~Love, and other Illusions~
Taehyung didn’t regret falling in love.
His only regret was that he could never confess to his friend & bandmate, because he couldn’t jeopardise everything they had worked for…
Jungkook was safe in his obliviousness. Until he was not.
Alright then- the tags-
canon compliant (all the usual canonau advisories applicable)
angst, eventual fluff, gay panic
friends to umm… something more?
pining, unrequited love
if it’s not happy, it’s not the end
smut- I can’t control fictional hormones, duh!
Jungkook's trooper boots announced his arrival even before he had reached the dormitory door.
He could feel Yoongi's eyes boring into his back from the dining area.
He shifted uncomfortably on the couch where he was sitting alone watching TV, peacefully until now.
"Hello Old People" Jungkook bellowed at the members as he swung the door open and threw his bag on the ground.
He had been putting extra hours for a solo routine.
The members (with the exception of Taehyung), all groaned and hurled abuses at him for calling them old.
Jungkook giggled, his nose scrunching, happy to have caused the ruckus.
Taehyung took a deep breath and shut his eyes for a moment-
He loved that sweet voice.
It always felt like a ray of hope; a stress buster. It made his days and nights worth slogging through.
But right now he couldn't afford to let his relief show on his face, because his Hyungs were around, especially Yoongi, whose perceptiveness was costing Taehyung dearly.
They knew. They all knew.
Taehyung and Jungkook had always been close.
They had hit it off the very first day when Taehyung had reluctantly walked in through the dorm doors.
Over shared secrets, private jokes and 2am heart to hearts, they had become inseparable.
Namjoon said they were the same person in two different bodies.
Everyone had got used to seeing them attached at the hip all the time.
Despite being assigned to separate rooms, Jungkook always found his way to Taehyung's room.
And despite having bunk beds, Taehyung always loved it for Jungkook to sleep in his bed, cuddled up to him.
The staff, the members, the fans- everyone had always found them adorable- youngest of the lot, laughing and pranking each other all the time.
Things would have continued being cute and harmless, had Taehyung not started feeling things he couldn’t quite understand.
It wasn't sudden but it wasn't gradual either.
Taehyung had woken up one morning, with Jungkook's face inches apart from him.
He was so close that Taehyung could taste his breath.
But instead of pushing Jungkook away, he had just gazed at the younger's face.
The cheekbones, the nose he found so adorable, the scar which added so much character to Jungkook’s face.
And before Taehyung could make sense of it, he had a mad urge to kiss his lips.
They both had always been comfortable with being touchy- they’d hold hands, hug and sometimes even peck each other's foreheads or cheeks.
But this time, it felt different.
Taehyung’s heart had raced as he had fought the urge to close the distance between their lips.
He had left the bed in a hurry and left for a walk early in the morning.
Taehyung had later written it off as morning haze. Locked it up deep down inside him and subconsciously decided never to bring it up again.
But it hadn’t been a one time occurrence.
A few mornings later, Taehyung had woken up with to soft breaths on his neck.
He had slowly become aware of Jungkook’s thigh around his own thigh and Jungkook’s arm which was circled around his waist.
“Kookie, please get up,” Taehyung had quietly pleaded.
But instead of moving away, Jungkook had tightened his hold and buried his face in the older’s neck, his nose and lips carelessly caressing the skin.
Taehyung could feel his eyes watering in embarrassment because he wasn’t supposed to feel what he was feeling.
His PJ bottoms weren’t supposed to tighten the way they were tightening and his skin wasn’t supposed to tingle the way it was tingling.
He had never felt so helpless.
He reminded himself that any moment the younger’s thigh could have rubbed against his hard on.
But instead of making it recede, the proximity of the younger’s thigh had made things, well, harder.
That day, in the shower, Taehyung had come off imagining several scenarios whicc all begun with Jungkook waking up in that moment.
And though Taehyung had assumed it to be a one time thing... it had turned out to be much more complicated.
Over the next few days Taehyung was suddenly aware of Jungkook more than anyone around.
He blushed everytime Jungkook complimented him, laughed every time he was being goofy and had to will himself to look away everytime Jungkook was changing before him.
"I'm so tired" Jungkook groaned, bringing Taehyung out of his reverie, as he took off his boots and entered their little living area.
"My body hurts so much" he complained again, taking off his sweaty tee shirt and slumping on the couch right next to Taehyung.
Taehyung froze. He knew what was coming and how much of his resilience was about to get tested.
Jungkook rested his head on Taehyung’s shoulder and looped his leg around Taehyung's leg, his arms leisurely encircling his youngest Hyung’s waist.
Taehyung held his breath.
"H-hey... let go..." he objected feebly. Jungkook just chuckled as he held on tighter, wiping his face on Taehyung’s T-shirt sleeve.
"Go take a bath, Kookie... you are dirty and sweaty" Jin reprimanded. "Just leave Tae alone..."
Jungkook pouted as he let go of Taehyung and pulled himself up from the couch.
"You guys are mean... Taehyungie Hyung doesn't mind" he mumbled as he dragged his feet and made his way out of the living room.
Taehyung saw the Hyungs exchange a look and then look at him.
He could already hear their voices in his head.
He knew what was coming- Another uncomfortable confrontation with Yoongi, Namjoon, Jin or Hobi.
The first time he had been called for one, he had been shocked beyond his wits.
"You like Jungkook, don't you?" Yoongi had asked him pointedly, without mincing any words, without any prelude.
And though Taehyung could have easily feigned ignorance... something about Yoongis tone and pointed glare told him that it wasn't worth it to lie- Yoongi knew.
He wasn’t asking. He was simply stating the obvious.
He had still been too scared to reply- scared,and confused.
What he felt for Jungkook was something he himself was struggling to figure out.
"You like boys, don’t you" Yoongi had asked after a while.
That's when Taehyung had panicked... He was afraid he was about to be stigmatized.
He had been scared to accept it... to say it out loud even to himself... but he knew what his attraction to Jungkook meant... he was undeniably gay.
But he was scared that he was about to be conceived as a pariah... as someone who was a threat to their band- someone who'd be distanced from the rest... perhaps, asked to leave even.
His hands were sweating and shaking a little. He couldn't find his voice.
"N-no... no I d-don't..." he had stuttered.
"There's nothing wrong with it, Tae... There's nothing wrong with being gay... Please don't be scared" Yoongi had said matter-of-factly.
And those two sentences had been so comforting - they'd changed Taehyung's life forever.
"But Jungkook might not feel the same about you. Maybe he never will... you know that right?" Jin had asked, rather kindly so, squeezing Taehyung’s shoulder.
Taehyung's heart had sunk.
He had known. Of course, he had known. He had sat through Jungkook’s monologues about his future girlfriend.
He had heard him read out all the love letters he got from girls, blushing pink.
He knew but he chose not to acknowledge it.
But Jin’s words had felt like someone had splashed cold water on his face. The room had started to spin.
Namjoon had patted his back. "Its okay to like boys. You are such a catch- I’m sure boys would line up.But Jungkook... u know his preferences better than all of us… right?”
Taehyung didn't want to answer that.
He wanted to protest, wanted to hang on to a little strand of hope that he got every time the younger confided in him, leaned on him, hugged him- May be Jungkook did see him the same way.
But he didn't have the guts to say it out loud.
Yoongi smiled sadly.
"Don't get carried away, Tae. Jungkook sleeps with u, cuddles up to u for different reasons. He finds comfort in u, his best friend.
But u are feeling different things. It will be unfair on him unless he confesses feelings for u... or comes out. U get me?"
Taehyung had nodded after a bit, a single tear rolling down his cheek.
There it was - the possibility that this might never ever happen- staring him in the face.
"I do" he had whispered to his Hyungs.
But Taehyung hadn't thought this through when he had assured his Hyungs that he will maintain his distance from Jungkook.
The younger/ never/ left/ Taehyung’s/ side/ Ever.
He went to sleep in his own room, but invariably found his way to Taehyung and Namjoons room, more particularly, to Taehyung's bed.
He always wanted to sit next to Taehyung, eat out of his bowl and slip into his clothes.
"Get off Tae, Kookie," Jin screamed at Jungkook one evening as he settled in Taehyung’s lap and snaked his arms around Taehyung’s neck, because all the spots on the couch in front of the TV were full.
"Nope!" Jungkook said with a smug smile. "V Hyung can take my weight."
"Next time you act cool in front of the girls, I'm going to tell them that you sit in your Hyung's lap to watch TV," Hobi said laughing. “You are turning 18 for crying out loud!”
"The right girl wont mind,” Jungkook said, his eyes glued to the screen.
Taehyung chuckled sadly.
"Its hard, isn't it?" Yoongi asked him after dinner that night. They were both standing in the balcony, looking over the bright lights of the city.
Taehyung sighed and nodded without making eye contact with Yoongi.
"Go out and date... meet other people...," Yoongi said quietly, “you need a distraction… or several.”
Taehyung’s jaw dropped.
"We can't do that, can we.... our contract..."
Yoongi scoffed. "Contract kicks in only when you get caught kid... don’t get caught…"
Taehyung's eyes went wide for a moment. "So you're saying...?"
Yoongi sniggered and patted Taehyung's back, before turning around to leave.
"But, Hyung..." he suddenly said.
"Where will I find others who are...," Taehyung struggled to say it out loud.
"Gay?" Yoongi asked with a straight face.
Taehyung nodded hesitantly.
"Do you have plans for this weekend after practice?"
Taehyung shook his head.
"Good... I'll take you to a gay bar. It's underground... entry by invitation only... It has a good crowd usually.. " Yoongi said.
Taehyung blinked. "How do you know about it?" He asked innocently.
Yoongi chuckled, ruffled Taehyung's hair and walked off the balcony.
Taehyung stayed in the balcony for a long time- anxious, confused and perhaps a little relieved.
Somewhere inside Jungkook was roaring with laughter over Jin’s jokes. Taehyung's lips curled up in a smile subconsciously.
Even during bouts of anxiety, he was so weak for that laughter.
It was Friday soon enough.
Taehyung's heart hammered as they made their way back from the practice to the dorms.
Jungkook was walking between Jimin and Taehyung, discussing some particularly difficult move they had managed to ace in the practice that day.
"V Hyung got it in one go... didn't you," Jungkook suddenly asked.
"Hmm... yeah...", Taehyung said distractedly. He was a nervous wreck for what was to come later that night.
"Let’s go eat some galbi today," Jungkook said, wrapping his hand around Taehyung's arm.
"Umm... I can't," Taehyung said in a small voice.
He had never really lied to Jungkook and it felt so wrong that he might have to do it now.
"Why?" Jungkook asked loudly.
"Because..." Taehyung gulped.
"Because we are meeting some friends who've come down from Daegu," Yoongi said calmly.
Jungkook frowned. "Which friends? Why didn't you tell me?" His tone was accusatory.
"Because you don't know them..." Yoongi replied flatly.
"I know all of V Hyung's friends... he tells me everything about everyone, don't you?" He said with a sulk, looking at Taehyung who was not meeting his eyes.
Taehyung felt like his insides were being pulled apart.
"You don't know all my friends, Jungkook," he said quietly as they entered the dorm, “you don’t know everything…”
Jungkook looked hurt and Taehyung realised that he couldnt face Jungkook right now. "Then I'll come with you... introduce me..." the youngest said with a pout.
Taehyung walked to his room and shut the door behind him, shutting his eyes tight.
"I'll go with you for galbi," Jin said, putting an arm around Jungkook, "let these Daegu boys do their own boring thing."
Taehyung knew that Jungkook’s sulking face would haunt him for a while but there was just no other way than to break his heart.
The way to the club Yoongi had spoken about turned out to be more exciting than Taehyung had imagined.
It's entrance was through an unpretentious, worn out hardware shop and Taehyung was mindblown with the pomp and show which met them on the other side.
"Oh my God Hyung!" Taehyung exclaimed as he looked around the neon lit place with thumping music, a huge bar and hundreds of people.
Hundreds of men, to be more precise.
"Listen," he said kindly as they settled on the bar stools, "a lot of people here will obviously recognise you. But don't tell anyone too much about yourself. Don't drink too much... and don't fall for the first person who gives you importance- you understand?"
Taehyung looked mortified as he nodded quietly.
"Don't worry, I'm here only... won't leave you alone for long..." Yoongi said, patting his arm.
Taehyung smiled gratefully.
He had opened his mouth to thank Yoongi, when he caught sight of a familiar face.
"Hyung! Park Bogum! Park Bogum is here... WHY IS PARK BOGUM HERE?! Ohmygod, is he… wow," he screamed.
Yoongi shook his head and smiled.
"Tae, another thing- you'll find a lot of familiar faces... please contain your excitement... this is a safe place for queers. Don't make them uncomfortable- okay? Now order something for yourself, I’ll see you around."
Taehyung nodded feebly.
He felt high even without a single drop of alcohol.
He took a deep breath and drummed his fingers on the bar counter as he scanned the menu for something which looked palatable.
"Can I recommend something?" A deep voice made him look up.
Park Bogum was right next to him, flashing a wide smile.
Taehyung gasped softly. "Ummm... Hi," he said in a small voice.
He was still wrapping his head around the fact that Bogum was in a gay bar and now the superstar was in the next bar stool with his face in his palm.
"Hi, I'm Park Bogum," he said, extending his hand, “it’s Kim Taehyung, right?”
Taehyung felt his throat drying up. “Umm… yes. And of course I know you.”
Bogum looked pleased with that.
“Will you please let me buy you a drink, Taehyung?” He said, cocking his head to one side.
Taehyung could feel his cheeks burning. He didn’t need anyone to tell him that this man was flirting with him.
“My God… So handsome” Bogum mumbled softly, before turning around, calling for the bartender.
*Its 3am! Why aren’t you back?!*
Jungkook sent his 3rd message to Taehyung and threw his phone on Taehyung’s bed in frustration when the text stayed unread.
Taehyung woke up with a terrible hangover. Hard alcohol was never his thing.
He sat up in the bed and looked around only to realise that he had woken up in Hobi and Jimin’s room.
“Ugh… my head,” he groaned. His head felt like lead.
“Come out,” Hobi’s voice rang from the dining area, “I ordered some hangover soup for you...”
Taehyung tottered out, holding his head, massaging his temples. He belatedly realised that he had slept in his leather jacket and jeans.
He slumped into the chair before Hobi.
“Thank you… how did you know I would need that?”
Hobi smiled as he looked into his phone and sipped his coffee. “Yoongi asked me to get it for you before he left for the studio.”
Taehyung nodded gratefully, as he took a sip.
“He also told me about you being the most sought after guy at the club last night,” Hobi said, trying to keep a straight face but failing miserably, “want to tell Hyung about that?”
Taehyung blushed a little. “It was fun…”, he said in a small voice.
“Park Bogum?” Hobi mouthed silently, “wow!”
Taehyung pursed his lips and nodded.
“Was he nice to you?” Hobi asked, patting Taehyung’s hair dotingly.
Taehyung nodded with a smile.
“He was really nice to me… he’s such a gentleman… took me dancing, bought me drinks… said really n-nice things,” he recalled, sipping his soup with a smile.
“I am happy for you, Tae… you deserve it,” Hobi said brightly.
“Would you know why did I not sleep in my own room though?” Taehyung asked.
Hobi huffed, hesitating a little. “Umm… Jungkook… Jungkookie was sleeping in your bed.”
Taehyung looked up from his soup at once, guilt filling up his whole body.
Between the events of the night and his jarring headache, he had totally forgotten about Jungkook and the fact that he was angry with him.
“Where is he… kookie?” Taehyung asked urgently.
Hobi’s voice dropped lower.
“He was trying to call you for a long while… but I guess you had kept your phone away. He sulked through the night… went to sleep really late, it seems.”
Taehyung held his head in his hands. He could feel the despair in the pit of his stomach. Not only had he ignored Jungkook’s calls but he had actually forgotten all about him.
“Shit… I feel so… I am so terrible…” he mumbled.
Hobi shook his head. “Naaaah… don’t say that. You are trying to get over him… and you had your first big outing last night… It’s okay… He is just mad because he thinks you were meeting friends without him… He’s a little territorial when it comes to you…”
But nothing Hobi said, made it any better.
Taehyung ventured into his room to find Jungkook snug under his quilt, hugging his pillow.
He sat on his bed and waited for Jungkook to wake up.
He wasn’t expecting it to be easy and it absolutely was not.
“How long does it take to reply to a message?” was the first thing Jungkook said, as he sat up in the bed, his eyebrows furrowed in anger.
“I am sorry, Kookie,” Taehyung said softly. “I had kept my phone away… and”
“Save your excuses for your new friends from Daegu,” Jungkook said icily as he slipped out of the bed and stormed off.
Taehyung could feel the bile rise in his throat. Jungkook and he had never fought. This was probably the first time that Jungkook was not speaking to him.
In fact he even stopped acknowledging Taehyung’s presence.
The next two days passed without a word being exchanged between them.
It was taking a toll on Taehyung
“Did he reach out to you after that night?” Yoongi asked Taehyung softly during the practice on Monday.
Taehyung looked at Jungkook who was not even making eye contact with him since the last two days, and shook his head.
“No… won’t even look at me… He is thirsty but refused to drink water when I offered it to him…”
Yoongi frowned. “Huh? Who are you taking about?”
Taehyung tore his eyes away from Jungkook who was practicing a dance routine before the mirror, to look at Yoongi. “Huh?”
Yoongi shook his head. “I am asking about Bogum… did he reach out to you after that night?”
Taehyung blinked. It just dawned upon him that Bogum had indeed reached out and he had not even responded to those messages.
“Yeah… he did.. he asked how was I feeling…” Taehyung said, distractedly.
He was distracted because Jungkook had been on his feet for hours, not resting for even a moment. He was sweating profusely and there was no water in the dispenser.
“And… what did you say, to Bogum?” Yoongi prompted.
“I said…,’ Taehyung trailed off, “Hyung! Could you give this bottle to Kookie… he should drink some water… he’s dehydrated… he’ll fall sick” Taehyung whispered urgently.
Yoongi sighed and shook his head before taking the bottle from Taehyung’s hand.
By the end of that week, the air in the dorm was thick with tension.
“Is it really that big a deal… can’t you both let it go,” Namjoon asked Taehyung and Jungkook over dinner.
“The staff has started asking me what’s up with you both… It’s impacting everyone now,” he said trying his best not to sound like he was taking anyone’s side.
Taehyung looked at Jungkook who had put his chopsticks away and folded his arms before him.
“V Hyung didn’t even apologise to me,” he said stiffly.
But before Taehyung could open his mouth, Suga spoke up. “What do you want him to apologise for? He can have friends outside of this company, can’t he?”
Jungkook didn’t answer and left the table despite everyone calling after him to stay.
“How did you know?” Taehyung asked Yoongi that night. They were once again in the balcony which had become their midnight hangout.
“Know what?” Yoongi asked.
“That you are… you are gay?”Taehyung asked in a small voice.
“Oh you finally caught up! What gave it away, genius?” Yoongi asked, taunting Taehyung.
Taehyung hissed in embarrassment making Yoongi chuckle.
“I am not gay… I am bi…,” Yoongi said. “It took me a while to figure out… it was really confusing… I had dated a girl in high school- I quite liked her… but then I was attracted to a boy too… don’t rush to put labels…”
“Oh…,” Taehyung said, absorbing it all.
They were quiet for a long moment.
“Interested in coming along tomorrow… on our quest for distraction- I have another invite…” Yoongi said with a smile.
Taehyung looked at him in disbelief. “I can’t! You saw what happened!”
“What happened?” Yoongi asked calmly.
“Hyung! You saw how Jungkook behaved…” Taehyung said, with hand gestures.
“And what about it? You’ll not live your life because Jungkook is acting like a kid?”
“No… its just… you don’t know him the way I do…,” Taehyung said softly.
“It takes so less for him to go back into his shell… he’s so sensitive… he second guesses himself so much…”
“This must be so confusing for him,” Taehyung said sadly, “He hides it behind the anger but he must be miserable wondering what he did wrong for me to be avoiding him like this.”
Yoongi huffed. “Then tell him.”
Taehyung’s jaw dropped.
“Tell him what?! That I think I am in love with him?”
Yoongi shrugged. “That you are gay… that you are meeting other… Wait,” Yoongi said, pausing suddenly, “You think you are in love with him?!”
Taehyung bit his lip. “I don’t know. I-I don’t know why I said that…” he said panicking. “Shit, I feel l’m 13 years old”
Yoongi ran his fingers through his hair.
“Does Jimin know?”
Taehyung shook his head. “I didn’t tell him. He too seems angry with me… but I sometimes feel that he suspects… ”
Yoongi smirked. “I won’t bet on that…”
Taehyung frowned. “Why would you say tha…”
“Just tell them both. All the Hyungs already know… but you’ve always been closer to Kookie and Jimin… They might feel bad if they learn it from someone else… or worse, accidentally.”
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Its a part of your identity. It’s who you are… and if Jungkook and Jimin really care about you- they’ll be understanding about it,” Yoongi added.
Taehyung was in deep thought for a long while. “How did you tell? How did you come out to the other Hyungs?” he asked.
Yoongi smirked. “I was miserable like you… and they guessed like we did with you too.”
Taehyung frowned at the cryptic answer. “Are you dating someone?” he finally asked.
Yoongi smiled. “If I were- would I have been frequenting these clubs looking for distractions? Wouldn’t I have been spending time with my person?”
“What happened to that boy you liked?”
Yoongi looked through the glass door of the balcony and smiled wryly, “He suspects nothing.”
Taehyung went to his room rather late that night, only to find Jungkook sitting on his bed, playing on his phone.
Taehyung stilled. He sat down slowly, on the edge of the bed.
“Hey…” he said softly and tentatively- careful not to wake a sleeping Namjoon.
“Hey…” Jungkook said in a breathy voice, putting his phone away.
“What’s up?” Taehyung asked, already nervous and already out of conversation.
“Can I sleep here, tonight?” Jungkook asked. “I have not been sleeping well.”
Taehyung sighed. He knew.
He could tell… Jungkook had dark circles under his eyes. He looked tired.
“Kookie… can we talk first…” Taehyung said, panicking.
Jungkook shook his head, his famous pout making an appearance. “I am sleepy… we can talk tomorrow… let me just sleep here tonight... please.”
Taehyung could feel his throat constricting.
He wanted nothing but to give Jungkook the comfort that he was seeking- To spread his arms, and let the tired boy rest his bones.
But he knew that he needed for them to talk first. And this was not an easy conversation.
Jungkook was not really waiting for Taehyung’s answer. He had, after all, never ever needed to beg for them to sleep in the same bed.
He was slipping into the covers when Taehyung suddenly spoke up.
“Kookie… no.. please go back to your bed… we can’t sleep together… just,” Taehyung said urgently.
Jungkook froze, his face giving away the betrayal he must have felt.
“Listen…” Taehyung began, struggling for an explanation.
“Oh… to hell with you!” Jungkook snapped coldly, before he slipped out of the bed and stormed out once again, barely hearing the sound of the sob which got muffled under the noise of banging doors.
“Tae called in sick? Again? That’s four days in a row now...”Jimin mumbled, as the members assembled outside the dorm to head for their practice, “what’s wrong with him?”
Everyone instinctively looked at Jungkook, who was pointedly concentrated on retying his shoelaces.
“Shouldn’t you know about your ‘friend’?” Namjoon asked a little irately, as they got into their waiting cars.
Jimin bit his lip in worry.
Taehyung had been avoiding him lately and he was trying too hard not to take sides in whatever strange conflict was brewing between the youngest two.
Deep down, he thought Taehyung was at fault for trying to distance Jungkook and him, for no reason.
But Jimin did not want to draw a conclusion without confronting Taehyung first.
The problem was that Taehyung was hardly out of his room.
And the Hyungs were being terribly protective about letting him have his privacy.
He found it a little suspicious and had been feeling a little snubbed.
He sighed. “You guy’s go ahead... I’ll stay with Tae.”
Everyone except Jungkook nodded.
“Be kind,”Yoongi said cryptically to Jimin, before getting into the car.
Jungkook hovered outside the door for the longest time before he too got into the car to leave.
Jimin knocked on Taehyung’s door for a few seconds.
When he didn’t get any response he quietly pushed open the door only to find Taehyung’s bed empty.
He figured that Taehyung was in the shower and decided to come back in sometime.
He had barely reached the door when he heard a loud sob from inside.
The sobs continued to get louder.
“Tae?” Jimin screamed, banging on the door. But the door wasn’t locked and it swung open, shocking both Taehyung and Jimin equally.
Taehyung was sitting on the floor with his knees pulled in close to his chest and his face puffy and tear-stained.
Jimin gasped at the sight.
“I-I thought... everyone... everyone left...” Taehyung said, between sobs.
“Tae... baby...,” Jimin whispered, falling on his knees before Taehyung and engulfing him in a hug, “what happened...,” he said, almost choking with emotions, when Taehyung began to cry again.
“How’s Tae feeling now?” the choreographer asked Jungkook the moment they had taken their first break.
Jungkook pretended to not have heard.
“Jungkook... I am asking you... how’s Tae feeling now?” he repeated.
“I don’t know- okay?! I JUST /DON’T /KNOW/ AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO STOP ASKING ME ABOUT HIM! I DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT KIM TAEHYUNG- IS THAT CLEAR,” Jungkook screamed out so loud that all activity in the entire studio came to a halt.
“Jungkook,” Namjoon said his name like a warning, shaking his head in disapproval.
Jungkook turned around, his chest heaving with just how loud he had screamed.
Every eye in the room- from members to managers to back up dancers, was looking at him in shock.
“Fck this shit,” he grunted in frustration and embarrassment, picked up his jacket and walked out of the practice room.
Taehyung and Jimin were sitting in silence for completely different reasons.
Taehyung felt lighter after confiding in Jimin.
But Jimin had a lot on his mind as he looked at his friend in concern.
“How long have you known… as in, how long since you realised?” he asked Taehyung.
They were both sitting cross-legged on the opposite ends of the living room couch.
Taehyung sighed. “Been a while…”
“And Kookie has no clue about you being into guys, I’m assuming…,” Jimin asked, tentatively.
Taehyung shook his head slowly. “None… he doesn’t know...”
“Why?” Jimin frowned.
“I’d come out to him some time… I’m just not ready… it’s such a scary proposition. What if he disapproves or makes fun or turns out to be homophobic… it’ll break me…”
Jimin nodded in understanding.
“So I am guessing, you wouldn’t even tell him that you like him...?” Jimin asked.
Taehyung chuckled. “Never,” he said, in a breathy voice. “Not in this lifetime...”
Jimin looked at him with a mixture of pity and sadness. “But...”
“He’s straight Chim… as straight as they come…,” Taehyung objected, with a wry smile, “I’d never want him to know… it’ll ruin our friendship… I’d rather we love each other as friends for the rest of our lives than be in a situation where we can’t be anything to each other…”
“Will you be okay with that… pretending to be just friends when he means so much more to you?” Jimin asked sadly. “You’ll always be in each others face…”
“I don’t know… maybe not for some time… long time… it’ll be tough… I really don’t know…,” he sighed. “Suga Hyung says I just need to keep myself distracted... and it’ll get easier to be around Jungkook.”
Jimin nodded. “God bless Suga Hyung! I always wonder how he knows so much about everything! He’s so hot…”
Taehyung smiled. He didn’t think it was his place to out Yoongi, so he stayed quiet.
“But… do come out to Jungkook... He’s probably going crazy wondering what did he do wrong…. If you look at it from his point of view-its a little unfair on him too...”
Taehyung covered his face with his hand. “I know...”
Jimin patted arm hand, sympathetically.
“Can I make a little confession though?” Jimin asked after a while, his lips turned up in a small smile.
Taehyung nodded, his brow raised at Jimin’s amused expression.
“I was a little begrudged about you being closer to Jungkook than me… But now, putting things in perspective- of course you were closer... you wanted his d*ck,” Jimin said laughing and hopping off the couch to get away from Taehyung in case he decided to throw hands.
“JIMIN! You bugger!” Taehyung screeched but broke out laughing himself, as he chased Jimin around the living room.
“But bros before hoes, right?” Jimin asked, running around the dining table, between peels of laughter.
“Did you just call Kookie THAT?!” Taehyung said with a gasp.
“Tease… he’s a tease… right?” He replied holding on to the stich in his stomach, laughing.
Once their laughter had subsided, Jimin walked over to Taehyung and squeezed him in a hug. “Sorry for not being around when you needed me…”
Taehyung shook his head. “Sorry for not confiding in you sooner…”
Jimin made a dismissive voice.
“But Park B0gum, eh” Jimin said, his gleeful voice returning. He jabbed a finger in Taehyung’s side playfully making him squeal.
“Yeah… he was quite nice to me…sent me a string of messages asking me to meet him again... but I never called or texted him back,” Taehyung said.
Jimin frowned, “why?”
Taehyung sighed. “My little club outing that day ruined Kookie’s mood… his whole schedule… he’s so upset…”
Jimin groaned in disapproval.
“I know…,” Taehyung said, “I know it’s dumb and that I need to tell him… and that it’s not my problem how he feels about it… Suga Hyung said the same thing…”
“But?” Jimin asked.
“But I can’t see Jungkook upset… it makes me sad. I can’t enjoy myself when he’s not happy… even lesser when I’m the reason he’s unhappy…”
“What about Bogum? You think he’ll stick around waiting for you to come out to your best friend who also happens to be your biggest crush, so that you can date him without guilt?”
Taehyung groaned. “Ugh! Maybe not… but again… it’s not worth ruining Jungkook’s mood over…”
Jimin shook his head in disbelief. “Wow… you really like our maknae… Wow…” he trailed off.
Taehyung sighed as he looked at a picture of Jungkook and him on the mantle, longingly.
He had always had a soft spot for Jungkook… but even he had not realised when his fondness had snow-balled into an emotion so strong that it was consuming his entire being.
Taehyung doted on the youngest with every strand of his existence.
And the thought that someone, or worse, Jungkook himself may find out about it, left him in cold sweat.
The Hyungs thought that he was sad and brooding because he was coming to terms with his identity… but in reality, he was hurting because he was coming to terms with the fact that Jungkook would never want him the way he wanted Jungkook…
Jimin saw Taehyung looking morose and sighed loudly to get his friend’s attention.
“What,” he asked, furrowing his eyebrows
“I still can’t believe that you can see ParkB0gum nak*ed whenever you want. Like there’s a Hallyu superstar who’ll drop his pants whenever u want him to.”
“JIMIN! YOU SHAMELESS IDIOT” Taehyung screamed before they started running around the furniture again, howling with laughter..
Sometime in the middle of their laughing fit, the main door opened and Jungkook and the Hyungs walked in.
Jungkook glared at Jimin and Taehyung who stopped frolicking when they saw everyone.
“How come you all are back...” Jimin asked, confused.
“Well, with you two absent and Jungkook also walking out, we could barely practice the formations... so the choreographers decided to call it off...” Namjoon explained as he took off his shoes and the others started crowding the entrance too.
“Why did Jungkook walk out,” Taehyung asked, worried.
Jungkook scoffed. “Now you care? I walked out to come check on you... I thought you were sick… But looks like everything is a farce nowadays…” he said scathingly as he turned around to leave.
Taehyung looked like he was in physical pain. “Please hear me out,” he said ever so softly.
“Kookie… come back please…,” Jin said authoritatively.
“FOR WHAT?!” Jungkook screamed from the doorway.
“There’s something I need to tell you,” Taehyung responded louder this time.
Jungkook turned around and walked back slowly. “Fcking finally!” he spat, “finally you want to speak to me!”
He folded his arms before his chest and rested against the wall, waiting for Taehyung’s explanation.
Everyone in the room held their breath.
Taehyung tried ignoring his sarcasm and took a deep breath.
“I am not unwell... and that day- we did not go out with any friends from Daegu... we went clubbing.”
Jungkook shook his head slowly. “Why did you have to start lying to me...?” he asked slowly.
And in that moment, he didn’t sound angry... he just sounded hurt, “you could have just said that you didn’t want me around you anymore...”
Taehyung shook his head, unable to string words together.
He looked at Yoongi who nodded at him. He tried drawing strength from his Hyungs.
“There’s something else I have been keeping from you,” he hesitated.
“Oh... so there are more embarrassing confessions to make?” Jungkook asked with a mirthless chuckle.
“Jungkook, please let him talk...,” Jin mumbled softly.
“Just one more ‘embarrassing’ confession,” he said bitterly.
“I am gay, you hear me? I went clubbing to a gay club that night... and yes- I really don’t want you around me anymore,” he snapped before walking into his room and banging his door shut.
Jungkook had never been the one to hate work schedules. He was always up at the break of dawn bubbling with energy.
But today was an exception.
He felt so lethargic that he could barely get himself to open his eyes and drag himself out of the bed.
He heard a soft knock on his bedroom door- the only single room in their dorm- the one he had ended up with after winning a bet.
“Yeah?” He said, in a soft but hoarse morning voice.
Yoongi walked in, looking like he was all set to leave for work.
“How are you?” He asked in his usual faux-indifferent tone, leaning against Jungkook’s writing table.
Jungkook slowly sat up. “Okay…,” he said insincerely.
He felt like he had heavy boulders tied to his chest and he could barely move.
“Have breakfast… you went to bed hungry last night, “ Yoongi said.
Jungkook nodded slowly.
“Taehyungie Hyung… h-he didn’t open the door for me last night… I went to talk to him but…” Jungkook trailed off. It pained him to say it out loud that Taehyung didn’t want to speak to him.
Yoongi sighed. “Have you decided what are you going to say to him?”
Jungkook frowned. “I don’t know… just… sorry, perhaps…”
Yoongi shut his eyes and shook his head. “He’s still your best friend… isn’t he?”
“Then maybe you might want to say something more than just ‘sorry’…” Yoongi said.
Jungkook looked a little lost. “Like what…?”
Yoongi was annoyed for a moment, but then he huffed, pulled a chair and sat down.
For all his extraordinary talents, Jungkook was still just 17 and Yoongi knew that he had the purest of hearts.
“Taehyung came out to you… It’s not easy to come out to people… especially to people who are close to you… whose opinion means so much to you… You get me,” he asked.
Jungkook nodded slowly.
“You mean a lot to Taehyung- you know that, right?” Yoongi asked, “you mean more to him than all of us put together…”
Jungkook gulped a sob and nodded.
“So you need to be there for him when he’s going through a tough time if you want Taehyung in your life for a long time…”
Jungkook looked pensive. “I want him in my life forever…”
“And you know that the world can be so brutally homophobic, right? We’d need to protect Tae… are you up for it…?”
Jungkook took a deep breath. “I’ll beat up anyone who tries hurting him…”
Yoongi got up from his chair smiling and ruffled Jungkook’s hair fondly.
“I have so much trust in you, kid… anyway, get ready… we are leaving for selecting outfits for the shoot.”
Jungkook jumped out of the bed. “Is Taehyungie Hyung ready too?”
Yoongi shook his head. “He’s taking another day off… he’ll go tomorrow…” he said, as he was walking out of the door.
Jungkook was quiet for a moment. “Ummm… Hyung?”
Yoongi halted just outside his door. “Yeah?”
“I think I’ll take off too… and…” Jungkook mumbled.
Yoongi nodded. “Sure… what do I tell the company if someone asks…?”
Jungkook frowned. “Umm… you can tell them I have come down with the same thing as V Hyung… I got it from him.”
Yoongi smirked, nodded and then chuckled all the way out.
Jungkook stood outside Taehyung’s door for a few moments before he lightly knocked.
“Is that you, Chim?” Taehyung’s voice rang out.
“Umm… no, it’s me,” Jungkook replied tentatively.
There was no answer, but Jungkook stayed put.
He could hear movement inside and he knew that Taehyung had heard him.
Jungkook had never really knocked on Taehyung’s door before and the entire drill seemed so alien.
After an entire minute, Taehyung flung the door open.
His eyes looked puffed and his nose was red, Jungkook noted sadly.
“Hmm?” Taehyung asked in an emotionless tone with a straight face.
“May I come in?” Jungkook asked tentatively.
Taehyung looked flustered.
“Please,” Jungkook pleaded.
Taehyung huffed, stepped aside and let Jungkook inside.
“Are you cleaning?” Jungkook asked noting the pile of clothes on Taehyung’s bed and every other flat surface in the room.
Taehyung gave a non-committal shrug “What do you want…?” he asked quietly, without making eye contact.
Jungkook breathed in noisily. “I’m sorry…” he whispered.
“I’m really really sorry, Hyung,” Jungkook repeated louder this time.
Taehyung nodded a little, still looking away. “It’s okay…”
But before Taehyung could say anything, Jungkook had thrown himself at the older in a hug, making him a little disbalanced.
“You don’t have to forgive me so easily… I’m sorry I was acting stupid- I had no idea. I have been such a lousy friend to you… sorry that you were having a hard time and I wasn’t around to help you…” Jungkook babbled against Taehyung’s shoulder, “I feel so terrible…”
“Kookie…,” Taehyung began but Jungkook wasn’t done talking.
“Please don’t stop being my best friend. I hate not talking to you… I hate learning about you from others… I hate knocking at your stupid door and not having access to you…”
Taehyung gave a wry smile. “Kookie…”
“No, listen… I’ll always be supportive and be nice to all your boyfriends even if they are annoying… and I’ll beat up anyone who breaks your heart- just say the word, okay?”
That made Taehyung chuckle. He squeezed Jungkook back.
“Boyfriends? Did you say that in plural? How many boyfriends do you think I’ll have… huh?” He asked smiling.
Jungkook stepped away and made a mock thinking face. “One for every day of the week, I guess?”
Taehyung chuckled and shook his head. “You think I’d find 7 guys who want to be my boyfriends?”
Jungkook rolled his eyes. “You’d find hundreds and thousands… which guy wouldn’t want to date you?”
Taehyung smirked at the irony of that statement. He could name one without even thinking.
“So why does your room look like a hurricane passed through it,” Jungkook asked after a few minutes.
Taehyung sighed. “I was trying to decide on an outfit… have a date tonight.” He said the last four words really softly.
“YOU HAVE A WHAT?!” Jungkook screamed.
Taehyung gulped nervously.
He knew there was no reason for him to be ashamed or for Jungkook to be angry. But he still felt queasy.
He had come back to his room the night before, feeling miserable after his spat with Jungkook.
And in the darkest of his moods, he had pulled out his phone and responded to the texts which were all sitting unread in his inbox since his last night out.
“A date,” Taehyung said louder this time.
“Wow” Jungkook said, looking less impressed than he sounded, “but wouldn’t you get in trouble if you get caught?”
“Do you intend to rat me out?” Taehyung asked, a hint of defiance creeping into his tone.
“NO! WHAT THE HELL- of course not!” Jungkook said, looking and sounding offended. “I’m just… just… you’ll be safe, right?” He said, his eyes getting bigger with panic and concern. “Who is this guy? Where are you going? Will there be someone else with you?”
Taehyung smiled tightly as he sat Jungkook down and filled him in on the night in the club and his meeting with Bogum.
Jungkook listened quietly - his brows furrowed. “Okay, so let me get this straight- Park Bogumm is your boyfriend now?”
Taehyung shook his head frantically. “No no! He just asked me out on a date- we’ve only met once before… he’s nothing to me… as yet.”
Jungkook frowned at the last two words. “So you want him to be your boyfriend?”
Taehyung shifted uncomfortably. “I-I don’t know… I haven’t thought about it… I… don’t want to discuss my love life. Can we talk about something else?”
Jungkook nodded enthusiastically, more than relieved to steer off that topic.
“You aren’t angry at me, are you?” Jungkook asked a few moments later, as he helped Taehyung organise his clothes.
“I can never stay angry at you Kookie and you know that…,” Taehyung responded nonchalantly.
“Then can I ask you something which I have been thinking about…?” Jungkook asked, sitting down on Taehyung’s bed.
Taehyung nodded reluctantly.
Jungkook took that as his cue to continue.
“I know I was wrong and I’m so sorry about it… but there’s so much I don’t understand… like when did you realise that you were gay… and why did you tell everyone else before me?”
“Kookie please… can we not discuss all this,” Taehyung said tightly, as he turned away to hide the discomfort which was showing all over his face and even his body language.
But Jungkook just walked up to him and held his face in his palms. “No… please Hyung… please. I really need to know. Did I ever give you a reason to believe that you could not trust me?”
Taehyung shut his eyes in despair.
“Listen… please… l,” Jungkook insisted, still holding Taehyung’s face in his palms, looking pained,” it’s been eating me up since yesterday- you are my best friend. I trust you as much as I trust my parents. Did I give you a reason to believe that you couldn’t trust me back?”
Taehyung opened his eyes, which were shining with tears.
“I’m sorry,” he said softly.
“Please don’t cry,” Jungkook said, pulling Taehyung in a hug, “please don’t, it makes me cry too… You have no reason to be sorry. It’s okay… you don’t have to tell me anything… it’s okay”
But later that evening, as Taehyung’s car sped to the club he was invited too, he couldn’t help but think of all the reasons he had, to be sorry to Jeon Jungkook.
He could never be truthful to his best friend- could never tell Jungkook that he was in love with him… could never tell him why he was out to other members before coming out to Jungkook… could never tell him the reason why Taehyung might never be able to settle for another man
His stupid feelings had already made him infuse so much dishonesty in their friendship.
They could never go back to being the way they were…
Taehyung rubbed his eyes, his heart weighing more than his entire being.
He had failed Jungkook as a friend.
Taehyung was ushered to a small VIP area of a fancy club he’d never been to before.
Park Bogum was seated in a corner booth which ensured that he was well-hidden from the other guests. He was wearing black hoodie and jeans with a basketball cap pulled low over his face.
For a moment, Taehyung felt over-dressed in his cream silk shirt and leather pants. But before he could wallow further in self-doubt, Bogum looked up at him and grinned.
“Wow…unbelievable…” he mumbled.
“Umm… Hi?” Taehyung said frowning as he slipped into the seat across from Bogum, “what’s unbelievable?”
Bogum shook his head as of trying to clear it and grinned. “I had forgotten how good-looking you are…”
Taehyung shifted in his seat, not really used to such blatant flirting. “Umm… thanks… you’re good looking too, I guess,” he muttered.
Bogum laughed. “If you’re e about to ghost me for the next 15 days like last time, I’d require something more than halfhearted compliments.”
“About that…” Taehyung replied at once, “sorry… I just needed to sort out a few things at my end.”
Bogum shook his head. “Just pulling your leg… it’s ok. Though I did wonder what did I do to chase you away after one meeting… Punctured my ego! So, thanks for coming today.”
Taehyung nodded. “Thank you for reaching out again…”
“So formal…,” Bogum said with a smirk, “let’s get you something to drink so that you loosen up a little. What will you have?”
Taehyung shrugged. “I am a light-weight… get buzzed easily… had a terrible hangover last time… so nothing too strong, I guess.”
Bogum hung on to every word, smiling wide.
He sat with his face in his palms, looking at Taehyung with a constant smile playing on his lips, as the latter skimmed through the menu.
Taehyung raised his eyebrows in question when he caught Bogum gazing at him.
“Did I tell you, you’re so handsome?” Bogum asked softly.
Taehyung chuckled. “You are really big on being charming… aren’t you?”
Bogum winked. “Is it working?”
Taehyung was saved from answering that thanks to the server who interrupted them to take their order.
“What kind of a man do you think, is Park Bogum?” Jungkook asked on the dining table where he was eating with Yoongi, Jimin and Hoseok.
Jimin giggled. “Resilient. The type to not get deterred even when Taehyung didn’t reply to his texts for 15 days.”
But Yoongi replied seriously.
“I checked with a few common friends… they said he is generally very warm and outgoing. They said he seemed genuine… But no one knew him enough to be very sure.”
Jungkook nodded, pensively. “I hope he’s treating Taehyungie Hyung right.
Yoongi nodded at him approvingly. “I am glad you are concerned for your friend, Kookie. Very responsible of you.”
‘You okay? Will you be late?’
Jungkook texted Taehyung. It was half past 3am and he couldn’t be subtle any more.
Jungkook and Taehyung had rarely hung out separately.
There had been only been a handful of instances where they had socialised without each other but they were always in touch.
Taehyung always texted when he was away.
Even if he was busy,Jungkook always received small texts- ‘I’m okay’ Or ‘I’ll be home soon’ or Jungkook’s personal favourite- ‘I miss you Kookie, wish you were here.’
Jungkook was still tossing and turning when his phone rang flashing Taehyung’s name.
He connected the call at once.
“Finally remembered me, eh?” he asked, barely managing to keep the annoyance out of his tone, “when do you get back?”
“Umm… are you a friend of the owner of this phone?” a stranger’s voice asked tentatively .
Jungkook sat up at once. “Who’s this?! Why do you have Tae’s… I mean- this person’s phone? Where is he?!” he screamed.
“Umm… I’m here with my friends…,” the guy said. “I found him passed out in the booth… he’s alone… I pulled out his phone from his pocket…”
Jungkook felt a shudder of panic.
“Which club,” Jungkook asked urgently. “I’ll be there… just keep him safe- I’ll be there as fast as I can” he shouted before he pocketed his wallet and put on his shoes haphazardly.
“Kookie,” Hobi said, emerging at the door, clearly having woken up with Jungkook’s screaming.
But Jungkook was out of the house, frantically pressing the elevator button.
“Kookie- where are you going?!” Hobi asked cluelessly as he saw Jungkook rushing into the elevator.
“To kíll Park Bogümm”, Jungkook barked before the elevator doors shut on him.
Jungkook seldom panicked.
It could be an aftereffect of living with 6 guys with such relaxed personalities.
Nothing ever fazed him too much.
But his palms were sweating in the backseat of the cab, as it sped towards the club in the middle of the night.
Once his anger had faded a bit- his head was full of concern.
Jungkook didn’t even realise when he had started silently praying that Taehyung wasn’t hurt.
He was also trying not to jump to the worst conclusions about what must have transpired.
He was also trying not to think of the repercussions that might be on their way.
The company was likely to come down heavy on Taehyung if this news got leaked.
If media had already been tipped off, this was about to become a full-blown scandal.
He was scared of all the brunt that Taehyung might have to deal with.
The people who had found Taehyung were likely to ask for money or other favours to keep mum. Same would apply to the club staff. Was it a gay club, he wondered.
Jungkook sighed. He should have woken up the others and not ventured on this rescue mission alone, he thought.
But he dismissed the thought at once.
Taehyung was HIS best friend and he was perfectly capable of taking care of him, all by himself.
He pulled his cap low on his face as he made his way towards the entrance of the club.
“Hey you! Kid- Stop! I need to see your ID," the bouncer at the door shouted curtly, clearly not recognising Jungkook with his face hidden.
"AND I NEED TO SEE YOUR MANAGER! GET OUT OF MY WAY AND SEND THEM OVER TO THE VIP AREA," Jungkook bellowed, as he pushed past the man twice his size, with all the authority he could muster.
He found Taehyung laying on the booth seat. He looked serene as if he was in a deep sleep.
Jungkook was relieved to find that the group of friends who were watching over Taehyung were a bunch of expats who had not recognised them and had stuck around out of genuine concern.
"We were just passing by and saw your friend passed out alone. There was no one around… guess his companion left him. We waited for a while and then pulled out his phone. That's when you called," one of them explained.
Jungkook thanked them profusely.
Once the bunch had left, Jungkook asked the Manager to get him a cab at the rear exit of the club and paid him a wad of cash for maintaining confidentiality.
“We were never here… you’d remember that… won’t you?” Jungkook said, hiding his panic perfectly.
The manager nodded.
Once he had also left, Jungkook sat down next to Taehyung, to catch his breath, ticking mental boxes to ensure he was doing everything right to avoid any scandals.
He reached out for Taehyung’s hand and grabbed it, to calm his nerves.
“You have no business looking so cute after giving me such a fright…”, he mumbled to an unconscious Taehyung, a small involuntary smile lighting up his face “now let me get you out of this place.”
Just as he was getting ready to lift Taehyung up in his arms, a man dressed in a black suit appeared out of nowhere. He looked like he was in his 40s and was dressed rather formally for the place.
“Mr Jeon, allow me to help you…” he said, stepping closer.
“Stop… stop…,” Jungkook said, stretching his arm before him, “stay right there! Who are you?”
“I’m Park Sun Ho- Park Boggum’s Manager… and he sent me to…”
“AND WHERE THE FCK IS HE?!” Jungkook muttered angrily, as he lifted Taehyung, bridal manner, being careful so as to not hurt him in any way.
“Hear me out, Mr Jeon…” the Manager said urgently, as he stepped forward to lend a hand to Jungkook.
“STEP AWAY AND DON’T TOUCH HIM! I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE… Why should I believe you,” Jungkook growled angrily, making the manager back up.
“Bogum had stepped out to call me since Taehyung had passed out and he needed help to get him out of here,” the Manager narrated rapidly.
“But by the time he came back, he found a bunch of strangers surrounding Mr Kim here. He had to get out of here or risk getting recognised.”
Jungkook scoffed as he pulled Taehyung closer to him.
“Your explanation just makes him look worse! What a coward! In case he didn’t realise- Tae was also at the same risk.
Now get out of my way and tell your boss he doesn’t even deserve to breathe near my friend.”
Jungkook carried Taehyung out of the club with ease and laid him down on the back seat of the waiting cab.
He settled down in one corner and pulled out his phone to respond to a string of worried texts from Hobi.
“Kookie…” Taehyung mumbled.
“Hmm…?” Jungkook replied distractedly as he tore his eyes off his phone screen and looked at Taehyung.
It took him a moment to realise that Taehyung had not woken up but mumbled his name in deep sleep.
Jungkook chuckled and looked at a sleeping Tae in wonder.
“Are you fighting with me in your sleep, Hyung?” He asked softly, not expecting an answer.
Jungkook pulled Taehyung’s head in his lap and pushed a stray strand of hair off his face, tucking it behind his ear.
“You worried me sick,” he said in annoyance but he didn’t feel as annoyed as he ideally should have.
Taehyung always had that calming effect on his foul moods.
Jungkook could be feeling angry, scared, nervous, spiteful or any other negative emotion… but the moment Taehyung showed up, he could always feel a warmth spread from his head to toes…
Jungkook always had strong urges to protect Taehyung from anything unpleasant.
He was always ready to pick a fight for Taehyung. And he hardly cared who was on the other side. He always stood up for Taehyung… just the way Taehyung always stood up for him too.
Jungkook couldn’t even perceive what kind of scum anyone would have to be to abandon Tae and expose him to such a situation.
He bent down and pecked his sleeping Hyung’s forehead, gently petting his hair. “You worried me sick,” he repeated softly, “so relieved ur here with me”
Hobi wanted to be angry at Taehyung for not being more vigilant and at Jungkook for acting recklessly in the middle of the night.
But when he saw Jungkook getting out of the cab, cradling Taehyung so lovingly, he just sighed.
“Idiots” he murmured, endeared against his will.
“Hobi told me about what you did last night,” Namjoon told Jungkook as they geared up for a shoot.
They were at the location for filming a commercial and miraculously- both Taehyung and Jungkook had made it there on time.
Jungkook waited to be reprimanded for his recklessness but none of that came his way.
“Next time please wake me up,” he said, patting Jungkook’s back, “you managed it well, but things could have gone really bad. Not saying u are incapable though…”
Jungkook smiled and nodded.
“Is Tae feeling fine?” Namjoon asked.
Jungkook looked at his best friend who was sitting quietly in the make-up chair a few feet away, not making eye contact with anyone.
“I don’t know,” Jungkook said with a sigh, shaking his foot nervously.
Namjoon frowned. “What? What do you mean?”
Jungkook shrugged. “I tucked him in his bed last night and slept off. When I woke up, he had already left for the shoot. He’s been too quiet… avoiding me.”
“Do we know what happened between Bogumm n him? Does he know u got him back last night?” Namjoon asked.
Jungkook scratched his neck. “I don’t know what that assho** said or did…Tae texted ‘thank you’ in the morning, but he’s not even looking at me- I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Namjoon ruffled Jungkook’s hair. “He’s probably embarrassed… speak to him whenever you get a chance.”
“And don’t go threatening Bogumm- at least not until Tae asks for it- okay?”
Jungkook huffed as he looked at Jimin making efforts to get Taehyung, from afar.
“Hangover?” Jimin asked Taehyung, as he checked himself in the mirror and stole a look at Taehyung too.
Taehyung nodded without looking up.
“You want me to call for some hangover soup for you?” Jimin prodded.
Taehyung shook his head, still looking away.
Jimin waited for the make up artists to step away before he crouched next to Taehyung’s chair.
“You want to talk about what happened yesterday?” He asked gently.
Taehyung closed his eyes and shook his head.
“Listen Tae… everyone is worried. Suga Hyung has asked me thrice since morning- and Jungkook looks like a lost puppy… Did Bogumm hurt you? Did he say something unpleasant? Do you want us to call him?”
Taehyung sighed, lost in thought. “I don’t even remember what he was saying… or what we talked about… I was so drunk…”
“Did he get you drunk?” Jimin asked, treading carefully.
Taehyung bit his lip. “No… I drank on my own… drank a lot… kept ordering and kept drinking…”
Jimin squeezed his hand. “Why would you do that Tae? You don’t even like alcohol!”
“Bogumm… he wanted to make out with me… I thought we might kiss… ” Taehyung said throwing his head back.
“And…” Jimin asked softly.
Taehyung chuckled wryly.
“And I thought if I drink enough… I’d be able to imagine that it’s Jungkook that I’m kissing… fool my conscious into believing that…”
“Oh Tae…” Jimin exclaimed sadly as he got up to hug his friend.
“… but no matter how tipsy I got… I could always tell he wasn’t Jungkook… I just couldn’t fool myself…” he said, barely managing to fight his tears, “no one’s Jungkook, Chim… why couldn’t Jungkook love me?”
Taehyung knocked on Genius Lab's door tentatively. He had been mustering strength for weeks now, ever since his disaster of a date with Boggumm, and finally gathered it.
"Come in, Kid," Yoongi said in his throaty baritone.
Yoongi saw Taehyung slump on the couch behind him, from the corner of his eye.
They exchanged no words for the longest time and the only noise in the studio was of Suga's pencil against paper, as he jotted down notes silently.
"I'll understand if you are here for some peace and quiet... but if you want to talk- I am listening," Yoongi said quietly without looking up.
Taehyung drew in a loud breath.
"I want to quit...want to leave Seoul," he whispered.
Suga looked up from his notes.
He put his pencil down, shut his diary and kept it away.
"Talk... tell me what's going on in your head," he said, turning his chair around to face Taehyung.
"I can't keep pretending to be something I am not...," Taehyung said softly.
"I can't keep pretending to be straight ... I can't keep pretending to be not in love with Jungkook... I can't keep pretending to be happy when it... it hurts..."
Suga was quiet for a few moments before he heaved a sigh.
"Then don't pretend," he said with a shrug.
"What do you mean?" Taehyung asked, frowning.
"Your orientation, your preferences... that's your personal life. When you are in public, you don't have to talk about it... but people who you think are yours, your loved ones- tell them... dont pretend before them," Yoongi said.
"But what if they hate me once I tell them?" Taehyung asked softly.
"Then they were never ur people in the first place... The ones who love u might be confused or shocked... might take time to make peace with it. But they won't hate u for the person u are" Yoongi said gently.
Taehyung heaved a sigh.
"What about Jungkook... I can't stay around Jungkook and not be in love with him... I need to get away..."
Yoongi shook his head.
"Then be in love with Jungkook... no one's asking you not to love him, Tae..."
Taehyung sounded like his voice was in the verge of breaking.
"B-but he's straight Hyung... he'll never reciprocate... he'll never love me back..."
Yoongi got up and sat down next to Taehyung on the couch.
"He loves you Tae... just not the way you love him... but that doesn't mean that he doesn't love you... I think he loves you more than any of us..."
"He is our maknae but he's always so protective around you... he was out in the middle of the night that day to get you back on his own, putting everything on line... he stays up when you are sick... he cheers loudest for each of your achievements...," Yoongi continued.
"He remembers what you like and dislike... Every single thing about you... isn't that true" Yoongi asked Taehyung, who had a tear rolling down his cheek.
"He loves you Tae... don't write off his love because it's not the kind of love you are hoping for..." Yoongi said, offering a tissue to Taehyung.
They sat in comfortable silence for a while.
"Its Jimin, isn't it," Taehyung asked quietly, "the guy you love who doesn't have a clue... that's Jimin, right?"
Yoongi chuckled as he shut his eyes and threw his head back. He nodded after a while.
"Its Jimin... yes..." Yoongi replied softly.
"How long since you..." Taehyung didn't know how to ask that question.
"Years..." Yoongi replied.
Taehyung looked distraught. "Isn't it hard? Isn't it hard being next to him every waking hour knowing that he'll never be yours? How do you do it...? Does it get easier?"
"It was hard at first... but loving someone also means being selfless, right? If I leave the band, I'm somewhere jeopardizing his career and his life too... if I stop talking to him- I'm punishing him for no fault of his own."
"I couldn't bear to see him worried... I love Jimin, alot. And I'll always do so... I just don't expect anything back from him. And thats what makes it bearable..."
"A damn on these Busan boys,"Yoongi said after a while, in an attempt to make Taehyung laugh.
It worked. Taehyung chuckled and repeated it. "A damn on these Busan boys."
Taehyung had a lot on his mind as he made his way back to the dorm.
He had barely stepped in when he heard Jungkook’s voice.
"V!!!" he screamed like that part from 'Jump', with his brightest smile. "I ordered red bean hotteok for you from your favorite joint...come let's eat."
Taehyung couldn't help smiling.
Yoongi was right, he thought. To live with the knowledge that Jungkook would never be his lover, was heart wrenching... but to imagine a life without Jungkook in it was even more devastating.
He walked up to Jungkook who was unpacking the hotteoks on the kitchen slab, and hugged his back.
"Thank you," Taehyung whispered, and he hoped that Jungkook knew that he wasn't just thanking him for the hotteoks.
Jungkook stilled but then let go of the food to turn around and pull Taehyung in a proper hug.
"You okay," he asked softly, rubbing Taehyung's back.
Taehyung nodded against his neck.
"Are you angry with me?" Jungkook asked again.
"Never... I'm never angry with you... I was just... upset over something... Sorry for being so difficult," Taehyung said as they swayed a little, still hugging, "and thanks for bringing me back that day..."
Jungkook pecked Taehyung's temple, gave him a final squeeze and stepped away, going back to unpacking the hotteoks.
"You don't have to thank me for that... please just date better guys and if you want to drink that much, do it when you go out with me."
"Are you my Hyung now?" Taehyung said rolling his eyes.
Jungkook giggled. "Yes, I'm the Hyung... and as your Hyung I forbid you from not talking to me."
Taehyung cocked an eyebrow. "Or else?"
"Or else... this," Jungkook said, taking a huge bite out of Taehyung’s hotteok causing them to chase each other around the house, giggling all the while.
When they finally collapsed on the living room couch, Jungkook threw an arm around Taehyung and buried his face against Taehyung's chest.
"I missed you," he said softly.
"I love you," Taehyung said, unable to stop himself, as he buried his fingers in Jungkook’s lush hair and gently massaged his scalp.
"Me too... " Jungkook replied at once, without even thinking.
Taehyung smiled. He knew Jungkook didnt mean it in the way he wished for, but he knew it was genuine nonetheless.
He couldnt believe he was considering leaving this piece of his heart, sometime back.
Namjoon and Yoongi clinked their beers as they looked at their two maknae cuddled up on the couch having a peaceful moment, from the slit of the kitchen door.
They had walked in a few minutes ago but Taehyung and Jungkook had been so engrossed with each other that they had barely noticed.
"They look so peaceful... Its amazing how well Jungkook is taking this news," Namjoon said.
"What news?" Yoongi asked, a small smile playing on his lips as he took a swig out of his beer.
"Umm... this.. the fact that Tae is gay... that he's dating..." Namjoon explained.
Yoongi chuckled. "Just a matter of time..."
Namjoon frowned as he sat up straight. "Huh? Why would you say so...?"
"Jungkook sulks for days when Taehyung pays more attention to anyone else... imagine how will he react when that becomes the norm." Yoongi said with a small smile.
"But I thought he was supportive when Taehyung went for a date..." Namjoon said, confused.
Yoongi shrugged. "He was pacing around the house... couldn't eat, didn't go to sleep till 3 and then went to get Tae back... all by himself..."
"Are you suggesting he's..." Namjoon trailed off, confused.
Suga chuckled as he looked at Jungkook burying his face into Taehyung’s chest. "No... I'm not suggesting anything... I'm just saying- wait till it hits him."
“Did Bogumm call back?” Jin asked.
They were all in the gym… cursing their new fitness instructor but following instructions nonetheless.
Only Jungkook seemed to be enjoying it and had moved away - to try out more vigorous and advanced workouts.
Taehyung nodded as he wiped sweat off his face with his sleeve, suddenly conscious since all the Hyungs were looking at him for an answer.
“He did…” Taehyung replied softly.
“And…?” Hobi asked, getting off his treadmill.
Taehyung sighed. “He’s been texting and calling for the past two weeks…”
“And sending entire orchards of flowers…”, Jimin chimed in with a giggle.
Taehyung glared at him.
“What flowers? I didn’t see any flowers,” Hobi said frowning.
“He’s been sending flowers to apologise but I was getting annoyed so Kookie instructed the security to confiscate them at the gate…,” he explained sheepishly.
“Kookie even paid for them to be sent back to Bogumm’s place… it was hilarious, “Jimin explained giggling, “his security and our security guards were fighting over the phone.”
“But have you made up with Bogumm, is my question,” Jin said, interrupting Jimin’s narration.
Taehyung shook his head. “Not really… I mean, he was away for a shooting. But he texted me everyday. I haven’t responded to any of his messages...”
“What do his texts say,” Hobi asked.
Taehyung put his arms around himself.
“That he’s sorry, he messed up... that he hadn’t imagined that so much would happen in the span of few minutes he had left me… that he...”, Taehyung hesitated.
He saw 5 pair of eyes fixed on him expectantly and sighed.
“... that he likes me a lot and wants to spend more time with him...Lots of compliments…” Taehyung finished with another sigh.
“Do you like Bogumm?” Jin asked pointedly.
Taehyung couldn’t explain why but that question made him look across the gym, at Jungkook, who was doing shoulder-presses like his life depended on it.
When Jungkook caught Taehyung looking at him, he paused, smiled and raised his eyebrows, as if asking Taehyung if he wanted to say anything to him.
Taehyung’s gaze softened as he shook his head.
For a moment, he forgot that Jin had asked him a question.
But the question was pretty much answered.
Jin followed Taehyung’s gaze and shook his head resignedly.
“Forget that. Do you think he deserves your forgiveness,” he asked, loud enough to bring Taehyung back into the conversation but softly enough to ensure that Jungkook couldn’t hear them
Taehyung was embarrassed when he realised that 5 people had just witnessed his weak moment
“Umm... yeah... about that. I can’t blame Bogumm entirely… it was my second date with him and I was drinking like a fish… I wasn’t being attentive to him even though he was trying to keep the conversation flowing,” Taehyung said softly.
“I was a terrible date,” he added, “frankly- not exactly the kind of person you’d want to risk your job and career over.”
No one spoke so Taehyung continued. “He has been nothing but respectful every time we’ve spoken.”
“I think I should give him a chance… if not for anything else, than to at least apologise in person. That’s all he’s asking for,” Taehyung said, shrugging.
Namjoon nodded. “That’s very mature of you…”
Seokjin and Hobi nodded in agreement.
“Tell them about the invite,” Jimin prodded.
“What invite,” Namjoon asked.
“This morning he sent an invite to a party to celebrate the success of his drama. Its at his place next week- just his close friends. I wanted to go… but I am afraid I would have to turn it down…”
“Why?” Namjoon asked.
“The party’s on 31st August… I can’t miss…”
“Jungkook’s Birthday-eve dinner,” Namjoon finished for him.
Taehyung shrugged, as if that was enough explanation.
“Oh come on…Kookie’s birthday party is on the next day. Birthday eve is just a dinner in the dorm… We have spent his birthday-eve practising, travelling, passed out of exhaustion, passing out due to other reasons… I am sure Jungkook will understand…”
Taehyung shook his head. “It might upset him if I am not around, I’d be breaking tradition.”
“If this party would have fallen on one of our birthday eves, would you have still skipped it?” Yoongi asked, quietly.
Taehyung stared at his shoes. He didn’t want to answer it and yet all 5 of his Hyungs knew his answer to that question.
“Save your heart Tae... You must first save your heart...” Yoongi murmured.
“I agree,” Hobi said, nodding. “Go ahead… I’m sure Kookie will understand… he’s turning 18 for god’s sake,” he said patting Taehyung’s back.
“That’s a long break guys, come back now,” their trainer called out from another end of the huge gym, addressing all 6 of them.
“Just try and come back before midnight so that you are there when we cut his cake at night,” Jimin whispered softly as they all got up to head back to their workouts.
“Of course… I won’t miss it,” Taehyung replied, equally softly, with a small smile.
Yoongi, who had been listening to Jimin and Taehyung’s exchange, smirked as he too got up to go back to exercising.
“I say… be late for his birthday. In fact, miss it altogether…” he whispered to Taehyung, as he walked past him.
“What… why? Why would you say that,” Taehyung asked, lost.
But Yoongi had already walked away, still smirking.
*Thanks for the invite... I’ll be there*
Taehyung texted Bogumm that night, after ignoring a string of messages from him in the past few weeks.
*Oh my god! Thank you for responding, gorgeous* Bogumm’s response came within half a minute.
*You forgive me, right?* His next text read.
*Can’t wait to see that cute face of yours* the next one read.
Taehyung sighed as he threw his phone on the living room couch where he was lounged since the past few minutes. “I don’t know... and I am not cute,” he murmured.
“Hmm? Who said that?” Jungkook’s voice rang from behind him.
Taehyung turned around with a start. It was late at night and he had not realised that Jungkook had entered the room while he was toying with his phone.
“No one,” Taehyung said dismissively, sitting up at once.
“Oh come on,” Jungkook said smiling, as he laid on the couch and kept his head in Taehyung’s lap, using it like a pillow.
“Tell me- who said you weren’t cute?”
Jungkook had stopped sleeping in Taehyung’s room now. He didn’t suspect Taehyung’s feelings but Namjoon had convinced him that Taehyung needed his privacy and Jungkook had was respecting that, albeit grudgingly.
But he was still touchy with Taehyung- a habit which was so deeply ingrained in him, that he hardly realised that Taehyung had started to freeze everytime that happened.
Just like now.
Taehyung sat up straight and fought the urge to bury his fingers in Jungkook’s hair as he kept looking at Taehyung expectantly with a small smile.
Taehyung looked at him, slightly dazed.
“Do you think my face is cute?” He asked softly, giving in to the urge of raking Jungkook’s hair with his fingers.
“Let me look,” he said with mock seriousness as he surveyed Taehyung’s face.
“Hyung… I don’t think I have never observed your face so closely... Umm… I think your eyes are beautiful, your nose… is perfect... and your lips... umm...”
Taehyung held his breath.
He thought his heart was struggling to come out of his ribs the way it was hammering.
Jungkook was staring right at his lips!
And biting his own as he did that!
“That mole is so unique… and pretty. Your lips are gorgeous...” Jungkook continued, “so pink…”
“But your face… umm… I don’t think its cute,” he concluded.
“Huh...?’ Taehyung uttered distractedly. “It-its not?”
Jungkook shook his head.
“Naah... its not cute. Its handsome. You are so attractive. But you must have heard that a thousand times, right?”
Taehyung blinked. He had gone from being flustered to horny to enamoured to disappointed again.
He wanted to say that even if he had heard it, it had never mattered before.
But he knew he couldn’t.
So he just smiled.
“Why are you distracted?” Jimin asked Jungkook after the younger had forgotten his steps for the second time since morning and earned a glare from Hobi.
“Nothing...” Jungkook said, shaking his head and getting back into the formation.
He didn’t turn back but he could feel Taehyung’s concerned gaze on his back.
A moment later, he felt long fingers massaging the nape of his neck. He closed his eyes and threw his head back, relaxing at the touch.
Taehyung always had that effect on him.
“Stop worrying about whatever you are worrying about... okay?” Taehyung whispered in his ear, running his fingers through Jungkook’s hair.
Jungkook sighed and nodded without turning around, but he could see Taehyung in the mirror in front of him.
“We can talk about it later... okay?” he said, making eye contact with Jungkook in the mirror. His gaze was soft, kind.
Jungkook nodded, albeit a little hesitantly. He didn’t want to have this conversation. Because he didn’t know what was bothering him.
He was saved from having any conversation because their practice stretched well into the evening and by the time they were done, it was time for Jungkook’s birthday dinner.
And for Taehyung to leave for Bogumm’s party.
“Why is Jin Hyung screaming,” Yoongi asked as he slumped into the dining chair.
Hobi, who was laying the dining table, giggled at the mayhem.
“Because Joon just told him that two of Kookie’s friends would be joining us for the dinner tonight and he doesn’t think that we have enough food,” he explained.
“But we always have plenty of food...” Namjoon grumbled from some distance.
“But we always have plenty of food...” Namjoon grumbled from some distance.
“Which friends though?” Yoongi asked.
Hobi shrugged and gestured towards Namjoon for an answer.
“Ha Se Kyung and Cho Tae Rin... they were in high school with him,” Namjoon replied quietly, “ran into them this morning when I’d gone shopping for Jungkook’s gift at the mall. I thought Kookie might be upset about Tae not attending today’s dinner, so I ended up inviting them...”
“Wait,” Jimin said, sitting up, “isn’t Tae Rin that girl who...”
“Jungkook used to date for a while,” Yoongi finished the sentence. They all looked at Namjoon.
“Umm... yeah... I guess so,” Namjoon replied sheepishly.
Hobi frowned at him. “Didn’t they have a fall out or something?”
Jimin sucked in a deep breath. “She moved abroad and they broke up... But it was good-riddance frankly. She was too needy. Tae didn’t like her at all…”
“Not because he lo... ,” Jimin looked around to ensure that Jungkook wasn’t around & lowered his voice. “Not because he loves JK... I mean that may have been a reason... but Tae thought Tae Rin was manipulative. She was always trying to guilt Kookie into doing things for her...”
Everyone glared at Namjoon, who slipped lower in his chair.
“I didn’t know that bit, okay? I just thought that her presence might cheer Jungkook up... and she seemed so excited about being invited…”
Yoongi shook his head in disapproval. “Does Jungkook know?”
Namjoon pursed his lips and nodded. “I told him.”
“And...?” Jimin asked.
“He was... umm... a little taken aback. He also said that he had a fall out with this girl but they had eventually made up…”
“He too said that Tae didn’t like her. I volunteered to call her and un-invite her. But Jungkook said it was ok. He just said that it was a good thing that Tae wasn’t around for the dinner. He also asked me not to tell Tae about her coming over,” Namjoon replied quietly.
Hobi grimaced and Yoongi hissed.
“How is he taking the whole - Tae missing his bdayeve dinner thing? He must be upset about that too…” Jimin mused.
Namjoon frowned. “Jungkook and I saw Taehyung off sometime ago… Kookie was happily waving and saying - ‘have a nice time Hyung’. So I guess he doesn’t mind.”
Jimin sighed and gave Namjoon half a hug. “You are so innocent, Hyung... I’ll go check on Kookie...”
Jungkook had never been less excited about his birthday eve dinner. And he was still trying to figure out the reason for the same when Jimin knocked on his door.
“Its open,” Jungkook called out from his bed.
“Why haven’t you switched on your lights,” Jimin asked, as he switched on the lamps bathing the room in light, “I thought you’d be trying out fits for the night and having a crisis over what to wear... but here you are, looking like you are ready to sleep- what’s up?”
Jungkook sat up in the bed as he saw Jimin pace around his room before settling down in his gamer chair.
“Yeah... I’ll get dressed in sometime...” he replied quietly.
Jimin sighed. “I just came to know about Tae Rin coming over tonight... is that bothering you?”
Jungkook frowned for a moment before shaking his head. “Naah... we are cool. She wrote to me while she was in US... apologised. I forgave her. No hard feelings...”
“Joonie Hyung didn’t know... he meant well,” Jimin added.
Jungkook chuckled. “Yeah... I know.”
“Is it about Tae...not attending the bday eve dinner” Jimin asked after a while.
“Are you upset that he’s not going here for the dinner?” He prodded further.
Jungkook didn’t respond for the longest time. “Do you think Bogumm is a nice guy,” he asked instead.
Jimin frowned. “I guess so…”
“But you aren’t sure, right” Jungkook said, narrowing his eyes.
Jimin scratched his neck. “Umm… yeah… can’t be…”
Jungkook nodded, deep in thought. “Do you think they…,” he hesitated, “they do stuff…?”
Jimin giggled. “18 year old Jungkookie is all curious, eh?”
Jungkook groaned in irritation but didn’t press.
“If you mean- ‘do people make out when they’re dating’ … they do, they do a lot more…,” Jimin said quietly, “but if your question is specific to Tae and Bogumm- then I think it’s better we get to know this from Tae, right?”
Jungkook nodded after a while.
“Alright then,” Jimin said getting up from the chair, “I’ll get going…”
“Hyung,” Jungkook interrupted.
Jimin paused near the door. “Yeah?”
“How do people know when they’re gay?” he asked.
Jimin looked taken aback. He turned around, scratching his head. “Umm… I don’t know”
“Haven’t you ever wondered,” Jungkook said, pulling up his knees to his chest and circling them with his arms, “how does it dawn upon them… like is it an epiphany or does it happen over time?”
Jimin shrugged. “You are asking tough questions Kookie… I guess you’ll have to ask Tae…”
Jungkook shook his head. “Forget it, I’ll just google it…”
“Or ask Suga Hyung,” Jimin suggested matter-of-factly.
Jungkook looked up all of a sudden. “Why? Is he… do you think he’s… fck, that would make sense!”
“Huh?” Jimin looked at him, alarmed. “Aaah… no no… that’s not what I meant… I meant… I meant that… Suga Hyung usually knows everything about everything.”
Jimin explained and then stilled as he processed Jungkook’s words. “Wait…wait… why did you say- that would make sense… what makes sense?”
Jungkook shook his head rapidly. “Umm…Nothing… I’ll ask him later… forget it!”
Jimin stayed put. “Are you angry with Tae?”
Jungkook sighed and then shook his head. “Guess not… I just wish Bogumm’s party was on another day…”
Taehyung was trying not to think just how far out of his comfort zone, he was at the moment.
The guest list was a secret but Bogumm had assured that everyone present was a celebrity and valued their privacy as much as Taehyung.
But Taehyung was hazy on so many details.
For instance- did the guests know that he was gay or the circumstances in which Bogumm and he had met… or the fact that he was going there in the capacity of his ‘date’.
He was alone in the backseat of the car which Bogumm had sent to pick him up.
The party was at his ‘holiday home’ outside the city and so it had made sense for Taehyung to not drive down himself.
But as the car meandered through unfamiliar roads, Taehyung started regretting that he hadn’t asked their own chauffeur to follow him.
He was anxious at the thought that he didn’t have the option of fleeing if things went south.
He was still obsessing over all the things that could go wrong when the phone dinged with a text from Jungkook.
*Drop your location once you reach. Have fun… but text me if anything makes you uncomfortable, I’ll come and pick you up. Okay?*
Taehyung stared at his screen for a few seconds, his face breaking into a smile.
*Are you being my Hyung again? Do you think I’m a baby?* he replied, enjoying the sudden warmth in his chest.
*Always. You are a baby bear. Now don’t forget what I said. I love you.*
Jungkook texted back.
Taehyung smiled for the rest of the drive.
Tae Rin turned up alone for the dinner.
“Se Kyung wouldn’t be able to make it- she is attending to a sick family member,” Tae Rin announced as everyone greeted her with varying degrees of coldness.
“Oh, is that so,” Jungkook said frowning, “but she texted sometime back that she’s on her way…”
Tae Rin just shrugged. “Aren’t you happy to see me, Kookie,” she asked in a falsely sweet voice.
Hobi and Jimin rolled their eyes almost at the same time.
“Umm… yeah… happy to see you,” Jungkook said absent-mindedly as Tae Rin threw herself against him in an unexpected hug.
Jin cleared his throat dramatically, making Tae Rin step away.
“Thanks for having me over- I’m such a big fan… umm I think it’s called Army” she exclaimed over-enthusiastically, addressing everyone.
“Yeah, sure… what will you drink,” Namjoon said dismissively.
The rest of the dinner was uneventful, mostly because Namjoon wanted to discuss work and Jungkook was more than happy to contribute.
“Do you want to go for a walk with me before we bring in your birthday,’ Tae Rin asked Jungkook, once the desserts were served.
Everyone on the table pretended to be occupied with other things- not making eye contact with each other, knowing fully well that they may break out laughing if they did so.
“Umm… okay, sure I guess…” Jungkook said awkwardly, as he got up, “excuse us.”
Once they were out of the door, Hobi clicked his tongue in disapproval. “It’s only 9.30pm… Did she just take Kookie away for 2 and a half hours?”
“I am thinking- did she just invite herself to stay over till midnight” Jin muttered, giving a deathh stare to Namjoon.
Jimin sighed. “I can see why Tae doesn’t like her…,” he added wryly, “because me neither.”
Bogumm’s car took Taehyung inside the compound of what looked like a fancy villa with a pool.
Taehyung looked at the opulence and was low-key happy that he had put in an effort to dress up.
He walked up to the door with a bottle of wine, rung the bell, and took a deep breath.
He was ushered to a cosy looking living room which had dim lighting and soft music playing.
It was occupied by a handful of people who were seated on large couches with their drinks in their hands, chatting happily.
Everyone looked up when Taehyung walked in. Taehyung could recognise most of the people.
Bogumm, who was sprawled on the couch nearest to the entrance sprang up at once and strode towards Taehyung.
He was dressed in a beige cardigan and loose pants- looking homely. The huge smile on his face was also quite welcoming.
“Hey, handsome- so happy to see you” Bogumm said before engulfing Taehyung in a hug and planting a kiss on his forehead.
Taehyung had never really been the shy kind. But Bogumm proclaiming his fondness so openly did leave him blushing.
Taehyung returned the hug awkwardly. “Ummm Hi… Listen, I would have to leave before midnight…”
Bogumm sniggered. “What are you- Cinderella?”
Taehyung chuckled. “Something like that…”
Bogumm laughed, took the wine from Taehyung’s hands and put an arm around his waist, leading him towards the seating area.
Taehyung was suddenly conscious of all the onlookers
“Guys, I’m sure you all already know Kim Taehyung… say hello to this stunning boy…”
Taehyung could feel his cheeks heating up.
“Hi,” he said smiling as everyone shouted their greetings.
Once the bartender had poured a drink for Taehyung, Bogumm and he slumped into one of the huge couches.
Bogumm slipped his arm along the headrest such that back of Taehyung’s neck was resting on it.
For once, Taehyung didn’t protest.
“You know my Manager, Park Sun Ho, right,” Bogumm asked, pointing towards the middle aged man who was seated on the couch in front of them.
Taehyung frowned and shook his head, smiling politely. “Umm… No, I don’t… I am sorry, have we met?”
Sun Ho smiled back.
“Taehyung wouldn’t know me,” he said, addressing Bogumm, “the only time I met him -he was passed out flat. I had an interesting encounter with his friend Jungkook though…”
“Ahh… of course… I remember it faintly now. You told me this…,” Bogumm said shaking his head, “you ran into Jungkook that night who had come to pick up Taehyung.”
Taehyung didn’t quite like how comfortable and unapologetic Bogumm was mentioning that terrible ‘date night’.
But he had bigger concerns at the moment.
“What do you mean by ‘interesting encounter’?” Taehyung asked Sun Ho.
“Yeah,” Bogumm said, taking a swig out of his beer, “you didn’t tell me this bit. What interesting encounter did you have with Jungkook.”
Sun Ho chuckled. “So I bet he was nervous, this Jungkook guy… he is quite young. But he was trying to fake confidence… I offered to help, but he shirked me aside…it was funny to watch him trying to do everything on his own,” Sun Ho said.
Taehyung sat up straight and cocked his head to one side. “What was funny again,’ he asked quietly, as if challenging Sun Ho.
Bogumm sensed that Taehyung was not liking this conversation but Sun Ho missed the cue in his wine-buzzed state.
“Chuck it, Sun Ho…,” Bogumm said, stifling his smile, “we’ll talk later.”
“No, carry on,” Taehyung said, “I’d quite like to hear this.”
“Yeah, so,” Sun Ho continued, “this kid must be same height as Taehyung, but he had lifted him up bridal style as if he weighed nothing and was carrying him like some super hero who had saved the day. I kept offering help, but he wouldn’t let me. Kids, I tell u… so reckless…”
He would have gone on but paused his monologue when Taehyung huffed loudly.
“How many people do you have in your life, Mr Park, who will risk everything they have worked for in their life, to come bail you out,” Taehyung asked in a low, almost threatening drawl.
Sun Ho was taken aback with the sudden question. He shrugged and chuckled nervously.
“I have never been in a position where I needed to be bailed out, “ he said indignantly.
“Tell me, Hyung,” Taehyung said, addressing Bogumm this time, “Will Mr Park come to save you if you were ever in a situation like mine that day- if you were not paying him to do so?”
Bogumm sighed, glared a little in Sun Ho’s direction for a moment and then shook his head to say no.
“I thought so…” Taehyung spat.
“NO, WHAT THE HELL,” Sun Ho exclaimed. Of course I would come for Bogumm even if I was not being paid. We are friends too…”
“Really?” Taehyung asked sarcastically. “Even if it meant that you could lose your career forever?”
Sun Ho looked like he wanted to clap back but couldn’t think of a good enough retort.
“Jungkook is not reckless. He is fearless and committed- be it his art or his friends. Its a pity that you would never have a Jeon Jungkook in your life, Mr Park… because there is just one of him..” Taehyung said loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.
“Now if you would all excuse me, I’d like to head back home… I am missing something really important right now,” Taehyung said, storming out.
“Where is Taehyung today?” Tae Rin asked Jungkook. They were walking on the jogging path around their apartment building.
Jungkook stilled. He was indeed thinking about Taehyung and Tae Rin’s sudden question took him by surprise.
He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “He had to be somewhere else… why?”
Tae Rin gave a fake-surprised look. “Umm… just like that. What a pity though… I thought you guys were close.”
“We are,” Jungkook snapped at once.
“Hmm… okay…,” Tae Rin said with a shrug. She looped her arm through Jungkook’s. “I don’t think he likes me too much…”
Jungkook huffed. He was aware that Taehyung didn’t like Tae Rin, even if he had never said it out loud.
In fact, Jungkook didn’t know how Taehyung did it- but his silences always spoke louder than his words. Especially to Jungkook.
Ever since the day they’d met, Jungkook could always tell what was on Tae’s mind n Tae could do the same for him.
But lately, Tae had been so quiet about everything that Jungkook felt like they were drifting apart.
And the thought was more unsettling than any other.
He was trying really hard not to read too much into Taehyung not being around for his Birthday eve.
But it was beginning to bother him more and more with every passing minute.
And as if that worry wasn’t enough- Jungkook was also in a constant state of anxiety over Taehyung’s love life.
He didn’t trust Bogumm.
But lately he was beginning to think that he probably didn’t trust anyone with Taehyung’s heart or… his body.
His brain kept conjuring these weirdly disturbing thoughts in his head that Bogumm might try to force himself on Taehyung.
Jungkook didn’t even know where this irrational fear had stemmed from. But he even had a nightmare on those lines a few nights back!
His other recurring nightmare was equally disturbing- he saw Taehyung asleep in his arms, smelling sweet and familiar, his face more beautiful than ever, when the ground below them would start to crack. And before he could react, Taehyung would disappear into those cracks.
Jungkook had never been so mortified with nightmares before. He had been waking up in sweat.
He had wanted to go upto Taehyung’s bed and cuddle upto him every single time…but he knew that wasn’t right. Not anymore, since it was likely to make Taehyung and others uncomfortable.
But his stupid urges to wrap his arms around Taehyung all the time were becoming more and more irrational and were beginning to bother him a little now.
“Hey, what are you thinking?” Tae Rin suddenly said, brining Jungkook out of his reverie.
Jungkook sighed. He had almost forgotten about Tae Rin being around. “Why did you come over today,” he asked suddenly.
Tae Rin gasped at the bluntness. “What do I mean by that? Namjoon Oppa invited me,” she said indignantly.
“That’s not what I meant,” Jungkook said quietly, eyeing their linked arms. “U broke up with me before leaving for US because u didn’t think much of our music or career…”
“I apologised for saying that, didn’t I,” Tae Rin asked, putting her head on Jungkook’s shoulder, “I was so so wrong…” she said pouting, “please forgive me… please, please, please,” she insisted, tugging Jungkook’s arm incessantly.
“Umm… yeah- okay, okay…” Jungkook said in alarm, looking around to ensure they were not attracting any attention.
“Let’s get to a hidden spot- we can’t afford to be seen,” he said urgently, yanking Tae Rin towards a corner of the garden which had a thicket of trees.
Tae Rin hurried along, giggling.
“Listen,” Jungkook said, once they were under the shadows, “let’s go back. I will get into tro…” but he stopped when he felt Tae Rin’s arms snake around his neck.
“You can hold me, if you want to…” Tae Rin said coyly.
Jungkook stilled. He had been so preoccupied, it had totally missed his consciousness that Tae Rin might want to rekindle something.
“Huh… what….,” Jungkook asked, lost.
Tae Rin giggled as she took Jungkook’s arms and placed them around her waist. “Look at you, when did you become so innocent… ”
Tae Rin smiled and closed her eyes, bringing her face closer to Jungkook’s.
Jungkook gulped when he saw Tae Rin’s face drawing closer, her pink lips parted as they closed in towards him.
His heartbeat quickened. He could feel her svelte waist in his hands and her flowery perfume filling up his head.
He was 50% sure that he wanted to kiss her too and maybe more…
He shut his eyes but in that very moment, Jungkook’s brain threw the most unexpectedly vivid image.
He gasped silently, his eyes wide open again.
“Hmm” Tae Rin moaned softly, “what happened?”
“Taehyungie Hyung…”, Jungkook said in an awed whisper.
Tae Rin opened her eyes. “What?! Where!?”
Jungkook shook his head, unable to fathom what was wrong with him.
“What… what about Taehyung,” she asked again.
Jungkook drew in a deep breath.
“Tae…He… he has a mole on his lips…for some reason- I just remembered.”
“Taehyung, please come back…,” Bogumm said, as he ran after Taehyung through the long corridor of his villa which led to the car park.
Taehyung halted reluctantly.
“I’ll make Sun Ho apologise to you… please don’t leave as yet,” Bogumm said, walking up to Taehyung and putting an arm around his waist.
Taehyung took a deep breath to calm down. “I really don’t want to go back inside, Hyung.”
“I get it. Let’s not… come this way,” Bogumm said, grabbing Taehyung’s hand, leading him through a different passageway.
A few seconds later they were inside a huge bedroom with glass doors opening into a garden.
Taehyung realised belatedly that they were in Bogumm’s bedroom.
“Sorry about what Sun Ho said,” Bogumm whispered as he put his arms around Taehyung’s waist from behind and rested his chin on Taehyung’s shoulder.
Taehyung froze at the contact.
He had such mixed feelings about it. In fact, he had such mixed feelings about Bogumm himself.
The man was attentive and sensitive in one moment and callous and uncaring in the other.
“I don’t mind jokes on my account… but he was wrong about Jungkook. I’m really grateful for what Jungkook did for me that day…,” Taehyung said softly.
Bogumm hummed in agreement, his nose now brushing Taehyung’s neck and fingers digging into his waist
Taehyung drew a sharp breath. It felt good- to be desired, to be touched like that… but his head was still full of what Sun Ho had said and how easily Bogumm had let it pass.
It was as if Bogumm had no remorse for what he had done that day. As if it didn’t matter to him or Sun Ho that Taehyung’s career was almost destroyed.
Bogumm started placing small kisses on his neck as his hands found their way inside Taehyung’s shirt, caressing his bare skin.
“What is it, handsome,” Bogumm asked, still kissing Taehyung’s neck.
“I think you should go back… your guests would wonder where you are…” Taehyung said, grabbing Bogumm’s hands and gently pushing them away.
Bogumm snorted. “They won’t. We are a very understanding bunch. Never ask each other about flings & one night stands.”
Taehyung stilled and turned around. He took a step away from Bogumm, his brows furrowed. “So which one would I be- fling or a one-night stand?”
Bogumm gave a confused smile. “Hey! Why are you getting touchy? Did you… do you really want something more?”
Taehyung stuffed his hands into his pockets. “Umm… I got the impression that you… perhaps wanted more,” he sighed, “never mind… it doesn’t matter.”
Bogumm rubbed his face. “No what gave you the impression that I was looking for something serious?”
Taehyung frowned. “The romantic gestures?’
“The what?!” Bogumm looked alarmed.
Taehyung scoffed. “The flowers, the sorry cards… that wasn’t meant to be romantic?”
Bogumm stared back with a blank face. “What flowers?”
Taehyung gave a mirthless chuckle.
“Flowers— huge bouquets of flowers with cards and messages that you sent over to my place everyday for 15 days? You do that for one night stands?”
Bogumm sighed. “Shit,” he mumbled, “that was probably Sun Ho sending them on my behalf.”
“What the fck,” Taehyung mouthed in disbelief. He shook his head. “Wow! I think I really need to get going…”
Bogumm groaned in annoyance as he saw Taehyung leave.
“Oh come on! I mean, we are part of an industry where even straight couples cant survive…. We have 100s of contracts barring us from having affairs. Do you really expect to find love- that too with a guy … get real Tae!”
Taehyung stopped at the door and turned around. “Don’t worry about me… Thanks for having me over. I think we can end our little fling here… bye.”
This time he didn’t stop to hear whatever Bogumm was saying as he got into the car and asked the driver to take him back.
“Where is Jungkook? It’s almost midnight…,” Hobi said, checking the time.
“Went towards that area of the garden which is covered by the trees…” Seokjin said nonchalantly from the couch before the TV.
“WHAT,” Namjoon exclaimed, “WHY?”
“He’s teaching Tae Rin to climb trees. Get real Joon- why will he go that side,” Hobi said laughing.
“No- hang on- how do you know where they went, Hyung,” Jimin asked Jin.
“I was watching them from the terrace with my binoculars,” Jin replied with a shrug, as if that was the most obvious thing to do.
“Hyung!” Everyone exclaimed in unison.
“Creepy,” Namjoon said, shaking his head.
“Hey! I just wanted to make sure that crazy woman was not kidnapping our Maknae,” Jin protested.
“Then why aren’t you still watching,” Namjoon reasoned.
Jin shrugged. “I got bored, okay? They’ve been out for over 2 hours…”
“I’m glad Tae didn’t come back for cutting Kookie’s cake… he’d have been heartbroken,” Jimin said with a sigh.
Hobi nodded. “I’m not wholly sure of that guy Bogumm… but Tae seems happy about dating him. And if he’s happy- he wouldn’t care about whoever Kookie goes around with… crisis averted, right?”
Jimin and Namjoon nodded in agreement.
“What? You don’t think so”, Jin asked frowning.
Yoongi shook his head. “I’m afraid that the crisis has just begun…”
Taehyung had just finished typing a frantic message to Jimin explaining where to find his gift for Jungkook. It was a few minutes to midnight and he was now sure he was not making it in time.
He was cursing himself for not bailing out 5 minutes earlier.
“Mr Kim, which side of the complex do I drop you at?”
The driver’s question made him look up.
“Ugh!” Taehyung groaned when he realised that they were at that gate of the complex that was farthest from their apartment tower and he won’t make it home by midnight.
“You know what- just drop me here. I’d be quicker if I run through the garden,” he said getting out of the car before the driver could even register his statement.
He decided to take the jogging track to avoid the sprinklers and wet grass as he ran as fast as he could.
He had always been the first one to wish Jungkook on his birthday ever since they had first met.
Now that he thought about it… it felt almost criminal to not do it this year too. Jungkook was turning an adult this year… it was such an important milestone.
He was still sprinting when he spotted a hooded figure strolling ahead on the narrow track.
Taehyung cursed the person for being in his way. It was the middle of the night for crying out loud!
“Out of my way please,” he screamed as he approached the figure, hoping they’d step aside because he wasn’t ready to slow down for anyone.
“PLEASE OUT OF MY WAY” he screamed again.
To his relief, the person heard him and turned around.
To his shock, the person turned out to be the one person he always wanted to see, but was least expecting to see at this place, in this moment.
“Taehyungie Hyung?!” Jungkook screamed.
Taehyung fought his momentum to halt right there and dashed into Jungkook who held out his arms to steady the older.
“OhMyGodJungkook!” Taehyung said panting, as he held himself upright, holding on to Jungkook’s arms.
“WHAT…. WHY ARE YOU RUNNING,” Jungkook asked urgently, “are you okay?!”
Taehyung tried catching his breath, bending down, placing his arms on his knees to keep himself from falling, his lungs sucking in air greedily.
Jungkook rubbed Taehyung’s back, not sure how else to help him. “What happened?! Are you okay!? You are scaring me!”
“K-kookie…,” Taehyung said between pants,” Kookie… “
“Yeah?! What is it?!” Jungkook said, cupping Taehyung’s face in his palms, his brows furrowed in worry. He wiped Taehyung’s forehead with his sleeve. “Say something, please!”
“Huh? Oh,” Jungkook said, his face breaking into a confused smile. “Yeah… it’s my birthday…,” he exclaimed, checking his phone. “Were you… were you running to get home for my birthday,” he asked in wonder.
Taehyung giggled at Jungkook’s reaction and nodded before engulfing him in a hug.
“Happy Birthday,” he repeated softly, “shine brightest, stay healthy. Hope you always get everything you want… my Kookie.”
“Hyung,” Jungkook said, overwhelmed, squeezing Taehyung in his arms. “You are so awesome… you came back for my birthday,” he repeated, still in awe.
“But wait… What are you doing here alone?” he asked stepping away, “why aren’t you with the Hyungs, cutting your cake and doing a live?”
Jungkook took a deep breath as he stuffed his hands into his hoodie pockets.
“Long story… will tell you later… but did you have a good time at Bogumm’s party?”
Taehyung pursed his lips. “Long story… will tell you later…,” he said with a wry smile,”but could we go open your gifts now?!
Jungkook’s face lit up. “You got me a gift? Already?”
Taehyung put an arm around Jungkook’s shoulder and manoeuvred him forward. “I got you two and I am glad that I came back for this. I wanted to see the look on your face when you opened it.”
Jungkook chuckled in glee. “Let’s go! Let’s go!”
The Hyungs were shocked when Taehyung and Jungkook walked in at quarter past 12, holding hands, laughing at jokes only those two understood.
Suga smiled and shook his head.
The next day, the entire apartment was doused in the sounds of video games.
Jungkook hadn’t stopped playing on his playstation (his Birthday gift from Taehyung) throughout the night.
Jimin giggled at Jin’s incessant swearing as Jungkook beat him at some game.
He was sitting with Taehyung and Suga on the breakfast table and overhearing the sounds which were pouring out of Jungkook’s room.
“You blew a fortune, didn’t you?” Jimin asked.
Taehyung smiled, as Jungkook’s gleeful laughter rang through the house.
“How was the party last night?” Suga asked.
Taehyung looked down and shook his head after a bit.
“What,” Jimin asked, “was it bad?”
Taehyung blew out air. “Disaster. First I got pissed about something his manager said, then I got hurt over something he said- then I ended things with him and came back…”
“You what?!” Jimin gasped.
“Did he insult you? Did he hurt you,” Yoongi asked with a straight face.
Taehyung bit his lip and then shook his head. “I don’t know… I guess not. In hindsight, I don’t even think it was a big deal…”
Taehyung sighed. “He was talking about keeping things casual… and I got so offended. I don’t know why… it’s not as if I wanted them to get serious…”
Jimin and Yoongi waited patiently.
Taehyung put his face in his hands. “I can’t do it…” he lowered his voice, “I don’t think I want to get intimate someone I’m not in love with…Ugh! I sound pathetic to my own ears. I mean how do I get close unless I give someone a chance, right?”
He looked up at Yoongi and Jimin looking at him with concern.
“Ugh!” Taehyung said frustratedly. “So…Bogumm was getting cosy with me… and I really wanted to be touched like that… I wanted to be kissed… wanted to make out… but it didn’t feel right and my head was a mess.”
“I guess I want to be with someone who thinks of me as more than a fling. But then, that’s such an unreasonable expectation because my own heart is unavailable…” Taehyung trailed off.
Jimin patted Taehyung’s hand. “It’s not unreasonable… Even I can’t imagine being intimate with someone whom I don’t love… and who loves me back… I don’t know how people do it….”
Yoongi frowned. “Bullshitt,” he said rather loudly.
“What?!” Jimin looked shocked, “why would you say that…”
Yoongi rolled his eyes. “If the person who I love doesn’t love me back- does that mean I should go through life without getting intimate with anyone?!”
His loud volume made the others pour into the dining room.
“You think everyone ends up with their first love or their one true love?! Some people don’t even get to express it to the one they love… do you think they should just diee alone?” Yoongi asked with bitterness.
Jimin was shocked. “I-I didnt… I didn’t mean that…”
“You implied that,” Yoongi snapped.
Jimin looked aghast.
“Listen Tae, not everyone gets a fairy tale romance. If u find a guy attractive, he cares for u, cares for ur feelings, respects u- go ahead and let him make u feel good. Get intimate- make out- kiss him, be kissed, whatever- okay? Life’s not a DisneyMovie.”
Yoongi stormed out.
Jimin too got up and hurried to his room, slamming the door after him.
Taehyung buried his face in his hands and groaned in frustration.
Everyone looked worried, but Jungkook looked miserable as he stared at Taehyung.
“Hyung, may I come in?” Jungkook asked from outside the Genius Lab door. It was dark outside n Suga had been holed up here all day
“What are u doing here, birthday boy? Weren’t u supposed to be at a dinner with your family,” Suga asked gesturing for Jungkook to have a seat.
“Yeah… I will leave in sometime…,” Jungkook said, mindlessly playing with the zipper of his jacket.
“Tell me, what’s up?” Suga asked.
Jungkook hesitated. “I wanted to talk to you about this morning… your outburst…”
Suga sighed. “I’m sorry about that… sorry about causing unpleasantness on your birthday. I’m just gathering some courage to go apologise to Jimin too… I was way out of the line…”
Jungkook shook his head. “I’m sure Jimin Hyung will forgive you. You are his favourite person.”
“But I wanted to ask what led to that conversation? Why is Taehyungie Hyung upset? What happened at Bogumm’s party yesterday?
“Why don’t you ask Tae that,” Suga asked.
Jungkook shrugged. “I did. He just pretended he’s alright. He’s been doing that all day… But I know he isn’t okay. I can read him better nowadays.”
Suga gave a little smile.
“I heard what you were saying… about getting intimate and all… I just wanted to make sure no one hurt him… it’s okay if he doesn’t want to tell me more,” Jungkook said with a shrug.
Suga smiled wider. “You really care for him, don’t you?”
Jungkook nodded. “Of course I do… I wish he would tell me things. But it’s okay as long as he’s telling them to someone…”
“No one hurt him… don’t worry,” Suga said walking up to Jungkook and ruffling his hair lovingly.
“And it’s not as if he doesn’t want to share things with you… he probably didn’t want to talk about it on your birthday. He’ll tell you everything eventually…”
Jungkook nodded and thanked Suga.
He got up to leave and then turned around looking lost in thought.
“Hyung… how does a person know that they’re gay?”
Yoongi sighed. “Hmm…” he said nodding, “this question… is here…”
Jungkook didn’t understand but sat down again looking at Suga expectantly.
Suga scratched his head. “There’s no test, frankly… it’s a deeply personal thing… how did you know you were straight?”
Jungkook frowned thinking hard. “There was this girl in school I found cute… I guess that’s how I knew I liked girls…”
Suga shrugged. “I guess that’s how you know you like boys too… you feel strongly for a person of the same gender. You find them beautiful, you fantasise about being intimate with them or being sexual with them… or having a stronger emotional bond…”
Jungkook nodded, his brows still furrowed in deep thought.
“How was your little date with Tae Rin last night?” Suga asked.
“Huh? Oh, that. Bad… I think I won’t be hearing from her again” Jungkook said with a smile.
Suga chuckled. “Won’t say I’m not happy about that.”
“Alright, off you go,” Suga said a moment later, “don’t make your family wait.”
Jungkook nodded. “And someone who feels so for both boys and girls would be bi… right,” he asked suddenly.
Suga nodded. “Yes…”
Jungkook’s phone rang. “Ah… my parents have reached the restaurant… I’ll get going,” he said, getting up hastily.
“Sure, have a great time,” Suga said, patting Jungkook’s back.
“Thanks Hyung,” he said as he took a few steps towards the door. But he suddenly turned around. “One more question- do you know anyone who identifies as Bi?”
Yoongi smirked and nodded. “I think I might know two…”
Jungkook had a lot on his mind on his birthday night.
When he wasn’t having random far fetched thoughts about his best friend, his mind kept going back to his Suga Hyung’s words…
He kept feeling restless and the fact that he couldn’t figure out the reason for such restlessness, just made him even more restless.
“So what did Tae get you for your birthday this year,” Jungkook’s brother asked.
Jungkook came out of his reverie when he heard Taehyung’s name.
“Umm… he got me two gifts… the New Play Station - can you beat that… and…” Jungkook froze.
“…and?” his brother prodded.
“I… I don’t know,” Jungkook said, slapping his forehead, “I forgot to ask.”
Taehyung was lounging in Jimin’s room, when he received a text from Jungkook’s brother.
*He just remembered. He’s on his way.*
Taehyung’s lips curved up in a smile.
“What is it?” Jimin asked curiously as he saw Taehyung getting up to leave.
“I need to go make some preparations. In around 30 minutes, Jungkook would come in looking for me… Could you please send him to the terrace?”
Jimin frowned. “Umm… what’s on the terrace?”
“My baby’s birthday gift…,” Taehyung said mysteriously with a wink.
“Tae… wait… wait…,” Jimin said urgently, “you need to know something…”
“Hmm?” Taehyung said distractedly, as he typed text after text hurriedly.
“You know Tae Rin came over last evening… right?” Jimin asked.
Taehyung paused his typing and looked up, his expression unreadable.
“Yeah, Hobi Hyung filled me in,” he said dryly, “he also told me that Jungkook asked her to leave because she was trying to rekindle romance or something.”
“About that…,” Jimin said hesitantly, “see, we asked Jungkook what exactly happened, but he wouldn’t say…”
“Umm… okay. Let’s chat about it later…” Taehyung said, stepping towards the door.
“No, Tae…. Listen,” Jimin interrupted his exit. “Joonie Hyung called her today. He wanted to make sure things were okay since he was the one who had invited her… and… you know, apologise if she had to face any kind of embarrassment because of his invitation.”
Taehyung tapped his foot impatiently, clearly not a fan of this conversation.
“She told Namjoonie Hyung that she was embarrassed and apologetic about making a move on Kookie.” Jimin narrated.
Taehyung shrugged. “Isn’t that a good thing? I never trusted her…”
Jimin bit his lip. “That is a good thing… but it’s what Jungkook told her to get her off his back…”
Taehyung gestured Jimin to hurry up.
“Umm… he told Tae Rin that he can’t date her because he… because there is someone else that he likes…” Jimin said quickly.
He wasn’t meant to feel anything about this information, let alone crippling despair.
Taehyung thought he had made peace with the fact that Jungkook would never love him back.
But that sinking feeling was back in the pit of his stomach.
He huffed after a few moments and stuffed his hands in the pockets of his hoodie.
“That’s good, eh…our Kookie is all grown up… guess we’ll hear a lot about his love life now,” he said with tight smile.
Jimin smiled sadly, seeing right through Taehyung’s frivolous attempts at concealing his misery.
“I’m sorry Tae… I just told you because I don’t want you to get hopeful and then get hurt...”
Taehyung nodded and forced a smile back.
“Thanks… I’m okay, really… over him… h-happy for him…,” he mumbled before walking out, his shoulders dropping-
His heartbreak so muted yet so loud.
Suga was pacing up and down his room, waiting for Jimin to be alone.
When he heard Taehyung walking out, he took a deep breath, finished off his whiskey in one big gulp, strode to Jimin’s room and knocked.
“It’s open,” Jimin called out.
“May I come in,” Suga asked, in an unprecedented show of manners.
Jimin shared his room with Hobi. Suga was their most frequent visitor. He rarely knocked, let alone seek permission.
But after their spat in the morning, Jimin wasn’t surprised.
The air in the room felt heavy.
“Hmmm… yeah… you can come in, I guess,” Jimin said, sitting up straight.
“I’m sorry,” Suga blurted, the moment he had stepped in- without any prelude, without even making any eye contact.
Jimin furrowed his brows. “Umm… Hyung…about that…,” he began.
“I’m not done,” Suga said shaking his head, “I shouldn’t have said what I said. I was wrong and so out of line. Everyone is entitled to their opinion… You are entitled to your opinion. Sex is such a personal thing… It was wrong of me to talk over you… let my emotions cloud…”
“Oh my god Hyung- will you pause for a moment?!” Jimin interrupted loudly, folding his arms before him and shaking his head in disbelief.
Suga shut his mouth, clearly taken aback.
“We are cool, okay… I’ll forgive you, if you tell me what brought that on?” Jimin said, narrowing his eyes.
“What brought what on?” Suga asked, cluelessly.
“Who’s she?” Jimin asked rolling his eyes.
“Who?” This time Suga looked lost.
“Oh come on!” Jimin groaned. “It’s pretty obvious… Someone broke your heart… you fell for someone who did not reciprocate… and that ruined your dating experience… So who’s she?”
Suga looked alarmed. “There’s no one…,” he said hastily.
Jimin groaned. “Lying doesn’t suit you...”
Suga scoffed but stayed quiet, running his hand through his hair.
“Forget it,” Jimin said with a sigh. “I wish a sad and lonely life upon whoever did not reciprocate your love…”
“DON’T SAY THAT,” Suga cried out, surprising Jimin.
“Please don’t say that…,”he repeated gently, “it’s not their fault… th-they don’t even know… I never confessed…”
Jimin’s eyes went wide in shock. “Why! Why didn’t you confess?”
Suga shrugged. “I’m not their type…”
Jimin scoffed. “I find that hard to believe- you are everyone’s type…”
Suga looked amused but he shook his head. “Believe me…”
Jimin rolled his eyes. “You are smart and hot and handsome… I can’t think why any girl would reject you… You’d never know, until you try. If I were you I’d have confessed. I think one should get it out of their system”
Yoongi chuckled, momentarily losing his power to think.
“By that logic, Taehyung should confess to Jungkook too, right?” He asked after a few moments.
Jimin opened his mouth to argue but shut it again. “Aaah… that’s different… is your case as complicated as Tae’s?”
Suga shrugged and sighed. “Anyway, am I forgiven?”
Jimin nodded with a small smile. “Of course, I’m your number 1 fan, can’t stay angry at you.”
Suga nodded quickly and turned around to hide his blush.
“Love you, Hyung,” Jimin called out after him.
Suga grunted in acknowledgement, hurried over to his room, shut the door and rested his back against it, waiting for his wildly beating heart to calm down.
Once Taehyung had ensured that the last of the arrangements had been taken care of, he sat down in a corner of the terrace.
It was dark and lonely.
Much like his state of mind, lately.
He was trying not to think about Jimin’s words but it was hard to keep his mind from going there.
Of course he had been aware that he would have to live through Jungkook’s hook ups, relationships, watch him fall in love, perhaps get married… have a family of his own…
But he had not realised that he’d have to witness it all so closely while Jungkook stayed unaware of his feelings.
It was one thing knowing this in theory and a completely different thing to see it happen.
It felt like a heart break which would spread over a life time.
Taehyung sighed. He reminded himself that he was supposed to feel happy for these milestones in Jungkook’s life and not mop over them.
He had wanted to make Jungkook’s 18th birthday special, but he had spent the entire day wallowing in his own misery.
He needed to stop say dreaming about Jungkook, to find slivers of hope in his friendly gestures and look for ways to move on…
“Pull yourself together, Tae,” he muttered under his breath, “get a grip…”
“Hyung? Is that you?”
Jungkook was cursing himself for being so pre-occupied that he had actually forgotten that Taehyung had another gift for him.
He had rushed back from the dinner with his family only to be told that Taehyung had gone to the terrace.
He had found that strange. They hardly ever went there, let alone at night.
He had rushed up the elevator which didn’t ply till the terrace and had run the last floor up. He was panting when he approached the terrace entrance.
It was plunged in darkness. He was pulling out his phone from his pocket, when he noticed movement in a corner.
“Hyung? Is that you?” He called out but he didn’t need an answer.
Because his eyes were beginning to adjust to the dark and he could make out a silhouette of a person in the corner.
The one silhouette he could recognise anywhere. It was unmistakably Taehyung.
“Come over… and be careful,” Taehyung answered.
Jungkook was so relieved to hear his voice as if he had been looking for the elder for a long time.
He gave a confused smile at his own reaction.
“What are you doing here?” He asked, as he made his way towards Taehyung.
Taehyung didn’t respond. “How was your dinner?” He asked instead.
“Great,” Jungkook said, once he was next to Taehyung, “it’s so dark here… why are you here?”
“To give you your second birthday gift…,” Taehyung whispered, bringing his lips close to Jungkook’s ear.
Jungkook’s throat felt parched, which seemed strange because he clearly remembered drinking water sometime back.
“Umm… what is it… where…?” Jungkook asked, wetting his lips subconsciously.
But instead of answering, Taehyung raised his hand to the nape of Jungkook’s neck, grabbing it softly with his fingers.
Jungkook gulped. He felt an inexplicable shiver go down his spine.
Taehyung buried his fingers into Jungkook’s hair on the back of his head, and tugged at them lightly, making Jungkook face upwards.
“Look up, Kookie…” he whispered.
And as if on cue, a firework made its way up and exploded in the sky above them, filling it with a shower of lights and colours.
Jungkook gasped, his eyes wide in wonder, as it was followed by another firework and then another and then several more.
They which kept going up in the sky in rapid succession and exploding in a spectacular display.
He was speechless but Taehyung was making small gleeful noises every time a new firework hit the sky.
Jungkook took his eyes off the sky to look at Taehyung…
… and his world shifted off its axis.
Jungkook had never seen anything or anyone more beautiful than Taehyung in that moment.
His hair was slightly tousled, his eyes were twinkling, his face was lit up with the light of the fireworks and his face was split in a huge delightful grin.
Jungkook gaped at him wordlessly. It was as if someone had muted the whole world and out-focused everything except Taehyung.
He forgot about the fireworks and pretty much everything else.
Of course he knew that Taehyung was handsome… but he had never really appreciated so many things about the older.
He was drinking in the long lashes…the moles, the shapely nose, the column of his neck, the shape of his smile…
He raised his hand, or perhaps it moved towards Taehyung’s face on its own accord.
He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do but it certainly involved touching Taehyung.
His heart was thumping so loud that he didn’t realise that the noise of the fireworks bursting had subsided.
Taehyung turned around to look at him, his face flushed and beaming.
He frowned at Jungkook’s hand near his face, and held it between both of his own.
“Did you like that?!” Taehyung asked, smiling ear to ear.
“Huh… yeah… yeah” Jungkook said breathily, the fuzz in his brain slowly receding.
“Kookie?!” Taehyung said with a tinge of complaint in his voice, “please say something!”
“Yeah! Yeah… it was beautiful…. So so beautiful, oh my god! How did you even manage to do that?!” He finally said, putting his arms around Taehyung and pulling him into a hug. “I am sorry, I was speechless before. Thank you so so much, Hyung… I loved it! ”
“Happy Birthday Kookie… your birthdays make me more excited than my own!” Taehyung said, cooing at the younger.
Jungkook, was too overwhelmed to answer. But it wasn’t just Tae’s words and the fireworks which had left him speechless…
It was the feeling of having Taehyung in his arms, which was making his mind numb.
Part of him wanted to step away and figure out why he was so affected by something so mundane- a hug.
They hugged so frequently. Almost everyday.
But the dominant part of him was feeling electrified with the proximity.
Taehyung smelled so good, skin of his neck felt so soft under Jungkook’s nose, his body felt so good against Jungkook’s own.
He had a stupid urge to kiss that spot on Tae’s neck where his face was buried.
Taehyung stepped away smiling and Jungkook had to stifle a disappointed moan from escaping his lips.
“Let’s go down, shall we?” Taehyung asked, ruffling his hair.
Jungkook gulped and nodded.
He was quiet on their way back to their rooms. He was embarrassed at his stupid urges but yet, ready to hug Taehyung again for the rest of the night.
“Good night,” Taehyung said, ruffling Jungkook’s hair, once they were in the living room.
Jungkook didn’t want their time to end as yet but he couldn’t think of a conversation topic. His thoughts were a mess at the moment.
“Umm… no wait… how was the party at Bogumm’s yesterday…?” He asked hastily, regretting it immediately.
Taehyung sighed. “Disaster… didnt you hear Suga Hyung’s angry outburst this morning… that was courtesy- me.”
Jungkook cringed inwardly for bringing up an unpleasant topic.
“I only heard the part where he was saying that if you find a caring, attractive guy who respects you- you should l-let him kiss… umm… let him close to you,” Jungkook stuttered.
Taehyung smiled wryly.
“Yeah… well… listen Kookie… I really don’t want to talk about this tonight… please…” Taehyung pleaded.
Jungkook felt like someone had plunged their hand inside his chest and were pulling his heart out.
Jungkook wanted to say that he cared for him, and respected him… and would probably make him feel so good… but he wasn’t sure where he was going with this thought.
“Umm… if you ever want someone… to…,” he fumbled with words.
Taehyung was frowning watching Jungkook struggle with words.
He chuckled sadly and sighed.
“Don’t pity me, Kookie… I’m fine. If I want to find someone to hook up with, I will… won’t die single… if that’s what you are thinking…”
Jungkook panicked & shook his head hurriedly.
“That’s not what I meant… I’m sorry, I…,” he bit his lip. He wasn’t even sure what he meant.
Taehyung smiled kindly, walked up to Jungkook, held his face in his palms & kissed his forehead.
“Never mind. happy birthday, love you”
Jungkook saw Taehyung walk away to his room.
“I love you too,” he whispered, so softly that Taehyung didn’t hear him.
No one did.
But Jungkook had never meant it more.
There was ample excitement in the dorm over their upcoming world tour.
Namjoon had just walked in with their schedule and other details and everyone had rushed to crowd around him.
“Tell us the good parts first, Joonie…,”Jin said, slapping the leader on the back.
“More shows, more cities, bigger and better venues, more luxurious hotels, no compulsion on who should room with whom,” Namjoon said excitedly.
“Shhh… I want to hear the bad part,” Suga said, holding up his finger to his lips.
Namjoon sighed. “Tougher routines, more difficult set lists… we’d all be put on strict diets, a trainer might accompany us… tighter security…”
Jin and Jhope groaned the loudest.
“Why diet?” Jin complained, “I’m already perfect…”
Namjoon giggled as he read out the rest of the agenda and everyone gave loud dramatic reactions to it.
Taehyung wasn’t paying much attention. He had just noticed that Jungkook hadn’t stepped out of his room for this.
“Tae? Will you room with Jungkook?” Jimin asked softly.
Taehyung stilled, slowly looked up from his phone screen and shrugged as if to say that he didn’t know.
Taehyung and Jungkook had always ensured that they were roommates on their outstation schedules.
They had fought with the staff for it multiple times.
Even when they were put in different rooms, they had begged their Hyungs to switch rooms such that they could be together.
But that was all in the past-
before Taehyung had developed feelings for Jungkook… before he had come out to the members. And to Jungkook.
Taehyung had realised that the more he hung around with the younger, the more difficult it became for him to keep his feelings in check.
The more he tried to hide his feelings- the worse he felt.
And Jungkook could read his bad moods better than anyone.
Whenever he failed to give a reason for his bad moods to Jungkook, it made the maknae anxious for days.
Taehyung was unsure of many things in life at this point, but he was certain that his feelings were not worth causing distress to the boy he loved.
And thus, ever since Jungkook’s birthday, which was almost two months ago, Taehyung had been making a conscious effort to put some distance between Jungkook and him- and keep increasing it.
Taehyung finally sighed at Jimin’s question. “I don’t think I’ll room with him” he said softly.
“But it might upset him, wouldn’t it?” Jimin asked, frowning. “He’s been so quiet lately… see, he’s still in his room… didn’t even come out to discuss the tour.”
Taehyung bit his lip. He had noticed Jungkook’s aloof behaviour and been concerned about it too.
He had even discussed it with the Hyungs some days back.
Namjoon and Jin thought it was a part of growing up.
Hobi thought that Jungkook was perhaps focusing harder on his art.
Jimin was certain it had something to do with the girl Jungkook liked, the one he had told Tae Rin about.
But it was Suga’s answer which had perplexed Taehyung the most-
“His heart and mind are at loggerheads…,” Suga had said with his usual sage-like calm, “Jungkook is quiet because he is trying to figure himself out…”
Taehyung didn’t know what that had meant.
“I think I’ll go check on him,” he finally told Jimin.
Jungkook was in his personal hell.
He had spent the past two months trying to make sense of all the new cravings and feelings he was experiencing.
Some days it felt like he was an all new person but some days it felt like this is who he had been all throughout.
It’s like someone had flipped a light switch and he could just see himself better now.
Ever since Jungkook was 13- Taehyung had been his go-to person for any complication in life, no matter howsoever big or small.
This was the first time he couldn’t approach Taehyung with his problem-
Because Taehyung was part of the problem.
In fact, in Jungkook’s humble opinion, Taehyung was most of the problem-
the ‘flipper’ of that light switch.
Jungkook had been supremely uncomfortable at the prospect of Taehyung being with another man.
Initially, he had written it off as his concern for his best friend’s well being and safety.
But after the incidents around his own birthday, including that night on the terrace, Jungkook knew that whatever he felt at the prospect of seeing Taehyung with another man, was a little more than ‘concern’.
A lot more, actually.
He caught himself staring at Taehyung even when Taehyung wasn’t the one who was talking.
He sometimes replayed Taehyung’s part in a MV over and over again to drink in all the details about him- his voice, his eyes, the way he gazed into the camera, the way he smirked.
Jungkook felt his heart beating faster just from looping those videos and he knew that this wasn’t normal.
He even had a folder in his phone of his favourite pictures of Taehyung. The one which was eating up more gigabytes than all other folders put together.
In those small windows of consciousness when he wasn’t obsessing over Taehyung, he had spent time reading about sexual orientations, taking all kinds of quizzes to determine which way he swung… and then pondering over the answers.
He was currently tucked under his quilt and in the middle of one such quiz.
He could hear his Hyungs obsessing over their world tour details in the living room, but he couldn’t really focus on that.
Because one question in the quiz was making him think harder than before-
*Do you get aroused watching gay pornn*
He had been tempted to watch it but he was almost scared of what it might lead to.
“Ugghh!!” He exclaimed in frustration as he typed and deleted words in his laptop’s search bar.
After a few mins, he settled on a random one and hit play. He watched two random pornnstars with unrealistically ripped and hairless bodies flirting on the screen.
Now Jungkook wasn’t naive- he knew that pornn was not really a true depiction of how seks worked.
But he wasn’t really wanting to get educated. He just wanted (yet another) confirmation.
He looked passively at the boys on TV, stripping down each other while kissing and moaning artificially as the strategically placed camera zoomed onto their oil slicked bodies.
Jungkook smirked and shook his head at the fakeness of it all.
The first thought that came to his head was that Taehyung looked a million times more seductive even when he was as little as making eye-contact with the camera.
The second thought that came to his head was that if that is how hot Taehyung looked when he was not even making an effort- how hot did he look when he was (Jungkook gulped!) having seks with someone.
He could feel his boxers tenting uncomfortably.
For some insane reason- he could picture what Taehyung’s facial expressions would be if he was in this position.
He could even imagine how Taehyung’s moans would sound like…
- The way he would sigh, they way his eyelids would droop, the way he would bite his own lip… the way he would slump on the couch, spread open his legs and look absolutely irresistible, with his head thrown back…
Jungkook’s breath trembled. His hand traveled inside the quilt as if it had a mind of its on.
And the next thing Jungkook knew was that he was touching himself to the thought of his best friend.
“Tae….,” he moaned ever so softly, unable to keep his eyes open but not wanting to stop looking at the boys on screen (and imagining himself and Taehyung in their place).
He was so absorbed that he missed the knock on the door and the turning of the knob a few moments later.
“Hey Kookie… why aren’t you….. WOAAAAAAAAAAH! FCK! FCK! SORRY!!!” Taehyung banged the door shut.
Jungkook panicked so bad that he sat up with a start causing his laptop to fall down to the floor.
Jungkook yelped and then shut his own mouth with his hand.
Taehyung was standing in pretty much the same pose on the other side of the door- his eyes wide and his palm across his mouth.
There was a deafening silence.
“Joonie, did you break something again?” Hobi shouted from the living room.
“What? No!!!” Namjoon screamed back indignantly, “I’m right behind you, you asś!”
Jin walked out of his room and looked at Taehyung standing outside Jungkook’s room looking blanched.
“Tae? What was the noise? Why were you screaming” He asked.
“Umm… yeah… it was th-that thing… that thing fell to the floor…” Taehyung stammered.
Jungkook frowned, inside his room.
Jin looked at the floor in confusion. “What thing?”
Taehyung looked around at the empty passageway where they were standing.
“Meeeee!” Taehyung said sheepishly. “I fell down… slipped… screamed.” He started brushing his pants with his hands.
“What?! But then what was that noise?!” Jin asked frantically.
“Ummm… my ass hitting the floor tiles… it’s big… so…” Taehyung trailed off.
Jungkook took a deep his breath as he heard Jin fussing over Taehyung ensuring he wasn’t hurt.
Once Jin and Taehyung had moved away from outside his room, Jungkook slapped his forehead, shut his eyes and groaned in embarrassment.
He wasn’t sure what all Taehyung had seen- Had he seen what exactly was on the screen?
Had he also noticed what was happening under the quilt?
Jungkook groaned again and buried his face in his pillow.
But even with all the embarrassment, he couldn’t help giggling when he remembered Taehyung’s words.
“Ass hit the floor… seriously Kim Taehyung,” he mumbled, “things you would do to keep my secrets…”
He got up, opened his laptop, closed the pornn window. Noticed the unanswered last question of the quiz he was taking and clicked on ‘yes’.
“Congratulations- you’re a raging Bi!”
The quiz result said.
Taehyung had been on the treadmill for too long but he was so preoccupied that he wasn’t paying attention.
His brain could hardly keep up with all that was happening around him.
The tour prep, the vocal practices, costumes, routines, the rooming situation, and Jungkook.
This morning he had told Namjoon that he wasn’t sure about wanting to share a room with Jungkook on the tour.
He wasnt sure if he would be able to handle the close proximity without his heart and mind wanting more.
It had been a 4 days since he had walked in on Jungkook watching pornn and neither of them had even made eye contact with each other since then.
The awkwardness was killing Taehyung and he knew that he needed to take the first step to resolve it since Jungkook would obviously be more embarrassed right now.
But another thing that was gnawing on Taehyung’s inside was this huge doubt-
Now he wasn’t sure but was somewhat certain that he had actually seen two nakëd men on Jungkook’s screen.
Which could mean that he was… perhaps…
But the more Taehyung thought about it, the more unlikely it seemed.
Maybe Jungkook was watching a threésome and it was two men on screen in the moment he had stepped in.
Or maybe one of them was a girl and Taehyung hadn’t gotten a proper look.
Or maybe, Taehyung was just projecting his own choices on Jungkook- seeing what he hoped to see.
Taehyung was still brooding over it, running as fast as his legs would carry him, when Namjoon’s voice broke his string of thoughts.
“Everyone, I want you to meet our new fitness instructor- Marco.”
Taehyung turned around at Namjoon’s voice without realising that he was running quite fast.
He missed a step and almost got disbalanced.
“TAEEEE!” He heard Jungkook scream and perhaps run towards him.
But it was a huge muscular arm which flew across the treadmill, pulling the emergency key before grabbing Taehyung’s arm in a tight grip and keeping him from falling face first on the track.
“Careful, bello mio!” A huge guy, with beautiful tanned skin and a rather attractive face, said to Taehyung, “you’ll get me fired on my first day of job,” he joked in heavy accented Korean.
Taehyung stood up straight sheepishly and thanked Marco, surveying him with curiosity.
Marco was built like most fitness instructors- stocky, wide, muscular with every known muscle bulging and raring to rip his full sleeved tee and tiny shorts off.
“So, hi! My name is Marco, I’m from Italy. I moved to Korea 4 years ago and just opened my own gym here in Seoul. I’d be training you all and if it works out, I’d even accompany you on your world tour”, he said warmly, rubbing his hands in excitement.
Over the next hour, everyone fussed over Marco, asking him lots of questions.
He answered them patiently, eventually moving to the adjacent room to meet up with everyone individually and set up diet and exercise plans for them.
Taehyung was hardly paying attention, lost in his own thoughts when he heard Jungkook clearing his throat behind him.
He turned around slowly.
“You didn’t hurt yourself earlier, did you?” Jungkook asked Taehyung softly.
“Huh? Oh, when I lost my step on the treadmill? No.. Marco was really quick- caught me in time…” Taehyung said with a small smile.
Jungkook huffed and nodded stiffly, looking at his shoes, avoiding eye contact.
They hovered awkwardly. Finally Jungkook sighed.
“Listen, I’m sorry about that day… I understand that you don’t want to room with me on the tour… and it’s understandable…” he said softly.
He felt stupid for letting the awkwardness drag for so long and for making Jungkook think that this was the reason Taehyung didn’t want to share a room with him.
“About that day,” Taehyung said, urgently but in a low volume, “sorry for barging into your room…”
“I’m sorry for…” Jungkook began but Taehyung cut him short.
“Duh! Please don’t apologise for something so basic… we all do that for gods sake! Just fcking lock your room next time!”
Jungkook chuckled. “Fcking knock next time!”
“I fcking did!” Taehyung cried.
“You fcking did not!” Jungkook snapped; but they were both smiling now.
“Jimin, it’s your turn with Marco now,” Hobi screamed as he emerged out of the room in which Marco was having one-on-one consultations with all the members.
Taehyung turned around to look at Hobi. “Am I next after Jimin?”
Hobi walked up to where Jungkook and Taehyung were standing. He had a huge grin on his face.
“What is it?” Jungkook asked.
“I think we should let Tae go last,” Hobi told Jungkook, putting an arm around his neck.
Taehyung and Jungkook both looked confused. “Why?”
Hobi rolled his eyes. “Because you might take a long time with Marco and poor Jungkookie will be stuck waiting for your session with him to finish?”
Taehyung stared in confusion.
“What… why would he take more time?” Jungkook asked.
Hobi made a disapproving noise.
“You both never pay attention, do you? Sometime back Jin asked Marco what brought him to Korea. He said he was dating a Korean man, some chef, for whom he had shifted here but they have now broken up,” he said wiggling his eyebrows.
Jungkook sighed and Taehyung tutted.
“Oh please, Hyung! You think ur Cupid now? Just because he’s gay and single, doesn’t mean that we’ll get along or that he’ll be into me.”
“Hey, okay I may be ignorant but he called you ‘mio bel something’… didn’t he now? I don’t know what that means but sounded like an endearment! Also, did you see how he rushed to save you? Flew across the room- doesn’t that count?”
Taehyung shook his head in disbelief.
Jungkook was looking down, as if he had lost interest in this conversation. As if he wasn’t even a part of the same group right now.
“Anyway,” Hobi said dismissively. “He’s hot, he’s gay, he’s single and he’s going to be spending a lot of time with us… what else- he’d even be travelling with us- sounds like the perfect guy for you, Tae… don’t you think so, Jungkook?”
Jungkook sucked in a noisy breath. It felt like someone had just pushed his head under water and he couldn’t breathe.
Last few days had been so tough for him as it is.
And right when he thought that he had cracked the code and figured out his feelings- he had been slapped in the face with a new reality-
Even if he was Bi… even if he was in love with his best friend in every sense of the word- it wasn’t necessary that Taehyung would reciprocate, that he would love him back.
Jungkook thought he had lost his voice. His heart felt heavy and his eyes were dangerously close to watering.
He struggled to string a sentence together.
“Hmm… yeah… yeah,” he said, looking up at Taehyung and trying to force a smile. “You should date him…your type…”
On the other end of the gym, Jin and Namjoon were bickering over hiring of Marco.
“Sheer waste of time and money! I can bet that he won’t be able to bring any change,” Jin screamed.
Namjoon scrunched his nose in disapproval. “You are just saying that because you don’t like exercising… at least give it a few days. If we don’t see positive results, we’ll consider dropping him…. Back me up Suga Hyung!”
Suga, who was although sitting with Namjoon and Jin, was paying minuscule attention to their squabble.
Because he was mostly absorbed in observing Hobi, Taehyung and Jungkook, with a small smile on his lips.
“Oh, Suga won’t back you up,” Jin said derisively,” he’s on my side… he hates exercising as much as I do.”
Suga shook his head. “Sorry Hyung, but I think I’m with Namjoon on this one… hiring Marco was a great idea,” he said mysteriously.
Namjoon punched air and Jin’s jaw dropped open.
“Whatthehell?! Traitor! Why’d you say so?” Jin asked appalled.
Suga saw Taehyung walking towards Marco’s room and Jungkook looking at him longingly, his fists clenched.
“I can see the positive results already.”
Jimin wolf-whistled the moment Taehyung stepped out of his room.
Mostly because he was dressed in a tank top and shorts, a bold deviation from his usual tees and sweatpants.
Taehyung grunted in displeasure as he rolled his eyes and sat down on the step near the entrance to wear his sneakers.
“We are late, thanks to you…,” Jimin complained, “Marco must be missing his Bello Mio,” he added with a wink.
Taehyung glared at him. “No, Marco doesn’t miss me. Stop linking us just because we are both gay!”
Jimin gave him a mock-offended look. “Hey, I’m not linking you because you are both gay. I’m linking you because he’s your type.”
Taehyung wrinkled his nose. “What does that even mean- ‘my type’… which one of you started that rumour of Marco being ‘my type’. I never discussed my type with you… stop being…”
Jimin held up his hands. “Okay… okay… let’s get going,” he said, mostly to change the topic.
“As if you really want to be there early and exercise more,” Taehyung said, getting up and grabbing his gym bag.
“No- that’s Jungkook. He’s been in the gym since 5 in the morning- this entire week,” Jimin chimed.
It had been two weeks since Marco had taken-over fitness training for the members.
Despite all of them being active and agile- the training was taking a toll on them.
The only people who seemed to be enjoying it were Namjoon and Jungkook.
The Maknae seemed to be spending every free hour working out, which meant that Taehyung saw very little of him nowadays.
“Are things okay between Jungkook and you,” Jimin asked once they were on their way to the gym.
Taehyung hesitated. “Yeah… we are great,” he lied.
The truth was that they hadn’t really talked since last two weeks despite how closely they were all working for their upcoming tour.
Things had been supremely weird since he had walked into Jungkook having ‘a good time.’
And despite their little chat later on, there was a degree of awkwardness which had crept in.
And as if that wasn’t enough, recently Taehyung had noticed a new phenomenon- whenever he looked at Jungkook, he found him looking away.
Now Taehyung wasn’t sure if he was imagining it, but it always appeared as if Jungkook had been looking at him till a moment ago and had just turned away to avoid being caught looking at him (?)
There was barely any free time amid preparations and schedules to dwell upon this new development.
Further, Taehyung had still not sent his roommate preference to Namjoon and as far as he knew, Jungkook had not sent one either.
Taehyung sometimes lay awake at odd hours, wondering if this was perhaps the beginning of the end of their friendship.
Taehyung and Jimin entered the gym as noiselessly as possible to avoid attracting attention to the fact that they were late.
They hurried towards the shelves to dump their stuff.
Marco seemed busy helping Yoongi with weights. Namjoon was on the treadmill, Jin and Hobi seemed to be taking a break in a corner.
But Jungkook was doing pull-ups on the sports rig as if his life depended on it.
Taehyung didn’t mean to stare, but he couldn’t look away.
Jungkook’s body was moving so fluidly and effortlessly.
His face had that look of crazy determination which Jungkook always got when he was pushing his nerves and sinew to do something unbelievably hard.
His hair was drenched in sweat and the nerves of his neck were popping out with the sheer amount of power he was putting into every pull up.
Taehyung gulped at the sight.
“Taetae blinding us with the skin show today,” Hobi teased shaking Taehyung out of his trance and making everyone turn around and look at his short shorts.
Taehyung groaned in embarrassment. “Hyung!”
Jin and Jimin laughed out loud.
“Who stole your pants?” Jin added making Jimin snort with laughter.
Jungkook got off the rig noticing the commotion.
Taehyung grunted in displeasure.
He saw Jungkook walking towards them, from the corner of his eye and shifted his full focus on trying to retrieve a hair-band from his bag to tie his own hair.
“I think it’s good for us- Marco would be distracted with him, and we’ll get away with lesser reps,” Jimin added in an amused whisper so that the voice won’t carry to the other side of the gym where Marco was helping Suga do bench-presses. “Thanks for your service, Tae!”
“Oh, you are thanking the wrong guy, Chim… Marco seems to have another distraction lately,” Hobi added looking at Marco and Suga.
“What do you mean?” Jimin asked at once, frowning.
“Observe them carefully,” Jin replied quietly.
Taehyung looked up and realised what Jin and Hobi were talking about.
Marco had a look of reverence mixed with pure adoration, as he spoke to Suga.
He was hanging onto every word that Suga was saying.
“Oh come on, reduce the weights,” Suga complained.
“Push yourself harder, Suga, Armys will love to see you all pumped up,” Marco replied with a smile.
“I’ll tell you what Armys would love to see- they’d love to see me alive,” Suga replied with a grunt as he lifted the bar.
Marco threw his head back and howled with laughter at Suga’s joke, as if it was the funniest thing he had heard.
Suga gave a small smile as he watched Marco clutching his sides and laughing.
Taehyung’s jaw dropped. He looked at Hobi with mute excitement.
“Oh my god- Marco is gone-gone,” he mouthed to Hobi.
“Told you,” Hobi mouthed back.
“He’s so whipped for our Suga,” Jin added quietly.
Jungkook, who was also standing near Hobi, Jin, Taehyung and Jimin, surveyed Marco and Suga’s interactions with a confused smile on his face.
But Jimin looked gobsmacked. He stood frozen as if he were a statue.
“Sorry Tae, I think Marco lost his heart to Yoongles,” Hobi whispered, jutting out his lip.
Taehyung chuckled. “Thank God! Now you all would stop teasing me, at least.”
“Hey! Why are you all huddled up- get to work,” Marco said loudly, making all of them disperse, except for Taehyung who was struggling with tying his hair and Jungkook, who missed the instruction because he was too busy looking at Taehyung.
“Hey,” Taehyung said softly, when he noticed Jungkook standing next to him.
“Hi,” Jungkook replied quietly.
He looked embarrassed as if he had been caught doing something he shouldn’t have been doing.
“Umm… you need help?” Jungkook asked hoarsely, pointing towards Taehyung’s hair.
“Huh? Umm… yeah,” Taehyung replied softly, handing over the hair tie to Jungkook.
Taehyung squatted a little to bring the top of his head to Jungkook’s eye level.
It turned out to be a terrible decision because now Jungkook’s lips were right in front of his eyes.
And he was biting his lower lip in concentration as he figured out how to tie Taehyung’s hair.
A moment later, Taehyung felt Jungkook’s fingers carding his hair.
He could feel his scalp tingling.
He closed his eyes n held his breath.
This would have been a routine activity till some months ago.
But right in this moment, Taehyung couldn’t help feeling butterflies at how intimate this felt.
They were much too close and every breath that Jungkook was exhaling, was brushing Taehyung’s face.
“Why the shorts today, though?” Jungkook asked softly, as his hands moved deftly in Taehyung’s hair.
Taehyung furrowed his eyebrows.
He wondered if it was evident that Jungkook was making him nervous.
“Umm… it was err… leg-day.. so,” Taehyung trailed off.
Jungkook nodded and finished wounding up the hair tie around the little ponytail he had secured.
Taehyung stood up straight, and looked Jungkook in the eye.
Jungkook was staring at him in amusement.
“In that case,” he whispered, “can’t wait to see you on chest-day.”
And before Taehyung could even register the exchange, Jungkook had turned around to head back to his workout.
He was smirking as he picked a dumbbell and curled up his muscles, while looking into the wall-sized mirror.
Taehyung’s lips were parted in shock.
He cocked his head, the insides of which were bustling with a million questions.
The loudest one being - DID JEON JUNGKOOK JUST FLIRT WITH ME?!!”
It had taken Jungkook some time to come to terms with his sexuality and it's repercussions.
But he was still processing it better than any guy his age. Even though he had not discussed it with anyone as yet, except to some degree with his Suga Hyung.
Now he hadn't really come out to Suga in so many words, but he was quite sure that Suga had already caught on.
Once the initial shock, realisation and sinking in had passed, Jungkook found himself spending every passing minute obsessing over Taehyung.
He had started feeling self conscious around his best friend.
But this was different from the shyness he felt when he had just joined the band.
This time around, he wanted to look good, smell good and sound good every time he was around Taehyung.
He felt his heart racing every time Taehyung stepped into the room.
And yet, he wanted to spend more time around him.
He was always eager to hear his Hyung’s voice, share a meal with him, play with his hair, make him laugh…
He had mad urges to go ahead and hug him.
Perhaps, kiss him and get kissed back.
He was almost embarrassed to admit it, even to himself but sometimes when he lay awake at night, he thought about doing a lot more than just hugging and kissing.
Lately, during practices, he had to literally will himself to stop looking at Taehyung.
And Jungkook was pretty sure Taehyung had caught him staring by now.
He would have continued to bask in his new found one-sided slow-romance, had that whole conversation about ‘someone being Taehyung’s type’ not happened.
That day it had dawned upon Jungkook that he was running out of time.
It was a harsh realisation but Jungkook knew that if he didn’t do something about the Mt Fuji-sized crush that he was nursing, Taehyung would start dating someone again, right in front of him.
That night, Jungkook had paced around his room wondering what Taehyung’s type was and how could he be that person.
He had cursed himself for never asking Taehyung those questions before.
He had looked up the internet for advice on dating your best friend.
Every one of those articles said that the first step was to ensure that the best friend saw you as potential boyfriend material and not just a person they goofed around with.
Jungkook’s first reaction to that was- panic.
Now, Taehyung had known him since he was 13 and seen him at his goofiest and wimpiest.
Taehyung had been at the receiving end of his tantrums, his anxieties, his fears and his worst break-downs.
Jungkook realised that he’d have to undo years of shared silliness to make himself ‘potential dating material’, for Kim Taehyung.
Taehyung needed to see him in a new light and that sounded like an impossible feat.
But he wasn’t the one to give up without giving it his best shot. He pulled a pen and paper to make his notes- the way he approached every issue in life.
‘How to make your best friend perceive you as potential dating material’ Jungkook wrote on top and chewed the pen cluelessly
Now he didn’t have much reference of Taehyung’s type.
If Bogumm and Marco were anything to go by- who were miles apart by the way; Taehyung liked handsome, well-built, smooth-talkers.
Jungkook huffed. He noted the three requirements and ticked the first box. He was handsome- he had Armys’ word on it.
And he was all set to ace the other two requirements if that’s what it was going to take.
Marco was much impressed with Jungkook’s dedication. He had never met a celebrity so disciplined. Some days Jungkook was in the gym even before Marco.
But to his credit, Marco was also keeping pace with Jungkook’s crazy schedules.
He would wake up at the crack of dawn or stay up till the crack of dawn depending on Jungkook’s availability and will to workout.
“Don’t over work yourself- give your muscles some rest,” Marco told Jungkook one day,” leave some ladies’ hearts for the rest of the world.”
Jungkook chuckled and went back to his push-ups.
“When I was hired, Namjoon had asked me to ensure that everyone shows up at the gym daily but Suga had asked me to ensure that you go back home,now I know what he meant,” Marco quipped.
“Do you think I can get a body like yours?” Jungkook asked flatly.
“You can get one better than mine, Regazzino,” Marco said, affectionately.
Jungkook gave a tight smile.
He did not like how likeable Marco was. He thought of Marco as potential competition- one he wanted to eliminate, but his sunshine personality was making it difficult.
“You are the first instructor who’s been able to get Suga Hyung to the gym…,” Jungkook said sincerely, “that’s saying something… he must really like you.”
Marco laughed. “Quite the contrary. I think he only comes over because he feels bad for me…”
Jungkook frowned. “Why?”
“I keep asking him out and he keeps turning me down,” Marco said grinning and shaking his head. “But he has been really sweet- got me in touch with Namjoon for this job. He also said…”
Marco kept narrating but Jungkook was hardly listening.
‘Of course’, Jungkook thought… of course!
The signs were all there- Suga knew the clubs, Suga said he knew at least two Bi people… Jungkook snorted at the realisation. Suga was never hiding it and yet he couldn’t see…
“Where did you meet Suga Hyung?” Jungkook asked, interrupting Marco’s monologue.
Marco furrowed his brows in concentration. “One of the queer clubs in town, don’t remember which one though…”
“Why does he turn you down though…,” Jungkook asked and immediately realised that it was an inappropriate question.
“I’m sorry, don’t answer that, that was intrusive,” he added.
Marco smiled. “Naah, don’t mind at all. Suga said he is trying to get over someone and doesn’t think it would be wise to get into a relationship at the moment. It would be unfair to me…”
“He’s such a considerate and honourable guy,” Marco added with a sigh, “and that’s why I find him so hot and that’s why I’m ready to wait indefinitely…”
Jungkook grinned. It felt funny yet warm to hear a man talk that way about Suga.
It also felt great to know that this big beautiful adorable Italian man was not eyeing his Taehyung.
“You are so cool, Marco,” Jungkook said with a huge smile, “hope you find love.”
“Why, thank you Regazzino,” Marco replied with a bow, “hope you do too.”
Jungkook knocked on Namjoon’s studio door.
“Yes Kook, what can I do for you?” Namjoon asked pleasantly.
“Umm… about the tour, Hyung… I was wondering if Taehyungie Hyung submitted his roommate preference,” Jungkook asked quickly.
Namjoon looked confused. “Are you guys fighting?”
Jungkook shook his head.
“Then why don’t you ask him yourself?”
He had decided to catch Namjoon at work when he’s busy and preoccupied so that he wouldn’t ask questions, but the plan wasn’t working.
“Umm… I couldn’t find him,” Jungkook lied.
“He’s in the dance studio, go catch him… And while you are at it, ask him not to over exert himself,”Namjoon said before he dove back into the documents he was reading.
He knew this was a bad idea but he still made his way towards the studio.
He could hear the music from the dance studio pouring into the corridor.
He slowly pushed open the door and found the last thing he had expected-
Taehyung was alone- sleeping on the floor in a corner, using his jacket as a pillow under his head.
Jungkook smiled as he slowly made his way towards the laptop and shut down the music first.
Taehyung did not even stir.
Jungkook quietly sat down next to his sleeping Hyung.
Till some months back, if Jungkook had found Taehyung like this- he’d have just slid next to Taehyung, spooned him, and snaked his arms around Taehyung’s tiny waist and gone off to sleep.
But right now, even the thought of doing that made him giddy.
Jungkook touched his palms to his own cheeks, amused at how warm his face had become.
He patted his chest lightly and took deep breaths.
Once his heartbeat had calmed a bit, he brought his face close to Taehyung’s.
“Wake up…” he whispered, his face soft with the amount of adoration he was feeling for the sleeping boy.
Taehyung huffed in his sleep, rubbed his nose against the jacket under his head before slipping back into his slumber.
Jungkook whimpered, his emotions gushing inside his chest like a huge wave.
“You’re so cute, I’ll kiss you I swear to God,” he murmured under his breath.
Jungkook’s breath felt so heavy.
A small voice in his head was egging him on to steal a kiss on those lips. But he knew that was wrong.
He fisted his palms and shut his eyes and waited for his breath to match Taehyung’s peaceful breathing.
He silently debated whether to wake Taehyung up or just sit there and gaze at him.
Finally a third idea seemed more sensible. Jungkook took off his jacket, rolled it and placed it under his own head and decided to take a nap a few feet away.
He drifted off to sleep soon enough.
When he woke up, he was alone but Taehyung’s jacket was covering his torso, keeping him warm.
Jungkook gasped, his face breaking into a huge smile.
He pulled Taehyung’s jacket to his face, inhaled it deep, feeling dizzy with Taehyung’s fragrance that was lingering on it.
Jungkook’s first thought was that he wasn’t giving this jacket back till it continued to smell like Taehyung.
He chuckled at his own stupid thoughts.
“Kim Taehyung, you are making me crazy,” he mumbled.
Jungkook had hit the gym at 6 because he had woken up early.
He had woken up early because he was nervous.
And he was nervous because he intended to ask Taehyung about his roommate preference after gym today.
By the time it was 8, Jungkook had long been done with the routine that Marco had planned for him.
He was just sticking around for Taehyung.
After another 30 mins, Jungkook realised that perhaps Taehyung was not turning up today.
He was trying to mask his disappointment when the door flung open and Taehyung and Jimin tiptoed in.
Jungkook would have been amused at their antics but his breath hitched when he saw what Taehyung was wearing.
Now, over the last half a decade of living together, Jungkook had seen Taehyung dressed up, dressed down and everything in between.
But to see him in those short shorts, baring his legs outside that dorm was a totally different experience.
One that Jungkook wasn’t prepared for.
Half of him wanted to stand and ogle and the other half wanted to hide Taehyung under a cloak.
Sure, Marco had no interest in Taehyung but what if the other way round was true.
Jungkook didn’t think he would be able to deal with Taehyung crushing over Marco, like an adult.
Jungkook was so overwhelmed with the flash flood of emotions he was feeling that he went back to the sports rig and started doing pull ups to distract himself.
‘Why the hell were those legs so beautiful’ he mused with every pull up- why why why!
“Taetae blinding us with skin show today.” Jungkook overheard Hobi and Seokjin taking jibes at Taehyung.
He knew they were joking but it still triggered his protective streak.
He got off the rig and made his way to where everyone except Suga and Namjoon were huddled together.
But now the conversation had changed to Hobi and Jin observing Marco making heart-eyes at Yoongi.
Jungkook couldn’t help but notice how casual Hobi was about Suga being hit on by a man. It wasn’t as earth-shattering a discovery as it had been to Jungkook.
Jungkook felt as if he had been injected with instant relief.
It was comforting to know that his Hyungs were such freethinking progressive people. That they would not judge if he ever told them about his new found feelings.
It was like he had one less battle to fight.
He was still deep in thought when he saw everyone dispersing and suddenly he was alone with Taehyung.
His first instinct was to flee but he calmed himself down.
‘Potential boyfriend material, potential boyfriend material, potential boyfriend material’, he chanted in his head.
“Hey,” Taehyung said softly and Jungkook felt like he was on a roller coaster which had just taken the biggest drop ever.
“Hi,” he replied quietly, trying really hard to not look at Taehyung’s legs.
He focused on Taehyung’s hands instead which seemed to be struggling with putting a hair tie on his unruly curls.
Jungkook gulped and tried steadying his breath, the way he did before performances.
“Umm… you need help?” He asked, his voice sounding hoarse to his own ears.
Taehyung mumbled softly and handed over the hair tie to him.
Jungkook smiled as Taehyung squatted before him.
He’d never realised that even tying someone’s hair could feel intimate. He buried his fingers in Taehyung’s hair, taking his own sweet time to pull them together.
He stole a glance at Taehyung’s face who had his eyes shut right.
He fought the biggest urge to cup his face and smother it with kisses.
Taehyung was subconsciously tugging on the hem of his shorts which made Jungkook look down and check out his legs too.
Jungkook regretted it because he felt a jolt in areas which were not known to jolt when people showed up in shorts.
He was oddly turned on with everything that Taehyung was doing right now- biting his lip, looking dreamy, murmuring, showing skin, breathing, existing…
“Why the short shorts today, though?” Jungkook asked, his admiration (read:lust) seeping into the tone of his voice, making it sound low and husky.
Taehyung looked befuddled with the question. “Umm… it was… err… leg day,” he said, biting his lips.
Jungkook couldn’t help being amused.
Marco had also designated certain days of the month as ab days, shoulder days, back days, chest days and some days as a combination of two or more.
By Taehyung’s logic, the garment industry could very well go on a holiday, Jungkook mused.
His love interest was being naughty without even trying.
“In that case,” Jungkook whispered, unable to stop himself from flirting, “ can’t wait to see you on chest day.”
Jungkook walked back to the weights-corner, feeling as if he’d won a dozen daesangs in a day.
That conversation certainly did not qualify as best-friend talk.
And he felt he could do it all day if it made Taehyung this flustered.
Catch u later beautiful people
Let me know how you liked the update
Here- binge reading offering- it’s complete, it’s long and it has a happy ending-
When tycoon Taehyung told his parents- he'll marry whoever they'd pick once he got back from overseas- he didnt expect to come back to his own engagement party
When student Jungkook crashed a party, he didn't expect to get entangled with Taehyung