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“Point to the Kodiaks!”

“Bullshit! Foul! Foul!”

“You call that a foul? Pussies!”

A cloud of ice shreds up from where Jungkook's skates dig in and halt on the rink.

“Yeah, I call that fucking cheating!”

“Cheating? Bitch, that's called playing the game”

“Are you stupid? That was a cross-check!”

“That was clearly a normal check, and that guy's just too weak to fucking handle—”

The whistle blows, a cheap, plastic shrill that rattles in the cold air. The boys stop arguing.

“Shut up,” Namjoon calls, then gestures with his stick toward the north side of the rink. “Point to the Kodiaks.”

That makes it Metros: 1, Kodiaks: 3.

Jungkook clicks his tongue in disdain and makes sure to glare at the other team's goalie before skating back to his side.

“Fuck 'em,” Yoongi mutters to him when he gets there, voice raspy from having yelled across the wide rink moments ago. It's always Yoongi, it seems, getting involved in those aggression matches on the ice. That whole fiasco of who can yell louder than who, regardless of who's correct or not. In most cases both side are equally in the wrong, but Jungkook doesn't tell him that.

Instead he roughly pats Yoongi on the shoulder with a gloved hand and says, “Cool it, dude. We've got this.”

He knows better than to put himself up against the brunt of Yoongi's in-game rage. It might be fun to goad the guy from time to time, but it's best to save that for when they're off the rink, maybe during post-game night-outs or casual get-togethers.

Yoongi skates away to take his spot as left wing, and Jungkook steels his stance in centre position.

“You got this, Kook,” Namjoon says, standing atop the red centre line, puck held above the face-off dot. From beneath his helmet, hair sweaty, coarse strap digging in beneath his jaw, Jungkook gives him a cocky smile and nods.

“Don't gotta tell me.”

Then the Kodiaks' centre skates up to position, and Jungkook's jaw locks.

“This feels like cheating,” the guy says casually to Jungkook and Namjoon. “With the ref being on the same team as you guys and all.”

“It's not cheating,” Jungkook spits. “It's fair. We all decided we needed a ref.”

With a shrug and a laugh huffed through his nose he says, “Whatever. It's not like you guys could ever beat us, anyway.”

That familiar anger flares up in Jungkook. Again.

When considering the most frontally aggressive player of the Metros, Yoongi might come to mind. Often penalized for boarding, easily surpassing most players in the frequency of checks, constantly contending what counts as a foul and what doesn't. Yet aside from that, he's the most relaxed person Jungkook knows. There's just something about the competition that gets to him.

And it's no mystery that Jungkook feeds off the dynamism the match grants him, just the same as everyone else does. The power, punch, and passion, the poison for their addicted minds that can never get enough.

But while Yoongi might be tagged as truculent, he hates the game and not the player, as one should.

Jungkook is entirely the opposite.

Because there's just something about Kim Taehyung that gets to him.

“Just watch, Kim,” he snarls, the hot cloud of his threat hanging in the sub-zero air. “We'll plow you into the fucking dirt.”

With that arrogant smirk he's always seeming to wear, Taehyung crouches low as Namjoon readies the puck, and he slaps the blade of his stick against the ice. A challenge, which Jungkook responds to by doing the same. The plastic of their helmets almost crack together, provocation pinching their eyes which are already stinging in the cold, hockey sticks like crossed swords ready to swing. Ready to clash.

“I'd like to see you try,” Taehyung taunts just as the puck drops.

And the friction of their taped blades drags glimmering ice up into the air, kick-starting the play straight from the face-off.

 - - -

“Call that what you want, Jeon, but I'm calling that an unambiguous victory,” Yoongi says, throwing his sweat-soaked helmet into his duffel bag. Around them, on their half of the locker room, the other members of their team are all changing.

Jungkook shakes his head and responds, quieter than Yoongi because the other team is essentially in the same change room as them, only separated from view by a tall row of lockers, “That was pretty much a loss.”

While undoing the straps of his knee pads, Namjoon says, “The only reason we won is because Taehyung got reckless and got us a penalty shot.”

There's a brash laugh from the other side of the change room above the bumbling conversations, followed by the words, “Yeah, and then fucking boarded your little centre-position so hard he blacked out for a second!”

“Fuck off, Park!” Yoongi yells back across the room, voice echoing off the old walls. Still running on adrenaline, he shoots further insults at the other team, but Jungkook's tuning it out. Instead, he's recalling the admittedly embarrassing moment back on the ice, when the game was at a chance breakaway during a peak moment of the play—puck unguarded on the defending team's half. And even though Jungkook knew he was centre, and that the shot was most likely better left to one of the wingers, he couldn't resist the temptation of victory. It was right there.

But then Taehyung, centre for the other team, who also shouldn't be found really anywhere near the edges of the rink, was suddenly body-checking Jungkook straight into the boards.

It's not the fact that it hurt that makes Jungkook's lip curl at the recollection. It's not that it knocked his skull against the helmet's inner padding so hard that it may as well not have been there. It's not even the fact that it's illegal. It's the fact that Taehyung knows all that, and doesn't care. And it's that Taehyung doesn’t care only when it comes to Jungkook.

Why, he wants to yell. But he knows why. Because he'd probably do the same damn thing back to the guy the first chance he got. He'd go out of his way to smash the bastard against the walls so hard his nose gushed blood for hours. In fact, he has done that, a few times. And Taehyung's done the exact same to him. An age-old rivalry.

“The only reason you pussies won is 'cause the ref's on your side!” Hoseok joins in.

“Yeah? Then make the ref someone from your side and watch how we still beat your ass!” Namjoon shoots, also getting pulled into the strife that's more personal than anything.

“You'd fucking risk that, Namjoon?” Seokjin, Jungkook recognizes, calls.

It's a building calamity, a senseless shouting match over the barrier of lockers down the middle of the community centre's change room as the other members from both sides begin to join in. After every unofficial game held at the outdoor community rink, this seems to be the tradition.

“I'd like to see how you'd do if you didn't have those fucking penalty laws to hide behind!” Taehyung's recognizable deep voice shouts across the room.

Jungkook can almost hear the sneer in his tone. Can envision it with perfect clarity, that infuriating spark in his eye as he says something he thinks is clever or offensive or will get to Jungkook in any way. That expression he's been face-to-face too often with.

“You wouldn't live long enough to see it, Kim!” Jungkook hollers, irritation extending even to his fingers as he forcefully tugs at the straps of his shoulder pads.

Above the shouting he hears Taehyung's loud laugh, and that's all he gets. The lack of response makes him even angrier, if possible. Like the guy's simple existence makes Jungkook wants to punch a hole through a wall.

“Hey, Namjoon,” someone's saying—Jackson, the other main forward for the Metros. “Remember, tonight. At Seokjin's.”

“Oh, yeah. I'll be there.”

“Cool.” He points at Jungkook and Yoongi as he walks away backwards, bulky hockey bag slung over his shoulder. “You guys, too. Flake on me and I'll kill you.”

“Gotcha,” Yoongi chuckles, and then finishes zipping up his stuff.

It's only after Jackson leaves out the hefty double-doors, a cold gust of wind pushing in just before they swing shut, that Jungkook lets his frown show. Because he'd completely forgotten that tonight was a party at Seokjin's. Nothing against the guy himself, of course. Jungkook actually finds him to be one of the more tolerable members of the Kodiaks. As there are, indisputably, far worse people among them.

He'd rather not think about it though, and goes back to changing. Bustling about are the other team members, smelling like sweat and competition and youth.

“Later,” Jungkook says to Namjoon and Yoongi once he's done changing, gathering the last of his sweaty hockey gear and spearing his stick between the straps of his duffel bag.

Yoongi calls after him, almost as if he'd read his mind, “You'd better show, Jeon, or I'll go drag your bitch-ass to that party myself.”

In response he just gives an exasperated wave without even looking back over his shoulder before shooting Yoongi and Namjoon both the middle finger. Then he steps out of the run-down community league building and into the northern night, trying to think up some plausible excuse not to go.

 - - -

Something breaks and someone screams.

Here he is again. In the end, it's hard to say no to a party when the default response is a blunt yes. It's not that he's a traditionalist, by any means, because that term specifically alludes to some concept of dignity he just doesn’t possess. Rather, to say he's simply going with the motions might be a bit more accurate.

“You're fucking cheating, Jeon!” Taehyung yells over the music. Although at this point, it's merely noise.

“It's called winning,” Yoongi laughs back in his stead, high on victory, while Jungkook carefully throws the next ball. It arcs and lands with a pretty splash into one of the remaining cups on the other side of the table. Goal. “We'll teach you about it sometime.”

“You won't be teaching us jack shit,” Jimin spits, and knocks back the stuff in that cup, whatever it might be.

Here is beer pong with something other than beer on another weekday night. Again, not that it's much more respectable to call this going with the motions, but he'll do it anyway. It's more respectable than the truth, regardless.

“You got this, bro,” Jimin slurs, doing his best to sling his arm over Taehyung's tall frame, just around his broad shoulders. Not that Jungkook's willingly noticed that at any point; it's just he's been body-checked by those same shoulders so often that it'd be hard not to.

Taehyung tosses the ping pong ball with precision, eyes narrowed in the dark haze of Seokjin's basement. It plops into the cup right in front of Jungkook, and a bit of brown liquid sloshes up and onto Jungkook's shirt.

That makes it Jimin: 2, Yoongi: 3, Jungkook: 7, Taehyung: 8.

Fuck.

Who knows how many rounds they're in. Who cares that every other player has disappeared into some other corner of the house, probably getting even higher or even drunker or getting laid or something else. No, all that matters is that Jungkook hasn't missed a single shot yet, but neither has Taehyung. What matters is Jungkook's hand has been getting increasingly more unsteady at each toss, and the smoke is too hazy for him to see if Taehyung's the same.

What matters is he might lose.

Taehyung reaches across the short table while supporting his upper body with a lanky arm, skinny elbow protruding from beneath his draping shirt. Grabbing the ball out, pinched between two long fingers, he picks up the cup and swirls it in front of Jungkook's face.

“Drink up,” he taunts, and quickly leans back from the table when Jungkook swipes the cup with a sharp hand, knowing Jungkook well enough to expect the otherwise impending blow. “That's eight for me.”

With a quick toss of his head, Jungkook chugs the drink and tosses the empty cup onto the nearby cluttered counter with along the empty pizza boxes and sticky glasses. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and says, “Yeah? Watch me even it out.”

“Hey, dick, it's my turn,” Yoongi says with a shove to his shoulder, but Jungkook just waves him off, readying the ball.

“Yeah, yeah. Next turn.”

“Wh—” He tosses his hands up, knowing better than to attempt rationalizing fairness with Jungkook, specifically party-Jungkook, who is drunk and competitive, the latter a trait that especially worsens around Taehyung. “Fuck you. I'm gonna go find Namjoon.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook hums, not even looking up as Yoongi disappears into the hazy crowd of people, mostly other members from local hockey teams and their friends that they drag along.

“Pressure's on, man,” Jimin says to him, smirking as he leans and supports himself with one arm on the old, wobbly table. “Two-on-one.”

“And I'll still beat you guys,” Jungkook grunts, and tosses the ball in a wide parabola, thankfully straight into a cup. He won't admit it, but his palms are sweaty. Taehyung drinks that cup, and now there's only one left on the opposite side. One left on his. But winning's always been fun, so he smirks and says, “You can't even win when it's skewed in your favour.”

“Psh, please, I've beaten you one-on-one more than a billion times to prove that wrong,” Taehyung scoffs.

“So? Put your money where your mouth is, bitch.” He gestures between them. “One-on-one. Now.”

Taehyung laughs and fixes him with a gaze, even and challenging, perhaps condescending but more prominently infuriating. “Fair and square, huh, Jeon?” In his deep voice that carries nicely over the buzz of the lurid music and late-night crowd, he drawls, “That how you want it?”

Jungkook clamps his teeth and accidentally bites the outer edge of his tongue in his mouth. Knowing better than to answer that question, knowing there's probably no entirely safe answer, he instead gestures rudely to Jimin's mildly amused expression watching their interaction.

“Get your little boy-toy to fuck off, and then you can show me fair and square.”

Taehyung chuckles, and flicks the side of Jimin's head. “Scram, buddy.”

“Fucking assholes,” Jimin laughs at them both, then saunters off, swaying happily with his drinks, probably off to find Yoongi so they can banter get a bit too touchy and personal and both further act like they don't enjoy each others' company.

Jungkook would like to say he's doing this because he wants to. Truth is, he's never found beer pong fun, per se. There are too many negatives in getting caught up in these drinking games, that whole pissing contest of who can handle more than who. Who's the bigger man. It's stupid, because he can't remember anything beyond the first few hours into those nights, and he always wakes up with the worst hangovers the next day, and he has to stand here among this terribly suffocating crowd that only ever gets worse. It's not like hockey, where he's playing for the joy of it. It's not even that he's playing to win

The only real reason Jungkook's playing because he doesn't want to lose, not to Kim Taehyung.

“Boom,” Taehyung says as the ball lands in the single remaining cup, and slams a palm on the table. “Perfect shot.”

“That hit the rim,” Jungkook argues.

“Sure, whatever, shut up.” Taehyung again lifts the cup with a smirk. “Drink.”

The thing Jungkook hates about parties at Seokjin's place is that Taehyung sees the house as his makeshift territory. Like he has some valid pseudo-ownership over the entire place simply because he's on the same team as the guy that's hosting.

Taehyung already has no shame to begin with. And this sort of perceived superiority only makes it worse. Makes him worse.

Jungkook's not going to admit, though, that the reason he tries to avoid these parties is because of Taehyung. A million years could pass and he'd never even once consider admitting that Taehyung's the driving force behind his reason for doing anything.

He takes the cup from Taehyung's hand and, as he drinks it, looks over the rim right into the guy's dark eyes.

“Final shot,” Jungkook grunts as he drops that empty cup somewhere onto the dirty floor and tosses Taehyung a ball that was rolling loose on the table. “Make it good, Kim.”

“You know I will,” Taehyung promises in that rolling half-cut, arrogant tone.

Sometimes Jungkook thinks about what if might be like to punch Taehyung straight across the mouth, where those dumb lips meet at a corner and curl into that dumb smirk. Get him drunk enough, though, and he'll start thinking about what it might be like to bite those same pouty lips until they bleed. Just a notch before black-out drunk and he'll start thinking about what it might be like to suck the blood from those lips and revel in the twisted sexual victory.

The thing is, if sex is strength then Taehyung is the embodiment of power, and Jungkook's at the stage of drunk where he knows it, but is still of his mind enough to hate it. Call this stage two, from the first stage of I hate you to this foul-up case of I hate how sexy you are.

Because this might be a rivalry but Jungkook feels like he's the only one that knows what it's really about.

Taehyung's readying the ball, nibbling on his pink tongue. Whoever filled these cups did a sub-par job at best, and this final cup is filled substantially more than the others had been. Probably Hoseok's fault, with his distracted trust me I can do this talk while being too busy chatting with someone to actually focus on getting it right.

Looking down at this cup, Jungkook wonders if it might be his tipping point into stage three, which is, of course, the I'm sort of digging how sexy you are stage.

It's nothing worth concerning himself over, though, because Taehyung misses, followed with a spat fuck and a loose, good-natured chuckle at himself. That makes it nine-eight, for Jungkook, in case anyone other than them cares enough to count. Jungkook laughs loudly, drowned beneath the music, before picking up the last cup at shoving it in Taehyung's face.

“Drink, bitch!” he cackles, feeling the victory and loving it.

So Taehyung takes the cup and drinks. Slow.

Maybe it's because there had been more in that one, but it feels like an eternity that Jungkook's just standing there, watching Taehyung's lean throat work as he gulps it down, as some liquid runs from the corner of his lip and down his slender neck, soaking into the already damp shirt collar, probably from sweat and more alcohol.

“Good game, Jeon,” he's saying, as Jungkook realizes a bit too late. “Guess I'll have to beat you next time.”

And Jungkook just nods slowly, still catching up, watching the final drop of liquid drip and trace a narrow line down Taehyung's tan skin before he snaps back to the moment. “Fuck off,” he makes sure to spit before Taehyung laughs and walks off, flinging the cup on the table and disappearing into the mass of bodies.

The worst part of all this is sometimes there will be an oversight in the universal code and Jungkook's brain will unfairly jump to stage four when he's not even drunk enough to warrant it, short circuiting to start thinking fuck, Taehyung, you're so sexy, like fuck, fuck me now, just—

Until someone bumps into his shoulder from behind, saying whoa, watch it, man while they stumble through the dark basement, and the universe comes back into order as Jungkook recalls why he hates Taehyung while stumbling to get another drink and find his friends and maybe get another drink after that.

Again, just going with the motions.

Later, three shots of something later, he sees Taehyung again. Jungkook's leaning against a wall, mumbling things at some girl with wild hair in tight curls, fluffed up even worse in the humidity, and she's doing the same back to him, although a bit more respectably sober. But not by much. She's not what's holding Jungkook's attention, though. What's holding Jungkook's attention is the scene in the background.

People dancing. Hoseok, Jungkook barely recognizes, dancing with somebody. Hoseok dancing with Taehyung. Taehyung dancing. Taehyung. Fucking hell.

“Um, yeah man. Totally,” Jungkook slurs in response to the girl, but his eyes stay locked on the mass of people opening up to make room for the people dancing. There are, of course, more people than just Hoseok and Taehyung. But those two are all Jungkook's seeing.

Hoseok's laughing, rolling his hips and having fun, wiping beneath his nose every now and then. He moves gracefully, even with his mind hopped up like mad. Everyone knows it—he's captivating. A dance major, if Jungkook recalls correctly. But Taehyung.

Wide palm spread over Hoseok's comparatively dainty-looking waist, slightly taller frame moving carelessly in the heaving bass. Hips rolling, letting Hoseok knock his head back onto his chest and sway, arms up, loosely grinning and high as a kite. Taehyung's smiling, too, smiling because he's having fun, smiling because he's drunk and maybe on the same shit Hoseok's on, who knows. But mainly, he's smiling because Jungkook's looking, and he's looking right back.

It's not the first time they get caught in this game of glances, and knowing them, it definitely won't be the last.

Between them, everything, from body checks to sinful sexuality, is a weapon.

Jungkook looks at and loves the way Taehyung moves. Hopefully the guy won't remember this. He might, though. But it's fine, because there's a small, guilty part in Jungkook's mind that really hopes he does.

Taehyung raises his eyebrows at him. A question? A challenge.

“Hey,” Jungkook says to the girl with his eyes glued to the sharp cut of Taehyung's gaze. “You wanna dance?”

 - - -

“Wake up.”

“Nngh.”

“Seriously, dude, come on—”

“M-phff. No. Fuck—” Jungkook swats a hand about blindly. “Fuck off.”

A cold hand grasps his wrist and pulls him off the soft surface, rolling him over and exposing his face to the screaming light. “—Okay, come on, Jesus, you're heavy. They're gonna”—another rough tug and a grunt while this person tries to rip Jungkook's arm out of its socket—"gonna come around kicking people out soon.”

“Then let 'em. I don't give a shit,” Jungkook mumbles and rolls himself back over to tuck his head into the crook of his elbow.

“You gotta get up.

“Get outta my room.”

“You don't even fucking live here—”

“Then gimme a minute.”

“No goddamn joke, I will murder you—”

Just then, some other voice comes yelling into the vicinity, some deep voice, accompanied by hasty clapping. Jungkook has half the mind to lift his head and seem awake, attempting to look respectable at most, or just alive at least.

“Okay, everyone—leave. Yeah, you, too. S'right. Leave.” It's Taehyung, wearing a massive hockey jersey hanging loose like drapes from his body and a pair of boxers, pointing with his index finger up the stairs. “Like, now. Fuck off.”

“Told you, man,” Yoongi says from next to him.

“Oh, yeah? Did you?” Jungkook snips, and tries to sit himself upright while the world slowly follows the tilt.

But then Yoongi smacks the back of his head and Jungkook's arms give out again. “Don't give me lip, kid. S'like ten in the morning. I don't need this right now.” Jungkook responds with a pained groan with his face shoved back into the stained old suede of Seokjin's couch.

His head pounds like last night's music and movement. The thought of a scheduled morning class passes through his head as he flicks through the blank cards of memories. This couch may as well be his deathbed, minus the dramatics, of course. Here lies

“Jeon!” he hears, and immediately lifts his head. Leaning on the frame of the doorway to the stairs heading up from the basement, Taehyung's grinning and saying, “Last I checked, you don't live here.”

“Mm,” Jungkook grunts, and lifts himself to a sitting position quickly, as if that's going to prove something. It just makes his head spin. “Last I checked, you don't either.”

Taehyung laughs. People, clutching their heads and squinting, slowly lumber past him. “Touché. Your point?”

From the floor above, Seokjin's voice can be heard, yelling at people to leave his fucking house, yelling at how filthy they are, yelling at how drunk they got. Jungkook's conscience almost feels stricken at being one of the people he's currently berating, because Seokjin's the one guy from the Kodiaks he's able to respect in mild doses. But Jungkook's really no more troubled than he had been all the other times this has happened.

Taehyung goes on, speaking across the room to Jungkook while supporting his weight on the door frame, looking so shamelessly stupid standing there in his underwear yet somehow looking less stupid than Jungkook. “Unless you're planning on joining us for drills on the ice this morning, you should probably get moving like everyone else.”

Jungkook stares back and wonders if Taehyung remembers. The dancing. The looks. Getting close, close enough to touch, but not doing it. And then regretting it. Taehyung's half-naked in front of him right now, strong hockey skater calves fully exposed and thighs mostly showing from beneath those boxers. Glorious. Jungkook's still regretting it, not touching when there had been an excuse to.

Now he has a fucking image to maintain.

Yoongi lifts himself up from sitting on the coffee table, then pulls a stumbling Jungkook up by the arm, and starts walking toward the doorway. Shaking his head while muttering, “C'mon, you fucking mess.”

As Jungkook staggers past Taehyung, he bumps the guy's shoulder roughly with his own as if such an action would save him any face at all. In his mind, it's enough. There's not much face to save in the first place when he's rocking the trashed and hungover look better than the latest trend.

“Oh, and Jeon,” Taehyung says after him.

“What.”

“You're free to come along.”

“Where.”

“Drills.”

“No.”

“You sure?”

Jungkook turns around at the foot of the stairs. “I've got better things to do than practise drills with you Kodiak guys.”

“Well, if that's true, have fun, I guess.” Taehyung gives him an amused once-over, in the booze-stained shirt and mussed hair of his picture-perfect salad days. “But I've got a feeling it's not true.”

Jungkook just curls a lip and storms off, stepping heavily up the stairs.

“I'll see you?” Taehyung calls after him.

“Fuck off.”

He barks out an easy laugh. “Alright. Yoongi?”

“Sure thing,” Yoongi says, and lifts a hand in a casual wave. “Later, man.”

“Later.”

Outside the fusty atmosphere, away from the smell of sweaty hockey boys and cheap beer that most likely is an unavoidable constant on some level, in the joyous sun and its shimmering quality of the early hardened snowfall, Jungkook walks with crossed arms and clicks his tongue, glaring at Yoongi and hoping his rage is felt at the side of his skull.

“What,” Yoongi grunts after walking down the bright sidewalk in silence for a while.

Later?” Jungkook mimics. “The fuck does later mean?”

“Means what you think it means, idiot.”

“Wh—what? Are you. What?” Yoongi gives him a flat look, then chuckles at Jungkook's baffled expression, flailing his sluggish hands in an effort to prove a point. “With them? Fucking Kodiaks. Like. Again?”

Yoongi just shrugs. “Season's starting soon, man. Gotta practise.”

Jungkook huffs, giving up his anger. Yoongi's right. It's too early for anything.

“They're not bad guys,” Yoongi reasons. “One of the best teams of the college ones. You know it's good for us to practise with them.”

“You're only saying that 'cause you wanna fuck Jimin.”

Yoongi laughs. “Alright, fine. Whatever.” With a gentle bump against Jungkook's hip, he says, “At least I can admit that much, though.”

Jungkook shoves him, aiming for getting him to fall into the shallow snow but too tired to put any real force behind the motion.

The entire world seems unfairly happy, morning birds chirping like there's something worth chirping about and sun shining like there's something worth shining light on. Jungkook's just pissed off, hormonal and horny and also hungover, to top it off perfectly. Yoongi keeps walking toward the campus, a quick pace Jungkook has to trip over his confused feet to keep up with.

“How are you cool with hanging out with them?” Jungkook groans, and drags a hand down his morning-swollen face.

“It's just a bit of fun. Doing what we want.” Yoongi shrugs. “We're all just here to have fun.”

 - - -

A slam of the puck resounding through the night, loud like victory but not as loud as loss. Jungkook skates up to the boards and retrieves it, weaving back over the rink. He imagines players about him, dodging while handling his stick with precision. A little pirouette of the sport played out over the lines in the ice, baby blue and bright red.

Then he quickly whips around, and with a flick of the stick sends the rubber puck straight against the boards with a furious crack. A small black spot is left smeared on the lower edge of the plastic, right where it meets the ice. Right beneath the words written in thick black marker, over top the scraped-off layer of veneer to keep it permanent.

That's the Scoreboard. Not the real one, displayed up above the ice in the real stadium with flashing numbers and sponsor brands, but the community's illegitimate one. The spiritual one. The one where after each game played between the Metros and Kodiaks a tally is scratched in and marked.

Some other teams keep track as well, this trivial measurement of personal victory over one other, but never like these two teams have. Usually most fall off after a few months, dwindling enthusiasm that eventually amounts to a fuck it and forget it attitude, tossed aside the same way everything else is.

It's been over a year, and their Scoreboard is solid and still sticking around, a reminder like some steel bar jammed in Jungkook's spine. A t-chart riddled with tallies. More importantly, six more tallies crossed cleanly into the boards on the side under where it says Kodiaks, written in old, fading ink. Spelling out loss like some stupid taunt spat over the ice.

Jungkook retrieves the puck only to slam it back against the boards.

“That's sacrilege, you know,” someone says from behind.

Jolting, Jungkook stumbles as the blades of his skates catch the ice at a bad angle and dig in as he whips around. He stares, wide-eyed and huffing, trying to make out the figure leaned over the boards. The harsh white lamps buzz from way above, illuminating the ice but shadowing that person's face.

“Sorry,” the person continues, not sounding apologetic. “Did I scare you?”

“No,” Jungkook grunts, mildly relaxed but still put off when he recognizes who it is. He skates to retrieve his puck. “Why're you here, Kim?”

“Same reason you're here.” Taehyung reaches over the thick board to lift the frozen metal of the latch and opens the gate. Its slam as it closes, echoes almost too loudly in the quiet night. He skates beneath the light shining onto the ice with his stick in hand so Jungkook can see his smile when he says, “Midnight practice.”

“Since when were you one for midnight practice?” Jungkook slides the puck back and forth, skating around it while dragging it over the rough ice that the community volunteer will come resurface with a hose in the morning, before the sun rises.

“Since always,” Taehyung says, and leans back onto the boards. Just watching.

“Bullshit. I've never seen you around.”

“So maybe I come when you're not here.”

“Maybe.” Jungkook shrugs, and slams the puck against the boards again, this time not at the Scoreboard, but only a metre or two away from where Taehyung leans. The guy flinches at the loud impact, then calmly flicks the puck away with the edge of his stick. Slowly, it slides away on the rebound, and Jungkook skates up to bring it back to his spot a ways back from the boards.

“You should fuck off.”

“Ice ain't yours, is it.”

Once more Jungkook shoots the puck, saying nothing. The smeared mark it leaves is a bit farther away from Taehyung than last time, so the guy can't flick it out of the way. Again, Jungkook skates up and brings it back, all while Taehyung watches with amusement pushing at his cheeks and testing Jungkook's patience.

“You gonna actually practise?” Jungkook grunts, and the blade of his stick scrapes the ice as he hits the puck at a bad angle. Friction reduces the force behind the shot. He grits his teeth and wonders if Taehyung noticed. “Or you just here to watch?”

Instead of responding, Taehyung nods at the puck and says, “Want me to get that for you?”

“What?”

“The puck.”

Jungkook stands, slowly drifting backwards on the ice from extending momentum.

“Shot practice,” Taehyung clarifies, and skates to the puck and lightly sends it back to Jungkook. “It's easier with two people.”

Jungkook nods. There's another reverberation of the puck against the boards bounding into the dark night, away from where they stand so lit up under the rink lights.

“Nice shot,” Taehyung says.

“What?”

“I said nice shot.” A quick flick of the stick and Taehyung sends the puck back.

Jungkook nods again, not even aware enough of what he's thinking of this to begin putting it into words.

“Here,” he blurts after a few more shots, and passes the puck to Taehyung and skates to lean against the boards instead. “Have a go.”

Taehyung's a good shot. Maybe better than Jungkook, maybe not. The only way they've ever measured themselves against each other is through fouls and half-passable body checks, all really depending on the opinion of the ref. What's too violent and uncalled for, what's completely in the right.

The puck hits beneath the Scoreboard, where some marks from Jungkook's shots remain.

“Didn't you say that was sacrilege?” Jungkook sends the puck back.

“Only if your team's the one losing,” Taehyung chuckles, and again whips the puck forward.

Jungkook just gives him a glare. There's something odd about right now that he can't pinpoint. The rhythmic echo of the slap, scuff, slide sound as the puck goes back and forth, between Taehyung's stick to the board to Jungkook's stick, then again to Taehyung's stick. Back and forth.

“We'll change that,” Jungkook promises as he passes the puck.

It slides over the ice, and Taehyung catches it beneath the blade of his stick and glides it side to side, readying it. He's not wearing the typical hockey gear Jungkook usually sees him in on the ice, with bulky shoulder pads and a swathing jersey with the block letters Kim written out over a big 9. It's not the usual t-shirts he wears at parties, either, that hang loose off his bones and are easy to air out when the atmosphere gets too sweltering. Just a light fall jacket, like Jungkook, and jeans tucked beneath the black tongue of his hockey skates, frayed laces wrapped and tied haphazardly.

It feels odd, really, which is all Jungkook can again make of this.

“Will you now?” The puck slaps the walls, again. “Doubt it. Kodiaks won the season last year.” Jungkook sends it back using far greater force than a typical pass and glares again, which Taehyung just grins back at like always.

“You won't win this year.”

“Who says?”

“There's no way you can.”

“Who says?”

“'Cause we'll win.”

“Who says?” Taehyung has the cheek to repeat.

“No team's ever won two years in a row.”

Taehyung snaps his stick and the puck whips through the air, low just over the ice, and hits the boards with a rattling bang. He smirks at Jungkook and tells him, “Then maybe we'll break some records.”

Collecting the puck and keeping his hard stare on Taehyung, Jungkook shoots it back.

“Not if we can help it.”

“Yeah?” Snap, and the puck flies forward. Bang on the boards. “You're good, Jeon, I'll admit that. But you gotta practise to get better.”

“Then what do you call this?” Skid, and Jungkook returns it again.

“I'll call this training, maybe.” Snap, bang. “Actual practising—it's like rehearsal. Getting ready for the real deal. With your team. You know, like this morning.”

Jungkook gets the puck beneath his taped blade and keeps it there. “You guys have a fucking group practice or something?”

“It was fun,” Taehyung says with a shrug. “A few people—some from the Metros, some from the Kodiaks, also some from the Falcons, I think. Maybe some from the Cascades.”

“Falcons suck.”

“Okay, yeah. Whatever. Point is, it was fun.” He says it in a voice like Jungkook doesn't know what that is.

“You're saying?”

“I'm just saying”—Taehyung begins to skate backward, knees bending, body swaying, stick held in both hands and crossed over his body—"join us?” he finishes before he's too far back, voice still carrying well over the nighttime silence of the quiet rink.

“Why would I?”

Taehyung rolls his eyes. “Pretty tough for your teammates to play when their main centre's fucking AWOL.”

“Guilt card, huh? That's how you're playing?”

“Not playing nothing. I just miss a good challenge.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook scoffs.

Now leaning against the boards opposite Jungkook, Taehyung laughs. “Believe what you want, man. But you and I both know we're each other's best competition.” A creak of the frozen hinges as Taehyung pushes open the gate. “Anyway. I've got to get going. But I'll see you around, probably.”

Just like that, he leaves Jungkook alone under the hush of the black sky, walking into the darkness and away from the glaring white lights of the rink with a wave thrown over his shoulder. Jungkook can barely see him as he picks up his shoes he must have left just outside the boards and quickly undoes his skates.

Had that just happened? Being alone again, it almost feels surreal. A half-civilized conversation with Kim Taehyung, the guy appearing and reappearing before Jungkook could even really think to spit any insults.

He skates forward nearer to the centre of the rink and goes back to shooting the puck forcefully against the boards, this time trying to give it some air so it hits closer and closer to the scribbled t-chart that Taehyung, thinking he's so fucking high and mighty, had pointed out.

Sacrilege. Get that.

 - - -

“Two sevens.”

“Bullshit.”

“Flip 'em.”

Sure enough, two sevens: one club and one diamond.

“Fuck,” Namjoon grunts, and picks up the entire stack of cards to add to his hand.

“Loser.” Yoongi tosses his head back to get the last dregs from his beer can, then chucks the thing to clatter into the corner of the room.

“Don't fuck up my dorm.”

“Yeah, yeah. Jungkook, go.”

Jungkook flicks a nine, face down. “One ace.”

Yoongi puts down a card. “Deuce.”

Two from Namjoon. “Two threes.”

Jungkook puts down a five, and eight, and a ten. “Three fours.”

“Five.” Yoongi puts down a card. Asks out the blue, “You have pot?”

“Not here,” Namjoon says and tosses another onto the coffee table. “Six.”

“Where?” Jungkook puts down a king and a two. “Two sevens.”

“Bullshit,” Yoongi says, and flips those two false cards. “Hah.” And he hands the entire stack to Jungkook. Then he starts the pile again, a card placed face down. “One ace.”

“Seokjin's house,” Namjoon says. “And bullshit.” A flip of Yoongi's card to reveal a jack, which he takes back begrudgingly. And now Namjoon's the one to start the pile. “Three aces.”

“A two,” Jungkook says. “Why there?”

“Three,” Yoongi says, and cracks open another beer.

“Two fours,” Namjoon says. “And because if I keep it here I might get caught.”

“Five.”

“Mm. So let's go there,” Yoongi says. “Uh... Here, six.”

“Seven,” Namjoon says. “You wanna?”

“No way, man.” Jungkook puts down two random cards and says, “Two eights—That house is like the Kodiaks' nest. Belly of the beast. You know?”

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “They're not even that bad, Kook. We're only rivals on the ice.”

“Seokjin's cool, maybe,” Jungkook mutters.

“You're being dumb. Seokjin and I are literally friends. You've talked to him, even; you know he's cool.”

“He's just being gay over Taehyung,” Yoongi laughs. “Whose turn is it?”

“Am not,” Jungkook spits. “Yours.”

“Kay. Uh.”

“Nine,” Namjoon reminds.

“Right. One nine.”

“Now I want my weed,” Namjoon groans instead of playing a card.

“I mean. We could go to Seokjin's.” Yoongi says it slow, waving his beer in the air before him while he gestures with his hand. “He told me they're having a small thing there tonight. Let's just crash it.”

“It's not crashing if he told you. That's just called a fucking invitation. And Hoseok was telling me some shit, too. Told us to come, just like, not the whole team.”

“So why don't we?”

Jungkook cuts in, “Since when are you guys friends with these losers?”

“A while. Since they gave us a safe off-campus place to smoke,” Yoongi says, and claps his hands in front of his face. Jungkook smacks them away with a grimace. “Get with it, Jeon.”

“Are we gonna go?” Namjoon asks.

“We could.”

“I—” Jungkook flicks through his cards, then looks at the card on top of the pile that Yoongi said was a nine and Jungkook knew was probably not a nine but truly didn't care enough about the game to call out bullshit. “I guess.”

“I mean. Are we having fun?”

“This is sort of fun?”

“Is this fun?”

 - - -

So, another night at Seokjin's house, because he's the only guy they know who has his own place. It's shitty and old but it's not a dorm room and that's all that matters.

Louder than loud. Hotter than hot. But better than worse. All over again.

“This is a fucking 'small thing'?” Jungkook asks Yoongi when he finds him, quoting his earlier words and giggling.

Yoongi just laughs back too loudly with pupils thickened by the atmosphere and whatever else he's got coursing through his system. “This is whatever you want it to be!”

The person snaking his arms around Yoongi's body says over him, “You having fun, Jeon?” It's Jimin, Jungkook recognizes through the heady darkness, his chin resting on Yoongi's shoulder and holding Yoongi steady while the guy's eyes practically roll in his head from whatever drug he shouldn't have taken.

“Time of my life,” Jungkook just responds, tone a little dry but still excited. This night could use a little more. Just something a bit more painful and a bit more bitter to wash down the scratchiness in his throat from the smoke in the air. In his lungs. It's good but it could be better.

“That's the spirit,” Jimin laughs, and tightens his hold on Yoongi. Jungkook can't even remember he's supposed to be hostile to the guy. When he staggers off to get another drink, he just pats Jimin on the shoulder, mumbling something about making sure to take care of Yoongi or perhaps something else.

It's when he's leaning on the wall, in the space behind the imposing subwoofer, looking out over the quaking mass of people, that Taehyung approaches him. Like he's out of nowhere. One minute Jungkook's alone and contemplating whether to go back to his dorm or to grab another drink and find a mouth to make out with and forget about the next day, and the next minute Taehyung's leaning over the boxed leather of the speaker saying, “Hey, Jeon. Looking for company?”

Sober Jungkook might say no, might follow it with a fuck off, might let himself get swamped by the impulse of antagonism over the fact that Taehyung seems to think he's better than him. But sober Jungkook is gone, lost somewhere in the sweaty, parted spaces between Taehyung's hair as it falls over his forehead, fetching glimmers off the lights.

So he says, “Why not?” and lets his tension fall back against the wall, lets his eyes wander over Taehyung's face, down his body, over his pleased grin as he hands Jungkook a drink. He takes it and tilts it toward him in a toast, a thanks. “Appreciate it.”

“Nah,” Taehyung says, and Jungkook esteems how the guy's throat moves as he says it, how his Adam's apple bobs as he drinks. Jungkook barely has the focus to think that—fuck, this might be stage four already. Then Taehyung takes another gulp and he forcefully kicks that thought to the curb.

“What do you want, Kim?” he hears himself asking. “You wanna play, or something?”

He's referring to their usual drinking games that ten times out of ten devolve into a personal contest, but it's only after he says it that it sounds miraculously suggestive. If only he could steer that thick tone so well when sober.

Taehyung chuckles, “You could say that.” And he leans farther over the subwoofer, closer to Jungkook. Closer. “You didn't show up.”

“—Hm?” Jungkook blinks at the change of topic, and realizes he'd been staring at Taehyung's lips. He looks up, to his eyes.

“Practice,” Taehyung clarifies. And yeah, Jungkook vaguely remembers Namjoon mentioning something about that, sometime during the week. Very vaguely.

He shrugs. “Didn't interest me.”

“Solo practice is never as good.”

“What do you know what's good.”

“Really, I'll prove it.” Taehyung reaches forward and grabs Jungkook's drink, places it on the flat surface of the speaker so the liquid inside ripples from the quivering bass. “One-on-one.”

“Now?”

“When else?”

“I'm sorta drunk.”

“All the better.” The dim lights barely show Taehyung's fake fawning smile, innocent eyes. “I can take it—Can't you?”

Like he knows what buttons to press. Jungkook pushes himself off the wall, and Taehyung stands up straighter off the speaker when he does so.

“You know jack shit what I can take,” Jungkook spits, and starts down the hall toward the front door. When he passes by Taehyung, he says, “Grab skates. Sticks.”

“For us both?”

“Said it yourself, didn't you, Kim? One-on-one,” Jungkook calls down the hall, walking backward, chin jutted in a challenge. Laughing, Taehyung gives him a sarcastic salute and rushes to the closet where Seokjin lets some members of the Kodiaks, including Taehyung, keep their gear.

Jungkook stumbles over a bump in the stained carpet on his way out, then wonders why he might ever find this a good idea. Then Taehyung comes running up the hall behind him, handing Jungkook a stick and a pair of skates by the knotted laces, and before he wrenches the door open with a suffering creak he says Bet I can beat you to the rink with a wide grin and pretty pupils.

And, oh right, that's why.

 - - -

Jungkook likes this. (He might never admit it, but that non-admittance goes for a plethora of other things, as well.) Everything about it—the surge of adrenaline dilating his arteries, flexing his muscles, a fierce blush on his cold cheeks as blood rushes to his skin as he, just the same, rushes, rushes, rushes over the ice in this ballet of a competition. There's no pain when Taehyung slams into him, no pain as he does it right back. Only more of the thrill.

“I'm too drunk to be doing this,” Jungkook had muttered while struggling to lace up his skates, to which Taehyung had just laughed all airy and light and responded, “You're too sober not to.”

It's like saying no excuses. You play the game and you win the game and you lose the game but you never, ever quit the game.

Slam the puck against the boards and scrape the stick on the ice. Cut marks into the rink, blades cutting deep in a trace of the dance, marks only to get resurfaced over come morning. They're slicing beauty into the night, again under the buzzing lights high above the rink. The makeshift Scoreboard scrawled onto the boards, some symbol of curated status among the players, among the teams. But that's between the Metros and Kodiaks. The most jarring part is that for the first time it doesn't feel like it's between Jungkook and Taehyung. More so among them.

Taehyung yells, “You call that your A game?” as he body checks Jungkook and skates off with the puck.

There's a great possibility of shattered skulls and split skin, doing this without padding or helmets. What the world's forgetting, though, is that they're young and neither the rules of injury nor physics apply to them. If they wanted to they could soar to the far-off moon and even beyond, to the stars that are invisible beyond the glaring white lights that leave spots in their vision.

“Step it up, Kim! Eight, six—you're falling behind!” Jungkook laughs when he scores another shot on the unmanned net on Taehyung's side.

Eventually they lose track, the alcohol in their blood dissipating, falling deeper and deeper into the night, with the only thing keeping them on Earth the severed breaths from their mouths, clinging hot in the air.

Then to slow down with exhaustion, letting the world catch up after their reckless race forward.

“You're not bad,” Taehyung huffs, bending over, putting his hands on his knees and dipping his head, trying to swallow moisture back to his dry throat. “Not—not bad at all.”

“—You too,” Jungkook coughs, and drops his stick on the ice, leaning back on the boards for support.

“Told you—fuck—told you this is better,” he hacks, and spits onto the ice.

“Gross, dude,” Jungkook grunts, but then does the same, clearing his throat of snot from the cold and exertion, which makes Taehyung laugh between harsh pants. “Better than what?”

“Than solo practice.”

“Mm,” Jungkook breathes, lungs gradually stopping their spasms. “Sure.”

“Sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah?” Taehyung, from where he's bent over at the waist, looks up at Jungkook through his sweaty hair, eyebrows raised, tongue poking between his teeth in an amused expression.

Jungkook narrows his eyes. “What.”

“Nothing.” He shakes his head and stands up straight, skating around slowly while Jungkook still leans on the walls. “I'm surprised, is all.”

“At what?”

“You.” A miniscule sense of pride swells in Jungkook's chest, but he tells himself it's just from his laboured breathing. Taehyung goes on, “Like I knew you were good and all. I mean, fuck, the Metro guys trusted you enough to put you as main centre before you'd even been there a year. You know how long it took me to get centre, man? Like, pretty much till the end of my second year! And even then, it wasn't permanent like it is now.”

“So you're saying I'm better than you?” Jungkook drawls.

“Wrong. I'm saying you're good. That's all.” He shrugs while skating a picture of slow figure eights into the ice, and then winks at Jungkook. “Don't read too much into it.”

The head-rushing adrenaline of the game is fading, and he's not as dizzied by alcohol as he was before. Maybe it's keeping him a little warm, at best, as the wind chills the sweat on his body. Jungkook again finds himself wondering why he'd come here in the first place.

Then Taehyung leans against the boards next to him and gives him a cheeky smile. “That was fun,” he says, and being this close Jungkook recalls his hasty reasoning once more—Taehyung. It's really the best way he can think to put it. “We should do this again sometime.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook finds himself agreeing. “Why not?”

 - - -

“Uh. Coffee, I guess.”

“Coffee's good here.” The lady nods. She writes something down on her pad. Probably the word coffee. “What else?”

“Uh.”

“Eggs are good here.”

“Eggs, then. Thank you.”

“No problem, kid.” The lady walks off and leaves Jungkook twiddling his pencil at his table.

He checks the time again. 9:05. He's been here since six in the morning, not so much out of choice, but only because this twenty-four hour diner is the only place open at such a time. Eight cups of coffee in, and it's not even that good of coffee. He'd only agreed with the waitress because it seemed polite to do.

There's not much hope for the eggs, either, but his leg is jittering in that horrible way that comes with no sleep and too many blood-shocks of cheap espresso, so he figured food might be his second best bet. Sleep is, of course, first, but that's off the table. This is due in eight hours. He's done next to nothing.

He scribbles something on his outline, types half a sentence, researches something, and then finishes that sentence. His eggs eventually come and he shovels them into his mouth after sipping that bitter coffee, staring blankly at his laptop screen.

“You trying to kill yourself?” someone's saying, standing next to Jungkook's booth table.

For a moment he thinks about saying yes but properly figures that might be being extravagant.

“I think self-improvement is a better way to phrase it.”

Jungkook looks up and sees it's Taehyung there. Not that he didn't know; he'd recognize that voice in a windstorm. And for some reason he's not surprised that, yet again, Taehyung's appeared out of nowhere.

Taehyung laughs. “Oh, the woes of"—and he plops down in the seat across Jungkook, then picks up his paper and scans over it before throwing it back on the table—"business majors.” Then he flicks the spoon on Jungkook's plate so it spins around the edge. “But I was talking about the eggs.”

“What about 'em?” Jungkook shrugs and grabs the plate, shoves another spoonful of rubbery scrambled eggs into his mouth. Through a mouthful he says, “They're fucking eggs.”

“They're shit. Like—killer level.”

“What do you know?”

“I made 'em, cumwad.”

“How?” Jungkook furrows his brow.

“I work here.”

“Oh,” Jungkook says, and puts the plate of eggs back down. Pushes them toward Taehyung. “You're right. They're shit.”

Laughing, Taehyung grabs the spoon and pushes the loose bits of eggs around the plate. “I'm surprised you didn't know. That I work here.”

“Why the fuck would I know that?”

“Hm.” He pauses, then concedes, “Dunno. This is just where a lot of the guys come, post-game. My parents give 'em discounts on shit. Food sucks, so I dunno why bother, but I guess they like it.”

“Your parents?”

Taehyung takes a bite of Jungkook's eggs. Rude. “Owners,” he explains.

“Ah.” Jungkook looks back at his essay, at his half-finished sentence cutting off the end of a paragraph, and then pushes the screen halfway down so he can see across the table better.

“Don't get out much, huh? I guess you really are as antisocial as they say,” Taehyung says through another mouthful of eggs—Jungkook's eggs.

“Fuck whoever says—”

“Oh, right, right.” He raises his hands in mock defense and cocks his head with a grin. “What would you prefer I call it? Selective hatred?”

Jungkook glares at Taehyung, who just takes another huge bite of eggs.

“Yes? No?”

Another bite, and he points with the spoon at the half-eaten plate of eggs while Jungkook keeps up his glare.

“Can I finish these?”

And Jungkook glares even some more but Taehyung just stares back, amusement twinkling in his eyes even though his mouth is too stuffed to show a smile.

In the end, Jungkook can only roll his eyes and sigh. “Go ahead, man.”

 - - -

“Where were you?” Yoongi asks him.

“Just,” Jungkook says, and sits down. “Studying.”

“Said you'd be in the library earlier. Wasted my goddamn time for you.”

“Yeah. Sorry.” He drops his bag on the floor and pulls out a few books and his laptop. Then he hands Yoongi the mug of coffee he'd gotten from the diner. “Here.”

The mug, of course, is not his. It's Taehyung's, who'd lent it to him when Jungkook said he had to get going and there was still a near-full cup of coffee left. But dude, you paid for it, just take the mug, I'll get it back later, Taehyung had said, and Jungkook halfway hates himself that the only reason he accepted was because of that later. Because that coffee is worse than bad but Taehyung might be the slightest bit better than he'd originally thought.

He won't tell Yoongi that, though.

“Shit coffee from a shit friend,” Yoongi mutters when he takes a sip. “Thanks.”

“Anything for you,” Jungkook laughs.

He tries to write his paper. Yoongi sits and focuses on his work and Jungkook really tries to write his paper for the second time that day. But it's not working. His head. His fucking head's not working. He types out a word beginning with a t and then an a and e and h will just follow until he realizes he's slowly chicken pecking Taehyung's name with one finger into the middle of his essay. And no matter how quickly he presses backspace, the thought won't leave.

He'd always known Taehyung looked good—everyone with at least a mild interest in dick would know that. (Jungkook's not stupid, he's just too proud to admit anything, there's a difference.) But now he knows more, and that's the problem.

Now he knows the mellow quality of Taehyung's laugh beyond the jagged, acrostic sneer he'd always heard, tainted by competition. Now he knows the contagious effect of his smile, how it would show up so easily on his face at anything Jungkook said, making him have to put in extra effort to keep from grinning like an idiot right back. Now he knows the way Taehyung makes him feel comfortable, enough to go straight ahead and do just that, showing his teeth and laughing like an idiot.

You're really not so bad, Jeon, he'd said today, just as he was leaving. And thanks for the eggs. And then later the waitress came by and told Jungkook that his coffee and eggs were all on the house and Jungkook's debt-riddled student bank account almost cried and really, he's thinking—

“Jeon, the fuck are you grinning about?” Yoongi snickers.

“What?”

“Stop grinning to yourself. It's creepy.”

Fuck. He realizes he's blushing, too. And his essay is nowhere near done, and he has three hours left. And he's still thinking of Kim Taehyung, who he really wants to hate, but finds himself unable to do so quite right.

“Just thought of something funny,” he mumbles.

“Mm. Bored?”

“Yeah. Just having a shit time. This fucking essay,” he says, almost pathetically.

“Word,” Yoongi just mutters under his breath, and keeps at his work.

His essay ends up being about a thousand word short, and when later skimming through it he catches two instances where Taehyung had been written, once in place of tertiary and once in place of trade, most likely when he was blanking out and almost drooling on his laptop. In his head, he pretends it's all Taehyung's fault, because that's just what he's used to doing.

 - - -

Competition brings out the best and the worst in people.

“You fuck, I swear to God, I'll slit your throat—”

Yoongi is a prime example.

“Come at me, bitch, I'll take you single handed—”

Seokjin's another good one.

“Guys—”

“Shut your fucking mouth—”

Jimin's another.

And some people, like Hoseok, prefer to watch and laugh, practically getting off on the regression of mind.

Point is, anger is an ugly thing, and Jungkook's no stranger to it.

It's another dry run game the boys have set up to prepare for the upcoming start of the season. To get better. Get angrier. Whichever. Hoping for another tally in their favour on the Scoreboard. Assembling around the rink lines, splitting fresh tracks on the newly resurfaced ice. An impromptu game in the spilling morning light.

It's time for the face-off, and the face-off means more than just team versus team. It's player versus player. At least in Jungkook's mind. He wonders if it's the same in Taehyung's as well, but then stops himself. You don't wonder about the competition, at least not like that. The proper way to wonder might be over strategy, expectation, what to anticipate, how to counter it.

He skates up to the centre dot. Taehyung's already there. They get face-to-face, eye-to-eye, helmet-to-helmet, Namjoon holding the puck right in between and a little above. Ready for the drop.

Taehyung smiles. “Don't think I'm gonna go easy on you now 'cause we're cool or whatever.”

With that, he voices what Jungkook's been thinking about. Wondering about.

“Oh, you thought we were cool? Please,” Jungkook scoffs, mostly for show, and slaps his stick on the ice like a promise he needs to remind himself to keep.

“Ready to get your ass beat?”

“My line, Kim. My line.”

Then Namjoon makes the call and the puck drops.

It's not different. Really, nothing is different. People still go over the top, Yoongi yells something, Seokjin board checks him, almost gets a penalty but everyone decides they don't give enough of a shit, Yoongi deems it unfair, then ends up doing the same thing and board checks some other sucker. So no, nothing's different.

But that's a lie, at least for Jungkook. Because his head's in the game, that's for sure. But his mind's on Taehyung. Eyes on the puck, mind on Taehyung. Heart on the goal, mind on Taehyung. Everything the guy does seems almost magnified now that Jungkook can tack on a personality and quirky sense of humour to what used to just be a pretty face with a cocky attitude.

Taehyung's quick when he skates, with motions like a body of air gliding over the ice. Focused beauty that Jungkook's too enraptured by.

Which isn't good.

This play ends with Taehyung shoulder-checking Jungkook and swiping the puck from his possession, then skating bullet-speed to the other side and passing it to a winger, who scores dead-straight on the Metros' net. Then he holds his stick high above his head and howls with the rest of his team, but his eyes are on Jungkook across the rink, familiar sneer glinting in the crisp morning.

Huh. So Taehyung wants to play.

So Jungkook makes it extra personal. His position as centre kicked right to the curb, possessing the whole rink, skating so fast the blades stutter against the ice. When Taehyung gets the puck Jungkook is right there, hitting Taehyung's side so hard he reels despite the fact he's so used to it.

“Weak game, Kim,” Jungkook grunts, making sure to slow down enough so the guy hears it before he skates off with the puck.

That gets the Metros a point, of course. What irks Jungkook is the ring of Taehyung's laughter that can still be heard over his team's cheering. Get to know the game's competition and it stops being about just the game. This is between them and they both know it.

“You guys are even farther up each others' asses than normal,” Yoongi says to him between periods. “What the fuck's up?”

“You know—Just playing the game,” Jungkook mutters, distracted by the way Taehyung's taunting eyes keep flitting toward him from his side of the rink.

Games like these, ad lib morning prop-ups on whatever day feels right, never get the whole team to show up. Usually it's just the serious ones. So at the start of the next period only a few members switch out, and Jungkook stays as centre. And on the Kodiak's side, so does Taehyung.

That's probably a bad thing, so hyped up on adrenaline and that punching desire for victory, only to keep running with no breaks. Fuel for the fire, fuel for the flare-up.

At this point, Jungkook probably should be in pain. Covered in bruises. But the atmosphere is cold and the game is burning.

At the face-off Jungkook thinks of saying something, but saves it. He feels like he can prove it all later. He just diverts back to the old jeer and Taehyung does the same.

Then they're off. Taehyung wins the face-off, his team rushing with the puck, but possession's going back and forth in no time. And then back, and then forth, and then back again. It gets hectic and messy, and really, you can't blame anyone for it, not really.

Except maybe Jungkook, but whatever.

“Penalty!” Namjoon calls.

Blame aside, it happens anyway.

Fuck.

“Great fucking job, Kook!” he hears Yoongi yell across the ice.

“Fucking idiot,” Namjoon snickers, and smacks the top of his helmet. “Bench, kid.”

“Yeah, yeah,” he grumbles, and skates indignantly toward the benches near the exit of the rink while another member of his team skates past him with a pat on his shoulder to take over as centre.

So he's sitting on the benches, blankly watching the game carry on while chewing on his tongue in anger. Someone sits next to him.

“Nice going, dude.”

“Don't gotta hear it.”

Jungkook looks to his side, and it's Taehyung. Helmet held in his hands and hair plastered and sweaty.

“Fuck off.”

“Aw, but the other benches are full.”

It's true. Jungkook has no argument. “Gonna rub it in my face, then?” He grimaces and mutters, “Penalty.”

“Nah.”

Jungkook's looking at Taehyung, and Taehyung's looking at the game. He's glad for it, because this way Taehyung doesn't catch the loosening tension in his shoulders, the upward tug of his lips. “Why are you off?”

“Ankle,” Taehyung says, and points to the foot he has lifted up onto his knee, still wearing a heavy skate.

“Shit,” Jungkook mutters. “Did I do that?”

Taehyung just waves a hand, saying, “Don't worry about it,” while straightening up to see the game playing out on the ice better.

“Sorry,” Jungkook still says.

“Nah.” And Taehyung gives him a smile, an honest, friendly one. Even after Jungkook smashed him full-body into the boards and apparently even destroyed his ankle.

“Sorry,” Jungkook says again.

They sit next to each other, Jungkook's fingers thumping over the plastic visor of his helmet clasped in his sweaty hands. The worst part of this is Taehyung seems so casual about everything, while Jungkook isn't even sure of what it is he's unsure about. It's a persistent state of limbo, somewhere in the cracks of their petty rivalry that got squandered by a few admittedly pleasant interactions.

Before long, it's the start of the third and final period, and Jungkook still hasn't thought of any way to start a conversation with Taehyung.

Hoseok, a defenceman from Taehyung's team, skates over, followed by Seokjin, a winger, by Jungkook's knowledge. Great, a fucking mob to rub the fault in. “We need you back on. Jeonghan's being a pussy, says he's tired.”

Looking at Hoseok, all Jungkook can think of was the one night a few weeks ago when the guy had been essentially rubbing his ass on Taehyung's crotch while blasted out of his mind. The memory makes Jungkook grip the latch on his helmet tighter, makes him all the more aware of Taehyung's presence on the bench right next to him.

“I—Man, I dunno...” Taehyung says sheepishly, and his hand clutching over the high part of his skate around his ankle tightens. Guilt floods Jungkook, but he says nothing, and instead pretends he isn't hearing anything.

“That bad?” Seokjin asks with a furrowed brow, then leans with his elbows braced on the board. “Take off your skate, see if it's swollen.”

“No, no, I—” Taehyung chuckles uneasily, and Jungkook feels Taehyung's gaze flit to him. Still, he pretends not to be interested.

And then Yoongi skates over, too, making Jungkook feel even more like a total asshat by saying, “What's the hold up? Come on. Play's starting.”

“Taehyung's hurt.”

“Shit, how?” Yoongi asks.

Taehyung gives an uneasy grimace of a smile and shakes his head. “Really guys, it's nothing, I just fell while practising a few days ago and sometimes it—”

“It's 'cause Jungkook, isn't it?” Yoongi says flatly, which finally gets Jungkook to stop staring at the ground and look up to give Yoongi a glare.

“Look, I fucking said I was sorry—” he blurts.

Yoongi goes on as if he hadn't heard. “All Jungkook's fault, 'cause he's such a competitive pig when it comes to—”

“It was a fucking accident—

“—these games, and he just can't handle his rage—”

“Oh my God, Yoongi, I'll kill you—”

“Guys, it's fine,” Taehyung cuts in. “I'll be good by the next game.” He looks at Hoseok a little apologetically. “Tell Jeonghan he'll just have to suck it up.”

“Alright, man.” Before he skates away, Hoseok says over his shoulder, “And get that checked, hey?” Taehyung gives him a nod in return.

“I'll drive you home afterward, if you need,” Seokjin tells him.

“Oh—Nah, man, I don't wanna be a burden—”

“You're not. Really, we need our centre in good shape.”

“I—”

“You know,” Yoongi interrupts, “ankle injuries are no joke. It could really get bad.”

“I know,” Taehyung admits. “I'll stick around till the game's done, check it then. Just hurts to try untying it, is all.” And he motions at his skate.

Shaking his head, Yoongi says, “Not good, man. And it's this kid's fault, too.” Jungkook feels his nose wrinkle in anger before he consciously smooths it over, fixes his expression. “Kinda thing could stick around, ruin your hockey career, even.”

“Well—”

“Listen,” Yoongi interrupts Taehyung. “Just go home now. Ice it. Wrap it. Earlier the better, hey?” And he turns to Seokjin, who shrugs and nods.

“I—Can't walk.” God, Jungkook feels terrible. And now Yoongi's just pointing fingers. In the right direction, admittedly, but nonetheless unnecessarily. “Maybe I'll just get a ride—”

“Ugh, stop being so nice,” Yoongi says with a wave of the hand. “From the way Jungkook hated you, I'd have thought you were an asshole.” Then all three of them turn to Jungkook, and he flushes, partly because of anger toward Yoongi but mostly because the amused smile he can see from Taehyung in his periphery, the prickle of attention.

Over on the ice, Namjoon's whistle splits the chatter.

“Tell you what,” Yoongi continues. “It's Jungkook's fault. Stupid shit's got himself a penalty, too.” Yoongi pokes the butt end of his stick over the board and points it at Jungkook, then looks at him with a smirk. “He'll help you back.”

 - - -

Whether to be thankful toward Yoongi or hateful, Jungkook doesn't know. All he really knows is he's had Taehyung's weight pressed against him for over twenty minutes on the slow walk to Taehyung's place, one arm around Jungkook's shoulders and the other hand gripping his arm, and that it's immensely distracting.

“You live at the diner?” Jungkook asks, trying to appear casual and a bit annoyed that he has to help Taehyung home, but not being able to quite achieve that tone.

“Yeah. Told you, right?” Taehyung pants, and takes hobbled step after step as he tries to keep his weight off his ankle. “Parents own it.”

“Right, right,” Jungkook mutters.

Taehyung lives in the basement, right below the banging sounds of the kitchen and bustling customers.

“Fuck, how do you live with this?” Jungkook asks as he and Taehyung gradually descend the stairs to his room.

“Oh, the noise? You get used to it. Hell, I don't even notice it now.”

When he speaks, his warm breath brushes over Jungkook's neck, still cold from the early morning winds outside.

“Sounds fucking terrible,” he comments, trying now to convince himself more than Taehyung that this situation isn't the slightest bit tense in any way. Because it's sort of dawning on him now. That he's at Taehyung's home. Taehyung, a guy he's claimed to hate the entire time he's known him.

“Eh. Free living, I guess.” And Jungkook nods.

Halfway down the dark stairwell, walls pressing uncomfortably close on both sides, Taehyung stumbles forward, and Jungkook tightens his grip on the guy's waist so he doesn't fall. Maybe Taehyung can hear his heartbeat, the pounding calamity simply from touching him. Maybe Taehyung knows the reason Jungkook's breathing is so shallow isn't just because he's holding up the full weight of another person. Judging from the way Taehyung looks at Jungkook, turning to the side with a laugh huffed through his nose, he very well might. Fucking hell.

“Careful, Jeon.”

And that fucking tone, too. That browbeating way it occasionally gets, but only when he wants it to, while otherwise being an easy, happy guy that everyone gets along so well with. That control, that grating condescension. And only ever directed at Jungkook.

“Sorry,” Jungkook grumbles.

“No worries.”

Buck the fuck up, Jeon. He's just a guy.

Once they reach the base of the creaky stairs, Taehyung flicks on the lights.

Jungkook tries not to ogle, but Taehyung's room is nice. Not nice in the classy kind of way, but more cozy. A single, open room with a low ceiling, a lone, dim light up in the centre, a signed jersey pinned to the wall, posters of various NHL athletes, everyone from local favourites to big names. An unmade bed in the corner, and even a CRT TV. Lucky.

It smells vaguely like beer and weed and that token sweaty boy smell that Jungkook secretly loves, and—God you're such a creep, fucking stop—

“Ice is in the freezer over there. Probably.” Hopping on one foot, Taehyung makes his way over to the dirty couch against the wall and sits, legs propped up on the cushions.

Looking through the giant freezer, all Jungkook can see are freezies covered in ice crystals, seemingly years old, and some random food items. “Dude, there's no ice,” Jungkook says over his shoulder.

“Then get peas,” Taehyung tells him.

He does, finds them them crushed beneath old boxes of frozen pizzas. “Gross.” The bag crunches between Jungkook's fingers, and the near-faded expiry date seems to say something like a few years ago.

“Yeah, right?” Taehyung laughs. “I keep those around in case I don't have ice. Like now.”

“Or you could, you know—Just buy ice?” Jungkook sarcastically suggests, and plops down on the floor next to Taehyung's couch.

“Whatever—Oh, here.” Taehyung goes to move his feet to make room for Jungkook, but Jungkook shakes his head and pushes Taehyung's feet back.

“No, man. I'll sit on the floor. You're hurt.” Even though he frowns, Taehyung concedes. Jungkook motions with his hand. “Gimme your foot.”

“You don't have to do that—” Taehyung tries.

“Might as well.” Jungkook shrugs. “I'm wasting my time helping your ass anyway.”

With a chuckle, Taehyung says, “Wouldn't fucking have to if you could keep your cool for two seconds.” Then he flicks a finger beneath Jungkook's chin, tilting his head up to meet his eyes. It's a dumb gesture of affection that Jungkook usually punches Yoongi for doing, but with Taehyung the only thing going through his head is blaring static. “Your fault, Jeon.”

And their eyes stay locked, not so long that it's awkward, but long enough to leave Jungkook wondering if Taehyung took notice of it like he did.

Jungkook just takes Taehyung's foot, the one still wearing the skate, and begins carefully untying it, watching for any sings of pain from Taehyung.

“Sorry,” he says quietly. “Again.”

“No worries, man. Again.

They had left their hockey gear at the rink, in the community centre boot room. And Taehyung had trudged over here wearing one boot and one skate, looking like an idiot and still getting Jungkook so flustered.

“We'll have to get our stuff soon,” Jungkook says. “Before tonight. They don't lock that place.”

“Mm. I'll go get it later. Seokjin can give me a ride.”

“Uh. And—”

“I'll get yours, too. No problem. Just drop by, probably tomorrow—Ow—”

“Shit, sorry, sorry.” Jungkook jolts and pulls his hands back immediately, Taehyung skate-clad foot still in his lap. He says again, “Sorry.”

And Taehyung's laughing. “So cute.”

“Jackass,” Jungkook grunts, and goes back to slowly undoing the frayed laces. “You should take better care of your skates,” he says, looking down at his fingers, undoing knot after knot. Really, he's hiding his blush, but that's nothing anyone has to know.

“Trying to lecture me, Jeon?”

In response, he says nothing. Because this is bizarre, this entire situation, and it's throwing him off. Because that hatred for Taehyung has become—banter, could you call it? And that mild sexual tension between them feels anything but mild. At the same time, it's all just a buzz in the background to whatever this tension between them now is. And not to mention, Taehyung's foot is in Jungkook's lap, his other leg spread to the side. There's the thought that Jungkook already has an idea of what Taehyung's thigh must look like under the fabric of his pants, pressed against the surface of the couch, because he'd seen a glimpse or two one hungover morning at Seokjin's. And that those thighs are spread substantially in front of him. It's sort of raunchy and Jungkook hates that he loves it.

“Your feet stink,” Jungkook grunts when he slide the skate off, gently, so as not to jostle Taehyung's ankle too much.

“Rude boy,” is what Taehyung responds with, followed by a snicker. It almost makes Jungkook groan. Because the guy has to know. Because there's that tone again, so thick, so heady. Is Jungkook imagining it? No way. Right? Maybe?

“Kook?”

“Huh?”

“Ice.”

“Right.” Jungkook plops the bag of peas on Taehyung's foot. “Where—Where are your bandages?”

“Bathroom,” Taehyung nods to the door in the far corner of the room, “over there.”

“You have your own bathroom?” Jungkook asks in mild awe as he picks himself up from the carpet. “Sick.”

“Right?” Taehyung calls from his spot on the couch. “My parents kicked me down to the basement when I finished high school, but shit, this is so much better anyway.”

“You're living beneath a diner, man. I dunno if that's better.” Jungkook flicks on the old lights and a single, stained light bulb of the three in the bathroom light up with a choked hum.

“Yeah, well, it's not first class or whatever, but that doesn't change that it's fucking rad as hell.”

“Fair enough.” Jungkook rifles through the drawers to find a roll of gauze. There's a small flashlight next to the sink, so he grabs that as well. He returns to Taehyung.

“Here,” he says, and crouches to point the flashlight into Taehyung's eye. Steadies the guy's head with a gentle hand against the jaw that's admittedly a little self-indulgent and watches with relief as his pupil shrinks properly.

“Good?” Taehyung asks. Being this close, Jungkook's too aware of the way Taehyung's eyes fall on him, moving over the lines of his face.

“Yeah.” Jungkook quickly sits back on the floor. Too much, too much. Taehyung is too much. “Give,” he says, motioning at Taehyung's foot, and removes the bag of frozen peas and begins to wrap his ankle.

“Can I ask you something?” Taehyung asks abruptly from above him.

“You just did,” Jungkook murmurs, and looks up from beneath his lashes to see Taehyung giving him an unamused stare.

“Think you're funny? Fucker,” Taehyung says under his breath, and smacks Jungkook on the head. Lightly, though. Not like Yoongi would do it, like he's trying to take Jungkook's head off while he's at it. Just playfully. Again, Jungkook likes it, and he hates that he likes it. Taehyung continues, “Why are you doing this?”

“Hm?” Jungkook hums. Really, he's just buying time.

“You heard me.”

Instead of saying anything, Jungkook keeps layering bandage over bandage around Taehyung's swollen ankle. Unravelling it until the entire roll's gone, and he's just holding the loose end of the bandage between his fingers, thinking he should have brought safety pins.

“I know it's not 'cause you feel guilty,” Taehyung says, open ended and packed with implication.

“What do you know?” Jungkook mumbles, and Taehyung shrugs. Despite him not saying anything, it can still be imagined, the angle at which Taehyung's lips tilt upwards at, the mocking weight of his gaze. Jungkook says, “I need safety pins.”

“Bathroom. Top drawer,” Taehyung tells him. As Jungkook gets up and walks off, he says, “Don't open the second from the bottom.”

“Why.”

“That's where I keep my bondage shit.”

“Noted,” Jungkook deadpans, and again opens the top drawer, pushing the other rolls of bandages aside.

From the couch Taehyung says, “You curious yet?”

“About?”

“The drawer.”

“Why would I want to see your bondage shit?”

“Dunno,” Taehyung laughs. “Okay. Fine. What if I told you it was weed shit?”

Jungkook grabs a few safety pins, but stays in the bathroom and turns around to raise his eyebrows at Taehyung. “Is it?”

“Dunno.”

“Do you share?”

An indifferent shrug. “Only with cool people.”

Jungkook's already pulling open the drawer, second from the bottom, as Taehyung said. And there's a moderately-sized bong with pretty paint suspended in its glass body, a few small pipes, and, sure enough, pot.

“And who do you consider cool?” Jungkook simpers, tone lifting at the end a little playfully now that this is on the table.

“Oh, now you're being nice,” Taehyung mutters with a grin. Then casually answers, “Cool people, like friends, girlfriends, or boyfriends, or hockey friends, or people I wanna fuck, or class friends...” He gestures a circular motion with his hand, the list goes on.

But Jungkook catches it, obviously. And Taehyung knows Jungkook catches it, and grins at how he quirks an eyebrow, yet doesn't comment.

“I'm sure I fall into at least one of those categories,” Jungkook hums, and grabs everything in the drawer, then walks back over and puts it all on the couch next to where Taehyung's sitting. “You're sharing. Also—give.”

Again, he takes Taehyung's ankle into his lap while crouching before him and gets to safety-pinning the gauze.

It doesn't get interesting until later, when Taehyung's got his hands right near Jungkook's face, trying to help him light the pipe, which they're now using because one of them had unknowingly knocked over the bong, spilling the smelly water all over the carpet, which Taehyung had complained would make his room stink, while Jungkook giggled and told him his room already did, getting him another gentle smack on the head. And being too lazy to get up and get more water from the dingy bathroom all the way across the room, they had just grabbed the closest pipe and packed that bowl instead.

“Dude, you suck at this,” Jungkook whispers, body shaking from giggling.

“You're the one that's too high to even light yourself,” Taehyung laughs back in a hushed tone. He flicks the lighter again, and steadies his hand enough to bring the flame close enough to the still unlit part of the bowl. The green parts flare up in a small, bright orange border that spreads and dies, leaving thick smoke that Jungkook quickly inhales, afterwards covering the tip and passing it to Taehyung.

He feels heavy, but a good kind of heavy. A sink into the couch and disappear forever kind of heavy.

“Fuck, dude,” Jungkook mutters. He's always found his voice sounded weirder and weirder the higher he got. As if it's not his. He ignores that, and instead watches the calm way Taehyung closes his eyes as he lets the thick smoke slowly tumble from his mouth, mesmerizing. “This is so weird. Like. Us.”

“Why?” Taehyung asks, and the rest of the smoke leaves his lungs through his nose, like a cartoon bull. The imagery makes Jungkook smile lazily at him.

“'Cause we're, like,” Jungkook tries, and gives up. Sinks a bit farther down into the pillowy couch that Taehyung had insisted he come up onto, once the guy's ankle had been wrapped. Now his foot is propped up on the coffee table, bag of peas almost entirely melted, flopped stupidly over his ankle.

“What?” Taehyung laughs and persists, poking Jungkook in the chest lethargically.

“I dunno,” he mumbles, and swats Taehyung's hand away, giggling. For a brief moment he thinks, shit, he's too high, it's been so long since he's been this high and that's for a reason, for responsibility and all that, but he quickly dispels the thought. It's fine. He'll worry about it later.

Jungkook feels something cold poking at his lips, and he open his eyes he hadn't noticed he'd ever closed to see Taehyung holding out the pipe to him. “Here.”

“Thanks man.”

“No problem.”

If they listen, they can hear the slow smoulder as the weed burns. But that's not what Jungkook's listening to.

“This is weird,” Taehyung's pleasant voice is saying.

Jungkook agrees, “That's what I was saying.”

“Yeah. Like. I wouldn't have expected you and I.”

“Mm. You and me,” Jungkook notes. “Hypercorrection, Kim,” he says further with a wink at Taehyung's glare.

“Fuck off, dude,” Taehyung grunts, and shoves Jungkook's shoulder, who just giggles some more.

“But, listen.” Jungkook braces himself on his arm and leans himself back from Taehyung's shove. Ends up leaning far enough the other way to be sitting comfortably close to Taehyung's warmth. “You know why this is weird?”

“Hm.”

“'Cause you're sharing with me.”

“It's called being a nice person, Jeon.”

“Nah.” Jungkook shakes his head and his hair falls stupidly over his face. “Nah, you just wanted somebody to smoke with.”

“Eh. That too.” Taehyung smiles and takes the pipe, bringing up the lighter again with slow, careful hands. Relaxed by the placid movements, Jungkook stares.

“I'm not even technically on your"—and Jungkook lifts one hand to make floppy air quotes—"cool people list.”

Taehyung waves him off. “Hockey friend, man. Hockey friend.”

“Yeah?”

It's his tone that gets Taehyung to look up, to pull the lighter away from the bowl and place it back on the couch between them. Inhaling some more before removing the pipe from his lips, covering the hole, and then holding the thing right up to Jungkook's lips while looking him straight in the eye.

“Yeah,” Taehyung murmurs in a flood of smoke, and Jungkook inhales the smoke left in the pipe as what remains burns faintly from the rush of oxygen, Taehyung holding it gently to his mouth.

Would you call us friends?” Jungkook asks when he's done, letting the slightly thinner smoke roll from his lips.

“Why not?” But Taehyung must know what Jungkook's saying, because he says it with that slight, familiar lilt.

“I think I fit another category better.”

“And what's that, Jeon?”

Taehyung moves his hand and lets the pipe clatter on the low coffee table, near his propped up foot. Some remaining ashes spill from the bowl, onto the already black-stained surface.

Don't be fooled; Jungkook isn't bold. Drunk Jungkook might be a little better, but it's not real. It's an act. This, though. Whatever this is—this looking Taehyung in the eye like the fucking meaning of life is hiding in there somewhere, lowering his voice so it sounds just as sultry as Taehyung's (because he can't help but compare himself to the guy still), curling his words so his lips fall apart looking plumper than they really are—this isn't an act.

This might be his version of boldness.

“Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you want to fuck me.”

Okay, very bold. Too much? Maybe. And thinking too much? Maybe. It's beyond what he'd been intending, but it just slipped out, and to back out now would look even worse. He just hadn't been thinking, what with Taehyung looking at him like that. This is what he wanted anyway, right? Right?

Taehyung's eyes darken, and he squints a little, keeping up with Jungkook's little staring contest.

Right?

And Taehyung leans forward, closer and closer and closer until that question answers itself a hundred times over, affirmations floating through Jungkook's head as he feels himself floating right along with them.

“Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you'd let me.”

There it is. Jungkook feels his heart stop and start beating again, this time doing so solely for Taehyung. There's no such thing as any concept of biological self-sustenance when someone like him pseudo-admits to wanting to fuck you. That sort of thing becomes what you live for.

Jungkook finds himself lost for words. Truth is, he can talk with his body better than he could ever hope to with words. Eloquent hips, stuttering lips. The only time he's ever had to deal with Taehyung, at least this fiery, beautifully hellish side of him, had been at parties, drunk and crowded, no room for chitchat. Just movements and glares and glares, which are intrinsically the same, yet not, simultaneously.

So really all Jungkook can think to choke out in response is, “Your peas are melting.”

“Huh?”

The spell is broken, and that liquid sex look floods from Taehyung's eyes. Jungkook is both disappointed and relieved.

“Your peas,” he stumbles on, and grabs the bag of wet mush and gets up. “I'll get you more.”

“You...” Taehyung trails off, a little bewildered, watching Jungkook walk to the stained box freezer in the corner of Taehyung's room to toss the old bag in and grab a new one. Then he sighs and laughs it off. “You do that.”

 - - -

Turns out Jungkook can't just hide from this.

Taehyung calls him once before the winter sun's even emerged, and again when it's barely rising into the sky, both ridiculous hours that Jungkook's too deliriously tired in to even be able to regret giving Taehyung his number. So you can pick up your stuff tomorrow, Taehyung had said, but they both knew that wasn't why. Jungkook had agreed anyway.

Maybe this is what's called being in too deep.

Either way, he chose to ignore it. Just went about his day. It's around nine in the evening, during his down time when he's watching anime alone in his dorm because his roommate's some frat douche that Jungkook likes to think he's better than, when he remembers. His hockey gear.

“Hey. Uh.”

So here he is, calling Taehyung, worrying about how dumb his voice must sound over the phone as if he's back in junior high as the snivelly, self-conscious shit he was.

“Gear?” Taehyung supplies. “No worries, man, I got it right here. Come over now if you want, I don't give a shit.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook says, and nods. Then stops himself and actually speaks because he remembers Taehyung can't see him. “Yeah. Okay. Later.”

Ha can't help that he's awkward, but he can hide it, at the very least.

“Hey,” Taehyung says when he opens the door. They're standing at the back entrance to the diner, connected to the murky alleyway behind. Jungkook vaguely remembers leaving this way yesterday, burning out and half asleep. Stepping aside, Taehyung motions down the short hall that leads to the door to his room.

Jungkook gives him a brusque nod and steps past. This time he doesn't take off his coat, his beanie, his gloves. Just kicks off his wet shoes at the top of the stairs and waits for Taehyung. The guy limps down the steps with his palm pressed flat against the enclosing walls of the stairwell, making Jungkook feel guilty and stupid all over again.

“Over there,” he says, pointing to the corner of the room. It's said causally, and when he reaches the base of the stairs he quickly moves to lean against the wall. But of course Jungkook notices; he's so drastically aware of every movement Taehyung makes, so attuned to his every breath, hell, he might as well be counting how often he's blinking. How could he not? With Taehyung's I think you'd let me hanging in his mind, hazy and thick like the inflection he spoke it with. So of course he notices the way Taehyung grits his teeth and keeps his weight off his foot, all while trying to stand normally.

“You alright?” Jungkook asks despite himself. So much for appearing indifferent. The least he can do is keep his eyes on his bag of stuff, pretending to struggle with correctly getting the stick through the straps.

“Fine, fine. You care too much.” Taehyung waves it off. Nodding, Jungkook just keeps shuffling with his bag. He's barely realizing how bad the thing smells, and it's sort of embarrassing, to know that Taehyung must have had to endure this. Because Taehyung smells good in comparison, not expensive cologne or flamboyant fragrance sort of good, but warm and comforting, like cheap beers on a Sunday sort of good, or sweaty hugs after a victory sort of good. A happy, sturdy sort of good—Fuck, Jeon, cut it out you creep—

“Everything there?” Taehyung teases from behind him. “I'm not a thief, promise. At least, not for your rancid gear.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Jungkook finds himself laughing, and gets up while slinging his bag over his shoulder. “Just...”

“Buying time?”

“What?”

“Nothing.” Taehyung shakes his head, arms crossed, baiting Jungkook and raising those fucking eyebrows of his.

“Sorry about your ankle,” Jungkook changes the subject. He's rather have the focus on how much of an asshole he is than how awkward he's being right now.

“I said don't worry about it,” Taehyung says, and limps over to the couch. “You've done worse.”

“Ah,” Jungkook mumbles, not knowing how to respond, and begins to walk toward the stairs. Getting ready to say thanks, goodbye, maybe sorry again, and maybe even again for good measure. And maybe another thanks. Then talk about the weather? Start a conversation? Shit, what's a good way to even start a conversation?

But before Jungkook can think of anything, Taehyung's using a remote to flick on the old CRT and saying, “Either get lost of get comfy, Jeon, 'cause I'm gonna be sleeping real soon. Practice tomorrow morning, you know? Season starts soon.” He turns around to catch Jungkook at the foot of the stairs with a dazzling grin. “As always, feel free to join.”

Jungkook doesn't even pause before he says, “I'll think about it.”

 - - -

“Let me guess,” Yoongi says.

“Guess away.”

“It's Kim.”

“What about him?”

“You know.”

“No, I don't,” Jungkook grunts, and pulls the lace of his skate tight.

“Jimin tells me—”

“Oh, your little boy toy?”

Yoongi knocks the back of Jungkook's head with a gloved hand. “Don't change the subject, cocksucker, we've already established that I'm getting top-notch dick—”

“My God, I don't need to hear this.”

“—but what you keep avoiding is that you could also be getting dick—”

“Stop.” Jungkook stands up, taller now with the high blades of the skates, and picks up his stick. “Stop talking. Forever.”

“Apparently Taehyung's been talking a lot about you.”

“Says who.”

“Jimin. Says you guys hung out.” When Jungkook doesn't say anything, Yoongi smirks a little and playfully jabs his torso with the butt of his stick. “So did you?”

“Fuck off,” Jungkook mutters, and swats Yoongi's stick away.

Yoongi just continues, “It was a few days ago, right? When you helped him home? Right? Man, I really threw you a bone there, fucking appreciate it. He's why you're here today, too, isn't it? 'Cause you never show up to practice.”

Taking his stick, Jungkook stabs it back at Yoongi, hoping his helmet's hiding most of his blush. But Yoongi just keeps teasing, quickly checking his helmet's chin strap before running out the change room, awkwardly wobbling on the skate-protective rubber flooring, cackling over his shoulder, whipped, man, you're so whipped.

All Jungkook can do is agree. As he follows Yoongi out of the community centre locker room, he finds himself scanning the outdoor rink for Taehyung before doing anything else. It's because Taehyung was the one who technically invited him here, to morning practice, he reasons. It's because it's his fault that the guy's ankle is busted. It's because he's fucking beautiful, like Adonis-level—No, that's a terrible reason—

“Hey, Jeon.” Through the morning light, six AM and all too much for Jungkook to handle, Taehyung smiles up at him so warmly from his spot on the bench. That unthinkable sort of stunning that Jungkook has to take a moment for. Maybe Yoongi's words have a little bit of truth. Maybe whipped is the perfect way to express it. “Didn't expect you here.”

“You invited me, no?” He pulls up the latch and steps through the gate in the boards so he can sit on the bench as well.

“I did. And a few times before, too. But you never showed.” He bumps Jungkook's shoulder with his own. “Change of attitude? You've always been a little pouty, I'm sure you could use one.”

“How I've always been.” He scoffs. “Think you fucking know me?”

“I've known you for over a year, man.”

“Yeah, but you didn't know me.”

“So you're saying I know you now?” He arches a single eyebrow.

No,” Jungkook laughs. Taehyung's smile is contagious. “Maybe you know me better. Like a bit.

“Good enough for me. I finally got you to come to practice, didn't I?”

“Don't get too excited, Kim. I'm only here 'cause of your ankle.”

“Sure you are. Gonna keep me company sitting out?” Taehyung teases. “Finally concerned about my feelings?”

“Just wanted to check your wimpy ass wasn't dead.”

“It'll take a lot more to kill me.”

“Shame. Guess I'll have to keep trying.” Jungkook lightly bumps Taehyung's leg with his own.

Then from above, leaning over the boards, someone says, “So you fags gonna stop flirting and actually practise or what?”

“Fuck off,” Taehyung laughs. “Get your head outta Min's ass and then we'll talk.” In return, Jimin flicks the middle finger at him, then makes some crude gesture with his hands and wiggles his eyebrows at Jungkook when he thinks he isn't looking. Again, Taehyung says, “Fuck off.”

“Alright, alright. Jeon, hurry up. Yoongi's complaining about you wasting his time, and you know how Yoongi gets when he complains.” Then he skates off.

“Go,” Taehyung tells him when he hesitates, then winks when he looks at him. “I'm sure you can survive without me.”

“Shut up,” Jungkook chuckles, and picks himself up. Before he steps out the gate and onto the ice, he turns around and says, “Oh. And I—I have to return your mug.”

“What mug?”

“The one you lent me.” Taehyung gives him a blank stare. “That one time. At the diner? Um. Listen, I'll just—bring it to your place? Sometime?”

It's stupid, but he feels some sense of delight when Taehyung says, “Yeah, sure, whenever. You know where.”

Later, on the ice, he makes sure to hit the puck with extra force, and shoots with better accuracy than his track record might state he was ever capable of, all the time constantly having to keep himself from turning his eyes to the rinkside benches.

 - - -

It ends up taking him over a week to work up the balls to go to Taehyung's place. In all honesty, he feels like Taehyung saw through his reason of having to return the mug. The guy himself seemed to have forgotten about the damn thing.

“Your mug,” he stutters awkwardly when Taehyung opens the door looking half asleep and still fully gorgeous.

“Wh—F—Jeon, it's like... It's one.”

“I know, sorry. I just remembered, like—your mug.”

“Ah,” Taehyung mumbles. He takes the mug and passes it between his hands, then leans on the door and closes his eyes. For a moment Jungkook's wondering if he fell asleep standing up, until Taehyung says, “I can't believe you woke me up for this fucking mug.”

Jungkook giggles, sort of because this is funny and Taehyung looks sort of funny, but mostly because even with his hair looking like a puffle and his sweats and baggy shirt wrinkled and worn messily, he still looks so good in such a way that gets Jungkook's heart going. Then Taehyung reaches beneath his shirt to scratch his belly and show all that skin and—Jungkook's heart gets jammed in his fucking throat.

There's something about seeing Taehyung in such casual, down-home clothing that adds just another sense of comfort, of curiosity, to the image Jungkook possesses of him. Imagining what it might be like to go to sleep and wake up to Taehyung like this, all his boyish good looks and off-the-cuff perfection. How he might smile at Jungkook despite how tired he is and how his toned arms might wrap around him in a sturdy, relaxing way and how his lips might brush the back of Jungkook's neck while he whispers to him to go back to sleep and—oh God this really needs to stop.

“You wanna come in?” Taehyung's saying, words still a little jumbled by sleep. “I mean, you're here anyways, might as well.”

Jungkook agrees to it, of course. At this point, he probably couldn't say no if he tried. So again, the two end up sprawled on Taehyung's couch, high, getting higher, Jungkook getting briefly concerned about whether Taehyung's parents might smell it and Taehyung telling him probably not, to just relax. Talking about something dumb because it's way easier than to be addressing this mildly offbeat personal situation they're in, as quasi-rivals half going on friends with some weird sexual tension ticking in all the spaces in between.

At some point, Taehyung suggests going upstairs and sneaking the food from the diner, the pre-prepared stuff meant for the early breakfast menu. Jungkook might have meant to say something along the lines of a no, maybe something about getting caught or some other reasonable objections. But with Taehyung leaning in so close to him, an excited hush in his voice, and with Jungkook's mind clouded by all the smoke, what he said instead was Holy shit, dude, that's the best idea ever.

Leading to now—lying, no longer on the couch, that space reflecting a respectable comfort zone considering the wayward nature of their relationship, but on Taehyung's bed, which is something just a tad too personal for Jungkook to just ignore, knocking back cans of cheap beer and Jungkook thinking that Taehyung is just too nice. They're playing Mario Kart, Taehyung's covers and pillows arranged and tucked beneath their chins so they can lie flat on their fronts and still be able to see the TV comfortably. Every time Jungkook breathes in it feels like Taehyung's intoxicating scent just gets stronger and he simultaneously feels half-dead and more alive than he's ever been.

While setting up the game, it had been Taehyung who'd said they should move to the bed, because it's easier for the GameCube controller cords to stretch to the bed than to the couch. Jungkook wonders if this is the same type of bullshit he'd pulled with the whole I need to return your mug thing. Maybe this is Taehyung's excuse to just get a little bit closer.

“These strudels suck major ass when you're sober,” Taehyung's saying, and Jungkook's only half paying attention to his words, and not at all to the game. Instead, he's wondering if Taehyung is really so easily able to get over the concept that Jungkook's on his bed, and is really as casual about all this as he's presenting. Because Jungkook, personally, has a brain running purely on pell-mell thoughts, rushing to the rhythmic boom of his heart that always has a habit of getting louder all throughout his body when he gets high.

“They're not bad,” Jungkook says through a mouthful, and then swallows it down with a gulp from a can of beer.

“Yeah, well—Fucking Birdo—” Taehyung mutters, and takes another bite with his eyes trained on the screen, controller held uncomfortably between his fingers along with the pastry. “You said the fucking eggs here 'weren't bad' either, so I can't trust you.”

Jungkook laughs. “You remember that?”

“Yeah, that time when you finally started giving me the time of day?”

Jungkook scoffs and bumps Taehyung with his shoulder, who wobbles a little on his elbows before righting himself and lies back down flat on his belly. “You say that like I was an asshole.”

“You were. I was only ever a saint, Jeon.”

Jungkook recalls the Taehyung he thought he knew then, the one he only ever saw drunk at parties or drunk on competition at games. He thinks of the way the sweat would drip from his skin in a way that was anything but virtuous, thinks of the ways he would move that could never hope to receive any rightful absolution. Not after being so sinful. So un-saintly.

“Right,” Jungkook mutters with his throat a little rough, a little tight.

Just then, Taehyung's little go-kart on screen passes the finish line, and a big 2nd twists around on the top half of the split-screen. Jungkook realizes he's in seventh place.

“Step on it, Jeon, you're losing,” Taehyung teases, and drops his controller to poke Jungkook in the shoulder.

“Fuck off, no I'm not,” he giggles, and swats Taehyung's hand away.

“Jeez, you baby,” Taehyung casually comments, and that makes Jungkook almost die. Almost. He has the same reaction as he does to nearly everything Taehyung says to him: furious blushing. Taehyung doesn't seem to notice. Just sits up and leans over Jungkook's back, reaching for another pastry. As he does that, Jungkook's so hyper-aware of Taehyung's palm that's pressed against the bed, right next to his ass, pretty much right there, oh God, and Jungkook's thumb slips with the force he grips the controller with and his character on screen veers to end up slamming into a wall right before the finish line, giving him an esteemed eighth place as a DNF.

Taehyung huffs a laugh through his nose as he takes another bite, leaning back and lying down next to Jungkook again. “Loser.”

“Shut up,” Jungkook tells him. But the timing's off, and he cringes at how prominently it shows in his voice. It makes Taehyung look at him.

“Hey,” he begins, and Jungkook looks up at him with the mild worry that he might ask some question like why do you keep looking at me like that or why are you so fucking awkward, or—God forbid—might bring up that previous hot topic of discussion regarding that iffy but terribly alluring idea of fucking each other, but instead Taehyung asks, “What time is it?”

Jungkook checks. “Just after four.”

“Fuck. Already?”

“Guess.” Jungkook shrugs and takes another bite of a flaky strudel.

“Fuck,” Taehyung says again. “You don't have any plans tomorrow, do you?”

“Nah, don't think so.”

“Good.” He relaxes back onto the bed, chin tucked over the pillows and neck craned to see the screen, picking up his controller. “'Cause I was totally beating your ass.”

Jungkook smirks at him. “Not for long, Kim. I've got a comeback in the cards.”

“Sure, you do. Prove it and I just might believe you.”

They share a glance, faces illuminated in the dark of Taehyung's room only by the bluish light emitted from the television. It bounces off the gentle slope of Taehyung's nose, spills over the dip above his top lip and shadows beneath the bottom. Reflections of the screen as squares in his eyes, where Jungkook sees the beginning of the next kart track playing out. Neither are looking at the TV.

Jungkook feels warm, warm from the traces of beer awash in his system and the haze of pot Taehyung had shared with him and the sugary sweet pastry stuck between his teeth, filling his belly, but mostly, he feels warm from looking at Taehyung.

“You know what this reminds me of?” Taehyung says softly. Jungkook just hums and Taehyung continues. “Sleepovers and shit. Like when you're a kid, you know, with your friends and stuff, back when staying up till four was a big deal.”

“You say that like we're friends,” Jungkook murmurs with a smile, something perceptibly coy about the way he looks up at Taehyung through his hair. The countdown on the screen has long ended and all the computer characters are long gone, but the game is really the last thing on their minds.

“More or less,” Taehyung says. All Jungkook's mind is able to focus on is Taehyung. Taehyung and the sharp cut of the television's light beneath his jaw and over the hollows beneath his eyebrows, his winsome features that Jungkook could spend an eternity staring at, the way his lips part when he says, “But I remember... you said you might fit another category better. No?”

Taehyung and the way he's lying to face Jungkook with one hand touching Jungkook's own, the way his fingers pull up so insignificantly so they're gently brushing against Jungkook's knuckles. Horridly distracting.

Jungkook says nothing, can say nothing, so Taehyung goes on. “If you're not gonna say it, then I'm gonna say it.”

“So say it,” Jungkook murmurs. It comes out nowhere near as powerful as how he's intended it, instead breathed full of anticipation.

Taehyung moves his hand up, fingers tracing Jungkook's arm. He knows what he's doing. Jungkook knows, too. Neither of them stop it, and instead just hold each other's gaze, keep it suspended up in the air and unresolved.

“I think you want me,” Taehyung whispers like it's the simplest thing in the world, and his eyes light up something like amusement and something like something else Jungkook's honestly too distracted to discern.

“What do you know?” he says back, just as softly, tone just as curved.

Taehyung's fingers map out the lines in Jungkook's bicep and go to his shoulder, then grazing the thin skin of the back of his neck, probably feeling the heat as his blood rushes like crazy. “Admit it. Say you want me.”

“You want me to lie, Kim?”

But Jungkook's moving his hand, too, up Taehyung's arm, letting himself slowly get pushed back. Just relaxing. Mildly intoxicated at four AM, it takes his mind a little while to catch up. But by the time his heart's panicking, he's already come too far to back out. Good thing, too. His heart tends to make him do gun-shy, mousy things that he always regrets.

In the soft light, Jungkook can see Taehyung smiling, murmuring, “Nah... Guess I just want you.”

And Jungkook hums. “So have me.”

Fucking hell, there's no way he could so this sober. Thank God for the dark, thank God for the exhaustion, thank God for the haze of the burnout, thank God. Kim Taehyung is kissing him. Thank God. Oh God.

Jungkook's eyes flutter shut, and Taehyung's hand moves from his neck to gently cup his jaw, the other hand moving to his waist to push his body deeper into the bed. In return Jungkook grips him hard, moves his lips against Taehyung's, keeping up despite his mind stuttering and lagging. Taehyung's leg pushes between his thighs and that's probably not good. Because Jungkook gets horny when he smokes and gets horny around Taehyung and is just horny in general. But Taehyung doesn't seem to mind when Jungkook lets some small yet terribly desperate sound spill into his mouth, even has the boldness to laugh at it.

“Shut up,” Jungkook grunts, and knots his fingers into Taehyung's hair to kiss him so hard he forgets how to breathe. Against Taehyung's still smiling lips, he mumbles, “Just"—and nips sharply at his bottom lip—"shut up.”

“So mean,” Taehyung chuckles.

He licks against Jungkook's lips, then into his mouth to press his hot tongue wetly against Jungkook's own. All he can feel is heat, overwhelming heat as Taehyung's breath gets a little more erratic and his mouth pries Jungkook's open a little farther. His hands are sure and commanding, spread wide and clasped around Jungkook's waist, pulling up the shirt to touch all he wants but giving just as much as he takes, both indulgent and obliging. Biting his lip, stroking across his skin, and Jungkook's finding it's abruptly too much, how Taehyung responds to the insistent lap of Jungkook's tongue and the choked sounds from his throat with generous fervour.

He tastes like syrupy apple strudels, like stale pot and that cheap beer they'd shared, probably fucking Bud Light or something just as two-bit. He's so boyish in his looks in a way that burns desire beneath Jungkook's skin, yet still with some subtle touch of undeniable—maleness, perhaps, that robust way in which he handles Jungkook, making him melt from the inside out.

Taehyung's teeth tug gently on Jungkook's lip, and his thigh shoves up farther, a bit harder, a bit firmer, between his admittedly crudely spread legs. Yet despite the warmth flushing through Jungkook's body, there's something precarious about this. Concern over the fallout, or maybe more so for his self-image. Because, as of late, he's not been supporting that whole I hate you claim very well, if at all. But with the way Taehyung uses his weight to pin Jungkook harder to the bed, how he uses his hand to tilt his chin up and kiss him even nicer when he rolls his hips so subtly, and then swallowing down that frustrated groan from Jungkook's throat, it occurs to him that he just might not care a single bit.

Jungkook's fingers dig into Taehyung's torso, travelling to map out his body, wandering everywhere now that he's finally allowed such a luxury. His breath trembles when Taehyung's blunt nails scrape against the skin just shyly exposed beneath his shirt, his hands maybe wanting to push the fabric up farther—

But there's an incessant rattling coming from somewhere.

“Tae-tae, wake up!” someone's yelling. There's brutal knocking coming from the door at the top of the stairs leading from Taehyung's room. Bang, bang, it goes, even louder than Jungkook's heart, if you can believe it.

They pull apart, Jungkook mildly delirious and Taehyung clearly no better, panting hard, lips ridiculously red with a small cut of split skin where Jungkook must have bit it. Oops.

“You up? Tae-tae!”

“Uh... Yeah!” he yells back, at probably one of his parents, with a voice ragged and sexy. Then he looks down at Jungkook, with his hands braced on the bed on either side of his head, and just stares.

So many things to say fly through Jungkook's head, everything from you make me want to die in, like, the good way, to you have no idea how much I want you to fuck me right now, how long I've wanted this. But he has, or at least claims to have, self-respect, so he just croaks, “Fuck.”

“Mm,” Taehyung hums, sort of an agreement, before his swollen lips curl into a grin and a laugh bursts from between them. Then Jungkook, too, is laughing, hands still resting somewhere on Taehyung's hard body.

“'Tae-tae'?” he mocks the nickname.

“Fuck off, dude,” Taehyung laughs harder, and rolls off Jungkook.

Jungkook comments, “S'cute,” and lifts himself up onto his elbows.

Taehyung frowns a bit, then rolls his eyes. “Damn right I am. And you like it.”

“Never said you were cute,” Jungkook mutters, but he can't help the permanent smile playing at his lips. All Taehyung does is wink at him lazily, hand supporting his head so he's lying facing Jungkook. Jungkook coughs under the unabashed attention of his gaze, blush colouring over his probably already flushed cheeks from his shortness of breath. “Wh—Uh, What was that. About?”

“Oh, uh.” Taehyung scratches the back of his head a little sheepishly. “I have a shift at five. Opening.”

“Dude.”

“Ugh. I know, right? I fucking forgot, and now I'm burning out like mad, and I didn't get any sleep"—and he whips the nearest pillow at Jungkook—"'cause your ass had to come over at one in the morning, what the fuck, Jeon, you dickwad—”

Jungkook just whips the pillow back at him, making sure to get him in the face. “Your problem, man. I'm not the idiot who forgot my schedule.”

Taehyung grumbles, then begins shifting with the stuff on his bed, moving the controllers onto the floor next to the plate of remaining assorted pastries and cans of beer scattered about. Looking at the TV screen, the placings for the most recent race are displayed, with Jungkook and Taehyung's characters dead last, forgotten. It feels like it's been an eternity since they were playing that. It's almost funny.

Later Jungkook's griping something like What the fuck do you even do on a five AM shift, what the fuck, like, this can't be humane, like, call the fucking union man and Taehyung just laughs at him, poking at him to get off the bed so he can fix the covers, saying Yeah, yeah, alright, just don't fall asleep on me.

“Can I ask you something?” Taehyung says when Jungkook's shrugging on his coat.

“You just did, Kim.”

“Alright, smartass.” He leans against the wall, eyelids drooping over bloodshot eyes and looking tired as hell, but still smiling softly. “Just wondering. 'Cause the season starts soon.”

“Yeah?”

“I've been meaning to get some midnight practice in.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook quickly says. “Me too.”

“Ankle's feeling better,” Taehyung tells him, and raises his eyebrows at Jungkook. “I'll probably be catching up on sleep tonight, and you, as well, hey? But. Night after that? Can I see you there?”

“Yeah,” he breathes again, and then feels stupid, because that's the third time he's said yeah. Is Taehyung even paying that much attention? Probably not. Right? Hopefully not. God, Jeon, stop being such a dweeb.

He quickly starts pulling his boots on, feeling bumbling and awkward all over again. Now with even further reason, with that whole kiss ordeal hanging over their heads. Or maybe it's just bothering Jungkook. Because Taehyung seems totally causal, again, just watching with amusement as Jungkook fumbles with his words before him.

“Here,” Taehyung says, and motions for Jungkook to come closer. Carefully, he brushes Jungkook's hair away from his forehead and reaches into Jungkook's coat pocket to pull out his beanie. Then he pulls it on over his head.

“Thanks,” Jungkook mutters, feeling the blush scorching his face.

Taehyung laughs. “You don't gotta make it weird, Jeon.”

“I'm not,” he argues, and Taehyung just raises an eyebrow at him, doubt and challenge in his expression taunting Jungkook. “It's not weird,” he insists, and quickly leans forward to give Taehyung a sloppy kiss, rushed and nervous and only somewhat on his mouth.

“Really, Kook?” Taehyung chuckles sort of against his lips, using that nickname that, when said by him, washes some stupid, tingly warmth through Jungkook, permeating even to his fucking fingertips. Jungkook breathes a shaky breath before pressing his lips back against Taehyung's, properly, eyes closed and pressure firm, accurate.

“Really,” he says when he pulls back, feeling floaty, but not because of the fading haze or the exhaustion or really anything like that. “Not weird.”

“Alright,” Taehyung hums, then pats Jungkook's arm. “Get some sleep, man. I'll see you at the rink, yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Jungkook runs up the creaky stairs two at a time, feeling Taehyung's gaze weighing with some curious pressure as he goes, so unable to be ignored. Opening the door at the top of the staircase, he has to deliberately stop himself from turning back around to give Taehyung some idiotic parting smile or a giddy wave. God forbid he look stupid. Instead he calls over his shoulder, making sure to sound as laid-back as possible despite his heart stuck in his throat, “Later, Kim.”

 - - -

“You wanna know a secret?”

Slam, skid, and it rings out into the thick peace, thick quiet.

“Tell me,” Jungkook says.

“It's about you.” Taehyung sends the puck back and it slides over the rough, scratched ice.

“Tell me,” Jungkook repeats. The puck stutters to a stop at the blade of his stick. And he sends it back. Again and again. It's lazy and not even worth being called practice, but anything more wouldn't allow for any conversation between them.

“You remember the first night we did this?”

“Midnight practice?”

“Yeah. And I told you I do it all the time.”

“Mm. I'm guessing you don't, is what you're saying.”

“Always so mean. Don't just assume I lied to you.”

“But you did?”

“More or less.”

“Jackass,” Jungkook chuckles, and whips the puck back. “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why'd you lie?”

“Oh yeah. That's that secret bit. We wanted to convince you to start coming out to morning practice, you know, like normal people.”

“Who's 'we'?”

“Your team. And mine. It's hard to get a feel for the opponent when their main centre's never around.”

“Could've just asked.”

“If you'll recall—” Taehyung shoots the puck back, “—I did.”

“Could've not been a fucking asshole about it.”

You were the one being an asshole.”

“Ah. Sorry, Kim. Did I make you feel obligated?” he laughs.

Taehyung responds with an exaggerated sigh. “Still an asshole.”

“Yeah, yeah. So you had ulterior motives to disturbing my practice, you're saying.”

“Not really. Unless you count—” Taehyung gestures back and forth between himself and Jungkook, “—this.”

“This?”

“This. As an outcome.”

“Like you? And, like—me?”

Taehyung rolls his eyes. “Most normal people would say us, Jungkook.”

His brains stalls. Taehyung passes him the puck, and it goes right by the blade of his stick, back onto the boards, right under the squiggles of the Scoreboard. Seeing it is jarring. He's forgotten about it for so long.

He scoffs, “There is no us,” before skating back to retrieve the puck.

That makes Taehyung laugh, laugh so hard he doubles over, and then he meets Jungkook's indignant expression with a teasing grin. “Right, Jeon. Right.”

 - - -

Prelim games come, which really don't mean anything, not to a team as high in the standings as the Metros. Matches are held in the big arena belonging to the community college, a massive dome in the heart-centre of campus, with bleachers upon bleachers climbing to the ceiling, an electronic scoreboard covered in sponsor logos, the whole shebang. These games get the players excited, is what they're for. All anticipating the coming season.

The Metros win their first match easily, with a cushy six-two, pulling them further up in the standings. The Kodiaks, too, have a fairly good first game. Not that Jungkook's paying attention or anything.

But what's important about the kickoff of prelim games themselves are the parties that follow. Best one's at Seokjin's, they say, because he has a house. It's only Jungkook's second year, so he's only ever been to last year's, and he doesn't remember it. Probably won't this year, either.

“Min, you're fucking gone,” Jimin's giggling, holding Yoongi by the waist as he leans back comfortably onto him. Jungkook watches with mild disgust, trying to tune them out as Yoongi laughs and says back something weird.

“So then Hoseok told me”—Namjoon hiccups—“told me that fucking years before we came here, like fucking centuries man, there's been this competition between the teams. And that got me thinking, like, 'bout the whole spirit of the game. You know? How we're all connected in competition, and—oh, there's Jackson, I gotta—” He stumbles past Jungkook and knocks his drink over, tossing an offhand Fuck, sorry over his shoulder before leaving.

And now it's just Yoongi whispering something into Jimin's ear, something Jungkook pretends he's not hearing like I want you to take charge, big boy, I want you to have me, and Jungkook quickly leaves thinking that's enough of people, especially drunk people, in general for a great long while.

Until he sees Taehyung, that is. Looking like ardour incarnate, like sweaty sin and spirit.

“Having fun, Jeon?” he laughs, and looks over at the corner where Jimin's now got Yoongi shoved against the wall. “They're a fucking joy to be around, aren't they?”

“Jeez. Tell me about it. I fucking hate everyone,” Jungkook just grumbles, and knocks aside the empty pizza and take-out boxes to find the sleeve of plastic cups.

“Aw. And I thought I was special.”

“In your dreams, Kim.” Jungkook looks at him, his pupils blown in the dark and his hair matted at the sides in the stifling atmosphere. Dreadful in the good way. God, every time Jungkook looks at him, he feels his eternity in hell get longer. But, again, in the good way. Because everything about Kim Taehyung is so good.

“You wanna dance?” he's saying, Jungkook busy getting lost in fantasy.

“Huh?”

“Dance, Jeon.” He smirks. “You wanna?”

“I was—getting a drink,” he begins, holding up an empty plastic cup, before he stops himself. Because this is a fucking opportunity if ever these was one. Because he's really got to stop being a wuss about this whole Taehyung thing. “I mean yeah. Totally. Why not?”

“Sweet.” He grips Jungkook's wrist with a warm hand and leads them into the teetering mass of people. Swaying, tipping, then righting itself. Chaotic. Jungkook's never liked crowds. But there's Taehyung hand on his waist, pressing firmer against him than any nearby body could, grounding him and driving him mad at the same time.

They're facing each other. Taehyung's eyes are glimmering, eyes smoking at the edges where the hiked pupil meet the smouldering colour of the iris. It's the sort of potency that Jungkook feels threatening to push him over. The sort of potency where he's wholly inviting it to.

He doesn't realize, not really, that he's staring, with his movements slowing. Until Taehyung knocks Jungkook's knee with his own, smirking as it makes him stumble, still holding him strong just above the hip.

“Making it weird, Jeon.”

Jungkook frowns. Gets back to swaying, rocking his body in the way he's supposed to be good at. Taehyung's ruining it though, Taehyung with his blasted momentum, molten intensity. Ruining Jungkook.

“I told you—” Jungkook snips, and turns himself around in Taehyung's arms. Pulls one of the guy's wide palms to clutch his body, hold it there, leaving the other free to do as he pleases it. Inviting. “It's not weird.”

He's rolling his body, ass back against Taehyung. Briefly turning his head to see him, he again sees that killer gaze, admiring him, only him.

“No?”

“Not for me.” Jungkook smiles coyly. “How about you, Kim? Do you find it weird?” Whispered into the space a bit below Taehyung's ear, around his sweaty neck and that catching pulse.

Hands on Jungkook's waist, secure hands that get Jungkook's mind running wild with what they might do. Taehyung nibbles at the piercing in Jungkook's earlobe, telling him, “Not at all.”

Jungkook is absolutely indestructible. Maybe his drinks are catching up with him. More likely he's drunk on Taehyung, drunk on the toxic tension that pools in his eyes, the glare of the light.

“You're not bad, Kim,” he tells him.

“You're incredible,” Taehyung says back, spoken with a smile against the back of his neck. It's so honest and unabashed that Jungkook feels it like a fucking whiplash. Straight against his throat, and for a glorious moment he's not breathing, just sustaining on Taehyung. Heart beating in that two-syllable name, Taehyung, Taehyung, Taehyung. Fuck ba-dump or whatever it's supposed to sound like.

Jungkook recalls all the times he's stared, just stared and appreciated and hated the way Taehyung would look when he danced with other people. The dreamy quality of their eyes, not dreams but drugs, and the intoxicating way Taehyung would be holding their body, yet looking straight at Jungkook across the room. He imagines how those people looked in his arms. How he himself must look now.

“We should...” Taehyung says, and grips Jungkook's body tighter.

“We should,” he murmurs in agreement. Too quickly, not quick enough. Fuck, the room is hot and Taehyung is scorching. Hellish and skin-melting.

There's no grace to how Jungkook pulls Taehyung away from the crowd, into the hallways that are still too crowded, and then to stop himself and turn to Taehyung because he realizes he doesn't actually know where he's going. Taehyung laughs at him and leads him back the other way, down the stairs and into the relatively quiet basement, to the room that's always left locked whenever Jungkook's been over for parties.

“Kodiak privileges,” Taehyung sing-songs, peeling up a corner of the old carpet to retrieve a key. Unlocking the door, he turns around to tell Jungkook, “Don't tell anyone,” while pushing it open, pulling Jungkook inside by the wrist.

“Who am I gonna tell?”

“Dunno. But I'm not allowed in here, and you're really not allowed in here.”

“Alright,” Jungkook laughs. “So this is our secret.”

“Our dirty little secret,” Taehyung hums. Closes the door behind them, pushing Jungkook against it, getting his face all close. Body against body, sweltering. Hush-hush, Taehyung chuckles and murmurs like he can't believe it, “In someone else's room like this, so, so dirty for me, aren't you?”

There's the entire cacophony of the party but it's muffled by the walls. All Jungkook can hear is the rushing of his blood, his heart which only gets louder, heavier. Taehyung's voice, fuck, his voice, so deep with a liquid quality to it, such masculine juxtaposition next to the graceful arch of his brow bone down to his nose, to his pouty lips, to the lithe movement of his neck, how it tightens when he swallows.

Jungkook smiles, heady, loving it. Loving this. He gets his hands around Taehyung neck and says so his lips brush against Taehyung's as they move, “Hm, for you? Gotta work to make me yours, you know.”

“Oh, I've already got you, Jeon. Got you good.”

And he kisses him, a careful shift of their lips that quickly becomes insistent the minute they get a feel for each other. Taehyung forces a hand against Jungkook's chest, pushing him roughly against the door, keeping him there as mouths meld together desperately.

“So fucking prove it,” Jungkook grits. Taehyung's got his tongue licking into Jungkook's mouth, teeth catching on his fat bottom lip and pulling till he gets a noise out of him, then laughing at it. It's all so soon, overwhelming, alcoholic, hard and strong and fucking brutal on the senses in every single way. Jungkook wants to drown in it.

Taehyung pulls away, gets them from the door to the bed, pins Jungkook down to kiss along his neck. Bite at the tense muscle, lick at the collecting sweat.

“God,” Jungkook mutters. Taehyung hums and sucks just around his collarbone, fingers toying with the hem of his shirt, reaching beneath to his abs. Pushes the shirt up more.

“Can I?”

“Mm? Oh, yeah,” Jungkook says, quickly moving to help get his shirt off. “Yeah man, do whatever you want.”

And there's a sort of trust in those words that Jungkook doesn't entirely realize until Taehyung grins at him, removing Jungkook's shirt and then his own. Kissing him again, pressing his tongue against Jungkook's lips, then across his teeth, into his mouth and firmly against his tongue, making him his, all his. On his breath is the faint stain of alcohol, but all Jungkook can really notice is the forceful taste of Taehyung.

He trails one hot hand across Jungkook's torso, another along the stretch of skin over his bicep. A finger brushes barely against one of his nipples and Jungkook's back arches sharply in response, groan getting stuck in his throat behind a bitten curse. That hand travels back down again, over the divots of his hard body.

“Fuck, dude, you're so ripped,” Taehyung breathes into Jungkook's mouth, and then nips at the spot under his jaw.

“Yeah?” Jungkook laughs back breathily, a hand coming up to tangle in Taehyung's hair.

“Don't get cocky,” he chides.

“You're telling me.”

“Mm,” he just hums, a vibration that pleasantly tingles against Jungkook's bare skin. Following the trail down his stomach to his crotch, his hand presses nicely against the straining bulge in Jungkook's pants, making him buck his hips up and suck him bottom lip between his teeth, nibbling at it to keep himself quiet as Taehyung does it again and again, telling him, “Watch your tone.”

His voice is gravelly, worked up, and his body language possessive and wrought with desire.

“Fuck off,” Jungkook grunts, but lets a little moan slip past, then hums as he breathes out while Taehyung keeps palming him. He just laughs in response and moves his mouth to circle his hot tongue around one of Jungkook's too sensitive nipples, teasing the bud between his teeth, and oh God it's making Jungkook dizzy, how hard he is. So fucking hard, and Taehyung's just being a piece of shit about it. His hips stutter when Taehyung begins to suck on his nipple, hand pressing a little firmer between his legs.

Ah, shit,” he groans. Rocking his hips, wanting more. “Shit, dude, do something.”

“Don't be impatient, sweetheart,” Taehyung chuckles, condescending, riling Jungkook further.

He tugs Taehyung up by the hair, bites his lip, and hisses back, “Then don't be a dick, sweetheart.

Taehyung's eyelids flutter, eyes hooded and irresistibly attractive, and he snickers. “Getting angry, Jeon? 'Cause I like you when you're angry.”

“Shut up. You like me always,” he says back, but doesn't allow Taehyung the chance to respond, not wanting to really hear any sort of answer. The disappointment if it were negative, the irrepressible, choking elation if it were positive. Instead he quickly sits up, undoing Taehyung's pants with mild frustration, fingers fumbling and sort of regretting having had those few drinks earlier.

Taehyung just laughs at him. “Let me.” He pushes away Jungkook's hands and gives up on his half-unzipped fly in favour of undoing Jungkook's instead, pulling his jeans and underwear down below his knees. Pushes him back onto the bed.

“I'm gonna blow you, 'kay?” he says casually. Never mind the fact that Jungkook's almost dying, blushing terribly at how hard he is, cock so red with the tip so wet.

All he can do in response is make some garbled sound of agreement, watching intently with parted lips as Taehyung pushes his thighs apart, licks down his torso and down, down, down, till his face is right fucking there, breathing hot across the tip of his dick, fingers wrapped around the base.

“I like your cock,” he whispers, and pokes his tongue out to taste the precome. The hot pressure sends a jolt through Jungkook's body, but he suppresses it.

“Uh—thanks—” Jungkook chokes, unsure how to respond.

“Jeez,” Taehyung mutters, rolls his eyes. “Making it weird.”

“Well then don't compliment my dick, what the fuck am I even supposed to say to that—”

“Oh, come on, it's a blowjob, man, just enjoy it.”

“Alright, so shut up and let me,” he grumbles, carding his fingers through Taehyung's hair.

“So rude.” Taehyung pumps Jungkook's cock, watching with amusement how his hips buck up, then takes the tip into his mouth and sucks, swirling his tongue, before pulling off again, making Jungkook whine. His eyes flash up to meet Jungkook's, tone dropping the slightest bit. “Rude like that, gonna have to punish you later, baby.

“God, yeah,” Jungkook moans, not even really thinking beyond the loud pounding of his heart, just canting his hips up and fucking into Taehyung's loose fist, searching for something more.

“You into that?” Taehyung asks, again infuriatingly conversational.

Yes, I'm into that, fuck, I'm into whatever, just go—

He laughs a little, but finally takes Jungkook's cock into his mouth. Immediately Jungkook's digging his nails into the sheets, feeling his thighs tensing, almost wanting to clamp together, yet wantonly falling apart at the same time.

Oh,” he grits, unable to stop the subtle roll of his hips, “fuck.”

His cock slides deeper into Taehyung's throat, all that tight and wet muscle twitching with each breath through Taehyung's nose, clenching when he swallows. Then deeper.

“God, that's good, you're good, really—ah, dude, you're so good, fuck—

So he babbles, sue him. Taehyung hums and runs a hand up the skin of Jungkook's thigh, palm spreading over, hitching up a leg to knead the thick swell of his ass and gently fondle his balls. At certain points his hand dips precariously lower, beyond the skin of his balls, sort of touching his perineum but sort of not. So close to his asshole. Jungkook wonders how far Taehyung would be willing to go with that, how much he'd give. The subconscious spread of his legs burns the insides of his thighs.

The mild pain is fine, though, fine because Taehyung gets his cock even deeper, and deeper, letting the tip push at the back of his throat. Obscene, wet sounds as he sucks, loosening his throat for Jungkook and then swallowing around it. It's so tight, so filthy. Taehyung looks up at Jungkook through his hair, something black and predatory glinting in his eyes as Jungkook's eyelids flutter and he moans, so torn between watching Taehyung do this for him and letting his head fall back in pleasure.

“Tae,” he chokes, trying to motion to Taehyung's pants, which are still on and probably killing him. Instead his hand can only reach to grip Taehyung's bare shoulder. “Your—”

Taehyung hums, pulling off. “What?” Then coyly licks at the tip. “I wasn't done.

“Your pants,” Jungkook huffs. “Off.”

He laughs, “Yeah,” before quickly finishing undoing them and throwing them next to the bed. And fuck, it makes Jungkook feel stupid, a rush of heat through his body, seeing Taehyung completely fucking naked, everything from the gorgeous flush along his cheeks to the redness of his hard cock. All because of Jungkook. Then he pushes Jungkook's chest down, settling back between his legs. Hot breath rushes across the tip of Jungkook's cock, teasing, and knowing Taehyung, purposefully so. “Dude, hey.”

“What?” Jungkook snips.

“You can come in my mouth,” he tells him. Jungkook snorts at his brashness. “Just saying. I'm not gonna complain.”

“God, you cumslut,” Jungkook chuckles. Taehyung shoots him a glare and gets his dick back into his mouth, as if that's supposed to be some retaliation. It's not. It's just good, in every single way. Taehyung's sweaty hair falling over his eyes, cheeks flushed, lips stretched around Jungkook's dick. He's good at it, and the worst part is he knows it.

Hollowing his cheeks, sucking so hard Jungkook feels light-headed, flicking his tongue across the frenulum and then—pulling off. Jungkook whines, hips bucking, but Taehyung cruelly holds him down, palm pushing on his waist.

“Fuck, I hate you,” Jungkook spits, breathing hard.

“Sorry,” Taehyung laughs, languidly pumping Jungkook's dick with the hand not pinning him down. “You're just cute when you're angry. Fun to play with.”

“Well you're cute with my dick in your mouth, so get to it, sweetie,” Jungkook growls, gripping Taehyung by the hair.

“Watch it, Jeon,” Taehyung warns. Pinches the soft skin of his waist, then moves his hand to push his thigh back up, exposing more than he really needs to. Probably just to prove that Jungkook's not the one with the upper hand here. God, always about the fucking upper hand. Thing is, Jungkook can't say he cares too much where advantage lies so long as he's getting off.

That playfulness stays in Taehyung's eyes, but it's the different kind, and Jungkook recognizes it. A shudder drags down his spine.

“Be nice,” Taehyung instructs, a hand stroking up Jungkook's thigh. Jungkook feels his insides burn, but does his best not to show it.

“We'll see.”

“Bitchy,” Taehyung tuts. Jungkook gives his hair a harsh tug.

“Then stop asking for it,” he grunts, but Taehyung's mouth is back around his cock, and he really has nothing to complain about. With Taehyung's hot tongue all over, the delightful pressure of his wet lips, spit slick hand pumping with his mouth, Jungkook really has no inhibitions about just letting go.

“God,” he mutters, and Taehyung hums around his cock, a vibration through his overloaded body that rips a guttural groan from his throat. Vaguely, he's aware of Taehyung pumping his own cock. Slightly further forward in his attention is the strong sensation of Taehyung's fingers prodding around his balls but never getting quite close to where he wants it, that tense ring of muscle. He's teasing, he has to be, but Jungkook's too far gone to bring himself to care.

He just cants his hips up, whimpering when Taehyung allows his pinning arm to give, letting Jungkook fuck into that sloppy heat. Again and again, deeper and dirtier and God, Jungkook is gone.

“Fuck,” he whines, muscles tightening in pleasure, just barely holding himself back from violently tugging Taehyung's head down onto his cock. “Gonna—”

It's barely a warning, but Taehyung seems fine with it, humming appreciatively as Jungkook keens and shoots his release straight down the back of Taehyung's throat, swallowing each gush of come while keeping the warmth of his mouth there throughout his orgasm and fuck, it's heaven and it's hell and it's fucking everything, how good Taehyung is.

He pulls back, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, before Jungkook's reaching for him. “C'mere,” he grunts, and sits up. Taehyung's cock is red, hard, leaking precome down the shaft. “Gimme,” Jungkook breathes, not even minding his stupidly fucked-out voice.

Taehyung laughs at him, but sighs shakily when Jungkook's hand wraps around his cock, pumping him at a fast pace. He's close, incredibly close, just from watching Jungkook writhe and moan in pleasure.

“Kook,” he grits, and Jungkook leans forward to nip the skin under his jaw, lick the sweat along his neck. Thumb digging into the slit, smearing that wetness all across the hot skin. “God—” And Taehyung's body tightens, hands firmly gripping Jungkook's body wherever he can as he comes, orgasm tearing through him, spurting hot white along his tan skin and Jungkook's knuckles, groaning something about how fucking good he is.

They collapse on the bed, breathing hard, and Jungkook briefly feels sorry for the owner of this bed. Come sticks uncomfortably to his skin. But he's so relaxed, so tired at the same time. And it's warm in the room, the covers so soft, body feeling the post-orgasm weight. Jungkook's eyes flutter shut, head knocking to the side, against what is probably Taehyung's hard shoulder.

“Hey.”

“Hm.”

“You can't fall asleep, not here.”

“Why not?”

“You wanna get your ass kicked?” Taehyung pokes Jungkook's ribs. “Seokjin's house, remember?”

“Yeah, yeah.” He grumbles, rolls over onto Taehyung, buries his face in his chest. “Yeah.”

“C'mon, man, you live on campus, right? Dorms?”

“Mm.”

“So let's go.”

“Gh.”

Taehyung gets Jungkook up, with a lot of insisting and tugging, and then they're both pulling on their clothes as Jungkook's tired eyes wander opportunistically over Taehyung's lean body.

“Just so you know,” Jungkook says, and pauses to pull his shirt on, “my place sucks.”

“Can't be that bad.”

“S'not as cool as yours.”

“It's just a room, man.”

“I like your room though. Smells nice.” Fuck, he's tired and tipsy and his mind is orgasm-washed. He's rambling. “Uh—and you have a TV. It's cool.”

Taehyung laughs at him, going to open the door once they're both dressed. “We can go to my place in the morning.”

“Okay.” Jungkook rubs his eyes. The party is still going on, still too loud. It feels like he's been in here forever. They begin to leave. “Hope my roommate's not there. Some frat guy, thinks he's better than me and fucks people way too loud and makes me leave at three AM. God, I hope he's not there.”

“Who cares if he is?” Taehyung elbows Jungkook in the side, winking when he looks at him. “Now you've got me. Payback, huh? Bet we can fuck louder.”

It shoots a suppressed shiver down Jungkook's spine, makes him feel giddy and stupid.

He fights that tingly feeling, rolling his eyes. “Don't make this a competition, Kim.”

“Watch me,” Taehyung shoots back, then runs up the stairs two at a time with Jungkook's palm in his, towing him through the loud music and crowd, to the front door. “I'm all about competition. Winning. You feel?”

“You dork,” Jungkook mutters, smiling at the ground while he does up his boots.

Your dork,” Taehyung casually corrects. It's miraculously easy, and Jungkook doesn't dare question it, not when it feels so right. Just chuckles and pretends to be exasperated.

 - - -

Turns out his roommate is nowhere to be seen. Which is good, because as much as Jungkook would have loved to shove some raunchy gay sex in the guy's face in spite, he's tired out of his mind. Eyes heavy, feet heavier, he had been barely keeping up with Taehyung as they had trudged through the fresh, falling snow of the night.

“Winter's starting,” Taehyung comments, looking out the window and shaking snowflakes from his hair. “Real winter.”

“Mm. Season starts soon, too.”

“Fuck yeah.” Taehyung grins. “You hyped?”

“Totally,” Jungkook mumbles, shucking off his coat and quickly peeling off his jeans before collapsing onto his bed. “Can't wait to fucking destroy your ass come game time.”

“Sure, Jeon, sure. Metros are still losing on the Scoreboard, you know.”

“Scoreboard means jack shit.”

Taehyung fakes a gasp, kindly picks up Jungkook's coat from the floor and hangs it on the back of a desk chair along with his own. “Sacrilege.”

Jungkook just laughs softly. “Fuck off with that.” Then he reaches out a hand, lying flat with his cheek smushed into the pillow. “Whatever. Come. I'm tired.”

“So cute,” Taehyung teases quietly as he nestles beneath the covers, kicking off his uncomfortable pants as well.

“Shut up. I'll kill you.” Jungkook rolls over to allow Taehyung more room. “In the morning.”

“Mm.”

They fall asleep tucked against each others' bodies, and Jungkook's now extremely glad his roommate's gone, because this is probably more gay than taking it up the ass could have ever been, and definitely too gay to flaunt. The dorms are never heated well enough in winter, but he falls asleep suffocatingly warm, almost too much. He doesn't really mind it.

 - - -

He wakes up with a sharp prod at his side.

Dude.”

“Mmph.”

“Fucking—” Someone sighs, and oh, right, it's Taehyung. Taehyung's here. Jungkook opens his eyes to see the guy jabbing a finger into Jungkook's flank. It's honestly not as jarring as he'd expected it to be, seeing Taehyung, bed-hair fluffed and wild, blinking the sleep from his eyes. It's actually kind of nice.

“Go to sleep,” Jungkook grumbles, then shoves at Taehyung's chest, pushing him away. “Fuck, why're you so warm.”

You're the one grinding your boner against me, I'm trying to fucking sleep too,” Taehyung grunts, and bats a weak hand at Jungkook.

He shifts his hips and sighs, feeling the uncomfortable weight of his cock, surely enough, hard. “Whatever. Bet it's your fault for giving me a boner,” he mutters, and shoves his face into a pillow.

The bed shakes with Taehyung's laughter. “You dickhole.”

And Jungkook tries to sleep. He really does. Thing is, it's tough for his mind to rest when Taehyung's warm body's right there, so tempting. Especially charged with the memory of yesterday, of the knowledge that anything from his far-fetched fantasies probably aren't as far-fetched as he's thought. Of course, that, as well as the fact that Taehyung's teasingly gliding his fingers over Jungkook's shirt, a touch barely perceptible through the fabric, but still there.

Stop,” Jungkook gripes, swatting a hand somewhere in Taehyung's direction, but he doesn't really mean it. His smile comes through in his tone, and Taehyung must take that as a go-ahead. Immediately he shucks Jungkook's shirt up, caressing is chest, mildly sweaty from the heat of two bodies beneath the covers.

His palms are calloused, rough from all the usage, from handling a splintering wooden hockey stick in the skin-splitting temperatures of winter. It's masculine in such a subtle way, but Jungkook notices it nonetheless, latches on to the fact and lets it melt him.

“You keep doing that you're gonna have to deal with my boner some more,” he warns, lifting his head from the pillow and looking at Taehyung with a tricksy gaze.

“I don't think I'd mind.” Taehyung wiggles his eyebrows, laughing when Jungkook rolls his eyes at him. Then he grips Jungkook by the hips, pulls their bodies close together and rolls so he's sitting in Taehyung's lap, legs spread on either side of him. Morning wood pressed against Taehyung's lower belly. Which isn't sexy, in essence, but it involves Taehyung, which makes it sexy by default.

“You smell like beer,” Taehyung comments. “And sex. Sweat.”

“Again,” Jungkook says, and leans down to kiss at Taehyung's collar, neck, jaw, which admittedly do smell more like a college party than anything else, “your fault. Mostly.”

“Hm. Sorry,” Taehyung drawls, then tilts his head up and easily parts his lips when Jungkook's kisses reach his mouth. Hums and gently pokes his tongue out, sliding it across the pout of Jungkook's bottom lip.

“Fucking gross, dude,” Jungkook mutters into the kiss, “your breath's like old Stella's or some shit.”

Taehyung pinches Jungkook's side. “Yours too, asshole.”

“Whatever,” he snickers, and lets his lips fall apart a bit farther, lets Taehyung's tongue in a bit deeper, meets it with his own. “Just—” And he rolls his hips down, grinding into Taehyung's lap and feeling the guy's growing erection against his ass. Again. Impatient.

There's that insistent knot in his stomach, pushing further down, feeling hotter. Taehyung's hands go from his waist to his back, scrape the skin beneath his shirt that's riding up and then tracing down to grope his ass. Although he's not sure why, he laughs into Taehyung's mouth.

“What?” Taehyung asks, pulling back, lips shiny.

“I dunno man.” Jungkook scrunches his nose, gestures between the two of them. “It's just funny.”

“What is?”

“Dunno. Us.”

Taehyung snorts and goes back to kissing him, mumbling something like And you said there was no us while working their lips together, scraping his teeth against the delicate skin in a way that makes Jungkook's stomach swoop. Wasting no time, Taehyung shoves a hand beneath the waistband of Jungkook's underwear, pulling out his cock and pumping it.

“Agh, dry.” Jungkook winces.

“Sorry.” Taehyung brings his palm to his mouth and spits on it before wrapping it back around Jungkook's dick.

“Nasty,” he mutters, but his hips buck forward anyway.

“Psh. You like it.”

And it's not exactly wet, but he's never much minded friction anyways. Regardless, that all goes away when precome begins to well at the slit of his cock, dripping down the sides, getting spread by Taehyung's palm. He's always gotten so wet so easily, fucking leaking before he's anywhere close to coming. Normally it's a little annoying, the way his cock just drips. Now, though, he's so incredibly thankful, rolling his hips into the wet, hot smear as Taehyung pumps him.

Taehyung watches him shamelessly as Jungkook moans and rhythmically rocks his hips forward then relaxes back down again into Taehyung's lap, eyelids fluttering and those dark eyelashes brushing over his pink cheeks.

“You look good. Pretty,” Taehyung says causally, mellowly. And Jungkook's sure the guy doesn't even realize what that word does to him, how it makes his brain short-circuit, tugs a whine from his throat. Taehyung begins thumbing at the tip, and Jungkook's so lost that it takes too long a while for him to realize he should be reciprocating.

So he moves his hand down, lifts the hem of Taehyung's shirt and and dips his fingers beneath his underwear, curls them around Taehyung's dick, all that burning skin, its pulsing heat. Revels in the way Taehyung groans, the way his Adam's apple bobs when he gives him a bitten fuck in return, spurring him on.

“Tae—” Jungkook says. He tries to get Taehyung's hand out of the way so he can wrap his hand around both their cocks, but his hips keep stuttering and it's awfully clumsy.

“Here—my hand's bigger.” Taehyung realizes his intention, replacing Jungkook's hand with his own, shoving his underwear out of the way the best he can before pressing their dicks together firmly, fingers getting around his shaft and Jungkook's so nicely, and fuck if it doesn't make Jungkook just moan. It's so hot, so mind-blowingly hot, looking down between their chests and seeing the pink tip of his cock right up against Taehyung's, the sheen of precome, how it slicks along Taehyung's fingers as his hand comes up to dig into the slit of Jungkook's cock, smears across his own as his hand pumps back down.

“Oh, fuck.” Jungkook's breath stutters, fast and heavy like his pounding heart.

“Yeah,” Taehyung groans back, some sort of agreement.

Jungkook grinds his hips, fucking into Taehyung's grip, rubbing their cocks together. With Taehyung's other hand flat on the small of Jungkook's back, pulling them closer and occasionally dipping lower to squeeze his ass.

Their foreheads knock together, and Jungkook tries his best to quell his harsh breathing before pressing his slick mouth against Taehyung's in an admittedly sloppy kiss. Too much teeth, tongue, spit. And it's messy but it's good, so intrinsically them, personal in that way only they are.

Jungkook pushes his fingers through Taehyung's hair, getting the too-long, sweaty strands off his forehead. Pushes his ass against Taehyung's thighs for momentum to move in time with the rhythm he's set. It's a fast pace, frantic, a dirty, wet slap of skin with each pass of Taehyung's hand that quickens as they get closer to the edge.

“Jesus—” Jungkook chokes, voice breaking off at the end because Taehyung gets the angle just fucking right, thumb flicking over the most sensitive part of the head, digging into the slit before stroking back down. “Jesus, dude, I'm gonna come.

“Same,” Taehyung grits, moving to mouth at the tense clench of Jungkook's jawline, hand tightening, pressing his length against Jungkook's so nicely. “God, yeah—”

“Oh—” And Jungkook shudders, moaning brokenly as he comes all over his and Taehyung's chests, dirtying their shirts that they really should have taken off. His orgasm hits him so hard he has to slam his hand on the bed frame behind Taehyung and grip so he doesn't fall the fuck over, this shitty dorm bed admittedly too small for two full-grown men.

All that come gets along Taehyung's knuckles and slicks his strokes, making his hips buck upward. Then he's groaning, voice shuddering, scraping his teeth along Jungkook's jaw as his release shoots over his knuckles. Jungkook watches in mild wonder, the hot spill of their come mixing and dripping over their skin.

With a delicate hand, the runs his fingers through the white fluid, collecting it with his fingers before he brings them to his mouth. Not really thinking, just doing.

“Dude,” Taehyung murmurs, half in awe and half in disgust, watching with parted lips as Jungkook pokes his tongue between his fingers. Licks up the come, smiling coyly at the way Taehyung gaze stills, locks on him.

“Want some?” Then he sticks his come-soaked fingers in Taehyung's mouth, getting white along his bottom lip, being admittedly surprised when Taehyung swirls his tongue around his fingers and sucks. “Gross,” Jungkook whispers, and Taehyung wiggles his eyebrows before letting go of those fingers with a crude pop.

“You're nasty.”

“So are you.”

“We both are.”

“Fuck yeah,” Jungkook breathes, then leans in to kiss the sheen of come from Taehyung's mouth before rolling off his lap.

He's not sure how long they lie there, feeling warm and tingly and half-asleep, but too soon Taehyung's incessantly poking Jungkook's side.

“Hey.”

“Mm.”

“Kook, hey.”

“What.”

He cracks open one eye to see Taehyung lying with one arm folded beneath his head. Looking at Jungkook almost expectantly.

“Saturday?” he asks. “You busy? Saturday?”

“Ugh, fuck, you gonna make me come up with some excuse now?”

Taehyung laughs. “Oh, you dick, it'll be fun. It's the game, down at the stadium. You know?”

“You got tickets?”

Jungkook realizes Taehyung's hand brushing along his arm, to his shoulder, chest, down to his waist. Just casually touching.

“Duh.”

“How many?”

“Just two. Come on. A Saturday night with yous truly, and some professional hockey? Can't get any better, if you ask me.”

“Uh—” And Taehyung doesn't know this part, but there's something stupid caught in Jungkook's throat, and maybe it's excitement, or that elusive sort of infatuation. That elation as you catch yourself already halfway down on the too-hard, too-fast fall, and you're a hundred percent okay with it. “Y—yeah. I mean.” He coughs. “Yeah, I like hockey. Why not?”

“Wicked.” Taehyung smiles his contagious thousand-watt smile, and Jungkook burrows deeper into the covers so his silly grin isn't as obvious.

“Yeah. Whatever. I'm tired.”

“Don't you have shit to do?”

“No. Do you?”

“Jeez. Yeah.” He jabs Jungkook's flank again. “Get up with me.”

“Ugh. No.”

Yes. Up.” And he begins to push the warm covers away, sitting up. Jungkook's not having that. He rolls over, lifting an arm and blindly searching before grabbing some part of Taehyung and forcing his upper body back down, flat onto the bed. Pulls the covers back over them. Taehyung complains, “I have class.

“Fuck class. I'm tired.”

Jungkook closes his eyes, feeling Taehyung shift, thinking his heat source is going to get up and leave anyway. Instead, he just relaxes into Jungkook's grip and sighs, facing Jungkook so his soft breathing can be felt on his face, the gentle flop of his hair tickling his skin.

“I'm only staying if you make me food,” he mumbles.

Too easy. Jungkook huffs a laugh through his nose. “What do you want?”

"Waffles.”

“Ugh, fuck that. I'll make you toast. Maybe.”

“You shit. Whatever.”

“Later, though.”

“Mm.”

Taehyung presses closer, and Jungkook feels the uncomfortable wetness of come on the front of his shirt press against his skin.

“We've gotta clean this.”

“Well maybe you can just eat it again, slut—”

Jungkook open his eyes so he can accurately flick Taehyung's cheek.

“Shut up, you ate it too.”

Taehyung grins and flicks his cheek back, letting his head nestle into the pillows. “Whatever, Jeon. Sleep.”

 - - -

“So,” Yoongi says. He's already got some expectant grin on his face. Jungkook already wants to punch him. Of course, he wouldn't dare, because Yoongi's terrifying when he's mad. But Jungkook likes to imagine it, nonetheless.

“So?”

“Fucking so...” He raises his eyebrows, then goes on when Jungkook says nothing. “Saw you and Kim getting real cozy last weekend.”

“Oh, so you actually noticed something other than that mouthful of Park's cock—”

“Watch it.” Yoongi points his fork in between Jungkook's eyes, glaring. Then he stabs at another piece of pancake. “Don't change the subject.”

“'M not,” Jungkook denies. He stuffs nearly half a pancake into his mouth, already anticipating the question Yoongi's going to ask, hoping it'll give him some excuse not to answer.

“Jimin tells me you guys did stuff.

“Didn't do jack,” Jungkook mumbles around his mouthful of syrupy pancakes. “The fuck's Jimin know.”

“'Cause Taehyung normally tells Jimin everything. But this time he didn't say anything. Like, zip, zero, zlich, I'm talking. So you know what I figure?”

“I don't care.”

“Figure he probably fucked you into next century—”

Jungkook flicks some syrup from his plate at Yoongi.

“Fuck off,” he spits.

“You're blushing.”

“I'm not,” he mutters and takes another bite of his pancakes. “We didn't fuck.”

“But you did...” Yoongi insistently gestures at him to go on, twirling his fork.

Jungkook huffs and concedes. “We fucked around, Min. Happy?”

“Is there a fucking difference?”

“Sure there is.”

“What, then.”

“Oh, you wanna hear about it, is that it?”

“Nah, gross,” Yoongi laughs. “Just wanna make fun of you for it.”

“I hate you.”

“That's fine.” Yoongi leans over and takes one of Jungkook's pancakes from his plate. That piece of shit. “So now?”

“Hm?”

“What are you? Fuckbuddies?”

“I—Dunno. Maybe. No.”

“So...?” Yoongi presses.

“Fuck, man, it's like—whatever,” Jungkook huffs. Stabs a pancake, and Yoongi just snickers. “Who cares?”

You care.”

“What do you know.”

“Jesus, so moody. How about this, alright?” Yoongi wiggles his sticky fork at Jungkook across the table. “You're dating. Yes? No? I'm talking—you have any dates planned?”

Jungkook shrugs. Takes another bite of his pancakes that's way too big to talk around.

“You do?” Yoongi cackles. “You have a date? You fucking nerd, who in this century even dates before they fuck, Jesus—”

“It's not a date, fuckwad. It's a—” Jungkook twirls his fork. “It's a thing. We have a thing planned.”

“Oh, alright.” Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Let me know how your thing goes, I guess, preferably after you've hopped off his cock.”

“Fuck off, Christ.”

“Hey, you know—” Yoongi sits up straighter in his seat, scanning his eyes over the area of the kitchen in the back of the diner. “He works here, right? You think he's here now?”

Stop—

“I bet he'd hear if I called him, hey?”

“I'll kill you, I fucking will, swear to God—”

“Hey, Kim! Got your little boy toy here—”

And everyone in the restaurant watches in mild revulsion as Jungkook practically wrestles Yoongi out of the diner, throwing wads of cash on the table and leaving a mess like typical community college hockey boys.

 - - -

It would be a lie if Jungkook were to say he's not nervous. It's just that he doesn't want to admit it, not when it's about Taehyung. Who's just a guy, who Jungkook shouldn't give so much of a shit about. Still, he can't help his quickening heart every time he glances at the clock, watching it tick closer and closer to their agreed-upon time. And he still hasn't chosen the proper outfit, Jesus Christ.

“Hey,” he says to his roommate, who's completely absorbed in something on his phone.

“What.”

“Red or black?”

The guy scoffs. “I dunno, man, you'll look fucking gay in either one.”

“Yeah, but I need something that'll make me look more gay.” Jungkook holds up the shirts and repeats, “Red or black.”

His roommate gives him a deadpan stare, and Jungkook just glares back. And maybe puffs his chest up a bit to look more intimidating.

“...Red,” the guy sighs after a while, turning back to his phone.

Jungkook frowns and thinks about that for a minute. “Nah.” Then he tosses the red shirt off to the side, pulling on the other one. “I look better in black.”

From across the room, his roommate bristles. “You cunt muncher, then why'd you fucking ask—”

But there's a knock at the door, not allowing Jungkook the opportunity to argue. Which is good, because that sort of anger doesn't rest well on the face, and Jungkook needs to look his absolute best for this. Hell, he'd even cleaned up earlier in the evening, despite the voice in the back of his head saying he's expecting too much out of this. Still, just in case something were to happen, he'd washed out twice to make sure he was pristine as fuck. Because he wants to impress. Not that he cares, or anything. Or maybe he does. Don't tell Taehyung that.

Quickly, he checks himself in the mirror again. Fuck, his hair got ruined a bit by the shirt. Fuck, he's not ready. He'll probably never be ready.

“Um. Hi.”

But he's already got the door open, biting the inside of his lip as he tries to give Taehyung the most natural-looking smile he can manage given his twisted stomach. This doesn't even make sense. This is fucking Kim Taehyung, dweeb extraordinaire, some loser from the Kodiaks that Jungkook's hated and spat insults at for over a year with no problem at all.

Get sex and feelings involved, though, and everything tends to get a bit messy.

“Hey.” Taehyung grins at him, charming and silly at the same time. “You look good, Jeon. You ready?”

“Yeah.” He quickly grabs his coat. “And, uh, you too. You look good, too.”

Because he does. That goes without saying for someone like him, though.

“Aw, look at you, being all nice today,” Taehyung laughs, scrunching his nose and giving Jungkook a small punch on the arm.

“Fuck off,” Jungkook mutters, shaking his hair out to hide his blush as he shrugs on his coat.

“Hey,” his roommate calls from behind. “Just saying—like, if you're gonna fuck, don't come back here. I've gotta study tonight.”

“We're not gonna fuck,” Jungkook spits back at him.

“We're not?” Taehyung laughs, and now Jungkook has to turn to Taehyung to glare at him as well.

“No—Yes, just—Stop. Ugh.” He pushes past Taehyung, grabbing him by the elbow and slamming the door shut behind him. “I hate him. I hate you.”

“Okay, okay,” Taehyung giggles,getting pulled along by Jungkook before he uncurls his fingers from his arm and instead clasps them tightly in his hand. Which gets Jungkook to slow down, sure, but also gets his heart absolutely racing. Hopefully his hands aren't as clammy as they feel.

Outside, a light blanket of snow covers the streets, small flakes falling from the black sky, glimmering under the streetlights. It's incredibly quiet, Taehyung and Jungkook walking along the wide street with the occasional car whipping by over the wet pavement. The arena's close by, fifteen minutes tops.

Taehyung uses their linked hands to pull Jungkook close, walking side-by-side, leaning against him. His skin's beginning to sting in the cold, but it's easily overlooked next to the comfortable warmth of Taehyung's palm.

“Why are you so”—Jungkook wiggles his fingers in Taehyung's grip, but immediately squeezes again when he feels him letting go—“clingy?”

Taehyung shrugs. “Just how I am. Better get used to it, if you're planning on liking me.”

Jungkook finds his body getting closer to Taehyung, bumping against him so they're eventually subtly supporting each other as they walk. “Well good thing I'll never like you, then.”

“Pft, yeah. Good thing.”

 - - -

The game, of course, is great. Better than great. It's everything Jungkook wanted to be and more. Mainly because of Taehyung, his constant jokes and the general giddiness Jungkook feels when around him that he'll never actually admit to. The roar of the crowd, the ricochet of the puck, the burning atmosphere and the freezing air. That's hockey.

But despite how loud it is, Jungkook's rushing thoughts overpower it all. Around him, after each goal, the crowd around him will boo or cheer, depending on which side it's scored on. And Jungkook will too, but he's not really paying attention to the game. Just Taehyung.

Taehyung, who gets touchy-feely with a little alcohol loosening the system, and Jungkook who becomes increasingly okay with it the more beers he jumps back to concession to get. Taehyung, who'll grab Jungkook's hand and pull him up to stand and scream at the top of his lungs along with the drunk game-goers surrounding them, completely unreserved. Encouraging Jungkook to be, as well. He's normally a quiet person, but around Taehyung he has no reservations about just doing what he wants.

It's over too soon, but despite his disappointment, Jungkook might say he's a little glad. It's admittedly difficult to have any sort of conversation when thousands of people are howling in your vicinity.

“Fuck,” Taehyung coughs. The crowd is dispersing, hockey players clearing off the ice. “My throat.”

“Probably shouldn't scream so much, dude.” Jungkook stands, stretching his legs.

“It's a hockey game, I'll be as loud as I want.” Taehyung shoves Jungkook's shoulder. “Don't act like you didn't have fun. I mean—wasn't that awesome?”

Jungkook smiles. “It was okay.” Actually it was better, much better, but he doesn't want to give Taehyung that satisfaction.

“Psh. Liar. You loved it. I saw.” He winks at Jungkook, picking up his coat from the seat, waiting for most of the crowd to leave before entering the aisles.

“Maybe a little.”

“More like a lot. You didn't even have to pay. I'm like, the best date.”

Wrinkling his nose, blushing and hoping it just looks like it's from the cold, Jungkook says, “You're not my date.”

And Taehyung barks out a laugh at that before he grabs Jungkook and kisses him with his smiling, beer-stained mouth. Kisses him till he's dizzy, letting out some stupid sound with his legs going weak, hand grasping at Taehyung's arm for stability. But far too soon, he's pulling back to beam at him. “Sure I'm not.”

“Agh—” Jungkook wrinkles his nose and rubs the skin around his mouth. “Jeez, Kim, you've gotta shave better.”

“You ass. Sorry.” Cackling, Taehyung pulls him back for another quick kiss. Jungkook relents. Obviously.

“Let's go,” he mumbles against Taehyung's lips.

“Mm. Where?”

“Your...” But Jungkook stops. Thinks about it for a moment before saying, albeit hesitantly, “Your place?”

“Sure.” Taehyung smirks. Wiggles his eyebrows in such an ingratiating, such a Taehyung-like manner, that Jungkook can't help the knock to his chest.

“You gotta be a dick about everything?”

“Nah,” Taehyung chuckles, then throws an arm over Jungkook's shoulder and begins to follow the crowd out toward the arena exit. “Just some things.”

“Well stop.”

Taehyung fakes a pout. “Don't you like me?”

No.”

“Jeez. You're missing out, man. I'm really cool, just for your information.”

“You are the furthest thing from cool.”

“Bullshit. Look at me,” Taehyung says, and for some reason, Jungkook does. Looks at his face held so close to his, eyes glimmering playfully, cheeks red from the cold and alcohol. He points a finger at his chest. “See? Cooler than the other side of the pillow, baby.” And he nuzzles into Jungkook's shoulder.

“Ugh, you loser.” Jungkook smacks at Taehyung's shoulder, but then lifts a hand to quickly run through Taehyung's hair before the guy pulls his head back up.

“You like it,” Taehyung teases.

“Ugh,” Jungkook just repeats. “Hurry up.” He walks quicker, pulling Taehyung's arm tighter over his shoulder.

“Oh, wait. One thing, though—”

“What?”

With a sheepish smile, Taehyung rubs at the back of his neck. “We have to stop at the store. For, like—” And he doesn't finish his sentence, just pokes his tongue between his teeth and gives Jungkook a mildly guilty grin.

“Oh my God,” Jungkook huffs. Gives an exaggerated roll of his eyes because of course, this is Taehyung we're talking about so of course this is gonna happen. “I hate—”

“Yeah, yeah.” Taehyung picks up the pace, weaving them between the crowd of people. “You hate me, I get it.”

 - - -

“Hurry up.”

“But there's so many choices—”

“Whatever, this is embarrassing.” He's saying it in a hushed whisper that still feels too loud among the empty aisles.

“No, but I mean, strawberry or—”

“Kim, I couldn't give a fuck if I tried, let's just go—”

“This is crucial,” Taehyung jokes, picking a stupidly pink bottle from the shelves. Grabbing him by the shoulder and pulling him back, Jungkook snatches it from his hands and puts it back.

“Not that,” he grumbles, and grabs a different blue and infinitely less garish one.

“What, 'flavoured's for fags'? 'Cause that's what Jimin says.” He smiles back at Jungkook's potent glare. “Says he'll only ever fuck Min with the normal shit because he's worried it'll get too gay.”

“I really—” But Jungkook snorts at the mental image, at what must have been Yoongi's deadpan stare as Jimin explained this with certainty, at the fact that Yoongi's so whipped he's probably convinced by now that using different lube changes the inherent fruitiness of a moment. “I really don't want to think about Yoongi taking it up the ass right now.”

“When would you ever?” Taehyung wrinkles his nose. Nods at the lube held in Jungkook's hands, close to his body because really, even buying regular lube is still embarrassing. “You want that? We could still get flavoured, I really wouldn't mind letting it get too gay if it were with you—”

“Shut up. This,” Jungkook cuts him off and hands him the bottle. “You buy it. And condoms. I'll be outside.”

“Why me?”

“'Cause I don't wanna,” he laughs, and takes a step back. But Taehyung grabs him by the arm.

“You're an insufferable asshole,” and he begins to pull Jungkook down the aisle, toward the registers at the front, “but I am, too.”

He forces Jungkook to accompany him to the till, even makes a fucking show of selecting condoms, talking too loudly about the sensations of ribbed or smooth, the different brands, and Jungkook is absolutely mortified. But seeing the way the clerk avoids their eyes, hides a laugh as he probably ridicules the half-drunk college kids before him, is admittedly sort of funny.

And on the walk back, Taehyung clings closer to Jungkook, hanging off his body like a koala and squeezing the muscles of his arm, talking about how hard his body is, and then immediately about how hard he could make him, and it makes Jungkook shake him off and deliver an irritated punch to the stomach. But it also makes him relent when Taehyung starts tugging him down the street in a hurry to get to his place.

So maybe they're a little eager. So maybe Jungkook's been waiting for this since the first moment he'd laid eyes on Taehyung over an entire year ago, since the first cocky, competitive thing he'd heard from the guy's mouth that was enough to contend his own behaviour.

“Jesus, why's it so crowded?” Jungkook mutters, stumbling as he tries to toe off his boots too quickly at the back door of the diner, holding onto Taehyung for stability.

“Get with the program, man. Everyone comes here post-game.”

“Gross.” Jungkook wrinkles his nose. “People.”

“Right?” Taehyung laughs. “They're so fucking loud, too. Especially the drunk ones.” Then he kicks Jungkook's boots to the side, pushes his body on his so they're up against the wall of the cramped back entrance.

It shoots a sharp pain along Jungkook's spine, the sudden slam, the force against something so hard. It also makes him dizzy, though, dizzy in a good way, all the implications of the ease at which Taehyung handles him. How his hands and motions know what to do, when to do it.

Taehyung's eyes flitter across his face, and Jungkook blushes under the sudden scrutiny, blushes that he likes the shift in atmosphere. “Kinda sucks, though, all this noise,” he murmurs, a gentle breath across Jungkook's skin. “Won't get to hear you as well.”

“Well that depends, doesn't it?” Jungkook smirks and gets his hands beneath Taehyung's coat, hooks his fingers in his belt loops and forces him closer by the hips, “On how loud you can get me to be.”

“Hm. Sounds like a challenge.” Their eyes are locked, faces so close to each other. This is quite sudden, but it needs to be understood they're impatient. Not that Jungkook doesn't enjoy hockey games, and not that Jungkook doesn't enjoy Taehyung, but he'd be rather irritated if tonight ended with a chaste goodnight kiss instead a good, hard fuck.

“Make what you want of it,” he breathes, letting his back lean lower against the wall, pulling Taehyung so he's looking down at him. Jungkook kisses the exposed part of his collar beneath the half-zipped coat and swooping neckline of his shirt. Then scrapes his teeth there, a reminder that there's no need at all to be gentle. “Just promise me you'll make it good. Yeah?”

“Yeah...” Taehyung murmurs, smile playing at his tone, a hand unzipping Jungkook's jacket and palming over the thin fabric of his shirt, around his tight waist. Sure in such a way that Jungkook thinks he'll probably never make it to the bedroom, will have to get fucked right here because of just how bad Taehyung makes him want it. But before it gets too heady, before Jungkook starts burning too hot beneath his skin, Taehyung breaks the vibe and gives him a moronic grin, momentarily losing all that molten lava from his eyes. “Come on. Can't fuck here.”

So they stumble down the nearby stairs to his bedroom, Taehyung fumbling with the lock of the door at the top of the staircase as they go. Jungkook, hasty, clings to his body and starts tugging him down the rest of the way as soon as there's the reassuring click, getting the lube and condoms from Taehyung's coat pocket and throwing them onto the bed before shucking off the guy's coat as well as his own.

In the basement it's harder to hear the commotion of the diner, sound muffled to a soft murmur. Regardless, all Jungkook can really hear, can really focus on, is the quick huffs of Taehyung's breath accompanied by his own.

“Fuck,” he mutters, feeling the heat of Taehyung's skin, the hard planes of his body. Presses close to him against the wall at the base of the stairs, nosing at his neck and nuzzling into the juncture there, sighing happily when Taehyung lifts his chin to allow him the room. He smells like sweat, adrenaline from the excitement of the game and beer from the concession, like the cold of the ice, like the heat of the moment. Boyish and sexy and everything Jungkook wants. “Taehyung, fuck.”

“Having fun?” Taehyung laughs quietly, the low rumble moving through his throat felt pleasantly against Jungkook's exploring mouth, playfully nipping at the skin.

“No, you're dirty.” Jungkook mumbles, but passes his tongue along the length of Taehyung's neck, revelling in the shiver it gets him. “Sweaty.”

It's when he starts to truly bite that Taehyung gets real riled up, growling as Jungkook mouths insistently at his skin. The hands on his hips tighten and force him closer, and Taehyung finally uses one hand to grip Jungkook's chin and bring his face away from his throat. Instead guides him to his mouth to kiss him a bit too hard. Jungkook grunts, breath getting knocked out of him as Taehyung pries his mouth open and licks into it. Rolling his hips forward, he lets out a needy whine when he feels the hot press of Taehyung's erection against his own.

“God,” Jungkook grits, a disorienting buzz going through his body at everything Taehyung does. “God, I want you in me.” And he lets his head fall back when Taehyung moves down to bite at his jaw, his neck, snarling with his grip tightening possessively.

“Ugh, Jungkook, you're gonna fucking kill me. Gonna—” He bites, hard, and Jungkook moans like he hates it, hates how he loves it. “'M gonna fuck you so hard, baby, gonna make you scream.”

At that, Jungkook's hips buck forward, a stupid sound caught in his throat. He frowns at Taehyung's amused expression, but his eyelids flutter when Taehyung gets close again, lips gently brushing his.

“Yeah? You'd like that, huh, baby?” He hums, Jungkook watching raptly as Taehyung swipes his tongue out over his reddened lips, admiring Jungkook with a feral hunger. “Bet you want me to fuck you like that, bet you love when it hurts.”

“Then—agh, then shut the fuck up and give it to me, Jesus.” He begins to pull at Taehyung's hand. “Bed, come on. You're not strong enough to fuck me against the wall.”

Taehyung chuckles but comes along, shucking off his shirt on the way. Tugging at Jungkook's and getting him to do the same. “That's your fault for being such a muscle pig.”

“Not pig,” Jungkook grumbles, hopping onto the bed with Taehyung and reaching for him, making quick work of the guy's pants, feeling the strain of his erection against the fly. Reaches into his boxers the second he can and wraps his hand around his hot, hard cock, watching the subtle buck of his hips into Jungkook's hand.

“Fine.” Then he tips Jungkook's head up and kisses him surprisingly sweetly, making Jungkook's hand still as his mind blanks, before Taehyung releases his lips with a soft click. “You're cute. Yeah? And I'm gonna fuck you like it too, cutie.

Before Jungkook can bristle and retaliate, he shoves him down by the shoulders to get him flat on the bed, then undoes his pants for him. Pulls them off, followed by his boxers, and Taehyung gets rid of his own too, throwing all that clothing somewhere onto the floor.

Jungkook's hard, leaking from the tip, and he sighs and shifts to allow Taehyung better access when he wraps his hand around his cock and pumps so, so slowly, casually circling his fingers over the tip, smearing the filthy wetness around.

Ah, that's good, yeah.” Jungkook squirms, relaxing onto Taehyung's bed in the bliss of his touch. “Like—mm, your hands, with—hah, callouses, you know?”

Taehyung laughs. “Sounds uncomfortable, if you ask me.”

“Nah,” Jungkook breathes, dick twitching when Taehyung brushes hard just below the tip. “I like it.”

Maybe it's the subtle bluntness of the way his touch feels, or maybe it's the reminder, the mental image of Taehyung soaked in sweat, clutching the tough wood of the hockey stick, victorious. But either way, Jungkook enjoys the roughness of his hands, the practised sturdiness it alludes to.

“Hey,” Taehyung begins, and gently prods his fingers around Jungkook's dry asshole. The shot of sensation whips through his spine and he growls, body jerking, hole clenching. Taehyung giggles and pokes again, watching his reaction.

“Agh—fucking hurts. What?” he snaps.

“Can I—” He pauses, then moves between Jungkook's milky legs, getting his mouth closer to his pulsing cock. He presses firm kisses along his inner thigh, moving up. For a second Jungkook thinks he's going to blow him like last time, which would just be amazing. But instead, Taehyung's lips press a little lower, wide palms pushing up at the backs of his thighs, exposing more of his ass so Taehyung can mouth along the pale curve. “Do you...” he murmurs, and Jungkook's head knocks back when he feels the rush of Taehyung's hot breath over his asshole.

Yes, oh God, yeah, please,” he's saying immediately, instinctively pulling his legs up closer to his body, allowing Taehyung more room to spread his asscheeks and press his tongue—fuck, flat against his asshole, hot and wet and forceful. “Tae—” he chokes, and moans way too loudly when Taehyung does it again, and again, tongue occasionally poking past the ring of fluttering muscle, then circling the rim, doing wondrous things.

Briefly, he pulls back to look at the absolutely lost expression on Jungkook's face. “Always wondered why people like this,” he muses, mostly to himself.

Jungkook just grunts and reaches between his legs, finding Taehyung hair and clutching it so it's sure to hurt, then wrenches his face right back down. “Well keep going and I'll show you. Learning experience, yeah?”

To which Taehyung chuckles, but continues anyway. Peppers quick kisses around Jungkook's twitching hole before driving his tongue right back in, followed by a finger that knows immediately what to search for. Jungkook's back arches off the bed lewdly, hips rutting away from the admittedly odd sensation of that strong, wet muscle down there, but hurriedly rolling back down, fist curling harder in Taehyung's hair and cruelly pulling his face closer, tongue deeper. Precome oozes from his cock, twitching and leaking even more each time Taehyung gets something just right, the sticky fluid dripping down onto his belly.

“Nnh, oh, fuck, oh,” he groans, breathing ragged and getting even worse, even more desperate, the more Taehyung works his mouth over his spit-slick hole. He curls that finger inside him and Jungkook wiggles his ass, wanting more. Helpless, needy moans escape him each time it brushes against his prostate, pushing firmly against it as he babbles some incoherent sounds about how good it all feels.

Then Taehyung pulls back, and Jungkook hates the whine he lets out at the emptiness, the loss of heat from that tongue.

“God,” Taehyung mutters, reaching over Jungkook's torso and grabbing the lube lying next to him. “God, wanna fuck you so bad, you're so fucking hot, Jeon, I'm gonna fucking die, you're so—” Using his teeth, he tears off the seal from the cap and pops open the top, quickly dribbling lube over his fingers. As he does this Jungkook catches sight of his cock, hot and red and seeping precome, and he's overwhelmed by the filthy urge to be filled to the fucking brim, completely taken charge of.

Ah, yeah,” Jungkook breathes, grinding his hips down as Taehyung pushes two wet fingers into his asshole. His thumb presses against Jungkook's perineum as he does so, helping him curl his fingers and put even more pressure against Jungkook's prostate. His thighs tremble, spreading farther apart as the fire spreads from his lower belly, setting his entire body alight. “I—fuck, Tae, that feels—hn—”

“I've got you,” he murmurs, then adds a third slicked finger. The stretch, the burn, Jungkook feels himself breaking underneath it all. Taehyung licks up his stomach, then presses close and latches his mouth around one of Jungkook's nipples. His hand immediately comes up, curling into Taehyung's hair to hold him there, to keep that tongue swirling around the sensitive bud, sending brutal shocks of pleasure down his spine. Taehyung hums and pulls back, and Jungkook has to fight the dogged need to greedily tug his mouth back. “Feel good?” he murmurs, smirking at Jungkook as he pokes his tongue out to lick at the other nipple.

“Mn,” Jungkook just hums, and rolls his hips down onto Taehyung's fingers. “Keep going. Wanna come like this.”

“Aw, but where's my fun?”

“Fuck your fun.”

Rude. What if I said this?” Then he stills his fingers, warm breath ghosting over Jungkook's nipple, and simply whispers, “No.”

“What?” Jungkook shifts his hips, shuddering when he gets Taehyung's fingers back so close to that spot inside of him, but the feeling is nowhere near enough. What a tease. “Oh, fuck off.” Refusing to let this happen, he just reaches down to pump his cock. Because he could come again, that's no problem at all. Yet apparently that's not Taehyung's issue with this.

No, baby,” Taehyung says, seizes his wrist and pulls it away, and grins devilishly when Jungkook glares. “Remember the punishment?”

“No.” Really, he doesn't.

“Well I remember. You're so rude,” he whispers. Mouths at Jungkook's earlobe, toying with the earring. “So rude, all the fucking time. Such a bad boy. I think you deserve it. Don't you?”

Jungkook's lips part, but only a silly, breathy sound comes from his throat. Taehyung smirks.

“Don't come,” he says with finality.

“Yeah,” Jungkook breathes, feeling his body losing its tension, feeling himself go pliant under Taehyung's simple command. “Okay.”

“Good boy,” Taehyung coos, again moving his fingers, rubbing circles into Jungkook's prostate so kindly until he's a panting mess all over again. His other hand stroking Jungkook's cock, way too slowly. Pumping upwards only to stop maddeningly at the tip, flicking a thumb across the frenulum and watching Jungkook's impatient reaction, whining as he's torn between desperately fucking into Taehyung's grip or rolling his ass back down onto those long fingers.

The heat below his navel swells, pouring through his body as Taehyung plays with him, knowing exactly which buttons to push to get him to lose his goddamn mind. And he's so close, just a few head-spinning crooks of Taehyung's fingers away from blowing his load, but Taehyung knows this. Can feel it in the full pulse of Jungkook's cock, how precome wells at the tip and dribbles down all over his length as Taehyung makes him feel so good.

“Shit, look at you. Look at how you take my fucking fingers, look at how much you want it.”

Jungkook's fingers curl into the bedsheets, feeling the tension pull even tighter in his body. Swallowing, shaking his sweaty hair out of his eyes, doing just anything, really, to keep himself from coming. Because it's what Taehyung told him to do.

“More, I need more. Please—gimme your cock, I want your cock.”

“Yeah?” he teases, and rolls the hardened bud of Jungkook's nipple between his teeth before sucking hard, watching with amusement how his spine arches, breath coming harsher.

“Don't—” Jungkook lightly smacks the side of Taehyung's head, and scrunches his nose to hide the smile at the stupid pout Taehyung gives him. “Don't be a dick.”

“It's my charm.” Taehyung rolls his eyes, again sitting back, removing his fingers from Jungkook's asshole. The sudden empty clench is uncomfortable, and his body jolts slightly. “S'why people like me.”

“Yeah? And how's that going for you?”

“Worked on you, didn't it?”

“Not even,” Jungkook mutters, coming up onto his elbows so he can watch Taehyung roll on a condom and smear lube over his achingly hard cock. God, that's gonna be inside him. Fucking hell. Unconsciously, his tongue licks over his bottom lip, the memory of how Taehyung's come tasted that one morning coming back, and—okay, maybe Taehyung's charmed him a little. Not too much, though.

“Yeah, it did,” Taehyung laughs, throwing the roll of condoms and bottle of lube off the bed. He pokes Jungkook's side, who wiggles away and swats pettily at his hand. “You fell for it, y'know, all that hook, line, and sinker shit, baby.” And he winks.

“Dork,” Jungkook huffs and rolls his eyes. “Just fuck me.”

“Mm-hm.” He pats Jungkook's thighs. “Spread, sweetheart.” And that might make Jungkook angry, that tone. But he obeys, only because it sounds more like a command than anything.

Taehyung gets between his thighs, pushing his legs apart farther than he probably needs to, just so he can see and appreciate more of Jungkook's exposed, laid out body.

“So fucking pretty,” he purrs, stroking up and down Jungkook's thighs and making his hips rut upward, Taehyung lining up his cock to Jungkook's pink, flexing asshole. Using his thumbs to push his supple cheeks apart, he then smears the tip, slick with precome, around where Jungkook needs it so bad. But nothing more.

“In your own fucking time,” Jungkook snips.

“Of course,” Taehyung drawls, and he's laughing before he immediately pushes in, a delirious dizziness overcoming Jungkook as Taehyung's girth forces the ring of muscle open, a scalding sort of heat blooming wherever Taehyung touches him.

“Nn—ah.” He circles his hips, relishing the delightful pressure.

“You good?” Taehyung chokes, eyes screwing shut for a second as he sinks into Jungkook's overpowering heat.

“Yeah—Fuck, God—I'm so full, your cock—”

The thing about Jungkook is he gets loud, and he absolutely hates himself for it. Most of the time it's more of just an impulse than anything, a voice in the back of his head telling him to moan and whine and sob, which he can easily keep at bay. But there's something about the intoxicating push of a thick cock entering him, the sopping, squelching wetness of all that lube, that sets him off. And to make it worse, this time it's Taehyung's cock, which is a problem that speaks for itself.

Jungkook keens and bites his lip, pressing his tongue taut against the roof of his mouth as Taehyung fills him, fills him so completely, buried right to the fucking hilt, then pulls out and snaps his hips back again. And the way the guy groans, the rich quality of his deep voice, pleasure sparking at the edges as Jungkook's tight heat overwhelms him, so damn sexy in too many ways, is what's ruining Jungkook.

“Fuck,” he grits, and Jungkook shudders, legs falling open even more to allow Taehyung all the room he needs to just take, take, take. Which he does. Fucks Jungkook open with long, hard thrusts, grabbing him by the waist and jostling him into position so is dick's hitting—God, right there. “Fuck, so tight, so fucking good like this, Jungkook—”

Jungkook's back arches off the bed, sweat dripping uncomfortably down the sides of his face. And Taehyung's sweaty too, but he makes it look so good, his hair hitting against his forehead with each thrust, wild and shaken out and soaking like it looks after a good game, after a win, which he'd taunt Jungkook about endlessly. Come to think of it, there's always been something inexplicably more to their squabbles, the way they've always interacted. In all honesty they've probably been on the verge of this whole 'Taehyung fucking the lights out of Jungkook' thing for longer than they'd thought.

Jungkook's barely restraining the moans tumbling from his lips, shaky and breathy noises that come out like stupid mewls when he can't hold them back quite well enough. Because it's almost like relief, this heavenly feeling of finally being full, a hot body over his, harsh breaths over his face, commanding hands on his body that help his hips rut down onto the brutal pleasure.

“Oh, Tae,” he grits, wanting to sob over how good it feels but still wanting to sustain his pride. “C'mon, there, fuck me—oh—”

“Yeah?” His hands clasp stronger on Jungkook's body, angling him just fucking right and driving into him like he's trying to hurt him, the wet slap of skin on skin sounding so obscene and so hot at the same time. “There, baby? You feel good there?”

“Ungh, Jesus, yes—” And he's trying to stay relatively quiet, he really is. That essentially goes out the window, though, the minute Taehyung brings one hand, still wonderfully wet with lube, to start pumping his cock. In all honesty, any thoughts of keeping respectably quiet were hopeless from the beginning.

“Taehyung—” he yelps, voice trembling, really liking the feel of the guy's name on his tongue, tough and blunt like the way he fucks.

Taehyung giggles, slowing his pace a bit, and Jungkook drags impatient fingers down his back that don't quite draw blood but that he also knows aren't completely painless.

“Shh,” Taehyung snickers, “the soundproofing here isn't perfect. You want the whole diner to hear us fucking?”

Jungkook licks his lips, dry from being unconsciously parted. Swallows, and breathes, “Then shut me up.”

That stops Taehyung short, still inside Jungkook, giving him a mildly cautious look as he processes it. Jungkook just smirks and reaches for one of Taehyung's hands, licking coyly at his long fingers.

“Come on,” he murmurs. “I've been bad. Don't I deserve it? Hm?”

So Taehyung stops hesitating and clasps his palm roughly over Jungkook's mouth, covering all the way down to his jaw, forcing it shut, the sudden pressure pushing his tongue to the back of his throat so he almost chokes on it.

“Yeah?” Taehyung grunts, and thrusts so fucking hard, so unbelievably deep that Jungkook's head falls back and he cries out, brutally muffled, fingernails digging into Taehyung's back, looking for just any form of grounding. Smiling smugly, Taehyung does it again, again, again, rougher and rougher so the old bed's slamming against the wall and they're really probably louder than they were before. “Been fucking bad, huh? Been a fucking bad boy—God—”

He spits obscenities, rocking into Jungkook's clenching heat, cruel hand blocking his mouth. Jungkook's lips fall open with a sob at a particularly hard thrust, struggling for air, and his tense jaw closes down and bites down on the inside of Taehyung's palm probably much too hard to be comfortable, but Taehyung doesn't seem to mind. Just steadies himself, pushes Jungkook's flexible legs wider and then firmly grasps his upper thigh for an easier hold to fuck into him more aggressively.

Drool spills from the sides of his hot, panting mouth, slicking Taehyung's hand and smearing onto his chin. And he doesn't even care how crude it is. In fact, he likes it, loves it, because he's getting fucked so well right now that he can't focus on a single thing aside from the rhythmic, merciless way Taehyung's cock pumps into asshole.

Jungkook feels the familiar beginnings of a stir in his lower belly that he's felt those rare occasions he's come from just getting fucked. Before he even has a moment to wonder if he might be able to do it this time around, it's abruptly a thousand times stronger, an overwhelming, immense ball of pleasure curled up, coiling tighter each time Taehyung rams him into the bed, making precome drip even worse from his dick and coat his abs.

“Mmph,” he tries to communicate, opening his mouth the best he can and pushing his tongue against the palm of Taehyung's hand that gets shoved harder against his face at each thrust. Not much of a sound can be made other than a choked, delirious noise. But Taehyung seems to get it, the insistence to how Jungkook's fingers scrape against his back.

“Yeah,” he growls. “Yeah, fuck. You wanna come, baby? Is that it?”

Jungkook nods frantically, struggling to keep his eyes from fluttering shut just because he wants to watch Taehyung's face as he comes. Because he's close, too, and he knows it. Can feel it in the more frantic motion of Taehyung's hips, the burning pulse of his cock.

“Shit, go for it—yeah, come for me, come all over yourself, you bad boy, so fucking filthy—”

And that's really all Jungkook needs before he whines desperately against Taehyung's gagging hand, a shattered, wrecked noise as his body seizes up, asshole clenching so forcefully Taehyung has to stop thrusting for a moment, just clutching his body wherever he can. Taehyung's so good to him, making Jungkook come so, so much, the wet warmth of his load spraying over his stomach, chest, some getting on Taehyung, too, with the final bit of it dribbling down his length as his cock twitches.

Before Jungkook can even collect his thoughts, Taehyung removes his hand from over his lips and uses both to get a firm hold around Jungkook's hips. Jungkook moans feverishly, so completely lost in the sensation of Taehyung working his thick cock in and out of his asshole, using his tight body to chase his release.

“Taehyung, please, I wanna see you come, wanna watch it—” And that boy, he's got such a fucking mouth on him, the absolute nerve to just say something like that while looking so ravaged, that Taehyung's orgasm slams into him, grunting and sounding so absolutely violent, giving one final thrust before unloading with the mind-blowing pressure of Jungkook's walls squeezing his cock.

“Fuck,” he breathes, and collapses, unforgivingly crushing Jungkook beneath the weight of his exhausted body.

Ugh,” Jungkook groans, shifting and cringing when he feels Taehyung inside him, the odd movement of a softening dick and a used condom, which he can't say he's ever really liked. “Get off.” He shoves at Taehyung's chest, who just laughs and rolls to the side, pulling out with a nasty squelch, making Jungkook curse at the instant emptiness his muscles close in around.

Taehyung removes and ties up the condom, tossing it in the nearby trash bin, then leans over and grabs one of the many pieces of clothing from the mess on his floor to do a haphazard job of wiping up the come from their chests. Jungkook wrinkles his nose, but honestly, he's done the same thing before as well. Throwing the shirt, Taehyung flops back down next to Jungkook.

“Hate condoms. They're fucking gross,” he mumbles, throwing an arm over Jungkook and nuzzling into him, breathing in the smell of sweat and sex along his neck.

“Hm, yeah. Wish I could feel your come in me,” Jungkook sighs, and Taehyung groans and buries his face closer against Jungkook.

“Oh my God, you can't just say that.”

“I'll say whatever I want.”

Taehyung lifts his head, giving him a silly grin followed by a full kiss on the lips, mumbling, “Next time I'll let you have my come, alright?”

And it sounds ridiculous, but Jungkook thinks he might sort of mean it, so he laughs and hides his fucked-out, giddy expression by clinging harder to Taehyung, who traces a hand down Jungkook's chest. A hand which Jungkook realizes has nasty-looking teeth marks along the palm.

“Oh. Sorry,” he laughs, and lifts a finger to poke at the indentations. “Bit you a little.”

“Nah, I put it over your fucking mouth in the first place.” Then he pokes at Jungkook's cheek. “How about you? You good?”

“Please, you think your dick's that devastating?” Jungkook rolls his eyes, and Taehyung fakes a pout at him. “M'fucking fine, man. Fine.”

“Alright, destroy my ego, why don't you?” he laughs, tired, body loosening as his fatigue catches up to him. “Whatever. Night,” he mumbles, turning to the side to give Jungkook a kiss on the upper corner of his cheekbone. And maybe he was aiming for somewhere else, but the sentiment still swells in Jungkook's heart, and he sighs happily, letting his eyes fall shut.

 - - -

“We should do that more. It's fun.”

“What, you mean fucking? No shit it's fun.” Jungkook pulls on his shirt and shakes out his hair, kicking aside Taehyung's mess of clothes strewn across the floor in search of his own jeans.

No, I mean we should hang out more. Jesus, it's not all about sex.”

“Fine. It's only mostly about sex.”

Taehyung's lying on the bed, lazily watching Jungkook move comfortably around his room. He's not the one with an agenda.

“I mean it,” Taehyung says as Jungkook finds his jeans, pulls them on with a couple hops and buttons them up. “I like you. Let's hang out more.”

Jungkook's a bit groggy, so it takes a bit to sink in. But it's such an open confession, something that was so inherent and simply never put into words, that he feels like it shouldn't catch him off guard. It still does, though, and he still purposefully turns away from Taehyung and reaches for his coat to hide the pink he knows is dusting his cheeks.

“Well if it means anything,” he says carefully, fiddling with the coat zipper before slowly getting his arms through the sleeves, “I like you too. So yeah. Let's do this more.”

“Aw.” Taehyung wiggles his eyebrows and gives him a sickly-sweet grin with too much teeth. “Making me blush, Jeon.”

“You wanna stop being so gross for one second? Jeez.” As he zips up his coat, Taehyung reaches out a lazy arm from the bed. He's still entirely naked, the blanket covering the lower half of his body, hair wholly mussed up. If Jungkook were pressed, he might admit that he likes the general comfort of this situation.

“Wait, don't go yet. Come. Gimme a kiss.”

“No, man, I bet you have morning breath.”

“Ass.” Taehyung flops his head back onto the pillow, still smiling lazily at Jungkook. “Come by later though?”

“When?”

“Whenever you're done with your shit.”

“'Kay,” Jungkook says without a second's thought. He's never hated to leave a place so much before, but goddamn group projects and their impeccable planning just have to get in the way.

Still, they stick to their word, and do hang out more. In fact, they do much, much more than that, and yeah, it's fun. More than fun. Pretty soon Jungkook's showing up at Taehyung's place nearly daily, and he's not even realizing how deep he's in this until he finds himself staring at the screen of his phone at four AM, smiling to himself in the dark of his dorm when Taehyung texts back some stupid joke, then immediately sending one back. Thing is, he doesn't even care.

So call him smitten if you want. He's having the time of his life.

 - - -

The horn blares. The crowd echoes in the stadium.

“You ready?”

“I'm—dude, I'm gonna fucking shit my pants.”

“Nah,” Namjoon laughs and claps Jungkook on the back, over the broad shoulder pads beneath his jersey. “You've got this. We've got this.”

That's just it—the mentality of the team. The never-ending spirit of the game. Which is wonderful and all, but that doesn't change the fact that Jungkook's heart's probably going to beat out of his chest. If he's lucky it'll happen before he has to skate out onto the ice, in front of all those people, the excited friends that attend their school to general fans of hockey that are just itching to see a game, whether it be professional or college-level. But he's not lucky, because they're skating out right now.

It also doesn't help that the Metros' kickoff game of the season if against the fucking Kodiaks. Taehyung's team. Which Taehyung plays main-centre for. Jungkook's not sure if he can even stomach the simple thought of facing off against the guy, looking him square in the eyes with their sticks crossed like a challenge, all while the knowledge that this is the same guy who'd been fucking his brains out the night before incessantly raps at his skull.

Namjoon walks off, toward the rink, and the rest of the team follows suit.

“You'll do fine, you fucking wuss,” Yoongi says as he goes by, bumping his shoulder.

It's not exactly his performance that's the problem, but he nods and smiles at Yoongi nonetheless. And the guy's right, really. Jungkook knows that.

So before he can psych himself out even worse, he quickly follows, not wanting to lag behind like an idiot. As he goes down the dim back hall, the cheers get even louder, and his stomach knots even further. But immediately, before he can even think, he's following his teammates out the double doors, out to the players' bench box and out onto the rink.

Looking around, it's just as overwhelming as it had been the last year, when it had been his first year on the team, his first real game. And it's just as exhilarating. That nervousness changes upon seeing the crowd. The sting of the cold air on his cheeks, the scald of the white lights onto his retinas.

This is hockey. He's good at this. He knows it.

And he's never been more ready than in this very moment.

The players line up, shake hands, and behind the helmets and the rush of the moment he can't even tell who's who despite having gotten incredibly familiar with most of the Kodiaks as of late.

“You'll fucking kill it, man, I believe in you,” Namjoon tells him.

“Don't gotta tell me,” Jungkook says, and gives him a cocky smile. Head in the game. Heart on the goal. All that.

So he's lined up, right at the centre dot, and when a hockey player who he'd noted had Kim atop a blocky letter 9 printed across the back of his jersey in the Kodiak's colours comes skating up, Jungkook is fucking ready.

“Kim.” He nods, meeting Taehyung's eyes with a smirk.

“Jeon,” he says back. The ref skates over, holds the puck right above the coloured dot in the ice. Their eyes stay locked.

“You ready to fucking lose?”

They crouch low. The plastic of their helmets almost knocking, but still keeping the distance respectful. The ref's got the whistle between his teeth. The screaming crowd's become a murky calamity behind the adrenaline.

“No more ready than you are.”

Jungkook scoffs, and when Taehyung slams the blade of his stick on the ice, he does the same.

“Don't get confused, baby. We're gonna be the ones winning.”

Taehyung chuckles at the pet name, raises an eyebrow beneath the visor of his helmet as they both exchange sneers that are truthfully more playful than hostile.

“Yeah? I'd like to see you try, sweetheart.”

And then the puck drops.