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that thing you did, do it again

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Jimin is adamant about the apartment. He's certain the loud sink isn't an issue and the rent isn't too big of a problem either, because he knows a guy who knows a guy. He's certain.

Jeongguk is almost never certain. He's only certain about things that don't directly involve himself, like the fact that he has known Jimin for long enough to be certain that he's overly optimistic and would somehow find the greener grass in a barren desert. It's always psychological, though, Jimin would find it psychologically, never physically, and they'd probably both end up dying from heat exposure.

Jeongguk doesn't tell him he thinks this about his methods, though, because Jimin's self-esteem fluctuates from one extreme to another in record time.

They sign the lease either way, and Jeongguk can't believe they even managed to land this place, as shitty as it is.

They're both recent graduates - Jeongguk with an engineering diploma, Jimin with one in nursing - and no real job prospects besides the the co-op they're still riding out. They don't divulge this information to the landlord; as far as he knows, the funds they're getting through work right now are meant to be a constant figure well into the foreseeable future.

Jeongguk supposed he doesn't know much about this move - he doesn't even know the other guy, Jimin's 'other best friend': Taehyung. Jeongguk has heard about him a lot, more than almost anything else in Jimin's life throughout their ten year friendship. Taehyung lives in New York, and he's finishing his degree in fashion design (Jimin travels there every New Year). Jeongguk has seen photos and videos of the two of them together but other than that, Taehyung is physically non-existent. 

That being said, Jeongguk could probably write a novel about this guy he's never met because of how much Jimin talks about him. There was maybe some jealousy involved when Jeongguk found out about him, very soon into their friendship, thinking maybe people can't have more than one best friend. Jimin assures Jeongguk that it's completely normal, and Jeongguk assures Jimin that he doesn't care and doesn't understand why Jimin is telling him this information even they both know Jeongguk is a pretty clingy guy when he likes someone.

That's how they bond, initially, because Jimin is clingy too. The first time they met in a required English elective, they were both going through dramatic break-ups with their girlfriends, complete with late night phone-fights and failing grades to show for it. They spent the next few weekends going out, getting goosed, convincing themselves that the anonymous sex they were having was really just a representation of their new freedom and not of the fact that they were really fucking depressed and needy.

They find solace in each other, in their own little neurotic ways that somehow match up, and there's something therapeutic about it.

"Taehyung just landed," Jimin smiles down at his phone, one hand paused mid-swipe through his hair.

Jeongguk struggles with the end of his mattress, thinking Ikea sucks and 'espevär' was the wrong fucking size, but then it shifts into place and the thoughts dispel. "Is he cabbing here? The airport is pretty far."

Jimin doesn't respond, apparently fully engrossed in texting. Jimin has been dealing with another break-up struggle, this time with Taehyung, who apparently just broke up with his boyfriend of four years. Jimin says Taehyung seems weirdly zen about it, though, so the struggle is actually on Jimin's part, and it's a struggle to understand that sort of calm after a breakup.

Jeongguk isn't weirded out by homosexuals, he likes to think he's as open-minded as the next guy, but he can't help the slight dread of trepidation before meeting Taehyung. He hasn't really been friends with a gay person before, and he's worried he's probably going to say something stupid. That, and they'll be sharing an apartment together now: what's the protocol? He brought it up to Jimin and Jimin just told him he's being ignorant, that he should just treat Taehyung like any other guy. Jeongguk defends himself by saying he just doesn't want to offend Taehyung by saying something offensive, accidentally, and Jimin is already laughing before the sentence leaves his mouth because apparently Taehyung has thick skin - Jeongguk thinks the condescending laughter is annoying, because how was he to know that? 

Jeongguk can feel his tshirt stuck to his back, and tries to avoid thinking about it because he knows he won't be able to shower until they finish unloading the moving-truck, having only booked it for one day.

"About that," Jimin says, a good three minutes later. "I was thinking maybe...you could go get him."

"Are you serious?" Jeongguk says, standing straight. He feels his nostrils flaring - he is the last person on earth to annoy right now.

"You know the state my car's in, Guk. And, like, I drove us around this whole day," and that's a low blow so Jimin asserts quickly that, "I don't mean that as a reason to pick him up, I just mean I'm really tired. I know you're tired too, but I still have to call financial aid about my loan repayment before they close and-"

"Alright, fine," Jeongguk runs both hands through his hair, feeling the grease between his fingers. "I'll go. You're setting up the rest of my bed."

"Such a bro. Such a fucking bro, Guk. I will fucking set up your bed so hard."

"Great. Hand me the apartment keys."

Jimin scrambles to the couch, his hands fisting at the cushions like he's playing whack-a-mole until he hears a jingle and pulls out the band of keys. "You don't have to worry about his luggage, his parents are driving up tomorrow to drop it off."

"You told me yesterday," Jeongguk says, taking the keys and shoving them into his pocket, reaching back to smack at his own ass, making sure his wallet is there.

Jimin is furiously texting again, reaching up to violently sweep a hand through his hair every few seconds as though he doesn't understand that his bangs will just perpetually curtain back down into his eyes. "He says he'll wait in arrivals."

Jeongguk is already walking towards the door. "Just text me if anything changes."

"I fucking love you for this."

"Yup."

 


 

Of course, there's traffic on the way to the airport. A typically thirty minute drive takes an hour, and Jeongguk feels the tension building back in his shoulders as he grips the steering wheel of his black Hyundai. The one thing he's thankful is the fact that he just recently revamped the air-con and engine at his workplace car-shop, so he sits in relative silence, the cool wind blowing through his hair from the panel.

Jeongguk doesn't see Taehyung at first, and he tries hard to just imagine all the photos as he scans through the crowd. He feels a little embarrassed, like he might look like he's waiting for an online lover he's meeting for the first time. He's spending too much time scanning peoples' faces, holding his phone in his hand.

[13:12]

i dont see him

[13:14]

he's there!! he says he's been sititng by the magazine stand for hours!

[13:15]

k

i see him

"Hey," Jeongguk says, reaching out his hand.

Taehyung looks up from his phone in surprised. "Oh! Hey! Jeongguk, right?" he jumps up from his spot, taking Jeongguk's extended hand into his own.

"Yeah. Nice to meet you, finally," Jeongguk says, smiling. Taehyung looks taller and slightly more broad than he did in the photos, and Jeongguk had heard his deep voice before, on speaker-phone, but it's still surprising. 

"Yeah, me too. Jimin is constantly talking about you," Taehyung says, grabbing his expensive looking leather duffel-bag off the chair next to him. "Jeongguk this, Jeongguk that. Constant."

"I was about to say the same about you," Jeongguk says, nervously, a little shook that Taehyung stole the small-talk topic he came up with on the drive here. Now what's he supposed to say?

"You look younger in person," Taehyung says, shifting to stare at his face while they walk and Jeongguk feels a surge of embarrassment because he fucking hates when people tell him he doesn't look his age. "Well, your face does."

He smiles and emits a small, unconvincing laugh. Taehyung grins widely in response then scans the parking lot. "Let me guess, that's your car."

Jeongguk looks up to see him pointing at a red Mustang. Jimin never told him Taehyung was going to be this ruthless.

"Hah. No. Why?"

"Red, flashy...spacious backseat." It's almost funny how completely off the mark this is, and Jeongguk hates that he's pretty much used to it.

Taehyung laughs, it's low-pitched and breathy, like he's laughing out of his chest. "Hey. I meant that as a compliment. You can't hate me now, I haven't even moved in yet."

Taehyung: the mind-reader.

"Hate you? Apparently your first impression of me is that I look twelve and finger girls in the back of my sports car during my spare time," Jeongguk says and he's not really trying to be funny but Taehyung is laughing loudly, slapping a hand against his back like they're old friends.

"I think we're gonna get along. I mean maybe not on the fingering girls front, but," Taehyung trails off then perks up when he hears Jeongguk's car honk as he remotely unlocks it. "Oh. A black Hyundai was my second guess."

"Of course." 

Taehyung talks. A lot. He talks through most the hour long car ride. It's usually about his life, and he often interrupts himself to ask Jeongguk for his own experiences with the same topic. He doesn't sound like he's doing it just to be polite, which seems like a good skill to have. 

Jeongguk just kind of rambles back and Taehyung is turned slightly in his seat, listening with such a fascinated look on his face that Jeongguk feels like he needs to amp up his stories.

Jeongguk also makes the mistake of handing him the auxiliary chord, and he's having to sit through the strangest mix of 1950s and mid 2000s music - never until the end of the songs, because Taehyung changes them to the next track as soon as they run through the first chorus.

It's a curious feeling though, this car ride with Taehyung. It feels like he's known Taehyung for a while, and while Taehyung clearly operates on a different level from Jeongguk, their personalities just sort of mesh together like his new roommate is some type of soul-chameleon.  

They finally get to the apartment and Taehyung beams when Jeongguk takes his duffel bag out of the car for him, slinging it over his shoulder. "After you."

"What a gentleman." 

Jimin practically bursts out the door as soon as Jeongguk edges the key towards the doorknob and he nearly falls off the stoop as a result. "Tae!"

"My wee little man," Taehyung grabs at Jimin, lifting him up in the air tightly and Jeongguk thinks they look a lot like a couple from an equality ad like this. "You've gained weight!"

"Hospital food," Jimin says after Taehyung puts him back down. "It's been stressful, let me tell you."

"You should take tips from you friend over here."

"I don't have his will-power."

Jeongguk stands awkwardly to the side of the stairs, watching them talk back and forth like it's a ping-pong match. He still has the house-key poised between his index and thumb. 

They finally get inside after what seems like an eon, and Jeongguk immediately starts moving around the rest of the boxes still left in the way. Jimin did do a good job, he's relieved to see - not that he doubted Jimin's word, but it's nice to know he'll be able to take a shower after so damn long.

Both Jimin and Taehyung are munching on halves of a turkey sandwich Jeongguk is almost certain is moldy, and he hears his own stomach growl. There's too much going on though, and he can't concentrate on everything at once.

"Did Jeongguk sit quietly through that entire car ride?"

Jeongguk looks up angrily. The easiest most frequent jab at Jeongguk from his friends is his apparent initial lack of conversational skills, and Jeongguk feels slightly betrayed to hear it coming out of Jimin, who generally defends him from the same insult.

"No, he was a very nice host. I was smitten immediately after seeing his cool car," Taehyung says, looking over at Jeongguk knowingly, and Jeongguk is surprised that Taehyung may have read his facial expression accurately so soon after meeting him.

"Thank you, Taehyung. My new roommate and best friend," Jeongguk says, standing up and wincing at the soreness in his lower-back.

Taehyung bows slightly with a hand against his chest.

"Jeongguk's pretty funny when he wants to be," Jimin says, popping the rest of the sandwich in his mouth and clapping his hands to rid them of crumbs.

Jeongguk spends thirty minutes in the shower, letting the hot water run out as it pours down his shoulders, loosening his muscles. He's quite red when he steps out, wiping the mirror to study his reflection.

When Jeongguk walks out with a towel wrapped around his waist, Jimin and Taehyung are sitting on the couch eating out of a shriveled chip-bag, still deep in conversation.

"Hey, keep the bathroom door open if you can, I just showered and the steam could cause mold."

"Yes, mom." Jimin's on a roll with the insults tonight. He's projecting in front of his friend and Jeongguk is sure he can deal with it for a little while longer before he hits him.

Jeongguk sees Taehyung's eyes flicker down his torso for a small moment before he looks away, reaching back into the chip bag.

It's a little weird but also a little flattering. 

 


 

 

Taehyung is loud and he leaves his shit everywhere.

Within the first few weeks they get into a few little tiffs, which mostly involve Jeongguk pointing out the stupid things Taehyung has done (like leaving the stove on, or keeping plates with food on it around the apartment for days) and Taehyung playing it down in an obnoxious way that Jeongguk both hates and finds effective at diffusing his annoyance.

Taehyung has a winning smile, the kind that makes it impossible to be stay mad at him - Jimin shares that quality - so Jeongguk finds it difficult to be mean to either of them for too long. Jimin has milked this out of Jeongguk for years, and Taehyung has already quickly picked up on Jeongguk's lack of bite. Still, Jeongguk finds himself getting into little vocal back and forths with Taehyung that are more fun than they are actual methods of punishment. Taehyung comes up with ridiculous excuses that Jeongguk can't help prodding, like telling him he was "saving" a week old piece of cake in his room to eat later.

("You were saving it for later?"

"Yeah!"

"Eat it, then."

"I'm not hungry right now."

"Put it in your mouth, Taehyung."

"Wow, buy me dinner first. Jesus.")

This eventually ends with Jeongguk running around the apartment, in pursuit of Taehyung, with the piece of cake in his hand. A few pieces of furniture are toppled in the fray and Jimin huffs angrily after them.

Honestly, Jeongguk isn't the world's cleanest person either, so even Jimin points out that he's just picking fights with Taehyung for the sake of their arguments. The typical chain of anger usually starts from Jimin reprimanding Jeongguk for being messy to Jeongguk scolding Taehyung for being even messier.

Jeongguk eventually concludes that Taehyung just happens to be an incredibly likable guy, as Jimin often stressed to him before they met. Any time Jeongguk is bored, he pretty much relies on Taehyung to fill the slate.

Then there's the whole sexuality thing. Jeongguk sometimes forgets Taehyung is gay - not because he assumed he would be a different species, but because he seems to stray away from talking about anything overtly sexual when Jeongguk is around.  He supposes Taehyung probably tells Jimin all of this information and stops short of Jeongguk because they aren't that close yet.

He can't help feeling a little upset about that. Not because he thinks Taehyung should just tell them everything after only a few weeks of knowing him, but because he already genuinely likes Taehyung, which is rare with new friends, and wants him to be comfortable around Jeongguk and not assume he's the sports car driving douchebag he might have initially thought he was. Also there's that whole Jeongguk being clingy issue he's still working through.

 When he walks into the kitchen, sometimes, Taehyung trails off the subject he was talking loudly about. That's when Jeongguk knows it might have been something about a hook-up. Jimin is usually a giveaway too - looking flustered, shaking his head, smiling wide.

"So then when it happened it was..."

Taehyung sees Jeongguk entering the kitchen.

"...you know. Just like. Yeah. So. It was weird."

Jeongguk opens the fridge and takes out a bottle of water.

Jimin laughs. "Well. You should have...prepared for that. If you know what I mean."

Jeongguk turns around and looks at them, holding the bottle. They smile back artificially.

Well. This is totally fucking normal.

"Uh. Sorry, I'll let you guys talk," Jeongguk mumbles and starts to walk out of the kitchen, which invites Taehyung to jump out of his chair and swing his arms around Jeongguk's neck from behind, trailing behind him like a cape.

"Hey, hey, where are you going?" he asks pleasantly against his ear.

"For a run."

"Can I come?"

"I guess. If you want," Jeongguk says back, because yes, yes having Taehyung bubbling next to him on his run might actually be pretty fun.

 

 


 

 

Within the next few months, Jeongguk finds himself spending more time with Taehyung than he does with Jimin. Not necessarily because the dynamics have shifted, but because Jimin gets hired to a higher status of nurse (Jeongguk didn't know there was a ranking system) and is simply almost always at work. Apparently nursing is one of the hardest jobs out there.

Jimin ends up spending 13 hour shifts at work, and when he does get home, he's exhausted and angry and doesn't want to talk to either of them. Jeongguk even notices a flash of jealousy - or maybe it was hurt - in Jimin's eyes on one particular evening, when Taehyung makes a joke at Jimin's expense after he gets home and Jeongguk laughs wholeheartedly because it actually was pretty damn funny. Jimin doesn't seem to get the humour though, so he just stomps off into his room in his little light-blue scrubs and Taehyung's expression turns from an open-mouthed laugh to horror.

"Oh shit, did I hurt his feelings?"

"I... think we both did."

"But I said the joke. Oh my God. Oh fuck," Taehyung says and scratches at his head in a panicked sort of way. "I'm such a shitty friend."

"Take it easy, it's okay. We'll apologize to him-"

"- okay, let's go," Taehyung says and actually holds out his fucking hand like they're going to prance into Jimin's room together to read out an apology they co-wrote.

"-separately, what the fuck," Jeongguk swats his hand away and Taehyung's face falls.

"But he's probably more upset with me than he is with you," Taehyung whines, like he needs all the support in the world to apologize to his best friend. It would be tragic if it wasn't pathetic.

They eventually settle for making Jimin's favourite spicy noodles (because Taehyung stresses that it's a two-person job), complete with green onion garnish, wakame, sesame seeds, and a fried egg on top. Jimin obviously plays off that he wasn't upset at either of them, that he was just tired and they really didn't need to make him food, but he says this with smiling eyes and a mouth full of egg and noodles so Jeongguk assumes it's a mission well accomplished.

Jimin passes out soon after eating, and, as per usual, Taehyung and Jeongguk are left in the living room, preparing for the next day at work. Taehyung is trying really hard to get out of his current job, seeing as he doesn't even like the brand he initially interned and then began to work for. He likes all of his coworkers, but has a hard time staying motivated when he doesn't have the ability to see his own designs make it to the store-front. His managers are apparently out for blood, and the politicized landscape of the fashion industry coupled with his own need to be seen and heard make for a difficult relationship. 

Jeongguk watches Taehyung sitting with his knees tucked under him at the coffee table, sketching in his work-book. "I've redone this coat like twelve times. It's not even the one I started out with."

Jeongguk peers over from the couch and sees a well-done sketch of something that - if he's being completely honest - looks like any other fall coat."

"It looks amazing, either way," Jeongguk says, because Taehyung looks glum.

Taehyung looks up from his sketch, his face slightly confused, before his mouth breaks into a smile. "Cute."

"What's cute? The coat?"

"No," Taehyung scoffs then looks back at his sketch. "You."

Jeongguk is bored. Jeongguk usually relies on Taehyung to suggest something to do, but he doesn't usually feel a surge of energy this late at night before Taehyung - this time the roles seem to be reversed. 

Taehyung's phone gives a little buzz and he drops his pencil, picking it up and staring down at the screen in anticipation. Jeongguk watches his expression lighten as he reads, smiling with his lower lip tucked into his mouth. He looks up at Jeongguk. "Hey. Um. Are you doing anything tonight?"

Jeongguk perks up for a moment, thinking maybe Taehyung wants to suggest something to do. "No. Why?"

"The night buses are super creepy. And, uh, I wanna go somewhere. To my friend's house. So like...I was wondering if you could. You know. Drive me there?"

Oh.

The fog in Jeongguk's brain slowly starts to fade when he puts the elements of the situation together: the text, the look on Taehyung's face, his need to get somewhere fast - at night. Jeongguk is a good friend. But he's not so good of a friend that he'd just agree to this without teasing Taehyung about it mercilessly first. He's also upset, now.

"You want me to drive you. To a friend's house. At 12am," Jeongguk says, frowning.

"Yeah," Taehyung says shyly. "I just, uh, I haven't seen him in a while. Didn't know he was in town. It's like a thirty minute drive. By the time I call a taxi..."

"Right. So you have to meet up with him tonight, specifically, right now, instead of tomorrow."

"He's flying out tomorrow."

"Of course he is."

"Yeah, and I won't see him for a long time. So I'd really love to hang out with him-"

"-hang out with him-"

"-yes. Tonight. Will you drive me or not Jeongguk?"

Jeongguk stares at him, with an eyebrow raised. Taehyung's cheeks are pink and he's breathing slightly hard, like all the lies are really getting him worked up. 

"Only if you admit to me why you actually want to go," Jeongguk says, leaning back into the couch petulantly, his arms crossed in front of his chest.

"Really?" Taehyung asks, threatening. "Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"I want to get fucked in the ass by a guy I like," Taehyung answers flatly and Jeongguk feels his heartbeat spike even though he knew Taehyung was going there.

"See?" Jeongguk says, sweating under his shirt. "Was that so hard?"

Taehyung rolls his eyes and absently pulls at the collar of his shirt that has begun to droop over his shoulder. "So, like. Will you do it?"

Jeongguk shrugs. "Fine. But is this guy...safe?"

"No. He's wanted by Interpol."

"Don't get fresh with me, Taehyung."

"Yes!" Taehyung throws his arms up in exasperation. "Yes, he's totally normal and fine. Don't act like you haven't done this millions of times before. I mean, with girls."

"Millions of times?" Jeongguk asks, incredulous and Taehyung looks at him in that annoying way, like he expects Jeongguk to know what he means.

"You seem like the type of guy who gets lots of pussy."

"What? Why?" Jeongguk asks, and it's more offensive than anything else, because it seems almost like Taehyung is calling him easy.

"You're hot, shut up, look at you. Let's go, please, please. Jeongguk. Please! He's gonna change his mind," Taehyung grabs Jeongguk's wrist and Jeongguk rips his hand back.

Jeongguk could sit and ask more questions about what kind of false image Taehyung seems to have in his head about Jeongguk, but he doesn't have the will to argue anymore because he is quite fucking tired of this topic. 

"Fine. Let's go."

"Wait. You look super annoyed," Taehyung says, peering up at him with large eyes. He puts a hand on his thigh. "Jeongguk, I don't want you to drive me if you're gonna be pissy about it later."

"I'm not annoyed! I'm just...I don't know, I was bored. I thought maybe you wanted to hang out," Jeongguk says, and it comes out dejected because Taehyung is smiling with his eyebrows sort of drooping down at the sides sympathetically.

"Aw, sweetheart. You wanted to hang out!"

"Shut up," Jeongguk says, standing up. Taehyung is teasing him now.

"We'll hang out tomorrow," Taehyung says scrambling to his feet. "I promise."

"I don't want to hang out tomorrow," Jeongguk nails back. "What does me being bored now have to do with tomorrow?"

Taehyung pauses again and stares at him like he's a complex mathematical equation. "You know, you can be pretty bratty. I think this is my favourite form of Jeongguk." This shuts Jeongguk up immediately and Taehyung bounces amicably to his room.

"I'm not waiting for you to change," Jeongguk calls after him, his voice trying hard to lose the bratty quality Taehyung might have picked up on. "That's another thirty minutes. Grab your condoms and let's go."

"Okay, let's not get filthy," Taehyung says, poking his head out of his room; his tone is serious but his mouth is laughing. "I'm wearing my pajamas. I can't go like this."

Jeongguk considers telling him that he thinks pajamas are actually the sexiest thing a girl can wear, but then reconsiders because that would mean he's comparing Taehyung to girls he has fucked in the past and his brain is definitely not making that connection right now through no will of his own.

Jeongguk eventually convinces him he's serious by simply walking out of the apartment wordlessly. Taehyung runs after him, pulling up a pair of skinny jeans, the zipper and button undone, his wallet in his mouth as he struggles with the front of his pants.

Jeongguk yawns as he drives, reaching up to rub at an eyes.

Taehyung moans. "I owe you big time."

Jeongguk nods. "So, this guy. What's so special about him?"

"He hasn't showed any signs of being interested in me for months," Taehyung says and Jeongguk glances over once, twice, expecting there to be a follow up to that, a rest of the story, but there isn't. Apparently that's it.

"That's it?"

"I mean, he's really cool. He's pretty cute."

"I'm driving you thirty minutes into the middle of nowhere to fuck a guy you think is 'pretty cute' who doesn't seem to like you back," Jeongguk says, feeling like wants to do an illegal u-turn in the middle of the road and drive in the opposite direction back home.

"First of all, he does like me back. He's just playing hard to get," Taehyung says, leaning back in his car-seat and extending his legs to rest his sandal clad feet on Jeongguk's dashboard. Jeongguk makes a sound of annoyance and Taehyung drops his feet back down. "Second of all, he's really smart and cool."

Jeongguk nods. "Right."

"So what about you, then," Jeongguk sees Taehyung glance over at hims through his peripheral vision. "Any hot girls recently?"

"Tons. One lay a night," Jeongguk mumbles and Taehyung laughs, then reaches over to flick his shoulder. It's fairly obvious what the joke here is, because Jeongguk doesn't enjoy going out to clubs or bars with the rest of them. He tends to spend his weekends eating, playing video-games, reading weird Wikipedia articles, and working out. This seems like a fairly normal list of things to do (save for maybe Wikipedia), but when you live with two extroverts, choosing to stay alone means you're planning ways to end your life.

Jeongguk does go out once in a while, when he's feeling especially horny, which is why he appreciated the comfort and convenience of a girlfriend - it sounds kind of archaic and fucked up when he tries to explain himself, but he's a pretty practical guy, to the point where it's creepy to others. 

Jeongguk was recently forced to defend himself in front of a tribunal (Taehyung and Jimin) in order to convince them that he was not a serial killer, and that the reason he had "weird bruises" and scratches on his arm and looked "tired all the time" was because he tried out battle ropes for the first time at the gym. (Jimin wasn't swayed by that defence, but later explained to Taehyung that he didn't think Jeongguk could kill someone because he cried eight separate times while watching the movie Kes - the last time being so violent, that Jimin had to stop the film because he thought he was choking.)

They finally get to a swanky apartment in what seems like a secluded area and Jeongguk doesn't feel less hesitation.

"Are you sure this is it?"

"Yup. Thank you so much. Seriously. You're a gem," Taehyung opens the car door and steps out.

"Wait," Jeongguk says, nervous. "When should I. When will you be. Are you going to text me-"

He doesn't want to sound like this, especially not with Taehyung, but he genuinely feels some dread dropping off a friend in what looks like a still from a Stephen King movie adaption.

"I'm staying the night, so don't worry about that," Taehyung says, smiling and pulling up the sides of his apparently too-loose skinny jeans. "How do I look?"

The wind is blowing through Taehyung's fine hair, sending strands in all directions, and his nose is a little red from the cooler night air. His lips look more wet than usual, like they're anticipating what's about to happen tonight. 

"Fine."

"You're such a poet," Taehyung says dreamily then slams the door. He looks back once to grin, as he's walking towards the apartment, his loose shirt flailing humorously against him in the wind.

Jeongguk supposes Taehyung's hook-up could think he looks more than fine, maybe even great. Objectively speaking.

"We'll hang out tomorrow," Taehyung calls over his shoulder.

"I don't want to hang out tomorrow," Jeongguk almost has to yell out the window because Taehyung has his back to him now, he probably can't hear him, and his guess was right: it does feel worse saying it louder.

He kind of just sits in the car for twenty minutes, trying to decide whether he should wait in case he hears a scream. Maybe he should get out of the car and scope the area. He's into his final stretch of deciding what to do when his phone buzzes and he looks down at a text from Taehyung:

[00:58]

go home

(ɔˆ ³(ˆ⌣ˆc) ・:*:・。.♥

 


 

Jeongguk doesn't hear much else about this hook-up, in the next few weeks. Taehyung seems to go out more often than usual, though, and when he returns he looks more lively and full of colour, which is saying something because he's a fucking firecracker on a typical day.

"Look at him. He's been having so much sex," Jimin says over his egg sandwich to Jeongguk, as Taehyung hums to himself and sets out spools of thread to put in his work-bag. 

"You think?" Jeongguk agrees, glancing over.

"He won't shut up about this guy, huh," Jimin continues and Jeongguk doesn't really want to have to say that no, Taehyung doesn't talk about 'this guy' with him, not even once since he acted as Taehyung's personal taxi.

In fact, Jeongguk doesn't even know 'this guy' 's name, doesn't know what he does, doesn't know how old he is. He doesn't necessarily really care, but yes, he is a little curious.

His curiousity comes to a jarring end one warm August Saturday, when he decides to go work out. He's been eating pretty badly the last few weeks, and he's starting to feel bloated. Jimin is off at work, Taehyung seems surprisingly (strangely) subdued and happy just watching TV alone, and Jeongguk figures now is a great window.

"Should I pick up anything on the way back?"

"Surprise me!" Taehyung shouts from the couch, his finger on the remote.

" 'kay. I'll be back in a few hours."

Any urge Jeongguk has to work-out is quickly dispelled when he sees the massive crowd in the weight room. He groans, standing at the entrance. He trudges to his locker and shoves everything inside, standing in front of it for a few moments, rerouting. 

A jog seems like the best next option.

The August heat is stifling, and he feels sweat running down the side of his hair. He dabs at his forehead with the back of his hand as he runs.

An incredibly cute girl is running the opposite way, towards him. She has light brown hair slung back (in the sort of high ponytail that always gets to Jeongguk) and a small face with large features. She makes eye-contact with him, smiling, so he smiles too. He looks back when they pass and she's also looking back, so he spins his head around fast, embarrassed. He shouldn't be, because she was doing the same thing he was, but he can't help it. He doesn't break his pace, but he does mentally kick himself.

He's already tired after twenty minutes, so he blames it on the weather and the hot girl. He stops to drink from a fountain before running back to the gym to get his bag. He'll order food from home.

When he gets to the apartment, he hears the TV through the door, so when he unlocks it and steps inside he's entirely unprepared for what he sees:

Taehyung is on the couch, his back to Jeongguk, straddling a man with a round face and black rimmed glasses - Jeongguk does not recognize him at all. Taehyung is seemingly in his boxers and a tshirt, and the man's hands are gripping Taehyung's thighs.

"Oh!" Jeongguk yells, pulling the door back and hitting himself in the foot with it instead of managing to close it. 

Taehyung glances back fast enough to cause whiplash, then swings himself off the man in one movement. "Shit! What the hell. You said you were. Ah. I'm sorry."

"No. No, sorry. I'll just. I'm. I'll go."

He manages to slip back outside before Taehyung can stop him, and slams the door, pressing his back against it. He waits for a moment, hearing his own breathing, the sound of heartbeats in his throat. There's a muted conversation coming from the other side of the door. He pushes off and grabs his bag from the floor, running down the stairs and out the building. He stands outside for a few moments, trying to convince himself that this wasn't really a big deal.

He decides to wait it out for an hour at the nearest cafe and Jimin eventually calls him.

"Hey. Where are you?" 

Jeongguk can hear the hospital PA system in the background. Jimin is calling him from work.

"Just hangin' out," Jeongguk responds as casually as he can muster.

"By yourself?"

"Yeah. Having a coffee."

"Guk. Tae told me what happened. It's fine. Just go home."

"Hm?"

Great. Now he has to pretend like he wasn't embarrassed about the whole thing, that he's not actually hiding here.

"I just came to get a coffee."

"Guk. Come home. I'll be there soon too. I got cut early."

When he steps back inside the apartment for the second time, Taehyung is sitting on the couch - this time fully clothed in a tshirt and sweats - sipping out of a juice box. Taehyung looks up at Jeongguk apologetically as Jimin muses with a playful expression on his face, his own juice box raised to his lips.

"Hey!" Jeongguk says, a little too enthusiastically.

"Sorry. Uh, about the eye-full," Taehyung says, then smiles shyly, lowering the juice-box into his lap.

"Hey, that's fine. At least you're getting some," Jeongguk thanks God silently for how quickly he manages that one.

"Taehyung is always getting some," Jimin says from the other end of the couch.

"Uh. Except not," Taehyung retaliates.

Yes, yes, bicker among yourselves. Jeongguk lets them talk and silently shuffles into the bathroom. 

He finds out later, over pizza, that the man with his hands all over Taehyung was his 'this guy', or rather his 'that guy', his writer-friend, Namjoon. Jeongguk now has a name and a hazy face to put to the concept. Taehyung seems suddenly willing to talk about him, like he's given up any amount of tact after that encounter.

"Honestly, he's too smart for me. He's always going off about terms and books I've never heard about before," Taehyung says, sucking on his cheesy fingers.

"Sounds pretentious," Jeongguk says.

"He is, a little," Taehyung says when Jimin agrees. "But I like a challenge. So."

Jimin scratches at his knee. "So are you guys, like, dating?"

"Namjoon doesn't believe in monogamous relationships," Taehyung says cheerfully, except Jeongguk knows him well enough already to know that he fucking hates this more than almost anything. 

"Well, they exist whether he believes in them or not," Jeongguk says and Taehyung stares at him.

"You know. It's cool, it's different," he says, unconvincingly. "I like not being tied down to one guy."

Jimin yawns, seemingly tired of this topic, and he shoves his face down into the couch. "I'm dying."

Taehyung pats at his head sympathetically. "Go to bed."

"How are you still working doubles?"

Jimin groans into the couch without moving. "Because they know I'm desperate to keep the job so they're taking advantage of me."

Jeongguk is familiar with the sentiment, having to work on the same old boring cars at the repair-shop, his manager being too afraid to give him a challenge he so desperately wants.

When Jimin finally trudges himself to bed, Jeongguk slips on the couch next to Taehyung, picking the remote up from the ground when Taehyung seems to be more interested in his phone than with what's on screen.

After a few minutes of silence, Taehyung looks up. "Fucking Namjoon. This guy sucks at texting."

"Cut him some slack. I'm like that too. It was one of the many things my girlfriend broke up with me over," Jeongguk says, and he's not trying to look for sympathy, he's trying to make a joke, but Taehyung is staring at him like he's a paralyzed puppy lying in a gutter and Jeongguk regrets his words immediately.

"Oh. I'm so sorry. Having someone break up with you is the absolute worst. It's literally the worst thing ever."

"Uh, that's a bit of a stretch. I mean, it was sad, but," Jeongguk is playing down the entire situation, because at the time he really did think it was 'literally the worst thing ever'.

"If it was anything like what Jimin went through, I feel sorry," Taehyung hums. 

"Jimin is a little more dramatic than I am," Jeongguk lies. He cried himself to sleep every night for two weeks.

"So you must still be pretty dramatic then. If you're only a little less dramatic than Jimin," and Jeongguk starts to wonder how Taehyung does this.

"Yeah. Actually, I guess so," he finds himself admitting to a giggling Taehyung who nudges his arm.

"Hey, don't worry about it. I'm more dramatic than the two of you put together."

"I already know that. You got me to drive you thirty minutes out into some creepy gentrified part of the city to bang some guy at 12am," Jeongguk says and thinks maybe that was too mean for a joke but Taehyung laughs again.

"It was totally worth it too," Taehyung yawns as he gets up, stretching his hands above his head, and for reasons Jeongguk can't explain, he glances at Taehyung's ass. He doesn't get anything out of it, doesn't react at the sight, he just looks at it. He thinks it's probably out of some deep set curiosity, the idea that another man would want to touch and kiss and fuck Taehyung is interesting to Jeongguk. He's a good looking guy with great features across the board, so he's probably used to attention from everyone. He never seems to come across as cocky about it, unless he really wants to, mostly just exhibiting the kind of refreshing confidence of someone who is comfortable in their own skin.

That night Jeongguk spends some time on the internet. First he watches some YouTube video about war, which somehow leads him to a Wikipedia page about the genocide in Rwanda and he ends up crying for ten minutes. He decides to distract himself by cracking open a beer and looking at photos of dog-breeds Taehyung had recommended to him, for when he moves out on his own one day. But then he somehow ends up on an article (with an accompanying photoset) about a woman who took her old, dying dog to the park one last time to feed him hamburgers and be with him as he died peacefully under a giant pine tree.

Jeongguk has very strange dreams that night.


 

Jeongguk gets let go a few weeks later, and he's immediately plunged into a cold panic. His manager assures him it's not because he's a bad worker, but that there are more qualified workers who have been in the field longer and that once he has more experience he can apply again. Jeongguk is too stunned to tell him that kind of logic doesn't make any damn sense, because this job was Jeongguk's experience. So he sits there with his fists full of overalls, staring at his manger's desk while the man tries to lessen the blow by talking and talking.

He's so upset, that he takes the overalls home accidentally with the rest of his hello-I-was-just-fired box. He notices on the drive back home, but he's too emotionally volatile to have to drive back after that ordeal.

He gets home and Jimin is still at work. That thing he has that Jeongguk doesn't have.

Taehyung is standing over the stove, staring down at something like it's a science experiment.

"How do you know when pasta is ready?" he asks without looking up at the doorway. 

"You just know," Jeongguk mutters, kicking off his shoes. He's probably pouting right now. He pouts when he's trying not to cry. He actively tries not to pout but it's too late because Taehyung finally looks up.

"Woah. You okay?"

"I just got fired."

"Oh my God. Guk, I'm so sorry," Taehyung says, walking towards him then pausing when Jeongguk shifts over to the couch and sits his sorry ass down. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Jeongguk wants to say no but Taehyung sits down next to him anyway, one leg tucked under him, the other off the couch. He reaches out to touch Jeongguk's arm but seems to think otherwise and lets it rest down on his own thigh.

Jeongguk sort of wishes he would have just followed through and touched him because he's feeling especially lonely right now.

"The reasoning was the part that got to me. They wanted to hire a guy who could do two jobs at once, in a fucking shitty way, instead of hiring two guys who are good at separate things," Jeongguk says, picking at his pants pathetically.

"Fuck them. You are the best mechanic in the world."

"Taehyung," Jeongguk says, lowly. "Come on."

"You are. And they're missing out. They're fucking stupid, don't think about them," Taehyung continues, very seriously.

Jeongguk smiles glumly. "Yeah.

"Aw, you're not going to cry are you?" Taehyung says, reaching out and playfully pulling at Jeongguk's earlobe. Jeongguk jolts back suddenly in embarrassment. Taehyung seems to catch a whiff of his energy and shifts away too, like Jeongguk has suddenly constructed an invisible force-field between them.

Jeongguk feels bad because he wasn't shifting back from the touch, just the words.

Taehyung looks at him with a rare look on his face. "Hey. I'm joking. I'm sorry."

It's okay. You can touch my ear again.

"I know, I wasn't. Thanks. You're...good at making me feel better," Jeongguk says and inches closer, offering an apprehensive smile. "I'm not gonna cry. Unless you make me."

Taehyung smiles back. "I wouldn't make you cry. On purpose, at least."

They sit in silence for a moment before Taehyung notices the box on the floor. "What's that?"

"My sad little box of shit. From work."

Taehyung reaches down and picks up an item Jeongguk was hoping he shoved down near the bottom. "Iron Man fan?"

"Remember when you said I look younger than I am? Joke's on you. I'm actually 12." He takes the bobble-head from him.

Taehyung laughs. "I like a man who can laugh through his misfortunes. Let's get wasted."

"Drinking makes me emotional. You do not want to see that, trust me," Jeongguk says, but he really does want to a drink right now. 

"Woah, what," Taehyung notices his foot come into contact with Jeongguk's ex-overalls on the ground. "Is...I mean, was this your work uniform?" He grabs picks them up and holds them against the light, studying the grease-stained dark blue fabric.

"Yup."

"Damn," He raises an eyebrow like he wants to say something. He bites his lip and just offers: "Cool," instead.

What was he going to say?

"I actually wasn't supposed to bring them home. I was just so choked that I didn't realize what I was doing," Jeongguk says, reaching out to take them.

"We should burn them."

"What?"

"Let's burn them," Taehyung says, grabbing them back, and Jeongguk thinks he finally, after all these months, understands why Jimin constantly used the word 'extra' to describe Taehyung.

"Jesus. No. Give them back," Jeongguk swings his hand in vain because Taehyung is already standing, holding the overalls in his hands, backing away. 

"Trust me, this will be super therapeutic."

"It won't, Taehyung," he reaches out and Taehyung jumps back again, grinning. Jeongguk can't help smiling back but he still really doesn't want to burn those things. At least not until he know whether he has to pay for them out of his final check or not. 

Taehyung's back finally comes into contact with the edge of their dinner-table and his eyes snap open wide, realizing he's cornered. Jeongguk grabs Taehyung's wrists, pulling him forward. He lets go of one to grab the overalls and Taehyung is pushing at his chest to get away, laughing all the while and uttering some sort of half-giggle-half-articulated jumble of words, still trying to explain himself.

Jeongguk lets go when he has the overalls held behind him. "You're insane, you know that?"

Taehyung smiles, and he really does look nuts like this, standing in the kitchen in his pajamas, with a facial expression Jeongguk thinks might generally be seen on the face of prison escapees. His tanned forearms are hued pink from where Jeongguk was grabbing them, and he rubs at them absently. "Wrestle me."

Jeongguk scoffs. "You should think twice before you suggest stuff like that."

"Wow. Okay. Wrestle me," Taehyung says again reaching out to jab at his rib.

"Taehyung, I lost my job and you want to fight me?"

"I'll let you pin me if it'll make you feel better," Taehyung says, poised.

"I'll end up breaking one of your bones accidentally," Jeongguk says, folding the overalls.

"You don't want to drink, you don't want to burn your overalls, and you don't want to wrestle. How else are you going to expel your pent-up anger?" Taehyung asks and Jeongguk just laughs. He'll probably just play some videogames.

"I'll find a way."

"Fine. I'll be in my room if you decide you want to do any of the things I offered," Taehyung huffs and walks over to his door before turning around. "Oh. And. Don't be upset, okay? Honestly, there are tons of car shops around here. You'll find a new job right away." 

Jeongguk smiles. "Thanks."

He doesn't necessarily feel happy when he's lying in his bed later that night, attempting to fall asleep, but he does feel the load of bricks on his chest slightly lighter than it might have been before. 


 

Jimin takes Jeongguk out for drinks the next day after work to console him. Funny enough, Taehyung is at a job interview,  - he hadn't told Jeongguk about it the day before because he didn't want to upset him. He knows Taehyung probably understands deep down that Jeongguk would never be upset about Taehyung achieving something positive, but he appreciates his thoughtfulness either way. Jeongguk is thrilled, because he knows a better job environment is what Taehyung has been looking for since he started out in this field. He deserves it.

Apparently, after the interview, Taehyung is planning on going over to Namjoon's for a wine date.

"What the fuck even is that? A wine date?" Jeongguk asks, chewing on a soggy fry.

"Just the most fucking pretentious thing you could imagine. Come on. Try. Try to imagine the most pretentious date ever," Jimin says, leaning in in anticipation.

Jeongguk thinks for a moment, raising his beer glass to his lips. "Drinking- no, sorry, tasting wine."

"And?"

"And...watching...documentaries about genocide?"

Jimin shakes his head then rolls his hands, urging Jeongguk to continue.

"...reading about genocide? Reading about..."

"What's with you an genocide, lately? But you're close, actually. Reading what?"

Jeongguk sighs, leaning back in his chair. "I give up."

"Namjoon performs poetry. Competitively. He's reading Taehyung some ideas for his next show," Jimin says, sliding his finger along the rim of his martini glass.

"Damn." 

Jeongguk imagines Taehyung is someone with a large set of interests, so it's not entirely surprising that he might be genuinely enjoying this poetry stuff.

"I don't get it," Jimin says shrugging. "He must have a magic dick or something."

Jeongguk snorts, thinking this is sort of mean, what they're doing. Jimin seems to read his energy.

"I want Taehyung to be happy, but he needs to stop dating people he thinks are 'cool'. He loves 'cool' people," Jimin continues. "By the way, did I tell you I met someone?"

Jeongguk isn't paying attention anymore because that adorable girl he saw while he was jogging is across the pub, she is actually there, ordering a drink. She glances over and sees Jeongguk just as Jeongguk averts his gaze back down at the table.

"Oh?" Jeongguk says, trying to look as casual as he can.

Jeongguk doesn't know if his eyes are tricking him or if the girl really is starting to walk over to their table. Jimin is going off on the subject, and Jeongguk is looking at him but interrupting his own gaze to glance up and see her getting closer. As she nears them she raises a finger to her lips, staring at Jeongguk, then reaches out and clasps both hands over Jimin's eyes.

"Wha-" Jimin turns his face to the side. "Who's there."

"Me," the girl says, her register dropping to disguise her voice. Her face is serious.

She finally lets go and Jimin sees her, his eyes going wide in surprise before complete joy washes over his expression, and Jeongguk suddenly realizes this is the girl he was talking about.

"Jennie! Hey! Woah, what are you doing here?" he asks, and Jeongguk is almost jealous of how confidently he switches gears like that.

"Just came to get a few drinks with my cousin. He abandoned me though, mind if I join you guys?" she asks, glancing at Jeongguk and smiling.

Jeongguk smiles back, feeling his ears burn. 

"Of course!" Jimin says, pulling out the chair next to him for her to sit on.

"Thanks. Hi, I'm Jennie," she says, reaching out.

Jeongguk takes her manicured hand and gives it a small shake. "I'm Jeongguk, nice to meet you." He really hopes she doesn't recognize him.

"The jogger," she says, her full lips in a teasing smile.

Jeongguk realizes it's probably too much to ask the universe that just fired him to be on his side. "Hah...yeah."

Jimin looks confused. "Wait, you know him? He's my roommate."

"No," Jeongguk answers right away, plainly, picking up his beer glass. 

"I saw him jogging once upon a time," Jennie says, watching Jeongguk carefully before looking back at Jimin and offering him a small smile.

"Jeongguk's super into physical activity," Jimin says. "He's always moving."

"Where's Taehyung?" she asks, thankfully changing the subject.

"On a date," Jimin says, rolling his eyes.

She grins, suddenly excited again. "Oh damn. I have to hear about that."

Jeongguk wonders silently where and how they all met, but he assumes it's from one of the many times Jimin and Taehyung went out and Jeongguk turned down their invitation to stay home and play video-games or cook.

"I'm sure he'll tell you all about it," Jimin says.

"I should go, I think my cousin finally noticed I'm missing," Jennie says, standing up and pulling down the sides of her short, leather skirt. "I'll text you about this Saturday."

Jimin is clearly thrilled with how incapable Jennie is of hiding how cute she thinks he looks beaming up at her from the table like that. "Yes! I'll remind you, if you forget."

She winks then looks at Jeongguk, her facial expression suddenly neutral, polite. "Nice meeting you."

Jeongguk smiles, nodding as she walks off.

Jimin watches her walk away then turns back to Jeongguk. "Can you even fucking believe that? Just as I was talking about her."

"Yeah, that was pretty damn weird," Jeongguk says, but based on the kind of luck he's been having recently it doesn't seem too out of the norm that something like that might happen. 

"She's gorgeous," Jimin breathes.

"She's cute," Jeongguk says, smirking at Jimin's excitement. He maybe should be jealous about all of this, but he's not. Losing his job fills the large bubble in his head that might usually be filled with emotions like jealousy. Jimin has been working so damn hard, having a girlfriend will definitely lessen the overwhelming waves of thirteen hour shifts. He's happy for both Jimin and Taehyung, today - even if he does wonder if he'll catch a break too.

"Taehyung is the best wing-man ever. Seriously, he has gay powers," Jimin continues, snapping Jeongguk out of his trance.

"Gay powers."

"Yeah."

 


 

"Gay powers," Taehyung repeats the next morning, after Jeongguk tells him about Jimin's experience at the bar.

Jeongguk yawns from the dinner-table, rubbing at the side of his head sleepily. "That's his exact wording."

Taehyung smirks, laying a blouse next to the pants and belt he has already splayed out on the bed. He stands over his prospective outfit, wearing only his boxers, scratching at his leg.

He has a second job interview for a buyer position at some luxury brand beginning with a B that Jeongguk can't pronounce. He really wants Taehyung to land the position. He looks out of place like this, so serious, his face is almost unrecognizable as he frowns down at his choice of clothing.

"I don't have gay powers, but I wish I did. Whatever that means. I'm just good at talking to women," Taehyung says then reaches down to pick up the belt. "Forest green or maroon?"

"Maroon," Jeongguk says, standing up from the dinner table and walking towards him. "What the fuck are those pants, though. They're so baggy."

Jeongguk maybe doesn't understand why Taehyung would want to hide his long legs by wearing something like that.

"They're fashionable."

"They're ugly."

"You're ugly," Taehyung laughs, punching him in the arm.

"I hope you get the job," Jeongguk says, and Taehyung meets his gaze and smiles. 

"Thanks...I hope so too."

They stand in silence for a moment and then Taehyung starts unbuttoning the blouse to slip it on. "So, Jimin and Jennie. Cute match, right?"

"Yeah."

"Funny, at first I thought you and Jennie would make a better couple. I mean, you weren't there, but after I talked to her I was like, hm, her personality seems like it'll mesh well with Jeongguk's," Taehyung continues, pushing his arms through the shirt-holes and pulling the blouse into place.

Jeongguk raises his eyebrows. "Really? I actually...saw her a while ago. Jogging. We smiled at each other. Don't tell Jimin, though."

"Shut up!" Taehyung's eyes widen. "Oh man! Okay, but that's fine. I know this other girl, she's so fucking cute-"

"Taehyung," Jeongguk interrupts. "I'm really...not looking for a relationship."

"Who said anything about a relationship," Taehyung says, his pink lips bending into a smirk.

"Whatever you're thinking about with that creepy expression on your face...I'm not interested in it. I'm interested in getting a job so I can pay my side of the rent. Before my savings run out," he almost regrets his words when he sees Taehyung's face fall apart into a look of agony.

"Jeongguk. My dude, don't even worry about that, we got you," he presses after seeing Jeongguk's embarrassed expression.

"Thanks, but uh, I won't be jobless for long, I promise," Jeongguk says either way, because he doesn't want Jimin and Taehyung to carry him around like he's dead weight.

"Either way. If you change your mind and want to have fun let me know. She's adorable. Cute pussy too," Taehyung leans down to pull on the pants.

"What?"

"She has a pretty pussy. You know, sometimes..." he makes a disgusted expression as he slides on his belt.

Jeongguk is staring at him with his mouth hanging open. "Taehyung. Why? Why is that even-"

"I saw it. We're really good friends, she showed me one night when she was feeling self-conscious," Taehyung continues casually, straightening up to look at Jeongguk. "What?"

"You just...surprise me sometimes."

"I can appreciate a nice looking vagina when I see one, okay?"

"Of course," Jeongguk feels laughter bubbling in his throat.

"I want the very best for you," Taehyung's face splits into a grin.

"Yup. The very best pussies." 

"I really hope my gay powers land me this job."

"Me too."

 


 

Taehyung does land the job, like Jeongguk and Jimin both knew he would, and he's hysterically happy when he gets the phone call two weeks later. He's so happy, he wants to take them both out for drinks, but Jimin has plans with Jennie. He offers to come anyway, with her, but Taehyung tells him it's their third date so she's probably going to put out, and he should just go with her.

"I want my presence to always affirm sex for you. I don't ever want you to think of me attached to a situation where you missed out on sex," Taehyung says, sitting in between them on the couch, swinging both his arms around their necks.

"I'm jobless. And relationship-less. I'll go with you," Jeongguk says, and both Jimin and Taehyung laugh in that polite sort of way.

"That's the spirit," Taehyung says, clapping him on the back with surprising force.

"Namjoon coming too?" Jeongguk asks.

"Nope, he's at some poetry thing tonight," Taehyung replies and Jeongguk can't see Jimin but they telepathically share a look. "Plus I want to get stupid tonight, I don't want him to see me like that."

"You should want him to see you whatever way you are," Jimin says and if they didn't know him any better they'd think he was joking, but Jimin seriously says shit like this all the time. Taehyung groans loudly in response.

Finally, after an hour of stressing over what to wear, half a bottle of cologne, and three aggressive bursts of minty breath spray, Jimin leaves the apartment.

"Okay. Let's do this. All drinks are on me," Taehyung says, grabbing his wallet from the table. 

 


 

Taehyung wasn't lying about getting 'stupid' tonight. He forces three shots down Jeongguk within ten minutes of being at the pub. Jeongguk is lucky he had a meal beforehand, because it doesn't really get to him. Taehyung, on the other hand, already looks a little buzzed as he drags two girls to their table.

"This is Lisa. This is Jisoo," Taehyung says. "Say hi, Jeongguk."

"Taehyung."

"Don't be rude!"

"Hi, Lisa. Hi, Jisoo," Jeongguk extends both of his hands to shake with the laughing girls'. They look as embarrassed as he feels but they also look much drunker than he feels.

They're both very pretty, but Jeongguk finds himself more annoyed that Taehyung would do this after he explicitly told him he wasn't interested in meeting anyone. Jisoo is making eyes at him and Jeongguk smiles back, willing himself not to get sucked in, not tonight.

Still, they play Titanic with their beers and the shots of soju Taehyung orders, and Jeongguk loses. He grimaces as he swallows down the last of the liquid in his glass to the loud cheering of both Jisoo and Lisa.

Taehyung is loudly saying something to Lisa when Jeongguk feels a slender hand on his inner thigh and he glances up to see Jisoo leaning casually on the table, her chin in her left hand, her other hand under the table.

He freezes. She squeezes a little and he exhales. Don't get hard.

It's easier said than done because she's doing some sort of stroke squeeze, and her hand is dangerously up high on his thigh.

After a few moments he wills himself to look at her again and she's smiling at him, her eyes hooded.

"Taehyung," Jeongguk suddenly says, still looking at her, and when he doesn't respond he repeats it, louder.

Jisoo quickly removes her hand.

"We should go. Because, uh, Jimin. He's supposed. We're supposed to meet him, remember?"

"What?" Taehyung asks. Lisa is draped over his shoulder, pressing a kiss onto his neck, leaving behind a glossy mess of pink. 

"We have to go," Jeongguk repeats.

Lisa pouts and pulls at Taehyung's shoulder. "Your friend sucks."

"Agreed," Jisoo says, coldly. She looks hurt and Jeongguk feels slightly horrible because she is super hot and he broke that contact in such an abrupt way.

Taehyung stares at him for a few moments, looking drunk but not belligerent, looking like he can still make sober decisions. "Fine. Sorry, girls."

Lisa follows Taehyung to coat-check and Jeongguk leans in to Jisoo. "Hey. You're very cute. I'd love to hook up with you. Just not tonight. I lost my job. I'm really depressed. Phone?"

Jisoo looks up in surprise, her glum expression turning into one of sly happiness. She reaches in her bag for her phone and hands it to him.

He types his number and name, then texts himself. "I'll text you. Very soon. I promise."

"Very soon?" she repeats, laughing, and she has a pretty smile.

"Give me a time-frame."

"Tomorrow," she suggests, jokingly. "Tomorrow morning."

"Deal. I will not let you down. Will you still be interested?"

She bites her lip and raises her eyebrows. "We'll see," she curls her hair behind her ear.

He meets Taehyung at the door and he's leaning next to the exit, texting. He glances up when Jeongguk gets to him. "That girl totally wanted your dick. What's wrong with you?"

"I told you. Not right now. Stop forcing it," Jeongguk says, grabbing Taehyung's arm and leading him out the bar. "Were you making out with Lisa?"

"Yeah."

"Ah," Jeongguk says, and thankfully Taehyung continues because he doesn't want to say anything stupid.

"She thought I was cute and I didn't want to break her heart," Taehyung says, yawning. "Oh my God, no. I can't be tired right now. I'm not even that drunk."

"I have an idea." He feels bad for making them leave on Taehyung's celebratory night.

Taehyung is hesitant at first, but Jeongguk promises that buying liquor from a store and finding a place to drink isn't as depressing and lonely as Taehyung thinks. They opt for a large bottle of Bombay Sapphire.

It's mid-September, and the weather is still relatively mild, so standing in the park as adults and drinking like a couple of teenage delinquents is surprisingly refreshing. They pick a picnic table near the center of the park, and take turns chugging from the bottle.

Taehyung is trying to show Jeongguk how a guy at a club was dancing with him and Jeongguk is laughing too hard to stand straight, so he's clutching the picnic table while Taehyung gyrates exaggeratedly.

He laughs so hard he snorts and Taehyung drops to the grass at the sound Jeongguk made and they silent-laugh for a few seconds before Taehyung whacks at the grass with his hand, willing himself to stop.

"And the worst part," he gasps, "was that...I went...I went home with him." Taehyung presses his hands against his face, looking like he's in the midst of an existential crisis.

Jeongguk straightens up slightly, taking another swig. He feels very woozy, not entirely there. "He maybe had...Was he confident?"

"No. No absolutely not, I don't know what I was... I wasn't thinking. This was his dick," Taehyung holds up a pinky and Jeongguk doesn't see it at first because it's dark, because he's drunk, but his eyes adjust and he bursts out laughing again.

Taehyung laughs along with him. "I love your laugh. Your laugh is the fucking best. Your laugh makes me laugh."

"I think we might have drank it all. The whole thing. The gin," Jeongguk mumbles, holding up the bottle and swishing around the small amount of liquid left.

Taehyung is suddenly staring down at his phone. "Holy shit! Holy shit!"

Jeongguk scrambles to him, his legs taking him off course for a moment before he maneuvers himself back, and he crouches, swaying and grabbing Taehyung's shoulder to prevent himself from toppling over. He looks over at the phone but Taehyung is moving to get up and Jeongguk tips backwards and falls on his ass.

"Jimin's text. He texted. He's going to Jennie's," Taehyung says gesturing wildly at his phone, his voice suddenly high in register, excited.

Jeongguk is on his back, staring up at the sky. "Sex."

Taehyung looks at him from his phone and laughs, having a hard time keeping the device straight. "You are so. Fucking. Drunk."

"I'm fine. Things are spinning," Jeongguk says, breathlessly and Taehyung laughs again but Jeongguk hears him shuffling towards him on the grass, pressing his hand against Jeongguk's shoulder as he lies there. 

"Here, I'll help you up."

Through some sort of miracle, Taehyung manages to heave Jeongguk up to a standing position. He slowly backs away with his hands out and ready in case Jeongguk decides to fall forward.

"Hey...I don't think I'm going to be able to carry you, big guy," Taehyung says, and his tone is worried but Jeongguk doesn't think he can read facial expressions anymore. "Please don't fall over. Here, give me your arm, let's go home."

"Race you."

"Huh?"

Jeongguk is already taking off, he's sprinting through the park, as fast as he can to some place he doesn't know yet. All he knows is that the air feels good across his face and that his sneakers are soaked from the grass, still dewy from the sprinklers. He thinks he bites his lip or some other part of his mouth while he's running, because he tastes copper, but he doesn't feel pain since the alcohol has done a good job to mask his receptors. He's running so fast, his feet are barely touching the ground, he's flying like a fucking bird. He hears some sort of yelling behind him, far away, but it's wonky like the Doppler effect distorted its pitch. Maybe he broke the sound barrier.

Eventually he's out of breath, but didn't even realize it because his feet were the first to throw in the towel, his lungs came second, and he's crouched on his hands and knees, his hands fisting the grass.

He breathes there like this for a few moments, and he can't see a fucking thing. 

He feels a pressure on his back and he's flipping over, facing the black sky and the white moon. He sees Taehyung's face enter his vision, or really it could have been anyone at this point. He thinks he's probably scolding him, but he can't hear anything, he's just watching his mouth move in slow motion, his eyebrows rising and falling as he yells.

"I feel here." Jeongguk doesn't know why he says it but it just blubbers out of his lips. "Sorry."

"What? Can you move, Guk, sit up with me."

Jeongguk grabs Taehyung's arm and pulls himself up. "Sorry."

"Stop saying sorry!" Taehyung laughs. "You just freaked me out. Why'd you run off like that?"

"I don't. I don't actually know," Jeongguk says, slowly, confused. 

"It was really fucking funny watching you run...you know. You looked like you thought you were running straight, but you really weren't running straight. You were going in all directions, just like, running from one direction to another, it was so great," Taehyung says, and he's still a little breathless.

"Was that a metaphor?"

"No!" Taehyung grips his arm, hard. "Stop thinking about your shitty old job. You'll get a new good one. I promise. Or, like, we can go beat up your old manager."

"No. We'll let him live," Jeongguk says, nodding, like he's actually thinking about this. "I'm going to burn my overalls, though."

"Yes!"

"I'm..."

"Yes?"

"I'm going to throw up."

Jeongguk leans over and promptly vomits on the grass next to him.

The next few hours go by in a blur, and it seems like it's some time in the early morning, probably four or five-am, because the sky looks a tiny bit less dark than it did before.

Jeongguk feels much better at this point, and Taehyung can't seem to stop talking about how hilarious the whole ordeal was during the cab ride back to their apartment.

"And then the way you fell over when you finally stopped running..."

"I get it, Taehyung."

"You just stopped, then your knees buckled. You looked like those Olympic athletes who collapse from exhaustion after marathons."

Jeongguk can't help but laugh, and it's mostly because Taehyung looks so fucking happy telling this story, like it's the plot of his favourite movie ever.

"I'm glad you had a good time."

Taehyung's smile dims a few watts. "You didn't?"

Jeongguk looks over. "Hm? Of course I did. I actually had a fucking great time. So...thank you. For letting me tag along."

The smile on Taehyung's face reconstructs itself. "No, thank you for the performance."

When they get back to the apartment Jeongguk falls down into the couch, letting his head fall back against the upholstery. He both appreciates and hates his fast metabolism for times like this, because he can feel his head already starting to pound. "I'm going to have the worst fucking hangover tomorrow. It's starting already."

He glances up and sees Taehyung musing at the dinner table, running his hands along the surface. He looks like he's deep in thought. "I couldn't get you laid tonight. I feel bad about that."

"I told you. That's too much effort for me right now," he leans his head back against the couch.

"Fucking is supposed to relax you," Taehyung says soothingly, like he's teaching a class.

"I know. I just. I'm too psychologically exhausted to perform."

"So what do you do?"

"When I have a lot on my mind?"

"When you're horny."

Jeongguk feels the couch to his right dip as Taehyung sits down, suddenly sensing the heat of of his presence, the unmistakable smell of men's cologne mixed with something sweet and personal.

He opens his eyes and looks to his right, and Taehyung is kneeling on the cushion next to him, staring at him, his eyes large and imploring. He glances down at Taehyung's lips and they look soft and full and very confusing.

"I um. I masturbate," Jeongguk says quietly, staring at his mouth, and he isn't sure if Taehyung hears him at first. 

"Oh," Taehyung says, and he looks down at Jeongguk's lap, pointedly, then averts his gaze to the carpet. He appears so nonchalant, suddenly, even though his cheeks and neck are pink from the after-effects of their drinking, even though Jeongguk is burning up from the inside. Jeongguk is half-hard. "Must be annoying," Taehyung continues.

For reasons he can't explain, Jeongguk moves his hand over to his dick and slides his palm against it. Taehyung watches him salaciously, like he's waiting for instructions.

"Like...now." Jeongguk can't stop.

"Hm?"

"I'm."

"What?"

Jeongguk closes his eyes and leans his head back against the couch again. He doesn't fucking understand why he wants this so bad right now. He's too sober right now to blame it on alcohol. Is this normal?

"You can..." he finds himself stammering. "I mean, if you..."

"I do. I can. If you want me to."

"Yes."

He feels the couch shift again.

The next sensation is a pair of hands against his hips, hands that are not his own, and he opens his eyes, staring down. Taehyung is kneeling between his legs, his hands on his Jeongguk's belt, looking up at him from the ground, his lips wet, the way they were that night Jeongguk dropped him off at Namjoon's, and his eyes are hooded.

Jeongguk swallows. He doesn't make a sound. He feels like his whole body is paralyzed as Taehyung slowly undoes his belt, pausing knot by knot as he pulls the leather through the metal loop. He's staring into Jeongguk's eyes, like he's daring for Jeongguk to tell him he doesn't want this. Jeongguk can't say anything because Taehyung's eyes are so large and entrancing when they're staring up like this. And he does want this, and not only does he feel incredibly horny, he feels a sense of excitement building inside him as he enters uncharted territory. 

Taehyung gets to the button of his jeans, and pops it open, his fingers slowly pressing against the zipper, starting to lower it even slower than he undid the belt. He reaches down to Jeongguk's thighs and grips the sides of his pants, tugging them down a few inches. He pauses again, then finally looks away, down into Jeongguk's lap, at the outline of his half-hard dick in his underwear. The expression on Taehyung's face is like nothing he's ever seen before.

He presses a large, warm hand against Jeongguk's dick and Jeongguk's head falls back against the couch. Theoretically, this should be turning him off, but it's doing the exact opposite.

Taehyung kneads at his dick through his boxers, then loops his fingers into the waistband of his black boxer-briefs and pulls them down, slowly, exposing Jeongguk's cock to the cooler air of the apartment.

The change in temperature suddenly sends a jolt through Jeongguk and he swings his head back down. "You..." He can't manage anything else.

"You okay?" Taehyung whispers suggestively, his hands flat around the base of his dick in a triangle, like he's framing it.

Jeongguk stares at him, his chest heaving with breaths. "Yes."

He feels a bead of sweat slide down the side of his neck.

"I can stop," Taehyung continues, and it sounds almost teasing. "If you don't want this."

Jeongguk shakes his head. "Don't stop," he croaks, almost wordlessly. "Please," he adds unconsciously. 

Taehyung immediately gives Jeongguk's dick a deft pump and Jeongguk has to clutch the couch to stop from making any sort of noise. 

Taehyung continues, smiling now, his bangs pouring into his eyes. He lowers his mouth and rubs his lips against the tip of Jeongguk's dick in small circles and Jeongguk quickly loses all trains of thought.

Jeongguk squeezes his eyes shut and opens his mouth noiselessly, his head pressed back into the couch. 

Taehyung opens his full lips around the head of his dick, his hands pressing into Jeongguk's thighs. He swishes his tongue against the head, then lowers his face down, swallowing nearly the entire length into his mouth, and Jeongguk can't stop the whimper that crawls out of his lips. This feels so much fucking better than he could have imagined.

Taehyung hollows in his cheeks and sucks harder, faster, the sound obscene, and Jeongguk doesn't fucking understand how he's so good at this. Except maybe he should understand, considering Taehyung is probably used to this, and he knows exactly what feels good on a dick. Jeongguk is about to cum and it hasn't even been a whole minute. Taehyung releases Jeongguk's dick from his mouth with a pop like he just read his mind, and Jeongguk somehow wills himself to look down at him with blurry eyes. Taehyung cups one palm around the head of Jeongguk's dick, rubbing circles. Jeongguk shakes his head, and it's supposed to be a warning (since he can't use his words) that if Taehyung keeps this up, Jeongguk will come. He doesn't want to come in Taehyung's hand.

Taehyung stops and slides his hand down, releasing his grip. He lets Jeongguk's dick lean against his palm and presses his open mouth against the shaft, sliding it up and down the length, coating it in his spit. 

Strands of precome and saliva are roping between Taehyung's fat, reddened lips and Jeongguk's cock, and the image of this will forever be imprinted in the back of Jeongguk's brain whether he wills it or not. Jeongguk humps up unconsciously, his dick sliding up and down Taehyung's palm.

Taehyung finally sits back, holding the base of Jeongguk's dick. His voice is deep. Taehyung is a man, and he's sitting between his legs, holding Jeongguk's dick. "Come in my mouth."

Jeongguk doesn't have time to even begin to answer because Taehyung swallows him again, deep, and Jeongguk feels the head of his dick hit the back of Taehyung's throat. He groans, his eyes rolling back as Taehyung sucks up and down almost violently - he wants to reach out and grab Taehyung's hair, but he doesn't, because he can't move. He can't even warn him when he comes, hard, his hips snapping up, Taehyung gagging but still keeping his mouth circled around Jeongguk's length. He milks the entire orgasm into his mouth, swallowing obediently while still staring up at Jeongguk. 

Jeongguk's breathing is still labored and his thighs are shaking so hard that Taehyung starts to run his hands up and down them soothingly. He slowly leans back and lets Jeongguk's dick fall out of his mouth, like it was a straw.

"How...how do you...that was..."

Taehyung responds by reaching out and politely tucking Jeongguk's spent dick back into his underwear. 

Jeongguk finally catches his breath, in through the nose, out through the mouth, like he's doing yoga. He's so wrecked from that orgasm he has to do fucking breathing exercises.

Taehyung sits down on the couch next to him. "Well?" he asks, cheerfully.

"That. That was the best head I've ever gotten in my life. Fuck, you're talented."

"Talented," Taehyung laughs. "Wow. You're not drunk, are you?"

"I'm incredibly sober right now." Taehyung - for lack of a better word - sucked the effects of alcohol out of him. "I. Uh..."

"Don't worry. It never happened," Taehyung says.

Jeongguk sits there, staring at the carpet. He wonders if he really can just peg this onto curiousity and forget about it tomorrow. 

They pass the rest of the night mostly in silence, except for moment later when Taehyung peeks out of his room to say good-night. Jeongguk isn't sure if he's light-headed because of the alcohol still in his blood-stream or because of the fact that a man just gave him the best blowjob he's ever had.

He spends the next thirty minutes in bed, sleepily scrolling through forum posts about straight guys being blown by gay guys, what it means, if Jeongguk is over-thinking it - which he decides he is - and whether or not this is something he has to repress. He's too sleepy to come up with a game-plan, and he falls asleep with the feeling of Taehyung's mouth imprinted on his dick.

 

Chapter Text

 It's the next morning, and Jeongguk is still thinking about the blowjob. He hasn't come up with any sort of game plan, either, except: pretend it never happened - and he didn't even come up with that himself.

He thinks if forgetting the whole thing was a path that was suggested by Taehyung himself, then Jeongguk isn't really a terrible person for accepting his idea.

He even texts Jisoo while he's brushing his teeth.

[11:21] good morning. 

The answer is almost instant.

[11:22] wow!

He puts his toothbrush down, typing with both hands.

[11:22] do you still remember me? it's been almost 12 hours. 

[11:23] cute guy with the black hair and great smile :)

[11:24] haha am I supposed to agree with that...? 

When he walks out, Taehyung is sitting on the couch with Jimin, listening to him ramble on about what Jeongguk imagines was his date with Jennie. Jeongguk stands next to the fridge and watches them for a few moments, yawning. His pulse is beating loudly in his head, the light shifting from the curtains is making his eyes sting, and he feels a hollow hunger pain in his upper stomach. He is most definitely hungover.

Taehyung on the other hand looks absolutely well rested, his face healthy, tanned, full of life. He glances up when he notices Jeongguk in the kitchen and gives him a smile he's not sure he's ever seen. It's almost naughty.

"Oh look who has decided to finally join us!"

Jimin turns around on the couch. "Hey big guy, heard you guys had a fun night."

Jeongguk turns his head to look at Taehyung a little too fast, probably, and when he meets Taehyung's neutral gaze he flubs. "We, uh. We drank...a lot."

Jimin smiles. "Drinking with Tae is always more than you bargain for."

Why does it feel like everything Jimin says is pulling at the fact that Taehyung had Jeongguk's dick down his throat last night?

"You can say that again."

Taehyung laughs and Jimin leans down to grab his phone from the couch, flashing the side of his neck to Jeongguk who barks in surprise. "Speaking of fun nights."

Jimin reaches up to touch shyly at the side of his neck, at the massive hickey. "Yeah..."

"That looks more like a knife-wound than a hickey, you guys must have really been going at it," Taehyung keens, extending his arm to grab at Jimin's throat and he rolls backwards, out of his reach.

"She's really intense," Jimin admits, almost looking more scared than turned on by his own experiences. He snaps, like he's remembered something. "I'm gonna invite her over for dinner some time next week. You should invite Namjoon, too."

Taehyung nods slowly, his mouth thinning. "I don't know. I'll ask him."

Jeongguk sighs loudly, opening the fridge to grab a pitcher of cold-brew, hoping maybe this headache isn't really expanding like how it feels. He doesn't say anything because he knows Jimin will say it anyway.

So, right on schedule: "You've been avoiding bringing him to meet us the last, like, four times we've tried."

Taehyung shakes his head, his hair flapping in movement. "I haven't been avoiding bringing him anywhere. He's just busy."

"With slam poetry?"

Taehyung looks up at Jeongguk, his eyes sharp - his serious face is almost intimidating. "No. With his job."

Jeongguk raises his eyebrows, tongue poking into the side of his cheek. Okay, he deserved that one.

Taehyung smiles defensively when Jimin glares at him. 

"Well," Jimin huffs. "If he's ever not busy, do let him know we'd absolutely fucking love to meet him."

 


 

Somehow, after their tense conversation, Taehyung assures Jeongguk and Jimin that Namjoon is down for dinner this Saturday. Jeongguk decides he has five days to at least feel like he's accomplished something with his life. His friends from his last job have connections, and he manages to get to call-backs from two small shops. He's particularly hoping for an interview at a larger repair garage, one closer to his apartment, but he's only ever seen older men working there. Jeongguk starts to think he's too young (or mostly just looks too young) to be trusted by a large demographic of people in his industry, and it's an upsetting conclusion to come to, especially since he needs the job now and not necessarily when he's in his sixties.

Still, he's pleased for the two call-backs, and tends to do well at job interviews. His employers generally comment on his serious, thoughtful demeanor even though it's really just Jeongguk's nervous-face.

Taehyung helps him pick out an outfit for a casual, Saturday afternoon second-interview over coffee, after being appalled by what he looked like to the first. He can hear Jimin scrubbing from the bathroom and he feels bad for the little guy, since he's suddenly come to the haunting realization that Jennie will soon be seeing where they live. He's been scouring the entire apartment, picking things up and complaining about how they belong elsewhere. He's even been interrogating both Taehyung and Jeongguk over every stray pube he finds in the bathroom.

("This is disgusting. Whose is this?"

"How do you know that's not yours?" Jeongguk snaps defensively.

"I know my own pubes, thank you very much. Taehyung?"

"Definitely Jeongguk's," Taehyung says, without thinking, then slowly rolls his lips into a tight line and meets Jeongguk's furious gaze, wheedling lamely: "Or yours. Because I wax."

"Also, what the fuck is this?"

"My douche."

"Fucking. Hide this shit, guys! Hide. Your. Shit.")

Jeongguk hears Jimin grumbling to himself from the bathroom, probably having found something else he'd rather not have Jennie see. 

Jimin's grumbling is slightly over-powered by Taehyung's own pestering, as he sifts through a pile of clothes on Jeongguk's bed in search of a shirt.

"Taehyung, I'm going to be working in a garage, with grease and oil-"

"-and your sexy little overalls, I know, I know. But this is a big deal, you can't wear a mao neck polo."

"A what?"

Taehyung rolls his eyes, reaching through Jeongguk's pile of tshirts. "Do you have anything other than black or white?"

Jeongguk notices a hickey on Taehyung's neck when he dips down and his loose shirt slips, low down near the base of his neck, as though the person who put it there was strategically trying to make it less visible. For some reason Jeongguk senses another wisp of the scent from earlier, the deodorant, with less of a personal touch this time, more subdued.

He wants to make a joke about how he'd think Namjoon would be above hickeys, or about how him and Jimin match now, but they both sound mean-spirited in his head so he just opts for answering Taehyung's question. "Not really."

Taehyung straightens up, his hand stroking the side of his neck, close to the hickey, in thought. "I'll lend you a top."

"Honestly, it's not a big deal."

Taehyung is already walking out of Jeongguk's room, so he follows him then stops in the living room, grabbing his wallet from the table. "I'm gonna go," he calls after Taehyung.

"Wait!"

"I'm going to be late."

Taehyung runs back out holding a light but structured button up, and it's surprisingly casual, almost in-between the two extremes.

"Business-casual," Taehyung says.

Yeah. That.

"Alright, here," he reaches out and takes the blouse, placing it on the table and reaching behind himself to pull his own shirt off.

Taehyung watches him for a moment, then looks down at his phone, like he's trying to be polite. It's almost annoying, the way they're pretending nothing happened on that damn couch. The way Taehyung is pretending nothing happened, specifically. Jeongguk feels a sick need to want to talk about it, not in any critical way, but just to discuss that it was a thing that occurred and not just his imagination.

For some reason, Jeongguk thinks for a moment about how often Namjoon and Taehyung have sex, about how the sexual dynamics in that scenario work. What does Taehyung do? Does he have a specific role? Are there even roles? Why the fuck is he thinking about this?

"That looks great on you," Taehyung muses from the back of his throat, his lips in an O. 

"Thanks. You're good at this stuff," Jeongguk says honestly, and then, probably because Taehyung is looking at him with a playful smile, "I'm lucky to live with someone so talented at so many things."

Taehyung's lips part and his eyebrows sort of come down, like he's trying to figure out if Jeongguk was really implying what he thought he was. He settles for a smile, quickly. "That's sweet."

"Good luck!" Jimin screams from the bathroom, over the sound of a flush, startling them both. "Tell him I say good luck!"

"The whole building can hear you, bud. Thank you."

 


 

 

Jeongguk's job interview goes quite well, even though his prospective boss makes a comment about how young he looks. He seems impressed with Jeongguk's list of qualifications because of the short amount of time he's been working, and remarks that they graduated from the same technical college.

Jeongguk feels so good about that it strokes his ego up a few notches. On top of that, he's been in text correspondence with Jisoo, and they haven't met up since seeing her at the bar, but they've been getting pretty heavily flirty (bordering on dirty) for the last few days. She has some corporate job that sucks the life out of her, and it makes sense that she was so quick to want to get Jeongguk on lock-down in the bar - weekends are her only chance, and even that's rare.

He wants to fuck her, that's no secret, but hes also still trying to deal with the weird thoughts floating in his head since he, well, came in Taehyung's mouth. Jeongguk figures having sex with a girl will probably dispel these thoughts, so he's been extra suggestive in his last few texts.

He comes home to see Jimin at the stove and Taehyung carefully placing napkins on the table settings. Jesus, there are table settings.

"Does the wine glass go above the fork or the knife?" Taehyung asks, tapping the rim of the glass against his lips in thought.

"I think it's the knife," Jimin calls, then pokes his head around the corner to see Jeongguk closing the door behind him. "Guk! How was it?"

Taehyung looks up from his task and jolts towards the door in excitement, his eyes wide.

Jeongguk smiles. "It went really well, actually. I liked this guy a lot, seemed like a good boss."

They both congratulate him at the same time and he stares down at the floor, feeling shy under their attention. 

"That shirt is great, by the way, where did you get it?" Jimin asks, squinting. "I don't think I've ever seen you wear something like that."

Jeongguk looks at Taehyung who runs a hand through his hair haughtily. "It's mine. Givenchy. I am his recently hired personal stylist."

"Of course it is. Of course you are," Jimin nods, turning back towards the kitchen.

Taehyung whacks at Jeongguk's chest with the napkin in his hand. "Come help me with the plates."

Jeongguk is taken aback by the amount of work they're both putting into this dinner, Jimin is a little more dramatic about it than Taehyung, who seems to just be second guessing everything he does. It feels pretty nice being the one lonely fuck who doesn't have to worry about impressing anyone. He chews on a buttered pork-stick even though Jimin told him earlier not to touch any of the food. He wants to tell Taehyung he looks great, because he does - like, really great. (He doesn't tell him.) His hair looks light, like it was blow dried, and he's wearing a very simple black, long-sleeved t-shirt, and a pair of white slacks. Jeongguk is so used to seeing him in interesting colours and patterns, that this is a nice surprise - it draws attention to his skin tone. Jeongguk figures he looks more like Taehyung than Taehyung does right now, since he's still wearing his shirt.

Jeongguk's one job of the pre-dinner is to make sure the living room is clean, and this isn't much of a task considering the fact that the living room consists of one table, one couch, and a TV, all of which Jimin has already deep-cleaned three times.

Jennie is the first one to arrive, and she's a little early. She's wearing a small black dress and has her hair simple, cascading down her back. Jeongguk finds it hard to be casual around her, especially since she's dating his best friend - not because he's attracted to her anymore, but because he still feels embarrassed about thinking she was interested in him. He keeps replaying the scene in the bar in his head, of her walking towards the two of them, and how he thought for a moment that she was coming to talk to him. She most probably doesn't know he thought that, but in Jeongguk's head, in the little nightmarish hellscape that is Jeongguk's mind, she does.

He can't help but notice the dynamics of Jimin and Jennie's relationship, as he sits on a chair across from them on the couch. Jennie seems to mostly have the reigns of their conversations, often touching him on the shoulder to move him, or fixing his bangs, fussing.

She frowns at him when he makes dumb faces at her, like she finds them annoying rather than endearing, but later smiles to herself when Jimin isn't watching. 

Taehyung, as usual, gifted with the ability of gab, seamlessly blends in and out of the conversation, keeping it alive, changing it to maybe some other topic of interest when things start to get quiet. It's more relaxing than Jeongguk thought it would be. At least, it's relaxing up until there's a knock on the door and Taehyung is standing up like a prairie-dog, one hand holding his glass of wine, the other tense by his side.

Jeongguk stands up next, after seeing Taehyung strangely frozen to his spot, and he walks to the door. He opens it to see the unique looking man from the couch, and he finally manages to take in his features. He has a round face, is wearing black rimmed glasses, and his hair is trendy and polished. His clothes are also gray-scale: a white tee, black pants, literally the inverse of Taehyung's shirt and pant combo.  Suddenly Taehyung's once refreshing outfit choice for the evening seems to make sense, in a now sort of stupid way.

He's holding out a bottle of wine in one hand, and the other arm cradles a pot with an interesting tree-like plant in it that Jeongguk has never seen the tiny version of.

"Hey, nice to meet you, I'm Namjoon," he says, holding out the wine, which Jeongguk takes before extending his hand and feeling Namjoon's firm grip around his palm. "Taehyung has told me a lot about you. Jeongguk, right?"

"Yup, nice to meet you too. Come in," Jeongguk says, smiling and moving over to let him in. Taehyung has told Namjoon about him? A lot?

"This is a nice place," Namjoon says, without actually having really looked around. He slips off his boat shoes and straightens up, to see the rest of the guests standing to greet him. 

Jimin and Jennie greet him next, making comments about the plant (which turns out to be a Chinese elm-tree bonsai), and Taehyung stands silently to the side, holding his glass of wine. Jeongguk is almost overly interested to see them interact after hearing so much about this guy he can't really imagine Taehyung choosing to be with.

Taehyung is standing next to Jeongguk, his posture more relaxed now.

"Hi," Namjoon says, smiling, displaying two very prominent dimples on the side of his face, off-setting his initially imposing demeanor.

"Hey there," Taehyung says, tilting his head to the side playfully, exposing his neck almost submissively, and Jeongguk feels a drop in his stomach that he really wish he didn't.

Namjoon probably feels it too because he gives Taehyung a smirk filled with reverence, like he's he proud of himself for having landed someone who looks the way Taehyung does.

"You look good," Namjoon says, his eyes flicking across Taehyung's outfit.

"Thanks," Taehyung says, grinning, his voice deep and sultry.

Alright, Jeongguk starts feeling like he's watching the beginning of a porno, so he pretends to be deeply interested in the dumb little plant-tree on the table. 

They sit around and talk for the next hour or so, Jeongguk trying to explain to Jennie that he doesn't install 'grills' daily as a mechanic (Jimin went with "he's a mechanic" instead of "he's between jobs"), and how it's generally pretty boring maintenance type tasks, since everyone is looking to save money. Jennie starts to tell Jimin some story about her old car and Jeongguk takes a sip of his drink, glancing over at Taehyung. He has his hands curled innocently in his lap and he's leaning in against Namjoon, his lips moving close to the shell of his ear, telling him something apparently private. Namjoon laughs, with raised eyebrows, and his hand squeezes and releases Taehyung's thigh in intervals - it's borderline erotic. 

Jimin seems to notice them too, because he makes eye-contact with Jeongguk while Jennie is talking to him, and tilts his head over to them, urging Jeongguk to look, as though Jeongguk hasn't already been openly staring at them for the last ten seconds. Jennie pinches Jimin's arm, hard, and he yelps then looks away, laughing silently.

Jeongguk feels his phone vibrate and stares down at it. It's Jisoo.

[19:34] heyyyy. i wanna see you...you busy this week?

[19:36] depends. what are you suggesting?

They start seating for dinner soon after, and Jeongguk enters the kitchen-fray while Namjoon and Jennie converse at the table.

"Don't put that there! Taehyung. Put it down. Don't. Tae," Jimin sounds like he's talking to a dog rather than his friend.

Taehyung is holding a spoon with a chunk of yellow, saffron-infused rice. "But this would look so nice on top. Jeongguk, wouldn't this look nice?"

"Jeongguk, please tell Taehyung that he's ruining this dinner. And put that down."

Jeongguk shakes his head, chewing on another pork-stick. "Taehyung, that's a great idea."

Taehyung beams at him and leans in to blot the white mass with yellow. "So pretty. Look at how pretty that looks."

Jimin groans and holds out a bowl of salad for Jeongguk to take. "Here. Don't be useless."

Jeongguk finishes chewing and reaches out haphazardly, taking the bowl from Jimin. "Take it easy. This is dinner, not the season finale of Iron Chef." He shuffles back into the kitchen. He thinks it would have been much easier if they just ordered pizza or something. Jeongguk genuinely enjoys cooking, but when others decide to take the reigns he's okay with going into lazy-mode. Especially when 'others' includes Jimin, who appears to have sustained some form of psychosis just from preparing for this dinner.

He looks down at his phone to see Jisoo's response, and his eyes go wide.

[19:37] i'm suggesting you finally follow through and fuck me. [IMG-386]

There's an attached selfie of her in a red lacy bra, with her shirt pulled up past her breasts.

He licks his lips and looks up, nervously, irrationally, as if everyone at the table might have somehow read the text.

[19:48] time. place.

He has a hard time settling back into casual dinner-party mode.

Jennie is incredibly impressed with the food, constantly praising the three of them (Jimin doesn't have the heart to tell her Jeongguk didn't do shit), asking about the recipes and making remarks on the flavour. The main beef dish is nearly depleted already.

Namjoon is mostly quiet, just nodding along with what Jennie says, and Taehyung looks nervous. Namjoon's plate is relatively empty, with none of the main dish on it.

Taehyung leans in to Namjoon while Jimin tells Jennie how he made the sauce. "Joon, what's wrong? You're not eating much. You don't like it?" The expression on his roommate's face is heartbreaking.

Namjoon smiles over at him, politely. "Oh. No, babe, this is great. I just don't eat red meat."

"You...didn't tell me that."

"I'm pretty sure I did. Not that it's important, this is all really great."

Taehyung looks like he wants to stubbornly repeat that Namjoon really didn't tell him that he doesn't eat red meat, but he closes his mouth, his lips in a slight pout. He turns back to his plate and pokes at a piece of salmon. He glances up and meets Jeongguk's gaze before Jeongguk has a chance to look away. So he smiles at Taehyung, and shrugs his shoulders a little, to express nonchalance. 

He forks a slab of beef and mouths "so good", his eyes rolling back exaggeratedly. Taehyung smiles back at him, his eyes forming pleased crescents. 

Jeongguk feels a shift in the air and sees Namjoon looking at him, the expression on his face curious as he chews on a mouthful of rice.

Jeongguk's playful expression fades. "Hey, Jimin, can you pass the pork-sticks?"

"What is with you and these fucking pork-sticks. You've been eating them all day, honestly."

Jeongguk doesn't respond, pulling one out of the extended basket and poking it at Jimin's face instead, who reflexively opens his mouth to bite it and prevent it from crashing into his lips. 

Eventually, they settle in the living room again.

Jeongguk is on his phone, tapping his foot contently.

[19:52] no pic back? :(

[19:52] monday night. i'm off early, i'll be home at 6pm. 

[19:53] here's my address on google maps. come any time after 8 :)

[20:21] I'm at that dinner party I told you about. I can't really send you the kind of pic you're suggesting lol

[20:21] I'll be there

[20:22] find a way to send me a pic or i'm not letting you in!! hahaha 

[20:23] wait so just to be clear..... you're asking for a dick pic right?

[20:24] absolutely <3

[20:24] I'll figure something out. don't change the channel!

[20:24] you're a dork lol

He frowns then looks up in thought. When he does, he sees Namjoon looking at him again. Taehyung seems to be in deep conversation with Jennie and Jimin about different forms of denim.

Jeongguk smiles in response and Namjoon returns it, hesitantly. 

"So, you're a mechanic," Namjoon says, after a moment.

"Yeah," Jeongguk clicks his phone-screen off. "I'm actually between jobs right now, though."

Namjoon nods. "How do you know Tae?"

"I actually met him when he moved in. He's known Jimin for much longer," Jeongguk says, and Taehyung is suddenly paying attention, having heard his own name. "What about you? How did you guys meet?"

Namjoon smiles. "Taehyung came to a show I was doing with a few friends a few months ago. He introduced himself after and he hasn't left me alone since."

Jeongguk raises his eyebrows and Taehyung laughs, genuinely, smacking Namjoon's arm.

"He's forgetting to mention that he had asked all his friends who I was," Taehyung reminds, and Namjoon shrugs.

"You should come along to a show," Namjoon offers to Jeongguk, then, as an afterthought. "I mean, if you're into reading."

That's a weird thing to say.

"I read. Not really into poetry, though," Jeongguk continues, pleasantly.

Namjoon nods. "It's not for everyone, I guess. There's a nightclub next door, if you prefer that scene."

Jeongguk can't help but feel like Namjoon is trying to get a rise out of him at this point, like he's annoyed that Jeongguk tried to make Taehyung feel better earlier - as though that was the terrible thing, and not Namjoon forking at his bare damn plate while Taehyung nervously questioned him.

"Is that the scene you think I'd prefer?" Jeongguk asks, trying to control his voice from rising in volume.

Taehyung's expression starts to morph slowly from intrigue to slight dread. 

Namjoon thinks for a moment, his full lips frowning in thought. "Car-shows, maybe?"

Jeongguk's jaw is clamped shut because he knows if he opens it, everyone in the living-room will hate him. Taehyung is immediately launching into some sort of exposition about how he can never keep track of the poetry nights and how he'd like to try improv, nudging Namjoon and asking him if he thinks he'd be good at it or not.

Jimin and Jennie tune back in and Jeongguk sits in silence for most of the rest of the evening, up until Namjoon stands up to say good-bye. 

"I have to work early tomorrow," he says, when Jimin protests. "I honestly had a great time, you guys have a nice place. Dinner was delicious, thank you so much."

Jimin smiles and insists to give him some food to take with him, and Namjoon tries to politely decline but Jimin is already making his way into the kitchen.

Taehyung grabs at Namjoon arm. "So I'll see you at the show next Sunday?"

"You're not coming over?" Namjoon asks, reaching out and placing hand behind Taehyung's neck, thumbing the soft skin.

"Huh? Was I supposed to?"

"It would be nice if you did," Namjoon says, like he's certain Taehyung will say yes.

Taehyung looks a little off, though, like his energy level has plummeted since dinner. "Um. I'm super tired, Joon."

Namjoon frowns. "Okay," he says, without offering anything else, and when Taehyung leans in to kiss him lightly on the lips he doesn't seem to return much back.

"It was nice meeting you guys," Namjoon says, taking the bags from Jimin and smiling at all of them.

Jeongguk gives a sort of half-smile half-grunt in response and lets the rest of them mask his reaction with their own goodbyes.

Jennie and Jimin step into the kitchen and start cleaning and Jeongguk looks at Taehyung who's leaning against the kitchen counter, glumly.

"Well. That was nice," Jeongguk says, and Taehyung looks up at him, his eyes flashing in anger.

"Was it?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm glad you had a good time," Taehyung says, offering the most inauthentic stock-photo smile Jeongguk has ever seen, before turning around and disappearing into the kitchen too.

They spend the next hour cleaning the apartment, Jimin and Jennie talking, Taehyung and Jeongguk in relative silence, before the couple retires to Jimin's room and Jeongguk is certain they are not to be disturbed for the remainder of the night.

Jeongguk walks to the washroom, where Taehyung is brushing his teeth with the door open. He taps at the door and Taehyung looks up at him through the mirror.

"Hey. Can we maybe...talk?" Jeongguk asks and Taehyung puts the tooth brush down against the sink, leaning down to spit.

He turns around, thumbing at the bottom of his pajama shirt. "I'm sorry. You didn't do anything wrong."

"I wasn't waiting for an apology. I was just. What even happened there? Was that normal?"

"I, um," Taehyung starts, wincing. "I think he maybe doesn't like you."

"That's fine," Jeongguk says, honestly.

"No, it's not. He's actually a nice guy, I don't know why he'd be like that towards you," Taehyung says, looking strangely small in the doorway like this.

Jeongguk can think of one obvious reason, but he doesn't want to draw attention to it. Taehyung seems to be thinking the same thing, though.

"I think he might think...we're. I don't know," Taehyung says, beginning to look manic, upset. "Which is stupid, because we're not! You're not even... And even if we were, him and I aren't exclusive. Namjoon is literally seeing like three other people, and I'm totally okay with that. I'm so okay with it."

"Did you...tell him anything about me?" Jeongguk asks. "He said you mentioned me."

Taehyung looks nervous and he stares down at the floor.

Jeongguk reaches out and takes his arm, leading him to the living-room couch. They sit down and Taehyung sighs, looking over at Jeongguk.

"Look. This is honestly nothing, so please don't think anything of it. But I may have mentioned that I find you attractive," Taehyung says, like he's dreading every single word. "I said 'my other roommate is a super cute straight guy'. Those were my exact words."

"But why? Why would you tell him that, I mean?" Jeongguk asks, genuinely confused, but also feeling his heart-rate slightly increase from the compliment.

"I don't know. I'm stupid. I think I was trying to make him jealous. I guess it worked," Taehyung says sighing. "I don't know why I'd be trying to make him feel jealous, because I am honestly totally okay with the whole open-relationship thing."

"Can I suggest something?"

"Sure.'

"You're definitely not okay with it."

"I hate it so much," Taehyung begins to shout then remembers where they are and how late it is, drawing his voice into a few decibels above a whisper. "Why does he have to stick his dick up so many different people? I'm a fucking handful in the bedroom."

If Taehyung's blowjob was filled with that much energy he can only imagine. Except he shouldn't.

"Did you...tell him about," Jeongguk says, slowly, his mouth dry, "about what happened? Between us."

Taehyung shakes his head. "No. No, I told you I wouldn't tell anyone about that. I was serious."

Jeongguk wants to reassure him that he wasn't asking to save his own 'dignity', but he just reaches out and puts his hand on Taehyung's shoulder. "Hey. It's okay."

"I'm pretty pathetic, huh."

"No."

Taehyung smiles then reaches up to pick at his lip, turning over indignantly. "Also he never told me about the damn beef thing. I'm pretty sure we had beef tartar together at a restaurant once. Seriously."

Jeongguk shrugs. "Just don't think about it. Who cares."

"Sorry. I mean, I hope I didn't make things weird."

"No. Not at all," Jeongguk says, smiling. There's nothing weird about this. There is definitely something weird with Jeongguk feeling like he wants to throw up every time he's sitting this close to Taehyung though. There's something especially weird about the forming hot pool in his stomach when he feels little gusts of Taehyung's scent hit him as he moves around.

"Hey, and thank you. For being cool about this whole thing," Taehyung continues after a few seconds of silence.

Jeongguk looks at him. He's typically laid back, but feels like he wants to be especially laid-back for Taehyung's sake, since he seems so sensitive to other peoples' moods. If he were to project any kind of panic or anger, he knows this whole thing would probably escalate. 

"It's all good, honestly."

Jeongguk really doesn't like Namjoon, even though he's only really met the guy once. He considers maybe going to one of his stupid poetry circle-jerks, but if the guy is that quick to jump down his throat at a dinner-party then he isn't sure what accepting his invitation might look like - God forbid he think of it as a threat.

Taehyung slides up to Jeongguk, leaning against him, shoulder to shoulder. He curls his legs up on the couch and sits there, pressed against Jeongguk's arm. Jeongguk has noticed Taehyung likes to have a part of him touching the person he's with, like he finds comfort in it.

"That plant he brought..." Jeongguk starts, looking towards the coffee-table. 

"What about it?"

"It's really ugly."

Taehyung laughs, his eyes crinkling. "You just don't like him. Don't take it out on the poor plant."

"Let's burn it."

"Oh my God, I've created a monster," Taehyung says, scandalized, and Jeongguk laughs down into his lap. He feels the hot pool sitting in the pit of his stomach and he can't fit it into any of boxes he's built for himself. He just knows it's there, and it's growing. 

Later that night, when he's back in his room, he pulls down his boxers and strokes himself until he's hard. He takes a photo, from up above his navel. He hasn't sent a photo of his junk to a person since his last girlfriend, and it feels sort of dumb holding his dick in his palm like this. 

He sends the photo to Jisoo with no other text, then tosses his phone on his table, sitting down in his desk-chair. He leans his head back and continues stroking himself off. He thinks of Jisoo on her back, legs spread, fingers playing with herself. He thinks of fucking her into a bed, how her moans might sound. He's close. Suddenly he's thinking about Taehyung on his knees, his fat lips circling the head of his dick, his cheeks wet. He imagines his hands gripping Jeongguk's thighs hard enough to bruise. About what Taehyung's dick might look like, about how anal sex with Taehyung might feel compared to his last girlfriend. About how long he'd have to fuck him to get him to come, about what his face might look like when he finally does come. What Jeongguk's name might sound like pouring out of his mouth as he pushes his wet ass back against Jeongguk's dick. How his weirdly smooth, tanned, legs might look tensed up from behind-

He twitches as he comes, stroking himself through his orgasm. He sits there and breathes for a moment, sweaty, his fingers sticky. 

Well, that didn't go according to plan.


 

On Monday evening, as he's getting ready to go to Jisoo's, Jeongguk finally gets a call back from one of the shops he interviewed for, and he's not surprised that it's the manager who was pleased about sharing Jeongguk's alma mater. It's not the closest shop with the best pay, but he figures he can work his way up. 

Taehyung and Jimin watch Jeongguk on the phone, frozen in their places: Taehyung holding a bowl of of sliced mangoes, his mouth mid-chew, Jimin holding the remote, his leg extended.

"Yes. Yes. Of course. Yes. Thank you, of course. Absolutely. You too. Take care." Jeongguk hangs up.

"So? Did you get it?" Taehyung asks, a chunk of half-chewed fruit shooting out of his mouth.

Jeongguk looks at them with no expression, then, when he can't hold it in any longer let's his mouth slide into a cheesy grin. "Yeah."

Both Jimin and Taehyung shout in unison, and Taehyung holds up his bowl of mangoes like it's a war-trophy.

"It's not the best pay, but...you know, I can work my way up," Jeongguk says as Jimin throws his arms around him.

"First Taehyung and his job, now you. I'm so proud," Jimin says, his eyebrows drooping and filled with emotion, his hand in Jeongguk's hair.

Taehyung finally swallows whatever smashed matter was in his mouth and settles the bowl on the table. "You know what this means," he begins, solemnly. "Celebration Turn-Up 2.0."

Jeongguk fondly thinks of Celebration Turn Up 1.0 and his immediate secondary thought is Taehyung with his mouth around Jeongguk's dick. 

"What were you thinking?" Jimin asks.

"We should go to Namjoon's show! Frills is an incredible bar," Taehyung says, and the second Namjoon's name leaves his mouth Jeongguk feels the bile rise. Why would he even suggest that?

Luckily Jimin seems to be on the same page, for different reasons. "Frills? Tae, the drinks are like twenty-dollars a pop."

"So? Jeongguk just got a job!" and he really seems like he's serious about this idea, his eyes wide, his energy engulfing the room the way it does when he's really excited about something. Jeongguk doesn't have the heart to tell him this sounds like a terrible fucking time.

Jimin looks at Jeongguk, his face pensive and a little worried, like he's anticipating Jeongguk saying something rude. So he doesn't.

"Yeah. Let's do that," he smiles and Taehyung grins back in a way Jeongguk never realized he liked so much.

Jimin looks like he's about to pinch himself, but he grins too. And now both his roommates are both doing their trademark grins and Jeongguk is back in his little basket, strung on their arms as they skip off into the sunset.

"But I can't this weekend," Jeongguk remembers. "They want to give some of us new guys a few night-training shifts this Saturday and Sunday."

"Next Saturday, then," Taehyung says, without skipping a beat.

"Can I invite Jennie?"

"You can invite the fucking pope, Jimin. Invite everyone, this is Gukie-fuck's special day."

Jeongguk wants to mention to Taehyung to never ever say Gukie-fuck again, but he's already too busy thinking about next Saturday. Jeongguk isn't excited about going to Namjoon's special bat-cave, but he figures if it's anything like the last celebration night, they'll manage to have a fun time. And then some.

He figures he should talk to Taehyung. Especially after his little session last night. He hasn't really decided what he's going to say, because he doesn't even know what's going on, but it's probably something that needs confronting and Jeongguk is usually bad at confronting feelings - especially when they're potentially life-ruining feelings.

 


 

 

Fucking Jisoo is nice. She's eager, she definitely doesn't just lie there like his ex girlfriend, which he appreciates. She's very handsy, and she pulls at Jeongguk's lower back as he fucks into her, mouthing at his neck. They don't talk much, and when they're finished, it's a little awkward lying there next to her.

He figures they spent so much time hyping it up over text that once they actually meet to fuck, they've exhausted their conversational topics.

Jeongguk luckily doesn't think about Taehyung during sex, and he thanks his brain for that small blessing. But that doesn't mean he's not thinking about him right now as he lies next to her, staring up at the ceiling.

He can smell her next to him, her perfume, her shampoo, and it's throwing him off slightly. It's so floral, like he's being choked to death with a bouquet of roses.

"You've got a nice dick," Jisoo suddenly says, knocking Jeongguk out of his daze.

"Why, thank you. You've got a nice...everything."

"Thanks," she laughs, leaning up on her elbow, placing a hand on his chest and trailing it down. "I was upset that night at the bar, being rejected by the hottest guy I've seen in months."

Jeongguk looks over at her, smiling shyly. "I think I made it a point to let you know during and after our first encounter that I wanted to fuck you."

"Yeah. But still," she says sweetly, scratching softly over his pecs, her long nails giving him shivers. "This really de-stresses me. So thanks."

Jeongguk wants to tell her that this isn't de-stressing for him at all, and that he doesn't feel like anything has really changed inside his mind. That he was hoping this sex would just open the door to more sex, continuously, creating some big happy fanfare in his head about how great it is to fuck a girl again. But it just sort of falls flat.

When he gets home, Taehyung is sitting on the couch and Jimin is in the kitchen. Their usual spots.

"There he is! Where were you?" Taehyung asks, and Jeongguk feels his shoulders relax after looking at his familiar, hopeful face.

"Fucking that girl I met at the bar a few weeks ago," Jeongguk responds monotonously, kicking his shoes off.

"What?" Jimin asks, turning around, a knife in his hand.

"Jesus. Put that down."

"You just got laid?" Jimin continues. "Why didn't you tell us?!"

Taehyung is strangely silent, watching him with parted lips.

Jeongguk glances away from him, back to Jimin. "Uh. Seemed personal?"

"Are you fucking stupid? You texted me about a dump you took last week," Jimin deadpans.

Jeongguk shrugs. "That was impressive, though. It perfectly coiled. This was...just sex."

Taehyung finally makes a sound, and it's a tsk. Jeongguk looks over to see him grinning ear-to-ear, like he's finally put the situation together. "I am so good at hooking people up. I am so fucking good at it that I don't even realize I've done it."

"I'm not dating her or anything. I don't even think I'm gonna have sex with her again," Jeongguk stresses for some reason, wanting to make it very clear.

Jimin shrugs. "Whatever. The fact that it happened. Good for you, man. Is she hot? Do you have pics?"

Jeongguk pauses. "Uh. They're...sort of raunchy."

There's a few seconds of silence and then Taehyung barks with laughter. Jimin slams the knife on the table and leaps around the table. "Show me. Show me right now."

"No."

"Show me. Jeongguk. Jeongguk, you have to fucking show me."

Jeongguk spends the rest of the night dodging Jimin.

 


 

Jimin is back on doubles this week, and he can't stop bringing up how excited he is for next Saturday. Every day he comes home, between split shifts (and after both Taehyung and Jeongguk finish their full work days), he says the same thing:

"I can't fucking wait for next Saturday."

Presently it's this Thursday. 

"One of the newer nurses fucked up with a catheter and I have piss all over me. I have actual urine all over me," Jimin says, and his eyes look wet.

Taehyung rubs the back of his neck as he stares down at his phone, doing a bad job at looking concerned for Jimin. He's still decked out in his fancy work-clothes, but the whole vibe is thrown off with his massive Homer Simpson slippers. "Oh nooo," he coos unconvincingly. He's not trying to be sarcastic, but it definitely comes across that way because he's so intrigued by whatever is happening on his phone screen that he doesn't even realize what he's saying.

Jimin is about to flame Taehyung but Jeongguk saves the day by shoving a cold bottle of apple juice into Jimin's chest. "Drink. Then shower. Take it easy."

Jeongguk's first few days at work have been been stressful too, with having to learn everyone's names and positions, figuring out how differently things work even though it's technically the same job. Lately, he's working transmissions with Min Yoongi, one of the other recent hires. Jeongguk gets along well with him, sensing that they both take their jobs very seriously; they often go long stretches of time without exchanging a single word, but it's always symbiotic, they always know what the other is thinking about a particular problem. Yoongi is a quiet guy, and he's not necessarily friendly - in fact, some of the other workers dislike him - but he does his job, and Jeongguk appreciates that. He thinks maybe he should invite him to Celebration Turn Up 2.0.

Mom, I made a new friend.

Jimin leaves for work again and Jeongguk comes out of his room after showering and getting dressed to see Taehyung still on the couch, in the exact same position, staring down at his phone. He hasn't even taken his beret off.

"Tae."

"Hm?" he really isn't listening. His fingers are moving quickly across his phone screen.

"It's terminal. I have two weeks."

"Mm."

Jeongguk nods. "Just thought I'd let you know."

" 'kay."

Jeongguk silently makes pasta, enough for all three of them even though he's salty about Taehyung being so blank right now. Jeongguk shrinks into himself when Taehyung gets into these uninterested trances. He often finds himself reflecting Taehyung's energy levels, sometimes surprising himself with how loud he can be when Taehyung is around to drag it out of him.

Jeongguk is eating quietly (maybe even sulking) when Taehyung finally lets out an exaggerated yawn, stretching his arms and letting his phone fall down onto the couch. He gets up and tears off his beret. 

"Guk. Guk! Little Guk, eating his foods all by himself," Taehyung sing-songs, shuffling over to the table. And he's back. 

"Oh hey, nice to see you," Jeongguk responds, his eyes still glued to his bowl.

"Hi!" Taehyung sits next to him, sliding his elbow on the table and pleasantly staring into the side of Jeongguk's face. "What's wrong?"

Jeongguk thinks. What is wrong? Taehyung isn't giving him attention. Jesus Christ, he's sulking because his roommate isn't giving him attention.

"Nothing, I'm just tired," Jeongguk says, smiling, saving himself from the embarrassment of telling the truth. 

"Ahh, poor little Guk," Taehyung says, reaching out to pat at the side of hair, and Jeongguk fucking hates how much he loves when Taehyung baby-talks him. He sees him doing it all the time with Jimin, and he never really did it with Jeongguk up until recently - adding cute endings to words, to names, and Jeongguk takes it as a sign that Taehyung is very comfortable with him. "You tired?"

"Yeah," he laughs as Taehyung continues patting with an exaggerated frown.

Taehyung tells him about all the drama at his work-place as Jeongguk eats the remainder of his pasta, and he reaches out to pick chunks of meat out of Jeongguk's plate and pop it in his own mouth as he talks. Jeongguk kind of hates when people do that, but he lets Taehyung get away with a lot.

Eventually Taehyung goes to shower and Jeongguk sits on the couch, flipping through channels. He's suddenly nervous and he doesn't know why. He feels something bubbling at the back of his throat and decides it's probably that subconscious demon that so desperately wants to 'talk about things' with Taehyung. 

Taehyung takes forever getting ready for bed, and by the time he leaves the room Jeongguk is already yawning and dozing off.

He plops down next to him and grabs the remote. "I used your shampoo again. Sorry. I'll buy mine this week," Taehyung says, changing the channel from sports to Shrek without asking. "Oh, I fucking love this part. When the puppets sing that little Welcome to Duloc song."

Jeongguk is so deep in his thoughts that the background singing coming from the TV seems almost more satanic than funny. Then, he decides, if he doesn't bring it up now he'll just convince himself to never try again. "How are things with Namjoon?"

Jeongguk wonders how he managed to graduate from high school.

Taehyung shrugs. "They're cool." His hair is still sort of wet from his shower, little droplets staining his light pink tshirt.

"Hey," Jeongguk begins again, resolute. "Um. I'm glad I met you. I mean, I'm glad you're my roommate." This just keeps getting worse, but Taehyung is looking over at him suddenly, and his face is glowing.

"Wow. Thanks," he responds, pleased, in a hushed tone. "I'm glad we met too. You're one of my best friends, actually."

Jeongguk feels his heart inflate. He's also partly mad at himself for turning this into a friendship thing instead of a thing where he tells Taehyung that he might kind of be constantly thinking about touching him.

"You're one of mine, too." This is probably the most juvenile exchange he has willingly both started and participated in. He doesn't even think he's had a moment like this in grade school.

They sit in comfortable silence for the next little while. Jeongguk flips back to the basketball game and Taehyung edits some photos on his phone before he falls asleep with his head pressed against Jeongguk's shoulder, his mouth hanging open, phone lying dormant, down on his lap in his limp hand. 

He tries to glance at Taehyung's sleeping face, but he doesn't want to wake him, so he settles for the peripheral sight of his long lashes resting on his cheeks, and the sound of his breath in little gusts. His hair smells so sweet.

Jeongguk has had long-term relationships before, ones with confessions of profound love, naive talks about marriage and kids - yet, for some reason, he has never felt this level of comfort.

He eventually convinces a partially asleep Taehyung that his own bed is more comfortable than the communal couch, and he half drags him over to it, letting him fall into his sheets. He stands over Taehyung, and has half a mind to crawl into the bed with him, to hug him from behind under the blankets and press his face into the back of his neck.

He pulls his blanket over him then leaves the room.

 


 

That night, Jeongguk has the weirdest sex-dream he's ever had in his life. Taehyung is bent over the desk in his room (the one Jeongguk helped set up for him after he gave up in tears) and Jeongguk is gripping Taehyung's waist, fucking into him so hard there are notebooks and tubes of moisturizer flying in all directions. Right before he's about to come, Taehyung looks back at him and it's not Taehyung, it's Namjoon, and Jeongguk screams, stumbling backwards.

When he wakes up he's come in his pants, he's sweating, and it takes him about five minutes to really decide whether all of that was a dream or actually happened. He also finds himself pathetically hoping he came at the Taehyung part of his dream (nightmare?) and not at the Namjoon part.

They're having breakfast while Jimin sings loudly in the shower, and Jeongguk is staring at Taehyung extra carefully, squinting so intently that Taehyung eventually notices and juts his lower lip out. "Uh. Is there something on my face?"

"You can't shape-shift, can you?"

"What?"

"Nothing."

"You know...you're really weird," Taehyung says, chewing sloppily on his toast. "People don't give you enough credit for how weird you are. You seem like a normal guy, but you're fucking weird as shit sometimes."

"Gee, thanks."

Taehyung smiles in response, taking a swig of his orange juice.

"I had a dream about you last night," Jeongguk says, lowering his voice slightly, and Taehyung leans in, intrigued.

"Did we fuck?" He asks, light-hearted, hoping maybe to make Jeongguk laugh. Jeongguk can smell citrus on his breath. 

"Yes."

"Oh," Taehyung chokes, like he wasn't expecting Jeongguk to validate his guess. "Wow." He's staring at Jeongguk with wide eyes.

Jeongguk is staring at his breakfast.

"But uh... it had a weird ending. I mean, the sex part was weird too, obviously. Just. The ending..."

They don't get into it, because Jimin is out of the shower, dragging a towel through his hair as he stands in front of them, humming. He looks up when he notices their strange silence.

Taehyung immediately reconstructs the situation. "This is nice. When we're all together like this before work," he grins, jam smeared on the side of his lip.

Jeongguk yawns, getting up. "Right. I'm gonna be late," he glances at Taehyung in his chair. "You're still in your pajamas. Don't you start in less than an hour?"

Taehyung shrugs, chewing noisily.

"Taehyung operates on his own time," Jimin says, turning back towards his room. He has an afternoon shift, but he's already preparing for it at 8am.

There are two kinds of people.

"Hey. You should tell me about that dream later," Taehyung almost inaudibly whispers as Jeongguk crouches to put on his work-boots, he's looking over the edge of the table, down at Jeongguk in anticipation.

 


 

Jeongguk spends the first few hours running through some maintenance checks with his manager, and when he gets to the shop later, Yoongi is on his back, half under a Pontiac Firebird. His thin legs stick out humorously.

"Hey," Jeongguk says, crouching down.

Yoongi grunts in response.

"Didn't we fix this car yesterday?"

"We did. It's the muffler now."

Jeongguk is used to customers bringing the same car back after they finish working on it, somehow trying to pin the new issues on how incompetent the mechanics are rather than them not following through on after-care.

Jeongguk grabs his clipboard and runs through the checklist, examining the rest of the car as Yoongi works below him.

He pauses for a moment, considering. "Hey, you busy this coming Saturday?"

"No. Why?"

"A few friends and I are going to a bar. Frills. It's some slam-poetry thing."

"I don't know, I may be busy."

"But you just..." Jeongguk doesn't continue, smiling down at his clipboard. Yoongi is good at being like this.

Yoongi wheels out, his white cheek smeared grey. "I think it's good now."

Jeongguk is running through the different tasks Yoongi just went through when he hears a little whistle behind him. He gets up to see Jimin and Taehyung making their way towards them. Jimin is still in his scrubs, smiling brightly, holding several several bags full of take-out. Taehyung walks next to him, swinging his arms, dressed in a loose mustard coloured shirt and grey slacks; he's wearing over-sized glasses and his favourite black beret, with a large rectangular clutch tucked under his arm. He looks like he just stepped out of a fashion magazine.

Meanwhile, Jeongguk rubs his blackened hands on his overalls and reaches down to help Yoongi to his feet. "What are you guys doing here?" 

"Your manager let us in. We thought we'd bring you lunch," Jimin smiles. "Hi, I'm Jimin."

"You guys didn't have to to this," Jeongguk says, feeling like he doesn't deserve friends like this. "This is Yoongi."

Yoongi reaches out to shake Jimin's hand then looks over at Taehyung who smiles wide. "Taehyung."

"Nice to meet you," Yoongi says, his gaze lingering on Taehyung for a moment before staring at the bags in Jimin's arms. Taehyung's gaze seems to be suddenly fixated on Jeongguk and everything he's wearing.

"Your friends bring you food at work?" Yoongi asks, looking almost annoyed by the kind gesture.

"They spoil me," Jeongguk says, helping Jimin with the bags, bringing them over to their work-table and setting them down, beginning to unwrap the plastic. Jimin starts laying out napkins and plates and Jeongguk doesn't have the heart to throw him off by telling him they can't actually eat here, so he lets him do it.

"He's a growing boy, he needs to eat," Taehyung says, loudly. "Hey, you look familiar. Have I seen you before?"

"I'm pretty sure I've never seen you," Yoongi replies steadily. 

"Well, I mean, maybe in passing."

"No," Yoongi says and Jeongguk feels like he wants to warn Taehyung that Yoongi isn't trying to be a dick, he just talks like that - but when he looks over, Taehyung is still smiling. He figures Taehyung can read someone immediately, so to even think he needs help doing it, especially from the likes of Jeongguk, is probably pathetic.

"Hm, okay," Taehyung reluctantly agrees. "You guys have a big work area. Seems fun."

"Fun," Jeongguk scoffs from the table. "Yeah, we have crazy parties in here."

"Really?" Taehyung asks, his mouth parted in surprise.

"No, Tae," Jimin says, smirking when Jeongguk decides not to reply.

 They sit on the grass outside the shop, chewing on pork buns. Yoongi reluctantly takes a few pieces offered to him, after initially trying and failing to convince them he isn't hungry. Taehyung talks about one of his annoying managers, and Jimin tries to start a few stories of his own but they almost always end up involving bodily fluids or other unsightly things you wouldn't necessarily want to discuss with a mouthful of food.

Yoongi is pretty quiet through the whole thing, but he smiles a few times, taking bites of his pork-bun - he does an over-all good job at being polite. 

"Ah, shit. I gotta go back," Taehyung says after he looks down at his watch. He stands up and starts whacking at his clothes to rid them of crumbs.

Jimin gets up too, his mouth full of pork. "I'm his chauffeur so it looks like I gotta go too."

"You working a double today too?" Jeongguk asks and Jimin stares at him with dark eyes.

"No. Just a typical thirteen hour shift."

"Bummer..."

Taehyung grabs Jimin's shoulders from behind shaking him exaggeratedly. "Superman, fly. Let's go."

"Bye, Yoongi. It was nice meeting you," Jimin says as Taehyung leads him away.

"Bye!" Taehyung calls over his shoulder as they make their way out.

"See ya," Yoongi responds, curiously, and stares down at the discarded array of plastic and styrofoam.

Jeongguk starts picking things up and Yoongi watches him for a moment. "Your friends are nice."

Jeongguk glances up at him. "Yeah. Yeah, they are," Jeongguk says fondly, penning some inner monologue for himself about how lucky he is to have them.

"So, Spray Tan. What's his deal?"

Jeongguk pauses, staring at Yoongi who is still sitting on the curb with his knees bent, elbows resting on them.

"Who?"

"Your friend. The tall one."

"Ah," Jeongguk says, shoving the empty styrofoam into a bag. "Taehyung."

"He's cute."

Jeongguk's pleasure over his friends and their random-acts of kindness fades into something black and inky, and it settles heavily in his stomach. Inititally Jungkook wants to bring up that he didn't know Yoongi was gay, but he catches himself because that's not really something to just casually make a remark about. Maybe Yoongi was just being nice.

"He's cool," Jeongguk responds, mundanely. He's suddenly uninterested in talking about Taehyung with Yoongi anymore, like he doesn't want Yoongi to keep prodding.

Taehyung is the guy who waltzes into a work-place and suddenly everyone is interested, even the resident uninterested presence. Jeongguk isn't upset over being less likable, he's upset because he has to share Taehyung with so many different people. He doesn't even have a choice, and really, he's got no leverage either.

He's just the (now probably marginally) straight, confused roommate Taehyung met less than a year ago, the newer friend, the one Taehyung decided to blow once because he was bored. It's even worse that he'll pretty much take whatever he can get from him, any part of him he's willing to share.

 


 

 When he gets home, Jeongguk figures he has a two options. He can fuck Jisoo again, maybe ask her out, and try to slowly convince himself that's what he really wants. He think he maybe subconsciously already tried this method.

His second option requires some confidence and a stark lack of shame. 

Still, he's desperate. He wants to touch Taehyung.

It's past 11pm and they're all either in bed or getting ready for it. He's certain Jimin is sleeping, actually, because Jimin shuts off like clock-work when he needs to.

There's a light peaking from under Taehyung's door, so he stands outside of it for a few moments before swallowing his nerves and noiselessly opening the door.

Taehyung is at his vanity smearing on his night-time serums. He notices Jeongguk in the mirror and hops a bit in surprised, spinning around.

"You scared me," he says quietly. His face looks so soft like this, his cheeks are dewy. "You okay?"

Jeongguk stands in the doorway, awkwardly. "Yeah. I just..." 

Taehyung smiles at him, his initially surprised face just melting into a knowing, comforting smile, and Jeongguk finds himself walking over, like he's hypnotized. "Close the door."

He does. He gets to about a foot away from Taehyung, then shuffles even closer, until Taehyung's back presses into his vanity. He's so close to Taehyung he can smell his minty breath and see his individual lashes. Taehyung presses his palms against the vanity and hops up so he's sitting on it, extending his arms and placing them behind Jeongguk's neck, pulling him forward, his legs on either side of him. His warm fingers fiddle with the fabric of Jeongguk's thin white t-shirt.

Jeongguk stands there for a moment before leaning in and kissing him on the mouth. Taehyung's lips are hot and wet, and he opens his mouth almost immediately. Jeongguk pushes his tongue in, experimentally, and Taehyung breathes out in a content way. He lets his hands slip from behind Jeongguk's neck and press against his chest instead; Jeongguk pauses for a moment, breaking the kiss to look down at him.

"You okay?" Taehyung asks, his voice sort of small, sort of scared, and Jeongguk hates it.

"Yeah," Jeongguk says and leans in again, kissing him once, firm, then open-mouthed, his hands leaving the sides of Taehyung's face to travel down to his waist, the one from his dreams, and he squeezes the soft flesh there.

Taehyung squirms at that, and makes a small sound that has Jeongguk kissing him harder. Kissing Taehyung is so different from what he's used to. He's stronger, less fragile, more commanding. 

Taehyung has one hand against Jeongguk's face, the other pressed behind his waist, pulling him in. After a little while, Taehyung suddenly lets go of Jeongguk's waist, and shifts back slightly on the vanity. He glances demurely at Jeongguk. 

Jeongguk looks down and notices Taehyung is hard, and assumes Taehyung maybe thinks it's something Jeongguk doesn't want to see. It makes his stomach burn, so he grabs Taehyung's thighs and pulls him forward again.

Taehyung gasps against Jeongguk's lips. "Hey. I'm-"

"I am too."

Jeongguk feels a surge of strength when Taehyung smiles into their kiss and he reaches behind Taehyung to grab under his ass and pull him off from the vanity. He's heavy. Much heavier than any girl he's ever lifted, but he's lithe, twisting in Jeongguk's arms to fit.

He lets Taehyung drop down backwards on his bed and crawls over him, licking his lips unconsciously in anticipation. Taehyung is splayed out on the sheets, looking up at him with a more confident expression painted on his face, and Jeongguk vows to keep it there.

They make out, Jeongguk hovering over Taehyung, for a few minutes just like this. He presses his mouth against Taehyung's neck and feels his pulse against his lips, suddenly infused with the strong urge to leave a mark there. Jeongguk slowly lowers his hips and feels his crotch rub against Taehyung's. They're both wearing pajama bottoms, so there's not much between them. He feels his dick roll against Taehyung's and notices he's not wearing underwear; Taehyung whimpers into Jeongguk's neck and the noise makes Jeongguk light-headed.

Jeongguk rolls his hips again, harder, and Taehyung has his head pressed back against the pillow, eyes closed, fingers digging into Jeongguk's shoulders. He stares down and notices Taehyung's pants are starting to lower, thanks to the friction. Jeongguk sees the soft skin right above where his dick is, suddenly realizing what he meant when he stressed that the pube Jimin found couldn't possibly have belonged to him. The sight is incredibly sexy to Jeongguk, for reasons he can't explain, unless maybe he pegs it to the hetero-normative view of hairless bodies he's grown accustomed to finding attractive in mates. Whatever the reasons are, he wants to tug down Taehyung's pants to see more, but figures this is already more than both of them bargained for tonight. 

They start up a rhythm and Jeongguk is grunting against Taehyung's neck as Taehyung snaps his hips up. Taehyung's mouth is against Jeongguk's ear now, hot and wet, his breaths coming out loud.

They're moving faster, harder, and Taehyung's sheets are in disarray. They're kissing again but Taehyung suddenly turns his face to the side, pulling his blanket into his mouth and biting down hard as he comes, noiselessly, shuddering. It's one of the hottest things Jeongguk has ever seen, and he comes soon after, his eyes squeezing shut, his face buried in Taehyung's neck.

Taehyung is breathing hard through his nose and Jeongguk hovers over him again, even though his arms are still shaking from his orgasm. He reaches up to push Taehyung's bangs to the side, taking in his glistening forehead. He leans down and kisses Taehyung's lips, and it's maybe a little too tender for after a dry-hump session. When he pulls away Taehyung is staring at him with sad eyes.

"What's wrong?" Jeongguk asks, quietly.

Taehyung shakes his head and smiles, reaching up to hug him.

They lie on Taehyung's bed, side by side, on their backs, with Taehyung's leg hooked over Jeongguk's knee.

Jeongguk looks over and sees a developing hickey on the side of Taehyung's neck, one that he left there. His eyes travel up Taehuyng's perfect profile, along his forehead, then back up at the ceiling. Jeongguk's heart is still pounding, even though they finished a while ago, and he doesn't think it'll slow down until he actually leaves Taehyung's bed and crawls into his own.

 


 

The next morning things are a little more subdued than usual in the kitchen. Taehyung chews happily on his cereal and Jeongguk scrolls silently through his phone.

Even Jimin seems a little off, putting together a sandwich, dressed in his scrubs.

Taehyung eventually stands up and yawns, dropping his bowl in the sink without running water in it (which Jimin hates), and grabs his large rectangular clutch from the table. "See you losers later."

"Bye," Jeongguk says.

Jimin mumbles down into his sandwich.

The door closes and Jimin turns around, his back to the sink. "Hey. I'm your best friend, right?"

Jeongguk looks up from his phone. "Um. Yes?"

"I feel," Jimin scratches at his neck. "I feel like I've been kind of distant since starting to date Jennie. I don't want you to feel like I've abandoned you as a friend or something."

Jeongguk is confused and a little offended. "I'm an adult, Jimin. You don't need to explain that stuff to me."

"I just mean, I'm here to talk. If you ever need to talk. About anything. And I really appreciate you as a friend."

"Are you dying?"

"No, asshole. I saw you and Taehyung," Jimin finally blurts.

Jeongguk stares at him steadily. "When?"

"Last night. I came in quietly to grab my charger. Taehyung always takes it. I walked in and saw you two. You guys didn't even notice me."

"Oh."

There's a thick silence creeping towards them both.

Jeongguk doesn't know where to even start so Jimin takes the reigns again. "Look, it's totally fine. I'm not, like, weirded out. I'm just...confused."

"I'm just. Feeling a little experimental," Jeongguk says, and it sounds so stupid, it sounds like a lie - which it is. If this was an experiment, Jeongguk reckons he has enough results to validate his hypothesis and publish it in a renowned scientific journal about pathetic people who can't admit their feelings. If this was an experiment, he doesn't think it would stick into his brain for this long, like a specter. 

"So...you're attracted to guys?" Jimin asks, smiling because he's trying to be polite, and it makes the question even weirder. Jeongguk really doesn't want to talk about this. He doesn't want to have to explain how he somehow wants to touch this one dick, and no other dick.

"No."

"I...look, it's okay, we don't have to talk about it, but just know that I'm here if you ever need to," Jimin says, running a hand through his hair like he's given up.

Jeongguk assumes his friends are used to this feeling around him. The defeat.

 


 

When Saturday finally does rear its head the next day, Jeongguk tries hard to project that he's excited.

Jimin is running some product through his hair in front of the living-room mirror and Taehyung is clipping his toenails over the trashcan. Taehyung has been texting Namjoon for the entire day, and assures Jimin and Jeongguk that he actually hasn't seen him in a while, so this is all really exciting for him. Apparently Namjoon is really good at this poetry slam thing, having won almost every competition he's been in. Jeongguk does feel some form of respect for the guy, since he can barely put his feelings into words for one friend let alone in front of a room full of strangers.

Jeongguk is wearing a grey tshirt and black pants, changing up his earrings for added flair: they're silver rings now instead of black studs. It's apparently a lot to take in for Taehyung.

"Wow, look at you, you look so handsome," Taehyung says, looking up from his toes with wide eyes. It's funny coming from Taehyung, since he looks so damn expensive and put together whenever they go out. Tonight he's wearing a silk, peach coloured button-up blouse with 3/4 length sleeves and black baggy pants. Jeongguk can't help staring at the two gold bracelets hanging off Taehyung's wrist - they look some sort of way when shining against his tanned skin.

Jimin glances at Jeongguk knowingly through the mirror, then continues fixing his hair.

"Thanks, I mean, I haven't really done anything," Jeongguk says, opting to look away from the both of them.

Taehyung stands up and wiggles his toes. "Do you guys feel like you have new feet when you clip your toenails, too? Like, when you put on your shoe, it feels completely different."

Frills just as pretentious as Jeongguk thought it would be. Almost everyone is wearing black, and more than half of them are in glasses. The men's toilet is across from the women's, but they both lead into the same place. Revolutionary.

There's a little stage with three stairs leading up a mic-stand, and Jeongguk assumes that's where Namjoon is going to be performing. The actual bar itself is actually in a separate room, off to the left, and people are meant to purchase their drinks there and filter back into the room to shut up and watch.

They set up shop at one of the round tables, and Jeongguk feels like he's too big for the chair, his thighs practically spilling off the side. It creaks audibly when he sits down and he grips the table in fear, but it's just as rickety as the chair, and his roommates laugh at the display.

Taehyung keeps texting then looking up, looking to spot Namjoon, and he finally does because his face splits into a smile.

Namjoon makes his way over and - to no one's surprise - is in all black, holding two drinks. "Hey, babe. Thanks for coming."

Taehyung stands up and makes his way up to Namjoon, kissing him on the cheek and taking one of the drinks. "Hi. You're so gonna win. You're one-hundred-percent going to win."

"Jesus. You look incredible," Namjoon says and Jeongguk is looking down at the table, feeling slightly ill.

"Pshh," Taehyung swats his arm playfully and sits back down, holding the drink tightly in his hands. Namjoon's eyes flicker down to Taehyung's neck, at the fading hickey Jeongguk placed there a few nights ago, and Jeongguk watches Namjoon's expression of contentment shift slightly, as though he's thinking of who could have possibly placed it there. 

Jeongguk feels (childishly) that this is the best time to say hello. He stands up from his creaky chair. "Hey."

Namjoon's head turns over like he's just noticed Jeongguk's presence. There's a ghost of understanding in his pupils. "Hi," he offers, almost sweetly. "Where's Jimin?"

"Outside, waiting for Jennie," Taehyung says, leaning on the table. "Tonight we're celebrating you winning this competition, and also Jeongguk's new job."

Namjoon raises his eyebrows and lifts his drink in a cheers from the distance. "Congratulations, man."

"Ah, thanks. I got the job a while ago, so it's...Good luck," Jeongguk silently reminds himself this is why he doesn't perform poetry in front of people.

When Jimin finally returns, Namjoon has gone to the back to prepare for his stage. He's contestant ten, and Jeongguk feels like this is going to be a long night.

Jeongguk is used to ribs or fries as his typical bar-food of choice, but the menu only boasts strangely healthy items, like spring-greens to share and kale chips.

Jennie is touching Taehyung's sleeve in reverence. "Look at this shit. You need to hook me up with something like this."

"I may be able to get you a discount," Taehyung says popping a cherry-tomato into his mouth.

Jimin nudges Jeongguk and leans in. "Penny for your thoughts."

"This place is fucking weird," Jeongguk says back, quietly, and Jimin laughs.

"What the fuck are kale chips?"

Jeongguk shrugs. "I have no clue. The drinks do look pretty damn good though," he watches someone walk by holding what looks like a very fancy Bloody Mary.

Contestant one is starting and Taehyung grabs at Jeongguk's arm. "Let's go get some drinks."

Jeongguk nods and gets up. "You coming?" he asks Jimin and he shakes his head.

"Jennie doesn't drink," he says, almost glum.

Jeongguk nods, quietly following Taehyung past the tiny tables and into the room with a bar.

People seem to be filtering in and out of the rooms with drinks, and Jeongguk appreciates the casual vibe of this place a little more than he initially did.

"I'm thinking tequila shots. What about you?" they sit down at the bar.

"I was thinking scotch."

"Ew, no. You're not seventy. You're having tequila too," Taehyung decides and before Jeongguk can disagree he lifts a hand to get the bartender's attention and the bracelets tinkle against his forearms - Jeongguk can't look away. "Four shots of Don Julio, please."

Jeongguk has never fucking heard of that before and he reaches for the menu to check the price but Taehyung grabs it and pulls it back. "My treat."

"So, when you say four shots, that's one for me and three for you, right?" Jeongguk asks, his eyebrow raised.

"No, no, two for me, and two for you," Taehyung says, pressing his finger against Jeongguk's forearm at 'you'.

The bartender slides the wooden panel four shots on it towards Taehyung and Jeongguk, and Taehyung reaches up and licks the junction between his thumb and his index finger. He grabs the salt shaker and sprinkles some salt on the moisture then holds out the vial, waiting for Jeongguk to do the same, which he does. They take their shots and bite into the lime wedges, and Jeongguk almost chokes when he sees the expression on Taehyung's face, like he just drank lighter-fluid.

"Are you sure you like this stuff?" Jeongguk asks, laughing.

"Love it," Taehyung croaks, winking. "It just always goes down a little weird. "This was my drink of choice in highschool."

"Mine was Redbull and vodka," Jeongguk admits, preparing for his second shot, and Taehyung smacks the table.

"I can totally see that. You and Jimin both," he says.

"Yup."

"I feel like you went to some crazy parties back in the day," Taehyung muses, nodding.

Jeongguk reluctantly tells him about his time he had to go streaking through the Chemistry building, and how Jimin stole his clothes from where he left them. He feels the two shots taking effect, and he's relaxed against the table now.

"I had to walk back to the party naked. Stepped in dog shit along the way. It was a nightmare."

Taehyung's cheeks throat and cheeks are starting to stain pink from both alcohol and laughter and Jeongguk looks down to see another panel of shots.

"Jesus. More?"

"You got the job! Don't worry I'm not going to try to get you laid again," Taehyung smiles, picking up another lime wedge and giving it a little open-mouthed suck.

Jeongguk watches his lips, swallowing. "You look amazing, by the way. You always look amazing, but."

"Thanks," Taehyung responds, sort of tucking his chin into his chest. He's looking at Jeongguk with adoration, like he's waiting to be kissed on the lips. Jeongguk almost forgets where they are when Taehyung brings the lime wedge back to his lips and sucks at it in a clearly suggestive way, emitting his breathy giggle at the expression on Jeongguk's face - he looks positively gleeful. Jeongguk stares down at the table, shifting in his chair.

They take the shots and Taehyung is explaining his reasoning behind why he's certain alien abductions are real when Jeongguk suddenly realizes that they're here at Frills to watch Namjoon perform. He stands up abruptly, and Taehyung seems be jolted back to reality after seeing him do so.

"Oh shit," Taehyung says and he moves to walk but he sways a little and Jeongguk grabs his arm.

Fuck.

Taehyung is drunk. This isn't going to look good.

He steers him back towards the room and they make their way back to the tables, Taehyung giggling nervously when he bumps into someone's chair. "Sorry."

Namjoon is standing at the bottom of the stairs, waiting to go up to the mic-stand, and Jeongguk is relieved to see they just made it. His relief slowly fades when he sees the look on Namjoon's face, having spotted both him and Taehyung making their ways back to the table.

Jimin and Jennie look up, and Jimin's expression changes from confusion to slight humour when he notices how drunk Taehyung looks, clearly not registering Namjoon's fury.

Namjoon starts to speak, and the whole room goes quiet. He's talented, and Jeongguk finds himself almost moved at his choice of words, he assumes the rest of the place thinks so too because almost everyone is looking at him.

Once he's finished, he walks off the stage and out the back-door, avoiding their table.

Taehyung is clapping loudly, still smiling widely, clearly inebriated, and Jeongguk reaches over to touch him softly on the arm. "Hey. He's finished."

Taehyung stills his hands. "Oh. Where did he go?"

Jennie stands up and surveys the room. "I think he went outside? Does he smoke?"

Taehyung shakes his head, and his lips are pressed together in a worried pout.

"I'll go. I'll go find him, you guys stay here," Jeongguk says, leaving them and Taehyung reaches out to take his wrist.

"Is he mad?" he asks, his eyes large and imploring. "Is he mad at me?"

"No," Jeongguk eases. "No, Tae. He's not. Wait here."

Jeongguk steps outside and Namjoon is standing off to the side of the street, with a joint in one hand and his phone in the other, scrolling through some sort of article.

"Hey," Jeongguk offers, pressing his hands into his pocket.

Namjoon looks over and his expression freezes over. "I know guys like you," he says, plainly.

Jeongguk nods. "I'm sorry. It's not Taehyung fault. I wanted to drink, so we went to the bar. I lost track of time."

"No, listen to me Jeongguk, you're not listening. I know guys like you," he points the joint at him. He's thinner than Jeongguk, but he's taller, and he looks threatening like this under the moonlight. "You need to back off."

Jeongguk bites the inside of his cheek and chooses his words. "Nothing is happening between us. I'm not-"

"-you're not gay. Right. You're also not fucking listening to me," Namjoon repeats. "Find someone else to experiment with."

"Look, even if I did do anything with him, why would you be so upset about it? You're in an 'open relationship'," Jeongguk says, starting to feel angry with Namjoon's harsh tone, feeling his problem-solving facade fade.

"This has nothing to do with me or our relationship, you fucking idiot," Namjoon hisses, stepping in towards Jeongguk. "He's not a fucking science project. You can't just use him to figure out your own shit. He's a real person, he has feelings. He's not some toy for you to experiment with."

Jeongguk's hands are in fists. "I'm not experimenting with him. And back away from me or I will fucking hit you and you're not going to enjoy it."

Namjoon drops his joint and takes a step back, his hands behind his back pleasantly. "That's all you are. Your fists of fury and your cars. Stay the fuck away from him."

Jeongguk narrows his eyes. "Maybe I. Maybe I am figuring my shit out, but I'm not doing what you're saying I am. I'm not using him."

"I'm not talking about this anymore. Go write about it in your diary, and stay away from him."

"And what about you?" Jeongguk suddenly yells, stepping towards him again. "You scare him. He's fucking scared of you! That's fucked up. He's constantly trying to impress you, trying to get you to want him. He wants you because he can't have you, not because he likes you. You're a smart guy and you having figured it out? The weird abusive relationship you have going on here?"

Namjoon stares at him, completely still, his expression stagnant. "What a pair we are, huh. He's lucky to have both of us," he says, then turns around and starts to walk away.

Jeongguk watches his back, and the whole thing might have been dramatic but there are actual groups of people stopped outside, staring at Jeongguk with looks on their faces like they just watched the most overly melodramatic season finale to a soap that ended up being funny rather than what it was supposed to be.

He walks back into the bar and finds their table. Taehyung is hunched over it with his head in the crook of his elbow, and Jennie is stroking his back, saying things to him softly while Jimin stands off to the side, holding his phone. He looks up to see Jeongguk coming back in.

"Hey. We should get him home, he's really drunk and really upset."

Jeongguk sits down next to Jennie and when he does, Jennie gives him a pointed look. He reaches out and puts a hand on Taehyung's back as Jennie moves away.

"Hey. Tae, are you okay?"

Taehyung looks up, his eyes are wet and his nose is red. "I fucked up. I'm so fucking dumb. I'm."

"Tae, you didn't do anything wrong. Let's go home," Jeongguk says softly, feeling the guilt rise, rubbing circles into Taehyung's back against the silk fabric. 

Jimin sits on the chair to the other side of Taehyung. "He's right, let's get out of here. Don't think about Namjoon."

"What did you say to him? Did you tell him I'm sorry?" Taehyung blubbers up from his arm.

"I..." Jeongguk falters because, really, how does he explain what happened between the two of them. "We'll talk later, I think we should get you home first."

Jimin is looking at Jeongguk with a look on his face akin to that of a protective lion or other sort of agitated beast, having picked up a scent it doesn't like. Jeongguk knows Jimin is probably considering this whole mess has something to do with Jeongguk, and will probably give him a piece of his mind when he has the opportunity.

The whole situation is quickly draining the life from Jeongguk. He wants to shut down, he doesn't want to talk; he wants to run away into his own safe place and wait for sunrise.

 

Chapter Text

 Jeongguk sits on the couch when they get home, partially watching as Jimin helps Taehyung into his room and closes the door. He hears some talking, then silence - the silence continues for long time, and Jeongguk assumes Jimin might have put Taehyung to bed. He waits for another ten minutes, to see if Jimin is planning on leaving his room to confront Jeongguk, but every minute that passes makes Jeongguk feel more and more like the air the the room is choking the life out of him. 

Finally he gets up and grabs his jacket and keys from the counter.

Leaving the apartment at a time like this probably isn't such a good idea, but he has his phone on him. If there needs to be some sort of fight, he's willing to come home and face the punishment. He just can't be there right now.

He walks down the barren sidewalks, through the dark alleys behind their apartment, and his mind swims from one extreme to anoother. He doesn't know where to focus his energy. 

He feels anger at Namjoon, at himself, at the entire situation. He feels as though he fucked things up for Taehyung, and how that's the last thing he'd ever want to do to him. He thinks of Taehyung. Taehyung. Taehyung should be nobody, he should be a roommate, he should be his best friend's other best friend, some kind of abstract image of a person that doesn't have this kind mentally and physically draining effect on Jeongguk. 

The blowjob might have been some stupid curiousity thing, but anything after that can't be pegged on anything other than infatuation. Jeongguk doesn't want to think about why, or what it means, because it's obviously not a good thing if this is what kind of effect it has on Taehyung.

So he has to end it.

He's about four blocks away from their apartment when Jimin call him. His voice is quiet, like he doesn't want to wake up Taehyung. 

"Where are you?"

"I went for a walk."

"Come back. Wait for me outside."

"Jimin. I really don't have the energy."

"I'm not going to fucking yell at you, Jeongguk."

Jeongguk makes his way back to the apartment with dread growing in the pit of his stomach. He sees Jimin sitting on the stoop, holding his phone. He's in an oversized tank, clearly underdressed for the weather. 

He gets up when he sees Jeongguk and drops his phone into his pocket. "Hey."

"Hey," Jeongguk echoes, his eyes darting to the steps, anywhere but at Jimin's expressive face.

"Do you want to explain to me what happened?"

"No. But I should probably do it anyway," Jeongguk starts. If he can't decide what's going on in his own head, how is he going to explain the whole thing to someone else? He decides he'll sum it up, and he doesn't care if it's inaccurate. "I fucked up. I was curious, and I did some stupid things."

"And?"

"And? That's it." 

Jimin exhales loudly and Jeongguk finally meets his dark gaze. "Jeongguk. I get that you don't like to discuss shit like this, but you need to get your words together before you talk to Taehyung."

"Talk to him? What would I say?" Jeongguk shoots back a little too quickly. "There's nothing to say."

"There's nothing to say? Are you sure about that?" Jimin asks incredulously. 

Jeongguk is never sure. Of all the things Jeongguk is unsure about, this is probably at the top of the pile. Still, he finally convinces Jimin he doesn't want to talk about this, and when they both trudge off into their respective bedrooms, Jeongguk gets up late in the night and tip toes to Taehyung's door. There's no light peaking from underneath, and he places both hands on the door and presses his ear against it. There's nothing but silence, and for a moment he thinks he hears light sobbing but thankfully it's just the sound of a siren from outside, in the distance, rushing to some other emergency that has nothing to do with this one.

 


 

Jimin isn't home when Jeongguk wakes up the next day, and he finds finds a note on the dinner table that says 'at Jennie's', and Jeongguk knows that he did this on purpose.

Jeongguk doesn't notice anything moved in their shared living area since the night before, so he assumes Taehyung is still in his room.

He walks to the door and raps at it lightly. There's no response.

"Tae?" Then again, slightly louder: "Taehyung?"

Finally there's some sort of noise, potentially a grunt, and Jeongguk turns the handle to walk in.

Taehyung is sitting on his bed surrounded by his blankets and pillows, submerged in what seems to be some kind of fort. His phone is on the bed in front of him, and he watches it like it's a time bomb. He looks up momentarily, making eye-contact with Jeongguk, and his expression is missing the playful light it typically emits.

Jeongguk walks up to him and sits on the edge of his bed. "You okay?"

"Do you actually care?"

Jeongguk feels his heart seize because he was worried about this. He was worried about what kind of way Taehyung would react as a result of this, where his anger would rest, and he tried in vain to think that maybe Taehyung would blame something other than Jeongguk for what happened at the show.

"I do care," Jeongguk says, firmly.

"Did you really tell Namjoon that stuff about our relationship being abusive?" Taehyung asks, quietly.

Jeongguk thinks for a moment. "Yes."

"How dare you fucking say that," Taehyung cracks back immediately, but his eyes soften from anger to sadness in an instant and Jeongguk wishes it wouldn't be completely inappropriate right now to just lunge at him and hold him close.

"I'm...I'm so sorry," Jeongguk mumbles. He's not good at translating how sorry he actually feels into words, but thankfully Taehyung doesn't seem to care about this one added failure.

He can't believe he's the one that made Taehyung feel this sad; he can't fucking believe it.

 "He doesn't even want to talk to me anymore," Taehyung says, his steady voice suddenly rupturing and dropping to almost a whisper. His eyes start to well up, and Jeongguk wants to reach out and hold his small face in his hands, but at the same time he wants to run as far away from Taehyung as physically possible, and it's the most painful clash of emotions he's felt in a long time.

"Taehyung, I was just...I was trying to defend myself."

"What did he say to you?" Taehyung asks, and Jeongguk is a little taken back, thinking maybe Namjoon had already spoken to Taehyung about all the little details.

"He," Jeogguk licks his lips. "He said I'm using you. That you're something. Someone. You're someone I'm experimenting with."

"So?" Taehyung asks, his expression unchanging. "What's wrong with that? Why would you need to defend yourself?"

Jeongguk isn't sure if Taehyung is doing this on purpose or not, but it stings. 

"Whatever. It doesn't fucking matter," Taehyung continues, pulling his hood down from the top of his head, his hair a complete mess. "You should have just told him I'm okay with it and walked away. You shouldn't have said...that fucking stuff. God, I still can't believe you told him that."

"You think," Jeongguk starts, still clinging to the wrong part of what Taehyung wants to focus on. "You think that I'm just experimenting with you?"

"Well," Taehyung says, mean now, the corners of his full lips twitching up in a bitter smirk. "What else would you call this?"

Jeongguk is speechless. He feels a myriad of things, but he can't magnify any of them to a size large enough where they could somehow get his mind to construct a comprehensive sentence and feed it to his mouth. "I wouldn't call it that."

"Okay. I'm waiting. Go ahead, then. Call it what you think it is," Taehyung says, egging him on again, and when Jeongguk just stares at him he smiles ruefully. "Great! Now my partner doesn't even want to talk to me because of what you said, and you don't even know what you're talking about. Super."

Jeongguk thinks Taehyung is too good at being mean when he wants to be.

"Taehyung. I'm sorry that it was me. If this all happened with someone else, I think...it'd be easier," Jeongguk feels his hands trembling so he grabs the sheets. He hates this so much. He hates the way Taehyung is talking to him, like he suddenly can't stand him. It makes him feel worse than he ever thought would be imaginable.

"I'm sorry too," Taehyung begins, like he's notices how hurt Jeongguk looks, like he might be trying to lessen the blow. "I shouldn't have sucked your dick. And I shouldn't have, I don't know, flirted with you so much. I guess I thought it was fun, but this isn't fun. This is the opposite of fun. I really liked Namjoon."

Jeongguk just stands up because his mouth has officially stopped working. The cogs turning in his jaw have stopped receiving signals for his brain, and there's no fucking way he can salvage whatever just happened here. He just needs to get away.

Taehyung looks up at him, like he's expecting him to do or say something else, and when Jeongguk doesn't, he just stares back down at his blankets. "I'm sorry for dragging you into this," Taehyung adds, and it's heavy with something that begs for Jeongguk to disagree. 

But he doesn't disagree. He just turns and leaves the room.

 


 

Jeongguk and Taehyung avoid talking to each other for the next few days. These few days pass slower than an entire month.

After those initial days, though, they start again with small talk - small menial things, little jokes. Like they just met.

This is worse than if they were to have just broken off all contact, Jeongguk thinks, and he dreads being left alone in the apartment with Taehyung when he knows what's to come of their interactions.

Jimin seems to be annoyed at the both of them, and he tends to spend most of his time with Jennie when he's not at work. 

Jeongguk hates when he catches glances of Taehyung when he thinks no one is watching him, his eyes hooded, his lips pressed together in thought or in grief. He's clearly still drowning. At this point Jeongguk just wants Taehyung to stop being sad; he's thinking about it so much that he almost forgets how upset he is himself. 

Work proves to be only a slight solace for Jeongguk, because Yoongi does the stupid small-talk thing once a day, where he asks about how Jeongguk's life is going and doesn't really care about what the answer is. The fact that Yoongi doesn't really care isn't what bothers Jeongguk, though, it's the idea that he has to swallow his own shit and say 'fine'.

He wants to kind of grab Yoongi and shake him and yell into his face that he's not fine, and that he really needs to talk to someone about this, but the two friends he's stranded in this city with don't want to anything to do with him, and he can't call anyone else out of the blue because he barely ever responds to their texts.

This kind of just goes on for a few days, until Yoongi seems to reluctantly catch on to Jeongguk's terrible mood. It starts slow. Jeongguk maybe isn't on his A game for a bit, or maybe mucks up the list of repairs he was supposed to have written for them. 

Yoongi looks almost pained to say it, but he eventually does. He's already asked Jeongguk his usual how's-your-life question of the day, so now that this is coming out, Jeongguk knows he means business: "You okay?"

Jeongguk stares at him like he's stranded in open waters and Yoongi is a life-jacket riddled with holes. "No."

Jeongguk somehow gets through the whole story during their forty-five minute lunch period. He maybe sums the whole thing up to about eight concise sentences, separated by long minutes of silence.

Yoongi just sort of stares at him. He doesn't nod, he doesn't shake his head, he doesn't even seem to remotely react to any of it until Jeongguk is pretty much finished, kicking at the gravel on the ground outside their shop.

"You should talk to Namjoon."

Jeongguk looks down at Yoongi. "What?"

"Talk to Namjoon. Tell him to talk to Spray-Tan," Yoongi says, slower, like he doesn't want Jeongguk to make him repeat the sentiment.

"But I meant what I said."

"Doesn't matter. You're upset because Spray-Tan is upset. Namjoon is why he's upset."

"He's upset at me," Jeongguk stresses, and it feels terrible say it out-loud, like he's finally coming to terms with it.

"He's upset at you through Namjoon," Yoongi says, and he sounds completely finished with this topic, like talking about it has sucked the life out of him.

"I really liked Namjoon."

Jeongguk understands everything Yoongi is saying, but then he childishly thinks of a slight problem with the plan. He wants to bring it up but Yoongi is looking at him like he knows what Jeongguk is going to say, like he dares him to go there.

If Jeongguk gets Namjoon to talk to Taehyung, he has no idea what Namjoon will say, and one of the outcomes could very well be that they might decide to get back together. That means they'll be back to square one, and Jeongguk will be back in his own square too, on the opposite end of the board. This doesn't bring any sort of closure to what happened between Taehyung and Jeongguk, this just fixes the problem Jeongguk might have aggravated between Namjoon and Taehyung, and they can march off into the sunset again. 

Yoongi is pretty much asking Jeongguk to go with what he's sure about over what he's not sure about. He's sure that Taehyung is upset about how things ended with Namjoon. He's unsure about what Taehuyng feels about him, he's unsure about his own feelings, he's unsure about practically everything else about this scenario.

"We have to get back to work," Yoongi says while Jeongguk stares off into space. He stands up. "You need Namjoon's number? I think I still have it in my phone."

"Wait, what? How do you have his number?" Jeongguk asks.

"I know Namjoon. I've been to a few of his shows. We're not friends, but we're acquaintances. I fixed his motorbike a few times."

"But why did you tell Taehyung you've never seen him before?"

Yoongi frowns, like it's the stupidest question he's ever heard. "Because I didn't want to talk."

Jeongguk reckons Yoongi is some sort of genius.

 


 

 

Jeongguk spends the next little while bludgeoning himself in over the head with potential scenarios that could transpire as a result of this prospective conversation with Namjoon. 

The most prevalent thought is that Namjoon will lose his shit, Jeongguk will follow, and they'll get into some sort of physical altercation that will land Jeongguk in prison and Namjoon in the ICU. (Jeongguk is just being honest here about his ability to physically hurt another person.)

The second most prevalent thought is that Jeongguk might suddenly freeze up, and Namjoon will continue to verbally dismantle him using all kinds of scarring psychological techniques that Jeongguk will never fully recover from. (There is honesty here, again from Jeongguk, about his inability to verbally 'fight back' with someone like Namjoon.)

Jeongguk doesn't really think about the scenarios where things will actually truly work in his favor, because Jeongguk's brain doesn't function like that. He's beginning to develop a terrible headache.

He eventually decides to text Namjoon, and is surprised with how quickly he responds. He seems surprisingly on board and willing to talk - then again Jeongguk once assumed a text from a grieving coworker about a family member dying was actually a joke about responded with 'lol', so he decides to tread lightly just in case.

They set a time and place to meet (Jeongguk has to Google Map the location because it's some unknown, raw/vegan cafe), and Jeongguk starts preparing himself mentally for what might happen.

Jeongguk tells Jimin about his plan, (his friend's face lights up with excitement) and he earns himself one of the first genuine smiles he's seen in a little while. Jimin's initially optimistic reaction kind of drizzles into a look of sorrow, though, when he notices how fatalistic Jeongguk seems about the whole thing. Jeongguk was never good at hiding his feelings, especially feelings he's this uncomfortable with. 

"Jeongguk...do you...like Tae? I mean, romantically or whatever?"

Jeongguk is sitting on the floor, with a notepad sprawled where Taehyung usually lays his sketches out, working on his time-plan for maintenance on a new vehicle. He looks up at Jimin, who is standing still against the kitchen table.  Jeongguk twirls his pencil slowly between his index and middle fingers. "Yeah. I'm pretty sure."

Jimin nods. "Are you going to tell him?"

"No."

"Why not?"

Jeongguk shrugs. He places the pencil down, wringing his wrists. "It wouldn't be fair. To him." He feels his headache growing faster with each word that slips out of his mouth.

"It wouldn't be fair to tell him you like him?"

"I've never been with a guy before, Jimin. I don't think I could make him happy."

"Did you need a training course before you dated a girl?"

Jeongguk doesn't really have an answer to that one. He didn't need a course, but he's spent most of his post-pubescent life having sex with girls, dating girls, and he can't help but think there's at least some difference. Even the two physical encounters he's had with Taehyung - as positive as they were - had been different, almost nerve-wracking.

"I've known Taehyung for years, Jeongguk. Longer than I've known you. And I can tell that he's most definitely crushing on you," Jimin ventures lowly, as though Taehyung might suddenly manifest outside the apartment door and crash through it.

Jeongguk shakes his head. "Even if that's true, I don't...I don't know the half of my own feelings. I don't want to dump all that stuff on him."

Jimin shrugs. "Have you ever felt this way about a guy?"

"No."

"Hey," Jimin offers, when he notices Jeongguk looking more like a ghost and less like a person. "It's not a big deal, okay? This stuff happens all the time."

Whether or not this stuff happens all the time doesn't make any sort of difference to Jeongguk, who barely knows what to do with himself. It would have been so simple if the blowjob was just a blowjob, if he hadn't been so bowled over by it, if Taehyung touching his genitals had been just that: not a combination of his personality, his soul-sucking optimism, his stupid, sweet face.

Hell, Jeongguk doesn't think he's felt this way about his past girlfriends before. Sure, he's been obsessed with them, but it was never painful. There's something realistic about the pain this time, like he either has to let it grow or cut it out of himself like it's a malignant tumor. 

Namjoon is early, sitting in his pristine black outfit. Jeongguk is wearing a black sweater too, but it has been washed at least ten times and looks more grey than anything when juxtaposed with Namjoon's obviously new and cared-for ensemble. 

Jeongguk's head hurts so bad at this point of the day he feels as though he's been scalped. 

"Hey," Jeongguk says and he's about to sit down when Namjoon stands up.

"Let's walk. Did you want anything?"

"No. And sure, yeah, let's walk," Jeongguk says, confused.

They start walking together, turning into an alley, away from the bustling early autumn sidewalks.

Namjoon shoves his hands in his pockets. "Walking helps my brain work faster."

This worries Jeongguk.

"I don't think anything helps my brain work faster," Jeongguk adds back and Namjoon scoffs.

"You want to talk about Taehyung don't you?" Namjoon seems like a really focused guy. 

"I wanted to...apologize. About what I said," Jeongguk says, slowly.

"No, you don't," Namjoon says back cheerfully. 

Jeongguk stops and Namjoon stops in front of him then turns to face him. Jeongguk tries again, differently. "I want to apologize. But not because I don't believe what I said was true."

Namjoon's eyebrows dart up into his straw-blond hair. "Okay, now I'm listening."

Jeongguk tries to lay out all the information in his head in a potentially understandable way. He's never been one to be tailor his words, especially when translating emotions, but he doesn't want to fuck this up. "I really like Taehyung. Yeah, it maybe started in a fucked up way. Maybe even experimental. But I guess deep down it really wasn't. It still isn't."

Namjoon doesn't say anything but his face looks strangely at ease, like none of this is surprising to him. His hands are still neatly tucked into his pockets and he rocks from heel to toe as Jeongguk talks.

"But...Taehyung really likes you. It was hypocritical of me to say those things about your relationship when I was hurting him too," Jeongguk continues, thumbing at the sides of his cellphone. "I'm. I'm asking you to maybe talk to Taehyung. He thinks you hate him. He's really upset. I'm just asking. Please don't ignore him, okay?"

Namjoon's face doesn't change, but he does finally look away, down at his clean black loafers. "I accept your apology.

"You'll talk to Taehyung?" Jeongguk asks, naively. 

"You know, this is really mature of you," Namjoon continues, ignoring him. "To put Taehyung's feelings before your own."

"When you broke things off with him, were you doing it for his sake?" Jeongguk asks with an air of hesitation, because Namjoon seems to be dodging his most important request.

"I don't know," Namjon says, shaking his head. "I don't think I broke things off with him because I really thought about what you said that night. I came to some conclusions, but I think they were more selfish than they were valiant."

"I know you don't like when someone - and I'm guessing, especially, someone like me - makes suggestions about your relationships...but, why isn't having Taehyung enough for you?" Jeongguk asks and Namjoon kind of laughs, his dimples prominent.

"You're really boyfriend-material, huh. Girls must love you. The open relationship isn't about Taehyung not being enough. It's just a principle. But," Namjoon waits a moment, pursing his lips. "I guess you're implying he's worth changing the principle."

Jeongguk feels a kind of black relief. The kind of relief that may ebb from someone crawling out of the rubble after an earthquake destroys their whole city. "He is."

"You really want me to talk to Taehyung?"

"Yeah," Jeongguk says.

"Even if you don't know what I'll say?"

"Yeah," Jeongguk practically whispers. "I trust you."

They stand outside for a few moments before Namjoon reaches into his messenger bag and pulls out a little wrap. "Do you want the other half of my sandwich?  Hummus veggie. I couldn't finish it."

"Sure," Jeongguk reaches out, numbly.

"You know, I was wrong about you," Namjoon says, fastening the sides of his bag. "I think I was just threatened. Not because of Taehyung being so infatuated by you, just. You. In general."

Jeongguk doesn't understand how someone like Namjoon could ever feel threatened by someone like Jeongguk, someone he talked down to. He supposes it maybe had to do with trust. He wants to tell Namjoon that he was threatened too, because Namjoon is smart, and perceptive, and right about Jeongguk not being a book person. But he also wants to tell him that he wouldn't choose a club over a poetry-reading, even if the last poem he read was The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost back in grade 11. 

"I was wrong about you, too," Jeongguk settles for this because it just hopefully implies all that other stuff.

"I gotta get back to work," Namjoon says, then reaches up to take off his glasses, rubbing at the lenses with the fabric of his shirt. "How did you get my number, by the way? From Tae?"

"No. I work with Yoongi," Jeongguk says.

"That guy is such a pretentious douchebag."

Jeongguk wants to laugh but he's already used up his vocal capabilities for the day.

 


 

 

Jeongguk stops by a used bookstore on the way home and buys some anthology of poems. He figures he should maybe look into this stuff if it makes people as cool and laidback as Namjoon seems.  

When he gets back to the apartment, Taehyung is already home from work and sitting at the dinner table, eating a bowl of Fruit Loops at 3pm in the afternoon. There's a YouTube video playing on his phone.

He glances up at Jeongguk when he walks in and offers him a small but genuine smile. Jeongguk heart skips twelve beats and he grimaces back. He sees Taehyung's gaze fall slightly to the book crammed under Jeongguk's armpit before he glances back down at his phone.

"Home early?" Jeongguk asks, and his voice is barely above a whisper because of the whole talking so much about his feelings with a stranger thing that happened mere hours ago.

Taehyung nods while chewing, reaching up to rub at a trickle of milk at the corner of his lip. "I wasn't really feeling a hundred percent. One of those days," Taehyung says between chews, giving Jeongguk another smile and he really can't handle this anymore so he just nods and ducks down and into his room.

He shuts the door and throws the book on the bed, his mind swimming suddenly with dark thoughts.

What if Namjoon doesn't actually talk to Taehyung? What if he does talk to Taehyung, but says all sorts of horrible things instead?

Jeongguk panics quietly for a few minutes, taking his shirt off because it's suddenly really hot in his room.

He sits on the bed and runs a hand through his hair, grabbing the poetry book and flipping through to the table of contents to find The Road Not Taken.

He reads it and sort of just relates it to his entire life, then gets really emotional about it. He chooses another poem and ends up doing the same thing, until he's pretty sure every poem in his book has been written about his life. He talks himself out of this because he realizes a lot of them are super emotional and Jeongguk is particularly sensitive right now so he's grasping for loose straws. He eventually gets to a Shakespeare sonnet that makes no goddamn sense and the spell is finally broken.

He falls asleep without remembering to set his alarm and he wakes up naturally at 2am to a quiet, dark apartment. And now his sleep schedule is fucked.

When the morning finally peeks in through the blinds, Jeongguk has read through almost every poem in the book. He hears some dishes clinking from the kitchen and he wanders out, shirtless and bleary eyed.

Taehyung and Jimin are preparing their breakfasts and talking in a hushed sort of way about something. Taehyung looks positively green but Jimin seems to be in high-spirits. Jeongguk immediately connect the dots and assumes Namjoon probably texted Taehyung to talk. But did they already meet up? Or are they going to? Why does Taehyung look so nauseous? 

"Hey," Jeongguk croaks and they both look up at him in unison. Taehyung's usually saturated lips look pale but he smiles anyway, in a queasy way.

"Good morning. Damn you look like a mess," Jimin laughs, pointing to the side of Jeongguk's hair that has apparently morphed into some sort of new organism. 

"I had a weird sleep," Jeongguk nods, grabbing a glass of water from the table with an unknown owner and chugging it down. "You okay, Tae?"

Taehyung looks up at him again and nods, jittery. "Yeah! I didn't sleep too good either." He continues ramming things into his work bag and Jeongguk glances over at Jimin who gives Jeongguk a look which he can only assume means this definitely has to do with Namjoon.

When Taehyung leaves the apartment, they both stand in silence for at least a whole minute because they are absolutely used to him barging back in hysterics, having forgotten almost half of his things.

When Jimin finally does start talking, his voice is still low. "You talked to Namjoon, right?"

"Yeah," Jeongguk licks his lips nervously. "Why? Did they talk?"

Jimin shakes his head. "He texted Tae, but they haven't talked. He texted him to meet him later today, after work."

Jeongguk nods. "I hope this doesn't backfire."

Jimin shrugs. "You did your best, bud. I'm proud of you," he adds, reaching out to put a hand on Jeongguk shoulder.

Yes. Jeongguk's a real brave guy - the kind of brave guy who can't admit the most obvious things to himself because he's too scared and confused. He's so brave, he'd apparently rather lose Taehyung than admit it. And he's still like this even after reading an entire anthology of fucking poems. 

 


 

Jeongguk runs into Jennie again after work, during his evening jog. This time it isn't weird, because Jeongguk has let go of those awkward emotions to cling to the current emotions. 

They jog side by side for a bit, chatting. It's mostly small talk, and Jennie politely avoids talking about Taehyung and that whole can of worms even though he's pretty sure Jimin already told her all about it.

When they part ways he jogs past his apartment and takes another quick gander in the used bookstore. He decides on Pablo Neruda, since Netflix suggested his biopic the other night. (“My soul is an empty carousel at sunset." Jeongguk writes that down and then hates himself for morphing back into an emotional 13 year old.)

He's hoping he might be able to read a bit as soon as he gets home, maybe after his shower, but Taehyung is already home, sitting cross legged on the floor in his favourite spot in front of the coffee table, his sketchbook laid out on the table in that comforting way.

He looks up when Jeongguk steps in and his eyes are sort of puffy, like he's been crying. Jeongguk feels a slight drop in his belly.

Taehyung gets up. "Guk."

"H-hey. Hi."

"I spoke to Namjoon," Taehyung continues, taking a step towards Jeongguk and he grips the book in his hand like it's a life-line.

"That's good. I hope, um. Everything is good between you guys," Jeongguk says, offering a small smile.

Taehyung's eyes are large and shining with emotion, his lips pressed together at a small point. "They are."

"So. Are you guys," Jeongguk says, feeling his chest burn in an ugly way, "back together?""

Taehyung looks confused for a moment. "We. No. We're not..."

"Okay," Jeongguk says inanely. 

Taehyung blinks at him, his lips parted, like he's still waiting but slowly losing hope.

"I'm really sorry, again, about the things I said to Namjoon, about your relationship. It wasn't my place," Jeongguk continues when they both seem to be waiting for the other.

"It's okay. I understand," Taehyung gives him a small shrug. "But is that all you want to say?"

Jeongguk has gained some ounce of strength from Taehyung's warm aura, so different from the one back in his room when he was grieving. He's also read a ton of love poems, so he thinks he could give this a shot. "I just have this, uh, technique. When I deal with things I don't want to talk about. I just, like, try to flush them down - down a toilet or something. I flush and I flush but the shit keeps rising to the top, you know? The real fix would be the toilet. I have to fix the toilet, because I can't flush it anymore, I'm just going to be left with a bunch of shit."

There's a moment of silence and Jeongguk's brain starts to slowly piece together what he just said out loud. 

"Jesus fucking Christ, Guk," Taehyung breathes, his eyes twinkling. "That's disgusting."

"Sorry," Jeongguk says, but he's not sorry, he's doing the best he fucking can.

"So...am I the shit?" Taehyung asks, tilting his head to the side, and it brings back a pang of the memory from the dinner-party, when he made a similar gesture towards Namjoon. It still manages to make Jeongguk's knees a little weak.

"Yeah."

"And you're the toilet?"

"I guess so, yeah."

Taehyung giggles and steps closer to him. "You're the toilet-bowl."

"I can't flush you," Jeongguk says, reverently, and Taehyung's giggle turns into a full-on laugh, his head hanging back.

Jeongguk reckons this is probably the only chance he's going to get. He should have known Namjoon would have made this more complicated than he thought it would be.

He steps forward, slowly, hesitantly, reaching out a hand and touching the side of Taehyung's face. Taehyung leans his cheek into the touch, closing his eyes. It's all the push Jeongguk needs to build the courage and say:

"I mean...you know. Right?"

"Know what?" Taehyung asks, his eyes popping open.

Okay, he thinks. Okay, that didn't work.

Jeongguk inhales as much air as he can, like the excess wind might somehow make him stronger than he is now. He likes Taehyung so much that wanting to touch him stops feeling weird. He leans in, and presses a small kiss to the corner of Taehyung's mouth. It's just a guess.

"Oh, that. Yeah, I knew that," Taehyung says, in the most incredibly unromantic way.

"I just... want you. I think. No, I don't think," Jeongguk corrects, watching different emotions birth and die through Taehyung's eyes at lightning speed. "I know that I want you. I just need you to help me. You can coach me. Or wait, Jimin said that's a stupid thing to say."

"It is, but I like you so I can deal with it. God, why do I always like the wrong people," Taehyung says, and Jeongguk's shoulders slouch a little.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean. I mean I always fall for people who are...complicated." He smiles up at Jeongguk and reaches out to push a section of hair away from his eyes.

"I'm not wrong, though. Can we go with 'complicated' over 'wrong'?" Jeongguk suggests, feeling his flesh prickle under Taehyung's light touch.

"Sorry, you're right. You're not wrong. You're the nicest out of my bad choices," Taehyung corrects and Jeongguk groans pressing his forehead against Taehyung's as he laughs.

"Hey! You directly compared me to a pile of shit," Taehyung pinches his nose and Jeongguk smiles because there's really no defense for that one.

Jeongguk leans in and kisses him, firm, on the lips, because he'd rather do it this way than try to explain himself again.

"I really missed you, you know," Taehyung says, small. 

"I missed you too."

 


 

Regardless of how stupid Jimin thought Jeongguk's whole 'training' or 'coaching' comments were, he really does feel like he's being taught the ropes in a lot of respects.

It's weird to think the image of another guy shaving in the morning, shirtless, would be something that could send a spark through his lower stomach. But when Taehyung looks up from the sink with a razor in one hand, half his face covered in white cream, his lips splitting the foam like a wound, Jeongguk definitely feels a jolt of adoration. 

Taehyung is slow with him, careful, he kisses him lightly on the cheek, on the jaw, when he wants to make-out. He thumbs at Jeongguk's t-shirt and breathes into the side of his face and Jeongguk turns to jelly in his hands. Jeongguk figures Taehyung is being careful because he knows Jeongguk just threw himself in the deep-end. But Jeongguk has had one too many sexual dreams about Taehyung than he wants to admit, and the idea of making out with him is the complete opposite of nerve-wracking. Still, he appreciates how sweet Taehyung is being about this whole thing, and it makes his heart inflate even more.

Jimin groans when he walks in on them kissing around the house. "Guys. Guys it's not weird for you two, and I'm happy for that. But it's fucking weird for me. My two best friends, like, suddenly necking everywhere."

Jimin seems to be having a harder time with this than Jeongguk, considering he's now suddenly scared to enter rooms because God knows what could be taking place behind the doors.

Jimin is definitely exaggerating because they're usually pretty careful about this stuff. They generally only decide to fool around when they know Jimin is at work or at Jennie's. Like right now.

Jeongguk reckons their sessions are getting a little bit heavier, the kisses wetter, more desperate, the hands suddenly assertive. Jeongguk's new step forward today is sliding his fingers down the front of Taehyung's pants, palming at his dick for the first time because he's feeling confident, and Taehyung all but almost comes right there. He lets out some sort of half choked, emotional 'yes' like he just found out he won the lottery, and Jeongguk laughs into his neck.

"Touching. Mm," Taehyung mumbles into Jeongguk's cheek and Jeongguk grips his dick firmly now, and realizes, hey, he knows how this works. He doesn't need training wheels for this.

He pumps Taehyung's dick hard, fast, and Taehyung humps up into his grip all the while whimpering.

"S-slow down. You're. Too fast, s-slow down. Guk," Taehyung breathes, his register high.

Okay he got a little too excited there, a little too impressed with himself.

Taehyung eventually comes, his mouth on Jeongguk's, his ragged breath slipping out through his orgasm. Suddenly he's sitting up, shoving Jeongguk back, hard. Jeongguk's elbows give way and the back of his head sort of bounces off the carpet but Taehyung is too fired up to even notice.

Before he can recover from the blow to the back of his skull, Taehyung is giving Jeongguk another one of his mind-numbing patented blowjobs while his hands claw at Jeongguk's chest.

When they're both lying in the aftermath of their little living-room session, the furniture is in a sorry state. The carpet is skewed, the bowl of fake fruit on the coffee table is lying on the floor, with its rubber contents spread around the room. Even the couch is missing a cushion. Jeongguk realizes it's under his back, he just hadn't noticed Taehyung slipping it there for better access to his dick mid blowjob. 

Taehyung is curled into him, kissing at his ear contently. His face is sleepy, warm, and Jeongguk turns over to face him on the ground.

"I think you gave me a concussion."

"You touched my dick," Taehyung says happily, kissing him on the lips.

"I sure did."

"You were good at it," Taehyung continues, trailing kisses down his neck.

"I know."

"Don't get cocky."

 


 

"Well?" Jennie asks, when the four of them are sitting at Frills.

Jeongguk shifts in his chair and there's an incredibly loud and worrying creak.

"Well, they're fucking," Jimin says, glumly, looking into his cocktail.

"He called me a piece of shit earlier, it was super romantic," Taehyung says, squeezing Jeongguk's bicep. "I'm kidding. Oh my god, no, don't make that face, that face always makes me laugh."

 

Jeongguk's ears are burning at this point. He has always been uncomfortable talking about sexual scenarios involving himself with friends, especially out in public, and he feels Taehyung squeeze his knee soothingly under the table as he jokingly joins in and changes the subject to Jimin and Jennie's sex life.

He really appreciates Taehyung's ability to do stuff like that. The touch on his knee is kind of getting to him though, and he's revved every time he glances over to look at Taehyung's green, wide-neck blouse, at the little love bites on his chest, above his nipples, only visible if you peer inside the cavern of his shirt.

Namjoon joins them later, and Jeongguk shifts away in the chair so Taehyung's hand falls off his knee. He sees Taehyung give him the end of an upset look before turning to greet Namjoon.

It just feels weird to waltz into Namjoon's hub just a few weeks after they broke up with Taehyung's hands suddenly on his body. Namjoon doesn't seem bothered in the slightest, though, and he sits down with them, commenting on Jeongguk's earrings, asking him where he bought them. Maybe Namjoon being the pretentious, sexually open-minded hipster he is has its perks.

Jeongguk thinks he probably seems like a traditional ass-hat compared to Namjoon, considering if the roles were reversed Jeongguk would be burning up on the inside with resentment.

Jennie politely shakes her head, as always, when Namjoon buys them all drinks.

"So I guess Jimin has to have both," Namjoon decides, pushing them towards Jimin's small form.

He glances at Jennie and she grins, so he picks them both up. "Cheers," he says, drinking both, one after another.

With the exception of Jennie, they all get through quite a large amount of liquor, although Jeongguk and Namjoon seem to be less inebriated than Taehyung and Jimin. Jimin was always a light-weight, even in college, so Jeongguk is always aware of when to cut him off, always about five drinks before he has to cut himself off.

"Jimin, you're gonna embarrass yourself in front of Jennie," Jeongguk says, as Jimin demonstrates how flexible is he, using the rickety table as his footrest.

Jennie looks utterly confused. "Is it weird that I'm into this?"

"I'll show you more later," Jimin says, and he's trying to be seductive, but his eyes are sort of staring in different directions because of how drunk he is and it destroys the whole effect.

Jeongguk leans back and notices Namjoon leaning into Taehyung's ear to say something. Taehyung covers his mouth with back of his hand, grinning, then leans in and says something to Namjoon which has him pursing his lips in annoyance. He leans in again and Taehyung is shaking his head, leaning back, but his eyes are laughing.

Jeongguk isn't jealouper se, he's just curious. He wants to ask what they're talking about but Taehyung is now leaning back in his chair, staring contently at the table, like he's deep in thought. His lips look so pink and full right now, Jeongguk wants to grab him by the shirt and tug him into the communal bathroom,

They finally call it a night because Jimin is getting sloppy, going on dramatic monologues about how nurses don't get paid enough, how money just trickles away from them because of the hospital hierarchy (he pours his drink down the table for effect and Jennie has to shout and grab his glass), and about how he's certain most the head surgeons are psychopaths.

Taehyung is drunk too, but he's pleasantly drunk, clinging to Jeongguk. Jeongguk decides he doesn't care anymore when Taehyung leans in to kiss him on the neck and cheeks every so often, because he honestly can't wait to get home and take his shirt off so he can stick his mouth back onto him, where it belongs.

"See ya," Namjoon says as Jennie staggers off to a cab with Jimin's arm flung over her shoulder. She waves over her shoulder with admirable strength.

"Thanks for coming out, guys," Namjoon says, when Taehyung runs unsteadily to flag another cab. He reaches out and grabs Jeongguk's arm above the elbow, squeezing. "Take care."

Jeongguk smiles at the gesture and nods. "You too. Thanks. For...a lot of stuff."

Taehyung silently palms at Jeongguk's dick the entire cab ride back, and Jeongguk has an incredibly hard time trying to talk about the weird weather they've been having with the cab driver.

 


 

It's 2am, but they've already sobered up because Taehyung shows Jeongguk an hour long video playlist of dogs being rescued by people and it makes them both incredibly emotional.

Later, Jeongguk is lying on Taehyung's bed, watching him take off his jewelry and lovingly place the pieces on his counter. He watches Taehyung put on his headband and enter the washroom, listening to the water run as he washes his face, then continues to stare as he begins his nightly routine. Jeongguk is weirdly obsessed with these things.

Every so often Taehyung will catch sight of him in the mirror and laugh. 

"What?"

"You just look so funny staring at me like that through the mirror with your mouth hanging open. You look so serious."

Jeongguk closes his mouth and smiles. "I can't help my focusing face."

"So. Namjoon tonight," Taehyung says, shaking his head as he puts on his body lotion. He turns around as he rubs it into the tanned skin of his arms, and Jeongguk is barely paying attention to what he's saying now.

"Hm?"

"He said some interesting things, Guk."

Jeongguk suddenly breaks his trance. "What did he say?"

Taehyung walks over to Jeongguk and sits down next to him on his bed, tearing off his headband. He reaches up combs through the front of Jeongguk's hair with his long fingers. "I don't think you want to know."

Jeongguk feels a pang of dread. Oh. "What did he say?" he asks, leaning away from Taehyung's touch.

"Alright, calm down," Taehyung frowns. "He just...you know. He likes you. He suggested that, um, eventually. If you were down. We could. Like, the three of us..." He laughs.

Jeongguk literally feels a synapse blow off in his brain. "He suggested we have a threesome?"

"Yes."

"Jesus Christ. You guys literally just broke up. I threatened to beat him up. Why would-"

"Guk! Guk, it's a joke!" Taehyung laughs, leaning in and kissing him on the cheek. "He's just like that, he's a laid-back guy, he doesn't take this stuff seriously. Lie down. Go back. Lie down, my little Guk. Let me blow you and make you feel good," he says in his creepy sing-song way that unfortunately always gets Jeongguk off. "No one will be fucking my Guk except me."

Jeongguk laughs. "God. Stop that."

Taehyung chokes out a chuckle and crawls over him, kissing him on the lips then sitting back and pressing down on his dick through his pajamas. Jeongguk hisses and Taehyung smiles. "Ooh. You like that, don't you?"

"Mm."

Taehyung is focusing on massaging Jeongguk's dick but Jeongguk can't stop thinking about this whole Namjoon thing.

"Would you want to do that? I mean, with Namjoon and me?"

Taehyung looks at him, his hands still moving at his crotch. "Me? Nope. I want you all to myself."

Jeongguk smiles. "M-me too." He's really hard now and Taehyung isn't letting up.

"Why? Were you curious to try?"

"No," Jeongguk shakes his head. "I wouldn't want to."

"I mean, it might be super hot. Theoretically speaking," Taehyung says, pouting. He sticks his hand down the front of Jeongguk's pants and deftly pulls out his dick, continuing to stroke. "You don't want to share me?"

"No," Jeongguk almost whines, not wanting to imagine Namjoon fucking any part of Taehyung.

"Okay, babe. I'm down with giving you blowjobs forever," he's smiling but Jeongguk hates that comment. He hates he so much he shifts back in the sheets and Taehyung falls back on his ass on the bed.

"Hey," Taehyung says, reaching and Jeongguk swats at his hand with his forearm. "Fuck, hey! Take it easy," Taehyung says again. "What's wrong?"

"You're not just. You're not just going to give me blowjobs forever. That's not what this is," Jeongguk shoves his dick in his underwear. "We talked about this, I want to, eventually. You know."

"My God, Guk. I'm so sorry, I was just joking. I didn't mean it that way at all. I'm sorry," Taehyung says shifting towards him and putting a hand on his shoulder. "Honestly. You're right, that was a shitty joke. I'm sorry, baby," his voice his high and scared.

"I want to have sex with you," Jeongguk says, looking at him, his voice low. "Like, real sex. I really, really do."

Taehyung shakes his head. "First of all, what we do is already real sex, okay? And no. I don't want you to say that because I made a stupid joke." Taehyung looks almost desperate now and Jeongguk feels like the scenario just turned around fast.

"Do you promise you're not upset?" Jeongguk asks, his eyebrows furrowed in worry. Is he being the high-maintenance boyfriend right now?

Taehyung shakes his head again, more vigorously. "No. No, I'm not upset at all. I'm not. I love-" he stops himself immediately and look ashamed, embarrassed.

"You what?"

He leans in and kisses Jeongguk on the mouth and Jeongguk returns the kiss, enamored. When they break apart for a moment he asks again. "You what?"

"I mean...you know, right?" Taehyung asks sweetly, pressing his nose into Jeongguk's.

"Yeah. Me too."

 


 

Jeongguk watches a ton of gay porn during the next week.

It's senseless, because Jeongguk isn't a virgin by any definition of the word, he has had sex more times than he can count, and all sorts of sex at that. He has spent entire days fucking someone, only taking breaks to eat and use the bathroom. It's just...Taehyung. There's so much that could potentially go wrong, so much that he never thought about with the others. He doesn't want to let Taehyung down, especially since he's clearly more experienced in this particular sector than Jeongguk. The competitive fire in Jeongguk urges him to do as much as he can to prepare for this, because Namjoon probably - 

No, that's not going to help. It's going to make it so much worse thinking about that.

Jeongguk thrives at being good at the things he does, including fucking. He's not going to settle for 'okay', he wants to impress Taehyung so badly that he's watching gay porn on his phone at work on Friday afternoon, as Yoongi checks for exhaust leaks.

The whole viewing process has been very clinical, and he's mostly just watching to figure out if there's something he should know beforehand, some kind of rule. Or maybe a particularly mind-blowing position. Jeongguk never truly enjoyed watching porn. Sure, sometimes he would throw on a video or two to knock one out but it was rarely more than just a quick stimulation, he never got into any of the weird subsets suggested on the sides of the clips.

He also never used porn as a sort of reference. It was fairly simple to surmise that were he to have actually tried any of these sexual scenarios with his past girlfriends, he would have been punched in the dick. 

Still, this is new territory, and Jeongguk hates being bad at things. So far, everything seems pretty straight forward.

That is, until the fisting. Yoongi asks Jeongguk a question but he doesn't hear him because someone is being fisted on his phone screen. He hopes Taehyung isn't into that.

"Sorry?"

"Are you watching porn at work?"

Jeongguk, takes the ear-buds out and realizes how loud the volume is. It's too late to lie. "I. Yeah."

"Jesus," Yoongi says and peers down at his screen. "Fisting? That's some pretty intense stuff for a new gay."

"I'm not a new gay," Jeongguk fires back and Yoongi smirks.

"Why are you watching this stuff?"

"It's a little personal," Jeongguk says, and Yoongi scoffs, throwing his rag onto their workbench.

"Personal. You're watching porn at work. And I personally find that creepy and offensive."

"I'm watching gay porn before I have sex with Taehyung because I'm nervous."

Yoongi looks like he wants to laugh. His jaw clenches so hard Jeongguk can see the muscles in his face. "What is there to be nervous about. It's an asshole."

"I know," Jeongguk lowers his voice. "I just stick it in."

"No, you definitely don't just stick it in."

"I know! I'm not talking about this with you," Jeongguk says, feeling his cheeks burn. "Sorry I brought creepy, offensive porn to our work-place. So, what's wrong with this car?"

Yoongi pauses for a moment like he wants to carry on the conversation about sex just because of how uncomfortable it makes Jeongguk, then looks down at the vehicle. "The whole exhaust system is shot. We have to replace it."

"Damn. What should I bring? Do we have glaskets here?"

"Yeah. We have glaskets and hangers, but we need penetrating oil. A lot of penetrating oil. You're gonna need quite a damn bit of that oil."

"Stop it."

"Some of these bolts. They're very tight."

"Yoongi..."

They eventually get working on the car, and Jeongguk didn't realize Yoongi could be so funny (of course, it's not really funny to Jeongguk, he mostly wants to die, so it's more that he's just surprised at his coworker's wit). 

"The engine is in bad shape too. I feel like your car has a great engine."

Jeongguk laughs down into his can of soda. "You made it a point to tell me you liked my car."

Jeongguk thinks they should maybe stop comparing real-life people and their body-parts to cars, especially when it comes to Taehyung. He figures this can't be worse than pretty much telling Taehyung he was 'shit' floating in a toilet bowl, though.

"It's a nice looking car. Take care of it," Yoongi slides out from underneath. "We can save the rest of this for tomorrow. We have to order some parts."

Jeongguk nods and starts to shrug off his overalls. "What are you up to tonight?"

"Drinking. Sleeping," Yoongi says, back to his usual stoic demeanor. 

"Thanks, by the way," Jeongguk folds the overalls in his arms. "For the advice you gave me about Namjoon. I never got to formally thank you about that. Didn't want to get too excited about where things were going with Taehyung and I. But...you helped."

Yoongi nods, wiping his hands on a rag. "Don't mention it."

Jeongguk smiles and grabs his bag from the ground. "See you Monday."

"Don't forget the oil."

 


 

Jimin is steaming a pair of pink scrubs when he gets home that evening. 

"Where's Tae?"

"Hello to you too, asshole," Jimin says, peeking from around the scrubs. "Just because you're not fucking me doesn't mean you stop saying hi."

"Sorry! Sorry I just...are those pink scrubs?"

"Yes," Jimin says with a smile. "They finally want me to work with children."

Jeongguk extends a high-five and Jimin half-smacks-half-clutches his hand. "I fucking knew they would. Nurse extraordinaire. You worked so hard, you deserve it, man."

"Thanks," Jimin says, with twinkling eyes. He thrives on compliments, especially from Jeongguk who isn't always as generous with his words as Taehyung.

There's something sweetly humorous about his little friend standing there later, in the center of the living room, proudly wearing his pink scrubs with a cute stitched rabbit on the breast-pocket. Jimin, who has been working so hard for the last few years, finally getting what he deserves - it should have come sooner, all of Jimin's friends think - but it's still just as admirable.

"Any plans after work?" Jeongguk asks as Jimin straightens out his pants.

"Going over to Jennie's. She's planning a little celebration for me, if you know what I mean," Jimin straightens up so fast, Jeongguk is surprised he doesn't give himself whiplash.

Jeongguk grins then flutters his eyelashes erotically. "Oh... nurse. Yes, nurse, I want you, nurse."

Jimin smacks at his arm then grabs his bags. "Don't act like you and Tae aren't going to be necking the entire time I'm gone."

"Stop using that word, it's so unsexy."

"Unsexy, huh," Jimin says, smiling down into his chest as he ties the laces of his white hospital Reeboks. "Have you guys had...I mean, would you even. Actually, nevermind."

"Good choice."

Jeongguk seems incredibly nonchalant on the outside for someone who is actually panicking about what the last few people have nudged at him about. He wishes sexual exploits weren't such a commonplace topic amongst friends. He thinks sadly of Taehyung and his cool circle of fashion-friends, probably sitting around designer bags, sipping mint julips, talking about how Jeongguk has been getting blowjobs by Taehyung this entire time because he's too nervous to do anything else. If Taehyung even sees it that way. 

Jeongguk takes a very thorough shower when he gets home and even dedicates a small amount of time to do his hair. He throws on a white tshirt and the grey Calvin Klein sweatpants Taehyung told Jeongguk he loves. ("These drive me fucking wild.")

Maybe he should light candles? Is that too much?

Jeongguk is reading his book of poems on the couch when he hears keys jangling outside and he scrambled to get up.

Taehyung throws the door open with a loud groan and chucks his bag on the ground. He peels off his winter coat and falls onto the floor, emitting another groan.

This would be one of the few days Taehyung is low-energy. It just would be.

"What's wrong?" Jeongguk asks, crouching next to him, somewhat worried but mostly just with himself for psychologically hyping this night up in his head.

"Bad day at work," Teahyung mumbles into the floor, then rolls himself over onto his back with a great deal of effort and looks up at Jeongguk with his big, shining eyes. "Kiss me," he orders.

Jeongguk leans down immediately and kisses him, deeply, and when he pulls away Taehyung looks mildly surprised.

"Wow. Good kiss." And the comment goes straight to Jeongguk's ego.

"Here," he helps a gelatinous Taehyung off the floor and leads him to the room. "Why'd you have a bad day?"

Taehyung frowns under Jeongguk's touch. "The laptop's harddrive failed. I lost a bunch of work."

"Take it to a store? They can salvage the data," Jeongguk says, beginning to unbutton Taehyung's shirt and his roommate looks up at him, coyly.

"Guk."

"Hm?"

"Are you horny?"

Jeongguk pauses. Over-eager isn't really a good look, is it? Ironically, he's not even horny right now - he's mostly just wanting to do this thing, this Big Fuck he's been planning for. Taehyung's shitty moods adds to the fire of wanting to make him feel good.

"No," he says casually and Taehyung frowns.

"Oh."

"I mean, yeah. Are you?"

Taehyung smiles. "I'm always horny for you you."

"I feel like I should have said that when you asked me," Jeongguk says, slipping Taehyung's expensive top off his shoulders and letting his hands feather down his warm sides.

Taehyung's laugh is breathy now, and he smiles in a way that betrays how badly he really wants this. "That's okay, I'm enjoying whatever this is."

Jeongguk leans down and kisses his neck. "You smell nice."

"You always tell me that," Taehyung tilts his head to the side to give Jeongguk better access. "I'm starting to think you're running out of compliments."

"I find you so damn hot."

"You used that one too."

"You drive me crazy."

"Told me that yesterday."

"I want to fuck you."

Taehyung pauses, and puts his hands against Jeongguk's face; he finally rips his mouth away from Taehyung's neck to look at him. 

"Guk...if this is about that night, what I said-"

"It's not. I mean, sure, it made me think about this. But I actually want this. I want to do this with you. Seriously," he breathes, his hands gripping Taehyung's waist.

"Just to be clear, you are aware I identify as a male, right?"

"Taehyung, stop it," Jeongguk says, wishing Taehyung would just be serious once, especially at a time like this, when Jeongguk feels his nerves spike with every passing moment.

"I didn't mean that in a shitty way. If we're doing this, I need you to forget everyone else you've touched before this moment and focus on me," Taehyung says, hooking his finger's into the waistband of Jeongguk's sweatpants. "Oh. These pants. These are my favorite."

"I'm only thinking about you," Jeongguk says, pressing his thumbs into the side of Taehyung's ass.

"You're so sweet, look at you," Taehyung replies, soft, circling his arms around Jeongguk's neck and pulling him into a kiss. 

Jeongguk licks into his mouth, and Taehyung presses his body flush against Jeongguk's in that languid way he does, and Jeongguk is suddenly completely fired up again. "Lie down for me."

Taehyung breaks away and stares into his eyes, slowly walking backwards towards the bed, wearing only a pair of form-fitting beige slacks with the belt unbuckled, his bangs pushed back out of his face - it's probably the most masculine Jeongguk has ever seen him look. It's also the sexiest he's ever looked, and Jeongguk decides he needs to stop wondering how Taehyung manages to breaks all the subconscious rules in his own head.

"Have you been planning for this?" Taehyung asks, in his low register, sitting on the edge of the with his legs spread, leaning back on his hands and Jeongguk walks up to him and puts his hands through Taehyung's hair, gripping and releasing his hair. His stomach almost hurts from how turned on he is.

"Yes."

Taehyung smiles and actually licks his lips as he reaches out for Jeongguk's crotch, then pauses with his bottom lip caught under his upper lip when Jeongguk shifts backwards, saying: "No."

"Hm?"

Jeongguk inches forward again and leans down to kiss Taehyung on the lips, pushing him back onto the bed. He doesn't protest, but he seems confused, like he still doesn't know where Jeongguk is going with this and is shrinking under the idea of the unknown.

They kiss deeply for a few moments and Jeongguk slowly grinds against Taehyung. Taehyung reaches behind Jeongguk to help tug his t-shirt off and leans up to press his mouth against the center of his chest. "Baby," he breathes.

Jeongguk snakes his hands into Taehyung's pants again, feeling around the base of his dick, and the sensation of his skin sends shocks of arousal through Jeongguk's chest. He touches him there for a while, until Taehyung is groaning louder, then he slowly tugs the rest of his pants down.

Taehyung shifts under him and his eyes pop open. He bites his lip again, unsure, as Jeongguk stares down at his dick, fully, for the first time. The gay porn really didn't prepare him for what he feels, because the dicks on the screen did nothing for him, because this dick, attached to Taehyung, happens to be the best looking thing he's ever seen.

"Stop staring, babe, it's making me nervous," Taehyung finally murmurs, and takes his dick into his hand, stroking it once.

Jeongguk is speechless, yet again. 

"Am I scaring you away?" Taehyung asks and Jeongguk shakes his head. 

"No. Stop saying stuff like that."

He reaches down and wraps his hand around Taehyung's dick and Taehyung moves his own hand up to his mouth, pressing his knuckles against his lips. 

Jeongguk leans down to kiss him again, his dick sticking straight out in his sweatpants, and he thinks this looks more funny than it does sexy, but Taehyung is reaching out and grabbing at Jeongguk's dick over the heather-gray fabric.

"I'm already about to come," Taehyung says, broken, as he tugs at Jeongguk's dick and simultaneously pushes his hips up against Jeongguk's touch.

Jeongguk immediately lets go and Taehyung looks like he just got punched in the face. "Why would-"

Jeongguk leans down over him, kissing him again, his hand going to the waistband of his pants and tugging them down. His dick bobs out and Taehyung makes a sound similar to a hiccup.

"Guk. I'm..."

"I need you to tell me, okay? Tell me if I'm doing anything wrong. Tell me if I'm hurting you," Jeongguk breathes against the panting mouth under him and presses his dick against Taehyung's.

He groans and nods his head, his eyes screwed shut. "God that feels so good. Just keep..."

Jeongguk jerks their dicks together and feels his lower stomach tensing as he watches Taehyung's increasingly pink cheeks.

"Do you have lube?" Jeongguk whispers against Taehyung's ear and the humping immediately stops.

"Mm," Taehyung mumbles, shyly, peering at Jeongguk through his damp bangs. "Vanity. Top cupboard."

Jeongguk jumps to his feet, naked, and shuffles to the vanity. Taehyung laughs from the bed, holding his cheeks in his hands.

"This one?" Jeongguk asks, breathlessly, holding up a tube. "There are so many different fucking bottles."

"That's eye-cream, babe."

Jeongguk growls and shuffles around some more. "This?"

"I almost want to say no because you look really hot from this angle."

Jeongguk grabs Taehyung's wallet from the table and opens it to drag out a roll of condoms - Taehyung barks in surprise.

"You already know where I keep everything."

Jeongguk doesn't have time for a witty reply before getting back to the bed and crawling over Taehyung, one knee on either side of him. His dick is pretty much at a 45 degree from his stomach and he can't even pretend he hasn't been waiting all week to bury it inside Taehyung.

" 's Strawberry," Taehyung mumurs from his position, his hands still up against his face shyly.

"Strawberry," Jeongguk echo and bends down to kiss his lips, his finger flicking the cap open.

Jeongguk knows how to have anal sex, but he can't help the entire legion of butterflies in his stomach as he rubs the lube between his fingers, heating it up.

"Mm, nice. Brownie points," Taehyung giggles and Jeongguk smiles joyously. Points are good, he'll take all the points he can get.

They kiss against and Taehyung slips his fingers down, middle finger brushing over the slope of Taehyung's balls. Taehyung exhales shakily under him, his thighs tensing when Jeongguk's index finger presses down against his hole.

"Is this okay?" Jeongguk asks, and he wishes it didn't come out so unsure, but it does.

Taehyung is the sun, though, and he nods at him, pushing a hand through his wet hair. "It's better than okay."

Jeongguk's finger is maybe shaking a little bit when he slowly presses it around the tight, hot ring, but Taehyung gasps and nods at him when Jeongguk looks up at him. Taehyung's dick lies against his belly, hard, the tip wet and oozing like Jeongguk's own. Jeongguk thinks Taehyung looks more incredible than any of the guys on the sites he's watched. Then again, most the porn he's found involves two sun-kissed white guys with frosted tips fisting on beaches, so there's not much to compare this too.

Still, he's sure there's nothing more beautiful than Taehyung lying there under him, his hips slightly lifted off the bed, his eyebrows furrowed like he's in pain from wanting it so bad, his eyes wet.

"Please," Taehyung manages and Jeongguk realizes he's just been staring open-mouthed with his finger up Taehyung's ass. His lips close and he moves his finger, slowly pumping in and out, and Taehyung nods, grabbing Jeongguk's forearm with a hand to make him speed up the pace.

Jeongguk hooks his finger slightly and Taehyung gasps. "God. Yes."

Jeongguk spends a long amount of time fingering Taehyung's ass, up until Taehyung starts getting a little hysterical, grabbing Jeongguk's aching forearm with both hands, guiding three fingers into his ass at a violent pace. Jeongguk pulls away, suddenly, and Taehyung shouts.

"Shh, don't worry, lie back," Jeongguk coaxes and Taehyung sort of blubbers in reply, lying back against the sheets, a shaking hand gripping his leaking dick against his belly.

Jeongguk takes the bottle of lube again, squeezing a good amount and coating his dick with it as he stares down at Taehyung, breathing through his mouth, and Taehyung peers up at him - his expression of betrayal slowly fades into one of anticipation.

"You look so fucking hot like that, stroking your big dick," Taehyung says suddenly and, Jesus, Jeongguk was not prepared for him to start dirty-talking. He doesn't think he'd ever be able to prepare himself for that.

Jeongguk likes to dirty-talk, but he finds himself tongue-tied now as he leans down, rolling the condom on his dick, like time is passing in slow motion.

"Fuck me. I want you inside me, hurry," Taehyung says, his voice sweet and low, almost a rumble, pulling at Jeongguk's neck as he positions his cock at his hole. "It'll feel so good. I promise. I'll make you come."

"You...the things you're saying," Jeongguk mumbles as he starts to slowly push in. "I'm..."

He can't help his moan as he feels the heat of Taehyung's ass envelop the head of his dick. His voice is higher than Taehyung's, especially when they're in heat like this, and he can't help feel embarrassed at how he probably sounds moaning into Taehyung's neck, but Taeyung just reaches up and runs his hands up and down Jeongguk's back before settling his fingers on his waist, helping him push in deeper.

"More. You're so big, I want all of it," Taehyung says, against Jeongguk's hair, then licks the shell of his ear.

Of all the things Jeongguk prepared for, nothing could have braced him for how tantalizing Taehyung is being right now.

He's moving now, short fast snaps, even though he really wanted to drag this out. But he can't, and he's moaning against Taehyung's ear now, falling apart on top of him as Taehyung coaxes from underneath.

After a while, Jeongguk sobs, and Jesus, he's actually crying. He's crying while he's fucking Taehyung.

Taehyung grips the sides of Jeongguk's face, bringing their incoherent lips together. His tongue shoves against Jeongguk's, teeth knocking together messily, and when he pulls away he feels their spit on his chin.

"Here," Taehyung pants, breathless, suddenly pulling back. Jeongguk's dick slides out of Taehyung's ass with a wet sound, and Taehyung quickly turns over, getting on all fours. "Fuck me from behind."

Good. At least this way Taehyung can't see him cry.

Jeongguk is so light-headed can barely get himself up on his knees to obey, but he finally does and when he looks at Taehyung's glistening back, he's reminded of his dream. A second burst of energy rushes through his system and he grips Taehyung's waist.

He almost sees two assholes through his tears because of how blurry his vision is. He picks one and luckily it's the right one. Taehyung groans, arching his back.

"Just go for it, as hard as you can. Make it hurt."

Jeongguk starts at a slow pace, and steadily picks up speed, the sounds of their sex filling up the entire apartment. Jeongguk doesn't care. Worst case scenario: Jimin randomly comes home and walks in for his earphones again.

This experience is astronomically more intense than the cozy little fuck he had in mind. Still, he has to get all his shit together because he didn't watch a week of terrible porn for nothing. He hopes Taehyung can't hear him snort up whatever tears and fluid he has built up in his nose.

He starts fucking into him as hard and fast as he can, harder and faster than he's ever dared with anyone he's ever slept with, and Taehyung's shouts pretty much turn into small whimpers, his hands give way under him, he slides down to his forearms, his fingers still fisting weakly at the blankets. Score one.

He keeps going and Taehyung's elbows give way too until pretty much face first into the bed now, his sounds muffled. Score two.

"F-fuck," Jeongguk manages to hear from under him after a while and he slows down a little because he's thinking that might have been some sort of white flag.

"Was that hard enough, Tae?" he asks, and luckily the excess arrogance from being able to sexually perform for at least ten seconds without crying seems to go straight to Taehyung's dick because he somehow lifts himself back to his hands, spreading his knees.

"N-not bad," he moans and Jeongguk picks up speed again.

Taehyung makes a choked noise. "God."

"Harder?"

"I love you," Taehyung's voice is small and desperate.

Jeongguk feels like crying again but decides to mask it with dirty-talk instead. "You feel so good. You're so perfect. I want to be inside you forever. You're such a fucking perfect. You..."

Or whatever that was.

Jeongguk sort of disassociates at this point and isn't able to remember much up to when Taehyung comes with a series potentially criminal high pitched whimpers, his hand working furiously at his dick under him. Jeongguk follows soon after, gasping as he empties into the condom in long, uneven drags. "Fuck. Fuck, Tae."

Taehyung pretty much falls flat on his stomach when Jeongguk slowly pulls out, unmoving. Jeongguk sits back, straddling the back of Taehyung's thighs, breathing hard. He eventually gets a little worried when Taehyung doesn't move, so he reaches out to put a hand on his shoulder.

"Tae?"

"Mm."

"You okay?"

"No."

"No? Tae, did I hurt you? Oh my God."

Taehyung makes a move to roll over and Jeongguk leaps off to the side. He's smiling when his face comes into view, his chest heaving with breaths. "I don't think I'm ever recovering from this," Taehyung finally manages before taking Jeongguk's hand and bringing it to his mouth to kiss, tenderly.

Jeongguk is pretty sure he blushes after that and he leans over and kisses him on the mouth, his hands reaching up to touch Taehyung's hair and neck, fingers trailing along his collarbones. "You are perfect."

Taehyung laughs. "You're repeating yourself again."

Jeongguk presses a kiss to Taehyung's right eye, feeling fluttering eyelashes against his lips. "Let's do this every day."

Jeongguk eventually rolls off and lies next to Taehyung, still reeling from his orgasm. They miraculously manage to score a three-pointer by getting the used condom into the garbage can on the other side of the room without leaving the bed. (Taehyung insists he doesn't care if Jeongguk's come gets all over his room in the process.)

"Well? Do you feel super gay?" Taehyung asks while Jeongguk's fingers stroke his hip bone adoringly. 

Jeongguk laughs. "So gay."

"You did great. Ten out of ten!" he says cheerfully, smacking Jeongguk's stomach. "You too, little guy," he continues, patting at Jeongguk's dick and it's the most embarrassing moment of Jeongguk's entire life. "Wow, you're still kinda hard, huh."

Jeongguk smiles, proudly. "If I'm turned on enough, it can stay partially ready for a second service."

"Mm, my favourite kind of man," Taehyung giggles. "I get so damn sensitive right after coming. I wish I didn't."

Jeongguk never thought he'd be having casual dick-talk with a man he just had sex with.

"Thanks," Jeongguk says, turning over on his side to thumb at Taehyung's cheek. "Thanks for being understanding."

"I was about to say the same to you. You just fucked me in the ass on the hunch that you might like it," Taehyung says, and Jeongguk shakes his head.

"No. I knew I would like it. Let's stop calling this a hunch, okay? It's not an experiment, it's not a hunch, I'm not confused. This is real," Jeongguk says, staring into Taehyung's eyes, unwavering, until Taehyung looks away with a sheepish smile.

"Okay."

 


 

 

They manage to slip in a shower and quick snack before Jimin projected he'd be home from work, and Jeongguk finally works up the courage to show Taehyung the kind of porn he's been watching. Naturally, Taehyung can't stop laughing, and he takes Jeongguk's phone from him and leaps around the apartment, reading the names of the videos out loud all the while avoiding Jeongguk's reach.

"'My Brother's Hot Friend', Jesus Christ, Guk. 'Soldiers Enjoy Eachother', wow, oh my God. Oh fuck, 'Deep Erotic Fuck on the Beach'. Jeongguk, I fucking hate you, these are so embarrassing." Taehyung practically shrieks as he progresses through the video history.

Jeongguk eventually manages to take his phone back and presses Taeyung into the couch, throwing the device onto the carpet and pinning him. "You're a dick," he says. "Sometimes you make me want to teach you a lesson, but then you look at me in that annoying, cute way. Yeah, that one. And then I can't do it."

"Not gonna lie, this whole pinning thing and teaching me a lesson talk is turning me on again," Taehyung says before licking his lips and Jeongguk officially lets go of his wrists.

Jeongguk shifts off the couch and picks up his phone. "You're into that weird tying up stuff aren't you?"

"Weird? Damn. Well, there goes about eighty-percent of my sexual wishlist items," Taehyung says glumly from the couch, his arms still raised above his head where Jeongguk had pinned them. "You'd be so good at it too."

"Hey, I didn't say we couldn't...I don't know, try the fucked up shit you're into," Jeongguk mutters, scratching at the back of his neck. 

"We can try it next time, when I fuck you," Taehyung says, sitting up casually and fixing his hair. "I'm kidding. Wow. You literally went paler than your mechanic friend from the car shop." 

"N-no, I wasn't," Jeongguk croaks. "I'm sorry, I feel like I just assumed you would want me to fuck you. I didn't even ask what you prefer..."

Taehyung smiles. "You're adorable. I'm okay with both. I have the best orgasms when I bottom, though."

"I'd like to, uh, try. I think. I don't know if I'd like it, though. I tried a finger once, it was okay," Jeongguk says and he must sound really fucking stupid because Taehyung is giggling through the entire second half.

"Guk tried a finger. He tried a finger once and 'it was okay'," Taehyung says, reaching out both hands and pressing himself against Jeongguk.

"Don't make fun of me, I'm being serious," Jeongguk murmurs into Taehyung's ear then kisses it.

"Okay. I'll fuck you whenever you want," Taehyung says. "I'm not in a rush, though. You're great. It was impressive. I almost had to tap out."

Jeongguk smiles. "I can't imagine someone wanting to actually fuck me. I mean, in the ass."

"Really? I think you have the makings of a really popular bottom," Taehyung says, leaning back to stare at him, scrunching his nose. "Yeah. Definitely."

"Popular bottom," Jeongguk repeats. "What the hell does that even mean?"

"You have a sweet face. And you should hear yourself when you have sex. I wanna record that shit and send it to a radio station," Taehyung says sensibly, then lets out a series of breathy, high-pitched mewls, and Jeongguk lowers his forehead against Taehyung's shoulder in humiliation. 

"Oh God."

"It's amazing."

There's a sound at the door and this is one Jimin-interruption he can appreciate.

 


 

 Jeongguk pretty much can't stop having sex with Taehyung after that. His libido spikes through the ozone layer, and even Taehyung has to sleepily turn him down a few times, mumbling lazily that he's insatiable and that he can jerk himself off onto Taehyung's naked thigh if that makes him feel better. It does.

After a few weeks, Jeongguk can write a book on how to make Taehyung come. He takes an enormous amount of pride in this feat, since it began as something he was nervous about. He's so pumped up he almost tells Jimin about it when he brings up that he's heard them having sex multiple times in one day, and that Jeongguk is now responsible for purchasing him a life-time supply of heavy duty ear plugs. 

He never really imagined it would all come to this, but he's happy with it. He can't believe his fucking luck.

Taehyung has begun sharing Jeongguk with all his work friends, and he realizes quickly why Taehyung's group and Namjoon's groups might have inevitably come in contact. They're some of the most attractive, 'cool' people Jeongguk has ever met.

Aside from all the new friend circles and onslaught of invitations to places he didn't have before meeting Taehyung, the most important new development in Jeongguk's life is Taehyung himself.

Jeongguk can't stop thinking about him, no matter what he's doing. Almost all his responses to Taehyung's texts have to do with some variation of the heart emoji. He didn't realize he could turn into that fucking annoying, obsessive boyfriend so quickly into their relationship. Luckily, Taehyung seems incredibly happy with it, and generally responds with love and extravagance. 

Jeongguk really feels his dependence on Taehyung when he's sent to another city with Yoongi for a technical trades convention, as an ambassador for his workplace. He's overwhelmed with all the work, with the itinerary of their trip, with all the people he has to talk to. It gnaws away at his nerves, and when he gets back to his hotel room he drops down on his bed and calls Taehyung immediately. It's 1:20am.

"Hey, baby. Miss you," Taehyung's voice comes.

Jeongguk immediately feels like he wants to cry when he hears Taehyung's soothing voice. He sounds gravely and tired over the phone, but his inflection showcases the warmth Jeongguk is so used to.

"Miss you too," Jeongguk replies simply. 

"How was work?"

"I miss you so much," Jeongguk just says again because he doesn't want to talk about work. He tries to mask that he's close to tears.

"Aw, angel. I miss you too, we've really established that," Taehyung laughs and Jeongguk smiles down into the receiver. "When are you coming home to me, hm?"

"I want to leave right now, but I have to stay til Monday. I'm never going on one of these things again. I don't care about the promotion anymore," Jeongguk mumbles, and hears Taehyung cooing at him as his register rises in anger.

"It's okay, shh. Just think about me, 'kay?"

"I'm literally always thinking about you, Tae."

"Even when you're taking a shit?"

"Especially when I'm taking a shit."

"Gross."

Jeongguk smiles. "Do you think about me?"

"Yup. I've been jerking off non-stop," Taehyung says, matter-of-factly.

"That's good news. Do you...think about me when you do it?" Jeongguk asks timidly, and it's probably the unsexiest way he could have worded that.

"Yeah. I think about you sucking me off as you finger me."

Jeongguk sighs and unzips his pants.

 


 

Jeongguk wasn't certain about their leaky apartment, he wasn't certain about moving in with Jimin and a stranger he never met before. He wasn't even certain about how he felt about that stranger until he almost lost him. But he has slowly come to terms with the idea that all the things he's done that he hasn't been sure about have had the most positive results for him. 

He finds himself thankful for a lot of weird things, like Namjoon. He's thankful for Namjoon. Maybe not for the details of his relationship with Taehyung, but for being necessary to Jeongguk's own confession to himself.

One evening before Taehyung gets home, when he's feeling especially emotional and introspective, he prints out a stanza of one of his favourite poems in the Neruda book.

He casually reads it out loud, like it's some cool article he found on the internet rather than a poem he stared at with tears in his eyes at 3am, Taehyung sleeping soundly next to him.

Taehyung listens to Jeongguk read it and leans back against the couch, swishing his wine around in his glass.

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way."

"Guk," Taehyung croaks, shakily placing his glass down on the table and touching at his eyes in fear.

"I dunno. I thought it was...a nice poem," Jeongguk continues, pathetically, folding the paper in half. "Thought you might like it."

"Come here," Taehyung says, reaching out, and Jeongguk crawls over to him, pressing his face into his neck.

He doesn't want this to end, ever. He wants to melt into Taehyung's skin and live there.

"I love that you're so into poetry recently," Taehyung coos, patting at Jeongguk's hair. "And I love that you love me straightforwardly, without complexities or pride."

Jeongguk grumbles and squeezes Taehyung's sides. "I didn't realize I had a huge crush on you until it punched me in the face," Jeongguk says back, his face still buried in Taehyung's shoulder. He's suddenly curious: "By the way..."

"Hm?"

"That day you talked to Namjoon. After the fight. You said he gave you advice."

Taehyung hums. "He said it's better being lost for a while in a new, unfamiliar place than it is going somewhere you're sure you don't like."

"That guy has a fucking way with words, huh," Jeongguk mumbles.

Taehyung shrugs. "I don't know. I prefer your toilet bowl metaphor."