Actions

Work Header

Freak like you

Work Text:

Jungkook hates moving.

He hates having to pack everything in small brown boxes, fly them over to wherever his mom’s got a new job, and unpacking the boxes. He hates that the season has suddenly changed, that when he looks out there’s no snow hitting the windows and instead the house is unbearably hot. Winter has become summer way too fast, before Jungkook even had the time to make snow angels and shove snow down his brother’s back.

It kinda sucks, and the weird neighbour next door doesn’t make Jungkook feel any better.

The moment the van arrives, Jungkook runs out front to get his things. The last time they moved he’d been lazy and the van had driven off, leaving a tower of boxes on the road. He had had to shift everything in on his own. Now he knows better. His mom is out settling some bills for the house and furniture, and his brother stayed in America because he’s “old enough to make his own decisions”.

Jungkook regrets not removing his jacket because god, it is so hot he might combust if the moving guy doesn’t stop talking in rapidfire Korean, expecting him to reply in equally rapidfire Korean. Jungkook’s spent so much time in Japan and Brazil and America, he’s almost forgotten his Korean. The only time he speaks it is at home, so of course he only understands 10% of what the man is saying.

He stares at the man blankly, shooting telepathic lasers at him. I don’t understand what you’re saying. It doesn’t work and the man continues to blabber, unfazed for even a second. A flash of bright purple and orange shoots across his peripheral view and a boy is suddenly in front of him, conversing with the moving guy excitedly and gesturing so fast Jungkook swears he can’t see his hands.

Then the moving guy suddenly gives a thumbs-up and heads to the back of the truck to unload, and the boy (who must be Jungkook’s new neighbour) flashes him a ridiculously bright, boxy smile. The proximity is unnerving, especially when purple-haired neighbour is all up in his face and Jungkook might be going cross-eyed.

My neighbour is insane. That is Jungkook’s conclusion of the day, because no sane person has bright purple hair and wears a bright orange onesie with bright purple hair. Also, no sane person shouts his name in another person’s face (“HI I’M TAEHYUNG!!!”) and promptly proceeds to move boxes, inviting himself into Jungkook’s house.

Taehyung is the strangest person Jungkook has ever met in all the countries he’s lived in, but there’s something comfortable about his presence, as if they’ve been friends since forever. So Jungkook doesn’t chase him out even after the boxes have been moved in and the moving truck has long driven off. They don’t talk as much as Jungkook would like, just the basics, since his Korean is limited, but they do play Mario Kart for three straight hours before Jungkook’s mom comes back and Taehyung leaves for dinner, not without a boxy grin and an enthusiastic “SEE YOU NEXT TIME!”

“New friend?” His mom says, eyes twinkling. Jungkook snorts, despite the warm feeling in his chest.

Okay, so maybe the weird neighbour does, kinda, make Jungkook feel better.

 

 

 

 

Everything’s new again – the unfamiliar hallways, the muffled clack of his sneakers against the floor, the obvious lack of lockers. Jungkook groans because he needs a locker to dump his gazillion textbooks into. Koreans and their obsession with education, seriously. Plus, where is he supposed to put his massive longboard? At the very least classes have started, sparing Jungkook the crushing weight of being the new social outcast. Now he just has to get to class in time for homeroom, so the teacher can formally introduce him to his new classmates, because “hi I’m jungkook ‘sup” just won’t make the cut. This new culture will be the death of him.

He miraculously finds the classroom after much squinting and aimless walking, shuffling into classroom 2-1 behind a disgruntled Miss Jang, who eyes him for being what, 5 minutes late. She introduces him to his new classmates, who oooohhh and aaahhh over the new student from America, and clicks her tongue disapprovingly when he’s done introducing himself. Jungkook is mildly offended but heads to the only empty seat at the back of the classroom anyway. Then it dawns on him. Oh crap, I forgot to bow. He almost smashes his head into the desk because (1) his classmates must think he’s a douche, and (2) he is most absolutely not a douche. Jeon Jungkook is a nice Korean boy who has been brought up well and has manners, but no one will believe him now. He would sob, but there’s something poking at his right arm and it refuses to leave him alone to wallow in despair.

He lifts his head from the desk to glare and belatedly realises that he’s supposed to be nice, but surprise forms on his face when he’s met with a familiar rectangle grin, the pen that’s been poking him poised in mid-air. Taehyung looks like any other student, his hair is black again and he’s wearing the school uniform. Without the purple hair and orange outfit, it’s no wonder Jungkook didn’t notice him.

“Hi hi hi hi! Jungkook right? I’m Taehyung, your neighbour from yesterday? I’m so glad we’re in the same class, you’re gonna love it here!”

Jungkook lets out a grunt in response. Shit, I forgot. Be nice, Jeon Jungkook.

He honestly fears that Taehyung will break his chair from all that bouncing. It’s been almost, well, never, since someone has been that excited to see him. He’s always been the silent, brooding loner that no one messes with because apparently all Asians are like Bruce Lee and kick ass like nobody’s business. The bad-boy aesthetic suited him, anyhow, since Jungkook knew he wouldn’t be around long. This boy though, this insane neighbour of his, doesn’t seem to be affected by Jungkook’s stoic face at all.

Jungkook later wonders if he should laugh or cry, as Taehyung drags him on an impromptu tour of the school during lunch, and slings his arm around Jungkook whenever he can (whenever Jungkook lets him). And Jungkook thinks it might be the work of overactive imagination from his late-night DOTA battles, but Taehyung walks really, really fast and everything passes by in a blur.

“Woah, woah slow down man,” Jungkook finally says, the Korean words foreign on his tongue.

“Oops, was that too fast? I’m so sorry! I tend to forget sometimes.” He slows down after that, asking Jungkook every five minutes whether he’s going too fast. By the end of the day Jungkook knows where all the toilets are because Taehyung doesn’t stop reminding him that it is The Most Important Thing, and he gets dirty looks from every teacher because Taehyung wouldn’t stop talking in this loud whisper that he somehow thinks no one hears.

As soon as the bell rings, Taehyung turns to Jungkook and asks if he wants to go home together, and Jungkook feels bad when he says no and Taehyung’s face visibly falls.

“Okay, see you later, or tomorrow then!” Taehyung perks up immediately and grabs his bag, patting Jungkook on the back before leaving.

It might be guilt that makes Jungkook bolt out of the classroom 3 seconds later. He can’t find Taehyung anywhere, not even when he runs all the way home.

It might be something else.

 

 

 

 

“Jungkook! The neighbour’s here!” His mom barges in just as soon as Jungkook’s done with the last button of his shirt. He looks at her blankly.

“You mean Taehyung?”

“I think that’s what he said his name was. Don’t be too long!”

Taehyung’s here. It takes a while to sink in and Jungkook is more perplexed than anything. He barely gave Taehyung any attention yesterday, noncommittal grunts and silent nods at most. There’s no reason for Taehyung to be this eager when Jungkook’s exercised his arsenal of Not Interested tactics. This is usually enough to flip people off. Then again, Taehyung isn’t exactly normal. Right. Jungkook shrugs it off, grabs his bag and heads downstairs, waving to his mom as he leaves.

“Hi hi hi hi Jungkook! Let’s go to school together!” Jungkook hears Taehyung before he sees him. Taehyung is standing just outside the fence, waving so quickly it almost blinds Jungkook. His excitement is way too excessive for a Wednesday morning.

“Hey Taehyung,” Jungkook tries, a result of yesterday’s leftover guilt. Taehyung gasps and there it is again, that unnerving grin like Jungkook has just given him the world and he couldn’t be happier. Jungkook’s never made someone smile like that before. People have given him polite smiles before, but after a while they generally stopped bothering and left him alone. Taehyung, though, he would be a tough nut to crack.

They chat on the way to school, or at least Taehyung talks and Jungkook’s brain goes into overdrive. Jungkook’s proud to say he understands most of what Taehyung is saying, but nevertheless prays to god that there won’t be any language-based lessons today. He looks over to Taehyung, who is gesturing animatedly and recounting a childhood story about a chimpanzee or something.

“Do we have any Korean language lessons today?” Taehyung pauses and stares at him like he’s grown a second head, probably taken aback by the fact that Jungkook can speak more than two words, and then breaks out into a smile.

“No, but we do have gym, my favourite lesson!” He launches into another recount of fun gym sessions, like a child telling someone about his new toy.

Jungkook feels the corners of his lips lifting and for once, he forgets to fight it.

 

 

 

 

Lessons go by painfully slowly, Jungkook forcing his brain to adjust to the new language. The good thing is, he actually still remembers most of his Korean, just that it takes some time for him to understand it. He also naturally thinks in English, which means he’s going around in circles translating back and forth when he can understand Korean in the first place. Also, he swears the technical terms are out to get him. There are no Korean language lessons today, but there’s History and Geography and Jungkook’s brain is positively bleeding by fourth period.

When the History teacher leaves Jungkook’s face is immediately stuck to the desk. He’s so, so tired that nothing will separate him from it.

“Jungkook Jungkook it’s time for gym get up get up!” Jungkook closes his eyes and pretends to sleep. Five more minutes Taehyung please. He’s suddenly yanked up from his seat and his gym uniform is thrust into his hands, and he finds himself being pushed out of the classroom into the nearest toilet.

“Change! We’re gonna be late!” Taehyung shouts from the cubicle beside his and Jungkook fumbles to follow instructions. He struggles with his dress shirt (buttons buttons buttons) and stumbles over nothing when he tries to remove his pants, but he finally manages to pull on the shirt and sweatpants. As soon as he unlocks the door Taehyung grabs his wrist and they get to the hall in record speed.

Their classmates are already seated on the floor, chatting amongst themselves while they wait for the teacher to arrive. Taehyung plops himself onto the ground, pulling Jungkook down with him. He releases Jungkook’s wrist, but starts poking at Jungkook’s biceps. Jungkook shoots him a look of irritation, but as usual Taehyung is unfazed and continues violating his body. I give up.

“You work out a lot, huh.” By now the teacher has arrived and starts to take attendance, and Jungkook tries to listen attentively so he doesn’t miss his name. It’s pretty hard when Taehyung’s still poking him.

“Huh, not really. Why?” He looks at Taehyung distractedly.

“You’re really fit, like, hard everywhere,” Taehyung says dismissively. The double entendre makes Jungkook blush and he wishes Taehyung would stop touching him. He’s always been fit even without much exercise. His mom used to say he was like a piece of rock, and apparently he’d been lifting furniture for fun when other kids were playing with toy cars.

Taehyung’s hands move to his stomach and Jungkook flinches. Taehyung immediately withdraws his hands, sheepishly apologising. He falls silent and conversation stalls after that.

“It’s okay,” Jungkook finally says, making an awkward attempt to pat Taehyung’s hand. It’s barely a ghost of a touch, but that’s as far as he’ll go for now. Taehyung perks up and smiles at Jungkook. It makes him feel as if he’s won an award for being Best Person of the Year.

Soon both his and Taehyung’s names are called and attendance-taking is complete. The teacher ushers the class to the back of the hall and starts talking about “advancing their powers” and “exploiting others’ weaknesses”. Jungkook is nothing but extremely confused. It’s not like we’re in some Marvel comic book.

“Oh yeah, I forgot to ask, what’s your power?” Taehyung looks at him curiously and Jungkook barely has time to ask him what he means when –

“Jeon Jungkook! Let’s see what you can do.” Jungkook’s legs are moving before he even registers the teacher’s words. He’s in front of the class now, the centre of attention as his classmates look at him with what seems like excitement. This one guy with blonde hair, Namjoon if Jungkook remembers correctly, smirks at him in amusement.

“Um, Mr Kim I –“

“Step into the circle,” Mr Kim bellows, and Jungkook’s legs move again. Was there even a circle? How come I didn’t see it? What is happening I –

The air is squeezed out of him when two giant foam blocks slam into him front and back. Jungkook wheezes and starts to feel impossibly dizzy. Holy shit I’m gonna die I’m gonna die. But the suffocating pressure is gone as suddenly as it came and Jungkook’s knees buckle, his legs going limp as he slumps on the floor.

“Not shapeshifting or elasticity then. Stand up.” He’s still dizzy but Mr Kim’s command makes him shoot up, his feet firmly rooted on the ground and supporting his swaying body. At this point Jungkook’s too dazed to worry about what will happen next, but he certainly doesn’t expect a ferocious bulldog to magically appear in front of him. It snaps its jaws at him, drool flowing from its open mouth. Jungkook gulps. Bye mom. It starts growling and steps forward. Jungkook retreats. Bye bro. The bulldog starts running at the same time Jungkook does and it only takes half a minute for it to have Jungkook’s right leg firmly wedged between its jaws. Bye Taehyung. Jungkook closes his eyes and wait for his leg to be torn apart, but the sound of a whistle penetrates the air and the pressure on his leg disappears. Well, okay then.

Just when he thinks it’s over, Jungkook is suddenly pulled up, up, up until Mr Kim and his classmates are but tiny dots. Was the ceiling always this high? It’s like a zoom-out function and Jungkook starts laughing, because this is so cool and maybe gym isn’t as bad as he thought it would be. The height is nice; Jungkook’s always enjoyed things like bungee-jumping and parachuting. He swings his legs in glee, enjoying the altitude and the freedom it gives him.

The metal clamps on his arms start to loosen and oh my god, they wouldn’t. Dropping from this altitude is no joke. Dropping from this altitude without a parachute is a death wish. They’re gonna kill me shitshitshitshit. Jungkook closes his eyes solemnly, like a corpse being laid to rest. It’s the last time he’ll ever get to do it, after all. If he gets out of this alive he swears he’ll tell his mom he loves her.

Goodbye world. There is nothing around his arms now and all Jungkook feels is the wind from hell rushing against his face, beckoning him into its fiery depths. He waits for the inevitable crash, but nothing happens. The wind starts to slow and eventually stops. Jungkook opens his right eye, then his left. He finds himself hovering in mid-air, the faces of the people below now distinguishable. Of course I wouldn’t die, the school can’t kill me. He spots Taehyung jumping up and down amidst loud cheering and wonders what the fuss is all about.

It occurs to him that there’s no pressure on his arms, no metal clamps holding him up. He looks to his right and sees white feathers. He looks to his left and sees more white feathers.

Jungkook promptly blacks out. 

 

 

 

 

The first thing Jungkook sees when he opens his eyes is Taehyung’s face. His vision’s a little fuzzy around the edges, but this is unmistakeably Taehyung.

“Are you okay?” Taehyung speaks slowly for once, looking at Jungkook with so much concern in his wide eyes it’s disconcerting. Jungkook is torn between wanting to look away and wanting to look straight into Taehyung’s eyes. Taehyung makes the choice for him, getting up to grab him some water.

This must be the nurse’s office, judging by the white pristine floors and the hospital beds. Jungkook didn’t think he’d ever be in a place like this after his dad died. Wait, why am I here again? We had math, history, then geography, then it was gym period and I was squished and chased by a dog and they threw me down from like 10000000 feet and oh. Now he remembers.

“I can fly?” Taehyung hands him a paper cup and nods while Jungkook drinks from it.

“You didn’t know? All of us here have some kind of superpower, kinda like X-men but with half the villainy.” It seems like a dream to Jungkook, he’s been normal all his life and now his genes are playing some X-men trick on him? He’s had enough surprises to last him a lifetime, this is unnecessary.

“Is this a joke,” he spits angrily, and Taehyung says nothing. Jungkook is so sick of changes he didn’t ask for, but Taehyung is absentmindedly stroking his hand and it’s strangely calming. The heat in his chest dissipates slowly.

“No, it’s not,” Taehyung enunciates slowly, “let me show you something.” Taehyung closes his eyes, Jungkook’s hands still in his own. The sunlight filtering in reflects on his lashes and it makes him look like some ladybug fairy Jungkook read about in preschool. His black hair shines under the light, until it’s not black anymore but dark purple, then a lighter shade of purple, stopping when it reaches a pale lilac. Jungkook gasps, the uncharacteristic sound making Taehyung burst into laughter when he opens his eyes to the look of shock on Jungkook’s face.

“I’m a metamorphosus, or a shapeshifter in layman terms.”

Jungkook doesn’t stop gaping.

“Close your mouth, Jungkookie.” Taehyung laughs again, a tinkling sound that hypnotises Jungkook so.

He doesn’t realise the new nickname until later, when Taehyung uses it during lunch and Jungkook flushes in embarrassment. He tells Taehyung to shut up, but Taehyung snorts and tells him silence means consent.

 

 

 

 

That night Jungkook finds out that both his parents had superpowers, but the car accident that killed his dad also took away his mom’s powers. His mom enrolled him into the school because she finally thought it was time for him to know. When Jungkook asks about his brother, his mom shakes her head and tells him his brother inherited nothing and doesn’t ever need to know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The days pass by quickly and it’s been nearly three months since Jeongguk moved here. Taehyung is his only friend, or at least the only person Jeongguk will allow near him. He’s stopped trying to get Taehyung off his back. It’s a lost cause and Jeongguk isn’t one to waste his energy. Besides, Taehyung is pretty useful. Ever since the class found out he could fly the girls have taken to flirting with him in flocks and the guys are as unfriendly as ever. All the unwanted attention is thankfully deflected by Taehyung, who speedwalks so fast he helps Jeongguk hightail out of the classroom whenever necessary. The girls also seem to disperse when Taehyung comes anywhere near, and Jeongguk hears the word “freak” more than once when they mutter under their breaths.

“Hey, why do they call you a freak?” Taehyung’s head jerks up so he can look at Jeongguk, and Jeongguk laughs when he sees Taehyung’s mouth stuffed full of marshmallows. Taehyung chews pensively and swallows.

“I told you before that I was a shapeshifter right?” Jeongguk nods. Taehyung isn’t smiling anymore and Jeongguk senses his hesitance.

“…Relax, I’m not gonna eat you up.” Consolation tastes weird on Jeongguk’s tongue, but the nervous chuckle Taehyung lets out is worth it.

“Well,” Taehyung continues, “I also have superspeed.” It all makes sense to Jeongguk now, the mindboggling instances of near-teleportation whenever Taehyung brings him somewhere. It still doesn’t explain why Taehyung would be a ‘freak’. Jeongguk would have thought it’d make him popular. More powerful than the rest, cooler. Taehyung breathes.

“The kids at school don’t like it because we’re not supposed to have more than one power. It’s not…natural. They say I’m a mutant, which is the funniest thing I’ve heard because aren’t we all?” Taehyung laughs soullessly at his own joke. He’s hunched over now, as if defeated. This isn’t the Taehyung Jeongguk knows, Taehyung is loud and noisy and there is never a dull moment with him. Taehyung is never…like this. Jeongguk feels something drop in his chest. Is this what it feels like to have your heart sink?

“But it’s cool isn’t it? Aren’t they just jealous?”

“You could see it that way, but it won’t make you feel any better.” The room is silent now, Taehyung sprawled on his bed and Jeongguk seated at Taehyung’s desk. They’re only an arm’s length apart, but Jeongguk doesn’t know if he dares to lend a hand to make Taehyung feel better. They’re more than acquaintances by now, and Taehyung’s for sure the closest thing to a friend Jeongguk’s ever had. The only thing stopping Jeongguk is the thought that’s always at the back of his mind, the niggling thought that he’ll be leaving soon.

He wants to tell Taehyung that he understands. That they’re both outcasts, only Jeongguk chooses to be one, but Taehyung has no choice but to be one. That Jeongguk doesn’t need consolation, but Taehyung doesn’t have consolation. Maybe Jeongguk could be that consolation.

Oh fuck it. “Taehyung,” he starts, moving closer to the bed. “I can’t say I know how you feel…but I’ve always had to move here and there because of my mom, and I never wanted to, you know? But we always end up with things we didn’t choose, I guess, and we just have to suck it up.” Jeongguk winces at his choice of words and wishes he was better at Korean. Or maybe he’s just this bad at comforting people.

Taehyung sighs, curling into a ball on the bed. Jeongguk wonders if he heard him, and gets his answer when a hand shoots out to grab Jeongguk. Taehyung pulls him to the bed so they’re lying beside each other, the bag of marshmallows making a crinkling sound beneath Jeongguk. Taehyung’s hair is a pretty lilac and Jeongguk can’t resist, lifting a hand to touch it. If only it were lilac seven days a week instead of only on weekends.

“Besides, your hair looks great like this. The girls would be so jealous.”

 

 

 

 

Jeongguk taps his foot impatiently as he waits for Taehyung to come out of the house. He glances at his watch. It’s already half past seven and they’ll be late for school if Taehyung doesn’t hurry. The door opens just as Jeongguk looks up from his watch, and Taehyung is instantly beside him. He looks the same as he does on every other schoolday, all suited up in his blazer and slacks. But his hair isn’t black today, light against the pale blue sky.

“Aren’t you gonna change that,” Jeongguk points to his lilac hair, eyebrows raised. Taehyung shrugs.

“Nah, I think I’m gonna stop hiding.”

Before Jeongguk can ask any further he’s being manhandled again. With Taehyung’s arm wrapped around his waist Jeongguk finds himself in front of the school gates in a flash. He glances at his watch. 4 minutes. A minute slower than last Friday, but still faster than Jeongguk will ever be. It’s convenient to have Taehyung as a friend, and Jeongguk will admit that the speed is pretty cool. Who am I kidding it’s totally cool.

He thinks he might have heard Taehyung say something else right before his dizzy spell from the speed, but Jeongguk’s not too sure.

Besides, you said it looked good.

The snickering and pointing begin as soon as Taehyung walks into the classroom, a frazzled Jeongguk in tow. Even after 3 months Jeongguk still needs time to recover from the trip to school. They walk past the girls, some throwing dirty glances at Taehyung, others crowded around Jeongguk’s desk awaiting his arrival. Jeongguk breaks the circle and gets seated quickly, ignoring the harsh whispers.

“Freakboy’s got purple hair yo!” Jeongguk looks around for the source of the shout. Namjoon, of course. Taehyung’s been called a freak countless times, but it’s always been like a dirty little secret, the subject of quiet gossip. Jeongguk’s never felt the need to respond to those cowards. This outright declaration, though, it pisses him off and he knows exactly what he should do. He pushes his chair back loudly and it scrapes against the floor as he stands up to glare at Namjoon.

“You should shut it,” Jeongguk hisses. Taehyung’s hand is on his arm, a gentle caution. But Jeongguk is seething and doesn’t see anything but red. Shrugging Taehyung’s hand off, he walks straight to Namjoon’s desk and kicks it aside, grabbing his collar.

“Or what, you gonna fly me into space?” Namjoon smirks at him mockingly. The ensuing laughter makes Jeongguk tighten his hold on Namjoon’s collar. There’s a sizzling sound and Jeongguk yelps, jerking his hands back. Namjoon’s eyes are blood red and the throbbing in Jeongguk’s hands can only mean that he’s been burnt. They don’t call Namjoon the God of Destruction for nothing. Jeongguk feels a sudden heat on his stomach and realises his tie is on fire. He hastily yanks it off his neck and throws it onto the ground.

“That was just a warning.” Namjoon cocks his head, a lopsided grin forming.

A wave of anger surges through Jeongguk and something rises in his chest. He rushes at Namjoon and delivers a punch with all the strength he can muster. Jeongguk doesn’t see the destruction he’s caused, doesn’t hear the chaos over the blood pounding in his ears, because he crumples to the ground the moment he turns to walk back to his seat.

 

 

 

 

A head of lilac hair greets Jeongguk when he wakes up. It takes a while for him to overcome the wave of nausea that hits him as he sits himself up, manoeuvring around Taehyung’s head. He’s here again, the white walls triggering a sense of déjà vu. Taehyung’s here too. Jeongguk smiles and stretches his fingers, running them through the lilac hair, watching the rough strands fall between his open fingers. Taehyung changes his hair colour way too much, his hair hardly feels like hair anymore. He retracts his hand when Taehyung rouses, lifting his head and blinking the sleep from his eyes. A smile blooms on his face when he sees that Jeongguk’s awake.

“Hey. You doing okay?” Jeongguk tears his eyes away, looking everywhere else but at Taehyung.

“Yeah,” he mumbles. He sneaks a peak at Taehyung and sees a crease between his furrowed brows, smile long gone. Look what you’ve done now Jeon Jeongguk. The clock on the wall is ticking away, the movement of its hands loud in the silence.

“Do you…” Jeongguk looks up as Taehyung continues, “…remember anything?” Jeongguk grimaces. Of course he remembers the fight with Namjoon, his hands being singed, his tie getting burnt. Not to forget his manly pride.

He doesn’t remember anything else though.

Taehyung is looking at him expectantly and Jeongguk tries and tries to remember what happened but his mind draws a blank.

“You –“

“KIM NAMJOON YOU ASS!!!” Taehyung is interrupted when a boy bursts through the door. He’s tall, with soft brown hair and a pretty face. He’s also raging mad but it does nothing to make him less attractive. Pretty boy stomps to the closed curtain opposite Jeongguk’s bed and yanks it open violently. Jeongguk hadn’t known that there was anyone else in the office besides him until now.

He can’t stop himself from laughing when he sees Namjoon, Kim Namjoon the God of Destruction, with a blanket pulled up to his chin and almost cowering in fear under pretty boy’s glare. Taehyung stares at Jeongguk like he’s grown another head before turning to glare at Namjoon, evidently not seeing the humour.

“Seokjin I can explain, I –“ This Seokjin promptly collapses on Namjoon and starts wailing. Namjoon is obviously flustered, face contorting in a myriad of expressions while he runs his hands up and down Seokjin’s back in an attempt to soothe him. Taehyung looks shocked and Jeongguk just finds all of this hilarious.

“Hey Namjoon,” he says loudly. Taehyung’s hand tightens around his.

Don’t,” Taehyung whispers, eyes pleading.

“Hey freaks,” Namjoon grits out from across the room. He makes a move to get up but is slammed back down by Seokjin, who climbs down from the bed and wipes at his eyes hastily.

“Namjoon, don’t be rude.” Namjoon groans when Seokjin throws him an angry look, lower lip jutting out and looking more cute than menacing. He sighs and shakes his head helplessly when Seokjin walks over to Taehyung and Jeongguk. When Seokjin extends his hand with a bright “hi, I’m Seokjin”, mega-watt smile on his face, Taehyung looks at him curiously before shaking it. Jeongguk withdraws when Seokjin does the same to him.

When Seokjin leaves with Namjoon attached to his side, Jeongguk realises just how bad Namjoon’s injuries are. His right leg is stiff and useless and he’s limping badly, trembling with every step. As soon as they’re gone he looks to Taehyung for an explanation, and it takes some prodding before Taehyung tells him, hands folded tightly in his lap. He tells Jeongguk about Namjoon being thrown back, about the four broken walls, about Jeongguk’s newfound strength.

When he’s done he looks up at Jeongguk guiltily, but before Taehyung can say anything Jeongguk beats him to it.

“Well, I guess I’m a freak like you.”  

 

 

 

 

“Hi Jeongguk, Taehyung.” Seokjin slides into the seat beside Jeongguk’s, smiling with a radiant glow Jeongguk’s never seen anywhere else. Maybe that’s his power, charming the pants off anyone he smiles at. Maybe that’s why he has Namjoon following him around during lunch and now sitting beside Taehyung, his face as dark as Seokjin’s is bright. He’s slumped in his seat and lowers his head whenever someone walks by. It’s obvious he doesn’t want to be here.

Taehyung smiles back at Seokjin but pointedly ignores Namjoon, and Jeongguk doesn’t bother with either of them, slurping his soup carelessly and stealing a piece of fried chicken from Taehyung’s plate. Taehyung lets out a huff of displeasure, snapping his head to look accusingly at Jeongguk. It hardly fazes Jeongguk, for all his apparent displays of disapproval Taehyung always, always lets Jeongguk get away with stealing food. In fact, he lets Jeongguk get away with practically anything. I’m a jerk and he’s an angel. Jeongguk’s not planning to pretend to be nice when that much is obvious.

Seokjin reaches over abruptly to smack Namjoon’s head, and Namjoon whines, making a constipated expression. Jeongguk scoffs because who knew the God of Destruction was such a baby. For a moment Namjoon looks extremely offended and glares at him, but Seokjin eyes him and Namjoon deflates immediately. Seokjin clears his throat loudly, causing Taehyung and Jeongguk to jerk up. There’s a smack of sweet and sour sauce near Jeongguk’s cheek, and Taehyung swipes it off with a finger and puts it into his mouth. Jeongguk makes a strangled gurgling sound at the back of his throat, a large chunk of chicken blocking his protest. They turn back to Seokjin when he speaks.

“Taehyung, Jeongguk. Namjoon has something to say.” Namjoon raises his head, eyes wide like a deer caught in the headlights. His mouth is stuffed full, vegetables streaming out of it and sauce dripping. Seokjin sighs dramatically and looks upwards, bringing his gaze back to Namjoon as he reaches out a hand to spoon the vegetables back into Namjoon’s mouth. Namjoon chews quickly at the look on Seokjin’s face and swallows the food in one big gulp. He looks at Seokjin with pleading eyes, his eyebrows bent up towards each other. Seokjin shakes his head sternly.

“Msry,” Namjoon mumbles. Taehyung turns to look at Jeongguk, and Jeongguk returns his perplexed gaze.

“Namjoon,” Seokjin warns.

“I’m. Sorry,” he enunciates clearly this time, eyes darting about in embarrassment. Seokjin beams in satisfaction like a proud mother, standing up and leaning over to peck Namjoon on the lips. Beside them Taehyung and Jeongguk are frozen solid, partly from Namjoon’s apology and partly from the surprise kiss.

Taehyung clears his throat. Jeongguk’s mouth hangs open because wow, there are gay boys in Korea and they just kissed in public. He’s not disgusted, he’s seen a lot of it happening back in America. But if anyone were to do this in school they’d get shoved into a locker or thrown into the dumpster. Nothing of the sort’s happened to either Namjoon or Seokjin yet, although Namjoon looks like a red slushie’s just been thrown in his face.

“I accept your apology,” Taehyung says happily, smiling at Namjoon. Traitor. Jeongguk looks at him in betrayal but grunts noncommittally and continues eating. It’s just like Taehyung to be so gullible, so trusting of anyone who speaks even a word to him. Well, it doesn’t really matter. Jeongguk doesn’t care about Namjoon anyway, he was only angry because Namjoon insulted Taehyung. If Taehyung’s fine with it so is Jeongguk.

It still doesn’t mean he trusts the two lovebirds beside them.

Seokjin prods Namjoon, who reluctantly starts making conversation with Taehyung. Taehyung is happy to oblige, responding to everything with typical 200% excitement, his words loud and fast. His energy is infectious, Jeongguk would know, and in no time Namjoon is just as loud and interested, Seokjin joining soon after.

Jeongguk doesn’t feel left out, no of course he doesn’t.

But there’s an uncomfortable feeling sitting in his gut and Jeongguk knows he shouldn’t be feeling this way, not when Taehyung looks so happy, happier than Jeongguk’s ever seen him.

 

 

 

 

None of their classmates say anything to either Jeongguk or Taehyung after the incident. The girls leave them alone for the most part, a welcome respite from all the incessant giggling and whispering. Just because we’re freaks, huh. Jeongguk’s not bitter about it, girls don’t appeal to him, after all. The guys don’t try anything either, because even if Taehyung is an easy target, Jeongguk sure isn’t, and he’d definitely beat up anyone who says one bad thing about Taehyung. Namjoon is ample proof.

“Hey Taehyung, Jeongguk.” The whole class is staring when Namjoon speaks to Taehyung and Jeongguk. Attention fixed, like spectators at a wrestling match, anxiously waiting for the match-bell to ring so the violence can begin. Taehyung smiles at Namjoon like he’s a friend, but Jeongguk’s not worried. If Namjoon tries anything funny he’ll just break another wall on him.

“I, uh. Seokjin wanted me to ask you guys to join us after school today.” Namjoon scratches his head and tries to act nonchalant, but he’s so awkward that even Jeongguk can tell. And Jeongguk isn’t even around people that much. Taehyung calls him socially inept all the time.

Taehyung coos at Namjoon, who looks shocked for a moment before his face settles into this flustered expression and he wrings his hands like he doesn’t know what to do with them. Jeongguk understands. Taehyung has that effect on people. Namjoon’s face is the colour of a baboon’s butt when he snatches Taehyung’s phone from his bulging pocket. He falters a bit and thrusts the phone back to Taehyung, mumbling about a passcode. Taehyung unlocks it and hands it back to him.

“I’ll text you the details,” Namjoon says, dropping the phone back into Taehyung’s pocket.

There’s a bzzzt sound in Jeongguk’s pocket later during Chemistry period. Taehyung forwarded him Namjoon’s message. Apparently they’ll be meeting Namjoon and boyfriend at the school’s running track at 4. Jeongguk doesn’t see why he has to go, Namjoon and Seokjin don’t even like him. But he knows he’ll end up going anyway, just because Taehyung has been volunteering at the dog shelter for so long he knows how to puppy-dog his way into Jeongguk’s stone-cold heart. Jeongguk had forgotten that he had one. It’s been rusty from disuse until recently, and Jeongguk finds he can’t control it sometimes.

They grab something to eat after school ends, walking leisurely to the running track. The trees are on the cusp of summer, their green leaves transitioning into brown for autumn. It reminds Jeongguk of Taehyung’s hair.

“Hey, what else can you shapeshift into?” Taehyung is in the middle of a dramatic monologue, maybe a dialogue, but he stops immediately and his eyes refocus onto Jeongguk’s face.

“Hold me.” He rolls his eyes when Jeongguk makes his default constipated face and simply grabs Jeongguk’s arm, winding it around his own waist.

“Tight,” Taehyung warns. Jeongguk complies, fingers digging into a bony hip. His heart does this flippy thing it’s been doing a lot since he met Taehyung.

In a split second Taehyung disappears and in his place is a white ball of fluff curled up against the crook of Jeongguk’s arm. It yaps and barks and twists around in Jeongguk’s hold. Even as a puppy Taehyung is weird. And Jeongguk thought he’d seen the full extent of Taehyung’s weirdness. He’s so busy stroking Taehyung and feeling him shudder beneath his fingers, he nearly bumps into someone, sidestepping them and muttering an apology.

“That’s so cute!” The person he’s just bumped into squeals and Jeongguk loses grip on Taehyung.

“Shi – “

“Wow Jeonggukie I didn’t know you hated me that much.” Taehyung’s back again, this time in his diva persona. Jeongguk’s hates that one the most, Taehyung only goes into that character when he’s feeling bitchy or wants to annoy Jeongguk.

“Hi,” passerby interrupts cheerily. Jeongguk takes a good look at the person he nearly crashed into. Wow, I didn’t know pre-schoolers came here. He’s at least half a head shorter than Jeongguk and his narrow shoulders make him look even smaller. Taehyung obviously shares the same sentiment, squeezing the boy’s pudgy cheeks together and calling him cute. Jeongguk sighs. Taehyung has absolutely no notion of personal space. There’s a weird feeling in his chest Jeongguk can’t put a name to, watching Taehyung manhandle this boy like he usually would Jeongguk. Heat rolls around in his chest but he doesn’t know what it means.

“I see you guys have met Jimin.” Another voice breaks into the conversation. It’s Namjoon, Seokjin following closely behind him.

“HI JIMIN I’M TAEHYUNG.” Jimin responds just as enthusiastically and turns to Jeongguk, who murmurs his name. Jimin frowns, but it’s gone the next moment and he grabs Jeongguk’s hand, winking to Namjoon and Seokjin and a very confused Taehyung.

“Let’s go!” Jeongguk feels like he’s being ripped apart for all of five seconds, and when it stops they’re in a different place. He shrugs off Jimin’s hold when he sees Taehyung’s hand still in Jimin’s. Taehyung doesn’t let go, pulling Jimin around the room and bombarding him with a million questions a minute. Namjoon and Seokjin are talking about some secret hideout underground and anyone else would be amazed, but Jeongguk doesn’t hear anything, only Taehyung’s voice repeating ‘jimin jimin jimin’.

He should have seen it coming.

 

 

 

 

“Jeonggukie! Jimin and I are gonna watch a movie today, wanna come?” Taehyung’s eyes are literally sparkling and Jeongguk feels something lurch in his stomach. Jimin and Taehyung.

“No,” Jeongguk deadpans, doesn’t even pretend to consider the proposition. If he’d felt spiteful earlier, now he feels ten times worse seeing Taehyung’s face fall. But he tells himself over and over again, it’s fine, Taehyung still has Jimin. And Namjoon and Seokjin.

When Jimin comes to get Taehyung so they can walk to the cinema together, Jeongguk repeats it like a mantra. Taehyung glances his way sadly and Jeongguk stubbornly stares at his desk.

It’s only when Taehyung’s backview isn’t visible anymore that Jeongguk stops to wonder if he’s doing this for Taehyung or for himself.

It’s so easy to avoid Taehyung, Jeongguk wonders why he didn’t do this from the start. He leaves for school at exactly seven in the morning, heads for the music rooms as soon as the lunch bell rings, and disappears five minutes before the last bell rings. He expects Taehyung to pester him, but Taehyung doesn’t bother, doesn’t even exploit his speed to chase after Jeongguk. Precisely what Jeongguk wants, right?

But his heart sinks every time he sees Jimin come pick Taehyung up for lunch or whatever else it is they do. Taehyung doesn’t invite him anymore and by now he’s so accustomed to that sore feeling it hardly surprises him.

He misses the wistful looks Taehyung gives him each time he turns his back.

 

 

 

 

It feels like it’s been years since he’s hung out with Taehyung but it’s actually only been a week. Already Jeongguk’s fingers are aching to touch Taehyung’s hair and face and every other area of his skin. Which Park Jimin just so happens to be doing so easily, touching Taehyung everywhere possible. Jeongguk can’t stop staring. Taehyung’s actually reciprocating the touches.

I’m hopeless. He groans and lolls his head back against the chair for the umpteenth time that Jimin brushes his hand against Taehyung’s. He feels an irrepressible urge to grab Jimin and fling him out of the classroom. But Jeongguk isn’t anyone to Taehyung, he’s probably not even a friend. Taehyung was probably just lonely and needed someone, it was never Jeongguk he particularly needed. Does Jeongguk want to be Taehyung’s friend?

Does he? Doesn’t he? But I’m boring as hell. Taehyung can do so much better. He doesn’t need me. The thoughts swirl around in his head and make Jeongguk sad. But Jeongguk doesn’t do sad, Jeongguk is a man of steel who happens to be able to fly, too. A real-life superman is Jeon Jeongguk. Jeon Jeongguk is a real-life superman. He tells himself this when he looks over to Taehyung and Jimin, and he thinks he feels better now. Invincible and powerful.

He breaks his pencil from clenching his fist too hard when Jimin sweeps Taehyung’s hair away from his forehead.

Screw this.

 

 

 

 

Taehyung manages to grab a hold of him 10 days, 5 hours and 2 minutes after Jeongguk’s Great Avoidance began. He simply walks into Jeongguk’s house and demands to see Jeongguk. Jeongguk expects some cajoling, some pestering, some questioning and truckloads of concern. He does not expect this.

“Jimin asked me to be his boyfriend yesterday,” Taehyung blurts out, breaking the past 10 minutes of silence. Jeongguk swears he just heard something drop.

“…And?”

“I think we’d be good together? Like, he teleports and I’m fast so we can play catch all the time,” Taehyung laughs nervously. Oh, it was just Jeongguk’s heart.

“…You’re telling me because?”

Taehyung raises his head to look Jeongguk in the eyes. It’s his turn to look constipated now, like he wants to get something out of his system but can’t. Jeongguk’s not too keen on finding out what it is.

“Because…you’re my friend,” Taehyung says, the lilt at the end making it a question rather than an answer. He looks so, so hopeful it hurts Jeongguk, who’s only seen disappointment in the faces of the people around him. Jeongguk doesn’t know what to do with this mess of feelings in his head. So he opts to do the most rational thing.

“You can date him if you want to, it’s really none of my business.” Taehyung’s face falls again, it’s been doing that a lot lately. And Jeongguk’s always the cause. Additional proof that he’s bad for Taehyung. Jimin is good for Taehyung, will be good for Taehyung. They can meld into one big ball of walking sunshine and infect the world with happiness, whatever. Jeongguk doesn’t care. Gives absolutely zero fucks.

“Okay,” Taehyung says, voice soft and trembling. Jeongguk doesn’t notice, too steeped in his own selfish anger to care about how Taehyung feels.

“Are we good?” There it is again, the hesitation in Taehyung’s pretty eyes.

“Yeah, I guess.”

And that’s that.

 

 

 

 

Jeongguk still can’t stand Jimin and his unnecessary touchy-feeliness, but Jimin is his friend Taehyung’s boyfriend and he’ll have to deal. It doesn’t mean he has to like it, though. Jimin also makes it a habit to pointedly look at Jeongguk every time he touches Taehyung, as if he’s saying hey look, Taehyung’s mine, which is extremely infuriating.

He’s doing that now, taking Taehyung’s hand gently and clasping it slowly in his own, all the while smirking at Jeongguk. He pops a piece of potato into Taehyung’s mouth and Taehyung’s moan of satisfaction kills Jeongguk a little inside.

It’s official, Jeongguk hates having lunch with Jimin and Taehyung.

Especially when things between him and Taehyung are not fully back to normal. They have lunch together, talk, hang out at each others’ houses. But Taehyung’s not as energetic as he used to be, always treading on eggshells when talking to Jeongguk, no longer repeating things 4 times on average and invading Jeongguk’s personal space.

Maybe it’s because he has a boyfriend now. A midget one, Jeongguk might add.

Logically, Jeongguk should be glad. This is an opportunity for him to push Taehyung out of his messed up life.

Illogically, Jeongguk is really fucking miserable. The invisible barrier between them is uncomfortable and unbreakable. Jeongguk is stuck once again, which happens a lot when Taehyung is involved. Should he extend a hand? Should he not?

He sort of wants Taehyung back (because the 10 days without him were torturous), and he sort of doesn’t, and he also maybe sort of wants more.

Jeongguk explodes internally when Taehyung and Jimin start nuzzling each other’s noses in plain view.

And Jimin, the absolute gall of Jimin to side-eye Jeongguk.

 

 

 

 

“Hi Jeongguk.” Jeongguk is buried deep in the library when Seokjin seats himself opposite him.

“…Hi?” Jeongguk doesn’t have time for this, he has a test tomorrow and he really ought to be studying. He goes right back to reading when Seokjin doesn’t respond.

“So. How do you feel about Jimin and Taehyung dating?” Seokjin’s eyebrow is quirked up suggestively and Jeongguk wonders what he ever found attractive about him.

“No. Comment.” Yeah, Jeongguk really doesn’t have time to talk to Seokjin. He has much better things to do than deal with feelings. Seokjin falls silent and Jeongguk dives right back into chemical nomenclature.

“You like Taehyung don’t you,” Seokjin states matter-of-factly, resting his head on one palm. Jeongguk freezes up and starts to sputter clumsily. He only realises he’s fallen into Seokjin’s trap when he looks up to see a smug grin.

“Yeah,” Jeongguk mumbles. I like Taehyung. He’s known it for a while, his heart suddenly beginning to function emotionally whenever Taehyung was around. This is the closest he’s ever gotten to recognising these feelings.

“You should tell him,” Seokjin says sagely, and Jeongguk snorts in response, a bitter taste forming on his tongue.

“It wouldn’t make any difference, hyung. He likes Jimin, it’s not like I can charm my way into his pants.” It sounds even more hopeless when Jeongguk spells out the situation. There’s absolutely no way Taehyung would drop Jimin right away and run into Jeongguk’s arms.

“Why not,” Seokjin demands, “that’s what I did to Namjoon with my flower boy powers.” Oh, so that’s what Seokjin’s power is. Jeongguk stores away that interesting bit of information.

“He agreed to date Jimin, hyung,” Jeongguk whines pitifully. “He obviously likes him.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes dramatically, in a manner befitting the theatre club president.

“Just do it,” he snaps. “Trust me.” Seokjin’s eyes twinkle in mischief, like he knows some secret Jeongguk doesn’t. Jeongguk doesn’t read too much into it, he’s more terrified of Seokjin’s abrupt changes in mood.

 

 

 

 

Unexpectedly, Namjoon is the next to drop him cryptic messages.

“Hey prick.”

“You speak English?” Jeongguk looks at him incredulously.

“Yeah, if you’d been up for hanging out with us you’d have known.” It’s so nice to hear a familiar language again, Jeongguk can’t help the upturn of his lips. Namjoon clears his throat awkwardly.

“…Sorry.” I just didn’t want to see Jimin and Taehyung is what he means to say.

“’Is alright, I know you were just jealous.” Jeongguk’s eyes widen impossibly large and he opens his mouth ready to defend himself. “Oh shut it Jeon Jeongguk have you seen the way you look at Taehyung?” Namjoon pauses. “You’re a fucktard.”

“Well fuck you.” Oh wow, Jeongguk’s really missed swearing in English. This is really nice.

“Tell him how you feel. You’d be surprised.” Namjoon gives him a two-finger salute before walking off, leaving Jeongguk in confusion.

Is this some kind of conspiracy?

 

 

 

 

Jeongguk is sure the universe is conspiring against him. After Seokjin and Namjoon’s interventions, Jeongguk can’t stop watering the seed they’ve planted in his head, the possibility of Taehyung liking him back. It’s so absurd but Jeongguk can’t help himself. Also, Jimin and Taehyung are miraculously no longer attached at the hip and Jeongguk gets to hang out with Taehyung alone a lot. It is as enjoyable as it is frustrating.

“Where’s Jimin been all week?”

Taehyung’s shirt rides up when he flips himself over to face Jeongguk, exposing a sliver of bronze skin that Jeongguk can’t stop staring at.

“He’s been hanging out with some senior who calls himself Suga, I think.” Taehyung sounds so blasé about Jimin spending time with someone other than Taehyung, Jeongguk is starting to believe what Seokjin and Namjoon told him.

“Aren’t you…jealous?” Taehyung laughs nervously and shrugs. The tension in the room is palpable and Jeongguk is hyperaware of Taehyung’s every move. Taehyung worries his bottom lip, biting down on it and nipping the skin off, and Jeongguk doesn’t realise what he’s doing, until all he sees and feels are Taehyung’s pink lips on his own. He doesn’t withdraw for once, and Taehyung eagerly kisses back, pliant under Jeongguk’s ministrations.

Jeongguk snaps out of it when he feels the soft mattress beneath him. Shit. He backs away hastily, muttering a string of apologies. But Jeongguk doesn’t hightail it out of there for once, because frankly he’s sick of running away.

So he does exactly what he’s been told to do.

“I like you, Tae,” he takes a deep breath. “It took a long time for me to come round but I think I really do…I’m a dipshit, I know, I don’t show much emotion and I’m rude to everyone. You deserve so much better than just Jeongguk. But I can’t stop thinking about you and your rectangle smile and worrying that I’ll somehow destroy it… So if this is what liking someone means, then yeah. I guess I like you.”

“Your Korean’s gotten better,” Taehyung says quietly. The lamp on the third shelf suddenly looks very interesting to Jeongguk. Taehyung peers at Jeongguk through his lashes and seems to notice his distress, gently taking Jeongguk’s hands into his own.

Jeongguk freezes. Taehyung breathes.

“I’m not dating Jimin.”

“…”

“Tt was a ploy to make you jealous,” Taehyung says sheepishly, unable to meet Jeongguk’s eyes.

“I really like you too.” With Taehyung’s words Jeongguk feels like the huge insistent weight all this time has been lifted off him. He knows he should be flaring up at Taehyung for lying to him, for giving him such anguish, but that can wait. Right now he’s so relieved that Taehyung likes him back, that Seokjin and Namjoon were right. Taehyung likes Jeon Jeongguk, Jeon Jeongguk who can’t control his powers for nuts, Jeon Jeongguk who’s as expressive as a rock, Jeon Jeongguk who will never let anyone hurt Taehyung.

Taehyung circles his arms around Jeongguk’s neck and leans in to kiss the corner of his lips. Jeongguk may have a rock-hard body but his heart is complete mush.

He may be able to fly, may be able to lift weights a million times his own, and may be the closest thing to a modern-day superman, but Taehyung definitely means more to Jeongguk than all of these combined.

Jeongguk finally has a reason to stay.

 

 

 

 

“Do you think we could have sex on a cloud?”

Jeongguk chokes on his saliva. They’re supposed to be studying but Taehyung’s distracting him every five seconds with sex questions. He’s always like this when he’s horny and Jeongguk knows that it’s an open invitation.

“Clouds are water, Tae,” he says exasperatedly. “We’d just fall and die.” He turns back to his book, trying to ignore Taehyung’s purposeful lack of clothes. He’s wearing a flimsy tank top that rides off his shoulders, and boxer-briefs that cover just a bit of thigh. Jeongguk ought to feel turned off by the flashing neon-pink, but this is Taehyung, who turns Jeongguk into putty in his hands. Who Jeongguk never says no to.

“Silly Jeonggukie,” Taehyung drawls, getting up to plant himself in Jeongguk’s lap. “We won’t die. That’s what your wings are for, remember?” Jeongguk groans when Taehyung fidgets against Jeongguk’s crotch.

Fuck, Tae. You’re such a sex fiend.” Jeongguk still has 5 chapters to revise before tomorrow’s exam, but there’s no one home and Taehyung is grinding his hips in Jeongguk’s lap.

He’ll study later.

He hoists Taehyung up and they tumble into Jeongguk’s bed, Taehyung giggling like he always does when he gets Jeongguk to be obedient. From the moment they met Taehyung’s been affectionate, not just to Jeongguk but to anyone else willing to receive it. They’ve been through this before, Jeongguk getting jealous over Taehyung’s fondness of contact, but now Jeongguk knows that only he gets to touch Taehyung so intimately.

Taehyung touches Jeongguk like he does everything else, eagerly and passionately. He pushes Jeongguk’s shirt up and over his head, runs his hands over the broad chest. Jeongguk’s breath hitches when slender fingers smooth over the lines of his abs, moving downwards slowly to tug at his jeans. Taehyung is such a tease.

“Off,” Jeongguk growls, pulling at Taehyung’s shirt. He reminds himself to take it off gently, takes care not to tear it like he did the last time. Taehyung helps him out, swiftly stripping himself of clothes. He isn’t as built as Jeongguk, but he’s lean and taut, faint lines of muscle visible under the light. There’s no better view to Jeongguk than this. He shudders when Taehyung’s hands attach themselves to him again, making quick work of his jeans and boxers.

They’re both stark naked and the contrast is obvious, Taehyung’s skin dark against his own when he presses his body against Jeongguk’s. Jeongguk winds his arms tightly around Taehyung, hands roaming all over his back as Taehyung’s lips attack his. Taehyung ruts fervently against Jeongguk, panting into his mouth because of the friction between their cocks.

Jeonggukie,” Taehyung whines, voice strained. Jeongguk licks into his mouth sensually and pulls away abruptly, smirking as Taehyung pouts. He reaches up to whisper in Taehyung’s ear.

“Tell me what you want.” Taehyung blushes and fuck if Jeongguk’s not turned on by the shy expression on his face. Taehyung’s just so cute and Jeongguk loves it.

“Fuck me,” Taehyung says quietly, peering up at Jeongguk through dense lashes. Jeongguk reaches under his pillow to pull out a bottle of lube and a condom. He holds the packet in his teeth, but before he can tear it Taehyung stops him, face an impossible shade of red.

“You sure?” Taehyung nods. They’ve had sex countless times, but always with a condom. Jeongguk’s fantasised about taking Taehyung raw, of course, but he didn’t want to pressure him into anything. And now he’s sure Taehyung wants it just as much as him.

Jeongguk’s suddenly nervous, trembling in anticipation as he uncaps the bottle to squeeze a generous amount of lube onto his fingers. Taehyung shivers when Jeongguk presses a slicked finger in, nodding as soon as he’s adjusted to the intrusion. Jeongguk pulls him down for a kiss as he inserts a second finger, and soon Taehyung is desperately pressing back against three fingers as he mouths at Jeongguk’s neck. More, more, he moans into Jeongguk’s mouth. When Taehyung’s muscles are no longer tense and his hole is wet and slippery, Jeongguk knows he’s ready. He slides out his fingers from Taehyung’s ass and Taehyung whines at the loss. The lube is unbearably cold without Jeongguk’s fingers.

Jeongguk lifts him up easily and Taehyung straightens his back, sitting right on Jeongguk’s crotch. With his legs straddling Jeongguk in a kneeling position, Taehyung holds Jeongguk’s cock and positions it at his entrance. He gasps when the head presses in, moves up and down slightly so he can adjust faster. Jeongguk’s staring at him, eyes hooded and glazed over, motivation for Taehyung as he lowers his hips slowly until he feels skin against skin. His ass is flush against Jeongguk’s hips and hands reach up to hold his hips in place.

The burn is too much and Taehyung winces, panting breathlessly. Jeongguk watches him intently, waiting for the burn to subside. When Taehyung relaxes, Jeongguk sees it in his face and starts to move, thrusts gentle and shallow at first, Taehyung moving in tandem. Jeongguk knows he’s hitting the right spot when Taehyung starts making these little sounds of pleasure, low and halting following the rhythm of his thrusts. They go right to Jeongguk’s gut, an agonising heat pooling at the bottom. His fingers dig into the dips above and below Taehyung’s hipbone, and he speeds up, pulling out as far as possible before ramming back in. Taehyung moans wantonly and bounces on Jeongguk’s cock, the slapping of skin mixed with moaning on both ends. He collapses onto Jeongguk after a particularly hard thrust that has Jeongguk coming into Taehyung’s ass.

Jeongguk kisses Taehyung languidly, grabbing hold of his cock to finish him off. Taehyung rides Jeongguk, moving back and forth frantically and pressing his ass down so he feels Jeongguk in him as deep as possible. His hips stutter when he reaches orgasm, head thrown back as Jeongguk sits up, his cock still buried in Taehyung’s ass. Jeongguk presses a kiss to his sweaty neck and Taehyung giggles, fully satiated. He circles his arms around Jeongguk’s neck and leans back to admire his work. Jeongguk is a complete mess, hair sticking up in odd places and lips swollen, the sweat on his body glistening under the light.

“So good, Tae.” Jeongguk smiles and Taehyung’s chest grows warm. Jeongguk never stops reminding Taehyung about how much he loves his smile, but Taehyung loves Jeongguk’s so much more. It’s not something Jeongguk spares easily; it’s something you must earn, and once you have it you’ll never lose it because Jeongguk is loyal like that.

He loves Jeongguk so much.

“Hey, you alright?” Jeongguk’s staring fixedly at Taehyung’s hips, his eyebrows furrowed in concern. Taehyung looks down and sees the dark bruises scattered across his abdomen and hips, always an inevitable side-effect of Jeongguk’s strength.

“I’m sorry, I got too excited,” Jeongguk says quietly, guilt dripping from every word. Taehyung’s heart clenches. He knows how hard it is for Jeongguk to control his strength.

“It’s okay. It looks pretty anyway.” Taehyung touches the bruises gingerly, tracing the haphazard patterns. Jeongguk would snort if anyone else said it, but Taehyung is weird, and Taehyung is also an angel.

“Hey Jeonggukie, since you did this to me, can you do me a favour?” Taehyung is smiling sneakily and Jeongguk instinctively knows that he’s up to no good. Jeongguk grunts in response.

“Anything but sex on a cloud,” he deadpans.

“Can we cuddle with your wings around us?”

It’s not as ridiculous a request as all of Taehyung’s other “sex on a cloud” or “sex in space” ideas, so Jeongguk lets him have his way, just this once. After all, Jeongguk is weak to Taehyung and will do anything as long as Taehyung asks. Provided it’s possible to accomplish.

They cuddle and make out for another hour, in a bed of white feathers, until Jeongguk realises they have a test to study for. He cajoles Taehyung into studying, bribing him with a promise to have sex at the top of Namsan tower.

(He doesn’t plan on fulfilling it, but who knows?)