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This Confession Note Wasn't Meant for You

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            Taehyung never thought he would be at school at 6AM in the morning.  He was a good student but he wasn’t studious or anything.  However, here he was walking down a long row of lockers with a pink confession note gripped tightly in his hand. 

            He stopped in front of Jeon Jungkook’s locker.  The freshman stole his heart the first day of the semester when they bumped into each other in the hallway.  Jungkook, in his haste to get to class, looked so rattled that Taehyung couldn’t help falling for the adorable and cute freshman.

Then Taehyung found out Jungkook joined his friend, Hoseok’s dance team.  Jungkook was not only a cute and adorable bunny, he danced with so much power and sexiness that Taehyung literally fanboyed over Jungkook after seeing the boy dance for the first time and every time after that.  This led to Taehyung frequenting the dance studio almost every week.

            Usually Taehyung didn’t do this type of thing.  He was an honest person who confessed to his crushes face to face.  But Jungkook was different.  He was the one.  Taehyung had butterflies whenever he was around the younger.  His tongue always took cover in his throat whenever they talked so all conversations became a series of gurgles, with Jungkook giving him weird looks.  No, it definitely wasn’t just a crush; he was in love with the freshman.

            Taehyung pushed the letter through the locker slot before fully taking it out.  Was this a good idea?  Jungkook barely knew who he was; they were acquaintances at best. What if he was rejected?  How about if they did go out and Taehyung still wouldn’t be able to utter a single word? Taehyung held the letter to his chest.

            “Maybe I should wait a few days and think about this.”

            Taehyung was about to walk away when he heard footsteps.  His mind left him as he ran down the hallway like a little kid running away from a monster.  It wasn’t until he calmed his racing heart that he realized that his note was gone. 

            His future love life was in Jungkook’s hands now. 

 

            “Can you just chill?” Namjoon tried to pat Taehyung on the back but thought better of it and took back his hand. Taehyung was trying to seek comfort with his two friends, Namjoon and Seokjin. 

            “You’re literally sweating bullets everywhere,” Seokjin put a napkin on Taehyung’s forehead to wipe at the sweat forming on his face from being so nervous.

            “It’s second period and he hasn’t said anything.”

            “What did you write?”

            “Oh nothing,” Taehyung threw his hands up in the air, “Just my heart and soul.  No big deal.”

            “Did you compose like an essay or something?  What did it say?” Seokjin was really curious. 

            “I said I liked him and then wrote my phone number.”

            Taehyung looked up from the desk he was crying over to look at his hyung’s faces. 

Seokin and Namjoon were looking at him expectantly. Taehyung stared back.

            “That’s it?” Namjoon asked. 

            “What do you mean is that it?” Taehyung whined, “That’s all he needs to know right?  I like him.  If he likes me back he’ll text me.  And he hasn’t texted me therefore he doesn’t like me!”

            The Love Gods probably took pity on Taehyung, because at that moment his phone lit up with an incoming text.

            Seokjin and Namjoon looked excitedly at the phone and then towards Taehyung and then back to the phone.

            “Jesus Christ if you don’t open that message I will,” Namjoon reached for the phone but Taehyung was quicker and opened the text message from the unknown number.  He read it once.  And then he read it again and then three times more before jumping in the air with his fists pumped in success. 

            “What does it say?” Seokjin got up from where he was and looked over Taehyung’s shoulder.

            “I just got your note.  Do you want to go on a date with me today after school? :) ”

            “Well text back!” Seokjin exclaimed.

            “Can we just pause and bask in this moment?” Taehyung asked.  He calmly sat back into his seat, “The love of my life actually likes me back.”  He fell back dreamily in his chair.  This was the single greatest moment of his life. 

            He opened his phone and after much debate of what to text back decided on, “ok.” 

            He didn’t know why Namjoon gave him an eye roll and Seokjin shook his head in embarrassment.  It was an “ok” reply. 

            Less than half a minute later there was an incoming text, “Great!  Let’s meet at the front gates after school! :) ” 

            Taehyung couldn’t help squealing inside because he received not one but two smiley faces from Jungkook. 

 

            As the end of the school day drew nearer, Taehyung started sweating again.

            “This isn’t good for the future of your relationship,” Seokjin said as he patted Taehyung’s forehead again, “How about if you accidentally sweat on him?”

            “How about if he tries to hold your hand and then it slips right out because it’s literally all sweat?” Namjoon asked seriously. 

            “Not helping,” Taehyung said through gritted teeth.  He tried to fix his hair but it stayed plastered to his head.

            “He’ll think you just came from a five mile jog,” Namjoon put his hand through Taehyung’s hair and barely succeeded in pushing away the younger’s sweaty bangs from his eyes. 

            “I think I’m going to pee my pants,” Taehyung said nervously but in a quite serious tone.

            Namjoon and Seokjin eyed each other. 

            Seokjin looked at his phone, “Well look at the time.  It’s five past 3.  You should probably head to the gate.  You don’t want to be late.”

            “Tell us how it goes,” Namjoon pushed him forward.

            Seokjin and Namjoon both pumped their fists in encouragement, “Hwaiting!”

            Taehyung nodded and uncertainly pumped his own fist, mirroring their own. 

 

            “I can do this,” Taehyung murmured to himself.  He made his way to the gate.  There was no one there.  After another fifteen minutes of waiting at the gate, he decided the likelihood of being stood up was getting increasingly higher. 

            Taehyung looked at his phone one more time.  There were no new messages.  The last message he received from Jungkook was a smiley face and that was all.  He was starting to internally panic.  Was he being played? 

            “I’m so sorry I’m late,” there was a sound of incoming footsteps from behind him. He turned around and his mouth dropped. 

            “Hey,” some kid with light orange hair came up to him.  He scratched the back of his neck awkwardly and bowed in apology, “I’m sorry I made you wait for like,” the kid took out his phone, “20 minutes?  Oh god you must hate me.”

            Taehyung stared at the kid.  In order to hate that person he would first have to know that person or have some kind of emotion for him.  But he didn’t recognize the person at all.  He didn’t even know this person existed.  Who was he?  Why was he sorry?  He tried to search his memories for this face.  The boy was obviously good looking.  He was shorter than Taehyung but definitely more muscular if the t-shirt he was wearing was any indication.  The boy smiled hesitantly at him and Taehyung’s breath kinda stopped because this boy had a very nice eye smile.

            “Taehyung?” the boy brought his hand up in front of Taehyung’s face and waved it, “You wanna go now?”

            “Huh?” Taehyung began, “Who are—“

            “For our date?” Jimin asked at the same time and Taehyung stopped midsentence because WHAT. THE. FUCK?!  Taehyung looked at the boy and his eyes caught on the name placard around the other’s neck.  ‘Jimin’ it read.  It didn’t sound familiar at all. 

            “I thought we could go to the carnival,” Jimin grabbed Taehyung by his sleeve and started pulling him through the front gates and towards the parking lot

            “Wait a second.  Are you saying that…you,” Taehyung didn’t mean to sound accusing but that’s what it came out as, “got my note? My confession note?”

            Jimin frowned.  He dug through his backpack and took out the pink note, “This? Yeah…”

            Taehyung’s face scrunched up in displeasure.  Jimin elbowed him playfully, “If you even call it a confession note?” He opened it and stared at the two sentences.  I like you – Taehyung 010-288-5764.

            “This isn’t happening,” Taehyung said to himself, “Look.”

            “But it gets straight to the point,” Jimin continued on, “I like it.” 

            “Actually,” Taehyung began.  He stopped talking, half expecting Jimin to talk at the same time again but Jimin was staring at him with so much happiness that the words died on his tongue.  How could he let Jimin know gently (yet sternly) that the letter wasn’t meant for him?

            “Jimin,” Taehyung’s eyes drifted to the placard that was still hung stupidly around the handsome boy’s neck.  The name sounded weird on his tongue. 

            Jimin followed Taehyung’s gaze and laughed, “Sorry. I had a presentation and the teacher insisted we wear these for peer evaluation.” Jimin took off the placard and threw it into the trash. He started weaving his way through the parking lot, “As you were saying?”

            “Look I’m not sure how you got the note,” Taehyung began.  Jimin looked at him weirdly as he clicked the button on his car keys.  There was a beeping sound and Taehyung turned to the car.  It was an electric blue Rolls Royce.  Who the hell was this Jimin guy? 

            “If you’re worried about money, I plan on paying for everything since it’s our first date and all.” Jimin smiled at him again and everything Taehyung wanted to say went right out the window. 

‘What the hell,’ Taehyung thought as he got in the car. 

 

            The date was not a complete failure.  Maybe like 95% of it was a failure because somehow he fucked up and Jungkook didn’t receive the confession letter.  But Jimin was a good person and they got along surprisingly well.  Jimin wound up winning a ton of stuffed animals for him.  He probably paid more than their actual cost to win them but Jimin insisted and Taehyung didn’t exactly reject him because there was a Charmander the size of Texas on the line. 

            Taehyung bought them fried dough and hot dogs because he had to repay Jimin somehow.  Jimin was basically a health nut but because Taehyung bought it, Jimin wound up eating two hot dogs.  Jimin was also afraid of roller coasters but Taehyung didn’t find out until after they got off the highest one and went to look at the pictures.  Jimin’s face was paper white in the photo which contrasted significantly to Taehyung who looked like he was having the time of his life.  

            “Why did you go on them when you’re scared?” Taehyung asked after some color returned to Jimin’s face.

            “Because you wanted to,” was the simple reply back.

 

            And now it was about nine o’clock and the carnival would close in thirty minutes. Taehyung felt a tug on his sleeve and was forced to follow Jimin who was leading him towards the ferris wheel.

            “This is one ride I’m not afraid of,” Jimin smiled, “And it would be a nice way to end the date, right?”

            Taehyung nodded but inside he was saying, ’Not a date.’

            It was a struggle to fit all of his stuffed animals into the small box they were supposed to sit in but they managed to make it work by putting Charmander in between them.  They were nearing the top when he heard Jimin mutter, “This is ridiculous.”

            “Are you scared?” Taehyung asked as he looked below.  The carnival was nearly empty but the colorful lights were still on and lit up the carnival’s surroundings in an unreal breath of beauty.

            “No, I can’t even see you,” Jimin pushed Charmander’s head a bit so he could look at Taehyung.

            “Oh,” Taehyung tried to squish Charmander and succeeded because he could see Jimin’s face at Charmander’s shoulder.  He tried not to laugh but it looked ridiculous. 

            “Hey I’m really happy this happened,” Jimin smiled at him.  He could feel Jimin move his hand towards his and quickly moved it away making Charmander’s head fling back and block his vision of Jimin once again.  Jimin’s hand quickly shot out to push Charmander back so he could see Taehyung.

            “I didn’t even know you knew who I was,” Jimin said silently, “So I was surprised when I saw your note.”

            He knew he should’ve said something, anything, to make Jimin stop talking, but he stayed silent. 

            “I’ve actually liked you for a while now…I guess,” Jimin scratched the back of his neck awkwardly, “Each time you stop by for dance practice I even try to show off a little.  But I never saw you even glance at me.”

            “Ah,” Taehyung said out loud.  So Jimin was in dance club with Jungkook and Hoseok. 

            “So I’m really glad you gave me the letter because I never would’ve made a move.”

            Taehyung felt like throwing up; Jimin sounded so genuine.  Now that he knew the boy, his guilty conscience could only get bigger at this point, but was there really a right opportunity to tell Jimin that he was in love with someone else? 

            “I’m really grateful for today, Taehyung-ah,” Jimin smiled and put his hand on Taehyung’s.  He squeezed it and then let go.  His other hand let go of Charmander, effectively blocking their view of each other again. 

            Taehyung leaned back in his chair   Fuck.  This whole situation was fucked.  What was he going to do?  He didn’t want to hurt Jimin, but he didn’t want to give the other any ideas either.  Maybe he would let this day end the way it was?  It’s not like he shared classes with the other (at least he didn’t think so).  Tomorrow, they could carry on as easily as they did yesterday, before the letter was given to the wrong hands. 

            Taehyung nodded. That’s what he would do.  By not telling Jimin the truth he wouldn’t have to hurt him and that’s what was important.  Jimin’s sunshine eye smile must stay on his face. 

           

            “You don’t have to walk me to my door,” Taehyung argued as Jimin got out of the driver’s seat.

            “Well that’s plain ridiculous,” Jimin argued as he grabbed onto the huge bag of Kermit the Frogs that he won for Taehyung, “Who’s going to help you carry all these things to your house.”         

            Taehyung didn’t argue, choosing to remain silent.  He wanted the night to end so badly.  After the ferris wheel, they barely spoke a few words to each other.  The ride back was awkward, but maybe that was only on Taehyung’s end because Jimin enthusiastically belted out all the songs that played on the radio as he drove. 

            “Um thanks,” Taehyung opened his door and held out his hand for the bag of Kermits.  Jimin handed over the bag, hands lingering on Taehyung’s a second longer than was comfortable.

            “Well bye,” Taehyung began at the same time Jimin asked, “Can I kiss you?”

            Jimin turned red as Taehyung’s mouth opened in horror. Jimin’s hand automatically moved to scratch the back of his neck again. 

            “I’ll see you tomorrow at school.” Jimin moved forward maybe to kiss him and Taehyung backed up, almost tripping on his rug.  Jimin plopped a fuzzy top hat on his head, “You forgot this one.” 

            Jimin smiled at him and quickly turned around.  Taehyung watched Jimin jump and slide across the front hood of his car to get to the other side.  He had to admit that was smooth as fuck.  

 

            “Wait a second!  You went on a date with Park Jimin?” Seokjin basically screamed the next day.

            “How can you fail so bad in life?” Namjoon commented. 

            “How do you know Jimin?” Taehyung ignored Namjoon as he stared at Seokjin.

            “What are you talking about? Hoseok talks about him all the time.  He even hangs out with us sometimes.  Jesus, are you that blind?”

            “Really?” Taehyung asked amazed.  Jimin had basically been in his life and he never even noticed. Maybe he was blind. 

            “What are you ladies up to?” a voice said from behind and they all turned as Hoseok sat down beside Taehyung. 

            He was nudged by Hoseok who grinned at him, “Jimin couldn’t shut up about the date you guys had yesterday.  He was really happy today.  Even went through the routine 15 times and wasn’t even tired.”

            Taehyung gulped.

            “Honestly I thought you liked Jungkook,” Hoseok continued with a chuckle.

            Namjoon and Seokjin eyed each other before turning to their own lunches. 

            “Did I miss something here?” Hoseok began but he was interrupted by a plate being put down on their table.

            Namjoon and Seokjin looked up and their eyes widened in surprise.  Hoseok smirked as he turned to his own lunch.  Taehyung thought his heart would jump out of his throat and debated running about 20 miles away from school as Jimin sat down on his other side.

            “Hey guys,” Jimin nodded at Seokjin and Namjoon and nudged Taehyung in the side, “Do you mind if I sit here?”

            “Um,” Taehyung felt sweat forming on his forehead.  This wasn’t supposed to happen. Jimin was supposed to leave him alone.  Didn’t he understand that?  Taehyung didn’t even return Jimin’s good night or good morning texts.  Was he dense? 

            “It’s not like there’s a name on it.  Sit there if you want,” Hoseok winked. Taehyung turned to him with such a fierce glare that Hoseok shrank back a bit, “Unless someone is sitting there.”

            “Nope,” Seokjin commented. 

            The four drifted easily into conversation with Taehyung barely listening because now he was in a very bad situation.  Did Jimin think they were dating now?  That would be bad.  Jeon Jungkook was the love of his life.  He didn’t have time to have someone on the side.  He didn’t even want someone on the side.  He wanted Jungkook and now Jimin was a complication on his path to the freshman.  He imagined walking on a road with Jungkook at the end and all of a sudden Jimin appears with his stupid eye smile and sexy muscular body, holding his arms out and saying stupid stuff like ‘Can I kiss you?”

            The bell rang and Taehyung shook his head to clear his mind.  He quickly gathered up his bags to get out of there.  His friends were likewise doing the same.  He was about to leave the table when a hand shot out and wrapped around his wrist.

            “Why are you in such a rush? Wait for me for a bit, yeah?”  Jimin slung his backpack over his shoulder (one strap…oh please.) and walked beside Taehyung. 

            “I’m going to the science building,” Taehyung began.  The science building was basically less than a minute’s walk away and he had 10 minutes to get there.

            “Cool,” Jimin said as they walked in the same direction. 

            “Do you want to maybe…do something after school?” Jimin turned to look at Taehyung with a nervous look.  Taehyung half expected Jimin to scratch the back of his neck again but he didn’t, “We can get some ice cream? Or maybe coffee?  Actually anywhere is fine.  You can decide.”

            “Um…I can’t,” Taehyung avoided Jimin’s gaze as they walked into the science building.

            “Oh that’s fine,” Taehyung heard the disappointed tone in Jimin’s reply because honestly it probably wasn’t fine.  Honestly why did the first person to like him have to be Jimin?  Jimin, who was incredibly nice, had an amazing eye smile, won him stuffed animals, went on roller coasters, walked him to class, and additionally was the owner of a smoking hot body?

            Taehyung stopped in front of his classroom, “Um this is my next class,” Taehyung motioned awkwardly to his classroom.  Jimin nodded and opened the door for him.

            “Where’s your next class?” Taehyung asked curiously.  He tried to remember if he ever bumped into Jimin in between classes. 

            “Oh it’s in the arts building,” Jimin started walking backwards, “Dance major.”

            “But that’s like across campus!  You’re going to be late!” Taehyung exclaimed.

            Jimin laughed, “Don’t worry about it.  It was worth it,” he winked at Taehyung before turning around and sprinting out of the building.

            Taehyung couldn’t believe Jimin.  The kid was an idiot.  He sunk into his seat and opened his phone.  There were only two minutes left until the bell would ring.  There was no way Jimin could make it in time. 

            He typed up a message to Jimin, only remembering now that he was entered under the contact name “love of my life.”  Since he didn’t have enough time to change the contact and send the message, Taehyung settled for composing a message before class started.  He probably drafted three different versions before settling on an appropriate message to send.  And even then he hesitated for a full 20 seconds before hitting the send button.

            “Were you late?”

            It was probably five minutes after the late bell that Taehyung got a reply.

            “Still worth it :)” 

           

            Taehyung was tired as hell.  He just finished taking one of the hardest exams in his life.  All he wanted to do was go home, sleep and never wake up.  He stopped when he saw someone leaning against his locker. 

            Taehyung gave an aggravated grunt because the last thing he wanted was someone blocking the one thing he needed to get to before going home.  He could see some girls pass by the person in front of his locker before giggling and running off.

            He never understood why girls acted that way.

            He stomped angrily to the person in front of his locker and was about to yell his head off before realizing it was Jimin.

            “How did you know where my locker is?” Taehyung asked.  He definitely didn’t sound pleasant so maybe that’s why Jimin’s eyes widened, but he was tired and honestly had no time for the sunshine that was Park Jimin. 

            “Hobi hyung told me,” Jimin smiled at him and put a hand on his shoulder, “Are you okay? You look tense,” Taehyung felt Jimin begin to massage his shoulder.  He shivered before backing up, “Can you move?”

            “Someone’s cranky,” Jimin moved out of his way, “Maybe this can cheer you up?”

            “I don’t have time for this,” Taehyung began.  Then a cupcake was pushed into his vision, effectively blocking the sight of everything else but that sweet looking cupcake in front of him. 

            “Something sweet for the sweetest person I know,” Jimin laughed at his own cheesiness.  Who does that?

            “I…uh thanks,” Taehyung took it and grabbed his backpack as well.

            “Do you need a ride home?” Jimin fell into step with him as he started leaving. 

            “No thanks.”

            “It’s really no trouble you know.  I have nothing better to do.”    

            “It’s fine really,” Taehyung argued.

            Jimin stopped and grabbed his backpack to stop him from walking further.

“You look tired, Taehyung-ah.  It’s only a ride,” Jimin’s voice was soft as he adjusted the backpack back onto Taehyung’s shoulder. 

“Fine.  Okay.”

Chapter Text

               Taehyung didn’t know how it happened but Jimin slowly became a constant in his life.  The other always showed up at Taehyung’s locker in the morning and joined him and the others for lunch. He walked Taehyung to some of his classes and sometimes surprised him (but not really) with sweets at the end of the day

               It was scary because Taehyung was now emotionally invested in Jimin.  He still didn’t like Jimin in the like like kind of way (Jungkook was still obviously the love of his life) but he considered Jimin his best friend.  

               Jimin still tried to hold Taehyung’s hand every chance he could when they were walking side by side.  He never succeeded because Taehyung would immediately let go or try to fix his hair.  The other probably thought Taehyung needed time to progress to that stage in the relationship when really Taehyung didn’t want to reach that stage ever.  But despite those things he was still very comfortable around Jimin.  They hung out on weekends and always went to group hangouts together.  They constantly texted each other, oftentimes engaging in emoji wars. 

             “Hey Taehyung,” Namjoon waved his hand in front of his face to get his attention, “Zoning out? Thinking of your precious Jungkook again?”

             “No,” Taehyung said bitterly, “What were you saying?”

             “Movies and sleepover at my house this Friday,” Seokjin began, “Remember to tell Jimin.”

             Only a month passed since they met but Jimin basically became one of the group, not just a semi-permanent member like he was before.  He got along with everyone.  He was the mood maker and Taehyung honestly didn’t mind, especially during movie parties.  Aside from the rude fact that Jimin was a cuddler (but Taehyung was also one), he always made comments and yelled at the characters while watching a movie.  In the past, Taehyung was the only one who did that and everyone always yelled at him for it.  Now, it was both Taehyung and Jimin who made off-hand comments and cheered at good scenes while jeering at villains.  The others got used to it and hardly complained at the two. 

             “Um I guess,” Taehyung nodded.  He took out his phone to text Jimin when Namjoon’s comment made him stop.

             “So when do you plan on telling Jimin the truth? He still thinks you guys are dating.”

             Taehyung gave Namjoon a warning sign as he motioned to Hoseok but the mentioned boy took out his earbuds and raised an eyebrow.

            “What are you talking about?”

            “Nothing,” Taehyung shot Namjoon a death glare and continued reading his book. 

             Hoseok sat up straighter and eyed Taehyung, “Are you hiding something from me?” 

             Namjoon stared down at his book, “You have to tell him sooner or later,” Taehyung gave Namjoon a sharp kick under the table, “Jesus! Fuck!” Namjoon exclaimed and bent down to rub his leg. 

            “Tell me,” Hosek grabbed Taehyung’s wrist but Taehyung pulled away, “I have class.”

            “This is your class,” Hoseok got up too, “We all have study.”

           Taehyung ran away before Hoseok could stop him.  Taehyung wasn’t stupid; he knew Namjoon was right.  This had been going on for a month; the longer he held off telling Jimin the harder it would get.  That was obvious.  The small part inside him that was emotionally attached to Jimin made him hold off on telling the other.  He didn’t want to hurt Jimin.  If Jimin knew the truth he would never talk to Taehyung again.  Taehyung didn’t even want to think about that.  And he especially didn’t want to see a heartbroken Jimin.    

 

           “Hey, you should come to the studio.  You haven’t gone in a while,” Jimin pat Taehyung’s thigh with one hand while his other hand was on the steering wheel.

           Taehyung felt his heart speed up for some unknown reason. 

           “You’re free now, right?  I have dance practice so you should come.”

           The image of Jung Jungkook appeared in his mind and he felt like throwing up butterflies. 

           ‘Oh,’ Taehyung realized the reason for his speeding heart.  He hasn’t seen much of Jungkook since his confession mistake.  He avoided the dance studio like a plague.  The only times he saw the freshman was in school but not for anything longer than 10 seconds. 

            He decided to take Jimin up on his offer; it was practically an invitation to stare unabashedly at the love of his life for a good two hours or so. 

            When they entered the studio, it was obvious they were the first ones there.  Taehyung huffed in disappointment as he followed Jimin into the bathroom.  Jimin threw open his locker to drop off his backpack and took out his dancing clothes: sweat pants and a white sleeveless T.  Taehyung called it Jimin’s muscle shirt. 

            Jimin took off his shirt and Taehyung stopped to admire Jimin’s nice and toned body.  The advantage of being the object of Jimin’s affections was that Jimin shamelessly took every opportunity he could to show off his body to Taehyung.  Taehyung didn’t complain because Jimin did have a nice body and he knew the boy worked hard to maintain it.  Jimin smirked as Taehyung’s eyes widened slightly.  No matter how many times he saw Jimin shirtless he always had the same reaction.  The sight of Jimin shirtless was always as rude as being hit by a truck and then getting blasted into a building; he was that astounding.  Definitely rude as fuck.

            Jimin turned around to face his locker and Taehyung unconsciously licked his lips because back muscles. 

            The door slammed and Taehyung turned and his eyes locked with Jungkook’s. The boy was wearing the puffiest coat and his hair was messy, probably from the wind.  He still looked cute and huggable.  Taehyung’s lips went dry as Jungkook gave him a bow before walking to the next row of lockers and disappearing from view.  Taehyung stared at the spot where he disappeared for God knows how long, willing the younger to come back.  It had been a long month and yet the younger still had the ability to take his breath away.

            Taehyung was knocked back into reality when he heard a locker slam behind him and turned around to face Jimin, who was looking down at the ground.  He almost looked…sad and disappointed? 

            “I’m going to head out,” Jimin’s voice was softer now and there was no eye smile as Jimin continued looking anywhere but at him. 

            “Okay,” Taehyung followed Jimin out the door.  

 

            Taehyung realized just as the music began that this was the first time he would see Jimin dance.  And holy shit!  Jimin was a great dancer.  Taehyung had no idea how he never noticed Jimin before.  Jimin was probably the next best dancer after Hoseok.  He was good at popping, contemporary, break dance and basically anything that Hoseok threw at him.  Without a doubt, he was the best at tumbling. 

            Taehyung’s mouth was open in a permanent gape when they did some dance routines that involved body rolling and ultimate thrusting moves.  Taehyung admittedly paid more attention to Jungkook during those particular routines but the few times he turned his eyes toward Jimin, his heart sped up a bit quicker.    

            There was one moment when he caught Jimin staring at him intently through the mirror during a particular dance thrust and after that Taehyung ignored looking at Jimin for a few songs because that look was anything but friendly and it made Taehyung feel particularly warmer than he should’ve. 

           

            Taehyung tore his eyes away from Jungkook’s sweating body as Hoseok clapped his hands, “Good job everyone!  Let’s meet back here in 15 minutes so we can go out and eat.  Change up and clean up!” 

            Taehyung’s eyes drifted back to Jungkook as he saw the younger head to the bathroom followed by the others.  He even saw Jimin pass by him and jumped with a start when he realized Jimin didn’t say anything to him as he passed. 

            “You coming to dinner with us Tae?” Hoseok was using a towel to wipe the back of his neck.  Taehyung bent down to sit on the floor and Hosoek plopped down beside him. 

            “I’ll have to ask Jimin. He’s my ride home.”

            Hoseok nodded thoughtfully, “Do you like Jimin?”

            Taehyung nervously looked around the dance room; they were the only ones there.

            “Of course I like him,” Taehyung laughed nervously. 

            Hoseok bit the side of his cheek, “Are you sure?”

            “Why are you asking me that?” Taehyung felt beads of sweat forming on his forehead, “Did hyung mention anything to you?”

            Hoseok got up and shook his head, “No…I just notice things.”  Taehyung stared up at Hosoek’s towering figure.  The older had his hands on his hips, “Look.  I know Jimin really likes you.  The kid might seem cheerful on the outside but he actually has a low self-esteem.  Do you know what I’m getting at?”

            Taehyung was silent.  He looked at Hoseok’s shoes.  He saw knees bend and then Hoseok was eye level with him, “If you like him.  You need to show it.”

 

            30 minutes later everyone was gathered in the center of the room waiting to head out.  

            “Aish, where is that kid?” Hoseok glanced at the bathroom door.  They were all waiting for Jimin. 

            “He was one of the last ones to shower; you know how long he usually takes,” Jungkook said in a teasing tone as he rolled his eyes. 

            Just as Jungkook finished, Jimin stumbled out of the bathroom, his hair a neat wet mess on his head.  Taehyung didn’t know how it could be neat and messy at the same time, but it was.  And it looked good. 

            “Okay let’s go!” Hoseok pointed to the exit.

            “Actually.  I’m going to head home,” Jimin spoke up. 

            “That’s fine. Maybe next time then?” Hoseok put an arm around Jimin.   

            Taehyung frowned in disappointment.

            “You guys have fun then,” Jimin waved as he headed towards the door.  Taehyung was slow on realizing Jimin was leaving without him, not even saying goodbye. 

            “Wait, but you’re my ride,” Taehyung said dumbly.

            Jimin stopped mid stride and turned around with a faint smile on his face, “You probably want to eat with them right?” Jimin’s hand reached out to the back of his neck, “You actually live close to Hobi hyung.  I'm sure hyung can drive you?”

            “Can’t I catch a ride from you?”

            “Don’t you want to eat with them?” Jimin’s face was the epitome of surprise. 

            “Yeah I’ll take care of him for you, Jiminnie,” Hoseok threw an arm around Taehyung but Taehyung brushed it off. 

            While the idea of eating free food (hopefully) and getting closer with Jungkook (perhaps) was appealing, it wouldn’t be the same without Jimin. 

            He shrugged, “Nah.  Maybe next time,” he pushed past the crowd of dancers to reach Jimin and together they walked out of the studio.

            Taehyung’s intentions were completely clear back there.  He didn’t want to eat without Jimin but now that they were walking back to Jimin’s car, he realized how stupid it sounded.  He gave up an hour’s worth of Jungkook that was his for the taking.  Was he an idiot?  His mind and brain must’ve been clouded or possessed because he would never refuse the opportunity if he was in his right mind. 

            Taehyung was distracted from his thoughts when he felt Jimin grab his hand with his.  Taehyung’s eyes widened and he immediately pulled his hand away.  He looked nervously behind him.  How about if Jungkook saw?  He could feel his hands start to sweat.  Jimin grabbed his hand once again and interlocked their fingers.  Taehyung was starting to get bothered by this.  He shook his hand but Jimin wouldn’t let go.  Their fingers were going to stay interlocked until Jimin let go and Taehyung didn’t want to look like an idiot swinging his hand around trying to unclasp their fingers. 

            Taehyung sighed in relief when they reached the car and Jimin had no choice but to let go.  His hands were sweating like crazy, not just the one that Jimin held but both of them.  He quickly wiped them on his shirt before getting into the car. 

           

            The ride had been awkward.  Taehyung wasn’t used to Jimin being quiet.  Their car rides were always interesting.  They were always singing loudly to the radio or talking about random things.  But this time whenever Taehyung said something he was met with silence.  When Taehyung looked over at Jimin, the other was focused on the road, too deep in his own thoughts.  At one point Taehyung even poked Jimin’s cheek but Jimin only turned to him with a smile and didn’t say anything.    

            When they reached Taehyung’s house Jimin got out like he always did to walk Taehyung to his door. 

           “Um….you don’t have to walk me to my door all the time you know,” Taehyung mumbled. 

           “Do you not want me to?” Taehyung gulped at the question.  The opportunity had come.  He could explain at this very moment that he only liked Jimin as a friend.  He opened his mouth but stopped.  Jimin looked…sad.  Was he this sad this morning?  What made him look this way?

             Jimin waited for him to say something. When Taehyung didn’t, Jimin gave him a weak smile.  Without a word he turned around to leave.  For once he didn’t ask Taehyung if he could kiss him.  Taehyung was thankful for that because if Jimin did he might have said yes.  He would do anything to wipe that sad look off of Jimin’s face.  There was something definitely off about Jimin.  It bothered Taehyung to the point where he felt a small pressure in his chest...okay he lied: it was a large pressure in his chest. 

            “You were really good today,” Taehyung said suddenly.  Jimin was halfway down the path and turned around, an amused expression on his face, “You’re a really good dancer, almost as good as hyung. I never knew you were that good; I’m serious. You were amazing!” Taehyung moved his hand in emphasis. 

            “I guess you weren’t really paying attention before huh?” Jimin said jokingly but there was some hint of seriousness in his tone that made Taehyung’s blood run cold.  Did he know? 

            Jimin slowly walked back to him.  He saw Jimin’s hand move in his peripheral vision and then he felt it rest warmly on the side of his cheek.

            “I forgot to ask you something,” Jimin smiled at him and Taehyung felt warmth spread through him at the return of Jimin’s smile.

            “Can I kiss you?” Taehyung stayed silent and Jimin leaned closer. 

            Taehyung closed his eyes.  He could feel Jimin’s breath as the other leaned closer. That was when Taehyung jerked backwards, “Uh..uh…” Taehyung stumbled over his words.  His heart was hammering in his chest.  Did he almost let that happen? He was internally freaking out; sweat was forming on his forehead.  Why did he close his eyes? Did he even want that to happen? He was never good at hiding his emotions so he was sure Jimin probably saw it on his face. 

            Jimin gave him a soft smile, “Maybe next time then, huh?” Taehyung gave a weak nod, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” 

 

            The next day Jimin didn’t treat him any differently.  He still greeted him in the morning with a morning hug.  Yes they somehow progressed to morning hugs and Taehyung had no idea how that happened.  Honestly he didn’t know how he let a lot of things happen when it came to Jimin.    

            Yesterday was a prime example.  Taehyung was still internally freaking out about what almost happened.  He couldn't stop wondering why he almost let that kiss happen.  Was it because Jimin looked sad?  Was he too engrossed in Jimin’s smile?  Did…did he actually want Jimin to kiss him?  Did he….maybe….like...Jimin? Taehyung automatically discarded that idea.  He was blurring the lines of friendship with Jimin’s feelings for him.  He obviously needed help.  He needed to finally put his foot down; step up his friendzoning technique (which was slowly becoming non-existent if yesterday’s incident was any indication.) He needed professional help.  He needed someone who had no filter and would be completely honest with him. The only downside was this person was also somewhat dating Hoseok.

            “You have to vow never to utter a word to Hoseok hyung.”

            Yoongi stared at him with the look.  The look that said I don’t give a shit. 

            “Swear on your grave,” Taehyung persisted.

            “Look just because Hoseok and I are ‘dating’” Yoongi used air quotes, “Doesn’t mean I share everything with him.  We don’t have that kind of relationship.” 

            Taehyung glared at him and Yoongi groaned, “Fine I swear on my grave, whatever that means,” he held out his pinky finger and shook it with Taehyung’s. 

            “So here’s a brilliant idea,” Yoongi began after Taehyung explained his situation to his hyung, “Have you ever…I don’t know….just told him you didn’t like him that way?”

            “I can’t,” Taehyung shook his head.

            “Why not?”

            “I just can’t.  Look I came here for some good advice not some mediocre criticism.”

            “Oh god, you’re hopeless.  Just tell him to stop waiting for you in the morning,” Yoongi held out one finger as he began counting, “Don’t let him hold your hand. Don’t let him walk you to class. Don’t let him wait for you in the morning or after school.  And use the word friend, bro and dude as much as you can with him.  In other words make him stop acting like your boyfriend!”

            “But won’t it be weird if I suddenly ask him to stop?” Taehyung asked.

            “That’s the point.  He will get the picture, believe me.”

            Taehyung nodded hesitantly.

            “Unless you actually like Jimin back?” Taehyung froze at the suggestion and put his fist down on the table, “No way!  Jungkook is the love of my life.”

            “That was a stronger reaction than necessary,” Yoongi put a note in his notebook. 

            “What are you writing in there?” Taehyung looked over Yoongi who didn’t bother hiding what he wrote.

            “Unstable?  Has feelings for Jimin but doesn’t know about it?  What is that shit?”

            Yoongi closed his book and ignored Taehyung’s ranting  “But do you actually even know Jungkook. You said yourself you can barely hold a conversation with him.  Believe me: the idealized version is much better than reality.  Maybe you’re in love with the version you have of Jungkook.  You should give Jimin a try.  Let him kiss you and see what happens.”

            Taehyung’s mouth opened and he turned red, “What?  I..you…are you mad?  No...no that’s not an option.  Shut up!”

            “And this is why I think you have feelings for him.  You're turning red!"  

            “Stop it!  I know who I love and it’s Jeon Jungkook!”

            Yoongi opened his notebook and crossed out something, “The only thing you can do then is tell Jimin the truth.  Once Jimin gets the picture, your road to Jungkook will be clear.”

            Taehyung frowned.  But at what cost?  The cost of losing Jimin as a friend? 

            “What if Jimin stops hanging out with me.”

            “Oh that will definitely happen,” Yoongi saw Taehyung open his mouth to say something but continued talking, “Maybe in the beginning, but he’s not the type to just disappear from someone’s life.  He won’t stop being friends with you because you didn’t know how to tell him.  We all know you’re not good with words.”

            “But—“

            “Jimin’s not like that.  You know that and I know that.  Yeah he’ll be hurt and angry.  But I don’t think he’ll hate you forever if you know what I mean.  But if you let this go on longer, then he just might.  Just stop giving him ideas that you might be interested.”  

 

            “Welcome to mi casa,” Seokjin grinned as he opened the door for Jimin and Taehyung to walk in.  There was dirty laundry on the floor and empty snack bags in front of the door. 

            “Fancy for a movie night,” Jimin laughed as he walked in, pulling Taehyung’s hand to follow him. 

            “You can leave if you want.  But then you will have to forfeit the snacks I bought you,” Seokjin nodded towards a table overflowing with snacks. 

            “Oh my favorite,” Jimin sat down and pulled the bag of honey butter chips to his chest. 

            Taehyung laughed at how happy Jimin looked and slid down beside him, grabbing the gummy bears from the table. 

            “We’re going to watch Kingsmen,” Namjoon walked into the room holding his laptop in his hands.

            “Again?” Taehyung pouted. 

            “It’s a good movie,” Namjoon plugged his laptop into the TV and grabbed blankets.  Jimin jumped onto the love sofa and held his arms open for Taehyung.  Taehyung got up and plopped himself comfortably onto the sofa, glued to Jimin’s side.  He felt Jimin wrap his arm around his shoulder and bring him closer. 

            Jimin was naturally clingy and a cuddler; Taehyung was too.  So Taehyung didn’t feel too weird cuddling Jimin.  Of course from an outsider’s perspective it would seem intimate.  Taehyung had his head on Jimin’s shoulder, their legs were on top of each other’s and Jimin’s arm was wrapped snuggly around Taehyung.  But it was a bromance, nothing else.  It wasn’t as intimate as holding hands or kissing, at least that’s what Taehyung told himself. 

            The doorbell rang and Seokjin got up and opened the door.  Hoseok walked in dragging a reluctant Yoongi behind him.  Taehyung stiffened as Yoongi’s eyes met his.  Yoongi raised an eyebrow at him and then shifted his eyes towards Jimin.  Taehyung backed away from Jimin to his own side of the sofa.  If Jimin noticed he didn’t mention anything. 

            “I think I want to sit right here,” Yoongi plopped right in between Taehyung and Jimin on the already crowded love sofa. 

            “Babe what are you doing?  Stop it, you’re embarrassing yourself,” Hoseok grabbed his hand and dragged him to the other sofa. 

            As the movie progressed, Taehyung moved closer to Jimin.  Yoongi was sleeping so it’s not like he would notice.  And Taehyung was cold. He was under the same blanket as Jimin, but he needed Jimin’s body warmth.  The movie was half over when Taehyung fully returned to Jimin’s side.  Jimin’s hand found its way back to his shoulder and Taehyung’s head fell back onto Jimin’s shoulder.  Taehyung sighed in content.  They didn’t talk through the movie and Jimin didn’t comment on Taehyung’s weird actions earlier which Taehyung appreciated.  By the end of the second movie, The Martian, Jimin was fast asleep.  He and Taehyung were sprawled on the love sofa.  Jimin was halfway off the couch, close to falling off and Taehyung drowsily pulled him up, lying on top of Jimin so the other wouldn’t fall off.  Jimin’s hands unconsciously wrapped around his torso, pulling him closer and Taehyung didn’t want to struggle against it so he laid his head in the crook of Jimin’s shoulder and neck and fell asleep, inhaling Jimin’s faint scent of cologne. 

 

            “You’re playing with that boy’s feelings!” Yoongi exclaimed the next day.  Jimin and Hoseok were out getting breakfast.  Namjoon and Seokjin were standing beside Yoongi.

            “I’m not,” Taehyung wanted to say sternly but it came out sounding unsure.

            “How long was I away at sleeping camp?” Yoongi frowned and then turned abruptly to face Namjoon and Seookjin, “How can you have let this go on? Did you see them cuddling on that sofa yesterday?  How can Jimin not think the two are dating?”

            “I’m right here you know.  I can hear you,” Taehyung said.

            Seokjin backed away from Yoongi and turned to Taehyung, “We thought that maybe your feelings changed.  You haven’t talked about Jungkook in ages.  And we’re always hanging out with Jimin.  You’re always with him so…”

            “It’s not like that.  It’s not what you think.”

            “I think you’re using Jimin’s affections towards you like a placeholder, a place holder for Jungkook,” Yoongi’s words came out sounding harsh and it cut right through to Taehyung because what kind of person did Yoongi think he was to use Jimin’s feelings like that. 

            “If you don’t like Jimin you need to tell him,” Namjoon agreed.

            Taehyung threw his hands up in the air, “Why can’t friends do these things huh?  You and Hoseok did those things before going out.”

            “Are you a fucking idiot?” Yoongi exclaimed, “It’s because we already liked each other at the time!”

            “I used to cuddle all the time with Hoseok before you started going out! And I hold hands occasionally with you hyung,” Taehyung turned to Seokjin, “I’m not using Jimin as a place holder.  He and I are friends.”

            Seokjin put both hands on Taehyung’s shoulders so his attention would focus solely on him, “Taehyung we’re not yelling at you.  But you need to understand the situation.  You might only like Jimin as a friend and maybe this is what friends do with each other, but Jimin likes you.  You’re not just a friend to him.  Stop giving excuses for your actions.”

            Taehyung shook his head vigorously, “I’m not doing that.  Look Jimin and I haven’t even kissed.  So –“

            The doorbell rang and all four jumped.

            “It’s freezing out here!  Let us in,” Hoseok yelled from the other side of the door. Yoongi gave Taehyung a pointed look before opening the door.

 

            “Where are we going?  I thought you were driving me home?” Taehyung looked out the window as unfamiliar buildings passed by.

            “I thought we could somewhere after your exam today. Don’t worry; you’ll like it,” Jimin smiled over at him and Taehyung thought surely his chest would burst.  This was happening a lot lately and Taehyung didn’t have any explanation for it.  He even tried to stop eating greasy foods because maybe it was the calories that were clogging up his chest.     

            Jimin took him to a dog café.  A friggin dog café.  Taehyung was bursting with happiness the minute he walked into the café.   Without a word to Jimin, he ran right into the crowd of dogs and plopped right onto the ground.

            “Hey,” Taehyung looked up and saw Jimin hold a hand out towards him, “Want to take a break to drink a coffee with me?” Taehyung looked over at the clock on the wall.  Did two hours really pass?

            Taehyung grabbed onto the hand and went back to their table.  There was an iced mocha sitting there for him and he happily took a sip while Jimin sat beside him. 

            A small white puppy wobbled up to them and then took a seat in Jimin’s lap.  Taehyung smiled as he looked between the two.  Jimin turned to him and Taehyung turned red; he just got caught staring.

            “I thought you would like it,” Jimin smiled at him as he bent over to pat Taehyung on the top of his head like he was a dog.  Taehyung laughed as he nudged closer to Jimin’s hand shifting close to the older in his seat as well.

            “I remember in fourth grade you promised to pet every dog in the world.”

            Taehyung jumped back, “What?”

            “In Mrs. Lee’s class.  That was the first time I realized I like you.  I never saw anyone look so happy.  It was honestly the cutest thing. You were so stupid,” Jimin fell back in his chair laughing, but Taehyung sat frozen in his spot.  He remembered what Jimin was talking about.  It was in fourth grade when he first saw a dog and that day he vowed to the class he would pet every dog in the world.  Back then he thought it was possible.  When Mrs. Lee told him kindly that it was not, he burst into tears for the whole class to see.  Jimin had been in that class?  That means Jimin had known him for years. Taehyung never knew he existed less than a few months ago.  Taehyung was sometimes dense and not exactly observant of his surroundings but Jimin had been in his life for how long? 

            Jimin had been in his class, he’d been in the dance studio and he’d been at their hangouts. How could Taehyung have been so blind? He could’ve been friends with Jimin long before now. 

            “You okay?” Jimin put a hand on his lap. 

            “I’m just trying to remember something,” Taehyung smiled softly. 

            Jimin laughed, “Looking back I guess you were my first crush.  I didn’t know I liked boys at the time though,” Jimin said thoughtfully, “I was really glad when I found out we had the same friends.  Actually the first time you walked into the studio I actually fell!” Jimin was slapping his own thigh in amusement, “I stumbled over my own feet, I was so surprised.”

            “Really?” Taehyung smiled weakly.  He felt guilt bubbling up in his chest.  He wanted Jimin to shut up so he could run away and never have to think about Jimin’s feelings for him again. 

            “Yeah I made sure to dance extra hard each time you came by.  I really didn’t think you noticed me though.”

            Taehyung gulped.  Jimin was right though.  He never noticed.  He was always looking at Jungkook and no one else.  He missed the great dancer who was only a few feet away.  The dancer that wasn’t just smooth as fuck but had one of the most shining personalities of anyone he’d met. 

            “I’m glad you noticed me,” Jimin said wistfully. 

            “I’m glad too.”

 

            After the café they stopped by an ice cream shop. 

            “I love this flavor! I want to eat this every day!”

            Jimin laughed at Taehyung’s excitement and suddenly focused on Taehyung’s lips.

            “Oh, um….uh,” Taehyung looked away but Jimin grabbed his chin and gently directed it to face him.

            “You have some ice cream on your lip, idiot,” Jimin reached over and swiped his finger over Taehyung’s lip.  His hand hovered longer on Taehyung’s lips, long enough to make him feel uncomfortable.

            There was a clouded look on Jimin’s face as he focused on Taehyung’s lips.  He leaned toward him and Taehyung internally panicked. 

            “I’m going to kiss you now,” Jimin said softly.  Taehyung could feel soft puffs of air as Jimin came closer.  He could smell the sweetness of Jimin’s ice cream on his breath and suddenly blurted out, “I only like you as a friend.”

            Immediately as he said that, Jimin backed up like he’d been slapped and his face mirrored the same reaction. 

            ‘Shit,’ Taehyung internally thought as he saw Jimin stiffen, “I mean….well…..I,” Taehyung wanted to say something, anything to wipe that look off of Jimin’s face but he couldn’t think of anything.  His brain hardly worked most of the time but it was deciding at this moment to abandon Taehyung to fend for himself.  

           

           The drive home was filled with definitive awkward silence this time.  Taehyung didn’t want to lose Jimin but he had no idea what to say to comfort Jimin or justify the way he somewhat reciprocated (more like not rejected Jimin’s) actions towards him. 

          “Nothing has to change between us,” Taehyung began uncertainly when Jimin stopped the car in front of his house and made no intention of getting out. 

            Jimin stared at him with wide eyes.  He still looked shocked.  Taehyung waited for him to say something.  Jimin turned to his wheel and with a shaky voice laughed.

            “I’ll see you at school Taehyung.”

            Taehyung’s heart jumped a bit in his chest when he realized that today was Friday and usually they hung out on weekends.  He stayed in the car for another two minutes, not knowing what to say.  He definitely wanted to say something; this was what he was afraid of: not being able to tell Jimin how much he cared about him.  He didn’t want to lose Jimin as a friend. Taehyung needed him. 

           Jimin was gripping the steering wheel so hard that his knuckles had long turned white.  He looked stoic but he was shaking slightly. 

           “I’ll um…see you then,” Taehyung got out of the car and he almost didn’t get to close the door before it drove off. 

Chapter Text

           Taehyung realized depressingly the next morning that it was the first day since his fail confession that Jimin didn’t text him.  There was no good morning text when he woke up from his restless three hour sleep.   He knew this would happen but he wasn’t prepared to feel this way.  It felt like there was a giant sitting in his chest, dragging him down.  All he wanted to do was stay in bed and slap himself silly for being stupid. 

           The worst part was he wasn’t sure if he regretted entirely what he did.  Of course Taehyung felt overwhelming guilt. Each time he remembered the look on Jimin’s face last night, he wanted to cry.  He never meant to lead Jimin on this long; it was never his intention to lead Jimin anywhere to be honest.  But...Jimin grew on him. 

           He wouldn’t admit it but Taehyung actually looked forward to talking to Jimin and receiving texts from him.  He enjoyed making the other laugh and maybe he somewhat liked when Jimin tried to hold his hand every once in a while, especially when he was having a bad day.  How could he regret what he did when he wound up getting a great friend? 

            Taehyung was still in bed staring at his ceiling as evening came.  Reluctantly he decided to get out of bed.  He needed something to distract him from all the thoughts in his head.  Ironically his feet led him to the dance studio.  When he walked into the studio he wasn’t surprised to see Hoseok dancing in front of the mirror; Yoongi was beside him making weird faces with a pretend microphone in his hands.

            Yoongi’s eyes met his in the mirror and he muttered an “Oh shit.”

            Taehyung looked curiously at Yoongi for a moment before Hoseok suddenly turned around and sprinted towards him.  Before he knew what was happening Taehyung was grabbed by the collar and pushed against the door.

            “You little brat!”

            “You told him?” Taehyung yelled at Yoongi, “You swore on your grave!”

            “Technically if I swear on my grave that means I’d be dead already.  And I really don’t care about keeping promises when I’m dead.”

           “I told you about Jimin,” Hoseok exclaimed, “I told you he liked you.  Why did you---“  

            “I know,” Taehyung began miserably, “I fucked up.”

            “What exactly happened?  I thought you guys were great together.  It’s been a lie this whole time?”

            Taehyung explained the whole story to Hoseok, who was surprisingly understanding by the end of it. 

            “You’re actually in love with Jungkook,” Hoseok stated.

            “Yeah,” Taehyung sounded uncertain.  Even he wasn’t sure anymore.  He hadn’t seen the younger in so long and at this moment he couldn’t care less.    

            “How can you fail so bad in life?” Hoseok put a hand to his head, “You put the confession letter in the wrong locker.”  He shook his head, “Jimin’s locker is literally five lockers down from Jungkook’s. 

            “Well I was nervous!  I thought I had the right----“

            “Did you even think about how Jimin would feel when he found out?  Were you planning on keeping it a secret from him forever?”

            “No!” Taehyung ran his hands angrily through his hair, “Maybe? I don’t know.  I didn’t know how to tell him!  I tried but you know how I am.  I’m not good at these kinds of things,” Taehyung slumped miserably to the ground, “And now I really don’t know what to do.  How do I make it up to----“ 

            The door swung open and Jimin walked in.  He paused as three pairs of eyes met his.

            “Hey Jimin,” Yoongi waved at the younger while Taehyung and Hoseok glanced at each other. 

            “Hey guys,” Jimin waved at them and smiled.  Taehyung felt himself light up in relief as he returned the smile.  He got up when he saw Jimin head into the bathroom. 

            “That’s not a good idea,” Yoongi muttered behind him.   

            Taehyung chose to ignore the other and entered the bathroom.  Jimin didn’t turn around when the door closed.  He didn’t greet him; Taehyung might as well be invisible.  Unsure of what to say, Taehyung stood by the door.

            “I…I’m sorry,” Taehyung managed to say.  It wound up sounding more like a shout as the words fought to leave his mouth without Taehyung’s brain functioning correctly.       There was silence.  Taehyung opened his mouth, attempting to utter more words but stopped when Jimin turned around.   

            “No.  I’m sorry.  I should’ve noticed; it was kind of obvious.”

            Was it?  Thinking back, even Taehyung knew he blurred the lines.  At first maybe it was obvious.  He refused to accept any of Jimin’s affections and ignored the other as much as he could.  But somehow Jimin grew on him, taking root somewhere in Taehyung and spreading like wildfire.  Hadn’t Taehyung accepted all of Jimin’s handholds recently? He didn’t argue when Jimin walked him to class even though he knew the older would be late for his own.  He waited for Jimin’s morning and good night texts.  He let Jimin drive him around and treat him to dinner.  He was the one who initiated movie cuddles.  It was anything but obvious at this point. 

            Taehyung realized with a start how selfish he’d been.  He knew from the start that Jimin liked him.  Deep down inside Taehyung knew friends didn’t do what they did but he let it persist because he was greedy.  He was selfish for Jimin’s affections.  He took advantage the other’s emotions towards him.  He knew Jimin thought they were dating and yet he never said anything.  He let Jimin continue thinking that.  What kind of person was he?  He didn’t even deserve to be friends with Jimin.  Why wasn’t Jimin yelling at him or shouting at him?  Why was he the one apologizing?     

            “Hey don’t beat yourself over this.  I know it’s killing you inside,” Jimin put a comforting hand on his shoulder.  Taehyung looked up at Jimin and wanted to punch the other because why was he being understanding?  Why was he being so nice when it was Taehyung who used him?

            Taehyung looked at Jimin as he walked towards the door, “Aren’t you supposed to hate me?  Shout at me?  Why aren’t you angry?  I deserve it.  I was a douche.  I’m so sorry.  I didn’t even know.  I was so stupid.  I…I’m so sorry.”

            Jimin opened the door and Taehyung was sure he would walk out without answering.

            Taehyung lunged forward and grabbed on to Jimin’s wrist, “Please just hit me.  Here,” Taehyung turned around and stuck his butt out at Jimin, “Just kick my butt! Really! I deserve it!”

            Jimin was silent and Taehyung turned around desperately.  His voice was coming out fast, afraid that he wouldn’t be able to say all he wanted to say.

            “Slap me!  Hit me,” Taehyung grabbed Jimin’s hand and put it to his cheek, “Please just be angry at me.” 

            Jimin’s eyes softened slightly.  His hand was still resting softly on Taehyung’s cheek. 

            “I’m a jerk.  I know I should’ve told you.  I was so selfish,” Taehyung’s voice was cracking because Jimin looked so broken right now.  He was the one that did that to him, “You can be angry at me, Jimin.  But please…please don’t leave me.” 

            Jimin looked at him confusedly for a moment before he dropped his hand from Taehyung’s cheek. 

“I can never hate you, Taehyung.  God, I must’ve made you uncomfortable so many times,” Jimin closed his eyes as if remembering those awkward times, “I’m the one who should be sorry.”  His words were soft; he turned around and walked out the door.  Taehyung never realized how much he could hate himself until that moment.

            “I’ll make it up to you,” Taehyung followed Jimin outside.

            “There’s nothing to fix Taehyung,” Jimin said simply.  He turned around to fully face Taehyung and there was a small smile on his face, “We’re okay.”  

 

            But they weren’t. 

           Jimin didn’t act differently after the locker room conversation.  He still made stupid jokes and laughed at Taehyung’s weird antics.  Taehyung was somewhat relieved by this, thinking that maybe they could move past Taehyung’s mistake.  But then he started noticing small things.  He noticed how Jimin didn’t look him in the eyes anymore. Jimin’s adoring stares were gone as well as the light touches that Taehyung never really noticed in the past.

          The weekend passed with no texts from Jimin.  Jimin might have said they were okay but it was getting obvious to Taehyung that things were anything but.  It started with the texts.  Taehyung was so used to Jimin’s good morning and good night texts that when they stopped, he found himself sleeping uneasily and waking up cranky. 

          And now it was Monday.  The last time he saw Jimin was on Saturday.  He didn’t know what to expect.  Would Jimin be waiting by his locker when he turned the corner?  He walked on unsteady feet through the hallway.  Kids were running frantically around him.  The morning bell was about to ring but Taehyung was gradually slowing down, dragging his feet across the floor.  When he round the corner, Jimin would either be waiting there for him or he wouldn’t be. 

          Taehyung imagined Jimin in his head, willing the other to be there, but when he turned the corner, there was no boy leaning against his locker with a smirk on his face or a bright smile to greet him. 

            Taehyung slowly got to his locker and opened it.  He grabbed the books he needed and threw the ones he didn’t into it.  When he closed his locker he stood there for a minute, not knowing what to do.  Was it possible that Jimin was late?  How about if he left and Jimin came by later?

            It was a stupid thought because the only time Jimin wasn’t there to greet him was when the boy was sick or working on something for dance club and even then Jimin texted him to let him know.

            Taehyung eyed his phone.  He must’ve typed a thousand messages before he sent a simple Where are you? He leaned against his locker hoping for Jimin to come or for some kind of message.  The late bell rang and Taehyung stood where he was.  He looked back at his phone and then down the empty hallway.  Jimin wouldn’t be coming.  He quickly sent another message, swallowing the lump in his throat as he dragged his feet to first period.

            Are we okay?

 

            “Where’s Jimin?” Namjoon asked quietly as Taehyung took a seat beside him at lunch. The table was unusually quiet as they waited for Taehyung to answer.

            “I don’t know.  He didn’t wait for me today.”  This morning hadn’t been a fluke.  Jimin didn’t visit his locker in between classes and he didn’t wait outside of Taehyung’s last class so they could walk to lunch together.  Taehyung didn’t know if he wanted to cry or scream because why did he feel so lost without Jimin?  He looked down at his phone again; still no new messages.    

            “Hey guys,” Jimin walked over to them and plopped into the seat beside Taehyung.  Taehyung looked up at him with an unsure smile and Jimin looked startled for a second before returning the smile. 

            “Hey we were just wondering where you were.  Movie night at my house Friday?” Seokjin leaned over to take an apple from Jimin’s plate.  Jimin glared at the other, “Uh I think I have plans that day.  I’ll let you know.  Actually I need to talk to a few people; I’ll catch you guys later?” Jimin got up from his seat.  Taehyung felt his hand unconsciously leave his side to grab onto Jimin but it dropped when the other didn’t turn to look at him.  He saw Jimin move across the lunch room and sit next to some other members of the dance club: Jackson Mark and Yugyeom. 

           

            Three weeks passed.  Weeks of Jimin slowly disappearing from Taehyung’s life.  The thing that hurt the most was Jimin only ignored him; Jimin still talked with the others in the group.  Only his messages and calls went unanswered.  By the second week, Taehyung stopped trying.   

            Taehyung wanted to hate him but how could he?  He deserved this.  He missed Jimin so much to the point where even he didn’t understand it.  He found himself going out of his way and making the most absurd routes around school just to pass by Jimin’s locker hoping to get a glimpse of his light orange hair.  He would hover around the send button on his phone each time he made a well-constructed text (Hey. What’s up?) but he never sent any of them. 

            “You’re not eating again,” Seokjin complained.  He felt the older kick him in the leg but he hardly flinched. 

            “I’m not hungry.” His eyes drew immediately across the cafeteria where Jimin was laughing at something Jr. said.  What kind of stupid name was Jr. anyway? What was wrong with his real name Jinyoung? What gave him the right to make Jimin laugh? Nothing could be that funny.  Jimin was practically in tears, slumping over Bam Bam to support himself as Jr. continued his story. 

            “You’re staring again,” Hoseok said. 

            “I haven’t seen him in weeks. Forgive me,” Taehyung said dramatically as he threw his fork onto his plate.  It bounced off of the plate and onto the floor. 

            “Do you know if he’s coming to movie night today?” Taehyung asked, his eyes focused on his plate.  The last few movie nights Jimin always managed to find an excuse to not show up.  But they all knew the only reason Jimin didn’t come was because of Taehyung.    

            “Uh he mentioned he has an essay he needs to finish and might come after.”

            Taehyung nodded.  It still felt weird that he had to ask the others about Jimin. 

            “Since when is school a priority for Park Jimin?” Yoongi asked.  He eyed Taehyung, “You should talk to him, you know.”

            “About what?  I don’t know what to do to make things better,” Taehyung put his head on the table, “He won’t answer my calls.” 

            “You look heartbroken,” Hoseok looked serious. 

            Taehyung’s heart jumped in his chest and he looked over at Hoseok.  Was that what he was feeling?  He looked over towards Jimin and saw Jimin staring back at him.  He quickly glanced away as soon as Taehyung noticed. 

            A frown appeared on Taehyung’s face and he willed Jimin to look at him again.

            Maybe there was some truth in Hoseok’s words.    

 

            Movie nights, Taehyung decided, were about 1 million out of 100 times worse without Jimin. 

            Taehyung arrived late to Seokjin’s house, still hoping against all hope that Jimin would stop by his house or text him about picking him up.  It was a long shot because Jimin hadn’t interacted with him in nearly a month.  He even contemplated calling Jimin but he didn’t want to feel the inevitable rejection that usually came with calling the other. 

            When he arrived the movie was already playing.  Namjoon had the decidedly worst taste in movies because he only liked about 10 movies in general and kept on choosing them for movie nights.  Taehyung began to wonder why he was appointed as the movie chooser.  The love sofa that he and Jimin usually occupied was empty, the whole group settling into their respective assigned seating. 

            “You missed the greatest part!” Namjoon threw a popcorn at Taehyung as he fell onto the sofa.

            “I’ve seen this movie twenty times,” Taehyung began.  He looked at the snack table and immediately saw the butter chips that were Jimin’s favorite.  He wrapped himself in one of Seokjin’s blankets as he continued watching the movie. 

            There were times during the movie where he would make comments and look to his side expecting Jimin to agree or comment as well before he realized that yes Jimin wasn’t there and he hasn’t been around for a month already.  It was ironic really because that’s all Taehyung thought about lately: Jimin wasn’t taking up a permanent part in his life.  Yet it was still a shock each time he thought about it.  He was probably having about 200 mini heart attacks a day because of Jimin.  And it definitely wasn’t good for his fragile heart.

            It was when the second movie started that Taehyung realized how zoned out he’d been.  Had he really been thinking about Jimin for 2 hours?  Seokjin got up from where he was on the floor and sat beside Taehyung.  Seokjin was the mom of the group; he was the most caring and the most receptive of other’s feelings.  Honestly a dumb pig could probably understand how Taehyung felt but it was nice to have Seokjin there to fill in Jimin’s empty spot on the sofa.  Seokjin didn’t say anything as he put an arm around Taehyung and pulled him forward into a comforting side hug.  The gesture was nice and made Taehyung feel warm inside but it lacked the warmth that he’d become used to. 

            It was probably 1AM when the third movie finished and by that time everyone but Yoongi and Seokjin were passed out. 

            Taehyung got up from where he was on the couch. 

            “Where are you going?” Yoongi asked.  He was obviously struggling not to move because Hoseok was fast asleep, his head on his lap.

            “Out for a walk,” Taehyung put on his coat.

            “It’s 1AM,” Seokjin pulled Taehyung back, “Are you mad?  How about if you get mugged?”

            Taehyung rolled his eyes, “I can handle it, Mom.”  He grabbed the unopened butter chips on the table. 

            Seokjin was about to argue, but Yoongi grabbed his sleeve, “Let him go.”  Surprisingly, Seokjin didn’t argue. 

 

            Taehyung found himself walking to Jimin’s house. Now that he was here he didn’t know what he wanted to do.  He wasn’t good at confrontation and making decisions and it was almost 2AM now.  He made his way slowly up the five flights of stairs to Jimin’s apartment.  By the time he actually reached Jimin’s apartment it was almost 2:30.  Where did the time go?  Another 10 minutes of waiting and debating of whether to bolt or not, he decided to knock on the door. 

            Or more like tap on the door because he tapped the door with one finger.

            “Well guess he must be sleeping,” Taehyung muttered.

            He could imagine Yoongi shaking his head at him and calling him an idiot.  

            ‘Fine. You want me to knock harder?  I will,’ he shouted to the Yoongi in his mind who was now smiling in encouragement. 

            The knock resounded throughout the whole hallway.  Taehyung jumped back.  Did he actually do that?  His fist was on the door.  Guess he did.  He was about to run away when his hand unconsciously knocked on the door again.  Was he being possessed? 

            He heard a shuffling of footsteps and the door swung open. 

            Taehyung’s mouth went dry as Jimin stared sleepily at him.  The guy wasn’t wearing a shirt and it was just rude. 

            Jimin backed away slightly and closed the door in his face.  Now that was actually rude. 

            The door swung open again and Jimin rubbed his eyes. Taehyung didn’t say anything, still lacking the ability to speak.  He wanted to hug Jimin.  He wanted to apologize.  He wanted to say he was an idiot.  He wanted to say he was wrong. But it was like watching the scene from third person point of view because he wanted to say something but he couldn’t. 

            “It’s 3AM Taehyung,” Jimin rubbed his hand through his hair.

            “I know,” Taehyung spoke slowly, “But…..” he held up the butter chips and Jimin smiled at him.

            “You came all the way here to give me butter chips?”

            “You said you would come after you finished your essay.”

            Jimin looked confused for a second before he nodded, “Yeah.” 

            Taehyung was still holding the butter chips in front of him and Jimin still had his hand on the door.  It looked like Jimin was using it as a barrier to block him from Taehyung. 

            “Uh. This was stupid.  I’ll go now,” Taehyung turned around but stopped when Jimin called out after him. 

            “My chips,” Jimin held out his hand.  Taehyung turned red as he handed it over to Jimin. His hand grazed Jimin’s and there was a little static shock that went through his body at the touch.  He kept the bag in his hand longer than appropriate, not wanting to let it go. 

            Jimin’s eyes shifted and then he rubbed his hair in frustration.  He grabbed the bag and turned around, “Well come in then.  We might as well get some sleep.”

            Taehyung’s eyes widened but he followed Jimin into his apartment. 

            “You can sleep in my room,” Jimin said plainly. He went to his couch and fell onto it, pulling the blanket up to cover his face.

            “Good night then,” Taehyung made his way across the room to Jimin’s bedroom.  The blankets were ruffled.  He was obviously sleeping before Taehyung came.  He fell onto the bed.  Things were weird between them. 

            He could smell Jimin’s familiar scent on the pillow and blanket and it opened up a pit in his stomach.  It reiterated how much he missed the boy who was only in the other room.  Before he knew it, he was shuffling out of the room.

            “Jimin, are you awake?” the living room was dark but he could still see the outline of Jimin’s body on the couch.

            The body shifted and Jimin groaned loudly, “I am now.  Tae, just go to sleep.” 

            “Can we talk?” Taehyung inched closer to the couch.  He saw Jimin sit up on the couch and rub his eyes.

            “Right now?  It’s almost 4am.” 

           “Please,” Taehyung pleaded.  He sat down on the couch beside Jimin, “You haven’t been answering my calls.  I’m trying Jimin.  Just tell me what I can do to fix this.  I’m sorry.”  

            Jimin sighed, “I know you’re sorry Taehyung.  You don’t have to keep repeating it every single time you see me.”

            “But I really am!”

            “Can you just give it a rest?” Jimin said angrily. 

            “Jimin, I,” Taehyung reached out a hand for the other but Jimin pushed it away.

            “I’m tired of hearing the same thing.  And I’m tired.  I want to go to sleep,” Jimin fluffed his pillow and laid down on it, “Go to bed.”    

            Taehyung stayed on the couch.  Jimin sounded really irritated.  It was one thing to know Jimin was angry at him but another thing entirely to witness it.

            “Leave Taehyung,” Jimin repeated. 

 

            Things didn’t change after that night.  He woke up the next morning to a note and an empty apartment.  Despairingly Taehyung knew deep inside that he wasted his last chance to make things right with Jimin.  Another two weeks passed by at school as well.  He didn’t see Jimin at all.  Jimin was purposely avoiding him. 

            It was the last straw.  Yes Jimin was mad at him and he had every right to be.  His punishment for Taehyung was fucking brilliant because he was suffering.  But he’d had enough.  He needed to see Jimin and work things out.  They could move past this and become friends again, couldn’t they? 

            Taehyung skipped last period and waited by Jimin’s locker.  There was no way Jimin could avoid him this time.  He had to go to his locker before leaving school.  He knew Jimin had dance practice today and he usually kept his clothes in his locker. 

            He heard the second bell signaling the day’s end and searched frantically down the now empty hallways.  Did Jimin manage to avoid him again?  You had to be kidding!  Taehyung heard footsteps nearing and straightened up but almost fell down when he saw Jungkook nearing him. 

            He felt his heart flutter and patter but it was nothing like the large heart attacks he once had when he saw the freshman.  Jungkook went to open his locker and Taehyung looked around.  It was only them.  After Jungkook closed his locker door he made his way to Taehyung.  He bowed slightly and Taehyung returned it.

            “You’re Taehyung hyung right?” Jungkook smiled at him.

            Taehyung didn’t trust himself not to stutter so he nodded.

            “Yeah Jimin hyung used to talk about you a lot,” Jungkook stopped beside him. 

            Taehyung’s good mood dimmed slightly.  Used to.  Taehyung repeated that word in his mind. 

            “Um, can you maybe move a bit?” Jungkook asked.  Taehyung moved away confusedly and then Jungkook opened Jimin’s locker.

            “Jimin hyung told me to stop by and get his things,” Jungkook began shyly as he grabbed Jimin’s draw string bag. 

            “Oh,” Taehyung pouted.  Then he thought of something, “Are you going to dance practice now?”

            Jungkook nodded.

            “Can I come with you?”

 

            Taehyung didn’t know how he managed a bus ride sitting beside the love of his life.  They got along surprisingly (well not really surprisingly) well.  They liked the same type of music and watched the same animes.  Jungkook even joined Taehyung when he randomly moved his hands to the bus music in an attempt at dancing while sitting down. 

But Taehyung’s heart didn’t explode and butterflies weren’t coming out of his mouth.  There was no stuttering. He was no longer nervous around the freshman.     

            They got off the bus together and were walking towards the building when a familiar Rolls Royce pulled into a parking spot and Taehyung froze. 

            Jimin got out of his car and Taehyung gave a start when he realized that Jimin no longer had orange hair.  He’d cut his hair.  It was shorter and more spiked up and it was brown. Jimin’s eyes drifted in his direction and Taehyung saw them move to Jungkook and then back to him.  There was a flash of hurt that crossed his eyes before he gave a small smile and wave. 

            Then he started walking towards the building.  Taehyung quickly turned to say bye to Jungkook before running to catch up to Jimin.

            “Hey.  Wait up,” Taehyung was out of breath by the time he reached Jimin. He stumbled on his own feet before grabbing onto Jimin’s shirt to prevent him from speed walking any further.  

            “What’s up,” Jimin said without stopping or turning around.

            “Hey, can we talk?”

            “What is there to talk about?” Jimin turned around and Taehyung almost crashed into him.

            “Look, I know I hurt you.”

            Jimin was quiet for a few seconds, “Then why did you do it?”

            Taehyung stopped, “Because I…”

            “You knew how I felt,” Jimin flung his hands in anger, “I looked like an idiot,” Jimin was shouting in frustration. Taehyung wasn’t sure but it looked like there were tears forming in Jimin’s eyes.  

            “It’s not like that,” Taehyung began in a shaky voice.

            “You should’ve told me earlier on before I….” Jimin stopped, “I thought we were dating!”

            “I’m an idiot.  I know.  I didn’t know how—“

            “You had a thousand opportunities!  But you didn’t!  Did you even care about me Taehyung?”

            “I wanted to tell you I just didn’t know how.  If you let me try to explain.”  This conversation was taking a dangerous turn and if he didn’t fix it now, things would never go back to normal with Jimin. 

            “Look Taehyung, don’t waste your breath on me,” there was sadness in Jimin’s cold stare, “I know everything so let’s just stop right here.  We’re just wasting time at this point,” Jimin’s voice was scarily serious and Taehyung stopped midsentence.

            “You know what?”

            “I know that confession note wasn’t meant for me.” 

            There was dead silence in the parking lot as Taehyung stared at Jimin. He swallowed. How did he find out?

            “You slipped that note into my locker accidentally right?  It all makes sense when I think about it.” Jimin looked devastated.  Taehyung felt a few tears fall freely down his face and quickly wiped them away with his sleeve.

            “How did you find out?”

            “I heard you and Hobi hyung that time in the studio,” Jimin said simply, “Jungkook’s the one you like.  I guess you really didn’t notice me huh?” Jimin’s voice broke at the last sentence and he turned around to start walking away.

            “You’re my best friend, Jiminie,” Taehyung managed to choke out, “I fucked up.  I know I should’ve told you.  I just didn’t know how!  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that this happened.  But I miss you.  I miss you so much that I feel like….I don’t even know…like I’m missing the ability to feel.  And I miss movie nights with you.  I miss your smile and holding your hand.  I miss talking to you and seeing you every day. And I’m not good with words and I don’t know what I can do so we can go back to how we were before. But I want us to.”  Taehyung spoke so quickly that he had to take long breaths as he finished.  That was probably the most he’s talked in the last two months. 

            Jimin’s back was to him but he turned his head slightly, “I just need time.”

 

            Taehyung didn’t know how much time Jimin needed but he was ready to wait as long as it would take.          

“What’s he up to these days?  How is he?” were Taehyung’s first words to Hoseok almost every day.

            “Well hello to you too,” Hoseok put his books beside Taehyung on the table and pulled up a chair.

            “That’s not an answer,” Taehyung began, “How much time does he need?” Taehyung muttered to himself.  It had been like a month since the incident in the parking lot.  Jimin wasn’t completely avoiding him anymore.  He still joined them occasionally at lunch and waved at him when he bumped into him at school. But it was all…friendly.  Like they were acquaintances and he was being polite.  Taehyung hated it. 

            He wanted Jimin to smile at him with that sunshine smile.  He wanted Jimin to hold his hand and cuddle with him.  He also missed laughing.  Taehyung hardly ever laughed anymore. 

            “Hey guys.”

            Taehyung closed his eyes.  Surely this was just his hallucination because there was no way Jimin just appeared at their table looking sinfully good in just his blazer and jeans and that damn brown hair.

            “Jimin!” Hoseok exclaimed. He got up and hugged the younger, quickly grabbing a chair and pushing Jimin into it. 

            Hoseok elbowed Taehyung roughly. Taehyung’s wide eyes crinkled as a smile appeared on his face.  He moved his chair closer to Jimin. 

            “Are we still having movie night at hyung’s?  Finals are finally over and I could use a night to relax,” Jimin leaned back in his chair with his hands behind his head. 

            “Yup we are,” Hoseok smiled and looked over at Taehyung with a look that basically asked, “Are you mute or something?  He’s here.  Talk. Say something!”

            Jimin opened his backpack and took out his notebook. 

            Taehyung wanted to say something but he was afraid if he did, he would scare Jimin off.

            He looked over at Jimin who was writing some notes into his notebook and then at Hoseok who was shaking his head at him.  He saw his hyung mouth, ‘idiot’ at him before also taking out his homework.

            The three of them worked on their homework in silence until the bell sounded and then they all got up. 

            “Bye,” Taehyung muttered before he turned in the direction of his next class. Man he really was an idiot.  Taehyung was internally kicking himself because how could someone so stupid exist.  All he wanted and hoped for was a chance to be friends with Jimin again but now he was walking away.

            “I’ll walk you to class,” Jimin said. He waved goodbye to Hoseok as he fell into step with Taehyung. 

            Taehyung turned red.  Was this really happening?

            “Why are you acting so weird?”

            “Me?” Taehyung could feel sweat form on his forehead.  ‘Really?’ Taehyung cursed, ‘I thought we were past this.’

            Jimin wiped his forehead, “Are you okay?”

            “I…I just missed you,” Taehyung stuttered. 

            Jimin smiled.  It was one of his sunshine smiles and Taehyung’s boxy smile appeared on his own face. 

            “I missed you too,” Jimin patted him on the head and stopped outside his classroom, “Wanna go together to Hyung’s?”

            “Yeah,” Taehyung smiled, “I’ll see you later then.”  Jimin waved at him before sprinting off to his next class.  For the first time in months, Taehyung felt the sunshine.  It was cheesy but it was so true. 

 

            Taehyung almost did a double take when he saw Jimin leaning by the side of his locker after school.  It was almost like déjà vu.  There were a couple of girls who passed by and giggled and Jimin waved at them, a smile gracing his face.  Jimin could probably get anyone he wanted, Taehyung realized.  He was just unfortunate to choose someone whose heart belonged to someone else. 

            “Hey,” Taehyung shuffled up to Jimin who moved aside to allow him to open his locker.

            “Can you stop being awkward?” Jimin muttered. 

            “I’m not being awkward though,” Taehyung lied.

            “You’re acting weird.  You don’t have to feel strange or anything.  I don’t like you that way anymore.”

            Taehyung froze, “Oh?” he asked.  Was he disappointed?  Shouldn’t he be relieved that he could openly pursue Jungkook now?  Did he even like Jungkook anymore?  Each time he encountered the other his heart didn’t do back flips anymore.  Was he happy that Jimin was over him?  That meant they could be friends without Taehyung worrying about hurting Jimin’s feelings again. 

            “Yeah, I’m over it,” Jimin shrugged. 

            Inside Taehyung was thinking, ‘Why are you over me?  Am I not worth liking anymore?’ 

            “Hey, I’m serious,” Jimin helped Taehyung take off his backpack, “So don’t feel like you have to be awkward around me.” 

            “I’m not being awkward though.”

            Jimin raised an eyebrow, “Okay then.”

Chapter Text

             Taehyung was ecstatic Jimin was hanging out with him again.  He waited a long time for this moment.  But as they were walking side by side to the car, something seemed missing.  Taehyung turned to glance at Jimin.  Aside from the brown hair, Jimin was the same.  So why did it feel so weird?  Taehyung knew the reason the moment he saw Jimin’s car; Jimin didn’t try to hold his hand today.

             He wasn’t allowed to have that Jimin anymore.  Taehyung didn’t fully understand it but he missed the awkward hand holding.  Realizing that, Taehyung’s mood dimmed slightly.  Did he really want the old Jimin that was weirdly intimate with him? But friends weren’t supposed to act that way. 

            When they reached Seokjin’s apartment Taehyung felt his heart beat faster and his forehead start sweating because Jimin was finally rejoining them for movie night which meant unlimited cuddling.  He anticipated it so much that he practically pushed his way past Seokjin when the older opened the door and flung himself onto the love sofa. 

            “So what movie are we watching tonight?” Jimin moved into the room and slowly took off his shoes. His eyes lit up at the butter chips that were on the table. 

             “Pacific Rim,” Namjoon held up his laptop.

            “Oh my god.  Not again,” Jimin collapsed onto the floor beside Seokjin, “I really hoped that you somehow included a new movie into the rotation while I took a hiatus.”

            “Acutally, I was thinking of replacing one of them with the new Star Wars movie when a good quality stream comes out.”

            Jimin lied down with his head on Seokjin’s lap. Taehyung’s mouth dropped.  What was happening right now?  How did cuddle time with Jimin turn into not actually cuddling with Jimin?

            “Jimin,” Taehyung said suddenly.  All eyes turned to him.

            “Sit here,” Taehyung pointed at the empty space beside him. 

            Jimin froze for a second before getting up slowly and sitting stiffly beside Taehyung.  Taehyung looked over at him expectantly.  Jimin looked uncomfortable; he was gripping the bag of butter chips like it was a lifeline. 

            There was silence and no one moved.

            Yoongi coughed.  Namjoon shouted, “Yes the movie!” 

            Cuddle-less movie night. They were on their second movie and still Jimin was on his side of the sofa.  He hadn’t reached over to touch Taehyung at all.  He was wrapped in his own blanket.  Taehyung was getting maybe a little agitated at the turn of events. 

            Taehyung’s foul mood also spread to his comments on the movie. 

            “That guy is stupid,” he shouted bitterly as the main lead ran through the rain to find the girl. 

            “I thought you liked this movie. It’s honestly the only movie you like in the movie rotation,” Seokjin pointed out.

            “This doesn’t happen in real life,” Taehyung said briskly, “That guy is an idiot.”

            “I think it’s romantic.  Keep your comments to yourself,” Hoseok teased. 

            “This whole movie is stupid,” Taehyung crossed his arms. 

            “Settle down.  It’s just a movie. Can we just enjoy this without complaining?” Namjoon asked, “The good part is coming up.”

            “And why are we always watching the same movies?” Taehyung began angrily, “We see the same movies a hundred times.  Why don’t we watch anything new?  Why don’t we watch Saw or something?”

            “Ya!” Namjoon got up, “Kim Taehyung!  That’s a bit harsh isn’t it?  My taste in movies is good!”

            “Your taste in movies is shit,” Taehyung muttered.

            “You want to say that again?” Namjoon shouted.

            Taehyung was about to repeat what he said when he felt a hand grab his arm.  Taehyung looked over at Jimin who shook his head.  Taehyung shut his mouth and relaxed a bit.  He fell back into the sofa, “I’m sorry.  I don’t know why I said that.”

            “Just play the movie,” Seokjin grabbed the laptop and pressed play as Namjoon sat back down, huffing angrily.

            “Someone needs the D,” Yoongi muttered to Hoseok, who nodded his head in agreement.

            Jimin moved his hand back; Taehyung moved forward not wanting to lose contact.  Jimin’s arm shifted and fell around Taehyung's shoulder and pulled him closer.  Taehyung awkwardly scooted closer so he could put his head on Jimin’s shoulder, his hands falling into Jimin’s lap. 

            They didn’t say anything. But that was okay. 

 

            It’s been a few weeks since they became friends again and things were pretty much the same as before.  Jimin was back to sending Taehyung good morning and night texts.  He was back to waiting at Taehyung’s locker and occasionally eating at their lunch table, dividing his time between the dancer table and theirs.  But there was a slight shift now.  Taehyung didn’t know how to explain it.  Even though Jimin didn’t act intimate with him anymore, it felt like they were closer.

           Taehyung also started paying more attention.  He started noticing things.  He noticed how Jimin pursed his lips when he was upset and his eyes crinkled when he was genuinely happy.  He noticed that he tended to lean on others when he laughed.  These things were obvious before but now Taehyung could really point them out; he looked for it. Most importantly he was initiating and reciprocating this time around.  He waited for Jimin after school; he bought the other snacks during study period so Jimin could eat something when he went straight to dance after school. 

           Taehyung also started doing something else.  He doesn’t know what made him think of it at the time and he doesn’t know if it was stupid but every day for the last few weeks, Taehyung started leaving little notes in Jimin’s locker.  They always contained the most outrageous pick-up lines. Considering the situation it could’ve been awkward but Jimin didn’t mind at all; he actually found them quite amusing.  In fact he always seemed a bit happier whenever he met up with Taehyung after reading them. Cheesy pick up lines were now their thing. 

           “I think your hand fits perfectly in mine.” 

            Jimin looked over at Taehuing, “What are you saying?”

            “When you smile, I feel like a flower blossoming in winter because your smile is my sun.”

            Jimin blinked his eyes at Taehyung, “Okay?” He turned back to his book. 

            “I’m serious,” Taehyung began.

            “Okay dude,” Jimin took out something from his bag and threw a crumpled purple piece of paper in his face.

            “I liked this one though,” Taehyung opened it up and read it, “Because of you I laugh a little harder, cry a little less and smile a lot more.  It’s true!”  

            Jimin turned to him with a deadpan look, “I know.” But then he cracked a smile and Taehyung shoved him a bit. 

            “Your eyes are as blue as the sea after a storm,” Taehyung put a hand on Jimin’s shoulder with a serious look on his face.

            “My eyes aren’t blue you idiot.  You’re staring right at them.”

            “They were that one time you put on eye contacts.” 

            “Not the point of the pick-up line and it was only once.”

            “Fine then,” Taehyung looked into Jimin’s eyes and paused, “Your eyes are as brown as…poop.”

             Jimin gave him a disgusted look before turning to his book and letting out a disappointed sigh, “You’re so romantic.”

            “Like you can do better,” Taehyung picked up a post it and scribbled something down.  He looked up when Jimin didn’t say anything.

            Jimin inched closer; he put his hand on Taehyung’s and gently rubbed it, “If I had to choose between breathing and loving you…I’d take my last breath to say ‘I love you.’” 

            Taehyung’s breath caught in his throat and his heart started doing backflips.  The pick-up line was the cheesiest you could get.  But Jimin’s voice was soft and serious; his eyes were sparkling.  Were they always so nice to look at?  He could get lost in them even if they were the color of poop.   

            “That’s a pick up line, Taehyung.”  Jimin stared at him silently…meaningfully.  There was silence and then Jimin sat back in his chair.  He picked up his book and went back to reading like nothing happened.

            “S-s-smooth,” Taehyung stuttered.  He looked away but then turned his gaze back to Jimin. 

            His heart was beating; his tongue was stuck in his throat.  Taehyung realized slowly what was happening. A small smile appeared on his lips.  Simple things Jimin did made him smile.  Taehyung was literally smiling like an idiot just looking at Jimin sitting down.  Just the other day he smiled when he saw Jimin open his own locker door.  It was the small things that you never really notice that make the biggest impact.    

            He couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment he started feeling this way towards Jimin.  But like a light bulb turning on, it was all clear now.    

            “I think I like you,” Taehyung realized it the same time he said it.  And the realization terrified him.  Now that he said it, he knew it was true. It wasn’t the same type of delusional love he had for Jungkook.  He wasn’t infatuated by the other and he didn’t think Jimin was his soulmate.  It was simply the ‘let’s keep going for the rest of our lives’ kind of love.  And it was kinda of a big deal.              

           Jimin raised an eyebrow putting a finger in his book to keep his place, “Is that a pick up line?  What else is there to it?”

            “I have to go.  I---oh shit,” Taehyung jumped when his backpack fell from his shoulder and onto his foot, “God I just realized something.  Oh god. Shit,” Taehyung struggled to push in his chair.  He felt his feelings hit him like a truck; it was too much to handle.  Jimin was getting out of his chair with a concerned look on his face, “What’s up Tae.  Are you sure you’re okay?” 

            “I’m I uh..I well”  Taehyung cursed himself.  Was he stuttering? 

            “Tae, you look tired,” Jimin put a hand to his cheek, “Is it because you were running through my mind all night?”

            Taehyung almost spit in Jimin’s face.  The other was grinning at him, “Um…” Taehyung backed away, “I remembered that I forgot to remember to get the book from the place that’s you know…at the place.  I’ll catch you later,” Taehyung ran away from Jimin as fast as he could.  His heart was battering against his chest like crazy. 

            He stopped at his locker and let out a breath.  What was that back there?  Did he really like Jimin?  But didn’t he like Jungkook?  He tried to remember the way he used to feel whenever he saw Jungkook. He remembered the butterflies and the stuttering; he remembered the sweating.  Lately he didn’t do any of that with Jungkook.  Lately he didn’t even think about the freshman.  He was so happy to have Jimin back as his friend that nothing else could dampen his mood or take up a portion of his mind.  Everything was Jimin.  Everything.     

 

           The next morning, Taehyung stood in front of Jimin’s locker debating on what to do.  He wanted to confess; he wanted to unload all of the uneasy feelings in his chest.  He wanted Jimin to reciprocate those feelings so they could go back to the hand holding and the sunshine smiles and the romantic dates at dog cafes. 

          But he didn’t want to make this move and lose Jimin as a friend.  It took almost four months for Jimin to forgive him.  If Taehyung confessed all of a sudden, Jimin wouldn’t believe him.  It would almost be a repeat of his first mistake. He didn’t want to do anything to mess up what they had now. 

          It was so ironically twisted that the tables were turned.  Now he was the one pining over his feelings while Jimin didn’t like him that way at all.  The timing couldn’t be worse. 

         There was no other option: he had to focus his remaining feelings on Jungkook.  However, the more he tried to think about Jungkook the more he started comparing the other to Jimin.  And there was no one who could compare to Jimin.  Taehyung pushed away his confusing feelings to the back of his mind.  He tried to forget the way Jimin looked at him and the serious tone when he said ‘I love you.’  Taehyung really thought he meant those words when he said it.  He tried to ignore the butterflies in his chest as he turned away from Jimin’s locker. 

            He turned around so fast that he ran smack dab into someone.

            His eyes widened when he saw Jungkook looking right at him.  It was like déjà vu of the first time they met.  Taehyung gulped.   

            “Sorry hyung.  I wasn’t looking where I was going,” Jungkook got up and held out a hand for Taehyung to take. 

            “Uh…..” Taehyung grabbed Jungkook’s hand and was quickly pulled up.

            “Maybe I can make it up to you? I’m really sorry about that,” Jungkook’s hand touched his shirt and started patting him down.    

            “Did it burn you?” the freshman opened his backpack and took out a bunch of napkins, “I’m so clumsy, hyung. I’m really sorry.”

            Taehyung looked down and realized that Jungkook spilled some coffee on him when they bumped into each other.  So that burning in his chest….

            “Hyung, are you hurt?  You’re not saying anything,” Jungkook looked worried now as he started patting violently at the coffee stains on Taehyung’s shirt. 

            Taehyung shook his head and started patting his own shirt.  His hand accidentally touched Jungkook’s for a second. 

            “Let me make it up to you,” the younger smiled brightly at him.  They managed to dry the shirt as much as they could, “Jimin hyung said you wanted to see the Deadpool movie.  Do you want to go after school with me?”

            Taehyung’s mind went blank.  Did Jungkook just ask him on a date?  Was it that easy?  Back then he would’ve jumped at this chance.  He would’ve probably passed out in happiness. 

            Jungkook looked at him expectantly. Taehyung nodded hesitantly.  He tried to squash the guilt forming in his chest when Jimin appeared in his mind. 

            Jungkook smiled showing his nice row of small teeth and handed over his phone, “Let’s exchange numbers then?  We can meet at my locker after school?”

            Taehyung handed over his phone to the younger and murmured, “Sure.”  He was finally going to hang out with Jungkook.  It’s what he always wanted.  He wanted to feel happy, but he couldn’t.    

           

            Taehyung ran to the library where he knew Hoseok would be as they spent their free periods there.

            “Why do you look like you swallowed something bad?  What’s that on your shirt?”  Hoseok asked in way of greeting.

            “I’m going out with Jungkook today.  After school.”  

            “What?” Hoseok was coughing up his own spit as he eyed Taehyung, “You and Jungkook?  Why aren’t you happier?  Isn’t this what you always wanted?”

            “Of course it is,” Taehyung frowned as he tried to convince himself that.  He rubbed his chest, “Why do I feel like I’m having a heart attack.  It feels like it’s burning.”

            “Calm your heart,” Hoseok joked as he picked up Taehyung’s phone to play with it.

            Taehyung rubbed his chest once more before looking at Hoseok with wide eyes. 

            “Hyung.  I think my chest actually got burned,” he lifted his shirt for Hoseok to see.  There were nasty red marks splattered across his chest.

             The phone that was still in Hoseok’s hands buzzed and Hoseok’s eyebrows raised. He looked at the ID name and threw the phone back at Taehyung, “The Love of Your Life is calling.”  Taehyung blushed as he answered the call.

            “I’m in the library.  Yeah, I’ll be here for a while,” Taehyung said calmly before hanging up. 

            Hoseok snorted before going back to his work, “Now he’s even checking up on you?”

            Taehyung didn’t answer but Hoseok could see the definite blush on the younger’s face.  He was about to tease him further when someone interrupted them.

            “Hey guys,” Jimin plopped down on the seat beside Taehyung.  He nudged the younger in the arm but the other refused to acknowledge him.  His face was turning redder by the second. 

            Hoseok looked at Taehyung and then Jimin.  His eyes widened as he realized something, “Wait a second,” he was about to open Taehyung’s phone but the younger quickly took it back from him. 

            “Hey,” Jimin put an arm around Taehyung to get the younger’s attention.  Taehyung gave Hoseok a death glare before turning to Jimin.

            “Let’s go see Deadpool after school today.”

            Taehyung froze in his seat.  Why today out of all days?  What was fate doing to his life?

            “I can’t,” Taehyung turned back to his book. 

            Jimin nudged him, “Did you hear what I asked?  It’s Deadpool!  You’ve been waiting to see this for months.  It’s opening night and you don’t want to go?” Jimin lowered his head to book level so Taehyung was looking down at Jimin whose head was on the table.

            “I just..I’m busy.”

            “Busy?  Too busy for Deadpool?  Are you alright?  Is he alright?” Jimin directed the last question at Hoseok who just shrugged his shoulders, attention determinedly focused on his textbook. 

            “I’m sorry,” Taehyung felt guilt start pooling up in his body.  Why couldn’t he tell Jimin he was going with Jungkook?  They had an honest friendship now.  Why was he always so confused around Jimin? He never knew the right things to do or say. 

            “I see,” Jimin sounded disappointed.  He shifted in the seat beside Taehyung and opened up his own textbook. 

           

            He carried on a half decent conversation with Jungkook as they made their way to the movie theater by public transportation. They shared their love of anime and talked about school but somehow the topics kept on straying towards Jimin. 

          Oh yeah Jimin hates that professor.  I remember Jimin practicing that dance.  I’m trying to convince Jimin to watch that.

          “You must really like Jimin hyung huh?” Jungkook asked as once again Taehyung managed to include Jimin into their conversation. 

          “What?” Taehyung sounded offended. 

           “He told me he would come to the movie today.  Maybe we will see him,” Jungkook smiled and Taehyung felt sweat threaten to break the surface of his forehead.  Jimin was coming?  He was still going to see the movie?  Would he go by himself?  He bit his lip in worry as he imagined Jimin sitting by himself alone in the corner of the theater.  How about if he saw him and Jungkook together?  What would happen? He basically brushed off Jimin for Jungkook and lied about it.  Taehyung followed Jungkook uncertainly towards the theater, hoping Jimin wouldn’t come today. 

            But of course God had other plans for him because he immediately spotted Jimin’s electric blue Rolls Royce in the parking lot. 

            “Shit,” Taehyung whispered.  He quickly glanced around but couldn’t spot said boy anywhere. 

            “We should probably hurry since the movie is starting soon,” Jungkook started jogging towards the entrance.  Taehyung followed, his eyes darting everywhere trying to spot Jimin. 

           He didn’t spot his friend until they entered the theater, tickets in hand.  Jimin was waiting in line at the concession stand…alone.  Now Taehyung felt horribly guilty and nervous. Nervous because he didn’t want Jimin to find out he ditched him for Jungkook but guilty because he was the reason Jimin was going to this movie alone.  He just hoped Jungkook didn’t spot Jimin and say anything.  That would be awkward. 

            Taehyung was about to push Jungkook towards the theater when someone caught his eye.  Someone suddenly appeared beside Jimin.  The person playfully shoved Jimin who only smiled and shoved back.

            WHAT. THE. FUCK.  Since when was Jimin this friendly with strangers?  Was Jimin stupid?  He was about to go over there and tell that stranger off but stopped when Jimin put an arm around the guy and the guy turned.  It was one of Jimin’s dancer friends from dance club, the Jr guy who didn’t go by his real name.  The boy had a shock of black hair and one of the ugliest smiles that Taehyung had ever seen.  Why was Jimin even hanging out with him? 

            Jimin suddenly disappeared from his view and Taehyung jumped slightly.  Jungkook was currently leading him towards the theater.

            “I don’t want to miss the trailers, hyung,” Jungkook pulled at Taehyung’s sleeve.   

           

            Taehyung honestly wanted to pay attention to the movie because no lie he’d been waiting for months for this movie to be released but his eyes kept straying to the two people who were a couple of rows in front of him.  He saw that Jr guy keep leaning over and whispering to Jimin and Jimin do the same thing back to him.  It’s not like Jimin was acting any differently compared to when he went to the movies with Taehyung but that’s what bugged him.  He was supposed to be special.  Jimin’s not supposed to have more than one special friend! They were probably making comments about the movie and it pissed Taehyung off because 1) he wasn’t even paying attention to the movie and didn’t know what was going on and 2) Jimin just asked him today about watching Deadpool.  How had he found a replacement so soon?   

            As soon as the credits rolled, Taehyung sprinted out of the theater not even bothering to wait for Jungkook who shouted about watching the credits.  He waited outside the theater, pacing angrily.  What was taking Jungkook so long?  The credits weren’t that interesting.     

            Three minutes passed before Jungkook came out looking confused, “Why’d you leave so quickly?  Did you not like the movie?”

            Taehyung didn’t answer.  After an awkard silence, Jungkook stuck his hands in his pockets, “Guess we should probably go catch the train?”

            Taehyung nodded as he looked up at Jungkook, but his attention strayed to a person leaving the theater. His eyes caught Jimin’s.  The other's eyes widened in surprise. 

            Jungkook turned to see what Taehyung was staring at and smiled, “Hyung!  So you did come?”

            Jimin turned to face Jungkook and his eyes widened even more if that was possible.  He walked over to them with Jr. 

            “It was good right?  It was so funny,” Jr. commented. 

            “Yeah.  And that fight scene at the end,” Jungkook began enthusiastically talking with Jr. 

            Taehyung cleared his throat awkwardly; Jimin was staring at him.  For once his friend looked lost for words.  He kept on glancing at Jungkook and him. 

            “Hey, I’m going to take the train home so you don’t have to go out of your way,” Jr, put an arm around Jimin, “I’ll see you tomorrow at school?” 

            “Hyung are you taking the train too?” Jungkook looked over at Taehyung and Jimin. 

            “I can drive Taehyung home; you go ahead Kookie-yah.”

            Jungkook waved as he and Jr. started walking towards the subway station. 

 

            “Jimin, I’m sorry.  I should’ve told you.  I,” Taehyung began but Jimin put up a hand to stop him.

            “Don’t apologize. I get it.  I’m just curious why you didn’t tell me,” Jimin put his hands in his pocket as he walked beside Taehyung, “I mean I know you’re not good at explaining things to me,” Jimin’s voice was bitter, “Or telling me the truth like ever but you shouldn’t feel like you have to hide things from me.”

            “I wasn’t trying to,” Taehyung began.

            “Did you think I would be angry?”

            “That’s not it.”

            “Upset?”

            “No.”  

            “Jealous?”

            Taehyung hesitated as he thought it over.  Would Jimin be jealous?  I mean he had to be a bit jealous, right?

            “Tae,” Jimin interrupted him, “I’m okay with you hanging out with Jungkook.  I said I don’t like you anymore.  So you don’t have to feel guilty for choosing him over me,” Jimin put a hand up to ruffle his hair. 

            Taehyung was at a loss for words, “I didn’t choose him over you,” Taehyung interrupted, “He just asked me first.”      

            “The point is: you should’ve told me.”

            “Are you mad?” Taehyung gave Jimin a sheepish smile.

            “Why would I be mad?” Jimin opened the passenger side door for Taehyung, “I already told you I don’t like you.  It’s just weird that you felt like you had to hide something from me.”   

            Taehyung got in and turned to face the driver’s side so he could see when Jimin got in, “You’re really over me?”

            “I said I was didn’t I?”

            Taehyung could feel his temper rising, “So you’re saying you liked me since we were young and you’re over me like that?  Like what was I to you?  Just a small crush?  How can you get over me so quickly?  That’s not normal!”

            Jimin turned to him.  Instead of a shocked look, he smirked, “Are you angry about that?”

            “A little!  You replaced me with that guy so fast!  What is this?” Taehyung turned around and sat back in his chair, “It’s like I was nothing to you!”

            Taehyung knew he had no right to say all these things when he was the one who hurt Jimin and there were those months when Jimin needed time, but really.  Really now?  The feelings he pushed to the back of his mind came forward at full force.  It was perfect timing, Taehyung thought bitterly. The minute he realized he liked Jimin, it was too late.  Jimin moved on.  And now Taehyung was the one who was heartbroken.  Karma was a bitch. 

            “It’s like I’m not even worth liking,” Taehyung snapped. 

            Jimin didn’t flinch or move as he drove towards Taehyung’s house and it made Taehyung feel worse because he didn’t deny it either. 

            “Fine then,” Taehyung crossed his arms and fell back into his seat; he felt bitter and angry.  Jimin didn’t turn on the radio so the ride was silent and awkward.  Taehyung  almost regretted saying those things because now it seemed impossible for their friendship to go back to whatever the hell it was. 

            “Tae, you’re acting suspiciously like a jealous ex-boyfriend right now,” Jimin didn’t turn to stare at him but his words were like a question instead of a statement. 

            Taehyung was acting like a jealous ex-boyfriend.  He didn’t want to feel jealous; he wanted to ignore his feelings but it was so much easier said than done. 

            “Who knows? Maybe I should just start ignoring you for two months or something,” Taehyung’s voice was cold.  It was a possibility at this point.  Taehyung basically screwed himself when he developed feelings for Jimin. Why was their relationship so needlessly complicated? 

           “Don’t do that, Tae,” Jimin slowed down and parked the car in front of Taehyung’s house and yeah this was awkward.  They both stayed in the car for a while.  Jimin looked like he was thinking over something.  Taehyung on the other hand was debating on what to say next.  Should he say bye, apologize again or storm off?  He settled with being polite because even though he was angry, hurt and disappointed, Jimin was still very important to him.  And it was not polite to be rude to his “best friend.”  Because who knows how many more moments like these they would have.  He was trying to imagine two months without Jimin.  Was that enough time to get over someone?   

            “I’ll see you tomorrow at school,” Taehyung said shortly.   He looked over but Jimin was opening his door.  Taehyung unbuckled his seat belt and slid out of his seat.  Jimin hadn’t walked him to his door since…God knows how long. 

            By the time he closed his door, Jimin was standing awkwardly by his side with a hand rubbing the back of his neck. 

            Taehyung began walking but paused mid-step when Jimin grabbed his hand. Taehyung’s mind went blank for a second as he looked at their hands. 

            Earlier, Jimin said that he was over him and didn’t like him anymore and now he was holding his hand. Taehyung tried to think about what this could mean but his brain was still on vacation visiting Pluto so he couldn’t really think.  All he knew was that Jimin’s hand was warm and nice.  They really did fit perfectly with his.  He didn’t know he could miss hands but that’s what he was realizing in his clouded state. 

            They reached his door and Taehyung awkwardly tried to take out his keys with his hand still being held by Jimin’s.  He finally managed to succeed in jiggling the door open with one hand after what felt like an awkward eternity.   He turned to Jimin and thought of what to say next.  Should he repeat what he said as he got out of the car?  But wouldn’t that be stupid?  Should he address the handholding?  No it would ruin the illusion.  Whatever illusion had been created, Taehyung wasn’t sure. He would dwell on it when he was safely in his bedroom.

            “I’ll see you tomorrow at school,” Taehyung repeated.  Fuck it.  He didn’t know what else to say.  He was surprised he could even manage those words when he was only thinking about Jimin’s hand and how it still was holding his. 

            Jimin tugged at his hand softly as Taehyung tried to go inside his house. 

            “I don’t want to fuck this up,” Jimin began, “But I think things are changing between us.”

            Taehyung gulped, “It is?”

           “So I’m only going to say this once: I lied.”

            He let Taehyung’s hand go and looked down at the ground, “I bought those Deadpool tickets a couple weeks ago when you said you wanted to go,” he took a deep breath, “I did that because I’m not over you.  You were right.  You’re not an easy person to get over.”

            Taehyung could feel his heart beating in his chest and hear it in his ears.  He tried to swallow but couldn’t. 

            “I don’t know when I’ll stop liking you.  Maybe I won’t.  I get that you say you like Jungkook,” Jimin looked at him, “And I won’t get in the way of that; I promise.  But I still like you.”

            Taehyung’s mouth dropped open.  He wanted to say something, anything.  But no words came out.  His heart was beating so fast it was definitely going to explode in his chest.  He half wondered if that coffee did some serious injury to his body. His hand moved towards his phone, ready to call 911 because surely there’s no way he was going to live much longer when his heart was acting like this. 

            Jimin put his hand on Taehyung’s cheek and Taehyung involuntarily shivered.

            “I’m going to kiss you now,” Jimin moved forward and before Taehyung could process the words, Jimin’s lips were on his. 

            Taehyung froze.  He didn’t know what to do.  Jimin was kissing him.  And it felt nice.  Of course he was in too much shock to kiss back; Jimin’s hand moved to the back of his neck and pushed him forward slightly. 

            Taehyung closed his eyes and returned the kiss.  His mouth was moving by itself, knowing exactly what to do.  His hands wound themselves around Jimin’s waist moving him closer.

            He felt Jimin deepen the kiss and Taehyung moved back slightly until his back hit the door.  He held tighter onto Jimin, wanting more.  By the time they broke away they were both breathing heavily. 

            “I’ll see you tomorrow at school,” Jimin said.  He turned around and walked back to his car, leaving Taehyung in a confused mess at his doorstep.  He liked Jimin and Jimin still liked him.   

 

            Taehyung didn’t know what to expect the next day at school but Jimin acting like nothing happened wasn’t one of them.  Jimin met him at his locker with complaints about how he had an exam that day.  He walked him to class (didn’t even attempt to hold his hand).  He was just normal Jimin. 

            The one thing that pissed Taehyung off was that Jimin decided to sit with Jr. at lunch. 

            Taehyung almost believed that yesterday didn’t happen but then he would catch Jimin glancing at his lips.  He could still taste Jimin’s lips in his memory and to be honest those lips and that boy was going to be the death of him because it’s all he’s been thinking of since yesterday. 

            Taehyung was distracted from his memory by the hand being waved in front of him.

            “You look distracted,” Jimin smirked at him.

            “You’re no help at that,” Taehyung said bitterly. 

            Jimin’s smirk turned into a soft smile, “Are you thinking about that kiss?”

            Taehyung turned red as he remembered their passionate kiss.  Jimin must’ve misunderstood because a sad smile appeared on his face, “I understand.  Look we can forget what happened yesterday.  I said I won’t get in the way anymore.  I meant it,” Jimin patted him on the back encouragingly and got up from the table, “I’ll catch you later?” 

            “Wait no,” Taehyung turned around but Jimin was already making his way across the room.   

 

            It was fitting to go back to the beginning.  Earlier this morning he slipped a red note into Jimin’s locker without hesitation.   This time Taehyung didn’t anxiously debate with himself if he should give the confession letter or not.  Unlike the usual purple post it notes, the letter was red and in an envelope with Jimin’s name printed neatly on the front. 

            It looked fancy but it was stupidly simple. 

            I like you followed by his number.  Maybe he should’ve been more eloquent but Taehyung wasn’t eloquent and most of the time he was an idiot so this was fitting for him. 

            Taehyung tried to control his beating heart as he neared his locker.  This was going to be the moment that would determine everything.  He felt his heart drop and disappear into a dark abyss; Jimin wasn’t there.  Taehyung tried to swallow his disappointment as he headed to lunch.  Yet again, Jimin was eating with Jr. and the dance crew.  Jimin didn't even glance in Taehyung’s direction. Taehyung felt like crying because he put himself out there and Jimin rejected him. 

            Maybe this was some sort of revenge for playing Jimin in the first place. 

            It was obvious by the end of the day that Jimin was ignoring him.  Maybe he thought Taehyung’s note was a cruel joke.  But Jimin knew what type of person Taehyung was.  He should know Taehyung was being honest.  He hurriedly got his backpack and walked quickly away from school.    

            What was going on with him and Jimin?  Couldn’t Jimin be a man and just confront him?  Were those tears in his eyes?  Taehyung wiped at his eyes with his sleeve.  Who knew heartbreak could hurt so much?  

            “Hey.”

            Taehyung stopped as he heard the voice in front of him.  He looked around.  Somehow he’d reached the front gates.

            “This time you’re late,” Jimin tilted his head to the side, a teasing tone in his voice, “But at least you got the locker right this time around”.   Jimin’s hand reached out to wipe at Taehyung’s eyes, “Don’t tell me you’re crying, you big wuss.”

            “I hate you,” Taehyung exclaimed.

            “I thought you liked me,” Jimin held out his note, “It’s not much but it gets straight to the point.  I like that.”

            Taehyung sighed, “You know I’m not good with words.”

            “Trust me; I know,” Jimin laughed.

            “Why did you ignore me you jerk?” Taehyung tried to glare at Jimin but he failed because he couldn’t stop the stupid smile that appeared.

            “I wasn’t sure if you were serious or not,” Jimin said seriously, “But then I realized you wouldn’t do this to me again.”     

            “Do you think I’m heartless?” Taehyung’s eyes widened.

            “Do you really want me to answer that?" Jimin raised an eyebrow.  He put a hand to the back of Taehyung’s head, grabbing at the small tufts of hair on Taehyung’s neck.

            “I like you Park Jimin,” Taehyung smiled, “I know I was a jerk before but I won’t hurt you again.  This time it’s for real,” Taehyung smiled sheepishly, “Because on a scale of 1 to 10 you’re a nine and I hope I’m the 1 you need.”

            Jimin paused, “Wow.  I’m walking away right now,” Jimin backed up but Taehyung grabbed onto the bottom of his shirt.   

            “But I’ve got a really good one,” he took a breath, “Jimin, you stole my heart.  If I knew I was going to die tomorrow I would spend every second today thinking about you,” Taehyung smiled, “But I’d rather spend it kissing you and I really mean that.  I---”

            “Just shut up,” Jimin laughed, “You’re terrible.  Just come here,” Jimin grabbed Taehyung by the front of his coat and brought him into a kiss. 

            “Don’t ever use one of those pick-up lines again or I’m breaking up with you.”

            “But you see this shirt? It’s so boyfriend material!”

            “Okay, we’re definitely breaking up right now.”