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"Take my seat."

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Taehyung’s eyes lay unfocused on the book in his lap, his headphones blasting Dario Marianelli’s soft ballads in his ears. The plane jerks around slightly in the wind turbulence, and out of the corner of his eye, he sees Namjoon shoot an arm out to the seat in front of himself to stay upright, his eyes never leaving his own book. The music in Taehyung’s ears fades into a moment of silence before the next song begins, but in that time he hears Jeongguk’s frustrated sigh next to him as he shifts, obviously uncomfortable, in his seat.

 

Taehyung pauses his music and prods Jeongguk’s arm with his book, frowning at the younger. Jeongguk lifts his mask from his eyes and squints at Taehyung, a perpetual frown on his face and bags under his eyes.

 

“You okay?” Taehyung whispers and Jeongguk huffs his reply and shakes his head no. Taehyung frowns and wants to desperately to reach out and touch him to soothe him, but a flight attendant walks by and Taehyung knows the old woman a few rows behind them keeps sending the seven of them a Look whenever any of them so much as makes a peep.

 

Jeongguk opens his mouth to reply, but he snaps it shut again before glancing around them and toward the other fliers. Taehyung holds up a finger to the younger and discards his book for his journal and pen. While he flips to a new page, Jeongguk lovers his tray and pushes his mask so it rests like a headband on his head. Taehyung writes what’s wrong and slides the journal over, and Jeongguk huffs out a laugh.

 

“Your handwriting is shit, hyung.” He whispers, but he starts writing his reply anyway so Taehyung just sighs exasperatedly and nudges him in warning as he watches Jeongguk write.

 

When he slides the journal back over, it’s just two simple words and an emoticon: can't sleep ):

 

Taehyung bites his lip in thought before glancing at his window seat and back to Jeongguk.

 

Take my seat.

 

Jeongguk scrunches his eyebrows at the words and immediately shakes his head no and writes his reply.

 

Hyung, noooo!! You’re reading and it’s better to read in natural lighting so you don’t mess up your eyes!! I’ll be fine I’m just annoyed!!

 

Taehyung looks at Jeongguk and raises his eyebrows challengingly, and Jeongguk gives him a frustrated look back, nostrils flaring and cheeks puffing as if to say “you better listen to me!”

 

Taehyung doesn’t, of course, and writes back: I would give you my own eyes if you couldn’t see, a seat on an airplane means nothing.

 

Jeongguk flushes at the words but he has to bite back his grin to keep it from taking over his face. Taehyung watches him closely and feels his heart flutter and longs to reach out and touch him or something. But he can’t because they’re in public , so he busies his hands by playing with the strings from his hoodie.

 

(Sometimes Taehyung wishes they were the only two people in the world so they could fully be with one another, but then he chastises himself for such a selfish thought.)

 

When the book slides back in front of him it’s just scribbles and hearts, and Taehyung really wants to kiss him. Instead, he closes the journal and shoves it back in his bag along with his pen and smiles at Jeongguk, sure there’s a blush on his cheeks that mirrors Jeongguk’s. He knows Jeongguk doesn't have the energy to argue with him, so the seat is as good as his.

 

“I need to pee so just scoot over in my seat by the time I get back,” Taehyung whispers, holding himself back from leaning in to give Jeongguk a goodbye peck (and really, he’s going less than ten feet away but he’s become so accustomed to kisses and light touches it feels weird to not be able to indulge in them). Jeongguk grabs Taehyung’s hand as he passes in front of him and gives it a squeeze in thanks as he goes. Taehyung pretends not to notice how his fingers are slow to let go of him.

 

He doesn’t even need to go to the bathroom—he just wanted to give Jeongguk the time he needed to settle in and fall asleep. Taehyung washes his hands twice and even dabs some of the cool water on his face to close up his pores before finally leaving the bathroom. Namjoon glances up from his book when he notices his return and raises his book in a silent greeting, Taehyung tilting his head back.

 

Jeongguk is knocked out cold and leaning against the side of the plane, lips slightly parted as he deeply breaths in and out when Taehyung glances over at him. He pulls Jeongguk’s blanket up to his chin and tucks into Jeongguk’s old seat, putting his headphones back in as he pulls out his journal to write. On the page after he and Jeongguk’s silent conversation is a sentence written in Jeongguk’s neat script:

 

I would give you my lungs if it meant you could breathe.

 

Taehyung’s breath catches in his throat, and his eyes prickle with the sudden need to cry. He looks at Jeongguk’s peaceful figure through his misty eyes and brushes some of his hair out of his face on instinct, his fingers ghosting down to caress his cheek. He pulls his hand away after a moment, eyes clear again, and clicks his pen to write.

 

You and I are the only ones here; me and you.