, the dark orbs locking my gaze. He waves the others ahead and they start going into the club.
Once everyone’s inside and we’re alone, he runs a hand through his hair, observing me.
His voice. I’d forgotten how much I love that laid back drawl.
As soon as that thought goes through my head I remind myself that I’ve been drinking, and I should be careful. I can’t stop uncensored thoughts in my mind, I just need to make sure I don’t say any of them out loud.
“Hey,” I reply, not sure where to look. “Where have you been?”
“Just sorting something out,” he shrugs off my question, leaving me with a feeling of suspicion. “I was surprised when Jimin said you agreed to join us tonight.”
“Well, I was going out anyway. It’s a good chance for the others to suss each other out I guess.. Plus Soohyun was super eager,” I finish, smiling at the thought of my energetic friend.
He nods. “She a friend of yours, then? The curly haired girl in the skirt?”
A flush of irritation hits me, unhindered thanks to the drink limiting my inhibitions.
“Why do you care about her outfit?” I snap.
‘Why did I say that? Now he’s going to think I’m-’
“Jealous, are we?” Yoongi teases, his signature smirk returning to his face as he looks at me with deep eyes.
I frown defensively. “No, I’m not jealous don’t be ridic-”
“Hey. I don’t care about her.” He silences me with a step closer. “You look beautiful.”
I swallow nervously. He’s never said anything like that to me before. My vision is a little unfocused, except for him. It’s like he’s in ultra high definition, bright and overwhelming, embossed over an indistinct background.
I wasn’t sure how talking to Yoongi would go since Monday. I assumed given his reputation, it probably wouldn’t matter to him, that he’d have another girl centre stage in no time. I can’t deny it feels rather nice to be wrong, in this case.
And now his casual flirting is him testing the waters. After all, I did run out on him without explanation. But that was because it felt too scary, too fast. I was resistant to his draw, his power, his mystery. That’s still there, but.. I’m not as scared now.
“I mean, half the time I’ve seen you until now, you’ve been in your pyjamas,” he says with a playfulness in his tone.
I laugh a little. “Well, you know. I clean up nice,” I say with forced confidence, hoping he buys it.
He grins, taking my usual snarkiness as his cue that things are okay. “Let’s go,” he gestures to the door.
I follow him in, glad to have a moment without his eyes studying my expressions so closely. As we walk up a few stairs and into the main room, the music suddenly hit us full on and I can feel the beat shaking through the floor. It’s crowded, with voices lost to the din as the mass of bodies and limbs are captured every few seconds in sudden illuminations of the flashing lights, like a stop motion film.
I spot Namjoon’s tall stature and see him swaying to the beat along with Eunseo, Soohyun, Hana and Jimin. Taehyung is a short distance from them, getting rather friendly with a girl in a revealing dress. Yoongi rests a hand on the small of my back, pointing the group out. I nod even though I’ve already seen them, frowning as I wonder where Hoseok is. He loves to dance, why would he miss out?
I conclude that he must have gone to the bathroom or something as I follow Yoongi down through the crowd and we rejoin the others. He goes to talk to Namjoon and Jimin, while Soohyun attacks me in an enthusiastic hug.
“Wow, you need to slow it down!” I laugh.
“What? No way, I’m great!” She shouts in response, before throwing her arms up in the air and dancing wildly in her usual style.
I lean toward her and shout, “where’s Hobi?” But she doesn’t seem to pay much attention.
I roll my eyes, making a mental note to make sure she doesn’t have too much more, but her energy gets to me as she pulls me forward and makes me dance. I give in, smiling and letting my body flow to the rhythm as some rap song pounds in on my ears.
After a while I feel a hand on my shoulder, and snap my eyes open to Yoongi beside me.
“Drinks?” He mouths, and I simply nod back.
He leads the way, sliding his fingers tantalisingly all the way down my arm to come to my hand, which he grips as we navigate the crowd, pulling me along gently. I gaze at the back of his head curiously, my heart skipping in excitement. I wasn’t sure how he’d treat me in public or in front of his friends, but he seems just as teasing and confident as he was on Monday night.
Some small, sensible part of my brain tells me this is a bad thing, that he’s probably like that with loads of girls, but I ignore it. I’m too busy losing myself in him all over again.
We get to the bar and find a gap, and he leans into my ear.
“What d’you want?”
Instead of telling him, I lean over the bar and thankfully, the man behind it nods to me even though there’s definitely one or two people waiting who were there first.
“Whiskey sour for me, and..”
“Jack and coke.” Yoongi finishes.
The bartender nods and once he gives us our drinks, Yoongi pays without hesitation. We clink our glasses together and take a sip.
“Didn’t take you for a Whiskey girl,” he says, leading me over to a railing that separates the raised bar from the main dance floor.
I lean forwards against the metal, flashing him a coy smile. “Well it’s something we have in common, I guess,” I nod to his own glass.
We look out at the dance floor, and as I nurse my drink and enjoy the sour citrus taste, I observe the others. They’ve spread out slightly – Jungkook is maintaining a respectful proximity to Soohyun, who is dancing happily with Eunseo and Namjoon. Jimin and Taehyung are together, and they drag Jungkook into a huddle to talk, I suppose.
“So tell me,” Yoongi begins, resting his hip on the railing and facing me. “Does Soohyun know that Jungkook likes her?”
I turn my head to look at him, eyebrows up. I’d suspected Jungkook had some kind of crush on Soohyun, but it wasn’t exactly something people knew about.
“I.. don’t know if he really likes her, just.. a crush, maybe.” I hesitate. “I didn’t realise it was that obvious.”
The corner of his lips curl up as he takes a long sip to finish off his drink, taking his time to answer. I have to rip my eyes away from the sight of his lips around the glass rim.
“I’m just good at reading people.” He says finally, putting the empty glass down on a high table beside us.
I scoff at his usual cockiness. “What makes you so sure?”
“Well, I’ve got you pinned down, haven’t I?” He says, moving slightly closer to me.
His choice of phrase makes my mind flash to the image of him on top of me, holding my hands down to the bed, hovering just above my body. Only for a millisecond, though.
“You’d like to think so.” I say, feigning nonchalance, though fully aware he sees through it.
He raises an eyebrow. “What was it you said..”
He pushes up off the railing, and I freeze in place, one hand gripping the barrier, the other clutching my drink. He moves behind me, and I try not to flinch as I feel him gently slide my hair back, moving it all over my left shoulder and leaving the side of my neck bare to him. I realise just how close he is to me when I feel his hot breath tickling the skin.
He drops his voice lower, not needing to shout at this proximity.
“That I.. make you feel powerless? That I’m a match for you?” He purrs, and I fight my eyelids as they flutter shut, forgetting everything around us and just feeling. The front of my waist is pressing into the metal railing in an attempt to release some of this tension and escape from him, but my head tilts backwards into him, giving him access, my lips parting. His body is pressing against mine now, sending shivers down my spine and tightening the knot in my stomach.
“That you want me?”
I gasp involuntarily as he presses his lips onto my neck, then draws his teeth slowly downwards.
Suddenly his hands grip my sides, spinning me around and pressing me back against the barrier, and I shakily dump my glass on the table beside us as he presses his whole body flush against mine, fingers digging into my hips.
His eyes are dark with lust and I melt into his touch as his lips capture mine in a deep, hard kiss. My hand snakes around his neck and into his hair, gripping at the strands and keeping him close, the other still holding the railing behind me for balance.
He pulls away suddenly, leaving me panting for more.
Seeing my expression, he smirks, a glint in his eye. Once again he has me at his mercy, teasing me, not giving away too much.
“You wanna dance?”
I can hardly give any kind of answer as he very deliberately puts space between us, walking slowly down toward the main crowd.
I didn’t take him for much of a dancer, but I step forward unsteadily as I catch my breath, then turn to follow after him anyway.
Just as my eyes go to look after him, my steps pause. My gaze is frozen on a spot further down the bar.
He’s leaning over the surface, and lets his head fall back as he downs a drink, letting the liquid flow far too quickly straight down his throat. I watch him slam the empty glass down next to two others, standing unsteadily, swaying. He looks gone.
He turns and rests his back against the bar, and my heart stutters as he looks right over to where I am. Our eyes seem to just about meet across the space, but he looks away like he doesn’t even see me. A figure appears in front of him.
My eyes flit ahead of me for a split second, and I see Yoongi heading into the crowd. I take a step forward with my right foot to follow him, but can’t help turning my head back to look at my best friend.
The figure before him is Hana.
She’s touching his arm, laughing.
She’s pulling him forward by his shirt, off the bar.
They’re standing close. He’s looking down at her.
She’s reaching a hand up to the back of his neck. He’s wrapping an arm around her waist.
He’s leaning down.
I feel myself bump into someone, stumbling back as they hold up a hand in apology. I shake my head, no, it was my fault. I try to get my bearings back and turn to look back at the bar, standing there dumbly.
Bodies entwined, pushing against each other eagerly, kissing each other deeply, hands exploring, fingers gripping: Hana and Hoseok.