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Flowers in Our Hair

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When Namjoon returns back to his apartment after a gruelling, never-ending shift at the florist shop, he finds Taehyung in the sanctuary of his bed.

The white sheets, freshly washed just the way Taehyung likes because of the scent of the detergent, are pooled around the younger man’s body. His art supplies are scattered around the room. There’s blue paint smeared on the duvet and Namjoon winces at the slight twinge of annoyance that barely lasts, washing away, because Taehyung peers up and smiles at him with his boxy smile.

Taehyung’s palette is various shades of blue, starting with a navy colour and fading into a light shade that’s almost white. There’s used, ruined paint brushes, one for each colour. There’s a crumpled tissue, wet with paint, strewn across the mattress. There’s even remnants of paints on Taehyung’s face, on his brow bone and on his cheeks.

Upon noticing Namjoon, his concentrated brow straightens out. Ease coats through his expression, slipping out of his focused headspace, the smile only growing wider.

“You’re home,” Taehyung states the obvious.

“You never left,” he remarks in reply dryly. The relief swimming through him doesn’t reflect in his tone. He happily embraces any spare time he’s granted with his best friend, always wanting Taehyung’s presence over an empty apartment. “And you decided to ruin my room too.”

Taehyung doesn’t have the decency to look ashamed at his dirty, unkempt tactics. He just shrugs without remorse. “I thought you’d like a ‘welcome home’ gift.”

Namjoon shorts. “Right,” he drawls sarcastically. In his hands, he’s grasping onto a bouquet of flowers he had assembled and brought for Taehyung. It’s not an uncommon feat for him to gift his best friend flowers, unable to count the amount of withering flowers he’s witnessed underneath Taehyung’s windows. The man refuses to throw them out, even when they inevitably lose their touch of beauty. “Here you go.”

Instead of explaining his choices for each flower he’s handpicked, each stem with a story of its own, submerged with insoluble sentimentality — he hands it over to Taehyung.

The man raises a brow but nevertheless, accepts it gratefully. “More flowers? I haven’t even gotten rid of the last.”

“Pretty flowers for a pretty boy, I guess.”

“I’m pretty even when I trash your room?”

Namjoon doesn’t bother indulging him with a reply, knowing his words would only agree with Taehyung’s statement. Taehyung has always been beautiful and he’s not even aware of the sheer power he holds with his intimidating looks, how his dark, piercing eyes could cause any man to fall to their knees and bow to Taehyung. He’s an enigma, one that even Namjoon can’t fully solve despite being friends since childhood.

Taehyung is everything, dynamic, and not just a pretty face. He has a whole list of interests, mostly delving into his artistic side, but enjoys anything that is dorky and cute — much like himself. He is a victim of self loathing, though. He’ll bottle up his emotions until it threatens to wash him away. He’s charming but not many have been able to know him beyond the surface level.

Taehyung is beautiful, flaws and all, and Namjoon has always known this.

“White daisies,” Taehyung murmurs happily. He raises the flowers to his nose, sniffing the petals and inhaling the natural aromatic. “I love daisies.”

“I know.”

“And sunflowers! My favourite!”

Namjoon usually opts for different pairings of flowers whenever he’s gifting Taehyung. It ranges from daffodils, to roses, to hydrangeas. Anything he can find in the shop that’s going to expire and needs to be thrown out, his father allows Namjoon to take home for Taehyung without batting an eyelash and questioning his actions.

He remembers the first time his father had explained the meanings of daisies, something that has resonated with Namjoon. “White daisies, son, signifies a loyal love that is patient, innocent. That is gentle. That’s why I give your mother white daisies.

Though Namjoon’s reasoning for the white daisies is just platonic, appreciation for his best friend, he supposes.

He doesn’t acknowledge the familiar pitter-patter of his heart, thumping against his chest and the slightly accelerated heart beat, whenever he gives Taehyung flowers. It’s supposed to be nothing remarkable.

“Well, yeah. I thought you’d like them.”

Taehyung shifts up, placing the flowers on the windowsill, before turning back to smile at Namjoon. “Thank you. I love them.”

Taehyung’s work-in-progress painting is on the bed, resting underneath a cutting board to avoid the paint staining the bed — though the attempt has been unsuccessful. Namjoon observes the painting. It’s a striking piece, intended to evoke peculiar emotions, with the ocean spreading across the canvas though it varies in shades of blue. He places it on the floor to dry, pulling the duvet back so he can join Taehyung in bed.

It’s natural how they accommodate the other, not an ounce of awkwardness between them. After sharing a bond that has existed since they were toddlers, able to grow up and experience every part of their lives together, there’s no many boundaries that they have for each other. They’ve surpassed the barriers of discomfort, comfortable with any proximity.

Taehyung doesn’t hesitate to drape his legs over Namjoon’s lap, his paint stained hands finding Namjoon’s. There’s no qualms about touching each other. Namjoon is at peace.

“Tell me about your day then, hyung,” Taehyung requests kindly. “I’ve missed you.”

Namjoon realises, with a start — even though he has figured this out time and time again — that there’s nowhere else he’d rather be. With his limbs entwined with Taehyung’s, the younger man’s head resting on his chest as they listen to the steady rise and fall of Namjoon’s chest, with the room descending into darkness as sunset befalls on them — there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.

There’s nobody quite as exquisite and unique as Taehyung and he savours this moment, like the last and the one before that.

The side of his lip curls up. “That annoying lady from our old neighbourhood came to the shop again, requesting flowers for her son’s wedding.”

“Oh no. Not her.”

Namjoon laughs, squeezing tighter on their conjoined hands. He launches into an explanation, going into depth about his day and idly mentioning how he has missed Taehyung. They talk like they have all the time in the world, like time has paused for them. They only part when dinner time rolls around and their stomach rumbles. They eat their meal together at the dining table, their legs brushing against the other under the table.

 

*

 

It has always been this way.

From the start, when they reached their teenage years, and had started to explore and develop their individual personalities, Taehyung’s clinginess was an obvious factor. He craves intimacy. He was a touchy person, relishing in lingering gazes and cuddles. He needs physical touch to feel satisfied. When he doesn’t have another body to press up against during the night, he needs a large plushie, needs the illusion of a body of warmth.

He’ll plop into anyone’s lap — when he’s comfortable with them — and surprises people with hugs.

It’s one of the many things that Namjoon has learnt to accept about his best friend. He has adapted, growing accustomed to Taehyung’s body against his, and finds it strange when it isn’t.

When they started high school together, their dynamic never once faltered even when the rumours started. The other boys would talk about them but more specifically about Taehyung, calling him names, picking at his sexuality, concerned with their narrow-mindedness and their petty rumours that held no proof to them.

Taehyung never addressed any of the rumours. He neither confirmed nor denied his sexuality. He kept his head up high, almost like it never affected him.

Namjoon has always wondered. He even questioned his own sexuality, easily befuddled by the rumours surrounding him about his best friend. He wonders about the authenticity of their friendship, whether the longing for Taehyung’s presence during his lonely nights is normal. They’ve always been best friends and they’ve never crossed a line that is too treacherous.

But where does it blur? When does it go beyond just a ‘platonic’ expression?

Now they’re both older, attending university together. Taehyung still resides with his mother, living off student loans and saving enough so he can afford a place of his own. Namjoon has managed to move out, on the other hand, and owns the apartment with his friends: Yoongi and Hoseok. He earns a living by upholding a part-time job at his father’s florist shop. Their worries from high school are so distant now, out of reach, a dull reminder at the back of their head that they can bury.

But the questions still remain.

 

Taehyung’s sitting in the nook of their favourite comic book store. His fake glasses, round and large, are perched on the bridge of his nose. There’s a Marvel comic in his hand that he’s reading with uninterrupted interest. This comic book store is specifically their favourite because of the snug corner at the back of the store with bean bags and lit vanilla scented candles, and the endless array of choices. They spend a lot of their free time here.

It’s endearing how entranced Taehyung is. His eyes are wide and beady, focused on the colourfully printed pages, flicking through them with reluctance like he doesn’t want the story to end.

Namjoon is devoting more time to observing Taehyung in all is glory. He hopes it isn’t obvious.

“Hyung.” Taehyung breaks the silence between them a minute later, disrupting the tranquil ambiance. “Can I tell you something?... Something really important?”

Namjoon lowers the comic in his hand, not having read a single page, and nods. “Of course, Taehyung. You can tell me anything.”

He prides himself in being one of the people in Taehyung’s life that the man trusts wholly. Their affiliation has only grown with time, their friendship strengthened, able to confess their deep, dark secrets to one another. Taehyung often struggles to open up and speak his mind but it’s a little easier with Namjoon.

“I… Uh.” Taehyung’s face twitches with uncertainty.

Namjoon recognises the difficulty. Without a second thought, his arm extends to hold onto Taehyung’s hand. The provided physical comfort helps Taehyung, a wave of tension visibly leaving his rigid body.

“I’m right here. Go on, Tae.”

“There’s something that has been on my mind… for a really long time,” Taehyung admits, his voice faint and barely audible even amidst a quiet book store. “I should’ve told you but I was unsure. I still am unsure. But I think you should know, regardless, because you’re my best friend.”

Namjoon’s stomach tightens. “Oh…?”

“I think you’ve been aware, somewhat, but I didn’t have the strength to be honest with you, hyung. I hope you can understand.”

“You’re worrying me, baby,” Namjoon murmurs in a reply, growing antsy with the possibilities. “Just tell me.”

“I think I’m bisexual.” The statement rushes out of him, the words blurring into the other, and sounding jumbled. It’s almost like he wants to climb over this mountain as quickly as possible, even when he’s dropping a revelation. “No, I am bisexual. I tried so hard not to feel this way but… I think, I like boys, hyung.”

It doesn’t shake Namjoon down to the core of his being. It doesn’t even entirely surprise him. He has always wondered but ultimately, he knew it wasn’t his business what Taehyung likes or doesn’t like. He can only accept Taehyung for who he is and still love him regardless, fulfil his role as a best friend.

It’s obvious that Taehyung is fearing Namjoon’s response, has always valued his hyung’s viewpoints on his life. He’s a little timid, curling into himself, his usual boisterous and unyielding personality diminishing. He awaits Namjoon’s verdict with a line of tension in his hunched shoulders, eyes drowning with emotion.

“Oh,” Namjoon repeats, a touch softer. “Taehyung… baby, that’s okay.”

“Really?”

“Of course. You’re allowed to like whoever the fuck you want, that doesn’t change who you are.”

Taehyung almost cries in relief, moisture filling his eyes, before he’s shuffling forward so he can press their bodies together. His arm wraps around Namjoon’s torso, his head resting against his shoulder. Their hands never part ways, the hold only tighter now.

“You’re not repulsed by me?”

“No. Why’d I be repulsed?”

“The boys at high school… they were so mean. They called me names for who I am. I feel at ease at university, a lot more people are expressive and in touch with who they are and it has given me the strength to admit my sexuality to myself. I don’t feel so alienated now. I’m just… I’m always scared, hyung, that I’ll lose my friends because of this. I can’t lose you.”

The mere thought of not having Taehyung in his life causes his stomach to clench in discomfort, a burn raging on his chest. There’s not a single universe he can imagine where he exists without Taehyung by his side. They’re soulmates, bonded together by their loyal love for each other, and Namjoon needs him.

Namjoon despises that some rude boys in school, with intolerant mindsets, have managed to make him believe that. That Taehyung has something to be ashamed about, that he could lose a relationship that has existed since the beginning of the time.

“You’ll never lose me, Taehyung,” he promises, sincerity ringing in his tone. To prove his point, his arm wraps around Taehyung as well. He tugs them forward so they’re embracing, closing the gap between them. “I’ll never ever fucking leave you.”

“Even if I date your older brother?” He teases.

“Hey,’ Namjoon murmurs sternly. “Watch it.”

Taehyung only laughs softly, his body pliant against Namjoon’s, slotting together like they belong. He nuzzles his nose into the side of Taehyung’s neck, inhaling his cologne, marking his rightful place. Namjoon thinks, he could hold Taehyung like this for as long as he’s allowed to.

 

*

 

 

The next time sexuality is mentioned again, they’re having their usual ‘sleepover’.

They started having sleepovers from a young age, when Taehyung was desperate to escape the confines of his home, the strict rules from his overbearing mother, he fled to the oasis that Namjoon’s house provided him. As they grew up together, the sentimentality changed to just wanting to be around each other, but still savouring their time together.

Even now, Taehyung is effortlessly sociable with Namjoon’s roommates. He has a bond with Yoongi and Hoseok, both, and they adore Taehyung for all his quirkiness, his unique way of thinking. They understand him. It forms an easy dynamic, falling into a routine where both of the roommates are willing to accommodate Taehyung often in the apartment.

They’re cuddling.

Taehyung’s the little spoon, Namjoon’s arm secured around his torso and his nose nuzzled into the man’s neck. He can smell Taehyung — sweet, the same cologne from when he was a teenager and it causes waves of nostalgia to rush through him.

“Stop moving, hyung,” Taehyung whines, the guttural sound low from his throat, burying his head further into the pillow. “M’tired.”

“Sorry,” he mumbles, pressing a chaste kiss on the nape of Taehyung’s neck. It’s like an automatic response, not having to waste a second thought about what he is doing. “Sleep, baby.”

“Okay.”

But as they continue to lay there, in the middle of the night and in the obscurity of the room, neither of them are nearing to their slumber. Taehyung is still heavily breathing, harshly through his nose, and Namjoon is still fidgeting. Their previous conversation about sexuality hangs between them like an unspoken elephant in the room.

“Can I ask you something, Tae?” He asks a minute later, incapable of shutting his mind off.

Taehyung shuffles, peering over his shoulder. “Yeah, hyung?”

“A few days ago… in the comic book store…”

The younger man tenses up, almost immediately, his body stringent under Namjoon’s tender hands. “Yeah?” He replies, though the apprehension is not hidden, filtering into his voice.

“How did you know you were bisexual?”

“Oh…” He hums. “I don’t know. I didn’t really have a defining moment. I just… I just liked boys, too, and that was it.”

Namjoon contemplates this answer, brows furrowing. He has always had a soft spot for Taehyung. His first girlfriend, when he was only a confused, messy seventeen-year old, ended badly because she claimed he didn’t know how to love properly. Since then, he has always found interest in girls but it diminished easily, vanishing as soon as the prospects of a deeper commitment was mentioned.

He has always wondered but he has never really given it a thought, not until Taehyung had mentioned his own bisexuality.

Could it be possible Namjoon also liked boys? Is what he feels for Taehyung a platonic feeling? Or something more, bordering onto a crush, a space in his heart that is reserved only for the boy in his arms?

“Oh.”

Taehyung’s frown is evident even in the dark. “Why’d you ask, hyung?”

“I just…” He shrugs helplessly. “I don’t know.”

The thought of kissing Taehyung has derived many times in his mind. The vision had first appeared during their teenage years, when Taehyung started experiencing puberty. His frame grew, he obtained muscles, his shoulders grew broader, his voice broke and became a sultry deep sound that Namjoon shivered upon hearing. He was beautiful, something gentle, inexplicably delicate but still hot.

But Namjoon had always shrugged it off.

He had, continuously, labelled it down as hormones, projecting his desires of other woman onto his best friend.

Namjoon still wants to kiss Taehyung, he realises.

“Hyung… do you think you like boys, too?” Taehyung questions in a soft murmur, like speaking too loudly will shatter this moment and spook Namjoon off.

He’s oddly overwhelmed with emotion, close to bursting into tears, for reasons he can’t articulate. He refuses to answer for a second until he composes him, his voice cracking when he answers.

“I don’t know, Taehyung.”

Taehyung shifts so he’s facing the man, reaching out to intertwine their fingers together. “Hey, hey. Talk to me, hyung.”

Namjoon sucks in a breath. “I just… I can’t stop thinking about… boys.” About you. “And kissing them.”

“Oh.”

“Perhaps, I pushed the feeling away because I was scared but you came out to me and I feel like it ignited something in me, something I’ve been pushing away and forcing myself to forget,” he says quietly. “Sorry. I just. I’m confused, I guess.”

Taehyung’s silent for a long minute. “I can help you.”

Bewilderment penetrates through him, arching a brow. “What do you mean?”

“I’m a boy. Kiss me. Figure your sexuality out.”

The offer is simple and straightforward. Namjoon’s possibly bisexual, perhaps like boys more than girls considering his lack of interest throughout his upbringing. But the thought of kissing Taehyung still shakes him down to the core of his being. Such a simple gesture — one that couples undertake every single day — has the power to shake, break or mend their friendship forever. The power to change everything.

“Are you sure? I don’t want things to be weird. You’re my best friend—”

“It’s just a kiss,” Taehyung cuts off. “You’re not that special.”

“Asshole.” A pause. “Okay. Let’s kiss.”

Namjoon hasn’t kissed another person since the last time he had fucked a girl after a drunken one-night stand. It was an impulsive act. He wasn’t the type of boy who indulged in such acts, normally, and it had shocked him. It has been a year since and his lips tingle, craving Taehyung’s touch.

Taehyung closes the gap between them. The proximity between them makes Namjoon’s heart to race, squeezing tightly in his chest. The doubt on his face is unable to be detected but his frozen body language is indisputable.

A hand squeezes Namjoon’s waist, firm but gentle. “I got you. Stop worrying.”

He slips out of his rigidity as Taehyung leans in, pressing their lips together.

A whine leaves his lips at the contact, even though he had been anticipating it. He only shuffles closer, spreading Taehyung’s legs to slot his thigh between them. It’s a indicator for Taehyung to continue. Their lips smack lazily together before Namjoon parts his lips, tentatively licking into the other man’s mouth.

The simple act causes Taehyung to moan. The dynamic switches up, now exchanged for fervor and lust. Their tongues meet in a dirty kiss, mixed with saliva and broken, lewd sounds gasped right into the other’s mouth. Namjoon starts taking control over the kiss, all logic disappearing from his mind, and replaced with a one-track mind: Taehyung, Taehyung, Taehyung.

A hand extends up, reaching to curl into Taehyung’s hair, fisting down harshly. The tug causes Taehyung to keen, helplessly bending under his hold.

Hyung,” he whimpers.

The sound goes straight to his dick, pinging him with a shot of arousal, his cock stirring in his pants. He finally pulls off.

Both of them are still panting, recovering from the ferocity of the kiss. Taehyung slumps back into the mattress with a dreamy sigh, covering his face with his hands. Namjoon’s reeling from what has just happened. He had kissed Taehyung and found himself wanting more.

“Well…?” Taehyung finally manages to squeak out.

Namjoon is quiet before he answers, “I may potentially like boys, too.”

 

 

*

 

 

 

The kissing happens again. And again.

They don’t talk about it. There’s nothing to be discussed. Namjoon is confused about his sexuality, suddenly thrusted into a state of unknown about what he prefers and who he likes, and Taehyung is helping him out whilst simultaneously experimenting himself. They’re both discovering more about each other.

The second time they had kissed was during Namjoon’s shift at the florist shop.

Namjoon’s father doesn’t enforce strict rules on his son during work, just expects certain hours. Besides that, he’s allowed to invite whoever he wants to give him company as long as he completes the designated work and serves with the utmost customer service. One minute Namjoon was greeting a customer, Taehyung plucking the flowers and sniffing the sunflowers, and the other they’re kissing like they’re in a rut in the work bathroom.

Taehyung hadn’t said anything. When he pulls away, his lips bitten raw and a smirk playing on his face, he just smiles.

The third time is in the safety of Namjoon’s apartment. In the name of ‘experimenting’ — as they’ve decided to define it — they somehow are kissing again, Namjoon’s cupping Taehyung’s face and kissing him senseless. He kisses with intent this time, wanting to draw out the familiar sound from Taehyung.

“Joon… Joon,” he had moaned, the same whimpery, broken sound.

After the fourth time, Namjoon gets himself off.

As much as he attempts to resist, the thoughts of Taehyung plague his mind. He tries to sleep. Eventually, he gives in, masturbating to the thought of Taehyung’s naked body grinding on him and he comes startlingly quick.

He’s fucked.

 

 

*

 

 

“You can’t keep doing this, Tae.”

Jimin’s voice is firm though his features are anything but, gentle and a hint of sympathy imploring through. They’re walking towards their afternoon classes together, arms looped together, as Jeongguk walks besides Jimin. The three of them met during university. Taehyung had taken a seat during one of his lectures next to them, later discovering they’re dating, and becoming the permanent third wheel for them.

Nevertheless, the three of them have an effortless friendship. Jimin and Jeongguk have been dating since high school and they’re comfortable with each other, the dynamic only becoming solid with the presence of Taehyung gracing their lives.

“What do you mean?” He frowns, not wanting to acknowledge the disapproval in Jimin’s tone.

“You like him, Tae,” Jeongguk cuts in, filling in for his boyfriend.

“Yeah, exactly. It’s a recipe for disaster.”

“I don’t like him!” Taehyung defends himself, oddly feeling caged in by both of his friends voicing their opinions. In hindsight, he shouldn’t be surprised. If the roles were reversed, he’d feel the same as them. “I may have had a crush on him during high school. It’s gone now, though. I don’t like hyung. He’s my best friend.”

“Is that why you’re so eager to kiss him?”

“And continue kissing him?” Jeongguk finishes.

Taehyung furrows his brows, loathing how the two boyfriends bounce off each other, and they can read Taehyung inside out. They have been friends for nearly two years now. There’s no secrets embedded between them, everything out in the open for them to marvel at. He has never met such uncomplicated friends.

“I don’t know, okay,” he murmurs, his cheeks a light blush at the frustration he feels. “I just know kissing Joon hyung is nice, okay?”

Jimin’s smiling softly. He tugs their intertwined arms closer. “Listen… just be careful, okay?” He’s cautious, perhaps even a little skeptical. Both Jimin and Jeongguk get along with Namjoon and even admire him as an older brother but their loyalties lie with Taehyung, not wanting their friend to get hurt. “This experimenting idea is potentially dangerous and I just… worry.”

Taehyung’s aware that one day, sooner than later, their experimenting phase has to end.

Namjoon will either confirm or deny his suspicions, he’ll continue to date a boy or girl in the future and they’ll only remain what they are: friends. They’re nothing more, nothing less. He needs to be prepared for their temporary situation coming to an end. It should be okay. They’re best friends and there’s nothing more lingering between them.

Or so, he thinks.

Jimin, on the other hand, has other doubts.

Taehyung sighs and nods. “Don’t worry about me, Jiminie. I’ll be fine.”

 

 

*

 

 

The following day, Namjoon asks if they can go out together and that’s how they find themselves at the park.

Namjoon sits on the park bench, a lukewarm coffee in his hands, his headphones drumming one of his favourite rappers in his ears. The surroundings are breathtaking, one of the most well-known botanical gardens in Seoul, that attracts many locals and tourists. As he works as a florist for a living, he can appreciate the plants, the delicacy and the scent of the plants, of the scenery and greenery he’s immersed in.

Namjoon comes here often. When he’s in a rut about his degree and school work, when he’s writing lyrics and fuelling his side passion as a songwriter, when he needs a moment of escape from his work — this park has always served him good.

Taehyung is sitting ahead of him, on the grass, cross-legged and his tongue sticking out as he concentrates.

He looks a little like an angel, dressed in all white with paint stained on his clothes. His art supplies are circled around him, a cup of water with splashes of blue and purple creating a murky colour. There’s a canvas he’s working on, the landscape before his eyes. The bridge overlooking by the river, the trees and the vibrant flowers and the young couple kissing.

Namjoon vibrates with fondness towards the boy, thrumming through every vein in his system, creating a home in the empty spaces inside of him. His fingers itch with the desperate need to kiss Taehyung right here, in the openness of the park.

When the sun starts to set, Taehyung stands up, momentarily abandoning his art piece to sit besides Namjoon.

“Are you hungry?” He questions, eyeing the half empty coffee cup that’s too cold to be consumed now. “You haven’t eaten anything and we’ve been here for a couple of hours now.”

Namjoon shrugs. He’s more than content to sit here, bask in the serenity, lulled by the slight bustle.

“I’m fine,” he assures. “We can grab a coffee once you’re finished?”

“Yeah, are you sure?”

“Of course I am.”

Taehyung smiles softly. “For my art portfolio…” He starts, quiet for a second like he’s trying to collect himself and attempt a way to voice his thoughts. “I have to paint how I define my life, you know? I did the ocean because I feel like I’m a mess of emotions, a depth even I can’t comprehend.”

Namjoon snorts. “Poetic.”

“Shut up,” he chides, swatting Namjoon before continuing, “I painted this because we come here often, the park is a part of my life. I painted Jimin and Jeongguk whilst we went out for dinner because they’re my best friends. I painted the comic book store. I want to… would it be okay if I painted you?”

His eyes widen at the request, momentarily taken aback. “Oh.”

Taehyung fiddles with a hanging thread from his shirt, sheepish and timid. “Maybe in the florist shop? Serving customers? That has been the biggest part of my life for a while. You and flowers.”

Namjoon softens, replaced with a bliss sensation that swims through his nerves. All that he can feel is adoration for Taehyung. He reaches for a daisy that he had plucked out earlier, left it on the bench, and leans forward so he can gently stick the stem into Taehyung’s hair.

Taehyung’s beautiful, even with flowers in his hair.

“I’d love that.”

 

 

*

 

 

Later that week, they start the painting for Taehyung’s art portfolio.

“How am I supposed to act? How should I pose?” Namjoon asks, the worry in his tone evident.

Taehyung is setting up his easel, a fresh canvas placed on the ledge, selecting out all the supplies he’ll need for this piece. He supposes it’ll be the most difficult painting he’ll do thus far considering it’ll be close to impossible to capture Namjoon’s beauty onto page. How can Taehyung bring to life Namjoon’s eyes that hold the world within them, darkness and optimism?

Nevertheless, he’ll try. It’ll be an injustice to create a portfolio to define his life and not to mention the most important man in his life.

“Act normal, hyung,” Taehyung guides. “Just do your job. I’m not asking for anything more.”

Namjoon is still uncertain but it eventually fades as the first customer walks through the door, now consumed with helping them out. He walks around the store and selects the different flowers the customer lists off, creating a bouquet behind the counter and wrapping it up for the man.

“They’re a lucky person,” Namjoon says, handing it over. “Have a good day, sir.”

Taehyung’s heart flutters in his chest, not daring to look up from his canvas, as he paints Namjoon diligently.

By the end of the day, he’s created a masterpiece. Anything involving Namjoon is automatically beautiful. Namjoon’s closing the store, locking the front door and grabbing the dust and pan to clean up the clutter that has been left behind. He looks over his shoulders, a shy smile poking at his lips.

“Are you done?” He asks.

Taehyung sits back on his chair, nodding. “Yeah.”

“Can I see?”

“Sure.”

Namjoon walks over and gazes at the painting for a minute or so in complete silence, his expression unreadable as he analyses every inch. Taehyung internally panics, having wanted some sort of immediate reaction.

“... Do you like it?” Taehyung’s voice is barely above a whisper, squinting at his friend.

Namjoon licks his lips and instead of responding, he’s closing the gap between them and pressing their lips together.

Taehyung jolts from the sudden contact but adapts easily enough, his arm wrapping around Namjoon’s waist and drawing him closer. They kiss languidly, tongues swiping against the other. There’s no urgency behind the gesture. It’s more like a comfort. Like an unconventional way of saying ‘thank you’.

When Namjoons pulls off, he’s smiling from ear-to-ear and says, “I love it. Thank you.”

 

*

 

 

Taehyung taps his foot impatiently against the ledge of the table. The lecturer drones on but the words go over his head, not being registered whatsoever. His word document on the laptop is empty.

Namjoon is sitting two seats down from him, Jimin and Jeongguk in-between them.

Every time Taehyung glances over, Namjoon is drilling back into him with a heavy, suggestive gaze. There’s arousal pooling in the pits of Taehyung’s stomach, swimming through his body, making him momentarily incapable on focusing on the lecture. Amidst an important class, all he can think about is the man’s lips and how they kiss so patiently but a rough edge to it, how Namjoon moans, how he takes a minute before reopening his eyes like he’s dazed from their kissing.

When their eyes meet again, Namjoon’s arching a cocky brow, his expression speaking: What’s wrong?

Taehyung digs his teeth into his bottom lip as he nibbles on his hanging skin. He attempts to orientate himself. He has to remind himself he’s in a classroom full of students, his friends are sitting right besides him and his desires. But it’s futile. Wishful thinking.

He texts Namjoon: Meet me in the toilets. Leave 5 minutes after me.

As soon as he hears the older man’s phone buzz with the indicator he has received the message, Taehyung stands up abruptly, starting to pack his bags. Jeongguk glances up, tracking his every move curiously.

“Where are you going?”

“I’ll be back, don’t worry.”

Taehyung shoots Namjoon one last lingering look before he’s rushing out of the lecture hall, running towards the bathroom. He rests against the wall, waiting for the presence that he’s craving right now to grace him. Namjoon arrives promptly five minutes later.

“Couldn’t even wait during class?” Namjoon’s saying, the smirk conspicuous in his voice. Cocky.

Taehyung has no words to humour him with. Instead, his hand fists in Namjoon’s collar and tugs him forward so their lips crash together. The proximity causes a heat to explode through him, only fuelling Taehyung further. He doesn’t hesitate to deepen the kiss, their teeth clashing from the desperation as he kisses like his life depends on it.

Namjoon only takes a second to adapt to the fast pace before he’s responding back. His own hand snakes around Taehyung’s torso, the other grabbing a fistful of Taehyung’s hair and tugging down to draw out a long whimper from him.

There’s no tenderness about this kiss.

Taehyung’s frustrated, sexually and literally, wholly consuming him and gearing on this behaviour. He doesn’t understand what has changed. Since their first kiss, all he has wanted is Namjoon to surround him, to enter into him and embed himself there. He’s not sure how to deal with these emotions.

The kiss is crude but still fulfilling Taehyung. There’s a clear power struggle between them but Namjoon remains to have the upperhand.

The kiss breaks apart so Namjoon’s lips can travel over his skin, leaving wet, open mouthed kisses along Taehyung’s neck. He sucks in particular spots as his teeth digs in, leaving a hickey only to soothe with a lick along the bruise he’s marked. Taehyung’s had enough. He’s maintained a fine line but right now, his dick is speaking for him ahead of his mind.

“Take me home,” Taehyung begs.

“Okay.”

 

They stumble back into Namjoon’s bedroom with their hands never once leaving the other’s body. Frenzy is vibrating through Taehyung, making him eager to touch and needing Namjoon’s warmth to envelope him whole.

Namjoon presses Taehyung up against the back of his door as they kiss once again.

One of his hand is wrapped around the nape of his neck, applying light pressure as the other works fervently to pull Taehyung’s jeans off. Taehyung’s head rolls back as he gives permission to Namjoon to mark his neck once again, wanting pretty reminders the day after this ends so he can clutch onto this moment.

“What do you want?” Namjoon asks in-between kisses.

“Anything. Everything.”

“I’d ask you to ride me… but you’ve probably never been fucked,” he murmurs. “On your back, okay? I’ll make this good.”

The mere thought of what’s about to commence causes his lungs to inflate, having to inhale sharply. Euphoria fills him. He has never imagined that he would be get fucked by his best friend. The same man he has relied on throughout childhood up until now. He knows he should be more cautious. But right now, the consequences isn’t residing in his mind and he’ll worry about it tomorrow morning.

“Yes, please,” he says.

Namjoon draws the curtains so they descend into darkness and gives them the privacy they need, just the two of them. They undress themselves and then Taehyung crawls into Namjoon’s bed, on his back. Namjoon climbs in after him and gracefully parts Taehyung’s legs, settling in between them.

Namjoon’s hand encloses around his half hard cock, starting to stroke him slowly. The tight fist and the sensation is mindblowing to Taehyung who has never been touched by another man there, head rolling back against the pillow with a heavy exhale. His lower stomach clenches in unwonted arousal.

“Look at you,” Namjoon whispers, his tone awed. “You’re so pretty, Taehyung. Do you know that?”

He blushes and though he’s elated over the praise, he says, “Shut up and fuck me.”

“Have you had sex with a boy before?”

“Obviously not. I just came out, idiot,” he says in reply.

Namjoon nods. “I need to open you up properly, okay? So it won’t hurt.”

Taehyung’s eyeline follows Namjoon as the man withdraws a travel size, half empty, lube bottle and drizzles a liberal amount onto two of his fingers. He drapes his body over Taehyung’s, resuming their kissing as his fingers rub against Taehyung’s hole. He doesn’t push inside, merely teasing him.

“Have you fucked boys before, then?” Taehyung tries to say without stumbling over his words.

“No. I’m just educated about gay sex.”

“So I’m your first?”

“Yeah. First boy.” Namjoon gently teases the first finger inside, barely grazing past the tight walls of muscle. “Relax for me. I’ll take care of you. I’ll make this good for you, I promise but you have to trust me.”

Taehyung exhales. His body visibly relaxes and he nods. “I trust you.”

He eases the first finger in and allows Taehyung to adjust to the feeling, loosening him up from inside. Eventually, Taehyung starts to plead. Namjoon pushes another finger in and starts to open him up, stretching him out despite the slight burn. His hole is tight but it feels good, pre-come dribbling out of his hard, neglected cock.

“Oh, fuck,” Taehyung whimpers.

“Is this okay?” He asks as he pulses the finger in and out of Taehyung at a fast, but comfortable, pace.

“It’s… okay. Weird.”

Namjoon chuckles fondly, kissing his jaw. “You’ll get used to it. Don’t worry.”

It takes a little while before Taehyung can fully melt under Namjoon’s touch and trust the man to take care of him. The stretch burns when Namjoon’s three fingers in deep, a slight hiss leaving his lips, but Namjoon’s patient with him.

Taehyung’s a mess and he’s garbling nonsense words. “Please, Joon. Please, give me your dick—”

“Baby, you’re not—”

“I’m ready. Please.”

Namjoon spends another minute or so committing to fully opening Taehyung up before he withdraws the fingers. Taehyung has a moment of bravery, his hand reaches out to take Namjoon’s length as his thumb rubs over his slit.

The man jolts, moaning. “Tae,” he says, a warning almost present in his voice.

“Fuck me, hyung.” He further parts his legs, drawing attention to his clenching hole. “Please.”

Namjoon bats the man’s hand away. He doesn’t waste another second to align his cock against Taehyung after having rolled the condom on, drizzling more lube to accommodate his large length into him. He slowly enters Taehyung. The pace is caution and slow. Taehyung gasps at the burn, squeezing his eyes shut.

“Fuck.”

“I won’t hurt you,” Namjoon promises.

His hand extends forward to grab ahold of Taehyung’s, lacing their fingers and pinning it down on the mattress. The loss of control over his own hand, completely vulnerable to Namjoon, only causes his cock to twitch painfully.

They start off slow. Namjoon’s head is nuzzled against his neck and he thrusts deeply but no momentum behind it like he’s savouring every slow drag.

Taehyung can feel every inch this way, every vein and ridge and he can’t help the insistent string of broken moans that falls from his lips. He is overwhelmed with pleasure, spreading through him, invading every other logical thought he has at this point. He experimentally rolls his hips down and only gasps when the cock is delivered deeper into him.

“I’m ready. Please, take me, hyung.”

This time, Namjoon doesn’t hold back. There’s no resistance from Taehyung’s hole so he takes what he wants, chasing his own orgasm at this point. He starts to fuck with intent, each hip forward is sharp and up against Taehyung’s prostate. Their skin slaps together as Namjoon fucks him like he’s afraid they’ll never get the chance to do this again.

Taehyung’s beyond the point of return. All he can do is moan is Namjoon’s name on loop.

“Just - just like that,” he grits out, his legs wrapping around Namjoon’s waist and pulling him closer. “Joon. Fuck.”

Namjoon’s head is thrown back in ecstasy, lost in how Taehyung feels, and he can only reply in the form of picking up the pace up. He prompts Taehyung to touch himself as they come together barely minutes later, the sex not lasting for too long considering how frustrated they were.

Taehyung slumps into his mattress once he’s released his orgasm, spent of energy and come coating his stomach.

Namjoon pulls out a minute later after riding out his orgasm, his nose wrinkling as he pulls the condom off and discards of it. He comes back to Taehyung a minute later, laying down and pulling the man into his arms.

They don’t talk about what has just happened.

They just lay together with Taehyung curled into the man’s chest, listening to Namjoon’s fast heartbeat and he closes his eyes. He could stay here forever.

 

 

*

 

 

It’s no surprise that it happens again.

Taehyung stretched out on his mattress, Namjoon fucking into him shallowly and deeply as they come together.

And again, this time with Taehyung riding him like he’s in a heat. Namjoon’s fingers gripping onto him, leaving bruises on his waist, before he tilts Taehyung and gropes Taehyung’s ass.

“God. Love your ass,” he whispers, prompting Taehyung to his orgasm.

It’s just experimental, apparently. But Namjoon’s figured it out that he likes boys and he definitely likes Taehyung.

 

 

*

 

 

“You need to stop this.”

It’s Yoongi who speaks. He’s on the couch with Seokjin by his side, they’re both reviewing what restaurant they’d like to eat dinner at tonight whilst Hoseok’s working. The stern tone breaks Namjoon out of his concentration zone, the unfinished lyrics on his sheet remaining barren.

“What?” He says, bewildered.

He’s just finished fucking Taehyung, again. The younger man has been plummeted into slumber after his orgasm, cuddling into the plushie in Namjoon’s room, and falling asleep. Yoongi had heard some of the commotion.

“What you’re doing… it needs to be stopped, you know? You can’t keep doing this.”

“Why not?” He’s inexplicably defensive over what he has with Taehyung, knowing it’s unconventional but wanting to keep his secret.

Yoongi raises a brow. “Because? He’s your friend and you keep fucking him.”

“We’re just testing and experimenting our sexualities.”

“It doesn’t take having sex numerous times to do that,” Seokjin pipes in, his lips twitching. “If your dick was hard the first time for Taehyung, I think that confirms your suspicions enough.”

Namjoon sighs. He lowers the pen in his hand, the lyrics now all but forgotten. The writing had been aimless anyway and he finds his thoughts plagued with Taehyung, causing the writing to become based on the boy with flowers in his hair.

“It’s nothing serious,” he says, even when the words are foreign and they feel wrong. It is serious, he knows that deep down. “We’re just fucking. It doesn’t mean anything to me.”

Yoongi almost looks disappointed. “Okay,” He mutters. “Just don’t hurt Taehyung in this sex crave fling. You both deserve better than that.”

It doesn’t mean anything.

It’s a loop in Namjoon’s mind. It has to mean nothing but Taehyung is his best friend and perhaps, he shouldn’t have let this progress for as long as it did.

 

 

*

 

 

 

Jimin’s sitting on Jeongguk’s lap, leaning back against his chest, as the younger man’s arms are wrapped firmly around his waist. They’re both immersed in their own world with little concern to Taehyung’s distasteful, gloomy mood.

“There’s a university party tonight,” Jimin declares, poking Taehyung’s thigh with his index finger. “You’re coming.”

The last thing Taehyung wants to do is attend a party. University parties are usually a disorganised mayhem with plenty of alcohol to go around and one-night stands thriving, an excuse to get lost in the moment because school work is piling up high. All Taehyung wants to do, right now, is sulk, maybe even cry if he wasn’t feeling so numb. Namjoon’s words ‘it doesn’t mean anything,’ repeats in his mind.

The words dwell within him, fills him up with disgust and anguish. Perhaps, he had been foolish enough to think fucking around with his best friend would have progressed to something more. That it was more than just mindless sex, kissing for experimenting. Taehyung hadn’t even realised he likes Namjoon, not until he had awoken from his nap only to hear those words.

“Not in the mood,” Taehyung mumbles in reply.

“Oh, c’mon. You’re no fun!”

“Just have a lot of work,” he says. “You guys go. You’re probably gonna make me a third wheel, too.”

Jeongguk chuckles lowly. “Such a killjoy. What’s gotten you so moody?”

When Taehyung had heard the words, he had remained in the bedroom. He contemplated on the words and wondered whether making a scene, asking for a confrontation from Namjoon, was a good idea. Ultimately, he decided not to. An hour later, Taehyung had exited the bedroom, claiming he had to head home because his mother was calling him and left. Namjoon had barely batted an eyelash, just given Taehyung a hug and told him to text when he arrived home safely.

It has been five days since.

Taehyung has been adamantly ignoring Namjoon. He doesn’t attend lectures that he shares with Namjoon and he hasn’t turned up at Namjoon’s apartment, wanting to stay overnight. There’s a gap in his chest, a dull ache, that he can’t remove because he misses his best friend but he also has somehow developed feelings for him.

“I’m fine,” he says with a sigh.

“Seriously, Tae.” Jimin’s voice is full of pity this time, though gentle. “Just come along. It’ll be fun. You can leave early if you need to.”

Taehyung considers it. Namjoon’s scene has never been partying, preferring a quiet night-in at the bar with a few drinks over senseless hard liquor and drunken swaying bodies. If it’s another way of avoiding Namjoon, he’ll take it.

“Fine,” Taehyung gives in. “I’ll come.”

 

 

It’s therapeutic, if anything, when Taehyung starts to get ready for the university party.

He dresses to impress with one intent on his mind: to forget, to get laid, to gain attention from elsewhere. Taehyung has been focusing on Namjoon for too long and he hadn’t gathered just how much he started to rely on his best friend, how much he coveted Namjoon.

Jimin executes his outfit: a black tight fitting t-shirt with jeans, a thigh harness — for purposes, Jimin had said — and his hair pulled back to expose his forehead, slightly wavy due to the styling. The three of them are matching and Taehyung feels good, is confident in himself.

 

The party is located at one of the student housing. By the time Taehyung arrives, it’s already full underswing with students crowded around every room in the house, with alcohol bottles being spread around, with party games occurring.

Jimin’s reaching for a beer bottle and handing it over to Taehyung. “I don’t know what’s happened with you and Joon hyung,” he says, a sense of protectiveness shining through his voice that warms Taehyung. “But you’re forgetting about him tonight and you’re gonna get drunk with me and Gguk.”

He frowns but nevertheless, accepts the bottle. “I don’t even drink.”

“But tonight, you will.”

The beer is bitter and strong and burns as Taehyung swallows it down but the pain becomes less forefront as he does, being pushed back to one side of his mind. Jimin keeps it coming. It’s welcomed, though, because for a minute Namjoon isn’t what he’s concerned with.

It doesn’t matter that Namjoon doesn’t care for the relationship that was blossoming between them. It doesn’t matter that Taehyung is preposterous for ever considering that there was a possibility, that their sex was more than just that, just sex.

Taehyung’s fixated on getting drunk tonight and he does so, slowly losing consciousness and slipping into a tipsy headspace. His head is swimming. He clutches onto the half empty beer bottle, wandering through the party, and attempting to find Jimin and Jeongguk. Instead, another man is approaching him.

“Hi.” The man is smirking at him, eyes dark with lustful intent and unfocused due to the alcohol he has consumed. “I haven’t seen you around before.”

The man is alluring with his blonde hair and his slim thick figure, attractive eyes that pierce into Taehyung. Without a second thought, he’s leaning into the man so there’s less space between them.

“I don’t party a lot,” Taehyung admits, batting his lash. “Who are you?”

“Doesn’t matter who I am. Wanna go upstairs?”

He frowns because he has better standards than that. The man before him may be okay with that but he’s definitely not. Taehyung exhales and tries to pull back, out of the man’s arm that has managed to curve around his waist, feeling him over.

“No, thanks.”

“Oh, c’mon. Don’t be boring,” he insists, caging Taehyung in and with his sheer power, tugging him forward.

Panic rises in his chest and burdening his shoulders, making it hard to breathe. Taehyung’s overcome with his gut instinct to fight back, both hands flat on the man’s front as he attempts to shove him off. The last thing Taehyung wants is to get laid like this, he wanted something with potential to continue afterwards.

“Stop—”

“You’re so pretty—”

“He said, stop.” A third voice interrupts their heated conversation that was escalating in the wrong direction. Taehyung’s head snaps up and notices Namjoon standing before them, his face twisted in fury. Taehyung’s heart skips a beat, his body slumping because what the fuck is Namjoon doing?

“And who the fuck are you?”

“His boyfriend so fuck off.” Namjoon doesn’t wait for an answer, taking Taehyung into his arms.

They barely look back as Namjoon storms out of the party, hand-in-hand with Taehyung.

 

Neither of them say a word as they make it back to Namjoon’s apartment, entering the empty home. Taehyung’s a little drunk but mostly, he’s outraged that the older man can manipulate what he likes in Taehyung’s life. It was none of his business to interfere, especially after he had labelled their relationship as nothing important.

He’s not hiding his exasperation, his body hunched over tightly, as he attempts to hide in the bedroom.

Namjoon’s hand is extending forward to grasp his, though, making escape impossible and pulling him back so they’re facing together. His indignation has faded though there’s still remnants of turbulence, sighing.

“What did you think you were doing?” He asks, though his voice is mostly resigned and weary.

“Me?” Taehyung snaps. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“I was helping you out of a tricky situation, baby.”

Don’t call me baby!” He argues back, the pet name burning him right down to the core, blistering where the dagger digs in.

Namjoon’s face falls, more confusion filtering into his face. “I’m so… what the fuck has gotten into you, Taehyung?” He says the full name with distaste. “You’re the one ignoring me, avoiding me, not replying to my texts. What the fuck is your problem?”

“You had no right to interrupt my conversation with the man,” he replies calmly despite the turmoil raging inside of him. “You had no right.”

“Okay. Okay, perhaps I didn’t.”

“And you can’t call me baby.”

Namjoon is quiet. He withdraws himself, his hand coming to limp by his side with his eyes narrowed. He’s genuinely distressed and it’s evident, etched into every feature on his face.

“Taehyung…” He repeats, a touch softer. “What’s going on?”

He barks out a bitter laugh. “You tell me, hyung. After all, this — me, us — doesn’t matter to you.”

Realisation pours into Namjoon as his mouth hangs open. “You - you heard me?”

Taehyung really resents how the tears form in his eyes and he has no power to hold them back, a sob breaking through him. He holds himself up by wrapping his own arm around his torso, feeling more frail than he ever has in this moment. Taehyung’s completely vulnerable. He’s, indirectly, admitted exactly how much Namjoon means to him but his heart still feels shattered, still hurting from when he had overheard.

He can’t describe how worthless he feels, how he desperately wishes he could rewind back in time and extract back his sexuality confession. He’d reverse everything. He’d prevent the first kiss from happening.

“Yes, I did,” he hisses back.

“Oh… Shit.”

There’s nothing else to be heard. Namjoon’s temporarily shell shocked, not even in a state to defend nor deny the accusation. Taehyung clicks his tongue in hostility and right now, he needs to get away from Namjoon, from this apartment. He can’t stay here any longer. He’s crying hard enough that his vision is blurred but his mind is side-tracked on putting distance between him and Namjoon.

“Taehyung - listen to me—”

Don’t touch me,” Taehyung says, snatching his arm back. “It’s okay if you didn’t see any future for us, anything else above just fucking around but it wasn’t for me. I need to go.”

Taehyung runs out before he can be stopped, ignoring Namjoon calling his name.

 

 

*

 

 

Taehyung’s tearing apart the petals on the latest flowers Namjoon has given him. His mood is cascading further into despair. As the days continue on without a word from Namjoon, he feels further in a slump.

Jimin’s sitting besides him, a sad smile twisting on his face. There’s not much either of his friend can say to resolve the situation. It hurts, in simple terms. Taehyung had fallen for Namjoon so easily, from the first kiss, and maybe the feelings have been developed before they ever touched. Taehyung has been smitten for his best friend for a long time and only now just realising what it means.

“Babe… is there any way I can help?” Jimin sounds at wits end, helpless.

Taehyung looks up, attempting to paint on a brave exterior. He puts down the flowers in his hand and opens his arms up, silently requesting a hug.

Jimin doesn’t waste a second to oblige, leaning into his personal space. “It’s going to be okay,” he murmurs, voice barely audible. “I promise, this feeling will pass. I’m sorry you feel so shitty.”

There’s a lump in his throat he can’t swallow down. A hole in his heart. His chest feels so heavy, he’s not sure how he can breathe.

“Thank you, Jimin,” is all he can muster in reply.

 

 

*

 

 

It has been a week since Namjoon had to witness Taehyung’s heart breaking right in front of him whilst being the culprit behind it.

He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Taehyung. The way the man’s eyes crinkle when he smiles and it overtakes his whole face, the way he laughs wholeheartedly and the way he sneezes, loud enough to shake the place, but still endearing. The way he has passion thriving through him, gold in his fingertips and he can create a masterpiece with his eyes closed. The way he’s fond of comic books and he’s a nerd, all in all. It had never meant nothing to Namjoon.

He’s still reeling from his own discovery about sexuality and mostly, newfound fondness for Taehyung. He had spoken without filter, without any concern to how it may affect the people around him, and he’s genuinely stricken with grief at his own actions.

Namjoon has to make this right before he loses his best friend and more importantly, what was flowering between them.

In true spirits, with some guidance from Yoongi, Hoseok and Seokjin, he purchases a bouquet of white daisies and sunflowers with red roses. He attaches a note, a sincere apology.

“You made a mistake,” Seokjin coaches, his arm slotted around his shoulder and pulling their bodies close. “But you can make it better. I know you will. I know you care about Taehyung so make it better, Namjoon.”

“I will, hyung,” he promises.

It takes another pep talk from Yoongi and his wise words before he can find the strength to stand outside Taehyung’s family home, with the flowers in his hand. His heart is threatening to pound right out of his chest, the palm of his hand sweaty and clammy over the stems he’s holding. Truthfully, Namjoon is a mess, all in all, as well.

But he wants to resolve his pain, his worries and his own questions with Taehyung. There’s nobody else he’d prefer over his best friend.

He knocks on the front door and holds his breath, waiting patiently, even when he’s spiralling into strife and doubt. There’s commotion from the house, a scream indicating Taehyung’s younger siblings as they race around. There’s a louder, more authoritarian voice scolding them that Namjoon recognises as Taehyung.

A minute later, the door opens to reveal Taehyung.

The man is disheveled, his hair unkempt and roughly pulled back, he’s wearing casual clothes and there’s red rings around his eyes like he has been crying endlessly. His frame slimmer and Namjoon just knows his best friend is neglecting his meals.

Namjoon frowns and before he can get a word in, Taehyung speaks.

“What’re you doing here, Namjoon?” He asks, drained and tone lifeless.

He steps forward in a daring move, taking the chances he has. If this is the last attempt he has to rectify their damaged relationship, Namjoon has to be bold and honest to himself. It has been a whirlwind the past few months and he’s barely able to comprehend how their relationship has developed, growing from strictly platonic to more… to lust, to sex, to love.

Namjoon hands the bouquet over though Taehyung doesn’t move an inch, not accepting them.

“I’ve never told you about the meaning of these flowers and why I pick them for you…” Namjoon starts, clearing his throat so his voice isn’t husky and he can declare his confession confidently. “You’ve always taken what I’ve given you because you’re an amazing friend and I appreciate that. But, it’s time I tell you the meaning.”

Taehyung pursues his lips but he doesn’t slam the door on his face, doesn’t retreat back into the house. Namjoon considers it’s a positive sign and continues.

“White daisies signify a loyal love, something innocent, something patient. Gentle. It’s simple. That’s what you’ve always been for me. You’re so… innocent in your interests, you’re so gentle when you love. Sunflowers, on the other hand, whilst they’re your favourite — they also provide warmth, they supply with happiness, adoration and mean longevity. That’s what I want, a future with you, when you already give me so much.” He pauses, his voice thick from the turbulent emotions building up all at once. “I think I’ve always liked you, Taehyung, for a really long time but I only realised till now. It could never mean nothing to me… not when you’re everything to me, baby.”

Taehyung’s still set like stone and unmoving though his lip twitches, the first array of emotion displaying on his face. He still waits, though, and allows Namjoon to say what he wants whilst they’re declaring their feelings.

“And I’m sorry,” Namjoon mutters sincerely, voice reducing down to a whisper now that the main part is over. “That I hurt your feelings, that you think I played you around and that this means nothing to me. I was terrified, Taehyung, that I suddenly could feel this much for my best friend… I didn’t know what to do and acted on instinct to protect myself. Yoongi hyung saw right through my lies, though.”

Taehyung can’t hold back the small laugh that falls through his lips prettily, covering his mouth with his hand.

“But I can’t keep hurting you and letting you believe that I haven’t thought about you every single day, Taehyung. That I don’t want you. That I’m not always chasing your lips. That, maybe, it’s never been always platonic because I continue to give you these flowers way before we even kissed. I loved you before I ever touched you.”

Taehyung’s crying again and Namjoon recognises the salty moisture he’s licking away is his own tears. They’re both crying together, standing outside Taehyung’s house. He’s just torn out his heart, laid it out on the floor for Taehyung to speculate at, to wear and tear and break apart.

Taehyung wipes away the tears and he smiles so softly. “I think I love you too, hyung. You were the reason I ever had a sexuality crisis, for fuck’s sake.”

He laughs watery. “Will you accept my flowers?”

He nods eagerly. “Yes, hyung.”

Namjoon extracts one of the daisies from the bunch of flowers. He’s out of the danger zone, in the clear, and steps forward so there’s no space between him and Taehyung. An arm naturally wraps around the younger man’s waist as he pushes the stem into Taehyung’s hair. Right where the daisy belongs.

“You look pretty with flowers in your hair,” Namjoon murmurs.

Taehyung’s a little dazed, his eyes starry, like he’s dreaming and doesn’t want to wake up. His features are scrunched up in penchant and another wave of tears roll down his cheeks, leaning into his touch.

“Kiss me.”

They’ll talk about it later, about what went wrong and how it went wrong. How they’ll never allow the same mistake to happen again. They’ll wash away the pain from before and replace it with nothing but good memories. But as for right now, there’s nothing Namjoon wants than to kiss Taehyung.

Namjoon obliges, peering up. He takes a moment just to observe Taehyung in all his glory, the way his beauty radiates, the way his eyes are the bearer of an ocean of emotions.

He surges forward so their lips are touching. It’s a sweet kiss, slow and affectionate and Namjoon has missed this. His spare hand cups Taehyung’s cheeks, kissing him with intent this time that is nothing sexual. Taehyung melts right under his touch and he responds almost immediately.

They kiss like they belong together, like puzzle pieces that slot together right. Namjoon commits his memory to this. He’ll live to kiss Taehyung like this over and over.