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Jeongguk always wondered why Taehyung tends to smell like fresh coffee and cinnamon rolls.

 

And every time Sunday comes along, on the same time every week, his thoughts are always confirmed and question left unanswered. Even though Sunday is quite an important day to Jeongguk – because it differs so much from the rest of the week – the question always happens to linger to him, to the point he couldn’t wonder about anything else.

 

Jeongguk has pondered and questioned the scent of the other male ever since the Sunday gatherings have started. He can’t quite recall when they started, actually – the only thing he’s sure of is that it was back when they were still in university and that they have remained a crucial part of his weekly routine for years now.

 

The seven of them met back in their early university days, but it’s a blur of how they met. Maybe they had some classes together, maybe the same interests have unintentionally met them, or maybe they ran into each other and simply hit it off. However, it is a fact that they have been close ever since becoming friends. It seemed like everyone in their group filled out a certain position that another couldn’t, with most of them having opposite abilities and things that contradicted each other, yet melded in perfectly.

 

They spent their first gatherings on the clear grass of the campus grounds, sharing lunches together with thoughts. When they started having afternoon classes, they had to move their gatherings at a later time, cramped together into an apartment which one of them lived in. In their uni days, they would play video games and leave empty beer cans on the floor till late night.

 

As days passed, they graduated and found jobs as beginnings to their chosen career paths, which resulted in less free time, but more money and better apartments. The tradition of the Sunday gathering never disappeared – with having less free time, that day was the only when they could be together like in the gold old days – and not many aspects of it changed. Though, they started to prefer expensive wine over cheap beer.

 

They all came from different parts of South Korea and even though some of them share a birth town, they didn’t know each other before university. But even though they didn’t share childhoods together, when nostalgia hits them, their shared memories are what first comes to mind. They have grown together, opened up; found somewhere to belong in each other’s presence. Although different in many aspects, it never stopped the seven of them from having that friendship that bound them and kept them together for years.

 

Kim Seokjin is the oldest one in the group, so he had to shoulder a lot of responsibility and caring for the other six. He was born and raised in Gwacheon, until moving to Seoul to pursue an acting career, beginning with studying theater at university. After having appeared on a cooking show, showing off his passion and skill for making good food, Seokjin had begun blossoming his career as an aspiring chef – with balancing his classes in between. By the time he finished uni with a degree in performance arts, Seokjin had already acquired himself a popular cooking show.

 

He was always a rather traditional person and never went through much of a rebellious phase – thus, he has some traditional values that he holds up to this day, such as putting family first, marriage and kids included. The same year that Jeongguk finished his last year at university, Seokjin and Namjoon – another member of their friend group – had a wedding in spring, that despite being small had outstanding passion and scenery that was the subject of media for many weeks later.

 

Seokjin and Namjoon were always the type of couple that traveled a lot in their early relationship, especially when they were fresh out of uni. As they later settled down into the married life some more, they had bought a mansion estate just on the outskirts of Seoul, even if there were only the two of them that lived there. Well, for now, that is.

 

Min Yoongi comes in as the second oldest and unlike Seokjin, it’s not even that he never went through a rebellious phase, it’s just that he’s still stuck in it – only fashion wise, of course, ripped denims and blond hair are always on brand for him. Since he had went through some tough shit ever since he entered his early teenage years, Yoongi always had sort of a hard exterior to him that made it hard for people to approach him (or maybe that’s just his resting-bitch-face). But at his core, Yoongi is nothing but a sweetheart.

 

He had fought for making a name out of himself ever since he had been kicked out his house, back in his hometown of Daegu, early on in his life. At the time, being an underground rapper and working a part time job earned him enough to pay apartment rent and eat two meals a day. When he was finally recognized in the industry, Yoongi began to work his way up the ranks – earning him today’s spot, which is being one of South Korea’s most popular DJs and producers.

 

Now, you could find Yoongi in his natural habitat – which is his studio, supplied with copious amounts of noodles and daily regret of once thinking having Gloss as a stage name is a good idea (it may or may not have sounded like a drag queen name).

 

Jung Hoseok is undeniably the mood-maker of the entire group – someone who loves to bring joy to everyone around him (as being the literal human embodiment of the Sun, you know?). The passion he had for dancing has lead him ahead most of his life – he first started as dancer in an underground group back in his hometown of Gwangju, before he moved to Seoul to study dance as a profession.

 

In university, Hoseok was a widely known persona – people tended to recognize him from that one campus impromptu dance battle he participated in when he was in freshmen year, but he was always very loud and sociable, gathering a big array of friends. After finishing university, Hoseok pursued what he always wanted and opened his own dance studio in the heart of Seoul – since then, he was a dancer and choreographer for many Korean and international celebrities, garnering his fame beyond what he imagined.

 

Hoseok always was and will always remain the best type of support system for any of his friends – sure, he would be a bit oblivious in what his stage presence can do to people, or that there is a thing such as too many Balenciaga sneakers, but deep down, he was purely a kind soul.

 

Kim Namjoon is the same age as Hoseok, but most of the time he acted like one of the oldest – alongside Seokjin, he shouldered responsibility and care. Only for him, it was a custom that he was used to from a young age – being born and raised in Ilsan, he grew up in a family that has always struggled with finances, but that only served as a fuel for him to work harder. During schooling, he was in the top one percent in the nation for his studies and having a high intelligence quotient gave him an advantage to opening a business of his own very young and having to keep it up while still finishing university.

 

Namjoon was known as one of the youngest ever CEOs to step foot into the marketing industry and worked past any low expectations people had of him – early on, he took direction in his life with a fast paced tempo that he somehow still manages to mellow down to this day. Despite definitely being one of the most mature ones in the group, Namjoon is known to be rather clumsy and always breaking things and equipment (he was banned from the kitchen by Seokjin for three months after he managed to flood it, make the refrigerator fall over and break their coffee machine all in the same day).

 

Despite all of that, Namjoon is true at heart – a true prodigy, a dapper gentleman and a hardworking businessman – but before all of that, he is an amazing friend and an even better husband.

 

Park Jimin is a part of their group’s maknae line, although he is the older and most mature out of the three. This Busan boy is also a dancer and had majored in that art in university, just like Hoseok – but unlike his hyung that does more hip hop, Jimin has a flare of contemporary and ballet to his dancing skill. Being born with nothing but raw talent on his hands, Jimin has always been hard working and disciplined in his passion, but that unfortunately came with a dose of self-criticality.

 

However, his insecurities haven’t stopped him from being one of the best professors at Seoul Institute of the Arts, teaching dance to young and aspiring minds – he begun working as soon as he got his degree, deciding a little before graduating that the theater life just isn’t for him. Jimin is known as a heartthrob professor at the academy and was well known amongst the students for his good looks, as well as his extraordinary talent.

 

Park Jimin is a big example of a talented, but tortured soul – the kind that stories are written about. Except the fact that nothing was just handed to him – he worked more than just hard for what he has.

 

Kim Taehyung is the second youngest, and to say that he only has a unique personality would definitely be an understatement. Being a fun and quirky kid resulted in him spiraling an acting career early on in his life, so Taehyung had lived up to expectations as soon as he stepped out into the world before he even hit puberty. He always benefited from having high quantities of interpersonal intelligence, having grown up around a lot of siblings and people ever since he knows of himself.

 

His family was very poor and parents very young when they had him and his siblings, thus they had moved a lot around the country at the time being. Taehyung’s home resides back in Daegu – where he was born and his parents raised him – but also in Gwacheon – where his grandparents exposed him to acting and theater in middle school. All of Taehyung’s siblings are talented individuals, that have built their own successful careers.

 

For their family, hope ran as if it’s in the veins and ensured them success. Always with open arms and full plates, their home is like a land of sunshine and rainbows (even the teletubbies would be jealous).

 

Jeon Jeongguk is also a part of the maknae line – with him being the youngest amongst them and in the entire group, overall. Like Taehyung, he grew up in an environment of many siblings, but his family was never poor – quite the contrary, his family has had a big business passed down in generations. Jeongguk initially did dance in university and wanted to pursue it as his career, but the experience had been cut short when he had to inherit his father’s business at a young age.

 

As he was always slightly timid, Jeongguk never thought his persona was akin to that of a CEO – or someone like Namjoon, whom he admired and took a lot of notes from when it came to handling his business. He used to come off as cold and slightly intimidating because of his appearance, especially when he started maintaining it halfway through uni – working out and sports were always an interest of his, probably due to his competitive nature.

 

But just like Yoongi, Jeongguk appears to have a hard exterior, but in reality he’s a softie – just with some extra muscle mass (thus Taehyung saved him in his phone as “muscle bunny” with some ridiculous emoticon next to it).

 

Speaking of Taehyung – another Sunday has come along and Jeongguk is just up for another round of questioning the other’s scent. This Sunday, however, will be a bit special.

 

•••

 

Our time is set in four years after Jeongguk graduated from uni and this is another Sunday when Jeongguk drives into the mansion estate Namjoon and Seokjin had owned ever since they got married. He parks his BMW X7 close to other four cars currently there (two of which are Namjoon and Seokjin’s) and he discreetly smiles to himself because he recognizes those to be of his friends.

 

He is a little late to their shared day – days happen when sudden work brakes out, although Jeongguk didn’t miss much except brunch. Which is rather fine with him, considering Seokjin makes a lot of dishes with fruits for breakfast (says they needed carbohydrates early or whatnot), and Jeongguk would rather avoid that.

 

Being in a hurry, he didn’t have time to change out of his suit, so he sighs as he walks up the stairs of the mansion and arrives at the door, raising his hand and ringing the doorbell. Jeongguk looks down at his wrist and upon seeing the time displayed on his Armani watch, he’s glad that he isn’t as late as he thought he would be. He waits for a little and shifts on his feet from habit, before the big brown door slides upon and reveals a smiling face of Kim Taehyung.

 

The first thing Jeongguk notices is that Taehyung’s hair is not brown like it used to be, but now instead bares a color of a lighter shade of orange. Seeing as his hair is an unnatural color, Taehyung must be on a break from his acting career.

 

Taehyung actually loves dyeing his hair and were it up to him, he would dye it every two months. Unfortunately, his hair would have to remain a natural brown for his work, seeing as he is known for mostly acting in historical dramas. So whenever the opportunity of a break comes, the first thing Taehyung does is dye his hair.

 

“Gukkie!” Taehyung says and embraces the younger one in a hug, as if they hadn’t seen each other for months, although in reality it has just been a week. Even as Taehyung pulls away and pulls Jeongguk into the house, Jeongguk can still smell the fresh coffee and cinnamon rolls.

 

He barely had the time to take of his suit jacket and hang it on the coat hanger next to the door, or to even take off his shoes before Taehyung was pulling him down the hallway in a hurry, his Gucci slippers (which definitely were designed to be worn outside) tapping against the floor.

 

“You’re late,” Taehyung says and Jeongguk finds himself smiling as he looks around the familiar hallway he had passed through so many times. Seokjin had hung up a lot of photos – some from their uni days, some of them from graduations, some from his and Namjoon’s wedding and some plain ones of them hanging out. It felt like home; it felt like family.

 

“Guys!” Taehyung says as if he was about to announce something important when they enter the living room. “Gukkie’s here!” He says and Jeongguk waves rather lazily in greeting with a small “hey” falling from his lips, although the others probably didn’t even hear him.

 

As Taehyung ran to the kitchen, yelling something through the corridors akin to “Seokjin-hyung! Gukkie’s here!” Jeongguk starts wondering what has got Taehyung so excited, as if in anticipation of some sort of big event. He shrugs it off and enters the living room.

 

Jeongguk notices Namjoon is sitting by the table, a pair of glasses low on his nose as he was reading a book (probably some ancient Greek philosophy or poetry from the renaissance), his grey hair swept back and making him look more mature than he already is.

 

Yoongi is laying down on the couch, earphones in his ears and head leaning against the arm rest, blond hair peeking underneath the Kumamon poncho Seokjin got him for his birthday three years ago. Hoseok and Jimin are playing the newest Just Dance on the big TV screen, not even trying to be quiet (although, the volume was low and the tapping of their feet was mostly muffled by the fluffy beige carpet underneath).

 

Jeongguk goes over to the table and sits next to Namjoon, at which Namjoon looks up and smiles as he closes his book like a grandpa his grandparents just ran up to while he was sitting by the fire (which he wasn’t). “Ah, Jeongguk, you arrived?” He says, question rhetorical because he heard Taehyung yelling earlier and he was about to say something further, but suddenly, Taehyung was back in the living room.

 

“Namjoon-hyung, can I borrow your laptop for a second?” He asked.

 

“Sure, it’s on the table by the fireplace,” Namjoon says, oddly confused and as Taehyung nods and went to retrieve what he wanted, Seokjin also enters the living room, brushing his hand into the black apron that he wore whenever he cooked. Namjoon shoots him a confused look as Seokjin went over, leaning down and pecking his husband on the lips. “Tae’s brother called earlier, said he’ll talk to Tae over Skype once everyone’s here,” he explains.

 

Jeongguk’s confused because which one of Taehyung’s brothers, considering he has many? And it must be important, because he sees Taehyung stumbling back to the table with the laptop and booting it up on his way.

 

“Jimin, Hoseok, pause the game for now!” Seokjin calls in the most authoritative voice he can muster at the moment. Soon, it’s quiet and Jimin was a bit out of breath as he and Hoseok walk over and were also confused by the sudden silence.

 

A ringing sound echoes around the living room, before there is a sudden bright voice saying “Tae-Tae!” and just two seconds later, a clear face appears on the screen of a smiling young male, black hair side parted and messy, falling over his pretty eyes and skin pale to contrast the loose black shirt he’s wearing.

 

“Hey, hyung!” Taehyung smiles an identical smile back and everyone gathers around Taehyung to look at his brother.

 

“Baekhyun-hyung! What’s up?” Hoseok greets with a wide grin and Baekhyun chuckles, waving it off.

 

“Oh, not much, Hoseok. Still in New York with Channie,” he says and smiles at Taehyung, “Tae-Tae, did Hwanhee call you, by any chance? To tell you something?” He asks and Taehyung’s expression morphs into one of confusion. “No? Was he supposed to?” He asks and still smiling, Baekhyun shakes his head.

 

“I have some news,” he says and before Taehyung can even question it, Baekhyun holds up his right hand, showing a glistening ring on his ring finger. The band of true gold and a real diamond in the middle, with smaller diamonds on its sides. Taehyung’s mouth falls open in shock and his eyes widen as no words manage to escape him. Upon seeing Taehyung’s inability to forge a response, Baekhyun takes it upon himself to speak.

 

“Chanyeol proposed earlier tonight,” he says, biting his lip over his smile to keep his excitement in, “And I said yes.”

 

“Congratulations!” Hoseok is the first to say and their little group cheers and claps, as Taehyung was still in so much shock – his bewildered expression made Baekhyun laugh.

 

“Oh, the ring is gorgeous, Baekhyun,” Seokjin says as he leans into the frame and Baekhyun giggles. “Oh, you know how CEO’s choose rings. They go a bit overboard,” he says and Seokjin smiles, throwing a glance at Namjoon as he nods his head in agreement. “Tell me about it. Just wait until you get the wedding ring,” he said and Namjoon was almost oblivious, wondering if that was indirectly towards him.

 

“I can’t believe you told Hwanhee before telling me,” Taehyung finally says, tone accusing although there was a big grin on his face. It was hard containing his happiness upon hearing such exciting news from his sibling, although he lately had a tingly feeling that told him something big is coming up – and this proposal was a long time coming.

 

“He’s one of the youngest, Tae-Tae, so he gets that privilege,” Baekhyun says and suddenly, there is another person in his frame. Seemingly, having no idea that his fiancée is on Skype, Park Chanyeol walks over without a shirt on and only sweatpants hanging low on his hips, holding a mug of freshly brewed coffee. He leans down and captures Baekhyun’s lips in a soft kiss, his red hair appearing to be wet and glistening as if he just came out of the shower.

 

Baekhyun hits his fiancée on the stomach and laughs lightly as he pulls away. Just then, Chanyeol notices the Skype call being on and he looks surprised. “Looking good, brother-in-law,” Taehyung teases as he whistles and Chanyeol smiles rather bashfully as he waves in greeting to them, obviously a bit embarrassed by his physique being shown, although it’s something most males would be envious of having.

 

“Hey, guys. Got the news?” Chanyeol asks, his deep voice a bit raspy from still not having had his morning coffee (well, morning since it’s technically almost two past midnight in New York right now).

 

Taehyung nods and claps his hands happily. “When’s the wedding? Where’re you going to hold it? Is Baek-hyung going to wear a wedding dress?” He asks all at once and at the last question, Chanyeol laughs while Baekhyun’s cheeks flare up as if he heard that question before. He hit his fiancée to stop him from laughing and increasing his embarrassment.

 

“Well, we decided to hold the wedding in a hotel estate on Jeju-do,” Baekhyun explains, “It’ll be in about two months, so preparations already need to start this week. The wedding invites will be sent out soon. All of you will get one each.”

 

“Wait, we’re all invited?” Jimin says in surprise and Baekhyun looks almost offended that it would be questioned. “Of course! You’re Tae’s other family, so I need ya’ll to get about a day or two free for my wedding,” Baekhyun says and the way he smiles happily can’t have anyone decline the offer.

 

Jeongguk was a bit surprised and this was a bit sudden, although he knows Baekhyun and Chanyeol have been dating for more than eight years now. Marriage seemed like the next natural step and he’s happy that they decided to spend the rest of their lives together, being confident in their mutual love. Jeongguk didn’t really believe in real love, but there was always a sparkle of doubt in that opinion whenever he saw couples like Namjoon and Seokjin, or Chanyeol and Baekhyun – couples that seemed to be made for each other.

 

From what Taehyung told him, Chanyeol and Baekhyun are opposites with some connecting strings of same interests. They were both in a band together in their twenties and started dating in university, before going on to their separate careers. Baekhyun became a model when he was casted on the street by an agent and Chanyeol went on to become a CEO just like Jeongguk and Namjoon have.

 

Jeongguk always looked in wonder at those couples that began with being reckless and then settled down with each other later on in life.

 

“Taehyung, I talked to mom earlier this morning,” Baekhyun suddenly says, “She really doesn’t want of you to show up to the reception without a date.”

 

“Baekhyun–” Taehyung starts, but his brother shakes his head to silence him.

 

“Hear me out,” he said, concern in his eyes, “Dae’s wedding was two years ago and she was trying to set you up then. Can you imagine what she’s going to do now? She’s gonna have your pretty head because you’re the only left single and she worries sick about that. I don’t want you to be stressed on my wedding. And it will get me stressed out too.”

 

Taehyung’s lips seal together for a moment and it seems like he’s thinking, his fingers playing with each other as a sign of nerves getting to him. “Alright– yeah, okay. I–I get it, hyung,” he says and his voice is a bit dry, causing Baekhyun to wear an expression of worry.

 

“Taehyung, please–” He says, tone quivering.

 

“I’ll talk to you later, hyung, okay?” Taehyung says and at this point, his friends were getting worried for him as well. Jeongguk can’t remember seeing Taehyung this stressed in years, especially after they finished uni.

 

“Taehyung, listen to me–!” Baekhyun begins and now his eyes are narrowed, although concern still evident in them.

 

“I already have a boyfriend, hyung, so just leave me be. I’ll talk to you later,” Taehyung says and upon seeing his brother’s eyes widen and his mouth falling open in shock, Taehyung hangs up the call before Baekhyun could even say anything back to him.

 

There is sudden grave silence, before Taehyung’s phone rings with a text alert and once he retrieved the phone from his pocket, he glides his fingers over the screen.

 

FROM: Baek-Hyung
what the actual fuck, taehyung ??
SENT 02:36 PM

 

“Taehyung?” Seokjin calls and Taehyung bites his lips as he locks his phone and sets it aside without even replying to the text his brother just sent him. He groans low in his throat and covers his face with his hands as he hears Jimin ask: “Why didn’t you tell us that you have a boyfriend?” He said and the question aches inside Taehyung’s head.

 

Another grave silence.

 

“You don’t actually have a boyfriend, do you?” Yoongi speaks suddenly and Jeongguk blinks as he sees Taehyung shake his head in confirmation to Yoongi’s words.

 

“Listen– ah,” Taehyung sighs and it falls heavy from his lips as he leans back into the chair he’s sitting in, “Dae-hyung was getting married two years ago and it was a relatively small wedding in autumn. Only family was invited. Our mother kept pestering me about being alone. It got to the point that Dae-hyung got mad at her,” he explains, tone suddenly saddened and glum, “I don’t want to see that again. And mom never learns– she firmly believes in love being the only source of happiness. And apparently, love of friends and family isn’t enough anymore.”

 

There it is, once again, that term – true love – and Jeongguk never felt he hated it as much when he saw the flash of pain across Taehyung’s face.

 

“I need to show up at the wedding with a boyfriend. I won’t bare to ruin Baek-hyung’s wedding day,” Taehyung says and it almost sounds like he isn’t aware that it wouldn’t be his fault if it happened.

 

“Yeah, but you don’t actually have a boyfriend, Tae,” Jimin says and his eyebrows raise. “What’re you gonna do? Pop one out suddenly?”

 

Taehyung looks rather distressed by that, his fingers playing together out of habit, and Seokjin nudges Jimin’s side discreetly with his elbow. “How about we have lunch?” He says, trying to shift the topic much to Taehyung’s relief.

 

Everyone makes some sort of agreement to that and once Yoongi complains that the food probably went cold, it all suddenly goes back to normal.

 

•••

 

Once lunch was eaten and they decided to watch a movie in the living room, Jeongguk had realized Taehyung is nowhere in sight. Seokjin had told Namjoon to retrieve their oldest Pinot-Noir from the cellar (saying something akin to it being from the Romaneé-Conti vineyard), before he approached Jeongguk and touched his shoulder. “Guk?” He says, worry itching on his tone and Jeongguk turns to look at him.

 

“Huh?” He says, eyes wide and confused as if suddenly aware of his surroundings, “Oh, sorry, hyung. I was just thinking about… something,” he says, rather awkwardly.

 

“Taehyung, you mean?” Seokjin corrects with a raised brow and Jeongguk almost asks are you physic or something. Seokjin’s hand still doesn’t move from his shoulder as he speaks, “I can see that you’re worried, Jeongguk.”

 

Jeongguk mind flashes back to the look of distress that Taehyung’s face bared earlier that day. Whenever he’s really anxious, Taehyung’s face turns into one of a kicked puppy, or a rather scared child. It seems like he doesn’t know how to handle the situation, as if it’s way out of his manageable comprehension. Jeongguk rarely saw that expression – Taehyung wasn’t that stressed even in uni, seeing as he could’ve even gotten his degree with his eyes closed.

 

“Y-Yeah,” Jeongguk finally sounds out and sigh falls from his lips. If he were younger now, he wouldn’t exactly know how to handle the situation –  he would just mindlessly ask what’s wrong until he gets an answer. Things don’t work like that anymore, however.

 

“He went to the balcony; second floor,” Seokjin informs him, “Maybe he needs someone to talk to.”

 

Jeongguk nods thankfully in his hyung’s direction and moves past him to head to the stairs in the hallway. The chattering in the living room (which was mostly Hoseok and Jimin arguing on which movie they should watch and Yoongi telling them to shut up already) ceases as he walks out of the room and then heads up the stairs. He runs into Namjoon on the way, but doesn’t bother to stop to talk to him. And seeing as Namjoon was holding a rather expensive looking bottle of wine, it may be better not to startle him (Seokjin is unforgiving if his wine gets spilled).

 

Jeongguk goes to the biggest balcony right as he’s on top of the stairs and as he approaches the glass door, he sees the outlines of Taehyung’s silhouette leaning against the balcony railing. Jeongguk silently slides the doors open and steps out on cold afternoon air. Night was slowly falling, so it was getting rather chilly. It makes Jeongguk shiver as he walks up to Taehyung. “Tae?” He calls and Taehyung looks over his shoulder.

 

“You okay?” Jeongguk says and notices a cup of tea in Taehyung’s hand. It’s half full and has probably gone cold at this point.

 

“I’m fine,” Taehyung voices out and then shivers at a particular gust of wind. He looks more frail than usual.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t believe him, but he stays silent for a moment. He shrugs off the suit jacket he grabbed from the coat hanger on his way to the balcony, then straightens it and wraps it around Taehyung’s shoulders. Taehyung looks at him for a moment and then uses his free hand to bring the jacket closer to himself in order to get warm. Jeongguk hears him mutter a “thanks” quietly.

 

“You’re clearly worried,” Jeongguk points out, “Might as well tell me.”

 

He tries to be straightforward, although he isn’t that used to it and his voice cracks a little. It has Taehyung smile a bit and it makes Jeongguk think that his embarrassment is worth every second of it.

 

“It’s just…” Taehyung sighs, closing his eyes for a moment and then looking at Jeongguk, “I’m the only single left in our family. Even Hwanhee – who’s three years younger – has a boyfriend. And now, two of my brothers will be married, even. My mother is really worried.”

 

Jeongguk stares at him for a moment, until Taehyung shifts his gaze. “Does it worry your mother or does it worry you?” He finally asks and Taehyung is almost surprised to hear that from him, but he lets out a humorless chuckle at how surprising the maknae is these days.

 

“To be honest, probably both,” Taehyung says, his fingers wrapping tightly around the tea cup, “I mean, I had my fair share of boyfriends. Minjae, Jinyoung and then Bogum, but… nothing could last. Right now, I’m not even desperate for a boyfriend to love me, I just want one to go to the wedding with me.”

 

Jeongguk understands where he’s coming from and he ignores the light flare in his chest at the mention of Taehyung’s exes. As far as he knows, they parted ways peacefully and are good friends now. Kim Minjae was short term and it was only because he acted in a drama with Taehyung. And when it comes to Jung Jinyoung, Jeongguk thinks the press had more fun than they did with their relationship (considering that they were also declared the “hottest” or “it” couple of the year when they were dating).

 

Park Bogum was sort of a different story. They were in a relationship for a little over two years, but then Bogum left him for Jang Nara (who’s ten years a senior to both Taehyung and Bogum), before it later turned out that Bogum was seeing a fellow actress and model Kim Yoojung while he was still dating Taehyung long-term. Taehyung was heartbroken and Jeongguk had never wanted to punch someone so bad in his life.

 

“But I don’t want to use someone, Jeongguk,” Taehyung speaks and it has Jeongguk snapping back to reality, the sudden anger in his veins disappearing, “It’s cruel to gain trust for a relationship just so I could have a date for the wedding.”

 

And Jeongguk agrees. He could never see Taehyung aiming to harm someone like that.

 

“How about a fake boyfriend, then?” He suggests suddenly.

 

“A fake boyfriend?” Taehyung echoes, the look of confusion on his face.

 

“You know,” Jeongguk says as he looks at him, “You pretend to be boyfriends with someone instead of being in a relationship. That way you won’t break anyone’s heart and it saves you from having to feel guilty about ruining your brother’s wedding. And then you just ‘break up’ after the wedding is over.”

 

Jeongguk is suddenly blabbing and the words are spilling out like an old habit he used to have and Taehyung’s eyes are widening as he listens to this and oh no, he looks horrified, abort mission, abort mission!

 

“Listen, forget what I just said–”

 

“Oh my god, Gukkie–”

 

“I know it’s a bad idea, just forget it–”

 

“Are you kidding me?” Taehyung says as he places his mug on the railing and Jeongguk is suddenly more anxious of it falling off than whatever judgmental words Taehyung is sending his way.

 

“Taehyung, I know, I just said something stupid and–”

 

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Taehyung says as he reaches out and grabs Jeongguk by the shoulders, startling the younger a little as he stares into Taehyung’s wide eyes. He obviously didn’t notice the lack of honorifics. “That idea is life-saving!”

 

“I know–” Jeongguk repeats and then stops in track when the words sink in.

 

Wait, what?

 

“Life-saving?” He repeats and Taehyung eagerly nods his head at that.

 

“Just what I need!” He says and his voice suddenly gained a high-pitch, “I know mom will bother me about it later, but I can take it. I just want Baek to have a calm wedding and then later I’ll tell him what was going on. He’ll understand. He faked dated Luhan in high school to make Chanyeol-hyung jealous.”

 

What is even going on? Jeongguk thinks as he listens to Taehyung speak. The elder’s hands move away from Jeongguk’s shoulders and the maknae almost misses the touch as he lets it linger.

 

“But who are you going to fake date?” Jeongguk questions and he almost regrets ever recommending the idea to Taehyung, because the thought of him going on about with some guy and pretending to like each other is setting an unfamiliar and unpleasant feeling in his stomach.

 

“I feel like it’d be uncomfortable with a stranger,” Taehyung says, his face scrunching up a bit, “And if I do it with a friend… I need someone who won’t be awkward with me.”

 

Jeongguk shifts a little as he listens to him. “So… so guys from our group count?” He asks, anxiety obvious in his tone.

 

Taehyung looks at him, expression unreadable. “Well, there’s only four that I can choose from. I feel like Yoongi-hyung won’t be so good at this and… Jimin is my best friend, so that would be super awkward. I don’t know about Hoseok-hyung, though.”

 

Jeongguk bites his bottom lip because Taehyung averts his gaze and mouth stays open as if there are words on his tongue, but he just can’t voice them out. He obviously skipped Jeongguk, even though he said there is four to choose from.

 

“Well, if you want…” Jeongguk says and then coughs into the back of his hand.

 

Taehyung looks at him again, hands grabbing the sides of the jacket around his shoulders and pulling it closer to himself. “Yes?” He says, almost stuttering.

 

“If you want, I can…” Jeongguk repeats himself and gulps this time, wondering why the hell he is nervous, this is Taehyung.

 

He feels like he’s confessing in middle school or this is a shoujo manga and it’s the end when the main character is finally going to say I like you to his love interest. Jeongguk can almost see the Sakura petals flowing around them and hear the emotional music playing in the background.

 

“I can be your–” Jeongguk says, but stops mid-sentence because Taehyung is making a weird face, until the older male finally sneezes and topples back from the force of it. Jeongguk’s eyes are wide as Taehyung’s elbow knocks into the mug he set on the railing earlier. “–fake boyfriend?” Jeongguk finishes his sentence to clear the sudden awkward air and he can’t quite get if Taehyung looks shocked because he asked him that, or because he heard the slamming of the mug against the ground beneath them.

 

Taehyung eyes Jeongguk for a moment and it looks like he’s thinking. “Do you really want to?” He asks.

 

“Of course,” Jeongguk says, almost too eagerly, “I want to help you out. Unless you feel awkward with me.”

 

He’s teasing at the end and it has Taehyung grinning, somehow looking like he’s finally at some sort of ease. Without a warning, he jumps to hug Jeongguk and the younger is startled by that, although his arms naturally curl around Taehyung’s waist to hold him in the hug as long as possible.

 

“Should I take that as a yes?” He jokes and he hears Taehyung laugh a little, his shoulders shaking from it and causing his jacket to begin slipping off.

 

Before Jeongguk can grab the jacket, Taehyung is moving back from the hug and the jacket falls off his shoulders. Since Taehyung was close to the railing, the jacket falls over it and also floats down to the ground. With a panicked look, Taehyung scrambles to the railing and leans down to look at what happened, with Jeongguk almost grabbing his waist to pull him back, being a bit protective by instinct.

 

As Jeongguk stands next to Taehyung and looks down too, he surprisingly is greeted with a sight of a person looking around, Jeongguk’s suit jacket right over their head and blocking their view. Assuming by the spatula in the person’s hand, this must be Seokjin. Also could be guessed by the “Yah, you brats!” that he immediately voiced out when the piece of clothing fell on his (gorgeous) face.

 

Taehyung began to laugh and Jeongguk can’t resist too. He’s pretty sure he can also hear Hoseok and Jimin’s cackling from downstairs. They feel so young suddenly.

 

•••

 

“So, you two are basically dating now?” Jimin asks with an eyebrow cocked up and Taehyung nods. Well, as well as a man with mouth full of ddeokbokki can. Nothing like Seokjin’s homemade recipes.

 

“You’re telling me,” Hoseok says as he wags his wine glass around and Seokjin almost warns him to not get wine on his carpet, “that while we were here and getting scared shitless watching the newest It adaptation, you two were making out on the balcony and conjuring a plan?”

 

Jeongguk chokes lightly on his wine and he can see Yoongi roll his eyes at him. Taehyung shoots a glare in Hoseok’s direction and aims to hit him with the ddeokbokki first, before just using his hand to deliver a light slap to his shoulder.

 

Not making out. We just came up with a solid plan,” he says.

 

Hoseok shrugs his shoulders. “Well, to be believable, you’ll have to make out sooner or later,” he says and Jeongguk freezes, as if suddenly realizes that. Stupid, of course you’ll have to kiss if you’re boyfriends, he thinks in his head and when he glances at Taehyung, he swears there is a bit of red on his cheeks.

 

Suddenly, Taehyung’s phone buzzes and he’s internally grateful from being saved from that conversation. As the others began to discuss what movie they are going to watch next, Taehyung’s fingers swipe over the screen and he opens up his messages. His heart leaps when he sees them being from Baekhyun.

 

FROM: Baek-Hyung
taehyung???
SENT 07:43 PM 

FROM: Baek-Hyung
tae, i’m sorry i freaked out, i didn’t mean to
SENT 07:44 PM

FROM: Baek-Hyung
but it was so sudden, i didn’t know how to react
SENT 07:45 PM

 

Ah, Taehyung should’ve known his brother would get worried after something like that. In the midst of planning, having lunch and just trying to forget how empty he would feel if he were to show up on the wedding alone, Taehyung forgot to message back to Baekhyun and explain to him what happened. He feels a little guilty now.

 

TO: Baek-Hyung
I should be apologizing! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean
to hang up on you like that over Skype.
SENT 07:48 PM

TO: Baek-Hyung
And I’m sorry I didn’t reply any earlier.
I just had some things to clear out before I told you anything.
Please don’t be mad.
SENT 07:51 PM 

FROM: Baek-Hyung
i’m not mad at you, taehyunggie
you know i can’t possibly be
SENT 07:52 PM

FROM: Baek-Hyung
i just wish you told me sooner
how dare you hide a boyfriend from your hyung !!
SENT 07:53 PM

 

It’s back to being playful and it puts Taehyung’s mind at ease for a bit.

 

TO: Baek-Hyung
Well…
I wanted to surprise you some other time.
SENT 07:54 PM

TO: Baek-Hyung
I just didn’t expect the proposal to happen!
It caught me off guard and I panicked.
SENT 07:55 PM

FROM: Baek-Hyung
i know how you tend to be under pressure, taehyung
it’s fine, hyung gets it, i’m not mad at you
SENT 07:56 PM

 

Internally, Taehyung sighs in relief. He also ponders on whether he should ask Baekhyun why is he up at this time, since it’s probably about seven in the morning in New York right now – but knowing his brother’s antics, Taehyung decides against the idea.

 

FROM: Baek-Hyung
and i wasn’t expecting the proposal either, lol
although it was about fucking time
SENT 07:57 PM

TO: Baek-Hyung
Aish, hyung!ㅋㅋㅋ
I’m really happy for you! 
♡♡
SENT 07:59 PM

FROM: Baek-Hyung
thanks, taehyunggie
SENT 08:01 PM

FROM: Baek-Hyung
now, tell me more about that new boyfriend of yours
he’s hot, right ??
SENT 08:02 PM

 

Figures he would ask that first. It still feels a bit unreal, actually.

 

TO: Baek-Hyung
Hyungㅋㅋㅋ
I won’t tell you anything!
You’ll meet him some more when we get there for the wedding!
SENT 08:05 PM

FROM: Baek-Hyung
some more?? so i know him already??
SENT 08:06 PM 

FROM: Baek-Hyung
oh, is it someone from your group ?!
which one?? tell me, tell me !
SENT 08:07 PM

 

Taehyung is biting back a smile, as he throws a glance Jeongguk’s way. It’s somehow hard to believe what’s going on right now and he can only hope that it all goes well. As he watches Jeongguk laugh at the way Namjoon began to dance ridiculously out of the blue, he can’t help but feel warmth in his heart.

 

He glides his fingers over the screen and types out the message with a smile.

 

TO: Baek-Hyung
I’m dating Jeon Jeongguk.
SENT 08:10 PM

 

Taehyung’s chest feels like it’s about to burst.

 

•••