According to Taehyung’s grandmother, there’s no such thing as being too prepared. He begs to differ as he struggles to carry his five suitcases down the hallway. He’s not as much of a spectacle now, considering there are other college students with large luggage as well. But he was quite the sight to see as he stuffed all five suitcases and himself onto the crowded train to get here.
He’s a hazard to himself and his brand new floormates. Especially with the speed he has and no regard for anyone’s ankles, but he’s eager. Taehyung’s spent 148 miles pent up on the bullet train with his mind and heart racing.
Truthfully, Taehyung isn’t afraid of change; but adjusting from life in Daegu on his grandparents' farm to life in the city of Seoul made him equally anxious and enthusiastic.
Since he was a kid, Taehyung’s anxiety has presented itself as what most people including his teachers see as some form of hyperactivity. It doesn’t help that he’s always had more energy than his grandparents knew what to do with, but when Taehyung’s excited about something he’s excited.
For years, his grandparents’ solution to his seemingly black hole of vigor was to promote after-school activities such as basketball, dance, and band. It resulted more in him discovering his underlying love for sports, performing arts, and the saxophone than exhausting him by the time he came home. But his grandparents were delighted all the same.
Taehyung wasn’t even positive he wanted to go to college. Life on the farm seemed just fine, but his grandparents have been saving for him to go since he was born and he’s never told them no a day in his life. So a picked major in Zoology and five overstuffed suitcases later, he’s half-jogging down the fourth-floor hallway of his dorm building.
His grandparents are worried sick about him traveling here all alone, but Taehyung insisted on doing it himself. More than anything, Taehyung just wanted to make his family proud. He thought it’d be easy to start by impressing them with his ability to travel alone.
Independence has always come naturally to Taehyung. He’s innovative, social, and creative. Just those three characteristics alone have more or less gotten him through his years. But he’s also got a fearlessness in him that makes him fit to take on any challenge. Including a brand new life in Seoul.
Taehyung’s dorm room is all the way at the end of the hallway, and he’s pretty sure he spots his roommate standing outside of their door.
They’ve spoken a few times after their university matched them. Nothing much past exchanging names, hometowns, and majors, but Taehyung is positive they’ll be friends in no time. He’s never had trouble in that department.
“Hey, Jimin?” Taehyung calls like a question but approaches him with confidence.
As Jimin turns his head, he’s greeted with a smile on Taehyung almost as blindingly bright as the shine in his eyes. Jimin does a double, triple take because he could swear Taehyung’s glowing. He’s never seen anyone with such a robust natural brightness to them before. Like personified sunshine. Something about Taehyung makes Jimin feel warm and invited, and he doesn’t even really know him yet.
“Taehyung?” Jimin says back, similar to Taehyung’s tone. He shrugs his bags off of his shoulder to have a free arm to shake Taehyung’s hand. But he finds himself in a hug instead. Taehyung bypasses his outstretched hand and hooks his chin over Jimin’s shoulder, pulling them chest to chest.
Taehyung’s giggling in the back of his throat, and it rings sweetly in Jimin’s ear before it’s followed by, “Hi, how are you? How long have you been here?”
Despite the unexpected affection, the first thing Jimin finds himself noting about his roommate is that his voice doesn’t fit his body. Taehyung’s about two inches taller, much lankier than Jimin, and sort of a babyface. He’s got round cheeks, and an innocent curiosity to the way he examines everything around him. Like he’s seeing the world for the first time and he’s in awe of it. And truthfully, the last thing Jimin expected was for a voice that deep to come out of him.
It’s cute in a surprising kind of way, but Jimin pushes those thoughts aside to answer Taehyung’s questions.
When the two of them finally separate, Jimin tells him, “I’m good. Exhausted from traveling, but good. And I’ve only been here for a few minutes. I was actually waiting for you.”
“For me?” Taehyung asks, eyes expanding just a bit as his bottom lip pokes out in what Jimin interprets as confusion. He’s placing his bags on the floor to give his arms a break and shakes them a bit wild as he attempts to gain proper circulation again.
Jimin shrugs. He thought about just going on in, but he didn’t know how Taehyung would’ve reacted if he arrived and Jimin was already halfway moved in. Maybe Taehyung was fond of a specific side. Jimin thought perhaps it’d be better to wait and do it together. Roommates and all. Have to start compromising early to learn each other’s boundaries.
Simply, Jimin explains, “Thought maybe it’d be easier just in case you wanted a certain side or something.”
“Ah,” Taehyung says in response, his giggle returning like he’s amused. He places his arm on Jimin’s shoulder and says, “That’s sweet, but I’m really not that picky. Either side is fine. You can choose.”
Although Jimin’s been there longer, Taehyung is the one that has their room’s keycard handy, so he enters first. Jimin’s following close behind as Taehyung flicks on the light and then immediately halts without warning, causing Jimin to run right into Taehyung’s back.
“Dude,” Jimin calls, trying his best to keep his voice from sounding like he’s scolding Taehyung. It’s way too early in their roommate-ship for them to fight but, seriously, what the fuck? Jimin hopes Taehyung’s got a good reason for coming to a dead stop after only taking no more than three steps into their room.
Jimin’s mouth collided with Taehyung’s shoulder blade and his bottom lip is stinging a bit. He taps it to make sure it’s not bleeding.
Taehyung seems unaffected by their human bumper cars, though. Actually, he looks distracted. Fixated on something that Jimin hasn’t thought to look at since he’s been recovering rather dramatically. But when he does, he drops the bag he’s carrying on the carpet, and his eyes grow in size.
To their right, planted obnoxiously between two desks on its adjacent walls, sits a king size bed. Outside, the sun acts as a spotlight and shines directly in the middle of the bed. Sort of petrified, Jimin’s eyes examine the rest of the room, but everything else seems to check out.
Two desks, two chairs, two dressers, two closets, two nightstands… one bed. Something is clearly very, very wrong.
“Um,” Taehyung says, but his voice cracks on the single word. He scratches at the back of his head and says sheepishly, clearly trying to make light of the situation, “You want the left side or the right?”
But Jimin’s not laughing. He doesn’t find this funny, and he doesn’t have it in him at the moment to make jokes about it.
This is… weird. Awkward. Clearly a mistake. Jimin is sure Taehyung’s a great guy and all, but he doesn’t know if he can make the jump from hugs to bed sharing that quickly.
“What the fuck?” is what Jimin mumbles under his breath. He steps from behind Taehyung, properly examining the bed now as he approaches. Jimin shakes back the sleeve of his slightly oversized hoodie and sinks his fingertips into the mattress like he’s proving to himself that it’s real. He repeats it, “What the fuck?”
Taehyung watches from the entrance of the room as Jimin walks from one side of the bed to the other. He shakes his head as he does so, mumbles something Taehyung’s ears can’t catch, and then sits at the desk. He doesn’t think it’s time to make another joke about it, but Taehyung figures that’s the side of the room Jimin chooses and goes to the opposite side. He too takes a seat at the desk.
For three elongated minutes, they sit in silence. Taehyung bounces his leg nervously as he tries to think of all of their possible options, but he keeps coming up short. The logical answer would be to call their university and tell them about what must be a misunderstanding. But Taehyung can’t see this situation being fixed promptly.
Today is move-in day. There’s bound to be a mile long list of problems other students are having. Students locked out of their dorms completely, some without running water, some maybe with no bed at all. Somehow, Taehyung can’t see "luxury king size bed mysteriously placed in a dorm room" shooting its way to the top of their to-do list.
“They made a mistake,” Taehyung says aloud, keeping his eyes on the light gray tile floor below them. He doesn’t mean it like he’s just concluded, but more of a spoken reason to forgive the situation. People make mistakes. Things happen. And honestly, this could be worse.
But Jimin’s response is, “Obviously, Taehyung.”
Taehyung’s always been good at reading people, and he can tell Jimin is more intimidated by the awkwardness of having one bed for two people than he is angry. And also, Jimin’s sort of like an open book. It’s like Taehyung can see what he’s thinking printed clearly on his forehead for him to read. Taehyung leans back to rest against the desk as he waits for Jimin to speak again because he knows he will.
Like clockwork, Jimin says, “We should call someone. There’s a number to call for this kind of shit, right? Dorm room mix-ups and stuff?”
Taehyung clicks his tongue. “Guess we could call Student Services.”
Patting himself down, Taehyung finds his phone in his back pocket and begins to scroll their university’s website for a number to call. He sees one after only a few minutes, offers to call, but Jimin insists on doing it. So instead, Taehyung reads off the number to Jimin.
After a few moments of silence, Jimin starts, “Hi, this is Park Jimin, I’m a freshman. Um, my roommate and I just moved in and...there’s a problem.” Taehyung watches Jimin swing his hand back and forth as he says with a bit of a twisted face, “No, I’m not trying to change my roommate, the problem is with our beds. Or, well, bed.”
Jimin emphasizes the word, hoping to get his point across before he explains. He pulls his feet up onto the chair with him, squishing himself into the small space. But he fits perfectly in a way that has Taehyung envious and damning his long legs. Jimin wraps one arm around his legs and holds the phone with the other. He sort of curls into himself as he speaks; seemingly comfortable in that position.
“There’s only one in here,” Jimin speaks into his phone, but gestures toward the bed in the room like the person on the other end can see it. “It’s a, I don’t know, king size bed?”
Jimin looks over at Taehyung for confirmation. Taehyung nods, but Jimin’s eyes have averted back toward the floor before Taehyung is sure he’s seen. The size is somewhat irrelevant, though. It’d still be a problem if there were only a twin size bed in their room. The point is: they need two beds, but they have one.
For a long while, Taehyung studies Jimin as the talks on the phone. He feels like he’s learning a lot about Jimin from just watching him talk on the phone to resolve the unfortunate circumstances. Taehyung takes notice of the way Jimin talks with his hands. He switches the phone from ear to ear and uses his free hand to express what he’s saying.
Jimin’s got sort of a sweet voice naturally, but Taehyung takes note of the way it deepens when he’s frustrated. His cheeks are slightly blushed, his eyes shoot around the room like a ping-pong ball, and he bites at his bottom lip when he’s forced to listen instead of speak.
Abruptly, Jimin questions, “Well how long is that going to take?”
He’s speaking to someone much older than him, so there’s an apparent effort to stay respectful, but Taehyung can see Jimin losing his patience. He’s learning that Jimin is rather quick-tempered. Taehyung files that information away as well as he continues to watch and listen.
The way Jimin sighs catches Taehyung’s attention because he can hear the disappointment in it. Dropping his head so that his chin is resting on his knees, Jimin asks softly, “What are we supposed to do until then?”
It’s clear that Jimin is displeased with the suggestion he’s given. He rolls his eyes, but says oppositely, “Yes, sir, thank you for your help.”
There are another few moments before Jimin hangs up, but it’s obvious he’s avoiding eye contact. So Taehyung makes him. Clearing his throat to get Jimin’s attention, Taehyung asks slowly, “So...what’s the verdict?”
Closing his eyes, Jimin says, “They said there’s nothing they can do about it until two twin size beds open up. Said it could take over a week. Maybe ten days.”
Taehyung feels his eyebrows rising as well as his tone of voice when he questions back mostly out of shock, “Ten days?”
Jimin’s quiet. There’s nothing else to say. His response is a humming sound and a shrug.
He looks much more nervous than Taehyung. It makes Taehyung want to walk over and hug him; reassure him that everything will be fine and that it could be worse. But Taehyung doesn’t think a hug from him is exactly what Jimin wants right now considering they’re going to be very, very close over this next week and a half.
Rolling his head, still resting on his knees that are pulled up to his chest, Jimin looks at Taehyung. Almost desperately, Jimin admits, “I don’t know what to do.”
For a few seconds, Taehyung thinks. But seeing no other option, he shrugs his shoulders and suggests, “Wanna unpack?”
Taehyung hates awkward silence, so he talks himself in circles when Jimin falls quiet. Truthfully, Jimin can’t quite tell yet if Taehyung is a chatterbox all the time, or just only when he’s nervous. But Jimin’s beginning to get the feeling it’s all the time.
As they unpack, their difference in personalities begins to show. Taehyung’s more organized than Jimin, and he starts with his closet. He’s packed his clothes according to sleeve length and hangs them accordingly. Jackets, to sweaters, to long sleeves, to short sleeves. He’s got a variety of color in his wardrobe; full of different patterns and prints. But when he sneaks a glance over at Jimin, he’s setting up figurines on his desk.
There are action figures Taehyung doesn’t recognize in the mix of some that he does. Jimin places his computer down in the center, then adorns the rest of the space with books.
Apparently, Jimin likes to read. Taehyung's easily able to infer that much. But just for conversational purposes, he asks lightly, “You plan on reading all of those?”
Jimin’s smiling, Taehyung can hear it without seeing his face, as he responds, “Well, I hope so. Or I wasted my money buying them, huh?”
Taehyung’s wearing a soft smile on his face as he begins folding his pants into the middle drawer of his dresser.
He says back, “Guess so.”
“You like to read?” Jimin asks Taehyung, the two of them still back to back as they work on making their respective sides feel a little more like home. Jimin pulls another book out of his suitcase and finds it a place on his desk.
Taehyung huffs. “Comic books count?”
Jimin turns around, eyebrows a bit furrowed. He looks offended on Taehyung’s behalf. He says firmly, “Of course, they do.”
With his face still turned away, the smile on Taehyung’s face grows. When he can get himself to stop smiling so much, Taehyung answers back with a laugh, “Then I love to read.”
There are a few beats of silence before Jimin says, "You'll have to show me some of your favorites sometime."
It's nothing, but Taehyung finds himself nearly beaming. He wasn't nervous about becoming friends with Jimin until they walked into their bed situation. But the promise of the two of them doing something together, suggested by Jimin, just takes away some of Taehyung's worry. He wants all of this to work out smoothly and for them to genuinely enjoy each other's company.
"I brought some with me," Taehyung says happily. His eyes sparkle like fireworks at the realization. He's turning around to look at Jimin, so Jimin turns back around as well. Taehyung gestures vaguely to the four other suitcases of his tossed off to the side as he tells Jimin, "You can read them whenever you want, you don't even have to ask!"
Taehyung's personality is cute. Jimin keeps catching himself smiling at the little things Taehyung says and does. He sort of makes Jimin question whether the two of them are actually the same age. There's something about Taehyung that makes him seem a few years younger, or maybe there's something about Jimin that makes him feel older. But either way, Jimin thinks the faux age gap is cute just like him too.
Pushing his bottom lip out a bit, Jimin says, "Thanks," before returning his attention to unpacking and decorating.
Soon after, Taehyung sparks up another conversation. He's talking about music now; telling Jimin about his different playlists and offering to share if Jimin's interested. Taehyung makes everything sound interesting so quite naturally, Jimin is intrigued.
And for those few hours they were unpacking and talking, Jimin forgot about their awkward sleeping situation. He found himself enjoying Taehyung's company and letting himself get lost in their conversation. And more than a few times, Jimin thought to himself that he's lucky to have been in this situation with Taehyung. Anyone else, and it would've been plain awful.
Jimin's starting to learn that Taehyung's got a knack for making lemonade out of lemons.
It takes a while, but Taehyung convinces Jimin they should go to the department store to at least get a bedsheet, some pillows, and a blanket for the bed. Tells Jimin that if they’re stuck with it for ten days, they might as well properly use it.
Jimin convinces Taehyung that they need to drink tonight. Tells Taehyung that if they’re stuck with spending their first ten nights with only one bed, it’s only right that they start their college experience the proper way― with vodka.
Their trip to the department store lets them know that they’re going to argue a lot. Most likely nothing major, but frequently nonetheless. It took them an hour to decide on a bed-set that suited both of their preferences, and in the end, Jimin ended up letting Taehyung decide. He didn’t really care anyway; the situation is temporary.
But they’re also learning they make up in record time. The two are both very head-strong with it comes to certain things, but only after a few heated moments, they find themselves both apologizing for getting too worked up too quickly.
The fitted sheet, cover, and blanket set they eventually agree on is an interesting color mix of green, light purple, and dull orange. It sort of reminds Jimin of those abstract paintings he’s seen on the internet and in galleries where the artist seemingly just splatters their paint all over the canvas. But Taehyung likes it, and Jimin isn’t going to judge.
Jimin’s also learning that he unexpectedly has a hard time telling Taehyung no. Jimin’s top pick was a navy blue blanket and bed set. It had white horizontal lines that started at the halfway point of the blanket and turned into swirls by the end of the fabric. In Jimin’s opinion, it was the perfect, more neutral design. It’s not the one the two of them left with, though. To be honest, Jimin didn't put up too much of a fight. And the light in Taehyung's eyes when Jimin finally agreed to his choice made it all worth it.
As they’re leaving the department store, Jimin says, “The alcohol is completely my pick, then,” as he tries to get his footing between the two of them.
Truthfully, Jimin was hoping it would cause Taehyung to whine or protest, but he just shrugs. He tells Jimin lightly, “I don’t really drink that often, so I don’t have much of a preference. This one's all you.”
Not sure if he's more taken back by the fact that Taehyung rarely drinks, or the fact that he doesn’t have a preferred brand, but Jimin covers his heart with his hand for dramatic effect.
Playfully, Jimin says, “I have so much to teach you, young grasshopper.”
Taehyung just smiles. He tells Jimin as they’re entering the bus, “You’re gonna regret going to your first class tomorrow with a hangover.”
That’s a chance Jimin thinks he’s willing to take.
Honestly, they don’t drink too much. Just enough to loosen them up. And by the time they find out that making a king size bed― even sober and with two people― is hard, they’re pretty loosened up. They laugh at each other and with each other as they attempt to set up the bed. Despite their best efforts, they finish tangled up in sheets and giggles and sit with their legs crossed in the center of their bed.
A split decision with Taehyung in mind has Jimin picking a case of beer over a bottle of vodka. Entirely unlike him, but there’s a soft smile on Taehyung’s face as he eyes Jimin’s choice of drink that also makes Jimin smile.
On their bed, they talk about everything from their childhood to what they hope to do with their lives after they graduate. They learn about each other’s families, what type of students they were in high school, and even about each other’s first kiss. Momentarily they talk politics, for a long time they talk sexuality, and they somehow end up debating whether a gorilla could take down a tiger.
They're learning it's effortless talking to each other. They’ve only just met, but nothing seems off limits. Somehow, there’s no tension between them or any worry that they’re going to say something to anger the other. It’s almost as if they’ve known each other their entire lives.
The clock is just changing to 1:44 in the morning, but the two of them are fast asleep. Somewhere during their chatting, the two of them had agreed for one to sleep on the floor and the other to take the bed. And each night, until the ten nights were up, they’d rotate.
But they’ve fallen asleep side by side in the middle of the bed before they could rock, paper, scissors for the winner of tonight. The bed is much more comfortable than the tile floor though, so they’re both winners.
Besides, neither of them really wanted to sleep on the floor anyway.
The first thing Jimin realizes when he wakes up is Taehyung’s head on his shoulder. Technically, the first thing Jimin realizes is his alarm blaring, but a close second is Taehyung sleeping on him. Mostly because his right shoulder is a bit numb from the pressure on it for hours.
Jimin doesn’t remember falling asleep on the bed with Taehyung, and he definitely doesn’t remember Taehyung making himself comfortable on his shoulder during the night either. Jimin wants to move, the alarm still ringing being his motivator, but honestly... Taehyung looks peaceful. And admittedly, kind of cute.
Taehyung’s lips push out subtly into a natural pout sometimes; Jimin’s taken note of since yesterday. But it’s even more prominent with the way Taehyung’s cheek squishes against Jimin’s shoulder. With his lips slightly parted, a bit shiny and relaxed, Taehyung inhales through his nose and then out slowly through his mouth. When he does, his bottom lip twitches just slightly. Like the very beginning stages of whistling, and Jimin finds himself pouting at Taehyung’s pout. And okay, maybe Jimin thinks it’s kind of very cute.
To make it even worse, Taehyung’s holding the spare pillow the two of them bought together last night tightly to his chest like he’s hugging someone. He’s got a tight grip with his left hand, a looser one with his right, and his arms crossed over one another. Jimin thinks only a monster would wake Taehyung up right now.
And for a second― just a split second― Jimin almost lets him stay. But then there’s a mental alarm going off in Jimin's brain that’s three times as loud as his real alarm. It's reminding him that he’s going to be late for his first ever college class if he doesn’t get up. Jimin doesn’t know what possessed him to sign up for two 8 AM classes, but today is his first one, and he’s going to miss it if he doesn’t get moving.
“We have class,” Jimin says just slightly above a whisper as he shakes his shoulder. If Taehyung were awake, he’d hear the regret intertwining itself in Jimin’s tone. He doesn’t want to wake him up, but he has to.
Again, Jimin shakes his shoulder. Taehyung’s temple bounces against it; his hair is swaying prettily across his forehead with the motion, but he doesn’t wake. Jimin scrunches his eyebrows and breathes out slowly through his nose. The newest thing Jimin’s learned about Taehyung is that he’s apparently hard to wake up.
Truthfully, Jimin should’ve seen this coming considering he sprung awake at the first ringing of his alarm, but Taehyung slept right through it. He’s currently still sleeping through it; Jimin has yet to turn it off, and the noise doesn't seem to be bothering Taehyung any.
All the way on the nightstand, Jimin's phone is too far from where they are in the middle of the bed to reach it. Jimin stretches his arm but it’s too short. The story of Jimin’s life.
“Taehyung, hey,” Jimin calls. Now he’s using his other arm to shake Taehyung. Gently, because he doesn’t know if he’s one of those people that wake up violently, Jimin pets at Taehyung's hand. Jimin doesn’t want to scare Taehyung; he just wants him to move.
Jimin’s got class, he’s pretty sure Taehyung does too, and... this is weird, isn’t it? Weird enough already that there’s only one bed in their dorm, weirder that they’ve accidentally fallen asleep together in it, and the weirdest that Taehyung’s now sleeping on his shoulder.
He can only imagine what he and Taehyung would look like if someone happened to walk in on them right now. Luckily their doors lock automatically, and they're the only two with the key, so that's not going to happen.
Seeing no other option, Jimin sits up correctly, and Taehyung's head slips off of his shoulder and lands on the pillow under him. His head bounces once, settles in it's cushioned landing, and then rests there. Equally relieved and confused, Jimin watches Taehyung continue to sleep. He's mumbling something now, but he's definitely not awake yet.
It's kind of impressive what he's learning Taehyung can sleep through. Oddly, Jimin's mind runs to extreme situations like a fire, and he thinks he's going just to have to carry Taehyung out of the building over his shoulder because he'd never wake up for the alarm. He smiles to himself at the mental image of Taehyung slung over his shoulder, sleeping peacefully while their entire dorm building is in chaos.
Without Taehyung acting as Jimin's third arm, he's able to reach his phone to silence his alarm. Oppositely, it's then that Taehyung wakes up. Jimin hears him shuffling slowly now that there's silence. He groans at what seems to be just the first thought of realizing he's awake, and then calls out way too sweetly for them just meeting yesterday, "Jimin? G'morning."
But Jimin's mind is short-circuiting. He's caught somewhere between trying to convince himself it's not Taehyung that's making his heart beat funny and getting his brain to remember how to make his body move. Seriously, he's got to go. It's 7:30 AM, his class starts at 8:00, and he has no idea where the building he needs to be at is even located.
So instead of answering, Jimin stands up and says, "I have to go."
Taehyung's more awake now than he was a minute ago. He's sitting up with a slightly confused expression decorating his face as he watches Jimin change his shirt, grab his shoes and his bag, and shoot for the door. There's not so much as a goodbye from Jimin as he darts into the hallway and assumingly down the stairs. Taehyung thinks he's too wound up to wait for the elevator.
As the sleep-induced cloud in Taehyung's mind begins to thin out, he's hit with the realization of why Jimin is acting so weird. Suddenly, he remembers the two of them agreeing to play rock, paper, scissors to pick which one of them would sleep on the floor last night. Taehyung guesses they both fell asleep on the bed together before they could do that. And now Jimin's woken up with Taehyung sleeping on his shoulder. Awkward, to say the least.
Taehyung and Jimin are sure skipping a lot of steps in the beginning stages of their roommate-ship. It seems they've shot jumped straight from strangers to a married couple, but neither of them had time to process the in-between. With that in mind, Taehyung doesn't blame Jimin for getting out of their room as soon as possible. If he were him, he'd run too.
If Taehyung’s memory serves him correctly, which it usually does, Jimin has a two-hour break in his classes right about now. Vaguely, Taehyung remembers reading through Jimin’s schedule a few weeks ago when they first started chatting. They thought it would be a good idea to exchange schedules to see if any of their classes matched up.
Freshman year classes consist of general education courses. Like an upgraded version of the courses they just completed in high school. And everyone, despite their major, takes the same classes. So it was more likely Taehyung and Jimin shared a class or two this year than in any of the following years. Especially considering Taehyung is majoring in Zoology and Jimin is majoring in Mathematics.
Taehyung remembers the disgusted look on his face when he first read Jimin’s major printed at the top corner of his schedule. Honestly, Taehyung thought it was a typo. Taehyung's not sure what else could've been written there, but no one’s a math major on purpose. Except for Jimin, apparently.
"It's always been my favorite subject," Jimin had explained yesterday when they were discussing their aspirations for their degree. "I love math."
And Taehyung, as expected, had covered his ears and pleaded, "Please, no more."
Despite Taehyung's white flag being raised the entire time, Jimin continued to tell Taehyung about his love for numbers and formulas. It was hard for Taehyung to pretend to be painfully melting to death at every mention of derivatives and quadratic equations when Jimin's eyes were sparking the way they were. Taehyung found himself engulfed in the way Jimin's entire being lights up when he talks about something he enjoys. Suddenly, the Pythagorean Theorem didn't seem so bad.
The point is: Taehyung is ninety percent sure Jimin is free right now. And Taehyung thinks it might be a good idea for them to meet up for lunch or something. They're going to have to talk sometime. And honestly, Taehyung would prefer it'd be before they both get back to their room.
It's just after 12:30 PM, Taehyung's had two classes, and he's already exchanged numbers with a few people in he's met. His grandparents tell him he's always been a social butterfly. Even as a baby, they say. Taehyung's never been shy to talk to someone first. He makes friends easily; and very rarely does he feel nervous to spark up a conversation. But right now, Taehyung finds himself hesitant to call Jimin to see if he's in class or not.
There's an underlying reason, Taehyung knows that, but he's pretending that reason doesn't exist.
Keeping up with the act, Taehyung presses the tiny phone symbol next to Jimin's name in his phone and calls him up. Jimin answers two rings before it automatically goes to voicemail and Taehyung's stumbling to talk when Jimin says hello.
"Jimin, hi. It's― it's Taehyung, hi."
He sounds like he's tripping over his tongue. Taehyung mentally smacks himself in the face. Pull it together, Taehyung yells to himself.
"Taehyung," Jimin says back a little breathlessly.
He seems caught off guard to hear from him. Like he didn't see Taehyung's name appear on his screen and he didn't willingly accept the call. The two of them sound like two babbling brooks talking to each other. Flashbacks of this morning replay in both of their minds and they're not too sure if they're supposed to bring it up or not.
Stopping at one of the open benches on the side of the sidewalk, Taehyung takes a seat. He thinks maybe he'll get his words out better if he's stationary.
Slowly, Taehyung asks, "Are you still in class?"
Usually, Taehyung saves this level of anxiousness for big tests and restarting his life in Seoul, but right now it feels like his heart is trying to break out of his chest. How is Taehyung expected to share a living space with Jimin when he can barely handle talking to him on the phone?
Jimin sounds far away suddenly like he's talking to Taehyung on speakerphone. He says, "I just got out of class." Then he asks a bit timidly, "Why, what's up?"
Again, Taehyung stumbles over his words, but he gets his point across that he's calling to see if Jimin wants to grab something for lunch. By the time he's done talking, Taehyung's resting his forehead against his hand and rolling his eyes at himself. He hates how hard it is for him to speak when he's nervous. It makes it visible even when Taehyung's doing all he can to hide it.
"I'm actually heading to dance tryouts now. I'm sorry," is Jimin's response to Taehyung's offer. He sounds genuinely disappointed that he can't meet Taehyung for a meal.
Mentally, Taehyung is kicking himself. Jimin's a dancer. He knew that. And now that Jimin's said it, Taehyung also knew Jimin had tryouts this afternoon. Taehyung remembers that Jimin was telling him he was nervous for it.
Jimin's been dancing since middle school and fell in love with it quickly. He's not shy to say he's talented, but he still talked to Taehyung about his worry of not making the team. Their university's dance league is a cutthroat one. They travel and enter competitions. The trophies that are displayed right at the entrance of the Performing Arts Building lets everyone know they're champions as well.
Now that he's reminded of it, Taehyung can't believe he forgot. Truthfully, he meant to text Jimin good luck today. But all of this morning's commotion must've made it slip his mind.
Taehyung's silence must be a little longer than he means it to be because Jimin is suggesting like he's trying to make it up to him, "Maybe we'll get dinner? Cafeteria food is probably lame, but I saw a sushi place down the road from our dorm. Wanna go?"
It's nearly pitiful how quickly Taehyung's face lights up. He's smiling as he says, "Yeah, I'd love to. Text me when you're done with tryouts. I'll be home already, so you can just come to meet me."
Home. Technically, that's not incorrect, but it feels heavy on Taehyung's tongue. Like he's implying something more. But the fact is they both live there for the duration of the school year. Their clothes are there, and their belongings, and it's where they sleep whether they have one bed or two. It's their home.
Jimin doesn't seem to be as caught up on the technicalities of Taehyung's sentence. Breezily, he responds, "Okay, I'll text you. Bye-bye."
And Taehyung quickly, because Jimin's hanging up, "Bye, good luck!"
When the call ends, Taehyung pulls the phone away from his ear slowly. He doesn't know why his heart is still racing, but it is. All they've done is agree to get dinner. Roommates do that. Friends do that. Taehyung knows that, but his mind is telling him it's something more. Or, maybe he wants it to be something more.
Jimin is all smiles when he enters the sushi place, even before he spots Taehyung reserving their table. His eyes brighten up when he catches where Taehyung is sitting— assisted by Taehyung waving his hands in the air like he’s trying to flag down a helicopter— and nearly bounces over to meet him.
“Someone’s happy,” Taehyung comments, taking a sip of his water. He’s not sure what Jimin likes to drink with his meals yet, so he ordered them both water. Jimin sits, knocks his straw against the table to free it from the paper, and dunks it in his water as well. He nods exaggeratedly as he takes a long sip.
Taehyung has to look away; he’s smiling too much already. Jimin makes him smile too much.
When Jimin’s satisfied, he takes the straw away from his mouth and says, “Tryouts went really well.”
At that, Taehyung sits up a little straighter. He leans over the table, laying both of his palms out flat against the wood, and taps his fingers in anticipation. But when Jimin doesn’t elaborate, he asks with his eyebrows raised, “So you made the team?”
Jimin rolls his eyes. He says as he shrugs, “Won’t find out till Wednesday. There are the second half of tryouts tomorrow. But I was the only freshman that could keep up with the count on the first try! The instructor said I was good.”
Honestly, Jimin’s glowing at just remembering the kind words from his to-be dance coach. He can’t stop smiling, and it’s contagious. Jimin’s happiness and his laugh are contagious as well. Taehyung finds himself falling victim to the Jimin Effect immediately, and soon he’s smiling so much his face is hurting.
“You’ll make the team on Wednesday. They’d be stupid not to want you,” is what Taehyung says.
And again, Jimin is bubbly from the praises. His hand comes up to rest the side of his face against, but then he falls to the side and lays down on his arm instead.
Jimin says longingly, “I hope so.”
He looks like a kitten the way he’s sprawled out on his side of the table like the compliments have made him literally melt. It’s cute, but Taehyung doesn’t say that. He doesn’t think he’s allowed to.
It’s so easy for Taehyung’s brain to get caught up in thoughts about Jimin. Ever since this morning, every idea he has seems to end with Jimin. It’s scary— terrifying, actually— how quickly he gets trapped in a tornado of his hidden affection toward Jimin. It’s the type of feeling that makes his mind race, and his heart beat out of rhythm. Taehyung feels short of breath, so he takes another sip of his water.
But Jimin’s sitting up straight now and saying something about being able to eat a whole room full of sushi. He picks up the menu and begins flipping through the pages. Taehyung does the same as well.
There’s a barrier between them with the way the two of them are holding their menus. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to sneak long glances at each other while the other pretends to read.
Somehow, they don't remember their sleeping arrangement problem until they walk back into their dorm and it smacks them in the face. The bed is big enough to be the literal elephant in the room, and so it acts as such.
Their light waves of laughter dissolve into nervous, awkward giggles as Taehyung turns on the light to their room and the bed is just there. In the middle of the room, it demands their attention and makes them recall the tension of this morning. Suddenly, their cheerful mood is gone.
During their dinner, the topic of both the bed and them falling asleep together was avoided. Jimin very awkwardly rushing out of their room was also avoided. The two of them are quick to claim out of sight, out of mind. But that's a poor excuse and they both know it. Instead, they talked about other things and told each other about their day. As they ate, they learned more about each other. They asked questions, listened carefully to each other's answers, and just enjoyed each other's company.
Everything except for their bed was brought up. And whether that was unintentional or intentional, it's impossible to ignore it now.
There's an audible sigh coming from Jimin as he closes their door and takes a seat on his desk chair. He's still in his dance practice clothes, so he pulls anxiously at the string from his sweatpants' waistband as he and Taehyung exist together in silence. On the other side of the room, not sure what to do with himself, Taehyung paces.
The two of them can hold a constant conversation outside of their room, but it seems their bed makes them at a loss for words. Anything spoken risks making the situation more awkward, but not speaking at all is equally as uncomfortable.
Looking for both something to say and a reason to leave the room, they announce at the same time, "I'm gonna go shower."
Jimin moves to stand, but he freezes halfway. And Taehyung, beginning to reach for the towel slung over his suitcase also halts mid-reach. They look at each other, both resembling a deer in headlights, and open their mouths to speak but nothing comes out.
Clearing his throat and sitting back down, Jimin says as he gestures back and forth between Taehyung and the door, "Go ahead."
But Taehyung, now standing up straighter than a soldier called to attention says, "No, you had tryouts. You broke a sweat today; I totally didn't. You go."
They could go back and forth, but Jimin accepts without much of a fight. He is in clothes that he was sweating in for two hours today. Before staying at his desk chair too long or even thinking about touching the bed, he should shower. Nodding just slightly as thanks, Jimin finds his own towel along with a change of clothes, and heads out the door.
Jimin's not gone for more than fifteen minutes, so it doesn't give Taehyung too much time to think about what to say or do when he comes back. But when Jimin reenters the room, Taehyung's sitting at his desk with one of his comic books in his hand and his headphones in his ears. He doesn't acknowledge Jimin when he opens the door and begins to move around the room.
When Jimin's used clothes are put away, his towel is hung up, and he's completely settled, he says to Taehyung, "Shower's all yours."
But Taehyung doesn't hear him. Faintly, Jimin can hear the music he's listening to from the other side of the room. Pressing his lips into a straight line and breathing out through his nose, Jimin crosses the limited amount of space between them and taps Taehyung on the shoulder.
"Shower's all yours," Jimin repeats himself as casually as he can when Taehyung's removed one earbud.
In silence, Taehyung gathers his necessities for the shower and exits the dorm room.
When Taehyung's gone, Jimin drops his head on his desk and sighs. The awkwardness is killing him. There's no way they're going to survive eight more days of this.
It takes a little while, but their atmosphere shifts back to a comfortable, easy one. Taehyung had returned from his shower with a smile on his face and a story to tell. As he hung up his towel and placed his dirty clothes in their proper place, he told Jimin about the conversation he overheard in the shower room. Something about a party coming up. From what he gathered through his eavesdropping, it's a beginning of the year party thrown by the university's dance team. Hoseok, a junior and the captain, has been hosting it since his freshman year.
"You have to make the team, so we get invited," Taehyung teases. He loves parties, it seems. Jimin isn't surprised though. Taehyung's effortlessly social. Without having to experience it yet, Jimin can tell that parties are the type of environment where Taehyung really thrives. He's a people person. And while Jimin wouldn't consider himself antisocial, he doesn't feel the need to party with a bunch of people to feel like he's having a good time.
Laughing, Jimin concludes, "So I need to make the team so you can go party?"
"So we can go party," Taehyung corrects, winking at Jimin playfully. "Team effort."
From where he's sitting at his desk, backward on his chair, Jimin wraps his arms over the top and rests his chin. Jokingly, with exaggeration in his voice, he says, "Right."
But Taehyung's defensive. He says, "Dude, I'm serious! And it can't hurt to be on Hoseok's good side, right? He's captain. He could make you co-captain or whatever."
Jimin laughs, but it's a bit muffled by the way his mouth is pressed into his arm.
"He's not gonna make me co-captain. Don't even think that's a thing."
Taehyung raises his eyebrow but looks unimpressed. He mumbles, "Should be," but then turns his attention away.
Jimin watches Taehyung fondly as he walks actively across his side of the room. He's much neater than Jimin― Jimin's side already littered with the clothes he discarded this morning and the contents of his backpack in his attempt to read over his syllabus while Taehyung showered― and straightens up along his desk. Taehyung wraps his headphones up neatly, places them on top of his iPad, and sits. Mirroring Jimin, Taehyung sits backward on his chair.
With the bed between them, they feel like they're a million miles apart. They'd be the same distance apart with two twin size beds, but the space between them feels tripled.
Remembering their conversation from yesterday, Jimin asks as he squints, "You said you dance, right? Why didn't you try out?"
Taehyung smiles, but it's covered almost immediately by his hand. Jimin's first thought is him thinking Taehyung should put his hand down. He's got such a beautiful smile, Jimin wishes he didn't hide it.
"I said I went to dancing class. I never said I was a dancer," is what Taehyung answers with. And then, "My grandparents liked to give me things to do after school."
Jimin's only known Taehyung for a short time, but he talks about his grandparents so highly Jimin wishes he could meet them. His grandmother sounds like the sweetest person on Earth, and his grandfather is clearly the wisest. Over dinner tonight, Taehyung told Jimin stories about his life with them on their strawberry farm. And Jimin's not sure what image he had in his head of someone more or less raised on a farm, but Taehyung isn't it. Taehyung's personality and energy were made for city-life. He was bound to make it off of his farm one way or another. Jimin wouldn't be surprised if he saw Taehyung on his television screen one day.
Shrugging, Jimin says, "I bet you're good."
"Get us into that party and you'll see me dance," Taehyung answers. He's making a joke of it, but Jimin doesn't think Taehyung would be too shy to dance in front of him. Taehyung doesn't seem too shy to do much of anything. It's something Jimin envies.
Jimin means to laugh, but he yawns instead. He's had a long day between the excitement of this morning, his first college classes, tryouts, and then dinner.
Typically, Jimin doesn't tire too quickly. He often finds himself awake at odd hours of the night because he can't sleep. But right now he's beginning to fight the urge to close his eyes.
Noting Jimin's decline in energy, Taehyung holds his hand out in a fist. The ready position for rock, paper, scissors. He asks almost regretfully, "For the bed tonight?"
For just a second, Jimin looks at Taehyung like he has no idea what he's talking about. But then he remembers and holds his hand out as well.
In unison, they say, "Rock, papers, scissors, shoot!"
Taehyung shows paper, Jimin shows rock. Taehyung wins.
It should be a victory, Taehyung knows it, but he feels guilty. The only reason Taehyung suggested they play is that Jimin looked like he was ready for bed. Not ready to sleep on the floor. Taehyung doesn't feel like he deserves to sleep on the bed when he's only mildly tired and Jimin seems like he's barely keeping his eyes open.
But Jimin's a good sport about it. He's fishing for his original bed sheet, comforter, and pillows that he arrived with. Rightfully in anticipation of a twin size bed. He's nearly silent as he makes himself a space on the floor. From his desk chair, Taehyung watches Jimin fluff his pillow before dropping it on the floor. When Jimin's done, he looks over at Taehyung and offers him a small smile.
It's unspoken that it's time for Taehyung to get in bed, so he does. With guilt still crawling all over his skin, Taehyung settles in bed but is mindful to stay on what would be considered his side of the bed.
Jimin's still standing, so he takes it upon himself to get the light. With his finger hovering over the switch, Jimin asks, "Off?"
He doesn't want to, because that means soon after Jimin's going to make himself as comfortable as he can on the hard floor, but Taehyung shrugs as he nods his head. Jimin's quick to flick off the light, making the room nearly pitch black. Jimin disappears from Taehyung's vision, but he can hear him sauntering back to his makeshift bed alongside the real bed.
Once he's settled on the floor, Jimin says softly, "Good night, Taehyung."
And Taehyung, with his facial expression knitted into one of affliction, says back automatically, "Night, Jimin."
Forty-five minutes of remorse is all Taehyung can take.
Forty-five minutes of him laying in the big, comfortable, definitely made for two bed all by himself. Somewhere off to his left, Taehyung can hear Jimin breathing. It’s not quite evened out to a pace that signals he’s sleeping, so Taehyung takes a chance.
He asks timidly, his voice suddenly very loud in their silent room, “...Jimin?”
There are a few long, long seconds of silence. Taehyung holds his breath like that would somehow help the situation. He bites his bottom lip while he waits; his eyebrows furrowed as he squints at the darkness.
Taehyung’s almost convinced himself that Jimin’s asleep when there’s a familiar voice asking back, “Yeah?”
But now Taehyung’s panicking because he doesn’t know what he wants. He never thought past calling out to see if Jimin was awake. There was never a plan on what he should say if Jimin were awake. Which he is. He’s definitely awake. So now Taehyung has to say something.
“Um,” is all Taehyung can come up with. He nervously twists the sheet in his hand. Honestly, Taehyung doesn’t know what he wants to say. He thinks maybe he wants to tell Jimin to come sleep on the bed too, but he doesn’t know how well that’s going to go over with Jimin. There’s a possibility that it’d just make things worse.
All of Taehyung’s sudden overthinking has him delayed in answering. So Jimin asks with his voice a bit more tuned, “Are you okay?”
Worry is easily detected in Jimin’s voice. Taehyung mentally slaps himself because he’s alarming Jimin for no reason. Squeezing his eyes shut, Taehyung asks through his teeth, “Is it comfortable down there?”
Of course, it’s not comfortable. Jimin’s laying on a tile floor. There’s no way it’s comfortable. It was a silly question that Taehyung already knew the answer to, but it was the only thing he could get his mouth to say. Taehyung wishes he would’ve just kept quiet in the first place.
Now it’s Jimin’s turn to delay his answer. Taehyung can imagine him trying to think of a nice way to put that no, he’s not comfortable, but he lost the game, and so he’s where he said he would be. Frustrated, Taehyung tugs at the ends of his hair.
Before Jimin can come up with an answer and before Taehyung can filter the question he asks, “Do you wanna sleep with me?” And then immediately because that sounds completely wrong, “In the bed, I mean. In the bed. Do you wanna...s-share the bed?”
Still, Jimin is quiet. He must only take a few seconds to answer, but Taehyung swears he lives a lifetime in the moments that pass. His heart is pounding so loud in his ears that he almost doesn’t hear when Jimin does reply.
Jimin says, focusing on the technicality, “I lost the game. The bed’s yours tonight.”
Taehyung sighs. He says like a statement rather than a question, "So what."
There's a heavy silence. One that they both can feel growing thicker as the seconds pass. Taehyung, for just a moment, thinks he hears Jimin sitting up and his heart begins to race. But then he questions himself when he doesn't feel any weight being put on the other side of the bed.
When Jimin answers, he's walking on eggshells. He asks almost in a whisper, "Wouldn't that be weird?"
Honestly, Taehyung doesn't know. He thinks maybe it's only weird if they make it weird. If they overthink it. But if they just do it― if Jimin just comes up here and lays next to him― maybe it would be okay. Taehyung thinks, and he doesn't dare to say it aloud, that perhaps he'd like to have Jimin sleep beside him again. It was peaceful and comfortable until they freaked each other out.
Shaking his head even though Jimin can't see him, Taehyung says back equally as soft, "I don't think so."
It's shocking to Taehyung how quickly he hears Jimin getting up, but truthfully Jimin's shocked by his own actions. Jimin's brain is telling him maybe he should just stay on the floor, but his body is already in the standing position. And before he knows it, he's pulling back the blanket to allow himself to get in. He's hesitant, just for a moment, but then sits on the bed next to Taehyung.
They're quiet now. Neither of them knows what to say, but there's a feeling of relief that washes over both of them.
Taehyung breathes in through his nose and then out slowly through his mouth. He's trying to get his heart to slow down but it's not working.
Trying to be as casual as possible, Taehyung slides himself down until he's completely horizontal in the bed.
Because it feels like he should, Taehyung turns so that his back is facing Jimin. And behind him, he immediately feels movement and assumes Jimin is doing the same.
After a minute, they settle. Back to back. But together nonetheless.
They try again:
"Good night, Taehyung."
Second time's a charm.
Taehyung is an active sleeper. At some point during the night, he rolls over. And in that time, his arm finds itself slung over Jimin's midsection. Like he's a pillow, Taehyung pulls Jimin closer and settles with a content sigh.
The movement wakes Jimin up, but he pretends to be asleep. Taehyung's fingers curl around Jimin's shirt like he doesn't want to let go.
And Jimin can't be sure, because everything is sort of a blur, but maybe he rests his hand on top of Taehyung's to make sure he doesn't.
When they wake up, they're holding hands.
Jimin’s alarm is ringing but this time he’s able to reach it without a problem. The two of them are on their backs, more or less on their respective sides of the bed, but the borderline invaded by their fingers intertwined between their bodies.
With his free hand, Jimin’s able to silence his alarm. He looks over at Taehyung, who he expects to be still sleeping. It's confirmed before Jimin even looks over to check by the limp way Taehyung's fingers rest against Jimin's now awake hand.
There’s an enamored smile on Jimin’s face as he watches Taehyung continue to sleep. Jimin’s beginning to realize he’s going to have to be Taehyung’s personal alarm every morning. It has Jimin wondering how he made it through high school but then assumes his grandparents took on this role of getting him up every morning.
“Taehyung,” Jimin calls gently. He knows it’s less likely to do any good because if Taehyung can sleep through an alarm, he can sleep through someone calling his name, but Jimin tries it anyway.
It's no surprise when Taehyung continues to sleep through Jimin's soft calls. Jimin lifts his hand to shake Taehyung's shoulder, but he finds himself frozen in place. He's positive he looks silly with his arm in the air like it's being held in place by a string, but Jimin thinks he's just noticing something.
He's studying Taehyung's face like he's seeing it for the first time and he's a bit stunned. Jimin's never believed that someone could take your breath away, but he's a bit winded as his eyes roam over Taehyung's sleeping form. And this is different. A good kind of different. The type of good-different that makes his heart skip a few beats in his chest because fuck, has Taehyung always been this beautiful or did this happen overnight? Maybe Jimin's just noticing it for real. He tells himself he's been missing out.
Jimin's hand has a mind of its own because he intends it shake Taehyung's shoulder, but somehow it ends up in Taehyung's hair. His fingers slide through Taehyung's bangs with the means of waking him up, but Jimin thinks he's causing Taehyung to slip into a deeper sleep. Jimin's motion is more of a petting one, and Taehyung subconsciously follows Jimin's touch. He nudges his head against Jimin's hand.
And it's impossible for Jimin to work up enough nerve to wake Taehyung up properly now. Not after that. And he looks too comfortable to disturb. (He looks too cute, too.)
Sighing, like Taehyung is bargaining for it and pulling his leg, Jimin whispers, "Fine, ten more minutes."
He spends that time petting through Taehyung's hair and burning the feeling of their fingers interlocked into his memory.
As Jimin walks through the south side of campus, his right-hand feels empty now that Taehyung's hand isn't in it. It sways naturally back and forth as he heads to class, but his arm feels weightless. Almost disturbingly so. Like Jimin's missing something. It feels like he is.
When they were both awake this morning, there was a lot less tension. And if Jimin's not making things up, he could swear Taehyung liked sharing the bed again as much as he did. Jimin didn't want to admit it to himself, because the two of them are getting into dangerous territory, but it's nice waking up next to Taehyung. And despite how much he moves, it's nice spending the night with him too. Taehyung's a natural cuddler, and Jimin loves the weight of Taehyung against him as they sleep.
And this should be weird. Jimin's not out of his mind; he knows they just met. But there's something about how easily he and Taehyung fall into this place of familiarity that it feels like they've known each other forever. Jimin tries not to think about it because it's a bit overwhelming when he does. But it has to mean something how quickly he and Taehyung can slip into this place where nothing seems off limits, and they are comforted by holding each other close.
The problem is, Jimin could be exaggerating this whole situation. Truthfully, he's not sure. Taehyung's a sweet guy. That's easy to determine. And Jimin's not sure if he would've invited anyone to share the bed with him like he did last night. His heart seems big enough not to want anyone to sleep on the floor, but Jimin can't help but wonder if he's unique in some way.
It's scary because Jimin doesn't do this. This. Whatever this is. Having a crush, or whatever. Thinking about someone near obsessively. Missing them when they're gone. Spending ten fucking minutes holding their hand while they sleep. Jimin doesn't do this. But here he is... doing it.
Something about Taehyung is different. Jimin knew that from the beginning. Maybe he never stood a chance.
Speaking of the devil, Jimin's phone vibrates in his back pocket, and there's a feeling inside of him that lets him know it's Taehyung before he even looks at his phone.
taehyung, 1:59 PM
good luck on day 2 of tryouts!!
It's something small, but it makes Jimin smile so much his cheeks hurt. It takes him a few minutes to write back because he can't stop smiling down at the message.
Jimin writes back:
jimin, 2:02 PM
thanks! gonna need it!
i'll give you the details later!
A few minutes later, Taehyung sends back several purple heart emojis. It’s obnoxious in the adorable kind of way. Because thirty-three emoji hearts is kind of excessive, but when Taehyung does it, it’s cute.
Jimin’s all smiles; floating somewhere up with the clouds as he takes himself to class.
It’s nice knowing that he’s got someone rooting for him, and wanting to hear about his day when he gets home.
Taehyung's got a lot of friends already, but he leaves them to come to meet Jimin at the pizzeria on campus.
It's just after seven o'clock in the evening, Taehyung knows the second day of tryouts is over, but it's only Tuesday. Jimin had texted him saying he had great news, but he's supposed to hear whether he makes the team or not on Wednesday. Taehyung's excited to know what else Jimin could possibly have to share with him.
The pizzeria is crowded with the dinner rush, but Taehyung spots Jimin immediately. He doesn't even try, but his eyes instantly lock on Jimin all the way in the back. He's slouched over the table, scrolling through some form of social media to keep himself occupied as he waits for Taehyung.
Like yesterday, he's dressed in his practice clothes. This time he's wearing black joggers and a black short-sleeve shirt to match. Taehyung really likes the athletic look on Jimin.
There's a glass of water and a glass of Coke waiting on Taehyung's side of the table for him. Over dinner last night, Taehyung had ordered a soda after he had finished his meal. Coke, even though he knows it's unhealthy for him, is probably his favorite drink. Not that he needs the caffeine rush, but he drinks at least two bottles a day. He's surprised Jimin even remembered that.
It's Jimin's news, but Taehyung thinks he's more excited for it. He's practically buzzing as he approaches Jimin. He's asking, "What happened? What happened?" before Jimin even knows he's there.
The expression change on Jimin from neutral to excited is a quick one. As Taehyung is walking up to him, he sees Jimin's eyes expand and his mouth drop open. He jumps up from his chair and announces to Taehyung and basically the whole pizzeria, "I made the team!"
They're both already standing, and Jimin's arms are already open, so Taehyung hugs him. It's natural when he's congratulating someone on good news, but also instinctual with the way Jimin open arms draw him in. Taehyung ducks slightly and wraps his arms just under Jimin's and hugs him. Taehyung stands straight, Jimin lifting off of the floor a few inches in the process, and says, "What? That's awesome! I'm so happy for you!"
Time slows down while they're holding each other. With their chests pressed together, Jimin's fingers immediately find a home sliding through Taehyung's hair. His fingertips massage gently at Taehyung's nape and scratch playfully at his skull. Taehyung's got a firm grip on Jimin as he supports both of their weight. But Jimin's as light as a feather and Taehyung would carry him forever if he needed to. They stay like that for what must be hours as far as they're concerned. Or at least, it feels that long.
Jimin's heart is beating so quickly with happiness and excitement, Taehyung can feel it as he lifts him. It just makes Taehyung even more thrilled. He can't stop himself from spinning Jimin in his arms a few times. Jimin wraps his legs around Taehyung's midsection for security. He crosses his ankles behind Taehyung's back and readjusts his arms around Taehyung's shoulders.
The two of them are making a bit of a scene, but they don't care. They're happy, and the whole campus is invited to watch.
When they're calm enough to take their seats, Jimin explains it all. He tells Taehyung about how he was pulled to the side after tryouts by his coach and Hoseok. They had given him some critiques to start, and Jimin was certain they were cutting him. But then they began to compliment him. They told Jimin that he was the most promising freshman to try out, and he had enough skill already to almost reach Hoseok's level if he was willing to practice more.
Taehyung is on the edge of his seat, literally and figuratively, as he listens to Jimin tell the story. Even though Taehyung knows the ending, he finds himself anticipating the part where Jimin says again that he made the team a day early.
Jimin says, "I was so scared, Taehyung. My heart, like― I thought they were going to kick me out of the studio for being so bad."
"You're not a bad dancer, Jimin! At all! And you proved that!" Taehyung taps his hand on the table as he speaks, hoping to somehow drill it into Jimin's head. Taehyung's learning how hard Jimin is on himself. And it's not that Jimin doesn't think he has talent, he's just afraid that everyone else won't see it. And if they do, it won't be good enough.
Giggling shyly, Jimin says as he rolls his eyes, "You haven't even seen me dance yet."
Taehyung shrugs. "True," he agrees. "But you're already my favorite."
The comment makes Jimin curl into himself. He sinks down into his chair and covers his face. Compliments are the key to Jimin's heart, Taehyung guesses. He'd tell Jimin how great he is until he's blue in the face if it makes Jimin this happy. Taehyung takes a sip of his soda to keep from smiling so hard.
When he's done drinking, Taehyung asks, "What did your parents say? They must be so proud."
Jimin's face goes blank, and his eyes double in size. He looks like he's seen a ghost or something. He sits up straight in his chair and says, "Fuck."
Taehyung looks at Jimin with a confused expression on his face. He scratches gently at the side of his glass. The condensation wets his index finger. He uses the water to paint transparent circles on the tabletop.
"Fuck, I forgot to tell them!" Jimin's scrambling for his phone.
He's in a group chat with his mother, father, and younger brother. He texts them that he made the dance team a day early and was personally invited to join them by the coach and the captain. The moment Jimin puts his phone down, it lights up with text messages from his family. Someone sends "CONGRATULATIONS!" and Taehyung spots the confetti the iPhone automatically decorates the screen with when someone types that.
A minute later, Jimin's father calls him. Taehyung watches Jimin talking excitedly on the phone with him. And for the third time, Taehyung hears the story of how he was put on the team a day early because he was miles ahead of everyone else that showed up at tryouts. And Taehyung listens to Jimin speak like it's the first time. He rests his chin on the palm of his hand and observes Jimin as he talks way too loud to his family.
When Jimin's phone call has ended, and they both have two huge slices of pepperoni pizza in front of them, Taehyung asks because he thinks it's funny, "How did you forget to tell your parents?"
He's smiling as he asks, clearly not implying anything by it. And Jimin laughs too, but his laugh is more of a nervous one.
The truth is, the first person Jimin told after he got the good news was Taehyung. As soon as his coach and Hoseok walked away, Jimin dug into his bag to find his phone. Immediately, he had texted Taehyung eagerly, telling him he's got great news and that he should meet him for dinner.
It sounds wild, but Jimin truthfully hadn't thought about telling anyone else.
Seems like Taehyung was the only person he wanted to tell. Jimin doesn't let himself dwell on what that might mean.
Jimin thinks about holding Taehyung's hand as they're walking back to their dorm more times than he can count. But Taehyung's walking a few steps ahead of him and he's talking flamboyantly with his hands. Grand gestures with his arms and fingers as he tells Jimin a childhood story about a birthday party and a clown.
Truthfully, Jimin's only half-listening but he doesn't mean it in a rude way. He's too caught up in how cute Taehyung looks when he's speaking. His eyes get wider when he gets to an exciting part, and he never misses an opportunity to do impressions of the people who feature in his story.
He's not sure if Taehyung's ever thought about it, but Jimin thinks he'd make a great actor. Maybe Jimin will suggest theater club or auditioning for the university's play when they get back to their dorm. The more Jimin lets his mind run with the idea, the more he's realizing he'd love to see Taehyung on a stage.
"Are you even listening to me?" Taehyung asks, craning his neck to look back at Jimin who's fallen even more steps behind.
Mentally, Jimin shakes himself.
"Of course," he lies.
Taehyung's smile makes Jimin smile. Holding his arm out for Jimin to make himself comfortable under, Taehyung hooks his arm around Jimin's neck. Shaking his head, Taehyung says, "You're a bad liar, Jiminie."
Jimin doesn't answer, but Taehyung's quick to transition back into his story. He thinks maybe Taehyung starts from the beginning because Jimin remembers the part about his grandfather getting lost while driving him to the party, but it must be intentional. Taehyung recapping what he's already said so Jimin can hear the full story.
Now that he's closer, Jimin gives all of his attention to Taehyung. And within inches of Taehyung's face when he turns to the side, Jimin traces Taehyung's profile as he speaks. He's got a perfect slope to his nose, lips that are a bit smaller than Jimin's but ideal as far as he's concerned, and cheeks that remind Jimin of small bread rolls when he smiles. This time, Jimin doesn't think he can be blamed for not listening to Taehyung's words. His face is too distracting, and his heart is beating much louder than Taehyung's speaking.
They walk with their arms around each other back to their dorm. Taehyung's arm hooked over Jimin's shoulders, Jimin's arm around Taehyung's waist. It's comfortable this way. They fit like puzzle pieces. Maybe this is something they could get used to.
Back in their dorm, their elephant in the room shrinks a little in size. The bed is expected to be there, and the idea of it is becoming less scary. Still, when they enter the room, they let go of each other and settle on their respective sides. Taehyung's still mid-story, he's now telling Jimin about this show he watches on his computer and urging Jimin to give it a chance.
Jimin promises Taehyung he'd watch an episode with him after they both shower. And Taehyung is ready to take him up on that the minute Jimin returns. Taehyung's sitting on the bed, already under the covers, with his laptop positioned somewhere near the middle.
One of Jimin's favorite things about Taehyung is the pajamas he wears. Jimin doesn't put too much thought into what he wears to bed. Typically it's pajama bottoms or his boxers and a plain shirt. But Taehyung has pajama sets. Silk ones at that. And it's probably the cutest thing Jimin's ever seen. He always looks so neat and prepared to go to bed.
Smiling, Jimin says, "This better be good," in reference to the show Taehyung's making him watch. But to be honest, Jimin's sure he'd love anything Taehyung showed him simply because he'd know Taehyung loves it. That's just the type of person Jimin is. He likes what the people in his life like.
Taehyung sucks his teeth. "Of course the greatest anime on Earth is good."
Drying his hair with the towel, Jimin says, "Bold statement, Taehyungie. I guess I'll be the judge of that."
It's playful and comfortable the way Jimin's able to enter the bed and sit beside Taehyung. There's plenty of space, but they find themselves shoulder to shoulder. They share Taehyung's earbuds and he's excited to press play. Especially since it gives him a reason to watch the series from the beginning. A win/win for Taehyung.
Pressed close together, the two of them spend the next three hours watching six episodes. Admittingly, it's an interesting series, but Jimin finds it a million times more enjoyable when Taehyung recites the lines at the same time the character speaks it. Sometimes, he steals obvious glances over at Jimin to make sure he's laughing at the parts Taehyung thinks he should laugh at.
But there's a smile on Jimin's face that never quite leaves because this is nice. Really, really nice. Taehyung's company. The leisure time spent together. The casualness of watching an anime in bed with someone.
They don't speak about the way Jimin's thumb is sweeping gently over Taehyung's knee. And when Taehyung starts to get sleepy, there isn't hesitation in the way he leans over to rest his head on Jimin's shoulder.
Around midnight, Jimin declares it's bedtime. They both have 8 AM classes in the morning.
Taehyung gets up to place his laptop back on his desk. Jimin stands to get the light. And without a second thought to it, they both return to the bed.
It's understood that neither of them will be taking the floor tonight. No rock, paper, scissors needed.
It’s expected, from their past couple days of experience, that they’ll wake up in each other’s arms. This morning is no different. Even if they don’t mean to, like the first night, it happens anyway. Like somehow during the night, they’re drawn to each other and only truly rest peacefully when they can feel the other.
Jimin’s always been affectionate, but he’s never been into cuddling much. Not until Taehyung. But today he finds himself as the big spoon, with Taehyung slotted comfortably in his arms.
Usually, it’s the other way around: Taehyung rolling over during the night and holding Jimin. Taehyung likes to hug people or pillows to help him sleep. But it’s nice this way too, Jimin’s learning. Anything is nice with Taehyung.
The scent of Taehyung’s shampoo is gently tickling his nose, and the rhythmic rise and fall of Taehyung’s shoulders as he breathes deeply is calming to Jimin.
Also as expected, Jimin is awake first.
A quick scan of their schedules last night tells Jimin that the two of them don’t have classes until later. Jimin’s starts at 10 AM, Taehyung’s at 11:30 AM. So unlike the other days that have passed, they have time.
Typically, their particular floor in their dorm room building is noisy. At all hours of the day and night, there’s usually something going on. Parties on different floors, arguing in the hallway, yelling outside, those types of things. But right now, the world seems to completely peaceful. The only thing Jimin can hear is Taehyung’s breathing and the low hum of the automated air conditioning.
When Taehyung isn’t using his iPad for watching videos and playing games, he uses it for a clock. Jimin had made fun of him the first night, told Taehyung he was wasting the battery. But right now it comes in handy.
In the iPad’s bold white letters, the time reads 7:33 AM. Jimin sighs contently. They’ve got plenty of time.
So Jimin gets comfortable. He adjusts his hold on Taehyung; his arm now blanketed over him with intent to provide warmth. Taehyung's quick to adjust. He moves around a lot in his sleep, but Jimin's adapted to it much easier than he thought he would. It's actually starting to become comforting to Jimin when he feels Taehyung repositioning during the night. Maybe it reminds him that he's not alone. Or maybe it's just comforting to remember that Taehyung's sleeping next to him.
The sleeping arrangement has allowed Jimin to learn things about Taehyung that he would never know otherwise. Like the fact that Taehyung doesn't toss and turn as much throughout the night when he's holding Jimin or the other way around. So naturally, Taehyung's content right now. Jimin feels him nudge softly against his hand when he feels it near his face.
It's only been a couple days, but Jimin knows he and Taehyung are already at a level nobody would've been able to predict. Jimin doesn't know what to define them as. He doesn't even know if he's allowed to. But he could never deny that he's beginning to feel things when he's around Taehyung that he's never felt before. With anyone. And Jimin doesn't have to be an expert in any field to know that means something. He's just not sure what.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, Jimin knows he's scared. Whatever's happening between the two of them, if it keeps growing like it is, will eventually be as big as the bed they're laying on and impossible to brush over. Jimin's not sure how long the two of them can keep waking up in each other's arms before they have to talk about it.
Honestly, Jimin doesn't know if he's ready to talk. But he knows he doesn't want to ruin what they have right now. Because this― Taehyung sleeping peacefully in his arms with hours to spare before either of them are expected to be present in any classroom― is pretty damn nice.
In the few days they've shared a bed, Jimin thinks he's experienced all there was to experience with Taehyung and his habits. The tossing and turning, the constant repositioning, the grabbing, and the cuddling. The leg he likes to throw over Jimin's during the night, and the way he gets a soft grip of Jimin's shirt in his hand like he's begging Jimin to stay close. All of it. But right now Jimin's pretty sure Taehyung's talking in his sleep and he hasn't seen him do that before.
With his face twisted in an intrigued expression, Jimin lifts his head in a better position to see Taehyung. His face is still neutral and lax as he dreams, but he's definitely saying...something. Jimin's just not too sure what.
After a few short moments of trying to decipher Taehyung's mumbling, Jimin's deemed it more or less nonsensical. Not much of it makes sense, but Jimin finds it pretty adorable either way. But then his heart jumps in his throat when his name, as clear as day, finds its way out of Taehyung's mouth.
Jimin freezes like he's caught red-handed. His eyes study Taehyung closer, trying to determine if he's waking up or not. But he's still very much asleep, and he's still very much calling Jimin's name. Just twice more before he quiets down and returns to a quieter form of dreaming.
But Jimin's heart is pounding and he's fighting away the smile that's persistent to be displayed on his face. He loses the battle and presses his curling lips against Taehyung's shoulder. Breathing in Taehyung's scent, Jimin closes his eyes and settles back against him. Truthfully, Jimin doesn't think he can sleep, but he's just fine staying like this for a while. Taehyung's really turned him into a cuddler in this short amount of time.
As Jimin relaxes against Taehyung's body, he finds himself hoping Taehyung thinks about him when he's awake as much as he does when he's asleep.
They haven't told anyone about their sleeping arrangement, so Taehyung isn't too sure how to respond when Namjoon asks him how he and his roommate are getting along so well.
Through some form of a mentorship program that Taehyung's grandmother was avid about signing Taehyung up for, he and Namjoon got paired up together. Since Namjoon is a sophomore and slightly more seasoned to the campus than Taehyung, their university has assigned Taehyung under Namjoon's wing.
From what Taehyung understands, the purpose of the program is for Taehyung to have someone to show him around campus and give him guidance as well as companionship. Sweet and all, but Taehyung doesn't need much help. He's adjusted as well as could be expected, he thinks. So instead, he and Namjoon just talk. They've become friends quickly and spend the intermissions between their classes together.
Oppositely to the way the program is modeled, Namjoon is often the one venting to Taehyung about his problems. For the past couple of days, Namjoon's been complaining about his roommate for this year. Some guy who thinks it's appropriate to practice his trumpet skills at the same time Namjoon is trying to study.
"I miss Yoongi-hyung," Namjoon says, resting his chin on his hand pitifully.
Namjoon and Yoongi, ex-roommates but current best friends, have been separated despite them both requesting each other on their roommate form. They were paired up last year, and although it took a little while for them to get used to each other, they've bonded. Through both their love for music and their many late night heart-to-heart conversations, they've learned more about each other than most people have.
Although Yoongi's majoring in Music Engineering and Namjoon's majoring in Philosophy, they've found common ground with their interest in music and built their friendship off of that. With the encouragement of Yoongi, Namjoon's starting to record and it turns out he's not only an amazing lyricist but rapper as well. They spend most of their time in the studio together and ration their time between writing music and complaining about the university splitting them up.
"Can't you like... request a room change or something?" Taehyung asks, sipping his vanilla milkshake. Namjoon bought it for him along with a large order of fries. Taehyung keeps telling him that although he's technically his mentor, he doesn't have to buy him things. But Namjoon does it anyway. He seems to like it. And Taehyung never turns down free food.
Rolling his eyes, Namjoon responds, "We've done that twice already. But they keep telling us that it's too early to process the change because they have so many other problems going on. Plus, they said we don't have a valid reason for wanting to change our roommates."
Taehyung lifts an eyebrow. "Valid reason?"
"Apparently not liking the guy isn't good enough." Namjoon shrugs as he explains. He's ordered himself a milkshake too. A chocolate one with whip cream on the top and a cherry he always picks out. It was sitting disregarded on his napkin until Taehyung ate it a few minutes ago.
Then, like a worried parent, Namjoon asks for the third time today, "You sure you and that Jimin kid are getting along?"
Just the mention of his name makes Taehyung's heart pick up speed a bit, but he thinks he hides it well. Taehyung knows it's Namjoon's frustration with his own roommate situation and not any suspicion toward Taehyung and Jimin that sparks his question, but Taehyung still finds himself overthinking his answer. He thinks anything he says sounds suspicious.
Shrugging as casually as he can manage, Taehyung tells Namjoon, "Yeah, we're okay. He's nice."
Namjoon doesn't press for details. He shrugs back, makes an approving type of humming sound, and brings his straw to his lips again. Naturally, their conversation transitions to other subjects that aren't Jimin. Things like Taehyung's classes and how well he's adjusting to life on campus and whether he's thought about joining any clubs.
But Taehyung's mind is stuck submerging in Jimin's name and remembering what it felt like to wake up next to him again.
The dance studio is humid by the time Taehyung walks in. He’s sure that if he were wearing his glasses (mostly used for fashion purposes), they’d fog up immediately.
His eyes scan the roomful of tryouts, trying to find Jimin. It’s Wednesday, and Jimin’s already made the team, but their coach said he still had to attend the final day. So instead of waiting for Jimin to come home, Taehyung’s decided to meet him.
Taehyung’s pouting when his search comes up unsuccessful. Usually, Taehyung is able to find Jimin within seconds, even in a crowded room, but right now he’s at a loss. He’s about to ask the closest tryout, but then he hears a familiar voice that turns him around.
“This is the last run-through,” a voice says. One Taehyung doesn’t particularly recognize.
But then there’s another voice. It tells the crowd, “You can all go back to your spots, we’ll start in a minute.”
That voice Taehyung knows. It’s Jimin. Taehyung is positive he spins with a surprised look on his face because Jimin’s helping lead already. He’s walking side by side with Hoseok, waving his hand for the tryouts to fall back into formation.
“Hey, co-captain,” Taehyung calls. There’s a playful tone to his voice as he tries to get Jimin’s attention, but he’s hardly kidding. Jimin’s status has clearly skyrocketed in the short amount of time. Not just everyone gets accepted on the team a day early and assists with conducting the last day of tryouts.
Jimin’s laughing when he spots Taehyung. He looks the happy kind of surprised and jogs the short distance between them to reach him. They greet with a hug, they do that now, and are smiling ear to ear at each other as they let go. When their arms are placed back at their sides, they only take a half-step back and remain close.
“What are you doing there?” Jimin questions. He looks back at Hoseok who’s standing behind him, and then back at Taehyung. Right now Jimin’s eyes are glimmering and Taehyung wishes he could take a picture of this moment. He doesn’t need to, it’s burned into his memory forever, but a physical copy would be nice too.
Taehyung shrugs casually. “Wanted to see you.”
Hoseok clears his throat, obviously waiting for an introduction of some sort. Taehyung watches Jimin’s face twist when he realizes he hasn’t made the two of them acquainted. He steps back twice and holds his hand out between the two of them.
“Hoseok, this is Taehyung. Taehyung, this is Hoseok,” Jimin announces rather sheepishly.
He thinks about adding something else. A further detailed description of the two of them. He’d easily name Hoseok as the captain of his team, but he’s not too sure what he’d say about Taehyung. Roommate seems too impersonal but calling him a friend doesn’t seem good enough. But anything beyond friend terrifies Jimin despite it burning on the tip of his tongue to be said.
The two shake hands. Hoseok is quick to welcome Taehyung into the room. He offers for him to take a seat on the sidelines and watch the rest of the tryouts. And with enthusiasm, Taehyung accepts.
Taehyung knows Jimin hears the conversation between him and Hoseok, but he turns around and says to Jimin, “I’ll be right over here, okay?”
With his head, he gestures toward the side of the studio. The space is occupied with everyone’s practice gear and water bottles, but there’s an empty chair that Taehyung already claims as his.
“Yeah, okay,” Jimin says back softly. He thinks he’s blushing but he doesn’t know why.
Something about Taehyung coming right over after his classes to see him, and something about him staying until the end to watch Jimin is making his stomach flutter. Jimin hopes all of this doesn’t show on his face but he’s always been terrible about hiding the way he’s feeling.
As Taehyung escorts himself to the sidelines, Jimin watches him. Taehyung’s got an interesting fashion style. Some days, he looks like a typical college kid with skinny jeans, a t-shirt, and his bookbag. And some days, like today, Taehyung displays his interest in unique items and bold statements. He’s sporting an oversized cardigan with burgundy and chestnut stitching, paired with slightly loose fitting slacks, and a thin scarf around his neck despite the warm temperature inside. He looks cute, Jimin has to admit. No one else could pull off some of the outfits he’s seen Taehyung wear.
Taehyung being the exception to things seems to be the trend.
It’s not as nerve-wracking as Jimin imagined it would be to have Taehyung watch him dance. Especially since it’s only Jimin’s third day with the dance team and Hoseok’s asked him to assist him with assessing the rest of the auditioning members.
Actually, it feels nice knowing Taehyung’s eyes are on him and only him. Jimin doesn’t show off at all, he doesn’t want to overstep his boundaries with Hoseok and the team, but he gains some confidence in front of the crowd. Suddenly, he’s not shy about demonstrating the choreography to the group, and he’s loud and enthusiastic when he counts off the beat for everyone to begin.
Jimin would be lying if he said he didn't love attention. But he’s finding that attention from Taehyung feels ten times as nice than from everyone else.
The tryouts only last about another half hour before Hoseok is telling everyone they can rest while he, their coach, and Jimin discuss their thoughts about who should join the team. Taehyung can’t express how proud he is of Jimin to be allowed to have in input in the selection process of his future teammates.
Hoseok, Jimin, and their coach walk out of the room. They’re each carrying a clipboard and a pen. They tell the room they’ll return in fifteen minutes.
Taehyung hadn’t realized someone was sitting right next to him until they started talking to him.
“That your boyfriend?” he questions. Taehyung doesn’t remember much about the person’s dancing, but Taehyung vaguely recalls seeing him in the crowd of tryouts. He’s sweating, trying to contain it with a towel dabbing at his forehead, and he chugs half of his water down before Taehyung even has a chance to process the question.
So instead, Taehyung asks back, “Huh?”
The boy points toward where the three exited the room just a few minutes ago. He says, “The new guy. Jimin, right? Buddies with Hoseok-hyung like magic. He’s your boyfriend?”
Taehyung feels stumped. Like he’s just been asked to calculate a math problem beyond his intelligence. He squints as he tries to get his brain to work faster and form an answer. He knows it looks suspicious already since he hasn’t answered immediately.
But the truth is that Taehyung doesn’t know what to say. He knows for a fact Jimin isn’t his boyfriend. He knows that. But he has a hard time saying no. Dismissing the idea completely seems wrong somehow.
He can’t speak, so Taehyung just shakes his head instead and hopes that the nonverbal response will suffice. It seems to when the boy starts talking again.
As he’s taking another sip of water he says, “Coulda fooled me.”
Taehyung forces a chuckle. “He’s my roommate.”
The follow-up answer seems empty. Taehyung hates that calling Jimin his roommate doesn’t seem like nearly enough. It actually feels like he’s insulted Jimin by just classifying him as that and only that. But Taehyung can’t call him his boyfriend. He doesn’t even know if Jimin likes him in that way. Honestly, Taehyung doesn’t even know if he likes Jimin in that way. It’s all so confusing.
The dancer seems to accept Taehyung’s answer and think not much else of it. He scoots away from Taehyung when the door on the other side of the studio reopens and the three enter the room again. This time, only the coach is holding a piece of paper in his hand. Hoseok and Jimin walk side by side behind him. When their eyes meet, Jimin smiles over at Taehyung.
“On this paper is the names of everyone that’s made the cut. There are ten new additions to our team. Thank you to everyone that made the attempt to join us, and I wish you all the best. If you did not make the team, please do not feel disappointed in yourself. If you’re going to feel anything, feel motivated. Use it as fuel to work on your skills and try out again next year. Thanks,” the coach speaks to the group as he walks to the center of the room. When he’s finished, he bows just slightly at the room of boys all looking up at him with wishful faces. He hands the list to Hoseok who pins it on the wall and walks away without a word.
There are more than thirty people in the room, and Taehyung feels terrible knowing that only a third of them have made the group. Immediately, there’s a stampede-like rush to the paper on the wall. Taehyung watches them for a minute, but Jimin steals all his attention.
As he approaches Taehyung, he holds a hand out to help him up. Taehyung’s still seated on a chair rather than the floor, so truthfully he doesn’t need assistance, but he accepts Jimin’s outstretched hand anyway.
They move in silence together despite the rest of the room transitioning into a mix of joyous celebration and sounds of disappointment and sadness. Taehyung’s nearly stuck to Jimin’s side as he gathers his practice gear, his water bottle, and his towel.
“Here, um―” Taehyung says as he reaches for Jimin’s bag. He takes it from him and slings it over his own shoulder instead. Jimin freezes for a second, pokes out his bottom lip, but then smiles.
Relieved, Taehyung adjusts Jimin’s bag on his shoulder and gestures for Jimin to lead the way out of the building.
When they’re in the stairwell, Jimin says, “Guess what?”
Taehyung looks at him with curious eyes and asks back, “What?”
“Hoseokie-hyung says we should come to his big party Friday night.” Jimin’s beaming as he tells Taehyung the news. He knows Taehyung really wanted to go ever since he heard about it; it’s apparently a big deal. Only people invited are allowed to go or something. According to Hoseok himself.
Dramatically, Taehyung’s jaw drops. He questions happily, “For real?”
Sweetly, Jimin is nodding at him. Jimin loves how something so small as an invitation to a party that's more than likely overhyped makes Taehyung happy. He’s got most of his teeth showing when he looks back over at Jimin.
Taehyung claps as he laughs. He tells Jimin playfully, “I knew you could do it! You made the team and now we get to the party!”
Honestly, Jimin couldn’t care less about Hoseok’s party of the year. But if it makes Taehyung smile, he’ll take him to every party on campus.
Comfortable. Jimin and Taehyung are comfortable. That's the best way to describe their energy over the following days. Wednesday night melts into Thursday, and Thursday into Friday.
They've been sharing their bed for five nights now, but it feels closer to five months. In a good way. The two of them no longer bat an eyelash or skip a heartbeat when they're both in their dorm and it's time for bed.
Actually, it's become the part of their day that they look forward to for more reasons than one. School is really starting to pick up speed as their classes continue, and the two of them are drained by the end of the day. Especially Jimin who often follows his classes with dance practice. He comes back to the dorm exhausted and ready for bed. Taehyung has to force him up for dinner. And sometimes, Taehyung orders them takeout when Jimin refuses to move.
But their bed has become transformed from something that put them at odds to something that unites them. It's become their safe place, and they don't overthink their actions toward each other when they're locked inside of their room together.
When they're on campus, with their friends, or literally anywhere else, they're cautious about the things they do together. They're careful about the way they look at each other. And about the way they might touch each other in a way that might make others give them more than a few looks. Not because they're scared of anyone finding out about them, but because they don't know exactly what they'd be finding out. The two of them still don't know what they're doing, but as long as they don't talk about it, they can allow it to keep happening.
It's easier to hold hands while they watch movies together, and lay in each other's laps, and wake up tangled together than to talk about what's happening. They don't have to worry about the way they're supposed to interpret the way they stare at each other lips when they talk, how Jimin's hand always finds it's way to Taehyung's thigh, and how Taehyung keeps calling for Jimin while he dreams.
Jimin, almost daily, fights the urge to kiss Taehyung awake every time he does it. He wants to know the way his name tastes on Taehyung's lips. It's tempting; painfully so. But Jimin doesn't think he's allowed to kiss Taehyung. And even if he is, it would without a doubt be the turning point. Jimin doesn't know if he's ready for that.
Taehyung thinks he's read somewhere that cuddling makes people closer. They form a stronger bond when they hold each other for an extended period of time. Sometimes, even hugs count in that aspect. But Taehyung thinks it must be true because he and Jimin spend a lot of hours cuddling, and they're much closer than any other roommates of only five days.
And sharing a bed has allowed them to become closer in more than just the physical sense. Many of their nights and evenings are spent talking and learning about each other. Over these past few nights, they've told each other things they've never dared to say to anyone else before. They've seen each other cry, and they've learned secrets about each other that won't ever leave their king size bed.
In the short amount of time, Jimin's learned something very important about Taehyung. He's learned that despite the amount of time he spends joking around, he's got intricate and well thought out ideas about the world. Taehyung's got wisdom inside of him equal to someone almost three times his age. Taehyung is an observer, and he's retained a lot of information about many things, and Jimin feels honored to be able to understand the way he sees the world a little better.
The two of them spend some nights talking about their childhood. Taehyung told Jimin that he doesn't talk about his relationship with his parents much, but he wants to talk about it with him. And Jimin's all ears and an open heart when Taehyung slowly chisels away at the memories he has in his head of them.
He tells Jimin what he can remember about moving in with his grandparents when he was a baby, and he's brighter than the sun when he talks more about his grandmother. For what must be the thirtieth time in the past week, Jimin finds himself hoping he gets to meet her someday.
It's scary how not scary it is to open up to each other. They don't have to filter themselves or put on an act when they're together. The two of them admit that they often feel the need to hide any of their negative emotions when they're around other people, but when they're alone they understand there is no need for that. Taehyung and Jimin can just be Taehyung and Jimin with no expectations implied.
Taehyung's got a lot of friends. He's always had a lot of friends. But he thinks Jimin is his best friend.
Hoseok's party is the only thing people on campus are talking about today. The week has flown by and now it’s finally Friday. The day everyone’s been waiting for, apparently.
There is a noticeable buzz of excitement in the energy of everyone Jimin and Taehyung pass today. Like all of their classmates are already intoxicated by just the thought of Hoseok's party. It’s a bit bizarre to Jimin, but Taehyung also seems to have the party fever. And in that case, just like everything Taehyung does, it's cute.
Maybe what’s most bizarre is that people Jimin doesn’t know very well, or even know at all, keep coming up to him and asking for an invitation to the party. Its purpose is to support the dance team so honestly, Jimin doesn’t have an invitation himself. He doesn't even know if he has any right to give anyone an invitation if he had one. But he guesses Hoseok telling him in person and making the team trumps any chain text message.
Jimin did make sure he could bring someone. That someone being Taehyung. But after that, no one else really mattered as far as Jimin’s concerned. Especially random people that approach him on the way to calculus.
“Are you excited for tonight?” Taehyung asks, nudging Jimin’s shoulder way too cute for 10 AM as he elongates his vowels for emphasis.
Jimin answers truthfully, “I’m excited to drink.”
Taehyung makes a face. He doesn’t mind drinking, but he hates the taste. But after a while the taste doesn’t matter much, he assumes. Taehyung's only been definitely, one hundred percent, officially drunk three times. One, his high school graduation party. Two, his classmate's seventeenth birthday party. And three, a night out with his friends the last week of high school that started out as an innocent trip to McDonald's and ended in someone's basement.
Despite that, Taehyung usually cuts himself off at two or three drinks. He likes to remember his nights out.
“Am I gonna have to carry you home?” Taehyung asks, only partly joking.
He lifts one eyebrow like he’s inspecting Jimin playfully, but there’s an underlying tone that tells Jimin he’s asking to be prepared for real.
Jimin adjusts his gym bag in his hand with a smile. The movement sort of shakes his whole body. He skips, lifts himself onto his tiptoes, and tightens his hold. Taehyung tries really, really hard not to tell him he’s cute. He physically bites the sides of his tongue with his molars to keep the comment to himself.
“Uh,” Jimin says, eyes tilting up to the sky like he’s thinking. After a moment he says, “Let’s hope not.”
Taehyung bumps Jimin’s shoulder again. “You deserve to loosen up a little bit. You’ve been so stressed with dance and classes. A party will do you good.”
Sarcastically, Jimin rolls his eyes. “Thanks, doctor.”
Their tones are playful and teasing, but Taehyung thinks a drunk Jimin might even be more adorable than sober Jimin. And that’s hard to do. Taehyung looks forward to seeing if his theory is true.
A text message goes around that only includes the dance team members just before seven-thirty. The party is scheduled to start at roughly nine o'clock, but for some reason, Hoseok wants the team there by eight.
The vague reasoning is to celebrate the new members and toast to the year as a team before all of the animals come and destroy Hoseok's off-campus apartment. Fair enough, Jimin assumes. But he still feels a little weird showing up without Taehyung.
Their unusual sleeping circumstances have made them closer, of course. But they've bonded beyond sharing a bed. And suddenly, it feels like Jimin's missing a part of himself when he does things without Taehyung.
Currently, the two of them are laying backward on their bed, staring up at the ceiling to avoid the anxious feeling they get when they stare into each other's eyes instead. Jimin's scrolling through the messages in his group chat. All of the members seem so excited about the party. Their energy mixed with Taehyung's is starting to make Jimin excited as well.
"It's seven-fifteen," Taehyung announces like a warning. He tilts his head to the right and traces Jimin's profile with his eyes while he waits for him to respond. When he doesn't, Taehyung adds, "You're gonna be late."
Jimin rolls his eyes. "Can't be late to an all-night college party, Taehyungie."
His voice is a little deeper than usual; it drops an octave or two when he's relaxed like he is. Taehyung watches Jimin scratch at the side of his head, and then push his hair back. Beautifully, Jimin's black hair splays across the blanket under them. The hair surrounds Jimin's head like a halo. Taehyung thinks it's very fitting.
Pushing his bottom lip out, Taehyung says as a rebuttal, "You can be late to your exaggerated, super official, super jock team meeting thing."
Again, Jimin rolls his eyes.
In a bit of a mocking tone, Jimin repeats, "Team meeting."
Deflecting the word choice off of himself, Taehyung says with his hands raised to show he's innocent, "Hoseok-hyung's words, not mine."
This time, Jimin smiles. No matter what Taehyung does, it makes Jimin smile.
"What if we just show up at like...nine-thirty instead? Think he'll notice?" Jimin asks. He rolls over onto his stomach and squints his eyes at Taehyung. The expression on his face depicts someone planning a bank heist, not someone planning on skipping an unofficial team gathering.
Naturally, Taehyung rolls over too. Now they're shoulder to shoulder, but when they turn their heads to talk, they're face to face. There are only a few inches separating their faces. Something inside of both of them screams over and over that they should scoot back, add some space between them, but neither of them moves.
Taehyung answers with a grin pulling at his lips, "He'll definitely notice, co-captain."
"Not co-captain," Jimin replies, as expected.
Shrugging, Taehyung tells him, "Not yet."
Jimin's quite flattered that Taehyung has this much confidence in him. Jimin's always been one to put himself down when he doesn't think he's performed to his highest ability. And Jimin's bar for himself is set almost unrealistically high, and he knows that's the reason he's constantly upset with himself. But arguably, it's also the reason Jimin works his ass off to continuously improve his dancing skills.
Dropping his face in his hands, Jimin whines, "I really don't wanna go. I barely know them, Taehyung. It's gonna be so weird."
Taehyung can tell that Jimin is rather shy in social situations. He's taken notice that Jimin hasn't really made friends this week in any of his classes; especially compared to Taehyung's amount of new friends. But Taehyung is naturally a social butterfly. He likes talking to people and learning about them. And most importantly, he's not afraid to go up to someone and make a conversation. That's where he and Jimin greatly differ.
Jimin feels Taehyung rubbing comforting circles on his back. "You barely know them because you haven't spent any time with them yet. So go, Jimin. Make friends with your team. You're gonna have to see them basically every day anyway, right? Might as well get to know them."
Honestly, Jimin hates that Taehyung is right. He's right about a lot of things, Jimin's learning. Maybe if the whole Zoology thing doesn't work out, Taehyung should look into counseling. Or being someone's life coach. Jimin thinks he'd be good at it.
The groan that leaves Jimin's body is his response. Taehyung giggles deeply and it makes Jimin smile as a reflex.
"Go," Taehyung encourages. He's now tickling at Jimin's side to get him off of the bed. "Go for me, so that I can get in later and party."
Jimin wraps his hand around Taehyung's wrist to halt his tickling. With a defeated look on his face but steady eye contact, Jimin says, "For you."
The smile on Taehyung's face has already made this whole night worth it. Someday, Jimin's going to tell Taehyung how much he loves his smile. It brightens up the room every time; and has an impressive way of disintegrating Jimin's worries.
"See you in a few hours," is what Jimin says as he's letting Taehyung's wrist slip out of his grip and he begins to stand.
Taehyung's rolling onto his back again. Jimin watches him shift his weight and then settle; his shoulders circle in their sockets and his arms stretch out now that he's the only occupant on the bed. There's a twist in Jimin's stomach that he doesn't recognize, and a pull somewhere inside of him that has him fighting the urge to climb back in bed with Taehyung and do something insane― kiss him, maybe.
Jimin watches Taehyung's hair sweep across his forehead as he nods. With his eyes fixed upward, Taehyung says, "I'll text you when I get there and you can come to meet me."
Under his breath, Jimin mumbles back an agreement. Something about greeting Taehyung with a drink; something about possibly being too drunk to find the front door by the time Taehyung arrives. It's weird because Jimin knows he's speaking, but the majority of his brain is less focused on his words and more focused on Taehyung and his mouth and the way he looks laying on the bed the way he is.
Mentally shaking himself, Jimin heads for the door and exits without another word.
It seems unjust that Jimin's left the room without a kiss goodbye, but the outline of Taehyung's lips has burned themselves into Jimin's memory. For now, that's enough.
Opposite of his playful prediction, Jimin is not too drunk to find the front door by the time Taehyung arrives. But he is, by every definition of the word, very drunk.
When he greets Taehyung near the front of the apartment, he does it with slightly glassy eyes and only about seventy percent of the balance he had the last time Taehyung saw him. But he’s got two drinks in his hand, one for Taehyung, just like he promised. Taehyung’s kind of surprised he remembered at all.
“What took you so long?” Jimin asks; raising his voice over the blasting music. He leans in close, near Taehyung’s ear and places a hand on Taehyung’s shoulder for balance.
Taehyung laughs because he had texted Jimin about half an hour ago to say he was stopping to get Namjoon. He’s been standing behind Taehyung this entire time but Jimin hadn’t seemed to notice.
Stepping aside to make Namjoon’s presence even more apparent, Taehyung says, “I went to get my friend, remember?”
Giggling, Jimin places his hand over his mouth to cover it. He’s wearing three silver rings, each with a unique design on his ring, index, and pinky finger. They glisten even in the dull light of Hoseok’s apartment.
Honestly, Jimin responds, “No.”
It’s too early for Taehyung to tell if Jimin acts any differently when he’s drunk because right now this seems like Jimin on any given day. Jimin’s got a habit of laughing himself to the floor, and anyone who doesn’t know him well enough might rightfully assume he’s intoxicated. But he does look happier, Taehyung notes. Like he’s on a high and just about anything could uplift him even higher.
His giddiness is contagious; Taehyung and Namjoon can’t help but smile.
Jimin’s leading Taehyung by the arm into the kitchen area with Namjoon following close behind. He’s talking a mile a minute, only a bit slurred, as he tells Taehyung about what happened before the party actually started.
He tells Taehyung about his new teammates, and how Hoseok asked him to assist with their choreography. Jimin also seems more confident after he’s had a few drinks.
“And his many shots did you guys have, Jimin?” Taehyung asks with a smile. Because he’s clearly had a few.
Namjoon chimes in, “I think he lost count.”
Both Taehyung and Jimin laugh.
In an attempt to prove him wrong, Jimin tries to count the number on his fingers but he quits halfway through. He claims it’s because he values his alcohol and doesn’t want to use his other hand. Namjoon and Taehyung don’t push, but knowing he’s possibly had more than five is all they need to know.
Turning Jimin with both hands on his shoulders, Taehyung says, “I think you need some water.”
But Jimin says, “I need a vodka-cranberry.”
Taehyung squeezes his eyes shut and laughs. He tells Jimin because apparently, he doesn’t realize, “You already have one.”
From where he’s standing, Taehyung can see into Jimin’s cup. There’s a deep red colored liquid inside that Taehyung would only logically assume is cranberry. No chance Jimin’s drinking straight cranberry, so he also deduces that there’s vodka in his drink too. Especially if the drink Jimin handed him is anything to go off of.
Jimin spins back around then. He shrugs at Taehyung and says, “Then I need another one.”
Soon after, Jimin is urging Taehyung to drink. He’s pointing at the cup where it’s sat on the countertop and gesturing like a mime for Taehyung to take a sip.
Simply to get Jimin to stop his movements, Taehyung picks up his red plastic up and brings it to his lips. He can see the pleased look in Jimin’s eyes over the rim of his cup as he takes a big gulp. He’s not trying to get drunk, but he thinks he’s got to get himself a bit buzzed to keep up with Jimin for the rest of the night.
The ball starts rolling from there. Jimin is quick to grab Namjoon a drink as well. And once everyone is situated, Jimin proposes a toast.
“To new beginnings,” he says, and moves his cup somewhere toward the center point of the three of them. Taehyung and Namjoon follow suit. They repeat Jimin’s phrase and position their cups toward the center as well. The three of them all take another drink together.
A minute later, Taehyung excuses himself to a group of people across the way. He knows everyone it seems, and they’re waving him over as he’s giving Jimin his cup for safekeeping. Taehyung promises he’ll be back in a minute, and it leaves Jimin and Namjoon standing rather awkwardly together.
Namjoon and Jimin have only met a handful of times. Since Namjoon is more or less Taehyung’s mentor, he and Jimin have crossed paths before. The three of them have gotten lunch together a time or two, but they’ve never spent an extended amount of time together. And never without Taehyung.
It seems expected for Namjoon to start their small talk, so he does. He points in Jimin’s general direction and comments, “Didn’t know you were such a party animal.”
Shaking his head, Jimin says, “I’m not, usually. But, Taehyung really wanted to come here tonight and since I kind of have to be here since I’m on the team now, I’m just trying to have fun.”
Raising his eyebrows in a clearly judgemental manner, Namjoon tells him, “Oh, you’re having fun alright.”
Their conversation drifts off into various directions; just anything to keep it continuous so that there aren’t any awkward silences. Namjoon isn’t sure if Jimin was playing up how drunk he is a moment ago or playing up his sobriety now but he’s not a challenge to talk to.
His voice is still raised so Namjoon can hear him over the music, and sometimes his words come out a bit slurred, but he makes perfect sense when he speaks. Namjoon finds himself mentally commending Jimin’s ability to hold his liquor.
Jimin keeps glancing over his shoulder at Taehyung, and after the fourth time Namjoon can’t help but comment.
Laughing a bit, Namjoon says, “He’s not gonna disappear.”
Whipping his head back so that he can face Namjoon again, Jimin says, “Huh?”
“Taehyung,” Namjoon starts. He gestures in Taehyung’s direction, a few yards away in the living room area. “He’s not going anywhere, you keep looking for him.”
With his eyes drifted down a bit shyly, Jimin answers back, “I’m not looking for him.”
But Namjoon’s not fooled. He rubs at his bottom lip and says sarcastically, “Sure.”
The thing is, Jimin knows he’s staring. Somewhere in the back of his tipsy mind, he knows he’s being obvious. Totally and utterly obvious. But he’s also just come to terms with the fact that he’s almost completely sure he likes Taehyung more than a friend. He’s a little too intoxicated to keep himself in check.
After a few seconds of silence, Namjoon swats at Jimin’s shoulder and tells him, “It’s your lucky day, he’s coming back.”
When Jimin looks up, Taehyung’s bouncing back over toward where he and Namjoon are standing. He’s laughing with his mouth and with his eyes are he returns.
He wraps an arm around Jimin as he asks, “You okay?”
Immediately, Jimin’s nodding. He says back, “I’m good, yeah.” And then, by nature, “You?”
It makes Taehyung smile.
“I haven’t had nearly as much to drink as you. I’m perfectly fine, Jimin.”
Seamlessly, especially now that Taehyung is back, the three of them transition into a light conversation. Taehyung’s telling them about the friends he was talking to. He tells Namjoon and Jimin they’re in his 8 AM class and how they’ve become friends so quickly.
“They always say people bond over traumatic experiences, right?” Taehyung jokes. “Makes sense why we're basically family already.”
Jimin laughs, but he knows he’s staring at Taehyung. He’s been memorizing the angles of Taehyung’s profile while he speaks. But when he stops, Jimin’s like a deer in headlights. Taehyung spots him.
Snapping his fingers in front of Jimin’s face playfully, Taehyung calls, “Earth to Jimin.”
Again, Jimin drops his head. He promises that he’s there and he’s fine but Taehyung doesn’t seem to believe him.
So to prove his stability, Jimin says rather abruptly to Taehyung, “Dance with me.”
Taehyung almost chokes on his drink. He coughs softly, clears his airway, and says, “What?”
“Dance with me,” Jimin repeats. He’s got quite the confidence when he’s buzzed because he doesn’t seem to be taking any answer besides a yes. With a devilish smirk, he’s slipping Taehyung’s drink from his hand and placing it on the counter.
It’s too good of an opportunity to pass up if Taehyung’s honest with himself. Because he’s been thinking about Jimin nonstop for days, and he’d actually love nothing more than to dance with him right now.
Taehyung’s not shy often, but he feels shy now. Maybe it’s because of how much he actually wants this. Or maybe because he knows everyone’s going to see them. Nearly half of the campus is at this party, but all eyes have been on Jimin these past few days, and Taehyung’s become friends with the majority of the people here.
Inevitably, the campus is going to talk if they see them together on the dance floor. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
“Come on,” Jimin urges, reaching for Taehyung’s hand.
Shooing them away, Namjoon says, “Go. I’ll watch your drinks.”
And now neither of them have anything left to lose. Not that they did before, but now it feels imperative for the two of them to go dance with each other. Like if they don’t take this small step now, they never will.
But they do. Taehyung allows himself to be lead toward the living room area where most people are dancing.
There’s house music on, seemingly Hoseok's favorite, but the two of them don’t care. They’d dance to anything right now if it meant they got to hold each other and live in each other’s personal space bubble for a little while.
They start out face to face, and there’s silliness to their movements. It’s apparent that the two of them are dancing with the intent to make each other laugh. Jimin does a spin move he’s had too many drinks to accomplish correctly, but Taehyung’s there to steady him.
This must be some kind of teen movie because the music slows the second Jimin finds himself in Taehyung’s arms.
It’s a song that came out not too long after the two of them were born, but Jimin can’t remember the name of it right now. But it’s a pretty song with impressive male vocals. He sings about falling in love for the first time, and Jimin thinks maybe now he understands the lyrics.
Taehyung starts to pull away. He’s got a smile on his face as he attempts to remove the two of them from the dance floor now that the song has changed the mood, but Jimin grabs onto his wrist.
Maybe it’s the alcohol, but Jimin doesn’t see the problem. He wants to dance and he wants to do it with Taehyung. So he’s turning Taehyung around and guiding him closer.
Softly, now that the music is quieter, Jimin says, “Thought you were gonna dance with me.”
Taehyung allows Jimin to change their position. Once they’re near enough, Jimin guides Taehyung’s arms over his shoulders. A moment later, Jimin wraps his hands around Taehyung’s waist. He’s got a loose grip, but Taehyung feels him there with every fiber of his being. In fact, it’s just about the only thing he can feel.
For the second time tonight, Taehyung gets shy. There’s not nearly enough light, but Taehyung is sure that if there was, Jimin would see he was blushing. His heart is racing now that Jimin is as close as he is, but his palms are itching to pull Jimin even closer.
It’s natural the way they fall into a rhythm. A slow, rocking type of sway back and forth. As they swing, Jimin feels Taehyung’s muscles in his midsection tighten with the movements. But he feels tense everywhere; Jimin can tell. Comfortingly, Jimin begins rubbing his thumb against Taehyung’s sides.
The new sensation gets Taehyung’s attention for a moment, but the eyes he catches staring at them steal it away.
Under his breath, Taehyung tells him, “They’re staring at us.”
Surely Taehyung and Jimin aren’t the only two on the dance floor, and they’re not even the only two guys dancing together, but they’re still apparently the stars of the show.
Now that Jimin’s aware, his eyes start to linger around the room. He peers over Taehyung’s shoulders much more discreetly than those looking at them and then catches Taehyung’s eyes again.
Typically, Jimin gets embarrassed easily. He’s quick to drop to the floor laughing with his face turning red when he feels even the slightest bit of uncomfortable. But right now he’s got liquid courage, and a few lingering eyes don’t scare him.
Shrugging, Jimin whispers back, “Let them stare.”
But that’s not just the alcohol talking. Jimin’s not too far gone, and he knows what he’s saying despite knowing he most likely wouldn’t have said it if he hadn’t had as many shots as he’s had. And there’s truth to it. He means it. Let them stare. Maybe the quicker the campus gets used to seeing them together, the quicker they’ll get used to it themselves.
Taehyung seems comforted by Jimin’s words and his demeanor. His hold on Taehyung’s waist tightens. Jimin takes a step closer, invading Taehyung’s space in the best way possible, and stays there.
The two of them are almost nose to nose. When they’re this close, they can’t see anyone else. They don’t need to.
With each other in their arms, they dance to the rest of the song. Slow and steady, they sway back and forth. The top of their ears burn with whispers from their peers about them, but they don’t let it phase them.
When the song ends, it’s immediately followed by another love song. But the two of them think they’ve been a spectacle for long enough.
Holding his hand out, Taehyung says, “Let’s get you home.”
Smiling, Jimin takes his hand and they head back toward the front door.
“Sort of surprised I don’t have to carry you back,” Taehyung teases once they’re halfway through their walk home.
The crisp night air seems to have sobered Jimin up a bit, but he’s still a little unsteady on his feet. Despite that, he’s walking with minimal assistance.
Every once in a while he stumbles, but Taehyung’s there instantly with a steady hand in his back. Jimin always assures he’s fine, but Taehyung keeps his hand planted on the small of Jimin’s back for a few extra seconds just to make sure.
Jimin looks over at Taehyung and says, “I wouldn’t say no to a free ride.”
With just about the whole campus at Hoseok’s party, the university seems like a ghost town. Like Taehyung and Jimin were the only two people left on Earth.
It’s nice, Taehyung mentally concludes, to share a planet with Jimin. Turns out the two of them do just fine without anyone else.
Stopping abruptly in front of Jimin, Taehyung stands rather oddly. He’s bending at the knees a bit, holding his arms out slightly, and wagging his fingers at Jimin.
He says, “Hop on.”
Jimin’s first reaction is to laugh, but he can easily blame that on the alcohol still running strongly through his veins. His second reaction is to clear his throat and question, “Really?”
But Taehyung’s serious. Even though his back is facing Jimin, Jimin is still able to see him nod.
He’s laughing a bit as he urges Jimin on. He says, “Yeah, come on. You’ve earned it, Mr. I’ve-Had-Five-Shots.”
As Jimin’s climbing into Taehyung’s back, he admits, “It might’ve been six.”
“All the more reason for me to help you out,” Taehyung responds. He lifts Jimin higher to get a better grip and secures his arms under Jimin’s thighs.
The world tilts a whole lot more from up here, so Jimin closes his eyes. In the complete darkness, Jimin feels like he’s on a boat. It’s calming, so he thinks the only thing left for him to do is to make himself comfortable.
Securing his arms around Taehyung’s shoulders and resting his chin, Jimin mumbles back, “Thanks, Taehyungie.”
Jimin’s head is spinning, he’s starting to feel nauseous, and he couldn’t even begin to tell anyone which way was the correct way to his dorm. But despite all of that, pressed against Taehyung’s back the way he is, Jimin’s never felt safer.
It’s a challenge to swipe the card to open their door while keeping Jimin balanced on his back, but Taehyung does it. The door swings closed with its own inertia and slams shut. Jimin groans at the sound and pushes his forehead against the side of Taehyung’s neck.
“Sorry, it’s the door,” Taehyung explains quickly as he walks Jimin over to what’s now known as his side of the bed.
Taehyung turns around and lowers Jimin until he’s on the mattress. He’s rather dependent now, the alcohol in his system and his fatigue hitting him hard. He reaches for the pillow a few inches above his head but can’t find it.
“You’re a mess,” Taehyung says, smiling as he shakes his head. He’s trying to take off Jimin’s shoes, but Jimin doesn’t understand and keeps kicking at him.
So Taehyung moves upward. Jimin’s in a jacket, a shirt, jeans, and his boots. There’s no way he can comfortably sleep in all of that. Taehyung thinks if he can at least get the shoes and jacket off, Jimin won’t sweat to death tonight right beside him.
“Give me your arm,” Taehyung prompts. And if Taehyung thought sober Jimin was hard-headed, he’s a cake walk compared to drunk Jimin.
Impressively, because his eyes are still closed, Jimin twists his arm away from Taehyung’s grip. He’s giggling like he thinks it’s a game, but Taehyung just wants to sleep. His iPad is telling him it’s after two in the morning now.
“Jimin,” Taehyung calls to get his attention.
“You’re a good dancer,” is what Jimin responds with. His voice is soft and kind of whiny and very cute. Taehyung tries not to pout at the sound of it.
Jimin tells him, “You said you weren’t a good dancer but you are. You’re a really good dancer, you—“
“Thanks. Give me your arm,” Taehyung says back. He’s not running low on patience, but he thinks the tiredness in his voice is apparent now. He wouldn’t mind playing around and joking with Jimin right now, but honestly, he’s exhausted.
After two more tries, Taehyung finally catches Jimin’s arm. But after a few attempts, he concludes that it’s a lost cause trying to rid Jimin of his jacket while he’s lying down.
Going straight to plan B, Taehyung tugs at Jimin’s arms and says, “Up.”
This time, Jimin’s quick to listen. He follows Taehyung’s lead and offers some assistance in sitting upright. For Jimin’s balance, Taehyung sits beside him on the bed so that he’s got somewhere steady to lean.
Patiently, Taehyung says, “I need your arm. We’re gonna take your jacket off.”
Jimin’s staring in Taehyung’s direction like he’s confused, but he surrenders over his right arm anyway.
Taehyung tries to be quick. He yanks and fumbles with the end of Jimin’s jacket, but all of his efforts just end with Jimin falling forward into him.
As expected, Jimin’s giggling into Taehyung’s chest. And with his free hand, he places it on Taehyung’s shoulder for support when he’s ready to lift himself back up.
When he does, Jimin doesn’t sit up completely straight. Instead, he stays somewhat hovering in the space right in front of Taehyung’s face.
His eyes are transfixed on Taehyung’s lips so much Taehyung starts to think he feels them burning. He licks them, just to cool them off, and Jimin mimics his action.
“Jimin,” Taehyung whispers, but he doesn’t know why he’s saying his name. Maybe he means it like a warning because Taehyung can feel where this is going and his heart is beating too quickly for him to think of anything else to say.
“Taehyung,” Jimin says back. But it doesn’t sound like Taehyung’s name at all. It sounds like come here. It sounds like lean in.
They’re frozen there like that— mere inches apart, breathing in each other’s air, too afraid to make any sudden movements. Jimin can feel Taehyung’s breath brushing against his lips and it’s calling him closer; sending quiet messages for him to eliminate the space between them.
At his shoulder, Jimin’s hand scratches at Taehyung’s shirt. Nervously, he pulls at it as he thinks aloud.
Jimin says just above a whisper, “I think I wanna kiss you.”
He sounds scared; like he’s worried Taehyung is going to shove him away. Jimin squeezes his eyes shut for a moment, and then opens them. When he looks again, Taehyung is still there. He feels relieved.
Taehyung’s not oblivious to the world or his own feelings. So he’s well aware that he and Jimin have been beyond what most would consider normal, typical roommate behavior.
And he can’t blame it entirely on the bed mix-up, because they’ve had night after night to decide to sleep separately. But they never have. Because something’s there between them that keeps pulling them together. Maybe it’s been there since the moment they met.
The truth is easier to say to Jimin with the idea that maybe he won’t even remember this in the morning.
Taehyung says back, “I think I wanna kiss you, too.”
He does. He really, really does. And he has for a long time. But he can’t. Not right now. Not while Jimin’s like this.
There’s urgency in Jimin’s voice when he speaks again. It’s intertwined with want and just a bit of lust. He says, “So do it. Kiss me. Do it.”
With his heartbeat so loud in his ears, Taehyung barely hears Jimin. But it doesn’t matter. He knows what he says and he knows that they can’t. At least not right now.
Leaning forward until their foreheads are touching, Taehyung rests against Jimin. The tips of their noses are smushed together and Jimin’s still anxiously pulling at Taehyung’s shirt.
“I can’t,” Taehyung tells him. He closes his eyes and lets out a sigh. He says, “I want to but I can’t.”
Jimin shakes his head against Taehyung’s. He tells Taehyung, “I’m right here, yes you can.”
But Taehyung doesn’t want it to be this way. He knows it doesn’t actually mean much if Jimin’s drunk and possibly doesn’t mean what he’s saying right now. If this was going to happen, Taehyung needs it to happen when they’re both in the right state of mind. Not after more than a few drinks at a campus party.
Shaking his head, Taehyung tells Jimin, “I’ll kiss you tomorrow...if you still want to then.”
Jimin makes a displeased noise and it’s too cute for Taehyung not to smile at. Furrowing his eyebrows, Jimin says like he’s trying to draw Taehyung back in, “I want to now…”
This time, Taehyung pulls back all the way. He holds Jimin’s shoulders to signal for him to stay where he is, and explains with a laugh, “This is drunk Jimin talking. I need to have this conversation with sober Jimin.”
Now Jimin just seems annoyed, so he pulls at his own jacket until it’s half off. Taehyung assists him with the rest. He leans back in the bed when Taehyung tells him to. And this time he doesn’t fight when Taehyung unties his boots and tosses them to his side of the room.
Jimin closes his eyes but the room still feels like it’s spinning. With a finger to his forehead, Jimin gives himself a pitiful head massage. Even in the dark, Taehyung can see Jimin’s poor attempt at self-comfort and he snorts.
“Get some rest,” Taehyung says as he climbs into bed next to Jimin. Their light is already off, so there’s nothing left for them to do than to settle and fall asleep.
Taehyung thinks Jimin mumbles something back, but he doesn’t catch it and doesn’t think Jimin would be able to repeat himself anyway. So he lets the room drift into a calm silence instead.
Just as Taehyung’s mind is beginning to slow down, he hears Jimin’s voice say to him quietly, “G’night, Taehyung.”
Taehyung smiles. He can’t help it.
He says back, “Good night, Jimin.”
Taehyung's not quite sure how, because Jimin was drunk and he wasn't, but Jimin's gone by the time he wakes up. The bed feels large and empty when Jimin isn't in it with him, and Taehyung finds himself positioning closer toward the middle to take up space. Jimin's side is cold now, indicating he's been gone for a while, and Taehyung can't believe he didn't wake at all.
Immediately, snapshots of last night flash in Taehyung's head. More specifically, he replays he and Jimin centimeters away from pressing their lips together. In Taehyung's imagination right now, they don't hesitate. It's purposeful and meaningful the way he and Jimin lean forward and kiss each other. But it's not actually meaningful because it isn't happening.
Truthfully, as he drifted off to sleep last night, Taehyung fantasized about Jimin kissing him awake and the two of them laughing about last night's events. But instead, he's woken up alone in a bed clearly made for two. It's never seemed so large.
Hopeful, Taehyung rolls himself back onto his side of the bed and reaches for his phone. But when he looks at his screen, he's got plenty of messages but none from who he's wishing for. He's got three from Namjoon asking how the rest of his night went, one from Yoongi looking for Namjoon, some from his classmates who he chatted with briefly at the party, and one from a girl in his Public Speaking class.
Zero from Jimin.
He knows it's useless, but Taehyung tries to go back to sleep. In an attempt to convince his body, Taehyung reminds himself that it's Saturday and he only has one more day off after this before the hellish cycle of school starts up again. But despite how determined he rests his head on his pillow, he doesn't fall asleep.
It’s about ten minutes after nine in the morning, so Taehyung can’t possibly think of where Jimin is right now. There aren’t any classes on Saturday, he doesn’t work, and he doesn’t have dance practice on the weekends either.
There’s a thought that crosses Taehyung’s mind to text him, because he’s immediately thinking the worst. Taehyung doesn’t like to show it, but he’s a worrier for the people and things he cares about. Most of the time he presents are carefree and optimistic, which he is, but he doesn’t function well if he doesn’t know if everyone’s okay.
But then the idea that Jimin is gone so early because he wants to get away from Taehyung appears in his mind as well. It’s possible that Jimin remembers what happened last night a now he wants nothing to do with Taehyung at all. Soon, all Taehyung is able to imagine is Jimin at Student Services trying to request a room change.
Endless thoughts run through Taehyung’s mind for a long time. And the longer Taehyung doesn’t hear from Jimin, the more extreme Taehyung’s thoughts get. He convinces himself that Jimin hates him, that his feelings are one-sided, and that he’s misinterpreted this entire situation.
Which is possible, if Taehyung’s honest with himself. The two of them haven’t exactly talked about their feelings toward each other at all. They’ve sort of just ran with the unspoken, progressed off of body language and allowance, and went from there. In hindsight, Taehyung realizes how that wasn’t the best way to go about things.
Because look where he is now— alone, confused, and worried that he ruined everything. Or that he scared Jimin somehow. And he knows that Jimin is technically just a text or call away, but that doesn’t mean he’ll answer.
Time passes in a blur, and Taehyung’s phone starts vibrating around 11:30 AM. He looks like a madman scrambling to his side of the bed to retrieve his phone.
His hand scrapes it from the nightstand but he’s disappointed by the name he reads on the screen.
It’s Namjoon calling him. Taehyung answers anyway.
“Where the hell did you go last night?” is Namjoon's greeting instead.
Taehyung’s confused for a moment as he thinks back. But then he remembers he and Jimin leaving Namjoon to go dance and then never coming back. They ditched Namjoon at the party.
Guiltily, Taehyung covers his face with his hand. He says, “Hyung, I’m so sorry— fuck, we left you, didn’t we?”
Namjoon called with every intention to scold Taehyung. But he can’t be angry. Not for real. Not when he knows who he left with and what that could possibly mean.
So instead, Namjoon asks teasingly, “You guys are a ‘we’ now?”
Taehyung quiet, clearly taken off guard. “I— what?”
So Namjoon continues. If his job is to guide Taehyung through all the challenges of college, he doesn’t think he should miss the opportunity to give him so pointers on relationships.
He tells Taehyung, “You two looked really… close last night. It was cute, actually.”
Taehyung’s face is red. He whines, “Hyung.”
“I’m just saying. If you two are a thing now after last night, don’t be scared, okay? If you like each other, then go for it. It’s the only way you’ll know for certain.”
Solid advice sure, but what happened last night seems to have pushed them apart rather than brought them closer. Taehyung shakes his head. It would be nice if last night went the way everyone else on campus assumed for them. He’d much rather wake up in Jimin’s arms and kiss him until their lips are numb, not this.
Taehyung groans. He says, “Last night just made it complicated.”
Prying only a little bit because he feels they’re at a friendship level where he can ask, Namjoon questions, “You guys hooked up?”
The question sort of makes Taehyung laugh. As he rubs at his temple, trying to nurse his emerging headache, Taehyung responds, “Not even close.”
There’s silence then, Namjoon encouraging Taehyung to talk more and explain. Only a few seconds pass before Taehyung falls into the trap and does so.
“He tried to kiss me, and I really wanted to. I wanted to so bad but I couldn’t,” Taehyung adjusts himself in bed. He rolls over onto his back and stares at the ceiling. “But he was drunk, you know?”
It’s a rhetorical question but Namjoon chimes in with a smile heard through the phone, “Oh, I know.”
Taehyung rolls his eyes. He continues with his voice raising in volume the longer he talks, “So I couldn’t. It just didn’t feel right. I told him that I wanted to, just when we both were sober. But he’s gone now and I think maybe he remembers it as me rejecting him completely. Which I wasn’t doing! I—”
“Okay, okay,” Namjoon interjects calmingly. He pauses for a second just to make sure Taehyung’s listening to him before he says, “You two have to talk.”
“He’s not here,” Taehyung stresses.
Namjoon sucks his teeth. “Then find him, Taehyung! Call him, text him, do something.”
Again, Taehyung is quiet. But Namjoon doesn’t let him off of the hook that easily.
Namjoon instructs, “I’m gonna hang up the phone. You’re gonna take a minute to think about what you want from your relationship with Jimin. Then when you’re ready, you’re gonna call him. Okay?”
On the other end, Taehyung’s trying to complain and come up with excuses but Namjoon doesn’t want to hear it.
Waving his hand to dismiss anything Taehyung’s trying to say, Namjoon tells him, “You have to listen to me, I’m your hyung and your mentor.”
Namjoon can’t see it through the phone, but Taehyung flips him off. Softly, and with a smile on his face, Taehyung mumbles back, “Whatever.”
“I’m hanging up now,” Namjoon tells him. “Think. Then call him. And then call me to tell me how it goes.”
Taehyung laughs. “So nosy, hyung.”
Namjoon shrugs. “According to the University of South Korea, your business is my business. At least for the remainder of the semester.”
“Whatever you say,” Taehyung replies, shaking his head and laughing just a bit.
The two hang up the phone. And Taehyung thinks for a long, long time. Hours, actually. But when he’s done, he doesn't have the courage to call Jimin.
So he rolls over and thinks some more. Taehyung thinks and thinks and thinks about what Jimin’s lips would feel like on his.
Maybe if he thinks hard enough, Jimin will come back.
He doesn't mean to, but Taehyung over-thinks himself back to sleep.
And when he wakes up, he's no longer alone in the room. Immediately, he recognizes Jimin's figure sitting at his desk. He's writing something by hand; school notes, maybe. But he's got his headphones in so he doesn't notice Taehyung's awake now.
If last night didn't end the way it did, Taehyung knows Jimin would've crawled into bed next to him. But Jimin intentionally keeping his distance lets Taehyung know that there's something wrong. Lets him know that he did something wrong, and so it's up to him to fix it.
"Where have you been?" Taehyung asks, but his voice isn't loud enough to be heard over Jimin's music. From the bed, Taehyung sighs.
Seeing no other option, Taehyung removes himself from the bed and walks over toward Jimin. The room is nearly pitch black; Jimin's using his small desk light to provide him with what he needs to write, but the main light is still off.
So Taehyung's careful when he approaches Jimin; trying hard not to scare him. Instead of tapping his shoulder, because the action is abrupt, Taehyung rubs his arm instead. It does the trick; Jimin pulls out his headphones and looks up at Taehyung, but he looks confused.
Jimin says, "Thought you were asleep."
But Taehyung just shrugs. "Not anymore."
Pushing out his bottom lip, Jimin chuckles. He nods and closes his notebook, giving Taehyung all of his attention.
"We have to talk," Jimin tells him.
Taehyung swears he's never been so relieved to hear anything in his entire life. He's spent hours convincing himself that Jimin would never want to speak to him again. So Jimin saying that he wants to talk already feels like half of the battle won. Now all Taehyung has to do is make sure Jimin understands that he wasn't rejecting him; if anything he was just trying to postpone what they were doing.
Jimin stands, so Taehyung takes a step back to give him room. They maneuver around the small space surrounding Jimin's desk, and soon Taehyung understands that Jimin wants to sit on the bed. So he follows him over.
The two of them sit on Jimin's side of the bed, side by side, but facing the wall. They don't begin looking at each other and it feels weird. So Taehyung turns to look at Jimin, figuring he'll start.
But Jimin beats him to it. Jimin begins, "I was really drunk last night."
Taehyung's mouth snaps shut, letting Jimin talk. He doesn't nod, doesn't move, doesn't do anything. He just lets Jimin talk.
"I was really drunk and I think I came on way too strong to you. I― I don't know what I was thinking. Actually, I do know what I was thinking, but it doesn't mean it was right. I don't know. I woke up this morning and all I could think about is how much I fucked up last night. You must hate me or something," Jimin says so quickly his words melt together. He pulls at the string of his sweatpants as he speaks, trying to keep himself calm.
Taehyung shakes his head. He says, "I don't hate you. I could never hate you. What are you talking about?"
And now Jimin's quiet because he doesn't really know what he's talking about. He has fuzzy scenes in his head from last night that he pieced together himself. He remembers taking way too many shots with his new team. And he remembers pulling Taehyung on the dance floor. Jimin remembers Taehyung starting to walk away but Jimin pulling him back. And then he remembers what looks like a struggle in his head. He and Taehyung on the bed, Taehyung telling him to wait, Jimin leaning in... Jimin just assumed he fucked up majorly last night.
Biting the inside of his lip, Jimin asks, "Didn't I do something stupid last night?"
Shrugging, Taehyung mumbles, "You had like six shots that was pretty stupid."
Jimin rolls his eyes. He says, "You know what I mean, Taehyung."
It's true, Taehyung does. So he thinks this is the perfect time for Jimin to hear his side of the story. The drastically more sober side.
Taehyung looks at Jimin and says, "You didn't do anything stupid, you were just really drunk. And when we got back home, I was trying to take off your jacket and your shoes so that you'd be comfortable enough to sleep. You're quite the handful when you're drunk, you know that?"
Jimin smiles but doesn't answer, so Taehyung continues.
"I was trying to help you take off your jacket and somehow you ended up falling into me. And then we were really close. Really, really close. You...you said you wanted to kiss me."
Now Jimin looks a mix of embarrassed and tortured like he doesn't want to hear the rest of Taehyung's story anymore.
Pulling anxiously at the string still, Jimin adds, jumping to an uncertain conclusion, "And you said no."
But Taehyung's shaking his head. He looks Jimin directly in his eyes as he speaks now because he wants Jimin to know he's telling the truth when he says this.
"I said tomorrow, Jimin. Today. I didn't say no. You were drunk and I didn't want to kiss you if you didn't really mean it," Taehyung explains the best he can.
Now Jimin's looking at him, but Taehyung can't quite read his expression. But Taehyung is positive his is screaming kiss me now, please kiss me now! and he hopes Jimin can see that.
After a few moments of silence, Taehyung repeats, "I didn't say no, Jimin," because he doesn't know how else to tell Jimin that his entire body feels like its burning at the idea of kissing right now.
Taehyung feels out of breath but nothing's happened yet. His hand has a mind of its own when he rests itself on Jimin's knee, and he hopes it's an invitation because he's running out of nerve and he doesn't think he can do much else to prove to Jimin that he wants this so bad it's killing him.
But the last thing Taehyung registers before Jimin's lips are on his is the way his heart skipped a beat; because he could see the determination in Jimin's eyes as he leaned forward and took away the space between the two of them.
Honestly, Jimin's never believed in feeling sparks when kissing someone until right now. But his brain and his lips and his entire body are made of fireworks when he kisses Taehyung. It's a feeling he's never felt before― it's like taking in a breath after being underwater for too long, like a blanket after coming in from the cold, like landing safely on solid ground.
Taehyung tastes sweeter than Jimin could ever have imagined, and Jimin wants to thank Taehyung for making him wait because he can tell this is a million times better now that he's sober. And he can't stop himself from reaching up and holding the side of Taehyung's face. Jimin tilts his head, deepens the kiss, and tests the waters of pushing his tongue forward just a bit.
There's a sound that escapes from the back of Taehyung's throat, then. A moan after Jimin's tongue meets his. It makes Jimin smile; now fueled by the idea of doing more things to see what other noises he can get out of Taehyung.
It's instant how addicted Taehyung gets to the way Jimin kisses him, and he's almost desperately chasing him when Jimin pulls back for a moment. It's only a split second that Jimin's gone. With both of his hands on the sides of Taehyung's face, he looks at him for a moment. Just a moment, like he's proving to himself that this is real, before kissing him again.
Soon after, it's a whirlwind and Taehyung's dizzy on Jimin's high. Before he knows it, Jimin's got him flat on his back while he sits on his stomach. Jimin's ass is dangerously close to Taehyung's dick and he finds himself bucking upward, just a little bit, to get the friction he's suddenly craving.
Jimin's hard, Taehyung can feel it when he leans closer to kiss Taehyung, but Taehyung's hands are pinned over his head and he can't do much about it. He loves the control Jimin's quick to take. He's smaller in size, strong maybe, but he likes taking the lead.
They're not thinking, and maybe that's the best part because not thinking means they don't get to overthink. It's obvious this is headed for something they're never going to be able to take back, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. And they both know if they give themselves too much time to contemplate, it'll never happen. But they want this; both of them, they want this so bad.
Taehyung's seen Jimin shirtless before but it's entirely different when he's on top of Taehyung the way he is right now. His stomach muscles working to intentionally grind his ass teasingly over the length of Taehyung's hardening dick. Almost helplessly, Taehyung lifts himself off of the mattress when he can, in an attempt to meet Jimin halfway, but it feels too good. Everything Jimin is doing feels too good and it's hard not to get lost in the sensation.
When Jimin's ready, their position switches and Taehyung is on top. It's cute, the disorientated look that flashes on Taehyung's face for a moment when he's the one suddenly sitting on Jimin's midsection. He doesn't say it out loud, but he loves how easily Jimin's able to move him. He loves watches his muscles flex to lift him or reposition him. Taehyung hates working out, but he's always loved muscles on other people.
By now they've rid themselves of all of their clothes and it's just skin on skin. They kiss as they move their hips, chasing the bursts of pleasure they get.
But they're only in that position for a few minutes longer before Jimin is pulling Taehyung down on the bed beside him. Once they're face to face, on their sides, Jimin's hand travels down Taehyung's body. Jimin's hand is warm, the perfect kind of clammy, and soft around his dick. Taehyung closes his eyes and leans his head into Jimin's.
Using his left hand, Taehyung does the same for Jimin. His fingers are long and slender. They squeeze like a pulse as they work on him; collecting pre-come from the head and using it to lubricate the shaft. Jimin bites his lip, and when that's not satisfying enough, he bites Taehyung's instead.
Taehyung doesn't know if it's the excitement of it all, the new experience, or the fact that Jimin's hand feels really, really good, but he's close already.
Jimin's smiling at him like he's about to win a grand prize; kissing him between whines and moans.
"You gonna come for me?" Jimin whispers, catching Taehyung's lips with his again.
But Taehyung doesn't think he can speak right now. He's sweating, his heart is racing, and he's fucking into Jimin's hand so quickly he thinks he must look silly. But fuck, he's so close he could cry and all he needs is a little more.
Honestly, Taehyung doesn't know what he's begging for, but he moans over and over again, "Please, please, please."
Please don't stop. Please keep touching me. Please let me come.
Jimin thinks maybe Taehyung means all three, but it's his lucky day because Jimin has no intention of stopping until Taehyung's finished and he can't take anymore.
It's a skill, honestly, for Taehyung to continue to jerk Jimin off as he comes. Because his entire mind is suddenly engulfed in pleasure― basking in all that is Jimin and his hand and his kisses. But somehow, he maintains a steady rhythm as his body feels close to what Taehyung could only describe as being electrocuted in the best way.
When Taehyung opens his eyes, he's dizzy. But Jimin's right there, kissing at the side of his face, urging Taehyung to continue.
"Are you close?" Taehyung asks, opening his mouth in a way that's clearly him asking for a kiss. Jimin's quick to give him what he wants and he nods as their lips meet.
Jimin says breathlessly, "So close, baby. So close. You're doing so good."
They're both dead tired now, but Taehyung gives the rest of his energy to Jimin. With his left hand working up and down the length of his dick, and his right hand keeping Jimin's chin steady so he can kiss him, Taehyung keeps going until Jimin's finished.
His eyes snap shut and he makes a groaning sound that turns a bit high pitched. Taehyung feels him coming; it covers his hand and shoots over Taehyung's lower stomach as well.
A few seconds later, when Jimin's face is nearly red and he's breathing heavily, Taehyung removes his hand.
The two of them press their foreheads together, smiling and panting. Jimin's arm wraps itself around Taehyung's midsection and pulls him on top again. Taehyung goes easily; light as a feather anyway, but much more pliable post-orgasm, Jimin's learning.
Pressed together all sticky and sweaty, Jimin doesn't think he's ever felt better in his life. And as far as he can tell, Taehyung feels the same.
Taehyung keeps his eyes closed as he kisses almost mindless at Jimin's neck. He's talking, but it sounds like mostly nonsense to Jimin right now. His brain hasn't fully restarted yet, and when Taehyung moves a certain way on top of him, he can feel some of the aftershocks of his orgasm running up his spine.
Petting the back of Taehyung's head, Jimin feels the deep breathes Taehyung's taking to calm himself down.
He's cute and affectionate just about all the time, but especially after he comes, Jimin's also learning. Taehyung nuzzles his head in the space just under Jimin's chin, and he wraps his arms around Jimin's shoulders, hugging him close.
Taehyung's body language and the way he's clinging happily to Jimin says it all, but he asks anyway, "You okay?"
Immediately, Jimin feels Taehyung nodding. There are kisses being pressed to Jimin's neck again and Jimin thinks Taehyung's going to get him hard again if he doesn't slow down. Smiling, Jimin taps under Taehyung's chin to get him to look at him.
When they've made eye contact, Taehyung says, "I'm great. How're you?"
Liking Taehyung's choice of words, Jimin answers back contently, "Great."
Slowly, Taehyung's mouth curves up into a smile. It's the last thing Jimin sees before he closes his eyes and welcomes another kiss.
They spend the rest of the weekend the way they should: together and in bed. They only get up for the bathroom and to grab the takeout that they ordered. Other than that, they spend hours and hours wrapped up in each other.
Together, they familiarize themselves with each other's body and learn more than a thing or two. Like Jimin's neck is sensitive, and Taehyung becomes a master at biting at just the right spots to make Jimin feel good.
And that Taehyung likes when Jimin pulls his hair. Jimin does it by an accident, somewhere between Saturday night and Sunday morning, and apologizes immediately. But Taehyung pulls back off of Jimin's dick long enough to say, "No, it's okay. I like it. Please do it again."
Jimin's bossy in bed and Taehyung likes that even more. The more they experiment, the more they naturally fall into a place where they both feel comfortable. Taehyung finds that Jimin prefers taking the lead on most things, and Taehyung has no problem letting him have it. In fact, he loves it. He drowns himself in Jimin's command and lets him make all of the decisions.
But Jimin loves praise, Taehyung's learned. He never misses an opportunity to ask Taehyung if what he's doing feels good, or to prompt him to tell Jimin he fucks Taehyung the best. And each time Taehyung is nothing but happy to let him know.
They spend something close to thirty hours straight together. But it's not all just sex; they ration their time between YouTube, Netflix, music, napping, eating, and talking as well. Each thing they do together just brings them closer.
When they're together, life is easy. The two of them have never laughed so much in their entire lives. It's nice knowing they can tell each other everything and anything, and there's never any judgment. Being together feels like being home. It's safe and it's warm. It's comfortable and inviting. It's loving and genuine.
Jimin could swear he's known Taehyung his whole life.
They've made a routine out of walking each other to class now. It's Monday, and Taehyung's got an 11 AM class to attend, so Jimin accompanies him on his walk.
It's nice because this time last week they were awkward and nervous. It was the morning after they first (accidentally) shared a bed together. Jimin remembers how quickly he rushed out of the dorm that morning, and Taehyung can easily recall the tension between the two of them.
But all of that is gone now. They walk hand in hand to Taehyung's class and it feels comfortable. It feels like this is the way it's supposed to be. And it's nice to get a do-over from last week. They've come a long way in nine days.
Taehyung's happy today. He's always happy, but he's extra happy today so he's swinging their arms back and forth as they walk. Every once in a while he tries to skip away, but Jimin pulls him back.
He's got his headphones plugged into one ear, and the music excites him. He's cute. So, so cute and Jimin's happy that he's allowed to kiss him whenever he wants now.
So he does. Just because he can.
Jimin pulls on Taehyung's arms to stop him and uses his other hand to place under Taehyung's chin. Taehyung's taller by a few inches, so Jimin has to push himself up on his tiptoes a bit to reach Taehyung's mouth, but he doesn't care. Taehyung always makes sure to duck down a bit to accommodate.
And they're smiling into their kiss; eyes sliding shut as they close the space between them.
Now that they're closer, Jimin can hear Taehyung's music. He's listening to a song Jimin's never heard before, but that's not surprising. Taehyung's always searching for new songs from both their nation's artists and Western artists as well.
The kiss is soft and only lasts a few seconds, but they feel their lips tinging when they pull away. It natural the way Jimin's hand finds its way to the back of Taehyung's head when they kiss. He likes to card his fingers through Taehyung's hair when they do. And Taehyung always places his hands on Jimin's waist. Sometimes he pulls on the back of Jimin's shirt, but today, he's just holding Jimin in place.
When they part, they're both smiling. They're sure some of their classmates are peering at them, but they don't care. Honestly, they've never cared.
"What was that for?" Taehyung asks when Jimin's planted back on the floor and they start walking again.
Jimin shrugs. "Because I wanted to."
Taehyung smiles as he reaches his hand out for Jimin to take again.
He figures that's a good enough reason as any.
Jimin thinks they're fools for not keeping track of time because the email he receives at 9:23 AM that next morning makes his stomach sink.
He's only been awake for a few minutes, so he's not even mentally prepared to read it. But his phone is buzzing and his notification indicates it's a message from his school, so he reaches for it. And Jimin doesn't know how he forgot, but he wasn't expecting to read what he does when he opens the email.
With Taehyung still fast asleep on his chest, Jimin uses one hand to pet at the side of his head, and the other to scroll through his phone.
The email starts off very officially, and Jimin thinks maybe it has something to do with his financial aid, or maybe the amount of credits he's taking this semester. But no, it's nothing of the sort and the actual content of the letter makes him short of breath.
It reads simply:
Park Jimin (Student ID: 10139538),
Thank you for bringing our mistake to our attention. In reference to your complaint regarding the incorrect number of beds inside of your dorm, two (2) twin size beds will be delivered to your dorm room today. The single bed will be extracted and the two beds will be installed between the hours of 1 PM and 5 PM.
On behalf of the university, we apologize for the miscommunication and the delay in granting your request for two beds.
Frantically, Jimin rereads the email over and over. He feels guilty now. They don't want two beds anymore. What they have right now is perfect. But there's no way to stop the switch.
It feels like the beginning of the end. It's possible that sleeping separately is going to change things between the two of them. Sleeping together is what brought them together in the first place.
After talking it over, they now know they've had crushes on each other since the first day they met. But who knows how long it would've taken them to get where they are now if they weren't forced to share a bed. They can't separate now.
Against his side, Taehyung adjusts. He's still asleep, but he stretches his arm over Jimin's midsection and hugs him closer. Taehyung is such a cuddler, there's no way he's going to sleep peacefully in a bed alone anymore. Jimin sighs as sadness and frustration and regrets wash over him.
Jimin puts his phone down. He doesn't want to read the email anymore. And instead, he hugs Taehyung back.
If Jimin was asked ten days ago, he would've outright denied feeling anything other than relief for getting a second bed in their dorm. But right now, he just feels like his heart is breaking.
He never would've expected it, but he's really going to miss waking up with Taehyung in his arms.
Together, they strip the bed of its blankets, pillows, and sheets. They do it in silence because they know anything they say right now will just make the situation worse. Because they're just going to talk about how much they don't want to sleep separately anymore. But there's no stopping the two beds being delivered to their room. So there's no use in complaining.
"What are we gonna do with these blankets and stuff?" Taehyung asks as he struggles to fold the sheet into a manageable size. He says, "They're way too big for our new beds."
Jimin shrugs. "I don't know, Taehyungie. Take them home with you when we go on break."
Taehyung's first thought is that he has a twin size bed at home, too. So he can't even use it there. But it's a useless thought. It doesn't matter.
So instead, Taehyung folds the sheet down and says back softly, "Okay."
They finish undressing the bed and only steal glances at each other. They're on opposite sides of the bed, and it feels like how they started. It's separating them, acting as a barrier, and has returned as the elephant in the room. They feel themselves regressing; tension and uncertainty creeping back into their room.
When they're completely done, they stare at the bed. It's plain and empty and huge. Just like it was ten days ago.
The memories they've made on it are now on the floor with the sheets that used to adorn it. It would be easy for the two of them to pretend all of it never happened if they wanted to.
But they don't want to.
"When we get back, it'll be gone?" Taehyung asks. He means it innocently, but the reminder just gives Jimin a headache.
Dropping his eyes to the floor, Jimin confirms, "Yeah. We'll have our own beds."
Taehyung's face twists. "I don't want my own bed."
Jimin doesn't know what to say. He would love to pick up the phone and tell Student Services that they don't want the two twin size beds anymore, but that's not going to happen. Two beds are required for two people living in a room together; the university doesn't care if the two people are together or not.
So Jimin says, "I know, Taehyung. I'm sorry."
Taehyung wants to tell him not to apologize; because he knows Jimin is blaming himself. But it's not his fault. It seems like an entire lifetime ago, but they barely knew each other ten days ago. It was only logical for them to call to make the university aware of their problem.
Turns out it wasn't actually a problem, is all.
Taehyung wants to tell Jimin not to be upset with himself, and that they'll figure something out, and that it'll all be okay. But he doesn't have the energy to do so right now.
Instead, Taehyung sits down on the side of the bed― his side― and says back, "I'm sorry, too."
The whole day is a blur. The two of them barely remember moving from one class to another, and Jimin's body is on autopilot throughout dance practice.
Jimin gets a confirmation email around 4:30 PM, letting him know their beds were delivered. It's crazy to think that a week and a half ago this would've been great news. But now, it's the worst thing Jimin's heard in his entire life.
Taehyung gets out of class much earlier than Jimin gets out of dance practice, so he grabs dinner with his friends to kill the time. They decided this morning that they wanted to see their new sleeping arrangement together. So when Jimin's halfway home, he texts Taehyung to come to meet him outside of their dorm room building.
"Ready?" Taehyung asks when he arrives. Jimin's found sitting outside on the bench in front of the building.
He sucks his teeth at Taehyung. "Not really," he responds honestly.
The truth is, they know they'll be fine. It's not the end of the world that they have their own beds now, but it feels like the end of their world in a way.
Over the past week and a half, the two of them have built an entire universe in that bed. They've had all of their firsts there. Everything from their first kiss to their first anime marathon together. The first time they've ever seen each other cry was on that bed, and it was also the first time they woke up next to each other.
Big and small, it's all happened right there...and now it's gone.
They walk in silence to the elevator and down the hall once they reach their floor. Taehyung goes first, just like the first time they saw their room together. But this time, he doesn't stop short after taking a few steps inside.
"Oh," Taehyung says as he turns on the light.
Sticking out like a sore thumb, two twin size beds sit in their room now. One on Taehyung's side, one on Jimin's side. They're just as plain as the king size bed, but now they have their own blankets and sheets to put on them.
Jimin looks at the two beds like he's disgusted. He feels his heart slamming in his chest, so he sits down at his desk instead. He's honest when he says aloud, "I don't like this."
And Taehyung, always the optimist, says, "Maybe we can only use one bed?"
It's a sweet thought, but Jimin can't really see them fitting comfortably on one bed. These things are made for one person only.
Shaking his head, Jimin says, "We won't fit."
"We will if I lay really, really close to you," Taehyung proposes. Then he wags his eyebrows playfully and says, "Or on top of you."
If Jimin had to pick his favorite thing about Taehyung, it would be his ability to make him happy no matter what. There are times, like now, when Jimin just feels shitty. He's the type that focuses on the negative and thinks about it over and over until it makes him sick. But Taehyung's the opposite. Even in a bad situation, he finds a way to make it seem okay, even just for a few moments.
"I'd like that," Jimin plays along. "But you're not gonna like it so much when you roll over and hit the floor."
Taehyung laughs softly as he walks to his side of the room. He sits on the edge of his bed and tries not to make a face. Jimin does the same, and they sit facing each other from across the room. With the bed in the center gone, Jimin's now realizing how spacious the room actually is. They've got enough room for a carpet and some beanbag chairs in the middle if they want to be stereotypical college kids.
Snapping his fingers, Taehyung says, "The floor! We can sleep on the floor."
But Jimin makes a noise of disagreement. Flashbacks of the second night they spent together comes to mind. Jimin remembers losing rock, paper, scissors and attempting to sleep on the floor. It's tile, so there's no give whatsoever. Jimin was sure he was going to wake up with a bruised back if he stayed there the whole night.
It's a sweet idea on Taehyung's part to be willing enough to risk a lifetime of spine problems just to sleep next to him, but it's not worth it.
Shaking his head, Jimin says, "Tried it. It sucks."
Taehyung crosses his arms over his chest. "I'm running out of ideas."
Pouting a bit, Jimin says, "Me, too."
The two of them sit, but they don't talk. It seems wrong of them to talk about their day like everything's fine, and they don't want to talk about their beds anymore. So they don't talk at all.
Thirty minutes of silence pass before Jimin can't take it anymore. He's tired and he's filthy from practice and he's annoyed. He's annoyed that he and Taehyung have fallen into this place where they don't know what to do without each other, and he's annoyed that he can't think of a way to give them what they both want. And most of all he's annoyed at the Jimin from ten days ago that despised the idea of sharing a bed with Taehyung. Fuck, that Jimin was so silly.
Jimin announces softly, "I'm gonna take a shower. We'll figure this out when I get back."
Taehyung makes a faint hum of acknowledgment.
Quietly, Taehyung watches Jimin gather his towel, his change of clothes, his soap, and head for the door.
When he's gone, Taehyung looks over at his side of the room. The space between them feels like achers now.
Taehyung's determined to fix this.
"Surprise!" Taehyung greets happily when Jimin returns from his shower twenty minutes later.
He nearly drops the items in his hand, genuinely surprised by both Taehyung's yelling and what he's presented with as he walks back into their room. Jimin sees it clearly, but Taehyung steps aside anyway to give him a better look.
Their two twin beds have been pushed from the sides of their room to the center and placed right against each other. The blanket they've been using for their king size bed is sloppily draped over it along with the other items they used to share the bed.
Jimin squints. He laughs, because he's happy and surprised, and then he covers his mouth.
"Didn't think I could move the beds on my own, but I could. Look! One bed!"
It's one bed all right. Like the makeshift but upgraded version of their previous bed, their two twin size ones sit next to each other almost seamlessly. Jimin's almost positive that once the beds are made, it'll resemble a single bed effortlessly.
Jimin doesn't have a better response than to kiss Taehyung, so that's what he does. He's quick to disregard his items on his desk and pull Taehyung close. Jimin raises himself up a bit so that he and Taehyung are level.
And he nearly flings himself onto Taehyung, but that's how happy he is. Jimin holds the side of Taehyung's face to keep him in place and kisses him over and over and over until Taehyung's not kissing back anymore and laughing instead.
Walking backward, Taehyung follows Jimin's lead and lays back on the beds. Jimin's straddling him a moment later, but the action is innocent. He pecks at Taehyung's forehead, and his cheek, and his nose, and his chin. Every once in a while, Jimin gives Taehyung what he wants and kisses his lips. But he's sure to make Taehyung work for it.
"You're so smart," Jimin praises between kisses to the side of his head. Again, he cups Taehyung's face and kisses him on the lips. "So smart, baby."
Taehyung's a giggling, happy mess under Jimin's love attack. He wraps his arms around Jimin's waist to keep him close, despite pulling away from Jimin's sloppy, open-mouthed kisses. When he can, Taehyung kisses back. He makes sure to plant some on Jimin's neck just to hear the way his breath hitches when he does.
"Glad you like it," Taehyung finally says, minutes later, despite it being apparent that Jimin more than approves of this idea.
Jimin sits back now on Taehyung's lower stomach. He gentle when he slaps at Taehyung's shoulder.
"Of course I love it."
I love you, Jimin's brain screams. But he doesn't say it. He thinks it's too early, too sudden, too--
"I love you," Taehyung says a bit hesitantly, and he can't stop the huge smile that's on his face. He's shining brighter than the sun as he looks up at Jimin and watches him.
Jimin's quick to react. He drops himself back down and kisses Taehyung again. With his thumbs, he brushes through the sides of Taehyung's hair as their lips connect over and over again. He knows Taehyung feels it in his kiss, but he has to say it back. A lot of things don't count unless you say it, and this is one of those things.
When Jimin finally comes up for air, he tells Taehyung with his entire being and everything he has in his heart, "I love you."
It takes a long time and a lot of self-control but the two of them get up and make the bed eventually.
It's a chore to make the bed again; the king size bed materials don't quite fit the size of two twin size beds together, but they make it work. Now, they have a little bit of extra blanket to wrap themselves in and a reason to cuddle even closer.
After Taehyung's showered and they're in their new bed, Taehyung says, "I think I like this better."
"Yeah?" Jimin asks. He's yawning as he does so, clearly sleepy now that it's after midnight.
It's a bit sappy, Taehyung knows, but it's only the two of them here and it's late so he thinks he gets a pass. He says, "This actually feels like ours, you know? There's no time limit on how long we have this. Last time was ten days, but we have so much longer now. So much more time to make even better memories."
Jimin rolls over and faces Taehyung. With his eyebrow raised, Jimin asks playfully, "You always this sentimental? Or just when you're sleepy?"
Under the blanket, Taehyung gives Jimin's shin a kick. As he's grimacing, Taehyung kisses him.
"Shut up," Taehyung tells him, but his tone of voice is loving. He reaches over Jimin to turn off the lamp beside his side of the bed.
Jimin pulls at Taehyung's shirt. He says, "Make me."
And Taehyung does; with a kiss to Jimin's lips deep enough to make Jimin chase his tongue. They part after a few seconds, both of them too tired for it to escalate to much else, but it's nice when they settle in each other's arms.
It feels like he's saying it for the first time when Jimin says, "Good night."
And Taehyung, already settling his head on Jimin's chest, says back softly, "Good night, Jimin."
Just like always, Jimin is awake before Taehyung the next morning. Day eleven, and it feels amazing. Jimin's impatiently waiting to see what days twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and so on have in store for them. As far as he can tell, they can only go up from here. He looks forward to spending his days and nights with Taehyung at his side.
These small moments before Jimin's alarm goes off are the ones he cherishes the most. The calmness before the chaos of the day. The minimal amount of time he has to be at peace with the world because as far as he's concerned he's got everything he needs right here.
Every night he spends sharing a bed with Taehyung, and every morning he wakes up with him in his arms, Jimin is positive he falls for him a bit more.
If the future will allow it, Jimin wants to spend the rest of his life just like this.
They've got a lot of days between now and forever.