Taehyung hears his father talking while he walks up to the living room with a bread in his hand that almost drips with strawberry jam. He bites it down and hears how his father is telling Jungkook how irresponsible he was being for the both of them.
Taehyung smirks, comes up behind his dad and stares at their driver's son. Jungkook holds a rigid posture. His head bowed, jaw set, shoulders tight. He hears everything Taehyung's father says, reminding him lastly that he is going to the same college as Taehyung because of him.
“Your father was a gentleman, Jungkook,” Mr. Kim's voice drips with disdain, “but, that doesn't mean I have to tolerate your reckless manners! Treat my son with respect! Never forget he is not on your standard!”
Jungkook nods, voice tight, “I am sorry. I will keep that in mind.”
Taehyung rounds the couch, his face morphing into a sad expression, “dad, I think you are forgetting to remind him how he shouted at me.”
His dad smiles at him, nods, frowns at Jungkook, “also, no matter what happens, keep your voice in check!”
“Cannot believe I am paying for your education and this is what you are turning into. An ungrateful, mannerless youngman!”
Taehyung watches how Jungkook's jaw ticks. He knows Jungkook gets scholarship. Taehyung knows he is the star football player of the college. But, so what?
Taehyung's father is paying for his education since he was a kid. He is used to having everything Taehyung throws off. He used to wear the clothes Taehyung got, but now he can't. Because of how grown he is.
But, at the age of twenty, he is still under Taehyung's dad's control.
Taehyung watches the way Jungkook's eyes shift from his shoes to Taehyung's bare feet.
An idea occurs to Taehyung, and he is whining, “dad,” his eyes go large for his dad to see, “because of him, I fall on my ass and now my spine hurts.”
Jungkook's jaw twitches.
“Can you ask him to help me wear my shoes?” Taehyung pouts, “you know, I hate when I have to ask my maids to do that for me. It doesn't come off as a good manner.”
Jungkook grips his hands together. His father smiles wide, nods.
“Jungkook, help your hyung with his shoes!”
Taehyung's lips twitch when Jungkook looks up at him, eyes oozing the wrath Taehyung can feel to his bones.
“They are in my closet,” Taehyung points, “the white ones.”
Jungkook doesn't move, “you have more than thirty pairs of white shoes. Which ones?”
Taehyung flutters his lashes, “the converse!”
Jungkook turns to get them, and Taehyung leans against this dad's side.
“Anything else you need to tell me, bub?” his father kisses the top of his head, “you can, you know?”
Taehyung shakes his head, “nothing else, dad. Thanks.”
“Then I will be leaving,” he gets up, “office is draining me.”
“Take some rest, dad,” Taehyung smiles, “are you coming for dinner?”
He shakes his head, “I am leaving for a business trip tonight, bub. I can't.”
Taehyung's smile dims. He knows what those 'business trips,' mean.
He looks at his mother's bedroom. She is still sleeping. After she fell from the stairs and her lower body got paralysed, she barely leaves the bed.
His father has an affair with his secretary. That's the only one he kept for a long time. There are more.
Taehyung knows it all.
He wishes he could tell someone. He wishes he could tell his mother. He doesn't. Not when she is living under the false illusion that her husband is a loving man who dotes on her every wish.
Taehyung cannot take it away from her. He knows it will get him nowhere.
Taehyung watches his father go to his mother's room. Hears them talk and his mother laugh at something his father says.
He smiles. He can live his entire life pretending that he has it all. A perfect family and a perfect life.
He blinks when two pairs of shoes drop on his lap.
“Which one?” Jungkook pulls him out of his thoughts, “choose.”
Taehyung frowns, “how dare you drop them on my lap?! What the fuck?!”
Jungkook stares, “choose, Taehyung. I don't have time for this.”
Taehyung chooses one, throws it on Jungkook's lap while he crouches in front of him, “this one.”
Jungkook takes it, grabs his ankle and pushes his foot into it. Taehyung watches Jungkook tie it up, using more strength than he should.
“It hurts!” Taehyung whines.
His father gets out of his mum's bedroom. He waves at Taehyung, points at Jungkook before he leaves.
Jungkook turns to face Taehyung, “you wanted to go bike riding. Why the hell did you blame me when you fell?!”
Taehyung shrugs, “you promised to follow me!”
“I just stopped to talk to Jiwoo because she needed some help about an assignment! I just stopped for two seconds!” Jungkook hisses, grabs the ankle and drags Taehyung forward, “you rich brat!” his breath is hot against Taehyung's face, “next time you do this, I will-”
“You will, what?” Taehyung snorts, arches a brow, “no, what? What will you do? Don't forget,” he points a finger at Jungkook, “my dad pays for your entire life! You will be on the street without him! You better keep your head where it should be! In front of me. Bowed!”
Jungkook snorts, “yeah?” his hand grasps Taehyung's wrists, “you realize this, right? If I want, I can have your head somewhere else?”
Taehyung feels the current run down his spine, “Jungkook!”
Jungkook hums, “what, babe?” he murmurs, “scared? Good,” he hisses, “be terrified.”
“Next time you run to your daddy,” Jungkook growls, “whine and pout for him to give you the attention no one does, I will make sure you have a reason! I didn't hurt you, Tae, next time I might break your spine!”
He jerks Taehyung free and stands up, “come on! We are late!”
Taehyung gets up, grabs his backpack, “you talk to me like that one more time and I-”
Jungkook marches out of the house, hops down those few steps to the car that Taehyung got for his birthday, and opens the door for him.
Taehyung gets in, glares and watches Jungkook move.
Jungkook gets on his bike, wears the helmet and starts it. He goes ahead, the gate opening to let him out, and Taehyung's car follows.
Taehyung watches how Jungkook turns towards the lane where Jiwoo lives, stops by her door and horns. She comes out hopping, smiles wide at him.
Taehyung watches her get on his bike. Jungkook starts the bike, leading his car towards the university.
Taehyung thinks of their childhood. They used to be best friends. The two of them. Somewhere, down the lane, they grew up. Realized the power imbalance and things changed.
Jungkook grew distant. Started hanging out with others, while his behaviour towards Taehyung started to change.
One day they got into a fight, and it grew so much, Jungkook screamed at him and told him how he only talked to Taehyung because he had to. Was forced to.
Taehyung didn't have anyone. He was never really sure who wanted to befriend him for his money, or who really liked him. So, he just had Jungkook.
That day, it felt like he lost his only friend.
Losing terrifies Taehyung. When the few relationships around him are all so fake.
He clung to Jungkook like his life depended on it. He knew Jungkook was getting suffocated. His life was not like Taehyung's, and he could make more friends and have a normal life.
So, Taehyung used the only thing he had. Money, power. The sole things that pushed Jungkook away.
He used those to keep Jungkook closer. In any shape or form. Jungkook hated him. He hates him.
Taehyung knows. He knows he should probably stop. Let Jungkook be. This is not how you keep someone close. This is not the way.
But it terrifies Taehyung. The thought of abandonment.
“Sir, are you okay?” His driver asks, “we are here.”
Taehyung blinks, watches how the car is parked in his university, and he nods, tries to flaunt a smile.
He flinches when the door is jerked open, “get out!”
He looks over to see Jungkook standing there, impatient.
“Damn, you can't open your door, Tae?” Jiwoo comes to stand beside Jungkook, “way to be spoilt!”
Jungkook snorts, eyes moving all over Taehyung, “he can't do a lot of things on his own. Way to be rich.”
Taehyung sucks in a breath, puts up the smile and gets out, “that's right.”
He puts on his sunglasses, “I am rich, I can pay someone to do these chores for me. Why would I bother?”
He turns on his boots and walks towards the Arts building. His eyes are focused on the gate while he notices those lingering eyes on him.
He ignores. As always.
Taehyung sits down on the bleachers. His pompoms right by his side. He ties his shoes and hears the laughs coming from the next bleacher.
He looks up to see Jungkook and his friends. All of them in their gears, ready for the match. Some are with their lovers. Talking.
Jimin is their head cheerleader. He is as always, with his boyfriend Yoongi, the centre. Beside him, is Namjoon, the goalkeeper. Hoseok, the halfback. Jin is right beside him, the offence guard, and Jungkook, the quarterback.
Jiwoo walks up to Jungkook, in her hands a yellow rose. Taehyung watches her hold it out for Jungkook to take.
Everyone in that gang laughs, shoves Jungkook, slaps him on the back.
Jungkook takes the rose, winks at her before pushing it behind her ear.
Taehyung stands up.
“Here's your rose, Tae,” Jimin holds it out for him, “whoever you want to give it to.”
The head cheerleader takes his position, “come on, guys! Take your stand.”
Taehyung ties the rose under his headband and gets in position.
“We have to win today!” Jiwoo squeals hushly, “if we do, Jungkook will take me home!”
Jimin laughs, looks forward, “let's cheer for them to win then!”
Taehyung gets in position, his eyes stay focused on the scoreboard. He does it for the fun of it. He likes cheering.
Before the last goal, Jungkook looks over. His eyes search the stands and settle on Jiwoo.
Taehyung watches him point at her, throw a kiss before mouthing, 'this one's for you,' and then score the goal.
The crowd goes wild, along with the cheerleaders. The match ends.
Taehyung watches Jiwoo run towards Jungkook and Jungkook swoop her up in his arms. They kiss, in the middle of the field, with everyone watching. Taehyung claps when Jimin does, nudges him and tells him how cute the couple looks.
Taehyung hums, smiles.
“Listen,” Jungkook comes running when Taehyung walks out of the changing room, “I am not going home tonight. Just go and don't be a pain in the ass. Please?” he makes a face, “just don't cry to daddy dearest-”
Taehyung nods, “yeah, okay.”
Jungkook blinks, “what?”
Taehyung nods, “okay. I will go home.”
He side steps Jungkook to leave and Jungkook holds his elbow to stop him.
“What are you planning?” Jungkook hisses, “Tae, I swear, if you are planning something stupid, I will have your head!”
Taehyung sighs, “got it.”
Jungkook blinks, eyes moving over Taehyung's face, “what the fuck are you planning?”
“Nothing,” Taehyung rubs his temple, “listen, can I go now? I need to buy some supplies for my art class and the shop will close. See you.”
He walks off, ignores the players who wave at him.
Jungkook groans in his mind, dragging himself up the stairs to Taehyung's room. He knocks twice before opening the door.
Taehyung is on the windowsill, drawing something.
Jungkook grits his teeth, “why are you not downstairs yet? We are getting late!”
Taehyung looks at him, those large eyes flutter back to his canvas, “you go, Jungkook, I will not go to the uni today.”
Jungkook frowns, “what do you mean you won't go?”
Taehyung smiles, “Yoojin asked me out on a date. I am going for a picnic.”
Jungkook blinks, “what?”
Taehyung nods, there is a small smile on his lips, “yeah.”
Jungkook frowns, “a date? You don't like going on dates.”
Taehyung hums, “I am trying new things. How long can I rely on my old entertainments, hmm?” he chuckles, “you got boring.”
Jungkook feels the anger flair.
He marches up to Taehyung, “I am not your doll! Don't fucking treat me like that!”
Taehyung nods, “I know. Jeez,” he makes a face, “you got laid last night. Why are you still so frustrated? Calm down, please. Go to uni, I am not coming.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung hop off of the windowsill. His long legs hit the fuzzy, white carpet, and he walks up to his bed on his bare feet. Taehyung drops on the bed carelessly, those booty shorts don't hide how that ass jiggles when he falls on his chest on the bed.
Taehyung rolls on his back, legs crossed over each other while he holds the small canvas up in front of his face.
Jungkook watches how that baggy shirt rolls up, leaving Taehyung's tanned midriff bare for his eyes.
“You can't miss classes for a date,” Jungkook curses, “Tae!”
Taehyung shrugs, “leave, Jungkook. You are wasting my time.”
Jungkook glares, “uncle will have my head-”
“I got his permission,” Taehyung throws the phone at Jungkook, “read. Also, I told him I don't need you to trail me anymore. Get out.”
Jungkook reads the message and looks back at Taehyung. He grits his teeth and takes a hold of Taehyung's ankle to drag him down the bed. Taehyung gasps, eyes wide and on Jungkook.
“What did you do?!” Jungkook hisses, tugs him up to sit on the bed, “Tae, what did you do?!”
“Listen carefully, Tae,” Jungkook holds his finger up at Taehyung's face, “if you do something stupid and fuck up my scholarship and my only way of getting out of his hellhole that is your house and life, I will do something very nasty-”
Taehyung arches a brow, “read it.”
Taehyung takes the phone from Jungkook's hand, “it says clearly, I asked my dad, and he agreed to it. Your scholarship is intact, as we have nothing to do with it. You got it. Also, my dad will pay for you till you are twenty-one, but you don't have to stay as my assistant.”
Taehyung pulls his ankle free with a jolt, “just leave me alone.”
He lies down on the bed again, going back to his canvas.
Jungkook reads the message and reads it all over again. He looks at Taehyung to see Taehyung painting. A bear, tattered, scarred, looking exhausted.
The bear is sleeping, hugging itself. Jungkook looks back at the message. Back at the painting. He frowns when he sees Taehyung adding raindrops, falling over the bear.
Jungkook nods to himself, drops the phone on the bed, “why...” he sighs, “why is the bear in rain?”
Taehyung shrugs, “because I am drawing him in rain.”
Jungkook arches a brow, holds himself back from saying something nasty, “and, why are you drawing him in pain? Why can't you draw him happy? God,” he curses, “can't you see anyone happy? Everyone has to be sad around you?”
Taehyung's brush pauses, he himself stills for a second. His eyes stuck on the bear. Then he smiles, draws another raindrop.
“I don't know what happiness looks like.”
Taehyung pulls up his headphones, wears them, plugging them up. A clear sign for Jungkook. He needs to leave.
Taehyung keeps his promises. Jungkook knows that much about the brat. He sits on his bike, waiting.
Taehyung walks out, wearing jeans till his knees and a shirt that's knotted around his waist. His headband in place to keep those unruly curls away.
He gets right inside the car.
Jungkook leads the car as always. Keeps his eyes on his rear mirror to see Taehyung leaning outside, his eyes on the passing buildings.
He looks tired.
Jungkook frowns, looks ahead. He takes the turn towards Jiwoo's house to pick her up.
The car goes straight ahead.
For a moment Jungkook stares. Then he follows the car to stop the bike right in front of it.
“What the hell are you doing?” Jungkook asks the driver, “you are to follow my bike!”
The driver gulps, “sir said we don't have to anymore.”
Jungkook pauses, looks at Taehyung, “what?”
Taehyung smiles at him, “I told you, Jungkook. You are on your own, and I am on my own. You don't have to lead the car anymore. It's okay.”
He waves, leans back on his seat, “come on, uncle, let's go.”
Jungkook watches the car rush past his bike.
Jungkook curses when he sees Taehyung's hand, out of the window to feel the breeze against his palm.
He starts the bike, runs up to the car to glare inside, “keep your damn hands inside! Someone will break it!”
Taehyung blinks, “there's no one here.”
Jungkook glares, “Tae!”
“Do as I say!” Jungkook points a finger, “keep yourself inside! Keep the window up! Don't be a brat!”
Taehyung frowns at him, “just go to pick up your girlfriend. Stop worrying about my safety!”
“Oh, I am not worried!” Jungkook snorts, “but, your dad will scream if anything-”
“Happens. Keep the damn windows up. I swear!”
Taehyung rolls his eyes, makes a face at him as he lets the window up. Jungkook nods, then bristles when Taehyung opens the roof of the car, flips him off and squirms on the other side of the car.
“This brat!” Jungkook hisses.
By the time they are already in the campus ground. Jungkook seethes, watches Taehyung gets out of the car and parks his bike to catch up to him.
“What are you trying to do?” Jungkook asks, standing in front of Taehyung, “what are hell are you planning? I know you are-”
Taehyung swipes those unruly curls out of his eyes. He stares at Jungkook through his sunglasses.
“You know, you are acting like a caged bird who was freed but is not sure if it should fly away or stay. I freed you, Jungkook. Just get out of my face. Yeah?”
“Where is your girlfriend?” Taehyung looks around, “go, pick her up. Go on dates. Go to parties, damn, enjoy your life. Why are you still trailing me?”
Jungkook steps up to him, face to face, “I don't trust you. You are just like your dad. Manipulative, nasty, spoilt, horrible.”
“You and me both know why he pays for my everything,” Jungkook takes a hold of Taehyung's elbow, “so, no, Taehyung. I won't fall for your words like my dad did. He went to jail for something he didn't do. Because of your dad! I don't trust you people!”
“Sad,” Taehyung snorts, eyes scorching on Jungkook's face, “he knew he won't be able to give you the life you might want and made a deal with my dad. I have nothing to tell you except for this, Jungkook. Pick your fight with the right person. Your dad. Not me or mine. Yeah?”
— It's too late. Good night.
— Shall I continue the story?
— Here's my kofi if you want to support : ko-fi.com/amyungv
Taehyung side steps Jungkook and walks inside the Art building.
Jungkook watches him go, his eyes follow Taehyung until he can't anymore.
Then he turns on his heels and pulls out his phone to ask Jiwoo if she would like him to pick her up or she already left.
“Tae, if you don't want Jungkook as your assistant and guard,” his father chews his food, eyeing his son and Jungkook on the dining table, “you have to choose someone from my security team. I would not approve of you going around just by yourself.”
Jungkook focuses on the rice on his bowl, his chopsticks tracing patterns on it. Taehyung hums, sips his water.
“Sure, dad,” he eats his noodles, “just appoint anyone and please,” he makes a face, “someone around my age. I don't want anyone old who would boss me around.”
His father laughs, “well, you know Park Seojoon, right?”
Taehyung squints his eyes, “yeah? He is one of the head security chiefs on your team. Why?”
His dad nods, “his younger brother just joined the company. I can hire him for you. Just two years older than you. Park Bogum.”
Taehyung agrees with a nod, “It's fine. If you chose, he will be great. Just, tell him he has to take me everywhere I say and not ask anything. Also, ask him to wear casuals because I hate your suited, formal men. Yeah?”
Jungkook rolls his eyes, feeling bad for Bogum already.
Taehyung gets up from the table, bows to his father, “I will go to sleep, dad. I have a class tomorrow. Pretty early.”
“Bogum will be here,” his dad nods, typing something out, “to take you there. Good night, angel.”
Taehyung hums, walking up the flights of stairs to his room.
“Is there something you need for the next month, Jungkook?” Taehyung's father looks at him then, “Tae asked me personally to not give you any work. I don't want to upset him. So, you don't have to do anything. But, do you need something for the upcoming tournament?”
Jungkook wipes his mouth, shakes his head, “no, I got it covered, sir. You don't have to worry.”
“I will deposit the money in your account as per usual. By the starting of the next month. Also, a little tip because Tae said you did pretty well up until now. As his servant.”
Jungkook grits his teeth. His grip on the chopsticks tightening. He stays silent and gets up to bow when Mr. Kim leaves the dining table.
With a few seconds of silence, Jungkook sits back down, stares at the food on his plate and then slams the chopsticks down with a curse.
Angry, frustrated tears sting his eyes. He glares at the food on his plate and thinks how he would take anything over this.
Any rough life can't be worse than this constant ridicule he faces every day. He can do hard work, but these constant jabs get him every time.
Only if his father understood he would rather have a family and be poor than have this. Money in his bank and no respect in his entire existence.
Jungkook wipes his eyes furiously, pulls out his phone and dials Jiwoo's number.
“Are you free tonight?” he gets out of the house.
Jungkook comes back the next day morning after spending the night with Jiwoo. He drags himself inside the house around seven in the morning. He wipes his eyes, drags himself up the stairs to the bedroom and knocks.
He hears nothing. Jungkook sighs, knocks again.
“Tae, get up!”
“Tae, either get up or I am coming in,” Jungkook presses his forehead against the door, those beers in him leaving his terse, “I don't care if you are naked or scream your lungs out about my manners-”
Jungkook stops, looks over his shoulder as Mrs. Gwan.
She is basically the housekeeper. Almost like a mother figure to Jungkook. Jungkook smiles at her, nods.
“Sorry, did I scream loudly?” he makes a face, “was calling Tae, you know how late he sleeps-”
Mrs. Gwan smiles, “he is in the garden, bub. He needs to meet Bogum today?”
Jungkook pauses, “shit, I forgot,” he chuckles, “good. I will just take a nap then. Wake me up in an hour?”
She nods, ruffles his hair, “go, sleep. I will wake you up.”
Jungkook walks down the corridor, thanks his stars that Mrs. Gwan can't smell Jiwoo's scent on him.
Jungkook gets inside his room, walks up to the bed and discards his phone, watch, and wallet. He goes inside the bathroom to shower.
When he comes back, he goes to the window to pull the curtains back, so he can rest an hour in the darkness of the room.
The view makes his stop.
Taehyung is by the gazebo, standing by the rose garden, with a man standing right in front of him.
Jungkook watches how the man plucks a rose, holds it out for him with an exasperating bow. Taehyung giggles, takes it with a nod and tucks it behind his ear with a grin.
“God, people will do anything for money,” Jungkook rolls his eyes, “poor man. Have to pretend to like that brat to get his salary. Shit, what a job.”
Jungkook watches how Taehyung sits on the step of the gazebo and pats the place beside him. Bogum sits right away, with a smile.
Bogum is saying something, and Taehyung's eyes are on him. There is a smile that lingers. A smile that is far from the sneers Jungkook always received. Jungkook closes the curtains.
“Damn, I hope you stick, bro,” he drops on the bed, “otherwise, he will be again my business.”
By the time he walks downstairs after taking the nap, Taehyung is gone.
Jungkook picks up Jiwoo on his way to the university and throughout the day he kind of forgets about Taehyung.
“You are not rushing to leave today,” Yoongi sips his cola in the cafeteria, “what's up?”
Jungkook turns to him with a shrug, “nowhere to go from now on. I don't have to pick up Taehyung and drop him anywhere. Finally, I am free,” he holds his drink up.
Jimin sips his iced-tea, eyes on Jungkook, “he got a lover?”
Jungkook snorts, “with that attitude? No.”
Jimin frowns, “you keep saying he has an attitude, but I have never seen him misbehave. I mean, I share a few classes with him. I am in the cheerleading team with him. He never did anything-”
“He is a weirdo,” Jiwoo peeps in, “didn't you notice how he has no friends? He's rude.”
“He is too proud of himself and so full of himself,” Jiwoo frowns, “always makes Kook do his chores. Most of the time I hear Kook rant about him when we are out on dates. Imagine how badly you have to treat someone for them to talk like that about you?”
“Also, he doesn't attend any parties or any gathering at all,” Jin murmurs, “I asked him once, and he said he doesn't want to because apparently my house is not a safe place?” Jin snorts, “ran like I do drugs or something?”
Hoseok hums, “same experience here. I asked him out-”
“For a movie that the entire class was going to?” Hoseok munches on a crisp, “but he said the theatre isn't the one he goes to, normally. What does that mean?”
“It means, he needs to book an entire place before he steps inside,” Jungkook sighs, “make me run for his every whim.”
Jimin rolls his eyes, “okay, Jin hyung, you live in the Frat house. Anyone with a little brain will deny your offer at first. He doesn't know you. Second, Hobi hyung, he did well by not going. Damn, the theatre was so packed. I had to leave. You didn't plan it well at all!”
“Well, I part-time at the library,” Namjoon leans in, sipping his juice, “recommended him a book once. He came back the next week and I asked how it was. He stared right at me and said it was pretty inspirational, but he only read the name.”
Everyone stares at Namjoon.
Namjoon's dimples show, “not going to lie, that was the mos adorable and crazy reply I ever got.”
Yoongi laughs, “so, all I got of this guy is, he is honest. He said he won't attend Jin's party because he felt unsafe. Which we all should learn. To say no when we want to.”
“He is intelligent, knows how packed a place can get with so many students. He got himself out of that one. Maybe he doesn't like the crowd, we can't judge him for that. He is witty, I like that in a person. I don't see a problem with him, to be honest.”
“He is spoilt rotten,” Jiwoo counts on her fingers, “he treats people like trash-”
“I am not defending him, of course not, he has faults like every human does,” Jimin sighs, “but, Jiwoo, you are not half as rich as he is and your attitude is almost tripping over the edge.”
“Also,” Yoongi counters back, “we just see how rich a person is. Rich people have rich problems too. Like, this. We are judging him like it's our business. As if we have the right. The only person who has the right to say shit is kook because he suffered. We can frankly shut up.”
Yoongi picks up a crisp, “now, if we are done discussing a boy and his attitude, can we focus? The nightclub. Are we all going?”
Jungkook nods, “I don't see why not.”
Jimin nods too, “this weekend, right? I will ask my cheer team to join us too.”
They all nod in agreement.
Taehyung looks over his shoulder to see Jimin standing by the door of the art class. He wipes his hands on the apron and nods, silently approving Jimin to walk inside.
“I just came here to ask you if you are busy this Saturday night?” Jimin smiles.
Taehyung blinks, “it will depend on what you want from me.”
Jimin's eyes widen a little, but his smile does too, “I want to ask you if you'll come to the nightclub we all are attending on my birthday.”
Taehyung stares, “we are not friends.”
Jimin blinks, “whose fault is that?”
“I don't like people,” Taehyung shrugs, “most of them.”
Jimin laughs, “damn, I do attract anti-socials. My boyfriend is like you. Anyway, you can like me. You know me. We cheer together.”
Taehyung thinks, eyes unfazed on Jimin, “you want me to pay for the club? For all of you?”
Jimin blinks, shakes his head, “no! It's my treat. I am inviting you because I know you and I never see you in any parties. So, this might be a good way to get to know you.”
Taehyung hugs himself, frowns, “I am not a species for you to learn and poke and gossip, you know?”
Jimin shrugs, “I know. That's why instead of doing that, I am here,” he holds his hand out, “asking you to be my friend. You can either take my hand, be my friend, or just let people's judgements of you hold you back from having a normal life.”
“People always judge, you know?” Jimin smiles, “it's in our nature to try to drag others down, so we can uplift ourselves. We have to learn to accept the genuine ones. I know you are the way you are for a reason, and I hope I be your reason to believe everyone is not the same.”
Taehyung watches the extended hand and Jimin's face. He wipes his hands on his apron, nervously bite down on his lower lip.
Jimin waits. He doesn't pull back. It's silly. They are not in kindergarten to be friends with a handshake but whatever it takes.
Jimin doesn't back away.
Then Taehyung reaches out, like a scared puppy. Jimin feels his heart squeeze at the thought that Taehyung had to think this hard to make friends. He blinks back the tears in his eyes at the thought that something happened for Taehyung to be terrified of trusting people again.
When Taehyung's hand finally touches his, Jimin grasps it. He holds tightly, as if holding onto a person who is drowning or maybe getting lost in a quicksand.
Jimin pulls Taehyung to him, in a bone-crushing hug, ignores how stiff Taehyung goes.
“You can trust me, TaeTae.”
Taehyung feels the breath getting knocked out of him. He holds Jimin too, a little reluctant, a little confused.
But those arms feel good. How long has it been since someone hugged him?
Ages. Years. Last was his mother. Before she met the accident.
Taehyung hugs Jimin back.
The nightclub is crowded. Taehyung walks in behind Jimin. He looks around, smiles when Jimin points at the booth they are going to be in.
“Are you sure you are not feeling weird?” Taehyung asks Bogum who follows him inside, “hyung, you don't have to be here. I will be fine.”
Bogum's eye go wide, “you kidding? I look so handsome, and you don't want me to be here?” he shouts over the loud music, “or, you don't want your friends to snatch me up?”
Taehyung bites back a laugh, “just don't flirt too much! Oh, my God!”
Bogum follows him to their booth.
Taehyung pauses when he sees so many pairs of eyes on him. He almost freezes when he sees Jungkook with Jiwoo. She is sitting on one of his legs.
Taehyung lets out a deep breath, shrugs, and morphs his face into indifference while he follows Jimin to his seat.
“Guys, this is Tae,” Jimin points at Taehyung, “my friend.”
Jin waves, “hi, Tae. I think you know me. But, Jin.”
Taehyung nods, eyes moving from one to another with a small smile.
“I am Jiwoo, but you already know that,” Jiwoo waves her fingers at him.
Taehyung's lips twitch, “I knew you existed, yes. Were not significant enough to know your name. Hi.”
The booth grows quiet for a second. Everyone's eyes move from Taehyung to Jiwoo to Jungkook.
“Drinks?” Jin gets up, “on me!”
Everyone coughs, nodding, “yeah, drinks!”
Jungkook's eyes are boring onto him. Taehyung knows. He ignores and turns to Bogum.
“This is my bodyguard and friend,” he places his hand on Bogum's thigh, “Park Bogum.”
Bogum nods to them with a small smile.
Jungkook snorts, “it's a pleasure to meet you finally, hyung.”
“Thanks for taking him off my hand,” Jungkook sips his beer.
Bogum chuckles, “no problem, really. We,” he smiles at Taehyung, Taehyung smiles back, “we are friends more than boss and employee.”
Jungkook arches a brow, “now, that's what I call a good worker. Licking up to him.”
Bogum keeps his smile in place, “I am frankly not. I was expecting him to be like those spoilt kids, you know? But,” his eyes turn soft when he looks at Taehyung, “he is very good. I am glad I ended up here, to be honest.”
Jungkook stares, “seriously, how much is the pay?”
Bogum laughs, “well, the pay is good, but the company is better. I get to go on those art gallery outings. We take walks down the Han river. He teaches me about different types of roses. I teach him how to ride a bike. We are seriously like friends, as I said.”
“He is,” Bogum's eyes shift to Taehyung who is already looking at him, “he is a nice person.”
Taehyung's eyes hold Bogum, a shy smile on his lips. Those large eyes linger and Bogum doesn't look away either.
Jungkook arches a brow, his eyes shifting from one to the other.
By then, Jin comes back, a tray full of shots. Everyone takes one glass and promise to stick to only one. They don't want to be drunk.
Taehyung reaches for his, only to stop because Jungkook grasps his hand.
“You are shit at holding liquor,” Jungkook shakes his head.
Taehyung frowns, “and, why is it your business? You don't have to take me home or bear my drunk tantrums.”
Jungkook's grip on his hand tightens, “you won't drink. You can't hold it!”
The others on the table stare at the two of them with their drinks in their hands.
“I will, and you won't stop me!” Taehyung hisses.
Jungkook's jaw ticks, “Taehyung, I will leave with Jiwoo and I don't fucking want to leave you with a practical stranger when you can't hold your own!”
Jimin curses, “let him drink! I will be here with him. Heaven's sake!”
“You will disappear with Yoongi hyung,” Jungkook arches a brow at Jimin, “don't fucking expose him to danger like that!”
Namjoon hesitates, “uhm... I don't think one shot will trip him over the edge-”
“He can't bear a sip of a beer!” Jungkook hisses, “he will faint!”
“Babe,” Jiwoo cups Jungkook's face, pressing those words against his lips, “how about you ignore him? He is a grown man. He can take care of himself,” she smirks, lips pressing over Jungkook's, “you can take care of me, baby. I am right here.”
Taehyung watches them kiss.
Bogum holds up a slice of lemon, “to cut the edge,” he smiles at Taehyung, “if you really drink, this will help.”
Taehyung sniffs the shot, makes a face, “it smells horrible.”
Bogum laughs under his breath, “then how about you don't? You don't have to feel pressured to do it.”
Taehyung takes a tentative sip and makes a face, shaking his head, “nope. Not for me.”
He takes the lemon, biting down on it. Bogum takes the glass, dumps the liquor in the bin next to the booth, and places the empty glass on the table.
“There, he drank! We're fine!” he laughs.
Taehyung nods, “thank you, hyung.”
Bogum squeezes his thigh under the table, “any time, Tae.”
“Who wants to dance?” Jimin gets up, holds his hand out for Hoseok, “I know Yoongi won't move. So, me and Hobi hyung will see you later!”
Jin drags Namjoon off with him.
Yoongi gets up, “smoke break.”
Jiwoo stands up too, “come on, Kook. Let's dance.”
Jungkook follows willingly, ignores Taehyung and Bogum where they sit.
“You want to dance?” Bogum asks, hands out, “we can, you know?”
Taehyung laughs, “sure. I love to dance.”
The dance floor is crowded. Bogum holds Taehyung by his waist. Taehyung has his arms around Bogum's shoulder.
“The couple beside us are grinding on each other,” Bogum murmurs near Taehyung's ear, “the girl is very interested, but the guy is eyeing another guy.”
Bogum grins, “also, Jimin and Hoseok are dancing like their rent is due! Damn, those hip thrusts!”
Taehyung looks over and agrees, “they are killing it!”
“Namjoon and Jin are the goofy ones everyone loves,” Bogum chuckles, “look at them!”
Taehyung watches how Namjoon and Jin dab profusely and laugh at each other. He smiles.
“They are dating, you know?” Taehyung murmurs, “since I got into the university, they are that 'it' couple. You see why it is. Even in being goofy, they are so perfect together.”
“You want something like that,” Bogum speaks, his voice soft, “right?”
Taehyung stills for a second, looks back at Bogum, “I-”
Bogum smiles, nods, “I understand, Tae. Trust me. I hope you get it. You deserve someone who would love you.”
Taehyung stares at Bogum, “yeah?”
By now they are pressed together. Taehyung can feel Bogum's breath on his face. Their eyes are stuck on each other.
Bogum gives him a small nod, “you do. You deserve everything.”
Taehyung lets Bogum pull him closer, “thank you,” he rests his forehead on Bogum's collarbones…
Taehyung feels those arms secure around him, holding him closer. He feels those lips press over his hair, light, feather like. A chaste kiss.
He looks up, pulls back just a little to look at Bogum while Bogum looks back at him.
Their lips are inches apart. Taehyung stays still.
“So, this is what you wanted?”
Taehyung jumps, feels an arm wrap around his waist to pull him back against a solid chest. He looks over his shoulder to see Jungkook glaring at Bogum.
“You get him drunk and try to use him?!” Jungkook hisses, charges forward, “piece of shit!”
Taehyung chokes on his words when he sees Jungkook lurch forward. The punch lands right on Bogum's jaw.
“Shit! Jungkook!” Namjoon curses, running through the crowd, “easy! What-”
Jungkook grasps Bogum by his collar, “I knew you were after something! I can't believe I let you-”
“What happened?!” Yoongi comes running, “what is happening-”
Taehyung watches with horror how Jungkook knees Bogum and Bogum grabs Jungkook by his shoulders to shove him away. Yoongi and Namjoon grab Jungkook, trying to pull him back while he thrashes.
“He is using Taehyung-”
“He is not,” Taehyung steps between Jungkook and Bogum, his back pressed against Bogum's chest, “I am not drunk, and he was not doing anything I didn't want him to.”
Taehyung grits his teeth, “calm the fuck down! You are making a scene, and it's mortifying! He did nothing!”
Namjoon and Yoongi stumble, falling back a step, when Jungkook jerks himself free. He steps right up to Taehyung.
“So it's nothing that a guy who's your guard is touching you all over and was about to kiss you?!” Jungkook grits out, “he is older, should know better than this!”
“He is just using you, and you are letting him!” Jungkook growls right on Taehyung's face.
Taehyung looks around, all those eyes on him, then he looks back at Jungkook, “don't fucking make a scene, Jungkook! Not when you know nothing!”
“Then tell me!” Jungkook curses.
- This fic is not commissioned, but here's a kofi goal for it.
If the goal is complete, I will turn it into a full-blown fic and prioritize it over my commissioned ones. Otherwise, I will update it after I finish my ongoing works. x
Thank you x ko-fi.com/amyungv/goal?g…
I slipped on my way and hit my toes on the pavement after this notification! Wtf! You all are insane!
The fic will be prioritized and will be updated tonight as a thank you update!
“I don't owe you shit, Jungkook!” Taehyung glares, points his fingers at him, “you are no one to me. If anything, you were paid to care for my well-being. Now you can stop. Or, I can pay you to keep yourself in check! Because I know, you take your work pretty serious!”
“Take money from me to keep yourself out of my business!” Taehyung pulls out his wallet and throws it at Jungkook's face, “it's all a work to you, right? Then do this work for me! I will pay you to damn mind your business!”
Everything is quiet around them, everyone is watching.
Taehyung turns to Bogum, reaches to cup his face, “hyung, you are bleeding.”
Bogum shrugs, “nothing much, Tae. It's fine. I just-”
Taehyung pulls out his handkerchief, wipes Bogum's jaw where Jungkook hit him, “no, let's take you home. You don't look good to me. Come on.”
Taehyung looks at Jimin, “I am sorry, I ruined the party-”
“You didn't,” Jimin shakes his head, “let me drive you if you need.”
“No, I got my driver waiting,” Taehyung holds Bogum's hand, “I will take myself out. Sorry, Jimin.”
Jimin waves him off, “I will call you.”
Taehyung walks Bogum out of the club, ignores all those eyes. Shame, anger, frustration, sadness, everything burns Taehyung while he walks Bogum to the car.
“Hey, I am okay, we could have stayed,” Bogum squeezes his hand.
Taehyung shakes his head, “I am mortified.”
Bogum looks back at the club, “I think he was trying to look out for you.”
Taehyung slowly sits Bogum down on the backseat, gets inside too, “he took care of me because he got paid. He was in it for the money. Now, he has no reason. He was just being an ass. Forget it.”
Bogum closes his eyes, holds a tissue under his nose as it's bleeding too, “are you okay?”
Taehyung watches the buildings pass by, he hugs himself, “I will be. I just wish I didn't go there at all. I can't believe he made a scene for no reason.”
Bogum sighs, “forget it.”
Taehyung takes Bogum home. He cleans the wounds and ignores Bogum's words that he is fine.
“Are you sure you will be fine?” He asks when Bogum gets up from his bed to go to the security quarter where he lives, “you can stay.”
Bogum smiles, “I will be fine, Tae. Good night.”
Taehyung shuts the bedroom door behind himself and leans against it. The entire evening plays in front of his eyes, and he finds himself tearing up.
He thought he would enjoy it. A party. Finally, an outing that might be a first of many. Taehyung snorts to himself.
He takes himself to the shower. Letting his tears fall when the shower starts. He tries to tell himself that no one would remember this. It's stupid and no one would care, but he cares, and it hurts.
Taehyung sniffles, wipes his eyes, and changes into his nightwear.
When he gets out and is closing the curtains of the window, the bedroom door opens.
Taehyung looks over his shoulder and stills. Jungkook leans against the doorframe. His eyes on Taehyung.
Taehyung turns, the curtains half-open, letting in the moonlight in the room.
Jungkook holds his wallet between his two fingers, “all this drama,” he walks inside, the door closing behind him, “making me look cheap, making me a laughingstock,” he stops in front of Taehyung, “is it to hide the fact that he is fucking you? Is that it?”
“Is that it?” Jungkook hisses, “are you paying him for that or-”
“He is not you,” Taehyung smiles, “unlike you, he doesn't sell himself for money. He is mature enough to know what's a job and he was doing just that. Your girl probably pays you because you only care about money-”
“To be honest,” Taehyung shrugs, a careless jerk of his shoulders, “he doesn't have to be paid for it. He likes me. I kind of like him too. Even if we do i-”
Jungkook laughs, “likes you?” he arches a brow, a sarcastic tilt of his lips are visible, “likes a spoilt brat like you?”
“Does he even know you?!” Jungkook snorts, “does he know you will wake him up in the middle of the night to get some fast food that you need right at that moment?! Does he know you will wake him up early to make you breakfast in bed when you have your cooks?! Does he know-”
“Does he know you have to be dragged to the gym every alternative day otherwise you won't go and he has to stick to your side because otherwise you will not do shit and just make excuses?! Does he know how many times you will run him to the grocery store to get that ramen you...”
“like?! Does he know you will make him drive for hours just to see the beach because you felt like it? His plans be damned? Does he know you hate thunderstorms and will keep him up all night because you can't sleep?! Does he know you hate sleeping like this-”
“Where is he?” Jungkook looks around, “you didn't tell him your rules? To not leave until you fall asleep?! Didn't make his life miserable by whining all the time?! I had to sit by your bed until you fall asleep every night! Why is he not doing it?! Where is he?!”
Taehyung turns away, walks up to the window to look outside, “he went to change. He will be back. Go away, Jungkook.”
Jungkook huffs out a snort, “are you sure he is coming back? Are you sure he didn't run for the hills yet? I wasn't even permitted to leave until-”
“I am learning to grow out of those habits,” Taehyung whispers, “I am learning to not be a bother to anyone anymore. Yeah, I did all that, and it was wrong of me. I am trying to do better. I didn't do all those to make you miserable. I did all that because I was miserable.”
Taehyung grips the windowsill, “I couldn't sleep. I had these weird dreams-” he stops, frowns, “but, let's not waste your time,” he looks over his shoulder at Jungkook, “did you bring Jiwoo home? Why are you here, then? Just go.”
Jungkook watches him, “funny that you think a person who stayed up beside you won't know you have nightmares,” he grits his teeth, looking away, “funny how your dad thinks just dumping anyone here will solve everything. Funny how your family thinks money buys everything.”
Taehyung watches Jungkook throw the wallet on the bed, turn on his heels to leave.
“Did you bring Jiwoo here?” Taehyung asks, keeps his eyes on the horizon.
Jungkook stops, “yeah.”
Taehyung closes his eyes, “next time don't. It's my house and I don't like her.”
“Now you will decide everyone's private life too?” Jungkook breathes out a laugh.
Taehyung shrugs, “you did it. You jumped in when no one asked you. Also, you live in my house. I get to decide who sets foot here. She is not welcomed. Buy your own place and do whatever you want.”
Jungkook stares at Taehyung's back, “don't worry, I am moving in with her to a place I am thinking of renting. I will be out of your hair pretty soon. I can't wait for it, either.”
Taehyung hears the door close, he lets out a breath he was holding and goes to lock the door.
“You don't see what's wrong here?” Jungkook grips the door knob, “you are paying him, and he is working for you. Bogum is your assistant. He knows you are damn rich, and he is using you. That's all I was saying! Why can't you just use your brain for once?”
Taehyung holds the door in his hand, huffs out a chuckle, “yeah, because people can't like me without my status. Can they?”
Jungkook's eyes wander over his face, “so you would just accept the first guy who shows you a little sympathy?”
Taehyung stares, “why not?”
“Because-” Jungkook takes a step forward on instinct, “because, Taehyung!” he grips the door too, “he was touching you. Holding you like that. Was ready to kiss you. Only after knowing you for a week and might agree to sleep with you, but what if he's the wrong guy?”
“Even if he is, why's it your business?” Taehyung frowns.
“Because I held you to myself when you cried and thrashed in your damn sleep,” Jungkook steps up to his face, “and, I refuse to let you be callous enough to add another face to those nightmares!”
“Who told you that you are not one of those faces?” Taehyung murmurs, takes a step back inside his room, “who told you that you are not-”
“I am not,” Jungkook shakes his head, “because I know those faces. I try to keep you away from them. Your dad, your mum...”
“Your uncle,” Jungkook's face contorts, “your damn uncle. I know your nightmares like the back of my hand. I know you hate crowded places. I know him touching you like that… you feel suffocated. I know you would regret if you kissed him just like that. I know.”
“You are not the type to do one-night stands,” Jungkook combs his hair back, “you do things out of spite, and then you break down over them. I know because it was me who held you every time you broke down. I just don't want you to do that. You hear me?”
“I don't want you to have nightmares of him when he is the one appointed to keep you out of it,” Jungkook shakes his head, “your dad just appointed anyone he found fit, and you just let him. You know how dangerous it is. I am losing my mind here. Why can't you, for once, see it?”
“I need to get out of here because your father will crush me otherwise,” Jungkook grits out, shakes his head, “but, just be careful. For heaven's sake, be cautious at least! I can't stay, Taehyung. I can't. But, you need to-”
“You know all that, and you still treat me like shit,” Taehyung murmurs, his eyes brim with angry tears, “if you knew all that then why?”
Jungkook's face contorts, there is something that flashes across his face before he looks away, “because I want an out. I have to leave.”
“I stuck around as long as I could,” Jungkook backtracks, his eyes on Taehyung, “trust me, I didn't abandon you. I didn't,” he blinks faster, “I,” he inhales deeply, “just don't lose yourself because you are too busy not thinking.”
Taehyung frowns, “what do you mean?”
Jungkook turns away, “I only have my dad, Taehyung. I live every day to see him once per month and count my days till he gets out of jail. I don't want to lose my only family.”
Taehyung frowns, “what?”
Jungkook shakes his head, “sorry.”
He storms out of the room.
“Just get your passport,” Taehyung hears while he takes the steps down to the living room, “I will arrange everything else.”
He frowns, walks inside the living room to see his father on the couch, Jungkook standing in front of him.
“What's going on?” Taehyung picks up his lunchbox from Mrs. Gwan, “what passport?”
“Oh, Jungkook here got a transfer offer,” his father smiles, “to Yale. Can you believe?”
Taehyung freezes, his eyes moving from his father to Jungkook, “what?”
Jungkook stays just as quiet.
“He got the offer letter a few weeks ago,” his father pats the seat beside himself for Taehyung to sit, “he is leaving.”
Taehyung stares, “you are... leaving.”
Jungkook keeps his eyes on the floor. Hands tightly grasped in front of him.
Taehyung's dad gets up, pats Jungkook's back, “yes, he is. He got the offer, and I don't see why not. The better he can do for himself, the sooner he can be independent.”
Taehyung watches his father and how Jungkook almost curls in on himself, glares down at his feet.
Mr. Kim leans to kiss Taehyung on top of his head and turns on his heels, “I will arrange everything soon, Jungkook. See you tonight, Tae.”
Taehyung stands up as soon as his father is out of the house, “what is going on here?”
Jungkook shrugs, “I am leaving. You heard it.”
“Stop lying,” Taehyung grasps Jungkook's wrist, “if you knew and had that letter with you for a week, why would you tell me last night that you were going to find a place with Jiwoo? Make it make sense to me.”
Jungkook grits his teeth, “I owe you nothing, Tae. Leave me alone!”
“What about your dad?” Taehyung tries again, “you said it yourself, I know. You never miss that one day in a month when you go to meet him. How will you do that?”
“He can wait,” Jungkook shrugs, “he will be free next year anyway.”
Taehyung frowns, “what are you hiding?”
“Do you like getting insulted or something?” Jungkook snorts, “damn, mind your business. For heaven's sake! I am getting the chance to fly out of here, and I am taking it. Believe me. Nothing's wrong!”
Taehyung watches him, “when?”
Jungkook gulps, “in a week.”
“Tae, you are late for college,” Bogum comes up behind them.
Taehyung watches how Jungkook closes his eyes, his jaw locking. Jungkook lets out a breath, his eyes open to watch Taehyung. Taehyung holds his breath, those eyes wander all over his face. He holds still.
“Come on, you have a cheer practice,” Bogum comes up to him, “you can't be late.”
Taehyung watches how Jungkook's face shifts, his jaw hardens. He looks at Bogum and back at Taehyung.
Taehyung reaches out, “Jungkook-”
Jungkook shakes his head, “leave me alone.”
Taehyung watches Jungkook leave. He stares after him while Bogum comes up to hold him by his shoulder.
“Come on,” Bogum smiles, “you have a class to attend.”
Taehyung nods, “ye-yeah. Yeah, let's go.”
“Your dad left some files for you to sign,” Bogum calls after him, “let's sign those before you leave. He would ask me to get them to him.”
Taehyung nods, looking back at Bogum, “yeah, yeah. What is it?”
Bogum holds out a bunch of files, “let's hurry. You are getting late.”
Taehyung takes the pen, signing the pages one by one, “what are these though?”
Bogum laughs, “your dad said these are your insurance? I have no clue. Would you like to read? But, it's already so late.”
Taehyung shrugs, “he makes me sign a bunch of shit. It's alright.”
Taehyung holds the files out for Bogum and then turns on his feet to go to his mother's room.
“She is sleeping,” Bogum tells him, “she took her meds and I suggest you don't wake her now. Your dad said you can meet her when you come back.”
Taehyung nods, “okay. Yeah.”
Jungkook walks inside the room. His eyes on the woman lying on the bed. Her eyes move, tears rolling out of those sockets. Jungkook feels the way his heart cracks into pieces.
He slowly steps up beside her bed, kneels, “the doctor came?”
She tries to smile, nods.
She deteriorated. As usual.
Jungkook takes her hand in his, kisses the knuckles and presses them against his cheek.
“I am leaving next week,” he murmurs, “probably won't come back here. Ever.”
Her eyes brim with tears, she mouths something Jungkook can't understand.
He stares at those lips. Trying to read them.
Jungkook feels his eyes brim with tears, “I am leaving, aunty,” he shakes his head, “I have to leave.”
Her tears roll out of her eyes, Jungkook wipes them.
“I am powerless here,” Jungkook whispers, “you know.”
“I am not sure where I am going,” Jungkook whispers, “I don't know. I just, I wanted to see you one last time.”
She sniffles, tries to clutch Jungkook's hand.
Jungkook kisses her knuckles again, “this is probably the last time we will see each other.”
“What Yale University, I didn't even apply there,” Jungkook snorts, “damn, they don't even do exchange students from our university. I just...” he shakes his head, “Tae is safe. You know Tae can't be harmed, right? You know that. He will be fine.”
Taehyung's mother cries...
“𝑁𝑜𝑡 𝑝𝘩𝑦𝑠𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦...” she mouths, her expression breaks Jungkook.
Jungkook looks away, “I am counting on that. Please, let me. I want to tell him, but you know him. He loves Tae and Tae will be fine, and I don't want to break Tae like that. I can't do it.”
*.·:·.☽✧ ✦ ✧☾.·:·.*
It always feels surreal. No matter how many times Jungkook visit his father in the jail, it always makes him feel some type of way.
His father, sits on the other side of the thick glass, smiles when Jungkook asks how is he doing.
“I thought you would be too busy to come here.”
Jungkook frowns, confused, “why?”
Jihyun shrugs, “you are leaving for the USA, right?”
Jungkook stares, “ho- how do you know?”
His father gives him a small smile, “I know. I know a lot more than I tell you, kookie. Now, listen to me very carefully. Mr. Kim is not your enemy.”
Jungkook's frown deepens, “what do you mean by that?”
Jihyun nods, “there is something you will know by tonight. Just do what he says and trust me, you will understand the whole process. Have some faith in your father, son. He did everything thinking about you. Trust him.”
Jungkook stares at his father, watches the man nod and reach between them to pat his hands before getting up to leave.
Jungkook watches Jihyun go back inside and stands up. He slowly gets up and walks out of the jail too.
Jungkook stops inside the house. Taehyung is lying on the couch with his head on Bogum's lap. Bogum is telling him something while his fingers card through Taehyung's hair.
Jungkook rolls his eyes, ignores how Taehyung turns to look at him, and goes up to his room.
It is after dinner when Mr. Kim tells him to come along a night stroll in the garden.
“With him?” Taehyung asks the question Jungkook was thinking, “why?”
Mr. Kim smiles, wipes his mouth, “because he is leaving soon, and I need to fill him in on some details.”
Jungkook follows Mr. Kim outside, the chilly wind making him shiver while they walk around the mansion.
“Tonight I will tell you a story, Jungkook,” Mr. Kim smokes, eyes focused on the ground, “and, you will learn from it. Carry on what we started.”
Jungkook holds his breath.
“There were three friends who lived in the USA, met during their high school days. All three of them were meritorious students. Got along since the day they met. It was friendship since the first class,” Mr. Kim chuckles, “they were almost joined by the hips.”
“By the time they were graduating, one of them got a letter. A letter from his family back in Seoul. By family, I mean, his dying grandma,” Mr. Kim frowns, thinks, “that one's father married out of love, his family never wanted to see him because he dishonoured the family name.”
“The friends were with him when he got the letter of inheritance that his grandmother was leaving for him. His grandmother could not go against his grandfather, so she never reached out, but after his death and on her deathbed, she wanted her wealth to go to her only grandson.”
“The inheritance papers were right there. The friend showed it to his other two friends. The other two, you see,” Mr. Kim coughs, “were not from rich families. They thought none of them were. So, the amount of money and promising future of their friend made them happy.”
“The inheritance was to be his after grandmother died,” Mr. Kim steps inside the gazebo, sitting down on the bench, “so, he flew out to meet his grandmother once and then went back to the USA to finish his studies. The three friends stayed just as close throughout the uni too.”
Mr. Kim chuckles, “they got into some bad habits, hookups, clubs and bars every weekend,” he leans on his knees, “university treated them nice because now one of the friends had too much money. His grandma would send it every month, weeks, if he asked nicely. It was going good.”
“Until,” Mr. Kim frowns, “he got a girl pregnant. All three of them got concerned. Knowing that his grandma might protest because of a child who’s born out of wedlock. So the friends started to scheme. By then, another friend had a baby on the way too,” Mr. Kim looks at Jungkook.
Jungkook stares, his mind swirling with nothing but confusion.
Mr. Kim pulls is glasses off, rubs his hands down his face, “but his grandmother found out. It was horrible. She was furious, and that friend begged her, told her he will put the baby up for adoption.”
Mr. Kim nods, “his grandmother was, I guess, even more furious that he was running from the responsibility. So, she changed her will. Made it, in a way, that the child will inherit the property when he turns twenty-one.”
Jungkook gulps, “you… you wanted to give Taehyung up for adoption?”
Mr. Kim snorts, “well, hear it fully first,” he lets out a deep breath, “the other friend who had his baby on the way got caught doing drugs. Your father. His scholarship was taken away from him.”
“The sports department all voted to rusticate him. He was kicked out of the college. He was doing hard drugs. Got addicted. He could not obviously pay for the fees and without the scholarship, he couldn’t continue studying. He asked his friend for money, and they got in a fight.”
“The third friend was the most cunning, the most intelligent too,” Mr. Kim snorts, “he saw the opportunity present itself and took it. After that fight, those two friends were not talking, so he made a pact with your father. To kill the Kim. In an accident.”
Mr. Kim looks outside, “no one in Seoul knew how Kim looked except for his grandmother and her assistant of that time. Because of safety reasons, when Kim visited her, it was under a fake name and disguise. Your father did not cover for me, Jungkook. He killed Kim Taehyun.”
Jungkook watches the man he knows as Kim Taehyun, “you…” he feels his voice choke inside his throat, “you are the third friend.”
Mr. Kim hums, “I am. The third friend. The third party in this story.”
Mr. Kim nods, sighs, “my blessing was, My Surname was Kim too. I changed my name in my papers. It took some time but yeah, your father, as per our deal and contract, went to jail for the accident. Judging by his record, every knew he was under influence. 20 years of jail.”
“Your father gets 60% of the inheritance, on your name. Because he took all the risk,” Mr. Kim pats Jungkook’s back, “and, I will get 40%, but these past twenty years, I earned enough to make it worth it.”
Mr. Kim hums, “after grandmaa’s death, when I came back, the assistant protested. She knew who the real Kim was.”
Jungkook shivers, “you killed her?”
Mr. Kim laughs, “no. She is my wife now,” he nods, “she agreed because of the money and status it would bring her. It was easy.”
BYE JIMIN IS LIVE
Jungkook looks at the man and back at the mansion.
“So, let me get this straight, the share I will have, and you already have, all of that is Taehyung's father's inheritance?” Jungkook murmurs, “so, it all belongs to Taehyung?”
Mr. Kim purses his lips, “technically, yes.”
Jungkook arches a brow, “what do you mean by, 'technically yes,' here?”
Mr. Kim sighs, “I made him sign a few papers that state he is writing down all the control on my name, as long as I live, he cannot claim anything back. Not mine, not yours.”
Jungkook stares, “I see.”
“I love him, Taehyung,” Mr. Kim murmurs, “he is with me since he was born. I will write down all my property on his name. The will stating that he will inherit everything I own. So, it doesn't really matter anymore, you know?”
Jungkook looks at the mansion, “right.”
“Aunty did not slip from the stairs, did she?” Jungkook murmurs, ignores how fast Mr. Kim looks at him, “you did something to her. What is it?”
Mr. Kim stares, “Jungkook...”
“I am on your side, Mr. Kim,” Jungkook chuckles, “the money is huge. I don't care about anything else.”
Mr. Kim shrugs, “she felt guilty. Throughout our marriage, she felt guilty and that night we had an argument. She wanted to come clean to Taehyung and I had to stop her somehow. I didn't think she will be paralysed. I-”
“You thought she will die,” Jungkook whispers.
Mr. Kim hums, “I am telling you all this because I need you to know and understand. You are indeed going to the USA. You will finish your studies there and settle there. But, we need to work on this together.”
“What will happen to Tae?” Jungkook looks at him, “after all this?”
Mr. Kim rubs his hands down his face, “I love him, as I said. But, I cannot let him go against me or speak against me. So, I have a plan.”
Jungkook nods, “and, that is?”
Mr. Kim looks at Jungkook, “how can I trust you?”
Jungkook snorts, “after all this, how can you not?”
“Bogum,” Mr. Kim murmurs, “he is Seojoon's brother and works for me. I am planning to get them together.”
Jungkook watches the man, “that way, he will always be under your control because Bogum is already working for you.”
Mr. Kim nods, “Bogum doesn't know all the details.”
Mr. Kim snorts, “he just helped us get some papers signed because he thought those were about some event Taehyung doesn't want to donate to. He has no clue. But, he likes Taehyung. It is pretty clear. Taehyung will, given time, fall for him too. I am sure.”
Jungkook's jaw ticks.
“I don't let Tae meet a lot of people,” Mr. Kim sighs, “he doesn't know better. Who would he fall for if not the first person who is quite nice to him? He will live a good life. Right?”
Jungkook snorts, “and, a pretty oblivious one. Nice idea, sir. I am genuinely surprised.”
“Oblivious people live a stress-free and happy life, Jungkook,” Mr. Kim chuckles, “he is naive. A little stupid, like his dad. Trusts easily, acts honestly. He is going to be fine under Bogum's eyes, and I will be fine with everything else. I had no other choice.”
“Right,” Jungkook thinks, “that makes sense.”
Mr. Kim laughs, “my first choice was you, to be honest. As his partner.”
Jungkook goes still, “me?”
Mr. Kim nods, “but, then I noticed you are not into guys, and you also started growing out of your friendship. It was stressful.”
WAIT, IS THIS FIC A/B/O?! ANYONE REMEMBERS?! *scrolling up*
No, it is not. Okay, I just- sorry. *continues like nothing happened*
“Yeah, must be very stressful to find another puppet,” Jungkook chuckles, “anyway, Taehyung is not my business. What's the plan with the USA? When do I leave?”
“You are eager,” Mr. Kim observes, “you have to remember, your father signed a contract with me.”
Jungkook watches the man, “a contract?”
Mr. Kim nods, “that, no matter what happens, you cannot speak up against me because the company you will be getting is in partnership with mine. So, you will need me as you are not experienced yet. No one knows you in the market, either.”
Jungkook hums, “so, even though the property is going to be mine, 60%, you still have a say in it?”
Mr. Kim shrugs, “yes. For as long as I live, yes.”
Jungkook thinks, nods to himself, “how about I stay here? Listen to me,” he holds his hand up, “I am planning for both of us.”
“No, you can't,” Mr. Kim curses, “the company is in the USA. You cannot stay here.”
“Taehyung needs someone to keep an eye on him,” Jungkook warns, “he is already making more friends and if that works out, he might slip from our hands. You don't know, do you?”
Mr. Kim frowns, “new friends?”
Jungkook nods, “he is making new friends here. Some of my friends are reaching out to him, and he is in the cheerleading circle too. If he stays here, he might make new friends and grow out of our clutch. I have a better plan.”
“That is?” Mr. Kim frowns, “what is the plan then?”
Jungkook watches Mr. Kim, “now that I think, if I stay here, I might not be able to cut him out of the circle. But,” he arches a brow, “if he comes with me to the USA, I can do it. No one would know him there. Right?”
Mr. Kim thinks, “But, Bogum-”
“He can come with us,” Jungkook shrugs, “or, not. It's not like I will run away with Taehyung, come on,” he laughs, “even you noticed. I am not interested in him. I am not into guys. It's just a perfect plan. I can keep him under control.”
“I won't betray you, Mr. Kim,” Jungkook nods, “my father is in line too. I cannot do that to him. If not anything, I love him. He is my only family. You know that.”
Mr. Kim watches him for a moment, looks back at the mansion, “fine. Let me think about it for the night.”
Jungkook watches the man get up and slowly walk back towards the mansion. He sits where he was, watching the man get inside.
Jungkook looks up at the sky through the gazebo's glass roof, “if you worked hard enough, with this brain, you would have just this much on your own.”
“But, you had to go and destroy a life, take another life, almost kill another person, just to secure a wealthy life that is still not secure,” Jungkook murmurs, “you are still terrified of losing everything, and you are still working your brain off to keep yourself on the top.”
“I will be damned if I take a penny of this,” Jungkook frowns, “but, I don't trust you. So, I will take Taehyung out of here. Write down my property when I get it in a year, on his name, and then I will leave. Fuck you, fuck my own father who agreed to this.”
“I am not interested in him, I don't need to be, this is all his and I will find a way to live my life. I don't need this cursed shit. Whatever,” Jungkook gets up, brushes his pant and walks out of the gazebo, “just hope you agree. I will drag Taehyung out of here if needed.”
“What do you mean I have to go?” Taehyung leans over the table, mouth agape, “what do you mean by that? He got accepted, he is going. Why am I going with him?!”
Jungkook watches Taehyung throw tantrum, and he is close to shouting at Taehyung to just shut up and agree.
“But, Tae,” his father smiles, reaches to pull Taehyung to sit on the table, “I managed to get you enrolled as well. Their art programme is outstanding. You will get so many opportunities to work with some best companies. You need to calm down and think about it.”
“Dad, I don't know anyone there,” Taehyung whispers, hugs himself, “where will I stay, go-”
“I have booked a place,” his father pats his head, “two bedrooms flat. You two can share. Just like you did here?”
Taehyung gapes, and Jungkook lets out a sigh.
“So, you already planned?!” Taehyung shrikes, “you just planned, decided and now telling me-”
“Yes,” Jungkook stands up, already feeling a headache come up, “yes. We planned and now telling you. You are coming. No questions asked. Now go and pack your bags. Right now!”
Taehyung's eyes are wide, he grits his teeth and points a finger at Jungkook, “don't ever rise your voice on me! I am not a brat-”
“Then stop acting like one!” Jungkook takes a step in front of Taehyung, “accept what was chosen for you like you always do and go, pack.”
Jungkook bites back a curse when he sees Taehyung's eyes gloss over. Taehyung sucks in his lower lip into his mouth, blinks furiously and look away.
Jungkook sighs, “are you going to be difficult.”
“Depends,” Taehyung hisses, “are you going to be this rude all the time?”
“Tae,” his father rubs his temple, “just pack, my love. Trust your dad, he will not do anything wrong for you, right?”
Jungkook's fingers twitch. He watches how Taehyung gives in, nods and slowly walks out of the room.
Mr. Kim rises a brow, “be gentle, Kook. He listens better.”
Jungkook nods, “yeah. Just, he angers me,” he looks away, “sorry.”
“No, it's okay,” Mr. Kim holds out a folder, “here's your passport, papers and everything. Make sure to take care of him. He shouldn't feel like he is not home, yeah?”
Jungkook nods, “yeah. Thanks.”
Taehyung holds back his tears the more he thinks of how he left everything on a day's notice to come here in the USA. He watches the city, high-rise buildings and unknown streets. His temple pressed against the glass of the car while he hugs himself.
Jimin promised to stay in touch, but Taehyung does not hold him to it. He is not that important. He was not significant enough to his own father for him to just decide for him and send him miles away like this. With a person who hasn't spoken to him since they left the country.
Taehyung risks a glance at Jungkook, who is looking out through his window. There is a deep frown that stayed there since they left. Jungkook is deep in thought, Taehyung is not sure what he is thinking, but he looks tensed. Taehyung looks back at outside.
The penthouse is ridiculously pricy from the look and the bedrooms are just perfect. Taehyung walks in behind Jungkook and gapes at the rooms.
“Choose which one you want,” Jungkook stands by the door, “I will take the other one.”
Taehyung shrugs, “this one is fine for me.”
Jungkook nods, “fine, I will take the other one then.”
Taehyung follows Jungkook to his bedroom, watching how beautiful that one is too.
“It has a good view,” Taehyung whispers, “wow.”
Jungkook snorts, “if you want, take this one.”
Taehyung shakes his head, “no, I am fine.”
“This place is so good!” Taehyung looks around in awe, “I love it! Did you see the closet? The washroom? Everything here is so gorgeous.”
Jungkook hums, shrugging out of his jacket and looking over to see Taehyung walking out to the living room. He follows Taehyung.
Jungkook follows Taehyung to explore the apartment. He rolls his eyes at the extravaganza of it all. The place has an indoor pool, a personal gym, a gaming room and a theatre. Jungkook watches, bored, how Taehyung skips beats while he points all of that out to him.
“Yeah, you don't need to leave his apartment, ever,” Jungkook rubs his temple, “now, what do you want to eat for dinner?”
Taehyung shrugs, “anything.”
Jungkook stares, “I will order anything and if you refuse, I will shove it down your throat. Just say what you want.”
Taehyung shrugs, “I said, whatever. Leave me alone!”
Jungkook watches Taehyung walk towards the pool, “where are you going?”
“I will take a swim,” Taehyung waves over his head, “see you at dinner.”
Jungkook turns away with a curse, “yeah, whatever.”
In a month or so, Taehyung thinks he settled down pretty well. He joined the cheerleading team here too, just as Jungkook joined the football team.
Things get back to normal. As normal as it can get. As normal as the two of them can get around each other.
Taehyung watches Jungkook usher his date out of his room, kissing her against the door while she leaves, he stands by the door, promising her to attend her party that night.
Taehyung eats his breakfast by the kitchen, made by their cook, and ignores Jungkook when he comes over.
“Where is my breakfast?” Jungkook rounds the counter, searching the plates.
Taehyung arches a brow, “shoving your tongue down her throat didn't fill up your stomach?”
Jungkook looks over at him, deadpans, “be serious, Taehyung.”
Taehyung shrugs, “didn't make you any.”
“I am sorry?” Jungkook comes to stand by the counter.
Taehyung shrugs, “didn't make you any.”
Jungkook stares, jaw tight, “and, why, if I ask, is that?”
Taehyung eats on his bowl of noddle soup, “because the cook is here for me. My dad got him. You can find your own meal.”
Jungkook takes a hold of Taehyung's wrist, stopping him, “listen to me, Taehyung, I don't have time for your bratty attitude when no one asked. The cook is here for the both of us. You don't pull shit like this next time, or else-”
Taehyung arches a brow, “or, else what?”
Jungkook grits his teeth, tugs Taehyung forward, “you will see.”
Taehyung frees himself, goes back to eating, “yeah, yeah. Get out of my face. I don't even know where your hand was, shit, now I have to shower again.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung, “you are so frustrating!”
Taehyung gets up, “well,” he holds his bowl out, “you grew up on my leftovers. Here,” he places it in front of Jungkook, “have some.”
Jungkook sees red. The tone of Taehyung's voice, the way he rolls his eyes and turns to leave, all that makes his blood boil with anger.
Jungkook grabs Taehyung by the elbow and drags him back against himself. Taehyung sucks in a surprised breath and looks at him with wide eyes.
Jungkook throws the bowl on the floor, ignores how it cracks and pieces of glass go everywhere, “listen to me, Taehyung, carefully.”
“You will stop acting like a brat,” Jungkook hisses, “behave yourself and stop using your dad for excuses, yeah?” he holds Taehyung close, “I got myself an internship that starts soon. I will earn for myself, but without your father, you are nothing! Keep that in mind!”
“You will keep this pretty mouth of yours shut and try not to come into my business, is that clear?”
Taehyung glares, “no. I can't get out of your business, when you are all over mine. Mine, or my father's this is still my apartment. You are just staying because I let you.”
“So, behave like the other servants do,” Taehyung holds his head up, “respect me and know your place!”
Jungkook breathes out a laugh, presses Taehyung up against the counter, “otherwise what?” he leans his arms beside Taehyung's hips, “hmm? What will you do? Cry? Complain?”
“What pissed you off?” Jungkook lets his eyes wander over Taehyung's face, “that I got laid and no one pays you attention? Is that it? Baby needs attention?”
Taehyung glares, hands pressing against Jungkook's chest, “oh, trust me. If I want, I can get attention. Trust me-”
“I don't need to lie like you do to gain attention,” Taehyung hisses, “guys and girls are crazy about me. You know that.”
Jungkook snorts, “never saw you bringing someone back here.”
“Because unlike you, I respect the fact that we two live here,” Taehyung glares, “you know?”
“Every day since you broke it all off with Jiwoo in the name of distance, you bring home new faces. Every day they mess up things I keep here. This is my home, Jungkook,” Taehyung curses, “they mess things up. You never tell them not to. I hate coming home to the mess.”
“Towels everywhere around the pool,” Taehyung counts on his finger, “the home theatre messed up. I fear sitting on that couch, I don't know what you did in the pool or in the living room. I don't like how they fuck up the television's setting. All the Netflix suggestions-”
“God, who cares?” Jungkook throws his hands up, “you are acting like your dad didn't hire a bunch of people to take care of everything. Just stop nagging!”
Taehyung closes his mouth, stares after the man, “is that what it looks like I am doing? Nagging?”
Jungkook snorts, “do you hear yourself? Live a little, Taehyung-”
“I am trying to tell you how your dates make me feel like a stranger in my own home and you think it's nagging?” Taehyung lets out a breath, nods, “fine, do whatever. I won't say shit. Fuck you!”
Taehyung side steps the mess on the floor, rushes out of the living room. Jungkook stares after him, looks down at the broken bowl, and turns to the kitchen to make himself something.
He opens the fridge to see a bowl of noodle soup packed for him. Neatly placed with a note.
“𝐼𝑑𝑘 𝑤𝘩𝑒𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑔𝑖𝑟𝑙 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑒, 𝑠𝑜 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑡𝘩𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑔𝑒. 𝐼 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑔𝑜 𝑡𝑜 𝑡𝘩𝑒 𝑢𝑛𝑖 𝑏𝑒𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢, 𝐼 𝑔𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑠. 𝑆𝑒𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑔𝘩𝑡, 𝑎𝑠𝑠𝘩𝑜𝑙𝑒.”
Jungkook reads the note once more…
Jungkook looks up to see Taehyung rush through the living room. His bag strapped on him, art supplies in his hands, and he marches right out of the apartment with a slam of the door.
Jungkook curses, “fuck this!”
He balls up the chit, leaves the soup in the fridge and leaves.
Jungkook comes home to dinner, served right away by the cook. He looks at the other chair and frowns.
“Where is Taehyung?” he asks the maid.
The maid shakes her head, “sir went to sleep. Said he was not hungry.”
Jungkook looks at the closed door of Taehyung's bedroom...
Jungkook gets up, “thanks. You all can leave.”
He takes his plate and with a long breath walks up to the bedroom door. It is open. Jungkook steps inside to see Taehyung by the giant window, lying on his chest and painting something.
Jungkook walks up to him, “hey.”
Taehyung ignores it. Jungkook sits down, watches how the man is drawing the skyline.
“It's pretty,” Jungkook tries.
Taehyung nods, “thank you.”
Jungkook frowns. Taehyung sounds fine. His voice formal, expression calm. He places the plate on the carpet, watches Taehyung.
“You are not going to snap for me to leave?” Jungkook arches a brow.
Taehyung shakes his head, “no.”
Jungkook stares, “and, why is that?”
Taehyung adds a layer on the paint, “because I am trying to teach myself to not get affected by you. Learning to ignore you.”
Jungkook lets out a deep breath, “I am sorry, okay?” he rubs his temple, “I didn't sleep, was hungover and hungry. You said there's no food, and I kind of lost it. I am sorry.”
Taehyung nods, “okay.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung paint, “why aren't you hungry? You know, you can't-”
“I had dinner outside,” Taehyung shrugs, a small smile quirks his lips while he paints, “I am not hungry. Thank you.”
Jungkook watches that smile, watches how Taehyung paints the same place, tracing the line over and over again, “you ate... out. Alone?”
Taehyung blinks, “no.”
“A classmate,” Taehyung smiles, “he dropped paint all over me on his way to the desk and apologized profusely. I had to ask him to stop and to make it up to me, he took me to dinner.”
Jungkook blinks, “I see,” he looks down at his plate, “good. Okay, then. Good night.”
Taehyung nods, goes back to his painting, “good night.”
Jungkook gets up, walks out of the room.
He gets dinner in the dining room, alone.
Jungkook looks at the door of the bedroom, hears the laughter coming from it. It has been a month since that day.
Jungkook opens the door of the bedroom and stops.
There is a canvas right by the floor-to-ceiling window of Taehyung's bedroom and Taehyung and that guy, they both are sitting in front of it on two stools.
Sides touching as they work and giggle between the two of them.
“There is no way you are prettier than this painting!” the guy grins, glasses high on his nose, “look at it! I spent weeks after this one!”
Taehyung has a smile on his lips too, he squirms closer to the guy, looks at the canvas, “Devid, shut up. Concentrate.”
Devid smiles, looks back at the canvas, “you make it hard. You know? Concentrating.”
Jungkook arches a brow, “then maybe you should go home and continue tomorrow when you can pay attention.”
They both jump, looking over their shoulders at Jungkook. Taehyung frowns.
“Jungkook,” Taehyung sighs, “how many times do I have to tell you to knock on my door?”
Jungkook leans against the doorframe, “well, once? You never said anything like that.”
Taehyung looks back at the canvas, “from now on, knock. Leave us alone. We have a project to finish.”
“Is this nerd your partner?” Jungkook asks.
Taehyung looks at him, eyes wide, “can you behave?”
Jungkook looks at the guy, “Devid? I heard?”
Devid nods, “ye-yeah. Hi. I know you. You play football, I must say, you are really great-”
“Thanks,” Jungkook waves his hand.
“Is he going to stay over?” Jungkook asks Taehyung.
Taehyung nods, “yes. I don't know why it's your business, but yeah. He is staying.”
Jungkook stares at Taehyung, “fine, then. Dinner is ready-”
“We ate,” Taehyung looks at the canvas again, “out. Don't worry.”
Jungkook hums, “fine. I have a party to attend. I will be leaving. Take care.”
He walks out of the apartment.
Things fall into a certain pattern. Jungkook parties, goes out, brings home girls from the clubs, cheer team or simply from university.
Taehyung brings home Devid. Both of them spend hours watching movies or simply drawing or talking. Jungkook always notices how close they are.
“What is this?”
Jungkook curses, hand holding his head up, “what is it?”
Taehyung marches inside his bedroom, “Jungkook! What did you do to the living room?! Why is it so messy?! I was gone for just a day!”
Jungkook sighs, “I threw a party. What's wrong?”
Taehyung curses, throws a pillow at Jungkook, “what's wrong?! Look at it, Jungkook! The couch smells of cheap beer. The stains on the pillows! The floor is a mess! What are you doing?!”
Jungkook looks at the pillow, “yeah. I will get in cleaned. Just be in your room for now.”
“No, I won't stay in my room!” Taehyung screams, “the entire place is a mess, Jungkook! I can't believe you allowed a party when I was not home and let this crap happen!”
Jungkook hisses, “can you not shout, my head is hurting!”
“Why?” Taehyung snorts, “did you snort too?!”
Jungkook stops, looks at Taehyung, “you know I don't do drugs.”
“Do I?” Taehyung stomps his foot, “you are taking after your dad so well. Probably caught up on his habit of influences too-”
“Taehyung, shut the fuck up!” Jungkook stands up, thunders, “watch your mouth!”
Taehyung crosses his arms over his chest, “why would I? You keep acting like him! You might want to join him where he is, but-” he stops when Jungkook marches up to him, almost face to face.
Taehyung feels his back hit the door while Jungkook cages him there, “shut the fuck up!”
“No, I won't,” Taehyung holds his chin high, glares at Jungkook, “I won't shut the fuck up because I am not wrong. You keep acting like an ass and my dad didn't rise you to be like this so it probably-”
Jungkook's hand come up slowly, holds Taehyung's chin, “close it, Taehyung.”
Taehyung feels his jaw hurt from where Jungkook holds him, tight, “otherwise,” he speaks, jaw moving barely, “what?”
Jungkook's eyes are blood-shot, his breath smells of beer and probably tequila, “otherwise…” he murmurs, eyes shifting from Taehyung's eyes to his lips.
Taehyung holds his breath, hands pressing against Jungkook's shirt for his fingers to ball up the material in them.
Jungkook steps closer, “where's your nerd?”
Taehyung shrugs, “why?”
“Why aren't you with him?” Jungkook's breath ghosts over his face, “like the losers you are.”
“Well,” Taehyung's palms open to spread over Jungkook's chest, slowly glide over to his shoulder, “at least he comes back to me. Unlike your hookups who never come back because of how disappointing you are-”
Those eyes intensify on Taehyung's face, “is that what you think?”
Jungkook's grip on Taehyung's chin loosens, he cups Taehyung's cheek gently. Taehyung lets his hands glide over to hold Jungkook by his face.
Their lips are soft on each other, unlike their words, their lips feel tender. Jungkook tastes of beer and Taehyung tastes of his gum.
*.·:·.☽✧ ✦ ✧☾.·:·.*
@/RiRiZeeee Thank you so much for this gorgeous moodboard, lovely!
*.·:·.☽✧ ✦ ✧☾.·:·.*
Taehyung gasps into the kiss when Jungkook's tongue nudges his lips, and he parts them to let the man deepen the kiss.
Jungkook grunts, steps closer to press Taehyung up against the door. His hands slide down Taehyung's back to grasp his hips, pulling him flush against Jungkook.
Taehyung feels Jungkook's warm chest pressing against his, and he whimpers into the kiss. The sound is not loud, but apparently it's loud enough to make Jungkook freeze.
Jungkook stills against Taehyung's lips, his hands tightening on Taehyung's hips once before letting him go.
“Jungkook-” Taehyung reaches for Jungkook when Jungkook steps away from him.
Jungkook swats his hand away, shaking his head, “no,” he whispers, eyes round, “no,” he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, “shit! No! No, this-” his face contorts, “this didn't happen!”
Taehyung frowns, tries to take a step ahead, “Jungkook-”
“Don't!” Jungkook snarls, eyes blood-shot, “don't fucking take my name like that!”
“Like what?” Taehyung feels the way his heart squeezes in his chest, “like what?”
“Like...” Jungkook tries, stops, swiftly turns away.
“Like that kiss meant anything,” Jungkook breathes out a laugh, “like you really thought it would lead somewhere. Taehyung, I,” Jungkook combs his hair back from his face, “I am not into guys! Even if I was,” he retreats further, “you would not be it!”
Taehyung steps back too, feels the door behind himself, “you kissed me.”
Jungkook curses, “never say that again! It was a mistake! I am drunk, for fuck's sake!”
Taehyung looks at the man, nods, “right,” he leans against the door, “you are drunk. Let's forget it.”
Taehyung opens the door and leaves the room. He does not cry over it. He goes to the bathroom, runs himself a bath and sits in the bathtub with his knees pulled to his chest.
Taehyung refuses to cry over something Jungkook did. Ever again.
Jungkook watches the two guys kiss at the corner of the room. He sips his beer and stares at them go at it.
“They are dating,” a girl supplies, coming to stand by his side, “you didn't know?”
Jungkook shakes his head, “no. I didn't.”
He looks at the girl, eyes wandering.
She is wearing a mini skirt, the tank-top's neckline is too low. It shows her cleavage perfectly. Jungkook sees the gold chain she wore so tactfully, the pendant nestled between the dip of her cleavage.
His eyes trail up to see the girl caught him looking and is now smirking.
“Nat,” the girl supplies, “I am from UK. An exchange student.”
Jungkook knows he will forget all that by the next morning. He nods, takes the girl's hand and presses a chaste kiss on top of her knuckles.
“Jungkook,” he drawls out, pulls her closer.
The party gets wild as the night passes. Nat is sitting on his lap, straddling him. Jungkook feels her lips, kissing down his throat while she grinds on his lap.
Jungkook holds her waist, squeezes her there to encourage her. She moans, already eager.
“Let's get out of here.”
Jungkook smirks, nuzzles his nose up her neck, “where is the washroom?”
Nat pulls back a little, her eyes gleaming, “is that what I deserve? A quickie in a bathroom stall?”
Jungkook shrugs, “I don't know what else you were expecting from a cheap party like this.”
Nat laughs, drags Jungkook behind herself. Jungkook follows, hands holding her by her hips.
Nat leads him up the stairs and inside a room. She closes the door to press Jungkook up against the hardwood. Jungkook holds her eyes while she starts to unbutton his shirt.
Her lips are moist from the lipgloss she wore. Her kisses are leaving sticky marks all over his chest while she slowly sinks in front of him. Jungkook watches her tug on his belt, those lips curling up to show a smirk.
Jungkook grasps her hair, “quick.”
He wants it quick.
She leans in to unbuckle the belt and then takes the zipper between her teeth. Expertly pulling it down.
Jungkook sighs, feels her breath over his erection. He closes his eyes while he rests his head back against the door.
A shiver runs down his spine.
Taehyung's face splashes across his eyelids as if someone threw a can full of colour on the wall. It spreads and creates the image of those eyes, teary, lips swollen from the kiss. Breath caught in his chest. Hair a mess.
He looked so fine. So, so out of Jungkook's reach.
Jungkook looks down at her and she is tugging his boxer down with her teeth and Jungkook compares.
He stupidly compares how Taehyung would look. Kneeling for him, teeth grasping the waist-band of his boxer.
The thought is so unnerving, he feels nauseous.
Jungkook quickly grasps the jeans and tugs it back up. He ignores how Nat stumbles on her knees, frowns at him.
Jungkook zips himself up, the nausea hitting hard and making his skin crawl. He looks at her once again and feels like bolting.
So he does.
He leaves the party on his bike and reaches home. By the time he is inside, he hears the soft jazz music coming from Taehyung's room.
Taehyung is talking to him. He is behaving like nothing happened. As if they never kissed.
Jungkook is not sure if that's what he wanted.
He walks towards the source of the music and opens the door. Taehyung is painting one of his shirts. He is sitting on the carpet, cross-legged, eyes furrowed with two brushes tucked behind his ear while one works on the white T-shirt. His hair curling up around the hairband.
Taehyung looks up, his glasses perched on top of his nose. His large eyes look larger through them.
Jungkook leans against the door-frame, “how long have you been doing that?”
Taehyung goes back to it, shrugs, “hours. I am not sure.”
Jungkook hums, “did you eat?”
Taehyung sucks the tip of the brush into his mouth, cheeks hollowing, "uhhmm."
Jungkook's eyes flicker to his lips. His eyes trace the way Taehyung's lips pucker to suck around the brush, cheeks hollowing. His jaw ticks, and he is looking back at the T-shirt.
Taehyung pulls the brush out of his mouth, a string of saliva following it from his lips to the tip of the brush until it snaps and Jungkook does too.
“Why the hell are you putting that damn brush into your mouth?” he curses, “you will get paint inside!”
Taehyung blinks, “huh?”
Jungkook glares at him, “you will get paint in your mouth!”
Taehyung shrugs, goes back to his piece, “I got paint in more weird places. Mouth is okay. Anyway, you had something to tell me?”
Jungkook shakes his head, “nothing. Just… good night.”
Taehyung nods, waves him off.
“Oh, by the way,” Taehyung calls after Jungkook, “tomorrow, Elijah will come over, and we need the living room. Don't bring anyone over for party and all, yeah?”
Jungkook looks at Taehyung, “who is Elijah?”
Taehyung frowns at the T-shirt, “he will take my photos.”
Jungkook falters, “your... photo?”
Taehyung nods, chuckles, “he has a body-painting project, and apparently I am the most gorgeous guy he knows. I agreed because he is already doing so much for me.”
Jungkook stares, “what is… what is he doing for you? And what is that?”
Taehyung tilts his head and frowns at the T-shirt, “I am his model. He will draw over my skin and after that he will take some photos. I was not comfortable doing it at the uni, so he will be here. He is modelling for my charcoal sketches of nude models. So, yeah. That's that.”
Jungkook stares, “nude model?”
Taehyung nods, “for my project. Yes.”
“Drawing on skin...?” Jungkook grips the door-knob, “what does that even mean?”
Taehyung sighs, looks at him with a bored expression, “it means, using a person as your canvas. Their skin is your canvas.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung. There is something bubbling inside him. He feels his grip on the door-knob tightening.
Taehyung nods, “good night, Jungkook.”
Jungkook is not sure if the night is considered good when he doesn't sleep a minute.
“Elijah! That tickles!”
Jungkook rubs his eyes, yawning, while he ascends the stairs and inside the living room. He stops dead on his track when he sees the two people inside the room.
There is a white sheet covering the floor and in the middle is a stool where Taehyung sits.
Taehyung is wearing a briefs and nothing else. He sits with his hands behind his back to hold the stool while his legs are parting.
Between his legs, sits a guy, grinning and whispering something while he works on Taehyung's thigh.
Jungkook's jaw snaps closed.
Taehyung giggles, nudges Elijah with his other foot. Jungkook watches how Elijah catches that ankle, tucks it between his arm and body. Makes Taehyung giggle harder.
“TaeTae,” Elijah's voice is mirthful, teasing, “don't squirm. The painting won't come out as I want, then.”
“The brush tickles my thigh, Ijah,” Taehyung laughs, “you are so horrible for this!”
Elijah laughs, shakes his head, “you idiot, stay still before I tie you up.”
Jungkook feels quite alert now. He walks up to the two of them and walks past them to the open kitchen.
Elijah looks over at Jungkook and back at Taehyung, “is that your flatmate?”
Taehyung nods, eyes on Jungkook, “yeah.”
Elijah waves, smiles wide, “hi, dude. I am Elijah. I hope I am not disturbing you.”
Jungkook pours himself a mug of coffee, eyes flicker up to see them.
“No,” Jungkook murmurs, eyes holding Taehyung's eyes, “not at all. Go ahead.”
Jungkook rounds the counter to sit on a stool, his eyes flicker from Elijah to Taehyung, “I am actually interested in seeing you paint him. Please, go ahead.”
Elijah smiles, turns back to Taehyung.
Taehyung's smile dimmed. His eyes are on Jungkook while Jungkook leans back on his elbow over the kitchen counter, sips the coffee and watches him. Jungkook's gaze is heavy, it moves with Elijah's hand, trails over Taehyung's skin with the brush.
It feels like Jungkook's gaze is physically touching him with that brush. Each stroke of that cold paint and tickle of that brush make Taehyung shudder. He looks away from those intense eyes.
“Eyes here, Taehyung,” Jungkook calls, voice controlled, “don't move yourself so much.”
Taehyung's nostrils flair with defiance, but Jungkook arches a brow. That's all it takes for Taehyung to maintain that eye-contact.
He hates how easily he forgets Elijah working on him, how easily anyone is forgettable when Jungkook is looking at him like that. As if...
“Put your foot up on my shoulder, TaeTae,” Elijah squeezes his thigh, smiles at Taehyung, “I need to get to the inner thigh.”
Taehyung nods, jerks his head twice, before he places his feet on Elijah's shoulders. His eyes flicker over to Jungkook and his breath catches.
Jungkook glares. His eyes hold Taehyung captive, and the man practically pulsates with something Taehyung knows as rage. It makes no sense to him, and it makes him frustrated.
Taehyung juts his chin out, with his foot he tickles Elijah's neck, giggles down at him when he curses.
“Tae!” Elijah, turns his face to bite Taehyung on his ankle, “behave!”
Taehyung laughs, squirms on the stool, “I will if you let me catch a break. My spine hurts.”
Elijah sighs, “to be honest, my hands hurt too. How about we take a ten minutes' break?”
Taehyung nods, “great.”
Elijah gets up, tying his curls in a bun, “smoking is allowed?”
“On the balcony,” Taehyung points, “the fire alarms might go off otherwise.”
Elijah nods, pulls out a pack and walks to the balcony. Taehyung watches him close the glass door behind himself and light a stick.
“How long does it take to paint someone?” Jungkook's question makes him look at the man who is walking up to him with a lazy pace now.
Taehyung shrugs, “a few hours. Depends, actually.”
Jungkook comes to stop in front of Taehyung, “depends on how professional the model is?”
Taehyung tilts his head to look up at the man as he sits on the stool, “that, and how skilled the painter is.”
Jungkook hums, takes a sip of his coffee, his eyes wander all over Taehyung, “is he going to help you clean up too?”
Taehyung thinks, “no. I can do it by myself.”
Jungkook nods, eyes finally coming up to match Taehyung's, “I see.”
Taehyung sits, quietly, watching Jungkook watch him.
“If I mess up a few lines,” Jungkook reaches, “he won't mind, right?”
Taehyung's eyes widen, “Jungkook! Don't be an ass! He worked so hard on this one-”
Jungkook reaches to press his thumb over Taehyung's lower lip.
Taehyung chokes on his words, lips parting on their own accord. Jungkook's eyes flicker over to his own thumb. He pushes it further in Taehyung's mouth. Taehyung holds his breath.
“Is he going to paint your face?”
Taehyung shakes his head, “no. He needs the body work.”
Jungkook tuts, “what a shame,” he cups Taehyung's jaw, leans to place the coffee mug on the tea-table and dip his fingers into the red paint.
Taehyung's brows furrow, “what...?”
Jungkook shakes his head, “nothing.”
Jungkook leans closer, so his face is inches away from Taehyung's.
“So, he does not need your pretty face?”
Taehyung shakes his head, eyes going from Jungkook's hand to his face. Jungkook reaches then, cups the side of his face, smears the red paint at the side of his neck.
Taehyung sucks in a long breath, “Jungkook! You piece of shit!”
Jungkook lets his fingers glide into Taehyung's hair, grasps at them to tilt Taehyung's face up.
Taehyung's throat bobs, his eyes on the man who smirks at him.
“Look at you,” Jungkook murmurs...
Taehyung hisses, “look at what?! What do you want?”
Jungkook's jaw hardens, “I want,” he stops himself, “I want...” his eyes roam over Taehyung's face, down to that red paint over his throat and at the side of his face, “I want to know who he is to you.”
“He can be my anyone, how is that your business?!” Taehyung grips Jungkook's wrist with both of his hands, “you are no one to ask me this!”
Jungkook knows that. He knows that he has no right, and that thought in itself infuriates him.
He has no right over Taehyung.
If he had a right, he would either drag Taehyung out of this damn room or pour that red paint all over him and spread it on Taehyung with his bare hands. Feel that smooth skin under his fingertips. Watch the red spread over the tanned skin.
Jungkook has no right.
He has no right, and he hates himself when that thought angers him further.
He feels Taehyung's hands clutching him by his biceps. His hands leaving traces of paint on Jungkook. Jungkook presses closer, as if he can't control himself.
“Don't let him touch you.”
The words come off as an order and Taehyung laughs. Right on his face.
“Fuck you,” Taehyung glares at Jungkook, “fuck you, seriously. Why do you think I have to listen to whatever the crap you are saying-”
Jungkook grits his teeth, “Tae, keep it professional!”
“I will do whatever I want, Jungkook,” Taehyung shoves him away, glares, “if I want, I will invite him to shower with me and help me get rid of the paint. If I want, I will let him have me right on this damn floor. You get to say nothing! Yeah? Back off! You are not my dad!”
Jungkook opens his mouth to say something, but Elijah walks inside the living room, eyes going from Jungkook to Taehyung.
“Is everything okay?”
Taehyung looks over at Elijah, his glare shifting to something pleasant, “yeah. He was just teasing me. Got paint over my face!”
Jungkook curses, looks at Elijah and back at Taehyung who is already looking away from him.
Jungkook shakes his head, “I will be leaving for college. Be careful.”
Taehyung huffs out a laugh, “yeah, yeah, dad. No worries.”
Elijah smiles, looking between the two of them, “uhh…”
Jungkook walks back to his room, slams the door behind him.
“Is everything alright?” Elijah asks, kneeling by Taehyung, “with him and you?”
Taehyung shrugs, “yeah. He is just...” he is not sure what Jungkook is being right now, “overprotective.”
Elijah picks up the brushes, “hey, if I had a friend like you, I would be overprotective too, you know?”
Taehyung looks at the paint over his skin, saying nothing. He is not sure what he wants to say.
He is not sure how to tell Elijah that it breaks him. That every time Jungkook acts so protective, he feels that familiar flutter in his chest and the next moment it bursts, explodes inside his heart and a chunk of his heart falls apart. Taehyung is not sure how to verbalize it.
Taehyung blinks, tries hard not to think about it. Elijah is still speaking, saying something about how much it probably means to Taehyung that he has someone who looks after him that much.
“I wish he didn't,” Taehyung blurts out, the blue paint on his skin glistens…
“It would be easy to just hate him blindly,” Taehyung murmurs, smiles when Elijah merges the edge of the blue paint with grey, “it would be easy to stick to the thought that I hate him. With everything in me. You know?”
Elijah stops, looks up at him, “Tae...” his face softens.
Taehyung snorts, “you know, he is straight. Even if he wasn't, the chances of him feeling anything for the likes of me, is almost zero. I keep telling myself that. I keep telling myself that I deserve better too. He is just my habit. I have been around him for quite a long time.”
“I will get over it, yeah?” Taehyung finally gathers the courage to look Elijah in the eyes.
Elijah has a rueful smile on his face, he nods, “yes. You will get over it. Habits fade with time, Tae. People grow out of them. If he is a bad habit, then you will grow out of it.”
Jungkook is the most terrible habit to Taehyung. He sighs, nods to Elijah and goes back to talking about the paint. He prays and hopes that he grows out of whatever this feeling is.
Jungkook will never feel the same and that is all Taehyung needs to remind himself.
Jungkook curses when his ball misses the goal again. He looks at the post and hears how the other team's cheerleaders start to cheer louder.
The jersey sticks to his skin, the score board is glaring at him. His teammates are just as frustrated as he is feeling.
“Come on, Kook!” Jeremy shouts, “if we win this, I will set you up with Leila.”
His teammates laugh. A little something between the stressful hours. Jungkook looks at the girl in question. She is a new recruit in the cheerleading team. Right beside Taehyung.
Jungkook's eyes skid over to Taehyung. Taehyung is looking at someone, his lower lip sucked into his mouth. His curls flop all over his face while he bounces on his heels. The pompoms jiggle in his hands. Jungkook watches how Taehyung smiles shyly at someone in the audience.
David and Elijah sit in the audience. Both of them waving enthusiastically over at Taehyung. Jungkook watches how they have a few girls with them too. All of them whistling but for Taehyung. Taehyung looks shy, he turns his eyes on the match, following Jeremy with his eyes.
Jungkook looks over at the audience to see Elijah and David are making kissing faces at Taehyung and Jeremy. Jungkook frowns, looking back at Taehyung, who is now glaring at his friends.
Jeremy is openly bisexual. He is a member of their LGBTQ club and quite popular in college.
Jeremy runs past Jungkook, “come on, kook! Where are you looking?”
Jungkook shrugs, following the captain to make the next goal. By the time the match ends, they win with only one goal ahead of the opponent team. Their coach is not happy, neither are they but, oh, well.
Jungkook takes the towel Leila offers him, smiles at her when she stands by his side while he wipes his face off the sweat.
Jungkook looks over to see Jeremy walking over to Taehyung. He stops, watches how Taehyung smiles at the man, holds out his water bottle for him.
“I think you are my lucky charm, Tae,” Jeremy smiles, open and wide, “before the winning goal, I looked at you. Did you see?”
Taehyung fumbles for words. Clearly out of depth. He nods, smiles down at his hands, says something Jungkook cannot hear from where he is.
“Hey, guys!” Jeremy looks over his shoulder at his teammates, “party tonight at my place. Don't forget.”
Jungkook ignores the hollers and cheers. He looks back at Leila, who is looking at him still.
“Want to go to the party with me?” she asks, voice suggestive, “kook?”
Jungkook nods, “I will pick you up.”
Jeremy smiles at Taehyung, “after the party, you can stay at mine. I heard you like paintings. I tried my hands on it, I am not good, but hope you like it?”
Taehyung blinks, “you... tried it because I like it?”
Jeremy blushes, “yeah?”
Taehyung smiles, nods, “okay. I will think about it.”
“Awesome,” Jeremy reaches out to ruffle Taehyung's hair, “see you tonight, pretty boy.”
Taehyung feels his face heat up at the endearment, and he bites down on his lower lip to stop the wide smile that spreads on his lips.
“Oh, god, you two are already hitting it off!” Elijah comes running to him, followed by David, Sana and Cristina, all of them take the art class together.
“You are such a great matchmaker, I swear,” Cristina laughs, “Tae, Jeremy sounded so whipped already! Damn!”
Taehyung rolls his eyes, “shut up, guys. He was just being nice!”
“Oh, please,” David nudges him, “watch him ask you out tonight. I am betting my next pay cheque on it!”
“Your pay cheque is a few bucks,” Sana deadpans, “you literally borrowed money from me this morning!”
Taehyung smiles with them. There is a certain comfort that engulfs him whenever he is with these four. They all come from rich families. They don't envy Taehyung or in any way try to use him for his status. There is a certain understanding that floods in the group he found.
He looks over at Jungkook to see him talking to his friends. All of them huddled together with the other cheerleaders. Jungkook's arm is casually draped around Leila's waist.
Sana entangles her fingers with Taehyung's and gives his palm a soft squeeze. Taehyung squeezes back.
“Wear something slutty!”
Taehyung blinks at the phone, “what the hell!”
Cristina laughs, “Tae, just show yourself, yeah? People need to know what a hotty you are!”
Taehyung looks at his wardrobe, “it is just a stupid college party. I am not dressing up like a doll!”
“Yes, be stupid and wear something slutty,” David whines, “I can't be the only one wearing shorts. Come on! Show that damn ass off! Wear something short and slutty!”
Taehyung giggles, “can all of you shut up! I am trying to be normal here!”
“Normal is boring,” Sana pipes in.
“I just wore the tightest jeans, and now I am not sure if I feel my legs or not,” Elijah sighs, “if after this the guys don't want to bend me over, I quit!”
Taehyung bursts out laughing, “okay, that's gross. Help me, what do I wear?”
“Show us,” Sana urges, “let me choose!”
Sana chooses a jean-shorts that ends by his upper thighs. Taehyung is not even sure when he bought it. Over it, he wears a white, tank top with spaghetti straps. He tops it off with a jacket to hide how much skin the top shows off.
“I am done,” he nods at his friends on screen.
“Do some makeup!” Cristina hollers over the phone, hopping on one foot to push her leg through her jeans, “add some volume to your lips. Wear lipstick!”
“No!” Taehyung shakes his head, “the gloss is just fine!”
“Yes! That works too! Fuckable mouth!” David giggles, “perfect!”
“I regret talking to you people!” Taehyung fails to hide his smile and cuts the call when he is done.
They will meet at the party anyway. Taehyung looks at himself while spraying some perfume before he walks out of the room.
Jungkook is waiting in the living room for him.
Taehyung stops by the stairs, looks down at the man, who is busy playing something on his phone.
Jungkook is wearing his Harley-Davidson jacket, his hair pulled up in a ponytail. He is tapping his boot on the carpet, impatient. Taehyung grips the railing, inhaling deeply...
He is not wearing his shoes, as they are by the door in two racks. Taehyung softly pads down the steps. Jungkook looks up when he feels eyes on him and stops. The screen's light reflects on his face, the game not on pause.
Taehyung holds that gaze, not sure where else to look.
Jungkook's eyes slowly wander. They drag down Taehyung's figure and then flicker up to his face. Jungkook's brows furrow. Jaw ticking. He locks his phone, shoves in into his pocket.
Taehyung notices the gloves Jungkook is wearing, so he is taking his bike. He sighs.
“I just did my hair,” Taehyung touches his electric blue hair, “I am not wearing a damn helmet. You go ahead. I will get the car-”
“No,” Jungkook murmurs, “you are coming with me.”
Taehyung steps onto the last step of the staircase and watches Jungkook, “I am not.”
Taehyung grips the railing, “how are you going to take us there? Aren't you supposed to pick your girl up?”
Jungkook shrugs, “will tell her to meet me there. You are coming with me.”
Taehyung gives a tired sigh, “I am not. You just go ahead. I will call up the car, Jungkook.”
Jungkook's tongue pokes the inside of his cheek, “let's not make it difficult, Tae-”
“No, I am not,” Taehyung crosses his ankles, rolling his eyes, “listen, I will stay over at Jeremy's anyway. I will take my car. That way tomorrow I will have a ride back home, yeah?”
The lights shine over Jungkook. Giving his face sharp edges. His ponytail reveals his forehead, the crewcut hairstyle making his face structure profound for the eyes. Jungkook frowns, it creases his forehead, deepens, while he steps up to Taehyung.
“What did you say?”
Taehyung glares, “what you just heard!”
Jungkook hovers over him, both of them are of the same height, but Taehyung still feels like Jungkook is somehow towering over him by the way he glares at him.
“You are not saying over anywhere,” Jungkook grits out, “am I clear?”
“You are clear and so am I,” Taehyung juts his chin out, “I will do what I please, and you cannot stop me!”
Jungkook reaches out then, his arm sneaking around Taehyung's waist to jerk him forward, “do you even know what staying over at his place means?!”
The jacket presses against Taehyung's tank-top. His hands instinctively hands on Jungkook's chest, while he feels Jungkook's hand go under his jacket to hold him under his tank-top. The warmth of Jungkook's palm spreads over Taehyung's skin, rising goosebumps on his skin…
“Fuck, your damn top is flimsy!” Jungkook hisses against Taehyung's face, “what the fuck are you doing?!”
Taehyung looks at those burning eyes, “trying to get laid!”
The blunt tips of Jungkook's fingers dig into his flesh as a silent warning, “careful!”
“Yeah, I got protection,” Taehyung shrugs, “thanks, dad, for reminding me to be careful.”
He shoves Jungkook's chest, trying to get out of his grip.
Jungkook does not budge an inch, his hold on Taehyung tightens, “got a mouth on you, I see.”
Taehyung glares, “let go!”
Jungkook looks down between them, “can't believe you think Jeremy deserves this.”
“Can't believe you think I care about your opinion on my partners-” Taehyung stomps down on Jungkook's boot.
Jungkook snorts, “fucks. Not partners. You aren't dating him. Those are hookups.”
“Yeah, you would know,” Taehyung shrugs, feigning nonchalance, “a manwh0re like you would know better. Of course.”
Jungkook stills, his eyes flicker up to meet Taehyung's and Taehyung holds that gaze. His breath caught in his chest.
“What did you just call me?” Jungkook asks.
“What you just heard!” Taehyung glares, hisses under his breath, “what you are. I just called you what you are!”
Jungkook's jaw ticks, “every time,” his voice comes out icy, controlled but raging at the same time, “every time I try to act civil, you have to open your big mouth!”
“This is you being civil?!” Taehyung feels Jungkook's grip on his hip tightening, “if this is your civil, then I feel terribly bad for all your girls who date you or let you fuck them because this is some caveman shit! Get over yourself, Jungkook. You are what I called you!”
“You go around seeking validation from everyone who would give you that because you know you don't deserve an ounce of it!” Taehyung pushes Jungkook with all his might, “you try to control me because your own life is not under your control. This is a sick game of yours!”
“I represent everything you are not, you can't have,” Taehyung screams, “that's why you are always trying to keep me under your control so in some way, you feel like you are better than me. The things I represent. You are sick, and I feel disgusted by looking at you! I hate you!”
“You make me feel pathetic, your entire existence is pathetic,” Taehyung picks up the cushion from the couch and throws it at Jungkook, “you got no one by your side and your partners keep changing because, come on, who would say with you for more than one fuck?! Huh?”
Taehyung flinches when Jungkook marches forward, grabs him by his elbow and pulls him back to his chest.
“Are you fucking done?!” Jungkook grits out, “or you got more to say?!”
Taehyung grips the jacket's collar, “I got more to say. It's, fuck you, Jungkook. I hate you!”
Jungkook's lips curl up in a sinister smirk, “no, you don't hate me. You just want me to fuck you instead,” his lips hover over Taehyung's face, “do you think I don't notice? How you look at me? How you look at my hookups? You wish it was you instead. No? You brat?”
“Is that it, Tae? You want me to fuck you?” Jungkook holds Taehyung with both of his hands now, palms cupping Taehyung's hips, the fingers massaging the arch of Taehyung's spine, “you want me to bend you over instead of those girls. You want me. Don't you?”
“You want me so bad, you are so desperate that you are frustrated,” Jungkook gives a laugh, short and breathy, “you are desperate and frustrated. I feel pity for you. To be this desperate for attention. To go out of your way to wear shit that doesn't suit you. To look so cheap…”
Taehyung feels the sting of those words. He looks away, turning his face away from those cruel words.
“Cheap or not, I dressed up for Jeremy and myself, not you,” Taehyung blinks rapidly, trying to hold himself up, “your opinions mean shit to me.”
Jungkook snorts, “is that so?”
“Then I hope he fucks you good,” Jungkook's lips press over Taehyung's ear, “because that's the cheapskate you deserve anyway.”
Jungkook frees Taehyung, “as you wish, go to the party on your own. I don't want to be seen with you anyway. Believe it or not, you disgust me too.”
Jungkook takes a once-over, makes a face and turns to leave.
Taehyung lets Jungkook leave first, and then he tilts his head up, inhales through his mouth because his nose feels clogged, just like his eyes. He fixes his attire and calls the driver before leaving the house.
Jeremy's hands are on Taehyung's ass, they are almost grinding on each other. Jungkook watches how Taehyung smiles, dips his head whenever Jeremy says something in his ear. They are dancing on every song that plays.
Jungkook is painfully sober. He doesn't feel like drinking.
Leila sits on his lap, grinding down on every chance she gets. Jungkook rests his arm over the armrest of the couch, the other arm casually holding Leila to him.
His eyes are focused on Taehyung over Leila's shoulder from where they sit. The party is too loud around them.
Taehyung's fingers are long, they slowly trail over Jeremy's neck to his hair by his nape. Those fingers curl to hold Jeremy's hair between them. Jeremy leans, lips pressing at the corner of Taehyung's lips, he is saying something.
Jungkook's nails dig into the armrest.
Jungkook watches it as if in slow motion. How Taehyung turns his head a little and Jeremy pulls him in. Jeremy is gentle, so, so careful, as if Taehyung might break otherwise.
He is too tall, almost six feet. So, it should be a struggle, but they both somehow make it work.
Their lips capture each other is a soft kiss. It is unbearably soft the way Jeremy kisses Taehyung and Jungkook watches. Taehyung's eyes flutter closed, his grip on Jeremy's hair tightening with the motion.
Jungkook feels the kiss in his bones. It feels ugly. It feels painful.
Jungkook tries to look away, tries not to intrude because, he knows, that's a private moment. He knows Jeremy cares because of the way he holds Taehyung, and he knows Taehyung is enjoying himself if the kiss is anything to go by. He knows he has no right to feel the way he feels.
Jeremy pulls back to give Taehyung a small smile. Taehyung blushes, looking a little lost. Jungkook watches Jeremy lean in to press his lips over Taehyung's once more and say something. To which Taehyung agrees with a nod, and Jeremy holds Taehyung's hand, leading him away.
Jungkook watches Taehyung follow Jeremy with his hands intertwined with the captain's. Jungkook holds his breath when Taehyung looks over his shoulder.
The loud music dims in his ears for that fraction of seconds because Taehyung looks back at him and Jungkook feels that gaze.
Taehyung's eyes have always been large. Too large on his face according to Jungkook. They hold so much, show just as much. They shift now, move from Jungkook to Leila and Jungkook sees the way they try to remember that image of Leila on Jungkook's lap before Taehyung turns away.
Taehyung is not sure what he is doing. There is hurt and anger that lead him to follow Jeremy, but he is not sure what he wants. He lets Jeremy push him up against a wall, his hands grasp Jeremy's shirt, eyes squeezing shut.
Hooking up. That should be fine. He thinks.
He should explore such things. He should enjoy such things, and Taehyung might, if he gives it some time. This will be good like those books say or his friends do. He thinks to himself while Jeremy pushes his jacket off his one shoulder, burying his face there to kiss his throat.
“Want to take this upstairs, doll?” Jeremy murmurs against his skin, “shit, I can show you some good time, babe. Fuck you so good.”
Taehyung shivers, skin breaking with goosebumps, “ye-yeah,” he forces the words out of his lips, “yeah, okay.”
He wants to feel worthy tonight.
He wants to feel wanted. He wants for someone to tell him he is beautiful. He is needed. He wants to hear someone tell him he is important.
Taehyung feels the hurt melt into tears when he thinks that 'someone' is not Jeremy. He does not want Jeremy's approval. He never did.
“Am I pretty?” Taehyung wonders, whispers, while he feels Jeremy rut against him.
“So fucking pretty, baby,” Jeremy moans, “want to have you on your hand and knees right here.”
It is not the pretty he wants to be. This is not the pretty he wants, but he might deserve just this.
Maybe that is what wrong with him. He wants those Victorian shits that this world is too fast-paced to want. He wants those hand holdings, those soft kisses, long drives, picnic dates. He wants those flowers, chocolates, gifts, someone to tell him he is worth it. All of it.
“Get off of him.”
Taehyung blinks, feels the tears rolling down his cheeks. He wipes them hurriedly and straightens when Jeremy is wrenched away from him. He feels exposed now that Jeremy is off of him. Everyone is looking over at them, him. He looks at the source of the voice.
“What the hell, dude?!” Jeremy tries to laugh, anger clear in his eyes, “we were just making out!”
“If, while making out, your partner starts crying, it should alarm you,” Jungkook states matter-of-factly, “or, were you too far gone to notice he is not feeling good?”
Jungkook takes Taehyung's hand in his, “let's go home.”
Taehyung stumbles, his eyes on Jeremy and back on Jungkook, “Jungkook…”
Jeremy comes to stand in front of Jungkook, “listen, man, don't come between this, okay?! He is fucking mine tonight!”
Jungkook's jaw ticks, “get out of my way before I make sure you don't get laid for any upcoming nights.”
Taehyung grips Jungkook's forearm, “don't.”
Jungkook's eyes travel to him, he stares. His shoulders tensed and so is his jaw. Taehyung holds that glare, shakes his head.
“Excuse me,” Taehyung frees himself from Jungkook's clutch and looks at Jeremy, “first of all, we were making out, and I never said it will go further. Second of all, I am yours tonight? What am I? An object?” Taehyung waves his hand at the guy, “fuck off, loser.”
He looks at the people who are looking at them, “there's no drama here, mind your business.”
The others look away, embarrassed, the party resuming. Taehyung can see his friends coming over to stand beside him, frowning at Jeremy.
“But, Tae, you agreed to come with me!” Jeremy tries again, reaching out for Taehyung.
“Dude, back off!” Elijah hisses, closing in beside Taehyung, “he said it was just makeout!”
“God, you realize you sound desperate, right?” Cristina makes a face, “fuck off!”
Taehyung looks at Jungkook, “you too. I don't need your protection, I got,” he gulps, “I got my friends here. I will be fine. Enjoy your time. You don't have to ruin your night for me.”
David hums, “yeah, bro. He got us. We will be with him. No worries.”
Sana hums, “we got it.”
“We thought he was enjoying, so we left him alone,” Elijah crosses his arms over his chest, “but, apparently captain here doesn't know how to behave like a human being. Anyway, go and find someone else.”
Taehyung looks at Jungkook, “leave me alone. Please.”
Jungkook nods, once.
“Fine,” Jungkook looks at Jeremy and then back at Taehyung, “whatever you say.”
Taehyung watches Jungkook go and sit down on the couch, Leila wrapping herself around him right away. He looks away, watches how Jeremy scurry away, he sighs.
“Tae,” Sana murmurs, “are you okay?”
Taehyung nods, looks at them with a thankful smile, “can we all dance? I kind of liked dancing.”
They all share a look and laugh, nodding and gesturing for Taehyung to lead the way. It is chaotic. David is terrible at dancing, he twerks through the song. Elijah and Sana pair up.
Cristina and Taehyung dance together. They are silly, Taehyung stops to take off his shoes at some point. They all fall over each other, giggle at their random moves that don't even match the beat. Taehyung finds himself laughing more than he did for months. It feels... good.
“Yes! Tae! Shake that ass!” Elijah laughs, whistles, laughing heartily while Taehyung tries to follow Sana.
“I am sure everyone is thinking we are a bunch of weirdos,” David chortles, looking around, “damn, we don't fit in.”
Taehyung likes that. He is tired of fitting in.
Taehyung shakes his head every time someone offers him some drink. By the time he leaves the dance floor, he is exhausted. He tells his friends he is going outside for some fresh air and realizes he lost his shoes. With a curse, he walks outside on bare feet, snorting to himself.
Taehyung wraps his arms around himself, toes curling when he feels the pavement under his feet. With a sigh, he goes to lean against the light post, watching the sky darken with clouds. It might rain soon.
He hears the door close behind him and looks over his shoulder.
Jungkook has a cigarette hanging from his lips, the lighter cupped in front of it as if he was about to light it.
Jungkook saw him too. He stopped by the door and Taehyung is looking at him now. Taehyung looks away first, hears the sound of click. Jungkook lights the cigarette.
Jungkook comes to stand beside him, “where are your shoes now?”
Taehyung hugs himself tightly, eyes on the clouds that slowly hides the moon behind them, “lost them.”
Jungkook lets out a cloud of smoke, “from your feet?”
Taehyung hums, “yeah.”
“Waiting for your prince charming to get it for you, Cinderella?” Jungkook puffs his cheek, inhaling the smoke.
Taehyung sighs, “I don't have my prince charming, and I am not Cinderella.”
“Right,” Jungkook leans on the next lamp post, “you are a prince yourself.”
Taehyung does not answer. He is not sure if Jungkook wants an answer to that. He lets the guy smoke in peace while he watches the moon play hide and seek with him.
“Here. You are giving me chills.”
Taehyung frowns, looks over to see Jungkook getting out of his boots, “huh?”
“It's okay, I don't need your shoes!” Taehyung frowns, shaking his head.
Jungkook looks at him, bored, “your immunity is shit! You will catch a cold and miss classes, and then I have to bring you notes. Just wear the damn shoes, Taehyung.”
“I said, I am fine!” Taehyung hisses.
Jungkook gives him a long stare and then takes those two steps to reach Taehyung. He kneels, grabs Taehyung's foot and pushes it inside his boot.
Taehyung grasps the lamp-post, almost falling over, “Jungkook! I said, I am fine!”
Jungkook ignores, tying the laces, “I heard.”
Jungkook curses when Taehyung takes his foot away, curling it backwards. Jungkook grabs it, plants it on his knee and holds it there.
Taehyung watches, how the cigarette burns and Jungkook holds it between his lips while his hands work to tie the shoes on his feet.
Jungkook stands up when he is done, looks at Taehyung. His eyes wander all over Taehyung, and then he holds his hand out.
“Give me your jacket,” he murmurs, “come on.”
Taehyung takes it off, confused, he hands it over to Jungkook. Jungkook shrugs out of his plush jacket.
He drapes it over Taehyung's shoulders and wears the flimsy jacket himself.
“Button it up, your tank-top is making me freeze,” Jungkook takes the cigarette between his fingers, “and, I will wait here. Just go inside, enjoy the party, and come back when you are ready to leave.”
“Where is Leila?” Taehyung wonders, ignores how Jungkook's jacket feels so warm and smells so much of Jungkook.
Jungkook taps the cigarette, letting the ash float away with the wind, “inside.”
Taehyung frowns, looks over at the door, “how... three people on a bike... what?”
Jungkook looks at him, gives him a deadpanned look, “just you and me, Tae. I am not feeling like anything tonight. I want to go home and rest.”
Taehyung hesitates, looks away, “I will go with my friends. We,” he plays with the hem of the jacket, “are going for a long drive.”
“I will take you to a long drive,” Jungkook murmurs, the cigarette moves between his lips, “I will buy you that damn strawberry ice-cream you love so much. I will take you down to that stupid park you wanted to visit at midnight for no reason but to freeze our balls off. Yeah?”
Taehyung blinks, lower lip sucked inside his mouth, “I... why?”
Jungkook reaches, thumb pressing under Taehyung's lip, to pull it out of Taehyung's mouth with a pop. His thumb caresses Taehyung's lower lip, eyes following his thumb while Taehyung holds his breath.
“Because,” Jungkook murmurs, voice heavy, “let's,” he takes a step towards Taehyung, hand cupping the side of Taehyung's face, “make you forget how Jeremy's kisses taste like before we go home.”
Taehyung grips Jungkook's wrist, “stop talking! Now!”
“No, you don't get to say shit like that when I can't even count how many girls your mouth tastes like!” Taehyung pushes Jungkook's hand away, “no. You don't get to sugar-coat your bullshit to me. No. You are-”
“I am sorry.”
Taehyung freezes. Goes quiet. His muscles locking.
“Huh?” Taehyung breathes out.
Jungkook takes the last step to stand right in front of Taehyung, “I am sorry,” he turns to face the street, combs his fingers through his tied hair, messing it up, “fuck, I am sorry for the way I treated you. I just... this is not easy, okay?”
“What's not easy?” Taehyung wonders.
“You are a guy!” Jungkook throws the cigarette on the pavement, steps on it, “you are a fucking guy and the things I feel, they,” he rubs his face with both of his hands, “the things you make me feel… it's… they don't come naturally to me.”
“It is scary as fuck,” Jungkook shoves his hands into his pocket, face contorting, he refuses to look at Taehyung, “the intense feeling you awaken in me, I always try to swivel it towards anger. Anger is so easy to deal with. A few hateful words, curses, hurting each other +”
“I can swipe it all under the rug by saying I was angry and that's that. But,” Jungkook shakes his head, as if words are failing him, he inhales deeply, “it gets harder. It is getting harder. Seeing you hurt and hurting you is getting harder. I know, I am being an asshole and...”
“I know you owe me nothing. Surely not your forgiveness, and I don't seek it. I don't seek your forgiveness. I just... I want to be honest with you because lying and trying to cover it up is not helping at all. I am in no delusion that there's anything possible between us.”
“I am not sure if I will ever be able to accept myself, my this side,” he frowns down at the pavement, “openly. I am not sure. But, I am sure you deserve better, and surely not a guy who is terrified of even naming his sexuality. I am not asking anything of you, Taehyung.”
“Tonight, I saw you enjoying yourself and I want that,” Jungkook closes his eyes, “I want you to be that person. That self-sufficient, happy person, and I know I am one of the reasons you are not happy. I just had the realization that I am one of the reason you are not happy.”
“And, I had to apologize, because,” Jungkook lets out a short laugh, “no one knows what's in store for us in the future, yeah? One day you might wake up to me gone. I don't want your last impression of me to be just that. A person who only hurt you. Over and over again.”
The message in his phone feels heavy somehow. His skin burns where the phone presses against his thigh. Jungkook ignores it. Tries hard to say everything before the night ends because... he might never get the chance again. Never get to see Taehyung again.
“𝐼 𝑔𝑜𝑡 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑗𝑎𝑖𝑙, 𝑘𝑜𝑜𝑘. 𝐼 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝘩 𝑡𝘩𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑜𝑛. 𝐷𝑜𝑛'𝑡 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑟𝑦, 𝐼 𝘩𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡𝘩𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑑. 𝑊𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝘩𝑖𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝘩𝑖𝑛𝑑.”
Jungkook looks at the moon, “I am sorry. For everything.”
Jungkook turns to face Taehyung, desperate, he only has a few hours, “forgive me? One day? Some day?” his vision blurs, “shit, just tell me one day you will think of me and not-” his voice chokes, “just tell me you will think of forgiving me. One day. Please?”
“Where are you going?” Taehyung wonders, voice wavering, “why are you talking like this is the last time we will see each other.”
𝐵𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑒 𝑖𝑡 𝑖𝑠.
Jungkook takes Taehyung's hands in his, “I just... I just wanted you to know... you are not worthless, Tae. Never.”
“I made you feel like that because I kept questioning myself, my worth and I lost the vision of your struggles. I am sorry,” Jungkook shakes his head, “you don't have to settle for shitheads like me or Jeremy. You…” Jungkook feels his chest burn, “you are so much more.”
“Someone will come along,” he can't help himself but cup Taehyung's face, do what his heart wanted to do for so long, “someone will come along to take you on those museum dates. Jazz nights. Someone will take you on your long drives, make you your mixtapes like the old times.”
“Someone will come along who would know your worth and have the guts to pay that price to be with you because you deserve that. I hope you wait. I know the things you want and I kept hiding you from these people while being an ass. I should have been honest. Tell you everything.”
“I knew what you want, and I knew these hookups, bars, and clubs are not your type. I knew you were trying to fit in like those fairytales where you are told to cut off your toes to fit your feet into that damn shoe. You don't have to, Tae. With the right one, you don't have to.”
“I wish I told you this, instead of forcing you to stay away from them. I wish I could tell you, but I knew there was time. I knew I got so much time-”
“Why is there no time?” Taehyung grasps Jungkook's shirt, “where are you going? What is happening? Tell me!”
Taehyung feels the blinding fear engulf him. He grasps Jungkook's shirt, jerking him forward.
“Don't let me wake up to you gone! Don't play this twisted game with me! Tell me! If you really care, fucking tell me what's going on! Tell me why you are suddenly saying all this!”
“I am leaving,” Jungkook murmurs, refuses to meet Taehyung's eyes, “by tomorrow this time, I will be gone.”
Taehyung feels the bubble bursts, dropping him right on the ground, scraped, scarred, in pain. He sucks in a breath, frowns, holds Jungkook closer.
“My dad is free from jail, early, based on his record, they let him go a few months early,” Jungkook murmurs, “he is coming here. I am to leave with him. Leave all of this behind. Go wherever he wants to take me. I can't say no. Your father dropped my allowance, too.”
Jungkook finally matches Taehyung's eyes, feels the way tears sting his eyes. Feels the way his heart lurches in his chest. It hurts. Not just his chest. His entire body hurts.
“We might never meet again, Tae,” Jungkook breathes out a short laugh, “shit, that's...”
Taehyung shakes his head, “you are lying. You are making all this up to hurt me more! You are just lying and trying to make me go with you so you can-” he stops when a tear rolls down Jungkook's cheek, Taehyung never saw Jungkook cry, “J-Jungkook. Say, you are lying.”
Jungkook matches his eyes, tears brim in them, “don't fucking forget me.”
Taehyung grips Jungkook, stepping up to him, “don't fucking lie to me! Don't fucking leave! What are you saying? Where will you go? I don't know, let me call dad and-”
Jungkook bursts out crying, holds Taehyung in his arms in a bone-crushing hug. Taehyung goes still, his breath caught in his chest. He hears how Jungkook's heart runs so fast. He hears the sobs Jungkook tries to bury against his hair, he feels how Jungkook trembles against him.
“Ju-Jungkook...?” Taehyung murmurs, chokes out, “don't...”
Jungkook whimpers, “don't forget me. Don't you dare forget me. Because, I won't. No matter how bad the memories I left for you, even to curse me, even to say I am the worst, remember me. Yeah? Don't forget me, Tae.”
Jungkook thinks of telling Taehyung about his father, but then he stops himself. He will not be here after tonight. He doesn't want to break Taehyung and then leave him all alone with the person he calls his dad now. He can't snatch away everything just to be honest.
“The good thing is,” Jungkook whispers, “Bogum is on his way. He will be here to stay with you. He will take up my room-” the thought leaves a bitter taste in his mouth, “and, you will not be alone. I am not leaving you alone.”
Taehyung looks at Jungkook, puzzled.
“I don't know what you are saying,” Taehyung pulls away from Jungkook, hugs himself, “I don't know what- where will you go? Where is your dad taking you?! What do you mean, we will never see each other again?”
Jungkook stares at that face, trying to memorize Taehyung.
He wipes his eyes, takes a hold of Taehyung's hands, “I don't know any of that. I didn't ask. I frankly don't care anymore, just,” he squeezes Taehyung's hands in his, “if this is the last time we are seeing each other, please let's not waste the time crying and standing here.”
Taehyung's eyes are swimming with tears, “how can you just accept it? How can you just agree with your dad just because he said it? If you really cared then you won't just leave like this. You just don't care. You just never cared!”
Jungkook feels the ache in his heart.
He holds Taehyung closer, “you think I don't care?”
Taehyung looks away, wiping his eyes, “if you did, this is not how you will act. Just say you are dying to get away. Just say that I am not worth the fight. Feelings, you feel nothing for me, Jungkook. You don't.”
Jungkook's arms tighten around Taehyung, and it feels… right. Holding Taehyung between his arms, his palms spreading over Taehyung's hips, his breath fanning Jungkook's jaw, their heartbeats matching where they are pressed together, it feels right.
He leans to press their foreheads together, “can you come with me? For that ice-cream-”
“You think I am in the mood for ice-cream right now?!” Taehyung thunders, “I can't fucking care less about your plans and what you want, Jungkook! Just, fuck off. I don't want to go!”
Jungkook holds Taehyung closer, tighter, “if this is the last memory you will have of me,” his heart cracks, voice mirroring the effect, “then I don't want it to be us crying like this in front of a frat house. I want to look back and think the end... was peaceful. Please.”
Taehyung doesn't want to hear it. He doesn't want to think of it. He doesn't want to accept it.
He looks at Jungkook, tries hard not to think the way his mind is thinking, but he voices it anyway, “it doesn't have to be the end. It's just... you don't want to try. That's okay.”
“It's okay,” Taehyung pulls back, nods, “I get it. I am not worth it. Just…” he blinks, nods to himself, “You want to have ice-cream, let's go. Whatever.”
Jungkook wants to scream that it's not that easy. He wants to shout at Taehyung that his father is not making it easy.
Jungkook watches Taehyung go and stand by his bike, looking down at his feet. With a long sigh, he walks up to it too. He picks up a helmet and secures it around Taehyung's head and wears his own. Taehyung hops onto the bike and holds Jungkook by his waist as the bike starts.
The streets are empty. Taehyung hates how quiet it all feels when his inside is up in a storm. He holds Jungkook tightly, as if that will stop him from leaving.
Taehyung leans his head on Jungkook's shoulder, sniffles and thinks, how no one stays. No one is probably going to.
He ignores how Jungkook looks at him through the rear-mirror and focuses on the streets they pass. Taehyung bites back a whimper when he thinks tomorrow, by this time Jungkook will not be anywhere around him, and he has no right to ask him to stay. He can't ask him to stay.
Taehyung looks at Jungkook, “if I ask you to stay, will you?”
Jungkook grits his teeth, “Taehyung-”
Taehyung nods, “right.”
Jungkook blinks rapidly, trying to focus on the road, “it has nothing to do with you, Tae. I can't stay because my dad won't let me. Otherwise-”
“Everyone comes before me, yeah, I got it,” Taehyung whispers, looks ahead at the road, “I know.”
Jungkook curses, “it's not that. He is my dad! He planned this. I can't stay.”
Taehyung snorts, “no. You don't want to stay.”
Jungkook wishes he could say how deep this plan runs.
He wishes it was that simple. Both of their fathers are planning everything and like a puppet he is following after them. He can't protest. He can't go against them because he got no support. He knows being childish will get him nowhere. Jungkook can't risk it. None of it.
He knows his father will never harm him. But, he also knows he can't say the same for Taehyung. Mr. Kim says he loves Taehyung but the man did everything to keep himself where he is and Jungkook can't say it for sure that he won't sacrifice Taehyung if needed. His dad might help.
Jungkoo looks at Taehyung through the rearview mirror, and the urge resurfaces. To speed up and run fast. Until he loses everything behind and can take Taehyung somewhere safe.
He can't. He is not capable enough. He might never be. He hates how helpless he feels right now.
The ice-cream parlour is closed. With a curse, Jungkook turns his bike. He ignores Taehyung's suggestion of just giving up and going home. He feels desperate.
“Where are we going?” Taehyung asks, confused, “Jungkook…”
Jungkook speeds up, his eyes following the street, “shush.”
Taehyung pinches him, and Jungkook's lips twitch. He finds a convenience store and parks the bike.
“Come on,” he looks over at Taehyung, “let's go.”
Taehyung looks at the store and back at him, “here?”
Jungkook nods, “let's buy a tub. We can eat on our way to the park.”
*.·:·.☽✧ ✦ ✧☾.·:·.*
Thank you so much, @/mukoook for this lovely edit! I loved it!
Jungkook watches Taehyung suck on the spoon, holding the tub of ice-cream to his chest as they walk inside the park. The park is empty. No one is here at this time of the night.
Jungkook points at a bench that has a shade build over it in the shape of an umbrella.
Taehyung sits on the bench, the tub on his lap. He ignores Jungkook and stares ahead.
“Are you not going to talk to me?” Jungkook asks, a little sigh escaping his mouth, “Tae-”
“There's nothing to talk about,” Taehyung puts another spoonful of ice-cram in his mouth.
Jungkook turns to face ahead, his nerves acting up. Jungkook pulls out his cigarette, lighting one while he thinks of something to say.
“So you won't complete your study?” Taehyung wonders, digging into his ice-cream more, “if you leave?”
Jungkook shrugs, “no idea.”
Taehyung nods, lets Jungkook take a spoonful of the ice-cream.
“What are we doing here?” Taehyung wonders again, pulling the jacket closer to himself, looking around, “it's almost dawn.”
Jungkook hums, “the sunrise is pretty here.”
Taehyung frowns, “how do you know?”
Jungkook chuckles, “came here before too, Tae. To clear my mind. Think to myself. Away from everything.”
Taehyung looks at the horizon, sighs, “right. Now that I think about it, it feels like I don't even know you anymore.”
Jungkook doesn't protest, he hums, “yeah.”
The conversation doesn't flow. They never really had a conversation. Never really had a common ground. Taehyung sits, hugging himself, Jungkook sits beside him, smoking. The night is quiet, too quiet. Taehyung can hear Jungkook's breathing. Feel Jungkook's warmth.
He places the tub beside himself and pulls his knees up to hug. His eyes flutter when he sees the snowflake. It floats with the wind and slowly comes under the shade to stick on Jungkook's boot. Taehyung watches how silently the snowfall starts, coating everything white.
Taehyung grips the edge of the seat, blinking back tears, “remember the time you made me a snowman?”
Jungkook says nothing.
Taehyung smiles to himself, “you were an idiot. Used a tomato for the nose. Defending yourself by saying how jokers use it. It was so stupid!”
“You loved it,” Jungkook sounds lost in his memories, “you clicked so many photos. You were the same height as the snowman.”
Taehyung swats Jungkook, “you were the same too. I still have those photos. Your nose was just as red from the cold.”
“You cried an entire day when that snowman melted,” Jungkook murmurs, shaking his head, “I had to promise you to make you one each year-”
“The next year you stopped talking to me,” Taehyung sighs, looking away, “so, there went the first promise you made me.”
Jungkook looks at Taehyung. The side of his face, because Taehyung is not looking at him.
“I made you the snowman every year, Taehyung.”
Taehyung blinks, holding back a sob, “making and leaving it in the garden is not holding onto the promise, Jungkook. You weren't there.”
“You made it and left it there every year. You made it feel like a chore. You would just build it and leave.”
“You never visited that side of the garden,” Jungkook whispers, “you ignored it for yea-”
“Because, it's not the fucking snowman I was so attached to!” Taehyung hisses.
“It was us making it!” Taehyung feels his eyes pool with frustrated tears, “it was the two of us messing up and laughing and just...” he looks away again, “it was the memory of us with that snowman I wanted every year. Not a damn snowman that anyone can build for decoration!”
“It got difficult to look at you and think of you as my friend when all I could think of was my dad,” Jungkook curses, “how he is in jail, my only family, because of your dad. It was hard for me to look at you, your life and not feel the anger bubble inside. I was a kid too!”
“Then you started changing,” Jungkook frowns, “turning out to be like those snooty, rich kids-”
“I wanted your attention!” Taehyung feels his face burn with the acceptance, “I wanted you to look at me. Even if to just sneer at me, I wanted you to acknowledge my presence.”
Jungkook snorts, “you were everywhere. All around me. Your presence was suffocating time to time. I wanted to escape. I wanted to just forget that we ever were friends. So it would be easier to be neutral around you. But, you made it so difficult. Being you, being so spoilt!”
“I don't know, you just make me angry,” Jungkook flicks the ash off the white-stick, “you make me so mad. I don't know, it feels like-”
“Your life would be better if I wasn't a part of it?” Taehyung whispers, resolutely looking ahead at the horizon.
Jungkook gets up, going to lean against the pillar of the shade. He smokes, lets the cigarette burn the way he burns.
He holds it between his fingers and shake his head, “I won't lie, Taehyung,” saying it is still difficult, but he pushes through it, “I thought so.”
“Thought how perfect life would be if you were never in the equation. Even now, if you were not here,” Jungkook's lips curl up into a hollow smirk, “I would not be feeling like this. If you were not in the equation, there will be just a simple life. A good life. For me.”
Taehyung gets up, trying to march out of the shade while he feels his heart break. All over again.
He curses loudly when Jungkook rounds on him, as if he was anticipating this. He holds Taehyung and turns them, so Taehyung is standing between the pillar and Jungkook.
“I am not going to stay and hear you say-”
“If you have the guts to fucking ask, have the guts to hear the answer too,” Jungkook throws the cigarette away, his eyes burning onto Taehyung's face, “I won't lie to save your heart. I am trying to be honest here. After a long time!”
Taehyung's hands are balled in fists. He presses them against Jungkook's chest, trying to push him away. Taehyung resolutely keeps his head turned sideways, making sure to not look at the guy in front of him.
Jungkook curses, “if you were not here, I would just go with my dad.”
“If you were not here, I would just leave and have nothing to look back. If you were not here, I would not be losing my mind-”
“You still don't have to,” Taehyung glares at nothing in particular, “I am going to be fine. You said so yourself. Bogum hyung is coming here.”
Jungkook's nails dig into Taehyung's waist, his jaw tightening, “don't do this. Don't try to rile me up just to get a reaction out of me.”
“I am not trying to do anything,” Taehyung hisses, “I am stating facts. Being honest. As you said, we should. I like him, you know that.”
“So, take your worries and yourself out of my life. I will be fine.”
Jungkook wants to break something. He watches Taehyung and tries hard to control the raging fire inside his head. He tries hard to hold himself back from snapping.
Taehyung snorts, “for all I know, you will.”
Jungkook grits his teeth, “Taehyung-”
“No, it's okay. Really,” Taehyung shrugs, leaning back against the pillar leisurely, “I kid of was missing him too. It would be good to share a place with him. Unlike you, he really wants me, and who knows? Maybe this is for the best.”
“You get your perfect life,” Taehyung huffs out a laugh, “I get mine. You said, you thought about it.”
“You make my life difficult by being you!” Jungkook slams his hand over the pillar, ignores how Taehyung flinches, looking at him finally, “do you not get it, Taehyung?!”
“You,” Jungkook leans in, his eyes flickering from Taehyung's eyes to his lips, “you make me want things that terrify me. I just… I just wished you were not a part of my life because you are so difficult to handle for me. You are not easy. You make my life miserable.”
“I make your life miserable,” Taehyung states, his large eyes on Jungkook's.
Jungkook nods, leans on the arm that he planted on the pillar, cups the side of Taehyung's face, “yes,” he whispers, tugs Taehyung's face up to jut his chin out, “you make me wonder.”
“Make you wonder?” Taehyung whispers, feels the chill of the concrete pillar behind him and the warmth of the body that presses against his front.
Jungkook hums, “you make me wonder what I am capable of doing. You make me wonder how far you can make me go with just your words.”
“You make me wonder,” Jungkook leans forward until his lips are hovering over Taehyung's parted ones, “how it would feel like to kiss you. How big of a mistake it will be to kiss you again. Kiss you silly. A thought that didn't leave my mind since our first kiss.”
“A mistake,” Taehyung tastes those words on his tongue, “it was a mistake then.”
“Yes,” Jungkook buries his face against Taehyung's neck, pressing his lips on Taehyung's exposed skin, “the biggest mistake of my life. You are the biggest mistake of my life, Kim Taehyung.”
Taehyung tilts his head back, eyes screwing shut when he places his hands on Jungkook's shoulders and Jungkook takes a hold of them both, fingers intertwisting. Jungkook locks Taehyung's hands behind his back, grasps it there in his one hand. His other hand holds Taehyung's hip.
Taehyung parts his lips, silently letting out a gasp when he feels Jungkook's lips trail up to his jaw. He looks at the guy in the eyes.
“If I am a mistake, you shouldn't do it,” Taehyung whispers, “you won't get anything out of it but regrets.”
Jungkook watches him, “yeah.”
“But, those regrets won't be bigger than this one,” Jungkook cups the side of Taehyung's face, “this one that I could have kissed you and I didn't.”
Taehyung tilts his head, “what if I don't want to kiss you? What if I don't want to be a part of your fucked up actions?”
“Then I stop,” Jungkook slowly loosens his grip on Taehyung's wrists, “for sure.”
Taehyung feels angry. At himself. He feels hurt. He feels ashamed. He feels terrible. He feels everything a person should not feel before kissing someone. He thinks that's what they are.
Both of them are twisted.
Twisted together, woven around each other. As if ivy, growing up twisted and creating knots and loops in their wake while creating a bond that is too painful when one tries to break it.
They are like that. Twisted in each other. With each other.
Taehyung throws his hands around Jungkook's neck, drags him back. The force is too strong that Jungkook stumbles. He falls right into Taehyung's arms, pressing him up against the pillar.
Taehyung gasps out a dry sob when their lips meet. Teeth clashing against each other.
Jungkook supports himself by holding the pillar behind Taehyung, and Taehyung clings to Jungkook. His arms around Jungkook's shoulders.
Taehyung lets Jungkook take the lead, kissing him senseless. Jungkook's tongue plays with his, his arms coming to hold Taehyung by his hips.
Taehyung whimpers into the kiss, feels tears roll out of his eyes. Jungkook is no better. Silent tears roll out of his eyes too, smearing across Taehyung's cheeks.
Taehyung cups Jungkook's face, thumbs wiping at those teardrops while they continue kissing.
Jungkook pulls back first, burying his face against Taehyung's neck. He holds Taehyung against himself, arms so tight, Taehyung feels numb.
Jungkook rubs his face against Taehyung's neck, as if marking him. As if two humans can do that, leave behind traces of one on the other.
Jungkook nips, teeth sinking in Taehyung's skin to leave behind something. Anything. Something that will stay for a while. Even after he leaves.
Taehyung is no better. He nips Jungkook's jaw, nails scratching Jungkook's nape, leaving crescent shaped imprints.
There is a possessive twist in Taehyung's guts when he thinks someone else will get to do this with Jungkook some day. Someone else will re-write his marks on Jungkook's skin. Someone else's kisses Jungkook will seek so desperately, and that person might be able to stay with him.
Tears well in his eyes when he thinks that some day Jungkook will find someone who he would not be ashamed of loving. Someone who he would share these kisses with, but without the clock ticking. Some day he will kiss someone and that person will have Jungkook forever.
Taehyung closes his eyes, bites back the sob that tears his insides. He buries his face against Jungkook's neck and curses that faceless person who would have Jungkook's love and not have an expiry date on it.
A forever type of love. Not a temporary fix like Taehyung.
“I hate you, so much,” Taehyung sniffles, “for the things you put me through. For everything you did and never apologized. For making me feel like shit when it was your insecurities eating you alive. I hate you for making me question my worth. I hate you a lot.”
He pulls back a little to match those eyes, “but, I will hate you the most for leaving,” he unhooks his arms, steps away from Jungkook, “I will hate you every time I remember how you left me after this,” he blinks, “I will hate you forever. Because, you didn't deserve it.”
“You didn't deserve to be my,” his voice cracks, Taehyung grasps the tank-top over his chest, “my,” he looks away, turns away from those inquisitive and intruding eyes, “my first love.”
The silence is heavy. Taehyung didn't expect an answer. He prays there is none.
“I will pray,” Taehyung looks outside, the snow keeps falling, “I will pray that one day you fall in love and that love comes with no expiry date. I hope you look at them and for once feel this terrifying helplessness that I am feeling. Just once. Feel how I feel.”
“I know, with time, I will move on. Find someone else, as they say,” Taehyung snorts, “or get too busy being an adult that I will forget about love altogether. But, even then, I will pray that you feel this once in your life. That day,” his throat bobs, “reach out to me.”
“That day try to reach out to me. A call, a text. Just a way to let me know how it felt to think of that person leaving. Even if for a second. I will close my door on you then,” Taehyung wipes his eyes, “I wish you nothing but happiness, Jungkook. I always will.”
“So, I hope that fear doesn't last, and you stay with the one you love. But, yeah. Once, just for the sake of it, feel it. It will be my closure.”
Taehyung walks out of that shade, ignores how snowflakes fall over him. How his shoes bury in the ice. He ignores how cold he feels.
Jungkook is not sure if that moment will be more painful than this. He is not sure if love breaks a person more or a lost love.
He can't name what he feels. If he does, there's a lot more he has to name and acknowledge, but he thinks, as he watches Taehyung walk away from him...
Nothing would feel more painful that seeing Taehyung like this.
Nothing can hurt more than seeing that mouthy brat so defeated.
Jungkook can take anything. He can take Taehyung's hate, his hurtful words, him being a brat, but he can't take this. This defeated Taehyung.
He can't bear the thought that one day Taehyung will find out everything, and he will have no one to lean on.
He can't take the thought of Taehyung being like this. Alone. That day too.
Jungkook steps out of the shade, ignores the chilly air and snowfall in his haste.
In his heart, a tiny voice supplies that maybe, maybe that day, Taehyung will hate him the most.
But, Jungkook knows he will take it. He will take Taehyung's hate over this any day.
He walks up to Taehyung with fast steps and hugs the guy from behind, arms pulling Taehyung in.
On Taehyung's cheeks, the snowflakes melt with his tears. His long lashes capture snow as they blink. He looks at Jungkook and Jungkook feels the icy shiver running down his spine because...
It feels overwhelming. What he feels for this brat, it feels unnerving to Jungkook.
“One day, you will hate me for who I am,” Jungkook murmurs, feels how gut-wrenching that thought is, “actually hate me. One day, you might question everything you felt for me. One day you will turn your back and leave me behind confidently. I know. I don't blame you.”
“But, till then,” Jungkook turns Taehyung to face him, both of them standing under the snowfall, “I will not leave you. I will find a way,” he promises, wraps his pinkie with Taehyung's, smiles down at their joined fingers, “I will find a way to be with you. Until that day.”
“What are you hiding?” Taehyung chokes out, “stop giving me false hopes. What is it?
I can take it!”
Jungkook looks at their joined fingers, “give me some time?” he sucks in a deep breath, “I want to tell you once I get my footing in this world.”
“Because, when the hell breaks loose,” Jungkook looks at Taehyung, “I want to be there to catch you and protect you from the heat of it all. I can't do it now. I can't hold shield you when I am so weak right now. I need to find my footing, Taehyung. Give me that time.”
Taehyung shakes his head, “you are scaring me.”
“I know,” Jungkook gulps, “but, there's no other way.”
Taehyung looks at Jungkook, his eyes moving all over Jungkook's face, “you will find a way to stay by my side?”
Jungkook shakes his had, “not by your side, but, with you.”
“How?” Taehyung wonders, “as, what?”
That question is unnerving too. Jungkook stares at Taehyung and Taehyung waits.
“As my friend?” Taehyung asks, tentative.
Jungkook's breath leaves in a sigh, “my friends don't kiss me like that, Taehyung. Yours do?”
Taehyung glares, “no!”
Jungkook plays with Taehyung's fingers, spread them, fills those gaps of Taehyung's fingers with his own. He steps closer until their toes touch.
“Then?” he whispers.
Taehyung gives a small shrug, “you are terrified of accepting you can feel anything for a guy. No?”
“Can't we tick it off as complicated for now?” Jungkook murmurs against Taehyung's lips, “sort it out down the road?”
“Depends,” Taehyung whispers, watches how the left side of Jungkook's face is shadowed, and the right side is slowly warming up as the sun rises on his right…
“How many girls will be involved in this complicated relationship with us?” he feels the sizzle in his guts, slowly spreading through his veins.
Jungkook watches Taehyung, “we will be exclusive.”
Taehyung snorts, “you can lie, you know? Like dad does to mum. You can lie-”
The orange hue spreads over the horizon, timid and slow. The snow glows, welcoming the dawn.
Jungkook's face warms up while he watches Taehyung, “I am a lot of things, Taehyung. I am not your dad. Never compare me to that,” he stops himself, “I am not him. I will never be.”
Taehyung watches Jungkook pack. He watches the guy throw things one by one into the bags. His eyes follow the motion while he sits at the edge of the bed.
“I will call,” Jungkook speaks, looks over at him between the task in hand, “I will take a new line and call you. Yeah?”
“Don't tell your dad or anyone about that, yeah?” Jungkook looks at Taehyung, “promise me you won't tell anyone about us.”
Taehyung looks down at his toes, nodding, “promise.”
Jungkook watches the guy sit, cross-legged and curled in himself. He sighs, coming to sit beside him.
“Hey,” he nudges Taehyung, “it will be fine.”
Taehyung snorts, “you think? You think this will be fine? What are we, Jungkook? Are we dating? Who are you? What are we doing? How long before you realize this is not worth it? How long before you want something else, someone else?”
Jungkook watches Taehyung, “for now, I want you. For now, I am thinking it will work. Tomorrow, I don't know if I will live or not, Taehyung. Our lives are not assured. You have no idea if you will take the next breath or not, but we are still planning our futures and going on.”
“Let's do just that,” Jungkook takes Taehyung's hand in his, “let's take one day at a time. Figure our shit together. We both are new to this. Whatever this is. Let's not fight each other. Yeah?”
Taehyung looks at Jungkook, “you said, someday I will hate you. Why?”
Jungkook looks down at their joined hands, “I can't say it, Tae-”
“You are leaving, leave after cutting all the ties,” Taehyung grips his hand, “leave after saying everything. If I still want to talk, I will. But, don't string me along like this. Let me decide if I want to.”
Jungkook watches the boy, “it is not the time-”
“Let me decide!” Taehyung roars, “what is it?! What are you hiding?! What is going on? Why would I hate you?! Jungkook, tell me. Tell me before I overthink every possible scenario and my anxiety spikes. Please!”
“You are leaving, you are leaving me alone, let me hear it! I want to know,” Taehyung glares at the boy, “I need to know. You are leaving and if I don't want to see your face after today, then we both are having a chance at it. We will be miles away, anyway.”
He can't look at those large eyes and watch them lose the life in them. He can't snatch away everything Taehyung knows as a family. He looks away, trying to find an excuse.
“Don't shield me to drop me right in the face of the storm,” Taehyung's voice thins out, “let me prepare.”
“I don't want to find out when the storm is right at my face,” Taehyung murmurs, “I don't want to know when it's too late. Tell me.”
Jungkook lets out a deep breath, “I can't. I am a coward. I can't see you and say it all. I can't.”
“Write it,” Taehyung suggests after him.
Jungkook laughs, “what?”
Taehyung nods, all serious, “write it. Write it to me. I will pack your bags. You write it for me.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung. Taehyung watches him back.
“Let me decide if I want you in my life or not,” Taehyung murmurs, “after today. Do it.”
“If you ever felt something for me, then you should not leave me so unguarded. Tell me what I need to prepare myself for,” Taehyung gets up from the bed, goes over to Jungkook's notebooks and hold one out for him, “leave the note here. I will read after you leave.”
So, Jungkook does. He takes the notebook and sits to write it all down. He knows that if Taehyung shows this to his father, there will be consequences. He looks at the boy who is packing for him. He knows, maybe, after today, Taehyung would not want to see his face either.
“Read it after I am gone,” Jungkook begs almost, “please don't act impulsively. Please?”
Taehyung takes the note, places it on the table and hums, “I won't. I promise.”
Jungkook blinks when his phone buzzes. He sees the message of his father. He is to leave. The car is waiting.
Taehyung walks him to the door, helps him with the luggage. They load the car with boxes. His father did not come here. He will meet Jungkook where he got them an apartment. Jungkook looks at the last box, back at the empty room with that letter on the table. Neatly folded.
Jungkook stands by the car, watching Taehyung round it to come and stand in front of him.
He is not sure what to tell the other. He watches Taehyung wait. Jungkook pulls Taehyung closer by his hips, eyes wandering over Taehyung's face.
“See you soon?” he whispers, hesitant.
Taehyung's hands rest on his hips, he does not agree to it. He watches Jungkook instead.
“If we don't,” Taehyung gives him a small smile, “if we never meet again,” his fingers tighten on Jungkook's shirt, “you will still see me. I will be successful and popular, you know?”
Jungkook breathes out a laugh, eyes stinging, “I know. I will see you on those hoardings and shit. I know.”
Taehyung smiles, “uhhm. You will see my face everywhere. I promise. You can tell your friends you dated me then. For a day.”
Jungkook hums, “for a few hours. I guess.”
The kiss is desperate at Jungkook's end and tender at Taehyung's. Jungkook takes, takes as much as he can before he has to let go. Before he can't hold on anymore. Taehyung kisses tenderly. As if he accepted their fate and this is his way of saying goodbye.
It hurts both ways.
Jungkook gets inside the car and watches through the window as Taehyung stands by the pavement. In his pajama, long coat wrapped around him, a beanie casually holding back his curls. Taehyung waves and Jungkook... he does not move an inch. Then the car turns the corner.
Jungkook sends Taehyung a voice message after getting a new phone and laughs when the number gets immediately blocked.
He finds out about Taehyung's mother's death through the news. Sees Taehyung visit the house on news too. Taehyung looks like a ghost of what he used to be.
Jungkook talks to Taehyung's father, trains under him to learn his business. He never sees Taehyung. Whenever he has to visit Seoul, he tries to find out if Taehyung is there, only for Mr. Kim to say he is not. He never is.
“Did you see the paper today?” his father says one day.
Jungkook hardly ever picks that thing up. He stares at his father and his father holds it out for him.
Jungkook grips the paper and watches the guy. It's Taehyung. A commercial. He is one of the models. As always, to Jungkook, Taehyung stands out.
He smiles, “great.”
Jungkook dives into work. It does not make sense to hold onto someone who cut ties with him. Without even asking him about his reasons. Maybe it is hurt, anger or just simply sadness but Jungkook starts to accept the situation.
He laughs at the thought that Taehyung did not do shit to his father. They are still just as close. Well, as much as Mr. Kim says. They are still just as perfect as ever. Only Jungkook took the burn. He thinks it's unfair and yet... he doesn't try to reach out to Taehyung. Once.
On Jungkook's 21st birthday, he inherits his father's share and in that same meeting, Jungkook writes it all down on Taehyung's name. He sends the papers back to Taehyung's address. Gets the confirmation that Taehyung got it. His lawyers let him know about that.
His father screams his ears off and Jungkook says nothing.
“What are you going to do now?!” His father shouts, “what did you get from doing this?!”
Jungkook shrugs, he thought he would keep it. Fight for Taehyung by being with him, but now he can't. He might as well let it be.
Two years pass by since Jungkook's 21st and in those two years, Jungkook sees Taehyung everywhere. Kim Taehyung spreads like fire, taking up every corner of the world as it goes. Every brand, every high-end calendar shoots, every fashion show, he is either invited or work for.
He takes his father everywhere. Their bond is talked about. Everyone speaks on how well-mannered and lovely Taehyung is as a son. Jungkook watches those interviews, sees those shows, picks up those calendars, and none of that makes sense to him.
He does not know this Taehyung.
Jungkook is doing fine for himself. He is playing football for the National team now, his name is breaking out on the news as he works harder on his games. He is starting to grow himself. The money he earns is not as much as he would if he kept the share but he is glad he didn't.
“That son of a bi'ch! Do something-” his father's scream wakes Jungkook up.
He frowns, getting out of bed and walking out of his room to see his father frantically walking back and forth in the living room. He is talking to someone over the call. Jungkook watches, confused.
His father trembles, the cigarette held between his fingers drops ashes everywhere.
“Get me out of that! I already paid my due!” his father screams, “no, you get it-”
Jungkook watches the man, and then his eyes move onto the television. The news is open, as always.
It is Taehyung's father. He is drunk and talking about the things he did. One by one, he is talking about each one of his crimes. Jungkook walks up to the screen, watches the evidences pinned on the screen, showing up one by one. Sees Taehyung's actual father's photo.
Jungkook feels the shiver run down his spine. He touches the screen, eyes wide. Taehyung's father confesses of his every crime, talks about Jungkook's father. The records, the mishaps, the different signatures, the files he dealt with, everything shows up on the screen.
“Wh-who got all this?” Jungkook whispers.
His father drops on the couch, “that piece of shit! Kim Taehyung!”
Jungkook flinches, turns to face his father, “what?”
His father nods, face hidden in his hands, “Kim kept saying how innocent the boy was. How he never suspected shit!”
“It took him three years to bring down what we built for twenty years!” his father screams into his palms, “you know what was the last strike?”
Jungkook just stands.
His father looks up at him, eyes bloodshot, “your fcking confession letter!” he springs up, “you absolute fool!”
“You wrote it down for him?!” His father cries out, grabbing Jungkook by his collars, “you stupid piece of shit! You wrote down everything I did and Kim did in details?! What were you trying to achieve?!”
Jungkook hears the news anchor speak about the supermodel.
He turns to watch the news and Taehyung sits on a couch, giving his interview.
“How long did you know this for?” the anchor asks, “all this. About that man. The plan he did. Your father.”
Taehyung looks at the camera, “since I was sixteen.”
“What?” Jungkook stumbles towards the television.
Taehyung watches him back through the screen, “my mother told me about it. I knew for a long time. Knew that I could not do anything until and unless I have enough evidence. I had to wait for years. I could not be impatient.”
“The credit is not all mine,” Taehyung chuckles, “my utmost gratitude goes out to Jeon Jungkook. Mr. Jeon's son. Who very sweetly wrote down his confession for me. I needed that. I needed that to loop that man in. I could not let him go either. So, thank you, Jungkook. For this.”
Taehyung's eyes bore on Jungkook's face through the television, “you did not really think I liked you, did you, love?” he smiles, shrugs, “thanks for giving me back the share. Otherwise, I would have to go after you. It gets tiresome. I am glad you signed it off to me.”
“Do you not feel bad for him? Jungkook?” the anchor asks.
Taehyung shakes his head, “not at all. It's not like he lost something. We were nothing and I am not suing him. I am suing his father. His career and he is free, of course.”
Jungkook stares at the man, feeling numb.
“What is your plan after this?” the anchor asks, “what is there for you now?”
Taehyung hums, “well, I have my shoots, and I am getting married next year. So,” he smiles, “that is something to look forward to. No?”
The supermodel shows off his engagement ring.
“Look, what you chose over your own father!” his father hisses behind him, “look what you went for instead of me! Look at the guy! He has no remorse! He has no regret! He deserved none of this!”
Jungkook watches that ring on Taehyung's finger. Taehyung is engaged.
“Who is the lucky man?” The anchor leans in at the smell of gossip, “do we know them?”
Taehyung laughs, “well, I guess you do. Park Jimin.”
Jungkook blinks, “what?!”
His father curses behind him, “that is what gets you to react?!”
The anchor stares too, “the idol?!”
Taehyung smiles sweetly, “yes. He will be back from his world tour next month and we will start the preparation together.”
They talk more. About other things Taehyung has planned. Jungkook looks at the screen, his mind reeling.
“I cannot believe he did this,” his father hisses.
“After all Kim did for him? This snake of a son-”
“He took back what was rightfully his,” Jungkook lets out a deep breath, looking over his shoulder at his father, “you killed an innocent man, took everything from him and planned to keep Taehyung in the dark. Always. No?”
“What is hurting more?” Jungkook turns to his father fully, “that he overruled your plan? That he took back what was his? That he outdid you two?”
His father gapes at him, “you lost-”
“Nothing,” Jungkook shrugs, “I lost nothing. That money was never mine. What else I lost?”
“He kept you hanging-”
“No, he did not,” Jungkook shrugs, “when he came to know, I was an ass to him. He did not owe me his truth. Also, I was your son. Why would he trust me and not himself? He was alone, a teenager with frankly no one by his side. Of course, he was sceptical.”
“Put yourself in his shoes,” Jungkook frowns, “his nightmares, his fears, his anxiety, it all make so much sense now. He had no one. He was trying to protect himself. He was living with that lunatic who killed his own friend for some money. Do you realize the weight of it?”
“He could have easily done something to Taehyung,” Jungkook lets out a deep breath, “I cannot even imagine the anxiety, betrayal, sadness he carried within himself for years. He probably thought I knew about it since I stopped being his friend. He surely thought so.”
“I don't blame him for trying to survive,” Jungkook snorts, “I mean, if anything,” he looks over his shoulder at the supermodel, “I am so in awe that he kept his promise. He is everywhere, and he took back the control of his own life that you all snatched from him.”
Jungkook's eyes burn when he sees Taehyung laugh. He sighs, looks back at his bewildered father.
“And, as long as we being friends or whatever we had for a day goes,” he laughs, “that's something I will hold him accountable for. Not you. You fcked up and now don't cry about it.”
“He held onto that, didn't he?” Jungkook whispers, “the charges are against you. Not me. I lost nothing.”
A voice in him disagrees, but that voice is easily suppressible now. After this long, that voice is weak anyway.
Jungkook sighs, “see you, dad. I have practice.”
“Why didn't you tell me you and Jimin broke up?” Jungkook asks over the phone.
Yoongi is quiet for a few seconds, and then he sighs, “why would I, Jungkook? Our friendship mostly consists of us following each other on Instagram. We never talked before today. Did we?”
“No, but, what happened? You two were so,” Jungkook shrugs, “sorted!”
Yoongi laughs, “sorted? In high school? Jungkook, everything changes with life after you leave that bubble of school ground. We were two different people who wanted different things. That's all.”
Jungkook frowns, “different things? He is an idol and you are a rapper. What exactly is different?”
Yoongi sounds tired, “a lot of things. Also, who cares? He moved on. Getting married to Taehyung. Damn,” Yoongi chuckles, “you introduced them. To think of it, that stings.”
“How are the others?” Jungkook rubs his temple, “Joon, Jin and Hobi?”
“You know how they are professionally,” Yoongi hums, “personally, they are fine. I have contact with all of them. If you come here, in Seoul, I can take you around. If you want.”
“Damn, you all rich kids did well, huh?” Jungkook laughs, “look at me, still struggling to be a footballer. Got fucking hard after I came out.”
Yoongi is quiet for a moment, “I am sorry. For whatever is happening. How are you?”
Jungkook smokes, laughs, “shit. I am shit.”
It feels like a load is coming off his chest. He says how he feels. Because, even after years, Jungkook knows Yoongi will understand and not judge him.
“I feel used, feel confused, angry, hurt,” he frowns at his feet, “dad got locked up again. I don't want to bail him out. But +
“what do I do now?” Jungkook snorts, “Taehyung did not press charges against me for anything. Well, he can't. But, my reputation is down the drain. My teammates are shit. Were shit since I came out and now with all this, I don't know how long I will survive here. In this.”
“You know how sports work, right?” Jungkook throws the cigarette on the pavement, crushes it under his feet, “I feel suffocated, hyung-”
“Come back to Seoul,” Yoongi speaks over him, “come back home.”
Jungkook freezes, then smiles down at his boots, “I never had a home.”
“Also, what would I do there? It's not like that team will be better somehow,” Jungkook whispers.
Yoongi sighs, “you can try, Jungkook. If that place is not working out, come home. Try here. Play for clubs here. Or, you can work for me.”
Jungkook frowns, “huh? What?”
Yoongi hums, “yeah. Work under me. I have my own production company. You can work in the editing or assist the directors here. Learn the work and do something of your own.”
“Why would you do that for me?” Jungkook wonders, “we lost touch ages ago.”
Yoongi chuckles, “I know.”
“But, we are friends,” Yoongi sounds soothing over the line, “and, no matter how many years pass, we will always be friends. I think the guys will love to meet up. If not permanently, give us a visit. I will arrange everything.”
“You don't think I will help you break the wedding or something, right?” Jungkook asks, “I mean, Tae and Jimin-”
Yoongi laughs, actually laughs, “Kook, I don't know where that came from but, no, I am not that type of ex! It was back in high school. Come on. Who cares anymore?”
“You think AgustD is hung up on his high school boyfriend? For this long?” Yoongi chortles, “no! Oh, god, no! We are acquaintances. Meet time to time because our friend circle is the same. That's all. Don't worry. This is not another scheme. Think about it, bye.”
He hangs up.
“Are you going to pick him up or me?” Namjoon asks, walking inside Yoongi's studio, “hyung, you are not even ready!”
Yoongi looks up from his computer, “get the car. I will go. He is not yet comfortable meeting all of us. Let's not overwhelm him.”
Namjoon watches Yoongi get up from his chair, combing his hair, “I am still not sure why you are doing this?”
Yoongi puts on his shoes, tying the laces, “neither am I. That day he called and sounded so broken,” he frowns, “kind of felt like I was hearing myself talk. If I did.”
“Also, he was a friend, a good one at that,” Yoongi grabs his wallet, checks inside, “how many of that you found, Joon? He is alone in that country, helpless, stuck,” Yoongi frowns down at his wallet +
“if he does something stupid, I would not be able to live with myself knowing I could have stopped him. Given him a hope. I can't hear that desperation in his voice and not give him a direction,” Yoongi smiles at Joon, “I can't leave him feeling so lost. See you.”
“What will he do here?” Namjoon follows after Yoongi, “any clue?”
Yoongi shrugs, getting inside the elevator, “Jin hyung needs an assistant. Right? He can be Jin hyung's assistant. For now. Learn the job, and then we can interview him for something else.”
Namjoon nods, “good.”
“It will be fine, right?” Namjoon watches the numbers as they wait for the doors to open, “I just hope we can help him get back on his feet and nothing goes wrong.”
“We are not his parents, Joon, we will try our best,” Yoongi walks out of the elevator, “let's hope for the best.”
Woking for Jin is easy. Jungkook is doing it for three months now and he is getting a hang of it. Jin has two assistants and he makes sure to give Jungkook less work. He doesn't say it but Jungkook knows it's because Jungkook is taking up vocal lessons under the coaches.
“Don't you think I am too old to be an idol?” Jungkook asks Namjoon one day, walking with the rapper while Namjoon goes to a meeting.
Namjoon shrugs with a smile, “be an artist, kookah. You don't have to be of a certain age to achieve something. That's society norms. Stupid.”
Namjoon gets inside the recording studio, Jungkook sits on the couch, watching him record. Yoongi is by the monitors, telling Namjoon to repeat or telling Hoseok to change a few things here and there. They work well together. In sync. Jungkook takes notes of the things they say.
Hoseok laughs at something Yoongi says, looks at Jungkook, “yah, kookah, what are you doing tonight?”
Jungkook chews his pencil, “nothing important. Why?”
“Not coming to Jin hyung and Namjoon's house-warming party?” Hoseok frowns.
Right! Jungkook is. He forgot.
“They didn't invite me,” he teases Namjoon while the rapper walks out of the booth, “I didn't know.”
Namjoon smiles, dimples on display, “I didn't invite anyone. They are coming uninvited. Join in.”
Yoongi sips his drink, “yeah, some days I feel like a masochist and agree.”
They all look at him and Yoongi waves his hand.
“I meant the gathering,” he puts the coffee down, “I hate gatherings.”
“It's just a few people,” Namjoon looks at the two of them, “both of you are coming.”
Jungkook knows he is. Jin already told him to. He nods with a smile.
Jungkook watches Hoseok and Namjoon walk out of the studio, talking about the night.
“He will be there,” Yoongi speaks up, eyes fixed on the monitors, “just letting you know, so you are prepared.”
Jungkook blinks. Right. Taehyung. He will be there.
He looks down at his notes.
Yoongi sips his coffee, “but, focus on Jimin. You will fly by.”
Jungkook frowns, “what?”
Yoongi hums, nods, “he talks about his life so animatedly, so loudly and so happily,” his lips twitch, “it's downright comical to be there. You will be fine. He is amusing.”
Jungkook watches the man in front of him, “you find it amusing?”
Yoongi closes the monitor with a nod, “oh, it's a hoot. Told you,” he smirks over his shoulder at Jungkook, “I meet him on the days I feel like a masochist. You, on the other hand, prepare yourself.”
Jungkook gets up, shrugs, “I got nothing to prepare for.”
Yoongi looks at him, “Taeh-”
“Dead to me,” Jungkook drops the files on Yoongi's desk, smiles at him, “seriously. I worked on that one and perfected it. He is dead to me. It will be fine.”
Yoongi watches him leave.
“You are crazy!” Jungkook laughs at the Porsche, “who takes Porsche to a small gathering?”
Yoongi smirks, “if you have it, flaunt it.”
Jungkook watches Yoongi, “I don't. I just got myself a bike.”
Yoongi arches a brow, “you are already flaunting, kookah. Yourself. Come on.”
Yoongi lights a cigarette, “it's better to fill your mouth with something before you start blurting shit,” he says while getting out of the car.
Jungkook follows, “trying to limit my smoking for the lessons.”
Yoongi shrugs, “suits you.”
They walk inside the building.
Yoongi walks out first when the elevator opens and Jungkook walks beside him. Both of them walk down the hallway to the only door. It's open. They can hear the soft music and lights spilling out.
Jungkook inhales deeply before getting inside with Yoongi.
“Finally you made it!” Jin calls from where he is, walking up to them, “where are the gifts?”
Yoongi holds out his cigarette, “here.”
Jin rolls his eyes but takes it, inhaling deep, “thanks, I needed it to keep acting that I love the art pieces my boyfriend hung everywhere.”
Jungkook looks around the place, “they look good.”
“You are just whipped for him,” Jin rolls his eyes, “one day, I am telling you, I will get drunk and trash this place and blame it all on the liquor.”
“Or,” Yoongi takes the cigarette, “tell him you hate it. Works.”
Jin loops his arm around Yoongi and Jungkook, forcing them to move forward.
“The best sex we had was after I agreed to let him decorate the walls. I won't give it up.”
Jungkook winces, “really could have done without knowing that.”
“Hyung, we need more ice-”
Jungkook stops on his track when he sees Jimin. Jimin has pink hair now. His face dolled up with makeup, and he is wearing a silk white shirt with a black leather pant. Over the shirt, he is wearing a studded jacket. His eyes find Yoongi and he stops midway.
Jungkook's eyes go to Jimin's hand. The ruby ring shines on his ring finger. He watches how Jimin's eyes move from him to Yoongi. They all know about Jungkook, but this is the first time they are meeting.
Yoongi inhales the smoke, smiles, “hi, Jiminie. Good evening.”
Jungkook watches Yoongi step up to him, giving him a one-armed hug. Jimin nods, jerky, then he smiles, looking at Yoongi with wide eyes.
“You are still smoking.”
Yoongi shrugs, “you are still nagging. Habits, you see,” he points at Jungkook, “Jungkook. Remember him?”
Jimin looks at Jungkook, breathless, “hi, Jungkook. No, why would I forget him?”
Jungkook holds out his hand, “hi.”
Jimin takes it, hesitation clear in his eyes and expression, “we are going to shake hands?”
Jungkook chuckles, “I don't know if you would hug me or not.”
Jimin forces out a laugh, “why not?” he steps up to Jungkook to pull him in a hug, “it's nice to finally see you, koo-” he stops, “Jungkook.”
Jungkook chuckles, “kook is fine. It feels less awkward that way,” he takes Jimin's hand in his, “congratulations on the engagement.”
“Speaking of which,” Yoongi comes to stand beside Jungkook, “where is your fiancé? I didn't congratulate him personally, either.”
Jimin watches Yoongi, his expression unreadable, “he is,” he looks over his shoulder, “there. With Hobi hyung and Namjoon hyung.”
Jungkook looks over at where Jimin points, and there he is. For a second, Jungkook holds his breath, his tongue pressed against his teeth and throat running dry.
Yoongi pats his back, forcing him to let out the breath that was caught in his chest. Jungkook exhales deeply.
Kim Taehyung is a vision in his red leather jacket, glimmering black turtleneck underneath and black leather pants. He is wearing a diamond necklace that looks like it can pay off Jungkook's rent of a year or two.
Jungkook lets out a laugh, disbelieving. He is so extravagant.
“Why is he always so over-dressed?” Yoongi wonders, “this is a small party?”
“Well, he is not a small name, is he?” Jimin grinds out with a sweet smile, “he dresses to impress.”
“Who?” Yoongi arches a brow, “he got you in his bed already.”
Jimin snaps his mouth closed.
Yoongi rubs his temple, “damn, where are the liquors? I can do with some-” he turns to leave.
“You just got here,” Jimin frowns.
Yoongi ignores him, going to the kitchen.
“If you want, you don't have to talk to him,” Jin says to Jungkook, “of course. You know that.”
Jungkook nods, “thanks. It's,” he stops when Taehyung turns around, his eyes searching the faces until he finds Jimin.
A small smile blooms on his face, Taehyung takes a step towards Jimin. As if on instinct. As if it's a habit by now. Then his eyes move and Taehyung freezes.
Jungkook watches how that face matured. How that baby face turned so sculptured. How beautiful Taehyung has got. More than he already was. He is breathtaking. Stands out in the crowd.
That expression changes real quick, going blank. Taehyung's face shuts off quickly.
Those eyes are sharper now. Just like that jawline. He walks with confidence. Practised. His head is held high as he comes to stand beside Jimin.
“I was looking for you, babe.”
Jimin wraps an arm around Taehyung easily, without even needing to look, “I just left your side!”
Jin lets out a sigh, “Tae,” he gestures at Jungkook, “Jungko-”
“Isn't he your 2nd assistant?” Taehyung frowns at Jin, gives him a blinding smile, “hyung, come on. Don't see the point of associating in that low of a circle.”
Jimin's smile stiffens. So does Jin.
Jungkook gives Taehyung a smile, “I am surprised that you not only know I exist but know which post I hold in my job,” he nods, “it was nice seeing you, Taehyung.”
He walks around them, going to find Yoongi in the kitchen. He is mixing himself a drink.
“Make me one.”
Yoongi holds out a cup, “the party is just starting.”
“I know,” Jungkook takes a small sip, “it's good to be a little light-headed.”
Yoongi tips his cup at Jungkook, “oh, that I agree with.”
Jungkook watches the others mingle in the living room and the live DJ and the lights.
“This is supposed to be a small gathering,” Jungkook sips his drink, “there is a damn dance floor and DJ and the lights. What is this?”
Yoongi laughs, “this is Kim Seokjin for you. He does not know what 'small' means. To be honest.”
Jungkook hums, “I should have known.”
“Want to dance?” Jungkook looks at Yoongi, “with me?”
Yoongi looks at him, a smirk rests on his lips, “Are you paying?”
Jungkook laughs, “no? Why? You won't do it if I don't pay?”
Yoongi shakes his head, “this ass only shakes if you know the price, sir. So, no.”
Jungkook nudges him, “come on! The dance floor is right there. You are looking hot as fuck in your white shirt with three-buttons open,” Jungkook arches a brow, “and, that damn glittery jacket! What are you waiting for, sir?!”
Yoongi laughs, “no, don't be a cringe with me!”
“Come on,” Jungkook takes a hold of Yoongi's hand, “look at you! You are a catch, sir! In your Rolex, big car, big house!”
Yoongi laughs, elbowing him, “are you trying to one up him with me?”
Jungkook shakes his head, “I am just trying to score a dance. Please?”
Yoongi shakes his head, “nah, kook. I don't feel like dancing tonight.”
Jungkook sighs, “hyung, you know I am just asking as a friend, right? I am not,” he winces, “this is not flirting.”
Yoongi hums, “thank God, I was starting to think you are so bad at it.”
The loud cheers make them look over in the living room. Jungkook and Yoongi watch. Jimin and Taehyung are dancing. Jimin's arms around Taehyung's neck, Taehyung's arms on Jimin's hips. They move side by side, pressed together from chest to toes.
Their smiles clearly flirtatious.
“Ahhh, the show has started,” Yoongi turns to lean on the kitchen counter, drink in hand, “damn, they got no chill.”
Jungkook watches them dance, watches how Taehyung cups Jimin's face, their lips press for a swift kiss. He arches his brow.
“Get a room?” Jungkook murmurs.
Yoongi watches them, “yeah, this never happened before,” he looks at Jungkook, “I think your presence worked them up.”
Jungkook looks at the couple, now laughing with each other while dancing, “they are about to get married. Of course, they kiss. Why would I affect that?”
Yoongi watches the two of them, “anyway,” he waves his hand, “go, enjoy the party. There are too many important people. Mingle,” he winks, “find some other ass to shake on the floor, on your lap. Enjoy.”
He pushes Jungkook out of the kitchen and Jungkook sighs, looking around.
It doesn't take long for him to find company. It never does. Jungkook finds himself with a guy in a few minutes. The guy asking him if he is alone. Kim Hyuk. Jungkook gets him a drink, and they find themselves out on the balcony. Both of them exhausted with the party already.
“I am not a party person,” Hyuk smiles at the traffic, “Namjoon hyung said it would be a small gathering.”
“They trapped us all by saying that,” Jungkook nods, smiles when the guy gives him a soft laugh, “you work for him?”
Hyuk nods, “his backup vocal. One of them.”
Jungkook thinks Hyuk is handsome. He watches the man and tilts his head.
“I never noticed you,” Jungkook frowns, “I think, if I saw you, I would remember.”
It works every time.
Hyuk blushes, “well, I noticed you since day one. You are hard to miss. You know?”
Jungkook arches a teasing brow, “is that so? Where and how exactly did you notice me?”
Hyuk's pale cheeks bloom with colours, he looks away, “well, first time I saw you at the gym. Then with Yoongi sunbaenim.”
Jungkook hums, “ahh, I see. You look like you work out, too.”
Jungkook reaches, his hand holding Hyuk by his waist, “yeah,” he spreads his palm over Hyuk's side, “you work out.”
Hyuk comes to him easily, his eyes searching Jungkook's, “I do. I don't tire easily.”
Jungkook knows a hint when he hears it. He arches a suggestive brow.
The kiss is slow. Jungkook hums in it, his hands feeling up the guy's sides. Hyuk holds him by his face, desperate already.
Jungkook loves how Hyuk moves against him, hands feeling him up.
“My apartment is nearby,” Hyuk murmurs against his lips, “if you were wondering.”
Jungkook kisses Hyuk again, humming in his mouth, “well, I was wondering indeed.”
Hyuk smiles into the kiss, lips trailing down Jungkook's neck, “come with me, then. I got my car waiting.”
Jungkook nods, “let's go, then. Come on.”
He takes Hyuk's hand in his, ready to leave.
Taehyung stands by the balcony door, his eyes on them. Jungkook watches the city-lights illuminate his face. Giving him a soft glow to those sharp edges and eyes.
Taehyung steps outside on the balcony, moving around them silently.
He doesn't acknowledge the two of them, busy shrugging out of his jacket.
Hyuk bows, “Taehyung ssi,” he sounds breathless, terrified, “I didn't know you were...” he forces a smile, “did we disturb?”
Those lazy eyes find them and Taehyung gives them an idle smile, “not at all.”
Taehyung gestures casually with his hand, “you will if you stand here for a second longer.”
Hyuk grasps Jungkook's hand, “sorry,” he bows, “we were leaving.”
Taehyung nods, pulls out his cigarette, looking at the horizon while he lights it.
“Close the door behind yourself.”
Hyuk closes the door behind them and lets out a deep breath, “he is a brat, you know?”
Jungkook watches Taehyung smoke, his eyes closing while he inhales the fresh air deeply, “I know.”
Hyuk nudges him, “forget about him. Come on.”
Jungkook chuckles, “yeah, forget about him.”
The glass door slides open again and Taehyung knows who it is. The perfume is a comfort to him by now, and that presence is the only one he can bear for more than a few minutes around him. He lets out a shaky exhale when Jimin comes to lean on the railing beside him with a beer.
Jimin twirls the bottle, the liquid sloshing around. Taehyung keeps his eyes on the road, so far down. Jimin leans his head on his shoulder with a sigh.
“These parties get exhausting quickly, huh?” Jimin drawls, “I am tired. Let's go home and pass out on the couch.”
Taehyung wraps his arm around Jimin's waist, pulling him closer, “or, there is a bed.”
Jimin chuckles, “in the mood to be dramatic. Let's pass out on the couch.”
Taehyung breathes out a soft laugh, “that works too.”
Jimin tilts his head, eyes on Taehyung's face, “how are you?”
“I just kissed you, I am reeling,” Taehyung blinks, looks at Jimin's face, “your lips are soft soft.”
Jimin burst out laughing, “that's what you are thinking about here?”
Taehyung nudges Jimin with his shoulder, “sorry. For doing that out of the blue. Should have asked you.”
Jimin rolls his eyes, “it was barely a peck. You don't need permission for that,” he frowns, “although, I would have kneed you if you went further.”
Taehyung stares, Jimin stares back, and they giggle. Together.
“You are such a moron,” Jimin elbows Taehyung, “it's fine, okay?”
“We are sharing a bed, we are about to get married, we can share a kiss,” Jimin murmurs.
Taehyung looks at the horizon, “damn, we are getting married.”
Jimin watches the horizon, “do you ever just... feel overwhelmed? Just want to jump off of the balcony when you hear that?”
Taehyung pinches Jimin's side, “well, the thought is terrifying. Being loyal to you.”
Jimin blinks, “what does that supposed to mean?”
Taehyung shrugs, “you know. We don't have sex. I can't get it outside after the wedding. I am stuck.”
Jimin bursts out laughing, “I see!”
Jimin looks at Taehyung, turns to lean on the railing on his back, “do you ever just... want to go back in time?”
“Nope,” Taehyung winces, sipping his beer, “I don't want to go back in time unless it's to not be born.”
Jimin watches him, “I wish I could go back in time.”
“Or, just pause the time,” Jimin's throat bobs, “shout at it to just... wait,” Jimin closes his eyes, “wait, so I can breathe a little and then,” he shrugs, “then catch up with it. Wait, a little longer, so-”
“He is never going to catch up with you, no matter how much you wait.”
“I know,” Jimin nods, “so, you are my only option. But,” he takes Taehyung's hand in his, “if you find someone-”
“I did,” Taehyung squeezes Jimin's hand, “you. You are my best friend. You stood by me through this all. You were like a support system. I won't find someone better.”
“It's better, you know?” Taehyung smiles, “we love each other. Albeit, platonically, but that's the furthest I will go anyway. This will work.”
Jimin watches him, “Jungkook-”
Taehyung giggles, takes a drag of his cigarette, “you are stupid, mimi, if you think I still there.”
“He fcked me over,” Taehyung throws the cigarette, watches it drop, “I fcked him up,” he looks at Jimin, “we are even,” he combs his hair back, “and, done.”
Jimin lets Taehyung take the beer, take a sip and grimace. Jimin holds out a gum, silently watching Taehyung chew it.
a/n — do not bad mouth JM or call him names. He is not evil or shit like that. Calm down.
Jimin rubs Taehyung's back, “all I wanted for you to sit and talk to him-”
“Why?” Taehyung frowns, “you were there. You saw the things I saw. You know the shit I know. Why do you want me to get back to that shit and listen to his fabricated lies all over again, Mimi?”
Jimin grabs the bottle and takes a swing, “he doesn't strike as the man we saw. That is all I am saying. Instinct. I saw him today and my sixth sense said-”
“Your five senses don't work properly, Mimi, forget the sixth one, please,” Taehyung laughs, “come on. Let's go home.”
Taehyung turns to lean on the railing on his back, watching the party from the outside, “you saw those tapes. You heard him. You know his involvement. You know his father's involvement. I don't,” his throat bobs, “seeing him infuriates me. Seeing him makes me hate myself.”
Jimin gnaws on his lower lip, “well, you still did good,” he rubs Taehyung's back, “you could have easily pressed charges against him, but you didn't. That's-”
“Small mercy,” Taehyung shrugs, “his confession letter helped the case a lot.”
Jimin watches him, “you just couldn't.”
Taehyung snorts, “what an ass. A pretentious ass. The world thinks he gave me my property back. When the contract clearly states that if I don't get married to him by the time I am 25, it will go back to him all over again. Mr. Jeon is a cunning man. I must say. What an ass.”
Jimin rubs his temple, “you should really sit down and talk to him. You are losing a lot of money if that happens, and he will just get away with so much!”
Taehyung's face twists, “let him. He worked hard for that money. Imagine working that hard since you were a kid? Nah.”
“I will escalate the process. I will marry you, he will get it right away. Then I will be free of those leeches. I may get just 40% of the property that I deserved 100% of, but I will be free from these people. Finally.”
Jimin watches Taehyung, “you will have me!”
“Yeah,” Taehyung looks at Jimin with a twist of his lips, “that's another loss I need to carry.”
Jimin kicks him in the shin, “get out of my face!”
Taehyung laughs, holding Jimin by his shoulder, “come on. Let's go home. Tomorrow we have to meet your parents!”
Jimin's smile dims, “I wish I didn't have to loop you into this marriage either, Tae. I wish-”
Taehyung shakes his head, “this marriage is for both of our profit. You get your old man's approval and I get out of that Kim's plans. We both needed a solution, and we got it!”
Jimin holds Taehyung by his waist, “when the old man finally writes his shit down on my name, I will make you the CEO of the company and watch you rule the music and fashion industry!”
Taehyung laughs, “I am happy being a model. You handle your inheritance. I will be out of it.”
“The divorce,” Jimin smirks, “five years of me and then we take a divorce. By then, the old man's clauses will fall on his face. I will be able to make my own decisions. I will think if I want to keep you or not.”
Taehyung opens the glass door, “oh, I will be a treasure to you!”
Jimin steps inside the apartment, “what if by then we fall in love? Like those cheesy romantic films? I realize it was you I gave my heart away to! My husband! What if I don't want to let you go by then?”
Taehyung cringes, “for giving it away, you need to have it with you.”
“That was the cheesiest line you ever said,” Jimin makes a face, “anyway,” he frowns, looking around, “where did Jungkook go?”
Taehyung walks with his hands in his pockets, shrugs, “left probably. He got a hookup.”
Jimin blinks, “wow, that... never changed, huh?”
Taehyung laughs, ropes his arm around Jimin's waist, pulling him along, “let the man breathe. He is young. The night is young. Let him be.”
They walk up to Jin and Namjoon. Both of them busy talking about the bedroom decoration.
“We will leave now,” Jimin speaks, “we are done.”
“Take Yoongi with you?” Jin turns to them, “he drank. Not enough to be drunk, but I don't want him behind the wheel.”
“No need,” Yoongi walks up with Hoseok by his side, “hoba will drop me.”
Hoseok blinks, smile bright, “yeah, baby! Yeah, I will!”
They all stare at Hoseok.
Hoseok frowns, “what?”
Taehyung lets out a deep breath, “so-”
Yoongi rolls his eyes, “fine,” he grabs Hoseok by his waist, “come on. Seriously, just asked you to act normal for a minute!”
“He is drunk off his ass!” Jin glares, “take both of them, you two! Acting, my ass!”
Jimin follows them, eyes wide, “you were going to let him drive?! He can't even walk!”
Yoongi rolls his eyes, “no! I was going to drive. I just wanted to be out of this situation.”
“What situation?!” Jimin throws his hands.
Taehyung closes the door of the elevator, “this. Us.”
When Jimin just stares, Taehyung flicks his forehead, “this! He didn't want to share the car with us.”
Jimin looks at Yoongi, “you- don't put yourself up in danger because you can't stand me!”
Yoongi holds Hoseok to him, cursing as Hoseok drools on his neck, “for fuck's sake!”
Taehyung leans on his front, his eyes outside through the glass. Behind him, Jimin and Yoongi argue, Hoseok butting in when he can focus. Taehyung closes his eyes, pressing his forehead against the cool glass of the elevator.
God, when will he ever be out of this tinted cage?
He feels the familiar sting behind his eyelids. He squeezes his eyes closed as tightly as he can. Nothing escapes his eyes. Tears dried out ages ago. The burn, though... the burn stayed. He wishes he could cry, sooth that burning.
He presses his hands over the glass, thinking.
One more year and he will pay Jungkook back for the letter. He knows Jungkook is an ass, but he still wrote that confession. The only thing that still stops Taehyung from pressing charges. That only piece of paper he lives by. Maybe… just for a day… he really… Taehyung snorts.
Jungkook felt nothing for him. He just felt guilty. At that moment.
Taehyung hopes the property pays for the guilt he feels for using that letter against Jungkook.
He hopes letting Jungkook walk away when he has all the evidences that can get him in prison helps him move on.
Taehyung closes his eyes, Jungkook's face was starting to fade for some time now. But after tonight, it's bright and clear again. Taehyung lets out a shuddering breath.
He just wants to be out of this gilded cage. He just wants to move on and away from all this. Completely.
Taehyung looks over his shoulder, the outer world rushes back in, and he stumbles. He turns, with a forced smile, nods when Jimin says the elevator stopped. He walks out, helping Yoongi shove Hoseok inside the car and get in. He goes to drive with Jimin beside him.
Taehyung watches Jimin watch Yoongi and Hoseok on the backseat.
Yoongi has Hoseok in his arms, protectively holding him down while Hoseok blabbers about things that make no sense to them.
Taehyung sighs, reaches to take Jimin's hand in his. Jimin gives him a small smile.
Through the rearview mirror, Taehyung sees Yoongi's eyes on their joined hands. Taehyung tongues the inside of his cheek.
Yoongi looks up, his eyes on Taehyung, and Taehyung arches a challenging brow. He wants Yoongi to take the challenge.
Yoongi smirks, turns his face away.
“A music video,” Namjoon gestures wildly, “you will be my lover!”
Taehyung cringes, “got the concept, hyung. Calm down.”
Namjoon stares at him, expectantly, “so? Do you agree?”
Taehyung goes through the files, the proposal is good, “I mean, I am trying to get in acting.”
“This will help!” Namjoon sits down, sips his coffee and winces when it burns his tongue, “so, do you agree?”
“Why not Jin hyung?” Taehyung drops the file to look at the rapper, “he won't even have to act.”
Namjoon shakes his head, “we don't want to. He doesn't want to.”
Namjoon rolls his eyes, “he has this superstition that the couples who do these things together don't stick together for long. You know, the recent one, Zay-”
“I got it!” Taehyung holds his hand up, “I got it. Let's not go there,” he combs his hair, “fine. I mean, why not?”
“My lawyers will go through these offers and then I will get back to you,” Taehyung sips his tea, “give me two days.”
Namjoon watches him, “your lawyers go through everything huh?” he smiles, “that day you told me to hand over the invitation to them. To check.”
Taehyung's eyes skip to Namjoon, and he gives Namjoon a small smile.
“When you grow up in a bubble of lies, trusting someone gets really hard,” Taehyung places the cup back on the tabletop, “I am not even trying anymore.”
Namjoon watches him, “that's… a sad life.”
“But, a safe one,” Taehyung jerks his shoulders, “I am done letting others run my life for me. Run?” he laughs, “ruin. If I fuck my life up, I want to do it on my own terms this time. At least, when I go to blame, I will have myself. Won't be able to leave or run away.”
“You know?” Taehyung smirks, “wash their hands off of me when the time comes? I won't be able to do it to myself. Won't have to stand on a pavement and watch the shit play out exactly the way I knew it will, but still kept giving benefits of doubt to change it.”
“Not anymore,” Taehyung picks up another file, “this time I want to be the one who is in that car and leave all of this shit behind me. I am done thinking and hoping and praying that, please, let me be enough. I will be enough. To myself. Done letting others decide my value.”
“If this is about Jungkook-”
Taehyung slams the file down, “you know the best part? He still has his father. Someone in this world who, no matter what, loves him. Me?” he giggles, “I got no one to point and say, hey, that's my family! I got no one! No one like that! Never had!”
“And, all our friends? You all,” he points at Namjoon, “you think I am the bitch! No, I know you do,” he holds his hand up when Namjoon opens his mouth, “you all took him in and are helping him. I am not going to say anything. Whatever. But, why am I the bitch? Tell me? Go on!”
“I was wronged even before I was born,” Taehyung laughs, glares at Namjoon, “I was wronged by them throughout my life. He knew, he helped, he did everything according to the plan and when I overruled them, you all are suddenly against me?”
Namjoon rubs his temple, “Tae, no.”
“We are not against you,” Namjoon reaches out to hold Taehyung's hand in his, grabs it when Taehyung tries to pull away, “bub, we are not against you. What you did, we understand. But, tae, he is penniless. When he called Yoongi hyung, he was desperate. That can't be a lie. No?”
“He left his entire career plans,” Namjoon's voice dips, “he is starting over. Why would a man with a plan get to that point? Don't you think? If he really had so much planned, where did the plans go? He is starting his life over. Don't you realize? He, I think, is not lying.”
“No, he had his plans,” Taehyung glares, “I just fucked it up. Now he is bearing the consequences of his karma, and you all are supporting him. I understand why Yoongi hyung would take his side,” Taehyung frowns, “didn't think you will do the same. Jin and hobi hyung too.”
“Anyway,” Taehyung leans back against his chair, “it's fine. I don't care. Really. At the end of the day, it's all about money. You are paying, and I will consider this offer because it sounds profitable to me. See you around, hyung.”
Namjoon knows he is excused.
Namjoon pulls out a box from his bag and places it on the table.
Taehyung frowns, watches the box, “what is it?”
Namjoon gestures for him to open it and Taehyung takes it, opening it to stare at inside.
He looks up at Namjoon with confusion and Namjoon gives him a small smile.
“Jin made you some cake,” Namjoon mutters, “the cake doesn't have eggs, Jimin said you are allergic. Hobi knew the flavour you like, and I know much sweet you can tolerate. Yoongi hyung helped Jin bake the cake. I know you hate it, but happy birthday,” he nods, “we love you.”
Namjoon takes a step back, “sometimes that's all it takes, Tae. Trusting the gestures. You can't voice everything. Sometimes you got to trust the actions. We went nowhere. We won't go anywhere. You left. You have your reasons, we understand. But you stopped understanding us.”
Taehyung watches Namjoon leave. He places the box down and goes back to his files. The scent of the cake makes his stomach rumble. He is not supposed to eat cakes. Not more than a slice. Maybe.
He takes a small slice and it's perfect. He sighs, going back to his files.
“He needs his coffee by his desk as soon as he arrives,” Hoseok lists things down, “the makeup artists should already be there. Make sure to use the brand he already sent us the list of. He doesn't use any other brands. THV should be written on his vanity. He won't wait. Okay?”
Jungkook nods, “wait, what is V?”
Hoseok gives him an unimpressed look, “V is his sign on his clothing and makeup line. Where have you been?! THV is his company!”
Jungkook blinks, “he... has his own makeup and clothing line?!”
Hoseok gives him a look, “not the time, kook!”
“You are not his assistant or spot boy,” Hoseok points at him, “you are the manager of the shooting. Just keep an eye on things and make sure they go smoothly. You don't have to do something and,” Hoseok holds out a file, “Tae is not a brat when he's working. He is professional.”
Jungkook takes the file, “well, not with you all. For sure.”
Hoseok chuckles, “no, he has a reputation of being the most professional supermodel. He isn't the kid you knew. Not anymore.”
Jungkook smiles down at the papers, “I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, hyung.”
Taehyung comes with four bodyguards.
Jungkook blinks at them, hurries to sign the sheet with their names and give them the cards for the day. He looks at Taehyung next.
Taehyung looks sleepy, eyes barely open. He is hugging his flask of tea, sipping and waiting for his card.
Jungkook issues one and holds it out for him. Taehyung wraps it around his wrist and nods at Jungkook.
“Thanks,” he sounds hoarse, “where is the Vanity?”
Jungkook points, “there. The makeup artists and stylists are already waiting. Have a good day.”
Taehyung nods, “you too.”
He follows his guards.
“Tae, keep your eyes open,” Jungkook curses himself as soon as he says it.
Taehyung stops on his track, looks over his shoulder at Jungkook.
Jungkook's throat bobs, “I-” he has nothing to say to cover it up.
Taehyung walks briskly up into his Vanity.
Jungkook slams the board on his face, “what the hell was that?!”
“That is you not knowing when to stop talking,” Yoongi pats his back, sipping from his coffee, “old habits die hard. Be easy on yourself.”
“I hate him,” Jungkook snorts, “want him to trip. But, I said that.”
Yoongi watches him with a small smile, “nah, you don't want him to trip. I get you, trust me. Anyway,” he holds Jungkook by his shoulder, “enjoy the work. I will see you later.”
Jungkook watches Yoongi disappear around the corner. He looks at his board and checks the first work.
Jungkook knocks on the door of the vanity after 45 minutes. He walks in when a bodyguard opens the door.
“Hey, we are waiting-” Jungkook stops, voice drying in his throat.
Taehyung looks up from his phone, gives him a small smile, “I will be there in five minutes. No worries.”
Jungkook nods. Silently standing and watching Taehyung get his hair done. Taehyung is already dressed. He is wearing pink. Baby pink shoes to pants to shirt to the robe over it. His electric blue hair stands out. He picks up rings and tries them one by one. Smiling to himself.
“You just want me to look like a clown,” Taehyung swats at his stylist with a laugh, “the contrast is killing me. It's an eyesore!”
The girl makes a face, “Jungkook ssi, you tell us! Isn't he looking good?”
Jungkook grips the board when those large eyes shift to him.
Taehyung gets up from the seat, “shut up, Iseul. Come on. We are getting late.”
“Some photos,” Iseul runs after the supermodel, “Tae, you have to take some photos for the gram.”
Taehyung sighs, looks at Jungkook, “just wait five more minutes. We will be done by then.”
Jungkook watches them click a few photos, and then Iseul comes over to discuss which one they should post.
Taehyung dabs his face with a tissue, “whichever. We should move, it's already late.”
“Jungkook ssi,” Iseul shuffles up to him, “which one looks good for you?”
Taehyung winces, “why are you disturbing the manag-”
“Hey, he is the assistant director,” Iseul frowns, “he knows about these things!” She smiles at Jungkook, “which one shall we post?”
Taehyung rounds them to leave and Jungkook points at one, “this. This looks nice.”
Taehyung takes the camera, snatches it from Iseul, “can we leave? I am already late, and you know I hate being late on the floor.”
Jungkook blinks, watches the man march away. His guards and assistants follow him on his toes. Jungkook does too.
It's going to be a long day.
“Tae, you aren't doing it right,” the director, Yongguk, speaks up, “you don't look like you are in love.”
Taehyung looks stressed, “sorry, what am I doing wrong?”
Yongguk hums, “just, while passing, give him a nod with a bashful smile.”
Taehyung nods, “okay. Okay.”
“First love, Taehyung,” Yongguk smirks teasingly, “feel the emotions. That happy feeling-”
Taehyung takes his position, “talk about your first love, sir,” he motions for Namjoon to take his position, “let's not get personal.”
Jungkook watches from where he stands.
“The chemistry is not it,” Yongguk tells Yoongi, “do you see? I mean, they are both doing good, but they are not clicking.”
Taehyung sits on his chair, eyes on the screen, where he sees himself and Namjoon.
“What do you want us to do? Have sex on the screen?” he asks, pissed.
Yoongi rubs his hands down his face, “it's not about having sex, Tae. If we wanted something physical and show that, I don't think it would be a problem because the audience eats up that shit. No matter how bad it is, as long as it's explicit, it sells. We don't want that.”
“We need to show the emotional bond, that emotional connection,” Yongguk explains, “these are two guys who are exploring their sexualities. They are hesitant. They are hopeful but also scared to expose themselves in the fear of the other not understanding them.”
“You have to express that with your gestures and face,” Yongguk flips a few pages of a file, “read the lyrics. The song is about coming in terms with yourself.”
Taehyung waves his hand, “I read it.”
“Read again,” Yoongi takes the file from Yongguk and holds it out for Taehyung.
He crouches beside Taehyung's chair, “read and understand the lyrics. Read until you feel like you are the one not acting but feeling it. Try to get that feeling through yours act, Tae,” Yoongi points at a few lines, “you are the guy who makes Namjoon question himself.”
Jungkook stands behind Taehyung. His ears picking up the words, but his mind reels. He feels uncomfortable. It hits too close to home. It makes him feel vulnerable, naked, exposed. He forces himself to look ahead. Where Namjoon is getting his makeup fixed.
“They don't fit.”
Hoseok clicks his tongue, “their chemistry is like watching cousins falling in love,” he makes a face, “it's not making sense.”
Yoongi stares at his best friend, “are you drunk already?”
Hoseok rolls his eyes, “watch the clips. Tell me you feel shit from it! Go on!”
“How about you do it?” Yongguk clicks his fingers, “better, how about we hire Jimin, and they do it! You know, the public eats up these things when the onscreen couples are real life couples too!”
Yoongi shakes his head, “Jimin won't work for my company. For legal reasons.”
“You are too shabby, street-side for him,” Taehyung smirks.
Yoongi arches a brow, “yeah. I am. Anyway,” he rolls his eyes, “how about we consider this, Joonah,” he calls Namjoon over, “how about we change the concept of the video?”
Namjoon sits on a chair, “like?”
Yoongi takes the board and flips to the concept written on the page, “how about you rap like the third party who is not seen by the two main characters of the MV? How about you rap and sing while they act out the parts, and you are just there like the narrator?”
Taehyung watches the smirk on Yoongi's face, his gears rolling, “what are you thinking?”
Yoongi shrugs, “well, Hoba could take Namjoon's place.”
Hoseok blinks, “I will,” he winks at Yoongi, “if you are on the opposite side, baby.”
Yoongi winces, “are you drunk? Be honest!”
Hoseok laughs, “because, you idiot, I suck at acting. You know first-hand. Forgot the party already? I will burst out laughing while making heart eyes.”
“He is creepy when he tries to make heart eyes,” Yongguk murmurs, “trust me. I know.”
Taehyung arches a brow, “oh?”
“Then, I have an option,” Yoongi smirks at Hoseok and Hoseok winks back.
Yoongi schools his expression, “I was thinking of launching him. He is already one of the backup vocals. Jungkook,” he holds back a snort when Jungkook jumps, “give it a try. Let's introduce you like this.”
Taehyung chokes on thin air, “what?!”
Jungkook is no different. He stares, jaw loose. Eyes wide.
Yoongi nods, “it makes so much sense. I was going to introduce him at one point. As one of our artists. He is not there yet. But, this way, we can introduce him and create a buzz.”
“And, you think I will help build his career?” Taehyung gets up from his chair, “really?”
Yoongi stands up too, face blank, “well, you signed the contract of the MV. Now, you can break it. But, what message are you giving to the other companies? That you have a tantrum. No?”
Taehyung gives a short laugh, “so, I trust you, and you do this?”
Yoongi watches him, “no, I pay you and I write it down that if circumstances demand, there can be changes. It was the sixth point of the contract. The circumstances demand and as the CEO, I am making the changes.”
“What?” Yoongi frowns, “your lawyers didn't read you the entire contract?”
Taehyung grits his teeth, “you know this is not the case that happens-”
Yoongi shrugs, sipping his coffee, “in my company, I set the rules. Taehyung, you can leave if you won't do this. You are free to.”
“Just remember two things,” he holds a finger up, “one, you are giving this image of yourself that you won't work if things don't go your way. Which is a bad reputation. Two,” Yoongi holds another finger up with a smile, “that much effect Jungkook still has on you. Now decide.”
“Don't use reverse psychology with me!” Taehyung takes a step towards Yoongi.
Yoongi chuckles, “why not? It's working, no?” he rounds Taehyung to pat Yongguk's shoulder, “wait a bit. Let's get Jungkook fixed. Let's meet after an hour.”
“I didn't say yes, yet!” Taehyung hisses.
“I didn't agree either,” Jungkook murmurs, looking at Yoongi.
“No, you are doing this,” Yoongi points at Jungkook, “you are not going to speak over me when I am trying to fix your career and start it. And, you,” he looks at Taehyung, “have an hour to decide. Be here or be gone.”
Yoongi clicks his fingers, “now I will meet you all after an hour. Enough chit-chat for the day.”
He walks out of the set with Namjoon and Hoseok sits beside Yongguk, talking.
Taehyung storms out too, his guards following him. Jungkook curses, sitting down himself.
“You look so hot,” Hyuk squeezes Jungkook's shoulders, “I want to rip these clothes off of you right here and ride you like I did that night.”
Jungkook snorts, “yeah, that's helping with my tension. Hyuk,” he sighs, “I know nothing of acting!”
Hyuk hums, “you will rock it.”
Jungkook pulls Hyuk down on his lap, smirks, “you trust me too much. Don't you think?”
Hyuk smirks back, arms looping around Jungkook's neck, “maybe,” he grinds down on Jungkook, “I can help you if you do well. After the shoot, yeah?”
Jungkook hums, “that can be arranged.”
Jungkook closes his eyes when Hyuk kisses him, their lips moulding together. He holds the guy to himself, bodies pressed together.
The door of the Vanity opens and Jungkook jumps, pulling away to look at the mirror. Taehyung stands by the door, watching them.
Taehyung walks in. Hyuk stands up with speed, bowing repeatedly.
Taehyung waves him off, “it's okay. I don't own this Vanity or the man,” he smirks, goes to sit on his chair, “just from tomorrow, ask for a different vanity. Unlike the man, I want my Vanity to be mine alone.”
Jungkook sits up straight, greeting the stylists who come to help him with his clothes. Rests his head while the makeup artists work on his face.
“Stay,” he holds Hyuk's hand in his, “I am nervous. If you don't have work, stay.”
Hyuk's face blooms with a smile, “of course.”
Jungkook's eyes move to Taehyung while they get ready together. Taehyung is looking at himself while the makeup artist brush some highlighter on his cheekbones. Jungkook watches how Taehyung does his own lips, making sure to line it and put on the gloss before he is ready.
Taehyung gets out first, Jungkook follows.
“I will watch,” Hyuk stands by the sideline, “and, I will give you a show tonight.”
Jungkook smiles, “sounds good.”
He walks inside the set, stands where he has to. Yoongi comes up to him, holding up the papers.
“What?” Jungkook stares at the rapper.
Yoongi rises a brow, “you heard me. Don't bullshit me or even try to. You know the story, you know the characters. I may have written the song, but you lived it,” he pats Jungkook's back, “so, just be yourself.”
He walks out of the focus.
Yongguk holds out his hand, “so, the character you are playing-”
“He got it,” Yoongi squeezes Yongguk's shoulders with a smile, “roll the camera.”
Hoseok looks up at Yoongi, “I am still ready to rip your clothes off.”
Yoongi looks at the man, “stuff some in your mouth.”
Hoseok wiggles his brows, “the clothes or you?”
Yoongi winces, forces Hoseok to look ahead while Yongguk shouts for the cameras to roll.
They all watch Namjoon sit on the bench in the corridor, while Jungkook and Taehyung walk from the opposite sides. The rapper watches them.
Taehyung clutches the books in his hands. He needs to drop the diary, and Jungkook is going to kneel to pick it up for him. He makes sure to keep that in mind while they walk. But as he takes his steps, looks at the other, his palms start to sweat. He knows everyone is looking.
Taehyung, in his thoughts, drops everything and with a curse drops on the ground to pick them up. The camera is supposed to stop rolling, but no one calls out for it.
Jungkook kneels in front of him, helping him pick up the books.
“Sorry,” he murmurs, “I messed up.”
Jungkook breathes out a chuckle, “that's okay, it happens,” he holds out two books for Taehyung and Taehyung looks up at the man.
He takes the books and he looks.
Jungkook looks polished. In makeup, in those clothes, in that particular style, he looks good.
Taehyung hears Yongguk shout for them to get up. The scene is done. He jumps, gets up on his feet and looks at the general direction of the director.
“Sorry, I messed up, let's-” Taehyung stops when he hears the claps.
“You did so well!” Yongguk shouts, “that was perfect!”
“Oh, my God, you two are natural! Yoongi!” Yongguk hugs Yoongi who squirms out of that grasp, “you are a genius! Now I want to rip your clothes too!”
Yoongi makes a disgruntled face, “let's change to the next scene. We already lost an hour of the shoot. Come on!”
The next scene is of the two of them playing basketball.
“Just play the game,” Yongguk waves his hands, “Namjoon is the main focus in this scene. You two are in the background. But, when Namjoon's lines fade out, make sure you are close. Make it look like an accident, but yeah.”
Taehyung looks at the ball and back at Jungkook. He watches Jungkook play and he freezes for a few seconds. His mind reels. Takes him back to when they used to be kids. Both of them taking turns to score a basket and Taehyung would win. He was taller. Still is. He sighs.
“What?” Jungkook asks, frowning.
“This was a bad idea,” Taehyung chuckles, “of course it affects me. Seeing you affects me,” he hugs himself, “it bothers me that I am even trying to be civil when I don't owe you that. It bothers me that I was again looped into this.”
When they stop, the others come to gather around them. Taehyung looks at Yoongi and back at Jungkook.
“I know you want us to get along,” he nods at Yoongi, “I know, you all are trying because otherwise the friend group is falling apart. Who is on whose side and all that...”
“But, I don't need you all to be on my side,” Taehyung rubs his temple, “just leave me alone, and we are done. What are you trying to achieve by doing this, hyung? We are not kids who will start talking if you let them play around for an hour or so. What do you want us to be?”
“If I remember correctly, we never were friends,” Taehyung laughs, “no?” he looks at Jungkook and back at Yoongi, “he worked under my dad and tolerated me. Forget the kids, that version died ages ago. The ones I remember, we were never friends. He hated me for being a brat.”
“I did everything to irritate him, be the brat he used to call me and well, that's all there was,” Taehyung shrugs, “why are you all so convinced that there was something more? Please, I can't do this,” Taehyung takes a step back, “I can't be his co-worker or anything, really.”
“And, be professional?” Taehyung laughs, “you would say? Well, even in professional setting, I get to choose who makes me comfortable and whose presence makes my skin crawl. He,” Taehyung points at Jungkook and looks at Yoongi, “he makes me want to vomit. I can't do this.”
“What do you want me to do?” Jungkook steps forward, “what-”
“Guys, leave,” Yoongi waves at the others, “let them talk. Come on, they will sort it out.”
Jungkook stops, watches the others slowly leave the basketball court as they stand, facing each other.
Jungkook reaches and grabs Taehyung's wrist when Taehyung turns to leave too.
“No, you don't get to fcking leave like that,” Jungkook pulls Taehyung back to his place, “you need to tell me what more I have to do for you to fcking let it go?!”
Taehyung looks at him, finally.
“I need you to leave me alone,” Taehyung grits out, “I need you to stay where you were and not show up in my life. I want you to be the scum you were and bear that karma for the shit you pulled-”
Jungkook stares, “you mean, I pulled shit when you fcked me over? Seriously?!”
Taehyung smirks, “hurts, huh? Seeing your scum of a dad going back to where he belongs? Seeing your already planned future get destroyed like that? I feel bad, you know?” he pouts, “for not sending you with your dad. You deserve to be in jail, anyway. Not here, like this.”
“It's really hilarious how spineless you are,” Taehyung's smile morphs into a glare, “you are riding on my back since childhood. Were fed for killing my father, were funded for keeping that secret. Now you're debuting by taking the support of my fame and career too? No.”
“You are so self-centred, I swear to God, I regret letting that share go,” Jungkook throws the basket ball on the ground, “I regret returning it when I should have kept it and used my degrees to win over your remaining share. I should have left you on the footpath!”
“You should have been on the streets,” Jungkook hisses, “I should have watched you break because, damn, you won't last a day in struggle! Damn you if you think I owe you shit or you have any rights to humiliate me for the shit that happened. You know what? You deserved all this!”
“You deserved to be where you are,” Jungkook glares, “why would it be you of all the other people in the world? Because a shithead like you deserved this. You don't deserve a loving or stable family. You don't deserve true friends or love. You don't. You can't value them!”
“Do you ever wonder why no one is around you?” Jungkook snickers, “why, since childhood, no one bothered to really stick around you? Because you don't deserve it. Go on, be like this more and watch Jimin leave too. I hope he does. No one deserves to be around a shit like you!”
“I hope you know, you are right. I was around you for your money,” Jungkook steps back, “no, but also,” he takes a long look at the other, “wouldn't have minded fucking you once. That's cheap? You think?” Jungkook laughs, “yeah, I am cheap like that. You deserve nothing better.”
- I want to write the whole night and end this to the point till where I planned but it's too late. See you guys tomorrow
- Here's my kofi, if you want to support me and my writings, means a lot : ko-fi.com/aamyungv
My inspiration for the story - these lines -
A/N - This story will have a lot of messed up decisions from both sides. They both are messed up and well, that's that.
If it bothers you, please don't read, lovelies.
°•°•°•°•° ○ °•°•°•°•°
Hoseok winces, “did he just slap Jungkook?”
Yoongi watches Taehyung storm out of the court with Jungkook following right behind, “looks like it.”
“Should we stop them?” Namjoon asked, puzzled, “damn, why's Jungkook following him?”
Yoongi looks at them, “who knows?”
Namjoon looks at the others milling around, “shit, this gossip will spread like wildfire now. I am sure some got it on tape,” he rubs his temple, “we should have thought this through.”
Yoongi looks at the others, “for now, cancel the shoot. We will check in tomorrow.”
“Speaking as one of the producers,” Hoseok makes a face, “if we can still make them go through with this, we are earning bucks.”
Namjoon rolls his eyes, “yeah, because my song is not powerful enough to do it?”
Hoseok slaps his back, “not that. People will tune in for them too.”
“You know how public is,” Hoseok watches Jungkook get inside the Vanity, “they will eat it up more after today.”
Yoongi watches the door close, turns to face the two, “let's move. I am tired and these two need to cool down for now. There's no point in waiting around.”
“If you think you are going to treat me like trash and walk away, you are in for a reality check,” Jungkook slams the door closed behind himself, “I don't work for your dad anymore. Oh,” he laughs, “I mean, the guy who pretended to be your dad.”
Taehyung leans over the counter.
He tries to calm his breathing, ease it out and ignore Jungkook. His words. He tries to hold onto that thread of rationality, but it gets hard. With each word from Jungkook, it gets really hard.
Jungkook knows he should stop. He knows he should just get out of here but he can't.
He broke the dam that he built for years. Years' worth of frustration, anger, hurt, it all spills out of him. Taehyung is right there, and they are talking about this and Jungkook wants to say so much. He buried so much inside himself, it physically suffocates him now.
“I gave you back your damn shares!” Jungkook takes a hold of Taehyung's elbow to turn him around, “what more do you want?!”
Taehyung lets out a hysterical laugh, “oh, you did? So generous of you! Your dad, that a'shole,” he chews out, “and you. Both of you. Liars!”
“It runs in the blood, huh?” Taehyung's eyes are wild, red from holding back his tears, “betrayal?! Cruelty? Being so cheap?! He killed a man who he called his friend. I wish him a painful death,” Taehyung spits the words on Jungkook's face, “I wish him to hurt. Every day-”
Taehyung stops dead on his words when Jungkook lurches forward. His hand holding Taehyung's jaw and the other raised in a fist. Ready to punch.
Taehyung looks at the fist and back at the man, “go on,” he mutters, “go on, punch me. Do it. You backstabbed me. I will prefer this!”
Jungkook wants to. He wants to physically injure Taehyung. He does. The anger swims in his head, his veins almost popping. Jungkook feels the way his hand trembles with barely restrained wrath. The frustration is like a weak leash around his anger, ready to snap any moment.
He can't though. He looks at Taehyung's eyes and thinks of breaking that face, and he can't.
He drops his hand and takes a step back, “I don't understand. What did I do wrong? I gave your shares back-”
“Which you'll get back when I turn 25 and don't marry you,” Taehyung snorts.
Jungkook nods, “I know.”
Taehyung blinks, “I know you know. You signed the contract.”
Jungkook curses, “oh, for heaven's sake! I got the brief after I signed the papers. What makes you think I will not return it to you again?! I don't need your damn money! I don't care!”
Taehyung laughs, “please, don't even try to act like you don't care,” he waves his hand, “you know very well that your father needs to sign it too. The return will mean nothing if he doesn't sign the papers. You are being a hero to everyone by showing off you gave me back shit +
“+ when you know very well about the points in the contract. He will never sign it. So, I am not getting back shit. I don't care. Just stop acting like you sacrificed everything for me, when we both know that was a pretence! Come on, none of us are fools here!”
“You know what?” Jungkook combs his hair back, “I don't know what I was thinking, talking shit to my dad and taking your side when clearly my dad was right. I should keep it,” he laughs, “I mean, whatever happened, my dad did his time. Did he not? He paid his due in the jail.”
“The case he is in for, right now, is harassing you and that he can get a bail for,” Jungkook hums, “you know what? I will get him a bail and take up the company. Then I can help Yoongi hyung pay for my debut and everything. As you said, the public sympathy is already with me.”
Taehyung hums, “yeah, you are good at gaining sympathy. Have done that since childhood. You will do good. Whatever,” he shrugs carelessly, “go and be the Jeon that you are. I gave up on that property ages ago anyway. Do whatever you want. I spit you out, Jungkook. You are done.”
“You want me to follow the contract and be the Jeon, huh?” Jungkook chuckles, “did you read the contract carefully, Taehyung?”
Taehyung shrugs, turning to face the mirror, he takes a tissue to start wiping his lip gloss, “I got a look of it. I said the points clearly. No?”
Jungkook steps up behind Taehyung, his eyes on Taehyung through the mirror.
“I don't know if you remember signing a few papers one day back when we were here. Bogum, your bodyguard, made you sign it. Remember?”
Taehyung pauses, eyes flickering to look at Jungkook, “...why?”
“Your father, the one you knew growing up, was a cunning man, Taehyung. He wanted you and me, both under his feet. Some way. The papers you signed that day, I got it with me. It clearly states, if you do not marry the person who holds the 60% share, your 40% will be returned to-”
“his name. He knew I will hold the 60% share. He knew what he was doing when he started filling my ears with shit about you, and my father did the same. They both very nicely broke us apart, so we stand right where we are. I am to gain 60%, and he will get his 40% intact.”
“He didn't care an ounce about you. So, if you disagree to marry me, which he knew you will after the amount of filth he put between us, he will get the remaining 40%, and you get nothing. You will be left on the streets. All I have to do is, show the papers and draw attention.”
“Even if I don't,” Jungkook smirks, “your father dearest will get the money when you marry Jimin. So,” he shrugs, “kind of funny that you lose everything in this game. Huh?”
Taehyung watches Jungkook, the tissue in his hand feels too heavy. He drops it, eyes fixed on Jungkook.
Jungkook watches Taehyung, “I mean, I won't marry you. Of course. So, now... enjoy the lavish life as long as you can. Even if you don't marry Jimin, when you turn 25, and I get my shares back and refuse to marry you, you will end up losing everything. So, all the best, I guess.”
Taehyung thinks, and Jungkook watches him.
Taehyung smiles at Jungkook, “so, it's still mine, and it will go to that Kim when the time comes, and I still have the property on my name, right?”
Jungkook nods, “yes.”
Taehyung smiles, “I see,” he picks up his phone and dials.
Taehyung holds Jungkook's eyes as he speaks, “hey, Mr. Choi,” he hums, “yeah, I would like you to prepare a contract. I am giving up my shares and the inheritance to Park Jimin. Will it on his name. From today onwards, he owns everything I had.”
Jungkook blinks, immobile.
Taehyung looks at Jungkook, shrugs, “what will Kim get when I got nothing on my name anymore?”
Jungkook's jaw loosens.
Taehyung points a finger at Jungkook, “I will be damned before I let him, or you, control me, Jungkook. I overruled you once. I can do it all over again.”
“I am not the damsel in distress you, your dad and that Kim thought I will be,” he holds his head up, “I will marry Jimin, and we will share the inheritance now. And, if we split our ways in the future, I can blindly trust Jimin to write my shares back to me. Kim got nothing!”
Taehyung arches his brow, “got any more tricks up your ass? Get them out before I burst them inside you,” he turns to clean his face, “you really thought you can scare me, huh? Even if I lose everything I inherit, I made my name in my field. I will never be on the streets.”
“That's the point I am trying to make!” Jungkook takes a hold of Taehyung's elbow, “I never got a trick up my ass!” he turns Taehyung to face him, “why can't you believe it?! Why can't you just see that I was always trying to be on your side? I don't have a trick up my ass!”
“I wrote that confession,” Jungkook steps up to Taehyung, “I didn't get my dad bail. I didn't do anything for you to hate me,” he squeezes Taehyung's elbow, “I will return the share again. When I get it. Why can't you trust me?”
Taehyung watches Jungkook, “you are not worth it.”
“You really think you didn't do anything?” Taehyung snorts, “you said you are going with me to control me. Keep me under your wings. You said you are on that Kim's side. Do you deny it?”
Jungkook blinks, “that... that was before we left for the states!”
Taehyung hums, “yes.”
“That was a lie!” Jungkook shakes his head, “that was a lie I had to say, so he lets me-”
Taehyung audibly lets out a long breath, “Jungkook,” he rubs his temple, “stop. I don't need to listen to you and your lies anymore. Namjoon hyung said I should trust actions and gestures.”
“And, I will do that,” Taehyung smirks at Jungkook, “your actions and gestures always reminded me I am worthless to you. I was nothing but a brat you were tolerating. You can say a lot of things to me now, but your actions spoke for itself. Even you can't deny that.”
“That night before I left-” Jungkook curses when the door of the vanity opens.
“Gguk! Here you are, oh, god, I kept looking for you!” Hyuk steps inside the Vanity, frowns when he sees how close Taehyung and Jungkook stand, “what… is going on? Am I disturbing?”
“You call him gguk?” Taehyung smiles, wide, “I once did and got an earful of shit and why I shouldn't,” he ignores how Jungkook watches him, “anyway,” he pushes Jungkook away, “no, you are not disturbing. I was about to leave anyway,” he looks at Jungkook, “gestures. You see.”
Jungkook holds his wrist, “listen to me, Tae-”
“No,” Taehyung shakes his head, “no, you listen to me, Jungkook. I don't want your shares. You keep it. I am sick and tired of this money heist and I don't want anything anymore. Not with you, your father, that Kim. Leave me alone.”
“I didn't deserve this for loving him as my father,” Taehyung whispers, voice low enough for Hyuk to listen from where he stands, “I didn't deserve it for loving you,” he chuckles, “but, you pay for what you sow. I will. Take the money and get out of my face. Please.”
“I wish you have a good future,” Taehyung sounds defeated, at that moment, he sounds tired, “I might say a lot of shit, but I know I put you through enough too. So, whatever you did, that's on you, but I did my share of damage too. So, can't we just go our ways and forget this?”
“I just want to forget you,” Taehyung looks over Jungkook's shoulder, “one day, I want to look at you and not have this bone-crushing urge to demand justice that you don't owe me. I know you don't. Just... give me that time.”
“How long?” Jungkook can't recognize his own voice.
Taehyung's eyes flicker over to Hyuk, he holds the guy in his eyes, “I don't know, this lifetime?” he chuckles, looks back at Jungkook, “years. The exact amount of time I spent loving you. Takes the exact amount to forgive and forget, I guess. More, if I can speak for myself.”
“Tae,” Jungkook corners Taehyugn when he tries to leave, “you can't just say whatever you want and leave.”
“But, you did?” Taehyung tilts his head, “you just said you want to try and left. Sent one voice message and when I blocked it, you didn't try harder? So, you can do that?”
“I thought you didn't want to try! I was figuring out so much of my shit, Taehyung! I wasn't even sure about my sexuality. I had too much on my plate! I had to figure out my future, my plans, now that I didn't want your money. I had to work out a path for myself and important-”
“On your list of important things, I never was one,” Taehyung rounds Jungkook this time, picks up his bag, “I get that. Except for that night, for those few hours, what effort did you put in for me to trust you? Tell me? Even in that party, you were trash. Can you deny it?”
“I really respect you, Taehyung ssi, but you can't just call him names like that!” Hyuk steps up to Jungkook and grips his arm, frowning at Taehyung, “just because you think you are right, you cannot be this rude! This is really unprofessional of you. You even slapped him!”
Taehyung looks at Hyuk and back at Jungkook. He gives a short laugh.
“Right, I am being unprofessional,” he steps back.
“Tae,” Jungkook reaches, “come on! You need to listen to my side before y-”
Taehyung opens the door of the Vanity and walks out.
“Cancel this shoot for me.”
“Well, Jungkook got a point,” Jimin says, legs thrown over Taehyung's lap, head resting on the armrest of the couch, “he was struggling to understand his feelings and you kind of opened a gate for him. He was exploring himself in this new light. He had too much on his plate.”
“I get him,” Jimin nudges Taehyung with his toes, “you should have put Hyuk in his place, though.”
Taehyung watches the television, the film going over his head, “yeah, well, he is not important. What he thinks of me, means absolute shit to me.”
Taehyung watches the bedroom's door open. He watches Yoongi get out and walk out of the apartment. He looks at the closed door and Jimin.
Jimin has his eyes fixed on the television.
“Are we going to ignore an entire man like that?” Taehyung bites back a laugh, “dear fiancé?”
Jimin shrugs, rubbing his belly, “we talked about this and agreed that we can sleep around because we are not sleeping together, and we are not marrying like that.”
Taehyung pinches Jimin's toe, “I didn't know one of those men will be Min Yoongi? What's going on here?!”
Jimin glares at Taehyung, “hey, come on! Our wedding is for the contract. As'hole, we aren't in love or shit!”
Taehyung giggles, “I know! I agreed and I bring in others too. But,” he points at the closed door, “that's your ex! That's Min Yoongi! What happened?! Share the bits!”
Jimin giggles when Taehyung tickles the pad of his foot, “shit, stop! Hey, hey! Stop it!” he glares at Taehyung, laughing hysterically, “stop, I will say it. I will!”
Taehyung stops, helps Jimin sit up on the couch.
“I met him at my company's party.”
“We just fucked and that's it,” Jimin holds his hands up, “he left.”
“Oh, that I saw,” Taehyung looks at the closed door, “damn, he really left. Didn't even say a bye or anything.”
Jimin watches the closed door, “why would he? The work is done. No?”
Taehyung watches Jimin.
“Why would you sleep with him?” Taehyung whines, “you never sleep with your ex! You were at a party! Your company is full of idols! You can literally find hot people all around you!”
Jimin stares, “everyone is not drooling over me or vice versa!”
Taehyung sighs, “this is bad.”
“You know he is a coward, and you know you still have feelings for him,” Taehyung takes Jimin's hands in his, “don't fall in bed with your ex, mimi. Not an ex like him, for sure. You don't want to walk the same path all over again. Do you?”
Jimin looks at the screen, “I don't.”
“This is the first and last time,” Jimin squeezes Taehyung's hand in his, “I promise.”
Taehyung watches Jimin go inside his room and he gets up to go to his.
There is a knock on the door after he is done showering and Jimin walks in.
“Do you mind if we share the bed?”
The answer is never needed. Not anymore. Jimin crawls up on the bed and Taehyung hugs him to his chest.
They didn't talk about this, but this is another agreement they share silently.
Some nights it's Jimin and some nights it's Taehyung. Seeking the other to just hold them.
Tears soaking up the other's shirt and silent sobs wrecking them entirely. The other always holds on tightly, says nothing because they know, no words sooth this. Only a presence that someone is there. Who knows. Who gets it. Who stays nonetheless.
They know the outer world lurks beyond this door. To see a crack in their masks of indifference. To load more weight on their already tired shoulders. They know unforgiving people stand outside to tear them a new every day.
This is their solace. A safe place. In each other.
“If you didn't make my dick so soft, I would not hesitate to really fall in love with you,” Jimin whispers against Taehyung's chest.
Taehyung stops, blinks into the darkness, burst out laughing, “same, mimi. Same here. I am glad we are just friends,” he sighs, “that's better.”
“Love ruins everything,” Taehyung snuggles closer to Jimin, “you and me, we both know that.”
Jimin hums, feeling exhausted, “that we do. Good night, Tae.”
Taehyung presses a soft kiss against Jimin's head, “night, mimi.”
They both stay awake anyway.
“The MV is doing numbers,” Hoseok comes to stand beside Jungkook, sipping his champagne, “I didn't think Tae will agree to come back after that day.”
Jungkook sips his own beer, watching the New Year's preparation in the company, “yeah, well, I got some followers on my Insta.”
“He followed you too,” Hoseok arches a brow, “saw the news.”
Jungkook looks at him with a deadpan expression, “you mean, the gossip channels.”
Hoseok laughs, “I have to keep up with those, you know?”
Jungkook shrugs, “he did. I guess, his manager got him to do it.”
“He is going to be here, be on your best behaviour,” Hoseok pats Jungkook's chest, “like you two were during the shoots.”
Jungkook watches the people miling around, “there won't be any press here tonight for the party, right?”
“No,” Hoseok hums, “but, still. Gossips spread.”
Jungkook walks up to the glass windows of the floor. His eyes on the huge banner outside their company building.
It's them. Him and Taehyung. Both walking away from each other. Jungkook on the left and Taehyung on the right.
Between them is a thread, tied to their ring fingers.
The thread is thin, it's breaking almost, but it's there. The black and white poster has only that string in colour. Bright red. The string looks like it will give up any moment now. One more step from any one of them and it will break.
Jungkook leans his forehead on the glass.
There are speculations. There are rumours. There are a few fanpages. Jungkook snorts when they came across those. He knows the words media spread around them. He knows how their every move is observed now. Taehyung knows too. He maintains the peace. They both try to.
They both try to keep that string intact. For as long as they can.
“You look gorgeous in that poster,” Hyuk comes up beside him, “god, look at you.”
Jungkook smiles, looks at the guy, “I do? You are just partial. No?”
Hyuk rolls his eyes, “maybe? Do you blame me?”
“There is a red carpet before the party,” Hyuk loops his arms around Jungkook's neck, “do you want us to come together?”
Jungkook shakes his head, pouts, “sorry, love, I am picking up Taehyung. You know, the song and all. Our managers thought that would be a good touch for us.”
Hyuk pouts, “fine. I will find someone else.”
Jungkook smiles, “sorry.”
Hyuk shrugs, “we can leave together? If you want.”
Jungkook hums, “I don't see why not. Sure.”
Hyuk reaches to plant a kiss against the corner of his lips before he leaves.
It's like déjà vu. Jungkook leans against the black BMW and waits. He looks at his own watch and sighs. It's late already. The door opens and a flurry of people rush out. Jungkook jumps, eyes wide and to the centre of the mess.
Taehyung looks exhausted already.
He runs down the steps and almost slams against the car.
“Get in, get in,” he shoves Jungkook and Jungkook hurries inside, confused.
Taehyung gets inside and slams the door closed before leaning back and cursing loudly.
“Uhmm,” Jungkook stares.
Taehyung nods, “let's go!”
“What just happened?” Jungkook asks, looking back to see those people still standing there.
“I can't take another layer of makeup and can't hear another round of lecture about everything else. I mean, I can't get better than this no matter how hard they try! They won't listen!”
“Uhh, is that a crop top?” Jungkook asks, “in a formal?”
“Yes,” Taehyung sits up, looking outside, “go on, lecture about it.”
Jungkook says nothing. He stares at the supermodel. Then he looks out too. The ride is quiet. Jungkook curses when he sees the amount of people waiting.
“There are too many!” Jungkook curses, “shit!”
He is not good with this type of attention. He is not good with poses and those flashes and screams of his name. He is not good being in focus.
“It gets bearable, not better, bearable,” Taehyung murmurs, “with time.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung fix himself, and then the door opens. The driver holds the door open for them. Jungkook steps out first, the shouts intensify. There are fans too. Taehyung's name echoes around them. Jungkook turns back to let Taehyung come out for the car.
Taehyung smiles gracefully at the cameras when Jungkook squint at them. He waves, both hands up, at the fans with a wide grin. Jungkook watches how the smile warms Taehyung's face, his eyes glisten with happiness while he looks at his fans. His eyes trail over the supermodel.
The crop top, knotted at the front, rides up. Reveals the tanned skin. Jungkook flickers his eyes up to that face while Taehyung comes to stand beside him.
“Smile,” Taehyung whispers, “god, you look like you are in pain.”
Jungkook winces, “I am going blind with the flashes!”
Taehyung chuckles, “look over the flashes. At the darkness, try to haze out the flashes,” he stands beside Jungkook when the photographers shout for them to pose together.
Jungkook does that. What Taehyung is saying. Taehyung looks around, posing for every angle.
Their managers are screaming in their headsets.
“Get closer!” one says, “come on, you two. Give a more friendly shot! Come on!”
Jungkook goes still when Taehyung does get closer. His elbow resting on Jungkook's shoulder, and he holds out half a heart with his other hand.
Taehyung waits and Jungkook reaches. His arm goes around Taehyung easily. He holds the supermodel by his waist and completes the heart. The flashes are blinding and Jungkook hopes he smiled.
He lets go quickly and Taehyung steps back just as fast. Almost running inside.
“You are good at this,” Jungkook says when they get inside the elevator, “the fame, acting and all.”
Taehyung leans against the wall, eyes on the numbers. He shrugs.
“Was acting for a long time,” he mutters, closes his eyes, “ignore I said that.”
Jungkook tries to nowadays.
“Just,” Jungkook stops Taehyung when they get out of the elevator, “thanks for agreeing to continue the shooting. I just,” he shrugs, “the break will help me get my name out there. So, thanks.”
Taehyung watches him, nods, “me too. I got a few offers already.”
Taehyung tilts his head, breathes out a smirk, “your boyfriend.”
Jungkook frowns, “huh?”
Taehyung points over his shoulder, “your boyfriend just got out of the elevato-”
Hyuk comes rushing, “babe! You are here! I was waiting by the lobby!”
Jungkook jumps when Hyuk kisses him.
Jungkook grasps Hyuk by his waist when they stumble. Hyuk is wearing a skirt, fishnet wrapping his legs and going into the heels. The crop top is too thin and shows off his curves nicely. Jungkook blinks at the guy.
“Hyuk,” he looks over at Taehyung who is looking at Hyuk too.
Taehyung bites back a smile. He shakes his head and those eyes flicker to Jungkook. Hyuk turns, eyes wide, and bows.
“Taehyung ssi, I didn't see you!” Hyuk stutters, “oh, I am so sorry-”
“Oh, you saw me,” Taehyung waves his hand, “you came running after seeing me.”
“Don't worry, Hyuk,” Taehyung chuckles, “I am not stealing your guy. Also, for you, it's not worth it if you have to run around kissing them to make sure they stay by your side,” he turns on his boots, walking away.
Jungkook blinks, “Hyuk, you need to stop doing this. Please.”
“We are just fooling around, you can't go and do this at my workplace,” Jungkook shakes his head, “we work here. This is our office. Come on. I know Yoongi hyung won't kick me out for having hookups, but still.”
Hyuk looks away, “I am sorry,” his voice hoarse, “I just thought…”
Hyuk looks up at Jungkook, “I missed you, kook. I missed you, and you didn't call since you left that day and didn't reply when I sent my photos today. Sorry.”
Jungkook sighs, “I didn't see it. I was so busy, look,” he takes Hyuk's hands in his, “let's talk tonight. Yeah?”
Hyuk nods, wipes his eyes with a small smile, “maybe I will give you my New Year's present tonight?”
Jungkook smiles, “and, what's that?”
Hyuk gestures at himself, “got dressed for you, kook. Do I look good?”
Jungkook takes a look and hums, “you always do.”
Jungkook follows Hyuk inside the party and looks around to spot Taehyung with Hoseok. They are laughing about something.
Jungkook goes to the bar, getting Hyuk a drink and himself another.
“I will go and talk to Namjoon,” Hyuk says, “get me before you leave.”
Jungkook sits by the bar, sipping his non-alcoholic drink and watching the party. Yoongi is with Namjoon and Hoseok goes over to join. Jungkook watches Taehyung taking off his grey coat and dropping it on the chair nearby. His crop top is sleeveless. Jungkook watches him.
The black pant and black crop top gives Taehyung an edge. His necklaces shine as he comes to the bar to order for himself. He didn't notice Jungkook, busy on his phone.
The supermodel chews his lips, smiling at the phone before closing it.
Jungkook realizes, it must be Jimin.
Jimin is on tour. Left a day ago. Jungkook looks back at the crowd.
“Must be hard,” he speaks over the loud music, “being alone on New Year's Eve.”
Taehyung looks at him, shrugs, “who says I will be alone?”
Jungkook frowns, “Jimin is not here.”
Taehyung hums, “I know.”
Taehyung takes a sip of his drink.
Jungkook turns to face the supermodel on his stool, “what do you mean?”
Taehyung shrugs, carelessly, “will see. Might hook up with someone.”
Jungkook stares, his drink too cold in his clutch, “… you will cheat on him? Why?”
Taehyung rolls his eyes, “he knows. Calm down, relationship counsellor.”
Jungkook stares, “what do you mean he knows?”
Taehyung looks at him, “it means he knows. We are fine with having hookups. Why are you asking so many questions?”
Jungkook blinks, “what... are you okay?”
Taehyung frowns, “yeah...?”
Jungkook blinks, “why would you do this?”
Taehyung sips his drink, eyes on Jungkook, “because, my fiancé leaves for long tours and shit. We have decided on this when he is gone. No worries, he is having fun too.”
Jungkook can't make sense of this.
“Since when you are okay with open relationships?” Jungkook asks, surprised.
Taehyung shrugs, “since Jimin. Anyway, enough of your chit-chat. You are kind of shooing away my chance of getting laid. Stop talking to me. I need to find someone or let them approach me.”
“I did not just dress my ass off for no one to take me home,” Taehyung picks up his drink and turns to leave.
“Hey,” Jungkook reaches to grab Taehyung's wrist, “wh- what are you talking about?”
Taehyung frowns at him, “am I not speaking Korean? What is there to not understand?”
“I am just confused-”
“Good thing you are not my guardian, excuse me,” Taehyung frees his hand and goes to the dance floor.
Jungkook watches him dance. Alone. Just swaying his hips and sipping his drink leisurely. It doesn't take long for people to start joining him.
Jungkook watches Taehyung smile at a guy. His eyes twinkling. He smirks, arms looping around the guy's neck.
Yoongi comes to order a drink and Jungkook grabs him, jerks him closer.
“He is engaged!” he whisper-shouts.
“I know,” Yoongi nods, “the ring is right there.”
Jungkook winces, “then, what is he doing?!”
Yoongi munches on the nuts he takes from the bowl, “well, can't really shit on him when I slept with his fiancé with the same ring on his finger.”
Jungkook chokes on his drink, “what?!” he whips around to look at Yoongi.
“Is this some rich people shit I am missing?” Jungkook frowns, “what kind of relationship is this-”
Yoongi shrugs, “well, they don't have a problem. Why would it bother me?”
Jungkook watches Yoongi, “what does your moral say?”
Yoongi looks at him, smirks, “moral?”
“They know, they are in an open relationship,” Yoongi waves his hand, “if it doesn't bother them, what moral? There are a lot of relationships we don't understand. But, maybe sometimes we don't need to. They are fine with it, so let them be.”
Jungkook looks over at Taehyung.
“He believed in those fairytales, loyalty, true love...” Jungkook murmurs, “kind of surprised that he changed so drastically.”
“Maybe he realized the prince charming isn't worth it,” Yoongi sips his drink, “don't you think?”
Jungkook looks at Yoongi and Yoongi arches a brow.
“Don't worry, this one isn't worth it either,” Yoongi points at himself, “too coward to be called that. I am not shaming you. Talking about myself too.”
Jungkook looks down at the drink in his hands, “why are you like this? Say shit I can't answer.”
“We are not prince charmings,” Jungkook nudges Yoongi, “we are like anti-heros. No?”
Yoongi laughs, holds his drink up, “it must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero, huh?”
Jungkook laughs too, “well, yeah. I am not rooting for myself either. Not worth it.”
“Can't believe you quoted Taylor,” Jungkook looks at Taehyung, “you are such a sap.”
“You said anti-hero!” Yoongi turns to look at the crowd too, “I had to take the chance.”
Jungkook gets off the stool, “anyway, he can do whatever. I should find Hyuk.”
Yoongi nods, “sure.”
“He is with Namjoon,” Yoongi points at Hyuk, “there.”
Jungkook nods, looks over to where Hyuk and Namjoon are talking. He looks at the dance floor to see Taehyung. Taehyung says something to the guy and leaves the dance floor. Jungkook watches him go down the corridor.
The corridor lines studios. Jungkook watches Taehyung disappear in one. He frowns, looks at the guy and sees the guy go towards the washroom.
Yoongi sips his drink, lips curling up, “yeah,” he watches Jungkook walk down the corridor, “definitely not prince charmings.”
“Where did Jungkook go?” Hyuk comes up to him after a few minutes, looking around, “did you see him?”
Yoongi sips his drink, eyes wide, “oh? He didn't get you?” he winces, “he just left. Told me he isn't feeling well.”
Hyuk gapes, “huh?!”
Yoongi watches Hyuk get on the lift.
Yoongi gets up, “I am definitely an anti-hero.”
“You are talking to yourself,” Hoseok comes up, “what were you muttering about?”
Yoonig laughs, “nothing. Was just chanting some verses to keep some goblins away.”
Hoseok blinks, “...what?”
Yoongi shrugs, “want to dance?”
“Goblins?!” Hoseok lets Yoongi drag him to the dance floor, “Halloween is gone, hyung! What goblins?!”
Yoongi rolls his eyes, “just dance, hoba! This is your million dollar chance to see this ass shake for free!”
Hoseok laughs, forgetting about the goblin right away.
Taehyung did not expect Jungkook to walk inside. He did not expect it at all. Jungkook closes the door behind himself, standing pressed against the door. His eyes on Taehyung.
Taehyung blinks, trying to understand what is going on. He tries to think if the guy heard him or not.
“Don't know what you are doing here but Byung joon is about to be here, and-” he pauses when Jungkook steps closer, “... what are you doing here?”
Jungkook comes to stand in front of Taehyung, “honestly? Not sure.”
Taehyung tilts his head, “are you possessed?”
“Wha-” Jungkook breathes in deeply, “why do you talk?”
Taehyung looks over Jungkook's shoulder, “where is Hyuk? Go, get him. This is really not the time, Jungkook. I am trying to score and-”
Jungkook takes another step up to him, and Taehyung blinks. Their toes touching.
Taehyung arches a brow and Jungkook can't really speak for himself. A slow smirk curls Taehyung's lips.
“Are you sure?” he asks, hands coming to rest on Jungkook's chest, “I am not Hyuk. You know?”
Jungkook's arms go around Taehyung, holding his waist, “I know.”
Jungkook leans in and Taehyung puts his palm over Jungkook's lips. Jungkook frowns and Taehyung nods.
“You don't get to kiss me,” he whispers, “if we do this, you won't kiss me.”
Jungkook's brows furrow deeper, and Taehyung shakes his head again.
“That's my only rule for you.”
“Why not?” Jungkook whispers against Taehyung's hand.
“Because I am yet to forget the last one,” Taehyung answers, direct, clear, “no kissing on the lips.”
Jungkook is frustrated, “fucking fine!”
He leans in, face burying against Taehyung's neck. Taehyung holds him close.
“You got things with you?” Taehyung asks while Jungkook peels those layers of clothes off of him, “shit, Jungkook!”
Jungkook hums, “got it. Got it!”
Taehyung laughs, “okay. I think this is Namjoon hyung's studio,” he chokes on his words when Jungkook drops him on the couch.
“Are you sure?” Jungkook asks, almost tearing the crop top where the knot is, “Tae, are you sure?”
Taehyung hums, pulls Jungkook closer, “I am. You are,” his fingers grasp Jungkook's hair in their clutch, “my biggest regret in every aspect of my life. Let's add sex in it too.”
Jungkook glares at Taehyung, “kissing is off limit. Can I stuff your mouth with something else?”
Taehyung smirks, “oh, gladly. I like that.”
Jungkook groans, letting Taehyung help him undress. They don't undress fully. They don't have to. Just as much is convenient.
Jungkook watches Taehyung go down on him. Curses leaving his mouth. He holds the man on his lap, eyes on that face as Taehyung looks at him.
He wants to kiss those lips. Wants to taste those lips when Taehyung bites down on them while he rides Jungkook. Moans leaving him.
Instead he holds Taehyung's necklaces to pull him down. He leaves marks all over Taehyung's collarbones. Watches those marks bloom on that supple skin. Taehyung does not leave a mark. He does not leave a scratch.
“I shower, you know?” Jungkook whispers, “you can touch my skin.”
Taehyung's eyes are unreadable, “don't like to claim something I don't want to keep forever, Jungkook,” he rolls away when they are done, pulling his pants back up, “don't want to touch the skin so many left marks on.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung get up, gracefully fix himself.
- See you tonight. I updated for hours today. PROUD OF MYSELF! lmao
- here's my kofi, if you want to support me ko-fi.com/aamyungv
“Let me drop you off,” Jungkook drops the tissues in the bin, looking at the couch, “it's late.”
Taehyung ties the knot of his top, shaking his head, “it's okay. I have the car and everything. Don't worry.”
Jungkook hesitates, not sure how to handle this situation.
He had hookups before. Hookups where he left right away or the guy did. No talking needed. Hookups where it was awkward afterwards. Good ones where he left with a little chit-chat.
This one is clearly different.
It feels... Jungkook can't find a word for it.
“Will you tell Jimin about this?” Jungkook wonders, watches that ring on Taehyung's finger.
“Yeah,” Taehyung combs his hair, fixing it as much as he can, “we always gossip about our hookups and rate their capacity.”
Jungkook stands up straight, “huh?”
Taehyung smirks at him, “no worries. You got solid 6.”
Jungkook blinks, “what…” he frowns, “why not 10?”
Taehyung turns away, “well, I don't like you. 2 marks there. You talk during sex, 2 there-”
“Hey, who doesn't talk?” Jungkook frowns, “what?!”
Taehyung shrugs, “I don't.”
Jungkook holds Taehyung with a palm pressing against Taehyung's hip. Taehyung looks at him, stopping on his track.
“What?” Taehyung asks.
Jungkook is not sure what. He just doesn't know.
Jungkook's fingers curl on Taehyung's hip, “happy new year.”
Taehyung blinks, “it has been two weeks since New Year, Jungkook.”
Jungkook shrugs, “the party is for New Years and hyung's song. It is still a new year. The emotions, Tae.”
“Since when you care about emotions?” Taehyung opens the door, “don't follow me. Let's not get caught.”
Taehyung stops to pick up his coat and shrugs it on, and flinches when he sees Yoongi by the bar. He smiles awkwardly at Yoongi on his way out.
“I just got lost,” he points at the corridor.
Yoongi's eyes are dancing, he hums, sips his drink, “for quite a long time. Good night.”
He watches Taehyung leave. He sips his drink as Jungkook comes to sit beside him.
“I shouldn't have done this,” Jungkook rubs his face, “why didn't you stop me?”
Yoongi pats his back, “I was getting tired of feeling like that all by myself.”
Jungkook glares. Yoongi shrugs.
Jungkook waves his hands dismissively, “anyway, this was only one time. I will forget about it and move on. It didn't happen.”
Yoongi takes another sip of his whiskey, “this one too. This one goes away after the second time. Then, it's just self-loathing.”
“This place is a mess,” Taehyung rolls on his back, eyes on the ceiling, “how come you still live here when you can move?”
Jungkook smokes, eyes up on the ceiling, he can see the colours fading there, damp clear around the edges, “I am saving up. Can't spend recklessly.”
Taehyung squirms, “the bed squeaks more than you do during sex.”
Jungkook glares, “hey, I don't squeak! And, what's my score?”
Taehyung sits up, the bedsheet falls around his lap, “seven. You didn't talk much.”
Jungkook hums, “I will get that perfect 10. You wait.”
Taehyung looks over his shoulder at Jungkook, “this is the fourth time, and you are stuck on seven.”
Jungkook sits up too, “because you are really partial and picky!”
Taehyung watches him, eyes mirthful, “yeah, well, 2 points will always cut off. I don't like you.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung. His eyes trail over the bruises and scratches and marks. He wonders, there is a tiny voice in his head that asks, how many are his and how many Taehyung got from others.
How many Taehyung have to compare him with. How many scores that perfect ten.
He watches Taehyung get out of the bed. Stark naked, pick up a shirt, shrug it on. He watches Taehyung walk inside the bathroom, carefully not locking it because the lock doesn't work, and he already knows.
Jungkook wonders if perfect tens make Taehyung laugh. If he kisses them.
“Hyuk left his toothbrush here?” Taehyung peeks through the gap of the door, “there are two. Which one to use?”
Jungkook blinks, “huh?”
Taehyung gives him a bored stare, “which toothbrush is yours and which one is Hyuk's? I need to brush.”
Jungkook is not sure what to say. He points at the purple one.
“That one is new,” he waves his hand, “the green one is mine.”
Taehyung blinks, looks at the two toothbrushes, “so… which one do I use? Purple one is for Hyuk?”
Jungkook looks away, “the purple one is for you.”
Taehyung blinks, “why...” he breathes out, “why for me? I am just here for the third time.”
“I don't like sharing my toothbrush,” Jungkook scrapes the bedsheet, frowns at the threads, “just use it.”
Taehyung is quiet for a second, then he brushes his teeth and walks out.
Jungkook watches, eyes wide, while Taehyung throws the toothbrush in the bin.
“What are you doing?” Jungkook gets out of the bed.
Taehyung sits on the bed, “don't keep things for me, Jungkook. One day we will stop whatever we are doing, and it will all be of waste.”
“I am just another hookup, Jungkook,” Taehyung wears his jeans, get up from the bed, “you are just another hookup. I don't like to leave traces of me behind. I don't want you to spend your money on me other than the condom and lube. Sorry.”
The supermodel walks out of his flat.
Taehyung gets inside his car, the driver turns towards his house and he sees Jungkook on his balcony. He closes his eyes, leaning his head back.
That photo on Jungkook's fridge flashes across his mind and he smiles to himself. He lets the window down, leans to let the air in.
There are a few photos. It's clear from the colour setting that Jungkook took those. A few of their friends and one of him and Hyuk.
Hyuk hugging him from the back and Jungkook smiling at the camera. Maybe someone clicked it for them.
It's a domestic picture.
Taehyung watches the midnight streets of Seoul passing by. He lets the breeze mess up his hair. He unbuttons his shirt a little to feel the breeze because it suffocates him.
He feels the cold breeze lick the marks on his collarbones. They sting. Remind him of the sex. Them.
It reminds him of Jungkook's touches, so rushed, so hungry, so demanding. It reminds him of those lips, pressing all over him, leaving behind a sensation Taehyung cannot wipe away no matter how many times he showers. He curses himself. For going back. For more. He hates himself.
“You have a whole-ass fiancé,” Taehyung laughs, talks to himself, “also, what are you expecting, really? He is a hookup. He is good in bed and that's why you go back to him! For heaven's sake, stop overthinking everything. It's just sex, Taehyung. Don't bullshit with yourself!”
“Was at his?” Jimin asks when Taehyung gets back, “Tae? Are you okay?”
Taehyung looks at Jimin, “tell me why you won't stop me from messing up my life more?”
Jimin looks at him, “because you don't listen to me and if I call you out, it'll be like pot calling the kettle black.”
“Yeah,” Taehyung points at his bedroom, “I will retire. Thanks.”
Jimin hums, “sure. Good night, Tae. Did you eat anything?”
“I sucked him off, it that counts,” Taehyung closes the door with a laugh when Jimin curses him profusely.
His smile dims when he lies on the bed.
Jungkook flips through the magazine. Taehyung is the face of it. Inside, there are more of him with another guy. They are almost wrapped around each other, skin to skin. He is not sure what moisturizer needs that type of commercial, but it's there, and he is looking.
“No matter how long you stare, they won't detangle from each other,” Yoongi gets inside the studio, “just go and record the damn song. Why am I still dealing with you is beyond me. Joon was supposed to do this.”
Jungkook gets up, goes inside to record his first ever song.
When it's done, Yoongi gives him the demo and pats his back.
“You did well, kid,” he goes back to his computer, “we need two more before you can drop your mixtape. Your covers are gaining attention on SoundCloud, too. It will be a hit.”
Jungkook hopes so.
He looks at the demo and wonders who he should share it with.
“Did you record your song already?” Hyuk had asked the night before, eagerly looking at him, “when you are done, I will listen to it, okay? Don't forget to share!”
He can go and share with him. He is in the building.
He can show it to his father. He is still in jail for a few more charges the police found on him. He can go to him. His father would be proud. No matter what.
Jungkook looks at the demo. His eyes stuck on it.
His mind tells him that's the best idea. His father or Hyuk.
“There is someone waiting for you,” Yoongshik walks inside the Vanity, “Jeon Jungkook.”
Taehyung frowns, “who?”
Iseul jumps, eyes wide, “Jungkook?” she turns to Taehyung with wide eyes, “oh, my God, that hottie! Did you listen to his covers?! Oh, he is here. Oh, my God!”
Taehyung is confused. He nods when Yoongshik asks if he should let Jungkook in or not.
Jungkook walks inside with hesitating. Stands by the door. Iseul claps her hands.
“Come on!” she waves at the stylists and makeup artists, “we are done. Come on.”
Taehyung watches them go.
Jungkook stands where he was. As if not sure what he wants. To get inside or run outside.
Taehyung turns on his revolving chair, pulls the robe tightly around himself and arches a brow.
“What is it?” Taehyung asks when Jungkook says nothing, “I have a shoot to finish.”
Jungkook waves his hand, “nothing. I just,” he grabs the doorknob, “I don't know what I was thinking. I will leave.”
Taehyung sighs, “if you are here for sex, leave. I have work.”
“I sang my first ever song,” Jungkook blurts out, “written and sang by me.”
“I don't know why I am here?” Jungkook combs his hair back, “I mean, I wanted to go to dad,” he winces after saying that but glares at Taehyung, “he is still my dad!”
Taehyung nods, “I know.”
Jungkook looks away, “but,” his throat bobs, “I know it's probably trash. I know-”
Taehyung watches him fret, and Jungkook blows out a deep breath. He looks at Taehyung and holds his phone up.
“If it's trash, just silently leave,” Jungkook kneels beside Taehyung's chair, “don't say it. I don't think I will be able to take that verbal blow.”
Jungkook curses mentally when his palms sweat while he holds out the headphones and the cellphone for Taehyung. Taehyung does not comment on his still wired headphones or the quality of his cellphone. He plucks the buds in his ear and presses play.
Jungkook stops breathing.
Taehyung keeps his eyes on his knees, and Jungkook can't look away from that face. Those eyes slowly drag up to meet his, and Jungkook's shoulders slump, breath hitching in his chest. He is not sure how long it is, but they hold each other's eyes throughout the song.
Taehyung silently gives him his phone and headsets back. Jungkook gulps, his throat bobbing.
Taehyung looks in the mirror, fixing his face.
Jungkook looks away, the ache intensifying in his heart the longer the silence stretches.
Taehyung gets up to leave.
Taehyung side steps him and Jungkook grips the arm-rest of the chair, knows it will be some time before his legs can hold him up.
“When you fill up stadium after stadium,” Taehyung whispers, “make sure to send me a ticket.”
Jungkook's head snaps up, he turns to see the man.
Jungkook gets on his feet and marches up to Taehyung, “you mean it?”
Taehyung's eyes wander over his face, he nods, “why would I lie?”
Jungkook steps closer on instinct, “fuck, just...”
Taehyung lets out a breath, steps up to him to pull him in a hug, “you did so well.”
“Will you come?” Jungkook holds Taehyung to his chest, “when I send the tickets. Will you come? To my shows?”
Taehyung is quiet for a second, then he shakes his head, “no. Who would I come there as?” he pulls back to look at Jungkook, “I am no one to you.”
“Stay,” Jungkook holds Taehyung to himself, “it's raining heavily.”
Taehyung looks outside through the window of Jungkook's one-bedroom apartment, “I have a car.”
Jungkook entangles their legs together, “it's risky still. It's a storm, Tae. Just stay the night. Please.”
“I am hungry,” Taehyung looks over his shoulder at Jungkook who is nuzzling his nape, “I need to eat.”
Jungkook hums, “I will cook. You get showered. I will cook something.”
Taehyung watches Jungkook get out of the bed, “your shirt stinks of beer.”
Taehyung sits up, “I know.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung get out of the bed. Walk inside the bathroom. He goes to his kitchen to make some ramen for the night.
Jungkook looks up when he hears the soft padding of footsteps. He jumps when he touches the side of the heated pot while looking at Taehyung.
Taehyung is wearing a black T-shirt from his wardrobe and his pajamas. He looks sleepy, unguarded, comfortable. He looks at the fridge when he gets inside the open kitchen.
“Where,” Taehyung blinks, much more alert, “where's the photo?”
Jungkook blinks back to reality, “huh?”
Taehyung points at the fridge, “the photo...” he hesitates, “of you and Hyuk-”
Jungkook snorts, looking back at the ramen, “I took it off when I saw it,” he waves the spatula, “had to tell him off after finding it, you know?”
Taehyung watches him, “what…?”
Jungkook tastes the ramen for the flavour, nods absently, “I didn't notice he stuck that photo there when he came over. I noticed when I went to put mine, and it's weird? That you would put on a photo on my fridge after coming here once? I told him off. It was out of line.”
“Also, he wanted something more,” Jungkook shrugs, “I had to cut it off.”
Taehyung grips the door of the fridge, “oh. He wanted more?”
Jungkook hums, “came here crying and asking why I haven't slept with him since that party-” he stops, freezes, “I mean... I got no time.”
Taehyung looks away, “right. Yeah, you are busy.”
Jungkook winces when he thinks how many times they slept together, “y-yeah. I mean, I am busy. All those vocal trainings. Recording. Shooting.”
Taehyung gets a water bottle and nods, “right. Of course.”
“You got time?” Jungkook asks, eyes stuck on the ramen, “or,” he shrugs, “you are busy like me too?”
Taehyung grips the bottle, takes a slow sip and looks anywhere but at Jungkook, “I got no time for fooling around either. Too busy.”
Jungkook's grip loosens on the spatula.
He nods, fights the stupid smile that tries to curl the corners of his lips, “right.”
Taehyung coughs, rubs his ear where it's turning a light shade of pink, “I will set the table.”
Jungkook blinks, “I don't have a table.”
Taehyung stares, “then... I will...”
Jungkook shrugs, “select a film we can watch on Netflix while eating?”
Taehyung nods, eager to leave the room for now, “yes! Okay, yeah.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung scurry away. He lets out a deep breath.
“What's wrong with you?” he whispers to himself, “keep it cool!”
Taehyung falls asleep on top of him during the movie. His lips jutting out, long lashes falling over those puffy cheeks. His irises moving under the closed eyelids. He is dreaming. Jungkook is not sure what Taehyung dreams of nowadays, but he hugs the man closer anyway.
His lips press over Taehyung's hair, buries there to inhale that scent of luxurious products Taehyung uses. The smile curls his lips when Jungkook realizes, Taehyung still uses the strawberry scent. He gathers the man in his arms, and Taehyung just fits. Perfectly curled in him.
The way Taehyung squirms closer, nose burying against Jungkook's neck, is familiar. It is like nostalgia. Painful and melancholic in some ways. Jungkook looks down at that face and thinks how innocent and tired Taehyung looks.
He wonders how many nights Taehyung went without sleeping. How many nights he stayed awake because he was terrified of falling asleep in that house where that killer lived with him. Jungkook's eyes burn when he thinks how many times Taehyung probably woke up screaming.
“You are staring,” Taehyung whispers, long lashes fluttering when he forces those lids open to look at Jungkook with sleepy eyes, “it is, no matter what Twilight says, creepy.”
Jungkook snorts, breathes out a surprised laugh, “not sure what to say to that.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung, “how are you?” his throat bobs, “how have you been?”
Taehyung watches him too, “don't ask questions that make me think who you are and where it all went wrong. Don't.”
Jungkook's grip tightens around him, “so, we will never acknowledge it?”
“No,” Taehyung shakes his head a little, “we are just fooling around. I just met you in that party and that's all. I do not know your past, and you do not know me.”
Jungkook's muscles contort, “how long are you going to go on pretending like that?”
“Forever,” Taehyung answers.
“As long as we do this,” Taehyung's voice comes out hoarse, “as long as forever lasts for us. You will be just a guy I met at a party. I do not need to acknowledge more.”
Jungkook feels his heart squeeze in his chest, “how long before it all comes crashing down, Taehyung?”
“That's the point,” Taehyung nods, a small smile on his lips that looks too blank, empty, “nothing will come crashing down. I will not be left under a crushed load of memories and hopes and past. We will end this like no-string attached fuck buddies and go our ways. Simple.”
Jungkook does not agree. He cannot agree.
“This can't be it,” Jungkook urges, “you know-”
“Why not?” Taehyung arches a brow, “you know how these things work, Jungkook. It's not like,” he breathes out a laugh, “it's not like we are in love with each other. Come on.”
“If nothing, I am to get married,” Taehyung holds up his hand, wiggling the fingers to show off his ring, “things will end there. No?”
Jungkook, holding Taehyung in his arms, in that dimly lit bedroom, says what he chants in his mind every time he holds Taehyung.
Says what he chants in his mind every time he touches Taehyung. Every time he leans in for a kiss and Taehyung turns away. Every time, his heartbeat picks up at the thought of Taehyung.
“Don't marry Jimin.”
The words sound too loud. Too vulnerable. Too raw. Jungkook feels bare.
Taehyung is quiet. The room is too quiet. Their breathing and the rain outside are the only noise, but they do not drown out the sound of Jungkook's heartbeat. It's loud in his own ears. It rings. He feels nauseous. He has never felt so powerless or so vulnerable before. Ever.
“You want me to give up a man who stood by my side through everything? For what? What are you offering?” Taehyung sounds baffled, “sex? That's all?”
Jungkook has nothing to say to that. He wants to say more, but what? What can he possibly offer that might make Taehyung rethink?
“Thought so,” Taehyung chuckles, rolling away from Jungkook, “can you not bring up these things? I don't want to think about our past or whatever-”
“I did not know,” Jungkook blurts out, “about the clauses. I had no clue,” he reaches to take a hold of Taehyung's wrist, “none.”
“That night, when Kim said all those things to me, I was just as young as you, Tae,” Jungkook pulls Taehyung back, lets Taehyung sit in front of him, cross-legged, “I was just thinking how I can get you out of there. As far away as I can get you. I had to lie to be on his side.”
“I didn't mean it,” Jungkook shakes his head with urgency, “I didn't mean whatever you heard. I didn't mean a word I said to him. I returned those papers because I wanted you to have those. I wanted you to get back whatever was yours. I promise, I had no idea about that clause.”
“If you don't believe me, that's okay, I just have to let you know. I never wanted that money,” Jungkook takes Taehyung's hands in his, “I have treated you terribly throughout our lives. I know. I take blame for that. I was angry at you, at that Kim. At myself. I fucked up.”
“Your harsh words didn't help either,” Jungkook snorts, resolutely keeping his eyes on their joined hands, “but, I never wanted your money. If I did, why would I write that letter, Tae? You never stopped to think? Why would I confess and get my own father in trouble then?”
“When you blocked my number after I left, I thought you wanted nothing to do with me. That's why I didn't try. What was I going to try for, anyway? I know what we felt...” Jungkook gulps, “now it doesn't matter. Whatever we felt, it has been ages and of course we moved on. But,”
“I just don't want you to forever see me as someone I am not,” Jungkook finally matches Taehyung's eyes, “I am not a traitor. I never betrayed you. I never tried to harm you. I am not,” his chest hurts, voice breaking, “don't count me in the same list as my father and that Kim.”
“Why does it matter?” Taehyung sounds just as hollow as Jungkook feels, “why does it matter now?”
“Because you will always matter to me,” Jungkook ignores how choked he sounds, “no matter where we end up in the future. No matter how far we go from each other, you will matter.”
“I don't know where life will take us next. Korea, America, somewhere else... I don't know. I just know, I don't want to leave you behind. I just know, I want to have you on my speed dial. So that I can call you and hear you whenever I miss you. Not go hours wondering how you +
are doing. Where you are at that moment. I don't want to go on another five years wondering about you. I don't want to sit on those bleachers, watch the sun set and wonder if you miss me just as much as I miss you too. I don't want to get excited, pull my phone out to call you +
and not have your number on it. I don't want to lose you. I don't want to go on those trips and click so many pictures and think how good it would feel if you were here with me. I want to call you up and show you that place. I want to, if not anything more, be your friend again.”
“You probably have a thousand reasons to hate me, but I can give you a thousand more to trust me,” Jungkook clutches Taehyung's palms in his, “I can give you a thousand reasons to believe me. I can't,” his resolve breaks, tears welling up in his eyes...
“I can't go another day worrying about you disappearing from my life again,” Jungkook sniffles, “I can't go on another five years missing you. I can't go on for the rest of my life, knowing I had you and I lost you. I can't. I can't. You have no idea how it feels to miss you-”
“It feels like I have been waiting for a thousand years to meet someone who probably didn't even start their journey to seek me out,” Taehyung whispers.
Jungkook jolts, looking up at that face. Taehyung's eyes are red-rimmed.
“Wha-what?” Jungkook breathes out.
“Missing you felt like waiting at the end of the world and watching that endless sea while praying, hoping and slowly losing the hope that you are coming to get me,” Taehyung murmurs, breathes out a silent smile, tears welling in his eyes, “missing you was the worst part of it.”
“I had already reached the shore and I had to wait to see if you reach me too,” Taehyung wipes his eyes, “just to realize, I am not worth the journey to the end of the world for you. I have waited and watched my forever falling down in front of my eyes.”
“I may not know how it felt for you to miss me, but I know how hard it was to gather myself and force myself to stop waiting for you,” Taehyung gets out of the bed, “I have waited too long in that isolated place, waiting for you to reach me, Jungkook. I won't go back there.”
“And, friends?” Taehyung goes to open the window, raindrops greet him, “how can we be friends, Jungkook? How can I be your friend?” he hugs himself, cold and damp breeze whispering past him, “I don't love you anymore but I once did. Madly. I can't be your friend. Never.”
“I am yet to learn that fancy style of people becoming friends with the ones they once loved,” Taehyung smiles when raindrops gather on his face, perfectly hiding his tears, “I am yet to learn how to be that classy. I am not. I hold grudges. I hold my hurt in me. Still.”
“I won't be able to look you in the eye and congratulate you when you find your love,” Taehyung chuckles, looks down at the street to see a couple running through the street, trying to find a shade, huddled together, “I will hold resentment. For no reason. But, I will.”
“I will compare myself to that person and stay up nights after nights wondering what they had that I didn't,” Taehyung watches the guy hold his bag over the girl's head as they run, he smiles at that gesture, “I will never be your friend, Jungkook. I don't want to be.”
“Now, I can blame you for things. I can be hurt. Now, I can be angry on you. But, if we become friends, then I have to be happy for you and your choices. I failed at that since childhood. That's the point, Jungkook. You and me... we never were at the same place. Never will be.”
“How long do we have like this?” Jungkook gets out of the bed too, “huh? How long? Every day you leave, I keep wondering how long before you stop seeking me out? How long before you find someone else to fool around with? How long before you leave me like you did that time, too.”
“You left,” Taehyung turns to face Jungkook, “not me.”
Jungkook shakes his head, “I called. I reached out. You shut me down. You broke all the connections we had.”
Taehyung watches Jungkook, “we can't be friends, Jungkook. I cannot be your friend. I am sorry.”
Jungkook takes a hold of Taehyung's wrists, puts them on the windowsill with his hands holding them down. Taehyung stands between him and the window. Jungkook leans in, eyes seeking Taehyung's.
“Then, let's not,” he whispers against Taehyung's lips, “let's not be friends.”
“What?” Taehyung breathes out, “what are you saying?”
Jungkook nods, eyes boring into Taehyung's perplexed ones, “let's not be friends. Let's be something where I can take you on those picnic dates. Go on long walks. Get drenched under the first rain.”
“Let's be something where you can hold your grudges and hurts and angers but also,” Jungkook noses Taehyung's cheek, warm breath caressing Taehyung's face, “can hold something more. So much more.”
Taehyung feels suffocated, his heartbeat picking up, “Jungkook...”
Jungkook cups the side of his face, lips pressing against Taehyung's cheekbone.
“I will give you everything, every emotion you deserve, and then you have so much in your hands, you have to let go of that hurt and anger. Some day. Until then, let me take care of you. Please.”
“Someday, I will kiss you, and you will let me,” Jungkook murmurs against Taehyung's lips, “for that day... please, give us a chance.”
Taehyung looks at him, eyes roaming over Jungkook's face, “you realize what you are asking for, right? You are not playing dumb. Are you?”
Jungkook breathes out a soft laugh, hums, “I am asking for,” his lips press at the corner of Taehyung's quivering ones, “you to let me introduce you as my boyfriend on my first tour when you come to my concert.”
Taehyung sucks in a startled breath, turning away, “stop it!”
“No! I can't,” Taehyung grips the windowsill, “I will not fall for this again! I can't do that to Jimin. I can't break my promise to him just because you are here, saying stupid shit that you will not even hold onto for long. I can't do it! I can't! Not for you!”
Jungkook crowds him against the window, face pressing right behind his head. Their height is the same. Jungkook easily buries his face in Taehyung's hair, hides the fear and desperation there, in those curls. He cannot let Taehyung go. He cannot. He has to make Taehyung stay.
Jungkook hugs Taehyung's waist, buries his face against Taehyung's neck.
“Don't leave, please,” he whispers, begs almost, “please, Tae, don't leave.”
Jungkook is not sure what else he can say. He is not sure what else he can offer.
“I can't lose my first love all over again.”
Taehyung jerks in his hold, a shocked sound falling from his lips. He looks over his shoulder at Jungkook with an intense glare.
“Don't say shit you don't mean!” Taehyung growls, “don't ever say stupid shit like this again!”
Jungkook watches him, silently, “but I am not lying.”
“Shut up, Jungkook!” Taehyung thrashes in his hold, trying to shove him away, “you can't-”
“Kind of slapped me in the face the day you blocked my number. My first thought was, 'but, I love you.' Just like that,” Jungkook talks, eyes over Taehyung's shoulder, “I lost you.”
“You know how hard it was to cope with it all?” Jungkook snorts, “to figure out your sexuality and to deal with the realization that you love someone while dealing with the heartbreak along with it? I never got to confess or date or anything, I directly went to heartbreak.”
“I had to come to terms with myself and the fact that you will never feel the same. I had to move on when I never got to settle. I am moving for too long. Face to face. I keep seeking something I can't even name or understand. I keep wandering from one person to another.”
“I was hurt at first. Went months thinking about you and isolating myself with my thoughts. Then came anger. That you just shut me down like that. Without hearing my side of the story. So, I went out and started fooling around,” Jungkook whispers, “with as many as I can.”
“This time I started experimenting with boys too,” Jungkook feels Taehyung stiffen in his hold, “I kissed a guy who looked like you,” Jungkook's voice wavers, “I was drunk off my mind and so was he. We kissed, and I slept with him for the first time because he looked like you.”
“Woke up in that dingy dorm and watched the guy sleep for minutes before I ran to empty my stomach and cried myself to sleep on that bathroom floor,” Jungkook murmurs, “got out of that dorm right away, feeling like shit. Worthless. Cheap.”
“Took a bus that wasn't even for my stop. I just sat and thought of calling you from a public booth. Let you know that I miss you and I kissed a guy and slept with him while thinking of you. Shout at you for fucking me up so bad. Just to realize, you did nothing. It was me.”
“I was running from you while searching you in everyone,” Jungkook frowns when his vision starts to blur, “got my first tattoo that day,” he breathes out a smile, utterly broken, “just to do something with myself. Just to feel something but that feeling of worthlessness.”
Jungkook holds his left hand up, right over his wrist. Three small lines. The pink, purple and blue lines stare back at Taehyung.
“Felt better, you know?” Jungkook watches those lines, “as if, I was finally accepting myself. Finally accepting the full me. Felt good.”
Jungkook pushes back the bile that rises to his mouth, “had to hide it under the wristbands and watches whenever I would go for practices. Had to hide it whenever dad was around. It was a piece of me that I wanted someone to know. Intimately. I wanted you to know.”
“Instead, I let those faceless hookups know,” he snorts, glares at those lines, “a part of me, I kept giving away to them because I had no one who would understand. Might as well spend it until it means nothing. I hated you for not being there for that period of my life.”
“I did not come out to anyone,” Jungkook sniffles, “to those hookups, they don't care. To others? I never got the guts. Hyungs? They never asked, obviously. But, I want to,” he holds Taehyung's hand in his, “I wanted to tell someone, I wanted to let that load off my chest. Once.”
“Tell me,” Taehyung whispers, “say it. I will listen.”
Jungkook feels his eyes brim with tears, “I am bisexual.”
It is probably stupid. Who cares? But, Jungkook wanted to say it out loud. To someone he trusts. To someone he knows will accept him no matter what or who he is.
“Okay,” Taehyung nods, jerks his head up and down once, twice, “okay,” he opens his arms to pull Jungkook to himself, lets Jungkook bury his face in the crook of his neck, “okay.”
Okay. It is okay.
That is all Jungkook wanted to hear. Ever. That it is okay to be him. Somewhere.
He did not need Taehyung to tell him Taehyung is proud of him. He did not need Taehyung to give him motivational speeches or say how brave he is or how nothing changes.
He needed just this.
Okay. He is okay. It is okay. Someone thinks it is totally okay. Normal. Okay.
Jungkook lets himself go. His dam breaks. The dam he built around himself with fear and hesitance and the inferiority complex… all of that breaks loose in Taehyung's arms.
“I'm bisexual,” Jungkook cries.
“I see,” Taehyung nods, pulls him closer, “okay.”
Jungkook cries harder.
Taehyung does not rush him. He holds Jungkook while Jungkook cries. He does not utter a word when Jungkook's tears soak up his shirt and smears across his skin. He does not complain when those arms tighten around him, desperately holding him closer. Taehyung stands still.
His back to the open window, to the world, and his arms around Jungkook, who is too vulnerable to face the world for now.
Taehyung stands as a guard, engulfing the man in his arms. Shielding him from those harsh street lights and that cold breeze and rain. Keeping him safe.
He feels the rain on his back, the cold breeze carrying the droplets over. He pulls Jungkook more to himself, makes sure the cold does not touch the man. He presses his lips over Jungkook's head, sways them side to side. Just a little. Just to calm the man without startling him.
“Stay,” Jungkook begs, voice hoarse, “stay, so I can stop wandering. Stay, so I can find my home in my constantly changing life,” Jungkook looks up at Taehyung's face, “stay, so I can be myself. Fearlessly. Stay, so I,” his throat bobs, “learn to love myself like you love me.”
Taehyung sucks in a shocked breath. His arms going lax. The room is too small around him. The air heavy, too heavy for him to inhale properly. Taehyung turns to face the window, mouth agape, to suck in some fresh air in his burning lungs. He cannot do this. He cannot take this.
“You love me,” Jungkook crowds him, rests his forehead against Taehyung's shoulder, “can you still deny that you love me?”
Taehyung smiles, tears spilling out of his eyes. That is the line the walls around him have painted on them.
He does not love Jungkook. Not anymore.
He carefully built those walls around himself. Carved those walls with that one line. Over and over again. Until those words were permanent. Until those walls were all he knew.
He does not love Jungkook anymore.
Taehyung cannot let Jungkook break those walls. Not again.
The walls he built with his blood, sweat and tears, come off brick by brick and Jungkook does not even put in as much effort as Taehyung needed to build them.
All he does is hold Taehyung in his arms, bury his face against Taehyung's neck and begs for him to stay.
“Stay,” Jungkook kisses his shoulder, up to his neck, paints that word over Taehyung, “stay,” he holds Taehyung's waist, tightly, “stay, please, stay.”
The walls start to crumble. Brick by brick. Taehyung feels those lips against his bare skin and watches the bricks fall.
He stands and watches the scribbles on those walls fall away. He feels Jungkook's lips carve in new scribbles on his skin. Write a new line of promise over him. Ignites a hope of a future that probably never died in him.
Jungkook scribbles his love on Taehyung's skin that night.
“I cannot ditch Jimin like that,” Taehyung closes his eyes, trying hard not to melt with each one of Jungkook's kisses on his shoulder, “I can't leave him when he didn't leave me at my lowest.”
Jungkook pulls him closer in his embrace, “Taehyung...”
He rolls on his back to look at the man, “you have to understand where I am coming from.”
“I will find a way,” Jungkook promises, takes Taehyung's hand in his and nods at Taehyung, “I will find a way.”
Taehyung watches him, “it better be a good way. Otherwise, just forget it.”
Jungkook smiles, “it's a good way. I promise.”
Taehyung closes his eyes, nods, “fine,” he pulls Jungkook down to rest on his chest, “fine.”
Jungkook closes his eyes, listening to Taehyung's heartbeat, “fine.”
It will be fine, Jungkook thinks. From here on, it will be fine.
Around five in the morning, Taehyung gets up to leave.
Jungkook follows Taehyung down the elevator, Taehyung shoving him away every time Jungkook goes to nip and press light kisses around his neck. Taehyung bites back a smile when Jungkook hugs him from behind, walking like that.
“You will make me fall,” Taehyung whines.
“Planning on it,” Jungkook presses his lips against Taehyung's shoulder.
Taehyung looks at the man behind him with a raised brow, “if we know anything about us, we never got the day. The sunrise is our time. Don't you think?”
Jungkook looks at him, shrugs, “this time it will be different.”
Taehyung watches him, “yeah?”
Jungkook nods, “yeah.”
They walk down the stairs and the lobby of the building to Taehyung's car. It's parked a little away from the building. Jungkook walks Taehyung to it.
Taehyung opens the door, looking back at Jungkook.
“See you,” Taehyung nods, jumps when a bike runs past the car haphazardly.
“Careful!” Jungkook shouts at the bike, looking at them, “shitheads! Look where you are going!”
He turns back to Taehyung's pale face staring at him.
Jungkook frowns, “what?”
Taehyung looks down at himself, stumbling, “it,” he coughs, doubling over, “hurts-” he falls on the ground.
Jungkook stares for a second, immobile, then he drops to his knees to pull Taehyung to himself, “Taehyung!”
He sees nothing on Taehyung, but Taehyung's eyes slowly close, face glistening with sweat.
Jungkook throws the jacket open to see nothing on Taehyung, and then he feels it. The warm liquid slowly seeping through his pant. Jungkook grabs Taehyung to turn him over with a curse.
tw// — blood, wounds, gunshot
There. Through the jacket that is now soaked in blood.
A bullet wound.
Jungkook feels fight leave his body for a second, and then everything comes rushing back. He is crying out Taehyung's name and picking him up to get in the car. He lies Taehyung down on the backseat.
Jungkook is not sure how he gets to the hospital. He is not sure what he fills in to the form for them to take Taehyung in, and he is not sure how long he stares at the door of the operation theatre before he realizes that he should call someone.
He has no phone on him.
He has Taehyung's phone, but it's locked. He does not remember a single number. Jungkook buries his face in his hands and tears well up in his eyes. He feels helpless.
After a lot of thought, he dials his father's number from the reception.
“Where are you?” his father asks after listening everything, “is he still alive?”
Jungkook opens his mouth and then snaps it closed, eyes on the name of the hospital, “you did this.”
His father sighs, “kookie, where are you right now?”
Jungkook grips the phone, “you did this!”
Jungkook's head swoons, he grips the edge of the counter. He cuts the call. Jungkook goes back to the waiting room, Taehyung's phone clutched in his hand. He feels terrified, alone, helpless. With a curse, he grabs a nurse, stops her when she is about to get inside.
“I have to unlock this phone!” Jungkook begs, “please,” he holds it out, “please, I have to contact his family!”
The nurse hesitates, “the police,” she looks over at the empty hallway, “they would want that-”
Jungkook curses, “please! I just need a few numbers!”
Before the nurse could say anything, the phone starts to ring and the nurse rushes inside.
Jungkook lets out a strangled cry when he sees Jimin calling.
“Hyung!” Jungkook whimpers, “hyung, it's me! Jungkook!”
Jimin sounds alert, “Jungkook? Why are you crying? Where's Tae?”
“Jungkook, where the fuck is Tae?!” Jimin screams when Jungkook cries, “where is he?!”
Jungkook murmurs the hospital's name, “but, he isn't safe here. I,” he curses, “I talked to my dad, and he probably knows where I am if he tracks me. Please, do something!”
“We are on our way,” Jimin's voice comes off steady, but there is an underlying crack that Jungkook hears, “just stay there. Okay? He will be fine! He is fine! Hold on. We are coming.”
Jungkook cuts the call, sinking on the seat by the OT. Now he has to wait. For them to come.
Jungkook hears the rushed footsteps. He looks over to see Jimin and Yoongi running down the corridor. Jimin in his pajama, a long coat thrown over it. Yoongi is equally under-dressed. Yoongi stops beside Jungkook and Jimin slams against the OT's door, looking inside as he pants.
“How?” Jimin looks at the door and back at Jungkook, “how does he always end up hurting with you?!”
Jungkook flinches, “hyung-”
Jimin's eyes are red-shot, “you called your dad! What were you thinking?!”
Yoongi holds Jimin by his shoulders, “calm down, Jimin! He was alone!”
Jimin points a finger at Jungkook, “if something happens to him, I don't care if I am fair or not, I will make you suffer! I don't care!”
Yoongi holds Jimin to himself, “shhh, it's okay. It will be okay!”
Jimin turns to bury his face against Yoongi, breaking down.
Jungkook cries when Yoongi places a hand on his head, pulling him closer. Jungkook hugs Yoongi's stomach, burying his face there while Yoongi scratches his scalp.
Jimin clings to the man, sobbing against Yoongi's chest, “I will die if something happens to him!”
They look at the hallway when more footsteps are heard. Jungkook turns to see Jin, Namjoon and Hoseok run down the corridor. All of them equally puzzled and worried.
“What's going on?” Namjoon stops by Yoongi, eyes wide, “shit, what the fuck-”
Jin sits beside Jungkook.
Hoseok takes a look inside and back at Jungkook, “so, someone was keeping an eye. If you didn't come down with him, Tae would probably still be there. Bleeding out-” he stops when five pairs of wide and horrified eyes turn to him, “sorry,” Hoseok holds his hands up, “sorry.”
“Hoba is right though,” Yoongi murmurs, “that was the plan, I guess. The parking lot is supposed to be deserted at this time of the day. By the time someone would find out, it will be too late. Maybe that was the plan.”
Jungkook thinks they are right. That was the plan.
“It's my dad,” Jungkook murmurs, breathes out a laugh, “he tried to kill Tae.”
Everyone looks at him. Jungkook nods, wipes his eyes before looking at each one of them.
Before he can say anything more, police are walking down the hallway, asking about him.
They all stand up, attending the officers while they ask questions about the accident. Yoongi and Namjoon called for their guards and the police, after knowing who the victim is, allots a few guards around the OT.
Jungkook holds his breath when the surgeon comes out.
“Nothing to worry about,” the surgeon pats Jungkook's back, “your friend is fine,” he looks at them all, “the bullet is lodged in his muscles. He will be fine. We don't need to extract it.”
They all share a confused look.
“The bullet will stay inside?” Jimin wonders.
The surgeon nods, “we are repairing the damaged muscles and cleaning the wound. But the bullet is not harmful in itself. It tore apart the muscles, and now it's plugging inside, so the bleeding is stopped. We don't need to pull it out.”
Jin frowns, “won't it infect...?”
“No, it won't,” the doctor chuckles, “in some cases, the bullet stays inside, unless it's in the way of repairing a wound or something, it's better to leave it inside. The bullet itself had even been sterilized by the heat the shooting process had generated.”
“We have checked the patient, and we don't need to keep poking and pulling the bullet for now,” the surgeon sighs, “we put metal plates in our body to hold our spine or joins together. It's fine. A piece of metal won't damage anything. It's not lodged in the veins or anything.”
Jungkook looks at the surgeon, “it won't damage anything, right? He is fine, right?”
“Yes,” the surgeon nods, “he will be fine soon. We have repaired the wound and fixed the tears the bullet caused. He will be absolutely fine in a few days.”
Jungkook walks up to the OT, to see the nurses move around. He steps back when they wheel Taehyung out from the OT and inside the ICU. He follows till the door, looks at Taehyung's face. Taehyung looks frail, his eyes still moist, or maybe Jungkook feels like they are.
“He will not be better without you,” Yoongi speaks behind him, nodding when Jungkook flinches, “he will not be better off if you run away again. It will not help.”
“I was not-” Jungkook stops when Yoongi gives him a pointed stare.
“This time, stay,” Yoongi sighs, “please.”
Jungkook looks at the elder and back at the man who is lying lifelessly on the ICU bed, “he is better off without me. He is to marry Jimin-”
Yoongi clicks his tongue, “yeah, no. We are not walking down that path. Don't do this to yourself. Not this time.”
Jungkook leans against the ICU, breathing a little harsh.
Jimin comes to stand beside him, puts his hand on Jungkook's back, “if you run this time, I will find you and make sure you never get to walk. Keep that in mind.”
Jungkook stares at the man and Jimin nods.
“I am not going to let Tae go through that again,” Jimin warns, “you are not going anywhere. You can't run away every time it gets hard. This time, stay and prove to him that you are worth it. Taking a bullet. Don't make him regret it! I swear, Jungkook!”
“Also,” Jimin holds Jungkook's hand in his, “don't do it to yourself. You love him,” Jimin looks at Taehyung inside the ICU and back at Jungkook, “give yourself a chance too.”
Jungkook feels his eyes water, he blinks, looking away. He nods silently.
This time... he will stay.
a/n — my grandfather had a bullet lodged in his back muscles till the day he died at the age of 96. It's totally fine. Yes, sometimes you might feel some spasm of the muscles, but nothing else. Instead, if you remove it, it might open a bigger issue. It's fine, really.
Jungkook is home when the phone rings. Taehyung is awake.
“Take your time,” Jimin speaks over the phone, “you went home after days. Just shower and eat something before you come back. We are all here.”
Jungkook is in the shower. So, he finishes and returns to the hospital.
Taehyung looks exhausted, but he is smiling at whatever Jimin just said. Jungkook pauses by the door and watches Taehyung. His heartbeat picking up as soon as those eyes shift on him. Jungkook grips the door knob, watching how that smile dims. He hates the dread that fills him.
“I think we should wait outside,” Jimin gets up, ushering others up on their feet too, “you two should...”
“Is there something to talk about?” Taehyung wonders, eyes still on Jungkook.
“Yes, there is,” Jungkook steps inside, “I think there is.”
The others walk out of the room.
Jungkook sits beside Taehyung on the stool, his eyes fixed on the man who is avoiding his eyes. Jungkook feels the sorrow, he feels the fear of losing whatever they had before all of this happened. For just those few hours. He does not want to go back to being nothing again.
In his desperation, he takes Taehyung's hand in his, ignores the sharp intake of breath from Taehyung.
“I was terrified,” Jungkook murmurs, lips pressed against Taehyung's knuckles, “oh, god, I thought something might happen, and I will lose you.”
Taehyung finally looks at him.
“Your father did this,” Taehyung watches their joined hands, “he is involved in this.”
Jungkook nods, “I gave my testimony. I told the police about it all and sent the proofs. He will be caught soon.”
Taehyung's eyes flicker over to Jungkook, “why? Why would you do that?”
“Because, it is the right thing to do,” Jungkook shrugs, his words coming out rushed, “and,” he pauses to calm himself, his eyes stuck on Taehyung's hand in his, “I would rather lose him than lose you.”
Jungkook stops after saying it. The honesty shaking him to his core.
“That's your dad,” Taehyung sounds winded, “why would you-”
Jungkook looks up at Taehyung, his face contorting. He hopes Taehyung gets it and drops it. He hopes Taehyung just lets him be. But, Taehyung has waited so long. Taehyung has gone through so much.
“Why?” he asks.
“I don't want to say it,” Jungkook shakes his head, “I don't want to say it and I don't want to hear you laugh at me and tell me I am just sticking around for your damn money. So,” he looks down at their joined hands, “just take this. He is wrong. He deserved to be punished.”
Taehyung does not force him to say more. He does not utter a single word about it anymore.
“Jimin broke it all off with me,” Taehyung murmurs, “kind of weird waking up to not being his fiancé. I guess he got tired of me.”
Jungkook watches him, heart leaping to his throat, “oh?”
“Why… why would he do that?” Jungkook wonders, heartbeat picking up.
Taehyung's lips twitch, “are you upset that I am single? Don't tell me it was your some weird fetish to hook up with an engaged man.”
Jungkook curses, “you know what I mean.”
Taehyung hums, “I do.”
“Just,” Taehyung sighs, “too much to unpack there. Just know,” he thinks for a few seconds and then looks back at Jungkook, “it was just a deal between the two of us. He needs to be settled for his family business to turn his way. I don't want to go deeper, I am too tired.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung, “so... you are single now.”
Taehyung's eyes focus on him, “are you asking or confirming?”
Jungkook blinks, “Well, asking?”
“Are you asking me if you are asking, or?” Taehyung arches a brow.
Jungkook tongues his cheek, “stop teasing me. Maybe?”
Taehyung smiles, shrugs, “I didn't think I will see you again. So...”
Jungkook frowns, “why won't you see me again?”
Taehyung looks uncomfortable, not matching his eyes anymore, “I thought... either you will go to support your dad, or you might be involved. So, yeah.”
“Also, I thought you will leave,” Taehyung murmurs, “so,” he shrugs, “I didn't think we will be having this conversation.”
Jungkook hums, “I know. I thought about leaving.”
Taehyung's eyes fly to his, and Jungkook holds that gaze.
“You did?” Taehyung's voice comes out thin.
Jungkook nods, “thought you would be angry or upset or something like that,” he waves his hand, “Jimin told me to suck it up and stay.”
“If he didn't, you would leave?” Taehyung wonders.
Jungkook hears how hesitation in that questions, “my first thought was surely that.”
“But, I don't think I would have followed through that idea,” Jungkook looks at where Taehyung's heartbeat is monitored, he watches the machine beep, “I have a life here. I don't want to run from it. I have a career. I am doing so good,” he sighs, “also... I just couldn't.”
“Even if you were angry, refused to ever see my face again,” Jungkook looks at Taehyung, “I can't take that separation anymore. I want to be by your side. In whatever way you would let me. I just...” he cannot voice it, the words just don't match his thought, “I can't leave you.”
Jungkook rubs his thumb over Taehyung's knuckles, “I just can't go years without being this close to you. I just can't anymore. I did it once and that taught me that I should never do that again.”
Taehyung does not say anything. He closes his eyes and Jungkook smiles at the man.
“I can see your heartbeat, you know?” Jungkook whispers, leaning in closer to Taehyung, “it is speeding up.”
Taehyung's lashes are long, they flutter when those lids open, “shut up.”
Jungkook's lips twitch, “okay.”
He presses a kiss against Taehyung's jaw.
Taehyung is released in a week. Jungkook stays with him throughout the process and sits with Taehyung while Jimin drives them home.
“I should move out?” Taehyung asks when they enter the apartment, “now that,” he snorts, “we are not getting married, right?”
Jimin waves his hand, “stay. We are like roommates anyway. I didn't find anyone, and you surely can do with someone taking care of you,” he looks at Jungkook, “well, that 'someone' is here but, anyway. Stay here. No worries.”
Taehyung decides to stay until the lease ends.
Jungkook testifies for his father's case, and the court decides on twelve years' of imprisonment.
“How are you feeling?” Yoongi asks, on their way to the company after the verdict.
Jungkook watches Seoul pass by, he shrugs, “I guess, it is weird, but I feel relieved?”
“You do?” Yoongi shifts a little to face him properly.
Jungkook hums, “yeah? I mean,” he shrugs, “now I know he will not come for Taehyung. He is not in the same prison as that Kim. So, they cannot team up to harass Taehyung again. He will be safe.”
“You love him so much.”
Yoongi's words make Jungkook look at the elder. He stops to think. There is nothing to think about, really.
Jungkook smiles, shrugs, “I guess, I do.”
Yoongi smiles, reaching out to squeeze his knee, “good. It's good that you can accept it to yourself, at least.”
Jungkook watches the elder, “you can't accept it to yourself?”
Yoongi looks out at the city, “no,” he sighs, “no, I can't.”
Jungkook does not ask anything else. He leans his head back on the window and closes his eyes.
Taehyung is not sure what to tell Jimin when the other comes to tell him he is getting married by the end of the month.
“Are you sure?” Taehyung watches Jimin lying on the bed, facing the ceiling, “who are you marrying?”
Jimin holds his phone out, “the profile is there.”
“Your grandfather's business partner's grandson?” Taehyung blinks, looking at the other, “that's whom your grandpa found?”
Jimin shrugs, “met the guy. He is nice.”
Taehyung grips the phone, “that is not the point, though?”
Jimin gives him a pointed look, “that 'is' the point.”
“You are coming for the wedding,” Jimin rolls on his stomach, “yeah?”
Taehyung watches Jimin, “tell him,” he reaches to grasp Jimin's wrist, “fucking tell him you still-”
“No!” Jimin glares, “no. I will not beg for him to love me. Okay? Stop!”
Taehyung curses, “Jimin, you will regret not asking him once!”
Jimin shrugs, “well, that's that. I will regret a lot of things. He will be one of those.”
Taehyung cannot speak further as Jungkook walks in, hands full of packets that he struggles to carry.
Taehyung watches Jimin take the opportunity to leave the room. He looks over at Jungkook and eyes the bags.
“What are those?” Taehyung watches Jungkook place them on his bed.
“These are for our first date,” Jungkook says in a rush, “now, come on. Follow me.”
Taehyung sits there, watching the man. His eyes follow Jungkook's movement, but he cannot quite grasp the meaning of Jungkook's words.
“Our... first date?” he echoes the three words, “where?” What...?”
Jungkook looks at him, “come with me, will you? Just trust me.”
Taehyung gets up from the bed, “I need to dress up?”
“No,” Jungkook gives him a long stare and shrugs, “you are looking handsome as always.”
Taehyung ignores how that makes a flutter run down his spine, “okay.”
Jungkook takes him out on the vast balcony the apartment has.
Taehyung looks around, confused, “what is happening...?”
He looks at the floor to see the spread out blanket. There are pillows, soft music playing from the radio, and a tray full of pastries and soft drinks.
Jungkook steps up beside him, “you wanted a picnic in the park.”
“But, you are too famous for me to take you out to an actual park, so,” he waves his hands around, “I kind of decorated the place. Hope this is fine? Just a little bit?”
Taehyung watches how Jungkook lined the balcony with plants. Flowers gleaming under the sun....
Taehyung walks out on the balcony and looks around. Jungkook placed those artificial grass mat all over the balcony. It tickles under Taehyung's bare feet. Taehyung sits down on the sheet, eyeing the pastries and drinks. Jungkook sits across from him, looking at him.
“What is this?” Taehyung asks, tentatively reaching for a basket, “what-” he opens it to stare inside.
Something breaks in him as he looks inside, like a cage, and something soars out from that cage to lodge itself in Taehyung's throat.
“Sketchbooks, brushes,” Jungkook murmurs.
Taehyung looks up at Jungkook, his lips quivering. Jungkook nods, earnest.
“I noticed you don't paint anymore,” Jungkook's throat bobs, “so,” he shrugs, “if you want to. I got them.”
Taehyung looks inside to see everything. From his favourite brands. All the essentials.
Jungkook holds out a plate of muffins for Taehyung and Taehyung takes one, eating it.
“So, how is your album coming together?” Taehyung asks, taking a sip of his tea.
Jungkook shrugs, sipping his coffee, “good. I guess? I have two more songs to record before we are ready.”
The conversation flows between them. Taehyung is not sure when Jungkook lies down, slowly creeping up on his lap. Taehyung sits there, fingers carding through Jungkook's hair, while the man talks and asks Taehyung about his projects. Both of them too immersed in the conversation.
Jungkook rolls on his chest and pulls a sketchbook to himself. Taehyung helps himself with another.
They mindlessly draw, laughing at each other's drawings before colouring those. Taehyung goes along with it mindlessly, simply enjoying the moment. Just as Jungkook.
By the time Jungkook's phone rings, Taehyung finds himself clutching the sketchbook.
“I have to go now,” Jungkook sits up on his knees, apologetic smile on his lips, “it has been four hours,” he sighs, “I need to get in for the recording.”
Taehyung nods, “okay.”
Jungkook leans in to press a gentle kiss on Taehyung's jawline. He pulls back to smile at Taehyung.
“I will call you,” Jungkook gets up, “yeah?”
Taehyung nods, “yeah. Okay. Be safe.”
Jungkook hums, “do you want me to help clean up?”
Taehyung shakes his head, “no, I got it.”
As Jungkook leaves, Taehyung sits there. He lets out a deep breath and pulls the sketchbook closer to himself. With a shaky exhale, Taehyung dips his brush into the paint.
A smile curls the corners of his lips as he draws. After ages. After ages, he feels like himself again.
Jungkook takes him on bike rides. They leave some evening and spend hours on the road. Sometimes, they leave for a destination. But, most of the time, it's just the two of them. On Jungkook's bike. Going nowhere. Just enjoying the moment and letting the road lead them.
They spend the breaks Taehyung gets from his shoots, or the breaks Jungkook gets from his recordings, talking over the phone. There are just too many topics they find themselves busy with. It feels like time flies when they are together and before they know it, it's been 1 month.
It is Jimin's wedding day and Taehyung is the best man. He stands inside the room while Jimin gets ready.
“Are you sure?” Taehyung begs almost, “mimi, you still have time.”
Jimin looks at himself, “do I look good?”
Taehyung nods, “you do. You are the most handsome groom.”
Taehyung grips Jimin's elbow, “are you sure about this, mimi?”
Jimin nods, eyes on himself, “I am sure. Jiyeong is a nice guy, and we talked through this.”
Taehyung shakes his head, “you don't love him.”
Jimin snorts, “I will learn to. Like most arranged marriages.”
Taehyung does not get to say more. The groom is called and Taehyung has to leave to walk down the aisle with Jiyeong's best man. Taehyung notices his friends at the second row. His eyes find Jungkook, who looks just as upset as Taehyung feels. Beside him, sits Yoongi.
Taehyung glares at the man, his jaw hardening when he notices how Yoongi's eyes are fixed on the door from which the grooms will walk out. Taehyung watches, breathless, how everyone stands up to welcome the grooms.
Jimin walks out holding Jiyeong's hand, smiling at the guests.
Jimin looks over at Yoongi once, and Taehyung notices how his steps falter. Then Jimin is looking ahead and Yoongi is looking at him take the stage. The priest start the ceremony and Taehyung cannot help but watch Yoongi. Yoongi does not look away from Jimin throughout the vows.
“Do you take Kim Jiyeong as your lawfully wedded husband?” The priest asks.
Taehyung watches Jimin breathe in and then nod, “I do.”
Jiyeong smiles wide when the priest asks him the same question, “I do.”
Taehyung holds out the ring, too heavy in his clutch. He feels drained.
Taehyung looks over at Yoongi, his eyes brimming with tears. Yoongi's eyes never find him. They are resolutely on Jimin, and Jimin does not falter. Not this time. With a small smile, he pushes the ring up Jiyeong's finger and the room bursts into claps and cheers.
While the grooms kiss, Taehyung watches Yoongi finally look away. Those eyes are empty when they flicker over to him. Taehyung knows his own eyes are pained, they hold everything he knows Jimin is feeling and he accuses Yoongi silently. Yoongi does not shy away from those blames.
In the middle of the chaos, the grandfathers shaking hands, hugging each other. The guests clapping and congratulating the couple. Taehyung watches Yoongi get up, following their friends up to the stage to congratulate the newly-weds.
Jungkook comes to stand beside Taehyung, grasping his hand. Taehyung holds on, tightly, as he watches Yoongi step up to the couple after Namjoon.
“Congratulations,” Yoongi smiles, shaking Jiyeong's hand and turning to Jimin, “to the two of you.”
Jimin nods, “thanks for coming.”
“How are they doing this?” Taehyung whimpers, “how the fuck are they not breaking while pretending to be fine? How did they do this?”
Jungkook is asking himself the same question, “I would have broken by now. I can't see you get married to someone else.”
Jungkook freezes too, stuttering, “I mean-”
Taehyung squeezes Jungkook's hand in his grasp, “same,” he whispers, “I get you.”
Jungkook breathes out, pulling Taehyung closer.
As Yoongi turns to leave, Taehyung steps up to block the elder's way.
“Are you happy now?” he hisses.
Yoongi's eyes snap to his. Those glasses sharpen his eyes somehow, and when the elder gives him a condescending smile, Taehyung bristles.
“I don't know why you keep giving me that stinky eyes when I offered to marry him,” Yoongi grits out, “and, he refused. Fuck you, really.”
“To him, his wealth meant more than whatever we had,” Yoongi chews out, “so, really, stop blaming me and let me be.”
“Why did you come?” Taehyung demands, “why would you come here-”
“I kept hoping for him to just not do it!” Yoongi sounds hoarse, “I kept hoping he would stop.”
“I will go now,” Yoongi's jaw hardens, tears lining the rims of his eyes, “excuse me.”
Taehyung watches Yoongi storm out, speed-walking down the aisle to leave the room. His eyes move to find Jimin. Jimin is staring at the man's retreating back.
Taehyung sniffles, looking away.
“Do you want to stay over at mine tonight?” Jungkook asks, the two of them dancing, “you can, if you want.”
Taehyung shakes his head, “Jimin is leaving for the honeymoon tomorrow morning. He still needs to pack. I will be free from tomorrow. How about you come with me?”
Jungkook goes home with Taehyung after the reception. The two of them too tired. They drop on Taehyung's bed, squirming closer. Jungkook holds Taehyung to himself as they both try to sleep.
The sound of the keys make them sit up on the bed, confused.
Taehyung and Jungkook walk out of the room to see Jimin. Jimin is sitting on the couch, his eyes on his hands.
“I am married,” Jimin whispers, “I got married.”
Taehyung blinks, looking at Jungkook and back at Jimin, “mimi… you are supposed to be in the suite. What-”
Jimin gets up, “just came here to pack my bags.”
Jungkook hesitates, watching the man walk inside his bedroom, “everything is packed. We were just going to hand those luggage over to you at the airport.”
Jimin shrugs, “I need to pack a few more things. It's okay. I got it.”
Taehyung reaches out to grasp Jimin's wrist, “mimi, are you okay?”
Jimin looks at the door, nodding, “yeah. I am fine.”
Taehyung feels helpless, “mimi, come on!”
“I am fine!” Jimin grits out, “I was to marry you. I married Jiyeong. I don't see why you all are so upset!”
“Yoongi hyung offered to marry you,” Jungkook tries, voice tender, “why won't you agree?”
Jimin looks at Jungkook, eyes finally focusing, “he is dead to me. Drop it. Okay?”
The silence is too loud. Jimin storms inside his bedroom and slams the door closed.
Jungkook and Yoongi are in the studio when Hoseok barges inside.
“The news!” Hoseok shouts in his hurry, holding out his phone for Yoongi and Jungkook to see the screen.
The host's voice is loud and clear. It rings in the studio's sound-proof walls.
tw// mention of manipulation, physical abuse and abortion
“The girl is eighteen,” Hoseok wipes his mouth, fingers trembling, “underage in our country. She dropped out of here a month ago. Didn't give us a reason. Now this...”
They all look at Yoongi who is still watching the news.
“Say something!” Hoseok roars, “come on!”
“Our team is in frenzy, the calls are relentless, the politicians are getting involved, Yoongi,” Hoseok sounds frantic, “you are fucking gay!”
Yoongi breathes out a short laugh, “yeah. That explains everything. No?”
Hoseok curses, “but, they don't know it! That proves nothing!”
“I have never got involved with anyone from this company,” Yoongi rubs his face with his hands, “be it a guy or a girl. I don't understand what's going on here. Someone's clearly framing me.”
“But, who?” Jungkook looks at the news, “who would do this?!”
“The girl was terrified to come forward,” the anchor is still speaking, “scared of the power Min Yoongi holds. But, thankfully, Park Jimin steps forward to help her-”
“What the fuck?” Jungkook gapes at the screen.
Hoseok sits on the desk, “I give up. No, seriously, what?!”
The camera focuses on Jimin, he is on a call with the media house, “well, the proofs are right there, no? I cannot possibly sit and watch someone abuse their power like that just because they think no one would dare to speak up against them. Min Yoongi should have known better.”
“What are we going to do now?” Jungkook asks.
“You are going to stay out of this,” Yoongi murmurs, eyes on Jimin, “you will now call Taehyung and see how he is doing. If he is with Jimin, you are to support him. Don't ruin your chance with Tae over this. Okay? Go now.”
Jungkook gapes, “Tae will surely not believe this! This is ridiculous.”
Yoongi breathes out a soft laugh, “they are best friends. Anyway,” he reaches for his phone, “I will take care of this. They just accused me. Nothing is proved. It will be fine. Trust me.”
“The proofs are right there,” Hoseok points at the screen, “also, look at the photos that suddenly came forward. Of you and that trainee. You can clearly see it's your car, and you are dropping her off to her building. I just don't get it.”
They watch the photos on the screen.
Jungkook's phone rings and it's Taehyung. Jungkook picks up the call and presses it against his ear.
Taehyung lets out a deep breath, “where are you? Are you with him?”
Jungkook's eyes move to Yoongi, “yes.”
Taehyung curses, “you saw the news? Did you see it?”
“Do you believe it?” Jungkook asks, gripping the edge of the desk, “Tae…”
Taehyung is quiet for a few seconds, and Jungkook watches how Yoongi looks at him. That man gives him a hollow smile before looking away. His phone is loud, Taehyung's voice can be heard through the line.
“No, I don't,” Taehyung speaks through the line, “I don't believe a single word that came out of that anchor's mouth. None of it.”
Yoongi's eyes snap to the phone, and Jungkook breathes out in relief.
“Tell hyung we will see the bottom of this,” Taehyung murmurs, “all of us.”
“I already called Jin hyung and Namjoon hyung. Namjoon hyung said the lawyers of the company are already working on it. I tried to contact Jimin, but he is on his honeymoon, so the network there is poor. I will try again. Just tell hyung to not lose hope. It will be fine.”
Hoseok hums, “first, we can get the photos tested,” he waves his hands, “I am sure those are photoshopped-”
“Those are me,” Yoongi nods, “all of them. The photos are real.”
The room goes quiet.
“What?” Hoseok grits out, “what do you mean? Be clear with me, Min Yoongi!”
“The girl is Choi Iseul,” Yoongi rubs his face, “that's her. The media is hiding her identity as per the rules. But, that's her,” he watches the photos, “she was a very hardworking trainee. Every night, when I left my studio, she would still be in the rehearsal room, practising.”
“She lives near my apartment and I would just stop and force her to stop working herself to oblivion,” Yoongi shrugs, “I would wait and take her home. It became a routine. Of some sort. So, the photos are of me,” he looks at Hoseok and Jungkook, “but, we did nothing like that.”
"I want to shout at you for being nice, but I would have done the same and this is making no sense anymore," Hoseok bites his nail, "god, the photos are real."
"In this one, you are hugging her," Jungkook points at one, "this-"
"Yeah," Yoongi sighs, "I see that."
“She just got the news of her father passing away,” Yoongi whispers, “I was there. I couldn't just not comfort her. She was so out of it. I,” he pauses, “I took her up to her apartment. Made sure to call her friend and stayed until she came over before leaving.”
“All of that will come back to bite your ass now,” Hoseok looks at the man, “come on. We need to meet our lawyers and management team. We need to discuss it all.”
Yoongi gets up, “yeah,” he looks at Jungkook, “go home-”
“I am coming with you,” Jungkook follows Yoongi out.
Jungkook goes home to Taehyung. Taehyung opens the door and watches him with worried eyes.
Jungkook walks in, shaking his head, “it's all against hyung. He paid for the abortion. The bill is on his card. He is not sure how that happened, but for now, it's all against him.”
Jungkook's eyes brim with tears, “he would never do this, you know?” he watches Taehyung, “he called me, brought me here. Gave me a way to make a living. He didn't get anything for doing it. He just did it because he wanted to help. He would never be this cruel. I know.”
Taehyung nods, pulling Jungkook to himself, “I know. Trust me, I know.”
Jungkook buries his face against Taehyung's neck, “I don't know how he will get out of this. I don't know how he will do it.”
Taehyung does not know either. He does not voice it. He cannot voice it.
“Let's go to bed, yeah?” Taehyung whispers, “come on.”
Jungkook follows Taehyung, “did you talk to Jimin?”
“Yes I did,” Taehyung sighs, “he came to know this before his wedding. That's why he didn't stop it. Also, he was waiting to get the photos before he contacted the media.”
“He contacted the media?” Jungkook freezes, “without even confronting hyung first?! Why would he involve everyone before asking hyung?!”
Taehyung sighs, “I told him the same but he,” he shrugs, “he is adamant that hyung did this and deserves the punishment.”
Jungkook does not sleep, while Taehyung falls asleep beside him. He gets out of the bed to go to the balcony and dials Yoongi's number. He knows Yoongi must be busy, but he calls anyway.
Yoongi picks up sooner than Jungkook thought he would.
“Hyung,” Jungkook whispers.
Yoongi sounds tired, “I am fine, Jungkookah, don't worry about me.”
Jungkook bites the inside of his cheek, “did you talk to Jimin?”
“No,” Yoongi chuckles, “I talked to his dad though. It will be fine, trust me. Everything is going to be fine.”
“I don't understand,” Jungkook frowns, “what do you mean by that?”
Yoongi sighs, “you will know. Soon. Just sleep, okay? It will be fine.”
Jungkook shakes his head, “no! Tell me right now. What did you do? What is going on? Tell me!”
“He got all those proofs to Jimin,” Yoongi hums, “Mr. Park. He assembled all these for Jimin to see and believe. Also, I can't get out of this, it seems. The proofs are so concrete. I can either take the blame and marry that girl, which the girl asked, or go to jail.”
“If I agree to marry her, she will take back the case,” Yoongi sounds lost, “she says so. Mr. Park assured me of that too. I am thinking.”
“That will not solve anything!” Jungkook tenses up, “hyung! That will not clear your image to the public! It will not solve shit!”
“That's okay, Jungkookah,” Yoongi chuckles, “I am resigning from my CEO post and leaving the company. I just,” there is a pause, “if I have to marry her, I just don't want to be in the public eye anymore.”
Jungkook feels helpless, angry, frustrated, all at once, “that's unfair!”
“As that author said,” Yoongi gives a short laugh, “The world is not a wish granting factory, Jungkookah. I am talking to the management to get Joon to be the CEO when I leave. Your contract will stay the same-”
“You already gave up,” Jungkook whispers, “why? Hyung?”
“Because fighting will cost me more,” Yoongi murmurs, “fighting against this will cost me so much more.”
The line goes dead. Jungkook stares at the screen, and he cannot help it. Tears roll out of his eyes. He closes his eyes, trying not to break down.
He comes back to lie down beside Taehyung, slowly squirming closer to the sleeping man and burying his face against Taehyung's neck. Taehyung does not wake up when Jungkook cries, silently letting Taehyung's T-shirt soak up his tears. He falls asleep with Taehyung's heartbeat.
“Don't give me that glare,” Jimin grits his teeth, eyes fixed on Jungkook, “don't even try to blame me! If he didn't do it, he could have fought the case! He is accepting what he did and is marrying that girl! Don't even try to pin the blame on me!”
“I am going to blame you though,” Taehyung says from where he is perched at the edge of the couch, “fully blame you. You could have contacted him first. Asked him first. What if he is not guilty?”
Jimin shrugs, “I would rather trust a possible victim than a possible rapist!”
Taehyung blinks, “you are not an onlooker who is overlooking a case file, or a gossip magazine or a celeb's personal life on the news, Jimin. You are talking about a person you know intimately. How the hell are you going to slap a damn quote on him and go like that?!”
“I don't know this person,” Jimin shrugs, carelessly putting his hands in his pockets and glaring at Taehyung and Jungkook, “people change quicker than a season. People cheat in relationships. People are double-faced most of the time-”
“Like you did, yeah?” Jungkook snorts.
Before Jimin can answer, the doorbell of Taehyung's apartment rings. Jungkook goes to open it, and they all freeze to see Yoongi there.
Yoongi gives Jungkook a small smile, walking inside, “is Tae home? I need to talk to him-” he stops dead on his way when he sees Jimin.
Jimin's expression turns sour, lips curling up on a sneer, “why are you here?!”
Yoongi's eyes flicker from him to Taehyung, “Tae, you said you can spare me your farmhouse.”
Taehyung nods, getting up from the couch, “I will get the keys. You can stay there as long as you want.”
Yoongi nods, “thanks.”
“Why are you helping him?!” Jimin thunders, “are you crazy?!”
Taehyung turns to Jimin, “look, I know you believe he is whatever you think he is. I don't agree with you. So, let me do what I want to-”
“No, you can't!” Jimin shouts, “he is a predator!”
Jimin shakes his head in disbelief, “when I was busy trying to make my dad understand he is a good guy and we will be happy together, he was fucking around!” he whirls around to glare at Yoongi, “he was busy being just the pathetic human being my dad told me he is. You are sick!”
“Tae, you cannot support a guy who got a girl pregnant and then forced her to abort the baby!” Jimin's eyes brim with tears, “I heard those voicemails! I-”
Yoongi chuckles, “funny, how I was trying to erase a proof while leaving so many more. Huh?”
Jimin looks at him, “what?”
Taehyung answers for Yoongi, “don't you think if hyung was being so cautious, he won't leave something as stupid as voicemails? He would either call directly or just meet up? Why would hyung leave something in her clutch as proof? Chim, it makes no sense! Think about it!”
Jimin shrugs, “at that point, he didn't think he will get caught. He emotionally manipulated the girl into thinking if she went to anyone seeking help, he will do something to her. He is powerful, Tae. You know it!”
Yoongi watches Jimin, quietly looking at the man.
“I didn't do it,” Yoongi nods when Jimin looks over at him.
Jimin gives him a hollow laugh, “that's all you have to say? Who would trust you?”
“No one,” Yoongi hums, “I don't care, really. I would have fought the case, if I cared. I don't. I just wanted you to know.”
“I can't care less about the media, those faceless people all over the world, the industry, our families, those so-called friends,” Yoongi lists, “I don't care about their opinion, or I don't owe them shit. I still think I owed you my words. I didn't do it. None of it.”
Yoongi takes the keys from Taehyung, “thanks, Tae.”
“Stay for dinner, hyung,” Jungkook asks, still by the door.
Yoongi shakes his head, “no. It's okay. I got some takeouts. I need to leave for the farmhouse tonight after I sign the papers. I am getting married in a week.”
They all watch Yoongi storm out of the apartment.
Jimin rubs his face with his hands, “I need to go too. Jiyeong has a meeting with my dad. Somewhere. I don't know. I am leaving for some work overseas. See you later.”
“Not excited about seeing you,” Jungkook shrugs.
Yoongi places his guitar on the couch and frowns at the door. He just settled in for the night. It's past midnight and no one knows he is at Taehyung's farmhouse.
Who can possibly come here this late?
He gets up to go to the door and look through the peephole.
Yoongi freezes when he sees Jimin. Jimin is in his grey hoodie, hands shoved in his pockets and eyes downcast. He has a backpack on him.
Yoongi opens the door, “what… what are you doing here?”
Jimin looks up at him, face giving nothing away, “let me in. It's raining.”
Yoongi steps aside to let Jimin in, watching how the man shrugs out of his hoodie and hangs it on the coat hanger before toeing off his shoes and getting inside.
Yoongi locks the door and follows, “what are you doing here?”
Jimin drops the backpack on the couch, “sit.”
Yoongi does not. He stands and watches Jimin with a frown. Jimin sighs, sitting on the couch and pulling the backpack on his lap.
“You are going to file a case of defamation and plotting against that girl,” Jimin pulls out a zip file from his bag, “my dad and my husband.”
Jimin unzips the file, pulling out a bunch of pendrives and a few papers, “these pendrives. Each one of them hold a meeting or a phone call in them,” he points at the papers, “these are the papers Jiyeong signed. For some people to track you and your place. Along with Tae's.”
Jimin looks at the papers one by one, “here are some-”
“What are you talking about?” Yoongi shakes his head, “what is going on? What...” he eyes Jimin, “what are you doing?”
Jimin finally looks up at him, expression still blank, “trying to get you out of this mess.”
“I don't understand,” Yoongi's voice slowly drifts, “what…”
Jimin grips his knees, “I overheard my father and Jiyeong planning something against your company and you. A week before our wedding. I think Jiyeong used to work under your dad's company and he got something on you.”
“He sounds very hostile when he talks about you,” Jimin frowns, looking ahead at nothing in particular, “my dad is your father's direct rival,” he snorts, “well, you know that. That's why we,” Jimin shrugs, “anyway, that's why Jiyeong and my dad bonded pretty well.”
Jimin chews his lower lip, “I had no other way to know what they were planning because my dad kept everything at Jiyeong's place. There was something going on, and I found out it was about you and that girl a night before my wedding,” Jimin squeezes his knees.
“You have to know, even then, I didn't know their entire plan!” Jimin begs, “I could not tell you because your phone was taped, and it was a night before my wedding. I was already trapped, and I had to marry him. To get to those proofs they kept at his place. To have access.”
“You married him to have access to those damn proofs?” Yoongi breathes out, disbelief clear in his voice.
Jimin shrugs, eyes back on those files, “here I have everything. I took my time making a copy of every file, taping his every call for your case. The girl visited him-”
Yoongi grabs Jimin by his elbow, “answer me!” he thunders, “why the hell would you do that?!”
Jimin keeps his eyes fixed on the files, voice calm, “that girl was carrying his baby. Jiyeong's baby. She is getting blackmailed by Jiyeong too. Those proofs are in this file too.”
Jimin points at a red pendrive, “the girl stole your card, and somehow she knew the pin. I don't know how that happened, but yeah. Putting your name on the bills was easy. I don't know how you didn't get any messages or how you didn't notice that huge amount of debit, though-”
“I don't check my messages for that,” Yoongi shrugs when Jimin glares at him, “well, it's not an alarming amount of money, and who keeps track of their debits all the time? The bank sends too many messages every day.”
Jimin curses, “you should! You moron! You should!”
Yoongi's eyes does not waver from Jimin's face, “why did you do all this?”
Jimin finally looks at him, “there was no other way.”
Yoongi shakes his head, “no. Not the path. Why do this in the first place? Why,” his throat feels dry, “why would you put yourself through this?”
Jimin looks tired, exhausted even, “why won't I?”
He pulls away from Yoongi, picking up the files and holding them out for Yoongi.
“Take these,” Jimin nods, “I have already sent the digital prints to Hobi hyung. Anonymously. Do not tell him how you got these. Please.”
“Why not?” Yoongi frowns.
Jimin shrugs, “because, then Jiyeong will kick me out of his house. I need to stay with him as long as the case goes. Then, when it comes out that the baby was his, I can divorce him.”
Yoongi gulps, “what if he finds out somehow? Then, what?”
Jimin shrugs, “then, I will see. For now, he doesn't know. Let's keep it that way. Now sit here and write down the passwords for the pendrives. Come on.”
Yoongi sits as Jimin tells him, taking a notebook and pen because he does not trust his devices anymore.
Yoongi writes while Jimin tells him, holding up the pen drives one by one. What it contains and the password.
Yoongi's ears ring with his own father's words. The words that never let him rest. The words that never let him have something solid with Jimin. Ever.
Even now, his father's words ring in his ears as he watches Jimin right beside him.
“I think, after high school, that break up, I slept with you for the thrill of it,” Yoongi clutches the pages in his hands when he sees Jimin going stiff beside him, “the thrill of fu'king a Park. I think I liked the thought of it.”
“I know,” Jimin murmurs, “I always knew.”
Yoongi feels helpless, “I don't know why I thought that's a good idea-”
“I am not here for this,” Jimin shakes his head, “I just did what I had to. You don't need to go and explain why you are f'cked up to me. I don't need that. I am done here, I will go now.”
Yoongi grabs Jimin's wrist, “Jimin-”
“No,” Jimin flinches, tugging his arm free, “no,” his voice cracks, “I don't need this. I am not here to discuss how you felt and what you felt. I am here because I couldn't stop feeling worried,” Jimin sounds winded, “about you.”
“I couldn't stop thinking how much you love your company and your job, and I couldn't sleep knowing they are trying to take it all away from you. I had to try my best to not let that happen and I did,” Jimin breathes in deeply, “now I can rest. I can finally rest.”
“I offered to marry you,” Yoongi tries again, “Jimin-”
Jimin gives a hollow laugh, “you 'offered' to marry me, I know,” he shrugs, “you didn't 'want' to. There's a huge difference.”
Jimin turns to leave and Yoongi rushes after him.
“It's raining, Jimin! Just listen-”
“I came here in a car, hyung,” Jimin chuckles, “I will see you around.”
Yoongi grabs the door when Jimin opens it, “just...” he shakes his head, “I don't know what to say.”
Jimin smiles, shrugs, “you don't have to say anything.”
Yoongi watches Jimin leave.
Taehyung sits beside Jungkook, his eyes moving from the lawyers to the judge. The courtroom is somewhat empty. Because of the heavy security around the place.
Taehyung holds Jungkook's hand as the judge goes through the files one by one. His eyes move to where Yoongi sits.
Yoongi's eyes keep finding Jimin, who is sitting beside his husband. Jiyeong has a hand resting on Jimin's thigh, and Yoongi's eyes keep focusing on that than the case itself.
Taehyung grips Jungkook's hand when the judge asks for Iseul to come forward to the witness box.
She breaks pretty easily. When the proofs are shown and the clips are played with the phone call records that shows her hour-long calls to Jiyeong, she breaks down in panic and tears.
Jiyeong is next, he does not look shaken, “I am getting framed. These proofs are all staged.”
“Who got the proofs if they were not found up until now?” Jiyeong snorts, “huh? Who-”
“I did,” Jimin looks at the man calmly, “I got it. All of it.”
Taehyung watches, eyes wide and Jungkook's hand clutching onto his as Jimin's dad curses, standing up to shout at Jimin.
“If you have something to say, please come forward, sir,” the judge gestures towards the witness box.
Jimin goes calmly, answering the questions one by one.
“Why would you take a Min's side?” the lawyer asks, “he comes from a family your family has a beef with for generations.”
Jimin shrugs, “because he is innocent, and I believe in healthy competition than this.”
“You called the media,” Iseul's lawyer frowns, “did you not? Then, why didn't you say everything there?”
“I didn't have all the proofs by then,” Jimin bites his lower lip, “that's why.”
“Is it true, Mr. Park, that you and Mr. Min have a history together?” the lawyer's lips curl around a playful smirk, “you studied in the same school and then there were rumours of you two being something more-”
Jimin laughs, “well, the rumours said the baby is Yoongi's too, no?”
Jimin shrugs, “we were never a thing,” he ignores how Yoongi's eyes bore on the side of his face, “we studied together and have a circle of common friends. That's why we are seen in the same place time to time, but that's it. There's nothing more. Never was. Never will be.”
The case after that is pretty easy. Taehyung watches, his heart feeling heavy, as Jimin comes to sit beside his father. His father looks ahead with a stoic expression and Taehyung cannot help but feel nauseous.
“I didn't trust him,” he whispers to Jungkook, “I let him down.”
Taehyung's eyes burn, “shit, I didn't trust him. I was so stupid, rude,” he looks at Jungkook, “he has always been there for me and just like that I dropped him. I,” Taehyung grips Jungkook's hand tightly, “I fucked up.”
Jungkook shakes his head, “you didn't know. We didn't.”
When the case finally closes with Jimin's father and Jiyeong facing 4 years' worth of jail and a large amount of fine that they will pay to Yoongi. Jimin sits, watching his father get arrested right after his husband.
“I am not divorcing you this easily!” Jiyeong hisses.
“I hope it was worth it,” his father looks at him, disappointment clear in his eyes, “I hope losing the ones who actually cared and loved you was worth it, Jimin.”
Jimin blinks back the tears, jaw hardening. He does not utter a single word, sits and watches the police work.
He feels someone come and sit beside him. A sigh escapes him, and he looks over to see Taehyung. His eyes tearful and lips quivering.
“I am sorry,” Taehyung whimpers, “I am so-”
Jimin wipes Taehyung's eyes, “how could you possibly know?” he smiles, “you idiot. Come here.”
Jimin looks up at Jungkook, who has tears in his eyes too. Jimin motions for Jungkook to join them, and Jungkook steps up, hugging them closer.
“I need to leave for now,” Jimin murmurs against Taehyung's temple, “but, I will call you.”
Taehyung pulls back, “are you sure?”
Jimin nods, “I will call. I just need to go home and sleep. I feel exhausted.”
Taehyung grips Jimin's hand, “I can go with you.”
Jimin shakes his head, “no,” he waves his hand, “I just want to be alone for now.”
Taehyung and Jungkook watch Jimin walk out of the courtroom.
Jimin hurries down the corridor, his guards flocking him as he walks. He wants to get out of there as fast as he can. He sits in his car and closes his eyes.
“Can you put up the partition, please?” Jimin asks the driver, nodding when the driver follows his request.
As tears finally roll out of his eyes, Jimin looks down at his fingers. He tugs the wedding ring off, bursting out crying while he realizes, the only thing he vividly remembers from his wedding is Yoongi. In his formal attire, looking his best for Jimin's wedding.
He pushes the ring back in his pocket and leans back on the seat of the car. The outside of the car rushes past him, barely leaving a trace on his mind.
Jimin curls up on the seat, hugging himself as he finally lets himself fall asleep. After a long time.
Jimin does not remember when he gets home or how he gets on the bed and passes out. He does not hear the ringing of his phone and is not sure how long it has been since he fell asleep.
But's it's dark outside, and he wakes up to the constantly ringing doorbell.
Jimin goes to the door, “yes?”
His guard answers for him, “Mr. Min is at the gate, sir. Asking for permission to get inside.”
Jimin leans his head on the wall, “tell him to leave.”
The guard hums, “yes, sir.”
Jimin goes inside his bedroom to hear his phone ringing.
“Why are you here?” Jimin answers the call, “I am tired-”
“Please,” Yoongi begs, “I had to attend numerous press conferences. I just got out of the last one. Please, we have to talk.”
“No, we don't,” Jimin sits on his bed, “I walked out on all of that. On you too. I am done.”
“You can't decide everything on your own,” Yoongi growls, “you can't just swoop in to be a hero and then leave and-”
“I am tired of you,” Jimin whispers, “I am tired of the feelings I have for you. You don't deserve them. You never did. You want to do something? Do this-”
“Respect my decision of moving on,” Jimin wipes his eyes, looking out through his balcony, “respect the fact that we are over. Whatever we had. Respect my choice that I do not want to see your face ever again, Min Yoongi. If you say you like me now, it will feel like a charity.”
“I am done fighting with you,” Jimin lies down on the bed, “done seeking you out for a fuck. I am done hoping one day it will mean something more to you. I am done wishing you felt the same. Now, no matter what you say, I will feel like you are doing this to return my favour.”
“Let me be, please,” Jimin stares up at the ceiling, “you are forgetting I am still married. I need to sort that shit out and, even if I wasn't, you are not something I need in my life anymore. It took me too much to come in terms with that realization. Let me stick to it.”
Yoongi lets out a sniffle, “come on, Jiminah, this can't be it.”
Jimin closes his eyes, a silent sob escaping his lips, “but, it is. It is.”
He cuts the call, switching off his phone right after. Jimin cries himself to sleep that night, hugging his pillow to himself.
- Scribbled will finish in two more updates which will focus on Taekook. DAMN, THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A DRABBLE!
- If you want to support me, here's my kofi : ko-fi.com/aamyungv