The room is still bursting with busy murmuring, rustlings and hustlings when Taehyung shuts his laptop, stands up and grabs his bag from the desk, hooking it over his shoulder. The other people in the room hoot while watching him go, yelling “Goodluck! Have a nice night, Mr. President!” as they bid him goodbye. Taehyung chuckles, waving them off but thanking them nonetheless for the good luck wishes and for all their good work for the day.
Now standing in the middle of the hallway, door shut close behind him, Taehyung turns back and glaces at the room one more time–the huge signboard “STUDENT COUNCIL OFFICE” just beside it glares at him, judging him for leaving his responsibilities earlier and for personal reasons at that. But no. Taehyung shakes his head. It’s fine. He doesn’t do this often anyway. He’s only leaving because today is a special day. Besides, everyone in the council agreed to let him off this time. They knew how much this day means to him.
His phone vibrates from inside his pocket, signaling a new message. Taehyung eagerly pulls it out, excitement building up in his body having an idea on who it might be, and clicks on the new notification popping up on his screen.
Yoongi hyung: Flowers are now in the apartment
Yoongi hyung: Saw your clothes ironed and folded on your bed so hyung must have left it there
Yoongi hyung: Goodluck with the plan
Yoongi hyung: P.S. use protection ;)
Taehyung finds himself smiling fondly even as he rolled his eyes, typing down a short thank you message to Yoongi, and with that smile on his face, Taehyung puts his phone back in his pocket and finally, walks out.
Kim Taehyung is a name that will make several professors smile at the mere mention of it. Taehyung is known to be a good, hard-working and an incredibly smart student ever since his freshman year. Many would even say and agree that he’s the best model student in his college–and the perfect candidate for a leader. Because of this, he’s been elected as the student council president not long after the end of his junior year, taking over Kim Seokjin's seat. The election had been a landslide in favor of Taehyung and no one complained as he sat on the chair inside the president’s office a few weeks later.
And of course, along with the position comes the attention of the whole student body. Being someone with a reputation and image like Taehyung would mean many people would fall in line just to have even an ounce of his attention. Taehyung is a naturally friendly person, warm and welcoming to everyone, effortlessly charming and sickeningly sweet. Unfortunately for his admirers, Kim Taehyung has been in a relationship for almost a year now.
Choi Jiyeon, Taehyung’s girlfriend and the sole reason why he left the council room, had texted him earlier that day, asking him when he will finish all the council work so they can meet and celebrate their anniversary. It’s been a year–a whole year since Taehyung and Jiyeon started dating after meeting through a date set-up by their friends. The first meeting went smoothly, despite them being total strangers. At the end of the night, Taehyung had been absolutely smitten and asked her out for a second date a week later. It was an unexpected but welcomed relationship, and Taehyung can say he’s been nothing but happy for the most of it. They're not the perfect couple but they're trying to make it work. One year and Taehyung still can’t believe it’s real sometimes.
With a prepared plan for their anniversary, Taehyung calls Jiyeon back after receiving her message and apologizes after telling her he wouldn’t be free to leave until late at night. It wouldn’t be a new thing if that was the case. Taehyung is almost always busy with council work and Jiyeon is aware of that. She sighs on the other end of the line and assures him that it was okay and she understands–she even tells Taehyung not to work too hard before she hangs up. Taehyung can't help but feel guilty hearing her worry about him knowing he’s lying to her. He isn’t exactly a fan of lying to his own girlfriend, but for his anniversary surprise to work, he needs her to be actually surprised when he shows up at her door.
He’s got everything planned out. He’s done a lot of research for this too–searched for the nearest flower shop with the best roses since it was her favorite, saved for months to be able to book a reservation in Jiyeon's favorite restaurant and buy that one necklace that she's been eyeing for a while now. Taehyung even contacted Yoongi and asked him for help to go buy the flowers while he's at the council room and then leave them by their apartment right after for pick-up. Taehyung had also called Seokjin, the former student council president and Taehyung’s mentor slash friend, to help him decide what to wear and arrange the perfect ensemble for the special day. Hours later, Taehyung is standing in front of Jiyeon’s apartment, his hair brushed to the side neatly, showing a bit of his forehead. He's in his black slacks and maroon button-up, the top two buttons undone to reveal a bit of his collarbones, “She would drool all over you if you arrive at her doorstep looking like this,” Seokjin had said as he pop them open. Now with a bouquet of fresh red roses in one hand and the necklace safely hidden in his breast pocket, Taehyung pulls out the spare keys he has for Jiyeon’s apartment with a sweaty palm and trembling fingers.
Taehyung expected her to come check who entered the apartment the moment he stepped inside. Not just anyone was given a spare key by Jiyeon and since she was told Taehyung, who was the only one who owns a spare key, wouldn’t be here until late, Taehyung expected to see her. She would then find him standing there, carrying a bouquet of her favorite flowers and would cry in joy as she realizes that it was a part of Taehyung’s little surprise all along.
But none of that happened.
Taehyung walks in with light footsteps, eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he looks around the place. The apartment is quiet and empty, like no one was in it at the moment. But Taehyung have Jiyeon’s schedule memorized by heart now and he knows she doesn’t have classes for the whole day. She would normally be in her apartment at days like this and despite the state of the rest of the place, the small living room definitely says otherwise.
Taehyung’s throat goes dry.
On the table placed in the middle of the room were two glasses, one empty and one still half-full with orange juice–like someone was here drinking with Jiyeon just a few moments ago. Taehyung swallows the lump forming in his throat. Jiyeon must have forgotten to clean out the table and accidentally left the glasses she used before leaving. That must be it. Taehyung feels a throbbing pain in his head and turns to sit on the couch only to notice a jacket–a black leather jacket that is definitely not Taehyung’s, draped down the back, standing out with its obvious contrast against the dull beige-colored couch. Putting down the flowers by the table, Taehyung leans forward to pick the jacket up, looking at it closely and examining it. It’s not Jiyeon’s either, Taehyung thinks as he holds it out, the size becoming too apparent. The jacket would be too big for Jiyeon. She also isn’t the type to wear jackets like that. Jiyeon prefers bright and light-colored dresses and skirts. She liked looking soft and pretty. Not this.
But if it’s not hers and obviously not Taehyung’s then–
The deep burning pain in Taehyung's chest comes back. He shouldn’t be thinking about it. It probably just belongs to one of Jiyeon's friends who accidentally left it there after a casual hangout. Or maybe, Jiyeon bought that jacket and wanted to give it to Taehyung as a present. It’s their anniversary after all. Right.
Taehyung pulls out his phone, hands still trembling as he dials Jiyeon’s number. He needs to call her and ask her where she is. He needs to tell her he’s in her apartment so she can come home now and meet him. But the sound of a familiar ringtone echoes in the room as soon as Taehyung pressed down the call button. It’s coming from somewhere close. He squints, following the sound of the ringing. He frowns, confused why Jiyeon would leave her phone in the apartment if she went out – when suddenly, he hears it. Or rather, them.
Standing right outside Jiyeon's bedroom door, Taehyung hears the loud sounds of awfully familiar groans and moans. Taehyung feels his stomach twisting and churning. The sounds don't stop. Taehyung ends the call and the shrill ringing ends. The only sounds he can hear now are the ones coming from inside the room. Jiyeon’s bedroom. Taehyung's head is spinning. The noise just keeps getting louder as he stands there on his own, getting more and more aware of what’s really happening behind that door. It was like someone poured a bucket full of cold water on Taehyung when everything finally clicks.
Jiyeon is in that room, cheating on him.
She's in there with someone else.
On their anniversary.
Maybe that’s why Jiyeon called him this morning, asking him if he would be home early. She wanted to know if Taehyung would be around when she brings someone over. Maybe the sigh she let out wasn't of disappointment. Maybe it was from relief that she wouldn't be caught.
Taehyung wants to throw up. His grip on his phone tightens and his hands start to shake again.
He can’t believe this is happening to him.
What did he do to deserve this? He’s tried his best and has given his all for this relationship to work. Why did Jiyeon do this to him? On this day of all days? Taehyung feels the sting as the tears starts to form at the corners of his eyes. He doesn’t know what to feel. Sad? Angry? Devastated? Betrayed? All of them?
He doesn’t know what came over him. He doesn’t know which made him finally snap – but the next thing Taehyung knows is that he's kicking down the bedroom door with force, the hinges going loose and the door is swinging open with a loud thud. He hears a horrified, but familiar, gasp from Jiyeon and a loud curse from a voice he’s certainly hasn't heard before.
Taehyung, with all what’s left of his courage, steps inside. His eyes meet Jiyeon’s in an instant, who seemed to be in shock and weirdly enough, a bit apologetic, as she pulled the sheets close to cover herself. The guy next to her, however, was glaring at him, clad in nothing but black boxers as he furiously stomped his way towards Taehyung.
“What the fuck? Who are you?” The guy is seething, gritting his teeth and grabbing Taehyung by the collar. He doesn’t seem to be feeling guilty. He walked and talked proudly, glaring down at Taehyung like he should be the one apologizing for disturbing them.
“Jeongguk stop,” Jiyeon calls out from behind. She's still sitting on the bed with the sheets around her. She's biting down on her lip, a worried look painting her face. Taehyung feels nothing but the urge to scoff at them. Jeongguk, huh?
But the guy doesn't stop. He slams Taehyung against the wall, eyes cold and almost murderous.
“Why the fuck would I stop, Jiyeon? This guy broke in your apartment, walked around and kicked down your door like he owns the place?” The guy – Jeongguk, hisses. He tightens the grip on Taehyung’s collar and pulled him close. Taehyung feels him breathing down on him, “So tell me who the fuck are you and what do you want, buddy?”
Jiyeon is up from the bed now, wearing makeshift robe with the sheets, as she runs to them. She grabs Jeongguk's arm, pulling him away and convincing him to step back, “Guk, just let him go. He will leave on his own. There's no need for violence.”
After a year of being with Jiyeon, Taehyung takes pride in being the one person who knows her best. Or at least he used to. Not anymore when he didn’t even know she’s been cheating on him for who knows how long now. Not anymore when she's not even acknowledging the fact that she did cheat in the first place. But still, seeing Jiyeon in a state of panic like this as she looks back and forth between Taehyung and the guy, Taehyung realizes a few things. Jiyeon doesn’t feel bad that she cheated. She feels bad because she got caught – and with the way she’s trying to stop her new guy from talking to Taehyung, and with a worried expression all over her face must mean one thing.
This guy, Jeongguk, is not aware of his existence at all.
Realizing that, Taehyung laughs. Jiyeon turns to him, staring at Taehyung as if he finally lost his mind. Jeongguk, however, only seems to be annoyed by it and his lack of answers. He grips his shirt tighter, pushing him back onto the door, “Why the hell are you laughing? Are you crazy? Are you a creepy stalker? How did you even get in here?”
Taehyung almost feels bad for him. He doesn't know. He really doesn’t know. Jiyeon didn’t tell him, and by the look of panic in her eyes, it wouldn’t be a good thing if he finds out. Will he get mad? Will he leave her? He probably will. Jiyeon would then be all alone. But Taehyung, doesn’t really give a shit about her at the moment.
He laughs maniacally, eyes going wide, “I’m her boyfriend, dickhead. She gave me a spare key months ago,” Taehyung spats out with all the anger he could muster – and at that moment, it was a lot. The grip on his shirt loosens as Jeongguk blinks at him in surprise. He steps away, taken aback by Taehyung’s sudden revelation.
“What?” Jeongguk croaks, all traces of his previous confidence gone. His eyes no longer burn with rage, only flooded in confusion, as he turns to look at Jiyeon. “What is he talking about, Jiyeon?”
If they were in a whole different situation, Taehyung would absolutely feel bad for the guy. But unfortunately, he doesn’t have the heart in him to feel any kind of remorse for anyone at the moment. Especially if it's for either one of them–and so before Jiyeon could even answer and explain herself, Taehyung finally decided that he’s had enough. He's seen enough and heard enough. He doesn’t think he can stand another minute with them in the same room. He needs to leave. He needs to get away from here.
“You know what? You two can sort your shit out in your own, but I’m done,” Taehyung grumbles and smacks Jeongguk's hand from his shirt. He raises his hands in defeat and exhaustion. He needs to get away. He needs to go home. He turns on his heel only to stop, “By the way, I bought flowers for you and left them by the table if you still want them. Happy first and last anniversary, Jiyeon. We’re over.”
Taehyung walks out and laughs bitterly to himself. He pulls out the necklace from his pocket, glaring at it like it was the one who had done him wrong, and flings it to Jiyeon's door. The cold winds hit Taehyung's skin as soon as he steps outside, making him shudder–so much for a motherfucking surprise.
“There’s a party in Seokjin hyung’s apartment next week. You should come with me and Hoseok.”
Taehyung says nothing as he continues to type down in the computer, Yoongi’s words falling on deaf ears.
There isn’t anyone else in the office. It’s late at night and all the others went home a few hours ago. Taehyung, however, volunteered to stay and finish more work, promising to take it into his responsibility to lock and clean up afterwards. The council members were reluctant to leave him alone at first, especially since they knew about what happened. It took Taehyung a long time to convince them that they don't need to worry and that they don't have to walk on eggshells around him over something trivial. Taehyung isn't some fragile piece of glass just because he experienced a break-up. Minutes later and he's getting handed the keys for the office.
And then Yoongi, once Taehyung texted him about not getting home until late to finish more paperwork, ran to the university with bags of fast food takeout in his hands. Taehyung didn’t need to ask him what he’s doing there. He knows his best friend is only worried about him, much more than everyone else because he's supposed to know Taehyung best. But he doesn’t have to be. Taehyung is fine.
He hears Yoongi shuffling, letting out a sigh as he retreats. His friend walks behind him and plops down the empty chair next to Taehyung, “Tae come on, it’s been weeks. Please talk to me.”
Two weeks. It’s been two weeks since Taehyung found Jiyeon cheating on him. Two weeks since their anniversary and their break up. Two weeks since Taehyung started drowning himself with work. Two weeks since he started telling himself that he's fine.
For the past weeks, Taehyung has been trying his best to get over it and move on with his life. He’s focusing his attention on other things, getting his mind off of Jiyeon and instead, giving his time to the council more than he did before. He studies hard, staying up in the library until odd hours in the morning with cups of coffee beside him. He knows that gets Yoongi more worried though. He’s his hyung and best friend after all, and with the way he’s looking at Taehyung right now with pleading in his eyes, Yoongi seems to be really bothered by his actions after the break-up. He had been angry at first but that didn't last. Being there for Taehyung became his priority.
Half an hour later, after he's finally finished with the last report, Taehyung saves the files and shuts off his laptop. Yoongi perks up from his seat, face lighting up as he looks at his friend expectantly, “Are you done? Can we go home now?”
Nodding his head, Taehyung gives his friend a small smile, endeared, “Yeah, hyung. I’m just going to lock up. You can wait for me outside.”
It doesn’t take Taehyung long to clean up and lock council the room. In a matter of minutes, he's already out and on his way to Yoongi who had been waiting for him by the gates. His hyung is leaning against the post with his arms crossed and a bored expression on his face but he instantly breaks into a smile as soon as he sees Taehyung approaching, “You’ve had such a long day, Mr. President. You did a marvelous job. Now it's time for you to rest.”
Taehyung hums as Yoongi pats the top of his head. He scrunches his nose and forces a smile back at him, “I honestly didn’t even notice the time. I was too caught up with classes and student council stuff, I didn't even get to take my lunch break.”
A miserable lad, that's what Taehyung is. He's been acting like everything is fine since the break up, flashing smiles to everyone asking if he's feeling alright and waving them off. He's been lying to them and himself for two weeks now, and he's not even doing a great job at it. With the way the people around him are looking at him with pity in their eyes and the way they avoid anything that they know would remind Taehyung of Jiyeon, is so painfully obvious that it just makes Taehyung feel pathetic.
Yoongi stops in the middle of the sidewalk, forehead knitted in worry as he takes Taehyung's hand into his own, “Tae, you can talk to me, you know? I know this isn’t easy but I want you to know that I’m always here for you in case you need someone.”
Taehyung knows that. He really does and he tells Yoongi that, “I just don’t know how to talk about it. I don’t even know what I’m feeling myself. I'm starting to move on but I’m still confused, hyung.”
“Confused about what, Tae?”
The two of them long since stopped walking. They’re just standing in front of each other in the middle of the street, talking in whispers and murmurs. Taehyung bites his lip, “I’ve been thinking for a whole week, hyung. I’ve been wondering why Jiyeon would do that to me and why she thought I deserve to be cheated with,” he starts. Yoongi was about to retort and tell him that no, he didn’t deserve that and Jiyeon was just an ass. But Taehyung laughs, albeit bitterly, “I realized that it’s been kinda my fault too. You know how much I like working with the council, right? Well, Jiyeon hated it. She hated how it would take most of my time instead of with her. But I always tell her not to mind it. Maybe she’s just had enough.”
Yoongi sucks his teeth, frustrated, “That’s still not an excuse for her to cheat on you and sleep with someone else on the day of your anniversary.”
“I know that too and I’m not forgiving her for that so easily. Besides, she didn’t even apologize,” Taehyung’s voice cracks and Yoongi pulls him closer, tucking him safely in his arms. It's a bit awkward with their height difference. Yoongi is on his toes and Taehyung's knees are bent but they didn't care. Taehyung nuzzles into his hyung's neck, “But I’m just saying that I think I get why she did that.”
“You didn’t deserve that, Tae. She should have talked to you instead of running to some other guy.”
It hurts Yoongi to see Taehyung like this. Someone who's normally as bright as Taehyung doesn't deserve to be hurt in the way he did. But as Yoongi gently pats him, swaying their bodies in the middle of the sidewalk, he thinks this is good. Talking is good, way better than Taehyung bottling all his emotions up, waiting for it to explode.
“I just hope she would at least apologize, you know? I don't even want to hear an explanation anymore. It’s been weeks and there’s still nothing but radio silence.”
Yoongi hears the crack in the friend's voice. He tightens his hold around Taehyung as he gently pats him on the head, “She’s an asshole and you deserve better than her.”
Taehyung thought he did too. Everybody who heard about what happened told him the same thing and somehow, Taehyung was so close to believing it. But after a week of nothing, not even a half-assed apology, it makes him doubt that sometimes.
“I liked her a lot, hyung," Taehyung whispers.
He did. He really did. Taehyung gave a lot in their relationship. Taehyung did a lot for her.
“I know, Tae. I know. Besides that shitty thing she did, I’ve actually never seen you like that with anyone else.”
But that's the thing, no matter how happy they had been together, it's over now. It's done and it's because of that one shitty thing Jiyeon did.
“I think I was so close to falling in love with her.”
“You weren't in love with her? Even after a year?”
Burying his head into Yoongi's neck, Taehyung shakes his head, “I don't think so. Is it weird?”
Most people fall in love faster than him, he knows that. People fall in love with strangers all the time. But for him, despite being with Jiyeon for a year, it didn't feel like he loved her like that. He cared for her. He liked her a lot. Yet despite those feelings, Taehyung never fell in love. Maybe that's one of the reasons why Jiyeon did that too. Maybe she knew that Taehyung wasn't in love with her.
“No, it's not. That's alright. Besides, right now I'm glad you didn’t.”
A wet laughter and Taehyung hugs Yoongi tighter, “Yeah. Can’t even imagine how much it would hurt if I were.”
Thank God, he didn't.
Taehyung is trying his best to move on in the healthiest way possible. After the talk with Yoongi that night, it finally dawned on him that he shouldn’t be overworking himself with studies and council responsibilities. Aside from the fact that it makes the people around him worry, Taehyung also realized that he should never do that to himself. Sulking and pitying himself just means that Jiyeon won–that Taehyung can easily be broken. But he isn’t. He’s strong and he can, and he will, stand up on his own two feet again soon and then it would be like Jiyeon had never existed in his life in the first place. Jiyeon didn't and will never win.
For the past week, Taehyung has been shifting his attention to other things aside from work. He went out and visited museums with Yoongi in tow, his best friend surprisingly willing to join him without complaints. Their museum dates had been fun and it made Taehyung remember the things he used to love doing before sitting in the student council. He digs through his drawers and finally picks up his camera again after they went home. He spends the next few days taking walks and capturing different sceneries.
Still, with more free time at hand now that he's not loaded with work and have no girlfriend to give attention to, Taehyung also decided to take it upon himself to redecorate his and Yoongi's shared apartment. His hyung didn’t even get the chance to protest, only coming home to a completely different looking apartment after a long day of work. Yoongi stood by the door, jaw slacked and eyes blown wide as he stared at the newly painted yellow walls of their living room.
But the worst and best thing Taehyung did in Yoongi's opinion (as the best friend and roommate), is impulsively adopting a pet dog from the animal shelter across the campus. It was like the apartment make-over all over again. Yoongi stepped inside their home completely unsuspecting and making his way to his bedroom when he hears a woof. He freezes and turns to see a puppy lounging on the couch with Taehyung sitting right beside it.
“Surprise?” Taehyung smiles at him like he had been caught doing something he wasn't supposed to do. Maybe he was.
But Yoongi gets it and he understands why Taehyung had been doing all these things lately, and it's not like he's hurting anyone – just completely shocking Yoongi every time he comes home. So Yoongi sighs and raises his hands in defeat, “I just can't believe you managed to outdo yourself and the paint job with this one. You win, Tae.”
Basically, Taehyung has done everything he could to get his mind off of what happened. He tried everything. He’s given his all, and did the best he could just to move on.
But the sight of a very familiar looking guy leaning on a huge motorbike in front of the university gates makes Taehyung halt on his steps, eyes almost bulging out in shock. He might not have had the chance to properly look at him the first time they met, but today, Taehyung takes his time, scrutinizing every bit of him.
At first glance, Jeongguk looks like the average bad boy in college. He’s wearing a black leather jacket – the one Taehyung saw in Jiyeon’s apartment probably – over a plain white shirt that was tucked in a pair of ridiculously tight pants. He’s also wearing an expensive and pretentious looking sunglasses that makes Taehyung scoff to himself.
Jeongguk isn't doing anything special. He's standing there and obviously waiting for something or someone but his presence alone is already strong and enticing. People are staring, sending him looks and whispering to themselves as they drink in the sight of him.
But Taehyung isn't like them. Not really. Maybe. Taehyung clicks his tongue, begrudgingly admitting to himself that this guy is actually attractive despite his monochrome fashion choices. That must have been why Jiyeon– Taehyung cuts off his thoughts before he can finish. He shakes his head, hoping all previous memories of that day would finally go away.
He takes a deep breath and straightens his back, his hand gripping the strap of his bag tightly as he holds his head high. Taehyung murmurs to himself, “You can do it, Tae. You’re going to walk past that guy and never think about him or She Who Shall Not Be Named ever again after today.”
He’s going to ignore Jeongguk, he will forget about even seeing him today and then Taehyung can go back to his plans of moving on as soon as he's out of sight – at least that was what he wanted to do. Because just as when Taehyung was about to successfully walk past Jeongguk, he feels a hand on his wrist, tugging him back.
He turns, almost wincing at the tight grip. Taehyung opens his mouth to protest but the only thing he sees is a pair of dark eyes, looking right at him.
“We need to talk,” Jeongguk says.
When Taehyung first formulated his oh-so-genius plans of moving on and forgetting about his ex, he didn't even have an inkling of an idea that weeks after the break-up, he will find himself sitting across the very guy Jiyeon cheated on him with, and in his favorite café at that. Who would have thought, right? Definitely not Taehyung.
But fate works in weird ways and right now, a leather-clad bad boy is sitting in front of him with what seems to be a permanent scowl on his face. Taehyung tongues at his cheek and sighs. Jeongguk had asked Taehyung to come with him so they could talk and yet, he's barely even said a word. Propping his arms on the table, Taehyung sighs to himself, leans his head on his palm and turns to look outside instead.
The café is pretty empty for a Thursday afternoon and Taehyung managed to take his favorite seat beside the glass walls. He's always liked watching the people outside live their lives. He sometimes plays a game with himself and guessing the stories of each of them just to pass time. Jiyeon once called him weird for it. Taehyung grimaces at the unpleasant memory.
“Listen,” Jeongguk clears his throat. Taehyung turns his gaze back to the other, raising a brow, and waiting for him to speak up again.
“I know you probably hate me because of what happened. I know I would if that happened to me,” Jeongguk shifts on his seat. He looks down, avoiding Taehyung's eyes. Weird. Taehyung expected him to be more aggressive and threatening. He looks nothing like the bad boy Taehyung thought him to be. Jeongguk continues, “But I would never ever intend to purposely ruin a relationship like that. I'm not saying I'm innocent because it still happened and I'm sorry for that. The truth is I met Jiyeon a few months ago in a club downtown.”
Taehyung grits his teeth. A few months ago?
Jeongguk purses his lips, reluctant, "She was sitting alone and drinking by the bar. I flirted with her for a while and she didn't stop me. I asked if she's seeing anyone and she," he trails off, finally tearing his eyes away from his lap and looking right back at Taehyung, "She said no, that she would love to get to know me more. That was the first night we–"
With each word that comes out of Jeongguk's mouth, the pain Taehyung thought he finally forgot starts to come back tenfold. He clenches his jaw, “What did you think you would gain from this conversation? I have no idea why you thought telling me how long Jiyeon had been sneaking behind my back with you will make me feel better, but in case you don't notice, it didn't.”
Taehyung's chest burns. His eyes are starting to sting again. But no. He's not going to cry over her. Not again.
“I didn't think I would get anything from this. I just wanted you to know that if I knew she was with someone, I never would have tried to hit on her,” Jeongguk says, calm and firm. His gaze holds Taehyung's own, determined to let him know he's being sincere.
The thing is, Taehyung knew that Jeongguk didn't know about him. It was obvious with the way he acted the day Taehyung caught them. He carried himself proudly despite being seen in a compromising position. It was like he's been there before, like it was his territory.
If Taehyung really thinks about it, it isn't really Jeongguk's fault. It was Jiyeon's. Because Jeongguk had been left in the dark just as much as Taehyung. He had been lied to and cheated with just as much as Taehyung.
Both of them are simply just victims of Jiyeon's cruel joke.
But for some reason, he just can't forget seeing Jeongguk in nothing but his boxers, sitting on Jiyeon's bed where Taehyung slept just a few days ago, and his eyes twitch at the memory.
“Telling me that won't change the fact that you did sleep with her, multiple times I must say, for months behind my back while we were still together.”
“Listen, I know that you loved her and you're hurt–”
“I am hurt but no, I wasn't in love with Jiyeon. I thought I might be in the future but it's too late for that now, isn't it?” Taehyung laugh, bitter and cold.
Sighing, Jeongguk speaks up again after a while, “I just really want to apologize. I know I don't look sincere and shit but I am. I really am. I've been trying to find you for weeks just so I can talk to you.”
Weeks? Jeongguk had been looking for him? Just to apologize? He really is determined, Taehyung can give him that. But he's been wondering how Jeongguk knew the exact gate where Taehyung leaves and the exact time he's off the council. How did Jeongguk find him?
“How did you find me anyway? And waiting for me by the gates with that motorbike and leather jacket? You know people are going to talk about it as early as tomorrow.”
“I'm sorry I was just desperate–”
“How did you find me?" Taehyung asks again.
Jeongguk licks his lips, “Seokjin hyung. He's my cousin's best friend.”
“That's interesting," Taehyung leans on the table, hands cupping his own face, “Did you know that Jin hyung helped me for the anniversary? He picked my clothes and all. What would he say if he knew you were already there when I arrived and was fucking my ex?”
Jeongguk almost winces at Taehyung's every word but he managed to hide them. He squirms in his seat, “He knows. I told him. He punched me after I did.”
That, makes Taehyung's jaw drop, “You what?”
Shrugging, Jeongguk smiles at Taehyung like it wasn't a big deal, “I told him and I got to meet his fist afterwards. I don't know how many times I have to tell you but I really am sorry for what happened. I cut off Jiyeon in my life after that day and have no plans of ever talking to her again. She fucked me over just much as she did you.”
Taehyung was prepared to face a jerk when Jeongguk pulled him to talk. He was so convinced that this guy would put all the blame on Taehyung and guilt-trip him for something. He thought he would end up angry and frustrated by the end of their conversation and yet so far, Jeongguk had managed to prove him wrong for all that.
Letting out a defeated sigh, Taehyung nods at him, "I know that. I'm not dumb. I figured you didn't know about me with the way she panicked after you asked me who I was.”
“Then please,” Jeongguk stands up from his seat and Taehyung's eyes widen as the boy moves to bow in front of him, “Accept my apology.”
After another deep sigh and more moments of contemplating, Taehyung taps Jeongguk's head, making him look up from his ninety degree apology, “Alright, alright. Stop with the bowing and sit back down. I forgive you now but you're paying for my drink.”
Jeongguk happily offers Taehyung his wallet after that.
Taehyung's life is more or less back to normal now. It's been two months after the break-up and he's finally managed to pull himself back together. It hasn't been an easy journey but his friends are just happy to see him smiling again. It also felt like the longest and most excruciating months of Taehyung's life, and yet as he's pulled and squished in between a tight family hug in between his best friends, Taehyung thinks that no matter how difficult, it was certainly worth it.
"I'm so proud of you, Taehyungie," Seokjin says, pulling away from the hug to give Taehyung a kind and warm smile, one that he instantly mirrors.
Yoongi who was originally beside Taehyung, whines and wriggles in between the two, pushing his hand to Seokjin's face and swatting him away, "No. I'm more proud of Taehyung, go away."
"No, I am prouder. I am older therefore I claim to be the proudest out of everyone for Taetae!"
"I've known Taehyung from the moment he was born!"
"I raised Taehyung ever since he was a lanky little freshman!"
Their hug breaks and Taehyung takes the time to watch two of his hyungs bicker in front of him, giggling at their ridiculousness. He hears a sigh from behind him and he turns to see Hoseok shaking his head and his arms placed on his hips. Uh-oh.
Hoseok stomps and stops in between the two eldest, a frown on his face as he looks at them disapprovingly, "Can you two stop acting like a divorced couple fighting for custody of your child?"
Taehyung giggles even more when both Seokjin and Yoongi's face turns red in embarrassment, "Hyungs, it's okay. I know you're both proud of me and I love you for that."
The family hug comes back soon after Hoseok tackles Taehyung, Seokjin and Yoongi following not long after. The four of them are gently swaying and holding each other when Taehyung speaks up again.
"But I love Hoseok hyung the most today."
Hoseok's cackles while Yoongi and Seokjin yell in protest.
Taehyung is happy.
"Why am I being forced into a pair of leather pants and this sheer red shirt? Also, why is Yoongi hyung putting make-up on me?"
No one gives Taehyung an answer to his question. Yoongi only hums, too busy with blending the different colors of eyeshadow on Taehyung's lid to focus on anything else. Hoseok who was by doorway, only shoots him a grin and two finger guns before he's running out yelling for Seokjin. Taehyung huffs and pouts at the lack of proper attention, "Yoongi hyungie?"
"Hm?" Yoongi leans back and grabs a tube of lipstick from the table.
"Are we going to a party?" Taehyung asks, voice a pitch higher and almost resembling a whine.
A party. It's the only plausible reason. The leather pants and the make-up says it all.
"Part your lips a bit," Yoongi tells him and Taehyung wordlessly obeys. After carefully applying the lipstick on his lips, Yoongi smiles, satisfied with his work, "And yes, we're going to a party that Seokjin hyung's friend is throwing."
Taehyung hums, smacking his lips together, "Is it okay for us to go?"
"Tae, it's a college party. The more, the merrier," Yoongi tells him a matter-of-factly, "Besides his friend told him to invite more people so there's that too."
"Well if that's the case then sure why not? I think we could all use a break after everything. Maybe we can all spend more time together tonight too."
But hours later and Taehyung is standing alone at the corner of the room. His hyungs have long gone and went their separate ways. He could even swear he saw Hoseok grinding on someone while dancing just a few minutes ago. Yoongi was adamant on staying by his side at first but leaves “for just a minute" when he spots an old friend in the crowd (he still hasn't returned), and Seokjin is busy playing beer pong somewhere–or at least Taehyung thinks that's him screaming and waving his shirt in the air. Nonetheless, Taehyung is alone with his red solo cup in a college party full of people that he doesn't know because he doesn't go to their college in the first place. So much for spending time together.
Normally he would be bummed to be abandoned in a party but the room is too full of life for Taehyung to even feel an ounce of negativity. The neon lights shining down on everyone and the loud booming music making people move and dance along with the beat. It's amazing. Taehyung sees the people smiling and having fun together, laughing with their friends or enjoying their time alone. On the opposite corner of the room, he sees a couple making out. Taehyung snorts. Judging from the way their hands are moving, they seem like they need to take that somewhere else soon. Shaking his head, he brings the cup to his lips, taking another sip of the cheap alcohol.
And Taehyung spits it right back out–
Straight into someone's face.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry!" His eyes widen as he's sent into a state of panic. He can't believe he just spat out alcohol to another person's face, "Holy shit, you're–"
"It's okay. It was my fault. I never should have approached you like that."
The lights shine on them, the surroundings no longer dark and blurry, and Taehyung finally gets the chance to see the person standing in front of him–the person with cheap alcohol on his face thanks to Taehyung.
"Jeongguk?" Taehyung's voice almost turns into a squeak in shock and embarrassment.
"Yeah, nice to see you too," Jeongguk grins, pulling out a handkerchief from his back pocket to wipe his face dry. Taehyung flushes, realizing what he did. It's already bad enough that he potentially messed up in front of a stranger, now knowing it wasn't just a stranger but Jeongguk, makes it ten times worse.
"I'm really sorry," Taehyung rambles, "I didn't mean to do that. I was just surprised that someone knew who I was in this party."
Clicking his tongue, Jeongguk waves a hand in dismissal, "It's fine, no worries. Also, I wasn't sure if it was you before I walked over but thinking about it, I guess Seokjin hyung must have brought you with him."
"He did. I came here with my friends but they're all busy somewhere now," Taehyung says, gesturing to the makeshift dance floor in the middle of the room, "So how 'bout you? Why are you here?"
After their last encounter in the café, Taehyung didn't know if he would ever see Jeongguk again. Seoul is a huge city after all and it's not like Taehyung walks around all the time. But what are the odds that he would see him again and in the exact same college party? Turns out the odds are extremely high.
Jeongguk gives his face one last pat before he's putting the handkerchief back in his pocket. He shrugs and shoots Taehyung a smile, his lips tugging upward as he speaks, "Oh. Well for one, it's my cousin's party and also I actually attend the same college so there's that."
Taehyung thinks he might be imagining it but Jeongguk sounded like he was teasing him for a moment there. He scowls and mocks offense, "What is that supposed to mean? I was invited here!"
"I know, I know but still," Jeongguk scrunches his nose, "You go to the university on the other side of the city. You travelled so far just to spy on us," The last words were whispered, Jeongguk covering one side of his mouth as if sharing a deep dark secret. Taehyung almost rolls his eyes at him but bites back the urge to. He decides to just play along.
"Oh no how did you find out my motive?" Taehyung fakes a surprised gasp, his hands covering his mouth, "Don't tell anyone I'm here to spy and report back to the headquarters how you people party."
"I wasn't going to but then you spat alcohol on my face so."
He shouts in protest, playfully hitting Jeongguk's arm, "Hey! I told you I didn't mean to!"
"You still got my shirt wet and it might leave a stain. That would be a pain to remove."
Taehyung then looks at Jeongguk, raking his eyes from his head down to his feet. He doesn't look the same from the day at the café. No leather jacket and pretentious sunglasses in sight. But he's wearing yet again another plain white shirt, ripped jeans, showing a bit of his thighs, and a pair of big brown boots. His hair is styled messily too, like those bed hair looks. He spots a few earrings on both of his ears too. Taehyung cocks his head, "You don't look like the typical bad boy tonight."
"What?" Jeongguk's eyes are wide as he blinks at him, obviously taken aback.
Taehyung snorts and shakes his head, "I said you look like you have lots of white shirts so it wouldn't be a problem."
It's weird, how easy it is for Taehyung to talk to Jeongguk like this. Maybe it's the alcohol or the atmosphere of the place, but it doesn't feel awkward standing next to him and bickering like they've been friends for long. They both know they're not really friends. Not at all. It's difficult to be when they've only met twice before tonight, both times not exactly a fond memory for either of them. But somehow, tonight is different.
They move from their spot, Jeongguk pointing Taehyung to a couch next to another couple, aggressively and loudly making out beside them. Taehyung snickers to himself.
"What's so funny?" Jeongguk asks.
Without any hesitation, Taehyung answers, "We are."
Jeongguk is looking at him again, eyebrows knitted in confusion as if asking Taehyung to explain more.
Huffing out a laugh, Taehyung starts, "Okay, remember that day at the café?" Jeongguk nods, "If you think about it, even then, we weren't awkward with each other. I was angry and you were, I don't know, ashamed, I guess? But not awkward. Never awkward. Tonight, you saw me standing there alone and you approached me like I'm a friend? Now, we're sitting side by side, drunk and acting all chummy next to this horny couple. It's like she never happened."
It was like they're the only people in the room now. Taehyung can't hear the music anymore. The lights doesn't blind him anymore. Jeongguk is no longer looking at him too. His eyes are on his lap where he's busy fiddling with his finger, "But isn't that a good thing?"
"How we're not awkward? The way we're acting like friends? Isn't it better for us? Makes it easier to move on and forget?"
"I don't know," Taehyung breathes out, "I don't think much about her anymore but whenever I see you, I see her too at the back of my mind. Sometimes I can still hear you both from inside that room."
Jeongguk freezes. He looks up again, mouth hanging open, "Taehyung–"
"No Jeongguk, don't get me wrong," Taehyung smiles at him, kind and forgiving, "I'm not angry anymore. Besides, I forgave you a month ago, didn't I? I don't wanna hear another apology. It's just that I think I strongly associated you with her now. I've only ever met you three times, and I can't even last without talking about her when I'm with you."
Being with Jeongguk seems like a punishment to him–a breathing, living, daily reminder of what Jiyeon had done to him.
Jeongguk stops fiddling with his thumbs, "Oh, do you want me to leave then?"
Taehyung turns to him, shaking his head and holding him down by the shoulders, "No! No! It's nothing like that. I know it's not fair to you. Because maybe somehow you associate me with her too and yet you're always the one initiating conversations. You're in pain too and you still manage to be the bigger person all the time."
With his eyes turning glassy, Jeongguk looks at Taehyung. He purses his lips, not speaking and just staring for a minute. After a while, he breaks into a smile. A sad one, "You know, I had the same nightmare for a week after that day. It was just that moment, replaying over and over again. I keep seeing your face, how hurt you've been. The pain in your eyes. I couldn't sleep properly," Jeongguk stops to take a deep breath then he starts again, voice shaking, "I noticed things about her sometimes? About how it always feels like we were on borrowed time when we're together. She would always look at her phone and checking the time, hurrying off before I could offer to take her home. I should have known by then. But we've only been together for two months so I kept my mouth shut."
Hearing that makes Taehyung's stomach churn in guilt. He's been too focused on putting the blame on Jeongguk, calling him out for things he can't control and putting him back to that day over and over again. He didn't deserve that.
Taehyung scoots closer to him, space between them almost non-existent now. He drapes an arm around Jeongguk shoulders and pats him gently, "Hey, it's not your fault. I told you that already. You didn't know."
"I know, but like you, I think I do associate you with her too. I'm reminded of the pain and hurt in your eyes whenever I see you. It feels like shit so I," Jeongguk breathes out shakily and pauses. He licks his lips and turns to face Taehyung, "I wanted to change that. I thought maybe if I apologize and things get better between us then I wouldn't be haunted by that day anymore."
"So you're doing this to wash away your guilt?"
"Not exactly. I just, I guess I just want to start over again and in some fucked up way I thought I could do that through you."
And Taehyung understands him and his sentiment. He wanted that too. He was fighting for another chance of a new beginning for the whole month that he's been trying to move on. He did that with the help of his friends and yet it still wasn't easy. But Jeongguk, who had been in pain as well, drowning in a guilt that Taehyung put on him, is carrying all of it on his own.
He takes Jeongguk's hand in his.
"This is fucking weird cause we're both piss drunk and too emotional but maybe we can be friends?" Taehyung smiles at him, squeezing his hand in reassurance, "Start over and forget about everything together because I believe we both deserve to be happy."
Jeongguk squeezes back.
"I'd like that."
Being friends with Jeon Jeongguk came with a lot of things. One of them is the random text messages that Taehyung started receiving the moment he and Jeongguk exchanged numbers. Most of the time, the texts don't even make sense. Or sometimes Jeongguk opens up a topic of conversation that Taehyung can't seem to ignore. But more often than not, it's just Jeongguk being what Taehyung found out after a while, the usual him.
Jeongguk: you're the student council president?
Jeongguk: like, The President of your college?
Taehyung: i thought Jin hyung told you that like a month ago? he was literally my predecessor
Jeongguk: predecessor…. just say senior
Jeongguk: smart people smh
Taehyung: shut up oh my god
Taehyung: it's like 2AM go to bed
Taehyung: i have to get up early too so bye
Jeongguk: ok fine goodnight sir ;)
Taehyung: don't call me that!!!
Another, is that it was absolutely nothing like he could have ever expected–being friends with Jeongguk that is. For one, all impressions he had of him turns out to be completely wrong. He's not the typical bad boy type. He's not an asshole either. Jeongguk just really likes monochromatic ensembles when it comes to fashion. His motorbike had been a gift from his parents for his 21st birthday and just managed to strengthen the bad boy image by accident. Taehyung had thought Jeongguk was the type who slack off in his classes, barely passing his exams but he knows maybe he was just feeding too much into the stereotypes. Yet when Seokjin mentions how Jeongguk is actually one of the top students in his year, Taehyung's eyes go comically wide, mouth agape in shock. Noticing his surprise, Seokjin snorts and then proceeds to list down all the clubs that are chasing after Jeongguk–music, art, photography, taekwondo, swimming and all others Taehyung can't name. Talking to Jeongguk that night had been eventful (it was just mostly Taehyung screaming at Jeongguk and calling him a golden child while the younger sends him weird memes).
However, there was one thing that Taehyung got right about Jeongguk. He is the biggest flirt that Taehyung has ever known–which should honestly be awkward, considering their history but somehow, they make it work.
("Hey Taehyung-ssi, do you like Marvel?"
"I do. Why?"
"Wanna go see the new movie with me? My treat.")
Yoongi had been wary of it at first, especially after finding out who Jeongguk really is. Hoseok and Seokjin had to hold him back before he could pounce on the younger boy who immediately ran to hide behind Taehyung in fear.
("All that muscles and you ran to hide behind me the moment Yoongi hyung rolled his sleeves up."
"My muscles are not for violence!"
"Then for what?"
"Oh wouldn't you like to know?")
They make it work–but it's not easy. No matter how much they both try to forget what really happened between them, things just don't go as smoothly as they hope to be.
It was during one lunch date with everyone else. Taehyung invited Yoongi, Seokjin and Hoseok out to their favorite restaurant. Seokjin then invited a friend who turns out to be Jeongguk's cousin, Jimin, therefore extending the invitation to him as well. But Jeongguk had just gotten out of his class and was already with a classmate. Jimin then calls him, telling him to just bring whoever it is along. Taehyung silently watched as the usual four-person table that he reserved became too crowded for them, the waiters needing them to transfer to a table that could fit the new group of seven.
They order their food and try to get to know each other as they wait for it to be served. In a span of thirty minutes, Taehyung learns that Jimin is the same age as him and he somehow met Hoseok a few years ago during a dance competition, Yoongi and Jeongguk's friend, Namjoon, got easily acquainted when they both found out their similar love for music. Seokjin tells them about the numerous job offers he's been getting from several agencies. Jeongguk brings up going to the movies with Taehyung–
And then she arrives.
It wasn't really a dramatic moment. Jeongguk was in the middle of his story when Jiyeon and a guy walk right behind them, occupying the table just a few feet away from them. All of them freeze, following her movement like they're waiting for something to happen.
Taehyung goes quiet, eyes trained at the back of Jiyeon's head. It's been about three months since the break-up. Three months and there was not even a single apology from her. The worst part is that even if he denies it, a part of Taehyung will always be hung up on what happened. Jeongguk seems to be in the same predicament as he is. His hands are balled into fists on top of the table but unlike Taehyung, he's not looking at Jiyeon. He has his back turned to her and Taehyung is sure she isn't aware that Jeongguk is sitting on the same table as him.
"This is awkward and I would offer to leave but our food still hasn't arrived so…" Hoseok laughs nervously hoping the break the weird atmosphere but no one else is saying anything. They're just looking at either one of Jeongguk or Taehyung, maybe both, nervous and wary.
Taehyung hates this – hates how Jiyeon's simple appearance can undo everything that Taehyung and Jeongguk worked so hard to forget.
The guy pulls out a chair for her and she gives him a smile before she sits back down. She's sitting there, a waiter taking her order, and Taehyung gets the chance to look at her properly. She in one of her dresses, the silver one that she liked so much, long black hair curled prettily to one side, falling up to her middle. Taehyung thinks she looks beautiful tonight. Objectively speaking, that is. But looking at her now, Taehyung feels nothing but the bitter bile that's climbing at his throat. He wants to throw up.
"Taehyung, are you okay?" Jeongguk's voice is echoing in his head and Taehyung pulls himself to get back into focus. He blinks as he tries to even out his breathing. In and out.
Yoongi is by his side, rubbing his back gently and speaking softly, "Do you want to leave now?" he asks.
Taehyung turns to Jiyeon again–and he catches her looking back at him. Her eyes are blank and unfamiliar. Taehyung really wants to throw up.
He stands up abruptly, his chair creaking at his sudden action. Jiyeon is still looking at him. Taehyung looks away.
"I'm going to the bathroom," he steps out, finally walking away when he felt a familiar warmth pulling at his wrists.
Jeongguk stands up from his seat too, "I'm coming with you."
Jiyeon's jaw drops open the moment Jeongguk puts an arm around Taehyung, leading him away from her. Somehow, that seeing that expression alone gave Taehyung a kind of satisfaction he never knew he needed.
The two of them are lounging in Yoongi's and Taehyung's shared apartment, eating a bowl of half-burnt popcorn and watching Haikyuu!! when Jeongguk proposes the idea.
"Tell me this is dumb but seeing Jiyeon that shocked to see us together is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I really really want to see that again," Jeongguk says, eyes still on the screen. The ball drops on the court. The referee blows his whistle. Their team won.
Taehyung hums, hands digging into the bowl next to him, "It's not dumb. If I say that's dumb then I'm calling myself dumb cause I felt the exact same thing."
Hinata is smiling on the screen. Jeongguk turns to Taehyung, nodding a bit too excitedly, "Right? I can't forget how big her eyes went. It was amazing."
"I know, but what are you trying to say?"
The ending credits starts to play. Jeongguk shifts on the other end of the couch and leans closer, "I say we do that again the next time we see her."
Taehyung clicks on the next episode.
"Count me in."
Taehyung loves his friends and he loves spending time with them. It is his own personal way of destressing and relaxing from council duties.
But Jeon Jeongguk showing up in the office in his signature black and white ensemble makes Taehyung do a double-take. He slams his laptop shut and runs to him, grabbing him the arm and mumbling an apology to the other people in the room before he's dragging the other out in the hallway.
"What are you doing here? Don't you have classes?"
"Last one ended an hour ago so I thought why not visit you in your college? Maybe this time I could be the spy," Jeongguk says, snickering. He leans back against the wall, letting Taehyung hover over him.
"You should have told me you'd come. I have tons of paperwork to do and then I have another class in two hours. I can't really spend time with you right now," Taehyung sighs, feeling apologetic. He would love to talk more but he's got lots of work waiting for him on his desk.
Jeongguk, however, didn't seem bothered. He grins, "I told you my last class ended an hour ago. I have nothing else to do so maybe I can help you with those paperwork until your next class? That would count as spending time with me, right?"
"Are you for real?" Taehyung blanches. Jeongguk is really willing to do paperwork just to spend time with Taehyung? Not even Yoongi does that. He would sit with him and bring him food but the actual work? He doesn't do that.
"Yup, why? You don't want to? I could also just leave if you want?"
It's only been two months since he and Jeongguk became friends and yet–
Taehyung shakes his head, "No it's fine. You can come with me inside. I'll tell you what to do."
"Great," Jeongguk flashes him another smile, "Lead the way Mr. President."
–and yet Taehyung feels as comfortable with him as he does with Yoongi.
Jeongguk: enjoy your class
Taehyung: i will so please stop texting me
Jeongguk: really? you will enjoy your class?
Jeongguk: sc presidents…
Jeongguk: phew… a different breed
Taehyung: literally fuck off you're the top of your year
Jeongguk: that doesn't mean i'm smart!
Taehyung: yeah and what does that mean?
Jeongguk: maybe they're just dumb?
Taehyung: you're so annoying
Taehyung: i'm blocking you
Jeongguk: noooo don't
Jeongguk: i have this grand plan of taking over yoongi hyung's best friend role
Jeongguk: i can't do that if you block me
Taehyung: well good luck with that i guess
Taehyung: Yoongi hyung still fights with Jin hyung because of that
Jeongguk: oof thank you sir
Taehyung: don't call me that!!!
Jeongguk: what do you want me to call you then?
Jeongguk: i can think of a few things but i'm not sure if you'll approve wink wink
Taehyung: professor's here bye
Jeongguk: oh okay! i'm not gonna disturb you anymore.
Jeongguk: bye tae ttyl
Taehyung puts down his phone with a racing heart.
Despite everyone calling Taehyung smart, if there's one thing that he's real shit at is figuring out his own feelings. That's what happened after Jiyeon too. He didn't know what he was feeling for a long time, making him displace his anger and blame it all on Jeongguk before they had a talk and settled things out.
And right now, he's having a hard time understanding why he's been getting too comfortable with Jeongguk.
Everything about them has never been normal, starting from the way they met up until how easily it was for the two of them to be friends. It all happened so fast and Taehyung can't put a finger on why their relationship is so different.
Why was he never awkward with Jeongguk?
Why did friendship come too easily between them?
Why does Taehyung have difficulty breathing whenever he's around him?
What is he feeling?
Taehyung snaps out of his daze and sees an amused Seokjin standing in front of him. He looks around and realizes where he is. He met with Seokjin an hour ago to talk about an issue with the council. It was him who sought out his hyung's help and yet he's not even listening to him, getting too caught up in his own problems.
Seokjin is still waiting for him, his arms crossed over his chest and brow raised as he looks at Taehyung, "I've been talking to you for five minutes now and you weren't even listening. Now tell hyung, where did your pretty little head fly to this time?"
"I–" Taehyung trails off and frowns. He could lie. He could tell Seokjin that it was nothing, just the usual student council worries. He would understand that. He's been in that exact position a few years ago. That's the reason they met in the first place too.
But for some reason, Taehyung can't bring himself to lie. He purses his lips and lets out a deep sigh, "I was just thinking about Jeongguk."
"Oh?" Seokjin's eyebrows shot up, his arms dropping from his chest and falling back to his sides, "Not what I was expecting but is everything alright with him?"
"Yeah yeah, he's okay. He's fine. There's nothing wrong with him," Taehyung clarifies, "It's just me not getting my shit together. You know? The usual."
"You already called me for an advice, why not go all the way?" Pointing to an empty bench, Jin leads Taehyung to sit down. He crosses his legs and leans an arm back, "Tell hyung what's bothering you and I'll try my best to help."
Taehyung does just that.
He watches as the worried expression on Seokjin's face slowly fade and change into something else. He goes on, telling his hyung about his confusion and the weird feelings in his chest. He tells him about Jiyeon too and how he feels about the situation regarding her lately. He explains the weird emotions whenever he's with Jeongguk. He tells Seokjin that despite all that, he's still happy.
He tells Seokjin everything and by the end of it, there's only a fond smile on his hyung's face. Any trace of worry gone like it never existed.
"Why are smiling like that, hyung?"
"I'm just happy for you."
"You really moved on from the pain and you're now moving forward."
"I thought we settled that months ago?"
"No, a few months ago you managed to handle the pain and live with it but now?"
"Now you're really happy and ready to move forward."
Taehyung didn't really understand what Seokjin meant with what he said and yet somehow, his words still affected Taehyung. He ended up crying into his hyung's shirt, a hand rubbing down his back as Jin hugged him close.
It all started on a Friday night with Seokjin calling Taehyung on his way back home, telling him to get ready for another night out with everyone. Taehyung had an exhausting week full of council work and major exams. He had been stressed almost every single day and then add the realization of possibly harboring a big crush on Jeongguk and Taehyung's whole week was total hell. He really needs a break.
After Seokjin's call, he didn't even think twice before he's digging into his closet for party clothes and pulling out his favorite jeans. He smiles to himself when he finds it the bottom of a drawer then quickly runs to the bathroom to change and doll himself up. Taehyung comes out ten minutes later to see Yoongi all dolled up and ready. He's dressed in a similar manner, tight jeans and a white collared shirt that shows his collarbone, with a hint of eyeliner making his eyes look darker and sharper.
Taehyung nods at him in approval, "You look good, hyung."
Yoongi flushes and he grunts. Taehyung takes that as a sign of gratitude and asks, "Are you ready to go?"
"Uh-huh," Yoongi grabs both his and Taehyung's coat from the rack and hands over Taehyung's to him, "Jin hyung's been annoyingly loud in that new group chat he made saying he's been there for a while now," he says with a scowl as he walks away. But Taehyung knows him long enough to know that it doesn't really bother him. Especially since it's Seokjin.
"Group chat?" Putting on his coat, Taehyung follows Yoongi out of the apartment.
This time, Yoongi turns to look at him with a brow raised, "Yeah, go check your inbox. You will be surprised."
Taehyung pulls out his phone and squints the bright light coming from his screen. He types down his passcode and he sees it. Several notifications from a group chat Taehyung has never seen before.
Seokjin: where are you? i will kick you in the balls if you're not here in 30 minutes
Namjoon: what's this?
Seokjin: countdown starts now!
Jimin: i'm on my way jin hyung!
Hoseok: i just got out of dance practice and now you want me to go to a club and dance again?
Hoseok: yeah fuck who am i kidding i'm just gonna go change then run there
Namjoon: i'm still confused
Jeongguk: hello joon hyung i'm picking you up in 10 minutes please wear clothes appropriate for a night club
Seokjin: thank you jeonggukkie
Jeongguk: no problem
Seokjin: Jimin is here!
Seokjin: where are the two hoes daegu?
Yoongi: tae is looking for his hoe pants
Hoseok: the one that shows off his ass?
Jimin: ooohh someone's planning on getting laid tonight
Namjoon: this is awkward
"What?" Taehyung says out loud, earning him a snort from Yoongi, "So when Seokjin hyung called and said 'Let's all go out and have fun' he meant all seven of us? Like from the restaurant?"
Yoongi is rummaging through his bag, searching for his car keys, "Yeah. We all seem to get along well anyway. Why? Do you have problems with any of them?"
"No no, I was just," planning on getting drunk enough to forget about my issues with Jeongguk and now I'm going to spend the night with him, "Surprised," Taehyung says instead.
"Found it," Yoongi opens the car door and slides inside the driver's seat. Taehyung follows, taking the passenger seat. Yoongi gives him another look, "I don't think this will be the last time all seven of us will hang out together so you better get used to it."
They finally drive away but all Taehyung can think about is how screwed he is.
When Taehyung and Yoongi arrive at the club, they easily spot Seokjin waving at them from the bar. He's sitting alone, nursing a glass of vodka in his hand.
Yoongi, of course, takes the empty seat beside him, "Where are the others?" he asks.
"Jimin and Hoseok are dancing somewhere. Namjoon and Jeongguk said they're on their way but that was like 5 minutes ago so they might be here any minute now," Seokjin says, words slurred because of the alcohol.
As if on cue, Taehyung feels a literal weight on his shoulders as Jeongguk drapes an arm around him.
"Hey hyungs," the younger greets, "Sorry it took long, Joon hyung was having trouble choosing a shirt."
Jeongguk is standing close to Taehyung, their bodies pressed side by side and Taehyung can even smell the scent of his favorite soap on him with how close he is.
Pointing a finger at the Jeongguk, Namjoon retorts, "That's not true! Jeongguk spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom trying to style his hair."
"No it was because of you deciding which shirt shows off your arms more."
"I have actual receipts of you combing your hair for five minutes straight."
The two continue to bicker like little children with Taehyung trapped in between. They go back and forth, going on and on like two five year olds fighting over the last piece of candy. It was only after when Yoongi physically separates them, smacking their heads after getting tired of having to put up with their ranting, that they stop. Namjoon whines about it's all Jeongguk's fault and goes straight to sit on a stool, calling the bartender and ordering himself a drink.
Jeongguk sticks out his tongue at Namjoon and then turns to face Jin, "Where's Jimin hyung?"
Seokjin only points to the dance floor, not saying a single word. But Jeongguk nods, easily understanding what he meant. And after what felt like hours, Jeongguk finally pulls away and removes his arm from Taehyung's shoulders.
"I'm gonna go dance now, bye hyungs!" he says before he's running off and leaving Taehyung awkwardly standing on his own. Taehyung turns, eyes trained on Jeongguk's back until he disappears into the crowd.
"Why are you just standing there?" Yoongi's voice makes Taehyung snap his attention back to the bar. He tilts his head, confused at the question. Yoongi, however, frowns and points back to the crowd, "We all know you want to follow him so just go."
That instantly sends Taehyung into a sputtering mess, his ears red as blood rushes to his face, "I do not want to follow him!"
He doesn't! Taehyung is completely fine standing by the bar with his hyungs. Jeongguk can go dance on his own. Or with someone. Hopefully just on his own. But Taehyung doesn't want to follow him. Besides he wanted to go out tonight and forget about everything about him in his mind.
Seokjin stifles a laugh behind his glass, "Then why were you looking at his back the whole time?"
Guilty, Taehyung snaps, "I was not!"
He definitely was.
Rolling his eyes, Seokjin groans and raises his hands in defeat, "Alright if you say so," and then in a whisper he adds, "God, this whole mutual pining crap is taking a toll on me."
"You know, Guk did spent 20 minutes in front of the mirror just to look good and he never does that," Namjoon's voice suddenly rings in Taehyung's ears. He had been quiet the whole time aside from when he was bickering with Jeongguk. Taehyung had no idea that he has been listening all along. Even Yoongi and Seokjin turn their heads to him, eyes expectant as they wait for his next words.
Namjoon continues, "I've known him for three years and I know how Jeongguk isn't really the type to care much about his appearance even when he goes to clubs like this but to spend that much time just to make sure his hair looks nice enough? I don't think he did that for nothing."
It was like all attention was on Taehyung in that moment. Namjoon was smiling at him as he speaks. Yoongi and Seokjin are looking at him again, waiting for whatever Taehyung has to say after that.
But he shouldn't let himself overthink just because of that. Jeongguk went to dance and left Taehyung by the bar. Him fixing his hair to look good doesn't mean anything. Taehyung bites his lip.
"Maybe he just wants to get laid or something."
Namjoon shakes his head, a laugh bubbling in his throat, "Yeah Jeongguk seems to look the part but he doesn't really do one night stands."
That still doesn't mean anything. He's probably out there dancing with someone else already while Taehyung is here getting his hopes up because of his friends.
"Maybe he just wants to look good, nothing more," Taehyung says, but he sounds like he's convincing himself more than anything.
"He wouldn't do all that without reason. Trust me, Taehyung."
"Maybe he's just–"
A loud thud makes Taehyung jump, cutting off his sentence. Seokjin is standing up, hands slammed down on the table and eyes boring holes at Taehyung, "Can you please just accept that he did that to look good for you and go follow him to the crowd so you two can make out or something?"
A hand grabs at his shoulder and Taehyung sees Yoongi smiling softly at him, "Really, Tae. I'm with Namjoon and Jin hyung on this one. Go to Jeongguk and talk to him."
And after all those convincing and encouragements, who is Taehyung to say no?
Locating Jeongguk despite the big crowd turns out to be easy. Taehyung had been worried at first, afraid that he'd end up getting lost and trapped in the middle of the dance floor. But he pushed his way in between the sweaty bodies dancing, looking thoroughly and searching left and right for a familiar face.
It only takes him a few minutes before he finds Jeongguk at the center of the floor, dancing with Jimin and Hoseok by his side. They are people surrounding them, watching and cheering them on. All three of them bask under the light, clearly enjoying the attention as they move along the beat. They look good, beautiful even. Taehyung can't help but feel enchanted as he watches his own friends move as if they're one with the music. Jeongguk does a little spin and he stops at Taehyung's direction after one turn. Jeongguk freezes when he spots him standing there, awkwardly unmoving. But he recovers soon enough and leans to whisper something to Hoseok–who then turns to face Taehyung too, giving him a little wave before he's back to dancing with Jimin. Jeongguk carefully leaves the center, excusing himself and making way through the crowd to reach Taehyung.
"Hey," he says, voice still breathy and raspy from the dancing.
"Hey to you too," Taehyung grins at him, "You got some nice moves going on over there."
"I was just playing along with the hyungs but it seems like they don't need me anymore," Jeongguk scrunches his nose, glancing back at Jimin and Hoseok who are now grinding on each other. Taehyung giggles and nods his head.
"They seem to be lost in their own world now."
Everyone else around them are moving, dancing and enjoying themselves under the flashing bright lights. But Taehyung and Jeongguk are just standing there, smiling at each other and definitely not dancing.
The bass goes louder and the DJ tells everyone to put their hands up. A bunch of hoots and cheers follow as several people raise their hands and bob their heads to the beat. Jeongguk holds out a hand in front of Taehyung, his lips tugging up into another playful smile and then he winks, "Wanna dance?"
Cocking his head, Taehyung lifts an eyebrow at the younger. He makes a show of thinking about it before he puts a hand on top of his, "I don't know, you think you handle me?"
Taehyung went here to talk to Jeongguk. He wanted to tell him something important. But as Jeongguk's laugh echoes in his head, Taehyung thinks maybe that can wait. He can let himself enjoy this a little longer.
Jeongguk drags him to the corner of the dance floor with less people and less flashing lights. It's better for Taehyung. He doesn't really like being the center of attention in clubs like this. The song suddenly changes into something slower, more sultry and sensual but still poppy, the beat still thrumming through the speakers. Jeongguk for a moment, stops moving. He's eyes are on something behind them. Taehyung opens his mouth, about to ask him what's wrong when Jeongguk puts his hands on Taehyung's hips, pulling him close until the distance between their bodies is close to none.
Jeongguk leans forward, his lips dangerously close to Taehyung's ear, "Don't look now but Jiyeon is right there with her friends."
Right. Jiyeon. Why else would Jeongguk be doing this? Taehyung remembers the plan they talked about while watching anime together. They will flaunt their friendship to Jiyeon every time they see her, showing her that she didn't break them–that somehow her actions helped them to find a new friend.
It's only because of that.
Taehyung gulps, going pliant in Jeongguk's arms and letting him take control, "Is she looking at us?"
"Yeah. She saw me. She seems to be figuring out who I'm with."
"Oh," Taehyung remembers their plan. This would only work if she knows it's him, "Turn us around so I'm facing her."
Jeongguk shoots him a smile as he moves their bodies with the beat, swaying until finally, Taehyung can see Jiyeon over Jeongguk's shoulders. She squints, eyes narrowed into slits as she continues to stare at them. Her face instantly pales when she realizes who Taehyung is.
"Is she still looking?" Jeongguk asks.
Chuckling, Taehyung puts an arm around Jeongguk's neck. He leans until Jeongguk's ears are right next to his lips and be able to hear him better over the loud music, "She's as white as paper and her eyes are about to pop out of her sockets."
Jeongguk is quiet and Taehyung taps at his back, "This is too funny, Jeongguk-ah, too bad you can't see her now."
From where the two of them are standing, Taehyung can see the look of disbelief in Jiyeon's eyes. It almost makes him want to walk over to her just to rub it in more.
"Hey," Jeongguk pulls himself away, Taehyung's arm sliding off until his hand falls on the younger's shoulder. The beat gets louder and at the corner of his eye, Taehyung sees Hoseok and Jimin shaking their hips with the music.
"Hm?" Taehyung hums.
His eyes find Jeongguk's own, dark and clouded by something Taehyung can't fathom. Jeongguk's adam's apple bobs and he licks his lips. Taehyung feels his heart race.
"Wanna make it even funnier?" Jeongguk whispers.
Before Taehyung can open his mouth to speak, Jeongguk is swooping down, face only a few centimeters away, his breath tickling Taehyung's skin.
"What are you doing?" Taehyung croaks out, eyes wide.
"How does she look now?" Jeongguk's voice is lower, deeper and Taehyung feels hot. It's hot. Hot in the room. His body is burning up. He can feel Jeongguk's lips ghosting over his with every word he speaks. Taehyung swallows the lump in his throat.
"She," he starts, looking behind Jeongguk's shoulders and finds the area where Jiyeon had been sitting empty, "She's gone."
"Is that so?"
He expected Jeongguk to move back, pull away and then laugh at their little act. They did it. They got their little revenge on Jiyeon and made her shocked enough to leave the club. That was the point of everything after all.
But Jeongguk doesn't move. His hands are still on Taehyung's hips, fingers touching at sliver of skin just above his jeans. Taehyung's hand is still on Jeongguk's neck, the other grabbing loosely at his shirt.
"Tae," Jeongguk's breath is warm against Taehyung's lips, "Stop me if you don't want this."
He isn't sure who leans in first but the next thing Taehyung knows, the distance between them is long gone, Jeongguk's hands leaving his hips to cup his face. They move in sync. Jeongguk is the one taking the lead again. He backs Taehyung up against the wall, their mouths moving against each other.
Taehyung can't think straight. He doesn't know how long they've been kissing or if anyone can see them where Jeongguk dragged them. All he can focus on are the soft lips against his, fingers tangling in his hair and the hand touching under his shirt. It's cold. Taehyung shudders at the contact and he whimpers against Jeongguk's lips. Jeongguk responds with a groan, kissing Taehyung deeper and licking more into his mouth.
This is nothing like Taehyung expected when he left the bar to find Jeongguk. He only wanted to talk. Not this. Or at least, not yet. But from everything that Taehyung experienced, he realizes that nothing really is like anything he expects when it comes to Jeongguk.
Jeongguk bites at Taehyung's lips, making him gasp. He's losing his mind. He's about to go crazy. If this goes on, he's afraid that something else might come out of this–and then all of a sudden, Jeongguk's hands are under his thighs, hiking him up and pressing him closer to the wall. Taehyung's hands fly to grip at the younger's hair, tugging at his locks as he moans, loud and filthy– and if not for the music playing, he's sure everyone in the club would have heard him. He himself wasn't aware that he likes things this but knowing that Jeongguk, despite Taehyung being taller, broader and older, can easily lift him up and carry his weight like it's nothing, makes Taehyung feel warm all over. Someone whistles from Taehyung's left, telling them to get a room and he would shy away and blush if Jeongguk didn't flip them off, still not breaking away. He smiles into the kiss and Jeongguk does too before he's diving back in, kissing Taehyung hard and deep.
If their friends could see them, they would probably never be able to live this down. It took Taehyung lots of encouragement from all of Seokjin, Yoongi and Namjoon before he managed to gather enough courage to step into the dance floor and to talk to Jeongguk. They had been so tired and frustrated, gulping down their drinks and–
"Wait," Taehyung pulls away, catching his breath. His cheeks are flushed, tinged with pink, and his lips are swollen and shiny with spit, "You're not drunk, are you?"
The sudden distance almost makes Jeongguk whine. He blinks, eyes still a bit hazy and Taehyung gently taps at his arm to let him down. Jeongguk follows, bending down to let Taehyung stand on the floor. He licks his lips and shakes his head rapidly, "No, I'm completely sober."
"Really? Not even a little sip?"
"Yes I promise," Jeongguk gives him a lopsided grin, "You?"
Taehyung shakes his head, "I'm good too."
He can still hear his heart beating like crazy in his chest. His head is still spinning. He feels cold now without Jeongguk's body pressing close to his. He wants it back.
"We should talk about this, right?"
Jeongguk is leaning in again, eyes darting back on Taehyung's lips.
This time, Taehyung makes sure to meet him halfway.
Every time Taehyung goes out on a party with his friends, he would always wake up with a throbbing headache the following morning and an empty bucket ready by his bedside in case he throws up.
But today, Taehyung wakes up feeling fine. He stirs from his sleep as light from his window peeks through the curtains. Rubbing at his eyes, Taehyung pulls himself into a sitting position, back leaning against the headboard. He stretches his arms and yawns. He stays like that for a while, blinking the sleep away and looking around his room.
Then it clicks.
His face immediately heats up as flashes of memories from the previous nights appear at the back of his mind.
Him and Jeongguk dancing. Jeongguk leaning in. Jeongguk kissing him. Taehyung kissing back. Jeongguk pushing him against the wall and lifting him up like he weighs nothing. Taehyung moaning–
Taehyung screams, smacking his face to snap himself out of the embarrassing trip down memory lane. It's too early for that. Turning over, he reaches out and grabs his phone from the nightstand to turn it in. In less than a minute, several notifications flood into his screen. Taehyung squints at the bright light, letting his eyes adjust for a bit. His phone continues to ping with texts from his friends and after a few more alerts, Taehyung finally taps on them, checking the texts one by one.
He sees one from Seokjin telling them not to look for him and that he left the club with someone. It's suspiciously followed by a private message from Yoongi telling Taehyung not to wait up and that he won't be home for the night. In their group chat, Hoseok and Jimin sent several drunken selcas and videos of just the two of them giggling. Namjoon's are the last ones he sees. It was a photo of their two drunk friends, passed out and curled up beside each other at the back of a taxi. Taehyung chuckles, typing out a message, wishing everyone to have a good day and reminding them to drink lots of water.
He was just about to lock his phone again when a new notification appears at the top of his screen.
It was from Jeongguk.
Jeongguk: oh good you're awake now
Jeongguk: can we talk about the thing soon?
Taehyung: good morning to you too
Jeongguk: shit right
Jeongguk: good morning tae
Jeongguk: can we talk about it?
Jeongguk: can we do it soon?
Taehyung: eager are we?
Taehyung: but are you free today?
Jeongguk: we went clubbing yesterday, i thought i'd be in horrible pain from a hangover right now so i cleared up my whole saturday.
Jeongguk: i'm all yours ;)
Taehyung: i just woke up guk don't be annoying
Taehyung: i can still block you
Jeongguk: don't :(
Jeongguk: after everything we've been through….
Jeongguk: after last night…
Taehyung: you're such a kid istg
Jeongguk: should i come over to your apartment?
Taehyung: no not here
Taehyung: i don't think i can trust us to be in a private space alone after last night
Jeongguk: last night wasn't in a private space though ;)
Jeongguk: and you seemed to like it a lot
Taehyung: please stop talking
Taehyung: but remember that café where we went the day you apologized?
Jeongguk: you want to meet there?
Taehyung: yes please
Taehyung: i'll just go shower and meet you there in two hours, is that okay?
Jeongguk: i'll be there. see you, tae.
Jeongguk is sitting cross-legged on a table placed right at the farthest corner of the shop when Taehyung steps inside. The café is busy today unlike their first meeting. Customers come and go with cups in their hands. Others stay, taking a seat on one of the chairs to savour their drink or just bask in the warmth of the place. Taehyung walks towards in big strides but Jeongguk doesn't immediately notice him. His eyes were cast downwards as he busy himself with tapping down on his phone. He looks comfortable on his seat with his casual black hoodie and washed out jeans. Taehyung almost couldn't believe that he was the same boy he saw that day waiting for him by the campus gates.
"Hey," Taehyung says, finally making his presence known as he greets Jeongguk cheerily, plopping down the seat across him.
"Oh, hey," Jeongguk's lips curve up into a smile. He looks a bit surprised for a bit but he manages to catch himself again in a snap. He holds out the half-empty cup of iced americano on the table, shaking it lightly, "I already ordered a drink but do you want me to get you anything?"
Taehyung hums, placing his elbows down on the table and propping his chin in his hands. He lifts an eyebrow at Jeongguk, "Why? Are you paying again?"
Jeongguk leans back in his chair, draping his arm on the backrest. He grins, giving Taehyung a shrug, "Maybe. It's kinda our tradition at this point."
"Tradition? You paid for my drink once and you call it a tradition," Taehyung snorts and shakes his head, amused, "But I'm good. No worries. I just want to focus on you, so let's talk."
Caught off guard by Taehyung's sudden bluntness, Jeongguk chokes on air, blood rushing to his face, "Shit Tae, you can't just say stuff like that! Thank fuck I wasn't drinking my coffee or else I would have spat it out on you."
Taehyung only chuckles at that, memories from the college party coming back to him. Jeongguk is still frowning as he reaches out for his cup. He takes a sip from his drink, eyes looking anywhere but Taehyung. His ears are red and and his cheeks are tinged with pink. Taehyung fights the almost uncontrollable urge to lean over the table and pinch Jeongguk's cheeks and coo at him. He would certainly not love that idea.
Clearing his throat, Taehyung tries to get the younger's attention, "So? Do you want to start or should I?"
They both know they have a lot of things to talk about–not just the events that happened the previous night. There has been a lot of instances that they chose to ignore, afraid of what it really meant.
"I should probably say something first," is what Jeongguk says. After all, I was the one who initiated the first kiss, are the words left unsaid. Taehyung nods at him, letting him know he's listening.
Jeongguk lets out a deep breath, his fingers trembling as they cradle the cup in his hands. He didn't look nervous a minute ago. He actually seemed a bit cocky and smug. He looked like he got everything figured out but suddenly Jeongguk is biting down at his lips, legs shaking under the table as he opens his mouth to speak in a quiet voice, "First things first, I just want to say that the kiss last night wasn't a mistake for me. I know it was sudden but it's something I've been wanting to do for quite some time now."
Taehyung's throat runs dry. He unconsciously lets out a shuddering breath and Jeongguk turns to him for a signal to go on. Taehyung gives him a curt nods and Jeongguk starts again.
"Taehyung I," he makes a pause. His tongue pressing at the inside of his cheek as he takes a moment. Taehyung waits patiently and watches. Jeongguk takes a deep breath and continues, "I know it might seem like I did that because of Jiyeon, but I didn't. I did see her and that's why I pulled you close to tell you. But you told me to turn us around, then you put your arms around me and just like that I stopped functioning. Like the wires in my brain just short-circuited at once. All I can think of is how near you are or how good you smell. You were intoxicating, Tae. God, you don't even know."
At this point, Taehyung's own hands are shaking as he listens to Jeongguk's words. It all seem unreal. Everything that comes out of his mouth sounds like things that came straight out of a dream. He had an idea that Jeongguk might feel the same way as him because of what his hyungs said. But those never prepared him for this.
"It wasn't even supposed to be like this," Jeongguk frowns, "I just wanted you to forgive me and for me to be your friend. But then you just had to be the funniest, sweetest and most beautiful person I've ever met. I didn't stand a chance, Taehyung."
Jeongguk's eyes soften as soon as he stops talking. The creases on his forehead from the frustrations of remembering Jiyeon slowly disappears, replaced by a slight twitch at the corner of his lips. Taehyung breathes in, chest heaving out as he takes in his words.
"Are you saying what I think you're saying?"
His voice is almost quiet like a whisper. It's like he's asking him a secret and he's afraid of what the answer might be. Taehyung's hands curl into fists and he swallows back the lump in his throat. Reaching over the table, Jeongguk puts a hand over Taehyung's and flashes him a small smile.
"I'm saying I like you and kissing you last night may be one of the most impulsive decisions I've ever made but I don't regret even a second of it."
I like you.
Hearing those exact words from him makes Taehyung's breath hitch. He gasps softly and Jeongguk takes his hands into his own, their now hands intertwined on top of the table. Taehyung looks at it and bites his lip to hide a smile
"Oh. That's nice to hear then," Taehyung says.
Jeongguk tilts his head, his thumb caressing Taehyung's knuckles, "It is?"
It's Taehyung's turn now.
He takes a deep breath and looks straight into Jeongguk's eyes as he speaks, "Yeah. I actually went to find you on the dance floor last night because I wanted to tell you that I like you. Kissing you wasn't in my plan either but I'm glad it worked out well."
I like you.
It's been a long time since Taehyung said those words to anyone and today feels different from before. Liking Jeongguk is so different than liking Jiyeon.
"You like me too?"
The whole thing itself is a lot different than with Jiyeon. Taehyung had been scared the moment he liked her but with Jeongguk, he was nervous but he never once felt like anything bad will happen.
Even right now, it feels normal. Confessing to Jeongguk what he feels is just like everything is finally falling to place.
His heart is warm.
"Even after everything?"
"Especially after everything."
Starting from how they became friends, everything happened all too fast. Three months. Taehyung smiles. They've only been friends for three months and Jeongguk already managed to make Taehyung comfortable around him. Jeongguk had been there for him, understanding him and supporting him.
"Yes, even after all that shit with Jiyeon," Taehyung squeezes Jeongguk's hand, "What happened with her and what we experienced because of her really sucked, but it made me stronger. It made me see things in a new light. I got a puppy because of it. That situation brought you to me too."
Losing Jiyeon has been a great eye opener for Taehyung no matter how painful it had been. They were never meant for each other. They were the same poles from a magnet, clashing and repelling. They didn't love each other, that much was obvious. Jiyeon didn't think twice before cheating on him. Taehyung was hurt, badly so. He cried but he his crumbling pieces together and glued them back on his own.
More than five months after and Jiyeon still hasn't given him nor Jeongguk the apology they both deserve. Taehyung is tired of waiting for it. He doesn't need to hear it anymore. He moved on long ago.
He's happy now.
"It's fucked up, her cheating on you and then two-timing us but it's still thanks to her that we met each other."
"I think we'd be bound to meet either way with Jin hyung and Jimin being friends especially but I'm still gonna send her flowers as thanks."
"Red roses again?"
"You remember the flowers I brought her that day?"
"I remember everything about that day. I never got to tell you but you looked hot in those pants and red button-up."
"Thanks. You looked great in your boxers."
"Wanna see it again?" Jeongguk laughs, wiggling his eyebrows, a smirk on his face.
"Oh god, shut up," Taehyung smacks Jeongguk's chest, soft laughter bubbling from his throat. Jeongguk watches him fondly, chest full and heart free of worries.
They're finally happy.
Three weeks after their confessions in their favorite café and both Jeongguk and Taehyung are standing outside of Seokjin's apartment, hands tightly clasped together. All their friends are inside, waiting for them before they can finally start their movie night.
"Are we really going to do this? Are we really going to tell them?" Taehyung asks again for the fifth time, Jeongguk counted. He grips the elder's hand tighter, their fingers intertwining and locked together.
"It's been almost a month since we started dating and everyone has been pushing us together since day one anyway."
"Yeah so can't we just let them figure it out on their own?" Taehyung pouts, brows knitting together into a frown.
Seeing him distressed, Jeongguk pulls Taehyung closer and plants a kiss on the creases on his forehead, "Are you scared?"
"No but I'm just nervous. What if they get mad cause it took us a month before we decided to tell them?"
It's a normal thing to worry about. Taehyung loves their friends and he doesn't want them to think that they didn't want them to know about their relationship. It wasn't like that. They weren't hiding it from them. They just didn't want to make a big deal out of it. Especially knowing the history between Taehyung and Jeongguk.
"Tae, we weren't exactly subtle with it and I'm sure some of them already figured that something was up. But if you don't want to tell them now then we can postpone it? We'll wait until your ready," Jeongguk tells him in assurance, bringing their joint hands to his lips, kissing softly at Taehyung's knuckles.
Taehyung' heart soars.
"No, it's fine. Let's do it," he finally says, deciding he should stop worrying about everything. After all, their friends helped them get to where they are now. They deserve to know.
"Are you sure? You wanna tell them we're together?"
A word so simple and yet every single time Taehyung hears it, his heart won't stop beating like crazy.
He and Jeongguk decided to be friends and be happy together.
He and Jeongguk wanted to show Jiyeon that they moved on together.
He and Jeongguk are finally happy together.
"Yeah. Let's tell them."
Jeongguk smiles and kisses the top of his head again before they finally walk inside, hand in hand.
Jimin: i can't believe it took them three months before they started dating
Seokjin: honestly i thought they'd bang a week after the party like some kind of hate sex
Jimin: hate sex?
Jimin: there was never hate on jeongguk's part
Jimin: jeongguk spent an entire week searching for taehyung just to talk to him
Jimin: i swear to god i had a hunch at that point that he has a big phat crush
Seokjin: he was practically shooting hearts from his eyes when i told him i know a taehyung
Jimin: he even let you punch him for tae
Jimin: whipped i'm telling you, whipped.
Yoongi: you do know that this is not a private message between you two right?
Yoongi: all of us can see this
Hoseok: no hyung
Hoseok: let them talk i'm enjoying this
Hoseok: i'm gonna go grab some popcorn
Jeongguk: i'm not!
Jeongguk: stop making fun of me
Namjoon: it's okay jeongguk-ah
Namjoon: everyone knows you're in too deep with taehyung
Hoseok: in more ways than one haha
Taehyung: hyung no
Taehyung: and hey guk i think it's cute
Taehyung: you were so shy during our first meeting you can't even look at me properly
Jeongguk: you were intimidating!
Jeongguk: you were staring at me like you want to swallow me whole
Hoseok: oh i bet he does
Namjoon: i should really stop checking the group chat
Seokjin: is this how they flirt?
Jimin: tae don't flirt with my cousin in front of me
Jimin: i've seen him in his diapers it's weird
Taehyung: we're not even flirting!
Taehyung: we're just talking!
Jeongguk: i hate all of you
Taehyung: even me? :(
Jeongguk: except taehyung
Yoongi: young love
Taehyung never corrects Yoongi.