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“What the fuck are you doing?”

Taehyung glared at Jimin’s back out on the terrace connected to the kitchen. At first when he entered the dorm he thought the wisps of gray clouds were Jimin’s breaths against the cold air but coming closer, he noticed the tendrils form into rings making that unlikely.

“Hmm?” Jimin turned his head back, eyes connecting with Taehyung’s angry glare and furrowed brows. Jimin turned his lips slightly upwards trying to make a smile.

“How was the Jeju trip?” He turned his head to look out at the city landscape, high-rise buildings glinting in the cold night.

Taehyung walked his way onto the terrace, pulling Jimin’s shoulder so that he would face him. He pointed at the cigarette held in Jimin’s hands.

“I asked you, what the fuck is that, Jimin?” He felt his voice shake from the absurdity of the situation. Jimin doesn’t smoke. He wouldn’t do that to himself. Jimin took care of himself.

Jimin stared at him blankly, “It’s a cigarette, Tae.”

Taehyung ran his hand through his hair exasperatedly. “I fucking know that! But what the fuck is it doing it in your hand?”

Jimin giggled, his other hand without the cigarette covering his mouth with his head leaned back letting out tinkling noises of amusement.

“I don’t think this is the time to be laughing?”

“You really didn’t know, huh?”

Taehyung furrowed his eyebrows further, “Wh-“ Taehyung exhaled. “What the fuck do you mean I didn’t know?”

“I’ve been smoking for months Tae, how have you only caught on now?” Jimin giggled while slightly patting Taehyung’s cheek. He dropped the cigarette on the floor and stubbed it with his slipper and stepped inside the dorm. Taehyung looked at Jimin’s retreating figure, stunned.

Taehyung quickly caught up to him, grabbing hold of his forearm and turning him around.

“Months?!” Taehyung practically yelled.

Jimin twisted out of his grip, frustration and something close to anger colouring his tone.

“Can you shut the fuck up? Jin hyung’s probably sleeping. And yes, months. Not my fault you didn’t care enough to notice.”

Taehyung felt something lodge in his throat. Hurt filling his expression. He tried to clear the lodge.

“What do you mean by that?” He half-whispered.

Jimin looked at Taehyung. He bit back his retort instead. He hated making Taehyung feel like this. He reached up and cupped Taehyung’s face instead, staring intently into his eyes. It was his job, always soothing his pain away, always him trying to bring the other comfort. Always him.

“Look Tae, it’s nothing. You’re tired, aren’t you? We barely landed from Hawaii and you were off to Jeju. Go to sleep, yeah?”

“No, stop fucking babying me. Just tell me what you meant. Spit it out” he snapped, shoving away his hands but regretting it right away.

Jimin dropped his arms limply to his sides. “Just drop it, okay? I just need something to take the edge off. Don’t worry about it.” Jimin replied softly staring at the top of Taehyung’s ear.

Taehyung gripped his shoulders instead, long fingers digging into Jimin’s skin. “Are you stressed? Are you feeling anxious again? We can talk again wit-“ Taehyung stopped talking when he saw anger flash in Jimin’s eyes.

“Are you seriously asking me that now? Do you have any idea what I went through this past year? What kind of thoughts I had-“ Jimin took in a deep a breath of air but let it out all out laughing humourlessly “but of course not” he glared at Taehyung’s face “’cause you always went off” he shoved at taehyung’s chest “when I needed you” he shoved again. He saw Taehyung’s face crumple in hurt and felt a slither of sick joy knowing he did it. He was at that point again, sick of caring about others, wanting to hurt others so they could feel an ounce of what he was feeling daily.

Taehyung felt guilt crash through his entire being. He knew his individual schedules put a hamper on their friendship. Promises made were soon unmade. Secrets that were meant for each other were soon put in the confidence of another. Late night stories were kept untold, one being more tired than the other to listen promising for another time that never came. He thought it was okay, they were leaning onto others instead of each other. He knew Jimin had found a new group of friends to rely on. He thought he was okay. What a stupid assumption. Jimin didn’t open up easily to others, he should’ve known that. He should’ve been there.

He grabbed Jimin’s wrists lightly that were still on his chest and thumbed the veins on the inside soothingly. He lifted his eyes from his hands to jimin’s eyes staring fixedly at his dark brown irises and his hardened gaze, “I’m sorry, I-I’m sorry I wasn’t there” He gripped his wrists more firmly. “I don’t know why things ended up like this, I...I just got distracted. I-“

“You just didn’t care is all” Taehyung saw hurt, anger, sadness, understanding flash in his eyes before settling on an emotionless façade, lips pressed into a straight line. He started moving his wrists out of Taehyung’s grasp.

Taehyung gripped them tighter. “Stop doing that. Closing off on me” He glared back at him and Jimin felt annoyance spike up again.

“Fuck off”

“You did it too, you know” Jimin stopped struggling. He knew it was childish, putting the blame on Jimin when it was mostly his fault they ended up this way.

“Why did you take Hoseok as your roommate instead of me? You know what I thought? Oh, he’s tired of my shit, probably wants space”

“I didn’t mean-“

“You ignored me you know...a while back. Don’t think I didn’t notice. When you always went off with Taemin or Hobi hyung when I was around. I let it be though because I thought you would come talk to me but you never did and I let it pass. My fault on that perhaps.”

Jimin dropped his gaze to the floor. Jimin thought he was being discreet but obviously not. He felt tired all of a sudden, bones feeling weary. Taehyung felt him go limp, relaxing all tense muscles. Jimin sighed.

“I liked you, you know, like in a non-platonic way” He glanced at Taehyung, smiling wryly. He never planned on making this confession but thinking of an excuse to Taehyung’s reason just made him feel drained. He saw his eyes widening.

Taehyung could hear his heart beat loudly in his ears turning into a slight roaring sound. His best friend liked him….liked…oh.

Jimin could practically see gears turning in his head, his pupils somewhat shaking. Jimin spoke again, “it’s settled now though…my feelings. Back then…uh…it was hard being around you. You’d get so clingy, Tae. It was infuriating” He barked out a laugh “Every time you came around me, arm around my waist or like when you asked me to sleep next you? It was hard. I wanted more and I couldn’t…I couldn’t risk it so I just put some distance.” He inhaled shakily, breath stuttering just thinking of the overwhelming emotions he had for the boy before him. “I needed the distance” He urged.

“But it wasn’t as if that period lasted forever, I knew it was stupid. You know I stopped after a while.  I seeked you out but you were just busy, gotta go there, gotta meet up with someone”

Taehyung vaguely remembered something;

“hey, vocal training?” he saw jimin coming through the front door, eyes downcast as taehyung was getting ready to head out to go eat with the Hwarang hyungs.

Jimin looked up then, “hey, yeah…do-...oh you going out?” his voice was soft, some emotion hidden beneath his tone. Taehyung ignored it, he was already late as it is.

Taehyung smiled, eyebrows shooting up, “yup! Gonna grab a meal with the hyungs. Gotta build up that chemistry with them,” he winked and laughed while putting on his shoes.

“Oh. Have fun then”

Taehyung looked back at him, scrunching his eyebrows “are you-“ two consecutive dings sounded from his phone “shit, gotta go, ill be back around 1 I think?” He waved his hand in goodbye and left.

Taehyung blinked, guilt clawing its way through his skin. He focused on every detail of Jimin’s face, the mole on his forehead, soft cheeks, swollen eyes, the bump in his nose, pretty plump lips.

“Why…why did you stop?” He whispered. He lowered their arms, Jimin’s wrists still in his grasp.

Jimin furrowed his eyebrows but then straightened them out, “why I stopped liking-liking you?” Taehyung nodded. It wasn’t as if he completely stopped, even when he stopped putting distance between them, he still had feelings but then bitterness had taken its place bit by bit and muted the feeling somewhat. Muted, that’s what the feelings were now.

“I think my issues just overshadowed them? I don’t know” He wasn’t in the mood for confessing more, honestly.

Taehyung thought about it. Did he ever feel the same? He was his comfort in the worst days. He was a pillar. But did that cross into romantic feelings? He thought about Jimin’s lips once or twice and how it would feel, but it’s Jimin’s lips. He was sure everyone had that thought at least once.

He saw Taehyung’s eyes give a worried look “Talk to me…these issues…”

“I’m tired Tae, I’m not up for it” he said gently and stepped closer to Taehyung, leaning his head against his shoulder, giving in this fight or whatever it was. It’s not unusual how they’re arguing one second and then having soft-spoken conversations the next. They always had heated arguments but minutes later ended up talking about something mundane, argument forgotten. Although he doubted this was something they could pass over.

Taehyung let go of his wrists and circled his arms around his waist pulling Jimin closer. He loved how perfectly he fit against him. He felt a possessive chord tug in him, the need to protect Jimin from who knows what but just so he won’t see him hurt. He hugged him tighter. He could feel Jimin nuzzling in closer to his neck and soft breaths on his collarbone.

“I’m sorry, I’ll do better. I promise.” He spoke softly against Jimin’s ear. He felt Jimin’s arms circle around his waist as well.

“I’m sorry, too” Jimin muffled against his shirt. Taehyung’s scent was comforting, fresh like clean laundry. It reminded him of home. He tightened his hold. He felt the familiar ache coming back but he embraced it, let it seep through his veins. He thought of how Taehyung never responded to the confession but he already knew he probably didn’t feel the same. He could be selfish. He wanted to be.

“Jimin” Taehyung soothingly rubbed his hand up and down his back and pulled back a bit to look at the smaller.

“Hmm?” Jimin turned his face up towards the taller, blinking owlishly and realized the close proximity. If he leaned in a bit more, he could kiss those lips. Taste them, run his tongue over them. He stepped back a bit. He found it amusing how couple minutes ago he was riddled with annoyance at the taller and now he just wanted to breathe him in. You’re so fucked.

Taehyung looked at him. Soft. He could feel the fondness spread in his chest. He looked at Jimin petulantly, “Please no more smoking, it’ll hurt your vocals”

Jimin felt the annoyance spike again and almost laughed. My vocals are useless, he thought bitterly. “No. Besides it’s not like I smoke three packs a day. It’s just once in a while when I need it. Don’t worry.” Worry about me. Care for me. Please.

Taehyung gave a resigned sigh, “Sleep?”

“Sleep.”