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True Colors

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Bleak. That was the word Taehyung would use to describe his everyday life. He was happy, of course, but he couldnt help but feel like there was something missing. And he knew what it was; Color. Taehyung had no color in his life. He'd grown up hearing stories of the vivid, unimaginable bursts of light that people got to see once they found and touched their soulmate and the longer he lived his life dwelling on the utter bleakness of his black and white world, the more hopeless he became. Taehyung thought of himself as a COLORFUL person. He was funny, bright, compassionate and he could be serious when he needed to be. He was versatile, and ever changing according to circumstances. He thought if anyone deserved color in their life, it was him.

When he met Park Jimin, he was happy to see the little bursts of blue that came with finding your platonic soulmate, he was BEYOND ecstatic, actually. So he and Jimin hung out all the time, probably more than they should have and despite knowing they were only platonic soulmates, they ended up developing feelings for one another. Falling for Jimin was a gradual process, something Taehyung hadn't expected. It was a normal day cuddling together just as they usually did, and watching a dumb Disney movie when Taehyung first noticed it. His heart sped up a little when Jimin's hand started rubbing shapes into his arm, and Taehyung suddenly realized just how close their faces were to eachother, their breaths mingling and fanning eachothers faces. The bright blue color of the TV screen bounced off Jimin's skin and for a moment, everything felt just as it should be, romantic soulmate be damned. And those feelings only grew stronger with time until eventually Taehyung confessed and the two ended up together. They were a power couple, the couple everyone wanted to be and everyone absolutely adored. But then they broke up. Nobody knew why, not until they saw Jimin holding hands with someone- someone that wasn't Taehyung, and Jimin tweeted all about the amazing colors the world held and then everyone knew. Despite the abrupt end to their relationship, Taehyung and Jimin held no harsh feelings toward eachother, and honestly spent almost just as much time together as they had before, only now Namjoon was there, too. And so that was how Taehyung met Yoongi.

Namjoon and Yoongi were best friends for the longest time; their parents were friends in college and it was just natural for their children to be friends. The sad thing was, they weren't soulmates, not even platonic soulmates, so both of them bathed in the black and white glow that surrounded them without giving much thought to it. Yoongi, as it turned out, wasn't very interested in finding color, he was happy with his normal life and he didn't like change. Yoongi could've lived his whole life without finding his soulmate and he would've been content, very much unlike Taehyung.

Their first meeting was brief and they hadn't shared any words other than a polite 'hello, nice to meet you' from Taehyung and a nod of acknowledgment from Yoongi. And then, Namjoon started bringing Yoongi along with him whenever he spent time with Jimin and Taehyung.
"So you don't feel like a third wheel," Namjoon had said. Taehyung was fine with being a third wheel. Kind of. Of course, it hurt like hell seeing Jimin with someone else and knowing that they had the one thing Taehyung didnt: color. Taehyung was obsessed with the idea of finding his soulmate, obsessed with seeing color. He just wanted the most the world had to offer, but it seemed to him that fate hated him because of the sick jokes it always played on him. It deprived him of color, it deprived him of love, of Jimin, and it gave him a soulmate. But an unrequited one.

The day Taehyung found out had started off as a normal hangout with the usual gang. Namjoon and Jimin cuddled up on Taehyung's brown loveseat, leaving Taehyung and Yoongi to the sofa. The movie wasn't even halfway over before the couple began kissing rather noisily and Taehyung and Yoongi didn't want to be present for that. The two of them jumped off the sofa and headed into Taehyung's kitchen together.
"Coffee?" Taehyung asked. By that point, he had known just enough about Yoongi to know what he liked and didn't like, at least when it came to snacks and drinks. Yoongi nodded his confirmation and took a seat at the small island counter, his eyes watching Taehyung coolly. The younger's hair was messy, and curls were sticking up in odd places. It looked nice to Yoongi, even though it was unkempt, it looked effortlessly attractive. Especially when paired with Taehyung's soft, puppy eyes and deepset eyebrows. Taehyung broke Yoongi out of his silence as he said,
"They're like sharks eating eachother up out there, no matter who's watching." Yoongi smirked and nodded, even though the analogy really didn't make that much sense, but still he humored the boy.
"It's funny to think that that used to be Jimin and me," Taehyung mused aloud. Yoongi choked at this, his eyes widening into saucers as he analyzed Taehyung's face. The younger sported an undeniable look of sadness. Yoongi hadn't known about Jimin and Taehyung, nobody had ever mentioned it to him in the past, so the news was a bit shocking especially with the knowledge that the two men were platonic soulmates.
"You and Jimin?" He asked. Taehyung poured the scalding black liquid into a coffee cup and added the tiniest bit of sugar and cream until it was to Yoongi's liking before he sat down next to the elder.
"Me and Jimin have been friends for years and years. It was kinda inevitable that we would at some point, feel something for eachother. Jimin dumped me when he found Namjoon." Taehyung sounded just the same as he always did, but Yoongi was quick to catch onto the underlying tone his words held. Taehyung loved Jimin, but Jimin loved Namjoon and the color that he brought with them. Yoongi hated the silence that fell between the two of them, he hated the distant look in the younger's eyes and the way his full bottom lip quivered, so he reached a hand out and intwined his fingers with Tae's, giving his larger hand a good squeeze. Taehyung gasped loudly and squeezed onto Yoongi's hand harder.
"Oh my god, yoongi! Do you see it?" He was practically squealing.

Yoongi tilted his head and marveled at the lick of orange color around him.
"Oh shit. I thought Jimin was your platonic soulmate, though," Yoongi huffed in amazement. He was pleasantly surprised that he had found his platonic soulmate without ever even trying, without even WANTING to find at that.
"Plat- yeah he is. Wah, i like the purple color," Taehyung was looking all around them, his hand squeezing tightly onto Yoongi's.
"Purple?" Yoongi was confused by Taehyung's words and then... it registered in his brain what was happening. "Shit," he said and he pulled his hand away from Taehyung abruptly.
"Taehyung."
"Yoongi."
The boys spoke in unison, one with excitement and one with dread. Yoongi ran a hand through his hair and sighed heavily. "I gotta go." Before Taehyung could even blink, Yoongi was gone.

Weeks passed without Taehyung seeing Yoongi. Not that he hadn't tried, but Yoongi simply was not allowing any contact. He stopped tagging along to the group's hangouts, he made sure to avoid Taehyung's favorite places around town, and he didnt answer any of his calls or texts. To Taehyung, Yoongi was simply unreachable. And it was annoying him beyond measure. He thought finding your soulmate was supposed to be a good thing, it was for him. So Taehyung couldn't help but wonder why was Yoongi avoiding him like the plague.

"He saw other colors, Namjoon. The only color I saw was orange. I'm his fucking soulmate..and he's not mine."

Chapter Text

"So Yoongi slipped on the ice and fell face first into my table and his girlfriend at the time looked SO embarrassed." Namjoon was telling stories from the past, something he was prone to doing when under the influence of alcohol. It was endearing usually but at the mention of Yoongi's name, Taehyung bristled. "Speaking of which, where is Yoongi?" Taehyung bit out. He didnt mean to come off as harsh as he did, but the liquid courage running through his body brought out all the confusion, hurt and anger he'd been feeling for the past month. Ever since Yoongi had cut off contact with him. Namjoon nervously rubbed the back of his neck and looked away in an attempt to avoid Taehyung's eyes. "I don't know," he mumbled. Taehyung rolled his eyes and placed his head in his hands, suddenly feeling sad. "I don't know what I did wrong."

In an instant, Namjoon was at his side, patting his back comfortingly. "You didn't do anything wrong, taetae," he assured the younger. Jimin watched on in silence; namjoon had already told him what had happened and as much as it pained Jimin to keep it from Taehyung, he figured it would hurt Taehyung more to know the truth, so he kept quiet. Taehyung peeked at Namjoon from between his fingers and sighed. "Then why is he avoiding me?" Namjoon made as if to protest but immediately halted as Taehyung shot him a searing look to say 'dont lie to me.' Namjoon sheepishly sighed and confessed, "Okay, he's avoiding you a little." Taehyung had known the answer but the confirmation of it just made him feel ten times worse. He threw his head back and groaned. "Give me your house keys," he deadpanned. Namjoon opened and closed his mouth like a fish as he stared at Taehyung's outstretched hand. "You can't be serious," he croaked. Taehyung raised his eyebrows and wiggled his fingers, he was serious. Jimin was watching on with a barely hidden face of amusement. Namjoon had a way more intimidating, imposing appearance than Taehyung, but the latter could turn the tables at any given moment and it was quite funny to see how flustered and fidgety Namjoon got under Taehyung's dark, impatient eyes. Namjoon glanced over to his boyfriend for help and Jimin chuckled, his eyes disappearing into his smile. "Taetae, you can't drive there," jimin said definitively and Taehyung smirked at his best friend. "Walking is good for your health," he said. Jimin grinned and nodded to Namjoon, who gaped at the entire interaction. "You can't be serious," he repeated, and this time Taehyung wasn't the only one leveling him with a stern stare.

When Taehyung entered Namjoon and Yoongi's shared apartment, he was starting to regret his decision to come. The liquid courage was giving way to an unsettling nausea that was quickly rising up from his stomach. "Joon? That you?" Yoongi called out into the apartment and the nausea grew. He wasn't ready for this, he was so stupid, so stupid, so stupid-
And then Yoongi was entering Taehyung's sight and all his thoughts flew out the door. "Uh, hi?" The greeting came out as more of a question and it took Yoongi a good two minutes to think up a response. "Why are you here?" He sputtered.

Taehyung mustered up the last bit of his courage and sauntered up to Yoongi. The elder was immediately overwhelmed by the smell of alcohol radiating off Taehyung and he vaguely remembered Namjoon trapising out the apartment with a case of liquor in tow, yelling his goodbyes throughout the home. "I came to find out what I..what did.. wait why did I come again?" Taehyung giggled and abruptly pulled a confused Yoongi into his arms. "Taehyung," he rasped out, but it was to no avail. Any sound Yoongi made was muffled into the soft material of Taehyung's cotton t-shirt.

"If you hate me, hyung, its okay, i just wanna know why." Taehyung sounded desperate, even through all his thick, slurred daegu dialect. Yoongi sighed and felt Taehyung relax against him, leaning into him. "I don't hate you, Tae. I just.. Wish things were different," yoongi said. But as the words fell past his lips, he realized Taehyung had leaned ALL his weight onto him; the motherfucker was passed out.

When Taehyung woke up, the throbbing in his head was almost unbearable. Almost so unbearable that he didn't want to open his eyes but he felt warm, the kind of warm that meant there was a body lying next to him and Taehyung hoped with all hope that it was just Jimin cuddling him. He peeled his eyes open slowly and was immediately struck by the colors swimming around his sight. The ceiling was white, the curtains dark blue and matching with the comforter that was laid over him. Pretty yellow streaks of light filtered in through the curtain and illuminated the room. Taehyung glanced over to his side and was shocked- beyond shocked to find Yoongi curled up into his side. Yoongi's blonde hair fell limply over his eyes and his pale skin was tinted pink, probably from the heat. Yoongi was a sight to behold and for a minute, Taehyung was speechless. "Are you just gonna sit there and stare all day?" Yoongi's voice was thick and raspy with sleep, the daegu dialect much heavier than usual and he had surprised Taehyung so much that he jumped and fell off the bed. As soon as their skin contact was ripped apart, the colors disappeared and Taehyung was thrown back into his normal black and white vision.

Yoongi pushed his hair out of his face and Taehyung caught the ghost of a smirk on his pouty lips. "Did i do something stupid?" Taehyung asked from the floor. Yoongi rolled onto his back and stared up at the ceiling. "Depends. Do you count taking Namjoon's house keys and barging in to harrass me as stupid?" Taehyung gasped and squeezed his eyes shut. The revelation of his recklessness was even worse than the pounding in his head. Yoongi got up and left without a word and Taehyung thought 'if he didn't hate me before, he must hate me now.' He cradled his head in his hands, feeling hot tears well up in the back of his eyes and Taehyung was unsure if it was due to the hangover or the obvious rejection.

And then Yoongi was back, shoving advil and a cup of water into Taehyung's hands (taehyung took note of the quick shot of colors as Yoongi's hands brushed against his). "Take it. I'm ordering breakfast." Yoongi's words were clipped short but there was obvious care behind his actions, it was just as it had always been. This was how Yoongi showed his friends affection, kinda subtle and downplayed but still everpresent. Taehyung realized then how much how truly admired Yoongi. The man wasnt the best at expressing his thoughts and emotions but he never stopped trying and that was an admirable trait in Taehyung's eyes. Yoongi tried to ignore the burn of Taehyung's gaze on him as he ordered their food, but it was near impossible when the younger was basically burning holes into him.

The two ate in relative silence, Taehyung was too embarrassed to speak much and Yoongi was just nervous for what was to come. He knew he had to tell Taehyung the truth. They weren't mutual soulmates. Namjoon and Jimin had told Yoongi all about how Taehyung wanted so badly to meet his soulmate. Yoongi, himself, had heard Tae rambling on and on about how seeing in color must be so exciting and satisfying. He was positive Taehyung wouldn't take the news lightly. So when Yoongi turned to Taehyung and saw those big, puppy eyes turn to him in question, he nearly chickened out. Nearly. But he didn't. Yoongi told Taehyung the entire truth from beginning to end.
"You see..all the colors imaginable when we touch.. Right? All I see is orange. You're my platonic soulmate."

Taehyung stared at Yoongi blankly, his mind slowly putting the pieces together. Yoongi was his romantic soulmate but... He wasn't Yoongi's. Taehyung laughed loudly, suddenly. The sound caught Yoongi off guard, he had expected a lot of things (screaming, crying, storming out) but he hadn't expected laughter. Taehyung laughed with his whole body, his shoulders shook with each lilt, his head was thrown back as he belted out the heartiest laugh Yoongi had heard to date. His laughter was so contagious that even Yoongi had joined in, tinkling with laughter next to Taehyung. They shared that confusing laughter for a few moments before Taehyung finally calmed down and tears were clear as day in his puppy eyes. "I always knew fate hated me. I can never just be happy," he said. His deep voice was broken, sad. Yoongi wished he could change things, he wished more than anything that Taehyung was his soulmate just so he wouldn't have to see the clear distress shine in the younger's eyes like stars. Taehyung stood up and briskly walked out of Yoongi's apartment, no more words spoken.

Days passed, Yoongi worried about Taehyung. He texted Jimin every day for updates. 'Is he okay? Did he eat today? Is he still upset?' Yoongi was more worried than he realized, for what reason, nobody knew. He chalked it up to the fact that he felt guilty and taehyung was, after all, still his platonic soulmate. The younger boy was distraught, but he was getting by as usual, he was pretty accustomed to hiding his feelings. It was just a soulmate. No big deal, he told himself. But then why did he feel so sad? He sighed heavily and glanced over at Jimin and Namjoon on the loveseat. They were so lucky, so in love and so..colorful. Taehyung recalled the amazing colors that bursted to life once he touched Yoongi. He especially loved the way they all seemed to work together, the way they were so vibrant but also so subtle. It was thrilling and he would never get that again. Taehyung had decided he couldnt face Yoongi again, he just couldnt. There was too much embarrassment, too many emotions preventing him from it.

Namjoon stood up and stretched his long limbs, prompting a few of them to crack like glow sticks. Jimin grimaced at the sound and thumped Joon's hip. "Stop that," he said playfully. Namjoon placed his hand over his heart, feining hurt. "I breathed," he said. The two of them left into the kitchen suddenly and Jimin glanced over to where Taehyung was laid up on the couch. The man sighed heavily and grabbed a random sheet of paper laid on the counter to write Namjoon a note.
Can you get Yoongi over here?
Namjoon read over the note and nodded silently. Jimin felt like he needed to make things right between Tae and Yoongi, for his platonic soulmate's sake. Taehyung might have had everyone else fooled but Jimin could see right through him and he knew how sad Tae truly felt. Namjoon excused himself to the bathroom to call Yoongi after giving Jimin a peck on the cheek.
After four rings, Yoongi picked up the call.
"Joon? Everything okay?" He asked. He sounded as if he had just woken up even though it was six in the afternoon. "Yeah, everything is fine! I just need a huge favor." Yoongi sighed on the other end and asked him what the favor was. "Well, Tae went out with some friends so I wanted to surprise Chim with some home cooked dinner but they really don't have any groceries, so could you maybe pick something up and bring it here?" Yoongi sighed for the millionth time but he agreed to help his best friend out, he owed him.
After Namjoon told Jimin the plan, the younger yelled to Taehyung that they were going out and that was that.

Taehyung was startled awake when a heavy knock came at the door. "Jimin must have left his keys," he groaned as he rolled off the couch. He stood and stretched, bringing a low yawn out of his chest. He didn't even remember falling asleep if he was honest. When he pulled the door open and saw Yoongi standing there in his pajamas with four grocery bags in tow, Taehyung's first instinct was to slam the door in his face and go back to sleep. He suppressed that urge, though, and instead mumbled out a wise, "huh?" Yoongi groaned and pushed past Taehyung, he had to set the bags down before his arms fell off and if Taehyung stood there with his mouth open any longer, he might've caught flies. "Where's Joon?" Yoongi asked. Taehyung explained that he and Jimin had went out for date night and they probably wouldn't be back until late and Yoongi cursed under his breath. They had been set up. Yoongi couldn't say he really minded though, not as he got to see Taehyung again. he hadn't realized how much he missed the boy. So Yoongi silently organized the groceries and started cooking.

"What are you doing?" Taehyung asked, creeping up behind Yoongi. The elder was shopping up an onion with a practiced agility, something he knew namjoon couldn't do. "I'm cooking," was Yoongi's response. Taehyung snorted and leaned against the counter next to his hyung. "I can see that," he said. "But why?" Yoongi sighed and pickeed up the cutting board, bringing it over the the stove and scraping the chopping onions into the frying pan along with the other vegetables. "Obviously, the guys wanted us to spend time together and you love food. So I'm cooking." Taehyung was taken back by Yoongi's response, and the surprise shown clearly on his face. "Taehyung, I want you to know that I still want us to be friends," yoongi said, not tearing his gaze away from his task. Taehyung chuckled at that and started wiping down the counters where the vegetables had made a mess. "Were we ever really friends, hyung? We were more of acquaintances. It wouldn't affect you too badly to just end it right here." Taehyung didnt know why his words were so harsh, it wasnt Yoongi's fault after all, but he couldnt help but feel bitter. Why was it all such a joke?

Yoongi slammed a lid down over the frying pan loudly and Taehyung startled at the sound. "Taehyung, like it or not, I considered and still consider us friends. And like it or not, we are kinda bound together," yoongi said. Taehyung grumbled at his words. "I thought you didnt even believe in the soulmate system?" He retorted. Yoongi paused and mulled over Taehyung's words.
"I didn't," he said. "But it brought you and Jimin together. It brought Jimin and Namjoon together and it brought you and me together. Of all the people all over the world it could've been, we met and i.. Think im kinda starting to believe in it."