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His eyes are focused on his steak. Only his steak. There’s a soft piano melody somewhere in the background, the aroma of good food and expensive wine all around him and a candle lit glow that illuminates everything in a hue of orange. It should be the perfect first date. It was the most romantic setting it could be. But regardless of all that, his steak was the only thing on his mind.

He hasn’t said anything in the last six minutes, not that he’d really said all that much since he’d got here and he really just couldn't wait for the evening to end.

 

His date wasn’t bad. He was attractive and friendly enough, they had almost nothing in common but normally he could deal with that. Really his issue was not with his date at all. It was with the date happening right across the table from him.

 

Taehyung is giggling, face slightly flushed from the red wine, eyelashes fluttering sweetly any time some one so much as speaks to him. He’s got a hand to his chest as he stares at his own date opposite him, a glint in his eye as he looks at the other boy, clearly so attracted to him. They’ve been getting on well, flirting constantly and Jungkook is sure in the last few minutes, the other guy had slipped his hand onto Taehyung's thigh, massaging the skin ever so gently, the cause of his best friends giddy laughter.

 

Jungkook rolls his eyes before stabbing another piece of meat and sticking it into his mouth, his shoulders hunching over his plate as he does so.

 

Had he mentioned how much he hated double dates?

 

“So Minho, you spent two weeks in London? You must be so well travelled.”

 

Jungkook tries not to scoff as he waits for the other guys response, telling himself he needs to stop agreeing to these things with Taehyung, telling himself that this little deal of theres' has gone on for too long. He can’t keep doing this.

 

They engage again into another conversation, the giggles and flirty looks only increasing, their bodies moving closer together as they grow more interested in one another. It’s been a while since a date had gone so well for Taehyung and the thought makes Jungkook sickly.

 

“I need that bathroom” he announces to the table abruptly, cutting the other two off from their conversation. Both Men look over at him and he swallows, putting down his fork, to meet Taehyung's eye-line

 

“Tae would you come with me?” He asks politely

 

“To the bathroom?” The elder replies, raising an eyebrow, confused as to why such a request would be asked in the first place.

 

Jungkook nods and then widens his eyes slightly as if to tell the other he needs to talk to him “yes please... now?”

 

Taehyung understands and nods, placing his napkin from his lap back on to the table before standing up and smiling at his date.

“I won’t be a second” he says and the other guys nods, sends him a wink before Jungkook grabs his wrist and all put pulls him over to the bathrooms.

 

“Isn’t tonight going great?” Taehyung asks, big sheepish smile on his face that makes Jungkook feel nauseous in his stomach.

 

“I want to go home” he replies almost instantly, crossing his arms over his body almost guiltily. He knows Taehyung is enjoying himself but he can’t just act like he is having a good time when he isn’t.

 

Taehyung frowns. “What? Why?”, a pout christening his face as he stares confused at the other. Jungkook has to look away to stop the guilt getting worse and he sighs.

 

“Tae, me and my date aren’t even speaking. You can’t possibly think this is going well?”

 

He looks beyond Jungkook over to where the two boys are sitting and sure enough Jungkook’s date is looking down at his phone, a bored glare on his face as he scrolls aimlessly. He eventually yawns and it makes Taehyung frown.

 

“Really that bad huh?” He asks turning back to his best friend and Jungkook nods his head.

 

“You know the deal”

 

“I know I know” he sighs again. “Minho is super cute though.”

 

“Tae”

 

“I know” he slumps, “if you’re out I’m out.”

 

Jungkook nods and then smiles, “finish our meals and call it a night?”

 

Reluctantly Taehyung nods, “fine” he says, “but you’ll have to owe me for this one.”

 

“I’ll take you to a bar the second we’re done”

 

Taehyung smiles at that and then nods again, the reluctance of letting go of his date fading at the knowledge he can spend the rest of the evening with the other.

 

They return to the table quickly after their talk and with the new knowledge that they’d be ditching their dates soon enough, Jungkook finds that the rest of the evening goes relatively quickly- which he can’t help but be thankful for. He offers to pay the cheque for his date, a lousy excuse to make up for being the worst companion, and then they’re heading back for the streets of Seoul to say their last goodbyes. Minho offers to buy them a drink at a bar, an effort to keep seeing Taehyung, but the latter refuses politely, tells him he has an early day tomorrow and won’t be able to stay out any later. The other looks disappointed but Taehyung's smile is enough to stop anyone from being too upset, and then the two boys take off in a cab down the road, leaving the best friends alone for good.

 

“Remind me why we have this dating rule again?” Taehyung says as he watches the car travel down the street and Jungkook shrugs.

 

“You’re the one who came up with it” he replies, even though he’s so grateful it’s in place.

 

Taehyung sighs and then turns back to the other, his wistful glance turning into a mischievous smile. “I believe you still owe me a drink?”

 

——

 

They head to their usual bar, the place they often frequent after their double dates end and they decide to spend the evening together instead. It’s a classy place with glass windows and large beige sofas, decked out with artistic art pieces and glass chandeliers. It wouldn’t be Jungkook’s first choice of a place to hang out in but he knows how much Taehyung loves it so of course he doesn’t mind. When the bartender sees them, he’s already lining two shot glasses on the counter and filling it with whatever choice of poison he’s decided on. The boys weren’t fussy and they normally took whatever he gave them. Jungkook’s throat burns as he takes down the liquid, not expecting the clear transparent liquor to be a white tequila and he has to stop his face from contorting too much as Taehyung giggles at his reaction but refuses to touch his own.

 

“Thanks for the warning Jungkookie” he says, ordering a fruity cocktail as a chaser to help make the drink go down easier.

 

As the drinks get flowing and they get more comfortable they slip into their usual friendly banter and allow themselves to reach their full level of relaxation with the other. The way they always can when together.

 

“You know one day you’re going to have to allow a second date” Taehyung says, loosening the top few buttons of his shirt as he says so. Jungkook watches his fingers carefully before running a hand through his hair and taking back another shot.

 

“I’m beginning to think you’re too picky” he continues, “what are you even looking for in a guy anyway?”

 

He licks his lip at the question and takes a moment to stare just at Taehyung, as if his eyes would give the other the answer. In all the years he thought he’d made it clear what he wanted, who he wanted. Apparently that wasn’t the case. So instead he eventually shrugs and turns his body to the counter, orders himself another beer and tries not to blush.

 

“I just don’t connect with anyone” he says, “you’re the one who always finds the dates. My date is usually just as excited for the evening as I am... which really isn’t saying much.”

 

“But you don’t really open yourself up to anyone either kook? Instead you shoot them down before you’ve even given them a chance.”

 

He chews his lip as he tries to find his reply, feeling awkward about this sudden spotlight on him. Taehyung was right, he didn’t give anyone a chance, but it wasn’t because he was closed off. He just knew no one would compare...

 

“I mean what? This was our fourth double date this year and you’ve shot down every guy I’ve brought you.”

 

Jungkook scratches his neck and then shrugs awkwardly. “What can I say? I’m particular?” He replies and Taehyung rolls his eyes playfully before they clink their glasses again and have another shot.

 

——

“You couldn’t have honestly thought that Minho was the one anyway?”

 

They’re both considerably more drunk now, the Alcohol allowing their tongues to loosen, to speak more from their mind.

 

Taehyung is giggling round a glass of Sex on the beach as he shrugs his shoulders, “I don’t know” he says, “I mean he was handsome, athletic, funny, we got on well...”

 

‘But I’m all those things too’ Jungkook almost says, almost spills. Instead he grumbles and sips his drink. What did he see in these guys that wasn’t already right there in front of him?

 

“I suppose he didn’t know much about art though, or theatre. I’d hope my perfect guy would know a bit about both” he shrugs again.

 

“But what about you? Next time we date I should probably bring you someone a little better huh? Someone you’re more compatible with?” He tilts his head to the side staring at Jungkook adorably innocent as he tries to figure out more about the other. Jungkook rolls up his shirt sleeves and meets the others eye-line, a short nervous breath escaping him as he does.

 

“What I want you wouldn’t be able to bring me” he replies, shaking his head as he says so. Taehyung doesn’t seem to accept that though and matches the other, shaking his head too and leaning closer.

 

“Try me” he says, “come on.” He takes hold of Jungkook’s hand and starts tugging on it to get the younger to spill. It’s childish and he’s giggling as he does it, his big wide smile forcing the other to giggle too, even through he’s rolling his eyes.

 

“You really wanna know?” He says eyes losing their playful glint as he thinks seriously for a second. As he considers what it truly is he wants from another person. Taehyung nods his head animatedly, exaggerating the up and down motion as he slides towards the end of his barstool in anticipation.

 

Jungkook sighs. The feeling of Taehyung's hands in his, becomes centre focus, the way his fingers are wrapped up in his own, the heat they’re emanating so comforting, so familiar.

 

“I guess...” he starts, in-taking a breath before he continues, waiting for the next few words to come to him. Did he know what he wanted to say? Was he going to say it? His mouth widens again in hopes the words will find themselves but he falters. Falters when he sees the way Taehyung’s face has morphed into one of discomfort and his eyes look dreary.

 

“Tae?” He comments, “you good?” He places a hand to the others back and then their eyes meet once more.

 

“I think I’m gonna throw up.” Taehyung replies, his cheeks puffing out as he says so. Jungkook is quick to slap his card down on the table, Jump from his seat and  place an arm around the others back. The Barman scans the card quickly and then Jungkook carefully lifts Taehyung up from his chair.

 

“Let’s get you home” he motions as he guides Taehyung out of the bar, his face contorting as he tries not to puke. He’s compliant which makes Jungkook’s life a whole lot easier and the second the fresh air hits their face Taehyung lets out a large sigh before running for an alleyway. Even whilst he throws up Jungkook can’t help but find him endearing, giggling to himself about how poorly the elder handles his alcohol and when he returns a few seconds later, hair more un-kept, face a little more wear for tear, Jungkook puts his hands in his pockets and rocks on his  heels

 

“Better?” He asks and Taehyung nods, holding the wall for support as he does so, giving the other a smile.

 

“Better” he replies.

 

”I’ll haul us a cab”

 

But Taehyung is shaking his head at the thought of a moving vehicle already, the threat of more puke raising within him. “No car” he says, “let’s walk.”

 

“You’re apartment is 3 blocks from here. You can barely make it a few steps Tae.”

 

And that’s how Taehyung ends up on Jungkook’s back, arms wrapped around the younger's neck as his own grab hold of his thighs.

 

“We’ve been out of college almost six years and I can’t believe I’m still carrying you away from bars.” His words aren’t angry as he speaks, instead his voice is almost fond, reflecting on their younger years in the brisk evening air.

 

“No fair, I remember my fair share of taking care of you too” Taehyung comments leaning his chin on the top of Jungkook’s head. He’s much better than he was, capable of chatting and laughing again, just so very unbalanced on his feet, if he had walked they wouldn’t be back to his apartment until tomorrow morning.

 

“You feel stronger this time though kook, no more spaghetti arms hey?”

 

Jungkook tuts at the others jokes. Pausing his feet to re-grip Taehyung on his back. “You and I both know I never had spaghetti arms in college.”

 

Taehyung giggles and then lowers his head over to the others shoulder. “You always were a gym freak”

 

“And you always loved it.”

 

They giggle again as Taehyung pinches Jungkook’s bicep and the younger complains that he doesn’t deserve the disrespect considering he has the other on his back. Their light bickering is typical of their best friend nature, their usual back and forth so common and welcomed as they make their way back home.

 

They continue to reminisce their lives together as they walk and Taehyung eventually challenges Jungkook not to step on any cracks in the pavement, a little game for them on their journey. Every time he hops, Taehyung laughs and for anyone else who may have seen them, they would have thought they were crazy, but this was just who they were... just the way they were when together.

 As they reach Taehyung’s street, Jungkook feels the elder get heavier, a signal that he’s more tired, that he’s allowing his body to relax, before sleep takes over. He tries to tell him to stay awake and Taehyung merely moans in response, causing the younger to grab hold of his keys and let them both in the building. He lets him down in the elevator but keeps hold of his waist, making sure he stays conscious as they reach his door and Jungkook lets them both in, pulling Taehyung through the apartment and to his bedroom. He settles the elder down on the bed and he instantly flops himself onto his pillows as Jungkook heads into his drawers to pull out his pyjamas.

 

“No sleep just yet Tae, hey c’mon” he calls, moving back over to the other.

 

“Sleepy,” Taehyung replies, his body limp as Jungkook tries to lift him. He manages to sit him up of the edge off the bed and he kneels beside him on the floor, attempting to get Taehyung present enough to get himself ready for sleep.

 

“Tae come on. I know for a fact you’ll hate yourself if you fall asleep in that shirt.”

 

Taehyung heaves a sigh, his body moves along with the actions and whilst his eyes remain closed, it’s clear he’s heard the others words. After a second, he nods gently, “it does crease really easily” he comments. The words make Jungkook smile softly and he nods his own head in agreement.

 

“I know. Now come on arms up!”

 

But Taehyung doesn’t raise his arms, instead he places his hands on the others face and swipes a bit of Jungkook’s hair from his forehead. The action stills the younger who swallows hard and searches the others gaze, nervously.

 

“You always look after me Kookie,” Taehyung says and he attempts a small smile. His voice is still raspy and tired from the alcohol and the late night. “My little Kookie, always so good to me.”

 

Jungkook ignores the heat in his cheeks, looks down only for a brief second before chewing his lip and trying to diffuse the tension in his chest. “we always look after each other Tae, it’s what best friends do.”

 

The elder nods his head but heaves another, deeper sigh, this time seemingly more frustrated “best friends”, he repeats.

 

Jungkook motions to help Taehyung with his shirt again but once more the elder pauses him, this time taking hold of his hands.

 

“Stay the night Kookie?” He asks, “please?”

 

The pleading words make his heart race. Jungkook had been planning to grab a taxi and make for his own apartment the second Taehyung was asleep, but the way Taehyung is looking at him, the way he’s gently stroking his thumbs along the back of Jungkook’s hands, causes him to pause.

 

“Tae I’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow, I have to be up early remember? I need to go to the gallery.”

 

Taehyung shakes his head, “please. Cuddly. You’re so cuddly. Stay with me?” he asks again. His grip tightens for a second as though the thought of Jungkook leaving had made him feel the need to not let go. It was a minuscule action but Jungkook felt it. Secretly, he wanted it.

 

He knows he probably shouldn’t. Knows that regardless of the amount of times they’ve slept in each other’s beds, he should be firmer in his ways, shouldn’t allow himself to fall so easily into the other, to stop his heart from growing two sizes bigger anytime Taehyung uses that soft, soft voice on him.

 

“Okay,” he says. Because he’s weak, because he loves being with the other. “Okay, but I’ll have to be gone in the morning.”

 

Taehyung nods his head and then lets go of the others hands to try to make a grabby motion at him instead, to pull him down into bed with him and finally snuggle. “Good good that’s good. Just sleep now. Now we cuddle.”

 

Jungkook’s heart cries seeing the other so soft like this, so gentle, trying to reach for him as he re-curls himself up in the sheets. Before he gets a chance to however, Jungkook stops him once more.

 

“Tae? I’ll stay with you tonight but if you want me to sleep in your bed, you’re gonna have to at least brush your teeth.”

 

As if in a shot, Taehyung raises himself up from the bed so quickly, even though his eyes are still shut and Jungkook giggles as he practically marches himself over to the bathroom, the sound of running water following a couple seconds later. Jungkook thinks its crazy what he could get the other to do at the promise of cuddles.

 

The thought then lingers in his mind as he considers all he would do for the other too. Just to spend more time with him. Just to spend more time together. 

 

But then he figured that made sense for him. When you’ve been in love with your best friend for almost ten years, you’re ready to do just about anything.