An incessant vibration underneath Taehyung’s head took him out of his dream of a certain dark-haired boy. He felt around underneath his pillow, his eyes still closed, and grabbed his phone to put his alarm on snooze. He wanted to fall back asleep, but his mind wouldn’t let him. He couldn’t stop thinking about last night. He met the boy for the first time, the boy whose smile completely stole his heart. Jeon Jungkook. Jungkook.
Taehyung couldn’t get his voice out of his mind. It was deep, but there were moments where his voice would get a bit high when he smiled. Oh, his smile. He had the best teeth he had ever seen. Jungkook just reminded him of a rabbit and a hell of an adorable one. He looked even better up close. Taehyung didn’t know what to think about this, though. Here he was in a foreign country, in a place that was totally acceptable of homosexuality. He should feel free to grow feelings for Jungkook, but he just didn’t know how to approach the idea. He wasn’t the best judge of character. How was he supposed to know whether or not Jungkook was interested in men without being rude?
He sat up in bed and ruffled his hair, trying to clear his thoughts. He barely knew the kid. He shouldn’t rush into things. He needed to focus on school, meaning he had to get out of bed and get ready for his first day. Taehyung looked over to the neighboring bed. The covers were thrown back and Jimin was gone. He wondered if he was already in class. He wasn’t sure if he should tell his roommate about last night. Then again, Taehyung wasn’t sure if he should tell Jimin just yet about his sexuality. He didn’t know Jimin that well. Could he trust him with that much honesty?
Taehyung rifled through his clothes and chose a pair of dark jeans, an oversized flannel and his favorite boots. He settled his clothes on his bed and grabbed his toiletries: coconut-smelling shampoo, a towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, his comb and a bar of soap. He made sure to grab his deodorant and cologne before heading out of the room, making sure he had his key with him.
In the hallway, there were a few other people that paid him no mind. They looked dead tired with their ruffled hair and their sleepy eyes as they tried to figure out which way was left and which way was right. Clearly, he was more of a morning person than they were. Taehyung went into the group showers and paused.
Some of the stalls were taken, steam coming through from the showers. A few of the boys were in front of the mirror. But what caused Taehyung to blush was the fact that they were all half naked, a towel the only item of clothing around their waist. He could see abs, tan skin, brown skin. Some were curvy and some were skinny.
He gulped, feeling nervous as he tugged on his pajamas and gripped his basket of toiletries. He had never really gotten naked in front of other strangers, let alone boys that weren’t in his family. And attractive boys at that. He was suddenly grateful that Jungkook didn’t live in the same building.
Before his mind could wonder any further, he waited patiently for one of the showers to open up and for a few of the boys to leave the room. He wasn’t in too much of a hurry. He watched a few boys leave and then one of the showers turned off. Taking the opportunity now that no eyes were on him, Taehyung took off his pajamas and wrapped his towel around his waist. He folded up his pajamas and placed them on the bench.
He turned around to see Jimin coming out of the showers. He had a towel around his waist and his hair was dripping wet. He had a smile on his face as he waved and went over to the mirrors, completely unfazed by the fact that other boys were half-naked. Taehyung wondered how he could be so calm.
“H-hey.” Taehyung gripped his towel and looked around.
Jimin noticed his demeanor and chuckled a bit as he combed his hair back. “Are you okay? You look nervous.”
Taehyung shrugged. “I’ve never shared a shower with other people like this.”
Jimin nodded and grabbed his things, walking over to him. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Take it from me; a friend to a friend. You’re not too bad to look at.”
Taehyung furrowed his brows as he blushed. “What?”
Jimin laughed and shook his shoulder a bit. “Take a compliment, Taehyung. I’ll see you later, okay?”
Taehyung smiled at his friend and tried to calm down, nodded and bowing his head slightly as Jimin walked out. He took the opportunity and got into the shower. The hot water was exceptionally soothing on his skin as he washed his hair and cleaned his body. He was surprised at how good the water pressure was for a college dorm. When he was done, he peeked out of the curtain and found he was completely alone. He dried off and ran his comb through his hair after wrapping the towel around his waist.
He left the showers and starting making a mental list of what he needed to get for his first few classes. He only had about three for the day until 4 o’clock. He hoped to find a good place to eat around the city. He also wanted to explore the city as much as possible before he got assigned homework and projects.
He unlocked his door and opened it. As soon as it shut behind him, his eyes went wide. At the same moment the door closed, Jimin had removed his towel from around his waist. His back was to Taehyung, giving him an eyeful of his ass. Taehyung’s heart started to pound as his body flushed red with embarrassment. This was the last thing he ever thought he would see, especially his first full day in a strange country. Especially with his roommate for the next year!
Jimin quickly wrapped the towel around his waist and gasped out loud as he looked at Taehyung in shock. “O mai gat, joesonghamnida!” He quickly bowed his head multiple times as he apologized to Taehyung. He, too, was turning red.
Taehyung didn’t know what to say or what to do. He muttered a few words in Korean and went past Jimin to get his clothes, his books and his bag before leaving the room. On the way out, he could hear Jimin trying to call him back. He couldn’t face him. Not after that. Today was not going well so far.
Taehyung quickly changed in the showers in private. He was running out of time and he needed to get to class. He wanted a good seat. By the time he finished and gave himself one more look in the mirror, he left and headed to the lobby. Immediately, he bumped into a fully dressed Jimin. They both were quiet for a moment, both of them flushing red.
Jimin glanced over at the front desk before looking at Taehyung. “I’m really sorry. I should be more careful, I suppose.”
Taehyung wasn’t sure what to say. He just looked down, his hair falling into his eyes as he shook it out with his fingers.
“What building are you going to?” he asked him.
“Silver center?” Taehyung double checked his schedule on his phone to confirm.
Jimin nodded. “Me too. Come on, let’s walk together. I promise I won’t take my pants off or anything.”
Taehyung couldn’t help but laugh at his joke. He had to hand it to him; his roommate knew how to make a situation easier to handle. They both left the building and began walking toward the building. It wasn’t too far of a walk, just a few blocks. Already some students were making their way to classes; yawning, laughing with friends, holding hands. Taehyung glanced at a couple holding hands and smiling at each other.
Jimin watched him closely and smirked a bit. “Do you miss home already?”
“A little. It’s different being here, but I like it.” Taehyung smiled at Jimin.
“I forgot to mention it, but you came in last night a little…flustered.” He raised his eyebrows as his smirk grew. “Care to explain?”
Taehyung blushed and averted his gaze. “Well, last night, I met Jungkook.”
“Jungkook? So, he wants you to call him that? Not Jeon?” Jimin laughed. “I didn’t realize you two were so close already.”
At Jimin’s words, Taehyung gripped the straps of his backpack hard. His heart started to pound and he could feel heat grow within his neck and up to his head. He wasn’t angry, he was just embarrassed. He was fawning over a boy he barely knew, but he couldn’t hide what he was feeling. He wasn’t sure what it was.
“Taehyung?” Jimin tried to meet his eyes to no avail. “What’s wrong? Did I say something?”
“No. I just-” Taehyung noticed, when they arrived at the Silver Center, a small Starbucks café. “Can I get you coffee?”
Jimin held the door open for them and nodded. “Thank you, Taehyung.” He bowed quickly as they walked to stand in line.
Taehyung was quiet in his thoughts as they waited to order. He had to tell Jimin about him. They were going to be roommates for a while and they were already becoming such good friends. He was easy to talk to. It should be easy to tell him his secret, but it only made him want to throw up.
They ordered their drinks and Taehyung paid the cashier. They sat at a table once they received their drinks. Both of them had a little time before their classes started, but Taehyung was still quiet. Jimin could tell something was bothering him.
“You’ve barely had any of your drink,” he told him, giving him a small smile. He lightly touched his wrist in comfort. “What’s going on?”
“Jimin-” Taehyung faltered for a few moments. How was he supposed to do this?
“I already consider you one of my best friend’s, Taehyungie. You can tell me anything, just as long as you are comfortable.”
Taehyung smiled at the nickname and took a sip of his coffee. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly before looking around, making sure they were both in private. “Jimin, I’m gay.”
He expected a couple of things from Jimin: shock, doubt or even anger. What if he was homophobic? Instead, Jimin said the one thing he never really expected.
“It’s okay, Taehyung. I’m gay, too.”
Taehyung had speculated due to Jimin’s expression whenever he talked about Yoongi at the front desk, but he had never expected him to be so comfortable in confessing to him so casually. What were the odds that his roommate would be gay, too? America was something else.
Jimin laughed a little at Taehyung’s wide eyes. “I wasn’t sure when to tell you, either. I couldn’t really tell if you were, but I was surer about it when you talked about Jungkook. The look on your face was angelic.”
“Angelic?” asked Taehyung, not sure what he meant.
“You blush and you just get this amazing look. I don’t know. It’s nice.”
Taehyung smiled. “Oh, yeah? I noticed the look on your face yesterday when you talked about Yoongi at the front desk.”
Jimin nearly choked on his coffee. He started to stutter and move his hands around a lot on the table. “N-no. That’s nothing. I j-just…”
“Jimin, come on.” Taehyung laughed at his actions. “If I can admit my attraction to Jungkook, you can admit your attraction to Yoongi.”
Jimin looked around and then sighed out loud, letting his head fall in his hands. He ran his fingers through his hair. “O, ssibal! Naega wae ireoji?! Yes, I think he is just so handsome and beautiful. He has the cutest gummy smile I have ever seen in my life. He can be so sarcastic and can be such an asshole, but then he can be the nicest guy in the world. He has such a cute laugh. And God Taehyung, his muscles. He is so fit.”
Taehyung laughed out loud at Jimin’s babbling and covered his mouth as he exploded in a fit of giggles. He could definitely see how smitten Jimin was and it was just the cutest. He calmed down after a few minutes.
“I can’t do anything about it,” he said sadly.
Taehyung furrowed his brows. “Why do you say that?”
Jimin shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“Do you know if he is-” Taehyung moved his hands around to try to get Jimin to understand.
Jimin understood and nodded. “He is bisexual. I just don’t know how to move things further. We have been friends for a little while and I don’t know how to make the first move.”
“You’ll never know unless you try,” said Taehyung. He got up to throw his coffee away.
Jimin threw away his cup as they both put their backpacks back on to get ready for class. “Oh yeah? Look who is talking. You barely talked to Jungkook. How are you going to move forward?”
Taehyung shook his head frantically. “Hwajereul bakkuji maseyo!”
Jimin just laughed and patted his shoulder. “Alright, alright. We’re going to be late for class. I have to go to the very top.”
“I think my room is down the hall,” said Taehyung.
“Here.” They both exchanged numbers quickly. “Text me later. And hey, I’m glad we were able to talk about this.”
“Me too,” Taehyung said, smiling in relief.
“Don’t worry about me liking you, though. You aren’t really my type. I don’t really go for twinks,” he smirked at his joke.
Taehyung furrowed his brows, confused. “What is a twink?”
Jimin leaned toward his ear and whispered, causing Taehyung to burst into another fit of giggles. “I think we have the same type of guy, though.”
Jimin sighed softly and smiled widely, his plump lips stretching to show his perfect teeth. “Muscles.”
Taehyung had a good first day. His first class was simple history, which he rather enjoyed. He got to learn more about America, more than he had learned by himself before coming to the new country. After history, he had an art history class. It was fascinating and, though it was just the first day filled with introductions and ice breakers, he was eager to learn more about the famous artists he admired. He had to make a mental note to look for brushes and paint. It had been a while since he had painted anything. Not since before he had decided to leave Korea.
As the day neared to a close and the afternoon rolled in, Taehyung decided to go to the gym. He liked to run to clear his mind. Strangers wouldn’t think so looking at him physically, but he enjoyed keeping a healthy body and mind. He could lift a few weights with the best of them. He liked to play basketball, but it had been a while since he had found a few good guys to play with. Exercising helped him to breathe and to clear his mind, especially when he struggled so much with his own self.
Every day, it bothered him that nobody knew he was gay. He had known his sexuality practically his whole life. But, his family was strict on the norm of society in South Korea. Homosexuality was not accepted back home. It was a sin and it was an abomination to be gay. When Taehyung decided to come to America for school, he figured he would feel freer. He would feel at ease with his true self.
So, why was it so hard to tell Jimin earlier? Why was it so hard to accept himself in a country that was totally different from South Korea?
He took a breath and entered the Palladium gym, having already changed into a pair of basketball shorts and a simple white shirt. He carried a gym bag with a change of clothes. Jimin had texted earlier and wanted to meet up for dinner later.
Taehyung kept his bag to the side of the track as he started to run laps, keeping headphones in his ears as music played in time to his footsteps. With the beat going and his heart thumping, he was able to breathe and just let go. He didn’t have to worry right now about what his family would think about him or what strangers saw. He could just be.
After a while, Taehyung shifted to lifting different weights. He had tried to go higher in the weight class before, but he was too small for that. He wasn’t interested in looking like a beef cake, anyway. He soon transitioned to some machines before finally having enough, feeling gross with sweat and his hair sticking to his forehead. He grabbed his bag and went into the locker rooms, changing out of his dirty clothes before wrapping a towel around his waist to get ready for a shower. He surely didn’t want to show up to dinner looking like a hot mess. Thankfully, he didn’t have to be embarrassed about showering in front of strangers. The locker room was completely empty, surprisingly.
Taehyung locked his bag in the locker and tossed a shampoo bottle in the air as he walked toward the showers. As soon as he was about to catch the bottle, he bumped into another body coming from the showers. He looked up and his heart stopped.
There, standing in front of him with just a towel around his waist, was Jungkook. His dark hair was wet and dripping. His chest was bare and still wet from the shower. What caught Taehyung’s eyes were his abs, his beautiful abs that were wet and allowed his trail of hair to glisten. Taehyung gulped and bit down on his bottom lip. He couldn’t stop staring at Jungkook.
And Jungkook couldn’t stop staring, from what Taehyung gathered. Both boys were practically naked. Jungkook’s eyes were trailing over the sweat glistening from Taehyung’s body. He could hear the intake of breath Jungkook took and it caused Taehyung’s heart to beat hard and fast. It was a sight to behold.
Jungkook’s fingers clutched his towel, almost afraid it was going to fall off. Taehyung couldn’t believe this day. Why was he seeing everyone naked? He saw Jimin’s ass and now he was seeing Jungkook practically naked. Except, this time was different. With Jimin, he was incredibly embarrassed and flustered. Sure, he was attractive.
But, he wasn’t Jungkook. With Jungkook, Taehyung was feeling something different. Jungkook was incredibly attractive and, he wasn’t going to lie. Taehyung could feel a twitch in his groin and prayed that nothing was evident through the towel. This boy was something else.
“I’m-” Jungkook cleared his throat and avoided Taehyung’s eyes. “I should-”
Taehyung nodded and proceeded to get around him. Instead, they both moved in the same direction. It became a little dance and Taehyung thought for sure that this was some sort of punishment. They both stopped and, suddenly, Jungkook’s hands went to Taehyung’s shoulders. The contact shocked him. He moved Taehyung to the side until they were both in the direction they needed to be; Taehyung’s back to the showers and Jungkook’s back to the lockers.
Jungkook didn’t move his hands from Taehyung’s skin. Taehyung watched as Jungkook’s eyes slowly began to roam over his body, inch by inch. He had to resist closing his eyes with ecstasy. Inside, he was squirming. Suddenly, Jungkook’s hands left his shoulders. His fingertips slowly grazed down his chest and his stomach. Taehyung gasped at the sensation and the fire it left on his skin. It was the first time a boy had ever really touched him like this. He wanted Jungkook to be the only boy.
Jungkook’s hands left his skin as he took one last look at Taehyung. He bowed his head quickly before rushing around the corner, leaving him alone. Taehyung pressed his back against the wall and touched his chest where Jungkook’s fingers were a few seconds ago.
What was that?
Taehyung knew one thing. A hot shower was out of the question.
The sun was slowly setting. Classes were officially over for the first day, excluding the rare evening classes that some students were stuck with. Students were in a few places. The hardcore students were in the library already, studying for their classes in groups or alone, even though exams were far away. Some students took advantage of the fact they didn’t have homework and were already back in the dorm, relaxing and recollecting their thoughts. Others, like Jimin and Taehyung, were hanging out with friends or exploring the big city.
Taehyung and Jimin had met up at Panda Express, the real restaurant that wasn’t too far from campus. The food truck had just been a special event. Students loved to come together at popular restaurants and locations with friends. For Jimin and Taehyung, their favorite place was Panda Express, more so Taehyung’s. Jimin knew how much he loved the food and decided to treat him to some good food after a busy first day.
It wasn’t exactly the kind of friendly dinner Taehyung had hoped for, though.
Jimin was currently cracking up in his seat, nearly falling over with laughter. Taehyung had told him the story about bumping into Jungkook in the showers, every last detail. He had taken that cold shower, with it being no surprise that he had been aroused after that moment. While Taehyung was mortified, Jimin found it absolutely hysterical. A few people were staring, but the majority were ignoring.
Taehyung rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. “I’m glad you find this hilarious, Jimin.”
Jimin was still laughing.
“Jegiral! Jimin, stop!” he yelled, though he laughed a bit over how ridiculous the whole day was.
Jimin toned down his laughter until he had stopped and wipe at his teary eyes. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” He paused, seeing how uncomfortable it really made Taehyung. He touched his arm and urged him to eat. “I can hardly understand how you must feel.”
Taehyung put down his chopsticks and rubbed his eyes. “I don’t even know the guy and this happens. But he was so pretty. He is pretty! Oh, you should have seen him Jimin.”
Jimin snorted as he chewed on the hot chicken, steam rising from his chopsticks. “I don’t think you would like that. Plus, he isn’t really for me.”
Taehyung decided to change the subject and smirked at Jimin as he grabbed some noodles to eat. “That is left to Yoongi, huh?”
Jimin glared at his obvious change of subject, but shrugged. “He isn’t mine, Taehyung.”
“If he doesn’t find it obvious like I do-”
“I know he doesn’t because I don’t make it obvious for him to know.” Jimin sighed. “He is bisexual, so there is really a fifty-fifty chance he would be interested in me. Or any guy, I guess. I don’t know.”
Taehyung furrowed his brows. He knew what being bisexual meant, but he had never met one before. He was completely homosexual and had no interest in women. Taehyung suddenly wondered about Jungkook. He was handsome. He didn’t fit the stereotype, from what Taehyung had shamefully Googled in his time.
“Hey, uh. You know Jungkook better than I do, I guess. Is he-” Taehyung leaned forward on his elbows so their conversation was more private.
Jimin bit his bottom lip in thought. “Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve never seen him go out with another guy. I know he has been interested in some girls before, but never anything serious. But, it’s not my place to tell his sexuality, Taehyung. That’s for him to say.”
Taehyung nodded. “Yeah, I know that.”
He furrowed his brows as he took a moment, becoming serious. “Taehyung, you should be careful.”
“What do you mean?”
“I know South Korea is incredibly strict when it comes to sexuality and what is actually okay. You need to know that, even though we are in America where it’s legal and everything, you aren’t 100% safe,” he explained. “There are people, especially in New York, that do not like what we are. They find it disgusting, you understand?”
Taehyung gulped and nodded, suddenly feeling a heat spread through his body. He felt embarrassed and he felt ashamed about what he was. He felt dirty.
Jimin must have sensed his discomfort and shook his head, coming over to sit beside him. He put his arm around Taehyung’s shoulders casually. “I don’t want you to think you need to be ashamed, Taehyung. It’s just how the world is. They are hard of accepting people that are different. It doesn’t mean you need to be ashamed of being yourself.”
He nodded and took a few breaths. Jimin was right. He was Kim Taehyung. This was him. He was a gay male and nothing could change that. He was born this way.
Jimin patted his back and grabbed their empty plates. “Come on. Let’s head back to our room.”
Taehyung followed him as he dumped out the trash. When they were outside of the restaurant and walking back to the dorms, he smiled at Jimin. “You just want to go back already so you can see Yoongi.” He said Yoongi’s name in a sing-song voice.
Jimin screamed out in frustration, but laughed with Taehyung for the next couple of blocks as they made it back to the dorm rooms. When they showed the guard their IDs, they made it to the lobby where Yoongi was sitting behind the desk.
Yoongi had bleach blonde hair that was messy and fell around his forehead effortlessly. He was wearing a black shirt and he clearly had muscles, just like Jimin had said. He had a cute little nose and a pretty nice mouth, which was currently open a bit in sleep.
Taehyung had to give Jimin credit.
His eyes were closed and he had headphones on. His feet were resting on the desk.
“Neomu deowo,” moaned Jimin as he stared at Yoongi.
Taehyung grimaced. “I’m right here.”
Suddenly, Yoongi opened his eyes and looked around, waking up from his nap. He rubbed at his eyes and when they met Jimin’s, he gave him a gummy smile and lifted up a small hand. Jimin waved back and turned to Taehyung.
“I can’t do this.”
“Jiokcheoreom neon hal su eopseo,” said Taehyung, pushing him towards Yoongi.
Jimin nearly collided with the desk and smiled at Yoongi. “Hey.”
“Hey, Chim.” Taehyung sidled up next to Jimin, trying to give him some sort of comfort. “Who’s this?”
He didn’t miss the look of jealousy that flashed across Yoongi’s face.
Jimin glanced at Taehyung. “This is my roommate, Taehyung.”
Yoongi suddenly smirked and put his hands behind his head. “Ah, the infamous Taehyung. Jungkook hasn’t stopped talking about you since last night.”
Taehyung blushed hard and rubbed his head profusely, completely caught off guard. Jungkook had talked about him? They only spoke for five minutes, not even. What did he have to say?
Jimin snorted again until he was suddenly laughing, tossing his head back. Taehyung glared at him and he stopped with a smile. “Sorry.”
Yoongi laughed. “It’s not my business, man.” He started to collect his things. “Look, I’ve been meaning to talk to you, Jimin.”
Jimin couldn’t hide his grin. “Me?”
He looked at Jimin and chuckled lightly. “Yeah, you.” He smirked a bit. “I wanted you to listen to the tunes that Namjoon and I have been working on. What do you say?” He smiled at Taehyung. “You can come with us. Meet the guys.”
“Joon, Hoseok, Jin.” Yoongi paused with a small, teasing smile. “You’ve already met Jungkook.”
Taehyung’s eyes went wide. Alarms started going off in his head. There was no way he could face Jungkook after today. Or ever again. “Jungkook is going to be there? I-”
Jimin put an arm around his shoulders and smiled at Yoongi. Since when did he feel confident in front of Yoongi? “He’d love to go. He needs more friends other than me.”
Yoongi smiled and then turned to Jimin as he walked around from the desk. He got up close with Jimin and eyed him up and down slowly. Jimin clutched Taehyung’s shoulder a bit too tightly. “Cool. Just wait here.”
Jimin watched Yoongi leave and go into the office. Taehyung gritted his teeth and growled, getting his tight grip off of his shoulders. “Jegil! Jimin, come on.”
“Sorry,” he mumbled. He was still staring at the door.
Taehyung turned him to face him and scoffed. “Why did you do that? I can’t go see Jungkook after what happened today. I practically saw him naked.”
“Technically, you didn’t. There was a towel around his waist.” Jimin smirked. “Plus, it doesn’t mean Jungkook has to know you’re coming.”
Taehyung thought about the idea of keeping his appearance a secret and found it to be a rather appealing idea. Jungkook shocked him, so why not shock Jungkook?
Jimin smiled as Taehyung gave him a little smirk. “Fine. But, everyone wears clothes. I’ve had enough naked guys for one day.”
“I’ll tell everyone but Jungkook to wear clothes,” joked Jimin, earning him a smack on the arm from Taehyung.
Yoongi walked out of the office with a jacket and his backpack, smiling at Jimin.
Taehyung leaned toward Jimin and whispered, “You mean Yoongi?”
Jimin lifted up his leg and kicked Taehyung in the butt before they left with Yoongi.