The memory comes back in a dream.
One minute, he’s avoiding the responsibilities of impending midterms, laying on his back, holding his phone over his face, and drifting to sleep and the next thing he knows, he’s sitting at a table in his high school library, 16 years old again, awkward, lanky, and experiencing butterflies in his stomach for the very first time.
He immediately dismisses it as post-coffee jitters, because the only other plausible cause could only be his best friend and the giant grin he was currently giving him, framed perfectly in the sunlight.
And that was ludicrous.
“Hey,” Taehyung loudly whispers as he leans in.
“Yeah?” Jungkook’s heart skips. Damn caffeine.
“Want to go camping?”
“Camping. Like, going to the middle of nowhere and sleeping in a tent. Real fun stuff.”
“I know what camping is, but isn’t that a little random?”
“I guess,” Taehyung shrugs. “Do you want to?”
“Uh, when and where?”
“Tomorrow, and that beach site that Hoseok goes every year with his family.”
“Yeah,” Taehyung scratches his head. “Feeling spontaneous.”
“Would it just be the two of us?” Jungkook asks, and his heart jumps at the thought.
“No, sorry forgot to mention it, but it’s like a graduation thing with me and other people in my year. Like a final hurrah.”
“Ah,” Jungkook pauses, trying to shake the weight of slight disappointment from his chest (seriously, where was this all coming from). “Is it okay if I go then? It’s like your guys’ thing.”
“We can bring plus-ones,” Taehyung beams. “I just found out. And Yoongi, Seokjin, Namjoon, and Hoseok will be there. So it’s chill.”
“Aren’t most people going to be bringing significant others?”
“Probably,” Taehyung shrugs. “But I don’t have one right now, and I want to bring you.”
That’s how Taehyung gets people, Jungkook thinks feebly, his heart hammering in his chest. He needed to start leaving out those extra espresso shots.
“Yeah,” Jungkook looks back down at his calculus book. “I think I’m free, let me check with my parents first.”
“Hell yeah,” Taehyung claps once and throws his arm around Jungkook. “It’s going to be so fun.”
“Yeah,” Jungkook’s ears are growing hot and the butterflies rustle their wings. “Sounds like it will be.”
The next day finds Jungkook standing curbside at 4AM outside of his house, slouching with a duffle slung over his shoulder. He’s stifling a yawn when Taehyung pulls up in his sedan, tires crunching on the asphalt as he eases it to a stop.
Taehyung immediately springs out of the car and runs to Jungkook.
“Can I use your bathroom? I forgot to go,” Taehyung says apologetically as he dances awkwardly.
“Yeah,” Jungkook hands him the keys.
“It’s the silver one right?” Taehyung’s already jogging away.
Taehyung pops the trunk open before he full-on sprints off into the house, and Jungkook’s just about to throw his stuff in when Namjoon steps out of the passenger seat. And Jungkook must have had a confused expression on his face because Namjoon explains.
“Figured you’d want to sit in the front,” he jabs a thumb as he pops open the backseat.
“Thanks, but you didn’t have to.”
“Yeah, but I’m going to be asleep for most of the ride. So I’m incapable of appreciating it,” Namjoon pauses. “And I think you’d want it more than me.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means what it means,” Namjoon sinks into the seat, and immediately closes his eyes. “It’s written all over your face.”
Then he snaps the door shut, and Jungkook’s left to just gape.
After Taehyung gets back (“Thanks a bunch,” he drops the keys as he hands them back to Jungkook. “Oops.”), they pick up Yoongi and Seokjin and then they’re off, speeding off on the highway towards to coast as the sun just begins to peek over the horizon.
Everything was so pretty in the morning, the first rays casting deep shadows and rosy hues. Jungkook takes out his camera and tries to snap a few photos, but the speed makes it hard to focus. He turns the camera to the interior of the car instead, and after taking more than a few photos of Namjoon, Seokjin, and Yoongi, he aims it at Taehyung.
“My right side’s the good side, right?” Taehyung tilts his head a bit.
“Both sides are good,” Jungkook smiles. He takes some burst shots, camera rapidly clicking and Taehyung blinks in surprise.
“Well, my right side is better.”
“Personal preferences, everything’s subjective, nothing is comparable.”
Taehyung flips him off and Jungkook snaps the shot.
“You better not post that on instagram,” Taehyung slightly pales. “I don’t know if those college rescission rumors are true, but I’d rather not test them.”
“I don’t think they’d do it over a middle finger.”
“Still. Promise me.”
“I promise,” Jungkook drawls as he checks the photo in the camera’s screen, “I’ll never let go Jack.”
“Oh my fucking god,” Taehyung throws a hand up. “The nerve of high schoolers these days.”
“You’re still in high school.”
“For two more months. I’ve basically graduated.”
“You’re still very much enrolled.”
“I’ve mentally graduated.”
“And I’m mentally the smartest man in the world,” Jungkook rolls his eyes. “See how it sounds?”
“Just let me have this one,” Taehyung pouts. “I’m lowkey worried about being rescinded over this kind of stuff.”
“Fine, I promise,” Jungkook snickers as he snaps a picture of his dslr’s screen using his phone. He fiddles with the settings on his phone for a bit, “But I’m keeping the photo. Forever. And I’ve just made it my lockscreen photo.”
“Why, like why,” Taehyung tries to snatch Jungkook’s phone away from him while his eyes are stilled trained on the road. It’s easy to dodge, and Jungkook does it by pressing himself against the corner of the chair and the door. “Like. Really. Why.”
“You’re so funny.”
“Thanks, I know.”
“What a comedian.”
(Jungkook leaves out the fact that seeing Taehyung’s picture as his background also lets a pleasant feeling bloom in his chest.)
They get to the site in another hour, and Hoseok’s already there along with a few other familiar faces Jungkook can’t quite place a name to. They’re struggling to put up the tent, and it’s an unfortunate combo of having too many opinions and not enough skills that causes the process to have already been stretched to about ten times slower than it needed to be.
Jungkook shoos them the minute he gets out the car, and he’s already hammering in the stakes by the time they’re finished unloading their things from the trunk.
“Wow,” Hoseok marvels at Jungkook’s handiwork. “Great job Taehyung.”
“Um what,” Jungkook points at his face. “You’ve literally known me for seven years. Don’t tell me you’re going senile at 17.”
“Yeah I know, I’m congratulating Taehyung for bringing you here,” Hoseok holds up a hand and Taehyung flies out of nowhere and slaps him a high-five mid-leap.
“Isn’t he the best?” Taehyung, hands shoved in the pockets of his sweatshirt, hood pulled over mussed hair. He grins and Jungkook’s heart does that little dance thing again. “He’s the perfect camping buddy. So skilled. Like Bear Grylls.”
Hoseok snickers, “Jungkook Grylls.”
Taehyung makes a face, “Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.”
“How about Grylls Jungkook?”
“Did you...you invite me just to use me?” Jungkook gasps in mock-astonishment.
“Who me? No no no,” Taehyung puts his hand over his chest. “Well actually, maybe? Wait, um, no. I would never.”
Jungkook sighs, “I’ll remember that when you ask me to start the fire.”
“Thanks for volunteering,” Hoseok puts his hand on Jungkook’s shoulder. “Also there are four more tents, if you want to do some charity.”
And Jungkook slaps his forehead.
The rest of the day passes by mostly uneventfully as the others traveling from longer distances begin to arrive. Taehyung, Yoongi, and Hoseok go exploring, and by extension Jungkook is dragged along.
They get to the shore right at low tide, and Taehyung runs around the exposed tidepools with zeal, toeing danger as he hops around on damp rocks with his hands still jammed in his pockets and bends over looking at the wildlife.
“Hey Jungkook! There’s crabs in this one, take a picture. Oh shit, and is that an octopus?” Taehyung points with his shoe at one particularly large pool. “Also tell Namjoon. He’s all about crabs these days.”
“You have hands and a phone, you know,” but Jungkook does both anyway, kneeling down to get the best shot.
Taehyung huddles up against him as he reviews the photos, breath coming out in wisps of white, as he shivers, “Oh they look good! Post them later.”
“Yeah, for sure,” Jungkook swells with a bit of pride before he frowns. “Are you cold?”
“Sorta, but I’ll be fine,” Taehyung jumps up and down. “Just gotta keep moving.”
But Jungkook’s already taking off his jacket by that point, and he unceremoniously dumps it on Taehyung, “Here, I don’t need it.”
“Seriously?” Taehyung picks it up off his head. “You only have a shirt though.”
“Long sleeves,” Jungkook shrugs. “And I’m temperature tolerant.”
“Okay,” Taehyung slips into the jacket, and Jungkook catches himself marveling at how good he looks in it and quickly shakes himself out of it. “Let me know if you want it back.”
“Don’t eat your words now.”
“Don’t tell me what to do, I will eat my words---no wait, shit, I messed that up.”
“Too late, I heard that,” Taehyung suddenly stops and scans the coastline around them. “Say, are we the only ones here now?”
“Wait yeah,” Jungkook’s suddenly aware that it’s just been the two of them. Probably for a while now. “Where did they go?
“Oh,” Taehyung points down towards the beach. “Over there. Wanna join them?’
“Sure,” Jungkook puts his camera back in his backpack and they begin trekking over.
At some point, between two piles of seaweed and driftwood, Taehyung mischievously shoves him towards the ocean right as a wave comes and hits him shin-high. Jungkook yells, jumping back, and Taehyung laughs his head off and begins galloping away as gracefully as a guy who prefers to eat burgers over hitting the gym can on sand.
“TAE,” Jungkook roars and chases him all the way down to where Hoseok, Seokjin, and Yoongi are (more peacefully) enjoying the ocean scenery before he catches Taehyung, wrapping his arms around his waist and carrying him towards the water.
“Wait no, no, no, I’m so sorry,” Taehyung squirms between nervous laughs, but Jungkook’s grip in unrelenting. “It’s going to be so cold, Jungkook, please, I’m old.”
“You’re barely a year older than me.”
“Then you’re old too. Please, Jungkook, empathy is a good idea.”
Yoongi and Seokjin are laughing their heads off at this point, and Hoseok’s wavering somewhere between slightly concerned and overly amused.
“Probably shoulda thought about that before you make a poor decision,” Jungkook marches steadily forward.
Taehyung manages to yank his hands free, and begins trying to push himself out of Jungkook’s grip. It’s somewhat successful, and he manages to break away right before Jungkook enters the water, stumbling in the sand as he cackles with triumph.
Unluckily for him, the waves decide to arrive at that moment, and they both get an upclose and personal greeting from the ocean.
“No, fuck!” Taehyung jumps and splashes frantically out of the water. “I was so close!”
“Karma’s a bitch,” Jungkook calls as he wades towards where the others are standing.
“You guys are so cute. Wow.” Seokjin deadpans sarcastically. “Date already.”
Taehyung just laughs but Jungkook’s heart does a few flips.
It wasn't a half-bad idea honestly, he thinks for a moment as he watches Taehyung scoop up some wet sand into a pile.
Jungkook blinks. What? Stray thoughts, please. This was Taehyung. The same guy who wore pajamas for a week to school, like, just because. The guy who had to go to the emergency room because he stuck a piece of tanbark up his nose when he was middle school just to see how far it could go. The guy who was shameless enough to play an incredibly extra rendition Careless Whisper in front of the entire highschool, and was able to convince Jungkook to do it too.
Yeah, Jungkook muses as he watches Taehyung maturely shows off the giant sand-dick he made to Seokjin, what was he even thinking?
The answer was, well, he wasn’t.
These were feelings.
Hoseok recruits Jungkook to start the fire later, and Jungkook in turn recruits Taehyung to help. With night quickly approaching and the winds picking up, it takes them about half an hour to get the job done.
“Did you bring lighter fluid?” Jungkook asks as he assembles the wood, sticking kindling under his arrangement of the firewood.
“No,” Hoseok says before he sneezes. “My dad never uses it so I thought we didn’t need it. But we can buy some at the store over there if you want to.”
“Don’t have to,” Jungkook shrugs as he hands Taehyung a piece of cardboard. “It’d just be faster.”
“What’s this for?” Taehyung gingerly turns the piece around.
“To fan the flames,” Jungkook stands up, knees cracking loudly in the process. He fishes a lighter and a piece of paper out of one of the bags, “After I light it.”
“Oh, sounds fun,” Taehyung’s eyes light up.
“For about the first five min--” Hoseok yelps as Jungkook jabs him in the stomach with his elbow. “I mean, yeah, it’s so fun.”
Taehyung looks at them both suspiciously, “This is bitch work, isn’t it?”
“No? Maybe? Yes?” Jungkook blinks innocently as he lights the paper and quickly sticks it above the kindling.
“I hate you guys,” Taehyung whines as he awkwardly fans the flames using both hands.
“I’ll help you,” Jungkook takes out another piece and helps him.
They end up having to relight a few more times, as some inopportune gusts of wind manage to break through and suffocate the flames even after Jungkook recruits Seokjin, Namjoon, Yoongi, and his friend, some smiley blond guy with a middle-part whose name he missed earlier, to form a human wind barricade. But eventually, they get a crackling fire going, and Seokjin’s, by a combination of lantern and firelight, grilling a million and one things like he was born to do it for the thirty-or-so people there.
Jungkook helps him for a bit until the smoke becomes too much and he takes a break, munching on some food as he wanders around the edge, waiting for his eyes to stop watering. Taehyung finds him standing there, hunched over a sagging paper plate, and throws a careless arm over his shoulder, hitting him in the face in the process.
Jungkook nearly drops his plate at swears, “Fuck, I nearly dropped my food.”
Taehyung glances down, focus slightly uneven, face flushed, hand grasped around a red solo cup, “Oh shit, sorry.”
Jungkook points at the cup, “Where did you get that?”
“Some of the alumi brought it, it’s pretty good, want some?” Taehyung shoves the cup in Jungkook’s face.
“No, I’m good.”
“Okay, okay,” Taehyung drains whatever’s left and tosses it into a trashbag. “I came to tell you that we should start jockeying for a good spot now. I think s’mores are soon, I saw Yoongi taking out marshmallows.”
And it turns out Taehyung’s prediction was right, and Jungkook finds himself minutes later huddled in a circle next to Taehyung, trying to evenly toast his marshmallow. Taehyung, evidently, has given up trying, as he lifts up the fifth straight marshmallow he set on fire like it’s an olympic torch.
“How do you get it so even?” Taehyung flings his burning masterpiece into the fire and eyes Jungkook’s marshmallow as it approaches the perfect golden-brown. “I keep setting mine on fire.”
“It’s called patience,” Jungkook, finally satisfied with the color, pulls it away from the fire. “It helps.”
“Yeah, I don’t have time for that,” Taehyung sighs as he spears a marshmallow haphazardly on his stick.
Immediately, Jungkook wordlessly takes it from him and replaces it with his own.
“Huh?” Taehyung blinks in suprise.
“You can have it,” Jungkook feels his face heat up and he looks away from Taehyung. He tries to keep his demeanor cool, “I can just do it for the both of us.”
“Really?” Taehyung grins and Jungkook lowkey thinks the way he’s framed in the firelight might be one of the most beautiful things he’s ever seen. Taehyung quickly breaks the illusion when he shoves the entire marshmallow in his mouth, “You’re the best.”
“Wow, that was smooth,” Seokjin says louder-than-necessary. “Whatta a man Jungkook, whatta a man.”
Yoongi coughs something that sounds a bit like whipped, Hoseok shakes his head like he knows something, and Namjoon looks around like he’s pleasantly amused.
“Shut the fuck up,” Jungkook throws the bag of marshmallows and it hits Seokjin straight in the face and everyone just laughs.
Eventually the party winds down for the night, and people begin filtering into their tents. Jungkook’s considering his options when the flap to a small one on his left bursts open on his left.
“Hey,” Taehyung loudly whispers. “I’m in this one.”
“Cool,” Jungkook shuffles over and throws his stuff inside. “Who else is sleeping here?”
“Just the two of us, at least for now,” Taehyung snickers as he slides into his sleeping bag. “Which is great, I think this is like a six-person tent?”
“It’s pretty big,” Jungkook agrees.
“Living in luxury.”
“Yeah,” Jungkook pats the hard ground as he unrolls his sleeping bag and steps into it. “In a tent. On the cold hard ground. Sleeping basically like kings.”
Taehyung wiggles over like a giant worm and stops when he’s rolled against Jungkook, “Can we spoon?”
“What?” Jungkook nearly chokes.
“It’s cold as fuck,” Taehyung complains. “We need to conserve heat.”
“Uh, yeah, sure, whatever,” Jungkook says, a little disjointedly as the butterflies in his stomach begin to take off.
“Yay,” Taehyung cheers. “I get to be the big spoon.”
“Sure,” and Jungkook feels Taehyung curl up against his back.
“Damn your shoulders are so large now,” Taehyung mutters.
“Are they?” and it takes all of Jungkook’s willpower to not start flexing.
“Yeah, it actually looks like you work out.”
“I’m surprised you noticed.”
And that’s probably one of the traits Jungkook like most about Taehyung, his ability to notice details, and not just any details, the ones that mattered to people. The reason why it was so easy to love him was because he loved everyone right back. And Jungkook was no exception, p-platonically speaking. Of course.
“Hey Jungkook?” Taehyung mumbles sleepily, head pressed against Jungkook’s back, shaking him from his thoughts.
“Do you know what sex in a tent is like?”
“No?” Jungkook’s suddenly very, very alert and very, very aware that they were alone in a tent, and very, very confused about where this was all going. “Do you?”
Jungkook’s heart stops dead in his chest, expression frozen on his face. Why did it bother him though? Taehyung had dated before. Although the intimate details were never mentioned, maybe he was just being a prude. Yeah that was it.
Taehyung continues, “It’s fucking in tents.”
Relief hits him like wave and Jungkook lets the crickets chirp his response for him.
“Get it?” Taehyung fills the silence. “It’s fucking in tents. Like, it’s a joke, you’re fucking in a tent, but it’s also inten--”
“Yeah, yeah, I got it,” Jungkook buries himself deep enough to cover his reddening face.
He hears the zipper of his sleeping bag unzipping before he sees it splitting apart, revealing Taehyung’s amused face like a gift.
“Hey,” Taehyung peers curiously. “Why are you so red?”
“I don’t know,” Jungkook reaches out and quickly re-zips the zipper.
And Taehyung unzips it instantly, “Are you still drunk?”
“I didn’t drink,” Jungkook replies automatically before kicking himself for destroying a plausible excuse. “Sunburn, maybe?”
Luckily, Taehyung’s attention is caught by a crash outside. He opens the flap and Jungkook catches a glimpse of a cat making a getaway into the bushes with some food someone left on one of the tables.
“Oh that scared me for a moment,” Taehyung sighs. He then sits there, framed by the entrance of the tent, and the trees, the moon, and the stars painting a picturesque background. Jungkook’s itching to get his camera and capture the moment, but before he can move Taehyung whips around. And Jungkook’s breath catches in his throat.
“Wanna go to the beach?”
Jungkook blinks, “It’s 3 in the morning.”
“Oh is it?”
“Yeah,” Jungkook’s coming up with excuses because he’s sleepy and cold, but he’s finding it strangely difficult to explicitly say ‘no’ to Taehyung. “And it’s pitch-black outside.”
“The moon’s bright enough when you eyes adjust,” Taehyung’s already moving towards his shoes. “I want to go because I heard the crazy algae blooms sometimes happen on this beach, like the water glows blue.”
“Oh really?” Jungkook sits up.
“Yeah,” Taehyung pulls on his socks with a hop. “C’mon, let’s go.”
It turns out the algae stayed home today and when they get there, all that’s waiting for them is a long expanse of empty beach and pitch-black water stretching as far as the eye can see.
“Well it’s not glowing water, but it’s still pretty,” Taehyung sighs as they stand side-by-side, looking out over the moonlit waves.
“Yeah,” Jungkook snaps a few shots. “I’m glad I came with you.”
“Don’t I have good ideas?”
“Name one you didn’t like.”
“Easy. That time you convinced me to climb on your roof to checkout the, quote, ‘view,’--”
“Oh shit, okay yeah that one was bad.”
“--and I slipped on a shingle, fell, broke my ankle, and you had to drive me to the hospital.”
Taehyung concedes with a wave and wince. “Not my finest idea. But most of them are good?”
“I’ll agree to that,” Jungkook murmurs as he lines up another shot, Taehyung sits down next to him on a washed up drift tree, crosses his legs. Jungkook joins him after a moment, leaning heavily on his hand as he slouches before Taehyung’s head flops on Jungkook’s shoulder.
They sit like that for a while in silence, the sound of waves crashing on the shore in the background. And Jungkook’s heart is pounding as he tries to make his shoulder somehow more comfortable. Whether it works or if Taehyung even notices is a little beyond his ability to observe, and so soon he settles, breathing deep and slow as he scans the coast line.
After a while, Taehyung speaks, voice low and quiet, “I’m excited for college.”
“That’s good,” Jungkook mutters, fingers gripping the grain of the tree. “When are you leaving?”
“That’s pretty far away.”
“I think it’ll feel fast.”
“Hopefully not,” Jungkook muses. “Either way, we have a whole summer to hang out.”
“True,” Taehyung shifts on Jungkook’s shoulder. “Let’s do something fun. And crazy.”
“I don’t know,” Taehyung shrugs. “You plan it.”
“I thought you were the one with good ideas.”
“My good idea is for you to come up with an idea. Delegation is a good idea.”
“That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.”
“Aw shit,” Taehyung squints. “I shouldn’t have bragged about good ideas earlier.”
“Probably not. You have to choose now.”
“Okay,” Taehyung murmurs. “I’ll think about it.”
”I’m going to miss you, you know.”
“I hope so,” Jungkook jokes. “We’ve been best friends for a while.”
“Can we video chat often?”
“As much as you want to,” Jungkook shrugs. “I feel like you’re the one that’s going to have constraints.”
“What if I want to every night?”
“I’m sure the minute you get a girlfriend you won’t,” it’s surprisingly hard for Jungkook to get that sentence out without stuttering.
“Or she won’t want you to.”
“Either way it’s only going to be a year,” Jungkook says, watching a crab scuttle across the sand.
“Then I’ll be your classmate again. I can’t believe whole crew is going to the same uni, I’m going to go for sure.”
“You say it like acceptance is a sure thing,” Taehyung pokes him in the stomach and Jungkook, ticklish, flinches.
“Yeah, it basically is right? I have all the same things as you, grades, extracurriculars, demographics.”
“There’s still the entrance exam, which is most of it.”
“I’ve been studying for it for years.”
“Good,” Taehyung shoves his hand into Jungkook’s sweatpants pocket, and Jungkook, again ticklish, immediately knocks it out. “I hope you do get in.”
“Me too,” Jungkook rests his head against Taehyung’s.
They spend the rest of the morning that way until daybreak, lost in their own world talking about random things as night moves on by. It never gets deep, it’s mostly just shower-thoughts and gossip and yet Jungkook savors it. This is what their relationship has been and all it will ever will be, and Jungkook tries not to think about how these kinds of moments would become scarce in a few months time.
He also tries to ignore the way his heart runs a little faster in his chest, the way he leans into Taehyung, and the way he has an urge hold Taehyung’s hand. He settles for hooking their pinkies instead, silently chastising how lame he was for feeling a thrill over how Taehyung doesn’t pull away and tightens his grip instead. And they fall asleep like that, huddling together on the cold, the only two humans dotting the landscape on this expanse of beach.
But eventually, when the sun peeks over the horizon and wakes him up and Jungkook proceeds to sit perfectly still for the better part of an hour, letting Taehyung doze away on his shoulder, Jungkook lets himself accept it. He wakes up, heart beating slow and loud, with the realization he wasn’t in the process of falling, but had already fallen at some point, maybe it was a minute ago, or yesterday, or maybe it was any day in the year or years before.
He watches Taehyung sleep, chest rising and falling slowly, and accepts he’s in love.
Namjoon, now a crab-hunter extraordinaire, finds them sitting there and raises a brow as Jungkook brings a finger to his lips, but treads quieter anyway until he’s sitting next to Taehyung.
“Nice sunrise,” he mutters, hood draw over his head. “How long have you guys been out here?”
“Probably since 3?”
“So not necessarily here to watch it.”
“Is that a yeah--to watch it--or a yeah--not to watch it?”
“Yeah to not watch it. We went to see the algae blooms but got distracted.”
“There aren’t any algae blooms here,” Namjoon reveals. “Taehyung should have told you, we figured that out yesterday, they’re like two miles down.”
“Wait really?” Jungkook glances down at Taehyung. “He was the one who suggested it.”
“Oh.” Namjoon says it all in a way that seems like he doesn’t really believe it, “Maybe he forgot.”
“Maybe,” and Jungkook’s not even mad, and that’s how he knows he has it pretty bad, this love thing that is.
“So,” Namjoon jerks his chin towards Taehyung’s sleeping form. “Taehyung, huh?”
“What do you mean?” Jungkook feigns innocence.
“It mean what it means,” Namjoon shrugs. “It’s written all over your face.”
“Okay, you’re really going to have to stop with the all the cryptic stuff,” Jungkook wrinkles his brows. “What if one day I actually don’t know what you mean?”
“I wouldn’t say it then,” Namjoon laughs. “So you do know what I’m talking about then.”
“Yeah, and well,” Jungkook draws a breath. “Depends.”
“What you want to call it.”
“I’d say love.”
“Oh jeez, it’s not that deep,” Jungkook flushes. It is, but when Namjoon says out loud it feels like it has more weight, “Probably.”
“Call it what you want,” Namjoon shrugs. “It’s all semantics at the end of the day.”
“True,” Jungkook sighs. “Yeah, I mean, I think I like him non-platonically if that’s what you mean.”
“Good luck then,” Namjoon gets up and brushes off his pants. “He’s denser than a black hole.”
“I know, it’s part of the package I signed up for.”
“I hope it works out for you.”
“I’m not planning on saying anything,” Jungkook says immediately.
“Why not?” Namjoon looks at him, his face unreadable.
“It’d ruin our friendship.”
“That’s a pretty weak friendship then. I think you guys are closer than that.”
“Alright. I’m not one to pry,” Namjoon jams his hands in his pockets and repeats, “So I hope it works out for you.”
Namjoon begins to shuffle away, but suddenly stops, “Oh a tip.”
“If you’re planning on hiding it,” Namjoon suddenly crouches down and scoops up wayward crab. “Try not to look so lovestruck. It was pretty obvious before, but now it’s a dead giveaway. Though Taehyung probably won’t notice either way.”
Jungkook immediately flushes, “What do you mean by before?”
“It means what it means.”
“Okay now that’s just annoying.”
“Good,” Namjoon waves as he begins to walk away again. “And good luck.”
Taehyung wakes up maybe ten minutes later, lifting his head off of Jungkook’s shoulder and squinting blearily out over the water as seagulls scream somewhere off in the distance.
“How long have we been here?” Taehyung mutters groggily, patting his surroundings for his phone. “And what time is it?”
Jungkook finds it first, lying screen-down on the sand behind him and hands it over to Taehyung. “For a few hours, and 8:30AM.”
“Oh,” Taehyung stretches before he lets his head flop back onto Jungkook’s shoulder. “Going back to sleep again, we don’t have to pack up for another two hours.”
“When does Hoseok want to leave?”
“At 6,” Taehyung’s voice sounds disturbingly loud.
“That’s really late.”
Taehyung cracks his eye open, “Really? It’s 6 AM. That’s fucking early to me.”
“Wait, 6AM,” Jungkook feels a moment of panic. “But it’s 8:30 right now, how could he have wanted to leave two hours ago? Did they leave already?”
“What are you talking about?” Taehyung blinks, now fully awake. He shakes Jungkook’s shoulder, “It’s 5:15.”
“What?” Jungkook looks at his phone and at the sun, clearly perched higher over the water than physically possible at 5 in the morning. “No, my phone says it’s 8:30.”
“How do you know?” Taehyung shakes his shoulder again, and suddenly Jungkook feels breathless as his surroundings fade and something drags him by the collar out of the dream.
He opens his eyes to the sight of present Taehyung, four years older, peering down at him with a slightly amused expression. The lights are on full blast and he’s holding Jungkook’s phone in front of his face and pointing, “See, 5:15.”
“Oh jeez,” Jungkook blinks, his brain going fuzzy from the amount of light his eyes were struggling to process. “Yeah, you’re right. I think I was dreaming.”
“Seems about right,” Taehyung tickles Jungkook underneath his chin and Jungkook bats his hand away. “What were you dreaming about? You were smiling, seemed like a pleasant one.”
“Remember the last camping trip?” Jungkook wraps his arms around Taehyung and pulls him down. “In high school.”
“Oof,” Taehyung grunts as he collapses on Jungkook. “Yeah?”
“I was dreaming about that.”
“How timely,” Taehyung laughs. “The night before we’re going on our college-graduation version of that trip. Maybe that’s why it showed up in your dreams.”
“I can’t believe you’re about to graduate,” Jungkook throws his arms over his face. “Feels like just yesterday we were in high school.”
Taehyung laughs again. “Feels like a while ago for me.”
“It’s all relative anyway,” Jungkook mutters. “Also I figured it out.”
“Figured out what?”
“When I fell for you. Or when I realized, rather. It was then,” he mutters into the crook of Taehyung’s neck. "It was during the camping trip.”
“Yeah, when when we were hanging out on the beach during the night.”
“Oh man,” Taehyung laughs as he plays with a few strands Jungkook’s hair. “That’s romantic.”
“And better than the 1 AM sax solo outside my bedroom window story.”
“Oh, I’m not sure about that,” Taehyung rests his chin on Jungkook’s chest. “It’s definitely close though.”
“Well one’s true and one’s a lie.”
“You mean,” Taehyung tries to get up and Jungkook pulls him back down again. “One’s an amazing story and the truth is cliche, albeit cute,” Taehyung pulls himself out of Jungkook’s grasp and stands, “Also you’ve seriously got to get up. Hoseok seriously wants to leave at 6, before the traffic gets bad. Jimin’s also coming soon, his shower is broken and he wants to use ours.”
“Okay, give me five more minutes,” Jungkook stretches before rolling over and pulling the sheets over his head. Taehyung whacks Jungkook with a pillow.
“We’re leaving in an hour, c’mon,” Taehyung rips the sheets off and Jungkook shivers in the cold.
“Ugh,” Jungkook whines. “Motivate me.”
Taehyung hesitates for a moment before dropping a chaste kiss on Jungkook’s forehead, “Motivated?”
Jungkook cracks his eye open for a second before closing it again, he pulls the sheets over his mouth to hide his grin, “Unmotivated.”
Taehyung makes an irritated noise in his throat, and smacks him on his shoulder with a snap of his hand, “C’mon, you need to shower.”
Jungkook curls up in a tighter ball, “Demotivated.”
Taehyung sighs loudly before flipping Jungkook over and kissing him like he does when the lights are off.
“Completely motivated,” Jungkook instantly gets up and adjusts his shorts. “I’ll be out in fifteen minutes.”
“That’s what I want to hear,” Taehyung flashes him a thumbs up as he starts to pack last-minute-things.
Jungkook smiles to himself, he would call this love.