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Chemistry 101

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The October breeze blows again with much more vigor and Jimin desperately shoves his hands into his thin hoodie in the hopes of some hidden warmth. He checks the university app for the current bus arrival times. Four minutes. Technically, he could run back to his room, grab his jacket and sprint back to catch the next bus. Except he would have to wait an additional six minutes which would mean risk being late to his 8:40 AM exam and while he is pretty sure he only knows half the material, he would rather have the entire 2 hours to decide his guesses and fill in his Cs.

Rubbing his hands together as the countdown goes to two minutes, he makes a note to never listen to Yoongi about the weather again since "peachy" apparently meant something very different to the latter.

When Jimin and a few latecomers enter the lecture hall, the rest of the class is already seated, pencils in tow and nervousness evident on their faces. He tries to be as quiet and swift as possible except it doesn’t really work and he takes longer than most of the others in maneuvering through the seats to try and find the exam with his name on it. He internally groans when he realizes that his designated seat is between a girl who looks too stressed to notice anything and a boy who is literally glaring at Jimin as if he had three horns on his head.

Assigned seating seriously did not really work as well when the class was as big as General Chemistry and every single seat needed to be occupied.

As expected, Jimin's mind begins to warp as he reads one question after other and he finds himself favoring answer choice C one too many times. At some point during the second hour, he realizes that he has been doing a problem completely wrong and in the midst of fervently erasing his work so far, bumps his elbow against the arm of the boy next to him while also managing to drop one of his four pencils.

Jimin whispers a "sorry" and a "thank you" when the boy begrudgingly picks it up and places it on his desk. He only receives a scowl in response.

He swears he sees the TA look directly at him when she says, "This is not a group effort and you are not in high school. Eyes on your own exams, please."

-----

"Can you believe it?" Jimin adds after he finishes recounting his morning to his roommate and sometimes-friend, Yoongi. Jimin twists his body to glance over although the other is seriously bundled underneath his blankets and their beds are too far apart so he can’t really see any better.

"Yea," Yoongi still manages to murmur, probably still half-asleep, “totally.”

Technically, there is no real way of knowing if Yoongi had actually been listening this whole time or if he was just talking in his sleep but Jimin prefers to be on the positive side and besides, if Yoongi did not want to listen, he would make sure to let the other party know of it.

Jimin hums back, fatigue suddenly washing over him. He figures gym can wait a couple hours so he can catch up on his much missed sleep.

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“Sleep is for the weak!” Taehyung hollers, grabbing the Iron Man blanket and ruffling it every which way while the body underneath cocoons in itself even further.

“Gukzz~ Gukkies~ I can do this all day~ Kookie! Kookoos Jeo-”

“What the hell do you want??” Jeongguk all but screeches with his full scowl and unmade hair but, Taehyung seems unfazed and returns with his signature smile. The smile that is only sent Jungkook's way when the other has something he wants from him and Jungkook can already feel his ‘no’ lingering behind his tongue.

Taehyung has somehow gotten hold of Jungkook's stash of post-midterms candy and is chomping away so happily that he debates whether he should try to convince the older to leave him alone and maybe offer up his other, super secret stash of post-midterms candy as payment or something.

“Why do you,” chomp chomp, “always do that?” chomp chomp. Jungkook makes a face as the bits and pieces fly out of Taehyung’s mouth because it’s too full. He can only imagine Hoseok’s face when he sees them on his side of the room.

Also, Taehyung has one of those looks on his face like he wants to talk and yea, Jungkook's pretty confident that he’s not getting anymore sleep. He sighs because he was really looking forward to sleeping off his post-exam fatigue but he starts to get up all the same. Taehyung is still eating at a frightening rate but he winces when Jungkook's back cracks like he is a 60 year old man and not a sophomore in college.

On the way to the bathroom, the younger snatches back his precious candy, ignoring the other’s pout, and instead, attempts to continue the earlier conversation, “do what? And don’t eat all of my food! You’re the one with the loaded family, remember?”

“Gukkie~ I was going to stop,” Jungkook spits out the water and raises his eyebrows in the mirror, “eventually. Besides, I was saying about why you always hole yourself in this room and you barely eat or talk to other people and you always push away. I just want-”

“Fine,” Jungkook finishes rinsing his face and returns to the room, “I’ll go.”

And that effectively shuts up Taehyung long enough until he is suddenly clutching the younger by the elbows, rectangular smile back in tow and Jungkook just shakes his head, already picturing his eminent torture.

Whoever said Kim fucking Taehyung wasn’t good with words clearly didn’t know him very well.

-----

Taehyung is positively buzzing in his seat as Jungkook rounds the corner into the street and judging by the music that gets increasingly louder, he knows he has the right address. He spares a glance at his friend, and an idea stirs in his head, “hey Taehyung, you can go ahead, I gotta park and I’ll be right in.”

“NO”

“Really it might take a while because there are so many people already here, I don’t want you to miss out,” Jungkook tries to sound sincere.

Taehyung crosses his arms, “Jeon Jungkook, I know you plan to ditch me here so you can go back home and I am not going to fall for it again. So, shut up and find a damn parking spot so we can go in and get shit drunk and have fun like college students are supposed to.”

“Technically, college is a place to study, not a place to get shit drunk,” the younger mutters while scanning for an open spot. “Ow! Did you just smack the back of my head?”

“Yea, I figured your face needed to look half decent today so I opted for the back of your head.”

Post-midterms, pre-booze Taehyung was a moody and an instinctive jerk; a force to reckon with and one that Jungkook would prefer to ignore at all avenues. And so, even though his mouth is itching to say something, he sticks by his task to find a parking spot as soon as possible before all the booze runs out and shit really hits the fan and then some.

After a good 20 minutes, they end up finding a spot some streets away from the actual venue of the party and in spite of the thin attire on both, they have no choice but to walk. Of course that sets Taehyung off on listing the benefits of attending parties in college.

“But I’m leaving if you try to set me up with some dude again!”

“I won’t. I didn't?”

“Taehyung”

“Well, you can just say hi and have a drink! It’s what you do anyways at a party.”

“Taehyung!”

“He’s cute, I promise.”

“I hate cute, you should know that.”

“Oh….oh, I know! He also has like an amazing body!”

Jungkook stops walking and stares at his friend.

“What? Jungkook, you’re not going to lecture me on superficiality literally 5 min before we head into a college party, are you?”

“I’m bi, Tae, if you absolutely have to play matchmaker, at least try to also set me up with girls.”

“Oh,” Taehyung wiggles his eyebrows and does a mock salute, “note taken in point, sir.”

"I didn'- nevermind."

They resume walking. Well, its more like Jungkook walking and Taehyung skipping the last block to the house. Jungkook shakes his head again and yea, you end up doing that a lot when you are friends with Kim Taehyung.

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Even above the usual mix of EDM blasting through multiple speakers, Jimin hears his friend and he can’t help the immediate buzz in his stomach or the bright smile that makes its way on his face when they actually make eye contact.

“CHIMCHIM,” Taehyung roars across the room, dramatically running across and plunging straight into Jimin’s outstretched arms. The dynamic of low voice, Armani cologne, randomly torn sweater and big, boxy smile is quite a sight to take in but Jimin’s smile grows bigger all the same. He missed this more than he can care to admit but he thinks it’s okay to relax in the arms and inhale and exhale the air that is mixed with expensive cologne because it is Taehyung and no one else.

Taehyung who had been Jimin’s best friend before moving to Seoul only to return back into Jimin’s life as if nothing had changed, as if time had actually stood still and waited for them. Taehyung who had always complimented Jimin’s chubby cheeks, called him cute and endearing, now praised him on his sharper jaw and lean muscles while also nagging him to eat all the same.

Taehyung who was and still remained Jimin’s pathetic little crush was holding on to him like he was the last breath of fresh air so, yea, maybe Jimin was being a little selfish and enjoying this a little too much.

“I want you to meet someone,” Taehyung whispers when they pull apart and his eyes have that same glint that they usually have whenever Jimin is about to hear of one of his master plans, “you know the code right? Fake cough if you like him~”

Jimin feigns interest when really he could care less. When really all he wants is to continue being held and maybe taken away from all these people, crappy music and cheap booze. He knows it is of no use but still finds himself hoping that maybe Taehyung is doing one of those weird things where he refers to himself in third person and maybe this ‘someone’ will actually turn out to be Taehyung and Jimin can say ‘I knew it’ and they can kis-

“There he is! JEON JUNGKOOK! Over HERE!” Taehyung voice breaks Jimin out of his little reverie but it’s actually the face and the familiar scowl on that said face that manages to throw Jimin into a fit of real coughs (lack of breathing, watery eyes and the whole ugly package).