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All With You

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Jeongguk is at his family’s kitchen table, his hands spread on top of it, staring at the window, waiting for nothing in particular, just kind of passing the time. His mind is blank. He knows he should eventually start to move, start organizing his huge list of things to do and, kind of urgently, start packing. 

“What the hell are you doing there? You’ve been staring at nothing for ages!” his brother’s voice is loud, asking for immediate response, and yet he doesn’t feel the need to reply.

“Jeongguk! Get your ass in your room, you really need to start moving!”

“Yeah, well, I’m on it” he says as he starts climbing the stairs to his room.

 

He glances at his room for a while, trying to feel some sort of... something. He thinks that maybe he should feel sad to leave his house, so he has passed the last few weeks staring longingly into everything. The only problem is that he isn’t sad at all, he’s... relieved.

 

When he chose to major in Psychology, he knew he should pick the best college that he could. The problem was that it was also the same college where his dad worked and it was so damn near his house. It didn't make any sense to move to campus when you lived only 20 minutes away, right?

So he had stayed there, with his family, continuing their traditional “fun” weekends, and monthly adventures.

 

Jeongguk was born in an adventurous family that loved doing everything together, be it more radical things like climbing mountains, skiing, jumping off bridges, or more traditional and athletic sports just like playing soccer or basketball. Whatever it was, every weekend there was a different plan, and everyone was expected to participate. Jeongguk was never a fan of contradicting his family. It’s not that he never did it, but more that he prefers not to argue and just be done with it.

He never has fun at these kinds of activities though, finding them exhausting. The physical effort that they require isn’t what exhausts him however, that actually being the easy part. What really tires him out is the social part. The part that implies being with people. Jeongguk isn’t antisocial or anything like that. Sure, he is shy, but he can manage to be social just fine. He’ll laugh at jokes, he’ll have conversations, but that doesn’t mean that he enjoys it that much. Or at least not as much as his family.

His brother, on the other hand, is his polar opposite. He thrives in a social environment, he loves their basketball family games, their camping trips, the walks around town. He lives for all these activities that Jeongguk would pay good money to skip.  So it’s not surprising that they don’t get along too well. Sure, he’s his older brother, and Jeongguk really respects him, but he kind of feels that he doesn’t really get him. Well, no one in his family does.

 

He always was the outcast. He was present in the activities but not really there. It was always like that, since he was a child. He got used to it, being the youngest didn’t give him much choice apart from following his family traditions.

He is now trying to sort things out to see what would be the acceptable amount of clothes to take with him. He knows himself well enough to know that he’s going to end up using the same things over and over again. He’s a man of habit, sue him.

 

After closing his huge backpack and his trolley he runs down the stairs, ready to hit the road. He’s thinking about which playlist to listen to on the way when his mother jumps him from behind.

 

“Jeonggukieee! I can’t believe you’re really leaving us! It’s so sad!” She shifts him around like he’s a doll “You have to visit us every weekend”

“Mom, I’ll see what I can do…” he says, trying to get away from her.

“Every weekend, Jeongguk! I’m going to miss my baby! We’ll have your aunt Sera over next time, we are going to play soccer! You love soccer!”.

Jeongguk’s glad that his parents think he loved any of the activities: it makes him happy to know that he isn’t a disappointment after all, even if it is a lie. 

“Mom, I swear I’ll come to the monthly events, alright?”

“I guess that’s a compromise!” his mother chirps. They exchange looks with a smile. At this point all of his family is by the door, he bows to his father and shakes his brother’s hand while giving his mother a quick hug.

“Goodbye, everyone! I’ll text you when I get there”

“Don’t forget to call!”

 

Jeongguk puts his bags in the car and jumps to his front seat, waving to his family. He really should be feeling something right now. It seems it should be a big moment, a huge turning point in his life. He is finally getting his own house after working for three years and saving enough money to be on his own while studying away from home. He should feel proud of himself, or at least be missing his family. Right?

 

He’s just feels relieved to have one more item checked off his list of things to do.

 

———

 

As soon as Jeongguk arrives at his new place, he just wants to sleep. It’s a small apartment, consisting of a room, a bathroom and a living room with a kitchen area separated by an island counter. Jeongguk’s favourite part, however, is the balcony. Although it isn't particularly big, it's enough to fit a single comfy chair, and a couple of plants.

 

He puts his bags in the tiny room, that can only accommodate his bed and a small wardrobe, and goes into the kitchen. He opens his cabinets and the fridge just to check what he already knows. Empty. He frowns. He had some hope that his landlord had left at least something behind. He sighs, he really doesn’t want to go out now, so he just eats some of the cookies he brought with him and calls it a day.

 

The next morning, Jeongguk wakes up earlier than he wants to, feeling somewhat anxious. He wonders if he should try to sleep some more or just get up and start to get ready for his day. He decides on the latter and has some of the same cookies for breakfast as he did for dinner. He wonders how many cookies does one have to eat in order to have a food deficiency and die or something. He’s probably safe. For now. He should google it later, though.

 

After taking a long shower while listening to his favourite “calming bath” playlist, he studies his clothes and opts for simple black jeans and a white and black striped shirt, deciding that he shouldn’t dress all in black because first impressions and such. He put on his glasses and grabs his phone and wallet.

He still has some time before his first lecture, so he goes into the first convenience store he runs into and buys some noodles, bread and coffee. He’s at least settled for two days. Perfect.

 

His new college is almost twice the size of his old one. It has a lot of courses and the campus is huge. Jeongguk’s department is in a building at the farthest end of the campus, and he has to walk past most of the campus until he gets into it. He still doesn’t get why social and behavioural studies are paired with arts. It doesn’t make any sense. He guesses it’s because they don’t have enough people on those courses.

 

His lectures go well enough. He’s shy and reserved so he doesn’t make any social acquaintances. He’s fine with it, he doesn’t mind being alone at all. He finds comfort in it. 

He’s just finished his last lecture of the day and, as he walks out, dragging his feet and distracted while recounting his list of things he has to do, someone bumps straight into him. The impact causes him to lose his balance completely, and he doesn’t even register that he fell until he’s on the ground.

 

“Ah, shit! I’m so sorry, are you hurt?” Jeongguk looks up to see an orange haired man reaching out his hand, trying to help him get up. He feels embarrassed, but it only takes him a second before he accepts the help.

“Thank you. It’s okay, I was distracted anyway” Jeongguk replies as he looks around, trying to remember where he was going. He’s feeling a little lost, still not used to the new space.

“Are you new here?” the man asks, giving him a warm smile, comforting in a way. 

“Yeah, first day and all” Jeongguk replies, a bit bashful that he was so easily read.

“I can help you get around if you want to!” he offers, smiling again “Jung Hoseok!” the man presents himself, extending his hand again, now as a formal introduction.

“Jeon Jeongguk” he replies in a low voice.

 “Nice to meet you Jeongguk!” Hoseok says brightly “Are you done for the day? Do you want me to give you a private tour of this magnificent building?” he asks, moving his arm as if he was presenting a special price.

“I just had my last lecture there” he points in the general direction of the auditorium in question “but actually I’m kind of lost, so I wouldn’t mind some help” he says, looking anywhere but at Hoseok’s gaze. He was never able to feel immediately comfortable with people he’s just met.

“Ah, you must be studying sociology or something like that then?” Hoseok asks, sounding genuinely curious.

“Psychology”

“Ah, nice! I’m a dance major. That’s the studio right there” Hoseok points to the farthest end of the building “Actually, I think I forgot my iPad there, would you mind tagging along with me to grab it? Then we can go around and I’ll show you the best sites this college has to offer!” he announces, his tone cheery.

 Jeongguk nods and hums a yes, and they start walking towards the direction Hoseok just pointed at.

 

The studio is spacious, white and bright, with some chairs in one of the corners, a bar in another and one of the walls consisting of a mirror. Jeongguk looks around, taking it all in, and doesn’t hide his amazement. He used to dance when he was younger, and he really liked it. Seeing the studio reminds him of it, and he’s wondering why he ever stopped, when Hoseok touches his shoulder, startling him.

“Ah, sorry! I have my iPad, you want to go?”

“Yeah, yes." Jeongguk says, looking around the place "Your studio is huge”

 “It’s not really my studio, it’s ours!” Hoseok laughs “We actually have classes that are open to all students if you’re interested! Nothing too serious” he adds, looking straight into Jeongguk's eyes, almost as if reading his mind.

In all honesty, Jeongguk likes every form of art that has music at its core. Maybe it would be a good idea for him to get back do dancing. He won’t make any decisions right away, but he’s thankful for the suggestion and files it away for later.

For now, he’s thankful for having someone to show him around, and he shyly smiles as Hoseok leads the way to show the rest of the campus, with an energetic smile on his face.

 

———

 

It takes a minute for Jeongguk to adjust to the light in his room. He forgot to close the blinds again. It’s too early for him to get up, but once he opens his eyes he knows he won’t be able to fall asleep. He refuses to get up though, so with a grunt he settles for lazing around on his bed for a bit, stomach up and eyes fixed at the ceiling.

It’s the end of his first month in this new college, and Jeongguk feels like he’s finally getting used to his new routines. Living alone has been easier than he imagined, every weekend that he gets to stay indoors enjoying the quiet view from his balcony is a blessing, and he has been able to keep on top of his lectures with relative ease. To be honest, that part isn’t really a surprise, since Psychology has never been a hard thing for Jeongguk to study at all. That's actually the main reason he chose it as his academic career. It’s not that he’s lazy, but he thought that if he was going to study for so many years, it should be something that’s not too time consuming so that he can enjoy his life outside work.

 

Sometimes he wonders why on earth he is studying people when he doesn’t particularly like people. He never found the answer to that.

 

Hoseok has also become a part of his new life and, to be honest, without him, Jeongguk thinks he would probably feel a lot more lost. Hoseok’s a fairly social guy, but he seems to enjoy Jeongguk’s company, even if he’s mostly quiet. So he’s grateful, and considers himself lucky, since the first person he met is someone he genuinely likes spending time with. He feels that the other understands him and doesn’t push him, unlike many people that Jeongguk has known through life.

 

Hoseok insists that Jeongguk should tag along with him when he’s not on lectures, and so he ends up having lunch most days not only with Hoseok, but also with some of his friends. Fortunately, it’s not a large group. Seems like, as social as Hoseok is, he likes to keep his group of close friends small, something Jeongguk is silently thankful for. It’s usually just Yoongi, a photography graduate, Namjoon, a Sociology doctorate and Seokjin, who’s studying to be an actor. Jeongguk thinks that the fact that they all study such different subjects is interesting, and he appreciates the diversity, especially since he comes from a family where everyone has a similar way of thinking and living. Being in a group where people have different opinions, and aren’t afraid of sharing them, is something new for him, and he finds that the lively conversations they have always seem to make lunch break more interesting, even if he himself is not prone to participating. Jeongguk’s glad to have them around. They all quickly accepted him into the group, making him feel comfortable and accepting his silent moods without judgement. A part of him feared he would spend all of his time alone, and it’s not like he would mind it all that much, but it’s nice to have people around him sometimes, and it feels good to know he has people he can count on if needed.

 

Today, however, he only starts his schedule at 3pm, and he chooses to spend the morning at his house. He’s excited about it. It might sound strange, but even if he’s grateful he’s found people he gets along with, he still really values having his own space, his own stuff, and his alone time.

 

Lately he has been growing attached to his new house, that has started to feel more and more like his own with his plants decorating the balcony and his games scattered around the living room. He has even put up a couple of posters of some of his favourite bands in the walls of his tiny room. He knows he shouldn’t because he’s “an adult”, but he really really doesn’t care. Small joys in life, right?

 

He grabs some coffee and… more cookies, because why not, and goes out into his balcony. The sun continues to rise and with it the warm feeling of spring. Jeongguk’s looking at the sky, and his mind starts forming some kind of relaxing melody that he starts to hum without really noticing.

 

He feels like this sometimes, taken over by what he sees surrounding him and how it makes him feel. He can't describe it with words, he just feels it in the form of a melody.

 

He wonders if he should do anything about it. He has never given much thought to it. He has been doing this since he was a child. Making songs up on the spot, forgetting about them just moments after they’ve blossomed in his mind. He never minded it though, he likes this about himself and it gives him comfort. He loves to hum and to sing. To make up melodies and sometimes words to go with them. Even if the lyrics he comes up with are about things he’s doing, he doesn’t mind singing about doing laundry for 10 minutes. It relaxes him.

 

He feels like deep inside of him there’s always some music and it makes him… feel. It’s good.

 

Now, as he’s humming some relaxing melody dedicated to the rising sun, he thinks that maybe he could record it in his phone. Should he?

 

But as soon as he thinks about it he notices that he has left his phone in his room, so he gives up the idea. He doesn’t really know if it’s laziness that makes him stay there unmoving, or some fear of giving this side of himself any attention, when he’s accepted that it’s just something that exists without purpose for so long. He figures he doesn’t want to know, at least for now.

 

However, he lets himself think about going to Hoseok and seeing if he can dance with him some day. Jeongguk has found out pretty quickly that Hoseok’s a bit of a dance prodigy. He’s an expert in three different dancing styles, and he still helps other students out a lot, making Jeongguk almost envy his patience. He has none of that, he would never spend an entire afternoon teaching people anything. But Hoseok has been bugging him to dance with him ever since he confessed to having danced in the past, and he figures it’s could do him some good to accept the offer, especially since until now his work load hasn’t been too difficult to handle.

 

He decides to text Hoseok and, after he gets his reply and before he has a chance to back down, grabs a random bag, puts some clothes that he can dance in inside it and heads to the studio. When he arrives, Hoseok is already there waiting for him with a welcoming smile, clearly having been practicing by himself for a while already. They dance for hours and, even though Jeongguk hadn’t danced in a while, he picks up on the choreography quickly. After all, he’s still in shape and used to physical activities, courtesy of his family’s weekly adventures.

 

“Wow, You’re actually really good!” Hoseok shouts from the other side of the studio while he’s changing songs “I never thought you could handle dancing for three hours!”

“You sound impressed” Jeongguk manages to say between breaths.

“I am! You dance pretty well! And I can see that you feel the music” as always, Hoseok seems to guess exactly what Jeongguk is feeling. He doesn’t know how the elder does it, but he likes the unfamiliar feeling of being understood without needing to explain himself.

“I do…” Jeongguk smiles and Hoseok beams in response. This is good. He feels nice.

“Let’s go! I’ll buy you lunch before your classes!” Hoseok says and soon they’re out the door going for some pizza.

 

As the weeks pass, his time with Hoseok dancing in the studio starts to be his favourite part of the week. They often spend their lunch break together, choosing songs to dance to, and they create choreographies together. He’s truly glad that Hoseok is willing to spend his time teaching him some new styles and techniques. Jeongguk couldn’t be more grateful to have this in his life.

 

As time goes by, Jeongguk starts to feel like he’s really getting comfortable with his new life. He started to get into some kind of routine that fits him. He feels content.

 

It’s a Saturday when it happens again. There it is. That feeling that he is so accustomed to, and yet doesn’t know how to describe. He was feeling just fine a minute ago, nothing really happened out of the ordinary so… why?

 

Suddenly he feels hollow. Something’s missing but he doesn’t know what. He’s used to this, it happens from time to time, so it doesn’t worry him anymore.

 

He picks up his headphones and choses his playlist “Time to feel”, designed for moments like this one. He breathes a few times before pressing play and just shuts out the world. It’s the only thing that works.

 

———

 

It’s the end of the day and by the time Jeongguk arrives at his house he’s in a state of pure exhaustion. He spent all morning practicing a new choreography with Hoseok and then had lectures until dinner time. He was too tired to eat on campus and he just wanted to get home, eat some noodles and sleep for days.

 

However, it becomes obvious the world has other plans for him when he hears someone knocking on his door at 9pm. He’s still spread on the couch, trying to find some courage to get up and make noodles, so his first instinct is to stay still. Maybe they’ll think nobody’s home.

 

It’s then that he starts to hear muffled voices from the other side of the door. He doesn’t understand what they’re saying but it seems like they’re discussing if they should try knocking again or give up. After a whole minute they seem to finally reach a decision, the knocking sound reverberating thought the room again.

 

In defeat he accepts his fate and slowly gets up, drags himself to the door and opens it.

 

In front of him are two men that seem to be around his age or maybe a little bit older. Jeongguk’s startled by them because they look… good. Really good.The taller one has ash grey hair, golden skin and seriously looks like a model, straight from a photoshoot even though he’s just wearing pajamas, jesus. He’s scratching his neck with one of his hands and looking at Jeongguk apologetically, as if he’s really sorry for the whole situation. The other guy has black hair, plump lips and a beautiful eye smile that’s directed straight at him. He’s wearing a white button up and jeans that directly contradict the other guy’s domestic figure.

 

“Hello neighbour!” the black-haired man says with a soft yet enthusiastic voice and a smile that Jeongguk swears could convince anyone of anything.

“Ah… Hm, hello?” he barely hears his own voice.

“My name is Jimin! And this is Taehyung!” the other man nods, still wearing his apologetic smile “We live next door! We were making dinner, but I’ve noticed much too late that we were out of salt. And, as you know, you can’t cook anything without salt, right?” he asks expectantly.

“I…guess?” Jeongguk sounds unconvinced. Does Jeongguk know that?

“So… that’s why we’re here!” Jimin announces cheerily, his smile growing more and making his eyes seem like two crescent moons. He stops for a second and then adds “Could you maybe lend us some?”

 

Jeongguk thinks that maybe Jimin’s smile truly must have mystical powers. Maybe if he wishes hard enough, salt will materialize somewhere in his practically unused kitchen? He vaguely recalls buying a bunch of kitchen items a few weeks ago. That probably included salt, right?

 

“Sure, please get in. I think I might have some…” he says as he opens the door the whole way to let them in, Jimin immediately making his way inside with an unsettling familiarity and Taehyung lagging behind. 

“Great! Thank you so much!” Jimin looks Jeongguk straight in the eye as if waiting for him to add something more, startling him for a minute. “Your name?” Jimin throws him another one of his magical smiles and Jeongguk curses himself for being stupid.

“Oh, I'm sorry! Jeon Jeongguk! Hi, nice to meet you” he says, bowing slightly.

“Wow, suddenly polite! I like it! Thank you, Jeon Jeongguk!” Jimin says teasingly as he waltzes into his kitchen.

“Thank you. I’m sorry for barging in like this” Taehyung’s voice is deep and sounds like silk and Jeongguk instantly wishes he would talk again, just so he could hear more of it.

“Oh, it’s fine!” Jeongguk thinks his voice is failing him, or else why is it that it sounds like a whisper?

 

Jeongguk and Taehyung follow Jimin into the kitchen, where he’s already opening every cupboard possible. Jeongguk looks at him, in awe at the ease which Jimin shows when going through someone else’s kitchen. Usually, Jeongguk doesn’t like people going through his things, but oddly he finds that this time he’s not bothered by it at all. He looks at Taehyung and finds the taller man smiling with a fond look on his face, his eyes following Jimin.

 

“Found it!” Jimin yells victoriously, showing an unopened bag of salt “Honestly it wasn’t that hard since you have like three things in your kitchen“  he gestures around with an exasperated look “How do you live like this?”

“Ah… I mean… I don’t know.” Jeongguk says honestly.

Taehyung chuckles and looks at him with a smile on his lips. Jeongguk thinks that he has a beautiful smile. Different from Jimin’s but still one of the best he has seen. Definitely made it to his top 3 “best smiles ever”.

“What do you usually eat?” Jimin asks, but before Jeongguk can muster a response he announces “You’re having dinner at our place tonight!”

“What?” Jeongguk replies, surprised with the proposal “Ahh I shouldn’t… It’s okay, really, I have noodles and I don’t want to bother you”

“You’re not bothering us” he hears Taehyung’s deep voice “It would be good to know a little bit more about our neighbors”

“Exactly!” Jimin’s exclamation contrasts directly with Taehyung’s calm soothing tone  “C’mon Jeon Jeongguk from 7C!”

 

And Jimin smiles so brightly. How could anyone say no to him? Jeongguk doesn’t bother trying.

 

“Okay then, thank you” as he says the words, Jimin’s already pulling him by his t-shirt out of the house, with Taehyung right by his side, a smile on his face.

 

Jimin and Taehyung’s house is similar to his own in structure, as expected since they live right next door. However, their house looks way better. Its decoration is all calming tones and pale colours, the walls of the living room adorned with photographs. He guesses it’s them in some of the photos, although they are not portraits. It’s mostly landscapes and some more artistic ones. They have a comfortable looking light-grey sofa, a dinner table with two plates already set and a bookshelf filled with books, some CD’s and what appear to be video games.

 

The living room also has a balcony, just as his own, and near it stands a gorgeous shiny black piano. Jeongguk finds himself staring at it. They play music? Which one of them? Is it their job? Are they learning? He continues to stare at it as the questions start to flow, only to be interrupted by Jimin’s voice.

 

“You can sit next to Tae there” he gestures to the table, where Taehyung’s already setting a new plate for him.

“Thank you so much, really” Jeongguk says as he sits down at the mentioned seat. 

“I just hope you like risotto, it’ll be finished within a minute” Jimin says and waltzes into the kitchen, turning the stove on, putting some of Jeongguk’s salt in the mix and starting to hum a vaguely familiar song. Jimin has a sweet voice, he’s carrying the melody of the song and Jeongguk starts to get lost in it. Jimin’s voice sounds hypnotizing, and he changes little things about the song here and there to make it his own. Jeongguk finds himself listening attentively, lost in its uniqueness.

 

Jeongguk loves sounds and voices and the melodies attached to them. He is weak for voices in general. He finds that they can be one of his favourite parts about a person. The way people talk, the little sounds they make when frustrated, happy or tired. It’s all a part of the essence of each person.

He’s lost in thought, while Jimin is cooking with the help of a silent Taehyung. It’s weird, they’re not talking but Jeongguk feels strangely at ease.

 

“Can I help with anything? “ Jeongguk asks, mostly because he wants to be polite, since he doesn’t really know how to work in a kitchen and he’s kind of scared of accidentally burning down their home.

“No no, Taehyung is already helping me. Just please stay there and wait for us.” Jimin replies in a sweet tone.

 

He smiles and nods and his eyes return to the piano, wondering if it’s Jimin’s, if maybe sometimes he sings along as he plays.

 

“It’s mine” Taehyung says with a deep and soothing voice while sitting down next to Jeongguk at the table. Somehow he’s not startled enough to jump but he’s still surprised.

“Oh... You play?”

“Yes! Since I was five.” Taehyung smiles before he proceeds “I don’t just play the piano, even though it was my first instrument. And that one…” he points to the piano Jeongguk has been studying “well, that one is my baby” Jeongguk can see the pride in Taehyung’s eyes. He plays the piano and more instruments? Which ones? Is he studying music? What kind of music? He must be staring at Taehyung with a dumbfounded look because he continues after a silent pause.

“I play the piano, saxophone and violin” Did he ask out loud? Is Taehyung reading his mind?

“I... wow. But, are you in a band?” Taehyung chuckles, he really has a beautiful smile. 

“I’m studying music composition, with focus for scoring for film and multimedia.” Taehyung answers, and then he gets closer as he says “So I compose songs using a lot of different styles. And I do some songwriting on the side as well…” he flashes a complicit smile, leaning away again. Jeongguk finds himself in awe “Don’t tell my teachers though, since some of them seem to think tha’ts not real music” he rolls his eyes.

“I-I think every kind of music can be real music... if it makes you feel a certain way or if it’s an expression of your feelings, then it’s art. Music is art in itself. I don’t think there’s a certain kind of music that’s superior to another one, people feel different kinds of feelings. so why should we limit ourselves to a certain kind of expression of those feelings?” Jeongguk doesn’t know why he started rambling, it’s not really like him to do it but it’s all worth it when he looks at Taehyung and he sees the smile on his face. It’s so bright, and his eyes shine. Then, slowly, he nods, smile still on his face. “Exactly. Thank you”

“Thank you?” Jeongguk’s voice is barely audible, but he’s interrupted by Jimin’s arrival with a hot pan of steamy food. 

“Oh, wow Jiminie, this smells so good! Ahh!” Taehyung exclaims smiling, as if he knows how his comments will make Jimin smile. And that’s certainly what happens as a shy and giddy Jimin replies. 

“Let’s see if our guest likes it!”

“It’s impossible not to like!“ Taehyung says with a fond smile.

 

Jeongguk takes his first bite and realizes he was not ready for how good the food is. When he starts reasoning that it might be because he hasn’t had that many opportunities to eat good and real food in a while, he takes another bite of the risotto and can’t help himself from moaning lightly at how good it tastes.

 

“Oh…this is so good! Wow! This is definitely the best use my salt could ever have.” Jeongguk manages to say between marveling at the flavours in his mouth “It tastes amazing Jimin. Thank you so much for inviting me. Both of you!” Jeongguk smiles as he exchanges glances with the two, still processing how great the food tastes. When he looks again at Jimin, he is beaming, wearing a huge smile.

“Thank you so much! I’m truly glad you liked it!”

“See, I told you, impossible not to like” Taehyung says in a fond tone. Jeongguk shoots a smile their way before continuing to eat. There’s at least a minute of silence between them and, much to Jeongguk’s surprise, it’s strangely comfortable.

“So, Jeongguk, tell us about you! Do you work? Are you studying? What’s your deal?” Jimin asks and Taehyung nods as if he was thinking exactly that.

“Ah! Right! Well, I’m doing my master’s in clinical psychology “ he shrugs, while playing a bit with the food and chewing a bite.

“I’m guessing that you don’t love the subject?” Jimin asks with a curious smile.

“Oh, no, I like it! It’s interesting to learn” Jeongguk says with a smile that lands a certain final tone to the topic. Jimin and Taehyung seem to understand, as Jimin quickly changes the subject.

“And you moved recently, right? I think we saw you some time ago with a lot of bags” Jimin smiles, and Jeongguk is grateful because he really isn’t feeling like having thattalk, about college, jobs, and the future. That’s a conversation that makes him feel unhopeful. He doesn’t know why though, as he has good grades and the professors seem to always like him. He knows he’s a good student, he knows he works hard. That was never the problem. He doesn’t really know what the problem is or if there’s a problem, but he’s starting to feel that maybe there is.

“Yes, I just moved about a month ago” Jeongguk smiles and he takes a gulp of water.

“Nice! Do you like it here?” Jimin asks with what appears to be genuine curiosity.

“It’s okay.” He nods, not really having much to add.

"Taehyung, we should give Jeongguk a mini tour of our lovely town! What do you think?” Jimin asks excited.

“I think that’s an excellent idea! Do you know your way around, Jeongguk?” Taehyung smiles, voice low and entertained.

“I know the grocery store down the street, and obviously, the University”

“We wouldn’t guess that you know where to buy food, from the looks of your kitchen!” Jimin teases, trying to provoke Jeongguk, and it works.

“Well, I’m doing an experiment to see how much I can function on a daily basis eating ramen and cookies!” he hears them laughing and Taehyung asks “And how’s that going for you?”

“It’s going great! I’ve managed to gain some weight and I’m not dead!” this seems to make both of them laugh, and Jeongguk feels a warm feeling in his chest.

 

They spend the rest of the dinner talking about the “splendid tour” that Jimin and Taehyung insist on doing with him, and Jeongguk finds himself feeling good and comfortable, even though it's the first time that he’s meeting them and the whole thing is kind of atypical. When he thinks about it, he just agreed to have dinner with two strangers in theirhome. They could be murderers for all he knew. But Jeongguk isn’t one to be held back by atypical things. He usually accepts them gladly, it’s always good to have a change of scenery in his life, and he immediately felt comfortable with them so he trusted his gut. He thinks he’s right on this.

Chapter Text

A week passes in a flash, between dancing with Hoseok, lunchtime with the others and Jeongguk’s lectures, and soon the day of the “splendid tour” arrives. Jeongguk doesn’t know exactly why he’s feeling so excited about it, he doubts the city has that much to offer, but something tells him that it’s going to be a good day. He exchanged numbers with Jimin and Taehyung that day after dinner and they have been texting since then. Jimin created a group chat and named it “The Splendid Team” and it quickly became filled with not only discussions of the plans for the tour, but also random conversations that ranged from commentaries about the weather to rants about TV shows. If Jeongguk is being honest, he mostly reads what they talk about and smiles to himself instead of participating. Sometimes he wonders why they talk in the group chat since he doesn’t even reply that much, but he’s glad that they do, because reading their conversations never fails to make him laugh. Reading Jimin and Taehyung’s conversations and constant banter in the group chat has also given Jeongguk the opportunity to see how close the two are. They must have been friends for a very long time.

 

Jimin: So, Jeon Jeongguk from 7C, are you ready for today?

Taehyung: Jimin, you just texted him two hours ago asking the same question

Jimin: This is an important day Tae! Should he bring a change of clothes?

Taehyung: Don’t mind him, just bring a coat

Jimin:Yah! Tae! I’m just trying to make sure everything is up to plan

Taehyung: We’re just taking him around town

Jimin: Shhh! Don't spoil it!

Taehyung:I’m…not?

Jimin :Jeongguk, we’ll be there in 20!

Jeongguk: Okay! I’m ready :)

Jimin: He lives!!

Taehyung: We’ll see you soon!

 

Jeongguk’s already dressed, playing a game to kill time on his phone, when he hears a knock. He bolts to the door, surprised by his own enthusiasm. It’s not a usual feeling for him, but it looks like all the promoting that Jimin has been doing had some results. When he opens the door, he feels time stopping for a minute. They look so good. Jimin is wearing a leather jacket over a white t-shirt and tight black jeans that hug his legs, highlighting his thighs in a way that makes Jeongguk divert his eyes. Taehyung’s pants are kindly a looser fit, and he’s pairing them with a tucked in shirt and a denim jacket. It’s a casual look, but somehow at the same time photoshoot worthy. 

“Ah damn! Give me a minute, I forgot my wallet” Jimin says as he quickly paces back to their apartment.

Taehyung shakes his head, as if he isn’t actually that surprised. Jeongguk’s still staring at him, wondering if he should have dressed better. After all, he’s just wearing what he usually does, ripped jeans and a comfortable black hoodie, along with a beanie and Timberland boots. Now he’s feeling underdressed. Maybe he has enough time to change? He’s thinking about other outfit options and considering asking for a couple of extra minutes when Taehyung speaks, his voice effectively silencing Jeongguk’s racing mind.

“It’s almost like you know where we’re going”

“Ah…it is? Why?” Jeongguk asks, a little confused by the affirmation.

“Because you’re the only one dressed for the occasion” Taehyung replies, smiling softly and gesturing to Jeongguk. Before he has a chance to inquire any further, an excited Jimin reappears.

“Let’s go! Let the splendid tour begin!” he chirps, his enthusiasm contagious.

They get into Taehyung’s car easily. The car’s not new and it shows. There are small bumps here and there, but it’s bigger than Jeongguk’s imagined and, most importantly, it’s a convertible.

Jimin goes straight to the passenger seat as if it had his name on it, making himself comfortable. Taehyung gets to the driver’s seat and sets the keys into the ignition with an ease that shows that he’s used to being on the driving side. Jeongguk settles himself in the middle backseat and quickly fastens his seatbelt. When he sees Taehyung grab his iPod, his curiosity spikes. What kind of music are they going to listen to? Not to be “that” guy but the kind of music that you choose can easily change the whole atmosphere. Taehyung opts for an upbeat song from an artist that Jeongguk knows, even though he doesn’t recognize this song in particular, but he starts to enjoy it as he hears it.

“Are you ready, Jeongguk? Let’s go, Taetae!” Jimin exclaims, not really waiting for Jeongguk’s response, and as Taehyung starts the engine he continues “We programmed our tour in a specific route, so it will end in one of the most beautiful places our town has to offer” he stops and smiles, seemingly very proud of their work, before continuing “This way we’ll get to watch the sunset there”

“Sounds good” Jeongguk comments with a smile on his face. He looks outside, trying to discover where they are. Taehyung seems to notice.

“The campus is that way, so actually we’re going in the opposite direction of what you’re used to” he comments as he looks at Jeongguk through the rearview mirror. At this moment, a new song starts, more melodic and calm. It seems to be a favorite of Jimin’s, as he immediately turns the volume up as he smiles to himself and starts to sing along.

Jimin really has a beautiful voice, and he seems to be feeling every word he sings with a personal intensity. Jeongguk feels that he would probably understand his own love for music. He stares at him as he sings, smile plastered on his face. Suddenly, Jeongguk realizes he doesn’t really know what Jimin does for a living. Maybe he and Taehyung are colleagues at art school, that would make sense.

“Hey, hmm, Jimin, do you also happen to study music?” Jeongguk asks shyly.

Jimin turns around to look at Jeongguk “Oh, Jeon Jeongguk, I wish!” he smiles widely before continuing “No, I’m already a victim of the working system. I work in a multimedia company.”

“Oh, that’s good” Jeongguk tries “I mean, do you like it?”

“It’s alright, the work isn’t too demanding, and I can do a lot of it from home. Honestly that’s what I like the most about it” he says in an uncharacteristically small voice.

“Jimin’s very good at what he does” Taehyung compliments.

“Ah c’mon Tae, I’m still learning!” Jimin says with a flush in his cheeks and looking down.

“Yes, but you’re really good! And you keep improving!” Taehyung looks at Jimin and moves his right hand towards his chin, tickling it for a second while smiling, before turning his eyes back to the road.

Jeongguk finds himself smiling too. Jimin and Taehyung really seem close, he finds it cute. And then he remembers that he should say something regarding the topic he himself started:

“It sounds good! At least you have time for yourself, and to spend on whatever you like to do”

This seems to make Jimin smile.

“Exactly” he agrees.

And what is it that you like to do?Jeongguk thinks. He finds himself wanting to know more about them, but not really sure how to ask. Why is he so socially awkward?

While Jeongguk’s wondering about his lack of social aptitude, Taehyung parks the car and Jimin is quick to get out. Jeongguk follows him and, once outside, he lets his eyes wander around, taking in the pleasing atmosphere of the park. Even though it’s Autumn, there are some people around, biking or sitting on benches. He follows Taehyung and Jimin into an area surrounded by tall trees, the leaves a mix of yellow and orange, and as Taehyung stops and sits on the grass, he hesitantly does the same. Jimin’s still on his feet and starts talking in an excited voice.

“This is our favorite spot, we come here a lot!” Jimin explains, gesturing around. He looks into the bag he brought along, searching for something before continuing “We didn’t know if you liked parks, but it wouldn’t really be a splendid tour without our favorite park!” He smiles as he grabs his wallet and takes out some coins. “Do you know how to ride a bike?”

“Ah…” of coursehe knows how to ride a bike, courtesy of his parents who insisted on doing a bunch of activities involving them. “Yes, yes, I do” Jeongguk says, and looks at Taehyung with a confused expression, not sure if he’s supposed to get up. He thought they would sit here for a while. But apparently Jimin’s itinerary says otherwise, as Taehyung’s outstretched hand for Jimin to help him up indicates. He gets up too, excited and half-relieved that they want to do something that he’s accustomed to.

They rent some bicycles. They’re all very similar, but Jeongguk spends a while analyzing details in each one of them to help him chose. He opts for the one next to Taehyung’s. No reason.

“Let’s go!” he hears Jimin’s voice, cheerful in every way, coming from behind them and calling out for them to follow him. He sees a smile spread on Taehyung’s lips while they grab their bicycles and start pedaling.

“He’s really excited, you know?” Taehyung shares with a smile, eyes stuck on Jimin’s back as the other is already ahead, gesturing for them to hurry.

“I can see that” Jeongguk replies with a fond expression. Jimin’s gleefulness is contagious, and it’s good to be around such a positive energy.

“I like to see him like this” Taehyung’s voice is deep and calm. He sends him a smile before he adds “Follow us!” and picks up the speed. Jeongguk doesn’t hesitate before doing just that.

 

They manage to show Jeongguk the park, and it’s truly beautiful, especially during the fall, with the fallen leaves decorating the track. After a while, Jeongguk starts to see water in the distance, so he automatically starts pedaling a little bit faster, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the others.

“That’s our river! Well, it’s not oursours, but you know!” He hears Jimin’s voice and, even though he can’t see his face, he knows he’s smiling. Jeongguk continues following the path that leads to said river, and he’s the first one there. He drops the bicycle gently on the ground and stares into the water, waiting for the others to catch up. The sight immediately relaxes him. Jimin and Taehyung arrive after a short while, dropping their bicycles near his own. He can’t hide his disappointment when he sees a sign at a gate, forbidding getting closer to the river.

“I know, it’s a pity, but we must protect the children and such” Jimin says as he rolls his eyes.

“It’s fine, the river is huge and it’s easier to see from other places around town” Taehyung says while chuckling “We can go there together another time”

 

They walk around some more, telling stories and getting to know each other, before finally sitting in the grass. They pick a spot between some trees so big that they can’t see the sky through their tops, near the river where some ducks are swimming. Jeongguk finds himself enjoying the view and the company. It’s easy to talk to them. He learns that they have been living together for two years, that Taehyung studied a year of computer sciences before deciding to give up and focus on his artistic side, and that Jimin had minored in contemporary dance throughout high school and half of his college years, before it became too much for him to handle. He still likes to dance as a hobby even nowadays though.

“That’s amazing” Jeongguk confesses with a shy smile “I would love to see you dance someday”

“Ah, I’m not as good anymore… but I do try to do it from time to time. It’s good to relieve stress” Jimin says.

“I know…” Jeongguk finds himself answering, thinking about how much lighter he has been feeling ever since he started dancing again recently with Hoseok. It’s a good feeling, like he has no worries for a while. For a couple of hours, everything’s right. He gets to let go, his body in sync with the music. Everything fits.

“You do? Do you also dance, Jeongguk?” Taehyung’s voice is barely above a whisper, as if he’s afraid that Jeongguk might have let slip some information without intending to. Jeongguk feels himself blushing. It’s not that he’s ashamed, but he’s usually a more reserved person, and he hasn’t known them for that long. He wasn’t expecting himself to open up like this, but he accepts his fate. He feels good around them, so he’s optimistic. He always does his best to grab the good things that life gives him.

“Yes, actually…” he smiles, lifting his hand to the back of his neck to scratch it, eyes on the ground, shy about sharing something that feels so personal. He finds some courage to glance between them. Jimin’s sparkling eyes are set on him, and Taehyung smiles to himself and says a simple “That’s good”.

“When did you start dancing? Do you dance on your own? Are you a part of a dancing crew? What kind of dance do you like? Do you have classes?” Jimin is now rapidly shooting questions and Jeongguk looks at Taehyung instinctively. Taehyung puts a hand on Jimin’s arm and that seems to calm him down a bit, but an eager smile remains on his face as he looks expectantly at Jeongguk.

“I learned some hip-hop dance moves and b-boying back when I was a teenager… I used to dance with my older cousin, he taught me a lot, and lately I noticed I missed dancing without even realizing it…” He pauses, picking on some grass with his hand. “Thankfully I met Hoseok, and I’ve been dancing with him in the arts department studio. It’s really nice” he smiles, finally looking up to the older boys who are fully smiling at him.

“Wow, Taehyung! We’ve managed to peel a significant layer into the Great Jeon Jeongguk!” Jimin jokes, but his expression is fond.

“Thank you, Jeongguk! It feels good to come back to something you love, doesn’t it?” Taehyung asks, probably already knowing the answer as it might remind him of his own situation with music.

“Oh, Jeongguk! We have to dance together sometime!” Jimin beams at the possibility.

“Oh no, no, I know nothing about contemporary dance!” Jeongguk argues, bringing both hands to his front and shaking them.

“I’ll teach you some of the basics!” Jimin dismisses, as if that was a mere detail “And Tae can play some piano for us! It’s a wonderful way to spend a day in!”

“Are you already planning another event? You’re amazing!” Taehyung laughs “We barely started the tour!”

Jeongguk joins them, laughing along, and can’t help but smile at Jimin’s energy as he jumps to his feet and says “Into the next stop!! We’re going to have lunch at our favorite restaurant. I hope you like seafood!” Jeongguk nods, getting up too, and they return the bicycles before going back to the car and driving away.

 

The restaurant is beautiful. It has a comfortable atmosphere, decorated with blue and white tones, and one of the walls is made of glass, so you can see part of the river through it, along with small houses standing on the other margin. A smooth melody is playing, the low volume making it the perfect background for conversation.

Jeongguk takes in the atmosphere before his stomach suddenly becomes very aware of the promise of food, the smell easily making it to the front door, where they stand waiting for the employee to greet them.

“Welcome back!” a tall man wearing a uniform says, his voice welcoming “I see you brought a new friend today! The usual table?” Jimin nods with an excited grin and quickly makes his way through the tables until he reaches one at the far end, next to the huge window. They follow him wordlessly and Jeongguk looks at the plates in the other tables, checking the food shamelessly.

“The food here seems amazing!” he confesses as he sits down, next to the window and in front of Jimin. Taehyung gracefully takes the place next to Jimin who is already checking out menu. Taehyung takes it away from his hands and passes it over to Jeongguk with a teasing smile “You don’t need it, you know that menu from start to finish”

After checking the menu, Jeongguk decides to order seafood noodles and the conversation flows easily, the topics ranging from their favorite foods to the cartoons they used to watch when they were little and their favorite songs growing up.

As expected, the food is also wonderful. He savors it like it’s the best meal he’s ever eaten, and it tastes so good that he’s almost sad to finish his plate. He makes a note to come back to the restaurant in the future.

 

Jeongguk notices that, at this point, he would usually start feeling socially drained. They’ve been together and interacting nonstop for hours now, but surprisingly he’s feeling at ease and comfortable, completely immersed in the conversation and just overall having a good time.

Before leaving, he excuses himself from the table, needing to go to the bathroom. He probably shouldn’t have drunk two whole bottles of water during the meal, but he really couldn’t help it since he’s almost addicted to water. Thankfully the bathroom is empty, and he uses the chance to take a few seconds for himself.

Using bathroom breaks as a chance to get a few minutes alone isn’t something new, since often he feels the need to ground himself, and it’s a good trick to buy some time alone to gather his thoughts. There are even times, when social interactions get him anxious enough, where he resorts to listening to music for a bit, as that always helps him settle down. He has a playlist on his cellphone for that purpose only, which he wishes he needed to listen to less frequently. Today, however, as he stands in front of the mirror, he suddenly realizes he doesn’t really need any of that. He feels good and his mind is calm, forming light melodies. He smiles to himself and counts to three before leaving to join them again, happy with the feeling of having new friends.

 

When he heads out to get back to the table he sees Taehyung with a hand on Jimin’s cheek, smiling softly and looking straight into his eyes, while Jimin smiles back so hard that his eyes turn into tiny crescents. He puts his hand on top of Taehyung’s and it only takes a second of surprise for Jeongguk to understand thatof course they’re together. Of course. How could Jeongguk have been so slow to understand? They don’t exactly shy away from showing intimacy with each other, the gestures of affection shared by the two subtle but impossible to miss, and they live together. Jeongguk curses himself for being so clueless. When he makes his way back to his seat, neither Jimin nor Taehyung shy away from their intimate moment, and his first instinct is to be a little more closed up than before. However, he’s a professional at hiding his discomfort, and neither of his new-found friends seem to notice the slight change of attitude. It’s not really that serious, he only met them a few days ago. He’s just kind of mad at himself for not noticing earlier.

 

They pay and go to the car shortly after, conversation dying a little bit as Taehyung chooses some jazzy music and starts the engine.

“I’m glad you liked the restaurant, Jeongguk” Jimin comments after a while, once some of his energy finally starts coming back “We’re now headed to the last important stop of our tour, but it should still take about 15 to 20 minutes to get there, so you can get comfortable” he says, and proceeds to slide down a bit in his own seat, seemingly following his own advice.

Jeongguk watches the way Taehyung’s hand settles on Jimin’s thigh comfortably, like a well-trained habit, before he hums and lets his head rest on the back window. He gazes outside, at the ever-changing scenery, and focuses on the melodies filling the car, letting himself enjoy the calmness of the moment.

When the car comes to a stop, Jeongguk is startled. Without realizing it, he was half-asleep, half-daydreaming, something he usually doesn’t allow himself to do when other people are around. There’s something about Jimin and Taehyung that makes him feel at ease. Even the slight discomfort that lingered moments ago is now nowhere to be found. He doesn’t know what it is, and some part of him is scared, but a bigger part accepts the strange and soothing effect gladly.

As he looks out of the window, he realizes he’s gazing straight at the ocean, and is honestly surprised. He didn’t know that the beach was so close to his new house and university. It’s beautiful.

The beach is secluded and not that wide, surrounded by rocky cliffs, the ocean interrupted by a dock that stretches into it. Jeongguk has always loved to see water and, just like when he saw the river, he feels a rush of joy. He’s quick to make his way out of the car and can’t keep in his excitement as they start walking towards the dock.

They sit by the edge, covered by a blanket Jimin brought along, and simply stare at the sea. It’s quiet, calm and Jeongguk breathes in the air and the salty breeze. He feels content.

Jimin’s sitting in the middle, his head resting on Taehyung’s shoulder, a smile on his face, similar to the one his boyfriend is wearing. They look a little tired and Jeongguk is thankful that they took the time to show him around, especially since they obviously have a lot going on, between Taehyung’s college and Jimin’s job. He doesn’t hesitate before saying it aloud.

“Thank you so much… Both of you.” He’s not really that good when it comes to expressing his emotions through words, but he tries. His voice is barely above a whisper as he continues, eyes set on his lap and hands playing with the hem of his shirt “This is honestly the best I’ve felt since I moved here” and for a while before that, but he doesn’t say that part. He feels a little guilty, the truth is that his life has gotten a lot better ever since he moved, and he really enjoys the time he spends with Hoseok greatly. But, somehow, being with Jimin and Taehyung feels like something entirely different. “I didn’t expect the spectacular tour to be this spectacular” he smiles and tries a look at them. Jimin is beaming, his eyes forming beautiful crescents and his smile looking as bright as a ray of sunshine. Taehyung’s eyes are fond, and his smile is softer but just as genuine. Suddenly Jeongguk can’t help but feel so shy that he quickly changes the subject to the first though on his mind “The view here is beautiful”.

“You’re welcome, Jeongguk” Taehyung says in a deep voice.

“You mean the view as in us or the sea?” Jimin asks with a smirk, seeming very entertained as he looks at an uneasy Jeongguk. The latter awkwardly coughs.

“What? Um, the sea is beautiful, I love the water, I love water, I loved the river” Jeongguk rambles to Jimin’s pure entertainment. Taehyung shoves Jimin slightly and the shorter one continues, tone warm now.

“You have little faith in us. Of course, the spectacular tour would be spectacular!” he straightens his back and opens his arms as he continues “In time, you’ll learn to trust our word, young one”

Jeongguk laughs, the tension leaving his body. Taehyung shakes his head with a smile on his face, clearly used to his boyfriend’s antics.

 

Jeongguk hangs to the idea of a next time. He wants that.

 

———

 

His days fall into some kind of a new routine after that. Nowadays, between classes, dance practice with Hoseok and time dedicated to his degree, he finds himself going to Jimin and Taehyung’s house to have dinner at least twice a week, and he comes to love Tuesdays and Fridays.

It’s Friday today, which means it’s Jeongguk’s turn to pick Taehyung up from his university. So, after his dance class with Hoseok is over, he quickly makes his way to the showers to wash up before leaving. When he returns, he hears his friend’s voice just a few meters from him, on the other side of the locker room, while they change clothes.

“I’ve never seen you so eager to leave my side as in these last two weeks” he pouts, and even though Jeongguk can’t see it, he’s glad that by now he knows his friend well enough that he’s able to tell just from his voice “Am I not your best friend anymore, Jeonggukie?”

“Shut up, Hobi” Jeongguk laughs, entertained by his friend’s antics “Yes you are, it’s all fine, your place is secured! That’s why I show up three times a week to our dates in this studio, right?”

“I do love our most precious dates, Jeonggukie!” the elder whines, appearing by his side in an instant “And you’re getting better and better at dancing! You should start trying to pick up on other styles as well, you’re such a fast learner, I’m almost envious!”

Jeongguk thanks him and he’s sure that he’s blushing. He’s also grateful that his friend doesn’t inquire any further about what plans he has and why he’s been so excited and in a rush to leave after practice lately. He knows the time will come when he won’t be able to avoid the questioning anymore though.

 

Slowly, Hoseok is becoming one of the best friends Jeongguk’s ever had. Back home, he always had people around him. He was never alone, but he always felt lonely, an outcast amongst a group of people that he didn’t identify with. Hoseok doesn’t make him feel lonely at all, he makes him feel like he belongs somewhere. Having him around eases some of tension and anxiety that Jeongguk has within himself. He makes him feel like, even if he takes a risk, in the end things will be okay because someone’s got his back.

He also has Hoseok to thank when it comes to dance classes. Jeongguk knows that if it was just up to him, he would probably have given up by now, just like he did with his melodies. Sometimes it’s too much work to do things, even when those things are enjoyable. Or maybe it’s just because of how scary it can be to pursue something, especially something you love. Either way, it’s always easier to do it when he feels a helping hand on his back.

 

He finishes tying his shoelaces and reaches for his phone in his backpack. As it lights up, he notices he has a chain of texts from Jimin and Taehyung on their group chat.

 

Taehyung: I’m so sorry, I’m a little bit late… Rehearsal didn’t go so great and I have to help Yuju with some last-minute details

I’m sorry :(

Jimin: Ah Tae, it’s fine, I’m just leaving work now so I’ll grab some things at the grocery store and cook some of your favorites today. yeah?

Taehyung: Thank you Jiminie. :( I’m sorry Jeongguk!

Jimin: he’s not answering, he must still be in the studio, but I bet it’s fine don’t worry

Taehyung: Should I call him? I don’t want him to come quickly and then have to wait for me :(

Jeongguk: I don't mind waiting.

Taehyung: Jeongguk! I’m sorry...

Jeongguk: Taehyung, it’s fine, I don’t mind waiting at all. I swear.

Jimin: I told you he wouldn’t mind

Jeongguk: :)

Taehyung: Thank you. I don’t like to keep people waiting, sorry...

Jeongguk: it’s fine I’ll wait a bit in the car

Taehyung: Actually it could be a while…

Jimin: Can't Jeongguk just watch you for some time? Or you can join me in the amazing time I’m having shopping for food!

Taehyung: Don’t do it Jeongguk, he’s a menace at the supermarket, trust me. You should just join me

Jimin: Hey!!! I’m a very well informed man that knows what he wants and grabs it (this time it’s the right rice)

 

Jeongguk finds himself laughing. He honestly wouldn’t mind either way, he’s sure he would have fun helping Jimin at the grocery, but when there’s music involved, the choice is simple.

 

Jeongguk: Are you sure it’s okay Taehyung?

Taehyung:Yes! Come on then! :)

I have to go now though, Yuju is calling me, but tell me when you arrive or feel free to go in, we’re at the auditorium 2.

Jeongguk: thank you :)

Jimin: Have fun babes! See you later!

 

Jeongguk ponders for a bit if it’s really okay for him to go. After all, he doesn’t want to bother Taehyung. However, deep inside he knows that he would never give up a chance to see him play the piano. So he says his farewell to Hoseok and makes his way to Taehyung’s university.

It’s different from his own, the campus a bit smaller and divided into different buildings, which he guesses consist of studios for the different areas that they study there. Jeongguk has never been past the main gates, where Taehyung usually waits for him to pick him up, playing games on his phone or going over a music sheet. Usually their eyes meet before he needs to honk or call for him, and Taehyung smiles, welcoming the ride home.

Today, the gates are empty with the exception of two students carrying violins on their backs, looking tired and stressed. Jeongguk knows exam season is getting closer, having noticed himself how Taehyung’s been busier and more stressed than usual.

He passes the gates and looks around, feeling a little afraid of getting lost in a university he’s not familiar with, not having Hoseok as his personal guide. He also feels a bit like a criminal, entering a university where he’s not enrolled, and he wonders if it’s even allowed for him to just enter freely. Even so, these thoughts don’t stop him from making his way inside and searching for the auditorium Taehyung’s mentioned.

He enters what he assumes to be the music building and walks around until he stops in the middle of a huge room with two wooden doors, one on each side. The marble floors and walls, decorated with elegant paintings of instruments, look a bit intimidating. He feels small and he’s not sure which way he should go, when suddenly he’s startled by the voice of someone standing right beside him.

“You look lost” the person says with an almost bored tone. Jeongguk turns around and comes face to face with a pink-haired man, shorter than him and seemingly a bit older.

“Hm… Do you know where the second auditorium is?” Jeongguk doesn’t want to seem lost or to give away that he isn’t one of the students here, but he’s also very aware that time keeps slipping away and he really doesn’t want to miss his chance to listen to Taehyung playing.

“Ah, yes. I’m actually going there now” the man says, looking far away into one of the doors, not even sparing a glance at Jeongguk as he speaks to him “So you know Yuju?”

“Ah, Taehyung… I mean, I know Taehyung”

“Ah! You’re a friend of his?” the man finally looks Jeongguk in the eye, and he nods as a reply. He knows he should feel lucky that he’s come across someone that can help him get to his destination, but he’s starting to get a little impatient.

“Come on then, this way” the man says, turning around and starting to walk, and Jeongguk promptly follows him without a word.

They pass one of the wooden doors that leads into a long corridor, walls filled with posters promoting different activities and performances. Jeongguk glances at them, thinking that any other day he would stop to study them more intently. Not right now though, right now he wishes he could run. Instead, he follows the other silently and steadily as they finally approach the end of the corridor. Peeking above his head, he can see a large pair of doors, and read the number two that marks them. He’s here.

 

In the moment that the older man grabs the handle of the door to push it open, he hears it. A beautiful singing voice and an elaborate piano melody, accompanied by a violin. His body immediately tenses up, and he freezes. After a few seconds, he pushes himself to move, the man that led him there holding the door open for him and looking at him with an inquisitive frown. Making his way inside, he gets a view of the stage, his eyes at once finding Taehyung. He’s sitting at the piano, looking ethereal, and playing a complex melody so effortlessly that he makes it seem like something easy. Jeongguk gapes, and something deep inside him that he doesn’t know what to call rises. It’s probably admiration. Pure awe.

After being completely enticed by Taehyung for what feels like hours, but were probably only a couple of minutes, he is finally able to glance at the other two people that stand on the stage. He guesses the girl in the middle, the one with the angelic voice, is Yuju. Her voice is wonderful and peculiar, and Jeongguk listens closely, noticing her amazing vocal range and the way she changes between registers as if it’s nothing. The third person looks like he’s struggling a little bit on the violin, but he seems focused and intent on doing his best. His efforts pay off, as he’s still capable of pulling through and accompanying the other two, even if he doesn’t look as at ease while doing it.

 

After observing the three, Jeongguk closes his eyes and simply lets his mind go, allowing the melody to take him away from himself. The music carries him, making the tips of his fingertips tingle and his chest grow warm. He feels blessed, soothed and elated at the same time. He wonders who the composer is. It’s probably an original piece, but Jeongguk wishes he could add it to one of his playlists.

The song abruptly comes to a stop, and Jeongguk is pulled back into reality. He looks around in confusion, adjusting to the scenario as if he had forgotten where he was for a second. The pink-haired man is now next to the stage, pointing at something and talking with the violin guy. Jeongguk’s eyes fall straight on Taehyung, who’s smiling at Yuju and nodding. The moment she turns away and starts shuffling some papers around, Taehyung’s gaze lands on Jeongguk.

Their eyes lock for a second and Jeongguk can feel something exchanging between them. He instantly feels shy even though he doesn’t know the reason but before he looks away, he catches Taehyung offering him a warm smile. Jeongguk looks at the floor, smiling at himself. Taehyung looks happy to see him there, and he couldn’t feel better.

 

The music resumes from the beginning, with the pink-haired man now on stage, patting violin guy on his shoulders and seeming to offer some moral support after helping him with some advanced technique. This time, Jeongguk tries to appreciate the whole experience, smiling as his eyes flow from the violin guy, who’s looking much more at ease now, to Yuju’s soulful face as she sings, and land on Taehyung, who’s swaying his head in time to the harmony. As soon as Jeongguk’s gaze settles on him, Taehyung’s eyes move from the piano keys to Jeongguk’s, and a beautiful smile blooms in his face.

Jeongguk freezes for a second, feeling something warm blooming inside him again, but he manages to return the smile. Somewhere within himself, he knows Taehyung understands him. That he doesn’t think he’s weird or an alien for having a semi-religious experience when listening to a beautiful song played live. This thought comforts Jeongguk beyond words.

 

He’s beaming when the song comes to an end, and he jumps up from his seat. He looks at the stage, where they’re all exchanging words now. Yuju and Taehyung are gathered on one of the sides talking to each other, smiles on their faces, while the other two are going over some of the parts on the violin again. By the looks of it, though, Jeongguk thinks the rehearsal was able to help with whatever problems they were having. Walking in the direction of the stage, he feels Taehyung’s eyes on him, and before he has a change to congratulate them he hears his booming voice.

“Hi, Jeongguk! I’m very glad that you came!” the smile on his face is genuine, and Jeongguk feels like he’s not saying the words just out of politeness, which makes him happy.

“I’m the one who’s glad to be here… I really am” he tries his best to convey his honesty through words. He’s not the best at showing his true feelings, but he’s trying.

Taehyung smiles warmly in response, before putting a hand on Yuju’s shoulders, the girl just staring at them with a calm and collected smile on her face.

“This is Yuju! She’s my friend, and also one of the greatest vocalists we have in our school” the comment makes Yuju land a light slap on Taehyung’s shoulder, even though there’s a smile on her face.

“Well, I can certainly believe that” It’s all that Jeongguk says, even though he could write an essay on how her voice is phenomenal and out of the ordinary. She smiles, a bright and grateful smile.

“This is Jeongguk, he’s our neighbor and friend” Jeongguk feels something stir in him at the use of the word friend. It’s stupid, since at this point it’s obvious that they are good friends. Still, the acknowledgement feels like some sort of commitment.

“Nice to meet you, Yuju. I really liked your performance” his voice is barely above a whisper, but he was able to say what he wanted to, so it’s fine. Well done Jeongguk.

Yuju thanks him again, and bows a little, before saying that he should come to see them more often. Taehyung’s eyes are on him, smiling knowingly, and Jeongguk looks at the floor as he shyly agrees “I would like that… very much.” He feels like that moment, watching Taehyung perform, allowed him to see a part of his friend that he had never experienced before. He would like to see it again.

 

Later he learns that the name of the pink-haired man that helped him find the auditorium is Kihyun, and that he’s a friend of theirs that graduated from school earlier that year but is still helping them prepare their performances at the end of degree.

“He’s just a little grumpy, but he’s honestly a great friend. He didn’t have to show up and help us, but he’s always around” Taehyung explains while they’re leaving the building “Jun is younger than me, he’s like a small prodigy. He’s still new to the violin though, he exchanged instruments recently, so he’s still learning” Although Taehyung’s voice is steady, he’s talking faster than usual, and Jeongguk can sense his enthusiasm as he tells him about his friends and his program. “This is Yuju’s last piece, she’s going to present the song at the last year show”

“Ah, did she compose the whole song?” Jeongguk eyes Taehyung in awe as they get to the car and get in, Jeongguk taking his place on the driver’s seat.  

“She’s really talented, isn’t she?” Taehyung asks, his expression revealing how proud he is of his friend, and Jeongguk is quick to agree.

As Jeongguk gets the engine running, the slow music from the radio fills the car. He doesn’t know if he should reaffirm to Taehyung how much he liked the experience, but he doesn’t want to be too much. You already said it once, it’s enough, you don’t have to act like a fanboy. So, they settle into comfortable silence, lulled by the music.

A song that Jeongguk really loves starts playing and he struggles not to sing along. He usually avoids singing in front of people, as it makes him feels too exposed. When he sings it’s freeing, even therapeutic. He channels his feelings and emotions through his voice, through the words and the melody, and he feels every note with his entire being. So much so that sometimes he finds himself feeling emotions he didn’t know he felt, things he buried deep resurfacing in the form of music. He’ll even admit to having cried more than once, when he completely allows the emotions to take over him. If you listen closely to someone sing you can learn a lot about that person. It reveals so much; the way they sing the words and the emotions they carry. It’s too much of an open book for Jeongguk.

 

As soon as the car stops, Jeongguk looks at his friend, who seems to be in deep contemplation. When Taehyung speaks, his voice is low and cautious, as if he was thinking hard about what to say before saying it.

“I’m truly glad you came. I really liked your presence there. Thank you Jeongguk”

Jeongguk looks at Taehyung for a second, surprised that he thanked him again even though Jeongguk is the one who should be thankful. When he goes to say exactly that, Taehyung’s expression changes and he smiles brightly. “Let’s go! I bet Jiminie has the best meal ready and waiting for us!”

And just like that Taehyung opens the door and leaves the car, leaving a frozen Jeongguk behind. Taehyung’s words echo in his mind, and he makes sure to save the moment in his memories. Somehow, it feels like something meaningful.

 

Jimin’s reaction to their arrival is as enthusiastic as ever. By now Jeongguk knows how the sound of the key in the lock is enough to make Jimin rush to it, ready to shower them with all his questions.

“Was it good? Did Yuju overcome her difficulties? Jeongguk, did you like it? Taehyung’s a really good pianist, right? Was it fun? Did you meet his friends?” and even before any of them can give any reply other than nodding and smiling, they’re being dragged to the table “I made lasagna! It’s your favorite Taetae and I hope you like it Jeonggukie!” A pause, when he begins serving their plates, smiling happily, “Ah, I’m glad you’re home!”

With this, a fond smile is shared between the three. Home, Jeongguk thinks, is a place where you should feel safe and comfortable. He doesn’t live there, he knows, and yet he feels so content, embraced and at peace.

 

Home.

Chapter Text

The sun is warm, though it’s not too hot, and Jeongguk is in his balcony listening to the birds singing. He closes his eyes and lets his mind rest for a moment.

Lately he’s been struggling a little with some of his university work, so he spent the last week in library studying and pulling unfortunate all-nighters. It was not an easy week, but he’d rather finish his early so he can have time to himself later.

Now, with last paper finally submitted, he might be feeling worn out but at least he’s relieved. He joins his hands and stretches his arms above his head, his muscles complaining. He misses dancing like crazy. The academic frenzy made it impossible for him to have his usual studio time and his body’s already reacting to the loss of activity. He still managed to see Hoseok though, since he’d been cheering for him and bringing him snacks to the library, along with lots and lots of coffee. He also kept seeing Taehyung and Jimin, since they insist on having him over their place for dinner every chance they got, once realizing that Jeongguk tended to skip the meal. And when he couldn’t see them, they still reached out for him through the group chat, when his energy was low, and he was feeling at the brink of exhaustion, those messages were what made him able to push through.

 

With everything finally over, Jeongguk is finally enjoying the view from his balcony, listening to the sweet melody of the chirping birds. He’s wondering what kind of birds are singing when his thoughts are interrupted by a beautiful song. He focuses on the melody for a while, the acoustic sound charming, before looking around and realizing it’s coming from the open window on the balcony next to his own - Jimin and Taehyung’s house. He didn’t think they would be home at this hour, but there is no mistake, the music is certainly coming from their apartment. One side of him wants to knock on their door, see them, ask them how they are. And maybe what’s the name of the song playing. But another part of him is afraid he’ll be imposing himself. He doesn’t want them to think he’s a creepy stalker, planted at the other side of their door, waiting for them to call him.

So, instead of standing up, he just tilts his head to the side, listening to the song and enjoying the good choice of music. However, as he focuses on the sounds coming from the next apartment, he hears something. It’s clear by the squeaking of shoes hitting the floor that someone is dancing, and it has to be Jimin.

He tries, without much success, to ignore the urge that rises in him. He wants to see Jimin dance, has been wanting that for a while, wondering how good he is, imagining his body flowing with the music. His curiosity spikes and, without really realizing how, he finds himself in front of their door. Before he can convince himself otherwise, he knocks at lightly. If Jimin doesn’t hear it then he’ll take that as a sign from the universe that he shouldn’t be there. But just as he’s ready to turn around and head back to his apartment, he hears someone unlocking the door. Jimin is standing in front of him, brimming smile of recognition lighting his features, and Jeongguk thanks the universe.

 

“Jeonggukie!!! Hello! How are you?” Jimin’s wearing a baggy shirt, and Jeongguk wonders if it’s Taehyung’s. It’s too large for his tiny figure, long enough to pass his waist, but it compliments him, showing off his collarbones and looking good paired with his tight pants. Jeongguk would gulp if he wasn’t careful enough to hide it beforehand “I’m so glad to know you’ve survived your days of hell!! That’s what we call it when we have too much work” Jimin’s pulling on Jeongguk’s arm now, tugging him inside the house, and he quickly realizes that the furniture in the room has been moved around, the sofa pulled back to open up and make more space free by the window. In the wall there are two long mirrors that Jeongguk doesn’t remember being there before and there’s a Bluetooth speaker on the floor. His eyes widen at the change and the confirmation of what Jimin was doing. His friend seems to notice.

“I was dancing a little bit…” his voice suddenly quieter than usual “sometimes I miss it” 

This seems like an unspoken cue for Jeongguk to say something, maybe show a little empathy. However, it’s safe to say that words aren’t Jeongguk’s forte. Instead, he silently moves towards the speakers and picks up the iPod, looking at Jimin for permission. Seeing his brows shooting up in confusion, he tries “Maybe you could teach me…?”

The offer seems thrill Jimin, as his expression immediately changes into a bright smile that warms Jeongguk’s heart. He nods his head enthusiastically “I’d love to!”

“But… I don’t know much about contemporary dance. Maybe teach me something easy?”

“Of course, Jeonggukie! I’ll teach you the basics!” he almost jumps, putting a hand in Jeongguk’s arm as exclaims “I’m excited!”

Jimin’s eyes turn into pretty crescents and he seems so happy that it puts Jeongguk’s own anxieties at bay.

Honestly, Jeongguk had been thinking about trying out some new dance techniques for a while. Not that he would ever admit to that, but ever since Jimin told him about his past experience with dancing, he has been watching YouTube videos of contemporary dancers, and trying out some of the moves. It’s not easy, mostly because he’s used to more powerful movements and this calls for a totally different feeling, the unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction disorienting him. However, he’s open to giving it his best try, and he knows he couldn’t ask for a better teacher than Jimin, with his eagerness to help and endless patience. A surprising feeling of trust comes to him as he warms up.

 

They end up dancing for a couple of hours, and Jeongguk confirms that Jimin is indeed a great teacher. He was expecting the cheering and the patience, but he wasn’t ready for how good Jimin is at explaining the dance moves, making them look easy and helping Jeongguk pick up on them with ease. He also finds that Jimin is an excellent dancer. He loses himself watching as Jimin’s body turns fluid with the music, becoming one with the strings from the violins of the melody. He seems boneless, and his flexibility is no joke. He openly stares at his friend in awe when Jimin shows him a dance routine he’s been working on lately. Great. Now Jeongguk knows he’s also an amazing choreographer too. The list of qualities in Jimin keeps getting longer.

“What do you think of these last movements?” Jimin asks when they take a break. He’s still panting as he goes into the kitchen, coming back with two bottles of water and handing one to Jeongguk.

“I think… wow. That’s what I think” Jeongguk’s replies honestly, earning him a laugh.

“I’m glad! I’ve been trying my best to come up with a choreography” he seems think for a second as he hums, and then adds “I wouldn’t mind some constructive criticism actually, if you’re willing”

“Of course, I’m more than willing!” Jeongguk replies quickly and sounding a bit too eager.Oops.

“I’d be thankful, since opinions help me think” Jimin comments giddily as he passes his hand through his hair, some sweat still visible from the hours spent dancing. Jeongguk makes his best to not stare at the sight. It’s a conscious effort not to dwell on Jimin’s beauty and the way he makes every gesture seem attractive.

“Do you want help finding a song?” Jeongguk asks, trying to distract himself. Jimin had showed him the steps without music, though in Jeongguk’s head all his movements were connected into a beautiful melody.

“Oh, no no, I have the song. Even if it’s just a low-quality recording of it” Jimin tells him, smile on his face “It’s actually Taehyung’s song. He has been practicing it for weeks. I’ve recorded him some days ago.” Jimin’s eyes are fond and he stops to gulp down his water “Don’t tell him! The choreography is meant to be a surprise after all” Jimin warns, but his face is filled with affection and his whole body language shows excitement. Jeongguk’s own heart reacts to Jimins kindness and affections in a fond way.

“Of course not!” Jeongguk is fast to assure him “Taehyung’s lucky! I bet he’ll love it!”

“I hope he does” Jimin answers smiling to himself.

“Can I listen to the song?” his voice doesn’t hide his eagerness.

“Of course! I trust you!” Jimin brims. It’s meant to sound like a kind reassurance, but it stirs deeper in Jeongguk. He, himself, doesn’t trust easily, but with Jimin he feels secure. To know that the trust he has in him is reciprocated makes his chest feel warm.

Jeongguk finds that every moment spent with Jimin is always unpreoccupied and full of positive energy and laughter. He’s amazed to see how just a person can have such a huge effect on him.

 

The first seconds of the song are enough for Jeongguk to know that he loves it, the melody pushing him into another realm. He closes his eyes and he can already put together the fluidity of Jimin’s movements with the piano and violin chords that make up Taehyung’s song. The music sounds like Taehyung, and its expression sounds like them. It’s perfect.

When he opens his eyes again Jimin’s staring at him tentatively, eager to know his thoughts about Taehyung’s composition.

“The song is…” Jeongguk’s really no good when it comes to expressing feelings. It’s frustrating. He still tries. “It’s amazing Jimin. It’s really amazing.”

This seems to suffice for now as Jimin’s expression opens into a happy smile “So you’ll help me with the dance routine?”

“Yes, you can count on me!” Jeongguk replies, throwing his fist up enthusiastically. As if he doesn’t know that by now, Jimin can count on him for almost anything.

“Already do!” Jimin’s smile is fond while he looks straight in Jeongguk’s eyes.

Jeongguk flushes immediately, and the warm feeling on his chest returns. I already count on you too, he wants to say.

 

———

 

Hoseok’s grabbing his things from the locker after a heated session of hip hop dancing while Jeongguk drags himself behind him, calling his name for attention.

“Hoseok, Hoseok, Hoseok, Hoseok, Hobi, Hobi, Hobi, Hobi”

“What Jeongguk!?” Hoseok turns around to look at him “I’m not tired enough so please, keep this going so I’ll have a reason to smack you”

“What!? You wouldn’t! I’m your precious Kookie!”

“What you are is a whining brat! That’s what you are!”, but there’s nothing but fondness in his friend’s eyes as he smacks Jeongguk in the shoulder, earning him a full smile from the younger.

“Let’s have dinner today! I’m buying!”

“Oh, you’re in a good mood! What gives?” Hoseok’s curious, but to be honest, Jeongguk doesn’t know why he’s been in such a good mood lately. Nothing has exactly changed, he thinks he’s just happy with the way his life is going right now.

“You should just take advantage of me if you see me offering… who knows when the opportunity might present itself again” Jeongguk says, quirking an eyebrow and putting on his best cocky smirk.

“You’re right!” Hoseok agrees, pressing a hand to his own temple, faking exasperation “Ah, if only I knew how much of a brat you were when we first met… I was fooled by your shy looks you know! You’ve betrayed me!” Hoseok whines. Jeongguk just smiles widely at the remark, and they make their way out of the studio.

 

The campus restaurant isn’t that good, but it’s cheap and it’s open at late hours, so it’s a good place to go after practice, and they usually end up having dinner there a lot.

Jeongguk likes their outings, it’s really nice to hang out with Hoseok. He feels completely at ease with him, and he often ends up talking about himself, which isn’t exactly that common for him. He’s usually the one listening to others, but nowadays with Hoseok it seems like it’s almost the other was around. Sometimes he finds himself sharing things about his family, his life, his passions. And, of course, about Taehyung and Jimin. Sometimes he catches himself wondering, between exchanging remarks, “why am I telling him this?”. Maybe Hoseok’s magical, but whatever it is, Jeongguk’s glad to have the kind of relationship they have.

 

Hoseok’s telling him about one student who’s having trouble with the new sequence from his class as they search for a place to sit, when they spot Yoongi seating alone at the farthest end of the restaurant, phone in hand and blank expression on his face. Hoseok immediately goes quiet mid-sentence, his entire expression changing. Jeongguk notices but knows it’s best not to force the conversation. He really doesn’t know much about Yoongi, since he keeps mostly to himself when they’re all together, and Yoongi is mostly the same, only speaking up when he has a strong opinion on the matter. But Jeongguk’s not blind and he’s seen the exchange of glances between Hoseok and Yoongi. They’re meaningful ones, even though he doesn’t really understand the meaning of them, and every time he catches them he gets an urge to look away, feeling he’s seen something that wasn’t meant to be noticed. He knows that Hoseok has great admiration for the other boy, however, when he tried bringing it up, the topic was immediately shot down. Jeongguk learned to keep his distance since then, respecting the thingthey had going on.

 

“Should we join him?” Jeongguk asks tentatively

“No” The finality of Hoseok’s tone takes Jeongguk by surprise, but he knows best not to pry so he nods, turning away to sit at the opposite side of the restaurant.

When they sit down Hoseok’s serious, staring blankly at his plate. After a while he starts eating without a sound or a word. Jeongguk does his best not to stare at his friend, burying his worries. After a while, when the plates are almost empty, Hoseok finally breaks the silence.

“Thank you Kookie”

The words are unexpected, since he didn’t really do anything, so Jeongguk looks up at his friend and Hoseok slowly lifts his eyes from his plate to look at his friend before continuing.

“You always seem to know how to deal with my moods…” he trails off, wondering expression on his face “I wish you could teach some people how to deal with me like you do.” his smile is sad, and he looks regretful for a while before his expression changes into something softer “I’m really glad you came into our school this year” he chuckles, eyes still empty but voice fond “I’m glad you’re by my side Guk, thanks bud”.

Jeongguk, not surprisingly, finds that doesn’t really know how to respond, but he tries his best:

“Hobi, I-I’m really glad to have you as my friend too” he stops, wondering if he should continue. He takes Hoseok smile as a reassurance and hopes for the best “That’s why I’m saying this now… I want you to be happy.”

“I’m okay Jeonggukie, I’m happy!” Hoseok tries a smile, but it doesn’t feel genuine.

“You could be happier, and I think people should always try to communicate their problems, so they can be fixed. Nothing’s fixed without communication”

Hoseok looks Jeongguk in the eyes and he knows that look, it means he’s listening attentively to him, so he goes on.

“Hobi, talk to him okay?” he smiles and nods to his friend “I’ll be going now”.

“Don’t go! I was going to drive you, you don’t even have your car, let me just finish and we’ll go together” Hoseok says with a soft voice, but it’s clear his mind is elsewhere so Jeongguk reaches for his friends arm and reassures, using his most confident voice.

“I know you worry about me and I’m thankful. But I’m a big boy and I don’t even live far away. I’ll text you when I get home, I promise it’s fine”.

Hoseok sends him a grateful smile, putting his hand over Jeongguk’s and squeezing once.

“Thank you Kookie”

 

The last thing Jeongguk sees before leaving the restaurant is Hoseok making his way to Yoongi’s table and pulling a chair in front of him. He smiles to himself before turning away.

 

Even though Jeongguk just told Hoseok that he’d be fine on his own, he sure hoped he wouldn’t have to walk to his house at this ungodly hour of the evening. Oh, the things one does for friends.

He takes his phone and headphones from his pocket, ready to play some music, when he feels it vibrate in his hand.

 

Jimin: Guukie come to ours, we’re going to watch a movie! We’ll let you choose! Our treat!

 

This kind of impromptu invitations have become more and more frequent these days, and Jeongguk can only feel grateful for that. He’s been spending most of his free time with Taehyung and Jimin, and he doesn’t complain one bit.

 

Jeongguk: Ah, save me a seat? I’m not home yet

Taehyung: Are you in the studio? We can wait!

Jeongguk: I’m actually going now, but please don’t wait, it might take a while

Jimin: Of course we’ll wait! It’s a short drive, we don’t mind waiting for you

Jeongguk: thank you :) but I’m actually not driving since I came with Hoseok and he had to stay behind.

But it’s fine, just begin the movie without me and I’ll join you later.

Is that okay?

Jimin:Tae’s already changing clothes to pick you up, just send us your location

Or else he’ll just drive through your path looking at every corner ahah

Jeongguk: oh no no! there’s no need

Jimin: It’s not because you need it, it’s because we want to. He’s going now.

Jeongguk: thank you…

(location sent)

Jimin: You’re more than welcome! I’ll see you both soon ♡

 

 

Jeongguk spots Taehyungs car easily since there’s not much traffic at night in the area. He feels a smile stretching on his face as soon as he sees the other slowing his car and calling out his name. He never had someone do this kind of things for him, and it feels nice to be spoiled once in a while. He wants to express his thankfulness, but it’s not really easy to convey in simple words the amount of gratitude and appreciation he feels towards Jimin and Taehyung.

He was always the type to feel truly grateful when someone gives him something, be it a gift, their time to him, or any kind of favor. The problem though, is that Jeongguk was always really awful when it came to expressing gratefulness. He always feels that a simple thank youisn’t enough. Especially since he knows people often assume he’s just being polite, when truthfully, he’s genuinely thankful. So he doesn’t know how to show Jimin and Taehyung how much he appreciates their new friendship. And it’s not just these little things, like offering to come and to pick him up without him having to ask, but also how they have opened their house and their life for Jeongguk. He always feels so welcomed when he’s next to them, like his company is wanted and treasured, contrary to his initial fears of being a third wheel.

“You should just have called us you know?” Taehyung’s eyes are gentle as he speaks, and Jeongguk can’t help but smile as he opens the door and seats on the passenger seat.

“Didn’t want to bother” Jeongguk fastens his seatbelt and sits straight, looking at Taehyung “It’s late, and I can walk there easily”

“You are never a bother to us” Taehyung looks straight into his eyes, as if he means the words and like maybe there’s more to them, and then looks away to start the engine “Come on, I’ll let you pick the songs” he adds, passing Jeongguk his iPod. This is enough for him to feel immediately excited as he shuffles through the songs.

 

The list of songs available varies from classic to rock, with lots of pop songs in between. Jeongguk also notices there are some originals songs there, self-composed and filed under “Original KTH”. It takes all the will Jeongguk can muster not to select those. What he wouldn’t give for a chance to explore the musical side of Taehyung. It’s one of the sides he hasn’t shown him completely yet, and Jeongguk understands why. Every time someone creates a piece of art, it contains a piece of themselves. And sometimes that piece is one of the most intimate ones. Even when you’re creating something that you’ll give to the world eventually, it can be a process until you feel ready to do it. Jeongguk can relate, since he struggles with the thought of even talking about the melodies that erupt in his mind every day.

But still, he’s curious, especially after listening to the song Jimin’s showed him. He smiles looking at the name “Original KTH”, and decides to choose another artist, a female singer self-composer that he likes.

“I’ll show you someday Gukkie” Taehyungs voice shows fondness, even if his eyes are on the road. Jeongguk has become more or less accustomed to the observational skills of Kim Taehyung, so he’s not too shocked with his words. But still, he thinks it’s amazing how the other seem to have a sixth sense.

“I’d really love that” Jeongguk manages to say, quickly assuring “don’t feel pressured though”

“I’m not“ Taehyung smiles “I know you feel the music in a similar way that I do. I would love to hear your opinions on my songs”.

Jeongguk can’t help to feel his chest tighten a little, and as the car stops he manages to let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. When Taehyung looks at him, a certain hesitation on his eyes, Jeongguk notices that he hasn’t answered yet.

“I-I… Yes!” he stumbles with his words, hurrying to assure Taehyung how much he wants that.

“Yes?” Taehyung laughs, his smile showing relief.

“Yes, yes… please?” Jeongguk tries “I mean, I’d love to hear your work, yes, please!” Jeongguk knows he’s rambling. He also noticed he’s been doing this more frequently around Taehyung and Jimin too. “I mean” Jeongguk gathers himself “when you’re ready you know where to find me” he tries and then he looks down, suddenly feeling a little shy.

“Yes, I’ll find you on our couch, hopefully! And not walking home alone on the street at night” Taehyung teases. Jeongguk looks at him searching for some kind of hidden message, something like “you have your own house, why are you always on ours”, but he can’t find any.

Jeongguk isn’t sure how to reply, so Taehyung quickly assures “I’ll show you soon, okay?”, and he puts a hand on Jeongguk’s arm and squeezes gently. Jeongguk feels electricity jolting at the touch and tries to ignore it. “Let’s join Jiminie before he worries about us” Taehyung starts to busy himself with collecting his iPod and keys and turns to get out of the car, and Jeongguk startles and moves to joins him, following him as they make their way home.

 

The movie nights – that are actually often dedicated to watching TV shows too – have quickly settled and turned into part of routine for the three of them, so Jeongguk has missed them the most during the time spent hiding away in the library. Jimin always cooks them delicious meals, or Jeongguk brings some take out, and they binge on some quality television entertainment. Jeongguk particularly misses listening to Jimin commenting on every aspect of the shows, giving his honest opinion about everything and anything. Sometimes he gets little bit too excited and Taehyung puts a hand on his shoulder, smile on his face, making him stop and smile too before focusing his attention back on the TV. Jeongguk finds that he too is always smiling when things like that happen.

During this biweekly event, Jeongguk always insists on sitting on the floor, back against the couch, even though Jimin asks him to sit between them every time. But Jeongguk knows that if he sat on the couch, they would all end up in each other’s space, and he gets a tingly feeling just thinking about that possibility. He doesn’t want to name it and he doesn’t want it to grow. So, he insists, and so far has been successful, Jimin making sure to grab all the pillows he can find to create a comfortable place on the floor for Jeongguk to sit on ever since the first night. Even seating on the floor, having them both above his head, commenting on the shows, he feels at ease. At home.

 

Today though, there’s no arguing with Jimin.

 

“I’m honestly a bit mad that you didn’t ask us to pick you up you know” Jimin is pouting when they arrive, getting all the pillows out of the sofa and throwing them on the floor. Jimin looks at him straight in the eyes and Jeongguk goes to talk but before he can the later continues “so I guess now you have to do as I ask, right?” there’s a teasing tone in his voice, but also some finality, that gives no space to argue “Please join us in the couch today! You must be tired from dance practice and walking, so, come on!”

“But… “Jeongguk tries, but he knows the look on Jimin’s face, and as he looks up to Taehyung and the latter smiles at him shrugging, he knows there’s no way out. Oh no.

 

He’s conscious of every inch of his body as they all settle on the couch together, every touch feeling electricity and making shivers run down his spine, but he pulls himself together. He’s glad he has a lot of practice when it comes to hiding emotions and immediate reactions, because right now he needs it.

Jimin, on the other hand, seems happier than ever, smile bright on his face and eyes filled with glee. Taehyung’s smiling too, but seems to notice some restrain on Jeongguk’s part, so he pulls himself to the other side of the couch, trying to give Jeongguk more space. Jeongguk looks at him and shares a grateful smile with him, even though he’s still hyper aware of the way their thighs are touching, of Jimin’s arm on him. Jimin smells good, Jeongguk fights the urge to lean into him.

He knows he’s always been weird when it comes to physical contact, so he uses that to rationalize it, trying to convince himself that’s the reason for his sudden tension, as he tries to ease himself in the new position.

The transition happens gradually. Midway through the movie and Jeongguk’s already feeling way more comfortable than he expected to be. He still feels some kind of electricity everywhere they’re touching, a slight burn where their skin meets, but somehow it has decreased to a manageable amount. He could say it feels good to be between them. He’ll admit he ends up not really following the movie, but still. It’s a good night. Maybe his favorite one so far.

 

———

 

It has been a couple of weeks since he started helping Jimin with his dance routine, and he’s really happy to realize that his opinions and recommendations are actually being taken into account, since he can see Jimin’s incorporating his ideas into the choreography.

Jeongguk’s been spending quite some time with him, mostly in the afternoon, when they know for sure that Taehyung’s in school. He even managed to convince Hoseok to lend him the keys and bring Jimin a couple of times to the studio, since the space is bigger than the one in their apartment, and it saves them the trouble of moving the couch so often.

 

Along the way, Jimin has been teaching him new moves and techniques. Gradually, Jeongguk has been getting better, his movements more fluid, and sometimes he even dares to try the routine with Jimin, learning the steps with him and helping him create the movements they envision for Taehyungs song. Honestly, it’s been great. It’s truly amazing to spend time with Jimin, dancing and talking for hours. Jimin is as excited as ever, promising this will be their greatest masterpiece. Jeongguk just laughs along and agrees, because he can see with his own eyes that the routine is getting better every time they work on it. And being with Jimin is so good, so easy. A light in Jeongguk’s life and a guaranteed smile on his face.

 

There’s only one problem. As the days pass it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for Jeongguk to ignore that Jimin’s way of moving is… sensual. Jeongguk has been trying his best not to stare at his friend, but really, he’s only human, and the way Jimin spins and bends makes him break a sweat. He makes an effort to keep his thoughts clean, but it has been getting really hard (no pun intended) not to notice the way Jimin’s clothes fall off his body as he moves. To make matters worse, it seems like Jimin’s allergic to coats, and with every spin there’s a glimpse of this hip bones. Jeongguk would be lying if he said he didn’t know exactly in what beat of the music Jimin’s movements would make his shirt ride up just a little and how he seemed to look forward to it each time.

However, he knows how to behave, and the fact that Jimin transforms into pure sin while dancing, doesn’t change anything. It just means that he has eyes.

 

Jeongguk coughs a bit, his throat dry after a particularly erotic movement. He's sitting on the floor of the studio, strategically at the corner so that he can better analyze Jimin’s movements. From a technical perspective, obviously.

“I think this is coming together beautifully!” Jimin’s whole face shows happiness and excitement “I bet we can make the routine perfect even before the song is complete!”

“The song’s not done yet?” Jeongguk is surprised, it sounded perfect to him already.

“Not yet! That’s why we’ve been using the instrumental demo I’ve recorded” Jimin sits down next to Jeongguk, sipping water from a bottle and grabbing the same towels Jeongguk has used earlier to dry his sweat. Jeongguk should find it strange, but he just finds the whole situation hot. He averts his eyes to the floor as Jimin proceeds “Taehyungie is like that. He doesn’t show it much, but he really wants his things to be perfect and the exact way he imagined them” Jimin stands up again, extending his hand to Jeongguk, that hesitates only for a short second before taking it, they fit perfectly. They’re done with dancing for the day, and so they make their way out of the studio, careful to lock the door.

“Hum… is he struggling with it?” Jeongguk’s voice is worried. A part of him really wants to help Taehyung and be there for him, but he doesn’t know how to or if his help would even be wanted.

“A bit… I’ve tried to help but he’s really private with his compositions you know” Jimin smiles and it honestly seems like that doesn't bother him much, like he accepted the fact.

“I understand” Jeongguk replies, scratching the back of his neck.

“Seems like you really do!” Jimin smiles, as they reach the car and he jumps in the passenger seat. “Come on, drive me home chauffeur!” he says, making Jeongguk smile.

 

He could get used to this.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

It’s the beginning of the afternoon, and Jeongguk is lying on his bed, listening to some light music and relaxing, enjoying some of his precious alone time. Suddenly, he’s startled by his vibrating phone.

 

Taehyung: Hi Gukkie…

Taehyung: Do you want to come over today?

Jimin: :)

 

Jeongguk doesn’t think twice before agreeing.

 

Jeongguk: should I bring dinner?

Taehyung: oh, I meant, come earlier... like right now?

If you’re not busy of course!

Jeongguk: Ah, I’m not! I can go now if you guys want

Jimin: Oh, I’m at the company today! But do go now!

Just prepare yourself to be amazed!

Taehyung: Jiminie..... no.

Jimin: Jiminie yes! I’m stating facts :D

Jeongguk: should I be afraid?

Taehyung: please don’t be! Jimin!

Jimin: It's gonna be good! wanna hear all about it later! but right now I have a meeting. Have fun babes!

Jeongguk: hum, guess I’ll go now

have a good meeting jimin :)

 

So a couple of minutes later he’s standing in front of their door. He knocks twice before Taehyung’s voice comes from inside, telling him to let himself in. He feels a little bit anxious, not knowing what to expect after Jimin’s messages, but makes his way inside. When he steps into the living room, he immediately spots Taehyung sitting at the chair by the piano, knee up and scribbling something in a notebook, a focused look on his face. He looks beautiful, dressed in a silk robe and spring light pajamas. And as soon as he notices Jeongguk’s presence a gorgeous smile stretches on his face.

“Thank you for coming Gukkie.” Jeongguk didn’t even register when they started calling him by the nickname, but somehow, he grew fond of it immediately. It felt nice, especially when it was being said by them.

“Of course.” Jeongguk says, sitting down comfortably on the couch, still not really sure about why exactly Taehyung has asked him to come but happy to be with him even so.

“Can I help you in any way?" he adjusts himself "I can wait while you finish that and after we can play some games, if you’d like to get your mind off work” Jeongguk offers, pointing towards the notebook Taehyung was scribbling in. He really just wants to help in any way he can, and he’s noticed Taehyung has been particularly busy lately. A break would probably do him good.

“Oh...” Taehyung’s expression is full of affection “Thank you Gukkie. But actually, I wanted to show you my work...” he says, voice slow and steady. The offer takes Jeongguk by surprise. Sure, it’s what he hoped for, but really, he wasn’t expecting Taehyung to be willing to show it to him any time soon. He was okay with that, ready to wait. And yet, here Taehyung was, offering to open up and allow him to see such an important part of who he is. After a while, Taehyung calls his name softly, trying to bring him down to earth.

“I’m sorry” Jeongguk voice sounds uneven, and he clears his throat “I’d be honored”

“Oh, please don’t expect too much. You know Jimin, he always exaggerates… it’s one of his charms” Taehyung smiles fondly. He points to the chair next to his own and continues as Jeongguk goes to sit there “I just wanted to have your opinion and… well, I wanted to show you” he pauses, looking at his hands as he positions them on top of the keys “I just hope you like it”.

 

As soon as Taehyung plays the first notes Jeongguk feels like he’s transported to another realm. The demo Jimin showed him was amazing already, but this is another thing all together. Taehyung plays fast as his long fingers fly above the keys, and Jeongguk follows the movement in awe before shifting to gaze at his face, concentrated, tongue swiping out in specific parts of the composition, seemingly more difficult, but wonderfully executed.

The music comes to a short pause and Jeongguk holds his breath. When the melody resumes, he hears Taehyung start to sing for the first time, and he feels as if his world has shifted upside down. His voice is one of a kind. It’s beautiful and he thinks that he has never heard something like that, so full and rich. As Taehyung continues to sing, Jeongguk notices that he can hit high notes as well as low ones and that his emotions couldn’t be clearer in his voice.

Jeongguk knows he’s staring but can’t help himself. He feels goosebumps all over his skin and his throat is dry from having his mouth open for too long. Taehyung looks ethereal playing the piano, his hair falling in his face, his eyes closed and his expression changing with the melody. His skin shines, his natural glow highlighted by the afternoon light coming from the window. Jeongguk thinks he has never seen someone so beautiful. He knew he was handsome before, but now, knowing him, seeing this part of his soul, he thinks his beauty is unique. He has a peculiar charm, an aura that pulls Jeongguk in.

 

When Taehyung stops playing, his hands stilling, he looks hesitantly at Jeongguk. Jeongguk blinks quickly, realizing his eyes are dry from keeping them open for too long. He should probably say something, right? He looks down, searching for words. Has he forgotten how to speak?

Taehyung maintains his gaze on him, and Jeongguk looks hesitantly back at him, his eyes are shinning with anticipation. Jeongguk tries to speak, his voice wavering. “Wow…” he coughs “That was…”

“Did you like it?” Taehyungs voice is low, making shivers go down Jeongguk’s spine.

“Did I… I-I loved it” Jeongguk makes sure to look at his friend in the eyes. He wants him to know he means it, deeply. He needs him to know. “Thank you so much for showing me Taehyung, I…” why is he so bad at this “I absolutely loved it”

“I’m really glad to know that…” Taehyung looks relieved, a smile returning to his face, and Jeongguk wonders how important his opinion is. A part of him hopes that this moment was as meaningful to Taehyung as it was for himself.

Lost in some kind of haze he says “Thank you Tae… Ah, I mean, Taehyung!” Jeongguk corrects himself.

He doesn’t want to be out of line, and even if they call him by their own nickname, that doesn’t mean that he can do it too. He has never heard someone call Taehyung by a nickname besides Jimin. And Jimin is Jimin. So, he apologizes.

“No” Taehyung puts both hands in front of him assertively, before his face stretches in a smile “You can call me Tae”. The words do something to Jeongguk. He feels warm, filled with some kind of glee.

“Thank you… Tae”. They smile at each other and time seems to stop for a brief moment. After a while, Taehyung interrupts the silence.

“Do you want to come with me to pick Jimin up in an hour?” Taehyung asks, standing up and heading towards the couch “We can hang out here until then” he pauses then, looking to his right like someone who asks hesitantly for a favor “I mean, if you want of course!”

“I want to!” Jeongguk answers a bit too eagerly, nodding even before Taehyung could end his sentence. They make eye contact and share a meaningful smile.

 

Jeongguk and Taehyung spend the next hour playing video games. It has become a frequent activity, not one that Jimin likes particularly, but a fun one that they use to unwind from the stress. And today’s the perfect opportunity to play, since Jimin isn’t there to pout and stand in front of the television with his arms crossed, demanding attention. It has sort of become Jeongguk and Taehyung’s thing, and Jeongguk likes it, especially since it’s a way for them to be close to each other. He somehow thinks that Taehyung truly understands him beyond words. It’s almost eerie, in a good way.

 

When Taehyungs phone buzzes, he expects it to be Jimin, so he keeps playing, since it’s not unusual for Taehyung to answer the phone while playing at the same time. However, this time, Taehyung pauses the game, and when Jeongguk looks at him, his eyes are wide and a little bit anxious. He puts a hand in front of Jeongguk as to say sorry, please wait. Jeongguk just nods and, feeling like maybe he should give his friend some privacy, he stands to make his way towards the door. Except his movement is stopped by Taehyung, who grabs his writs with a gentle and shy pull. Jeongguk only has time to look at him before he listens to his greeting. He quietly sits back down

“Hi Seulgi! No, he didn’t reply to my email… do you know anything about it? I really needed the feedback” Taehyung breaks the contact, releasing Jeongguk’s wrist only to stand up himself and pace around the room nervously. Jeongguk can see that he’s anxious, and it’s a rare sight. Taehyung usually looks so collected. Jeongguk makes the effort not to eavesdrop anymore, he really doesn’t want to pry, even if Taehyung’s insisted on him to stay. He waits until the call is over and just stares silently at his friend. When he doesn’t say anything, he wonders what he should do, so he tries.

“Is everything okay?” Well, it’s a good enough question.

“Hmm, not really.” Taehyung replies, and Jeongguk admits he’s a little taken aback with the honestly and direct way he shared that. It seems like gradually he’s been seeing other sides of Taehyung, and it makes him warm inside. He feels special. But at the same time, the answer worries him. He doesn’t want to ruin it, but he wants to know, and help if he can.

“You can tell me… If you want” Was this pushing too hard? Unsure.

“There have been some problems with my project” Taehyung sits down at the couch again, sighing and playing with his watch as he keeps talking “I’m just a little bit lost about what my professor wants me to do… I just like to know what I’m doing, what I can count on, and where I’m going” he looks at Jeongguk, and Jeongguk nods for him to go on “I’m just anxious I think. I’ve been preparing different pieces, I’ve changed them a million times… It’s not that I mind more work, I just don’t like problems unsolved… you know?” he smiles sadly “I want to know where I stand. It’s hard when the solution isn’t up to you”

Jeongguk puts his hand on Taehyung’s shoulders unsurely and gives it a gently squeeze, hoping that the gesture will be able to provide some comfort. It seems to work, since he can feel Taehyung relaxing a little.

“I know what you mean...” Jeongguk starts, his eyes finding Taehyung’s “but you’re doing all that you can. And from what I've heard, I have no doubt you’re doing great” Jeongguk smiles and Taehyung gives him a warm smile in return “I know it can be frustrating... but it’s going to be okay, just try not to stress to much. You know you can count on me if I can help... right?” Jeongguk feels some sweat on his palms but he ignores it. It must be because it’s hard for him to have conversations like this one, and not because every touch they share makes him feel dizzy. He’s glad he can fake well, or else they would notice.

“Yes... thank you Gukkie. If you like, I’d love to play to you some more” Taehyung says and his smile is bright now, and Jeongguk feels a weight lift of his body, and the sun on his chest.

“Like now?” Jeongguk fast excitement dies a little when he sees Taehyung looking at his watch “Or, y-you know where I live, just… call me whenever, I mean”. Taehyung smiles fondly at Jeongguk’s awkwardness.

“It’s almost time to pick Jimin up, so maybe we should go. We can have a smoothie on the way there, and I can show you something afterwards, yeah?”

Jeongguk nods enthusiastically, excitement back. Smoothies, Taehyung and Jimin. Seems like a perfect combination.

 

Seeing Jimin approach their car is a breath of fresh air, and it only takes a look at Taehyung to knows they both feel lighter.

“Taetae and Jeonggukie, my two-favorite people!” he exclaims immediately, opening the door of Taehyungs car and switching places with Jeongguk, who quickly goes to the backseat, placing himself in the middle. Jimin settles into the front seat easily after leaning to greet Taehyung with a sweet peck on the lips.

“I’m sure you’re now an entirely different person, since you finally saw the extent of Taehyungie’s talent! Right?” he looks expectantly between the two, receiving a push in the shoulder from his boyfriend. However, Jeongguk won’t lie.

“Yes, I am. It was definitely an overwhelming and positive experience. Life changing even”

“Oh, come on” Taehyung shakes his head, turning the engine on “No need to exaggerate”, his voice is steady and low, but Jeongguk can see his smile from the rearview mirror, and he can’t help but feel good about it.

“I believe him!” Jimin’s expression is overflowing with joy, and he delivers a quick kiss on Taehyung’s cheek. Jeongguk loves how proud Jimin is of Taehyung. If there’s anyone who deserves to have Jimin as a number one hype man, than it’s his boyfriend.

“Let’s go home, I feel like lying on the couch with you” Jimin orders in a gentle voice.

“I was actually thinking about showing you guys something I’ve been working on. Is that ok? Or are you tired?” Taehyung asks, looking at Jimin who immediately shakes his head.

“Never too tired for you babe!”

“Oh, but if you want you can have your night in and I can come by your house tomorrow. You can show me then” Jeongguk offers. He knows he likes to collapse and shut down when he’s tired. He doesn’t want to be that person who overextends their welcome.

“What? You’re not going anywhere!” Jimin shoots him a stare, turning his head from the passenger seat “I just told you I want to lay on the couch with you!” This takes him by surprise. He didn’t understand he was included. Not that he has any complaints about it. Before he has to come up with a response, Jimin is back to looking at Taehyung and reassuring sweetly “I’m excited to see what you’re going to show us babe”.

“Low expectations please”

 

Jeongguk thinks that Taehyung really should know how talented he is. He sits on the couch with Jimin’s head on his shoulder, both looking at Taehyung who’s playing and singing softly, and he can’t help but think this is his favorite melody. It’s the same song him and Jimin have been building a choreography for, but with some new changes and additions that complement it and make it even more overwhelmingly beautiful.

He’s almost sure he has never felt like this in his life. So content, so warm, so at ease. The harmony of Taehyung’s voice echoes through the room and Jimin’s hand feels pleasantly heavy resting on top of his knee. He thinks this might be what happiness feels like.

After the last notes, Jimin immediately jumps up and starts clapping excitedly. Jeongguk gasps at the sudden movement, startled out of his daze, and slowly stands up too, joining Jimin on the applause.

“It’s so good babe! How did you make it even better? I’m almost envious!” he goes to hug his boyfriend, and Jeongguk’s heart stings a bit. He wants to join them, but he stays grounded. Smile on his face? Check.

“I’m so happy you guys liked it” Taehyung looks directly at Jeongguk and they immediately smile brightly at each other. Taehyung knows how he feels.

“It’s still lacking on some parts, so… opinions are welcomed!” Taehyung says, looking at both of them. Jimin, who has now joined Jeongguk at the couch again, says “Oh Taetae, you know I’m not the best person to help when it comes to that…” Jeongguk looks at the floor, and Jimin coos at him “But I bet Jeonggukie has some opinions to share, right?”

Jeongguk shoots his eyes up to Jimin, shaking his head and then his eyes shift to Taehyung “N-no, no. N-not like this, I mean I don’t”

Jimin just smiles at him fondly, eyes turning into crescents, and Jeongguk really likes that smile. Damn.

When he turns to look back at Taehyung he’s gone from the room, but he returns the moment after with a USB pen that he places on Jeongguk’s hand. The way Taehyung’s hand touches his own while doing so doesn’t go unnoticed by Jeongguk.

“What is this?” he asks, his confusion obvious on his voice.

“It’s the song I just played. I’ve recorded yesterday. Just… Listen to it. If you have any idea at all just let me know, okay?“

Jeongguk immediately shakes his head, placing the UBS on the table “Oh no no, I won’t be able to help”

He’s not ready for this. While listening to it, his mind created some harmonies that go with Taehyung’s song, but what now? He doesn’t know how to express them, how to pull them out of his head into the world.

“I’m sorry”

They must notice Jeongguk wariness because Jimin puts a hand on his shoulder, and Taehyung reassures him “It’s okay, no pressure”. He smiles and Jeongguk relaxes instantly.

They hear the bell on the door, and the three of them look that way. Saved by the bell, literally.

“Come on! I’ve ordered some pizza today. Too lazy to cook dinner” Jimin says and stands up with a clap.

 

That day, when he goes back home to sleep, he steps on something on his doormat. Curious, he grabs it to see what it is. An envelope with a different USB pen and a small piece of paper that reads

 

I knew you wouldn’t accept it.

Hope I wasn’t wrong or else this is just weird and now you have two USB pens.

Still, I want you to have this song.

Do with it as you please and if you want to show me anything, let me know.

 

XX Tae  

 

Taehyung is, indeed, incredible.

 

———

 

“So, can I count on you to come next Thursday?” Hoseok’s laying on the floor of the studio, sweat covering his forehead, his voice sounding tired. Jeongguk lays beside him, towel on his face and breath still recovering from their practice.

“W-water” he whines, pointing his finger in the direction of the mini fridge in the corner of the studio.

“Go grab it yourself, you big baby” Hoseok moves his hand to give him a push, but it lacks the strength “Can I count on you or not?”

“Only if you give me some water” Jeongguk smirks.

“Ah… I’m so done with your whiny ass” Hoseok says, but he still gets up, as Jeongguk knew he would, and grabs two bottles from the fridge before sitting down beside him again “I do everything for you, when did I become this person?”

“When you accepted me in your heart” Jeongguk takes the bottle, sitting up and drinking half of it on the first gulp. Hoseok doesn’t even react anymore, he knows Jeongguk can drink the whole bottle in one gulp, he has seen it many times. It’s terrifying.

“Of course you can count on me, I don’t even understand the question, I wouldn’t miss it!” Jeongguk teases at him, seeing Hoseok expression turn into a bright smile “But it was a good to use your uncertainly in my favor to bargain for water, so thank you insecurities!”

Hoseok shoves at him and Jeongguk just laughs. Hoseok has managed to book a dance gig with some of his colleagues and he’s both excited about it and pretty nervous. Jeongguk knows this, but he’s doing his best to show Hoseok that he believes he has everything under control. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a friend is to trust them, so that they understand they can trust themselves, right?

Either way, he really adores Hoseok, and he wouldn’t miss this gig for the world.

 

“Can you… hm…” Hoseok’s tone is uncharacteristically low. Jeongguk looks at him, offering his hand to help him stand up “Thanks Guk”

“Sure! What were you saying?…“ he says, trying his best to sound unforceful. He has been learning more and more how to deal with the people that he likes. It’s been a process, and he’s still new to this close relationships thing, but he thinks to himself that maybe he’s managing it well. Hoseok smiles.

“Hm… Yoongi wanted to go. I said he didn’t have to, but he insisted”, from the look on Hoseok’s face, Jeongguk’s glad that Yoongi insisted. He smiles looking at his friend who adverts his gaze to the ground. A shy Hoseok is a Hoseok not everyone gets the chance to see.

“He can come with me!” Jeongguk offers, guessing that this was probably what Hoseok was trying to get at, and he immediately looks up at him and shoots him a huge smile.

“Thanks Guk!”

“Is it just us? Or will Namjoon and Jin join us too?”

“Nah… unfortunately they can’t…” Hoseok looks like he’s fighting some disappointment “but it’s fine if the two of you are there actually!”

Jeongguk puts his arm on his friend shoulders, leading him in the direction on the showers “We wouldn’t miss it Hobi” he says, and he sees his friend smile shine bright.

 

———

 

Jeongguk likes Wednesdays. Because Wednesdays mean that the dance studio is available for most of the day, classes ending early in the afternoon. Consequently, they also mean that he gets to spend most of the day with Jimin, who takes the afternoon off to take advantage of the empty studio and practice with him there.

So Jeongguk is in a good mood, as he usually is whenever there’s the promise of company from Jimin or Taehyung. He’s already in the studio, waiting for Jimin to arrive, taking the time to practice a bit on his own. He thinks that he’s improving slowly on some movements, and he feels proud of himself, happy not only because he’s getting better but also because he’s honoring something they have been building together. He feels like the moves connect him and Jimin in some way, and as he successful tries out one of the step sequences his mind is flooded by the memories of Jimin’s smile as he taught it to Jeongguk, of his small hands on his arms and hips and he fixed his posture, and of their laugher as they joked around after messing up.

He catches a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror, big smile plastered on his face, before grounding himself again and returning to the routine, still with a warm feeling inside.

 

He’s in the midst of trying a spin (he’s not that good yet, always losing balance towards the end), when he hears the sound of the door closing followed by someone clapping. He looks up, eyes wide, to find Jimin beaming at the door, looking unfairly good with his shredded black jeans, white t-shirt and dark green coat.

“You’re getting greater by the minute Gukkie!” Jimin says, waltzing in, his voice making him remember to breathe again “I’m really proud of you!”

“Ah, thanks” Jeongguk makes an effort to clean his (suddenly dry) throat. “It’s thanks to you”, Smooth Jeongguk, so smooth. What are you doing? “I mean, because you’ve been teaching me”, Okay now smile, that was an innocent comment.

Jimin seems to love hearing it though, beaming as he says “I can keep teaching you things, if you’re willing to learn from me you know?”. Jeongguk really tries his hardest to interpret that statement innocently and thinks that he can only be imagining things when he sees a smirk in Jimin’s lips before he turns away to change clothes.

 

As it turns out, there’s at least a 50% chance that Jeongguk wasn’t imagining it, because when Jimin starts stretching, he's doing it agonizingly slow and he keeps glancing at Jeongguk through his eyelashes. Jeongguk deliberately focus his eyes on the floor, but it takes everything he has not to lift them and focus on Jimin’s assets.

When they start dancing, going over the choreography again and perfecting it, Jeongguk’s eyes don’t leave Jimin’s form for a second, glued to his reflection. Even after all this time dancing together he can’t help but to feel hypnotized by the way he moves, addicted to every movement of his body. Only this time, something seems different, the tension in the room is palpable and growing, and for more than once Jeongguk thinks he sees Jimin stealing glances at him too. His suspicions are confirmed when, in the middle of a particularly sensual hip thrust, Jeongguk catches Jimin looking straight at him. In spite of the surprise he feels when they lock eyes, Jeongguk can’t seem to look away and he swears he sees a teasing smile on Jimin’s face.

There’s no doubt that Jimin caught the appreciation (not to say hunger) so transparent in Jeongguk’s entire posture, and he can’t help but to feel awkward when the practice is over. He feels dizzy, sweaty and hot. He tries to rationalize that it’s probably a consequence of the practice. Plus, he’s only human, and Jimin is the personification of sex when he dances.

When he gets under the shower, Jeongguk turns the water as cold as he can endure.

 

When Jimin leaves the shower room after a while, Jeongguk is waiting for him, sitting on the floor of the studio and playing a game on this phone. He instantly looks up when he smells Jimin’s cologne. The sunny smile on Jimin’s face is arresting, making him feel dizzy yet again, and he has to remind himself to react as he stands and picks up his bag.

He’s glad that he has such an incredible control over himself, emotionally and physically, because spending time with both Jimin or Taehyung is becoming increasingly hard on him at this point.

They leave the studio to go and pick Taehyung up from his rehearsal, and Jeongguk is thankful for the short drive, because it’s enough time for him to pull himself together and for his temperature to return to normal, the slow songs playing and the sound of Jimin’s voice while he shares some stories helping him unwind.

 

As soon as Taehyung is visible in the distance, walking towards the car, Jimin calls out to his boyfriend:

“Taehyungieee!! We’ve missed you!” he yells, his voice is whiny and cheerful. They did miss him.

“Jiminie!” Taehyung coos at his boyfriend when he reaches the car, caressing his chin and making Jimin giggle, before opening the door to the car and setting himself in the middle of the backseat. However, before putting on his seat belt, he leans in and ruffles Jeongguk hair, voicing a “Gukkie!!”, and surprising the latest at the sudden gesture of affection. Jeongguk freezes for a second, but then he feels himself blush a bit and he catches Jimin smiling fondly at them.

“I was thinking about going to our restaurant today. I feel like we deserve a night out! What do you say?” Jimin’s eyes turn into crescents as he looks between the two, anticipating their reply.

“I-It’s fine by me, y-yes!” Jeongguk manages, still hyper aware of the affection showed just seconds ago.

“I think it’s a great idea Chimchim! We should treat ourselves once in a while, right?” Taehyungs voice is fond, and Jimin is fully beaming at them both, happy that his suggestion was accepted.

“Jeongguk, take us there! Tonight’s going to be a good night!!”

Jimin is excited, and his good mood rapidly consumes the three of them.

 

It really is a good night.

 

 

———

 

Jeongguk spent approximately 10 minutes dressing himself for his friend’s gig, and 30 minutes getting redressed by Taehyung and Jimin, so he could look “more club”, whatever that means. But it meant sharing time with them so it’s fine.

He has asked them if they wanted to go, but Jimin had a tight deadline for work that day and Taehyung already had Yuju’s dinner party. It’s okay, Jeongguk never minded being on his own…. Or with Yoongi.

 

Hoseok’s gig is in a club downtown. Jeongguk knows this, but he doesn’t really know how to get there. He studies the map to know the way before leaving the house four times, he's still unsure, since he’s with Yoongi, he puts up a face of confidence and hopes for the best as he starts his engine.

After a few wordless seconds filled with music, Yoongi speaks up.

“Hey Guk…” his voice is low, so Jeongguk turns the volume of the music down so he can hear him. “Thanks for driving me there. It’s not that I couldn’t go alone you know…”

“Oh, of course, I know!” Of course he knows. Yoongi would never allow himself to ask for company, but he senses he’s thankful that he’s not going alone anyway.

“Hobi was really happy you could come, you know” Jeongguk eyes his friend, who suddenly looks away. Is he blushing?

“I know” Yoongi says. And with that, the elder puts the music up. They spend the rest of the drive in silence, both with a smile on their faces.

Thankfully Jeongguk finds the place without much trouble. Thank you Google maps.

 

Hoseok’s dance crew is amazing, and Jeongguk doesn’t want to be biased, but he really thinks Hoseok is the best on the team. He’s sure Yoongi thinks the same from the way his friend is looking at him on stage, mouth agape, eyes wide open. Jeongguk smiles at himself. Wait, is this how he looks like when he’s staring at Jimin?

Before he has time to consider this any further, Hoseok approaches their spot, towel around the neck and Jeongguk goes to hug him. Perfect cue to cut the thinking. Cut the thinking, cut the thinking Jeongguk.

“You were amazing Hobi!!!!” he lets go of the hug, gesturing around “Everyone, this is my friend! Jung Hoseok, genius of dance!”

“Shut up brat!” Hoseok shoves him with a huge smile on his face, Jeongguk smiles widely, feeling really proud of Hoseok.

Hoseok’s eyes find Yoongi’s and Jeongguk smiles, giving them some space and faking interest in something on his phone, while still looking at them from the side.

“Did you like it Yoongi?” Hoseok asks, and as a reply Yoongi nods, coming closer to Hoseok and suddenly pecking him on the lips. Hoseok freezes for a moment and Yoongi just smirks and says “I’ll be right back with drinks” leaving after.

“What. The. Fuck.” Hoseok looks at Jeongguk for answers, his cheeks warmer than they were a second before. Ah, the joys of being in love.

 

The rest of the night goes smoothly. Hoseok and Yoongi try their best to include Jeongguk in their conversations, but he is, without any doubt, a third wheel. He never feels like that with Taehyung and Jimin, and he doesn’t know exactly why. But he doesn’t. He never did. Not once. Not even in the beginning.

 

He misses them.

 

After a while he excuses himself from the table they are seating in.

“I think I’m going home guys…” Jeongguk stands up, grabbing his phone from the table.

“Oh no Jeonggukie, are you sure?” Hoseok’s eyes express everything he’s not saying with words: I’m sorry if you felt left out, I’m doing my best to manage, but he kissed me and I’m kind of freaking out. Jeongguk reads it clearly and shoots him a smile, he hopes Hoseok understands that he is happy for him. For them.

“I’m sure” he smiles and looks at Yoongi “Is it okay if Hobi drives you back?”

Yoongi smiles, a slight smile but still “If it’s okay with him, then I mean…”

“Of course!” Jeongguk answers for his friend, smirking at Hoseok who has a furrowed brow “Have a good night guys. I hope to hear from you soon!”

And this was his way of saying to Hoseok - tell me all about it tomorrow.

 

On the drive back Jeongguk feels something twist on his stomach. He really wants to go to Jimin and Taehyung’s. He doesn’t feel like going home alone today and he doesn’t know why. But there’s no excuse for him to just crash there at 1am in the morning, so he drags himself to his apartment.

 

He knows that he’s just not feeling tired enough to sleep so, without much thought, he opens his laptop and inserts Taehyung’s USB. He opens the folder and clicks twice on the audio file, closing his eyes as soon as he hears the first set of notes. He lets go and allows himself to fell the music, and soon he starts mindlessly humming along.

He has heard it many times by now. It never fails to make him feel good.

Between the hums, he starts unconsciously harmonizing and changing some melodies. He hesitates only for a second, but today he’s feeling a little bit shameless, some kind of courage is blooming. To hell with it. He pulls his phone and records himself humming to Taehyungs melody. He does it from the beginning and 5 different times.

 

He falls asleep to the melody, dreaming of dancing the song with Jimin.

 

———

 

 

 

It has been a few months since he met Taehyung and Jimin, and now he can’t even remember what he used to do before spending almost all his free time with them.

Nowadays, they spend more time shared then apart. And this realization makes Jeongguk wary. He doesn’t want to dwell on the meaning of this too much, since changing the situation is out of the question. But, at some point in Jeongguk’s life, there was a progressive shift in his routine and he wonders how it happened and just exactly what it means.

 

He was always one to be socially limited. This meant that most of the time when Jeongguk was with people he put on his social mask and tried his best to keep himself together. One, two, three, breathe and… smile.

He was totally capable of managing conversations, laughing along with people and, for the most part, it was almost enjoyable. People tell him he’s actually pretty good company. He enjoys making a fool of himself and he knows how to get other people to laugh. He has spent years of his life like this and it was okay. Even with his family he managed to pull through just fine. But it’s almost like this social mask he puts on has some expiration date, and after keeping it on for too many hours he’ll get exhausted and shut himself off almost instantly. This is one of the reasons why, when he was younger, it was really hard for him to enjoy sleep overs or vacations with friends.

Even so, living in a family like his own, his weeks always filled with people around, has forced him to learn to deal with continuous interaction, and over time he has created his fair share of strategies, like escaping to his own thoughts, focusing on the sounds around him or on to the melodies in his head. This was one of the reasons that he was really glad to have his balcony in his new house, because he felt he needed it as his safe place.

 

But, with Jimin and Taehyung everything is different. Different and new.

He doesn’t feel the need to have his social mask on when he’s with them. He doesn’t feel the need to have a mask at all.

And sometimes this scares him.

 

Even if he’s been trying to disguise his worries, Taehyung and Jimin seem to have seen right through him. Again.

He notices it through little things. Even right now, while they’re all watching a movie, Jimin goes out of his way to make Jeongguk laugh. And he manages to do it, in spite of Jeongguk’s circumspect mood, which is incredible.

He can’t even remember the last time something or someone was able to shift his mood like that, besides music. But maybe, Jimin has some kind of therapeutic ability on his own. Maybe it’s in the way his soft voice echoes with glee and excitement over little things, as if giving positive power to even the most ordinary stuff.

Maybe it’s in his smile, on the way it seems to shine brightly and lend light to everything around it.

 

And Taehyung… Jeongguk thinks he can fool almost everyone into thinking what he wants them to think about him. But he gets a feeling that, even if he tried, he would never be able to fool Taehyung. He somehow feels like their connection goes beyond words, like with only one look Taehyung is able to read through Jeongguk. And, for some reason, the thought of that makes him feel understood, rather than scared.

 

If Jimin is warmth, Taehyung is safety.

And without really realizing it, they slowly became Jeongguk’s home.

 

So, that night, when the movie ends, Jeongguk stays quieter than normal, and enjoys listening to them talk with a smile on his face. He feels way better than he did before joining them, and between Jimin’s story about his colleagues and Taehyungs talking about some new album that just came out, Jeongguk’s feeling dazed and sleepy, so he slides his head down on Jimin’s lap without his usual inhibition, and the later immediately starts passing his hands through his hair, while continuing to talk, as if there’s nothing out of the ordinary at all.

 

He feels good, his worries and fears forgotten and replaced by the comforting feeling so uniquely theirs.

 

After a while, Jeongguk falls asleep to Taehyungs voice singing sweet songs for them.

Chapter Text

Jeongguk is dozing off again in the library, headphones on and grabbing onto his fourth cup of coffee for dear life. He’s in the middle of exam season and he just wants his misery to end already. Luckily, there’s only two more exams left and then he’ll be free.

Being free of exams is a bittersweet feeling, because even though Jeongguk’s tired and grumpy from all the studying and the all nighters he had to pull, the end of the exams also means college break. And college break means his family will be expecting him to visit home.

 

He dreads the moment he has to leave. But at least it’s only for a week. Just a week without the life he has created for him here. Just a week without Taehyung and Jimin.

Just a week. Right?

 

Something inside him twists and he’s glad to be interrupted by Hoseok’s voice, who pulls one headphone away from his ear and asks:

“Have you eaten already?” in a hushed and soft voice that even so makes half of their peers in the library look at them with an unfriendly gaze. Hoseok shrugs as if he has nothing to do with it and stares at Jeongguk, who slowly shakes his head.

He barely has time to shove all his notebooks in his backpack before Hoseok’s pulling on his shirt and dragging him out of the library.

In a few minutes they’re at their usual restaurant on campus again, now empty because lunch time has come and passed hours ago.

“Joohyun, could you please please reheat some of the leftovers from lunch? Please?” Hoseok pleads eagerly at the cook, who they’ve became friends with over the course of the last six months. Well, not friends per se, because she didn’t exactly give off a friendly vibe, but she seems to like them more than other people, so Hoseok is stubborn on the friend label with her. Joohyun slowly quirks her eyebrow and looks at Jeongguk from head to toe. He knows he really must look awful by her disapproving expression and the way she shakes her head slowly.

“I’ll do you better because you don’t look that well” her voice is low but steady, seemingly taking pity on Jeongguk. Well, at least his poor state is proving to be useful somehow, he thinks. “But please do come at lunch hour, because next time I won’t be this kind” she says before turning around and leaving.

“You’re the best Joohyun!” Hoseok screams loudly after her.

 

They sit at the farthest table possible, the one where they like to sit every time it’s available. It falls into a pattern, Jeongguk likes certain routines and Hoseok accepts them without question. After they’re seated, all it takes is a look at his friend for Jeongguk to know that it’s time for a serious conversation. Hoseok looks worried and Jeongguk knows it won’t be long until he starts making questions.

His first instinct is to prepare a lie, a convincing excuse, something about how he’s just tired out from the exams and nothing more. But a voice in the back of Jeongguk’s mind wonders - what if you just try and say the truth. Or at least some of it?

It might make him feel better. And besides, Hoseok’s been nothing but the greatest of friends to him, and Jeongguk thinks that maybe, just maybe, it’s time for him to be honest. Time for him to open up a bit.

“What’s up Guk? You look like shit…” Hoseok’s voice is fond, even if the phrasing doesn’t seem that gentle.

“Well…” Jeongguk says hesitantly. Baby steps Jeongguk, you can do it.

Hoseok nods slowly, an understanding look in his eyes “Do you want to talk about it?”

Jeongguk wants to shake his head in denial, just like he would with all of his friends. But Hoseok is Hoseok. He has become a pillar in Jeongguk’s emotional strength. And maybe it’s not going to hurt that much, sharing a little.

“Well… it’s just that, college break is arriving and… I-I don’t wanna go to my parents”

This is not all, it’s not even that much, but even if it’s only a tiny bit, it means a lot to Jeongguk to share it, and Hoseok seems to realize this. He nods slowly, giving Jeongguk time to continue. When he doesn’t add anything, Hoseok tries:

“Is it an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend that you had back home or…” Jeongguk cuts him quickly shaking his head “No no, nothing like that”

“Is everything okay with your family Guk?” Hoseok really just wants to be there for him, there’s no malice in his questions. And it is true that Jeongguk can list a good number of reasons why he doesn’t want to see his family soon. But mostly he knows that the main reason he doesn’t want to go back has nothing to do with them.

“I just don’t feel like leaving here…” he mutters, staring at the table and playing with some grains of sugar left there by the previous occupants.

“Oh” Hoseok seems relieved, like a weight has been lifted from his shoulders, and he continues with more enthusiasm “Ah, don’t worry Guk! It’s just for a week and we’ll all be gone, visiting parents and stuff, you know.”

“Well, not all of us will be leaving…” Jeongguk almost mumbles his words, as Joohyun appears with his food, and he’s surprised to see that she went out of her way to make him a veggie pasta, so he looks up to her with wide eyes and makes sure to thank her right away.

“Just don’t skip meals” she retorts and quickly goes away.

Jeongguk starts eating, noticing how he’s actually hungrier than he realized. In front of him, Hoseok looks like he’s lost in thought for a moment, concentrated look on his face, and after a few seconds his expression turns into one of acknowledgement, and he nods silently.

“Oh, okay…” he puts his hands on the table and Jeongguk wonders where this is going “You’re talking about Taehyung and Jimin aren’t you?”

Jeongguk should have guessed where this was going. But for some reason, today he’s feeling stubborn about this honesty idea, so he fights himself not to back out when he mutters a “…yes”.

Hoseok looks like he wasn’t expecting the sincere reply, but he doesn’t falter, looking at Jeongguk with warm eyes. When he talks, his voice is soft.

“Look Guk, it’s only for a few days… and besides, you guys talk all the time, that’s not going to change. This break isn’t going to change your relationship with them”

Jeongguk didn’t necessarily think that the time apart would change their relationship… Actually, he isn’t exactly sure what his fear is in particular. But when Hoseok says these words, something in him seems to click. Has he been worried about this all along? He’s been so focused on the fact that he will miss them like crazy, that maybe he failed to realize his worries go beyond that. What if they realize they don’t really need Jeongguk in their life while he’s away? What if he’s the only one that misses them?

 

He knows they like him but… how much?

 

Wait, he’s not ready for this train of thought yet.

 

He looks at Hoseok, and some of his worries must be showing because his friend pats his shoulder and says softly.

“It’s really going to be okay. I don’t know them very well, but with the amount of time they spend with you, all the moments you three share together…I’m sure they’ll be missing you lots” Hoseok pulls Jeongguk’s plate in his direction, motioning him to eat “I mean, when someone dedicates that kind of time to another person, it’s never one sided Guk. You don’t dedicate that much time without some commitment”

Jeongguk stares blankly at Hoseok.

“This is the time that you joke that I dedicate a lot of my time to you and that’s why I love you and stuff you know” Hoseok tries, but his tone is soft. Jeongguk doesn’t react much so his friend continues.

“Look, if you want to get back alive to them… You need to eat okay?” Hoseok pleads.

Jeongguk’s mind is still buzzing, but he cracks is neck to one side and shoves some pasta in his mouth.

He knows he needs to process things, and he’s thankful that Hoseok gently drops the subject, trying to distract him and telling him about his date with Yoongi the night before. Eventually Jeongguk manages to follow the story and at the end of his lunch he’s cracking at the romantic awkwardness that is Yoongi and Hoseok together. They’re really made for each other.

It’s nice to feel like you complement each other. At this thought, another follows.

 

Because he feels like that when he’s with Taehyung and Jimin.

 

The talk with Hoseok seems to have unblocked something, but Jeongguk tries his best to compartmentalize the situation.

Right now is not the best time to dwell on his feelings and emotions. He’s sure Taehyung and Jimin won’t go anywhere (a simple look at his phone and more than 20 messages from them assures him), so he wills himself to only worry about this after the exams.

 

Even so, he’s glad he’s decided to share his feelings with Hoseok. His friend seems to know more about Jeongguk than what he lets himself show, and he’s proven once again how much he really cares about him. He can feel his support, almost like it’s something tangible. He knows, whatever happens, Hoseok will be there to throw him a safety net. And he couldn’t be more grateful.

 

———

 

Jeongguk manages to end the exams season without collapsing and he’s truly proud of himself, he thinks he actually did pretty well. He can’t take all the credit though, since he couldn’t have done it without Taehyung and Jimin (and, also, Hoseok).

The past few days he’s been crashing on Taehyungs and Jimin’s place almost every night. He has grown more accustomed to their couch than his own bed, feeling more at ease there than at his own apartment.

It has been months since Jeongguk started to put some money in a jar on their kitchen with the goal to try to contribute to their domestic expenses, given that he spends so much time there, and since he thinks that paying for groceries and take outs once in a while is hardly enough. After much debate, which consisted mainly on Jimin’s refusal to accept the money and Jeongguk’s stubbornness in wanting them to have it, accompanied by Taehyung urging them to stop because he doesn’t like to talk about money, they ended up conceiving. Jeongguk sees the money that he puts in the jar slowly being taken out and used, and he’s happy to feel that he’s contributing somehow, to feel he’s almost a part of the household.

 

On the day of the last exam, Jeongguk nearly collapses on the passenger seat when Taehyung picks him up.

“Gukkie, you don’t look that good” Taehyung seems worried, his voice showing his concern along with his furrowed brows.

“Thanks” Jeongguk smiles lazily, but continues “It’s okay, it’s done, I’m done, no more exams” Jeongguk tries his best to put some enthusiasm in his words but he feels like he has zero energy left inside his body. Taehyung stretches his hand to comb Jeongguk’s hair, smile fond on his face when he asks “Have you eaten anything?”

“Yes, some cookies” Jeongguk manages to say. All those sleepless nights are finally getting to him, and the sleep deprivation Is making him feel looser, almost as if he was tipsy, the lack of inhibitions making him lean into Taehyung’s touch without realizing it. He catches Taehyung’s smile spreading on his face before he hears “Come on, I’ll buy you that cake you really like”

Jeongguk smiles back, his chest feeling warmer.

“You two spoil me” his voice is slurring. Taehyung’s smile grows before he straightens his back and starts the engine.

“We do” he confirms with a pleased tone, before driving away.

 

The day after his last exam is fortunately a Friday morning, and since he only has to leave on Saturday, he plans to enjoy every hour left of the day with Jimin and Taehyung.

Maybe he’s being quite shameless in the way he’s showing them the neediest side of himself, but he finds that both of them seem really accepting of this new attitude. He follows Jimin to the grocery shop, smiling every time he explains the importance of choosing a certain kind of ingredient instead of the cheaper version. He follows Taehyung to his practices where he is marveled every time he hears him play or sing, practicing for his evaluations and performances. And he joins Jimin in the kitchen, helping him try a new recipe while Taehyung plays some music for them.

Somewhere between the beginning and the end of the dinner, Jimin beams as if he’s just had the best idea ever:

“We should go and see the sea today!”

“But Jiminie, it’s dark outside…” Taehyung replies, but something in his eyes reveals that he actually likes the idea, just like Jeongguk does.

“C’mon Taetae, it’s perfectly save! Besides the sea has a different enchantment at night, don’t you think Jeonggukie?”

Jimin knows how much Jeongguk loves to go to the dock with them, just like that first time. They have been there since then a few times, during the last months.

Jeongguk lets himself smile, his chest tightening a bit. He feels like he misses them already but wills himself to distract from the emotion.

“I think it’s a cool idea” Jeongguk replies “to enjoy my last night here”

“It’s not your last night!” Jimin reprimands, looking as shocked as if he was just directly confronted “Don’t say things like that!” Jimin’s pointing his finger at him now, stern look on his face.

“Ah, that’s not what I meant, sorry” Jeongguk corrects himself “Just… yeah, I-I want to be by the sea with you” Wow he really is letting his guard down with these kinds of comments. He cracks his neck to the side, some anxiety rising within him, but quickly fading within the same minute, Jimin and Taehyung’s soothing presence not allowing it to stay.

“I’ll grab the keys” Taehyung’s voice is a low murmur that helps to ground him. He raises his eyes to Jimin who is smiling from ear to ear, eyes like crescents. He asks Jeongguk to grab some blankets and in just a few minutes they leave the house together.

 

 ---

 

They’re huddled up by the dock, a comforter on the floor and a blanket on top of them as they hear the waves crush against the shore. Jeongguk’s head is on Jimin’s lap as he brushes his hair with a smile on his face, and he has Taehyung’s head on his own tummy while Taehyung looks at the sky like he’s inspecting the stars, fingers moving and making a pattern in the sky.

Jeongguk thinks about the time when he would freeze at every touch, every brush of their hands, and how much their relationship has progressed since then. He’s usually not very comfortable with people touching him, but with them every touch has grown to feel assuring and comfortable, even if he does remains hyper aware of every inch of their skin in contact with his. He wonders what it means, and if he really should be trying to find out.

 

“You guys must be tired, you’ve been working like crazy” Jimin breaks the silence with a soft voice, not stopping the gentle movements on Jeongguk’s hair. At the same time, he takes off his shoes and entangles his legs with Taehyung’s. The latter smiles.

“Ah, not going to lie, I’m dreading the alarm tomorrow morning” Taehyung says “I have to be at the auditorium first thing for the violin exam. I just hope I’ve practiced enough”

“I think your piece is perfect!” Jeongguk says, feeling bolder by the day.

“Thank you Gukkie” Taehyung turns his head to him, smile fond.

“Ahhh Jeonggukie! Look at you, not even stuttering when you compliment us, wow” Jimin smiles openly while cooing at Jeongguk who rolls his eyes “Taetae I think we’ve changed him!”

“I think we did Jiminie!” Taehyung agrees, high-fiving Jimin and smiling while he plays with Jeongguk’s chin.

Jeongguk shakes his head but doesn’t stop his smile from showing. Not anymore.

He feels content… He feels happy.

 

There are times when it seems that words come out of his mouth without him really controlling it or taking into account the implications and consequences they can have. Particularly when he’s feeling more comfortable and lets his guard down. So it’s without giving it much thought that he admits.

 

“I’m going to miss you guys…”

 

It’s not that they don’t know about it. But the admission is something new. Taehyung turns around, shifting the weight on his shoulders, and his surprise is evident as he looks straight into Jeongguk’s eyes. He feels Taehyung’s stare in his bones and freezes for a moment when he feels Jimin’s weight coming down on him, his arms embracing him in a tight hug. Jimin smells good. Jimin feels good. And Jeongguk feels even better when he feels Taehyung joining them in the hug. He feels their arms surround him and he sighs in contentment. No words are said before they let go.

“Jeonggukie, you will be missed greatly” Jimin says after drawing back, and then he adds jokingly “Just don’t forget about us in a week!”

“I would never forget about you…” Jeongguk answers, the words coming out a little bit more honest than he intended.

The confession makes his stomach turn and he quickly shifts his attention to the view in front of them. Jimin’s on his right, hand resting on his thigh. The sea breeze relaxes him in a way, but Taehyung must still notice the tension because he adds.

“Gukkie, we’ll be right here waiting for you when you come back” Taehyung sits himself next to Jeongguk, on his left, staring into the sea as well “It will feel good to see your family, you’ll see…”

How can he not even miss his family when he already misses Taehyung and Jimin?

“Yeah, I guess you’re right...” Jeongguk lies. Taehyung obviously knows that he’s not being honest, but he doesn’t push him, and they let the topic come to an end, afraid of dwelling further on something as trivial as a 7-day break.

When Taehyung’s head on his shoulder seems to feel heavier than usual, Jimin whispers next to his ear, sending shivers down his spine at the hushed voice.

“Let’s go home”

 

No matter how many times Jeongguk hears that word, he always feels something swell in his heart. Home.

Jimin gently nudges Taehyung to help him get up “Come on baby, let’s go. Gukkie will drive us” Jimin says but looks in his direction to make sure it’s okay, and Jeongguk nods.

They get into the car easily and Taehyung manages to stay awake long enough to drag himself to the bedroom as soon as they get home. He mumbles a sweet “Good night” and presses a kiss to Jimin’s lips right before pulling his feet slowly along the hall and into the bedroom.

Jeongguk sits on the couch, his mind feeling restless. Jimin sits right beside him a moment later and suggests they could watch some TV to ease them to sleep. He agrees and let’s himself get distracted by the show playing, placing himself between some pillows and under a blanket.

 

After a while Jeongguk can feel himself dozing off. He feels warm and comfortable. He hears the faint sound of the TV and he knows Jimin is on the other side of the sofa, silently watching the show, his quiet presence somehow calming. It’s easy to let go like this.

After some minutes, Jeongguk is sure that Jimin thinks he’s sleeping already when he hears his voice mutter in a sweet tone.

“I really like you Gukkie…” he extends his leg, slightly touching on Jeongguk’s own leg with his foot “Even if I don’t know what to do with this you know… It’s still true that I do”

He feels his heart clenching at the words, and right after, a warm weight above him. Jimin’s tucking him in tenderly, pushing the blanket so it’s covering his entire body.

Before he knows what to do, he hears footsteps walking away. When he opens his eyes, he hears the bedroom door closing.

 

He closes himself up too, trying his best not to think about the words he just heard and what they meant. He can’t let it sink.

 

———

 

Jeongguk is on his apartment, sitting on the edge of the couch, bag packed in front of him, his arms folded and eyes closed, the window open so that he can listen to the birds singing. The sound is relaxing and welcome, a blunt contrast with the stressful buzz of his inner thoughts.

He knows he should start moving and get going, the notification of the two missed calls from his mother and brother on his phone being evidence of that. Yet, he hasn’t budged for the last 10 minutes.

 

Sometimes you have to force yourself to do what needs to be done though, so he counts to three and stands up. And he really intends to move, he does, but he ends up just standing there, frozen in place, not moving an inch, until he hears someone knock on his door, the sound making his body finally react. Thankfully, the universe rewards it, Taehyung and Jimin standing on the other side when he opens the door. Jimin immediately swings to his arms, holding him in a hug.

“Jeonggukie! Forget me not!” He clings to him like a koala, “Don’t leave us! I changed my mind! Stay!”

“Shut up Chim! Don’t make this harder on him” Taehyungs reprimands, slapping his boyfriend shoulder while looking at Jeongguk with a smile of affection. His eyes show the kind of longing that Jeongguk already feels. But Jimin’s dramatics always make him smile and this time is no exception.

Suddenly, Jimin pushes Taehyung into the hug and they stay like that for a few minutes. Jeongguk smiles, letting himself be embraced physically and emotionally for a second before pulling himself together as soon as he hears his phone ring again.

“Ah… I guess I need to go now” Jeongguk says “It’s just seven days… right?”

“Ah silly!” Jimin lets go of him to smack him in the shoulder, faking annoyance “We’ll talk as soon as you arrive! Let us know okay?”

“Will do!” Jeongguk smiles at the promise of immediate communication.

“Drive safe Gukkie” Taehyung hugs him again, playing with his hair, and Jimin hugs him right after, holding him like a leech. Then he’s almost dragging Jeongguk out of his house, knowing that he has to go.

Jeongguk grabs his things and goes to the elevator, giving them one last look. Before he gets in, he hears Jimin shouting “Have a good trip babe!!” and sees Taehyung’s smile stretching while he puts one hand on Jimin’s shoulders for comfort.

Jeongguk smiles one last time before the door of the elevator closes.

 

Before leaving he drops Taehyung’s USB in their mailbox with some of his recordings, along with a note that pleaded him not to speak about them, at least for now. He has been growing bolder, but he still likes to hide behind the music.

He knows Taehyung will understand.

 

———

 

Jeongguk has never been happier with his family’s obsession with activities.

Honestly, it’s the best way to stay distracted. His thoughts lately might be turbulent, but with his parents and brother’s continuous demands for him to participate in everything from soccer games to charades, he doesn’t have that much time to dwell on them.

It’s in the middle a hike with his family, when he stops to drink some water, that he looks at his phone for the first time in hours.

 

Jiminie: Jeonggukie, we miss youuu~~~

Taetae: we do…

Jiminie: the house doesn’t feel the same without you... ❤

Taetae: Jimin doesn’t even let me play games anymore, says it reminds him of you

Jiminie: it does! You can live without games for a few days babe

Taetae: I miss our friendly competitions though…

Jiminie: Gukkie, where are you? Can we call you later? FaceTime?

Taetae: Gukkie? You there?

Jiminie: Jeongguk?

 

The truth is, every time they FaceTime, a part of Jeongguk hurts. It hurts to be away from them, and it hurts to see the evidence that their lack of company changes him into the old version of himself, needing to keep his mask on all the time. The version who was silently lethargic to the world around him. The version who would give anything just to feel something. Anything. And now, with them, he feels so much. It’s honestly a bit overwhelming.

 

He has been moody the past couple of days, because he doesn’t know what to think, and he hates unresolved thoughts and situations. He doesn’t fully understand the meaning of what he heard Jimin saying, but the possibility that he could be responsible for any kind of problem between the two of them makes him sick, so his initial reaction is wariness.

Over the last few weeks he has come to realize that there are feelings he feels for them he knows they might not reciprocate, but he has been arguing with himself that he should simply take whatever he can get from their relationship. If all he can take is friendship, then he’s happy to accept only that with his whole heart. He’ll always be glad to have found them and have them in his life. And maybe, maybe someday he’ll move on and his feelings can transform into pure friendship. He believes in that.

 

But right now, he has to manage his emotions. And although that’s nothing new to him, this time it seems like he’s having a harder time with it. Like, no matter how much he’s rationalizing it, the emotions keep on building up and making him hang onto hope. He doesn’t know where the hope is coming from, or what exactly he seems to be hoping for, just that it’s there, making his skin itch.

 

Since he doesn’t see the solution to the problem in hand, he just chooses to close up and burry this turmoil that is growing without his consent.

 

However, even with this resolution to keep to himself, he wants nothing more than to be close to them, to feel the ease and warm feeling only they give him, to feel free and welcomed and loved. Even if it hurts, even if he has to keep managing expectations and taming his hopeful side, he knows that he can’t give up on their relationship. Whatever that is.

 

Jeongguk: Sorry, I’ve been hiking, feet hurt....! Help

Jiminie: JEONGGUKIE you came back to us, amazing news!!!!!

Taetae: Gukkie please ask someone to give you a foot massage!

Can your brother do it?

 

Jeongguk scoffs, ah, as if. It’s fine though, he’s used to physical pain, he’s just feeling whiny and missing them. So he simply replies to them and smiles to himself by how fast his phone buzzes with new incoming texts.

 

———

 

After an extensive and way too loud dinner with his family, Jeongguk recoils to his room, headphones on, his songs playing on shuffle.

While music is making his emotions flowing free, he notices that there are pieces and bits of Taehyung and Jimin everywhere. The lyrics and melodies bring him memories of the days shared with them, the warmth of the songs makes him remember the comfort he feels when they’re near. He longs to be embraced by them as music embraces him now.

 

And even though he is in his own room, home has never felt this far.

 

That night, as Jeongguk is falling asleep, songs coming alive in his head as his mind seeking some release from the anxiety he has been harboring, he hears his phone buzz. He picks it up with some surprise, since it’s not usual for him to receive texts this late, and blinks when he the bright light hits his face, eyes heavy with sleep adjusting to the brightness. When they do, he reads three words.

 

Taetae: I miss you

 

Jeongguk stares at the phone, heart clenching, and wonders if he should reply or just let it be. Things said at 2am seem to have a heavier meaning than the ones said in the morning or afternoon. He looks at the screen for a whole minute without answering, feeling frozen.

 

Jiminie: We miss you very much

 

Somehow, the second text makes him unfreeze. Why are both of them up? Jeongguk worries, and without meaning to he wonders if they’re having as much trouble sleeping as he is. He wonders if they long for him as he longs for them.

 

He knows theirs isn’t a normal friendship. But he doesn’t know where the line is.

 

His impulsive side takes over in a second, propelled by his dozing mind.

 

Jeongguk: I miss you too…

Taetae: Sleep well Jeonggukie~

Jiminie: Dream of us

 

He knows he will.

 

———

 

Jeongguk knows that all this wondering is getting the best of him. He’s been moodiest than ever, and Hoseok’s words, Jimin’s confession, and Taehyung and Jimin’s actions keep replaying in his mind over and over again. It all seems to indicate that maybe they feel something for each other that goes beyond friendship, but what can that be if not something romantic? Where is the line that separates the two?

 

What is happening…

 

Is he really in love with both of them?

 

He knows, rationally, that it’s possible to love two people at the same time. And neither of them shies away from manifesting their adoration for Jeongguk. There’s no denying that the three of them are close. Jeongguk knows this, and he feels loved by them as he has never felt before. They are perfect in such a real way, and seem to fit so well together with him… But the question remains, what does this mean?

After all, there are many kinds of love. And he had to have the greatest luck of all time to have both Jimin and Taehyung liking him back the same way he likes them… right? It would be too much to ask for to have both of them. It all sounds so farfetched, like wishful thinking. He thinks about Jimin’s words a few days ago… did they mean something romantic?

 

Maybe before questioning their feelings towards him, he should be sure of his own...

 

Sometimes people give labels to certain relationships and force themselves to feel accordingly to that. Jeongguk doesn’t want do that to himself, he doesn’t want to stop himself from feeling or force himself to feel a certain way, he knows that when people don’t acknowledge the progression of emotions, things can get messy.

 

Every relationship is dynamic, so sometimes, along the way, feelings change or evolve into others. Emotions are not written in stone nor should they be. He thinks that it’s important to look into himself and really think about what he feels. Explore his thoughts and emotions.

 

So he decides to accept it.

 

He likes them both.

 

The question now is... what should he do with his feelings?

 

Without realizing it, he starts humming along to his thoughts. He has been gradually losing his shame when it comes to recording himself, especially after giving the USB to Taehyung.

 

And this melody feels like them, makes him feel warm and safe, so he records himself, hoping that someday, maybe, he can share this song with them.

Chapter Text

 

Jiminie: Today is THE day!!!

Taetae: Yes!

Gukkie: The day?

Taetae: The day you come back silly

Jimin’s been driving me crazy, it was the first thing he said in the morning

Jiminie: With good cause!

 

Jeongguk laughs, a giddy feeling in his stomach. “I can’t wait to be with you again” he wants to write. Can he say something like this?

 

Taetae: I can’t wait for you to arrive

 

Does Taehyung have telepathic powers? He smiles, grateful to know his feelings are mirrored somehow.

Gukkie: Me too...

 

His finger hovers over the send button and he ends up pressing it, just as he hears his name being called from downstairs.

 

His mother has made one of his favorite childhoods dishes, and even though it’s not one that he enjoys that much nowadays, he can’t help but be grateful for her intentions, smiling as he thanks her for the meal.

 

“It’s your favorite hon!” she exclaims smiling, and Jeongguk mimics the smile without hesitation, but somewhere inside him he wonders if he has let this little of him show, or if his mother just sticks to the image of his younger self.

 

Lunch seems to take forever. Jeongguk is restless to get to the car and listen to the playlist he made the night before, each song reminding him of Taehyung, of Jimin or of both. Between the tracks he somehow had the guts to add a recording of himself, humming along to a melody he came up with a few night ago and that he has been working on since then. It’s actually not that special, but still, it feels like through it he’s giving a piece of himself to Taehyung and Jimin.

 

He wonders if he should actually just give them a piece of his mind, if he should just say what’s been stuck on his mind for the last few days - and stuck on his heart for even longer. But he quickly pushes that thought aside, too scared of the consequences. It’s not his heartbreak that he fears the most, but the possibility of breaking theirs and of losing what they have. He has to be satisfied with what they have now, and even though they both take his breath away and bring electricity and warmth to his skin, he can’t say that he is unhappy with the current situation.

Not when he found them.

 

So, instead of saying something, he pours his emotions on the track he’s been working on. It gives him a tingling feeling, in fact it somehow feels like a confession even though it doesn’t have lyrics. He just mixed his humming with some melodies he edited on a program of his PC. He feels stupid giving this kind of thing to someone that literally studies music and that is actually one of the most talented people Jeongguk has ever laid eyes on. However, that doesn’t stop him, because he doesn’t think of it as actually composing music, but as a gift. A little gift that means a huge deal, but still. He named it, lamely, “Me, us”. He hates it, but he was never a patient person, and he just wanted a name on the track. He’s thankful it’s in an audio CD so they can’t really see it.

 

To be honest, all of this makes him a nervous wreck. He has never showed this side of himself to anyone, and doing it scares him, but he steels himself, resolute in his decision. He wants them to really know him. He wants to be open with them, the same way they have so readily opened their doors to him.

 

So, he will give them this gift, in hopes that they can see what he truly means by it. He’s sure that, somehow, they will get him. They always do.

 

Grabbing his bags and mentally checking to make sure that he’s not missing anything, he rushes to the car. His enthusiasm while hurrying doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Look at this brat, never calls, never visits and in the first change he gets, he bolts out of here!” his brother scoffs. Jeongguk smiles sheepishly. He knows he’s just teasing, and even though there’s some truth to his words, there’s no malice in them.

“I promise I’ll try to call more often” he says, voice waving a bit.

“You better!” it’s his father’s voice, as he appears beside his brother and mother by the door frame “I see that you can perfectly manage the art of FaceTime since you kept on calling your friends every night, so I just hope we make the cut next time” he jokes. Jeongguk laughs along, unsure how to reply. He knows he’s not going to FaceTime his parents anytime soon, but still he notes to himself to try and communicate more often.

 

After bidding their goodbyes, Jeongguk quickly turns on the engine. Only a few more hours and he can meet them again. He feels bubbly and excited with the promise of being reunited. So much so that he actually has to make an effort not to go over the speed limit on his drive.

 

Well, not that much over the limit anyway.

 

———

 

The first thing that Jeongguk does when he arrives is to knock on Taehyung and Jimin’s door. He still has all his baggage with him, not wanting to waste time in stopping by his own apartment to drop them off. Every inch of him aches to be reunited with them.

As soon as the door opens, Jimin literally jumps to his arms, and he lets go of his bags in order to catch him mid-flight.

“Jeonggukie, we have missed you so much! Never leave us again!” he whines, arms around Jeongguk, mouth next to his ear and god, he smells so good. He feels so warm. Jeongguk inhales deeply, hands on Jimin’s tights, lifting him up in the hug, but he feels himself getting hotter, and he lets go of Jimin maybe a little bit too abruptly. He knows he’s blushing and looks to the side, averting his eyes from Jimin, but finding Taehyung right by his side, smile on his face, fondness evident in his eyes.

Jeongguk stares at him and something in his stomach twists. Taehyung really is beautiful. He looks like someone took the time to actually try to draw the most beautiful person alive. Ugh, come on Jeongguk, it’s not if you didn’t know that he is gorgeous.

 

Somehow it seems as if him recognizing his own feelings opened a door to let all the adoration he felt for them run freely. It’s like he just opened the Pandora box.

 

He is screwed.

 

“Welcome home Gukkie” Taehyung’s voice is reassuring, breaking through his train of thoughts and dragging him back to reality. He looks at him and notices that he has his arms opened, an invitation for Jeongguk to hug him. And even though Jeongguk knows that maybe he shouldn’t, that he should try to not give his feelings any more space to grow, he doesn’t falter for a second. His touch is warm, comfortable, feels like coming home after a rough day, like being welcomed.

 

And if Jimin wakes up a lustful side of him in a way he had never experienced before, Taehyung wakes some kind of softness and adoration. Even though, in truth, they both wake up all of Jeongguk’s sides. He really is screwed.

 

He feels Jimin’s arms pushing him inside as soon as he lets go of Taehyung, urging him to put down his bags and make himself comfortable, as if he really had just arrived to his own home.

 

The sun is setting down as they all sit on the sofa, sharing stories about their last week apart. As they talk, Jeongguk thinks the couch is just the right size. Big enough to fit the three of them, small enough that they all have to be huddled up.

 

“We wanted to take you out tonight” Jimin says, a hand on his shoulder “but Taehyungie’s performance is this week and he’s worn out from worrying and playing nonstop” he finishes and sends a reassuring smile to his boyfriend.

Jeongguk knows Taehyung is going to excel in the graduates’ performance, but he understands the anxiety. He smiles at Taehyung too and adds “We don’t have to go anywhere, we can just stay here, and you can play! I’d love to listen!”

“Ah no no, you can’t hear this piece yet Gukkie I’m sorry” Taehyung dismisses hurriedly.

“What? Ah come on!” Jeongguk bratty side rises up “I want to hear it!”

“Then you’ll have to come to my performance” Taehyung smirks a bit, eyes still fond.

“I would go either way but…” Jeongguk tries his hardest, eyes pleading, and takes two steps in Taehyungs direction. He can hear Jimin’s giggling next to them “Tae, don’t you want my opinion?”

Jeongguk’s knows this is kind of a low blow, but he can’t help it.

“Always” Taehyung answers with a smile “but this time it’ll have to be after the performance” he flicks Jeongguk’s chin, smile on his face.

Jimin’s openly laughing now, clearly entertained by their bickering.

“So it’s settled? We stay home right?” he asks after his laughter dies down. Jeongguk still has a light frown on his face, feeling a bit grumpy with the refusal.

“Come on baby” Jimin coos “you’re so spoiled!” he giggles.

“Gukkie, I promise it’s worth it. You trust me, right?” Taehyung says, teasing smile on his face. Jeongguk agrees, of course he does. Ugh. Okay, let it go Jeongguk.

“Who wants to help me with dinner tonight?” Jimin sing songs, walking happily into the kitchen and turning on Jeongguk’s speaker, that he permanently left in their apartment.

“I’ll help you” Jeongguk promptly replies. He missed cooking with Jimin.

“Me too, I can hmm…” Taehyung rests his chin on his hands, seemingly trying to figure out just how he can be useful in the kitchen.

“Just sing for us baby” Jimin encourages “and you can pass us the ingredients and stuff”

“Yes! Yes, sing!” Jeongguk pleads. He missed Taehyungs voice too.

“Okay! I’ve got you” Taehyung says, sending them finger-guns. He chooses a song and straightens his back dramatically as if he was an opera singer, ready for his time to shine. They laugh at his antics.

 

Jimin’s eyes look like stars and Taehyung shines like one.

It’s good to be home.

 

———

 

It’s a Thursday and Jeongguk leaves school dragging his feet. He feels exhausted after hours of boring lectures about the fragile state of the human being’s mind and he contemplates trying to go to his own house to sleep, even though he always sleeps better at Jimin and Taehyung’s. His plans become fruitless as soon he receives a text from Jimin in the group chat asking him at what time he is arriving.

 

Jeongguk: I’m actually leaving the studio now, is everything okay though?

Jiminie: Ugh yes, but I have unfortunately news

Taetae: Jimin! Don’t be so dramatic! You’ll scare him!

Gukkie: I’m scared

Taehyung: See?!

Jiminie: Well, it’s nothing that bad ugh.

Taehyung: It’s okay Gukkie, we’ll wait for you

Jiminie:❤️

Gukkie: I’ll be there as soon as I can

 

Jeongguk places his phone in back pocket and hurries to his car. Taehyung has been stressing a lot lately, with the performance date getting closer. Jimin has been trying his hardest to distract him when he’s not playing and doing his best to make sure that he eats, stays hydrated and sleeps. However, it’s not going so good in the latter department, and Jimin vented to Jeongguk just a couple of days ago about how he was worried out of his mind since Taehyung kept on waking up in the middle of the night.

For his part, Jeongguk has been trying to be there as much as possible, but it bothers him not to know exactly what’s his place in the equation, and hence not knowing exactly where there is. He has been trying his best though, helping out with cooking meals (even though they’re not as fancy and tasty than the ones Jimin makes) and taking care of laundry and dishes. Yet, sometimes he wonders if he should just recoil himself to his own house, if maybe Taehyung would sleep better without a third person occupying his living room. That’s why he planned on sleeping on his own apartment tonight actually.

 

When he arrives home he immediately spots Taehyung near the couch, standing up with one of his hands on Jimin’s shoulders. He can also see Jimin from the door, and his expression speaks for itself. He seems scared, almost exasperated, a blunt contrast to the look on Taehyungs face, that appears unbothered and tired. Jeongguk catches the side of his mouth lifting as soon as Jeongguk opens the door (yes, he has a key now… It was Jimin’s idea).

 

“Gukkie… you’ll never believe it!” Jimin exclaims, the dramatic tone of his voice earning an eye roll from Taehyung, who’s quick to dismiss Jeongguk’s worried stare with a wave of his hand. Jimin is still looking at the floor and he starts to get really worried and anxious.

“Can someone tell me what’s wrong?” Jeongguk pleads, his worry making him grow impatient.

“Everything’s okay Gukkie, Jimin’s just overreacting a bit.” Taehyung shakes Jimin’s shoulders a bit “Right Chim?”

“There’s a project for an important client at the company the we never thought we could get.” He whines, pouting “But we got it…” he trails off.

“But that’s good news Jimin!” Jeongguk says, feeling confused.

“Well, it is...” Jimin smiles, but it’s wrong somehow, not as bright as usual "The thing is, I have to go to a conference overseas to be able to meet with them”

Jeongguk starts to join pieces of the puzzle “Will you miss Tae’s performance?” he frowns, feeling a pang on his heart.

“Oh no way!” Jimin’s quick to reassure “I would never!”

Taehyung pats Jimin’s hair with a smile on his face.

“But I have to leave today… And I’ll be away for two nights” Jimin finishes with a sigh

“It’s okay baby” Taehyungs tone is reassuring “It’s really no big deal”

“Come on Taetae, you’ve been a mess lately” Jimin’s tone is full of concern.

Taehyung stops for a second before promising “I’ll be alright, Jeongguk will help” he says with certainty.

Jeongguk nods and mutters an “Of course”

“I’ll miss you guys… Ugh, I don’t want to go!”

Taehyungs face shifts to something softer, and the hands on his shoulders move to the back of his neck to gently caress it.

“Chim, we’ll FaceTime you. It’s not even two whole days” he smiles as he plants a kiss on Jimin’s cheek. “I promise, it’ll be fine”.

Jimin visibly relaxes instantly at the contact, letting his face rest on Taehyung’s chest with a sigh and embracing him tightly.

Jeongguk nods. They all know that Taehyung doesn’t need help, but he understands Jimin’s worries since Taehyung has been stressed out and on a rough patch. He feels a mix of responsibility and honor to know that they trust him enough to be considered a part of their dynamic.

 

After a couple of hours Jimin is saying his goodbyes, after hugging both of them individually and at the same time, more than once.

“Jiminieeee, just go! I’ll miss you lots, but I bet Hyejin is furious with you now” Taehyung pushes a bit, kissing him on the lips one more time.

“She knows me, she can wait!” Jimin’s arms fly around both Taehyung and Jeongguk once more time.

“She has been downstairs for about 10 minutes now!” Taehyung resonates “Just go baby. I’ll text you, okay?”

“Alright…” Jimin grabs his bags finally “You too Gukkie!”

Jeongguk stares at him, both brows lifted “Hm?”

“You text me too.. I’ll miss you too!” Jimin whines.

“Yeah… Yes, me too” Jeongguk manages to say. And with that Jimin’s walking away while waving at them.

 

That night they FaceTime Jimin as soon as he arrives, and Taehyung promises to sleep well before leaving Jeongguk to toss and turn in the couch.

 

The next day Jeongguk wakes up to a concentrated Taehyung studying on his piano, scribbling something on his notepad, trying to be silent for Jeongguk’s sake.

“Morning Tae” he says as he gets up and stretches himself. After a second, he realizes that Taehyung only hummed in return. Hm, not a good sign.

“Have you had breakfast?” Jeongguk questions with a careful tone.

“Yes, thanks Gukkie” Taehyung’s smile is weak, but present nonetheless.

“Hm… what have you eaten?” Jeongguk manages to keep his tone subtle.

“Cookies” Taehyung answers absentmindedly, focused on his notepad, his eyebrows furrowed.

Jeongguk just nods and goes into the kitchen. He reaches his phone and pulls up some recipes. Taehyung wouldn’t turn down some homemade pancakes, right?

 

Turns out he doesn’t refuse the pancakes, and on the contrary, he eats almost all of them.

Jeongguk settles for staying home that day, studying on the couch, so he can keep an eye on Taehyung, just as he promised Jimin, and just as he wants to. He makes tea for Taehyung and keeps bringing him food and drinks, replying to Jimin’s multiple texts even more consciously than before.

 

By the end of the day, Taehyung seems completely worn out, clearly making an effort to keep his eyes open and fight off his sleep. As soon as the sun starts to settle, Jeongguk decides that Taehyung has done enough for one day, so he drags him to the couch, and answers a confused Taehyung before he has a chance to ask what’s happening.

“We’re going to take advantage of the fact that Jimin’s not here” Taehyungs eyes widen for a second, their previous sleepiness nowhere to be found “and we’re going to play games for as much time as we feel like!” he finishes with a smile. What did Taehyung think?

To Jeongguk’s relief he agrees to his suggestion without much fight and, after a few hours of playing games, rematch after rematch, and of eating home delivered pizza, Taehyung seems much more relaxed. Jeongguk internally pats himself in the back.

 

It’s getting late when Taehyungs game character stops moving, and Jeongguk feels a weight on his shoulders. He freezes. Taehyung is laying his head on him, half asleep. Jeongguk knows he’s still awake enough to be pulled up from his seat and into the bed on his own. All it would take would be for Jeongguk to shake him a little. But he doesn’t. He keeps playing the game on his own, slightly changing his position so that Taehyung can fit perfectly and comfortably on his shoulder.

 

He plays for a while, and when he checks on Taehyung again he seems to really be out, hair falling on his face, head slightly lowered. He doesn’t want to wake him up but he’s starting to feel the tiredness from the long day getting to him too, so after dozing off for a few minutes in that same position, he slowly shakes Taehyung and whispers his name. He gets no response, so he tries a little bit harder, but it’s no use, since Taehyung seems to be in deep sleep. In the end, he decides it’s better to act and do something, or else they’ll just both be sore the next day. So, without giving it much thought, he picks him up carefully.

He’s heavy, but it’s nothing Jeongguk can’t handle. He feels Taehyung’s body pressed against his, so close, almost burning. It’s like a warning somehow, so he’s relieved when they successfully get into the bedroom. Good thing that Taehyung is always wearing pajamas when he’s home.

 

He slowly gets him down on the bed and can’t help but to stare at him. Taehyung is truly the personification of the word beauty, there’s no doubt. He brushes his hair out of his face, whispering good night. But, as he turns to leave, he feels a hand on his wrist.

“Jeongguk.... stay” he slurs his words, eyes half closed.

He freezes. Oh no.

“Staying? Yes, of course, I’ll be on the couch” Jeongguk fakes misunderstanding.

“I don’t want to sleep alone. Please?” He pleads, bringing his gaze to Jeongguk’s eyes. At that moment he knows there’s no use at trying to say no.

“Okay...” he agrees hesitantly, and he can feel Taehyung relaxing instantly. Jeongguk guesses that Jimin would have asked him the same thing, especially if it means that Taehyung can rest better. It’s okay.

Jeongguk nods and goes to grab his pajamas, changing into them quickly in the bathroom. When he gets back to the bedroom, the older seems slightly more awake, focused on typing something on his phone. Jeongguk gets to the bed and lays down immediately, trying not to dwell too much on the situation. Taehyung gives him an understanding look before setting his phone down and lying down to fall asleep again.

 

After a few minutes, Jeongguk is pretending to be asleep when he feels a pair of hands embracing him and pulling him closer. It’s not a tight hold, loose enough that there is still some distance between them, but Jeongguk has to fight to keep his breathing even.

He knows Taehyung would never do anything that might hurt Jimin, so he knows that it’s only an innocent gesture, but he can’t help but feel him stomach react. He closes his eyes. It’s going to be a long night.

 

———

 

Jeongguk can almost physically feel the moment Jimin arrives. It’s late afternoon, the sun setting slowly, and all it takes is the sound of keys to make Jeongguk jump to his feet, promptly letting go of the book he was reading, and for Taehyung to lift his head from where he was almost asleep on the piano.

“I’m home!!” Jimin’s voice is loud and excited, like a child on Christmas morning “I miss my boys!”

Jimin drops his luggage on the floor and runs straight to Taehyung, hugging him from behind and planting a kiss on his forehead, making the other smile widely and then turning to kiss his boyfriend on the lips, before turning around and literally throwing himself to Jeongguk’s arms, who’s quick to catch him. It’s the second time in only two days that Jeongguk is lifting someone he likes. Wow, what is his life?

“I see Taetae is still alive, thank you so much Gukkie” he says, when Jeongguk slowly puts him down.

Jeongguk smiles shyly, thoughts about last night coming to his mind. At least he knows for a fact that Jimin is aware they slept on the same bed, Taehyung having casually mentioned how he had told him while Jeongguk was making breakfast. To be honest, there hadn’t been a lot of sleeping on his side, the feeling Taehyung’s warmth right next to him keeping him up all night, like some kind of tangible force, pulling him in.

“Chim, you know, we barely managed without you” Taehyungs smile is sarcastic but he’s grinning fondly. Over the last few weeks, Jeongguk found out that stress made Taehyung more prone to mood swings and sarcasm. He also found out that he quite liked sarcastic Taehyung very much. He’s not even surprised anymore, with how long the list of things he likes about them both is.

Jimin slaps Taehyung on the shoulder, smiling lovingly “Shut up”

“You must be tired” Jeongguk says. He goes to grab Jimin’s luggage “You guys want me to grab some dinner tonight?”

“Ah, I wanted to cook for you…” Jimin replies with a winy voice, plopping himself on the couch "but I must admit I’m a bit tired”

He looks so soft. Tired eyes, hair falling on his face, sprawled legs and one of his arms above his head. Jeongguk wants to hold him, keep him close. Is it weird that he wants to smell him? He missed his smell. He missed him.

“Just crash on the couch, don’t worry, I’ll grab something” Jeongguk says “We can cook together tomorrow”

“Thank you Gukkie” Taehyung smiles at him, getting himself comfortable next to Jimin, who immediately plops the head on his lap, while Taehyung starts to brush his hair out of his face. Jeongguk heart swells.

 

He walks to their bedroom to drop the bags and looks at the unmade bad where he slept the night before. He wishes he could sleep with them tonight. He wishes he could show his affection for them openly, without worrying about how it will come across. He thinks about the tug in his heart every time they touch, the pull he feels every time they’re close to get closer. It hurts to keep a distance, but it hurts more to let this (whatever it is) go. So, he just has to be strong. He just needs some time.

And right now, he needs some music.

 

“Okay, I’ll be right back” Jeongguk heads to the door and grabs his keys, phone and wallet already in his hand, headphones around his neck.

“I’ll go with you Gukkie! We can catch up on the way!” Jimin jumps from the couch where he was now cuddling with Taehyung.

And Jeongguk wishes. Jeongguk wants. He wants so much, too much.

“Oh… no n-no! You’re tired” Jeongguk’s eyes dart everywhere, avoiding them.

“I’m never too tired for you though” Jeongguk’s heart freezes for a second. Please don’t say these things, please. He gulps, his throat suddenly dry.

“I-I insist” Jeongguk manages to say, forcing a kind smile. He sees Taehyung grab Jimin’s wrist and tug him down to the couch again, looking only once in Jeongguk’s direction.

“Jiminie, stay with me” he fake whines. Jeongguk is once again grateful for their almost telepathic connection, even though he surely doesn’t understand it.

 

The temperature drop as he steps outside is enough for him to shake some of his feelings. He puts his headphones on and selects a playlist that might help him ground himself.

He walks aimlessly for a while, allowing himself some time alone to try to tame his mind and heart. His steps fall to the rhythm of the music, the steady beat an anchor in the midst of the tempest of his emotions.

 

It’s becoming harder and harder to ignore his feelings. His heart won’t give up, making him want more more more. He wants to know how it feels to caress Jimin’s face, to hold Taehyungs hand, to feel their fingers intertwine, to kiss them on the lips, to brush their hair, to feel their warmth, to feel their embrace even tighter, to feel their love.

Jeongguk can hardly breathe when his mind slips into wanting too much. It’s like he suffocates for a second, and just wants to blurt it out that he wants them.

He wants all of them, he wants all their sides.

It hurts.

 

Jeongguk is out for a lot longer than it would take him to just grab dinner, but they sit on the couch to eat their pizza without questioning him. Taehyung tugs him to the couch, sitting him in the middle, Jimin ruffles his hair, and Jeongguk’s breathes in.

 

He won’t give up on this, whatever it is. Even if he wants more, he’ll take what he can get. It’s already so much more than he expected.

It might hurt… But it feels too good to let go.

 

———

 

It’s the morning of the day of Taehyung’s performance and he has been trying on different outfits for about two hours. Jimin is working in the living room, and Jeongguk has been attributed the responsibility of being a fashion advisor, even though he’s the worst at this kind of thing. Taehyung knows, but even so, he has insisted that Jeongguk has to give an opinion about each one of his hundreds of suits and fashion accessories. Jeongguk doesn’t even know how to use accessories, but he’s trying to be helpful nonetheless.

“Ugh, I think the black one suited me more, right?” Taehyung asks, wearing a dark blue suit, very similar to at least two or three of his previous choices.

“I think this one suits you!” Jeongguk exclaims. It’s the truth.

“Yeah, but better or worse than the two previous ones? Because I’m honestly indecisive between those four” Taehyung points to some the clothes spread on the bed.

In his opinion Taehyung looks unbelievably handsome with all of the clothes he has tried until now. Jeongguk goes to talk, but before he manages to make a sound Taehyung turns to leave again with some more clothes on his hand, going to change in the bathroom. Jeongguk sighs, he’s so bad at this.

Taehyung comes back then. He’s wearing all black, but not a suit this time around. Instead, he’s wearing what appears to be an overall, smooth fabric loosely hanging around his chest and legs but fitting him perfectly and making him look almost ethereal. It’s paired a black blazer, the fabric sparkling and reflecting the light, and a metallic choker sitting on his collarbones. The blazer makes the outfit formal enough, but completely unique and mesmerizing. Just like Taehyung.

Jeongguk stares, astonished look on his face. He swears he has never seen anyone this stunning before.

“You look gorgeous” the words are almost muted, escaped from his lips without his consent. In the first second he’s not sure that Taehyung has heard him, but the smug look of his face says otherwise.

“I think I found my outfit” Taehyung says, with a smile that’s between a smirk and an affectionate one.

Jeongguk clears his throat. What? He’s feeling lost.

“Thank you Gukkie!” Taehyung says, spinning around, proud look on his face. Damn that dangling earring looks so good on him. And that choker and…

“Jeon Jeongguk!!” he hears Jimin from the living room, saving his mind from going insane.

“Y-Yeah?” Jeongguk shouts from the bed. He doesn’t want to move, eyes still fixed on Taehyung.

“Has Tae released you from fashion duty?” Jimin shouts back. Jeongguk likes this feeling of familiarity.

“I think so!” Jeongguk eyes Taehyung and the later nods happily, going to change his clothes in the bathroom again. “You need me?” He shouts again.

“Always” Jimin replies, shamelessly as ever, and Jeongguk knows he’s blushing again. It’s like they’re trying to send him into overdrive. He gets up from the bed slowly and walks up to the living room where Jimin is, his laptop in front of him and a thousand papers spread around it. He’s so messy, it’s a miracle that their home ends up usually being quite tidy. Well, it’s not a miracle, it’s Taehyung actually. And Jeongguk too, whenever he tries to lend a hand with the domestic chores.

“Gukkie, please help me with these, I can’t even see straight anymore. Ugh” Jimin points to the screen of his laptop. An excel sheet filled with endless numbers is opened Jeongguk can’t understand a thing. He looks at Jimin, confused.

“Oh, sorry” Jimin taps some keys and suddenly there’s a text window appearing that reads:

Let’s drag Taehyung to the studio today and show our performance! It’s still hours until he has to be on the auditorium and he’s going to be an anxious mess if he has to wait that long

Jeongguk smiles. Jimin is always so attentive, so kind in his efforts to help others. He picks his phone pointing for Jimin to pick up his, meaning to reply by text, since it’s easy to hear from the bedroom if they speak.

 

Gukkie: Jimin, that’s a great idea! He will love to see you dance!

Jiminie: no silly! you shall dance with me!

Gukkie: but… that’s not what we planned?

 

Jeongguk looks worriedly at Jimin, kind of uneasy, but Jimin only shakes his head as if he was the clueless one.

 

Jiminie: Cmon Gukkie, dance with me?

 

Jimin stares at him with pleading eyes and Jeongguk doesn’t have in him to say no to him under these circumstances. Or any others for that matter. He is, indeed, whipped.

Only Jimin and Taehyung could manage to convince him to dance in a style that he isn’t even that comfortable in. But he thinks that Taehyung would actually like to see both of them dance to his song. The more the merrier, right? Or something like that.

Jeongguk nods slowly and Jimin smile stretches wide before he throws his arm around Jeongguk’s neck and whispers “thank you” in his ear. Jeongguk freezes, his stomach turns. Damn. He wonders if Jimin is aware of his effect on him. He nods awkwardly and runs to the couch.

“I’ll text Hoseok” his voice almost falters “In an hour?”

Jimin’s expression is teasing, eyes knowingly and smirk showing. “In an hour” he says.

 

Hoseok quickly agrees on making sure the studio is vacant, promising to take his dance crew to another place to practice. “Just do your thing Guk” he texted, earning an eye roll from him.

 

So now Jimin’s jumping from excitement, pulling Taehyung to the car as Jeongguk sits behind the wheel, bag thrown in the backdoor, with some clothes so they could exchange before dancing.

“Where are we going? I can’t be walking around today” Taehyung sounds worried, but Jimin only tsks at him.

“I would never let you be late to your performance babe! You know that!” Jimin exclaims, urging Jeongguk to start driving.

Taehyung’s eyes reflect how panicked he is with the situation, but his voice is still sweet as he tries to explain to Jimin.

“Chim… honey… you’re not the best with time management, you know that…”

“Oh come on, that’s so unfair!” It’s not. Jeongguk knows Jimin is, by default, always late. “You should trust me out of love!” Jimin argues, pointing a finger in Taehyungs direction, who just rolls his eyes and says “I’m sorry babe” excusing himself for having (reasonable) doubts. Jimin grunts in response, looking out of the window and pouting.

“But I trust Jeongguk though” Taehyung seems calmer now, and continues “I know he wouldn’t put my performance at risk”

He stares at Taehyung through the rearview mirror and he’s smiling knowingly. Jeongguk expects some kind of jealously reply from Jimin, and he kind of braces himself for it, but instead he sees a smile on his face as he says “Good! Jeongguk saving lives once again! Our hero!”

Jeongguk is, without a doubt, kind of shook. He opts not to dwell on the words and not trusting himself, he stays quiet. Taehyung is still looking at him with fond eyes through the mirror when he looks again, and they exchange (what Jeongguk hopes to be) meaningful glances.

 

The studio is completely empty when they arrive, and Jeongguk thinks again about how Hoseok really is a good friend, helping him so last minute. They drag a confused Taehyung through the halls while he asks numerous times what they’re doing in Jeongguk’s school, until he just gives up on asking and conforms to tagging along.

In the studio, Taehyung looks at both of them with lifted eyebrows, but before he can make any questions Jimin is pointing to a chair near the huge mirror, so he just sits down, even if with some wariness. Both Jimin and Jeongguk disappear for a moment, leaving a confused and agitated Taehyung, before they appear again with training outfits, and he finally gets some sort of notion of what is happening.

Jeongguk sets the iPod into the columns and waits for Jimin to say something.

“Taetae… This is just, hmm… something we wanted to show you” Jimin’s voice sounds small, laced with a lack of confidence that Jeongguk isn’t used to seeing from him, which makes him want to intervene and help ease the anxiety. Part of him wants to hug Jimin, maybe kiss his cheek. Maybe.

“Well, I hope you like it” Jeongguk exclaims, forcefully changing the course of this train of thoughts and smiling at Jimin with a certain nod “Let’s go!”.

 

When the first notes of the song start Taehyungs eyes grow gradually large, widening at the same time that he lets his mouth loose, looking at Jimin and Jeongguk in a mix of shock and anticipation. Jeongguk only gets a glimpse of his awe before he’s dancing and moving with Jimin to the sound of Taehyung notes.

Their bodies are in sync with one another and with Taehyung’s piece. Jeongguk feels like everything is falling into place and with every spiral he feels happy to be able to join Jimin in surprising Taehyung. A huge smile doesn’t leave his face for the whole routine, with every jump, and every gaze he shares with Jimin and Taehyung, he feels more complete, more in his element than ever. No inhibitions, just music and them.

He feels whole.

 

It’s only when the song finishes, and he can finally really look at Taehyung, that he notices he’s blinking away some tears in his eyes. It’s not much but it’s enough to cause Jeongguk to panic. Oh, no no. Jeongguk really isn’t socially apt for these situations, he looks straight at Jimin, wide eyes and some concern on his face.

“Oh no babe, no crying” Jimin says, voice breathy but sweet with affection

“I-I’m just….” his voice cuts off, so he looks upwards, blinking rapidly and breathing slowly.

“I take it that you liked it?” Jimin’s walks in his direction and puts both of his hands on each shoulder.

“Y-Yeah… I can’t believe it. You two were… I’m seriously in awe and… I’m honored” Taehyung manages to say. Jimin just giggles, ruffling his boyfriends hair before picking a bottle from the floor, drinking half and throwing the rest at Jeongguk’s direction. He hugs Taehyung tightly sing-songing in his ear about how happy he is that he liked their surprise. Taehyung tightens the hug, closing his eyes for a second and his face is soft and happy.

Jeongguk’s still panting, seated on the floor with sweat on his forehead. He doesn’t want to intrude, and he takes a moment to look at both of them. Something turns on his stomach, the need to be closer, but he manages to push it down.

“I’m glad you liked it Tae, really” he says gently, standing up, and meaning to go. He really needs a shower right now.

It’s only when he’s about to turn to the shower rooms that he feels two arms embracing him from behind. He jumps at the sudden touch, not expecting it, but he quickly realizes he knows he’s being held by Taehyung, the embrace safe and comfortable. Jeongguk closes his eyes for a moment, appreciating the feeling.

“Thank you Gukkie. I loved it and I won’t forget it…” it’s barely above a whisper, right by his ear “Thank you”.

Jeongguk squeezes one of his hands on top of Taehyung’s, that are still clutching his stomach, holding him close. He hopes he can convey what he’s feeling through this touch, he really does.

 

Jimin joins them shortly, smiling widely, and throws one arm around each of them as he exclaims “I think we really outdid ourselves Gukkie! I loved this almost more than Tae did!”

They let go of each other but keep on smiling, Taehyung seems moved by their surprise and Jimin perhaps even more ecstatic about it. Jeongguk takes a moment to truly enjoy what he sees and what he feels, He might even admit that this is one of the best moments they’ve ever shared. This is why he hates to be the one carrying bad news.

“I’m sorry, we should really go now…” Jeongguk eyes the floor, hating to be the one to ruin the moment, but Taehyung thanks him, “I knew I could count on you!” he grins.

“We’ll just take a quick shower, okay babe?” Jimin pecks Taehyung on the lips and he nods back. Just like that they head to the showers, Taehyung left behind saying he just needs to get back at Yuju, who apparently called twice in the last half hour.

 

“Ahhh, we did really well Jeonggukie!” Jimin sways in contentment, after a hot shower, putting clean clothes again “I’m really so proud of you, you improved so much!”

Jeongguk feels himself blushing, it feels so good to be acknowledged and complimented by Jimin. Jimin who is the best dancer he has ever seen. Fluid, incredible and sexy, Jimin.  Who’s also looking very hot with his wet hair pushed back.

“I loved dancing with you” Jimin continues, giddy and with his eyes shining. He looks straight at Jeongguk’s eyes “We should keep doing this, you know”

“Yeah… I’d like that very much actually” Jeongguk manages to reply, truthfully.

“Then we will!” Jimin puts his hand up, so Jeongguk awkwardly tries a high-five. Jimin smiles fondly before turning back.

“Let’s go” Jimin pulls on Jeongguk wrist and tags him along “Can’t wait to see Taehyungie amaze half of his school!”, Jeongguk smiles in response. He knows he will.

 

———

 

Taehyungs performances is, unsurprisingly, wonderful. Being a graduate, he has the privilege of presenting two of his pieces. Jeongguk and Jimin are both seated in the second row, right in the middle, both staring at the stage, mouth agape. Jimin is irradiating pride, Jeongguk thinks he can actually sense it.

Right from the first notes of the second song, Jeongguk recognizes it. It’s their song. The one which Jeongguk tried to help with the melodies. Effort on try. Jeongguk would like to know what Taehyung thought of his arrangements, though Taehyung kept his plead not to talk about it. There’s a side of him that regrets it now. But when the song starts to hit the crescendo he hears it. His melodies, incorporated into the composition.

 

His heart starts accelerating, and he starts to have some trouble breathing. His mind is all over the place, being carried away by the melody that had flourished in his own head and that is now on the tips of Taehyungs fingers as he beautifully plays his piano. Their melodies fit together in the most perfect way and they sound so good.

Jeongguk is not one to brag about his talents, but he truly thinks that the harmony that bloomed from their indirect collaboration is one of the most beautiful things he has ever heard.

He’s stunned, looking straight at the stage, and when Taehyung spares him a glance, smirk on his face, Jeongguk wonders briefly just what his expression must be to have earned that reaction in return. Suddenly, he feels Jimin’s hand on his. He bolts, not expecting the contact and feeling completely overwhelmed by everything happening at once, but he pulls through. Jimin squeezes his hand for a bit, maybe sensing some of his stiffness, and he allows himself to unwind, to let himself go, to get lost in the moment. The experience is unique, and when the song finishes, he knows he has some tears in his eyes, but really, he doesn’t even care.

He jumps from his seat, standing up and clapping passionately. Jimin follows suit, and applause ensues in the room. Taehyung looks happy and proud of his achievement, and he looks straight to Jimin and Jeongguk, puts a hand over his heart and, with an emotional expression, bows two times, eyes still lingering in their direction. Jeongguk momentarily loses all his composure.

When the show is over, and they can finally go backstage to search for Taehyung, he feels emotionally exhausted. He’s not used to this kind of emotional rollercoaster, all in less than 24 hours.

 

“Taehyungie!!! My Taetae!” Jimin runs to Taehyung first, open arms embracing him, hands on his neck, and Taehyungs smile is on full swing “You were amazing! I’m so proud! They should build a statue in your honor! Ah… Damn!” he lets go of the embrace and slaps his own face “I should have made you a banner!! Ah forgive me, take my love instead!” Jimin jumps up and places a series of kisses in Taehyung’s cheeks. Taehyung laughs at his boyfriend’s antics, happy smile on his face. When Jimin finally lets his face go, Taehyung locks eyes with Jeongguk, who is frozen in place, without really knowing how to start saying all that he wants to say. Taehyung beats him to it.

“I’m sorry that I used your work without permission…” he looks to the floor briefly before gazing right at Jeongguk again “It was meant to be a surprise, and Jimin persuaded me, saying that you wouldn’t mind” he stops, looking to the side, mildly ashamed “Ugh… It wasn’t my intention to steal your work Gukkie”

“What?” Jeongguk’s voice is barely above a whisper. He didn’t understand what Taehyung was saying for a while, but when it finally hit him, he couldn’t believe it.

“How can you say something like that… I’m honored that you thought that my stuff was good in any way… I-I’m just speechless… and you… you’re so talented…”

“You liked the surprise then?” Taehyungs eyes shine with anticipation, seemingly relieved that Jeongguk appreciated the effort.

“Are you kidding me…” Jeongguk is really not that great with words so he just walks in his direction and, without thinking, throws his arms to him, embracing Taehyung tight. It’s the second time he’s getting to embrace Taehyung like this and he likes it, he likes this. He hopes his feelings come across with his actions, and if there is someone that can understand him wordlessly, he knows it’s Taehyung. They stay like that for a moment longer than it probably would be considered normal (is there any normal time to spend on a hug?), until they hear Jimin’s voice.

“My boys!!! Taetae you were fantastic! And Gukkie, your face… Ah, I should have taken a photo…” Jeongguk lets go of Taehyung to look straight at Jimin, frown on his face, but Jimin just smiles teasingly at him and proceeds. “This calls for champagne, right?” He urges both of them to follow him to the open bar on top of the stares in the auditorium. It’s crowded, between others graduates and staff, and people in the music business, searching for some talent. Jeongguk is sure they will find it in Taehyung.

 

The night ends up having a kind of magical feeling around it and Jeongguk tries to keep all of today’s moments in a safe on his memory.

 

He wants to keep them for as long as he can.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Being able to feel so many things is a new concept for Jeongguk. He tries to be open about this new condition, about the many thoughts that occur to him. It’s hard to be in love with two people at the same time, and things have become especially difficult after the day of Taehyung’s performance. It’s gotten even harder to pretend he’s not deep in love with the two. But, luckily, Jeongguk is almost a professional when it comes to masking his own feelings.

 

He uses dancing to help unload all his emotional (and sexual) frustrations. It’s the best way he found to cope, and what he’s doing right now, spending hours at the studio with Hoseok. His movements are clean and strong, the opposite of the ones he makes while dancing with Jimin. His plan is to exhaust himself out of his mind. Maybe physical ache will help distract him from his life choices.

 

“Wow Guk, you’re going hard today!” Hoseok comments when they take a break, shooting a bottle of water and a towel his way from the opposite side of the studio. The same studio where he spent so much time practicing with Jimin, the same studio Taehyung watched them perform for him some time ago. “Is everything okay?”

“Yepp!” Jeongguk exclaims.

“You’re really giving your all today though” Hoseok comes to his side, plopping beside him.

“Just missed dancing I guess” he lies and cracks his neck, looking down.

“Uhhh, sure…” Hoseok says in a voice that makes it obvious he was caught in his lie. Oh well.

“I just don’t feel like talking about it now Hobi… sorry”

“Of course Guk. But I’m always here if you need me” he gets up in one jump. Where does he get the stamina to be jumping after hours of dancing? “But you know that”

“I do!” Jeongguk smiles. Sometimes he wishes it wouldn’t be so lame to say “you’re my best friend”, but it is, so Hoseok will never hear that. Jeongguk hopes he knows.

 

The door of the studio opens unannounced, startling Jeongguk. His brows lift quickly before his eyes settle on Yoongi, dressed in full black, standing by the door. He looks unamused, but Hoseok goes to him with the same energy as ever.

“Yooonnngggiiii” Hoseok is loud, pinching his cheeks over and over, so much so that Jeongguk briefly prays for his friend’s safety, but contrary to the expected reaction Yoongi bites down a smile from appearing. These two don’t make any sense.

Well, love doesn’t always have to make much sense.

 

“I’m sorry I’m a bit late!” he tugs on his boyfriend dragging him to a chair “Can you wait for me? I’ll just have a shower, we shouldn’t meet your brother when I’m dressed like this and sweaty all over” Hoseok gestures to himself, distaste clear on his face.

“I don't mind” Yoongi’s voice is subtle but audible.

“Ew” Jeongguk shows his disgust, but in response he seems Yoongi’s hand immediately going for Hoseok’s, who coos at him in return, smiling wide. Jeongguk just rolls his eyes.

“You two are unbelievable” he exclaims, gesturing for them in disdain “Hobi go take a shower!”

“Oh, Guk!” Hoseok grabs Yoongi hands, showing off their embraced hands “This kind of dedication is how you show affection!” Hoseok exclaims and Yoongi just nods feverously, “Just, you know, shameless affection!” And then he winks at Jeongguk. Ugh, why is he hinting him that he knows everything Jeongguk doesn’t tell him?

Jeongguk shakes his head aimlessly, looking at the floor when Hoseok finally goes to the showers. He stands there sitting next to Yoongi’s chair.

“You seem troubled kid” Yoongi quirks his brow up, giving just once glance in Jeongguk’s direction

“I’m fine” Jeongguk says. And he is, mostly.

“Okay” Yoongi was never one to intrude much. Jeongguk is thankful for that. However, just the fact that he cares enough to ask is welcomed, so he looks at him before speaking.

“Thanks Yoongi” he smiles, but doesn’t let the subject wander, changing topics “You guys seem like you’re finally on the same page”

“Yes... finally” Yoongi was never one to share much neither. Jeongguk nods just once.

Their conversation may be fleeting, but the atmosphere is not awkward.

“I actually should be showering too” he gets up, looks at Yoongi who just nods at him, and goes.

 

After he leaves the studio, saying goodbye to a now more anxious Hoseok and an unbothered but adoring Yoongi, Jeongguk decides that today he’s sleeping in his own house. He’s planning on taking advantage of the physical fatigue to lull him to sleep, keeping him from missing Taehyung and Jimin too much. Or so he hopes.

 

Even though he manages to sleep in his apartment, and even if he falls asleep easily due to his boy’s exhaustion, his dreams are, once again, filled with the two loving boys.

 

———

 

“I think we should enjoy the nice weather today” Jimin’s voice appears from the hall as he approaches. He’s dressed comfortably and wearing his glasses, a look that Jeongguk secretly adores. He looks too cute.

“Taehyung’s at school though” Jeongguk argues, in spite of wanting nothing more than to spend time with them outside. He likes how the natural light reflects on their features, how Jimin can shine brighter than the sun, how Taehyung can still be more beautiful than the clear blue sky.

Jimin hums and Jeongguk is pulled back to reality by the sound. “What if… maybe we can pick him up and go to the park? I miss our ducklings!”

“I like the thought” Jeongguk smiles, remembering fondly the time they saw baby ducks following their mother around the lake of the park.

“Great! Help me make some food, we can have a night picnic!” Jimin beams.

“Night picnic? is that a good idea?” Jeongguk’s wary at the thought.

“It’s a wonderful idea! Come on Gukkie!” Jimin pleads. Jeongguk is weak.

“I’ll grab the blanket and covers” Jeongguk mutters. He’s still a bit unconvinced, but he’s sure that in the end it’s going to be worth it. To be honest, any time spent with them is worth it.

 

When Taehyung arrives at the car he drops the violin case on the backseat with a frustrated sigh.

“What’s up baby?” Jimin turns his head to him, looking worried.

“Ugh… nothing important” Taehyung replies, but it’s clear from his expression that’s not the case.

“No… don’t do that, tell us! You know what I say about keeping things to yourself” Jimin looks at Taehyung with a caring look and Jeongguk briefly thinks about the subject that he’s been keeping to himself.

Taehyung sighs, passes a hand through his hair and mutters “I’m just trying to improve one of my pieces… the one you danced to… I want it to be perfect. I thought about adding some violin strings but it’s not going that well... It’s fine”

“You’re working on that song? But it’s already so good…” Jeongguk replies, surprised that Taehyung is trying to improve a song that, for him, already seems perfect.

“I want it to be better… It reminds me of the two of you now. I want it to be as perfect as you” Taehyung explains, smiling tiredly, and Jimin coos at him.

“Ohh, my perfectionist baby!” he stretches his body so that he can reach Taehyung in the backseat and kiss his cheek “Maybe we can help you!”

Taehyung accepts the kiss with a sweet smile but hurries in pushing Jimin to back to his seat, pointing to the seat belt even though they’re not moving yet. Jimin pouts lightly but follows Taehyung’s request, and Jeongguk smiles, by now knowing well what Taehyung opinion regarding Jimin’s spontaneous and often reckless escapes from his car seat is.

“I’m serious though” Jimin says, bucking up the seat belt “I bet Gukkie can help you! And I know that song like the creases of my hand now, maybe I can finally be of some assistance”

“Shut up, you’re the one who did the choreography” Jeongguk feels the need to assure Jimin, not finding his words fair.

“Dance is not the same as creating harmonies though” Jimin dismisses easily, shaking his hand.

“Dance is an expression of said harmonies, it also takes musical expertise to make your body move to it” Jeongguk argues, set on making clear that Jimin is, indeed, amazing and gifted. He looks at Taehyung through the rearview mirror and finds him already looking back and wearing a loving smile. His heart skips two beats. Ugh he loves them.

“Look at our Gukkie!” Jimin coos, ruffling his hair “Thank you babe!”

Jeongguk holds his breath but shakes Jimin’s hand “Okay, okay, let’s go”

 

It’s late in the afternoon and most of the people in the park are already leaving, making Jeongguk pleased, since he’s not really the biggest fan of crowded places. Besides, when he’s with Taehyung and Jimin he feels like the whole word revolves around the three of them, might as well be it.

They go straight into the zone near the lake, where a few ducks are swimming around. Even though the younger ones are now almost as big as the adults, they are still distinguishable amongst them, and Jimin promptly points them out with a smile.

“Our ducklings!”

Jeongguk chest tightens, eyes fixed on Jimin. He wishes to see Jimin’s smile for a long time.

“I know babe!” Taehyung replies with a smile of his own. He grabs their blanket and looks around “Pick a spot for us Gukkie”

“Hm… maybe somewhere we can see the ducks, so Jimin can be happy” he meant to say it in a teasing tone, but the words end up sounding much too honest.

 

The dinner passes with light conversation between them. It’s easy, it’s good, it’s comfortable. It’s everything Jeongguk wouldn’t trade for the world.

 

“It’s getting chilly” Jimin voice comes hushed, as if asking for permission.

“Come here” Taehyung grabs their yellow blanket, putting it around Jimin’s shoulders “Are you cold too Gukkie?”

Jeongguk nods hesitantly, and Jimin immediately gets closer so that they can share the blanket. Jeongguk body temperature immediately rises, and he knows too well that it’s not just a result of the blanket’s protection.

“What about you Tae?” Jeongguk finds himself asking, voice low. Taehyungs stares at him intently, as if looking for something. Jeongguk doesn’t understand what it means, but he lifts the blanket on the left side, the right one already occupied by Jimin, and Taehyung skootches over.

 

As soon as Taehyung settles himself besides him, the closeness turns almost intoxicating. They are huddled in each other space, Jeongguk’s legs stretched to the front and Taehyungs head on his shoulder, his face slightly turned so that his lips almost touch Jeongguk’s skin. And Jimin’s hand is on his tight, drawing gentle movements that Jeongguk cannot understand. Is he writing something?

 

He feels overwhelmed, all of his senses coming to life. The air is filled with Jimin’s cologne and Taehyungs vanilla shampoo, and with each twist on Jimin’s fingers he seems to be moving his hand further up his thigh. He wants to grab his hand and pull Jimin even closer, he wants to close the distance between Taehyungs lips and his.

 

Suddenly it’s all too much for him to handle, every inch of his skin burning, and Jeongguk can’t help but to pull away. Jimin gasps at the sudden movement and looks at him worriedly. Taehyung straightens his back, seemingly making an effort to ground himself. They look at Jeongguk expectantly and tries to catch his breath. He has to say something, right? Why did he pull away?

 

Should he make an excuse… or should he not…

 

“I like you both” he blurts out. Oh fuck. Oh no.

“We like you too” Jimin’s voice is sweet, understanding. Jeongguk sighs heavily, frustrated.

“No… I mean I like like you” Jeongguks voice is failing him, uneven at the end, and Taehyung’s stable voice contrasts with it

“Gukkie, we…” -

“No, just… just let me explain, please, don’t say anything”

 

Both Taehyung and Jimin keep still, waiting for him to continue. He takes a deep breath. Okay. It’s now or never. The cat is already out of the bag anyway. And he already feels like he’s drowning. Might as well go in deep.

 

“I-I don’t understand it all… I’ve been trying my best to understand it, but I guess that sometimes emotions aren’t meant to be rationalized… The truth is… T-that I like you. In a romantic way… both of you” he lifts up both of his hands, silently asking for them not to interrupt him, as he sensed Jimin was ready to speak up.

“I’ve never been one to force a label on things you know… I don’t believe on forcing yourself out of love or into love. I think emotions should be fluid, and it doesn’t help anyone if you’re not honest to yourself, so that’s why I’m admitting to it… but I don’t actually plan on acting on it…” he trails off, lost in his own reasoning. They stare at him silently, unreadable expressions in their eyes. Ugh, fuck.

“Hmm… I just think my life is so much better with you in it. Before meeting you I was just another person, nothing special, trying his best at life, not really feeling that much besides when I was listening to music, it was the only time that I could feel something” Jeongguk realizes as he’s talking that this is actually the first time he’s sharing this with anyone, but once he’s started he can’t stop “Now… I feel like I am someone. Maybe I’m someone to you. When I’m with you I feel so much, like the harmonies of the songs that I love materialized themselves in you two” Ugh, Jeongguk, do you have to be so lame? “I’m sorry… I understand this might be too much for you… I really want to continue to be a part of your life, but honestly sometimes it hurts and I…” he trails off again. You need to get the hell out of here Jeongguk. He looks up, avoiding their eyes, grabs the car keys from his pocket and throws them in the blanket, near Taehyungs feet. “I’m sorry… Can you drive back? I’m…I’m walking”

 

He seems Jimin trying to stand up, probably to stop him, but Taehyung grabs his fist, keeping him from doing so. He turns around even before listening to a word that they are trying to say.

 

———

 

Jeongguk walks around aimlessly, vaguely in the direction of their house, but not really minding his path. He knows he should be freezing but his body is wickedly hot from what just happened. He can’t believe he let go of his composure that easily, he was too trusting in his ability to keep himself in control next to them.

 

The truth is, he is scared.

The possibility of losing them frightens him as nothing has ever frightened him before. He hears his phone buzzing non-stop, but he can’t deal with the aftermath of his confession now. He needs to be alone for a bit, let his emotions settle down. His feelings are so raw that not even listening to music will help now, there’s too much in his head.

 

They must think he’s weird, loving two people at the same time. Loving them, all this time. But he does, each in a different way. Which is expected, since they’re not the same person, but he couldn’t choose between them even if his life depended on it.

 

And maybe his life (or the life he has now, the one he doesn’t want to let go) truly depends on them.

Are they going to be fine after what happened?

 

Jeongguk hopes that they don’t change too much around him. He wants things to stay as they have been for the past months, but he has to be realistic. They probably will keep some distance from him now. That is… If they don’t disappear altogether. He feels a shiver run down his spine at the mere thought of it. He’s so afraid.

 

Suddenly he feels alone. All of his life, his own company was enough for him to feel comfortable, but now he aches to be next to Taehyung and Jimin, and the possibility of a future apart from them weights him down. He wants to breathe the same air as them, he feels that if he loses them, a piece of himself will be lost too. His world will surely shatter.

 

He sits on a bench next to a tree and pulls his knees up, trying to warm himself a bit, but it’s useless.

He feels cold, small, lonely, forgotten.

After a while he starts to physically shiver from the cold, and he doesn’t feel his feet anymore, which can’t be a good sign. He’s next to their building now, just a few more steps and he’s going to be home.

 

Home… Is he going to really be home if they reject him?

 

He drags himself to their building and he sees his own car parked on front. They must have returned for a while now.

He calls the elevator entering and looks up at the numbers on display above as they’re passing by. His eyes are suddenly watery, tears slowly starting to fall down his cheeks silently. He lets them fall until he’s reached the seventh floor. He takes a deep breath before leaving the elevator, dragging his feel until he finds himself by the front of Jimin and Taehyung’s door. What he wouldn’t give to just open it, sit next to them and forget about it all. To feel warm and safe again, by their side.

 

He hears something inside, as if someone is nearing the other side of the door, so he immediately bolts out of there. He opens the door to his own apartment quickly and shoves himself inside. His eyes turn down when he notices that there’s something at his feet. It seems to be an envelope, so he picks it up and immediately recognizes Taehyung’s handwriting on it. His heart stops for a bit, seemingly forgetting how to pump blood into his veins, and his hands tremble slightly as he opens it to find a hand-written letter.

 

Hi Gukkie,

Please let us know when you arrive, we’re worried after the way you left.

You should come to our house, we can talk calmly among us. We would like you to know some things, hear us out.

If you don’t want to come now it’s okay. We understand you need some space and we will give it to you. But please know that we would like to talk to you soon, okay?

Love,

Taetae & Jiminie

 

He stares at the paper for longer than necessary, heart beating fast, eyebrows lifted. The first thing he feels is immediate relief. They’re not going to cut ties with him, and that’s the most important thing for now. He feels lighter, especially as he rereads the last three words.

However, the relief wears down soon, and something in his stomach turns at the prospect of talking about it thoroughly. A side of him wants to grab onto the hope that started slowly and shyly blooming in himself, but a stronger side dreads the possible outcomes of such a conversation, even with the positive words of reassurance that they left him.

In spite of his usual desire to always resolve problems in the fastest way possible, he doesn’t have it in him to go to them now. So he drags himself to his room, exhausted in every possible way, and decides to send a simple text.

 

Gukkie: I’ve arrived. We’ll talk soon.

Jiminie: Okay Gukkie, we’ll be here… Sleep well x

Taetae: When you’re ready. Good night. :)

 

The reassuring messages do little for his nerves, the promise of talking soon looming over him and all the possible outcomes hunting his thoughts. One thing is for sure: after that day, everything is going to change. Even if they don’t disappear, it will all change.

 

Jeongguk feels overwhelmed. He’s not used to his feelings being this out of control, and it scares him. He tries his hardest to rationalize it, but with all his emotions running wild he’s not capable of doing a good job. All his inner self demands some release, and immediately he starts to create songs in his mind. He can actually feel his anxiety rising like a wave of dread, making his chest hurt and his throat tight. He sits on his bed, knees up with his chin rest on top of them. Small. So small.

 

Taehyung and Jimin have become a huge part of his life, their presence everywhere. They are so much more than just friends. He wants to grab the fleeting string of their relationship and pull it back to where they were before he blabbered his feelings mindlessly.

 

After hours of wishing that his exhaustion takes the best of him, he’s still awake. Not even thinking about anything now, but just dreading the future as a whole. He picks his headphones, grabs an extra pillow to hold onto it, and closes his eyes purposely. Somewhere between the late hours, the music and the comfort of the pillow, he falls asleep to a uneasy subconscious.

 

———

 

Jeongguk is not one to hide and shy away from his problems. He has learned that running away from things and drawing them out doesn’t sit that well with his anxiety. He doesn’t get to turn back time, his feelings are out there and now he just has to deal with the consequences. So, after waking up from a troubled night of sleep, he’s determined on resolving with the situation.

 

He focuses on trying to maintain a positive mindset. In the morning it’s a little bit easier to convince himself that maybe there’s a way that their relationship can still work. Maybe Jeongguk can slowly fall out of love with them and learn how to see them as friends and nothing more. Even if the thought kills him a little inside, he’ll gladly let go of a part of himself if that means he’ll get to keep a part of them.

 

Whatever it is that he’s feeling right now, he uses it in his favor as fuel to get the courage to text them, asking if they can talk today after his classes. That way, he only has to suffer until lunchtime. They quickly reply confirming it and he takes a deep breath. Only a couple more hours until they talk. And then, Jeongguk will just have to deal with the results.

He’ll just have to. No running away.

 

As the hours pass, his chest tightens, but his resolve doesn’t falter. However, he can’t help but to feel increasingly anxious, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by Hoseok when he bumps into him while grabbing a coffee in the middle of his morning lectures. A look is all it takes for Hoseok to quirk his brow at him.

“Guk, you’re not okay” He says it as a statement, not a question. He shoves Jeongguk lightly on his shoulder, making the younger one look in his direction.

“I’m fine” Jeongguk says firmly, hoping that the plead in his eyes to not to talk about it is clear enough, and he’s thankful that Hoseok seems to be able to read it.

“Okay…” Hoseok mutters “but come here” he grabs Jeongguk’s wrist and pushes him lightly in the direction of a vacant table. They sit down and Jeongguk is quick to fix his gaze downwards, his breath hitching as he obsesses over the fading lines of a coffee stain. He doesn’t want to explain himself to Hoseok now. Not when he already has a draining conversation waiting to happen so soon. He needs to keep his energy. And he’s afraid that, if he opens up now, his courage will falter, and he won’t be able to keep his resolve.

“Guk, you can breathe. I won’t force you to talk to me, you know?” Jeongguk knows, of course he does, but he still feels relieved hearing the confirmation. He looks at his friend and nods gratefully.

“It’s okay. Whatever happens… I know you’ll be fine, right?” Hoseok puts a hand on Jeongguk’s shoulder and continues “Just trust yourself … and trust them.” Hoseok voice is soft and soothing, filled with reassurance. “Trust your feelings”.

“Hobi…” Jeongguk looks his friend in the eye before muttering a “Thank you”

Hoseok smiles fondly “Of course kid, I’m here for you. Call me later if you need… anything” he says as he winks. Jeongguk wonders if he realizes how wrongly that could be interpreted, but he knows Hoseok is just trying his best to ease the tension, so he lets himself smile a little.

 

As the hours stretch, Jeongguk feels himself grow more and more uneasy. He’s seating in class, but he’s not following the professor’s words at all, mind far away. He’s not even sure what he fears the most anymore. Melodies of songs he knows make way into his head, his mind seeking release from the worry swelling on his chest, but he can’t shake away the huge ball of panic rising in his throat. He tries his hardest to breathe deeply, calmly and consciously, to focus his attention on the lecture, but the no matter how much he attempts to follow the words it all sounds like white noise, and even if he can actually feel the air entering his nose, it doesn’t seem to go all the way to his lungs.

 

This is wrong.

 

He gets up abruptly, making half of the class look at him.

“Are you okay?” Someone whispers, and Jeongguk focus on the face of the person asking the question, but somehow even that’s not clear.

Jeongguk get a fucking grip!

“I’m sorry for interrupting, I’ll just be right back” Jeongguk manages to say without showing half the discomfort he feels. 

 

On the way out of the room he texts Hoseok. He needs someone to shake him and make him come to his senses. He can’t be freaking out this much. This is stupid. He is stupid.

 

Hoseok finds him ten minutes later, sitting on the floor next to the dance studio. He’s sweaty and panting, and from the clothes he’s wearing Jeongguk can guess he must have interrupted his practice.

“Are you okay?” Hoseok quickly bends down in front of Jeongguk and places both hands on his shoulders to make the younger look at him “You worried me sick! You never ask for help, what the fuck is happening... Guk talk to me…”

Jeongguk lifts his eyes towards Hoseok and, without any warning, just bursts out crying.

The weight on his shoulders, the one he’s been carrying around for months now, seems to be suffocating him, crushing him like a rock, and he can’t keep his tears from falling. Not anymore, not now. It’s all too much. And he’s so afraid.

 

Hoseok widens his eyes in shock, but is quick to react, embracing Jeongguk in a tight hug.

“Let it out Guk, let it out” Hoseok whispers as Jeongguk sobs get more intense “It’s okay, no one else is here, just let it out”.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t usually cry, but he follows Hoseok’s comforting words, and as he does he can feel some of pressure leaving his body. He’s crying more as a result of the anxiety and panic that have been building up in him since last night than as a result of anything else. It’s pure fear. Fear of losing them, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown.

 

Hoseok lets him cry until his sobs start fading out, patting his back lightly and whispering comfort words. Jeongguk is honestly surprised to see this side of his friend, he wasn’t expecting Hoseok to be this warm. But that’s Hoseok for you. He always finds a way to be there. To make Jeongguk feel safe and supported.

So, after he calms down, he tightens the hug and hopes that once again his actions are able to convey what he can’t say through words.

 

“You feel better?” Hoseoks voice is careful when they finally separate themselves. Jeongguk isn’t the biggest fan of physical contact and he prefers to avoid showing vulnerability, but he must admit that he’s feeling much lighter.

“Yes, actually a lot better, thank you…” Jeongguk mutters “and I’m sorry I dragged you away from practice” he adds guiltily.  

“Shut up, I told you a bunch of times already” Hoseok says, standing up and offering him a hand “I’ll always be here for you Guk. You will be fine, I promise”

Jeongguk smiles and accepts the hand, using its support to stand on his feet.

“Come on kid, I’ll walk you to your car”

“I still have a class though…”

“No, you don’t” Hoseok argues, starting to walk in the direction of the exit “you need to talk with them…”

“How did you know…” he asks, his curiosity beating him.

“You’re not as secretive as you think you are. And I bet they’ve known about it for a while too”

Jeongguk frowns. Maybe he shouldn’t have trusted so much in his ability to hide his emotions.

“I told them” Jeongguk doesn’t even bother clarifying, sure his friend knows exactly what he means.

“You did?” Hoseok asks, surprise clear on his face “Wow Guk, I’m actually proud of you”

“Well, it wasn’t on propose” he admits. They’re getting near his car and he takes his keys out and starts playing with them mindlessly

“How did they take it?” Hoseok’s demeanor is calm, as if he cautions not to spook Jeongguk away with the questions.

“I don’t really know… I walked away right after” he looks at his feet, kicking some tiny rocks on the pavement “They want to talk though… I promised we’d talk today”.

“Okay… You did well Guk. You’re being pretty brave…It’s never easy to sort out feelings, but I can only imagine it’s even more difficult with three people”

“Yeah… I don’t know. I’m never good with words you know”

“I know… but you’re good in actions… And they get you!”

“They do” Jeongguk allows himself a smile at the thought.

“It’s going to be okay Guk” he says in a reassuring voice, but Jeongguk flicks his gaze to the keys in his hands again, not as certain about the outcome “If not, you’re going to be okay. You’re strong, you’ll get through this. And you have people supporting you.”

Jeongguk looks at his friend in the eyes at the words. Hoseok really does always know exactly what to say.

“Thank you Hobi” he says gratefully “I hope that I can manage to keep them around some way.”

“You will, I’m sure of it!” Hoseok grins “Go to them, be confident, be brave! And call me after!”

Jeongguk opens the car’s door and settles in the driver’s seat.

“Do well my young grasshopper!” Hoseok smiles, once again lighting the mood “And remember, I’ll be one phone call away!”

Jeongguk smiles back at his friend and takes a mental note to buy him a “Best Friend” mug for his birthday. The thought makes him laugh at himself a bit as he straightens his back, waves at Hoseok and starts the car. As he drives away, he feels a lot more confident than before. He’s ready.

 

———

 

When Jeongguk opens the door, Taehyung is lying on the couch, with an absent minded look on his face as he strokes Jimin’s hair, who’s slouched on his lap, blankly looking at the TV. They both seem tired, and Jeongguk wonders if maybe he wasn't’ the only one losing sleep last night. Still, at the sound of the front door closing, their eyes immediately jump to Jeongguk. Jimin straightens up and looks ready to go to him, but Taehyung is quick to hold him back. The air is uncomfortable and Jeongguk breathes deeply, doing his best to stay calm. He’s feels much more in control of his emotions now.

 

He can do this, right?

 

For a moment they just look at each other, the silence that used to feel so comfortable between them now filled with awkwardness and anticipation.

“Hi Gukkie” Jimin mumbles, voice soft, so soft. Taehyung is holding his hand, and Jeongguk can see him tightening his grip and caressing Jimin’s skin with his thumb in a calming manner. His voice seems as fond as ever when he adds “We’re really glad you’re here”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t even knock…” Jeongguk apologizes, realizing now that maybe letting himself in wasn’t the best option given the circumstances. This isn’t his home, no matter how much it feels that way.

“Don’t be silly, you know you’re always welcome here” Taehyung’s reply is immediate, voice is steady and composed.

“Am I?” Jeongguk asks, deciding it’s best to just dive headfirst into the topic, no use in circling around it. He needs this sorted.

He looks at them and hopes that they realize what his question really means.

“Of course you are!” Jimin exclaims, pouting after as if offended by the need to even ask such as question.

“You’ll always be” Taehyung assures, his voice soft but sure. The words awaken his hopeful side again, but he does his best to keep it at bay… for now at least.

 

Taehyung gestures to the couch, but Jeongguk sits on the floor instead, facing both of them. He needs to be prepared for every possibility, and he doesn’t want to be too close if the worst happens. However, to his surprise, Taehyung and Jimin exchange looks between each other and suddenly move to sit cross-legged on the floor as well, moving the couch away and forming some kind of circle… or triangle?

 

“Hmm, I don’t know where to begin…” Jimin is the first to talk, shifting from side to side, looking uneasy. Jeongguk doesn’t like to see him like this, it doesn’t suit him. He’s convinced he would give up anything in the entire world just to make him smile in this moment, so he wants to ease Jimin's tension.

“Look…hmm… I’m sorry I said that and just ran away” Jeongguk speaks low, avoiding their gaze, but forces himself to continue “I don’t know… I have been feeling like this for a while… about both of you… but that night, with all of us lying so close like that… it was just too hard to control, it all felt like way too much. I’m sorry… and then Tae seemed like he was going to kiss me and I -”

“I was”

Jeongguk words die out. He looks up, shock evident on his face.

“What…” the word is barely audible, almost a whisper.

“I was” Taehyung repeats, voice composed and assure, and Jimin gives their intertwined hands a reassuring squeeze. Jeongguk follows the movements with his eyes, his mind blocked “You were?” He asks, looking directly at Taehyung, mouth wide open, still making an effort to process the information. Taehyung was going to kiss him? What? Why? The thought of Taehyung’s lips on his own alone is enough to make him lose his train of thought, making everything even harder.

“Yes” Taehyung presses, still sounding completely sure of himself, but not really offering an explanation.

“We… hmm” Jimin’s voice sounds a lot more unsure and Jeongguk drags his eyes to him. He seems so small, his grip on Taehyung’s so tight it probably hurts. “We… me and Taehyungie, we talked about this a while ago… We actually thought we were all on the same page…” Jimin looks tentatively at Jeongguk, who just stares back, not really knowing what to reply. Same page? Same page of what book? What is happening?

Jimin proceeds after the small pause “We’re also afraid… it’s something new for us too… but there’s no denying…” his words seem to fail at that point, and he looks at Taehyung, searching for support.

“We like you too” Taehyung declares, and even though his voice is a lot steadier than Jimin’s, Jeongguk can see the fear in his eyes.

“You… you like me?”

“Yes” Taehyung confirms, and Jimin nods along, the anxiety evident on his features. Taehyung continues, as he mindlessly plays with Jimin’s fingers “But, you know... Just to make sure we’re all in the same page… I mean romantically”

What? 

Jeongguk mouth hangs open. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but it was not this. He doesn’t know what to think, but he can feel his hope rising bit by bit with each word.

“We thought you understood…” Jimin says, sounding apologetic “We weren’t being particularly secretive with our feelings”

Jeongguk’s mind is racing. Jimin is right, they were never shy when it came to showing their affection towards him, always texting when they weren’t together, always worrying and doing the most to take care of him, welcoming him in their home, inviting him to do all sort of activities together… Wait.

“Were… were all those… dates?” he mumbles, suddenly looking at everything through a different lens.

“Well… not in the beginning, no” Jimin explains “but after a while, especially after me and Taehyung talked about it, we tried to be more obvious so… well… yeah”

“What…?” Jeongguk’s really not being able to grasp the reality of the situation. His whole world seems to be turned upside down now, and he’s reviewing their whole relationship. “But… why didn’t you tell me?”

“Taehyungie thought you might need some time to sort your feelings out” Jimin explains, and Jeongguk looks at Taehyung, who’s wearing an uncertain expression, as if afraid he had messed up.

“You were right” Jeongguk assures him. He was. After all, Jeongguk only managed to understand and accept his feelings after he had some time alone to ponder on them. Taehyung seems to ease a little at his words.

“I just thought that it was better if you sorted yourself first. It wasn’t going to do us any good to confess how we felt before you accepted your own feelings…” Taehyung justified, and Jimin continued “…but after you came back from your break, I thought you finally realized we were trying to be together and that you also wanted to be with us…” he trails off.

“I do want to be with you” he confesses, making both Taehyung and Jimin look at him “I want to be with you very much” at that, they both smile widely, eyes filled with glee. Jeongguk wants to throw himself at them, but he needs to be honest and open about his thoughts if this is ever going to work. “But… how…?” he expects one of them to understand what he means and, unsurprisingly,Taehyung does.

“I liked you almost instantly” Taehyung starts, and Jeongguk heart feels warm at the admission, especially because he had felt the same, the connection between them having felt almost immediate, “but I denied it the best I could… I knew I would never leave Jiminie, since I love him” he pauses and looks at Jimin, who’s fondly gazing at his boyfriend, love evident in his eyes. Taehyung kisses his hand before continuing “For a while it wasn’t easy… and after some time I started to see that maybe you liked me too, so it became even more difficult. But leaving Jimin wasn’t a possibility at all, so I just managed. Then, after some time, I started to notice that Jimin’s moods started to seem a bit off. He was getting distant and would often get angry with anything at all… and every time I tried to talk to him about it he just closed himself off. It was like he was slowly drifting away from me, even though he would hug me tighter in bed at night…”

At that moment, Jimin lunches himself to Taehyung’s side, hugging him close. Taehyung hugs him back, kissing his cheek affectionately. Jimin settles back, placing himself even closer to him, and Taehyung continues “But he wasn’t like that with you, and from watching the way he acted around you I started to wonder if maybe he felt the same way as me towards you… We talked it out”.

“You have to understand Gukkie… this is completely new for us… We were always monogamous, just the two of us… But you came into our life and shifted our world, and after a while it was just impossible to deny” Jimin explains, looking at Jeongguk with such an intensity that Jeongguk felt unable to break eye contact. He nodded, hoping that they could see he was following the whole story, his mind is racing to try to piece it all together “After we talked and realized he both felt the same, we thought… if it was with you, it would be worth to give the three of us a chance, even if it was kind of new and scary.” Jimin continues “So that’s why we’ve been kind of testing the limits lately. We thought you understood. We were just waiting for things to develop naturally. But then you ran off last night… we were honestly so surprised, we thought things were going smoothly and we were all thinking and feeling the same…”

“We are” Jeongguk reassures immediately. He doesn’t want them to think he backed down on his confession. He never intended to hide his feelings once they were in the open. His plan was honestly to admit to them and ask for some comprehension on their part, for them to allow him to keep on being his friend, a part of their life. But this… This is another thing entirely. Maybe Hoseok was right, maybe they will be fine. Slowly he sorts his thoughts and feelings. This is happening.

“I’m sorry I ran away… I was confused. I never imagined that you could like me that way too… You’re just so perfect for each other and I’m just… me”

“You’re perfect for us too” Jimin says sweetly, Jeongguk actually shivers at the words.

“If you think about it, we’ve practically been together for a while now” Taehyung says in a contemplative voice.

“I always knew that our relationship wasn’t a typical friendship” Jeongguk admits "but I always thought… I-I don’t know… What are the odds. And I didn’t want to risk it… So I just let it be… I like what we have”

“Yeah… we like it too” Jimin says, his cheeks actually blushing, and Jeongguk wonders how a person can be this cute. He wants to hold him so much. He wants to hold them.

“It’s just that what we have is made out of… more than friendship” Taehyung says, and Jeongguk heart stomps in his chest. Unconsciously, they have been moving slowly towards each other during the conversation, and Jeongguk realizes how much closer they are now than they were when they started talking, their thighs almost touching.

“Are we on the same page now?” Jimin asks, slowly.

“I think so” Taehyung says, looking sheepishly at Jeongguk.

“We are“ Jeongguk confirms, no doubts left in his mind, and not even a second later Jimin is closing the distance and kissing him on the lips.

 

It starts out light, a soft press of plush and warm lips against his own, and Jeongguk gasps in surprise at the unexpected contact but is fast to welcome it, and as soon as Jimin feels him responding he places a hand on the back of his neck and pulls him in to deepen the kiss. Jimin tastes sweet and exciting, he feels soft but sensual, and when Jeongguk parts his lips he slides his tongue inside with practiced ease, leaving Jeongguk breathless. He is an even better kisser than Jeongguk imagined, and he wonders how easy it must be to grow addicted to Jimin’s kisses. When Jimin moves away, eyes still fluttering and a dreamy look on his face, Jeongguk wants nothing more than pull him in again into another kiss. But then he looks in Taehyung's direction, and he’s looking at them both with a huge smile on his face and a glint in his eyes. And Jeongguk finds that there is indeed something that he wants more, or at least, equally as well.

This time, it’s Jeongguk that shortens the distance between his lips and Taehyung’s. Even from the first contact, he realizes Taehyung kisses differently from Jimin, more tender, less hungry, but equally as addictive. Their lips seem to fit perfectly together, sending tingles all over Jeongguk’s body that only grow as Taehyung opens his mouth slightly, an invitation for Jeongguk that he immediately accepts. Taehyung’s hands are both hanging onto Jeongguk, one of them caressing the hair in the back of his neck in a tender gesture that feels so right. As they deepen the kiss, one of Jeongguk’s hand still grabbing onto Jimin’s and the other cupping Taehyung’s face, he knows that he will never get tired of this. All he wants is more.

 

When they part, they stay close for a while, foreheads touching, breaths uneven. Without moving, Jeongguk uses the hand that’s still firmly grasping onto Jimin’s to pull him in, and Taehyung takes the opportunity to kiss Jimin on the lips. It’s slow and tender and so loving, and Jeongguk can feel their happiness as the kiss turns into blissful smiles and they gaze into each other eyes. Jeongguk heart tightens at the view and skips a bit when their eyes turn to him, wearing the same adoring stare.

 

The three of them don’t pull away, still so close that Jeongguk can feel their breath in his face. He closes his eyes and mumbles, voice little, below a whisper.

“Am I dreaming?”

“You’re not” Taehyung reassures and goes to caress his face, his other arm tight around Jimin.

“Good” Jeongguk manages to say. He thinks he has never smiled as big he’s smiling in this moment.

Jimin throws one of his arm around his waist and the other one around Taehyung’s “My boys” he says, closing his eyes with a pleased sight.

They stay like that for a while, basking in each other warmth, and Jeongguk’s mind starts finding its own pace again. He pulls back slightly and Jimin immediately shoots him an inquiring glance.

“So… Just to clarify” Jeongguk begins, holding both of their hands “We’re… together now?”

“If you want to” Taehyung says, sending Jeongguk a knowing look that reminds him just how unique their connection seems to be. Jeongguk smiles whole heartily, letting himself feel the swell on his heart.

“Gukkie, do you want to be our boyfriend?” Jimin teases, smiling widely, eyes turning into pretty crescents. And Jeongguk would give the word to see that smile every day.

“Yes... I mean, of course…” he smiles, suddenly shy, his eyes turning downwards. Except Jimin doesn’t let him hide his expression for long, caressing his face, resting his hand on his jaw and gently pulling his chin up. When he looks back up, they’re both smiling at him, and Jimin pecks him on the lips as Taehyung kisses his cheek.

“Our Jeonggukie”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Jeongguk thinks that the smiles they're sharing could fill the whole room. 

He's certain that this is what it feels to be truly happy. 

 

It seems like the entire world doesn’t matter, like everything else are mere details. All that matters is them. The three of them, in their home, with the sun slowly setting in the distance, and their bodies close to each other. 

 

Jeongguk lets himself go, he lets himself feel, lets himself be happy.

 

And suddenly, a new melody starts to form in his head, and he lets it be born, drunk on the bliss of the moment.

 

Taehyung's eyes open in an instant, and Jeongguk notices that he slowly lets his mouth agape. Jimin stares at him eyes wide.

“Gukkie… your voice… is beautiful” Jimin comments, kissing his temple. Jeongguk suddenly stops, self-consciousness coming to him.

“No no Gukkie, don’t stop, that melody is wonderful” Taehyung says, caressing his cheek with light touches that make Jeongguk tremble “and I think Jiminie is right, your voice is beautiful”

Jeongguk chuckles nervously, and, when the words fail, music speaks for him, so he shyly continues to hum. Their nodding heads and warming smiles encourage him further and soon he’s more confident. 

 

When Jimin asks if he can record it, he finds himself agreeing.

 

Jeongguk is happy.

 

———

 

The rest of the evening is passed in bliss, and Jeongguk finds himself getting used to their new relationship. 

For starters, he’s now able to cross all the limits that he had been so careful with before, so he tries to let himself go when he feels like touching them. The hugs and slight squeezes on the hand are actually quite familiar, since they’ve been doing those for a while, but now they’ve have gained a different meaning. 

The kisses and caresses, however, are completely new. 

New, exciting and addictive. 

 

Jeongguk finds himself kissing Jimin’s temple when they’re cooking, embracing him from behind and nuzzling his nose on his neck, which makes Jimin jump and joyfully turn around to deliver a kiss on his lips. After dinner, while they’re sitting on the sofa watching TV, Taehyung rests his head on his lap, and he allows himself to gaze at him fondly, show disregarded, while he passes his thumb slowly across his delicate features, light touches that make Taehyung hum in comfort, and wonders how is it possible for someone to even be this beautiful. When he feels Jimin’s hand settle on the back of his neck and lazily starting to massage him, the same thought that he hasn’t been able to get out of his head ever since they first kissed reappears on his mind again. 

 

How could he be this lucky?

 

 

When it starts to get late, Jeongguk wonders if it’s too much to expect to be welcomed into their bed to sleep, instead of using the couch as usual. He knows maybe it’s a little too soon, but still, he can’t help but to wish he didn’t have to let go of them yet. Even so, he decides it’s better not to ask and risk being too pushy. 

 

Turns out, he didn’t really have to, because as soon as he’s finished from changing into his pajamas, Jimin takes a hold of his wrist and tugs him towards their bedroom,

“Come on Gukkie” he says, a slight pout on his lips “I can’t wait to sleep with you, I’m still upset that Taetae beat me to it”

 

Taehyung is quick to kiss Jimin’s cheek with a teasing smile, effectively turning his previous pout into a smile, and Jeongguk just stares at them for a second, feeling his cheeks warm at the thought of the three of them sharing the same bed. Can he really survive something like that? 

One look from them is enough to remind him of how much he wants this though, so he happily lets Jimin drag him into the bedroom, and he feels like he’s walking into a dream.

 

———

 

Jeongguk stays happy after that. 

 

It’s almost impossible not to. He has the best boyfriends in the entire universe. In his opinion of course. Totally non-biased.

 

Taehyung was right, they practically were already together before, so it’s strangely familiar to be this close to them, and even the new things come easily, like a natural progression of what they had been building so far. 

The most important change has probably been the physical one. Showing unlimited affection is new for them, especially for Jeongguk. 

He has been noticing that, ever since they made their feelings clear, Jimin and Taehyung have been showing their affections a lot more openly. In return, he has been trying his best to let himself show his affections for them as well.

The truth is, Jeongguk isn’t accustomed to showing his emotions, used to permanently keeping them in check. But with them, even unfamiliar things seem to come easily and he finds himself reaching forward when he feels like he wants to kiss their cheeks or hold their hand. His affections are always well received and it makes his heart warm. They make him feel reassured, safe and cared for.

 

Apart from showing their affections towards Jeongguk more freely now, he has also noticed that ever since they’ve gotten together Taehyung and Jimin have started to be more affections towards each other in front of him too. It’s like the last thin barrier that was still there broke, the final veil lifted, and with it Jeongguk gained access to all the intimate gestures and words shared by the two, to the ritual of Jimin kissing Taehyung’s temple 3 times every morning and to Taehyung’s adoring look as he does it. Their kisses have also become different, the previous pecks turning longer and heavier, and Jeongguk’s reaction to that particular change makes him very grateful that they were as careful before. Jeongguk has also discovered that the turning in his stomach, that he felt before every time he saw Taehyung and Jimin being affectionate, has completely disappeared now, giving place to a feeling of intense fondness (and, to be honest, some arousal).

 

“You’re a new person Guk, always smiling and shit” Hoseok’s voice is teasing, and he shoves Jeongguk lightly on the shoulder as they’re walking out of the dance studio after practice “You didn’t even argue when I put my songs on instead of yours!”

Jeongguk laughs and shrugs. He’s feeling good, everything around him seemingly lighter in his state of euphoria.

“See, this is what I mean! Bring my Jeonggukie back!” Hoseok frowns, trying his hardest to pout without breaking into a smile “I’m complaining to your boys, this is unacceptable”

“Shut up” Jeongguk says, shoving him back as they get inside the restaurant, but feeling his lips curve up. His boys. 

 

Hoseok waves gleefully at Joohyung, who just scoffs and goes back inside the kitchen. However, his smile doesn’t falter for even a second.

“She loves us!” 

They sit on their table and Joohyung soon appears with some special appetisers. Maybe she really does love them.

 

“Seriously Guk, it’s good to see you like this, I’m glad it all turned out fine” Hoseok tone turns more serious, but his smile doesn’t disappear.

“Thanks Hobi” Jeongguk throws a peanut at his mouth “and thanks for… you know”

Hoseok smiles knowingly “It’s fine. It’s not easy to face things. I’m happy I was able to help” he pushes the peanuts plate in his direction.

“Yeh… don’t think I could have handled it that well without you actually…” Jeongguk stares down at the table, voice thin “Thanks”

“You’re welcome!” Hoseok chirps “You know I’m here, I’m just happy you have two hot boyfriends that make you smile like this! One wasn’t enough for you, huh? You spoiled little thing” Jeongguk beams, but he scolds Hoseok for talking loudly about the subject anyway. 

 

Hoseok, Yoongi and Yuju are still the only ones who know about them, even though Namjoon and Seokjin already suspect. Jeongguk thinks it’s a sensible subject. However, judging from Yoongi’s reaction one could never tell, since he just mumbled a “finally” when he told him. 

 

Hoseok keeps talking while he munches on a bread stick “When are you bringing them to have dinner with us? We could do like a huge party” Jeongguk frowns “I mean, a small gathering, relaxed and chilled” 

“That’s more like it” he cackles “but I don’t know, it’s still pretty soon I think?”

“Yeah, I get it” Hoseok smiles “just take your time, no one’s going anywhere” he reassures.

Hoseok really knows how to put him at ease. He smiles at his friend.

 

 

Thinking back to a year ago, he would never guess that life could be this good, that he could feel this whole. Jeongguk is pleasantly surprised, and even though a part of him says that all the bliss is temporary, he tells himself to enjoy it to the fullest, in hopes of it turning into something stable but equally beautiful someday.

 

Jeongguk isn’t sure if the fact that Taehyung and Jimin have been in a relationship for years is a good or a bad thing. They already have their dynamic and they know each other completely, like the creases on their hands. He would never dream of ignoring that. Plus, he thinks their relationship is beautiful. Seeing them together warms his heart, and he knows this is not a competition. Jeongguk is aware that their love for him is different, but not inferior. He knows that. Still, he wonders if the fact that they’ve known each other for longer will weight in their dynamics. 

 

Tell them your fears.  

 

He really needs to work on his communication skills. It’s not easy for him to be an open book, too used to using covers as protections from the world, walls built over the years. But if the reason is them, he’ll gladly tear them down. He knows they’re worth it. And he trusts them. So he’s learning to give himself, one bit at a time, and all the little changes and tiny progresses make him walk around with an almost constant smile on his face.

 

The way they talk and text also sweetens, and Jeongguk can’t even hide his smile when after a pretty intensive practice alone, he looks at his cellphone. 18 texts. This much is normal, but when he opens the group chat, his heart swells instantly.

 

Jiminie: I miss my boys, life sucks when you have to work and have two fabulous boyfriends waiting for you

Taetae: Are we waiting for you?

Jiminie: Shut up!

Taetae: I miss only Gukkie, I’ve seen you two hours ago Chim

Jiminie: I miss Gukkie

Taetae:  I want to hold him

Jiminie: and tell him sweet things

Taetae:  and kiss him

Jiminie: let’s go to him! I bet we could surprise him at practice

Taetae: Baby you’re talking on our chat… 

Jiminie: It’s fine he won’t see it

Taetae:  I’m with Yuju at school though…

Jiminie: It’s fine, I don’t miss you either, I’ll go alone to Gukkie

Taetae:  Jiminie… :(

Jiminie: Taehyungie…

Taetae:  I love you <3

Jiminie: Love you too Taetae <3 

Taetae:  Can you leave for lunch? I’ll pick you in 30min.

 

Jeongguk looks at the time, it has passed 45 minutes. Were they being serious about surprising him? Because he’s all sweaty and gross and now that he knows they like him the same way, he’s honestly a little self-conscious, and he wants to look good for his boyfriends.

 

He runs to the locker-room , hoping that maybe he can shower quickly. While he’s washing his hair hurriedly he keeps wishing that he’s not wrong, that they didn’t change their mind and are actually coming. He misses them too, even though they saw each other that morning.

 

He doesn’t have to wonder for long, because as he gets back to the locker-room to dress, towel carefully stuck around his waist, Jimin is standing right in front of him. He looks right at Jeongguk, eyes lazily trailing his body up and down, and a smirk on his face. 

“J-Jimin” Jeongguk feels hot all over, but even though he knows he’s flushed, he doesn’t move away.

“What. Can’t I just appreciate you now?” Jimin’s voice is teasing, a sensual undertone., and Jeongguk actually feels nervous sweat forming.

“Y-yes…” his voice is low, but shows certainty. He wants to feel wanted the same way he wants them.

“Good” Jimin actually bites his lip and smirks, his eyes wandering through Jeongguk’s torso. 

His temperature only continues to rise when Taehyung walks in, holding the Bluetooth column and seemingly unaware of the tension that has settled in the room. But one look at them is enough for him to widens his eyes and for a sly smile to appear on his face.

“What is going on here?” he approaches them, circling his arms around Jimin from behind and resting his chin on his shoulder, eyes locked on Jeongguk.

“I’m appreciating art” Jimin explains.

“You mean Jeongguk’s abs?” Taehyung teases, biting his lower lip as he grins.

“Yes” Jimin replies lowly.

Jeongguk’s feeling so hot that even the towel around him starts to feel like too much. But he doesn’t move to get away. He just smiles shyly and looks at the floor.

“Good taste Jiminie” Taehyung replies, kissing him on his cheek.

“Thanks baby” Jimin turns to him, caressing his cheek “that includes you too”

Taehyung smiles as he kisses Jimin on the lips slowly and intensely, hands roaming freely, making Jeongguk lose his breath.

 

They hear the door of the studio opening and Jimin immediately frowns. 

“Well this is unfortunate” he grimaces, pushing away to create some distance.

“Come on baby, we didn’t even have that much time. You have to get back to the company, remember?” Taehyung pecks him on the lips once more, before looking at Jeongguk.

“But this should be continued” he points at him “you know I like art” he says, throwing Jeongguk’s shirt his way.

Jeongguk smiles shyly, catching the shirt in the air and putting it on and, without much thinking, he lets himself pull on Jimin and Taehyung's hands, shortening their distance to steal a kiss from each, right before they hear people entering the room. They quickly make space between them, and Jeongguk can almost swear he sees Jimin putting both hands in front of his jeans in a chilled manner. Jeongguk smirks, liking the feeling of probably being the cause of his flushed cheeks. 

 

“Ah, Guk, we didn’t know you were here!” Seungyeon appears from the door frame, bag on her shoulders and two people trailing behind. She immediately stops after coming in though, her eyes widening. “Sorry!”

“Ah, no no, I was just leaving actually” Jeongguk says, making his way into a cubicle and getting dressed fast. When he comes back they’re all standing in a circle, Jimin and Taehyung looking around uneasily.

“You sure? We can come back later” Seungyeon looks at the others who nod quickly, but Jeongguk notices one of the girls staring at Taehyung and Jimin appreciatively. Something inside him twists a bit, some fowl emotion starting to rise, but he immediately steels himself “I’m sure”.

“We can stay and see you practice” the same girl says, now eyeing Jimin up and down shamelessly “It could be… inspirational” Seungyeon kicks her with her elbow, rolling her eyes.

“No” Jeongguk's voice is firm and resolute. Taehyung seems to notice and quickly intervenes.

“We really have to get going so…” he looks at Jeongguk and smiles reassuringly before continuing “We hope you have a good practice!”

Jeongguk can feel Jimin's hand on his, brushing just a little, but the touch intentional, and it does the trick, Jeongguk relaxing with their reassurance.

“Thank you” Seungyeon smiles apologetically at Jeongguk.

 

On their way out of the studio, they pass through the empty corridor that leads them to the exit, the same one where Jeongguk had cried from fear of losing them. Now, their hands intertwined, Jeongguk is filled with the security of knowing they won’t go anywhere. That they are his.

 

“That was amazing!” Jimin chirps once they get in Taehyung's car, throwing himself in the front seat with a loud plop “Jeongguk was ready to kill for us Taetae!”

“That was not amazing” Jeongguk argues, making himself comfortable in the backseat “I don’t know what it was, but I don’t like it”

“You were jealous!” Jimin exclaims, clapping his hands. He seems to be loving this.

“No… doesn’t make any sense, I’m not a jealous person, I’m literally in a poly relationship” Jeongguk argues, forehead crashing in the front seat.

“But you were! And it was amazing!” Jimin beams from satisfaction. 

“Ugh… shut up… I just don’t like her!” Jeongguk grimaces, throwing himself backwards.

“Do you know her?” Taehyung asks, teasing side smile showing he knows the answer already.

“No…” they laugh at him, but he can’t help but frown. He knows he was jealous, but he hated the feeling. Taehyung starts the engine as the laugh ceases.

“It’s okay baby, it’s normal in the beginning” Jimin assures “just don’t let it get the best of you and don’t be jealous of us with each other” he says, his face serious, but his eyes fond.

“Never” Jeongguk is quick to assure. He loves them together.

“And don’t deny feelings you know” it’s Taehyung's voice this time, his eyes still fixed on the road “I think we should all be honest with each other and communicate the best we can. It’s good to talk things out.”

Jeongguk nods “Yeah…” He’s not that great with words, but he guesses Taehyung’s right. If any relationship has potential for growing it has to be based on communication, even more when it involves three people, with three different minds of their own “I’ll try my best”

“We know” Jimin turns back and smiles at him, stretching his hand and caressing his face “We’ll do it too, one step at the time”

 

They end up having a fun lunch in their restaurant, talking about their days, how they can’t wait to be home, and who’s turn is it to sleep in the middle today. Throughout, they keep sharing light touches that always leave Jeongguk wanting more.

 

When Jeongguk returns to school for his last lecture of the day, he starts to analyse the previous events.

The thing that replays in his mind for the rest of the afternoon is the sexual tension that he could feel back in the locker room.

He knows it’s only a matter of time before he falls victim to his own desires…  but is he really ready for it now, so soon?

 

He feels ready though. 

Everything with Jimin and Taehyung is weirdly simple and easy.

He feels secure with them, loved and appreciated. 

All the basis for an emotionally stable relationship are in place.

And the accumulated sexual tension asks for some release.

 

———

 

Jeongguk wakes up with the clarity of the room. He opens his right eye and curses himself for not closing the blinds properly last night. It was supposed to be his turn, but he fell asleep without noticing. He looks around.

Taehyung is holding him completely, one arm above his stomach, head resting on his shoulder and legs intertwined with his. Jeongguk can feel his breath evenly on his chest, and with each flow of air his heart tightens. Jimin is on his other side, using his arm as a pillow, his mouth slightly parted as he sleeps peacefully with one arm above Jeongguk, hand intertwined with Taehyung's.

He looks at them and breathes in. He wants to remember this, how it feels to wake up next to them. Slowly, some soothing melodies start to rise in his head and he closes his eyes, starting to hum them softly. 

He’s kind of glad that he’s the only one out of them with light sleep, so he can truly appreciate the moment right now. The sun from the window paints their skins in light, giving them different shades, and Jeongguk can swear that this is a level of perfection beyond what he could have dreamed of.

 

Unfortunately, a moment like this can only stretch so far, and Jeongguk knows it’s about to end when Jimin starts moving slightly, opening one eye and then the other. He stares right at Jeongguk and smiles, lips stretched in a perfect shape, and Jeongguk, still feeling the bliss of the morning, leans in to steal a kiss. It’s slow and mellow, to the rhythm of Jeongguk's mind.

“Morning love” Jimin murmurs, voice slurred with sleep.

“Morning” Jeongguk smiles, caressing Taehyung's back with the other hand.

“I should get up” Jimin whispers while he stretches his body.

“Don’t leave us… it’s the weekend” Jeongguk argues.

“Yeah, but I was thinking of making you pancakes for breakfast?” Jimin lifts his brow and, at this proposition, Jeongguk can’t really say no.

“I’ll help you… Tae will like it” Jeongguk moves his head slowly up, thinking of how to leave Taehyung comfortable in the absence of his body.

“He will. But stay there” Jimin pushes him back into his pillow again “he’ll wake up if you move” Jeongguk frowns but Jimin continues, smiling “also, i love seeing you two like this. Can I take a photo?”

“No?” Jeongguk says it like a question, and Jimin snaps around 10 pictures from different angles and smiles fondly on his phone. “New home screen”

“You wouldn’t” Jeongguk argues. 

“I just did!” Jimin proudly shows him his background, a photo of Taehyung and Jeongguk snuggling on the bed, sunlight marking their skin. It’s not very explicit, since he managed an angle where people can’t see much of their faces. It feels homey and lovely. It makes Jeongguk flustered in the best way, his heart swelling. 

“Just admit that my background photo is the best and go” Jimin chirps lowly, trying not to wake Taehyung, who grumps lightly and shifts position, showing some discomfort with the noise.

“It is… It truly is” Jeongguk whispers, tightening Taehyung in his embrace while Jimin sends him a smile, puts a finger in front of his lips and moves away to the kitchen.

 

He wouldn’t mind living like this until the end of his days.

 

 

Turns out that Taehyung likes the surprise of pancakes for breakfast so much that his eyes light up while he eats almost half of them. Jeongguk laughs whole heartily and gives some of his share to him gladly.

 

After that, they decide to have a lazy morning, the three of them on the living room, snuggled on the couch, and Jeongguk wishes he could save the moments he’s been living in a safe, for revisiting purposes in the future.

“We should go to the aquarium” Jimin says suddenly.

“Huh?” Jeongguk looks up at him from where he laus, in his lap.

“Yeah, we never went there” Jimin continues with a pensive look.

“Do you feel like going today Jiminie?” Taehyung asks from the other side of the couch, where he plays circles in Jeongguk’s legs.

“Yes! I just decided i do! But it’s okay if you don’t feel like it, honesty” Jimin exclaims, excitement growing. Jeongguk knows well that there’s really not much sense in arguing. 

“Okay! I’ll go shower first!” he volunteers, jumping from the couch as he leaves his boyfriends to cuddle behind.

 

After he finishes showering, something in him makes him get out of the bathroom with nothing but a towel around his wait. 

 

He can only guess that Jimin and Taehyung are trying to give him space when it comes to the sexual side of their relationship, knowing them. They probably just want Jeongguk to feel comfortable. But it has been almost a month and he has been sleeping with them every night. And he knows he’s not the only one struggling to keep his hands to himself. 

 

He wants them, there is no doubt in his mind. Or in his body, that reacts to their touches daily. And lately he started to wonder why they should wait to be together. After all, there’s nothing in their way now. Feelings bared, confessions told, relationship growing. All that’s missing is a piece of the puzzle. And Jeongguk can’t wait for it to be finished.

 

So, instead of telling them about his decision, he chooses to once again let his actions speak for himself, and ruffles his wet hair twice, grabbing firmly onto the towel around the waist as he leaves the bathroom.

 

When he gets to the living room, Jimin is lazily leaned on Taehyung’s shoulder, both looking mindlessly at the television. He’s aware he’s flustered, can feel his cheeks burning. But he knows what (or who) he wants and he’s resolute on showing it.

 

When they notice him, Jimin immediately shoots his head up, straightening himself, and Taehyung smirks at the sight. They both look at Jeongguk appreciatively, just like back in the locker rooms, Taehyung bitting his bottom lip between his teeth and Jimin's expression turning teasing in a second.

“Wow baby… you’re looking good” Jimin says, hunger evident in his tone.

“T-thanks?” Jeongguk doesn’t have the confidence that he wishes he could have, but he doesn’t back down either, and he hopes they understand just what he’s trying to do without him having to spell it out.

“Thank you” it’s time for Taehyung to speak “Jimin was right when he called your body art…”

 

Jeongguk approaches them then, and wordlessly unbuttons Jimin’s dress shirt, tugging at Taehyung’s shirt at the same time. He thinks he can’t possibly make things any clearer, and sure enough they seem to immediately get the message, Jimin  throwing his dress shirt to the floor quickly, and Taehyung getting his own shirt off too, except a lot slower, making a show of it.

“Tae…” Jimin smiles, lightly shoving him, maybe pleading him to go faster.

Taehyung smiles back and slowly kisses him on the lips, purposely dragging their lips together, like they have all the time in the world, and Jimin immediately melts into it. Jeongguk heart backflips a little, the sight of them kissing being enough to make him feel like his insides caught fire. He takes a deep breath and lets himself approach them, slowly and hesitantly. Once the distance is shortened, Jimin breaks the kiss, eyes fluttering open while he stretches his hand to touch Jeongguk's torso. Taehyung is quick to react, kissing the smile on Jeongguks face, and he changes the angle so that he can welcome Taehyung's tongue in his mouth. He still tastes like Jimin, and the kiss melts into a mix of the three of them, which is enough to send Jeongguk into overdrive.

 

He can’t mask his body’s response to the heated make out session, since he only has a towel covering himself, and the feeling of exposure leaves him feeling more vulnerable, but also craving more. He hears a moan escaping his mouth before he even notices it forming, completely lost in Taehyung's kiss and the feeling of Jimin’s hands wandering appreciatively in his chest. 

The sound seems to have an immediate effect on Jimin, who nearly jumps to his lap, making Jeongguk lose his balance and almost fall.

“Bedroom. Now.” Jimin's voice is hoarse, and Jeongguk recognises the want in it. He catches Taehyung's eyes as he pulls him up and starts to drag Jeongguk gently to the room. 

 

 

As soon as they enter the bedroom, Jimin gently but firmly pushes Jeongguk towards the bed until his knees touch the mattress, and puts one of his hands above the towel. 

“Can I?” he asks, hand hovering and waiting for permission, and at the same time he leans in to kiss Jeongguk’s neck, biting slowly. Jeongguk looks at Taehyung, who looks back at him through his lashes, giving him the courage to nod. 

 

Jimin doesn’t miss a beat and immediately tears the towel away from him.

They both stare at Jeongguk, Jimin backing away from his neck, eyes wide and smile on his face. Jeongguk thinks he can actually see a similar glint in their eyes. He feels exposed, but wanted, and just looking at them, chests bare and eyes hungry, is enough to make his dick twitch. 

 

But still, he wants so much more. 

 

“Not fair…” he points at their pants, and Jimin slyly smiles before turning to Taehyung and grabbing his ass. Taehyung doesn’t react to the action, eyes still focused on Jeongguk, but Jimin quickly gets his attention when he starts pulling Taehyung’s pyjama pants down. If Jeongguk didn’t know better, he would bet that Jimin knew exactly what he was doing to both of them. They have disclosed to him before that they have never been in a threesome, so this should be a new adventure for the three of them. But Jeongguk guesses Jimin is just naturally gifted to understand what makes each of them go off.

 

Taehyung's pants hit the ground and Jimin is quick to kick them to the other side of the room, as he slides himself out of his own. Jeongguk allows himself to really look at them then, and full on naked they manage to be even more perfect than what he imagined (yes, he imagined this moment a lot of times, can you really blame him?). Jeongguk takes a moment to fully appreciate them. He wants to worship every inch of their body.

 

When looking stops being enough, he starts to drag them both to his side. It’s hard to hold back when he has been wanting this for so long. He can see in their faces, and by the way both of them are reacting, that he’s not the only one.

“You don’t know how much we’ve been waiting for this” Jimin murmurs in a low voice.
“I can imagine” Jeongguk manages to say, his mind already blurry.

“We want you Gukkie… so much” Taehyung says before kissing him on the lips, pulling slightly on his bottom lip.

 

Jimin pushes him slightly backwards, and Jeongguk lets his body fall back, quickly bracing himself with both arms on the sheets. Jimin immediately climbs into his lap, placing his own thighs around Jeongguk’s and kissing him eagerly, exploring his mouth with his tongue. 

 

There’s something about Jimin that is extremely sensual. It’s in the way he moves perfectly, each action both hungry and gentle. Jeongguk is easily lost in his sweet taste when he feels Taehyung next to him, his lips pressing behind his ear and trailing a line of kisses along the collar of his throat, the warm exhale of his breaths making Jeongguk roll his eyes backwards and lose himself for a bit. In just a second Taehyung is placing himself behind him, legs spread wide, Jeongguk’s back falling to rest on his warm chest while Jimin slowly starts to circle his hips. 

 

Jeongguk breaks the kiss, his mind is all over the place. He turns his head slightly to the side, a silent plead for Taehyung to continue kissing his neck, while Jimin starts passing his hands through his chest and slowly grinding down in a maddening way. He can feel Taehyung's chest right behind him, the way his heart is hammering against it. He can’t help reaching and placing his hands on JImin’s thighs, his grip tightening on a particular sensuous movement that makes his dick twist. He  struggles to keep his eyes open but forces himself to, not wanting to lose anything, like the way Jimin’s mouth hangs open in pleasure. Suddenly, Jimin swiftly moves one of his hands to Taehyung’s neck and pushes him in to share a kiss. He does it without breaking the rhythm of his movements, and Jeongguk can feel the way Taehyung immediately turns pliant under him, and see the way he opens his mouth eagerly to let Jimin explore it. He can also feel the way Taehyung's dick is reacting to the kiss. He looks at them and makes his best effort steel himself.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t see it coming when Jimin's hand wraps around his dick, making his breath hitch. Taehyung and Jimin break the kiss then, and Jimin stops grinding, an unexpectedly controlled look on his face. Taehyung leaves his position behind Jeongguk, his body readily falling on the mattress, to stand by his side and start trailing a line of kisses through his chest, sloppy and hot.

“Can I?” Jimin asks in a low voice. Jeongguk can feel his breath on his neck.

“Y-yes” Jeongguk manages to agree. It’s hard to contain himself, stimulation coming from so many places in his body, and he starts to feel almost dizzy.

“You’re so beautiful Gukkie” Jimin says sweetly between kisses “Our Gukkie”

“I‘m yours” Jeongguk says, voice frail and then completely gone as Jimin starts moving his hand expertly. 

Taehyung keeps on kissing him all over while Jimin keeps the pace, and when Taehyung’s lips encircle one of his nipples it all becomes too much.

“S-stop… gonna c-come” he pleads.

“You can come baby” Jimin assures. 

“D-don’t… not yet” Jeongguk manages to say, and it seems to be enough to make Jimin stop slowly. 

 

JImin gives him a sloppy wet kiss then, before lifting himself up and moving to the side. Jeongguk wonders just what he’s doing, before Taehyung takes his previous place. Placed above him, Taehyung leans to the side and starts kissing Jimin’s body from his shoulder to his chest, coming down. He lets his mouth and hands roam  through Jimin’s body until Jimin is left quivering on Jeongguk's side, and Jeongguk can’t take his eyes off them, the weight of Taehyung on his lap making everything somehow hotter. 

At this moment Jeongguk thinks he’s really going to coming untouched, but they suddenly both stop and look at him, just like they were able to read his thoughts. Taehyung stares at him them, and starts moving, kissing down his body now, lower and lower until his lips reach his hips, making Jeongguk’s breath hitch before he continues kissing even lower.

 

Taehyung’s mouth hangs over his dick for a moment, teasing him with the warmth, but he doesn’t make Jeongguk suffer long, probably understanding the urgency of the situation. 

The moment he spreads his lips to take Jeongguk in, he can’t help the groan that leaves him, and as soon as Taehyung starts slowly bobbing his head, flattening his tongue to take him all in, he stops trying to keep any sounds in, too far gone to care how desperate he’s sounding. Jimin’s voice, close to his ear, keeps on singing him  the sweetest praises, his soft hands caressing his cheek, and that only spurs him further.

With all the overstimulation he knows he’s not going to be able to last much longer, and he tries to warn them of it, but Taehyung only groans in return.

“He says you can come on his throat baby” the sensual way Jimin whispers the words is the last drop. Jeongguk starts to quiver and comes hard down Taehyung’s throat. Taehyung doesn’t falter in his rhythm, and Jeongguk loses himself, Jimin’s voice the only thing anchoring him.

 

When he opens his eyes again, Taehyung smiles at him before moving upwards with keeping a satisfied expression and Jimin immediately kisses him.

“That was so hot baby… You got me all riled up” he murmurs low, and Jeongguk  thinks about how Jimin must be tasting him through Taehyung’s tongue.

“Really?” Taehyung replies panting, laughing a little between kisses.

“Yeah…” Jimin’s hands go straight to Taehyung’s dick, pumping it a few times,  and Taehyung rolls his eyes. They kiss hungrily, yearning for each other, pressing their bodies together eagerly.

Jeongguk doesn’t think he has the energy to move at all, but the sight of the both of them urges him to react after a while. So, he lifts himself up and approaches them, doing his best to fasten one of his hands around both of their lengths. Taehyung gasps in surprise, letting out a whimper, but Jimin just smiles deviously before  letting his head fall backwards with a low groan. 

One of Taehyung’s hands latch onto the hair in the back of Jeongguk's head, grabbing slightly but not enough to hurt. Jeongguk kisses his wrist and does his best to keep his pace, gripping his fingers around them in a way that feels natural, even though it’s the first time.

“Jeongguk…” Jimin slurs, and Jeongguk catches his lips in a kiss.

“I’m close” Taehyung moans out, his other hand clasping one of Jimin’s shoulders tightly. Jeongguk kisses him next, slowly.

“Me too” Jimin says.

“You two are perfect like this” Jeongguk murmurs. The words seem lethal to both of them, and they come together, riding out their orgasm as Jeongguk kisses both of them lazily, until they collapse together against each other.

 

Jeongguk pushes them down gently, and they both fall on the mattress, with him falling right besides them soon after, all of them sweaty and panting. They wordlessly look at each other for a while until their breath catches on and Jeongguk moves to grab a wet towel so they can clean themselves a bit.

 

“If I knew how this would go, I would have tried seducing you sooner” Jimin is the first to talk. He looks out of his mind, cheeks flushed and red shiny lips. Taehyung laughs a bit and drags a reply “You always try to seduce us though”, and they all laugh.

 

Jeongguk is sure his heart is beating twice as fast. He lays his eyes on them, and they seem as happy as Jeongguk feels. 

 

In his eyes, they’re perfection. 

 

They share a look, warmth irradiating through their bodies, the love between them enhancing. He feels totally exposed. And, for the first time in his life, he’s happy to feel this vulnerable. He’s happy to give all of him to them.

 

He knows, if they wanted to, it would be easy to break him. But he doesn’t think that’ll ever happen. And, sometimes, the best way to truly appreciate what you have is to take a leap of faith, to jump.

 

So, without much thinking, he manages to speak what he feels, this time more meaningful than ever. Even if a bit hesitant, he says.

 

“I really love you”

 

And, confirming all his suspicions, they catch him right away. Jimin kisses him on the temple and Taehyung caresses his cheek before nuzzling his nose on his neck.

 

“We love you too”

Chapter Text

 

Jeongguk is on Jimin and Taehyung’s balcony, lazily spread on their beanbag, his eyes closed as he feels the cold breeze ruffle his hair, lulled by the music coming from the living room. Taehyung is practicing a piece on his violin while Jimin is working on his computer, humming along to it. Their life seems like a puzzle, fitting so well that it makes Jeongguk wonder how it’s even possible that three people can love and complement each other as well as they do.

 

He can perfectly picture themselves together in the future. Maybe that sort of thought isn’t typical for such young couples. But he really can. 

 

However, and even though he looks at Jimin and Taehyung like they’re the only people in the world, he knows they are not. And unfortunately society isn’t filled with open minded people. The thought has been on Jeongguk’s mind lately, especially when feels so in love, and so certain that it will last. He can’t help but worry about what their parents reactions are going to be when they disclose themselves to them.

 

He knows that Taehyung's parents won’t be a problem, for the worst reasons. They rejected him a long time ago, simultaneously because of his career path and the fact that he liked boys (or in that case, one boy: Jimin). They still talk to each other, but only because the social family roles dictate them to. It would be too shameful to have a son that you don’t contact at all. Even so, they don’t actually care about Taehyung's life and he only ever sees them once a year for Christmas. 

 

Jimin’s parents are from a small village, and their mentality is pretty traditional, but they love him more than anything. They eventually accepted his relationship with Taehyung, even if it was a little hard in the beginning, and they’re completely supportive of it now, welcoming Taehyung in their home like their own son. But Jeongguk doesn’t know how they’ll react to a adding another member to the relationship. Maybe it will be pushing it a little too far. 

 

When it comes to Jeongguk's parents… well. He honestly can’t even try to guess their reactions. Jeongguk was never in a relationship serious enough for him to introduce the person to his parents. He knows they like to see themselves as modern and advance minded, but he also knows that they struggle to deal with things that don’t go according to the way they planned or imagined them. That’s one of the reasons why he rarely opposes them. Them accepting he likes boys? Probably not really a problem. Him starting to date a couple of neighbours that have been together for a few years now? Who knows. 

 

He exhales slowly, opening his eyes and turning around to peek inside. He wonders if he should approach them on the topic, or if it’s too soon. Maybe he’s thinking too far ahead. And he doesn’t want to be the only bursting this perfect bubble they’ve been living in. He decides to keep his worries to himself, but it becomes obvious that he’s not the only one wondering about how others will perceive their relationship during dinner.

“I was thinking how you would feel about doing a dinner at our place… inviting some people over” Taehyung starts, picking some carrots with his fork and playing with them aimlessly. Jeongguk stares at him from the other side of the table, his fidgeting easily letting him know that he’s trying to bring something up. “Me and my friend from college, the ones you met, we usually have a group dinner once a month… we rotate between our places and this month it’s supposed to here”

“That sounds nice” Jeongguk comments, his voice soft, still not exactly sure where Taehyung’s getting at, but sure that there’s something there.

“I was wondering…” Taehyung starts, but stops for a moment to glance up at Jeongguk,  who gives him what he hopes is an encouraging smile “I was wondering how you would feel about introducing you… as our boyfriend”

“Are you sure?” Jeongguk voice sounds thin, not able to mask the anxiety behind it, but at the same time there’s a part of him that’s pleased that he’s not alone in feeling this way. That they don’t want to hide him, to hide what they have, either. 

He knew about this tradition already, he had been invited to the last dinner happening in their place, but he had been buried in the library back then and ended up not being able to go. Back then, if he had come, it would have been as Jimin and Taehyung's close friend and neighbour. Now... now it was different

“Yeah I mean… you’re a part of our life now.” Taehyung answers, sounding certain now. “And you basically live here. This is your home too. If they’re coming here… I don’t want to keep us a secret”

Jeongguk is frozen, not really sure what to say, his heart thumping so loudly he wonders if they can hear it. He had come to think about this as his home a long time ago, but hearing Taehyung say it has a completely different weight.

“I agree” Jimin pipes up, his voice soft but excited “I don’t want to keep any of it a secret either.” He stops then, and reaches out to settle his tiny hand on top of Jeongguk’s, the touch warm “But only if you agree and feel comfortable with it too”

“I’m okay with it” Jeongguk says, his steady words showing how sure he feels about it.

“Okay” Taehyung says, reaching out with his hand to hold Jeongguk’s free one, a huge smile on his face “Then I say we do it!”

“Yeah, me too” Jeongguk nods.

“Me three” Jimin assures.

 

The prospect of telling other people about them, people he doesn’t really know all that well, scares him a little bit, but the word home is still echoing in his mind and he can’t help but smile. Taehyung could have just come up with an excuse, delaying the dinner to another month or skip it altogether - but he chose not to. He chose to proudly present Jeongguk instead of hiding him away. 

 

“Jiminie, Gukkie is making heart eyes at me… I’m getting flustered” Taehyung whines faking shyness as he gestures with his hand dismissively.

“Guk, stop making eyes at my boyfriend!” Jimin says mockingly, but he leans over to kisses Jeongguk on the cheek.

 

What they have is good, so good. He just has to hope other people will see it.

 

———

 

It’s the day of the dinner, and Jeongguk opts for going to have coffee with Hoseok hoping to distract himself from his own nerves. He’s supposed to pick Jimin up from work soon so they can head home and start preparing everything. It’s not a big group, just the people Jeongguk had met a few times already while going to watch Taehyung practice - Yuju, Kihyun and Jun. The three of them had talked about it and decided that it would be easier to just try to casually bring up the subject during the meal, see what kind of  reaction they would get and take it from there. After all, there was a chance everything would go smoothly and they wouldn’t even be that surprised, it happened with Hoseok and Yoongi so, it’s a good plan, right? 

 

“You guys are the bravest fools I know” Hoseok says, taking a large sip from his cup “It would be so much easier to text them beforehand and give them some time to process stuff”

“Yeah, I know…” Jeongguk shrugs “but they might have… questions. And we also don’t want to make a big deal about it”

“I get it” Hoseok says, and he ruffles Jeongguk's head affectionately “Don’t worry, you’re going to be fine.” Jeongguk gives him a thankful smile in return, right as his cellphone starts vibrating, one glance enough to let him know it’s Jimin letting him know he’s ready.

“Got to go” he announces, and Hoseok throws him a reassuring nod with a smile. 

 

The drive home makes Jeongguk forget all about his worries, Jimin was probably able to feel his tension and makes his best to distract him using every tactic from serenading him to telling him all about his day, even going as far as letting his hand wander a little too high on his thigh to be considered appropriate. That particular tactic had been a little too distracting, and Jeongguk had to put an end to it before he forgot all about cooking and tidying up and decided they could find better ways to use their time instead. 

 

Once they get home, Taehyung looks a bit worried, checking up on everything again and again. Jimin is quick to throw himself at him, leaving sweet kisses at over his face, Jeongguk follows suit, still feeling a bit fidgety and needing his boyfriends support. He thinks it’s beautiful the way they lean into each other, and at some point he gets so enraptured by their charms that he almost forgets why there’s any reason to feel nervous at all. 

 

However, now with three pairs of eyes focusing on him, and after Taehyung casually referred to Jeongguk as his boyfriend, feeling nervous seems pretty justifiable. 

“What?” Kihyun says, his words harsh, his eyes jumping to Jimin with a mist of revolt and confusion “are you telling us you and Jimin broke up?”

“No, never” Taehyung is quick to reassure, holding Jimin’s hand and caressing it with his thumb, a tranquil look on his face. “Me and Jimin are still together” he looks at Jimin with a smile “And we’re both dating Jeongguk now” Taehyungs voice is calm as he grabs Jeongguks hand in his “And Jeongguk is dating us both. We all love each other”

Understanding crosses their faces then, and Yuju gives them an encouraging smile with a nod of approval, the gesture making Jeongguk’s shoulders feel a little lighter. Jun doesn’t seem sure about how to react, simply nodding a couple of times, like he’s trying to process the information. Kihyun, on the other hand, pipes up again.

“But… how does that even work” he doesn’t look angry anymore, just confused, but his words still come out a little harshly “How do you know that one of you don’t like the other more than the other one?” 

“We are open about things, we talk it out. We love each other in a different way, but not in a different measure” Taehyung answers calmly, apparently unbothered by the question, but Jeongguk can see the way he tightens his hold on Jimin’s hand. 

“But you and Jimin have been together for years… I’m sorry, but are you sure about this?” 

 

Jeongguk is starting to feel a little uncomfortable with the questions, the idea that he somehow is ruining Jimin and Taehyung’s relationship has always been his main fear, and it’s making him sick, but before he even has a chance to show it he just sees Taehyung stand up firmly, his gaze hard and intimidating.

“Of course we’re sure” he says warningly, and Jimin tugs at his wrist to sit him back down, looking at him pleadingly. Taehyung looks down at him and recollects himself, his voice sounding a bit softer when he speaks again “Jimin and I are happily together. Our relationship is as strong as ever. Jeongguk came into our lives and just changed it into something even more beautiful” he breathes and looks and Jeongguk, taking a moment before continuing “I won’t have you questioning our relationship or making Jeongguk feel bad about himself nor his place in this relationship. I wanted to let you guys know about it because he’s an important part of my life. But please don’t mistake that with asking for an opinion, and even less, approval.”

 

Kihyun is left staring at Taehyung wordlessly. “Sorry Tae” he says after a couple of seconds, the words sounding sincere “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be an asshole. I just… I was just surprised” he shifts his eyes to Jeongguk then, and repeats the word “Sorry”. 

Jeongguk can see it’s genuine, and honestly he was expecting some comments. Slowly he calms down, nodding his head to Kihyun and trying a smile.

 

After a moment, Yuju congratulates them excitedly, and before they know it the conversation has proceeded to other topics. By the end of the meal, the earlier tension is completely forgotten and he follows Taehyung into the kitchen to fetch more drinks and desert. 

 

Before he gets a chance to even take the cheesecake out of the fridge, he feels Taehyung’s hand turn him around and his entire body embracing him in a tight hug. Jeongguk hugs back immediately, feeling the reassurance he didn’t know he needed through his touch.

“Thank you for defending us like that” Jeongguk whispers. He has been trying to work on communicating his feelings, even when he thinks they are self explanatory. 

“I just don’t want you to ever feel like you’re a plus, just because Jiminie and me have been together longer” Taehyung creates some distance between them so that he can look into Jeongguk’s eyes, their foreheads touching.

“I don’t” Jeongguk assures, kissing Taehyung briefly on the lips. Taehyung is quick to welcome the gesture, “but thank you for confirming it”.

“I’ll tell you everyday if you want. We love you Gukkie” he says, as he puts both arms around his neck and aims for a proper kiss. But before they can lock lips again, they hear someone by the doorframe of the kitchen.

“Betrayal. Right here!” Jimin points to them, his voice is teasing “I can’t even let you two alone for five minutes and you’re all up in each others faces! What about me?” he whines jokingly.

“Come here our petulant boy” Taehyung mocks, but Jimin smiles fondly and approaches them gleefully.

“I’m just kidding, you guys can have fun all you want! I know I never miss an opportunity to have fun with either of you!” 

“We’ve been knew baby…” Taehyung smiles and winks at Jeongguk who laughs, the tension is slowly leaving their bodies.

“But everyone’s waiting for that cheesecake so…” Jimin passes through them, groping Taehyung’s but on his way to open the fridge and takes the mentioned desert out “Maybe save it for later?”

 

Looking at Jimin’s teasing expression, his hands still intertwined with Taehyung’s, he feels so light and loved, and he can’t help but feel like that they have is real that it’s surely invincible. They can muster the courage to stand strong and tall even if the world outside their doors may be hostile. They can survive it if they have each other. 

 

He just needs them. 

 

Before he even realises what he’s saying, the words are out. 

 

“Do you want to meet my hometown?”

They both seem surprised by the change in mood, but are quick to adjust to it, Jimin’s face turning from playful to serious in only a second. Looking at their faces, he’s sure they know what the question really means.

“Are you sure Gukkie?” Taehyung touches his cheek lovingly and Jimin shortens the distance between them, setting the cheesecake on the counter so that he can settle one hand on Jeongguk’s waist. 

“Yeah… I’m sure… If you you wanna?” he looks down, waiting for their reply.

“Of course baby” Jimin lifts his hand in order to push his chin up, kissing him on the lips  gently. “We would love to”.

 

When they get back to the living room, cheesecake proudly set in the middle of the table, Jeongguk doesn’t even attempt to hide the huge smile on his face. 

 

———

 

Jeongguk never thought the drive to his parents house could pass this quickly. The music Jeongguk chose, along with the comforting presence of both his boyfriends, make him feel calm, giving him the strength he needs to brace himself for the encounter.

“Is this your town Gukkie?” Jimin slowly motions his head towards the window and the passing scenery, and Jeongguk nods in confirmation.“It seems so cozy! So many small houses, I like it!” 

“There’s lots of dogs too! I’ve already seen four” Taehyung exclaims.

“That’s not that many Taetae” Jimin argues, their bickering helping all of them ease the worries.

“We rarely see them back home!” Taehyung replies, crossing his arms.

“One day, we’ll get a dog!” Jeongguk says, and he can already imagine them with a lil pup.

“Seriously?!” Taehyung's voice comes filled with surprise from the backseat, and he looks at Jimin for confirmation.
“Yeah… if you want” Jeongguk resonates after seeing Jimin nod easily, and he makes a turn right. They’re almost there now. 

“Ah that would be amazing!” Taehyung seems excited. 

“He will be the most beautiful dog” Jimin assures them.

“Yeah, but first… let’s deal with families” Jeongguk says, stopping the engine. He doesn’t stop right in front of his parents house, thinking it’s probably a good idea to give them the opportunity to collect themselves first. He notices, without much surprise, that he’s getting restless now that’s he’s only a few houses away from his own.

 

“So… My parents…” Jeongguk takes off his seatbelt and clasps his hands together, grimacing a little at the prospect of the encounter.

“It’s going to be okay Gukkie” Taehyung face turns serious in an instant, playfulness forgotten “We’ll be here for you either way”

“Yeah love” Jimin says, leaning in to kiss his temple “Do you want us to hold back for a bit, go on your own first?”

“I don’t actually know what’s better, to be honest…” Jeongguk trails off, thinking about all the different possibilities. 

But, as his anxiety starts to rise, his impulsiveness and impatience rise as well. He just wants to get this over with.

“Okay so… I think it’s probably better if we go together… and I’ll just announce you as Taehyung and Jimin, you know… no labels?” Jeongguk suggests, even though he’s not sure this is really the best way to handle the situation. Well, he never said that his way of dealing with things impulsively was the right way anyway.

“But… don’t you want them to accept us as your boyfriends?” Jimin says, and when Jeongguk looks at him he can see a glimpse of hurt in his eyes. His heart stings, and he quickly corrects himself.

“Y-Yes, of course!!” he brushes Jimin's hair out of his face “I just meant… I don’t know… I’m sorry Jiminie“, his boyfriend shakes his head and leans into Jeongguk's touch.

“You probably just meant to ease into the situation right?” Taehyung speaks, his elbows resting on each of their seats. As usual, he got what Jeongguk was thinking right away, even better than himself “It’s not the worst idea” 

“But what if they ask?” Jimin quirks his brow, trying to understand the plan.

“If they ask I’ll say the truth” Jeongguk reassures.

“Gukkie, you’re the one who knows your parents the best. So we trust you to know the best way to do this” Taehyung ruffles his hair tenderly “We got you baby”

“Yes, we’ll follow your lead. We’ll be right behind you” Jimin says between kisses on his cheek.

“You two are really… how lucky can I be?” he knows he must be wearing an expression of awe as he looks at his two perfect boyfriends.

“Very lucky indeed, we are the catchiest of the catches!” Jimin chirps, opening the door of the car and jumping out. His words makes both of them smile fondly, and Taehyung says in a low voice “You’re not the only one who’s lucky Gukkie”.

 

Jeongguk's smile grows even wider and his heart nearly explodes. He’s got this. And he’s got them.

 

It’s going to be fine.

 

———

 

Jeongguk takes two deep breaths before knocking at his parents house. Taehyung and Jimin are right behind him, in close proximity, just enough so he can feel their bodies heat, the contrast between their warmth and the cold air helping him feel calmer. 

As soon as he hears quick footsteps from the other side of the door he knows it’s his mother.

“Here we go…” Jeongguk mumbles almost inaudibly, but he feels Taehyung's hand in his small back brushing slightly, the touch probably meant as a silent way to reassure him. It works.

“Jeonggukie!!!” his mothers voice is as loud as always, and she immediately goes in for a hug that Jeongguk quickly welcomes “I missed my baby!”

She lets go of him with an emotional look on her face, looking as if her son had gone to war and just came back alive.

“Hi mom! Good to see you” Jeongguk gives her his trained smile, the one his mother is used to and acknowledges as his own. She stares at him fondly before her expression turns worried and she steps away from the door, looking at Taehyung and Jimin and exclaiming:

“Oh, where are my manners! Please, welcome to our home! Come in come in!”

Taehyung smiles politely, the grin making his face even more gorgeous, and Jimin beams his best (boyfriend material) smile. Jeongguk feels instantly proud he gets to call them his.

They drop their bags in the hallway by request, and follow his mother into the living room where Jeongguk and his mother immediately sit on the biggest couch. Taehyung and Jimin stare at each other before siting on the couch next to them.

“Mom, this is Taehyung and Jimin” he gestures to them individually, exchanging looks with them.

“Nice to meet you two! Jeongguk never talks to me about anything or anyone, he’s the worst” she laughs, ruffling her son’s hair and he grimaces but doesn’t make any move to escape “But your names were the only ones I’ve heard when I spied on him last time he was here!”

“Are you kidding me?” Jeongguk asks, turning to look at her, completely perplexed.

“Calm down, you’re so sensitive! I just heard you say hi to them on FaceTime by accident when I was passing by your bedroom” Jeongguk stares at his mother, some fear rising in him about being discovered, but soon he remembers they wereo’t even together at the time. And honestly, if they were and this was her reaction, he wouldn’t complain. He just hopes she’ll accept it well.

“I swear, I didn’t listen to the conversation” she pokes at his side, laughing as she eyes Taehyung and Jimin “I’m happy to see Jeonggukie brought someone home, he’s too private for his own good” she gestures to Jeongguk with a distasteful look “I think the last time he brought a friend home he was 13!”

Taehyung laughs covering his mouth with his hand, and Jimin says with a smirk “Somehow that doesn’t surprise us”

“You know him well then!” she’s laughing along with them now.

Jeongguk shakes his head before deciding to maintain the good mood “I bring them here and you just say bad things about me?” he smiles, showing that he’s not really angry about it “The mistreatment!” he plays along and her mother beams. He wonders if maybe his mother is just yearning for his attention. He really should call more often.

“Where’s dad and Jinyoung?” he asks, trying to keep the conversation going.

“Your father went to grab some groceries for dinner and your brother must be arriving any moment, he just went out with some friends” Jeongguk quirks his eyebrow but nods.

“Not even my own blood wants to receive me adequately” he pouts.

“Shut up you brat! It’s good to have you home” She involves him in a tight hug and he   hits back. He catches Taehyung and Jimin looking at them, smiling fondly, and he can actually see how much they love him in their eyes. He feels his chest bloom. Home indeed.

 

Turns out no one asks what his relationship is with neither Taehyung nor Jimin, and Jeongguk assumes that’s partly because they’re three people and partly because his parents aren’t expect him to be in a serious romantic relationship. They know he has dated before, but they never knew anyone. They probably just assumed the three of them are good friends. 

 

And three good friends can sleep in the same room without suspicion, right?

 

“Mom, did you already prepare some place for them to sleep? They can sleep in my bedroom, I have an extra bed” Jeongguk says, trying to look unaffected while serving them his mothers pasta for dinner. He passes a plate to Jimin who stares at the food with a hungry look on his face. Jeongguk smiles.

“Yes Jeonggukie, you have one extra bed, but there’s two of them” his mother explains while serving the side salad.

“Yeah, well, that’s okay, it’s not a small bed… I’m sure they can manage” Jeongguk argues He really wants to sleep next to them, the whole situation is making him slightly anxious.

“It’s not small? it’s a one person bed” his brother quirks his brow at him.

“Jimin is tiny!” Jeongguk explains, earning a death glare from Jimin. He sees Taehyung’s hand come for their boyfriend’s below the table, only visible for Jeongguk. He looks at Jimin silently asking for his forgiveness.

“It’s really okay, Jimin and I live together and when he was still in college we had to share an individual bed because we didn’t have money for another. So it won’t be the first time“ Taehyung shares with a casual smile. Not the first nor the last, Jeongguk thinks.

“I’m okay with it too” Jimin says kindly with a warm smile, eyes turning into crescents and in that moment Jeongguk knows they’re getting what they want, because it’s simply impossible to say no to him.

“Okay then” his mother gives in, just as predicted “If you prefer that to having Jeongguk sleep on the couch”

“Wait, what?” Jeongguk wasn’t expecting to be the one throw out of his own room, but after a second thought of course it makes sense, after all they’re the guests, so he just frowns.

Jimin laughs “It’s really okay, we actually sleep pretty late so we’ll just keep each other company and sleep in Jeongguk's room”

Jeongguk looks at Jimin with a silent thank you.

 

Jeongguk still isn’t sure just when or how exactly he should reveal the true nature of their relationship. He doesn’t have the courage to just say it aloud in the middle of a conversation, and the mere thought of asking for his family attention to disclaim their relationship gives him cold sweats. He almost wants to be discovered or just confirm some suspicion, but because they are three, he doesn’t think they would ever suspect it unless they’re very explicit in their affections, and he’s not about to start kissing them deeply in front of his own family.

 

When he voices his worries to his boyfriends Jimin suggests trying to drop little hints about it.

“We can just hold your hand or something… I don’t know” Jimin's head is in Jeongguk's lap as they lay on his old bed, posters from bands and solo artists in every surface of his walls. Having Taehyung and Jimin here with him feels really wholesome, as if he’s sharing  his past with them, the last piece of his own puzzle.

“I really like your room Gukkie. It’s very you” Taehyung says, brushing his hair tenderly. His back is against the bed frame, Jeongguk settled comfortably between his open legs and leaning on his chest.

“Thank you… I like having you two here” Jeongguk confesses with a shy smile. He thinks they fit right in.

“It’s just missing a photo of us three together!” Jimin says as he searches the walls for some space “I think you should have like a huge one! Definitely bigger than that dude!” he points to a solo artist, pouting a little bit in the most endearing way.

“I should!” Jeongguk says, laughing a bit “And I will!”

Taehyung laughs as well before changing topic. “Maybe we should come up with some plan though”

Jeongguk quickly changes expression, and nods seriously.

“Perhaps it will help if they know Taetae and me are together… Maybe they’ll find it weird that we’re always stuck together like glue?” Jimin suggests.

“That’s not a bad idea Jiminie” Taehyung reaches his hand to Jimin's face and caresses it, the latter leaning into the touch as Jeongguk continues to brush his hair carefully “What do you think Gukkie?”

“I think I’ll be frustrated” he says, but his smile is evident “But it’s a good idea”

Taehyung turns his head to peck his cheek, making him flustered.

“Ohhh our Gukkie” Jimin coos and he turns to look at him in, securing his weight with his elbows, and Jeongguk can see his expression changing “Don’t worry, we’ll make up to you baby” he says teasingly, biting his lip. Jeongguk gulps, not expecting the sudden turn. But he shouldn’t really be surprised, it’s Jimin after all.

“Babe, have some respect, this is a family house” Taehyung smirks.

“I didn’t do anything” Jimin says innocently, but he gives Jeongguk a wink.

 

The room fills with their laughter and comfortable conversation and Jeongguk gets a little more courage. If they’re together, they can make it.

 

That night, they fall asleep all tangled up in Jeongguk's bed.

 

———

 

“I’m so sorry that we have to go see my cousins volleyball game” Jeongguk puts his hand on his neck, looking down embarrassedly “I guess I should have warned you about my family… they plan activities every day, even on week days…” Jeongguk rolls his eyes and wonders, once again, if he’s really not in the wrong family.

“It’s okay Gukkie!” Jimin reassures while he messes the sheets of their spare bed so that it seems like someone slept there “It may even be a good opportunity for us to put our secret plan into motion!”

“You say that like we’re master minds” Taehyung laughs while he choses which shoes to wear, having tried 3 different pairs already, between the 5 he brought. 

“But you don’t even like sports…” Jeongguk is still stuck on the idea. He didn’t even think this part through. They could always say they’re not going, but he doesn’t want to test his parents mood.

“Baby, it’s really okay, I swear” Jimin grabs his face with both hands and pecks him lightly on the lips. Taehyung shoots his head to the open door of the room and widens his eyes.

“Are we trying to get caught?” he asks honestly “Because I don’t mind changing plans, but let me know if we do”

“Sorry sorry! We’re sticking to the original plan! I just got distracted, but can you blame me?” Jimin winks at Jeongguk before waltzing out of the room. They follow him, smile on their faces.

 

Turns out Jimin is able to make everyone in Jeongguk’s family love him within the first 24 hours. Maybe Jeongguk shouldn’t be surprised, because he’s convinced no one in the world is more charming then Jimin. Taehyung is right behind though, and he quickly gains everyone’s approval too, always managing to be a part of every conversation and leaving the best impression. Jeongguk can’t lie, the image of them talking happily with his family makes his heart soar a little, hope rising slowly inside him. Maybe everything will be alright.

 

Jimin, true to his promise, starts nonchalantly dropping hints about his and Taehyung's true closeness. He starts out slow, Jeongguk catching them with intertwined hands in the middle of his cousin game. Later, he uses the excuse of a particularly good play to lean into Taehyung’s space and whisper something in his ear, making him smile slightly. Near the end of the game, when Taehyung says something funny, he busts out laughing, throwing his whole body into Taehyung’s lap and cooing fondly at him. Jeongguk catches his brother and mother staring at them then, mild understanding on their faces, but he  thinks it better not enough to comment on it… yet. 

They’re not the type of people that keep their opinions to themselves though, so Jeongguk can only wait and see.

 

After the game, they have lunch with his aunt and uncle. Everything goes by uneventfully, light conversation and laughter filling the time, but Jeongguk is aware that Taehyung and Jimin keep themselves close, sharing food with each other as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. Jeongguk almost wants to pull the plug in the plan, wanting to show his affections for them as well. The frustration keeps him in sullen mood, but he knows it’s just his impulsive side acting up, and it only takes a glance for him to feel reassured, so he makes his best effort to steel himself. 

 

His efforts are compensated later when, back home, his mother seems uneasy about  asking something. The three of them are in the kitchen, helping his mother prepare dinner, and Jeongguk can immediately see what’s coming by her fidgeting.

“So… Jimin… Are you and Taehyung together?… I mean, as a couple?” her voice is thin, as if she’s not sure if this is something she should be asking.

“Well… yes” Jimin's voice seems uncertain and he searches Jeongguk's eyes, who gives his boyfriend a small smile. It’s not a lie after all.

“Oh, that’s fine!” his mother reassures quickly, probably recognising the uneasiness in his voice and misinterpreting it “I don’t discriminate at all! To be honest… I thought maybe one of you was dating our Jeonggukie” They stare at each other with wide eyes, and Jeongguk feels a bang in his chest, but braces himself as she continues rambling “I thought the other was just here so he could hide the romantic side of the relationship or something of that sort… I’ve always known he likes boys, even if he doesn’t tell me anything at all!”

“Yes mom, I like boys” Jeongguk tries to cut in. One step at the time. Let’s see if we can do this.

“I know you do son! That’s what I’m saying, I thought one of them was your boyfriend!” his mother turns to him now.

“You’re not wrong…” Jeongguk wants to say the words he knows he needs to say, but his mother’s words somehow are making him feel even more anxious. She’s really not getting it. Taehyung moves closer to him wordlessly and rest a hand on his small back. Jimin gets closer to them too, still trying to evaluate the situation. But they all know this is it. Before he can speak, his mother goes on.

“I know I’m not wrong! I know you Jeonggukie! But let me tell you, either one of them would be a fine catch!” she smiles gleefully and just when she’s about to turn away, Jeongguk forces the words out.

“What about if it were both of them?” his voice is just above a whisper. He can feel Jimin and Taehyung’s silent support though, and he couldn’t be more thankful. 

“What do you mean?” he can clearly see the way his mother's head wheels are turning from her confused expression. 

His breath catches in his throat and he coughs two times before answering. Let’s go.

“I mean… what if they were both my boyfriends?” he feels a bang on his chest, and the next moment seems stretch out through an eternity until his mom speaks up again, her voice unsure. 

“Like… in an open relationship? What do you mean?” Jeongguk can see she’s getting close, even if not quite there yet. So, he gives her a push.

“No, we are not an open relationship. Have you ever heard of a polyamory?” he can tell the way his voice is giving his anxious state away.

“Are you kidding me Jeongguk? Those never work… are you three a thing, is that it?” 

Jeongguk is taken aback by the harshness of his mothers words, and he falls silent for a second before Taehyung speaks up, his tone calm and steady.

“Yes… We have been together for a while now… I’m sorry for speaking, I understand if you need some time…” Taehyung squeezes his hand on Jeongguk waist "But it’s true that we all love each other”

“There is no doubt about that” Jimin adds, trying to help his boyfriends, and even adding a small smile.

Jeongguk's mother stares at them with wide open eyes, like this is the first time she’s really seeing them.

She mumbles an “I’m sorry, I need to think” before turning away and leaving the rest of the potatoes unpeeled. 

 

———

 

They decide to give her some time to process the information, and the three of them end up cooking the rest of the meal. It’s when they’re seating down at the dinner table that his mother comes back. Jeongguk tries to interpret her posture and figure out what’s on her mind, but no matter how much he tries he just cant’t seem to read her expression. She’s hiding her emotions expertly. It seems that, after all, Jeongguk really is her son.

“Where were you mom? Guk told me he cooked dinner, this food can be poisoned!” his brother jokes, laughing a bit before looking at Jimin “I’m kidding, he told me you cook very well”

“It’s okay, I did my best!” Jimin smiles, and Jeongguk can see he’s anxious about his mothers reaction too. Taehyung seems unbothered by the conversation, looking only at Jimin and Jeongguk. They start eating then, and after Jeongguk's father takes his first bite and compliments the food, his brother speaks again.

“Ah, it it tastes good, thank you! I really wasn’t expecting mom to let guests to cook for us” he laughs “I bet they’ll never come back here mom!”

“Oh… I bet they will” her voice is only above a whisper, but it still makes everyone at the table look her way.

“Well… I hope so” Jeongguk tries, eyes locked with his mothers. He feels some hope rising on his chest, but the light is still dim.

“Okay, I’m feeling some tension around here” Jeongguk's father speaks up “What’s happening? Jinyoung is usually the one on the other side of that glare”. Jinyoung nods, looking in their direction too. Jeongguk takes a deep breath, and Jimin stretches his hand and lands it subtly on his tight.

“Do you want me to tell them or should you?” his mother asks, voice neutral.

“I-I’ll do it”

“Okay”

“So… mom already knows but I want you to know too” he begins, feeling the palms of his hands getting sweaty. He hates that feeling. Taehyung casually puts his arm around Jeongguk's chair, hand falling on his shoulder, a confident look on his face. He looks at them, and their expressions are certain. He can do this.

“What’s up Guk?” Jinyoung asks, already starting to look questionably at Jimin and Taehyung

“So… there’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll get right to it…” he breathes in again. He can see their expectation, and his own stomach turning upside down, but he knows what he wants. He wants his family to know about them.

“Taehyung and Jimin aren’t just my friends… T-They are also m-my boyfriends”

“What?!” Jinyoung's voice is a harsh wave.

“Is this true?” his father asks looking from Jeongguk to his mother, who nods calmly. She continues to look like steel, unbreakable.

“Are you kidding me? I never thought my little brother was a pervert” Jinyoung’s expression lies between disgust and teasing. Jeongguk looks at him seriously in the eye and his brother just smirks back. Jeongguk guesses he’ll be the easiest when it comes to accepting them, so he discards him for know.

“Shut up.” Jeongguk’s voice sounds like a warning, and it’s almost immediately successful. His brother knows not to annoy Jeongguk past a certain point, so he just shrugs and mumbles “I don’t care you know, you can get freaky all you want!”

Jeongguk sends him a glare that makes him shut up for good before he looks at his parents. His mother still has the same serene look on her face, while his father just seems to be genuinely confused. His mother starts speaking in a grounded manner.

“I always thought you were different Jeongguk… You were never like one of us”

“What does that mean?” Jeongguk can feel heat rising within him. But he knows the statement gets to him mostly because it’s right.

“Calm down… I’m not saying this out of malice” she continues “You never really conformed to our way of living, you never fit in well with how we like to do things, so… maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that you’re different when it comes to this too” she looks at his father then. He actually doesn’t seem mad nor annoyed, just trying to fit the pieces of a mental puzzle, and this is the best reaction out of them all, contrary to Jeongguk’s  expectations. His mother continues after exchanging glances with her husband “I bet your father will agree with me when I say that we only want you to be happy. We could tell you what we think are the best paths for you to follow to be happy, but I don’t think it would work. You were always your own person, and we couldn’t change you even if we tried”

 

Jeongguk feels Jimin's hand tightening on his thigh. He also feels a knot on his throat, so he doesn’t reply to his mother right away, since he knows tears would start falling if he did. He keeps his eyes locked with hers, surprise evident on his face. His mother knows him well enough after all. Or at least she can recognise that he’s different from the expectations she had. And Jeongguk knows that’s not an easy thing for a parent to admit.

 

“Thank you mom. And you too dad” Jeongguk finally manages to say after a moment  “Really… thank you” he gulps hard, fighting the tears. Jimin and Taehyung, sensing it’s not their place to speak, keep their hands on his leg and shoulder, comforting him without words, but he can see they’re emotional too.

“Thank you for telling us son” his father speaks “I know it wasn’t easy, but I’m glad you did it. Takes courage.”

At that, Jeongguk can’t manage to hold it in any more, some tears starting to fall down. He maintains his composure though, and does his best show his gratitude. Jinyoung breaks the tension, standing up and opening his arms.

“Come here little brother!” Jeongguk stumbles on his feet and drags himself to his brother, who embraces him in a quick but tight hug, before turning to Jimin and Taehyung “Come here you two!” he opens his arms again, grabbing Jimin first and then Taehyung “Welcome to the family I guess!”

Jimin’s eyes are teary and Taehyung can’t hide the emotion on his own eyes either.

 

“You two are more than welcome here. Thank you for making Jeongguk happy enough that he wanted us to know about you… that’s certainly something” his mother seems a bit more relaxed now, “But I’m not going to lie… I wanted to ask you if it would be okay if we kept this between us… At least for now”

“That’s okay” Jeongguk shrugs “You’re the ones that really matter either way… But I hope you’re not ashamed of us”

“Not, it’s not that… I just think this is something that needs some getting used to… if that’s okay…” his mother replies. 

Jeongguk nods. He doesn’t really care much about telling anyone else from his family, especially so soon. And he understands that it can be difficult for his parents too, even more since they’re really social beings and rooted in shared social standards. It might not be an easy thing to say “so my son has two boyfriends” to your golf buddy. He gets it, and honestly, it’s not that important.

“It’s okay, we don’t mind. Thank you for accepting us”

“It’s your life son, do what makes you happy. And we would never prohibit, you know” his father reasons with him.

"Thank you for telling us” his mother says, a serious look on her face.

 

The tension slowly starts to evaporate after that, the topic changing to the places they want to show them tomorrow before they have to leave.

After dinner, they all go to the living room and soon sleep starts catching up to them, bodies exhausted from all the tension earlier. Jeongguk suggests going to bed, knowing they should leave their parents and brother to talk things out without their presence.

When he looks at his mothers expression, wide eyes and blank face, he doesn’t understand it immediately, until his brother easily provides an explanation.

“Ohhh, so that’s why you wanted to sleep all huddled up together in the same room!”

 

Jeongguk knows he’s flustered, but he still nods anyway. When he looks at his boyfriends they are both wearing a similar expression, the blushing particularly evident on Jimin’s face.

 

Jeongguk bids them goodnight quickly and awkwardly, before tugging Taehyung and Jimin up the stairs and into his bedroom.

 

That night, they sleep relaxed, embracing each other tightly, and even though they’re breathing each other’s air, they don’t feel like they’re suffocating anymore.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

After their talk things go back to normal between Jeongguk and his parents and it makes his heart warm to think of how easy everything ended up being. He really should give his parents more credit.

They still sightsee a bit before packing to go back. Jeongguk admits that he misses their home, the routine they created between themselves. It’s good to be open with his parents, but it’s obviously not the same.

When Jeongguk bids farewell to his parents, he knows he feels closer to them. When his mother gives him the usual embrace, he whispers a thank you in her ear. He does the same with his father, and as they say their goodbyes, Jeongguk goes away feeling more whole than ever.

 

On the drive back, they bring up the subject of telling Jimin’s parents soon.

“I think I’ll call them, try to explain over the phone… It might be a good idea to give them some time to think it through before meeting you. Is that okay Gukkie?” Jimin asks, eyeing him expectantly.

“Of course! I always trust your judgement” Jeongguk smiles, crinkling his nose.

“You should, I’m an excellent judge!” Jimin jokes.

“We won’t argue with that” Jeongguk says and Taehyung hums in agreement in the backseat.

“I’ll just send a card to my parents telling them that I added a boyfriend to my personal list and wishing them a merry Christmas” Taehyung says, and it would be depressing if he didn’t say the words in such a light manner. Jeongguk guesses it’s his sarcastic way to deal, and he looks at him through the rearview mirror and smiles.

“I’ll help you! I’ll draw three people in your card” Jimin says, turning around and sending a kiss Taehyung's way. Jeongguk sees their boyfriend smile widely in return.

 

The rest of the trip is spent sharing stories, singing along to the music and getting lost in lively debates about favourite movies and future plans.

And as soon as they park the car, Jeongguk can actually feel their eagerness to enter their home.

 

“Ah!! home sweet home!” Jimin exclaims as soon as he opens the door, dropping his bag on the floor dramatically and spinning around in the living room “It’s good to be back!”

Taehyung picks Jimin's bag as he agrees with a smile and Jeongguk looks around. 

He still remembers the first time that he saw their place. It feels like years ago even though a full year hasn’t gone by yet. Looking around now he can see parts of himself all over the apartment, his PS controller on top of the living room table, his bluetooth columns next to their couch, his laptop on the dining table. It’s Home. His Home. Their Home.

 

“What do you want for dinner?” Jimin suddenly asks, plopping himself on the couch.

“Ah… I’m not really hungry” Taehyung replies, entering the living room after dropping the bags in their bedroom.

“I can just make a soup?” Jeongguk suggests, since they should eat something.

“No Gukkie, you’ve been driving for hours, just rest for a bit” Taehyung dismisses, sitting himself on Jimin's lap comfortably.

“Actually, let’s just order something, I want to snuggle with you two!” Jimin engulfs Taehyung in a hug, nuzzling his nose in the curve between his shoulder and neck. Jeongguk approaches them quickly, eager cuddle with both of them.

 

And so they end up all huddled up on the couch, Taehyung in Jimin's lap, Jimin’s chin on his shoulder, and Jeongguk laying his head on Taehyung's lap, while he plays with Jimin's hand, kissing his knuckles from time to time. It feels so good, so them. Jeongguk would never imagine being able to feel so complete, so at ease, as if all of his pieces suddenly fitting right into place, his boyfriends having completed the puzzle. 

 

———

 

Jeongguk wakes up feeling lighter than ever. Not literally, since physically he’s actually sinking under the full weight of a sleeping Taehyung. But as he hears the telling sound of Jimin taking a shower, and feels Taehyung’s calm breathing against his neck, he thinks his life is as close to perfection as it can possibly get.

 

Having his parents know about them took such a huge weight off him, something he didn’t even realize he was carrying. He starts brushing Taehyung’s hair, playing with  the strands and rolling them around his fingers while he hums. He feels like yelling to the world that he’s happy, that he loves his boyfriends.

 

“What are you smiling at?” Jimin comes into the room, towel around his hips. Jeongguk stares directly at it, involuntarily biting his lip. He pushes the blanket upwards trying to shield himself, his movements careful as to not wake Taehyung up, his head on his chest.

“So last night wasn’t enough for you?” Jimin teases “Our Gukkie has really grown up so much” he tsks, shaking his head mockingly.

“No…I-I…” Jeongguk starts “Come on, you enter the room practically naked! I’m only human!”

“We slept naked Jeonggukie. You have our naked boyfriend sleeping on top of you”

“Yes, I know, and it’s not helping” Jeongguk argues. One of the things he has learned though the months they’re together is how difficult it can be to deal with Jimin’s relentless teasing on a daily basis. He breathes slowly, asking his body to control his impulses.

“Not” Taehyung murmurs gravely “‘m sleeping. No sex now”

“Sorry babe, did we wake you up?” Jimin bends down to caresses Taehyung's hair affectionately “You don’t usually wake up when we talk”

“It wasn’t your voices, it was his bodily reaction to your hot body” Taehyung explains. Jeongguk immediately blushes and Jimin laughs.

“Already? I must be truly powerful” Jimin chirps, standing up.

“Do you want me to leave?” Taehyung asks “I can continue my beauty sleep on the couch”

“No no Tae!  Stay” Jeongguk tightens his hold on him “It’s Jimins fault, he’s always teasing”

“I know baby Gukkie, you never thought life could be this difficult right?” Taehyung coos, reaching up to tickle his chin and continuing “I should have warned you”

“Shut up, you love me!” Jimin starts dressing himself, and despite all his complaining Jeongguk can’t help but feel disappointed when his exposed torso gets covered.

“We do” Taehung hums, cuddling comfortably in Jeongguk's chest.

“It’s true” Jeongguk agrees, smiling Jimin’s way.

Jimin winks before leaving the room to put the towel away. When he comes back, he spins around “You like it?”

“Yes, it looks good” Jeongguk says, eyes shining while he looks at Jimin, always mesmerised by his beauty and aura.

“Hmm, no. Go put the blue shirt, it’s better than that one” Taehyung mumbles sleepily, one eye open and the other closed.

“Ah, good idea! I didn’t even remember that one, thanks babe!” Jimin says, taking off his shirt while he looks for the other one. Taehyung looks at Jeongguk and whispers.

“Take advantage of the changing process. You’re welcome”

They laugh.

Life is good.

 

———

 

Jimin has his serious face on while he’s looking at the computer screen, hands moving fast on the keyboard and concentration in his eyes. Jeongguk loves to see him in the zone like that, working hard and being amazing at what he does. Pride floods his chest.

Taehyung is scribbling away sitting by the piano. His tongue is peaking out of his month while he moves his head to the rhythm of a song that he’s the only one hearing. Jeongguk is mesmerised by his ability to create so easily. 

He’s on the couch, holding a CD in his hands. The CD he made so many months ago, but that he never got the courage to give them. But he wants to, he really does.

 

One side of him doesn’t want to disturb his boyfriends, but something tells him that if he doesn’t give it to them now, then it’ll be just forgotten. He doesn’t know why he feels so nervous about this. He already poured his heart and soul to them, its not like they’ll reject him now. He already shared so much. But still, he feels like the CD is an important step for him. A part of his soul that took form on that day, wanting to be shared with them.

 

He decides to creep his way into Jimin space, pecking him on the cheek. His boyfriend smiles, looking at Jeongguk with affection, but keeps working.

Jeongguk pecks him on his cheek again.

“Hi Gukkie”

“Hi…” Jeongguk kisses his cheek again “I love you”

“I love you too Gukkie” Jimin laughs warmly, music to Jeongguk's ears.

“Love you more” Jeongguk teases, giving him another kiss, relentless on his pursue for attention and affection. He can see Taehyung smiling at them from his seat, pencil behind his left ear. 

“That’s impossible” Jimin replies, finally moving away from the computer with a beaming smile on his face “You won Gukkie, you have my full attention”

Jeongguk smiles widely, suddenly a little shy “Thank you for stopping for a minute”

“For you? And Tae? Always” Jimin cups his face, bringing it close and pecking him on the nose. Jeongguk gives him a slow kiss on the lips, wanting to taste him, and then pulls him by the wrist towards the couch. Jimin sits comfortably, with a puzzled expression but without a word, curiosity in his eyes as he follows Jeongguk, who’s now approaching Taehyung.

Jeongguk embraces Taehyung from behind, putting his chin on his shoulder and tightening his embrace, absorbing his boyfriends warmth and sweet smell. 

“Let me guess Gukkie” Taehyung starts, putting his pencil on top of his music sheets and resting his hands on top of Jeongguk's “You want me to sit beside Jiminie?”

Jeongguk nods his head eagerly, but when Taehyung starts to stand, he doesn’t let go, pulling him down again.

“Babe, I have to walk there you know?” Taehyung smiles fondly, caressing the arms that are holding him tightly

“But… I love you too” Jeongguk kisses his cheek.

“I know… I love you also” Taehyung's smile is as warm as the sun.

“Love you lots” Jeongguk nuzzles Taehyung's hair.

“We love you lots too” Taehyung says, pulling his face away so he can kiss his boyfriend.

“Hey… I’m still here?!” Jimin says pouting, without any malice or true jealousy to his words. Jeongguk and Taehyung laugh and walk to the couch wordlessly, and Jeongguk gives a quick kiss to Jimin before sitting legs crossed on the floor in front of them.

“So… hmm… This might be a little bit embarrassing but…” He looks up to them, two pairs of eyes set on him expectantly “Some time ago, when we weren’t together and I was with my family I…” he trails off. Why is this so cringy?

“Hey love, you don’t have to tell us something if you’re not comfortable with it, it’s okay” Jimin says, putting his small hand on Jeongguk's face and tilting it upwards “We weren’t together yet back then, so it’s okay, don’t worry”

Jeongguk gapes wildly at his boyfriend upon realising what he meant, watching  as Taehyung's expression changes to a shocked and confused one.

“No no no! I wasn’t with anyone else! No no! I have loved you for the longest time!” he assures quickly, still reeling from the sudden misunderstanding.

“Oh, uff I’m glad” Jimin actually sounds relieved, and Taehyung shoves him slightly on the side “What? I’m honestly glad, we were falling for him already”

“Just let him talk” Taehyung says, sounding curious and lost on Jeongguk's intentions for once. He takes Jimin’s hand on his an looks at Jeongguk expectantly.

“So… As I was saying” Jeongguk smiles, some relief rising within him “Im sorry, it’s a bit  embarrassing, but… I have made you a CD…it’s really cheesy, I’m sorry” he takes the CD from the top of the table, where he had “hidden” it in plain sight, among games and other CD’s they have.

Jimin opens his eyes wide, clearly not expecting something like that, clearly not expecting such an intimate initiative on Jeongguk's part, but he seems so touched that Jeongguk feels his heat skip a beat. Taehyung, on the other hand, smiles affectionately, fond eyes on Jeongguk and, as soon as they lock eyes, Jeongguk can actually feel the love and pride on them. He smiles shyly at their reaction.

 

“It’s really nothing special” Jeongguk continues, handing them the CD. 

“Of course it is! Baby, thank you so much!” Jimin is quick to reassure, kissing the top of his head before grabbing the CD and going to find their old radio that still plays CDs and cassettes.

“You’re special Gukkie” Taehyung caresses his cheek “Thank you for this”.

Jeongguk leans to his touch but stays speechless, not knowing what to say.

They play the song.

 

Jeongguk’s heart is beating fast, anxious as he studies their reaction closely. This is the first time he’s ever shared something he created before, not just some melodies, but an actual whole song, from start to finish, that’s all his. A part of him. By the time the song is halfway, both Taehyung and Jimin seem to be moved to the core. Jeongguk can even swear he sees a glimpse of tears on Taehyung’s eyes. 

When it ends, Jimin jumps to his arms, holding him tight, and Taehyung closely follows the action.

“Thank you thank you baby!” Jimin hugs him tightly, his voice emotional, like he’s holding back tears.

“It’s beautiful Gukkie, I’m so proud of you” Taehyung's voice shows emotion in a way that’s not that common. 

“Couldn’t do it without inspiration you know” Jeongguk says softly, earning a big kiss on the cheek from Jimin followed by a bunch of small ones on the rest of his face, ending on his lips, slow and mellow, like the song that started once again on repeat. Taehyung caresses Jeongguk's hair, and as soon as Jimin creates some distance, eyes moved and a smile warm, Taehyung kisses Jeongguk deeply, trying to convey his feelings into small actions, just like always, just like them.

“We’re so proud to call you ours” Jimin says, sitting on Jeongguk's lap.

“I love you” Jeongguk's words are barely audible, but clear enough for them.

“We love you too Gukkie” Jimin says, embracing him and pulling Taehyung closer.

“So much” Taehyung says softly, fitting right into their space.

 

The next day, when Jeongguk comes home from his study session, he finds the house vacant, but the CD is clearly visible, within a beautiful frame just above the piano, along with a small paper, a sentence written in Jimin's handwriting.

 

“A piece of him that’s ours to hold”

 

Something in his chest tightens warmly.

 

———

 

“Jeonggukie, I’ve missed you last practice!” Hoseok throws him the towel after dance practice, and Jeongguk catches it before it hits him, as always.

“Sorry Hobi, been kind of busy with some stupid study I have to do until the end of the year” he says, wiping the sweat and rolling his eyes. Sometimes he just wants his academic life to stop for a minute.

“Let me take a wild guess and say you procrastinated until now” Hoseok replies with a knowing smile.

“You know me well sir” Jeongguk smiles at his friend as they start walking to the shower rooms. Hoseok huffs.

“But it’s almost fine now, I’ve managed to advance a bit” Jeongguk gives a sly half smirk.

“As always! You’re lucky you’re this talented you know” Hoseok rolls his eyes, dimples showing in mock irritation.

“Yes, I do. I actually like Psychology, so it’s easy to catch up” Jeongguk takes his washed clothes out of his bag “How are things with Yoongi?”

“They’re actually great” Hoseok takes his own clothes and a piece of paper falls from them. He’s quick to catch it, and Jeongguk can only read “love, Yoongi”.

“They seem great” Jeongguk teases laughing a little and pointing at the small paper.

“Shut up” Hoseok shoves him “What about your boys? I haven’t seen them in forever”

“They’re as perfect as always” Jeongguk answers with what he knows for sure is a dreamy look on his face, exaggerating a little.

“Ugh… disgusting” Hoseok fakes gaging “I shouldn’t have encouraged you to follow your heart, now you’re sappy as fuck”

“Come on, I was joking!” Jeongguk says.

“I know you were, but you’re secretly not kidding” Hoseok says with a smile “You should invite them to practice sometime”

“They see me practice all the time at home. Plus, I don’t want them to see you, you’re much better than me” Jeongguk half smiles, but his eyes are honest.

“Shut up you brat!” Hoseok laughs soundly as he throws his shower tower around his neck.

Jeongguk laughs a little but whispers an “It’s true”

Jeongguk holds on his phone wondering for a bit before asking, “I was thinking that maybe you and Yoongi could maybe have dinner with us?”

“Ah really? That would be nice!” Hoseok says, a smile showing on his face “Today? Tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I’ll let you know” Jeongguk says, earning a confirmation from Hoseok before he leaves to take a shower.

 

Gukkie: Hi~~~

Jiminie: Gukkie! Hi love!

Taetae: What’s up baby?

Gukkie: So I was wondering… 

Would it be okay to have Hoseok and Yoongi over for dinner?

Jiminie: Yeah of course! When?

Gukkie: Maybe….today? or tomorrow?

Taetae: I have night rehearsals tomorrow :( but today is fine! Jiminie?

Jiminie: Yes, I’m going to buy things in a bit! Let them know it’s risotto

Gukkie: Thank you, I’m sorry it’s so short notice, it was kind of an impulse

Taetae: No Gukkie don’t be sorry! We want to receive your friends too, always feel free to ask

Jiminie: They’re always welcome! I like them

Gukkie: Thank you <3

Jiminie: <3 <3

Taetae: <3 

 

By now Jeongguk already knows that Jimin loves to have people over in their home, welcoming everyone with a big smile. But as soon as Hoseok and Yoongi arrive, he’s surprised to see Jimin isn’t the only one smiling widely. Taehyung stands in front of the door too, warm smile one his face.

Jeongguk feels a wave of affection take over him. It feels good to have so many important people reunited around him at the same time. He thinks briefly about how just one year ago he didn’t have any strong relationships with anyone around him, and his heart swells with how much things have changed since then.

“Jeonggukie! I love how you finally gave up on your apartment, this is obviously your home” Hoseok gestures to the poster of his favourite band that Jeongguk pinned proudly in the entrance hall, making him laugh.

“Yeah, that was a lost bet” Taehyung shakes his head and smiles at the memory “but I guess we grew attached”

“Come come, dinner is almost ready” Jimin chirps.

 

They all sit on the table, Hoseok telling them how their practices have been evolving over time, and Jimin and Taehyung look at him, following his words attentively. Yoongi remains silent but with a grin on his face, listening to Hoseok talk. 

“But Guk is so good, really! He should just forget psychology and join me”

“Come on Hobi, we talked about this, I said I would join you in some performances, I even thanked you!” Jeongguk points to the other side of the table at his friend, making Jimin laugh.

“Yes you did, and I know how big that is for a brat like you” Hoseok teases, serious pout on his face.

“See, you’re so lucky!” Jeongguk shoots back, sly smile and he hears Yoongi laughs a little.

“I’m not, you should be majoring in dance with me” Hoseok fully pouts now.

“Or maybe in music with me” Taehyung jokes as he smiles his way, he knows his words have no true meaning, he just wants Jeongguk to know how talented he is. Same as Hoseok. They have talked about this.

Jeongguk breathes deep, he’s much better now at expressing himself, so he starts “I couldn’t be more grateful for having people in my life that let me express my passion for music” he looks at his boyfriends and best friend “Really. But I don’t think I have to switch majors to be able to pursue it. I’ve been learning dance from you Hobi, and from Jiminie, and Taehyung has been teaching me to play piano and to read music. It’s honestly more than enough. I feel music inside of me, it’s a part of me. It doesn’t have to be my job. I’m just glad to be able to express myself musically and to be able to play it”

“Damn Guk, that went deep” Hoseok exclaims, opening his eyes wide.

“I understand” Yoongi speaks up and they all lay eyes on him “I think it’s actually pretty clever. You’re lucky to have a boyfriend that can teach you music and another boyfriend and a friend that can dance with you. That way you can it without the responsibility of having your life depend on it”

They all stare at Yoongi. Jeongguk is sure that neither Taehyung nor Jimin have heard him talk so much, and he smiles at that thought.

“Thanks Yoongi” Jeongguk send a small smile to his friend.

“Yeah kid” Yoongi nods curtly and eyes the food.

“I guess I understand too… You’re even a super good student, I was just being greedy” Hoseok says, expression solemn before looking at him pointy “But I’ll dance with you until the end of our times!”

Jimin starts laughing out loud now “Me too me too” he says excitedly.

Jeongguk looks at Jimin fondly and his heart clenches, and then he finds Taehyung's eyes across the table and they share a smile that means a thousand words.

He feels whole, there’s nothing else he needs.

 

They end up going to a lounge bar next to their place after dinner, per some insistence on Hoseok and Jimin’s part. Jeongguk doesn’t particularly like to go out and neither does Taehyung nor Yoongi, so they opt for the lounge, where they can listen to some chilled music and sit in bean bags.

“Let’s order something to drink” Hoseok suggests from where he’s already sitting down, relaxed. Yoongi is sitting next to him, looking around with a judgmental look. Jeongguk understands, he doesn’t particularly like social outings either. He’s sitting in the same bean bag as Taehyung, since there was only four by their table, and Jimin is happily  choosing liquors that he wants to try because “It’s not everyday that we have this opportunity! Ohh, this one looks weird, I want to try it!”

Hoseok and Yoongi drink moderately, but enough to get them both talking more than usual, and that’s to say a lot about Hoseok. Yoongi surprises Jeongguk by blurting out sentences such as “We should do this more often, I like your company” and “Cheers to your love”, which makes him laugh and he vows to try his best to remember talkative Yoongi in the future.

Jeongguk stops drinking after his second cup, thinking he’s starting to feel a little tipsy and knowing he doesn’t want to get drunk. Taehyung has been sipping on coca cola since the beginning of the night, even though they didn’t drive there, but Jeongguk knows Taehyung's not a fan of alcoholic drinks. Jimin, on the other hand, is thriving on mixing various drinks, and it’s not long before he’s intoxicated.

It’s also not long until Jeongguk starts to realize that maybe one of the reasons why Taehyung doesn’t drink much is because Jimin is a handful when he’s drunk. 

It all starts with a hand on his thigh, coming higher and higher, until Jeongguk starts getting flustered and has to stand up abruptly, using the excuse he needs to go to the bathroom. Before he turns away, he catches a knowing look on Taehyung’s eyes.

When he comes back, Taehyung is already making an excuse for them to leave, saying something about long rehearsals the next day, and even though Jeongguk knows that he’s not lying, somehow he knows that’s not the only reason they’re leaving the lounge bar this early.

 

They bid their farewells to a loud and enthusiastic Hoseok who hugs all three of them, while Yoongi stays behind with a gummy smile on his face that Jeongguk had never seen before.

As soon as they start walking home, Jeongguk quickly becomes aware that Jimin is in no condition to walk on his own.

 

"Guk!!!" Jimin yells, his volume completely inadequate, especially if you take into consideration that the person he's calling is standing less than a meter away from him. 

"Jimin shhhh" Taehyung pleads. He pets Jimin's head affectionately, using his other arm to steady his wobbling figure. His voice is sugar sweet, the same one you would use while talking to a child "No shouting, remember how we promised?"

"Oh yes, no shouting" Jimin whispers, preening under the attention. Taehyung smiles and pets his head again, but his expression soon turns panicked when he notices Jimin's lusty one. Jeongguk is standing right on Jimin's other side, also helping balancing him, and he sees Jimin's hand starting to wonder towards Taehyung’s crotch, and then shamelessly grabbing it “Am I being a good boy?” He whispers seductively, and Jeongguk envies Taehyung’s ability to keep his expression neutral when Jeongguk can feel his own dick responding to the seductive comment.

“No” Taehyung says, shaking his head and grabbing Jimin’s hand and pulling it away “Good boys behave” 

“You’re no fun” Jimin whines, but his expression turns sly again as he lock his eyes with his next victim. Jeongguk gulps “Gukkie, come here” he singsongs, pushing Jeongguk by his shirt until his lips are next to his ear “Don’t you think we’re lucky? Look at that” Jeongguk looks at Jimin confused by his question, but ready to confirm that they are, indeed, the luckiest, when he notices Jimin is pointing straight at Taehyung’s crotch “Our boyfriend is so… gifted. Don’t you think?” Jeongguk feels his cheek redden at the words, but is relieved drunk Jimin had the decency to use an euphemism. It doesn’t last long “Our big dick boyfriend!”

“Shhhh Jimin!” Taehyung pleads, Jeongguk looks around the street embarrassedly, but thankfully it’s mostly empty, only a couple of people passing by.

Jimin looks at him, wide eyes before starting to whisper next to his ear “And when he wears tights pants, god, i just wanna get down on my knees and suck him! You do too! I know you do! And you look so good when you do it”

“Jiminie… that’s enough” Jeongguk says, mellow voice contrasting directly with the sexually explicit comments.

“We will never get enough of his big cock Gukkie” Jimin tsks right in front of his nose “but don’t worry baby, yours isn’t bad either, right Taetae? I love it! It tastes so good”

“Oh my god” Jeongguk feels himself blushing.

“Shhh Gukkie, I love to see you two play with each others” Jimin whispers, walking with wobbly legs “If we hurry we can still have sex before falling asleep!”

“We’re not going to have sex Jimin” Taehyung argues. Just a few more steps before they’re home.

“You guys suck!” Jimin pouts “you should just suck each other and then I’ll join you!”

"If you don't behave you're never getting this big cock up your ass again so please keep it down and stop trying to get Gukkie hot and bothered” Taehyung says, looking at Jimin straight in the eye. Jimin hiccups one time before smiling, putting a finger on his lips and making a hush sound.

“Good boy, love” Taehyung says, as he manages to open the building door and Jeongguk puts a hand around Jimin's waits, holding him tight.

Jimin comes close to Jeongguk's ear “Don’t lie to me Gukkie, we can seduce Taetae easily, I’ll be happy, you’ll happy and he’ll be happy! Let’s all be happy!”

“We are happy Jiminie” Jeongguk unnecessarily argues. They’re now in the elevator, Taehyung managing the buttons and keys while Jeongguk hangs on to Jimin.

“We are… I love you guys so much!” Jimin says, suddenly emotionally overwhelmed, he kisses Jeongguk sloppily on the mouth as Taehyung unlocks the door.

Jimin takes two steps on his own before crashing on the couch, legs sprawled “Let’s express our love”

“Not now babe” Taehyung says, his tone less stern, apparently having regained some patience now that they’ve managed to arrive home. Jeongguk can understand.

“Put on your Pyjamas and I swear you can play with us tomorrow, sound good?”

“YES!” Jimin says loudly, almost shouting.

 

They successfully lay Jimin down on the bed, already preparing a full bottle of water and pills for the headache in the morning and leaving them on top of the kitchen counter.

“He’s a dangerous drunk” Jeongguk says, cracking his neck “I’m sorry that I became so flustered, he’s not easy to ignore” he looks at Taehyung and approaches him, laying his head on his shoulder. His boyfriend passes his hands through his hair “I don’t know how you do it”

“Don’t worry about it Gukkie, you’ll get the handle of it with practice” Taehyung says, speaking low next to his ear “the first time this happened he tried to give me a foot job under the table”

Jeongguk backs aways to stare surprisedly at Taehyung “What?”

“Yeah! And we were with his colleagues! They didn’t even know me that well at the time” 

“Oh my god… how did you manage to get through that?”

“Not that well” Taehyung laughs at the memory “I quickly stood up, but it was a little too late… so I had to curve myself a little and put a hand on my front pocket to try and create some space so that they couldn’t see my semi hard on” Taehyung shakes his head and Jeongguk stares back at him before he continues “and when I went around the table to ask him if he could come with me, he thought I was asking him to go to the bathroom to… you know”

“Oh my god!” Jeongguk is honestly perplexed “and then?”

“I just dragged him to the bathroom and begged him to stop… let’s just say it didn’t really work… So I got him home and texted his colleagues saying there was an emergency”

Jeongguk starts laughing the the story “I can totally picture that happening”

“Yeah well, that’s our drunk Jiminie for you” Taehyung smiles before laying his lips on Jeongguk's, giving him a slow kiss “We’ll be professionals on handling him as a team soon enough”

“Yeah, I like that Taetae” Jeongguk puts a hand on his boyfriends waist, embracing him an nuzzling into his neck, earning a hum from Taehyung.

“Let’s sleep baby” Taehyung whispers to his ear.

 

They manage to fit in the bed, even with Jimin laying with his arms and legs sprawled all around. Even like this, they fit comfortably. Taehyung immediately latches onto Jimin on the side, and Jeongguk rests his head on Jimin's shoulder, grabbing his waist from the other side. He falls asleep with a smile on his face.

 

———

 

“Should we save money for a bigger couch?” Taehyung suggests, his head on Jimin's shoulder and arm around his waist, drawing circles with his hand, as he turns his head at Jimin who quickly steals a peck from him. Jeongguk hums with his head on Taehyung's lap, laying sideways and looking at the TV.

“Or maybe a bigger bed?” Jimin wiggles his brows at him.

“Oh, but I like having our limbs intertwined” Jeongguk argues. It really is one of his favourite things in life. He loves the feeling of their legs all tangled up in bed, not knowing where one of them ends and the other begins. Also, he grew attached to their couch, since it has a meaning in their history. After all, it was practically his bed for quite a while.

“Yeah, me too, but I wouldn’t mind intertwining them with more space” Taehyung laughs

“Yeah…. but could we keep this one too? It’s kind of my couch… you know…” Jeongguk says, looking up at Taehyung. He really doesn’t have bad angles.

“Gukkie, you’re going to sleep every nigh with us for the rest of our lives! You don’t need this couch anymore!” Jimin says, stretching his hand to grab Jeongguk's over Taehyung's lap, and the latter laughs.

“Yeah I know…” he pauses to think, it’s a bit hard for him to say goodbye to things that matter to him, but now he has people that matter most, and part of growing up and being in a healthy relationship is knowing when to concede, “Okay, I guess it would be nice to have a little bit more space” Jeongguk mumbles.

“It’s settled then!” Jimin chirps, taking out his phone immediately, ready to search for some models online.

 

Jeongguk immediately feels himself getting exited with the prospect of a new couch, Jimin’s energy contagious and his smile impossible to resist.

He feels so comfortable that it’s almost impossible not to start humming, but he only realises he’s humming their song when Taehyung and Jimin join him, humming along to the melody of their love.

 

Chapter Text

 

Jeongguk is holding two closed boxes in this arms and his back might hurt like hell, but the huge smile on his face is a dead giveaway to his happy state.

“Where should I put these two?“ he kicks the door open with his feet so he can pass through it and asks Jimin, who is comfortably seating on top of two large boxes, a notepad in hand and a focused look on his face.

“Just drop them by the window baby” Jimin answers distractedly, seemingly thinking about other things, until his concentrated expression shifts into a surprised one and he jumps to the floor, his feet landing with a thump “Where’s Tae? I think we forgot to pay the electric bill!”

“He’s talking to the movers, he’ll be back in a bit, calm down Jiminie” Jeongguk says, carefully putting the boxes down and turning to the door to grab more from the car.

Jimin plummets into him before he has a chance to reach it, throwing all his weight onto Jeongguk and burying his face on his neck “I’m tired Gukkieee” Jeongguk immediately catches him with a smile on his face and brings one of his hands up to card through his hair soothingly. Even after 5 years together, he still can't get tired of his boyfriends antics. 

“It’s okay Chim, just rest. I’ll take care of the bill, don’t worry. You’ve been organising everything like crazy” Jimin nods but pouts, whining again about how exhausted he feels. Jeongguk smiles warmly at him, “No more work for you today” he says, before gently tugging on his wrist and pulling him towards some boxes pilled by the corner of the room. When they reach them, he grabs Jimin and swiftly lifts him up, placing him on top of 4 of them.

“It’s just books” he exclaims when Jimin looks at him worriedly. That seems to be enough to put Jimin at ease, and he immediately relaxes, letting his legs dangle cutely. 

“Thanks baby” he smiles fondly at Jeongguk.

“Don’t mention it” he smiles back.

“Ah, we’re almost done!” Taehyung’s voice comes from the doorframe as he enters their new home. His eyes immediately spot Jimin sitting on top of the boxes and his lips starch into a bright smile “Is our tiny Jiminie having fun?”

“Shut up” Jimin replies, dismissing Taehyung's comment with his hand “Gukkie is helping me, and I have a wonderful view from here, I can control everything!”

“Sure babe” Taehyung smiles teasingly “Gukkie, can you help me with the instruments? It’s the only thing missing, because I’m kind of paranoid about having other people carry them besides me”

“I’m not you though” Jeongguk smiles cheekily, touching his boyfriends shoulder and quirking his brow.

“Yeah, you’re you…” Taehyung intertwines their fingers “come on you get it”

 

As they finish bringing the musical instruments in, Jeongguk can’t help but take a moment to let his eyes wander around the place and truly take it in.

He’s glad he’s officially moving in with Taehyung and Jimin after living in that tiny apartment for so many years. Sharing such a small space had proven to be worth it though, because that way they were able save up a lot faster in order to buy a good house. It’s not huge, but it’s big enough for them and their future plans. It has a tiny garden in the front with a huge tree that made Jeongguk fall in love with it on the spot, and it has a bigger garden on the other side, that they access through the kitchen. It has two bedrooms upstairs, one is honestly big enough that they’re sure it was two different rooms in the original structure, the previous owner must have crushed a wall and did a suit with a small bathroom. The other room, they don’t know what to do with it yet. Maybe they’ll make it into an office for Jimin (even though Jeongguk is willing to bet he’ll continue to work in the living room or kitchen, just so that he can be closer to them). Jeongguk’s favourite, however, is the room of the house where they decided to set all their instruments, still leaving enough space so that Jimin and Jeongguk could use it to dance freely.

 

All of the time they had spent in their old place was precious to him, every second a memory he’s sure he’ll cherish forever. But, at the same time, Jeongguk can already imagine their life in this new house. Feel all the new memories just waiting to be created here. It’s like all the pieces of his puzzle are finding their place, and theres’a a warm feeling in his chest when he acknowledges just how lucky they are.

Taehyung has been freelancing as a composer for soundtracks for movies, television shows and games. Jeongguk couldn’t be prouder of his boyfriend, and he doesn’t have any doubt that Taehyung really is going places. He has always been talented and hardworking, and lately he’s been busier than ever, his amazing work quickly granted him recognition, resulting in plenty of offers, and even leading some companies to contact him, trying to get him to sign a contract in order to work exclusively for them.

Jimin has recently received a huge and very deserved promotion. It means more work, but Jeongguk can see how excited Jimin’s been about his new position, can hear it in the way he tells them about his days and his newest achievements, and he loves to see Jimin thrive in something he knows he’s good at.

And Jeongguk… Jeongguk has found a way to combine his two vocations: Musical Therapy.

For him, music has always been something healing, and learning to use that and try to help other people,  makes him feel like he finally found what he’s meant to be doing. He’s currently finishing an internship, and he’s loving every second of it. He honestly never expected to find a job that would speak to him so much, having already prepared himself to keep his love for music on the side, separated from his professional life. Finding a way to mingle both had been the most wonderful surprise. It just felt like the perfect fit.  

 

And their relationship… Jeongguk thinks it couldn’t be better.

It’s not perfect. Sure, they had their bumps in the road. It’s not always easy to find a balance when you’re dealing with three very different people. They fight sometimes, but they always try their best to be honest and open about everything. Communication can be the saviour or the killer of any relationship. But their love is strong and real, and with care they always manage to find their way, and to grow in their relationship.

Jeongguk couldn’t be happier nor prouder.

 

When they join Jimin in the living room once more, he’s still sitting on the same spot. There’s boxes splattered everywhere, surrounding their huge couch, standing in the middle. 

“This is going to be so much work” Jeongguk says thoughtfully, trying to estimate how many days until they’re box free. He nears Jimin, resting his head on his dangling leg, and Jimin immediately ruffles his hair. 

He mindlessly catches sight of Jimin’s tattoo on his left wrist, similar to the ones that Jeongguk and Taehyung have.

It’s a musical clef with the first notes of their song. The song Jeongguk composed to them years ago, the song they lovingly address as their own. Jimin has the first notes and the song continues on Taehyung's ankle, ending the first harmony on Jeongguk's shoulder. Jeongguk thinks it’s perfect.

It had been Jeongguk’s idea to tattoo it, knowing their story would be with him forever. He didn’t think Taehyung and Jimin would want to do the same. But he knows he’s going to remember the day they did it together for the rest of his life.

 

“Can’t wait until the bed gets here, I want to sleep in our home” Jeongguk says, glancing around the room. Taehyung approaches him and slings their hands together, intertwining their fingers.

“It’s almost done baby, tomorrow we’ll probably be able to sleep here” Taehyung says in a soft voice.

“Maybe even baptise our house!” Jimin's voice comes from above, his excitement evident, and when Jeongguk looks at him he winks at him shamelessly before throwing himself into his arms, forcing Jeongguk to catch him.

“Jimin... oh my god” Jeongguk huffs, setting Jimin on the ground after pecking him. Even though he doesn’t want to admit it, he sometimes still finds himself flustered at Jimin's forwardness. He also would never admit that he secretly likes the effect his words have on him.

“We should go for now” Taehyung kisses Jimin's head, a smile spreading across his face.

Jimin pouts, one arm around each of his boyfriends, dragging his weight when Taehyung and Jeongguk start walking in the direction of the car.

 

They get into Taehyung's car and look at each other. Jeongguk can feel it in the air, the feeling of contentment, accomplishment and love… just love.

 

Jeongguk is really glad they stayed close to their city. He has grown quite fond of it over the years, and it’s various meaningful locations. Suddenly a flashback of the night when he confessed brushes through his mind, his heart swelling at the precious memory.

“Let’s go to the park” Jeongguk's says conversationally, but with a finality.

Jimin turns around in his seat (also known as the passenger seat) with wide eyes.

“Our park? We haven’t been there in ages”

“I know… that’s why” Jeongguk smiles, looking outside from the window, memories flooding his mind.

“That’s a great idea Gukkie” Jeongguk can’t see Taehyung's face from where he’s sitting in the backseat, but he can still hear his smile in his voice. 

 

They grab some food on the way there, and arrive at the park when the sun is just about to set. Jeongguk walks directly to the spot where he had laid his heart out for the first time, and Taehyung and Jimin follow him close and settle besides him, without commenting on it. 

Even though it was certainly a memorable step in their relationship, they hadn’t come back to the place near the ducks ever since that day. Jeongguk doesn’t know why… maybe because, even though it was an important moment, it was also a bit painful.

 

Ducks are happily gathering around the lake, and Jimin's eyes follow them with a smile on his face. Taehyung prepares the food with a slight smirk on his lips, as if he’s having an internal monologue, remembering bits and pieces. Jeongguk catches his eyes and they smile at each other. He knows they’re sharing the same feeling. 

“It’s good to be back Gukkie” Jimin says, sitting himself between Jeongguk's legs, using his hands to spread them so he could fit. Jeongguk quickly obliges “Thanks for the suggestion”

“Yeah…” Jeongguk kisses Jimin's ear softly “I’m glad to be back”

Taehyung takes off his shoes and arranges himself to lay his head on his boyfriends tights, closing his eyes as if enjoying the moment. Jeongguk knows he’s not the only one.

“I remember that day vividly” Taehyung says, eyes still closed as if he’s chasing a memory “at the time I really thought we would share our first kiss here”

“Yeah… But Gukkie had to keep us waiting, what a brat” Jimin’s tone is cheerful, and he turns his face to Jeongguk with a fond smile, letting him know he’s just teasing him. Jeongguk can literally see the love in his eyes, and he quickly steals a kiss from his lips, making Jimin’s eyes widen before he returns it, still caught off guard sometimes with Jeongguk’s sudden displays of affection. Taehyung stretches his hand and Jeongguk catches it, kissing his knuckles and sighing deeply, comfortable and happy. 

“I was so scared though” Jeongguk voices, drawing circles on Taehyung’s hand and letting his head fall on Jimin's shoulder “I really thought I was going to lose you”

“You could never lose us” Jimin says, his voice small and gentle “we wouldn’t let you go easily”

“I’m glad, I hope you never do” Jeongguk sighs “sometimes I know I’m not easy”

“That’s true for all of us. Relationships involve work, but we won’t ever let you go like that Gukkie, not a chance. You’re part of us. We are us because we’re together” Taehyung’s voice is soft and low, and there’s fondness evident in his expression when he looks up to his boyfriends. Jimin kisses his lips tenderly hushing an “I love you” before kissing Jeongguk's cheek with a “Love you too”. Jeongguk's heart swells.

Some minutes pass where they just enjoy each other’s company, and marvel at the setting sun visible between the leafs on the trees. 

“I think we forgot about dinner” Jeongguk says amusedly while he gently pushes Taehyung and Jimin to the side, so they can grab the food. 

“Worth it” Taehyung mumbles while he sits with crossed legs and starts to open the boxes.

 

They sit around in a circle and almost start to eat their dinner when they hear someone shouting in their direction.

“Look who is is!!! If it isn’t our favourite polyamorous relationship!” Jeongguk knows, without looking, that it’s certainly Hoseok’s vibrant voice. He rolls his eyes with a smile on his face before looking at the direction of the sound.

Sure enough, Hoseok is approaching them, dragging Yoongi behind him, who’s wearing a small smile and letting himself be tugged along by his boyfriend. 

Jimin jumps up immediately to hug Hoseok, as if they hadn’t see each other for ages, even though they just had dinner at Yoongi and Hoseok’s house last Friday. Taehyung smiles their way and moves so they can sit next to them.

“Is this why you haven’t texted me back all day?” Hoseok flicks Jeongguk in the back of his head.

“Hey! I have more important stuff to do!” Jeongguk answers smiling jokingly “We’re in the middle of moving as you know so… you see, no time for friends now”

“Oh yes, I can see, you seem very very busy, being in love with your boyfriends and seeing the sun set” Hoseok says faking annoyance and Jimin giggles brightly. Taehyung and Yoongi have a smile on their faces as they follow the interaction. 

It has been years, but Jeongguk and Hoseok’s relationship has just become stronger with each passing year. There was a side of Jeongguk that still waited for his friends to drift apart from him, just like in the past, but Hoseok never left his side, he just got closer. He’s now not just a friend, he considers him family.

“Come on Yoongi, let’s steal their food” Hoseok says, looking intently at his boyfriend. 

Yoongi crackles and nods, starting to pick some of their fried chicken wordlessly, and Taehyung moves the boxes around so he can reach it more easily.

Jeongguk thinks that never in a millions years, he would have imagined he could be this happy, with his life so in perfect tune.

 

———

 

“Hey, we finally have the bed! We can sleep in our new house!” Taehyung announces, putting his chin on Jeongguk's shoulder and his arms around his waist.

The moving is almost complete, only a few items still left back at their old place, and their house is starting to feel more and more like a home.

“Should we go and meet our new neighbours?” Jimin gleefully asks from the set of boxes he adopted as his new throne.

“NO!” Jeongguk can’t help himself nor the assertiveness of his tone. Jimin bursts out laughing, his body bending forward.

“Taetae, our Gukkie wants us just for himself! I bet he’s afraid we’ll find a new hot neighbour and add him to our equation!” Jimin is laughing so hard that Jeongguk thinks he can see some tears falling from his crescent eyes, and the sight makes him pout even harder “I think I can still remember our splendid tour! We could use that tactic again” he adds, wiggling his eyebrows. 

When Jeongguk notices that Taehyung is shyly laughing along with Jimin from behind him, it feels like treason.

“Shut up Tae…” he says frowning and getting away from his hold.

“Gukkie, my love, you know, we only want you” Jimin says reassuringly while he jumps from the boxes with agility, quickly approaching his boyfriends. 

Taehyung puts his hands back on Jeongguk’s waist and says next to his ear, “We talked about this babe. Just the three of us”

“I know, I know…” Jeongguk quickly mutters. He knows. He was just (partially) kidding.

Jimin puts his hands on the back of his neck, smile still dancing on his lips, “Our insecure baby” he kisses Jeongguk on the lips, slow and lazy. Jeongguk melts instantly, enjoying the light way Jimin explores his mouth. No matter how many times Jimin has kissed him through the years, he’s still mesmerised every time he does it. If it was up to him, they would be kissing an embarrassingly amount of hours per day.

Jimin pulls away for a bit, only to kiss Taehyung over Jeongguk’s shoulder. He’s sure he could dissolve right there, between them, feeling giddy and so good. Taehyung stretches his right arm to encircle Jimin's waist and pulls him closer, and Jeongguk suddenly feels a shift in the air. He doesn’t think this is just a simple kiss anymore, it’s staring to deepen and gain some purpose, and hunger starts building inside him at the realisation.

“Should we baptise our first official home?” Jimin asks, voice raspy with lust. He’s so close Jeongguk can feel his breaths agains his skin. He’s not surprised anymore by the way his body reacts to Jimin's voice sounding like that, right next to his ear, but it only gets worse when Taehyung replies with a low “Yeah” while tracing wet kisses all over the side of Jeongguk's neck. 

Jimin looks Jeongguk in the eye, searching for his approval, but the way he lets his head fall to the side to grant Taehyung’s easier access with a small moan seems to be enough confirmation, and Jimin is quick to start pulling them towards the couch. It can be tricky, to move on wobbly legs without breaking contact, but gladly they’re used to it by now. Jeongguk would be ashamed to express out loud the number of times they had the chance to practice this particular skill.

“At least we have a good couch” Jimin says, quirking an eyebrow before he turns to make sure that the blinds of the living room window are closed. It would be the end of their reputation in this new neighbourhood if their new neighbours saw the three of them in involved in sexually explicit activities right on the first day.

It surprises absolutely no-one when Jimin starts ripping Jeongguk's shirt off his body and getting it out of the way with Taehyung’s help, before slowly pushing the both of them to lie on their back on the couch, his touch gentle but firm. He then quickly lands himself on Taehyung's lap, locking their lips into a messy kiss that’s even more heated then before. Jeongguk is shot with a familiar wave of arousal at the sight, and he can’t resist reaching down and palming himself through his sweat pants, his breath quickly picking up. 

“Fuck…” he grunts, his hoarse voice catching Jimin’s attention. He breaks the kiss, looking at him with a glint in his eyes, but before he can react he feels Taehyung kissing him, fierce with want and gentle in a sensual way that makes Jeongguk tremble a bit. He gets lost in it, but he’s still aware of how Jimin’s taking his own clothes off, and when he looks his way he can see their boyfriend is completely naked now, looking at the two of them with hooded eyes, and very slowly starting to touch himself.

“You two look so good” Jimin’s voice is lower than usual, making Jeongguk’s skin tingle, and he eagerly pulls Taehyung's shirt up and starts fidgeting trying to get rid of his pants as well, struggling a bit with the zipper until Jimin comes to his help, his small hands a lot steadier. He closes his eyes and soon feels a hands on his chest, appreciatively caressing him up and down, and even lost in his haze, he can bet it belongs to Jimin, the movements confident and controlled. When he opens his eyes his suspicions are confirmed. Jimin is standing in front of him, appreciatively eyeing him down, and he leans forward to kiss him when he notices Jeongguk starting at him, starting from his lips and making his way down to nibble on his neck, leaving small bites and making him moan. From there he goes even lower, his plump lips circling his nipple before he starts to suck on it, making Jeongguk’s breath hitch.

Jeongguk is already whining by the time Jimin decides to back away, giving his breathing a chance to slow down. Taehyung is looking at them with hooded eyes, and Jimin's bites his own lip, eyes wandering between them, before he moves one of his hand towards Taehyung’s bare thigh, manoeuvring him easily.

“Babe, can you get the lube?” he asks Jeongguk with a kiss that ends with a bite on his lower lip. He shivers but nods promptly, and goes to find their bag on the other side of the room. He almost falls on his way, not wanting to miss a second. When he turns to them again, Jimin’s lips are inches away from Taehyung’s dick. He glances up at Taehyung teasingly before he lands a wet kiss on the tip, only keeping his mouth on it for a second before backing away, seemingly amused by the way it makes Taehyung whine for more contact. It’s almost too much for Jeongguk, who approaches them hastily and plops the lube on Jimin's hand, sitting besides them.

“Thanks love. Let’s prep our pretty baby, I wanna see you two” he says, making Taehyung visibly shiver. Jeongguk leans forward at the sight, kissing him sloppily.

“Can I…ah - t-today?” Jeongguk asks between kisses, and Taehyung nods rapidly, followed by Jimin, who agrees in a low voice.

Taehyung starts hurriedly tugging on Jeongguk's sweat pants and underwear, and once his dick is out it immediately curves up, pre cum starting to smear on his toned stomach. Taehyung bites his lips and Jimin goes on his knees “Can I just get a taste?” He asks, and Jeongguk hurriedly nods.

Just the sight of Jimin parting his lips to take his cock is enough to send shivers down his spine, but it’s nothing compared to the actual feeling of Jimin’s warm mouth on him. Taehyung's keeps tracing his fingers lightly up and down his arm, meaning to keep him grounded, but as Jimin continues to expertly work on him he can’t help but feeling like he’s building up way too quickly. He groans as he gently tangles his hands in Jimin’s bangs, and the gesture is enough for him to back away with a gentle pop.

Jeongguk is panting hard as Jimin slowly licks his lips before he spurts lube on his finger, just as Taehyung pulls Jeongguk into his lap, with a hand on his waist. Jeongguk straddles him and Taehyung pushes him forward into a kiss. Jeongguk feels a warm finger at his rim and whimpers at the contact. Jimin inserts his first finger slowly and then waits for Jeongguk's confirmation to start working gently on prepping him. 

He traces a line of kisses from his neck to his lower back, Jeongguk not as much kissing Taehyung anymore as whimpering into his mouth, his forehead pressed against his. Jeongguk can feel Jimin's finger working him at a steady pace, and he moves his head to rest it against Taehyung’s shoulder instead, biting lightly on his skin. Jimin immediately takes the chance to kiss Taehyung, making him moan lowly, and Jeongguk can feel Taehyung's dick twitching next to his own. It’s enough to make him pant and ask for another finger, and Jimin obliges in a second, starting to scissor him and curling his fingers, keeping up the pace. Mindlessly Jeongguk wonders if his talent as a dancer helps him when keeping such a controlled and perfect pace inside him, a thought that crossed his mind more than once. Jimin breaks the kiss only to start nibbling on Jeongguk's neck, Taehyung and Jeongguk's cocks still grinding on each other, and Taehyung suddenly grabs Jeongguk's arm, making him look up. Taehyung’s eyes are glazed over, arousal evident on his face, his open mouth glistering. Jeongguk doesn’t even register the third finger, he’s already panting and spilling incoherent words that are meant to be their names, Jimin successfully massaging his prostate, and he involuntary starts to beg for Taehyung.

“I want to feel you inside me”

“I want you so much Guk” his voice is so low that Jeongguk can almost feel it trembling on his chest. 

“Turn to me baby, I wanna see you” Jimin removes his fingers and helps Jeongguk to turn around, Jeongguk obliging easily. Jimin pecks him quickly before giving them some space so that Taehyung can line his cock in Jeongguk. His hands are on his waist, guiding Jeongguk as he starts lowering himself. His mouth is agape as Taehyung slowly fills him up, breathing haggard. When he’s completely sited, Jeongguk waits for a bit until he tentatively starts moving in a slow pace. 

“Ah… Fuck” it’s Jimin's voice, coming from Jeongguk's side. He can see the look on his eyes, fierce and hungry, while he’s pumping himself “Ah… you look so good for me… my boys… so beautiful”

Jimin’s words make Jeongguk more desperate, picking up the pace, and he can feel the way they make Taehyung’s hands tighten around his waits too, his grip is like fire to Jeongguk's skin. Taehyung moans lowly then, bucking up and making Jeongguk hiss. He can hear Jimin's own grunts, the random compliment or curse leaving his lips. 

He’s standing close enough to them that Jeongguk can literally feel his body heat on his skin, and Jeongguk musters enough clarity to reach for him and wrap his hand around his cock, taking his away slowly. The gestures earns him a loud moan from his boyfriend that is mirrored by Taehyung, who looks at them and spills a weakly curse before letting his head fall backwards again, only to exhale harshly and bring his eyes again to Jeongguk and Jimin. Jeongguk keeps bouncing on his lap, the sound of their skin slapping against each other and their pants filling the room.

“Ah fuck…” Jimin's voice is raspy and breathy, and the words are interrupted by a drawn out moan “Ah fuck Guk… I’m almost…” he interrupts himself mid sentence and suddenly Jeongguk can feel Jimin's hand around his own dick, his movements matching the pace of his own hand on Jimin. 

After that, he doesn’t last long, spilling while moaning Jimin and Taehyung's names like a mantra, clenching around Taehyung, and making the latter let out a desperate sound. He manages to keep pumping Jimin through his own orgasm and he, too, doesn’t last, coming with a moan so loud and melodic, it would certainly be audible enough for neighbours to hear if there was someone living right next to them. 

Jeongguk's body turns pliant as Taehyung continues to thrust into him, making him border on hyper sensitivity. Just as Jimin lazily starts kissing Taehyung, Jeongguk feels Taehyung's hand tighten on his hips, and it only takes two final thrusts for Jeongguk to feel a wave of hot liquid filling him up, he tries his best to accompany Taehyung on his orgasm until he feels his boyfriends body turn soft under him. 

Jimin starts kissing their bodies all over, sharing words of comfort and love and, after a while, he stands up on wobbly legs and searches for the box with the bathroom utensils  to clean them up. Taehyung and Jeongguk slowly move themselves until they’re side to side, so that Taehyung can rest his head on Jeongguk's shoulder, kissing him there slowly and lazily. Jeongguk has a wide smile on his face, eyes half closed and his hand mindlessly caressing Taehyung's thigh. They’re sweaty, but the air around the three of them smells so much like them, it goes right to Jeongguk's heart.

“I don’t know where you put the towels but I think these we wipes will do for now?” Jimin turns to them. His hair is a mess and he’s flushed pink. He’s a perfect mix between cute and sexy, and Jeongguk will never get enough of seeing him like this.

“Yeah, it’s fine for now” Jeongguk kisses the top of Taehyung's head and he stretches his hand around Jeongguk's waist, nodding to Jimin “We’ll take a shower in a bit anyway”

Jimin comes back to them and shares wipes between the three so they can clean each other. Jeongguk catches himself looking between the two of them fondly, temporarily stuck on this moment. He’s still catches himself wondering about just how lucky he is and making sure to never forget to truly appreciate it. He really values what they have.

“What?” Jimin quirks an eyebrow “What’s wrong baby?”

Taehyung immediately shoots a glance his way, worried look on his face until his eyes set on Jeongguk and he relaxes. 

“Nothing, I just really love you two…” he says pecking them quickly on the lips “I guess I’m just happy”

He sees Taehyung’s genuine smile full of affection and his heart tightens. Jimin grabs his hand and intertwines their fingers, taking Taehyung's after to do the same.

“We love you too baby” Jimin whispers, even though there’s no reason for it.

“You made our life so beautiful Gukkie” Taehyung says, letting his head fall on Jeongguk's shoulder again “I love how we are. I love what we have. I don’t want to change a bit”

“Me neither” Jeongguk admits, caressing Jimin's smaller hand with his fingers and kissing Taehyung's hair, “Not a thing”

“No matter how many years pass, I never get tired of having these moments with you” Jimin says “I love my boys so much! Let’s be together for a long time!”

“Forever?” Jeongguk tries, hating how cheesy he sounds.

“Forever” Jimin and Taehyung agree in unison.

 

And in that moment, it really feels like they have a forever in front of them.