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that which runs deep in my heart

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All of Namjoon's ideas are bad ideas. Yoongi should really learn to stop listening to him whenever he suggests anything. Nothing good ever comes out of what Namjoon thinks are wise or witty suggestions. All it does is bring Yoongi trouble. And pain. And those two combined is definitely a Very Bad Thing. So Yoongi really wonders why, for all of his whining, he still listens to him. Why does he still let Namjoon make decisions? And why does Yoongi continue to agree with them?

Yoongi gets up and crosses his arms as Jimin finishes recording the bridge. Jimin’s eyes are focused on the music sheets in front of him, brows furrowed. He decides against calling Jimin out on, what has to got to be the hundredth time he’s made a mistake because Namjoon's already leaning down to the mic, a hand on one of the buttons on the board.

"Jimin," Namjoon starts and it's all he has to say before Jimin's sagging and planting his face down on the music sheet. They really have been working on the bridge from quite some time now. Jimin’s reaction has Namjoon faltering, glancing at Yoongi, who just gestures for Namjoon to go on, which Namjoon doesn’t do.

"Okay," Jimin says with a sigh, straightening up and shuffling through the music and lyrics sheets. He runs a hand through his dark hair. "Can I have a minute to go through it again myself?" He scrunches his nose up and, really, Namjoon is too weak for cute shit so, of course, he agrees.

“Why don’t you take five?" Namjoon decides. He pulls back and stretches his arms over his head as he turns towards Yoongi. "This is going to take a while. You going to be okay staying all night for this?" he asks, yawning as he checks the time. “Hoseok should be arriving in a bit and—" He cuts himself off when his phone starts vibrating really loudly in his pocket. He takes it out and furrows his brows. "Jin," he says as he answers it. He purses his lips as Seokjin starts talking then glances at Yoongi, mouthing to him to check his phone.

Yoongi flops back down on the couch and takes his phone out. He has six new messages, which isn’t a surprise because he rarely checks his phone. Most of the messages are from Seokjin—the one who hates it the most when Yoongi doesn’t reply. He scrolls down and finds one message that’s not from Seokjin. Yoongi hurriedly locks his phone without another glance and pockets it without even reading Seokjin’s messages as Namjoon ends his phone call. He’ll check them later when he can deal with them properly. As for Seokjin's, Namjoon's probably going to tell him what he wants anyway.

Namjoon sighs as he looks at Yoongi. "You're not going to like this," is all he says before he's pressing a button and leaning against the mic. “Jimin,” he calls.

“Yeah?” Jimin looks up and peers at him through tufts of hair covering his eyes. He brushes them away and Namjoon clears his throat.

“Let's finish this tomorrow,” Namjoon continues after a pause. He hesitates, glancing at Yoongi. “We're done for the day.” Jimin pulls the headphones he’s wearing down to his neck, frowning a little at the sudden change of schedule.

"What?" Yoongi demands, standing up and crossing his arms on his chest. Namjoon doesn’t turn to Yoongi and just keeps on watching Jimin gather the papers on the stand. “Namjoon,” he presses, pursing his lips as he tries really hard not to lash out. Not that he ever would. He never really does. “Why are we done for the day? What did Seokjin want?”

Namjoon scrunches his face in that way that tells Yoongi he has bad news. To be fair, though, Namjoon’s scrunched face is his second default other than his blank expression. But this, Yoongi already knows that this is something he’s not going to like.

“Seokjin prepared dinner and he wants us to come over Hoseok is over there already,” Namjoon lets out in one go before he takes a deep breath. "Look," he goes on when Yoongi just continues standing there, because really, what can Yoongi say to that? He kind of expected Seokjin to do something today but he really wishes he didn't bother. "You can't blame him. This is Seokjin we're talking about it.”

Yoongi closes his eyes for a second and takes a deep breath that sounds more like a sigh than anything. Time and time again, he's told Seokjin to not bother. And time and time again, Seokjin always bothers. Seokjin has this thing about being too concerned and being too caring when it comes to Yoongi. It almost seems like Seokjin can’t bear to not coddle Yoongi sometimes, which is something he’s gotten used to. But there are instances—like now—where he wishes that Seokjin wasn’t such a good best friend.

"I can still stay," Jimin tells them as he walks out of the booth. Yoongi had been the one to make sure that Jimin's evening was free that day. Because Yoongi really wanted to spend the rest of the night doing the finishing touches. Now he won't even get to. "Why are we done so early?” he wants to know, running a hand through his hair before patting it down again.

"Dinner at Seokjin's and Yoongi's," Namjoon says, arm flinching like he was going to put it around Jimin's shoulders before thinking the better of it. He pats Jimin's back instead. "Seems like Seokjin prepared food," he adds, glancing at Yoongi.

"Let's get this over with," Yoongi grumbles as Jimin's face lights up at the thought of Seokjin's cooking.

It's not that far of a walk from university to the apartment that he shares with Seokjin. It's one of the reasons why they decided to rent it even if it was slightly priced higher than their budget. Seokjin had insisted it was perfect for them and Yoongi had enough to pay for it anyway, so they took it. They've been living there for three years now so Yoongi has grown fond of it, with the wooden floors that can get too cold at night and the way the squeaky bathroom door would still frighten Seokjin sometimes. They'd already oiled the hinges but nothing has stopped the squeaking yet. What Yoongi likes the most about it is that Seokjin has allowed Yoongi to convert the second room to a studio. Seokjin didn't even bat an eyelash when Yoongi asked if he minded that they share. He just waved his hand and let Yoongi do as he wished—in exchange for Yoongi not doing anything to ruin the kitchen. That's Seokjin's domain.

The living room, with the cozy couches that Seokjin found on some sale, is filled with people whom Yoongi constantly thinks are too loud as soon as they arrive. Jimin and Namjoon are already chatting away with Hoseok cackling in the background. Even Jeongguk, who is normally quiet, is contributing to the chaos as he blows bubbles into Hoseok’s ear.

"Of all the things you had to do," Yoongi mutters as he walks into the kitchen and leans against the counter by the sink. Seokjin moves around the kitchen with a seamless ease and elegance that Yoongi admires. Although Seokjin tells him that's exactly how he is in a music studio. “It had to be this and with them.”

“You act like you don’t like them," Seokjin says without missing a beat.

“I don’t,” Yoongi is quick to quip.

“They're my friends too,” Seokjin responds, flicking the pout forming on Yoongi’s lips, making Yoongi suck his lips on. “Who says I invited them for you?”

"You don't even have to ask them to come over," Yoongi sighs in exasperation, running his hands through his hair. He'd dyed it a baby pink just a week ago and he's still not used to it. The blond hair that he'd sported previously was fine with him but then he just had to give in to the pink. Just because someone mentioned that it could look good on him. He’s weak like that. "They're always here anyway.”

"Exactly," Seokjin agrees, turning around to face him so he can let Yoongi taste the soup of the Soondubu jjigae that he's cooking, along with the ton other food in the works. "Not much of a difference then. So it’s almost like this is a normal day.”

"It's too spicy," Yoongi says, making a face after taking a sip. The spice of the soup stings his tongue and makes his lips tingle. It makes him want to drink lots of water, which Seokjin hands him a glass of without a word. He doesn’t mind spicy food himself but not everyone enjoys it the way he does. "None of the kids will be able to stomach that,” he comments, smacking his lips together after finishing the glass of water.

Seokjin hums, turning back to the stove to probably add water or whatever needs to be added to the soup to make it less spicy. "You act like you don't want them around and yet..." he then teases, unable to keep the smile off his face.

Yoongi rolls his eyes. He can feel the smugness from Seokjin. Sometimes he hates that he and Seokjin have been friends for years. He doesn't always like how Seokjin can read him so easily. Not that he actually agrees with what he said. Jimin, Jeongguk, Hoseok, and even Namjoon can get too crazy every time they hang out with each other. It’s almost like a reunion every single time, like they hadn’t seen each other for years and are just catching up. They always get up to really wild things, like daring each other to run down the block naked. Yoongi hates that he’s seen all of their dicks in his lifetime.

"I'm not going to have them throwing up in our living room again," Yoongi reminds him of something that is too painful and gross to recall. He shudders as the memory of him hauling and dragging Jimin to the bathroom before he could make even more of a mess.

“May I remind you that I was the one who cleaned everything up, while you just glared at everyone. You kind of scared Jeongguk, you know," Seokjin prompts. “I doubt things will be different this time if it does happen again, which,” he faces Yoongi again, a hand up, “it won’t. None of them have eaten yet and none of the food is going to be too hard to eat.”

Yoongi doesn't say anything and just stares at the marble floor. Seokjin is just so optimistic all the damn time that Yoongi just lets him be positive for the both of them. It's not that Yoongi thinks bad things are going to happen all the time. He just doesn't believe everything is going to always go well. It hasn't for him and he doesn't have hopes that it will start now. Especially now. Yoongi smirks and shakes his head.

Before he can delve any deeper into the conversation or before he can say some retort to Seokjin, Jimin walks in and leans against the small dining table in the middle on the kitchen.

"Hyung, you remember that my friend’s coming over, right?" Jimin asks, eyes on Seokjin. Yoongi just stands there, noting how Jimin doesn’t even glance at him. “Are you sure it’s okay?”

"This the one you always hang out with?" Seokjin asks, glancing at Yoongi, who gives a small nod. It doesn't really matter to Yoongi who else arrives. All of them are always here anyway. When Jimin grins, nodding with excitement, Seokjin smiles back. "Sure. There's plenty of food for everyone," he assures him.

"Thanks, hyung," Jimin says, skipping back to the living room.

"That brat didn't even ask me," Yoongi mumbles, making a face as he hears Jimin laughing loudly at something that Hoseok says.

"Like you'd even say no. I think you’re weakest when it comes to Jimin," Seokjin says. He then turns the stove off and claps his hands together. Yoongi wants to counter that because he is not weak to anyone. But then Seokjin keeps on talking. "Food is cooked," he announces. "Can you call the kids and tell them? I'll prepare the table.”

Yoongi pushes himself off the counter and shuffles over to Seokjin. He leans his forehead on Seokjin’s shoulder, squeezing his eyes shut. "Thank you," he mutters. "Even though I really hate that you did this.” No matter what, Seokjin is his best friend and the one person who hasn’t left him yet. He appreciates that.

Seokjin chuckles, ruffling Yoongi's hair. "Go call the kids," is all he says but Yoongi understands. Seokjin will do anything for Yoongi. Just like how Yoongi will do the same for him.

 

 

 

Dinner is pretty uneventful, aside from the fact that the food is amazing and that none of them could shut up about it. It continues to amaze Yoongi how good Seokjin is at making food, which shouldn’t really be surprising at this point because Seokjin is taking some culinary courses on the side, after all. Although he’s pretty much a natural cook.

“The food is amazing," Jimin declares with a mouthful of chicken. He doesn’t even look apologetic, even as pieces of chicken leave his mouth and fall to the table.

"Yah, shut your mouth," Jeongguk complains, scrunching his nose and elbowing Jimin in the ribs.

"Don't be disrespectful," Namjoon tells Jeongguk at once. He grabs some tissue, his hand hanging in the air as he seems to decide whether to wipe Jimin’s mouth for him or just hand him the tissue.

Jimin grins at Namjoon through the blush on his cheeks as he takes the tissue and wipes his own mouth instead. "Thanks," he says then turns to Seokjin. "The last time you cooked like this was for your birthday. What's the occasion today?" he asks.

"I cook all the time," Seokjin says lightly, as if trying to steer the conversation Yoongi knows it's going to go to anyway. "Chew your food properly, Jimin," he adds with a sigh when rice bits fall from his mouth and to his plate.

"It's like you're regressing, Jiminie," Hoseok comments with a chuckle.

"Not really," Jeongguk retorts, shaking his head. "He's always been a child." He reaches out to pinch Jimin's cheek.

"I am not," Jimin says with a pout, batting Jeongguk's hand away. "I'm very manly and very mature.” He further negates his words by shoving Jeongguk so hard Jeongguk almost falls off his seat.

"Sure you are," Yoongi pipes in, smirking. Jimin pouts even further. Yoongi raises an eyebrow when Namjoon fidgets in his seat. All of his friends are ridiculous. "Anyway, Seokjin cooked just because he wanted to. Is that a problem?" He stares them down, eyes going from Hoseok to Jeongguk and then to Jimin, because he's not going to have this conversation over and over again.

"No, dad," Jeongguk, Hoseok, and especially Jimin chorus. Jimin looks positively chastised so Namjoon sighs and ruffles his hair. Which, interestingly, makes Jimin start smiling again. Seokjin just shakes his head and puts more food on Hoseok’s plate. Hoseok beams at him.

All talk about Seokjin's cooking dissolves into mindless chatter about classes and cute girls and boys and how Jeongguk has absolutely no game. Jeongguk is about to retort, probably about how he's very much happy being single, when the doorbell rings. Yoongi and Seokjin exchange a look, wondering whom it could be. But then Jimin is scrambling off his seat. It must be the friend he invited.

Among all of them, Jimin has the most social of college lives. He's part of the dance team, the choir, as well as some science club. Yoongi isn't sure how Jimin is still standing, but Jimin just says that it's not hard because he's having fun. Which he probably is because he's constantly being invited to some party or another by all sorts of people. Sometimes Yoongi gets jealous, but then he remembers how much he hates people and then he feels relieved.

"Guys, this is my friend," Jimin announces, walking back in, just as Yoongi takes a sip of water.

Yoongi looks up and isn’t prepared for what he sees. Standing right beside Jimin is a guy that Yoongi remembers meeting at a party he still regrets going to everyday. He's closer to Namjoon’s height than Jimin’s, with broad shoulders, a bit of tanned skin, and pretty eyes and mouth. Yoongi’s brows furrow as Jimin’s friend looks at him, eyes widening slightly before shutting out the shock, leaving his face blank. Yoongi breathes in then, right as he's still drinking and sucks water in too fast. He chokes and coughs, gasping for air and trying to breathe right. Seokjin is quick to leave his seat, grabbing several tissues before going to Yoongi. Namjoon reaches out to rub his back.

"Are you okay?" Seokjin asks, almost demanding and he places a hand on the back of Yoongi's neck.

"Fine," Yoongi rasps, wiping his mouth. There really is no other answer to that question. Well fine and how Namjoon's ideas are all really bad ideas. Really, very bad. This reminds him of another instance where he should have said no to Namjoon but didn’t. Everything just keeps coming back to bite him in the ass. "I'm fine. Sorry," he says, clearing his throat and blinking rapidly to keep his eyes from further tearing up.

"Sorry,” Jimin’s friend speaks up then. He stands there with an awkward look on his face, cheekbones jutting out as he forces a smile, and brown hair splayed carelessly across his forehead. His all black ensemble is a tad bit gloomy for what they're supposed to be celebrating. Although Yoongi doesn't really mind. No one’s supposed to know or care about that anyway. Jimin's friend looks from Jimin to Yoongi to Seokjin to Yoongi before his gaze flits back to Jimin again. "Uh. Hi. I’m, uh," he continues and Yoongi sighs, shutting his eyes for a second. "I'm Taehyung. Jimin's, uh, friend."

Seokjin lets Taehyung have a seat and Jimin pushes the food towards him so he can taste all of the delicious food. Namjoon keeps his hand on Yoongi's back, which Yoongi shrugs off with an assurance that he's fine. Yoongi tries very hard not to stare as Taehyung eats like the growing boy he probably is. Being Jimin’s friend, they’re probably in the same year. It wasn’t too long ago that Yoongi was a sophomore too, and he remembers how it feels being one. The relief of having passed freshman year and almost being halfway done with university was fun and exhilarating. He wonders then how Jimin and Taehyung met. He’s pretty sure he’s met all of Jimin’s dance friends and Taehyung isn’t one of them.

"I'm going to the studio," Yoongi announces without preamble because he's done eating and he really needs—wants—to get out of there and get some work done. And not wonder about things like Jimin and Taehyung’s friendship. His gaze flits to Seokjin, who purses his lips in understanding before he lets himself smile. "Nice to meet you, uh, Taehyung," he says in lieu of a goodbye. He squeezes Seokjin’s shoulder and waves at the rest before he's off to the front door.

He's probably being really rude, hurrying out without bothering to make the smallest of small talks with Jimin's…friend. But there are things he’d rather not do right now, and one of them is sit on that table across Taehyung. Yoongi shakes his head and curses under his breath. He’s going to have a talk with Seokjin about this—he’s pretty sure, but at least Seokjin let him leave.

He's putting on his coat and making his way out when he hears Hoseok say, "Don't mind Yoongi. He just looks mean, but, really, he's a marshmallow."

Yoongi sighs as he closes the door behind him. He is not a marshmallow. He'll have to talk to Hoseok about that. But if he is, a marshmallow, that is, it might be exactly that why he allows all of Namjoon's ideas to come to life.

 

 

 

Yoongi's in the middle of figuring out a chord progression when the knock on the door sounds. He glances at the small desk clock, which Seokjin had put there to remind them that there is life outside, and frowns. It's almost three in the morning. Why would Namjoon even think of coming back when the apartment he shares with Hoseok is right next to his and Seokjin's? Besides, the latest Namjoon stays at the studio is one in the morning. Something about maintaining a semblance of health. Yoongi snorts as he stands to get the door. As if sleeping at one and walking up at six is healthy.

He opens the door, wondering if it’s not stupid of him to do so because this seems like the stuff made out of horror movies. There’s no one outside and then he only sees a flash of black and brown before the front of his sweater is grabbed and he's shoved back inside the studio.

"What the fuck," Yoongi curses, annoyed tone reverberating in the small room. Hoseok always reminds him not to curse so much when they’re in there because then the curses always hits him several times harder than normal. Yoongi tries to push the body wrapped around him off, but it clings to him, arms warm around his waist.

"Sorry."

Yoongi stiffens because he's familiar with that voice and he's pretty sure he shouldn't be hearing it in the studio. Especially not at three in the morning. He frowns when he pushes the body off him and hopes his glare is harsh enough to get his point across.

Taehyung pulls away, lower lip sucked into his mouth in a guilty smile. His hair is sweaty, plastered to his forehead and Yoongi has the image of him running to get here or waiting it out until he felt too hot. Except it's March and it's still pretty cold especially at night. Taehyung isn’t wearing enough to keep him warm.

"What are you doing here?" Yoongi asks, taking his jacket off and shoving it in Taehyung’s chest, because there's nothing else he can say at this point. He walks to the door and looks up and down the hallway before he closes the door and locks it. “What if someone saw you?”

“No one did, I promise,” Taehyung assures Yoongi. “Namjoon and Hoseok went straight to their apartment after dinner. Jeongguk is sleeping over at yours, I think, and Jimin went to the library. It’s safe.” His grin widens and brushes his sweaty hair off his forehead.

“You shouldn’t be here, Taehyung,” Yoongi voices out because Taehyung really shouldn’t be. They’re not friends. They’re not even supposed to know each other. Not really. “You’re not even supposed to know that I’m here.”

"I heard it was your birthday," is what Taehyung says in response instead and Yoongi feels his chest squeeze in a little. Because that's the last thing he expected to come out from Taehyung's mouth. "So I thought I'd greet you. In person." He grins, a boxed smile that Yoongi didn't see earlier. “Since I didn’t get to earlier because you didn’t tell me it was your birthday.” His tone is a little bit accusing and Yoongi just wants to shake him because shouldn’t he understand why?

Yoongi takes a step back, as if wary of what Taehyung might do. “And why should I tell you?” he finally says and Taehyung's smile drops a little before he flashes it in full force again. It seems like he doesn't let Yoongi's words get to him as he turns around and rummages through his backpack. After a few seconds, he takes out a small pink box that's a bit squished on one side.

Yoongi watches with patience as Taehyung continues to do whatever it is that he's doing with his backpack and his box. He's unable to help but admire how broad Taehyung's shoulders are in his black longsleeves, a bit of his shoulder showing as it slides more to one side. He's not entirely sure what Taehyung is doing and why Yoongi isn't pushing him to leave yet, but he might as well see what he's fussing about.

"Happy birthday!" Taehyung announces as he turns around. He has a small, pink cupcake in his hand with one small, lit candle in the middle. There's a big smile on his face, one that reaches his eyes. It's a very different look from the one back in Yoongi's apartment.

Yoongi huffs as he remembers the events that transpired earlier and crosses his arms across his chest. It makes Taehyung's brows furrow a little but he doesn't care. "You're Jimin's friend," is what Yoongi says, in a tone more accusing that he would have liked.

Taehyung sucks his lower lip in between his teeth and puts the cupcake down on the table, right beside Yoongi's phone with all his unanswered messages from Seokjin. "I am," he agrees but then hurries to explain when Yoongi makes a face at him. That’s really not an explanation. "I didn't even know until Jimin mentioned that he knew Seokjin," he starts to explain. "And I was going to tell you earlier but you weren't answering my messages and—“

“So it’s my fault?” Yoongi scoffs. “I’m surprised you were even texting me while you were with Jimin,” he goes on, taking another step back so he can lean against the table. He doesn't really mean to sound anything more than surprised, but Taehyung's face falls as Yoongi comes off as irritated. Which he isn’t. Not really. It’s more of the fact that he wishes he knew about Taehyung and Jimin being friends and Taehyung knowing Seokjin.

"I'm sorry." Taehyung closes the distance between them and wraps his arms around Yoongi's waist. He’s much taller than Yoongi, but he bends a little, curling up around him, and nuzzles his face into Yoongi's neck. He starts making these soft, whiny, puppy-like noises that, of course, makes Yoongi deflate with forgiveness. "I'm sorry," he repeats. "You know how careful I usually am. But I didn't know when else we would talk about it before anything like what happened earlier could happen." He pulls away a little, his hands still holding onto the sides of Yoongi's shirt. "But I was good earlier, right?" he asks with a grin. “No one suspected a thing.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes and finally returns Taehyung's embrace. The only reason no one probably noticed a thing was because they were all too busy with the delicious food. They can’t be too complacent though. Having friends like Seokjin and Namjoon, who never say anything most of the time, is a reminder that, just because people don’t talk, don’t mean they don’t see things. Yoongi closes his eyes and lets himself be engulfed by Taehyung's warmth. Yoongi has always known that Taehyung gave good hugs, even before they really knew each other. He thinks it's in the way Taehyung just radiates like sunshine. Taehyung's kind of like Jimin that way, now that he realizes it. Yoongi isn't sure how he didn't realize that they could possibly be friends. That, and because Jimin is friends with everyone.

"Do you like my birthday cupcake surprise?" Taehyung asks when Yoongi has blown off the candle and they've settled onto the ratty couch. Seokjin keeps telling them to ask the school to get it replaced, to which Namjoon just snorts because that couch has been there forever. Hyosang, one of the music department upperclassmen, has spoken of that couch with reverence.

"How did you even know it was my birthday?" Yoongi grunts as Taehyung curls up beside him. Taehyung's pretty much the clingy and cuddly type. He's a bit surprised how much he lets Taehyung get away with it. Probably because they don't have very many moments like these.

“Of course I know,” Taehyung says. Yoongi shoots him and looks Taehyung chuckles. “Jimin told me,” he confesses, leaning his chin on Yoongi's shoulder, his hair tickling Yoongi's cheek. "He said that I should come over because one of his favorite friends is having a birthday dinner.” He grins when Yoongi looks at him in surprise. No one knew it was his birthday. Yoongi is pretty sure about that. Jimin even asked Seokjin why he cooked. "Everyone knows, Yoongi," Taehyung continues, pressing a light kiss to his cheek. Yoongi clears his throat as he tries hard not to blush. He hates getting so easily flustered. "They all knew that you hated making a big deal out of it so they all just let you think they didn't remember."

Yoongi had to give it to his friends. He really thought that they didn't know about it or forgot, which doesn't really make him feel bad, because acknowledging his birthday does make him uncomfortable. Like his existence is something that should be celebrated. Which it shouldn't, because Yoongi is just Yoongi. He's going to have a talk with Seokjin about this. And maybe the rest of his friends too for making him feel stupid.

"So why are you here making a big deal out of it then?" Yoongi asks. He's not upset. Not really. But he is wondering what Taehyung is doing here with a birthday cupcake for him. “You didn’t even know about it.”

Taehyung pulls away, gaping at him a little. "This is a small deal," he corrects Yoongi. "Because I know you wouldn't like it so I just decided that a cupcake would be okay.” Taehyung looks at him curiously, eyes wide and wondering, and Yoongi just looks back, as if challenging him. Because Taehyung has always liked to push how far he can go with Yoongi and he's kind of surprised that, in this instance, he only got as far as a cupcake.

"There's more, isn't there?" Yoongi sighs when Taehyung giggles.

Taehyung just climbs onto Yoongi's lap, his long legs bracketing Yoongi's shorter, thinner ones. "Of course there's more," he says, his words grazing Yoongi's lips. "You didn't think all I'd give you was a cupcake, right?" He snakes his arms around Yoongi's neck and leans his forehead on Yoongi's, their noses touching.

"I never know with you," Yoongi says, his breathing catching in his throat in anticipation at what’s coming next. He usually doesn’t expect anything, but with Taehyung’s face right there, he can’t help it.

"You kissed me on my birthday," Taehyung hums. "Just thought I'd return the favor." His lips hover over Yoongi's too long for Yoongi's liking, Taehyung's breath making him tingle with anticipation. Yoongi isn't sure what Taehyung is waiting for, but then Taehyung sucks in a breath and then he's pressing his lips to Yoongi’s.

Yoongi kisses him back.

 

 

 

Yoongi hadn't planned on kissing Taehyung. In fact, he hadn't planned on kissing anyone at all. He didn't even want to go to the party. But Namjoon had insisted that Yoongi go because he's going and it's important that they go together. Yoongi already knew why Namjoon wanted to go—honestly, he's too obvious sometimes—but he still let himself be dragged. So he'd gone to the party, not really knowing that many people there. All he knew was that it was someone’s early birthday party—he didn’t even really care whose it was. As soon as they arrived and Namjoon disappeared to somewhere with Jimin, Yoongi slipped out into the balcony with a red cup in his hand. He decided that it wouldn’t hurt to drink some, if only he can forget his annoyance at being dragged to a party and being left behind.

Taehyung was talkative (for someone hiding away in a balcony) and quiet at the same time. He talked a lot, but, somehow, Yoongi felt like there was still so much he wasn't saying. Which he doesn't really mind. He knows all too well about not saying what he means; he's not going to begrudge Taehyung for it. Still, the first time he and Taehyung met, Yoongi already found out everything from what Taehyung's studying—literature—to what his dog's name is—Soonshim. Now that he looks back on it, he's very surprised that Jimin's or Seokjin's name hadn't come up in conversation.

"You're thinking really hard for someone who's just sitting there," Hoseok comments.

Yoongi looks up. Hoseok is standing in the middle of the room, breathing like his life depends on it. His sweat drips down to the wooden floor and Yoongi wonders why anyone would ever subject themselves to the torture of dancing. Once upon a time, he had tried dancing and it did not go well. Granted that he's much better at it than Namjoon is, it still wasn't a pretty sight and Yoongi doesn't mind not dancing ever again. Hoseok is good at it, however, which makes sense since he is a dance major.

"I'm just sitting here," Yoongi denies, leaning back on the mirror and crossing his arms on his chest. "Not thinking." Hoseok stares at him as he stretches his arms over his head. "Fine," he admits when Hoseok doesn’t let up. He scrunches his face in annoyance, hating how easy he can be read sometimes. It's not that Yoongi makes an effort to never show emotion. It's just he usually doesn't care to feel anything so when he does have something on his mind or when he does actually feel, it shows on his face right away. "It's not a big deal."

Hoseok snorts. "Sure, it isn't," he says, flopping down on the space beside him. "It's a guy, isn't it?" Yoongi startles, not even daring to look him in the eye because what? Since when did his facial expressions became that obvious? "The last time you looked like that was when—" He cuts himself off and raises his hands when Yoongi whips his face towards him and glares.

Yoongi pushes himself off the floor because there is no way that he's going anywhere near this conversation. It's one that he's promised himself to never have again, something he told himself he wouldn't even so much as think about once he decided he needed to move on. It's ironic because it isn't like that whole "relationship" involved a lot of talking or anything for that matter. Which is something he wanted to change for his next relationship. Yoongi scoffs, shaking his head, as he zips his jacket up to his chin. Relationship. Right.

He steps out onto the sidewalk and takes a deep breath. If Yoongi had to pick, he'd choose spring as his favorite season. Spring means that the cold has passed, but, at the same time, it's not too hot yet. The weather is just right for light jackets to be worn and comfortable snuggles to be had, which Taehyung never seems to run out of. He sighs at the thought of the kid as he sticks his hands in his jacket pockets.

Taehyung wasn't someone he expected. It had been a while since he expected someone—or anyone—like him to come into his life. The last time he let his guard down like that has been more than a year ago now and, even then, it hadn't been easy. Because Yoongi was terrified and for good reason, which is exactly why things never worked out and he had his heart broken. And he didn't exactly let his guard down with Taehyung, not really. It's more like Taehyung just squeezed himself through the tiny, tiny, tiny crack in his walls and stayed. Yoongi isn't quite sure what to make of that yet.

"You sure Seokjin isn't coming back any time soon?" Taehyung asks, sounding faraway as he cards his hand through Yoongi's hair. He's busy reading some Shakespearean book, one of his favorites, judging by the way the spine is all wrinkly and the pages dog-eared.

After getting away from Hoseok, Yoongi had planned on hanging out in the studio for the rest of the afternoon and evening to finally finish their song and maybe work on something new. But Taehyung had called and, well, he couldn't say no. Not when they've barely had time to hang out in the past few weeks, with Taehyung finishing several papers for different classes. Not when Taehyung whined about just wanting to hang out.

"Yeah," Yoongi answers, eyes fluttering shut as Taehyung massages through his scalp. "Don't worry."

"Okay then," Taehyung says, flipping a page on his book and going back to reading.

Yoongi shuts his eyes and enjoys the silence, the way Taehyung's fingers flutter through his hair, brushing his bangs back every now and then, and the way his presence itself calms him down and soothes him. He can fall asleep like this. He sighs, shifting his position to a more comfortable one, so that his head is better nestled on Taehyung's lap. Taehyung moves a little to accommodate him and he grunts in thanks.

They were never supposed to be anything more than that kiss at the party. Yoongi was sure he wouldn't see Taehyung again because he never really goes out, and when he does, it was always with the same people. Seokjin isn't one for partying either, always preferring to stay in and cook, despite the fact that it's usually just Yoongi who eats them. A lot of the time, Hoseok comes over a lot to enjoy Seokjin's food too. But when there's no one else, it's always just Yoongi. Namjoon barely leaves the studio and when he does, it's always to go to some hipster coffee shop to write some music. Hoseok focuses too much on dance, while Jeongguk is too shy or too intimidating for people to be friends with. Of course there's Jimin. But Jimin being so friendly doesn't really matter because Yoongi doesn't like going out and meeting new people in the first place. So really, Yoongi doesn't meet too many new people because all of his friends are losers like him. Somehow, though, he met Taehyung again. Even though Yoongi hasn't been to another party in almost three months, not since Taehyung's birthday party.

Again, it was a result of Namjoon and his bad ideas. Yoongi had been up for an elective change that month and Namjoon had suggested that he take a poetry writing class to enhance his songwriting skills. Why Yoongi didn’t think of taking an actual songwriting class and agreed to Namjoon’s suggestion, he will never know. It’s in that class that Yoongi saw Taehyung again and what began as just a kiss somehow blossomed into so much more.

“Are you sleeping?” Taehyung asks when Yoongi’s head is halfway to the clouds.

“No,” Yoongi groans, forcing his eyes open and looking up at Taehyung, who’s peering down at him, book closed and set aside. Looking up at Taehyung like this, he can’t help but think that he won’t be averse to experiencing this everyday. He and Taehyung have quite a strict agreement of what they are and he’s pretty sure that that’s not included in the deal. Yoongi isn’t supposed to want more.

“Okay,” Taehyung giggles, as he slides out from under Yoongi’s head, making him grunt as Taehyung squeezes in between the back of the couch and Yoongi, wrapping a leg and an arm around him. He presses a kiss on the underside of Yoongi’s jaw and Yoongi closes his eyes with a sigh.

“I’m sleeping,” Yoongi decides this time but doesn’t do anything to stop Taehyung from pressing kisses on the side of his face and down to his neck. The kisses stop and Yoongi lets out another sigh. “I can hear you pouting,” he says, not even bothering to look at Taehyung. He’s pretty sure Taehyung is pouting. He always does when Yoongi says no.

“I wasn’t even trying to sleep with you this time. I know you don’t want to,” Taehyung says, the pout evident in the way he speaks. “I just wanted you to kiss me.”

This has Yoongi shifting to look at him. “You talk like I don’t kiss you,” he says, eyebrows raised. Because no matter how Yoongi feels about everything, he does kiss Taehyung because he can’t help himself. He’ll take what he can get.

Taehyung presses his lips together, pausing in a way that he thinks Yoongi doesn’t notice is actually him stiffening. It’s only for a second and Taehyung’s lips fall into a grin, but it’s one of those things that Yoongi files in the back of his head, things he shouldn’t have said, things he’s not allowed to say. But then Taehyung is cupping his cheeks and kissing him and it’s all Taehyung has to do for Yoongi to kiss him back. Yoongi always kisses him back.

Before Yoongi can really get into it, though, Taehyung pulls away.

“What?” Yoongi demands, blinking in confusion.

“I thought you were sleeping,” Taehyung teases, removing his hands from Yoongi’s face and wrapping them around Yoongi instead. He pulls him close until his head is tucked under Taehyung’s chin. “Which you really should do. You look tired.”

“With you here?” Yoongi asks, unable to keep the surprise from his voice. Yoongi doesn’t really mind sleeping with other people around. But he’s only ever done it with Seokjin and Namjoon. Taehyung always seems to leave before he falls asleep.

Taehyung doesn’t answer at once. “I’ll leave in a bit,” he then speaks up. “Don’t worry. I won’t be here when you wake up. No one will know I was here.”

Yoongi doesn’t respond. Sometimes—a lot of the time, these days—he wishes that people actually would know. Sometimes, he wants Seokjin or Hoseok or anyone to come bursting through the door whenever he and Taehyung are hanging out at the apartment, just so people will finally know. So that things won’t be like this anymore. Yoongi wishes that things didn’t have to be this way, that they weren’t a secret. Yoongi may not like showing his feelings, but he hates being a secret even more.

 

 

 

Yoongi buries his face in his hands and groans. He's been writing and rewriting his poetry homework for the past two hours but to no avail. He sucks at writing feelings. The professor asked for a poem about current feelings, of all things. Yoongi can write about music or friendship or even the trees outside. Why do they have to write about feelings? It's the last thing he knows anything about.

"You okay?"

Yoongi straightens up so fast that he knocks over the mug by his right hand, which is luckily empty. He looks at the doorway and Taehyung is standing there. ripped jeans and ripped white shirt, giving him an uncertain smile.

"What...?" Yoongi hisses, glancing behind Taehyung.

It's Wednesday and Wednesdays are when everyone's sure to come to the apartment to hang out. Yoongi knows that Hoseok and Jimin had arrived half an hour ago, very noisily discussing the choreography for an upcoming showcase. Jeongguk was already in the apartment before he and Seokjin even got back from their classes. Namjoon should be on his way. Everyone's accounted for so he's not sure what Taehyung is doing in his kitchen, talking to him.

"I just got here. Jimin and Hoseok asked me to come," Taehyung says in one breath before smiling, not quite the smile Yoongi likes seeing on him. He's got to be worried about them being seen together, which, of course, can't be helped since this is Yoongi's apartment. "You doing okay?" he asks, easing into the kitchen before Yoongi can answer. "You look like you're having trouble." He takes a seat beside Yoongi and sees the poetry notes scattered all over the table. "Oh, is this the feelings homework?"

"Fucking feelings," Yoongi grumbles and sighs. "I don't like feelings. How am I supposed to fucking write about it?" He leans back on his seat, wondering, not for the first time, why on earth he signed up for a poetry class. There are so many other classes--but no. He had to listen to Namjoon.

"Well," Taehyung says, voice quiet as he clears his throat. "You don't have to write about romantic feelings." Yoongi looks at him and frowns when Taehyung goes through his drafts without looking at him. "Writing about music is a good idea," he continues, smiling a little. "You have a lot of feelings about that."

"I tried that," Yoongi mutters, pressing his palms on the table. "But I'm really not very poetic. Why did I even take this class? I should just drop it."

Taehyung sighs, a smile on his lips, as he pulls one of the sheets of paper towards him and starts writing something down. "Poetry is all about imagery and rhythm. You're already good at that when you write your raps," he tells him, spreading his hand on the tabletop, enough that the tips of their pinkies are touching. "Just do the same for this and don't drop the class."

Yoongi swallows as he watches Taehyung link their pinkies together, his own pinky returning the gesture. This is the first time he and Taehyung are around other people at the same time. This is the first time they've been in the same room with all of their friends around since the first time they met a few weeks ago. This is the first time they're together in public, the closest they'll ever be to being public. And he's fine with it. When Taehyung told him to keep things between them a secret, he agreed and he never flakes out on agreements.

"Listen," Yoongi starts.

"Hey! There you guys are," Hoseok announces his arrival with loud laughter. Taehyung pulls his hand away and to his lap just as Hoseok stands behind him, hands on his shoulders. Hoseok peers over Taehyung's shoulder, at the notes and scratch papers, and chuckles. "That's right, you guys are in the same lit class."

"Just wanted to see if I could help," Taehyung says, glancing at Yoongi, who just looks at his clasped hands. "Although he was doing fine by himself."

"Of course he is," Hoseok agrees, squeezing Taehyung's shoulders. Yoongi tries hard not to flinch at the affectionate gesture. "That's why I really don't get how," he continues and Yoongi takes a very deep breath as he stares hard at the scattered papers spread across the table, "he failed his songwriting--"

"What time are we leaving?" Taehyung interrupts Hoseok, turning in his seat to look back at him. "I already told Jimin we're leaving early."

Yoongi stiffens at the question because what is he talking about? Where are they going? He didn't realize that Taehyung and Hoseok were close enough to warrant going out by themselves. He knew that they sometimes hung out. But, as far as he knew, it was always with Jimin and only during the times when Taehyung would drop by their dance practices. He starts gathering his notes and scratch papers because he really shouldn't be here for this conversation. It only feeds unnecessary thoughts in his head. Besides, who is he to be curious like this? It's not like he's jealous. He shouldn't be. His relationship with Taehyung is practically non-existent since no one knows about it anyway. Taehyung can hang out and go out with whomever he wants.

"Hoseok and I are watching his friend's dance performance," Taehyung says, gesturing towards Hoseok when Yoongi starts to leave. "You should come with us." He smiles at Yoongi. It's a chance for Yoongi to spend time with Taehyung outside of the confines of an empty room. Yoongi smiles at the thought. Taehyung grins at him. "It'll be fun," he suggests.

"Yeah," Hoseok pushes, reaching out to pat Yoongi's shoulder. "Besides, you need to go out more. When was the last time you hung out with other people?" His grin then widens, a mischievous glint in his eyes. "Remember that girl you mentioned was pretty? Joohyun? She's going to be there." He wiggles his eyebrows up and down and Yoongi would smack him if Taehyung wasn't around.

"Oh there's a pretty girl?" Taehyung asks, a small smile on his lips as Hoseok nods.

"It's not a big deal," Yoongi says, shaking his head, trying to make it sound like what Hoseok said doesn't matter. Because it doesn't. Sure he finds Joohyun pretty and sure he mentioned it in passing, but that was it. Yoongi isn't interested in her.

"What are you talking about?" Hoseok teases. "She thinks you're cute and she's been to one of your shows. Maybe you can finally ask her out."

"Oh she's watched you perform," Taehyung repeats and Yoongi looks at him, wondering what's going on in his head. He almost sounds like he cares. But Taehyung's face is blank as he exchanges a quick glance with him before looking away towards Hoseok. "That's good then," he encourages. "Maybe you two can hit it off." Yoongi's brows furrow as he stares at him.

Hoseok claps his hands and agrees. "Maybe the four of us can double date," he suggests.

Yoongi freezes and he looks at Taehyung, who just looks at him like he's searching for something before looking away. Of course. Yoongi should have known that there's a reason why they are kept a secret. He's always had this impression of Taehyung being a social butterfly, flitting from one pretty flower to the next, enjoying his time and having fun. He's young and attractive. Why should he limit himself to one when he can have them all? Yoongi wonders what his arrangement with Hoseok is like. Whatever it is, it seems a whole lot better than what he has with Taehyung.

"You guys have fun," Yoongi says before either of them could say anything else. "I really have to finish this." He walks out of the kitchen and out of the apartment, ignoring Seokjin calling for him. Fucking feelings.

 

 

 

Now that Yoongi looks back on it, he isn't sure why he agreed to keep things hidden for so long. But he understands why he said yes in the first place. Yoongi already found Taehyung interesting right from the moment they met. He was talkative and animated and funny. He talked about everything he found interesting, not caring if they were unusual subjects and Yoongi thought that was fascinating, to be so comfortable about what one likes. It took Yoongi some time to come to terms with a lot of things he wanted. But even until now, he still struggles with being unapologetic for them. He thinks it's admirable how Taehyung just doesn't care about what other people think.

When Taehyung grinned at him from the front of the classroom for poetry, Yoongi immediately knew that this was going to be something he'll have to deal with. Because Taehyung's bright smile and engaging personality, which are things that usually annoy Yoongi, was too hard to resist this time.

They'd been hanging out in one of the classrooms, where Taehyung had been helping him out with symbolism, when Taehyung asked if he could kiss Yoongi again. Yoongi didn't see a reason to disagree, because he did enjoy kissing Taehyung, so he said yes. Taehyung kissed him, somewhat hesitant, before babbling on about how he couldn't forget about their kiss at the party.

"It's funny because I'm really not one to get into things so soon—" Taehyung started but Yoongi cut him off because he didn't want Taehyung to think that this was anything he didn't want it to be.

"I'm not one for relationships," Yoongi blurted out. "I mean," he continued, running a hand through his hair. "It's a lot of trouble."

Taehyung had looked at him then, head tilted slightly to the side, lower lip in his mouth as if in thought. "Yeah, I see what you mean," he responded after a while. Then he leaned forward and gave Yoongi a kiss that still makes him tingle when he remembers it. "Let's keep this a little something just for the two of us then."

Now that Yoongi thinks about it, what he and Taehyung have isn't really a relationship. It's a fling, something fun for a little while. He just finds it interesting how this little while is pushing longer than any relationship he's attempted to have in the past.

"Are you okay?"

It takes Yoongi a while to realize that the question is directed at him. He looks to his side from where he's playing a game on his phone, glances at Seokjin, who's busy typing his paper while waiting for the soup he’s making to finish, and blinks at Namjoon. "What?" he asks. "Why?"

Namjoon shrugs. "You've just been really quiet," he shares. "I mean, you're usually quiet but you're more quiet these days. If that makes sense."

"What he means," Seokjin interjects, "is that it's obvious something's bothering you and he wants to ask what's wrong." He pats Namjoon on the shoulder, smiling at the way Namjoon deflates, before turning back to Yoongi with a questioning look. "Before you say nothing's wrong," he continues as Yoongi opens his mouth to say just that, "you should think again."

It's hard enough that he has Seokjin looking over his shoulder every so often, all his moves memorized by heart. Now he has Namjoon watching him closely too. And Namjoon, for all his reservations when it comes to people, is annoyingly observant to people he cares about. So whether Yoongi likes it or not, whether it matters or not, Yoongi is one of those people for Namjoon and every move of his is going to get scrutinized.

"Even if something is wrong," Yoongi starts, knowing he's not going to get out of this. "I'm handling it so I'm fine."

If by handling it, he means avoiding Taehyung for the time being then he is handling it. Yoongi has decided that he's too busy, too full with schoolwork and assignments to spend time with him. Taehyung doesn't seem to mind as Yoongi always catches Jimin talking about how he and Hoseok keep hanging out. When they are in class together, he's resolute in focusing only on his notes and the professor and he assures himself that it doesn't hurt whenever Taehyung doesn't come after him or try to talk to him.

"You saying you're handling it just means you're ignoring it," Namjoon points out. It’s teasing but Yoongi isn’t in the mood because he is handling this the best way that he can, how he knows how.

"Look who's talking," Yoongi retorts before his brain can catch up with his mouth. He purses his lips when he realizes what he said. "I didn't mean—"

"No, you're right," Namjoon cuts him off, shrugging and returning to his work. "Sorry."

Yoongi closes his eyes, annoyed at himself for what he said. This whole thing isn't about Namjoon. It's about him and how he's probably being emotionally constipated and immature. Not that Namjoon isn't, but the point is, right now, this is about Yoongi.

"I'm sorry," Yoongi sighs, reaching out beside him to wrap his hand around Namjoon's wrist as an apology. He leans his forehead on his outstretched arm, not letting go of Namjoon's wrist. He really should know better than to take this out on Namjoon whom he doesn't blame for anything. "I'm just really... There's a lot going on—well, not really a lot, but it's confusing and I'm just trying to figure things out. It's not a big deal, you know? I mean, it's a big deal, but I don't want it to be because he obviously doesn't think it's a big deal and I just don't want to sound whiny or be clingy and—"

"Yoongi!" There's a tug on his arm and when he straightens up, Namjoon is the one holding onto to his wrist instead. "What—who are you talking about?" he asks, glancing at Seokjin, who's looking at Yoongi with a mixture of surprise and amusement.

"No one," is Yoongi's immediate answer. He bites his lower lip to remind himself not to say anything else. He shouldn’t. He can’t. "It's nothing.” He twists his wrist to take it back to his lap, but Namjoon tightens his hold on it, squeezing lightly.

“Hey, don’t do that,” Namjoon chides, but it’s with an affection that Yoongi still remembers back from days when he yearned for it. He pulls Yoongi closer to him and Yoongi tucks in to his side. “I know you prefer talking to Jin,” he continues, and they both glance at Seokjin, who doesn’t even acknowledge that he heard them, “but I’m here too, you know. I haven’t left.” He tightens his hold on Yoongi for a moment and Yoongi has to sigh in contentment because he missed this. If he was being more honest with himself, he missed Namjoon. They had gone through so much together and it’s sad that all of those had to be tainted and had to change because of what happened.

“I know you haven’t,” Yoongi mutters. He leans his head on Namjoon’s shoulder and closes his eyes, their hands, now on Namjoon’s lap, still holding each other’s. If this were a couple of months ago, him leaning on Namjoon, their hands intertwined, would have sent his heart racing. It would have also sent a wave of confusion through him because he’d know that this isn’t what it seems. At least now, he knows exactly what this is. “I just don’t really want to talk about it,” he confesses as Seokjin closes his laptop and packs his books and gets back to cooking. What can he say after all?

"That's fine," Namjoon says as he continues writing something down in his notebook. He squeezes Yoongi's hand and it amazes Yoongi how it makes him feel nothing, except for the warmth and comfort of a friend who wants to take care of him. "As long as you know that there's something to talk about."

It's interesting how things change. There was a time when Yoongi thought he would never get over the pain of falling in love with one of his closest friends. It was one of the toughest things he's had to go through and if Seokjin weren't his best friend, he would have just cut off ties with Namjoon and everyone who associates with him. Seokjin was having none of that and insisted again and again that Yoongi really doesn't want to stop being friends with Namjoon and everyone else. And he really didn't. He can't imagine not having Namjoon to lean on in times like this. It's amusing how things work out.

"You do know that you're not in a position to talk like that, right?" Yoongi responds, rubbing his cheek on Namjoon's shoulder as he opens his eyes. "It's not like you talk about your feelings either."

"Hey," Namjoon says, putting his pen down and looking down at Yoongi. He puts his other hand on top of their clasped ones. "If you haven't forgiven me for—"

"Of course I have," Yoongi interjects. "Don't be stupid. We both wouldn't be here if I haven't."

Namjoon is quiet for a bit before presses a feather-light kiss on Yoongi's forehead. "I'm glad we're here then," he says, voice soft.

Yoongi smiles a little, ignoring the way Seokjin huffs at the both of them, because he's glad that they're here too. He opens his mouth to say something equally cheesy because, apparently, they're in that mood right now when they get interrupted by voices down the hall.

"Hey—what's going on?" Jeongguk asks, walking into the kitchen and taking his red beanie off and ruffling his hair. His nose is wrinkled in obvious disgust. "You guys are gross," he decides before taking a seat beside Seokjin.

"Who's gross?" Taehyung asks, walking into the kitchen, followed by Hoseok. Yoongi stiffens as Taehyung stops in the doorway and meets his eyes. He sees Taehyung's eyes settle in on everywhere he and Namjoon are connected and decides that, maybe, that's enough coziness for a day.

Yoongi pushes Namjoon off of him and stretches his arms above his head. "Where's Jimin?" he asks with a grunt.

"On his way," Jeongguk says, occupying the seat that Seokjin has emptied across Namjoon and Yoongi. Taehyung takes a seat beside him, quieter than he usually is, especially when Seokjin is making them food. "So, what's going on? Why are you guys all sweet and cuddly?" He rests his chin on his palm, teasing smirk wide and obvious.

"Namjoon and Yoongi have always been sweet and cuddly," Hoseok says, taking a seat on Taehyung's other side. "You guys should have seen them before they—" He cuts himself off as Yoongi shoots him a glare and Namjoon slaps a hand on the table. Hoseok laughs instead.

"Before what?" Taehyung presses, meeting Yoongi's eyes clearly searching for answers. But Yoongi just shakes his head and Taehyung leans back in his seat, his lips down-turned and brows furrowed, as if he's annoyed.

"Doesn't matter," Hoseok segues, wiggling his eyebrows up and down. "What matters is what Joohyun will say when she hears about this."

"Joohyun?" Jeongguk and Taehyung echo.

"Who's Joohyun?" Seokjin asks, turning around with a spatula in his hand.

Yoongi shrugs. "Hoseok's friend," he answers.

"Who's really pretty and a good dancer," Jimin pipes in, putting his bag down by the door. "Sorry I'm late," he then says, flashing a grin in the general direction of Namjoon, who chokes on his own spit before smiling back. He walks to the stove and proceeds to help Seokjin out with the cooking.

Yoongi bites his lower lip to keep himself from smiling. He's not sure what the two of them are waiting for. But, then again, when Namjoon's in the equation, it's bound to take a lot of waiting. He's amazed at how patient Jimin is being. There's a nudge on his feet and he looks up, startled to find Taehyung's eyes boring into him. Yoongi nudges his foot back before tucking it back under his seat. They're around everyone and they're going to catch on if they keep this up.

"And someone who's really interested in music," Hoseok adds, grinning so wide that all of his teeth can be seen. He folds his arms in front of him and leans on the table. "She was really interested in mixing and producing when she was at the studio," he shares.

Yoongi's going to have to talk to Hoseok about him and his big mouth and how it keeps on making things sound like a bigger deal than they actually are. It's not like he and Joohyun were alone in the studio. Hoseok was right there with them. Besides, she was only there because Hoseok dragged her along with them. Yoongi barely got to work that day, what with Hoseok being so nosy and talkative and pushing him to talk to Joohyun about music.

"She went to the studio?" Taehyung asks before anyone can get another word in. He crosses his arms on his chest, keeping his eyes on Yoongi. "When was this?"

Yoongi raises his eyebrows in surprise because Taehyung sounds really irritated. If he didn't know any better, Yoongi would think Taehyung was jealous, which, why would he be? He has Hoseok and Yoongi isn't jealous of them. Nope. He sighs and shakes his head.

"The other day," Yoongi answers. "It's not—"

"Oh, I thought you only invited people who are close to you in the studio since you always say that it's sacred and that it's a workplace," Taehyung interrupts. He opens his mouth, his breath catching in his throat when he realizes what he just said.

"What are you talking about?" Hoseok asks, chuckling.

"Of course Yoongi would call the studio sacred," Namjoon says, laughing as well.

Yoongi watches as Taehyung composes himself, putting his hands back down on his lap, eyes trained on a spot on the table. What just happened? Taehyung was talkative and usually one of the noisier and more playful ones in the group, but he doesn't have outbursts like what just happened. He leans back on his seat and lets the conversation fall away to Hoseok and Namjoon talking about one of their projects. Seokjin is watching him when he happens to look up. Yoongi looks away.

“Okay, books off the table," Seokjin announces as Jimin starts setting the table. "The food is ready."

Yoongi gets up, gathers his and Namjoon's stuff and takes it to the living room. He sets their things down on the table, blowing out a breath. This is going to be a long evening. Yoongi’s going to have to sit through Taehyung being in the same room, where he can’t touch him or talk to him or even acknowledge him. They don’t really know each other in this setting. They’re only acquaintances and everyone knows how bad Yoongi is with dealing with new people. So he’ll just have to settle for watching Taehyung and Hoseok get too friendly with each other. Yoongi will probably have to go to bed early, yet again. It should be fine. He can do that. Taking a deep breath, he turns around and finds Taehyung lingering by the couch, having followed him out. Yoongi glances at the kitchen, where everyone's busy setting putting the food on the table. He puts his hands in his pants pockets and takes a step back as he smiles at Taehyung.

"You seem like you've been busy this whole week we haven't spoken," Taehyung speaks before Yoongi can let out a hi. There's a small smile on his lips but Yoongi knows better than to think it's a happy one because Taehyung looks anything but happy. Which Yoongi thinks he deserves because of the way he's been ignoring him. "Lots of activity,” he adds.

Yoongi thinks of how he can explain himself. There really isn’t much excuse he can give except schoolwork. "It's just my classes. I’ve had to work on several papers and—“ he explains, which isn’t exactly a lie. But it isn’t the whole truth either. Well he can’t very well say that he’s been avoiding Taehyung because Taehyung’s also been going out with another one of Yoongi's friends, which makes him terribly jealous. He can’t act like a jealous boyfriend because he isn’t a boyfriend. Not really.

"And Joohyun," Taehyung interrupts, crossing his arms across his chest and shrugging. His stance looks defensive, but his bottom lip is in between his teeth so Yoongi really doesn’t know what to think. "And Namjoon, apparently."

Yoongi startles, his brows furrowing, because the way Taehyung is acting it’s almost like he’s upset about Joohyun and Namjoon. Although there’s nothing to be upset about because there is nothing going on between him and anyone else, he isn’t sure how to feel about Taehyung feeling upset with other relationships that Yoongi might be forming when he’s doing the exact same thing. Nevertheless, Yoongi supposes that he owes Taehyung an explanation somehow.

“Namjoon and I—“ he starts.

“Oh, you don't have to explain to me," Taehyung interjects, sucking his lower lip further into his mouth as a pastes a smile on is face. "I mean, why should you? It's not like you should, right?” He shuffles from foot to foot. “It's not like I deserve an explanation because we're not—I mean, we're just... you know..." He chuckles.

"Right," Yoongi agrees, feeling like his heart is being squeezed in his chest. Because they're really not. He can't even explain even if he wants to because Taehyung just doesn't care. It’s just so like Yoongi to fall for a person who’s unavailable, unattainable. It’s almost like he hasn’t learned his lesson. Hasn’t he broken his heart enough? “Right,” he repeats for assurance’s sake.

“Right,” Taehyung echoes, laughing in a way Yoongi has heard him do once before, when they’d decided they were going to keep things a secret between them. “Well that’s settled then.”

Yoongi sighs, a little bit in irritation. He isn’t sure what Taehyung is trying to prove to him but it’s not like he doesn’t know where he stands. “I don’t know when this hasn’t ever been settled,” he counters. “We’ve talked about this right from the very beginning—“

“What are you guys doing here?” Jeongguk asks, coming to the living room. “We’re waiting for you guys.”

“Nothing,” Taehyung says, shaking his head, a more genuine smile forming on his face. “Was just discussing the poetry paper that we have to do, nothing important.” He ruffles Jeongguk’s hair and Jeongguk swats his hand away.

“Dinner’s ready,” Jeongguk grumbles, walking back to the kitchen.

Yoongi watches as Taehyung follows after Jeongguk, his words ringing in his ears. Nothing important. Of course. He takes a deep breath and follows after them.

He pauses in the doorway when he sees that Taehyung and Hoseok are sitting beside each other, with Jimin and Namjoon next to them. The empty seats are the ones directly across Taehyung, beside Namjoon, and the one beside Hoseok. The obvious choice is to sit beside Hoseok because Yoongi would rather not see what they get up to during dinner. But then Seokjin sits beside Hoseok and Yoongi has no choice but to sit in front of Taehyung and Hoseok.

Everyone starts to dig in because it’s Seokjin’s food and you just go and eat when it’s right in front of you, but Yoongi chooses to wait until everyone’s gotten their portions, if only to avoid brushing hands with anyone or having to pass plates or bowls to people. Namjoon, after making sure that Jimin has all the food that he wants on his plate, notices that Yoongi still isn’t eating.

“Here,” Namjoon starts, putting a portion of mixed vegetables on his plate. Yoongi moves to stop Namjoon from putting shrimp. He’s not exactly allergic but there have been times when he’s gotten an allergic reaction and he’d really rather not risk it today. “I know, I know,” he says before Yoongi can even stop him. “I haven’t forgotten your seafood allergies. I also remember that you like eating meat with vegetables, so here.” He places several pieces of beef on his plate. “No rice, right? Since it’s dinner?” he asks, looking at Yoongi expectantly.

Yoongi blinks at him, unable to do anything else but nod. Namjoon’s been his friend for a long time but he didn’t realize how much he paid attention. Yoongi’s been so busy being enamoured and then heartbroken that he’d failed to notice how Namjoon cares for him. Namjoon is right that Yoongi talks to Seokjin more, if only for the fact that he doesn’t have to say much for Seokjin to understand him, but Namjoon cares about him in his own way.

“Thank you,” Yoongi tells him, smiling and reaching for his hand on the table to squeeze it in appreciation. It’s not enough for everything that Namjoon has done for him, but it’s a start.

Namjoon grins at him and flicks his nose, making Yoongi scrunch it. “Silly,” he says, chuckling. “It’s not like I can forget these things.”

“Okay, what’s really going on?” Jeongguk demands, looking from Namjoon to Yoongi and back. “Are you guys back together or something? Coz I know you guys had something in the past, although it wasn’t very clear what exactly it was like.”

“It’s not what you’re thinking,” Hoseok says, grinning at Namjoon, who just rolls his eyes. Yoongi, meanwhile, just want to smack the back of everyone’s heads.

Yoongi glances at Namjoon, who just rolls his eyes, and Jimin, who’s surprisingly just smiling at his plate. This isn’t fair to both of them. Yoongi may have issues about his love life but that doesn’t mean everyone has to have one too. Jimin and Namjoon may have been dancing around each other for too long because of Namjoon’s inability to express himself properly, but Yoongi doesn’t really want to ruin that for the both of them.

“What then?” Taehyung pushes, leaning back on his seat as he sighs, putting his spoon and fork side by side like he’s lost his appetite. “I’m the only one who doesn’t seem to know about Namjoon and Yoongi.”

“It’s not something we’ve ever talked about so it’s not like we’re leaving you out,” Yoongi assures him. Taehyung just looks at him for a moment before looking away and turning to Hoseok, who keeps on laughing. The smile that Taehyung gives Hoseok makes Yoongi want to get up and leave the table.

“Besides,” Namjoon pipes in. “We aren’t back together or whatever it is that you guys are thinking. Yoongi’s seeing someone.”

“Namjoon,” Yoongi chides, gripping his wrist. Namjoon gives him a sheepish smile.

“You are?” Jimin asks, sounding surprised as he glances around the table before settling his gaze on Yoongi. “Who is it? How come you’ve never told us?” He pouts and grins in one go. Namjoon sucks in a sharp breath beside him. “You never tell us anything, Yoongi. If you’re actually seeing someone, they must be special.”

“I’m curious too,” Seokjin agrees, smiling at the way Yoongi shoots him a disgruntled look. “Why don’t you tell us about this person, Yoongi?”

“I’m not seeing anyone,” Yoongi interjects, making a face. Friends are supposed to be the very people who will support you and help you out. The way things are going, this clearly isn’t friendship. Although, he can’t really blame them. Yoongi having a new special someone in his life is kind of newsworthy, especially after Namjoon. “It’s not—why would I see anyone? I don’t have time,” he goes on, shifting uncomfortably in his seat when he feels Taehyung’s eyes on him. “Besides, you guys know me. I don’t do relationships.”

“Is it that Joohyun girl then?” Jeongguk asks, wrinkling his nose in curiosity.

“No,” Yoongi corrects in a hurry, allowing himself to glance at Taehyung, who’s just staring at his half empty plate. He’s not going to allow a misunderstanding to happen about his supposed relationship with Joohyun. They’re acquaintances and that’s it. “I barely know her.”

“It’s a guy,” Namjoon says, flinching when Yoongi slaps his arm. “What? It’s true.” He turns to their friends. “It’s true. He’s seeing some guy, who’s probably amazing because Yoongi never settles,” he tells them. “And it’s not me, however amazing I may be.” He looks at Jimin, who smiles at him.

Yoongi rolls his eyes. While it’s admirable that Namjoon thinks he doesn’t settle, it’s sad to know that he is settling. He’d once had grand ideas about love and relationships and how it should never be less than anything he thinks he deserves. But here he is, doing that anyway. Because his heart is stupid and his brain is too weak to stop it.

“Even if I was seeing someone, it’s my business,” Yoongi finally tells them. They don’t have to know how screwed up his love life is. He thinks that’s something he’ll keep to himself.

“Don’t we get a vote if he’s a good guy or not?” Hoseok asks, frowning a little. Yoongi shakes his head, smiling a little at how it makes Hoseok irritated. “At the very least, you should introduce us. It’s just fair.”

“Just tell us what he’s like then if you don’t want to introduce him to us,” Seokjin suggests, eyebrows quirking upward when Yoongi glares at him. He’s supposed to be Yoongi’s best friend and yet he’s egging them on. “Just three things you like about him.”

“I thought you said you aren’t seeing anyone,” Jeongguk says, scrunching his whole face in a way that should look really ugly, but it’s Jeongguk so it just looks strangely attractive. “I’m confused.”

“Shush,” Seokjin says before turning to Yoongi. “Just three things.”

Three things. That should be easy enough. Yoongi glances at Taehyung, who’s still staring at his plate and playing with his spoon. “Well,” he hedges. “I like that he’s—"

Everyone, including Yoongi, jumps when Taehyung slams his hand down hard on the table. “I’m not going to listen to you talk about him while I’m right here,” he says, voice deeper than usual. He meets Yoongi’s eyes and Yoongi is surprised to find Taehyung looking so upset.

Yoongi gapes at him. “I wasn’t—"

"Yoongi and I have been seeing each other for three months now," Taehyung reveals before Yoongi can stop him.

Everyone freezes. Yoongi feels like all the air has been sucked out of his chest. Taehyung is looking at him like he’s daring him to deny it. But how could he when he can’t even breathe? Yoongi has always thought about what would happen if he were to tell his friends about him and Taehyung. He’d formed all sorts of scenarios in his head. He hadn’t factored in a scenario where Taehyung would be the one to expose them.

“Seeing each other?" Jimin repeats like he didn't hear correctly, which would be Yoongi's reaction too if he were in his friends’ position. As far as everyone knows, he and Taehyung are classmates and that’s it. “Like, seeing each other?”

"We've been going out," Taehyung clarifies, sounding more confident, tilting his chin up. He looks at Yoongi and Yoongi looks down because he really can't deal with this. What is Taehyung even saying? Why is he saying this? Why is he doing this? "So... So, Hoseok,” he continues, glancing at Hoseok, his lower lip in between his teeth, “that's why I couldn't go out with you. Not like you wanted to anyway."

This catches Yoongi's attention. They haven't been going out? All along he thought... Yoongi meets Taehyung's eyes again then. Taehyung looks determined with the way his eyes are steely, his hands clenched into fists.

"Why... Didn't you tell us?" Hoseok manages to ask as he looks between the two of them and Yoongi has known Hoseok long enough to know how he sounds like when he feels hurt.

Yoongi doesn't look back because Hoseok is his friend and the last thing he wants is to break his heart with this secret. He takes a deep breath and glances at Seokjin instead. Seokjin has his lips pursed because he's probably mad too because Yoongi never told him anything either. Not really. Because Yoongi is a coward who doesn't speak up when he needs to, not even when his heart is breaking.

"Because it was a secret," Taehyung answers, voice going soft, almost regretful. As if he's wanted otherwise. As if... Yoongi takes a deep breath, shuddering as he exhales. He knows the truth.

"You wanted to keep it a secret?" Namjoon asks, brows furrowed as he looks at the two of them. “Why?” He turns to Yoongi. “Yoongi?”

Yoongi holds his breath and curls his hands into fists on his lap before deciding to wrap his arms around himself. He stares at the floor. How can he look at his friends whom he’s been lying to? “It’s just—“ he starts but Taehyung beats him to it.

“We agreed to it," Taehyung starts and Yoongi whips his head up. “Because we didn’t want to rush into anything and well, Yoongi said it himself, he doesn’t do relationships.” He shrugs. “I understood that.”

"Me?" Yoongi blurts out, dropping his hands to his lap. “You’re the one who said he doesn’t rush into things. You’re the one who wanted to keep it a secret."

"Because you didn't want any sort of serious relationship," Taehyung interjects, frowning, and Yoongi can't believe what he's hearing. That is not what he meant at all.

"When did I ever say that?" Yoongi asks, sounding raspy even as he's demanding Taehyung for answers. His heart hurts in his chest because he wants a relationship. He wants a relationship with Taehyung. Has always wanted it. Because he wants Taehyung. Except Taehyung doesn't want him like that. Not really. And whatever he might have said, he did it to protect himself. Now, everything that could have been and everything that can be, may never happen. All because Yoongi is an idiot who never speaks up and never says what he means.

All their friends are staring at them, watching with shock and curiosity. Because this is Yoongi, who hasn't paid attention to anyone romantically in forever and because this is Taehyung, who's like a butterfly, flitting from one flower to the next. Because this is Yoongi and Taehyung.

"But you said..." Taehyung's voice trails off and when Yoongi allows himself to look at him again, Taehyung's eyes are wide, his mouth slightly open, like he's just figured something out. "But you said..." he repeats and this time he sounds helpless.

"I never meant... I didn’t..." Yoongi shakes his head, crosses his arms on his chest and hunches on himself. He blinks several times because he's not going to cry and he's not going to explain himself either. There's no need to. “Never mind. It doesn’t matter. I should go," Yoongi says, pushing himself to stand and shoving his hands in his pants pockets. "I have homework. I have to do them." He turns to go, pausing for a second as he thinks of Taehyung and maybe talking to him. His steps falter as he walks to the door. But what's the point of that? There is nothing more that he can say to Taehyung after all. So he just leaves instead.

 

 

 

“Where are you going?”

Seokjin’s grip on his arm is firm and unrelenting. Yoongi knew he isn’t going to let go, especially now when Yoongi has a lot to explain, so he stops walking, faces him, and sighs. “I’m going to do homework,” he answers, not meeting his best friend’s eyes.

“Yoongi, look at me,” Seokjin asks, tone dropping to that gentle lilt that Yoongi has recognised when Seokjin is being all motherly and concerned. He squeezes Yoongi’s arm.

When Yoongi looks up, Seokjin is looking at him with only concern and a little bit of amusement, but not of pity. Yoongi’s face breaks into a shaky smile that probably ends up looking like a grimace because Yoongi can’t even smile in the happiest of times. “I fucked up, Jin,” he mutters, his voice raspy. “I…” He closes his eyes and runs both hands through his hair before covering his face with them.

“It doesn’t seem like you’re the only one,” Seokjin tells him, letting go of his arm and pulling him to sit on the hallway floor, their backs on the wall. Yoongi furrows hims brows in question. As far as Yoongi knows, he’s the one who screwed things up. Seokjin chuckles. “It’s not like Taehyung is any better at expressing himself than you are.”

“But Taehyung is,” Yoongi corrects him, shaking his head. Propping his knees up and resting his elbows on them, he goes on, “Taehyung knows what he wants and he goes for it, without hesitation. I’m not like that.” He leans his head back on the wall, blowing his cheeks out.

“So is that why you guys ended up in this situation?” Seokjin teases. It would be annoying if it were anyone else but this is Seokjin and Yoongi knows that he always means well. “Because Taehyung was so good at telling you how much he wants you and went for you without any hesitations?”

“But he doesn’t want me,” Yoongi corrects him, looking at Seokjin, his head still leaning against the wall. As much as it hurts to say that out loud, it’s the truth and he can’t hide from it forever. He may have deluded himself into thinking that maybe Taehyung had any ounce of feeling for him these past three months, but that’s over now. It’s time to wake up.

“Yoongi,” Seokjin says, sounding like he’s chastising him. He turns in his seat so that he’s facing him, his eyes serious and piercing. “You’re stupider than I thought.”

“What?” Yoongi frowns, his lips forming a pout because that’s offensive. Even coming from Seokjin, whom he’d forgive for anything. “I’m not—“

“Yes, you are,” Seokjin insists and it sounds final and true coming from him. “Of course Taehyung wants you,” he declares. “He’s been seeing you in secret for months. Why would he do that if he didn’t?”

“Because he’s young and wants to try many things and see other people,” Yoongi lists down his reasons. “That’s why Taehyung’s with Hoseok because—“

“I’m going to stop you right there because if you go any further I might just have to punch you,” Seokjin interrupts him. Yoongi gapes at him. “Do you even know Taehyung? Because if you did, you’d know that he’s fiercely loyal and is the last person to date several people at the same time. He just told you that he isn’t seeing Hoseok, that he couldn’t because he’s with you. Don’t you see, Yoongi,” Seokjin continues, tapping Yoongi’s chin so he’d look at up him again, “you and Taehyung are the same that you keep things inside and don’t say what you want or what you mean, pretending everything’s okay. But the difference is, once in a while, Taehyung does speak up, like he did earlier, while you would forever hold your peace. You’re not some dirty little secret he wants to keep. You guys have become a secret because he thought it’s what you wanted.”

Yoongi opens his mouth and then closes it again, the flurry of things he wants to say hitting him hard that he doesn’t know where to begin. The thought that Taehyung actually wants to be with him for real is dizzying that he has to grip Seokjin’s hand. “So he likes me?” he asks the first thing that pops into his head.

Seokjin chuckles. “Yes, he does, Yoongi,” he confirms. “And I know you like him too, maybe more than you’re aware of if the way you let him cuddle you to sleep is any indication.” Yoongi stares at him with wide eyes. “I caught you guys one time, but that’s not important,” Seokjin says, pushing Yoongi. “Will you just go and talk to him already?”

“But—“

“No, Yoongi,” Seokjin interrupts. “I’m not going to let you do this to yourself again. I’m not going to let you doubt yourself just because a guy made you feel like you’re not worth being loved.”

“It wasn't like that,” Yoongi mutters, staring at his palms.

“Namjoon may be one of my best friends, but a part of me will never forgive him for what he did to you,” Seokjin says. “And that’s how he made you feel, despite it being because of his personal hang-ups. By not wanting to hurt you, he did and now you’re afraid of going after a love that’s been doing you some good.”

“I don’t know how to ask for this,” Yoongi finally says.

Namjoon had been afraid of hurting Yoongi and destroying their friendship in the process because Namjoon believed that he wasn’t good at taking care of people. Every relationship Namjoon had had, he’d ended up hurting the other person and because of that, because it was Yoongi that time, he didn’t want that to happen, not to Yoongi. And Yoongi had tried and asked for Namjoon to reconsider because Yoongi had been more vocal then, speaking up and asking for what he wanted and Namjoon had told him no. That was that. Now he’s not so sure how he’ll take another rejection, especially from Taehyung.

“Maybe you won’t have to,” Seokjin says, elbowing Yoongi and making him look at him. “Maybe it’s already yours.”

 

 

 

Their friends have settled into the living room when Yoongi goes back inside. Jeongguk and Jimin are arguing on what movie to watch, while Namjoon is standing beside them, looking like he wants to interfere and defend Jimin whenever Jeongguk says something about Jimin’s height. Hoseok and Taehyung are seated on one of the couches, heads bowed and talking in quiet tones. Yoongi stops, wondering if he should even talk to Taehyung now. Maybe another time would be better. He turns to go, but Hoseok sees him hovering and taps Taehyung’s arm to let him know.

“Uh,” Yoongi stammers, fiddling with the hem of his sweater. “Can we talk?”

Everyone in the room suddenly seems hyperaware of what’s happening, but Yoongi appreciates that they pretend they don’t know what’s going on. At the very least, there’s only a short pause in Jeongguk and Jimin’s argument, while Namjoon deliberately turns his back on them just so that he won’t have to see them interact with awkwardness. Hoseok smiles at Yoongi, much to his surprise, when Taehyung gets up to follow him to his and Seokjin’s room.

"Hi," Taehyung says when Yoongi closes the door behind him but doesn't say anything. He stands by the foot of Yoongi's bed before deciding to sit on the edge of it.

"Hi," Yoongi says, swallowing because Taehyung's on his bed and he kind of wishes that it was in different circumstances. He decides to sit on Seokjin's bed instead. "So..."

"So..." Taehyung echoes. He pauses and then laughs. "This is ridiculous. We have never been this awkward. Not even when we first met."

"Well, you didn't really give us time to be awkward," Yoongi reminds him. "You kept on going on and on about how you missed Soonshim and that if you didn't see him soon, you were going to end up writing about him in all your papers."

"You remember that?" Taehyung asks, eyes wide and lips parted with wonder.

Yoongi waves him off as if that's nothing. "It's not like I can easily forget the things that you say," he says. He freezes right after the words leave his lips. He looks everywhere except at Taehyung, hoping he didn't hear any of it or that he doesn't say anything.

Taehyung keeps quiet, playing with the navy blue comforter on Yoongi's bed, seemingly mulling his thoughts. Yoongi sneaks at peek and has to contain his sigh at how much he loves it when Taehyung is deep in thought. His bangs are splayed across his forehead, dark brown eyes staring off into space, lips in between his teeth. Yoongi doesn't even mind when Taehyung's like this, doesn't mind watching him think.

"We're such idiots," Taehyung says when he finally gathers his thoughts. "I'm such an idiot." He looks up and Yoongi doesn't look away when he's caught staring. "All this time I thought... You clearly said you didn't do relationships. Yoongi, I wouldn't have asked to keep us a secret and keep us low-key if I didn't think I'd get rejected otherwise."

Yoongi shakes his head. "I'm the idiot," he says. "I wasn't thinking when I said that. You said you don't rush into things and I just thought—"

"I only said that because I couldn't help but think about how I just wanted to dive into one with you even if we barely knew each other," Taehyung is quick to explain, moving forward, closer towards Yoongi.

"I couldn't think of why you'd ever want to be with me either so I…” Yoongi shrugs.

"Stop talking," Taehyung says, sliding off the bed and kneeling in front of him. "Stop thinking like that because there are so many reasons why I want to be with you, especially now that I've gotten the chance to." He places his hands on Yoongi's knees, making Yoongi feel warm. Taehyung's touch always seems to do that. "I've always wanted to date you, right when we first met and then we kissed..." He grins when Yoongi smiles at him.

"What a pair we make," Yoongi remarks with a light chuckle.

"I don't know about you," Taehyung comments. "But I think we're perfect. This is perfect."

Yoongi thinks Taehyung is perfect but he's not going to say something so cheesy out loud. Even though he really wants to tell Taehyung all of the wonderful things that Yoongi thinks he is, all of the things he wants to experience with him. He decides he'll just settle for saying just one thing.

"May I kiss you?" Yoongi blurts out, coughing when he realized what he said. That shouldn’t be the first thing he says during a reconciliation. It’s not like that’s the only reason why he wants to be with Taehyung. "I mean—"

"You want to?" Taehyung asks in such disbelief as he looks up at him that it makes Yoongi frown.

"When did I ever not want to? Did you think I didn't like kissing you all those times we did?" Yoongi wants to know, surprised and confused at the same time. Because he's always enjoyed kissing Taehyung. Taehyung is an amazing kisser.

"No," Taehyung says. "I mean, you always kissed me back." He hesitates but continues when Yoongi leans closer to him. "You've just never..."

Yoongi doesn't even think twice this time and just tilts Taehyung's face towards him and kisses him. Taehyung is an amazing kisser. He kisses just like the way he is with everything: with fervour and with a warmth that only Yoongi has felt with Taehyung. Yoongi would say that it’s like coming home but Yoongi’s has always associated that term with Seokjin and that would feel a bit weird.

“…kissed me first,” Taehyung finishes. His eyes flutter open and they’re glassy with something that Yoongi hasn’t really seen before.

“Are you okay?” Yoongi asks, pulling back because if he made Taehyung cry he’s not sure what he’s going to do to himself.

“No,” Taehyung says, getting up and following Yoongi, who’s now sitting up straight. He climbs onto Yoongi and straddles his hips, wrapping his arms around his neck. Yoongi winds his arms around Taehyung’s waist. “I mean, yes, I’m okay. But no, don’t pull away because I’m perfectly fine,” he says, pressing his nose to Yoongi’s cheek. “I’m just happy. I can’t believe you have actual feelings for me.”

Yoongi pulls away again, removing one arm from around Taehyung’s waist so he can cup his cheek instead. “I’m the one who should be surprised that you like me back,” he says.

Taehyung fiddles with the collar of Yoongi’s sweater, nibbling on his lower lip as he chances a look at Yoongi. “I’m in love with you, you know,” he says in almost a whisper.

“This isn’t a contest,” Yoongi teases, chuckling. Taehyung frowns, his lips forming a pout, lower lip sticking out. He laughs some more and then presses a kiss to his lips, unable to help himself. This cheers Taehyung up a little bit, but it’s obvious that there’s still something bothering him. “But, for the record,” he finally says, his grin reaching from ear to ear. Who would have thought things would end up like this? “I’m in love with you too. Now stop pouting and kiss me.”

A beautiful smile blooms on Taehyung’s face and kisses Yoongi so hard that he falls back on the bed, Taehyung following right after him. They may have started on a misunderstanding because of things they never said. But they’re here now and Yoongi is happy that he’s slowly learning to speak up and express himself and ask for things he wants again. This is like a second chance for their relationship and Yoongi is going to make sure it’s worth it for both him and Taehyung.

“Does this mean we get to do this in public?” Taehyung asks.

Yoongi answers him with a laugh and another kiss. Yes. Yes.

 

 

 

“You guys are ridiculous,” Jeongguk comments, his nose scrunched up in disgust. “And gross. You should be arrested for pubic indecency. All the time. You shouldn’t be allowed in public.”

Taehyung, who’s been sitting on Yoongi’s lap for the past hour, shoots Jeongguk a hurt look, his doe eyes and pout making Yoongi want to just kiss him senseless. It has the desired effect on Jeongguk, however, in which Jeongguk frowns and shakes his head.

“Fine,” Jeongguk relents, finishing his beer in one gulp, as if he’s been asked to do too much. “You’re allowed to be in public. But, just… keep it to a minimum?” he pleads.

Jimin overhears and laughs as he arrives with Namjoon in tow. “You can’t put a freed bird back in its cage, Jeonggukkie,” he remarks.

Yoongi coughs, while Taehyung bursts into laughter. Jeongguk makes another face. “I really don’t want to know what that means,” Jeongguk comments, shaking his head, looking like he regrets ever being friends with any of them. “I think I liked it better when you were both still idiots who didn’t know they liked each other.”

“It’s okay to be sad about being single, Gukkie,” Taehyung says with a seemingly innocent smile, but anyone can see the mischievousness lingering behind it.

“I’m single because I want to be single,” Jeongguk states, looking like he’s seconds away from stomping his foot. He grits his teeth and leaves them. “I’m going to get another beer.”

“You guys should be nicer to him,” Jimin says, smiling as he leans his back against Namjoon. Namjoon swallows, glancing down at Jimin before placing a hand on his hip. He looks so terrified but so determined that Yoongi can’t help but smile. It seems Namjoon has learned a thing or two.

“Oh you mean like you’re nice to him?” Taehyung retorts. “You and Jeongguk act like you’re in this constant competition. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think it was sexual tension.” Namjoon chokes on his own spit that Jimin has to turn around and rub his back, while shooting Taehyung a glare. “But, as it turns out, I do know better.” He grins in lieu of an apology but Yoongi squeezes his waist. “Sorry,” he adds with a sigh. “I was joking.”

“I think we should get you some water,” Jimin tells Namjoon, pulling him away and towards the kitchen.

“You should be nicer to them, you know. At least be nicer to Namjoon,” Yoongi tells Taehyung when they’re alone. Taehyung wiggles in his lap to get more comfortable, peering at him with curious eyes. “He’s the reason why we even met in the first place.”

“Because he broke your heart?” Taehyung asks with a frown.

Yoongi chuckles, flicking Taehyung’s nose. “No,” he says. “Because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have gone to your birthday party. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have taken the poetry class.”

“I don’t believe that,” Taehyung tells him, shaking his head. He cups Yoongi’s face and Yoongi’s breath hitches because they may have taken their relationship public, but he’s really not into public displays of affection. “We met because you went to the balcony and agreed to talk to me and kiss me. We met because, even if it was Namjoon who suggested you take the class, it was you who decided to take it.”

“You’re the sappiest person I know,” Yoongi responds with a wide grin. Taehyung, he finds, believes in things like fate and destiny. He believes that everything happens for a reason and that, if two people are meant to be together, they will find their way towards each other. It’s endearing and sweet because Yoongi has never let himself believe in those things.

“But you love me,” Taehyung reminds him, grinning because he knows he’s right.

Yoongi would say yes if their friends hadn’t called them for a toast. the conversation getting lost in the chaos. Because he’s had enough of keeping quiet and keeping things to himself. He’s done with not saying what he means. Ever since they’d officially gotten together, Yoongi has taken to telling Taehyung everything he’s feeling and thinking to make up for the months he never said anything. And it feels wonderful to be able to express himself and let people know how he feels about things. It’s not always easy. Yoongi trips up from time to time when the fear of rejection creeps in, but Taehyung helps with that. He makes it easy for Yoongi to speak up.

Later on, when the excitement has died down and they’re on their way home, Yoongi presses his lips to Taehyung’s ears, not caring how random it is. “Love you,” he whispers.

Taehyung trips on an invisible rock and stops walking to face him. “You can’t keep on surprising me with stuff like that,” he says, although the grin on his face says that he likes it very much. Yoongi likes it too because knowing is always better than the alternative.

“Come here,” Yoongi says, pulling Taehyung closer to him. He stands on his toes, because damnit Taehyung is just that much taller than him, and kisses him.

Taehyung kisses him back.