taehyung's always had a habit of dreaming up big dreams, but he's also got the fire in him, to work for those dreams. and that's really how he spends most of his young years, either dreaming or working towards those dreams.
he gets selected, but it's just the beginning, having captured the chance, he has to work harder to keep it, to let it grow into the dream he's always dreamt. he has the chance, in his grasp, the whole world, in front of his eyes and in his dreams , and 6 boys right beside him.
and he's always been an optimistic person, really. but even he never thought that he'd meet these boys; his colleagues, his team,his friends, and want to keep them so bad ( when did he start thinking of them as family?)
it was work hard, play less, the only chance they'd all gotten, and fighting everyday, training, to keep it, together. all the frustrations, the fights born from them, the tears shed together, the fear that wouldn't let them sleep (in that tiny tiny room with these tiny boys and their big dreams), the jokes and laughs, the support and comfort, all of it, became something normal, something always there, a part of his life, a part of him. the usual. but then rookie king happened. the Kiss happened.
and suddenly, he wanted it to happen again.
the first time taehyung ever really thought about wanting to kiss a boy, it was after kissing said boy. a made-for-entertainment kiss, and all he could think about was how much he wants to feel hoseok hyung's lips, free of the sticky lipstick, to just taste him.
hoseok was older, not much wiser; a kid, just like him. a kid that danced like he was made to, flowing, jumping, moving like he was creating art in the air, his body a brush , painting the world colourful with his movements.
(only later did taehyung realize that hoseok hyung himself was the art, the artist, the canvas, all of it; existing, creating, ever changing.)
he always looked after taehyung and comforted taehyung, knowingly or unknowingly; helping him get the steps right ; carefully watching him, patiently or sometimes, not so patiently correcting him , teaching him. (unknowingly was when taehyung just sat down and watched him dance and felt all his tension go away, like nothing could go wrong as long as hoseok hyung kept dancing, kept being there, kept existing ) even during fights; patience running low, temper running short, hoseok never snapped. he held it in, only ever giving out doses of sunshine to the people, trying to live up to his name.
taehyung always watched, supported him, cheered for him, always, always, always. and then it came. the after. after their trip, after rookie king, after The Kiss.
maybe he saw it in taehyung's eyes, his want, his need, his urge to kiss him again? maybe he was disgusted and he just hid it well, maybe he just didn't care, but. everything remained the same. he hadn't known whether to feel disappointed or relieved.
taehyung started hanging off of him then , onto him, every chance he got and maybe hoseok got tired of it, or maybe he just got busier (why did it feel like he was a avoiding him? it hurt).
and then nothing was the same.
they kept getting more recognition, efforts paying off, their dreams within their reach, but that's never the end, is it? maybe somewhere near the middle, still fighting the long fight they'd given up their childhood years for. fighting, fighting to keep their dreams within reach, fighting to not lose them of their fire, fighting to not go back to those painful, desperate days when they were always terrified of whether they'll make it, terrified of failing, being sent back home.
times have changed, a bit, but they're still terrified. terrified of losing what they finally have, unraveling all their hard work, always having to be careful not to fall. no time to think of romance, no. but his lips, even then, tingled from that distant memory. fingers always clenched into a fist when in his vicinity, trying so very hard to not give in to the urge to just reach out and touch; feel.
jungkook knows, he thinks. he always has known him best. namjoon hyung and yoongi hyung have always been too good at reading people and he's always been an open book to them. jimin got it out of him during one sleepless night, when he'd woken him up with his sobs (he likes his hyung, someone he's not supposed to like, according to the society he's been brought up in, trying to survive in). he's never sure what jin hyung thinks about anything, about this, if he even knows; his eldest hyung has always preferred to keep his cards close to his chest, voice loud, laughter even louder, covering up anything and everything else.
he's just thankful, that none of seem to care, they treat him the same, love him the same, look at him the same, if not with some sadness in their eyes when hoseok distances himself or shakes him off.
it doesn't really matter, in the end. he decides to keep his distance too, as well as he can, if only to make it hurt less when hoseok doesn't reciprocate his affection or if, worse, rejects it (the world has taught him to be afraid of rejection, accept it, get used to it, fight against it, and turn it around, but even then rejection from hoseok hyung is something he can never be prepared for, never something he can get used to).
safe distance, even safer words. they're still a team, they're still friends, everything is still fine.
the first time he ever thinks about wanting to kiss another boy, is after kissing said boy.
it happens out of nowhere, really. some fanservice, an almost kiss on stage and suddenly they're backstage and jin hyung is pulling him closer , hands tangled in his hair, lips pressed against his, firm and moving with purpose. he doesn't really think at first, doesn't move, too shocked, and then there's his tongue licking into his mouth and he's still. completely frozen, too new to this, and then. and then all he thinks is jinhyungjinhyungjinhyung, body pressing closer, mouth opening up and all he wants is to never stop feeling this good and all he wants is hoseok hyung and to feel this good, in this way, with him. he whimpers, maybe out of guilt towards jin hyung for thinking of someone else or because of the sparks of pleasure running down his body, he doesn't know, but all of a sudden it's over.
they're joining the others, like nothing's happened, jin hyung making jiminie and namjoon hyung laugh with his jokes, yoongi trying to sneak in a nap and taehyung trying to understand what just happened.
jungkook and hoseok hyung come out of the bathroom, freshly washed faces and. hoseok hyung looks up, meets his eyes and taehyung wonder what he sees in his face because suddenly his hyung's face has worry written all over it. he looks like he wants to reach out and touch taehyung, comfort him, maybe pull him into a hug, or, or, maybe all that it is, is just taehyung and his wishful thinking, his heart and body craving his warmth, his mind a confused mess.
in the end hoseok hyung looks away (told you it's wishful thinking, his mind whispers) and it's jimin, who takes one look at him and drags him out on a walk. jimin listens, listens to his confusion about The Kiss ( second of its name) and how much he enjoyed it and how he wouldn't mind doing it again, with jin hyung (but all he wants is hoseok hyung, isn't that just unfair? unfair to jin hyung, unfair to himself, unfair to hoseok hyung who doesn't even know or care).
he wants to be rid of these feelings and he wants to know why this kiss happened and he wants everything to go back to normal (when hoseok hyung came to him and hugged him and hung out with him all the time and when his eldest hyung didn't go around kissing him and walking away with no explanation).
jimin takes it all in quietly, his face calm, eyes sad with a familiar kind of pain, says he doesn't understand either, doesn't know how yoongi could kiss his forehead good night every day before bed, hold him in his sleep on particularly restless nights, say the things he does, treat him the way he does (like he's something precious to him) and pretend it's all normal, pretends it's something all friends do.
they're silent for the rest of the walk, they laugh over their shared misery as they sit on the floor of their tiny kitchen (a tiny tiny kitchen too, for not-so-tiny boys with big dreams) , because that's the only way they won't cry. and when morning comes, namjoon hyung finds them sleeping on the kitchen floor, huddled close, bones cracking painfully as they wake up.
the day goes by as usual, except taehyung keeps getting between yoongi hyung and jimin (he doesn't know about yoongi, but jimin is definitely very precious to him and he won't let him be hurt more) and jimin keeps dragging him to isolated corners(sometimes with the presence of a wild kookie); to chat, to play, to practice extra, just away from them.
jin hyung manages to find him alone, at the end of the day, it's something i wanted to try , i'm sorry if i hurt you, sorry for being insensitive, sorry for being a bad hyung, and it's a good way to relax though, isn't it? something to pass the time in, get some practice for the future as long as we don't have romantic feelings for each other it's okay, right?
and it was. completely okay, and something they'd do once in while after that.
and now here they are.
the world is in front of his eyes, no longer just in his dreams. the world struggling this time around, trying to get a piece of them, trying have a little bit of their time (even then, even then, they're still fighting to keep this dream a reality).
he's happy, he's got his dream, he's got his boys and, he still. he still wants to hold hoseok. everything has changed but nothing is different. he still kisses jin hyung sometimes, hoseok hyung has managed to distance himself even more ( his eyes sad when he looks at taehyung, maybe he knows too, maybe he feels bad for not feeling the same), yoongi hyung and jimin still steal glances at each other. they've gotten better at hiding though, from everyone and each other. as has taehyung; not much an open book to anyone, not anymore.
they're grown up now ( they're still kids really, but the world doesn't care about that and they have to face it as well as they can). he's matured and changed, a bit jaded, but still a dreamer, dreaming up new things now.
(he dreams about tracing hoseok hyung's face, stealing his breath and making him sweaty and red faced, having him panting, as if he'd just finished a particularly hard choreography, but instead the dance would be with taehyung's body and his. it makes him blush, it has him panting, has him feeling guilty, the things he thinks about his hyung)
jin hyung has gotten even louder, namjoon hyung more responsible in his leadership, yoongi hyung and hoseok have gotten closer, so have jimin and hoseok hyung and taehyung is the only who's in stasis with him, isn't he?
sometimes he feels like hoseok hyung misses him too, the closeness they had before, but there's nothing to it. he still jokes around and laughs with taehyung, still calls attention to him and compliments him, but his smile is not as bright as it used to be when directed at taehyung and he still reciprocates his affections half-heartedly at best. being best friends with yoongi hyung has helped him master the art of keeping close and yet being so far away; out of reach. they're two peas in a pod when it comes that, yoongi hyung and hoseok hyung, with all that they differ in otherwise.
hoseok with all his sadness and his fire, his loudness and his snappiness, his silent suffering and the silent comfort he finds in his dance. he's always been taehyung's sun; taehyung himself, a sunflower.
life will go on.
it has to, he has to.
the first time he thinks about having sex with a boy (his boy, not really his, but taehyung atleast has always been hoseok hyung's), is after he walks in on a friend doing just that.
byun baekhyun has never cared for restraint, clear in his want, bold in his actions. he's in love and he's unfraid. that's how taehyung walks in on him, in a storage room, located in a secluded corner, because as unafraid as he is, he cares about his band and he cares about yixing, who's not so unafraid.
he's bisexual, he tells taehyung, his first kiss, and the following few, being his girlfriend, the girl whose heart he had to break and the girl who had to break his heart too. all the next kisses were yixing, everything else was yixing and everything else will be yixing, he whispers to taehyung. someday we'll be free, but right now i still have him beside me (like he hadn't been the past year) and in my arms and that's enough.
baekhyun is the one who explains to him how it works between two guys (even now taehyung's still scared to search it up online, scared someone, someone not so accepting, will find out), makes him feel less alone (he's never told jimin or jin hyung about his sexual fantasies that go further than making out either). tells him that he's there any time he wants to talk, hugs close and asks him to come hang out at their dorm and meet his boyfriend, officially, as his boyfriend.
he notices things he's never noticed before, how sometimes when they're all hanging out backstage, mark leans his entire body into jinyoung, nose in his neck, and how jinyoung, his expression unchanging, save for a slight upward curl in his mouth, slips his arm around him, hand gentle on his waist, anchoring him there. how yoongi looks and looks and looks at jimin, lost and despairing, unsure of what to do.
where to draw the line between fanservice and reality? it can't be fan service when there's no fans present, but everything's the same as it was on stage?
it's been a while now, since taehyung and jin have stopped kissing. there wasn't really a concrete end, it just tapered off, not much time to pass anymore and not enough interest to make the time. they're still the same, their relationship, the kissing came and it went, changing nothing on it's visits.
(i thought maybe this'll make hobi jealous, tae, i wished it would, i hoped i could help, I'm glad i atleast managed to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.)
hoseok hyung never even noticed, never cared enough to, and he never noticed when they stopped either, taehyung knows.
he smiles wider at him now, as bright as it was before, bright and gentle and uninhibited.
and maybe, maybe.
and taehyung, taehyung takes all he can get, hangs around hoseok hyung, makes him laugh, drinks in the sound, does what he can to make him smile, craving the attention, like a puppy around his human.
jimin accosts him one night, when he's on his way back from the bathroom. it's 2 am and jimin says he needs to let it out, doesn't explain anything more, drags him to the river bank and screams and screams and screams, and taehyung eventually realizes it's less screaming more squealing, his face glowing; happy, his lips curved up, his eyes bright. he stops, finally, and tells taehyung that yoongi and him are together now and that boys really can be idiots and sometimes you have to spell it out to them, all of us tae all of us so don't lose hope yet not when you haven't even tried yet, not when maybe even he is afraid to try.
he congratulates jimin, he screams with him , and it's only later, when he's lying in his bed again, that he wonders.
wonders about bright smiles and a too-close relationship, about a scared young boy, and the not much older or wiser boy.
about feeling alone and safe distances, and the art of being close but keeping far away.
he looks. looks back at all those times, at yoongi hyung, always sending him unreadable glances, at namjoon hyung, who burrowed his eyebrows and looked worriedly at not just taehyung, but at hoseok hyung too.
he wakes up, goes to the kitchen (a big kitchen, for big boys with even bigger dreams), he stares at the watch hoseok hyung gave him.
he hears step coming towards the kitchen, pausing at the entrance and. he looks up finally, looks at the boy he's always wanted to hold close, the boy who never let himself get close. he looks at him and.
and hoseok hyung looks back.
(some day, they'll be lying on the bed, legs entertwined, souls even more so and hoseok will look at him. red faced, sweaty, breathless and so in love and he'll say i didn't know what to do i was so afraid and even when I wasn't i didn't know if you felt the same and my heart always kept going back to you, eyes kept following you, like a sunflower, turning towards my sun)