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“I love you, you know—?”

Taehyung looks fucking breathtaking in this low light, Jeongguk thinks. His lips are rosebuds, liquor stained roses—and, god, Jeongguk wants to kiss him (—because, fuck, his lips were made to be kissed raw and bitten to hell). Jeongguk wants to kiss him so bad, wants those wine stained lips on his—wants, he wants. And god, god, he wants Taehyung so fucking bad.

“Fuck—” Taehyung gasps, “—I love you so much.”

But, you see, Taehyung loves music more than he loves Jeongguk (—much more, so much more). Loves music more than he loves anyone, anything. He loves gracelessly and loves dirtily—that’s how he plays, that’s how he fucks.

And, Jeongguk . . . Jeongguk’s fucking stupid.

Dumb and breathless, he leans in.

Because, the thing is, Jeongguk loves Taehyung more than he loves music (—much more than he loves the violin, so much more than Taehyung loves him). Loves Taehyung, loves Taehyung. He loves stupidly, loves unconditionally, loves wholly—

He loves Taehyung more than anything, and he’s loved Taehyung for as long as he’s loved music.

—that’s how he’s loved Taehyung from the start.

“L—Lo—Love you too,” Jeongguk moans, parting his lips and letting his tongue slip out for a messy kiss. But Taehyung’s kisses feel like a punch to the gut, a blow to his lungs. Jeongguk breathes like he doesn’t know how. Breathes with liquor on his tongue, rosé on his lips. Taehyung makes his mouth feel like mush, makes his heart go high.

“You only—” Taehyung groans (—smiles, too) when Jeongguk sucks on his bottom lip, moaning sweetly and sighing quietly with his bunny teeth peeking out, “—love me for my cock, don’t you, baby?” He pinches Jeongguk’s skin, a hickey on his inner thigh—naked, the boy’s splayed out on Taehyung’s lap, on Taehyung’s cock. “Love how it fills you—?”

Jeongguk whimpers, “H—Hngh, no, I, mmmh, love you a—and, and your cock, I love, y—hyu—ngh!”

He pinches Jeongguk’s nipples, too. Fucks him full and fucks him dirty (—that’s how Taehyung plays, that’s how Taehyung loves). Watches as Jeongguk bounces on his cock with soft and sweet yelps. Watches as his cute wet cock bobs up and down.

Because this is how Taehyung loves.

And Jeongguk will take it (—he’ll take it).

Because this is how Jeongguk loves.

Taehyung always dotes on Jeongguk like this, after they fuck, treats him like he’s something delicate in these indelicate nights. Kisses his skin, kisses his lips, kisses his mouth. Wipes the spit and the cum and the lube off his body, cleans him in the bath with that ridiculous set of bath bombs and oils Yoongi got him last Christmas, tucks him into bed and holds him tight. Feeds him banana milk and smiles when he sucks on the straw sated and sleepy, rainbows sparkling in his eyes.

“You’re so fuckin’ gentle with me,” Jeongguk sighs, feeling a little spacey, a little lightheaded, “considering how rough you are when we f—”

Taehyung squishes their mouths together.

Jeongguk’s lips are soft, plush, and sweet because of the peach flavored lip balm Taehyung had ever so caringly put on his lips in the bathroom (—the boy had pouted, lips bruised and bleeding, so Taehyung had sat him next to the sink, smushing the peachy lip balm all over his sleepy baby’s mouth rather messily).

“ ‘Cause you love it,” Taehyung giggles, falling back onto the bed. “Plus, you do the same for me,” he says, eyes glittering like the galaxy-themed bath melt still inked on Jeongguk’s skin, “even though you’re a blushing mess whenever you do.”

Jeongguk pouts again (—pouts for another kiss, and Taehyung indulges him with another squish).

“Don’t you have a performance tomorrow?”

Taehyung grins. “Yeah.”

“Shouldn’t you be practicing—”

instead of being here with me?

Taehyung kisses Jeongguk’s cheek, lips still sticky and it’s a little gross (—he blushes, regardless). “I should,” he breathes, “but you’re cute enough for me to stay.”

Jeongguk’s heart slows to a soft rubato, falling into the new cadence like he’d fallen into this old love.

—stupidly.


(-3)

Musicians are supposed to be narcissists.

Rewind three years and—

“When’s your next audition?” Jeongguk wonders, lets his head fall onto Taehyung’s bony shoulder, squeezes Taehyung’s hand to keep himself warm. They’re in one of the breaks between rehearsals, sleepily resting on each other’s bodies, tiredly holding each other’s hands before they go and fall into Rachmaninoff, into Schubert, into Dvorak (—on repeat, on repeat, on repeat, until the strings have dulled their fingertips). And here, Jeongguk holds Taehyung’s sleeve in his palm, but Taehyung holds Jeongguk’s heart in his. They’re not dating, now—not yet—but Taehyung likes holding hands and Jeongguk likes Taehyung, and that’s enough.

“Tuesday morning. Oberlin. I’m flying over.”

—and not much has changed, since then.

“I’ll miss you,” Jeongguk says.

Taehyung laughs, and Jeongguk can feel it on his skin (—can feel Taehyung’s hot breath on his cheek). “You only see me every Sunday, babe.”

Still.”

So Taehyung kisses him on the mouth, lips sugary and fizzy like the cola-flavored Slurpee Jeongguk almost knocked over trying to sit next to him. The conductor always tells them not to drink coffee or soda or anything with caffeine in it before or during rehearsals, but sneaking to 7-Eleven and chugging a Slurpee for breakfast with the boy you love is something that Jeongguk’s learned to hold tight.

—something that Jeongguk will learn to miss.

He’ll miss kissing with wild cherry on his tongue and blue raspberry on Taehyung’s. Miss kissing and not knowing what it means. Kissing. Kissing. Jeongguk wears his heart on his sleeve, but Taehyung holds both so tenderly, kisses him so tentatively, like—he doesn’t know what it means.

They’re not dating, now—not quite yet.

“I’ll miss you too, Gukkie.”

With that, Jeongguk’s heart goes warm, even in this cold winter day, in this indelicate morning—so he smiles bright, little bunny teeth peeking out and their hearts both ache like bodies do after sex.

But they ache in different ways, because Jeongguk will always love more than his heart can handle, and Taehyung will never love enough. Musicians are supposed to be narcissists, but Taehyung’s only ever been in love with sound and Jeongguk’s only ever been in love with Taehyung.

And, you see, the thing is, not all love stories start with a bang. Sometimes, love stories (—like this one) wash in like the tide, roll back and forth from the sea to the sand, from the stars to the clouds.

Hearts beat slow at the starts of love stories like these, so Jeongguk counts in slow quarter notes, lets his heart beat with the orchestra. Hearts beat slow at the starts of love stories like this one, so Jeongguk takes his time, peeks a look at the boy peeking a look at him. Hearts beat slow at the starts of love stories like theirs, so Jeongguk thinks of the stardust in Taehyung’s messy hair, thinks of the sunshine between Taehyung’s plump lips.

Hearts beat slow (—very slow) at the start.

But it’s in the middle, where the lights go dark and the streets go dim, that love stories like these soak into the sky like rain, fall into cadence, slow into a delicate rubato. It’s in the middle, in those dull morning-till-night rehearsals where Jeongguk and Taehyung fall together and fall into counterpoint, where heartbeats wilt and it’s just—this.

Flowers bloom until they ache, and so do we.


(0)

Jeongguk wakes up to white sheets, pale blue walls, a nude-colored Taehyung.

“Fuck,” he groans, blushing as he looks at his cock, pink and chubbed up against the sheets. He looks at his sleeping boyfriend, looks at his pretty lips and his messy hair—almost goes to kiss him before his cock rubs up against the clean sheets again and he lets out a whine. “Hyung,” he quietly whimpers with a bratty pout. “Please.”

He doesn’t budge.

“Taetae,” he whines again. “Wake up.”

And when Taehyung doesn’t, Jeongguk unknots himself from the bleach white sheets, body hot even though the air conditioning’s up high, cock heavy even though he feels so dirty like this. Taehyung’s still sleeping, so it would be okay—if Jeongguk just snaps his hips down softly, fucks down with a soft sigh. The sheets are cloudy white from Jeongguk’s wet cock—he’s so wet, god, he’s so wet. Breathy moans escape from his mouth; his eyes are lidded and his tongue’s slipped out. It feels good. Feels good. The sheets are—soft.

“H—Hy—ngh,” he breathes, not wanting to wake Taehyung up. “Hmph.” Staccato moans and hushed breaths and oh oh it feels so good and—

But, as Jeongguk fucks his cock against the soft sheets—it feels so good, fuck, fuck—his moans get louder and his breaths get heavier, and oh. Oh. Taehyung’s awake. Taehyung’s eyes are open—wide open. And oh. He’s watching. But—Jeongguk can’t stop, blissed out, floaty, and crying so prettily.

“Oh, baby,” Taehyung whispers sleepily. “Baby. Baby you’re so wet. So hard. Oh, baby. Don’t cry.”

“Can, can—” Jeongguk sniffles, “—can you please kiss me? A—And, can you please help me?”

And, the thing is, Taehyung is so sweet, so caring, so tender. Kisses him, mouth wine dark and eyes star bright. Kisses him, like it’s all he’ll ever need.

“You’re so good for me, Gukkie. Such a good boy.”

When Taehyung leaves—like he always does—the apartment smells of cheap beer and the sheets smell of sex and sweat. They’d gone home early from Jimin’s party, last night. Half-drunk with bad liquor, half-drunk with a love that blooms like roses (—dizzy and lightheaded from all the kissing), they made out at the party, made out in the streets, made out in the cab. The apartment is emptier than ever, emptier than Jeongguk’s hands when he holds onto the ends of his sleeves—because Jeongguk only feels whole when Taehyung’s hands are in his. Jeongguk already gave Taehyung his heart (—gave him his forever), and he has nothing left to give, really.

So Jeongguk thinks of the time he and Taehyung drove to New York, to Carnegie Hall, days before the older would leave for college, like it was some spectacular, spontaneous, coming-of-age road trip. And it was—it was spectacular and spontaneous but maybe, just maybe, in the spectacularity and in the spontaneity there was something that they saw in the dusty glass bathed in yellow light, there was something that they heard in the distant cadences muted in dark clouds that was more than just the promise of a boyish adventure, of a cheap thrill the price of a tank of gasoline.

In all the flowery and florid white noise (—in all the disgusting, poetic wax and waste), were two kids.


(-3)

Subtract three years and—

Holy shit holy shit holy shit. Holy fucking shit.

“Jeongguk, calm the fuck down. We are on the fucking highway. I am driving seventy miles per fucking hour. Calm the fuck down for God’s sake.”

Shut the fuck up. Holy shit holy shit holy shit. Taehyung, my parents are gonna fucking kill me—”

“Okay, they’re not gonna kill you.”

“—holy shit holy shit. They’re gonna fucking murder me. I snuck out of the house after midnight to drive to another fucking state. I left a paper note—”

“Jeongguk, relax.”

“—and they already think you’re a bad influence on me—”

“Excuse me? Your parents love me—!”

“—and oh my God I have a violin lesson at noon.”

Taehyung turns the music down. “Baby, breathe.”

Jeongguk blinks at the dashboard. Blinks at the LED display—3:39 AM. Blinks two embarrassed tears away and looks at Taehyung. “Fuck. Sorry. This trip was my idea. Fuck. Keep driving. Fuck.”

“Do you still wanna go?” Taehyung utters softly. “We can go back—”

“No, no, no,” Jeongguk sighs. “It’s been four hours. We’re almost there.” Breathe. Breathe. “We’re already in New York.” Blink. Blink. “I didn’t, I didn’t mean to freak out. I’ve just—never done this before. Sorry.”

The white lights are held low, and Taehyung shines in this hazed night (—he smiles to himself, but Jeongguk sees). “Don’t apologize, baby.”

The uneasiness of the summer gloom clouds Jeongguk to the point where the highway is a haze and his lips are love stained, liquor drunk. And in this summer gloom, some Korean Indie-slash-R&B playlist from Youtube plays over the car speakers (—a girl sings quietly and sweetly as they drive). Taehyung sent it to Jeongguk one night—the soft, sparkling vocals took his heart just like Taehyung had taken his, and his bed felt a little less empty that night. Jeongguk’s never been good at Korean, but he thinks the current ballad’s about love—about the florid lightheadedness you get before it all starts to crush you, you in love. But he doesn’t want to think about how much he loves Taehyung, so he lets the girl whose voice sounds like fairy lights hold his heart tenderly (—lets the boy whose voice sounds like the tenor of a double bass drive them into the night like they’ll never need to come back).

The summer gloom is a soft glow in the New York roads, so Jeongguk takes slow breaths, and—

“You wanna get some food?” Taehyung hums.

The slow, lonely ballad of Taehyung’s breathing is something Jeongguk never wants to forget. “Tae,” Jeongguk says, heart still beating rapidly from the freak-out he’d just had, “it’s three in the morning.”

Grinning brightly, Taehyung points to a exit sign off the road. “McDonald’s is always open.”

Jeongguk looks up and the sky is still this spacey, charcoal grey color. It contrasts nicely, Jeongguk thinks, with Taehyung’s peachy warm tones, barely illuminated by the glow of streetlights and starlight. Dotted in the dirty skies are specks of silver stars, and Jeongguk breathes them in (—because he never wants this fond and familiar ballad to end, because he never wants to leave the warmness of this late night summer dream). Eyes closed, he leans into Taehyung’s body, koala-wrapped around his arm as they walk inside the rest stop, as they leave the empty parking lot behind—he tries not to think about how mad his parents will be when they wake up in a few hours, tries not to think about all the angry voicemails they’ll leave in his inbox.

“I want an iced coffee,” he yawns. “And fries.”

“Mmmh,” Taehyung sighs, sated and sleepy. “Wanna share a milkshake too? Or a McFlurry?”

Jeongguk giggles. “Both, please.”

Taehyung smiles, kisses Jeongguk on the mouth, and hugs him tight. “I’m gonna miss you,” he utters—a little too quietly and a little too softly that it makes Jeongguk feel broken-hearted, makes him feel like he’s in a field of dead roses with a heart that won’t stop beating. “I’m gonna miss you a lot.”

“Asshole,” Jeongguk whispers—because it’s all he can manage to choke out, because he already has a tear dripping down his cheek. “I’ll miss you too.”

“Crybaby—”

“You always fuck up the mood like this.”

“You always cry so fucking easily.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

Taehyung kisses one of Jeongguk’s tears away with a soft laugh. “C’mon, Gukkie. Let’s go order.”

—but Jeongguk still feels like crying.

Bodies interlocked like rose vines, they order a caramel iced coffee for Jeongguk and a strawberry milkshake for Taehyung; an Oreo McFlurry and two large sized fries for them both to share.

The sentiment of this late night drive to New York, this late night McDonald’s splurge, makes him feel like old, worn-out piano keys (—because it’s like he’s letting Taehyung play the same song over and over again, because it’s like he still can’t let go of Taehyung, even now). Jeongguk doesn’t think that the love spell Taehyung put on him will ever wear off (—Jeongguk doesn’t think he ever wants it to).

Taehyung’s munching happily on his fries, and a bit of his strawberry milkshake is smeared on his lips. You look so cute, Jeongguk wants to say.

But he doesn’t; he stays content, just like this.

The sentiment of this late night—whatever this is—is a lovely sentiment, a lonely sentiment. Jeongguk sips on his iced coffee that’s too sweet and he munches on a fry that’s too salty and he looks at the boy who makes his heart beat too fondly.

“I’m really gonna miss you,” Jeongguk sighs.

Taehyung smiles and breathes and laughs all at once. “Now look who’s fucking up the mood, loser.”

“I hate you,” Jeongguk says, pouting brattily.

And so, Taehyung leans over the booth and kisses the mole beneath his pouty bottom lip, knocking over Jeongguk’s half-empty iced caramel coffee—

“I love you.”

“You spilt my coffee.”

“I’ll buy you another one.”

Jeongguk scrunches his nose. “Get me a large.”

Taehyung grins all wide and it’s—so Taehyung. “Baby wants to stay awake for the violin concert?”

“Fuck you.”

“Baby should’ve taken a nap in the car like I s—”

Jeongguk kisses Taehyung, and their lips squish together softly. His lips taste like strawberries and his tongue tastes like salty McDonald’s fries. He knows they must look gross, kissing like this, but it makes him smile—lips soft and oily from the food.

“I fucking hate you.”

“I love you,” Taehyung says again. Jeongguk blushes, like it’s the first time Taehyung’s ever said it to him (—but really, it’s closer to the thousandth).

Jeongguk’s heart skips a beat—it really does.

“I’ll always love you.”

Jeongguk thinks that these I love you’s will always feel this good, will always make his heart skip a beat, will always make his body go warm (—but it won’t, and that’s something Jeongguk will learn).

“You’re a fuckin’ loser, Kim Taehyung.”

“So are you, Jeon Jeongguk.”

Taehyung and Jeongguk aren’t dating—not yet. Taehyung’s afraid of labels and Jeongguk’s afraid of breakups—so they’re not boyfriends, they’re not dating. Not yet.

“Can’t believe I’m gonna miss a loser like you this much,” Jeongguk whispers. “I’m gonna miss you a lot.” He keeps saying it and saying it but it’s not enough, because he’ll miss Taehyung—so much. He’ll miss him forever and he’ll love him forever (—this is what Jeongguk thinks, what he thinks). He’ll miss Taehyung so much and it makes him cry because he’s a fucking crybaby who’s shit with emotions, because he’s a fucking crybaby who’s so utterly in love with this boy.

“Baby,” Taehyung whispers, lacing their fingers together. “Don’t miss me too much, okay? Because I promise I’ll always be there for you, even when I’m not—there. I’ll always love you and I’ll always talk to you. I promise you.”

Taehyung loves so unconditionally and so easily (—says I love you like it’s easy, like love is easy), but Jeongguk is so young—so Jeongguk. Lovesick and love drunk. He falls in love so unconditionally and so easily (—but love isn’t easy, breathing isn’t easy). He’s only sixteen, and he’s never been good at goodbyes.

This—feeling this way, loving this way—is just something they’ve learned to live on like liquor.


(+1)

jeongguk
1:23 AM
sometimes i think about how many of the things you had said to me back then weren’t true at all

taetae
1:25 AM
i think the same thing about you.

jeongguk
2:01 AM
did you think you meant any of the promises you made? did you really believe anything you said?

[ Read 2:01 AM ]

Chapter Text

(0)

The space between stars looks a lot like the space between Taehyung’s fingertips when he plays the cello, Jeongguk thinks. He fucks without sincerity (—loves without sincerity, Jeongguk has found), but watching the stars move in Taehyung’s fingers is something Jeongguk will never tire of, because there’s nothing you can hide in the empty spaces between your fingertips, between the stars—while you lay your heart naked for the audience, and the audience breathes with your heartbeat.

But Taehyung has too much pride to bare his heart wide-open like that; so instead, he takes the heart of the music, strips the notes naked, and wears them on his sleeve like it’s his own heart.

(You don’t need to hide in a masquerade ball.)

Pride is a stupid thing, Jeongguk has found.

pride is a heartbreaking thing, he will find.

But this (—watching the stars move in Taehyung’s fingertips, listening to the stars twinkle in the soft cadences of the piano keys and the resonance of the cello strings) is the closest Jeongguk will ever get to seeing starlike, earthly objects become stars. This—this is the closest Jeongguk will ever get to Taehyung, because Taehyung, if nothing else, is late night drives, bright sunshine laughter, and a heart as unreachable as the distant stars.

The pianist—was his name Yoongi? he wonders—seems just as starlike as Taehyung, in this moment and in this beat. But Jeongguk doesn’t wonder too much about this pianist—Yoongi, his name has to be Yoongi—because Taehyung has always been Jeongguk’s favorite musician. He has always been the brightest star in Jeongguk’s night sky.

And this (—this, everything), makes his heart feel empty and heavy; it hits too hard and all at once.

Pride is a very stupid thing.

Later, when Jeongguk finds Taehyung backstage, when Taehyung flashes Jeongguk with a blinding and cheesy smile, when they gravitate to each other like two stars colliding into a bright mess of a supernova, Taehyung introduces him to Yoongi, the so-called best pianist since Rachmaninoff, best composer since Bach (—according to Taehyung and his exaggerated dramatics).

The pianist-slash-composer gives them both a smile: it’s softer and not as blinding as Taehyung’s, and Jeongguk finds that it’s like the faint glow of a faraway star. “Jeon Jeongguk, right?” Yoongi asks. “Taehyung never shuts up about you.”

(But Taehyung is all he can see, again and again. He’s so bright that he washes all the other stars in the night’s sky away. Away.)

Jeongguk blushes, says, “Y—Yeah. That’s me.”

Taehyung pulls him into another backhug, resting his chin on Jeongguk’s shoulder and his hands by Jeongguk’s stomach. “Gukkie’s a shy one,” he coos affectionately, pinching one of his cheeks. “You should’ve seen him in high school.”

“You two went to the same high school?”

“Nah,” Taehyung sighs, swaying side-to-side with Jeongguk between his arms. “I wish we did, but we were in the same youth orchestra for a while, then I left for conservatory and Gukkie missed me so much that he chased me all the way over here.”

“Taehyung—!”


(-5)

Jeongguk is fifteen the first time he meets Kim Taehyung, sparkly heart eyes and shyness galore.

On the first day of rehearsal, the first boy he meets has a nasally voice and a grin a little too angelic to be real. Doe eyed, biting on his chapped bottom lip (—he forgot to bring his lip balm today), and violin packed away on his back, Jeongguk goes into the rehearsal space with fragile galaxies hidden in his beating heart. (Those galaxies feel like they’re about to explode and burst and spiral into a great cosmic collision—it’s a tragic dance of dim, dying galaxies.) But his heart’s beating so, so fast, and it’s like an accelerando has been written in the music, in the backtrack of this moment.

Jeongguk doesn’t know how long he’s just been standing there, by the doorway, chewing on his bottom lip and watching everyone talk with their friends and—fuck, everyone already knows each other. Everyone’s already friends. Fuck. Fuck.

It’s a room full of strangers, and he’s the outsider.

But then there’s a boy with bleached blonde hair and a prince-like smile walking up to him (—fuck, he must’ve noticed how awkward and lonely and sad Jeongguk seemed, fuck, someone probably dared him to speak to that loser standing all alone and pathetic, dared him to make fun of that loner).

His heart beats faster and louder and—

“Jeon Jeongguk?” the boy asks innocently.

How do you know my name?

“Uh—”

Oh. Those name tags they gave out. Right.

(But Jeongguk’s the only one wearing his.)

The boy smiles again. “I’m—”

“Yoon Jeonghan,” a new boy introduces, somehow prettier than the first, swooping in with a smile brighter than any star Jeongguk’s ever seen, placing his arm over Jeonghan’s shoulders, “the orchestra’s resident asshole.”

Jeonghan keeps smiling, but Taehyung shines like a dusty nebula, a dirty supernova, a shining constellation, like everything celestial Jeongguk’s ever thought of, but so much brighter.

(Taehyung’s had his heart since day one.)

“And this is Kim Taehyung,” Jeonghan grits out, smile no longer as angelic as it once seemed, “the orchestra’s resident fuckboy.”

“Okay, I worked at Hollister for one summer—”

“—and you fucked a girl in the dressing rooms.”

Shut up. We made out. That was a fucking rumor Jaehyun started to get me fired. We didn’t fuck—”

“Uhm,” Jeongguk squeaks. “I—”

Their heads turn to Jeongguk.

“Sorry,” Taehyung apologizes. “Jeonghan’s a wee bit of an ass, sometimes. He leans in close (—to which Jeongguk shivers) and whispers, “Most of the time.”

“I can fucking hear you, asshole.”

“You know, I wish I could say that he’s actually really sweet and a really great person once you get to know him, but—”

“Jesus, you two,” a third boy yells, walking over from the other side of the room. “Stop hazing the kid. It’s his first day, for fuck’s sake.” He’s made his way over to the three of them when he says to Jeongguk, “Sorry. These two are a bit . . . intense. They’re actually friends. I promise. They’re just messing with you. Teasing you. They’re assholes. They do this to every new kid that joins the orch.”

Jeongguk looks at the third boy, still a little dizzy from Taehyung and Jeonghan.

“O—Okay?”

“I’m Seungcheol—”

“The orchestra’s resident buzzkill,” Jeonghan yells.

Taehyung laughs, high-fiving Jeonghan. “Nice.”

Seungcheol rolls his eyes, reaching for Jeonghan’s hand and interlocking their fingers (—Taehyung makes gagging noises in the background). “We should get lunch across the street before rehearsal starts. I’m hungry. Like, really hungry. And I don’t wanna get yelled at again for being late like that one time last year—”

“That time you looked like you were about to cry in front of the entire orchestra?”

“Shut the fuck up,” he says, a little too fond, a little too red, and a little too soft. With big puppy eyes, he tugs a pouty Jeonghan, impossibly complaisant and docile holding hands with Seungcheol, away from the scene and towards the door.

(Jeongguk thinks he might’ve heard Jeonghan say something like, “I was having fun messing with the newbie!” But his eyes keep flashing to Taehyung and everything in his mind just goes blank with the blinding brightness of these new stars—because, you see, Taehyung’s a constellation, the brightest one Jeongguk’s ever seen, will ever see. Because, right now—Jeonghan and Seungcheol are just the people in the backdrop, the voices in the distance.)

“Oh, and, Taehyungie—be nice to the new kid.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Taehyung sighs half-heartedly.

“See you, Taetae!” Jeonghan shouts as they leave.

Jeongguk feels like he’s just been through a storm and back, feels a little out of place, a little lost. His heart’s still beating as fast as it was, but Taehyung gives him this box-shaped smile and Jeongguk feels the galaxies in his chest burst.

“Oh, I forgot—” Jeonghan turns around abruptly, causing Seungcheol, with their interlocked hands, to knock into someone passing by, “—welcome to the orchestra, Jeongguk!”

Jeongguk doesn’t really know what to do once it’s just him and Taehyung, so he sucks on his bottom lip, blinks his big eyes expectantly.

“Uh, where should I unpack?”

“Anywhere, really,” Taehyung says, but Jeongguk looks around with a heart barely bloomed open and he bites his lip shyly. Taehyung notices and smiles. “You wanna put your stuff next to mine?”

Blushing, Jeongguk gives a sheepish nod.

“Sorry, I—” Don’t know anyone else.

And with this, Taehyung smiles even brighter, even more starlike. “It’s fine. Don’t apologize. I don’t mind a bit. You’re too cute for me to say no.”

Jeongguk’s eyes go big like budding little flowers.

(Taehyung’s the biggest flirt Jeongguk’s ever met.)


(0)

Jeongguk kisses Taehyung slow, presses him into the metal car door with soft and impatient kisses, squeezing Taehyung’s hands as they make out (—they never really did leave the honeymoon stage). “You did a good job tonight, hyung,” he whispers breathily, lips wet against Taehyung’s.

“Thanks, sweetheart.”

Jeongguk scrunches his nose like a bunny, pouting his lips. “I already told you I don’t like that one.”

Taehyung giggles softly. “Well, too bad. I like it.”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk whines, “you’re so annoyi—”

“Jimin wasn’t joking about how disgusting you two are with PDA,” a rough voice grouses from behind Jeongguk.

The boy turns around with a quiet whimper to see that pianist from earlier (—Yoongi) standing by the car, hands in his pockets, ears tucked into this little beanie (—it’s still that point between summer and fall where the mornings are cold and the evenings are sticky, so Jeongguk doesn’t know why Yoongi’s bundled up in an oversized jacket, but he doesn’t ask, doesn’t think too much about it, doesn’t think too much about the sticky, almost-summer air).

And—Yoongi’s smaller than he remembers. More fragile. He seemed like he had the whole world at his fingertips when he was playing the piano. Like nothing in the whole damn world could ever break him. But now, his hair, damaged and bleached, glitters with starlight and his eyes, glossy and glassy, look like orbs and—he just seems so small.

—but then again, until now, Jeongguk never really was paying attention to Yoongi.

“Sorry, Jeonggukie,” Taehyung sighs. “I promised I’d drive Yoongi-hyung back home.”

Jeongguk gives Taehyung another kiss (—sweet and adorable, just like him). “It’s fine,” he says, all smiley and starry-eyed because all he can see is Taehyung. Taehyung, who smiles like he has the entire world in his arms (—but it’s only Jeongguk in his arms, and Jeongguk isn’t his world). Taehyung, who loves with all his heart and it still isn’t enough, somehow (—but Jeongguk always tries to ignore that part of him, because it hurts every single fucking time he thinks of it, and fuck, it hurts right now, it hurts more than anything).

Jeongguk blinks the thoughts away and kisses him again to forget that moment of—whatever it was.

It’s stupid. It’s stupid.

Jeongguk sits in the back, drowsily playing a game on his phone (—Taehyung always makes fun of him for his extensive app store games collection, organized in folders on the last page of his home screen), yawning cutely with soft, sleepy snuffles.

“So where do you want me to drop you off?” asks Taehyung, turning the music down a bit. Yoongi’s phone, hooked up to the speakers, plays a gentle piano sonata Jeongguk doesn’t recognize. Maybe it’s an original piece, he decides. “Hoseok’s?”

Jeongguk feels a silent crescendo building up.

He clicks the sleep button on his phone to listen in.

“Taehyungie, you know we just broke up.”

And, the thing is, Jeongguk doesn’t really know Yoongi, just knows him as Taehyung’s go-to pianist and that brilliant composer everyone adores. He doesn’t really know Hoseok either, just knows him as one of Jimin’s friends in the dance department.

He didn’t even know that those two were dating.

“You two are always breaking up and getting back together.”

“Yeah, well—” Yoongi takes a breath, licks his lips. And with a small voice (—it sounds like he’s about to break), he breathes, “this time I don’t think so.”

Jeongguk feels like he shouldn’t be here, listening in on this conversation. It feels wrong listening to something so intimate, so personal, so—fragile.

“Then why are you wearing his jacket?”

Yoongi doesn’t answer.

Taehyung sighs quietly.

“Where do you want me to drop you off?”

Yoongi breathes like he’s guilty. “Jimin’s place.”

Taehyung’s pretty, heart-shaped lips part, with his cupid’s bow sparkling a bit from the damp glow of highway lights. His body goes stiff and he bites his bottom lip. “I know you hate it when I ask, but—”

“Taehyungie. Don’t.”

“I just don’t like seeing him so hurt all the time. You know what you’re doing to him and you know how he feels about you and—”

“Stop. Just stop. I know, okay?”

The quiet crescendo builds and builds and builds and Jeongguk wonders when the music will reach the breaking point.

“Fine.”

—it’s not like anything concerning Min Yoongi and Park Jimin and Jung Hoseok matters to Jeongguk.

(It’s not like it ever will, right?)

Kissing the whole way, hands all over each other, they go back to Taehyung’s apartment. Sometimes Jeongguk wonders why they aren’t living together, but he knows Taehyung’s the reason. Kissing the whole way back, he forgets all about Yoongi and Jimin and Hoseok and whatever the hell had been going on with them, whatever the hell Taehyung seemed so worried about, anyways, because—

Kissing has always been Jeongguk’s favorite thing to do with Taehyung (—well, at least one of them). They kiss slow in this high tempo, lips wet, mouths swollen, bodies warm. The two kiss till Jeongguk’s breathing hard and whining soft into Taehyung’s mouth, clothes pulled off, white sheets all messed. And, the kiss is so—wet. Jeongguk’s drooling a bit, lips sliding against Taehyung’s so easily and it’s—hot. It all feels hot.

“Baby—?”

“Y—Yeah, hyung?”

Taehyung pinches Jeongguk’s nipple, budded and puffy, right as he begins to suck a hickey onto the boy’s neck (—his entire body goes out, lips parting and tongue slipping out and he’s sure he looks like a fucking mess, sure he’s made the sheets all dirty and damp because, fuck, he’s so fucking sensitive, but it’s not like he can think about anything other than his boyfriend’s lips on his neck, the callused fingertips on both his nipples, and the cock sliding between his ass cheeks, the slide easy with lube). Taehyung’s cock is so close to his hole, so close to just slipping inside him, making him feel full.

“Feel good?” Taehyung asks, pressing soft kisses on Jeongguk’s neck, but he can barely register the words, because his mind’s racing like the blood rushing through his body, because—

Oh, fuck. Fuck. His voice is so deep. Fuck.

“Hng—h—hyung, feel so good. Mngh—ah.”

“Really? How good?”

Jeongguk feels like crying (—but he already is).

“Ah, s—so guh—mngh—d.”

“Hm? Baby? What was that?”

“D—Don’t be mean, hyung.”

Taehyung smiles (—a little too gently, a little too sweetly), kisses one of Jeongguk’s nipples before he goes to tilt his head up to kiss the boy sitting his lap. “Awh, is hyung being mean to you?” Taehyung teases, innocent eyes blinking up at Jeongguk. “What should hyung do to make it up to you?”

Jeongguk whines, rutting his leaking cock against Taehyung’s soft stomach, fucking Taehyung’s cock between his ass cheeks. And, you see, Taehyung’s already fucked him open with his fingers, already made him cry, spill all over himself (—smeared his lips with cum, made him lick it off his fingers).

“Words, honey.”

Normally, Jeongguk would pout at that nickname, groan and poke Taehyung like a little baby, whine about how much he hates that nickname, but now—fuck, right now?

“Touch, touch—ngh—touch me. My cock, hy—”

Taehyung’s hand wraps around his cock with an easy slide. He wonders where all the wetness is coming, if it’s from the lube Taehyung had used to finger him, or if it’s his own wet, sticky, mess.

“Your cock, hm?”

Taehyung’s hand is so big, playing with his cock, playing with the tip, playing under the head, and—

“Ah, such a pretty cock,” Taehyung says.

Jeongguk doesn’t know why, but he wants to say back, But your cock is prettier. Just the thought makes him embarrassed, makes him blush even harder than he is right now. He’s so fucking in love. But Jeongguk just moans something breathy and hides his face by Taehyung’s neck, rutting forward into his hand, rutting backward against his cock.

“You’re so cute,” Taehyung says, licking the top of Jeongguk’s ear, nipping just slightly at the piercing holes. “You’re so cute whenever you take my fingers, whenever you bounce on my cock, all breathless and confused. You’re so cute.”

“Hyung.”

And, this is when Taehyung’s smile goes a little off, a little devious, stroking his boyfriend’s cock a little slower, now. “You know, I bet you’d be just as cute if you fucked me.”

Jeongguk doesn’t even hear him, too held up in his own breathing, too held up in the feeling of the hands around his cock, the cock by his ass (—already wet and loose and open and ready to be fucked). So he lets his mouth go slack, pressed up against Taehyung’s neck, wetting his skin with his drool. Lets himself ride the sensations like waves.

All he wants is Taehyung’s cock in his ass and his fingers in his mouth. He can’t think about anything else (—doesn’t want anything else).

“Bet you’d be so cute, fucking your cock inside me, jerking uncontrollably like you are now, whining and whimpering like hell because you can’t fuck me good enough to get either of us off. So cute.”

“W—ah—What?” Jeongguk breathes.

“We haven’t done it that way in a while, have we?”

Jeongguk pulls away from sucking on Taehyung’s neck, blinking down at him with big eyes. “Hyung, I, I want you to fuck me. I—I’m already, already—”

Taehyung ramps up the speed, flicking his hand up and down his cock at an unbearable tempo.

“Ah! Ah! Ah!” he hiccups, thighs quivering like crazy. “P—Please, please, hyung, f—uh—ck me.”

Taehyung tilts his head, eyes going soft but the tempo stays the same. “Do you really not wanna do—this? You know, it’s one-hundred percent okay if not, Gukkie,” he whispers, kissing his boyfriend fondly. “I’ll fuck you, if you really want, baby.”

It’s in moments like these that Jeongguk bares his heart wide open because he knows nothing else.

“I—I’m, I’m good, with this,” Jeongguk mumbles, blushing and looking away. “With fucking you,” he adds. “But I’d rather you just—y’know—fuck me.”

“Awh, baby.” Taehyung kisses Jeongguk’s pouty lips, squishy and soft and sweet. “God, I love you.”

Jeongguk’s eyes spill with tears, clinging wet to his eyelashes. But it’s nothing big, nothing alarming.

And Taehyung knows that.

Taehyung knows that Jeongguk has a tendency to cry when his heart’s filled to the brim with warmth.

—he knows everything about Jeongguk.

You see, Taehyung plays the cello without grace, the same way he fucks, the same way he loves. But—right now, right in this beat—Taehyung kisses his tears away, and that’s what he doesn’t get.

Jeongguk doesn’t get how Taehyung can be like that—like this—in these late summer nights, how easily he can make Jeongguk’s heart go wide open when Jeongguk can’t even see a glimpse of his. What he does know is that Taehyung’s afraid of ghosts and monsters and heights. But Jeongguk knows that—above everything else in the world, if nothing else in his heart—Taehyung’s afraid of being with Jeongguk, afraid of loving Jeongguk anymore than he does now.

(He knows that it took Taehyung four years for him to be okay with being called Jeongguk’s boyfriend, and he knows that Taehyung is still not okay with talking about the future—their future. So he’ll give him time, they’ll take it slow, talk slow, kiss slow.)

—love slow.

Taehyung knows everything about Jeongguk, but Jeongguk only knows that, though Taehyung has a heart as beautiful as the brightest constellations, it’s as unreachable as the distant, faraway stars.


(+1)

taetae
3:40 AM
of course i meant it
i meant everything.

taetae
5:59 AM
i still do.

jeongguk
8:12 AM
you told me that you’d love me forever
you said you’d always be there for me
and
i get that those were all just
stupid childish promises ok
i get that
but i really believed it
i really believed it when we were together

[ Read 9:48 AM ]

Chapter Text

(-1)

Day-old coffee lingers on Jeongguk’s tongue the morning Taehyung introduces him to Park Jimin. It’s a bit of a bittersweetness, but not in the good way (—the sugar doesn’t do anything to mask the bad taste of the rusty, milky coffee). His fingertips peek out from his floppy sleeves as he shyly blinks at Jimin, staring at him expectantly.

Fuck. “I’m, uh—”

“Jeongguk,” Jimin finishes.

His flower-like smile reminds Jeongguk of winter sunrises that seem warmer than they feel, of wild snowberries that look much safer than they are (—they’re poisonous in a sickly way that takes all the beauty out of the rosy petals).

“Yeah, that’s me—” Jeongguk pauses, “—sorry.”

Jimin giggles all high-pitched and pretty, cheeks a pinkish color, and Jeongguk thinks that it must be real easy for someone to fall in love with this one.

but love isn’t that simple, Jeongguk will learn.

“Taehyung was really excited for me to meet you, you know?” he says. “Don’t think I’ve seen him so hyper, not since like, that time Mischa Maisky held a masterclass here last fall.” Jeongguk grins big as Taehyung whines softly, pouting at Jimin bashfully. “You must be something really great,” Jimin teases with a fond and affectionate sigh. (There’s a gentle sincerity in his voice that makes Jeongguk’s heart swell a thousand times its size and race a mile per minute all at once.)

Blushing like the dusty sky outside, the boy smiles down at the ground and blurts, “Same with you. Taehyungie-hyung’s always talking about you too.”

Jeongguk remembers that day two falls ago, that day that Taehyung had called him, breathless with excitement, babbling about how much he loved his new roommate, about how he’s fallen platonically-in-love with a Park Jimin. Jeongguk would pretend that he didn’t feel that tightness in his throat, that bitterness on his tongue, or that lonely uneasiness in his chest, but all those things would fade very soon when Taehyung would come back home, pull him apart, and put him back together (—easygoing love glued in all the sticky cracks in his heart).

“You’re so frickin’ adorable!” Jimin gasps, clutching at his chest dramatically and looking at Taehyung with the biggest heart-eyes ever, cooing at the two of them. “He calls you Taehyungie-hyung,” he says to Taehyung, lips parted in amazement. “Holy shit can I have him?”

Taehyung growls like a little puppy. “He’s mine.

Jimin laughs, pulling Taehyung into a spinning hug. Jeongguk feels a little left out, but it doesn’t really matter, because a sixteenth of a heartbeat later, Jimin’s pulling him between them to join the hug until they’ve all fallen down and into a cuddle pile.

Jeongguk thinks he loves Jimin already.

But, it isn’t long before Jimin gets up and declares, “Sorry guys, I gotta go now.” Jeongguk thinks that his voice is lemony without the sourness, that his cheeks are liquor-flushed without the vulnerability of alcohol, that his hair is pretty without the bleach or hair dye that he’s always helping Taehyung with (—but still, Jeongguk loves it all, loves everything about Taehyung). “Just wanted to stop by quickly to meet the boy Taehyung never shuts up about,” he says, glancing at the clock above the door.

“Awh,” Jeongguk whines, pouting. “Why?”

(Maybe it’s because he’s still high off the feeling of making a new friend as wonderful as Park Jimin, but Jeongguk doesn’t notice how Taehyung goes stiff under him, how Jimin distances himself even further from the two of them in this static moment.)

Jimin’s eyes flash to Taehyung before smiling a bit too wide. “I, uh, I’m meeting up with somebody—”

“Is it who I think it is?” Taehyung questions roughly.

Sometimes (—short times, fleeting times, few and far between like stardust and starlight), Jeongguk thinks that Taehyung might have romantic feelings for Park Jimin, but as Taehyung would say, Jimin is—Jimin. But Jeongguk doesn’t know Park Jimin all that well, not really (—not yet).

So he lets his stupid heart race over a boy who isn’t even his fucking boyfriend, because trying to stop it hurts too much (—he knows how he feels, knows why he feels this way, but he doesn’t want to think about how Taehyung isn’t his boyfriend, how Taehyung doesn’t want to be his boyfriend.)

Doesn’t want to think about how Taehyung seems to care more about Jimin’s love life than his own.

“Taehyung,” Jimin breathes with an uneasiness.

And, right now, as Taehyung gets up and walks to Jimin, Jeongguk finally tastes the sourness on his lips, feels the bitterness on his tongue.

“You know how I feel about this,” Taehyung hisses, whispers hushed but careless where he’s gripping Jimin’s arm; it occurs to him that maybe neither of them care at all whether Jeongguk hears this.

“I do.”

“He has a boyfriend, Jimin.”

(Jeongguk doesn’t know who they’re talking about; it will be a long time before all the puzzle pieces fit together. It will be a long time before he will realize that maybe he and Jimin aren’t so different.)

“I know that,” he snaps (—it makes Jeongguk think of the thorns of a rose bush, of the winter bite that the cold sunrise eclipses). “Don’t you think I know that, more than anyone?”

“With the shit you do? Doesn’t seem like it.”

“We’re not doing whatever you think we are.”

Taehyung’s got his hand tight around Jimin’s upper arm, but they stay static by their place at the door.

“Then what are you doing?”

Jimin scoffs. “We’re friends. Friends hang out.”

Taehyung shakes his head, sighing disappointedly. “Jimin, this isn’t just hanging out and you know it.”

Jimin breathes uneasy again. “Taehyung.”

“What do you expect him to do? Do you think he’ll break up with his boyfriend for you? Is that what you think will happen? ‘Cause I’ll tell you right now, he’s not the type of guy who’d do that.”

Then what type of guy is he? Jeongguk wants to ask. But he doesn’t. Whatever this is, whoever the hell is breaking Jimin’s heart, it seems, Jeongguk doesn’t want to know, doesn’t want to get involved (—he’s never been too fond of drama; it makes his heart ache too much and all the fun is gone).

Taehyung went too far, and it only makes sense for Jimin to go just as far, to make it hurt just as much.

“You’re not my fucking boyfriend, Taehyung,” Jimin yells loud. “You’re not even Jeongguk’s boyfriend.

Oh.

“What fucking right do you think you have?” Jimin knows how to make it hurt, and that’s the one thing Jeongguk thinks he’ll remember above all from this experience (—above the snowberries and the rose bushes, he’ll think of a lemon-like sourness and a bitterness from day-old coffee). “Fuck this,” Jimin says, shoving Taehyung away and turning back to face the youngest boy, still sitting on the ground. “Sorry, Jeongguk. It was really nice meeting you.”

The door slams behind Jimin as he leaves.

It’s quiet for a while, save for heavy breathing, until Jeongguk questions, “What the hell was that?”

Taehyung smiles brokenly.

“I love him to death, you know? Jimin’s just—being really fucking dumb right now. Being fucking stupid over this boy that doesn’t even love him back.”

Jeongguk laughs (—it hurts, a bit). “Yeah. I get it.”


(0)

The afterglow of sex with Kim Taehyung is like the incandescence of the dirty night sky in the sticky summer months. Jeongguk’s never been good at expressing himself through anything but music (—you see, he thinks only of the stars and the moon, because his heart beats too loud for him to think of any things of beauty with any more complexities), but he thinks that’s the best way to describe it, that the gleam of the cosmos and constellations is the only thing that could ever, ever compare with the warmth in his gut, with the rosiness in his cheeks (—with the beauty in Kim Taehyung’s eyes).

Head resting on Taehyung’s bare skin, Jeongguk lets his eyes droop, fall shut, but he hears the ring of a cell phone before he can be lulled to sleep.

“Who the fuck?” Jeongguk whines, body aching as he snuggles closer to Taehyung, pouting childishly.

Taehyung groans, adjusting himself as much as he can without manhandling Jeongguk’s pliant body. “It’s mine,” he sighs, tapping around on the sheets until he finds his phone, “sorry.”

Jeongguk ends up with his head in Taehyung’s lap, so when Taehyung phone flashes bright, Jeongguk sees the screen and sees the caller ID—

♪(๑ᴖ◡ᴖ๑)♪ ☀︎ PARK CHIMCHIM ☀︎ ♪(๑ᴖ◡ᴖ๑)♪

—with a cute selca of Jimin and Taehyung.

“Hmph?” Jeongguk hums.

That’s strange, he thinks. What does Jiminie want?

When he looks at Taehyung, there’s a worried look in the boy’s eyes, glittering something somber.

“Mind if I take this here, babe?” he asks raspily.

“Yeah, yeah,” Jeongguk says. “I don’t mind.”

Clicking the volume up high so that Jeongguk can hear, he puts the phone to his ear, bottom lip bitten soft. Playing with a strand of Jeongguk’s hair, still wet from the bath, glitter in the blackness from that stupid bath bomb, Taehyung breathes in the air as he waits for Jimin to speak.

“Taetae?” a quiet voice asks through the speaker.

He sounds choked up (—like he’s been crying).

“Jimin, are you okay?” Taehyung questions.

It’s quiet and static on the line until Jimin breathes slow, “Yeah. I’m fine. Can, can I stay over tonight?”

Taehyung’s eyes flicker to Jeongguk, so Jeongguk nods quickly, heart aching a bit from how soft and broken Jimin’s voice sounds.

“Of course. But, Jeongguk’s also staying over—”

“Yeah, yeah. I don’t mind. I’ll be there in ten.”

A year ago, Jeongguk would’ve been plucking the petals off daisies, wondering whether Taehyung’s in love with him or in love with Park Jimin.

A year ago, Jeongguk would’ve been blowing on a dandelion, wishing for Taehyung’s love, wishing for Taehyung to give him happiness, serenity, and his forever, even if it was only for a while.

But now, Jeongguk just holds Taehyung tight.

Because what he knows now, what he didn’t know before, is that Jimin’s been so hung up over this one boy that he doesn’t have any space in his heart for a crush on Taehyung. (It doesn’t matter that Jeongguk doesn’t know who it is yet, it doesn’t matter that Jeongguk hasn’t put the puzzle pieces together yet, because you don’t know Park Jimin—not really—if you don’t know that, since freshman year, he’s been stupidly in love with the same boy who doesn’t love him back, who has never loved him back, and never will love him back.)

“Jimin,” Taehyung sounds, pausing to lick his lips, “is Yoongi-hyung there with you?”

Loneliness aches in Jeongguk’s heart.

“No.”

Hearts beat slow at times like these, slow like the melodies of the music slipping from adagio to largo until the delicate rubato loses all delicacy and falls out of rhythm. Hearts beat slow at times like these, the times where loneliness aches in your chest just like heartbreak (—maybe, just maybe, they aren’t that different after all).

“Jimin—”

“I just don’t want to be alone tonight, okay?”

Yeah, Jeongguk thinks. I get it.

“Jimin,” Taehyung says again, “did Yoongi—”

“I’ll be there soon.” Jimin hangs up.

The soft knocks on the door sound like heartbeats (—ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum) to Jeongguk.

By the second beat of the measure, Taehyung’s at the door. By the third, he’s opened the door. And in the fourth, he’s hugging Jimin in one of those hugs where you can’t feel anything but the heat emitting from the other’s chest, can’t hear anything but the ba-dum-ba-dum of the percussion or the one-and-two-and-three-and-four-and of the subdivision (—it pulses in every musician’s body like a heartbeat).

The two of them talk in hushed whispers, too quiet for Jeongguk to hear (—but it looks like Jimin has red-rimmed lids and water-glossy eyes, looks like Jimin’s shaking like a tremolo in Taehyung’s arms).

But then the music crescendos and Jeongguk can hear Jimin breathe out, “They, they broke up. They broke up for good this time. So, so I thought that, I thought—”

“I know,” says Taehyung. “I know.”

“It hurts, it really does,” he whispers—heartbroken, heartbreaking, he holds onto Taehyung’s shirt. “It really hurts when they’re your number one and you aren’t theirs. It, it really hurts when they don’t pick you and all they can say is that they’re sorry.”

After a few measures, the music decrescendos.

Jimin walks to the bathroom, eyes lidded low.

Taehyung walks to his closet, biting his lip.

“Hyung?” Jeongguk asks. “Is Jimin okay?”

Searching through his closet, Taehyung responds, “Not really. He’s kinda a mess right now. I’m just looking for clothes for him to sleep in tonight. He’s taking a shower right now.”

Jeongguk nods slowly. “What happened?”

Taehyung doesn’t look back, still picking out some clothes (—he sees that Taehyung’s chosen a pair of sweatpants from his old high school and a long sleeve from their old youth orchestra) as he asks, “Were you awake in the car earlier? When me and Yoongi were talking? Did you hear any of it?”

Jeongguk bites his lip. “Yeah, I did. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but—yeah.”

“It’s fine. But, uh, well, yeah—” Taehyung seems a little lost, like he doesn’t know how to explain it all. “So, Yoongi-hyung and his boyfriend broke up,” he says, laying the clothes down on the table next to the bathroom door and walking over to the bed to sit next to Jeongguk. “But like, Yoongi-hyung and Hoseok-hyung are always breaking up and getting back together, so usually it wouldn’t be a big deal. But then, Yoongi-hyung told me that he didn’t think that they’d be getting back together anymore.”

Jeongguk lets out a soft hum of understanding.

“I don’t, I don’t know for sure, but—” he breathes in slow before he goes on, “—I think the reason why they broke up is because Hoseok found out about Yoongi-hyung and Jimin.

“Found out what?” asks Jeongguk, voice quivering like crazy (—he thinks he knows the answer).

Taehyung smiles, laughs to himself (—he’s always been impossible to read). “Yoongi-hyung and Jimin they’ve—” he breathes out, swallows in, “—they’ve been sleeping together since my freshman year.”

Oh.

When Taehyung closes his eyes, lashes pretty as they rest and glitter on his lids, Jeongguk presses a kiss to his cheekbone, getting some sparkly and sticky lip balm on Taehyung’s skin.

“I don’t really know the extent of it,” he continues, “I’m not sure if it was just when they were broken up, Yoongi and Hoseok, or if it was also during the bits that the two were together. I’m not sure, but—I was the only person who knew what Yoongi-hyung and Jiminie were doing and they both knew that I knew, to some extent.” Taehyung lays his head on Jeongguk’s shoulder, with slow beats between his breaths.

Oh.

“I think Hoseok-hyung found out this morning,” he says. “Broke things off with Yoongi-hyung, probably.”

“H—How’d you find out?”

Taehyung smiles big, and Jeongguk can feel it on his shoulder. “You know how me and Jimin roomed together freshman and sophomore year, right?”

Jeongguk nods.

“Well, you see, he’d so obviously had this massive crush on this senior who played piano during some of his ballet classes, and like, Jimin wouldn’t ever stop talking about him. But then, one day, all of a sudden, he stops talking about it, stops sleeping in our room some nights, and these—” he giggles, pressing his warm body to Jeongguk’s own, “these hickies—massive, ugly, and purple—are just—” he laughs again, “—all over his neck sometimes.”

Jeongguk thinks he’s seen Jimin like that, before.

—it all starts to come together, now.

“He was so fucking secretive about it, got so damn nervous and gloomy whenever anyone teased him about the hickies all over his neck,” he explains, a sentimental pause in his storytelling. “And you see, I asked him about it one time, and he lied and just said that it was from a one-night-stand when it obviously wasn’t—it obviously meant something to him.” Taehyung’s hand knots with Jeongguk’s in a quiet serenity, a quiet serendipity. “And after that, I didn’t ever ask him about it again, because, I don’t know, I didn’t really wanna think about how Min Yoongi was cheating with my best friend.”

Jeongguk thinks he gets it, thinks he understands.

“I think at some point he realized that I knew, and he told Yoongi-hyung about it, but, I don’t know, I guess it kinda just became one of those things that you don’t talk about. Jimin’s been in love with him since freshman year, and Yoongi—I don’t know—I don’t know what Yoongi’s doing, I don’t know what Yoongi wants.”

Jeongguk breathes out heavy, heart heavy like Yoongi and Jimin’s past. “I’m sorry, I still can’t get over the whole, you know, cheating part.”

“Yeah, me either.”

“You should’ve been the one to tell Hoseok.”

He closes his eyes, takes a breath. “I know.”

The next day, during his morning shift at Starbucks (—he loves the smell of the bitter coffee beans and the milky and creamy taste of frappuccinos more than most things, so Jeongguk’s part-time job isn’t particularly dreadful), he frowns when he sees the one and only Min Yoongi.

Jeongguk decides he doesn’t like him. Not at all.


(+1)

taetae
9:49 AM
i believed it too, guk
more than you know

jeongguk
10:54 AM
for once in your goddamn life
can you stop lying to me?
can you stop lying to yourself?

[ Read 10:55 AM ]

Chapter Text

(0)

“I saw Yoongi at work this morning,” Jeongguk tells his boyfriend over the phone.

It’s a thing they do. Lunch calls during Jeongguk’s breaks, in between Taehyung’s afternoon classes. It’s a thing they do (—something Jeongguk hopes they never stop doing). In the backtrack, Jeongguk thinks about that theory project he hasn’t started, smiling bright and lazily talking to Taehyung about everything and nothing at all.

“Jimin’s Yoongi?”

“Jimin’s Yoongi.”

Taehyung hums softly. “At Starbucks?”

“Yep, during my morning shift.”

Absentmindedly, he asks, “What did he order?”

Such a weird fucking question, Jeongguk thinks. He tries to keep his mind on the highlight of it all, tries to remind himself what the story’s all about—but the thing is, Taehyung’s always been so damn distracting without even knowing it (—distracting in the good way, with good vibes and good feelings, distracting like I can’t get you out of my mind, like you’re all I can think about, you asshole).

“I dunno, an iced Americano or something, but—”

“Damn, I should’ve asked him to get me one.”

“Taehyung, you don’t even like coffee.”

“Yes I do! I drink it all the time!”

“No, you drink frappuccinos and lattes ‘cause you hate the way coffee tastes,” Jeongguk comments.

“You’re an ass.”

Jeongguk giggles. “An ass you love.”

“You’re right,” he says. “I love eating y—”

Cheeks flushed, Jeongguk yells, “Hyung!”

“Love you, babe,” Taehyung laughs.

Pouting like crazy, he sighs, “Love you too.”

What Jeongguk had to say leaves his mind easily, ‘cause Taehyung’s happy vibes and smiley faces, electric sunshine and rainbows—all that good shit.

Because, Min Yoongi—skin blotched with spotty bruises, bottom lip cut, right eye pigmented dark behind his sunglasses—is rather easy to forget.

Doesn’t mean much to Jeongguk.

—at least for now.

The next day, Min Yoongi comes back to the coffee shop, skin still bruised, lip still cut, eyelids still dark and swollen. It’s one of those low points in the day where Jeongguk’s left alone in the small Starbucks cafe, softly humming the first movement of Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole as he waits for someone to walk in. And, someone does walk in, walk all the way to the front (—Jeongguk doesn’t really like it).

Yoongi still has that same stupid beanie, bleached hair tucked behind his ears. He still has that stupid jacket that’s too big on him, fingertips peeking out past the cuffed sleeves.

Jeongguk thinks of that question Taehyung asked Yoongi, those two fragile nights ago: Then why are you wearing his jacket?

(But he lets the thought leave his mind—it’s easy.)

Min Yoongi starts pouting at Jeongguk, looking too cute for someone with a split lip and a black eye. Jeongguk wonders why Yoongi’s giving him such a look, but then he realizes he’s been glaring at the older like he’s made the world go upside-down.

—and maybe he has.

“Why the frown, sweetheart?” asks Yoongi.

(Oh. Right. Yoongi was there that night, overheard Taehyung use that stupid pet name on Jeongguk.)

And Jeongguk doesn’t know what it is that causes him to say what he says next—

“Why the bruises, cheater?” asks Jeongguk.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

—but he regrets it. Jeongguk’s too easy to rile up.

Yoongi doesn’t look too hurt, however. Lips parted with surprise, Yoongi lets out a laugh as he smiles—eyes flashing like those flickering signal lights in the streets, like those dying stars in the skies.

“Ouch,” he says. “Direct, huh?”

Jeongguk’s stunned by his own words, stuttering, “U—Uh, uhm, I, uh—h, I—?”

“It’s fine, kid,” Yoongi laughs. “I was just—”

“I’m sorry,” Jeongguk interrupts sharply.

“—kidding. I was just messing with you, Guk.”

“I know. I know. I’m sorry, Yoongi-hyung.”

And then, right then, Yoongi does this thing, smiles this—this smile where the bruised skin around his eyes crinkle like paper stars, where the dried blood on his bottom lip looks like dried strawberry juice.

“It’s okay,” Yoongi says, that smile still on his lips.

And, just for a beat (—just for one note), Jeongguk thinks that Yoongi might not be so bad after all.

But then: “It’s not like you were wrong.”

And, that beat (—that note) goes away, goes away along with that smile and all its paper hearts and stars and x’s and o’s, because he remembers who Yoongi is to him (—that boy who broke his friend’s heart and broke Taehyung’s too, because breaking Jimin means you break Taehyung, too).

Jeongguk sighs, closing his eyes for a bit.

“So it’s true then? You were cheating with Jimin?”

Yoongi smiles again—only, it’s different, this time.

“Taehyung told you the story, right?”

Jeongguk breathes, “Yeah.”

“I’ll tell you the rest of it once you actually take my order and make my fuckin’ drink,” Yoongi gruffs.

Blushing rose, cheeks stained wine-red, he nods.

Yoongi teases, “You’re a shit barista, you know?”

Jeongguk laughs and smiles big. “Oh, I know.”

“Hey, kid,” Yoongi begins, looking around the cafe before turning back to Jeongguk, mouth rosy and pouted (—perhaps that’s his natural state of being, Jeongguk thinks). “Y’sure you won’t get in trouble? Doesn’t someone gotta stand at the counter?”

Jeongguk hums, “Not really. If someone comes, I’ll just get up and take their order and all, but no one really comes here this time of day.” Jeongguk likes the lone shifts—it’s calming.

It’s calming, until a boy like Min Yoongi comes in.

“You were the first person all morning.”

Yoongi smiles that smile again (—but all Jeongguk can see is Taehyung’s heart-and-box-shaped grin).

“Awh,” he coos. “Babe, I’m honored.”

Electric heartbeats shock his body.

Don’t call me that,” Jeongguk hisses immediately.

Yoongi scoffs and takes a lazy sip of his drink. “I’m joking, kid. I’m not fuckin’ flirting with you. Y’got it?”

Jeongguk blushes a bit at his outburst. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine, okay? Jesus, I know you don’t like me but you gotta calm the fuck down,” Yoongi continues.

The younger nods his head quickly.

“So . . . you wanted to know about the bruises?”

“Y—Yeah. If that’s okay. And, uh—about Ji—”

But then, right then Yoongi goes fucking livid—all his calmness leaving as soon as Jeongguk says it.

“Don’t you already know that side of the story?”

Jeongguk bites his lip (—he thinks of Yoongi’s lip, bruised and bleeding). “No,” he says. “Jimin’s been staying at Taehyung’s for the past two nights but—he doesn’t wanna talk about it. Won’t talk about it.”

Something in Yoongi softens.

Jeongguk doesn’t like it.

Yoongi’s not allowed to feel bad for breaking Jimin.

“Jimin’s been staying over at Taehyung’s?” Yoongi asks delicately, like someone’s tapping on the keys of his heart, pulling on his heartstrings, and playing some sort of broken melody. “W—Why?”

Jeongguk’s not allowed to feel bad for Yoongi.

He’s not.

“Because someone broke his heart. Broke him so bad that he doesn’t wanna sleep alone anymore.” It breaks Jeongguk too, just a little, thinking about Jimin—about what Yoongi did, what Yoongi said—so he wants Yoongi break just as much, wants his heartstrings to snap, wants the keys and petals of his heart to fall out of place. “Broke him so fucking bad that Taehyung has to put him together again.”

Yoongi just blinks. Blinks twice.

“Okay,” he says, delicacy gone.

Jeongguk decides—right here, right now—that he hates Yoongi. Jeon Jeongguk hates Min Yoongi.

Jeongguk also decides that Yoongi isn’t worth it.

“Never mind. You can leave. I don’t care anymore,” Jeongguk utters, heart racing with electricity. “Go.”

Yoongi just keeps blinking at him. “Jeongguk—”

“Just go.”

And, with that, Yoongi gets up. Doesn’t say a word.

The last thing Jeongguk hears before he takes in a breath is the door shutting. He thinks Yoongi might have said something before he left.

Jeongguk doesn’t really care.

(And when night comes, Jeongguk falls into bed, falls into place, Jimin between him and Taehyung. Jeongguk links his pinky with Taehyung’s, presses a kiss to Jimin’s nose. He falls asleep wondering how such an angel, how such a sweetheart like Jimin could fall in love with someone like Yoongi.)

—but, you see, it doesn’t ever occur to Jeongguk that maybe Yoongi was blinking away some glossy tears from his eyes, or that maybe Yoongi found it too hard to say anything but okay.

The air was warm on Yoongi’s wet cheeks, walking out of that cafe. This—this, Jeongguk will realize.


(-3)

Jeongguk’s known Taehyung two years, in this life, at the very least—because Jeongguk likes to think that this isn’t his first stroke of serendipity in which he’s met Taehyung, in which he’s loved Taehyung.

He’s known Taehyung two years, loved him for two years, but he can count how many times he’s seen Taehyung cry on one hand. He thinks that, for him, someone would need to count using the stars—you’d run out of fingers too quickly, but you’ll never run out of stars—because Jeongguk’s a crybaby.

But Taehyung—you can count on your fingers, you won’t even need your toes. Just five fingers.

One: that spring day in Jeongguk’s first year in the youth orchestra where Taehyung was berated for sight-reading the music, for not being responsible, for not leading the section like he should have (—but Jeongguk would later learn that Taehyung was hungover that spring morning, that there had been a death in his family the wintry week before).

Two: the day after, where Taehyung told him what had happened in his family, how he’d gone out to a club with a fake ID with some friends from school, gotten wasted on purpose, blacked out on purpose because he’d do anything he could to forget.

Three: that day at the end of his first year where Taehyung found out that Yoon Jeonghan and Choi Seungcheol had broken up over some boy, Hong Joshua or Hong Jisoo or whatever, whom they had both fallen for, or something.

Four: the week after, when Taehyung found out that Jeonghan and Seungcheol got back together (—with a new boyfriend, because love triangles are overrated).

Jeongguk isn’t sure why Taehyung of all people cried at the news, both mornings at rehearsal, but Taehyung told him it was because those two made him believe in love, at least until he met Jeongguk.

Because Jeongguk taught him what love meant.

(Add one star, count it with your fingertip, because Jeongguk started to cry, too.)

Five: that winter day after Taehyung’s big audition to Juilliard. He goes to Jeongguk’s house in a fit of tears, first thing in the morning, first thing after his flight back home. Crying about how he messed up on his scales and his Bach prelude. Crying about how he wouldn’t get in. Crying about how much he missed Jeongguk in the week he was in New York.

Jeongguk says something really cheesy, then. It’s what his mom had told him before auditions when he was a little kid, what his mom tells him after bad auditions even now. Jeongguk finds it comforting, so he thinks that maybe Taehyung will too.

It’s a little piece of Jeongguk’s heart, a little piece of his star-filled night sky he shares with Taehyung. Jeongguk wants his favorite constellations to be Taehyung’s; he wants his heart to be Taehyung’s.

“Even if it’s a sad ending,” Jeongguk whispers, “all the stars in the sky will still shine for you, okay—?”

But Taehyung only sobs harder, puts his wet lips to Jeongguk’s and it’s gross and salty and snotty but Jeongguk decides that he likes it.

Jeongguk he likes Taehyung.

Jeongguk likes anything Taehyung does.

“I love you, Guk. Okay?”

“I love you too, hyung.”

—that would be the last time Jeongguk would see Taehyung cry for a long time. Because the thing is, Taehyung doesn’t break—doesn’t break down, fall apart, and open up like Jeongguk.

Doesn’t let himself be put back together.

Because somewhere along the coastline, instead of wearing his heart on his shirtsleeve and letting it tear—letting it hurt—Taehyung learns to run away, heart beating safe, tucked deep within his chest.


(0)

That night, while Jimin’s showering, Jeongguk and Taehyung lie in bed together—skin bright like stars and eyes soft like their cotton sheets, fingers laced together. Quiet whispers. Lazy kisses.

“Min Yoongi seems like an absolute asshole.”

Laughing soft enough for Jeongguk to just barely hear, Taehyung kisses his cheek (—it’s a way for him to say you’re cute without having to embarrass Jeongguk any further). “Oh, please,” he says. “He wears a Kumamon onesie to bed when he’s feelin’ sad. He’s the biggest dork I know.” Taehyung has this big grin when he adds, “I mean, behind you, of course.”

Jeongguk pouts that loud, bratty, babyish pout he gives whenever he’s looking for kisses (—it works) and whines, “I take it back. You’re the asshole.”

Taehyung smiles, kisses Jeongguk’s eyelid.

“Okay, look,” he begins. “I know Yoongi seems like the bad guy in all of this, but the thing is, Jimin was the one who started it. Everything.”

Jeongguk doesn’t want to believe that.

“It doesn’t excuse anything that Yoongi did, but—” he lets out a quick breath, a quarter note rest filling the empty beat, “—baby, you can’t keep doing this, you can’t keep antagonizing Yoongi. He told Jimin from the beginning that nothing would ever come from the two of them sleeping together.”

Taehyung sounds sad, Jeongguk thinks. Regretful.

“Yoongi shouldn’t have given in, but—but it doesn’t change the fact that Jimin knew from the very start what he was getting into.”

But then, Jeongguk thinks of Yoongi’s one-worded, quiet response at the cafe.

“Bet he’s not even sorry for it.”

But Taehyung only lets out a breathy laugh, smiles to himself like he’s hiding something. “Gukkie, he’s more sorry than you know, okay?”

Jeongguk scoffs (—but Taehyung interrupts it with an open-mouthed kiss that catches him off guard). Taehyung ends the kiss by biting on his lip.

“Jerk.”

“Always.”

Jeongguk lays his head on Taehyung’s chest with an easy sigh. It’s always been easy with Taehyung—an easygoing friendship, an easygoing romance.

“So, how’s the concerto going—?” Jeongguk asks Taehyung, breathing easy. “For that competition?”

“It’s going well.”

“When is it?”

“This Saturday.”

“You think you’ll get it?”

Taehyung’s nothing if not half-hearted smiles and a cocky confidence, this Jeongguk knows. And yet—

“I dunno, babe. I really want to,” he says, uneasy.

Huh. “Full paid trip to London if you win, right—?”

“And a week full of masterclasses.”

Jeongguk kisses Taehyung on the mouth. “Sounds exciting,” Jeongguk breathes, lips squished to his.

“Wish you could come with me,” Taehyung sighs.

He sits Jeongguk up, pulling him into his lap.

Jeongguk grins, big-mouthed and full-grinned. “But I would’ve signed up and crushed you instead. It’s stupid that only seniors can compete.”

Holding Jeongguk’s waist, Taehyung slips his hand under Jeongguk’s cotton t-shirt, fingers hot against bare skin. Thumb tracing circles into his hip bones, Taehyung mouths at the skin below the boy’s right ear, eyelashes tickling him and making him gasp.

“Guess I was lucky then,” Taehyung whispers.

Jeongguk smiles at the little kisses. “So lucky.”

Taehyung hums, and—

“The luckiest.”

—he licks down Jeongguk’s neck, making the boy squirm and whimper, body writhing atop Taehyung.

Jeongguk whines, “Hyung—”

“Yeah, baby?” Taehyung asks, breath hot.

“Jimin’s here,” Jeongguk whispers (—but he starts to rock down, feeling Taehyung’s cock between his ass cheeks hardening the more he squirms).

Taehyung rucks Jeongguk’s shirt up to his nipples, the palms of his hands dragging up the boy’s body. “C’mon, honey. Arms up.”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk utters, obedient to the order.

“Yes?”

“Jimin—” Jeongguk huffs when Taehyung pulls his shirt off, blushing like mad when his fluffy hair falls over his eyes. “We can’t have sex when Ji—”

“Jimin won’t mind,” Taehyung comments, mouthing at Jeongguk’s collarbones and kissing down to his nipples.

Jeongguk laughs. “Oh, I think Jimin’s gonna mind.”

“Freshman year,” Taehyung begins, licking at the boy’s nipple, reveling in the way he writhes, hands squeezing his waist when Jeongguk tries to move, “I walked in on him and Yoongi fucking, like twice. They kept going. It’s fine. He won’t mind.”

Ew. Yoongi.

“Still—” Jeongguk whines, rolling his hips forward and grinding his ass against Taehyung’s cock.

Taehyung then pulls off, lips red and eyes glossy.

“Yeah, baby?” he repeats; this time, he plays with Jeongguk’s budded nipples, wet from his mouth.

Jeongguk’s eyes are sparkly with the kind of glitter that makes him feel lightheaded. “H—Hng, hyung.”

“Baby, d’ya wanna ride me?”

Bashfully, Jeongguk nods, fluffy hair bouncing up and down with his eagerness. “I don’t want Jiminie to see,” he whimpers, cheeks blushing rose when he feels how hard he is under his gym shorts.

Taehyung grins. “Don’t want Jiminie to see what?”

“T—To see me. And you. Like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like—” Jeongguk keeps squirming, so Taehyung pinches one of his nipples, and the boy gasps.

“Speak up, sweetheart.”

“Don’t want Jiminie to see me riding you, hyung.”

Taehyung laughs. “Oh yeah? Don’t want Jiminie to see how good you ride me, huh? Don’t want him to see you all flushed and sweaty, drooling and crying all over me because it’s too much? Don’t want him to see how needy and desperate and pathetic you are? Bouncing uncontrollably ‘cause all you wanna do is make your pretty cock feel good, huh?”

Jeongguk’s breath fucking stops.

“You make the prettiest fuckin’ noises, sweetie. So fuckin’ dirty, so fuckin’ obscene when you moan.”

Jeongguk can feel the wetness in his boxers.

Taehyung does too, when he presses his palm to Jeongguk’s front, feeling the damp fabric over his hard cock. Jeongguk looks scandalized—so cute.

“God, baby, your ass looks the prettiest when it’s taking my cock,” Taehyung breathes, mouth hot—it feels so hot. “You sure you don’t want Jimin to see how pretty you are?”

“Hyung—”

Taehyung’s mouth, lips parted, meets with his, only for a quick second. Licking into Jeongguk’s mouth, Taehyung utters, “It’s okay. I don’t want him to see, either. I don’t want him to see how pretty my baby is. I don’t want anyone to see you like this. I don’t wanna share with anyone.”

Heart blooming, petals budding, Jeongguk nods.

“Okay. Okay, hyung.”

Taehyung’s kissing him again and Jeongguk thinks about how Taehyung’s always been number one—Jeongguk’s number one.

Sometimes—in delicate moments like these, when the backtrack feels right and the filter looks good—Jeongguk thinks that he might be Taehyung’s.

Be his number one.

Be his.

(But in the indelicate mornings, when the track changes and the saturation goes down to normal, Jeongguk remembers that, to Taehyung, music will always be the number one, and he will always be the number two. Music will always come first, and Jeongguk will always come second. When the key changes and the brightness comes up, Jeongguk remembers that this is how it is—they fell in love because of music, because of orchestra, but music will always be the stopping point in their love.)

“You’re mine, Guk.”

“Yeah, hyung. I’m yours.”

In delicate nights like these, when the music is a slow ballad and the saturation is high, Jeongguk is Taehyung’s number one, the brightest and loudest star he can see.

But—

Guys, what the fuck.”

Jeongguk doesn’t have the heart to turn around.

Eyes big and wide, he squeaks, “H—Hi, Jiminie.”

The next morning at work, a little bored and a little lonely, Jeongguk calls Taehyung, smiling excitedly.

Taehyung doesn’t pick up.

Jeongguk gets a text, instead.

sorry babe :-( i’ve booked a practice room
for the whole day! i promise i’ll make it up
to u next week for being so busy… i miss u

Oh.

It’s okay.

Jeongguk will just pretend like he doesn’t feel his petaled heart wilt at this, just a bit. This is nothing.

Hmph.

He thinks about that classical duet performance he has at the end of next month. Jeongguk feels a little embarrassed that he hasn’t started practicing for it yet. It’s a major grade, a major performance, but—he always just assumed he was going to do it with Taehyung. It’s easy to perform with Taehyung.

But Taehyung—Taehyung is busy.

Taehyung has a competition coming up.

Taehyung doesn’t have time, right now.

—not even for a call.

It’s okay.

Jeongguk doesn’t mind.

It’s not like it hurts.

Jeongguk pretends like he doesn’t feel a little lost, right now—his wilted heart beating too soft to hear.

It’s nothing.

He’ll find someone else.


(+1)

taetae
12:49 PM
i miss you. i fucking miss you
if there’s one thing that’s not a lie
its that i miss you more than anything

jeongguk
12:54 PM
then why did you leave me?
why didn’t you say goodbye?
i thought i meant more to you
i knew that i wasn’t everything

taetae
12:54 PM
you were

jeongguk
12:54 PM
but i thought i was at least worth a goodbye
i thought those five years meant something

taetae
12:54 PM
you were everything

jeongguk
12:54 PM
i thought i meant more to you than that
you were my best friend since i was 15
you left me without a fucking goodbye

taetae
12:54 PM
you still are everything
you’ve always been—

jeongguk
12:55 PM
another lie, huh?

[ Read 12:55 PM ]

Chapter Text

(0)

“Hey, Jimin-hyung?”

Jimin’s got his head rested on Jeongguk’s chest—sleepily reading a book on the history of the pointe shoe as Jeongguk fluffs his soft hair with the tips of his fingers. (Jeongguk’s staying at Taehyung’s for a while in order to keep Jimin company—but he hasn’t seen much of Taehyung at all, really.)

“Yeah, Guk?”

Jeongguk bites his lip, sheepishly.

“I know you’re in the dance department and all, but uh—do you happen to know any instrumentalists?”

Jimin lets his head loll back, fluffy hair falling away from his forehead, and answers, “You. Taehyung.”

“Oh, fuck off. I’m serious,” Jeongguk groans.

Jimin laughs. “So am I. You’re the musician here.”

Breathing out a soft whine, Jeongguk pouts.

“I know, I know,” he sighs. “I just, I just need a duet partner for this recital at the end of next month for one of my classes. And, like, I really wanted to do the Ravel Duo for Violin and Cello with Taehyung, but—”

“Taehyung’s been locked up in the fucking practice studio for days on end,” Jimin sighs, looking oh so heartbreakingly empty (—like he’s about to cry).

“The competition’s in two days, right?”

“Yeah.”

“You think he’ll win?”

Jimin laughs. “He’s Kim Taehyung.”

“Yeah,” Jeongguk breathes. “He is.”

(And that’s the thing: Taehyung is Taehyung.)

Jeongguk thinks that Jimin’s the one person in the world who loves Taehyung as much as he does—it feels like looking up at the night sky, falling in love, and realizing that all those stars and planets and bright celestial bodies up there don’t really belong to you, after all.

(But, there will always be one star that belongs to you and you alone—it’s your one and only sun, the only one in the world.)

—you’ll never escape its orbit.

“You lonely?”

“Yeah.”

“Me too.”

—he hears a quiet sniffle follow Jimin’s confession.

So Jeongguk takes one of Jimin’s small hands and squeezes it tight. He kisses the top of Jimin’s head and wipes away one of Jimin’s tears, brushing his cheek with the pad of his free thumb.

“Min Yoongi’s a jerk. You know that, right?”

Sunburst giggles fill the room when Jimin laughs.

Jeongguk can only wish that he’ll never go through a heartbreak like, like this—but he can only wish.

—he falls asleep easy, that night.

Scrolling through his list of contacts to look for any potential duet partners (—Seulgi’s studying abroad and Wendy’s already working with someone else, Jaewon hates him and Jaebum’s busy) to no avail, Jeongguk doesn’t notice someone walk in.

“Hello?”

Looking up, Jeongguk groans and puts his phone to the side. “The fuck are you doing here again?”

Yoongi laughs. “Wow. Not holding back, huh?”

Jeongguk frowns. “I can be as hostile as I want.”

“Not afraid of the Yelp reviews?” Yoongi asks.

Lips sticky and glossy, Jeongguk lets his mouth fall into a tight line. “Oh, you wouldn’t fucking dare.”

—his boss would kill him.

Yoongi smiles. “Oh, I think I would, babe.”

Jeongguk bites his bottom lip, bunny teeth peeking out, before slipping his tongue out to wet his lips—

“Why are you even here?” he questions. “This isn’t the only Starbucks on campus, you know?”

Yoongi grins lazily. “This one’s the cheapest.”

because it’s the shittiest one, Jeongguk thinks.

“Fine,” Jeongguk sighs, grabbing a black Sharpie. “What do you want? Iced Americano, venti—?”

“Awh, I’m flattered. You remembered my order.”

“Fuck off.”

“But, yes. Add a shot of espresso with that, too.”

“Name for the order?”

Yoongi just scoffs, pulling out a five dollar bill and handing it to Jeongguk. “You’re cheeky,” he says.

Jeongguk huffs, his cheeks going rose petal pink.

But not in the good way, not like the glossy glow of warmth that sticks to his skin when Taehyung hugs him, sticks to his lips when Taehyung kisses him, and not like the rollercoaster rush of fondness that gushes from his heart and through his body when Taehyung holds his hand or kisses his cheek.

It’s like a languid fever that lingers under your skin.

—a fever that won’t go away.

“Venti Iced Americano, extra shot of espresso!”

Blinking his big eyes, Jeongguk waits for Yoongi to come and take his drink, brushing his bangs away from his forehead with a pout—glossy lips shining.

“Thanks,” Yoongi says as he takes the drink.

Jeongguk notices that the bruises look like they’re healing, almost blurting it out—but then he realizes how their last conversation about them ended.

(Yoongi’s not wearing sunglasses, this time.)

His left eyelid is blue-black, blue-black but healing.

“You’re welcome,” Jeongguk utters instead.

Then Yoongi looks like he’s about to leave, sipping on his coffee as he walks to the door. But—

“Oh, yeah. I almost forgot,” he begins. “I heard you needed a duet partner for Professor Lee’s class—”

“I’m not working with you. No fucking way in Hell,” Jeongguk snaps. “And who told you about that—?”

Yoongi goes picture-still when he says, “Jimin.”

Oh.

He speaks slow, “You and Jimin . . . still talk—?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi breathes. “What’s it to you?”

Jeongguk knows he needs to stop interfering with Yoongi and Jimin’s—relationship?—with whatever the hell it is they have going on. He knows this.

So, he says, “Nothing.”

Yoongi squints his eyes, parting his fairy lips as he speaks. “Jeongguk, do you have a thing for Jiminie or something?”

Jeongguk laughs. “I don’t have a thing for Jimin.”

Yoongi breathes easy. “Good.”

“Good? I thought you didn’t care about Jimin.”

“Good, as in, you’re dating Taehyung, my friend.”

Jeongguk hums, rolling up his black sleeves. “You know, I don’t have a thing for Jimin, but—do you?”

—it’s here where things change: where the scene shifts and the backdrop dims and the curtains fall.

Yoongi blinks and the music stops (—the beat falls apart oh so beautifully). “Well,” he says, “I’ve been sleeping with him for two years. Of course I have a thing for him.”

Don’t hit a customer. Don’t hit a customer.

“That’s not what I mean and you know it—”

“I know.”

Don’t hit a customer. Don’t hit a customer.

Yoongi goes on, “Look. Jiminie said that you were looking for a duet partner for a recital next month. He, he wants me to work with you if you can’t find anyone else, okay?”

“No.”

“Just tell Jimin if you change your mind, okay?”

“Whatever,” Jeongguk singsongs, looking away as Yoongi leaves. But this time, Jeongguk hears what Yoongi says before he walks out the door—

“I do care about Jimin, by the way. Probably not in the I’d die for him way you and Tae have going on, but I do care about him, okay? And, and I know it’s not enough. I know that more than anyone, really.”

(He’s gone before Jeongguk can say anything.)

Jeongguk decides another thing about Min Yoongi—he doesn’t make sense. No fucking sense, at all.

It’s been a long fucking Friday.

First: Jimin’s alarm goes off at four in the morning and Jeongguk can’t fall back asleep. Second: Min Yoongi. Third: Professor Lee berated him in class for neither having a piece decided upon nor a duet partner chosen. Fourth: Jeongguk left his laptop in the performance hall, somehow. Fifth: he still has no duet partner—he needs to start practicing now.

It’s been two fucking weeks since the project was assigned and Jeongguk’s made no headway on it.

Fuck.

He’s so fucked.

Unlocking Taehyung’s apartment, Jeongguk thinks about his options. Taehyung said he’d be free after the competition tomorrow, but—he’ll be gone for a week if he wins (—when he wins).

Taehyung’s still a no.

Fuck.

God, he’s so fucked.

But then, yet again, the scene shifts, the backdrop dims, the curtains fall, and there’s a slow ballad (—it’s a love song, Jeongguk thinks, one of those old-timey songs you’d hear on a vinyl record player on Valentine’s Day) blasting from an iPhone speaker.

Taehyung puts his arms around Jeongguk’s waist, hugging him tight as he whispers, “Hi, sweetheart.”

Jeongguk lets his head fall to Taehyung’s shoulder. He closes his eyes—slow, uneasy—and whispers back, “Long time no see, you jerk.”

Taehyung laughs, holding the boy tighter.

“I missed you, Gukkie,” he breathes slow, swaying back-and-forth with a sated Jeongguk in his arms.

“Missed you too, Taetae,” Jeongguk utters.

And they stay like that, just swaying to the ballad—breathing to the music’s cadences like it’s all they’ll ever need (—until the song ends, that is).

“Your competition’s tomorrow.”

“I need my little good luck charm, don’t I?”

They’ll take what they can get, and they’ll take it as it comes. It’s a game of push-and-pull, one that the seas and sands would envy.

“I’m glad you’re back.”

“Me too, babe.”

So Jeongguk tips his head back to kiss Taehyung with glossy, sticky lips (—god, it feels like he hasn’t been kissed in ages). They kiss slow and love slow and breathe slow and it’s suffocating—suffocating. Before slipping his tongue into Taehyung’s mouth, Jeongguk mouths at his boyfriend’s cupid’s bow—

“Hey, is Jimin—?”

“Jimin said that he’s visiting his parents.”

Fingertips knotted in Taehyung’s sunflower yellow sweater, Jeongguk pulls the taller boy to the bed (—they don’t stop kissing, they don’t stop kissing). God, his mouth feels hot—tongue slipped out and sticky lips all messy with spit and god, god he can’t even think about anything but Taehyung Taehyung Taehyung and god, god how does he breathe?

Laughter all sunburst-sunflower-like, they fall back onto the bed together, bright smiles and heart eyes all around.

“God, you’re so pretty,” Taehyung whispers.

Shut up, hyung,” Jeongguk whines, flushed.

Taehyung smiles (—you’ve always been the pretty one, Jeongguk thinks) and boops Jeongguk’s nose with his lips before going down for another kiss.

“Love you.”

It feels right, feels like it should (—it does, it does).

“Love you too, hyung.”

God. God. Why doesn’t it feel right? Fuck. Fuck.

Love feels a bit empty, today. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

But then: Taehyung’s hands go to grip Jeongguk’s waist and, and it feels right again (—it does, does). His mouth’s full of Taehyung Taehyung Taehyung and that’s it, that’s it: Jeongguk just missed him—

That’s it. That’s it.

“Fuck, I missed you so much,” he ends up saying.

“I know, baby. I know,” Taehyung rasps. “I’m gonna make it up to you. Gonna make it up to you, baby.”

(But the empty intimacy is suffocating.)

Jeongguk stutters, “H—How?”

Taehyung kisses him (—again, again, again). He’s just, just floating like the clouds, like the clouds on water—god, he can’t breathe, can’t think. But then—oh. Oh god. Taehyung has his hands on his bare stomach now, and—what was he thinking about?

“However you want, baby.”

Oh. It’s one of those nights.

Jeongguk bunches his hands into tight little fists, a rosy glow on his cheeks when he whispers, “Uhm, can, can hyung pick for me?”

“Awh, does Gukkie not know what he wants?”

Jeongguk nods, eyes closed.

“Poor baby just wants to let hyung use him—huh? Let hyung use him all night? Such a good baby.”

Jeongguk feels Taehyung’s lips on his eyelids, soft kisses trailing down to the blush on his cheeks. It’s good—he feels good, body hot and pliant, and oh, Taehyung’s bunching his shirt up. Oh—Taehyung’s lips aren’t, aren’t kissing his lips anymore; they’re, they’re, god—they’re kissing up his bare stomach; and, fuck, his tongue’s licking up to his nipples—

“H—Hyung.”

“Yes, baby?”

“It’s, it’s hot—”

“Want hyung to take your shirt off?”

Jeongguk balls his hands up even tighter, opening his eyes and god, it’s embarrassing—he’s crying.

“Pretty baby,” Taehyung coos. “Don’t cry, darling.”

“Hng—h, Taetae,” Jeongguk whines. “Hyuh—ng.”

“Ah, you’re drooling, Gukkie,” Taehyung comments rather coldly. “Baby’s so messy—huh? Y’like being my messy baby?”

Fuck. Fuck. Jeongguk’s so wet everywhere and all he can do is squirm, writhe as he lets Taehyung do whatever he wants with his body. And god, he’s so hard under his gym shorts, riding up below his ass and exposing the shape of his cock.

Fuck, his cock’s—wet.

“M—ngh, my, my shirt, h—hot, c—can, can you?”

Taehyung hums. “But, I think I like you like this: all pretty and pliant for me,” he comments—and then, oh god—Taehyung puts his hand on the outline of his cock. Fuck. Jeongguk lets out a little whimper. “Awh, baby’s leaking through his little gym shorts. Bet your boxers are all wet and messy and ruined. God, I haven’t even touched your pretty little cock yet and you look like you’re about to come, honey? So perfect for me. The prettiest baby.”

“B—But, hyung!” Jeongguk whines cutely.

“Quiet, sweetheart. Didn’t you say that you wanted to let hyung use you all night? Don’t you wanna be a good baby?” Taehyung teases, playing with the head of Jeongguk’s cock through his shorts.

Jeongguk nods oh so eagerly (—he’s so sweet).

Taehyung then kisses Jeongguk on the lips, all wet with spit and drool and god, he’s adorable. “I love you, babe,” Taehyung whispers. “Love you lots.”

High-pitched, Jeongguk utters, “Love you too—?”

But, why does it come out as a question?

(It’s okay. It’s okay, because Taehyung puts his lips back on Jeongguk’s mouth and it’s all okay again.)

Taehyung starts to palm Jeongguk’s cock over his shorts, smiling when the boy squirms and whines. Jeongguk’s so embarrassed—so humiliated at the way his cock keeps dripping with cum, at how hard and wet he feels.

“ ‘m so wet, hyung,” Jeongguk sighs—slurring his words, fluttering his eyes closed, floaty and dazed.

“My sensitive baby.”

“Y—yuh—yours,” Jeongguk sobs back.

Taehyung slips his hands under Jeongguk’s shorts (—the boy writhes), pulling on the elastic and—he lets it go, lets it snap against his bare stomach.

“Ah—!”

Taehyung pulls Jeongguk’s shorts down (—finally, finally) along with his boxers. He’s so—exposed.

“You’re hard, Gukkie,” Taehyung teases.

“Taetae,” Jeongguk whimpers. “Pl—uh—ease help me, ‘m ‘m so, ah, ‘m so, w—want you to touch me, hyung. Ah, mgh, I l—love it when you touch me.”

The boy goes breathless when Taehyung wraps a hand around his cock, all hot and heavy—dripping with precum. He’s never been so embarrassed.

“Th—Thank you, hyung,” Jeongguk moans.

Taehyung smiles, slipping his hand up and down—the slide is easy with how wet Jeongguk is. “You’re welcome, Gukkie,” Taehyung giggles, bright tones and the obscene squelch of Taehyung’s hand and Jeongguk’s wet cock creating an odd harmony.

It’s goddamn filthy (—and it makes Jeongguk hot).

“Sweetheart,” Taehyung whispers, “stop squirming. Be good for me, darling, okay?”

He hadn’t even noticed that he’d been fucking up into Taehyung’s hand with soft, needy little motions because, god, everything feels too good, too good.

Jeongguk nods, teary-eyed and rosy-cheeked.

All he can do is lie there, laid bare, and take it—

“You make the pretty noises, baby. God, I love you to Heaven and back,” Taehyung praises, leaning down to kiss the tip of Jeongguk’s cock—gleaming with precum. “You have the prettiest cock, too.”

All he can do is moan, high-pitched and pretty—

And He’s thankful. He’s thankful, because saying I love you is exhausting. It hurts a bit too. But why?

It doesn’t occur to him that maybe, maybe some part of him is mad at Taehyung, mad that he hasn’t spoken to Jeongguk at all for the past few days—

“Love you so much, Gukkie.”

It doesn’t occur to him that maybe, maybe some part of him is upset, upset because he has no right to be mad. They’re musicians.

This is what they do.

“Hyung,” Jeongguk breathes.

And, it doesn’t occur to him that maybe, maybe he wants something more from Taehyung, something more than an easygoing I love you like usual.

But this is enough, right? It has to be enough.

Taehyung’s everything.

“Yeah, sweetheart?”

“H—yung, can, can you, please pull m—my shorts a—and my underwear off?” Jeongguk blushes and pouts, looking so pretty when he does, “I feel silly.”

Gym shorts pulled down to Jeongguk’s mid-thighs, exposing his cock, and white shirt rucked up to his armpits, it’s all so—humiliating.

It’s embarrassing how hot he feels.

Taehyung laughs fondly—it’s endearing.

Before removing Jeongguk’s shorts along with his underwear, discarding the wet fabric onto the floor, he smears the boy’s own wetness all over his bare stomach, smooth skin dirtied with precum.

Taehyung coos, “You’re so cute, Gukkie.”

Jeongguk whines, scandalized at the humiliation.

But, regardless, he spreads his legs, exposing his pretty hole, too. He lets out a little sob, cheeks all wet from crying so much—and he starts to jut his hips up into the air uncontrollably, making beautiful little whining noises as Taehyung just watches him fall apart, fists still balled up so adorably. Fuck, he doesn’t know what to do with his body, it’s so—

“Please help me, hyung. I’m, I wanna come.”

“So soon, Gukkie?” Taehyung teases.

“I just, I just—”

Taehyung places his hand back on Jeongguk’s wet cock—sliding his hand with a slick up and down motion. “God, the slide’s so easy, babe. Don’t even have to use lube. You always get so fuckin’ wet for me, honey,” he praises. Looking up at Jeongguk—his big eyes oh so breathtakingly pretty—he asks, “You wanna come like this?”

Jeongguk’s breath stutters. “I, I—”

But then, Taehyung’s precum-slick fingertips are teasing at his hole and, oh, Jeongguk fuckin’ wails.

“Or like this?” Taehyung questions.

Jeongguk gasps, squirming all adorably.

“Taetae, I just, I just—” he doesn’t know what to do because anything, he’ll take anything because he’s a good boy. “Y—You can, I’m, whatever you want.”

Fuck, he’s incoherent. Fuck.

“Hm, I think I’ll make you come like this,” Taehyung hums, bringing his hand back on Jeongguk’s cock.

“W—Will you still fuck me?” he asks shyly.

“Oh, baby,” Taehyung whispers, not answering the question at all. And, Jeongguk can see Taehyung’s pretty cupid’s bow glitter as he kisses the tip of his cock. But when Jeongguk squirms at the touch, he smacks the boy’s unblemished thigh.

Lightheaded and lighthearted, Jeongguk whines.

“Stay still if you want to come, sweetheart. Just let hyung take care of you,” he whispers—upping the tempo and it’s unbearable, fuckin’ unbearable.

Fuck, it’s embarrassing how wet, how hard he is.

All Jeongguk can do is writhe like this, skin sweaty and lips fucking drooly, stomach smeared with his own precum. And he just takes it, takes it all—

“You take it so well for me, baby,” Taehyung rasps.

“Ah, ahng, h—hngh,” Jeongguk whimpers. “So g’d, f—feels so g—ngh—mngh—good. M—nh—ha—”

Incoherent. Fuck. I’m, it’s—

Fuck.

“I’m, oh, I’m—” Jeongguk’s hips go wild, fucking up into Taehyung’s hand, the wet squelching noises reaching their climax and it’s filthy, it’s obscene the way Jeongguk can’t stop hiccuping and sobbing and god, oh god he’s crying and drooling and he doesn’t know what to do with himself, and oh—

Oh, oh god, he’s spilt all over himself, all over his stomach and—he can’t stop coming, Taehyung’s fingers oozing all the cum out of him. Fuck. Fuck.

“O—Oh, uh, o—oh, hyun—g, mnah, ah, I, I—”

“Baby,” Taehyung coos, milking all the cum out.

Jeongguk hiccups a sob, “I, I c—came, hyung, I—”

Taehyung continues to stroke his cock, even as his hips stutter uncontrollably and can only whimper—

“Hy—yuh—ng,” Jeongguk whines, “I’m, it, m’cock, my cock’s so, so wet. ‘m so wet. I, I, came all over m’self. I’m so, I feel so—dirty. ‘m so wet, hyung.”

Taehyung laughs. “Cute,” he hums. “You’re cute.”

“ ‘m sorry, hyung. I didn’t mean to come. I’m just, baby’s just so sensitive ‘nd, ‘nd—”

Then, Taehyung goes to kiss Jeongguk’s wet lips (—still playing with his cum-slick cock), kissing him through all his cute and sated sighs, whimpers.

“You’re so pretty when you come,” he praises. “My pretty baby. You make me so happy—always.”

Oh.

But Jeongguk, fuck, Jeongguk’s weak-limbed and needy and, god, there’s cum all over his stomach, his thighs, and his cock. “Mngh, mna—hh, mnh—”

So Taehyung finally takes his hand off Jeongguk’s cock, rubbing his cum-slick fingertips by his hole.

Fuck. Oh fuck.

“Hyung!” he squeaks at the prodding fingers.

“I’m gonna get the lube, Gukkie—” Taehyung says, so stay still and pretty like this for me, okay?”

“Okay,” Jeongguk whimpers, writhing on the bed.

Fuck. He can feel the cum drying on his skin.

“Hey, Gukkie, which flavor do you want? I think the pineapple one’s almost empty because Jimin used it the other day—”

“He what—?”

“Yeah, I dunno I guess he was just horny and stuff and used my lube and all. Jerked off on the bed.”

“You’re okay with the fact that your best friend got off on this very bed we’re having sex on like now?”

“I mean, yeah; he’s my bro. He even told me. I was practicing and I think you were at a workshop. But, like, back when we were roommates and shared a dorm room together freshman year, he—”

“Taehyung—!”

“Babe, are you not cool with this? I can tell him to stop using my lube for jerking off here if you want.”

“It’s, it’s fine, I guess—?”

(Jeongguk’s more confused than he is bothered.)

“Okay, okay, okay—” Taehyung says. “Now which flavor do you want me to fuck you with?”

Jeongguk hums, wiping the sweat on his forehead away with the back of his hand. God, it’s hot here.

“Uh, peach—?”

Taehyung giggles, closing the drawer and flopping back onto the bed, Jeongguk’s favorite peach lube bottle in hand, and he kisses Jeongguk on the lips, kiss all messy and boyish and god it still makes his heart flutter and crescendo with love, love, love.

Jeongguk goes to unbutton Taehyung’s dress shirt, distracted by the kiss all too much (—he still gets it done, however, all blushes and heavy breathing).

“Love you, Gukkie,” Taehyung whispers again.

And, and with this, Jeongguk’s heart falls flat with a sharp decrescendo. God, he’s tired of it. All of it.

Why does it feel off, all of a sudden?

—it doesn’t occur to him that he’s mad; not at all.

Because, why would he be mad?

Mad that Taehyung thinks that saying I love you is enough? Mad that Taehyung thinks that intimacy is enough? Mad that, mad that it almost is enough?

Mad that Taehyung’s his everything?

(Mad because, Jeongguk is almost—only almost—everything to Taehyung. Everything, but not quite.)

But absolutely none of it matters when Taehyung clicks the lube bottle open, strawberry scents filling the apartment—pouring too much on his fingertips, letting it drip onto Jeongguk’s thighs, his cock.

“Hyung—!”

Taehyung’s fingers, wet with lube and cum, begin to rub at his hole (—god, it’s filthy, fucking filthy the way his pretty hole clenches, flutters open just for Taehyung) as he begins to kiss Jeongguk, too. It’s, it’s dizzying, how much he wants Taehyung—he’s breathless, breathtaking. This is all he wants. All.

He wants all of Taehyung, all of him.

And maybe that’s why he likes moments like these the best, where their hearts are beating slow and it really feels like they belong to each other.

Because when you get down to the heart of it, they take whatever they can, take it all as it comes—

But when did I love you stop feeling like it should?

Fuck.

“A—Ah,” Jeongguk breathes when a finger dips in, making him whine into Taehyung’s mouth. “Fuck.”

“I know, I know how much you like it when it’s wet.” Taehyung dips another finger in. “Like, really wet.”

Jeongguk nods—grinding back against Taehyung’s fingers until Taehyung pinches one of his nipples. And, fuck. Jeongguk gasps into Taehyung’s mouth, lets out a loud hiccup when he feels the fingers still inside him. Big eyes so confused, lips all pouty.

“Hyung—?”

“Lie back, baby. I’ll let you ride me later, okay?”

Jeongguk whines, pouting like a bratty bunny. “But, but I want, I wanna feel full, hyung. It’s, it’s, not—”

“C’mon, sweetheart,” Taehyung urges, slipping in a third finger, fucking into the boy too delicately, slow back-and-forth motions—from fingertip to knuckle. “Don’t you wanna be hyung’s good boy?”

“I do! I do!” Jeongguk insists, embarrassed as hot tears begin to fall down his cheeks. “Sorry. Baby’s, baby’s sorry. ‘m sorry, ‘m just, just so—”

“Just let hyung take care of you, darling, okay?”

Taehyung’s everything; he’s really—everything.

“Okay, hyung.”

“Good boy. Mine.”

“Y—Yuh—Yours.”

Fuck. Fuck. Taehyung’s fingers are so long, so big. With Taehyung gone the last few days (—oh fuck, don’t think about how much you missed him, don’t cry, don’t cry even more), three fingers is a lot. So, so much, and—fuck, is he getting hard again?

And then, then Taehyung slips in his pinky finger.

Jeongguk lets out a little gasp that tapers into a whimper, squirming like crazy until Taehyung slaps his inner thigh. Fuck, he can feel his cock dripping with precum again, washing over the spilt lube and sticky cum (—it twitches and Jeongguk shivers).

Taehyung fucks his fingers in at a delicate tempo.

“Ah, hyung. Feel, I, I feel good. It’s, it’s good.”

Fuck, Jeongguk can feel his hole clenching around the four fingers, fluttering open oh so beautifully—

“Hey, Guk. Can I keep going?”

Oh.

“Y—Yes. Just, just more lube.”

Fuck. Maybe he shouldn’t have said that, because Taehyung removes all four fingers, all four, and—god, his hole is cute and empty and leaking—goes to sit between Jeongguk’s thighs, goes to push his ass up until he’s propped up, put on display.

All his pretty hole can do is flutter open, clench around nothing, nothing at all—and leak, leak with lube and Jeongguk sobs at the embarrassment.

“More lube?” he asks, clicking the bottle open.

“Hyung—!” Jeongguk wails. Oh, oh god. Fuck.

Because, because—Taehyung pours the lube over his hole, pours it inside his open hole. Fuck. Fuck. It’s wet, too wet, too, too, too much. Too good. He, he, god—he can’t fuckin’ breathe, can’t think, can’t do anything but feel. Feel his cock get hot, heavy, and wet. Feel his hole get filled, full, and fucked.

Feel the tip of the lube bottle tease at his hole.

Taehyung squeezes the bottle, lets the liquid squirt into the boy’s achingly empty hole, lets the excess drip to his stomach, to his thighs, to his cock.

“Oh, oh, oh,” Jeongguk utters. “W—Wet. Wet.”

Taehyung laughs, gives the peach lube bottle one last squeeze before tossing it to the side, admiring the way Jeongguk’s hole oozes with peach lube.

Slipping his fingers back in, two then four, he picks up the pace, turns up the tempo—fucking him and giggling at the obscene wet squelching, giggling at Jeongguk’s whines and whimpers, giggling at how Jeongguk’s drooling again, at how his cock’s hard. And then, then he slips in his thumb, and oh god—Jeongguk’s so full, fucked full, filled with lube, filled to the brim with Taehyung’s entire hand, entire fist.

“Hngh, hm—nh, s’fu—so full. Hy—ngh, mmh—!”

“Awh, is my pretty baby gonna come again? Come twice without me even touching his pretty lil cock?”

“Can, can I? C—Can, can baby come?”

“Say please, sweetheart.”

Jeongguk lets out a little sob. “Please.”

Taehyung fucks his fist in and out of Jeongguk ‘til, until he’s crying, sobbing, and moaning all at once. He doesn’t even touch Jeongguk’s cock, this time, just lets the boy cum all over himself again, spilling sticky cum all over his stomach once more, thighs all drippy with lube and cum and sweat—

“Hyung, hyung,” he sobs over and over. “So big.”

Jeongguk’s hiccuping, incoherent and in tears, so—Taehyung whispers praises into his ear until his orgasm’s over (—he pretends like he doesn’t hear the I love you’s, that’s too much right now).

“Baby, you think you can take one more?”

Jeongguk laughs weakly. “Of course I can, hyung.”

He’ll take what he can get (—take it as it comes).

“You asshole,” the boy groans. “Your entire fuckin’ hand? Then your cock? You’re a fuckin’ asshole.”

You fuckin’ loved it, babe.”

“Still—!” Jeongguk whines. “I’m gonna be sore for days ‘cause of you. Everything ‘bout you is already abnormally big, ya monster.”

You fuckin’ love it, Gukkie.”

“Shut up!”

“Your hole was gaping by the end of it.”

“Hyung—!”

“C’mon, Guk, you can do the same to me once the competition’s over, tomorrow,” Taehyung promises.

Jeongguk pouts. “Oh, I’m gonna do so much more to you tomorrow night, then. It’s revenge, you ass.”

Taehyung smiles. “Good.”

(This, this is what he missed.)

Jeongguk cuddles closer to Taehyung with galaxy-washed skin and star-sparkling hair from the bath. Kissing Taehyung’s glittery cheekbone with a sigh, he utters, “You feel ready for tomorrow?”

“I think so. I think I am. There’s just a lot at stake.”

“I’ll miss you, if you do end up going to London.”

Taehyung breathes (—it feels off, something feels, feels off) and says, “It’s just a week I’ll be gone—”

“A week is a long time for me, hyung,” Jeongguk sighs, pouting as he kisses Taehyung’s mouth with kissy lips and sparkly eyes. “I’ll miss you lots.”

But Taehyung doesn’t say anything, just kisses him back slow (—slow, slow, slow), grabs his waist and holds him tight and it’s everything to Jeongguk.

(They kiss the whole night.)

Jeongguk thinks that he must’ve fallen asleep like that, lips on Taehyung’s, but he doesn’t remember.

“Hey, Jimin-hyung?”

Jimin groans sleepily over the phone.

Weird. It’s already one in the afternoon and Jimin’s never been one to sleep in on a Saturday morning.

“Hey, Guk,” he utters.

“Did you just wake up?” Jeongguk asks in awe.

“Mmm,” Jimin hums, groggy. “It’s fine. Keep going. I’m a little out of it, but, what’d you have to say—?”

Jeongguk bites his lip.

“I think I’ll work with Yoongi after all.”

“Really?” Jimin squeaks, high-pitched and excited. “Yoongi-hyung said that you were really against the idea yesterday.”

“Yeah, well,” he sighs. “If I don’t start working on it immediately, I’m royally fucked. And it’s not like I have any other options.”

Jimin laughs. “Yeah, I’m sorry that Yoongi was—”

A familiar voice interrupts him. “Babe? Who is it?”

“Hyung, is that Yoongi?”


(+1)


taetae
2:23 PM
you really were everything to me
i am sorry, jeongguk. i really am.

jeongguk
2:56 PM
i know you’re sorry
i am too, taehyung

[ Read 2:59 PM ]

Chapter Text

(-4)

Rewind four years to the first duet Jeongguk and Taehyung ever did together. Jeongguk, lips parted, bunny teeth peeking out, eyes all big at Taehyung, heart-shaped lips and glittery cupid’s bow smiling back at Jeongguk.

And, the thing is, it’s easy with Taehyung.

The duet comes easy. Jeongguk lifts his bow and breathes and Taehyung does the same—it’s easy.

Music is—easy.

The practice is hard, the rehearsals are tough, the performances are fun, but the music is easy—easy like being with Taehyung. Easy like it should be.

(But it will be four years until Jeongguk will start to wonder when it stopped being easy with Taehyung—when I love you’s stopped being enough.)


(0)

Happiness, Jeongguk finds, fades rather quickly.

“Jeongguk, Jeongguk, holy shit. Don’t tell Tae—”

“Jimin—!” he snaps. “What the hell?”

“Don’t tell Taehyung. He has the competition today and I don’t want him worrying about me, Guk, pl—”

(Taehyung left that morning before Jeongguk woke up. He didn’t even get to wish Taehyung good luck. But it’s nothing. It’s nothing. He’ll see him tonight.)

“You said you were at your parents’,” he states.

Jeongguk feels—hurt? Hurt at the lie (—it hurts).

“I know,” Jimin says. “I lied. I’m at Yoongi’s.”

Jeongguk’s fingers tighten around his phone.

“You’re not gonna say you’re sorry? For lying?”

Jimin sighs on the other end of the line. “I’m sorry,” he breathes. Putting his phone down for a second, hushed, he whispers to Yoongi, “Babe, can you—”

“I can still hear you,” Jeongguk hisses.

“Sorry, Guk,” he says, embarrassed. “Hyung, uh—”

The sheets rustle a bit—white satin crunching like autumn leaves. Jeongguk hears Yoongi groan, “I’ll go shower. My skin’s all gross with your cum.”

Jimin gasps. “Yoongi-hyung!”

Jeongguk shivers. “Gross.”

“Look, Guk, I—” the bathroom door shuts, audible to Jeongguk over the speaker, as Jimin takes in an uneasy breath, “—I didn’t wanna worry Taehyung before his competition, okay? He, he always gets so worried whenever, whenever I—”

“Sleep with Yoongi?” Jeongguk suggests.

“Yeah. Whenever I sleep with Yoongi,” Jimin says, matter-of-factly. “We always get into big fights and, and I didn’t want him to be in a bad mood.”

It hurts. It definitely hurts.

“What about me? You didn’t think I’d be worried?”

Jeongguk knows that he’ll always come second, knows he’ll always be number two to Taehyung, to Jimin, to his parents—but, but it always hurts when he’s reminded that he’s no one’s number one.

“I’m sorry.”

Jeongguk doesn’t know the implications of secrets, secrets like these—like Jimin sleeping with Yoongi. Jeongguk wears his heart on his sleeve and holds his secrets in his hands, threaded and patched for the whole world to see.

But this secret, this one is delicate, heartbreaking.

—it’s the first of many.

“Jimin,” he utters, “I care about you too, okay?”

“Yeah,” Jimin breathes. “I know. I’m sorry.”

Jeongguk licks his bottom lip, tasting his peach lip balm before he says, “He’s using you, y’know?”

The boy laughs. “I know that. But it goes two ways, Jeongguk. Me and him—we’re both selfish, here.”

“Hyung—”

“Just don’t tell Taehyung, please? I want him to do well today. Everything’s riding on this competition.”

—Jeongguk won’t understand the gravity of what Jimin just said, not until the rollercoaster build-up ends and all he has left is to fall.

“It’s just a competition.”

(Jeongguk thinks of last summer, where he went to Rome on vacation for a whole month. It was fine—he missed Taehyung, but, but it was fine. He knew that Taehyung would be there when he came back home. If, if Jeongguk can survive a month in Rome then Jeongguk can survive a week with Taehyung in London. It’s only a week. They’ll video chat all the time, just like they did before, when Jeongguk was in Rome. It’s not a big deal.)

Taehyung’s everything, but—he’ll live.

It’s only a week.

Jimin breathes, and the line goes silent.

“Yeah,” he sighs. “I guess you’re right.”

Jeongguk can’t help but feel like everyone’s hiding something from him. But it’s okay, he doesn’t think too much of it, as it is now.

GUKKIE GUKKIE GUKKIE GUKKIE!!!!!!!
BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY!!!!!
i won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i got first place in the competition!!!!!!!!!!!
buuuuuuuut it was all thanks to u gukkie!
my little good luck charm <3 i love u lots!
*・゜゚・*:.。..。.:*・'(*゚▽゚*)'・*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚・*

Jeongguk’s happy.

Happy for Taehyung.

Happy until Taehyung cancels on him, tells him he needs to sort out paperwork all night, tells him he’s gotta take a rain check on the congratulatory sex.

Tells him he’s really, really, really sorry.

(Jeongguk pretends like he didn’t buy a new bottle of Taehyung’s favorite strawberry lube as soon as Taehyung texted him that he’d won the competition—it’s silly, how excited he was when he bought it.)

It’s silly, how upset he feels.

Jeongguk knows (—he knows).

He knows he should be happy.

God, he feels fucking stupid.

(And, he feels even more fucking stupid at the end of the night, waiting for another call or another text from Taehyung. Waiting for nothing, nothing at all.)

Taehyung’s still here, still here in New York, so why does he feel so distant? So far away, unreachable. Taehyung’s his one and only sun—the only one in the world. But that’s the thing about being in orbit: you’ll never be able to touch the sun.

The next morning, Jeongguk wakes up to a storm of missed calls and his heart jumps, jumps just for a second (—thinking it was Taehyung, thinking that the string of unknown numbers, pluses, dashes he woke up to somehow meant Kim Taehyung). But—

Jeongguk’s heart falls right back down.

Being with Taehyung is like going on a sugar high (—all Jeongguk does without him is crash, really).

Sleepily, Jeongguk calls the number back, too tired to think anything through. Rubbing at his eyes, he rolls over onto his stomach and presses his phone to his cheek and right ear.

“Hello?”

“It’s Yoongi.”

“Ugh,” Jeongguk groans.

“Good morning to you too.”

“What do you want?”

“I’m free today, and I thought we could meet up to talk about the duet. Uh, do you have any pieces in mind, yet?”

Ravel Duo for Violin and Cello.

“No.”

Everything about Yoongi puts Jeongguk on edge.

He hates it.

Taehyung is easy, Taehyung makes him—happy.

(So why does he feel so upset whenever he thinks about Taehyung? Why does he feel like he’s about to cry right now because of Taehyung, because—)

“I’m sorry that you couldn’t do it with Taehyung.”

“I—”

“Jimin told me he was your first, well, only choice.”

Jeongguk hates Yoongi. He hates how, how upset he feels right now (—it’s because of Yoongi, it’s all because of Yoongi, not, not Taehyung).

“Yeah,” he says, feeling hot tears on his skin.

He thinks of Taehyung, teasing him for being such a crybaby. It made him feel babied, made him feel special and loved and, and—good. Happy.

Jeongguk’s always been a crybaby but Taehyung made it okay, called him cute, said he had a heart too big for his not-so-little body, and kissed all the tears away so—why, why does it hurt again? Hurt like it used to? Heart threaded and patched to his sleeve, all the tears sewed up, so—why, why is he embarrassed, why doesn’t it feel okay anymore?

“Uh—I, I don’t wanna talk about it, right now. Can, can you please stop?” he whispers, embarrassed.

“Shit, I’m sorry,” Yoongi hurries to say. “Are—you okay? We can reschedule. I, uhm, I’m sorry, Guk.”

It’s endearing, how quick he was to apologize.

“No, really, it’s, it’s fine. I’m fine. I’m just a little out of it. I’m really tired right now. But, but we can still meet. Go over some pieces. IMSLP and all—”

Yoongi laughs. “IMSLP it is.”

(And it feels like Yoongi wants to ask Jeongguk if he’s okay one more time—but the silence lingers.)

So, Jeongguk sniffles. “Where do you want to go?”

“I have a practice room booked on Sundays in the building by the dance studios from three to eight, you wanna meet around then?”

Dance studios, huh? Oh, right. Hoseok and Jimin.

Huh. Yoongi has a type.

“Sure, that’s good. I’ll bring some food.”

Yoongi laughs again. “Bring your violin.”

“Yeah, yeah. See you later, hyung.”

“Don’t feel too down, kid. You’ll be okay.”

Like saying that helps at all (—it does).

“Whatever.”

Jeongguk leaves the call feeling a little less empty, a little less lonely than before, but he’ll never admit it (—Yoongi’s an asshole, anyways).

Jeongguk doesn’t know what type of boba Yoongi likes, so he buys large taro and matcha milk teas, taro for Yoongi and matcha for himself (—he’ll just drink them both if Yoongi doesn’t like flavor).

Violin on his back, milk teas and lamb skewers in hand, Jeongguk knocks on the door to the practice room, chewing on his bottom lip, eyes big and shy.

“Hyung?”

“Come in—!” Yoongi calls.

Jeongguk opens the door with his left hand, drinks balanced on his right hand, food dangling from his arm in a plastic bag.

“Whoa,” Yoongi says, getting up to help Jeongguk. He takes the milk teas and the plastic bag of food, all surprised. “You actually brought food.”

Jeongguk blushes. “Well, uh, we’re gonna be here for a while if we’re gonna catch up on this project, so . . . ” Jeongguk goes to suck at his lip again, all shy (—god, he’s remembering how terribly each of their encounters have gone). Fuck. “And, I wasn’t sure what flavor boba you like, so I, uh, just—”

“Thanks,” Yoongi breathes. “Taro’s my favorite.”

And then he smiles all big at Jeongguk.

Stars constellated together in his eyes, Jeongguk stares at Yoongi now. Is that a Kumamon hoodie? Bear ears atop his head, sleeves of the oversized hoodie flopping adorably past his fingertips, Yoongi looks almost cute.

“Cute,” Yoongi hums. “You’re staring, y’know.”

“I like your Kumamon hoodie—!” Jeongguk blurts.

Yoongi outright laughs at him. “Cute. You’re cute.”

Jeongguk scrunches his nose.

“Thought you hated me, babe.”

Oh yeah.

Jeongguk huffs. “I do. You’ve been fucking with my friend’s feelings for years now. Cheating with him.”

(He was just caught off guard. Yoongi’s supposed to be an asshole. Not, not a Kumamon loving dork. Not, not—nice. Cheaters like Yoongi aren’t nice.)

Yoongi puts the drinks and the food down on the table by the piano. Jeongguk doesn’t see his face.

—he likes to think that maybe Yoongi showed a bit of weakness and didn’t want to show Jeongguk it.

Maybe.

“What food did you get?” Yoongi asks suddenly.

Jeongguk pouts at Yoongi for changing the topic.

“I got lamb skewers from the place next door.”

Yoongi’s eyes reflect the stars in Jeongguk’s. God, there’s that smile again. “Lamb skewers?” he asks softly, tenderly. Cute. It’s cute. Yoongi’s—cute?

“Yeah. Do you not like them, or—?”

“No! I, I really like them!” Yoongi shouts. “I, uhm, I used to go there with Jimin because Hoseok didn’t like lamb. But, uh—then I realized that Jimin didn’t like lamb skewers either and just lied about liking it so he could hang out with me.”

Oh, Jimin. Jimin.

“Haven’t gone in a while,” Yoongi breathes.

“I like lamb skewers too!” Jeongguk yells.

Yoongi smiles again. “You’re cute. Really cute,” he says, and it makes Jeongguk blush like the red of Yoongi’s Kumamon hoodie. “No wonder Taehyung likes you so much. Such a sweetheart.”

Taehyung.

Jeongguk wonders if Taehyung feels as lonely, as stupidly heartbroken as he does (—but already he knows the answer).

Taehyung.

Jeongguk wonders why he feels so upset every time he thinks of Taehyung, every time Taehyung’s name comes up (—this, this he doesn’t know the answer to, as obvious as it is).

Taehyung.

“A—Are you flirting with me?” Jeongguk questions. “Because, ‘cause, like, I’m not cool with that—”

Yoongi groans. “We’ve been over this, kid. Plus,” he adds, squinting his eyes, looking Jeongguk up and down, crossing his arms over his chest lazily, “You’re not even my type.”

“Good!” Jeongguk huffs, walking over to the piano and putting his violin case on the table next to it—the bright, plastic red of his case clashing with the black of the piano. “You’re not mine, either.”

Yoongi scoffs, sitting down on the piano bench and opening his laptop. “No one in the whole goddamn universe but Kim Taehyung is your type, kid.”

“Yeah,” Jeongguk grits (—it’s not like it’s untrue).

—but why does it hurt, hurt more than it should?

“But you’ll take any dancer you can get, right—? They’re all interchangeable to you, right, hyung?”

Yoongi laughs. “Wow, Taehyung’s a touchy subject today, huh? Usually it’s Jimin, but today it’s Tae—”

“Hmph.”

(Yoongi doesn’t seem to care about what he said.)

Jeongguk wonders why he’s trying so hard to hate Yoongi, why he wants to hate the boy so, so much.

—he wonders why it’s so hard to do, hate him.

“You’ve been so fucking moody and it’s only been five minutes,” Yoongi observes. He blinks a couple times—breathes out easy and bites his lip. Slowly, he asks, “Do, do you need to talk about something or . . . or about someone?”

Yes.

“No. No I don’t.”

“How ‘bout the Kreutzer?”

Jeongguk groans. “Everyone does the Kreutzer.”

“Introduction and Rondo Capriccio? Liebesleid?”

Jeongguk knows Yoongi’s fucking with him. “We’re not gonna doing shit from Your Lie In April. Loser.”

Yoongi laughs (—he smiles really pretty when he does, Jeongguk finds). “Fine, no Your Lie in April.”

Chewing on a tapioca ball, Jeongguk thinks of the time he and Taehyung watched the entire series together, binged it all in a night. He smiles fondly. But then the fondness turns to sentiment, then the sentiment turns to nostalgia, then the nostalgia turns into regret because fuck, when did it all start to go wrong?

—maybe it never began right to begin with.

“Schubert’s Fantasia?”

“Time limit’s twenty minutes. That’s fuckin’ long.”

“Fuck. Uhm—” Yoongi licks his lips, “Stravinsky’s Duo Concertante? Or Divertimento? I don’t know.”

“Stravinsky’s too hands on for a month of practice.”

Yoongi sighs, scrolling down. “Ravel violin sonata? Piano part’s kinda hard, kinda duet-like, you know.”

A deep breath. “No. No Ravel.”

Fuck.

“Yeah. His music’s kinda—wacky. Fuckin’ weird.”

But he’s Taehyung’s favorite, so Jeongguk likes it.

Pathetic.

Yoongi hums through the silence, hums a melody Jeongguk’s never heard before as he sips on his taro boba. Then Jeongguk hears some clicking (—two windows are open: one with sheet music, the other on Youtube playing the sonata).

It sounds nice—new. Jeongguk decides he likes it.

“Dvorak, Romance Op.11 for violin and piano?”

“Don’t know it.”

“Neither do I. But—come look at the sheet music. It seems pretty approachable for the both of us.”

Jeongguk leans over, hands between his thighs as he sips on his boba cutely, peering at the laptop, at Yoongi’s finger pointing at the screen.

“Nothing you can’t handle, right?”

“F minor’s a shit key but—” he scans through the music, “—the runs don’t seem too bad. But uh—it seems easy to learn but like, hard to be expressive with. It’s our first duet—this is a romance, after all.”

“Duets all come down to chemistry.”

Chemistry, huh?

It starts with piano.

The piano fades into the background, like summer fades into the backdrop. The piano fades like the summer, falls into winter and did autumn pass—?

It continues with violin.

They’re both sight reading this—it’s rough and it’s under tempo and Yoongi’s doing a much better job than Jeongguk is. But, but they stay together. They don’t fall apart in the notes or in the rests. Well, maybe they fall apart a little, just a little, but neither of them mind, mind as they fall apart and together.

Jeongguk breathes when Yoongi does.

The ritards slow to the beating of his heart and he thinks of Taehyung. Because—this romance strips you down to skin and bones, strips you down until you’re nothing more than the beating of your heart. He thinks of Taehyung during the highs and lows—during the rubatos and accelerandos. He’s nothing more than the beating of his heart so he thinks of Taehyung because his heart beats for Taehyung. Beats for that cellist, that boy from the countryside who told him it’s okay to cry, okay to feel sad—

Because all you gotta do is put it into the music.

So he puts it all into this shitty first reading.

Jeon Jeongguk wears his heart on his sleeve, all patched and threaded with violin strings and bow hairs because that’s how his heart beats. Between his fingertips is the space between planets, stars, the indefinite space between him and Taehyung.

Distance. How far is New York to London?

It can’t be much farther than the distance between his fingertips, or the distance between an orbiting planet and its faraway sun, its one and only star.

But Yoongi’s right there.

Dvorak—Romance Op. 11 in F minor, arranged for violin and piano. The piece ends with the violin and piano, gentle chords falling into a final cadence.


(+1)

taetae
3:09 AM
do you think anything would’ve gone differently?
if i had told you beforehand? if i had asked you?

jeongguk
3:10 AM
i think you would’ve left no matter what i said
and
i think we would’ve broken up no matter what

[ Read 3:11 AM ]

Chapter Text

(0)

There’s something obscene about this that anyone can appreciate. Maybe it’s the slick noises that just sound like the dirty squelch of lube and flesh or the loud whimpers and whines of that low-quality, filthy kind of porn that’s the right sort of disgusting—like that. Like—like the way Jeongguk arches his back, digs his nails into Taehyung’s skin. Or like the way Jeongguk’s hole—stained with cum, glistening with lube—takes cock so well, takes cock like it’s what he was made to do.

But—

(Jeongguk thinks he was made to love Taehyung.)

But it’s the sort of obscene that’s overwhelming.

Overwhelming like it’s all you can think about—like all you can feel is that delicate ache in your thighs as you ride. Like all you can feel is the fullness, the vulnerability, the space between you and him.

Jeongguk isn’t good at dirty talk. His words always come out too breathy, too whiny (—Taehyung says it’s adorable, but that isn’t the point of dirty talk).

But Jeongguk thinks that the heavy breathing, the wet squelches, and the high-pitched whines make music dirty enough for his skin to blush, go hot—

“God, I missed you,” Taehyung says. “Missed this.”

“Shut up,” Jeongguk utters, squeezing Taehyung’s stomach with his thighs, bruising Taehyung’s skin with his fingertips as he tries to keep the tempo. “I missed you too, jerk. Missed you more.”

Taehyung smiles, bright and lovely and Jeongguk’s heart beats fiercely (—so he picks up the tempo).

And this—this fullness, this vulnerability—is all he wants to feel. Because everytime Taehyung smiles at him or tells him that he misses him all Jeongguk feels is space.

Intimate space. Spacial intimacy.

Intimate loneliness. Lonely intimacy.

(And it’s all a fucking lie.)

But this lie—this physical lie is enough. Enough for now. This physical lie gives physical satisfaction—more than Taehyung’s easygoing I love you’s ever do. It’s like saying I love you but without the crash, the fall into the sea or the flight into the sun.

It’s everything but the complications of I love you.

Taehyung leaves for London tomorrow, Jeongguk thinks, thinks each time he looks into Taehyung’s eyes (—so he closes his eyes and just, just feels).

“I’ll miss you when I’m in London.”

“Shut up. I’ll miss you more. A lot more.”

Taehyung laces their hands together and god, god does Jeongguk’s heart beat like crazy, beat like it shouldn’t—because no one’s heart should beat for someone else (—but he lets himself fall anyways).

—and, fuck, Jeongguk can’t take it anymore.

(Jeongguk’s body goes still like that, just sitting on Taehyung’s cock—fucked to the brim—heart eyes staring down at the boy, lips parted so cutely.)

He just wants to feel happy.

(Is this happiness?)

Taehyung tugs him down for a kiss and says, “You blush really pretty. Must be the goodbye sex, huh? It is, huh? Don’t get all sappy on me, baby.”

“Shut up. You’re the sappy one,” he whines, pouty lips touching Taehyung’s for another smoochy kiss.

Jeongguk just wants to feel. Feel loved.

Taehyung giggles. “Love you.”

“Shut up.” (I love you more. A lot more.)

It’s only been a few days since Taehyung won the competition, but he feels more distant than ever—

Jimin went back to his apartment (—that’s what he says, but Jeongguk has a feeling Jimin’s staying at Yoongi’s place instead), so there’s no more reason to stay at Taehyung’s apartment anymore.

(Jeongguk says that he was staying there to keep Jimin and his broken heart company—but maybe it was the other way ‘round.)

He doesn’t really see Taehyung too often anymore with the boy too busy preparing for London.

London.

It’s just a week. Three and a half thousand miles.

But these days, Jeongguk just wonders why space seems stretched—why the distance between him and Taehyung seems to grow. It’s only been a few days since Taehyung won the competition, so why does he feel so faraway?

(Why is space stretching?)

Even now, as they drive to the airport, Jeongguk feels a stupid sort of longing. It’s stupid, the way Taehyung’s been making him feel lately. Stupid.

“Promise to Skype every night, okay?”

It’s the stupid, pathetic sort of longing.

Taehyung smiles. “Of course. It’ll be ten o’clock for me, five o’clock for you. Every single night, Guk.”

“Promise?”

“Promise.”

It’s the type foolish longing that makes you feel like an idiot, makes you feel pathetic. Jeongguk closes his eyes, cheeks blushing—it’s embarrassing how relieved he feels at the promise. (He’s never really gotten over his crush on Taehyung, not really.)

“Good,” Jeongguk hums, opening his eyes to look at his boyfriend, giggling oh so stupidly at the way Taehyung seems to blush, too. Maybe Taehyung never really got over his crush on Jeongguk either. (But crushes are innocent—and the way they love each other is anything but innocent.)

It’s a quick goodbye, an easy goodbye.

“You and Taehyung are the grossest, clingiest, and most codependent people I’ve ever fucking met.”

Jeongguk pouts, putting his phone down.

“Wow. Thanks, Yoongi-hyung.”

Yoongi’s wearing his dumb fluffy Kumamon hoodie again, browline glasses atop his nose bridge as he tries to explain the phrasing to Jeongguk. They’re both sitting cross-legged on the ground, their parts laid out in front of them.

“Stop sending cute selcas to Tae and start figuring out the phrasing for this section,” Yoongi demands. “I know it says pianissimo for the both of us, but I think that here—” he points to the sheet music, “—you can bring the melody up to mezzo piano while the piano emphasizes the chord progressions and the modulations during the major key change . . . ”

Jeongguk zones out.

Music theory is a bit of a bore to him.

Jeongguk feels his phone buzz with another notif, but then Yoongi’s staring him down and Jeongguk puts his phone on silent.

It’s ridiculous, really, the way Yoongi glares at him, fuzzy bear ears flopping down from his hood, fluffy sweater paws covering his hands. It’s weird, too—the way the fading bruises on his cheek and eyelid contrast with the ridiculous Kumamon hoodie.

(Taehyung was right. Yoongi is a dork.)

“Hey, hyung. The bruises look like they’re healing,” Jeongguk comments, blinking at the older boy who seems a little taken aback by the sudden remark.

“That’s ‘cause they are,” Yoongi says, scrunching his small nose, snuffling cutely and yawning tiredly.

Cute.

Jeongguk does this thing when he’s comfortable, does this thing where he just blurts out whatever’s on his mind. “Who beat you up?”

Yoongi squints his eyes. “Last time when I tried to tell you, it seemed like you didn’t wanna know—”

“That’s ‘cause you were being an ass,” Jeongguk whines. “I wanna know what happened with you.”

Breathing out a tired sigh, Yoongi utters, “You just don’t wanna discuss the phrasings for Dvorak.”

“That too.”

“It involves Jimin,” he says. “But you always get so protective and moody whenever I talk about him.”

Jeongguk lets out a small gasp. “Did Jimin—?”

Sunburst laughter, adorable and high-pitched. “No. God no. But that’d be funny. Really fuckin’ funny.”

Jimin loves you too much to hurt you.

“Oh, yeah. Are you two, like, dating now? Is that a thing now?” he asks, doe eyes big and questioning as his bunny teeth gnaw on his lower lip.

“It’s . . . complicated. I’ll tell you some other day.”

Jeongguk just pouts again. “Fine.”

“But—” Yoongi breathes, “I guess the quick answer is no. We’re not dating. We’re not together like you and Taehyung are together.”

“Then why are you sleeping together again?”

Yoongi licks his lips, looks away quickly. “It’s—”

“Complicated.”

“Yeah. Complicated.”

Huh.

Jeongguk feels like he and Yoongi just bonded.

Min Yoongi (—with his oversized Kumamon hoodie and floppy little bear ears and fluffy sweater paws).

(Gross.)

Min Yoongi.

He thinks back to his high school chemistry class, thinks back to that unit on intramolecular bonding. He can’t remember much about the periodic table, crystal lattices, or London dispersion forces, but—

“I still think you’re an asshole, by the way.”

He thinks back to that unit on balancing chemical equations (—he thinks about how absolute shit he was at it). He can’t remember much at all, but—

Yoongi laughs lightheartedly. “Yeah, Guk. I know.”

But Jeongguk knows three things for sure.

One: it’s hard to break an ionic bond.

Two: a chemical reaction is defined by change.

Three: stars made all the elements in our universe (—this, Jeongguk is wrong about, but he’s close).

And if all the stars made all the elements we know, then Jeongguk thinks that Taehyung must’ve made all the love in Jeongguk’s universe. But—why is it that Jeongguk’s universe seems to be changing?

Chemical reactions are defined by change.

“So, Dvorak?”

“Yeah. Dvorak.”

(His phone flashes with another notification again, but it’s silent this time. His lock screen, a picture of Taehyung kissing his lips, flashes bright and fades away. The curtains fall and the backdrop dims.)


(-1)

“Ah, hyung,” Jeongguk whines. “Hyung, hyung—!”

“What?”

“Your hand keeps shaking! The photo is all blurry!”

Taehyung laughs. “You’re so annoying,” he teases.

“Hyung!” Jeongguk whines again, pouting all cute. “You’re the annoying one! Keep your hand steady!”

The boy groans loudly (—but Jeongguk knows that Taehyung finds him too endearing to be bothered), and holds up Jeongguk’s phone again. He smiles at the camera, taking a couple of selcas in front of the new backdrop, a pretty shot of the seashore—like Jeongguk had wanted. Barefoot, they’ve been walking around the beach for awhile, glittery sand between their toes (—fingers laced together).

“Good?” Taehyung asks after taking the photos.

“Good,” Jeongguk decides, smiling at his boyfriend for indulging him, smiling the Jeon Jeongguk smile where his bunny teeth show and his eyes sparkle.

(Taehyung looks a little starstruck at Jeongguk and Jeongguk’s heart absolutely soars at the attention, at the way Taehyung looks at him like he’s the only thing that matters, at the way Taehyung’s eyes go all big and the way Taehyung’s lips go parted at his boyfriend’s smile, at how pretty his boyfriend is.)

“Wait, wait—” he says after a beat. “One more.”

Jeongguk just blinks at Taehyung. “Okay—?”

And so, Taehyung goes to take another photo with him, smiling wide at the camera so Jeongguk does the same (—he closes his eyes this time, feels the sun on his cheeks and the sun right beside him).

But then—

Jeongguk feels Taehyung’s soft lips on his, hears the shutter click of the phone camera and his eyes go open. And—Taehyung’s smiling at him, smiling that Kim Taehyung smile that Jeongguk’s fallen so, so in love with.

(Jeongguk blushes.)

“I think this one’s my favorite,” Taehyung says.

Jeongguk looks at the photo Taehyung took—

“Ah, hyung! This one’s blurry too!”


(0)

“God, even me and Hoseok weren’t like this, and I swear to god we annoyed the hell outta everyone.”

“That’s different,” Jeongguk says breathily, pouting at the camera and snapping another filtered photo to send (—it’s that cute bunny filter that Taehyung likes). “Me and Tae don’t cheat on each other.”

Yoongi gapes at him a bit; Jeongguk just laughs to himself, opening the snap just sent to him, giggling when he sees the video of Taehyung lip syncing to EXID’s L.I.E.

Sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall, he ignores Yoongi on the piano bench—continuing to send photos to Taehyung.

“Bitch.”

Jeongguk ignores him. “You said we could take a ten minute break. Go be gross with Jimin then—”

“We’re not dating,” Yoongi snaps. “I told you.”

Jeongguk scoffs. “Sext then. Or whatever.”

“You really want me to pull out my dick right now?”

(Jeongguk blushes, spluttering a bit in shock.)

“Fuck off—” he hisses. “Let me and Tae be gross.”

“He literally left yesterday.”

Jeongguk sighs, his fraying, uncoiling heartstrings clenching pathetically. “I miss him.”

“That’s called codependency,” Yoongi singsongs.

Jeongguk groans. “Fuck you. You seriously suck.”

“Love sucks.”

In Jeongguk’s ongoing crusade to hate Yoongi, he forgets that Yoongi just broke up with Hoseok (—or vice versa, he can’t really remember), forgets that Yoongi had just had his heart broken too.

But still, does Yoongi deserve his sympathy?

When it comes down to it, a big part of Jeongguk really does admire Yoongi, really does think Min Yoongi’s an amazing composer and musician, but, you see, it’s much more complicated than that.

(Maybe that isn’t Jeongguk’s right to decide.)

Jeongguk bites his lip (—it’s too late, sympathy for Yoongi has already grasped at his heartstrings).

“Yeah. Love sucks,” he ends up saying.

And that’s the thing that sucks about wearing your heart on your sleeve (—one of the many things). Jeongguk forms bonds too quickly, too easily. He feels that stupid, stupid ionic bond between him and Yoongi, his piano strings and keys wrapped around the fingerboard of Jeongguk’s heart.

Stupid.

Yoongi blinks at him, doesn’t say anything, just—

Blinks. Blinks again. Blinks a third time. A fourth.

“Taehyung never told you about the night I got into a fight, right?” Yoongi asks suddenly after the long silence.

(In a few days, Jeongguk will ask Yoongi why he so suddenly decided to tell him what happened. Yoongi will laugh and say, “I dunno, Guk. I think I just wanted you to stop snapchatting Taehyung like that. It reminded me of all the silly shit Hoseok would send me when we were together. I dunno.”)

Jeongguk shakes his head no.

“Long story short,” he says, “the day me and Hobi broke up, I went to Jimin’s place to—uh—to break things off too. I didn’t—uhm—I didn’t want to lead him on.” Yoongi stops, laughs, and goes on, “Well, I guess it didn’t really work, but, after I did, or—at least after I tried to, uhm, I went to a club. And, uh, it was a coincidence, but—” he laughs again, “—I ended up crashing into one of Hoseok’s friends—”

Jeongguk bites his lip again. Fuck.

“You know a kid named Namjoon? Kim Namjoon? Tall Korean guy, getting his masters in composition too?”

Jeongguk does.

Namjoon’s that nice TA in his composition class for beginners. Namjoon, that tall Korean guy, is that friendly, kinda stereotypical heartthrob on campus, except, he seems like the kinda guy who’d never break your heart (—too bad that’s not Jeongguk’s type of heartthrob). Too bad Jeon Jeongguk’s gone all-in, all-fuckin-in, on the other campus heartthrob, the boy who’s already broken his heart hundreds and thousands and millions of times.

Too bad.

“Yeah, I do. Did he—?”

“It wasn’t as big as the bruises make it seem. I just bruise really, really easily,” Yoongi says. “But well, yeah. Namjoon’s really close with Hoseok, and uh, I guess he heard. We kinda, uhm, got into a fight.”

Yoongi sounds on edge, sounds . . . like he regrets opening up to Jeongguk. But Jeongguk gets it. He understands. Trust is, is—scary. Trusting is scary.

“Kinda?”

“I didn’t really hit back. Uh, I mean, I deserved it.”

“You did—” Jeongguk breathes. “Hoseok probably really loved you. Like Jimin loves you.”

Yoongi smiles. “I know. I know that. Knew that.”

“Then why’d you—?”

Cheat.

Yoongi laughs. “I’ll tell you another time.”

Jeongguk scrunches his nose like a bunny, biting his lip. It’s unsatisfactory, not knowing the end or middle or the beginning of a story.

“Hmph.”

“Love sucks, Guk.”

(Yoongi sounds like he’s about to cry.)

“Yeah, it really does,” Jeongguk utters.

Trusting is scary, but trusting is easy when you wear your heart on your sleeve like Jeongguk. And trusting is easy, easy when you fall for heartthrobs like Kim Taehyung (—when you go all-fuckin-in for boys who break your heart like breaking cello strings, breaking piano keys).

“Bye, Guk.”

“See you tomorrow, Yoongi-hyung.”

up for skype sex babe?

The week passes uneventfully. Duet practice with Yoongi daily and Skype sex with Taehyung nightly.

The week passes uneventfully until Friday, a few days before Taehyung is scheduled to come back from London. It happens at Jeongguk and Yoongi’s Friday afternoon rehearsal. It’s four o’clock; they’re two hours in (—one hour to go). Jeongguk asks for another ten minute break, mostly to text Taehyung.

He sits in his usual position, knees pressed to his chest, sitting back against the wall by the piano.

Yoongi’s playing a piece from memory—

Jeongguk almost blurts out that it sounds like a song from a video game soundtrack, but he stays quiet in anticipated and inevitable embarrassment.

(He thinks it’s one of Yoongi’s compositions.)

“I like it,” Jeongguk says instead. “The piece you’re playing right now. I like it. It sounds really pretty.”

Yoongi stops playing, fingers winding to a stop. He smiles at Jeongguk, gummy and bright and cute—

“Thanks. I’m working on it for Jimin’s recital.”

Jeongguk laughs. “Jimin. Of course it’s Jimin.”

“And—?”

Jeongguk laughs again. “Nothing. It’s nothing.”

I think you like him more than you think you do.

Yoongi pouts before playing the piece again.

But then Yoongi stops again, stops mid-piece.

“Hey, I forgot to ask you this, but—have you heard anything from Tae about the London fellowship?”

Jeongguk blinks. “What?”

“The London fellowship,” Yoongi enunciates.

Jeongguk blinks again. “The . . . the what?

Yoongi’s lips part, eyes going wide. “Wait,” he says slowly, “did, did Taehyung not tell you about it—?”

“About what? London, London’s just a week long thing,” Jeongguk utters. “It’s just a week—a week.”

Right?

Yoongi looks away, looks back. “He didn’t tell you.”

Jeongguk feels this, this—feeling in his stomach. It doesn’t feel good. Doesn’t feel like it should. Fuck.

“Tell me what?”

Yoongi breathes slow, breathes deep. “It’s not just a week. I mean, it is, but—if they like him they’re gonna offer Taehyung a fellowship to come back and stay in London for the semester, or the year, or even the summer. They might even offer him a permanent job too, if they really like him. Depends, but, knowing Taehyung, they’re gonna like him. It’s an informal thing. An informal formality.”

Jeongguk doesn’t know what to say, what to feel.

For it’s an empty crescendo in his heart and a loud diminuendo in his chest. Breathing has never been easy, not to Jeongguk. “How do you know?”

“Guk, I won the competition. Three years ago.”

He balls up a fist. “He didn't tell me about this.”

“Tae probably doesn’t plan on taking the offer.”

(They both know that’s a lie.)

“Maybe he just doesn’t know—”

“He does. We’ve talked about it.”

God, it hurts. When did it start hurting so much—? When did loving Taehyung begin to hurt Jeongguk more than it made him happy? When?

“You . . . you’ve talked about it?”

“It’s, it’s a major opportunity. You get a job with one of the best professional orchestras in the world straight out of college. And, and the fellowship can lead to a permanent position,” Yoongi explains. He closes his eyes, breathes out then in. “I turned it down when I had went to London ‘cause I already knew I was gonna come back and get my master’s degree in composition here in New York. Because, the fellowship’s a performance based opportun—”

“Taehyung’s going into performance.”

Yoongi looks sorry. “Yeah. He is.”

“Taehyung’s . . . gonna leave again?”

(Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Please, don’t cry.)

“I, uhm, I—” Yoongi splutters, unsure.

(Don’t cry, Jeongguk. Please, don’t cry.)

“He, he’s gonna leave without, without telling me? He, he told you that, that he, he told you and not, and, and not me? He lied? Lied to me?”

(Please, please don’t cry in front of Yoongi.)

“The decision won’t be final for another week or so or, I don’t know. I think, I think so. I don’t, I don’t—”

“He’s gonna come back just to leave again?”

(Too late. Too late. Stop crying. Please.)

Yoongi finally walks over to Jeongguk, all curled up into a pathetic little ball, clutching his phone—feet and fists all balled up too. He’s shaking.

Jeongguk knows he’s crying. Knows he’s pathetic.

“H—He, he, he didn’t even tell me about, about the fellowship. We called and Skyped and snapchatted and texted throughout the entire week and, and, and he, he didn’t even, didn’t even—?”

Didn’t even tell me.

“Guk, I—” Yoongi kneels down to face Jeongguk. “I shouldn’t have been the one to tell you. I, I thought that Taehyung already told you. I’m sorry.”

Jeongguk knows he’s crying but all he can feel are the wet tears on his face, his bangs getting all wet. Yoongi brushes Jeongguk’s hair back and away from his face. He looks back at Yoongi, big eyes spilling with tears and it’s pathetic, fucking pathetic that he’s crying.

“Guk.”

He slaps Yoongi’s hand away and gets up, wipes the tears away with his sleeve (—some tears get caught on his gentle heartstrings). “I’m going.”

Pathetic. He’s pathetic.

Crying over something as stupid as this.

Stupid. He’s fucking stupid over Taehyung. Stupid over a boy who has never and will never love him the same. Stupid. Fucking stupid.

“Jeongguk, I think I should go with you, or—”

He packs up as quickly as he can, hastily packing his violin and his bow and all his sheet music away and gone and fuck. Fuck, he doesn’t know what to do. Fuck, he doesn’t know, doesn’t know.

How do you breathe with your heart underwater?

“Jeongguk,” Yoongi calls. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

“Neither did I,” Jeongguk breathes, sniffles. Fuck.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to walk with you? I can call Jimin—”

Jeongguk already feels pathetic as is. “No. I’m fine by myself. I’m going. Sorry we didn’t go the whole three hours. Sorry I’m freaking out.”

Pathetic.

“Don’t be sorry. We can reschedule for tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” Jeongguk utters. “Whatever. I’m going.”

Trusting is scary, but trusting is easy.

Especially when you give your heart to a boy like Kim Taehyung, when you give everything you have and maybe a little more to a boy who’ll love you no more than his selfish heart can handle.

Trusting is scary—but trusting is easy—because in every universe, Jeongguk will always, always give more than he has.

Love more than his heart can take.

When Taehyung calls later that night, for their daily Skype call, Jeongguk doesn’t answer.

He doesn’t answer for the rest of the week.

It hurts, it really does. It really hurts when you give up everything you have (—everything you are) for someone who’ll never do the same for you.

It really hurts when they don’t even say sorry.


(+1)

taetae
12:00 PM
would you have asked me to stay?

jeongguk
1:02 PM
would it have mattered?

[ Read 7:29 PM ]

Chapter Text

(-4)

“You know I like you, right?” Taehyung blurts out.

Jeongguk’s breath stops. Because, the thing is, he does know. Fuck. Everyone in the whole orchestra knows that Taehyung likes Jeongguk. He knows—

But it still makes his heart beat faster than ever.

“Y—You do?” he stutters out dumbly, smiling wide.

Taehyung blushes, bites his lip. “Yeah, I like you.”

God, Jeongguk’s never felt more butterflies in his chest, so he brings his hands up to his face (—he feels a little silly, but he’s still smiling like crazy).

“I, uh—” he peeks at Taehyung through his fingers, hiding again in embarrassment when he sees how fond Taehyung looks. “I like you too.”

Taehyung lets out a soft breath (—Jeongguk’s still effortlessly so breathtaken), and smiles. “Take your hands off your face, Gukkie,” he says.

Jeongguk does so, sucking on his bottom lip and blinking down at the ground, hands balled into cute little fists. God, the butterflies fluttering in his chest. He’s so gone for this boy, heart beating in rhythms, unsteady as ever, aching in that breathtaking I’m in love way. And when it comes down to it, Jeongguk is always in the mood for love.

(Taehyung? Taehyung . . . not so much.)

“You’re really cute when you’re embarrassed.”

“Shut up. You’re blushing too, loser.”

Taehyung’s got bright suns wedged in his cheeks like orange peels and, and maybe that’s why he’s smiling so wide. “Can this loser kiss you, then?”

Jeongguk’s got shy moons tucked deep in his eye crinkles like lotus leaves and that’s why, that’s why it feels good, moonlight and sunlight be damned.

“Do your worst.”


(0)

Buzz. Buzz.

“Taehyung comes back tonight.”

“I know. Fuck off.”

“You can’t ignore him forever,” Yoongi hums as he starts off the piece. “He’s your boyfriend and your best friend.”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk bites. “I can’t play and talk.”

“You wouldn’t listen to me when we were taking a break, so . . . ” Yoongi utters, placing his fingers on the keys with an endearing gentleness. “He’s your first love, and you’re his. Just—just be careful. You can get over this, if you want. First loves suck but,” Yoongi holds out a chord, looks back at Jeongguk, “you two don’t. Okay? Just talk to him.”

Jeongguk ignores Yoongi and plays on.

(He won’t admit that Yoongi’s words make him feel just a little bit better, a little less lost . . . feel good.)

You can get over this, if you want.

But—what does Jeongguk want?

(To be loved. To be someone’s number one.)

By the end of the piece, Jeongguk feels a little less empty than before. Music has that amazing ability to strip you bare till you’re bleeding bones, fill you whole and break you apart. Over and over again.

It’s the sort of raw that leaves you aching.

And Jeongguk’s stripped naked, again and again, filled to the brim with piano keys, broken apart by cello strings, over and over again till he’s bleeding his tired heart out—strung out and worn down.

Buzz. Buzz.

Jeongguk doesn’t read any, any of the messages Taehyung sends him. (He knows he’d forgive him far too soon if he does. Jeongguk’s weak like that.)

But, the thing is, if he had read Taehyung’s latest message, he would’ve seen that Taehyung’s flight came in an hour earlier than planned.

Something about the weather.

Something about the moontide.

So Jeongguk goes back to his apartment after the practice session—violin on his back, heart on his sleeve. He knows he’s overreacting, knows that he should talk it out with Taehyung. But—

(Jeongguk’s lovesick heart is sick of heartbreak.)

Talking is tiring, and Jeongguk’s heart is tired.

Jeongguk’s heartstrings, just like violin strings, can only take so much before they snap.

Unlocking the door latch, Jeongguk’s eyes go wide when he sees Taehyung walking over to him. This, this wasn’t the plan. The plan was for Jeongguk to go to Taehyung’s place, meet up with him there—

(A plan Jeongguk was gonna ditch.)

Not for Taehyung to be at Jeongguk’s apartment.

He looks good. In a black dress shirt, skinny jeans, and those knockoff Gucci slides Taehyung bought off Ebay. He looks good.

It hurts a bit, how good he looks.

Happy. Taehyung seems happy.

“Tae—”

Jeongguk’s pulled into a hug. And that’s the thing: how do you breathe when your heart’s underwater and there’s no one to pull you afloat?

“Why didn’t you respond to any of my messages?” Taehyung whispers, holding Jeongguk tight. “I, I—”

Jeongguk holds him tight, too. Holds him too tight.

“You missed me?” Jeongguk finishes.

“I missed you,” Taehyung utters. “I thought, I don’t know, I, I thought something happened to you, but then I asked Yoongi-hyung and he told me that you were fine, so, so—”

Jeongguk rests his head on Taehyung’s shoulder.

Taehyung holds onto him like he’s a teddy bear.

“I thought your flight was coming in later,” he says.

“We, we arrived at the airport early. I texted you.”

Clutching at his boyfriend’s shirt, Jeongguk stops himself from saying sorry. “I didn’t see your text.”

Oh. His voice is breaking. Pathetic. Stupid. Fuckin’ lovesick idiot. His delusional daydream is ending—

“Jeongguk, what—”

“How was London?” he breathes. Breathes heavy. Breathing is hard; it’s always been hard, especially now. Jeongguk hates feeling so helpless like this.

Hates feeling so dependent.

Hates being no one’s number one.

Hates not being enough for Taehyung.

—for anyone.

Taehyung pulls back a bit to look at Jeongguk. He takes a hand away from Jeongguk’s waist to touch Jeongguk’s lips, fingertips playing with the bottom. “I missed you,” he says. “That’s all that matters.”

“Loser.”

“This loser missed you like hell.”

Missed you too. But Jeongguk doesn’t say that. He doesn’t want to admit it, doesn’t want to admit how fucking weak he is for Taehyung’s attention.

Jeongguk’s the real loser in this game.

(People in love are selfish. Pathetically so.)

Jeongguk stares back into Taehyung’s eyes.

“Did you have fun in London?”

“No,” Taehyung says stubbornly (—but, still, it feels like a lie). “You ignored me the whole week. Were—” he pauses, “—are, are you mad at me?”

It makes Jeongguk go red-hot—go blueblack—that Taehyung even needs to ask him if he’s mad. It, it makes Jeongguk feel like shit. It’s not supposed to feel this way, right? Love isn’t supposed to be this.

Right?

Rose vines have thorns and petals all wilt but the beauty is supposed to overcome the sorrow, right?

Jeongguk feels loved, but—he feels a selfish love. It’s the kind of love where you feel like you’re worth nothing, worth only what you are to your lover.

Bunny teeth sucking on his bottom lip, Jeongguk looks Taehyung in the eyes and lets go of his shirt. Jeongguk asks, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Jeongguk wants to pretend like he means more to Taehyung than he does, but pretending is tiring—

“Tell you?”

“About the fellowship,” he utters.

Taehyung goes still, blinks and breathes slow. “Did Yoongi-hyung tell you?” He doesn’t sound mad—

Defeated, maybe.

“He thought you already told me. Why didn’t you?”

Taehyung takes his hands away from Jeongguk’s body and rubs at the back of his neck with his right hand. The pathetic thing is, Jeongguk’s waist feels naked, feels bare without Taehyung’s hand there.

Fuck.

“I’m sorry—” Taehyung says.

Jeongguk winces. “Is that it?”

“What do you want me say?”

“Don’t be a fucking jerk,” Jeongguk bites. “Don’t be an asshole. Don’t be that asshole who only thinks about himself.” Jeongguk pushes past Taehyung to put his stuff down on the couch. Fuck this.

And Taehyung just—stands there. “I’m sorry.”

“Why didn’t you ask how I felt about you leaving?”

Breathe out. Taehyung breathes out, smiles in that heartbreakingly Taehyung way. “Guk, don’t y’think you’re expecting too much from me?”

Blink. Jeongguk blinks. “Too much? Y—You, I—”

Too much?

“Too much would be asking you to be my boyfriend any earlier than I did. To be my boyfriend within the three years we knew we liked each other.”

“I wasn’t ready for a relationship, you know that—”

They’ve been boyfriends for just a year, remember.

Taehyung was afraid of labels, then (—still is).

And Jeongguk, Jeongguk’s afraid of endings.

“Too much would be not waiting to ask, not waiting for you even though I knew you weren’t ready. Too much would be if I asked you to move in with me even though we basically live together already.”

Taehyung’s voice is soft when he says, “You know I’m not ready for that.”

“I do know,” Jeongguk breathes. “And that’s why I never asked again after that one time. So how the hell can you say that I’m expecting too much from you? So how the hell can you tell me I’m expecting too much from you when I waited three years—”

“I’m sorry,” Taehyung yells. “Okay, I’m sorry.”

(But everything he says just feels insincere.)

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

(Taehyung doesn’t answer.)

“Did you take the offer?”

(Jeongguk knows the answer, but, but—)

Bottom lip wobbling, Taehyung utters, “I did.”

You’re leaving.

“Tae, did you ever plan on telling me? Or were you just gonna leave and say goodbye to Jiminie and Yoongi-hyung and not even bother to tell your boyfriend?” And, god, Jeongguk feels like shit—he never thought Taehyung would make him feel this way. Never thought Taehyung would make him feel anything but happy. “I thought—I thought we were best friends.”

You’re leaving.

Jeongguk’s been in love with his best friend since he was fifteen. Fifteen. Jeongguk’s loved his best friend since he was fifteen. Fifteen.

It’s a love song but none of the chords resolve. It’s a love song for losers in love who know nothing but how to love (—it’s a love song for losers in love who know everything but how it feels to be loved).

“Do I mean that little to you that you wouldn’t even consult me? Or tell me at the very least?”

“Jeongguk, you’re everything.”

“Everything? I’m not even enough.”

(Enough for you to want to stay.)

—but that last bit gets cut off.

Taehyung looks a little heartbroken (—not enough) but it’s like the sharpness of piano staccatos—not broken but aching, not broken like Jeongguk.

And yet, the thing is, it’s all about perspective.

Perspective is everything; a broken, selfish heart like Jeongguk’s knows nothing but what it feels.

And, ultimately, love and attention are one and the same to a broken, a selfish heart. What Taehyung feels doesn’t really matter (—how can it, when he’s broken Jeongguk’s heart so many times?).

“Guk, baby, I—”

“Hyung, there has to be a reason why we didn’t start dating until just a year ago. Why you were too afraid to make it official for three fucking years.”

—Jeongguk doesn’t even know what he’s saying anymore. He doesn’t know where this is going. He didn’t even want to see Taehyung tonight. But, you see, all he knows is that he’s holding back tears.

He’s loved Taehyung for five years, and that’s what makes him weak, what makes him feel broken.

(Crybaby.)

“Why do you keep pushing me away?”

“I’m, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I, I—”

“Lately, Taehyung, y—you don’t, y’don’t make me happy. You make me feel shit. Everything you do.”

And, with that, Taehyung rushes over to Jeongguk, cups his cheeks with both his hands, places a soft kiss on his lips. “Jeongguk, don’t, please don’t—”

Jeongguk kisses back, mouth squished so sweetly to Taehyung’s—lips puckered in the innocent kiss. And their lips stay like that for a few beats, barely moving in the closed-mouth kiss. Jeongguk closes his eyes and just, just feels Taehyung lips on his.

“I’ll be better,” Taehyung promises against his lips.

Jeongguk likes kissing (—loves kissing), but—

“How can you be better when you’re leaving?”

The number of times Jeongguk and Taehyung have kissed is countless, infinite, innumerable, yet this one, this kiss is the sort of breathless kiss that makes you fall into stars and live like you’re infinite because you’re not—because this is all you have, a boy you love (—you want him to love you back). So you just feel the love like it’s been written in the stars and ignore the fact that they’ve been crossed by the gods.

And you feel.

Feel.

The number of times Jeongguk has kissed him is uncountable (—because you can’t count the stars) and the number of times Taehyung has kissed him is unlimited (—because you can’t limit the stars), but it’s when the tides are right and the stars are gleaming that kisses are breathless, breathtaking.

Jeongguk likes kissing (—loves kissing).

It’s such a shame that the tides change, that the stars blink out and you and your universe are left with your one and only sun, the only one you have.

Interlude: they kiss. But the interlude ends quick.

You can’t count the beats in a kiss that makes you breathless, because that kiss is all you have.

Jeongguk pulls back (—pulls away from Taehyung) but the kiss and all its innumerable stars linger on his lips, their love be damned. There’s stardust in Taehyung’s hair and starlight in Jeongguk’s eyes—but it’s such a shame, such a fucking shame when the stars blink out black and all you’re left with is two boys who want to love more than they can.

Jeongguk takes his hands away from his face and holds them tight, holds him tight—fingers laced, palms smushed, and bodies close. “I, I know how important this is to you,” he utters. “But I thought that I was important, too.”

“This is my future.”

Oh. “I thought that I was your future.”

Taehyung sputters, “You are, you—”

“Do you not trust me to respect your dreams?”

“If I had told you,” Taehyung begins, “I thought you would ask me to stay. And, and, if you asked me to stay, I would’ve stayed. And I don’t want to stay. You, Jeongguk, you’re my only reason for staying here. You’re everything to me.”

Oh.

They’re holding onto each other tight (—so tight).

Taehyung’s afraid (—so, so heartbreakingly afraid) of getting too close but he’s more afraid of losing Jeongguk. More than anything in the whole damn universe, he’s afraid of losing Jeongguk.

—but sometimes dreams overcome fears.

“I would’ve told you to go.” Jeongguk would’ve.

“I’m sorry. I, I thought, I thought—”

Oh. Taehyung’s voice is breaking too, eyes glassy—maybe they’re both losers stupidly in love, here.

Taehyung’s a dreamer. He wished upon a star and, and his dream came true. He may have lost some things along the way but, but his dream came true.

“I’m an obstacle, aren’t I?”

“Jeongguk, no. Of course not, you—”

I’m everything?” Jeongguk rasps. “I’m nothing but the person keeping you here. Tae, I—I’m, I’m your boyfriend. I’ve been your best friend for five years.”

“Jeongguk.”

“I’m an obstacle.”

“Guk, baby, please.”

Heart strings, just like violin strings, can only take so much before they snap. “I can’t take it anymore. I can’t take this anymore. I can’t take you.”

“Jeongguk.”

It doesn’t feel like heartbreak, but, but it is—?

(The heartbreak will soak in, but not now, not yet.)

“Tae, you have trust issues. You have commitment issues. Go. Go to London. Stay there. Just go, go.”

And, and then Taehyung lets go of his hands, lips parted and eyes glossed over, just blinking slowly.

“A—Are we breaking up?”

“Are we?” Jeongguk utters, breathless.

“This is a stupid thing to break up over.”

“Tae, it, it’s not just this. It was never just this.”

Everything, everything hurts. “Jeongguk, baby.”

Jeongguk’s apartment is filled with twinkling stars innumerable and Taehyung is the brightest one of them all. Even now, even now he’s the brightest—tears shine down his cheek, glittery and gleaming.

Please don’t cry, Jeongguk thinks, then I’ll cry.

“I don’t want to be the person holding you back.”

“Guk, you’re not holding me back—”

“Y—You literally told me that I was the only person keeping you here and away from your dreams. I’m an obstacle. You didn’t tell me about the fellowship because I’m an obstacle.”

“Please, Jeongguk. Don’t.”

“I don’t want to, but, but I can’t do this anymore.”

But Taehyung cups Jeongguk’s cheeks again, and in that breathless moment he kisses him again, kisses him in that same innocent way except all Jeongguk can taste is saltwater on his lips. But he pulls the boy close to his beating heart and never lets him go and Jeongguk just tries not to cry, tries not to be the crybaby he is.

“Jeongguk, I love you,” Taehyung breathes, crying against Jeongguk’s lips, too afraid to let go of the boy (—too afraid he’ll lose him forever). “Please don’t break up with me. Please don’t, don’t do this. I’m sorry. I’ll be better. I, I’ve loved you so long now and, and I don’t, I don’t think I’ll ever stop. Please, please don’t do this. Please don’t let me go.”

“I love you too. I’m sorry that I couldn’t hold on any longer. I love you too. I’ve loved you since I was fifteen. I don’t think I’ll ever stop either. I’m sorry.”

“I love you I love you I love you. Please.”

And that, that’s what makes Jeongguk’s heart sink, what makes the heartbreak, the sadness soak in. I wish you loved me more, Jeongguk thinks.

“Please don’t cry, Taetae. You’re making me cry.”

“Please don’t break up with me. Please. I love you. Please don’t do this. I’m sorry I’m a shit boyfriend. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I’m sorry. I’ll do better. I’m sorry I kept it a secret. I’m sorry. Please, Guk.”

Jeongguk hugs Taehyung and lets his heart rest in his. Lets his broken heart become Taehyung’s, but really, his heart’s never been his own. It’s never a romantic thing when two hearts bloom into one, for you should never let your heart beat for someone else—that only ends in heartbreak.

“Don’t be sorry, hyung,” he utters. “You don’t need to worry about being a good boyfriend anymore. I loved you enough for a lifetime. It was enough.”

Only ends in heartbreak when you love like liquor.

Taehyung’s a dreamer, and Jeongguk—?

Jeongguk’s a lover. “I love you, Taetae.”

Dreams shine bright. “I love you too, Gukkie.”


(+1)

taetae
7:30 PM
i’m sorry

jeongguk
7:32 PM
it’s okay taetae
i’m happy now
happier, now—

[ Read 7:36 PM ] 

Chapter Text

(0)

First, Jimin:

guk, u need to answer my calls
please stop leaving me on read
we need to talk about this, guk
you’re gonna get back together
right? jeongguk? you… have to
you two are gonna be fine
you’re gonna get back together
jeongguk please i’m so worried
:( taehyung’s not doing so well

(And you think I am?)

He ignores the texts. It’s easy to push Jimin away.

Then, Yoongi:

hey kid…. jimin’s really worried
he wont tell me what happened
but do you need to talk?
need to cancel our practice at 4?
jimin’s really fucking worried guk

(Jimin’s worried about Taehyung.)

He replies with: i’m fine, hyung. 4pm is fine.

Fuck. Jeongguk needs to get out of bed, needs to stop crying into his pillow each time he opens up his phone and sees that stupid fucking selca that he and Taehyung took together. Fuck. Fuck this.

“All my firsts belong to you—” Jeongguk mumbles to his phone sleepily. “How the hell do I move on?” He stares at the 4:03 PM on his screen, stares at the photo of Taehyung kissing his lips and catching him off guard, that day at the beach. It’s pathetic.

He’s pathetic, talking to his fucking lock screen.

“God,” Jeongguk groans. “This is fuckin’ stupid.”

Fucking stupid that I haven’t left my bed in days.

Jeongguk’s eyes are red-rimmed from crying, nose stuffed from sobbing snot all over his pillows, chest heavy from all the gasping for breath. Pathetic.

Talking to myself ‘cause I’m fucking lonely. Fuck.

“Should get out of bed,” he utters to himself while rubbing his wet eyelids with his sleeve. “I’m late for practice already.” Sniffling, Jeongguk sits up, dizzy, and tries to ground himself, tries to breathe.

It’s hard to think of anything but the breakup.

Hard to do anything but think of the breakup.

(To feel anything but regret and loneliness.)

As Jeongguk wipes away another fallen tear, he thinks about how the breakup had been the first time he’d seen Taehyung cry in a long, long time.

“I shouldn’t have broken up with him,” he whispers to himself, hollow heart broken beyond repair. “I—”

His words are cut off by a loud sob, a sharp gasp.

He doesn’t know what to do without Taehyung. So, so—god. God what does he do? What does he do now? He curls up into a ball and hugs his knees—

“I miss him.” Jeongguk begins to slip.

Miss his lips and how he’d kiss me to wake me up.

Touching his plump bottom lip—chapped and a bit bloody from biting it so much to muffle his crying—Jeongguk lets out quietly, “I miss him so much.”


(-1)

“Mngh,” Jeongguk moans. “Hyung, hyung—”

“Yeah, baby?” Taehyung whispers, separating from his mouth with a loud, slick pop—licking teasingly.

Jeongguk pants, gripping Taehyung’s waist hard enough to bruise the sides of his squishy stomach. “You, you—guh—you need to stop,” he whimpers.

“Hm? Why’s that, darling?”

“ ‘m gonna, ‘m gonna get addicted to it,” he whines with a dazed look, a pouty frown. “Not gonna want to do anything but kiss you. Not fair, hyung.”

“What’s wrong with that?” Taehyung rasps, licking up Jeongguk’s neck until Jeongguk’s gasping for a reprieve, gasping for more (—for another kiss).

Jeongguk only whines louder and pulls Taehyung closer. “Love you too much. Love you so bad—”

“Mmm,” Taehyung hums with a slight giggle. “Love you too, Gukkie.” Taehyung pulls away to kiss his nose and flash a bright smile at him. “Good morning.”

“Good morning, hyung,” Jeongguk beams, happy.


(0)

“Good morning?” Yoongi asks questioningly when Jeongguk walks in, dressed in sweats. It’s painfully obvious that Jeongguk just left his bed, that he just left his apartment for the first time in days.

“It’s . . . five o’clock,” Jeongguk responds.

Yoongi blinks slowly at him. “That’s the joke.”

Jeongguk gives Yoongi an empty look. “Funny.”

—and with that, Yoongi looks like he wants to say something snarky back to Jeongguk, but he bites his tongue instead, staring at the boy’s puffy eyes.

“You’re late.”

“I know.”

“Why?”

Stayed in bed crying all morning, Jeongguk almost says, but instead he decides to preserve what little bit of pride he has left—says, “Wasn’t feeling well.”

Yoongi nods. “You okay, Guk?”

“Fuckin’ swell,” Jeongguk says with a bitter smile.

Squinting his lidded eyes, Yoongi lets out a sigh.

“What?” Jeongguk hisses.

“Your voice is all hoarse,” Yoongi comments. “Your hair’s all disheveled and your eyes are really pu—”

“Wow, thanks. I couldn’t tell,” Jeongguk barks.

I don’t need you pointing out how pathetic I am.

(He can already feel the tears pricking at his eyes.)

Yoongi closes his eyes, shakes his head, and gets up from the piano bench to walk over to Jeongguk. “I don’t mean it like that, Guk—” he retorts. “If you aren’t feeling well you should go rest, okay?”

(God, he hates it. Hates how concerned Yoongi is.)

“I’m fine,” Jeongguk insists, gritting his teeth. “Let’s fucking practice instead of whatever the fuck this interrogation is, hyung.”

Maybe Jeongguk went too far with that time.

“What happened between you and Taehyung—?” Yoongi finally shouts, sick of Jeongguk’s attitude.

Taehyung.

—with the way Yoongi’s looking at him, Jeongguk has a feeling that Yoongi can tell what happened.

(Oh no. Oh no. Here the tears come. Fuck. Fuck.)

Jeongguk ignores him, pushes past him to put his violin case down on the table at the other end of the room, unpacking everything in a fit of tears.

“Nothing,” he lies. “I’m fine,” he lies again.

“Jeongguk, you’re not practicing like this.”

(Put up a brave face. Don’t be a crybaby.)

“Fuck off,” Jeongguk croaks. “You’re a shitty duet partner. The performance is in less than a month.”

Yoongi sighs. “You really think we can get anything done with you crying to hell?” he questions bluntly.

Oh. Oh.

God, that only makes him cry harder, only makes Jeongguk feel that much more embarrassed for breaking down in front of Yoongi again and again. Jeongguk lets go of that bit of pride he had before and sobs as loud as he wants, gasping pathetic little breaths as he covers his eyes with his hands.

Fuck being (—or, rather, failing to be) strong.

He feels useless, even more useless than before.

“Shit—” Yoongi utters, rushing over to Jeongguk.

“You’re right, you’re right—” Jeongguk sniffles and rubs his eyes red, “—‘m sorry, ‘m pathetic. I know.”

“No no no,” Yoongi says, pulling Jeongguk’s hands away from his eyes and hugging his shaking body tight. You see, Yoongi’s smaller than he is (—a lot smaller) but that means Jeongguk can let his head fall onto his shoulder, it means he can let his tears dry on his shirt, blotted wet like accidental stars. “I shouldn’t have said that. It’s, it’s fine. Cry as much as you want, really. I don’t mind. You don’t need to tell me what happened between you and Taehyung the other night,” he rambles. “But, Guk, we won’t practice like this, okay?”

Jeongguk nuzzles his head into Yoongi’s shoulder. “But we need to practice,” he utters, voice muffled.

“We can just hang out,” Yoongi offers. “We can just hang out here. I—don’t think you should be alone. You came a long way to come here.”

“It’s not that long a walk.”

Yoongi hugs him tighter. “I’m not gonna let you run off crying again,” he says. And that’s when he feels Jeongguk’s stomach growl, small waist completely enveloped in Yoongi’s hold.

Jeongguk whines and blushes pink, blushes when Yoongi presses a curious hand to his stomach, to his tight abs. “Sorry,” he squeaks, a bit humiliated, because even if it’s just Yoongi’s hand, it’s so, so—

“Oh,” Yoongi breathes, blushing too, blushing as if he’s just realized what he did. “Uhm, you hungry?”

—so close, too close, so fucking close.

Jeongguk nods. “Haven’t eaten in a while. Sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry. I’ll order lamb skewers and boba.”

And somehow . . . that makes Jeongguk’s hollow heart feel filled—if only for a single moment. Just a tender moment where Yoongi fills his lifeless body to the very brim with a shy warmth. But—it flashes away when Yoongi lets go of his body, and he feels just as lonely, empty, as he was in the morning.

Jeongguk hates feeling lonely.

“Hey, Guk, y’know, you’re kinda like a bunny when you eat,” Yoongi notes, watching as the boy chews on the meat, mouth closed and cheeks puffed.

Jeongguk’s mouth falls open at that, and it’s a little gross with the half-chewed food between his lips.

“You kinda were like a bunny earlier, too. Calmed down, stopped crying just from me hugging you—”

Yoongi’s a little shameless—it reminds him a bit of Taehyung, but he’s shameless in a different way, in a more blunt and a less unabashed way. Jeongguk decides he likes it (—and his eyes twinkle shyly).

“You were just lonely, right? Just wanted someone to hold you or hug you, right? Am I right, Guk? I—”

“Oh my god, shut up. For the love of god, shut up.”

At some point, Yoongi goes back to the piano seat while Jeongguk stays sitting cross-legged on the ground, munching on the roasted seaweed snacks he had in his backpack.

Yoongi starts playing that piece again, the one that sounds like it belongs in the soundtrack for a video game, the one he composed for Jimin’s recital. He starts playing that piece, but it sounds different, as if it were stripped down and the harsh storms were replaced with star-filled clouds.

“You changed the chord progression.”

Yoongi nods. “I wanted to make it more fragile with the syncopations in the melody. More dreamlike—”

“I like it,” Jeonguk says, his heart twinkling like the shining stars and the glittering galaxies in his eyes. “It’s better. You somehow made it prettier.”

Yoongi absolutely beams at the praise. “Thanks.”

(Gotta give your best for Jimin, right?)

“Can I sit next to you?” Jeongguk airs sweetly. “I wanna watch hyung play. Pianists are the coolest.”

“Sure,” Yoongi hums, looping the hard parts of the piece until his fingertips have memorized the notes and until Jeongguk has too. When Jeongguk goes to get up with a light smile, Yoongi comments, “I’m glad you’re feelin’ better, Guk. Glad I could help.”

It’s a nice change, not staying in his bed crying. He still does feel like crying, feels like he could break down and break apart at any moment now, but it’s easier just to breathe, to breathe and vibe with the music. Jeongguk smiles. “Yeah. Thanks for that.”

“Kid, you’re gonna fall off if you sit on the edge like that,” Yoongi laughs when Jeongguk plops himself down on the piano seat so that the space between them is bigger, infinitely bigger, than an interstellar medium—ass half on the seat, half off. “Sit closer.”

(He does.)

Sitting next to Yoongi on the small piano bench, he blushes a bit at the way their sides are touching—

“Relax,” Yoongi soothes. “You’re shaking, Guk.”

“Sorry.” I’m a mess right now. An absolute mess.

“It’s okay. Just relax,” Yoongi remarks. “This song’s supposed to make you feel calm, not supposed to make you feel nervous.”

Jeongguk nods and just watches as Yoongi begins again. He tucks his hands in between his thighs as he listens to the piece, thinks about the meaning—

When Jeongguk was younger, his youth orchestra performed Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite No.2 for their final piece of the season. As they played the movements, from the street battle between the Montagues and the Capulets in the first part, to the fatalistic departure of the star-crossed lovers in the fifth, and to the wailing of Romeo at Juliet’s grave, he would try to imagine what was happening in the ballet—he tried to imagine the dancers telling the story with their bodies, to imagine the dancers as they become the characters of the ballet, as they shift into someone else entirely, as they abandon themselves and everything they are for the art.

(Because love imitates art.)

Jeongguk wonders if this is a love song—if, if it’s a nocturne for lovers, if it’s a nocturne for Yoongi and Jimin, for Yoongi and Hoseok, or whatever the hell Yoongi’s love life is like. He wonders. Wonders.

“I can imagine Jimin dancing to this,” he purrs.

“Really?” Yoongi asks, smiling something soft.

“Yeah. I think he’ll like it a lot. He and—” Jeongguk chokes a bit, but he goes on, “—Taehyung, he and Taehyung like this sort of music a lot. So do I.”

Yoongi plays in the silence, until—

“Are you ever gonna talk to Jimin about Tae?”

“Can we, can we not talk about that, hyung?”

“Jimin’s really worried about—”

“About Taehyung. He’s really worried about Tae.”

I’m not Taehyung’s number one, nor am I Jimin’s.

“He’s worried about you too,” Yoongi tells him.

Frowning, Jeongguk mumbles, “I get it, hyung.” He doesn’t feel like explaining to Yoongi that Jimin has already taken Taehyung’s side, that Jimin, in every universe, would pick Taehyung over him. “I get it.”

In this game of love—whatever the fuck this game is—he knows that he’s the only loser, loser in love.

“You should start valuing yourself more, Guk.”

“Fat chance.”

Lips pouty and plump, Yoongi breathes, “Whatever happened between you and Taehyung—I dunno—I think you’ll be okay in the end.”

Jeongguk doesn’t know if he believes him. “Okay.”

Yoongi puts his arm around his narrow shoulders and rubs at his neck (—it makes the boy scrunch his nose as if he really were a bunny) and he leans into the touch, takes whatever he can get.

(Jeongguk doesn’t really know what he’s doing.)

“Okay,” he repeats, pushing the boy’s bangs out of his line of sight with a fond smile. And in his mind, Jeongguk knows he’s just doing this (—just taking care of him) for Jimin, but it’s nice. It feels nice.

“You’re really touchy. I never noticed before.”

Yoongi blushes a bit. “Sorry, do you not—”

“No no no. I’m fine with it, hyung.” (I like it.)

“Good,” he breathes, ruffling Jeongguk’s hair.

“You’re a good person,” Jeongguk decides. “I used to hate you a lot, you know? Still kinda do, but—”

Yoongi laughs, smiles with more gums than teeth. He smiles like all the seas are his, like rose petals don’t wilt and rose vines don’t bleed. “I could tell.”

Jeongguk returns with a shy, bunny-like smile.

It doesn’t quite feel like they’re going anywhere.

Doesn’t quite feel like Yoongi’s going anywhere.

(And he isn’t.)

But then—the zero foot distance between him and Yoongi makes his heart pound with the realization, with a watercolor of oily blacks and all these colors that don’t suit the fragile medium, of the boundless space, the immeasurable interstellar medium, that lies between him and Taehyung. Fuck. Should it be this easy? Shouldn’t it be this easy?

So the more Jeongguk smiles back at Yoongi the more vivid the painting in his mind becomes and the more painful it becomes and the more it makes him bleed into the medium.

(Love imitates art, so what the hell is this?)

Yoongi plays a different piece this time, something ripe an incomprehensible tonal quality and it just—pours gasoline all over the wildfires he feels raging in a fucking tempest of shitty feelings and it burns.

Music does this. Does this incomprehensible thing and it feels like he’s in a matrix of uncertainty and he feels just like he could wax poetic and vomit so much bullshit that doesn’t even mean anything.

(Art is music, so does love imitate—this?)

Yoongi’s hair falls over his eyes but he still goes on and plays. Jeongguk does what Yoongi did—goes to brush his bleached hair away from his forehead.

But then, then—

Maybe it’s because of the music (—always blame the music, always blame the art for what you feel), maybe it’s something that’s been building up for a while, maybe it’s something that built up only now.

He doesn’t mean to do it, doesn’t intend to do what he does after he brushes Yoongi’s bangs out of his face. Maybe it’s because of the music that he—

Leans in.

Jeongguk finds himself leaning in, kissing Yoongi.

Oh.

The music stops (—this piece, this one was never a love song, never a serenade, never a nocturne for lovers like the one before), and Jeongguk finds that Yoongi’s pushing on his chest, pushing him off and, and—oh.

Yoongi looks at him, his lips parted and still, he still manages to look a little adorable like that, all open.

(Maybe it’s the vulnerability he feels.)

Jeongguk kisses Yoongi again, lips barely touching his mouth before Yoongi’s pushing him away again and god, god doesn’t that hurt Jeongguk’s pride.

—but what does he have left to lose?

“Jeongguk.”

Just as confused as Yoongi, Jeongguk scrunches his nose and pouts his lips, breathes, “I don’t, I—”

(He doesn’t know what to say. So he just leans in.)

When Jeongguk goes in for a third time, he swears Yoongi kisses him back, even if only for a second, before pushing him away again.

“Guk.”

“I, uh, I—” he feels like crying. “Can we kiss?”

“Jeongguk. I’m not, I’m not your boyfriend—”

“Please?” he asks, voice small. “I like kissing.”

And that’s the embarrassing thing. Jeongguk likes kissing, likes holding hands, likes cuddling, likes all that sappy shit and it’s so, so pathetic. So pathetic.

Jeongguk loves kissing.

(Kissing makes him feel better. It’s stupid, stupid.)

He’s afraid Yoongi’s gonna laugh at him, but—

Yoongi lets Jeongguk lace their fingers together in a tight knot, like Jeongguk’s lost, afloat in space, a younger brother to the stars, and needs something (—someone) to gravitate towards. “We, w—”

“It doesn’t have to mean anything. Please.”

Yoongi blinks. “It’s not a good idea, Jeongguk.”

“I know, I know I’m not Jimin or Hoseok, but, but—I like kissing and, and I just, I really miss Taehyung, and I shouldn’t have broken up with him and—”

Yoongi squeezes his both hands tight, and it looks like something’s changed, like he . . . understands.

“Oh, oh, Jeongguk.”

(Yoongi’s been through heartbreak too.)

Good thing Yoongi kisses him first this time. Good thing, ‘cause Jeongguk’s on the very fucking verge of falling apart (—again) and Yoongi, Yoongi just—

Kisses him.

“Hyung, hyung. Thank you, hyung,” he whispers.

Next thing he knows he’s sitting in Yoongi’s lap.

“Your lips taste salty.”

“ ‘s the roasted seaweed.”

But the thing is, Yoongi kisses like he means it and Jeongguk knows he doesn’t—there’s not a chance he does. Taehyung was always a sloppy kisser but he kissed Jeongguk with purpose whereas Yoongi, Yoongi doesn’t. Yoongi kisses like this is it, like this is the goal, like it doesn’t matter that it’s absolutely meaningless, that this is absolutely stupid of them.

Yoongi kisses him slow, plush lips soft and teasing at Jeongguk, licking tenderly at his mouth and, oh, oh god, oh—this is the first time Jeongguk’s kissed someone who’s not Taehyung.

Oh.

Oh god. Yoongi’s pressing him to the piano and it hurts—hurts. The piano makes an ugly noise when the ivory and the ebony digs into Jeongguk’s back.

Fuck. Jeongguk’s so fucking lanky—so much taller and heavier than the older boy, bulked with muscle where Yoongi is soft and squishy, but he feels so small (—so small, so vulnerable like this) wiggling and squirming in Yoongi’s lap.

Yoongi’s may be Jeongguk’s tiniest hyung (—other than Jimin) but he’s broad and lean and Jeongguk feels like the smaller one, feels like he could just—bury himself inside Yoongi’s oversized hoodie.

(Bury himself deep inside Yoongi’s heart.)

Oh my god. Yoongi kisses with so much fervor but, but it’s a lazy sort of lethargic fervor and Jeongguk can feel his body go slack, mouth go open and wet for Yoongi and Yoongi and only Yoongi. Jeongguk, god, Jeongguk kisses back with all he’s got and he loses himself in kissing Yoongi and he forgets that he’s never kissed anyone else but Kim Taehyung.

Taehyung.

Jeongguk doesn’t know when he regains his mind, but when he does, he reels back and recoils hard.

Taehyung.

Taehyung was all his firsts: first kiss first boyfriend first love—his first everything. It all belongs to him.

Jeongguk doesn’t even know what’s happening—he doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing and all he knows is that he’s been pressed against the piano, that he’s sitting in Yoongi’s lap, knees to the bench and waist tightly held in Yoongi’s grip. Oh my god.

Oh god. He’s kissing Yoongi right now, isn’t he?

He doesn’t know how long they’ve been kissing.

He places a hand on Yoongi’s chest and gasps.

He doesn’t know when he started crying mid-kiss.

“Jeongguk?”

The boy blinks at Yoongi—looks at his lidded eyes and his disheveled hair and realizes that he’d been tugging on it during the kiss. He brings his hand up to his swollen lips much like he had in the morning, and chews on his bottom lip—not knowing what to say. Jeongguk decides to start from the beginning. “Hyung, I, I broke up with Taehyung and, and I told him to go to London.”

And it’s as if he’s just realized this, distraught. And it’s as if he’s speaking it out loud more for himself than for Yoongi. It’s so awkward, so—awkward.

Yet Yoongi doesn’t look surprised. Jeongguk thinks that Jimin might have already told him, thinks that maybe Yoongi lied about Jimin not telling him. But it doesn’t matter, really. Doesn’t matter at all.

Jeongguk’s hands are at the striped drawstrings of Yoongi’s hoodie, now, playing with the black-and-white cords between his fingertips, toying as if he’s spinning his own damn fate, own fucking destiny—

He scrunches his face (—thinks about how Yoongi said he looked like a bunny when he did that), like he doesn’t know how to get the words out. “I think I wanted him to stay. I wanted him to stay for me.”

(Saying it out loud is different, feels different.)

Jeongguk tugs on Yoongi’s floppy sleeves, far too embarrassed to hold Yoongi’s hands again, and he doesn’t know what to do—doesn’t know what he’s just done—but he lets Yoongi take care of him, lets Yoongi be there for him even when he knows that this isn’t right, not even in the slightest.

“I love him so much.”

And Yoongi hugs Jeongguk as a glittery tear drops down his blotchy cheek, hugs the younger boy and pulls him back to sit upright in his lap as he cries.

“You’ll be okay.”

They stay like that for a while (—a long while).


(+1)

jeongguk
11:11 PM
i wanted it to be you

taetae
11:11 PM
it’s always been you

[ Read 11:11 PM ]

Chapter Text

(-1)

Go back one year. Take one step back. Lose a turn and look back. If you rewind a year—just one year, you’ll see Jimin and Taehyung fighting, like always.

Jeongguk’s used to it—at this point—used to lying around at Taehyung’s room, used to seeing Jimin stroll in hours after midnight (—because Taehyung lives closer to Yoongi than Jimin does). It’s always obvious, always obvious what they’d been doing—

“He has a boyfriend,” Taehyung hums as soon as Jimin walks in. God, he says it nearly every single time Jimin comes in, two and a quarter hours past twelve. Says it nearly every time to remind Jimin.

(Taehyung seems sick of it.)

Jimin ignores him (—he hears it a lot), and goes to lie on their bed. It’s cramped, cramped as hell, but Taehyung will always make space for Jimin—even now. Taehyung wraps an arm around Jimin’s waist, pulls him in between his body and Jeongguk’s with a tight snuggle. Jimin always feels small like this.

“Do you think he’ll be faithful to you? I love him but he has never been faithful to anyone in his whole goddamn life, Jimin,” Taehyung utters. He doesn’t seem angry (—he’s long, long past angry), but he just sounds sad, just sounds so fucking sad.

Jimin’s heard it all before. Even Jeongguk has.

“Taetae, I’m tired.”

“I am too, Jiminie.”

God, Jeongguk always feels like he’s intruding, like his two best friends in the whole goddamn world need each other more than they need him (—so, so much more than they need him), but Jeongguk holds onto Jimin just as tight as Taehyung does.

“I’m sorry for waking you two up.”

“It’s okay, Jimin-hyung,” Jeongguk says. “We were up anyways. You should sleep. Been a long day?”

Jimin chuckles, but he seems sad. “Yeah, it has.”

Jeongguk ignores the way Jimin looks absolutely, absolutely broken (—just, just broken), blush-pink hickies lining his throat. Whoever this boy is—the boy who constantly, fuckin’ constantly breaks Jimin like this—likes to leave marks, Jeogguk notes. He wonders why Jimin never stays the night with him.


(0)

He fucked up. Jeongguk fucked up so damn hard.

God, did he actually beg Yoongi to kiss him?

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Jeongguk’s thoughts are messy but they won’t stop going, won’t stop going and it’s like a goddamn highway—like a goddamn freeway. Jeongguk doesn’t know where the next exit is and all he knows is that he’s hurtling in empty space and he doesn’t know how the fuck to fix anything.

He broke up with Taehyung. He kissed Yoongi.

It feels like he’s forgetting something. Someone.

Fuck this. Fuck Taehyung. Jeongguk feels like he’s just lost everyone. He feels like he’s just fucked up beyond repair. He fucked up all his friendships and his goddamn relationship. He doesn’t even check, doesn’t even look at his messages anymore. Only looks at Yoongi’s texts for meeting up, ignores the panicked messages from Jimin, from Jeonghan—how the fuck did he find out—and from Taehyung.

—he erased the texts between him and Taehyung.

He doesn’t need to see Taehyung’s apologies.

Jeongguk’s never felt more helpless, never felt so goddamn pathetic because everything’s his fault—breaking up with Taehyung felt right and felt wrong in the moment, so fucking right, but now?

Now it hasn’t ever felt more wrong.

He wants him back. God, god he wants him back.

And—

Yoongi. Yoongi. What the fuck has he just done?

Was he that desperate for affection?

It’s his fault. It’s his goddamn fault. Everything.

Jeongguk feels like crying twenty-four-seven, but crying is fucking tiring, fucking exhausting and all it ever feels like he fucking does is cry ever since the breakup. And all he wants is to cry. God, he thinks, I’m so pathetic, fucking everything up and all I can do is cry. Goddamn pathetic how he fucked it all up and does nothing about it, only makes it all worse.

It doesn’t feel real, what he did last night.

Jeongguk wishes it wasn’t.

Wish he didn’t kiss Yoongi, didn’t sit on his lap and beg for more kisses, didn’t sit on his goddamn lap and fall apart, fall apart and sob and—fuck. Fuck.

What the fuck is he doing?

He wants Taehyung back—

Jeongguk groans. It’s ten in the morning; it’s been more than twelve since he fucked up hard, did that dumb thing (—kissed that boy).

He wonders if he can slut shame himself for that.

It’s ten in the morning; Jeongguk doesn’t expect a knock on the door, doesn’t expect it at all. Yoongi?

He thinks that seeing Yoongi would just make him feel a lot worse about what happened yesterday—

Jimin? Jeongguk doesn’t even want to think about how much Jimin hates him, hates him for hurting Taehyung, hates him for hurting his soulmate. God does it fucking hurt, hurt thinking about how Jimin will always, always take Taehyung’s side and how Taehyung will always take Jimin’s.

(Some part of Jeongguk hates Jimin for that.)

He feels fucked up, fucked up as hell because he’s so goddamn hurt and wishes that Taehyung would know, that Taehyung would feel the same.

Jimin too.

(It’s fucked up. So fucking fucked up.)

The knocking on the door doesn’t stop.

(How irritating.)

Maybe it really is Yoongi. Yoongi knows where his place is, and perhaps Jeongguk left something in the practice room last night. That’s it. That’s just it.

Jeongguk flops himself out of bed with a grunt, thin sweats riding low on his hips. He showered early this morning, so he doesn’t feel as gross as before and he doesn’t feel as worthless, either. But he still feels like shit, like absolute shit. His eyes are a bit puffy from the night before when Min Yoongi had dropped him off at his place (—he’d cried his eyes out until he fell asleep, tired of crying.

He opens the door, too fucking frustrated to focus.

There’s this heaviness in his chest and he can’t—fucking cannot—breathe through it. It’s this heavy anger and it hurts, hurts so much to focus on any feeling other than the heaviness in his heart. And, and so, it takes Jeongguk an embarrassingly long amount of time to realize just who is at the door.

He didn’t even consider that it would be Taehyung.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

Taehyung doesn’t look any better than Jeongguk—his eyelids are even puffier, his lips bloodied and broken from biting at them too much. How sad.

“Jeongguk, baby, please.”

(Taehyung looks broken.)

I still love you, Jeongguk wants to say.

I want you back, Jeongguk almost says.

But he doesn’t.

Jeongguk doesn’t know why he’s angry. The last thing he said to Taehyung was an I love you but suddenly he wants to take it back. He doesn’t feel any of the fondness he did before and it doesn’t make sense. Nothing makes sense and all he knows is that he’s angry, he’s so fucking angry.

He wants to take it all back.

“Fuck you.”

Jeongguk knows nothing else and all he says is nothing and all he does is nothing because he still loves Taehyung, because he still misses Taehyung and he wants to be with Taehyung still, but, but he absolutely hates Taehyung—for everything he is, for everything he’s done, for everything he isn’t, for everything he didn’t do. Jeongguk hates Taehyung for everyone he’s ever loved, for—fuck, everything he chose over him.

Fuck. His thoughts are so cluttered and nothing is making sense and all he knows is that he’s hurt

All he knows is that he still loves the boy in front of him who broke his heart countless fucking times.

But Jeongguk can’t remember any of the happy things that came with loving Taehyung, that come with still being so in love with Taehyung.

All of it feels lost.

So why does he want Taehyung back?

And if he wants Taehyung back, why does he do this? Say this? Why the hell is Jeongguk so mad?

“Guk, baby, what—?” Taehyung looks so confused.

“Get out—”

He hates Taehyung for making him fuck up like this and he blames Taehyung for everything wrong that he’s done, the past few days—skipping his classes and not practicing violin and crying and crying and kissing Min fucking Yoongi. He blames Taehyung.

But the thing is . . . kissing Yoongi was entirely on him, entirely his choice, entirely his goddamn fault.

“Baby, please, I want to talk. It’s, it’s been a couple days and, and I haven’t been sleeping and I can’t think about anything else and I’m so fucking hurt.”

Taehyung’s holding back tears.

This is what Jeongguk wanted: Jeongguk wanted to hurt him, Jeongguk wanted to make him feel this, wanted to make him understand what the hell he put him through when he chose London.

But, but—

You have no fucking right to cry.

“How dare you. How dare you say you’re hurt when you hurt me more than anything. How dare you. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you. I wish I could forget you, I wish that I never fucking met you, I—” Fuck. Jeongguk takes a big breath here. “I wish I never loved you.”

“Jeongguk,” he gasps, heartbroken, “you—”

“I never thought you’d hurt me like this,” Jeongguk utters. “I never thought you were even capable.”

(And the truth is, Jeongguk just wants someone to blame for his own mistakes. Wants someone else to cry, to burn, to take responsibility that’s not him.)

Taehyung’s tears are slow, his breathing is too. “Then—I guess we both exceeded expectations.”

I hate you.

Jeongguk wants someone to blame—someone to hate, someone to yell at and throw everything on.

“Go cry about how much you hate me to Jimin.”

Taehyung shakes his head. Jeongguk hates that he’s still so beautiful, even like this—eyes lidded, cheeks wet and flushed, lips pretty and soft and Jeongguk will always be in love with his beauty. “I’ll never hate you, Guk,” he says; he’s smiling and it’s, it’s heartbreaking—it’s fucking heartbreaking because Jeon Jeongguk is still so terribly lovelorn. “No matter what, I don’t think could ever hate you.”

It’s fucking heartbreaking.

(Jeongguk knows that Taehyung doesn’t hate him, but he wants him to. He wants this to be messy and ugly and he wants to yell, wants to scream and cry and wants to open up old wounds because he wants to be hurt and he wants to hurt Taehyung more than anything. He wants Taehyung to hate him, because at least he’d be justified in his hatred for Taehyung, be justified in wanting Taehyung hurt like he is, wanting Taehyung to suffer like he is.)

Nothing lasts forever, though. Not even this hatred.

“You didn’t love me enough to choose me.”

Back then, back when he broke up with Taehyung, he understood why Taehyung chose London, why he did what he did—now, all the sympathy, all the understanding is gone and only petty anger is left.

“Jeongguk—”

I fucking hate you.

“Yeah?”

Jeongguk wants to cry, but he doesn’t.

They stand in the doorway like that.

Taehyung’s good at hiding his emotions, at burying everything until there’s no sign of life at the surface and maybe that’s always hurt Jeongguk the most.

But now? Now he looks like he’s about to break.

It gives Jeongguk some satisfaction, but not nearly enough to combat the frustration because he isn’t allowed to be hurt after what he’s fucking done.

Jeongguk blames Taehyung for everything.

(It isn’t fair, in retrospect, it isn’t fair to him at all.)

Jeongguk wants Taehyung to be hurt—more hurt.

(But he doesn’t deserve it. Not at all.)

“I’m going back to London on the thirtieth.”

Jeongguk . . . stops himself from saying something truly immature and says instead, “I don’t care. Get out and never come back here. Never contact me again and tell Jimin to stop texting and calling me.”

(He knows that everything he said is just a lie. He knows that Taehyung and Jimin won’t stop, and he knows that he himself won’t end things just yet.)

What’s funny is that Taehyung doesn’t address it—acts as if Jeongguk didn’t say anything. Jeongguk guesses that Taehyung knows how bullshit it all is.

Instead—

Taehyung bites his bottom lip. “You’re wearing my sweatpants, you know. The one from my old high school that you seemed to like so much back then. I didn’t leave it at your place by accident, y’know.”

Oh. It’s more Jeongguk’s than Taehyung’s, now.

Jeongguk blushes a hot, searing red. “Fuck off.”

“You can keep it. You can keep it all, Jeongguk.”

Jeongguk will. He’ll keep all the memories that he suddenly can’t remember and all the love he has for Taehyung that he suddenly forgot how to feel—because without it, he doesn’t have much left. And Jeongguk will keep a small piece of Taehyung with him wherever he goes—treasure it as if it’s more than a small wilted, withering petal from the veined rose vines in his chest—just as Taehyung will keep his whole damn heart. Take it. Take it forever.

Keep all my firsts, all my seconds, all my forevers.

“I don’t want to talk. Please get out.”

“So we’re just never gonna talk about this? About how I feel? About the breakup? How I hurt you—?”

Jeongguk laughs. “You lost every right to talk when you didn’t in the first place. We’re done here, Tae.”

“No closure?” Taehyung asks, voice quivering.

You doesn’t deserve closure, you deserve all your wounds ripped back open, mangled beyond repair.

And—maybe it’s a good thing that Jeongguk can’t remember all the I love you’s. It would hurt more. A lot more to think about how fucked up everything’s become. How much he fucked everything up.

It feels like it’s all his fault, and maybe it is.

“No closure,” he grits, heart catching in his throat.

(Jeon Jeongguk’s always been a masochist in the worst of ways, always has been a glutton for pain.)

“Do you really want me to go?” Taehyung asks.

Jeongguk laughs, laughs and breathes: “I’ve never wanted anything more, hyung.” (What a lie, Jeon Jeongguk. What a fucking lie.)

So Taehyung goes and doesn’t even look back.

Fuck. It’s all such a goddamn mess at this point. Jeongguk doesn’t even know how to approach it—

Maybe he’ll just make it worse.

Yeah. That seems about right.

He goes back to lie on his bed, picks up his phone and texts Yoongi, laughing a bit at how pathetic he is, texting Yoongi because he has no one else left.

Whatever, he thinks, sending out: wanna hang?

oh you wanna hang out?
i mean, im fine with that, but like
i need to meet with someone so
i wont be free until like…. 4pm?
we can order take out and shit!!

Jeongguk doesn’t expect Yoongi to be drunk when he gets to his place a few minutes before 4:00 PM.

Maybe drunk isn’t the right word. Yoongi’s cheeks are flushed, eyes glittery in an unabashed way. He remembers what Taehyung said one time casually, that Jimin and Yoongi have an ungodly tolerance—despite the fact that Yoongi doesn’t drink that often anymore (—at least not as much as Jimin does).

It makes Jeongguk wonder how much he drank.

Yoongi opens the door, grinning gummy at the boy. “Jeongguk!” he greets brightly. “How’ve you been? Since last night, I mean.”

Jeongguk cringes at the memory of how he never apologized for doing what he did, how he walked in utter silence with Yoongi back to his apartment, clutching softly on the ends of Yoongi’s sleeves.

It’s too awkward to apologize now, he thinks, so he just won’t. He thinks Yoongi’s fine with it, anyways.

“Better,” he lies. Best to omit the Taehyung thing.

—Yoongi smiles at that and tugs Jeongguk over to the couch to sit with him, take out food and drinks already on the table. Now sitting next to Yoongi, Jeongguk thinks that it may be best to address the elephant in the goddamn room.

“Hey, hyung,” he starts. “Were you, uh, drinking?”

Yoongi blushes even more.

“Uh, yeah,” he admits. “Fuck—uh, sorry. You know that meeting I had with someone before this?”

Jeongguk nods.

“It, it didn’t really go the best,” he confesses, lying back on the couch (—legs spread, feet planted on the ground, hands covering his face, embarrassed as hell, it seems). “Didn’t drink too much, though.”

“What happened?” Jeongguk asks, picking up the package of takeout lamb skewers, picking up his chopsticks, starting to eat. Yoongi does the same, eventually. He smiles a bit seeing how Yoongi got his favorite bubble tea flavor, how Yoongi already knows.

“Said some stupid shit. Did some stupid stuff,” he groans. “Almost fucked him. I fucked up instead—”

Oh?

“Fucked who?”

Yoongi ignores him and just continues to storytell.

“Then I went to Namjoonie, you know Namjoonie? Yeah, the same one who kinda beat me up? Yeah. Yeah, I went out with him and went to a bar. And—he still kinda hates me a lot, but we’re also ride or die—so like—whatever it was fine. Then he drove me back, lectured me a bit, but it was fine,” Yoongi explains. “Do I seem like I drank a lot?”

Jeongguk hums. “I dunno, your cheeks are red ‘nd you’re rambling a bit, but not like I am when I drink a lot, so . . . ”

“And how are you when you drink, Guk?”

Tipsy Yoongi is a lot more talkative—a lot touchier too—than sober Yoongi. He’s got his right palm on the younger boy’s knee, lazy and unfocused.

(Taehyung’s a touchy drunk too—but he’s a flirty, giggly drunk and Jeongguk wonders if Yoongi and Taehyung have ever gone drinking together. Then Jeongguk bites his lip, realizing that he can’t stop thinking about Kim Taehyung, no matter how hard he tries to forget. He hates this.)

“I’m—” Jeongguk licks his lips, “—I think I get a bit clingy and like, a bit inappropriate. I don’t really go out to parties and I don’t drink that much, though.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi sighs. “Drinking isn’t worth the hype in the grand scheme of things. Makes me feel a bit dumb, honestly.”

“So why’d you go out with Namjoon-hyung?”

Yoongi laughs. “ ‘cause I know Namjoon won’t fuck me or let me fuck him, like, not anymore, I mean—so, y’know . . . ”

Jeongguk’s doe-eyes have a look of peril. “Okay, I didn’t mean why Namjoon, god.” He doesn’t need to think about how the campus heartthrob and Min fucking Yoongi used to fuck. “I meant why’d you go out to a bar and drink.”

“Oh,” Yoongi breathes. “Sorry. TMI, right? I get like, shameless when I drink, sorry. But uh, I dunno. I—I guess I just felt like it. Wanted a distraction.”

“Makes sense.”

Jeongguk supposes he’s doing the same thing.

Yoongi scarfs down his food quick, so quickly that Jeongguk’s caught off guard when Yoongi goes to throw away the container and when Yoongi goes to suck hungrily on his bubble tea. “Hey, Guk?”

“Yeah?”

“Why’d you want to hang out? I mean, I’m all for it. You’re a cool guy. A bit emotional but it’s all cool.”

Blunt, but Jeongguk already knows he’s a crybaby.

“I dunno. I think I feel comfortable with you.”

Yoongi seems pleased. “Must’ve been all the late-night insomnia cookies sessions, hm, Jeongguk?”

“Must’ve been,” Jeongguk replies, grinning.

Jeongguk doesn’t know when exactly it happened, but somewhere along the line, during nights in the practice studio downing bubble tea and discussing their favorite composers and music professors, he became accustomed to Yoongi’s weird quirks—his tendencies of letting his floppy sweatshirt sleeves fall far, far past his fingertips, his adorable habit of mumbling in half-Korean half-English sometimes—without even realizing it.

It’s easy to slip back into what they usually do, talk about music like it’s the only thing in the world they have in common (—but it isn’t, it really isn’t).

It’s easy, so damn easy that Jeongguk forgets that Yoongi never answered who he met with earlier, so he asks again in one of the bouts of silence.

Yoongi slurps on the boba straw and stalls like hell by chewing on all the tapioca pearls slowly. At first, Jeongguk’s afraid he’s pushed too far, but he looks closer and Yoongi’s blushing. “Met with Hoseok.”

Oh.

“Me too,” Jeongguk babbles immediately. But then, he hurries to correct himself, “Wait, oh fuck, I didn’t meet with Hoseok, I mean—I met with Taehyung.”

Yoongi blinks a couple times, surprised. His mouth does his cute thing, Jeongguk’s noticed, open in a slight kittenish pout, lips shaped pretty and plump.

“Huh,” he breathes, chuckling lightly. “The two of us are pathetic, aren’t we? Mopin’ around like this.”

“Yeah. We fucking are.”

Yoongi darts his tongue out to lick at his bottom lip, running it over his teeth while he thinks of what to say. “Was it rough? Talking with Taehyungie?”

Jeongguk gulps, mind replaying the morning. God, he’s so embarrassed by it, but he’s so angry too—

“Rough is an understatement,” Jeongguk sighs.

“You don’t wanna talk about it?” Yoongi asks.

“Yeah. I don’t really wanna relive it. Ah, fuck.”

He pushes it far from his mind. As far as he can.

Yoongi pats his thigh. “Fuckin’ same. It’s fine, Guk. It’s just an option, talking about shit with me. It’s always an option. Talking is nice, sometimes.”

“Sometimes,” Jeongguk hums.

Jeongguk gazes at the mess on the table, food all eaten, bubble tea all drank, stares until the thought of Taehyung leaves his mind entirely (—it leaves for the rest of the night, thankfully). In all the time he’s known Min Yoongi, Jeongguk’s learned that if anything, he’s is comfortable, and it’s comforting.

“Want me to get some beer?”

Jeongguk grins. “That’d be nice.”

Three hours pass like that, Yoongi and Jeongguk talking about anything and everything and maybe drinking a little too much as they do (—Jeongguk more so than Yoongi). Jeongguk wasn’t lying when he said he doesn’t drink very often; his tolerance is almost as shit as Taehyung’s.

Jeongguk wasn’t lying when he says that he gets inappropriate when he’s had too much to drink. It’s adorable, the way his cheeks get champagne rose pink, the way his eyes get shiny like murano glass. Taehyung always said it was adorable, always had Jeongguk feeling so happy and light (—had him feeling loved) when they drank together.

“Yoongi-hyung,” he utters, getting on his knees on the couch, facing Yoongi, hands patted on his lap.

“Yeah, kid?”

“I never thanked you properly, yesterday,” he says, speaking slowly—furrowing his eyebrows when he can’t think of the right words, licking his lips. “Like, for dealing with me.”

The older brings his hand up to brush through the boy’s bangs, to card his fingers through his strands of hair. Yoongi likes doing that, Jeongguk notices.

“Anytime, Guk. I’ve been there,” he says. “I get it—how I dunno, kissing can make you feel better. I’ve been through it, done worse things. It’s fine.”

Jeongguk leans into the touch, leaning into Yoongi and this must be crossing some boundary—letting Yoongi practically pet him as he’s on his knees. He doesn’t mind, though. Neither of them mind, really. It feels good, to have someone who cares (—or at least seems to care). It feels fucking good to have someone to take care of him like this.

“You sure it was fine, hyung?”

“Of course.”

Jeongguk blinks a bit, weighing the pros and cons—weighing the pros and cons of being an absolute dumbass again, an absolute fucking dumbass. But at some point, he gives up thinking of the benefits, gives up thinking of the disadvantages because—

It felt good, yesterday, felt so good to sit in his lap, to be kissed like nothing else fucking mattered, like consequences don’t apply to them.

Like consequences don’t matter, like feelings won’t fuck everything up, because, you see—it’s Yoongi.

Yoongi’s the only one who would do this, because, because he’s Min Yoongi, and Yoongi doesn’t care about who he hurts or who he’s going to hurt and that’s the painful fucking truth that Jeongguk wants to take advantage of.

Because no one else in the world would help like this, no one else in the goddamn universe would help in the selfish way that Jeongguk wants.

“Was I a good kisser?”

Yoongi’s pupils darken. He doesn’t notice when his hand drops down from Jeongguk’s hair to his face, to his cheek, to his lips. “Pretty good,” he teases—

“Only pretty good?”

“Hm. I’ve had better.”

Jeongguk scrunches his nose. “You sure?”

Yoongi lets his thumb play with Jeongguk’s bottom lip—wet with spit and beer. “I’ve had much better.”

“Are you egging me on, hyung?”

A hand ghosts its way onto Jeongguk’s waist, grips him tight like that, slips under his loose shirt to rest just above the low waistband of his sweats, just on his bare skin, shaved hairless. Jeongguk takes it as an invitation to climb onto his lap, straddle his legs.

They’re definitely crossing a line.

“What if I am?” Yoongi whispers.

Jeongguk steadies his hands on Yoongi’s thighs to shift his balance forward, to make it so that he can sit comfortably, lips only inches away from Yoongi.

“Then I’m going to change your mind.”

“Can’t be the best at everything, Guk.”

Jeongguk moves fast, lips brushing Yoongi’s cheek as he lets them touch the older boy’s soft earlobe. “Well, from one prodigy to another, hyung, I beg to differ,” he hisses, grinding forward slowly, cocks so close to touching. Yoongi’s got both his big hands on Jeongguk’s little ass and Jeongguk’s got half a mind to hump his thigh like he means it.

But that’s not appropriate, even in his hazy mind.

“You gonna show me I’m wrong, then?”

“Oh, I’m gonna do so much more than that.”

Jeongguk grinds his clothed cock against Yoongi’s, letting out a small whine as Yoongi groans at the contact, lips seeking out Jeongguk’s, but Jeongguk pulls back quick, trailing his mouth down his neck.

“Are you gonna let me?”

Yoongi laughs. “I’ll let you do whatever you want.”

Jeongguk laughs back, laughs bitterly. “We’re a bit fucked up, you know, hyung? We’re a little fucked.”

“No one’s a goddamn saint these days.”

Yoongi kisses him like that; he kisses him hungrily, downs him like liquor, kisses him fervent as ever—

But only a few seconds later, Jeongguk pulls back again, pulls back—he wonders how fucked out he must look from only a mouthy kiss, he wonders if Yoongi likes that—and gasps, “Wait, wait—can we, can we—” Jeongguk blushes, “—bedroom?”

“Needy, hm?” he laughs, making Jeongguk feel so desperate, making him fall breathless. “Of course.”

“You play dirty,” Jeongguk growls.

“How else am I supposed to play?”

Yoongi lifts Jeongguk off his lap, tugging him away from the couch, tugging him towards his bedroom.

And Jeongguk follows, lets Yoongi push him to the bed, but then Jeongguk pulls Yoongi into his lap—

(They fall together.)

And it goes on like that, the entire night.

To some extent, Jeongguk doesn’t look around in Yoongi’s room too much, anxiety and adrenaline running through his rose-vine-like veins, but one thing he does catch, one thing he does happen to see, just by chance, is a CD lying around on Yoongi’s bedside table, titled: To Jimin.

Jeongguk buries the guilt deep in his heart.


(+1)

jeongguk
11:12 PM
but it wasnt
you say its always been me but
you chose everything over me?
you hurt me so damn much tae

taetae
11:13 PM
god dont act like a fucking saint
you hurt me just as much as i hurt you
not at first, obviously, but after. after it

jeongguk
11:13 PM
after we broke up?
i wasnt yours then

taetae
11:13 PM
i wasnt the only one you hurt

jeongguk
11:15 PM
wow
wow. we’re back on this again
we’re back on jimin again huh

[ Read 11:15 PM ]

Chapter Text

XI.

(0)

The second time that night, well, Jeongguk doesn’t really have an excuse. The liquor’s mostly worn off and Jeongguk’s head feels a bit clearer after being edged to the point of tears (—fucked to the point of breathlessness). Jeongguk’s heart still feels a little bit heavy, but—the sinking feeling in his chest is so easily replaced by fucking just as carelessly as he loves. The third time that night, well . . . Jeongguk doesn’t have an excuse at all (—not when he feels more filled than he does heartbroken, feels hot like a firestorm the more he rides, the more he fucks).

“You’re, you’re a bit insatiable, aren’t you?” Yoongi groans, hissing when Jeongguk bottoms out, when Jeongguk manhandles him to lie on his back.

“Fuck off,” Jeongguk breathes, his moans high and pitchy from being filled so well from this new angle. “You’re the asshole who wouldn’t let me come the first time.”

Yoongi grins. “You didn’t beg nice enough—” and then he bites his tongue and adds, “the first time, at least. The second time I think you learned how.”

Jeongguk whines and throws his head back with a slight gasp when Yoongi thrusts up and makes him bounce on his cock. “Asshole,” he pants, bouncing along with the rhythm, trying oh so hard to control the pace but failing miserably—rolling his hips and riding gently, whimpering whenever Yoongi fucks in deep and disrupts that gentle pace.

“Brat.”

“Fuck you.”

His hips start to still, tired from the brutal strokes.

“C’mon,” Yoongi rasps, bringing his arm up to hook around Jeongguk’s neck, tugging him down so that he can bite his earlobe and question, “do I have to teach you how to do this too?”

“A—Are you taunting me, Min Yoongi?”

Yoongi laughs, three of his fingers finding their way to Jeongguk’s lips, all drooly and pouty from being kissed and face-fucked until he couldn’t breathe. “I just think you need someone to knock you down a peg or two,” he whispers. “Need some humbling.”

Jeongguk begins to suck on all three fingers, oh so willingly, oh so submissively that Yoongi just finds it absolutely adorable, finds him absolutely adorable. He starts driving his cock up deeper into Jeongguk with harsh thrusts, fucking his fingers into the boy’s pliant mouth and Jeongguk’s cock is just bouncing pathetically against his stomach, leaking spurts of precum helplessly—dumb with pleasure as Yoongi fucks him through the next few minutes, letting him sit on top just to take it.

“C’mon, weren’t you gonna prove me wrong?”

“Hy—ugh, mgh,” Jeongguk whines, forgetting what he had even been trying to prove. “I don’t, don’t—”

“Oh poor baby,” Yoongi hums, letting his fingers fall out from Jeongguk’s mouth, smiling when a line of spit connects his fingers to the boy’s mouth—glops of drool spilling from the corners of his mouth. “I’m gonna ruin you, aren’t I?”

Jeongguk nods, stares Yoongi straight in the eyes. “Yeah,” he breathes, whimpering prettily as Yoongi tweaks a nipple with his spit-slick fingers. “ ‘nd—I’ll let you. And I’ll let you ruin me.”

He supposes it’s what he needs right now.

And so, Yoongi fucks Jeongguk until he blacks out. He wakes back up a little bit later. They go again—

Jeongguk dreams of Taehyung that night, dreams of Kim Taehyung and 7-fucking-Eleven, raspberry-cherry slurpees on their tongues and love on their lips. Jeongguk dreams of Taehyung that night, but his dreams shift and he begins to dream of pointe shoes and ballet barres and then a red string tied tight around his pinky, threads from his heart laced together and tied to his soulmate.

Jeongguk had always thought that Taehyung was on the other end of it—always thought that it was serendipity that brought them together in this life, in this life among many, he always thought it’s fate that keeps them tied together in in all the lives and lives to come—but he pulls on the red string until it pools at his feet and there’s nobody there, nothing tied to the other end.

He looks up and sees Taehyung, a red string tied around his pinky. Jeongguk’s eyes follow it, follow the string to see if it’s been cut from his, to see if there’s any way to tie their threads back together.

But then the glitter goes dull.

Jeongguk’s heart breaks into two when he sees that Taehyung’s string leads to Park Jimin, when he realizes he’s been left alone with fate pooling messily around his shoes—knotted, tangled—and he might as well start sobbing because Taehyung was never his, but he was always Taehyung’s.

And then he dreams of Yoongi.

He dreams something about Yoongi, but he forgets what it was even about the moment he wakes up.

Dreams are just dreams and nothing more.

Jeongguk squints at the light seeping past his lids, groaning when he feels how sore his body is, eyes widening when he realizes what he did last night—who he did it with last night.

“Oh fuck.”

His cock twitches thinking about how he spilled all over his stomach, all over his nipples, and Yoongi licked it all up. He lets out a soft whimper thinking about Yoongi’s mouth—oh god, Yoongi’s mouth—and his fairy lips wrapped around his cock and oh, oh god Jeongguk might be a little addicted.

He wonders why they went at it—quite literally—all night, but then he realizes that it was because they both knew they only had that night, and that it was a mistake. A one-time mistake.

He looks down at Yoongi sleeping beside him, hair wavy and a little bit frizzy from falling asleep right after showering. There’s hickies all over the older’s neck and Jeongguk isn’t sure if that was him—isn’t sure whether he’d pressed his mouth to Yoongi’s nape and marred his fairy-like skin. You see, after the fifth time Yoongi fucked the heartbreak out of him, Jeongguk’s memories begin to blur and all he can remember is how he might’ve dozed off with Yoongi’s cock still inside his ass, or maybe he was suckling messily at the tip and fell asleep like that, mouthing at the underside.

(Or maybe their lips were pressed together, messy and gross with cum and lube and drool and maybe they fell asleep like that —lovedrunk, lovesick fools with sea salt, blood wine dripping like golden gloss from their mouths.)

But then Jeongguk peeks at the clock on Yoongi’s bedside table and sees that CD, sees that CD with messy black sharpie writing ruining its iridescence. To Jimin, it reads. But there’s more that Jeongguk didn’t catch last night: smudged sharpie dirties the aesthetic even more, and Jeongguk has to squint to read the hangul. And then—the guilt he’d buried deep finally rises back to the surface like seafoam. It bubbles up and he feels like he’s gonna vomit.

To Jimin: I lied about not loving you back.

He has to get out of here.

Jeongguk’s mind goes wild—

Maybe it was of some comfort to Jeongguk that he wasn’t the only loser in love, that Jimin was in the same boat, planks broken and wood rotting, ready to sink to the sea floor.

Now it’s just him.

Jimin has Yoongi and Taehyung doesn’t need him.

But Yoongi. Yoongi—

Jeongguk knew what he was getting himself into—right from the start, right from the moment he sat in Yoongi’s lap and let older call him pretty, let Yoongi fuck him knowing that Yoongi was thinking of Jimin even though Jeongguk was thinking of anyone but Taehyung.

I don’t even feel anything for him. He doesn’t even mean anything to me, so why does this bother me so fucking much?

It’s not a lie, he definitely isn’t catching feelings for Yoongi (—right?) but Jeongguk doesn’t know why it feels off to say Yoongi doesn’t mean anything to him, to say he doesn’t feel anything for the older.

Even if Jeongguk did feel something as stupid, as dangerous as love—he isn’t about to go and fuck things up, because no one else holds a goddamn candle to Kim Taehyung. Because the one lie he’s already telling himself, the biggest fucking lie in the whole damn universe, is that he’s over Taehyung. That he’s not wholly and irrevocably in love with Kim Taehyung,

Maybe he was just stupid for thinking that he could pretend to be someone’s number one, if only for a night. And maybe he was just a fucking fool for not considering that he could lose to Jimin again.

Maybe it’s unfair of him to feel betrayed by Yoongi, feel hurt that Yoongi’s loved Jimin this entire time, loved Jimin even as he was fucking Jeongguk last night, because isn’t Jeongguk the exact same?

Replace Park Jimin with Kim Taehyung and maybe nothing’s changed.

Oh god. What is it about Jeongguk that makes him so unloved? (His heart rots with wildflowers and he can’t stop hating Jimin, can’t stop the jealousy. And maybe that’s why he feels so unloved—)

He can’t stay here any longer, overthinking things.

He has class in ten minutes.

Jeongguk shoves all the covers off his body with a sigh, looking for his clothes and groaning when he sees a cum stain on his black shirt.

He thinks he remembers tugging on his cock and coming all over the older boy without permission. Remembers how Yoongi tied his hands together with that shirt as punishment. Remembers how he then resorted to humping up into his hand, rubbing his cock against the fabric, curved to his stomach and red and dripping everywhere as Yoongi fucked him through his orgasm, as he lay there, weak and whimpering for more.

Yoongi called him insatiable, and Jeongguk knew it was true, because Taehyung made him that way—

“Ah, fuck.” He’s not looking forward to the big talk they’re inevitably gonna have at their rehearsal . . . definitely not looking forward to the two-way talks of regret (—but it’s a bit scary, because Jeongguk feel as much regret as he thought he would).

—Jeongguk does what he would do if Yoongi were Taehyung: walks to the boy’s closet and steals the softest and roomiest sweatshirt he can find.


(-2)

“You’re wearing my sweatshirt,” Taehyung utters, playing with the egg-yolk yellow fabric, letting the boy snuggle himself deeper in his hold.

“I like it a lot,” Jeongguk hums, and then, “it smells like you.”

(It’s almost like he says: I like you a lot.)

Taehyung smiles, a soft version of that smile he gives when he’s embarrassed and doesn’t know what to do with himself. He smiles wider than his mouth can handle it—pretty cupid lips stretched taut like a bow, but, you see, he’s already shot so many golden arrows into so many fucking hearts. (Jeongguk thinks that if you’d cut him open, look deep into his chest, you’d see gold dripping from all the wounds in his gentle heart.)

“I wear it to sleep a lot,” Taehyung whispers.

“Smells nice,” Jeongguk repeats sleepily.

“You can have it, if you want,” Taehyung offers.

No ,” Jeongguk whines, tugging Taehyung closer by the waist. “Then it won’t smell like you, hyung.”

Taehyung kisses Jeongguk’s nose, too-fond and too-endeared and this is how Jeongguk knows Taehyung’s in love. This is how Jeongguk knows Taehyung loves. He’s touchy, he’s affectionate, and he lets Jeongguk take pieces of him because he doesn’t know how to give Jeongguk his heart.

“Cute,” Taehyung giggles, kissing the mole under Jeongguk’s mouth—burying his hands in the big pocket of the hoodie, yellow like sun-flower petals, making the boy blush like pretty sakura blossoms.

And Jeongguk—? He takes all those little pieces of Taehyung and tucks it in the craters of the moon—

“Don’t stop loving me, okay, Taetae?” he asks, soft and fragile as he presses his mouth to Taehyung’s.

—because he’ll do anything to remind himself that somebody loves him since he can’t fucking bare to do it himself.

“I could never, Gukkie.”

If Taehyung has a giant sunflower for a heart, then Jeongguk has cherry blossoms, fragile and falling, five centimeters per goddamn second.


(0)

jeongguk we need to talk
you kinda ran away in the morning
you're coming right? for practice?

Jeongguk shoves his phone into his back pocket—pulling on the drawstrings of Yoongi’s hoodie as he runs out into the pouring rain. He’s been in class or in rehearsal since the morning, so he hasn’t gotten the chance to change his clothes (—to change out of Yoongi’s hoodie).

He did think about ditching the duet rehearsal, but then he realized they really don’t have much time. The performance is in a few weeks, and their most recent rehearsal sessions have been anything but productive. (He doubts this one will be any better.) He hopes they can get over the whole— sex thing rather quickly. He knows it didn’t mean anything to Yoongi after all. He hopes the guilt goes away fast.

He still can’t decide if it was a mistake or not.

Jeongguk knows it was bad, knows it was wrong—knows they both fucked up—but, was it a mistake?

(Of course it fucking was.)

The question is: would he do it again?

Jeongguk knows the answer, but he doesn’t want to think of it, so he pulls out his phone and shoots a quick text back: yea. im coming over right now.

God, his mind is a fucking mess.

The rain soaks Yoongi’s hoodie as he stands in the middle of the goddamn street. Jeongguk wipes his screen dry with the sleeve only to have drops fall and wet the glass once more. It’s almost like he’s crying, but—Jeongguk thinks he’s over that. So he puts his phone away and continues to run over to the practice room building, the wet squish of his clothes loud in his ears as he runs away, splashing through the puddles and ruining his sneakers. And he keeps running, running wild and messily like all the thoughts in his head. He can’t make sense of it anymore and all he can hear is Ravel, but then the music shifts to Dvorak and Jeongguk doesn’t know what he fucking wants.

Stepping into the building, drying his shoes on the mat (—but it’s all fucking pointless, considering his hoodie’s already soaked through and dripping), he he texts Yoongi again, telling him he’s here.

When he walks into the practice room, he feels a little bad for getting the carpet all wet, but his guilt is eclipsed the moment he sees Yoongi.

“Hey, hyung,” he mumbles. “Sorry I stole your h—”

Holy shit,” Yoongi gasps, “you’re soaking, Guk.”

“Yeah, uhm—” the younger boy flushes as Yoongi stands up to go to him, when Yoongi places both hands on Jeongguk’s waist to feel at the soaked-through fabric, “—I didn’t, uh, have an umbrella.”

Looking down at the hoodie, he sees now that the light grey fabric has turned quite dark in color with the rain.

Yoongi frowns. “C’mon, Guk. You’re gonna get sick like this,” he urges, tightening his grip on the boy’s small waist, starting to try to tug his sweatshirt off.

“No no no, hyung,” Jeongguk gasps, eyes wide as Yoongi pulls the hoodie off, exposing his bare skin, bare stomach, bare chest, and god does he blush. “I’m not—” his voice cuts out when he involuntarily raises his arms to let Yoongi strip him naked, “not, not wearing a shirt under.”

Jeongguk can feel Yoongi’s eyes gravitate towards the numerous hickies all over him, can see Yoongi licking his lips with a small breath.

“Was this all me?” he whispers softly. (He thumbs a bruise by Jeongguk’s V-line, in the dips made by his hip bones, and Jeongguk is dangerously aware that he’s not wearing underwear right now, that his waistband isn’t there to cover all the marks. And— oh. His sweats are riding too low, exposing smooth skin at his hips and above his barely covered cock.

Nodding, Jeongguk squeaks out, “Yeah. It was.”

And then Yoongi seems to break out of his stupor, hands dropping from where they were at his waist. Jeongguk finds that he misses where they were.

“Sorry for, uhm—” Yoongi pauses, embarrassed, “stripping you like that suddenly. I just didn’t want you wearing wet clothes. I actually have your shirt from last night, the black one you left. I washed it.”

“You didn’t have to do that.”

Yoongi smiles. “I wanted to. You were sweet.”

How hilarious. “Sweet? That’s funny.”

“Seriously,” Yoongi says, reaching over for his bag to find Jeongguk’s shirt, pausing when he pulls out a second item. “Oh, and I brought your underwear too. You kinda left it on the ground.”

“Fuck, I’m so sorry,” Jeongguk responds. “I totally forgot. I, uh, I haven’t had time to stop back at my dorm to change, so—”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow. “So you’re not wearing underwear right now?”

“I—” Jeongguk can’t bear to finish the statement.

“God, Guk,” he groans, his eyes wandering back to Jeongguk’s waist. “You’re really killing me here.”

“Hm?”

Yoongi grins, eyes sparkling something Jeongguk can’t name. “Nothing. Don’t worry about it. Do you wanna go change in the bathroom?”

“Uh, I think I’m good with just the t-shirt for now?”

“You sure about that?” Yoongi asks, eyes slipping back to Jeongguk’s abs, back to the bruises made by his own fingertips. He looks hungry.

Jeongguk doesn’t know why he does this. Fuck he doesn’t know why he begins to play with the band of his sweatpants, making sure that he keeps eye contact with Yoongi. “One-hundred percent, hyung. Just the shirt’s fine.”

He throws the black shirt at Jeongguk, watching as he pulls it on. “So, where do you wanna pick off in the Dvorak?”

Huh?

“Wait, didn’t you wanna talk first?” Jeongguk asks.

“No, that was it,” Yoongi answers. “Just wanted to give you back your clothes, tell you I washed them too. You can keep my sweatshirt, if you want.”

Jeongguk squints. “Are you flirting with me?”

Yoongi cracks a smile, and there’s that sparkle in both his eyes again. Jeongguk thinks he can see himself in it. “Oh, my dear Jeonggukie, you’re not my type at all.”

“Liar. You’re attracted to me.”

Yoongi doesn’t say anything.

The older boy only lets out a small breath, tapping some piano keys before looking back at Jeongguk brightly. “So, did you want to talk about anything?”

You. Taehyung. Jimin. Last night.

“Not really. We can just rehease.”

“Rehearse we shall—”

And the thing about attraction, the thing that most people don’t like to talk about, is that attraction is a pull—the act of being dragged towards something. You can’t help it, can’t help the way you feel.

And maybe it was inevitable—inevitable, the way Yoongi brings Jeongguk home, liplocked, dripping with gold. Maybe it was always unavoidable, the attraction between them—the glitz and glamor of something that tastes like revenge, too.

“You’re a bit of a slut, aren’t you, Yoongi-hyung?” the younger boy teases as Yoongi mouths at his stomach, licks over all the bruises from last night.

“You’re one to talk,” Yoongi growls, pulling on his waistband until it makes a sharp snapping noise against his skin. “Going around like this all day—no underwear, wearing my sweatshirt.” He pulls Jeongguk’s sweatpants down, exposing the boy’s cock—red and plump, dripping with something a little less than gold. “Letting me fuck four orgasms out of you last night, hm?”

Jeongguk groans when Yoongi runs the fat of his tongue against the underside of his cock, bringing his hand down to grab at a clump of Yoongi’s hair. “Oh just shut up. Pretend I’m Jimin if that helps.”

Maybe he’s crossing the line, maybe he’s gone too far—but Yoongi keeps his eyes on Jeongguk as he swallows down his cock, tonguing at the slit before he bobs his head a few times. Then, he pulls away and laughs when Jeongguk whimpers, hips jerking forward. Yoongi slaps his cock lightly, watching as Jeongguk completely falls apart and falls forward. (Good thing Yoongi stands up to catch him.)

Yoongi leans in to bite Jeongguk’s earlobe, licking at his helix piercings softly. “Jimin’s nowhere near as loud and whiny as you, babe,” he utters.

Jeongguk hisses at Yoongi’s words—unsure as to why they sting so much. “Yeah? Well you’re much more of an asshole than Taehyung.”

Yoongi slaps his cock again, a bit harder this time.

“Brat.”

“Slut.”

Jeongguk doesn’t know what it is that makes them both erupt in laughter after that exchange, but he’s thankful (—so fucking thankful—) that Yoongi’s lips are shaped the way they are, pouty and pretty and he can’t stop looking at them, shimmery with spit—and he can’t stop himself from leaning in for a kiss.

(The regret of last night starts to mushroom away.)

“What was that for?” Yoongi asks, his voice soft.

“Nothing, you just—looked kinda pretty, just then.”

Yoongi blushes pink. “Now don’t go falling in love with me, Jeonggukie,” he says. “You’d have some explaining to do to Jiminie and Taehyung, hm?”

“Yeah, like I would ever,” Jeongguk scoffs, pulling Yoongi closer by the belt loops on his jeans with a grin, pulling him into a deeper kiss.

“Hey, I’m very easy to fall in love with, kid.”

“And I fall in love very easily, hyung. If I was gonna fall in love with you I’d have done it a lot sooner—”

“What a shame, then,” Yoongi rasps, kissing at the mole beneath Jeongguk’s bottom lip (—and just for a second, he thinks of Taehyung). “I suppose we’re never gonna end up together, huh?”

“Oh, what a goddamn tragedy—” Jeongguk hums, staring Yoongi right in the eyes as presses him to the wall, grinding up against him. He kisses Yoongi at his ear before whispering, “You gonna tell Jimin you love him back anytime soon?”

Yoongi chuckles and retorts, “You gonna kiss and make up with Taehyung anytime soon? I know you still love him—”

The taller boy runs his teeth down to Yoongi’s jaw, breathing wetly at his pulse point, and rasps, “Not while you're fucking me.”

“We could give him a call,” Yoongi jokes.

“Now that’s fucked, Min Yoongi.”

“As if us sleeping together isn’t fucked enough.”

“I guess you’re right there,” Jeongguk lilts, undoing Yoongi’s jeans. “Hey—how mad do you think Jimin and Taehyung are gonna be when they find out?”

“No one needs to find out.”

Jeongguk laughs. “Is that what you told Jimin?”

Yoongi looks genuinely stunned for a quick beat, but then he rolls his eyes and brings his hand up to the boy’s cheek. “Well as long neither of us do anything fucking stupid like catching feelings and complicating things, it’ll be fine.”

“Is that also something you told Jimin?”

“Oh just shut up. Pretend I’m Taehyung if it helps.

“Sorry, his—”

“One more joke about how much bigger his cock is and I swear to fucking god.”

Jeongguk doesn’t ask anymore questions, doesn’t ask if Yoongi thinks this’ll hurt Jimin or Taehyung—because, of course it will, of course it will. But the thing is? Yoongi doesn’t care about that, not at all, and Jeongguk? Jeongguk will welcome that hurt—as long as he gets to see it in motion.

He doesn’t ask any obvious questions either, like if this is gonna be an ongoing thing—because again, of course it will, of course the fucking dominos are gonna tip over and knock over everything in sight because gravity is unstoppable and attraction, the fucking pull between them, is inevitable. If flowers were made to wilt they were also made to bloom—

If Taehyung has a giant sunflower for a heart, and Jeongguk has cherry blossoms, then Yoongi must have rose vines (—not the flowers petals, budding and beautiful, but the vines, thorned and bleeding and prickling anyone who comes close).

Jeongguk plays to win—whatever the game is—but what he doesn’t know is that he’s already lost, because the first one to fall is the first one to lose, right?


 (+1)

taetae
11:16 PM
fine
fine okay lets not talk about jimin
lets talk abt something else then

taetae
11:18 PM
do you regret it?

jeongguk
11:19 PM
what, yoongi?
do i regret sleeping with him?
what do you think, taehyung?

[ Read 11:19 PM ]

Chapter Text

XII.

(0)

Yoongi’s perched up against the grey wall, laptop littered with stickers and balanced atop his thighs. His blonde hair’s pulled into a small tie, fluffy and poking up from the top of his head, like a budding flower, barely bloomed. His thick, circular glasses rest at the bridge of his nose and Jeongguk finds himself letting out a quiet sigh whenever his eyes happen land upon the gentle sight (—which is a lot quite a lot more than Jeongguk would admit).

Jeongguk’s sitting right beside him, arms pressed together as they do homework together (—as they listen to music that feels like the stars twinkling up there, all idealistic and all unrealistic). DEAN’s Half Moon plays at the moment Jeongguk finds himself stuck on one of the textbook problems.

“Hyung,” he calls softly, reluctant to disturb Yoongi from whatever he’s working on (—looks like some sort of paper).

“Yeah, Guk?” Yoongi responds, turning his head to look at Jeongguk, mouth slightly open in that cute way the younger always finds himself smiling at.

“Can you help me with this one?” he asks gingerly, arching his paper in Yoongi’s direction.

Yoongi gives the problem a quick glance, then sets his laptop aside and says, “Sure.” He scoots closer and hooks his chin on the boy’s shoulder, sneaking an arm behind Jeongguk’s back to let his hand rest at his waist.

Everything Yoongi says filters through the younger boy's head like 6AM light through closed shutters. By the time Yoongi’s done, Jeongguk finds that he wasn’t paying attention to his explanation at all.

Only to the hand at his waist, thumbing circles at bare skin, playing with the band of his underwear.

“You got it now, Guk?” Yoongi asks.

“I never really pinned you as the the touchy type,” Jeongguk blurts out, realizing what he's said only after the words leave his mouth. “It’s really cute.”

Jeongguk.”

“I—”

“You weren’t listening at all, were you?”

Jeongguk bites his lip. “Sorry. Got distracted.”

Yoongi blushes at the implication of what he had been distracted by, quickly retracting his arm from Jeongguk’s waist and glaring at the boy. “That’s it. That’s the last time I help you with theory.”

“Sure,” Jeongguk says, smiling because he knows that the older doesn’t mean it, because he knows that he’s gonna find himself at Yoongi’s place after their duet practice tomorrow, ordering takeout from a different food place each night, exchanging new favorite songs and playlists as they study together. “Sure it is,” he teases, squeezing Yoongi’s cheek—

Yoongi swats Jeongguk’s hand away. “Jesus, what the fuck , you’re getting so bold lately,” he grumbles a bit exasperatedly.

Eyes sparkling, Jeongguk grins wide and looks right at Yoongi when when he suggests, “Then maybe you should put me in my place, Yoongi-hyung.”

Maybe,” Yoongi says, squishing the boy’s cheeks together so that he’s stuck in a duckish pout, “you should do your work for once, kid.”

(Jeongguk doesn’t ignore the fierce blush Yoongi’s trying to hide.)

“Fine,” Jeongguk sighs, smiling softly to himself at another battle won (—but, then again, he doesn’t even know that he’s already lost the war).

“You got games on your phone, hyung?”

Yoongi looks up from his laptop to see Jeongguk, holding his phone in his hand, the brattiest look on his lips, like he’s just gotten away with something.

Just give me my phone back, Jeongguk,” Yoongi groans, grabbing at Jeongguk’s hands only for the younger to wiggle away from his attempts, rolling ridiculously, almost acrobatically, around the bed. Yoongi gives up after a short fight.

“Please. I’m so bored. I don’t have space on my phone for games. Can I download Final Fantasy?”

Nope,” Yoongi asserts, taking his phone back no matter how much Jeongguk pouts. The boy keeps pouting for much longer after that (— go big or go home , Jeongguk always tells himself), stubbornly keeping his plush bottom lip protruded for Yoongi to see—and maybe to give in to.

And, if Yoongi finds it cute, so cute that he tries to sneak in a picture or two when he thinks Jeongguk isn’t looking, then, well—? Jeongguk just indulges him and pretends he doesn’t see.

An hour later, Jeongguk sets down his notebook and exhales. “Hey,” he says, “Let me suck you off.”

Yoongi head whips to the side, eyebrows furrowed incredulously, mouth open. “Are you that bored?”

Jeongguk grins. “A little.”

“God, you’re too much—”

“I know,” he interrupts. “Anyways, will you let me?”

“Just do your work, Guk.”

“Are you really turning down a blowjob right now?”

Yoongi sighs and brings his hand up to Jeongguk’s face, stroking at the little scar on his cheek. “You’re sickening,” he says, with no sincerity to his words.

Jeongguk smiles and takes that as a green light.

And after Yoongi comes embarrassingly fast, after Jeongguk comes messy in his sweats, sticky and damp at the front, after they clean each other up in the bathroom, Jeongguk notices that it’s midnight.

“Hey, it’s really late,” he hums, poking Yoongi.

Yoongi looks over to the L.E.D. clock by the bed—

“Yeah, I guess it is. I didn’t even notice,” he voices with a soft yawn.

Usually, Jeongguk doesn’t stay this long. But—

Jeongguk closes up his books, tidying them into a nice pile as he straightens his back, cracking a few knuckles. “I should head back, then.”

“You sure you wanna walk back alone?”

“It’s not that far of a walk.”

“It’s midnight, kid. Just sleep over.”

“I don’t wanna be a burden.”

“Don’t be dramatic. You’ve slept over before.”

“Yeah, but that was because—”

“Because I had just fucked you and you were too boneless and sore to move. I know. Still counts,” Yoongi interjects.

Jeongguk purses his lips stubbornly. “You’re really not gonna let me leave no matter what I say, huh?”

Yoongi cracks a grin. “You know me so well.”

It’s the first of many times Jeongguk stays over at Yoongi’s place purposefully. The first time they’re both more than lucid, not drunk on wine or drunk on each other’s bodies or sex —just—lucid. Aware. The first of many.

Jeongguk falls asleep, face mushed in the sheets, breathing soft as his hand finds its way to Yoongi’s.


(-4)

The first time Jeongguk realizes he’s in love with Taehyung, he’s a little bit horrified. Okay, maybe a part of him always knew he was in love, knew all along, ever since Kim Taehyung had that fuckboy phase and all he wore was Abercrombie and yeah, yeah maybe Jeongguk was in love even then.

But the first time Jeongguk really, truly realizes it, he’s fifteen and a half and Taehyung’s kissed him for the first time (—really kissed him, not the cheek pecks from when Jeongguk was barely fifteen, not the teasing kisses at his earlobe, truly kissed him, a little too much tongue and a little too wet, a little too messy, and he shouldn’t love it this much).

He doesn’t really know what he’s doing, doesn’t really know how to kiss back and all of a sudden his mind starts to wander and wonder whether all those rumors of Taehyung making out with girls in the Hollister dressing rooms was true but it doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter because now Taehyung’s making out with him and Jeongguk doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing and his mind is going a mile a fucking minute.

“You’re thinking too much, baby,” Taehyung hums against his lips, teeth clacking against Jeongguk’s front bunny teeth.

“Sorry,” Jeongguk mumbles, lips slick and puffy—

He doesn’t know what he’s doing, but he’s always tried to just take it as it comes, improvise the rest.

(And that’s the thing Jeongguk really loves about music, about orchestra. It’s all about pretending to be more than you are, achieving more than you’re capable of achieving. It’s all about being more than you ever were, ever will be.)

“ ‘s okay. Just relax and don’t try so hard for once.”

Have you even met me—? Jeongguk wants to say, but then Taehyung puts his mouth back on his and Jeongguk melts into the kiss.

(Melts like the ice cream they got on the beach harbor a few hours ago. Jeongguk thinks he can still taste it on Taehyung’s lips, can still feel it on his hands—sticky where Taehyung had spilt it on him—can still feel it when he fists his hands tight ‘cause he doesn’t know what to do with them. But then Taehyung brings his hands down to his, and Jeongguk squeezes tight where they intertwine, and maybe he melts even more at the touch—at how Taehyung draws crooked stars in his palm with his thumb, paints colorful constellations all over his skin with just a touch, a melting touch.)

Jeongguk falls in love slowly, falls in love so slow and so easily that it’s like breathing, and he only realizes when it’s too late, when his skin’s painted all over with stars and he’s swept up in a love story with no happy endings and all happy beginnings—

Yeah. Maybe he’s been in love with Kim Taehyung all along, and maybe there’s a reason he melts so beautifully at Taehyung’s touch. Yeah.

He thinks he can do this forever (—love like this is easy, and maybe that’s what clues Jeongguk in to realize he’s in love).

Jeongguk never had to try so hard with Taehyung, at least not at first. Definitely not at first, when all they needed to love each other were slow kisses, hands stained with ice cream and peach-colored stars—before Taehyung began to paint a picture of his future and Jeongguk realized he was never in it from the start.

You always think you’re gonna have something for forever, right until you lose it, until it slips from right between your fingertips.


(0)

One day, Taehyung calls Jeongguk on Skype.

He’s sitting in bed, laptop speakers blasting one of Yoongi’s compositions he asked Jeongguk to listen to when he got the time, when he gets the call.

Jeongguk hasn’t talked to Taehyung since, since—

“Fuck.”

—ever since Taehyung came to his doorstep, and Jeongguk made him cry. And Jeongguk made him cry. Yeah. Since then. Since he told Taehyung he never wanted to see him or speak to him again.

Jeongguk doesn’t exactly know why he presses the green answer button, he doesn’t know quite why his fingers seemed to move before his mind caught up, before his heart began to clench and beat in arrhythmias.

After a few seconds of connecting, Kim Taehyung appears on the screen, low def and bad wifi galore like all their Skype sessions usually are—were .

“You look good,” Taehyung blurts out immediately.

Jeongguk furrows his brows. “The camera’s shitty. I, I—don’t . Look good, I mean. I don’t look good.”

The older boy’s lips stretch into a small grin, and Jeongguk finds his eyes smiling before his mouth has had a chance to catch up, finds his eyes go all star-stricken when they have absolutely no reason to be. But he can’t help this, can’t help the way the boy makes him smile, even when he doesn’t want to. “You do,” Taehyung hums. “I like that haircut.”

“Thanks,” Jeongguk says. “I got it yesterday. You, uh—” god, he pauses to laugh, chuckle at himself, “—you look good too. You always look good.”

He looks happy. You look happy, Jeongguk wants to say. Do I look happy too? a part of him wants to ask. But he doesn’t. Instead he asks, “How’ve you been? It’s . . . it’s been a while.”

Taehyung keeps smiling. “Yeah. Been a long while. But—I’m good. London’s good and I like it a lot. It’s no New York, though.”

“Do you miss it?” (Do you miss me?) “New York, I mean.”

Taehyung’s eyes sparkle, just a bit, but Jeongguk knows that it’s just some glimmer reflecting from his laptop screen. He knows that Taehyung’s eyes don’t sparkle for him like they sparkle for music—like his eyes sparkle for Taehyung. It never worked like that. It never did, and yet—

“No, not really,” he admits. “But I miss you.”

—yet he can’t stop himself from gasping, just a bit.

(Jeongguk doesn’t care if it’s a lie or not. He can’t bring himself to care because—it’s Kim Taehyung. It’s Taehyung, his Taehyung.)

“Taehyung—”

“Sorry, Guk,” Taehyung interrupts sheepishly. “I’m overstepping, aren’t I? We, we didn’t exactly leave things on the best terms, and, and I know you said you didn’t want to talk to me anymore, but—”

“Why did you call?”

Taehyung’s tongue darts out to wet his lips, and Jeongguk watches as he bites on it for a second, just before asking, “I just wanted to see how you were doing. Uhm, Jimin says that you two aren’t talking anymore, so I was just a bit worried.”

(There we go. There’s Jimin again. Always.)

Jeongguk smiles through the bile in his throat. “I’m good. I’m—” he blinks slowly, lets out a soft breath he feels like he’s been holding this entire goddamn time, “—happy. I’m happy.”

“Good. That’s good. I think I am too.”

He wonders if Taehyung’s lying. Or if he’s the liar. Or if they’re both lying to themselves. Jeongguk—doesn’t know. Doesn’t really know what happiness is in a world without Taehyung because Taehyung and happiness used to be one and the same.

Because one always, always meant the other and he doesn’t remember when it stopped being like that, doesn’t remember when love started to mean heartbreak and when Taehyung started to make his heart feel caught up in his throat twenty-four-goddamn-seven like he couldn’t fucking breathe.

“I’m sorry for, for everything I said, the last time we talked, hyung. I, I was really upset, and, and I said some pretty shitty things—”

He’s doing a fucking one-eighty. A goddamn one-eighty because Jeongguk is a weak, weak man, and Taehyung means more to him than he’ll ever know, because Taehyung is everything, and he wants him back. Jeongguk is a weak man.

Taehyung cuts him off, “It’s fine. I deserved it all.”

(All Jeongguk can do to stop himself from thinking in the silence is to look at the older’s chestnut hair, shaggier than before—heart beating a bit faster at the way it just barely falls over his eyes.)

“So, what’ve you been up to?” Jeongguk asks.

“Same ol’ always. Music. Cello.”

Now there’s the true glitter in his eyes. There it is.

“You?” Taehyung follows up, taking gentle steps.

“I’ve been practicing a lot too. Yoongi-hyung and I have our duet performance pretty soon. The end of next week.”

“Oh! You guys are still doing that?”

“Yeah—” Jeongguk answers, and he doesn’t know why that bites a little, why the shock in Taehyung’s voice makes him feel on edge, why he feels like he desperately needs to prove himself. “We’re workin’ really hard on it.”

“Always such a hard worker,” Taehyung praises.

Jeongguk’s cheeks flush. He starts to nibble on his bottom lip—unsure of how to respond except for a small, “Thank you.”

“Can you tell Yoongi-hyung I say hi? He hasn’t really been responding to my texts,” Taehyung sighs, a little embarrassed. “Hyung really hates texting, doesn’t he? You two are kinda similar.”

Jeongguk’s mind flashes back to how he’d spent hours texting Yoongi last night, talking mindlessly about some K-drama they both love. He thinks it had to have been at least three hours they were texting, three hours before Yoongi got too tired to keep typing and ended up just calling Jeongguk for another two, the older’s voice raspy and soothing. Jeongguk fell asleep on the line, dozing peacefully.

“Uh yeah, I guess,” he lies. “I’ll tell him you say hi.”

(Perhaps Jeongguk should feel guilty, but it hasn’t quite caught up to him. The repercussions haven’t hit in full force, not like they will.)

“Thanks,” Taehyung cheers.

“So—”

Taehyung cuts him off and says, “Sorry this was so sudden, it’s just, it’s been weeks and I just—I really missed my best friend.”

And Jeongguk can’t stop the four bitter words that come next. “But you have Jimin.”

“But I don’t have you.”

“Yeah. You don’t.”

“Jeongguk—”

“You’re my best friend, Tae. Still. But do you know how much it fucking kills me that you’re not here? Did you know how much it sucked all the goddamn time when you chose literally everything over me? That’s why you don’t have me anymore, hyung.”

Jeongguk lets out a breath, brushes his hair off his forehead, heart clenching as Taehyung apologizes.

“I know. I know now.”

“You didn’t even say goodbye.”

“I didn’t think you wanted to hear it, after—”

“So you just gave up? Gave up because I got mad at you? Did I mean that little to you that you could just give me up like that?”

“Jeongguk, you know the answer to that.”

“Yeah. I do.”

I’m sorry.

“You never stopped being my best friend. When we broke up . . . that never stopped. You’ll always, you’ll have that part of me, Taehyung, okay? But, but you don’t have me, because you took a part of me when I was fifteen and you’ll always have that, but you don’t have me, you don’t have me.

Jeongguk knows he’s not making anymore sense, but he’s so fucking frustrated that they keep going round and round like this without any fuckin’ sense of closure and Jeongguk is still so foolishly in love.

“You’re in London now.”

“I am.”

“You left me.”

“I did.”

Jeongguk laughs because he doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know what to do except say, “Fuck. Fuck, I still love you, don’t I?” (This, this they both know.)

But something is—different , something Jeongguk can’t place his finger on, something he can’t figure out, not just yet. Not until it’s too late.

“I still love you too,” Taehyung confesses, and god does it feel like he means it—like he really fucking does—and Jeongguk’s heart beats so beautifully.

(But it’s not the same. It’s not the same somehow.)

“I miss you, Taehyung. I’ve really missed you. God, I’m such a fucking mess.”

“I want to be your best friend again, okay? That’s why I called. I know it’s stupid and selfish of me, but—I know I can be better. I just, I want to be your friend more than anything. I know I hurt you, and, and—”

“You did. You hurt me a lot but . . . I want you to be my friend again too,” Jeongguk admits, and it feels like he’s giving in too easily, giving in too honestly. “Just my friend.” (It’s a lie, it’s definitely a lie. But Jeongguk is a liar, a master of saying things all the things he doesn’t mean, feeling what he knows he shouldn’t feel.)

Taehyung smiles, and Jeongguk looks at the clock.

“I gotta go. I have rehearsal with Yoongi at noon.”

“Wait, can we talk again? Later? Or I don’t know—I just, I just wanna start talking to you again. I really, really miss you, Guk. And I want to fix things.”

Jeongguk feels like he’s free falling, free falling so fucking hard and he can’t stop himself from doing something he knows he shouldn’t do. (But there’s something holding him back, blossoming blue and black inside his chest and he isn’t sure what it is.)

“Yeah. Yeah, okay. Okay. We can do that.”

“I’ll call you?”

Jeongguk nods. “You’ll call me.”

There’s a bout of silence until Taehyung sighs and says, almost like a question, “Love you, Guk.”

And Jeongguk lets himself breathe again. “I love you too, Taetae.” (And Taehyung smiles so bright.)

Maybe it’ll be okay again. Maybe they’ll be okay.

Except something’s changed. Something.

There’s something small burgeoning in Jeongguk’s heart like flowers about to bud, about to bloom, but he pays them no heed, pays no heed to the petals settling at the bottom of his chest, all bleached and damaged, black and white, so close to his heart he begins to think it’s oxygen.

(Because as some flowers die, some bloom too.)

Chemical reactions are defined by change, right?

“So you and Taehyungie are back together?”

Jeongguk slaps Yoongi’s arm. “God, shut up. I said we’re just gonna try and fix our friendship, okay?”

“Bet you two’re gonna be back together by the end of the month,” Yoongi teases, digging his fingers into the bruises he placed on Jeongguk’s stomach.

(Maybe there’s some bitterness Jeongguk catches, but, maybe—it’s just something he imagined all on his own).

“Seriously, we’ve just been talking on Skype again. Catching each other up and all. We’re—just gonna be friends this time. We broke each other way too much to get back together so easily,” he says, a bit introspectively.

Yoongi scoffs, pulling Jeongguk into his lap (—and he moves so pliantly, gentle and docile as he rests his butt atop Yoongi’s crotch, as he lets Yoongi grip his waist tight). “Babe, that’s what me and Hoseok said time, and we broke up and got together more times than I can count.”

Jeongguk allows a beat of silence to pass. Yoongi looks more exposed than he ever has. He’s letting Jeongguk have a piece of his heart, and Jeongguk wants to let Yoongi know he appreciates the trust, the vulnerability. “You never talk about Hoseok.”

“Because we’re always talking about Jimin.”

Jeongguk laughs. “You’re right.” And then he says, “Tell me about him. About you and Hoseok.”

“What about us?”

“Anything you want.”

Yoongi hums. “I guess I could say we were always a little like you and Taehyungie.”

“Good way or bad way?”

Yoongi grins, hesitant as he admits, “Bad way. We did the same thing you and Tae did. We didn’t talk about any of the problems we’d been having, and then we blamed each other for our unhappiness. I wasn't really fair to him—”

“Are you saying I wasn’t fair to Taehyung?”

“Stop pouting,” Yoongi soothes. “I never said that. I’m just saying, we never really talked it out when we noticed a problem, and then we’d let it build up until we got into a massive fight. Then we’d break up and get back together a few weeks later.”

“Seems rough,” Jeongguk says, his mind too blank and distracted to actually care about what Yoongi’s saying.

“It was,” Yoongi sighs, hands finding their way to Jeongguk’s underwear, snapping the waistband gently. “But, I mean, I think we’re done now. For good, probably.”

“It’s ‘cause of Jimin, right?” the younger boy asks, butterflies in his stomach, fluttering right above the flowers Yoongi presses into his skin.

“Yeah,” Yoongi admits absentmindedly, “ ‘cause of Jimin.”

“Are you two ever gonna get together?”

Yoongi sighs again, hands now finding their way to Jeongguk’s inner thighs (—he shivers at the touch, and it feels a bit inappropriate that they’re talking about their exes and Jimin like this, but Jeongguk thinks he likes it, likes it when Yoongi touches him like this as they talk about that ). “I don’t think so. I don’t think either of us really want to, deep down.”

“Oh, Jimin definitely wants to.”

Yoongi smacks Jeongguk’s thigh harshly when he says that, and Jeongguk has to hold back a moan. “Shut it. The sex with him is good, and I do—have feelings for him, but like, we don’t really click , you know?”

Jeongguk has to wonder if Jimin and Yoongi are still seeing each other, even now. He wonders if what he’s doing, right now, could considered to be cheating. (He wonders why he doesn’t quite care.)

Please don’t talk about sex with Jimin,” Jeongguk pleads, wincing at the thought of them together (—and perhaps, perhaps , he frowns at the reminder that Yoongi has feelings for Jimin, however slight they may be).

“God, all you used to do last month was talk about how big Taehyung’s d—”

That was one time , and in my defense, you know I’d just gotten high with Wonwoo—”

“And for some reason you still came to rehearsal.”

“Because I didn’t want to leave you hanging.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Wow—” he deadpans. “How sweet of you to come to duet rehearsal only to wax poetic about your boyfriend’s dick the entire time.”

Jeongguk glares petulantly, and Yoongi only grins.

“I hate you,” Jeongguk grumbles.

“Do you really?”

“No,” Jeongguk confesses. “Not anymore.”

Yoongi’s eyes gleam, and Jeongguk wonders if it’s because of the lights in the room, shining low and true, or if it’s because of him, blooming steady and withering away. But—it’s just a thought. A wonder, perhaps?

“Now how did that happen?” he asks, the corners of his mouth upturned. And maybe there’s a word for the way Yoongi looks at him. There has to be, but Jeongguk can’t quite figure it out.

Jeongguk hums (—as if he even needs to give it thought). “Maybe it was when you fucked me for the first time? Or maybe the fourth or fifth time? I think it took a couple of tries,” he teases, bringing Yoongi’s hand from his stomach down to his hard cock, plump under his gym shorts.

“Lies,” Yoongi dismisses. He leans in, and his lips just barely touch Jeongguk’s. “You hated me even when you kissed me on the piano bench?”

He feels like fully bloomed rose petals floating on seafoam, the way his heart beats so carefully, so cautiously, almost aching at the memory.

And so he crashes forward, lips smashing almost violently against Yoongi’s, colliding like goddamn ocean waves, and he can hear Yoongi sigh, like that —like Jeongguk’s mouth on his—was all that he needed to breathe.

“Even then,” he says, words empty because this, whatever the hell they’re doing right now, is more than enough. Because this, this moment right now, shared between the two of them, says everything they won’t—everything they can’t.

Jeongguk lets Yoongi strip him bare, and prays Yoongi won’t break him (—but he knows he will, because he knows Min Yoongi).


(-1)

“The library closes in ten minutes,” Jeongguk says.

“I know, I know,” Jimin hisses. “I just need to finish this paper before closing or else I won’t graduate.”

“When’s it due?”

“Midnight, I think,” Jimin answers, typing away on his keyboard.

“Then what’s the rush? You got three hours after.”

Jimin’s cheeks are almost the color of his blush-rose oversized hoodie when he mumbles, “I have someone to meet.”

Jeongguk groans.

“Is this that mystery boy Taetae-hyung hates?”

“Okay, first of all, he and Taetae are friends,” Jimin interjects, frowning cutely. “Taetae just doesn’t like when I hang out with him.”

“Because he has a boyfriend.”

“Okay, no. They broke up.”

“When?”

Jimin bites his lip. “Yesterday.”

“Jimin,” Jeongguk deadpans, eyeing Jimin with the look of disapproval he’s learned from his boyfriend.

“Oh, not now, Guk. I get enough of it from Taetae.”

“Fine, fine. I’m just saying —you can complete it at his place after you two fuck, or whatever.”

“I can’t stay.”

“Wait. The fuck? He doesn’t let you stay?” the boy gasps. “God, he sounds like a complete jackass.”

“No, he‘s offered,” Jimin hurries to explain, “it’s just that—I don’t know. It just doesn’t work like that.”

“Why not?”

“It just won’t, okay? Can we drop it?”

Jeongguk chews on his bottom lip, frustrated with Jimin. “Fine, do your paper. I just don’t think being in love should be as hard as you’re making it.”

(Love should be effortless, Jeongguk thinks, in his stupid, idealist, romantic head. Love should be late night study sessions, late night practice sessions, and going home together, hands laced without any delicacy needed, bodies close like magnets.)

Jimin laughs. “It gets hard when you love him a lot more than he loves you. A whole lot more.”

“Then why are you even with him? Or trying to be? If all he does is hurt you, then why are you even—”

“Because I’m stupid, and I want to be his boyfriend and I want him to be my boyfriend, okay? Because I’m stupid and I love him. Got it?”

“You deserve better.”

“And you sound like Taehyung.”


(0)

As it turns out, Yoongi was right, about the whole getting back together thing. Jeongguk realizes a few days later, realizes how easy it would be to get back together with Taehyung (—so easy—) and Jeongguk’s never been one for the hard route.

(His friends would always tease him about that in high school, because for Jeon Jeongguk, passion was always one and the same with talent. Maybe he wouldn’t have liked music or the violin enough to study it in college if he wasn’t as gifted as he is. Passion is talent, and Jeongguk’s talent is natural. Easy. Jeongguk’s never had to take the path less traveled.)

And perhaps that , getting back together, will make the ache go away much easier than trying to heal, he decides, since putting the pieces back together is the same as stitching fabric with thread, right?

Because turning back time is the same as moving on, moving forward, right?

And maybe it’s a little disappointing, how easily he and Taehyung come to that conclusion. (It’s a little like they never broke up, but with a whole lot more hurt between their bodies, and maybe they aren’t healing at all).

Jeongguk’s staying late at Yoongi’s (—again), and maybe he can’t help the way his heart beats fast, so fucking fast, when Yoongi yanks the strings of his hoodie, squishes his cheeks, tickles his chin.

“I can literally hear you thinking, Guk.”

Jeongguk pouts further. “Shut up. You’re always scolding me for not doing my theory homework.”

“Yeah, but you’ve been staring at a blank piece of paper for the past twenty minute,” Yoongi remarks. “C’mon. What’s eating at you?”

“Nothing.”

“Guk.” Yoongi looks at him with those eyes, gentle and glittering, and Jeongguk can’t help but want to be honest.

“I just—” he starts, cutting himself off when Yoongi pulls him to sit in his lap, cheeks violently blushing. “You were right.”

“Hm?”

“Taehyung and I, we, we might get back together.”

Yoongi doesn’t react the way Jeongguk thought he would react. His hands drop from where they were on Jeongguk’s waist, and he breathes, “Oh.”

“Yesterday, uh, we were talking and, we, uh—we decided that we broke up a bit hastily,” he mutters.

Jeongguk’s mouth tastes like iron and he doesn’t know why. He doesn’t know why he’s starting to blink away tears, why his throat feels like it’s about to close up. It doesn’t make sense.

“We’ve been together since . . . fuck, I don’t even know anymore, honestly. The whole best friends to boyfriends thing kinda got blurred in the middle of it. But it’s just too heavy to give up on so suddenly. Too many feelings to give up on.”

He doesn’t understand why Yoongi looks so upset, doesn’t understand why, in spite of all this, Yoongi laces their hands.

“He, he said that he’s gonna be better, and I said that I’d start talking to him more. Communicating .”

“That’s good.”

“So, uh—”

“So we should stop sleeping together?”

“Yeah. We should stop sleeping together,” the boy whispers, head dropped low, looking at where his hands are laced in Yoongi’s. “We really should.”

“Yeah.”

“Don’t be sad, Guk, I’m just your rebound, right?” Yoongi teases, pinching Jeongguk’s cheek as he pouts. And just like—that—all the tears that were threatening to fall are gone.

Yoongi doesn’t say anything stupid, and neither of them pretend like this doesn’t mean anything, but Jeongguk barely stops himself from telling Yoongi, You were never that—you were always so much more than that, and instead retorts with a cheeky smile, “How could you possibly be my rebound when I was just using you for sex, hyung?”

“Brat,” Yoongi mumbles, smiling to his gums, and maybe they’re okay. “You know I was just joking—”

“But I wasn’t,” Jeongguk hums in a singsong tone, grinning even wider than Yoongi is, but squeezing his hand to tell him, Yes, I was joking too, hyung.

The two of them love to say things they don’t mean. That, if anything, is what they hold common.

Yoongi chuckles.

“Are you excited to get back together with him?”

Jeongguk smiles, embarrassed. “Yeah. I’ve missed him a lot.”

“Don’t let him hurt you again, okay?”

“Now when’d you get so protective over me, Min Yoongi?” Jeongguk teases, appreciating the way Yoongi’s cheeks pinken.

“Shut up and just promise me, Jeongguk—”

“It’s gonna be different this time, I promise.”

Yoongi grins, like he’s done something very right.

“Good.”

“Good.”

They stare at each other unblinking and unmoving as if the Sun’s started to revolve around the Earth and suddenly they’re at the center of the universe, just until Yoongi says—

“You know, maybe I should try getting with Jimin.”

—then the world returns, circling around the Sun—

Jeongguk feels a bit childish when his head whips up, when he exclaims, “What?

—and Jeongguk feels like a goddamn idiot.

“I mean, if you and Taehyungie are trying to make things work, maybe Jimin and I should try as well,” Yoongi hums.

(Yoongi says a lot of things he doesn’t mean, and Jeongguk hopes this is one of them.)

“Do you even like him?” Jeongguk asks bitterly.

(Of course he does.)

“You’re cute when you’re jealous,” Yoongi coos, mouth shaped all pouty again, not answering the question at all.

“I’m not jealous,” Jeongguk whines, and Yoongi lets out this really breathy laugh, and Jeongguk can feel himself falling, just like this. “But do you?” he presses, a slight tremble to his voice.

“I like his smile. He has a really pretty smile. His lips too, so nice and plump when they’re wrapped around my cock. His lips are really pretty.”

Jackass,” Jeongguk gasps, his mouth open as he looks down at Yoongi, slapping his stomach lightly.

“They are,” Yoongi insists, smiling up at Jeongguk.

“Hmph.”

“Jealous?” Yoongi prods (—and Jeongguk thinks that he might’ve crossed the line between teasing and asking for real).

Jeongguk licks his lips, a bit sticky with the glittery, raspberry balm Taehyung had bought him from the beauty section at Target. “You wish.”

And . . . the thing is, Jeongguk knows, knows that there’s no use fighting gravity, even though he just said he would, even though he and Yoongi agreed to stop just now. But as he sits in Yoongi’s lap, the blonde boy eyeing him hungrily, Jeongguk fucking knows there’s no use denying this electromagnetic bullshit.

No use.

“I can do better, anyways,” he finds himself saying.

“Can you?” Yoongi questions, voice shaking as his hands return to Jeongguk’s small waist, tentatively.

“I can always do better than Jimin.”

“I’d really like to see you try, babe.”

Yoongi doesn’t say anything when Jeongguk leans in tentatively, just until their lips are in each other’s gravity and all they would have to do to collapse—to ruin—the binary star system is fall. (They do.)

Jeongguk tugs on Yoongi’s hair, his bleached and damaged locks all between Jeongguk’s fingertips.

Yoongi doesn’t say anything about how they were supposed to stop, stop this . Jeongguk’s glad for it.

He tells himself that this is just their goodbye. And,  the entire night, Jeongguk expects it to feel like a goodbye.

It doesn’t.

First thing in the morning, Jeongguk hears a voice outside Yoongi’s bedroom door. Jeongguk doesn’t register whose voice it is, but he knows it’s familiar, he definitely remembers the sound of their voice.

Fuck, there’s cum dying on the backs of his thighs and his ass is goddamn sore . Maybe he shouldn’t have fucking marathoned with Yoongi last night—shouldn’t have let Yoongi fuck three orgasms out of him until the burning orange of the sun seared his eyes, just barely open, staring at the coral flush on Yoongi’s cheeks until he passed out cold. Fuck.

“It’s almost noon, hyung. Wake the fuck up.”

Then as the door nearly breaks open, he hears the person loudly exclaim, “God, it smells like sex. Are you and Hoseok back together or someth—”

“Oh fuck,” he hears Yoongi groan from beside him.

“Jeongguk? You slept with Jeongguk?”


(+1)

taetae
11:19 PM
guk
both you and i know that u and yoongi-hyung
were more than just sleeping together, even
though you knew how jimin felt about him?

jeongguk
11:21 PM
but yoongi was never jimin’s. never at any point
and i wasn’t yours, not since you left for london
so if that’s what ur asking??? no, i don’t regret it
not at all

[ Read 11:21 PM ]