plane landings, always, without fail, make taehyung sick.
yoongi knows this because taehyung had told him so, repeatedly, as though it was a grave warning, and although yoongi had given taehyung as many antihistamines as he dared, he was still expecting the worst.
as it turns out, taehyung isn’t doing much actual being sick, just groaning and holding the little armrest between his seat and yoongi’s so tight that yoongi thinks he can see his knuckles whitening a little. a good thing, yoongi supposes, and he turns around to look out of the window instead of at taehyung because he’s pretty sure that it’s some level of embarrassing and yoongi doesn’t want to be an asshole to taehyung when he’s already feeling ill.
they’re currently in that phase of the landing where they’re sort of above the clouds and sort of below them, with the sunlight alternating between being blindingly bright and just a pleasant glow. through most of the flight, yoongi had slept, but the time that he spent awake was either spent whispering quietly with taehyung about all the tiny logistics of the next three weeks or looking out the window. most of the time, it was just an expanse of blackness, with the lights of the plane wings blinking faintly in the distance, but yoongi didn’t mind. there was something stilling about the sight; it calmed him from the inside.
they’re decidedly below the clouds now, and yoongi can make out farmhouses in between fields, the world beneath them a patchwork of different greens and yellows. he’s trying to pick out any farm animals, squinting into the distance, when the plane turns, tilts, and taehyung gasps. the fingers scrambling to hold his make yoongi jolt just a little, but he gets to his senses and lets taehyung hold his hand with an iron grip. yoongi gauges taehyung’s condition then from the strength of his hold - when it’s been smooth sailing for a little while, the younger sighs and lets his grip slowly loosen, and when the plane jolts it tightens instantly.
“it’s okay, tae,” yoongi says quietly, rubbing the back of taehyung’s hand with his thumb. “we’re almost there.”
taehyung nods a little too enthusiastically but keeps his mouth determinedly shut. yoongi supposes that’s for the better for both of them.
there’s another sudden jolt as they hit the ground and taehyung breathes a long sigh of relief.
“we made it,” yoongi says, smiling encouragingly at taehyung.
“we made it,” taehyung echoes, and though his responding smile is weak, it’s there.
way back in yoongi’s first year, he was a fidgety little thing with acne still left over from his teens and was fresh out of daegu, full of insecurities and always ready to fight. he had a personal tutor back then who was supposed to oversee yoongi’s progress in university. joowon was in his thirties and believed in yoongi with a ferocity that only namjoon could rival. it was he who strongly encouraged him to pursue the course in music production and composition that required that he take an extra year so that he could get a masters’ degree, rather than just the bachelors’. although it did upset him just a little to see namjoon and hoseok graduate before him (but he would never admit it), he didn’t mind graduating alongside taehyung and jimin too badly. jimin had thrown a huge party that night because he was leaving for america the very next day, doing some sort of paid internship there for six months right out of uni. hoseok and jungkook were taking turns to dj and they played a song called d-boys that yoongi had written for taehyung’s birthday in their first year of being friends, named after taehyung’s statement that if they ever make a rap duo, they should call it “daegu boys” to honour their hometown.
after the party was calming down, yoongi found taehyung sitting in yoongi’s bedroom at a laptop - his own laptop, yoongi realised with a roll of his eyes, he should really change his password at some point - and biting his lip in concentration at the screen. over his shoulder, yoongi read the title famous cities of europe by train .
“jimin’s going to america,” taehyung said, not turning his head. yoongi has no idea how he knew who entered the room. “so i had this idea for us two.”
yoongi hummed and made taehyung shuffle up so he could sit beside him to scroll to the destinations tab.
and here they are.
yoongi has never been an impulsive person, always cautious cautious cautious, looking both ways three times before stepping onto the roads and thinking through consequences in stony silence. but the europe trip was kind of the opposite. sure, there was a strict itinerary that taehyung had made, painstakingly colour-coding with different gel pens on an A3 sheet in his bedroom, but yoongi hadn’t thought it through properly until after all the tickets were booked. he hadn’t really thought about the consequences. he and taehyung were pretty much best friends, but seokjin hyung always told him “you don’t know a person until you travel with them, or go to ikea with them,” and, well, yoongi has never been to ikea with taehyung.
their train isn’t set to depart until tomorrow morning, so they have almost a whole day to either recover from their flight or, more likely, explore rome. the city is warm but the people all seem to be relaxed, just drifting through the airport and calmly collecting luggage. it’s a little surreal to yoongi after the hustle and bustle of seoul, but he’ll take it.
taehyung hasn’t let go of his hand since the plane, claiming dizziness, but yoongi doesn’t mind. he glances over at taehyung and sees him smiling in awe, looking around him with stars in his eyes. and they’re only at the airport. something warm and fond curls in yoongi’s chest.
the warmth of the summer settles quickly inside of yoongi and he can feel the way that it stretches out and makes a home inside him, an internal feeling that he can’t quite describe in words. yoongi doesn’t realise taehyung has let go of his hand until he hears him call his name, carrying two suitcases and stumbling towards him. yoongi runs forward to grab his suitcase (plain black, soft exterior, nearly eight years old) and helps taehyung with his (bright red, hard exterior, purchased specifically for this trip.)
“how are you feeling, tae?” yoongi asks. “you look better.”
“i feel better,” taehyung responds. “i can’t waste any of our precious holiday feeling sick. and who knows when we’ll get a chance like this, once we get back to seoul? another chance to holiday properly.”
“we’ll see,” yoongi says. “depends on your job, really, taehyungie, doesn’t it?”
taehyung is about to respond but the words are whisked away from him by the bus screeching to a stop in front of them.
“this one ours?” yoongi asks.
taehyung leans into the bus to ask the driver and yoongi goes round the front to check the number. it’s the 88, so it should be the right one - there, yoongi thinks. taehyung is nodding enthusiastically and beckoning him over.
it’s easy to forget the fatigue of their travel with adrenaline and excitement propelling them forward through the day, but the relief that yoongi feels as they slot in the key to their hotel room is unreal. he drops his things on the ground and flops forward into the first bed he sees, letting out a long moan that’s probably a little obscene.
taehyung laughs. “sounds about right,” he says. yoongi listens to the rustling of taehyung putting his bag down and just generally checking out the room. yoongi knows they booked a double room, which is why he’s surprised at the feeling of the mattress dipping under a weight.
yoongi turns his head and blinks up at taehyung.
“want to head outside around four, hyung? it’ll have cooled down by then, and we can get a couple hours’ rest in too.”
yoongi muffles a yawn with the pillow. “sounds good, tae.”
“hey,” taehyung says, tugging at yoongi’s wrist and standing up to pull him off the bed. “you’ve gotta change, hyung, you won’t get proper rest in these clothes. you’ll feel gross when you wake up.”
yoongi grumbles about it but concedes anyway, turning over and making grabby hands at taehyung.
taehyung laughs and holds both of yoongi’s hands, crossed over so that it’s left on right and right on left, and pulls yoongi up off the bed, stumbling back with the force of it. yoongi likes taehyung’s hands, he thinks a little absently, big and firm but gentle all the same, and he likes the way they look holding a camera or holding a big mug of tea. he feels like tae would enjoy that sort of compliment - the weird kind, a little different, but it shows that you were really looking. so yoongi tells him so.
taehyung makes this little face, mouth open in an “o”, and he glances down at his hands and turns them over. then his face breaks into a smile, fond and pleased and genuine.
“thank you,” he says, and the words sound disproportionately sincere for such a silly little thing, but that’s taehyung through and through. he cares fully and wildly and with everything he has.
the sun’s warmth is relentless despite the later hour, and yoongi is feeling hot . by looking at taehyung, leaning against the wall beside him, he is too. he should have worn shorts. taehyung wore shorts, but taehyung has beautiful manly legs and taehyung can afford to wear shorts, yoongi thinks a little bitterly.
“i’m dying,” taehyung says matter-of-factly. “please make sure yeontan and holly get married when i die.”
yoongi laughs, tilting his head back. he looks at taehyung out the corner of his eye, grinning at him, and looks away quickly.
“you’re dying, and our dogs’ gay marriage is your top priority?” yoongi says, shaking his bottle of water. it’s still as empty as it was before.
“hyung,” taehyung says. he makes very serious eye contact with yoongi. “that is always my top priority.”
yoongi pauses to think with a long theatrical hum. “well, namjoon and jungkook are dog-sitting.”
“i’m sure we can communicate the message to them before i perish,” taehyung says; the corner of his mouth twitches, belying his serious tone.
yoongi shakes his head a little, and with a grunt, stands up. he reaches out a hand to taehyung, who takes it without a thought. taehyung keeps their fingers loosely intertwined as they re-enter the crowds, leading yoongi this way and that as he weaves past the other tourists. the crowd is a mess of people standing still and people moving quick around them, manoeuvring in every direction. it makes yoongi glad that taehyung is holding his hand to guide him through it.
taehyung tugs him under the awning of a shop and yoongi is hit with the cool air conditioning all at once. there are a few people sitting at the little tables inside, a couple sharing an ice cream and a family with three kids, licking at cones heaped twice the height of the cone itself.
yoongi turns to taehyung, eyebrows raised.
“ gelato ,” taehyung corrects. “come on, hyung.”
taehyung takes his time pondering over the flavours, flitting this way and that, peering down through the glass to read the illustrated labels - a flower for vanilla, little leaves for mint. yoongi doesn’t keep count, but it looks as though taehyung tries at least ten of the fifteen or so flavours. yoongi’s own choice is simple - a scoop of dark chocolate and a scoop of vanilla, in a regular cone. maybe yoongi should mind, he thinks, that taehyung is taking so long to choose something that doesn’t even matter, but he can’t help the glowy fondness he feels watching taehyung take this so seriously, pausing to think after every spoonful as if he’s evaluating. it’s silly, but yoongi thinks it’s cute.
“i’ve got it,” taehyung says, finally. “are you ready?”
“you order first,” yoongi says, nodding to the man behind the counter who looks just a little bit exasperated. they’re lucky, yoongi supposes, that there aren’t any other people waiting to be served, although he’s sure that had there been, taehyung would have been courteous and polite about it, the way he is about everything.
taehyung goes for mango, coconut, and vanilla in a cup, then yoongi gives his order. he pays while taehyung is busy watching a different employee put together his order, enraptured. taehyung is happily ignorant, like yoongi had hoped he would be, until ten minutes later when they’ve wandered far from the gelato parlour.
“hyung!” he exclaims, turning around. there’s a little bit of gelato on the edge of his mouth and yoongi has to resist the urge to wipe it away. “you should have let me pay, it was my idea!”
“ah, tae,” yoongi sighs. yoongi, as it turns out, is a weak, weak man. he reaches forward and wipes it away with his thumb. “you looked so excited in there, hyung had to treat you. you were so cute.”
taehyung laughs and looks away, embarrassed, and that embarrasses him, too, which is - unexpected. weird. he feels himself flush a little - and if yoongi didn’t know better, he’d think there was a matching blush on taehyung’s cheeks, too.
they grab bagels from the train station, but this time, it’s yoongi who takes too long to choose what he wants - so long, in fact, that taehyung has to tug on his sleeve and points to the clock.
“there’s literally three minutes, hyung, come on!”
yoongi pays in a rush, tells the cashier they can keep the couple of euros change, and then taehyung grabs him by the hand and they sprint to their platform.
they’re panting, when they get onto the train. yoongi heaves this big, relieved sigh, and taehyung starts to laugh, and that in turn sets yoongi off, and then they can’t seem to stop. an elderly man gives them a dirty look. taehyung doesn’t notice. yoongi doesn’t care.
the woman at the reception desk looks frantic, to say the least. though her exterior is pristine, the look on her face exudes panic - even as she smiles, she looks thoroughly pained.
“sir, i am so sorry,” she starts, typing rapidly and looking between them and the computer screen over and over. yoongi sees taehyung give her an encouraging smile, and the receptionist relaxes just a fraction. “there’s been a mix-up with the rooms. you’ve been moved from a double room to a queen room.”
“a queen room?” taehyung says gently. “aren’t they more expensive?”
“generally, yes,” she responds, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. “but to compensate for the mix-up we won’t charge you extra. there’s just one thing. there’s only one bed. would you like us to send an additional mattress? a folding bed?”
yoongi glances at taehyung and shrugs minutely. taehyung tilts his head to the right just a little, a silent are you sure? before turning to the receptionist and shaking his head.
“that won’t be necessary. thank you, though.”
they stay a little longer at the reception, dealing with checking in and room keys and little details, but yoongi can’t help but be distracted by the creeping feeling of nervousness at the one bed. it shouldn’t matter, he thinks, and it doesn’t matter. he and taehyung have shared a bed a couple times before, and it was fine - taehyung clung tight onto a pillow and yoongi, as usual, slept stock still. they kept their distance. yoongi doesn’t understand why this would be any different. he doesn’t understand why he feels like it’s going to be.
“horses,” yoongi says, stepping back from taehyung, “are the creatures of the devil. do you know why he’s depicted with hooves? cause he’s part horse.”
taehyung frowns just a little. “i… really don’t think that’s right, hyung.”
“it is one hundred percent right,” yoongi grumbles. he looks behind taehyung at the line of carriages. each has two white horses stood in front of it, wearing little red caps covering their ears. they look fairly peaceful, really, they’re just fidgeting a little, swaying their tails this way and that. their … drivers? the people manning the carriages look just a little bored. yoongi looks back at taehyung, who is smiling encouragingly.
yoongi crumbles at that smile. a part of him is cold and knows he could have resisted more for sure. another part of him says do it for tae.
“i guess it wouldn’t be that bad on the carriage?”
taehyung practically squeals in glee, and yoongi stumbles as he is tugged by the hand towards the closest carriage. the man sitting there eyes them with something sharp in his eyes, an unpleasant curl to his mouth. it makes yoongi tense, sends a weird shivery feeling down his spine, and he almost pulls taehyung back. but once the money is in his pocket the man turns away and takes his mean gaze with him. yoongi tries to forget about it.
despite the proximity to the chaos beasts known as horses, yoongi settles down and relaxes pretty quickly, distracted by their tour of vienna. he can see why taehyung wanted this so badly, now they’re here; to explore a place on foot is one thing, and this is something entirely different. yoongi has ridden a horse as a child at a fair just once, but taehyung took lessons that his parents couldn’t really afford for three years, and although it isn’t the same thing, the clip clop of hooves against cobblestone and the slight bounce of the carriage is enough to give yoongi a weird flashback to being eight years old and terrified of the horse he was on. he tells taehyung this, but calls them “war flashbacks” to make him laugh. when he does - taehyung always laughs at his silly attempts at humour, secretly almost as bad as jin-hyung’s incessant puns, and now is no different. to make taehyung laugh is no huge achievement; he has a pleasant disposition and can find amusement in anything, but the self satisfied glow in yoongi’s chest doesn’t seem to care. he feels special anyway.
(getting off the carriage, taehyung has to grab onto yoongi when he stumbles, and in the moment, something kind of just - clicks.
the cold part of yoongi, the scared part, rears its head like an angry horse, and shakes it about. yoongi’s been cautious his whole life, and the ‘click’ moment throws him off wildly. but then taehyung’s hand leaves his waist and the moment goes with it, and yoongi tries to forget about it hard enough for it to actually go away. when he grabs taehyung by the wrist to stop him from stepping onto the street before the light goes green, his heart beats a small bit too quick. yoongi notices. it scares him. he decides that nothing happened.)
that night, taehyung is already in bed when yoongi gets out of the bathroom, already clinging onto a pillow with one hand and scrolling idly on his phone with the other. as tall as taehyung is compared to yoongi, like this, he looks small and soft, a fraction of his size and just a little gentler around the edges. taehyung plays up his look so much by day, carefully selecting outfits and making his hair fall just so, that this subdued version of him is always a pleasant surprise; a snapshot of his stark duality.
yoongi realises that he’s been staring when taehyung looks up from his phone at him and smiles hesitantly. yoongi shakes his head a little to clear it. he feels weird as he clambers into bed and gets under the covers, careful not to tug them too hard or disturb taehyung. the moment he gets settled in, taehyung turns around, which - okay, that hurts his feelings a little bit. he spends a moment feeling shitty until the lights switch off. the room is only illuminated by the silvery glow of the moon through the gaps in the curtains, and yoongi’s eyes take a moment to adjust. taehyung turns back around to face him, phone now on the table, and yoongi feels silly for thinking it was about him. after all, what reason would taehyung have to make him feel weird about sharing a bed?
“hey,” taehyung says. though he’d seemed wide awake before, yoongi can see his tiredness in the way he blinks slowly and smiles just a little too softly.
they lie there in silence, for a while, until yoongi sees taehyung swallow, his face setting in something akin to resolve. yoongi is about to ask what taehyung is thinking about when he shuffles a little bit closer in the bed, close enough that his knees knock with yoongi’s under the covers.
“‘s’cold, hyung,” taehyung says. it’s not cold at all, really, it’s july, and yoongi must make a doubtful face, because taehyung pouts. “i feel cold, i mean.”
who cares about logic yoongi thinks. he hums. “yeah? c’mere, then.” he tugs a little on the pillow taehyung is holding, and taehyung gets the message, picks up the pillow and puts it behind him. yoongi shuffles a little closer to taehyung and lets out a long, low breath.
“better,” taehyung says quietly. looking right at taehyung like this, up close, makes yoongi feel funny, like someone’s taken his chest and switched around his insides. he gets out of it by shutting his eyes and saying goodnight, but he stays awake, listening to taehyung’s breathing slowly even out and trying to think about nothing.
yoongi hasn’t slept so well in a long time. neither has taehyung, apparently.
they wake up tangled together, any distance between them firmly diminished, and yoongi feels just a little bit too warm but in a good way, in the i could probably fall back asleep right now way. but morning brings with it boundaries, and yoongi’s first proper coherent thought is that he needs to extricate himself from the prison that is taehyung’s limbs.
“whattimessit,” yoongi mumbles, squinting at the sun that’s way too bright for so early -
“it’s eight thirty - no it’s not. oh fuck, no, hyung, it’s half ten, our train leaves in twenty minutes!”
the morning after that passes in a blur, and they only really settle down once they’re seated on the train.
“you look like you could still go back to sleep,” taehyung remarks, leaning against the window.
yoongi shrugs. “i haven’t slept that well in a long time.” taehyung turns away, and yoongi sees his reflection in the window. his face is blank and unreadable. less unreadable, yoongi supposes, and more that there is no hidden meaning in this moment - there’s nothing there to read.
history is everywhere in this part of the world - memorials, as if to promise to those from the past that we will remember, and to instruct those in future and tell them don’t forget. standing by this part of the berlin wall, yoongi thinks a little about history. about the stories they’ll tell about now in the future. he wonders whether they’ll be ashamed or whether they’ll be proud, whether the year that yoongi is living in will matter or whether it will be nothing but an in-between. whether he, min yoongi will matter.
taehyung is still standing right by the wall, examining it closely. yoongi thinks that taehyung will make a difference on people’s lives. he’s got a job lined up as an art teacher and he’ll be joining come september.
yoongi’s future is less certain. he has an internship with an entertainment company, but he wanted to take a chance on his own music so he hadn’t settled on a solid job. a part of him regrets that, now. his prideful side doesn’t want him to be left behind while his friends pursue their dream careers. but when he thinks about his music, those parts don’t matter so much. he wants to make music that can change people, and he wants to grow older and grow up and have the power to move people with his words and with his chords.
he thinks a little harder and realises that none of his futures exclude taehyung. which, yeah, there’s no reason to assume they won’t still be friends when they’re older, but he always imagines taehyung right by his side.
“penny for your thoughts?” taehyung sing-songs in a low voice from behind yoongi, who shivers. he has no idea when taehyung popped up.
“i’m gonna make music that’s gonna change the world,” yoongi says simply, still looking at the wall. “people will remember me.”
“yeah?” yoongi can hear the smile in taehyung’s voice and realises he can tell which one it is. it’s his smallest smile, the most private one. the secret sharing smile. the “i believe you” smile. yoongi doesn’t think, just reaches behind him and clasps taehyung’s hand in his own and grips it tight.
they’re interrupted by a couple of girls who can’t be that much younger than them - 20, tops - who ask taehyung to take their photo. they look shy, almost terrified, and yoongi almost wants to ask what’s wrong.
the two girls pose for the photo, and yoongi watches taehyung. he watches as taehyung takes a couple from different angles for them (ever the photographer) and watches as taehyung smiles, big and bright, and chats with them for a second in english.
“hyung,” taehyung says. yoongi snaps out of his thoughts to look up. “come take a photo.”
they pose by the wall as well, and taehyung thanks the girls profusely. they just smile graciously and wave the two of them goodbye.
the girls walk away, but yoongi watches them for a moment longer. they look happy now, light in their steps and in their laughter. the one with the wavy hair is swinging their hands back and forth. they’re dating, yoongi realises with a jolt.
they look like they’re in love.
then yoongi looks at the photo on his phone, of the two of them together, a direct parallel to the one taehyung took for the girls.
then yoongi looks at taehyung.
and yoongi thinks -
maybe a realisation isn’t quite the right word or maybe it’s the perfect word for this, yoongi thinks as taehyung snorts at a text on his phone (it’s jimin, probably,) and leans back in his seat opposite yoongi on the train (forward facing to prevent motion sickness) as he taps out a reply.
but - it’s weird. yoongi thinks it’s like the change from winter to spring, a thaw, a blossom. it’s not really a line that you can draw and it wasn’t really prevalent for a while. but even in the winter, there are snowdrops and - and, and, and primrose, and chrysanthemum, flowers which thrive despite, or maybe because of, the cold.
even in the winter, if you look hard enough, spring is waiting just under the surface.
yoongi looks away from taehyung, who’s made of pretty thoughts and pretty feelings and makes yoongi feel the same through and through. to be friends is one thing. to wake up in said friend’s arms one day and have your first thought be god please make this forever is another. to look at two people in love and see yourself and said friend reflected back at you is another. it’s a lot to handle. it’s so much, and spring warmth is nice but summer can be suffocating and he doesn’t know if taehyung likes him well enough to be the sort of summer that’s kind. taehyung, in every aspect of life, has always been kind, but yoongi doesn’t think he can extrapolate that to something like this.
amsterdam. the netherlands
here is a fact about yoongi: when he was five, his friend suho fell off his bike and injured his head so badly he got a concussion. yoongi stopped riding his own out of pure fear and his parents bothered him about it for a while but he would cry and yell whenever they tried to get him to join in with his brother cycling around the neighbourhood, so they stopped, and yoongi never got past training wheels.
here is a fact about taehyung: he cycled to his grandma’s house for twenty minutes each way almost every day for most of his childhood.
in recent days, even looking at taehyung has made yoongi feel funny and unbalanced on the inside, and that was with both his feet on the ground. on the other hand, when taehyung looks at him like that , all happy and excited and glee rolling off him in waves, yoongi finds it impossible to say no to him. see also: horse drawn carriages.
so that is why -
“holy shit i’m going to fall off,” yoongi says, holding the handles of his bicycle tight enough that his knuckles are whitening.
taehyung, with one hand on the seat (which is not helping yoongi concentrate, like, at all) and the other on the handle by yoongi’s hand, just laughs.
“you’ll be fine. just keep pedalling.”
yoongi grits his teeth in determination and tries his hardest to find his balance, but the moment taehyung lets go, he can feel himself toppling.
he doesn’t though, because taehyung is right there, one hand firm on yoongi’s side. it’s weird, this reversal of roles. as the older one yoongi is usually teaching, but taehyung is patient and sweet so the bruise to yoongi’s ego isn’t so painful as it might have been.
“come on, hyung,” taehyung says. “you can’t forget how to ride a bike, it’s…” here, taehyung trails off, frowning.
yoongi looks up at him warily. “just like riding a bike?”
a laugh bubbles up and out of taehyung and a warmth glows bright in yoongi’s chest in direct response. outwardly, he fights back a shy smile and looks decidedly at the ground.
“i mean, the saying has to come from somewhere.”
“i never actually learned how to ride a bike,” yoongi points out wryly. “i stopped, remember?”
taehyung sighs, his gaze sweeping the streets absently until it falls on something and his face brightens.
“how about one of those?” he says, nodding at something behind yoongi.
when yoongi turns, he sees a couple on a tandem bike, with a guy in the front and the girl in the back, laughing prettily and barely pedalling as they smoothly make their way down the path. it’s intrinsically couple-y and imagining it with taehyung makes him feel funny, like he’s swallowed one of those nuts that makes his throat itch on the inside.
yoongi braces himself against the handles of his bike and puts his right foot on the pedal.
“you know what? i think i’ll manage.”
and he’s off.
once taehyung, laughing and clambering onto his own bike, has caught up, and once yoongi has stopped wobbling about quite so much, he actually gets to enjoy amsterdam properly. the steady pace the two of them are going at is quick enough to keep things interesting but slow enough to look at everything.
the two of them sneak their way into a cycle tour group for a while to eavesdrop on the tour guide’s little facts, then wander themselves for a little bit at a calmer pace, chatting. they end up following the path along a canal, one with colourful houses lining the streets. some of the buildings on the other side of the river come right up to the water, which is a glimmering reflection of the golden sky above. the sun is setting now that they’ve stopped right by the bank of the canal and is casting a celestial type of glow over everything, but mostly on taehyung. taehyung looks stunning on any day, but in this light, in this air, fresh and bright, he looks positively angelic. a small, nasty part of yoongi thinks he is too beautiful for someone like yoongi, but a louder, loving part is just marvelling at the boy beside him and all the perfect ways shadows are cast across his face.
“golden hour,” taehyung says, picking his camera up from where it’s around his neck and pointing it towards yoongi. yoongi hears the click sound of a photo being taken before he has a chance to prepare.
“hey,” yoongi complains, but he leans towards taehyung anyway to see the photo. it’s a pretty one, the lighting perfect and warm, but yoongi’s mouth goes a little dry when he sees the way that he’s looking at taehyung - his expression is so open, and so loving, that there is no mistaking the feelings behind it.
“my face looks dumb,” mumbles yoongi, reaching out to delete the photo (delete the evidence, delete the way he looks at his friend. his friend .)
taehyung pulls back, tutting.
“no, hyung, you look really good. trust me. you look handsome.”
yoongi gives up easily, clenching his hands into tight fists in an attempt to fight down the blush that is rising to his cheeks.
“come on,” taehyung says. “we can return the cycles here. i made plans for dinner.”
the restaurant taehyung has chosen is fancy to say the least, and yoongi feels severely underdressed. taehyung is so excited about it, though, that yoongi can’t stress about his outfit for longer than two minutes.
it’s a high-end place, the lighting low to set the mood. each table has a bare bulb over it that casts a yellowish light over everything so the shadows stand out. yoongi swallows and looks around at the people their. girls in dresses with their hair done up and silver on their necks laugh prettily at their companions, and their are a few groups that are clearly business, or clearly friends, but everyone else is sitting at tables-for-two, in private little pairs.
everything about this screams date . yoongi feels an unsettling feeling crawl under his skin. why would taehyung bring them someplace like this? yoongi scratches the back of his neck uncomfortably.
“this place looks …” he trails off, not wanting to say anything to dull taehyung’s excitement.
“it’s so gorgeous, isn’t it?” taehyung says. he smiles at the man who pulls out his seat for him as he says it. “i wanted something really special.”
“for the second last city?” yoongi asks, tilting his head a little. he pulls out his own chair and makes a conscious effort not to sit all hunched up. he picture seokjin hyung and his perfect posture in his mind and tries to emulate it.
taehyung rolls his eyes. “things can be special for the sake of being special, hyung. i heard these guys have really nice steak.”
yoongi flicks through the menu and tries not to up and leave at the sight of the prices, but taehyung seems relaxed.
“i accounted for this in our budget, hyung,” taehyung says, without looking up. “i know what you’re thinking. just chill.”
yoongi chills, then, as much as he can. but he spends the meal antsy, and on edge, and he doesn’t even know why. taehyung frowns at the fidgeting of his fingers on the table but doesn’t say anything. he sips on the fancy mineral water and his hands shake on the glass. he’s scared. he’s so, so scared of the way this is a kind-of date and the way yoongi himself looks at taehyung and the way that friends suddenly suddenly isn’t enough and the way that taehyung smells in the mornings and the way that taehyung leads yoongi from place to place by the hand and the way taehyung is kind to strangers who ask for photos and the way taehyung - taehyung - taehyung -
finally, finally, yoongi snaps.
it’s no one’s fault, and nothing really happens. it’s just -
the waiter is there to refill their glasses, and taehyung is asking for something - yoongi isn’t even listening, doesn’t even know what it is, but the waiter says,
“and anything for your boyfriend?”
with this polite little customer-service smile and yoongi cannot do this, he just says.
“he’s not my boyfriend. we aren’t boyfriends. this isn’t a date.”
the words spill out of him like he’s overflowing, like when you pop a balloon by accident and you’re left with a sad scrap of torn up rubber. yoongi feels like the post-pop balloon scrap.
the waiter, looking incredibly awkward, nods and quickly walks away, and only then can yoongi bring himself to look up at taehyung. he looks a little bit shellshocked and a little bit - something that yoongi can’t quite decipher. his mouth open a little, turned down at the corners. his eyebrows are knitted together in a frown.
“are you… okay?” taehyung says, tentatively, as though he’s afraid of what yoongi might say. yoongi hates it.
yoongi looks down at his plate.
taehyung won’t talk to him.
that’s a slight exaggeration, but it captures the idea of it pretty clearly. regular things, like, “shall i buy you a coffee?” and “there’s three hours left,” he’s still saying. after all, you can’t travel with someone in silence. but the thing about taehyung is that he never small-talked - every conversation with him felt important, and the emptiness yoongi feels at the lack of it is sickening. now they’re stuck on a five hour daytime train together.
but still, alleviating awkwardness seems to be on the bottom of taehyung’s list as he looks nowhere but the window and deftly dodges yoongi’s attempts at conversation. taehyung’s daily itinerary, often an hour long conversation in itself, is reduced to him mumbling that he’d text the plan to yoongi when he has signal.
yoongi wonders what he said that was so wrong. what had he done? he had said they weren’t dating. and they aren’t dating. that’s not a problem. maybe because it was rude to the waiter? but that doesn’t make any sense, this is disproportionate for a reaction to that. he replays the sequence of events in his mind; he’s not able to see any glaring reason for taehyung to be so upset. because taehyung is upset and is doing a terrible job of hiding it.
at some point, when there’s an hour left before they reach paris, taehyung falls asleep, curled into himself and leaning against the window. yoongi watches him for a while, the subtle yet steady rise and fall of his chest, the way the shadows fall across him as the sun dips lower across the horizon and soon, the lulling atmosphere of the train means yoongi too is pulled into the realm of sleep.
taehyung is still upset. yoongi can tell from the set of his jaw, the time he spends looking into the middle distance, the way his nails, once groomed to perfection, have been bitten down to the quicks.
and yoongi feels bad, but he doesn’t know what he can do or say to help, and despite it all, they’re still stuck together until they reach seoul, so he tries. he can tell taehyung is trying, as well, but taehyung trying doesn’t fit, or suit well, because everything about taehyung has always been free and effortless, and this strained tension between them means that taehyung is walking on eggshells and yoongi is, too.
so yoongi watches at taehyung takes photos of the eiffel tower in silence, keeping his camera held up to his face and not talking at all.
“hey, taehyung?” yoongi says. the younger turns around looking caught off guard, and the sun glints off the sunglasses perched on top of his head. everything about taehyung is beautiful, yoongi thinks, and he doesn’t realise he’s supposed to be saying something until taehyung prompts him.
“i’m sorry i upset you,” yoongi says. “i don’t know what i did, but i’m sorry for it.”
the way taehyung smiles at him is so, so, sad - his mouth turns up but his eyes aren’t in it at all, and the pain of seeing it - from taehyung, who has always been genuine - practically winds yoongi.
“you didn’t do anything.”
after that, it’s more clear than ever how hard taehyung is trying to act normal; it’s for yoongi’s sake, he supposes, but it hurts more than helps because as time passes concern builds, deep and heavy in yoongi’s gut.
they’re waiting for a girl who was yoongi’s age from daegu who went to taehyung’s school. she works as a curator of a little section of the louvre, and she had promised taehyung that she would use her break to take the two of them on a tour. yoongi doesn’t know how taehyung makes all these friends and, even more so, how he keeps in contact with them enough for them to do favours like this, but yoongi guesses that it’s all just in taehyung’s nature.
the museum is stunning; every piece intrigues both him and taehyung. they stop to wonder at the magnificence of the art every few minutes, and engrossed in this the way that they are, it’s easy to forget the weird ridge between them. taehyung looks thoughtful as his friend eunmi, a girl with a round, smiling face and warm brown hair, tells him what she knows about the artwork, and the preservation. she looks suitably impressed, too, when taehyung demonstrates his knowledge of art history. he turns sometimes, to yoongi, to point out “see, that it was a stylistic choice of the artist, hyung,” and other little tidbits. yoongi himself is no stranger to the art world, and he reads every plaque they pass to find out a little more. then when he contributes just a little, taehyung nudges him to tease, says, “yoongi just read that off the sign, you’re not fooling us.” eunmi laughs good-naturedly.
they’re nearing the end of the tour when his phone - rings, which is weird because no one back home has paid for international calls.
“i’m gonna take this,” he says, gesturing to his phone. “you guys go ahead.”
>call me pls
>wait nvm i’ll just say it on the call
without thinking, yoongi taps dial, and after one ring namjoon is there.
“is everything okay?” yoongi says, biting his lip. any number of things could have happened, and his mind is sparing no possibility in its raging anxieties.
“yeah. i called you by accident, first, then i realised that i could just text you, then i realised that i miss you guys. also, jungkook is here. say hi - oh, i’ll put it on speaker.”
“hi hyung!” jungkook’s voice is a little distant.
yoongi watches taehyung and eunmi’s backs. they’re standing a little way off, out of earshot, for sure.
“how are you and tae? are you guys sick of each other yet?” namjoon says it with a laugh, but it fades away and yoongi just swallows. “...hyung?”
“i don’t know, namjoon,” yoongi says. taehyung and eunmi are engaged in conversation now, taehyung nodding and listening attentively.
“are you guys okay? did something happen?” the concern in namjoon’s voice shines through, even though the connection makes it crackle a little. taehyung is laughing politely at something eunmi said, down the hall, and yoongi feels his chest seize up. namjoon, all the way back home in korea, is silent on the phone; waiting.
“i need to tell you something. is… is kook still there?”
“i can leave,” jungkook calls out.
“no, no. it’s fine, it’s just - i’m in love with taehyung,” yoongi says, stumbling over the words as he forces them out at speed as though if he says it fast enough the truth of it will disappear.
“and?” jungkook says lazily.
“what do you mean, and?” yoongi whispers as loud at he dares. taehyung is out of earshot, but yoongi is still terrified. “and he’s not interested in me, and some waiter thought we were on a date and he got super offended when i made it overly clear we weren’t on a date and now he’s not talking to me - kim namjoon did you just scoff? ”
yoongi thinks he might hear a hell, kook, you talk to him.
“he got offended,” jungkook repeats in a monotone.
“because he’s not interested in you.” namjoon adds.
“ yes , that’s what i said, keep up.”
there’s a silence and then the phone line crackles as - “gimme the phone, hyung, i need to-” - jungkook sighs long into the receiver.
“how are you so fuckin’ dumb, hyung?”
“i’m not -” yoongi begins to protest, highly scandalised.
“taehyung hyung is interested in you. he’s been in love with you for longer than i’ve known you. and you think he was offended by that waiter thinking you were on a date? hyung, he’s upset by you denying it so much. heartbroken, even.”
yoongi falls silent and looks over at where taehyung and eunmi are, on the other side of the long hall. eunmi is talking about something using her hands, gesturing at different corners of a painting that yoongi can’t see from here, but taehyung looks - happy. he looks truly relaxed for the first time this whole day. something in yoongi’s chest hurts like a dull ache right in his centre, and he looks away from taehyung.
“hyung?” jungkook says. “namjoon’s back, by the way.”
“anyway,” yoongi says quietly. “why did you ask to call?”
“oh, yeah. basically, i’m broke and i can’t pay for international calls.”
yoongi gives a long sigh, not even dignifying that with a response.
“anyway, so, like, holly’s food is finished and they haven’t got the same flavour so i didn’t know whether i should buy “meaty bites” or “chicken delights.” i mean, he does like to constantly steal my chicken whenever i dogsit so maybe - but on the other hand, he’s a really - ”
yoongi lets out a long, heavy sigh. “namjoon.”
there’s a moment of silence. “meaty bites. make sure you buy the adult dog one, the puppy one is blue. i love you guys.”
there’s a chorus of love yous and what sounds like kisses blown into the receiver, then yoongi puts his phone back and hastily jogs over to where the other two are standing.
“hi,” he says. “sorry.”
“no worries,” says eunmi, turning back to taehyung. taehyung looks at yoongi with a funny expression, but he doesn’t say anything. the silence feels out of place, and yoongi shoves both his hands in his pockets so he doesn’t fiddle. “it was namjoon and jungkook,” he says.
something flashes on taehyung’s face just for half a second - fear, maybe? concern, perhaps.
“what were they saying?”
jungkook told me that you liked me, yoongi thinks immediately, and has to choke down the words. he clamps his mouth shut for fear that they will tumble out and shrugs.
the narrowing of his eyes tells yoongi that taehyung is about to say more, but they’re cut off by eunmi saying something about the next piece and the moment passes. taehyung chews at his inner cheek - it tells yoongi that he’s caught up on it still, but yoongi doesn’t know what else to say. whatever conversation will happen after won’t feel right, not here at least. not now.
“ nooooo !”
taehyung’s phone battery has suffered an untimely death, if the way he’s shaking his fist at the sky is any indication. yoongi peers over his shoulder and sees - yep, definitely dead. the black screen is not responding at all. yoongi’s phone is also dead. you’d think that they would have prepared more, for something like this.
“it’s fine,” taehyung says. “i kind of knew the way anyway.” yoongi, although he’s just a little doubtful, doesn’t protest too much. he trusts taehyung.
in retrospect, he might’ve been better off saying something because now taehyung is chatting with a store vendor after what could have been their third wrong turn or could be the right direction. yoongi doesn’t know and neither does taehyung.
being lost in a foreign place gives yoongi this weird anxiety and it makes his head spin funny. but he’s not lost alone, and the knowledge calms him down.
taehyung comes back a minute or so after, scratching at the back of his head.
“so, they don’t have any maps, but the guy at the counter gave me directions, and we’re not that far away. two minutes’ walk tops. so, uh. we should get going.”
taehyung waits for a second for yoongi’s approval, but as soon as he spoke, so tentative, jungkook’s words jump to the forefront of yoongi’s mind and he can’t think of anything else.
yoongi knows that he realised that he’s in love with taehyung just now in berlin, but how long has he been in love without knowing? he can’t think of any moment when he stopped thinking of taehyung as a friend. even in berlin, yoongi had felt so immediately certain that he was in love with taehyung after the photos with the girls, that he had accepted the thought right away. it wasn’t that it had changed then, just that he had a name for how safe and warm taehyung made him feel. he wonders what would have happened had he known earlier. he wonders what would have happened if he told taehyung back when they first started getting so close.
he wonders what would happen if he told taehyung now.
taehyung is trying so hard to pretend, yoongi thinks. and he had his theatre phase back in his second year, so he does a good job at it, the acting, but - yoongi is able to see it all and see the real taehyung. maybe it’s because they’ve spent so much time together or because taehyung has always been vulnerable with him. all of this time, in close proximity, and all of their history - he has sat with taehyung at four in the morning, in the aftermath of the party, and held his hand as he cried. yoongi has snuck out with taehyung on rooftops instead of studying to squint at the dusty skies and strain their eyes looking for stars, to swat down each others’ hands if they pointed at a plane or the tip of a distant skyscraper ( hyung, come on, that’s clearly blinking and it’s moving, how do you expect me to believe it’s a star? )
yoongi treasures taehyung. he holds him so dear to his heart. he loves him, he really does.
taehyung is hurting, and yoongi can’t take it.
“taehyung,” yoongi calls out. he’s fallen behind, and taehyung, instantly, stops and turns around.
“we’re nearly there, hyung. i swear.”
yoongi looks around them. this street looks just like any of the others they’ve walked down in an attempt to find their hotel, but now yoongi has started, he can’t find it in him to stop, to turn around and say never mind. he does mind. he knows that taehyung minds, too.
“we should talk,” yoongi swallows.
there’s a short silence in which taehyung just stares at him, his mouth open just a little, like he can’t get what yoongi’s saying.
“if you don’t mind.”
taehyung looks behind him, then behind yoongi. yoongi doesn’t know what for, but he shifts his rucksack on his shoulder and looks at his feet.
yoongi looks at him, so - subdued, it feels wrong. this is a random street in a foreign country that they’re standing in the middle of and yoongi is scared to death of -
“can you say the thing!” taehyung interjects. yoongi’s head clears rapidly. “please. stop thinking. i can feel you thinking. just… go on.”
yoongi swallows heavily. “um. okay. well.
“you know - you know that you’re one of the most important people in the world to me. and even though you say you’re fine, you’re not right now - don’t say you are, you said you’d let me talk - and i just - being on this holiday with you, all of these past weeks, all of the big moments and the small ones, they kind of - it was kind of a game changer for me.”
taehyung, finally, looks up at him. his mouth is open just a little, in shock.
“i realised that - i like you. i really, really like you. i could be in love with you, but that’s a super wild thing to say so i won’t say it, but - i could be.”
taehyung lets out a long breath. yoongi hadn’t realised that he was holding it in the first place.
“and um, i’m sorry that i was so insistent about us not dating in amsterdam. honestly, i was scared. i was so scared. but - i was dumb, too. so, i guess - i’d really like to be with you. romantically. if you’ll - if you’ll have me.” he kind of falls off the end of his sentence, a weird shaky landing, but he’s here now with both feet on the ground, and nowhere to look but up at taehyung and nothing to do but wait.
taehyung looks at him, blinking, for one, two, three -
“yeah, it was kinda a dick move, back in amsterdam.”
yoongi splutters, flustered, and he can feel and angry red blush rising on his cheeks. “i mean - i’m sorry, i am -”
“no, it’s okay!” taehyung puts his hands up in a woah, steady motion and laughs, sort of. “it’s okay. it upset me cause i’m in love with you, hyung.” his voice is quieter now, gentler. “and i’m not scared to say it. i’ve been in love with you, kinda for… for a while. and i could kinda tell, honestly.”
yoongi tenses up. “what could you tell?”
“being out here,” taehyung looks around them and spreads his arms wide, gesturing to the world around them at large, “just the two of us, all on our own. i knew from before that you were the only one i’d want to do it with.” yoongi smiles a little at that. “ - but i also knew that we wouldn’t come back the same. i just -” here, taehyung falters, all of a sudden regressing into the person he’s been for the past few days.
“you just what?” yoongi says. he wants to reach out and take taehyung’s hand, but he really acknowledges that right now in this moment, it means more, so he pulls back.
“i don’t want to say. i just really hope that whatever feelings you have now for me are real.”
yoongi steps back, offended, because “what do you mean, of course they’re real, tae, i can’t believe -”
“no, no, hyung, i mean. right now they’re real, of course they’re real, but i don’t know if they’ll still be real when we get home to seoul, and we go back to everything else. to the rest of our lives, you know?”
as indignant as he was initially, yoongi does know. that was one of the things worrying him, too. what if he’s seeing taehyung right now through the rose tinted glasses of freedom and when reality knocks them aside, he won’t want him anymore? it’s a horrible idea, but it’s not impossible.
yoongi breathes slowly.
“i don’t want to hurt you like that,” he says.
“so?” taehyung says, shifting from foot to foot. “now what?”
yoongi looks taehyung in his eyes. eyes that are always so pretty and loving and warm. now, they’re a little hopeful, and a little anxious.
he reaches forward and picks taehyung’s hand up in his own, twines their fingers together.
“for now,” yoongi says. “let’s find our hotel.”
their two days in paris pass slow, but not in the agonising way, in the comforting syrupy slowness of sunday mornings. the days pass in little lingering touches and gazes that don’t falter. they hold hands when they walk by the river, which really is more than yoongi could ask for. but the decision they come to is this: they’ll go home, and they’ll be normal, like they’ve always been. like friends. if yoongi still has feelings for taehyung in a month (“yahoo answers says that’s a good time scale” “taehyung, what? ”) then they can pick up from there. if not…well. if not, then they’ll know it wasn’t for real and then - “nothing will change,” taehyung says firmly. he squeezes yoongi’s hand as he says it, looking directly into his eyes with a fiery determination. “nothing.”
surprisingly, time in seoul did not stop while taehyung and yoongi were away. they’re supposed to be collected at the airport by namjoon and, unsurprisingly, he’s accompanied by jungkook. yoongi lets namjoon hug him really tight and sighs into it.
“welcome home, hyung,” jungkook says, squeezing his shoulder. yoongi looks over at taehyung and thinks,
seoul, south korea
one month is a short length of time. here is what happens in a month.
taehyung starts his teaching job and loves it with his whole heart. he texts yoongi about his kids every day and yoongi smiles at his phone because he can picture the way taehyung deals with each of his students’ antics.
yoongi starts at that entertainment company. it’s fairly small, so they let him work on a lot. he becomes quick friends with his colleagues and before his internship is over, his boss offers him a real job and says they promise to encourage him with his own music as long as he gets out the songs for the idol groups as required. working doesn’t seem so hard with suran and kihyun there too, and they all go out together with yoongi’s university friends when yoongi takes the job. everyone gets along swimmingly well.
as kihyun is leaving, he gives yoongi a quick hug and steps back.
“are you and taehyung…” he looks over his shoulder and back at yoongi, then jiggles his eyebrows in place of a word. “you know.”
yoongi wills himself not to blush. “no,” he says. “we’re just friends right now.”
kihyun winks at him and yoongi hides a smile.
september brings with it jungkook and namjoon’s birthdays, and the birthdays brings with them -
“park jimin!” yoongi yells. he can hear taehyung, seokjin, and jungkook screaming beside him. vaguely, in his peripheral vision, he sees namjoon hide his face in hoseok’s shoulder.
jimin laughs as he jogs the rest of the way down the airport hall, going as fast as his legs will take him while he’s dragging a huge black suitcase behind him.
they all cheer, despite the weird looks they get. even namjoon.
and jimin’s only here for a week and jimin brings with him the biggest party yoongi has attended since their graduation. he’s pretty sure there are like, nine hundred people there and he’s in such high spirits he lets hoseok and jungkook drag him onto the dance floor. he takes centre stage as they cheer him on and at the end of it all, he falls into taehyung’s arms, laughing.
when the party’s over and everyone starts to leave, taehyung and yoongi are still sitting on the couch. jimin is sitting with his head on hoseok’s lap opposite them as yoongi and taehyung go back and forth and back and forth recounting their holiday. he nods in all the right places and laughs in them too. the two of them omit some important details about the trip, but jimin asks them if they’re sure that’s everything with a knowing twinkle in his eye, so yoongi thinks maybe they don’t need to tell him anyway.
the night before the month is up, yoongi lies in bed, reading his messages from taehyung.
become a teacher they said. you’ll touch young lives, they said. it’ll be fun, THEY SAID
the photo attached is of taehyung and a pile of books maybe a foot high. he’s making a comically pained face at the camera.
tapping out his reply, yoongi wonders whether taehyung is keeping count of the days the way he’s been. thirty one days to decide if his feelings were for real or not. well, yoongi thinks. he knows the answer.
the next day goes a little like this.
yoongi wakes up in the morning and it takes him approximately half a second to remember that he’s going to confess today. holly, sleeping on yoongi’s stomach, raises his head and looks as annoyed as a poodle can look when yoongi makes a pained sound, and he figures that’s fair.
on the way to taehyung’s apartment, at 11:33 am, yoongi passes a florist’s. he lingers for one second, eyes scanning over the display, but thinks that there will be time for flowers in the future. he keeps walking.
“hyung,” taehyung says, opening the door to his apartment. “good morning.”
“kim taehyung,” yoongi says, and it feels less like a name and more like a blessing. “min yoongi.” there’s a smile playing at the corners of taehyung’s mouth, and yoongi relaxes just a bit. it seems taehyung does know what day it is, after all.
“taehyungie, would you come out on a date with me? please?” yoongi says, feeling the smile break in his face.
“yoongi hyung,” taehyung says. he reaches out for his hand. “i would love to.”
that night, yoongi and taehyung don’t sleep. they’re awake at five fifty in the morning still, watching the nighttime bleed into the day through the window of taehyung’s bedroom, the one where the gaps between the neighbouring apartment buildings align just so so that the sun rises through them, especially around this time of the year.
as the room is slowly illuminated, the glow of the sunrise falls on taehyung’s face in new and beautiful ways, and taehyung -taehyung is like all the sunrises in the world blended together. taehyung is warmth and love and the feeling of something brand new. he’s every colour the newborn sun spills across the sky after a summer night. taehyung is like the feeling of warm bedsheets in vienna after a good night’s sleep and the feeling of soft fingertips waking you up. taehyung is the way big flowers look just after they’ve bloomed, full and pretty and screaming “look at me” and bursting with life. taehyung is the shimmering reflections off the surface of a canal in amsterdam, the comfort of ice cream on a hot day in rome.
taehyung is a million trillion beautiful things that yoongi doesn’t have words for, things that make yoongi want to push soft brown hair back off of a forehead, plant gentle kisses all over a half sleeping face because maybe sowing seeds of affection will let the feelings sink in through the golden skin of taehyung’s cheeks.
yoongi loves taehyung, and taehyung-
taehyung has always loved him back.