Au; Sports captains Taehyung & Jeongguk don’t exactly see eye to eye. Both sarcastic, competitive and, admittedly, two of the most popular boys in their fraternity, it’s no wonder they butt heads.
So how they ended up the university’s no. 1 couple is complete & utter bullsh*t.
• Enemies to lovers
• Low key fvckboys Taekook
Need I say more
1. Twitter intro, also might be good to warn you of profanity and other nsfw-ish themes I’ll be including in this au
The players scatter, sneakers squeaking against the gymnasium floor as they shove past e/o to the water fountains.
“Hey man,” a heavy hand slams onto Jeongguk’s back, several hard pats jostling him mid-sip.
He turns, swiping at the water dribbling down his chin.
“Just wanted to congratulate you.” It’s one of their newer players, a Freshman with mad 3-pointer skills.
Tossing his water bottle to the side, Jeongguk cocks an eyebrow up at him.
“Your relationship, of course.”
The rest of the players are quick to join in.
And before long, Jeongguk’s surrounded by wolf whistles, lewd gestures and about half a dozen congratulatory hugs; all despite his insistence on his and Taehyung’s mutual hatred for e/o
“You take us for a bunch of idiots, Gguk?”
“I knew there was too much tension between them.”
Taehyung pockets his phone w/ a shake of his head. For someone so chock-full of testosterone, Jeongguk sure could be a big ole b*tch.
“Trouble in paradise?” He glances over his shoulder, surprised to find several pairs of eyes on him, and shrugs on his shirt w/ a frown.
They exchange looks amongst each other, seemingly deciding on who should put their neck on the line.
It’s Wonho that ends up taking one for the team.
“Tae, we know you have a lot on your shoulders. Especially being the captain and all and we just,” he pauses —
gesturing to the few players remaining in the locker room, “want you to know that you can share stuff with us. Before teammates, we’re friends.”
Irked, but strangely flattered by the concern, Taehyung nods his head.
Wonho swallows, “so if anything ever happens —
between you and Jeongguk that you need to get off your chest, just know we’re here for you.”
It takes a moment for it all to click inside Taehyung’s brain, but once it does, he can’t help but laugh.
“Funny. Why have you guys gone all sentimental all of a sudden?
Me and Jeongguk fight all the time.”
Wonho tilts his head, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion.
“Well, it’s different now. You’re dating.”
21. Felt they weren’t arguing enough
24. ...and the texts begin
25. Take a shot every time they drop the f-bomb
Jeongguk shucks off his jersey, grimacing at the sweat that clings to his skin. God, why did the locker rooms have to be at a perpetual temperature of a thousand degrees. It’s already summer for crying out loud.
The boy to his right whistles, sizing him up.
“You been bench pressing lately, dude?” He asks and Jeongguk shrugs, ever so subtly flexing just because he can. “Working my way up to 280 lbs.”
His teammate’s eyes grow comically wide, practically bugging out of their sockets.
There’s a scoff from behind them and Jeongguk’s surprised to see the baseball team trailing in, gym bags slung over their shoulders and helmets tucked beneath their arms. The freshmen bow their heads as they duck past him, the older members nodding in greeting.
Then, of course, there’s Taehyung, standing by the bench opposite his with a sour expression on his face
“Shouldn’t you and your team be done with the showers by now?” He asks, wrinkling his nose at both the smell in the air and the basketball players sauntering around in towels
Jeongguk quirks a brow up at him, heading for the showers himself.
“Bit snappy today, aren’t we?” He comments, twisting his towel around his hand.
Taehyung turns around, choosing to rummage through his bag instead of offering him a reply.
If only he’d realised that, in doing so, he’d left his, admittedly rather perky, behind exposed.
Jeongguk glances at it, already rolling his towel around one hand, the other pulling back the end. He has to pass by Taehyung to get to the showers —
He might as well mess with him a bit.
Ignoring the pointed looks his teammates and a few of the baseball players send him, Jeongguk coils the towel as tightly as he can before flicking his wrist and watching as it connects with Taehyung’s ass w/ a rather satisfying smack.
“Break it up, break it up.” Coach Ahn grasps the back of Taehyung’s collar, just narrowly missing an elbow to the face as he yanks him off one of the basketball players.
Meanwhile, Coach Geun glares down at the boy he’d appointed team captain. So much for setting a good example.
“Get up.” He barks, showing absolutely no sympathy for Jeongguk as he scrambles to his feet, clutching at a bloodied nose
Jeongguk grunts, tipping his head back. He hadn’t seen the punch coming. One minute he’s headed for the showers, the next Taehyung’s tackled him to the floor
He landed a pretty good one too. Fvcking a**hole.
“Are you two incapable of controlling yourselves?” Both of the boys flinch as Coach Ahn levels them with his infamous scowl, a vein in his forehead close to bursting.
Taehyung grimaces, only to hiss at the sting of his split lip
“He smacked my ass!” He says, lifting his head to shoot Jeongguk a fiery glare, still positively livid he’d had the nerve to do it.
Jeongguk scoffs from behind his hand, “it was a friendly gesture! Something your uptight ass obviously wouldn’t understand.”
The provoking comment only serves to tick Taehyung off even further and Jeongguk cocks a challenging brow up at him as Taehyung takes a threatening step forward. The coaches are quick to intervene, however, and Taehyung and Jeongguk spend the next twenty minutes —
getting quite the earful.
“We’ll be suspending you both from your posts as team captains until you learn to be mature and sort out whatever it is you have going on between you two.” Taehyung and Jeongguk balk, blood draining from their faces, “we’ll be in charge of —
practices for the time being.”
Taehyung shakes his head, chasing after his coach into the hall.
“Coach, I’ve been captain for almost two years. You can’t do this.”
Coach Ahn shoots him a sharp look, “if you want your title back, I suggest you start by apologising to that boy.”
“Well, it’s good to hear you’ve finally resolved your issues.”
Taehyung nods, smile tight lipped and so impossibly forced, he’s afraid their coaches might see right through it.
Jeongguk shifts uncomfortably on his feet beside him.
“Yeah, we talked it all out —
realised how immature we were being and decided that we should be setting better examples for our teammates.” He lies so seamlessly, barely even batting an eyelash at the bullsh*t spewing from his mouth.
Coach Ahn nods his head, thoughtfully.
“That’s good to hear.”
Taehyung and Jeongguk glance at each other, both struggling to refrain from glowering.
“Actually, you couldn’t have come to us at a better time.”
Coach Geun pushes off his desk, clapping his hands in excitement.
“After the little stunt you two pulled, we —
came to the decision that the baseball and basketball teams needed to spend more quality time together. Bond, if you will. After all, we’re all sportsmen here.”
Taehyung’s eyebrows furrow in confusion, not entirely understanding what he’s getting at, “okay?”
It’s not like there’s any animosity between the teams. The only real conflict, really, was between him and Jeongguk.
Coach Geun looks to Coach Ahn, “we’ve arranged for the baseball and basketball players to go on a little team bonding exhibition at a camp we found, over the —
next semester break. We think it’ll be good to build stronger relationships between you all, maybe even help you two improve your leadership skills too.”
Jeongguk opens his mouth to object — it’s a stupid idea — but Taehyung elbows him in the side.
“That sounds great.” He says.
Jeongguk waits for the last of his teammates to pack up their stuff, following after him through the door with a sigh. Today’s practice was a mess. It’s bad enough Coach Geun showed up at the start, but he’d then proceeded to keep an eye on him the entire game.
He’s not a child. He doesn’t need a babysitter. And it’s not like Taehyung would magically show up at the courts, hollering for another brawl. Their coaches are being ridiculous
He glances up from his phone, fingers tightening around it as he locks gazes w/ Taehyung
It’s practically second nature at this point to throw something snarky in his direction. The corners of Jeongguk’s mouth twitch, already halfway to a sneer, when he realises they have an audience. Right. They’re supposed to be on good terms now.
He can feel Coach Geun’s eyes boring holes into the side of his head and forces a smile to his face. It’s laughable how difficult it is to actually play nice.
“Taehyung.” He dips his head in greeting, “good luck in your match later.”
God, he wants to vomit.
Biting back a snort, Taehyung nods.
It’s awkward. So awkward, but he thinks it’s enough for their coaches if the silence that follows is any indication.
“Right. Well,” Jeongguk scratches at the back of his neck, hiking his gym bag further up his shoulder —
“guess I’ll see you around.” He brushes past him, close enough for Taehyung to get a whiff of cologne and, alright, he smells nice for an a**hole of his calibre.
The thought doesn’t linger for very long, however, because then Jeongguk’s leaning in, his lips curved into a smirk —
only he can see. Taehyung stiffens, shoulders rigid as Jeongguk mutters quietly into his ear, dark amusement laced into the breath that hits the side of his neck.
“Break a leg.”
“So to wrap up today’s meeting, due to the limited funding the sports department gets, you will all be sharing a room with someone.”
A chorus of groans fills the classroom, but Coach Ahn leaves no room for objections as he takes out a paper bag.
“I have a pool of the —
basketball player’s names. If you’re on the baseball team, I’d like you to come and take a slip of paper. I’m sure the rest is pretty much self-explanatory.”
Jeongguk rolls his eyes, kicking his feet up onto the table with an irritated huff. This is so stupid.
It’s bad enough they have to go on this trip during vacation time, but they can’t even choose who they room with now? Absolute bullsh*t.
All he can do is hope to get a quiet roommate. Someone who’ll hopefully keep out of his business and just leave him the fvck alone.
He watches as members of the baseball team walk up to the front, rummage through the paper bag and call out their designated roommate’s names. Everyone that’s been matched up so far appears to be fairly happy, so Jeongguk supposes it shouldn’t be too horrible an experience.
He really shouldn’t have spoken too soon.
“Taehyung,” Coach Ahn calls upon his team captain, who, by the way, looks about ready to bolt right out of there, “your turn.”
Jeongguk snorts, eyes trailing after the blonde as he slinks up to collect his slip of paper.
He feels sorry for whichever poor soul ends up having to room with that piece of work for a whole three weeks. Jeongguk, himself, can barely stand to be in the same gymnasium as him for ten minutes.
Taehyung chews at the inside of his cheek, dread filling his stomach —
as he pulls out a name. Please. He sends a quick prayer. Anyone but him.
The players are strangely quiet during his turn, all eyes honing in to his fingers unfolding his piece of paper. Even the coaches seem to be holding their breath.
Jeongguk cocks an eyebrow up, partially out of curiosity and partially out of amusement, at Taehyung’s reaction to the person he’d gotten. He looks... well, pale. Extremely so, and Jeongguk’s ready to laugh at whoever it is he ended up with —
lips already tugging up into an infuriatingly cocky smirk, when Taehyung glances up, his gaze quickly locking onto his.
Jeongguk’s heart drops, his eyes widening in horror.
Taehyung swallows, crumpling up the strip of paper in his hand with a grimace, “Jeon Jeongguk.”
76. Is this foreshadowing
“Alright, before we let you guys off to settle into your rooms, I’d like to remind you that it is your responsibility to look out for your roommate. They’ll be your partner for most of the tasks we’ll be setting you over the next few weeks, so please try to get along.”
Jeongguk rolls his eyes. Of course. Because being lumped together with the asshat in a room isn’t punishment enough already. He’s honestly not even surprised anymore.
Coach Ahn claps his hands, “we’ll see you all later this evening for the bonfire.”
They’re dismissed after that, partners breaking away from the group towards the direction of their respective rooms. The campsite, itself, is rather nice. Had he been rooming with anyone else, he’d probably have quite enjoyed the whole thing.
Jeongguk swivels on his feet first —
his hulking excuse of a backpack almost knocking Taehyung off his feet.
“Watch it, would you?” He snaps, having no need to tone down his voice with neither of the coaches around.
Jeongguk doesn’t respond, his strides only further quickening in pace towards one of the hulking —
log cabins. Well, this is already going swell.
Huffing, Taehyung trails after him. He doesn’t really have a choice. Coach Geun had given him their keycard. Their one, and only, way of getting into their room.
“Ignoring me right off the bat?” Taehyung snorts, “very mature.”
The only indication Jeongguk had acknowledged what he’d said is the hard set of his jaw, but his eyes remain trained on their destination.
Taehyung comes up beside him, purposefully peering in close to rouse a reaction from him.
He shrugs, “well, I suppose this is better —
than having to hear the usual bullsh*t that spews from your mouth.”
This gets Jeongguk’s attention, having never been one to let comments like that slide.
“Don’t start with me.” He bites out through teeth clenched so hard, Taehyung can see the tendons in his neck.
There’s just something about seeing Jeongguk all p*ssed that gets him going. A little rush of satisfaction, a surge of adrenaline, that hits every time he gets under his skin.
“Don’t get me started.” He mocks, pitching his voice up to a ridiculous level, “scared you’ll punch —
me? Afraid you’ll get our positions taken away again? C’mon Jeon, don’t you have any self contr—“
He yelps, the harsh grip of fingers around his arm cutting off his provoking babble.
“Can’t you shut the fvck up for like 2 seconds?” Jeongguk hisses, unnervingly close to his face
He opens his mouth, a retort on the tip of his tongue when a lady in uniform interjects, awkwardly clearing her throat behind the desk. Taehyung’s mouth snaps shut, only now realising they’d made it to their lodge. Jeongguk’s grip disappears & Taehyung’s not sure if he means to —
but he swears he feels him trail his fingertips down the length of his arm for the briefest of seconds before he pulls away completely, taking a step forward to greet the receptionist with a deceivingly charming smile.
“Two faced.” Taehyung mutters under his breath.
He yelps for the second time in five minutes as Jeongguk subtly reaches over to pinch him in the ribs. Fvcking a**hole.
The poor secretary couldn’t have looked more uncomfortable.
“Room 23.” Jeongguk says, so uncharacteristically sweet, Taehyung has to double take.
“That’s not how you do it, dumbass.”
Having watched Jeongguk fumble with their keycard for the past five minutes in several unsuccessful attempts at unlocking the door, Taehyung finally snatches it from and elbows him out the way.
He relishes in the pained grunt he hears.
“There.” He pushes the door open with a triumphant grin, a single easy swipe of the keycard all it takes for the latch to unlock with a soft click.
Jeongguk pushes past him, ignoring the infuriatingly smug smile Taehyung throws his way. Cocky b*stard.
The room’s decent. Nothing too fancy, as is to be expected considering they’re here on limited school funding. Two twin beds, an en-suite and, much to their pleasant surprise, a small balcony overlooking the other lodges.
Taehyung whistles, “nice.”
After lugging his suitcase and backpack inside, Jeongguk falls back onto the bed closest to the window with a yawn.
“Um, who said you could take that one?”
He peeks one eye open to find Taehyung standing at the foot of his bed, his hands on his hips as he frowns down at him.
Jeongguk quirks an eyebrow up at him, propping his hands up behind his head and crossing one ankle over the other — looking every bit as relaxed as he feels.
“Who says I can’t?” He retorts, already settling into the duvet quite nicely. Taking a nap sounds like a nice idea.
Taehyung grinds his teeth together, his hands balling into fists at his sides because he wanted the bed with the view, but now that Jeongguk’s spread his germs all over it, he’s not so sure he does anymore.
“I’ll rock, paper, scissors you for it.” He says despite himself.
The suggestion rouses a snort from the boy below and Jeongguk scoots over, not having the patience nor the energy right now to argue with Taehyung so soon.
“If you want it so bad, c’mere then.” He pats the spot next to him, the space barely big enough to fit another person.
Taehyung scoffs. What a sleaze.
“As if.” He watches as Jeongguk shrugs, eyelids already drooping.
“Fine, suit yourself.” He rolls over, pressing his face into the pillows with a low hum, “now if you’d kindly shut the fvck up.”
He doesn’t hear anything from Taehyung after that, so he guesses he let it slide this time around. Burrowing further into the sheets, Jeongguk sighs happily. If Taehyung’s this obedient throughout the entire trip, he might just enjoy himself.
It’s only a minute or two later that he feels fingers wind around his ankles and Jeongguk only has enough time to snap his eyes open before he’s being dragged over the side of the bed and onto the hard wood flooring.
Taehyung’s triumphant cheer ends in a surprised shout —
as Jeongguk pulls him to the ground with him, wrestling him to the floor with an annoyed scowl.
“What do you think you’re doing?” He growls, somehow managing to pin Taehyung beneath him in a rather... interesting position.
His knees dig painfully into the floorboards, the fronts of his thighs pressing into the backs of Taehyung’s as he struggles against his hold.
“What the fvck do you eat?” Taehyung snarls, finding his efforts to wriggle free pointless with how heavy Jeongguk is, “rocks?”
He swears he wasn’t this strong back in the locker room.
With his hands pinned on either side of his head and his legs practically hauled over Jeongguk’s shoulders, Taehyung detests how vulnerable he is. This is humiliating.
All he can really do at this point is glare
pray the venom in his voice is enough to get Jeongguk the fvck off him.
“Get off me.” He snaps, suddenly very aware of Jeongguk pressing closer with the slight burn he feels in the backs of his thighs.
The animosity in Jeongguk’s eyes dissolves, giving way to something —
Taehyung’s not quite as familiar with.
“Y’know,” he trails his gaze over the flush in Taehyung’s cheeks, the fury with which he glares up at him, so defiant despite his position. Taehyung doesn’t like the look of the smirk that curls across Jeongguk’s face, the teasing —
glint in his eyes. It all spells nothing but trouble. Trouble that he could very well end up punching him for
Jeongguk’s pretty much folded him in half, completely ignoring the threatening promises Taehyung babbles into his ears.
“You’re awfully flexible for a baseball player.”
Taehyung is more of a shower-at-night type of person. The slip into bed fresh as a daisy, can’t fall asleep unless he’s squeaky clean kind of guy. So he expects to be able to hop right into the shower after a long, strenuous day of lugging wooden logs around.
Of course, things never go as planned when Jeongguk’s involved. Though, in this case, indirectly. He supposes it’s not on purpose that Jeongguk takes his sweet time inside the bathroom or that he potentially uses up all the hot water because he couldn’t have known when Taehyung —
would get back. Taehyung can only be thankful he’d been smart enough to leave their room door propped open for him. Granted, it was one of Taehyung’s shoes that he’d shoved in the doorway, but he wouldn’t expect much else from a boy that’d no doubt lock him out on a bad day.
With a slight buzz from the few bottles of beer he’d guzzled down still very much pumping through his system, he manages to wait patiently for a good half an hour or so. But as soon as the thrum of alcohol dissipates, giving way to a creeping exhaustion and still no sign of —
Jeongguk, Taehyung finds himself banging his fist against the bathroom door.
“Hurry the fvck up.” He yells, completely uncaring of the people in neighbouring rooms who could very well already be asleep, “what are you even doing that’s taking so long?”
There’s a muffled mumble, the sound of something clattering into the sink reaching Taehyung’s ears before Jeongguk’s shouting right back at him.
Knowing Jeongguk, Taehyung wouldn’t put it past him to be telling the truth.
He pounds against the door some more.
“You’re taking too damn long! It’s my turn to shower.”
He thinks he hears someone cursing at him from the hallway outside.
There’s shuffling on the other side of the door before the lock clicks open — a sound that is very much music to Taehyung’s ears right now.
The door swings open to a fresh faced Jeongguk, all rosy cheeks and damp hair that he doesn’t hesitate to flick in Taehyung’s direction as he brushes past with a grunt. The steam that follows close behind him smells of vanilla and cinnamon, an odd combination Taehyung —
never would’ve associated w/ someone like Jeongguk. It’s too sweet. He would’ve expected something a bit more musky, more like pine or your atypical axe deodorant since the basketball captain’s bravado tended to scream more of testosterone & fragile masculinity than anything else
Not that Taehyung’s ever imagined what he’d smell like.
“Why’re you naked?” He blurts once his eyes land upon the broad expanse of taut muscle shifting beneath skin a surprising shade of alabaster considering how much Jeongguk was on the courts.
He’s not naked, exactly. Though the sweatpants he has on are slung dangerously low, precariously hanging from narrow hips and unwillingly drawing Taehyung’s attention to a very prominent v-line. God, he doesn’t even know how to put pants on properly.
He snaps his eyes up at the sound of Jeongguk snorting.
“Never would’ve taken you for a prude.” He says, lifting up an arm to dry at the back of his head and no, Taehyung does not pay attention to the way his biceps flex with each flick of his wrist.
“Never thought of you as a nudist.” Taehyung fires back, not entirely happy with his poor attempt at a comeback, but he’s tired. It’s a wonder he’d even managed much more than an irritated huff.
Jeongguk shrugs, chucking his towel onto a chair in the corner, “I sleep shirtless.”
He then slides Taehyung a sly smirk as he drops down onto his bed, “I’m sure you can manage to control yourself.”
That’s all the cue Taehyung needs to slam the door in his face. Please. As if he’d ever be tempted to do anything with Satan’s love child.
“Breathe louder, Jeongguk. I don’t think the guys in the room next to us can hear you.”
The snide remark had been on the tip of Taehyung’s tongue for a good half an hour or so now, but he’d refrained from saying anything purely to avoid yet another argument right before bed.
Jeongguk merely grumbles in response, having probably been on the edge of falling under when Taehyung had so kindly broken the silence.
Taehyung can feel his patience wearing thin with every inhale he takes. Even when unconscious, he’s annoying.
“Jeongguk.” He hisses again, this time successfully rousing a very irritated basketball captain.
“Do you have to whine about every fvcking little thing?” He groans, throwing an arm over his face. Taehyung actually never shuts up.
Rolling over to face him, Taehyung grimaces.
“Do you have to breathe like you have asthma?” He retorts and Jeongguk peers beneath a forearm to shoot him a lethargic glare.
“Did you ever stop to consider the possibility that I actually do have asthma? Huh, a**hole?”
Taehyung purses his lips, not entirely convinced.
A minute of silence follows before Jeongguk ultimately shifts to a more comfortable position, sniffing.
Rolling his eyes at the utter idiocy, Taehyung attempts to be somewhat more civil. He wants to get some rest just as much as Jeongguk does.
“Can’t you like,” he gesticulates aimlessly, “breathe any quieter? Like through your nose instead of your mouth?”
Jeongguk hums, already dozing off once more and Taehyung chucks a pillow in his direction, smirking at the enraged grunt from the other side of the room.
The bed to his left creaks and he’s mildly surprised, perhaps even a bit scared, to find Jeongguk sitting upright and glaring in his direction.
He grips the pillow Taehyung had so graciously tossed over to him, holding it up in the air threateningly.
“Did you really just throw this at me?”
Taehyung rolls his eyes for the nth time, propping himself up on an elbow as he turns his body towards Jeongguk.
“No, the sleep paralysis demon did.” He says sarcastically.
In hindsight, he really should’ve seen it coming.
“Since today is your first full day at camp, we wanted to start you off with something fun.” One of the activity guides, a stocky man whom Taehyung notes not to aggravate, gestures to a table filled with compasses and an array of different coloured maps. “Orienteering!”
He hangs his head, a long groan rumbling through his chest to join the chorus of complaints that fill the air. This is just what he needs right now. Wondering through the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but trees & wild animals w/ no one but Jeongguk to rely on? Perfect.
They’re one of the final pairs to set off, having spent a good portion of their time arguing over who could read a map better.
“I was a member of the Boy Scouts for years.” Taehyung boasts, snatching the compass from Jeongguk’s hand.
“Yeah? Well, I joined an army
cadet placement program every summer during middle school.” Jeongguk lifts a haughty nose up at him, grabbing their map off the table and marching over to the edge of the forest where the rest of the pairs had disappeared off to.
If he weren’t his partner, Taehyung swears he would’ve kicked him off the side of a nearby mountain by now.
“Can you hurry your fat ass up?” Jeongguk yells, already out of sight and Taehyung grumbles, pocketing the compass with a huff. Why does he get to lead the way?
“We were supposed to go North.”
“No, we’re going the right way.”
“Jeongguk, we’re obviously lost.”
“Can you stop being so negative?”
They’ve been trekking through the woods for about an hour now, somehow managing to bicker the entire time.
Taehyung’s pretty sure they forked off of the main trail they were supposed to follow several hundred yards ago, but Jeongguk had insisted they were just taking a shortcut.
“Give me that.” He shoves Jeongguk out of the way, peering over the map, himself.
The landmarks on the map resemble nothing they’ve seen so far. Inhaling slowly, Taehyung tries to calm himself. He can’t afford to lose it right now. Not when they could potentially be some place they can’t be found.
Calm, even breaths, he reminds himself.
He hears Jeongguk take a step closer.
“I think we took a wrong turn.”
He swivels on his heels, rolling the map up in one hand and smacking Jeongguk upside the head with it.
“Yeah? No sh*t, Sherlock. What the fvck are we supposed to do now?”
Jeongguk, much to Taehyung’s pleasant surprise, has not spoken since he took the lead, trekking through trees and bushes he thinks they’d passed by earlier. Granted, Taehyung did tell him he’d shove a compass in certain places if he didn’t, but it’s a minor detail.
They couldn’t have gotten too far. They hadn’t even been walking for that long before the realisation that they were very much off the hiking trail had set in.
Taehyung comes to a stop in a little clearing, eyeing the foliage around them. They went through here earlier, right?
The longest silence they’ve ever successfully spent in each other’s company without any physical altercations breaks with Jeongguk nudging Taehyung with his elbow, oddly subdued.
“What?” He doesn’t have time for any bullsht right now. Not when he’s trying —
to get them back to the safety of the campsite. As much as he wouldn’t mind leaving Jeongguk to fend for himself, Taehyung knows his coaches will give him heII if he turns up without his partner
“Taehyung.” The nudge is harder this time, his elbow digging painfully into his ribs
and Taehyung whips around to face him with an annoyed huff.
“What?” He snaps, “can’t you see I’m trying to get us out of this mess you put us in you piece of sh—mph.”
He stares down at Jeongguk’s hand, outraged at his audacity to actually slap it over his mouth.
Unfazed by the glare drilling into his head, Jeongguk hushes him, eyes fixated on something over Taehyung’s shoulder.
“I’d stay quiet if I were you.” He murmurs, watching as the fury in Taehyung’s eyes dims, confusion quick to take it’s place.
Jeongguk only removes his hand —
after he’s confident Taehyung won’t go off on him again, taking a cautious step back as he turns to look behind him.
However, as soon as he spots the widening of his eyes, the hairs on the back of his neck bristling and the beginnings of a panicked yell clawing it’s —
way from Taehyung’s throat, Jeongguk’s diving forward and covering his mouth once again, this time ensuring to wrap an arm around his body, securing Taehyung’s flailing limbs to his sides.
“Don’t you dare fvcking scream.” He hisses, slowly walking them backwards —
until they’re shrouded in shrubbery and hopefully out of the creature’s sight.
Heart thundering against his rib cage and his brain conjuring up a million dangerous scenarios, Taehyung barely registers that Jeongguk’s pressed right up against him, close enough —
for his belt buckle to dig painfully into the small of his back.
“What the hell was that?” He squeaks as Jeongguk’s hand drops to his waist. Taehyung’s not afraid of many things. He’s held snakes before, owned a pet tarantula, gone bungee jumping off the side of a cliff.
So he’s somewhat shaken up by just how terrifying it is to encounter an animal in the wild.
Jeongguk stands stiff behind him, peering over his shoulder into the clearing. He swallows audibly.
“I don’t know. It had fur. A lynx, maybe?”
Taehyung’s shouting before he can stop himself, his panic overriding any semblance of common sense.
There’s a loud thud from a few metres away, something very heavy, and very much aware of their presence, landing on the earth with a quiet hiss.
Digs his heels into the ground and propels himself right out of there without a second thought. It only takes Taehyung a split second to register the fact that his partner had actually just left him to get eaten by a wild animal, and he follows suit, chasing after him.
With adrenaline pumping through his veins and fear displacing any anger he would’ve otherwise felt, Taehyung sprints after Jeongguk, just barely managing to keep him in sight with how quickly the boy ploughed through the trees and shrubs.
He feels like he’s run a marathon, chest heaving and lungs screaming at him to stop and fvcking breathe, when it happens. His foot catches on a tree root, his sheer velocity driving him forward and catapulting him into the nearest bush, twisting his ankle in the process.
“Fvck!” He clambers back up to his feet, wincing at the throb in his ankle as he leans up against a tree, “sh*t.”
He’s thankful whatever wild animal had been chasing them had long since given up, otherwise he’d be eating the dirt right about now.
He grimaces, glancing down at his ankle that’s already beginning to swell, the skin blistering an angry red. Great. As if the trip thus far hasn’t already been sh*tty enough. Now he’s alone and injured with absolutely no clue where he is, ditched by his a**hole of a partner.
Tears of frustration prick at the corners of his eyes. This had all turned out to be a complete nightmare. Then again, what more could he have expected being stuck w/ Jeongguk?
A twig snaps to his right & he bites his lip to swallow down a pained cry as he prepares to run again.
But just as he goes to push off of the tree, his ankle already screaming in protest, a face he’d very much like to pummel to the ground emerges from around the corner.
Jeongguk’s red in the face, hair clinging to his forehead as sweat trickles down the side of his face.
“Oh,” he eyes Taehyung from head to toe, scrutinising, “you’re still alive.”
This is the first time Taehyung swears he could genuinely murder him.
“You left me!” He shrieks in absolute disbelief, his emotions only now catching up to him.
Jeongguk throws his hands up.
“Hey, it was a life and death situation. You gotta do what you gotta do.”
If Taehyung hadn’t been keeping his weight steady on his non injured foot, he wouldn’t have hesitated to throw a punch.
“But I only ran ‘cause I knew you’d be able to keep up.” Jeongguk shrugs.
As if Taehyung would ever buy that lie.
“If I hadn’t twisted my ankle, Jeon.” Taehyung starts, spitting each word out through gritted teeth, “I swear you’d be ten feet under right now.”
Jeongguk’s gaze travels down to his ankle at the mention of his injury.
His mouth pops open into a little ‘o’ and Taehyung just about bursts a blood vessel at the bemused smirk that slowly curves across his face.
“That’s gotta hurt.” He comments, dodging a rock Taehyung aims for his head.
Taehyung tries to hit him, but he only ends up —
stumbling forward, landing on his injured ankle with a muffled curse. He’s surprised to find hands flying up and steadying him, but he slaps Jeongguk away with a grunt.
“Don’t need your fvcking help.” He says, limping forward a few steps.
Striding up next to him, Jeongguk quirks an eyebrow up in challenge.
“Oh yeah?” He watches in amusement as Taehyung attempts to bite back a pained whine, “y’know, I managed to find the main hiking path back to the campsite before I came back for you.”
And Jeongguk brushes past him with a shrug.
“I was gonna offer to carry you back since it’s still pretty far away, but if you insist on not needing my help...” he trails off, glancing at Taehyung over his shoulder.
Taehyung narrows his eyes. He knows what he’s doing.
And if Jeongguk thinks he’ll actually get him to ask for his help then he has another thing coming. Taehyung has more pride and self-respect than that.
He takes one step forward and hisses at the pain that flares up his leg. If it hurts this bad now, he doubts walking
the several miles back to camp will do it any good.
Pursing his lips, he considers relenting just this once. He can either play stubborn and quite possibly mess his ankle up even further or he can suck it up and get Jeongguk to take him back.
He looks up at him, contemplating.
“Why would you offer to carry me?” He questions, narrowing his eyes in suspicion. After everything that’s transpired in the last few hours — getting them lost, abandoning him — why would Jeongguk help him?
Jeongguk blinks away, his tongue —
darting out over the swell of his lower lip.
“Consider it a peace offering.” He says, jutting a thumb behind him, “since I left you back there, this’ll be my way of paying you back.”
Taehyung hums, “so in essence, you’re apologising?”
Jeongguk frowns, the idea of ever apologising to Taehyung, of all people, enough to bruise his ego.
“No.” He shakes his head, “just don’t want you thinking I owe you anything for ditching you.”
Taehyung wants to say more, tease him a little, but he fears Jeongguk might —
have a change of heart and retract his offer. It’s a miracle he felt guilty enough to come back for him after leaving him in the dust, in the first place.
“Alright,” Taehyung drops the act, face crumpling as his ankle continues to throb like a son of a b*tch, “carry me.”
He waits for him to turn around, hunker down so he can clamber onto his back. The last thing he expects is for Jeongguk to come straight for him, ducking down just low enough to wrap an arm around Taehyung’s waist and haul him up over his shoulder.
The world around him flips upside down and Taehyung grapples for the back of Jeongguk’s tee shirt, kneeing him in the chest in his panic at the unexpected move.
Grunting, Jeongguk almost topples over, but he manages to catch his balance before Taehyung’s head collides w/ a tree
“Do you want me to fvcking drop you?” Jeongguk shakes him, hoisting him further up his shoulder and Taehyung yelps as his face lowers with the movement, his bangs grazing Jeongguk’s waistband.
“Give me a warning next time.” He counters, very much not appreciating his view.
The walk back is fairly silent, neither of them really looking to p*ss the other off after everything that had gone down in the span of a few short hours. All of Taehyung’s blood’s just about drained to his head and his grip on the material of Jeongguk’s shirt tightens.
“Jeongguk,” he starts, voice quiet as the world around him begins to spin with each step Jeongguk takes.
He doesn’t get a reply and attempts to push himself up, pressing against Jeongguk’s back for leverage. The one hand wrapped around his thigh to secure him in place squeezes.
“Quit struggling.” Jeongguk barks as he steps over a log, “unless you want to walk.”
Pursing his lips, Taehyung wriggles some more. He’s starting to feel nauseous.
“I’ve been upside down too long.” He says, blinking past the spots emerging in his vision, “I’ll pass out.”
“Good.” Jeongguk mumbles, “at least I won’t have to listen to you whining.”
He’s jostled again, Jeongguk’s shoulder pressing hard into his stomach and Taehyung slaps the back of his head.
“Jeongguk, I swear I’ll throw up on you if you don’t stop.” He warns, the threat —
far from empty with the way his stomach turns.
Taehyung feels himself getting lowered, a sigh of relief escaping his lips as the blood that had pooled in his head returns to it’s proper circulation. However, his feet never touch the ground.
The tips of his shoes just barely graze the soil before Jeongguk’s once again swinging him around like some rag doll, an arm supporting his back, the other hooking beneath his knees.
“What—“ Taehyung’s slightly winded, blinking down at the embarrassing position he’d been put in.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” He asks, trying to scramble away. It had been hard enough to let Jeongguk carry him in the first place, took a severe portion of sacrificed pride to actually rely on him. Being carried like this, like a fvcking princess, is one step —
too far. Taehyung refuses.
“What the fvck does it look like?” Jeongguk snaps, glaring down at him and Taehyung cranes his head back. They’re much too close. He doesn’t like that he can make out the mole beneath his lip, the scar on his cheek.
Taehyung struggles against his hold, ignoring the huff of air that hits the side of his neck as Jeongguk sighs, irritated and extremely close to dropping him.
“When I asked you to carry me, I didn’t mean bridal style, you fvck!”
Taehyung flails, his traitorous cheeks flaming.
Jeongguk grits his teeth, the underside of his jaw unfairly chiselled, not that Taehyung pays it that much attention. It just so happens to be within his line of vision.
“Taehyung, if you complain one more time, I’ll leave you and if that lynx decides to come back...”
He trails off, his lips quirking up into an infuriatingly smug smile as Taehyung stills, folding his arms across his chest with a defeated huff.
“Don’t you dare tell anyone about this.” He mutters, settling awkwardly into Jeongguk’s chest.
Jeongguk snorts, “like I’d want anyone to find out about this. Wouldn’t want to fuel the rumours, now would we, Princess?”
Taehyung doesn’t say a word to him the rest of the way, but Jeongguk does sport a few new bruises along his ribs.
191. Sure Jan
Jeongguk’s got one shoe on, the other dangling between Taehyung’s fingers as he threatens to chuck it at his face, when coach Geun knocks on their door.
“Jeongguk,” he greets, peeping into their room and at Taehyung who swiftly hides the offending sneaker behind him, “Taehyung.”
They nod their heads back politely.
“Something up, coach?”
Jeongguk crouches, rifling through his backpack to make sure he has everything he’ll need for the hike today.
“Coach Ahn and I have decided it’d be best if you kept Taehyung company for the time being.”
He stiffens, spine straightening abruptly as he turns to give Coach Geun a bewildered look.
“But he’s fine alone.” He argues, Taehyung nodding his head furiously behind him and actually agreeing with him for once, “I didn’t have to stay with him yesterday.”
Coach Geun nods, acknowledging his point, but otherwise doesn’t appear to budge in his decision.
“Well, since Coach Ahn and I will be taking part in today’s hike, there won’t be anyone at camp to check up on Taehyung throughout the day. We know you’re very capable —
of taking care of yourself, Taehyung. Don’t think we’re trying to baby you or anything. Just consider it as a safety precaution. With the state your ankle’s in,” he pointedly eyes the swollen injury, a blotchy purple, “there’s not much you can do in the case of an emergency.”
Jeongguk grits his teeth, tonguing his cheek in irritation and Coach Geun shoots him an apologetic look.
“I’m sorry, Jeongguk, but we can’t leave an injured student alone. And since you’re his partner, we felt you’d be the best person to assign as his... babysitter for the day.”
“Jeongguk, just hand me the fvcking ice pack!” Taehyung tries to snatch it from him, but the a**hole continues to hold it out of his reach, standing next to the bed with a stupidly smug smirk on his face.
They’ve only been alone for half an hour, the rest of the group —
having set off for today’s activities after bidding them good bye.
“What’s the magic word?” He sings, dancing away from the trajectory of Taehyung’s fists.
“Fvck you.” Taehyung spits, so very tempted to suck up the pain and lunge at the damn fool.
Jeongguk’s nose wrinkles, his face twisting into an expression of pure disdain.
The bed creaks as Taehyung shifts. He’d rather risk spraining his ankle further if only to knock Jeongguk unconscious, and hopefully spend the rest of the day in blissful silence.
But rough hands shove him right back into the mattress, far from gentle and Taehyung winces as the sudden movement jostles his foot.
“Don’t touch me.” He says, slapping Jeongguk’s fingers away with a glare.
Jeongguk grimaces, “I won’t so long as you stay put.”
“The quicker your dumbass heals up, the sooner I can get back to group activities.” He mutters, finally swapping the ice pack on Taehyung’s ankle for a new one, the switch surprisingly careful considering how he’d just manhandled him back into bed.
It prompts Taehyung to cock an eyebrow up at him, the smallest of smirks playing at the corners of his mouth.
“Look at you being all tender.” He coos, ultimately snorting at the disgusted curl of Jeongguk’s lips.
“Don’t talk to me like that,” he visibly shudders, “it’s gross.”
It takes Taehyung an impressive ten minutes to limp his way into the adjoining bathroom, no thanks to Jeongguk completely ignoring his barely restrained grunts of pain. The b*stard had gone and laid down, hadn’t even spared Taehyung a single glance since he took out his phone.
Propping a hand up on the wall and easing his weight off of his bad foot, Taehyung tries to do his thing, his bladder all but rejoicing after twelve solid hours of laying in bed. He only manages to unzip his trousers before he accidentally knocks something off the sink countertop
his funny bone colliding with a soap dispenser and he’s startled into shifting onto his injured leg, biting out a loud curse as pain shoots up the back of his calf.
To top it off, Jeongguk chooses that moment to barrel into the room, the door slamming into the wall so hard,
Taehyung’s afraid the doorknob may have actually dented the plaster.
“What the fvck are you doing here?” He screeches, blood rushing to his cheeks as he hurriedly turns away from Jeongguk, “get out!”
“You yelled. I thought you’d gone and injured yourself some more.”
“Well, I’m fine.” Taehyung snaps, risking a glance over his shoulder to find Jeongguk lingering in the doorway.
He purses his lips, narrowing his eyes at the slight wobble in Taehyung’s good leg, “coaches said I had to assist you.”
A roll of toilet paper just narrowly misses —
“I’m taking a fvcking p*ss, you moron. How the fvck would you assist me?” It’s more a rhetorical question, a sarcastic comment that Taehyung doesn’t expect an answer to, but Jeongguk ventures one regardless.
“I don’t know,” he shrugs, gesturing suggestively —
“want me to hold your d*ck for y—“
Taehyung points to the door, face flaming and blood boiling.
It’s safe to say Taehyung is absolutely mortified and, after much serious contemplation, he decides it’d be a good time to take a shower. He’s worn the same ensemble for almost two days straight now and he feels gross. That, and it’d mean he could avoid Jeongguk some more.
He pokes his head out of the bathroom, eyes immediately landing on Jeongguk once again sprawled across his mattress, watching God knows what on his phone.
“Jeongguk,” the boy looks up at him, eyebrows raised in suspicion, “could you pass me some clothes?”
After several gruelling minutes staring the other down and convincing him his ankle was in good enough condition to bathe with, Jeongguk eventually fishes a shirt and a pair of shorts from Taehyung’s suitcase.
“Underwear?” Taehyung asks when Jeongguk trudges over to him.
The disgusted curl of Jeongguk’s lips is comical, his nose crinkling as his face contorts into a grimace.
“I’m not touching your panties.”
Taehyung snatches his clothes with a frown, “first of all, they’re clean. And second, I wear boxers, you fvck.”
Jeongguk shrugs, “same thing.” He then turns to leave, retreat back beneath his warm blankets, but Taehyung reaches out to grip the back of his shirt.
He hangs his head, Taehyung’s nails unnecessarily digging into his back.
“Just go commando.” He groans, slapping Taehyung’s —
hand away. He refuses to touch anything Taehyung puts even remotely close to his nether regions. He’d rather track down the lynx they’d run into the other day.
“Jeongguk,” it borders on a whine now and Taehyung looks eerily close to stomping his foot (he probably would have —
had it not been injured), “quit being such a princess and hand me my goddamn boxers.”
Jeongguk doesn’t budge. He simply stares, a tongue poking into his cheek as he fights the urge to just shove Taehyung into the bathtub.
What Taehyung does next leaves him a little stumped.
The word hangs between them, unfamiliar and ridiculously unnerving. Jeongguk has to double take because he doubts Taehyung even has that word in his vocabulary. He must’ve misheard.
“Jeongguk,” Taehyung’s quiet, his voice unusually soft, “please?”
The silence that settles upon them is laughable. It’s been a good minute or so and Jeongguk hasn’t done anything but stare, analyse Taehyung as if he’d grown another head.
Taehyung inhales, long and deep.
“Can you please hand me my boxers?”
He’s not so sure this tactic will work. He’s never tried it before, after all, but with the way Jeongguk tilts his head, a little dazed, Taehyung starts to think that maybe he should do this more often.
Jeongguk startles, tearing his gaze away and to the floor.
He doesn’t even register the nickname.
“Right, underwear.” He’s confused, much too consumed in his shock at Taehyung’s abrupt one-eighty to put up a fight, and Taehyung watches with glee as Jeongguk grabs the nearest pair of boxers.
“Here.” He hands them over, distracted.
Taehyung decides he much prefers Jeongguk like this. He’s far less mouthy, and a whole lot more obedient.
Gnawing at his lip, Taehyung pushes just that little bit more.
He flutters his lashes, fingers grazing Jeongguk’s hand as he takes his clothes from him.
And Jeongguk simply blinks, his eyebrows furrowing in absolute confusion as Taehyung flashes him a smile that he can’t say is entirely harmless. It’s too sweet.
The water’s blissfully warm as Taehyung carefully lowers himself into the tub. Having figured taking a bath would strain his ankle less, he hadn’t hesitated to take full advantage of the bath salts the accommodation had so generously provided for them.
The fragrance that fills the bathroom is sweet, the chamomile almost lulling him to sleep and he relaxes into the water with a pleased hum. He wouldn’t mind spending the rest of the trip like this, boneless and pliant in the quiet of the small bathroom.
It’s nice. And he doesn’t have to worry about a certain arrogant piece of work running his mouth either.
Time seems to tick by a lot faster like this; Taehyung isn’t aware of how long it’s actually been until the water turns cold and he pushes himself up, movements lethargic.
His sore limbs certainly feel a lot better, his skin flushed a pretty pink as he emerges from the water somewhat reluctantly. He feels rejuvenated, like he hadn’t just been so close to exploding over the pent up frustrations that had accumulated over the week.
He reaches for the sides of the tub, the wrinkled pads of his fingers pressing into the cold ceramic as he grips onto it weakly. Up until now, he’d been blissfully unaware of his ankle’s dull throb. And with his muscles loosened, sleep still very much weighing them down —
Taehyung struggles to pull himself up and out of the bathtub. It’s too slippery, his body too sore and he’s abruptly startled awake by the realisation that he may just have to call for ‘assistance’.
He curses under his breath. The last thing he wants is for Jeongguk to come in here. Taehyung tries to heave himself up once more, managing to wobble to his feet right before his knees buckle and he finds himself right back where he started.
He gnaws at his lip —
staring at the bathroom door with a contemplative furrow of his eyebrows. It’s not the nudity that’s a problem. He’s seen Jeongguk naked, and vice versa, enough times in the locker rooms for it not to be a big deal. The issue is more-so that Taehyung’s sacrificed enough of his —
pride as it is. He couldn’t possibly ask for help again.
But the water’s getting uncomfortably cold now, the salts settling in places they shouldn’t be and he begrudgingly comes to the conclusion that, with his ankle injured, he’ll just have to bear with it for the time being.
And so it’s with a heavy heart and his head hung low that he calls out.
He holds his breath, but the lack of a reply or any noise, for that matter, has him fearing the boy had left the room while he was taking a bath. He’s torn between rejoicing and panicking.
He tries again, a little louder.
“Jeongguk? Can you come in here?”
This time he thinks he hears the bed creak, but otherwise doesn’t receive any sign he’d been acknowledged.
Taehyung bites at his cheek, refusing to let his patience get the best of him.
Barely a minute passes before he picks up on the sound of muted footsteps and Taehyung watches, with a roll of his eyes, as the knob twists, the door swinging open to reveal a not-so-pleased basketball captain. He frowns, an earbud dangling from his ear.
“What do you want?”
Taehyung’s already making grabby hands, his sleep ridden brain failing to stop him from making a fool of himself
“Help me up.”
He realises too late the ridiculous childishness in his actions, swiftly returning his arms to his sides & ignoring the amused quirk of Jeongguk’s lips
“Why should I?” He asks, leaning against the doorframe, his head tilted and Taehyung’s sure he’s just trying to provoke him
“Because I said so.” He says, completely unaware of the eyes trailing across the slope of his neck, the jut of his collarbones. “It’s your job to help me.”
Jeongguk scoffs, but pushes off of the doorway and towards the tub nonetheless, pocketing his earphones as he comes to a stop within Taehyung’s reach.
“How do you want to do this?” He asks, eyes darting between Taehyung, the water and his towel.
“Just help me get out of this stupid bathtub.” Taehyung says it as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world, which it is, and reaches out to Jeongguk with a wet hand, wrapping it around his wrist.
Jeongguk blinks down at him, refusing to budge.
“But you’re naked.”
The comment rouses a snort from Taehyung’s throat, a choked laugh he tries to cover up by faking a cough because ew, Jeongguk isn’t funny.
“So?” He tugs him closer, “it’s not like I have anything you haven’t got, yourself.”
Jeongguk bends over him, his previous hesitation all but erased with the snarky responses Taehyung’s been blabbering.
He wraps an arm around Taehyung’s back, looping the other beneath his knees and lifts him easily, a mere exhale passing from his lips as he stands.
And Taehyung, as much as he detests everything Jeongguk related, will admit it’s quite impressive. He’s not the biggest of guys out there, but he plays baseball. The muscle’s there, he’s not exactly light.
Jeongguk puts him down carefully, his fingers ghosting over the small of Taehyung’s back and dangerously close to the curve of his ass.
“I wouldn’t say I have everything you have.” He says, a cheeky smile adorning his face before he’s chucking a towel over Taehyung’s head
and fleeing from the bathroom before Taehyung can land a good swing.
The door slams shut and Taehyung rips the towel from his head, furiously rubbing at his skin and blaming the rough drag of the cotton for the red that blooms across his face.
They don’t talk to each other for the rest of the afternoon, barely sparing each other a glance as they stick to their respective beds, eyes glued to their phones.
Taehyung would’ve ignored him for longer had it not been for the embarrassingly loud rumble of his stomach.
The boy hums, distracted.
Jeongguk doesn’t look up from the glaring screen of his phone, his voice flat as he replies, “tough.”
Taehyung’s stomach gurgles again and he turns, swinging his legs off the side of the bed.
“Fine, I’ll get food, myself.”
But before he can rock forward onto his feet, Jeongguk’s already up and shrugging on a hoodie.
“What do you want?” He snaps, slipping his phone into his back pocket, glare scathing. If the coaches find out he’d let Taehyung roam around w/ his injury, they’ll roast him alive.
Taehyung purses his lips, spirits considerably lifted at Jeongguk’s compliance today.
“Promise you won’t poison it?” He asks, lifting up a pinky finger that Jeongguk slaps away.
He scowls, heading for the door.
“I’ll take whatever.” Taehyung calls after him, positively beaming
as he watches Jeongguk leave, his string of muttered insults cutting short with the slam of the front door.
Settling back into his sheets, Taehyung flips his laptop open. He’s quite chuffed with the way things have turned out. Coach Geun hiring Jeongguk as his personal slave?
Best thing that’s happened to him all week.
He waits for his movie to buffer, gaze wandering over to the window where the curtains had been drawn. He squints, frowns at what he sees.
It’s dark. Far too dark for four in the afternoon and Taehyung swallows as grey clouds roll in,
the first few drops of rain hitting the deck outside with a quiet patter.
Gosh, how are the rest of the guys supposed to get back to camp?
He averts his attention back to his laptop, subconsciously fisting the blanket at his side.
They should be fine. It’s just a little rain.
It’s twenty minutes into the film, one Taehyung has barely been able to pay attention to with the roar of the rain on the roof, that Jeongguk returns, surprisingly not as drenched as Taehyung would’ve expected him to be.
“Alright,” he walks over to his bed, peering into —
a plastic bag, “they didn’t have any hot food, so I grabbed you a selection of sandwiches and stuff.” He takes out a couple snacks he’d taken for himself before dropping the bag onto Taehyung’s bed, “knock yourself out.”
Somewhat dazed, Taehyung nods his thanks.
He’s not even hungry anymore. Rather, he feels a little sick to his stomach.
Jeongguk opens up a can of coke, chugging it down so casually, so enviably unaffected by the crack of thunder that shakes Taehyung out of his stupor.
He whistles, staring out the window.
It’s pouring down so hard, he can barely make out the mountain range through the curtain of rain.
“Glad I didn’t go on that hike, now.” He says, shaking his head, “those poor b*stards have to trek back in this.”
Taehyung only nods, barely even listening at this point. He can’t. The rain’s too loud. He rifles through the bag, fingers quivering where they wrap around a chocolate bar.
“Hey,” Jeongguk’s still hovering at his bedside, “you’re looking a little pale. Is it your ankle?”
He swallows down a cry bubbling up his throat, his skin erupting into goose flesh as another rumble of thunder practically shakes the building. His hands fly to the blanket at his chest & he drops the chocolate bar in favour of balling the duvet up in his hands.
“Yeah.” He lies.
“Do you have any pain killers on you? ‘cuz I’m not really feeling up to going down to the infirmary.”
Taehyung shakes his head, “no, it— it doesn’t hurt that bad.”
He knows he doesn’t sound very convincing, but Jeongguk thankfully doesn’t argue.
He gives Taehyung a final once over, from the whites of his knuckles around the blanket to the crease between his eyebrows.
“Alright,” he says, reluctant, “if you say so.”
Jeongguk goes to move away then, back to his side of the room nearer the window.
And Taehyung panics.
His hands are flying to the other boy’s hoodie, fingers latching onto the material and tugging before he’s even registered what he’s doing.
Jeongguk stumbles back, spinning on his heel to give Taehyung a piece of his mind. Just because he’d played nice —
so far didn’t mean Taehyung could do with him as he pleased. HeII, he’s only doing all this because his position as team captain is in jeopardy.
“What the fvck?”
Taehyung bites his lip, offering no explanation for what he’d just done and Jeongguk yanks his hands off of him.
Taehyung doesn’t want to tell him he’s afraid of storms, scared of something as ridiculous as the weather because he knows Jeongguk will laugh at him for it. So he lets him pry his hands off, hopes the wobble of his lower lip isn’t too obvious as Jeongguk —
pulls away. He pretends he isn’t terrified, like he doesn’t want to throw the blanket over his head and cower. Because Jeongguk isn’t his friend.
Stifling the nerves that threaten to rouse a whimper from his throat, Taehyung feigns that he’s okay, fashioning his lips into a —
snarl, an irritated grimace that Jeongguk is much more accustomed to.
But just as quick as he’d managed to fake it all, shoulders pulled back and his chin lifted in faux confidence, he crumples.
Because as much as he can block out the low rumble of thunder,
convince himself the deafening pounding of raindrops is calming, Taehyung can’t help the pure terror that jumps up into his chest as lightning strikes through the sky over Jeongguk’s shoulder, casting light into the room for the briefest of moments.
And Jeongguk sees it, catches the way Taehyung, a boy that has sworn many a time to skin him alive, a rival he rarely sees without his head up, without sheer confidence oozing from his every pore, flinches back. Jeongguk watches him curl into himself, quivering and it’s weird.
Because the Kim Taehyung he knows isn’t capable of vulnerability. He’s a pain in the ass that doesn’t know when to shut up.
With the kind of relationship they’d built between them, Jeongguk had just come to assume that Taehyung didn’t have any feelings other than anger.
He doesn’t know what to do seeing him like this, his knees pulled up to his chest, his body trembling. Taehyung’s never looked so small.
He blinks up at him and Jeongguk’s taken aback because he’s /crying/.
“Taehyung,” he hesitates, unsure, “are you scared of storms?”
For a second there, Taehyung actually forgets about the wind howling outside, the rain pelting against the windows because his initial reaction to quite possibly one of the dumbest questions he’s ever heard is to knock some common sense into Jeongguk.
He props his chin up on his knees, levelling Jeongguk w/ what could only be described as a look of pure exasperation
His heart still hammers, another bolt of lightning forcing him further into his duvet, but he’s half distracted now by his poor excuse of a roommate
Jeongguk’s features harden almost instantaneously and he crosses his arms, lips pursed in irritation.
“Just tryna be a decent human being here.” He mumbles and Taehyung’s heart jumps, mildly alarmed, as he turns around and walks away.
He’s back before he can complain though,
sits on his own bed opposite Taehyung’s, facing him. They’re only separated by a small dresser, so he’s close enough for Taehyung to still feel a bit more at ease.
He fiddles with his phone, fingers swiping across the screen before the weight of Taehyung’s gaze has him shifting—
uncomfortably, glancing up at him.
“Never would’ve pegged you as a scaredy cat.” He says and Taehyung scoffs.
“Says the guy that hauled ass at the mere sight of an overgrown cat.”
Jeongguk frowns, folding his arms defensively, “hey, you ran too.”
“Because you left me!”
Jeongguk opens his mouth and Taehyung waits, anticipates the bullsh*t he’ll come up with in a poor attempt to save face
But all he does is shake his head, a resigned sigh leaving his lips as he fidgets with his phone some more
He stays quiet after that
Taehyung doesn’t like it
Because without Jeongguk sputtering nonsense that grates on Taehyung’s nerves, spurs him to come up with some sort of comeback, he can’t help that his focus drifts back to the trees violently swaying in the wind, the never ending roll of thunder.
A bolt of lightning strikes the ground not too far from the lodge, splitting the ashen sky and punching a whimper from Taehyung’s throat as he stares, wide eyed, over Jeongguk’s shoulder.
It had been so close.
He bites at his lip, furiously swiping at the corners of his eyes.
Taehyung blinks down at the earbud Jeongguk thrusts towards him. The boy watches him expectantly.
“What do I do with this?” He asks, genuinely confused because what the hell is Jeongguk up to now?
Jeongguk rolls his eyes and honestly, Taehyung should’ve seen
the sarcastic remark coming.
“Shove it up your ass.”
Had Taehyung been in a better mood, he might’ve done just that if only to spite him.
Instead he scowls, snatches the earbuds with a huff and plugs them into his ears.
Jeongguk presses something on his phone and Taehyung recognises the high pitched drone immediately, his fingers itching to slap the smirk right off Jeongguk’s face.
The kid’s voice scrapes at his eardrums, the bass drop drowning out the noise from outside.
Of all the songs Jeongguk could have played. Taehyung shakes his head, hopes the few blonde strands that fall into his face are enough to cover the slight upturn of his mouth.
“The EDM remix of the Wal-Mart yodelling kid? Really?”
Jeongguk grins and, perhaps it’s the fear
talking, clouding his brain, but Taehyung thinks he looks the tiniest bit charming.
“The one and only.”
It’s so dumb, so inherently something Jeongguk, the idiot that he is, would do. And as Taehyung sits there, watching the mischief that takes over his face as he
plays stupid remix after stupid remix, his features lighting up with every annoyed huff Taehyung makes even though he keeps on listening anyway; he barely registers the slowing of his heartbeat, the terror ebbing away as a warmth takes it’s place, seeping ever so slowly into his
chest. Taehyung doesn’t notice when his limbs loosen, unlocking from around his knees and falling to his sides as he relaxes into the pillows he’d propped up behind himself somewhere between arguing with Jeongguk over music taste and biting back giggles because Jeongguk isn’t —
/funny/. He’s just stupid.
Taehyung barely feels time passing, the weight of exhaustion tugging at his eyelids after arguing with Jeongguk for the nth time in one evening.
His lids flutter shut, the god awful remix blasting through the earphones cutting off and he moans his —
protest, turning to sleepily scold Jeongguk for turning it off when something much softer, much more melodic fills his ears.
He’s too tired to question it and simply rolls over to bury his face into his pillows and he’s not too sure if he’d imagined it or not,
but he thinks he feels the bed dip, feels fingers ghost over his arms and across his face as the pillows and blankets around him shift.
It’s difficult to tell reality and his dreams apart. Everything’s a bit hazy.
Taehyung eventually falls asleep to a murmured, “good night.”
“Oh, look who decided to show up today.” Hoseok’s the first to see them, cocks an eyebrow up in question as he spots the arm Jeongguk has around Taehyung’s waist, the way Taehyung leans into him.
“Fvck off.” Is what Taehyung says in response, foregoing a greeting because —
he just knows Hoseok’s head is chock-full of bullsh*t ready to spill. He’s aware of how they look right now, but with his ankle throbbing with some sort of newfound vigour, he can’t afford to play stubborn if he wants to heal up quickly.
Seokjin cranes his neck around Hoseok, —
refusing to get up from his seat in the reception area lest Jimin swoop in and steal it again.
“How were you last night?” He asks and Taehyung bristles, “the storm was pretty bad.”
He glances at Jeongguk, the faintest of blushes spreading across his cheekbones.
He hadn’t thanked him for last night, for distracting him from the storm, but Jeongguk had insisted he hadn’t done anything. That if he had, in some way helped him, it had been entirely coincidental.
“As if I’d care if you were scared.” Is what he’d said back in their room.
The awkward look they share doesn’t go unnoticed, and Hoseok’s mouth curls up into a smirk, one Taehyung would very gladly have slapped right off if it hadn’t been for Jooheon calling from across the room.
“Hey Gguk,” he beckons his captain over, “we’re grabbing breakfast.
Wanna come with?”
Jeongguk blinks down at Taehyung for a second as if contemplating something, lips pursed as his grip tightens considerably right before he drops his arm completely, pulling away with a nod.
He then turns to jog over to the entrance where his teammates —
have gathered, watching them with curious eyes and tilted heads, but not before he dips his head to mutter something to him, lips just barely brushing at the shell of Taehyung’s ear.
Taehyung inhales sharply, his heart flipping pathetically.
But ofc, Jeongguk has to go and ruin it w/ a snicker that tickles the nape of his neck.
“I don’t wanna have to carry your fat ass across camp again.”
He narrowly misses the elbow Taehyung swings at him, cackling to himself as he finally takes his leave and Taehyung absolutely does not watch him go.
“What was that?”
He settles his weight against the back of Seokjin’s chair, elbows pressing into the wood.
“What was what?”
Jimin, Hoseok & Seokjin all stare at him as if he’d grown a third head, eyes practically bulging out of their sockets
“You were flirting.”
Taehyung has to laugh, a choked noise bordering somewhere between a snort & a wheeze escaping his mouth as he shakes his head, incredulous.
“Right, ‘cause insulting me obviously means he wants to get in my pants.”
“He called your ass fat.” Hoseok points out, shrugging, “as far as I can see, that’s one hell of a compliment.”
Jimin, ever the traitor, sides with him.
“What happened to hating each other’s guts?”
Taehyung throws his hands up, gesticulating aimlessly
“Nothing.” He says, insistent they understand nothing has changed between him & Jeongguk. It’s only been half a week, for crying out loud. “He’s still a pain in the ass—“
Hoseok interjects, wiggling his brows, “I bet he is.”
Unlike Jeongguk, he doesn’t react quick enough to avoid a mouthful of throw pillow, falling back onto his chair with a muffled grunt.
“I don’t get why you guys are so obsessed with me and Jeongguk.” Taehyung mutters, crossing his arms and Seokjin nods, the first to agree.
“Yeah, leave Tae alone.” He says, crossing one leg over the other in his recline back into the chair, “he’s obviously confused over his feelings right now—“
“I am /not/ confused.”
Taehyung huffs, glaring at his so-called teammates. They’re supposed to be on his side.
They stare at him, silent for the most part, and Taehyung narrows his eyes, daring someone else to pipe up.
“I hope you’re all aware I have the power to bench you for the entirety of next season’s matches.”
They drop their gazes, the mumbled apologies instantaneous.
And Taehyung smirks, the sudden rush of power exhilarating. He’d been far too lenient lately, forgot that it was his job to keep them in check.
His little victory doesn’t last long, however, w/ Hoseok getting to his feet, poised to run.
“20k won says Taehyung confesses first!”
The rules for the first game of the day are fairly straight forward — guide your blindfolded partner through an obstacle course. A pre-schooler could do that.
However, it proves to be quite the feat for a certain bickering duo.
“Jeongguk?” Coach Ahn approaches the pair —
shortly after the other teams have begun, “are you alright? You haven’t even put the blindfold on yet.”
Taehyung’s leaned up against a tree, out of Coach Ahn’s sight and he ensures Jeongguk sees the smirk on his face, provokes him just because he can.
“Yeah, Gguk, you scared?”
The nickname falls from his lips so easily for the second time, but he figures it doesn’t mean anything. Jeongguk’s name is a mouthful. He’s just cutting corners.
Coach Ahn, fortunately, doesn’t pick up on the underlying leer and Jeongguk’s tongue pokes into his cheek.
He doesn’t trust Taehyung. No one in their right mind would. He has no doubt he’ll be led right into a thorny bush, perhaps even into a bear’s cave.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” He loops the blindfold around his head, tugs it over his eyes as he gets into starting position, “Tae, c’mere.”
His tone’s final, voice firm as the words leave his mouth an order. Taehyung’s mouth curves up into a smile part amusement, part disbelief
“Bossy much?” He asks once coach Ahn’s out of earshot, limping his way over to where Jeongguk’s standing, shoulders stiff and spine straight
“Can we just get this over and done with?” He sighs, already taking a step forward. He’d memorised enough of the initial part of the course to have an idea where to go, but fingers curling into the back of his shirt haul him right back, unexpectedly close to Taehyung, himself.
He leans forward, over Jeongguk’s shoulder to murmur into his ear like he had this morning.
“I don’t believe I told you to do anything.”
Taehyung, honestly, doesn’t mean for it to sound the way it does, a smidgen too breathy. Jeongguk, in turn, bristles even further,
stone-like in Taehyung’s grip.
“Don’t touch me.” He says, shaking Taehyung’s hand off with a grimace, “and get on with it. What the fvck are you waiting for? Guide me, already,”
Taehyung glares at the back of his head. Oh, he’ll guide him, alright.
They’re half an hour into the activity and Jeongguk’s successfully stepped into half a dozen puddles, knocked over the majority of the obstacles and he’s so, so close to giving Taehyung a piece of his mind.
“Left.” Taehyung instructs, bored and expecting his nails.
He hasn’t looked at the obstacle course once, only revelled in the surprised grunts and slew of insults that grace his ears.
“Mhm, just like that.” He flips his hand over, still very much zoned in on anything and everything but the path Jeongguk walks on, “yup, right there.”
“Are you leading me or taking it up the ass?” Jeongguk yells and Taehyung tears his gaze away from his fingers for the first time in a good twenty minutes.
He has to bite back a laugh to avoid alerting Jeongguk that he’d ventured about ten metres away from the obstacle course.
He’s crossed into another pair’s course, actually and Taehyung grins, purposefully staying silent as Jeongguk takes confident strides towards a poor boy blindly feeling the space around him. He’s one of the baseball team’s smaller players, Jaehwa. And as much as Taehyung
would prefer not to drag one of his own teammates into something as petty as his and Jeongguk’s... whatever this is, he can’t /not/ take advantage of this opportunity.
Jeongguk’s a foot away from him when Jaehwa’s partner calls out, but he’s too late.
Jeongguk and Jaehwa collide, the top of Jaehwa’s head knocking into Jeongguk’s chin (he’s /that/ small). Taehyung thinks Jeongguk’ll fall back, maybe dramatically clutch at his chin in pain, but he surprises both him and Jaehwa’s partner when his arms come around to wrap —
around the shorter boy’s waist, steadying them both. They’re chest to chest; Taehyung can barely make out Jaehwa’s face, buried right into Jeongguk’s chest, but he thinks he sees him blush.
It was supposed to be funny. Jeongguk was supposed to get hurt, be embarrassed.
And Taehyung was supposed to laugh in his face, bask in the satisfaction of watching him humiliate himself.
But his stomach lurches, his hands balling into fists at his sides and he catches himself glaring in their direction, boring holes into the hands Jeongguk rests —
upon Jaehwa’s hips. They look so much bigger on the boy’s thin frame, strong where the material bunches up beneath his grip and Taehyung hates it. Hates how it looks and despises the way his chest feels heavy at the sight of it.
God, why are they still even in each other’s arms?
And why in the world does Jaehwa actually look like he’s enjoying it? Who in their right fvcking mind would enjoy being wrapped in Jeongguk’s arms, suffocated by that stupid vanilla fragrance?
They pull apart.
About goddamn time, Taehyung thinks.
“Sorry.” He hears Jeongguk mumble, voice so genuinely apologetic and so ridiculously soft, he has to scoff. He never talks to him like that. He’s always yelling or hissing or insulting.
Jaehwa’s cheeks are flaming as he steps away, but his legs wobble and Jeongguk’s arms
shoot out once more to steady him, a stupidly charming smile on his face as he taps Jaehwa’s hip with one long finger.
“Careful.” He says and Taehyung grits his teeth, annoyed. They’re making way too much of a scene. They’d only walked into each other. Geez.
A muscle in his jaw ticks as Jaehwa’s partner comes up to pull him away and the small boy all but stumbles back to their course, dazed. Jeongguk watches him, blindfold hanging from his neck, and Taehyung taps his foot impatiently. What the hell is he even looking at him for?
He’s fine, still in one piece. It’s actually insulting how much more concerned Jeongguk seems to be over a boy he’d bumped into than he had been when Taehyung could have potentially been mauled by a wild animal.
Jaehwa swaps roles with his partner and Jeongguk’s turning.
Though as soon as his back’s turned to everyone else, his features harden, eyes practically murderous as he makes a bee line for Taehyung, gripping him around the elbow and tugging him behind the closest tree out of sight. They can’t afford to get caught arguing by the coaches
this far along.
“What the fvck was that?” He hisses, pinning Taehyung to the tree with a glare that has him squirming.
Taehyung crosses his arms, acutely aware of the palm Jeongguk presses up against the bark right next to his head, the proximity of his face.
“You had one job, Taehyung. You just had to cooperate with me for this one stupid game.” Jeongguk’s voice rises with each word he spits out, a vein in his forehead close to bursting, “I let it slide when I stepped into puddles, walked into fvcking bushes, but Jaehwa could’ve —
gotten hurt. All because you couldn’t be mature for one second?”
“You barely brushed past each other. I’m sure your little boyfriend can handle that much.” It slips from Taehyung’s mouth before he can stop it, the words bitter on his tongue.
Jeongguk opens his mouth, closes it then opens it again. There’s a crease between his brows & Taehyung looks away, at a tree over his shoulder.
“I— what?” He sounds genuinely confused, albeit still p*ssed off, but his anger’s not quite as concentrated as it had been seconds ago.
Taehyung bites at the inside of his cheek, his lips threatening to tug into a pout. He refuses to meet Jeongguk’s eyes, keeps his own steadily trained on a leaf instead.
Jeongguk goes quiet and Taehyung swallows.
There’s a beat of silence.
“Are you jealous?”
His stomach drops.
“What?” His head turns quick and he’s surprised to find that Jeongguk’s much closer than he’d initially thought, definitely breaching into his personal space.
“You’re jealous.” He says, much more affirmed and Taehyung balks. Jeongguk has the nerve to smirk
at him, exuding the a-typical cockiness that Taehyung absolutely detests.
“Jealous?” He echoes, incredulous, “what the fvck would I be jealous of that concerns you?”
He tries to sound disgusted, forces the words to come out harsher, but his confidence falters
when Jeongguk’s hands slip down from where they’d been pressing into the tree, fingertips grazing along his rib cage and trailing past the curve of his slim waist to grip his hips, squeezing hard enough for Taehyung to gasp in surprise.
“You—“ he clenches his teeth,
his speechlessness only further fuelling Jeongguk, the glint in his eyes something Taehyung’s learned to become wary of.
“I what?” He asks, ever the smug a**hole, one of his thumbs subconsciously circling around a patch of skin exposed by the slight riding up of Taehyung’s shirt
“If I,” Taehyung swallows, eyes widening for the fraction of a second it takes for Jeongguk to crowd him further against the tree, nose practically brushing against his own. His heart flutters, actually fvcking /flutters/, and he has to physically shake his head to make sense of
“If I end up with bruises on my hips, Jeongguk, I swear.” It’s an empty threat, they both know this, but Jeongguk plays along anyway, spurred on by the reminder that Taehyung does, in fact, bruise like a peach.
He squeezes once more, this time tugging Taehyung towards him. It makes him stumble, moulds their hips together and Taehyung’s back arches so, so prettily.
“You’ll what?” He murmurs, lips so dangerously close to his, the sudden urge to close the gap unexpected.
There’s a blush high on the apples of Taehyung’s cheeks, his pupils blown just that little bit wider and Jeongguk licks at his lips, inching closer as he waits for Taehyung to reply. If he even does.
He’s a breath away, the ghost of Taehyung’s lips grazing against his own
when they’re both hurtled back to reality, a familiar voice a harsh reminder of just where they are and who they are to each other.
“Coach Ahn, Jeongguk and Taehyung are canoodling!”
Taehyung’s eyelids flutter open and he shoves Jeongguk away, panicked. What the fvck.
Hoseok’s pointing at them, waving his finger in a scolding manner and Taehyung pushes past Jeongguk, face flaming, heart racing. Jeongguk fares no better, the tips of his ears bright red and they both turn away from each other, avoiding eye contact.
What the fvck.
“Man, I’m stuffed.” Jimin pushes away from the table with a mighty huff, his chopsticks clattering as he finishes up his third bowl of rice, “feel like imma fvckin’ barf.”
Hoseok grimaces, not quite as enthusiastic to finish up his pizza, “thanks, we really needed to know that.”
He drops the half eaten slice on his plate, wipes his hands with a napkin then kicks at Jimin’s chair.
“Why are you even here? The basketball team’s eating over there.”
Jimin’s head lolls to the side, in the direction of the much rowdier side of the room. He squints.
“Ah, right.” He blinks, having failed to realise who he’d sat with, “well.” He shrugs then, “felt like bridging the gap y’know. Plus I can’t deal with those boneheads right now. I’m too tired.”
It’s common knowledge that SNU’s basketball players are a handful.
Bunch of hooligans. All frat members with egos to boot, it’s a wonder they manage to play as a team.
That being said, it’s not like the baseball team’s any better. Although Taehyung’s strict when it comes to practice, he’s an absolute menace when it comes to parties
He’ll chug til he can’t chug no more. Body shots, strip poker, seven minutes in heaven. Boy’s a pro at leaving parties sh*tfaced.
“Hey Tae, you alright? You’ve been kinda quiet.”
Taehyung almost doesn’t hear it, seeing as he’d been far too focused on a particular brunette —
for the better half of an hour.
“Huh?” He turns his head, but Seokjin’s already followed his previous line of sight towards the back of a certain captain’s head.
He cocks an eyebrow up at him, lips tugging up into a teasing grin, “distracted, are we?”
Taehyung crosses his arms, jutting his chin out with a vehement huff.
“No.” He says even though the image of Jeongguk’s arm thrown across the back of Jaehwa’s chair seers itself into his brain, “just wondering why one of my players is sitting with /them/.”
Hoseok cranes his neck to look around Seokjin, a low whistle escaping his lips as he glances over one of their batsmen cuddling up to Jeongguk, “never would’ve pegged Jaehwa as the type to fraternise with the enemy.”
He then looks to Taehyung, at the frown marring his face.
And he can’t help the way he snorts, attempts to cover up a choked laugh by coughing into his elbow because Taehyung just looks so irritated.
Seokjin nudges him with his elbow, “something funny, Hoseok?”
The glare Taehyung turns on him intimidates him enough to shake his head.
Bogum butts in then, brings up a rumour regarding two of the art professors getting it on in the back of the library, successfully steering the conversation and attention away from Taehyung.
Barely a second’s passed before he’s glaring at Jeongguk again.
At the back of his dumb head and his stupid undercut that Taehyung had been so close to running his fingers through earlier. Not that that’s important, but still.
Jeongguk turns his head then and Taehyung isn’t quick enough to avert his gaze and he swears that a**hole’s smirking
His hand curls over the side of Jaehwa’s chair, his thumb grazing the boy’s shoulder and Taehyung’s jaw practically unhinges as he tugs his chair so obviously closer towards him. They’re side by fvcking side and Jaehwa’s pretty much tucked beneath his arm at this point.
Taehyung presses his lips into a thin line, though he struggles to keep himself from frowning. He’s just looking out for his teammate. That’s all there is to it.
He keeps watch with bated breath as Jeongguk leans in to Jaehwa’s ear, whispers something that coaxes a blush from —
his cheeks & this time, Taehyung swears he glances at him, shoots him a quick look to make sure he’s still giving them his attention
And Taehyung scoffs. Whether he had or not, he doesn’t want to risk giving Jeongguk what he wants, so he looks away, resolute in ignoring the pair
If Jeongguk wants to get it on with Jaehwa, fine. What does he care? It’s none of his business. He couldn’t care less about who Jeongguk messes around with. So long as he doesn’t bring it back to their shared room, Taehyung doesn’t give a single fvck.
He hears Jaehwa gasp, stiffens at the flirtatious giggle that follows and he swears he tries to ignore the temptation to look, really does try his best not to fall into Jeongguk’s trap, but his head’s whipping around before he can even think to stop himself.
And what he sees has his blood boiling, his gut twisting and an ugly feeling claws at his insides.
Jeongguk’s got one hand at the nape of Jaehwa’s neck, his fingers tugging at the strands there enough to tilt the boy’s head up and he’s fvcking /nibbling/ at his ear. Nibbling.
In the middle of the fvcking cafeteria and his teammates are all either completely ignoring it or hollering like the goddamned idiots they are.
And as angry as Taehyung is. As much as he wants to rip Jeongguk right off his teammate, there’s something else. A slight twinge in —
his chest that almost, kind of hurts. It’s small, negligible really, but it’s there, tugging at his heartstrings and he rubs at his chest.
“You okay?” Hoseok’s leaning in, not an ounce of teasing in his voice or on his face for a change, and reaching out to him in concern.
And Taehyung swallows, gulps down the lump in his throat that only seems to get bigger, the longer the throb in his chest persists.
“Yeah.” He looks down at his lap, confusion lacing it’s way into the quiet murmur of his voice, “just um, got heartburn, I think.”
He doesn’t want to be here anymore, doesn’t want to see Jeongguk all over some other boy. It’s stupid, he knows, but he can’t bring himself to think about why it bothers him so much.
“I think imma turn in early tonight.” He says, so quietly the rest of the table doesn’t —
even realise he’s taking his leave until the scrape of his chair across the floor cuts through their conversation. Taehyung simply shakes his head at their concerned and questioning gazes, plastering a smile to his face that always works in appeasing them.
“Ankle.” He says and that’s all the explanation they need. He figures it’s the most believable excuse. His ankle hadn’t been in the best of conditions this morning and today’s activities only served to put more stress on the whole healing process — it’s full proof.
He tucks his hands into his pockets, ducks his head as he drags his feet past the basketball players to get to the door. And he’s so distracted by the mess of emotions that seemingly war inside his chest that he doesn’t even take notice of the curious stares following after him.
“What’s up with Kim?”
Jackson hooks a thumb over his shoulder, at the front doors sliding shut.
“It’s barely seven o’clock.”
Jeongguk purses his lips, arm slipping from around Jaehwa’s shoulders with Taehyung’s exit. He doesn’t feel as triumphant as he’d hoped to be.
He stares at the door, pensive, and his leg bounces with every second that ticks by where he hasn’t budged from his seat.
His mouth feels dry and Jaehwa keeps pressing closer and it just doesn’t feel right. He doesn’t like it. Not when Taehyung’s not watching.
He spends another minute contemplating whether or not it’d be smart to follow after him, but with the way his stomach clenches at the thought of him wandering off with an injured ankle, alone, Jeongguk knows his mind’s already made up. It’s because Taehyung’s his partner.
He’s his responsibility for the duration of this trip. That’s all there is to it.
He pushes away from the table, decision set, and makes for the door.
“I’ll see you guys in a bit.”
He just needs to make sure Taehyung’s okay.
For the sake of his position as captain.
Taehyung’s in the middle of shucking off his hoodie when the door slams shut and he curses as the unexpected noise startles him into tripping over the corner of his suitcase, his bad ankle thankfully unharmed.
He hates how familiar the hands that steady him have become in such —
a short space of time, but as soon as he feels those warm fingers press into the exposed skin of his hips, he’s darting away, injury be damned.
“Be careful, would you?”
He tosses his hoodie to the side, walking past Jeongguk without a word.
He’s a complete a**hole. Why should he acknowledge him?
He reaches for his pyjama shirt, tugging it on with his lips pulled tight.
He lays back on his bed, blocking off his sight of Jeongguk’s annoying ass face with his cellphone.
The device is snatched from his fingers and he grinds his teeth together because now, he has no fvcking choice but to address his poor excuse of a roommate.
“Give that back.” He orders, eyes immediately lifting to focus on the space between Jeongguk’s eyebrows.
“I will once you tell me why you’re ignoring me.”
He scoffs. Who does Jeongguk think he is giving him an ultimatum?
He holds out his hand, “give me back my fvcking phone.”
“Jeongguk, I swear I’ll break your nose again if you don’t—“
“Is this about Jaehwa?”
Taehyung’s mouth snaps shut. He bites his tongue, settling for a glare that he wishes would burn holes right through Jeongguk’s head. Of course it’s about Jaehwa. And he knows Jeongguk knows this. He’d confirmed it earlier when he’d pinned him up against that stupid tree.
Jeongguk hovers by the side of his bed and he dares to feign confusion.
“I don’t get why he bothers you so much.”
Taehyung’s speaking before he can help himself.
“You know why.” It’s embarrassing enough to admit it to himself. He can’t possibly say it out loud.
But he knows by the furrow of Jeongguk’s brows and the downturn of his lips, that he’ll play dumb and Taehyung, quite frankly, does not have the patience to beat around the bush.
“You know I get jealous and yet you keep rubbing it in my face.” He bites out through teeth —
gritted so hard, he’s afraid he might’ve actually chipped a tooth.
There, he said it.
And Jeongguk takes it in his stride, barely batting an eyelash at the confession.
“He’s cute. And he’s into me.” He says with a shrug, as if that were enough of an explanation on it’s own, “what do you want me to do? Ignore his advances and just focus on you?”
Taehyung doesn’t miss a beat.
Despite the complete & utter embarrassment coursing through every single one of his blood vessels, Taehyung does manage to feel some satisfaction in the surprise that flashes across Jeongguk’s face — the comical bulging of his eyes, his gaping mouth. It almost makes it worth it.
“Now, don’t get me wrong.” He continues for the sake of filling in the silence that had fallen upon them after Jeongguk’s several failed attempts at responding, “I don’t like you.”
Jeongguk closes his mouth, puzzled.
“I don’t like you,” Taehyung pauses for emphasis —
his tongue darting out to swipe across his lips as he attempts to salvage what little of his pride remains, “I just don’t want you fvcking around with anyone while we’re here.”
He doesn’t think he’s ever seen Jeongguk look more unimpressed.
Jeongguk takes a seat on the edge of his bed, elbows perched atop his knees as he looks Taehyung in the eye (and no, Taehyung does not feel butterflies in his tummy).
“Let me get this straight,” he licks at his own lips, squares his shoulders, “you don’t like me.”
“But you don’t want me flirting with other people because it makes you jealous?”
Well, when he puts it like that, it sounds absolutely ridiculous.
He’s not so sure anymore. Because the longer he thinks about it, the more it sounds like he wants Jeongguk for himself.
Jeongguk exhales, long and deep, genuinely dumbfounded. It’s difficult to make sense of the situation. He’s never been simultaneously confessed to and rejected before.
He shifts, expression dead serious and Taehyung swallows. Whatever it is Jeongguk has in mind, it can’t be good
“If I can’t flirt with Jaehwa or anyone else at camp, for that matter,” he hesitates, tilting his head in a fashion that’s just not fair before ultimately knocking the breath from Taehyung’s lungs.
“Can I flirt with you?”
393. Tis the beginning of a new era
“Alright,” Coach Geun gathers everyone’s attention with a clap of his hands, “today’s activities will be competitive, so I hope you’ll all give it your best.”
Taehyung rolls his eyes, a complaint already dangling off the tip of his tongue. It’s just a stupid game.
“There’ll be a prize for today’s winners.”
He perks up, intrigued by this newfound information. A prize, huh?
Coach Geun waves a hand towards the lake they’d assembled at, “you’ll be working in pairs, as per usual. For those of you that aren’t familiar with chicken fight —
— the aim of the game is to knock the other pairs over. Last team standing are the winners.”
It sounds simple enough. Easy, actually, and Taehyung supposes this is the first time he’s considered it a good thing Jeongguk’s his partner. With a competitiveness that rivals his own,
a similar drive to snag that first place position by completely annihilating everyone else, he thinks they might just be able to put their differences aside and win this.
Jeongguk scoffs from beside him, his usual cockiness permeating through his every pore w/ a particular —
“This’ll be a fvcking walk in the park.” He says, the confidence practically oozing off of him something Taehyung actually appreciates for a change.
Taehyung nods, the corners of his mouth quirking up into the smallest of smirks, “s’what I like to hear.”
401. (B*tch wtf this wasn’t supposed to reach 400)
Jeongguk’s waist deep into the water, everything but his swimming shorts discarded somewhere near the tree line, when he calls out to Taehyung.
“Aight, get on my shoulders. You’re riding me.”
He says it so harmlessly, so innocently that it’s almost laughable.
Taehyung purses his lips, crosses his arms with a sigh. And Jeongguk blinks up at him, feigning cluelessness.
“What?” He asks, though the slight twitch of his lips gives him away. So immature.
Taehyung tosses his shirt to the side with a shake of his head.
“You’re actually five.” He mutters, toeing off his shoes and Jeongguk doesn’t even bother to fight the silly grin that stretches across his face.
The water’s surprisingly not as cold as he’d expected it to be and Taehyung carefully makes his way over to his partner,
wading through the water as best as he can without putting too much strain on his ankle. It doesn’t throb anymore and the swelling’s not as bad. There’s just a bit of blotchy bruising, but he still wants to be careful. He needs it to heal up as fast as possible.
There’s a ruckus of splashes and squeals from around them, the other pairs seemingly struggling to lift each other up and Taehyung brushes his hair back, tucks it behind his ear — a nervous tick.
“Maybe I should carry you.” He says seriously, but the suggestion
only cracks Jeongguk up.
He throws his head back, exposing strong brows and a nose crinkled with his laughter.
“Right, and maybe I should drop basketball for chess.”
Taehyung scowls at the sarcasm heavily laced within his tone.
“I could lift you.” He says, confident.
Jeongguk bites at the inside of his cheek in an attempt to reel in a laugh.
“I could.” Taehyung insists, although one sweep of his gaze across the muscles rippling across Jeongguk’s torso, over the ridges of his abdomen, suggests otherwise. He’s a baseball player.
He swings wooden bats, sprints from post to post. He’s lean, not bulky. His strength is in his thighs, his calves.
“Alright,” Jeongguk shrugs, “I’ll sit on /your/ shoulders then. Get on your knees.”
Taehyung grumbles, but otherwise crouches.
“Do you have to make everything sound so fvcking sexual?”
He feels Jeongguk coming up behind him, the hairs on his arms and legs standing on end as the heat of the basketball player’s body bleeds into his own.
“You sure about this, Taehyung?”
Muscular thighs bracket his head and Taehyung gulps because they look and feel a lot more solid up close.
“I—“ he licks his lips, steels himself. He can do this. He’s strong. Lifting Jeongguk should be a piece of cake. “Yeah, get on.”
Several minutes, a mouthful of lake water and an embarrassing coughing fit later, Taehyung finds himself situated upon Jeongguk’s shoulders.
“I told you you weren’t strong enough.” He tuts, shaking his head and Taehyung huffs. Whatever. If he’d warmed up, he could’ve done it.
The game hasn’t started yet. They’d all been given a couple minutes to practice their balance. Jeongguk’s shoulders, as much as Taehyung hates to admit it, are actually rather comfortable. They’re broad enough to support his thighs and his ass, which is nice.
And they’re not too bony either
“Yo Gguk!” Hoseok waves them over, Jimin none too happy beneath him by how much he wiggles in doing so
And Jeongguk, w/o any warning whatsoever, sets off
Had he not been gripping Taehyung’s thighs so hard, he probably would’ve toppled right off
Taehyung yelps, thrown off balance by the sudden movement and his hands fly to Jeongguk’s hair, his fingers finding purchase on the first thing they touch. And he tugs.
Jeongguk’s steps falter, a sharp exhale escaping his lips and Taehyung’s mouth pops open.
He dips his head, peering down at Jeongguk in shock.
“Did you just fvcking moan?”
Jeongguk doesn’t reply, simply keeps treading through the water to where the rest of the pairs had lined up.
Taehyung pulls at his hair again just hard enough to get his attention.
And Jeongguk hisses, blunt fingernails digging into the flesh of Taehyung’s thighs.
“Could you not?” He snaps, the tips of his ears tinged pink and Taehyung can’t help but snicker, quite pleased with his newfound discovery.
”Why?” He tugs harder, smug smile growing as Jeongguk stiffens beneath him, almost stumbles with the way Taehyung grazes his finger nails across his scalp like the little sh*t that he is, “afraid you’ll pop a semi?”
Jeongguk jostles him, squeezes his thighs in reprimanding.
His honesty’s unexpected and Taehyung pulls his hands away, places them in the curve between Jeongguk’s neck and shoulder instead. There’s a strange tugging at his gut, an all too familiar heat creeping up his neck & he hates it because why is /he/ flustered?
Jeongguk’s the one that had just admitted to being a whole masochist, so why does /he/ feel embarrassed?
“Cat got your tongue now?”
Taehyung scowls through the blush that rises to his cheeks & looks away, at anything but the smug a**hole between his legs.
“Shut the fvck up.”
“...and that’s another team out!”
The megaphone blares across the lake, coach Geun’s voice crackling through with a painfully loud squeak. Taehyung sends a wicked grin their opponent’s way, running high on adrenaline and the exhilaration of being one step closer to winning.
Jeongguk’s panting beneath him, chest rising and falling as he gulps down as much air as he can before someone else targets them. From the very moment the whistle blew, signalling the start of the game, every other pair had made a beeline straight for them. Sons of b*tches.
Taehyung pats his head, situates himself in a more comfortable position.
“You’re doing great, Gguk.” He says, the praise taking Jeongguk by surprise. It’s probably the first nice thing Taehyung’s ever said to him. He pats him again, “good horsey.”
He rolls his eyes.
He can’t say he wasn’t expecting it.
There’s a loud splash to their right and Jeongguk whips around quickly, grunting as Taehyung’s legs tighten around him, practically crushing his windpipe.
“Tae—“ he chokes out, smacking the boy’s thighs none too softly —
“Can’t fvcking breathe.”
Taehyung snorts, loud and amused, but eases up his grip nonetheless. He can’t afford to sabotage his own teammate. Especially not with another pair charging towards them, hands raised high to push him into the water.
It’s Jackson and Wonho, a pair Taehyung knows pack quite the punch. Jeongguk side steps them, watches as Wonho stumbles with his own momentum, but Jackson manages to fling his arms out, palms colliding with Taehyung’s shoulder blades.
It knocks him forward, his ribs
hitting the back of Jeongguk’s head, and the pair stagger.
Jeongguk curses, almost loses his footing, but Taehyung manages to reestablish his weight just in time. The water around them ripples violently as Jeongguk spins on his heel, fingers painful where they dig —
into the sun kissed flesh of Taehyung’s thighs. He winces. Fvck, that’ll bruise.
Jeongguk shoots him a quick glance, the crown of his head pressing into Taehyung’s tummy for the split second it takes for him to make sure he’s alright.
“Sorry.” Taehyung’s not sure he heard right
The fingers on his thighs slip down to his knees, brushing over the thin red marks already blooming across his skin. And Jeongguk clears his throat, averts his gaze.
“Tell me if I squeeze too hard.” He mumbles, readjusting his grip and Taehyung blinks. That was... almost sweet.
They’re in a one-v-one situation. Jeongguk bounces on the balls of his feet, as agile as one can be with a person on their shoulders. He dodges a kick to the ankle, stays confident enough to flash the opposing carrier a cocky smile.
Had he only been paying more attention,
he’d have noticed Taehyung slipping off of one of his shoulders, their opponent’s palm hitting him square in the chest.
Taehyung curses, the sound of blood rushing past his eardrums drowning out the other pair’s triumphant cry as gravity pulls him down into the water.
He swings out a hand, fingers latching onto a wet tee shirt. If he’s going down, they’re going down with him.
The rest of the eliminated teams watch with bated breaths as the final pairs fall into the water practically simultaneously.
When Taehyung re-emerges, water clogging his ears and his heart pounding in anticipation, he immediately looks to the shore, to coach Geun.
It’s all a question of who hit the water first.
He brings the megaphone to his mouth, his expression frustratingly unreadable.
“The winners are,” his eyes dart between both teams, purposefully dragging the silence on and Taehyung swears his heart’s about to beat from his chest. He knows it’s only a game, but he wants to win so bad. They’d been so close.
He feels Jeongguk sidle up next to him,
hears him inhale sharply right before coach Geun’s gaze finds theirs, a pleased smile breaking out across his face.
“Taehyung and Jeongguk.”
Their teammates go wild, whoops and hollers echoing through the clearing, and Taehyung doesn’t think, doesn’t pause to
consider what he’s doing because the thrill of winning overrides any hesitation that would’ve otherwise held him back.
He turns on his heel, throws his arms around Jeongguk’s neck and yanks him into a bone crushing hug. They collide with a muffled, “oof.”
It’s awkward, so awkward, but none of it registers in Taehyung’s mind because he’s too happy, giddy off the news they got first place. Jeongguk’s just about managed to get a hold of his bearings, his body as stiff as a plank in his arms when Taehyung pulls away,
grinning from ear to ear. He doesn’t notice Jeongguk staring, barely feels the arms that are hesitant to wrap around his waist before he’s surging forward, all but yelling into Jeongguk’s face.
“We fvcking won!” He squeals, and he supposes he may have gone too far.
Gotten a bit too carried away, but he’s leaning in and pressing a fleeting kiss to Jeongguk’s cheek before he can stop to realise just what the fvck he’s doing.
His lips brush against warm skin, over a small dimple that only ever appears when Jeongguk’s genuinely smiling.
And they freeze.
It’s comical, actually. How it all dawns on Taehyung what he’s done the moment Jeongguk goes stock still.
He rips himself away from him, cheeks flaming.
“I uh,” he clears his throat, scratches the back of his neck, “good game, dude.”
445. Tae’s first keyboard smash :<
It’s around two in the afternoon, after the hype of this morning’s events have died down, that everyone scatters for lunch. They get the afternoon off, free to do as they please — whatever that may be, in a place as isolated as this camp.
Taehyung’s opted to eat outside.
Bask in the sunshine as he enjoys his sandwich. It’s egg and cress, definitely far from being his first choice, but it was the only available option left by the time he picked up his lunch from the cafeteria this morning.
His friends stick around, not quite eating with him,
but nearby. As much as he’d like to enjoy some peace and quiet on his own, he doesn’t particularly want to be alone in the middle of the forest.
He finds a considerably large log, partially shaded beneath an old pine tree and ridden with yellow and green moss.
It’s nice, he thinks, enjoying one’s own company. Back on campus, he rarely finds time for himself. When he’s not with the team, he’s at a party. And when he stumbles home, inebriated and close to unconscious, there’s always someone else back at the dorm.
He really should’ve known it wouldn’t last.
The bushes nearby rustle and Taehyung’s a second away from bolting, fear gripping at his chest as he recalls his last run-in with a wild animal, when a familiar figure emerges.
Jeongguk throws up his palms, a paper bag in one hand.
“Just me.” He says and Taehyung heaves a sigh, presses a hand to his chest as his shoulders sag with relief.
“What’re you doing here?” He asks, though he doesn’t know why he bothers asking. Jeongguk’s intent is pretty obvious with the way he settles comfortably next to him.
He reaches into the paper bag, pulls out a sandwich with a shrug.
Eating, he says. As if Taehyung couldn’t already tell. He rolls his eyes, resisting the urge to smack him.
“Obviously, but why here?”
He’s equal parts annoyed that his alone time had been disrupted
& apprehensive because when has Jeongguk ever willingly chosen to be in his company w/o some sort of ulterior motive up his sleeve?
Jeongguk turns, angling his body towards him as he takes a bite out of his sandwich.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Is this log only reserved for your higness?”
He says it over a mouthful, and Taehyung’s lips draw back over his teeth in disdain.
“You’re so gross.” It’s one of his weakest jabs yet, pretty generic, but he can’t quite seem to find the usual animosity with which he addresses Jeongguk.
He’s probably just tired.
Jeongguk frowns down at Taehyung’s own lunch in his lap, cheeks bulging with each chew.
“I’m not the one with an egg and cress sandwich.” He retorts, somewhat haughtily and Taehyung can’t really argue with that. So he grumbles, plucking at the crust of his bread with a pout.
It’s not that he detests egg and cress, he’s not that picky. It’s just not something he usually goes for. He can’t even remember the last time he’d had one of these. They’re boring and bland. The egg’s cold and makes the bread all soggy.
He doesn’t realise he’s sulking until one half of a sandwich is thrusted towards him, right beneath his nose. This one’s tuna sweetcorn and Taehyung’s stomach rumbles at the mere sight of it.
“Take it.” Jeongguk doesn’t look at him, tilts his head away so Taehyung can’t see
his face, & Taehyung wonders if the tips of Jeongguk’s ears have always been this red.
“Don’t need you complaining over a tummy ache or whatever later.” He continues, the justification of his actions unsurprising
Taehyung takes it, watches as Jeongguk withdraws his hand quickly
and takes another, bigger bite of his half of the sandwich, chewing furiously.
He feels a tug at the corners of his lips, a butterfly or two fluttering inside his belly, but he chooses not to focus on the warmth blossoming inside his chest in favour of sating his hunger.
He stares at the ground, rolls a couple loose rocks around the dirt with the heel of his sneaker, drawing on a blank for something to say. Anything to fill the silence that isn’t the sound of munching or awkward shuffles.
Jeongguk breaks it first with a clear of his throat.
“Just wanted to tell you you did a good job earlier.” He says, dusting the crumbs off his hands, “with the quick thinking and all that during the last match.”
He bends down to rummage through his paper bag once again, fishing out a juice box.
It gives Taehyung ample time to make sense of what he’d just said, process the fact that Jeon Jeongguk had just praised him. W/o an ounce of sarcasm, too.
“I—“ he almost chokes on a mouthful of bread, coughing into his fist with an embarrassed flush warming his cheeks, “thanks.”
Jeongguk bobs his head, dismissing the topic with a one shouldered shrug.
“‘course I helped too.” He slides Taehyung a sly look, lips dipping into that stupidly charming lopsided smile, “don’t get all bigheaded. It was a team effort.”
Taehyung’s surprised he has to fight a smile of his own, his cheeks straining as he struggles to maintain his cool, calm composure.
“Yeah, alright.” He gives in, just this once. Plays along for the heII of it. “Couldn’t have done it without you.” He winks.
And Jeongguk looks genuinely surprised, eyes widening for a fraction of a second, the smirk on his face faltering as a pretty red blooms across his cheekbones.
It only takes him a second to compose himself.
“Yeah, well.” He sniffs, eyes darting away, “doubt anyone else would be able to lift your fat ass.”
Taehyung doesn’t bother biting back the laugh that tumbles easily past his lips.
He shakes his head, ignores the fondness blossoming inside his chest.
“You’re not afraid of the dark too, are you?” Jeongguk asks, watching as the moon dips behind a cloud, shrouding the group in a darkness he finds more peaceful than anything else.
Taehyung shakes his head, ruffles his hair w/ a frustrated huff.
“Just annoyed we’re out so late.”
Jeongguk hums his agreement and they tune back into the instructions Coach Ahn bellows out into the clearing.
They have two minutes to find a hiding spot, alone. They’re not working in pairs for this game, and Taehyung manages to convince himself it’s a good thing.
There are three seekers to begin with, Hoseok being one of them. And he doesn’t forget to point at Jeongguk and Taehyung, a determined glint in his eyes.
“I’m coming for you.”
And they’re off.
He dashes to the tree line, in the opposite direction Jeongguk disappears off to, and it’s odd, but Taehyung thinks his stomach drops. It’s weird not having the guy trailing after him.
“...twenty-one... twenty two...”
The seekers keep counting, barely audible now.
And Taehyung slows to a walk, having deemed himself far enough away. He crouches beneath a tree, ducks behind thick bushes. And waits.
It’s silent for a good minute or two aside from the odd chirp of a cricket or rustle of leaves, but it doesn’t take long for surprised yells
and shrieks to fill the forest air. He sits still, heart thundering in his chest as several seekers pass by him. For a children’s game, hide and seek sure could get intense.
“Hey, come back!”
Footsteps thunder towards him and Taehyung holds his breath.
He peers around the tree he’s hiding behind and almost topples right back onto his ass because Jeongguk, of all people, is looking right at him. The boy glances over his shoulder, the yells growing louder, and with a purse of his lips, dives into the bushes right next to Taehyung
He tumbles onto the forest floor by Taehyung’s feet with a grunt and Taehyung yelps, wide eyed. What the fvck.
“What are you doing? You’ll get us both caught!” He hisses, only for Jeongguk to slap a hand over his mouth. Huh, déjà vu, much?
“He went this way!” It’s Hoseok. Taehyung would recognise that irritating little voice anywhere.
The seekers round the corner, an intimidating group of them emerging from the trees, and Jeongguk huddles closer to Taehyung, positively terrified.
And Taehyung should be to, but with Jeongguk pressing closer, leaning over his shoulder to keep an eye on the boys searching for them, completely unaware of the turmoil his stupid vanilla body wash and proximity elicits inside the captain he currently has pinned to the tree —
Taehyung can barely concentrate on anything but the heat of Jeongguk’s body seeping into his own. The warmth of his breath that hits the side of his neck.
The seekers sound close, the crunch of leaves and twigs so alarmingly close.
And Jeongguk’s eyes slide over to meet his.
Taehyung doesn’t know why — perhaps it’s the exhaustion from all the day’s activities finally catching up to him, or maybe it’s the way the moonlight reflects in the pools of Jeongguk’s eyes as they peer into his own — but he thinks they look prettier tonight.
The voices drift away, the seekers wandering off somewhere else and Taehyung blinks up at Jeongguk, at the curve of his lips, the mole on the tip of his nose. And he’s filled with the sudden urge to close the distance between them.
He licks at his lips, fingers itching to brush back the strands of hair that fall across Jeongguk’s forehead and into his eyes. His pretty brown eyes that flicker towards the little pink tongue that swipes across the swell of Taehyung’s bottom lip.
He knows he shouldn’t. They don’t even like each other half the time, but he’s reaching out with hesitant hands, wrapping his arms around Jeongguk’s neck before he can stop himself and Jeongguk ducks his head, shuffles closer between the knees Taehyung parts for him.
It should feel awkward, stiff. They’re crouched behind a tree, squeezed between two bushes for crying out loud. Taehyung’s heart shouldn’t be racing, shouldn’t pound so hard against his rib cage, he can almost /hear/ it.
But it does and he can’t take the suspense anymore.
Jeongguk barely has any time to prepare himself, one hand scrabbling for the ground next to Taehyung’s hip as the other cups the side of his face. Because the next thing he knows, Taehyung’s all he can taste, all he can smell and feel.
And he finds he doesn’t mind it. At all. Because Taehyung’s lips are soft & pressing against his w/ a fervour that could’ve knocked him off his feet.
Taehyung tugs him closer, sighs into his mouth as Jeongguk tilts his head, slanting his lips across his with just as much vigour.
The rough press of tree bark digs harshly into the skin of his back, the ground beneath them hard and pebbly, but Taehyung doesn’t care. Not when Jeongguk nips at his lower lip, drags a hand down the curve of his waist to squeeze at his hips, driving him positively delirious.
“Jeong—“ he chokes on a stuttered gasp, the ghost of an embarrassingly high keen toppling from between his lips and right into Jeongguk’s mouth, where he swallows down every one of Taehyung’s noises. They’re just kissing. It shouldn’t feel this good.
But it does.
Warm hands slip beneath Taehyung’s tee-shirt, calloused fingertips roaming the skin of his tummy pulled taut as he struggles to maintain his composure. Jeongguk nips at the back of his neck, hums low against the skin there. He pulls Taehyung closer by the waist.
Close enough to nuzzle into the juncture between his neck and his shoulder, where Taehyung’s skin stretches out smooth and golden. The urge to bite down, suck bruises into it is difficult to ignore, but Jeongguk tamps it down. Taehyung’ll kill him if he leaves any visible marks.
The elevator dings, the ground floor symbol lighting up and Taehyung elbows Jeongguk away, hurriedly shoving him to the other side of the small space where he quirks an eyebrow up at him.
“Don’t need to give them more reasons to believe we’re dating.” He says,
smoothing out the wrinkles in his shirt and fanning away the red blush tinting the apples of his cheeks and the tips of his ears. It’s hot in the elevator.
Jeongguk rolls his eyes and goes to make a grab at Taehyung again, but the boy swats his hands away with a glare.
“Jeongguk.” He reprimands him, “not now.”
Jeongguk stares at him in silence, blinks a few times because had Taehyung really just scolded him as if he were some child?
The doors open and Taehyung’s about to step out, one foot already out the elevator when fingers wind
around his wrist and tug
He gasps, reeling back with the force of the pull, though it’s muffled by Jeongguk’s mouth slanting across his. His taste isn’t quite yet familiar, but it’s nice, sweet. And it’s a dangerous thought, but Taehyung thinks he could easily get addicted to it
Jeongguk pulls away far too quickly and Taehyung’s embarrassed at the way he subconsciously chases after his lips, something Jeongguk clearly doesn’t miss if the curl of his mouth is anything to go by.
He steps past him and Taehyung’s a bit too dazed, his surprise
at the bold action having yet to recede, to yank Jeongguk back by the collar of his shirt and give him a piece of his mind for pulling such a risky move.
Jeongguk’s hands fall from his waist and he winks, infuriatingly cocky.
“See you later, roomie.”
Taehyung’s not sure what it is they’re doing now. It seems their little kiss last night overstepped and erased whatever boundary it was that had been keeping them from acting on certain... urges, and ever since then, they hadn’t been able to keep their hands to themselves.
He’s chocked it up to be purely sexual attraction and, as much as Taehyung hates the guy, he can’t deny that Jeongguk is one attractive a**hole. He figures the feeling’s mutual considering how forward Jeongguk’s been in his advances.
“Hello? Earth to fvckface?”
Taehyung swats at the hand waving past his face, his nose wrinkling in annoyance.
Hoseok leans away, clutches his hand to his chest with an overdramatic cry. The reaction’s worth an eye roll.
“What’re you thinking about so early in the morning?”
Seokjin’s curious, his voice lacking the dubious questioning quality it’s usually tainted with when he knows something he shouldn’t. He leans in, propping his elbow up on the arm of his chair. With how paranoid Taehyung had been all night that someone had caught him and Jeongguk
in an embrace far too intimate for two people who claim to hate each other’s guts, the relief that floods his body is warmly welcomed.
“Just worried about this summer’s games, is all.” He lies, though it’s not entirely untrue. They’re up against good schools next semester.
And w/ camp taking up a considerable chunk of their summer break, he’s worried they won’t have time to practice.
“Relax.” Seokjin’s dropping a hand to his shoulder, offering Taehyung a genuine smile that rounds out his cheeks, “we’ll be fine. We’ve got you as captain, don’t we?”
Taehyung ducks his head, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. As sarcastic as Seokjin is, he sure is charming when he wants to be.
“Right, yeah.” He bobs his head, forces out the actual thoughts that had been plaguing his mind, “you’re right. We’ll be fine.”
“Maybe you just need a distraction.” Hoseok drawls, slouching back against the couch over Seokjin’s shoulder and Taehyung lifts his eyes, narrowing them when he meets Hoseok’s, sees the tiny smirk that he poorly conceals. “I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding one.”
It’s unsettling, and grinds Taehyung’s gears, but he masks the suspicion worming it’s way up his chest and into his throat, bringing with it accusations he knows will only raise questions if he were to say them out loud.
Instead he smiles.
“I’m sure I won’t.”
He doesn’t mean for it to sound like a challenge, and he hopes it doesn’t come across that way to Hoseok. The last thing he needs is for him to go about blabbering whatever it is he seemingly knows.
Taehyung breaks away from the hold of his gaze, far too knowing.
“We better get going.” He says, pushing himself up off the couch with a sigh, “coaches’ll come looking for us again.”
“Do you even know how to hold that?”
Jeongguk stands at the edge of the pier, a paddle grasped firmly between his fingers.
He frowns, hovers by the canoe Taehyung’s already seated himself inside.
“It’s a big stick.” He says, condescending, “how many ways are there to hold it?”
A teasing comment tickles at the back of Taehyung’s throat, but he swallows it down before it can spill from his mouth. Jeongguk’s ego doesn’t need another boost.
“Just get in, will you?” He shifts in his seat, a wooden plank that feels frighteningly close to snapping.
How old even are these canoes?
“I will in a sec.” Jeongguk fumbles with the paddle some more, twists it and turns it, and Taehyung huffs, impatient.
“It’s not a fvcking bo staff. Would you quit messing around? Everyone else has already set off down the river.”
Jeongguk doesn’t appear to be phased by the sudden animosity in his dear partner’s voice as he takes a seat opposite Taehyung, calmly laying the paddle flat across the thwart of the canoe.
“Just tryna get some alone time.” He says, wiggling his eyebrows.
And Taehyung purses his lips, unimpressed.
“Behave, I know.” Jeongguk throws up his palms in surrender, a disappointed sigh escaping his lips as he reaches for the paddle. He pushes them away from the pier, “just say you don’t want to kiss me. I won’t get offended.”
He says it with a poker face, feigns an air of indifference, but regardless of how blasé he tries to be, Taehyung doesn’t miss the brief twitch of his lips — the small pout Jeongguk’s quick to smooth out.
He glances at their surroundings.
The coaches had retreated —
behind the trees, the closest pair to them a mere speck in the distance
And he mentally scolds himself for his lack of self control, his inability to fight off sporadic urges. Taehyung muffles a sigh into Jeongguk’s mouth, feeds the sound through parted lips as he pecks him.
“There.” He pulls away quickly, a thrilled shudder shooting up his spine at the thought of getting caught. It’s risky to kiss in public, but Jeongguk would sulk otherwise. “Happy?”
The corners of Jeongguk’s mouth curl, tugging it up into a lopsided smile that
sends Taehyung’s heart aflutter.
He bites his lip, seemingly contemplating something as he drags the paddle through the water, a deep blue.
He looks up at Taehyung through his lashes, a wicked gleam in his eyes.
“Do you think there’s a monster living down there?”
They’ve been paddling for about half an hour now, just curved around a meander and Taehyung’s half tempted to push Jeongguk over the edge of the canoe. He won’t stop asking stupid questions.
“Why don’t you dive in & find out?”
He asks, bored out of his mind and praying they’re at least half way through the course.
It’s stuffy out here, he’s had a handful of insects fly into his face and as much as Taehyung enjoys the outdoors, he can only take so much.
“What if it eats me?” Jeongguk peers over his
paddle, genuine worry etched across his face. He then glances at Taehyung and the facade drops, mischief bleeding into his eyes and pulling at his lips, “then who would carry you back to camp like the princess you are?”
Taehyung’s fist comes flying.
“You’re so fvckin’ annoying.” He grumbles as Jeongguk blocks the punch, easily wrapping his own hand around Taehyung’s fist and, though it takes much effort and plenty of stubbornness from Taehyung’s side, he manages to pry his fingers apart and slip his own between them.
Taehyung doesn’t acknowledge the flutter in his stomach.
It’s probably just ‘cause he’s hungry.
“Obviously not enough to deter you from liking me.” He winks and, much to Taehyung’s horror, he feels heat creep up his neck and over his cheeks.
“I do not!”
He attempts to pull his hand back, but Jeongguk just grips onto it harder, leans forward as he tugs Taehyung closer.
The boat rocks and Taehyung’s free hand flies to grip at the sides of it.
Jeongguk quirks a brow, “so you just go around making out with guys you hate?”
He’s much too smug and it grates on Taehyung’s nerves. Like him? Please. He’d sooner date Hoseok than Jeongguk, and that’s saying a lot.
Perhaps, had Taehyung not been so busy calling Jeongguk every bad name he could possibly think of inside his head, he’d have realised the
proximity between them quickly diminishing, inch by inch because the next thing he knows, their noses are brushing.
“Jeongguk.” He snaps, turning his head to the side just in time for a kiss to land square in the middle of his cheek, “there are people around.”
And there are. It wasn’t like earlier where they’d been the last to set off. Several other pairs float nearby, within earshot too. Anyone could turn their head at any moment and catch them leaning into each other’s space.
Jeongguk hums, low and unbothered.
“If anyone asks, I was blowing something outta your eye.” He says and Taehyung’s head’s turning, “c’mon peaches, just one?”
He stills, staring down the bridge of his nose at him as he draws a blank. It’s almost comical how much the pet name affects him. No one’s ever called
him that before and Taehyung, quite reluctantly, decides he doesn’t entirely hate it. Dare he admit he even finds it cute, not that he’d ever say that out loud.
He blinks, dazed, “huh?”
And Jeongguk cracks a smile, huffs a quiet laugh into the inch of space between them
before he’s resting his forehead against his, “can I kiss you?”
The words don’t quite register inside Taehyung’s head, his brain all but goo after the whole ‘peaches’ thing, but he assumes he must’ve nodded his head, given Jeongguk some sort of go signal because he’s leaning in
and Taehyung sighs. Fvcking /sighs/ into the kiss and pretty much throws all caution to the wind as he slips his hand free from Jeongguk’s grasp to cup at his face, smoothing a thumb over his cheekbone. It’s a move that’s too affectionate, on a level of intimacy they —
most certainly are not on, but he can’t bring himself to care when kissing Jeongguk feels this good. There’s nothing particularly earth shattering, but there’s this unexplained familiarity in the press of his lips that brings Taehyung comfort, has a pleasant warmth
thrumming through his veins and pooling inside his chest. It’s nice. And, although Taehyung vehemently denies any claims he has any feelings for him, he will admit he likes Jeongguk’s kisses.
Just his kisses.
Taehyung never would’ve pictured himself fiddling with a handful of colourful beads and a piece of string, much less with Jeongguk sitting next to him. They’d been tasked to make friendship bracelets and honestly, as stupid as the entire idea is, it’s actually rather therapeutic.
Jeongguk’s elbow knocks into his, the final straw too apparently, because he’s chucking a bead across the table with an irritated grunt.
“This is so fvcking stupid.” He says, tossing his half finished bracelet off to the side and Taehyung snorts.
“Kinda like you then.”
He feels his glare more than he sees it, far too engrossed in the ambitious braid he’d chosen to attempt creating using three different pieces of string.
“How are you so good at that?” Jaehwa peers over at him from across the table in awe.
And Taehyung shrugs, tries to brush it off without being too smug.
“I have a younger sister in kindergarten.” He says, finishing it off with a knot, “I do her hair for her sometimes.”
With his parents busy bustling to and from work, he tries to give her the little things
he hopes will brighten up her day.
“That’s so cute.”
He glances up, meets Jaehwa’s big round eyes and almost double takes when the boy blushes. Perhaps he really just is naturally easily flustered.
“Didn’t take you for such a softie, peaches.”
The nickname flies right over Taehyung’s head as he rummages through the bag of beads, “yeah, well. You don’t take me for many things, do you, Jeon?”
He pulls out a pretty red one, holds it up to the light with a pleased exclamation and it’s only then that he notices the stares.
“I—“ he shoots Jeongguk a panicked look, wide eyed and struggling to think of something believable when put on the spot. The a**hole has the nerve to prop his elbow up on the table, rest his chin on his fist, unbothered and even bordering on bored.
Faking a smile, Taehyung, very inconspicuously, slides a hand over his thigh.
“Yeah,” Jeongguk drawls, though by the twitch of his leg, he is very much aware of Taehyung’s palm searing through the material of his jeans, “peach— fvck, ow!”
Taehyung feigns concern,
reaches for his ‘partner’ with a frown as if he hadn’t just pinched the inside of his thigh. He deserved it for being so careless.
He gives Jeongguk a warning look, daring him to say it one more time and Jeongguk narrows his eyes, but otherwise drops it.
“You must’ve misheard.”
He scoots along the bench until he’s far enough away that Taehyung has no choice but to withdraw his hand.
“Peaches?” Jeongguk throws his head back with a snarky laugh, eyes gleaming as they skim over Taehyung, “more like bltchass—“
His aim was to tackle the son of a b*tch to the ground, but it’s like throwing himself at a brick wall. Jeongguk, essentially, catches him, barely budging an inch and Taehyung would’ve swung had it not been for the sound of their coaches approaching.
“What’s going on here?” Coach Ahn’s the first to speak up, eyes narrowed suspiciously at the fist Taehyung has raised in the air above Jeongguk’s head.
The rest of the boys at their table stay silent, much to their dismay and Taehyung drops the glare, lowering —
his hand to Jeongguk’s shoulder with a sheepish chuckle.
“Just...” he swallows, feels Jeongguk tense up beneath his fingers, “felt a bit overwhelmed with emotion from the bracelet Jeongguk’s planning on giving me.” He wraps his arms around his neck, engulfing him in a hug.
“Isn’t that right, Gguk?”
It takes a second or two for Jeongguk to respond, but he does eventually come to with a sharp nod of his head.
“I see.” Coach Ahn still looks to be sceptical — seeing the team captains in each other’s arms is a rather odd sight.
Thankfully, Coach Geun butts in then, probably having sensed the painfully awkward atmosphere.
“Well, we’ll leave you all to it.” He says before he’s ushering Coach Ahn over to the next table.
Taehyung sighs, slumping against Jeongguk in relief.
His forehead slips to press against Jeongguk’s shoulder, over the slope of his clavicle.
That was a close one. They’ve been doing so well faking their friendship so far, it would’ve been a shame if they broke the illusion now.
“Um,” Jeongguk clears his throat, “Taehyung?”
Humming questioningly, Taehyung twists his head, his nose brushing along the side of Jeongguk’s neck and it takes him a second or two to realise they still have an audience.
He rips himself away, blood rushing to his face and to the tips of his ears.
“I–I um,” he fumbles with the beads, frustrated that he is, yet again, the only one flustered, “right, the bracelet.”
Conversation picks up shortly after their little spectacle and, once everyone appears to be distracted, Taehyung feels a nudge at his side.
He turns, eyebrows raised in question, to find Jeongguk holding up his poor attempt at a friendship bracelet.
“Mind helping me?” He asks, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly, pink dancing across the bridge of his nose and across his cheekbones.
“Since you said my bracelet was for you, I don’t wanna mess it up.” His eyes dart to the table, embarrassment practically oozing from his every pore, but before Taehyung can tease him about it, he goes and ruins it.
“After all, you’re one picky son of a— ow! Again?!”
“Man, I’m beat.”
It’s with a melodramatic huff that Jeongguk throws himself onto his bed, sinking into the mattress with a groan.
“This,” he gestures to the pillows, the blanket tossed haphazardly to the side, “this is the life.”
And Taehyung can’t really offer him much more
than a shake of his head, a roll of his eyes.
“What a drama queen.” He says before he marches over to him, grabbing the towel Jeongguk had tossed carelessly onto the dresser to chuck it over his head. “And at least dry your hair first.”
If there’s one pet peeve he can’t ignore,
it’s when people go to bed with damp hair.
He tugs Jeongguk up into a sitting position, a considerable feat considering how much the basketball player weighs, and is far from gentle as he proceeds to dry his hair.
“Well, aren’t you a doting boyfriend?” Jeongguk grins, loops his arms around Taehyung’s waist in a loose embrace.
Fighting the blush steadily climbing up his neck, Taehyung purposefully moves onto his bangs, just so the towel covers his stupid face.
Jeongguk reaches up to hold Taehyung’s hands still, plucks the towel from between his fingers w/ a quiet hum.
“And if I do?”
Taehyung can’t tell what’s running through his mind, not with an expression so blank. He almost looks serious, would’ve seemed sincere had it not been
for the grin stretching across his face barely three seconds later, the mirth dancing in those big brown eyes that really shouldn’t remind Taehyung so much of the night sky.
He shoves him away, “shut up.” And moves back to his side of the room, Jeongguk’s laughter only further
driving the red staining his cheeks to his cheekbones, up the sides of his face and to the tips of his ears.
Even though they don’t yell at each other as much anymore, grind each other’s gears every chance they get, Jeongguk’s still just as stupid as he had been at the start.
After that somewhat embarrassing predicament, Taehyung decides it’s time for some tender, loving, ‘me’ time — that being in the form of binge watching tear jerking romances, his guilty pleasure.
He settles atop his duvet — it’s too hot to get under it — on his stomach.
“Hey,” he’s speaking before it really registers inside his head what’s spewing from his mouth, “wanna watch Netflix with me?”
Jeongguk glances at him, the light of his phone glaringly harsh across his face, and it takes him a couple seconds to process the invitation.
But when it does, he’s up & crawling onto Taehyung’s bed without hesitation.
“Can’t we just skip to the chill part?” He asks, part teasing, part whining as he settles back against the headboard next to him.
Taehyung chooses not to reply lest he risk losing more brain cells.
“You into romances?” He asks, clicking through his favourites. Perhaps he should try watching something new.
Jeongguk shuffles closer, not quite touching him, but close enough for Taehyung’s hair to stand on end — an anticipatory response, if you will.
Entirely his biological reaction to someone being within a certain proximity and most definitely nothing to do with Taehyung’s unusually heightened awareness towards handsome basketball captains with an ego to boot.
“I prefer exploding cars and overpowered protagonists.”
Taehyung has to scoff. Of course.
“Well,” he picks a suggested movie, an animated one that doesn’t look half bad, “sucks for you.”
He grabs a pillow to prop his chin up on as the introductory credits flash across the screen, over a shooting star flying through the sky.
569. Lil’ intermission
Hi, hello, I know this is several hundred tweets too late, but I didn’t think the sports au would end up this long (no surprise there, I got carried away again ffs) BUT yeah
• nsfw-ish (the same level of description as was in my AlphaxAlpha au)
• top jeongguk
It’s around two hours later, right as the film credits roll across the screen and lethargy begins to weigh down Taehyung’s eyelids that he hears it.
A quiet sniff.
It’s not him. Sure, his eyes may have watered at the ending, but he’d sucked it up.
Lord knows how long it’d take for him to live it down.
A quick pat of his cheeks and swipe beneath his eyes tells him that nope, he’s definitely not the one crying.
Which only leaves... Taehyung turns slowly, robotically, disbelieving.
“Are you—“ he chokes on a surprised laugh
“are you crying?”
Jeongguk rubs at his eyes and his lower lip trembles as he shakes his head, vehemently denying it.
“No.” It’s weak, his voice so uncharacteristically tiny and Taehyung can’t /not/ tease him for it.
“It kinda sounds like you are.”
Jeongguk squeezes the ends of his sleeves tighter, rubs at his face harder and Taehyung’s fingers itch to reach out and stop him in case he hurts himself. Not because he cares, but because the coaches’ll blame him if something happens to his partner.
“Am not.” He hiccups.
He bows his head, hides away between shoulders a touch away from caving in and Taehyung fumbles for a response because he’s never had to deal with this kind of Jeongguk before. He’s seen him cocky, angry. HeII, even turned on, but not /this/.
For someone with one of the most high and mighty bravados Taehyung’s ever encountered, Jeongguk sure could look like the tiniest little thing.
“Sure, you’re not.” Taehyung decides to play along — he’s not too sure which approach would be best in this scenario, but he’ll figure
it out. Jeongguk doesn’t appear to have acknowledged him, simply choosing to scrub at his eyes & his cheeks w/ a fervour Taehyung can’t help but frown disapprovingly at.
So he leans over, takes a hold of his wrists & tugs them away from his face.
“Stop it.” He scolds him.
Surprisingly enough, Jeongguk lets him, stares at Taehyung through misty eyes with a nose tinged the most adorable shade of red.
Taehyung has to physically refrain from cooing.
At Jeongguk, of all people.
He must be more exhausted than he’d thought.
“Jeongguk,” he says it softly, like he would to his sister post-tantrum, “it’s okay to cry, okay?”
He whips out a tissue from the box on his bedside table before Jeongguk can argue, uses it to dab at the corners of his eyes, all the while trying his best to bite back a grin.
Who would’ve guessed Jeongguk would be so sensitive? And here he was, convinced the man ran solely on testosterone.
Jeongguk sniffs again, shockingly pliant before him as Taehyung wipes away the wetness around his eyes.
Taehyung startles at his own thoughts.
“I uh,” he pulls away, handing the tissue over to Jeongguk, flustered over his own stupid thoughts. Jeon Jeongguk is not cute. Pffft. He backtracks. Quickly. “Of all the people to cry over a little romance...” he throws him a sly grin, “what a puss—“
“Finish that sentence, Kim, and I won’t be the only one crying tonight.”
Taehyung’s mouth snaps shut, mortification leaving him red in the face. He’s tempted to challenge him, see what his reaction would be if he were to play like him, but with how forward Jeongguk’s been —
about what he wants lately, Taehyung’s afraid of where that may lead them.
“B*tch.” He says instead, folding his laptop away and rolling beneath his blanket, tugging the duvet up to cover the cheeks he has no doubt are a dead giveaway of how easily Jeongguk affects him.
He squeezes his eyes shut, his attention wholly on getting his breathing nice and stable, his limbs loose and relaxed and— why has Jeongguk not left yet?
“Jeongguk,” he doesn’t care that he sounds whiny. Jeongguk’s sitting far too close for his mind and body to be at ease,
“I’m trying to sleep here. Fvck off back to your side of the room.”
He shoves him as hard as he can, but Jeongguk barely budges. If anything, he just gets suspiciously closer.
“I’m not even doing anything.” He says, “not my fault you have problems falling asleep.”
Taehyung tosses and turns, rolls onto his sides, flips onto his back, but no matter what he does, he can’t quite fall asleep. It’s frustrating because he’s tired. Exhausted, actually, so his body refusing to fall into unconscious is just plain unfortunate.
It’s with an irritated huff that he faces Jeongguk — yes, he hasn’t moved a single inch — & begrudgingly admits to himself that the vanilla rolling off of the a**hole does somewhat calm him. Taehyung’s always liked the smell of sweet things. There’s not much he can do about that.
He cracks open one eye and, once reassured that Jeongguk is distracted by whatever it is he gets up to on his phone, Taehyung dares to shift closer. Just enough to feel the warmth of his body, the brush of Jeongguk’s pyjamas against the tip of his nose.
The proximity, alone, already makes him feel better. Taehyung curses his cuddling tendencies.
He tries to count sheep. Maybe the boredom’ll send him to sleep.
But of course that doesn’t work and he’s left feeling even crankier just ten minutes later.
He’s tempted to pull an all nighter because it’s obvious he won’t be getting any sleep soon, but just as he’s about to push himself up, there are fingers tentatively threading through his hair
He stiffens, but the fingers continue, grazing over his scalp, brushing back his bangs
and though Taehyung hates to admit it, it only takes a few strokes for his heart to settle, his breathing to even out into light snores and before he can really make much sense of the bizarre situation, he’s out like a light.
“Sweet dreams, peaches.”
593. aaand that’s it for the softness
“Right foot, blue.”
The boys grunt, clumsily manoeuvring around each other and Taehyung hangs his head in defeat.
“Are the coaches serious with this?” He gestures to the mess of tangled limbs sprawled across spotted mats. He gets that the whole point of this trip is to bond,
but twister? Really? Are they five?
“What do you mean?” Hoseok asks, mid-way through a lunge — stretches in case he pull a muscle, “I love this game.”
Taehyung can’t say he’s surprised by this.
Hoseok reaches for his ankle, “bet you’re just afraid you’ll lose to me.”
It’s obvious his intent is to rile him up, get the captain’s blood boiling, and Taehyung’s ashamed to admit it’s working. If only he weren’t so damn competitive.
“C’mon Tae,” Hoseok beckons him over to the mat, taunting, “or are you worried you’re not flexible enough?”
He opens his mouth, fully prepared to retort, but Jeongguk beats him to it with an interjection that has several heads turning, Taehyung’s included.
“Oh, he’s flexible, alright.”
Taehyung’s jaw drops. Is he out of his mind?
“Really?” The grin that curls across Hoseok’s face —
is immediate, perhaps even a bit unsettling; he doesn’t look the slightest bit surprised. He flicks his gaze over to Taehyung, “and how would you know this exactly?”
Jeongguk, ever the impulsive idiot, doesn’t miss a beat.
“I mean, he didn’t complain the other day when I bent him in half—“
“We were fighting.” Taehyung hurriedly butts in, elbowing Jeongguk in the stomach. God, and he thought /he/ had a big mouth.
Jeongguk grunts and Taehyung snatches the spinner from the table.
There’s far too much attention on them for his liking. It’s hard enough having to deal with Jeongguk and ensuring he behave — Taehyung doesn’t need the additional stress of people questioning their relationship. Not that they have much of one to begin with.
It’s approximately two rounds into their game of twister that Taehyung realises he’s gotten himself into yet another pickle. One would assume he’d have learned to think things through better by now & yet here he is, regretting his decisions barely a minute after making them.
It had all seemed harmless at first. Hoseok got a green circle in the corner, Taehyung a blue dot near the centre — as typical as any other twister match.
Jimin’s just settled himself on the mat, his sock covered foot taking residence on a yellow spot beside Hoseok.
Taehyung has yet to foresee what could possibly go wrong, his hands on his hips as he awaits the next player’s instructions. This game should be a piece of cake.
“Left foot, red.”
Yoongi’s low drone fills the quiet space and Taehyung pays the shuffling off to the side no mind,
ignoring the warning look Hoseok shoots him. It’s with his head in the clouds and a startled yelp that he becomes aware of someone coming up to stand right behind him, barely an inch away.
The scent of vanilla that wafts past his nose is enough indication as to who.
“This game is fvcking stupid.” Jeongguk’s breath tickles the backs of his ears, evokes goosebumps down the length of his neck and Taehyung tenses, shifting ever so subtly away from the heat emanating from the rather sturdy body behind him.
Hoseok sticks out his tongue, sinking to the floor as he follows his next instruction.
Taehyung almost misses his.
“Right foot, blue.”
It’s lucky, let’s him stay standing in a rather comfortable position despite being acutely aware of who he’s standing next to.
“That’s so not fair.” Jimin points an accusing finger at the couch, to where Yoongi lays sprawled across a mountain of cushions, an eyebrow raised in question and the spinner in his lap.
“Aye man, not my problem you’ve got shltty luck.” He snickers,
watching as Jimin clambers across Hoseok, struggling to keep his crotch as far away from his partner’s head as possible.
Jeongguk huffs a laugh and Taehyung’s tempted to swat at his face because it /tickles/.
“Alright,” it’s Jeongguk’s turn, “right foot, red.”
“No way!” Jimin’s outburst is understandable. The spinner’s rarely this forgiving, “you’re cheating! There’s no fvcking way you two are just standing there.”
Taehyung’s about to retort, mouth parted to do so, but he draws on a blank as hands settle on his hips.
He stills, heart thumping in an uneven staccato as Jeongguk presses closer, practically plastering his chest to Taehyung’s back.
“Don’t hate the player.” He taunts, leaning in to peer over Taehyung’s shoulder at his red-faced opponent, “hate the game.”
It’s both comical and borderline impressive to watch Hoseok restrain his partner from lunging whilst maintaining his balance. Taehyung’ll give him props for that.
“Would you quit manstrating right now?” He tugs Jimin into place, “you’ll cost us the game.”
Jimin doesn’t look to be backing down any time soon, but thankfully, Yoongi intervenes, calling out the next set of instructions.
The game progresses fairly smoothly after that, the next few rounds only requiring taehyung and jeongguk to shift every now and again.
And it’s starting to look suspiciously like a set-up when Taehyung and Jeongguk remain standing, unharmed and relaxed, before a tangle of sprawled limbs.
It’s with utmost regret and sheer humiliation that Taehyung comes to realise their luck can only last for so long.
So far, they’d miraculously managed to avoid using their hands and Taehyung had begun to think that maybe, after all the shlt that had been thrown his way the past week and a half, fate had decided to give him a break.
“Alright, Gguk. Right hand, green.”
He shouldn’t have spoken so soon.
Because one quick glance at the few remaining spots on the mat tells him they might just lose this. With Hoseok and Jimin taking up the entirety of the opposite side, the only remaining green
circle was right at the edge. Directly in front of Taehyung.
“Sorry,” he hears him mumble into his ear, feels an arm snake around his waist before Jeongguk’s tipping forward without warning, taking Taehyung with him, “gonna have to bend you over.”
To say that Taehyung is a downright mess would be an understatement. His brain’s all but turned to goo, his stomach a jumble of nerves and he’s pretty sure Jeongguk can feel how fast his heart hammers against his rib cage.
Had Jeongguk not been supporting him, he probably would’ve ended up on the floor.
“Hoseok, your turn...” The sound of blood roaring past his ear drums drowns out the rest and Taehyung can’t bring himself to focus on the game.
Not with the searing press of Jeongguk’s palm against the skin of his waist, the brush of his thighs against the backs of Taehyung’s own, pulled taut and quivering.
It’s his turn now, but he can barely think as it is, let alone process instructions.
“Taehyung,” it’s the quietest of murmurs, soft & coaxing, “he said left hand yellow, sweetheart.”
His knees almost buckle.
It’s not fair. Jeongguk shouldn’t be able to affect him this much. It’s almost as if Taehyung has feelings for him, but that’d be absolutely ludicrous.
He bites his lip, frustrated at his own body for how pliant it becomes in Jeongguk’s hold, beneath his touch. He’s never seen Jeongguk even half as flustered as he is & it’s w/ a renewed determination, a shaky exhale that he moves, slips his hand over to the closest yellow spot.
He hadn’t meant to arch his back in the process, honestly didn’t angle his hips back on purpose, but he does and it coaxes a surprised moan from the back of Jeongguk’s throat — a quiet, breathy sound that invites the heat from Taehyung’s cheeks down to pool in his belly.
He freezes. So does Jeongguk.
And Taehyung can’t help but relish in the satisfaction that he’d done that, roused a reaction from Jeongguk, the boy, himself, hadn’t even seen coming.
Jeongguk coughs then in an attempt to play it off and it’s as he shifts that Taehyung feels it.
This cannot be happening. There’s just no way. Jeongguk didn’t even do anything, so why does he feel like his heart’s about to burst from his chest?
Sprinting down the hallway, Taehyung doesn’t stop until he finds the boy’s toilets, slipping inside & slamming the door shut.
He slumps back against the door, fumbling behind himself to lock it for good measure. Holy shlt. His cheeks burn, so much so that Taehyung feels the need to dip his hands beneath the tap and splash his face with cold water. God, he feels like he could combust at any moment.
He can still feel it, recollect the ghost of something hard poking into the space between his legs, and blushes furiously all over again.
“Damn it, Taehyung.” He scolds himself, half way to insane, “get a fvcking hold of yourself.” He slaps his cheeks.
God, one would think he was an inexperienced little church boy w/ the way he’s acting. Something like this shouldn’t work him up this much. He’s fvcking Kim Taehyung. He’s slept w/ countless nameless people at parties, done many a sexual deed, so why the fvck is he so embarrassed
Gnawing at his lower lip, he glances at his reflection, eyes briefly flitting over the red dusting across his cheeks, over the bridge of his nose, the pupils blown wide beneath dampened lashes. Why is his body acting like this? It’s Jeongguk, for crying out loud.
The guy’s the bane of his existence, a pain in the neck. He should want to be as far away from him as possible, not craving to feel him close.
Swallowing down the lump in his throat, Taehyung’s gaze drops further, down the flushed skin of his neck to his chest —
to the very prominent bulge straining against the zipper of his jeans.
“Fvck.” He curses, pushing away from the counter and running a hand through his hair, “what the fvck.”
Why? Why does the thought of being back there, pinned beneath that son of a bltch, turn him on?
He curses, self control waning as he pictures that stupidly cocky smirk, the one that’s lopsided and brings out that one dimple in his cheek. The same one Taehyung would’ve itched to slap off barely two weeks ago. Now, he kinda just wants to kiss it —
watch the confident quirk of his lips melt into a breathless gasp. What Taehyung would give to see Jeongguk’s jaw fall open, his head thrown back.
“Shlt.” Taehyung regretfully lets his imagination run wild, fumbling w/ his buttons & knocking his elbow into the wall in his haste.
It’s all so rushed and messy and so frustratingly difficult. So much so that Taehyung feels tears pricking at the corners of his eyes because he just can’t quite get there.
His hands aren’t calloused enough, his grip too tight and he just, he can’t.
Beads of sweat trickle down his temple, along the slope of his nose and over red bitten lips — he’s sure they’d bled at one point.
Panting into the stale bathroom air with his chest heaving, a fire in his stomach that he can’t quite douse and a hand down his pants isn’t
Taehyung’s proudest moment, but there isn’t much he can do about that. Besides, it’s all Jeongguk’s fault for riling him up so much. That bast*rd.
He grits his teeth and, just as he’s about to give up, there’s a knock at the door.
His heart jumps into his throat.
He curses under his breath, fumbling to zip his trousers back up & clumsily straightening out the wrinkles on his shirt.
“Peaches? You in there?” He raps his knuckles against the door once more, successfully knocking the air from Taehyung’s lungs. What the fvck is he doing here?
“Listen, I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable.” Jeongguk calls through the door and even muffled, he sounds embarrassed, “I didn’t mean to... to you know.”
Taehyung’s edged his way over to the door by this point, and he knows for sure, the moment he opens it, Jeongguk’ll /know/
what he was doing. Anyone with eyes would be able to. The tussled hair, skin flushed pink and a shirt haphazardly tucked back into his pants — yeah, that’s a recipe for disaster if ever Taehyung’s seen one.
“N-no.” His voice comes out hoarse, broken to his own ears,
and Taehyung winces because he even /sounds/ so god damn wrecked.
He clears his throat, fidgeting with the end of his sleeve.
“I’m fine.” He settles for a semi-truthful response. He supposes he’s alright. Now. If he were to ignore the ache between his legs.
“Well then, can you unlock the door?” Jeongguk sounds bemused, but the request only serves to panic him, “I feel stupid talking to a block of wood.”
Taehyung swallows. He couldn’t possibly let Jeongguk see him like this. He wouldn’t let him live it down.
“I promise I’ll keep my hands to myself.” He continues and Taehyung can /hear/ the laughter in his voice. Yeah, he really can’t let Jeongguk in.
“No I—“ his voice cracks and he prays Jeongguk can’t pick up on the way it trembles, “I’ll meet you back in the hall.”
“Peaches, c’mon.” There’s that stupidly endearing nickname again. “Why won’t you let me in?”
Taehyung presses his forehead up against the door with a sigh. Now is not the time for Jeongguk to be so stubborn.
“Jeongguk, seriously. I’ll come back when I’m done.”
There’s a beat of silence and Taehyung waits with bated breath, only realising his mistake a second too late.
“When you’re done?” It comes out quieter, contemplative and Taehyung backs away, inhaling sharply as the doorknob rattles.
“Taehyung, open the door.”
It comes out stern, resolute.
And Taehyung bites his lip to swallow down a whimper. Holy shlt. He’s never wanted something so bad before.
“I can’t.” He cries out, almost /whining/ because he really, really wants to be touched, wants it to be Jeongguk that does it.
But he’s sacrificed enough of his pride already.
“You’ll,” he licks his lips, chest tight, “you’ll make fun of me.”
It’s childish, so unlike his usual character, and he’s taken aback by his own outburst. He’s never acted like this before.
Despite his words, he finds himself inching closer, fingers twitching at his sides as he stares down at the doorknob.
“I won’t, Tae.” It’s quiet, coaxing and Taehyung’s fingers are wrapping around the knob without much thought, “I promise. I just wanna see you,
make sure you’re okay.”
It’s almost entrancing, the way Jeongguk lulls him into a more stable place.
“But I can’t do that unless you let me in.” The haze clouding his mind’s lifted enough for Taehyung to actually think, the panic draining from his system.
And once it does, he feels anger boiling inside his veins. Frustration at himself, at Jeongguk & at whatever the fvck it was that had just come over him. That wasn’t him. He’s not spineless, he doesn’t bend to the will of someone like Jeon Jeongguk.
The door swings open,
And the next thing Jeongguk knows, he’s being hauled into the bathroom by the collar of his shirt.
“You.” Taehyung hisses, slamming him up against the door he’d just come through, “this is all your fault.”
Jeongguk’s eyes are wide, huge even, and his mouth pops open in surprise
He sputters, the abrupt mood swing giving him whiplash. He could’ve sworn Taehyung had been sniffling only a few seconds ago.
“What the hell are you talking about?” He asks, dumbfounded by the sheer animosity in Taehyung’s eyes. He doesn’t recall doing anything to p*ss him off.
“And why were you being such a drama queen about letting me in?” He frowns, slapping Taehyung’s hands off his collar and adjusting it.
The question, evidently, brings Taehyung back to where he started because he’s fuming again, only bright red this time.
“That’s,” Taehyung looks away, “that’s none of your business.”
“Oh really?” Jeongguk takes a step forward, and Taehyung hates the way he automatically takes one back, “then why’d you drag me in here?”
He keeps coming closer and Taehyung can’t do anything but retreat.
“Tell me, Taehyung,” he draws emphasis to his name, tries to provoke him by leaning into his space and Taehyung’s stomach tightens, rekindles the flame that had been licking at his insides before Jeongguk had barged in, “why you’re acting like a total brat again.”
Jeongguk’s crowded him up against a sink, ensures to keep him there by slamming his palms down onto the countertop on either side of Taehyung’s hips.
“Tell me what the fvck it is you want from me because I have no fvcking clue when it comes to you—“
“I want you.”
Taehyung’s cheeks burn. Out of anger, no doubt, and with the way Jeongguk stares at him, mouth agape in muted surprise, he swears he’s one stupid remark away from storming right out of there. His little problem be damned.
It’s hard enough as it is to admit it out loud.
Watching Jeongguk process the admission, so tortuously slowly, takes just about a couple dozen more buckets of patience that Taehyung really does not have.
He turns, or at least tries to, his intention to flee the bathroom clear in the defensive cross of his arms.
But Jeongguk catches on before he can weasel his way out of this somewhat sticky situation, pressing close enough for that stupid vanilla to all but encompass every one of Taehyung’s senses, clouding his mind and fvcking with his head.
He makes it too hard to think.
And Taehyung doesn’t like it when he can’t think because it leads to wreckless decisions that land him in positions like this — trapped against a bloody counter by Jeon fvcking Jeongguk inside some dingy bathroom in the middle of nowhere barely a few hundred feet away from —
their clueless teammates.
The perfect recipe for disaster, if one were to ask him.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Jeongguk murmurs, discernibly more confident now that Taehyung had made it clear what he wants.
It absolutely does /not/ send a thrill up Taehyung’s spine.
It’s a rhetorical question, obviously, but it doesn’t stop Taehyung from blurting the first thing that pops into his head. A force of habit, if you will, to argue.
“To get away from you.” He grumbles, turning his head away just as Jeongguk leans in, lips grazing his jaw.
He chuckles, muffling the sound against the reddened skin of Taehyung’s neck and Taehyung bites down on the inside of his cheek to steel himself, collect whatever semblance of self control he may still have stored away somewhere inside his body.
“Is that so?”
Taehyung nods, the bob of his head mechanical, abrupt, but the next thing he knows, he’s throwing it back, eyes fluttering shut as a choked moan rips it’s way from his throat.
Because at some point between his internal beratement and plotting a means of escape,
Jeongguk had managed to nudge his thighs apart, slipping one of his own between his legs and pressing just right.
“Hmm?” He hums against his throat, lips just barely skimming over the harsh bob of Taehyung’s Adam’s apple, “what was that? You want me to stop?”
He flexes his thigh on purpose, bends his knee enough to have Taehyung arching into him with a gasp of surprise and hands grapple for the back of his shirt.
“Don’t,” Taehyung pants, pausing to swallow down another moan bubbling up his throat as Jeongguk urges him to grind down,
seek out the friction his body had been craving for the better half of an hour now, “don’t you fvcking dare stop.”
It doesnt come out as strong as he would’ve liked, trembles a bit too much & he knows he’s made a mistake the moment he /feels/ Jeongguk’s lips curl up into a smirk
Jeongguk nuzzles into the underside of his jaw and Taehyung almost /whines/ when he pulls his leg away just far enough for it to be out of reach.
“Jeongguk, you fvck—“
“Magic word, Tae.” He drawls, low and teasing and Taehyung’s not sure he has any pride left to sacrifice.
But he’s been hard for so long, so frustratingly close for longer and Jeongguk’s his only means of teetering right off that precipice and into the blinding white he’d been denied of for days now.
He sucks a breath of air in sharply through his teeth,
the deafening roar of blood in his ears in competition with the thunderous hammering of his heart against his ribs.
And he crumbles.
That’s all the signal Jeongguk needs to slot his leg back into place, nimble fingers swift to undo Taehyung’s zipper.
It’s good. So good, and Taehyung lets his head sink into the crevice of Jeongguk’s neck, barely registers the kiss the boy presses to his forehead as he finally gives him what he wants. Needs.
And it’s frightening because Taehyung doesn’t think he ever wants it to stop.
“Do you sing at all?”
Taehyung shakes his head, reaction immediate, and Seokjin smiles, coy as he plucks at the guitar strings.
“Don’t lie. I’ve heard you in the showers.” He says, reaching over to twist at one of the tuning pegs, “when you think everyone else’s gone already.”
Taehyung stiffens, an unwarranted blush on his cheeks.
“Wha—“ he clears his throat, hiding the crack in his voice with a huff, “why’d you ask then?”
Seokjin shrugs, stares out at the campfire as the rest of the group begins to gather around it.
Taehyung does too, fiddling with the drawstring of his hoodie. He’s still shocked his mindless humming had been overheard, embarrassed at the thought of Seokjin lingering in the locker rooms, tuning in.
His fingers falter, his stomach turning.
“I’m really not.”
He’s a sportsman. He’s good at running, hitting home runs. Not singing.
Seokjin bobs his head, thoughtful.
He palms at the strings, muting the chord he’d just strummed.
“Well, let’s see what everyone else thinks then, shall we?”
He’s up and summoning everyone’s attention before Taehyung can fully process what he’d said.
“Hey guys!” He grins, broad and confident, “how about a lil’ impromptu karaoke sesh?”
Seokjin, mercifully, volunteers to be the first person to sing. After which, several other people belt their hearts out, disturbing the animals within at least several hundred feet.
The spotlight’s currently on Hoseok, knelt before Jimin flushed a comical shade of red.
“Get up you moron.” He hisses, though it lacks it’s bite, as he struggles to pull Hoseok to his feet. Had Taehyung not been so on edge, he’d probably have joined in with the teasing, hollered his own support for his teammate waxing poetic.
Hoseok does eventually stop.
And it’s with a smug smile that he settles onto the log next to Jimin, a smack to the back of the head wiping it off almost instantly.
“Alright,” Seokjin shifts, knees ever so inconspicuously turning in his direction, “who’s next?”
Several hands shoot up, waving enthusiastically to catch the conniving weasel’s attention, but of course he pays them no mind.
His gaze lands on Taehyung, slouched and angled away from him.
“Taehyung? Didn’t you say you wanted to have a go?”
He says it with a smirk,
a provocative glint in his eye and Taehyung curses his incapability to turn down a challenge.
Whatever. They’re all just having fun anyway. It’s not like it’s a singing competition or anything.
“Yeah,” he coughs, ignores the nerves setting butterflies aflight in his belly and summons up whatever dwindling courage he has left in his body, “you know any Troye Sivan songs?”
It’s nerve wracking, singing in front of so many people. So much so that Seokjin has to play the introductory chords a couple times before Taehyung actually starts.
His voice trembles, catching on the ends of verses and he has to fight the urge to run and hide.
It’s a miracle it doesn’t crack, what with the way his hands quiver, tucked between his legs. He reaches a short interlude, making the most out of the brief pause to inhale shakily. His heart’s about a beat away from breaking through his chest.
He barely registers how much time’s passed, swears it’s only a second later that Seokjin’s nudging at his leg.
But he does so just in time for Taehyung’s cue.
It’s easier this time — he finds the words topple from between his lips just that little bit smoother.
His muscles loosen, thighs relaxing around the hands he’d had balled into fists and Taehyung maybe, almost starts to like it. Singing, that is, with an audience.
He rolls back his shoulders, lifts his head.
And his heart thuds. Hard.
Because Jeongguk’s watching him.
From across the campfire and through the flames that lick at the sky, dance across the darkness of his eyes. And he’s all Taehyung can really focus on.
He shifts, forgets that there are several other dozen pairs of eyes on him and sings.
“I wanna sleep next to you...” Jeongguk’s eyes flicker up to latch onto his, and Taehyung’s breath catches in his throat.
His chest hurts.
“I wanna hold hands with you...” He hasn’t looked away since, finds it’s impossible to.
He exhales, shaky, “I wanna be close to you...”
His gaze drops then, to the bob of Jeongguk’s throat as he swallows & he wants for nothing more than to do exactly that. Hold hands w/ him, be close to him. It’s a desire, an unexpected yearning that hits him so suddenly, he has to fist at his jeans just to have smth to hold onto
The applause that fills his ears drags him right back down to reality. The one where he and Jeongguk are nothing more than, well... they’re not even friends nor would he go so far as to call the guy his enemy.
He tries to seek him out through the fire once more,
but he’s blinked away, talking to someone else.
And Taehyung’s worried now because his heart lurches.
Seokjin pats him on the back, praising him for a job well done.
But all Taehyung can think about is how Jeongguk is so far away.
The campfire goes on for quite a while. It’s pleasant, a nice break from all the other strenuous activities they’ve been set. And Taehyung tries to enjoy himself, even cracks open a bottle of booze someone had sneakily smuggled into their cabin.
But as much as he tries to join in on the banter, kick his heels up and relax by the crackling fire, there’s something that just doesn’t feel right. This tiny, otherwise negligible, thought gnawing at the back of his mind that keeps him shifting, fidgeting in his seat.
He brushes it off as fatigue at first. They’re into their second week of camp — the exhaustion from all their games and his broken ankle’s just probably beginning to take a toll on his body.
He chews on the inside of his cheek, beer bottle dangling between his fingers.
Surely he wouldn’t be so restless over a little tiredness. Irritable maybe, but not this — whatever this leaden limbed, gut lurching heaviness is. He rubs at his chest, frowning at the dull ache inside it. He sure hopes he’s not coming down with something.
“Hey Tae,” Jooheon shoots him a thumbs up on his way past, “your vocals were sick.”
Taehyung dips his head in acknowledgment, mouthing his thank you. A lot of people had come up to him within the past two hours to praise him on his performance. It’s nice.
He hasn’t dabbled all that much in singing, so it’s a relief to hear he hadn’t done too bad a job — a confidence booster, for sure.
It had been quite the shocking, and amusing, revelation to find he’d even managed to woo a few people to tears.
He still has a damp spot on his shirt courtesy of Hoseok bawling into his shoulder, “Taehyung, you son of a bltch. A warning would’ve been nice.”
Taehyung shakes his head — Hoseok and his damned dramatics.
He takes another swig, stretches his legs out in front of him w/ a sigh.
He appreciates all the compliments. He really does, but he can’t help but feel like there’s still one he’s anticipating. And it’s not that Taehyung needs anyone’s validation. It’s just that he maybe, kind of thought Jeongguk would at least comment on it.
Whether it be praise or hell, even his usual jab. Anything but the silent treatment.
Granted, it’s only been about three hours since they’ve spoken, but Jeongguk hasn’t even looked in his direction.
Not that Taehyung’s been keeping an eye on him or anything.
“You alright there?”
He startles upright, clutching his beer to his chest.
“Yeah,” he breathes, feeling silly for the disappointment creeping into his chest, “I just— I think I’m gonna turn in early.”
Seokjin hums, a glint in his eye that doesn’t sit well with him.
Taehyung narrows his eyes, “what?” He’s known Seokjin long enough to recognise the tell-tale signs he’s up to no good.
“Nothing.” Seokjin lifts his hands, defensive, “nothing at all.”
It isn’t convincing in the slightest, what with that impish grin on his face,
but Taehyung doesn’t have the energy to pick a fight.
He gets to his feet, dumps his bottle into the nearest trash can and bids his friends a good night.
They holler back, the tipsier few breaking into operatic song, and he turns on his heel w/ a snort.
What a load of fools.
The door to their room creaks open about an hour later, or so Taehyung assumes. He hasn’t been keeping track of the time. That’d be absurd.
Jeongguk pauses at the doorway, seemingly surprised to find him still up and lounging on his bed.
“Hey,” he says.
Taehyung barely bats an eyelash, swiping at something on his phone screen.
“Hi.” He replies, clipped and unexpectedly irritated. Taehyung’s not entirely sure, himself, where this surge of cold bitterness had come from. He’d been perfectly fine up until now.
He fidgets, restlessly flipping onto his back, his front, anything to keep himself from looking at Jeongguk because he knows he’ll have a stupidly expectant look in his eye. God, why does it even matter so much what that jerk thinks?
He obviously hadn’t thought much of his performance otherwise he’d have said smth by now.
He tenses, dares to peek over his phone to find Jeongguk unbuttoning his shirt with /that/ expression on his face. The one that fools Taehyung into thinking he cares.
He grits his teeth, bites his tongue to swallow down the sarcastic remark dangling precariously from the tip of it.
“‘m fine.” He lies, once again snappier than he’d intended. Way to play it cool.
Jeongguk frowns, tugging on his pyjamas with a resigned sigh.
“Look, I don’t want to get into another argument with you.” He says, taking a seat on his bed, on the side closest to Taehyung’s, “so why don’t you just tell me what it is that’s got you sulking this time.”
“I am /not/ sulking.” He says, defensive.
“That’s the way my lips are!” He hates how easy it is for Jeongguk to rouse a reaction from him, despises that he makes it impossible to ignore him the way he so easily does to him.
It’s not fair that Taehyung’s the only one affected.
Jeongguk raises a brow, taking Taehyung’s temper in his stride.
It’s dumb. So ridiculously stupid how a single call of his name sends his heart aflutter.
“Jeongguk.” He mimics, crossing his arms and tilting his chin up, defiant.
Why should he say anything? Jeongguk should be able to figure it out himself.
Jeongguk stares right back, but ultimately blinks away, running his fingers through his hair w/ a huff.
“Fine, don’t tell me.” He throws back his sheets, turns his back on him, “whatever. I’m going to—“
“You didn’t say anything.”
He stills, hunched over, mid-way through slipping beneath his blanket and Taehyung hurries to elaborate.
“W-when I sang, I mean.” He cringes at his hesitation, curses himself for his lack of self-restraint. He’s usually not this impulsive.
Jeongguk turns, slowly, his lips pressed into a thin line. And Taehyung clears his throat, hoping to play it off.
As if it hadn’t been the only thought running through his head the entire night
He looks down at his lap, at his twiddling thumbs
“Even if you didn’t like it, it would’ve been nice to—“ he licks his lips, nerves rendering him a little tongue tied, “to hear something. Anything.”
It’s embarrassing to admit it all out loud, but in a way, he supposes it’s nice to get it off his chest. Clear the air.
“I know we’re not exactly...” he gestures between them, “on the best of terms, but— fvck, I don’t know, okay?”
He hurries to blurt out the last part, painfully aware of how it may sound, “I just, I was waiting.” He swallows, musters up whatever little courage he can, “for you.”
Once the words are out, he can’t help the blush that spreads across his cheeks, tingeing the tips of his ears.
Hearing himself say it is almost as bad as gathering the guts to admit it all in the first place. God, it sounds ridiculous.
He lifts his head, prepares himself for the shlt eating grin Jeongguk’ll no doubt have plastered across his face.
But he’s taken aback, left absolutely dumbfounded, with what he sees.
“I didn’t—“ Jeongguk stumbles over his own words, eyes darting around the room as he rubs at the back of his neck, “I didn’t think my opinion would matter.”
He shifts awkwardly, ears uncharacteristically red.
And Taehyung shrugs, picking at a loose thread on his blanket.
“It doesn’t matter, really.” He says, although it couldn’t have been more inaccurate, “I was just curious, is all.”
Yeah, he was only curious. It’s only natural he would be, considering it was his first time singing
to an audience other than his own reflection and his younger sister.
“I see.” Jeongguk perches himself on the edge of his bed, gnaws at his lower lip, his eyes darting between Taehyung’s crestfallen expression to the duvet to the wall behind his head and back again.
He clears his throat, “well, if it’s any consolation,” he looks away, cheeks flaming and struggling to get his words out — Taehyung doesn’t think he’s ever seen him so flustered.
It takes Jeongguk a minute or two to gather his bearings, but once he does,
it’s Taehyung’s turn to look away, stare at the space between his brows instead lest he burst into flames right then and there.
“You um, you sing well.” He mumbles and, as bland of a compliment as it is, it’s enough to lift Taehyung’s mood, his pathetic little heart fluttering.
He nods, an awkward bob of his head that borders on robotic.
“Yeah, it was... it was beautiful.”
He gapes, eyes shooting up to meet that of an extremely red faced Jeongguk and dare Taehyung say it makes him the slightest bit giddy.
Jeongguk’s own eyes widen.
“The— the song! Your song choice was beautiful, I mean. Yeah, uh, I’m a big fan of Troye.”
Jeongguk, Taehyung learns, is a terrible liar.
“Right.” He can’t shake the smugness from his voice nor can he withhold the quirk of his mouth, the tiniest of smiles.
And Jeongguk sees it, how much happier Taehyung seems to be now that he’s made a fool of himself, and huffs, turning away with a scowl.
“But yeah, whatever. I’m tired, good night.”
“Jeongguk.” Taehyung surges forward, catching his wrist with an unexpected bark of laughter.
Gosh, he really can be adorable when he wants to be.
Jeongguk tries to tug himself free, but Taehyung just follows, throwing his legs off the side of his bed and bridging the gap between their mattresses. He doesn’t even give Jeongguk time to anticipate what he’s about to do,
leaning in & pressing the shortest, chastest of kisses to his lips.
He pulls back just far enough to peer into shell shocked eyes, Jeongguk’s mouth popping open in sheer astonishment, and grins. A genuine one that wrinkles his nose and turns his eyes to crescents.
He goes to return to his own bed, satisfied w/ the dazed look plastered across Jeongguk’s face, but the next thing he knows he’s being hauled forward right into the boy’s lap, limbs sprawled & giggling into Jeongguk’s mouth.
He doesn’t think he’s ever felt this fond.
Taehyung, by nature, is extremely touchy. Often craving the intimacy of skin on skin, be that in the form of a hug or a group huddle, it’s only to be expected he gravitate towards the heat of another body when asleep.
To put it simply, Taehyung is one hell of a cuddler.
He awakens sometime around sunrise, the light streaming in through the crack in the curtains burning the backs of his eyelids and he groans, ducking his head and nuzzling into the solid warmth next to him.
Huh, he doesn’t remember his pillows being this hard.
He inhales, humming in content as he basks in the sweet smell of vanilla bean that almost lulls him back to sleep. Almost.
He’s jostled awake by the shift of his pillow and frowns, wrapping his arms around it tighter and throwing his leg over it for good measure.
That’s when it grunts and his eyes fly open to a head of messy brown curls and bare, broad shoulders.
That — Taehyung blinks the lethargy from his eyes, shakes it from his head — is not a pillow.
Jeongguk fidgets again, the muscles in his back shifting and Taehyung stares,
slow to process the entire situation.
The last thing he remembers is that they were making out, making a mess of Jeongguk’s duvet and then, he chews on the inside of his cheek. Well, then he supposes they’d fallen asleep.
A muffled groan pulls him from his thoughts,
and he doesn’t really have much time to move before Jeongguk’s turning around, rolling over and pinning him to his mattress with a quiet mumble
Taehyung stills, far too stunned to react accordingly
What in the world?
He peers down, at Jeongguk merrily snoring away on his chest
And no, his heart does not skip a beat nor does his chest get all warm and fuzzy.
Taehyung glares at the ceiling.
He should really push Jeongguk off. That’d be the most obvious thing to do, the smartest. Plus he’s heavy, and it’s not as if Taehyung likes how warm he is.
Although, to be fair, they’ve had quite the tiring week. It’d only be good sportsmanship to let a fellow athlete get as much rest as possible.
Taehyung tongues at his cheek.
No, he should really get Jeongguk off of him and start getting ready.
It’s probably almost time for breakfast anyway. It couldn’t be that early considering how high the sun is already.
“Fvck.” He curses under his breath, blindly palming at the bedside table for his phone to check the time, but it proves to be quite the feat when Jeongguk’s
arms around him tighten, squeezing at his waist and Taehyung yelps, hands flying to Jeongguk’s shoulders as a leg slots between his thighs.
“Mmm,” Jeongguk nuzzles against his chest w/ a frown, cheek smushed against Taehyung’s sternum, “quit moving.”
Taehyung swallows, blood rushing to his face. God, what is he even doing? Cuddling the enemy? Preposterous. If any one of his teammates were to see him like this, he’d never hear the end of it.
“J-Jeong—“ he squeaks as Jeongguk abruptly lifts his head, squinting up at him with
one of the worst cases of bed head Taehyung thinks he’s ever seen. He has to bite his lip to prevent a smile from stretching across his face.
It’s absolutely not adorable.
“Get off me.” He says, and it honestly could not have sounded any weaker. What the hell is wrong with him?
Jeongguk purses his lips, drags his half lidded gaze over the red dusting across Taehyung’s cheeks and resolutely shakes his head.
“No.” He says simply and Taehyung balks.
“What do you mean, ‘no’?” He asks, taken aback by the other’s sheer audacity.
“No,” Jeongguk repeats, stressing the word this time with a roll of his eyes before he’s crawling up Taehyung’s body to pin him with a look that’s far too intense coming from someone who’d been near unconscious a mere three seconds ago, “I’m not getting off.”
He then proceeds to wrap Taehyung in yet another bear hug, burying his face into the side of his neck and Taehyung’s afraid he may just be able to feel the thunderous beating of his heart through his chest.
Jeongguk’s too close.
“I need to pee!” He blurts.
A lie, obviously, but if he stays here any longer, he may just spontaneously combust.
Jeongguk groans, pulling away with an irritated grunt.
And Taehyung makes a dash for it, practically leaping from the bed and sprinting into the bathroom.
He slams the door shut, leaning back against it with his lip tugged between his teeth and his heart racing a mile a minute.
The ghost of Jeongguk’s arms around him, the fleeting press of lips to the underside of his jaw — it all drives him absolutely insane.