ㅁ | jungkook
ㅇ | taehyung
"Highkey-lowkey considering dropping out and joining an anime cult and spending the rest of my days watching One Piece."
It should be noted that this would not be considered the strangest thing that Kim Taehyung has said. There was a heavy, extended sigh and he was offended because as his best friend, Park Jimin was supposed to deal with his 'wacky weirdo ways' as truly kindly put by the aforementioned best friend.
(" I'm not weird, I'm special."
"Do you always believe what your mother tells you?"
"Hey, sweaty, why don't you shut the fuck up?"
"Shut the fuck up."
"What, am I supposed to lie and say you're normal?"
A pout was the response after this rather rude statement. "Have you always been this mean? Why am I even friends with you?"
"Because some punks were pouring sand down your pants in kindergarten and I saved you."
A dark look.
"Oh yeah. Fucking bastards .")
"Highkey-lowkey think that you already do that, minus the cult," Park Jimin replied, rolling his eyes.
"Excuse me, I am a mere lowkey weeboo, and I am merely searching for a lifestyle in which that is actually acceptable."
"The amount of times you have used the word 'lowkey' in this conversation alone is grammatically and linguistically unacceptable - Let alone living in a weeboo cult."
"Yah, Park Jimin, it is one AM please do not use big words in my presence - I can barely spell my own name," Taehyung grimaced, head down on the keyboard of his laptop. He was pretty sure that his chin was on the key for '유' and sure enough, when he lifted his head again, his blank document meant for an essay on the fundamentals of chemical reactions was filled more than three-quarters of the way with the letter.
"And you're telling me that you had perfect grades in high school without opening a single textbook," Jimin muttered, albeit it bitterly, as he typed on his own keyboard rapidly. "I hated kids like you. I still hate kids like you." A pause. "I hate you."
"Okay, you say that now, but you also went and retrieved my drunk ass from that one party this past weekend," Taehyung pointed out, cupping his hands underneath his face and smiling the most angelic smile he could muster. Jimin hated his aegyo and Taehyung never hesitated to use it against him.
"And I also said 'never again' just as you bonked your thick skull against the toilet seat cover after you finished regurgitating the entire party out of your damn mouth," Jimin reminded him. "You hate parties so why did you go to that one? Especially that one in particular - Jackson Wang's."
Parties hosted by the aforementioned frat boy were, to say the absolute very least, wild. There was not a word in the dictionary that could sufficiently describe how more than 'wild' those parties were.
Taehyung reddened as heat rose up his neck as he mumbled an incoherent reply.
Jimin's eyebrows furrowed. "What?"
"I-heard-Jeon-Jungkook-was-gonna-go-but-I-didn't-see-him-so-I-decided-why-not-have-fun-while-I-was-there." This was said in rushed blob and Jimin had to pause for a few moments to decipher it.
"You do realize that you could probably just come with me to my dance practice and find him there."
Taehyung paused, head tilted to the side, eyes widened ever so slightly. "...You didn't tell me Jeon Jungkook is on your dance team."
"Kim Taehyung, you are actually a fucking idiot."
" What ."
"I talk about him sometimes, you dickbag."
"In my defense," Taehyung protested, "I'm not listening about thirty percent of the time when you're talking."
"What a great friend," Jimin deadpanned. "I can't believe we've been best friends since we were five. Truly fucking amazing."
Taehyung gave Jimin a reproachful look and pouted. "Who pissed in your Lucky Charms this morning?"
"There weren't any Lucky Charms left in the dining hall this morning to piss in," Jimin replied grouchily. "Some asshole ate all my Lucky Charms, Taehyung. It's blasphemy."
"Can I remind you not to use words longer than eight letters or three syllables between the hours of 10PM to 11AM," Taehyung stated solemnly. "My brain is actually nonexistent for about thirteen hours of the day. My mental capacity has the business hours of eleven-oh-one to nine-fifty-nine. Please respect it."
"You're an idiot."
"You've said that three times in the past hour by my count, Jimothy - trust, I know," Taehyung replied. "Anways, you do realize that the Lucky Charms dispenser on the cereal counter is like, open to everyone right? Especially those with a nice meal plan like ours. Or what's left of it from freshman and sophomore year."
"I don't care if it's open to everyone and their fucking grandmother. Those Lucky Charms are mine."
"Is Yoongi aware of your possessiveness over cereal? Like does he know you will fight people over your morning bowl of Lucky Charms? Does he know you would fight, period?" Taehyung asked, eyebrows raised. "So much spice and nothing nice in that tiny sprite-like body of yours."
There was a pause.
Taehyung didn't know whether to be amused at the truly incredible shade of purple that Jimin's face had turned, or to fear for his life. (He decided to go with the former because never in his entire seventeen-year career of annoying the shit out of Park Jimin, had he seen his face turn that color before. He was absolutely delighted.)
"Say that one more time Kim Taehyung, call my body 'tiny' and 'sprite-like' one more fucking time and I will make sure that the dining hall never has Froot Loops ever again."
"El-oh-el, I'd like to see you try, bitch - "
"Seokjin hyung works in the dining hall in the mornings, Taemothy, don't fuckin' test me."
Taehyung started to giggle and Jimin had to restrain himself in order not to punch the little shit in the face.
Taehyung grinned. "Our most serious argument we've ever had is about cereal."
"You are actually dumb." A glare. "Do you have selective hearing?"
"We were arguing because you called me 'sprite-like'."
"It is not the same fucking thing, you dickwad."
"Well, it's the same thing to me." Taehyung shrugged and narrowed his eyes. "Has anyone told you that you have temper problems? It's unhealthy Park Jimothy. Maybe you should visit the student health center and get yourself something. Maybe some Xanax? Mellow yourself, you feel? Or hey, if you want, I can ask Jooheon if he knows a guy - "
Jimin spluttered, eyes glaring death rays at Taehyung's oblivious face. "One, the student health center wouldn't even have the fucking resources to prescribe me Xanax. Second, that's it."
"You're officially unfriended, blocked, blacklisted, and uninvited to my birthday party."
"I'm the one who planned your birthday party, you asswipe," Taehyung gasped, appalled. "We were all gonna go to a bounce house place and terrorize children together and - what the fuck, bro, come on!"
What Taehyung meant by terrorizing children was actually that the two of them and the rest of their friends would act like five year olds on sugar highs in bounce houses with ice cream and cake and who knows what else.
"Too bad, bro," Jimin said mockingly, turning his nose up and putting his earbuds in. "Should have thought of that before you insulted me and suggested I start doing drugs."
"I didn't say to start doing drugs, just, you know, take them."
"That's the same fucking thing."
"Un. In. Vited."
"Chims, come on."
There was a snort. "Don't call me that."
A sigh. "What."
"Jimin's mad at me." One could practically hear the pout in Kim Taehyung's voice.
"What do I do."
"I'm his boyfriend, not your friendship counselor. I'm a first year graduate school student. I have better things to do than mediating your schoolyard spats, Kim Taehyung."
"Hyung, you're on your fucking phone."
Min Yoongi sighed, his exasperation clear in the sound and his flat expression, tearing his attention from his phone to look at Taehyung, who was, for reasons that the older boy didn't know (or care to ask), in his apartment, on the arm chair across from him, hanging from it upside down. "Look, kid, Jiminie doesn't like being reminded that he's small. You should know this better than anyone."
"But, hyung," Taehyung said slowly. "You two are the same height - so doesn't that make you small too?"
"Yah, you fucking brat - I'm one centimeter taller."
"It doesn't make that much of a diff - "
"Finish that sentence and I will never take you out for sushi ever again," Yoongi fumed. "One centimeter makes a huge fucking difference, now hush."
Taehyung sighed. "Anyways though, I was joking about the whole height thing with Jiminie," Taehyung whined, pouting. "I always joke. I don't take anything seriously. He knows this!"
"He uninvited me from his birthday party, hyung."
"Sucks, doesn't it."
Taehyung frowned and sat up, his bangs flopping into his face, drawing an irritated huff from the boy. "You're actually no fucking help."
"I told you, I'm not a counselor." Yoongi rolled his eyes and returned his attention to his phone. "Just apologize."
It was as if that idea hadn't occurred to Taehyung (because it hadn't), and he gasped, as if it was the smartest thing he had ever heard.
"Did you not even try apologizing, you idiot?" Yoongi asked, his judgement face on full display and his voice incredulous.
"Highkey, you're an idiot."
"Hyung, highkey rude ."
"I have some vital and very interesting news to tell you, but I'm pissed at you so I'm not gonna tell you," Jimin called huffily as he made his entrance into his shared on-campus apartment/suite/thing - his roommate was Taehyung and every day he regretted that decision a little bit more. The dude was a mess. "Why'd you have to be such an asshole? Why'd you gotta go and disappoint? Like, this information could change our fucking lives - mostly yours."
Jimin had just returned from his god forsaken 8AM Japanese literature lecture. Why he chose that class, he didn't know and regretted that decision as well.
"Jiminie, I'm sorry for calling you sprite-like," Taehyung said solemnly, appearing from the hallway, bearing a gift with the intention of peacemaking.
Jimin paused, eyebrows furrowed and eyes narrowed. "Is that my sweater you're holding?"
Taehyung gave him a Yikes™ look, and held the aforementioned sweater out to Jimin, hoping that the other boy wouldn't notice the pencil shavings and lint all over it from being somehow located underneath his desk for the past eleven months.
Don't tell Jimin.
"I might have taken it, like, last year and forgotten to give it back," Taehyung said sheepishly, and Jimin snorted.
"I thought I left that in the laundry room downstairs and someone took a liking to it and stole it or something," Jimin sighed, rolling his eyes.
"Am I forgiven?"
"Because you're returning a sweater you stole from me?"
"I didn't steal it though."
"And I didn't steal your stuffed animals and throw them off the balcony that one April Fool's," Jimin said sarcastically, his expression incredulous.
"That was fucking satanic," Taehyung said darkly. He huffed at the memory. "But I let it go for the sake of our pure friendship. For our happiness in our lifetime bro-partnership. The bro-lationship. The bro-some."
"I'm touched." Jimin snorted and snatched the sweater from Taehyung's hands and dumped his backpack onto the couch, collapsing onto it dramatically. "Anyways," he continued, as if Taehyung hadn't spoken at all, "Jackson and BamBam are having a kick back tomorrow night."
"So you forgive me?"
"Shut up dingdong - did you even hear what I said?"
Taehyung paused. And then raised his eyebrows. "Jackson and BamBam are having a kick back?"
Everyone knew parties thrown by the twenty-five and under set were never kick backs for long - At most an hour, before someone arrived too drunk for their own good with some edibles and more weed than they needed.
Taehyung was astonished that Jackson and BamBam, hosts of some of the most legendary parties he had ever had the privilege of witnessing in his three years of university so far, were throwing a fucking kick back. It was unheard of - nothing about those two was chill or relaxed. One of the tamest things to happen at one of their parties was people jumping from their roof and into their pool naked.
Which was why usually, if Taehyung went to parties at all, Woo Jiho's were more his type. More relaxed, less of a house lockdown and arrest risk.
"Okay, but why would this news change our lives," Taehyung asked, eyebrows furrowed.
"Because," Jimin said, sitting up and grinning, "Jeon Jungkook is going."
It took a few moments of Taehyung's rapid blinking and slackened jaw for him to process this information. "Wait, what." Taehyung widened his eyes, incredulous and to be honest, not quite sure he was hearing correctly. "You're telling me that Jeon Jungkook, rumored elusive hot boy supreme, who shows up at their parties as rarely as I do my homework , is going to a party hosted by Jackson and BamBam?"
"Kick back," Jimin corrected helpfully.
"El-oh-el, what ."
Jimin rolled his eyes. "Kim Taehyung you are a graphic design major and a chemistry minor for some weird fucking reason - I know you aren't this slow."
"Things that aren't unbalanced equations or photoshop or coding make me think harder, okay," Taehyung said defensively.
"Yes, Jeon Jungkook will be attending a party thrown by the party gods."
"Amazing," Taehyung marveled, but paused, suspicious. "But how do you know for sure? Because from what I've heard, he goes to those warehouse ones thrown by that music producer-DJ guy who calls himself Giriboy."
"I talked to the little shit himself at practice today," Jimin replied smugly. "He told me with one hundred percent guarantee that he will be going." He looked absolutely delighted with himself. "Admit it - I'm a fucking amazing best friend and you don't deserve me."
"I will admit nothing of the sort."
"He wouldn't even being going if I didn't emphasize that it was going to be a kick back!"
"Truly incredible," Taehyung said. Jimin looked offended at the lack of enthusiasm - or, actually, the lack of the amount of enthusiasm he had thought that his best friend would have. But Taehyung was already moving on. "What am I going to wear?"
"Since when do you care about what you're wearing?"
"I care very much about what I wear - fuck you!"
"You're wearing a cut-up sweater and sweats."
"It's a look, okay?"
"What kind of look is that, the fuck?"
Taehyung ignored this and grabbed a bottle of purple gatorade out of the fridge (even though he hated purple gatorade and anything grape flavored - war flashbacks of cough syrup still haunted him). "Fun fact," Taehyung began, and Jimin knew to prepare himself for a 'fact' that was either upsetting, offensive to him, or pure insanity - usually it was all three. "I don't actually know what Jeon Jungkook looks like."
"Then why the fuck are you so obsessed with him?" Jimin asked, astonished and questioning the sanity of his best friend - not unlike usually, but just a bit more this time than other times. "You are literally making no sense. Like at all."
"People are obsessed with him and by default, so am I," Taehyung shrugged.
"So you hopped on the bandwagon."
Taehyung snorted but didn't deny the accusation. Instead, he countered with his own. "Don't give me that shit Park Jimothy - you're obsessed with him."
"I am fucking not," Jimin protested, sounding aghast and looking just as appalled as he sounded. "Why would I be obsessed with some sophomore?" he scoffed, turning his nose up.
Taehyung gave him a flat look. "Jungkook this, Jeon Jungkook that," Taehyung mimicked, making his voice comically high pitched in an effort to imitate his best friend. "'Why would I be obsessed with some sophomore' my ass," Taehyung scoffed. "Just yesterday you showed me a video you took of him eating. Not that I actually watched it."
"Yeah, well, he's cute. He reminds me of my little brother."
"That's hella weird, you know that?" Taehyung raised his eyebrows. "Does Yoongi know about this? Should I tell him?"
"That's breaking the Bro Code." Jimin scowled. "I thought you don't listen to me when I'm talking."
"Sometimes I do," Taehyung replied. "I have selective listening skills." He grinned when Jimin glared severely at him, reaching out to poke the boy's cheeks.
Park Jimin was a squish.
"Apparently he's a graphic design genius too," Taehyung remarked casually. "He has the same professor as me, but different lecture day and time. My student teacher for that class cries over Jungkook's shit and uses it as examples for us."
If Taehyung was being honest, he also cried over Jungkook's shit - the kid's vision and techniques were ones he had never seen before and his work was amazing and way out of Taehyung's self-perceived league. He had an unfortunate habit of underestimating himself.
"You are actually insane."
"Yeah, well, it comes with the package."
"I should have known way back in kindergarten when you put ketchup and mustard in your Jell-O at snack time."
"I thought it was good!"
Taehyung was in the middle of his Haikyuu-rewatching marathon when he had the sudden craving for cereal.
Froot Loops - dry and straight from the box.
And so he laid in his bed for another ten minutes with his laptop on his chest, pouting and mumbling, trying to convince himself that he wanted the cereal enough to actually get up - this happened more often than Taehyung would care to admit. His own laziness astonished even him sometimes. It wasn't until an hour later that he got up to go to the kitchen to finally get the cereal, and when he finally got the box down from the cupboard, it was only to realize that it was fucking empty.
Taehyung couldn't even yell at Jimin or accuse him of eating it all because the tiny sprite himself was out with his boyfriend for a late night date and it was eleven PM and the shitty dining hall was closed.
"What did I do to deserve this kind of shit treatment and injustice?" Taehyung groaned to himself and an empty apartment/suite/thing. "I've been good my whole life." He paused. "Except that one time when I stole a milkis from that one corner store when I was twelve."
And then Taehyung realized that he was talking to himself and while that wasn't uncommon for him, it wouldn't solve his severe problem of the non-existence of Froot Loops in his kitchen.
Taehyung was in a pickle.
And so he made the trek back to his room - which was not quite that far but it felt like a walking journey across the whole of South Korea - and contemplated his options.
It turned out that Taehyung was actually desperate enough for his sugary, artificially colored and artificially flavored cereal that a few minutes later, he was in mismatched socks and Jimin's Adidas pool slider sandals, with his blanket draped around his shoulders. And then he on his way across the quad, and across the street to the twenty-four hour convenience store.
College was where one would meet the weirdest of the human species, from that one kid who blasted Japanese screamo while he slept, to that girl who liked to shower at 4AM with Italian opera playing, to that guy who asked for his cheeseburger in the dining hall to be barely cooked and on the border of bloody, to the guy who had picnics with himself and a full spread of food enough for six people but refused to share.
And so the point was that what Taehyung was doing was not out of the ordinary because he wasn't even the weirdest one out there. In fact, it appeared that at that moment as Taehyung was making his way up the quad path, Jooheon was running down it, very drunk and clad only in a pair of flowered board shorts and a penis painted in red on his bare chest. Jooheon paused to greet Taehyung brightly, before continuing on his way followed by a very exasperated and very annoyed Shownu a few dozen yards behind.
"Where'd Jooheon - ?" Shownu asked Taehyung, looking quite like the embodiment of the word 'done'. He was out of breath and slightly red in the face, probably from chasing Jooheon down from their frat house which was located all the way across campus.
"Across the quad, probably to the library," Taehyung supplied helpfully. Shownu flashed him a grateful smile before starting to jog in the direction that Taehyung had said.
A few moments later Taehyung could hear a bellowed, "CATCH ME IF YOU CAN APPA."
It was just a normal Thursday night on campus.
Taehyung continued on his way, blanket flapping around his ankles as he walked across the street, humming what sounded like Psy's "Daddy" cheerfully to himself as he went.
The bell at the top of the convenience store door chimed cheerfully as Taehyung entered, and he greeted the cashier, and they did the same - Taehyung was a regular, especially during exam weeks and finals when he and Jimin would come to load up on provisions for their inevitable all nighters in which it involved them rarely leaving their rooms for food, let alone their apartment/suite/thing.
Taehyung was making his way down the aisle in which he knew all the cereals were located when he stopped humming abruptly to see that a boy, taller than him with dark hair and large doe-like eyes and white bunny teeth peeking out from his parted lips reaching for what looked like the last box of Froot Loops.
"Don't you dare grab that box."
This came out of Taehyung's mouth on instinct and it came out a whole lot more aggressive than what was needed for the situation that he was in. In fact, if one had heard him, one would have thought that someone was trying to take his first born child from his crib.
Doe Eyes turned his head to look at Taehyung, whose blanket was long forgotten, evident by the way it was on the ground and pooled around Taehyung's mismatched sock-and-sandal clad feet. The guy's eyes widened slightly and his eyebrows rose.
"Um," Doe Eyes said, and Taehyung's eyes narrowed, lips turned down in a frown. Doe Eyes' hand was frozen in mid-air, fingertips just about to touch the bright red box with the rainbow parrot on it. "What?"
"Don't. Touch. The. Box," Taehyung repeated between clenched teeth, eyes widened and eyebrows raised, lenseless glasses perched on the tip of his nose making him look absolutely fucking insane. And he did look insane - what with his stained and self-mutulated red sweater, wide legged sweat pants that were too short, one striped sock slipping down and pooling at his ankle, the other an electric blue sock printed with orange frogs on it, pulled straight up and taut around Taehyung's calf. Not to mention the pool slider sandals and the anime-character blanket around his feet.
Taehyung looked certifiably cookoo and the fact that he sounded threatening over a box of cereal didn't help him out.
"Um," Doe Eyes said again, sounding quite understandably confused. "Why not?"
"Because, what?" Doe Eyes asked slowly, noticeably surveying Taehyung's appearance - not that Taehyung actually noticed.
In Doe Eyes' opinion, Taehyung was cute, if you were into the whole All I Do Is Stay Inside And Watch Anime And Eat™ type.
Which he kind of was, but don't tell anyone.
"Because," Taehyung said simply. "They're mine."
Doe Eyes' eyebrows rose higher. "How are they yours if they're in my hands?" he asked, actually grabbing the box that time and holding it in both hands, close to his chest as if readying himself for what he thought was the inevitability of Taehyung trying to snatch it away.
Taehyung's eyes narrowed even more. "Just give them to me."
Doe Eyes scoffed. "What?" He shook his head. "No way," he said firmly, and to any outsiders, there was no hostility in his voice or any threat. In fact, there was only downright seriousness and quite a bit of amusement.
Taehyung sighed and ran a hand over his face. "Just, like, get chocolatey pebbles or something," Taehyung whined, pouting. The corner of the guy's lips twitched.
"Chocolatey pebbles are nasty," he said firmly. "So, um, no."
For fuck sakes, what did Taehyung do to deserve this kind of misfortune? All he wanted were his damn Froot Loops and to watch the rest of Haikyuu in peace. Was that too much to fuckin' ask?
Taehyung took a deep breath.
"You best give me those froot loops or I will shove those nasty ass chocolatey pebbles where they don't belong."
If it were possible for the guy's eyebrows to raise any more than they already were, they would have been up and into his hairline by then.
"Are you threatening me?"
Doe Eyes lets out this laugh - this beautiful, musical laugh that made him sound like a thirteen year-old evil little gremlin.
Taehyung resisted the urge to smile. "Please just give me the Froot Loops. Please." He was practically begging then but what was he going to do? He hadn't walked all that way to get his box of cereal only to walk all the way back empty handed.
Doe Eyes appeared to be thinking, head tilted to the side as he transferred the box from hand to hand. Left to right. Right to left. And then his eyes brightened and began to twinkle with this kind of mischievous spark and it was then that Taehyung really should have fucking known.
"I'll give you the box if you make a deal with me."
Taehyung cringed. He knew it would end up like this - some sort of trade off. This was going to test Taehyung's morals and his sanity and he wasn't sure how far he'd go for a box of cereal.
"I'm not a sex worker and I'm not gonna start - so any of those types of deals are a no-go," Taehyung said, his tone warning and cautious.
Doe Eyes began to laugh again and Taehyung was annoyed now, cute laughter or not. "What kind of person do you take me to be?" Doe Eyes asked, wiping the tears of amusement from his eyes on his hoodie sleeve.
"I've been talking to you for, like, five minutes - I don't know what to think," Taehyung replied defensively. "I mean, what kind of person makes a deal in exchange for a fucking box of cereal?"
Doe Eyes raised his eyebrows at Taehyung and looked at him pointedly, looking like he was on the verge of yet another bout of laughter. Heat rose up Taehyung's neck.
"Shut up," Taehyung mumbled, and he stooped down to gather his blanket up and swung it around to drape it on his shoulders so it formed the cape that it was before he had dropped it. "What's the deal?"
"If I give you this box, you have to ask me on a cereal-eating date the next time we see each other."
Doe Eyes looked quite satisfied with himself, like he had performed some great feat that had never been completed successfully before.
Then it was Taehyung's turn to raise his eyebrows. "When and why would I ever see you again?" He sounded cynical, and quite suspicious, and also very quite confused.
"We are across the street from the university," the guy said slowly, head tilted to the side. "I'm assuming that you go there - like I do."
"What if you're assuming wrong?" Taehyung said, and there was this tone that his voice had taken on, partially teasing, partially playful, and he wasn't really sure what he was doing then. Flirting? Was that what that was?
"Then it will be a tragic story to tell my friends - legend has it that I will forever be waiting for a coincidental bump-in with a cute guy who was willing to fight me to the death in the cereal aisle for the last box of Froot Loops," Doe Eyes said, sounding mockingly wistful. "A true heroic tragedy. Boy gives up cereal for other cute boy in exchange for a cereal date, only never to see the cute boy ever again. They'll write plays and poems about us. Write novels and memoirs. Make animes about us."
The repeated use of the word 'cute' didn't quite register in Taehyung's head. Or maybe it did and he was just trying to deny the fact that this guy, who was Hella Cute™ and kind of even Hella Hot™, was calling him cute, even while clad in what Taehyung would admit was not his greatest outfit - he was wearing socks and sandals for chrissakes. For the sake of time, and the task at hand, Taehyung ignored all this.
"Guess you'll have to take that chance," Taehyung said, resisting the urge to grin. "Who knows, maybe university students ten years from now will be analyzing the poem titled 'Battle of the Loops'. Their midterm essays will be about this moment. People will cosplay as us at anime conventions."
The guy laughed and took a step forward, holding the box of Froot Loops out. "Here."
"Are you sure you want to risk being a tragic hero?" Taehyung asked, as he took the box from the guy. Doe Eyes grinned and ran his fingers through his hair, ducking his head a little, suddenly becoming shy.
"I think I'll take my chances."
It was then that Taehyung allowed himself to grin that time, and the other guy could have sworn that all of the world's sunshine was radiating from that grin.
"I'll see you around." Doe Eyes paused and smiled a little. "Or maybe I won't."
Before Taehyung could even open his mouth to ask for the guy's name, he was gone, his retreating footsteps quick.
And the only sign that he had been in the shop at all was the cheerful chime of the bell at the top of the convenience store door.
The kick back was not a kick back.
Well, to be fair, it was a kick back for at least forty five minutes before poor freshmen Seungkwan and Hansol - who clearly didn't know what they were getting into - arrived with an appalling amount of edibles and more weed than was already there. What was kind of unfortunate for the freshmen was that whatever they thought would happen to them - or their statuses - if they brought the drugs didn't happen and they were completely forgotten once Jackson had his first edible.
Regardless of the fully expected turn of events, Taehyung was not sober. At all.
In fact, he was pretty fucking sure that he was under the sea and the flashing strobe lights were so pretty and had already gotten two requests for a titty fuck and he was also sure that the fucking doorknob was right there, not six inches away from where he was grabbing. He was also one and a half edibles and one hit in, and Jimin was not letting him have any more. Taehyung was particularly bitter about this uncalled-for restriction against his fun.
Or not-so-fun because Hoseok hyung had sneaked him a soju shot and he was a just a few precious seconds from hurling and he still couldn't grab the goddamned doorknob.
Taehyung whined and kicked at the door indignantly, stomping his foot as his final display of irritation as the the door swung open to reveal a very annoyed, very intoxicated Hanbin, side-eyeing Taehyung as he stepped out of the bathroom. "I couldn't find the door knob," he explained solemnly, quite elegantly and quite eloquently for a person in his state, before shutting the door and heaving in the toilet quite loudly, unpleasant splashing sounds escaping the room.
Needless to say, water was Taehyung's best friend for the rest of the night.
This was not a kick back.
That was one thing Jeon Jungkook knew for fucking sure. He also knew that Park Jimin, the one with the cheeks and the laugh who, admittedly, was good dancer was also a fucking liar. He had gotten quite a few bleary-eyed stares and a couple of drunken loud whispers and he had half a mind to just leave then and there without even being polite and staying for the customary hour at the very least. He barely knew anyone in the place (but they all seemed to know him) and to be completely honest he didn't want to know anyone there. Sure, any other weekend he'd be alright with a night spent at a party, preferably one of Mad Clown or Giriboy's warehouse raves, but that night in particular, he would be happier in his dorm room catching up on some anime he had sacrificed the week before in exchange for a marginally higher grade in his general ed literature requirement. Or maybe he ought to have paid a visit to the dance studio to work on that choreography that he would be doing for his solo at the showcase.
He startled when a particularly loud thump came from the bottom of the right-side staircase, and the source of it appeared to be Changkyun, who had been riding a sled from the top of the landing down to the very bottom, his drink sloshing dangerously. The momentum had pushed him across the foyer and he crashed into a several of people, knocking them down like bowling pins. Jungkook looked at them for a moment, eyebrows raised.
Jungkook really wanted to leave the party.
But, a memory of an encounter last night with a rather fucking weird but rather fucking cute guy in the cereal aisle had him hoping that maybe, just maybe, he would bump into him here.
Then again, this was a rather rambunctious party and the guy last night had seemed more the Stay Inside and Watch Anime™ type. But one never really knew, because he thought that that quiet girl, Tzuyu, from his calculus class would never be caught dead at a party but there she was, towering above several of the girls she was with, talking animatedly with a beer in hand. He chewed his lip thoughtfully.
Jungkook had barely taken a step past the doormat and he was deciding that he was going to go home instead of venturing further. Nothing was worth possibly bumping into that guy when he could just go home and -
"IS THAT JEON JUNGKOOKIE I SEE?"
Jungkook closed his eyes slowly, pinching the bridge of his nose and breathing out slowly. Frickle frackle.
Jungkook, unbeknownst to him, had a severe scowl on his face as the little shit himself, Park Jimin, came bounding over to him, drink sloshing in his red cup. He was followed by a pale boy - who Jungkook remembered was Min Yoongi - with an extremely exasperated, but extremely fond look on his face, slender fingers interwined with Jimin's slightly chubbier ones. "Hey, there Kookie!" Jimin chirped, and Jungkook cringed at the nickname, his frown deepening when the older boy let go of the pale boy's hand to reach out and ruffle his hair as if he was a little kid.
"Hi, Jimin," Jungkook replied, sounding resigned, and the older boy glared and reached out to punch his arm weakly.
"That's hyung to you," Jimin griped, taking a sip from his cup.
"You lied to me," Jungkook said, ignoring what Jimin had said. "This isn't a fucking kick back."
Jimin shrugged, innocently surveying the contents of his cup. "It was a kick back an hour ago. Then some random freshmen showed up with some edibles and then Hanbin and Bobby showed up ten minutes after with more alcohol and voilà," Jimin said cheerfully, grinning. "Might as well enjoy it."
"I'm supposed to enjoy that?" Jungkook said dryly, pointing behind Jimin, where Changkyun was still sprawled on the floor with the people he had knocked over, drink somehow miraculously unspilled and held high in the air above him. He appeared to be having an animated conversation with Donghyuk, who was sprawled on his left.
Jimin stared for a moment, before turning back to Jungkook and smiling this knowing smile, like he knew something that the younger boy didn't. "I have someone to introduce you to."
Jungkook just looked at Jimin incredulously, eyebrows raised. "No. Absolutely not. The last time you introduced me to someone, I almost got my ass kicked because the dude had a boyfriend."
Jimin waved him off. "Yes, well, how is it my fault that I didn't know Hanbin and Bobby are dating secretly?" He huffed and went to take a sip from his cup only to find it empty and frowned. "Babe, can you - ?" he said, turning to Yoongi, who made a face that involved a wrinkling of the nose and furrow of the brows and a twisting of the mouth.
"Bobby and Hanbin's 'no homo' shit isn't fooling anyone," Yoongi said flatly, grabbing the cup and walking off to get his boyfriend another drink.
Jungkook watched this wordlessly, arms crossed and eyebrows raised. "I'm going home, Jimin."
"That's hyung to you, you brat." Jimin sighed and rolled his eyes. He seemed to brighten dramatically, as if he had just remembered something. "Fun fact! Hanbin and Bobby are taking 'no homo' body shots off each other in the dining room! They do that at every party, I swear." He snorted. "And no you are not going home, I want to introduce you to my friend - "
"JIMOTHY I'M GONNA HEAD OUT - I'M GETTING THE MUNCHIES."
"Speaking of the devil," Jimin sighed, running his fingers through his hair and rolling his eyes. "Prepare yourself."
"That doesn't sound promising," Jungkook muttered. He turned to look at the source of the voice only to have his jaw slacken, leaving him what his dear mother would call 'unattractively gaping'. This guy was not only the hottest human being he had ever seen on campus, but also the hottest guy he had ever seen in his entire life - but he was also the same fucking guy that had almost fought him for a box of Froot Loops in the cereal aisle the previous night, the one he had nicknamed Frooty Loopy in his head.
To say that he looked different would be quite the understatement seeing as the boy was wearing tight, ripped black jeans that and a long-sleeved black t-shirt that had a collar that was completely unbuttoned and exposed his collarbones and his beautifully tanned skin- his red hair was deliciously mussed and his eyes were rimmed in smudged black kohl. Frooty Loopy was hot as hell and Jungkook wanted to fucking die because this was the same guy who had been wearing mismatching socks with sandals and using a blanket with Kageyama Tobio's face blown up on it.
Frooty Loopy came walking up to Jimin and Jungkook, ignoring the younger boy completely and looking a little worse for wear, a slight sheen of sweat on his skin a slight pallor to it, and a mostly empty water bottle clutched in his hands like his life depended on it. "I'm gonna blast out of here - I'm starving and I don't feel like eating pretzels or stale shrimp crackers," the boy said, and Jungkook almost passed out right there because the Frooty Loopy's voice was just as deep and smokey as his damn khol-rimmed eyes.
"I thought I told you to drink water only, you fucking dingdong," Jimin said, eyes narrowed. "I swear to god - did Hoseok hyung sneak you a joint?"
"Hoseok hyung is a true - he didn't try to stop me from having fun!" the guy scoffed, rolling his eyes.
"Hoseok hyung also gave you a shot of soju after you had like, two edibles - and that's two more edibles than you're supposed to have, you dickstain!" Jimin scolded. "Weed is supposed to make you mellow - why aren't you mellow?"
"This is my mellow, you assface," Frooty Loopy snapped.
"Jesus Christ - Hoseok hyung is here? He fucking lied to me too," Jungkook practically pouted. "He swore up and down that this would be a kick back."
"Jeon Jungkook - I told you what I thought I knew and so did Hoseok hyung. Get over it."
"Don't trust a fucking word that comes out of that guy's mouth," Frooty Loopy said, picking lint off his jeans and flicking it away.
"Jimin or Hoseok hyung?" Jungkook asked dryly.
"Both, my man," the guy replied solemnly. And then he turned to finally look at Jungkook and his eyes widened in recognition. He stared for an extremely uncomfortable couple of seconds, his mouth opening and closing, before he sighed heavily. "Frick."
For a moment Jungkook was offended. "What?"
"Well, I'm gonna have to invite you over for cereal and anime now, aren't I, Doe Eyes?" Frooty Loopy sounded all annoyed and bothered, but he was smiling this boxy smile, eyes sparkling mischievously. "A deal is a deal. I am a man of my word. The trusty steed to the knight. The assisted parallel parking function of a steering wheel!"
"I - " Jungkook sputtered. "Doe-what?" He wasn't sure whether or not he was thrilled or terrified because when he was being all bold and smooth the night before - or at least that's what he thought he had been doing; he couldn't exactly be sure because he was sure he had blacked out or some shit - he hadn't actually thought that they would meet up again but alas, there he was, being offered that cereal date.
Jimin looked back and forth between Jungkook and the boy.
"You two already know each other?"
"You could say that," Frooty Loopy replied, downing the rest of his water bottle and tossing it over Jimin's shoulder at the black trash bag hanging haphazardly off a door knob. He missed of course, and instead of landing in the bag, it bounced off the door and onto Changkyun's head - he and the people he knocked over were still lying on the fucking ground and were having a dandy good time it seemed like, conversing animatedly. Changkyun paused to shout with his eyes widened at the impact of the plastic bottle, before it was forgotten and he continued his conversation - this time it was with a giggly Kihyun.
"What do you mean 'you could say that'?" Jimin demanded, sounding eerily like a high school girl who was upset that she didn't know exactly what was going on. "I need details. Now."
"It's a long story," Jungkook added, his eyes on Changkyun, before he looked back at Jimin. He reddened when Frooty Loopy caught his eye and held his gaze, the corner of his mouth curling up in a half grin.
"Like I said earlier," Frooty Loopy said, "I'm hungry, and I'm gonna bounce." He linked his arm into Jungkook's, who was startled at the contact. "Would you like to join me for a a bowl of cereal?"
"What a big fuckin' co-inky-dink," Frooty Loopy said, whose name Jungkook now knew was Taehyung, said cheerfully. "Who knew I'd bump into the hot guy from the cereal aisle? Not me." Jungkook choked.
Jungkook hadn't realized that he had said this out loud until Taehyung laughed.
"I'm gonna tell you right now that I might have eaten more than half of the box in the last twenty four hours, so yeah," Taehyung said, sounding almost sheepish. "But we're not eating right away because I managed to snag - " he reached into his jeans pocket and seemed to struggle getting whatever it was out of it, before he finally produced a small baggie of mossy green plant life " - this bad boy!"
"I never would have pegged you for a stoner," Jungkook remarked, and Taehyung grinned, and it was a unique grin, because it was shaped like a box and Jungkook wasn't sure that he had ever liked someone's smile that much before.
"You shouldn't peg me for anything because I am as dynamic as the insect life in a fucking rainforest, my guy," Taehyung replied cheerfully. It was quiet for a few moments. "This is the edibles talking, by the way."
"Yeah, I figured," Jungkook said, laughing quietly.
"In all seriousness, I only smoke and do all this when I go to parties which is almost never," Taehyung explained. "Actually, that's a lie." He grinned. "I smoke whenever I feel like it and wherever, but I only have edibles and other fun tidbits like them on occasion."
"And what occasions would those be?"
"Once in a blue moon," Taehyung replied cheerfully, before he shivered, and unhooked his arm from Jungkook's. "I mean I didn't exactly have to take this weed from the party but Jackson usually gets the really, really fucking good kind - you know, the kind that doesn't smell like industrial waste? - so I couldn't resist," Taehyung said mischievously. "Also that random freshman kid, Pencil? Hansen?"
"Hansol?" Jungkook supplied, and unable to contain his snickers, began to laugh.
"Right, yeah - that Hansol kid brought some of the good kind too so it wasn't like it'd be missed. There was literally a coffee table covered in it and a sign that said to help yourself," Taehyung continued. "Gotta love rich kids."
"You don't have to explain yourself to me, Taehyung."
The older boy smiled at Jungkook and crossed his arms, and it was only then that he realized that Taehyung was cold. The guy was shivering, and his full lower lip was quivering and his teeth were chattering.
Jungkook began to slip out of his hoodie, but Taehyung stopped him. "If you offer me your hoodie I will revoke my cereal date offer."
Jungkook raised his eyebrows. "You're freezing," he said slowly.
"No, I'm not," Taehyung argued, clenching his teeth. "I'm fine." He uncrossed his arms and began swinging them at his sides as he walked in an effort to look normal but he was swinging them wildly and it was obvious he was also trying to generate some kind of heat from the movement. "See?"
"Your arms are going to fall off if you keep swinging them like that," Jungkook replied, trying not to laugh but it seemed that that was quite an impossible feat when he was around Taehyung. Jungkook reached down and took Taehyung's hands in his own - he could hardly believe his own ballsiness. They stopped walking and Jungkook took Taehyung's other hand as well. "Your hands are freezing."
"Yes, well," Taehyung mumbled, a slight pink flush rising in his cheeks. He looked shy for the first time that night and Jungkook felt a wave of something like endearment for the older boy because Taehyung was avoiding his gaze and was looking down at his feet before looking up at him through his long, dark lashes. Jungkook would be lying if he said that there wasn't heat rising up his neck. "Let's get on our way - my apartment/suite/thing is close by," Taehyung said finally, and he began walking, pulling Jungkook along with him and intertwining their fingers.
They walked in silence for a little while before Jungkook sneaked a glance at Taehyung and his eyes widened when he saw that the older boy had already been looking at him, lips quirked up in a half grin. Taehyung squeezed his hand. "Our Froot Loops await us."
"I could have sworn there was half a box left," Taehyung said, and he had this bewildered look on his face, his eyes wide open. "Either I was fucking sleep-eating or the little sprite himself ate my fucking cereal and left the empty box in the cabinet."
Jungkook immediately knew who he was talking about. "You probably shouldn't let him hear you say that." Despite the advice he had just given, Jungkook began laughing anyway.
"Trust, I know," Taehyung assured him, grinning that grin. "I've been close to being murdered several times throughout my life." He ruffled his already mussed hair, and Jungkook had the urge to reach out and run his fingers through it. "Guess we can smoke until I figure out something for us to eat that will tame the monstrous munchies we will inevitably have afterwards," Taehyung sighed. "Go ahead out on the balcony. I need to go find my lighter." And with that, Jungkook was left alone as the older boy ambled down a hallway and through a door.
Jungkook had barely taken a step when -
"WAIT. JUNGKOOK. YOU ARE NEEDED."
The younger boy could feel the heat rising up his neck and his heart pounding faster and it pretty much seemed like there really would be no such thing as resting heartbeat when it came to being around Kim Taehyung. Jungkook tried resisting the smile that was pulling at the corners of his lips but -
Frick frack. He was grinning like an idiot.
Jungkook made his way down the hallway and through the door he had seen Taehyung go through and found himself in what looked like the aftermath of a tornado.
"So, basically," Taehyung said, from the center of the room with a majority of the mess scattered at his feet, "my lighter is at the back of the top shelf of my closet - don't ask why - and I can't reach and I figured you probably could."
"We're the same height," Jungkook said slowly, distracted though, because of the several One Piece posters tacked up on the older boy's walls, the Kageyama Tobio blanket from the night before, and even a Bokuto figurine on the edge of the desk.
"Nuh-uh," Taehyung disagreed, shaking his head. "You're like an inch or two taller."
"How is that supposed to help me grab something that you can't reach?"
"For fuck sakes Jeon Jungkook, will you please just be my knight in shining armor and get the lighter down?" Taehyung pouted, huffing and blowing his hair out of his eyes. "I'm getting antsy."
"I think that might be the edibles."
"Is that any way to talk to the person you're asking a favor of?" Jungkook teased, walking over to the closet and groping the surface of the closet shelf until he felt something metal and presumably a lighter.
"You are actually a lot more annoying than you appear," Taehyung remarked, but he was grinning. "A whole lot."
"I try my best."
Jungkook tossed the lighter at Taehyung, whose reflexes seemed to be quite inferior under the influence of edibles and who knew what else. The lighter landed at the older boy's feet.
Taehyung just stared at it for a moment, sighing heavily when he bent down to retrieve the lighter.
"My hand-eye coordination is horrible normally and it is just astonishingly pathetic now," Taehyung remarked, leading Jungkook out of his room and back out to the living room. "Truly incredible."
Jungkook snickered as he followed the older boy out onto the balcony, which overlooked a large quad bordered by student apartment and dorm buildings. There were no chairs or anything to sit on, but there was an ash tray, as well as a slingshot. Taehyung saw the younger boy eyeing the slingshot.
"Jimin and I slingshot heavy paper balls at our friends and people we know when we're out here," Taehyung explained. "It's a good way to get rid of our old notes and papers from our freshman years."
"I'm not sure whether I should be amused, alarmed, or both," Jungkook admitted, and Taehyung winked.
"Guess you'll have to wait and see, huh?" Taehyung said casually. "The balls travel at, what, fifteen, twenty miles per hour?"
"That's fast as hell," Jungkook was extremely alarmed then, "How the hell - ?"
"It's a well fuckin' built slingshot, my friend." Taehyung grinned. "Bought it off the physics majors."
"I'm never walking through this quad ever again."
"Aw, don't be like that. I was gonna aim my physics notes at your head, now that I know you."
"Is that supposed to be some sort of comfort?"
"That wasn't the intention but has it comforted you?"
Jungkook face began to hurt from the ridiculous amount of smiling he had done that night and he was the frickin' heart eyes emoji.
Taehyung took a long drag from it before passing the joint over to Jungkook, exhaling slowly. "I have to admit," he said slowly, licking his lips, "I've heard many a story about you."
Jungkook passed the joint back and exhaled through his nose. "Yeah?" He laughed softly. "Like what?"
Jungkook snorts. "The fuck is that supposed to mean?"
"You're a flexible fuck, I guess?" Taehyung replied, giggling at his own word choice. "The word 'fuck' being used both as a pronoun and an adjective in this context, of course," he clarified.
"And I'll admit that I have been around," Jungkook said, watching as Taehyung took another hit. "And I'm bendy," he continued, drawing a snort from Taehyung as he exhaled, "but I'm no Jimin."
"Please don't discuss the bendiness of my best friend in this context," Taehyung groaned.
"Sorry, my dude." They're quiet for a moment.
"So you're not in the dating scene, then?" Taehyung asked, and he tried not to sound too suspicious but who could ever sound lowkey when asking someone a question about that kind of thing? Slick as frick.
"Nah," Jungkook replied, exhaling slowly and rubbing his nose.
"So what's the sitch, then?" Taehyung asked. "Do you just point your dick in the direction the wind blows you?" Jungkook laughed at this.
"It's kind of just an in the moment thing? Like, I'm not actively looking for someone to fuck, but if someone comes along and we're both feeling it, then it happens." Jungkook took a long drag before passing it over to Taehyung. "I'm don't do entanglements and complications."
Smoke flew as Jungkook spoke and rose up to the sky and disappeared - much like Taehyung's hopes just then. The weight of disappointment in his sternum was unexpected and Taehyung pushed it aside.
"Ouch," Taehyung said, forcing a laugh. "How do the people take it when you hook up with them and they expect more?"
Jungkook gave Taehyung a Yikes™ look and rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "I wouldn't know," he said, sounding decently abashed. "I'm kind of the 'Cut Off Contact and Pretend Nothing Happened' type. I leave before they wake up."
"It's a dick move, I know."
"I mean, maybe your execution could use some work," Jungkook laughed at this, "but, it's not uncommon."
Jungkook rubbed the back of his neck as he shifted his body. "The morning after is really - "
"Messy," Taehyung finished for him. "I know." He laughed. "And complicated. And some people get attached after one night."
"Exactly!" Jungkook burst out, seeming relieved that Taehyung understood. Or kind of understood, anyway. "So yeah. I'm not in the dating scene." He took a drag. "You?" Smoke flew as he spoke.
Taehyung shrugged and took a hit. "I'm kind of in the headspace where I'm not actively looking for someone, but I'm not opposed to dating. If the right person comes along, I guess. Whatever happens, happens. But I'm not going out of my way."
"See, you're a decent person," Jungkook remarked, pointing at him.
"How so?" Taehyung asked, bemused.
"I bet you don't leave before they wake up or pretend nothing happened between you and the other person," Jungkook replied. "I bet you make them breakfast or some shit."
"Then you'd lose all your money, buddy boy, because I can't cook and I don't make breakfast," Taehyung mused. "I burn water."
"So what is your post hookup regiment?"
"You make it sound like I do it often," Taehyung snorted.
"What, guy like you with dashing good looks isn't banging every other person out there?"
"I'm not sure if I should be flattered or offended," Taehyung said slowly, raising his eyebrows. "Because you complimented my looks but are also insulting me by insinuating that I'm a promiscuous vixen."
"Big words," Jungkook remarked. "There's nothing wrong with being promiscuous or a vixen."
"There isn't," Taehyung agreed, "but the literal definition of 'vixen' is a 'spiteful, quarrelsome woman', neither of which is what I am."
"Okay, true," Jungkook admitted. "I don't know, you're a good looking guy - I would have thought there were people lined up down the quad trying to bone you."
Taehyung could feel his skin prickle with an embarrassed heat and he took a drag to cover it up. "You thought wrong, mate," Taehyung snorted. "But anyway, I just thank them for their time and make my exit? Like, I don't do anything special or whatever. I'm just polite, I guess?"
"Everything that I am not, basically," Jungkook laughed. "I'm shit person."
"Avoiding people after you hook up with them doesn't make you a shit person," Taehyung said, "it just means you're shit at confrontation and at facing things head on."
"I can't even deny that," Jungkook sighed, and Taehyung laughed softly. "I'm glad we understand each other on some level, at least," Jungkook said, grinning at the older boy. Taehyung rolled his eyes and looked away as he exhaled.
Taehyung thought that he was not quite processing things correctly.
Because there was no way that Jungkook's face was so impossibly close, his breath fanning over the older boy's face, his dark eyes locked with his, pupils blown, lips centimeters from his own.
Taehyung wasn't really sure how it happened, because the pair had continued passing a joint back and forth, changing the subject talking about whatever random things that they could pull out of their asses that didn't involve their hookups or their mindset when it came to being tied down.
Somehow they ended up sitting closer and closer to each other until their legs were pressed against each other and Jungkook started an argument about whether or not Kageyama was even a good setter in comparison to Oikawa 'The King'. Jungkook argued that he wasn't - Taehyung strongly disagreed. Where all that came from, he wasn't sure. And when they ended that argument, in which Taehyung had given in and allowed Jungkook to win and then they began a bonding activity that worked with anyone that one did not know very well - the best way to bond with someone that one doesn't know is to talk mad shit on a mutual friend.
That mutual friend was Park Jimin.
"Did you know that Yoongi was terrified of Jimin?"
Jungkook choked on the smoke that he had just inhaled and Taehyung pounded the younger boy's back with his free hand. "Sorry, what?"
Taehyung grinned. "I know, how can the almighty Suga aka Min Yoongi be scared of wittle Park Jimin?" he said mockingly. "Apparently he can be because the dude was stuttering and blushing his way to a date with the munchkin."
Jungkook made a Yikes™ face. "You really shouldn't let Jimin hear you say that. For your own safety."
"But you'll be a babe and be my knight in shining armor, right? You'll save me?" Taehyung hated himself and blushed the moment the words left his mouth. Who even says that shit? What thhe frickle frackle, honestly.
Jungkook flushed and took a hit to cover it up. "Of course," he coughed, looking away for a moment before giving Taehyung a shy grin and passing the joint. "Can't leave cute, defenseless boys who are 'as dynamic as the insect life in a rainforest' to fend for themselves."
Taehyung began to laugh, unable to contain the deep timbre of the giggles escaping his lips as he held the joint between his fingers. And when he had finally calmed down, he looked over at Jungkook only to find that the younger boy's face was right there, centimeters away. And it was like the breath was knocked out of Taehyung as he locked eyes with Jungkook, unable to even exhale because he was just so close and the atmosphere around them was so thick and heavy with this tangible and mutual sensation of want.
The younger boy swallowed thickly and licked his lips. "Can I kiss you?"
Taehyung's eyes widened, and it was like his heart was in his throat and instead of replying, he leaned in and the younger boy did the same, millimeters apart and their lips just barely brushed and the joint slipped between his fingers and -
"Sorry folks, but you have been sexiled."
Jungkook jerked back, and Taehyung closed his eyes before turning to glare at his cockblocking asshole of a best friend, who was standing in the open sliding doorway, arms crossed and a self-satisfied grin on his stupid face. Jimin walked out onto the balcony and held the railing as he looked up at the sky in an exaggerated manner. "What a truly beautiful sky we've got here."
"You rude fucking forest sprite."
"What did you just call me?"
"A forest sprite."
"Sweaty, say that one more time."
The youngest boy raised his eyebrows. "Sweaty?"
Taehyung struggled to rein in the giggles threatening to escape his lips. Jungkook's eyes flicked to look at him and his lips twitched in away that told Taehyung that Jungkook was also holding back his laughter.
"Jeon Jungkook, shut up," Jimin snapped, glaring at the younger boy before turning his attention back to Taehyung, who quickly put on his best straight face and narrowing his eyes. "Say it one more time. I fucking dare you."
Taehyung stood up then, and Jungkook scrambled to do the same, and Taehyung towered over Jimin. "Forest sprite." He glanced at the younger boy and the corners of his lips twitched when he saw that Jungkook was looking between Jimin and him, noticing the height difference between him and his best friend. Taehyung reached over and grabbed the younger boy's hand, twining their fingers together, before flicking Jimin's nose with his free hand. The boy scowled, punching Taehyung in the chest.
"Just wait till I sexile you," Taehyung called as he went through the sliding door and back into the apartment. "It'll be for like three days." He glanced at Jungkook, who had gone absolutely red as a fucking lobster and Taehyung laughed as he led Jungkook through the living room and past Yoongi who was on the couch, shaking his head at the two of them.
"Yah, you two!" Yoongi called, just as they reached the door. Taehyung and Jungkook paused, turning back to look at him. "Do you need money or anything for food, you punks?"
Taehyung brightened. "Oh yeah. Please?"
The gray haired boy rolled his eyes and pulled out his wallet, handing Taehyung a few bills. "Thanks hyung!"
Yoongi just shook his head and nodded at the door. "Now leave and take the kid with you."
"I'm not a kid," Jungkook called from the doorway, sounding indignant, and, well, like a kid. Yoongi snorted as Taehyung walked away. "I'm not."
"Make sure you hold hands and look both ways when you cross the street. And don't talk to strangers," Yoongi called dryly, looking as if he was thoroughly enjoying himself. Taehyung rolled his eyes.
You could hear a pin drop. The air seemed to still and everything was silent and Taehyung wanted to fucking die. He really had just called his best friend's boyfriend d****.
The horrible D word.
"Did you just call him da- ?" Jungkook asked slowly, eyes wide, mouth gaped.
"SHH," Taehyung said quickly.
Yoongi appeared to be frozen and blinking rapidly, mouth opening and closing. "I didn't hear anything."
"Hyung - " Taehyung said slowly, carefully.
"I DIDN'T HEAR A GODDAMNED THING," Yoongi said loudly, face in his hands. "NOW FUCK OFF."
"Why is there so much fucking yelling going on?" Jimin asked, stepping into the apartment and shutting the sliding door behind him, oblivous to what had just happened in the last two minutes.
"Tell your friends to leave." Yoongi's voice was muffled as he said this.
"They're your friends too," Jimin pointed out, and he received slow blinking in response.
"Don't care. They need to leave."
Jimin sighed and walked over to where Jungkook and Taehyung were still standing by the open door, shoving them out without a word and shutting the door with a loud bang.
It was quiet save for the sound of Jimin doing all the locks on the door and sliding the chain in.
Jungkook coughed awkwardly and Taehyung looked at him. "Well, um," he began, rubbing his nose lightly.
The pair spoke at the same exact time.
"That was wild."
"Are you gonna eat those?"
Taehyung paused mid-bite of his burger, and the younger boy waited, looking expectant as he looked from Taehyung's fries, and then back up at his face.
"You eat like a mix between starved prepubescent boy and a cannibalistic zombie," Taehyung said, and Jungkook shrugged.
"Munchies hit me hard. I normally eat like five meals a day at the very least anyway," Jungkook said in a matter of fact manner, taking a large gulp of his soda. "I'm always hungry."
"I feel bad for your mom," Taehyung said as he pushed his basket of fries towards the younger boy. "The amount of food she must have had to make you." Taehyung shook his head sorrowfully. "RIP."
"Thanks, Taehyung-ssi," Jungkook said, grinning brightly, and it made him all the more cuter. Taehyung wrinkled his nose.
"Call me hyung. Or Tae. Or TaeTae. Or Taemothy. Tae the man. LordTae1231," Taehyung said, taking a large sip of his milkshake. "Whatever you want."
Jungkook paused. "Was that last one your League user or something?"
"Poptropica and Club Penguin, broski." Jungkook raised his eyebrows, and Taehyung let out a giggle and took a large bite of burger. "I'm joking," he said around the food in his mouth. "It's my Starcraft user."
"It's chill. I still go on Club Penguin sometimes," Jungkook admitted, turning pink. "The language that the fetuses are using these days. Horrible." Jungkook shook his head as he shoved several fries into his mouth.
"You're practically a fetus, yourself," Taehyung said in a very matter of fact manner as he took a sip of his milkshake. "You're like a kid."
Jungkook paused, holding a large bunch of fries in mid-air, halfway to his mouth - which was already open - his eyes narrowed. "You know, I think I might just leave." He shoved the fries in his mouth. "I just came here for a good time and all I'm getting are insults left and right."
"Take the L, my man," Taehyung replied solemnly. "But also don't leave me. I've been sexiled from my own apartment/suite/thing and I'm dumb as hell and didn't take any clothes with me." Taehyung sighed. "I'm homeless for a night at the very least."
"So is this you inviting yourself to stay in my dorm for the night?" Jungkook asked, eyebrows raising and the corners of his lips twitching as if he were about to smile.
Taehyung flushed and took another bite of his burger in order go give himself to recover. "Maybe."
Jungkook smirked, this slow, lazy quirk of the lips, one side higher than the other.
"Is this your way of saying yes or is this a fuckboy smile?" Taehyung asked, raising his eyebrows, but then he kind of highkey wanted to smack himself because all he was doing - like he had been all night - was insulting and messing with Jungkook and it wasn't like he meant to, but it was what he was used to doing. With his friend group, it was rapid-fire mad shit talking.
"Do you have a habit of insulting the people who do you favors?"
Jungkook was just a little bit about to shit himself.
How one can be 'just a little bit about to shit' oneself is a mystery but -
"Do you want anything to drink?" Jungkook asked, like the A-1 host he was, shedding his hoodie and draping it on the back of his desk chair. "Water, soda, milkis, cough syrup?"
Taehyung raised his eyebrows and Jungkook flushed. "Cough syrup? Are you one of those?"
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"I smoke, but do you just chug cough syrup by the bottle? Like are you in a haze all the time?"
"I'm just trying to be funny - let me fucking live," Jungkook mumbled, going over to his 'kitchen' which was really just a mini fridge filled with beverages and cheese and a large bottle of teriyaki sauce (don't ask) and a microwave. He grabbed two water bottles and tossed one at Taehyung, whose reflexes seemed to have improved from the state they were in two or so hours earlier.
Taehyung laughed that deep timbre of a laugh that Jungkook had found in the course of the past three hours, he really, really, liked. "You're so cute." He untwisted the cap of fhe water bottle the younger boy had given him and took a large pull from it.
At that point it seemed as if Jungkook would never be anything less than pink around Taehyung because the older boy seemed to have a knack for getting Jungkook all flustered and at a loss for words. Sure, around most people, he was quiet, but he wasn't unconfident. He knew he sounded like and he knew what he was doing most of the time but for some reason Taehyung made Jungkook antsy and always in search for something to say, anything, that would sound clever or smooth or God forbid, flirty -
"Jeon Jungkook I am pooped," Taehyung announced, saving Jungkook from having to say anything at all.
It was nearly one AM, Jungkook realized, and he walked over to the bureau of drawers, pulling out a pair of sweats and a tshirt and handing the clothes to the older boy. "These might be too big for you," Jungkook said apologetically.
"It's fine. Thanks," Taehyung said with a bright smile, sounding genuinely grateful. The boy paused and chewed his bottom lip, before giving the younger boy a sheepish look. "I'm sorry I invited myself."
"I'm not," Jungkook said quietly, and admittedly, without thinking. Both boys blushed, looking away from each other for a few moments, before smiling shyly at each other.
Taehyung pulled his phone from his pocket and dropped it onto Jungkook's nightstand carelessly. "Where's your roommate?" he asked, nodding at the messy, unmade bed directly across the small room from Jungkook's own bed, toeing his shoes off.
"Yugeom's almost never here," Jungkook replied, shrugging. "He stays at BamBam's most of the time because they're close."
"Close." The way Taehyung said it told Jungkook that he had caught the connotation.
"They're fucking," Jungkook clarified with a laugh. "But they're also, like, together. Kind of."
"Figured," Taehyung said, pulling his shirt over his head and dropping it onto the floor at the same time Jungkook's fucking stomach plummeted and he forgot how to fucking breathe. Because it wasn't like Taehyung was particularly chiseled or anything, but he was lean and tanned and Jungkook tried not to stare but, alas, he got caught anyway.
"I know I'm quite the fine specimen," Taehyung began, yanking off his tight jeans, "but if you wanna take pictures, it might last you longer." He winked at Jungkook and he wanted to fucking die. Taehyung pulled on the sweatpants that Jungkook had given him and the younger boy couldn't help but think that Taehyung looked good in his clothes. They didn't fit him, but they hung on him just right and he just - Jungkook didn't even look that good in his own clothes. Taehyung raised his eyebrows and the corners of his mouth lifted. "What?" Jungkook rubbed the back of his neck and looked down at his feet before mumbling something that he knew wasn't very coherent and dreaded the inevitable -
"Sorry, didn't catch that."
Jungkook turned pink, once again - He really couldn't escape. "You look good in my clothes."
It was a moment of silence before Jungkook mustered up the courage too look at Taehyung, only to realize that the older boy was flushed and avoiding his gaze as well.
"Oh," Taehyung said quietly, a shy smile pulling at his lips.
Jungkook pulled his own shirt off and dropped it into his laundry basket that was steadily filling up and reminding him that he would have to do them the next day or at some point before he ran out of clean underwear and he wasn't sure how his brain was capable of thinking about dumb shit like that when Kim fucking Taehyung was in the room with him while his shirt was off for fuck sakes. Jungkook kicked off his Timberlands and yanked his jeans off before pulling his sweats on.
"So um," Jungkook began, "Yugyeom doesn't like other people touching his shit or being on his bed or even sitting on it...So we'll have to squish on mine. Is that okay?"
Jungkook's heart pounded so hard and loud in his chest, he was sure Taehyung could hear it. "That's fine," the older boy replied, and there was this mischievous spark in his eyes.
"Okay," Jungkook choked out, and the amount of heat he felt on his body was alarming. He walked over to the door of the tiny bathroom. "I have a spare toothbrush," he said, flicking the light on. Taehung joined him in the bathroom and they brushed their teeth side by side, with Jungkook avoiding eye contact because he was a nervous wreck and when the older boy was finished, he borrowed some of Jungkook's facial cleanser to wash off the khol around his eyes and without the eye makeup, he looked softer somehow. Jungkook found that he liked Taehyung without it. The pair walked out of the bathroom and Jungkook shut the door behind them.
"I...kind of...sleep...shirtless?" Jungkook managed, completely sure he was fucking red as a beet. "Is that okay? I can put on a shirt if you want - "
"And why would I want you do to that?" Taehyung asked, and the older boy was smirking now and Jungkook wanted to die. He wanted to die immediately.
Taehyung laughed softly and climbed in Jungkook's bed, holding the blanket up so the younger boy could join him. Jungkook took a deep breath and flicked the lights off before he climbed in, slowly, and Taehyung dropped the blanket over the two of them. Jungkook laid completely still, on his back, arms to his side.
It was silent for several minutes before Taehyung coughed quietly.
"You're lying here like a mummy," Taehyung said softly. "You can't be comfortable like that." Even though it was dark and Jungkook knew that the older boy couldn't see him, he was still embarrassed out of his mind. "It's okay if we, like, cuddle," Taehyung said quietly, and even with his voice that soft it was deep and a low rumble and Jungkook felt comforted by it. "If you want to, I mean." This time to other boy sounded unsure, and a little hesitant - shy.
Jungkook turned on his side slowly, to face the older boy, and Taehyung took it as an invitation to scoot closer, wrapping his arms around Jungkook and to tangle his legs with the younger boy's. Jungkook hesitantly put his arm around Taehyung, tightening them after a moment, pulling the older boy impossibly closer when they were already chest to chest.
"Hey, Jeon Jungkook," Taehyung said, and the younger boy could feel the rumble of Taehyung's voice against his own chest.
Taehyung buried his face in the crook of Jungkook's neck and whispered, "You're cute," before placing the softest, featherlight kiss at the base of Jungkook's neck.
Jungkook was burning.
"Goodnight, Kookie," Taehyung said sleepily, and the younger boy could hear how Taehyung was drifting off in the way his voice sounded and it was only moments later when his breathing evened and he was out. Jungkook laid there for a few moments with his heart racing and his skin tingling where the older boy's face was pressed and he let out a breath he hadn't known he had been holding.
Taehyung wasn't quite sure how he'd gotten himself in this situation but he couldn't quite find it in himself to mind.
Somehow, he had ended up on the outside of the bed and Jungkook was on the inside and Taehyung was pretty fucking sure he had been on the inside when they first climbed in. There must have been quite a bit of rolling around of shifting of bodies throughout the night for him to end up in he position that he was - that position being him on the outside of the bed, small spoon, with his back against Jungkook's very nice toned chest.
Taehyung reached over and grabbed his phone from the nightstand, ignoring the several texts from Jimin letting him know that it was safe to come back to their apartment/suite/thing, asking him where he was, whether he and Jungkook had fucked, and reminding him that he and everyone else had brunch plans for 11, and to bring Jungkook with him.
Taehyung ignored all that and checked the time. 10:30 AM on a Saturday morning. He had half an hour till he was supposed to be at the American-style diner on the other side of campus. He didn't want to go - mostly because he found himself very very comfortable when lying with Jungkook's arms around him. But he knew that if he didn't show up, Jimin would scalp him.
Taehyung sighed softly before carefully turning over to he was facing Jungkook and allowed himself the obligatory thirty seconds to stare at the beautiful boy's face. God, he was so fond and he didn't even know the boy that well yet. Jungkook looked even younger while asleep, his features softened and absent of any stress or tension. He found himself staring at the younger boy's lips perfectly bow-shaped and pink, thinking about how they had almost kissed until his stupid asshole of a best friend brutally cockblocked him.
The annoyance still prickled over him. Clearly.
"Jungkook?" Taehyung said softly, and the younger boy groaned, and Taehyung wanted to die because he had never heard anything hotter in his entire life. It was a few moments before Jungkook peeped on eye open, before wrinkling his nose and shutting his eye. God, he was so fucking cute it hurt. "Jungkookie."
The younger boy shifted and his arms were even tighter around him. "Yeah?"
Taehyung wanted to die because of how the boy's voice was still thick with sleep and was low and husky and just not necessary at that time.
"Um, I kind of have brunch plans with Jimin and our friends." Taehyung muttered. "Do you wanna come with?" he added.
Jungkook opened one eye again. "What time?"
"Eleven," Taehyung replied quietly.
"What time is it right now?"
"Ten-thirty five?" Taehyung said weakly and Jungkook groaned again. Taehyung cleared his throat. "I'm gonna have to ask you not to make that noise." Jungkook opened both eyes then and he laughed, teeth flashing and nose crinkling and Taehyung tried to memorize the way the boy looked - with the late morning sunlight streaming through the curtains and highlighting the lighter parts of his hair and the faint scar on his cheekbone.
"I think I'll pass," Jungkook said, reaching out and running his fingers through Taehyung's hair. "Maybe another time."
"Okay," Taehyung said, almost relieved. He wasn't sure why he felt relieved, and maybe it was because he knew the others would have expectations - those being that he and Jungkook had slept together, which they hadn't, obviously, and he didn't want to get embarrassed in front of the younger boy and he didn't want Jungkook to be embarrassed. It was a win-win situation if Jungkook just didn't go.
The pair was quiet for a few moments and Taehyung could have sworn that Jungkook could probably feel how fast his heart was racing.
"You should probably get up then, huh?" the younger boy said quietly. Taehyung watched as Jungkook's eyes wandered his face, before locking with his own.
"Yeah," Taehyung agreed.
And then Jungkook's arms weren't around him anymore and Taehyung found himself missing them.
"I need to go back to my apartment for a quick shower and to change my clothes," Taehyung said, slipping off the bed. Jungkook watched him with the pillow hugged to his chest adorably. "Basically, I need to immediately haul ass." Taehyung flushed and Jungkook chuckled softly as he slipped out of Jungkook's clothes and folded them neatly as he could before putting his clothes from last night back on. This felt too much like the morning after a hookup. "I'll see you around," Taehyung continued, slipping his slowly dying phone into his pocket. "We need to hang out sometime." He grabbed Jungkook's phone, which to his surprise, didn't have a passcode, and put his own number in, saving it as 'TaeTae' followed by the tongue and 'squirt squirt' emojis, and tossing the phone at the younger boy.
"Sounds good," Jungkook said softly, and Taehyung gave him a grin before walking over to the door.
"I'll see you around then," Taehyung said, and he was just about go open the door when -
"Tae, wait," Jungkook said, slipping off the bed and stretching.
"You forgot something," the younger boy said, and Taehyung tilted his head slightly and furrowed his eyebrows as Jungkook walked towards him.
"What did I forget?" Taehyung asked, confused.
And the space between them was closed and Jungkook's lips were on Taehyung's and for a moment the older boy was frozen with his eyes open wide because Jeon Jungkook was kissing him and then when he finally relaxed, he began to move his mouth in tandem with Jungkook's and his eyes fluttered shut, and Taehyung licked into the younger boy's mouth and they were kissing with bruising force, with his hands slipping into the younger boy's hair, curling tendrils around his fingers. Jungkook had his hands on Taehyung's hips and he held them tight, pulling the older boy so they were pressed hard against each other, before Jungkook pulled away and let the older boy go.
"Holy shit," Taehyung breathed, and Jungkook grinned with swollen lips.
"You should hurry before you're late and Jimin murders you," Jungkook said, voice still low and raspy and it was all Taehyung could do to not yank the younger boy towards him and kiss him again and never stop. Taehyung opened the door and backed out of the dorm room, shaking his head.
"You're an actual tease," Taehyung sighed.
He blushed when the corners of Jungkook's mouth quirked up into a mischievous smirk.
It was two weeks later and Taehyung had not heard a word from Jungkook. Not one text, not one snapchat, not one fucking peep or mail by pigeon messenger from the younger boy and he tried not to be too hurt about it.
"Jimothy - why hasn't he fucking texted me at least?"
Taehyung could try but he couldn't succeed. He was hurt.
"For fuck sakes - he kissed me!"
Jimin sighed for what seemed like the millionth time as he paused his rapid typing on his laptop to turn and look at his best friend, who was sitting on the kitchen counter and stuffing his face with shrimp chips with a pout on his lips and a furrow in his brows. "Maybe he freaked out. He gets like this sometimes after a hookup."
"We. Didn't. Hook. Up," Taehyung enunciated, setting his bag of chips down in favor of the bottle of mountain dew beside him. He took a gulp.
"Yeah, but you kissed," Jimin pointed out. "To Jungkook, basically anything further than holding hands is a hookup, you dingdong."
Taehyung rolled his eyes. "He's not that innocent." He paused. "I mean it was just a kiss. It wasn't that big of a deal."
"You're right, he isn't," Jimin agreed. "But sometimes he just cuts off people for no reason periodically - to get some space." Of course, Taehyung knew this. Didn't change the fact that he they had only kissed and Jungkook was acting that way. Jimin chewed his lip thoughtfully. "Maybe that kiss meant more to him and he freaked himself out."
"We've known each other for a total of like 15 hours," Taehyung pointed out. "We cuddled, and we kissed once for like, twenty seconds. It's not like we're best friends and he has feelings for me or vice versa."
"You just have to accept that he's an emotionally complicated and elusive dude," Jimin said, sounding resigned. "It took a long time for him to warm up and actually talk to me. Maybe you should go to him and talk in person. We have practice tomorrow. Catch him at the end."
"I guess," Taehyung mumbled, holding the bag of chips against his stomach as he dropped a few more into his mouth. "What time?"
Jimin scoffed. "Taemothy, you and I have been roommates for three fucking years now and best friends for basically six times that - shouldn't you know my comings and goings by now?"
Taehyung sniffed and gave Jimin a reproachful look. "What - do you know mine, asshole?"
"You literally never leave the apartment - I don't need to, assface, " Jimin shot back.
"Damn, you right," Taehyung said, frowning in concession.
"Grammar, Taemothy," Jimin chided.
"I don't give a rat's fart, Jimothy," Taehyung replied snippily.
"You're actually the rudest person I have ever met," Jimin snorted. "I can't believe you're my best friend."
"I'm a fucking angel," Taehyung gasped, hand over his heart. Jimin rolled his eyes and turned back to his laptop, type-type-typing away. "I honestly have no idea what you are talking about," Taehyung insisted. "I'm as pure as a cherub."
"Shut your mouth and stop fucking lying, Kim Taehyung," Jimin sang, narrowing his eyes at his laptop screen. "Anyways," he muttered, not looking at his friend, "practice ends at nine."
"We don't have practice in the mornings, dingdong."
"Why are you so goddamn mean? It's like Yoongi hyung is rubbing off on you."
"Oh, you mean daddy Yoongi?"
"Park Jimin shut your fuckin' pie hole"
"Or what? You'll spank me?"
"Do you know how fucking disgusting you sound?"
"I'm not the one who called my best friend's boyfriend da - "
" LA-LA-LA-LA I HEAR NOTHING EL-OH-EL LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA ."
The word nervous was not enough to describe what it was exactly that Taehyung was feeling as he made his way up the stairs to the floor on which the studio that the university hiphop dance team practiced in was located. Taehyung was five minutes early, which was quite a fucking feat seeing as usually, for him, arriving ten minutes late was early for him - Punctuality was not Taehyung's strongest trait and so the fact that he was five minutes early was unheard of.
Practice was still going at full capacity, music blasting with all forty dancers going through a routine that Hoseok and Shownu had choreographed for their upcoming competition. Taehyung knew that the entire building was very, very well insulated and soundproofed because of the number of dance studios, recording studios, and other performing arts facilities that usually involved, to say the least, a lot of loud noise - Taehyung couldn't even hear the music, just a low, dull thumping. And if Taehyung squinted, he could make out Jungkook at the very front, sweat-drenched and his clothes clinging to his soaked skin.
Taehyung swallowed thickly, his heart jumping in his chest and eyes widening when he saw people heading towards the edges of the room to their belongings and began filing out the door. Taehyung stood to the side, waiting for most of the people to leave before he would enter.
As little as Taehyung left his apartment/suite/thing, he still knew quite a lot of people, for three out of every four people that went out the door greeted him in a friendly manner and Taehyung returned their greetings with a customary wave and a quick smile.
It seemed as if most of the people had left, so Taehyung slipped into the room, noticing the only people left were Jimin, Hoseok, Yugyeom, and of course, Jungkook.
Jimin caught Taehyung's gaze in the floor to ceiling mirrors and nodded imperceptibly, lightly elbowing Hoseok and tugged him towards their bags. He nodded over at Jungkook, who was at the other end of the room and chugging an entire bottle of water down. The pair left the room with their bags, pulling a confused Yugyeom along with them.
Taehyung took a deep breath and he was so fucking nervous because he wasn't exactly sure what he was going to say. What was he supposed to say?
'Hey, why the fuck are you ignoring me why haven't you texted me pay attention to me because I'm an attention hoe and oh, by the way you're hella cute and the kiss wasn't that big of a deal but I wouldn't mind doing it again or maybe even boning you el-oh-el!!!!!'?
Taehyung cleared his throat and Jungkook's gaze snapped from his phone up to the older boy and his eyes widened.
"Oh," Jungkook said after a moment. "Hey."
Taehyung smiled a little. "Hi."
It's quiet for a couple of moments as Jungkook tucked his phone into his sweatpant pockets.
"So why are you here?"
And the way the younger boy had asked the question wasn't hostile or rude or off-putting. What it was though, was casual, neutral, unbothered, indifferent. As if nothing had happened.
Taehyung couldn't help the sting of hurt he felt and the plummeting of his stomach as he stuffed his hands into the pockets of his sweats.
"Just wanted to see how you were," Taehyung replied after a few moments, and his tone was not unlike Jungkook's - indifferent. "You haven't texted me."
"Oh," Jungkook said, and Taehyung really couldn't get a read on him. There was nothing to read. The guy was a blank slate. "Yeah. Sorry."
Taehyung paused, chewing his bottom lip before looking Jungkook straight in the eye. "If this is about the kiss," he began, urging himself not to fucking blush, "it wasn't that big of a deal."
Jungkook seemed to visibly relax. "I was worried you would want to like, date me or something after that." Taehyung ignored the dull thud of disappointment and the plummet of his stomach.
"You kissed me, mate," Taehyung reminded the younger boy. "Shouldn't I be the worried one?"
"Shut up," Jungkook muttered. "It's not like that."
"Uh-huh." Taehyung was teasing now. "Sure it isn't." He scoffed. "Why would I want to date some little kid who still plays club penguin, anyway?"
"I don't know if I even want to be friends with you," Jungkook said, making a face at the older boy. "You're so mean."
"Excuse you, I'm a fucking angel," Taehyung pouted. "I am so tired of having to defend myself against fiends like you and Park Jimin."
"Fiend. Noun. An evil or wicked spirit," Taehyung replied dismissively. "Anyways - I don't need this kind of negativity in my life."
"Then you'll need to find your positivity elsewhere," Jungkook shot back, but there was a grin on his face and a teasing glint in his eyes and Taehyung finally relaxed.
"So, like, let's just say, for kicks, I did want to date you," Taehyung said, carefully making himself sound as if he was joking - this was harder than it appeared.
Jungkook paused, look at Taehyung in the face, eyes searching the older boy's expression. "I would, for the kicks, accept. Maybe."
"Huh," Taehyung said, ignoring the rapid pounding in his chest. "Interesting."
"Yeah," Jungkook said slowly, corners of his mouth quirking up.
"Do you wanna go get something to eat? Maybe raid the cereal dispensers in the dining hall?" Taehyung suggested, nodding at the door. "I'll pay," he added, wiggling his eyebrows and shooting finger guns. Jungkook rolled his eyes.
"You mean you'll pay with your covered student meal plan card?"
"You know, I'm just tryna be a good friend and here I am being slighted at every turn and I've taken so many L's and no W's - it's ridiculous." Taehyung huffed. "I'm a good person."
"Your grammar is horrible. And you actually use text slang out loud. What are you? "
"Never mind. Bye. Offer revoked. I will not pay for your cereal with my meal card," Taehyung said, hurumping and turning his nose up in the air, closing his eyes.
"TaeTae, come on."
"Bye, Jeon Jungkook."
"I'll help you with your graphics assignment."
A pause. Taehyung peeked one eye open.
"...Now you're talkin'. I always knew I could count on you to pull through, Jeon Jungkook."
The younger boy rolled his eyes and slung his arm around Taehyung's neck, all but dragging him out of the dance practice room. "You talk too much," he murmured, laughing softly.
Taehyung stared blankly at his best friend. "So, what?"
Jimin sighed heavily and narrowed his eyes. "How'd your talk with Jungkook go? Christ."
"Don't use the lord's name in vain, Jimothy."
"You're a fuckin' Buddhist."
"Get on with the details," Jimin demanded. "I'm in desperate need of distraction from my fourth essay in two weeks."
"That's what you get for majoring in writing, buck-o."
"I swear to god," Jimin muttered.
"It was fine," Taehyung said, shrugging.
"That's it? It went fine?" Jimin asked incredulously. "You didn't have makeup sex against the mirrors? Didn't make out? Didn't do the dirty?"
"We're barely friends," Taehyung deadpanned. "Why would we do that?"
"Well ya'll cuddled and made out and shit, right?" Jimin spat. "The next step is banging."
"Never in my life would I have thought that sappy piece of shit Park Jimin would be encouraging me to take the fuckboy route."
"It is not the fuckboy route." Jimin paused. "It's a logical sequence of events."
"The logical sequence of events is being good friends, first, then dating, then banging, you boob," Taehyung snorted.
"That didn't stop you from banging Minjae that one time," Jimin dismissed.
Taehyung glared. "We were drunk."
"Is that what you kids call it these days?"
Jimin smirked. "So what did you guys talk about?"
"I asked what he would have done if I wanted to date him and he said he would accept and then we went to the dining hall and I treated him to cereal while we watched basketball anime on my laptop," Taehyung rattled off.
"So since he said that, ya'll are dating now, right?"
"Nope," Taehyung replied, ripping a chunk of his fruit roll-up and shoving it into his mouth.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" Jimin cried, and Taehyung raised his eyebrows, tearing off another piece of his fruit roll-up.
"I'm taking things slow, Jimothy," Taehyung replied.
"Since when do you take anything slow?" Jimin snorted. "You burned your mouth when you put a spoonful of instant macaroni and cheese in your mouth straight from the microwave."
"That's a completely different thing."
"So you're saying that fucking Jungkook right away is the same as me eating macaroni and cheese right away without waiting?"
"That is precisely what I'm saying," Jimin replied.
Taehyung squinted at his best friend. "Are you okay?"
"I'm not okay! I've been inadvertently trying to set you up with the kid for like three months," Jimin complained.
"You have not," Taehyung snorted. "You didn't try shit until I told you I went to a party looking for him. Stop lying."
"Whatever, those are just technicalities."
"Seriously, Jimothy, are you okay?"
"Just bang already!" Jimin exploded.
"Well, you want to, don't you?"
"Want to what?"
“Are you just going to be showing up unannounced now?” Taehyung mumbled, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He had just woken up from his afternoon nap that lasted quite a bit longer than he intended. Like, four hours longer.
“Don’t say that as if you haven’t been doing that for the past couple of months,” Jungkook snorted, squeezing past Taehyung and flopping himself down on the couch. “Like that time you showed up at two in the morning to ask me to come with you to go eat donuts. We didn’t get back till like four or five in the morning because of the bus ride.”
“Okay, but like, you’re my 2 AM and I’m yours so you gotta be prepared at all times.”
“I never volunteered for this position.”
“You don’t have to volunteer - you got volun-told, so ha.”
“...Literally what the fuck, Taehyung.” Jungkook shook his head as he watched the older boy join him on the couch, dropping his feet into his lap. “Anyways, I was bored so I decided to show up.”
“Yes, unannounced, okay?”
“It’s like nine, don’t you have homework or something to do?”
“Do you even know me at all?”
“And I had this idea.”
“Why do you always take for-fucking-ever to tell your stories?” Taehyung complained, eyes closed.
“-Anyways,” Jungkook said loudly, “my idea was to come over and take a nap with you.”
Taehyung peeked open an eye. “You came over to take a fucking nap?” He yawned loudly and stretched his arms above his head. “You didn’t want to do that in your own dorm room?”
“Yes. And no.”
Taehyung squinted at the younger boy and shrugged. “Okay.”
“Do you wanna carry me to my room?”
“Do I gotta?”
“If you want to take a nam with Tae of Hyung, then, yes, you gotta.”
Jungkook was in the midst of zipping his backpack up as he walked out of his 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM lecture hall when he was pounced upon. And he meant quite literally, legitimately pounced upon - because one moment he was walking out, minding his own business, when suddenly he was against a wall, hands thrown up as if in surrender with his backpack on the ground several feet away and he was pretty fucking sure from the way his face was positioned, that his double chins had double chins.
Taehyung stood in front of him almost chest to chest, expression wild and hands on the wall on either side of Jungkook's head, and a comforting warmth radiating from his body.
"What the hell?" Jungkook spluttered, blinking rapidly. People were staring as they walked past and the younger boy was suddenly aware of how the close the elder was.
"I have news," Taehyung said breathlessly, eyes wide.
Jungkook twisted his mouth suspiciously. "Should I be scared?"
Taehyung pouted. "Why should you be scared? This is me we're talking about here."
Taehyung pouted even more severely and Jungkook hated himself for melting a little at how cute the elder was. He also hated Taehyung because he had sworn to himself to never be swayed or affected by aegyo, but there he was, practically a pool at Taehyung's feet. "Jungkookie," the older boy said severely, eyes wide. "This is deadass serious."
"What is it?"
"There's a new chicken place that just opened on campus," Taehyung replied. And Jungkook sighed heavily. The older boy looked at him reproachfully. "What?"
"You came here, assaulted me, and pinned me up against the wall to tell me that there's a new chicken place on campus?" Jungkook complained exasperatedly.
Taehyung gave him a sheepish look. "I mean, yeah, but also to invite you to come with me right now - but if you don't want to I can ask Jimin instead - "
"No!" Jungkook burst out quickly, and he flushed when a slow grin spread on Taehyung's face. Smooth Jungkook. Real slick. "I'll go with you."
"Cool beans," Taehyung said, and he stepped back, freeing Jungkook and taking his warmth with him. "Let's go, buddy-o." Jungkook went to grab his backpack and slung it over his shoulders before he and Taehyung got on their way. "I missed you Jungkookie."
"You saw me yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that. And the day before that. And the day before that - "
"Okay, I get it we hang out a lot. But what does that have to do with me missing you?" Jungkook flushed and didn't answer, instead starting on his way down the path. But just as they began walking, Taehyung stopped him dramatically. "Wait!"
Jungkook paused, eyebrows raised. "Yes?"
Taehyung suddenly dropped down onto his knees and lifted Jungkook's foot up as pulled the younger boy's Timberlands off. He nodded, satisfied, before shoving the shoe back onto Jungkook's foot. "I like your socks." (They were red with Iron Man heads on them that day.)
"Are you going to do that every time you see me?" Jungkook complained, but he was smiling like an idiot, nose scrunched, and Taehyung nodded once again.
"I like socks," Taehyung replied by explanation, and that was that. They set off and Taehyung asked Jungkook about his day and then talked about his and, in the midst of a wild recounting of how a girl in one of his classes had a mental breakdown and had gotten on her knees and hysterically begged their professor for an extension on a due date, Taehyung had reached down and hooked his right pinky with Jungkook's left one and then younger boy couldn't help the slow spread of a smile on his lips.
And when he looked over at the older boy, he realized that Taehyung had his signature box grin on his face.
"Hyung, hook it up," Taehyung begged, turning his signature puppy eyes on Hoseok. It was the middle of their free lunch hour before the group would have to inevitably scatter to go to their respective afternoon classes.
"You have a fucking meal card," Hoseok snorted. "Go use it. You're a fucking junior - I don't know why still have one."
"It's left over from last year," Taehyung wailed, scooting even more into Hoseok's space than he already was - practically sitting in the poor guy's lap. "There's barely anything left in it - I'm poor! Have mercy on me, please."
Namjoon plopped down onto the free space on the other side of the table bench and set his paper to-go bag down in front of him. "What are the theatrics for today?" he asked, sound bemused as he unpacked a wrapped burger and a wax paper tray of fries from the bag, and before dumping the ketchup packets out. Taehyung eyed Namjoon's fries longingly and the older boy's eyebrows rose. "No," Namjoon said. "Absolutely fucking not. Go buy your own."
"You guys are my hyungs," Taehyung pouted. "Aren't you supposed to take pity on me and take care of your favorite dongsaeng?"
"My favorite dongsaeng is Jimin, so you can fuck off with that kind of logic," Hoseok replied, grinning with amusement when Taehyung frowns.
Yoongi and Jimin approached the table and before Taehyung had even opened his mouth, the piece of shit grandpa had already uttered a flat, resolute, "No."
"I can't believe that I just witnessed so much cruelty with my own two eyes," Taehyung cried. "I thought our generation was gonna turn everything around," he moped, "I thought we were gonna get rid of this capitalistic greed and - "
"Taemothy," Jimin interrupted, "shut your piehole."
"I just want fries!" Taehyung wailed, louder this time and those at tables in the surrounding area stared and Taehyung's friends were unbothered by this kind of attention because of the boy's antics happened often if not daily. "If Seokjin was here he'd buy me some fries."
"Too bad he's at a meeting with his professor, huh?" Namjoon piped up, taking a rather large bite out of his burger.
"I hate all of you."
"Look, it's your boyfriend," Yoongi drawled, and Taehyung's head whipped over to the look at the path that was a few yards away from their table to see Jungkook making his way up it. Taehyung ignored Hoseok's snicker and Jimin's hiss of "He didn't even deny".
"JEON JUNGKOOK," Taehyung bellowed, and Jungkook startled, yanking his earbuds out and looking around until he spotted Taehyung waving at him wildly and beckoning him to walk over.
Jungkook approached slowly, suspicious look on his face as he unplugged his earbuds and shoved them into his pocket on his way over. "What's up?"
"I don't think we've met," Namjoon said, holding his free hand towards Jungkook. "Kim Namjoon. Fourth year music production major, philosophy minor."
"Jeon Jungkook. Second year dance major, graphic design minor," the younger boy replied, taking his hand and shaking firmly. He turned to Taehyung who was still pouting, arms crossed. "What's up TaeTae?" Taehyung ignored Jimin's delighted whisper yell of, "Nicknames!" and sighed.
"No one will buy me fries."
Jungkook raised his eyebrows. "You called me over for this?" he said incredulously, running a hand over his face. "You interrupted Drake's new album for this?" Namjoon seemed like he approved of the younger boy's musical choices. "Are you joking?"
Taehyung stood dramatically and turned his nose up. "I need to find myself some new friends," he griped, trying to climb out from the table bench only to get his foot caught on the underside of it and to go sprawling face first into the grass.
Everyone was silent for a moment before there was a snort which seemed like the catalyst for the explosion of laughter that erupted from his friends and the accumulated stares from those in vicinity.
Taehyung rolled over onto his back laid there for a second, staring up at the mockingly bright blue sky, contemplating his life thus far and how he managed to be lucky enough to cop himself such a shit group of friends. And then he felt a nudge against his ankle which, upon further inspection, was Jungkook's Timberland - did the boy have any other shoes? The younger boy was smiling that stupid smile that Taehyung liked so much more than he was willing to admit - nose scrunched, eyes crinkled and teeth on full display, with his hand out like an offering.
Taehyung sighed and sat up, severe pout on his lips as he took the boy's hand and allowed himself to be carefully aided to standing. "I'll buy you fries, Tae," Jungkook said, releasing his hand and adjusting his backpack straps. "But not from the dining hall."
Taehyung's eyes lit up. "Are we going to the new place I've been wanting to try?"
Jungkook shrugged and sent him a smug grin. "Maybe."
"Honestly, Jungkookie, I love you." It slipped out and Taehyung desperately ignored the heat of embarrassment that spread throughout his body as soon as he said it. It had gotten his friends to shut their mouths at least, eyeing one another with raised eyebrows and slight smirks.
And as the pair walked away, Taehyung linked his pinky with Jungkook's, while a pink blush rose in the younger boy's cheeks.
"I honestly don't know what I'm doing," Taehyung admitted, and Jungkook looked up from his own math homework to raise his eyebrows.
"That's not good."
Taehyung stuck his tongue out at the half-assed response to his mid-collegiate-life crisis. "Why does Calculus III exist?" he wailed. "And why am I taking it?"
"SHH!" someone from the next table over hissed, and Taehyung scoffed.
"You hush," Taehyung spat, glaring right back.
"Well," Jungkook replied, chilling quite comfortably with his own perfectly normal, perfectly regular Calculus I homework, "it's a prerequisite for your chem minor, so."
"Tell me something that I dont know that will be useful to me, you dickbag," Taehyung complained.
"You never needed a minor in chem," Jungkook said, "you just did it for no actual good reason." He grinned his best shit-eating grin when Taehyung chucked a pink eraser at him.
"An asshole who is also your best friend," Jungkook corrected. "Also, you didn't need to add pi to that," he said, pointing to the damn problem with the tip of his fancy-ass mechanical pencil with its 0.9 mm lead that Taehyung had been working on for the better part of thirty minutes, Jungkook sounding like the matter of fact smartass that he was. "That's why you keep getting weird decimals. It's first quadrant, not third or second."
"Why aren't you taking Calculus III, the fuck?" Taehyung muttered, repunching the numbers into his not so handy dandy graphing calculator and finally getting the right answer.
"That's a precalculus level problem."
"Listen - " Taehyung began, glaring at the younger boy. "You're a fucking smartass and I don't appreciate your tone, young man."
"What are you, my da - "
"DON'T SAY IT," Taehyung all but screams, and this earned him glares and stares.
" - dy?" Jungkook finished, eyebrows raised.
"You're disgusting," Taehyung spat, shaking head. "Nasty ass."
This was the last thing he said before the librarian came over to the pair to kindly (i.e. passive aggressive scolding with a fake ass smile) kick Jungkook and himself out of the library for the night.
"Nice going," Jungkook snorted as the pair exited the building.
"Shut the fuck up, Kookie."
Jungkook grinned and reached down to hook his pinky with Taehyung's. "Where to?"
"Food?" Taehyung suggested hopefully, biting his bottom lip.
"Who's paying though," Taehyung asked, grimacing.
"Not me," Jungkook replied immediately.
Taehyung frowned. "Damn."
"I pay for you all the time," Jungkook pointed out.
"Fuck, I know," Taehyung sighed. "Take your pick, Jungkookie. McDonald's dollar menu, or street tteobeokki."
"Are you joking?"
"Yes, I'm joking," Taehyung snorted, rolling his eyes. "I'm not that cheap."
"You once tried to use three different coupons to buy a cheeseburger," Jungkook pointed out.
"Yeah, and then yours truly copped the thing for a low price of only 2000 won."
"It was embarrassing," Jungkook deadpanned. "I had to stand there while you argued with the cashier like a cheap ahjumma, which is exactly what you are."
"I am not a cheap ahjumma," Taehyung gasped, wildly affronted. "I got your cheeseburger for free you ungrateful piece of shit," Taehyung gasped. "All my friends are bitches."
"Trust no bitch," Jungkook supplied cheerfully.
"That means you too, you dingdong."
"You can't trust no bitch that isn't me " Jungkook ammended.
"For fuck - " Taehyung groaned, " - just shut up and pick somewhere to eat before I change my mind."
Jungkook grinned his most most winning smile.
"You're lucky you're my favorite dongsaeng," Taehyung mumbled.
"I'm your only dongsaeng."
"Hey, punk, shut up."
Jungkook grinned again and nudged Taehyung in the side playfully as he pulled his phone out to look up food places near campus.
And Taehyung watched the younger boy scroll through his phone, then he looked down at their linked pinkies and felt himself melt just a little bit more with that dumb fluttering in his chest.
"I'd like to date the fuck out of Jeon Jungkook," Taehyung announced, and everyone exchanged looks with each other, rendering Taehyung a little bit (a lot a bit) embarrassed.
"Jung of Kook is on his way here, do you really want to be spouting that kind of shit right now?" Hoseok snorted, looking bemused as he and the rest of the squad watched Taehyung sprawl himself between the coffee table and the TV.
"I've had an epiphany, okay?" Taehyung's voice was muffled because his arms were over his face. "It was a really fucking important epiphany at the asscrack of 4 AM."
"We all had that same epiphany like four months ago," Jimin pointed out flatly.
"Well - " Namjoon began, most likely to spew something obscure about the spiritual importance of listening to and carefully contemplating one's epiphanies, but was interrupted by the sound of the apartment/suite/thing door opening.
"I've arrived with the good stuff," Jungkook announced, with three pizza boxes in hand. He shut the door eith his foot. "With extra oregano." He said this particular part with a smug grin.
"So you brought weed?" Yoongi clarified, snorting.
"The best, straight from Jackson of Wang," Jungkook replied, dropping a baggie into Yoongi's lap.
"Jeon Jungkook, you are twelve years old," Jimin gasped, sounding aghast.
"Shut the fuck up," Jungkook advised.
"The disrespect of this rascal," Jimin scoffed. "The audacity."
"Hyung, what are we watching?" Jungkook asked, lightly nudging Hoseok's foot off the coffee table.
"So you'll call Hobi hyung but you won't call me hyung?" Jimin complained, glaring at the maknae.
Jungkook just grinned at Jimin before turning back to Hoseok. "Anyway." Jimin made a spluttering noise.
"Horror," Seokjin called from the kitchen, rummaging through the cabinets.
"I'm gonna be sick," Hoseok griped.
"He's gonna shit himself," Namjoon clarified.
"Here's some advice," Hoseok grumbled, "Shut the fuck up, Joon."
"Children, please," Seokjin sighed, returning from his brief trip to the kitchen for paper plates. "Being a mother is so hard."
"No one asked you to be our mother," Jimin pointed out.
"Someone's gotta keep you heathens from doing dumb shit," Seokjin huffed.
"Stupid shit like what?" Taehyung scoffed, taking a large bite from a slice of pizza.
"Like putting aluminum foil in the microwave," Seokjin said, eyeing Taehyung pointedly. Jungkook snorted with badly muffled snickers. Taehyung reddened.
"That was one time!"
"Doesn't make it any less dumb."
"Why do you have to expose me like this," Taehyung complained.
"There's actually no need to expose how dumb you are," Jimin said, all matter of fact. "Everyone already knows."
"Excuse y'all," Taehyung spluttered. "I am a chem minor."
"We all know you're book smart, buddy boy," Yoongi replied.
"You just don't know basic life things," Jimin clarified.
"You guys always gang up on me," Taehyung pouted.
Jungkook ruffled Taehyung's hair as he plopped down beside him. "I don't!" he sang, sending the older boy an angelic smile.
"Yeah, you only just straight up insult me to my face and then ask me to buy you food," Taehyung snorted.
"You love me," Jungkook replied dismissively, and Taehyung could have sworn his heart stopped, and he flushed as he registered the amused looks on his friends' faces and Jungkook's oblivion.
"You wish," Taehyung scoffed unconvincingly.
Jungkook had just walked out of the practice room when his phone rang from inside his pocket. He struggled to dig it out, answering it on most probably the last ring.
"Jeon Jungkook." The voice on the other end belonged to his favorite person in the whole world at the moment, and just that thought alone had Jungkook flushing with embarrassment at the cheesiness.
"Only you would greet me by saying my full name," Jungkook laughed, continuing his walk towards the stairs, running his fingers through his sweat soaked bangs. "What's up, Tae?"
"Are you busy?" Taehyung asked, then paused. "Wait, let me reword that - do you have any homework?"
"Nothing urgent," Jungkook replied after a few moments of thought. "Why?"
"I was just wondering if you wanted to come over and hang," Taehyung replied, and on his end there was some rustling that told Jungkook that the older boy was in bed and likely hadn't moved from that location for awhile. "It doesn't have to be right now-right now. Just whenever you're free."
Jungkook pulled the phone away from his ear to check the time. 7:30 PM. "I'll be over in like an hour," Jungkook said, stepping out of the performing arts building and making his way towards his dorm hall. "I just finished practice and I gotta shower. I'll bring pizza or something."
Taehyung groaned a groan that sent Jungkook's cheeks flaming and his mind spinning in the direction it probably shouldn't, especially since the older boy was his best friend. "You're the best, Jungkookie. For real."
Jungkook couldn't help the smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "I'll see you in a bit."
Jungkook hung up soon after that, and sped up his pace, dialing the number of the pizza place on campus to order a large pepperoni with bacon and a side of ranch. Once he got back to his dorm, he showered quickly, changing into clothes that weren't nasty from his post practice filth. Jungkook was on his way to pick up the pizza when his phone rang.
"So, like," Taehyung began, already sounding sheepish and on the border of guilty, "there's literally nothing to drink here and I was wondering if you could pick up some drinks or something? Like not a lot - just enough for us."
For some reason it was the use of the word 'us' that caused the seize in Jungkook's chest. Why the two-lettered word was causing the unreasonable rapid pounding of his heart was a mystery to him.
"I'll make it up to you, I promise. I'll buy you food or whatever next time," Taehyung said quickly. "Shit, I feel kinda bad."
"Yeah, of course," Jungkook replied, pulling out his wallet to quickly make sure that he had enough money. "And don't feel bad," he said, slipping his wallet back into his pocket. "We pay for each other's food all time. It's not a big deal." Jungkook could hear Taehyung's sigh of relief and he smiled a little. "You gotta chill, Taebae." Taehyung laughed at this and it was only then that Jungkook realized he had been smiling unconsciously.
"You're the seriously the best," Taehyung said after a moment. "I said this earlier but I fucking mean it."
"And you would do well not to forget it," Jungkook teased. "I'll see you in a bit," he said for the second time in forty five minutes."
"Okay. See you babe."
There was an awkward pause in which the pair slowly processed what Taehyung had just said and Jungkook cleared his throat loudly.
He hung up quickly after that.
Taehyung sounded hesitant and a bit terrified and Jungkook was instantly wary.
"Yeah?" Jungkook forced himself to sound casual, willing his voice not to shake with the anxiousness that he could feel spreading through his body.
When Jungkook had arrived with the food and the drinks, it was a little awkward - And it wasn't because the pair were aware of the weirdness that had occured over the phone, but it was because Taehyung was acting like it hadn't happened. He was all forced smiles and amped up cheerfulness and it was more uncomfortable for Jungkook than it would have been if they had just acknowledged the weirdness. But because Taehyung hadn't said brought it up, Jungkook didn't feel the need to either.
Until then, apparently.
The pair had just finished eating, and had settled in to watch a movie that Taehyung had not so legally acquired off of the magical interweb. Taehyung's head was in Jungkook's lap and the younger boy had been mindless stroking the other's hair.
"About earlier, on the phone..." Taehyung trailed off, and Jungkook stopped his movements abruptly.
"It's not too big of a deal," Jungkook interrupted. "We don't really have to talk about it if you don't want to."
Taehyung was quiet and for a moment, fear seized Jungkook's heart and the younger boy scrambled to recover. "I mean, do you want to talk about it? We can if you want - "
"No," Taehyung replied, sounding too cheerful. "It's whatever." He turned his head to shoot Jungkook a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. "Don't worry about it. It's not a big deal."
"What I'm about to tell you is strictly confidential."
It was the end of practice and everyone had already left except the two of them.
"Sure thing." Jimin was grinning in this way that Jungkook definitely did not like and he glared at the older boy.
"I mean it, Jimin."
"That's hyung to you, brat," Jimin scoffed, wiping at his forehead where he felt his post-dance practice sweat was gathering.
"Anyways," Jungkook said pointedly, "I want to talk about - "
"My dear best friend, LordTae1231?" Jimin finished for him, and Jungkook reddened like a fucking tomato and he hated himself.
"Shut up," he muttered. "Not about Tae."
"Okay," Jimin said, raising his eyebrows. "So what is this about?" Jungkook took a deep breath as if gearing himself up for what he was about to say.
"Say Person A thought they had made it clear they didn't want to date in general, but then Person B asks what would happen if they asked Person A out and Person A says they would accept but that basically goes against what Person A had already said a while back and now Person A has changed their mind and actually kindadsortadoes want to date Person B."
Jimin's jaw had slackened and his eyebrows had risen. "So um," he began, blinking slowly, "you know that scene in The Hangover where the bearded dude is counting cards and all that math shit is floating around his head?" Jungkook raised his eyebrows in affirmation. "Yeah, that's me." Jungkook groaned and laid down on the floor of the practice room in full starfish-stance. "I'm hella confused but I'm gonna say that Person A also seems hella confused and I think that you should - " Jungkook glared severely at the older boy and Jimin rolled his eyes, " - Person A should simplify things by just dating the fuck out of Taehyung - " another glare from Jungkook. "I mean, Person B."
"But isn't dating complicated? Wouldn't dating complicate things?"
"Well Person A is in a pickle, aren't they?" Jimin asked, raising his eyebrows. "The pickle sounds more complicated to me. Dating would simplify everything, Mr. I Don't Do Entanglements And Complications." Jungkook cringed.
"That's exactly what I - I mean Person A told Person B."
"I know," Jimin replied, rolling his eyes.
"What, how - ?"
"I'm Taehyung's, I mean, Person B's best friend," Jimin snorted. "I know everything." Jungkook scowled, but his expression dropped as he laid there for several minutes with his arm thrown over his eyes.
"But it wouldn't. Because if things go shitty, then Person A will lose Person B."
"What wouldn't?" Jimin asked, and Jungkook propped himself up on his elbows.
"Dating wouldn't simplify things," Jungkook clarified. "They'd lose each other if anything went wrong."
"I think Person A should know that Person B wouldn't let Person A lose them to something like that."
Jungkook stared. "How do you know?"
"Because Person B likes simple. Person B lowkey-highkey wants simple. Especially with Person A. But Person B needs to be told," Jimin said carefully.
Jungkook is quiet. "Told what?"
"Person B needs to know that Person A cares just as much as they do."
Just to reiterate, Taehyung did not like parties - rather, he attended them with the hope that each time he left the parties at the end of the night, he would leave with his mind changed and good memories as souvenirs. But all Taehyung ever left with was regret for all the time he could have spent catching up on his shows, but was instead spent navigating through drunken, gyrating bodies and more than one intoxicated request for a titty fuck. Parties were truly highlight of Taehyung's university experience - that's what his parents over in Daegu paid 23,000,000 won per year for.
Taehyung watched with raised eyebrows as Hanbin languidly kissed the lime and salt off of Bobby's well-defined abs. It felt like too intimate of a moment for him and the rest of the crowd in the dining room to be watching, what with Bobby and Hanbin's eyes being locked and the quirk of Bobby's lips up to one side, eyes half-open in a sensation that Taehyung wasn't even comfortable thinking about when he was a witness and not the one feeling it.
"No homo, apparently," Taehyung remarked dryly with a snort.
"It's honestly the gayest thing I have ever seen," Jungkook agreed, cup in hand, but not having taken even a sip from it.
"Incredible," Taehyung drawled. He was at the tail end of his mellow from the edible he had snagged an hour or two ago from a very out of place Yongguk, having graduated two or three years prior already. What he was doing in a scene like this with a bunch of kids in their early twenties was as much of a mystery to Taehyung as it was to everyone else. Some people just couldn't let go of their glory days, he guessed. "Are you down to do that with me?"
Jungkook took a gulp from his cup. "Down to do what?"
"Body shots," Taehyung replied as if it was obvious, nodding towards where Bobby had just sat up and thrown the most obvious smirk at Hanbin, eyes dark with what everyone in vicinity would easily make out as pure desire. "No homo of course, bro." Taehyung snorted with laughter because he couldn't even say it with a straight face.
Jungkook snorted. "I'd rather not."
"Aw, come on why not?" Taehyung fake-whined. Or at least he though it was fake, but maybe the disappointment that he thought he had forced was not as forced as he thought. In fact, it weighed down his sternum like a ton of rocks, yanking down his resolve with it. "No homo, remember?"
Jungkook rolled his eyes. "One - all jokes aside, it is definitely homo, which I have no problem with, you know that. But, two - we're best friends, not dating or even secretly dating." Taehyung pouted. "Third - you wish you could lick lime and salt off my abs."
"You fucking wish that I wish I could lick salt off your abs, you dingdong," Taehyung scoffed. "Do you even have abs?"
Jungkook harumped in offense. "Fuck you!" He sniffed and held his cup out towards Taehyung. "Hold this." Taehyung took the cup from the younger boy, already unimpressed with whatever it was that he had planned. Jungkook lifted his shirt just high enough so Taehyung could see the toned, chisled planes of his torso, with, to his chagrin, the telltale dips of abs. Taehyung felt his mouth simultaneously go dry, while at the same time had the feeling he was drooling - how that was possible, he wasn't sure, but all the mattered was the way he let his eyes wander for longer than what was probably appropriate, seeing as he was Jungkook's best friend.
At least, until he was deprived of the sight when Jungkook dropped his shirt back down.
"Your abs are fake," Taehyung said flatly, trying to seem unbothered but he knew he was Weak™ and Gay As Hell™ and he wanted to run his fingers over Jungkook's abs and maybe even press his face against them and then he was honestly freaking himself the fuck out. It was the edible talking. Or thinking. Whichever. Fuck.
"I'm gonna pretend that you didn't just say some dumb shit," Jungkook smirked, watching as Taehyung took a large gulp out of Jungkook's cup, surveying its contents for a moment as he swallowed, before draining the rest.
"More," Taehyung said with finality. "Let's go get more."
"Are you sure?" Jungkook asked, eyebrows furrowed. "Didn't you have an edible earlier - ?"
"Yeah, but it's wearing off now," Taehyung dismissively replied. "We good, Jeon Jungkookie." The younger boy looked skeptical and Taehyung rolled his eyes. "You need to chill. I peed like ten minutes ago. That probably helped a bit."
"You took my chill when you drank my drink, dingdong."
Taehyung sighed heavily. "Which is exactly why I said we should go get more. Christ."
The pair made their way through the crowd of people some watching other people take body shots some playing beer pong, and others what looked like strip poker, based off of the minimal amount of clothing that was on Jinhwan at that moment. Junhoe was sitting beside him, dramatically more clothed than his friend.
"Let's join," Taehyung suggested, and Jungkook shook his head vehemently.
Taehyung sighed heavily, pursing his lips, poking Jungkook's chest. "You're such a fuckin' buzzkill tonight, Jeon."
"May I remind you that I have no buzz to kill?" Jungkook replied dryly. "You drank my drink, remember?"
"Someone's being a bitter hoe and it isn't me," Taehyung sang as he led the way to through the crowd towards the kitchen.
"Tae, honestly, shut up."
"Someone needs a Happy Meal," Taehyung laughs, reaching back and intertwining their fingers together as they squeezed through a particularly dense part of the crowd.
When Taehyung looked back, he saw Jungkook watching him with a small smile on his face, everything in his expression screaming annoyance, but there was also a softness in his features, a gentle edge to them as he set his eyes on Taehyung.
Taehyung bit his bottom lip to hide his smile, looking away from Jungkook because the fluttering that had erupted in his chest was too much.
"This smells like battery acid," Jungkook grimaced, peering down at the tray of shots that had just been set down with the other drinks on the kitchen island. The island itself was quite an alarming size, and it was covered in an assortment of bottles and drinks, from soju, beer, jungle juice, Jell-O shots, to marshmallow vodka.
"And you would know this, how?" Taehyung questioned, standing beside Jungkook as the pair eyed the amber contents of the dozens of shot glasses.
"I'm just saying, dingdong," Jungkook sighed.
"Why does everyone call me a dingdong?" Taehyung demanded, pouting. "Do I look like a cream filled chocolate cupcake-thing to you?"
"You're soft and dense," Jungkook replied, and Taehyung scoffed and smacked the younger boy in the stomach.
"Rude brat," Taehyung spat. "I'm still your fucking hyung. You're just lucky I'm not like Yoongi." Jungkook shot Taehyung a winning grin that had the older boy scowling, before he gave in and rolled his eyes. "So what is this?"
"Redbull, booze, energy powder, and powdered caffeine on the rims of the glasses." It was not Jungkook who said this - the voice was too deep, too smooth and self-assured and smokey sounding.
"Well shit," Taehyung muttered, eyes widened. "Energizer bunny death shot. Someone could fucking die." He looked over to look at the source of the voice. "Oh, hey."
There was familiarity in Taehyung's greeting and Jungkook wasn't sure why, but he didn't like it.
The guy grinned and nodded, dimples popping. "Hey," he said, and his voice was deep and rich, though not as deep at Taehyung's. "I'm surprised to see you here," he said, mouth quirking up to one side and leaning against the counter, also at the same time leaning forward and towards Taehyung. "I don't usually see you at any of Jackson's parties."
Jungkook felt a prickling spreading over his body, his blood boiling - he didn't like the way the guy was standing so close to Taehyung, or the way Taehyung didn't even seem to mind. Jungkook allowed himself to give the guy a once-over while he was distracted by Taehyung.
Tall, handsome, charming - Jungkook hated him.
"I'm usually at Jiho's parties, if at all," Taehyung explained with a bright smile.
"Ah," the guy said, nodding with understanding. "Calmer parties are more your forte?"
"Something like that," Taehyung replied.
The guy turned to Jungkook just as his eyes were making the round trip back up to his face. Jungkook reddened. Awkward. "I don't think we've met. I'm Minjae."
Jungkook may or may not have mimicked the dude in his head in a high-pitched voice. He suppressed a heavy sigh. "Jungkook."
"Are you a freshman?" Minjae asked with a smile, and Jungkook felt irritation and offense stab him in the chest because he knew for a fucking fact that he didn't look like a freshman. Or even a sophomore - at least thats what he'd been told.
"Sophomore," Jungkook replied flatly, unamused.
"Shit, my bad," Minjae laughed. He turned back to Taehyung. "Come dance with me."
Every fiber in Jungkook's body stiffened.
"I don't know," Taehyung hesitated, "I don't want to leave Jungkookie alone - "
Jungkook swallowed down a protest and slapped a smile on his face; fake, straining, and definitely cold. "It's fine. Don't let me hold you back."
"See? Jungkookie's a big boy, he can handle himself," Minjae said, and one had to listen closely to catch the air of condescension. Jungkook gritted his teeth.
"I'll be fine, Tae," Jungkook said flatly, shoving his hands into his pockets. "Go."
And even as they were walking away, Taehyung looked back at Jungkook, chewing on his lip and furrowing his brows. Jungkook forced another smile, watching the older boy be taken away from him. But there was something that Jungkook always forgot - Taehyung wasn't even his to begin with, and not his to take away. Something heavy inside Jungkook chest sank heavily to his feet and his throat suddenly felt dry.
Jungkook pulled a cup off of a stack and filled it with some ice and jungle juice from a bowl nearby. He took large gulps of it, downing it too quickly and tasting none of it. Jungkook was pouring himself a shot when an arm was slung around his shoulder.
"Hey, Jungkookie," Jimin said cheerfully, yanking him down so he'd be at his level, and the jostling that ensues makes Jimin's drink slosh dangerously in his cup. "You let your boy go off with another one?"
Jungkook stiffened. "He isn't my boy."
Jimin takes a gulp from his cup before answering with a knowing look in his eyes that Jungkook fucking hated. "But you wish he was." Jungkook didn't answer, instead knocked back the shot with a grimace. "You gotta make your move on Taehyung before someone else does, Kookie."
"I fucking know, okay? I know." Jungkook was bristling with tension and his muscles were stiff and there was a tightness in his sternum and it was way too fucking hot for him to be thinking properly. Jungkook knocked back another shot and shrugged Jimin's arm off. "I need some air."
Jungkook was on his way through the living room, brushing past people grinding against each other and he happened to look over his shoulder just as he reached other side of the room, impossibly coincidentally locking eyes with the boy that made his heart pound and his face hurt from smiling and his chest ache.
Taehyung was dancing close, so close to Minjae, his arms drapped around the taller boy's neck and his body pressed against the other's. Minjae's hands were on Taehyung's hips and Jungkook swallowed thickly as breath caught in his chest, before tearing his gaze away and pushing past Jooheon and Minhyuk standing very closely to one another, talking in one another's ears with their fingers intertwined.
"Jungkook!" A voice called, and he had half a mind to ignore whoever it was, but he stopped anyway to turn to the source of the voice, finding a platinum haired boy with a tendency for few words and squeaky laughter.
"Mark," Jungkook said, shoving his hands into his pockets. "Hey, man."
"Hey," Mark said, running his fingers through his platinum hair. "How've you been, dude?"
Jungkook didn't want to do this right then, the idle game of catch-up and small talk. He forced a half smile. "Could be better. You?"
"I've been alright," Mark said, searching Jungkook's face. "I wanted to - "
"Look, I don't mean to be a dick, but I can't really do this," Jungkook interrupted, "I just need some air right now." Jungkook stared down at the ground for a moment. "I'll come and find you in a bit and we can catch up or whatever - "
"Actually," Mark interrupted this time, "I just wanted to give this to you." He grabbed Jungkook's hand and dropped a small plastic baggie with familiar mossy-looking plant life and a lighter into it. "I saw you, you know? You looked like you might need it." Jungkook stared at the items for a moment, before looking into Mark's face searching his expression and finding sympathy and a small smile. "Go outside and get that air."
"Thanks," Jungkook said quietly, and Mark squeezed his shoulder before walking off.
It was a little bit later when the door behind Jungkook opened and let the noises of the party happening out, before it was muffled again when the door fell shut. Jungkook didn't turn around, only took another hit and exhaled slowly, head leaned against a pillar.
"Jungkookie," a deep voice, quiet and low, said softly, and it was then that Jungkook turned his head to see Taehyung standing there, looking hesitant and unsure of himself. Jungkook patted the empty space beside him before facing forward again, and Taehyung sat, curling his hands around the younger boy's bicep out of habit, leaning his head against his shoulder. Jungkook passed the joint, and Taehyung took a long drag and exhaled slowly.
"I'm sorry I left you alone," Taehyung said quietly.
Jungkook was quiet, the cogs in his head moving rapidly with his thoughts whirring by as if in hyper speed.
"It's fine, Tae," Jungkook murmured.
But all he could think about was the sinking, cripplingly heavy emotion that had plummeted his stomach back in the kitchen while watching Taehyung be led away from him by someone else. It felt like Taehyung was being taken from him, and he found that he kept having to remind himself that Taehyung wasn't even his to begin with - nothing, or more appropriately, no one, was being stolen from him. The only thing that was yanked forcefully from his grasp was opportunity - because he blew it every time.
"It's not like we're dating," Jungkook replied carefully, closing his eyes for a moment and curling his freehand into a loose fist. "You're allowed to run off with whoever you want."
Even he could hear the shaking tension in his voice and the slight tremor of his efforts to sound unbothered. There was a tightness in his chest that seemed to always be present, a sort of pressing urgency of something like a throbbing ache in his sternum. Taehyung was quiet.
"And if I wanted to run off with you?"
Jungkook's whirring mind stopped as his heart lept into his throat. And then the thoughts came like broken dam, flooding and destroying anything else that he might have been thinking about before as he tried desperately to figure out what the older boy meant because what he thought Taehyung meant couldn't possible be right. He swallowed thickly, staring down at the curling edges of the joint between his fingers.
"What are you talking about?" Jungkook asked finally, avoiding Taehyung's gaze. He couldn't look at the older boy, at least not then, when he knew that just one glance will send his heart into a frenzy and have him melting involuntarily at the warmth that Taehyung's eyes always carried.
"Exactly what I said," Taehyung said softly. "Jungkook," he gently squeezed the younger boy's arm. "Look at me."
Jungkook took a deep breath and turned his face to look at the older boy and found that he had been right - because one look at Taehyung and his breath was caught in his throat as he took in the way the nighttime shadows contoured the edges of his face and the way the outdoor lights highlighted his cheekbones and he took in the slight parting of Taehyung's lips and Jungkook's throat went dry from the sheer beauty of the boy beside him.
Taehyung searched Jungkook's face with furrowed brows and his lip between his teeth. Jungkook could feel himself simultaneously freezing up and melting under that warm gaze that he has sought in so many other instances before for comfort, but right then he wasn't comfortable - not by a long shot. He was terrified, and he wasn't sure why.
"What if it's you that I want to run off with?" Taehyung repeated, and his face was so close, that Jungkook could feel the featherlight puffs of air that escaped the older boy's lips as he spoke.
Jungkook swallowed thickly and dropped the joint onto the ground, grinding it under his shoe as he tore his gaze away and stared straight forward. "Of course you'd want to run off with me," Jungkook said, forcing a joking tone. "I'm your best friend." He grinned forcefully and turned to look at Taehyung again. "Have you seen this face?"
Something in Taehyung's eyes glassed over as he grinned a grin that did quite reach his eyes. There was an absence of light and a lack of sparkle and Jungkook hated himself because he was the reason.
"You're a fucking asshole, you know that?" Taehyung scoffed, still grinning that uncharacteristically ingenuine grin.
Jungkook couldn't tell whether or not he meant this, or whether he was joking. He had a feeling it was the former because Jungkook was a fucking asshole and he was also a fucking dumbass. He knew what Taehyung was saying, he knew what the older boy was insinuating, even if he didn't want to believe what the true meaning of what he had said meant - Jungkook wasn't oblivious. But he was stupid because he had gotten something that he hadn't allowed himself to want and instead of jumping at the opportunity that had been served to him on silver platter, he ignored it. And he lost it.
And he hated himself even more for it as he acted as if nothing had happened.
If Taehyung's heart was made of glass, it would have been at his feet right then, shattered to pieces and scattered on the ground for others to step on.
Maybe it wasn't that big of a deal, and maybe Jungkook was just oblivious, but Taehyung didn't think so. Taehyung chided himself for expecting anything more than an awkward brush-off and an evasion of the topic. He had prepared himself for it, for the words themselves, no matter how it came out, as long as he got his feelings across, but he hadn't prepared himself for the wrenching disappointment over the lack of acknowledgement at all.
"I'm gonna go find Jimin and call it a night," Taehyung said, standing from where he had been sitting with Jungkook, head on the younger boy's shoulder. His mouth felt dry and there was a choking sensation rising in his chest, like a sob or something equally uncontrollable that threatened to escape him. There was a stinging at the back of his eyes and he blinked rapidly and stared up at the sky as he shoved his hands into his jean pockets.
Jungkook stood with him, eyebrows furrowed with concern. "Are you okay?"
Taehyung thought about it, running the past five minutes in his head, from the way Jungkook had completely dismissed his subtle confession - or pretty damn close enough to a confession - to the way he felt right then and contemplated whether or not he was any bit of the semblance of being okay. He decided that he wasn't.
"Yeah, I'm just tired," Taehyung lied, forcing a smile as he reached out and ruffled the younger boy's hair. "You have fun." Jungkook opened his mouth as if to speak but shut it abruptly, eyebrows still furrowed. Taehyung walked over to the door and opened it, allowing the exuberant party sounds to escape and fill the growing silence between the two of them. "Don't do anything stupid. And don't drink those energizer bunny death shots we saw in the kitchen earlier."
"Tae - " Jungkook began.
"I'm fine, Jungkookie. Don't worry about me," Taehyung interrupted with a small smile. Music was thumping louder as the he opened the door wider. "I think Mark is looking for you." And he could hear the slight dip in his voice on the last word as he was looking away from the younger boy - he couldn't stand to see his face right then. "I'll see you soon."
"Taehyung - "
But he walked inside, pretending he hadn't heard his name being called with an air of desperation and with a thread of regret, letting the door fall shut behind him and feeling the younger boy's confused gaze on his back.
The party was just as chaotic at midnight, as it was two hours ago. Taehyung made his way through the crowd, weaving through and spouting quick responses to those who greeted him.
Taehyung found himself idly wondering how Jackson got the house cleaned after his parties were over when he saw the mountain of empty cups piled in one corner of the foyer. But with his kind of money, he probably hired a cleaning service or something convenient and bougie like that.
These thoughts conveniently distracted him for a moment before his emotions came spilling down over his head again, and it was like it was dripping into his eyes and blinding him from everything but his disappointment and the way Jungkook's face had gone perfectly blank when Taehyung had said what he said.
It took quite a bit of time for him to make his way through a particular dense patch of people, before he approached the very front of the room.
"Jimin," Taehyung yelled over the music, spotting the boy standing by the DJ with Yoongi, who was conversing animatedly while Jimin stood there with a drink in hand, dancing a little to the music playing. When he heard his name being called, he looked around until he spotted Taehyung and waved. Taehyung walked over to him, the choking sensation rising when he reached him.
"What's up?" Jimin grinned, taking a gulp from his drink.
And it was like hearing his best friend's voice was a trigger for the tears that were threatening to fall from his stinging eyes. Taehyung bit his lip and stared down at his feet, blinking rapidly before looking up at his best friend.
"Jiminnie, I want to go home."
And it was the way that Taehyung said it - there was something in Taehyung's voice then, a desperate urgency in it punctuated by the slight break in his voice as he said the last word, and instantly, Jimin's expression went grave as he took in the glassy tears that were glazing over Taehyung's eyes. "Okay," he said, nodding once. "Okay. We're going home." He took the boy's hand and turned to Yoongi, prodding his arm. When the older boy turned to look at him, Jimin spoke in his ear, telling his boyfriend that he and Taehyung would be leaving.
Yoongi took one look at Taehyung and nodded. "I'll come with."
Taehyung thought he had made it so painfully obvious.
That's all he could think about as he soaked Yoongi's shirt with his tears and his snot and who knew what else. There was nothing else he could think about. All the lingering touches and the secretive smiles and Jungkook didn't realize - or he ignored it all. Taehyung had thought that he could be the one change Mr. I Don't Do Entanglements and Complications™, as painfully horrible romance-movie-cliché as it sounded. Taehyung thought he could change Jungkook's mind. And it was clear then that that wasn't the case at all, because there he was, sitting curled against Yoongi's side and using his shirt as his personal hankerchief and the older boy was kind enough to let him.
"Why doesn't he love me?"
Yoongi let out a long sigh, lightly petting Taehyung's hair, and the younger boy looked up at him, sniffling loudly. "He does, Tae," Yoongi said quietly, his low voice rumbling quietly and comforting Taehyung more than he knew. "He's just a fucking idiot."
"But it's also my fault that I went and caught feelings even though I knew there was no chance," Taehyung sniffled. "He doesn't date, he doesn't even do one night stands. He fucks and then leaves."
"There's no fault in falling for someone," Yoongi replied after a moment, and Taehyung looked up at him with swollen eyes. "Jungkook made a mistake," Yoongi replied softly. "And he'll regret it. He doesn't deserve you, Tae." He continued lightly stroking Taehyung's hair. "I can guarantee that you're probably the best thing to happen to him."
The pair was silent for a moment, and the only sound was Taehyung's sniffling.
"I feel so stupid," Taehyung scoffs thickly, "I'm crying over some boy."
"Some boy that you really like," Yoongi reminded him.
"Jeon Jungkook is a fucking soggy piece of shit," Jimin announced, walking out of the hallway. He softened his voice as he spoke to Taehyung. "I ran a bath for you."
Taehyung sits up and rubs his eyes with his fists, like a kid. "Thanks, Jiminnie."
"Never a problem, TaeTae."
"And sorry, hyung," Taehyung said sheepishly. He sniffled. "I ruined your shirt."
"Don't worry about it, kid," Yoongi shrugged. "Just go take your bath. We'll make you some tea and then you should go to bed after."
"I'm going to beat the shit out of that brat," Jimin scowls. "I swear to god."
"No!" Taehyung blurts. "Just - " He falters, shutting his eyes. "Pretend none of this happened."
"Tae..." Jimin sighed, exasperated. "You can't just let this fester inside you and pretend you aren't upset."
"I just - " Taehyung began, chewing his bottom lip. "Give me some time. I'll talk to him. Just not now. Let him think nothing's wrong." Taehyung paused. "Just for now."
Yoongi was silent, but his facial expression told Taehyung that he strongly disagreed with this course of action. Jimin looked as if he wanted to protest, but just scowled instead. "Fine," Jimin conceded reluctantly. "I'll just have Hoseok hyung run dance drills and suicides with the team tomorrow at practice." Jimin sounded smug. "I'll just conveniently not be there." Yoongi snorted. "Jungkook, the little shit - he won't even know what hit him."
"You're terrifying, Jimothy," Taehyung said, small smile on his face then. "Truly."
"Isn't he?" Yoongi said fondly.
Things had been icy for a while.
A week, to be precise. Taehyung was never good at pretending he wasn't upset about something - he wore his heart on his sleeve and his emotions displayed on his face like a fucking LED light show. Taehyung was an emotionally open book, and he hated it because Jungkook kept asking whether something as wrong and every time he would reply no, there wasn't, but of course, the younger boy wouldn't believe him - not with that ingenuine smile on his lips and the stiffness of Taehyung's body whenever Jungkook touched him.
It also didn't help that Yoongi was anything less than friendly to the boy, and Jimin was just as cold, what with his glares and snapped replies.
And apparently, the younger boy couldn't stand not knowing what was wrong because Taehyung was cornered after one of his chemistry lectures.
Taehyung had been walking out of the lecture hall with Minjae, the two of them bent over his textbook, trying to find a particular part of the tiny-printed text that their professor had mentioned would be helpful in their lab the next morning.
"Maybe it was page six-fifty-two?" Taehyung had been saying, before he was yanked away from Minjae, his textbook flying from his grasp and onto the pavement several feet away. Taehgung stood for a moment, blinking rapidly, confused, before he looked up to find Jungkook standing in front of him and Minjae a few steps away, eyebrows raised. "Jesus fuck, Jeon Jungkook. What the hell."
"Um, I guess I'll see you later, Tae," Minjae said, sounding bemused as he took in the fierce glare that Jungkook was giving him. "I'll text you if I find the section."
"Yeah," Taehyung said, waving and watching the guy leave, before turning back to Jungkook. He raised his eyebrows, waiting for the boy to speak. "So?" Taehyung slipped his hands into his pockets. "What's up?"
Jungkook rubbed the back of his neck and stared at his feet before saying, "You've been avoiding me."
"I've been busy," Taehyung replied simply.
"You were never busy before," Jungkook pointed out.
"That's because I made time for you," Taehyung replied, and it he didn't even badly for saying it. "Time I didn't have, but made for you anyway." He sighed. "It's almost spring finals."
Jungkook looked hurt for a moment. "Did I do something?"
"I don't know, Jungkook," Taehyung said running a hand over his face. "I've just been really low on patience lately."
"Patience," Jungkook repeated.
"So what did I do to make you act like this?"
"What makes you think that it was you?" Taehyung countered.
"Because you haven't been acting differently around anyone else. And everyone is suddenly giving me dirty looks and Jimin treats me like I'm shit on his shoes," Jungkook replied quietly. "So what did I do?" Taehyung gave the younger boy a long look, and Jungkook's gaze didn't waver, but his facial expression had been wiped clean and devoid of anything.
"It's what you didn't do," Taehyung replied finally.
"Taehyung, honestly, stop with the ambiguity," Jungkook said quietly.
Taehyung laughed, and he was a little alarmed at the bitterness in it. "Fine," Taehyung said flatly. "I said I wanted to run off with you, and - "
"Jesus, is that what this is about?" Jungkook interrupted, and Taehyung shut his mouth. "Did you freak yourself out or something?" Jungkook asked brusquely. "Because I was fucking joking - "
"And I wasn't," Taehyung interrupted this time, fists curling in his pockets. "I wasn't fucking joking, Jungkook." The younger boy was quiet, avoiding his gaze. And Taehyung could see the thoughts racing a mile a minute in the younger boy's head, could practically hear them whirring and Taehyung was suddenly so tired. "I love you," Taehyung said quietly, and the younger boy winced, as if this hurt to hear. "More than as my best friend. More than whatever this friendship is. I love you."
"Taehyung - " Jungkook began, and it was the way the younger boy said his name that told him exactly what he needed to hear. "I - "
"Don't do entanglements," Taehyung finished for him. He smiled wryly. "I know."
"No, I - "
"Don't worry about it, Jungkookie," Taehyung interrupted, already turning away. "I have class in ten minutes - I need to get going."
"Taehyung - "
"I'll see you soon. I need some space for now," Taehyung said quietly, already walking away. "But I'll see you soon."
The tears Taehyung expected never came, and he walked away with nothing more than a dull ache in his sternum and his heart racing. Because he had just confessed to his best friend, who once again, did nothing about it.
Taehyung just didn't expect it to hurt as much as it did the second time.
The music was so loud that it was pounding in Jungkook's chest and the rest of his body and his ears were ringing.
And he danced. He had been at it for hours and it was late and it had been dark outside for a long time. Jungkook let the music course through his entire body and he controlled every single muscle and willed his limbs and willed his muscles to move exactly as he wanted them because when he was dancing, that was the only time that Jungkook felt like he was truly in control of himself - his mind was at ease and he could sort out his thoughts like this.
Jungkook stopped to catch his breath, hands braced against the mirrors, head pressed against them as he breathed heavily. He shut his eyes, silently cursing himself and he slammed his fist down against the mirror, feeling a shock of pain travel from his fist to his elbow, before it was gone.
The music stopped for a moment before starting up again, and Jungkook took his place in the center of the room again, and he began to move, muscles taut with tension.
It wasn't until he finished the routine for what felt like the millionth time, that he realized he was no longer alone.
Jimin stood by the door, leaning aginst the wall, arms crossed. "How long have you been here?" he said loudly, voice just barely audible over the pounding music. Jungkook walked over to his phone to pause the music, shrouding them in sudden silence and checking the time as he did it. It was 1AM.
"I've been here since five," Jungkook replied, and it was only then that fatigue washed over him, and he sank down onto the floor, sitting with his back to the mirror. He leaned his head back, eyes fluttering shut.
"Why have you been here for eight hours?" Jimin asked, sounding like he already knew but wanted to ask anyway.
He heard Jimin's footsteps as he came and joined Jungkook, sitting down a foot away against the mirrors as well.
"I needed to think," Jungkook replied after a few moments. "I'm so fucking stupid, hyung."
"You fucked up, Jungkook," Jimin said quietly. "Simple as that."
"He gave you an in," Jimin murmured. "He gave you two ins. Two opportunities. And you fucked up both."
"I know, okay?" Jungkook mumbled. "I fucking know."
"Why?" Jimin questioned. "You like him and he gave you those opportunities and you just - "
"Fucked up," Jungkook finished for him.
"Because I was terrified," Jungkook murmured. "I don't even know what it is, exactly, that I'm terrified of." It was silent for a few minutes as Jungkook tried to comb through his thoughts for some sort of explanation for the constant ache in his sternum and the jarring drop in his stomach whenever he thought about Taehyung. The instant smile that would tug at the corners of his lips when he thought of the crazy red hair and bright personality and the rumbling laughter and the deep timbre of a voice.
"It wouldn't be normal if you weren't terrified," Jimin said finally. "Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to these things, and that's why you need to grab it when the opportunity comes up."
"I just didn't want to lose him," Jungkook whispered. "Not as my best friend, not as a person I love, not as the most important person in my life right now."
"The only way you would lose him," Jimin said softly, "is by not trying to have him at all."
The pair are silent and Jungkook closed his eyes, picturing that rectangular grin and those sparkling eyes and the linked pinkies.
"What do I do, hyung?"
"Talk to him."
"Go answer the door."
"Fuck you! Go answer it yourself," Taehyung scoffed, continuing to type rapidly on his keyboard.
"I'm in the middle of something, fuckface."
"What, sexting Yoongi?" Taehyung huffed.
"I will punch you in the kidney."
"Such violence for a forest sprite."
"Yah, do you want to fucking die?"
"I'd like to see you try and kill me, Tinkerbell ."
"You really want to die today, huh, Kim Taehyung?"
"That's LordTae1231, to you, Kevin Hart."
"Kevin Hart is shorter than me, you asshole."
"Just answer the goddamn door - they've been knocking for like five minutes now."
Taehyung glared at his best friend. "Did you order pizza or something?" He sighed, getting up from the couch and placing his piece of shit laptop aside - the only kind of laptop that a broke university student could afford.
"No, did you?"
"Clearly not," Taehyung grumbled, "that's why I was asking you."
"There's no need go be such a smart ass," Jimin sniffed as Taehyung walked over to their apartment/suite/thing door. "Sometimes I don't even wanna talk to your annoying ass, I swear to God."
"Your problem, not mine, Park Jimothy," Taehyung sang. "Build a higher tolerance."
"Shut the hell up, Kim Taemothy."
Taehyung shot finger guns at his best friend before pulling the door open, his mouth ready to form a clever comeback, only to have to words die on his lips at the sight before him. "Jungkook."
"Hi," Jungkook said quietly, hands in his pockets, looking down at his feet before meeting Taehyung's gaze. He looked tired - that was Taehyung's first thought. There were dark circles under the younger boy's eyes, and his lips were a chapped and he was paler.
"And that's my cue to go," Jimin muttered, getting to his feet noisily. "Gotta blast - Yoongi suddenly desperately needs me," he said cheerfully, squeezing past. Jungkook to get out the door. "I put lube and you know whats in your desk drawer so have fun kids - don't be silly cover your willy and all that Troye Sivan shit."
Taehyung blinked rapidly, cheeks red and flaming. "Yah, Park Jimothy, shut the fuck up - we ain't fucking. Also when the fuck - ?"
"Bye, Kim Taemothy."
It was silent for a long time as Taehyung stood there at the door, staring blankly at Jungkook, still processing that the younger boy was there.
"So, um," Jungkook said awkwardly, "can I come in?"
"What?" Taehyung suddenly snapped out of whatever funk he was in and his eyes widened. "Oh, yeah. Come in." He stepped back and Jungkook smiled quickly in gratitude and stepped inside, Taehyung shutting the door behind him.
The pair sat on the couch in silence, avoiding each other's gaze.
"So, um, how have you been?" Taehyung asked awkwardly, his words stilted. "In the past week or two since I've seen you, I mean." I miss you.
"I could be better," Jungkook said quietly. "I've been doing a lot of thinking."
"Yeah? What about?"
"You." Taehyung's heart jumped as Jungkook paused. "Us."
Taehyung waited, staring down at his hands, which were curled in his lap. All he could think about what how much he had missed Jungkook in the past two weeks. They hadn't talked, hadn't texted - Taehyung hadn't even seen Jungkook around on campus. He missed their constant bickering and the way they didn't go two minutes without texting each other, and their culinary escapades and arguing over who was paying.
Taehyung missed the little things. Like Jungkook's disjointed laughter, the way his nose scrunched up when he smiled and the crooked lift of the corners of his lips when he spoke. He even missed the stupid blank look that Jungkook had on his face most of the time when he zoned out, not paying attention to anything going on around him.
"I missed you, Tae." For some reason, Taehyung wasn't able to lift his gaze from his lap. And so he sat there, biting his bottom lip, unable to even look at the boy as his heart pounding impossibly faster.
"I missed you too."
Taehyung felt a shift on the couch from Jungkook getting up and suddenly the younger boy was in front of him, sat on the floor between the couch and the coffee table. Jungkook looked up and into Taehyung's face, ducking his head a little to try to make eye contact with the older boy, but Taehyung turned his head a little, chewing his botton lip nervously.
"Tae," Jungkook said softly. "Taehyung, look at me, please?"
Taehyung slowly turned his head, shutting his eyes for a moment before letting them flutter open and lock with Jungkook's, feeling his heart stutter in his chest and the increasing of the ache in his sternum, but he could also feel the physical relaxing of his body. The look in the younger boy's eyes was so, so soft, gentle, and his eyes looked as if they were melting from the warmth they radiated.
"Taehyung," Jungkook said softly, eyes shutting then. "I'm sorry."
Taehyung furrowed his eyebrows and for a moment he was confused and he didn't know what it was that Jungkook could be sorry for, but -
Because what else could he say? 'It's okay'?
"I'm sorry I responded the way I did to you telling me those things," Jungkook said, his words stilted then.
"What things?" Taehyung asked, because he just wanted to hear Jungkook acknowledge them for real this time.
"You said you loved me and I just - " Jungkook faltered for a moment, rubbing a hand over his face. "I just didn't know how to respond at that moment because I was do caught off gaurd and I just couldn't believe that you would love someone like me - "
"Jungkook," Taehyung interrupted gently, "what do you mean someone like you?"
"I don't know - I'm inconsistent, and I'm flakey, and I disappear from people's lives and I cut off contact sometimes and I have the outward emotional capability of a thumb ," Jungkook rambled, sounding slightly in distress. "I just don't see how someone could like me, let alone love me back, not when I'm clearly - "
"Jungkook, stop," Taehyung said softly, and the younger boy shut his mouth, flushing slightly. Taehyung slipped off of the couch and joined Jungkook on the floor. "None of that matters, because I do love you. And I - " Taehyung paused, eyes widening slightly. "Did you - did you just say 'love me back'?"
Jungkook looked away for a moment and nodded, before returning his gaze to the older boy. "I love you," He said quietly, so quietly, Taehyung could barely hear it, and so Jungkook said it again, louder. "I love you, Tae. But you deserve so much better than me." Jungkook stared up at the ceiling as he continued. "You deserve someone as bright as you, someone who is as warm as you and doesn't have trouble telling you how they feel - "
"Jungkook," Taehyung interrupted loudly, startling the younger boy. "Jungkook," he said again, softer this time. "I don't need any of that," he said softly. "I don't want any of that."
And all Taehyung could think about was that maybe he wanted a boy who was cold but bright like a cloudy day with a smile like the sun peaking out from behind the rainclouds. "It's you. It's always been you."
"I was afraid of that. And I was too afraid to admit to myself that I love you because I was so scared all this time."
"Scared of what?"
"Because I was afraid of losing you as my best friend if anything went wrong. I'd lose you as my everything and the love of my life first, and then I'd lose you as my best friend," Jungkook admitted, avoiding Taehyung's gaze then.
"Jungkook," Taehyung said quietly, reaching down and taking hold of the younger boy's hand, intertwining their fingers together. "Please?" Jungkook complied, albeit while chewing his bottom lip out of nervousness, turning his body so he was facing the older boy. "One doesn't need to be sacrificed for the other."
"I realized that," Jungkook murmured. "I love you, and I'm sorry."
"Not sorry for loving me, I hope?" Taehyung said, and after a moment's hesitation, settled himself down in Jungkook's lap, wrapping his legs around his waist as the younger boy shook his head adamantly, cheeks flushed, leaning in to rest his forehead against Taehyung's, eyes fluttering shut for a moment as if savoring the moment.
They sat like that for a few minutes, breathing the same air and eyes searching each other's faces, shy and filled with a disbelieving wonder.
"I love you too," Taehyung whispered after a moment, and their faces were so close that Taehyung's lips just barely brushed against Jungkook's as he spoke, their breaths mingling and hearts racing and Jungkook gently nuzzled jaw, before running his lips featherlight across the skin there, before sponging soft kisses along the side of Taehyung's neck. " Jungkook ," he said softly, breath hitched and heart pounding.
" Mmm ," Jungkook murmured against the base of the older boy's throat, sending the vibrations against his jugular. He pulled away slightly to look at Taehyung, who wasted no time leaning in and catching Jungkook's lips with his own, tilting his head slightly as their lips slanted again and again with bruising pressure, and the heat of their mouths was overwhelming and new and neither could get enough of it. Taehyung slipped his hands up Jungkook's shirt, roaming the toned planes of his chest and torso and feeling his hot, burning skin, before tugging mindlessly at it as Jungkook sucked Taehyung's bottom lip and released it. Jungkook slipped his own shirt off and Taehyung's was quick to follow as the pair allowed themselves to explore one another's bodies with unrestrained hunger and pure want.
Jungkook easily lifted Taehyung up as he stood, settling the older boy down on his back against the couch cushions, propping himself up above him, knee gently nudging its way between his legs. Jungkook caught Taehyung's lips in a languid kiss, a slow and steady fire of an unworldly passion between the pair only punctuating the growing heat of desire in his core. He slips his hand down the back of Taehyung's thigh to the back of his knee, and the older boy took it as a cue to hook his leg around Jungkook's hip. The younger boy sponged his way down the side of Taehyung's neck, grazing his teeth particularly harshly against a spot that had Taehyung tugging on Jungkook's hair, eliciting a low groan from him and sending the vibration of the moan through his body.
Jungkook reached down with one hand and began palming Taehyung through his sweats, drawing a strangled moan that Jungkook swallowed down with a long kiss, licking his way into the older boy's mouth.
Taehyung pulled away and laughed softly when Jungkook instinctively followed, grinning mischievously as he gently pushed the younger boy off of him and instead pressed him against the couch, Jungkook landing back against the cushions with his eyes slightly widened in surprise. Taehyung leaned in for a hard kiss as he slipped his hand down past the waistband of Jungkook's jeans and boxer briefs and wrapped his hand around his hardened length, giving it a quick tug, swallowing down the moan that this elicits from the younger boy and feeling the vibration against his lips.
Taehyung pulls away and licks his swollen lips as he unbuttons Jungkook's jeans and yanks them off with his briefs in one piece. Taehyung rubs his thumb against the leaking slit of Jungkook's length, smearing the precome and drawing out a strangled groan from him.
"Can I?" Taehyung asked, and Jungkook nodded.
"Shit, please ," Jungkook managed, voice low and raspy already as he took in the sight of Taehyung settled between his legs.
Taehyung licked the length of Jungkook's cock, before wrapping his lips around him and taking as much as he could, hand wrapped around the base where he couldn't quite manage yet. Taehyung began sucking down and running his tongue along the underside as he did, before pulling off and then inhaling deep through his nose, before sucking down again, and it was all Jungkook could do to not snap his hips up and thrust himself deeper into the heat of Taehyung's mouth, nearly losing it as the older boy hollowed his cheeks and took in more of him. He began bobbing up and down, swirling his tongue around the length in his mouth as he went.
"Fuck, Tae - " Jungkook gritted out, head thrown back and breath coming in spurts. He ran his fingers through Taehyung's hair with a tenderness that his mind allowed him to realize for a moment as he closed his eyes, teeth scraping over his lower lip before gasping out, "You're gonna make me come, shit, Taehyung - "
And then the heat was gone.
Taehyung pulled off, mischievous smirk on his lips as he leaned down once more to lick the tip of Jungkook's leaking cock, cleaning it of precome. Jungkook sat up and pressed his lips against Taehyung's, kissing him roughly with lips as swollen and chapped as the older boy's before murmuring, "Bedroom."
Jungkook carried Taehyung down the hallway and into his room, dropping him onto the bed, eyes dark as he climbed over Taehyung and yanked his sweats and briefs off in one go, tossing them aside as he reached down and jerked him off once, twice, as he kissed the older boy, feeling his moans against his mouth. "How do you want it?" Jungkook murmured against the side of Taehyung's neck, biting down and drawing out a sharp intake of breath from the older boy, before running his tongue along it to soothe it.
"Just fuck me," Taehyung gasped, "now, just," he hissed as Jungkook jerked him off a few more times, " fuck , Jungkook - "
"Whatever you want, baby," Jungkook murmured against the shell of his ear, nibbling on his earlobe before sliding off of the bed and grabbing the bottle of lube and a condom from the desk drawer.
Taehyung watched with darkened eyes as Jungkook slicked up his fingers with lube. "Lay back," he said softly, nudging Taehyung's nose with his own, and the older boy complied, breath hitching as Jungkook circled his entrance with a single digit, letting out a slow breath as the first finger slips in easily. "Okay?" Taehyung closed his eyes and nodded.
Jungkook added a second finger and this took a few moments for Taehyung to adjust, all the while Jungkook pressed scattered featherlight kisses along Taehyung's collarbones, before pressing a light kiss to his lips. Taehyung began to whimper breathily as Jungkook slowly slid in his fingers in and out. "More?" He asked, and Taehyung only nodded, mouth dropped open in a silent moan. He added a third finger, and this drew a low hiss from the older boy.
"Fuck, Jungkook," Taehyung whimpered, and his eyes were half closed in a kind of delirious state of desperate want. All Jungkook could think about was how beautiful Taehyung looked like this, swollen pink lips parted, a slight sheen of sweat on his skin and the soft moans escaping his pretty mouth.
"Tell me what you want, Tae," Jungkook murmured, pressing kisses against Taehyung's jaw as he began fingering him increasingly faster, a slight curl of his fingers had Taehyung's mouth dropping open.
"I want you inside me," Taehyung shakily grits out, "I need you inside me. Jungkook , I need you - "
"Okay," Jungkook murmured against Taehyung's mouth, kissing him long and hard, before slowly pulling his fingers out and Taehyung clenched around the emptiness, and he grabbed a small packet from beside him and ripped it open, rolling the condom on for Jungkook and watching with eyes half-lidded as Jungkook slicked his cock up generously with lube. He let out a low, whimpering whine as Jungkook circled his entrance, clenching the sheets in his fists before reaching up and pulling the younger boy down for a kiss, hands roaming the expanse of his shoulders. Jungkook pulled away first, pressing his forehead against Taehyung's, breathing slightly labored. "Ready?"
"God, so ready," Taehyung rasped, a furrow in his brow from the heady desire that he felt. "Please, Jungkook."
Jungkook slowly slid himself in all the way to the hilt, and Taehyung let out a low hum, more breathy exhale than sound. Jungkook waited a few moments, allowing Taehyung time to adjust and leaning down to kiss the older boy languidly, hand cupping Taehyung's cheek, thumb stroking over his defined cheekbone. He began thrusting, a slow, steady pace, timing each thrust with a stroke of Taehyung's already leaking cock, drawing low moans from the older boy as he did it.
"Faster," Taehyung managed, the word sounding more like a gasp, breathy and punctuated with a slightly cracked voice and Jungkook leaned down and pressed a kiss to Taehyung's shoulder before complying.
The only sounds after that were of skin slapping against skin as Jungkook thrusts in relentlessly, elbows digging into the mattress on either side of Taehyung's head. The older boy scrabbled for purchase on the expanse of Jungkook's back, only ending up in scratching the younger boy's back with his nails, drawing a groaning hiss from him. And then Jungkook thrusted in deep at a different angle, slamming into his prostate and eliciting a whine from Taehyung.
"D-do that again," Taehyung gasped, eyes rolling back when Jungkook complied. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck - " It became a keening chant as Taehyung gulped for air, nails scraping a long the strong muscles of Jungkook's back. As the thrusts increased in speed Jungkook could feel Taehyung's cock rubbing against his stomach, the friction is almost enough for him to get off like that. "I'm gonna come, shit, Jungkook, I'm - "
"I know," Jungkook managed, words choked from his heavy breathing, "I know, baby." He pressed his lips against Taehyung's briefly, before resting his forehead against the other boy's. "Just let go," Jungkook whispered breathlessly. "Look at me, Tae." And the younger boy reveled in the eye contact, taking in Taehyung's blown pupils and the gleam of want in his eyes, reaching down and grabbing Taehyung's hands and pinning them above his head. "Let go, baby."
"Fuck," the older boy hissed, groaning as he came with shaky thighs and labored breating in streaks of white across the younger boy's belly. Jungkook was quick to follow coming with a broken moan, face buried in Taehyung's hair, thrusting into him through the aftershocks. Jungkook collapsed to the side of Taehyung, pulling the condom off and tying it before dropping it into the small trashcan beside Taehyung's bed.
The older boy was half asleep as Jungkook got up and dragged himself into Taehyung's bathroom that he shared with Jimin, grabbing a towel that was hanging on a rack and heading back into the bedroom. He gently cleaned Taehyung up, before cleaning himself and dropping the towel into Taehyung's hamper. He slipped back onto the bed and pulled the covers over Taehyung and himself.
Jungkook laid on his back and Taehyung pulled himself half on top of the younger boy, burying his face into his neck sleepily. Jungkook wrapped his arms tightly around the older boy, fingers running gently up and down his back. He could feel Taehyung's lips brushing against the side of his neck and tilted his head as the older boy began sucking at his neck.
"Jungkook?" It came as a low whisper, a rumble and a quieter timbre of Taehyung's deep voice and Jungkook couldn't help but think that he had never loved the sound of his own name more than when it was coming from Taehyung's lips.
"I love you."
Jungkook could hear the sleepiness in the older boy's voice but this didn't diminish the amount of emotion in Taehyung's voice. Jungkook dragged his teeth over his bottom lip in order to contain the pathetically whipped grin pulling at his face.
"I love you too."
"You used Jimin's towel to clean us off."
Taehyung woke up the next morning to an empty bed and a loud thump and the sound of several dozen small objects scattering on the floor and quite a but of loud swearing. He'd be lying if he said that wasn't disappointed that Jungkook wasn't in bed with him when he woke up. The sun was streaming through his blinds and getting in his eyes and it was really not the most ideal way to wake up. He dragged himself out of bed, pulling on a pair of boxers before walking out of his room, rubbing his eyes with his fists as he made his way towards the kitchen where the sounds he had woken up to had been coming from.
A smile tugged at his lips even as he raised his eyebrows and crossed his arms.
"Jungkookie - what the fuck are you doing?" Taehyung asked, unable to mask the laughter in his voice. Jungkook straightened, looking sheepish as he glanced around him at the spilled box of Froot Loops at his feet.
"I kind of, um, spilled?"
"You think?" Taehyung asked, laughing and opening the cabinet below the sink and pulling out a small dustpan and a small broom, sweeping up the spilled cereal and throwing it away. Once he was done, he shook his head at the younger boy, who was pouting adorably.
Jungkook pulled Taehyung towards him as he leaned against the counter, hands on the older boy's slim waist and frowning. "I was trying to be a cute boyfriend and bring you breakfast in bed but then I knocked the fucking box over and - "
"Did you just say 'boyfriend' ?" Taehyung interrupted, smile growing pathetically on his face. Jungkook blushed and Taehyung couldn't help but think about how beautiful he looked like that, with the late morning sun streaming through the kitchen window and highlighting the edges of Jungkook's face, Taehyung's sweatpants slung low on the younger boy's waist.
"I mean, yeah, - "
"Are we boyfriends now?" Taehyung asked, biting his bottom lip to contain the grin pulling at his mouth.
"If you want to be?"
"Do you want to be?" Taehyung asked, leaning his forehead against Jungkook's.
"Why does that sound like a question?" Taehyung teased, and Jungkook flushed and rolled his eyes, nudging the other boy's nose with his own.
"Yes, I do," Jungkook said firmly, tightening his grip on Taehyung's waist. "Will you, LordTae1231, aka Kim Taehyung, be my boyfriend?"
Taehyung couldn't help himself anymore, and so he allowed himself to laugh, managing a choked, "Yes," in between giggles.
Jungkook rolled his eyes and kissed Taehyung with a slow kind of burning enthusiasm that had the older boy reeling as he buried his fingers in Jungkook's hair, wrapping tresses around them and tugging -
"What kind of gay shit am I walking in on?" Jimin's voice sounded equal parts disgusted and equal parts amused.
"Here's some well-meaning advice, Park Jimothy: Fuck off," Taehyung sniffed, looking over the broad expanse of Jungkook's shoulders to glare at his best friend who was leaning against the counter.
"Who taught you your manners, Kim Taemothy?" Jimin snorted. "I pay half the rent of this apartment, so this apartment is half mine, dingdong. I'll do what I want. I will stay here and lean against the fucking counter if I want."
Taehyung glared. "Fine. Jungkook fuck me right now against the fridge," he said, "that ought to get rid of him."
"You better not or I will kick your fucking ass," Jimin said warningly.
Jungkook laughed softly, running his fingers through the back of Taehyung's hair. "Or," he said quietly, "I can take you to breakfast." He leaned in and pressed his lips against the shell of Taehyung's ear, hand gripping the older boy's hip hard all of the sudden. "And then maybe we could go for round two at my place." Taehyung flushed and nodded in agreement, hands tightening their grips on Jungkook's biceps.
"Y'all are fucking digusting and I can hear everything," Jimin grimaced. "Please exit the premises."
"Bite me," Taehyung snapped
"What kind of kinky shit - ?"
"Okay, but like, that wasn't my fault," Taehyung insisted.
"Yah! Kim Taehyung!" Seokjin's voice sounded shrill from across the dining hall and people turned and stared from Taehyung, to the Froot Loops dispenser, to the continuous stream of cereal spilling onto the floor.
"Babe, I think you got a little too excited," Jungkook remarked, looking from the growing pile of cereal to his boyfriend, who seemed to be seconds away from bursting into laughter.
"Maybe just a little bit," Taehyung managed.
"Yah! Are you always trying to make my life harder?" Seokjin demanded, glaring at the pair. "Why do you do this to me? Why?"
"I didn't do this on purpose, hyung," Taehyung pouted, standing dejectedly with his empty bowl and spoon. "All I wanted was some cereal."
Seokjin pinched the bridge of his nose, eyes shut as he shook his head. "Jeon Jungkook."
"Yes, hyung?" Jungkook replied quickly, his facial expression the embodiment of Yikes™.
"Take your boyfriend away and keep him out of my fucking dining hall. Go get your Froot Loops elsewhere."
"Hyung!" Taehyung complained, but Jungkook gently took the bowl and spoon from him and put them back where he got them.
"I know where we can get some of your Froot Loops," Jungkook said, leading his boyfriend from the dining hall with their fingers intertwined, with the older boy's head cushioned comfortably on Jungkook's shoulder.
Taehyung sighed heavily. "Where?"
"It's going to take a bit of walking," Jungkook admitted, and Taehyung lifted his head and made a face at the younger boy.
"Do we gotta?"
Jungkook took in the pout on his boyfriend's lips and the wrinkle of his nose, the sulky slouch of his shoulders, and laughed, leaning in to attempt to peck pout away. It worked, ending with a flush of the older boy's cheeks. "Do you want me to carry you?" Taehyung nodded, and Jungkook turned around and bent down a little. "Hop on."
Once Taehyung was settled comfortably on his back, chin hooked on his shoulder with their faces side by side, he began walking at a leisurely pace.
"You're the best, Jungkookie," Taehyung sighed. "Where are we going?"
"To a historic battle site."
"Legit, Jungkookie, what the fuck."
"Just listen - "
"What battle site," Taehyung snorted. "I always interrupt you - sorry babe."
"It's fine," Jungkook shrugged, jostling Taehyung's chin. "We're going to the original battlefield where Tae of Hyung fought Jung of Kook in a bloody battle to the death for a box of cereal."
Taehyung grinned fondly at the memory, turning his head slightly so he could kind of see the younger boy's face. "And who won that battle?"
"Tae of Hyung," Jungkook replied solemnly, small smile growing on his lips, tightening his grip on Taehyung. "He even got a few epic spoils of war."
"Jung of Kook's heart."
" And ?"
"Yah! You forgot about the Froot Loops!"
"What, is that more important than you having my heart?"
"That's so gay ."
"...Are we not gay?"
"Jeon Jungkook, I get it, we're the gayest thing since sliced bread, now get to the Froot Loops."
"I can't believe I just heard that with my own two ears."
" Fine . So Tae of Hyung tackled poor, defenseless Jeon of Kook in his horrible wide legged sweat pants - "