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i keep forgetting (my mistakes were made for you)

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Taehyung decides he hates breakfast foods that day.

It starts out uncomfortable. He’s sneaking glances he shouldn’t be allowed to have, and his heart is faltering right in the bottom of his throat. Like he’s swallowed something he shouldn’t, and it’s trying to survive right there between his ribs, peeking out from between the spaces and laying flowers wherever possible. He gets a stomach ache that makes him queasy.

His lips taste like Corona but cheaper. It doesn’t go along with the taste of scrambled eggs buried beneath a mountain of cheese, and that smidge of ketchup that makes it taste favorable. At least he’s gotten out of the habit of dipping his eggs in maple syrup, that used to leave his mouth sticky and tacky—and messed with the taste of his toothpaste against the curve of his teeth. He only cracks up this early in the morning for someone he deems special.

Jimin is the odd guy who never notices when things are right in front of him waiting to happen. He grins like a player, but he’s a soft romantic no matter what he tries. He balances a poetry book carefully in one hand, and pushes his sausage around with the other one like it’s a metaphor for trying to survive.

He looks exceptionally warm despite the fact it’s creeping into winter. He has a small smile on his face, and a pencil hanging out behind his ear awkwardly dressed beneath his beany. It’s supposed to make him look cozy. Instead, it makes him look a little full of himself. He’s not even an art student, but he currently looks like one, splattered jacket and all.

It’s a goddamn travesty to fall in love with your best friend.

It sucks worse when they pretend to not notice it, like it’s damning to them to just be sitting in the same room. Any minute now, and Jimin’s newest squeeze will be walking in to eat his remains, a half-absent reminder to jokingly rub it in everyone’s faces that he’s dating the next best thing, or talking to it.

Matters are only made worse, because in the next few hours, Taehyung will be scrolling along on his tumblr and seeing things he doesn’t want to see. At first it’ll be posts about couples who eat pizza together and touch each other’s butts—total subversion role behavior right there, believe it or not. Next, it’ll be a selfie from his one and only with a sticker covering the girl’s face for her own protection.

Taehyung almost tears a page out of his textbook in jealousy, because he can see Seulgi entering now. She’s pretty cute in her skirt and blouse, stockings up to the middle of her thighs to be stylish in this weird weather. Her hair is in a messy bun, like she’d thrown it up without brushing it.

It’s one of those dissociative daydreams where he can’t really tell if it’s happening or not. It sure feels like it’s happening, but it’s surreal. A nap when he’s not supposed to be, so he’s imagining all of the things he’s supposed to be doing instead. He ought to call his mom and tell her about that grade he made on his psychology final, but he’s sitting down in a lazy I-Hop across from the boy he loves, begging that he could suck his dick if the timing was right. He flips the page and stares at a picture of a neuron—laughs a little about it, wondering why he’s such a moron .

It doesn’t rhyme, but Seulgi does slide into their booth with an apologetic half-laugh like she’s genuinely bothered by the fact she couldn’t make it on time. Taehyung ignores the fact that Jimin offers her a bite of pancake off his fork without really paying attention, reaching over the arm that’s balancing the book between his ring covered fingers. Picturesque, and such couple goals, and Taehyung reads the signs. He holds up his phone and takes a picture of them without thinking. He covers her face with the skull emoji too.

‘Ooh,’ Seulgi chirps. ‘Instagram, or Snapchat?’ She tucks her hair behind her ear.

‘Neither, neither,’ Taehyung is quick to say. ‘I’m going to send it to Jimin’s mom so she knows what’s going on in his life. One of us has to keep her updated, isn’t that right?’

Jimin just smiles in response. It sends a pang across Taehyung’s chest.

‘Oh, bummer,’ Seulgi says. She pouts her bottom lip. ‘I was going to tag myself in it so all of our friends could see it. The magnificent Jiminie, out of bed before noon. It’s a miracle.’

She’s so friendly to him, it pisses him off. Taehyung hates how he has to force a half-hearted grin back her way, and lift his eyes away from the table where he spots her hand sneaking a curious path along the length of Jimin’s thigh. She probably squeezes it too, rock hard beneath her touch from years of dance practice, and fucking .

Taehyung closes his eyes and blocks it all out. There are things he has to be remembering that don’t have anything to do with the subject of the illusive Park Jimin, but rather the more important things of life like passing college and not flunking out. Just thinking about it makes him feel dizzy with it.

It sucks to admit it, but they do make a cute couple. Jimin deserves a girl that’s older than him too, that can baby him and pay him all sorts of attention when he’s feeling insecure and needy. Not the kind of attention that Taehyung would give either—where he stares at him like he’s hung stars out of the sky, and like he can’t imagine being anywhere that Jimin isn’t. No, that isn’t right. Jimin needs the kind of girlfriend who pulls out her debit card to pay for a meal she wasn’t even really a part of.

It’s sickening to see them lean their heads together. Jimin’s smile is just softer the longer it happens, and Seulgi seems awfully content with things just the way they are. Unapologetically unrealized of the harm they’re doing even if they are just holding hands. Taehyung pays for his own food and doesn’t look over his shoulder at them, so he can pretend to be surprised when he finds Seulgi wearing Jimin’s jacket.

‘Okay,’ he forces out. ‘Now that’s cute. Pose together really quick?’

Seulgi is halfway into posing with Jimin, one arm wrapped around his waist and the other pressed over his beating heart, before her face lights up with shock and she’s slowing them down because of some grand thought she had.

‘My phone too! Use snapchat, and that new cute filter? The puppy one.’  

Taehyung’s hand trembles with it, first with trying his hardest to not cover her face this time around without thinking about it. It’s muscle memory at this point, and quite possibly the rudest thing he’s thought of doing. Jimin is grossly adorable with the Dalmatian nose and ears, worse when he smiles so wide his nose crinkles and his eyes do that adorable thing where they flutter.

‘One snapchat photo for the lady,’ Taehyung says with a wink, passing Seulgi her phone, ‘and one photo for the gentleman’s mother who wonders about his return home from war.’

Jimin glances down at Seulgi, fond. ‘Kiss?’ he asks.

‘Kiss,’ she agrees.

She doesn’t have to stand up on her toes to kiss him, but she does anyway for the effect. It’s another disgustingly adorable display of affection that sends Taehyung reeling into another piteous form of self-doubt. He wonders if he’ll ever get the chance to be with someone like that—and if that someone will ever be Jimin. Probably not, but it doesn’t hurt to hope.

Except when it does start to hurt to hope, because Jimin’s lips part on their own resolve to kiss Seulgi deeper than the typical goodbye. Taehyung is subject to the horror of Jimin’s tongue doing something magnificent, so he looks away before he’s forced to admit that he’s jealous of what it feels like.  

She gets an even cuter pat on the butt as she pulls away and brushes her hair out of her face, and she’s quick to do the same to Jimin. They laugh at the cheesiness of it. Taehyung stares at the flickering lights, and feels his eyes do the same in response. They’re heavier than he thought they were, and it’s only eight in the morning. He’s not ready to face the day—even less ready to face the disaster of going home and sleeping again until his classes start, at night .

They’re not that far away from the university if they walk, and Jimin insists on it because it’s supposed to help them get into shape. Seulgi walks to her car and drives away to her internship, and it’s exhausting. Taehyung doesn’t understand how he’s already sweating without moving, but at least Jimin seems amused by his exhaustion.

‘You feeling okay?’

It’s not the first thing Jimin has said all morning, but it feels like it. He’s still got that early morning croak in the back of his throat, plain and simple, and it’s effective in the way it ruins Taehyung. Jimin reaches forward, placing the back of his fingers against Taehyung’s cheek out of concern. Taehyung closes his eyes again, forgetting, and blinks back the dizziness.

‘Ah, not really,’ he admits under his breath. ‘Must’ve caught a bug.’

‘I noticed,’ Jimin says sympathetically. ‘Shit, dude. I just—wow, what an awkward morning, right?’ He bumps into Taehyung purposefully. ‘So, I need your advice.’

Ah, here it comes.

‘I like Seulgi,’ Jimin says, and Taehyung hears the but already. ‘She’s great, actually. Wonderful. I’m just not really interested in a relationship, you know? And I think that’s what she wants.’

‘Tell her, dude.’

‘I don’t wanna hurt her, bro.’

Taehyung stares at the sky as they walk and tries to count the clouds before they drift apart. Now that’s a metaphor for something, he thinks lazily. ‘Sometimes we gotta do things we don’t wanna do, Jim,’ he says. Jimin growls at the nickname. ‘It’s just the way of life.’

They split at the fountain in front of the Arts building, and Jimin finally admits that he’s right.

‘Oh, fuck yeah, Jimin—just like that, right there —’

Taehyung is pretty shameless. Not a lot of things get to him, and he’s managed to perfect the air of indifference that comes along with being in love with your best friend. He’s able to laugh at jokes now about Jimin getting married, and he’s even better at pretending he doesn’t choke up in the shower after a night of some platonic roommate snuggling time.

Being well concealed in public does nothing for his private life. Not when he’s busy seeing stars, pressing his nail into the slit on the head of his cock, and teasing the dribble that leaks out at the mild sting that comes with it. He blows air out between his lips, and nibbles the bottom one.

He does have those annoying thoughts when he jacks off in the shower. The water is hot against his spine where it drums against it, and feels even better against his feverish skin where he’s itching to be done and take a nap. But he wants to smell good before he does it, that way when he drags his ass to class halfway through the lecture anyway, he can smile about it while feeling dead inside like the over-exposed failure that he is.

Plus, it’s easier this way. Less people are able to peek their heads into his private bathroom and ask him why he’s being so noisy and whiny, why he arches his back like a weakling and pretends there’s someone there for him to grind against, slick with water and heat.

And god, nothing feels better than the finger he teases against his asshole, circling it around like it’s a cock. Taehyung gets off like this a lot, actually, because he’s constantly horny. It comes with being in college, and finishing up one of the hardest semesters in his entire life. He’s worked to earn this orgasm, dammit, and if he wants to spill his cum down the drain by having three fingers in his ass, legs bent awkwardly to prop himself up in the shower, then so fucking be it.

‘Stop teasing me, baby,’ Taehyung whispers, blowing water off his lips. ‘Just get your cock in me already. I want it—I’ve earned it—’

He’s been such a good boy lately. He’s kept his pining down to a minimum, and has somehow stored away all his wistful looks to use them somewhere else. Instead, he looks through selcas he has of them on his phone. Taehyung is a rose petal shivering in the wind, clinging on despite it being winter, and he won’t drift away no matter what the cause is, and no matter how tempted he is. He’s strong—pink around the edges and dark in the center.

His thighs ache a little from holding himself up like this, but it’s the best he can do. He bites down on his lip harder and presses a finger inside of him, moaning at the intrusion, and shivering from the weight he can imagine against his spine.

Hell yeah, he deserves this. He releases his wet dick long enough to hook his fingers in his mouth, pressing them against his tongue until there’s a peek of drool that slides out against his chin. He moans at it, thrusts his hips lightly seeking warmth of a hand. He doesn’t edge himself despite having all the time in the world, but he wants to enjoy it. It’s nice to unwind after a long day. It makes him weak with relief, and whiny.

And at this point, it’s so easy to slip that second finger in. He crooks his fingers just right, pulls them a little bit apart so he feels so fucking full , and cries weakly against his own fingers. He hates how his hips jump again—such a needy little thing, and ignored, but that just makes this better. He shakes his head and blinks water droplets out of his eyes.

‘More—’ He slips his fingers out of his mouth and gasps, sticking his tongue out. ‘Please, baby, I—’

He cringes.

He wonders how even more ruined he would be if someone else where here with him to add another finger alongside his inside, to curl them and reach further until he has an awkward burn across his hips from it. It’s always better when there’s someone else’s fingers burrowed in his ass, so he doesn’t have to twist his ribs to get his fingers inside and deeper when it doesn’t even matter.

And what about that hand that could reach around and wrap around the slick of his cock? He’s always been messy about it, thighs constantly wet from his precum when he would lay on his back in his bed and do this. Now all his hard work is vanishing down the drain—and that’s slightly disappointing.  

Taehyung is a nasty man. He drools too much even when there’s not a cock in his mouth, and he likes being spat on. He likes having his hair pulled, and he likes having his ass slapped, and he loves having someone sit on his face so he can do nothing but eat their ass with enthusiastic little whimpers. And he wants someone to leave a ring of hickeys around his neck, marking him as theirs.

‘Fuck me, please .’

It’s more than just a whine this time. It’s borderline tearful, rising from the back of his throat with such desperation he barely recognizes himself. Taehyung adjusts the way he’s standing—decides to get down on his knees instead and press his chest against the wall so he can jut out his ass a little bit. It’s a better angle this way, and it brings such a nice sting.

He focuses on keeping his mouth open this time, panting against the slick tile and blowing water and spit away from his mouth when it gets to be too much. He squeezes in a third finger next to the other too and cries so hard he forgets to be quiet—heart hammering in his chest, eyes undecided on whether or not they want to be open or close.

He wraps his other hand back around his cock and pulls on it. The slide is already easy, and he loves how it makes his toes curl against the bottom of the shower. There’s still enough room for another person to slide in behind him, to grab him by the hips and really fuck into him hard enough he can’t stand.

Sometimes it’s the other way around. Taehyung imagines himself fucking into someone else so gorgeous and perfect beneath his touch, so he can rake his nails down their back and grin at the reddened welts before peppering them with kisses until he’s forgiven enough.

He’s back at it thinking about eating someone out, and he presses his mouth against the tiles firmer this time. He’s forever grateful that he’s in charge of cleaning around here, making sure every square inch is clean that way when he’s alone, he can do whatever it takes to get off.

He can feel the heat building up in the bottom of his stomach, and that odd thundering sensation that goes across his chest when he’s excited and terrified. He’s so ready for it—and it’s been so long since he’s thighs have shook this hard, so desperate for release. He’s panting louder now, only able to keep quiet because he’s nervous someone else might be home next door.

He pulls his fingers out of his ass. He runs his hand against his abs and wheezes, tilting his chin and sticking out his tongue to catch water. He ignores the droplet of drool that comes along with it, and the way it’s heavy enough to fall off in constant little drops.

The water hitting his skin feels nice. Taehyung closes his eyes and appreciates how it cools him down and heats him up at the same time. He fucks into his hand faster, fingers curling tighter because that’s just how he likes it, the drag and sting and burn .

‘Baby, baby, fuck —I’m going to cum, I’m going to—’ Taehyung whines against the cool tile, scrunching his face up. He’d cry if he weren’t embarrassed. ‘Fuck, Jimin, inside me .’

His stomach pulls tight—and then it happens right in the palm of his hand, some leaking out between his fingers and seeping down the curve of his wrist. He watches it mix in with the water and slide towards the drain. He presses his skin beneath the spray of the water and watches his skin become clean—and then he reaches for the soap, lathering up his hands and washing the rest of the remains away, splashing until all the evidence is gone.

He washes his hair without another thought, and lathers body wash along his sides and stomach until he feels cleaner. Then, he scruffs his hair up with a towel and pulls on boxers and a big tee shirt, crawling into his bed—but not before pulling open his laptop, going to a toy shop, and ordering two dildos since he’s convinced he’ll always be alone.

Taehyung just barely forgets to knock back a dose of Dayquil. He doesn’t know how long he manages to sleep, but he does know he walks into his lecture later that night, still drowsy from his shower, and unable to get the tremble out of his knees.

Taehyung wakes up to a hand trailing softly up and down his spine, and the latest single from the Wonder Girls chiming in the background, surprisingly mellow. His mouth feels like the inside of his pillow. His eyes are heavier than he’s ever remembered them being, and he can’t help the grumbled curse that slips out of his mouth as he reaches blindly for his phone wherever he’d thrown it on the bed last night.

Jimin catches his fingers—and melts them together sympathetically. It’s a heart stopping moment, and one of the ones that makes Taehyung shiver with anticipation. He’s seen the movies, and he knows what comes next. Any moment now Jimin will lean forward and press his lips to the nape of Taehyung’s neck and breathe something romantic. It’s bound to happen.

‘Taehyung? I thought we were going to breakfast?’ Jimin asks softly, and leans forward (—hook, line, sinker.) His fingers are cold against Taehyung’s neck. ‘Are you sick?’

He waits another second. ‘Where do you feel bad, baby?’

And there it is, the one thing that makes Taehyung’s heart swell to the point of breaking. It makes the little chickadees in his chest start fluttering mindlessly, and causes his stomach to churn without it even being a bad thing. He whines softly, sucks down the snot until it hits the back of his throat.

He would feel fine if it wasn’t for the ridiculous thudding in the back of his head that made it hard to think. He would feel fine it wasn’t for the aches that make even rolling over slightly absolute hell for him. The heavier his eyes, the longer it takes for him to register the amount of concern on Jimin’s face and the redness of his cheeks. Must’ve just got back from his morning run, but he smells like cinnamon so Taehyung can’t even bring himself to mind it. He coughs weakly, feels the lump adjust.

‘I don’t feel good everywhere,’ Taehyung mumbles weakly.

He’s learned his lesson well, because Jimin coos at him and makes him roll over in the bed so he can slide in next to him. Jimin is a good pillow, a strong pillow, and one that letsTaehyung knead at him until he’s comfortable enough to relax against his side. He presses his forehead in the curve of Jimin’s armpit and thanks the lord for deodorant.

Jimin’s hand returns to being a grounding weight between his shoulder blades, down the comfortable slope of his spine and back up. It’s a warm touch, and one that makes Taehyung melt against him even worse than he already was.

‘Is it another migraine?’ Jimin hums.

Taehyung grunts in response.

‘Or is it the flu?’ he continues knowingly. ‘You didn’t get the shot this year.’

Taehyung is too exhausted to fire back his but you didn’t either that sits on his chest, so he just groans again and wiggles closer to Jimin, splaying his arm across that chiseled waist so he can be close. It’s totally natural, he thinks, with nothing interesting to be seen.

Just two dudes being bros, two guys chillin’ fly. No other unnecessary thoughts are allowed, even if Jimin smells so good Taehyung’s mouth waters slightly, and he’s so soft and comforting that he can’t but help but fall just a tiny bit closer, fingers reaching out to grip at Jimin’s hoodie just so he can’t get up and run away. Run to be with someone else—anyone else.

He bites down on the judgement and flexes his fingers. His head won’t stop throbbing no matter how he tries to lay down, and he likes it when Jimin flexes. It squeezes just right, and Taehyung can stop thinking.

It’s a blessing.

‘I don’t know, Jiminie,’ Taehyung whines. ‘I’m just sick .’

Sick of being in love, and of pining. Of watching people from far away and feeling his heart give a little thud because he can’t help the interest that builds up at not being allowed close to them. By them—he just means him , and now Taehyung has everything he’s already wanted. There’s proof of that in the way he squeezes Jimin’s arm again just to feel Jimin squeeze back.

Maybe that’s just all it is. Maybe Taehyung is just a little love sick and weaker than the rest. He feels heavy enough, like he’s dragging. Thick legs and a sore heart, but he bites his lips continuously anyway because he likes the burn from them being chewed raw.

He falls in and out of sleep for a little bit, tucked in close to Jimin’s side. It’s soothing enough as it is, being babied, because that’s what Jimin likes doing best. He talks about it all the time, how he loves doting on other people, so Taehyung lets him pet his hair and tries to not think too much about it.

He doesn’t remember what he dreams about. It’s just one of those times where he thinks he’s doing it best, staring at mannequins wearing designer clothes and hoping that he fits into them one day too. There’s a tall and wiry monster that chases him down the hallway, but when he calls out to it and calls it Jeongguk, it stops in its track and tilts its chin at him.

There’s another dream he pretends he doesn’t have. A wet one, and he’s half-awake enough to hear his shuddering breaths, thankful enough that sound a bit like sobs to just let him get away with it. Taehyung is kind enough to turn his body away from Jimin. His eyelashes do the fluttering thing, the one where they can’t decide if they’re light or heavy, and make the dull sunlight sneaking in through their curtains look like dying fluorescents. It’s bad enough that Jimin noses along the back of his neck.

‘Don’t you have class to go to?’ Taehyung grunts out.

‘Sure I do, but I’m not going to just leave you here,’ Jimin says easily. His hand is light against Taehyung’s stomach. ‘Blow your nose, asshole. Your snot is whistling.’

‘No,’ Taehyung whines. ‘Sounds like effort.’

He doesn’t expect much from Jimin half the time. He likes the raw passion that comes with not understanding the way the world works during times like these, and how he ought to be punishing someone else and not himself.

It doesn’t come as a surprise when Jimin comes swooping in like some hero, reaching over the bed to grab the tissues on the bed stand. Then, he holds it to Taehyung’s nose. They stare at each other expectantly—one incredulous, the other determined.

Taehyung whistles out of his nose just to prove a spectacularly awkward point. He almost says no again, thinking of the embarrassment that’s bound to come creeping across his features, but he takes the tissue from Jimin instead and tries to quiet his flustered heart. He’s sure it’s written all over his face, and he huffs shyly into the tissue. There’s not enough bravery to go around, and he shivers about it.

I can’t believe you’d do that to me,’ Taehyung says, aghast.

‘I’m trying to nap too, and you sound like a rusty chainsaw,’ Jimin counters, wrinkling his nose. ‘I’m just trying to help out, dude.’

‘No, no, no, that’s weird,’ Taehyung says. ‘You scared my sneeze away by being fucking weird.’

Jimin doesn’t say anything after that.

He just keeps doing that odd thing where he brushes his nose back and forth against Taehyung’s neck, occasionally yawning to blow hair. Taehyung hates how they’ve become like this, and feels it open up something negative in his chest. He clenches his fingers in the sheets and tries to find that dream again, the wet one, so he has a reason to huff uncomfortably.

They sleep for a few hours, or something like it, because Taehyung is jostled awake by Jimin shimmying in his sleep. It’s bleary, but Jimin is holding Taehyung’s phone in his hand, swiping something really fast with his fingers. Then, it takes him a few minutes, but he turns off the sound and ringers.

He pulls Taehyung tight against his chest like Taehyung won’t notice it when he wakes up, and he has to work hard to not let his heart expose him. Jimin watches Netflix in front of him, an episode of Bob’s Burgers that he won’t stop cackling at.

Only then, and in the back of his mind, does Taehyung stop and consider did he just call me baby ?

Min Yoongi is like the drunk uncle everyone wants. He’s chill enough to slip alcohol into your underage, but he’s also going to stay the night to make sure you don’t do anything potentially damaging to your reputation on a night of drunken bliss. Tonight is one of those nights.

Taehyung isn’t as blitzed as he could be, but he’s still seeing stars. Little shiny things that filter prettily right before his eyes and make his mouth water until he’s trying to grab them. Meanwhile, he’s imagining they’re little hearts instead so he can feast his tired soul on them. Pump up the jam, and all the things like that. He takes another swig of that shitty Corona.

‘Don’t you have better things to be doing on a Friday night?’ Yoongi asks.

Scathing, but that’s just his tone. What kind of drunk uncle would he be if the slur and lisp of his voice didn’t always sound mildly threatening? Taehyung blinks the drowsiness out of his eyes.

‘Nope, nope,’ he says, waving his hand. ‘I’m having a good time right here.’

‘You’re drunk wearing a fuckin kigurumi,’ Yoongi accuses. ‘Don’t you have a date? With that Bogum guy?’

There are two things that happen when Yoongi exposes him for the dirty boy he is. He chokes on that lime shit he’s been chugging for the past two hours enough that it threatens to squirt out of his nose like a particularly excited girl, and Jimin sends him the nastiest look he’s ever seen since middle school. His heart seizes up in his chest a little bit. He tries to pass the time by thinking of something better than death by best friend glowers. There’s not much.

The pettiness in Taehyung is whispering if you can date seulgi, then i can go on dates too but the weaker part of him is halfway to mumbling apologies into the carpet. He licks his drink where it’s starting to slink down the edge of his bottle, and wraps his lips around the rim on purpose so he can clean those little screw lines.

‘That Bogum guy?’ Jimin asks. His tone borders on dangerous.

It’s not exactly jealousy, per se, because that would make Jimin a demanding douche. It’s something else that filters between them. The self-realization that they’re making a horrible mistake keeping their silence. It only gets worse the more pathetic Taehyung feels about it.

From there on out, drinking night reaches a slow decline of awkward staring and the judging look of someone who’s only a few years older. Yoongi leans forward until he’s mashing his face against Jimin’s shoulder, hiccupping and drowsing away after half-an hour of Taehyung avoiding the question. He’s saved again when the doorbell rings, and is quick to run and grab it before Jimin can wrestle him into a confession session.

Kim Taehyung is a genuine menace, breaking hearts and taking names—and refusing to call anyone back no matter how well the first date goes. He’s a little terrified of commitment, and what might come out of his mouth after a night of longing and dreaming of someone who won’t be his.

‘Jeongguk!’ he croons loudly, on purpose.

‘Tae, dude, outta the way,’ Jeongguk mumbles in reply. He ducks under Taehyung’s arm and makes a beeline to the alcohol, but stops when Yoongi curls one of those slender hands around his ankle. ‘Uh, right…’

‘Don’t even think about it,’ Yoongi warns.

‘You know better,’ Jimin says too, like he’s forgotten his act.

Jeongguk is Jimin’s cousin twice removed, as an excuse so that the kid gets to show up on campus from time to time. He’s the youngest of their friend group, but close enough in age that it doesn’t really matter about the age difference. His mother used to argue about them hanging out until she met Taehyung, and immediately conceded that Jeongguk was definitely more mature.

It’s a little knock against his nature, but totally acceptable. He’s chill with being known as the ultimate lazy asshole who somehow gets by from time to time. It makes people leave him alone half the time except when they want to copy his homework (—somehow still a thing in college .)

Turns out, his arrival is a little reprieve in the Kim Taehyung is dating pool. And it’s not like he’s even dating the guy. They’d gone out once , drunkenly made out once , and then both had an existential crisis while gazing up at the stars. It doesn’t change the fact that Park Bogum deserves better.

Kim Taehyung is a classless date who’ll settle with a cheeseburger at this point. He’d gone on a few flourished dates once, complete with meeting total and random strangers. The American had messed up that flow, cracking a few stereotypes here and there. Taehyung scrunches his nose up remembering. It was supposed to have been a total blast, but was just a pain in his ass.

It’s an embarrassing story about the errors of his ways. Honestly, Taehyung should have known better by the food choice his date had selected before they had met up. Some hibachi place where they lit the food on fire for amusement—Taehyung was well aware, but having it described to him by someone who wasn’t really aware of the culture behind it was amazing.

Still, his date had been pretty cute. That stereotypical look for most frat boys, picture perfect teeth and blue eyes, sweeping dark hair that made him irresistible to look at. His name was Seth, and he was supposed to be breaking out of the mold.

It wasn’t exactly working, because the first thing Taehyung was forced to hear out of Seth’s mouth before his ass had even hit his chair is, ‘Alright, so tell me your real name, Tatum. Like, your Chinese one.’

Cut to Taehyung rolling his eyes and taking a dramatic swig of his soda. ‘I’m…Korean, actually,’ he said slowly. ‘And it’s Taehyung.’

Seth didn’t bother to look affronted. ‘So do you speak Korean then?’

‘I do, actually,’ Taehyung said, grimacing. ‘My parents are back in South Korea now, working hard to be able to afford me going to school.’ Nothing could prepare him for what came next.

There came a point in time where Taehyung had stopped bothering to explain things to people. People wondered why he was alone in America without his family in tow, like he was supposed to feel guilty they didn’t share his sense of freedom. He rarely ever told them he was there on scholarship for being in the top ten percent of his own school, much less hint that it had been his own choice to come and that most times, he really wished he had stayed behind.

It’s because of shit like this, and the type of things he had to listen to on a daily basis. He had a stutter, still does, and when he got overexcited explaining things, he sometimes rambled on to a point people stopped listening. That, and the different Asian stereotypes that had been passed along his way so much he narrowed his eyes at people before they even spoke to him.

So he’s not really sure why he’d been surprised when Seth asked, ‘Do they live in Hong Kong?’

Shit. You. Not. There’s a wide range of ignorance that comes with moving to a foreign place, and Taehyung hadn’t stopped his mouth from popping open in horror that that had even been uttered around him. Weren’t people at NYU supposed to be smart?

‘If you’ve ever looked at a map, or fuck, even listened to the news,’ Taehyung said slowly, ‘you’d know that Hong Kong is also in fucking China. I’m from fucking South Korea.’

‘Yeah, okay, dude,’ Seth said, waving his hand. ‘It’s not that deep, bro. Relax and drink your sake.’

‘Yeah, okay, Robert.’

Seth frowned at him, pausing in his clumsy attempt to eat his sashimi with the chopsticks he had been given. He’d tried showing Taehyung a few tricks with them, like an easy way to hold them, like Taehyung wouldn’t have already known.

‘My name isn’t Robert,’ he said.

‘Sorry, Jason, I get confused sometimes,’ Taehyung said, forcing a laugh. ‘It’s hard to get places right. South America really is cool this time of year. I should have brought a jacket.’

‘Okay, Taeyong,’ Seth said aggressively. ‘I get it. Don’t be a dick.’

‘Oh my God, just call me Tatum if it’s going to be—’

‘Why are you being so fucking picky, man? It was a mistake,’ Seth snapped. He set down his chopsticks, huffing. ‘Try to enjoy this date before you kick my ass with karate.’

By that point, it had been a blur. Taehyung had gripped his glass filled with soda and considered the following options. He could leave while he still had the chance and just forget about it, or he could’ve done the single most important thing in his entire life.

People stared. They’d been staring since the start of it, watching Taehyung’s hands start to tremble as the time had passed.

Eventually, he just tipped the entire glass over in Seth’s lap.

‘Karate is fucking Japanese!’

Taehyung pulls his hood over his head and leans into it. He sluggishly finishes off his drink and makes hands at another one. Jeongguk teases him with it a little at first, inching it slowly closer before ducking off and tucking it under his arm. It goes well until Yoongi threatens to murder them in their sleep.

‘But hyung, I’m bored,’ Jeongguk whines.

This is the other thing that Taehyung never really understood. Jeongguk gets doted on like there’s no tomorrow, complete with batting his eyelashes and wiggling forward on his stomach until he’s adorably curled up on their dirty dorm floor. It’s a disgusting display that Taehyung wouldn’t trust, because he’s pretty sure he’s thrown up in that exact spot at some point in his college career. Either Jimin doesn’t care, or he’s getting soft, because he grins at the display.

‘If you’re so bored, what is it you want to do then?’ Jimin asks him.

‘I want to go clubbing,’ Jeongguk says, but quickly shuts up when Yoongi glares. ‘—Or I-Hop works.’

‘Should I invite Namjoon and Hoseok and them?’ Jimin continues.

He throws a glance Yoongi’s way. It’s funny, because he’s the undecided leader in their little ring of friends mostly because he’s such a dad. Taehyung smiles at it and plays with the zipper on his pajamas. His smile falters when he realizes he’s going to have to put on big boy clothes.

Yoongi does one of his fatherly nods of approval, so Jimin slides open the messages of his phone to begin shooting off mass invites. Taehyung glances over his number, and scowls when he sees Seulgi mentioned. It doesn’t exactly go unnoticed.

Somehow, I-Hop isn’t completely packed with other drunken students huddling around, fingers tucked under the armpits while they gratefully wait in line for a seat to sit in. That’s one of the pleasures of being a hungry college kid with a few crumpled up dollar bills in your back pocket that you’d completely forgotten about. That—and Jeongguk comes packed for a weekend and looks reluctant to share.

They’re standing in line completely minding their own business, shivering delicately when Taehyung is shocked by a gentle touch to his elbow. When he turns around, he’s a little glad he decided to clean up even if his eyes are still swimming awkwardly. He’s dressed in one of Jimin’s hoodies too, one that says SUPREME across his chest like it’s supposed to mean something, when Bogum smiles at him and murmurs out a hey. Taehyung isn’t sure how he’s managed to respond.

He’s also rarely appreciative of Jeongguk’s existence as a whole, and even relieved when Jeongguk suddenly buts in between them, introducing himself with awkward nineteen year old-ness that Taehyung doesn’t know still exists. Bogum is just as enthusiastic to meet him, slipping out a smell hey little man to which Jeongguk purses his lips and tries to not start a fight.

It’s hard to not be in awe of Bogum. He’s well presented as always, in nice jeans and a nice shirt, that somehow leaves Taehyung feeling a little sloppier than he genuinely appears most of the time. But it smells like Jimin, so he pushes the hood against his nose and tries to relax the tremble in his shoulders. He’s comfortable, so there should be nothing to be nervous of, right?

‘You look good tonight,’ Bogum compliments smoothly.

‘Oh, thank you,’ Taehyung says. ‘It’s Jimin’s—I’m just—can’t believe you’re here .’

‘Jimin has nice taste then,’ Bogum replies, and it’s hard to not miss the way his tone dips appreciatively. Taehyung ignores it. ‘He said you felt bad, but didn’t want to miss Drunk I-hop Night so he invited me. Though I have to say, it doesn’t look like he’s having a good time.’

There’s a beat.

‘Should I sit beside you, or across from you?’ Bogum asks. ‘You and Jim are the only ones I really know so…’

‘Definitely beside me,’ Taehyung says. ‘You can eat off my plate too.’

Taehyung’s eyes don’t stop wandering. It does look like he and Seulgi are in the middle of a heated conversation, mouths downturned even when they’re names get called. They heatedly argue all the way down to the booth they’ve been given in the back. But Jimin doesn’t seem really interested, because when Taehyung slides into his seat, Jimin’s eyes are on him. They’re curious, and dark, glinting with the shitty fluorescents that it’s a halfhearted movement when he slides into his own side.

Their shitty tennis shoes touch beneath the table. Jimin doesn’t stop squirming until their ankles are touching, and even then he has an odd grin on his face like he can’t believe how lucky they are. That grin only widens when Bogum presses tight against Taehyung’s side, but disappears once Bogum wraps his arm around Taehyung’s shoulders, huffing out a small is this okay against his neck. Taehyung only knows to say yes.

‘Where is Jin hyung?’ Jeongguk asks loudly in Korean.

‘Studying like a good man,’ Namjoon replies back. ‘May his soul rest in a billion pieces.’

Eating together with everyone doesn’t stop Taehyung’s gnawing hatred of breakfast food. The taste of the dry eggs against his tongue isn’t welcome, and his eyes water when he considers eating the pancakes that came along with his meal. Luckily, Jeongguk is a vacuum cleaner when it comes to food, so he snatches everyone’s leftovers left and right to become a healthy boy.

Nothing eventful happens. They switch their usual English for Korean for the sake of familiarity, but nothing really changes. They eat until they’re overstuffed, and halfway through, Yoongi falls asleep on Jeongguk’s shoulder and Hoseok takes a picture with the widest grin he can manage. It’s a truly disgusting sight to behold, and one that makes Taehyung shake his head and laugh the loudest.

The walk back to the dorm is just as awkward. Jeongguk is half-asleep and yawning at two in the morning, and even Taehyung can’t help the drag of his feet. He and Jimin wrestle the overgrown baby into the bed, snickering at how Jeongguk whines, and freezing softly when he rolls over in his sleep, immediately burrowing into Taehyung’s blankets and pulling his pillow close to his chest. Taehyung does the best thing and plugs in his phone for him. His background lights up with that picture of him and Yoongi, oddly adorable.

‘Shower before bed?’ Taehyung whispers.

Jimin doesn’t even hesitate. ‘Together. It’ll be faster.’

They work as quietly as they can to pull clothes out of their drawers without waking Jeongguk, and leave the door slightly cracked so they can get back in. Technically, they’re not supposed to be showering at this time of night, especially not in their cramped little apartment, but it’s comforting to have someone else there. Jimin’s back presses against his, cold and nude.

And it should have stayed like that, but halfway through the shower, Taehyung’s heart leaps halfway up his throat at the feeling of someone’s cold hands drifting around his stomach, pressing against the way it pudges out slightly from the food. Jimin’s mouth is the warmth he needs against his spine even though it makes him shiver.

‘Don’t talk to anyone else but me,’ Jimin murmurs against his skin.

‘Possessiveness isn’t cute, Jiminie,’ Taehyung says slowly, heart thudding. ‘Plus, you like Seulgi—’

‘We broke up tonight, that’s why dinner was uncomfortable.’

Jimin seems to have meant it too, because when Taehyung slides into bed next to him, there’s a message on his screen from her that states ‘just never text me again.’ It’s a bit jolting to read, especially since Jimin is one of the kindest people he knows. Even if his breath smells like Corona and spearmint, and his skin is warm but cold at the same time.

It’s a bit of a pain to get his hopes up, but Taehyung turns around to face him. Jimin isn’t asleep either, biting his lip and fidgeting like he wants to do something. Like they should talk about something, like the way Jimin is pressing his weight over Taehyung, framing him against the sheets.

‘Taehyung, I mean it,’ Jimin insists. ‘I want you to only look at me.’

‘Shut up, Jimin,’ Taehyung says breathlessly. ‘You’re drunk .’

He shouldn’t—but he does. When Jimin kisses him, he leans into it. There’s warning bells all around, in the form of that stupid Wonder Girls song alarm, and the chime of the campus clock when the classes switch that always sounds particular haunting. Taehyung kisses Jimin well into the morning when he knows he shouldn’t, hands fisted in the front of his NYU sleep tee, and he falls asleep with his face burrowed in Jimin’s throat, obnoxiously warm.

The jelly dildo’s ballsac presses nice and tight against his snug little ass, pressed right up against what feels like his guts, and Taehyung can’t help but let out a low keen at it. He’s spread out in their main room, door bolted shut with a chair haphazardly tossed in it.

He likes the mild intrigue.

Their room has a shitty little mirror pressed against the back of the door, and Taehyung is getting a nice long look in it. He wanted to see , to know what it was like, and it’s so goddamn interesting his cheeks are red just from the thought. Mostly he likes the way his legs tremble and flex at the angle.

Their room has a shitty little mirror pressed against the back of the door, and Taehyung is getting a nice long look in it. He wanted to see , to know what it was like, and it’s so goddamn interesting his cheeks are red just from the thought. Mostly he likes the way his legs tremble and flex at the angle.

‘Holy shit,’ he breathes.

The dildo isn’t really long, but it’s fat and Taehyung thinks he likes that better. It’s crooked in his ass too, molded perfectly enough to reach so far. It causes little hiccups in between his moans, makes his eyelashes flutter, and a weird heat spider across the pit of his stomach because it’s almost too much to bear. Thank god he’s got another one.

That dildo is currently suctioned to their dresser lazily so he can reach it with his mouth. Taehyung hasn’t really decided yet what he likes better—things crammed down his throat or things crammed up his ass while he snakes his hips around the girth of them. Either way he’s choking at the feel—sac against chin, sac against rim, and huffing out little moans in between fighting the urge to reach down and squeeze the bead of precum that dribbles down his cock.

Out of the corner of his eye, he can watch the way he sneaks out of his tongue. He watches the strain of the muscle of his neck as he flicks it around, fighting the urge to close his eyes as he swallows down the dildo with the help of his own spit, until he can barely run the tip of it against those fake jelly balls. It’s such a good looking image too that he can’t help but moan and gasp, twisting his mouth free so he can bite down hard on his bottom lip and clamp his thighs together.

‘Don’t cum, you asshole,’ Taehyung whispers to himself, panting and shutting his eyes finally at the pink of his cheeks. ‘You can do this. Take your—ah, time.’

There’s control being balanced there, in between the way his thighs shake as he adjusts once again. He rises off the dildo until he can see the edge of it against the mirror. It feels weird prodding the inside of his rim, but he moans softly as he leans down onto it again.

Up and down, side to side right on top of that little jelly dildo until Taehyung is keening about it. They’re little low grumbles in the bottom of his chest as he feels sweat build up against his hairline, and little huffs to hide what could otherwise be a loud noise. A hoarse croak, and he’s having to clamp his thighs together again now that he’s learned a valuable lesson.

If Taehyung can manage to get his balance, the head of that cock presses right against his prostate. If he rocks back and forth against it, little stars explode against the backs of his eyes until he’s babbling incoherently, hand moving on its own because god, it just feels so—

Taehyung plays with the bead of precum, taps the tip of his finger against it until it’s making a clear string across a little distant and catching in the light. He rubs his finger all around the head of his own cock until he feels like he’s dripping, and if he leans forward enough, he can blow cold air across it. He lets his thighs relax, and sinks back down with a hoarse wheeze.

He thinks about the way Jimin’s lips felt against his own, and how Jimin’s tongue had prodded and teased. How his spit had tasted, and the way their bodies felt heated even though it was chilly.

He touches himself again to that thought, curling his fingers around the base of his cock and exploring what it’s like to go further, and rub the tip of one lightly against his perineum.

No ,’ Taehyung gasps, shaking his sweaty bangs out of his face. ‘ Don’t cum.’

Hold it in, hold it in.

Taehyung has to clamp his thighs together again. A common occurrence it seems when scorching heat is sent across the space between his hipbones, low and curling until his toes are dragging across the topic and burning . He has little indentions of the floor on his knees, and even that isn’t good enough when he can glance up and see just how ruined he looks in the mirror. Hot hair plastered against his cheeks, eyes heavy lidded, and mouth swollen but if it’s from the biting or the sucking, he doesn’t really know or care much about it.

He’s too invested in playing with his own nipples with one hand, and practicing how to balance while sitting on a cock with the other. He’s grinding his hips against the length of the dildo, thumbing his chest with the other, and staring hungrily at his reflection in the mirror. It does wonders for his confidence, and reminds him that he’s sexy , and there’s nothing wrong with having a healthy sex life.

Between not letting himself cum, and wondering what it would be like if he could replace this fake dick with Jimin’s real one, Taehyung is in underland. His heart can’t seem to take much more of his own teasing, but he knows it would be different if it was someone else.

‘Be good,’ he says, voice cracking, ‘be good and then you can. You’ve done so well already, you can take just a little bit more.’

It’s what he imagines Jimin would say if he could be there right now, coaching Taehyung through such a hard and complicated endeavor. Taehyung arches his back, figuring that’s what people like to see if he’s facing away from them riding them. Burning thighs, ass stretched by such a wide cock, and the way his spine arches to take more and more of them in.

He finds that other fake cock with his mouth and swallows it down again, spitting only to help that slide a little easier. He doesn’t mind the reach of it much, or how it brushes against his throat just barely enough to make him more interested in what it would be like. So he thinks to himself relax, baby, and you can take more and it helps, especially if the tone sounds a little familiar, a little more tenor. A lot more Park Jimin, and a little less Kim Taehyung.

A sharp jolt races up his spine, and adrenaline pushes in his pulse. That shit cock just feels so good in him, pressed up until it’s buzzing along inside his veins. Taehyung can’t help but whine again, pushing his tongue out against the jelly ballsac until drool slides across his chin from just how hard he’s trying. Never say that he doesn’t want to be the best.

He wraps his fingers back around his cock again, squeezing with a weak hum. He knows that he can push himself harder than this, well aware of how wondrously light his head feels, because he’s earned this kind of break. He deserves this sweet relief more than anything, so he rewards himself the best way he can manage. Good grades and being a good son—a good friend, promise him this sweetest touch and the sweetest relief and he can give it to himself.

Taehyung could if he really wanted to. He could jerk his dick until he spilled between his legs, over the edge of the textbook he has his dildo mounted on and into the carpet where he’d have to spill something else on top of it to get away with what he’s done in secret. A little shame mark, and just his.

Without thinking, he reaches behind his head and runs his fingers through his hair. He curls them in the strands, tugging curiously and humming at a different kind of sting. He tugs a little sharper this time, and pushes his moan through his nose. He knots his hair around his fingers and tightens them until it’s a constant pull, whining at the feel of it and desperate for the soft kiss of relief.

He chokes around that dick, gasping for air when he pulls back. He runs it across the bridge of his nose and burrows his face against the base, licking around the sac and tasting his own drool, playing with it against the edge of his tongue. His chest doesn’t stop heaving for one second.

‘Please, please, I’ve done good,’ Taehyung cries against the wood. ‘I’ve been the best. Let me cum, please, god, fuck . Please let me cum—’

And in the back of his head, the softest voice chimes with amusement you can cum, baby, let me see you cum , and it’s more than enough that he cries sharply, struggling to not press his thighs together one last time with heat swelling.

He rides his dildo with all its worth, until his thighs are aching and he has to bite down on his lip to keep from yelling any louder than he’s already being. He’s just on the brink of lightheadedness, a welcome drowsiness that comes with getting fucked good and best. He touches himself, eases the decent burn in his hips by thumbing at the slick.

Taehyung’s hips jump on their own with relief. He jumps right off his cock and forward until he’s leaning his weight against their dresser, pressing the knuckles of his left hand against his mouth until there’s relief for the bruising. With the other, he runs his palm against his skin.

There’s never been a better fire built up beneath his skin. He whimpers and growls as he presses his hips forward, relentless as he catches his cum on his fingers.

He cleans up and showers, feeling oddly at simplistic ease.

What are we?

The air conditioner is loud, but not as loud as the car horns blaring outside. It’s another drunken Friday night, but Jeongguk isn’t around this time, and Yoongi is off doing whatever it is that he does when it’s time for him to produce something sick on a beat somewhere.

I want to be something with you .

Taehyung chews the inside of his cheek. He rubs the bottom of his eye and presses his finger against the swell, tasting red on the tip of his tongue. It’s nowhere near summertime, and the Thanksgiving parade is just now underway outside. He doesn’t get this holiday, but has learned of it another. He rolls over on his mattress and turns off the television.

You kissed me the other night. A week ago. Did it mean something?

I want it to mean something.

It had to mean something.

There’s a scream caught in the base of his throat. A frustrated little noise that comes from a frustrated big man, and the way he flexes his fingers and tries his hardest to not disappear into the unknown. There’s an angsty poetry book lining his ribs, and there’s nothing he can do to stop the way it makes him wheeze and curl beneath his sheets.

Jimin drags in from a long day of school a little bit later, eyes red around the edges. He chunks his keys at his bed and misses, mumbling out a small fuck before passing them completely. He drapes himself on Taehyung’s bed, over him, and drowning him in the sharp brand of his cologne.

It marks up the space in his lungs. Burns and bruises everything it comes into contact with, but Jimin’s breath against Taehyung’s throat is slowly turning blue with all the melancholia that seems to be aching between them. What else are you supposed to do? He’s horribly in love, so much that he doesn’t complain when it feels like Jimin’s kneecap might be splintering his femur.

Don’t go to sleep, I need you.

Shut up and don’t say a word. Taehyung threads his fingers carefully through Jimin’s hair, spreading them out when they get caught in the gel that’s meant to style and mold, not become some complicated puzzle in the process. He loves the smell of that too, and when Jimin seems to be snoring against his collarbone, he presses his nails against his upper lip and takes a deep breath. It’s an odd and plastic sort of smell, but it exists and makes him happy.

Exists and makes him feel something worthwhile budding along the edge of his bones. Taehyung fights off the flutter of his eyelashes, because the last thing he wants to do is fall asleep warm and content. His biggest fear is waking up and finding no one there so he has to suffer through another holiday week alone since he can’t make it home. He wishes he could make it home.


I don’t want to be left alone.

Please stay with me.

‘Yeah, I’m up?’

Jimin’s jaw is a tiny little lump against his chest to the point that it hurts. When he talks, it wiggles uncomfortably and makes Taehyung regret his life choices. Still, it does nothing to stop the way Taehyung grabs the back of his collar to hold him closer.

‘I’ve been thinking, and—’

Another car horn goes off.

‘—I want to have sex with you.’