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Hiraeth

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Jeongguk liked hurting girls.


He didn’t hurt them physically, per se, but he liked breaking their hearts. He got off on it.


There was nothing he found to be more thrilling than watching them fall apart at his hands, becoming marionettes with every soft caress and whispers of I love you’s. He liked it when his name was branded into their rib cages.
Jeongguk was a liar, but his lies gave the women he preyed upon a taste of heaven. A taste of love that was too good to be true, so shouldn’t they be grateful?


Jeongguk had long mastered the art of playing the role of the perfect boyfriend. He had a chiseled jawline with doe-like eyes that portrayed false innocence that made girls fall for him all too quickly. He played the shy and bashful role all too well and his bunny smile made girls swoon. Girls really were too easy.

Jeongguk had built a routine to ensure his victims fell for him.


Charming: tell her she’s beautiful, and flash her fleeting smiles as if you’re shy around her. She’ll think that your nervousness is adorable, and it will speed up the whole trust process if you seem genuine. Jeongguk found that girls liked it when he blushed, but he often found it difficult to do so because he felt no affection towards his temporary girlfriends (thinking about all of the things he’d do to them in bed afterwards helped) and a blush often begot a blush.


“You’re pretty when you smile,” he said whilst mustering up his fakest puppy eyes.


“You really think so?” she asked shyly with color tinting her cheeks. Her name is Mina. She was just reaching eighteen and far too insecure, just the kind of easy target Jeongguk likes.


Sympathy: When she finally decides to give you a piece of herself, pretend to care. She’ll tell some tragic story from her past at one in the morning as you both sit on the living room couch, some cheesy romance film playing on the T.V. mere background noise. Jeongguk learned that nodding his head and furrowing his eyebrows as if he was drinking in her every word was the second step into worming his way into a girl’s heart. Soft touches of comfort and an affectionate kiss to the forehead always made them shudder. He didn’t have to care, just convince them that he did. Look at her like she’s the only person in the world.


“You don’t ever deserve to be treated like that.” The lie comes out easily after Mina tells him the tragic story of her first love. “I’ll never hurt you like that.” Jeongguk will erase the pain of her first love with something far more sinister.


Jeongguk’s favorite type of girls were the ones who fell hard and fast, because those were the ones he really felt he killed, and the way that the light in their eyes went out when he broke their hearts excited him. But what really made thrill bubble up in his stomach was when they’d break down into a mess of snot and tears. They truly looked ugly then. That’s when they were raw and exposed and Jeongguk could stab them until blood splattered against the walls and seeped into the carpet.


Jeongguk liked breaking hearts because it was legal murder.


He liked the bloodstains on the front door the best. The sound of the door slamming followed by broken sobs and the screech of tires against pavement was music to his ears.


Jeongguk relished evoking emotions when he broke them, but then there were those who reacted in a fit of rage and it could be a nuisance. Sometimes her yelling would go on for too long and she’d curse incessantly, to which he would merely pick at the dirt beneath his fingernails and ask, Are you done yet?  Jeongguk had never hit a girl before, but there were a few times that he was tempted to.


After Jeongguk grew bored of his little game with Mina, she threw freshly brewed coffee onto his face, tears hot and angry streaming down her beet-red face.


“I—I can’t believe you!” she shrieked, breath shaky with each inhale. “You used me! You fucking—”  


Jeongguk had simply cocked his head slightly, smug grin as he soaked in Mina’s broken state with a cold gaze. “Yeah, so what?”


He remembered the burning sting of coffee and the string of curses he had let out because it was fucking hot. Lucky for him it left no marks. It was nothing compared to the emotional scars he had inflicted to carve their way deep into her heart whenever she’d stormed out the door.  


There were girls like Yeeseul, who slapped Jeongguk when she caught him sucking faces with some random chick that smelled of cheap perfume whom he had met at the bar, before calling him a son-of-a-bitch and storming off like a hurricane. She made sure to make a mess in her wake, to which Jeongguk had simply rolled his eyes before taking the nameless girl back home and fucking her into the bed until she disappeared. Talk about weak revenge.


Jeongguk had gone through more girlfriends than he could count in his short twenty years, but out of all the broken hearts and lost lovers, Chaeyong was his favorite. Her dam broke so easily and she had collapsed on her knees before him and cried until her face turned bright red and her eyes were swollen. She was Jeongguk’s favorite because she begged him to tell her that it wasn’t true, that he loved her and that it was all some shitty joke.  
Jeongguk told her that their relationship was a joke and that she was the punchline.


She was the most pathetic out of them all. His masterpiece. She really wanted to believe in her heart that Jeongguk was a good person (he wasn’t), and for this, Jeongguk felt bad for Chaeyong. He had liked her a little, and she wasn’t rotten like the rest. She was pure and maybe she didn’t deserve it.


Jeongguk had no concept of love or what it felt like to feel heartbreak because he had been broken long ago, turning his heart into stone. Jeongguk didn’t know what love was until it came in the form of Kim Taehyung. And God, if there was one memory that would be forever burned into the deepest parts of Jeongguk’s mind like the end of a lit cigarette against skin, it would be the fact that loving Taehyung had hurt like hell. It broke all of his bones and afterwards he wondered if this was how all of the girls he murdered felt. It was a pain worse than death.

Jeongguk liked hurting girls, but he had never hurt another man before.

Jeongguk liked hurting girls, but he didn’t like hurting Kim Taehyung.



❃❃❃❃

Jeongguk meets Taehyung in the late summer at the start of his sophomore year of college. Yoongi has somehow convinced him to go to the start of the year party that Beta Omega was hosting, but it was more like Hoseok had begged Yoongi to go and he refused to suffer alone, therefore dragging Jeongguk to the overcrowded frat house with him.

“Hyung, I really don’t want to go.”

“Neither do I, but we can’t always have what we want, can we?”

Jeongguk isn’t exactly sure when he and Yoongi had become so close. It was some unspoken rule that whatever party one boy attended the other was close behind. The two were oddly attached at the hip and other students often questioned how Jeongguk and Yoongi could be best friend’s when they appeared to be so impossibly different from each other. A fact that became quite apparent when placed side by side at any party.

Yoongi leans against a wall with a permanent frown on his face and red cup half full of vodka in sprite in his hand and phone in the other. If his eyes weren’t glued to the blue screen then he was scowling at Jeongguk’s antics, but Jeongguk was impervious to the famous glare that made Yoongi unapproachable. He would laugh and pat Yoongi on the back before going back to talking animatedly to other party goers.  

Jeongguk is popular and well loved by nearly the entire student body. He’s nice to everyone and seemingly a reliable friend. He laughs at the right moments and smiles bashfully when complimented. He’s a straight A student who studies diligently and parties hard. He’s quick to move up the ranks of Alpha Pi, despite being a N.I.B. and was put in charge of charity events the second half of his freshman year. He was recently promoted to Vice Captain of their school’s varsity soccer team and Hoseok joked about the younger being from a different planet because there is nothing that Jeon Jeongguk isn’t good at. He excels at everything—acting included.

Jeongguk is good at pretending to be the picture perfect Christian college boy who raised money for the less fortunate and came from a good background. He had been valedictorian for his graduating high school class of 2015 and everyone was sure that he would claim the title once again because Jeongguk was perfect and nothing was unattainable for him.  
 
Except that he wasn’t, and Yoongi was the first person to ever see through his facade.
 
“No offense, but you seem fake as hell.” It was one of the first things that the elder had said to Jeongguk. He had been a freshman who had just survived the nightmarish week of hazing and Yoongi had been designated as his Big Brother slash roommate. Jeongguk had been so shocked and fumbled for a response because he had never quite met anyone as blunt as Min Yoongi; the still half asleep man who had been slouched against the doorframe lazily but steadily held his gaze with seemingly such awareness beyond his years.  
 
In the end, he had laughed and said, “I think we’re really gonna get along, hyung.”
 
And surprisingly so, they did. Yoongi had told Jeongguk that he was a no bullshit type of guy so the younger had been quick on the uptake to stop playing pretend around him. He didn’t try to act superficially kind to get on Yoongi’s good side and get me something to drink was always met with a blunt, go get it yourself. The elder had scolded Jeongguk about how Little Brother’s were supposed to do whatever their Big’s tell them to. In response, Jeongguk would always roll his eyes and remarked snidely with, you told me that you didn’t do bullshit, hyung.
 
Yoongi had put laxatives in Jeongguk’s protein shakes as revenge.
 
Jeongguk had never been honest with anyone in his life, much less to himself. So having one person who knew the real side of him without hating his guts was somewhat of a relief to him. A relief to what, the boy did not understand. All he knew was that it things felt a bit easier not having to lie as much. Jeongguk had never told anyone what he did to girls and admittedly, it had taken some time for him to tell the elder about that. It wasn’t as if he was ashamed or anything, but Jeongguk also knew that what he did wasn’t normal.
 
Normal people don’t hurt people.  
 
“Who are you texting?” Yoongi had asked as he stepped into their shared room, mint colored hair damp from a shower.
 
“Lisa,” Jeongguk remarked absentmindedly from his sprawled out position on his bed. “She has great tits, y’know?”
 
Yoongi raised an eyebrow, moving to sit at the edge of his own bed as he fished for a cigarette and pulled out a lighter from the pocket of a pair of jeans that had been thrown haphazardly on the ground. His friend was messy and Jeongguk hated messy.
 
“You’re gonna die,” he remarked disinterestedly, smirking at the suggestive message that Lisa had just sent. “Plus, you’re not supposed to smoke inside.”
 
Yoongi shrugged. “What’s the point of living if you’re just going to die anyways?” He lit the end of the stick and Jeongguk scrunched his nose at the smell. “I thought you were dating Hyeri?”
 
“I am,” Jeongguk confirmed as he sent a text asking Lisa for some pictures.
 
“Then why…?” he let the question hang in the air.
 
“Because she’s getting boring,” Jeongguk deadpanned. “She’s not that good in bed and Lisa does this thing with her mouth that-

“Okay, TMI. I did not need to know that.” Yoongi looked thoroughly disturbed.
 
“You asked.”
 
“So you don’t like her anymore?”
 
“Nah. She talks too much in bed. Like, my dude, my man, I’m just tryna put my dick in her but she’s talking about fucking biology. It’s annoying.”  
 
“Then break up with her?” Yoongi phrased it as if Jeongguk was an idiot, and the boy could feel his friend’s judgmental gaze on him but he’d been much more interested in the voluptuous curve of Lisa’s ass on his screen. He was already half hard.
 
Jeongguk snorted. “But that’s no fun.” He had practically felt Yoongi’s judgment radiating off off of him.
 
“You’re completely contradicting yourself, asshole.” Yoongi moved to open the window, blowing a puff of smoke out as he flicked the burning ash outside. “You say that you’re bored of her but then say that breaking up with her wouldn’t be any fun? You’re making no sense here, dude.”
 
Jeongguk finally spared Yoongi his attention, setting down his phone and scooting up in a sitting position to lean against the wall. The elder had given him a quizzical look, obviously wanting to know all of the juicy details but never one to ask because he had a facade of indifference to keep up.
 
“I have to wait until she’s completely in love with me before I do it,” Jeongguk finally said. “I have to wait until she starts thinking so far ahead into the future that she can’t imagine being with anyone else and everything around her reminds her of me. Gotta wait till I’m all she thinks about.”
 
Yoongi stared blankly at him. “Dude, that is seriously so fucked up.”
 
Jeongguk laughed, “I know. You’re the first person I’ve ever told.”
 
“Why do you do it?” Yoongi’s voice had been genuinely curious and there wasn’t a hint of malice in his tone.
 
Jeongguk had shrugged. “Cause it’s fun, I guess? I don’t know how to explain it, but it makes me feel good- the control, I mean. Being able to control when a girl falls for me and when I’ll break her heart feels nice.”
 
“Do you do this often? To girls, that is.”
 
“Yeah.”
 
“How many?”
 
“I stopped counting after number nine,” Jeongguk admitted.
 
“That’s seriously so fucked up,” Yoongi repeated. “So basically, you just have some shit self esteem issues and project it onto others by being a fake ass bitch to make yourself feel better?”
 
Jeongguk had glared. “No. It’s just ‘cos I like to.”
 
Yoongi looked amused. “Psychology major, remember?”
 
“Right.”
 
Yoongi stubbed out the cigarette on the windowsill before throwing it out onto the lawn below. He had turned to Jeongguk with a disapproving frown marring his features. “I hope you stop doing that shit, though. It’s not healthy for you and one day karma will bite you in the ass. Don’t come crying to me when that happens, kid.”
 
Jeongguk grunted in response.
 
That had all been over a year ago and Jeongguk would be lying if he said that he heeded his Big’s advice. If anything, Jeongguk had gotten worse. University was full of stupid girls with daddy issues that were easy to take advantage of. They took any affection they could get and no girl could resist the perfection that was Jeon Jeongguk. And although he was seen in generally a positive image, the boy had built a reputation for not being able to keep a steady relationship. It never got out that he cheated on all of the girls he dated though (he made sure of that). But Jeongguk became known as some sort of enigmatic prince and every sorority girl wanted to be ‘ the one ’ to finally tie him down. Except, Jeongguk didn't want to be tied down to anything or anyone.
 
It takes a lot of blackmailing on Yoongi’s part to finally get Jeongguk out of bed and dressed. He complains on the entire way to the neighboring frat house, petulant pout puffing out his cheeks. But by the time they arrive, the younger plasters on a friendly smile and looks far too eager to be there. Jeongguk laughs at some shit joke that some nameless freshman made in an attempt to impress him. He glances at Yoongi who is pressing himself against the wall to avoid being touched by a pair of sweaty bodies that pass him.
 
Jeongguk smirks. “Having fun, hyung?”
 
The elder looks about ready to strangle him.
 
“Shut the fuck up.”
 
“Jeonggukkie! Yoongi hyung!” The two boys share a brief glance of annoyance before redirecting their attention on their friend who had practically harassed them into in attending, pushing his way rather forcefully through the crowd.
 
Jeongguk plasters on a smile. “Hey, Hobi hyung.” Yoongi merely greets him coolly with a raised brow.
 
Hoseok beams, throwing an arm around the younger’s neck. “So glad that you could make it my dear Gukkie.” Jeongguk grimaces at the nickname.
 
Yoongi grunts in annoyance, sloshing the clear liquid in the cup in around. “You only asked me to come ‘cos you wanted to see Jeongguk.”
 
Hoseok laughs rather dramatically, drawing Jeongguk closer into a near chokehold. “Don’t worry, you’re still my favorite hyung.”
 
“Gross.”
 
“I’m gonna go get something to drink,” Jeongguk announces as he pries himself away from Hoseok’s death grip, who pouts but let’s him go anyway.
 
“Don’t run away,” he warns. “I’ll light a bag of dog shit on fire in front of your door if you do.”
 
The younger rolls his eyes in response. “You don’t even have a dog, hyung. But don’t worry, I won’t.”  
 
He honestly just needed a few drinks to get him buzzed enough to get him through this god awful party. He needed the alcohol to make his smiles feel less like stretched skin and muddle his thoughts so that he didn’t feel like he was suffocating. The boy was good at pretending to fit into the party scene, but if there was anything that Jeongguk hated more than people, it was a bunch of drunk and loud assholes all jammed into one house.
 
Jeongguk begins to push his way through the crowd and nearly blanches as a girl who’s piss wasted in an outfit that should be considered illegal, falls onto him and nearly grabs his dick through the tight fabric of his skinny jeans in the process. Jeongguk can’t hide his disgust at this as he shoves her away rather roughly. She ends up stumbling into another girl who yells fucking watch it, skank! Jeongguk didn’t hit girls but this was definitely one of the times that he was more than tempted to.
 
Yeah, he definitely needed that drink right about now. He needed alcohol amongst other not so legal substances that Yoongi would kill him for taking if he ever knew. So for now, Jeongguk for goes his more destructive habits for a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels from the kitchen and pours himself a bit too much before bringing the red cup to his lips and downing as much as he can without throwing it back up. The smell burns his nose and it tastes like shit, but the warmness he feels in his stomach is probably going to be worth it later tonight. Or not.
 
“Woah. No chaser? You sure that’s a good idea, dude?”
 
Jeongguk blinks, lips parting from the plastic as his eyes scan the room to find the owner of the voice. There’s only one other person in the kitchen. A tall guy with olive skin and a head of brown a shade darker than Jeongguk’s hair that has grown too long and now nearly brushes his lashes that are long and full. His nose is angled perfectly and lips glossed a light pink.
 
Jeongguk has never considered himself homosexual in any way, shape or form, but the stranger was breathtakingly beautiful and right now, he was feeling pretty fucking gay looking at him.
 
“Nah,” Jeongguk says after a moment, realizing that the stranger was waiting for an answer. “I’ll probably regret it tomorrow, but you only live once, right?”
 
The stranger, which Jeongguk has deemed as quote unquote “Hot Guy”, looks amused. “Isn’t that all the more reason to not die of alcohol poisoning at some shit frat party that smells like puke and McDonalds?”  
 
“I’m guessing that parties aren’t your thing?” Jeongguk hopes that he sounds nonchalant.
 
“Not really, but my best friend is hitting a midlife crisis at twenty-two, so here I am.” Hot Guy gestures to himself rather unamused at his own predicament. “What about you? Parties don’t seem to be your thing either.”
 
Jeongguk swallows, forcing a pleasant smile. “Parties are my thing,” he says. “They’re nice.”
 
Hot Guy grins knowingly. “So then, why are you here alone chugging Jack Daniels like it ain’t shit? Doesn’t look like it’s your thing .”
 
“Um,” Jeongguk’s not sure what to say because he’s not used to being caught mid bullshit. “If I said that I was Irish would you believe me?”
 
Hot Guy laughs and Jeongguk might be being overdramatic when he says that it’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever heard. But amidst the blasting of some shitty American rap music that Jeongguk can’t understand and the loud voices blending into one incoherent mess; to Jeongguk, his laughter sounds heavenly. “You’re funny. I like that. But I saw that chick nearly grab your dick and you looked ready to K.O. her, so yeah, you definitely don’t give off the party type vibe.”
 
“Oh,” he says lamely, fighting the flush that’s creeping up his neck because Jeon Jeongguk doesn’t know embarrassment and Yoongi would be having a field day if he saw how awkward the boy was being.
 
It was like he was seventeen again.
 
Hot Guy’s smile reminds Jeongguk of Hoseok’s. It was all white teeth and gums but he didn’t have the urge to grimace in annoyance- which was strange. Jeongguk didn’t like bright smiles and even brighter eyes. He much prefered the crying faces of the girls he broke. The thought of being so flustered over a smile makes him want to slam his head against the island counter.
 
“It’s cool,” Hot Guy reassures. “I think that I’d also want to bleach my brain with that shit if some random chick grabbed my dick too.”
 
Jeongguk can’t help but snort in amusement. “Definitely not on my list of the top ten things I want to happen to me at a frat party.”
 
“What’s the first?”

Jeongguk raises his cup. “To bleach my brain with this.”
 
Hot Guy laughs again. “Well good luck with that. I have a best friend to go and baby sit. He’s probably puking his guts up in a plant somewhere right now if he hasn’t barfed all over himself and that’s never fun to clean up.”
 
“Yeah, you better go save him before it’s too late,” he jokes.
 
For a minute, neither of them move and Jeongguk doesn’t want to be the first to break whatever the fuck is between them. Hot Guy is staring at him a little too intensely and for a moment, Jeongguk wonders what flavor lipgloss he’d taste if he reached over to kiss the stranger.
 
“See you around?” Hot Guy asks with a smile.
 
Jeongguk nods. “Yeah, see you around.”
 
The former pushes himself off of the island, flashing Jeongguk one last smile before exiting the kitchen and being swallowed by the mass of moving bodies. Jeongguk doesn’t leave the kitchen for the rest of the night.

❃❃❃❃


Jeongguk doesn’t see Hot Guy for the next four days after the party and even though the encounter was brief and they hadn’t exchanged more than simple pleasantries and light jokes, he can’t stop thinking about olive skin and a velvety deep voice that fell from kissable lips. It’s dumb really, but Jeongguk is intrigued and hopes that by some unforeseen force he’ll meet the stranger again.
 
The week continues to roll on and Jeongguk goes through the monotonous motions of attending classes and parties and soon, four days turns into eight. Jeongguk throws himself into studying 24/7 and having sex with his current girlfriend, Ana, a shit ton to distract himself. But when it’s 2a.m. and the only sound in the room is Yoongi’s light breathing as he sleeps, Jeongguk’s mind always wanders back to the guy from the party. He doesn’t even know his name and it’s frustrating. It’s so frustrating when Jeongguk closes his eyes only to be greeted with some attractive guy he had a three minute conversation with without a name. Maybe if he fucks enough girls the face will disappear along with the name.
 
But it doesn’t. Instead, the earth must be working in his favor or against him (he hasn’t quite figured that part out yet) because it’s on a Thursday when Jeongguk sees him again. His first class in the morning is Calculus and Jeongguk hates Calculus. It’s not as if he’s bad at math (he’s quite good at it actually) but being a pledge in a frat house means that he’s dragged to one too many parties and the last thing he wants to deal with is numbers when his head is pounding from the night before. He’s wearing a random pair of black sunglasses he had plucked from Yoongi’s dresser when the sound of the classroom door turning has everyone but Jeongguk turning their heads in curiosity, who is too busy trying to nurse the headache with  his head in his hands and eyes closed behind the dark lenses.
 
“Can I sit here?”
 
It’s the familiarity of the voice that nearly jerks Jeongguk out of his chair as his head snaps up and- “No fucking way.” The words are out before he can even stop himself because Hot Guy is standing right in front of him looking even more beautiful than before. Jeongguk removes the shades to observe him more closely. His hair is hidden underneath a snapback that has been placed backwards on his head, revealing eyebrows that had previously been hidden and boy does he have nice eyebrows. This time Jeongguk isn’t seeing him under the faded yellow light of a kitchen and when he grins at Jeongguk in recognition, the latter feels his chest tighten.
 
“Oh, it’s you!” Hot Guy says a little too loudly, drawing attention from the class. He gives a silent apology to the professor who shoots him a dirty look. “So, can I sit here?” Jeongguk just nods because he’s not sure if he can find trust his voice now. Hot Guy plops himself into the chair next to Jeongguk, bag thrown haphazardly on the table as he pulls out a notebook and pen. “Never got your name, which kinda sucks cause then I couldn’t find out if you had died of alcohol poisoning or not,” he jokes.
 
Jeongguk laughs lightly. “Jeon Jeongguk. Twenty-year-old sophomore and a business major.”
 
“Business major? Thought it’d be something more exciting,” Hot Guy teases.
 
Jeongguk shrugs. “Yeah well, sorry to disappoint.”
 
“Kim Taehyung. Twenty-two-years old. I’m a junior and I’ve changed my major like three times but my current interest is being a teacher.”
 
“Taehyung,” Jeongguk repeats and he can’t help but feel pleased at the way the feels on his tongue. “Do you like children?”
 
“That’s Taehyung hyung to you,” he corrects. “But yeah, children are really cool and I’m good with them. What about you?”
 
I hate them. “They’re pretty nice.” Jeongguk moves to place the shades back onto his face because the lights in the lecture room are starting to make his head hurt again.
 
“Wild night?” Taehyung asks.
 
Jeongguk lays his head on the desk, face turned towards Taehyung and cheek pressing against the cool surface. “Ugh, don’t even mention it.” Their soccer team had recently won a game and even though Jeongguk was exhausted and just wanted to take a hot shower and crash, Hoseok had begged him with crocodile tears to go out and celebrate with a few drinks. But of course, there was never such thing as a few drinks when it came to their little rag tag group and it had ended with a too sober Namjoon dragging Hoseok (who was a loud as fuck drunk) back to their frat house.
 
“Who drinks on a Wednesday night?” Taehyung questions quizzically.
 
“Alpha Phi,” is all he gives as an explanation and that seems to be all Taehyung needs.
 
He places his elbow on the desk and rests his chin against his open palm to observe Jeongguk who is currently very much dead inside. “I didn’t peg you for a frat boy with how you looked at the party last week.” Jeongguk really wishes that Taehyung would just let that awkward incident go. “But it makes more sense now. You do look kinda fuckboyish.” The boy mutters out an offended hey in response, to which Taehyung laughs at. “I bet you play football.”
 
“Vice Captain of the soccer team, actually,” Jeongguk rectifies.
 
Taehyung beams and the sight nearly blinds the younger. “Well, Mr. Vice Captain of the soccer team, I think we’re gonna be great friends.”
 
Jeongguk closes his eyes because staring at Taehyung’s smiling face makes him feeling nervous. “Yeah,” he says. “Why not?”
 
Jeongguk didn’t think that he’d be seeing much of the older boy outside of class, but he learns how wrong he is when they exchange numbers and Taehyung texts him during third period with some morbid joke about being so bored that he could hang himself. Jeongguk learns that the reason Taehyung had been absent from class up until now was because his grandma had passed away and he had to return home for the funeral. Jeongguk quickly realizes that Taehyung is someone who opens his heart for anyone who’s nice enough to pay him any attention. He tells Jeongguk that he was really close with his grandma over lunch and that her death had been really hard on him, but it was okay since she was in a better place now and Jeongguk just nods and listens, even if he think that the idea of heaven is bullshit.
 
“Do you really believe in that?” Jeongguk can’t help but voice the next day as they sit in a booth by the window at Panera’s, sipping lattes and eating bread bowls. Taehyung asks what he means and Jeongguk says, “heaven.”
 
Taehyung shrugs. “I dunno. I would like to think that there’s more for us after death. It puts my mind at ease, y’know? Do you believe in it?”
 
Jeongguk wants to say no. He wants to say that he’s been playing the role of God since he was sixteen when he decided that breaking girls hearts was fun and that there is probably nothing but darkness after death, especially for people like him. But instead, he smiles softly and says, “yeah. I come from a Christian family and went to church every Sunday when I was younger.”
 
He’s never been to church.
 
Jeongguk also learns that Taehyung talks a lot. He talks a lot and so fast to the point that Jeongguk struggles to keep up with what he’s say half of the time and there’s never a moment of silence in his presence. Which means that silence becomes a rarity in Jeongguk’s life because Taehyung starts hanging around him a lot, and when they’re not with each other, Taehyung is sending him a slew of text messages with an unnecessary amount of emojis.
 
He’s not quite sure why Taehyung pays him any attention. There is no incentive for them to communicate beyond simple conversations in class. He wasn’t his roommate like Yoongi was or part of any frat like Hoseok and Namjoon, and they didn’t even belong to the same social group. Taehyung was beginning to get too close for comfort and it was starting to become a dangerous game. A game of lies; one that Jeongguk intimately plays with girls. And although he had told Yoongi the truth once upon a time and their friendship had blossomed despite his borderline psychotic practices, he’s not sure if he can tell Taehyung. He’s not sure how close he wanted to allow the older boy to get and he’s trying to take baby steps and figure things out, but Taehyung only knows how to move in bounds and leaps, barely giving any time for Jeongguk to breathe.
 
Jeongguk has encountered many people in his life, but never someone quite like Kim Taehyung.
 
Tuesday is one of those rare days where Taehyung isn’t around to badger Jeongguk because he actually has responsibilities to attend to as an intern at some elementary school. He had been quite animated when describing his job to Jeongguk. “The kids are great, you should really come with me sometime.” Jeongguk had told him that he was busy but promised that if their was ever a time when their schedules didn’t conflict, he would be more than happy to tag along- which was a lie, of course. Jeongguk hated children with their small hands that had yet to be dirtied and their big round eyes that still were as bright like a cluster of a thousand stars. Jeongguk became uncomfortable in their presence because he could not relate to their childish naivety and obliviousness. No, all that had been taken away from him a long time ago. He knew little of nurture and compassion and the oldest memory the boy had had definitely not been of dragging his mother to the park or playing baseball with his father in their backyard.
 
No, Jeongguk’s first memories of his childhood had been a lot more sinister than that.
 
Days without Taehyung consisted of sneaking into his girlfriend’s sorority house and having quick fucks that were usually no more than a brief rush of pleasure that he could never quite remember clearly because most of the time they had sex neither were sober. Today was no different.
 
“Do you have any more of that shit?” Jeongguk questions as he shifts his position so that he can bury himself deeper inside of her, pumping in and out rather languidly.
 
“Y-yeah,” she breathes out, teeth snagged on her bottom lip as she suppresses a rather draw out moan  because Jeongguk knows how to hit her sweet spot just right. “It’s in the left pocket of my jacket. But we can do that later, first let’s-”
 
But Jeongguk is already pulling out and crossing the shared room to reach the denim jacket that had been hung up on the closet door. He fishes around in the left pocket and grunts in annoyance because Ana had a habit of stuffing wrappers in them until he finds what he was looking for. He pulls out the small baggie and held it up to his face with a grin. “This shit looks pure.”

 
Ana makes a noise in agreement, her naked form still sprawled out on the bed. “That’s cause I got that shit from Mark and you know that he doesn’t deal those chemical laced strains. Those are the ones that’ll really fuck you up.”
 
Jeongguk walks back to sit at the edge of the bed and opens the baggie, dipping his index finger in the white crystal substance to experimentally taste it. It tastes like shit, of course. It's sour and caked on his tongue and it isn’t long before the appendage starts to feel numb. “Yeah, this shit’s good.” He then snags his jeans from the floor and pulls out his wallet to retrieve a single won and credit card. “Where do you want it?”
 
Ana giggles, “anywhere you’d like, baby.”
 
Jeongguk flips her over so that she was laying on her stomach, hands roaming down her back only to stop at the cheeks of her ass and give it a resounding smack to which she whimpers at. He tilts the baggie to let a controlled amount of the white substance to fall onto the curve of her back, right onto the ridge of her spine before using the card to conform the powder into a somewhat straight line which was damn near difficult to do on skin. He rolls the single won to resemble a straw before leaning over and bringing the bill to his nose and inhaling deeply, the powder shooting up the rolled up paper and into his nostril. He then tilts his head back, feeling it turn to liquid and drip down his throat. The high hits him almost instantaneously.
 
“Fuck,” he moans. “Remind me to thank Mark.”
 
“We have plenty of time to do that later,” Ana replies in a low voice before taking Jeongguk in her hand and pumping him with jerky flicks of her wrist. Any pleasure before was intensified tenfold with the drug flowing through his system, and as he presses his current toy into the bed and fucks her into oblivion for nearly an hour, Jeongguk is lost to the world. He’s lost to the world until an hour of fucking and three more lines later, Taehyung calls him.
 
Jeongguk doesn’t hesitate to pick up. The older boy has called him while he was blasted off his ass far too many times to count. “Hello?” he’s aware that he sounds a little breathless.
 
“Hey!” Taehyung chirps through the receiver. “Are you busy right now?”
 
Jeongguk looks to Ana who is too preoccupied mouthing at his cock and trying to get him hard again. “No. You done with work?”
 
“Yeah. Twas a long day.” He let’s out a dramatic sigh, “meet me at that burger place across from the arcade? I’m starving.”
 
“You’re gonna get fat if you keep eating that greasy shit,” Jeongguk chides. Taehyung laughs and promises that it’ll be his treat. “I’ll be there in twenty,” Jeongguk says. The older boy gives an enthusiastic goodbye before the line cuts.
 
Ana lifts her head. “You have to leave?”
 
Jeongguk nods. “Yeah. I’ll text you later though.”
 
She looks disappointed but doesn’t voice it. “Okay.”
 
Jeongguk gathers his clothes, slipping into his boxers and zipping up his jeans before pulling the thin sweater over his head. And because he’s the perfect boyfriend, he leans over and gives Ana a rather long and passionate kiss and even through his drug induced haze there is no lingering warmth. “I love you,” he says and the words feel like lead on his tongue.
 
Her cheeks tint a faint red and Jeongguk knows that it should take his breath away and that he should find her current expression endearing, but he doesn’t. Jeongguk feels nothing, not even when she whispers back a shy I love you too . But Jeongguk does feel something when he’s with Taehyung. It’s not the same gnawing emptiness that is only satiated by broken hearts. No, it’s something else entirely but he still hasn’t quite figured out what it is. All Jeongguk knows is that when he arrives at the fast food joint and sees Taehyung waving him over from a booth, he doesn’t feel so empty. He’s crashing down from his high and Taehyung asks him if he’s fine but Jeongguk just smiles and says, “just tired is all.”
 
Taehyung believes him.


❃❃❃❃


Taehyung is tall, smart and attractive, but he’s also quite terrible at math; so Jeongguk spends a lot of his time helping him with Calculas, but Taehyung has the attention span of a ten year old and Jeongguk’s lucky if he can Taehyung to focus for more than twenty minutes before he starts to complain about being bored and insist that they go to a game cafe. And of course, Jeongguk always caves in.
 
“I have ADHD,” Taehyung tells him on a Sunday when they’re lounging in the common area of the frat house playing some Street Fighter on the Xbox. Taehyung had told him that the frat life was ‘not his thing’ but Yoongi had grumbled about the brunette practically being a third roommate at this point. “It’s hard for me to stay focused on one thing for too long and my rambling tends to drive people up the wall. And- fuck! Stop using spam moves, asshole.”
 
Jeongguk doesn’t tell Taehyung that he thinks that his quirky personality is refreshing and that his preference for baggy t-shirts that always leave his collarbones and shoulders on display is fucking cute. “You’re fine,” he says instead. “You don’t annoy me at all. I think you’re pretty cool. Also, stop being such a sore loser.”
 
Taehyung reaches out to ruffle the younger’s hair after another minute as SCORPION WINS! flashes across the screen in bold red letters that resemble something akin to blood. “Aw, I love you too, bud.” Jeongguk curses in defeat and before he can retaliate, his phone buzzes with a message notification and he’s reminded of one person who had started to get under his skin lately.
 
[3:34p.m.] Ana: I haven’t seen u in awhile babe. Miss u. Wanna go grab some drinks tonight and have a little fun after? ;)xxx
 
Jeongguk’s expression must not be too pleasant because Taehyung tears his eyes away from the T.V. screen, which is currently on the character selection menu and places his chin on Jeongguk’s shoulder to eye the message. “What’s with the sour face?” he asks. “Is that your girlfriend or a clingy booty call?”
 
“Girlfriend,” Jeongguk answers, not liking the way that the title sits on his tongue.
 
“She wants to get drinks and smash. I can’t possibly imagine what you would be unhappy about.”
 
“I’m not unhappy with her,” Jeongguk lies.
 
“Yeah, right .”
 
Jeongguk’s fingers hover above the keyboard for a moment before he replies.
 
[3:36p.m.] Jeongguk: Can’t. Busy. Maybe next weekend?
 
He sighs, shoving the iPhone into his pocket before turning his attention back to the game. This time he choses to go with a faster character like Kitana and Taehyung decides on Sub Zero with a cocky promise to destroy Jeongguk once again. Jeongguk was decent at video games, but if there was one thing that he had come to discover about the older boy, it was that video game cafes were practically his second home, which clearly showed because the elder had eleven wins so far over Jeongguk’s six.
 
“I don’t know,” he says after a minute of silent button smashing. “It’s just that- shit! It’s just that things haven’t been the same lately. I like her and all but I don’t think it’s working out,” he lies. The only part of Ana that Jeongguk ever liked was her mouth.
 
“Really? Man, that’s gotta be - eat dirt asshole- rough.” Taehyung starts spamming the ‘y’ button and Jeongguk tells him to stop being a prick, in response, Taehyung refutes Jeongguk’s earlier words about being a sore loser. Jeongguk grumbles out a fuck you, Tae using the nickname he would never admit to liking a little too much.
 
“Yeah, it sucks.”
 
“So what number are you on?” Taehyung questions.
 
Jeongguk gives him a brief side glance. They’re both too engrossed in the characters fighting to death on the screen. “Number?”
 
“Girlfriends. I’ve heard through the grapevine that you go through relationships like girls go through tampons.”
 
Jeongguk turns his attention fully to Taehyung, a frown marring his features. The older boy’s eyes are still glued to the screen and it isn’t long before he’s shouting eat my ass, bitch! as he emerges victorious once again. For some reason, Jeongguk doesn’t feel okay with Taehyung knowing this information. “Okay first of all dude, that’s disgusting. Why would you even make that analogy? And secondly, I know that I suck at relationships. This is embarrassing to say, but I’m a terrible judge of character and always get cheated on.” It’s yet another lie because if anyone is a compulsive cheater, it’s Jeongguk.
 
Taehyung turns to him with wide eyes. “What?!” he sounds absolutely perplexed. “Why would girls cheat on you out of all people?”
 
Jeongguk blinks. “What do you mean?”
 
Taehyung gives the younger a once over. “Have you ever even looked at yourself in the mirror, dude? You’re like, really fucking hot. On a scale of one to gay, I am gay for you.”
 
Jeongguk laughs to hide how flustered Taehyung’s words actually make him feel. “Gross.”
 
Taehyung smiles rather nervously. “Yeah, well I’m gross and super gay so you better get used to it.” The subject of sexuality had never been brought up between them and Jeongguk had always just assumed that the older boy was straight simply because he had given him no reason to believe otherwise. Taehyung has never acted “gayly” or whatever that meant, and he was as masculine as a twenty-two-year-old could be.  The older boy shifts uncomfortably, obviously perturbed at Jeongguk’s lack of response. “Well, that’s it. My biggest secret- or not so secret. And no, I’m not confused. I’ve found dicks hot since the first time I accidentally stumbled upon gay porn when I was nine. I know that you’re Christian and all, which is why I was afraid to tell you, and if you don’t want to be friends with me anymore, then-” Taehyung pauses, teeth snagging his bottom lip.
 
“Dude chill,” Jeongguk says. “It’s not a big deal.”
 
Taehyung still looks slightly unsure. “Really? You don’t think I’m weird or anything?”
 
Jeongguk rolls his eyes before shoving him playfully and Taehyung dramatically falls over. “You’re always weird but it has nothing to do with your sexuality. I don’t think that I’ve ever had a friend who was gay before, but me knowing doesn’t change who you are, man.”
 
Taehyung’s shoulders slump in relief as the tension leaves his body. “I’m glad. I was scared that you were gonna go off on me there for a second. No offense, but frat boys seemed to be obsessed with being masculine and straight so it’s a little off putting.”
 
Jeongguk snorts in mock offense. “Um, ouch? Did you just assume my sexuality? Besides, I’m lowkey sure that Yoongi hyung isn’t a hundred percent dedicated to vagina either.”
 
Taehyung hums in contemplation. “Well, you seem pretty fucking straight to me. Yoongi hyung on the other hand…” he taps his index finger against his chin in a display of dramatic theatrics. “He seems kind of straight too, but he’s always glaring at everyone so I can’t relate.”
 
“No, dude. Listen here.” Jeongguk sits up from his slumped position on the couch and crosses his legs. “I’ve deadass caught hyung making out with a couple of guys when he thinks that no one’s looking. He only does it when he’s drunk though.”
 
“A closeted homo?”
 
Jeongguk shakes his head. “Nah, hyung’s a psychology major so he prides himself on knowing his mind better than anyone else. I asked him once and he just told me that it didn’t matter. I think he’s bisexual or something. I think he’s fucked a guy in our room before though because I caught him airing out the smell of gay sex once.”
 
Taehyung laughs and asks Jeongguk how does one smell gay sex who simply shrugs in response. He then grins with intent. “Bisexual, eh? You remember that best friend I mentioned when we first met?” Jeongguk nods. “Well he’s just as straight as a circle and I’m tired of him crying about how no one will ever love him every time he gets shit faced.” Jeongguk asks if he wants to hook them up or something and Taehyung nods all too eagerly.
 
Jeongguk looks unsure. “I don’t know...Yoongi hyung’s pretty hard to impress. He hasn’t dated once in the year that I’ve known him.”
 
But Taehyung seems sure of himself. “Don’t worry, there’s not a person on this planet could dislike Park Jimin.” Jeongguk wants to say that he finds that to be rather doubtful because Yoongi had a penchant for hating people without reason and he’s half tempted to tell Taehyung the story of how Yoongi has held a grudge against Kim Jaebum for the last ten years because he stole his favorite pack of colored twistee crayons in 7th grade. “What about you? Are you straight?”
 
It’s such a casual question and yet to Jeongguk, it feels straightly intimate. “Weren’t you just saying that you’re sure that I’m straight?” he jokes.
 
“Yeah, but-” Taehyung averts his gaze elsewhere. “Just wanna know.”
 
Jeongguk shrugs. “I think so? I mean, I’ve only dated and fucked girls so I wouldn’t know for sure, but I’ve never felt the urge to go and actively seek out guys. I’ve never seen a shirtless dude on T.V. and popped a boner or anything either. Does that make me straight?”
 
“I want to say that you won’t know unless you try,” Taehyung says. “Do you wanna try?”
 
Suddenly the atmosphere feels too heavy and Jeongguk’s palms feel clammy. “Try what?”
 
Taehyung’s tongue darts out to wet his bottom lip and the dark intensity in his eyes from the party is back and Jeongguk is reminded of just how long ago it was. “To see if you like guys.”
 
“And how do you propose that?” the boy can’t believe that he’s seriously considering this.
 
Taehyung scoots across the couch to move closer to him and rests his left hand against Jeongguk’s knee and he feels like Taehyung’s touch is searing through his pants. “We could platonically make out?” the idea of two male friends platonically making out seems absurd, but Jeongguk knows what Taehyung is trying to say. If we label this as just a bro thing then it’s just friends helping each other and it’s not cheating. Not that cheating is something that Jeongguk is particularly worried about that, but Taehyung doesn’t need to know that.
 
“Uh,” Jeongguk laughs awkwardly. “Sure, I guess.”
 
For a moment they do nothing but hover, neither of them are sure of who should move first. Jeongguk mentally kicks himself in the head because kissing someone was never something he got nervous over and he was acting like an awkward teenager who’d never got his dick wet before. So he steels his nerves, internally berating himself for being a pussy before leaning in to press their lips together. The kiss is awkward at first, resembling some shitty kdrama scene where their lips barely graze another and remain unmoving. Taehyung was obviously letting Jeongguk take the lead since this was all about him discovering his own sexuality, so Jeongguk presses his lips more firmly against the older boy’s, moving experimentally; hesitantly. Taehyung’s own lips were soft and warm and the shy movements were enough for him to feel butterflies in his stomach. Jeongguk begins to gain confidence, bringing one hand to glide up Taehyung’s neck and rest on his cheek causing the older boy to shiver. His other hand moving to rest lazily against Taehyung’s slender hip. The kiss is slow and sweet but then there’s a hunger gnawing at Jeongguk and the too innocent touches aren’t enough.
 
His tongue snakes out to lightly graze the older boy’s lips but he refuses Jeongguk access, his mouth remaining shut. Jeongguk continues to tease him before growing frustrated at the lack of response and latching onto Taehyung’s bottom lip who gasps in response. Jeongguk growls before taking the chance to dart his tongue into his mouth. There was nothing special about the way Taehyung tasted. He tasted of saliva and the crackers he had eaten earlier, but to Jeongguk it was heaven and when Taehyung’s tongue lashed out to meet his, the boy could feel something akin to hot electricity shooting down to his groin and bubbling like molten lava in his stomach. He began to lose himself in the feeling of Taehyung’s lips against his own and the kiss transformed into something more heavy and frantic. The hand that had been resting against Taehyung’s waist snaked around to the curve of his lower back and Jeongguk pulled the older boy against him until he was practically on top of Jeongguk, straddling him. The kiss became all teeth and tongue and before either of them could register what they were doing, Taehyung’s grinding down into Jeongguk’s lap while the latter rolls his hips up to meet his thrusts. It’s all too fucking hot and Jeongguk can’t help but shudder at the pretty sounds Taehyung makes. Jeongguk is half tempted to rub Taehyung through his sweats until he comes, and he was terribly regretting his decision to wear skinny jeans because the friction just wasn’t enough. But hearing Taehyung’s broken moans as he rubbed himself off on Jeongguk’s lower stomach was enough to send the boy spiraling. All he could think about was how Taehyung would look coming undone, soiling his own pants and he was just about to give into the temptation and reach down to grab Taehyung’s cock through his sweats when the older boy pulls back. Jeongguk groans at the loss, nearly grabbing Taehyung tightly by the nape of his hair and smashing his lips back to Jeongguk’s, but then he’s blinking through the haze of lust and his vision begins to focus.
 
And god, Taehyung looks so fucking wrecked sitting on Jeongguk’s lap. His hair tousled from where Jeongguk had grabbed a handful at some point, cheeks flushed scarlet and lips swollen and slick with spit. He looks so goddamn pretty and if Jeongguk didn’t know better, he’d press Taehyung against the couch and screw him right there and then. They both were panting heavily and Jeongguk was aware of the thin sheen of sweat that dampened his fringes. How long had they been making out? It had seemed like eternity and Jeongguk was surprised that no one had walked in on the two of them basically dry humping the fuck out of each other.
 
“You still straight?” Taehyung asks breathlessly, still wrestling for air.
 
Jeongguk struggles to regain his composure; easier said than done when his achingly hard cock is pressed against Taehyung’s. Jeongguk was mortified at how hard he gotten and there was no way that Taehyung didn’t feel it, no matter if Jeongguk’s skinny jeans practically cut off air circulation.
 
“Y-yeah,” he stutters out. “I’m sure.”
 
Taehyung smirks. “Are you sure about that?” he makes a show of purposefully squirming around on Jeongguk’s lap who grabs his waist in return to keep him still. “Because your little friend is saying otherwise.”
 
Jeongguk laughs breathlessly, throwing his head back so it rests against the sofa. “Fuck.”
 
Taehyung smiles and Jeongguk thinks that he could get used to seeing the sun everyday.



❃❃❃❃


“I think I wanna fuck Taehyung.”
 
Yoongi, who had been drifting in and out of sleep sprawled across his bed on his stomach like a starfish, pops his eyes wide open and nearly blanches at his best friend who was currently laying on his own bed and staring up at the ceiling with his hands folded underneath his head.
 
“What the fuck are you talking about, kid?” Yoongi grumbles.
 
“We made out yesterday and I think I kinda liked it.”
 
He turns to Yoongi who raises a brow. “You think you’re gay?”
 
“Nah. I just like kissing Taehyung.”
 
“That’s gay dumbass. But what about-” Yoongi pauses, rolling over onto his back and sitting up with a clear all to knowing frown on his face. “Jeongguk, you aren’t seriously thinking of…”
 
“I’ve never done this kinda thing with a guy, hyung,” Jeongguk admits. “I think I’m gonna break up with Ana. She’s getting too clingy and-
 
“No,” Yoongi says firmly, cutting him off.
 
Jeongguk blinks. “What?”
 
“I said no,” Yoongi repeats, jaw clenched tightly. “Taehyung is a nice kid, don’t drag him into your shit. I’m serious, Jeongguk.”
 
“Taehyung may not be a brother or anything, but the other guys really like him. Hoseok never stops asking when you’re gonna bring him around again and Namjoon finally has someone to laugh at his dad jokes. He doesn’t deserve to be a victim of whatever issues you have.”
 
This time, it’s Jeongguk’s turn to look a little pissed. “You’ve only known him for a month. I don’t get what the big deal is. It’s almost as if you wanna stick your dick in him instead.” He knew that what he was saying was low, that he was practically guilt tripping Yoongi into getting his way, but Jeongguk didn’t understand why his friend was so adamant about him leaving Taehyung alone when he had never gotten involved before. Yoongi certainly didn’t approve of Jeongguk’s actions and had voiced his disdain in the past but never had he gotten angry over it.
 
“It’s not about that and you know it,” Yoongi remarks rather sharply. “Taehyung ain’t like those girls you fuck with, Guk. I can see it in your eyes. He’s your friend. He’s our friend.” Jeongguk blinks because he’s never really attached Taehyung to the label of “friend” and hearing Yoongi voice it out loud was strange to his ears.
 
“We’re not friends,” Jeongguk hisses out as if the mere concept  is poison.
 
Yoongi sighs deeply, shoulders slumping as he moves to grab a cigarette from the pack lying at the edge of the end table and lights it. “I know that you’re supposed to be the angsty anti hero or whatever, but you do have other friends man; whether you want to admit it or not.”
 
Jeongguk frowns at this. “You’re the only friend I need, hyung.”
 
Yoongi takes a long drag, ash landing on the fabric of his jeans. “I don’t know why you keep doin’ this to yourself, Guk. It’s okay to trust people. It’s okay to be yourself around others ‘cos not everybody is out to get you. You can’t stay like this forever ‘cos one day it’s gonna backfire and end up hurting you.”
 
Jeongguk’s lips almost curl into a snarl at the mention of trust. He laughs cynically. “That’s impossible cause I don’t feel pain, hyung. I lost that sentiment long ago.”
 
Yoongi squints at Jeongguk who is suddenly very interested in the cracks in the ceiling and refuses to look his way. “We all feel pain one way or another, Guk. That’s just how humans are.”



❃❃❃❃


When Ana texts Jeongguk again the next day and asks if he wants to go out to the bar together the upcoming Friday, he doesn’t say no even though he would very much spend his Friday night at the game cafe with Taehyung. The older boy is surprised when Jeongguk actually turns him down for their usual routine of attempting to study in the library before quickly abandoning their textbooks for Overwatch tournaments, but he doesn’t object.
 
Things more or less had gone back to the way they were after their heated make out session that had almost resulted in Jeongguk tearing their clothes off and fucking Taehyung into oblivion. No, it was almost as if none of that had ever happened. Jeongguk lived in a perpetual state of acting like everything was always perfectly fine and just assumed that to Taehyung it really had just been a bro thing. So the incident was swept under the rug and never talked about. Except, Jeongguk really wouldn’t mind kissing Taehyung again in a less than platonic way. The older boy had become his new fixation and he was ready to cast Ana aside. She had been his longest lasting relationship since college started and he was going to dismantle them. He was going to dismantle seven months of I love you’s because he wanted to; because he could.
 
These were the exhilarating moments that Jeongguk lived for.
 
He picks Ana up around 8p.m. and tells her that she looks beautiful in red. She’d look even more beautiful to him after the night was over; after he broke her. Jeongguk kept up the play of the perfect boyfriend. A chaste kiss on the lips as she climbs into the car and easy conversation filled with flirtatious comments from Jeongguk that make her laugh as he drives downtown towards the night scene of Hongdae. He intertwined their fingers and kisses the back of her hand with a smile plastered onto his face. Ana asks him if anything good had happened to him because he was acting more jubilant than usual and he simply squeezes her hand and says that he had just missed her. Jeongguk didn’t tell her that tonight he was going to wrench the ‘U’ from the ‘S’ and there was nothing that she could do about it but sit there and fall apart. He would let her bathe in the last few moments of misplaced feelings before he tore her soul into tiny fragments.
 
Jeongguk was heaven and Ana had long overstayed her welcome. It was time for her to plummet back down to the cruel reality called earth.
 
Jeongguk let Ana drag him to her favorite bar and even bought a pricey margarita for her. It was almost as if she were a cancer patient and the boy was fulfilling her last wishes  before she passed on. In a way, it was true; because Ana was like a malignant tumor growing on Jeongguk that needed to be cut off. He often wondered if some of the girls he broke preferred death over broken hearts. Ana teases him about winning the lottery or something because Jeongguk was really being far too generous. He simply says that he’ll tell her later.  She laughs. Ana always laughs at Jeongguk’s antics but this time he drinks her laughter in and lets it seep into his bones because this will be the last time he’ll ever see the upturn of her lips and bright eyes. Tonight, Jeongguk will kill his girlfriend of seven months.
 
Ana’s talking animatedly now, hands waving around as she tells him a crazy story about her spring break last year but Jeongguk’s too busy drinking in every smile and crinkling of her eyes and committing it to memory to hear anything. These last few minutes of bliss are crucial and he must brand every expression she makes into his photographic memory. This is the moment when everything falls apart.
 
This is where it ends.
 
“This is what I look like when I pretend that I’m listening to you,” he says. Ana merely stutters over what she’s saying for a moment before laughing and calling him a jerk for making such a douchey joke. They always think it’s a joke. Jeongguk rests his chin in the palm of his hand and cocks his head to the side. “I’m pretending to listen but I don’t care about what you have to say. I’m pretending that you’re not boring as fuck to listen to.”  He then lets out a comical laughter as if she’s just made the most hilarious comment. “This is what I look like when I’m pretending that you’re funny even if your shit humor makes me want to jump off of Yanghwa Bridge.”
 
Ana’s just staring at him now, smile starting to falter as the corner of her mouth twitches. She still doesn’t get it.
 
“And this is what I look like when I pretend that I’m in love with you.” Jeongguk shoots her a smile so blindingly endearing as if she’s the only girl on the planet and he wouldn't want to be with any other.“This is the part where I call you gorgeous and tell you that I love you- I don’t by the way, in case you don’t get that. I know that you sorority girls with daddy issues are a bit slow in the head.”
 
She doesn’t say anything but she’s no longer smiling. He’s really got her going now.
 
“Do you still not get it? I never loved you, not even once while I was fucking your loose cunt and I never will.”
 
She still doesn’t respond but Jeongguk notices the way her eyes aren’t shining anymore. He wonders if this what stars look like when they die.
 
“Your tits are saggy.”
 
Silence.
 
“I have to think of other girls to get a hard on. I’ve even cheated on you on more than a couple of occasions.”
 
She’s holding her breath.
 
“I think it’s about time we end things, don't you think?” He’s no longer smiling warmly at her like usual. Jeongguk’s expression is hard and unreadable. “This is the part where I break up with you.”
 
Her bottom lip is trembling now.
 
“And this is the part where you leave.”
 
“W-what do you mean?” she’s choking on her words, blinking owlishly at him. “Jeongguk, if this is a joke you’re really going too far so-
 
“The only joke here is you,” he cuts her off smoothly as he leans back in his chair and takes a long sip from his own margarita.

“B-but, I don’t get it. We’ve never fought a-and we get along so well. Everything was going so perfectly. I don’t understand. I just- I-” this time, Ana’s the one to stop herself short.
 
“I never loved you,” Jeongguk reiterates. “But I hope you loved me. I hope I’m all you think about for the next three months and I hope that waking up every morning knowing that I’m gone destroys you. I hope you see me in every stop sign and park bench. I hope that you think that no other guy will treat you better than I did.”
 
There’s a moment of icy silence. And even though the bar is filled with voices and laughter, the silence between them is deafening. Ana slowly starts to come to the realization that she had just been played with and he watches the emotions bubble up inside of her before her dam breaks open and her eyes glaze over, but she doesn’t cry. Not just yet.
 
He stands up. “I should go now.”
 
“Why?” it’s a whisper that he barely catches. “Wuh-why a-are you doing th-this to me?”
 
They always ask that and Jeongguk still doesn’t have a clear answer.
 
“It’s the price to pay,” he says.
 
Her nose flares and she’s breathing heavily now, gaze unfocused. Jeongguk imagines that her fingernails are creating crescents in her palms right about now. “The puh-price o-of what?”
 
“Loving me.”
 
She begins to shake.
 
“Don’t forget about me,” Jeongguk nearly demands. “I left some of my sweaters in your room just to make sure you don’t. You can wrap yourself up in ‘em and maybe my old sweaters might keep your bones from breaking when you cry yourself to sleep tonight and the next night and the one after that and...” He grabs the leather jacket that had been slung over the back of the chair and slides it on. “Ah, well you get the point.” He flashes her a vicious smile. “Goodbye, Ana. It was fun while it lasted, really. You weren’t nearly half as bad as the other’s.”
 
Jeongguk doesn’t expect her to respond. He doesn’t expect her to stand up and scream “fuck you, Jeon Jeongguk!” before picking up her drink and throwing it at his face. The commotion draws a few turned heads who whisper about a lover's quarrel and Jeongguk grimaces. She’s wiping at her tears angrily and her face has twisted into an ugly snarl. “You’re gonna regret this. I’m gonna make sure of it!” And then she’s storming off and leaving Jeongguk alone with the stench of alcohol so overpowering it nearly makes him nauseous.
 
Jeongguk wishes that she had hit him instead because maybe then he would feel something.

❃❃❃❃


Kim Taehyung is very gay and Jeon Jeongguk is very hot and very straight.
 
Or, at least that was the conclusion that Taehyung had come to when he first met the younger boy. Jeongguk was the model good Christian student who was respected in his frat, a sport junky who was said to excel in anything and everything, and spent a lot of time raising money for charity. He was young and doe-eyed but masculine in all of the right places and exuded an aura that screamed “I’m a straight frat boy!” but Taehyung had still stupidly developed a crush on said boy.
 
Taehyung knew that people found him weird and off putting. He had a strange sense of fashion that turned heads and even with his medication he spoke too fast and couldn’t sit still half of the time unless it involved planting his ass in a game cafe for eight hours straight and playing League. He was was strange and said the wrong things and as a kid people always whispered behind his back. His teachers said that he was more trouble than he was worth and his classmates called him a freak. Taehyung had been ostracized from his peers since childhood but then Jimin came along in middle school and actually found comfort in the boy. He had told Taehyung that his fashion sense was cool and was patient when Taehyung’s mouth ran ahead of his thoughts and he stumbled over his words. Taehyung thought that he would never meet anyone who accepted him the way Jimin did until he met Jeongguk.  
 
Jeongguk who was two years his junior and had a head start in college because he was smart. Jeongguk who had look mortified when some random chick groped him at Alpha Omega nearly two months ago. Jimin had dragged him to the party because he had to get wasted after a shitty break up and when the boy had first laid eyes on Jeongguk, he found that he couldn’t look away. Taehyung had watched Jeongguk from across the room for what seemed like hours. The younger had been surrounded by a group of what Taehyung dubbed as “fuckboys” who stared at him like he was some idol and he had looked at ease despite being surrounded by suck ups begging for his attention.
 
But then Taehyung had encountered him in the kitchen and found out that Jeongguk was actually kind of awkward and he couldn’t help but find that endearing. Jeongguk was awkward but sexy in a dangerous way that drew the older boy in.
 
Taehyung had expected Jeongguk to push him away and call him a freak like everyone else did. He knew that he was a draining person to be around and had prepared himself for Jeongguk to turn tail and run. But he didn’t. Taehyung thinks that Jeongguk must have been a saint or something in another life because the younger boy had claimed that he thought that Taehyung was cool and Taehyung felt stupidly giddy at his words. He had felt a sense of relief when Jeongguk didn’t look at him in disgust when he confessed that he was gay. His mind had been overflowing with too many things at once and he couldn’t help but make the stupid mistake of asking Jeongguk if he wanted to make out. He had immediately regretted saying anything. But to his surprise, Jeongguk had agreed to it and if Taehyung wasn’t whipped before then he certainly was now. Jeongguk had practically devoured his soul and Taehyung could still feel his burning touch even after he left.
 
“I really like him,” Taehyung confesses  to Jimin through a mouthful of fries. They had ditched Chemistry to go eat the greasy junk food that Jeongguk hated.
 
Jimin raises a brow. “Who? That Jeongguk kid?” Taehyung had mentioned him on numerous occasions and had been gone so often that Jimin often joked about how he had replaced him with Jeongguk, to which Taehyung vehemently denied because Jimin was someone who could never be replaced. Jimin was someone who had seen flowers blooming underneath overgrown weeds when everyone else had just labeled him as a kid with issues.
 
“Yeah,” Taehyung says flatly. “Him.”
 
Jimin dips a fry into ketchup and mayo before popping it into his mouth and Taehyung believes that his best friend is going to hell for committing such an atrocity. “Then why don’t you tell him?”
 
Taehyung snorts. “Ah, yes. Let me just confess my feelings to a straight guy who I have no chance with and then be rejected and ruin our friendship.”
 
“But didn’t you guys like make out or something?” Taehyung tells him that they did but it had just been platonic. A strict bro thing. Jimin rolls his eyes at this. “Okay, so you’re telling me that he eats your face off and you almost came in your pants humping each other like two horny dogs, but he’s straight ?” Taehyung just nods at him dumbly with flushed cheeks and points out that he has a girlfriend. “Kim Taehyung, you are unbelievable.”
 
Taehyung twirls the straw in his coke, the ice knocking against the glass. “Let’s just say that he hypothetically isn’t straight. Let’s say that Jeongguk hypothetically likes dick. That doesn’t change anything.”
 
“How so?”
 
Taehyung frowns. “‘Cos I’m me and Jeongguk is…” Perfect. Unattainable. Popular. Hot. “...he’s way out of my league.”
 
Jimin laughs at this. “Have you seen yourself, Taetae? You may not be no football playing frat boy but you’re hot as hell. Do you see the way the girls in Chem fuck you with their eyes?” Taehyung furrows his eyebrows in confusion. “God, you’re so clueless sometimes it hurts.”
 
“He wouldn’t like someone like me,” Taehyung mumbles.
 
“Just try to talk to him, okay?”
 
“I will.”
 
But of course, Taehyung doesn’t. When he sees Jeongguk again neither of them mention the incident. Taehyung wants to. He really does. He spends an hour hyping himself up for it but then Jeongguk mentions going on a date with his girlfriend Friday and Taehyung is brought back down to reality. Jeongguk doesn’t seem bothered by what happened between them and Taehyung knows that it’s idiotic for him to be hurt by his friend’s indifference, but he is. Every time Jeongguk mentions his girlfriend or her name pops up on his phone screen, Taehyung is reminded that Jeongguk is not his and that he never will be.
 
There had been a few times when Taehyung had called Jeongguk only to hear the sound of a female voice giggling in the background and his friend would sound rather breathless through the receiver. Taehyung knew that he shouldn’t, but he couldn’t help but conjure up the image of Jeongguk naked in bed with the girl that he loves and his chest constricts so tightly that sometimes he feels like he’s going to die.
 
Taehyung wonders if it’s possible to feel heartbroken over someone whom he’d never been romantically involved with in the first place. He doesn’t know, but the feeling sticks to his ribcage like realizing it was raining on vacation and he couldn’t wish it away. It was like finding out that fairytales aren’t real and he’s not the hero of some cheesy action novel.
 
It’s worse when Taehyung gets angry about it but he knows that he can’t direct it at Jeongguk because it’s not the boy’s fault. It’s not the boy’s fault that Taehyung is clingy and pathetic. It’s not the boy’s fault that he was born so incredibly handsome that it takes Taehyung’s breath away. There are times when Taehyung can’t help but think about the way Jeongguk’s lips felt against his as he was dry humped to a near orgasm and Taehyung gets hard; sometimes achingly so. He tries to ignore it but then he’s jerking himself off in the shower with the heat burning his skin till it’s red and Jeongguk’s name is falling brokenly from his lips as he chases his orgasm. Taehyung can’t help but feel dirty in these moments and almost wants to cry. He can’t help but feel as if he’s done something so incredibly wrong. It’s guilt that gnaws on him every time he sees his friend.
 
Taehyung doesn’t see Jeongguk for four days after his date Friday night and he can’t help but feel anxious because it’s the longest that they’ve been apart since their friendship had blossomed a couple of months ago. Jeongguk doesn’t reply to Taehyung’s slew of over used emojis as much and when he does, it’s usually just one worded replies. Jeongguk still comes to class, but he doesn’t say much to Taehyung. His friend looks haggard and worn down. There are bags under his eyes and sometimes his eyes are glazed over and bloodshot. Jeongguk sniffles and wipes his nose on the back of his sleeve and when Taehyung asks him if he’s alright for the millionth time, Jeongguk just tells them that he thinks that he’s coming down with a cold or something.
 
Doubt gnaws at Taehyung but he quickly dismisses it because Jeongguk does look sickly and he feels bad for feeling as if Jeongguk’s avoiding him when the boy leaves as soon as class is over. Jeongguk has never give Taehyung a reason to lie him and he would like to think that they were close enough to be open and honest with each other. The older boy trusted Jeongguk, he really did. He was kind and always willing to help others and even though there were rumors about Jeongguk’s bad track record of relationships, Taehyung had only ever seen the kind side of the boy. He trusted him, but sometimes Taehyung felt as if there was something underneath those layers of wide smiles and doe eyes that he didn’t know about. Sometimes Jeongguk’s smile would falter and he’d give Taehyung a look that he couldn’t quite discern. But it was a look that never lingered for more than a second.
 
Taehyung knows that he should probably just leave things be but worry gnawed at him and he spent a good half hour sitting at his desk, staring at his phone screen and chewing on his lower lip before he decided to call Yoongi who picked up on the last ring.
 
“Whaddya want kid?” his voice is laced with sleep and if it was anyone else, Taehyung would have questioned why the hell they were sleeping at 3p.m. but this was Yoongi and he was always unconventional.
 
“Don’t you just sound ecstatic to hear from me,” Taehyung can’t help but tease.
 
Yoongi sighs down the line. “Well, you did just wake me up from a much needed nap.”
 
Taehyung frowns to himself. “I didn’t mean to wake you up. I can call you back later.”
 
Rustling could be heard and Taehyung presumed that Yoongi was sitting up. “It’s fine. Just spit it out, kid.”
 
“Hyung, is Jeongguk okay?”
 
Silence.
 
“Hyung?”
 
“Yeah,” Yoongi responds after a drawn out moment. “Why do you ask?”
 
Taehyung shifts in his chair uncomfortably. Why did he feel like he was walking on eggshells right now? Why did he feel as if he asked something he shouldn’t have? “It’s just that Gukkie really hasn’t been looking all too good this week and I’m worried about him, y’know? He said that he’s got a cold or something but…”
 
“What, you think he’s lying?” Yoongi asks with an edge to his voice.
 
“Of course not!” Taehyung says quickly. “He wouldn’t ever lie to me like that, right?”
 
“Right.”
 
“I’m just worried ‘s all.”
 
“Don’t sweat it, kid. He’s just feeling under the weather.”
 
Taehyung hopes that Yoongi’s right.

❃❃❃❃


Yoongi’s words prove to be true because the next day Jeongguk shoots him a text saying that he’s feeling better and asks if they want to hang out. Taehyung tells him that Jimin planned a little get together over the weekend at their apartment and asks Jeongguk to come, who in response, tells the older boy that he can’t wait to meet his rival that threatens his position of being the coolest friend.
 
Saturday rolls around and Taehyung’s shoulders nearly slump in relief when he opens the front door to see a very okay looking Jeongguk with clear eyes and color to his his skin. His cheeks don’t look so sunken either and his lips are no longer chapped. He shoots Taehyung a blinding smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes before he’s blurting out “Tae, what the hell happened to your hair?” A grin nearly splits his face in half and he’s keeling over in laughter. “Fucking A, dude!”
 
Taehyung grimaces. Jimin had attempted to dye his hair to match his own sunset orange but instead, it had come out in a shade of hideous red that hurt to look at.
 
A flash of blonde pops around Jeongguk’s shoulder to reveal Yoongi with his signature frown ever so present. He simply stares at Taehyung blankly and says, “you look like a stop light.”
 
“Eat shit, guys.”
 
Yoongi’s remark has Jeongguk wheezing now and Taehyung threatens to slam the door in their faces if they don’t stop being assholes. Jeongguk somehow manages to collect himself and lifts a hand to take strands of red hair between his fingers. “It’s not that bad. It’s cute,” he says.
 
Taehyung turns away to hide the blush creeping up his cheeks and tells them to hurry their asses inside. The rest of his friends were lounging in the living room. On the coffee table copious amounts of alcohol were placed about while four boys lounged on the furniture around it.
 
Hoseok jumps to his feet when he sees the two boys. “Jeonggukie! You made it!”
 
Taehyung nearly snickers as Hoseok grabs Jeongguk by the wrist and forces him to the spot next to him, shoving Namjoon to make room on the couch, who in turn calls him a cunt.
 
Seokjin, who looks rather comfortable sitting in arm chair offers Jeongguk a smile and the boy feels intimidated because the older male looks like someone who should be on the cover of a fashion magazine.. “You must be Jeongguk. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
 
Jeongguk scratches his cheek, something Taehyung notices that the boy did when he was nervous. “Ah, really?”
 
Jimin smiles rather deviously from his position on the floor. “Oh yeah, you’re all he talks about. He says-
 
“This is Jimin,” Taehyung cuts him off as he fights the flush from spreading to his entire face. “He’s the best friend I was telling you about. And Jimin,” he motions to the blonde who’s still standing kind of awkwardly. “This is Yoongi hyung.”
 
Taehyung doesn’t miss the sparkle in Jimin’s eyes as he very obviously checks out Yoongi before turning his attention back to Jeongguk. “You’re a lot cuter than I expected,” Jimin remarks. He then asks Jeongguk to sit next to him, to which he happily obliges to because Hoseok seems to be smoldering the poor kid.  Taehyung plops himself down on the floor on the other side of Jeongguk and warns Jimin to not steal him away.
 
The night is tame and the seven of them drink and tell stories and Taehyung learns that Hoseok likes to tell tall tales when he’s drunk but everyone else seems to be used to his ridiculous stories.
 
“I’m tellin’ ya that I took ‘em both down at the same time!” he slurs.
 
Namjoon chortles at this. “That’s such bullshit. How can you fight an entire gang when you’re almost as skinny as Yoongi?”
 
“Hey, asshole. I’m right here.”
 
They all laugh before Hoseok starts talking about two hotties he’d met down in Busan during the summer and Namjoon once again calls bullshit cause Hoseok was actually quite shy around the opposite sex.
 
“Do any of us actually even have girlfriends or are we all just sore losers?” Seokjin jokes.
 
Everyone voices their agreement but then Hoseok puts Jeongguk on the spot and makes drunkenly inappropriate comments about how Jeongguk could get any girl he wanted and makes a jibe about the younger boy fucking half of the girls in Zeta Pi. Taehyung thought that Hoseok’s words were making Jeongguk uncomfortable, but the boy laughed anyway. “Don’t you have a girlfriend right now?” Hoseok asks. “I think her name was Amy...Amanda...Ar...Ab...I dunno.”
 
Jeongguk chuckles. “Her name is Ana, but we’re not together anymore. Broke things off last Friday.”
 
Taehyung’s eyebrows practically shoot up past his hairline. “You’re not?” he sounds more surprised than he intended to.
 
“Nah.”
 
“Why’d you break up?” Taehyung’s eyes drifts to Yoongi. He wasn’t sure if his buzzed mind was playing tricks on him or if he was overthinking it, but a part of him felt as if the elder boy was seething underneath his nonchalance. Taehyung’s gaze flickered between the two friends and they seemed to communicate something with their expressions that he couldn’t decipher.
 
“Because,” Jeongguk says, eyes never once leaving Yoongi. “Things just weren’t working out.”
 
The other’s seemed oblivious to the tension between the pair and offered Jeongguk their condolences with Seokjin commenting that there were plenty of fish in the sea, especially for someone as handsome as him.
 
It wasn’t long before Hoseok was telling dramatic stories again, which resulted in drunken arguments that Seokjin tried to mediate. Taehyung was practically grinning from ear to ear at how childish the whole ordeal was as Namjoon stood up on wobbly legs and pointed an accusing finger at Hoseok before going on some sort of philosophical tangent.
 
Jeongguk had been rather quiet so Taehyung turned his attention to him and didn’t miss the way that while Jimin was laughing and joining in on the argument, he would glance at the younger boy out of the corner of his eye too often. Jeongguk smiled, but this time it seemed rather forced.
 
“Guk?” Jeongguk hums in response. “Do you wanna stay the night?” Jeongguk asks him if he’s sure if it’s fine, to which Taehyung points out that he and Yoongi always let him crash at their place and that there was plenty of room on Taehyung’s full sized bed. The boy agrees to stay and the night drags on until Seokjin suggests that they all start heading home, but Taehyung just thinks that he doesn’t want to deal with the consequence of a completely shitfaced Jung Hoseok.
 
Everyone begins to gather up their things and say their goodbye’s and Jimin tells Yoongi that he’s welcome to stay as well to which he obliges because he’s drunk and isn’t sure if he’ll end up in the right room without Jeongguk. Said boy’s eyes are currently drooping and so Taehyung leans over and asks him if he wants to go to bed in a low voice and he nods in response. Taehyung waves goodnight to Jimin and Yoongi who helps clean up and nearly grins at the idea of the pair being alone together.
 
Taehyung had underestimated how much Jeongguk had to drink because while he himself was buzzed, Jeongguk stumbles to Taehyung’s room and collapsed face first into the bed with a groan.
 
Taehyung laughs. “C’mon Guk, let’s get you into something more comfortable, yeah? You do not want to sleep in skinny jeans.” The boy grunts in agreement but finds it hard to undo the button of his pants so Taehyung helps him, shimmying Jeongguk out of the constricting pants and throwing them haphazardly onto the floor. He moves to help Jeongguk with his shirt, but just as his fingers lift the hem, Jeongguk’s hand lashes out to grab his wrist and his eyes have snapped open to stare at Taehyung with a certain intensity that makes him squirm because whenever Jeongguk looked at him he was always smiling.
 
“Don’t,” he says it like a command and the sudden seriousness in his voice makes Taehyung swallow.
 
“Sure,” he says before backing away to go get changed into more comfortable attire and brush the taste of alcohol from his mouth. Jeongguk shoots him a tired smile when he returns and moves over so that Taehyung can climb into the bed with him and under the covers.
 
For a moment, it’s silent.
 
“Did you really break up with her?” Taehyung murmurs.
 
“Yeah.”
 
Taehyung studies Jeongguk more closely, moving his head across the pillow so that there’s barely a centimeter of space between them. Taehyung stares at him. “Did you love her?”

Jeongguk holds his gaze unflinchingly, but he doesn’t answer.
 
Taehyung turns to look at the ceiling.
 
“Hey, Tae?” the older boy hums in response. “Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking one day there will be no heart at all?”
 
Taehyung turns his head back towards Jeongguk but almost wishes that he hadn’t. Jeongguk has that look on his face again. One that always disappears so quickly as if it was never even there in the first place, but this time it lingers. It lingers and Taehyung notices the way that the younger boy’s mouth is set in a firm line but that isn’t the worst of it.
 
No, it’s the dullness of the brown eyes that Taehyung has come to love that scares him. “What do you mean, Guk?”
 
Jeongguk blinks and then his face is relaxing into something more pleasant, more familiar. He then does something that surprises Taehyung. He leans forward and places a chaste kiss on his brow and Taehyung feels his heartbeat speed up.
 
“It’s nothing. Goodnight, Tae,” Jeongguk mumbles sleepily as he turns his back to him.
 
“Goodnight, Guk.”
 
But it does feel like it’s something so that night, Taehyung wraps an arm around his friend and holds him as close as he can because for some inexplicable reason, he’s scared that the boy lying asleep next to him might disappear.


When Jeongguk wakes up the next morning, it’s not in his own bed and there’s someone breathing down his neck. He grimaces at the oncoming hangover that’s ready to knock his brain right out of his skull. He shifts to turn around in the person’s arms and sure enough, finds Taehyung sleeping peacefully next to him with his mouth slightly parted to breathe out puffs of hot air against Jeongguk’s skin. He looks almost ethereal and Jeongguk can’t help but reach out and run his fingers through his ridiculous red hair to trace the contours of his jawline. The boy has had his fair share of attractive girl’s, but Kim Taehyung is beautiful in a way that takes his breath away.  
 
Taehyung is beautiful in a way that it almost hurts.
 
The older boy sighs under Jeongguk’s touch and when he slowly begins to peel open his eyes, Jeongguk snatches his hand away as if he had just been burnt.
 
“G’morning,” he mutters as his lips stretch into a sleepy smile.
 
“We should dye your hair. You look ridiculous.” It’s not exactly what he wanted to say, but the last thing Jeongguk wanted was for Taehyung to know that he had practically been ogling him.
 
Taehyung blinks a couple of times before smacking the younger boy lightly on the arm. “Asshole.” Jeongguk laughs. “What color?”
 
“Blonde,” he says after a moment of contemplation.
 
“Blonde?”
 
“Yeah.”
 
“Why blonde?”
 
Jeongguk shrugs as he moves to sit up and ruffle his own hair, fingers snagging on the knots. “Just ‘cos I think it’d look cool.”
 
Taehyung grins and teases the younger boy about having a Yoongi complex. “Then blonde it is.”
 
They end up going to the store after Jimin makes pancakes for them all and Jeongguk had been genuinely surprised and rather impressed at the fact that sunset haired boy had managed to get Yoongi up so early, even if it had looked like he was falling asleep in his chair. Jeongguk told the two of his plans to get rid of Taehyung’s monstrous hair color, to which Jimin had laughed at and sent up a silent prayer for dramatics. Yoongi had said that looking at Taehyung’s hair gave him epilepsy and the boy threatened to dye Yoongi’s hair red in his sleep if he didn’t shut the fuck up.
 
They decide to dye Taehyung’s hair in the bathroom of his apartment but not before Jimin promises that blood will be shed if they get it everywhere. Jeongguk admits that he’s never dyed anyone else’s hair before, let alone his own but Taehyung merely says, “my fate is in your hands my dear Gukkie.”
 
Surprisingly enough, Jeongguk doesn’t completely destroy Taehyung’s hair, but he promises to never do it again because the chemical smell hurt his nose and made his eyes water. They had sat and watched T.V. in the living room for half an hour with a ridiculous cap over Taehyung’s head before the older boy got up to go wash it out.
 
When Taehyung shouts from the bathroom that he was done, the three boys all gather onto the couch and turned towards the bathroom door in anticipation.
 
“I hope that he’s bald,” Yoongi jibe’s and Jimin tells him to stop being so mean.
 
“I heard that!” Taehyung says as he swings open the door with more force than necessary and  makes his debut with a dramatic pose. “How do I look?”
 
Jimin’s the first one to jump to his feet and squeal. “You look so badass!”
 
Yoongi frowns, grabbing a strand of his own blonde hair and eyeing it disdainfully as he clicks his tongue. “Looks like I’m gonna have to go back to black.”
 
Taehyung runs a hand through his hair and strikes another pose, wiggling his eyebrows. “Of course I look amazing. I am the Kim Taehyung after all.” Jimin laughs and starts hooting and hollering, asking for his autograph while Yoongi gripes about blonde not being so cool anymore. But when Taehyung notices that Jeongguk hasn’t  said anything, he doesn’t look too sure of himself anymore. “What do you think, Guk? Does it look that bad?”
 
Jeongguk would find his fidgeting cute if he wasn’t so awestruck by how well the blonde complemented Taehyung’s tan complexion. “You look…” really fucking hot “...good. It really does suit you, Tae. I like it.”
 
Taehyung scratches the back of his head, a blush blossoming onto his cheeks. “Really?”
 
“Yeah. Promise.”
 
Yoongi makes a gagging sound. “You guys are fucking gross.” Jeongguk doesn’t miss the icy look his friend sends his way and he knows that he’s going to get a mouthful from Yoongi later on.
 
Jeongguk really doesn’t want to talk because there’s nothing to talk about. He hopes to slip away before the elder can even notice or outwait him and hang around Taehyung and Jimin all day, but Jimin is majoring in the medical field to be a doctor, which means spending hours at the library studying everyday and Taehyung has to go to the elementary school; slipping out isn’t an option because Yoongi is watching him like a hawk.
 
When they finally leave and head back towards the frat house, Yoongi doesn’t say anything for a good while. The chill of November has Jeongguk burying his hands deep into the pockets of his hoodie and the only sound to fill the silence is the crunch of shriveled up leaves beneath their feet. Jeongguk is hoping that Yoongi will just let it go and turn a blind eye like he always does, but luck does not seem to be on his side because as soon as Yoongi closes the door to their shared room, he unloads himself onto the boy.
 
“Jeon Jeongguk,” Yoongi uses his full name, something he ever only did when Jeongguk was in serious trouble. “Just what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
 
Jeongguk chews on the inside of his cheek. “I’m not doin’ shit, hyung.”
 
“Don’t give me that bs,” Yoongi growls. “I thought I told you to keep Taehyung out of this shit.”
 
The younger boy sighs. “He’s not even involved in anything, hyung.”
 
Yoongi looks like he’s about ready to throttle him. “Don’t lie to me. Don’t you dare lie to me, Jeongguk. You can lie to everyone else, but not me.”
 
“I’m not lying.”
 
“Yeah, you are. You’re a goddamn liar and I told you the first day we met that I didn’t do bullshit and yet shit is fallin’ right outta your mouth.”
 
Jeongguk clenches his fist. He wants to yell at Yoongi but he can’t, not when the guilt and shame of lying to the one person he’s ever been honest to is pressing down on him. “So what?” he mumbles. “So what if I’m playing with him?”
 
“I told you before. He’s our friend and friends don’t hurt each other. Not like this.”
 
Jeongguk bites his cheek so hard that he can taste blood. “He’s not my-”
 
“I see the way you look at him,” Yoongi’s voice softens considerably. “You look at Tae like he’s got the entire galaxy inside of ‘em. He’s not just another one of those girls you don’t give a shit about and when you hurt him you're gonna fuckin’ regret it,” he says. “He’s not just a friend to you ‘cos you lov-
 
Jeongguk stiffens. “Shut up. Shut the fuck up or I’ll make you.”
 
Yoongi’s mouth snaps shut at Jeongguk’s icy words. He had seen how people who had fallen victim to Jeongguk’s wrath had ended up and this was the first time the boy had ever directed such clear animosity towards him. And it’s obvious by the way Yoongi looks at him that the elder is walking on eggshells and knows that he should just stop; that he should just walk out and give them both some time to cool down, but if anyone is more stubborn than Jeongguk, then it’s his best friend.
 
“Or what? What the fuck are you gonna do Jeongguk?” Yoongi challenges him. “You and Tae obviously really care about each other. What’s so wrong with letting others give a shit about you? What’s so wrong with letting people love you, Guk? What are you so afraid of?”
 
Jeongguk’s breaths are coming in short pants now and his skin feels clammy. “D-don’t say shit like that towards me ever again. I ain’t scared of shit!”
 
“No one will ever love a monster like you.”
 
“I wish you were never born.”
 
“No wonder why your daddy can’t stand to look at you anymore.”
 
The voices ring inside his head and the room feels like it’s spinning. “Don’t ever- don’t ever fucking say that!”
 
Yoongi flinches at the way his voice rises. “I won’t. I’m sorry, Guk. Just calm down, okay? I didn’t mean it like-”
 
“I could never!” Jeongguk doesn’t know why, but breathing is becoming hard and it feels as if something is crushing his chest. He’s aware that he’s wheezing now. “I could never-” love Taehyung.
 
Yoongi’s eyes go wide. “Okay, seriously. You need to calm the fuck down, Guk. You’re starting to hyperventilate and I think you’re having a panic attack.” The elder reaches out towards him, but suddenly those hands aren’t the hands of his friend but they’re big and calloused and leave bruises to blossom into the shape of fingerprints.
 
Jeongguk begins to scream.
 
“No! No! Duh-don’t touch me!” he yanks his arm away from Yoongi- no, from the terrible monster in front of him who promises him pain and trips over himself to crash onto the floor. The impact is jarring and Jeongguk can’t see straight through his tunnel vision and the pain from the impact only makes him freak out even more.
 
“Guk! Jeongguk! Fuck !”
 
The boy continues to thrash on the floor as the hands fight to pin him down and he can feel nothing but raw fear coursing through his veins because he can’t let this happen, not again. He begins to scream even louder.  “Let me go! Let me go!”
 
There’s the sound of the door crashing open and a pair of feet running in. “What the fuck is going on here?!”
 
“Help me hold him down before he hurts himself, Namjoon!”
 
Namjoon doesn’t seem to question it and remains calm because then there’s another set of hands grabbing Jeongguk but it’s not the hands of his so-called friends and the touch is searing through his skin like acid. He’s scared. Jeongguk is so fucking scared and even though somewhere deep down he know’s that he’s in his room with Yoongi and Namjoon completely safe, his mind has him trapped in a dark place.
 
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. ” Jeongguk’s aware that he’s sobbing now, a sound the came out as an inhuman guttural noise.
 
“You have nothing to be sorry for, brother. It’s okay. We’re here with you.” That was Namjoon’s voice, right? Jeongguk didn’t know. All he knew was that the sheer terror he felt was overwhelming, so much so that he couldn’t seem to control his bowel movements and-
 
“Shit, did he just piss himself?”
 
“Hoseok, make sure not a single fucking person comes in here, got it?”
 
“Of course.” The sound of the door closing jolts Jeongguk down to his very core because it was so very loud in his head. It reminded him of the way his father slammed the door when he’d-
 
“Try to breathe, kid. You’re not wherever your mind is tellin’ you. You’re here with us. With your friends. That other shit is a lie. Just focus on my voice.”
 
But Jeongguk couldn’t focus on anything but the sound of his heartbeat in his ears. It was as if his head was underwater and everything else was muffled and there were hands touching him everywhere. He could do nothing but repeat apology after apology like a broken mantra until his voice was raw from screaming. It felt like he was dying and right now, Jeongguk wished that he was dead.
 
The last thing he remembers is the feeling of bile forcing it’s way up his throat as he pukes all over himself and Yoongi calling his name frantically, then everything went black.
 
The first thing that Jeongguk registers when he starts to regain consciousness is that his head feels it’s swimming. His eyelids are heavy and stained with dried tears as he fights to pry them open and his tongue feels thick, and if he had the energy, he’d grimace at the foul taste in his mouth. It takes awhile, but the fogginess starts to ebb away and it doesn’t feel like there’s so much cotton stuck in his ears, Jeongguk hears voices and it takes another minute for him to piece together coherent sentences.
 
“What the fuck happened, hyung?”
 
“I don’t know. I really don’t fucking know, man. He just freaked out on me and I…”
 
Jeongguk felt someone brush his hair away from his forehead and dab a cool rag to his skin. He still felt clammy and the feeling of being practically drenched in sweat was uncomfortable.
 
“Should I call Jimin? He’s a medical student in the neuro surgeon field.” Jeongguk was sure that the voice belonged to Namjoon.
 
There’s a moment of silence before Yoongi tells him not to. “He’ll be okay.”
 
“Are you sure about that? He just pissed himself and threw up, hyung.”
 
“Yeah. It’s just ‘cos he was scared.” Yoongi doesn’t sound too sure of himself and Namjoon tells him that he doesn’t think Jeongguk is okay at all. “Look, you can’t tell anyone, alright? Whatever happened today stays between me, you and Hoseok.”
 
“But what about Taehyung?”

“No,” the ice in Yoongi’s tone cuts through the heavy atmosphere. “Especially not Tae.”
 
A pause.
 
“Look,” Namjoon starts. “I know you’re the one who’s closest to Jeongguk. He’s a kid that doesn’t ever talk about shit when it’s hard, and I know that shit must be hard because he has so many expectations to live up to. I don’t expect you to tell me everything, but if you ever feel like he’s a danger to himself...don’t keep it to yourself, hyung.”
 
Jeongguk wants to jump up and grab Namjoon by the collar and shake him. He wants to tell him about how evil he truly is. He wants to tell him about what he did to Ana and then watch the older boy’s face twist into something akin to horror and disgust. If he told Namjoon, any affection that the man felt for him would disappear. But right now, everything still feels too heavy and when Jeongguk let's out a low moan, Yoongi calls out his name.
 
When Jeongguk finally pries his eyes open, the light filtering through the curtains causes a sharp pain to shoot up to the base of his skull and he whimpers. Yoongi asks Namjoon to close the curtains and Jeongguk blinks rapidly in an attempt to clear his vision.
 
“W-wuh…” it hurts to speak and his throat feels like it’s on fire.
 
Yoongi, who is perched next to him at the edge of the bed, offers a soft smile. “Hey kid.”
 
Jeongguk squints and doesn’t say anything but lets out another groan.  
 
Namjoon moves over the foot of the bed. “Are you sure he’s okay, hyung? He looks fucking delirious.”
 
Yoongi brushes his fingers through Jeongguk’s damp hair. “You with us?”
 
Jeongguk nods slowly in response. “‘s fine,” he slurs. “‘m fine.”
 
“Guk,” Yoongi starts. “Do you wanna talk about what happened?”
 
Suddenly, Jeongguk feels cold and he turns his head away from the pair to stare blankly at the wall.  Yoongi whispers something to Namjoon and he turns to leave but not before telling the younger boy that he hopes that he starts feeling better and then Jeongguk is left alone with the one person he doesn’t want to be alone in a room with right now.
 
For the next five minutes, no one speaks a word and Jeongguk wishes that the elder would just get up and leave him alone, but he still feels the indentation of Yoongi sitting on the bed and he doesn’t want to know what kind of expression the blonde is making.
 
“Christ Gukkie, I-”
 
“I dun’ wanna talk ‘bout it,” Jeongguk rasps out. He can practically feel Yoongi frowning at him.
 
“Well you can’t just act like nothing happened. You were knocked out cold for fucking ten minutes, Guk. I had to clean up your vomit and if I wasn’t a Psych major I would have called a fucking ambulance. Please talk to me, kid.” He can hear the desperation in his friend’s voice and Jeongguk wishes he could feel bad but all he feels right now is numbness that stabs him in his chest and spreads down to his fingertips.
 
He turns to finally look at the elder with an unreadable expression. “That’s exactly what I’m gonna do, hyung. I dun’ wanna talk ‘cos I dun’ wanna think. I’m a little bitch. I’m a lil bitch who pissed himself. I don’t wanna talk about jack shit.”
 
Yoongi sighs, “you’re not a bitch. You’re human, Guk and sometimes shit just happens.” Jeongguk wants to tell him that he’s not supposed to be human but a God. “You probably feel even worse than you look but let’s get you cleaned up at least, yeah?”
 
Jeongguk nods numbly. Sitting up makes him dizzy and when he swings his legs over the edge of the bed, his legs feel like jelly and he’s shaking too much to coordinate himself anywhere properly, so Yoongi has to help him up. Yoongi grunts at the weight of the younger leaning heavily against him. He peers out the door to check if anyone is lingering in the halls before quickly dragging the boy to the bathroom and locking it.
 
Jeongguk all but collapses onto the closed lid of the toilet seat and as he stares down at his hands, it is then that he notices that he’s in nothing but his shirt and underwear that smells like piss and concludes that Yoongi must have taken them off before he put him in bed. The older boy moves to turn on the faucet and fill up the bathtub and even though Jeongguk tells him that he is capable of doing it himself, Yoongi ignores him as he yanks Jeongguk’s shirt over his head and tells the boy to stand up so he can pull his underwear down. Yoongi’s nose scrunches up at the smell and he tosses the ruined undergarment in the trash but decides that the shirt can be salvaged with a good wash.  
 
The younger tries to ignore the overwhelming sense of shame he feels because Jeongguk is twenty years old and standing naked in front of his best friend, whom grabs him by the elbow to help him into the tub. Jeongguk feels pathetic as he all but sinks into the warm water that stings his skin and he’s almost tempted to drown himself right there and then because right now death seems more comforting than the ugly feeling that’s twisting his insides into a knot.
 
He brushes his teeth till he tastes blood on his tongue, and then Yoongi hands a loofah to him and the boy glides the soap lathered toiletry across his goosebump covered arms, but the motion starts to turn more frantic and soon the boy is practically scrubbing his skin so hard that it’s turning red. He thinks that maybe if he scrubs hard enough, it’ll wash away his sins, but then Yoongi is yelling at him to stop and prying the loofah out of the death grip he has on it.
 
“Jeongguk, what the fuck are you doing? You’re hurting yourself, stop!” Yoongi isn’t yelling but there’s a certain severity in his hissed whispers that has the boy relenting.
 
“I- I gotta wash it away. I’m duh-dirty. I’m dirty , hyung.” The warm water does not stop Jeongguk’s trembling.
 
“You ain’t dirty, Guk. I promise that you ain’t dirty,” Yoongi reassures him in a gentle voice that doesn’t suit his rough persona. But Jeongguk is rotten right down to his very core and even if he were to peel off his skin and all the layers of fat and muscle, he would still find maggots.
 
Yoongi washes Jeongguk’s hair with shampoo and the feeling of his friend’s fingers massaging at his scalp eases the headache. The elder has never been talkative but he starts rambling on about Hoseok being a terrible Chem partner who almost blew up their classroom and Jeongguk starts to feel a bit at ease as he listens to his friends complaints. When he’s finished washing Jeongguk’s hair, he pulls the boy out to sit him back on the toilet seat and proceeds to dry him down before stepping out to grab some clothes. It only takes a minute before Yoongi is rushing back all too quickly as if he’s scared to leave the boy alone. Getting Jeongguk dressed and back into their room is easier than it had been getting there because the boy is more steady on his feet and doesn’t drop his entire weight onto Yoongi’s small frame.
 
Jeongguk is surprised when Yoongi directs him towards his bed and not his own, but then the boy remembers that the sheets are probably covered in sweat and the smell of piss probably sticks to the to them like a haunting reminder of his weakness.
 
Yoongi grabs a cigarette before he lays next to Jeongguk and this time he doesn’t open the window but let’s the smoke cover the room in a thin haze and the elder surprises him once again when he puts his arm under the Jeongguk’s head and strokes at his soft locks soothingly. And for once, Jeongguk doesn’t tease his friend by calling him a pussy or complain about the stench of smoke as Yoongi takes another drag.
 
“Hyung?” he whispers.
 
“Hn?”
 
Jeongguk wets his lips. “You’re not gonna tell Tae, right?”
 
“Tell ‘em what?” That I’m a monster. “There ain’t nuthin’ to tell, kid.”
 
The younger silently thanks him as he rolls over to study the side of Yoongi’s face. His expression is relaxed and doesn’t give anything away, but Jeongguk knows that there’s a lot of things his friend wants to say but won’t.
 
“I only need you, hyung. I only need you ‘n no one else, ‘kay?”
 
Yoongi doesn’t say anything.
 
“You won’t ever betray me, right hyung?”
 
“Never.”
 
Jeongguk pretends that he doesn’t hear the way Yoongi’s voice trembles.
 
Yet another few weeks pass by in a blur and Jeongguk falls back into the routine of being a normal college student- well, as normal as someone like him could be. It’s almost the end of October, which means that the boy is swamped in frat responsibilities because Namjoon had been adamant about their house throwing the best party. Being one of the higher ranked brothers meant that all of the responsibility was forced onto Jeongguk because Hoseok was a lazy piece of shit who was only good at putting pledges through his hellish hazing ritual that were basically pledgicide. And despite Jeongguk’s initial objections over the ridiculous amount of things needed for the party on the list that Namjoon gave him (seriously, who the fuck needs a chocolate water fountain) the idiot of a president had simply waved him off and said, “go big or go home, bro.”
 
So Jeongguk set about the grueling task of doing charity work, while pushing the menial tasks of buying alcohol, snacks and decorations to the N.I.B’s. Hoseok had at least taken it upon himself to send out invitations and Yoongi was of no help at all because he all but vanished when he wasn’t in class to hang out with Jimin. Taehyung had said that they were cute together and told Jeongguk to give the elder a break when he had complained about Yoongi being an asshole. And Jeongguk really did give Yoongi a break, because while the incident a few weeks ago had been seemingly forgotten (it was the bro code of silence that kept Hoseok and Namjoon tight lipped) Jeongguk couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable knowing that they all had seen him so raw and exposed and weak. He didn’t want anyone, especially Yoongi, to see him look so pathetic ever again.
 
Jeongguk’s not sure where he and Taehyung stand, because while he has made efforts to make teasingly flirtatious comments and smirk in just the right way that makes girls practically drool, the older boy seems to be impervious to his advances. Jeongguk’s not sure if Taehyung is playing dumb or really doesn’t know when Jeongguk puts in extra effort to be touchy and his blonde counterpart just shoots him a boxy smile that leaves him feeling rather self conscious of how close they are. Either way, it’s a game of tug and no pull that’s starting to irritate him because Taehyung just isn’t biting and he’s almost tempted to give into Yoongi’s pleas to give up and move onto another sorority bimbo, but Jeongguk doesn’t want to. He’s tired of easy pussy and the game just isn’t fun when it’s easy.
 
“You’re coming to the Halloween party at the house, yeah?” the pair find themselves at a game cafe yet again after another failed attempt at getting Taehyung to focus on Calculus homework.
 
“Your frat house?” Taehyung asks flatly as his fingers tap against the keyboard and press the right mouse button rather frantically.
 
“Duh.”
 
Taehyung hums. “I dunno. You know parties aren’t really my thing, ‘specially one’s that involve frat fuckboys.”
 
Game forgotten, Jeongguk swivels his chair around to glare at the blonde. “Okay, I know that you’re like a GDI or whatever, but you know that these past few weeks have been hell for me since Namjoon hyung put me in charge of this shit. I’m literally going to die if you leave me to suffer alone.” Taehyung still hasn’t bothered to look in Jeongguk’s direction, so he takes it upon himself to roll his chair forward until his knees bump into the side of Taehyung’s chair. “Taetae hyung,” Jeongguk coos as he slips an arm around Taehyung’s waist and brings his face close, “please.”
 
Taehyung finally turns his head and Jeongguk realizes that  their noses are almost touching. Jeongguk can feel the older boy’s hot breath against his face when he smiles and says, “fine, but you owe me,” it makes him dizzy and slightly flustered, because how can Taehyung be this damn composed? The older boy had already admitted that he found Jeongguk attractive, and Jeongguk was sure that the blonde had gotten rather hard for him during their incident some months ago, so why was he acting so...so disinterested? Jeongguk tampered with the thought of Taehyung possibly no longer finding him attractive but quickly brushed it off because there wasn’t a single soul on campus who didn’t find the second year boy attractive. Call him arrogant, but Jeongguk knew that he was more than above average and he found Taehyung’s obliviousness to be rather insulting. So of course, he takes it out on the girls he fucks to stroke his ego while he’s high out of his mind.
 
Jeongguk discovers that Taehyung is far too pure for his own good when a few days and a hundred failed attempts at flirting later, he’s sitting in the kitchen of Jimin and Taehyung’s shared apartment while the latter is in the shower, shoving bagels into his mouth when Jimin says, “you gotta try harder, Gukkie.” The boy tries to ask him what he’s talking about through a mouthful of bagel, but it only comes out as muffled gibberish. “If you want Tae to notice you, you’ve got to try harder.”
 
“What do you mean?” Jeongguk asks with furrowed brows after he swallows.
 
Jimin leans his elbows on the counter and places his chin in between the palms of his hands as he looks at Jeongguk with sage mischief painted across his face. “It’s obvious by the way you look at Tae that you like him. I’ll admit, I didn’t peg you as the bisexual type of guy,” he giggles.
 
“Oh,” Jeongguk says lamely, dropping his half eaten bagel onto the plate. He morphs his expression to look abashed and forces a blush to seem more genuine, because the Jeongguk he plays pretend as is shy and socially awkward, not scheming to hurt others and callous in his words. Jeongguk had long ago learned that the best way to the hearts of his playthings was through their best friends.
 
Jimin must find Jeongguk’s reaction amusing because he laughs and smiles widely. “If you flirt with Tae and hope that he’ll somehow notice, you’re not gonna get anywhere, my friend. The guy might as well be blind and deaf because he’s as clueless as they come.”  
 
Jeongguk slumps in his stool and grimaces. “Tell me about it.”
 
“If you really like him, you’re just gonna have to tell him upfront. Pin him against a wall and fuck him or something.”
 
The younger boy’s eyes widen in horror as he gapes. “Hyung!”
 
Jimin practically rolls at his reaction. “Jeez, Gukkie. Why do you have to be so cute? I was kidding.” Jeongguk narrowly avoids the fingers that reach out to try and pinch his cheeks. Throughout the weeks that he had known Jimin, Jeongguk has quickly come to realize that he is super touchy. Taehyung had simply told him that Jimin had some weird younger brother complex when it came to Jeongguk and that if he wasn’t so fixated on Yoongi then he would have snatched him away from Taehyung in a heartbeat. If Jeongguk didn’t know better, he would almost think that Taehyung got jealous when Jimin hugged Jeongguk for a second too long or when he threw himself at Jeongguk, body shaking with laughter whenever someone made a joke.
 
Jeongguk almost wishes that Taehyung was jealous.
 
“I-I can’t confess to him,” Jeongguk stutters.
 
“And why’s that?”
 
The younger can’t think of a quick excuse. “‘Cos I just can’t.”
 
“Gukkie...you’re not in the closet, are you?”
 
Jeongguk almosts laughs at Jimin’s question because although he has never considered men before, he’s not ashamed by his new discovery. He somehow manages to hold his composure. “I’m not sure,” he lies.
 
“When did you realize your sexuality?” Jimin asks.
 
Jeongguk rubs the back of his neck rather sheepishly. “I always thought I was straight, y’know? But then I met Taehyung and it was like wow, I really want to be with this person.
 
“That’s super cheesy but relatable.”
 
Jeongguk laughs. “Thanks, hyung. I’ll...I’ll tell him eventually. I just need some time to sort my own feelings out.”
 
Jimin nods vehemently. “Yeah, yeah. Take your time, man.”  A comforting silence settles around him and Jimin goes back to writing notes out of his medical textbook with sighs of annoyance. Jeongguk pretends that he doesn’t notice the way Jimin chews his bottom lip and flickers his eyes to him every once in awhile because his anxious glances scream, “I want to ask you something really personal but I’m not sure if I should.” But of course, the inevitable question comes and Jeongguk mentally prepares alternative responses to whatever it is.
 
Jimin puts down his pencil to look at Jeongguk with a rather serious expression. “Gukkie...you know that you can tell me things, right? I know that we haven’t known each other for long, but we hang out a lot so I feel like we’re pretty close.”
 
The younger plays along rather reluctantly. “I really appreciate the sentiment, but what brought this on, hyung?”
 
Jimin hesitates before he asks rather worriedly, “have you been feeling okay?”
 
Jeongguk blinks dumbly and nods. “Yeah, I’ve been fine.”
 
“Are you sure? It’s just that sometimes you seem a little off and this morning you came in looking fucking exhausted, man.”
 
He remembers that he’d fucked his dealer in the backseat of her car and gotten high after he’d woken up from a text from her. “Yeah, things with the frat and school has just been a little hectic lately.”
 
Jimin nods, frown disappearing into a soft smile. “Okay. That’s good. I was just worried, y’know? Like I said before, it hasn’t been long; but me, you, Tae, and Yoongi...I feel like we’re the Four Musketeers or something.”
 
He snorts. “It’s the Three Musketeers, hyung.”
 
“Yeah, but we’re special,” the orange haired boy jokes with a goofy smile.
 
True to his word, Taehyung does end up showing up to the party, albeit an hour late; which means an hour of Jeongguk having to plaster on a smile so fake that his cheeks ache and having to laugh at shitty frat boy jokes. It meant an hour of an already drunk Hoseok telling another outrageous story about how he had fucked three models in a hotel room on Jeju Island last summer, to which Jeongguk pointed out that Hoseok could barely afford college tuition, much less a plane ticket to Jeju. During one of his drunken rants, Jeongguk had been able to slip away and lingered by the front door, where he was growing more and more impatient by the second.
 
Just when Jeongguk was about to give up and admit to himself that Taehyung had ditched him in favor of binge watching horror movies at home with Jimin, a familiar redhead dressed in a police uniform walked up the steps with Taehyung in tow. But before either could step a foot into the frat house, they were stopped by Jackson, who had been put in charge of keeping an eye on who went in and out. The music was too loud for Jeongguk to properly hear, but by the furrow of Jimin’s brows and the way his lips were pulled down into a frown, the boy deducted that they weren’t being let in. So slipping past drunken college students with muttered excuse me’s , Jeongguk sought to sort out the problem.  
 
“Dude, if you don’t have an invitation, fuck off,” Jackson growls with the wave of his hand.
 
“I just said that Jeongguk invited us!” Jimin argues.
 
Jackson snortes. “Like I haven’t heard that one before.”
 
“Jackson, it’s alright,” Jeongguk says as he approaches the threshold. “They’re with me, man. I just forgot to give them invitations.”
 
Jackson raises an eyebrow but nods anyway.
 
He motions for the two of them inside and Jimin is quick to disappear through the crowd to find a drink because Jackson was apparently a dickhead but Taehyung snorts and says that it was just an excuse to leave them so that he could get into Yoongi’s pants.
 
“The Joker?” Jeongguk inquires, noting the older boy’s mussled blonde hair that had been spray painted a faded green, white face paint with a chelsea grin drawn on in smudged lipstick and the signature Heath Ledger outfit.
 
“Ding! Ding!” Taehyung chimes. “Sorry for being late by the way. I wanted to go as a homeless guy but Jimin wouldn’t let me.”
 
Jeongguk laughs. “You look good, Tae.”
 
He grins. “So do you, mister Dracula- despite the whole vampire thing being so terribly cliche; the great Jeon Jeonggukkie can pull anything off.”
 
The younger winks. “You bet I can.”
 
“You wanna make a bet?” Taehyung asks with mischief displayed in a smirk. Against his better judgment, Jeongguk asked what kind of bet. “I bet 50,000₩ on Jimin and Yoongi fucking tonight.”
 
Jeongguk snorts as if he had just heard the most ridiculous thing. “Doubt it,” he says. “Yoongi hyung doesn’t fuck friends. He says that it makes shit complicated and hyung doesn’t do complicated. 50,000₩ says that they won’t.”  
 
The older boy nudges his side, smile so wide threatening to split his lips. “You’re totally gonna be eating your words tomorrow, my dude.”
 
“Try me.”  
 
The rest of the night was spent by Taehyung’s side, the two seemingly lost in their own little world as they sat on the settee in the den area while Taehyung told some wild story, and for once; Jeongguk didn’t hate parties. He was genuinely having a good time.
 
“The first time I ever discovered I was like, hella gay was in middle school,” Taehyung says. The party is in full swing and even though there’s plenty of space on the settee, the blonde is sitting so dangerously close to Jeongguk that he can smell his cologne. Jeongguk doesn’t know if there’s an electric current connecting them together where their knees touch or if it’s just the slight buzz of alcohol. “I was twelve and my dad had built this cool treehouse in the backyard for me and Jimin. It was like our secret base of some sorts. I kind of kissed Jimin and didn’t hate it.”
 
Jeongguk’s eyes widen. “You did not!”
 
Taehyung snickers. “I did!”
 
“Did he call the police?” the younger jokes.
“Nah, Jimin discovered that he liked dick too that day,” Taehyung says cheekily.
 
“Sooo, did you guys date?”
 
“He’s not my type.”
 
Jeongguk raises a brow, “then what is your type?”
 
Taehyung leans even closer, alcohol sloshing in his cup. His breath is hot on Jeongguk’s ear and the younger suppresses the urge to shiver. “You.”
 
Jeongguk pretends that his heart didn’t just skip a beat at his words. “Me?”
 
“You.”
 
The night drags on and at some point, Namjoon had came up to the pair and challenged Jeongguk to a game of beer pong, and even though the boy had insisted that he was just fine where he was, Namjoon had practically dragged him over to the ping pong table.
 
It really wasn’t that hard to beat Namjoon. He was clumsy and knocked over three cups of beer on his own side, and the game ended with him waving the white flag of surrender because Jeongguk had already made five shots and apparently he didn’t want to die of alcohol poisoning just yet. But a very drunk and very loud Hoseok did not take their president’s defeat well and swore that he would regain Namjoon’s honor for him; the latter being too drunk to care about chivalry.
 
Jeongguk knew that accepting Hoseok’s challenge wasn’t a good idea. He knew that even drunk, the elder was a frat boy through and through who excelled at beer pong, but Hoseok’s goading brought out the competitive side of Jeongguk that never backed down- especially after being called a little bitch.
 
He didn’t know how long the game went, but Hoseok’s aim was stupidly good and Jeongguk probably should have waved his own white flag, but the competitive side of him refused to give up even when Taehyung said, “I really don’t want to bring you to the ER tonight, Guk.”
 
Neither of them missed shots and when the white plastic ball landed in another red cup, Jeongguk downed his seventh cup. The taste of alcohol was no longer appealing to him and he had to resist the urge to gag when it hit his tongue. Somehow, Jeongguk managed pulled through and the taste becomes more manageable- although just barely. The game had ended with a completely shit faced Hoseok stumbling to a nearby plant and throwing up inside of it before unceremoniously falling to the ground and curling up into a ball. Jeongguk was glad that all the nights of waking up still half drunk in back alleys or the beds’ of random chicks had paid off. His alcohol tolerance was nearly unrivaled.
 
Those who had been watching cheered for the his victory and Taehyung had asked: are you okay? to which Jeongguk had replied with a blatant: I’m so drunk right now, hyung.   
 
Taehyung had suggested that they go on a walk to sober them both up a little and he simply nodded dumbly in response. But the two didn’t get that far before Jeongguk started complaining about the asphalt moving underneath him and in his drunken stupor, angrily telling the older boy to stop moving the ground, asshole.
 
Taehyung laughed at this. The euphonious sound cutting clear into the quietness of 1a.m. and Jeongguk tries to convince himself that the pounding he hears in his ears is from the muffled noises of the party and not his own heart. He tries to convince himself that this is really nothing more than just a game, but when Taehyung tilts his head towards Jeongguk and smiles so brightly that he becomes the moon, Jeongguk wants to feel him underneath his skin and seep into the cracks of his fractured bones that never quite healed right.
 
“Let’s sit down for a minute, ‘k? I don’t want you to fall and hurt yourself, Guk.”
 
Jeongguk wants to tell him that nothing really hurts anymore but silently complies and sits next to him instead.
 
Taehyung’s eyes glisten under the moonlight and Jeongguk feels his chest tighten at the sight.
 
Kim Taehyung is unreal. He’s beautiful in a way that can never be simplified by words such as beautiful and Jeongguk wants to kick himself for thinking so simplistically, but Taehyung makes him stupid and reckless. He makes Jeongguk feel as if his scars are actually healing and there isn’t a giant gaping hole in his chest and he knows that he should run away. He knows that he should run away as far as he can because this beautiful boy is dangerous and will break his heart but Jeongguk swears that he will break his first.   
 
“It’s a beautiful night,” Taehyung throws himself flat onto the grass and stared up at the sky, smile still on his face.
 
Jeongguk sighs from his spot next to him and joined the older boy, laying down so that their shoulders were touching. The green blades are prickly and irritate his bare skin. “Tae, it’s freezing and you’re drunk.”
 
“Yeah, but,” Taehyung shifts even closer to him, “when I’m with you, nothing feels cold.”
 
Jeongguk snorts, “is that some pick-up line from some cheesy romcom?”
 
It’s actually fucking cute.
 
The older boy pinches his side. “I came up with it myself, thank you very much. Besides, even when I’m drunk you’re still hot.” Neither of them say anything for awhile, just stare at the trillions of small lights in the black sky and briefly, Jeongguk wonders if his own mother was one of those blinking stars. He wonders what she would think if she saw how deplorable of a person he had become.
 
“Are you scared?” Taehyung’s quiet question fills the silence.
 
“Of what?”
 
“The future; cause I am.”
 
Jeongguk scoffs, “I ain’t scared of shit.”
 
Taehyung chuckles lightly and Jeongguk can feel the older boy’s gaze heavy on him, tracing the outline of his face. “We’re all scared of something, Guk; so tell me what your worst fears are, I bet they look a lot like mine.”  
 
Jeongguk wants to laugh because it’s so far from the truth that it’s almost some bad pun. He shrugs instead. “I don’t really think about the future.”
 
“Aren’t you scared of death?” his voice is below a whisper now, a mumble that Jeongguk almost doesn’t quite catch.
 
The younger turns to meet his gaze, both of their expressions blank. “No,” he says honestly. “I’m not scared to die. We all gotta die someday, right?”
 
Taehyung hums in response. “Yeah, but I don’t wanna. There’s so much to see in this world and knowing that I won’t even see a fraction of it all before I die is scary.”
 
Jeongguk sighs, “the world isn’t that beautiful, Tae. It’s ugly and doesn’t give a shit about any of us.”
 
“But it’s up to us to see the beauty in it.”
 
Jeongguk hates Taehyung’s optimism and he wishes he could say that it was infectious and set his heart aflutter, but Jeongguk knows better by now to not have hope for anything. It makes black, hot fire burn in his chest and Jeongguk hates Taehyung’s innocence because he had never had the benefit of being an oblivious kid. The resentment he feels towards Taehyung’s words is unsettling.
 
“We’re gonna die one day and that’s just the way it is, Tae,” he comments dryly. “There’s no outrunning death.”   
 
“Do you want to die, Jeongguk?”
 
This is the part where he should lie; he should lie and say that he values his life because that is what the Jeongguk that he’s pretending to be would do. He doesn’t know why he tells the truth. “I don’t think I do, but I know that if I were to die right now I wouldn’t care.”
 
Taehyung goes silent for a long minute and Jeongguk’s not sure if it’s the moonlight playing tricks on his eyes, but the older boy looks to have paled at his words.
 
“You scare me sometimes,” he finally says in a shaky voice.
 
Jeongguk stiffens, “why?”
 
“‘Cos people like you come into other’s lives like a storm and always leave a mess behind when you leave.”
 
“People like me?” this conversation is getting too personal.
 
Jeongguk can see the worry etched into the shadows of Taehyung’s face. “People like you who don’t value your own lives. Those kinds of people are reckless and stupid, but you,” he pauses, “you’re not. You’re popular, smart, the rational person between us, responsible… you’re perfect and that’s fucking terrifying.”
 
He laughs like it’s a joke. “I’m not perfect . I’m far from it.”
 
“Are you happy?”
 
No.
 
“Yes.”
 
Jeongguk doesn’t know why his hand is shaking when he rests it on Taehyung’s cheek, thumb moving in soothing circles. “Would it scare you if I kissed you right now?”
 
He can hear Taehyung’s breath hitch. “No. It wouldn’t.”
 
Jeongguk sits up so that he’s resting on his elbow to support his weight as he leans over Taehyung.
 
“Are you gonna break my heart?” Taehyung asks, their lips a mere breath apart.
 
“No,” Jeongguk lies. “I would never.”
 
And then he’s pressing their lips together and the kiss is too soft and intimate in a way that Jeongguk has never kissed a girl before. Their mouths slant together and fit perfectly and Jeongguk holds the older boy so gently and he knows that tomorrow he will blame it on the alcohol because Jeongguk does not kiss anyone like he loves them, and he most certainly does not love Taehyung.     
 
Taehyung, who parts his lips for him. Taehyung, who tastes like vodka and something sweet. Taehyung, who reaches up to tangle his fingers in Jeongguk’s black locks as the kiss deepens into something more heated. Taehyung, who invades his senses until all he can think is Taehyung Taehyung Taehyung.
 
When Jeongguk finally pulls back for air, his breath is shaky and Taehyung is panting underneath him with his cheeks flushed and lips slick with spit. He’s fucked up. He’s so fucked up because Taehyung is so pretty and too good for him and he wonders if he should leave, but he stays because he’s selfish.
 
“I like you,” Jeongguk admits, “like, as more than a friend.”
 
Taehyung laughs and winds his arms around Jeongguk’s neck. “I thought you weren’t gay?”
 
Jeongguk glares, “shuddup.”
 
“I’m too drunk for this,” he says. “I think we both are. Why don’t we go back to my place since Yoongi and Jimin are probably fucking in your room right now. We’ll sleep this off and if you still feel the same way when you wake up and it isn’t just the alcohol talking, we can go from there, okay?”
 
Jeongguk nods, “okay.”



Jeongguk wakes up the next morning a skull splitting headache and no recollection of how exactly they managed to make it to Taehyung’s off campus apartment, because while he remembers very little, he faintly recalls that he was too drunk to walk the long distance properly.
 
He also remembers kissing Taehyung.
 
Jeongguk groans, shoving his face into the pillow and letting out a sigh. He remembered the way he had kissed Taehyung and his rare display of honesty fueled by alcohol. The moment had been far too intimate and Jeongguk was regretting the fact that he didn’t regret what had conspired that much. He hated how soft Taehyung’s lips were and how pliant he had been sprawled on the grass underneath him in the chill of 1a.m. He regretted ever thinking that Taehyung was beautiful. He regretted how much he actually liked kissed Taehyung.
 
“Death by pillow does not sound too appealing.”
 
Jeongguk turns his head and finds that Taehyung is gazing at him through half lidded eyes. He notes that the boy had been sober enough last night to take a shower and change his clothes before crashing.
 
“You’re awake,” he states dumbly, not quite sure what to say because a part of him is hoping that Taehyung had been drunk enough to forget last night. But the other part of him reminds him that this is supposed to be a game and that Jeongguk has Taehyung exactly where he wants him.
 
Taehyung laughs, “good morning to you too, Captain Obvious.”
 
Jeongguk squints in an attempt to ease the aching behind his eyes. “How did we even get here in one piece?”
 
The older boy shifts, rolling onto his back and stretching his limbs like a cat with a moan of satisfaction escaping his lips. “Okay first of all, you were stupidly drunk after that game of beer pong. I had to practically drag you home and you passed out as soon as you hit the bed. It was like the first time you spent the night all over again,” he jokes. “Except a million times worse. I did manage to take off that gay ass cape and your shoes and pants though.”
 
Jeongguk shoves his face right back into the pillow and this time, he hopes that he really does suffocate to death. “Kill me, now.”
 
“Do you even remember last night?”
 
Jeongguk sighs again, turning his head back towards the older boy. “Honestly, everything after beer pong is kind of fuzzy.”
 
Taehyung’s eyes glint in amusement. “ Boy , do I have a story to tell you.”
 
He freezes in horror. “Please tell me that I didn’t say anything really stupid when you dragged me back here or threw up or some shit.”
 
Taehyung snorts. “Nah, nothing like that.” His tongue darts out to nervously swipe over his bottom lip, “but you did tell me you liked me though. And you kissed me.”
 
“I remember that,” Jeongguk mumbles after a moment of silence.
 
“Oh,” Taehyung says. He tries to laugh it off to dispel the awkwardness that has settled around them. “But it’s cool, man. People do dumb shit when they’re drunk. I mean, me and Jimin have made out before when we were shitfaced.”
 
Jeongguk has to resist the urge to kiss Taehyung right there and then because the thought of him kissing another guy did not sit well with the younger, and he wanted to erase any memory that Taehyung had of tasting another man that wasn’t him. He wanted to taste every inch of Taehyung’s mouth and leave a part of himself behind to slink down into the older boy’s throat and build a home in his lungs. He wanted Taehyung to remember him like fungus growing in between his rib cage.
 
He wanted to intertwine himself so deeply into Taehyung’s life that it would hurt like hell when he left.
 
 “And what if I meant it?”
 
Taehyung averts his gaze under Jeongguk’s piercing stare.
 
“Haha, very funny,” Taehyung remarks sarcastically with a roll of his eyes. “Stop trying to crush a little gay boy’s heart by making me think that I actually have a-
 
“I like you.”
 
“What?” Taehyung blinks in stupor.
 
Jeongguk scoots closer. “Kim Taehyung, I, Jeon Jeongguk, like you.”
 
He waits patiently for the older boy to register his words, amused by the way he opens and closes his mouth several times, only to furrow his brows. Jeongguk could practically hear his thoughts, confusion reflected through tired eyes. “Sooo, you’re not straight then?”
 
Jeongguk scoffs. “You make it hard for me to be straight, Tae.”
 
Taehyung turns a brilliant shade of red. “I-” he sits up, running his hands through his messy hair, lips draw into a thin line. “I don’t know what to say.”
 
“Do you like me?”
 
“Of course,” the older boy says in a heartbeat and Jeongguk would be lying if he said that his heart didn’t swell at how sure he sounded of himself.
 
“Good,” Jeongguk says before grabbing Taehyung and pulling him down to press their lips together for a lazy morning kiss.
 
When he pulls back, Taehyung looks a little dazed with flushed cheeks. “Ew, morning breath.” Jeongguk laughs and calls him a jerk, and Taehyung grins. “Wow, this is totally real, right? It’s not some wet dream where we have kinky sex and I wake up with a hard on?”
 
Jeongguk makes a sound between a snort and a laugh. “I promise that it’s not a dream. And although the idea of having kinky sex sounds really appealing right now, so does breakfast.” Taehyung agrees with him and they both clamber out of bed, Jeongguk announcing that he’s going to take a shower first while Taehyung offers to make pancakes.
 
He reaches for the duffel bag he had began to leave in Taehyung’s room because he was there for too often and pulled out clean clothes, as well as his wallet and a baggie hidden in one of the compartments before heading to the bathroom.
 
Jeongguk doesn’t really care for much, but he always feels guilty for snorting lines in Taehyung’s bathroom. He knows that he shouldn’t care, because Jeongguk had done more than just snorted coke in places he shouldn’t, but there was always that moment of shame that ate away at him when he lined the white substance on the edge of the bathroom sink with a credit card. There was always that momentary lapse where he’d stare at the white powder and hate himself, but any bad feelings were quickly forgotten when he leaned down and snorted the powder up his nose with a rolled up won.
 
Nothing felt better than the numbness and euphoria that cocaine greeted him with. It was better than the hangover or the emptiness that made his chest cave in on itself.
 
The water was scalding against Jeongguk’s skin. He sighed in pleasure, leaning his head back. The feeling of the heat intensified with the drug rushing through his system. He didn’t know how long he stood under the shower head. But when the water began to turn cold and his high began to ebb away, he decided that he was sober to get dressed and join Taehyung.
 
“Why does it smell like something’s burning?” Jeongguk asks suspiciously as he makes his way into the kitchen, where Taehyung is frantically trying to wave away the smoke. He looks at the pancake in the pan that has been burnt to a charcoal black.
 
“I tried and that should be what matters the most,” Taehyung mutters dejectedly.
 
“You mean you tried to burn the house down?” Jeongguk rebuts as Taehyung sags in defeat.
 
“Okay, whatever. We both know that I’m not the best at cooking.”
 
Not the best ? Tae, you burnt the pancake to the pan!” the younger exclaims in disbelief.
 
Taehyung raises his hands. “Alright, I admit my defeat. I’m a terrible cook and the only thing I know how to do is microwave ramyun.”    
 
“You’re unbelievable,”Jeongguk says with the shake of his head, caging Taehyung in with his palms resting against the counter. “So unbelievable,” he mutters again, leaning forward to press their lips together.
 
Taehyung smiles against his lips, mumbling something that sounds like “yeah, but you like me anyway.”
 
“You’re a brat,” Jeongguk chides when he pulls back.
 
Taehyung shoots him a playful glare. “I’m your hyung, you lil’ shit.”
 
The two go back and forth in their banter with Taehyung carding his fingers through Jeongguk’s still damp hair, their insults holding no weight to them. And in this moment, a part of Jeongguk wants them to just stay like this forever. A part of him wants to forget that what they have isn’t real and stay in the small kitchen with the heat from Taehyung’s body pressed close to him.
 
But the world isn’t kind enough to give Jeongguk forever.
 
“I would ask if you want to go out for breakfast, but I have to return to the frat house to make sure that everyone is still breathing,” he says reluctantly.
 
Taehyung pouts but nods anyway as Jeongguk moves across the living room to slip into his shoes. “How can you profess your undying love to me and then just leave me like that!”
 
Jeongguk laughs, “you’re so dramatic.”
 
“I am not dramatic.”
 
“Whatever helps you sleep at night,” he teases. “I’ll catch you later though, alright?” Just as he turns around to swing the door open, he nearly runs right into a very hungover looking Jimin. Jeongguk’s eyes scan the boy, eyebrows shooting up his hairline as he spots bruised blotches on his neck and blurts, “are those hickies ?”
 
Jimin’s eyes nearly bulge out of his head and the youngest is pretty sure that he’s never seen Taehyung move so quickly. Before he can blink, the blonde haired boy is in Jimin’s face and pulling at the scarf that Jimin had wrapped around his neck in a lame attempt to hide the nebulas scattered across his flesh.
 
“Hey!” he shouts. “Knock it off!”
 
“Did you and Yoongi hyung fuck?” Taehyung asks shamelessly.
 
And the answer is an obvious yes by the way Jimin’s face turns a bright shade of red that reaches the tip of his ears. “N-no!”
 
Taehyung squeals in excitement. “Ohmygod, you totally did. You fucked him! Was it good? Is he a bottom or top?”
 
“Top. There’s no way that hyung would bottom,” Jeongguk interjects.
 
“Did you suck his dick? Is it big? How was the walk of shame? Did-
 
“Stop!” Jimin looks like he’s about to pass out from embarrassment any minute now. “We are not having this conversation.”
 
Taehyung grins at Jeongguk. “You owe me 50,000₩. I told you they would fuck.”
 
Jimin looks between the pair in disbelief. “You two betted on this? Fucking pricks.”
 
“Sorry hyung,” Jeongguk apologizes.
 
“Pay up,” Taehyung demands with an outstretched hand.
 
“How about I take you to dinner instead?”
 
Taehyung’s expression brightens at the suggestion. “A date?”
 
“Yeah, a date.”
 
“I guess that’s fine.”
 
Jeongguk smiles before boldly leaning forward to press a chaste kip against the corner of his mouth. “I’ll text you,” he says with a wink before bidding a stunned Jimin goodbye.
 
“Okay, seriously. What the fuck did I miss?” he hears Jimin ask in a hushed whisper just as he turns around the corner and disappears.  

 

❃❃❃❃


“So, you and Jimin?” is the first thing that Jeongguk says when he returns to the messy frat house and finds Yoongi buried underneath the covers, his newly dyed black hair sticking up haphazardly.
 
“Shut the fuck up,” comes Yoongi’s muffled response. “I’m too hungover for your shit right now.”
 
Jeongguk laughs, sitting himself at the edge of Yoongi’s bed and pulling down the blanket. “I’m definitely glad I didn’t come home last night,” he teases as he eyes the nebulas scattered just under his friend’s collarbone.
 
“Fuck. Off.” Yoongi attempts to rip the blanket out of Jeongguk’s grasp, but the boy won’t budge and relentlessly begs the elder to take him out before he dies of starvation. “Go by yourself,” Yoongi growls, resorting to turning around and ignoring him
 
“I’ll just die,” Jeongguk says with a sigh, “since you don’t care about me.”
 
Yoongi yanks the pillow out from under his head and catches the younger off guard with a smack to the face. “Fine, I’ll go you asshole.”
 
Jeongguk contemplates throwing the pillow right back at Yoongi’s face, but decides against it because he certainly does not want to die at the hands of his grumpy friend. Instead, he laughs as Yoongi quite literally drags himself out of bed with a string of complaints and curses following him as he heads for the bathroom.
 
Half an hour later they find themselves at a diner and Jeongguk practically shovels the waffles into his mouth when the waiter brings their food out. Yoongi had simply ordered eggs and a coffee because he could barely stomach anything with how shit his hangover was. Jeongguk is sure that his friend’s blood is made out of caffeine when he gets to his third cup.
 
“Did you and Jimin really…?” Jeongguk trails off.
 
“We fucked,” Yoongi admits rather bluntly. “We were both drunk and it was messy, but it was good. I think.”
 
“You think?” the younger inquires, absentmindedly picking at the hash browns that have surely gone cold.
 
Yoongi shrugs. “It’s kind of fuzzy.”
 
Jeongguk snorts, “I thought you didn’t fuck your friends, hyung. Not only did you fuck a friend but you don’t even really remember fucking them,” his condescending tone earns him a dirty look.
 
“Jimin’s nice,” Yoongi says. “And unlike you, I can actually admit when I like someone.”
 
It’s supposed to be an insult, but Jeongguk smiles in a way that is unnerving. “Oh, I like Taehyung, alright. He’s pretty; real pretty.” He nibbles on Yoongi’s forgotten eggs. “Bet he’d look even better on his knees for me. I like them best on their knees.”
 
Yoongi’s face hardens. “You’re gonna regret this, Guk. You won’t know you want him until you’re about to lose him,” he says.  “And then you’ll try and try to keep him. You’ll do your best to convince him to stay. But he will have already stayed so long, and by this time, it will be too late.”
 
Jeongguk pretends that there isn’t an uncomfortable pang in his chest at his words. “Nah,” he leans back against the cushion of the booth they’re seated in. “I can’t lose something that was never mine in the first place.”
 
“I don’t know what to do with you,” Yoongi says with a sigh as he cards his fingers through his black hair.
 
“You don’t gotta do anything. Just watch me crash and burn,” Jeongguk jokes with a wryly smirk, but it’s a statement that doesn’t seem too far from the truth. Because Jeongguk doesn't know how long he can continue to race recklessly down the freeway going 100 mph before everything goes wrong. But nothing was ever right for him in the first place, so why did it matter? Why did it matter that he didn’t feel anything, when the few things that did manage to slip through the cracks always equated to nothing but pain? Jeongguk had lead a lifetime of eating shit. He had lead a lifetime of bruised knuckles connecting with the already blossoming browns and purples and faded yellows of his cheekbone.
 
To Jeongguk, nothing really mattered. And he finally understood what scared Taehyung.
 
“No,” Yoongi says firmly. “I won’t let you destroy yourself this way.”
 
“But isn’t it already too late for that?”

“It’s never too late.”
 
Jeongguk doesn’t tell Yoongi that he thinks he’s a liar and the latter doesn’t push the subject in return.
 
Jeongguk keeps his promise to Taehyung and they end up going on out for dinner a few days later. But there is no professionally tailored suits or expensive champagne at some five star restaurant, because this is the real world and in the real world Jeongguk and Taehyung are two college students and not some millionaires living lives of luxury. They end up going out for barbeque, which the younger nearly regrets because Taehyung is eager to suck his wallet dry. The food is nice and their dynamic is no different than it was before, except this time when Jeongguk flirts, the older boy actually flirts back.
 
Afterwards, they end up going to an arcade and Jeongguk obliterates Taehyung at air hockey, mocking his poor reflexes.
 
“Whatever, I’m not a sport junkie like you frat boys,” Taehyung mumbles cynically with the slant of his mouth. Jeongguk just laughs and  calls him a sore loser and the blonde promises that Jeongguk would be eating his words if they had been playing Mortal Kombat instead. It doesn’t feel much like a date whenever their competitiveness isn’t too transparent and they begin hurling curses and insults at each other.
 
But it’s nice. It’s nice and Jeongguk finds himself genuinely having fun and once again, he’s reminded that around Taehyung, his laughter doesn’t feel so forced, neither the upturn of his lips. Everything is supposed to be fake, but it doesn't when the way their hands brush and the romantic gestures seem so legit. They seem too real and a part of Jeongguk wants to run away because he’s having a hard time separating his fake feelings for Taehyung from reality.
 
None of this is real, his mind screams at him. He’ll just leave like the rest. And Jeongguk knows, he knows that no one will ever want to stay. He knows that even by some marginalized chance that he wanted to keep Taehyung, he will never amount to anything more than poison. Jeongguk knows that even by some slim chance that the warmth in his heart is real, he isn’t right for Taehyung. He isn’t right for anyone.
 
What if he finds out who you actually are?
 
The thought is terrifying.


Jeongguk is so enraptured in his own thoughts that he doesn’t even notice the ‘ GAME OVER’ flashing in red letters on the screen, but he does notice Taehyung leaning against one of the arcade machines and staring at him.
 
“What are you staring at?” he asks with a raised brow.
 
“You.”
 
“Me?”
 
“You.” Taehyung smiles fondly in a way that holds too much emotion and Jeongguk has to look away.
 
“There’s nothing to look at,” Jeongguk mutters as he slips another coin into the machine.
 
He can practically feel Taehyung rolling his eyes. “C’mon, we both know that’s a lie. Besides,” the older boy moves towards him to slip his arms around Jeongguk’s waist and rest his head on top of his shoulder, watching the low resolution spacecraft moving on the small screen, “I’m just having a hard time believing that this is all real.”
 
It’s not.
 
“And why’s that?”
 
“Because,” the arms around his waist tighten, “you’re too good for someone like me.”
 
Jeongguk frowns just as his ship explodes and the same red letters flash across the screen once again. He turns in Taehyung’s arms to take the tanned skin of his cheeks in between his fingers as he pinches them. “What a stupid thing to say.”

“But it’s true ,” Taehyung whines. “Don’t pinch me, you jerk.”
 
“No, it’s not,” Jeongguk rebuts. “You’re amazing, Tae. To me, there is no one other than you. You’re so fucking perfect. God , you really have no idea do you?”  
 
Taehyung blinks in shock at the seriousness in Jeongguk’s voice and shakes his head. So Jeongguk flattens his hands against his cheeks and pulls him in for a kiss. He doesn’t care that they’re not alone or if people stare in disapproval. He doesn’t care for anything besides the feeling of Taehyung’s soft lips against his. He doesn’t care that there is raw emotion behind this kiss because all he can think is how he needs to let Taehyung know how perfect he truly is.   
 
“If you kiss me like that again I’m not sure what I’ll do,” Taehyung says breathlessly when Jeongguk finally releases him.
 
“Don’t worry, I’m sure that I’ll like it,” he responds with a cocky smirk, eyes following the movement of Taehyung’s throat as he audibly gulps. “What?” he leans forward, breath hot against Taehyung’s ear. “You’re looking kind of nervous, hyung.”
 
Taehyung tenses underneath him and Jeongguk can’t help but feel aroused at the power he has over the older boy’s body. “I’m not,” he manages to grit out between clenched teeth.
 
Jeongguk chuckles darkly, pressing a kiss to Taehyung’s ear as he mumbles, “why don’t we head back to your place?”
 
Taehyung seems to blanch at Jeongguk’s brazen innuendo and the latter pulls back to look at him, afraid that he might have just said the wrong thing to scare the older boy off. But Taehyung, whose cheeks are flushed a brilliant shade of faded pink, merely nods dumbly and stutters out, “y-yeah. That’s fine.”
 
His heart speeds up as he laces their fingers together and tugs gently on Taehyung’s hand. “C’mon then.”
 
The walk to Jeongguk’s old Mustang seems to take a lifetime, but when he finally turns the ignition on and peels out of the parking lot onto the main road, there’s adrenaline rushing through his veins and he can’t help but reach out to place a hand against Taehyung’s knee. The touch is supposed to be innocent, a mere gesture of affection; but Jeongguk starts thinking about how good the older boy would look on his knees for him and he can’t help but drag his hand up to rest on Taehyung’s upper-inner thigh.
 
Taehyung seems to be trying to ignore it, eyes focused on the city lights flashing by outside of the passenger window, and the thought of ugly dim yellow lights being more fascinating than Jeongguk annoys him. So he begins to knead Taehyung’s thigh, hands moving up and down, dangerously close to the tent that is beginning to stir in his pants.
 
“J-Jeongguk!” he gasps when Jeongguk boldly presses his palm against his crotch.
 
Jeongguk doesn’t look his way, eyes focused straight ahead as he begins to rub Taehyung through his jeans. Taehyung squeaks and tells him that they should wait till they get to his apartment, but at his protests, Jeongguk merely presses down harder, feeling the older boy growing stiffer as he breathes heavily through his nose and tries to suppress any moans from slipping out by clamping his mouth tightly shut.
 
Jeongguk smirked to himself as he dares to undo the button of Taehyung’s jeans before pulling his hand away to spit on his palm and then reaching back out to slip inside the rough fabric and grab the base of Taehyung’s cock. It isn’t long before he feels Taehyung rest a hand over his wrist, fingers clamping down so hard that Jeongguk debates on whether or not it’ll bruise.
 
“Fuh-fuck, we really should-”
 
Jeongguk cuts him off with the flick of his wrist and a moan tumbles out of Taehyung’s mouth and it’s sounds so fucking nice, so Jeongguk begins to stroke him with jerky movements of his hand. At this point, the older boy begins to moan openly and Jeongguk can’t help but turn his head to spare him a glance and- fuck , he really shouldn’t have done that. Taehyung’s pressed against the seat, one hand moving up to grip Jeongguk’s forearm as if it’ll keep him grounded and the other gripping the edge of the leather seat so tightly that his knuckles are turning white. His head is lolling back against the headrest and he looks delirious through half lidded eyes and flames are burning across his face for a reason that certainly isn’t a fever.  And god , Jeongguk can feel himself getting hard from just the sight. The thought is embarrassing because all he’s doing is looking at Taehyung and yet, his body is responding far too eagerly.
 
“Fuck, baby,” Jeongguk groans. “You look so hot right now. Shit.”
 
“B-baby?” Taehyung moans out.
 
“Yeah,” Jeongguk says. He’s fairly sure that he’s ran a few red lights at this point. “You like that?”
 
“Yes, fuck. I love it.”
 
Jeongguk’s attention snaps back to the wheel just in time for him to swerve with a jerk back into his lane. He laughs, and so does Taehyung, albeit much more breathlessly.
 
“I bet you’ll love it even more when I’m inside of you, baby.”
 
Taehyung keens when Jeongguk squeezes his cock and Jeongguk would love for nothing more than for the older boy to come undone right there and then, but the tight confines of his jeans won’t even allow him to swipe his thumb over Taehyung’s head and spread the precum that he knows is there. All he can do is stroke him at an awkward angle and Jeongguk’s wrist is really starting to hurt at this point.  For now, Jeongguk can do nothing but tease Taehyung and try to ignore his own half hard cock, but Taehyung’s mewls are sending him spiraling and he’s having a difficult time coordinating through the neighborhoods to Taehyung’s apartment complex.
 
Taehyung whimpers at the loss when Jeongguk pulls his hand out to kill the engine, but they’re both getting out of the car far too quickly and Jeongguk can’t even remember if he locked the doors, but right now, he doesn’t care. Lust is clouding his mind and as soon as the elevator opens, Taehyung is pushing him against the peeling plaster of the elevator wall and Jeongguk can’t help but let out a grunt of surprise at the sudden outburst of dominance. Jeongguk was always used to being in control and if anyone else had tried such a thing, he would be quick to put them in their place, but at this point, he finds that everything Taehyung does is sexy and it makes him ache even more.
 
Jeongguk manages to hit the button for the fourth floor as Taehyung leaves a wet trail of kisses along his jawline and latches onto his neck. The sounds are wet and lewd and Jeongguk usually isn’t one for hickies because they were a little too intimate for his liking, but he can’t help but want Taehyung to mark him everywhere.
 
“Tae,” he rasps when the older boy nips at the sweet spot right under his ear. “S-shit Tae, that feels-”
 
But then Taehyung is practically smouldering Jeongguk with his body and rutting against him and any thought he had leaves him. “What’s wrong, Gukkie?” Taehyung coos. “You look like you’re about to cum in your pants.”
 
Jeongguk growls just as the elevator dings and the doors slide open. He shoves Taehyung off of him and out of the elevator and slams him harshly against the wall, not at all feeling sorry for the way Taehyung’s head bounces off of the surface. His lips are immediately upon Taehyung’s. The kiss is rough and ungraceful and he’s biting and licking at the older boy. Their teeth are clanging together and it’s nothing like any of the kisses they'd shared before. No, this kiss is akin to molten lava meeting the crashing waves of the sea and Taehyung is burning every inch of Jeongguk’s being.
 
He’s not sure how long it takes to get to the door of Taehyung’s apartment, but there’s a lot of pushing and pulling in the process and when Taehyung fumbles with his keys and manages to open the door, they nearly fall to the ground giggling against each other’s lips- and fuck, it’s so cute and sexy at the same time. Jeongguk’s not sure how that’s even possible but when it comes to Taehyung, he isn’t too sure about anything anymore.
 
As soon as Jeongguk kicks the door closed behind him, Taehyung is pulling at his white t-shirt and the younger lifts his arms up to allow him to yank it off. The shirt snags on his nose and Jeongguk calls him a stupid asshole . It’s all so imperfect and clumsy with Taehyung falling over and knocking a picture frame off of the wall in the hallway at one point as he struggles to shimmy out of his jeans. There’s a lot of laughter and getting undressed has never been harder. It’s all unperfect as fuck, but it makes Jeongguk’s heart swell and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
 
“My shoelaces are tangled,” Jeongguk deadpans when they finally make it to the bedroom. The blonde had tried to strip Jeongguk of his own jeans, only to realize that he still had his shoes on. So now, the sophomore is standing in the middle of the room like an idiot with his pants around his ankles and one shoe on.
 
Taehyung kneels down and begins to giggle as he attempts to undo Jeongguk’s tangled laces, which is a lot easier said than done when his hands are shaking with anticipation. “Out of all-” he stifles a snort. “Out of all the things to get in the way and makes things awkward, it’s your fucking shoelaces. Nice one, Guk.”
 
“Shut the fuck up before I leave you with blue balls,” Jeongguk threatens.
 
“You wouldn’t do that,” Taehyung says rather confidently. “Besides,” he untangles the last knot and practically rips the shoe off of his feet, “I think you’d much rather have me do this.” And then he grips Jeongguk’s thighs and moves to place a kiss against the tent in his boxers.
 
“What are you doing?” Jeongguk hates the way his voice wavers.
 
Taehyung grins up at him like a child, mischief swimming in his eyes. “What does it look like I’m doing?” He mouths teasingly at Jeongguk’s cock through his boxers, causing his breath to hitch because fuck , Taehyung is sensual and confident and it only makes Jeongguk even harder than he already is. Taehyung teases until the front of his boxers are damp, blowing and mouthing torturously in a way that leaves the boy almost desperate with desire. When Taehyung is finally satisfied with how flushed Jeongguk’s cheeks are and how uneven his breathing is, he pulls the fabric down, allowing Jeongguk’s cock to spring out. The head is red and weeping, and this time it’s Jeongguk’s turn to blush.
 
“Don’t get shy on me now,” Taehyung goads. “I’m only sucking your dick, babe.”
 
The endearment leaves Jeongguk’s face feeling hotter than ever as he fumbles for a response that he can’t find. Taehyung smiles wickedly at his small victory before grabbing Jeongguk in his hand and moving his slender fingers up to the head, causing the younger boy to hiss as he flicks his thumb across the slit to spread the precum- and god, Jeongguk has never been so thankful for Taehyung’s long fingers before.  
 
“Your dick is so pretty,” Taehyung coos and Jeongguk doesn’t know why he feels slightly embarrassed at the praise because he’s had dozens of girls in the same position, purring the same words, but Taehyung is vexing in a way that leaves Jeongguk feeling light headed and entranced.
 
Taehyung begins to pump Jeongguk and there’s nothing slow or teasing about it. He seems to be just as eager to get to the main course as he slicks Jeongguk up, licking a stripe from the base to the tip- and fuck, when Taehyung  finally begins to take the younger into his mouth, Jeongguk loses himself. His mind goes blank and he doesn’t recognize the sounds coming from his swollen lips as his own because Jeongguk doesn’t moan like this for anyone, but Taehyung’s mouth felt like heaven and no other girl he fucked could compare. Taehyung’s mouth is hot and so wet in a way that has Jeongguk’s legs nearly buckling and collapsing into a heap of jelly. He swirls his tongue and hollows his cheeks, slurping with a lewd moan as he attempts to relax his jaw and take more of Jeongguk’s length in. Jeongguk wasn’t exactly sure what Taehyung was doing with his mouth. His ears were stuffed with cotton at this point and it took all of his willpower for his eyes to not roll into the back of his head. It felt amazing and Jeongguk didn’t want him to stop; except he had to.
 
He wanted Taehyung to choke on him until his throat burned. He wanted the Taehyung to look absolutely fucking wrecked with snot and tears streaming down his face. Jeongguk wanted to fuck so deeply into his mouth and have his hot and sticky cum shoot all the way-
 
“T-Tae, wait. Shit.” Jeongguk runs his fingers through his blonde hair and yanks Taehyung’s head back more harshly than he intended, an apology at the tip of his tongue, but then Taehyung is whimpering at the action and Jeongguk is dumbfounded. He simply stares down at the older boy for a minute, fingers still gripping a fistful of hair as Taehyung stares up at him with glazed eyes, lips slick with spit and drool smeared messily across his chin. “I don’t know what to do with you, you kinky bastard,” Jeongguk says in exasperation.
 
Taehyung merely cocks his head. “Do whatever you want with me, Gukkie.”
 
Jeongguk darts his tongue out to swipe across his bottom lip, silent for a moment of contemplation because god , there’s a million ways that he could make the man on his knees break underneath his bruising grip. There were so many ways that Jeongguk could degrade him and make him into a cock slut like he had done to so many others. And yeah, Taehyung would probably enjoy that more than anything and Jeongguk isn’t one for soft touches and fluttering kisses, but Kim Taehyung is beautiful in a way that makes Jeongguk want to do nothing more than worship his body.
 
So he untangles his fingers and traces down Taehyung’s jawline to rest his pointer finger underneath his chin and guide him up before leading him to the bed. “Fuck,” Jeongguk says with a shaky laugh, unease settling into the pit of his stomach as he climbs on top of Taehyung’s significantly slimmer figure. “You have no clue what I want to do to you.”
 
Taehyung pulls him down until their foreheads are touching, closing his eyes with a soft smile gracing his glowing features. “I trust you,” he says. The words hitting Jeongguk’s flushed cheeks in warm puffs of air. “I know that you wouldn’t hurt me.”
 
Jeongguk freezes. He feels paralyzed and he’s not sure if he’s even breathing. I trust you. It’s a phrase he’s heard from countless lovers. It’s a concept he’s always scoffed at and ridiculed, but hearing them fall from Taehyung’s swollen lips leaves an ugly feeling branded into his heart and Jeongguk almost wants to rip himself out of Taehyung’s arms and leave. He wants to tell the gentle boy with soft eyes and a boxy smile not to trust him. He wants to rip himself apart to expose the monster that he truly is.
 
But instead, he presses their lips together and tries to kiss the guilt away. Jeongguk kisses him hungrily like he’d been craving the older boy’s lips for days, coming out for oxygen for just a millisecond, just for him to pull Taehyung closer and kiss him more, as if he’s trying to convey something that he cannot with his words.
 
He tells Taehyung how beautiful and amazing he is as he places butterfly kisses against his skin and leaves clusters of galaxies in his wake. He tells Taehyung that he’s perfect when he leaves a trail of shooting stars on the upturned curve of his jaw, moving down to the hollow point where his throat meets his body, to latch onto one of his nipples and nibble gently, eliciting a cry from the older boy as he reaches down to pump languidly at Taehyung’s cock.
 
“Where’s the lube?” Jeongguk’s at his navel now, kissing just below the belly button, tongue catching the salty sweat from his happy trail.
 
Taehyung flips himself onto his stomach and quite literally wiggles himself to reach for the end table beside the bed. He opens the drawer to fish around for lube and Jeongguk takes the momentary distraction to appreciate Taehyung’s butt. He kneads at the soft flesh and makes sure to leave a generous amount of hickies.
 
“Ow!” the older boy exclaims, swatting at Jeongguk when he decides to take the skin in between his teeth. “Jeon Jeongguk, did you just bite my ass?”
 
Jeongguk laughs as Taehyung looks back at him with an incredulous expression. “I’m only marking what’s mine,” he says as Taehyung hands the lube to him with a pout that Jeongguk finds ridiculously cute.
 
“Strawberry?” Jeongguk looks amused but doesn’t question it any further because it’s Taehyung, and the older boy is unconventional and strange.
 
He flips Taehyung over, going back to mutters and sighs of affections against the insides of Taehyung’s thighs. “Are you sure that you know what you’re doing?” Taehyung asks with an arched brow as he props himself up on his elbows. “I mean, you were a straight frat boy until a few days ago, so…”
 
Jeongguk fumbles with his words before he finally mutters, “I-I’ve watched gay porn before, so I have a general idea of how it goes. Just- just tell me if I’m hurting you, ‘kay?” the response is stupid and naive and Jeongguk feels the tips of his ears burning.
 
Taehyung stares at him for a moment, lips pursed into a thin line before his face splits into a grin and he throws his upper half rather dramatically back onto the sheets. “You’re so fucking cute,” he says. “It should be illegal.”
 
“I’m not cute,” Jeongguk huffs as he squeezes a generous amount of the strawberry flavored lube onto his hand and lets it warm before teasing at Taehyung’s entrance. Taehyung whines and attempts to press himself down onto Jeongguk’s fingers, who merely chuckles affectionately and says “patience, baby” before sliding a finger and stretching him enough to fit a second. Taehyung is tight around his digits and although Jeongguk is no stranger to anal, he admittedly was always too drunk or high for prepping any girl he fucked. It was always a process of putting a shit ton of lube on his dick and getting in and out as fast as possible. Hit it and quit it as Hoseok liked to say.
 
”Shit,” Taehyung breathes out, hips gyrating in a desperate attempt to feel more.
 
“You take my fingers so well, baby,” Jeongguk praises as he finally slips the second finger in. And fuck, Taehyung looks so breathtaking with his head thrown back against the sheets, hooded eyes delirious with pleasure and eyebrows furrowed, his breath coming out in erratic pants. Jeongguk curls his fingers up in a way that makes the older boy’s dick twitch, precum beading at the tip.
Taehyung whimpers as the younger removes his finger with a devious smirk, his hole clenching in desperate need. Jeongguk rubs at the pulsing ring of muscle with his thumb before pushing a finger back in once more and this time when he puts his second finger in again, he meets little resistance. Taehyung keels as Jeongguk scissors and stretches him enough to fit a third finger and it’s a few more minutes of awkward fumbling before Jeongguk finally presses against his prostate.
 
“A-ah, right there. Fuck. Right there, Guk.”
 
“You like that?” Jeongguk asks as he continues to stretch him open, confidence growing with each pleasurable noise falling from the older boy’s mouth. “You like when I touch you like this?”
 
“Y-yes, oh god,” Taehyung cries. “I need you inside- I need you inside of me Jeongguk. Please .” He’s visibly shaking by the time Jeongguk finds a rhythm, rubbing slow and teasing circles against Taehyung’s prostate, thumb pressing against his perineum. Jeongguk’s half tempted to make him cum right there and then, but he knows better.
 
“You’re so sensitive, baby,” Jeongguk coos as he gives one last hard thrust that elicits a rather loud moan from the pliant body underneath him. He finally decides to relent, pulling his fingers out because Taehyung is so needy in a way that goes straight to Jeongguk’s dick. He reaches for the condom that Taehyung takes from the bedside table and practically throws at him. “You really want my cock that badly, huh?” he teases, ripping the wrapper with his teeth and rolling the lubricated condom onto his length.
 
“I- I want it. I want it so badly- ngh- Jeongguk”
 
The shameless desperation in Taehyung’s voice makes his cock twitch. “Shit, Tae. You can’t just say things like that. You’re driving me crazy.”  
 
Taehyung let’s out a breathless laugh. “I’m sorry, would you prefer me to say that I want you to fuck me into the bed until I’m screaming your name?”
 
Jeongguk growls, pressing a bruising kiss to Taehyung’s lips as he positions himself between his legs and spreads them wide. “Oh, I’ll have you crying and begging for me to let you cum, baby .”
 
“Try me, sweetheart.”
 
It’s becoming another competition of some sorts, but just when Jeongguk is about to push himself in, he pauses and Taehyung is quick to ask him if he’s doing something wrong. “No, no,” Jeongguk says quickly before hesitating on his next words. “It’s just...are you sure that you want this?” He doesn’t know what’s come over him because to Jeon Jeongguk this is supposed to be just sex. It’s supposed to be a temporary fix to the chasm of emptiness in his heart, but he’s not high or drunk and his head is swimming with the taste of Taehyung and the smell of his sweat and suddenly, this doesn’t feel like just sex. “Are you sure we aren’t moving too fast?” Now he’s just sounding like an insecure piece of shit.
 
Jeongguk thought that he was untouchable like a god, but underneath Taehyung’s burning gaze and passionate touches, he’s quickly discovering that he’s a lot more tangible than he’d like to be and that scares him.
 
“Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever been more sure of anything before in my life,” Taehyung admits
 
Jeongguk swallows, “really?”
 
He nods, “yeah, really- other than falling for you, that is.”
 
Jeongguk calls him cheesy, but he knows he’s fucked up. He knows that somewhere along the line of separating his emotions from his relationship with Taehyung he misstepped and at some point, Taehyung had become more than just a game. He’s fucked up and it scares him and he doesn’t know how to fix it; or even if he wants to.
 
At any other moment of realization, Jeongguk would have been sent spiraling into another panic attack that made him fucking weak, but right now he’s with Taehyung and nothing else matters besides the boy sprawled out underneath him, moans falling from his parted lips as Jeongguk pushes into him and allows the older boy to adjust to his size. Jeongguk hates loud and Taehyung is loud as he begins to thrust into him, but it’s the type of loudness that has the pleasure coiling inside the pit of his stomach far too quickly. It’s the kind of wanton cries that make Jeongguk pump in and out of him almost desperately. Taehyung is tight. He’s so tight and it feels so good. Jeongguk can’t help the haze that overcomes him and he feels like a fucking virgin again. It takes awhile before he finds Taehyung’s prostate, but when he does, he’s urged on by Taehyung’s loud cries, moving faster as Taehyung whines for him to go harder until his thighs are burning. When Taehyung whimpers Jeongguk’s name over and over again like some mantra, it sounds so delicious and he wants nothing but  to hear more because Taehyung pronounces his name like a fucking firework.  
 
“Fuh-fuck!” Taehyung curses breathlessly. “I’m gonna- ah -”
 
“Are you gonna cum, babe? You like my cock that much?”
 
“Yes. Yes . It feels so good, Gukkie. It feels so fuh-fucking good. I love your c-cock.”
 
“Then come for me,” Jeongguk says as he grabs Taehyung’s cock and begins to stroke him with jerky movements. “Come for me, baby.” He can the pressure building up and his balls squeezing tight, and fuck, Jeongguk isn’t going to last much longer either. It only takes a few more strokes before Taehyung is clenching hard around him, crying out Jeongguk’s name as he shoots his load to splatter onto his chest and Jeongguk’s hand. And fuck, Taehyung looks so beautiful coming undone like that; like the shush of sweaty skin pressed against satin sheets.
 
The younger boy follows soon after, and when Jeongguk cums- he cums hard. His hips stutter as a strangled moan ripples through his chest and out of his throat. There’s a flash of hot white as he fills up the condom and rides himself through his high before collapsing on top of Taehyung, not caring if he’s smearing cum.
 
They don’t move for a good while, their heavy panting filling the silence of 10p.m. They don’t move until Taehyung finally says, “okay, laying in my own cum is gross” and Jeongguk laughs breathlessly before pulling out and exiting the room momentarily to fetch a washcloth from the bathroom and dispose of the condom.  
 
Jeongguk’s silent while he cleans Taehyung up. Gently wiping the stickiness from his abdomen before sliding down in between his thighs. “That was nice,” he says, and Jeongguk merely hums in response. He throws the dirty cloth in the laundry basket before laying back down next to Taehyung, who snuggles up to him and lays his head on Jeongguk’s naked chest.
 
Jeongguk doesn’t want to say anything. Not when Taehyung traces imaginary patterns into his sweaty skin and places a loving kiss onto his collar bone. He doesn’t want to speak because now there’s no haze of lust to cloud his thoughts.
 
“I can’t believe we waited that long to do that,” Taehyung says with a giggle.
 
“Yeah,” Jeongguk tries to put as much enthusiasm in voice as he can, but his response comes out flatter than intended. “Neither can I.”  He knows that Taehyung won’t understand the underlying meaning underneath his words.
 
The great Jeon Jeongguk has royally fucked up.
 
Jeongguk is stuck with the crushing reality of how much he’s fucked up because that was not just a meaningless fuck and he hates himself. He hates himself so much because he actually likes Taehyung and he doesn't know how to handle real feelings. He doesn’t know how to handle emotions that don’t center around the suffering of others and he doesn’t know how to love anyone.
 
Jeongguk can’t even love himself.
 
The panic begins to build and he feels like throwing up and fuck, Jeongguk could really use a line or three right now but he doesn’t have any on him. Maybe throwing himself off of Mapo Bridge is the best option right now. Maybe cutting his wrists open to show Taehyung how ugly he is, is the right thing to do. Maybe getting hit by a vehicle (preferably a semi to ensure the likelihood of death) is what he should do when he leaves. Anything is better than this. Anything is better than having to face his reality, because Jeongguk is messed up and Taehyung is so fucking pure and too good for him and Jeongguk has just tainted him. Right now, he’d rather be in the morgue because the anxiety is squeezing his chest and oh god -
 
“Jeongguk?” it’s Taehyung’s voice that grounds him back to reality.
 
The younger blinks, “huh?”
 
“Are you okay?”
 
“Yeah,” he lies. “Why?”
 
Taehyung peers up at him, chewing on his bottom lip nervously. “It’s just… you haven’t said much, and I...I wanna make sure that this meant as much to you as it did to me.”
 
“I-” Jeongguk’s tongue feels like sandpaper. “It did.”
 
And that was a problem.
 
So,” Taehyung drawls. “We’re a couple...right?”
 
And Jeongguk actually laughs at this. He laughs and it reverberates throughout his entire being and this is all ridiculous and confusing because while Jeongguk is amidst an internal crisis, Taehyung still finds a way to be so god damn endearing that it physically hurts.
 
“I confessed, we went on a date and then we had bomb sex, but you’re still asking that?”
 
A blush tints Taehyung’s cheeks and he looks bashful. “I-I just wanted to make sure.”
 
“Yeah, we’re together and my boyfriend is totally a hopeless loser,” Jeongguk taunts.
 
Taehyung beams at this and Jeongguk is a hundred percent sure that the boy in his arms is the sun, because there’s no way that it’s possible for a human being to shine the way he does. There’s no way that it’s possible for a human to affect him in the way that Taehyung does.
 
And in this moment, Jeongguk wishes that he wasn’t born a monster. Jeongguk wishes that he deserved Kim Taehyung.