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Taehyung throws one last look back into his apartment to make sure he hasn’t forgotten anything; he has the beer, his phone, his keys and is in his pyjamas. He should be fine.

His door clicks shut behind him, and he's on his way towards the one right next to his, the one with the number 20 painted on it. Jeongguk’s door.

He knocks and nervously fixes his bangs, even though he just fixed them a minute ago.

"Coming!"

The door swings open to reveal a fresh-out-of-the-shower Jeongguk, only a towel wrapped around his hips, catching the stray water droplets that are sliding down his chest.

“Do you open the door like that for everybody or am I special?” Taehyung teases, hoping his staring at Jeongguk’s abs isn’t too obvious.

Jeongguk chuckles. “Nah, I just knew it’d be you. I know that your interview is tomorrow, and I also know how you get when you’re nervous. What did you bring me this time?”

Taehyung lifts up the six-pack of beer. He knows it’s one of Jeongguk’s favourite brews, but he’ll just pretend he doesn’t.

“You’re lucky I was craving a beer just now. Come in.”

Taehyung laughs as he passes Jeongguk and makes to toe off his shoes before he remembers that he’s already in his slippers. “You were craving a beer in the shower?”

Now it’s Jeongguk passing him in the narrow hallway, heading towards his bedroom, presumably to change into something less revealing. “Yeah! You’ve never had a beer in the shower? It’s amazing. Cracking a cold one open while the hot water massages your sore muscles? Sign me up.”

Taehyung doesn’t have to see his face to know he’s grinning.

“That sounds like a very bad but weirdly sexual beer commercial.”

Another laugh comes out of Jeongguk’s bedroom.

Taehyung loves their banter. It’s always so easy and relaxed, even though they haven’t known each other for that long.

Five months ago, Taehyung would’ve never thought that they’d end up being so close, but now he spends at least one night a week in his cute neighbour’s bed.

Although his excuses to do so are getting weaker and weaker by the week. Except for tonight. Taehyung actually does have an interview tomorrow, and he is very anxious, so anxious that he knows he won't sleep a wink if there is not the comfort of a warm human body next to him that he can curl up to.

He puts the beer down and rips one side of the carton open; he thankfully has had enough of a mind to put it in his own fridge for a few hours before coming over.

Jeongguk steps out of his room, now dressed in sweatpants and a shirt. “So, what about that beer I was promised?”

“Come get it, big guy.”

Although there are still four bottles on the table, Jeongguk seems to decide to humour him and leaps for his neighbour as he dances around the couch with the two remaining bottles in hand.

He misses him the first and the second time, but third time’s the charm, and he soon has Taehyung pressed down into the cushions, trying to wrestle a beer from him. Taehyung laughs his bright, gleeful laughter as he tries to keep his hands out of Jeongguk’s reach.

“You’ll never take them alive!”

Jeongguk grunts as he moves forward, now completely straddling Taehyung. This has Taehyung stilling and holding his breath because wrestling is fun, but accidentally popping an erection while your cute neighbour is practically sitting on your dick not so much. Though it seems that Jeongguk has not noticed Taehyung’s inner panic as he is finally able to snatch a bottle out of his hands and he moves off Taehyung’s lap, luckily before something embarrassing can happen.

In no time they each have downed two beers, and Taehyung knows he'll fell a bit lightheaded as soon as he stands up, but at least he had dinner earlier.

“When do you have to get up tomorrow?”

He groans and takes a look at his phone; it’s half past eleven, they should probably head to bed. “About sevenish.”

“Well then, off to bed we go.”

They brush their teeth in silence, and Taehyung tries not to swoon too much over Jeongguk giving him a toothbrush to keep here when Taehyung realises he forgot his own.

Taehyung finishes brushing his teeth first, and he's already waiting in bed when Jeongguk climbs in. He gives him ten seconds to find a comfortable position before he latches on, a happy sigh leaving his lips.

“You really are so much better than any pillow.”

Jeongguk hums and pulls Taehyung tighter to his chest.

He feels himself relax at the warmth while he tries to sync his breath up with Jeongguk’s, something he always does when he’s not quite as tired as he should be. It’s only when he has almost drifted off to sleep when Jeongguk says something.

“You’re going to do great tomorrow Tae. They’d be lucky to have you.”

His voice is a mere whisper when he answers, and his fingers curl a bit tighter into Jeongguk’s shirt. “Thanks.”

 

Taehyung wakes up before his alarm rings the next morning and he spends ten minutes relishing being cuddled up to Jeongguk before he forces himself to get up.

As much as he’d love to, he can’t just stay in bed if he wants to show up to his interview looking at least somewhat professional.

Jeongguk makes a discontent noise when Taehyung slides out of his embrace, but he seems to have forgotten all about it only seconds after.

In moments like these, it's all too easy to imagine how it would be to date Jeongguk, only then he would now be allowed to give him a kiss on his forehead and whisper into his ear that they'll see each other in the evening.

For a moment Taehyung is almost tempted to do so, just to keep the fantasy alive for a few more minutes. He ends up deciding against it; there is a certain level of creepy he won't exceed and kissing his cute, sleeping neighbour who is kind enough to let him sleep here when he’s anxious is just that.

Taehyung is almost out of the apartment when he remembers that he’s out of toothpaste, he figures Jeongguk won’t mind it if he just takes a bit of his, because he really doesn’t want to show up to his interview with morning breath.

He remembers using a tube up yesterday with Jeongguk, but there should be a new one around here somewhere, the only place it could really be is behind the mirror in the little cabinet. And indeed, the toothpaste is in there, along with some deodorant, shaving utensils, lotion and three bottles of perfume.

Victoria's Secret perfume.

If the fantasy of Jeongguk being his boyfriend wasn’t dead before, it sure is now. Nothing is quite as an emotional boner killer as your crush having a girlfriend.

Taehyung squeezes some toothpaste on his finger and closes the cabinet, briefly staring at himself in the mirror before he leaves.

He pointedly ignores the small knot that has settled in his stomach.

It doesn’t leave for the rest of the day, but his interview being a success does help him forget about it for a while. He thinks about texting Jeongguk that it went well, but he never presses send.

Taehyung still ends up at Jeongguk’s door again just four days later.

 

───

 

Jeongguk is glad that Taehyung knocked on his door tonight, he had a rather shitty day at work and spending time with Taehyung always cheers him up. It only dawns on him that he doesn’t know the reason for Taehyung’s need for a body pillow today when his neighbour starts to talk about said reason.

He’s glad that he’s standing at the stove heating up some leftovers with his back towards Taehyung, because like this Taehyung can’t see the sour expression that crawls on Jeongguk's face while listening.

The sound of a DVD case being repeatedly opened and closed fills the air along with Taehyung’s rambling.

Who even still has DVDs? Taehyung apparently.

“I’m not normally this nervous about going on dates, but he did seem like an amazing guy, and he was really cute too. I want to make a good impression. Who knows one day I might have to tell our kids about our first date? Don’t want to sound like a total loser in front of them right.” Taehyung ends his sentence with a laugh, probably expecting Jeongguk to join him, but he doesn’t.

He knows he has no reason to be jealous. Taehyung and him aren't together, and if Taehyung wants to go on dates and swoon over stupid freelance artists with their stupid pop-up shops, he is free to do so.

Fuck it; it's not like people choose to be jealous. Maybe if Taehyung would shut about Mr Amazing for just one second, Jeongguk could try to enjoy the time he still gets to spend with him, before he suddenly has a boyfriend and doesn't need Jeongguk anymore.

Taehyung, however, seems to have no plans of shutting up anytime soon and Jeongguk makes it all the way through his dinner before he snaps.

"That's great Taehyung; I'm really happy for you! I hope you and this guy fall in love right away and start a family and grow old together! Be so kind and invite me to the wedding, now let's start the damn movie."

Jeongguk hears Taehyung murmur something that sounds like 'gee what's gotten up your ass', but he's quiet after that and even puts his head in Jeongguk's lap halfway through the movie.

This leaves Jeongguk asking himself if he would rather watch the screen or the profile of the boy in his lap, whose lips are silently moving along with the dialogue.

You can't really blame Jeongguk if he chooses the second option.

Nights like these are almost perfect to Jeongguk, the only thing that could make it even better was if he and Taehyung were actually together. But of course, Jeongguk knows Taehyung would never see him like that, would never see him as a potential lover and so he just settles for what he has now. An embarrassingly huge crush on his lovely neighbour who probably thinks he's a fairly cuddly and lonely straight guy.

Maybe he should have chosen to pay more attention to the movie instead of bringing his own mood down even further.

When the movie ends not too much later, Taehyung races him to the bathroom, this time losing the fight of who finishes brushing their teeth first.

Jeongguk has almost forgotten about the whole thing when Taehyung brings it up again, his head resting against Jeongguk’s neck and his breath softly ticking the younger.

"If my date tomorrow turns out to be a jerk I'll just come annoy you again. If you think about it, we're pretty much dating already!" Taehyung hits him on the chest lightly and giggles. "You would be the perfect boyfriend for me, too bad you're straight."

Jeongguk's body tenses, but before he can say anything Taehyung yawns, "well I guess it shan't be. Goodnight Gukkie." And with that he drifts off, leaving back a speechless and wide-awake Jeongguk.

 

When he wakes up in the morning, Taehyung isn't there anymore, but there is a yellow sticky note on his fridge, cut into the shape of a heart with a winking face drawn on it.

And Taehyung comes over in the late evening, complaining about how horrible his date went and Jeongguk only feels a little bit bad at his inner satisfaction. Later when Taehyung is sound asleep in his arms, he whispers a silent ‘date me instead' into the locks of his hair.

 

───

 

Jeongguk already knows that it’s Taehyung who’s knocking at his door before he opens, it’s always Taehyung, what he doesn’t know is why he is carrying a ball of fluff in his arms instead of the usual six-pack or bucket of chicken.

“Taehyung did you bring me a fucking puppy to convince me to let you sleep here tonight? You do know I’d let you sleep here even if you didn’t bring anything, right?”

Taehyung grins. "You wish this cutie were for you Gukkie, but no, he is not, and I'm not here to beg you to sleep in your bed tonight."

Jeongguk’s feels his face drop. “You’re not?”

“No, but I am here to ask you to come sleep in my apartment. I’d love to crash at yours again, but I'm watching him for my sister and if he ends up pissing inside I'd rather it was in my apartment than yours."

Taehyung looks at him with an overly confident expression, not even trying to act as if he’s afraid Jeongguk might say no. To be fair, Jeongguk would never say no. “I’ll be over in two minutes, just let me grab my stuff.”

 

Twenty minutes later Jeongguk finds himself on Taehyung’s bed, weakly attempting to keep a small puppy from licking every inch of his face.

“So, how old is he?” Jeongguk asks, giggling as the dog makes another attempt on his lips.

“Who?” Taehyung’s answer comes from the bathroom where he’s currently washing his face.

“The cutie.”

"Eleven weeks I think. She only got him a few days ago but she has some business trip, and my parents are out of town." Taehyung is now standing in the doorway, leaning on it as he watches the two on the bed fondly.

Jeongguk feels his heart growing in size.

“Maybe I should get a dog as well, you know, to have something alive around to keep me company.”

Jeongguk heaves himself up on his elbows and puts on an offended expression. “I’m not alive enough for you?”

Taehyung laughs, turning the bathroom lights off and laying down next to him on the bed. "You are Jeongguk, but I won't always be able to run to you whenever life gets hard, and I need something else to cuddle than my pillow."

Jeongguk now feels his heart shrinking, shrivelling up in his chest. The thought of Taehyung being a less frequent presence in his life is something he doesn’t ever want to have to think about.

“I mean, dogs are far from being as perfect of a cushion as you are, especially if I get a small one, but we’ll make do. Maybe I’ll have to be the cushion for once.”

Jeongguk just hums, turning around onto his stomach so Taehyung won't see the bitterness he can feel sneaking up his neck, burying his face in the little puppy’s fluffy fur as he tries to suppress the uneasiness that’s currently bubbling in his gut.

They end up watching some cartoon Taehyung chooses, and Jeongguk misses most of it. Something with odd jokes and absurd amounts of blood, but Taehyung seems to like it. And if Taehyung has noticed his sudden change in mood, he doesn't mention it.

Jeongguk's eyes are fixed on a point somewhere behind the screen, and his brain doesn't make too much sense of the dialogue he catches.

It’s not news that he wouldn’t be Taehyung’s neighbour forever, but Taehyung actually saying it makes it so much more real. Up until now, he had just blissfully ignored that Taehyung could just move away whenever and then he would be out of Jeongguk's life. Because he's not his boyfriend, he is not his freaking boyfriend, because he's too shy to tell Taehyung that he likes him. Sure, they would text for a bit, and he would see Taehyung maybe once every six months for the first few years – fuck.

All the times he thought of telling Taehyung that he liked him, but in his mind, there was just always still time, still time for him to figure out his stupid problems and when he was finally ready Taehyung would still be there.

But he could just never go through with it. What if Taehyung would be angry at him for not telling him he's gay from the beginning? Would he be uncomfortable about all the times he cuddled up to Jeongguk thinking he was straight? Not that Taehyung would be disgusted with him being gay. Obviously. But what if he felt that Jeongguk took advantage of him?

Taehyung had never shown any real interest in him, of course, he flirted with him, but that was just jokingly, right?

Jeongguk doesn’t know why Taehyung’s words have such an extreme effect on him, but the lump in his throat is getting bigger, and his stomach feels as if it’s trying to turn itself inside out.

At this point, he can't hear any of the dialogue being spoken and his heart is racing. He should probably get out of here before he freaks Taehyung out, the last thing he needs is for him to think he's some oversensitive wimp.

“Uhm, I-I should go,” he exclaims, jumping up.

“Is everything alright?” Confusion is written all over Taehyung’s face.

“Yeah, y-yeah, I just need to go now.”

He grabs his stuff and darts one last awkward look at Taehyung who’s just getting up before he sprints out. Taehyung’s questioning call of his name vanishes as he locks his own door behind himself.

Jeongguk turns his phone off right when he gets back to the safety of his own bedroom, not wanting to be confronted by whatever text he might or might not receive from Taehyung.

Jeongguk knows he's overreacting, but he just can't help it. He's always been like that, messing things up for himself, letting chances fly by just because he's too much of a coward. The fear of possibly getting rejected stronger than his wish to prevail.

He cries himself to sleep that night, hidden away under his blanket, wishing to have Taehyung’s calming scent to breath in and long fingers brushing through his hair.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t turn his phone on when he wakes up, and when he has to leave the house for work he practically sprints out, making sure to not accidentally run into Taehyung.

The phone is still off by the time he comes home again. He doesn’t know if it would be worse to have to turn it on to see a text from a confused Taehyung or turning his phone on to see that he hadn’t written at all.

In the end, he does turn it on just before he goes to sleep. He has three messages from Taehyung; a ‘is everything okay gukkie?’, followed by a simple question mark the next morning and a single sad face from just a few hours ago.

He sends a quick ‘everything’s fine. don’t worry :)’.

 

───

 

Taehyung is sulking. He has been doing so for the last few days.

He hasn't seen Jeongguk for almost a week now, and it sucks. Jeongguk had been weird the last time he saw him. Everything was fine when he came over with the puppy, but somewhere between puppy and watching gory animations, his mood had dropped, so much that storming out without any kind of explanation seemed to be the rational thing to do.

He had answered Taehyung’s worried texts a day later but ignored all the texts Taehyung sent after.

Still, Taehyung doesn't like other people meddling in his own life, and he himself isn't one to pester. If Jeongguk wants to share something with him he will, and if he doesn't Taehyung just has to deal with that.

Doesn't mean he's good at dealing with it.

He has spent most of his day off binging some show, scrolling through social media and then playing mobile games that lost their appeal after a few rounds just to go back to mindlessly scrolling.

Around eleven in the evening his phone finally rings, and Taehyung almost falls off the couch when he rolls over to pick it up. The caller ID shows that it's Jimin and Taehyung swipes to accept the call.

“You sure took your sweet time with calling me back asshole.”

Jimin snorts. “I was working, idiot. Not everybody has the amazing working hours you have.”

Taehyung knows that Jimin often works late at the restaurant, but he still likes to complain whenever he takes longer to answer then usually.

“Anyway, why did you call me earlier?”

Taehyung just sighs, but it seems to be enough for Jimin. “Jeongguk still?”

“Yeah, he’s so–”

Taehyung pauses, but he can't seem to find a fitting adjective.

"I don't even know. I like him so much Jimin. But he still hasn't shown his face around here or even written since last Saturday’s freak-out, and he's probably super straight. There are three fucking Victoria's Secret perfumes in his bathroom and at least two lip balms in every fucking room of his apartment, if that doesn't scream girlfriend, I don't know what does."

Taehyung hears chains rustle and figures that Jimin is probably unlocking his bike. He still can’t believe Jimin went with actual chains and a padlock instead of a regular bicycle lock. “Yeah, because men don’t use lip balm Tae, and for the perfumes, maybe they are his, do I have to remind you that you strictly use body wash labelled for women just because fuck gender norms?”

“Yeah but that’s different Jimin, I’m gay and he’s straight.” Taehyung knows that he is whiny and that his arguments are hardly arguments at all. He also knows Jimin hates when he gets like this, childishly stubborn.

There is a harder edge to his best friend's voice now. "You don't know that Taehyung! You have nothing to back you up on Jeongguk being straight except some perfumes, a girl helping him move in months ago, that you haven’t even seen since, and the fact that statistically speaking more people are straight than gay. That’s all you have.”

Taehyung again just whines in return.

“Okay, you know what, the cute cook slipped me some leftover-sushi again today. I’m coming over. You can whine about your crush and we can eat sushi made by mine alright?”

For the first time today, Taehyung actually feels content and he smiles as he answers. “Yes please.”

Taehyung spends his time waiting with debating if he should clean up before Jimin gets here but then deciding against it. Jimin has seen his apartment in far worse states.

When Jimin finally arrives, after what feels like hours, but what was probably just under twenty minutes, Taehyung hugs him a bit longer than he usually does, breathing in the familiar, warm scent of his best friend.

They spend the night with Taehyung ignoring Jimin’s rational ‘you don’t know jack shit about Jeongguk’s sexuality’ arguments and Jimin ignoring Taehyung telling him that ‘the cute cook is most definitely into you'.

It’s two AM when Taehyung finally drifts off to sleep, cuddled up in bed with Jimin, watching some reality show he would be embarrassed about if it were anybody other than his best friend next to him.

 

───

 

In the other apartment, Jeongguk has been sulking for the last few days as well. He tries just to ignore Taehyung – might as well distance himself before Taehyung can do so – except the walls of his apartment aren't exactly soundproof and ignoring Taehyung when Jeongguk can hear him singing along to some pop song isn't that easy.

So, he tries to drown himself in his work by picking up every shift he possibly can.

The only problem is that making 'home-brewed ice tea' and selling mostly vegan sandwiches isn't that mentally challenging and so his attempts to distract himself from Taehyung remain futile. At least he's getting some money out of his suffering this way.

Most shifts suck and pass by in a blur; the only good ones are the ones when Namjoon is there. If he's honest Namjoon is the only reasons he's still serving gluten-free focaccias to unfriendly thirty-somethings.

Namjoon is well spoken, sharp, clever and has the most adorable dimples when smiling. Jeongguk would definitely be crushing on him if he wasn't head over heels for Taehyung already.

But right now, he almost wishes Namjoon wasn't working.

The elder had spent the last few days carefully coaxing Jeongguk to tell him why he is sulking, and it had taken Namjoon four shifts to break his resolve.

Sadly, he was not on board with Jeongguk's strategy of avoiding Taehyung by aggressively stuffing arugula into sandwiches. Not only that but today was an exceptionally slow morning at the cafe and Namjoon had all the time in the world to lecture him.

"Jeongguk you are behaving like a child."

He bites back his usual remark about how he's already twenty-one. He knows Namjoon isn't teasing him about his age like some of his other friends like to do.

"Taehyung is gay and clearly likes you and guess what, you are also gay and you like Taehyung. I know telling someone you like them is scary, and nobody is asking you to do so just yet, but avoiding him like this is immature of you. He's probably worried sick about what he could have done to be cut off like this."

Jeongguk sighs. He knows Namjoon is right.

"But what if he doesn't like me? You say that he likes me, and he does, but just as a friend. He thinks that I'm straight. What if he cuts me off when he finds out I'm not straight? Maybe I'm his straight-safe-space-friend, the one where he doesn't have to worry about being crushed on."

Namjoon laughs and continues stuffing more oranges into the juicer. Jeongguk lies his head down on his folded arms.

"Just listen to yourself Jeongguk. Straight-safe-space-friends are not a thing. People choose their friends depending on whether they like their personality and get along. Taehyung likes you for you, not because he thinks you’re straight. I doubt he'd cut you off if you confessed to him. Yes, there is always a possibility of him not liking you back, but if that's the case, then you'll finally know, and you’ll move on."

Jeongguk buries his face further into his arms and sighs.

Namjoon moves closer and puts a warm hand on his back. "And Jeongguk, if he'd really shut you out like that after finding out you like him, he's an asshole, and it's not a friendship worth crying over. I'll be right here trash talking him with you if he's rude to you."

Jeongguk twists his head and smiles up at Namjoon. "Thanks man, you're the fucking best."

Namjoon smiles and rubs his back before taking off to clear some tables Jeongguk should have cleared half an hour ago.

And so Jeongguk decides that he will talk to Taehyung tonight.

 

───

 

That evening it's not Taehyung knocking on Jeongguk's door but the other way around. Or at least he’s trying to do so, but without Namjoon's calming palm on his back actually knocking on Taehyung's door seems so much harder. He sent Namjoon a sad smiley face ten minutes ago to which he had gotten a glittery ‘you can do it’ sticker as an answer.

Every time he lifts his hand to knock he lowers it just as quickly. This goes on for about five minutes and right when he decides to just go back to his own apartment someone enters from the stairwell.

“Jeongguk?”

Of course, it’s Taehyung, who else would it be.

Taehyung looks surprised. He's wearing that one black hoodie Jeongguk had lent him a few weeks back when he was practically shivering while they were watching a movie.

Taehyung had insisted on washing it before returning it, but now Jeongguk doubts the piece of clothing ever made it into Taehyung's washing machine. He hopes this means Taehyung isn’t too angry at him.

“Um, hi.”

"What are you doing here, you know, in front of my door?" His voice sounds colder than Jeongguk is used to, more distant.

"I was hoping we could talk. I know I've been ignoring your messages for the past week and I feel terrible, believe me."

Taehyung's walks over, his face still looks somewhat stoic, but he leaves the door open after he enters.

Jeongguk's heart is beating up his throat. It's finally the moment of truth, either Taehyung does actually like him back or he will not want to see him anymore. Well maybe it's not entirely as black and white as Jeongguk makes it out to be, but still, he thinks he's more than allowed to be nervous.

Jeongguk sits down on the couch, hoping for Taehyung to join him but he seems to have other plans, just standing on the other side of the coffee table. It’s probably him keeping his defences up. Fair enough.

Jeongguk’s really wanted to tell Taehyung the truth today, but now that he’s sitting here, getting the smallest taste of what it feels like to be on Taehyung’s bad side he can’t do it.

“I’m really sorry about ignoring you like that. I just had some stuff I had to figure out.”

Words have never been Jeongguk’s forte, especially when he is nervous.

“I don’t expect you to tell me what was going on Jeongguk, but please don’t just ghost me like that. If you need some space I’ll gladly give you some, but I was really worried about you,” Taehyung says when he realises Jeongguk is already done talking.

“I know, and I won’t do it again. I’m sorry, everything is good now.”

Taehyung still doesn’t look too convinced, but he doesn’t say anything and when the silence gets too much for Jeongguk to bear he says the only thing he can think of.

“Can I sleep here tonight?”

This does get a reaction form Taehyung, and he seems surprised, but not unpleasantly so.

“Of course, you can, who would I be to deny you such a request after crashing at yours almost weekly.”

And with that everything is back to normal.

They drink green tea, laugh over scared contestants of some weird reality show, race each other to brush their teeth and fall asleep in each other's arms.

Jeongguk is holding onto Taehyung somewhat tighter than usual, just to make sure he's really there again, breathing in the scent of his shampoo, listening to his breath evening out as he falls asleep.

 

Jeongguk thinks he should almost be used to it by now, but it never fails to excite him to have Taehyung sleeping next to him when he wakes up, a long, tanned leg fitted between his own and slender arms wrapped around Jeongguk’s middle.

He can feel Taehyung's breath against his chest and how his hand weakly twitches in his sleep. He must be dreaming. Cute.

Jeongguk smiles softly and closes his eyes again, he doesn’t know what exactly it is, but something about Taehyung dreaming is just so endearing to him.

It's stupid really, everybody dreams, but with Taehyung it's somehow so much better, he just hopes the elder isn’t having a nightmare he’d feel kind of like a jerk in that case.

It doesn't take too long until his breathing slows down again, and he drifts back off to sleep.

 

When Jeongguk wakes up for the second time that morning he’s in bed alone but he knows Taehyung can’t be too far, it’s his apartment after all. He just lies there for a few more minutes before the promise of a sleepy Taehyung lures him out of bed.

He finds him in the kitchen. Taehyung is sitting on the counter, happily spooning the pulp out of half a kiwi.

His hair is dishevelled and sticking up in cute tufts, half of his chest exposed, the top couple of buttons of his shirt undone. He's wearing one of his matching sets of silk pyjamas again. The ones he never actually wears to bed.

Taehyung smiles around his spoon when he sees Jeongguk and utters a ‘morning’. Jeongguk smiles back, the action making him all the more aware how puffed up his face feels.

He heads towards the fridge to get a bottle of water and goes to lean against the table vis-à-vis from Taehyung, relishing the way the cold liquid feels against his slightly sore throat.

Taehyung is humming a melody under his breath and his heels are lightly kicking against the cabinets. He may still look sleepy with his puffy eyes, but he seems to be much more awake than Jeongguk.

He studies Jeongguk's face for a moment. "You have a loose lash on your left cheek. Make a wish."

Jeongguk pushes his bottom lip out to blow up his cheek, but he must have missed the lash because Taehyung only laughs. "Come here."

Jeongguk is moving before he even registers it, the water now forgotten. Taehyung spreads his legs wider open and pulls Jeongguk between them by his shoulders.

Jeongguk stares up at him, holding his breath, as Taehyung's eyes are focused on the stray lash he's picking up with long fingers and he takes this opportunity to once again just admiring how beautiful he is.

Jeongguk feels his hands awkwardly hang beside him and he lifts them to Taehyung's thighs, in what he hopes to be an innocent gesture, placing them right above the knees.

It’s just for convenience purposes, nothing else. It’s not because Taehyung's thighs are one of his absolute favourite things in the world.

Jeongguk can't help it but to slightly squeeze, just wanting to know if they are really as soft as they look.

Taehyung stops his fumbling and locks eyes with Jeongguk, his fingers are still on his cheek and maybe Jeongguk should ask himself how long it could possibly take to remove a loose lash, but he doesn’t.

Taehyung’s eyes are curious as he watches him, but he does nothing to stop Jeongguk when he applies pressure again.

It's suddenly too intense and Jeongguk drops his gaze, staring down at how perfect his hands look on Taehyung's thighs, all squeezed up by the hard surface of the counter, straining against the soft fabric, looking so much thicker than when he's just standing.

The sane part of Jeongguk's mind is screaming at him to stop right now, but he can't help himself, he lets his hands wander further up the silk-clad skin. Jeongguk smiles to himself when Taehyung twitches slightly as his hands wander on to more sensitive territory.

He can still feel Taehyung’s eyes boring into the top of his bowed head, but he only says something when Jeongguk’s hands arrive at the top of his thighs, each thumb curving down towards his crotch.

His voice is almost a whisper. “What are you doing?”

Jeongguk doesn’t know what he’s doing.

The skin that was so pleasantly warm under the tips of his fingers just seconds ago now burns, and he pulls his hands back. “Uh, nothing- I should- I should go. See you.” And with that he’s out the door, once again running from confrontation, not even stopping to get his phone from the couch where he left it the night before.

Or, as he realises, his keys. Shit.

He is also still in just his boxers and the shirt he slept in.

Maybe he could sneak back in and get his stuff and then just hide in his bed for the rest of his life, that sounds like a good plan.

“Forget something?”

Taehyung is leaning against his doorframe, Jeongguk’s keys dangling from an outstretched finger.

“N-no?”

“Just get back in here, I’m not giving you your keys until we talk, you’re not running and ignoring me again,” Taehyung says with an unusually stern voice, resulting in Jeongguk following him back to where he just ran from, because how much of a choice does he have?

At least this time Taehyung sits on the couch with him, hands folded in his lap, posture perfectly straight and still. He looks stern, but Jeongguk can’t help but think how gorgeous he is, how the morning sun lets him glow, fine particles of gold dancing over his skin, enveloping him in a delicate shine.

He hopes this won’t be the last time he gets to see him up close like this, the last time Taehyung looks at him with still some fondness in his eyes.

Jeongguk’s intestines decide to practice their funny little dance again, coiling and forming knots where there shouldn’t be, his own skin not glowing but crawling with anxiety.

Maybe Taehyung hoped Jeongguk would rise to speak, but when he doesn’t Taehyung does it himself, his voice tired but not hostile.

“Look, Jeongguk, I know that you have a girlfriend, but– “

"I don't have a girlfriend," he feels bad for cutting him off, but Jeongguk can't bear to have him think so any longer and if Taehyung ends up disliking him that's just how it is. But Jeongguk knows he won't be able to continue pretending to just want to be friends when he got a taste of how it would be to actually have Taehyung too many times.

Taehyung looks a bit taken aback by how Jeongguk practically shouts this at him, but he recollects himself and starts again.

“Uhm okay, well then I just want you to know that you shouldn’t have to be scared if you want to explore your sexuality and that– “

“I don’t need to.” Shit, good going he thinks to himself.

Taehyung now looks frustrated, lips tightly press together, his nails scratching against the back of his hands. “First of all, can you please let me at least finish my sentence? And second of all, correct me if I’m wrong but you were just feeling me up in my kitchen three minutes ago and if I can speak from my own personal experience that is definitely not something straight guys do.”

Jeongguk already has his mouth open, but Taehyung’s eyes let him know that he better not dare interrupting him again, and Jeongguk closes his mouth, feeling like a ten-year-old boy again, getting scolded by his Mother for dirtying his Sunday clothes while playing outside.

“Look, Jeongguk there is nothing wrong with questioning your own sexuality and maybe even experimenting around. It doesn’t matter if you’ve thought you were straight your whole life. Please, just– don’t ignore it and try to lock it away. It won’t work, believe me. I’m not trying to denounce you or something, I just really care for you Jeongguk and I want you to be happy.”

Jeongguk almost stumbles over his own words, when it looks like Taehyung is finally allowing him to speak. The words that he wasn’t able to say for the past few months now suddenly desperate to come out, bubbling up his throat like boiling liquid.

“I’m not questioning my sexuality Taehyung.”

Frustration makes a reappearance on Taehyung's face; he looks dejected.

"No! You don't understand. I'm not questioning my sexuality because I know that I’m gay, Tae. I’m so fucking gay.”

Taehyung looks dumbfounded now, but he doesn’t say anything, his eyes far bigger than before, head raised in question.

It’s now or never.

“I’m gay and I have the biggest, hugest, most ginormous crush on you Taehyung.”

Now it’s finally out and Jeongguk holds his breath, not knowing what kind of reaction to expect, Taehyung’s face still frozen. The air is thick, and he almost chokes on it when he breathes in.

“But all those Victoria’s Secret perfumes?” Taehyung’s voice has risen to a higher octave than usual, almost making him sound panicked.

“Uhm, yeah those are mine,” he mumbles, lowering his head, feeling the way his cheeks burn from how fast he blushed.

“Oh,” he’s silent for a few seconds, “Oh!

Suddenly there are delicate fingers on his chin and his head is brought back up. Taehyung is closer now, kneeling right in front of him, his eyes glassy and lips just the tiniest bit open, shiny from his tongue flicking over them.

“And you really have a crush on me?”

There is no use in denying it now, not that he’d want to, it’s nerve-racking to finally have it out there, but he’s glad.

“Yeah, pretty much since the day I moved in. And when I got to know you better I realised that you are the most amazing person I have ever met, so funny and nice, and then you asked to sleep in my bed and fuck how was I supposed to do that. I was afraid you wouldn’t be able to fall asleep because of how fast and loud my heart was beating, but you kept coming back.”

A gentle smile has made its way on Taehyung’s face, his hand leaving Jeongguk’s chin in favour of cradling his cheek, thumb softly brushing over his skin.

“I’m so dumb,” it’s not much louder than a whisper, a mere breath of air.

And that’s the only thing Taehyung says before he leans in, tilting his head and places his lips against Jeongguk’s.

Is this really happening right now? Is Taehyung really kissing him?

When Jeongguk just sits there, motionless Taehyung pulls back, his pretty features tainted by uncertainty. Not sure how to react after not being kissed back, hurt flashing across his eyes.

Would shell-shocked be too crass of a term to use for what Jeongguk is feeling right now? He doesn’t think so, no, but he knows he can’t bear to see Taehyung like this for one more second and this time it’s him diving in.

It’s not quite as tender as the first one, Jeongguk leaning in so fast, afraid he won't get another chance, but Taehyung’s lips are so soft and perfectly pliant, a pleasant firmness against his, reassuring him, but it’s all too soon that Taehyung pulls back once more.

“Just so I’ve mentioned it, I have a huge crush on you as well, and asking you to be my pillow was just a ploy to get closer to you. Although I really do sleep better with you there," and with that he dips back in, more determined this time, nipping on Jeongguk's bottom lip, drinking in the little sounds that spill from his lips.

He pushes Jeongguk against the backrest of the couch, giving himself more space to swing a leg over his lap and place himself there, his thighs framing Jeongguk’s narrow hips as he licks into his mouth more desperately.

Taehyung’s hands are at his chest, holding onto Jeongguk's shirt, letting out a needy sound just so that Jeongguk can suck it right back in.

“You don’t know how for long I've wanted to do this," Taehyung breaths and Jeongguk can't do anything but admire. Admire how dazed he looks while he's biting on his reddening lips, how flushed his cheeks are, how his eyes shyly flick from Jeongguk’s lips to his eyes and down again.

“Yeah, same here.”

He pulls Taehyung back in, his hands desperately searching for purchase and finding it in Taehyung's waist. With every small noise he's able to draw from him a new fire ignites somewhere in Jeongguk’s veins. He loves the way Taehyung holds on to his neck, his grip tightening every once in a while, the way he kisses in some foreign pattern, following a cadence only he can hear, soft whines spilling from his lips.

Jeongguk’s hands start to wander, from his waist to his hips, around his thighs, and down to his ass, that glorious ass he's so often thought about late at night with a hand down his pants and a guilty conscience.

And Taehyung’s ass clad in silk is great, but Taehyung’s ass in nothing? That sounds even better to Jeongguk and so he slips his hands below the fabric, gabbing however much he can, drawing a sultry moan from Taehyung as he presses his forehead against Jeongguk’s.

“Wait, isn’t this too fast? Are you sure about this?”

“If by this you mean wanting to fuck you, no, it’s not too fast, you’re all I’ve been thinking about while jerking off for months now. You and that fucking ass of yours, and your thighs, god your thighs, wanted to know how good your golden skin would look with my cum on it.”

Taehyung lets out a sound that’s a mix between a surprised laugh and a moan.

“Fuck, you’re over that whole being shy thing, huh? Not that I’m complaining, it’s fucking hot, keep talking like that and I’ll come in my pants without you even touching me,” he groans, punctuating his sentence with a roll of his hips, right on top of Jeongguk’s hardening cock, just the two thin layers of clothes separating them.

The drag feels so good, his cock weakly twitching when he feels how Taehyung is already half hard as well.

“Fuck, do that again.”

And Taehyung does, taking up a slow rhythm, fingers curling around Jeongguk’s nape as he leans in to whisper into his ear. “You like that? When I rub my ass on you? Gives you an idea of how good I’d look bouncing on your cock, doesn’t it?”

“Jesus,” Jeongguk’s head drops back, mouth falling open, as Taehyung continues rocking down, “c-can we take this to the bedroom?”

“Hmm, I don’t know, can you carry me?” Taehyung moans, when he rolls his hips down particularly hard, Jeongguk is already leaking into his boxers, a treacherous wet spot forming.

Jeongguk isn’t too sure of what he’s still capable off in this state but fuck him if he won’t try.

A bright giggle fills the air as he hauls Taehyung up by his thighs, the silk of his pyjamas almost too slippery to hold on to, but he manages. He tries not to focus on how he can feel Taehyung’s erection pressing into his stomach, rubbing against his abs through the shirt. The journey to the bedroom is not quite as graceful as he had hoped it would be, but they get there in one piece.

He lays Taehyung down on the rumpled sheets, crawling over him, capturing his lips in a messy wet kiss, one hand holding himself up as the other wanders under Taehyung’s shirt, exploring the dips and curves of his tummy.

“Take it off,” Taehyung whines, hands weakly pulling at buttons.

“You want me to do it?”

“Yeah.”

Jeongguk can do that. He undoes the few buttons that are still closed and pushes away as much of the shirt as he can, considering Taehyung is laying on his back.

“Love your tummy, it’s so soft,” Jeongguk is already mapping out everywhere where he wants to leave marks, make pretty bruises appear.

“You can stare later,” Taehyung reaches up, hand curling around Jeongguk’s hard cock through his boxers, giving it a firm stroke and licking his lips as he does so, "because I do remember there being some mentioning of you fucking me."

“Yeah, definitely,” Jeongguk pulls his shirt off, followed by his boxers, Taehyung making an appreciative noise at his naked form, dragging two fingers over the silk along his own cock. Jeongguk kneels on the bed again, fingers joining Taehyung’s in tracing before he tugs Taehyung’s pants off as well, the silk slides against his legs smoothly, his cock slapping up against his tummy.

Taehyung has a nice dick he thinks, and he definitely wouldn’t mind sucking it, but it seems that Taehyung has a similar idea because seconds later Jeongguk is on his back, Taehyung sitting on his lower thighs, both hands slowly stroking him as his lips place a wet kiss to the tip.

This sends ripples of pleasure up Jeongguk’s spine, an embarrassing sound leaving his lips when Taehyung presses his tongue against his cock, licking up a long stripe, before engulfing the head in warmth, tongue flicking over the slit.

Taehyung then continues to take more of him in, wet heat sliding down his hard cock and Jeongguk brings his fist up to his mouth to bite down on it, head thrown back and eyes closed.

Taehyung's mouth is heavenly, lips a tight-stretched circle around him, bobbing up and down and when one of his hands sneaks down to fondle Jeongguk's balls, he almost loses it.

"If you want me to fuck you, you need to stop right now, or I'll come down your throat," Jeongguk whines, not wanting him to stop, but knowing that he's too close to the edge already.

Taehyung pulls back with a wet pop and even has the decency to lick his lips after, a devious smile on his face. “We’ll save that for another time.”

He looks like some sex demon Jeongguk thinks, with his ruffled hair,  shiny red lips, silk shirt hanging off his shoulders and his cock lightly bouncing between his legs when he scotches up Jeongguk's thighs.

"If you weren't so adamant on fucking me, I would ride one of your thighs now," he says arching his back, so his own cock rubs against Jeongguk's, letting out an absolute obscene sigh. "I would make you watch me, not allowed to touch, rubbing my pretty cock all up and down your thigh, twitching and whimpering your name."

For a few seconds Jeongguk really wonders if fucking Taehyung right this instance is worth missing a show like that, but then he remembers all the times he had had to awkwardly navigate his crotch away from Taehyung's ass when they woke up spooning, and yes, it's worth it.

Jeongguk grabs his thighs again, fingers curling around the thickest part, to pull Taehyung further up.

"Want me to finger you or do you wanna do it yourself?"

"Want you to do it," he whispers, leaning over Jeongguk to get lube and a condom from his bedside table

“This will probably be easier if I lay down,” he chuckles.

“Yeah, probably.”

Jeongguk still can’t fully comprehend this is happening.

Taehyung gets off him, Jeongguk instantly missing the weight on top that grounded him. Taehyung lays down beside him, Jeongguk sitting up to place himself between his legs which he is slowly spreading open, putting on a show Jeongguk.

Jeongguk shakily squeezes a generous amount of lube on his fingers and warms it up a bit, Taehyung props his knees up, pulling one closer to his chest to give Jeongguk easier access.

He slowly drags his finger down from his balls to his hole before he pushes the first finger in, Taehyung gasps at the sudden intrusion, back lightly arching up from the mattress, hands fisting the sheets when Jeongguk starts pushing it in and out.

"More please," he moans and if Jeongguk's cock weren't aching already, he'd maybe tease him just a tad bit longer, but not right now. He pushes in a second finger, thrusting them in and out, searching around until he brushes against the spot that makes Taehyung gasp, his knuckles white from how hard he's clenching the blanket.

Jeongguk gets lost in it, the way Taehyung stretches around him when he keeps pumping his fingers, little gaps and moans here and there when it feels particularly good.

"Fuck, one more please, I can take it."

"You sure?"

"Yes, please, please just– "

And Jeongguk complies, pulling the two fingers out and adding a third one when pushing back in, aiming right for the spot that makes him see stars this time.

Taehyung looks so debauched already; mouth ripped open in a silent scream, eyes rolled back, a light sheen of sweat covering his body.

Taehyung tries to roll his hips down on the fingers, wanting to feel them as deep as possible, to make them go faster than the pace Jeongguk is setting. His desperate little whimpers fill the air, cock leaking where it lays against his tummy, still untouched.

Jeongguk hits his spot again, this time keeping his finger pressed up to it, Taehyung stumbling over whatever words he's murmuring, his thigs shaking.

“Oh my god, please– fuck, just– please– “

Jeongguk gives his own cock a slow tug at his pleading, thumb brushing over the head, collecting his precome and spreading it down his length.

"I'm ready, come on Gukkie," his eyes open up again, but just half the way, still hooded, and he looks so fucking gone, heavy gaze clouded by pleasure, his breath fast and ragged.

Taehyung's hands blindly search for the condom until they find it somewhere between the sheets. He tries to open it, but his hands won’t fully obey him and Jeongguk takes it from him, ripping the foil with his teeth and easing it over his cock, hissing at the friction.

Taehyung meanwhile squeezes out some more lube, his shiny fingers reaching for Jeongguk to spread it over his dick. He's so sensitive, breath spiking at the way Taehyung's soft hand strokes him.

When Taehyung is happy with the amount of lube, he lies back down, and Jeongguk doesn't know if he's ready for what's about to come.

"Fuck me, Jeongguk."

And how could anybody ever be ready to hear those words coming out of Taehyung’s mouth?

Jeongguk gently pulls Taehyung's ass closer, making sure he's still comfortable before he guides his cock towards his hole. The pressure of Taehyung’s rim almost too much when he pushes against it, and when it gives in, his head pushing through and the rest of his hard cock slowly following he has to pause, making sure he doesn’t come already.

He leans down to kiss Taehyung, licking into his mouth, chasing those sweet tiny moans.

Taehyung is so tight around him and it feels fucking amazing as he keeps pushing in further. Taehyung's thighs weakly shake and he rolls his hips down, urging Jeongguk to go faster.

“Fuck.”

When Jeongguk is finally in all the way and he lowers himself down to his elbows, kissing at Taehyung's neck, teeth dragging along his collarbones.

"Move please," Taehyung whimpers, trying to fuck himself on Jeongguk's cock in desperate little movements, his hands latching around Jeongguk’s neck.

He slowly pulls out, enjoying the delicious drag of his cock against Taehyung’s walls, only to push back in faster, ripping a throaty moan from Taehyung, nails digging into his nape.

"Does it feel good?"

"So good Gukkie, you fuck me so good."

Jeongguk's chest swells at the praise; he almost can't believe that it's all him that got Taehyung looking so fucked out below, all flushed cheeks and heavy breaths.

He rolls his hip again, slowly building up a steady pace, hips snapping against Taehyung’s ass. His face still buried in the crook of Taehyung’s neck, absently nibbling at the skin between heavy breaths. His thrusts are quick and sharp, fucking into him with precision, he wants Taehyung to come before him, make sure he feels good.

Jeongguk takes Taehyung's dick in his hand, stroking it, thumb pressing against the slit, squeezing the head, as his thrusts get faster, the obscene sound of skin slapping against skin filling the air as he tries to hit that spot inside of Taehyung and after a few more thrusts he succeeds, Taehyung arching up from the bed, thighs shaking where they are wrapped around Jeongguk's hips.

"There, right there– fuck, just like that!"

Jeongguk picks up the pace even further, determined to make Taehyung come, to push him over the brink into a sea of white, blinding pleasure. Jeongguk hopes Taehyung will come soon because he feels so hot and tight around him and Jeongguk doesn't know how much longer he can hold out.

He jerks him off as he fucks into him, Taehyung taking chocked off breaths, not being able to keep his eyes open, and then he comes, spurting white on his tummy, walls tightening around Jeongguk, his feet pressing into his ass, locking him in. Jeongguk fucks him through it as good as he can with the legs holding on to him until Taehyung weakly tugs his hand away from his dick, oversensitive. Jeongguk follows soon after, head falling against Taehyung’s neck as he comes, groaning, hips faltering.

His breath is going fast, blood rushing in his ears from how hard he just came.

"You fucked me so well Gukkie, made me feel so good,” Taehyung whispers, fingers brushing through his hair, nails softly scratching at his nape.

Jeongguk just wants to collapse against Taehyung’s chest, letting the afterglow glow out, but he knows better, he doesn’t want Taehyung to feel all sticky and gross in a minute. He kisses Taehyung messily before he sits up, both of them hissing when he pulls out.

He takes the condom off and knots it up before he puts it on the nightstand, it's disgusting, but he really can't be bothered to leave the bed right now. He grabs his shirt from the floor, it should be good enough for now to clean up Taehyung's come, and they can shower later.

Taehyung sighs happily when he cleans him up, first the mess on his tummy and then as much of the lube between his legs as he can get. The shirt gets thrown to the floor, another thing they can worry about later.

Jeongguk curls up to Taehyung, pulling him against his chest, nose buried in his hair.

And that’s how they fall asleep, even though it’s still morning, the shadows thrown by the blinds slowly travelling over the walls, Taehyung's legs intertwined with Jeongguk's and his nose against his neck.

 

When Jeongguk wakes up this time he’s not alone. Taehyung is perched on his chest, the back of his head towards Jeongguk as his finger trace an invisible pattern on Jeongguk’s skin.

Jeongguk just lies there and enjoys it for a while.

“Sometimes I’d wake up in the morning and hope that you being my cute neighbour was just a dream and that we were actually dating. Wasn’t hard to do so when I woke up with you in my arms.”

Taehyung’s fingers slow down and he turns his head around so he can look at Jeongguk.

“Of course you weren’t, but I took everything I could get, even if it was cheering you up after a bad date, wanting nothing more to take you on a date myself and make it perfect for you.”

Taehyung’s fingers stop entirely this time, pushing himself up on his elbow and staring down at Jeongguk's face. For a while he just stares, his thumb brushing over Jeongguk's bottom lip before he dips down and kisses him. It's a soft kiss, so tender and gentle it coaxes a soft sigh from Jeongguk when Taehyung pulls back. 

“I can’t believe I fell in love with such a sap.” Taehyung grins as Jeongguk feels his cheeks heat up. “But I get it. You know sometimes I liked to pretend that you were my boyfriend too, especially early in the morning when you were still asleep.”

Jeongguk is still hung up on the thing he said before and he can’t help when his lips stretch into a satisfied smile. “You fell in love with me huh? Does that mean you want me to be your boyfriend or something? Do I finally get to tell the whole world that you are mine?”

Taehyung dips down again, smiling against Jeongguk’s lips as he kisses him.

“Gross.”

 

───

 

“Taehyung, how many times do I have to tell you. Don’t bother knocking.”

His boyfriend beams at him.

“Can’t help it, old habits die hard.”

“I don’t even know why we still have separate apartments you sleep here every night anyway.”

Taehyung takes an exaggerated breath, “is this how you ask me to move in with you? No roses or anything?”

Jeongguk gives him no chance to blabber on, pulling him in for a kiss, sighing against his lips as he kicks the door shut behind them.

 

Later that night when he’s sitting on the couch, Taehyung’s head in his lap, listening to him talk about his day he feels overwhelmed with how in love he is, unbelieving that he is allowed to call this stunning man his boyfriend.

And if Jeongguk spends the rest of his days trying to make Taehyung smile as big as he is right now he’s alright with that, more than alright.