Clearly, Jung Hoseok, twenty four, accomplished (or rather, quite, as he would like to think) senior, did not expect this. What with him being in a loving relationship with his boyfriends, hell, he’d literally just returned from a date with them.
Enter Jeon Jungkook, sophomore, currently attempting to touch Hoseok's lips, very aggressively, with his own lips, which Hoseok does not understand at all. Not even to the smallest degree, because what is the kid trying to do when he himself happens to be happily attached—
“Can you believe that bastard called me a bad kisser? Right after we broke up? I’m not letting this go down—”
So, not happily attached then. Hoseok swallows, struggling to keep Jungkook at arm’s length. “And what are you trying to prove here?”
“That I’m a great kisser, am I bad kisser? I could take your breath away—”
“Whoa, whoa, hold up.” Hoseok makes a noise, half in disbelief and half disturbed at the thought of making out with his flatmate. “You two were literally best friends or something, and you’ve only been dating him for three weeks, Jungkook. Are you sure this isn’t a lovers’ squabble? It’s quite common, Namjoon and I had that quite a lot in the beginning—”
Jungkook scowls, and Hoseok cowers, his arm throbbing from the memory of a phantom bruise from nearly half a year ago in which Jungkook had gotten too excited over Mario Kart and punched Hoseok's bicep in his victory.
“No, we definitely broke up.”
“Well… maybe you should sit down and tell me everything from the beginning.”
The younger does, in fact, rant for a good half an hour while Hoseok listens with pursed lips. From what he gathers, Yugyeom (“asshole extraordinaire, Yugyeom,” Jungkook had corrected as Hoseok repeated after him) had suggested they break up, because they didn’t seem to be working out and quite honestly, things between them are mostly platonic. Jungkook, indignant, had made an offhanded comment on how Yugyeom was terrible in bed anyway, and Yugyeom further retaliated to this by calling Jungkook a bad kisser.
“Seems like you started it,” Hoseok says, slowly, “and haven’t you considered that he may have just said that because he was pissed you took a hit at his bedroom skills.”
Jungkook makes an affronted noise, “no,” and it sounds painfully childish, even to his own ears. “He doesn’t know what he’s missing, I’m a great kisser.”
“No point taking offense then, unless the shoe fits.”
Which, was probably the wrong thing to say because Jungkook stands up so abruptly that Hoseok nearly tumbles off their couch, holding his clasped hands to his chest in mild alarm.
“Try me, hyung,” and Jungkook's already stepping closer, eyes flashing. “I’m so good at this—”
Plan A: Placating Jungkook is clearly a failure, so Hoseok moves on to Plan B.
He gives a helpless little squawk and flees the apartment, leaving Jungkook more insulted than ever.
Apparently Hoseok has warned his boyfriends about the Jungkook Situation, because when Jungkook arrives at the barbecue place they were all supposed to meet at for dinner that night, all his friends (with the exception of Jimin and Taehyung who’ve suddenly remembered that they have a report due that night) are already seated. Surprisingly, Hoseok and Seokjin are sitting together, and upon Jungkook's arrival, Yoongi slides out of the booth to usher the youngest between him and Namjoon.
Jungkook says, very eloquently, “uh.”
On the plus side, having Namjoon and Yoongi treat him with such excess affection meant having an extra serving of meat, and not even needing to lift a finger, because Yoongi kindly stuffs Jungkook's mouth full of lettuce wrap in two minute intervals.
Truth is, Jungkook isn’t sad, per se, since he and Yugyeom had always been more of bros than lovers, which was probably why Yugyeom had initiated the breakup in the first place, although not expecting to be flamed for his sexual prowess (but he should have seen it coming, what with Jungkook's ego being two worlds wide, even to Jungkook himself). So the word is— butthurt, yes, not that Jungkook would admit, mouth full of lettuce and grilled pork—
“— butthurt,” Hoseok's saying, as Jungkook's attention slowly trickles back into the ongoing conversation, and he makes a weak noise of protest, just in time. “Stop spoiling the kid, Jesus,” but Hoseok reaches across the table anyway, pouring Jungkook another shot of soju.
Two and a half bottles in, Jungkook's cheeks are flushed, and forehead warm to Yoongi's touch. His head’s still a little fuzzy, but he’s vaguely aware of his own voice. It’s whiny, makes him want to cringe but not at the same time because no one’s going to respect him if he doesn’t fucking respect himself first. Good job for thinking rationally even when you’re drunk, Jeon Jungkook.
Clearly regretting his goodwill to refill Jungkook's shot glass, Hoseok's pinching the bridge of his nose, having already heard Jungkook's passionate rant a couple hours earlier, except now Jungkook has appended an additional three minutes calling Hoseok out for indirectly insulting his kissing skills, which neither Namjoon nor Yoongi even bats an eyelash at. Hoseok may be a little peeved at the lack of response, but he just closes his eyes and sighs again.
Yoongi's fingers are still threaded in Jungkook's hair, petting their youngest on the head in a manner that Jungkook would have found embarrassing if he’d been even the slightest bit more sober, but the warmth is everything he wants right now, so he doesn’t complain. “All right, guys. Time to decide who’s going to bring Jungkook home.”
“Why do we have to decide who?” Seokjin sits a little straighter at this, sensing the danger. “Can’t we all bring him home? Show him more support tonight, at least.”
“That’s not very efficient,” Namjoon drawls, and everyone knows that it isn’t really a discussion that’s taking place, because they’ve already had the victim in mind right from the start. “Also,” he reaches around Jungkook's shoulders, squeezing appreciatively at the younger’s biceps. “Who else but you could carry Jungkook home?”
“A Jungkook and a sleeping Jungkook are worlds apart.”
“Thank you, Seokjin!”
“Shut the fuck up, Hoseok.”
The last thing that Taehyung would expect at three in the godforsaken morning, eyebags down to his chin and suffering from sleep withdrawals would be to meet a burglar in their kitchen. He gives a mighty yell, voice cracking near the end, and the silhouette in the dark yells right back for a good five seconds, only shutting up when Taehyung's clumsy fingers catch the light switch.
Jungkook sputters, holding onto a glass of water, wetness already seeping a dark patch into the front of his rumpled grey shirt where he’s still blubbering water down his chin from the shock.
“What the fuck, Jungkook!” Taehyung clutches a hand to his chest, hissing. “We’re not that poor, we can afford electricity!”
There’s a couple seconds of silence, save for the loud gulp of Jungkook draining the rest of his drink. He sets the glass down, then lifts his eyes back up to Taehyung's inquisitive gaze. He looks tired, brows raised in mild curiosity, but tired all the same.
Jungkook allows, “do you think I’m a bad kisser?”
“I wouldn’t know, would I?” Taehyung's rolling his eyes now, hugging his laptop case closer to his chest as he manages a laugh, dragging his feet over to collapse onto their dingy couch. “If you don’t mind, I’ll need a sample before I can conclude anything.”
In the quiet of the night, half hungover and the other dazed, it doesn’t seem like a bad proposition. Jungkook lets out a quiet laugh, sinking onto the couch, their knees touching. “I’d convince you in a second.”
“Yeah, big baby, you can convince me tomorrow,” Taehyung cracks an eye open to fix Jungkook with an amused smile. “I really need to sleep right now.”
There’s a protest already bubbling up the back of Jungkook's throat, but in light of the situation and how exhausted Taehyung sounds, Jungkook lets himself be manhandled into bed.
Saturday afternoon finds Taehyung and Jungkook at the café that Yugyeom works as a barista at, sipping on iced tea— or, more specifically, Taehyung is, but Jungkook has his face fully covered by a newspaper (that the previous patron had conveniently left behind). To say that he is mortified is a complete understatement.
“So, tell me again why the fuck we’re here?” Jungkook's so panicked he can feel his pulse in his throat, clutching at the newspaper so tightly that it crinkles a little, earning him a disapproving tut from Taehyung.
“Put the paper down, darling,” Taehyung coos, and Jungkook's cheeks flush with a faint colour, their discussion from earlier still fresh in his mind.
Long story short, Taehyung had suggested, half asleep, to teach Jungkook how to kiss better, and Jungkook, defences down, still stuck in the throb of his hangover and maybe a tad smitten with Taehyung's sleepy smile, had agreed—
—to something he would not have, if he’d known then what exactly Taehyung had planned for them. Surely they could cosy up on their couch and learn the Art throughout the entire afternoon, so Jungkook really doesn’t understand why they’re here, in Yugyeom's territory. Is Taehyung (god forbid) mocking him?
“No,” Jungkook hisses, leaning back in his seat a little, but Taehyung reaches over the table and eases the newspaper from his grip. Letting the paper tear would make a sound that might alert Yugyeom, so Jungkook begrudgingly loosens his fingers. “I mean, we can literally talk about this anywhere else.”
“This is a great place to start.” Taehyung flashes him a bright smile, “practice makes perfect, so I can’t just be spitting theories at you and showing you videos. We’re going to have to put you to the test.”
Jungkook swallows, incredulous. “You want me to kiss him?”
“Jesus, no,” Taehyung gives him a look. “Me.”
For a moment, Taehyung looks insulted, but Jungkook's too caught off guard to do anything except stare. “Listen,” Taehyung's sitting up a little straighter in his chair now, brows cinching into a small frown. “Don’t look at me like that. I know I don’t look that bad, and I’ve been told I’m a great kisser.”
Amidst the question marks, Jungkook's thinking yes, he’s not blind. He knows that Taehyung's attractive. Taehyung's above average in the looks department, and charming to boot. He’s also not foreign to the thought of making out with his best friend and roommate (he may have thought about it often, ever since that one game of spin-the-bottle they played with the rest of the guys when half drunk and he’d gotten his first taste), but all he can manage in response is a squeak of “oh”.
“Oh? So, are you in?” Taehyung's looking at him with the sort of earnestness that he shows when they walk past a pet shop and there’s a puppy standing against the glass. Makes Jungkook feel all fond inside.
Jungkook takes in a deep breath, leans forward. “Okay. Okay, what do I have to do?”
“Wait for my cue,” Taehyung murmurs, pleased, and takes another sip of his tea, wetting his lips. “We’re going to make your ex regret. I need you to kiss me.”
“What,” Jungkook snorts, fingers wrapping around his own cup. “All the way from over here?”
“Yeah. Do that thing from dramas where the lead stands up and leans over to kiss the other. I dig that.”
“I knew there were conditions to this arrangement.”
“Look,” Taehyung insists, but Jungkook's more amused than anything. “You can’t have everything. This is a win-win.”
So they sit there, sipping on iced tea until Taehyung whispers, “cue,” and Jungkook gets up. Sighs, and leans over the table to kiss Taehyung for the second time.
Jungkook is no stranger to lip-lock, but there’s something about Taehyung that frazzles him. Apart from the fact that he’s kissing his best friend, oh lord, Taehyung's lips are soft, warm, and tastes of iced fruit tea. That, and he’s good. Jungkook's tongue traces at the seam of Taehyung's lips, feathering, then—
“Is he still looking?”
A groan bubbles from the base of Jungkook's throat, but he lets his gaze flick over Taehyung's shoulder, checking. “No,” Jungkook mumbles against Taehyung's lips reluctantly, not wanting to stop, but Taehyung's already pulling back.
“Not bad, young grasshopper,” and Taehyung winks at him.
Jungkook stutters out an inaudible noise, wonders how Taehyung can go back to eating his waffles with an air of such nonchalance when Jungkook's lips are still haunted by the lingering press of Taehyung's lips.
Practising eases so subtly into their daily routine that no one even finds it the slightest bit strange. Lips touching in cases of hands brushing and tugging closer by the belt loops in every manageable pocket of time they can spare. A minute or two between classes or an hour before bed.
There’s a quality Taehyung associates with the charming blush that seems to deepen on Jungkook's cheeks whenever they kiss. The younger gets so unbelievably flustered and it’s terribly endearing.
“Aw, baby,” Taehyung has since resorted to kissing Jungkook's cheeks at the most random of times, or his neck, especially when Jungkook's tired from writing his essays and is standing at the kitchen counter trying to make coffee with two sachets of instant mix (oh, so that’s why their coffee supply has been diminishing so quickly as of late).
“Jesus,” Jungkook squawks, near indignant, but ever obliging, waiting for Taehyung to push the mug further up the table top out of the way.
He allows Jungkook to cage him against the edge of the counter, teasing him with featherlike brushes, lips skimming first across Taehyung's jaw, drawing out a faint whine, then pressing against them.
“Hurry up and kiss me like you mean it, fucker,” Taehyung groans, impatient.
Jungkook lets out a little laugh, bright and childish unlike his physical or behavioural impressions, and cocks his head to the side. Asks, with faux sincerity, “how do I do that, sir?”
“Are you really going to dive into kinks now? I’m not into power play.”
“Can’t a guy try his luck—”
Taehyung pulls him in, near growling at the back of his throat, and Jungkook's words muffle against his lips, distracted enough to focus only on the task at hand. Jungkook nips at Taehyung's lower lip, quick, and draws out a hiss which he swallows, sucking on the tip of Taehyung's tongue with so much dedication that he can barely manage a moan, fingers tangling into Jungkook's hair with short, sharp tugs.
“Not too hard,” Taehyung's words are slurred, the colour high on his cheeks. “M’gonna bleed.”
“All the more opportunity for me to kiss it better,” Jungkook muses, running his tongue soothingly along Taehyung's lower lip, his own tugging up into a smug smile.
Taehyung's about the retort when the automatic lock to their apartment sounds, and Hoseok wanders in. He stops right away, though, and stares with his jaw dropped open, his phone still lit up in one hand, the other poised to key in the passcode.
The screen dims again after a couple moments.
“Uh,” Jungkook offers. “Hey, Hoseok.”
Hoseok replies, civilly, “hey.”
Silence holds for a couple beats more before Taehyung hoists himself up onto the kitchen counter completely, drawing different kinds of stares from both Jungkook and Hoseok. “Hasn’t Jungkookie improved since last week,” Taehyung quips, near cooing, and all Jungkook can do is turn incredulous eyes upon him as Hoseok stutters in response. “I’ve been practising kissing with him.”
Hoseok's phone lights up with a notification that he doesn’t notice, and Jungkook tries not to snort.
“Because you wouldn’t,” he clarifies instead, much to the amusement of Taehyung.
“Listen,” Hoseok says, slowly but still clearly in the midst of processing the situation (though Jungkook's not sure how he hasn’t caught on yet, what with both him and Taehyung spending hours on the couch and in bed just, well, making out). “Yoongi would skin you alive.”
Well, and there’s that.
Jungkook manages to get out a quick reply of “point taken” before Taehyung's cupping his face in his hands and pulling him in again, insistent, legs wrapping around Jungkook's hips.
Hoseok walks backwards, and right out where he’d come in from, fleeing effectively back to Yoongi and Seokjin's dorm in the grad buildings.
Seeing as Taehyung and Jungkook usually wait for each other’s lectures to end so they could go grab food, it isn’t new to see Jungkook standing outside the theatre waiting for Taehyung, and vice versa.
The only new spruce-up is that they’d wait until everyone has filed out of the hall, then Jungkook would pull Taehyung back into the darkened theatre and cage him against the wall, eager.
They kiss this way, in between breathless laughter and muffled moans, Taehyung's fingers making a fine mess out of Jungkook's hair as the younger buries his face against the hollow of Taehyung's throat, sucking a clean hickey right at the base (a newfound pleasure of his after finding out that Taehyung enjoys being marked up, even gave him a hickey on his inner thigh once while they were both high on caffeine overdose).
“Jungkook, stop—” Taehyung would gasp, thumping a fist against Jungkook's back at the first sound of footsteps, and they’d pull apart, panting faintly and bumping shoulders as they screw the fuck out of there before the next lecture slot starts.
After all, they’re both young, and it’s just practice.
There is virtually no one in the convenience store on a weekend morning, contrary to popular belief. Everyone sleeps in and wakes up too late. Then they’d try to discreetly steal food from the shared refrigerator in the communal kitchen for brunch, usually targeted at the stuff that don’t have names written on the packaging in bold letters.
At least, that’s what Namjoon and Jimin tell them, since the rest of them don’t live in the dorms and grad housing is different, Yoongi and Seokjin have a kitchenette in their double unit, complete with a decent sized fridge. Jimin's wanted to invest in a mini-fridge, but he’d be damned if he had to pay for the extra operating costs in their dorm fees.
Though, it’s a good thing for people like Jungkook, whose apartment isn’t too far from the convenience store just outside their campus.
He’s got an armful of instant coffee mix, and another of instant ramyun. Jungkook's about to pay when the door opens and Taehyung enters, stopping for a bit to get over the initial coincidence of meeting Jungkook there too.
“You sleep like you wouldn’t be waking up anytime soon,” Jungkook laughs, nearly dropping a five-pack of ramyun. “I’m surprised you even washed up and got dressed before getting here.”
“God, let me live. I dreamt of marshmallows and the craving is no joke.” Taehyung makes a noise, and Jungkook's not sure if he’s annoyed at him for teasing him, or annoyed at himself for the burdensome dream.
“Who the fuck eats marshmallows for breakfast?”
“Didn’t you know, my life motto is to break the paradigm.”
Jungkook lets it go with an, “okay,” albeit said in a very condescending tone, but Taehyung's honestly too fixated on paying for his candy than to bother with it.
It’s nice to have an empty convenience store to beat the crowd, but turns out, it’s even better to have an empty park.
There is a whole flock of pigeons gathered in front of the bench they’re both on, and Jungkook sits with his legs up as Taehyung chews thoughtfully on his marshmallows, watching them crowd around their feet without the slightest hint of fear.
“Do you think they’re used to being around humans?”
“Probably,” Jungkook muses. “Flock of thieves they are, trying to wheedle bread from us poor college students. Literally no other people come here.”
Taehyung promptly drops a marshmallow, mumbles, “fuck.”
The pigeons are on it in a heartbeat, wings flapping as they bicker over the bit of marshmallow, pecking at it so hard it bounces after every hit.
“How starved are these things?” Jungkook mutters, amazed, and so marks the start of their pigeon-feeding session.
It’s fascinating to throw marshmallows at pigeons and watch them fight, but not so much when trying to handfeed them and getting pecked at (“Ow,” Jungkook pulls his hand back, marshmallow dropping onto the ground and disappearing into the pigeon abyss. “That hurt, little fucker.”).
For some reason, Taehyung had held out another one at Jungkook's lips instead and cooed. Jungkook, out of spite, chomped on it right along with Taehyung's finger, earning him a shriek.
Things seem to always happen this way, and Jungkook finds himself straddled in Taehyung's lap, half empty pack of marshmallows left forgotten and fallen onto the ground for the pigeons to war over.
Taehyung's hands are firm around Jungkook's hips, and he licks into Jungkook's mouth. Smacks his lips at the sticky sweetness and makes a face, though without venom. “Gross,” he comments, eyes twinkling with mirth, and Jungkook flicks a finger at his forehead.
“Hey, my feelings are hurt.”
Given, he isn’t really, but even if he were, Taehyung cupping Jungkook's cheeks and leaving little pecks onto his pout solves it in a matter of seconds.
There is this, and there is the slow descend into something more, or so it would seem.
Taehyung looks best like this, Jungkook reckons, cheeks flushed from alcohol, sleepy and rambling on about god knows what, because Jungkook's own skull feels stuffed full of cotton, a couple soju bottles scattered over their coffee table.
“I never knew you were this old school,” Taehyung slurs, clearly mocking Jungkook's precious playlist (that he shows to literally no one, so Taehyung can fuck off). “These songs were hot back when we were like, ten, but not anymore.”
“Good songs never get old,” Jungkook scowls, scrolling feverishly through the playlist, unconsciously driven to find a song that would get Taehyung fucking hyped.
Taehyung obliges, sprawling himself over the couch with his head nestled in Jungkook's lap as he shakes his head to song after song, until one comes on that makes him pause, crane his neck a little with the slightest hint of curiosity. Jungkook pounces on that.
“One of my favourites,” Jungkook declares, the sides of his lips quirking up into a soft smile. “Not that old either, maybe from 2009.”
“What’s it?” Taehyung's got himself propped on his elbow, sitting up next to Jungkook so their knees touch, head on the younger’s shoulder.
“Like we used to.” Jungkook stands, despite Taehyung's protests of losing his resting place. “C’mon, get your ass up and dance with me.”
“What a rude bitch,” Taehyung groans, but he stands nonetheless, a smile ghosting his lips as he lets Jungkook tug him close, arms looping easily around Jungkook's neck, their noses brushing. “I suck at this.”
“Whatever, Taehyung.” Jungkook leans in, bumping his nose to Taehyung's cheek, pressing against Taehyung's jaw before he noses a line down, mouthing quietly at the junction between Taehyung's shoulder and neck. All out of habit.
They step on each other’s socked feet a bit, giggling, giddy with childish, newfound satisfaction. Jungkook tries to spin Taehyung around, makes him trip and they both crash back onto the couch, though quick to get up again.
Jungkook's not sure how long they dance to slow songs, the late afternoon sun slanting through the blinds. It could be seconds, minutes or years, but it could never be enough.
Taehyung brings Jungkook down in a dip, but overestimates his strength and drops him onto the carpet.
“Fuck,” Jungkook says, then bursts into loud, carefree laughter, the sides of his eyes crinkling from how hard he laughs, and Taehyung watches him for a bit, just until his guilt fades away and he joins in, sitting down onto the carpet next to him.
“What’s this song,” Taehyung asks quietly, after a few shuffles, while they’re both lying flat on the carpet on their backs, staring up mindlessly at the white of the ceiling.
Jungkook hums, takes a moment to listen, murmurs, “Kiss Me Slowly.”
“Dork,” Taehyung turns onto his side with a twinkle in his eyes, just as Jungkook does the same, and he leans in, letting their lips brush. “Not that I’d complain, you’ve gotten even better over the past few months.”
“Pardon?” Jungkook lifts a brow, amused, but he allows Taehyung's hand to cup his nape, bringing him close.
If anything, Jungkook would say that this is the exact moment he falls in love with Taehyung.
Or, not fall in love, per se, Jungkook's thinking as they finally pull apart, chest heaving from forgetting to breathe. It’s when he realizes that he’s been in love with Taehyung for a long time.
Probably not yet, that first time he kissed Taehyung in Yugyeom's café.
Not yet still, when they made out in front of their friends for a dare.
But between all the kisses snuck between lectures and in the gaps of time before one of them falls asleep, between all the cheek kisses and Taehyung feeding him sushi at two in fucking a.m., Jungkook had fallen.
Being in love with Taehyung, Jungkook concludes, feels so natural that he wouldn’t even have realized it if he hadn’t thought about it.
“Actually,” Jungkook finally speaks, whispers against Taehyung's lips, “I wasn’t asking you to kiss me. I was telling you the title of the song.”
Taehyung grins, knowing. “Oh?”
“Though of course,” he continues, nonchalant, “I’m not opposed to kisses.”
When Jungkook stirs a couple hours later, it’s to Hoseok draping a blanket over them. A quick glance at the window tells him that it’s already night, and they’d probably dozed off on the couch after getting up to clear their soju bottles.
He smiles at Hoseok, apologetic and grateful, who gives him a thumbs up before returning to his room. Looking over at Taehyung's sleeping face, Jungkook's chest fills with fondness, falls in love all over again with the curve of Taehyung's jaw, the flutter of his lashes with his breathing and the plush of his kiss-swollen lips.
Jungkook takes in a deep breath, whispers, “wow.”
Given that Jungkook had made plans with Jimin to check out the new ddeokbokki place near campus, it had taken him maybe a little longer than necessary to finally notice Seokjin waving wildly at him from a table near the back of the shop.
“Oh—” Jungkook takes a seat opposite Seokjin, clearly confused. “Hey, hyung. Where’s Jimin? Will I be third wheeling?”
Seokjin snorts, rolling his eyes and sliding the laminated menu over to Jungkook, shaking his head. “Nah. Jimin and Taehyung had a deadline they forgot about, so as Jimin's boyfriend, I was sent as replacement.”
Jungkook rolls his eyes as he scans the menu. “What’s new?”
Well, figures, the two of them never track their deadlines until their professors send submission reminders, which are usually at the start of the submission week. Taehyung would probably get home really late and half dead again.
He only realizes that he’d been speaking his thoughts aloud around a mouthful of ddeokbokki when Seokjin voices his comments.
“What’s up with you and Taehyung lately, though? Whenever we meet, the two of you are sucking face.”
“Don’t put it that way,” Jungkook grimaces, wrinkling his nose in disdain, and Seokjin laughs.
Seokjin gives him a look, deliberately taking a slow bite of his food, chewing thoughtfully for good measure. “You like him, don’t you.”
“Of course I do, we house together.” Jungkook catches onto the question laced in Seokjin's raised brow and makes a vague gesture with his hand, his voice gradually becoming softer. “He’s like, my best friend or something.”
“Oh, he’s something all right. I mean, you like him as in, you want to date him.”
Jungkook chokes at this, tearing up, and look, hyung, it’s obviously because of the hot sauce, stop looking at me like that.
Eventually, though, after two straight glasses of water, Jungkook heaves a sigh, pushing the leftover rice cakes around in his bowl. “Is it that obvious?”
“God damn it.”
Seokjin muffles a laugh against the rim of his glass, fingertips tapping over the table as he fixes Jungkook with a fond smile, leaning back. “It’s all right, you know. Kid’s totally smitten with you anyway. We were at the supermarket the other day and Taehyung filled half the cart with a bunch of stuff because oh, Jungkookie really likes this.”
“Shut up,” Jungkook groans, feeling his ears tinge pink, but pulls up a vague memory of coming home a couple weeks ago to a completely stocked shelf and turning around in amazement, I didn’t know you like these too, hyung.
Oh, honey, Taehyung had said then, shooting him one of his flirtatious winks, there are a lot of things you don’t know about me.
Seokjin near cackles as Jungkook tries to stuff the rest of his ddeokbokki into his mouth, chewing almost violently, cheeks as red as the sauce. “Ah,” he muses, “young love. And here I am on boyfriend duty. I’m supposed to rate the food on a scale of one to ten after and report back to Jimin.”
“But you never rate anything above a five,” Jungkook mutters, picking up the water flask to fill his glass.
At this, Seokjin makes a noise, almost insulted. “I would if it gives me a reason to.”
The automatic lock sounds at nearly four in the morning, no surprise. Taehyung steps in to find Jungkook sitting on their couch, holding his laptop over his thighs. “Oh,” he says, leaning against the front door once it closes. “Were you waiting for me?”
No, Jungkook nearly blurts, but changes his mind after Taehyung gives him a particularly pleased smile. “Well yeah,” he waves his hand around a bit, holding onto his laptop with the other. “I was hoping you’d bring some food back, I’m starving.”
Taehyung scrunches his nose up, amused. “Did you forget that I restocked our cup ramyun stash just recently? I know I got enough to feed us till retirement.”
A silence blooms between them. Awkward fidgeting and Jungkook clears his throat once, making it intensify as he struggles to think of an excuse. Taehyung's just standing there by the door, head tilted to the side and looking at him so fondly that Jungkook's heart aches. He notices the dark bags beneath Taehyung's eyes, made more prominent with the crinkles that come with his smile.
Jungkook sets his laptop onto the coffee table, murmurs, “come here.”
Taehyung moves without a sound, slipping the straps of his backpack off his shoulders on the way across the living area, dropping it onto the floor before collapsing onto the couch with his head in Jungkook's lap.
“Kiss me,” he mumbles, almost pleading, and Jungkook lowers his head with a hum, obliging without complaint.
They kiss in the darkened night, slow and sweet, Taehyung making soft noises of content right up until he finally dozes off, and Jungkook tries his best not to move so much, fingers threading lazily through Taehyung's hair until he falls asleep.
And that’s how Hoseok finds them in the morning, limbs tangled, Taehyung's head tucked safely against the crook of Jungkook's neck.
It’s been a long time, months, nearly half a year when Jungkook runs into Yugyeom again by complete accident.
It’s at an end-of-semester party, and Jungkook's first reaction had been to turn away, but Yugyeom had reached out and touched his arm, the action so familiar that Jungkook can’t find it in him not to stay.
“So,” Yugyeom starts, leaning against the wall. “How’re you?”
They’ve a found a quiet corner in the house, both holding some weirdly coloured alcoholic punch. It tastes decent, Jungkook supposes, taking a sip and wetting his lips.
“Not bad, actually,” Jungkook says, and finds that it’s an honest answer. Any hostile feelings that he might have held (or thought he’d held) against Yugyeom seem far away now, if not non-existent.
Yugyeom grins at him, and Jungkook finds himself roped into easy conversation again, simple and pleasant. They apologize to each other at some point, about being assholes in defense during the breakup, rather than ending things civilly.
And Jungkook's laughing, I really need someone to go bowling with me again.
“Shit,” Yugyeom agrees, “same.”
“Hit me up,” Jungkook winks, playful, and holds up a fist.
Yugyeom raises his own, bumping it to Jungkook's. “Will do.”
Perhaps in the midst of his pettiness, Jungkook had forgotten how good of a friend Yugyeom was, how much he enjoyed the other’s company as a friend. In a way, today he remembers, and it brings a huge load off his chest.
He doesn’t know how long they talk for, in that corner, but suddenly, Yugyeom trails off, and before Jungkook can ask what’s wrong, an arm wraps around his waist.
Taehyung's hand rests on Jungkook's hip, his stare heavy. “Hey babe,” he’s saying, his voice dropping nearly an octave lower.
Jungkook's blush flares up so fast he gets dizzy. “Wha— Taehyung?” He can feel Yugyeom's gaze on them, and when Jungkook turns to meet his eyes, he sees the faint quirk of Yugyeom's lips, clearly enjoying this unlikely confrontation.
“Is this guy bothering you?” Taehyung addresses Yugyeom without missing a heartbeat, pulling Jungkook a little closer.
Jungkook sputters, wordless.
“Who’s this, baby?” Yugyeom tilts his head, nodding towards Taehyung, and if Jungkook hadn’t known better, he would have found it rather convincing.
“Uhm,” Jungkook manages, his throat suddenly dry. He swallows, unexplainably nervous.
If possible, the arm around Jungkook's waist tightens, but Taehyung doesn’t seem fazed, merely turning his gaze to Jungkook. “I’m Jungkook's boyfriend, and I need to steal him for a bit. I’m a little deprived of kisses,” he adds, coolly, “if you don’t mind.”
Jungkook's lets Taehyung tow him away, more confused than ever, but when he turns back to look at Yugyeom, the other winks at him and gives him a thumbs’ up.
Clearly, Yugyeom is still very much a bastard. Jungkook scowls at him and responds by giving him the finger, but it only makes Yugyeom laugh.
“Are you okay?”
They’re standing around near a bus stop, the party that they’d left was still in full swing, but the night is cool and quiet, if not chilly, even with a jacket on. Jungkook scuffs his shoe at the ground, leans back against the glass display of a closed shop.
Taehyung lifts his head when Jungkook speaks, giving him a little smile and bumping his shoulder to the younger’s. “Yeah, are you? Was he bothering you?”
“Oh,” Jungkook snorts, checking his phone for the estimation of their Uber’s arrival. “Nah, we were just talking. We cleared up all our beef, so we’re friends again.”
“Like,” Taehyung muses, cautious. “Dating?”
“God, no,” Jungkook makes a soft noise between disgust and amusement. “Just platonically. He’s literally the only person who’d go bowling with me anyway.”
“You never asked me.”
“Taehyung,” Jungkook says, seriously. “I hate to break it to you, but you suck at it. You probably also hate it.”
Jungkook hums in acknowledgement, and they fall back into a dragging silence, until the need becomes more than he can take and he blurts out, “why did you do that?”
“Do what?” Taehyung turns his gaze onto him, eyes twinkling, teasing. The asshole knows.
“You know what,” Jungkook mutters, indignant. “You told him you’re my boyfriend.”
“Is that bad?”
“Well… that depends.”
Taehyung bites down on his lower lip, a habit Jungkook has since come to associate with nervousness. “On?”
“On if you really meant it.”
Their eyes finally meet when Jungkook pushes his weight off the glass, and Taehyung holds onto it, watching as he steps closer and cages Taehyung against the wall by the shop. Taehyung's lips are parted as if to reply, but he presses them together again, not wanting to risk too much.
“Do you wish I did?”
Jungkook inhales, deep, looks away. “Yeah,” he breathes out. “I do.”
Taehyung's hands are warm, gentle as he reaches out to cup Jungkook's face in his palms. Whispers, “good.”
It’s almost sobering, kissing in the cool, night air, so late that there isn’t even the sound of traffic. The wind bites at Jungkook's cheeks, makes them pink.
They pull apart, and Taehyung smiles, murmurs, “because I meant it.”
Everyone should probably have seen it coming, but since Taehyung and Jungkook's revelation of mutual attraction, they’ve ended up being even touchier with each other. Holding hands under the table while eating out with everyone, or like now, sneaking cheek kisses in between fries but also whining about the grease.
All that jazz.
Seated across them, Hoseok grudgingly pays Namjoon and Yoongi ten bucks each for losing the bet. “Jesus Christ,” he sighs, undeniably fond, though sparing a few mournful glances inside his wallet. “Fuckers can’t even make out without falling in love.”