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you are my bravest everything

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They met early first semester of junior year, when Taehyung has been away from home for nearly two weeks.

“Hi, yes, hello, you there?”  Taehyung shouts. The figure on the screen freezes and then turns toward the computer, a pantomime of confusion, one finger pointing toward his chest.

“Me?”  He says, voice raspy with sleep, a weird mix of scratchy and soft, like Taehyung’s favorite sweater.

Not to be dramatic, but Taehyung is in love.

“Yes, you, hello. Before you came in this room, did you happen to see a young man named Jeon Jeongguk who said he was, to quote, ‘just stepping out for a second’ way more than a second ago?” 

“Guk was on the phone with Yoongi-hyung.  It seemed serious, not serious like they were breaking up or something, serious like Guk had his ‘concentrating hard’ face on?”

“Ah.”  Taehyung says, in understanding.  “Cool.  Thank you, kind stranger.”

“Are you Kim Taehyung?”  The stranger asks.

“Yes?”  Taehyung blinks.  “Yes, yes, I am.”

“I’m Park Jimin.”  Park Jimin says, fidgeting in the half shadows of the living room, like he thinks Taehyung hasn’t heard his name before and will say sorry, who?.

“Oh!”  Taehyung feels delighted.  “I’ve heard a lot about you. Come here, come closer, step into the light.”

“I’ve, um, heard a lot about you too—you’re studying abroad, right?  For your photography, it’s your major, right? That’s so cool.”

Park Jimin edges toward the screen and he is adorable.  Park Jimin is just sticky sweet adorable, Taehyung thinks.   Park Jimin’s hands barely stick out of his sleep shirt, his thick black hair is bed-messed, his face is a little puffy with sleep and Taehyung— 

Taehyung is enraptured.

“Yep, yep.  I’m art department, photography and painting, and I’m getting a linguistics minor.”

“They have linguistics minors at our school?”

“Not as such, no.  I created the minor through sheer force of will, take the courses at Yonsei mostly.  You’re still so far away, c’mere, c’mere.”

Jimin slides into Jeongguk’s vacated chair, pulling his knees up and resting his chin on them. “Jeongguk should be right back.”  He says, and tilts his head.  His cheek squashes up against his eye.

“Cute.”  Taehyung breathes.

“What?”  Jimin says. 

There are little bits of not-Seoul stuck in his warm maple syrup voice, little bits of slurred syllables, little dips and valleys.  It sounds a little like home to Taehyung.    

“Jeongguk abandoned me, he’s not coming back.”  Taehyung says cheerfully, sidestepping the question.  “You’re a dancer, right?”

“He didn’t abandon you.” Jimin straightens quickly, his shirt slipping partially off his shoulder.  Taehyung’s fingers twitch toward the screen.  “He was just waiting to hear from hyung but he’ll be back—did he really just leave?  That doesn’t seem like him.  Wait, I didn’t mean to imply you don’t know him well, I meant—I mean—" 

Busan.  That’s right, Taehyung remembers now.  That’s how Jeongguk met Jimin, one of Hoseok's dance workshops on the weekend and they realized they had the same hometown. 

“I told Guk to go.”  Taehyung supplies.  “He got all foolish happy when hyung called, you know how he is.  He tried to pretend he didn’t care, but he doesn’t fool me.  S’okay, I’m not offended.”

“Do you want to hang up?  I can tell him to call you back or—” Jimin nibbles at his lower lip, looks at Taehyung with curious and kind eyes. 

Taehyung knows Jimin's name because they run in similar circles.  He’s heard about him, hears about him all the time, and has always wanted to meet him.

First year it made sense they hadn't crossed paths.  They had fewer mutual friends and, besides, you barely got to mingle outside your cohort, everything just go go go.   When Taehyung did get the chance to it was with Yoongi, who he knew from Daegu, and the friends Yoongi brought to Taehyung; or it was with Taehyung’s friends in the drama department, all loud noises and excitable adventures. 

Second year was more of the same, even though they had more mutual friends.  It wasn't on purposes that they hadn't really met, just there was always something, always someone, Jimin arriving right after Taehyung had to leave, Taehyung arriving to find out Jimin had already gone.  It just kept happening, their paths slip-sliding different ways, shouted introductions across rooms or half-waves through cafe windows.  They’ve never really talked, never met, not for real. 

Jimin bites his lower lip, chews at it, and Taehyung feels something swoop, low in his belly.

“You’re a dancer, right?”  Taehyung repeats. 

“Yep.”  Jimin says after a moment, resting his cheek back on his knees.   “Major in dance performance, minor in theory.”

“Hobi-hyung and Guk say you’re really good.”  Taehyung wants to poke Jimin’s cheeks and is unreasonably irritated by the impossibility of it. 

Jimin flushes a cotton candy pink and wrinkles his nose. 

“I’m okay, I suppose.”

“Hobi-hyung literally keeps saying the only not terrifying part of his senior showcase is the thought of being able to choreograph for you.”

Jimin scrunches his nose up farther.  “Hoseokie-hyung is incredibly kind and incredibly talented.  I’m really just okay.” 

“You go to the Korean National University of the Arts, like you’re in the dance department, right?” 

“Yes?”  Jimin says suspiciously, like he thinks the question is a trap. 

“You’re auditioning to be the lead dancer in the modern company next year, even though everyone says it will just be a formality?”  Taehyung prompts.  “You’re the understudy for the main dancer now, like by request of your instructor, over an actual senior?” 

“Yes?”  Jimin’s eyes narrow.

“And you suppose you’re ‘just okay’ at dancing?” Taehyung sputters.

Jimin makes a non-committal noise, shrugs, and his eyes slide away from Taehyung's as he picks at the hem of his sleeve, clearly uncomfortable. 

“Do you wanna hear what happened to me today?”  Taehyung blurts, too loud, not liking the downward tilt to Jimin's mouth.  Jimin blinks, taken aback at the sudden question, and Taehyung winces.  “You looked like you didn’t want to talk about you anymore.”  Taehyung adds, quieter.  “Sorry, that wasn’t a good transition, I just didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.  I really didn’t, I swear.  I just— I can’t believe we’ve never met?  We almost met though, right?  That party Seokjinie-hyung and Yoongi-hyung had right before I left?”

“I saw you!” Jimin says, with a sudden grin and a laugh—

Oh no, Taehyung thinks. 

If Jimin hadn’t laughed, Taehyung might have been okay, but Jimin laughed and Taehyung will never be able to hear anyone else laugh without comparing it to the pretty tinkling wind chime sound of Jimin’s giggle. 

—“but by the time I got Seokjinie-hyung so he could introduce me you were gone and everyone just sort of shrugged and went yeah he does that.

“I didn’t see you.”  Taehyung pouts. 

“I also saw you when I came to pick Jeonggukie up to go back to Busan before summer break, but it was like 5am and you just said may the road rise up to meet you—”

“Oh my god, that was you?” 

“—and then jumped over a bush.  Jeongguk said you hadn’t slept in like 50 hours and he was worried, but you were going to meet Namjoon-hyung, so it was probably okay.  We stayed until you were in the building though.  I also almost met you at an inter-department party, last year toward the middle of second semester?  But you had a stuffed pelican on your head and it seemed to be a balancing contest and then I got distracted by beer pong and then when I got back there was only this forlorn stuffed pelican and streamers and like this one lone red solo cup—” Jimin continues.

“What.”  Taehyung pouts.  “What, what.  I won that contest, by the way, I got to speak informal to our entire department for a whole hour, it was wild.  But this is unfair.  Exceedingly unfair.  Submission to the universe to rewind time to even this out.”

Jimin smiles, it plays at the edges of his lips, the corners of his mouth.

In Taehyung’s big gilded Peter Pan book that he had as a child, Wendy Darling said kisses live at the corners of people’s mouths.  She talked about one kiss, just there, that she could see but never get.  Taehyung hadn’t understood what that meant.  How you could see a kiss?  How could you know you wanted it?  How could you not know how to get it?  He had pestered his grandmother to explain, but she had just tapped his nose, told him he would understand one day. 

Jimin smiles and Taehyung understands.

“Tell me what happened to you today?” Jimin whispers.

Jeongguk wanders back in later to the sound of their laughter.  He kicks at the wheels of the desk chair Jimin is sat in, hanging over Jimin’s shoulders, swaying their bodies toward the screen and then away.

“Hey,” He whines.  “Hey, I wanna talk to Tae." 

“You abandoned me.”  Taehyung says.  “Don’t be rude, I’m talking to Jiminie now.”

“Oh, it’s okay.”  Jimin untangles himself from Jeongguk’s limbs.   “I’ve things I should do, really.  Thanks for talking to me while you waited Tae, it was good to meet you.”

“Wait, Jimin-ah, your number.  I want to talk to you more and I refuse to have to call Guk at random times and then arrange for his boyfriend to whisk him away and then lay in wait hoping that you wander through your living room just to be able to say hi.”

“Yeah, that does seem excessive.”  Jeongguk says.

“Oh.”  Jimin says, blushing cotton candy pink again, lips curving up shyly.  “Oh, you—ok.  Yeah.  Yeah, I would like that too.”

Taehyung thinks it is slightly a bummer that, from now on, all things will have to try to measure up to the unattainable goodness of Jimin’s smile.

He tells himself not to fall too far too fast, but it's completely impossible.  Within the month, he feels like he has known Jimin forever; they talk every day.  There's just something about Jimin, to Taehyung.  It's like there's a feeling of inevitability in the way Jimin smiles.  It’s like Taehyung was meant to smile back.

Alone, in his tiny bedroom, staring out the window as autumn settles in over the city like a heavy blanket, Taehyung’s arms ache to hold someone he’s never even touched.  He thinks he already knows what hugging Jimin would feel like, what the weight of Jimin in his arms would be.  Knows the soft of his skin, the way he would smell, all orange blossom and clean. 

Taehyung wants to know if he’s right.

He wants.

 

 

*****

 

 

jimin
taetaeeeeee

taehyung
jiminieeeeeeee
what’s the what, angel cake

jimin
question
when do u get back to korea again

taehyung
end of the semester
oh god still like two months
i just want to come home and eat all the food
some jajangmyeon, japchae, not greasy bibimbap, normal tasting kimchi oh GOD

jimin
okay (a) i meant the specific date i understand how a semester study abroad works
(b) i do not believe there is NO good korean food in nyc???
this has to be slander
or…wait, libel? 

taehyung
libel, i think
dec 29th
im whining, min
let me live

jimin
thank you
lol ok
only for u, taetae
tell me more about how there’s nothing in NYC

taehyung
NOTHING
there’s nothing here min
i haven’t seen a person in days
im lost in central park, alone and cold
i can’t find my way out

jimin
a true tragedy

taehyung
im so hungry
i caught a squirrel but i would’ve had to use a stone to kill it???
i couldn’t do it 

jimin
would have been premeditated too
squirrel murderer 

taehyung
im so alone Jimin-ah
i haven’t seen a person in weeks

jimin
lol now it’s weeks, is it
how does ur phone still work then tae

taehyung
public chargers
nyc is vry vry advanced u don’t know uve never been here 

jimin
mmm
google maps broken? 

taehyung
im helpless w/ directions???
i got out once
but like a wormhole just ended up back inside 

jimin
sounds like aliens
ill contact mulder and scully

taehyung
lol no but
im not joking
im srsly lost 
and it’s so fucking cold but i didn’t bring gloves or anything
i didn’t realize???
i just wanted to do the tourist thing ):
in case this is the end
i loved you jimin, i know we’ve never met for real irl but
i loved you
remember me
im so cold

jimin

wait
i can’t tell if ur joking anymore
tae?
ok u got me
haha tae
good one
taehyung
KIM TAEHYUNG
OH MY GOD ANSWER ME
HOW DO I CALL THE AMERICAN POLICE
SHOULD I CALL THE EMBASSY?
KIM TAEHYUNG PLEASE 

taehyung
wow calm down im at home someone was knocking

jimin

“wow calm down”
u can suck my dick 

taehyung
i can’t my mom told me not to put small things in my mouth

jimin
u know what

taehyung

what?
?
???
jimin
jimin-ah?
it was just bants where did u go
did i really offend u?
fuck im sorry
JIMIN-AH
JIMIN
LISTEN
IM SURE UR DICK IS THE PERFECT SIZE
I WOULD GLADLY SUCK IT
IM SURE MY MOTHER WOULD BE HAPPY WITH ME PUTTING IT IN MY MOUTH
wait maybe not the last one
i regret saying that it’s weird
COME BACK
MINMIN

 

 

 

yoongi
jimin says to stop texting him
he says he’s not reading ur texts ever again
and he wont read ur responses to me either
that ur rude and can suffer alone
‘eat squirrels’
he says
im relaying these to u only bc i believe in what he’s saying 

taehyung
hyung
please tell jimin that i am sure his dick is beautiful regardless of size
but also im sure it’s a perfectly great size
and that i would love to put it in my mouth
if it even fits im sure he has a huge cock

yoongi
i can’t believe u made me read that with my own two eyes.
no. 

taehyung
WHY NOT

yoongi
the fuck do u mean ‘why not’

taehyung
yeah good point
nvmd
thx hyung luv u

yoongi
u too, kid

 

 

 

taehyung
guk
babe

jeongguk
no

taehyung
the dispresect
i s2g

jeongguk
*disrespect

taehyung
u know what
uve rly changed since u and yoongi hyung got together
ur such an ass now
why r u both such ASSES 

jeongguk
u r what u eat
and we eat well 

taehyung
yes, these texts right here officer
no no, i'll be fine, thank u for ur concern

jeongguk
lol

taehyung
ugh

jeongguk
jimin said u were being rude
so u deserve it
what did u do 

taehyung
TELL JIMIN I LOVE HIM

jeongguk
u told him u loved him and he got upset????

taehyung
NO FOCUS
I WANT YOU TO TELL JIMIN THAT I LOVE HIM
AND HIS BEAUTIFUL DICK

jeongguk
you want me to what now

taehyung
AGH NEVERMIND

 

 

 

taehyung
hyung
a small favor
can you please steal yoongi-hyungs phone and then, my last few messages to him?
can u please just read those aloud to the room at large?
(ull know which when u see them)
wait where are you
only read if jimin is in the room at large
don’t read it to, like, your post-colonialism theory and criticism literature course students oh god
r u TA-ing right now???
ABORT ABORT 

namjoon
ok first of all i wouldn’t be reading ur texts if i was TA-ing
second even if I was TAing right now and read these texts
why would hyung even BE in my lit class to steal his phone for the other ones
do u think he just follows me about, watching me try to get my masters

taehyu
haha no what no of course not no that would be so weird haha no
i mean maybe 

namjoon
huh.
that aside
“small favor” “steal yoongi hyungs phone”
ಠ_ಠ

taehyung
u 2 r vry close, hyung
i believe in u ♥
besides just tell him u broke ur phone
he’ll believe u

namjoon
that was only three times tae
anyway
jimin is, in fact, in the room at large
yoongi-hyung is already eyeing me suspiciously but ill see what i can do?
hold on

namjoon
ok
i mean i did it but
that was inappropriate

 

 

 

jimin
wow calm down tae 

taehyung
shut uP I THOUGHT U WERE REALLY MAD

jimin
I WAS!!!
AM!!!
BUT BC I THOUGHT U WERE LOST IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY
NOT BC OF THE DICK JOKE

taehyung
oh.
in retrospect, duh.
i am regretful and apologetic.
im sorry, jimin.

jimin
mmm

taehyung
i love u, jimin-ah

jimin
mmm

taehyung
to the moon

jimin
mmm

taehyung
and bACK!!!!

jimin
mmm

taehyung
please
ur my strength when i am weak
ur my voice when i can’t speak
ur my eyes when i cant see 

jimin
r those misquoted celine dion lyrics

taehyung
*rearranged celine dion lyrics
if i may continue:
u r the best there is in me
bc the best there is in me is ur dick when it’s in my mouth
bc ur the best
please forgive me

jimin
genuinely uve rearranged this song so poorly???
idek how that fits the melody

taehyung
so you forgive me

jimin
im trying to sing it rn and its the worst thing ive ever heard

taehyung
so you forgive me

jimin
yes
a teeny tiny little bit grudgingly but yes

taehyung
oh thank god
i love you 
♥ 

jimin
and i, you

 

 

*****

 

 

“Tae?” Jimin’s voice through his phone speaker is like artificial sugar, so close to and so far from what Taehyung wants.  He holds the phone tight to his ear and tries to pretend Jimin is next to him.

“Jimin-ah.”  He mumbles.

“Tae?”  Jimin sounds more awake now, and that’s what makes Taehyung realize that he hadn’t even checked what time it was in Seoul, just texted can you talk and then hit call as soon as Jimin said yeah, course.  “Taehyung? Are you okay?”

Taehyung has to say something.

“I’m just—” He starts and can’t finish, staring at the paint on the wall.  It’s dried all bumpy, a half-hearted job done in a half-hearted manner in this teeny tiny room he pays too much money for in this teeny tiny international student house in this big big city, people from everywhere all rushing every which way at once, everything crammed in and loud and muddled up inside Taehyung’s head.  He loves cities.  He hates cities.  He wants to see the sky.

“Taehyung-ah, what’s wrong?” 

In Jimin’s voice, Taehyung hears openness.  He senses space. 

Taehyung’s whole body thrums and everything comes out at once, like bile.

“It’s such a bad day and I’m really sick and I’m all alone and my professor didn’t like my project and I got so overwhelmed and was so dizzy and nauseous and I felt like I lost all my English, like I could feel how unwieldy the words were in my mouth all stuck in my teeth and abrasive on my tongue, and everyone was looking at me, so embarrassed for me, and it’s gross snowing, all slush and sleet, and I keep falling, I just keep falling down, I feel like everything is black ice, I just keep slipping, Jimin-ah, I just—”  Taehyung cuts himself off with a sob, cuts the sob off, ends up making a strangled sound into the phone.

“Oh, Taetae, my sweet Tae,” Jimin breathes, and Taehyung has to bite his lips and then his tongue to stop the sobs from escaping.  “I wish I could give you a hug.”  Jimin says and Taehyung bites his tongue harder, tastes copper.  “It wouldn’t fix it, but I wish I could give you a hug.” 

Taehyung's breathing sounds too loud; it echoes in the confines of his room.  He pulls the covers over his head.

“It’s okay to cry if you need to, Tae.”  Jimin whispers.  There is a gentle rustle of sheets on the other end of the line, like he’s adjusting his body in bed. “It’s just me, baby, it’s okay.”

Taehyung whimpers and presses the phone so hard to his ear that it hurts.

“Jimin-ah, I want—” you to hug me “—a hug.”  He croaks out, feeling pitiful. 

“I know, I know.  Soon, okay?  Soon.  Only one more month.”  Jimin hums, like the words are a practiced melody, a song he’s been singing to himself.  “I’m gonna hug you so tight, Tae.”

“Promise?”  Taehyung speaks softly, so his heart won’t hear. 

“Promise promise.”  Jimin affirms and, through some trick of the modern world, some miracle of electric waves, Jimin’s voice comes through crystal clear, like he’s standing in the room, like he’s speaking right into Taehyung’s ear.  “I’ve got you, Tae.”

Taehyung closes his eyes tight and sobs.

“Oh baby.”  Jimin says.  “Oh, sweet Tae.”  He sounds so sad.

“I’m sorry.”  Taehyung pants into the phone, upset he made Jimin upset.  The words come out all wrecked. 

“No sorrys.”  Jimin says firmly.  “Not for this.” 

“Okay.  Okay. I just—” Taehyung can’t find the words, doesn’t know what he’s trying to say, what he needs, but Jimin—

Jimin—

“Okay,” Jimin says, soothingly, “okay, Tae.  I got you, I love you, it’s okay.”

—does.

 

***** 

 

 

jimin
a guy just hit on me at the gym????
i literally haven’t showered in like 2 days bc its been so busy
and im a dance major so im WELL gross
and he was like
‘hey pretty’

taehyung
first of all
ew take a shower
second of all
ur abject shock and horror
“someone wants to go on a date w/ me???? UNREALISTIC”
third of all
cute!
u should talk to him!

jimin
what

taehyung
u should talk to him!
?
min?
min where did u go?

jimin
sry, it’s nothing
just surprised
i mean distracted
anyway
‘hey pretty’ is cute?

taehyung
i just meant like
some ppl r bad w/ words?
it’s ahrd to flirt sometimes idk
really the point is
‘hey pretty’ is what guk said to yoongi hyung
like at guk’s first college party when he was tipsy
so in my head ‘hey pretty’ is rly cute bc
baby bunny guk lmao 

jimin
he did not
did guk rly say that to yoongi hyung

taehyung
oh my god have u never seen
he told me he was gonna “hit on hyung”
so i recorded it bc im a good friend
hold on, hold on
[video sent]

jimin
this is like three minutes long, what
LOL HOLY SHIT
“hey pretty, ur so pretty
fuck hyung ur so pretty
i just wanna look at u all day”

taehyung
wait for it

jimin
KITTY HYUNG

taehyung
PRETTY PRETTY HYUNG
PRETTY PRETTY KITTY HYUNG

jimin
HYUNGS FUCKING FACE
not to be weird but this is the best thing ive ever seen?

taehyung
ikr, it could win awards
so ‘hey pretty’
s’cute YOU DIG?

jimin
k but I DONT LOOK PRETTY RN
look
 

taehyung
excuse me one quick mo’

jimin
…ok?

 

 

  

taehyung
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST
JESUS
SHIT
FUCK
FUCK ME

yoongi

u ok

taehyung
yeah i’m great
just saying hello
it’s an american greeting
anyway what’s up hyung
how r u hows things 

yoongi
good

taehyung
guk doing well, u guys doin well?

yoongi
yep to both

taehyung
good, good
well
talk to you soon

yoongi
u know what?
im just gonna take this one at face value
thanks for checkin in
ttyl tae

 

 

 

taehyung
sry someone rang my doorbell
imo u look v. v. v. cute

jimin
ur doorbell?
your student house dorm room….doorbell.

taehyung
yes.

jimin
….okay.
look ur my friend, tae
ur biased abt my face

taehyung
well send me another so i can confirm or deny

jimin
what

taehyung
u heard me
send me ur face again

jimin

?

taehyung
exsuxee  onwuiclk mo

jimin
what

 

 

 

taehyung
SHIT I BROUGHT THAT ON MYSELF
JESUS FUCK
ITS NOT FAIR
MY HEART HURTS
HES SO FUKING
FUCK
SHIT
FUCK

yoongi
stop texting me

taehyung
thanks hyung
i gotta play this cool with min, u know?
it’s not all sexual stuff but sometimes
like right now
i just kinda wanna bite his tongue
like real soft
scrape it with my teeth a little, suck on it
see what kinda sound he makes into my mouth
u know?

yoongi
no
i can honestly say ive never thought that abt jimin
stop texting me

taehyung
good talk

 

 

 

taehyung
back sry
still p. cute imho
hey how bout u send me another
for science
ruffle ur hair some more
maybe take off ur shirt
for science

jimin
lmao shut up  -____-
listn i appreciate it but im gonna go take a shower now
and be less gross

taehyung
oooooo
send me one from the shower

jimin
DON’T U HAVE CLASS OR SOMETHING, KIM TAEHYUNG

taehyung
u’ll only send nudes if im in class??
kinky

jimin
waylt
send me ur face

taehyung
im like this cuz ur CUTE
and ilu
 

jimin
and i, you.
u look adorable
come home soon
wanna hug u irl

taehyung
3 more weeks!!!

jimin
!!!!

 

 

*****

 

 

taehyung
sooooo
what happened with the boy

jimin
???

taehyung
last week
‘hey pretty’

jimin
lol oh id forgotten
i said no, duh

taehyung
shocked gasp
u did???
but why???? no good?

jimin
yeah its-- hmm.
what would u say if i said there was someone i was interested in

taehyung
idk probably
“is it namjoon hyung?”
why, is it something u might say?

jimin
what

taehyung
?

jimin
there’s maybe someone im interested in

taehyung
is it namjoon hyung?

jimin
wow

taehyung
NAMJOON HYUNG IS SO NICE AND SMART AND GOOD?
everyone has a crush on namjoon hyung

jimin
u know what, thats true
but it’s not namjoon hyung

taehyung
is it seokjinie hyung?

jimin
no?

taehyung
is it yoongi hyung?

jimin
no what

taehyung
is it guk

jimin
tae no 

taehyung
is it hobi-hyung????

jimin
he is cute but no

taehyung
is it hyungshik?

jimin
who even is that

taehyung
upperclassman in the drama department
he;s great, i love him

jimin
i—

taehyung
is it seojoon hyung

jimin
who

taehyung
i worked with him in a play?
at seoul national theater?

jimin
why…why would it be him
why are u so heavily involved in theater

taehyung
don’t box me in 

jimin
r u gonna guess everyone u know?

taehyung
….
maybe

jimin
tae
u know so many people

taehyung
yeah bbuckle in babe this is gonna take forever

jimin
oh my god please forget i ever spoke

taehyung
there’s really someone you like??

jimin
idk
yeah
it’s not important
idk if he likes me it’s whatever
nvmd

taehyung
park jimin, ur the best most best in the whole world
and if he doesn’t like u then hes a gotdang boneheaded fool
got it????

jimin
got it
thanks tae

taehyung
♥♥♥

 

 

***** 

 

 

“Hey kid.”  Yoongi’s voice comes through the speaker phone all low growl.

“Hey hyung.”  Taehyung says, curled up on his windowsill, tucking every bit of exposed self into somewhere else to fight the chill.  “Can you maybe tell me the story of me?”

“Yep.”  Taehyung hears the quiet click of Yoongi’s chair as he settles back.  “You’re gonna have a gallery and you’re gonna discover new artists and showcase people who are special, who make special things.  You’ll find these people when you travel to take pictures, your pictures that make people feel things deep in the pits of their stomachs.  There will be no cold rooms or icy floors in your house, not even in the dead of winter.  There will just be laughter and warmth and art and music and silk pajamas and brut champagne and crystal flutes to drink it out of because every day is a celebration.  You’re gonna be brave and smart and happy and, when you can’t be, we’ll be here for you.  There will be so much love and laughter in your life, Taehyung-ah, and everything will be okay.”

“Yeah?” 

“Yeah kid, yeah.  Maybe also a farm, a vacation farm, with all your dogs and strawberries and your siblings and clean night air and a bonfire and freshly squeezed juice.”

“Yeah, yeah.  Okay.  Okay.”  Taehyung breathes out onto the window, traces the letters of his name, lets his native tongue smear, watches it drip down the pane.

There is a little pause.  Taehyung listens to Yoongi's measured breaths. 

“You okay?”  Yoongi asks, when Taehyung doesn't speak again.

“Yeah, just, um—I don’t know.  The world felt very big and very small all at once.”

Yoongi hums in understanding.  "It does that sometimes."

“Yeah,” Taehyung whispers, “yeah.  Hey, hyung, lots of love, there’s lots of love in the story of me, right?”

“Tae, there’s so much love in the story of you.”  Yoongi’s voice is razor thin, like right before he cries.

“Hyung,” Taehyung’s voice breaks, “I feel really sad.”

“Oh, Tae.  Oh, kid.”  Yoongi breathes. 

Taehyung reels, unexpectedly so lonely he’s dizzy.

 

 

****

 

 

Taehyung hears the laughter before he even gets to the door of Yoongi and Seokjin and Namjoon’s apartment.  He leans against the wall for a moment, just to listen. 

There’s Seokjin’s distinctive laugh and Jeongguk’s loud genuine one.  Hoseok’s excited shriek, Namjoon’s low voice, Yoongi’s nearly silent chuckle of mirth.  Over that, on top of that, wrapped all around it, there’s a melodious laugh of joy, like a scale from one end of a piano to the other.  Jimin’s laugh, not crackling through facetime or skype but just— there.  In the air, reverberating right into Taehyung’s skin. 

A little tightly wound thing inside of Taehyung, something that he didn’t even know was there, comes unspooled. 

Taehyung shivers, steps forward, swings the door open, throwing it back toward the wall with a bang.

“My people.”  He announces, arms outspread.  “I have returned.”

“Tae,” Yoongi shouts across the room, first to find his voice, “Taehyung-ah, you’re back, you’re early, you’re back.”

There’s a rush for the door and then it’s just loud loud loud and warm warm warm. 

Hoseok holds Taehyung close, holds him out at arms’ length to look at him, bounces on the balls of his feet with a laugh, and then pulls Taehyung against his chest again. 

Yoongi ruffles his hair with infinite fondness and then arranges it back to how it was, laces their fingers and smiles at him, all big and gummy and Yoongi.

Jeongguk alternates feigning calm and cool and then randomly sputtering with action, with delight, smacking at Taehyung's shoulders.  Taehyung pulls Jeongguk into a hug, lets him cling, clings back. 

“Taehyung, oh my god.” Seokjin declares, pulling Taehyung in one of his soft hugs, rubbing the small of his back.   “We missed you.”  He opens his mouth, grinning like he’s going to say something truly awful, “I’ve prepared an acrostic poem for your re—" 

“No,” Yoongi says fondly, “hyung, no.”

“Hyung, oh my god, he’ll go back to New York.”  Jeongguk whines.

“I want to hear it, personally.”  Hoseok says, holding his hands up in defense when Yoongi and Jeongguk whirl on him.  “What, hyung’s poems are cute.”

Namjoon sneaks around the crowd, holds out his arms, and Taehyung falls into them gratefully. 

“You look good, Tae.  We missed you.  As you can see, nothing’s really changed around here.”  Namjoon says, which is true except— 

“Tae,” Jimin says, stepping forward, fingers twisting together almost like he's nervous, “it’s good to see you in person finally.”

Taehyung doesn’t register moving but, as though time has skipped, he’s suddenly face to face with Jimin, the tips of their toes all lined up. 

Jimin’s fingers slot into his just right.

“Your hands are so soft.”  Taehyung says senselessly.    

Jimin laughs and Taehyung pulls Jimin into a hug, or maybe Jimin is pulling him into one, he doesn’t know.  All he knows is that Jimin is in his arms, body angled up like he’s on his tippy toes, head tucked on Taehyung's shoulder, and he fits against Taehyung's body like he belongs there.  Jimin’s arms wrap tight around Taehyung’s neck, one small hand firm on the back of Taehyung’s head.

"You smell like clementines." Taehyung mumbles into the crook of Jimin's neck, relishing the soft skin against his lips.   "Like orange blossoms.  I knew it.”

Jimin laughs again, presses a kiss to Taehyung’s ear.

"Welcome home."  Jimin whispers.  

 

 

*****

 

 

The center of winter grabs on to campus, sinks its teeth in, and shakes. 

The cold sets all of campus on edge, everything all tilted and loud in the still, so many young passionate people in one place, struggling to figure out how to fill the anxious hollow space in their chest.  The frigid air seeps into their veins, makes them inspired, intense, edging toward mania, startlingly alive.

Jimin and Taehyung hold hands and run down darkened streets in the middle of the night, eating ice cream so they’re cold inside and out, twirling in the falling snow, telling each other how great they’re going to be, how great they already are.  It’s thirty-nine days into the new year, and everything is perfect, promising as fresh snow.

“Get down here moon.”  Taehyung waves his fist at the sky.  “You’re so pretty, I just wanna hold you and give you a kiss.”  He turns at Jimin’s breathless giggles.  “What?”  Taehyung complains.  “What, I really do, the moon is so lovely.” 

“You’re lovely.”  Jimin says, eyes saucer big. 

“Oh.”  Taehyung says, hands reaching out and grabbing Jimin’s upper arms unconsciously.  Taehyung stares at him, at his eyes where the moon is reflected back at Taehyung.  “Oh, oh, oh.”

“What?”  Jimin asks, head tilted back to make eye contact, blinking away snowflakes.  He waits, breath coming out in short puffs, and then shivers under Taehyung’s hands, Taehyung’s gaze.  “What, Tae, what?”

“I love you, Jimin.”  Taehyung says, not sure how else to explain it.

Jimin nods, a very intent look in his eyes. 

“I love you too."

They fall asleep wrapped around each other and they’ve done this before, this is practically routine at this point, but this time Taehyung finds it hard to ignore the way it makes him ache.  Ache in the part of him that takes sticky close-up pictures of things, that likes to look at things through colored glass, that likes to find pretty things where others might miss them.  The part of him that loves loves loves.

Jimin’s brow furrows and his lips part in his sleep, a little bruised sound slipping out.  His fingers clench in Taehyung’s shirt once, twice.  Shhhh, Taehyung hums, tracing Jimin's spine, it's okay.  Jimin's hands relax, a little sigh falls out of his mouth, and he nuzzles into Taehyung’s chest, lips catching on Taehyung’s skin.

Something low in Taehyung’s belly churns, sweet and soft as a ripe peach.

 

 

*****

 

 

“Hyung, when did you know you were in love with Jeongguk?”  Taehyung asks one afternoon, when spring has finally beat winter mostly into submission, staking its claim across campus, wounded but victorious.

“Discussion on love apropos of?”

“You know,” Taehuyung says airily, “apropos of nothing.”

Yoongi snorts. 

“Is this about Jimin?" 

“Was it when Guk did jello wrestling at that party and he was all sticky and muscular and half naked and wearing those bunny ears and we all thought he was drunk, but he was actually just super adorably competitive?”

“Nice deflection. No.”

“No?”

“I already loved him then.  I knew when he brought me coffee and kimbap during his freshman year midterms, even though he was busy and stressed and scared.  He brought it right to my studio, but I was asleep, or passed out maybe, so he put his hoodie over me like a blanket and left a note that said if the coffee’s cold let me buy you another.  He sent me a voice text too: I know you hate it when I say you work too hard, but you do, hyung. I couldn’t bear to wake you.  Maybe next time I’ll be able to but, for now, just don’t be mad with me. I hope you rested well.”  Yoongi sighs.  “I still have it saved.”

“The note?”  Taehyung asks.

“That too.”  Yoongi says. 

“When I was in the states, I sent Jimin a picture I’d taken of the ocean. The sky just went, you know, it just went.  It had like every single color of blue there is, melding right into the sea, and this flock of gulls took off right as I took it, so there’s all these birds just going up into this endless blue.  My classmates looked at it and said they saw chaos, desperation, anger— all these heavy, ugly words, and I guess I could see how they could see that, but it wasn’t what I saw at all.  Jimin always responds when I send him pictures and usually he says, like, “I don’t know about art but—” or “I’m not sure about photography but—”, only that time he didn’t.  He looked at my picture and said ‘this makes me think of your voice, tae. it’s beautiful, i want to live in it’ and—” Taehyung exhales in a rush, curls over like he’s been punched in the gut.  “Oh,” Taehyung breathes, “oh oh oh.  I don't know what to do, hyung.  I've never felt like this.  I don’t know how to feel like this.  It’s too big, it’s so scary." 

Taehyung listens to Yoongi roll the length of the studio, waits until he can see Yoongi's feet, and then lifts his face, meets Yoongi’s eyes.

“Love is scary scary scary, Tae.  I know this sounds terrifying, but you should tell Jimin."

“But what if he doesn’t love me back?  I know he loves me, but what if it’s not like that for him?  What if we’re seeing the same thing, feeling the same thing, but different?”  Taehyung shakes his head, drops his gaze.  

“Even if he doesn’t love you the way you love him, he does love you, Tae.  There won’t be those heavy ugly words.” Yoongi rubs Taehyung’s earlobe comfortingly.  “Jimin saw what you saw, right?  All that freedom, all that blue, all that space.  You should tell him how you feel.”

“Yeah,” Taehyung tries to suck in air, “but hyung, he means so much to me.  I don't know how to risk losing him.  I don't know how to be brave like that.  I won’t lose him though, right?  I won’t lose him if I tell him, right?”

Yoongi doesn’t respond, because he doesn’t lie to Taehyung, never has.  Yoongi doesn't know.  It’s not a question Yoongi can answer, Taehyung knows that.  Maybe he asked because he wanted Yoongi to lie, just once.  Wanted Yoongi to say of course not, no way, jimin loves you back the same, all sticky sweet like jam like marmalade, it won’t hurt, no chance. 

"I don't think Jimin wants to lose you either."  Yoongi says finally.  "I don't think he would let you lose each other."

"But we would."  Taehyung argues. "If we love each other different ways, we would.  You can't tell someone you love them so much it's like the end of the world inside your heart and not have things change.  It changes everything.  It would have to change everything.  This isn't the kind of feeling that doesn't change things."

Yoongi smiles sadly at Taehyung. 

"You love him a lot, huh?"

“Oh,” Taehyung curls over again, like he's trying to cover all his weak spots, “oh oh oh.”

 

 

*****

 

 

“Tae, Taetae?  Are you there?  Please be there.”

“Jimin?”  Taehyung croaks, waking up slowly, brain registering the strange buzzing in his head as his doorbell.  He pushes himself upright.  “Jiminie?”  He says again, staggering over to the door of his studio.  When he sees Jimin’s face, everything stops. “What’s the matter, what’s wrong?”  Jimin looks like he might be sick, as in actually throw up, as in something looks a little broken in his eyes.  “Jimin-ah, Jimin-ah, what’s wrong?” 

Jimin takes off his shoes and lines them up neat neat neat by the door, hands trembling, whole body trembling, and then collapses onto Taehyung’s bed, facedown.

“I had my pre-audition today, for next semester, for next year, for the company?”  Jimin’s voice is so muffled it takes Taehyung a second to understand the words.

Taehyung makes a helpless sound of acknowledgement, crawls onto the foot of his bed, tugs at Jimin’s sweats until he rolls over.

“It went poorly.”  Jimin says, voice soft.

Taehyung frowns.

“Did they say that?”  He asks.  “Did they say that to you in those words?”

“They don’t have to say, Tae.  You know, when you take a photo, you just know if it’s good, right? You know when something’s off.  I’ve watched you tear up things I thought were perfectly good and then remake them, retake them.  I’ve heard you after, there, you say, it was wrong before.  It’s like that.”

“Oh.”  Taehyung whispers, not wanting to agree, but unable to deny that truth. He watches Jimin hands flex against the bed like he’s trying to grab onto something.

“It’s not the end of the world, just a formality before the actual audition really, but they were disappointed.  I was disappointed, disappointing, Tae.  I was disappointing.  I just—” Jimin bites his lip so hard Taehyung thinks it’s going to draw blood. 

“Just what, don’t do that, just what?”  Taehyung thumbs at Jimin’s mouth until he releases his lower lip from between his teeth with a gasp.  “Just what?”

“It hurts, Taehyung.  It just hurts.  I just wanted to see you, I don't know, I wanted—” Jimin starts to cry, turns his face away, rolls over so he’s facing the wall.  "Tae, please."  Jimin says, like he doesn't know what he's asking for.

“Jimin-ah, Jimin-ah.”  Taehyung whispers, lying down behind him.  Jimin’s whole body shakes. “It's okay.”  Taehyung says, sliding an arm around Jimin, pressing his hand where Jimin’s heart beats, rubbing little circles, nuzzling his nose against the nape of Jimin's neck.  “I got you, it’s okay.”

Jimin twists out of Taehyung’s arms and rolls over, presses his face into Taehyung’s chest, fingers clenching in his shirt. Jimin sobs again, a low broken sound, and his tears are so hot they’re burning Taehyung.  Every bone in Taehyung’s body is breaking, every nerve ending is exposed.  It hurts, it hurts, it hurts.  

“Jimin,” Taehyung whispers, “Jimin-ah.”  He croons Jimin’s name like it’s a magic spell, sings fragments of songs, leaves tiny kisses wherever he can reach, rubs slow small circles the way he knows Jimin likes.  Taehyung wants to take the hurt away, but doesn’t think he can. 

Eventually Jimin’s sobs slow and then fade into whimpers.  He falls into something like sleep in Taehyung’s arms.

“Jimin-ah,” Taehyung whispers miserably, pulling back.  He presses kisses to Jimin’s eyelids.  “You know I love you, right?” 

It’s the only thing he has to offer. 

Jimin shifts in his sleep, sighs.

 

 

****

 

 

“Hoseokie is a graduate now,” Seokjin shrieks, “diploma delivered and framed!” 

“The showcase was so good, what the fuck, why can’t you come back and choreograph for me, hyung, I’m so sad.”  Jeongguk complains.

“You’re not a dance major, Jeongguk.  That’s why.”

“I could be, you don’t know.”

“I’m genuinely still not over the showcase, I know it was a like a month and a half ago but if we’re talking about it again, I would also like to be part of the conversation.”  Namjoon adds in, carrying bottles and bottles of champagne.

Yoongi and Seokjin wince at the same time, jump up and grab them from his hands, and then there’s a flurry of motion and a knock at the door and—people.  So many people.

Taehyung loses track of time, of everyone in the party, bouncing between groups and hugging the people he knows, laughing with them, toasting with this endless champagne that appears out of nowhere, his glass always full. 

He sips it slow and lets it bubble over his tongue. 

Everyone is so happy and everything is so good; he drifts, lost in the good way; peers suspiciously at some orange slices on the kitchen counter, debates if they're okay to eat.

“My Taetae!”  Jimin shrieks and jumps on his back.

“My Jiminie!”  Taehyung responds, twirling them around, orange slices forgotten.  “You left me.” 

“You left me.”  Taehyung can hear the pout, can feel Jimin’s warm breath on his ear, and it makes his whole body sing.  Jimin slides off and twirls around to Taehyung’s front.  “Come play with me, Taetae.”  He twines their fingers together.

“Jimin-ah,” someone shouts, suddenly in their space, “look up!”

There’s a branch above their heads, a little green thing with white berries and a red ribbon.

“What is that?”  Taehyung asks blankly, blinking back down to Jimin, who looks as confused as he feels.

“It’s mistletoe,” a boy—a boy that Taehyung knows through Jimin, though he can’t place the name right now—says, all delight and mirth, “it’s mistletoe.”

“Is that not a Christmas thing.”  Jimin deadpans.  “It is 35 degrees outside right now and summer and is that not a Christmas thing?”

“It’s Christmas in July.”  Someone else says, paint stains on their fingers.  “Please do not stifle the creative process.”

“I hate art students.”  Taehyung stage-whispers to Jimin, trying to remember what he knows about mistletoe, brain too sticky slow with champagne.

“Tae,” Jimin smacks Taehyung’s shoulders, eyes amused and shining, and Taehyung forgets all about mistletoe, forgets all about everything but Jimin's eyes, “Tae, you are one.”

“Oh no.”  Taehyung breathes.  “Oh no, I am?  That’s horrible.  My poor parents.”

“You have to kiss him, Jimin-ah," the boy beside them whines, "it’s bad luck if you don’t.” 

“What?”  Taehyung says, suddenly hyper-aware.  “What did you just say?”

“We do not have to kiss."  Jimin sticks out his tongue at the assorted mistletoe contingent.  "Unless you want to.”  He says, turning to Taehyung.  “No, I mean, not if you don’t want to.”  Jimin smiles a little lopsided.  “It’s okay, we don't have to, if you don't want to."

“It's fine,” Taehyung says, because he has no sense of self preservation, “I don’t mind.”

“What?”  Jimin’s fingers flex where their hands are still intertwined, eyes something like bewildered.  His tongue flicks out, wets his lips.  “You want to kiss?”  He asks, voice low.  "You want to kiss me?" 

“Do you want to?”  Taehyung asks back, barely able to hear over the rush of blood in his ears.  “Do you want to kiss me?”

Taehyung watches Jimin’s mouth move.  It looks like the word yes, but maybe that’s just what Taehyung wants to see.  He drops Jimin’s hands so that he can cradle Jimin’s face, bring it close to his own. 

“It’s okay?” Taehyung asks, Jimin wide-eyed and still under his fingertips.  “Is it okay?” 

“It’s okay."  Jimin whispers.  Taehyung tilts forward, just a little, like he's checking, and Jimin's eyes flutter closed.  They're so close that Taehyung can see the veins in them, delicate little lines of color.  He feels Jimin's breath on his lips and—

“Tae?”  Taehyung hears Seokjin say, but his voice is dim, like he's very far away.  “Jimin-ah?  What’s happening?” 

—then they’re kissing.  Taehyung kisses Jimin slow and careful, and he knows it's too intimate, too tender for what this is, but he can't make himself stop.  The slide of Jimin's lips against his own is too good.  Jimin tastes like champagne and something else, something just Jimin; his mouth is so sweet that Taehyung shivers. 

Oh.”  Jimin breathes into Taehyung’s mouth when their lip part.  His hands clench and unclench low in Taehyung’s shirt.

“Show’s over, go, get, shoo!”  Seokjin shouts.  “Get that mistletoe away from here, you voyeurs, get, go!”  The crowd around them whistles, laughs, moves on with a shriek. Seokjin wavers uncertainly in the edges of Taehyung's vision, and then follows the others out, leaves Taehyung and Jimin alone.

Jimin still hasn’t let go of Taehyung’s shirt.  He hasn’t opened his eyes.

Oh god, Taehyung thinks numbly, oh god oh god oh god.

Jimin exhales shakily.  Taehyung thinks he might throw up; he feels so dizzy.  He sucks in air, too loud, and Jimin’s eyes fly open like he’s been startled awake. 

“Tae—” Jimin says, blinking dazedly, taking a half step back.  “Tae—”

Everything’s broken.  He ruined it.

“I'm so dizzy.”  Taehyung says.  “I’m—I’m dizzy, it’s too hot. The champagne, I—I have to leave, I have to get some air.  Please, Jimin, I have to go outside now.”

“R-right,” Jimin breathes, voice unsteady, releasing Taehyung’s shirt, eyes downcast as he smooths the rumpled fabric over Taehyung’s stomach, “right, okay, Tae.  Okay.” 

Taehyung takes a step backwards, then another, not sure what he's doing.  Jimin doesn’t look at him.  He thinks this isn't the right thing to do, but he doesn't know, he's not sure what the right thing to do is, and everything is spinning.  Jimin looks up and they lock gazes and Jimin looks sad, a weird sort of sad that Taehyung has never seen on his face before.  Taehyung lifts his hands helplessly and then turns and stumbles for the front door.

“Taehyung?”  Yoongi calls, as Taehyung pushes through the crowd.  “Shit, Taehyung, what happened?  Tae, wait.”

Taehyung doesn’t wait; he can't wait.  He doesn’t stop until halfway down the block.   Jimin is burned on to his lips, the little sound he made after the kiss, when he realized how Taehyung felt, that little ‘oh’ sits heavy on Taehyung's tongue.  He tries to breathe, but the air is too humid; it’s too hot.    

“Hey.”  Someone says. 

Taehyung spins and Jeongguk is standing there, hands in his pockets, concern on his face.

“Hi Guk.”  Taehyung gasps.

“What happened, are you okay?  Hyung went to find Jimin for you,” Jeongguk says, “we thought maybe he knew, could help.  Do you want Jimin?” 

Taehyung makes a strangled sound, sinks into a crouch.

Jeongguk types something on his phone, helps him up, and they wander down the block, buy a bottle of water from a vending machine, settle onto a curb removed from the main street.  They pass the water back and forth, pressing it to the backs of their necks until it’s no longer cold. 

Taehyung drinks it then, in big shaky gulps.

“Do you need me to get you anything?”  Jeongguk says after a bit, nudging Taehyung’s shoe with his own.  “How can I help you?  Tell me how to help.”

Taehyung thinks of how Jimin looked, standing alone in the kitchen, and feels a sudden nauseating rush of guilt.  He shouldn't have run away.  He shouldn't have kissed Jimin in the first place, but he definitely shouldn't have run away after.

“I think I need to talk to Jimin.”  He says.

“Okay,” Jeongguk says, standing up, “okay, just hold on.”

Taehyung stares at his feet and waits.

 

“Hey.”  Jimin says softly, as he settles onto the curb next to Taehyung, keeping careful space between them.  It hurts more than Taehyung realized it could, twenty odd centimeters.  It’s such a small distance; it shouldn’t hurt.  “Yoongi-hyung and Guk said you were here.  Is that a stag beetle?”   

“Yeah.”  Taehyung whispers, watching the insect crawling in front of him. 

“What's it doing here?”  Jimin asks.

“Must have gotten lost.”  Taehyung can’t get his voice above a whisper.  “You know how it is.” 

“They thought we were dating, you know.”  Jimin says. 

Taehyung blinks.  “What?” 

“They thought we were dating, that’s why they told us to kiss.  Jongin said he didn’t even realize we weren’t, until you asked if it was okay.  He says sorry.  I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have kissed you.  There’s been alcohol and that wasn’t—I’m sorry.”

“I kissed you.”  Taehyung points out.  “I kissed you, Jimin.”

“Yeah, well,” Jimin shrugs, “I kissed back.”  He looks at Taehyung and looks a little lost and scared, his smile faltering at the edges.  “Can I hug you, Tae?”

“Jimin, yeah.”  Taehyung holds out his arms and Jimin falls into the hug, fits right into Taehyung like he belongs there. 

“Sorry.”  Jimin whispers again.  "I'm sorry."  Taehyung doesn’t know what he's apologizing for.

“No, you don’t have to be.  I’m sorry, okay?  I’m sorry I kissed you.”  I'm sorry I kissed you like that, I'm sorry I love you like this.

“It’s okay.”  Jimin voice is muffled.  “You kiss like you take photos, Tae.  Pretty, make me feel blurry around the edges.”

Taehyung can't breathe.

“I’m sorry,” Taehyung tries again, when he gets air back into his lungs, “sorry they think you’re dating me.”

“What?”  Jimin pulls back, knocking Taehyung upright.  He looks at Taehyung with strange eyes.  “Sorry they think I’m dating you?  What does that mean?”

“I’m—I’m just touchy and I tell people I love them and, I don’t know, I’ve probably ruined a million potential relationships for you because people see me and you and think ‘oh never mind’ and now I’m kissing you in kitchens and stuff and— I’m sorry for that.” 

“Taehyung,” Jimin says firmly, “I’m not trying to be rude, but I absolutely refuse to accept an apology for that.  What did Namjoon say?  We’re each other’s persons.  You are my person.  I really don’t care what anyone thinks.” 

“I can set boundaries though.  I mean, what about that boy you said you liked?”  Taehyung offers, feeling sort of sick, like he's deliberately pressing on a bruise just to see how much he can make himself hurt.  “What happened to him, did I scare him away, did I ruin it?” 

“You didn’t ruin anything.  I think I did, actually.”  Jimin sways forward, like he’s dizzy, smile all lopsided again.  “Or maybe he never liked me like that, is what I'm starting to think.”

“Oh.”  Taehyung says.  “I'm sorry.  Are you sure?  Although you’re good at reading people, I guess you would know.”  Their faces are so close. 

“Yeah. Yeah, I thought I was."  Jimin looks away.  There's a strange pause before Jimin looks up at him again, jaw set in determination.  "Taetae, you’re so pretty, inside and out.  You’re my most favoritest most prettiest in the whole wide world.  I love you.”  He looks down at his hands, then back up at Taehyung, almost with resignation.  “But you knew that, right?” 

“Yeah.”  Taehyung forces out.  “Yeah, I know.”

Something flashes across Jimin’s face, but it’s too quick and Taehyung is too tipsy to catch it.

“Okay, Taehyung-ah.” Jimin's voice is barely there.  He tips forward and rests his forehead on Taehyung’s shoulder.  “Okay, if you already knew then okay.” 

It sounds like an apology. 

Champagne coils in Taehyung's blood like a sickness. He shouldn’t have left Jimin alone in the kitchen, shouldn’t have kissed him, shouldn’t have let himself get this deep, this much in love.  He should have told Jimin sooner; maybe it wouldn’t have hurt this much.  It still would have hurt this much.  He should have— should have— he doesn't know. 

“Keep making the wrong choices.”  Taehyung sighs, the alcohol twisting his thoughts into words before he can think them through properly, and it sounds so wrong and mean, not what he meant at all. 

Jimin jolts against his shoulder, like he’s been slapped. 

“No, not like that.”  Taehyung says, but it’s too late.  “No, no, Jimin-ah, not like that.  Not like that.”  The words stick together, come out all wrong.  “Min, I love you.”

Jimin makes a strange sound, a sound like the thud of an unripe fruit hitting the ground.

“Yeah, I know, I get it now.”  Jimin won't meet Taehyung's eyes.  “I’m just gonna—” he shifts, stands, “—just gonna go back inside.  I’m sorry.” He adds, as he starts to walk away.  

“Me too.”  Taehyung whispers, but Jimin is already gone.

 

 

*****

 

 

“Hyung.”

“Oh, Tae.”  Yoongi says and holds out his arms.

“I ruined Jimin and I.”  Taehyung says, folding himself down so that he fits into Yoongi.  He feels so exhausted, so so tired; he hasn’t slept.  Couldn’t sleep.  “At the party, at the party I kissed him, hyung.  I kissed him.” 

“Taehyung-ah, did you talk to Jimin, didn't you talk to Jimin?”

“I tried to.  I kissed him and it meant so much to me, but he just went ‘oh’, not in a mean way, in a surprised way, because he didn’t know how I felt and then he did because I kissed him and I told him I loved him, I told him, hyung, but it just made him sad.  He said ‘you know I love you, right’, and I knew he did and I knew how he did, but I went and kissed him anyway and now it’s ruined, it’s all—”

“Tae.”  Yoongi says, cutting him off, voice loud.  “Tae, breathe.  Tae, slow down.” 

Taehyung’s chest heaves; he blinks away tears.

“Can I maybe stay here a bit.”  Taehyung whisper-asks, as the air conditioning clicks on, a cool breeze across his face.  He closes his eyes.  “Just for a moment.”

“You don’t have to ask.”  Yoongi says, arms tightening around him.  “Kid, always.”

 

 

*****

 

 

It’s not quite right between them, after that.

They don’t see each other the next day, or the next, and then the third day they do, because they always get tea on Tuesday mornings at 7:30am at the little coffee stand that is exactly the midpoint between their respective buildings.  

Taehyung doesn’t know if he hopes Jimin will be there or if he hopes he won’t. 

He doesn’t know which would hurt more.

Jimin is there, scraping his foot against the sidewalk, circles under his eyes the color of bruised plums. 

Busy week, he says, when he sees Taehyung looking.  Extra practices.   

There’s something sadder in the set of Jimin’s shoulders, something sadder in the curve of his mouth.   

They creep around each other for the next few days, curious and quiet, as though they’ve only just become friends, as though they don’t know each other very well at all. 

They don't touch as much.

They still text, Jimin still sends him hearts, but they don’t say I love you.

Taehyung can’t get the words out.  Jimin’s probably trying not to hurt him by saying it again, now that he knows Taehyung means it all different than he does.

Their texts dwindle.

The next week, Jimin goes back to Busan with Jeongguk. 

For vacation, his text says, sorry I didn’t get to see you before I left, spur of the moment trip, you know?

Yoongi sits with Taehyung, eats ice pops with him, swings on old half-broken swing sets that are almost too hot to touch with him.

Taehyung takes endless pictures. 

Hurts.  He mumbles, while Yoongi sifts through his developed film.

I see that.  Yoongi says, pausing on a picture Taehyung took of Yoongi in secret, Yoongi half in profile, face tilted up toward a beam of light that is reflecting in through his living room window, his eyes closed like he’s in pain, his mouth open like a wound. Tae, I see that. 

It hurts.  Taehyung repeats.

Text him, Yoongi says.  Taehyung-ah, talk to him, I think the both of you might be saying the same thing different ways, you need to speak with him again.

Taehyung shrugs.

 

 

jeongguk
text jimin
he won’t tell me what happened
he looks like he’s gonna cry all the time
did u fight
tae please
why are u both hurt so bad

 

 

Taehyung feels like an injured animal; he wants to be alone.  He escapes to Daegu, crawling away early one morning in secret, the same way dying things do.

He eats strawberries, cherries, blackberries until he’s going to burst.

He texts Jimin.

 

taehyung
miss you, min

 

Jimin texts back, the next day.

 

jimin
and i, you
yoongi-hyung said you went to daegu?
see you when you get back, yeah?

 

Taehyung laughs and it tastes like washed up seaweed, cold and bitter.

His one kiss with Jimin he keeps hidden inside himself.  A small secret thing.

He takes it out when it’s quiet, late at night, turns it over in his hands, watches the moonlight refract through it.

 

looks like your voice, tae, i want to live in it

 

Every shade of blue illuminated onto his bedroom floor. 

 

my sweet taehyung-ah, i’ve got you 

 

He slides his arms around his ribcage and holds on tight.

 

i love you, but you knew that, right?

 

He tries to pretend it’s Jimin holding him.  Tries to pretend it’s not. 

He hears Jimin whisper oh a million times over, feels the tiny syllable in his mouth like the pit of a stone fruit.  He tries to forget the taste of Jimin’s mouth; knows he never will.   

He doesn’t know what else to do, so he lets it hurt.

 

jeongguk
hyung, come home

 

yoongi
tae
you have to come back 

 

Taehyung answers them both with the same small heart, puts his phone under his pillow, and doesn’t go back to campus until the day before the semester is set to begin.   

 

 

*****

 

 

Taehyung finds out that he got the internship, The Internship, exactly eight days into classes. 

His blood is bubbling through his veins like champagne, effervescent, golden.  He hangs up politely with his advisor, stares blankly at his wall.  And then he doesn't think, he just puts on his shoes and runs.

“Oh my god.”  Jimin says, opening his door.

“I—” Taehyung pants. 

“Oh my god.”  Jimin repeats.  “Did you run here?  Tae, it’s a million degrees.” 

“No, it’s not.  It’s September 5th.  It’s fall.”

“It’s like 33 degrees out, Tae.”

“I refuse that. It’s fall.”  Taehyung croaks, and collapses in the entryway.  “I just can’t breathe, just one second.”

Jimin snorts, gets him a glass of water, kneeling beside Taehyung as he passes it to him.

“You’re all icky.”  He says, scrunching up his nose.

“Obviously.”  Taehyung gasps around swallows.  “It’s a million degrees out.”

“It’s fall.”  Jimin says, with strange inflections.  “It’s September 5thThat’s how you talk.”  He tells Taehyung.  “That was an accurate imitation.  I’ve taken acting classes.”

“You have not.”  Taehyung laughs and Jimin laughs too and there’s one second, this one really pretty crystal of a second, where everything is okay. 

Then it ends.

Jimin shifts awkwardly, stands up, so Taehyung does as well, following Jimin into the living room out of habit.

“I got the internship.”  Taehyung says.

Jimin stops walking so abruptly that Taehyung runs into him.

“What?”  Jimin demands, spinning around.  “What?”

“Um, the Lustro Gallery internship, the really competitive one, the one I really wanted?  Where like 9 of the past 10 people have been grad students, but I applied anyway and then panicked and tried to learn how to hack so I could remove my application and you told m--”

“I remember, I remember all that.”  Jimin cuts him off, eyes scanning Taehyung’s face quick.   “I remember that, what did you just say about it?”

“I got it.”  Taehyung whispers, all of it hitting him all at once.  “They just called me, Jimin-ah, shit, I got it.”

Jimin shrieks, throwing his arms around Taehyung, and it hurts so good.

“Oh my god!  Tae, you— your photos, they must have loved—I told you, I told you, Taehy—" Jimin laughs, a jumbled mess of sound spilling out of his lips.  They trip as they hug, all off balance, and Taehyung lands half on top of Jimin, the wind knocked out of him.

Jimin's laugh ends in a strange and happy sound, fingers clenched tight in the back of Taehyung's shirt and Jimin's smile is so so good, smiling like it's him, like Taehyung's victory is Jimin's own victory, leaning his head back to laugh again, loud and clear.  Jimin tilts his head back down and they lock eyes, Jimin’s smile fading into something sweet and questioning, and Jimin is just so—so—

When Taehyung leans forward and kisses Jimin, he tastes like desert wine, like demi-sec champagne, like everything good and sweet. 

Jimin shifts under him, tilting his head, and their lips slide together better, catch and drag.  The whole world disappears.  There’s just this, just the way Jimin is kissing him, so tender and careful it’s bruising.  

“Oh god.”  Jimin says softly, into Taehyung’s mouth, when they part.

Everything spins in, loud as a summer squall. 

Oh shit. 

Taehyung struggles to right himself, but his center of gravity is off, like he's tilted toward Jimin all the time.  He manages it barely, sliding off Jimin's body, his hand splayed on Jimin’s chest, his hip pressed into the divot of Jimin’s waist.

Jimin is staring up at him with the same wide eyes as last time.

“Jimin,” Taehyung manages, “sorry, Jimin-ah.”  His mouth is so dry.  He licks his lips and tastes Jimin on them and can’t stop the small stuttered whimper, because that’s the last time he’ll ever get to taste Jimin and he wasted it.

“Sorry?”  Jimin whispers.

He sounds like he’s trying to puzzle the word out, as though it’s in another language and he’s not sure what it means.  Taehyung stares hard at his hand on Jimin's chest, Jimin's short fingers looped loosely around Taehyung’s wrist.  When Jimin speaks again his voice calm and neat, like properly folded laundry.

“Taehyung, please look at me.  Please, just look at me.”

Taehyung drags his eyes up to meet Jimin’s.  

Jimin's brow is furrowed, like he's trying to figure something out but can't; like he’s trying not to cry but thinks he’s going to.

"Taetae, do you remember when we kissed at Seokjinie-hyung’s party?”

"What?  Yes.”  Taehyung says, because it’s etched into his forever.   

“Do you remember how I told you I loved you and you said you knew?” 

“Yes.” Taehyung breathes.

“Do you remember when I came to your place after my pre-audition?  You held me while I cried and you kissed my eyelids?  Do you remember?” 

“Yes.”  Taehyung says, because he can’t get the weight of Jimin out of his arms.  The heat of Jimin’s tears off his chest.  He swears he can still see the salt crystals of Jimin on his skin when he looks closely.

“Taehyung, do you remember when someone tried to pick me up and I got upset when you told me to say ‘yes’ and, when you asked about it again, I told you I was interested in someone else?”

“Yes.”  Taehyung whispers, burning with something like shame, like jealousy, like possessiveness. 

“Do you remember when you called me when you were in New York and sick and sad and I promised you I would hug you as soon as you were back in Korea?  Do you remember that night we chased the shooting star we saw and you wouldn’t tell me what you wished for?  Do you remember when we got so drunk, too drunk, and tried to take care of each other and just ended up a gross mess on the floor? Do you remember when the dance teacher told me I needed to lose weight and I went on that crash diet and passed out and you got so mad with me?  Do you remember telling me we should go a long time, together?  Do you remember when I was tipsy and kissed the entire length of your collarbones and then tried to apologize and you said it was fine so I did it again and then, the next day, when I was embarrassed about it, you kissed mine to make me feel better?  Do you reme—”

Yes, yes, yes, yesyesyesyesyes.

“Stop.” Taehyung blurts out.  “Why are you doing this?  Please stop.  It’s mean.”   Taehyung's shaking.  He presses his hand flat against Jimin’s chest.  “It’s mean, it’s mean, you’re not mean, why are you doing this?" 

"No, no no no, not mean, not trying to be mean.  Not mean, Taetae.  But you keep kissing me like you mean it and then apologizing and I don’t know what to do.”  Taehyung feels Jimin’s heart thudding in the palm of his hand, like Taehyung’s holding it, like Taehyung could pluck it right out of Jimin’s chest.  “Tae, I don’t know how to say it any other way, I don’t know how to show it any other way.  Why do you think I don’t love you?” 

“I know you love me.”  Taehyung gets out.  “Jimin-ah, I know you do, I know that, I know you love me.  I know you care about me.  But I love you like— like—I love you so much it’s like a live thing in my stomach trying to get out.  It’s different, right? I’m your friend, you love me like that, and I’m so glad for it.  It’s just—I just love you so much, so different from everyone else.  I’m sorry, I tried to stop.”

“Tae.”  Jimin whispers, voice desperate.  “Taetae, my sweet Tae.  Do you remember that picture of the ocean you sent me, when you were in New York, all that blue and all those birds and all that space?”

Taehyung remembers.  He nods. 

“I love you like that, Tae.  I love you like that.”  Jimin says, through his tears.  “I love you every which way, every which shade, every single drop of blue.  C'mere.”  Jimin guides Taehyung’s hand to his face.  Taehyung brushes Jimin's tears away, strokes Jimin’s cheekbone with his thumb, and Jimin tilts his head into Taehyung’s hand, eyes fluttering closed.  "I thought you didn't—" Jimin whispers, nuzzling into Taehyung's palm, voice faltering, "you said it was a mistake, that you made a mistake, you said you knew how I felt, I thought you meant you knew and didn't feel the same— I thought you didn’t—“

“Jimin-ah.”  Taehyung says, voice ragged.  Jimin’s eyes flick open immediately.  “Jimin, Jimin.  You love me like that too?”

Jimin sobs, nods. 

Taehyung surges forward, presses their mouths together, but it's barely a kiss, all teeth and tongues.

"I love you, I love you, I love you so much, so many ways."  Taehyung whispers into Jimin's mouth.

“Taehyung, I love you every which way.” Jimin kisses him wet and open, kisses his cheekbones, the corners of his eyes, the ends of his hair.  “I love you all sorts of ways, every single which way.” 

“You do, you do, you do?”  Taehyung chants, not sure if he’s asking or confirming, half one and half the other. “I love you back, I love you back, I love you back.” 

Jimin kisses him and it’s so good, their tongues twisting, all the words they couldn’t say pushed into each other’s mouths, into each other's skin.  

“Oh god.”  Jimin whispers, as Taehyung trails down, works a bruising kiss into the divot between Jimin’s collarbones. “Oh god, oh god, oh god.”  Jimin’s fingers scramble for purchase in Taehyung’s hair

“Could I have done this ages ago?”  Taehyung licks up to Jimin’s jawbone, litters kisses there. “Shit, could I have done this ages ago?”

“You could have done it the second you got back from New York.  Tae, let me kiss you, why aren’t I kissing you, come back—” Jimin pulls Taehyung’s mouth back to his, slots their legs, twists under him, and arches up. Taehyung’s belly coils with the feeling, the friction.  “Tae, you feel so good, you feel so good.”  Jimin whines into his mouth and grinds up, hands tight on Taehyung's waist, holding him in place to get the angle right. 

“Shit, shit, shit.”  Taehyung mumbles, rocking his hips down, licking into Jimin's mouth like it's candy.  Underneath the clean taste of toothpaste, there’s that taste that’s all Jimin, sweet sweet sweet.  Taehyung’s desperate for more.  He runs his tongue over the roof of Jimin’s mouth, sucks Jimin’s tongue in between his teeth, and feels Jimin shudder under him. “Can I—can we?” 

“Please,” Jimin voice is like waves crashing, and Taehyung can barely hold himself up, is getting knocked down by the sound of it, “oh god, Tae, please.”

Taehyung pulls them up, moving more on instinct than anything else, stumbling toward Jimin’s bedroom.  They crash through the door and Jimin sort of pushes him, so that Taehyung staggers, feels Jimin’s bed knock against the back of his knees.  He sits down heavily.

“Sweet Tae.”  Jimin murmurs, closing the door behind him, crossing the room in quick steps.  He slots himself between Taehyung’s open legs and Taehyung’s hand go up automatically to his hips but— “Wait.”  Jimin says.  “Don’t move.”

Taehyung freezes, hands in midair.  Jimin sinks to his knees, leans up and presses a gentle kiss to Taehyung’s lips.  He brings one of Taehyung’s hands in front of face, unbuttons the cuff of his shirt, places that hand on Taehyung’s knee, turns to the other and does the same. His fingers rest on Taehyung’s wrists and then trail up, up his forearms, his biceps, up to his shoulders, across his collarbones, pressing down through the thin material of Taehyung's button-up. 

“Jimin-ah?”  Taehyung asks, mesmerized by the light touch, by the look in Jimin’s eyes.

Jimin puts his finger on Taehyung's top button.

"Can I take this off you?"  He asks. 

After Taehyung nods, Jimin goes one button at a time, agonizingly slow, pressing a kiss to each inch of newly exposed skin.  By the time he reaches the last button, Taehyung is gasping for air.   Jimin kisses Taehyung right above the belt buckle, tongue flicking, and then slides his hands and his mouth up.  He presses a open mouthed kiss to the middle of Taehyung’s sternum, lifts up, works the skin at the base of Taehyung's neck, warm and wet, takes Taehyung’s shirt off, fingers leaving tingling little trails of sensation, like burn marks on Taehyung’s skin.  

Taehyung whimpers, lets his fingers rest lightly on Jimin's shoulders. It’s like some sort of worship the way Jimin is touching him, all these little teasing glancing touches and wet soft kisses and gentle flicks of his tongue.  It’s overwhelming.  Taehyung’s dizzy with it, he feels like he's going to lose his mind.  

“My sweet Tae.”  Jimin muses, kissing across Taehyung’s collarbones, kissing down his chest again, flicking his tongue over Taehyung nipple, biting softly, the good kind of pain, soothing it immediately with his tongue.  He works over the nipple carefully, trails his mouth across to the other, gives it the same attention, leans back for a second, running his hands over Taehyung's thighs. 

Jimin is pretty, so pretty pretty pretty, and he looks about as wrecked as Taehyung feels.  Taehyung trails his eyes over every inch of Jimin's face, lifts his hand up and traces the edges of Jimin’s lips, thumbs at them.  Jimin parts them easily and sucks just the tip of Taehyung’s fingers into his mouth, one by one, watching Taehyung watch him.

“Fuck. You’re unreal.”  Taehyung chokes out.  “Pretty Jiminie, my pretty Jiminie.  Please, Jimin-ah, please let me kiss you again, wanna kiss you again.”

Jimin lets out a shuddery breath, Taehyung's fingers falling from his mouth.

“Kiss me, Tae.”  He whispers.  "Kiss me, touch me, need it, please."

Taehyung groans, twists his hands in the neckline of Jimin’s shirt, uses it to pull Jimin to him roughly.  This kiss is different, dirty and wet and heavy.  Messy.  

“You’re so pretty, Jimin-ah, you’re so pretty.”  Taehyung mumbles, falling back on the bed, pulling Jimin flat on top of him, hips flush. Jimin’s hard against him and he grinds down slowly in a way that has Taehyung’s head spinning.

“Wanna touch you, is it okay?”  Jimin asks, as he slides his hand in between them to the waistband of Taehyung’s pants.  

“Yeah, yeah, s’okay.  Very okay.”  Taehyung manages, words slurred and muddled.

Jimin palms Taehyung through his pants, good good pressure, and Taehyung’s whole body jerks.  Jimin kisses Taehyung greedily, eats up the sounds he makes, whines when Taehyung does like Jimin's the one getting touched.  Taehyung tries to move them up to the head of the bed, tries to touch Jimin back, but Jimin shakes his head, pulls away, starts to slide down Taehyung’s body. 

“I wanna touch you.”  Jimin says, scraping the skin of Taehyung’s lower belly with his teeth.  “Let me touch you, let me, let me, wanna touch you so bad, have for so long, please Tae.”  Jimin kneels on the ground at the foot of the bed, resting his face against Taehyung’s inner thigh.  He looks up at Taehyung through his lashes, drags his lower lip through his teeth and it comes out all cherry red and spit slicked.  “Wanna suck you off.  Please Tae, let me?”

“Yeah, okay, yeah, that sounds so nice.”  Taehyung barely manages the words, pushing himself up on his forearms so he can see Jimin better.

“Gonna make you feel so good.”  Jimin whispers, like he’s not already doing exactly that.  Taehyung tries to remember how you’re supposed to breathe when you feel dizzy, because he’s very dizzy and wound so tight; he's so hard, already toeing an edge.  He lifts up his hips so that Jimin can slide his pants off.  Seven in, hold for four, exhale for

“So wet.”  Jimin whispers, noses at the damp spot on Taehyung’s boxers.  “So hard.  For me right?  All hard and wet for me, right?”  He licks up Taehyung’s clothed cock, eyes locked with Taehyung’s, and it looks so dirty and it feels so good that all the air comes out of Taehyung’s lungs in one big rushed groan. 

Not to be dramatic, but Taehyung is going to die. 

“Not to be dramatic, but I’m gonna die.”  Taehyung says shakily.

“Oh no,” Jimin purrs, “oh no, don’t do that, Tae.  Do you want me to stop?”

“No, I want, I want—oh god.”  Taehyung hisses, as Jimin sucks the head of Taehyung’s cock through his boxers, rubs the wet material against the sensitive skin.  "Oh Jesus Jesus Christ." 

“I’m not sure I understand, I'm not sure what you mean, you want me to what?”   Jimin hums. Taehyung's cock twitches against Jimin’s mouth, and his hips jerk up.  Jimin smiles, presses an openmouthed kiss to his length and Taehyung doesn’t even try to stop his groan, stomach clenching.  "So sensitive."  Jimin coos, tracing with his tongue.  "What do you want?"

“I want your mouth, please, Min, please.”

Jimin hums, fingers slipping into Taehyung's waistband.  “Ah,” he says, “that was much clearer.  I can do that, I would like to do that very very much.”

Taehyung whines when the cool air hits his flushed skin, twisting his hips, looking for pressure, friction, anything.

“So pretty.” Jimin whispers.  “Fuck, so hard, Tae, so hard for me, look so good.”  Jimin presses wet little kisses to the tip of Taehyung’s cock, licking slow lazy circles around the head.

“Min.”  Taehyung whispers, arms shaking.  “Jimin-ah.”

“Mmm?”  Jimin hums, drags long open-mouthed kisses down, trailing spit, mouth the color of crushed berries.  He sucks one of Taehyung’s balls into his mouth and then the other, tongue licking at the soft skin behind them.  His hand works Taehyung’s cock slowly, fingers in a loose circle, not nearly tight enough, but yet so good.

“Jimin-ah.”  Taehyung whispers when Jimin slides his lips back up to the head, wet and warm and velvet soft, pressing his tongue flat against the underside.  “Pretty, you’re so pretty like this for me, my Jimin-ah.”  He reaches out, half balanced on one forearm, threads his fingers in Jimin’s hair and tugs. 

Jimin whimpers, his free hand sliding off the bed.  There’s the sound of a zipper and Taehyung can’t see, but from the way Jimin’s shoulder is moving, the stuttered sound he makes, it’s obvious he’s touching himself.

“Tell me again.”

“Jesus fuck.”  Taehyung breathes.  "How the fuck are you so hot, pretty Jimin-ah, my Jimin-ah, my Jiminie."

Jimin grins, hand firm around the base of Taehyung’s cock, tapping the head against his pout.  He holds it there, and Taehyung feels the spit pool in Jimin’s lower lip, can feel Jimin flicking out with his tongue, little licks, just enough that saliva starts to drip down the shaft.

"Please don't tease anymore, Min."  Taehyung whispers desperately, when Jimin sucks just the head into his mouth and then pulls off with a little pop, does it again.  "Baby, please." 

Jimin lets Taehyung’s cock slip past his lips immediately.  He slides down, up, all soft suction, slick and wet and warm and tight.

Taehyung tips his head back in relief with a groan, and then tilts his head up again because he wants to watch.  “You look so good, you’re so good, feel so good, Jiminie.”  He whispers, reaching forward to stroke Jimin's hair, push it off his forehead so he can see Jimin's eyes.  "My Jiminie."

Jimin moans, eyes flicking up to Taehyung’s, and takes him deep without warning, nearly all the way down. Taehyung’s hips jerk up involuntarily into the tightness of Jimin's mouth and Jimin chokes a little. 

“Shit, sorry.”  Taehyung gasps, tugging Jimin’s face up, wiping at his watering eyes.  “Jiminie, sorry.”

“It’s okay.”  Jimin whispers, when he catches his breath.  “Tae, it’s okay. You feel good, Tae.  It feels good.”  Jimin parts his lips again, slides down, takes him just as deep. 

“Jesus.” Taehyung jerks up into the warmth of Jimin’s mouth, and Jimin makes an approving sound, so Taehyung does it again, again, again.

He’s so close.  It should be embarrassing how fast he’s going to come, but it’s not, it just feels good.

“M’so close—”  Taehyung whispers, tugging at Jimin’s hair with one hand, pressing himself up on his forearm.  Jimin moans, swallows around him, hand working himself while his mouth works Taehyung, and it’s all so—so-- indecent.  It feels so good, Jimin looks so good, sounds so good, and Taehyung is gone gone gone.  He comes with a long broken sound, sees white, falls back on the bed.

He looks down when his vision clears, still struggling to catch his breath, and sees Jimin watching him with heavy lidded eyes, wiping the corners of his mouth, sucking drops of cum off of his fingertips.  Taehyung reaches for him with a whimper.  Jimin’s still fully clothed, Taehyung realizes belatedly, as Jimin crawls up to him.  His pants are undone from when he was touching himself, but he’s fully clothed. 

Taehyung shudders, pulls Jimin tight to him, licks into Jimin’s mouth and tastes himself, and that’s a little strange, but he doesn’t mind because underneath it is Jimin, sweet sweet sweet.  Jimin’s hips stutter against Taehyung's body like he can't help it; he’s still so hard, Taehyung can feel Jimin pressed against his side.

Taehyung rolls them over, pressing kisses to Jimin’s neck, reaching between them, sliding his hand into Jimin’s unbuttoned jeans. 

“Oh god,” Jimin sounds pained when Taehyung’s fingers find him, “I’m so close, Tae, I’m—shit.”  Jimin arches up into Taehyung’s hand and Taehyung lets go only so he can slide his hand inside Jimin’s boxers, feel Jimin wet and warm and heavy in his hand.  He jerks him off for a few seconds, precum easing the slide, but he wants to see, so he crawls down on the bed and pushes Jimin’s hips up to get his boxers and jeans off, looks at Jimin all flushed and wet, so hard it has to hurt.

“So pretty.”  He mumbles into Jimin’s skin.  “Pretty pretty Jiminie.”  He rubs his closed lips over the head of Jimin’s dick, tastes the precum beaded there, then spits into his hand and strokes Jimin long and firm, tight over the head each upstroke.

“Tae—” Jimin gasps, hips lifting, hands clenching on Taehyung’s shoulders, in his hair, “Tae, please, I—you made me feel so good, I’m so clo—”

“I got you, I got you.”  Taehyung soothes, letting his lips part.  He slides down a little, a gentle bobbing motion on just the tip, working his hand up and down the shaft, tonguing at the slit, watching Jimin’s stomach muscle tighten, his thighs twitch. 

Tae,” Jimin gasps as he comes, body jerking, “Tae, Tae, Tae.”  Taehyung holds his hips steady, works him through it, movements getting gentler and gentler, until Jimin gasps and twists away, oversensitive.  “Oh fuck, Tae, c’mere.”  Jimin says, voice ragged. 

“Can I take this off.”  Taehyung whispers, tugging at Jimin’s shirt.  “I didn’t get to see, I want to see.”  Jimin murmurs kiss me first, so Taehyung does, slow and lazy, rucking Jimin’s shirt up and then sitting him up careful, so he can pull it all the way off.  He smooths Jimin’s hair and then lays him back down and looks at him, just looks at him for a little.

"God, you're so beautiful."  He’s so dizzy with how good Jimin is, inside and out and every which way.  "Jimin-ah, I don't understand how anyone can be as beautiful as you are."

Jimin whines under Taehyung’s gaze, Taehyung’s words, twisting against his sheets. 

“I can feel it, when you look at me like that,” Jimin whispers, burying his face in his hands, “it’s like you’re touching me, Tae. You look at me like that and you say things like that and it feels so so so good.  It makes me feel so good.  How do you make me feel so good?”

Taehyung has never wanted to kiss anyone so badly before in his whole life and he realizes, almost with a start, that he doesn’t have to just want.  He can.  He’s allowed to.

Jimin reaches for him, as though thinking the same thing.

They kiss and kiss.  Their fingers trail, exploring skin they didn’t get to touch before.

“Jimin,” Taehyung whispers, as he presses a kiss to each of Jimin's ribs.  “This feels make believe, it feels like I’m making it up.  Is this real, are you real? I love you.  Please tell me this isn't a dream.”

Jimin pulls him up with gentle hands and presses an impossibly soft kiss to his lips.

“I know what you mean.  I promise you this is not a dream, okay?  I love you.”

“Say it again?”  Taehyung asks.

“I love you, I love you, I love you.”  Jimin whispers, a kiss in between each word.  "I love you." 

The sound of it will never leave the marrow of Taehyung’s bones.

 

 

*****

 

 

taehyung
yoongi-hyung

yoongi
taehyung-ah

taehyung
jimin loves me back

yoongi

taehyung

 

 

 

<<group chat>>

 

[taehyung has added jimin to the chat]
[taehyung has added seokjin to the chat]
[taehyung has added yoongi to the chat]
[taehyung has added namjoon to the chat]
[taehyung has added hoseok to the chat]
[taehyung has added jeongguk to the chat]

 

taehyung
an announcement!!!
u may all remember a time when i had namjoon hyung tell jimin i wanted jimin’s dick in my mouth if it would fit

 

[yoongi has left the chat]

 

[jimin has added yoongi to the chat]

 

yoongi
seriously? 

namjoon
lol

taehyung
nice one babe
good call making you a mod 

jimin

seokjin
idk what u thought would happen
cmon yoongs

yoongi
got optimistic

hoseok
lol how #offbrand

yoongi
suck my dick, seok-ah

taehyung
SPEAKING OF WHICH
im sure uve been anxious to know what came of that above-mentioned situation
as of yesterday afternoon, it’s been resolved!!!

namjoon
i felt fine wit hthe resolution i had

seokjin
how do u mute this imma get fired

yoongi
i personally was not wodnering

taehyung
i just want to let you all know
there are no problems with the size of jimin’s dick
and it mostly fits in my mouth. kinda.
and it is beautiful
like really really very pretty
just like the rest of jimin
ur all missing out and will continue to because he’s mine
anyway
thank u for ur support
big shout out to yoongi hyung who consoled me a lot
big shout out to guk for abandoning me on skype and thus introducing me to jiminie
big shout out to jimin for putting up with me being a bit thick, maybe a lot, literally he told me he loved me and i was like 'oh bummer because i love you'
big big shout out to jimin’s mouth, it's perfect, i haven’t come that hard ever and it just gets better every time
srsly i think ive seen heaven, guys

seokjin
good lord

namjoon
why the last shout out
wasn’t it enough info without that

jimin
tbf i also misunderstood that’s on both of us
but its fine bc ilu and not just bc of the mindblowing orgasms
although those have also been great
u guys rly r missing out, suck it
anway luv u tae

jeongguk
WHY
STOP
I JUST OPENED THIS
HYUNG WHY DID YUOU TELL ME TO CHECK MY PHONE
YOONGI HYUN HY

taehyung

(dats @ jimin, not u guk)

yoongi
why do only i have to hurt, guk
were in this together, remember

jeongguk
in our relationship together!!!
not tae and jimin hyung’s weird group sex chat together
i can hear u laughing in the bedroom
im gonna come beat u up
HE LOCKED THE DOOR, UNLOCK THIS DOOR HYUNG

jimin
kinky

taehyung
kin--
omg min ilu

yoongi
anyway
happy for you two
remember no sex unless its safe sex, get tested, until then condoms are free at student health
but if we’re oversharing today
i mean it’s been a minute bc exclusivity, testing, etc. but
there was one rly rly good kind
shit, what were they called, guk?

jeongguk
HYUNG
okamoto
its like a japanes brand idk they were good

taehyung
nice
thanks!!

namjoon
great well this has been very useful

yoongi
yeah but that's just the brand
which kind did u like guk
do u remember?
u remember.
remember we went to that wine tasting
and then when we got home
u got all whiny and pouty bc u said i bought the wrong ones
and made me go to the mini mart at the bottom of the building at ass o'clock at night
and u stayed upstairs bc it was my fault u said and u were way more tipsy than me
and like we realized kinda far into the foreplay game
but no sex unless it’s safe sex and u only wanted those ones
so there i was, dick tucked into my waistband,
looking for these fucking magicass condoms u wanted
u remember

namjoon
the MENTAL IMAGE

jimin
lolololol yoongi-hyung
jesus chrst

yoongi
you have no idea
they didn't have the ones he said and i called him like
babe r u sure they're not the right ones
arent the ones we have okay, arent they the ones we use
i swear they're the ones we use 
and he was like
‘they don't feel as good for me hyung dont u wanna make me feel good'
so i went to the 24 hr drug store like five blocks away

jimin
DONT U WANNA MAKE ME FEEL GOOD

seokjin
that’s so manipulative i raised u better than that jeonggukie
no wait i didn’t that’s amazing

jeongguk
U KNOW WHAT
i come off really bad in this story it actually gets worse
to protect my dignity
tae i beg of u

 

[taehyung has removed yoongi from the chat]

 

seokjin
HAHAHAHAHA

namjoon
lololol

jimin
noOOOOOOOO what, what happened
i wanted to hear the end of the story!!
did it all work out did ur dicks live happily ever after

hoseok
honestly same 

seokjin
yeah yoongi really set the scene
good pacing
strong characters
central conflict
im invested  

jeongguk
what r the chances of u guys letting this go if i don't finish the story

jimin
absolutely 0
no chance at all of that

taehyung
im just worried for kitty hyung
pretty pretty kitty hyung
what happened to him that cold night

seokjin
imma not lie id probably bring it up sometimes
but u do u, gukie

jeongguk
ugh, whatever idc anymore
the tl;dr is
im p sure i made him go to like five stores but he couldn't find the ones i kept saying
and it was like 1am and -12 degrees out so he just came home
and i was really tired and wine tipsy and all like super spiraled like
'u didn’t remember what kind i like, do u even like me, why would u like me, im useless, im terrible'
and he was like 'baby baby no baby i love you i do'
and it was really dramatic
anyway then he, um, made me feel better, if you will
but i was REALLY TIRED so i just fell asleep immediately after i got off
left him the most hanging
and then,,,,
the next day,,,,
i realized he had bought the right condoms
they were the right ones the whole time ):

jimin
NO

jeongguk
yeeeeeeeep  ))):
they changed the packaging
and i was drunk so i thought they were wrong ))))):
i literally sent him on a hunt for nonexistent condoms

jimin
the real treasure was the condoms we hd at home all along 

seokjin
im crying im laughinh so hard
im gonan get fired im def fired 
oh god okay wow, a #condomgate, glad u guys pulled thru

namjoon
how that was tldr version good lord
whats the regular version

jeongguk
anyway
okamoto crown skinless skin
theyre just called crown now
NOW LETS NEVER SPEAK OF THIS AGAIN
GOOD DAY TO YOU ALL

 

[jeongguk has left the chat] 

 

taehyung
i as laughing dso hard i couldny tpe
oh god
did someone screenshot
for posterity 

seokjin
y, done. anway
i am very happy for u two, tae and jimin
and im very pro safe healthy consensual sex
but also im at work so im just gonna

 

[seokjin has left the chat]

 

namjoon
a dfw quote comes to mind after this group chat
‘the integrity of my sleep has been forever compromised, sir’

 

[namjoon has left the chat]

 

jimin
BYE GUYS 

taehyung
that went well
im glad we did that that way
could have just said “hey we’re dating” but this was more
#onbrand 

jimin
why are u texting me this

taehyung
wellllllllll
since it’s just us now idk just thought maybe
u culd tell me ur wearing pretty baby

jimin
wht do u mean, im literally sat on the bed next to u

taehyung
JIMIN-AH ):
CMON ):
we missed out on sexting when i was abroad
tell me what ur wearing
;)

jimin
lol okay okay
hold on let me take a picture for u
MOVE OVER TAE U HAVE TO GET OFF ME
thank u
dont pout u can come bck in like 5 secs
now. ahem.


nothing special, just my ‘lyin’ in bed and thinkin’ bout u’ clothes

taehyung
pretty baaaaaaby
my pretty baby
(wht do i do now, im realizing ive actually never sexted before???)

jimin
(lol god ur cute)
why don’t u tell me what parts of me are pretty taetae

taehyung
all of u baby
ur prtty all inside and out and every which way
rn i can’t stop thinking abt ur pretty mouth
i love ur pretty mouth
fucki love it so much

jimin
yeah?
u like how my mouth looks on u tae, how it feels?

taehyung
shit
yes so much
so pretty pink feels so good on me, ur unreal
god ur so unreal
im hard just thinking about it

jimin
i wanna touch u
fuck i wanna touch u 
let me make u feel good tae
cmere let me suck on ur fingesr taehyung-ah 

taehyung
shit
fuck
loikhow good ulook bby
[image sent]

hoseok
WAHT THE FCK
OH GOD THAT PICTURE IS—
SOMEONE JUST SAW IT
AAAAH
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME

EXCUSE THATJUST MY LAST PICUTRE ON MY PHOTO ROLL
JUST TRYING TO GET
UR FUCKING PICTURE
OFF MY SCREEN
JESUS CHRIST
oh good its gone
WHY ARE YOU SEXTING HERE
JUST LEAVE
DO UR FOREPLAY PRIVATELY, GO HAVE IRL SEX
BUT FIRST U BOTH SHOULD apOLOGIZE
i mean im really happy for you guys but
CHRIST

jimin
OH SHIT HYUNG OOPS
we thought everyone left
there was a lot and the condomgate story and
we got diastcraced
ummmmmmm hyung i have to go now
but dats a great picture of u 

taehyung
lol hyung you creep
these r private????

hoseok
THIS ORIGINATED AS A GROUP CHAT TAEHYUNG
I WAS IN PRACTICE AND DIN;’T CHECK BACK FOR LIKE TWO MINUTES
HOW DID IT ESCALATE THIAT FAST
HOW WAS I TO KNOW
APOLOGIZE TO ME
….
R U TWO JUST HAVING SEX NOW??
U R AREN’T U

 

[hoseok has left the chat]

 

 

 

<<group chat>>

 
[taehyung has added seokjin to the chat]
[taehyung has added yoongi to the chat]
[taehyung has added namjoon to the chat]
[taehyung has added hoseok to the chat]
[taehyung has added jeongguk to the chat]

 

taehyung
yall also

 

[hoseok has left the chat]
[namjoon has left the chat]
[jeongguk has left the chat]
[yoongi has left the chat]
[seokjin has left the chat]

 

taehyung
i got my internship!!!
wait wtf
HEY
you BASTASRDS 

jimin
RUTHLESS

 
[taehyung has added seokjin to the chat]
[taehyung has added yoongi to the chat]
[taehyung has added namjoon to the chat]
[taehyung has added hoseok to the chat]
[taehyung has added jeongguk to the chat]  

 

taehyung
AS I WAS SAYING
YOU DICKS

 

[seokjin has left the chat]
[yoongi has left the chat]
[hoseok has left the chat]
[jeongguk has left the chat]
[namjoon has left the chat]

 

taehyung
….
u know what all of u can choke

jimin
is this directed at me too??? 

taehyung
u know it, prtty baby
;) 

jimin
;) 

taehyung

i love you

jimin

and i, you