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as long as you love me

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Jungkook toes his shoes off as he enters the dingy apartment, a long, tired sigh escaping him. He flings his jacket in the general direction of the closet, too exhausted to care about the growing mess in the living room and certainly too exhausted to deal with the high pile of dishes he spots in the kitchen sink. “Babe,” he calls out. “‘M home.”

Silence. A glance at his phone alerts him that he must’ve been at the studio longer than he expected, because it’s actually much later than he thought it was. Taehyung’s probably already sleeping. Jungkook smiles to himself. Knowing Taehyung, he had probably tried to stay up as late as he could waiting for Jungkook to return.

As expected, Jungkook finds him curled up on the bed, phone in hand and glasses still on, with a trail of drool wetting the pillow. Cute, he thinks as he snaps a picture. He’s saved up quite a few shots of Taehyung sleeping in odd positions over the years, but he’ll never get tired of how his brow furrows in concentration as he dreams. Jungkook plops his camera and laptop bag on their desk and pulls his shirt off, letting it fall amongst the endless pile of dirty laundry on the floor. He slides into bed behind Taehyung, gently removing his glasses from his face and placing them on the nightstand so as not to break them, and then carefully wraps his arms around him, trying not to wake him.

But Taehyung stirs, yawning wide and latching around Jungkook’s arm. His breathing is slow and deep, the boy still lingering in the moments between sleep and wake. Taehyung wiggles around, elbowing Jungkook in the ribs as he drapes his long limbs over the younger’s body, trapping him in an octopus hug.

“Ow.”

Taehyung cracks his eyes open a slit. “Hey, handsome,” his voice is groggy and deep with sleep. Jungkook crinkles his nose.

“Your breath stinks,” he comments, to which Taehyung immediately exhales loudly in his face, much to Jungkook’s dismay.

Taehyung hums and closes his eyes again, pulling Jungkook’s face close to his to kiss his nose. (He misses. Jungkook’s nose ends up hitting his eye.) “Not my fault you made me wait up late,” he mumbles.

Jungkook scrunches his nose, You still could’ve brushed your teeth, but decides to drop the argument. “Sorry,” he says. “You should’ve just gone to bed without me. Like usual.”

“I miss falling asleep with you, though.”

“I know. I do too,” Jungkook sighs. He puts his mouth against Taehyung’s temple, relaxing as he breathes in his scent.

“Was work bad?” Taehyung asks, concern edging in his voice. He wraps his arms a little tighter around his body.

Jungkook hesitates before answering. How can he possibly tell Taehyung that he’s stressed out of his mind with running the photo studio practically on his own now that Yoongi’s on paternity leave? He can’t. Not when Taehyung has had more shit to deal with recently. “It was fine. Just took on a couple of new clients.”

“Ah. That’s good.”

Jungkook smiles sweetly at the man he’s in the arms of, and pulls one of his hands free to stroke his hair away from his face. Taehyung’s lips are puffy and there are lines on his face from the creases of the pillow, but Jungkook thinks he’s never looked more beautiful than he does right now in the moonlight.

Taehyung smirks. “I bet you’re thinking something sappy right now.”

He only grins wider. “Guilty as charged.” But how can I not think sappy thoughts when I’m with you? “How did job hunting go?” he changes the subject.

“It goes,” Taehyung sighs. “I sent my resume to a couple places, made a few calls.” He buries his head underneath Jungkook’s chin and yawns again. “There’s a lab at the university hospital that has a new opening I applied to. I went to school with the lady in charge, so hopefully they’ll give me an interview.”

“That’s great!” Jungkook says. “You’ll get it, they’d be crazy not to hire you.”

Taehyung snorts. “Or homophobic.” He realizes the acidity in his words when Jungkook stiffens up and goes quiet. “No, babe, it’s fine it’ll be okay. Don’t worry about it.”

“Yeah, right, just don’t introduce your coworkers to me or I’ll get you fired,” Jungkook says bitterly.

“Hey,” Taehyung opens his eyes and looks into Jungkook’s. “Quit blaming yourself for that. It’s not your fault my office was filled with assholes who clearly had no idea how to react to the world’s cutest couple when they saw us,” he tells him, calm reassurance in his words. And Jungkook wants to believe him, wants to think that that was the only time that’ll ever happen to them, but the harsh reality is that it won’t be the last. For as long as they’re together, there will always be bigoted idiots in the world they’ll be forced to encounter. At first Jungkook had wondered how Taehyung could remain so unfazed after being let go from his job of almost six years, but soon he had noticed the quiet sobs in the bathroom, the redness of his eyes in the mornings that followed.

And it hurts, knowing that your soulmate is hurting. As much as Taehyung tried to deny that it was Jungkook’s fault, Jungkook knows deep down that in the end, if he hadn’t introduced him to his coworkers, his so assumed friends , Taehyung would still have his job. He knows that Taehyung wishes they had a bigger apartment in a nicer neighborhood, but he settled for less. He always settles for less.

Which is why Jungkook won’t complain about work, or how exhausted he is, because he wants to, no, needs to do this to make it up to Taehyung. The long hours are all worth it in the end if Jungkook can carry some of Taehyung’s burden.

“Okay,” Jungkook breathes. “I’ll try.” I’ll try to fucking kill them the next time I see them on the street.

Taehyung smiles his cute chubby-cheeked smile and pushes his face into Jungkook’s chest. “That’s my baby.”

Jungkook relaxes and gives a tired smile. Their bed is small, their apartment is cramped, and yeah, those exposed wires in the wall probably aren’t safe to live with, but right here in each other’s arms Jungkook doesn’t think he can ask for anything more. They drift asleep like that, clinging to each other, limbs locked and tangled in uncomfortable positions as if they were afraid they’d be ripped apart if they let go.

 

***

 

“So? When are you going to ask him?” Jimin’s voice comes across as static over the phone.

Taehyung twirls the silver band, identical to the one adorning his ring finger, in his pocket, humming thoughtfully. “I want to get something engraved on the rings first, then I have this whole romantic plan where I’m gonna take him to the restaurant at Disneyland. I took the money out of our account today,” he answers his best friend.

“Gay.”

“I know,” Taehyung waggles his eyebrows. “It’s gonna be great.”

Jimin cackles. “Wow. I can’t believe you’re actually going to get married to Jungkook. After all those years of whining your head off.”

“Well, he has to say yes first--” but Jimin’s not listening to him.

“‘Oh, Chim! He’s so gorgeous and funny and smart and I want him to have my babies! Why is the world so cruel? Why must his thighs be so toned? Why, God, whyyy?’” Jimin wails in his best “College Taehyung is Having Another Breakdown Over Jungkook” voice.

Taehyung scowls as his face heats up. “I swear to god I’ll choke you. I did not sound like that.”

“Kinky, but save it for your wedding night. And believe what you want, I have the drunk videos to prove it... Oh my god,” he pauses. “Please let me be in charge of your guys’ video montage at the wedding.”

“He has to say yes first! Don’t jump the gun, dude, I don’t even know if he wants to get married.”

“What? You guys haven’t talked about it before? Mr. I-promise-to-wear-your-ring-for-as-long-as-you-love-me.”

“I regret telling you that. But yeah, I mean. We’ve talked about being together long term, like, this is it. Game over, you win, you found The One. But it’s different talking about it in theory than it is to actually go for it, y’know?” Taehyung chews his bottom lip.

Jimin hums in agreement. “I get it. Hey, man, I’m sure you’re nervous but don’t worry about it, Jungkook is like, disgustingly enamored with you. You both are, it’s gross. Now that I think about it, maybe you shouldn’t get married and just save the rest of us from having to be around another gross married couple.”

“There’s no way Guk and I could ever be as bad as Yoongi and Hoseok hyung.”

“Amen to that. You’re coming to Mina’s birthday party right?” Jimin asks.

“She is my godchild.” He twirls the ring thoughtfully. “Although, I don’t see why they can’t wait another four months for her actual birthday, she’s only turning eight months old.”

Jimin chuckles. “I think it’s an excuse for them to see everyone since we’ve all gotten so busy these days. That and they want to show her off.”

“That too.”

“I gotta run, but good luck with the proposal, Tae! I don’t want to see your face until you two are happily engaged, do you hear me?”

Taehyung grins. “Loud and clear. Catch you later, Best Man.” He laughs at Jimin’s squeals of excitement as he hangs up. He startles as Jungkook enters the front door, not expecting him to be home so soon, and almost drops his phone.

Jungkook looks at him puzzled from the doorway. “Everything okay?”

Taehyung makes sure the second ring is shoved deep down in his pocket. “You’re home early,” he answers, shocked.

Jungkook’s brow furrows. “Is there something wrong with that?”

“No! Not at all! I’m just surprised, is all,” Taehyung’s face breaks into a smile as he leaps up to greet his boyfriend. “I’m glad you’re home, I feel like I hardly see you anymore.”

Jungkook offers a stiff smile. “Sorry for trying to provide for both of us, then.” A heavy silence falls. Taehyung shifts awkwardly. Jungkook speaks up again, “What did you withdraw the 100,000 won from the bank for?”

Taehyung swallows thickly. He had hoped Jungkook wouldn’t question him about the withdrawal. “Uh. Nothing,” he lies, unable to come up with a better excuse.

“Nothing?” Jungkook asks. “You can’t even tell me?” There’s a raw desperateness in the edge of his voice, as if begging Taehyung to give him the answer he wants to hear.

But Taehyung doesn’t know how to answer-- not without giving away his plan to get their rings engraved, anyway. “No, sorry…” he replies lamely.

Jungkook’s shoulders fall. He scoffs and shakes his head in disbelief. He brushes past him towards their bedroom, leaving Taehyung staring after him in shock.

“Hey!” he follows him into the bedroom, “What’s gotten into you?” Jungkook is already setting up his laptop on his desk, not turning to face Taehyung as he enters. Taehyung can feel a tense electricity in the air. “Guk…?” He sits down on the bed behind Jungkook’s chair.

“Like you said, it’s nothing,” Jungkook says gruffly.

“It doesn’t sound like noth--”

“I said it’s nothing!” he snaps, spinning around to face Taehyung. “Just, get away from me.”

Taehyung immediately shuts his mouth, his eyes going wide. Jungkook’s never yelled at him like that before. “Fine,” he says quietly. He gets up quickly, not looking back as he exits the room. “Talk to me when you’re done with your temper tantrum.”

The door slams.

 

***

 

Earlier that day

 

“You don’t look so good, boss.”

With great effort Jungkook lifts his head from his keyboard, small square indents imprinting his cheek, trying to pinpoint the source of the voice. He rubs his eyes with the heels of his palms and lets out a huge yawn, blinking slowly to clear his vision. It’s Suhyun. She’s peeking over the edge of his cubicle with a concerned look on her face. “Maybe you should just go home? Take the rest of the day off.”

Jungkook shakes his head as he reboots his laptop. “Can’t,” he yawns. “Our client wants her wedding photos by this afternoon and I haven’t even finished editing them yet.”

“What?” Suhyun squeaks in surprise. Editing photos for a big shoot like a wedding could take days. “Why not?”

He snorts, pulling up Photoshop and beginning to drop in photos from a folder. “Too busy organizing photos into an album for my last client. Who the fuck cares if their prom photos are sorted by color anyway?” he scowls.

“Hey, boss, you do know that you don’t need to take on clients anymore right…? Not until Big Boss gets back from paternity leave.” Precious Suhyun, always looking out for everyone in the office. Jungkook’s grateful for her, without her sunny attitude he would have for sure punched a hole in every wall in this studio by now.

“Yeah, I know. I just really need the extra money right now.” He continues to drag and drop photos into his workspace.

A knowing smile spreads across Suhyun’s face. “Ah. For the proposal right?” Jungkook startles and whips his head at her, eyes wide. She giggles. “The email you sent out this morning had a link for the ‘Top Ten Most Romantic Proposals’ instead of this month’s schedule.” Jungkook slams his head into his keyboard and lets out a pained groan. “Don’t worry, I sent out the correct link before anyone had a chance to look at it, I think.”

Jungkook lifts his head up. “Suhyun, you’re a blessing, you know that?”

The secretary waves his compliment away. “Just doing my job.” A ping from her iPad alerts her of an upcoming event, and she opens it with a swipe. “Wait...Did you schedule a photoshoot with somebody today?”

He nods, eyes not leaving his screen. “Yeah, with someone from Hoseok hyung’s agency, but it’s at 2 o’clock so I’ve got plenty of time to finish this up.”

“You mean 12 o’clock.”

“Pardon?”

“Boss you scheduled it for 12 o’clock, as in right now, ” Suhyun shows him her screen, biting her lip hard.

“Crap, wait--” Jungkook does a double take at his clock and then his calendar app. “That can’t be, I swear I wrote down that it was--” He holds his phone screen up close to his face, squinting at the numbers. Oh shit. “No way.”

“Ah, their office is all the way across town, you’d never make it in time. Maybe I can call them and tell them you’re running late…” Jungkook’s already begun to tune her out, scrambling out of his seat to put on his jacket and pack his camera bag. Yoongi’s worked too hard to get on the good side of this company just for Jungkook to go and screw it up the second he steps out of the office. His arm gets stuck inside of his jacket and he flaps the sleeve around, accidentally knocking over his mug and spilling coffee all over his desk, including his open laptop. Just his luck.

“Fuck!” he shrugs on the jacket and tries to wipe up the drink with his sleeve. “Please don’t die, I don’t need this right now, please don’t die,” he babbles in full panic. Suhyun yelps and leaps over to pull his possessions out of the way of the spreading liquid.

30 minutes of swearing, soggy napkins, and praying later, Jungkook is very very late for his appointment, and his laptop is very very dead. All of the photos he had been editing, gone. His flash drive he uses as backup storage was also a victim of the Great Flood, leaving him no chance of ever finishing his client’s order. He slams his desk in frustration, making Suhyun jump. It feels like the universe is laughing at him right now and Jungkook silently wonders what he’s ever done to deserve this string of terrible luck. No laptop? Check. No appointment with Hoseok’s bigshot modelling agency? Check. The knowledge that he’s just lost thousands of dollars in equipment and stored photos? Oh yeah, a big fat check. Which also happens to be the one thing he and Taehyung desperately need right now. Way to go, Jungkook, he thinks dryly, What else can you possibly screw up?

Suhyun places a hand on his shoulder sympathetically, looking at the destroyed computer. “Just head home, boss. I’ll take care of everything.” Normally Jungkook would have refused her offer and stayed back to clean this mess up himself, but today he honestly feels that if he touches anything else he’ll only make it worse, so he thanks her quietly and packs up his belongings.

The drive home is long and despite the catastrophic events of the day Jungkook finds it hard to keep his eyes open. He yawns again, blinking the tears from his eyes, and tries to think of what he needs to do in the upcoming week to distract himself from his huge disaster of a life. He promised to visit Yoongi next week (that’ll be fun, explaining to his boss how he lost not one but two major clients in one day. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Jeon Jungkook can do it all). Yoongi claims it’s because he wants to know how things are going at the studio, but Jungkook knows he’ll just end up watching Mina as Yoongi instantly passes out on the couch. Let’s see...Mina’s party is next week too. He still needs to get her a gift.

He absentmindedly taps his fingers on the wheel to the beat of some sappy love song on the radio, humming to himself. Ah, that’s right, he needs to get Taehyung a gift soon too, doesn’t he? Is it really that time of year again? He tries to remember what day it is today. March 20th. So their anniversary is in one month. It’s hard for Jungkook to wrap his head around the fact that they’ve been together for five years already. He can’t remember when exactly their weekly Pillow Fort Friday sleepovers had turned into nightly sleepovers had turned into them just moving in together. It seems like just yesterday he had walked into Taehyung choking on his fingers in attempt to pull his ring off.  He chuckles at the memory, at how young and naive they were. Hell, they’re still young and naive. Jungkook’s already twenty-five and he’s still not sure how he plans to live out the rest of his life. In fact, he’s not really sure about anything-- about his job stability, about how he’ll manage to keep living paycheck to paycheck, or even how he’ll be able to pay for their bills if, god forbid, one of them end up in the hospital.

Except, maybe, he’s sure about one thing. One constant in his life that he could never imagine spending another day without. Despite his terrible mood the thought of coming home to Taehyung each day for the rest of their lives brings a dreamy smile to Jungkook’s lips. Maybe one day, he hopes, when they both have their lives a bit more organized he’ll sit him down and they’ll talk about their futures together. Maybe one day, when Jungkook doesn’t ruin everything he touches as well as the lives of those around him.

As if on cue a loud bam jostles the car as his tire blows out and Jungkook struggles to steer his car safely to the side of the road, swearing profanities and cursing his luck.

His car gets towed to the auto shop after the mechanic presents him with a very high quote of how much the towing and new tire replacement will cost, making Jungkook woozy at the sight of the price. He checks their emergency funds on his bank app and squints his eyes at the alert that their account balance is low. It makes sense; they’ve unfortunately been forced to dip into these funds more and more within the past few weeks, but something about the most recent withdrawal seems off to him. He purses his lips. Taehyung never told him anything about needing to withdraw 100,000 won, but he pockets his phone, figuring he’ll tell him when he gets home.

But Taehyung does not tell him when he gets home. Instead, his question is met with a weak “nothing” and a shifty gaze. Fine. That’s fine. Taehyung doesn’t need to tell him, it’s not like he expected an answer.

Nor does Taehyung tell him the next day, or the next day, for that matter, because neither of them are talking to the other after Jungkook’s, ahem, “temper tantrum.”

The second Taehyung walks out that door Jungkook wishes he could take back everything he’s said, instantly regretting how he yelled at him. The next few days are filled with tense silence. Jungkook gets up earlier and comes home later each day, rarely being up at the same time Taehyung is. Their conversations involve short greetings, hardly more than a “Good morning” or “Have a good day,” and no eye contact whatsoever. Jungkook silently migrates to sleeping on the couch the day he notices that Taehyung takes off his ring.

Taehyung avoids sitting on the couch, which is now Jungkook’s domain, and instead spends most of his time in their bedroom until Jungkook needs to leave for work. In a way, not much has changed. They still don’t get to spend time together, just like before, only now the distance between them is purposeful. Neither will admit that they secretly miss the other, both too proud to break the silence first. Jungkook throws himself into his work to avoid his other responsibilities. He becomes less cheerful in the office, garnering him concerned looks from Suhyun. Once, she asks him how his plan for the proposal is coming along.

He tells her he’s not sure there’ll be one anymore.

 

***

 

“You look like shit,” Yoongi says as he greets Jungkook at the door and lets him into his house.

“You don’t look much better,” Jungkook shoots back. And it’s true, both of them have dark circles and look like they’ve had the life sucked out of them, although for very different reasons. Still, Jungkook knows he shouldn’t take his anger out on Yoongi, and a guilty weight drops in his stomach. “Sorry,” he mumbles.

Yoongi dismisses his comment with a wave. “S’fine. Mina’s been extra cranky because of a cold.” Well, that certainly doesn’t make Jungkook feel any better. Yoongi leads them to the living room, where his daughter is playing amongst a mountain of stuffed animals and building blocks.

“Why is she barricaded in there?” Jungkook points his thumb at the various boxes and sideways chairs that block Mina into her play area.

Yoongi collapses into the sofa with a tired groan. “You’d understand if you were a parent,” his voice comes out muffled from the cushion.

Jungkook shrugs and steps into the ring to play with his godchild. She’s wearing her black hair in three odd pigtails, probably courtesy of Yoongi, and has a Minnie Mouse dress and the tiniest booties on that Jungkook has ever seen. She brightens up when she realizes who Jungkook is and drops her block to crawl over to him.

“Hi, baby! How is the prettiest girl in the world doing? How is Min Mina today?” he babytalks at her and scoops her into his lap, making her squeal with laughter as he rocks her back and forth. Her chubby, rosy cheeks dimple when she laughs, her eyes squinting into little crescents as she gurgles at her uncle. Jungkook blows raspberries into her cheeks and she squeals some more.

They usually have a drill. A tag-team, almost. Jungkook visits Yoongi and Hoseok’s house to “talk,” but ends up babysitting Mina for a couple hours as one or both of her parents crash on the couch. However, this time, Jungkook has some actual talking he wants to get done.

“So, before you pass out,” he starts. Yoongi struggles to blink his eyes open. His face is smushed into the armrest, ready to conk out already.

“Huh?” He grunts. He rolls onto his side. “Did you actually want to talk about business today? Can’t we just,” Yoongi interrupts himself with a yawn, “talk about it...later…”

“Hyung, wake up, this is important.”

“What could be more important than sleep?” Already, Yoongi’s eyelids are drooping back closed.

“I had a fight with Taehyung,” Jungkook says quickly, before Yoongi can fall back asleep. “We aren’t talking to each other.”

This wakes Yoongi up. “Oh, shoot.” He sits up at attention now.

“Yeah, it fuckin—”

“Language,” Yoongi hisses.

Flipping sucks,” Jungkook corrects and pats Mina’s head in apology for the vulgarity.  He swallows thickly. “I can’t tell if he’s mad at me or I’m mad at him at this point, our fights have never lasted this long before.”

“When did it happen?”

“About a week ago…” Jungkook fiddles with Mina’s little fingers. “I… I snapped at him. Money’s been really tight and I had a bad day with some clients and then my tire blew out, so. When I saw that he withdrew a lot of money from our emergency funds I got really worried, but he didn’t tell me-- still won’t tell me-- what it was for, so I blew up at him,” he admits, his stomach twisting in guilt now that he hears the story out loud. “It was stupid. I’ve been stressed from work and I let it affect my personal life, and now my boyfriend won’t even talk to me.”

“Was this your guys’ first fight?” Yoongi asks in disbelief.

“The first one that’s lasted so long.”

Yoongi thinks in silence for a few moments, before speaking up. “Well, you can talk to me about the clients later, but it seems like you don’t really need me to help you find a solution. You know what you need to do.”

“I know,” Jungkook groans. “But, some encouragement would be nice.”

“What do you expect me to say?” Yoongi raises an eyebrow.

“I don’t know! Something like, ‘you need to find middle ground,’ or ‘don’t go to bed angry,’ or some cheesy advice that all old married couples give.”

“Old? Aren’t you too old to still come crying to me about boys?”

“How do you and Hoseok hyung do it?” Jungkook ignores his comment.

“What, make up after a fight?” Yoongi asks. Jungkook nods. Yoongi purses his lips in thought. “I’d say, we normally put aside our differences because we’re a team. Even before Mina. At the end of the day, you need to sit down and think about what it is you really want from the other person and this relationship, and if whatever you’re fighting about is really worth ending that partnership for. So my advice: give each other some space, but don’t wait too long before they decide that the relationship isn’t worth their time. Talk to Taehyung honestly about everything you’re worried about. Love is a two way street. ”

Jungkook sighs. “That’s what I thought you’d say.”

“Then why’d you even ask?” Yoongi scoffs.

Jungkook hugs Mina to his chest. “‘Cuz you’re smart and you’ve been happy with Hoseok hyung since like the dinosaur age and you seem like you know what you’re doing,” he huffs, Mina’s soft hair tickling his nose.

Yoongi snorts. “Kid, at no point in any moment in my life do I know what the flip I’m doing. Also, Hoseok and I started dating on the exact same day that you two started dating.”

“Well, okay, but look how much better your lives are! You have great jobs and a great house and a great daughter!” Jungkook raises Mina up to prove his point. “And look at us, I can’t even afford to add on guacamole at Chipotle anymore.”

Yoongi reaches out to ruffle Jungkook’s hair affectionately. “Don’t stress too much by comparing yourself to others, Guk. Everyone goes through life at their own pace and, honestly, the quality of your life can’t be measured by luxury goods. Every couple’s relationship is different.”

Jungkook flops onto his back and let’s Mina crawl on his stomach. “I know, but it’d be nice to look at your bank account balance and not want to throw up, too,” he groans.

Yoongi bites his lip in thought. He opens his mouth as if to say something, but then changes his mind and goes to pick up Mina.

“Huh? You’re not gonna sleep?” Jungkook asks in confusion. Yoongi never passes up a chance to sleep. Never.

Yoongi smiles and shakes his head. “I’ll rest when I put her down for a nap later. For now, I think there’s more important business you need to tend to.” He gives Jungkook a knowing look.

Jungkook knows he’s right. Yoongi’s always fucking right. (Except maybe his fashion choice— that’s still questionable.)

“Fine. You’re right. I’ll go talk things out with him.” Jungkook picks himself up and gives Mina a kiss on the cheek goodbye.

Yoongi smiles. “Attaboy.”

 

***

 

Jungkook doesn’t hesitate. The second Taehyung walks through the front door, Jungkook is up and striding over to him. He immediately wraps him in the biggest, warmest, tightest hug he can muster and buries his face into Taehyung’s shoulder.

“Huh-? Jungkook? What’s wrong?” Taehyung panics. “Did something happen?” He tries to gently push Jungkook away so that he can look at his face, but Jungkook only holds on even tighter.

“I don’t want to let go,” Jungkook mumbles into Taehyung’s shirt. He breathes in deeply, relishing his favorite scent. Of Taehyung. Of home.

Taehyung reaches up to stroke Jungkook’s hair. “Baby, what’s wrong? Did you get hurt? I’m serious, Jungkook, I’m kinda freaking out,” he laughs, but it comes choked out and nervous. Even in the middle of a fight, Taehyung would drop everything for Jungkook.

“I’m fine,” Jungkook says, but his voice cracks. He feels Taehyung’s shirt dampening from his tears. “I just...Do you know how much I fucking love you?”

Jungkook’s question takes Taehyung back by surprise. “I—”

“A whole fucking lot. I need you—” Jungkook’s voice cracks again and he lifts his head up to meet eyes with Taehyung. “I need you to know how much I love you, and cherish you, and am inspired by you. You’re my favorite person in the entire world, and I didn’t mean to hurt you. I mean I did, at the time, but I shouldn’t have and I’m sorry but that doesn’t excuse what I did and I don’t deserve your forgiveness and—”

“Whoa, whoa, Kook, slow down,” Taehyung tries to calm him down and gently guides them both down on the sofa. “Take deep breaths, babe. I’m listening.” He rubs Jungkook’s arms soothingly and gives him a little nod to tell him to go on.

Jungkook wipes away his tears and tries to collect his breathing. He hadn’t realized he had started to cry so hard. He grabs Taehyung’s hands and places them in his lap, fixing his eyes on them because he knows the second he looks back up at Taehyung’s open, caring expression he’s done for, and he’d never be able to get out what he needs to say.

“I’m sorry,” he says. He takes a quick peek at Taehyung’s expression to gauge his reaction. It’s neutral, waiting for Jungkook to continue, so he does. “I’m sorry I lashed out at you last week. I’ve been so stressed recently about money and work and doing a good job for Yoongi hyung. I put a lot on my shoulders, and I know I’m not the best at expressing my feelings. But that doesn’t excuse what I did, and I should’ve talked to you about everything. We should have communicated more.”

Taehyung bites his lip and nods. “Yeah.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook echos. He takes another deep breath to clear his head. “And before you say anything, I want to get something off of my chest.”

Taehyung’s brow is furrowed in worry, but he squeezes Jungkook’s hands to let him know it’s okay to continue. Jungkook squeezes back.

“You, Kim Taehyung, are the light of my life. You’re kind, and you’re beautiful, your soul is beautiful, and you’re my better half. I have no idea what I did in my past life to deserve meeting you in this one, but please know, that everyday I get to be with you makes me so, so , happy.” Jungkook chokes up and he can feel the tears begin to swell up again. “And I plan on spending the rest of my days with you, so I don’t want something stupid like this tearing us apart. We’re a team and I’m on your side no matter what, and even if sometimes we argue, nothing in this world is worth losing you over.”

When Jungkook looks up, tears are streaming freely down Taehyung’s cheeks and dripping off of his chin.

“Jeon Jungkook,” he chokes. His face is twisted into an expression that looks as if he wants to sob and laugh at the same time. “Did you just propose to me?”

Jungkook swallows and holds his gaze. “Yes. But we can talk about that later. I’d like you to accept my apology first.” He bites his lower lip. “Or at least, consider it.”

There’s a pause of silence in which Jungkook begins worrying that maybe Taehyung would tell him to go fuck off.

“You’re stupid ,” Taehyung cries, flinging himself onto Jungkook and knocking him down onto the couch cushions. “You’re so stupid. Of course I forgive you. I missed you so much. I had no idea why you were mad at me,” Taehyung is sobbing now on Jungkook’s chest.

“I’m so sorry,” Jungkook apologizes again. He pulls Taehyung in closer and rests his cheek on his head. “You must’ve hated me.”

“I tried to convince myself I did, but I couldn’t. I missed you too damn much,” Taehyung sniffles. “So fuck you,” he says with a tearful smile.

“I deserve that.”

“Damn straight. Also, this is the 21st century. I don’t need a man to provide for me.” Jungkook laughs and buries his nose in Taehyung’s hair. “But thank you,” he adds quietly, “for working hard to support both of us while I look for a job.”

Jungkook clears his throat. “But thats the real reason why I’m so anxious, Tae, you lost your job because of me, and it could happen again. Yoongi hyung’ll never fire me, but my salary is nothing compared to yours. It'll always be you who's settling for less, for as long as we're together. And I think you don't deserve that.”

“Are you… saying we should break up?” Taehyung’s voice is guarded.

Jungkook shakes his head quickly. “No. I don’t want that.”

“Me neither.” Taehyung settles more firmly against Jungkook’s chest. “Guk, I want all of it with you, the good and the bad, everything. I don't care about the money, or if we can't afford a big place or get a dog, as long as I have you I'll be happy. But you have to tell me things, okay?”

Jungkook nods, and closes his eyes.

They rest together, tangled up like that, listening to each other’s heart beat to the steady sound of their breathing. Jungkook absentmindedly rubs his thumb across Taehyung’s left hand.

“I never stopped loving you, you know.”

Jungkook stops. Looks down. “Huh?”

“Do you remember?” Taehyung chuckles. “When I first got your stupid ring stuck on my finger. We promised I’d keep it on for as long as I loved you.”

Jungkook does remember. “So, why did you take it off? Not that I’m saying you need to keep it on, I’m not in control of you or anything—”

“I had to get it engraved to match yours.”

Jungkook blinks.

Taehyung blinks back.

“Match. Mine?” he asks dumbly.

Taehyung nods and settles back down into Jungkook’s chest. “I was actually gonna propose to you, but it looks like you beat me to the punch,” he laughs dryly. He holds his left hand out to look at his empty ring finger. “That’s what I took the money out for. I had this big plan of taking you to Disneyland, too. I’m sorry for not telling you about the money, but I didn’t want you to find out.”

“You want to marry me?”

Taehyung puts his hand back down. “I…” he hesitates, and Jungkook’s heart drops into his stomach. “Give me some time, Guk. I need to do some more thinking.” Taehyung looks up into Jungkook’s eyes with a tired, timid expression.

Jungkook gently cups his cheek and guides his face down to give Taehyung a soft, sweet kiss on the lips. “Of course. Take all the time you need.”

Taehyung gives him a small smile. “Thanks.” He closes his eyes and leans in to kiss Jungkook again. It’s slow, neither of them are in any rush. They savor the feel, the taste, the smell of the other in their arms once again. When Taehyung breaks away his lips are red and puffy.

“Are you gonna come join me in bed tonight?” he asks shyly.

Jungkook boops him on the nose and smiles. “I thought you’d never ask.”

Taehyung breaks out into a grin. “Good. It was hard to sleep without having you to spoon.”

“Imagine trying to sleep on this cruddy thing then.” Jungkook slaps the sofa to make his point as a cloud of dust erupts from the seams.

Taehyung pinches Jungkook’s cheeks. “My poor baby boy,” he teases. Jungkook grins wickedly and scoops Taehyung up in his arms, eliciting a squeal from him. “Put me down!”

“Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, ” Jungkook sings as he carries Taehyung like a ragdoll into their bedroom.

“Don’t you dare quote Rick Astley at me—” Taehyung yelps as Jungkook tosses him into the middle of the bed.

Jungkook crawls onto the bed after him, giggling. He plops himself on top of Taehyung, effectively pancaking him into the blankets. “Oh yeah? What are you gonna do about it?”

Taehyung scrunches his nose. “I’ll shut you up, Jeon Jungkook,” he says and squishes Jungkook’s face between his hands.

Jungkook smirks playfully. “Make me.”

So he does. Taehyung pulls him down for another kiss, and Jungkook is more than happy to comply.

 

***

 

Yoongi lets out the biggest sigh of relief when he sees Jungkook and Taehyung show up at his door hand-in-hand.

“Oh thank god. I really didn’t want to deal with more of your melodramatic asses today,” he says, but a fond smile is on his face.

“It’s nice to see you too, hyung.” Jungkook pulls him in for a tight hug. Yoongi just smiles and pats him on the back.

Taehyung gasps. “And is that the 8-month birthday girl?” He runs past Yoongi to Hoseok who’s holding Mina in his arms.

“Look who it is, Mina! It’s your favorite uncles!” Hoseok gives her a bright grin and bounces her up and down on his hip. Mina reaches out for Taehyung with grabby hands and practically tumbles out of Hoseok’s arms and into his, causing Yoongi to almost have a heart attack. Taehyung plants about 50 kisses all over her chubby face and begins waltzing around the living room with her. Jungkook’s heart clenches.

“Um, excuse me? I thought I was her favorite uncle?”

They all turn around to see a slightly annoyed Jimin tapping his foot, holding a giant teddy bear balloon and about three different gift bags in his arms.

Taehyung sticks his tongue out at him. “Are you her god-parent? No, I didn’t think so.”

Jungkook throws his head back and laughs. The first half-hour of the party is spent trying to get Mina to choose her favorite uncle by placing her in the center of the room, with Taehyung and Jimin on either side cheering for her to come to them. (She ends up toddling over to Jungkook, to their dismay.) They help Mina open presents, and if Jungkook had to estimate he’d say Yoongi took, oh, about a gazillion pictures.

“You’re a professional photographer, hyung, just use your camera.”

“I can’t,” Yoongi pouts. He shows Jungkook his phone, camera roll full of nothing but different shots and videos of his daughter. “This way I can look at her whenever I pull out my phone.”

Jungkook groans. “How are you gonna get any work done when you get back?”

“With you.”

Jungkook pauses from popping a grape into his mouth. “What do you mean?”

“Look, Guk, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this for a while.” Yoongi pockets his phone. “But the studio is getting a lot busier, and now that I have Mina I don’t think I can handle running everything on my own. So I was wondering… would you be willing to be my right-hand man?”

“Holy shit.”

“Language!” Yoongi warns. Jimin covers Mina’s ears and frowns.

“Holy shoot , are you giving me a raise right now? Are you serious?” Jungkook could cry from joy.

“More than that. I want you to be my business partner. Listen, no one knows Min Studios better than us, and you’ve been doing a really good job as my stand-in.” Yoongi smiles. “So, are you up to it?”

Jungkook tackles Yoongi in a hug. “Yes! Yes yes, of course I’ll take it! Thank you hyung, thank you thank you thank you,” Jungkook smooches Yoongi’s head with each thanks. “I won’t let you down, I promise.

Hoseok walks in and quirks his eyebrow at the scene in front of him. “What did I miss? Did Jungkook propose to my husband?”

“More like your husband proposed to my husband,” Taehyung pipes up.

Jungkook freezes from smothering Yoongi and whips his head towards Taehyung, thinking he misheard. He sees Jimin’s mouth pull into a knowing smile. Something’s up.

Taehyung doesn’t pay attention to Jungkook’s reaction to his words, however, and continues to play patty cake with Mina. The baby girl shrieks with delight as her tiny little hands wrap around Taehyung’s long, slender fingers, trying to clap them together.

Taehyung coos at her. “You’re so pretty, Mina. You’re gonna be the prettiest flower girl at Kookie and I’s wedding, right?”

There’s silence for a moment before the room erupts into yells.

“You guys are getting married?” Hoseok cries. Jimin’s just screaming loudly as he jumps up and down, pumping his fist in the air.

“Flipping finally,” Yoongi mumbles, but he gives Jungkook a congratulatory slap on the back. “Way to go, kid.” His face radiates with pride.

Jungkook, however, is at a loss for words.

He slowly pushes himself off of the floor and walks over to where Taehyung is sitting with Mina. Taehyung looks up, and gives Jungkook a smile, patting the ground next to him in invitation.

Jungkook falls to his knees and wraps his arms around Taehyung. “Really? For real? You want to marry me?” His voice is shaky and he feels like he’s going to faint from how happy he is.

Taehyung hugs Jungkook back. “Yes. 100%. There’s nothing more in this world that I want than that.”

“For the rest of our lives?”

Taehyung chuckles. “That is usually implied with marriage, yes.” He pulls back and rests his forehead on Jungkook’s. “So, is that a yes?” He pulls out a thin platinum band and offers it to Jungkook. On the inside, in dainty lettering, are engraved their initials JJK and KTH with an infinity sign between them.

Jungkook leans in and pecks him on the lips. “Yes.” Another peck. “Yes, absolutely 100, no, 10,000% yes.” He kisses his forehead, then his nose, then his lips, once more. “I love you, you fucker. Yes I’ll marry you,” he whispers. Taehyung bumps their noses together and closes the distance between them to lock lips one more time.

“Good,” Taehyung says between their kisses. “Because I bought that ring 5 years ago as a replacement for the one that got stuck on my finger and I think it’s much too late to return it.” Jungkook just smiles, rolls his eyes, and kisses him again.

Someone blows their nose loudly. “I’ll let your foul language slide this time,” Hoseok says between sobs. “But only because that was the most beautiful proposal I’ve ever seen.” Jimin is weeping into Mina’s hair. Yoongi tries to rub away his tears as he holds his phone up to record a video.

A smile spreads on Jungkook’s lips as his chest bursts with a warm sensation.

He definitely never planned to fall in love with his best friend, and he certainly never expected that said friend would fall in love with him, but hey, sometimes life’s crazy and unpredictable like that.

And Jungkook wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

***

 

10 months later

 

“We have a flipping problem,” Yoongi growls as he bursts into Jungkook’s dressing room with a loud slam of the door, sending various makeup brushes tumbling to the ground as he pushes past racks of clothes to make his way towards Jungkook. Jungkook pauses from fixing his hair at the vanity and looks at Yoongi through the mirror.

“What’s up?”

“We lost the flower girl.”

“Again?” Jungkook spins around. Yoongi’s hair is almost as disheveled as his clothes, and his eyes are wild with worry.

Yoongi nods. “I already checked with your fiance. He said he’d send his brother with Hoseok to go look around for her.” He runs his hands through his hair, making it stick up even more, and lets out a distressed groan. “I let her out of my sight for one second, Kook! One second! What if she got kidnapped? What if she’s lost and afraid?” He falls on his knees to the ground, his breath quickening in panic.

Jungkook quickly gets up to comfort Yoongi, gripping onto his shoulders to calm him down. “Shit. Hyung, it’ll be okay. Hoseok hyung will find her. She’s like, two, how far could she have gotten?” Yoongi begins babbling again about kidnappers and white vans and Jungkook retracts his words so that Yoongi won’t have a full blown panic attack on the floor of his makeshift dressing room. “I mean, what I meant to say was— one of our friends or families probably found her before she could get very far, hyung. I’m sure my aunt or someone is playing with her right now and Hoseok’ll find her any moment.”

Yoongi seems to calm down a little bit. He stands up, brushes his suit off, and walks over to the armchair in the room.

He then picks up the cushion and proceeds to scream into it. From what Jungkook can make out, he yells something along the lines of “worst father in the world” and “grounded for life.”

Jungkook tosses on his jacket and sighs. “C’mon, hyung. Let’s go look for your rascally kid.” He tugs Yoongi’s wrist and they exit out into the hall.

“Mina is not ,” he hiccups, “a rascal. She’s perfect and an angel and-” Yoongi’s phone buzzes suddenly and he pulls it out to check the text. “And Hoseok found her, let’s go!” Jungkook yelps as Yoongi takes off in a sprint and begins dragging him down the hall.

They round the corner and practically crash into Hoseok and another man. Yoongi catches his balance (Jungkook does not and falls on his ass) and cries once he sees Mina safe in Hoseok’s arms. He flings himself onto them and begins peppering her with kisses and questions.

“Oh my god. Are you alright? Where did you go? Are you hurt? Don’t you ever leave our sight ever again…” Yoongi lets out a deep breath of relief now that he has his daughter back safe in his arms.

“Hyung, you know she can’t answer your questions, right?” Jungkook chuckles, but he’s relieved that she’s safe as well.

“What the…? Are you covered in frosting?” Yoongi looks down to see that his daughter had smeared rainbow buttercream over both of her dad’s crisp black suits. She grins at them and claps her sticky hands as she gurgles in delight.

“Sorry, I gave her a cupcake, I hope that was alright?” says the other man. He steps forward to shake Yoongi’s hand. “I’m Kim Seokjin, Taehyung’s brother-in-law.”

“Mina saw him eating and wanted one too,” Hoseok explains. He pinches her cheek. “Naughty little girl,” he scolds, but despite his annoyance his voice is full of relief.

“Wait, the cupcakes for the reception?” Jungkook shoots Jin an accusatory glare and Jin glances away.

“Anyway, I’m glad she wasn’t lost for very long. I know how scary that can be,” Jin changes the subject.

“You have kids too?” Yoongi asks.

“Oh, no. My husband is pathetic when it comes to directions so he’s constantly getting lost. He’s asked me to put a tracker on his phone so I’ll always be able to find him when it happens.”

Yoongi laughs dryly. “Ha. That reminds me of a friend I had in college.”

“Hyung?”

Everyone turns towards the approaching guest. It’s Taehyung’s brother, Jungkook recognizes him from his voice. It seems Yoongi does too.

“Namjoon?”

An uncomfortable silence falls over the group as Namjoon joins them. He clears his throat awkwardly. Hoseok and Jin give each other confused looks.

“Uh, hi,” Namjoon says to Yoongi. His eyebrows are furrowed in surprise. “Didn’t expect to run into you here.”

Yoongi’s face is equally shocked. “Same.” He takes in Namjoon as if he had just walked out of a dream. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m the groom’s brother. What are you doing here?”

“The other groom’s best man.”

Namjoon turns to Jungkook and seems to notice him for the first time. “Ah.”

“Do you guys, like, know each other or something?” Hoseok asks.

Both of them stay quiet, a silent conversation passing between them as if asking the other if they’d care to explain. Eventually, Yoongi speaks up.

“We used to date. In college.”

“Yeah,” Namjoon agrees. He shifts his weight to his other foot.

Jungkook glances between the two of them. There’s a strange tension in the air, and he’s sure there’s more to their story than they’re letting on, but he doesn’t press them any further.

“Ohhhhh,” Jin says, bringing a hand to his mouth. “So this is the infamous Min Yoongi I’ve heard all about.” His eyes crinkle up at the corners mischievously.

“What,” Yoongi deadpans. He raises an eyebrow at Namjoon, who’s currently progressing to tomato level redness.

“Ignore him. Hyung, this is Jin, my husband,” Namjoon slides his arm around Jin’s waist.

Something clicks in Yoongi’s brain. “Wait, this is your husband?”

Namjoon is startled. “Yes, why?”

Yoongi gestures at Jin’s face. “Just look at him! You bagged a 10?”

Jin throws his head back and laughs. “I can see why you liked him so much, Joon,” he stage-whispers to Namjoon.

“Hold up, you’re Joon?” Now it’s Hoseok’s turn to be surprised. He gives Yoongi A Look and raises his eyebrows, a sly smile crawling onto his lips. “This is ‘Joonie’?”

Yoongi shoves Hoseok’s shoulder (gently, because he’s still holding Mina) and hisses at him to shut up.

“Joon, this is my husband, Hoseok,” Yoongi grumbles, eyes averted away from Namjoon. His cheeks turn even pinker as Hoseok snickers at his use of the nickname.

“You got married?” Namjoon asks in disbelief.

“And got a kid!” Hoseok raises Mina in the air proudly. She kicks her legs and squeals. He brings her back down and taps her palm. “Say hi to Appa’s ex-boyfriend, Mina!”

“Hi,” she says shyly.

In all of Jungkook’s years of knowing Yoongi, he has never once seen the man want to die more than he does right now.

“Wow,” Namjoon breathes. “I never would’ve expected you as the type to settle down, hyung,” he chuckles.

Yoongi’s ears are on fire now. “Yeah, well,” he shrugs. “People change.”

“We should, I dunno, catch up or something,” Namjoon suggests after a pause. He rubs his neck sheepishly.

“I don’t know…”

“Yes, it can be a double date!” Jin claps. He turns to Hoseok. “You won’t believe how much Namjoon used to talk about Yoongi when we first started dating, it drove me crazy . Did he ever tell you about the time they went skinny dipping?”

“No,” Hoseok breathes, scandalized. “Tell me more.” The two of them lean their heads close together and begin whispering like the gossipy ladies at church.

“I take this back, this was a terrible idea. It was nice seeing you, hyung, but we gotta get going now,” Namjoon does a 180 and attempts to march off but Jin catches his wrist and tugs him back.

“No, no, Joon. Hoseok was just about to spill all the details of what Yoongi’s told him about you, we can’t leave yet.”

Yoongi’s eyes widen in panic and he grabs Mina from Hoseok’s arms. “Um, would you look at the time, I need to go put Mina down for her nap now. Right now, let’s go, babe.”

“Huh? She just took her nap, what are you talking about—” Yoongi claps a hand over Hoseok’s mouth.

“Did I say nap? I meant frosting. We need to go clean up this frosting. It was nice seeing you, Joon. Nice to meet you, Jin. See you at the wedding.” Yoongi begins to walk away with Mina slung over his shoulder, but Hoseok has other ideas.

Hoseok links arms with Jin. “That’s okay, you guys should come with us!” Yoongi freezes in his step.

“I don’t think that’s a good--”

“That’s a great idea!” Jin says, waving away Namjoon’s protests.

Sensing that things are about to get exponentially more awkward, Jungkook bids them all goodbye and slips away to finish getting prepared for his wedding. (Yoongi shoots him daggers for abandoning him, but what was he supposed to do, show up half-dressed to his own wedding? Sorry, Yoongi, better luck next time.)

On his way back he stops by Taehyung’s dressing room to check in on him. He knocks and enters when Taehyung’s singsong voice invites him in.

He’s sitting at the vanity doing his eyebrows, a big pink bow headband holding his hair back. He’s leaning forward, tongue sticking out in concentration. He’s so focused that he doesn’t notice as Jungkook approaches him from behind and wraps his arms around his torso.

“You look beautiful,” he says into his ear.

Taehyung slaps his hands away and covers his chest with his arms protectively. “Hey! We’re not supposed to see each other before the wedding.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s only for wedding gowns.”

“Oh, so what? Only heteros get to have fun with wedding traditions?”

“No one’s stopping you from wearing a dress, Tae,” Jungkook counters.

Taehyung puckers his lips. “True. You know I’d look damn good in one, anyway.” He turns his attention back to the mirror and Jungkook chuckles. “Also, I know we just averted a crisis, but we have another one.”

“Are you referring to how your brother and Yoongi hyung are probably going to have a foursome with their spices after the reception, or something else?”

“Spices?” Taehyung pauses from applying eyeliner to shoot Jungkook a confused look.

Jungkook shrugs. “Plural of spouse.”

Taehyung nods in agreement. “Makes sense.” Whether he’s agreeing with the foursome or the use of the word spices, Jungkook can’t tell. “But no, I’m talking about something else.”

“What’s wrong?”

“So, you know how we’ve been using our matching rings as engagement rings?”

“Yes?”

“And how we’ve been holding onto our wedding bands to surprise each other with at the altar?”

“Yes…?”

“Well,” Taehyung begins with an embarrassed grimace.

“I don’t like where this is going.”

Taehyung holds his left hand up. “I may have tried your wedding band on to see if it fits and I may have accidentally gotten it stuck. Again.”

Jungkook stares at his second ring to get stuck on Taehyung’s finger for 3 whole seconds before doubling over in laughter. Taehyung begins giggling at the ridiculousness of it all as well, and soon both of them are on the floor in tears.

Jungkook wheezes to catch his breath. “I can’t believe you.”

Taehyung rolls to his side with a blinding, ridiculous grin on his face. “Well, what did you expect?”

“Honestly? I thought that six years ago when I walked in on you gagging on your own kinky fingers I would walk away and both of us would pretend that it never happened and go on with our lives, but look where we are now.”

Taehyung waggles his eyebrows suggestively. “Yeah. Now you can see me gagging on my own kinky fingers all the time.” He bursts into giggles as Jungkook shoves him in embarrassment.

“You’re ridiculous.”

You’re marrying me . You’re ridiculous.”

“We’re both ridiculous,” Jungkook agrees. “This is ridiculous. I love you. We’re getting married. What the fuck.”

Taehyung hums in agreement. “What the fuck indeed.”

Jungkook reaches out go cup Taehyung’s face in his palms. “I love you.”

Taehyung blushes and a shy smile creeps onto his face, but he doesn’t move to push Jungkook’s hands away. “You already said that, you big sap.”

“Well, get used to it because once we’re married I’m never gonna shut up about how much I love you, I hope you’re prepared for that.”

“Oh no—”

“IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyou--”

Taehyung laughs and tries to clap his hand over Jungkook’s mouth. “You’re embarrassing!”

Jungkook licks Taehyung’s palm and smirks when he retracts his hand with a squeal. “I’m not the one who’s gotten two rings stuck on his finger,” he counters.

Taehyung sticks his tongue out and giggles his deep and cutesy giggle that Jungkook adores so much. “Well then, I guess we’re perfect for each other. Both ridiculous and both embarrassing.” Taehyung’s eyelashes flutter, and suddenly he’s leaning in to give Jungkook a chaste kiss on the mouth. It’s sweet, a bit romantic, even, if you ignore the fact that they’re on the floor of one of their venue’s spare storage rooms, but Jungkook doesn’t mind.

He doesn’t mind their beaten up car, or their shitty apartment, or even all the judgmental looks they’ve ever received, because fuck that. Fuck worrying about things out of his control, they’re nothing but temporary burdens. But this? This right here, what he has with Taehyung, is permanent. Grounding. Why stress about day-to-day problems when all he’s ever needed is his best friend, his partner , by his side?

Jungkook kisses back. When he pulls away he presses their foreheads together, and Taehyung looks at him through his long lashes with expectant eyes.

“I love you, and all the ridiculousness that comes with you, and I can’t wait to share the rest of our embarrassing lives together,” he whispers.

A blush creeps onto Taehyung’s cheeks and he swallows. “I love you too. More than you’ll ever know. But please save it for the wedding, if I start crying now I’ll ruin my makeup.”

Jungkook chuckles and helps him off the floor. “Alright. Be prepared to fix your makeup at the altar, then, because my vows will have you bawling your eyes out.”

Taehyung settles back into his place at the mirror and snorts. “Nice try. We both know that you’re the crybaby. My vows are gonna have you sobbing on your knees.”

Jungkook cracks a smile. “To be honest, I think I’ll start crying as soon as I hear the Wedding March start to play,” he admits.

Jungkook watches over Taehyung’s shoulder as he finishes applying his makeup and fixing his hair. When he’s done he places his hands on his shoulders and looks at him in the mirror.

Taehyung reaches up to link fingers with Jungkook and rubs his thumb across his matching ring. “Ready?” he smiles up at him.

Jungkook smiles back.

“With you, I’m ready for anything.”