Autumns; a #taekookau
Jungkook looks at the door of the small cottage. His eyes roaming over the bougainvilleas all over the walls and balcony. He stares at the gardens and back at the cottage.
The place is beautiful with its lake, gardens, locality, and farm. But...
There is something haunting about the place. A sense of melancholy. A sense of desolation that Jungkook cannot describe.
He shakes his head and walks up to the door to press the bell. He waits, ignoring the downpour and tapping his foot with a tune in his mind.
The door opens to the omega, who Jungkook talked to a few times to book this place. He nods in acknowledgement. The omega nods back.
“I am Jeon Jungkook,” Jungkook holds his hand out, “booked this place for three months.”
The man, Taehyung, takes his hand, “Kim Taehyung.”
Jungkook notices the omega's pregnant belly. He looks up at the man with a small smile.
“Thanks for having me,” he walks inside.
Taehyung leads the way, “you are welcome. That's the staircase,” he points, “the first floor is yours. No one will disturb you there.”
Jungkook looks at the staircase, looking back at Taehyung, “thank you.”
Taehyung looks at his luggage, “no one else lives here,” he points at them, “my friend will drop by, he can get your luggage-”
“You live alone?” Jungkook can't help when he sounds surprised, “but, you are-”
Taehyung gives him a small nod of acknowledgement, “I am a single father.”
Jungkook swallows, looking at the man and back at the very noticeable belly, “oh. I see.”
Taehyung wraps the coat around him neatly, sombre eyes fixed on Jungkook, “I will not disturb you. I assure you.”
Jungkook hums, “thanks. I will take those luggages myself.”
Taehyung gives a small bow, “lunch is around one and dinner is at nine. You can have your meals upstairs. I will have them delivered.”
Jungkook picks up his two bags, nodding, “I will pick it up. Thank you.”
“I hope you have a great stay at the 'Autumns,' sir,” Taehyung parrots.
Jungkook watches the omega. There is something very sombre in those eyes. The omega smiles, and it makes his face look hollow. His scent is suppressed. So, Jungkook does not pick up on anything there either.
“Any personal requests or rules I need to follow?” Taehyung enquires, “within reasons. Of course.”
Jungkook shakes his head, “just, if someone calls and asks you about me, tell them you do not know me,” he hurries to add, “I am not a serial killer on the loose. I swear on God.”
Those lips twitch and Taehyung shakes his head, “I have done my research on you before accepting your offer, sir. You are an idol who is taking a break from his career and went hiding. I understand.”
Jungkook lets out a deep breath, smiling, “I am glad you get it.”
“The urge to run away from judgemental eyes and opinions?” Taehyung leans against the railing, “I get it.”
Jungkook watches the omega, “also, the love too. Sometimes, the fans, their expectations,” he waves his hand, “I feel guilty for saying this, but it all gets overwhelming.”
Taehyung looks like he agrees, he gestures towards the staircase, “take some rest, sir. I will leave you to it.”
Jungkook cannot hold himself back, he blurts out, “what do you do, Taehyung? You live here alone?”
Taehyung does not flinch or get angry as Jungkook expected.
The omega nods, eyes trailing over the living room, “my parents gave me this farmhouse when they cut me off from their lives for getting pregnant.”
His hand comes to rest on his belly, “now, I just rent this place and work in the farm to earn my meals.”
Jungkook blinks, “oh.”
Jungkook bites back the other question, and Taehyung looks like he guessed it. He lets out a deep breath, the cold air making it look like smoke coming out of his lips.
“The father bailed on us,” Taehyung does not cower or look away, “the moment he came to know about the baby.”
Jungkook swallows, the sudden burst of anger for a faceless person filling him up. His face probably gives him away.
“I do not need him,” Taehyung is not emotional when he says it, “I am doing fine on my own.”
Jungkook nods, “I am proud of you for that. It's his loss, really.”
Taehyung looks a little pale, his lips parting around silence. Jungkook is not sure what to say next.
“Thank you,” Taehyung gives a small nod, then he gestures towards the stair again, “don't let me hog your time. Please.”
Jungkook knows when to take his leave. He does.
Taehyung goes to the kitchen, looking over the soup he is making for the guest. He starts to plate the warm bread while he waits for the soup and thinks about the alpha's words.
Since he got pregnant, no one told him it's the alpha's loss. No one told him he should be proud.
Taehyung butters the breads and thinks how his own parents looked so mortified and disappointed. How they did not think twice before asking him to leave. Come and stay here. Where his grandparents took their last breaths. Their home, where Taehyung grew up till he was a teenager.
He looks at their pictures on the wall. Two people who always had his back. Now that they are gone, Taehyung still feels like they have his back. In this cottage.
Autumns has a lot of his memories, and he is glad to be here than the roads of Seoul. As he thought he would be.
He pours the mushroom soup in a bowl and plates it all on a tray before he goes over to the small door of the food elevator. He opens it and puts the food in there before sending it upstairs. He rings the bell next, letting his tenant know that the food is there in the elevator.
Taehyung sits down with his salad, munching on them while he watches the rain pour outside.
“Hey, what's that sound?”
Taehyung jumps, looking over at the door of the kitchen to see the alpha. He curses mentally.
“It is the ring for food,” he explains, “in the food elevator.”
Jungkook looks at the door, eyes wide, “oh, you have a dumbwaiter?”
Taehyung makes a face, “I don't like calling it that.”
Jungkook blinks and then coughs, cheeks a little tinted, “sorry, that's, yeah. It's a stupid name.”
Taehyung smiles, “go and have the welcome brunch.”
Jungkook looks at the staircase and back at the omega, “if you do not mind,” he makes a face, “can I eat here? I mean,” he hurries to explain, “I have been surrounded with so many people all the time. Now, it feels a little weird being all alone so suddenly. You know?”
Taehyung hums in agreement, “I do. I understand. Yes, please,” he points at the other chair, “have a seat and enjoy your meal.”
Jungkook holds his hand up when Taehyung tries to get off the chair to bring Jungkook's food.
“You eat,” the alpha points, “I got mine. Relax.”
They sit across from each other, eyes on one another. Beside them is a vast window. The glass of the window is foggy due to the rain and their soft voices fill up the room, so the sound of the rain does not get inside. Both of them are not sure how time passes by.
Taehyung gets up when he looks at the clock, “I have to get the ducks back home from the lake before nightfall. Also, see the stable and barn. I will see you for dinner. Yes?”
Jungkook gets up too, “if it is not too much, can I come with you?”
Taehyung breathes out, “sure.”
Jungkook follows Taehyung outside, watching the omega go from one place to another. He notices the work the omega does, getting a little worried.
“All these works,” Jungkook pushes his hands in his pockets, “with your pregnancy, you don't think you shouldn't do it by yourself?”
Taehyung shakes his head, “I have two helps. They went to the city to get some supplies for the farm and to sell the vegetables to clear out the storage,” he smiles at his hands, “also, I like to spend time with these animals. They are like my friends now.”
“I can help you,” Jungkook offers, “come on. Show me what you need help with!”
Taehyung gives him a look that clearly speaks of his disbelief, “you? No! Please, it's okay! I,” he shrugs, “I don't want to work my tenant.”
Jungkook waves his hand, “nonsense! Come on. I can help!”
They spend the rest of the evening in the farm, working side by side, before Taehyung invites Jungkook for some tea. Jungkook helps Taehyung make dinner that night, ignoring the omega's protests with his wide smiles and constant assurance that it is alright. He is fine.
Jungkook opens his sleepy eyes, looking at the door and back at the clock beside his head. It is barely six. He frowns, sitting up.
A man walks in, smile too wide for the morning, “rise and shine! It's bed-tea time,” he says, “here!”
Jungkook watches the man stand and stare at him, and he nods. Then the man is picking up the folded wooden table and placing it across his legs before placing the tray over it.
“The breakfast will be served downstairs,” he says, “or, you can get it through the elevator.”
“And, you are?” Jungkook makes his tea, stirring the spoon in the liquid and taking a small sip.
The guy gives a wide smile, “Jimin. Park Jimin.”
Jungkook nods, “nice to meet you, Park Jimin. Where is Taehyung?”
The man jerks his head towards the door, “out for a walk.”
Taehyung watches the sunrise. His hands in his pockets and his eyes on the orange hue that spread across the skyline. He does not realize his eyes are teary until he feels them against his cheeks. He wipes his eyes, looking down at his shoes with a deep breath.
“Look, little one,” Taehyung whispers, more to himself than the baby, “we passed another day. Papa promised you we will get through this. One day at a time. Another sunrise is here.”
There is no answer except for the birds, and Taehyung savours the wintry breeze of the morning.
It is cold, Taehyung blows out air and watches the smoke. He slowly walks up to the bench by the lake, sitting down and trying to relax. He has not slept well. The nightmares keep coming back.
Kunwoo leaving, his parents closing their doors on him... his baby leaving him.
“I will give you a good life,” Taehyung promises, ignores how hoarse his voice is, “papa will do everything to get you a good life. I promise.”
He looks at the lake, the ducks swimming with their ducklings following right behind. Taehyung wipes his eyes, feeling exhausted.
He gets up. He does not let those worries drag him down when it's morning. He busies himself with work and lets the moonlight see the broken version of him. When, he hopes, his baby is asleep in him. He is not sure, but he tries to think like that.
He goes to the poultry to collect the eggs from the coop. Taehyung opens the gate for the hens to go and eat while he picks up the basket and collects the eggs from the coop.
Taehyung drops one egg, watches the yolk smear across his boots. He looks up.
Jungkook's face contorts with regret, and he winces visibly, “bad morning...?”
Taehyung cannot help the smile that quirks the corners of his lips, “only because I dropped one egg? No,” he starts to pick up the other ones, “good morning.”
Jungkook's smile is too warm for him.
They remind Taehyung of summer days. When the sun is warm and comfortable on his skin. He watches the alpha look at the coop, all curious and wide-eyed. Taehyung points at his basket, showing the alpha those eggs.
“Got too many,” Taehyung informs, “ready for sale.”
Jungkook walks with him and ignores Taehyung's protest when he takes the basket.
“You are our guest,” Taehyung waves his hand, “I can do this.”
“I know you can do this,” Jungkook shrugs, “you did this till now. But,” he pauses, smiles, “I am here now. Let me help.”
“𝐼 𝑎𝑚 𝘩𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑤. 𝐿𝑒𝑡 𝑚𝑒 𝘩𝑒𝑙𝑝.”
Taehyung freezes. Those lines. He yearned for Kunwoo to come back some day and say those exact words.
He prayed for his parents to show up one day and say those exact words.
No one did. Taehyung stopped hoping or praying.
“Thank you,” Taehyung takes the basket from Jungkook with a small smile, “but, I don't want to ruin my habit for a few months' luxury.”
Jungkook's smile dims at that, but the alpha follows him side by side, “it is not a luxury. It's sharing the workload with a friend.”
“Friends?” Taehyung voices the word, “I only have two. Jimin and,” he waves at the one who is working in the field, “Jin hyung.”
Jungkook waves at the man too, “I met him this morning when I came out of the cottage. Well,” he turns to Taehyung, “I am your third friend, then.”
Taehyung can't help but reciprocate the alpha's smile. Jungkook has something sweet about him. Those wide, round eyes are warm. Too warm. Taehyung shivers when a wintry breeze passes by him. Jungkook steps up to him.
“Maybe you should go inside,” the alpha suggests, “it's cold.”
Taehyung makes breakfast that morning, while Jungkook serves it. The omega watches Jungkook walk out to serve it to Jin in the field and Jimin at the barn. He comes back to eat with Taehyung.
“Tell me how is city life,” Taehyung wonders, “I left five years ago.”
Jungkook looks at him, “what?”
Taehyung nods, finds himself sharing those memories with Jungkook over a cup of tea.
“I studied agriculture in SNU,” Taehyung takes a sip of the tea, “passed five years ago.”
Jungkook watches him, “why didn't you try for jobs there?”
Taehyung looks down at himself, “I came back here to help my grandparents when grandma broke her ankle,” he shrugs, “Kunwoo was here,” he points at the house across from the cottage, “he was my childhood neighbour.”
Jungkook looks at the house, “so… he left?”
Taehyung ignores how talking about the alpha still hurts and hums.
“He was my childhood crush,” he smiles at the memories, “he was two years older than me. I never thought something can happen between us until I came here five years ago. Then, this,” he points at his belly.
“You dated for five years?” Jungkook blinks, “and, then he left? Just like that?”
Taehyung thinks back about that morning, sighs, “he sat me down by the lake and told me he got a job offer. He is leaving,” he swallows, “I was excited, you know? For him. For us. The pup.”
“I told him we can work this through, and he agreed,” Taehyung grips the cup of tea, “he agreed, and we kissed before I bid him goodbye,” Taehyung wipes his eyes furiously, “the coward didn't have the guts to cut things off face to face. He left a voice message a few days later.”
“He sold the house,” Taehyung sniffles, looking down at his quivering hands around the cup, “you know what hurt the most?” he looks at Jungkook, “he didn't think I was important enough to cut it off face to face. I was not important, our baby was not important.”
“You know what's more pathetic?” Taehyung furrows his brows, his vision blurring with tears, “I think... if he comes back,” he wipes his eyes, “apologizes,” he looks at Jungkook, “I will still take him back. Because,” Taehyung breathes out, “the baby, Jungkook.”
“He can give the baby a good future,” Taehyung whispers, “he is a software engineer. His first pay cheque, if he was not lying, was good. He can be a great support.”
“What about you?” Jungkook wonders, his eyes are warm and glistening now, “would 'you' want him still?”
Taehyung has no answer for that. He has spent sleepless nights thinking about that. He is still nowhere near the answer.
He smiles, “the jury is still out on that one.”
Jungkook gives him a small nod, “a baby's life will be better with one loving parent than two fighting ones.”
Taehyung waves his hand, resting his chin on his palm, “enough of me. Tell me about you. What is an idol's life like? Do you have a lover? Do I have to sign a NDA for all this?”
Jungkook laughs, “no, just,” he sips his tea, “it's hectic and... lonely. Painfully lonely.”
“You are one of the biggest stars,” Taehyung frowns, “how are you lonely?”
Jungkook looks at him, “you know, I can be poetic and tell you how stars are so far away from each other, and they are just as lonely.”
Taehyung's eyes wander over his face, “we still look up to them.”
“I have three friends,” Jungkook counts on his fingers, “Yoongi hyung, Namjoon hyung and Hoseok or hobi hyung,” he smiles at Taehyung, “Yoongi hyung got married last week, and he is on his honeymoon right now.”
Taehyung smiles, “oh? The rappers? Cypher? Right?”
Jungkook arches a brow, “you are a fan?”
Taehyung snorts, shaking his head, “no. Jimin is,” he points over his shoulder, “he is a huge fan of the Cyphers and AgustD is his bias,” Taehyung chuckles, “he was so excited to meet you this morning too. You know?”
Jungkook looks at Taehyung, “did you hear my stuff?”
Taehyung arches a brow, “are you trying to sell yourself?”
Jungkook laughs, waving his hand, “no. I hope you don't. They are not that good,” he looks down at his hands, “not the songs I would play for myself.”
Taehyung reaches to squeeze Jungkook's hand in his, “don't put yourself down like that.”
Jungkook looks at Taehyung's hand and back at the omega, “I just...” he shrugs, “I wish I could be something more, you know? More than those bubblegum pop songs. Something meaningful.”
They both are no sure how that chit-chat of the breakfast time lasted that long that day. They both are not sure how it turned to be a routine.
Every morning, Taehyung walks out of his room to find Jungkook in the kitchen, with his bed tea and a warm smile. Every day.
Every day they spend their breakfast together before Taehyung goes to his work and Jungkook explores the village. Then they make lunch, or, if Jin is making lunch, they help. All four of them sit near the barn, on a blanket and play cards throughout the afternoons.
“Can't sleep?” Taehyung asks one night, walking out in the living room to see Jungkook by the fireplace with his guitar and notebook.
The alpha gives him a welcoming smile, “just,” he plucks the strings, “there is this tune in my head, but the words are not coming.”
Taehyung is too heavy to sit on the floor now. He sits on the couch, waves off Jungkook's concerned suggestions for him to go back to bed.
“I can't sleep either,” Taehyung sighs, “my feet are too swollen, and they hurt.”
Jungkook gets up, “wait here.”
He goes to his room.
The alpha comes back to go to the kitchen. Taehyung watches the alpha heat up some milk and plate some nuts before he comes back. On his other hand, he holds a cup.
“What are you doing?” Taehyung wonders.
Jungkook holds out the milk, “my brother gave birth last year. Take it.”
Taehyung takes the glass of milk and the plate of nuts. He watches the alpha settle on the carpet beside his feet.
“Shit! What are you doing?!” Taehyung jumps when Jungkook takes one of his feet on his lap.
“Warm oil massage,” Jungkook shrugs, “will help you sleep. Come on.”
“It's okay, I can-” Taehyung's protests fall to deaf ears because Jungkook pours the oil in his hands and starts anyway.
Taehyung relaxes after a few seconds, taking a tentative sip of the milk and munching on one nut.
“You are spoiling me,” he sighs, “feeling cosy.”
Jungkook's face is glowing as the flames of the fireplace reach him, “try to sleep now.”
Taehyung blinks back sleep, shaking his head, “don't want to,” he waves his hand, “I get...” he yawns, closing his eyes to whisper, “nightmares.”
Jungkook whispers, “I will shoo them away.”
Jungkook picks up his guitar, “can the baby hear me now?”
Taehyung hums, “well, I don't know, but I talk to her.”
Jungkook gives him a glance and nods, “okay, then.”
Taehyung falls asleep that night to Jungkook softly crooning a lullaby, his guitar keeping them company.
Taehyung is scared of habits. People think they can easily break out of those habits but when the time comes, they find themselves shackled to those and when they break, it hurts to adjust to the new life.
As he watches Jungkook slowly seep into his life, he feels that fear.
The alpha's things are everywhere in the cottage. Not just on the first floor. Jungkook has a cup for himself that is not for those regular tenants. The alpha has a special breakfast menu that he makes for Taehyung almost every day. He accompanies Taehyung on his morning walks.
Jungkook sits with him on that wooden bench where Taehyung bid Kunwoo goodbye. He feeds those ducklings and talks to the baby while doing so.
“You will look like them,” Jungkook laughs, “following your papa around the barn.”
That icy walls around Taehyung's heart quiver.
Jungkook never adds himself in those future moments but they are so vivid and colourful, it scares Taehyung.
“You should buy some overalls,” Jungkook tells one day, “imagine her waddling around in her overalls.”
Taehyung drops an egg, steps on it in his hurry, “right.”
Taehyung is not sure when it becomes a habit for Jungkook to come to his room. The alpha sits at the edge of his bed and talks to him until Taehyung falls asleep.
Taehyung realizes one morning, his nest smells like Jungkook. He throws up in the sink with that knowledge in mind.
It has been two months since Jungkook is here now. Taehyung is not sure where and how the time went by so fast, but it's winter now.
Jungkook came in his life on an autumn morning.
He will leave during the winter.
Taehyung looks at the leaves falling from the tree and sighs.
“He looks like he belongs here.”
One day, Jimin says, arms wrapped around Taehyung from behind and chin resting on Taehyung's shoulder.
Taehyung leans against the person he trusts fully to hold him rooted, “like a season. Will pass by with the last leaf.”
“Spring will come then,” Jimin nuzzles closer to him, whispers against Taehyung's ear, “the ice will melt.”
Taehyung chuckles, shrugs out of Jimin's hold, “some don't survive the winter, mimi,” he looks at the omega, “some die under the wintry snow.”
He goes inside the cottage.
Winter brings snowfalls and some snowfalls turn into storms.
Taehyung is used to those, he hears the news and goes to the barn to secure it before he moves to the poultry. After everything, he comes inside the cottage.
“We are prepared for the snowstorm,” he tells himself.
But… he is not prepared. Not prepared at all.
When he hears the knock on the door, and he watches Jungkook go to open it while he sits on the couch with Jungkook's guitar, he is not prepared for Kunwoo to walk in with the freezing wintry breeze.
“I am here now. I want to try.”
Autumn creeps up on Taehyung slowly, engulfing him in a sense of comfort that his poor heart gets used to, and then the last leaf falls. The winter shocks him every time with its bleak, rough, and freezing demeanour.
Today he sees those seasons side by side. Jungkook and Kunwoo.
He watches how winter turns everything cold or how the autumn gives way for the winter and silently leaves one's life.
Jungkook is his autumn today, and he stands there, immobile, while Kunwoo rushes forward to pull Taehyung in a tight hug. Apologies falling from his mouth.
“I am sorry,” Kunwoo chants, between sobs, “god, Tae, I am so sorry. I tried to stay away,” the alpha smells stressed, “I tried to forget you and the baby, but I just could not do it. When you,” he pulls back to look Taehyung in the eyes.
“When you told me you were expecting, I got so scared,” Kunwoo cups Taehyung's face, his hands cold, “I was not ready. I could not even tell you. I love you so much,” Kunwoo sniffles, “I could not look you in the eyes and say that I wanted an out, because I did not. But...”
“The baby was too much for me,” Kunwoo looks like he is in pain, his eyes glistening, “it felt like suddenly there was too much going on and I got terrified. I thought I will be okay, you know?” he forces a smile eon his lips, “without you. Turns out,” the alpha cries, “I won't.”
“I missed you,” Kunwoo rests his forehead against Taehyung's warm one and his eyes focus on Taehyung's belly, “I missed our pup too.”
Jungkook takes a step back. There is a sense of pain that he does not quite grasp, but it's there, like a buzzing under his skin. It hurts.
Jungkook laughs at his own stupid thoughts while he watches Kunwoo's lips leave behind soft kisses all over Taehyung's face. He watches how Taehyung is crying too, tears soaking up his cheeks that the alpha wipes carefully. They look cosy, warm.
They look like a family.
So the autumn, as always, gives in to make way for the winter.
Jungkook turns on his feet to walk upstairs. He closes the door behind himself and leans against it. A sigh escapes him.
“Why do you hurt?” Jungkook asks himself, confused, “what were you expecting from this?”
He is not sure if he wants the answer. So, he goes to sit on his bed and dials a number.
“Hey, champ, it's too late. What's up?”
That groggy voice makes Jungkook realize just how much he missed that man.
“Joonie hyung,” he grips the phone, “I should go back to Seoul.”
Namjoon sounds a lot more alert, “bub, you still have a month off. Why are you suddenly changing the plan?”
Jungkook is not sure. He shrugs, looking down at his hand.
“I want to go home,” he whispers, “I was starting to forget where I belong. I want to go home now.”
“You don't sound happy about it,” Namjoon observes, “are you sure?”
Jungkook hums, “yeah. I can spend the last month in Seoul.”
Namjoon is quiet for a few seconds before he agrees, “I will talk to your manager then. A car will be with you in a day.”
Jungkook cuts the call.
Taehyung is not sure what he was expecting after that night. He told Kunwoo that they will discuss this the next day and asked him to leave. He did not sleep the night, coming out to see Jungkook in the kitchen. As usual.
Taehyung stands there, his eyes focused on Jungkook.
What surprises him is not the alpha's presence. But, the fact that he feels utter relief seeing the alpha there. Taehyung stands there, hands shoved in his overall's pockets and his eyes watering, while he watches Jungkook in the kitchen.
It feels like spring around him.
But, it is not. Not when Jungkook turns to look at him and the smile Jungkook gives him is nothing but a practised one. Not when Jungkook sits him down and tells him he has to leave.
“There is an offer I couldn't deny,” Jungkook munches his toast, “I have to leave for Seoul.”
Taehyung takes Jungkook's hand in his, “but, you paid for three months.”
He cannot voice it.
Jungkook smiles down at their joined hands, squeezes the grip.
“Keep it,” the alpha shrugs, “your friend's gift for your baby.”
Taehyung holds his breath, “oh.”
Taehyung wishes he could just hold Jungkook's hand and ask him to stay. Because, he got used to the alpha's presence. He got used to their morning walks. Their banters while Taehyung collects eggs. The two of them sitting on that wooden bench. He got used to Jungkook.
“This is why the tenant stays on the first floor and I on the ground,” Taehyung forces a laugh out of himself, wiping his eyes, “shit, I will miss you so much, kook.”
Jungkook watches him, “you told me you don't make habits.”
“I don't,” Taehyung shrugs, “you are an exception.”
Taehyung swallows, “Kunwoo said he will be back today to know about my decision. He wants to be a part of the baby's life. He wants,” he looks down at his hands, “wants us to mate as soon as possible.”
Jungkook looks at his plate, the breakfast tastes bland, “I see.”
“He does not want the baby to come into this world alone, you know?” Taehyung leans against the counter, “told me, we should mate before the birth. The kid will have a family then. He,” Taehyung chuckles, “he painted quite a picture of our future last night.”
“Tell me he is wrong,” Taehyung smiles, “tell me, come on,” he squeezes Jungkook's hand in his, “tell me he is an ass for just storming back in my life like that. Tell me-”
“You prayed for him to come back some day,” Jungkook whispers, “you wanted him to come back some day.”
“He did,” Jungkook smiles at his plate, “I think, as he said, he got scared. He came back, though. Had the guts to own up to his mistakes. Apologized. I think, we all,” he looks at Taehyung, “deserve a second chance. No?”
Taehyung nods mutely, “I think we do deserve that.”
Taehyung is not sure what he was expecting, really. He knows Jungkook is right. His future lies ahead of him. As the fog of winter lifts, Taehyung can see the spring coming. Maybe Kunwoo is that spring and not the wintry storm Taehyung is thinking him to be. Maybe.
Taehyung watches the alpha in front of him. Jungkook eats his breakfast slowly, eyes downcast and jaw moving slightly. The morning sun rays cast a soft glow on the alpha's face. Taehyung watches and thinks...
What was he thinking? Why was he so eager to know Jungkook's opinion?
“I like you, you know?” Jungkook says then, voice hoarse, “as much as you can like someone in two months? I do,” the alpha turns to face Taehyung fully, holds his both hands, “and, that's why I have to leave before I turn selfish and say something stupid like run away with me.”
Taehyung chokes on a breath, his eyes going wide, “wh-what?”
Jungkook hums, thumbs caressing Taehyung's knuckles, “two months are not enough to know a person. Hell, I don't think two years are enough either. But,” he gives Taehyung a pointed stare, “I know you pretty well, and,”
“I know you want this life,” Jungkook looks around, “a calm life with your alpha and your baby. A family of three,” he swallows, “my life is anything but this. I,” he closes his eyes, “I am not a guy an omega would marry. I don't blame them for that, either. So, that's that.”
“Why are we discussing this?” Jungkook laughs, getting up, “shit, forget it, okay? I can't believe I just said that. You already have so much on your plate, and you don't need me piling up on it.”
“I like you too, Jungkook.”
Jungkook freezes, his eyes focused on his plate.
“Like a friend,” Jungkook's voice tilts towards humour, “go on, add it. Friendzone me.”
Taehyung smiles, tears glistening in his eyes, “no, you idiot. Not like a friend. Just…” he sniffles, “shit, Jungkook.”
Jungkook turns to face Taehyung, “the baby.”
Taehyung hugs himself, “the baby.”
Jungkook goes to place the dishes in the sink, blinking back tears, “there is a but. No?”
Taehyung looks at the alpha's back, thinking, “we are not teenagers, Jungkook. We can't be drastic like that. We barely know each other for two months.”
“Like slowly loses its charm,” Jungkook agrees, “in the real world, love turns into something else, forget like.”
“Right?” Taehyung shakes his head, “it will turn sour fast, and I don't,” he swallows, “I don't want to lose you when it does.”
Jungkook agrees, “neither do I.”
“I don't want to lose you,” Taehyung murmurs, “I don't want us to be strangers with too many memories. Ever.”
“That would be painful,” Jungkook gives Taehyung a soft smile, “so, let's not.”
“Let's be friends instead,” Taehyung offers, “yeah?”
Jungkook swallows, “yeah.”
So, with that settled, Jungkook packs his bags while Taehyung invites Kunwoo over to talk to him.
By the time the car is at Autumns' doorstep, Jungkook is ready to leave. He walks down the staircase and smiles at Jin and Jimin. He hugs them both before moving to Taehyung.
“See you soon,” Jungkook mumbles against Taehyung's shoulder, “Tae.”
Taehyung hums, “yeah. See you soon.”
“Take care of the baby,” Jungkook pulls back, “and, of yourself. Don't tire yourself out.”
Taehyung nods, his eyes warm, “you too. Call me every day, yeah?”
Jungkook gives a small nod before he goes to the car. He gets inside and waves at them before the car starts. Taehyung looks teary, wiping his eyes while he tries to smile at him, and Jungkook does just the same.
Just like that, he is leaving Autumns far behind.
“You should have courted him,” Yoongi sips his champagne, “come on, kookie. You know it's messed up.”
Jungkook rolls his eyes, “how is it messed up? Kunwoo was just scared. Anyone will be if they find out they are becoming a dad out of the blue!”
Yoongi makes a face.
“You are literally saying that in the party of me finding out I will be a dad,” the alpha gives Jungkook a pointed look, “come on. Be real. That guy is an ass.”
Jungkook looks at where Yujun is and shrugs, “he is not you.”
“Clearly,” Yoongi snorts, “I am not a quitter.”
“Forget about me,” Jungkook nudges Yoongi, playfully wiggling his eyebrows, “tell me. You knocked him up during the honeymoon, I see!”
Yoongi snorts, eyes following Yujun with clear adoration, “could not take my hands off of him.”
Hoseok winces, “ew, here we go again!”
Namjoon chuckles, “let him be, hoba. He is happy.”
They start to bicker and Jungkook smiles. He watches how Yoongi pulls Yujun on his lap when the omega comes over. They share a tender kiss, Yoongi's hand resting on Yujun's stomach lovingly.
Jungkook's heart aches.
He goes out on the balcony to dial Taehyung's number. It rings, and Jungkook wonders if the omega went to sleep.
He is about to cut the call when Taehyung picks it up.
“Hey, sorry,” Taehyung sounds breathless, “was in the shower.”
Jungkook hums, “did I disturb you?”
“No,” Taehyung murmurs, “you did not. In fact,” he chuckles, “I am free.”
Jungkook arches a brow, “what do you mean?”
Taehyung lets out a deep breath, “told Kunwoo off, Kook,” his voice sounds peaceful, “told him he can take it up to the court, but he has no right over my pup.”
Taehyung sounds calm, “I have learnt the hard way, kook, my worth. I will not let him treat me like a baggage that he can throw away when he feels like it and pick up when he wants to. I am on my own and I think,” the omega pauses, “lately, I didn't want him back out of love.”
“I just wanted him back for the validation,” Taehyung mushes, “I wanted my parents' and his validation. When you told me you are proud of me that day, I realized I just wanted to hear it from them. I was desperate to hear it from them. But,” Taehyung sighs, “I also realized...”
“It matters if it comes from a person I care about, respect, love,” Taehyung snorts, “turns out, I don't feel any of those emotions for them anymore. So, it was easy after that. Cutting them off.”
Jungkook is not sure how long he was holding that breath, he lets it out, “oh?”
“Oh?” Taehyung chuckles, “that's all you have to say?”
“I want to say I miss you,” Jungkook watches the street from the rooftop of Yoongi's apartment building, “I want to say, shit, I miss you so much. I miss the baby,” he gulps, “I wish you were here.”
“You do?” Taehyung asks.
“I do,” Jungkook leans against the railing of the roof, eyes on the moon, “how stupid would it be for you to come here?”
“What?” Taehyung laughs.
Jungkook smiles, “I mean it,” he watches the moon, “spend the last two months of the pregnancy here, Tae. With me.”
“Are you out of your mind?” Taehyung wonders, “there...? In Seoul?”
Jungkook nods, “yes, listen,” he combs his hair back, “I have top class facilities here. You will be safe, and the childbirth will be perfect. I can take care of you here, and-”
“Why?” Taehyung whispers, “why?”
“Because,” Jungkook smiles at the moon, “I have written four songs during my stay in the Autumns and,” he closes his eyes, “they are all approved. Because, my producers said, they sounded like love,” Jungkook lets out a shaky breath, “and, I wrote them for you.”
“I know it's too soon for that word,” Jungkook whispers, his eyes tracing the moon, “I am fully aware that you are free to not ever feel the same. But,” he chuckles, “I had to let you know that, Kim Taehyung,” Jungkook's voice is hoarse, “you are that easy to fall in love with.”
“And, you are worth that leap of faith,” Jungkook wipes his eyes, “worth my fear of rejection and commitment. You are worth my love and more. So much more.”
The line is too quiet. Jungkook is not sure if Taehyung cut it off, but then he hears the omega's suppressed whimper.
“You are not just confessing over a damn phone call,” Taehyung sniffles, “you absolute fool.”
Jungkook breathes out a short laugh, “this is me giving you a chance to escape the awkwardness of rejection. You can hang up on me. Cut the call and I will get it. Yeah?”
Taehyung hums, “your phone company will thank me for the bill you will pay now, because,” he sounds fragile, “I am not hanging up.”
Jungkook lets out a sob, “you are not?”
Taehyung sounds pained, “no. I am not. I am not hanging up on you. I am never hanging up on you.”
“So,” Jungkook waves his hand, “you will come to Seoul?”
Taehyung hums, “on one condition.”
“That is?” Jungkook wonders.
“We will take this slow,” Taehyung smiles, “we already rushed so much. Let's take this slow and get to know each other to the fullest before anything else.”
“Yes, okay,” Jungkook agrees, “okay, I am fine with that.”
Taehyung sounds relaxed then, “okay.”
“So, you are coming here?” Jungkook asks.
“Yes,” Taehyung hums, “I will come to Seoul.”
Relationships are hard. Jungkook knew that. But, it gets easier when you are sharing it with the person who understands you. Who feels like you do.
Jungkook is an idol. Taehyung is not used to the glamour of Jungkook's lifestyle. He is not used to the backlashes either.
After Areum is born, Jungkook introduces her and Taehyung to the world through a photograph of their hands, holding Areum's feet together.
Taehyung is never introduced to the media publicly but Jungkook does not hide him either. They go on dates, takes Areum out for strolls.
They move in together when Taehyung finds a job as the assistant lecturer at the SNU. Taehyung hires people to take care of the farm, and they visit it time to time.
They are not sure how six months pass by since they started dating.
Jungkook takes Taehyung back to the Autumns when the leaves start to change colour again.
The alpha proposes one morning. Both of them sitting side by side on that wooden bench by the lake with Areum in the stroller.
Jungkook pulls out the ring and holds it between them.
“I found you during the winter of my life, Tae,” Jungkook murmurs, he looks at Taehyung, the omega's face soft with the sun rays, “you helped me reach my spring. So, today,” he takes Taehyung's hand, “I am asking you to spend all the seasons with me for the rest of our lives.”
Taehyung's eyes glisten with tears, “you are such a sap,” he wipes his eyes, “and, I am an idiot who loves every bit of it,” he nods, “yeah. I will spend every season of my life with you. Yes.”
Jungkook slowly pushes the ring up Taehyung's ring finger, watching it glow.
They sit there, side by side. Their hands held between them.
The last autumn leaf floats with the wind, coming to land on their joined hands. They both watch it and share a smile.
They don't fear the coming winter anymore. They have each other now.
That's all. I really wanted to write my own comfort fic that I wanted to come back to, time to time. Here it is.
See you in another story, in another Aamyungverse