Onsra; a #taekookau
“Isn't it Taehyung?” Jimin sips his drink and points the edge towards the guy on the dance floor.
Jungkook ignores Jimin's words, his eyes fixed on the guy sitting almost on top of his lap.
“Isn't he Taegeun's younger brother?” Jin wonders aloud.
Jungkook's eyes are immediately over to Jin and Jimin before he looks at the dance floor.
“Which one?” he wonders, eyes scanning the crowd.
“The leather jacket,” Jimin narrates, playing with the straw of his drink, “white shirt.”
Jungkook's eyes zeroes in on the guy, “oh.”
Jungkook takes a sip of his own beer, rolling his tongue inside his mouth while his eyes stay on the guy, Taehyung.
“Wasn't he supposed to be in Paris?” Jin wonders, “he is studying there. No?”
“No, I heard he shifted,” Jimin shrugs, “after their father's death. I guess.”
Jungkook ignores his friends' words. All he can think about is Taegeun, standing in Jungkook's bedroom with a disturbed expression on his face.
'It was just a fling, Jungkook,' his voice rings in Jungkook's ears, 'if you caught feelings, how's it my fault?!'
Jungkook looks at Taehyung and sees Taegeun's wedding. With his own elder brother. A wedding he was the best man of.
Jungkook takes a long gulp of the beer.
“Why wasn't he present for Taegeun's wedding?” Jin wonders.
“He had finals,” Jimin whispers, “remember Taegeun said?”
Jungkook swirls his tongue behind his teeth, jaw locking when Taehyung laughs. There is something eerie about Taehyung. He doesn't look like Taegeun at all. Yet, there is this familiarity that Jungkook just cannot unsee.
Jungkook gets up from his seat, ignoring his friends.
Jungkook walks straight up to the bar, ordering himself another beer. He sits on the stool, eyes glued on the bartender, who leaves the glass in front of him.
“One Piña colada, please.”
Jungkook looks over and his grip on the glass tightens, eyes snapping back to his drink.
“Uhh... hi,” Taehyung turns to Jungkook, eyes squinting, “are you...” he leans closer to examine Jungkook's face and then his eyes widen, “aren't you Jungkook?”
Jungkook winces, looking at the guy with a small nod of his head, “yeah.”
Taehyung offers him a wide grin, “Hi!”
“My brother married yours,” Taehyung has a friendly smile on his lips, “I have seen the wedding videos and photos,” he waves his hands as he talks, “I didn't see you once I moved here though. You don't live with your family.”
Jungkook chews his cheek, “yeah, I live alone.”
Taehyung's smile dims a little, “Jaehyuk hyung talks about you a lot,” he gives Jungkook an awkward smile, “sorry, am I intruding too much?”
The smile makes Jungkook's skin crawl. The friendliness reminds him of Taegeun. He looks up at Taehyung with a stoic expression.
Jungkook hates how similar the two brothers are in nature. He hates how Taehyung's friendly smile makes something ugly stir in him. He hates how he sees Taegeun when Taehyung stares at him. He sees his broken pieces scattered in that room when Taegeun left that night.
Jungkook shakes his head, “not at all,” he points at the stool next to his, “sit.”
Taehyung does so eagerly, “I just recently moved here. I am not really familiar with anything or anyone?” he chuckles nervously, “sorry if I am coming off very forward. I just...” he shrugs.
“A familiar face somehow,” Taehyung sips his drink, “sorry.”
Jungkook shrugs, “who are you here with?”
Taehyung points at the booth next to Jungkook's, “my senior' birthday. So, his friends threw a party here. I just came because hyung said I look like a lost kitty, so...”
Jungkook takes another gulp of his beer, “a familiar face is all it takes for you to take your guards down, huh?”
Taehyung smiles, a little embarrassed, “hey, you sound like my hyung,” he looks at his drink, “he is always worrying about me. Says I am too good for this world.”
Jungkook's eyes trace over Taehyung's side profile, his beer turning lukewarm in his grasp.
“Did Taegeun say something about me?” he wonders.
Taehyung looks a little confused, “that you are Jaehyuk hyung's younger brother…?”
“That's all?” Jungkook wonders, “I see.”
TAGS THAT I FORGOT IN MY HASTE -
- Somewhat friends with benefits
- Unrequited/one-sided pining
- angst with a happy ending
- ambiguous characters in stupid situations
- more tags will be added if the story needs it in the future
Taehyung looks at him, confused, “is there a problem with that?”
Jungkook's rage always blinds his decisions, as Jin and Jimin always tell him. His hurt clouds his mind, and he is yet to forget the wound Taegeun left behind. So, he looks at Taehyung with a shake of his head.
“Not at all,” Jungkook offers Taehyung a small smile, leaning against the counter, “unless,” he arches a playful brow, “you have a problem with me being your brother's brother-in-law?”
Taehyung smiles, wide and warm, “no?” he tilts his head, “that's a comfort, actually.”
“As I said,” Taehyung shrugs, “I know no one here,” he offers Jungkook a small smile, “it's nice to finally meet someone around my age.”
“I am six years younger than Jaehyuk and Taegeun hyung,” Jungkook makes a face.
Taehyung gapes, “so, you are two years younger than me?!”
Jungkook shrugs, getting up from his stool, “does it matter?” he stands in front of Taehyung, with a hand held out, “age?”
Taehyung looks at the offered hand and up at Jungkook with a small smile, “no, I guess.”
Jungkook hums when Taehyung rests his palm on top of his.
Jungkook can feel Jin's disapproving glare at him. He can almost hear Jimin screaming in his head.
He ignores it. It's easy to ignore it all when Taehyung is dancing against him, hands looped around Jungkook's shoulders. Jungkook's hands resting on his hips.
Eyes on each other.
Taehyung is a little taller than Jungkook, making it easier for the elder to loop his arms around Jungkook. Jungkook pulls Taehyung closer when someone moves a little fast behind them, making the elder jostle.
“Sorry,” Taehyung whispers, breathless.
Jungkook shrugs, “happens.”
He notices how Taehyung's eyes flicker down to the lip-piercing and then up to his eyes. He sees how Taehyung licks his own lower lip, maybe without even realizing it.
Jungkook feels the swirl in his chest. Something so primal roaring in him. A sense of vengeance fills him.
Taehyung's hands rest on Jungkook's chest, fingers curling on the black shirt Jungkook wears. Jungkook's fingers dig onto Taehyung's hips, eyes trailing down to Taehyung's lips and up to Taehyung's eyes.
He doesn't move, he lets Taehyung take the step. He lets Taehyung kiss him.
- How is it going? It will hurt a lot, so you all can just flop it and I won't write it. lol
- If it doesn't flop, I will continue tonight at 23:00 IST. Let's see. x
- If you want to support me, here's my kofi : ko-fi.com/aamyungv
☆☆☆ because my readers are masochists and here we are ☆☆☆
“Want to leave?” Jungkook asks against Taehyung's mouth, “I know a place.”
Taehyung's eyes are mirthful, “your bachelor pad?”
Jungkook has a motel in mind. The same motel him and Taegeun used to go to. He looks at Taehyung, he wants to take Taehyung to that same place.
Taehyung is kissing him again, and Jungkok takes a hold of Taehyung's wrist, pulling him out of the crowd. He will face Jin and Jimin tomorrow.
“Where to, sir?” the cab driver asks, looking at them through the mirror. Taehyung looks at Jungkook, a little breathless.
The motel's address is at the tip of his tongue. Jungkook knows the way there like the back of his palm. He looks at the man and feels Taehyung's hand in his.
The last time he went there, it was with Taegeun. On the night they broke it all off. A year-old relationship.
Jungkook still remembers each word Taegeun said to him. Those night outs, long drives, those dates.
'Let's not name it,' Taegeun would say, 'let's just go with the flow, kookie.'
Jungkook still remembers their each date and how Taegeun would insist on not calling them that.
He still remembers Taegeun's breathy moans. Still remembers the taste of Taegeun's kisses. He still remembers how Taegeun looked the night they ended it all.
'I can keep you just as happy!' Jungkook still remembers his own scream, 'I am still a Jeon! I am just as rich-'
'Listen, Jungkook,' Taegeun had a condescending look on his face, 'you are still not getting it! Whatever we had, was just a fling! A series of flings because you are just good in bed,' he had made a face, 'now, stop being so whiny about it! My God!'
Jungkook still can see it.
'I have no one but my brother, Jungkook!' Taegeun had said, 'I need to look after him and secure myself a position in this society! You are too reckless, you are the black sheep of the family! I can't let you ruin my life or my plans! Don't act like a pest!'
“Where are we going?” Taehyung's question breaks Jungkook's trance.
He looks at the man and back at the driver. Then he is narrating the address.
Taehyung squirms closer to him, taking a hold of Jungkook's cheek and turning him for a kiss. Jungkook pulls away.
Taehyung looks at the man and back at Jungkook, “oh, sorry.”
Jungkook never really cared about who is looking. He was never the type to care about other's opinions. But, Taegeun always dodged him in public. Always made it a point to be as far away as possible in front of others.
Jungkook looks at Taehyung. His eyes trace over the man's face, and Taehyung is looking back at him. Those large eyes are a little curious and a little cautious.
Jungkook lets out a breath, pulling Taehyung in for a kiss.
“If you don't mind,” he shrugs, “I don't, either.”
Taehyung's smile is noticeable against Jungkook's lips. The man squirms closer to Jungkook.
“I don't,” Taehyung shrugs, pulling away a little to look at Jungkook, “I am open about my preferences.”
Jungkook arches a brow, “and, am I matching those preferences?”
“Noticed you in hyung's wedding videos and all,” Taehyung bites on his lower lip, eyes a little hooded, “you're very pretty.”
Jungkook feels how his chest tightens at the mention of Taegeun and Jaehyuk's wedding. He hums, pulling Taehyung in for another kiss to change the topic.
The car stops and Taehyung is curiously looking out through the window. Jungkook opens the door of the car and gets out, Taehyung following behind him. Jungkook pays and turns towards Taehyung.
“Where are we?” Taehyung pulls the jacket a little tighter around himself, unsure.
Jungkook takes Taehyung's hand in his, tugging him forward.
“You wanted to see my bachelor pad,” Jungkook pulls Taehyung towards the gate of the building.
Taegeun was never here. He never wanted to because of the high security of this place. In fear of getting caught.
The elder Jeon's secretary didn't want to be seen anywhere near the younger one. Taegeun never wanted to be associated with Jungkook. Now Jungkook knows why. He had captured them both. If Jaehyuk didn't work out, Taegeun would keep it up with Jungkook. He had it all planned.
He wanted to loop at least one Jeon in his trap. The biggest entertainment company of the country and their family is one of the most powerful names too. Taegeun didn't want to lose it.
Jungkook pulls Taehyung in the elevator, pressing the button for the topmost floor.
“I own the topmost floor and the adjacent terrace,” Jungkook crowds Taehyung against the wall of the elevator, kissing down his throat, “you like that, hmm?”
Taehyung's fingers dig onto his back, “I,” he moans, “I don't care, really.”
Jungkook frowns, pulling back, “what?”
Taehyung looks a little dishevelled, breathing a little erratic, affected with whatever Jungkook is doing to him.
He looks at Jungkook with those large eyes and a small shrug, “I mean, I didn't grow up in rich. I don't have the fascination.”
Jungkook blinks, a little confused.
'I can't care less about your status, koo,' Taegeun's words ring in Jungkook's ears and the irritation under his skin intensifies.
The sick feeling of nausea hits him all over again.
Jungkook is thankful that the elevator stops right at that moment and they walk out.
He is furious. At Taegeun. At himself. At Taehyung. For no reason, he is furious at Taehyung, too.
He reminds Jungkook of Taegeun in so many ways, and yet he is not him.
Jungkook opens the door and Taehyung steps inside. Jungkook watches the man look around in fascination.
“Thought,” Jungkook pulls Taehyung to himself, pushing the jacket off of the man, “you were not interested in the place.”
Taehyung chuckles, “hey, it's still a new place. I was just curious.”
“Let's keep that aside for now,” Jungkook works on Taehyung's shirt next.
It's easy to get Taehyung to his bedroom. Taehyung reacts to his touches like he was starving for it. Jungkook is breathless when he sees Taehyung underneath him, stripped bare, welcoming. He takes his time with the guy, opening him up, kissing his moans and whines away...
“Tell me if it hurts,” Jungkook whispers against Taehyung's ear when he finally pushes inside.
Taehyung's arms are wrapped around his shoulders, “you were so cautious,” the man kisses down his shoulder, “you won't hurt me.”
Jungkook feels the words down his spine.
Jungkook pulls back a little to look at Taehyung. The moonlight casts a soft glow on his face. Those eyes are so large and on Jungkook. So trusting. Jungkook finds himself breathless.
How is Taehyung so... Jungkook searches for a word... beautiful?
How is he so beautiful?
He thrusts in Taehyung, slow, building up a tempo, while his eyes stay glued on Taehyung's face. Taehyung never looks away either.
It's silent, except for their breathy moans and groans. The sound of them moving, kissing. Taehyung smiles into their kisses. Jungkook burns inside.
“What's so funny?” Jungkook grunts, sweat building up on his skin.
“Nothing,” Taehyung throws his head back when Jungkook reaches deep in him, “just,” he looks back at Jungkook, “it doesn't feel like a hookup.”
Jungkook can feel the fire under his skin. He can't voice it.
The orgasm hits them at the same time. Both riding it out. Their moans swallowed between kisses.
Jungkook rolls away when done, looking at the ceiling and letting the burning settle in his chest. Taehyung is on his side, still catching his breath. Jungkook feels breathless.
He gets up and cleans himself, brings out a towel for Taehyung too.
“You can shower,” he says, not matching Taehyung's eyes, “the water is loaded.”
Taehyung shakes his head, getting up with a wince, “I will go,” he hesitates, “can you call a cab? I am yet to get the app-”
Jungkook nods, “sure,” he combs his hair back, taking his phone from the bedside table to book the cab.
He risks a glance at Taehyung, and Taehyung is picking up his shirt to wear it. Lips jutted out in a pout as he concentrates on the buttons. Jungkook watches him...
“Where do you stay?” Jungkook wonders.
“I live in my own place,” Taehyung looks at him, “where my father used to live. The quarter is empty after his,” he shrugs, looking away, “hyung worries. Tells me how I should move in with them. They have too many rooms in the house.”
Jungkook grips the phone a little tighter, “so, why don't you?”
Taehyung looks a little uncomfortable, “I mean,” he makes a face, “I can, but,” he winces, “I feel like a charity case. Don't get me wrong, Jaehyuk hyung never made me feel unwelcomed, but I still feel weird.”
“Right,” Jungkook nods, “fill in the address, then.”
He holds out the phone and Taehyung starts typing. Jungkook stands there, in his joggers and nothing else. He takes the phone from Taehyung when the man is done and books a cab.
“It will be here in a few minutes.”
“I will go, then,” Taehyung offers another smile to Jungkook.
Jungkook looks at the guy, watches how tired Taehyung looks, “the cab isn't here yet.”
“I will wait downstairs,” Taehyung waves his hand, “I don't want to overstay.”
“Are you always this cautious?” Jungkook wonders.
“I don't like to be overbearing,” Taehyung looks down at his hands, “sometimes I do it without realizing and when I do realize, I feel awful. So,” he offers Jungkook an apologetic look, “yeah, I should go.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung almost scurry out of the bedroom to leave.
“Hey,” Jungkook follows, reaching to take a hold of Taehyung's wrist to stop him, “maybe,” he looks at where he holds Taehyung, “I should drop you off.”
Taehyung blinks, “huh?”
Jungkook shrugs, “these services are not trustworthy, and it's too late. Let me drop you off.”
Taehyung is a little startled, “you... no, it's okay!” he chuckles nervously, “hey, I have been here for a month or so. I know my way around,” he waves his hand, “also, do you do this for all your hookups?”
Jungkook shakes his head, “but, you are not just a hookup. Are you?”
Taehyung frowns, “huh?”
Jungkook steps forward, “you are Taegeun hyung's brother,” he cups the side of Taehyung's face, “he will be upset if I treat you badly. No?”
Taehyung bites his lower lip, “well, you didn't treat me badly.”
Jungkook's eyes wander over Taehyung's face.
Jungkook gives a lopsided smile to Taehyung, “so, he would be upset if I treat you badly?”
Taehyung lets out a confused chuckle, “well, he has only me as family, and he has always been protective, but,” Taehyung shrugs, “you didn't treat me badly, and I won't tell him anything.”
“Yeah,” Jungkook steps closer to Taehyung, pulling him in for a kiss, “he doesn't need to know, but,” Jungkook's eyes never leave Taehyung's face, “if we,” he joins their hands together, “say, meet again... will you tell him?”
Taehyung looks confused, “meet again?”
Jungkook gives a small nod, “I am not sure if you would want that, Taehyung, but,” he offers a friendly smile to the elder, “I would like to have this again. If, that's not too much to ask?”
Taehyung's cheeks are dusted pink, “why?”
Jungkook thinks, “well, I liked it.”
Taehyung's eyes are a little wider than normal now. His fingers flex in Jungkook's grasp.
“What do you mean-”
Jungkook breathes out a soft chuckle, “we can hook up time to time, no?” he repeats the line and hears it in his head in Taegeun's voice, “I like how you make me feel.”
Taehyung's eyes are filling with the same hope Jungkook felt in his chest when Taegeun said the exact phrase to him. Jungkook feels a sense of satisfaction when Taehyung gives him a shy smile.
“Are you sure?” Taehyung wonders, “wait...” he hesitates, “hyung tell you something?”
“Tell me what?” Jungkook frowns, “about you? No...? Why? What is there to know?”
“I might have pointed you out too many times to him,” Taehyung waves his hand, not looking at Jungkook at all, “he asked if I had a crush on you or something. I think he was worried. So...”
Jungkook gives a small teasing smile to Taehyung, “did you? Have a crush on me?”
“Shut up!” Taehyung swats at Jungkook's chest, “I just thought you were very handsome.”
Jungkook wiggles his brows, “is that so?”
The phone rings and they both look at it and back at each other.
“I will go now,” Taehyung pulls away, “but,” he takes Jungkook's phone and types out his number, “you can call me. If you want.”
There is too much hope in that last sentence. Jungkook looks at the number and nods.
“I will,” he walks Taehyung to the elevator and watches him go.
Jungkook looks at the number and saves it.
He looks at the screen and lets out a deep breath.
“I hope you see how broken people look like, Taegeun,” Jungkook glares at the screen, “you won't look at me, fine, you will see it on the only person you love.”
He walks back to his apartment and closes the door.
Jungkook rips off the bedsheet and throws it into the laundry basket before lying down on the mattress. His eyes on the ceiling.
He closes his eyes and after so many days, he sleeps.
Taehyung chalks it all up as a one-time thing. A hookup and that's it. He doesn't really stop to think about it and goes back to his life. Busy with his new job.
So, it's a little surprising when his phone rings one evening, and it's Jungkook. Taehyung picks it up.
“Hello?” he stares at the compute screen.
“Hey,” Jungkook's voice is a little low, “am I disturbing?”
Taehyung logs out of the computer with a shake of his head, “not at all. I am about to leave the office.”
Jungkook hums, “I was wondering,” he pauses, making Taehyung frown.
“Wondering about what?” Taehyung asks, shoving his things in the bag.
“Would you like to meet?” Jungkook asks, “I am going to this dance showcase where one of my friends is performing. I have an extra pass.”
Taehyung grips the edge of the desk, “oh?”
Jungkook hums, “so?”
Taehyung sucks onto his lower lip, “uhh, are you sure?”
Jungkook chuckles, “well, yeah? Why? Do you have other plans? Then, you can tell me.”
“No, no,” Taehyung hurries, “just...” he closes his eyes, letting out a deep breath, “I didn't think we will meet again.”
Jungkook gives a short laugh, “trust me, Taehyung, you will see me a lot more.”
Taehyung can't help but smile, “that doesn't sound so bad.”
“One day it might,” Jungkook answers right away.
“Huh?” Taehyung frowns, confused.
“Nothing. I will pick you up in a few minutes.”
Taehyung hugs himself while he walks out of the building. His jacket buttoned to protect him from the cool breeze of the night. He looks around, waiting by the gate with his phone in his hand.
Taehyung notices the bike come to stop in front of him. The man takes the helmet off.
Taehyung holds his breath for a second while Jungkook combs his hair back. The younger gives him a small smile of acknowledgement, and something in Taehyung's chest flutter.
He will never tell Jungkook how gorgeous he finds Jungkook. Taehyung offers a small smile of his own.
“Hop on,” Jungkook jerks his head towards the seat, “here,” he holds out a helmet and Taehyung takes it silently.
He holds Jungkook on his shoulder and the man starts his bike.
“You look exhausted,” Jungkook talks over the wind, “let's stop for dinner first, yeah?”
Taehyung doesn't protest. Jungkook drives him to a roadside shop. They order egg rolls. Jungkook turns to face him on the bike, and they share a roll and another bowl of noddles between them.
They barely talk, content in the silence as they finish the food.
“Are you... crying?” Jungkook wonders, eyes a little wide in alarm.
Taehyung wipes his eyes with the back of his head, sniffling, “the food,” he blows a breath out through his mouth, “it was spicy.”
Jungkook stares, “you don't like spicy food?”
Taehyung shakes his head, “no.”
“Could have told me,” Jungkook reaches to wipe Taehyung's eyes, halting midway, “I would ask them-”
“It's okay,” Taehyung waves his hand, “I am fine.”
Jungkook stares at him for a few seconds before the man is facing the front and starting the bike.
Taehyung follows Jungkook inside the venue where the performance is taking place.
Jungkook waves at a guy and Taehyung notices, with wide eyes, how gorgeous that guy is.
“Who is he?” Taehyung asks, feeling a little breathless.
Jungkook chuckles, “Jin hyung. One of my friends.”
“He is gorgeous,” Taehyung murmurs, a little shocked.
He feels an arm loop around his waist then, “hey,” Jungkook speaks near his ear, making Taehyung jump almost, “eyes on me.”
Taehyung turns his head slightly to look at Jungkook. Their faces are inches apart. Eyes locked.
Taehyung feels a little winded, his eyes flickering from Jungkook's eyes to his lips.
“I am here to watch the performance,” Taehyung whispers, “so, can't really keep my eyes on you.”
Jungkook arches a brow, “well, then, keep your mind on me.”
Taehyung snorts, “how so?”
Before Jungkook can say anything, Jin is calling them. Telling them to hurry up. Jungkook takes a hold of Taehyung's hand and pulls him towards the seat.
Taehyung settles, “hi, I am Taehyung,” he waves at Jin who is sitting on Jungkook's other side.
Jin's throat bobs, “hi.”
Taehyung focuses on the stage when the host announces the next performance, Park Jimin. He cannot help but gawk at the man as he starts to perform.
“He is so graceful,” Taehyung feels breathless, “my, god!”
“Yeah,” Jungkook hums, “he is really good.”
Taehyung nods, mesmerized.
Jungkook watches Taehyung's eyes glued on Jimin. Those irises follow Jimin across the stage. Taehyung looks absorbed. His lips parting around soft gasps and a smile lighting up his face whenever Jimin executes a perfect move. Jungkook cannot help but stare at Taehyung.
He rests his hand on Taehyung's thigh, lips twitching when Taehyung jumps. Those large eyes finally look at him and Jungkook squeezes Taehyung's thigh.
“Tomorrow's Sunday,” Jungkook leans in to speak in Taehyung's ear, “come over to mine?”
Taehyung blinks, looking at him, “oh.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung lick his lower lip, thinking. He leans in, instinctively. Taehyung doesn't pull back when Jungkoo captures his lips for a kiss. Jungkook's hand tightening on Taehyung's thigh.
“Come over to mine,” Jungkook whispers against Taehyung's lips, “yeah?”
Taehyung nods, “yeah,” he breathes out, eyes closing when Jungkook kisses him again, “okay.”
After the performance, Jin insists that they go and meet Jimin backstage, but Jungkook refuses.
“We will leave,” he points over his shoulder, “it's already too late. I will call him.”
Jin looks at Taehyung and back at Jungkook. His jaw hardening.
“Don't do something stupid,” he hisses to Jungkook, “I swear, kookie-”
Jungkook rolls his eyes, “will you relax, dad?” he snorts, “I will call you two.”
“Just,” Jin glances at Taehyung, “take care.”
Taehyung frowns at them, a little confused. Jungkook takes Taehyung's hand in his and nods at Jin.
Jin looks at Taehyung, there is an unreadable expression on his face when he smiles.
“Stay away from this one,” Jin says, pointing at Jungkook, “he is not good for you.”
“Huh?” Taehyung blinks, a little startled.
Jin squeezes Jungkook's bicep, “he isn't good news.”
Jungkook rolls his eyes, pulling Taehyung to himself, “ignore him,” he looks at Taehyung, “he is teasing.”
Taehyung breathes out, smiling at Jin, “I will keep that in mind, then.”
Taehyung forgets about Jin's warning as days pass by. He forgets about those words every time Jungkook touches him, kisses him, takes him back to his apartment. Every time they have sex, Taehyung forgets a part of himself in that apartment. Leaves a chunk of his heart there.
He forgets a chunk of his heart in those messy bedsheets. He leaves a piece of his heart in Jungkook's hand every time he kisses the guy. Smiles into the kiss. Every time Jungkook comes to his office to pick him up, take him to places, Taehyung loses himself to the man.
“Stay,” Jungkook says one night, after three months of them hooking up, “it's raining heavily.”
Taehyung doesn't want to stay. There is this nagging jumble of words lodged in his throat. He cannot brush past. He looks at the man and shakes his head.
“No, it's okay,” Taehyung murmurs, getting up from the bed, “I will go now.”
He tries his hardest to ignore those words pushing against his throat, but he can't. He blurts it out.
“There's this guy in my office,” Taehyung keeps his eyes focused on his hands, “he asked me out.”
The silence makes Taehyung fumble, “so-”
“Great,” Jungkook gets off of the bed, pulling up his joggers, “that sounds great.”
Taehyung grips the shirt in his hand, looking down at it, “it does?”
Jungkook walks around him, going out of the bedroom, “yeah? You don't like it?”
Taehyung wears his shirt, “no, I mean, he is good.”
Jungkook is in the kitchen, pouring himself a glass of water, “then, go.”
Taehyung comes up to the counter, hesitant eyes fixed on Jungkook, “that's... okay?”
Jungkook arches a brow, confused, “yeah? Why are you asking me?”
Jungkook gives him a small laugh, “Tae, it's not like we are dating or exclusive,” he gulps down the water, “I am seeing other people too. It's not wrong-”
Taehyung feels how his heart drops, there is a pause where he is suddenly breathless. The words ringing in his ears.
Taehyung grips the edge of the counter, “you are seeing other people?”
Jungkook tilts his head, “am I not supposed to?” he leans his arms on the counter too, “Tae, we are just hooking up. You know that, right?”
Taehyung does. Yet... he looks away, trying to gather himself.
Taehyung looks at Jungkook then, his eyes never wavering, “I know,” he nods, giving Jungkook a wobbly smile, “I just... like an idiot, I stopped sleeping around with others. Not your fault,” he forces a smile on his lips, “no. I am at fault,” he shudders, “I am sorry.”
Jungkook's expression gives nothing away. His tongue swirling inside his mouth.
Taehyung takes a step back, “I can't do this anymore,” he whispers, forcing himself to look at Jungkook, “I can't-” his voice cracks, “I will go now.”
Jungkook lets out a sigh, “it's raining.”
Taehyung pulls out his phone, “I will get a cab.”
Jungkook rounds the counter, “Tae, listen to me, okay?” he reaches to take Taehyung's hand in his.
Taehyung steps back, shaking his head, “don't. Please, don't,” he swallows, “I have humiliated myself enough. Leave me alone.”
Jungkook curses, “what were you expecting me to say, Taehyung? That I fell in love with you? I never lied to you about shit like that. Since the start, it was very clear that all we had was a fling. I never lied to you.”
Taehyung books a cab, nodding, “that's why I need to go.”
“I started expecting more,” Taehyung whispers, eyes never leaving Jungkook's face, “and, that's not your fault. That's why I need to go.”
Jungkook crosses his arms over his chest, “so, this is it?”
Taehyung nods, swallows, “this is it.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung storm off.
Jungkook watches Taehyung go and searches for the satisfaction in him. Taehyung's teary eyes and broken expression flash across his mind, and Jungkook stands in the empty living room, searching that victorious part of himself.
He doesn't feel satisfied or victorious.
He looks at the closed door of his apartment and lets out a deep breath.
It will come, he tells himself. When Taegeun comes to know about it all, see Taehyung so broken, it will come. Jungkook goes back to his bedroom.
He doesn't fall asleep that night.
== A WEEK LATER ==
'Come over tonight,' Jungkook reads the message, 'it is my birthday. I want to have dinner with my family. I won't take no for an answer.'
Jaehyuk's message stares at him, and Jungkook is letting out a deep breath.
'Fine,' he types back, 'see you tonight.'
Jungkook picks up a wine and reaches his family mansion. With a deep breath, he rings the doorbell and their old butler opens the door. His warm smile makes Jungkook smile back at him.
“There you are,” Jaehyuk says from where he is sitting, “you missed the cake cutting.”
Jungkook rolls his eyes, walking inside, “you are too old for that shit and so am I.”
Jaehyuk chuckles, getting up, “come on. The dinner is already served. We were waiting for you.”
Jungkook grits his teeth as he follows Jaehyuk to the dining room, where he can hear Taegeun.
“Babe, he is here,” Jaehyuk calls out to Taegeun, “let's have dinner. Where's Tae?”
Jungkook freezes, his eyes going from Taegeun to Jaehyuk.
“Tae?” he whispers.
Jaehyuk nods with a smile, “he came over for the dinner too, ahhh, there he is.”
Jungkook looks over at the man.
Taehyung walks inside the dining room while wiping his hands. He looks at Jaehyuk and then at Jungkook.
“Taehyung,” Jaehyuk smiles, “meet my brother. Jungkook.”
Taehyung's throat bobs, and he offers Jungkook a small smile, “hi.”
Jungkook nods, looking away, “hi.”
“They can meet later, babe,” Taegeun smiles, “the dinner is waiting. Come on.”
Jungkook hurries to take his seat. Jaehyuk sits at the head of the table, on his left sits Taegeun and on his right sits Jungkook. Taehyung sits beside Taegeun. His eyes focused on the dish.
Jungkook busies himself with the food, nodding along to whatever the conversation is going around the table.
“Join the business,” Jaehyuk nudges him with a teasing smile, “how long will I handle it all alone?”
Jungkook rolls his eyes, “keep me out of that hellhole, thanks.”
As Jungkook eats, he feels it. A foot pressing against his leg. At first, he jumps, then he is looking up at Taehyung. His heart racing as he feels the foot rub over his ankle, slowly running up his leg.
Jungkook stares at Taehyung, while Taehyung never looks up from his plate.
Jungkook lets out a deep breath, sneaking a glance at Jaehyuk, and then he is looking back at Taehyung. Taehyung never matches his eyes, slowly eating his food, eyes downcast.
Jungkook frowns, his eyes shifting, and he pauses. Taegeun is looking at him, those eyes fixed on him.
Jungkook stares as Taegeun's lips curve up on a smirk.
Jungkook gets on his feet, startling everyone, “sorry, I will just,” he points at the direction of the washroom, “I got to pee.”
“Jesus, no need to announce that, go,” Jaehyuk snorts, sharing a smile with Taegeun.
Jungkook rushes to the washroom to splash some water on his face. He stares at himself, notices how pale he looks, before he is coming out of the bathroom and freezing. Taegeun stands outside and as soon as Jungkook walks out, he takes Jungkook's wrist in his grip.
Jungkook lets Taegeun pull him to the guest room attached to the bathroom. Taegeun pushes Jungkook inside and walks right in.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Jungkook hisses, “what the actual-”
“Kookie,” Taegeun whimpers, “oh, god, I missed you so much!”
tw// attempted cheating
He throws himself in Jungkook's arms. Eyes watering. Jungkook stands there, immobile, as Taegeun cups his face in his hands.
“I have tried to forget you, baby,” Taegeun sniffles, “I have done everything to tell myself that I don't feel shit for you.”
“But, who am I kidding?” Taegeun sniffles, pulling Jungkook's face down, “every time he touches me, I think of you,” his nails dig on Jungkook's face, “every day I look at him and wonder what would it be like if it was you I chose? What it would be like to be with you again...”
“Can't we?” Taegeun urges, eyes watering, “I was so immersed in everything, I didn't stop to ask my heart what it wanted and it,” he sniffles, “it wants you. I want you, kookie. I want you so much.”
Jungkook chokes on thin air when those lips capture his in a kiss.
Jungkook stumbles with the force, his hands grasping Taegeun's waist to steady himself.
From the corner of his eyes he notices movements and Jungkook looks over to freeze.
Taehyung stands by the door of the room, his eyes wide and face pale. Jungkook shoves Taegeun away.
“Whatever you are thinking,” Jungkook rounds Taegeun, completely ignoring him in favour to walk up to Taehyung, “that's not it, okay?! I didn't-”
Taehyung's eyes are glossy, he looks at Jungkook and back at Taegeun, “what do you mean you couldn't forget him?”
Before Taegeun can answer, Jaehyuk calls from the dining room.
“Guys, where did you all disappear? Come on!”
“Look,” Taegeun walks up to Jungkook, “please, don't tell him anything,” he begs Taehyung, “I will tell you everything. Just, don't tell Jaehyuk anything for now?”
“What did you mean by you couldn't forget him?” Taehyung asks again, his voice cracking, “hyung-”
“We were in love,” Taegeun whispers, “before all this, we both loved each other.”
Jungkook cannot stop and confront Taegeun. Not when he watches how Taehyung stumbles back.
Taehyung's face crumbles, his eyes shifting onto Jungkook and then back to Taegeun.
“Wh-what?” he mumbles, voice thin, “what do you mean-”
Taegeun's eyes find Jungkook, the longing clear in them, “we were so madly in love. I hurt him-”
“Shut the f'ck up!” Jungkook hisses.
He turns to Taehyung, “it's not like that-”
“Why are you explaining to him, Kookie?” Taegeun reaches to take Jungkook's hand in his, “what's going on?”
Taehyung looks down at their joined hands and back at their faces.
Jungkook jerks his hand free, “Get off of me, Taegeun!”
“You broke it all off because you wanted to marry hyung. You wanted him because he is the heir of the company!” Jungkook seethes, “you left me when I said I love you! What do you mean, you loved me too?!”
Taehyung's lips part on a soft breath, he takes a step back, “ohhh...”
Jungkook's eyes snap to Taehyung. Taehyung looks at him with a teary smile, a delirious smile at best.
“What is it, Tae?” Taegeun wonders, “why are you so upset?”
Jungkook waits for Taehyung to say it. He waits for Taehyung to lose it and spill something.
He holds his breath.
“That man outside?” Taehyung whispers, points over his shoulder, “loves you,” he grits out at Taegeun, “and, by the look of it, Jungkook loves you too,” he never matches Jungkook's eyes, “you should really be careful, hyung. Because, you are playing with two humans here.”
“No one deserves to be played with like this, hyung,” Taehyung wipes his eyes, “you have no idea how badly it hurts to know you meant nothing to a person who became an important part of you,” Taehyung steps back, “I hope you do what's right. I will go now.”
Jungkook watches Taehyung leave and for a second he just stands there before he is rushing out of the room too. He blindly follows Taehyung, who marches out of the house.
“Taehyung, listen to me-” he grabs Taehyung by his elbow.
“Don't!” Taehyung hisses, “don't touch me!”
“Don't touch me,” Taehyung breaks, his eyes watering, but he doesn't let a single drop roll out of his eyes, “don't touch me. Don't ever touch me.”
Jungkook stands there, helpless, “please-”
“Why?” Taehyung whispers, “why did you drag me in this mess? What did I do to you?”
“All those times you touched me,” Taehyung whimpers, “were you thinking of him?” his face contorts, “what was going on, Jungkook? I don't get it,” he shakes his head, desperate, “what did I do to you?! What did I do?! Why am I here hurting for something I had no part of?!”
“Tell me!” Taehyung shouts, “tell me, what did I do?!”
“I wanted to hurt him,” Jungkook whispers, looking away from those piercing eyes, “by-”
“Breaking me,” Taehyung lets out a delirious laugh, “you thought you will hurt him by breaking me. I didn't tell him shit, Jungkook!”
“And, I never will,” Taehyung shakes his head, “you are not the first one who had him in mind while being with me. You are not the first one who wanted him and not me. I grew up under his shadow. I have always been the second choice or a mean to get to him. I know it by now.”
“He is always the best,” Taehyung wipes his eyes, “to our parents, relatives, friends. He is always the best and I grew up accepting it. So, no, Jungkook. You didn't do something that I didn't face growing up. I just wish...” he sniffles, “it stopped hurting this bad every time.”
“I hope you all sort your shit out,” Taehyung wipes his eyes with the back of his hand.
Jungkook reaches for Taehyung, “Tae-”
“I beg you to leave me alone,” Taehyung shakes his head, “please.”
Jungkook stands there, watching Taehyung run down the path towards the main gate.
“Where to, sir?” the cab driver asks.
Taehyung blinks up at him, a little disoriented. He doesn't want to go home and be alone with his thoughts right now. He doesn't want to hurt himself by overthinking it all. He blurts out the address he wants to go to.
Taehyung isn't sure how he got out of the cab or took the elevator. He doesn't remember how he came here, but he is pressing the doorbell and waiting.
The door opens and Taehyung lets it all crash against him. The entire day comes rushing back, and he is bursting out in tears.
“Tae?” Yoongi looks alarmed, “what's wrong?”
Taehyung stumbles inside, arms wrapping around the elder as he cries. Yoongi goes still for a second before his arms wrap around Taehyung too.
“What's wrong?” Yoongi whispers, “Tae?”
Taehyung cries harder, unable to voice anything.
Yoongi closes the door, his arms secured around Taehyung tightly. Taehyung lets himself break in those arms. A sense of assurance in him that Yoongi will gather him up if needed.
Yoongi doesn't move away, he stands still, letting Taehyung cry against him as long as he wants.
“He used me, hyung,” Taehyung whimpers, the words breaking him all over again, “he used me in their sick game. He used me.”
Yoongi frowns, arms flexing in reaction, “who? What?”
“Jungkook,” Taehyung breaks down again, “he loves Taegeun hyung.”
Yoongi blinks, “huh?”
Taehyung buries his face against Yoongi's neck, “he used me to get back to hyung. For leaving him. For-”
Yoongi's jaw hardens, his eyes glaring at nothing in particular, “then, fck him,” he pulls back a little to cup Taehyung's face, “fck him. His loss. Fck him.”
“It's not your loss, Tae,” Yoongi wipes his eyes, “it's never your loss. You didn't lose anything. What did you lose? A manipulative bastard?” he shakes his head, “you dodged a bullet. You hear me?”
Taehyung sniffles, “hyung loves him too.”
Yoongi pauses, “isn't he married?”
Taehyung's face contorts, “yes. To his elder brother.”
Yoongi swallows, his face showing how disgusted he feels, “then, they deserve each other. Let them be. He is not worth your time or feelings.”
Taehyung looks at Yoongi, “I was starting to like him. You know?”
Yoongi gives him a small smile, “then, isn't it good that you found out now? Before you got more invested?”
Taehyung shrugs, looking away, “I can't forget the fact that he used me. He-” his voice cracks, “what did I do, hyung? What did I do to deserve this? What did I do?”
“You didn't deserve this, no,” Yoongi pulls Taehyung towards the couch to make him sit, “the world is mostly cruel to good people. For no reason at all.”
Taehyung looks down at his hands, “I feel so cheap. Humiliated. He was probably laughing behind my back, oh, god...”
“Come here,” Yoongi pulls Taehyung in for another hug, lips pressing on top of Taehyung's head.
Taehyung buries his face against Yoongi's chest, sobbing all over again.
“You know, the worst part?” Taehyung looks up at Yoongi, “I can't wish him to hurt. Even now. I can't.”
“I still think he had his own fucked up reason to act the way he did,” Taehyung chuckles, “I am still trying to reason that he was hurt and that hurt blinded him. I hope that,” he snuggles closer to Yoongi, “he heals. From whatever hurt he is still carrying in him.”
Yoongi's throat feels dry. His arms tightening around Taehyung. He looks down at the younger, and Taehyung has his face buried against Yoongi's chest. Yoongi rubs Taehyung's back.
“Don't be this good, Tae, you are too full of love and empty people will keep taking from you.”
“They will come and fill up themselves and leave,” Yoongi whispers, voice rough, “leave you a little more empty. A little more unattended. Don't be so giving. This world will see you as a defenceless idiot. They don't understand how much it takes to be so forgiving always.”
“People take innocence as idiocy in this world,” Yoongi wipes Taehyung's cheeks, caresses those high cheekbones, “they are too cruel and selfish. Keep yourself guarded, Tae. The world is a cruel place, and you have to, at least, try to be a little more selfish. Yeah?”
Taehyung blinks up at Yoongi, “are those...” he swallows, “are you crying for me, hyung?”
Yoongi blinks, breathing out a tired chuckle, “you just reminded me of someone.”
Taehyung frowns, a little confused, “who?”
Yoongi hugs Taehyung closer, “the past me. He was an idiot.”
“Don't end up like me, Tae,” Yoongi buries his face against Taehyung's head, “don't end up so empty. Preserve yourself for someone who is worth your feelings. Who is worth it. Yeah?”
Taehyung nods, closing his eyes, “yeah,” he lets out a deep breath, “yeah.”
Jungkook opens the door of his apartment when the bell keeps ringing. He curses as soon as he does.
Taegeun storms inside and closes the door behind himself.
“What are you doing here?” Jungkook crosses his arms over his chest, “I told you to stay the fck away from me!”
“You have to listen to me, kookie,” Taegeun whispers, eyes watering, “please, I know I messed up, but, the moment I realized you are sleeping with Taehyung-”
Jungkook blinks, more alert now, “you... you knew?”
Taegeun gives a snort, “my brother can't hide shit from me, kookie.”
“He has always been too transparent,” Taegeun jerks his shoulders, “he had an interest in you since he saw you in my wedding clips and photos. Kept asking who you are and all that. Then, last month, I went to visit him, and he kept talking about a guy he is seeing.”
“The way he kept waving my questions off about the guy's details, but he would spill a few things here and there,” Taegeun chuckles, “I know him like the back of my hand. Of course, I figured it out.”
Taegeun walks up to him, “and, you know what I realized?”
“That, I was still in love with you,” Taegeun clutches onto Jungkook's shirt, “I love you, Jungkook. I didn't say it in fear in the past. I was so worried about the future, and I was blinded by what your brother was offering. A security. I fell for it. I am sorry. Please.”
“So, you knew about Taehyung's feelings and you still hurt him for your own gain? Seems like you never changed.”
Taegeun jumps, looking over Jungkook's shoulder at Jimin.
Jimin has a disgusted expression on his face, “did you knowingly hurt your own brother?”
“What are you doing here?” Taegeun whispers, a little breathless.
Jimin snorts, “I was in the bedroom,” he arches a brow when Taegeun blinks, “don't worry. Everyone is not dying to bed Jungkook,” Jimin rolls his eyes, “also, I don't owe you an explanation why I am here.”
“I didn't hurt Tae,” Taegeun whispers, eyes glued on Jimin, “I saved him. Jungkook doesn't love him. He loves me. He still loves me. I saved Taehyung-”
“No, you didn't,” Jimin snorts, “you just selfishly realized you want Jungkook for yourself. Well, you two deserve each other.”
“Because, Jungkook has feelings for you,” Jimin snorts, “and, you clearly have whatever you have for him. I guess you two belong together,” Jimin's lips twist, “I wish, you two didn't involve two innocent people in this mess. They didn't deserve this. Taehyung and Jaehyuk hyung.”
“I hope you come clean to Jaehyuk hyung-”
“I will,” Taegeun turns to Jungkook, hopeful eyes wandering over Jungkook's face, “I will come clean to him. I will break it all off. I realized I can't do this. I didn't want him to figure out, but if that's the only way to have you-”
“Are you sure?” Jungkook wonders, ignores how Jimin glares at him, “are you sure you won't regret this?”
Taegeun sniffles, cupping the side of Jungkook's face, “no, baby. No,” tears roll out of his eyes, “I regret letting you go. I won't regret it. I just want you. Only you.”
Jimin looks green in the face. Jungkook risks a glance at the elder, and Jimin is gnawing on his lower lip, eyes burning on Jungkook.
Taegeun is looking at him too, eyes hopeful and teary.
“I want you to come clean to hyung,” Jungkook murmurs, “can you do that?”
Taegeun nods eagerly, “yes! I can.”
Jungkook crosses his arms over his chest, “I will think about this only after you come clean to hyung.”
Taegeun nods again, “okay, okay. I will.”
Jimin combs his hair back, looking more frustrated now.
“Call him now,” Jungkook tilts his head, “tell him everything.”
“He is out of town,” Taegeun gulps, “can I tell him when he comes back?”
Jungkook shrugs, “whenever. But, if you don't tell him, we are not doing this, Taegeun. I refuse to get involved with you otherwise.”
Before the conversation can move further, Taegeun's phone rings. He pulls it out and lets out a sigh.
Jungkook's muscles lock, his eyes on Taegeun as the man speaks.
Taegeun sighs, “what do you expect me to say, Tae? What? Are you never going to see me again?”
Jungkook watches Taegeun rub his hand down his face, looking more frustrated.
“Let me explain it to you-” he curses out loud, “god, Taehyung! You know I don't owe you an apology. Don't make it hard for me. I didn't do shit to you! Did I?”
Jimin curses, “I will go.”
Jungkook grabs Jimin's wrist, “hey, no-”
“No, seriously,” Jimin jerks his hand away, “I can't stand here and listen to him. I want to punch him so bad, Jungkook. You don't understand! This is,” Jimin shakes his head, looking at Taegeun, “he disgusts me.”
Jimin looks up at Jungkook with a miserable expression on his face, “and, I want to leave before you start to disgust me too.”
Jungkook watches Jimin, “Jimin-”
Jimin shakes his head, his face contorting, “I can't do this,” he steps away from Jungkook, “I can't do this, kook.”
Jungkook watches Jimin storm out of the apartment. He looks back at Taegeun as Taegeun cuts the call.
“I asked Tae to be there when I tell Jaehyuk about us,” Taegeun walks up to Jungkook, “you can come clean to Taehyung? We can leave it all behind together, yeah?”
Jungkook lets Taegeun hug him, face burying in his chest, “is that okay, kookie?” Taegeun whispers, “we can do this, right?”
Jungkook lets his arms move around Taegeun in a hug, “will you forgive me for pulling Taehyung in this mess?”
Taegeun sighs, “yeah. I understand.”
“Love makes you blind,” Taegeun whispers, leaning up to press a kiss against Jungkook's jawline, “I get that. You shouldn't have done that, but I understand.”
Jungkook looks down at Taegeun. He says nothing. Tageun gets back to hugging him, face hidden in Jungkook's chest.
Taehyung feels sick to his stomach when he sees Jungkook again. He looks at the man and back at his own hands on his lap. He feels nauseous every time he hears Taegeun's voice. He isn't sure why he came over, either. He shouldn't have. Now he regrets it.
Jungkook's eyes are on him, Taehyung knows. He keeps staring at his lap. Taegeun comes to sit on the couch next to his, and Taehyung squirms. He feels physically ill to be near Taegeun.
“What did you want to discuss?” Jaehyuk wonders, “called all of us here...”
“There's something I need to tell you, Jaehyuk,” Taegeun's voice wavers, his eyes glued on Jaehyuk, “about me and Jungkook.”
Taehyung gulps, risking a glance at Jaehyuk. His heart aches for the man.
“What is it?” Jaehyuk wonders.
Taegeun looks pale as he speaks up, “we...”
“I met him when you hired him as your secretary,” Jungkook speaks up, “before we knew it, we were hooking up. Sleeping around.”
Taehyung bites down on his lower lip, bile pushing up his throat.
“Wh-what?” Jaehyuk whispers.
Jungkook nods, “yeah. It went on for a year or so.”
“I caught feelings,” Jungkook doesn't falter, his eyes never leave Jaehyuk's face, “so, I confessed to him. He rejected me. Saying, how it was just a fling, and he wanted nothing to do with me. So, I pushed it all behind me and stayed quiet when you announced you will marry him.”
Jungkook swallows, “I thought, if you are happy, and he really liked you enough to marry you, then I should forget about it all. I mean, he was kind of right. It was indeed just hook-ups. Past. It hurt me terribly, but, yeah,” he shrugs, “anyway, fast-forward to last week...”
“He told me he still has feelings for me,” Jungkook looks at Taegeun who is already looking at him, “and, he couldn't forget me. No matter how hard he tried... am I correct?”
Taegeun swallows, looking at Jaehyuk, “y-yes,” he sniffles, “I am sorry, Jaehyuk. I tried to love you…”
Taehyung looks at Jaehyuk, his heart cracking when he sees how pale Jaehyuk looks. His eyes glistening. Taehyung grasps his hands together to not reach out for the man. He squeezes his eyes shut and prays for this to be over soon.
“I love Jungkook,” Taegeun sniffles, “so much.”
Taehyung feels breathless, he squirms on the spot. Eyes moving from Jaehyuk to the floor.
“What... what do you want me to say?” Jaehyuk whispers, “what are you two trying to sa-”
Taegeun wipes his eyes, “I know I have wronged you, I know. But, I can't hide my feelings anymore.”
“I love him,” Taegeun cries, voice shaking, “I can't deny myself that. I love him and I don't want to lie about my feelings anymore. I can't, Jaehyuk. I can't-”
Jaehyuk swallows, blinking at Taegeun and back at Jungkook. He coughs, nodding to himself. As if deciding something.
“And, you won't tell me about how you kissed Jungkook?” Jaehyuk whispers, “or, how you were being all flirty with him during my birthday dinner?”
Taegeun blinks, eyes widening, “how-”
Jaehyuk's expression is painful, but he offers a small smile, “you weren't going to, no?”
“Who told you...” Taegeun looks at Taehyung, disbelief clear on his face, “you?!”
Taehyung looks at his brother, tired eyes fixed on Taegeun. He doesn't say anything.
“Jungkook did,” Jaehyuk murmurs, “that very night. He told me all about you two.”
Taegeun blinks, confused.
“I just needed it on record,” Jaehyuk murmurs, “so, we had to drag it here like this.”
Taegeun looks at Jungkook, “why? Why are you-”
Jungkook has a blank expression on his face, “whatever feelings I had for you, flew right out of the window when you pulled that stunt on me.”
“I thought, whatever shit you pulled on me, that was it,” Jungkook shrugs, “that, you won't stoop low enough to cheat on hyung. I hated you for leading me on, but I never took you for a cheater,” he shakes his head, “I had to let hyung know. Hyung deserved to know.”
Taegeun stands up, desperate, “so all those promises that we will get back together-”
Jungkook snorts, “you can't be mad at me for not wanting a snake like you back in my life now, can you, Taegeun?” he leans back against the couch, “I just wanted you off hyung's back too.”
Those eyes flicker over to Taehyung then, and Jungkook's blank expression falters.
“I only owe one apology and that one is to you,” he swallows when Taehyung's eyes finally move to his face, “it won't mean shit. But, I had to start somewhere. I am sorry. For everything I did.”
“I dragged you into a mess you had nothing to do with.” Jungkook grips his hands together, feeling the guilt course through him, “in my rage and hurt, I was so blind to not realize I hurt someone who had nothing to do with this mess. I just wanted to hurt Taegeun.”
“I didn't think about you or how it will make you feel,” Jungkook watches how Taehyung looks away, blinking faster, “I didn't think how stupid I was being. How mean and selfish. In my rage, I turned into Taegeun myself. I know I can't do shit for you to forgive me, but...”
“I want you to know, you are not him in any sense,” Jungkook digs his fingers on his palms, digs until it hurts, until the pain grounds him, “you can't be his shadow because he is pathetic, and you are far from it. I made you feel the worst, and I am sorry for it. Really.”
“I hope, down the road, someone makes you feel the way you deserve to feel. I am really sorry,” Jungkook clears his throat, “I am not asking for forgiveness. I won't forgive myself for a long time. But,” he shrugs, “I had to let you know. I had to apologize at least.”
Taehyung doesn't say anything. He doesn't acknowledge Jungkook with any words.
“I am filing divorce,” Jaehyuk looks at Taegeun, “you will either sign it quietly and leave. Or, we can see each other in court. You decide. But, you are leaving this house today itself.”
Taegeun looks at Jungkook, his eyes never leave Jungkook. Jungkook's eyes are stuck on Taehyung. Taegeun looks at Taehyung then, his eyes hooded.
“Then, I should move in with Taehyung,” he murmurs, “no?”
Taehyung flinches, looking up at Taegeun, “no,” he shakes his head, “no.”
“What do you mean, no, Tae?” Taegeun chews those words out, “there's no other place I can afford right now, and you live in our dad's place! I own that place legally!”
Taehyung shakes his head, “I am not sharing the place with you. I refuse to.”
“Then get out,” Taegeun hisses, “find your own place. I am moving in there, Taehyung. I don't need your permission for it.”
Taehyung blinks at him, “hyung-”
“Ask your boyfriend to move in with him,” Taegeun snorts, “what? You are fucking the Min Entertainment's heir, no?”
Jungkook's eyes flicker over to Taehyung, and Taehyung is frowning at Taegeun.
“That lazy piece of shit?” Taegeun laughs, “stop acting so innocent, Tae. It's okay! Just accept you are with that addict-”
“Enough!” Taehyung gets up, his jaw hardening, “enough, hyung! Shut up!”
“You want your place back?!” Taehyung demands, “fine! But, don't say a single word about Yoongi hyung-”
Taegeun arches a brow, “oh? So much love for him already? That shame of a scoundrel son of a bi'ch! Do you relate with him, Tae?! Both are a shame to their family!”
Jaehyuk gets up from the couch, “you can stay here, Taehyung,” he nods when Taehyung looks at him, “as long as you want. Don't listen to him. A cornered snake hisses the loudest. He lost everything and now is spurting bullshit. Don't mind him. He is spiralling right now.”
Jaehyuk chuckles, eyes fixed on Taegeun, “you could have gone away with your dignity, but you lost that too, Taegeun. You are not doing yourself a favour by acting like this.”
“Get out of the house,” Jungkook gets up, “we will pack your shit and deliver it to you.”
“Jungkook, you-” Taegeun reaches for Jungkook and Jungkook is flinching away.
“Don't,” Jungkook shakes his head, “don't.”
Jaehyuk turns to Taehyung, a small and welcoming smile on his lips, “if you want, as long as you want, you can stay here. I offered before too, Taehyung.”
Taehyung pulls out his phone, shaking his head, “no, hyung. Thank you,” he bows his head, “I won't be able to stay here. I will find a place. Don't worry.”
Taegeun laughs, “what? Calling your boyfriend-”
“There's nothing wrong if he is,” Jungkook steps up to Taegeun, “okay?”
“Why are you trying to shame him for having a boyfriend?” Jungkook frowns, “if he wants to move in and that person has no problem, why are you taunting him for that?”
Taegeun gapes, “because, it's Yoongi?! You know, the scandal?!”
Jungkook snorts, “we both know it was a scam.”
Taehyung ignores them, the phone ringing. He holds it to his ear with bated breath.
Taehyung closes his eyes momentarily after hearing that gravelly and grounding voice, “hyung,” his voice wavers, “I need a favour, hyung.”
“What is it, Tae?” Yoongi sounds alert.
“I will fill you up with the details later but,” Taehyung feels his face heat up with embarrassment, he hates being a burden, “I need a place to stay, hyung. I don't know whom to ask, I don't know anyone-”
“You know me,” Yoongi chuckles, “and, my doors are always open for you.”
“I don't need an explanation,” Yoongi hums, “come over whenever.”
“I will try to find a place as soon as possible-”
Yoongi chuckles, “no need. My place is too huge for me anyway. Just stay here. But,” he pauses, “what are those voices? Where are you?”
When Taehyung doesn't answer, Yoongi sighs, “you want to me come and pick you up?”
Taehyung doesn't want to accept it verbally but he feels alone. So utterly alone in this mansion, between these people. He bites back a bile clogged in his throat.
“Can you?” he wonders.
“Yeah, hyung will be there, just send the address.”
Taehyung sends it after cutting the call. He turns back to see Taegeun and Jungkook still shouting at each other. Jaehyuk looks as exhausted as Taehyung feels.
Taehyung hopes Yoongi to show up as fast as he can.
Yoongi shows up in his formals. Taehyung springs up on his feet when the butler guides Yoongi to the living room.
“Yoongi ssi,” Jaehyuk holds his hand out, “it's been long.”
Yoongi shakes the hand, nodding, “yeah,” his eyes flicker over to Taehyung.
Taehyung forces a smile.
Yoongi sees right through it. His expression changes into a tender one.
“You are fcking him,” Taegeun laughs, “damn, you did bag a psycho but at least he is rich.”
Yoongi's eyes move onto Taegeun and then he looks at Jaehyuk, “you left hoba to marry this guy. Was it worth it?”
Taehyung blinks, eyes focusing on Jaehyuk who looks at Yoongi with a stoic expression.
Jaehyuk doesn't say anything, and Yoongi doesn't wait. He turns to Taehyung.
“Ready to leave?” he asks, “I have called the moving company. They will get your things to mine. Don't worry.”
“This is not over,” Taegeun hisses, “you ruined everything for me, Tae! I knew I should have left you in Paris. You always bring bad luck-”
“No, hyung, I don't,” Taehyung turns to Taegeun, “since childhood you always guilt-tripped me, always made me believe I was inferior.”
“You always showed me my place with your sweet lies and manipulation,” Taehyung grips the hem of his shirt, “you made me an insecure mess. You fucked me up emotionally since childhood. Your desperate need for attention always shadowed me from everyone. You actively ruined me.”
“Remember the first time I tried to sing in that family gathering, you laughed and patted my back but told me I was terrible at it,” Taehyung chokes out, “hugged me to console me and everyone said how caring you were but no, hyung. You broke my confidence forever.”
“You always made fun of my interests, made fun of my paintings, my style of clothes, my point of views,” Taehyung feels his chest tighten, “you were the golden boy of the family, and you took advantage of it. You were always outgoing, people pleaser. Everyone loved you...”
“Loved how well-behaved you were, how polished you were, but, I was an introvert,” Taehyung sniffles, “a mess of insecurities that you planted in me. I was rusty, stuttering through every family gathering because I didn't want to get anyone's eyes on me. I hated people.”
“You always made it look like you are the best brother anyone can ask for,” Taehyung wipes his eyes furiously, “you made it seem like I was the odd one for always avoiding you or anything related to you. But, in reality, you were just downplaying me. Since the start.”
“You have no idea how much I struggle to get past my insecurities that you birthed in me,” Taehyung's voice cracks, “I always talk fast, try to finish my point as fast as I can because in my head, I hear you telling me to hurry up because otherwise, I might bore that person.”
“I ramble when I try to talk because I feel nervous that I am being a pest and lose the point I am trying to make,” Taehyung whispers, “in my head, you laugh at me whenever I try to share my views about things. I spend my days struggling with the inferiority complex you gave me.”
“I don't know what bad luck I brought in your life, hyung,” Taehyung takes a step back, “but, you sucked the life out of me since we were kids. So, no, you don't get to tell me shit. Not anymore. I refuse to listen to your bullshit anymore. I have had that enough growing up.”
Yoongi chuckles, his hand resting on Taehyung's back, “forgive him, Tae,” his eyes are fixed on Taegeun, “you know why people manipulate others like this? Because they are insecure of themselves and know how empty they are. So, they attack the ones who are perfect. You.”
“He was probably jealous of the attention that you got when you were born,” Yoongi looks thoughtful, “the insecurity when the pampering shifted from him to you. Maybe that's where his resentment was born. Whatever it is, you are in no way defined by how he made you look.”
“Don't waste your time on people like him,” Yoongi gives Taehyung a tender smile, “you have no idea how good you are, Kim Taehyung. Don't ever let him hold you back.”
Taehyung bites back a sob, nodding, “I am trying hard. I will overcome it some day. I will.”
“Let's go,” Yoongi looks over at Jungkook, his jaw hardening, “enough of getting hurt for things you had no business with.”
Jungkook's eyes shift to Yoongi and Yoongi glares. Jungkook doesn't say anything, his eyes never leaving Yoongi's face.
Taehyung moves, “yeah, come on.”
“So, what, Jungkook? You will never try to mend things again?” Jin throws his hands up, “you will never try to earn his forgiveness?”
“I apologized!” Jungkook groans, face buried in the pillow, “I don't want to nag him.”
“Oh, really?” Jimin slaps his ass, “are you serious?!”
“Stop spanking me,” Jungkook kicks blindly, “what do you two want me to do?! Show up to Min Yoongi's mansion and get chased out of there by his security?! What can I possibly do or tell him for him to forgive me and why? Wh-”
“You added to his insecurities and I know how it feels when someone plays with your already bloodied wounds,” Jimin sighs, “you owe him an apology that he can accept. Don't seek anything from it, kookie. Do it for him. He deserves a clean apology that you really mean.”
“How do I do that?” Jungkook peeks from the pillow, “I know I owe him that, but what do I do? How do I even get anywhere near him? You have no idea how strong Yoongi's security team is-”
“Jin hyung is friends with Namjoon hyung,” Jimin smiles wide, “you and I know Hobi hyung.”
“No, I don't want to force him,” Jungkook shakes his head, “he will chalk me up with those other people who hurt him, and eventually he will move past it all. I don't want to keep showing up and opening the wound for him.”
Jimin looks at Jin and Jin nods, “he is right.”
Jimin shrugs, “fine. Whatever sails your boat.”
Jungkook buries his face back into the pillow, “can you two leave? I really want to sleep.”
“You are sleeping for two days now!” Jin curses, “just get out of bed and come to the club with us, will you? It will cheer you up!”
Jungkook sits up on his bed, ruffling his hair, “maybe you are right. I just need to get laid.”
“That's so not what I said,” Jin deadpans.
“Too late,” Jungkook gets off the bed, “that's what I heard.”
Jimin curses, “will you ever stop to think before barrelling into troubles?”
Jimin curses, watching Jungkook go, “you know what?” he looks at Jin, “fuck wrong and right.”
Jin blinks, “what are you up to?” he watches Jimin run out of the room, “Park Jimin! If you are causing more trouble-” he stops, “these two will cause me grey hair some day!”
“Sir? Mr. Park is here for the appointment.”
Yoongi looks up at his secretary, “bring him in.”
He fixes his tie and focuses on the files of their deals when the door of his office opens.
Yoongi clears his throat, getting up, “welcome, Mr. Park-” he pauses, confused, “who...”
“Hi,” Jimin walks up to the table, “I am sorry for doing this but it's really hard to get a hold of you, and I had to beg my appa to fix a meeting with you-”
Yoongi frowns, “what is going on here...?”
Jimin gives an awkward smile, “I just really needed to talk to you.”
Yoongi pushes his tongue against his cheek, “about what? I don't know you.”
Jimin nods, “about Taehyung,” he holds his hands up when Yoongi's eyes sharpen on him, “listen to me, okay? Just, I will not take long. I promise.”
“You are already wasting my time,” Yoongi deadpans.
“I am Jungkook's friend,” Jimin starts, “and-”
“Get out,” Yoongi points at the door, “right now.”
Jimin blinks, “what?”
Yoongi nods, “you heard me. Get out. Whatever it is, I can't help you.”
Jimin frowns, “I am just trying to say, Taehyung-”
Yoongi glares, “don't!”
“I am just trying to-” Jimin stops when Yoongi holds up a hand.
“Listen to me, you spoilt brat,” Yoongi points a finger at Jimin, “you are already getting on my nerves. You wasted my time by this false meeting, and now you want me to expose Taehyung to that friend of yours?!”
“My friend is not a virus and yours is not a weak immune system,” Jimin deadpans, “expose him? Really?” he rolls his eyes, “just help me out here. Okay?” Jimin puts his hands on the table, “Taehyung deserves a heartfelt apology, and he deserves to know he is worth the effort!”
“Or, you are jealous?” Jimin offers a playful smirk to Yoongi, “that Jungkook might be able to steal him away from you?”
Yoongi lets out a deep breath, “either you take yourself out of my office or I call the security.”
Jimin crosses his arms over his chest, “help me out here.”
“I don't know what goes on with your friends, but, Taehyung is really struggling to cope with everything your friend put him through,” Yoongi grits out, “he is trying hard to get over it all, and I don't think seeing him all over again will help in any way. He is not doing well.”
“That's why he needs to see Jungkook,” Jimin begs almost, “that's why he needs a proper closure. He needs to forgive Jungkook to get past that situation himself. He can't heal until the wound is properly treated. Can he?”
Yoongi glares at Jimin, saying nothing.
“I mean, I would want the one who hurt me to apologize to me and really mean it, so I can put it all past me,” Jimin grips the strap of his bag, “please?” he swallows, “I beg you. I will owe you. A big one. Please?”
Yoongi snorts, “your father already owes me enough. Please.”
“I can't care less about your business,” Jimin rolls his eyes, “can you help me in this?”
For a long second Yoongi just stares at him, and then he is going back to sit on his chair, “what do you want me to do?”
Yoongi chokes on a breath when Jimin breaks into a grin.
“We will be going to this club tonight,” Jimin holds out his hand, “if you can bring Taehyung there.”
Yoongi looks at Jimin's outstretched hand, “what?”
Jimin sighs, “your phone. I need to get your number. So, we can share the address and all.”
Yoongi arches a brow, “really?”
Jimin shrugs, “I can take it from appa too, you know?”
Yoongi holds out his phone, “this is the first and last time I want to see your face. Am I clear?”
Jimin nods, busy typing out his number, “you are clear. See you tonight.”
Yoongi watches Jimin rush out of the office.
“I am sorry, okay?” Yoongi sighs, getting inside the club with Taehyung, “just... I don't know why I agreed.”
Taehyung shrugs, “it's okay, hyung. It's one night. I will be fine. I don't have to see him again.”
Namjoon and Hoseok are ahead of them, already inside the club.
Taehyung holds his breath as they walk inside and Yoongi guides him to the booth.
The tension is thick in the air. Or, maybe just Taehyung feels it.
Namjoon is bowing to Jin, his cheeks are a little warm when Jin smiles pleasantly at him. Hoseok sits down beside Jimin.
Taehyung feels Yoongi's hand on his back, and he lets out a breath before sitting down.
His eyes roam over the people in the booth, and he lets out a deep breath.
Jungkook is not there yet.
“Kookie is by the bar,” Jimin says, smile wide, “getting us something to drink.”
Taehyung feels nauseous, it's like déjà vu. He looks anywhere but at the bar. Yoongi's presence is a comfort to him as he sits there idly.
“Here are the drinks,” Jungkook comes back, “if you all need anything else, just order yoursel-” he pauses when he sees Taehyung.
Taehyung looks away as soon as their eyes meet, and Jungkook does the same. Both of them can feel eyes on them. The other five trying hard to not look directly, but they are watching the two of them.
Jungkook coughs, feeling awkward, “anyway,” he sits down beside Jimin.
Jimin winces as soon as Jungkook sits down. Jungkook pinches him, hard.
Jimin digs his nails on Jungkook's thigh right away.
“A warning is all I needed!” Jungkook hisses under his breath.
“To not show up?” Jimin hisses back, “now, take him somewhere private and talk!”
Jungkook glances at Taehyung and back at Jimin, “you realize Yoongi is like,” he shrugs, “glaring holes at me right now, right? If I even utter about taking Taehyung anywhere, he might actually rip me in pieces.”
Jimin sighs, “let me distract him. Okay?”
Jungkook stares, “huh?”
Jimin takes a shot and gets up, “dance with me,” he holds his hand out for Yoongi.
Yoongi blinks, a little startled, “sorry?”
Jimin offers a wide grin, “dance? The dance floor? Dance with me?”
Yoongi shakes his head, “I don't dance.”
Jimin grabs Yoongi's wrist, “come on!”
Yoongi almost stumbles, “I literally never moved unless I have to-”
“Then you have to,” Jimin drags Yoongi towards the dance floor.
Jungkook watches how Taehyung gapes at the scene, and he is leaning over.
Taehyung jumps, a little startled himself, “huh?”
Jungkook gulps, “can we talk?”
Taehyung looks away, “what's there to talk about?”
“Please?” Jungkook begs almost, “please, Taehyung. Please. Just this once, okay?” he lets out a deep breath, “I won't disturb you ever again. I promise.”
Taehyung looks back at him, thinking.
Jungkook leads Taehyung out. The back alley is dimly lit, a few smokers loitering around. Some are huddled close together, a few couples here and there.
Taehyung stands awkwardly, looking anywhere but at Jungkook. Jungkook clears his throat, trying to sort his thoughts out.
Jungkook looks at Taehyung and thinks how he doesn't really have any feelings for Taehyung except for the immense guilt. He lets out a deep breath.
“I don't know how to start,” Jungkook murmurs, breaking the silence, “just... when I saw you that night, I wasn't thinking.”
“There was still this hurt in me and I didn't know how to channel it,” Jungkook looks past Taehyung's shoulder, “seeing you,” he gulps, “I didn't think it through. Taegeun mentioned how he loves you and I wanted him to hurt by hurting you-”
He stops when Taehyung looks at him.
“I have no excuses to make,” Jungkook shakes his head, “none. I messed up. Badly. I wish I could reason or try to back myself up but there's nothing I can say that will excuse whatever I did,” he looks down at their feet, “I am sorry. I really am. You didn't deserve any of that.”
“After the first time, I contacted you because I wanted to move forward with my plan” Jungkook pauses to give Taehyung some time, “I had to find an excuse to just,” Jungkook frowns, a small chuckle escaping his lips, “god, now that I am saying it, it feels so pathetic of me.”
“I was so blinded by my own hurt, I didn't stop to think how low I stooped to hurt someone who had nothing to do with any of this,” Jungkook swallows, “just that... when he said he has to think of you and I saw you, in my mind I pinned our breakup as your fault. Stupid of me.”
Taehyung has his hands clasped in front of him, his eyes boring on them. Jungkook looks at him with a tired sigh.
“I messed up so badly, I am sorry,” Jungkook tries to find Taehyung's eyes, but Taehyung refuses to look up at him, “if I can do anything to show you how much-”
“You can't do anything for something that's past now,” Taehyung finally looks at Jungkook, “you can't turn back time. If you could, I would ask you to take me back to that night when we met and change it. But, you can't and that's that. It happened, whatever it was, it did.”
“You apologized, and I appreciate it,” Taehyung nods, “that's all you can do. You did. There's nothing more I would ask of you. There's nothing more we would need to spend time on. It's enough that you realized where you went wrong and owned up to it. I don't need anything else.”
“I have forgiven you,” Taehyung shrugs, “because, if I didn't, I will be stuck in that loop of time, and it will do me no good. So, for my own peace of mind, I have forgiven you and moved past it. You don't need to do anything for me. But, if you are feeling guilty, then…”
“That's something you need to work on,” Taehyung nods, “I have forgiven you.”
Jungkook stares at the guy, his eyes never leaving Taehyung's face, “I kind of thought at some point you will slap me or scream-”
“I am not the type,” Taehyung shrugs, “even the thought tires me out.”
“I am not big in confrontations,” Taehyung looks away, “I have screamed at you in my mind. I can't do it verbally, though. So,” he looks at the door of the club, “whatever. It happened and it's done. I don't want to keep dwelling on it.”
Jungkook gives him a small nod.
“I will go now,” Taehyung juts his chin out towards the door, “if that's all...?”
“It is,” Jungkook breathes out, “I am really sorry. It doesn't cut any bullshit I put you through, but I am. Really.”
Taehyung nods, “I appreciate your apology.”
He rounds Jungkook and leaves.
Jungkook pulls out his phone and scrolls through his contact. His thumb hovers over the one he was searching for.
For a second, Jungkook stares at it before he deleted the number and deletes everything related to Taehyung from his phone.
When Jungkook gets back inside the club, Taehyung is sitting beside Jimin. Jungkook watches how excitedly Jimin is explaining something to Taehyung, and Taehyung's expression says he is interested.
Jungkook sits down on Jimin's other side, reaching for a shot.
“I can show you, or you can come over at mine anytime!” Jimin grins, excitement clear in his voice, “I have a collection of Ghibli movies!”
Taehyung sounds a little breathless, “are you sure...?”
“Yeah?” Jimin frowns, “I told you! You can come over whenever! Really!”
“I will leave now,” Yoongi gets up, “Tae, you are you coming or, Hoba can drop you off?”
Taehyung shakes his head, getting up, “no, no,” he smiles at Jimin, “I will go.”
Jimin pouts, “fine,” he glares at Yoongi and smiles up at Taehyung, “I will call you.”
Jungkook moves his legs for Taehyung to leave the table. Jimin loops his arm around Jungkook's elbow, resting his head on Jungkook's shoulder.
“Is it bad that I want him for myself?” Jimin lets out a dreamy sigh, “he is so pretty.”
Jungkook grimaces, “get off of me, man!”
Hoseok leans in towards them, “I think we three can leave together?” he winces, “these two are getting gross with the clock.”
Jungkook looks over at Jin and Namjoon. Namjoon has a dreamy look on his face while Jin explains something to him.
“Yeah, let's leave,” he gets up too.
The divorce goes smoothly. Jungkook and Jaehyuk sees Taegeun again. Taehyung doesn't show up for it. Taegeun doesn't drag the divorce, either. Jungkook thinks Taegeun doesn't want to get his name out so negatively because then his career will suffer the blow.
Things get back to normal again. Jungkook finds himself falling into a routine. Hooking up here and there, going to his internship. Spending time with his friends.
He sometimes wonders how Taehyung is doing, a passing thought, but he moves past it gracefully.
There are nights he sits by the balcony and thinks of Taegeun. How badly the man messed him up. He hates thinking how he hurt Taehyung. That Jungkook is a chapter of his life, he doesn't recognize. He is not like that and no matter how many times he tries to forget, he can't.
'Were you thinking of him when you were with me...' Taehyung's question keeps him up at night.
He finds himself staring at the ceiling and answering Taehyung that no, no he didn't. He couldn't say it. Even in that club, he couldn't say it to Taehyung. But, he didn't.
“I just have to accept that in his story, I will forever stay a villain,” Jungkook tells Jin one day, “and, I don't know why it's so hard to accept that simple fact.”
Jin sits on the floor of the balcony, nodding, “maybe because, Taehyung shouldn't have a villain in his story?”
Jin looks out at Seoul from the balcony, “he, out of all of us, shouldn't have a villain in his story.”
Jungkook lies down on the floor, eyes on the sky, “I keep beating myself up over it. It's like... he knows a part of me that's the worst of me, and I am ashamed of it.”
“Why can't I just forget about it?” Jungkook groans, “not the first time someone would hate me. I mean, I am not a great person in so many people's life, but this one I did deliberately, and it's eating me alive.”
Jin rubs Jungkook's legs that rest on his lap, “right.”
“Well, him and Jimin became really close,” Jin chuckles, “over ghibli movies and whatnot. Watching them is like babysitting two toddlers,” he squeezes Jungkook's ankle, “you never show up for our Saturday night movies since Taehyung joined in. You can come over, you know?”
“I think if you two eased into a friendship of sorts, it might get easier with time,” Jin nods when Jungkook looks at him, “as a friend you can be there for him. He can slowly learn that you are an absolute idiot who barrels into trouble, but not really a fully bad person.”
“Your guilt is eating you alive and facing it will make you think running from it is better, but, not really. Just break through that hesitation and do it for your own conscience.”
Jungkook looks at the sky, thinking about Jin's words, “why would he ever want to be my friend?”
“But, just so you know, Yoongi and him,” Jin gives Jungkook a pointed stare, “are kind of a thing. So, don't try anything-”
“I had a thing for his brother,” Jungkook sighs, closing his eyes, “I am not about to start having a thing for him. Calm down, will you?”
Jin massages the pad of Jungkook's feet, “then good. Just friends is what I am saying. Don't mess it up.”
“I won't,” Jungkook shakes his head, “okay? I am not even sure if I will pick you up on that offer either. Just… let's see.”
Jin doesn't push at anymore.
When Jungkook moves and lies down with his head on Jin's lap, Jin silently scratches his scalp. Both of them looking at the night of Seoul.
“How is Namjoon?” Jungkook wonders.
Jin lets out a soft sigh, “perfect.”
Jungkook risks a glance at the elder, Jin doesn't meet his eyes.
The man has a charming smile. His smile titls his lips up while Jungkook kisses him. A giggle bursts out of him when Jungkook's hands skim over his waist, pulling him closer. There is a sense of urgency but playfulness when he chases Jungkook's lips for another kiss.
Ilsung, Jungkook thinks the name is pretty, just as the guy himself. He takes Ilsung to the motel he last went to with Taegeun. He asks for the same room in the reception, and it's thankfully not booked. Jungkook takes Ilsung to that room, opening the door to stare inside.
Ilsung walks in, pulling Jungkook in with him. Jungkook closes the door behind himself and stops to stare at the bed and the room where Taegeun broke it all off with him.
It doesn't hurt.
It doesn't hurt to think back about that memory anymore.
It doesn't feel as awful as Jungkook thought it would be. The memories don't haunt him, fill him up with agony, as he thought it would be.
Ilsung is turning to him and pulling him in for another kiss, and Jungkook goes easily. A sense of relief filling him to the brim.
Jungkook lets Ilsung unbutton his shirt and push him down on the bed. He watches Ilsung straddle him. A playful smirk on Ilsung's face, that Jungkook reciprocate with a soft smile of his own.
He watches how the moonlight peeks over Ilsung's face, leaving him in a soft glow.
'𝑊𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡𝘩𝑖𝑛𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑓 𝘩𝑖𝑚 𝑤𝘩𝑒𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡𝘩 𝑚𝑒…?'
Jungkook swallows. The moonlight lightens up a side of Ilsung's face, and Jungkook finds himself thinking back about that night.
The moonlight reflecting in Taehyung's eyes...
'𝐼 𝑎𝑚 𝑠𝑎𝑓𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡𝘩 𝑦𝑜𝑢.'
Jungkook sits up, leaning back against the headrest. Ilsung stares at him.
“Anything wrong?” he wonders.
Jungkook looks at the guy, trying to come up with an excuse. He sighs.
“What's wrong?” Ilsung wonders, a little concerned.
Jungkook throws his head back, hiding his face in his palms to groan into them.
“He probably forgot all about it,” he speaks, loud, “he is probably not even as hurt as he was. Why can't I let it go?!”
Ilsung looks at him, alarmed, “okay, what's going on? You can tell me.”
“Nothing, I was thinking about someone else,” Jungkook looks at Ilsung, snorts, “literally can't stop thinking about him every waking hour. It's turning into a bad obsession, and I don't know how to get out of this loop.”
Ilsung tilts his head, “ex-boyfriend?”
“No,” Jungkook squirms out of the bed, “no. He was…” he can't find a word, then he chuckles, “he was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life. I hurt him. Terribly. Now every day I am trying to move past it, but I just can't. I wish I can just accept I hurt him and forget it.”
“Why did I ever think it would be a good idea?” Jungkook curses, “maybe it would hurt less if he was as terrible as Taegeun, but,” Jungkook looks at Ilsung, “did I kill your boner by now? Because mine is dead.”
Ilsung snorts, “well, the night is ruined. Might as well hear it.”
Jungkook looks out through the window, “he forgave me. You know? That hurt the most. He simply forgave me. I wish he made me work for it. At least served me some kind of punishment. It's killing me that he simply forgave me. I wish he made me go down on my knees for it.”
“I wish he made it hard,” Jungkook leans against the cool glass of the window, “I wish he was cruel about it. I wish he was different,” his throat feels tight, “I wish he was just like his brother. I would be able to justify myself then. He is a good person, and it's killing me.”
Jungkook feels his eyes burn, he closes them, “he trusted me defencelessly, and I tore him apart for something he had no business with. His eyes,” Jungkook curses, “shit, I close mine and I see his eyes. They are so trusting, and the last time I saw them, they were in tears.”
He presses his forehead against the glass, “and, I caused it. I added my name in the list of people who hurt him. I am one of those people and it's killing me. I wish he would do something. Slap me, make a scene, humiliate me, try to get back at me. He just left. Silently left!”
“You know what hurts the most?” Jungkook hates how his voice cracks, “he would look at me and always smile. There was always a smile on his face whenever we met, and when he left, I wiped it off of him. I know he will smile at someone again, but I lost the smile that was for me.”
“He will never look back at those three months and smile,” Jungkook grits his teeth, his vision blurring, “he will have someone in his life who will make him see how worthy he is of happiness and love and care but I added myself to the list of people who didn't. It fcking hurts!”
“I messed up so bad, and I am running in this loop where I want to beg for forgiveness that he already handed over to me,” Jungkook shakes his head, “he already forgave and moved on. Then, why can't I move on? Why I keep thinking about it? Why can't I just accept it and leave?”
“My worst nightmare is, one day we will meet, and he might smile at me, and it will be friendly and warm, just as he is, but,” Jungkook swallows, “it won't be the one that was for me. It would be a smile he gives everyone, and it doesn't make sense, but-”
“You don't want to be just another person in his life,” Ilsung whispers.
Jungkook breathes out a chuckle, “okay, that made no sense.”
Ilsung sighs, “I don't know what went down or what you did, but, we all make mistakes. Terrible mistakes. Only few regret it this badly. Yeah?”
“Guilt is the first step of redemption,” Ilsung sighs, getting out of the bed himself, “so many people hurt others without feeling a remorse of guilt. It divides you from them. You are not a bad person, Jungkook, you just made a bad, terrible choice. Sometimes, it happens.”
“You need to forgive yourself now,” Ilsung sighs, “if he forgave you, then there's not much you can do than forgive yourself. You can't keep bringing it up to him and opening up his wound that he healed. Right? It's your wound you need to heal now. Forgive yourself.”
“If that's all there is, then forgive yourself and try to move on,” Ilsung watches how Jugnkook doesn't respond.
He smiles, a small smile curling his lips up, “it's not just that. Is it?” he wonders, “you really want him to smile at you like he used to. It's that important.”
“Don't be ridiculous,” Jungkook turns away from the window, “you don't know-”
“If you don't want anything out of it, then there's nothing else to do except for forgiving yourself,” Ilsung chuckles, “literally, nothing else. If that's all there is.”
Jungkook shrugs on his shirt.
Ilsung picks up his shirt too, his lips still curved upwards. Jungkook hurries, buttoning up his shirt and going to put on his shoes while Ilsung follows.
Jungkook drops Ilsung off near his house, and Ilsung holds his wrist before Jungkook can leave.
“Just one question.”
Jungkook arches a brow.
Ilsung has a flirty smile on his lips, “was I more beautiful than him?”
Jungkook can't help the small laugh that escapes his lips. He watches Ilsung, throat bobbing.
“The moonlight looks better on him,” Jungkook starts the bike, leaving Ilsung behind.
Taehyung can't escape Jungkook. His presence is everywhere in Jimin's apartment or Jin's. Whenever he visits. There are pictures of the three in both apartments. There are stories they share, both of them keeping Jungkook's name out, but it's implied. Taehyung knows.
Sometimes he calls when Taehyung is over and Jimin takes it to somewhere else. Taehyung hears them talk. He hears Jimin or Jin laugh at whatever Jungkook is saying. They never make an excuse, or Taehyung never asks. He never sees Jungkook though. As if he deliberately stays away.
So, it's a little surprising to go to Jimin's apartment one day and see Jungkook on the couch. He is fast asleep and Jimin has thrown a blanket over him. Taehyung stares, a little breathless, how the morning sun rays illuminate his pale face, long hair falling all over his eyes.
“Sorry,” Jimin comes up behind him, “I wanted to reschedule, but your phone is unreachable.”
Taehyung waves his hand, “it died, and I forgot to charge it. It's okay.”
Jimin looks at Jungkook, “he stayed over. Jin hyung and him had a bet going on. He got too drunk to go home.”
“Minion, close the damn curtains!” Jungkook groans, turning his face away from the sun, “I swear, you little button, I will throw you out of the window!”
Jimin curses, going to close the curtains, “it's blood one in the afternoon! You know?!”
Taehyung watches Junkgook groan.
Taehyung holds back a gasp when Jimin walks up to Jungkook and kicks him in the ass.
“Get up!” Jimin screams against Jungkook's ear, “you are hogging the couch and people need to sit!”
“Who is people?” Jungkook curses, “you can fit in a cupboard! Go away!”
He slowly sits up.
Taehyung looks away when he notices that Jungkook is not wearing any shirt. The man scratches his bicep, yawning, head bowed.
“Go and bring me some coffee,” Jungkook rubs his hands down his face, “I am dying, Jimin ssi, I am dying.”
“Please, I prayed for that,” Jimin glares.
Taehyung stands there, awkwardly watching Jimin go to the kitchen anyway to pour Jungkook a mug of coffee.
Jungkook turns to face the front, eyes still closed, as he leans back against the couch with a groan.
“I am never drinking again,” Jungkook sighs, trying to blink, “shit!”
“Tae, come here,” Jimin calls, “ignore that whiny asshole.”
Jungkook snaps up, his eyes shooting open, and Taehyung jumps. Those red-rimmed eyes are on him, and Taehyung feels frozen.
Jungkook swallows, wide eyes finally focused on Taehyung. Taehyung is not sure what to do.
The next moment, Jungkook lets out a loud curse.
“Shit, shit, shit,” he groans, rolling away, “aww, that hurt!”
Taehyung reaches out on instinct, pulling back right away as he watches Jungkook go through it.
Jimin comes to give him the coffee, “here's coffee! Also, a shirt.”
Jungkook blindly reaches for the coffee and snorts, “the optimism you have to think I will fit in your shirt.”
Jimin throws it at Jungkook's face, “Tae, you sit. I will get dressed and then we can leave. Let him rot in his post-drunk haze!”
Taehyung watches Jimin go.
Jungkook struggles with the shirt, not acknowledging Taehyung, who is also trying to not acknowledge Jungkook.
Jungkook curses, “my arm doesn't fit in this shirt!” he throws it on the couch.
Taehyung forces himself to move and sit on the kitchen stool.
Jungkook gets up.
Taehyung looks away when the man starts searching something on the floor. His one hand scratching at his neck.
Taehyung focuses on anything but Jungkook, who moves around the room until he finds his shirt and is shrugging it on.
“I will leave now,” Jungkook calls for Jimin.
Taehyung watches, eyes a little wide, as Jungkook drags his feet towards the door.
Taehyung looks at the bedroom where Jimin disappeared and back at Jungkook, who is rubbing his temple and moving towards the door, “you're too hungover to drive now!”
He hates his own voice.
Jungkook freezes by the door, his back tensing up. Taehyung hates how his face heats up. His voice hanging between them. The silence stretches and he finds himself fidgeting. When Jungkook looks over his shoulder, Taehyung swiftly turns to face away from him. His eyes closing.
The embarrassment sits heavy on his shoulders, and Taehyung wants to slam his forehead against something. Maybe the counter itself.
He can't help the words that bubble out of him, “sorry.”
Jungkook doesn't reply, and Taehyung bites down on his lower lip, teeth digging there.
He hears the door close and his shoulders sag. A breath escapes him. Taehyung is not sure why it still leaves a hollow feeling in his chest.
“Tae?” Jimin comes out of the bedroom, “ready to leave? The film starts in an hour!”
Taehyung swallows, nodding, “ye-yeah. Let's go.”
“Oh, look who found his beer spilled shirt,” Jimin snorts, “damn, you look horrible.”
Taehyung sucks in a breath, eyes fixed on his hands on top of the counter.
“Get out, minion,” Jungkook grumbles.
“This is my house!” Jimin throws his hands up, “did you hit your head?!”
“Drop me off at my house,” Jungkook sighs, “I am too hungover to drive.”
Taehyung's fingers clasp together tighter, his eyes closing on their own accord. Air fills his lungs, and the same air burns his chest. He hates how that voice has that effect on him. He hates it.
Jimin beams, “or, you can come to the movies with us,” his eyes widen, a smile breaking on his face, “yes! Come with us! I was already feeling like an odd one out!”
Jungkook frowns, “huh?”
“His boyfriend is coming,” Jimin points at Taehyung, “I was feeling like a third wheel!”
Taehyung doesn't correct Jimin. He is tired of doing so. Also, a part of him doesn't want to correct Jimin today. He wants to have that protection around him. A sense of importance. He doesn't want Jungkook to think he is single, since Jungkook did that to him a month ago.
So, when Jimin drags Jungkook with them, Taehyung follows silently. He doesn't protest every time Jimin addresses Yoongi as his boyfriend.
“You should see how he treats Tae,” Jimin snorts, parking the car, “like Tae is made of glass or something.”
“Good,” Jungkook murmurs.
“I will join you after I buy myself a change of clothes,” Jungkook points at the shops, “go and get the tickets.”
Jimin nods, taking Taehyung's hand in his.
Taehyung follows Jimin to the escalator. Yoongi is waiting by the top floor.
“You are late,” he stares at Jimin.
Jimin ignores Yoongi, going to the ticket counter to buy the tickets.
“The audacity this guy has?” Yoongi hisses, “I am here waiting for an hour!”
Taehyung blinks, “but... hyung, the movie starts at three.”
Yoongi blinks back at him, “he said it starts at two?!”
Taehyung bites back a smile when he realizes what happened. Yoongi catches on quickly.
“He made me wait an hour for no reason, didn't he?” Yoongi deadpans.
When Taehyung doesn't utter a word, Yoongi marches over to Jimin, grabbing him by the elbow. Taehyung bites back a laugh.
Taehyung leans on the railing, looking down at the other floors of the mall. His eyes find Jungkook, who is taking the escalator now. Holding a packet and shoving his wallet in the new jean's pocket. He is dressed in all black. Taehyung stares, watches Jungkook all the way up.
Jungkook combs his hair back, fixing his sunglass over his eyes.
Taehyung braces himself when Jungkook steps away from the escalator, looking around. Taehyung watches Jungkook and looks back at Yoongi. He already feels a headache coming up when Yoongi finally sees Jungkook.
Yoongi's eyes sharpen and Taehyung winces. He is ready to reach for Yoongi when Jimin steps in front of the man.
Taehyung watches Jimin say something to Yoongi that makes Yoongi look at him. Jimin shakes his head, still speaking. Yoongi looks at Jungkook and back at Jimin.
“We should get inside,” Jimin calls for Taehyung and Jungkook, “me and Tae will get the seats. You two get something to eat for us!”
Jungkook stares, “is this because I called you a button? You know, buttons are cute, right?”
Jimin drags Taehyung with him, “be serious, kookie!”
Jungkook watches, helpless, as Jimin and Taehyung leave. He looks at Yoongi and Yoongi is already looking at him. Unimpressed.
“I don't know if the glasses are hiding some bruise you got or…” Yoongi trails off.
Jungkook sighs, “are you really going to be a pain in the ass?”
“Loosen up, old man,” Jungkook goes for the counter, “you already won. Let it be.”
Yoongi frowns, following him, “won...?”
Jungkook orders popcorn, leaning against the counter and watching the boy make it.
Yoongi orders the drinks, “be nice to Taehyung.”
Jungkook and Yoongi walk inside the hall and looks around until Jimin is hollering at them.
“God, is he always that loud?” Yoongi mutters.
Jungkook snorts, “you have no idea.”
They walk up to the seats. Jimin and Taehyung are already sitting, leaving two seats empty for them.
Jungkook sits beside Jimin, and Yoongi sits between Jimin and Taehyung. Jungkook hands out the popcorns.
“The non-spicy one for him,” Jungkook tells Jimin when he hands over the tray.
“Tae, here you go,” Jimin hands it over and leans up to Jungkook, “how do you know?”
Jungkook sips his cola, shrugging. Jimin doesn't ask again. He looks up at the screen as the film starts.
Jungkook leans back against the seat, feeling the tiredness slowly pull him in as he closes his eyes. The darkness of the theatre helps as he slowly drifts off to sleep.
“They are so cute together,” Jimin elbows him in the middle of the movie, “holding hands and all.”
Jungkook blinks, feeling well rested as he sits up, “who?”
Jimin points with his eyes, and Jungkook looks over to see Yoongi and Taehyung holding hands. He snorts.
“Which grade are we in?” Jungkook wonders aloud, “that's cringe.”
Jimin rolls his eyes, “you are seriously an anti-romantic! It's very cute!”
Jungkook rolls his eyes, “you find everything cute-”
His words die in his mouth when he catches Taehyung smiling at Yoongi.
The smile is warm, those eyes are trusting as they focus on whatever Yoongi is saying. Yoongi has a smile on his lips too, describing something to Taehyung.
Taehyung's lips stretch around a bigger smile, a boxy one. Yoongi laughs too. They both look back at the screen.
Jungkook doesn't care if they hold hands or end up making out.
But, that smile reminds him of how Taehyung looked at him that morning. A little startled, caught off-guard, and then swiftly turned away. His lips pressed in a thin line.
Jungkook looks away.
“I wish I had a boyfriend now,” Jimin leans his head on Jungkook's shoulder, “kookie, set me up on a date!”
Jungkook elbows him, “you have people lining up to date you. You don't need my help!”
Jimin whines, burying his face against Jungkook's neck, “come on!”
Jungkook squirms, a short laugh escaping his lips, “don't snuggle me, it tickles!”
Jimin giggles, “the movie is so boring, kookie! God, why does it have such a good review?! Get me out of here!”
Jungkook grabs Jimin's hands when they reach to tickle him, “you chose this!”
As they scuffle, Jungkook looks up and pauses. Taehyung is watching them. Those eyes fixed on them as Jimin giggles against Jungkook, and Jungkook has a bright smile on his lips too. The smile slowly dims when Taehyung's eyes finally match his.
There is a small smile on Taehyung's lips. He looks at Jimin and back at Jungkook. That smile curls the corners of his lips even more. Then he is looking away.
Jungkook looks away too, a little dazed. A little confused.
As the movie ends, they all groan in relief.
“That was the most terrible two hours of my life,” Yoongi gets up, “like, literally.”
Jimin yawns, stretching as he stands up, “who wants something to eat? I am starving!”
“I know a place,” Jungkook looks at his watch, “it will be opening now.”
Yoongi looks at Taehyung, “do you want to go with them or...?”
Jimin frowns, “hey, it's our day out. You and Jungkook added on. He is coming with me!”
Taehyung chuckles, “I am hungry too. I don't mind.”
Yoongi looks at Jungkook, his eyes still calculative. Jungkook sighs.
“Let's go,” Jungkook takes Jimin's hand in his, pulling him forward.
Yoongi and Taehyung follow.
“Are they dating?” Yoongi asks Taehyung.
Taehyung looks at them. Jungkook holding Jimin around the shoulder, both of them pressed together.
“Mimi said they are childhood friends.”
“Oh?” Yoongi arches a brow.
Taehyung nods, “their fathers were college time buddies, and they are like,” he shrugs, “inseparable since childhood. Jin hyung joined in around primary. I guess.”
Yoongi makes a face, “it shows. They are comfortable around each other.”
“I wish I had a friend like that, you know?” Taehyung gives a small smile, “who would know me since childhood. Literally know everything about me, so I don't have to fill them in on everything. It must feel nice to have someone with you for that long. Like a chosen family.”
The restaurant Jungkook takes them to is a small one. He gets them a window side booth. All of them sit down face to face.
As Jimin and Taehyung start to skim through the menu, Yoongi leans his elbows on the table.
“So, what's up?” he asks Jungkook.
Jungkook blinks, “huh?”
“With you, what's up?” Yoongi shrugs, “you know, is this like those childhood friends to lovers kind of thing where you have feelings for your childhood friend and to cope with it, you sleep around until he realizes it and confesses?”
Taehyung chokes, “hyung!”
“No, I know one of the Jeon brothers from Hoba's side,” Yoongi focuses his eyes on Jungkook, “didn't like him. At all. He was the worst person for Hoba. If you are like him… it would make sense. Because, otherwise, how do you make sense of whatever you do? How do you excuse it?”
“Are you high, or you are watching cheesy romcoms too much?” Jimin frowns, “first of all, him and me?” he makes a face, “I am about to throw up all over the table! Second, just because you have no one to get laid with, doesn't mean everyone has to be like that? The hell?”
Jimin holds up a hand when Yoongi tries to open his mouth, “no, I get it. He is Taehyung's culprit. I will not move an inch if Taehyung asks this or, hell, beats him to death in front of me. I won't. But, you or me, we are no one to get our head in this? Shut up, sir?”
“One thing, hooking up is not wrong,” Jimin arches a brow, “if both parties want it, there's nothing wrong in hooking up or one-night stands. You are not about to judge him for that! Also, you know very well what's the case with him and Taehyung. Why are you being a petty bi'ch?”
Jungkook grips Jimin's thigh, “chi-”
“No, really,” Jimin waves Jungkook off, glare fixed on Yoongi, “I am done with you protecting Taehyung like he is at flight risk!” he points at Taehyung, “he is an adult. He can speak for himself! You don't need to fight his battles for him!”
“This was supposed to be his dayout with you, and you brought Jungkook in it,” Yoongi places his hand on the counter, glaring at Jimin, “did you stop to ask how Taehyung would feel about it?”
“Yes, in fact, I did,” Jimin leans forward to, “when we first started hanging out!”
“I asked him if it was alright if some day Jungkook shows up, or I invite him over,” Jimin shakes his head, “I would never throw Taehyung in a situation he is uncomfortable in. That's the point, hyung. You think no one else can care for Taehyung. But, I do. I really care!”
“But, unlike you, my care doesn't come with terms and conditions,” Jimin snorts, “I don't choose his battles and try to fight it for him. I am here, trying to make things less awkward. Our friend group is somewhat the same, he has to face Jugnkook. Might as well, make it easy!”
Taehyung takes a hold of Yoongi's hand, “hyung, it's fine. I am fine. It's okay. Let it be.”
Yoongi doesn't look away from Jimin, and Jimin doesn't falter either.
“He didn't suffer as much as he should,” Yoongi looks at Jungkook, “you got off so easily for the shit you pulled!”
“You have no idea how he has to-”
Taehyung grips Yoongi's elbow, “stop, please, hyung.”
Yoongi looks at him, watches how Taehyung almost begs with his eyes, and he lets out a deep breath.
“I told you I don't want to be here,” Yoongi whispers, “told you, seeing him will-”
“I know I got off too easily for the shit I pulled,” Jungkook's voice makes them both look over, Jungkook is staring resolutely at Yoongi, “I know. I don't owe you shit, but I will still tell you. No, I don't think I deserved getting off the hook so easily. Trust me, I know!”
“It keeps me up every night thinking how easily I got off the hook,” Jungkook's jaw tightens, “you might want to see me physically suffer because every struggle shows if it's physical. But, mentally, I am suffering every day. I am. I wish I knew what can I possibly do to get +
my peace of mind back.”
Yoongi arches a brow, “so, even here you are selfishly thinking of yourself.”
“Yes, I am,” Jungkook gives a curt nod, “because, I am not used to guilt. I never felt guilty of things I did. I am not a bad person,” he grits out, “I just made a bad choice!”
“And, I have learnt that the world will see you the way they want to, like you judged me after knowing my brother and having no idea how I am. You never tried, you just saw him and chalked me up with him. So, in that case, I can't care less what you think of me. But...”
“I care about my own image of myself,” Jungkook swallows, “I care about how I see myself because I know myself the best and after what I did, I hate myself. That is why I feel like I deserved some sort of punishment. Because, the inner me is suffering, and it's fcking painful!”
“You decided to punish me for what my brother did,” Taehyung whispers, making them all look at him, his eyes are stuck on the table, “you did what hyung is doing to you now,” those eyes finally match Jungkook's, “hurts, doesn't it? To be judged without a fair chance?”
Taehyung gives a tired sigh, “I like to think the world works like that. What goes around, comes around. What you did, was wrong. What you are feeling is the punishment for that. But,” he shrugs, “I forgave you. I am fine now. I moved on. You, too, should try to do the same.”
“As you said,” Taehyung lets out a deep breath, “you are not a bad person. You made a bad choice. Maybe, you need to start believing it again.”
“Every time I look at you, I know you will never believe that thought,” Jungkook swallows, “and, that never lets me believe it myself.”
“I look at you with Jimin,” Taehyung whispers, his hands tightening on his lap, “I see how happy you make him, I want to believe it. But,” he looks away, “I don't know that Jungkook. I didn't know that Jungkook. So, it gets hard. The Jungkook I knew was cruel to me.”
Yoongi rubs his hands down his face, “how are you saying you moved on is beyond me. You are still hurting, and it's pretty clear to me.”
Taehyuyng doesn't look at any one of them, “hyung...”
“This is a crazy idea,” Jimin holds his hand up, “but, hear me out. Okay?”
“How about you two try to form a friendship?” Jimin holds both his hands up when Yoongi gapes at him, “listen to me! I know what Jungkook did was terrible and Taehyung thinks he forgave him, but Taehyung is still hurting. I think Jungkook owes him that healing. Don't you think?”
“Let's order something that has an olive branch in it and give each other that,” Jimin looks at the two of them, “friendship. It is the purest relation and it heals people. Slowly, gradually, you two can come to know each other and one day, you might actually forgive and forget!”
“If my order comes with an entire olive branch, I am complaining,” Yoongi arches a brow.
Jimin lets out a deep breath, “taking everything in me to not flip the table at your face, sir. Please, stay quiet!”
Yoongi shakes his head, “this is ridiculous! What you just said-”
Jimin looks at Taehyung, “you clearly didn't forgive him, Tae. I am not blaming you, I know you want to, but you haven't. Every time you look at him, your expression dims. You look betrayed and hurt. I know how you feel, trust me, I do,” he reaches for Taehyung's hand...
“I stay up every night wishing that person who broke me comes back. Puts an effort to try to mend it all back together.” Jimin murmurs, “I know I will heal some day, but I want that person to acknowledge what he did, and I still think if he did, I would heal better. You know?”
“I know each people heals different or hurts different, but it always feels good to know the person who caused it is trying to mend it,” Jimin forces a smile on his lips, nodding at Taehyung, “for your peace of mind, Tae, let him put in some effort. He owes this to you.”
“He was a piece of shit to you, you don't owe him your friendship or time, but,” Jimin grips Taehyung's hand in his, “you owe this to yourself. You need that peace and let him work up to it. Yes?”
Taehyung lets out a deep breath, “I guess...” he swallows, “you make sense.”
Since that day, it gets a little easier between the group. Jimin invites him over and every time Jungkook will be there, he alerts Taehyung. Taehyung doesn't mind. After a day's worth of work, he likes to hang out with the other six.
The tension between Jungkook and Yoongi is still there. They both dance around each other and play it cool. Taehyung is grateful for that. Since he came back from Paris, he didn't make a lot of friends. These people make him feel comfortable. On days when he misses his family.
Taegeun doesn't call him. He doesn't reach out, even for once. Taehyung doesn't either. He won't say it doesn't hurt, but he has accepted it. Somehow made his peace with it.
“There's something we need to tell you guys,” Jin says when they all gather in his apartment one night.
“Namjoon and I,” they share a look, “are dating!”
“Quick, people, act surprised!” Hoseok claps his hands.
“That's brand-new information,” Yoongi holds his glass of wine up.
“I had no damn clue!” Jungkook holds his hand up.
“I am still in denial!” Jimin deadpans.
“Congratulations,” Taehyung smiles, “ignore them.”
“This is the only one we are adopting,” Jin ruffles Taehyung's hair, “this is the only kid I am having!”
Namjoon snorts, “now that, that's out of the way, we invited you all over for some dinner and movie!”
Taehyung goes over to the counter to help himself with whatever Jin and Yoongi are cooking. He stands close to Yoongi, peeking over his shoulder.
Jungkook is chopping vegetables on the counter.
“My appa met Taehyung yesterday,” Yoongi speaks up, “told me he likes Tae better!”
Taehyung feels his face heating up, “shut up, hyung.”
Yoongi smiles, “he really said, he likes Tae better than me, and he is glad I am spending my time with Tae.”
“Father approves, I see,” Hoseok wiggles his brows.
Yoongi rolls his eyes, “you really need to shut up, hoba.”
Taehyung looks up to see Jungkook looking at him. As soon as their eyes meet, Jungkook offers him a small smile. Taehyung gives a small smile of his own.
“There's nothing to drink in your fridge,” Jimin whines, “the beers are expired! Come on, hyung!”
Jin winces, “shit!”
“Kookie, go and buy some,” Jin throws his keys to Jungkook, “Tae, can you go with him? I don't trust him to not crack one open in the car itself!”
“The hell?” Jungkook frowns, “when did I ever?”
“Just go with him, Tae,” Jin waves his spatula, “we all drank and can't drive!”
Taehyung nods, following Jungkook out of the apartment to the lift.
“Just so you know,” Jungkook presses the button for the ground floor, “I never really drank and drove!”
Taehyung risks a glance at him, “sure.”
Jungkook turns to him, “I didn't! I really didn't!”
Taehyung's eyes find Jungkook again, “if you say so.”
“How reckless do you think I am?” Jungkook follows Taehyung out of the lift, “they were clearly pulling my leg!”
Taehyung holds his hand out, “let me drive.”
Jungkook sighs, giving Taehyung the keys, “fine!”
Taehyung gets in the car and Jungkook turns on the radio.
Taehyung focuses on the road, while Jungkook fuses with the songs. He stops at a song, and Taehyung tenses up.
It's the song that was playing in the club when they first met. Taehyung hates that he remembers.
Jungkook leans back against his seat, eyes outside. Taehyung grips the steering, his eyes focused on the street ahead of him. He reaches for the radio and changes the channel.
“What's wrong?” Jungkook wonders, “you don't like the song?”
Taehyung swallows, “no. I hate it.”
What Taehyung hates more is, only he seems to remember it. Only he seems to be in that loop. He bites back those words.
“It's not the song, is it?” Jungkook wonders, his eyes focus outside again.
Taehyung risks a glance at Jungkook, “what?”
Jungkook sighs, “it's not the song.”
Taehyung takes a turn, “so, you knowingly played it. Why?”
Jungkook leans back, putting his feet on the dashboard, “just wanted to check.”
“That if you are still an asshole or not?” Taehyung glares ahead.
He can feel Jungkook's eyes on him. They shift over his face.
Taehyung lets out a deep breath, “you get on my nerves nowadays.”
“I am doing nothing,” Jungkook murmurs, eyes never leaving Taehyung's face.
“You do,” Taehyung never looks away from the road, “you knowingly put me in situations where those memories come back. Why?”
“I am sorry,” Jungkook's voice is low, “I don't-”
“Last week, you bought us all ice-creams. The same one we used to have in your apartment after,” Taehyung swallows, “the same brand and everything! You keep making my food-”
“Because you don't like spice,” Jungkook frowns.
“No, you don't have to!” Taehyung slams his hand on the steering, “you don't have to, Jungkook! All those things remind me that you know things about me, I wish you didn't!”
“But, I do know, and what can I do about it?” Jungkook sits up straight, “I know things about you.”
“I know you like that brand of ice-cream. I know you hate spice. I know you like a certain genre of music. I know you don't like beans in your food, and you don't want to talk about it, so you just say you are allergic. I know you like vintage things. I know-”
“Why do you know?!” Taehyung stops the car at the side of the road, “why can't you just start over?! You know all this, and it's,” he waves his hands, “I told all these to that Jungkook. That Jungkook in my head was always thinking about my brother when he was with me!”
“Every time you remind me that you know all this about me, I wonder how much more you know about hyung. How much more you hid from me. How many times you compared us. It kills me to think I told you all that, when you probably felt like I was boring you! God, Jungkook-”
“I stopped comparing you to him after the first night,” Jungkook looks away, “at least, physically,” he shrugs, “you can't be insecure about your looks now. Can you?” he looks at Taehyung and when Taehyung just looks back, Jungkook blinks, “you are insecure about your looks?”
When Taehyung looks away, Jungkook's eyes widen, “how- what-” he takes a deep breath, “Taehyung, you can stand in front of a mirror and chalk that one out yourself! Literally! You are,” he stops for a second, “you are the most handsome guy I know.”
“Also, physical appearance is not it,” Jungkook looks down at his hands, “after that night, I was comparing him to you. Not, you to him. Do you get it?”
“No,” Taehyung sighs, “no, I don't get it.”
Jungkook takes a deep breath, “I am sorry. The comparison comes undeniably.”
“I was in love with him, Taehyung,” Jungkook gulps, “his habits, his manners, his everything is noted in my head. I can't help but compare,” when Taehyung looks at him, Jungkook offers a wobbly smile, “would you rather, I lie to you?”
Taehyung looks tired, “don't.”
“Don't lie to me,” Taehyung leans back against the seat, “if you still love him, just tell me-”
“You helped me see through that haze,” Jungkook chuckles, looking ahead himself, “you broke that spell somehow. You helped me understand Taegeun was not the standard. Ever.”
“He has impeccable manners,” Jungkook chuckles, “his words were always measured and right. In every situation, he knows how to talk or how to behave. He has that charm about him. He never slips. He is always perfect and I fell for that. You,” Jungkook closes his eyes...
A small, melancholic smile on his lips, “you are more heartfelt. Your manners are there but you are not bound in them. You have that personal touch. Which makes you so...” Jungkook sighs, “warm. You make everyone feel comfortable. Your presence isn't intimidating, it's soothing.”
“You know, we all dress up to go to those five-star restaurants, have to act a certain way to blend in there, we like it for a few hours,” Jungkook chuckles, “by the end of the night, we feel suffocated and want to be home. He is that five-star restaurant, and, you...are home.”
“Your aura is comforting, it feels like no one has to pretend to be anyone else around you. You are welcoming, god, you are so welcoming. You don't judge, not even a little bit, your eyes move onto a person and that person can see the sincerity in those eyes. You are so pure.”
“When you talk, you often ramble, and you think people will lose interest?” Jungkook snorts, “you have that captivating lure in you, Taehyung. I can sit and listen to you talk about absolutely nothing for hours. I know everyone does. Stop selling yourself so short. Really.”
“You were talking one night, as I was making dinner for you, and it hit me,” Jungkook clears his throat, remembering that night, “I kept forcing myself to stay at that restaurant. The bill kept piling up. I kept ignoring that the restaurant can never turn into a home.”
“And, if it does,” Jungkook snorts, “I would hate to stay at that restaurant, in those fake conversations, following those etiquettes for the rest of my life. I have to go back home to be free, and,” he closes his eyes, “I realized, he was never going to be that for me.”
Jungkook pauses, “that night, I realized I moved on. But,” he swallows, “you were there, and I realized, I can't afford that home. I can't, because,” he laughs, closing his eyes, “you are like a family home, and I am bankrupt from my overstay at the restaurant.”
“So, I did compare you two but you didn't lose,” Jungkook shakes his head, “you didn't really lose anything. Your value,” he makes a face, “I can't afford it. Taegeun can't even think of it. So, in both ways, you didn't lose, Taehyung.”
Taehyung doesn't answer.
Jungkook dares himself to look at Taehyung, “Yoongi hyung looks like he can afford it, you know?” he gives a small smile to Taehyung, “he treats you like you deserve. You have no idea, Taehyung, you don't have to believe me, but, seeing it feels good. You deserve it. That care.”
“I broke you,” Jungkook grips his hands together, “your own hyung is an absolute filth. I am glad you have someone in your life who knows your worth and can afford it. I am just trying to fill in the cracks I left,” he looks away, “that's all I hope of doing.”
“Which night are you talking about,” Taehyung stares at the steering.
Jungkook gulps, “the night you asked if I was sleeping around. The night you were last in my apartment.”
Taehyung's eyes snap closed, “you were sleeping around-”
“No,” Jungkook sighs, “I lied.”
“You... lied,” Taehyung tastes those words.
Jungkook rubs his hands down his face, “yes. I panicked because why won't I sleep around. So, I lied. It was easier than telling the truth, somehow. To you, to myself.”
Taehyung sighs, “then, a week later, I saw you and hyung kiss.”
Jungkook curses, “he kissed me. I was so shocked at first, my brain stopped working. I mean, I didn't take him for a cheater!”
Taehyung bites down on his lower lip, “I followed you to ask if we can date.”
The silence falls like a heavy weight between them. Jungkook feels it.
He feels the chill rush down his spine. Taehyung chuckles hopelessly.
“I liked you enough to gather that much courage and ask you if you would like to go on a date with me.”
Jungkook feels his chest tighten. His eyes squeezing shut. Taehyung sounds broken all over again.
“I saw hyung with Jaehyuk hyung and thought, some day,” Taehyung pauses, gulps, his eyes blurring, “maybe,” his voice is heavy, “we can invite them to dinner or something. I don't know what I was thinking.”
“Shit,” Jungkook hides his face in his hands, “shit, stop talking!”
“I missed you so terribly throughout the week and like a loser, even when you said you slept around, I thought I will just ask you out. I was fine with the thought that you might reject me, but,” Taehyung blinks faster, “that was never the case. No? You never gave a fuck.”
Jungkook feels tears burn behind his eyelids, “I am sorry,” his voice cracks, “shit, Tae, I am so sorry. I don't know that Jungkook,” he looks up at Taehyung, ignores how tears roll out of his eyes, “that Jungkook feels like a nightmare I lived, and I hate the choices he made.”
“That Jungkook is you,” Taehyung whispers, “the worst of you, but, you. And, that Taehyung is me,” he wipes his own eyes, “you didn't-”
“I was going to come clean to you that day too,” Jungkook reaches blindly, grasping Taehyung's hand, “after leaving the house, I was!”
“I didn't think you would be there,” Jungkook shakes his head, “I didn't think I would see you there. I thought, after that visiting them, I will go to your place and tell you everything. I,” Jungkook bites back a sob, “maybe not date, but I didn't want to lie anymore.”
“I would have appreciated it if you told me,” Taehyung's lips quiver, “I would live my entire life without having to have that image of you kissing hyung in my mind.”
Jungkook's hands feel cold when Taehyung snatches his hand back. Jungkook feels the cold seep in his veins.
“I wish I could make you understand how it feels,” Taehyung rubs his hands over his arms, “you don't know, Jungkook. You didn't like me, but I liked you, so, it hurt terribly. If you liked me, I would say, how would you feel if you saw me kissing Jaehyuk-”
Jungkook turns away.
Taehyung snorts, “oh, you do know. You have seen Taegeun hyung kiss Jaehyuk hyung.”
The silence stretches between them. Then Taehyung sighs.
“But, whatever it is, thanks for talking about it,” he bites his lower lip, “it helps. It felt nice to talk it out.”
Taehyung clears his throat, “anyway, all of that is in the past. The more we keep looking back, the more we are holding ourselves back.”
“Do you know how to mend something you broke?” Jungkook wonders, “because, I want to. But, I seem to find myself always at a loss.”
“You can't,” Taehyung starts the car, “it's like an abyss. You can only hope that some day a river's worth of memories fill it up and the darkest memories get hidden under the tides. Time doesn't heal shit. It just fills us with other memories until the sad ones get overlayered.”
Taehyung stops in front of the market and gives Jungkook a look, “but, those memories stay, Jungkook. They linger at the bottom of the river. We dive deep some days and see those memories. You can't really escape them. They are a part of you and they forever will be.”
Taehyung gets out of the car. Jungkook follows him to the market. Silently, they pick up the drinks and get back in the car. This time, Jungkook takes the wheel.
Taehyung sits, leaning against the glass of the car. His eyes following the buildings as they go.
“I will fill it up with memories then,” Jungkook murmurs, making Taehyung twitch.
Taehyung looks over and Jungkook is not looking at him. He is looking ahead at the road.
“I will fill the abyss up to the brim and keep filling it. Until you can't reach the bottom. Ever.”
“I will work on that,” Jungkook's throat bobs, “keep the tides high. Keep the river flowing. You will never be able to dive that far down. I won't let you touch the bottom,” he looks at Taehyung, “I promise. Every time you stand near the shore, the river will be full.”
Jungkook kills the engine in front of Jin's building and turns to Taehyung, “you said a river. I will give you an ocean, Kim Taehyung. Not even the sun will be able to reach the bottom of it. I promise you.”
He reaches across Taehyung to open the door for him.
Taehyung gets a little surprised when Jungkook texts him the next day. Right before Taehyung is about to leave the office.
'Want to go bowling?'
Taehyung stares at the message for a few seconds before he is typing out, '?'
Jungkook starts typing right away, 'please?'
Taehyung gets in the elevator and types out another message.
'Fine. I am about to leave the office.'
Jungkook's reply is instant, 'I am waiting outside.'
The breath is caught in Taehyung's chest. The message is like a déjà vu that he is not sure if he likes or not.
Taehyung walks out to see Jungkook waiting. He pauses when he notices how Jungkook is not in his usual spot. Taehyung shakes his head, going over to the man with a nod when Jungkook looks at him.
“What if I disagreed?” Taehyung wonders.
Jungkook shrugs, “then, you disagreed.”
Taehyung gets on the bike, gripping the back of it, instead of holding onto Jungkook. Jungkook looks over his shoulder and notices it. He doesn't say anything. Taehyung notices how the man goes slower than he normally would. Taehyung focuses on the road instead.
“Are you good at it?” Jungkook wonders, looking at Taehyung, who is focusing on the pins.
“I am not bad at it,” Taehyung shrugs.
Jungkook chuckles when Taehyung rolls the ball, and it takes down all the pins.
“Modest, I should have known,” Jungkook gives a clap.
Jungkook can't help but notice how Taehyung focuses. His tongue peeking out from the corner of his lips, his eyes sharp on the pins. The ball held protectively against his chest.
Jungkook sits and watches Taehyung throw it and stare, eyes wide, as the ball rolls.
A smile forms on those lips, and it slowly grows into a grin. Then Taehyung is turning on his feet, hand pointing at the pins. Those eyes glistening with excitement.
“Did you see?! I did it again!” Taehyung bounces on his feet.
Jungkook feels breathless, “yeah. I saw.”
At that moment, in that bowling alley, in Taehyung's smile, Jungkook places a bookmark. A memory in his book he will come back to. A rock he hopes Taehyung adds in his abyss, to fill up the void just a little.
“You lost,” Taehyung juts his chin out.
Jungkook sighs, “I did.”
Jungkook drops Taehyung off in front of Yoongi's house. He looks at the man and Taehyung is holding out his helmet.
For a second, they both are hesitating, not sure what to say or do next.
“Thank you,” Jungkook speaks, “for agreeing to come with me.”
Taehyung nods, shrugging.
“What are you doing tomorrow?” Jungkook wonders.
Taehyung sucks onto his lower lip, “Yoongi hyung's appa is turning sixty. There's a party.”
Jungkook groans, “ugh, yeah! I forgot. My brother is dragging me there too. Some partnership crap.”
Taehyung nods, “yeah.”
Jungkook waves his hand, “I guess, I will see you there?”
Taehyung nods, “sure.”
Jungkook is not sure what else he can say. Taehyung doesn't let him anyway. He turns and goes inside the building. Jungkook watches the gate for a few seconds before he leaves too.
Jungkook goes to the party to represent the Jeons because Jaehyuk had something important to take care of. Jungkook tries to tell himself that at least, Jimin will be there.
The party is classy. Not too flashy or loud. A fitting representation of the Mins.
Jungkook pauses when he sees Jimin. Jimin comes running up to him, leaving his father's side right away.
“Oh, thank God, you are here,” he whines, “can we ditch the party? I am so bored!”
Jungkook chuckles, “I just got here. I didn't even give Mr. Min the bouquet.”
Jimin sighs, “god, just hurry. We need to leave as fast as we can.”
Jungkook ignores Jimin and walks up to Mr. Min, “happy birthday, sir,” he bows his head, holding out the flowers, “sixty never looked this handsome before.”
Mr. Min laughs, “you flatter me, Jungkook. Thanks.”
“The party is really speaking for you,” Jungkook chuckles, “it's really classy.”
Mr. Min sighs, a warm smile on his lips, “it's not really for my birthday. I am too old for this. It's,” he holds his hand out, “ahh, there they are,” Mr. Min smiles wide, “Yoonie, Tae, come here.”
Jungkook looks over and his breath catches in his chest when he notices how gorgeous Yoongi and Taehyung look beside each other. They both look at Mr. Min and walk over to him.
“My son finally decided to ask Tae,” Mr. Min puts his arms around Yoongi and Taehyung.
Jungkook stares at Mr. Min and looks at the two afterwards. He stares when Mr. Min picks up his glass and calls for attention.
“Tonight,” he starts, voice loud for the room to hear, “this party is not about me. It's about my son,” Mr. Min grins, “taking over my company, and...”
“Finally having a fiancé.”
The claps are loud. Jungkook watches how Yoongi puts his arm around Taehyung's waist, a small, warm smile on his lips. Taehyung returns it, there is no hiding the warmth in those eyes. Jungkook feels Jimin come up beside him, grasping his sleeve.
“I told you, we should go,” Jimin's voice sounds hoarse, “you know?”
Jungkook looks at Jimin, a little confused, “why?” he looks back at Taehyung and Yoongi, “if they are getting engaged, that's their shit. Why are you thinking that it will affect me?”
Jimin stares at him.
“I told you before, Jimin ssi,” Jungkook elbows Jimin lightly, “I want his forgiveness and nothing more.”
Jimin looks at where Yoongi is turning towards Taehyung. The spotlight glistening on them. Taehyung smiles when Yoongi pulls out a small box, opening it to a diamond ring.
Jungkook looks at Jimin, notices how pale Jimin looks.
“Is everything alright?” he wonders.
Jimin blinks, as if coming back in the room, “y-yeah,” he coughs, “I will,” they look over when the murmurs and cheers rise, Yoongi taking Taehyung's hand in his, “I will go outside.”
“What's wrong?” Jungkook reaches for Jimin's elbow.
“Nothing,” Jimin shakes his head, swallows, “just, the room is too suffocating and warm.”
Jungkook watches Jimin march outside and he turns back to see Yoongi put the ring on Taehyung. He claps with everyone.
Jungkook doesn't understand the tightness in his chest. He doesn't understand the feeling of hollow when Taehyung looks at Yoongi and offers him a small smile.
Yoongi pulls his hand up to press a kiss against Taehyung's knuckles. Taehyung blushes.
Jungkook feels suffocated too.
Jungkook walks out of the room too. He looks around, trying to find Jimin. When he does, he frowns.
Jimin is out on the terrace, looking at the darkness of the city. Jungkook walks up to him, leaning against the railing.
“What's wrong, chim?” Jungkook sighs, “tell me.”