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could you tell me what's real?

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“Come on, just fucking — just give it to me already,” Yoongi groans through panting breaths, fingers digging into the back of his thighs as he strains to pull his legs closer, grip slipping slightly on his sweat-slick skin. This was a bad idea. He should’ve just feigned a headache and gone straight to bed, but Yoongi’s a weak bastard with absolutely no concept of self-restraint. 

Well, at least when it comes to Taehyung, he doesn’t.

“I’m giving you plenty, hyung,” Taehyung hums from his spot between his legs, dark eyes flicking up to hold Yoongi’s withering stare. His hair’s a glorious mess, honey-blonde strands sticking up all over the place from Yoongi’s constant pulling, lightly tickling Yoongi’s inner thigh as Taehyung leans back down to suck another bite into the swell of his ass, just below where it meets his thigh, so achingly close where Yoongi needs his mouth to be.

“Shit,” Yoongi hisses, biting down on his lip when he feels Taehyung’s tongue slowly lave over the fresh mark. He knows it’s just one of many littering his skin from tonight, feels each of them tingle as Taehyung smooths his hands over the back of his thighs before pressing his fingers in to get a solid grip. “You know that’s not what I meant.”

Taehyung smirks up at him. “Oh?” he asks, in a voice that’s far too innocent. Yoongi kinda wants to slap him. “Then what did you mean, hyung? You have to tell me what you want. I’m not a mind reader, you know.”

Bullshit. Taehyung knows exactly what he wants; he just refuses to give it to Yoongi because he’s a massive fucking tease. Always has been from the start of this thing they have, whatever it is. They never really talked about it, and at this point, Yoongi’s too afraid to ask. It’s been too long. Eight months too long. As far as he knows, Taehyung considers them as just childhood friends and roommates who get off together sometimes for fun. 

Although lately, Yoongi thinks with some degree of bitterness, it hasn’t been as much fun as before.

He doesn’t want to think about that, though. He doesn’t want to think at all, actually. So, he grits his teeth and snakes a hand down to fist the hair at the nape of Taehyung’s neck, tugging him up slightly, and looks him right in the eye as he growls, “Give me your tongue, your fingers, your big fucking cock — whichever, I don’t fucking care, just get something inside me. Now."

Taehyung’s expression darkens, lips falling open to let out a hot breath against the crease of Yoongi’s thigh. “ Fuck,” he groans, brow knitting together as he quickly climbs up Yoongi’s body to press their lips together in a rough, filthy kiss. His hand moves to grip the meat of Yoongi’s ass, squeezing it for a moment before delivering a swift slap that makes Yoongi jump. “Bossy little thing tonight, aren’t you? So eager to get fucked. Need something stuffing your cute little hole to keep you happy, hm?”

His words go straight to Yoongi’s cock, swollen red and painfully hard against his stomach, twitching as a small spurt of precum leaks out. “That’s right,” he breathes out, barely resisting the urge to reach down and touch himself just to take some of the edge off. “So you’d better fucking do something before I take care of this myself — ah!

He lets out a short yelp when Taehyung slaps him again, sending a sharp zing of pleasure right to the heat pooling in his abdomen. “Ask nicely, and maybe I’ll consider it,” he mutters against Yoongi’s mouth, so closely that their lips brush together with each syllable that leaves his tongue.

If this were any other day, Yoongi would argue and tell him to fuck off, because he’s not fucking begging. Because that’s what they do — push each other’s buttons just to rile one another up as much as they can, always trying to get the upper hand in a constant push and pull that makes everything that much hotter. It’s the kind of sex that leaves Yoongi wobbling on his feet the morning after, sore in all the right places with finger-shaped bruises imprinted on his milky skin that’ll linger for days, just the way he likes it.

But, as it stands, Yoongi doesn’t have the patience for that tonight. He just wants Taehyung to fuck him stupid until the only thing he can remember is his name, until his mind’s wiped clean like a blank canvas, body giving way to feeling only. 

So, he puts aside his pride and reaches out to cup Taehyung’s face, nudges their foreheads together and says, shaky and breathless and desperate, “ Please, Taehyung. I need you, need your big fat fucking cock, please, just fuck me. Make me yours.”

That seems to flip a switch in Taehyung.

“Oh, baby,” he purrs, capturing Yoongi’s swollen lips in another sloppy kiss. It’s entirely too much tongue to be really enjoyable, but Yoongi can’t bring himself to give a shit, not when Taehyung’s dragging his mouth and saliva across his cheek to his ear to press wet kisses there, hot breath ghosting across the shell as he whispers, “I’m gonna make it so good for you, sweetheart. Can’t wait to ruin you.”

Yoongi resolutely does not let the pet names go to his head. “Do it,” he gasps, goosebumps erupting across his skin as Taehyung kisses his way down his chest, fisting a hand in the sheets when he pauses to lap at his swollen cockhead, making a show of licking up all the precum leaking out before he moves further down.

The first warm, wet lick to his hole makes Yoongi’s entire body shudder, head rolling back to rest on the pillows as a quiet sigh leaves his mouth. Yeah, that’s the fucking stuff. His hands move to hold his legs up again, muscles trembling underneath his fingers as he feels Taehyung really go for it — burying his entire face into his ass, tongue licking and slurping at his hole like it’s the best damn meal Taehyung’s had in years. Yoongi doesn’t really like being vocal in bed, but even he can’t stifle the loud moan that rips from his throat when Taehyung groans against him, vibrations making his head feel dizzy; he holds in a small whimper when he cracks open an eye and sees Taehyung’s glutes flexing in the low light of his bedroom as he slowly ruts against the bed, getting off to eating him out.

Taehyung gives him one final, hard suck that has Yoongi’s toes curling before he pulls off, drool smattered all over his chin, sharp eyes dazed. It should be gross, really, but Yoongi’s so absolutely fucked that he thinks it’s the hottest thing he’s ever seen. Taehyung’s so infuriatingly gorgeous, so effortlessly beautiful even when he looks like a mess and it makes Yoongi’s blood boil.

“Feels good?” he asks cheekily, wiping off his chin with the back of his hand and reaches over to swipe the lube bottle off the nightstand.

Yoongi lets his legs relax for a moment, resting a hand on his heaving chest and pushes his sweaty hair back with the other. He watches Taehyung squeeze out a big dollop of lube onto his fingers, licking his lips as his eyes follow the way he rubs them together. “You know it does,” he sighs, unsteadily.

“Tell me,” Taehyung says as he shuffles closer, laying a hand on his knee to nudge his legs further apart. Yoongi lets them fall open easily, brow furrowing when he feels the first press of a lukewarm, lubed finger circle around his entrance. “Tell me how good it is, hyung.”

Yoongi hisses lightly when Taehyung pushes in, slowly, ever so careful with him. “The best I’ve ever had,” he manages to grit out, relaxing only when Taehyung massages small circles into his thigh with his free hand. He moves his hips against Taehyung’s finger, helping him pump it in and out. “Won’t — ah, shit — won’t ever find a-anyone better.”

Taehyung growls low in his throat. “That’s right, baby,” he murmurs, adding another finger. Yoongi keeps rolling his hips down on his fingers, sliding a hand down his chest to fist at his weeping cock, muscles jerking when he slides his thumb across the slit at the same time Taehyung brushes against his prostate. “I’m the only one who can give it to you this good, yeah? Fucking ruined you for everyone else. Gonna wish it were me every time you’re bouncing on someone else’s cock.”

“Yeah, yeah, yes,” Yoongi quickly says, nodding, if only to get Taehyung to shut up. He doesn’t need the reminder that this is temporary, a transient moment in their relationship that’ll ruin Yoongi for very different reasons than Taehyung’s thinking of. Instead, he focuses on the feeling of a third finger stretching him open, head lolling to the side as he pants out stuttered breaths into the pillow, tugging at his cock faster and faster until it’s almost too much.

“Okay, that’s enough,” he mutters, batting Taehyung’s hand away as he gingerly lifts his own hand from his pulsing cock. He blindly pats around the bed until his fingers close around the condom he’d thrown there earlier, impatiently ripping it open and shoving it towards Taehyung. “C’mon, let’s go.”

For a moment, Taehyung looks hesitant. “Are you sure? I think you need more prep —”

Yoongi just groans and shakes the wrapper. “I don’t want more prep. I’m good, Taehyung, I promise. Just — get on with it.”

Taehyung stares at him for another second, then nods. “Okay, okay, fuck,” he mumbles, rolling the condom on and groaning as he pumps his neglected cock a few times with lube. He moves closer on his knees and starts to line up when Yoongi suddenly snatches the pillow out from under his hips and nudges him away. “What? What’s wrong?”

Yoongi doesn’t immediately reply; just flips around and gets on his hands and knees, arching his back to lift his ass high in the air. “Want it like this,” he explains, reaching back to spread himself open with one hand.

He hears Taehyung let out a shaky breath. “God, Yoongi , you’re fucking killing me,” he grits out, smoothing a hand over Yoongi’s lower back before he grips his hip, tightly, and rubs the head of his cock over Yoongi’s hole. It makes Yoongi jolt a bit in place, head dropping between his shoulders as he stifles a moan into his bicep, pushing back against Taehyung. “Look at you, hyung. So pretty, so greedy for me. Gonna fuck you silly, baby. ”

“Less talking, mor—” Yoongi starts, but he quickly shuts up when Taehyung pushes his cock in without warning and bottoms out with one smooth thrust. Yoongi cries out, eyes flying wide open, overcome with the familiar mixture of pleasure and pain pulsing through his veins; he claws at the sheets, feeling breathless as the burn of stretching around every inch of Taehyung sets his entire body on fire, letting out a choked gasp when Taehyung pulls back and slams right back in.

He doesn’t give Yoongi a chance to breathe, fucking into him hard and fast — and Yoongi accepts it all without complaint, muffling his stuttered moans into his forearm when his arms finally give out on him, skin stinging with each rough slap of Taehyung’s hips against his ass. He tries his best to meet Taehyung’s thrusts, pushing against the headboard for leverage, knuckles turning white around one of the rails as Taehyung pounds into that one spot over and over again, making the heat in his stomach coil tighter and tighter until it’s almost unbearable.

“So fucking tight,” Taehyung growls, fingers digging into Yoongi’s hips so hard it’s bordering on painful, but that’s exactly what Yoongi likes. He likes it to hurt, likes the way Taehyung loses himself in his chase for pleasure, likes the way each brutal thrust pushes him further and further up the bed, sheets bunched under his shaking knees. “Such a perfect little ass, hyung. Always takes me so fucking well, yeah?”

Yoongi can’t find his voice to answer, too focused on the sparks of fire shooting up and down his spine, making his head feel dizzy. He reaches down to wrap a hand around himself again, crying out into the pillow as he strokes himself in time with Taehyung’s thrusts, eyes rolling into the back of his head. It’s so fucking good, teetering on the edge of overwhelming and he’s there, he can feel it, he’s right fucking there

“Gonna —” Yoongi gasps, panting harshly as he pumps himself faster. “Gonna come, Taehyung, I’m —”

Taehyung hunches over his back, grunting into his ear as he presses a sloppy kiss to the side of Yoongi’s neck. “I’ve got you, hyung, c’mon,” he murmurs, fingers tightening around Yoongi’s waist as his hips stutter, thrusts becoming more erratic, more desperate.

It doesn’t take long before Yoongi’s entire body locks up for a moment, mouth falling open in a silent scream before he spills all over his hand and onto the sheets, nails digging into the mattress as he milks himself of every last drop. Taehyung doesn’t let up on his ruthless pace, fucking him with wild abandon until he’s coming too, hips jerking uncontrollably as he empties into the condom with a loud moan. Yoongi clenches tightly around him, biting his lip hard enough to break the skin when Taehyung whimpers helplessly against his hair, pressing shaky kisses to Yoongi’s temple as they both ride out the aftershocks.

“Fuck,” Taehyung whispers, peeling himself off Yoongi’s back and pulls out as gently as he can. He laughs when Yoongi automatically collapses on his side, narrowly avoiding the fantastic mess of cum he’d left on the sheets. “You okay, hyung?”

Yoongi weakly holds a hand up, not bothering to open his eyes. “Just give me a minute,” he breathes out, lungs still struggling for air.

He lays there, focusing on just breathing and allowing his racing heartbeat to slow its frenzied dance to return back to his regular rate. The mattress dips under Taehyung’s weight as he crawls off the bed and heads out of the room, likely towards the bathroom. Yoongi hears the faucet run a minute later, and when he finally finds the strength to crack open his eyes again, Taehyung’s lowering himself to sit beside him with a gorgeous, tired sort of smile, damp rag in hand.

“You good now?” Taehyung asks softly, wiping Yoongi down with gentle strokes and lets him take the towel to clean the areas he prefers to do himself. He bites his lip when Yoongi nods blearily, eyes roaming over all the marks he’d left on his body. “I wasn’t too rough, was I?”

Yoongi just shakes his head and tosses the towel somewhere that isn’t in his direct vicinity. “It was fine,” he mumbles, lips quirking up when Taehyung still looks unsure. “Hey, I mean it. I would’ve said something if it was too much. You know that.”

“Right. Okay,” Taehyung murmurs, returning his smile. He reaches out to brush Yoongi’s damp fringe away from his face, cupping his cheek with a look of adoration that’s entirely inappropriate for the situation, and leans down to press feather-soft, light kisses to his puffy lips. 

Yoongi just closes his eyes and lets it happen, lets himself enjoy the easy slide of Taehyung’s lips against his for a moment, the way his thumb gently strokes the apple of Yoongi’s cheeks, how each chaste little kiss makes his fingertips and toes tingle like there’s tiny sparklers going off underneath his skin. Taehyung’s always been the touchy type after sex, and though Yoongi would normally indulge him, he’s not really sure he can handle that right now. Not when his head’s all cleared up and he can think properly again, mind running wild with thoughts about how, in a few hours from now, they’ll go back to normal like none of this ever happened. Like none of it really matters in the grand scheme of things, because in the clarity of broad daylight, Taehyung still thinks they’re childhood friends and roommates who get off together sometimes for fun.

It’s funny. Yoongi always thought of himself as pretty good at separating feelings from sex. He’s done it plenty in the past with most of his past flings without issue, never allowed himself to let his guard down — and yet here he is, feeling like the biggest cliché on the planet.

“Taehyung-ah,” Yoongi mumbles, pulling back from their kiss and placing a hand against Taehyung’s chest when he tries to go in for another. “Hyung’s really tired. I think it’s time for bed, hm?”

Taehyung blinks a couple of times, expression closing up as he leans back. “Oh,” he murmurs, disappointment evident in his voice. Yoongi tries not to feel guilty about it. “Okay. Yeah. I’ll just, uh… I’ll head back to my room, I guess.”

“Okay,” Yoongi agrees, tugging the comforter up around himself and settles against the pillow, eyes falling shut. Everything's still for a moment, the air uncomfortably thick with a certain sort of tension that’s never really been there between them, bogged down with so many questions and things left unsaid — and then Taehyung gets up without another word, lingering for a second before Yoongi hears the soles of his feet brush against the carpet as he leaves because Taehyung still doesn’t fucking pick up his feet when he walks. Never has, ever since he was a little kid and trailed after Yoongi everywhere he went.

Yoongi wonders what happened to those kids. Wonders when the lines between friends and something more and something less became so blurred, and how much longer they can hold together this fragile, unspoken little thing they have before it all collapses like a house of cards.

“Goodnight, hyung,” Taehyung whispers before he shuts the door, leaving Yoongi to stare up at his ceiling in the dark until his eyes are bloodshot and dry.

 

-x-

 

Yoongi knew it was an awful idea from the start.

Here’s the thing: there’s nothing simple or clean about hooking up with a friend. It always, always spirals into a gigantic, complicated mess that never ends well. Yoongi knew that. His friendship with Jimin had almost been broken beyond repair after they’d fooled around a few times in college, and it took a long time before they could hang out comfortably again and joke around like they used to. They got lucky. That, and Jimin’s always been too stubborn for his own good to let go of people he treasures without a fight. Yoongi’s grateful for that, now.

With Taehyung, though, it’s different.

Out of all his friends, Taehyung’s the only one who was wrapped around Yoongi like an octopus at every single one of their sleepovers. He’s the one who cried and held Yoongi’s hand when he had a really bad allergic reaction to shrimp in fourth grade, eyes so big and watery and so much more scared than Yoongi felt at the time when he was the one who was covered in hives and struggling to breathe. Taehyung was the one who came along with Yoongi to buy every Epik High CD at the store the day it was released, who insisted they both dye their hair mint green in middle school, who had a designated chair at Yoongi’s dinner table and fondly referred to Yoongi’s parents as his in-laws. There was history there, with him. One that ran deep, that filled Yoongi with a sense of belonging and solace that he’d always associated with home.

There was just so much more at stake, so much more Yoongi could lose by messing around with Taehyung. He knew that, and selfishly, he went ahead and started something with him anyway. 

He hadn’t meant to, initially. Truly. For years, Yoongi never even entertained the thought of involving himself with Taehyung like that. It was unfathomable; Taehyung was just his special little dongsaeng that Yoongi had to look out for. But, in the time they’d been separated while Yoongi shipped off to Seoul for college, Taehyung had grown up right under his nose and Yoongi missed it. Sure, they’d had a short FaceTime call on Taehyung’s 20th birthday and Yoongi had smiled and congratulated him on becoming an adult, fully aware of the fact that time was passing and they were simultaneously the oldest they ever were and the youngest they’ll ever be again. But, there was still a part of him that thought, perhaps a bit foolishly, that Taehyung would remain the same as the last time Yoongi saw him, standing in the street next to Yoongi’s packed-up car with an uneasy, melancholy sort of expression on his youthful face, hands clutched in the back of Yoongi’s shirt as he whispered into his neck, voice cracking, come home soon.

It became clear to Yoongi afterward, when Taehyung moved in with him a few years later, that the boy ingrained in his memory couldn’t be reconciled with the man he’d grown into.

Gone was the Taehyung that was always tripping over the hem of his hand-me-down jeans and reached up on his tip-toes just to see over Yoongi’s head. In his place was a Taehyung that was self-assured, who didn’t stumble over his words as much as he used to, whose boyish smile transformed into something more quiet, more charming, more flirty. He was at once nearly unrecognizable, and yet still so achingly familiar.

That’s probably why it didn’t surprise him when Yoongi realized very early on in their co-habitation that he was, undoubtedly, attracted to Taehyung. It kinda pissed him off, actually. It was infuriating, how much bigger Taehyung was than him, how the years treated him so kindly like he’d unfairly gone through his sixth puberty, how Yoongi found himself staring at the broad planes of his back and the dark trail of hair stemming from his navel because Taehyung seemed to find the idea of wearing shirts around the house offensive for some reason. 

Point being, Yoongi was suffering, but he totally had it under control. It was fine. He was doing just fine. 

Until Taehyung had asked him one day, so casually like he was simply asking Yoongi if he wanted Chinese or Thai for dinner, “Hyung, how do you feel about the idea of fucking me?”

Yoongi spat out the ramen he’d just slurped up, coughing and barely registering the way it landed on IU’s face on the Dazed magazine placed on their coffee table in a grotesque, orange-red blob. Taehyung didn’t even bat an eye at it. “Excuse me?”

“How would you feel about fu—”

“I heard you the first time!” Yoongi nearly shrieked, growing hysterical.

Taehyung frowned. “Then why would you make me repeat myself?”

Yoongi stared at him like he’d grown a third head. Slowly, he put down his cup of ramen and adjusted himself on the couch to face Taehyung properly, trying to compose himself. “Taehyung-ah. Where is this even coming from? Are you sick? Do you want hyung to make you juk?”

Taehyung's frown only deepened. He batted Yoongi’s hand away from his forehead, looking both expectant and impatient at the same time, like he’d just told Yoongi an inside joke and was waiting for him to get it. “I’m not sick, hyung, and I don’t need any juk. Is the idea of having sex with me really that ridiculous to you?”

Yoongi felt his cheeks heat up from how blatantly Taehyung laid it out for him. “You’re — Taehyung, this is so out of the blue,” he said, avoiding the question. From the way Taehyung’s lips pursed, Yoongi could tell he picked up on it. “What’s gotten into you?”

Taehyung shrugged, leaning further back into the couch cushions. The television droned on in front of them, filling in the silence that was quickly growing uncomfortable. “Well, I haven’t fucked anyone in months, and you haven’t brought someone home in a while, either. I’m bored and horny, you’re hot, I’m hot, so.” His eyes flicked back over to Yoongi’s. “Why not?”

There was so much to unpack in that short sentence, but for some reason, Yoongi’s brain chose to zero in on the fact that Taehyung thought he was hot. Taehyung, his best friend since he was five, the kid who followed him to Seoul and grew into a modern-day fucking Adonis. The very same guy who showed absolutely no interest in him until now. Did Yoongi accidentally step into an alternate dimension while he was sleeping or something?

“You think I’m hot?” was all that Yoongi managed to sputter out.

Taehyung laughed then, loudly. It was a deep kind of laugh, the sort that comes from your belly. “You’re kidding, right?” he asked, raising an incredulous brow. When Yoongi’s face remained thoroughly confused, Taehyung’s expression melted into disbelief. “Yoongi-hyung. C’mon. You have to be joking.”

“Literally what about my face tells you I’m joking.”

“Hyung, you’re gorgeous,” Taehyung said, baffled, and Yoongi felt like his head might explode in the next few seconds or so. “You’re literally smoking hot. I’ve wanted to fuck you since I was, like, seventeen. I thought it was obvious. Don’t you remember Jimin’s birthday party a couple of years ago?”

Yoongi had to strain his memory in his state of absolute panic, but he did remember the party in question. It was a small gathering at Jimin’s apartment with a handful of his friends, nothing serious, but Yoongi definitely remembers there being a lot of alcohol. Lots of weed, too, and — oh, yeah, the fact that he and Taehyung had sat out on the balcony when the party was winding down, mildly drunk, and shotgunned the last blunt. Yoongi had repressed the memory of Taehyung’s lips just a breath away from his, blue smoke curling between them, and the way he’d looked at Yoongi that night with such a deep, dark carnal desire that had Yoongi’s skin prickling at the back of his neck with the distinct feeling that he was about to get eaten alive.

He almost did, too. Taehyung curled a hand in Yoongi’s hair and brought him in closer, enough for him to feel Taehyung’s warm breath waft against his lips — only to be interrupted by Jimin slamming the balcony door open and loudly complaining that Hoseok had thrown up in his bed.

“I remember cleaning up puke,” Yoongi said, all color drained from his face. “Kinda forgot about us smoking and… everything with that.”

“Well, now you know,” Taehyung replied, arm thrown across the back of the couch. His eyes looked just as dark as they had that night, sharp and endless and heavy with something that made Yoongi’s throat go dry. “So, do you want to?”

Yoongi felt like he couldn’t breathe. “Taehyung, we’re friends,” he croaked, fisting his hands in the ratty, stained material of his sweatpants. 

Taehyung stared at him evenly. “So? You and Jimin were friends.”

“That was different.”

“How?”

“Jimin was — he’s not like you,” Yoongi tried to explain, tongue feeling sticky against the roof of his mouth as he adjusted his collar. Why was it so fucking hot in here? Did Taehyung turn up the thermostat without him knowing? “I didn’t meet him when he was a toddler.”

Taehyung’s eyes tightened. “Are you saying you still view me as that little kid you left back in Daegu?”

“No, I’m just saying — I’m not — what I’m trying to say is… is… fuck,” Yoongi muttered, scrunching his eyes shut for a moment. He takes in a deep breath before continuing. “You’re my oldest friend, Taehyung-ah. My most important friend. If we do this, it’s going to change everything.”

Taehyung softened at that. “Hyung, it doesn’t have to mean anything,” he said, trying to be comforting, yet Yoongi felt like it was anything but. “It’s just sex. We don’t have to make it complicated. We’re just, y’know, two dudes touching butts for fun.”

“Please don’t say it like that,” Yoongi whispered into his hands.

Taehyung sighed. “Listen, hyung. We can forget this ever happened if you don’t want to do it. I promise I won’t make it weird and like, hold a gross grudge against you or something. It’s not a big deal.” He peeled Yoongi’s hands away from his face to look him directly in the eye. “I just want you to be clear with me, okay? So I’m going to ask you one more time. Do you want to have sex with me?”

Against his better judgment and the alarms blaring DON’T FUCK UP YOUR FRIENDSHIP, Yoongi found himself nodding, stomach swooping at the pleased smirk stretching across Taehyung’s full lips. “Yes,” he answered, breathless.

“Then get over here,” Taehyung grinned, slipping his hands around Yoongi’s waist to tug him into his lap. 

Yoongi went easily, heart thrumming wildly in his chest as he reached out to grasp Taehyung’s shoulders to steady himself. “Wait, right now? We’re doing it now?” he asked, eyes blown wide.

Taehyung laughed. “Yeah? What, did you want to wait two business days for processing?”

Yoongi slapped his shoulder. “No, you idiot, I just…” he trailed off, looking down at his current state of dress. His sweatpants had a hole near his crotch and he had on a kumamon shirt that's been washed so many times the print was cracked all over. He also hadn’t combed his hair since this morning, and he definitely still had ramen breath. It was a decidedly very unsexy ensemble. “I look like shit.”

“You look cute,” Taehyung corrected, rubbing his hands along Yoongi’s back. He tilted his head slightly, eyes unbearably fond as they flitted all over Yoongi’s face. “My pretty Yoongi-hyung.”

Yoongi felt his entire face flush in response. Okay, this was really happening. This was really Taehyung underneath him, so warm and solid in his hands, looking right at Yoongi while he licked his lips, eyeing him like he was the last ice-pop in the cooler on a hot summer day. 

“How do you want to do this?” Taehyung asked, slipping his hands underneath the hem of Yoongi’s shirt and rucking up the soft fabric as he smoothed his palms over his sides, sending a gentle shiver down Yoongi’s spine. “What do you like, hyung?”

Yoongi bit down on his lower lip as he dragged his hands over Taehyung’s chest, a satisfied little thrill coursing through him when he felt his breath hitch under his palms. “Wanna blow you,” he murmured, tongue flicking out to wet his lips. Taehyung’s eyes followed the movement, entranced. “Then ‘m gonna ride you. That sound good to you?”

Taehyung swallowed thickly, fingers tightening around his waist. “Sounds perfect,” he said, low and throaty, and wrapped a hand around the back of Yoongi’s neck to drag him down into a heated kiss.

It all happened so quickly, after that. One minute Yoongi was reminding himself to kiss Taehyung back and not just sit there frozen like a log, and in the next, he was palming Taehyung through his jeans and sucking hickeys across his bare chest, spurred on by the sound of his low moans against his ear and the way he bucked up into his hand, growing more and more desperate by the second. 

Fuck,” Taehyung groaned, sinking his fingers into Yoongi’s dark hair when he took one of his nipples into his mouth, laving his tongue over the brown nub and tugging it between his teeth. Taehyung gasped and arched his back, pulling Yoongi’s hair hard enough to make him feel dizzy, his own cock already painfully hard in his pants and straining against his briefs. 

He moved to do the same thing to the other nipple, reveling in the way Taehyung trembled in his hands, and pressed wet kisses down his abdomen while he slipped off the couch to crouch between Taehyung’s legs. Yoongi quickly popped open the button of his jeans, glancing up at Taehyung’s dazed eyes with a filthy smirk and patted his thigh to get him to lift up. They pulled down both his jeans and underwear in one go, and Yoongi felt his mouth fill with saliva as he watched Taehyung’s cock spring free and slap against his stomach, tip colored an angry red and glistening with precum.

Now, Yoongi’s seen Taehyung’s dick before. It just kinda happens when you grow up together with someone, especially if that someone prefers to sleep in the nude. He’d never really given it much consideration, thought it looked like every other soft dick out there, albeit a little bit longer than the others he’d seen. It wasn’t anything special.

But now that he was, quite literally, face-to-face with it while Taehyung’s hard and flushed and leaking down his shaft right into his balls, Yoongi quickly realized he was severely mistaken about his previous appraisal.

Taehyung reached down to stroke himself lazily, lips quirked up into a half-smile while he brushed his hand through Yoongi’s hair. “Like what you see, hyung?”

“Shut up,” Yoongi growled, slapping his hand away to grasp the base of Taehyung’s cock in his own hand. He pumped it in long, tight strokes, swiping his thumb across the slit while Taehyung dropped his head back and let out a long, loud moan. “Can’t believe you were keeping this from me for years, you fucking asshole.”

Taehyung glanced down at him, amused. “Are you mad?”

Yoongi rolled his eyes. “Yes, sometimes I get angry when I’m horny, deal with it,” he muttered, and didn’t allow Taehyung to get another word in before he leaned down and closed his mouth around the head of his cock.

Taehyung jolted in place, hips held down by Yoongi’s free hand. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he groaned, thighs quivering around Yoongi’s head while he swirled his tongue around the tip, lapping up every drop of precum before sinking further down. The grip Taehyung had on his hair was so tight it was almost painful, but it felt so, so fucking good; it stroked Yoongi’s ego to know that he was the one making Taehyung feel that good, overcome with so much pleasure he lost control over his hands, his legs, his mouth. His beautiful, deep moans reverberated throughout the room while Yoongi bobbed his head up and down, taking more of his cock into his mouth each time until he could feel the head prod at the back of his throat.

“Shit, Yoongi, oh my god,” Taehyung gasped when Yoongi relaxed his jaw and took him in deeper, tears stinging at the corners of his eyes as Taehyung’s cockhead rubbed his throat raw. He breathed in harshly through his nose and kept up the pace, hand fisted around what his mouth couldn’t take, and didn’t let up when Taehyung frantically tapped at his shoulder as a warning. He just sunk down as far as he could and swallowed around him, and Taehyung was done. 

He spilled down Yoongi’s throat with a long, drawn-out moan, legs shaking and squeezed around Yoongi’s head while he hunched over from the force of his orgasm. Yoongi just accepted it all, swallowing every last drop and drew back a little, sucking at the head until Taehyung whined and pulled him off from the sensitivity.

“Holy shit,” Taehyung panted, looking like a fucked-out mess as Yoongi wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. A sense of pride washed over him at the sight, lips curled into an arrogant smile when Taehyung tilted his head up to press a slow, wet kiss to his mouth. He looked down at Yoongi in amazement when they separated, gently brushing his messy fringe away from his eyes. “I knew your tongue could do crazy things with your rapping, but I didn’t think… fuck, Yoongi, you’re incredible.”

“You’re welcome,” Yoongi teased, and allowed Taehyung to help him back up onto the couch. He glanced down at the very obvious tent in his pants, then looked back up at Taehyung and raised a brow. “So, are you gonna give me my reward now or later?”

Taehyung huffed out a laugh. “You’re a menace,” he mumbled, closing his eyes as Yoongi leaned in closer to kiss down his neck. “Give me a minute. Or five.”

It ended up taking ten minutes before Taehyung was ready to go again, but Yoongi eventually got his way, riding Taehyung on their shitty, creaky couch until they were both trembling against each other, moaning each other’s names into the heavy, heated air around them as they rode out their individual highs.

“Now what?” Yoongi asked, sweaty and breathless as he leaned against the back of the couch, eyes barely cracked open and watching Taehyung stare at the ceiling, profile illuminated by the shifting blue light of the television. He didn’t know what to do, now that it was over and the weight of his decision was really starting to sink in. Would it be awkward? Will Taehyung still treat him the same come morning, playfully bickering with him and deliberately getting in Yoongi’s way while he made breakfast and laugh at his exasperated complaints? He didn’t know. He didn’t know and that was terrifying.

Fuck. This was probably a mistake. He should’ve said no, should’ve stamped down his desire and agreed to just forget Taehyung ever brought it up —

“Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m really hungry,” Taehyung said, quickly silencing all of Yoongi’s panicked thoughts. He turned and smiled at Yoongi, tired around the corners but it still reached his eyes, still lit up his entire face the way it always did with Yoongi. “And you didn’t get to finish your dinner. Wanna order take-out from that soup place down the street? I think they’re still open.”

Yoongi just blinked at him. “Sure,” he mumbled, quiet and pleasantly surprised. “Only if you’re buying, though.”

Taehyung groaned but didn’t argue, reaching down to zip his pants back up. He stood up, picked Yoongi’s clothes off the floor and handed it to him, and then just strolled past him into the kitchen to rummage through their menu drawer. “I’ll call it in, but you have to go pick it up. Deal?” he called out.

Yoongi pulled his head through the hole of his shirt, bewildered at how casual and easy this was. “Deal,” he replied, watching Taehyung nod in satisfaction as he focused on perusing the menu in his hand, and wondered if this was really as complicated as it was going to get.

Looking back on it now, he really wishes that it was.

 

-x-

 

Falling for Taehyung was an accident. A slow-moving car wreck colliding at an intersection that Yoongi was powerless to stop, unable to do anything but watch it happen from the sidelines.

He’s not sure when it started. That’s the problem with developing feelings for someone you grew up with; you spend so much time with them, intertwine your lives so closely together that all your beginnings and endings blur together without any clear distinction, and before you know it, you’re right smack dab in the middle before you’ve even realized you’ve begun.

Yoongi doesn’t think it was the sex that did it, though it may have been the catalyst that illuminated the truth that’d gone unnoticed by him for so long. He doesn’t think it was the Oh No, He’s Hot revelation he had when they reconnected, either. Physical attraction is one thing, but emotional attachment is another. For years, Yoongi thought romance was meant to be the whirlwind, skyscraper-highs and deep-sea lows that the movies always depicted as desirable — and while he did have that at one point, he didn’t realize that there was more than one way to experience that kind of love. That was all he knew, and so he assumed that was all there was.

Until Taehyung. 

He learned that love could be quieter, less like a hurricane and more like a gentle drizzle, rainwater dripping from a spout after a summer shower. It was the richness of Taehyung’s laughter as he and Yoongi cheated together in a game of monopoly, determined to buy up everyone’s property for themselves. It was a back growing broader by the day, Yoongi struggling to keep up as Taehyung ran ahead of him towards the school gates. It was the friendship bracelets they made together in third grade that Taehyung still wears around his wrist to this day, and the way Taehyung worked tirelessly on his days off to help Yoongi and Namjoon renovate the record shop they owned before the grand opening. 

“You’re gonna drop dead if you don’t start slowing down,” Yoongi had told him once, when they were taking a break from all the fresh-paint fumes outside. “Get out of here and get some rest. You don’t need to push yourself this hard just to help me out.”

Taehyung just wiped the sweat off his forehead with the collar of his shirt, smiling tiredly up at Yoongi. “But hyung, this is your dream. I want to help you see it through.”

“That’s exactly my point,” Yoongi shot back and nudged Taehyung’s knee with his. “It’s my dream, not yours. I don’t want you killing yourself over something that’s not even that important to you.”

“See, that’s where you’re wrong,” Taehyung argued. He crossed his arms on top of his knees and laid his temple against them, turning his head to look at Yoongi with an inscrutable emotion reflected in his eyes. “I have a lot of dreams, Yoongi-hyung. And one of them is making you happy, no matter what it takes.”

Yoongi had just flushed and shoved at Taehyung’s shoulder, grumbling under his breath about stubborn, overly considerate friends while Taehyung laughed. Thinking back on it now, Yoongi thinks he was already waist-deep in his feelings for him at least, and would only continue to sink further and further as time went on.

Maybe that’s why he agreed so easily to start hooking up with Taehyung. At least with sex, he could be with Taehyung in some kind of capacity, even if it wasn’t really the way he wanted. Not fully. But he could pretend, at least for a little while as their bodies tangled together in his bedsheets, that Taehyung felt something for him, too. That he wasn’t alone in this. That it meant something.

But each time Yoongi woke up alone after another night of giving himself to him, cold and exhausted, he was reminded very clearly that it doesn’t mean anything to Taehyung at all.

 

-x-

 

“You look like shit,” Namjoon comments idly when Yoongi enters the store that morning, flipping through a catalog behind the counter. He briefly glances up when Yoongi just sighs and throws his bag into the office in the back, eyeing him as he drags a chair over to sit beside him. “Rough night?”

“You could say that,” Yoongi mumbles, wincing slightly as he sits down. Maybe Taehyung was too rough with him last night. He tries to adjust himself into a more comfortable position, raising a brow at the wolfish grin slowly overtaking Namjoon’s face. “What?”

Namjoon just laughs, shaking his head as he turns his attention back to the catalog. “Oh, nothing. I think I can guess exactly what you were up to last night,” he says, teasing.

Yoongi kicks at one of the legs of his chair. “Shut up,” he grumbles, flushing to the roots of his hair. 

“At least one of us is getting laid,” Namjoon shrugs. He reaches up to grab the pen wedged behind his ear and uncaps it with his teeth, circling a few records in the catalog to order later. Yoongi just watches him work, lightly tapping his foot to the song Namjoon’s got playing on the overhead speakers. “Was it anyone we know?”

Yoongi’s foot stills. Namjoon just continues browsing, unaware of the tension that seizes the line of Yoongi’s shoulders. “Nope,” he says, aiming for nonchalance. “Just someone I met at a bar.”

Namjoon looks over at him, an amused smile dimpling his cheeks. “Really? I thought you didn’t do that anymore. Didn’t you say something about getting older and wanting to settle down a few months back?”

“Well, clearly I changed my mind,” Yoongi shrugs, crossing his arms so he doesn’t start picking at his nails. Namjoon would definitely pick up on that, so highly attuned to all of Yoongi’s nervous habits after being friends for so many years. “Youth need not be wasted on the young, Namjoon-ah.”

“You’re literally twenty-eight, hyung. Stop talking like you’re seventy.”

“I’ll do whatever the fuck I want, thank you very much.”

“Nevermind, you’re still just a teenager,” Namjoon says, rolling his eyes. He straightens up and smiles brightly when a couple of customers walk in through the open door, bowing his head lightly as he moves around Yoongi to greet them properly on the other side of the counter. “Morning, guys. What can I help you find today?”

Yoongi drowns out their ensuing conversation, fiddling with the raised edge of one of the band stickers glued to the surface of the counter as he watches Namjoon lead them towards one of the many shelves filled to the brim with records. Those shelves weren’t even there just a few years ago; the store used to be just a collection of tables stacked with crates and crates of vinyls for customers to sort through, back when he and Namjoon took over the business from Yoongi’s uncle after he passed away. It was failing on the verge of bankruptcy, and Yoongi’s parents were way in over their heads trying to manage it from a city hundreds of miles away. They were ready to just give up and sell the place until Yoongi stepped in with Namjoon on board, offered to take over the ownership for them, and breathed a new life into the store after breaking their backs for months to refurbish and redesign the space. 

Now, it was a flourishing little shop tucked into the corner of Hongdae, constantly visited by new, curious customers and regulars alike. Yoongi’s chest still bursts with pride every time he glances over the stacks of records bursting out of the shelves, the framed posters of famed musicians like Cho Yongpil and Seo Taji & the Boys mixed with western legends like David Bowie and Michael Jackson, and the small corner where Yoongi’s own personal turntable stands next to a couple of beanbag chairs, ready to use for any customer that wants to listen to a record before buying.

It’s his pride and joy. The greatest achievement of his life thus far. And, it’s also a great escape from the things — or people, in this case — that Yoongi would rather not think about.

He hadn’t seen Taehyung before he left this morning. The door to his room was still shut while Yoongi crept around the apartment to get ready for the day, and he preferred it that way. He knew that Taehyung could tell that something was off about him last night, and he really didn’t want to sit through an awkward, tense breakfast with him while they pretended like nothing was wrong. Again. It was becoming more and more of a regular occurrence as of late, and Yoongi wasn’t really sure what to make of it.

He’s not sure how long he can keep lying about his and Taehyung’s… situation to their friends, either. Neither of them told anyone about the changing nature of their relationship, initially because Yoongi asked Taehyung not to. It just felt weird, the idea of them knowing that Yoongi was banging the friend they thought he had a brotherly, familial bond with all this time. He didn’t want to deal with the judging stares and the probing questions, so he asked Taehyung to keep whatever was going on between them as a secret. He’d agreed easily, seemingly unbothered by the request.

Now, though, Yoongi feels like they’re just keeping it a secret for the sake of upholding an agreement. The novelty and slight shame of their friends knowing about them has long worn off, and if they were to accidentally find out tomorrow, Yoongi honestly didn’t give a shit. He just didn’t know how Taehyung felt about it, having gone along with it for so long. If anything, he’s probably afraid of everyone being upset with him for lying to them about it for so long. And Taehyung doesn’t fare well when the people he loves are angry with him.

“Are you okay?”

Yoongi blinks, eyes snapping up to where Namjoon’s reappeared in front of the counter, looking back and forth between his face and the sticker he’s been tearing to shreds. He’s probably been there for a while, if the worried slant to his eyebrows is any indication to go by.

“Peachy,” says Yoongi, wiping off the sticker-glue residue before he lowers his fidgeting hands to his lap. “Why?”

“You just seem,” Namjoon begins, waving his hand in the air in a vague gesture. Yoongi just raises a brow. “Distracted. More quiet than usual, and that’s saying something. What’s bothering you?”

Yoongi sighs and stands up, retreating to the back office. He hears Namjoon’s footsteps follow him, but keeps his eyes down as he sorts through the crap strewn across the desk for their inventory books. “Nothing. It’s not a big deal. I’m just overthinking little things and blowing them way out of proportion, like always.”

“That doesn’t sound like nothing to me,” Namjoon says, stepping out of the way to make room for Yoongi to pass by, walking back out to the front. “Talking things through out loud helps sometimes, you know. I’m all ears.”

Yoongi settles back into his chair, twisting his lips in thought. He glances over at the small group of customers still browsing the rotating displays on the other end of the store, lowering his voice slightly when he turns back to Namjoon. “I don’t know, Joon. It’s stupid. Guy problems, y’know.”

Namjoon’s eyebrows shoot up. “Oh, wow. Haven’t had one of these talks with you in a while. Is it the same guy from last night?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi mutters, nabbing a pencil out of the cup by the cashier. He spins it between his fingers and thumbs open one of the books. “It’s just… complicated, I guess. And confusing. We’ve, uh, been hooking up for a while and it’s good, it’s fun and it was easy at first, but now… I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel the same anymore.”

“What changed?”

Yoongi’s mouth quirks up in a small, rueful smile. “Me,” he says simply, hoping that Namjoon will understand the things he can’t bring himself to say.

He does, of course. Namjoon’s always been annoyingly perceptive, despite his floundering when presented with any kind of social interaction outside of their group of friends. “I see. That’s tough, hyung,” he murmurs, leaning against the counter. “Have you talked to him about it?”

Yoongi snorts, dragging one of the boxes from their new shipment over to start sorting through it and taking stock. “And embarrass myself? No thanks.”

Namjoon sighs. “He might just feel the same way as you, hyung. You could be making yourself miserable for nothing, but you’ll never know unless you actually ask him yourself.”

“It’s not that simple, Namjoon-ah,” Yoongi retorts, letting a Fleetwood Mac vinyl slip from his hands back into the box. He runs a hand through his hair and stares up at Namjoon, already feeling defeated. “If I talk to him… if I tell him the truth, he’s going to leave me. He’s gonna leave because it’s never meant the same to him what it does to me, and I’d rather keep my mouth shut and be fucking miserable than lose him altogether.”

Namjoon frowns. “Hyung, who the hell is this guy? This sounds a lot more serious than a fling.”

Yoongi purses his lips. He’s told him too much already. “It doesn’t matter,” he says, voice tight. “I’m done talking about it.”

Namjoon holds his hands up, acquiescing. “Alright,” he says, moving back to his chair once he catches sight of the group walking towards the counter, holding a few records in their hands. “Just… I hope you know that you don’t have to deal with these things alone, hyung. We’re all here for you. Maybe Taehyung’s a better pick for something like this. You should talk to him.”

Yoongi almost outright laughs in his face. If only Namjoon knew. “Right. I’ll be sure to get right on that,” he mutters bitterly, ignoring the strange look Namjoon gives him and plasters on his best customer service smile. “Hey there. Find everything okay?”

 

-x-

 

The apartment smells like curry powder when Yoongi returns home that night, shuffling through the door quietly and letting it auto-lock behind him. He sniffs suspiciously at the air as he puts down his satchel and toes off his sneakers; doesn’t seem like anything’s burning and there’s no smoke billowing around the room, so at least there’s that.

“Is that you, hyung?” Taehyung’s voice calls out from the kitchen.

“Who else?” Yoongi snorts, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his hoodie as he rounds the corner. Taehyung’s hunched over the stove, concentrating on stirring something in their big red pot. He’s wearing one of Yoongi’s headbands and has his gudetama apron on, which is tied haphazardly in a loose knot behind his back, and his fake glasses are all fogged up from the steam when he looks over his shoulder to smile warmly at Yoongi. He’s a bit of a mess.

Yoongi thinks he’s never looked more beautiful.

“Hey,” Taehyung says softly, pausing to blow a stray curl out of his face. Yoongi couldn’t suppress his endeared smile even if he tried. “You’re home early. Slow day at the shop?”

Yoongi shakes his head. “Nah. Namjoon offered to close and practically kicked me out,” he huffs, pushing off the wall and stepping closer to fix the knot at Taehyung’s back. He pokes him between the shoulder blades when he’s finished, smirking when Taehyung squirms a bit. “What’s all this, huh? You never cook for us. What’re you trying to suck up to me for?”

Taehyung rolls his eyes. “I don’t cook because you never let me near the stove,” he mutters, turning his attention back to the bubbling pot.

Yoongi moves to stand beside him and peers over his shoulder at the concoction he’s cooking up. Honestly, it doesn’t look too bad. Smells decent, too. “And you should be thanking me for that. I haven’t forgotten about the pajeon disaster.”

“Listen, that was one time. At least now I know eggs and high heat don’t mix very well.”

“Right,” Yoongi drawls, crossing his arms. He leans his hip on the counter and tilts his head, looking at Taehyung expectantly. “So? You haven’t answered my question. What’s the special occasion?”

Taehyung looks to him from the pot a few times, rubbing at the nape of his neck. “Ah, well… I just felt like doing something nice for you,” he mumbles, cheeks flushed a light pink. It’s probably from the steam. “You seemed kinda down last night, so. Thought it might cheer you up to come home to dinner already on the table. Or on the stove, I guess.”

Fuck. He knew Taehyung picked up on his sour mood. Yoongi closes his eyes, annoyed at himself for having such an awful poker face. “That’s sweet, Taehyung-ah,” he murmurs, heart thumping when Taehyung gives him a shy, pleased sort of smile. “Thank you.”

“Save it until you actually taste it,” Taehyung says with a small laugh, shutting off the gas. He knocks his hip against Yoongi’s and nudges his head to the side. “Scoop out the rice for us?”

“Sure,” Yoongi says, picking up the bowls laid out on the counter and carries them to the rice cooker.

They move around each other in comfortable silence, filled only by the quiet clinking of silverware and the scraping of Taehyung’s slippers against the tile. Dinner goes pretty smoothly too; the curry is actually good, and the conversation that flows between them is light and easy, peppered with teasing remarks and that familiar, playful banter that’s always existed between them. It surprises Yoongi, who was anticipating another night of awkward, stilted small talk that was appropriate for strangers and acquaintances, rather than two people who’d been close friends for the better part of their lives. 

It’s nice. More than nice, actually. Why couldn’t they be like this all the time? Yoongi’s spent so much time agonizing over the emotional whirlwind occupying his mind that he’d forgotten, somehow, how wonderful it felt to be Taehyung’s friend. How happy and light Taehyung makes him feel, just by being in his presence. Guilt settles in his chest like stones at the thought, but Yoongi tries not to let it get to him. Not now, at least. He won’t let it ruin his night.

“Wow, you must really want me to cheer up,” Yoongi laughs as Taehyung pulls out two bottles of cold soju from the fridge and cracks them open with a flourish. He catches the shot glass Taehyung slides to him from across the table, nudging his empty bowl out of the way while Taehyung politely pours him a shot, one hand at the elbow and everything. “Maybe I should be upset more often if this is the kind of service I get.”

“Aish, don’t say that,” Taehyung tuts, pouring out one for himself. He grins and raises his glass in the air. “Cheers, hyung.”

“Cheers,” Yoongi says with a smile, clinking his glass against Taehyung’s before throwing the entire thing back in one go. It burns sweetly down his throat, settling in his stomach with a pleasant chill. “Shit, that’s good. I needed this so badly.”

Taehyung wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, grimacing slightly at the taste. He’s always had a harder time taking down his alcohol. “Hyung,” he starts, eyes glimmering with concern, “What’s going on? You can tell me, you know. I’m here for you. Always.”

Yoongi bites at the inside of his cheek. “I know, Taehyung-ah,” he murmurs, pouring both of them another shot. “I just don’t really wanna talk about it right now.”

Taehyung’s face falls a little, but he doesn’t push it. Yoongi doesn’t know if he’s grateful for that or not. “Okay. Well, whenever you’re ready, I’ll be here to listen.”

“Thanks,” Yoongi says, and means it. He knocks back his second glass easily, waiting for Taehyung to do the same before he speaks again. “Anyway, enough about me. How’ve you been? How’s work?”

“Oh, it’s fine,” Taehyung shrugs, drumming his fingers on the table for a moment before he reaches out to play with a few of the bracelets hanging around Yoongi’s wrist. He frowns a little, seemingly hesitant as his eyes flick up to meet Yoongi’s for a second before averting them again. “Actually, it’s kind of exhausting. Pediatrics is a lot more challenging than I thought it’d be. It’s just so different from dealing with adults and all their problems, but Dohee-noona’s been helping me adjust. Remember her, from college? She’s the best nurse on this unit. All the kids love her.”

Yoongi nods, watching Taehyung carefully. He’d taken off his fake glasses a while ago, and now that Yoongi can get a better look at him, he’s startled when he realizes just how tired Taehyung looks. His face is so pale under the fluorescent glow of their shitty kitchen light, cheeks a little slimmer than Yoongi remembers, and there’s deep, dark circles under his eyes that definitely weren’t there a few weeks ago. 

How the hell did he miss this?

Because you’re a selfish idiot who’s only concerned about yourself, his mind helpfully supplies for him. 

The guilt he’d felt before comes back full force now, punching him right in the gut and knocking the breath right out of him. He can’t believe he didn’t notice. Taehyung said he was transferring to another unit in his hospital a couple of months ago, and he was so excited about it because pediatrics was the specialty he’d been dreaming of working for since he was in nursing school. Yoongi remembers congratulating him and celebrating by going out to Taehyung’s favorite restaurant together and having several rounds of dirty sex afterwards, but that was pretty much the last he’d heard about it. God, he didn’t even think to ask Taehyung how it was going, too caught up in his own bullshit to pay attention to the one person he never thought he’d neglect.

Selfish, selfish, selfish.

“Taehyung-ah,” Yoongi says, shame evident in his voice. He pulls Taehyung’s fingers away from his bracelets and cradles them between his hands, thumbs gently pressing against his knuckles. “Why didn’t you tell me that you were having such a hard time?”

Taehyung shrugs, eyes flicking up to meet Yoongi’s briefly. “I didn’t wanna bug you with my problems when you were clearly dealing with your own stuff,” he mumbles. He tries for a smile, but it's stretched thin at the corners. “It’s okay, hyung. I’m handling it.”

Yoongi stares at him. “You can admit it, you know,” he says quietly, tightening his hold on Taehyung’s hand as his smile fades. “That things suck right now. It’s okay. It’s just you and me here, right? There’s no need to hide anything between us.”

He wants to take the words back as soon as they leave his mouth, quickly realizing how ironic this entire situation is. God, he’s such a goddamned hypocrite.

Taehyung picks up on it, too. “There isn’t?” he asks, eyes so big and sad and Yoongi hates it. He can’t handle seeing Taehyung so upset, especially when he knows it’s because of him. “Then why are you hiding things from me, hyung? When did that start? Because you used to tell me everything, and now I’m lucky if I can get three sentences from you about how you’re feeling. All we do anymore is have sex and that’s still good and fun, but I miss you, Yoongi. So much. You wanna know what sucks? That does. It really, really fucking sucks.”

Yoongi bites down on his lip, slowly withdrawing his hands from Taehyung’s. He pretends like he doesn’t see Taehyung’s expression splinter, withdrawn and defeated as he stares down at the table. 

“I’m sorry, Taehyung,” he whispers, trying his damnedest to hold onto his resolve. This is the right decision. This is what keeps them from breaking apart entirely. “I wish I could tell you, but I can’t. I’m sorry.”

Taehyung just nods numbly, emptying his glass one more time before he pushes back from the table. “So am I,” he mumbles, not sparing Yoongi another glance as he stands, puts his dishes in the sink, and leaves the room without another word, bedroom door shutting a few moments later with a quiet click. 

Yoongi just sighs, the sound deafening in the heavy silence Taehyung left behind, and takes another shot of soju straight from the bottle.

 

-x-

 

Yoongi isn’t sure if it’s just him, but things feel a little more tense at the next group dinner they all attend that weekend.

Taehyung isn’t looking at him from where he’s seated directly across the table, seemingly entranced by the juicy bits of meat Seokjin’s cutting up with scissors on the grill. Yoongi just stares at the foam fizzing lightly on the surface of his beer, half-paying attention to the very loud conversation about some new reality television show Jungkook and Hoseok are having beside him on his right. Namjoon’s scrolling on his phone at the head of the table, tuning them out. Directly to his left, Jimin’s lightly humming along to the pop song playing overhead and pretending like he hasn’t noticed the way Taehyung and Yoongi haven’t spoken a word to each other since they sat down.

Yoongi closes his eyes and tries not to groan. His head hurts, and his feet even more so from standing up all day at work. He’s sure Taehyung probably feels the same way, if not worse; he’s still in his scrubs and hasn’t even taken off his badge because he came straight here from the hospital. Yoongi wants to ask him how he’s doing, has wanted to all week, but hasn’t quite built up the guts to approach him after their confrontation a few days ago.

It’s interesting, how even when Yoongi’s aware of his bullshit and cowardice he doesn’t do anything to change it. Zebras really can’t change their stripes.

“Hyung, do you want any vegetables?” Jimin asks, grabbing some off the grill onto his plate. 

Yoongi slides him his own. “Sure,” he says, smiling in thanks when Jimin gives him a sizable serving.

“What about some radish? I heard it’s good for digestion,” Jimin says idly, glancing at Yoongi for a moment and puts some on his plate without waiting for an answer. “Might help you resolve any disagreements your stomach has with the food.”

Yoongi doesn’t think they’re talking about vegetables anymore. “I think I’m good,” he says, snatching his plate away before Jimin can offer any more unsolicited advice through side dishes.

“What? Do you have a stomach ache, hyung?” Namjoon asks, setting his phone aside with a worried expression. “You should’ve said something earlier. I have a bottle of antacids back at the store.”

“I’m fine, Namjoon-ah,” Yoongi assures him, waving off his concerns.

“Let’s order you some ginger tea, just in case,” Jimin offers, smiling innocently when Yoongi glares at him. He turns to Taehyung, tapping on the table to get his attention. “Hey, Tae, ginger helps with stomach aches, right? Yoongi wants to know.”

Taehyung opens his mouth to answer, only to scrunch up his face in a pained grimace a moment later. “Ouch! What the hell?” He looks at Yoongi, finally, but it’s with an accusatory scowl. “Was that you?”

It was, in fact, Yoongi, but he’d been aiming to kick at Jimin’s leg and apparently missed the mark. “No,” he lies, ears burning with embarrassment as he looks down to where he’s pushing around his food with his chopsticks.

Taehyung just huffs, crossing his arms. “Right,” he mutters, clearly not buying it.

It takes Yoongi a second to realize that the entire table is watching them now, individual conversations petered out. Great. This just got ten times more uncomfortable. He hates being the center of attention, and hates it even more when it’s because he’s accidentally making a scene. This is exactly what he was hoping to avoid when he decided not to flake on dinner tonight just because Taehyung would be here, and it happened anyway.

“Hyung?” Jungkook calls, staring at between the two of them with a confused frown. When neither he or Taehyung offer up some kind of answer, he leans back in his chair with a loud exhale. “Okay, what’s going on with you guys? The energy here feels weird.”

“You sure it’s not just gas?” Seokjin attempts to joke in an effort to lighten the mood. Jungkook swats at his shoulder in annoyance, but doesn’t take his eyes off of them.

“Nothing’s going on,” Yoongi says, with as firm a tone as he can muster right now. He needs to put an end to this before it really starts.

Taehyung, though, just laughs under his breath at this. “That’s the problem, isn’t it?” he says quietly, so much so that if the entire group weren’t completely silent, they wouldn’t have heard him at all. But they did, loud and clear, and Yoongi doesn’t appreciate having his dirty laundry aired out like this.

“I’m going to the bathroom,” he mutters, pushing back his chair with a noisy screech and doesn’t look at any of them before stalking off between the other tables to the back of the restaurant.

The overpowering scent of shitty, floral public bathroom soap hits his nose the second Yoongi pushes through the door to the men’s room, flushed and mortified and a little irritated. He flips on the tap and shoves his hands underneath the running water, splashing it on his heated face and reveling in the cool sensation it provides. It helps him clear his head a little, get his emotions under control before he even thinks about going back out there.

He’s wiping himself off with a paper towel when the door opens behind him. “You wanna let me know what that was all about?” comes Jimin’s voice, gentle despite the intrusive question.

Yoongi sighs and rolls up the damp towel into a wad to throw in the trash. “It’s none of your business, Jimin,” he says, turning around to face him properly. “Don’t get involved. Me and Taehyung… we’re handling it.”

“Is that what we’re calling the shitstorm that almost unraveled back there?” Jimin asks, eyebrows raised.

Yoongi wishes this bathroom was bigger. There’s only about four feet between him, Jimin and the door, with not much wiggle room for him to make an escape or look anywhere else besides Jimin’s face. “It wasn’t that bad,” he mumbles, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jeans.

Jimin fixes him with a flat look. “You know I’m not leaving until you tell me something,” he says, softer this time. 

Yoongi shifts his weight between his feet, considering his options. He knows he shouldn’t tell Jimin. He certainly won’t be happy to learn he’s been lied to by two of his closest friends for months, and either way, Yoongi’s the one who made Taehyung promise to keep them a secret in the first place. It’d be stupid if he were the one to break it. But, at the same time, Yoongi’s well aware that if he were to pick anyone to spill the beans to, it’d be Jimin. He’s the only one who would understand where Yoongi’s coming from, given everything that’s happened between them in the past.

That, and Yoongi’s ready to admit that he needs help. The straw has yet to break the camel’s back, and he’d really like to keep things from escalating to that point. It’s already well on its way there, and he doesn’t know what to do. 

He has to tell Jimin. 

“Taehyung and I, we, uh,” Yoongi begins, shoulders sagging in defeat. He doesn’t really want to look at Jimin as he says this, but he has to. Figures he owes him that much. “We’ve been secretly hooking up for the better half of the year.”

Jimin’s face slowly goes slack with shock. “What?” he asks, gaping.

Yoongi bites his lower lip. “Listen, I’m sorry we didn’t tell you, it was just — I know we’ve always come off as some kind of brotherly duo to you guys and I didn’t want you to look at me or Taehyung differently because we were —”

“Wait, wait, hold on,” Jimin interrupts, holding his hands to his head. Yoongi’s teeth clack together as he shuts his mouth. “Just — wait. I need a second to process this.”

Yoongi nods mutely, scratching at the back of his neck. Jimin just frowns at the floor and runs his hands through his hair, pacing lightly in the cramped space between the sinks and the single stall beside them.

“When did this start?” Jimin finally asks, stopping in front of the urinal.

Yoongi glances at it and looks back at Jimin. Couldn’t they do this somewhere else? “February,” he answers, fidgeting with the collar of his shirt. “A week before Hoseok’s birthday.”

February? Hyung, it’s September now!” Jimin brow twitches for a moment, as if he’d realized something. “Wait. Is that why Taehyung was all over you at his party?”

Yoongi blinks. “I… guess? I don’t know. He’s touchy with everyone, you know that.”

“Yeah, but he was really glued to your side that night,” Jimin says, crossing his arms. “I couldn’t even get him to dance with me for one song, but he was more than happy to drag you out there with him. I thought he was just having another one of his Yoongi days, but now it makes sense.”

“Well,” Yoongi mumbles with a shrug, spreading out his hands. He doesn’t know what else to say to that.

Jimin just stares at him, shaking his head. “Why did you do it?” he asks, sounding incredulous.

“I just told you, we —”

“No, I got that, the whole big brother complex thing you thought we thought you had. Which we don’t, by the way, in case you were wondering,” Jimin interjects, rolling his eyes like just the idea of it is ridiculous. Yoongi doesn’t know if he should feel offended. “I’m asking you why you threw yourself into another friends with benefits situation when you know how badly it can turn out.” He gestures between the two of them. “Case in point.”

“It’s not the same,” Yoongi argues weakly. “And we’re fine now, aren’t we?”

“Yeah, after I got over the self-loathing and embarrassment from being outright rejected after confessing my feelings to you,” Jimin replies dryly. He softens up when Yoongi winces. “Hey, you know I forgave you for that. Sorry, I shouldn’t have said it like that. I didn’t mean to make you feel bad.”

“It’s not that,” Yoongi rasps, shooting a meaningful look at Jimin. He wrings his hands together, eyes boring into Jimin’s as he implores him to just get it without him having to spell it out for him.

Jimin just frowns, looking confused. “Then what are you… oh,” he breathes out, expression evening out as realization passes over his face. His eyes melt into something more sympathetic, something genuinely distressed. “Oh. Hyung, you didn’t.”

Yoongi smiles, wry and full of remorse as he averts his eyes. “Yeah,” he chuckles, heart sinking right down to his toes. “I did.”

Silence stretches between them for a long moment. Yoongi feels like he might throw up and, with some degree of amusement, thinks he’s in the perfect place for it. 

“You need to talk to him,” Jimin finally says, and Yoongi would’ve laughed at that suggestion if his face wasn’t deadly serious.

“You’re kidding, right,” Yoongi replies, baffled. He actually does laugh when Jimin shakes his head. “Jimin-ah, you literally just told me why that’s an awful idea. No.”

“Then why did you tell me anything in the first place?” Jimin shoots back, growing frustrated. “Hyung, whether you realize it or not, you want something to change. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have told me jack shit and you probably wouldn’t even be fighting with Taehyung at all.” He pauses, then sighs. “I’m not saying you have to confess. But you need to say something to him if anything’s going to improve between you two. You guys can’t just keep bottling things inside yourselves and pretend like nothing’s wrong. You need to speak up for the things you want.”

Yoongi knew that already, but he’s the type of person that needs someone else to say it out loud and tell him to just do it to spur him into action. It just makes it easier, to have another person quiet all the doubts crawling around his head and get him to focus on what actually matters. And it works, because Yoongi can feel a surge of determination rise up within him at Jimin’s words. There’s still time to fix things with Taehyung. He can do it.

“You’re right. I’ll talk to him,” Yoongi agrees, warmth blooming inside his chest when Jimin gives him a proud smile. “Thanks, Jimin. And sorry for making you give me a pep talk next to a urinal.” They both laugh. “It’s just… hard, y’know. It’s Taehyung.”

Jimin draws closer and throws an arm around Yoongi’s shoulders, gently bumping their heads together affectionately as he leads them out of the bathroom. “I know. If it’s any consolation, I bet the others have been grilling Taehyung out there this entire time, too. No pun intended.”

Yoongi snorts and shoves him lightly in the side with his elbow. “Shut up.”

Jimin just laughs and slips his arm away as they approach the table. Unlike Jimin’s expectations, no one seems to be interrogating Taehyung, too engrossed in passing the food between each other and devouring everything on their plates. Yoongi spots Taehyung sitting quietly in his seat in the corner, idly swirling around the leftover broth in his bowl with a spoon. He glances up when Yoongi pulls his chair to sit back down and doesn’t look away, holding his eyes while the corner of his mouth quirks up in a tiny, sheepish smile. Huh. Maybe the guys did talk to him after all.

Yoongi does his best to return it, pulse quickening under his skin. It’s not much, but it was a start.

“What the hell took you guys so long?” Seokjin demands once both Yoongi and Jimin are seated again, already scavenging for what little food is left. “Did one of you fall into the toilet and get transported to Narnia or something?”

“No, but if you wanted to try doing that yourself, I’ll gladly help you stick your head in the bowl and flush for you,” Jimin says sweetly, batting his eyelashes.

“You are a sinister, evil little man,” Seokjin mutters, glaring at him over the rim of his beer. “Now I regret saving a bunch of pork belly for you.”

“I’ll eat it!” Jungkook eagerly offers, raising his hand. Jimin just smacks the back of his head.

Yoongi laughs and watches them all bicker with each other fondly, feeling grateful that even if things eventually fall apart with Taehyung, he at least has all of them.

 

-x-

 

As usual, it takes about ten minutes for all of them to say goodbye and go their separate ways once they’re standing outside of the restaurant. Yoongi hovers on the perimeter of their little circle, rocking on his heels as he waits for Taehyung to finish chatting with Hoseok while he cuddles into Jimin’s side like they’re not going to see each other again for months. Which isn’t true. They’re all meeting again next week to celebrate Namjoon’s birthday, so they’re just being dramatic.

“Aw, hyung, don’t look so bitter,” Jimin coos, extricating himself from Taehyung’s hold and sweeps Yoongi up in a tight hug, ignoring his ensuing complaints about being manhandled. “There’s more than enough love in me to go around.”

“I didn’t ask,” Yoongi grumbles, but smiles as he wraps his arms around Jimin’s shoulders anyway.

“Text me if you need anything,” Jimin says when he pulls away, giving him a pointed look and pats his shoulder. “Or call, whichever. I just might pick up for you, but we’ll see.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes at the greasy wink Jimin gives him, shoving him away as he lets out a tinkling laugh. He catches Taehyung watching them from the corner of his eye and clears his throat, stepping back. “Yeah, yeah, you should be so lucky. Get home safe, loser.”

“Stop being gross and let’s go,” Jungkook whines, plastering himself to Jimin’s back and turns them around. He throws a bright smile over his shoulder towards Yoongi and Taehyung as they waddle away with the rest of them. “Bye, hyungs! Don’t kill each other!”

Yoongi feels his face burst into flames, bidding them all goodnight before turning to walk in the other direction. Taehyung falls easily into step beside him, quiet as they slowly make their way to the nearest subway station that’ll get them home.

He sighs a little through his nose, staring up at all the bright shop signs littering the street as a warm breeze drifts over his skin. The last vestiges of summer are slowly fading with each passing day as the seasons begin to change, and Yoongi feels a small pang of sadness ripple through him at the realization. Fall was always his and Taehyung’s favorite season. It was the time to build blanket-forts and bring the hot chocolate packets back out of the cupboard, dust off their scary movie collection for their yearly marathon despite Yoongi’s distaste towards horror films, and pick the last of the year’s harvest back home at Taehyung’s family farm. They used to get in so much trouble, snacking on all the berries when Taehyung’s parents weren’t looking and playing hide and seek between the apple trees for hours instead of working. 

Do you think soulmates exist? Taehyung had asked him once, while they were huddled under one of their best blanket forts after a long day on the farm and pigged out on tteokbokki chips.

Yoongi had only shrugged and continued to mash the buttons on his gameboy. Isn’t it kinda like believing in Santa? he said. You believe if you want to. It doesn’t matter if he actually exists or not.

I guess so, Taehyung responded, chewing noisily on another chip stuffed in his mouth. He turned his head towards Yoongi and smiled then, so lively and bright even with two front teeth missing. Well, even if it’s not real, I’m claiming you as mine, hyung. We’ll be stuck together forever.

Yoongi smiles to himself at the memory. Those were such simpler times.

“Hyung,” comes Taehyung’s voice then, gentle, a leaf drifting in the wind. He’s already looking at Yoongi when he turns his head, eyes glinting with a muted sort of sorrow. “We’re not okay, are we?”

Yoongi swallows, slowing to a stop on the corner of the street. Taehyung stops with him, moving aside to let people pass by. “No, I don’t think we are.”

“We need to talk.”

“Yeah, we do.”

They find themselves at a table outside a nearby convenience store, sipping on cans of cold pear juice because Yoongi felt weird about taking one of them without buying something first. Taehyung pulls his thin jacket tighter around himself, sighing as he leans back in his chair and stares at Yoongi.

“Do you want to start, or should I?” he asks, getting straight to the point.

Yoongi purses his lips, lighting shrugging his shoulders. “It doesn’t matter,” he mumbles, but doesn’t say anything else.

Taehyung takes his silence as his cue to continue. “Okay, I guess I’ll go first,” he says, scratching behind his ear. He withers a bit in his seat, cheeks flushing lightly with something akin to shame. “I’m sorry for what happened back at the restaurant. It was stupid and petty, and I shouldn’t have done it. I know you don’t like everyone knowing your business.”

Yoongi just nods, lips quirking into a small smile. “Sorry for kicking you,” he says, and Taehyung lets out a quiet laugh. “It was really meant for Jimin.”

Taehyung stares at him for a moment. “Are you guys getting back together or something?” he asks, fiddling with his fingers on the table.

Yoongi startles, head jerking back, brow furrowed. “What? No. Why would you think that?”

Taehyung shrugs, averting his eyes to his hands. “I don’t know, you guys just seemed pretty cozy back at the restaurant,” he mumbles, glancing back up with his lip between his teeth.

“Taehyung-ah, you know Jimin. He’ll flirt with anything that moves. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything,” Yoongi points out, confused as to why this even matters. He and Jimin are a relic of the past. There hasn’t been anything between them aside from platonic affection for a long time. “Besides, I would’ve said something if we actually were, considering that you and I are… you know.”

Taehyung smiles, sitting up a little straighter. “Okay. Just wanted to ask,” he explains, letting out a small breath. He hesitates for a moment, then adds, “I, um, also wanted to apologize for pushing you so hard the other day. I’ve been thinking about it over the week, and I realized it was pretty shitty of me to demand you to tell me something you clearly weren’t comfortable sharing with me.”

Yoongi sighs. “Taehyung, I —”

“Wait, let me finish,” Taehyung interrupts. Yoongi closes his mouth and nods. “I don’t want you to think that I think you’re, like, obligated to tell me everything that’s going on with you. I’ve just been worried about you, and it hurt to think that you didn’t trust me enough to confide in me anymore about something that seemed pretty important. That’s why I acted the way I did, but obviously it wasn’t the right way to go about it, so… I’m sorry, hyung. Really, truly sorry.”

“I appreciate that,” Yoongi says, smiling as he reaches out to pat Taehyung’s hand. He tries to pull away, but Taehyung catches him around the wrist and tugs him back in, slotting their palms together. It feels nice. Taehyung’s hand is warm and it fits perfectly in his, and Yoongi finds he has a pretty difficult time tearing his eyes away from them to look back at Taehyung. “But I want to make it clear that the reason I didn’t tell you what was bothering me wasn’t because I don’t trust you. That’s just not true. There’s a difference between hiding things from your friends because of mistrust and holding onto something you just want to keep to yourself for a little bit longer.”

“Yeah, I understand that,” Taehyung agrees, thumb stroking the back of Yoongi’s knuckles. “Sorry I assumed things.”

Yoongi just waves him off with his free hand. “Listen, if anyone should be apologizing, it’s me. You were struggling for weeks at work and I had no idea because I was being too self-centered to pay attention. You shouldn’t have to feel like your feelings are a burden. They’re just as important as mine.” He sighs. “I’m sorry, Taehyung-ah. I’ve been a pretty bad hyung, huh?”

Taehyung shrugs. “I don’t think either of us have been that great to each other,” he admits sadly.

It’s the truth, even if it isn’t very pleasant to hear. They’ve both been a little unfair to each other, ignoring the problems staring them right in the face in favor of keeping the status quo, trying to maintain some kind of connection through sex. Yoongi thought that if he’d distanced himself in an act of self-preservation about his feelings, he’d be able to protect their friendship from going down the tubes. Obviously, that didn’t work. It just made everything worse.

More than anything, Yoongi missed him. He’d gotten a glimpse this past week of what it’d be like to lose Taehyung entirely, and it was one of the worst weeks of his life. It can’t happen again. Yoongi won’t allow it to, even if it means figuring out how the fuck he’s going on to move on from such a beautiful, unbelievably brilliant person like Taehyung.

It’ll be worth it, though. It has to be.

“Hey, are you working this weekend?” Yoongi asks suddenly, an idea beginning to form in his mind.

Taehyung blinks, eyes darting upwards as he thinks. “Uh, I don’t think so. I have to check if I’m on call or not, though.” He looks back down at Yoongi, tilting his head curiously. “Why?”

“Let’s go back home for the weekend,” Yoongi offers, straightening up in his chair. Taehyung’s eyebrows raise in surprise, and there’s a pleased smile starting to stretch across his lips that encourages Yoongi to continue. “It’s been a long time since either of us went back, and I think it’d do us both some good to get away from the city. Together.”

“My mom has been bugging me about visiting lately,” Taehyung muses, chuckling under his breath. His eyes sparkle in the low light emitted from the streetlights. “She keeps asking when her favorite son-in-law’s going to come back to the farm and help her eat all the extra berries, too.”

Yoongi smiles, endeared. Taehyung’s parents have always been so good to him, treating him like one of their own since they were kids. “She’s always plotting on how she can make me gain weight, I swear,” he laughs.

“She just worries about you,” Taehyung says, grinning as he leans forward on the table, hand squeezing Yoongi’s lightly. “I guess that’s something all the Kim’s have in common.”

A gentle flush spreads across Yoongi’s cheeks. “Shut up,” he mumbles, ducking his head for a moment. “So? You wanna go?”

Taehyung doesn’t even take a second to think about it. “Sure, hyung,” he agrees easily, lifting their joined hands to his mouth. He just presses them against his lips, doesn’t apply any pressure that could qualify as anything close to a kiss, but it still sends Yoongi’s heart racing all the same. “Let’s go home.”

 

-x-

 

“There you two are! I was wondering if you’d gotten lost on your way in,” Taehyung’s mother exclaims the second she opens the door, smiling wide as she engulfs Taehyung in a tight hug.

“It hasn’t been that long since we’ve visited,” Taehyung laughs, swaying her back and forth and presses a kiss to her hair before he lets her go. “It’s good to see you, Mom.”

“You too, baby,” she coos, patting his cheek. She turns her attention to Yoongi then, who’d been politely standing off to the side watching them fondly, and flaps her hands at him. “And you! Where have you been, mister? I haven’t heard from you in forever, Yoongi. Come here and give these old bones a hug, hm?”

Yoongi lowers his backpack with a smile, stepping closer to wrap his arms around her shoulders. She’s so much smaller than he remembers, hair graying at the roots and wrinkles deepening around her laugh lines. It makes him a little sad. They’re all getting so much older. “Hi, auntie. Thanks for having me over for the night,” he says, squeezing her gently.

“You know you’re always welcome here,” she says, waving him off after they separate. “Now come in, come in! Lunch is almost ready.”

Yoongi bows his head gratefully, shooting a glance towards Taehyung when he feels his hand press against the small of his back while they follow his mother inside. Taehyung just smiles at him, raising his eyebrows in question when Yoongi continues giving him a blank look. He considers voicing his confusion for a moment but decides against it, shaking his head as he slips off his shoes. It’s probably nothing. Just Taehyung being Taehyung.

“Where’s Dad?” Taehyung asks, wandering further into the house and peeking his head into the empty living room. 

“He’s outside, collecting and packaging some of the apples that’ve already fallen from the trees,” his mother answers, turning her attention back to whatever’s sizzling on the stove. From what Yoongi can see without his glasses, it looks something like kimchi fried rice. “You guys can join him after you eat. Taehyung-ah, you and Yoongi can put your stuff up in your old room for now. I’ll call you down when it’s time, okay?”

“Sure,” Taehyung agrees, and bumps his shoulder against Yoongi’s, gently. “Come on, hyung. Let’s go.”

Taehyung’s room is more bare than the last time Yoongi’s seen it, but it mostly looks the same. Twin bed shoved in the corner, his old tube television propped up on top of a small dresser with his playstation that doesn’t work anymore, and his desk, now covered with storage boxes, still stands just under the window on the farthest wall. His band and idol posters have been taken down and his closet is occupied by cleaning supplies now. 

It makes Yoongi feel a little wistful, looking around at it. Such is the consequence of growing up, he supposes.

“Different, right?” Taehyung says, depositing their bags in front of the closet before taking a seat on the bed. 

“Yeah,” Yoongi mumbles, sighing as he leans against the dresser. He feels an instinctive need to fidget when he catches Taehyung watching him intently across the room, which suddenly feels a hundred times smaller than it actually is. “I think the last time I was in here was the day before I moved.”

Taehyung hums, laying down on his back and beckons Yoongi over to join him. “That was a good day,” he murmurs, turning his head to look at Yoongi when he lays down beside him. They stare at each other for a long moment, and then Taehyung laughs through his nose. “You look the exact same as you did back then, hyung.”

“So… I have a bad haircut and a face full of acne scars?” Yoongi teases, raising a brow.

Taehyung rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling. “You know that’s not what I meant,” he says, softly. He reaches over to gently brush some of Yoongi’s hair out of his eyes, fingers lingering and lightly dragging across his cheek as he lets his hand fall in the space between them. Yoongi’s heart thrums so wildly in his chest, he’s certain Taehyung can see it pounding underneath his thin shirt. “You’ve always been handsome, hyung. Do you remember what I used to call you then?”

Yoongi barely even has to think about it. “Best smile angel of the universe,” he answers, the tips of his ears burning in embarrassment as he feels one pull at his lips now. 

“Exactly,” Taehyung grins, reaching out to grab Yoongi’s thigh and haul it over his lap. Yoongi rolls over with the momentum and has to hold himself up on his elbow to keep himself from crushing Taehyung, eyes wide with a hand splayed across his chest. Not that Taehyung minds, though, because he’s got a look in his eye that tells Yoongi this was his plan all along. “It was true back then and it still is, now. My favorite smile from my favorite hyung.”

Yoongi swallows, flushing all the way down to his neck. “What’s with you, all of a sudden?” he asks, though he’s not sure he wants to know the answer. He squints when he feels Taehyung’s hands trail up his back, slipping underneath the hem of his shirt and ghosting over the knobs of his spine. “Don’t tell me.”

Taehyung bites down his shit-eating grin, laughter shaking his chest. “What?”

“We’re not having a fucking quickie in your old bedroom, Taehyung-ah. Your mom is right downstairs!”

“I didn’t say I wanted a quickie!” Taehyung says defensively, pouting a bit. Yoongi purses his lips, still suspicious. “I just wanted to feel close to you, that’s all. I missed this. You deprived me of cuddles the last time we had sex.” He pauses, considering. “But I mean, now that you’ve mentioned it…”

“No,” Yoongi says firmly, trying to extricate himself from Taehyung’s hold but ultimately finds himself unsuccessful. Taehyung’s grip around him is like a vice. He lets out a soft sigh. “Let go, Taehyung-ah. I mean it.”

“Can I kiss you, at least?” Taehyung asks, brow knitted in a small frown, and Yoongi freezes. They’ve never kissed outside of sex. It was like an unspoken rule, and neither of them had ever tried to breach it before. There was never any reason to, because that’s not what their little arrangement was about. 

Yoongi’s voice is guarded when he asks, “Why?”

Taehyung shrugs with one shoulder. “Just because,” he murmurs, eyes flicking down to his lips. He takes one of his hands away from Yoongi’s back to caress his cheek, thumb pressing gently against his bottom lip, dragging it down slightly before letting it bounce back into place. “I’ve wanted to kiss you all day. You have no idea what you do to me, hyung.”

Yoongi runs his tongue across his lips, catching the tip of Taehyung’s thumb. A small shiver runs through him at the way Taehyung’s eyes darken, tracking every minuscule movement. “Yeah? And what’s that?”

“Let me kiss you, and maybe I’ll show you,” Taehyung whispers, tilting his chin up, waiting.

He shouldn’t do it. This is the exact opposite of attempting to move on, but Taehyung’s offering him the very thing he’s wanted from the beginning on a silver platter and Yoongi isn’t strong enough to resist him. Not like this.

So he leans down, fingers curling into Taehyung’s shirt over his chest, hovering over his lips for a second just to see Taehyung let out a shaky breath in anticipation. It makes a smile curl at the corners of Yoongi’s lips before he gives in and presses them to Taehyung’s, skin prickling when he feels Taehyung immediately surge up to kiss him back. They keep it PG-13, just lips sliding together with the occasional bite of teeth, but the way Taehyung’s grip on his thigh tightens as he tries to pull Yoongi closer gives him the impression that they’ll probably get up to something more mature later. 

Their lips separate with a quiet smack when Yoongi pulls back, lips tingling and feeling considerably warmer than he did a couple minutes ago. He watches Taehyung’s eyes flutter open, glassy with something that Yoongi’s seen only a few times before but hadn’t been able to pinpoint what it was. He thinks he can now, though, and that’s dangerous. Because it’s the exact same thing he knows is reflected in his own eyes whenever he looks at Taehyung. 

He shouldn’t dare to hope. He really shouldn’t, and yet… and yet.

“Happy now?” Yoongi says through a wisp of breath. It’s kind of hard for him to speak when his heart feels like it’s lodged itself in his throat.

Taehyung tucks a hand behind his head, soothing his other up and down Yoongi’s back. “I don’t know. I think I need another before I can decide,” he replies, smile curving his eyes. “Help me out?”

Yoongi huffs. “I see what you’re doing, Kim Taehyung.”

“Is it working?”

“No comment,” Yoongi mutters before he kisses Taehyung’s laugh away.

 

-x-

 

Morning sunlight slips languidly through the slits of Taehyung’s blinds, slanting across Yoongi’s face and rouses him from a deep sleep. He groans a little as he shifts around on the bed, toes catching in the sheets when he stretches out his limbs, rubbing the sleep-rocks out of his eyes. The air mattress on the floor beside him is empty, a tangled mess of blankets left behind as the only mark of Taehyung’s presence. Distantly, he can hear the distinct clanking of pots and pans in the kitchen. Someone must be making breakfast.

Yoongi stays put for a moment, pushing his messy hair back as he stares up at the ceiling. He doesn’t know what came over him yesterday. Kissing Taehyung without using sex as an excuse makes things a thousand times more confusing, even if he did end up convincing Yoongi later to let him ride him, quietly, until he was gasping against Yoongi’s mouth. He doesn’t want to entertain the idea of Taehyung possibly returning his feelings, well aware that he’ll likely get burned for it later, but those thoughts are starting to take root in his mind. 

It’s probably stupid. No, it definitely is. But Yoongi’s willing to let himself be a fool, at least for the weekend.

He goes about getting ready for the day, freshening up in the bathroom before pulling on a pair of jeans and one of Taehyung’s sweaters he’d packed by accident. The wooden floorboards creak gently under his feet as he slowly makes his way downstairs, waving to Taehyung’s father in the living room before he continues down the hall towards the kitchen.

“— about time you did something about it, Taehyung-ah. We were all starting to wonder if you were just bluffing when you brought it up the last time you called,” Taehyung’s mother says, voice both teasing and knowing at once as it drifts down the hall.

“Mom,” Taehyung complains, sounding exasperated. Yoongi smiles, knowing exactly what kind of expression he’s making right now. “I was working on it, I swear. It’s not like it’s easy, you know?”

“I know, sweetheart,” she sighs, and Yoongi slows down, hesitant to interrupt their conversation that he probably shouldn’t be eavesdropping on. “You have to make sure you take care of him, okay? He’s not just any other boy you’ve dated in the past.”

Yoongi stops in his tracks. Were they talking about…? No, they couldn’t be. There’s no way.

“You know I will,” Taehyung assures her, followed by the clink of silverware against a dish. “He’s special. Always has been.”

“Good boy,” his mother replies, sounding satisfied. “Well, I hope it works out between you two. I have a good feeling it will, though. Mom’s intuition.”

Taehyung laughs, and Yoongi takes a second to lean his back against the wall, suddenly feeling dizzy. If he’s right — and he thinks he has to be, because Taehyung would’ve told him if he found someone else, right? And he hasn’t. Their friends would’ve mentioned it at least once at their get-togethers, because they would never pass up an opportunity to tease Taehyung if he was interested in someone new. The last time it happened was over a year ago, before they’d started anything and Taehyung was seeing this Joonsung dude who bore a small resemblance to Yoongi. He didn’t really see it, but the guys wouldn’t shut up about it until Taehyung was red in the face.

Maybe he was dumber than he thought.

He takes in a deep breath, doing his best to compose himself before he rounds the corner and enters the kitchen, rubbing his neck and trying to appear as nonchalant as possible. Taehyung looks up from where he’s sitting at the table, spoon raised halfway to his mouth, and instantly brightens when he catches sight of Yoongi walking in. “Hyung! I wasn’t expecting you to be up so early, wow.”

“Sometimes I wake up at a reasonable hour,” Yoongi gripes, taking a seat across from him. There’s already a steaming bowl of beansprout soup waiting for him among all the side dishes laid out on the table. He glances up to find Taehyung’s mother watching them with a smile, flushing as he bows his head. “Thank you for the meal, auntie. I’ll eat it well.”

“That’s all I ask for,” she says with a wink, placing a lid on one of the pots before disappearing into the next room.

Taehyung noisily slurps up some beansprouts and smirks as he eyes Yoongi. “Nice sweater. Where’d you get it?”

Yoongi twists his mouth to keep himself from smiling like an idiot. “Dunno. Some weird guy left it in my room a while ago.”

“Huh. He’s got good taste. Bet he was really handsome, too.”

“How can you tell that from a sweater?”

“Just have a feeling,” Taehyung singsongs, waggling his eyebrows as he places a few pieces of fishcake in Yoongi’s bowl before grabbing some for himself. “You look better in it, though."

Yoongi just ducks his head and tucks into his food, ears burning.

They chat idly while they eat, legs brushing against each other underneath the table. Taehyung asks how the record store’s doing as of late, and Yoongi listens to Taehyung rant about a particularly awful co-worker that seems hellbent on making his life as difficult as possible just because he’s new to the unit. They laugh over the ridiculous instagram story Jungkook posted last night, capturing Seokjin falling over his first-floor balcony while helping Jimin record a tiktok dance video, and smile as they reminisce about the shared memories they have in this house. 

It’s nice. It feels just like how it was before, but there’s some new things, too. Like Taehyung deliberately rubbing his foot against Yoongi’s ankle, just to see him get all flustered. And the kiss pressed to his cheek when he reaches around Yoongi to collect the dirty dishes. And the way he doesn’t hesitate to grab Yoongi’s hand and lace their fingers together as he drags them outside, completely barefoot despite Yoongi’s loud protests, and into the fields.

“This is the last of this year’s harvest,” Taehyung says, slightly out of breath when they reach the strawberry bushes towards the back. The amount of berries hidden among the green leaves is sparse, but what little remains looks big and bright-red and juicy. “Mom says we can have them all to ourselves before the critters come and snatch them up.”

Yoongi takes the cardboard box Taehyung hands to him, watching him crouch down and start picking them off the vines. “Bet that makes you real happy, huh? You used to gorge yourself on the stuff.”

“Because my parents grow the most delicious strawberries in the entire country,” Taehyung says proudly, wiping one off on his shirt before holding it up to Yoongi’s mouth. “Here, try it.”

“Wiping it isn’t the same as washing,” Yoongi complains, but opens his mouth regardless.

Taehyung rolls his eyes. “One unwashed strawberry isn’t gonna kill you,” he says, smiling as Yoongi takes a big bite out of it. He giggles when Yoongi lets out a muffled shout as the juice drips down his chin, stuffing the rest in his own mouth. “Good, right?”

“Of course it is,” Yoongi answers, wiping his chin with his sleeve and licks his lips. “Just wish it wasn’t so mes— mmph!” 

He’s cut off when Taehyung suddenly captures his lips in a firm, deep kiss. It doesn’t last that long, but Yoongi still feels lightheaded when Taehyung pulls away. “What was that for?”

Taehyung shrugs, tongue flicking out to wet his lips. “Looked tasty,” he explains simply, eyes glinting with mischief. Yoongi thinks he might explode. “Couldn’t resist.”

“I — you —” Yoongi sputters, vocabulary dwindling down to basic nouns and pterodactyl noises that he somehow manages to keep contained in his throat.

Taehyung swipes a finger under Yoongi’s chin, biting down a smug smile. “Come on, hyung, quit slacking off and help me get the rest of them. We don’t have all day, you know.”

That helps Yoongi regain control over his mouth. “Kim Taehyung, you shithead,” he mutters darkly, dropping the box to the ground and chases after Taehyung as he frolics away, delighted laughter ringing through the damp air.

They keep at it, weaving between the bushes and trees, toes digging into the rich earth until they’re both winded and call a truce. It doesn’t keep Yoongi from making snide remarks as they fill up the box with strawberries, though Taehyung doesn’t seem to mind, smiling at Yoongi like he can see right through him. He’s always had a special knack for that, and though it should be terrifying to be so transparent to someone else, Yoongi takes a sense of comfort in the feeling of being so known. It makes him feel warm, just as much as Taehyung himself does while they lean against each other on the walk back to the house.

Thunderclouds roll in as they hose off their dirty feet, heavy with rain and sparkling with flashes of lightning. They hurry inside, wiping themselves dry before washing a handful of the strawberries, taking them to the den towards the back of the house and settle on the floor with a couple pillows just in time to watch the storm rage outside.

It’s quiet for a while, the only sound coming from the rain battering against the windows and their chewing as they devour the fresh fruit. Yoongi leans back against the foot of the couch when the bowl’s empty, watching rivulets of water pour down from the gutters, and feels more at peace than he has in a long time. His arm lays limp at his side, jostled slightly when Taehyung stretches his arms overhead with a low groan and drops one of them beside Yoongi’s, close enough for him to feel his body heat radiating off his skin but not quite enough to touch. 

Choosing to be brave for once, Yoongi reaches over and twines their arms together, palm sliding into place against Taehyung’s. He smiles when Taehyung looks over at him, clearly pleased, and feels his heart flutter as Taehyung leans over to rest his head on Yoongi’s shoulder.

“Hyung,” Taehyung murmurs, after a minute that feels like it stretches on forever. Yoongi grunts lightly to show he’s listening. “I want to tell you something, and when I do, I need you to not freak out. Okay?”

Yoongi swallows, pulse racing in his veins. Was this it? “Okay,” he whispers, barely audible.

He feels Taehyung in a deep breath more than he hears it. “I think we should stop what we’ve been doing,” he says, and Yoongi feels his insides turn to ice. “Y’know, messing around and keeping it a secret from everyone. I don’t want to do it anymore.”

Yoongi feels like a bucket of ice-water was just dumped over his head, numb and stiff in Taehyung’s hold. “Oh. Okay,” he hears himself say, like he’s detached from his body. “That’s — that’s fine, Taehyung-ah. I was actually thinking of telling you the same thing.”

This gets Taehyung’s attention. He lifts himself off of Yoongi’s shoulder and looks at him in surprise. “Really?” he asks, brow furrowed.

Yoongi’s tongue feels entirely too heavy in his mouth, like it’s made out of lead. “Yeah,” he lies, staring blankly at his lap. He slips his hand out of Taehyung’s grip and holds it to his stomach, willing himself to stop feeling so nauseous. “I mean, it’s only natural, right? We’ve been doing it for so long now. I’m just surprised you didn’t get tired of me sooner.”

Taehyung takes in a sharp breath. “Oh, hyung, that’s not what I —”

“And why wouldn’t you, right?” Yoongi continues on, cutting him off. He can’t seem to stop the words from spilling out of his mouth, now that he’s started. “When I’m just, y’know, me and you’re so — so extraordinary and kind and larger than life. Of course you’d want to find someone that’s more suitable for you and can satisfy you better than I ever could —”

“Yoongi, can you just listen to me for a second —”

“— because I just want you to be happy, Taehyung-ah, and if that’s not with me then that’s — that’s okay, I’ll get over it, I’ve had a lot of practice so —”

Hyung!” Taehyung shouts, grabbing Yoongi’s cheeks and shakes him lightly, startling him into silence. His eyes are wild, frantically flitting back and forth between Yoongi’s as he adds, “I adore you, but you’re jumping to a lot of conclusions without giving me a chance to speak, so can you please shut up for like five minutes and let me say what I was trying to get at in the first place?”

Yoongi nods mutely, lips squished together from the pressure of Taehyung’s hands.

“Thank you,” Taehyung sighs, relaxing his hold a little. He holds Yoongi’s stare evenly, eyes softening. “What I was going to say, was that I want to stop because I don’t want to just be your secret sex buddy anymore. I don’t want to be your secret anything, Yoongi. Maybe I was alright with it in the beginning when I started this whole thing, but it isn’t enough anymore. Not even close.”

Yoongi feels weightless, as if he’d walked straight into a dream. “I need you to tell me, Taehyung-ah,” he whispers, breath caught in his throat, “Why it isn’t enough for you.”

Taehyung bites on his bottom lip, suddenly looking shy. “Because I’m in love with you, idiot,” he says, smiling wide as Yoongi feels his own mouth slowly do the same. “And I’d rather be your boyfriend than just a friend with benefits.”

Yoongi grins from ear to ear. Warmth floods his veins and threatens to burst right out of his pores like liquid sunshine. He feels like he can conquer the world. “I think that can be arranged,” he says, covering Taehyung’s hands with his own as he scoots closer. “So, do you want to? Be boyfriends?”

“I literally just said I did, but thanks for noticing,” Taehyung laughs, eyes falling shut as he meets Yoongi halfway for a kiss.

He’s kissed Taehyung a hundred times over by now, and while this one doesn’t really feel all that different from the others, it still makes Yoongi’s head spin and his fingertips tingle when Taehyung sighs against his mouth because holy fuck, this is real. This is Taehyung, his friend of over twenty years, saying he’s in love with him after Yoongi’s wished for it for so long. The moon finally eclipsing the sun.

Taehyung’s eyes are dripping with adoration when they separate, the tips of their noses nudging together. Yoongi’s heart fills with helium, ready to burst. “I’m in love with you too, you know,” he murmurs, and the resulting smile Taehyung gives him is blinding. “I have been, the entire time. That’s the thing I couldn’t tell you a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t want to speak up because I thought I was guaranteed to get rejected. You always said the sex didn’t mean anything.”

“I only said that because that’s what I thought you wanted,” Taehyung says, then chuckles lightly under his breath. He shakes his head slightly, thumb caressing the apple of Yoongi’s cheek. “I guess we’re both idiots, huh?”

“Guess so,” Yoongi hums, brushing a few light strands of hair away from Taehyung’s eyes. “Sucks for you. We’re stuck together forever, remember?”

Taehyung stares at him in confusion for a moment, then brightens as recognition flashes over his expression. “Holy shit,” he whispers, surprise evident in his growing smile. “You remember that? That was so long ago, hyung.”

Yoongi shrugs with one shoulder. “I don’t easily forget the things you say,” he says, flushing a little as he does. 

Taehyung just laughs brightly. “You’re cute,” he says, booping Yoongi’s nose. “Now, not to ruin the moment, but it’s raining and the door’s locked and I’d really like to give my super hot new boyfriend a celebratory blowjob. Think you’re up for that?”

Well. Who the hell is Yoongi to say no to that?

 

-x-

 

“Do you guys have to be so gross in public? Save it for when you get home or consider jail,” Jungkook complains, sulkily lacing up his roller skates. He grimaces at the way Taehyung’s lips are trying to fuse themselves to Yoongi’s neck while he sits on the banister of the rink.

“You’re being dramatic,” Yoongi replies flatly, smirking when he feels Taehyung laugh against his skin. “This is a party. Go find someone to make out with and leave us alone.”

Jungkook just crinkles his nose. “What’s that gonna do?” he mutters to his skates, frowning down at them like they’d just insulted him and his entire family.

“Leave them be, Jungkook-ah,” Jimin chides, rolling up behind him and drapes his arms around Jungkook’s neck. He throws a wink towards Yoongi and Taehyung, eyes glittering with mirth under the flashing disco lights. “They’ve been sneaking around for months and now they’re free. What else were you expecting?”

“A little less public indecency, maybe,” Jungkook says, crossing his arms. He pokes two of his fingers back and forth between them and his eyes. “I’m still kinda mad at you guys for doing that. You owe me so much pork belly as compensation for all my pain and suffering.”

“Great, put it on my tab!” Taehyung shouts over the music and makes a shooing motion at him. Jungkook just sticks his tongue out at them.

“C’mon, you sourpuss, let’s go find the birthday boy,” Jimin says, sliding his hands under Jungkook’s arms and hauls him to his feet. He waves at them before he skates away with Jungkook in tow, making a beeline for the bar on the other side where Hoseok and Seokjin are egging Namjoon on as he struggles to drink from a massive martini glass with sprinkles coating the rim.

Yoongi just watches them go, biting down a smile when he feels Taehyung pop open another button on his red silk shirt. “Hey, don’t unbutton the whole thing,” he chastises, pulling Taehyung’s hands away from his shirt and threads their fingers together instead. He only raises a brow when Taehyung pouts at him in response. “What? I don’t want to show everyone here my chest. Maybe Jungkook was right, we should tone it down a little.”

“But you look so sexy in your retro get-up,” Taehyung whines, but accepts the placating kiss Yoongi gives him. He moves in a bit closer, holding tightly onto Yoongi’s hand to prevent him from falling off the banister as he spreads his legs to accommodate him. “Maybe I just want to show you off, hyung. Let everyone know what they’re missing out on.”

Yoongi just rolls his eyes behind his sunglasses, wrapping an arm around Taehyung’s waist. “I don’t care about anyone else,” he says, staring up at him through his lashes. “The only eyes I want on my body are yours.”

Taehyung licks his lips. “Keep talking like that and we won’t even make it to watch Namjoon cut his cake,” he murmurs, lowering a hand to press his fingers into the inside of Yoongi’s knee.

Yoongi glances over his shoulder towards their friends. Namjoon’s seemingly given up on downing the entire martini, slumped in a seat at the bar while Jungkook and Hoseok have taken over the challenge and eagerly take turns passing the straw between them. Seokjin has his phone out to film the entire thing, and Jimin’s laughing against his side while he cheers the two of them on. What a bunch of idiots. He loved each of them so dearly.

“Well, it doesn’t look like they’ll be bringing it out anytime soon,” Yoongi drawls, turning to look back at Taehyung. His smile turns wolfish and he tugs on Taehyung’s shirt, nudging his chin towards the hallway behind him. “The bathroom over there has a lock. I checked earlier.”

“You’re an absolute fiend,” Taehyung says, amazed. He lifts Yoongi up by the thighs and plops him down on a nearby bench, hurriedly crouching down to undo the laces on his own skates. “God, I love you so much.”

“Yeah, yeah, me too,” Yoongi grins, catching Taehyung’s wrist when he reaches to pull off his skates, too. “No, don’t. I want them to stay on.”

Yoongi,” Taehyung whimpers, leaning his forehead against the top of Yoongi’s shin. Yoongi just chuckles and runs a hand through his hair. “You’re killing me here, baby.”

“Yeah, well, you can die in twenty minutes after I’ve had my way with you,” Yoongi says lowly, laughing when Taehyung drags him out of his seat and practically wheels him all the way to the bathrooms. 

Old habits die hard.