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December 29th, 2038

 

The snow is the thickest it has been in years. It's only his luck that he's out cold and alone on a day like this. The wind rustles his clothes and he has to tug on his jacket to keep in snug on his body. No one was out on the street, only the occasional car zooming through the snow.

Jungkook doesn't know where he is going. He never did know. He only follows the stone paths through the city. He's not lost, just wandering with no destination.

He stands on a dead street in Daegu, dark and lonely. No street lamps guide him and no house shines its lights for him. Jungkook lost his phone weeks ago and his flashlight is dead in one of his bags many pockets.

He knows this street. Its Spring Day Street, a completely misleading name on a day like this. When the sun shines and the grass is green, it lives up to the name. There are always flowers blooming and birds singing to the melody of the flowing winds and children's laughter. Jungkook remembers coming here in his younger days with that little blonde boy and his shy younger brother and exploring the playgrounds structures and pushing each other on the swings as fast and hard as they could. He always had… fun.

Fun. It feels like such a foreign thought. When is the last time he had fun? He doesn't know. It can't be recent. Maybe it was the last time he saw that little blonde boy ten years ago. Sometimes, he still misses him and the happiness he would radiate wherever he went. And, he’ll always remember his younger brother that would watch, face hidden behind a pair of sweater paws and his hair long enough to shade his eyes. He used to feel free.

Now, that once new playground is falling apart from misuse and the grass is no longer green with bright flowers littered about. The snow covers it in thick layers, soft on his feet. The wind is too strong for those calm spring breezes he longs for.

Jungkook decides it’s time to stop for the night and ignore the overwhelming nostalgia this area brings him. He walks to the nearest bench and settles down. He hasn't gotten much sleep, he gets too nervous that someone may attack him or take the useless shit he kept in his bag. He doesn't know why anyone would do that, but better safe than sorry.

It gets colder and the snow gets harder. The temperature could not have dropped any lower. It’s cold enough and he even heard that it’s supposed to be heating up soon. Well, maybe not heating up, but it won't be absolutely freezing to the point where Jungkook feels that he’ll freeze to death.

He digs out his thin blanket and covers himself from the shoulders down. His pants are getting wet from the snow and he's now sure that it wasn't a good idea to rest. He should keep going, maybe find someone willing to hire a waste of space like him. No one wants someone completely incapable of basic human functions. Damn, he's so weak.

He sits until the snow becomes unbearable so his vision is blurry and he has lost track of time. He feels his body shift and his eyes hut. He feels like he's going to fall so he rests his head on his bag for support. He can deal with the wet contents of his bag tomorrow.

He's tired, knows he can feel sleep creeping up on him, but the cold continues to catch up to him. He can't even open his eyes because he hasn't slept in days. He internally cries, knowing he isn't worth the real, physical tears.

Hours must have passed. The snow has died down and there was a huge spike in the temperature during the last hour. Jungkook was able to sleep for a bit and feels better than he has in days. It must be the next day, just before the sunrise since it's still dark, but he can see the hints of light peeking up.

Jungkook’s body is still frozen and he's barely able to move to grab the thicker coat hiding in his bag. He manages though, arms shaking as he forces them to move and wrap himself in the large winter jacket. It’s damp from the snow seeping inside through his sleep. He doesn't even want to think about any of the other contents in there.

He decides to wait for the sun to fully rise up so he’s able to walk through the streets with some sort of guide. He hopes he can find a place with cheap breakfast options. He hasn't eaten in days, well, only two days, and he knows he can go more, but he feels an overwhelming urge to gorge on sweets like he used to do after long fights with his parents or stressful days at school. He knows he has a couple of dollars in his wallet, enough to enjoy a nice meal to last him for the next couple days. Then, he can stop by the grocery store and pick up some cheap foods with his leftover money to last him a month. After that, he’ll have to find some side jobs out on the street to salvage a couple of bucks. Sometimes he wishes he wasn't so stubborn when he turned down the money his dad would offer him.

He goes to stand when he sees the sun completely peek out in the distance, but he wobbles. He hadn't noticed the stinging numbness torturing his legs. It’s a mixture from the limited movement during sleep and the snow and freezing wind that hugged him throughout the night. His thighs ache when he begins walking once again. He moves forward, can feel the strike of pain in each step he takes down the fluff covered pavement.

There's a coffee shop he used to visit down the street when he was younger. He saw it last night on his way to the bench and he misses that hot chocolate he used to get every day after school in the winter and the chocolate chip cookie shakes he could down in the summer. His mouth waters at the sugary treat so close, yet so far from his lips. He can't help himself when his numb legs move on their own to the coffee shop.

He's surprised to find the shop almost dead. There's only an old couple enjoying tea and pastries huddled up at a corner table and a college student typing away on his laptop with a coffee off to his left. Before he goes up to the counter, he checks out his wallet, drenched in melted snow. He has enough, hopefully. Twenty seven dollars should be enough to grab a short stack of pancakes and a sugary hot chocolate. He steals the ones and hopes he can save the twenty dollar bill for a trip to the grocery store before he has to go out and find another way to get some money.

He looks up to the employee after he knows his order. “Could I get a medium hot chocolate with extra chocolate, extra whip cream, and chocolate drizzle on top and a short stack-”

“Of chocolate chip pancakes with butter, maple syrup, extra whip cream with chocolate drizzle, powdered sugar and a cup of chocolate chips on the side. Anything else I can get for you?” Jungkook freezes. No way someone can just guess that.

“Yes, thank you… How did you know?” Jungkook asks. The boy behind the counter shrugs.

“You said it out loud.” Understandable. But know he’s just embarrassed. Jungkook can feel his taste buds spike and he hasn't even paid for the meal. He hasn't had this much sugar in ten years. He's been living off dirt cheap packaged food for months that tastes like shit. He feels like a little kid who has just convinced his parents to take him to McDonald's.

“Okay, that’ll be seven dollars and fifty cents,” he says, his hand extending for Jungkook to put his money on his palm. Jungkook stiffens up to dig through his bag and his wallet for any loose change. When he realizes he's out of luck, he sighs and pulls out the twenty. It doesn't make much of a difference, but he still would’ve felt better to have a twenty on him.

“It’s not a problem, I’ll cover the rest for you.” Jungkook feels incredibly rude. He can't just go into a store without enough money and have an employee pay his bill. He's fucking useless.

“You don't have to!” Jungkook exclaims. The boy smiles at him, a customer service smile, probably, but it's hard for Jungkook to tell.

“It’s only fifty cents,” the boy says, accepting the crumpled, damp ones from his shaking hands. “Go take a seat and I'll bring that right out for you.”    

Jungkook isn't going to fight it. He knows he doesn't deserve it, but he wants it and he's too weak to fight it. He can let himself relish in the kindness of this employee for once.

“Okay, thank you.” Jungkook steps away from the counter and scans for a table. He chooses one by the large glass windows that gives him a view of the passing cars and the rain that's starting to fall. He lightly curses to himself when the rain becomes a small downpour. It will pass in only a few hours, but it will still give him trouble once he heads out,

Moments pass and a different boy comes out with a tray with his sugary pancakes in the center and his hot chocolate in the right corner. He licks his lips and thanks the black haired boy, who gives him a bright smile.

He ends up staring at a tray for a whole minute before digging in. He never remembered it being this good. He moans at the taste. His tongue tingles once the scorching chocolate reaches his lips and flows down his throat. The whipped cream coats his lips and leaves some on his upper chin.

He laughs. When is the last time he's laughed? Has to be months ago. He feels good.

Once he finishes the meal, he picks up the tray and brings it back up to the counter. The blonde boy thanks him and bids him a good day. Jungkook nods and manages a “you too” as he heads to the door. Once the wind hits him, he's reminded of his reality. He was able to live a bit, but after living for even just a second, he can't go back. He's going to cry. No, he can't. He promised himself in the beginning that he won't.  “He's not going to. Jungkook goes back inside.

The blonde boy looks back up and seems surprised to see him again. Jungkook runs over to him, practically falling over the counter, making the employee back up. “C-can I help you?”    

“Are you hiring?” he asks, almost out of breath. His heart rate increases. Why is he so nervous? He shouldn't be.  He's had jobs before.

“Let me go check with my manager…” and the boy walks away. Jungkook waits patiently until a woman walks out of the backroom. She's young but older than him. Maybe a little older than the blonde employee who fetched her from the back room. Her hair is long and brown and the uniform gives her a professional aura. She meets Jungkook on the other side of the counter and they move to the side to discuss.

“I'm Kim Eunseo. Park Jimin said you’re interested in the job?” her voice is deep and smooth. It makes Jungkook shiver. He’s never heard a female voice that deep.

“Yes, I'm Jeon Jungkook. I was hoping there was an opening?” he says, more of a question than anything. He manages to keep his voice steady and he feels proud. He’s making a decent first impression. If he's to deal with customers on a daily basis, he needs to have a steady voice and make her believe that he doesn't have trouble talking to people.

Eunseo nods to herself, leaning over to the blonde, Park Jimin, he assumes. Jimin walks to the back room and comes back out with a stack of paperwork. He sets them down in Eunseo’s hands and leaves for his spot back at the counter.

“Usually, we would be a lot more professional with interviews, but I'll keep this short. Do you have experience in this field?” she asks, tapping the table with her pencil. Jungkook gulps.

“I-I’ve worked in customer service before, but never in a coffee shop setting,” Jungkook says. Eunseo hums and pushes the papers towards him.

“Alright, sign this and I'll look it over in the office out back. Ask Jimin to bring you back when you’re done and we’ll discuss pay and schedule.” Then she walks off, leaving Jungkook with her pencil.

Jungkook is still frozen. How did he land a job so easily? It doesn't make any sense. He shakes as he reaches over for the pencil she left for him and begins to write. He forgets everything when he looks down at the questions. What is his name again?    

He’s able to calm himself down again, and forgets the struggles he’s experiencing. He manages fine. The questions aren't too bad. He puts his parent's house as his address and his mother’s phone number when it asks for his number. He’ll explain he doesn't have a phone later.

It doesn't take long until he's done, and goes to ask Jimin to bring him to Eunseo. He's led out back to a cramped office space with Eunseo spinning in her chair, seemingly bored out of her mind. Once she sees Jungkook, she smiles with a groan.

“Thanks, I'll read over the papers right now. I can pay you eight dollars and fifty cents an hour and you filled out your free hours, right?” Jungkook nods. He really just put he was free every day, which he is, but he won't say it. Well, it’s eight dollars and fifty cents more an hour than he’s been getting.

“We can start your training tomorrow at ten if you’re free, and we’ll give you a uniform tomorrow! Thank you, Jungkook! I hope you enjoy your time here at Magic Shop!”

Jungkook nods, and thanks her. He starts to leave when Eunseo calls out for him again. Her hand is outstretched toward him with an expecting smile. He stares for a minute, eyes catching the black ink smeared across her wrist. He sees the cuts surrounding the ink, but never able to scratch it. The ink is smooth and vibrant against her honey-like skin. Jungkook feels entranced as he sets his palm in hers. 1.9.2088 18:20.

Jungkook feels the hairs on his skin spike up at the thoughts, the feeling. He almost backs away once their hands touch. Eunseo senses his tensing, and makes the shake quick, letting Jungkook escape as fast as he can. He walks out of the shop, Jimin and black haired boy wishing him a good day, and he gives them his best soft smile as he leaves back into the cold.

The rain has finally begun, and he lets the droplets grace his skin as he walks the block in circles. He's not sure where he's going to stay tonight, so once he has walked the block twice, he sits on a bench facing Magic Shop. He realizes that people are making their way in and out, meaning that they’ve gotten quite busy. He can feel the rush from there, but can still feel how calm and soft Magic Shop really is. The little blonde boy from ten years ago pops into his mind again.

He watches Eunseo leave a while later, Jimin and black haired boy behind her. They don't see him, thankfully. He watches on in awe as a man gets out of the shiny, new car that had pulled up in front of the cafe. His black hair falls over his forehead, shading his eyes. His black hoodie pulled up over his head, hands stuffed into his pocket. Jungkook squints, despite being able to see him bright and clear.

It’s still raining as he watches them converse. He's not creepy, he swears. They happen to be in his line of sight. He shrugs it off and turns away, setting his bag on the other side of the bench. He hears the car roar before it passes before his eyes.

The rain isn't going to stop, he realizes, as his eyes shut.

 

Chapter Text

December 29th, 2038

 

Jungkook may have felt that it was easy for him to get the job, but Jimin knows that it wasn't exactly as smooth sailing as he made it seem. Once he saw him, that little boy he used to know ten years ago, and how dead he looks now, he couldn't say no. He has to make sure he's okay now, and pick him back up. He doesn't know what has happened in all of those years they spent apart, but he has an idea where it got him.

Eunseo is rolling around in her chair, waiting for her brother to get there to pick her up, to pick all of them up so they can close up for the day. She’s bored, her expression says, but her eyes show interest. In what, he doesn't know. She perks up once Jimin walks into the room, head flying away from her previously floating mind. Jimin sees her eyebrow curve up, and that's when he goes into action.

Jimin falls onto his knees, Eunseo’s eyes going wide in horror at the loud creak of the wooden flooring. He makes a mental note to check for bruises later. “Eunseo, I have a request.”

“I can tell,” she chuckles, eyes following Jimin to the floor. She urges him to pick himself back up, but he pays no mind. He won't get anywhere like that. “Fine, spill.”

“So… uh. Are we hiring?” Jimin asks, cheeks feeling hot once the question leaves his mouth. He only gets a dissatisfied pout from Eunseo.

“I'm not hiring your other boyfriend, Min,” she deadpans, and Jimin shakes his head, clasping his hands together in front of his face.

“I'm not asking you to hire him. It’s someone else, actually. A childhood friend of mine, Jeon Jungkook. He's not in a good place right now. I really wanna help him out,” Jimin starts, and he sees the curiosity flash through her eyes. “He's right out front if you would consider hiring him.”

“Min, you know I can’t-” she begins, but stops, and frowns. “What do you mean ‘not in a good place’?” 

Jimin huffs. “I don't know… he came in looking so fucking dead , Eunseo! I haven't seen the kid in years, but we were really close before he left. I'm not sure what happened to him, but I know that kid isn't okay. Not at all.”

“I'm still not sure… We don't need the extra help, with you and Hoseok here at least.” She looks down at him in sympathy, but that won't do for Jimin. Of course, he knew this was bound to happen, so he came with more than one plan.

“Look, I'll do whatever it takes! You can cut my pay if it’s the money, I'll take you out wherever you like and you can spend my fucking life savings! Wait, I'll give you Minjae’s number!” Jimin throws out every offer he has, hoping any of them seem appealing to her. Her frown curves up to form her shining smile.

“Okay, Min. I'm not cutting your pay, ever, but buy me dinner and give me that hottie’s number and you got a deal.” Jimin almost cheers, but he stops and instead rises to his feet. He can't help the overwhelming urge to trap Eunseo in a spine-crushing hug, so he wraps himself around her. She responds to him instantly, arms falling around Jimin’s waist. He feels soft and warm in her embrace and tightens himself around her, suddenly scared of sucking the life out of her. She only giggles.

“Park Jimin! Are you cheating on me?” a loud voice shrieks, a gasp following suit. Jimin backs up from Eunseo and can feel a laugh threatening his lips.

“Oh no! Baby, I'm sorry! I didn't mean it!” Jimin yells through his laugh. “You’re the only one I love!”

Hoseok shakes his head. “Damn, how are we gonna break the news to Yoongs, babe? He’ll be crushed!”

“Fine, you two are the only ones I'll ever love.” Jimin goes up to Hoseok to hug him but keeps it short since Eunseo is right behind them. Hoseok leaves almost as quickly as he came, and Eunseo remembers the problem at hand.

“Let's go give Jungkook a job,” she says, following Jimin out of the room. Eunseo briefly spots a slip of paper resting on her laptop. 

*

December 30th, 2038

 

Jungkook’s body shakes violently as the world around him comes into view. He can't remember what he was dreaming about, but he knows it wasn't good. He knows from the signs his body is showing that he was scared shitless, but he can't remember what it was. He doesn't want to.

Jungkook doesn't sit up, merely closes his eyes again, hoping to fall back asleep. It couldn't be morning. The sun isn't up and nobody is wandering the streets. He lies alone on the bench, clutching his bag closer.

“Jungkook?” the voice is soft, almost angelic. High in pitch and sweet in tone. He melts at the way it sends shivers throughout his body.

Jungkook opens his eyes, blue staring right back at him. He groans, finally able to see, despite the sun being down. There's still a glow from a nearby streetlamp, so Jungkook sits up, the man with the angelic voice moving back. Jimin.

“Were you sleeping out here? Jungkook, are you oka-” Jungkook sees the frantic look from him, and he can only shake his head.

“‘M fine.” he doesn't let Jimin’s worry get to him. If he plays dumb he won't have to deal with questions or worries. He doesn't deserve worry or sympathy from anyone. Jimin just nods.

“We’ll talk about this later… Did you wanna open shop with me and Seok?” he asks, and Jungkook thinks. He doesn't have anything else to do, and he's supposed to come in for training in a couple of hours anyway. He mutters a small “yes” and follows Jimin to the locked doors of Magic Shop.

He assumes the black haired boy with the bright smile is this so-called “Seok” Jimin mentioned and acknowledges him with a nod. He seems startled with Jungkook’s sudden appearance, and utterly confused. He shrugs and nods back.

Jimin opens the doors with his keys and they walk in, Jungkook being able to once again admire the beauty of Magic Shop. He lets the atmosphere of the quaint coffee shop surround him, and waits for instructions. ‘Seok’ starts the music, a hum from the speaker playing throughout, while Jimin goes to the back to prepare. He motions for Jungkook to follow.

Jungkook does and has Jimin explain everything in detail. He's quite bored. The job seems tedious, but he won't complain. He needs the money if he wants to make it to the spring.

Even though everything is tedious, Jungkook doesn't have a hard time figuring out what he's doing. He knows basics at least, having made coffee many times back home, so he knows what he's doing. Somewhat. The equipment is too high tech.

“Can you cook? Eunseo didn't exactly specify what she hired you as,” Jimin says finally, breaking the awkward air between the two of them. Jungkook shrugs, knowing speaking would fuck up his chances of a good impression. “It’s fine, I'm sure you’ll just be a runner or something anyway.”

Jungkook still says nothing.

“Jungkook… you don't have to be nervous. We can be friends! Tell me about yourself,” Jimin says, eyes showing his annoyance in the bland attitude Jungkook’s been exhibiting. Jungkook doesn't even know what to say. Does he even know himself?

“What do you want to know?” he asks, eyebrows furrowed. Jimin lifts his finger to his chin, head down.

“Just basic stuff I guess… How old are you, what do you like to do, where you’re from? Anything!” Jimin’s annoyance dies out and it’s replaced with smiling and happiness. Jungkook will never understand how someone can do that.

“I'm 18, I used to draw and do music, and I'm from Busan.” Jimin ignores the ‘used to’.

“I'm from Busan too! But I moved down here when I was pretty young,” Jimin says, trying to hold onto anything to start up any kind of conversation.

“Me too, but I moved back after a while,” Jungkook says, thinking back to the little blonde boy, and the day his parents told him they were leaving. He remembers it like it was yesterday, the tears in his eyes, the broken glass on the floor, the sobs from a woman. Jungkook shakes his head as if it will rid his thoughts. He’s asked no further questions and Jimin continues training him for the next couple hours.

Eunseo walks in when the clock hits ten, and lets out the most exaggerated moan when she spots Jungkook carrying trays of food to the customers visiting for a pleasant breakfast. “Damnit, Min. Stealing my job already.”

Jimin doesn't hear it as she walks to the back and leaves the work to them. Jungkook doesn't see her for the rest of the time he's working. He somehow forgets he's working, becoming immersed in the customers. Most are older couples, and they for some odd reason take a liking to him, and Jungkook’s more than willing to enlighten them. He hasn't had this much interaction in months and he somehow feels… good.

Jungkook didn't realize how long they were working. It is already way past four when he next checks the clocks. He isn't sure when Magic shop even closes, but he can tell it’s soon when the customers file out and Jimin and ‘Seok’ start putting things away and cleaning up. Jungkook decides to wipe down tables, mop, and sweep since he’s not sure what else he can do. No one showed him how to close up.

“Good work today!” Eunseo cheers as she walks out of the office. Jungkook can feel ‘Seok’’s eye roll from the other side of the shop.

“You sat in the office all day, lazy ass.” Jimin just laughs. Eunseo pays no mind and walks to Jungkook instead.

“Thanks for the help today! I'm setting up your schedule, but I wanted to ask before I made anything official. Will Monday through Friday work from nine to five?” she asks, and he nods. Jungkook’s barely listening, trying to calculate how much money he’ll be getting a week from those hours. A lot, is all his mind is saying. He can find an apartment in no time, maybe. He doesn't know how much moving into one will actually cost. He’ll need to pay for some furniture, the electric and water bills, as well as the actual rent. It will take him too long to pay for all of it. Damnit, he might as well just-

“Ooh! Jungkook, do you need a ride? My brother is coming to pick us up,” Eunseo says, and starts picking up random trash lying around the shop.

“Oh, uh, no thanks. I can get h-home myself,” he says. Home. They don't seem to get it.

“Ooh! How about you come hang out with us for a little while, Jungkookie? I'd love to get to know you,” ‘Seok’ says, clearly having no idea what the definition of person space is, or having any understanding of boundaries. Jungkook still declines, but they’re so relentless. He looks to Jimin for help, maybe he will defend him, but Jimin seems the most intrigued.

“I'd love to have Jungkook over. I think Tae and Yoongs will like him,” Jimin finally says, eyes never leaving Jungkook’s. Jimin’s up to something, and he can tell. He's not sure why he can tell, but something is screaming at him to run so Jimin can't go through with this plan. It’s like he has been in this position before, and he doesn't like it. Not one bit.

“I'll order us pizza and we can play some games!” ‘Seok’ says, reaching out to high five Jimin. He doesn't seem satisfied with how unaffectionate that gesture is, and prompts to hug him instead. ‘Seok’ doesn't complain.

“I don't think-” 

“It’ll be fun, Jung kook,” Jimin’s voice is eerily calm, and Jungkook feels the shivers again. They creep up is back, crawling around his skin like spiders. He shudders, reaching to cover himself by clutching himself with his hands against his chest. No one notices the nervous gesture. Except for Jimin of course.

They finish closing up the rest of the shop and by the time the clock hits 5, closing hour, Jungkook presumes, they start leaving. By now, they had to have forgotten inviting Jungkook over. But he’s not that lucky.

Jimin grabs his wrist and drags him out of the shop and they’re stopped in front of that shiny, new car he saw them step into the other day. The same man is standing beside it, a blue color instead of the black from yesterday. The hood is still hung over his head and shading his face. If anything, he just looks sad.

“Come on, Tae! Smile some more! It’s your birthday,” Eunseo cheers, as if it will do anything to brighten his dulled mood. Jungkook feels for him, somehow. He feels the sadness radiating off of him, and the feeling of nothingness floating about. He almost says something but opts to stay quiet instead. Jimin speaks for him instead.

“This is Jungkook, Taehyung. Taehyung, Jungkook. He’s a new coworker so Seokie and I invited him over!” Jimin exclaims, earning nothing but a nod from Taehyung. No more is spoken and the group piles into the car. Jimin sits in the passenger seat next to Taehyung, while Jungkook is in the window seat, ‘Seok’ in the middle with Eunseo on the other side.

Jungkook stares out the window at the passing scenery. He feels like he hasn't been in a car for a while. He was on a train not too long ago, but this is different. The window is down and he feels the air running through his hair and grazing his skin. He likes it. He turns back to reality when he catches the tapping on his shoulder. “Yes?”
   
“Don't think I ever introduced myself. I'm Jung Hoseok, nice to meet you... Jeon Jungkook, right?” Hoseok says, bright smile with his hand out for Jungkook to shake. He complies and Hoseok begins talking, about what, Jungkook doesn't know. His talking is fast, and Jungkook is sure he can listen to Hoseok ramble for hours and never get bored of the nonsense he is spewing. He loves to hear it, honestly. He feels alive again with other living, breathing, people talking to him, sitting with him. He's slightly scared, that somehow, someone, will take this all away from him again.

Eunseo is dropped off at her place after a short drive, and they start to head to their final destination. Jimin is having a quiet conversation with Taehyung in the front, and Hoseok has resorted to his phone for comfort. Jungkook stares for a bit too long, feeling jealous. He can't afford a phone. He gave up on trying with the phone he had when he left. He didn't have service, his parents cut him off, and he couldn't pay for it, so he was stuck with a useless screen, that shortly died, and what was his point in charging it? He sold it off to some kid for a couple hundred on the street instead.

Time is taking too long, Jungkook thinks, wanting to out on those streets again, wandering until his feet hurt and his legs ache. He doesn't want people to treat him with pity. He can accept the friendship, but not the looks of sympathy Jimin has been shooting him all night long.

The car comes to a stop and the engine shuts down. Taehyung, Jimin, and Hoseok make to leave, so Jungkook follows suit. Once he’s outside, he's set to stare at the huge apartment complex glaring back at him. It isn't cheap looking with rough material or shattered windows or walls. The building is white, and when its not white, it’s full of windows and light. Jungkook let's out a whine, feeling out of place. He's in old, tattered clothing and his hair is mussed up. He can't compare to the designer brands and expensive accessories of the three boys accompanying him.

None of them pay him and his whining any mind and they start for the door. Jungkook knows he can book it, right now, but he doesn't want to deal with how awkward it will be to see them and have them know he ditched them. So, he doesn't. He silently trails after Jimin.

“No need to be shy, Jungkook,” Jimin whispers, and Jungkook almost attaches himself to the back of his shirt on instinct. He doesn't, though, simply stays silent as they crowd into the elevator. It’s clean, shiny, and the walls are completely filled with untouched mirrors. Jungkook avoids any eye contact with the reflection staring back at him, merely to haunt him.

There's small whispering from Jimin to Hoseok, but he doesn't catch even a syllable. He's focusing on Taehyung, standing beside him, staring daggers at himself through the mirrors. Jungkook finds himself shifting closer to him, stealing a glance in his direction. His eyes don't leave the mirror.

Once the elevator comes to a stop, and the doors slide open, they’re faced with a square room, white carpets and an inviting table in the center, covered in gorgeous flowers. Each door has a number above it, ranging from ten to twenty. The view isn't outstanding, being the third floor, but it’s still enticing to Jungkook to be able to see the city in all its glory from above. The group heads to the twelfth, so Jungkook follows as he fiddles with his fingers.

Hoseok unlocks the door and all of them file into the room. The walls are white, just like the rest of the building has been so far, and straight ahead is a window playing the city on repeat, cars flying by and street lights becoming mere dots, starlike. A large white couch is placed in front of the window, facing out towards the flat screen tv playing on mute. A kitchen is to the side, cornered in by a marble island. A hallway leads out of the living room to where he assumes the rooms and bathroom are. Jungkook feels his breath hitch, breathing becoming hard. Why are they even inviting him here? He didn't deserve to be here at all. It’s all too glorious from him.

From the hallway, a pale black haired man comes out, long black sweater covering him with baggy gray sweatpants under him. Jungkook admires the beauty, the cuteness of the man, but also the intimidating aura he gives off. He shivers. It’s quite cold in the apartment.

“How many times have I told you to stop turning the heat off, Yoongi?” Jimin yells, throwing himself on the couch, Hoseok following behind. Yoongi doesn't respond, shrugging as if he doesn't care, but throws himself on the couch with the other two boys. He places kisses on both of their cheeks. Jungkook raises an eyebrow.

“They’re all dating,” Taehyung chimes in, confirming his suspicions. He should have guessed. “Did you order our food, Yoongs?”

Taehyung isn't fazed at all by all the affection being shown by the boys. Jungkook shrugs it off since they’ve most likely been living together for a while.

“Yeah, they’ll be here in a couple of minutes. Who’s the kid?” Yoongi says, eyes locking onto Jungkook.

“That's Jeon Jungkook! He just started working at the shop,” Hoseok answers for him, and Jungkook gives him a silent praise.

“Nice to meet you, Jungkook. I'm Min Yoongi, these dumbasses boyfriend.” Jimin and Hoseok whack both of his shoulders. “Tae, give the kid a tour or something.” 

“Follow me,” he says, and Jungkook almost doesn't hear him if it weren't for the awkward silence in the room. He hears Jimin’s “he's shy” as he talks to Yoongi, and then they’re all out of sight as he’s led down the hallway. Taehyung points to each door and explains, making him aware of where he should stay away from, and also points him to the bathroom. “Do you want a shower?”

Jungkook is shocked, to say the least. “Um, why?” He sounds like a dumbass.

Taehyung doesn't answer, but Jungkook knows. He looks like a bum, with his dirtied black jacket over his uniform stinking off coffee, he knows. Taehyung’s just trying to be nice, offering him their luxury shit. Jungkook doesn't have the mind to turn him down. “Okay…”

“I'll get you some clothes and show you how to use it,” Taehyung mutters, more to himself than Jungkook. Jungkook’s finally able to register how deep Taehyung’s voice actually is. He can’t say he's surprised that Eunseo and Taehyung are related. They share the same voice, their eyes are absolutely enticing, their lips pink and plush, along with the same little mole on the tip of their noses. Jungkook may be over-analyzing a bit.

Taehyung’s back by the time he is snapped out of his thoughts, and he’s brought into the spacious bathroom, tiled walls and double sinks. Taehyung shows him how to use the shower, leaves the clothes on the sink, as well as a towel for him.

“Thank you,” Jungkook says as Taehyung leaves the room. Flashing the smallest, but most breathtaking smile he’s ever seen. He doesn't say a word back.

Jungkook messes with the shower settings until he's found a nice temperature, and hops in, opting for a short shower, since he’ll feel bad if he wastes too much of their hot water. He relishes in the warmth for a minute, and then examines the bottles of soaps and shampoos placed on the shelves lining the shower walls. He reaches for the first one he sees, letting out a cry at how expensive he knows the brand is. He looks around, but can't find anything cheap. He’ll apologize later.

The soap feels too much for him. His hair has never felt this good. Once he reaches for the soap, he just groans. He doesn't remember showers feeling this good to point where he craves for the burning on his skin. He wants his skin to turn red at the scorching water pressing against him.

He doesn't take much longer, getting out the second he finishes scrubbing any last piece of dirt off his body. He wraps himself in the towel Taehyung left for him and dries himself off. He throws on the clothes and finds that they fit him well. The sweater is comfortable and he remembers how much he used to like the color yellow and how nice he thought it looked on him way back. He rubs the towel against his hair to rid of the water droplets dripping. He sets the towel in the hamper and places his old clothes in his bag.

Jungkook finds the boys sitting at the island, devouring the pizza Yoongi mentioned ordering. He hesitates to join, but Jimin calls him over. “Ooh, your clothes look so cute on him, Tae!”

Taehyung doesn't look up from the pizza in his hands and moves over so Jungkook can sit between him and Hoseok. Jungkook takes the sit and looks for confirmation if he can have any pizza. He swears Yoongi laughs. “Go ahead, help yourself!”

Jungkook takes one of the slices and bites into it, warm and cheesy. When is the last time he’s had pizza? A while ago, for sure. Pizza isn't cheap, and he isn't about to waste his money on it since he can't eat it all by himself.

Light conversation is shared among the boys until Jimin’s attention comes back to Jungkook. Obviously, he's troubled.

“Do… you remember me, Kookie?” he asks out of nowhere, and the boys all look at him with confusion, Jungkook included. Kookie . Jungkook racks his brain trying to figure out where he’s heard that, in that same exact voice, same tone. He can't find it in his brain. It’s there, but it isn't.

“Should I?” he asks, chewing another bite of the cheesy goodness.

“I guess I'm not surprised, but we were friends ten years ago before you moved back to Busan. You remember my brother, Jihyun?” The room grows tense.

“Park Minnie?” he asks, the words leaving his lips without even realizing. He never remembered the blonde boy's name until now, but with Jimin in front of him, it practically rolls off his tongue.

“Yep! I knew it was you the second I saw you!” Jimin says, leaning over the island, getting right into Jungkook’s face. Jungkook doesn't move away, just thinks back to all the good times him and Jimin had before his parents forced him back to Busan. He shakes his head. He can't think about that anymore.

Jimin talks to him about it for a while longer, filling in the rest of the boys of their past. Hoseok laughs, a little too loud, at the coincidence, and Yoongi isn't interested. Taehyung is simply intrigued now. “Oh… I forgot to ask earlier, but is everything okay?”

“Yeah, why wouldn't it be?” Jungkook asks. He forgets all the troubles in his life. He forgets his own situation, just because he’s allowed a bit of freedom from the hell he put himself in.

“You just… you don't look okay. You look dead, if you don't mind me saying.” Jungkook freezes up. He can't tell Jimin, or anyone, of his situation. He doesn't want the pity, the worry. They don't need to worry over him. He doesn't want anyone to feel bad for him. This is all his fault anyway.

“I-I'm fine, Minnie. You have nothing to worry over!” Jungkook tries to reassure him, but Jimin doesn't look convinced. None of them are convinced. Jungkook is trapped. He's suffocating from all of the eyes, from their worrisome expressions. He wants out. He can't deal with this anymore. He wants to enjoy himself right now, and not think about the piece of shit he is.

“You know you can tell me anything, Kookie… I know we haven't seen each other in years, but I still care about you,” Jimin says, hands shaking as he grabs Jungkook’s hands. Jimin’s hands are small, quite cute, but they cup his hands perfectly. He knows he can tell him, them, but he just can't get his mouth to say the words. He can't say how badly he fucked up the day he left. The day he left his home and hopped on a train to Daegu to escape them.

He stands, all eyes on his. His breathing is far from normal and the feels like it's spinning. Jimin reaches out to stop him, and Hoseok snags the sleeve of the sweater, but he's out of his grasp in seconds, bolting out the door. He can't see, and he's not going to fucking cry. He won't. Tears will never fall from his eyes again. The elevator is too slow. He goes for the stairs, blocking out any shouts from the boys scrambling after him.

Jungkook doesn't even know where he's going. This part of Daegu is completely foreign to him, but he finds a dip in the buildings, assuming it’s an alleyway. Jungkook runs down it, stopping at a small intersection of two alleyways. He left his bag, so nothing to rest on. He squats down, not wanting to get Taehyung’s clothes dirty. He has to return them eventually, or he’ll feel bad. He doesn't like owing people.

He isn't able to think properly for what feels like hours, but he knows is only a few minutes. The sun has long set, and darkness surrounds him, the only light from the modern apartment building and its windowed walls. Jungkook huffs.

He didn't need to run. They won't judge him for anything. He knows they will show concern for him and try to help him, which he wants, but he can't do it. That's a burden on them. This is his burden. It’s not Jimin’s, not Hoseok’s, not Yoongi’s, and not Taehyung’s job to help him get out of his own mess.

Jungkook squats on the wet pavement until his feet and legs ache. He goes to stand but stops when a dark figure is lurking over him. He almost screams, but he can recognize the figure instantly.

“Found you,” Taehyung says, squatting down to Jungkook’s level. Jungkook can't look him in the eye. “You’re such a dumbass. It’s fucking negative degrees out here and you’re going to freeze. You got Jimin so worried and Hoseok and Yoongi are having a hard time convincing him that it’s not his fault.”

Jungkook quirks an eyebrow. “That I ran out?”

“No, that you’re out on the streets dying. I don't know how he came to that conclusion, no one does, but he thinks it’s his fault.” Jungkook can't say anything. Of course it’s not Jimin’s fault. Jungkook got himself into this mess, and now he’s stuck in it, waiting to rot. “We can help you, you know that? I'm sure Jimin was seconds away from offering our guest room.”

“No, I can't. That's freeloading. I won't do that.” Jungkook’s too stubborn for this. He’s sure Taehyung can tell.

“You can pay rent or something, I guess. We don't need it. You can tell we’re loaded, but you have a job and if that will make you feel better about it, we’ll take the money,” Taehyung laughs a little. Jungkook doesn't look up from the ground, refusing to see Taehyung’s eyes. They’re full of worry, sympathy, right?

When he does look up, they’re not what he expects. Taehyung isn't giving him some fake pity through his piercing blue eyes. It’s not even concern. He’s just smiling. A pure and real smile to back up his offer. Jungkook wraps his arms around his knees. He really shouldn't say no. This an offer he can't give up. They’re nice, and he knows Jimin, so what can go wrong?

“Can we talk about it with them? I don't wanna ruin any dynamic,” Jungkook finally says after they both took their time basking in the silence caught between them.

“Okay, we can do that,” Taehyung says, and rises to his feet. He reaches down for Jungkook to help pull him up. He grabs Taehyung’s hand and it’s cold and big. Oddly, it’s comforting.

“Thank you. Oh, and Taehyung?” Jungkook asks, letting his hand fall out of Taehyung’s as he follows him back to the apartment he ran from. Taehyung turns his head, eyes shining back, and he responds with a hum. “Happy birthday.”

Chapter Text

December 31st, 2038

 

Jungkook finds himself in Magic Shop early that morning, after waking up in the unfamiliar bed of his new roommates home. It all felt weird when he got up from the warm blankets and stumbled into the bathroom. He still felt weird as he went on his way to work, leaving early in case the walk took too long. He still feels weird despite being halfway through his shift.

He’s carrying tray after tray out to tables, spending some time helping Eunseo out with meal prep. He isn't surprised at how busy it is, considering its New Years Eve. He doesn't think about it too much, since it feels like nothing but another holiday to him. His family wasn't big with holidays at all, only celebrating a select few. He barely celebrated birthdays with them.

 Magic Shop is set to close early today, a couple hours sooner than it normally would. By the time the clock strikes two, the place is deserted. Eunseo leaves just as soon, leaving Hoseok, Jimin, and Jungkook to clean up. Jimin is visibly annoyed, but he doesn't put it to words. Jungkook says nothing, and Hoseok is careful with his actions.

Jimin would never get angry when they were younger. He was too perfect, still is. He would whine occasionally when Jungkook teased him about his height, but he never got mad. This is a first for him. Jungkook sticks with Hoseok as he knows what he’s doing. Jungkook doesn't even understand what Jimin is mad about, but it isn't his business.

Jungkook is collecting dishes to bring them to the back when a loud shatter is heard throughout the shop. Jungkook is quick to set the dishes down on a nearby table as he rushes to the back. Shards of white glass is scattered on the once mopped and swept floor and in the center is Park Jimin, face red and hands held out as if the plate is still in his hands. Hoseok is outside, taking out the last of the trash, so Jungkook feels that this is his responsibility. “Minnie, don't move.”

Jimin doesn't speak, doesn't respond in anyway. He only stares at his hands. Jungkook grabs the broom from the supply closet and cleans up all the shards he can find, brushing them into the dustpan. He dumps it into the new trash bag Hoseok has put in, and sets the broom back in the supply closet. Jimin is still staring at his hands when he gets back.

Jungkook’s never been good in these types of situations, but he needs to do something or he’s scared Jimin will have a meltdown. He looks so fragile standing there, eyes glossy and lips plump. Jungkook doesn't want to touch him, but he steps forward, asking with his eyes if he can. Jimin’s finally looking away from his hands, and sends him a nod. Jungkook wraps himself around Jimin, as if to shield him from something. Jimin drops his hands to his side and lets himself be engulfed in Jungkook’s arms. Jungkook tries not to hold onto him too tightly.

They stand there for a couple of moments, Jungkook still worrying if Jimin will start crying. If Jimin starts crying, he’ll start crying too. “Jimin? Jungkook?”    

Jungkook turns his head to Hoseok and hands Jimin over to Hoseok, as he definitely has more knowledge as to why Jimin is so angry, so sad. “Baby… It’s been years.”    

“I-I know.” Jimin’s voice is strained and so weak. Jungkook flinches at the dullness. Jimin climbs onto Hoseok’s back, and they leave the building. Jungkook just continues to clean up, since they’re far from done. He goes back to his plates he left earlier, and brings them to the back to clean them up. He’s halfway done rinsing them when Hoseok is back without Jimin. Jungkook doesn't say anything. It isn't his place.

They finish up quickly. He can feel the urgency in Hoseok’s movements, swift and clumsy. He tries to stay out of his way most of the time, until they leave the shop. Hoseok locks up and Jungkook heads to the car. He opens up the back door and climbs in, finding Jimin staring out the window, and Taehyung gazing at him from the driver's seat. Jungkook feels as if he’s interrupted something he shouldn't have.

Hoseok hops into the passenger’s seat and Taehyung turns back around. They set back off to the apartment.

The ride drags out, only the soft sounds of a kpop song playing out of Hoseok’s phone. Jungkook hums along, not able to remember the name, but he definitely remembers the song. Jimin doesn't say a word the whole ride, and neither does Taehyung. Hoseok casually chats with him from the passenger’s seat, talking about their day and the music.

They pull up to the apartment, and the silence is killing him. It's too eerie. Jungkook hates how sad Jimin is, the anger finally having left his system. Jimin grabs onto Taehyung’s shirt, only earning a little jolt from him at the sudden contact. Still, no speaking. Jungkook is simply out of the loop. Maybe he just doesn't like New Year's Eve.

Yoongi is sitting at the counter with a laptop open and large headphones around his ears. Jimin is instantly on his way to his room, running past them when the door unlocks. Jungkook huffs. He doesn't get it, but the others do, and it’s bothering him. He has to remind himself that it isn't any of his business.

Hoseok leaves his side and joins Yoongi at the island. Jungkook just sets off to the room he’s borrowing. He walks down the hallway with his eyes downcast and opts for a nap until later tonight. He finds it unlikely that they’ll be celebrating New Year's Eve. He can just ask to watch the ball drop on their tv tonight instead, by himself. He’s always done it by himself before.

Before Jungkook can get to his room, the back of his shirt is tugged. He whips around and finds Taehyung, expression painful. Jungkook doesn't say anything, and neither does Taehyung.

“I know we don't know anything about each other, like, at all, but I want you to help me speak with Jimin,” he says.

“Why? Shouldn't you ask Yoongi and Hoseok?” Jungkook knows that's the most logical answer. They’re his boyfriends, so they know more about the situation than him. They have to. Jungkook hasn't seen Jimin in years, so what does he know?    

“Well, yes, but no. They weren't around at the time,” Taehyung says. His words are too vague for Jungkook to pick up on anything. He simply tilts his head. “H-he’ll explain. It isn't my place.”

Jungkook is too tired to argue and follows Taehyung to Jimin’s door instead. Taehyung taps his fist against the door, but gets nothing from the other end. He taps again, but still, nothing. “Should we just… go in?” Jungkook asks.

Taehyung sighs, and opens the door. Jimin is curled up in a blanket, trying to block everything out. He hides from them, from everyone and everything. He faces the complete opposite direction from both of them. “Jimin…”

He doesn't respond. He doesn't even turn around to face them. Taehyung walks over to the bed Jimin’s sitting on, and Jungkook is able to see how big their bed is. Well, they do have to fit three people on it, but damn. He really is in a house full of rich kids.    

Taehyung sits on the bed next to Jimin, and Jungkook sits on the other side of Jimin. Jimin still doesn't move from his comfort and protection inside the layers of blankets. None of them speak for a couple minutes, enjoying the view from the giant windowed wall. Jungkook wonders how they get any privacy up here. They aren't that far off the ground, and they don't have any curtains up for some reason.

“Jimin, I know it’s hard, but it’s been five years. I think he wants you to move on. I know I will,” Taehyung says, and Jungkook feels utterly lost. What’s been five years?

“Don't say that, Tae. Please, I can’t.” Jimin’s voice finally comes out, but only as a cracked whisper. He isn't crying, and he doesn't show signs of having shed any tears. His face is just red and his eyes threaten to let the tears flow down, but Jimin doesn't let them. “I miss him, so fucking much.”    

“I know, I miss him too…” Taehyung trails off, and looks over to Jungkook, as if asking for help, but Jungkook doesn't know how he can help. He doesn't know why Jimin is like this right now. He has an idea, but he doesn't want to make any assumptions as to why Jimin is so distraught over someone he misses. “Would you mind filling Jungkook in? I think he should know too.”    

“Why?” Jimin voice becomes cold.

“Well, he did know him,” Taehyung says, voice fading out to a whisper.

Jimin finally looks up from his protection of blankets. He lets the wall around him dicipitate and he looks at Jungkook. “Jihyun. My younger brother. You remember him?” Jungkook nods. “He-he died, five years ago today.”    

Jungkook doesn't know why he pulled Jimin into his chest, maybe some sort of instinct on his end, but Jimin doesn’t show any signs of discomfort. In fact, he seems at peace, and he finally lets the tears that were sitting in his eyes fall down his cheeks. He sobs into Jungkook’s chest, and Taehyung adjusts the blankets that Jimin had hidden himself in so they are resting back over his head.

Jungkook lets him cry his heart out onto Jungkook’s work uniform he has yet to change out of and simply pats down his hair, messing it about. Taehyung moves beside Jungkook so he can join in comforting Jimin. Jungkook is the first to speak.

“Taehyung’s right. Jihyun would want you to move on. I know he's looking down on you and protecting you with everything he has, okay? Please don't cry, Minnie,” Jungkook wants to ask more, but he doesn't want to pressure Jimin into anything. He doesn't remember Jihyun all that well. He was always quiet and hid off to the side, promptly sitting with their mother instead. Jungkook only remembers one instance of him speaking.

"Kookie?” Seven year old Jungkook is always told not to talk to strangers, and since he doesn't recognize the voice, he doesn't turn around. He waits for Jimin to come back with their ice cream instead, eyes glued onto his game system.

“Kookie!” The voice is louder this time, but not loud enough. Jungkook wonders why this stranger doesn't talk very loud. Jungkook just wants to take a peak at who’s trying to talk to him, so he pauses his game to check over his shoulder, and none other than Jihyun is standing behind him, sleeve of his black sweat covering most of his face. He looks like he's trying to hide, but Jungkook doesn't know any better to question why he never wants to show his face to him.

“Jihyunie?” he asks, as he processes that he has never heard the young boy speak. Him and Jimin have been friends for a long time, but never in that time has he heard Jihyun speak. He tends to stay quiet and attaches himself to Mrs. Park instead. Jungkook assumes he's just shy, but maybe there's more to that.

“I, well,” Jihyun stumbles to pick out his words. Jungkook wants to rush him, but maybe this boy doesn't speak well. He's a lot younger, and he never speaks, so he isn't surprised at the struggle he finds himself in when trying to explain himself.

“Do you want to play?” Jungkook asks. Jihyung nods, and sits beside Jungkook on the play structure. Jimin won't be back for a while, so he doesn't think he’ll mind if Jihyun takes one turn. Jimin always got sensitive whenever Jihyun is around. Jungkook doesn't get it. Maybe it’s just a big brother thing that Jungkook will never understand.

Jungkook holds out the system for Jihyun to take, but he’s very hesitant. His hand flies away from his face, and Jungkook finally understands why he never moves it. Along his jawline is black ink, small, but noticeable from Jungkook’s distance. Jungkook has never understood the tattoos, but he knows enough from his father tormenting about them to know that Jihyun’s isn't good. 31.12.2033 19:53.

Jungkook doesn't say anything, but Jihyun knows that he can see it.

“I-I know Jihyun would want that! I've tried so fucking hard to get past it. I knew it was going to happen, especially on that day, so I don't kn-know what I was thinking!” Jimin rambles on, and Jungkook lets him. Jimin has soft hair. Jungkook finds Taehyung’s hand on his back for some reason. “I was a dumb teenager and I was so pissed at the w-world! I-I got mad at him, and yelled at him… Then-then…”    

“You don't have to continue if it hurts, Minnie. You don't need to explain yourself to me,” Jungkook says, but he feels Jimin shake his head in his chest.

“No, I need to. Maybe, if I didn't yell at him that day, he wouldn't have died. He wouldn't have gotten hit by a truck after he ran out of the house. He was a literal fucking child!” Jimin’s shouts die down, and he resorts back to his sobbing.

“You don't blame yourself, do you? You know it’s not your fault, Minnie. We’re all preset to die a certain time beforehand. You couldn't have done anything to stop it,” Jungkook explains, knows his words won't go far for him. “Let’s just enjoy tonight, like Jihyun would want you to, yeah? He would never want you to blame yourself for his death, never want you to cry over him like his. He loves you, Minnie.”    

Jimin nods, and Jungkook releases him from his grip. Jimin’s face is still stained red, more than before, but he’s smiling. “You’re so cute, Jungkookie. You’re too nice to me and we haven't even seen each other in years. Thank you”    

“No, I should thank you. You’re letting me stay with you, so this is the least I can do,” Jungkook says, smiling up at Jimin. They all leave the room and find Hoseok and Yoongi on the couch, bowls of snacks lining the coffee table, bottles of alcohol set on the island, and the tv on some random channel.

“You doing okay, baby?” Yoongi asks, frown on his lips. Jimin says a small ‘yes’ and hugs both Taehyung and Jungkook before seating himself in between Hoseok and Yoongi.

“We’re just gonna watch the ball drop, but it’ll be hours until then. You both can go chill somewhere else until then,” Hoseok says, but it’s more like a demand. Taehyung shakes his head and grabs Jungkook’s hand to drag him back down the hallway.

“Way to ruin a moment,” Taehyung mumbles when they reach the end of the hallway. Jungkook assumes he has the room right across from Taehyung. “That means they’re gonna fuck, so I suggest putting on some loud music.”    

Taehyung’s gone just as fast, and Jungkook gags a little. He steps into his room and decides to finally get the coffee smell off of him. He goes to the bathroom, the one that has to be in the guestroom, because rich kids. Why do they work at a coffee shop if they’re rich? Are all of them rich, or just one or two? Jungkook is too scared to ask at this point.

He takes a long shower, thinking back to today's events and future events. He also thinks about Jihyun’s tattoo, or all of them in general. The date of his death was too soon, even seven year old Jungkook knew that. No one should die that young, or even die young at all. Everyone deserves a long life, no matter the circumstances. He feels for the people who are preset to die young and are unable to truly fulfill their dreams and aspirations. He wishes the tattoos didn't exist, but they do, and he can't do anything about it. Maybe he’ll just never understand.

Jungkook didn't like to ask people about their tattoos. Nowadays it isn't uncommon to ask about them, but Jungkook feels rude to do so. He also rather not deal with them asking about his.

Jungkook steps out, wrapping himself up in the towel he found hanging up beside the shower. He scans the room and realizes his mistake. He didn't bring any clothes with him, so his only options are his work uniform or his old clothes he's been wearing for months. He decides neither are worth it, and it’ll only force him to take another shower, so he heads out of the bathroom and goes towards the dresser that sits on the other side of his room. He pulls out the drawers, but finds nothing. It’s to be expected.

 Jungkook makes sure the towel is wrapped around him tightly so that it won't fall, and steps out of his room. It’s cold, even with the heat on. He knocks on Taehyung’s door, and hears a small ‘come in!’ from the other end. Jungkook slips the door open and peaks his head inside, finding Taehyung searching through his drawers for something, cursing to himself.

“Taehyung?” Jungkook says, and Taehyung motions for him to come in, so he does, and Taehyung just stares. Oh god, this is more embarrassing than he anticipated. Taehyung’s eyes don't meet Jungkook’s, and Jungkook is tempted to tell him to stop staring, but he doesn't. He snaps out of whatever internal problem was going through his mind.

“Put some clothes on, damnit,” Taehyung says, turning away to continue digging through every drawer in his room.

“I would, but I don't have any. I came to ask if I could borrow some of yours again…” Jungkook says. “When I get my first paycheck I'll pick up some clothes, promise, but I don't have any.”    

“Oh, right. Don't worry about it, take whatever you want and I'll take you to buy some Saturday,” Taehyung says as if it’s no big deal. “Don't worry about the money.”    

“What? No, I'll pay for it. I can pay you back if it bothers you that I'm borrowing your clothes. I just…”    

“Yeah I get it, you can't take yoonminseok’s right now, I'll let you borrow some. Take what you want,” Taehyung says, and Jungkook stares at him, mouth hanging open.

“Y-yoonminseok?” he asks, and steps up to a drawer that holds some of Taehyung’s clothes. He grabs a black hoodie and sweatpants and piles them into his arms, but before he can close the drawer, a piece of paper falls from the inside of the black hoodie he took. He picks it up and makes note not to read it, since it’s not his, but turns around to hand it over to Taehyung.

“Yeah, Yoongi, Jimin, and Hoseok- where did you get that?” Taehyung’s playful tone changes when he spots the paper in Jungkook’s hands. He tenses.

“Fell from the hoodie, here,” he says, catching a glimpse of the title of the paper. He doesn't mean to, but his eyes were in sight of it. He grows confused by it, but doesn't say anything. Taehyung just looks distressed, so he thanks him and leaves the room to change.

A couple of hours later, they’re all sitting on the couch waiting for the ball to drop. Jungkook looks over at Taehyung on the other side of the couch and his constant glances over at Jungkook. He pretends not to notice, but he can see his worry as he stares. Jungkook ignores it now, and turns to talk to Hoseok.

“Guys!” Jimin yells, and Jungkook is happy to see how his mood has brightened from before. “The balls dropping!”    

The boys all count down as they ball all the way in Times Square begins to make its way down. Jungkook mutters along, and all of them are ecstatic, arms in the air when the ball falls. But not Jungkook. He stares over at Taehyung instead.

List of things to do before December 30th, 2039.

Chapter Text

January 1st, 2039

 

“Jungkook?” he hears his name, but he doesn't register it. He can't recall whose voice it is, but he knows it. Familiar, smooth, and deep. Jungkook turns over, not ready to face the world. He hasn't had a day off and he didn't get much sleep before anyway. He wants to bask in the presence of blankets and pillows, warmth. He hasn't felt this in a while and he doesn't want to leave, not sure he can.

Annoyance is heard in the groan, deep and raspy, and he’s shaken by whoever is attempting to disturb his sleep. Jungkook refuses to move once again. “Damn, you’re just like Yoongi.”    

Jungkook wasn't going to argue, because he knew nothing about Yoongi. He seems like a good guy, but that didn't sound like a compliment either. Jungkook’s eyes shoot open and he glares at the bed sheets.

“Oh, so now you’re up!” Jungkook finds Taehyung staring down at him, still stuck in one of his hoodies, this one a deep red. Does he wear anything else?    

“What do you want? I don't work today,” he mumbles, feeling his eyes fall shut. He's drifting back off when he's physically pushed off of the bed. He moans in pain, and eyes Taehyung down. “What the fuck was that for?”    

“Don't give me attitude. I'm trying to be nice to you,” Taehyung scoffs. As if. “Just get up already, We’re going shopping.”    

Jungkook doesn't have the time to protest the idea, because he knows Taehyung is going to buy all of his clothes, and he has no way of paying him back yet. He isn't getting a paycheck for at least a week, maybe two. Eunseo didn't tell him how they get paid, but he wasn't all too concerned about the specifics when he actually got the job, more so about the money he’s going to be getting.

He’s pushed into the bathroom with a pair of Taehyung’s clothes and he hears a faint ‘meet me in the car’ before the door is slammed shut, indicating Taehyung left his room. Jungkook pushes his hair away from his eyes, patting it down with his hands. He’s too lazy to go find a brush anywhere because he’s looked the bathroom over twice the first time he came in here and has yet to find one.

Jungkook throws the white shirt over his head and the gray sweatpants are tight against his legs, but he doesn't complain. Taehyung’s clothes have fit him fine until then, so maybe these are old. He leaves the bathroom and grabs his bag as he heads out the door, catching a whiff of whatever Hoseok is cooking in the kitchen. Hoseok stares at him when he leaves in a rush, but doesn't say anything in turn, just a little ‘see ya’ and he goes back to his task.

Taehyung is waiting in the car as he had said before he left and once Jungkook throws himself into the passenger seat, they set off, but not before the raging laughter that stumbles from Taehyung’s lips. “Where the fuck did you get those pants?”    

“You gave them to me,” he says, pulling on the fabric as if to somehow loosen them. Taehyung just laughs more.

“Those are definitely not mine. Jimin must’ve accidentally given me Yoongi’s pants or something because I don't know who else would fit into those. Nice thighs, by the way,” Taehyung teases, sticking his tongue out like a child. Jungkook shakes his head.

“Thanks.” Taehyung steals the aux cord and plays some music to lighten the mood. Jungkook didn't take Taehyung for the type to listen to any of Twice’s music, but he thought wrong because their latest single is blasting through the speakers. He holds back his laugh.

The drive doesn't take long until they pull into a crowded parking lot. Jungkook didn't think too hard about where they were going, probably some cheap clothing store so he could at least have something to wear, but he didn't expect to pull up to a mall full of expensive, designer stores. “Are we at the wrong place?”    

“No, why?” Taehyung says as if he’s genuinely confused. “Whatever, let's go get you some clothes.”

Jungkook wants to yell at him for spending money on him, especially so much. He was hoping to spend the least amount of money he could, but he’s not sure he's going to be able to stick with that plan anymore when they walk into Gucci. “Get whatever you want.”    

Jungkook nods, even if he's not going to listen to him, and searches around for the cheapest items they have, but he didn't expect a store such as Gucci to have anything cheap.

“Taehyung, can we go to a different store?” Jungkook asks, when he finds Taehyung again, looking over one of the shirts hanging up. Jungkook glances at the tag. $750. “Please.”    

“You not a fan of Gucci?” Taehyung asks, and Jungkook shrugs.

“Well, I’ve never been in Gucci before. You are aware I was fucking homeless two days ago?” Jungkook says, words stinging his mouth. He's been trying to forget about that since he knows he has to believe that everything is real, even if it doesn't feel it. He's around people who care and want to help him. He takes a deep breath.

Taehyung looks at him for a minute and sets the shirt he was admiring back. “Okay.”    

Jungkook seems to have triggered something that shuts Taehyung up until they get to a clothing store with cheaper and reasonable prices within his limits. He wanders off and finds a few items that fancy him and holds onto them until he can meet back up with Taehyung. He doesn't want to spend too much money so he only gets a couple of shirts and pants that will last him until he can pay Taehyung back and then save his own money to get clothes.

Jungkook finds Taehyung staring at a sweater in the back, pulling on the sleeves. It’s cute, Jungkook thinks so at least, so he steals it from his grasps. “Hey!”    

“Are you gonna wear it?” Jungkook asks, and Taehyung tenses. He's struck something and instantly regrets it. Taehyung doesn't speak but shakes his head.

“I'll wear it then,” Jungkook says softly, and finds himself a little too close to Taehyung, but neither of them says anything, just stare. It’s not until Taehyung steps back against the wall that he finally speaks up.

“Why were you homeless, if you don't mind me asking. I don't mean to bring up any bad memories, but you’re only eighteen,” Taehyung says. “You don't have to answer.”    

Jungkook has to think about it, because it’s been too long, yet he remembers it like yesterday. September 1st, the day he turned eighteen. It feels like a dream, so surreal, waking up and feeling that numb feeling in his heart that he felt for the past eighteen years of his life. The feeling of wanting more, but wanting nothing at all.

“I ran away,” he says simply, trying to find a way to put his words together. He wants to explain, but doesn't know how to without bringing up too much. He doesn't want to talk about it, even if it shouldn't be that bad. He doesn't want to ruin this though. “Parents hated me anyway. Didn't have anyone left in my life so I walked out the door and booked a ticket to Daegu.”    

“But why would you do that? There's gotta be a reason,” Taehyung says, and Jungkook doesn't know where to start with that. His mother? His Father? The abuse? The tattoo? Himself? All of it? He doesn't know which one was his breaking point, or if all of them together led up to it.

“Abusive parents, I guess. Father beat my mother and me, and they didn't like when I brought a guy home. I also...:” Jungkook wipes his eyes. He doesn't want to go into detail in fear of having to relive all of it over and over again. He’ll see it in his dreams, it will pop up into his mind and clog his thoughts at any given moment, and it will plague his life once again. He can't do that.

“You don't have to continue. Sorry for asking.”    

“No, I'm fine…” Jungkook says, looking down at the ground. He goes to stand beside Taehyung against the wall. “I don't have a tattoo.”    

Taehyung looks up at him, but Jungkook doesn't have the courage to look back at him. “You don't?”    

Jungkook nods. “You can look me over all you want, but you won't find it. You saw me naked the other day, and did you see it then?” Jungkook asks, giving Taehyung a smirk. Once he looks back up, Taehyung’s face is red and he's scratching his cheek with his finger.

“Oh, right,” Taehyung says. “Did you ever ask the doctors about it? I don't know much about the tattoos myself, but I’ve never heard of anyone who doesn't have one.”    

“Yeah, but there's nothing wrong with me. I actually quite like it. The thrill, the surprise. It’s hard to feel that way when nobody seems to agree though.”    

“I wish I didn't have one,” Taehyung mumbles, pulling on the strings of his hoodie, trying to hide his still red face from Jungkook's comment. Jungkook wants to ask about his tattoo, but he's never liked to talk about them. It’s a normal conversation nowadays, but something tells him to wait, even if just for a second. He wants Taehyung to be the one to instigate that conversation.

“It’s just weird, I guess…” Jungkook trails off, thinking about all the times he was made fun of, the mocking tone of his parents and the names they shouted his way. He flinches at the thought of them being his parents. “Can I ask you something?”    

When there's no response from Taehyung, he takes it as an okay and goes for it. He's not sure he should even ask, but the mood seems right. “What was that paper yesterday?”

“Nothing,” Taehyung’s response it curt and swift as if it is already prepared for the question if it is to come. Jungkook decides to push it, because he’s concerned for his friend. And he’ll admit he's curious of what the list means. If it was a simple bucket list Taehyung would never go through the trouble of hiding it, so it must have some other meaning to him.

“It was dated for your next birthday. How old will you be?”    

“Twenty one,” Taehyung sighs, tilting his head back against the wall, tugging too hard on the strings of his hoodie like a safety mechanism. He looks like he's holding on for dear life with the way he’s gripping it and pulling it to save himself. “Let's just check out and leave.”    

Jungkook doesn't push Taehyung any further, as he looks seconds away from breaking. His blushing has died down and the only thing that shows are the tears forming in his eyes as he turns away from Jungkook. Jungkook bites his lip, regret seeping through. He never wanted to hurt him, but he touched something he shouldn't have, so he deals with Taehyung’s coldness.

He follows Taehyung to the line to check out, and only a couple people hold the spots ahead of them. They wait in silence for the cashier to cash everyone out, until they finally get to their turn. Everything is scanned and Taehyung pays for everything with his card.

Even on the way to the car, it’s quiet. In the car, it’s quiet except for the fact that Red Velvet is quietly playing through the stereo. Jungkook just listens to their voices for a while until he completely leaves his own body. He feels himself drift away from reality completely, finding comfort in the way his mind floats and his body aches with the need to fly away with his mind. He groans to himself and takes a chance look to Taehyung, mind still not fully with him.

Taehyung is staring ahead, no facial expression, as he drives them back to the apartment. He doesn't look mad, just confused. He’s fighting with himself, Jungkook can tell. He makes the same face when his thoughts are like that, so he leaves him to sort out the mess in his brain while Jungkook tries to get his mind to come back from its dream.     Jungkook isn't recognizing anything from the window, a new and unfamiliar part of town, one he's never heard of. He would’ve questioned Taehyung the second he pulled off the usual route, but he let him go. He's sorting himself out and Jungkook has no problem waiting for him.

Once they pull up to another apartment building, Jungkook raises an eyebrow. He knows he’s rich, but he definitely doesn't understand his need to go back to another house. Jungkook didn't think it had been too long in the day, but waking up late and shopping all day must have made time flow by because the sun has already set and the moon is outshining down on them.

Taehyung steps out of the car and Jungkook follows, not sure where they’re going or why. He trusts Taehyung.

The elevator in the building is slow and creepy, but he doesn't say anything, actually enjoying the silence between them. It isn't awkward anymore, simply calming.

The elevator comes to a stop once they reach the top floor, and they are revealed a rooftop and are welcomed to the space with a cold gust of wind. They step out together and into the cold air. Jungkook doesn't remember it being this cold but maybe it’s the short sleeves he's in. Taehyung walks up to the edge of the building and Jungkook feels a spike of fear and adrenaline coursed through him when they approach the edge. Taehyung sits right on the edge and looks at Jungkook expectantly.

He follows and sits beside him and they just stare out at the sky. The stars are barely out, covered by a thick layer of fog, but the stars that do show themselves, are magnificent. They shine brighter than ever, but then Jungkook looks over to Taehyung. Oh, those stars could never outshine his eyes. It’s a weird thought that plagues his mind, but he lets it overtake his thoughts and rule his brain. His staring is too intense, so he goes back to the stars, less bright than he remembers.

“I've just always wanted to watch the stars from up here, with someone, I guess.” Taehyung’s words are out of the blue, and Jungkook spots that little sparkle in his eyes, twinkling about and drawing him in closer. He scoots over so they’re shoulder to shoulder, and is seconds away from making the situation too awkward. They stare back at the sky.

“That list, this is on it. I want to do a bunch of stupid shit before I turn twenty one. I've never shown that list to anyone though. Scared they’ll think it’s dumb,” Taehyung admits, and Jungkook wants to tell him that he has no need to explain himself, but he lets him speak. He wants to talk about it and Jungkook will listen.  “I know the won't, but I don't know. Jimin and Hoseok will just yell at me for being too pessimistic, and I'll get a lecture from Yoongi. It's stupid, I know.”    

“It’s not stupid. People do that shit all the time, but I… I wanna know why it’s such a secret. Why do you have to hide it from them? They wouldn't give a shit. No one will give a shit, Taehyung,” Jungkook tries not to raise his voice at him because that's not his intention. He just wants to voice his concern to Taehyung.

Taehyung takes a deep breath, and for the first time, pulls down the hood of his hoodie that has never been pulled down in his presence. Even in the pitch darkness, Jungkook can see the black ink engraved into the skin. It’s hard to read it, but he’s able to make it out. Jungkook doesn't say anything and only stares.

“Jungkook, I'm going to die on my twenty first birthday.”

 

Chapter Text

January 1st, 2039

 

30.12.2039 23:59. Jungkook can't feel his body anymore. He finds himself becoming numb. He just feels bad, but he knows that Taehyung doesn't want him to feel bad. Taehyung’s had to live with this knowledge his whole life and has come to terms with this. He shouldn't pity him over this.

“Oh, that… sucks.” Jungkook feels like a dumbass, because out of the millions of things he could have said, he says the dumbest shit that can come out of his mouth. Taehyung doesn't seem to take it heart, a light laugh escaping his mouth.

“Yeah, it does. That's why I want to complete everything on that list, because then I can feel somewhat fulfilled before I die.” Taehyung’s voice is sad and Jungkook doesn't think that Taehyung should be sad. He wants to hear his laughs and see his bright, boxy smiles

“How much is on the list? I’m sure the boys will help you, and so will I! I want you to be able to live a fulfilled life, Tae,” Jungkook says, sending Taehyung his best smile in these times. “You deserve the best.”

“Thank you, I might take you up on that offer.” Taehyung huffs and look away from the dark sky and instead looks over to Jungkook. “You know, I never like talking about my death date. It’s scary, knowing the exact moment you’ll die.”

He leans up against Jungkook. Even though they haven’t known each other for very long, Jungkook feels comfortable with Taehyung’s warmth beside him. Once Taehyung rests his head on his shoulder, Jungkook relaxes. Every scar fades, his worries floats away, and the pain subsides. He feels okay again, just with a pretty, starry eyed boy gasping at each star and constellation in his view. Jungkook feels like he can laugh again, smile.

“I can't even imagine what it must feel like to know when you’ll die. I’ve always found the whole idea… scary,” Jungkook admits, but he’s not listening to his own words, and neither is Taehyung. Taehyung is pointing to a set of stars to the right, and Jungkook can only hear the deepness of his voice and the vibrations from his speaking as he pours his heart out into his words. His passion for the sky is prominent, and Jungkook only admires him for it.

Jungkook is able to finally admire every feature of Taehyung’s face in the light of the moon. The way his eyes shine, blue and crystal like, and maybe they’re contacts, but Jungkook doesn’t mind. They’re still beautiful. The way his pink lips look soft and Jungkook kind of wants to touch them, but not with his lips, just with his finger to see if they really are that soft. He may be coming off as a creep, but he’s not trying too. Why wouldn’t he be affected like this next to a pretty boy?

Taehyung keeps up his spiel with the stars, words slurred with tiredness, and Jungkook finally notices the droopiness in his eyes after finding the little mole on the tip of his nose. Eunseo has the same one, and Jungkook finds it endearing. Jungkook feels himself zoning out, but he wants to act like he’s listening to Taehyung, or at least pretend like he knows what he’s talking about, even though Jungkook doesn’t know shit about stars.

Jungkook knows for a fact that his thoughts sound weird, but he’s only appreciating beauty when he sees it. Everyone can do that. Jungkook locks his eyes onto Taehyung’s, even though Taehyung isn’t looking back at him, instead his passion is pouring out of his eyes and into the stars. Taehyung’s eyes look a lot like the stars if Jungkook thinks about it. They’re bright and the way they reflect light brighter than the moon ever could, and even brighter than the sun itself. Jungkook feels the pit in his stomach, the giddiness and also the utter guilt that overwhelms him.

“We should head back. It’s getting late,” Taehyung says, but both know they don’t want to leave. They both want to bask in this moment of happiness, carefree and okay with the way the world moves on without, stuck with the presence of only the other. Jungkook doesn’t want to feel Taehyung’s warmth leave his side, wanting it beside him forever as they stare out into the abyss they call the sky. The darkness around the shining bits of light that Taehyung finds fascinating is something he could watch forever if he had the chance.

Though, both know that it’s too good to be true, so Taehyung leaves his side, standing from the dusty roof of the building. He wipes off the dust collecting on his clothes and Jungkook follows, a smile still gracing his lips. The memory will forever be ingrained into his mind and he knows what he’ll be dreaming and live for the next couple days.

 

*

 

January 8th, 2039

 

Jungkook never thought about waking up to a Sunday breakfast in the past couple months. He was too caught up in trying to survive and plan out his meals so that he wouldn't run out of money. Now though, he has Jimin and Hoseok cooking them waffles, french toast, bacon, and eggs with Yoongi holding both of them by the waist. He helps Taehyung set the table, admiring the silky shorts he's in and the pink sweater that slips down his shoulder. He doesn't have a hood over his head anymore, and Jungkook knows it’s because of their conversation the night before. He doesn't have anything to hide anymore, since the others obviously know about it too.

He looks back over the boys over at the stove, and hears Jimin and Hoseok bickering about how they want their eggs made, and Jungkook laughs, only a little though. And maybe he smiles too, but no one’s looking anyway. Jungkook doesn't care how his food is cooked. He's happy because he's just getting food.

He didn't realize how hungry he is, having not eaten much the day before, and now, since he feels awfully spoiled in this house, his body is begging for food. His stomach growls at the worst possible moment, when a silence hits the room, and Jungkook absolutely hates it. No one says anything, luckily.

They finish setting the table and by the time they’re both sat down, Hoseok and Yoongi carry out  large plates of their full course breakfast. There's not even that many of them, so he doesn't understand how they’re supposed to eat all of that. Jungkook doesn't complain and grabs his share of food. When is the last time he's had a meal this large? He doesn't think he's had such a meal ever, maybe on holidays with his family, but they were never too big on those anyway. Maybe he hasn't had something like this. It just feels different.

He digs in and tunes into the small talk amongst the table, listening to the continued bickering from Jimin and Hoseok. “Damnit, let's see who can make waffles faster, you whore!”    

“You wanna go, you little bitch? Let's see your weak ass waffles! Let's fucking go!” Hoseok shouts, standing from the table, stomping back to the stove with Jimin in tow. Yoongi sighs and grabs both of them by the wrist.

“Sit your pretty asses down and finish your goddamn breakfast,” Yoongi rasps, and Hoseok and Jimin do exactly as he says, sit their pretty asses right back down in their seats. They finish without another word from their mouths.

“Can I talk with you after, Jungkook?” Taehyung asks, leaning over to whisper to Jungkook. Jungkook doesn't know why they are whispering. Jimin, Hoseok, and Yoongi aren't listening to them at all, and it doesn't even matter if they are. Jungkook nods though and tries his best to keep the rest of his breakfast down. He doesn't want to leave anything left on his plate in fear of seeming ungrateful. It’s a bit harder than he anticipated though, considering how significantly smaller his stomach must've gotten during the past few months of borderline starving. Its especially harder since this is a full course meal laid out in front of him.

Hoseok leaves first, bringing Yoongi with him to work on a song. Jungkook didn't know they wrote music. He’ll have to ask later. Jimin talks about some random memories from when they were kids and Jungkook laughs along with him.

“Do you remember when I basically came out to my mom? When I kissed you because you had ice cream on your lips?” Jimin asks, laughing his ass off after he said it. Jungkook does remember, because that was his first kiss, and it was with Jimin, his best friend, a guy. That was probably when he realized he liked guys in the first place.

“Her reaction was priceless! It looked like her last brain cell exploded or some shit, dude,” Jungkook says, joining in on the laughter. “By the way, what did she say about it after I left?”    

Jimin shifted in his seat. “Oh, we had a long talk about. It was pretty awkward too. She was cool with it in the end, but a little confused.”    

Jungkook nodded. “I'm so grateful that she didn't say anything to my parents. I never got to thank her for that.”     “

Are your parents homophobic or something?” Jimin asks, and Jungkook sees the regret after his question. A dumb one, but Jungkook doesn't mind. In his mind, they’re not his parents anymore. Merely the people who let him crash at their place until he was old enough to leave for good.

“Yeah, very. They would’ve beat the shit out of me.” Did beat the shit out of me , is what Jungkook wants to say, but he doesn't. That's not Jimin’s business. He feels the stare from Taehyung beside him, but ignores his starry, piercing eyes analyzing his reactions.

“Sorry, bro. Must’ve sucked,” Jimin sympathizes, and stands to throw away any leftovers. Jungkook looks down, noticing how his food is barely halfway gone. He forces down a couple more bites, but stops himself in fear of throwing it all back up. Jimin’s gone, saying something about going out shopping for the day, and Jungkook is left alone with Taehyung staring daggers into the side of his head.

“Can we talk now?” Taehyung asks. Jungkook doesn't say anything, but follows Taehyung to his room. Jungkook’s only slightly confused. Taehyung couldn't have anything more to say. Jungkook’s heard all about his death date, and he's told him about how he doesn't have one, and why he was homeless. He has to be missing something, but nothing clicks until they reach Taehyung’s room.    

On his bed is the paper with Taehyung’s list. He frowns. Well, he did offer, even if it hurts to think about. He wants to help Taehyung be fulfilled, but it hurts to think about such a sweet guy have to die so early in life. He would have such a great life ahead of him if it wasn't for the stupid death date limiting him.

“I don't know if you were serious, but I really wanna complete this list. I've had it for years, but I never have to heart to go out and do it,” Taehyung starts. “I have less than a year, Jungkook. It’s so fucking terrifying to think about…”    

Jungkook doesn't get how Taehyung feels. He's never had to feel that way in his life. He may not know when he's going to die, and he thinks it a good thing, but even he can comprehend how scary it must be to be in Taehyung’s position. Jungkook thinks of how many people die early in life, all because a death date dictates their every thought and move.

“I was serious,” Jungkook says, holding his hand out for Taehyung to hand him the paper. He’s hesitant, it shows in his eyes and in his hands, but he hands it over. Jungkook’s eyes scan over the paper. Some of it is generic, and kind of cute, to be honest. Jungkook finds it cute, at least, but doesn't show it. He doesn't want to embarrass Taehyung more. Some of the things on the list are going to be a challenge for Jungkook, but for Taehyung, he’ll do it. He's know the guy for, like, a week, but he likes the boy. He's quirky in his own way and Jungkook’s drawn to it.

“Oh, we did one of these already. You weren't kidding when you said it was on here,” Jungkook mumbles, mainly to himself instead of Taehyung, but he earns a hum anyway.

“Yeah, I always wanted to do that with someone. I would’ve done it with Jimin, but I thought he would find it dumb,” Taehyung mutters, voice small. Jungkook glares and shakes his head at the stupidity coming from Taehyung.

“Jimin would do anything for you, you know. He’s like that,” Jungkook says, and turns back to the list. “Let's do one of these today. Any in particular you’re in the mood for?”    

Taehyung takes the list back from Jungkook and looks over each with interest. “You wanna have a photoshoot? It’s pretty outside, really sunny too!”    

Taehyung looks overly excited at the idea of going outside and taking pictures of each other, so Jungkook can't help but agree to whatever he wants to do. It’s quite endearing that Taehyung is so excited to pose around town. Jungkook’s never done a photoshoot before, and he’s not sure what they will do with the pictures afterwards, but it doesn't matter. It’s just for fun anyway.

“Okay! Go get dressed! Put on that cute sweater we bought yesterday,” Taehyung pushes him out of his room and slams the door right in his face. Jungkook shrugs and walks back to his room. Taehyung looks so happy, and that’s Jungkook’s goal in the end.

Jungkook throws on the sweater Taehyung bought him, the one Taehyung was staring at and liked, but wouldn't wear. It’s cute and Jungkook feels different in it. He never wore stuff like this back then. He would always wear all black, maybe some gray thrown in. When it wasn't black or gray, it was white shirts and jeans. Jungkook never was into super stylish clothes. He didn't exactly have the richest background either, so he hasn't ever worried much about his clothing style and choice.

He grabs a bag and throws some money in there, but it’s not much. Jimin gave him some the other day, saying something about how he doesn't want Jungkook being broke for two weeks until he gets a paycheck. Jungkook will pay him back immediately, but he appreciates the gesture nonetheless. He takes a hoodie just in case it gets cold or rains.

He heads out and finds Taehyung all dressed up on the couch. He's scrolling through his phone on the couch, white baseball cap on backwards and a gray short sleeved shirt. Definitely not something he expects someone to wear in mid winter, but it is a bit warmer today and the sun is shining through the windows. He doesn't say anything, just follows Taehyung outside.

“Where exactly are we going?” Jungkook asks after they walk aimlessly for a while. He doesn't think Taehyung knows either, but it doesn't even bother him. Its calming to walk out in the sun, the only irritating fact being the cold winds gusting by every once in a while.

“There's a nice lake that would make for some great pictures, I just don't know where it is exactly. My gps isn't working either… Can you check your phone?” Taehyung asks. Jungkook doesn't even know how to respond to that. Taehyung turns to him, walking backwards on the pavement, hands tucked into the pockets of his pants. Jungkook doesn't make eye contact.

“I… don't have a phone?” Jungkook finally says, breaking from the intense stare on Taehyung’s end.

“And you didn't tell me why? I would’ve bought you one,” Taehyung whines, turning back around and moves to stand beside Jungkook instead of in front of him.

“That's exactly why I didn't say anything,” Jungkook says, as if it’s obvious. Taehyung elbows him, playfully, and runs ahead.

“Fine, I can find it. I think it’s right next to the park up ahead!” Taehyung yells from way ahead, and Jungkook starts to run instead of walking. Jungkook can say he's fast, he did track while in school, until his parents took him out of the system. He was homeschooled for most of high school. Jungkook thinks of how he’ll never be able to graduate now. He’s too scared to go back to school.

After running after Taehyung, who is a little too bouncy for a Sunday morning, they reach a blue lake. It’s tropical looking, a light, baby blue, like a summer sky, with trees scattered around. The sun peeks through the bare branches, and it makes for a perfect sight for their photoshoot. Jungkook follows Taehyung to where he's scoping out the area.

“Ooh! This spot it perfect!” Taehyung cheers, holding his phone out to Jungkook and then begins his sprint up a steep rock overlooking the lake. Taehyung’s right. It is perfect. It has great lighting for the picture and a stunning view behind. The simplistic, but gorgeous look, fits in with Taehyung’s outfit choice. He must’ve done it on purpose. Taehyung gives him a look that screams ‘professional’ and Jungkook prepares for a long session of being reminded of how pretty Taehyung actually is.

After a couple of pictures, Taehyung runs back down, stealing his phone back. He pushes Jungkook up the rock. Jungkook doesn't know how Taehyung did it. It’s scary. He's the center of Taehyung’s attention now and the rock is slippery to the point of where he’s worried he’ll fall off and into the lake.

Taehyung yells out for him to make certain poses and gestures. Jungkook enjoys it. He may be a bit shy, but it’s fun to pose for the camera. He feels amazing, completely free. His posing is a bit extra, as Taehyung likes to point out, but he laughs along with his random outbursts of ‘yes queen!’ and ‘work it, honey!’ Jungkook finds it more endearing than anything else.

They scout out the area for more places to take pictures. They pose in front a picnic table, in front of a garden of flowers, they pose hanging from branches, and even go as far as getting ankle deep in the water. Taehyung claims it’s just for the pictures, but he knows Taehyung was just dying to get in the water, but didn't want to get his clothes wet.

They finish up their shoot for now and start to head back. Jungkook’s stomach has other ideas though. “You want to get something to eat before we go back?”    

“Yeah, sure,” Jungkook says, and follows Taehyung off the path home. They stop at a family restaurant and head inside. It’s quaint and has a homey feel to it. Jungkook likes how peaceful it is inside with only a few customers seated and with Red Velvet playing softly through the speakers.

They’re seated down at one of the booths and look through the menu. Jungkook breaks the silence. He's been wondering something for a while, and even if it isn't his place, or even Taehyung’s, he can't stop the words from leaving his mouth.

“When did those three get together?” Jungkook says, knowing it’s none of his business, but he can't help the curiosity. Taehyung glances up from the menu hiding his face when Jungkook asks and the uncertainness is clearly present, even with half of his face hidden.

“Why?” he asks, eyebrows raised.

“I know it’s none of my business, but I’m just curious. I'm sorry for asking,” Jungkook mumbles, hiding himself behind the menu.

“Nah, it’s fine. They won't care,” Taehyung shrugs. “Hoseok and Jimin actually started dating in high school, Jimin was a sophomore and Hoseok was a senior. They were super cute actually. I was jealous. Then once Hoseok graduated he became friends with Yoongi because they went to the same college. I think they had the same music theory class or something. They both just really liked him, I guess, and asked him if he’d be interested. And now they live together, with me.”    

“Why do you live with them? Don't you feel like a fourth wheel at all?” Jungkook asks.

“They’re not that bad, surprisingly. The only problem is that Jimin is fucking loud. God damn that boy can scream,” Taehyung laughs. Jungkook gags.

“Definitely didn't need to know that.”    

“You’ll be hearing it soon enough,” Taehyung sighs, but then a smirk comes back to his lips. “Sometimes I blast hentai really loud in my room just to annoy them.”    

Jungkook spits out his water. “No fucking way.”    

“Yes fucking way! I have these big ass speakers and I'll play it for hours until Yoongi attempts to break down my door.”    

They continue on with their conversation all throughout the meal, and when they’re finished. They talk and laugh the whole way back, making a couple stops in random shops.

“That was fun,” Jungkook says, scratching the side of his head. He hasn't had that much fun in a while. His old friends were never as interesting as Taehyung is. It’s weird, honestly. “Thanks.”    

“I should thank you. I'm gonna feel so bad dragging you around everywhere.” Taehyung stops for a second. “Wanna go to LA next? Like, right now?”    

“I’m broke, Tae. We’ve established this.” Taehyung looks at him like he's dumb.

“I'm paying,” he explains as if it’s obvious. Jungkook shakes his head.

“Not yet. Maybe another time, Tae. I need a nap.” Taehyung frowns at the idea. Jungkook thinks of how amazing a nap will be. He hasn't been this active in so long. His body wasn't ready for all this adventure.

“You’re boring.”    

“Thank you,” Jungkook leaves Taehyung standing in the hallway of the apartment. He faceplants onto his bed and closes his eyes. Taehyung’s still undeniably cute, and that’s what he thinks about when he drifts off to sleep.

 

Chapter Text

January 14th, 2039

 

Jungkook stares at Taehyung’s list. He let Jungkook borrow it so he can look it over, and he’s just become more confused. He doesn't know where to start and Taehyung for sure doesn't know. He should obviously do the easiest ones of the list, like the cleaning one sounds easy enough. Maybe not though. They have a pretty big apartment and it might take a while to clean. The Netflix one sounds easy enough too, but he has too much energy to sit down and watch anything.

Jungkook sighs, running his hands through his hair in frustration. His fingers get caught in the messy locks and Jungkook realizes he should brush it out a tad. He goes to stand, about to set aside the list, when he stops. Ride a motorcycle .

Jungkook hums. It sounds perfect to him. He knows how to ride a motorcycle. He has a license and everything. His mother would make him drive her around on their motorcycle back home, so he was practically forced to get it. The only problem is the expenses. Jungkook’s still undeniably broke. He gets paid today, so he can stop by the shop to pick up his check, and he has a bit of money that Jimin gave him, and by a bit, he means a lot. Jungkook’s two options aren’t the best, and he knows which one he’ll choose.

One, he can ask Jimin, or either of his boyfriends, for money. He knows they’ll give it to him, be he can't do it. He’s already burdening them enough by staying with them.

Two, he can do something completely illegal and stupid. He smiles. Time to steal a motorcycle.

 

*

 

Jungkook packs a bag and heads to the shop first. It slipped his mind when he was sent home early to grab his check, so he decides to get it now. He doesn't need it desperately, but it’s on the way. Jimin and Hoseok give him weird looks when he waltzes back in.

“Forgot my check,” he mumbles, heading to the back to greet Eunseo. Eunseo doesn't say much to him and gives him a small sign of acknowledgement since she's on the phone. Jungkook knows it isn't exactly an important phone call, but he doesn't show that he knows. It’s that boy she likes but he can't remember the name. Jimin mentioned him once, an old friend of theirs.

Jungkook reaches for the pile of checks strewn about the desk. By pile, he means the five checks there. His, Jimin’s, Hoseok’s, Eunseo’s, and the other worker that Jungkook has yet to talk to. He’s never spoken with her, considering she’s quiet, but she still looks nice. She helps in the kitchen most of the time, only helping out Jimin in the front when it gets busy.

Jungkook takes the check and leaves with a smile and a wave. His next stop is the bank. He has a bank account, but hasn't used it in forever. He doesn't think he has any money in there, maybe a bit from the trips he used to save for back when he had hopes and dreams. He cashes in his money, leaving a bit in the bank for savings.

“One ticket to Busan,” he says to the lady at the counter. She takes his money and in exchange, hands him the requested ticket. Jungkook can't believe he’s actually going through with this. He could have done this in so many other ways, but he sort of likes this. It’s a way to get back at his parents and a way to show them that he's doing better without them. To show them how shitty they would treat him.

Jungkook steps onto the train, ready for a long ride. He hasn't been back to Busan ever since he left that place. He can barely remember what his time was like back there. He doesn't want to remember it either. All he can allow himself to think is that it was dark back there.

It feels weird to be going back to the place he vowed he would never step foot in again. He shakes his head. It’s not the time to be thinking about how depressing his life is and how he’s still trying to escape. He’s supposed to be thinking about Taehyung.

So he goes back to thinking of Taehyung instead.

He thinks of his eyes and the stars that shine within them and his box smile with his white, shiny teeth. The way his lips are a plump pink and Jungkook still just wants to touch them. His cheeks have gotten fuller in the past few weeks and it makes Jungkook gleeful if anything. He wants to squish his cheeks.

When Jungkook thinks about it, he realizes he needs to put on some weight. He lost a lot in the times of his meals becoming less and less frequent throughout the past few months. His thighs no longer have their thick, muscular appearance and his cheeks show no sign of chub. He grimaces at the sight of his own appearance in the shaded windows of the train. He makes a mental note to gain some weight and pick up a gym membership to gain a bit of muscle.

He looks down toward his thighs and the way his pants feel loose around his legs and the space between his waist and the waistband of the jeans. He wonders how skinny Yoongi must be if his pants were so tight on him. He’s shorter as well, so that may have an effect on the tightness. Jungkook finds his this whole dilemma silly. He shouldn't be worrying about his weight at a time like this. Motorcycle now, weight later.

The train ride feels shorter once he pulls out his book. He doesn't know what it’s about really. He found it in the living room before he left. He has no idea which of the boys it belongs to if he’s honest and he feels bad about taking it, but he doesn't have anything else to do on the ride to Busan.

It feels like mere minutes when he arrives in Busan. He became immersed in the story he was reading to the point of no return. He's going to have to borrow the book again from whoever owns it. He has a feeling it’s Jimin though, just from the content alone.

Jungkook steps off the train and heads in the direction he knows the house is. He remembers all the times he dreaded to come home, trying to stay out as long as possible, even to delay the inevitable. He flinches. He's not going inside the house, he knows, but it’s scary to think about it. What if they catch him? What if they see him and refuse to let him leave? What if they think they’ve won and that he’s come crawling back. He pushes the thoughts away. He shouldn't have to worry. From what he remembers, they stay out late Friday nights and don't come back until Saturday. Those were always his favorite days.

Jungkook only finds himself walking for a bit longer when he finds the house he used to call home. He shivers. This place was never his home. It never will be his home.

The walls of the building are old just as they’ve always been. Jungkook doesn't remember a single time where his parents tried to fix up their house in its disastered state. He frowns at it. It was once a baby blue, like the sky, but sits now as a dark gray under the cloud filled sky of today. Jungkook wishes it was sunny once again.

He walks down the pavement to the house, reaching into the plant beside the front door to pull out the keys to their motorcycle. He smiles at it. It’s been too long since he’s ridden a motorcycle and he might be a bit rusty, but it can't be that hard to pick back up.

    He goes to where they keep the motorcycle, knowing for a fact that no one uses it now that he left. Neither of his parents have any clue how to ride a motorcycle. He is the one that bought it and he could have taken it, but the costs would have been too much. He gets on and heads back to Daegu. Another long ride is ahead of him.

 

*

 

Jungkook finds himself back at the apartment, parked outside. He doesn't know if Taehyung will even like this. He does want to ride a motorcycle, but will he like to ride one with Jungkook? Even then, did he mean he wanted to learn to drive one? Will he mind riding on the back? Jungkook huffs at his thoughts. He’s a bit dumb from time to time.

He heads inside, trying to find the best words to use when presenting the idea to Taehyung. He’ll like it, he convinces himself.

“Taehyung?” he shouts once in the living room, setting his bag down on the couch for later. Taehyung pops his head out from his room down the hall. His hair is disheveled and his eyes show his lack of sleep. Jungkook makes sure he’ll remember to bring Taehyung home early tonight so he can get the sleep he deserves.

“Yes, Kook?” he says, stepping out in bright pink slippers with hearts covering them. It’s cute, really.

“Get dressed and come outside! I have a surprise,” Jungkook says, heading back outside to wait for Taehyung. He gives him a confused look but follows the request, stepping back into his room.

    When Taehyung comes out, he's in black skinny jeans and a red sweatshirt, hood back up. Jungkook frowns. He understands why he does it, but he likes to see Taehyung’s fluffy hair. He doesn't say anything. Of course he doesn’t. It’s not his business.

Taehyung’s eyes light up at the sight of the shiny, red and black motorcycle parked on the side of the road. He looks over to Jungkook, but then his eyes turn to curiosity.

“Jungkook, how the fuck did you get a motorcycle?”    

Jungkook shrugs. “It’s mine. Don't worry about it.”    

“I thought you said you were broke?” Taehyung asks, but he doesn't seem concerned in the slightest. He heads to the motorcycle, already throwing his leg over one side. Jungkook joins him in the front, moving Taehyung’s hands to hold onto his waist. Taehyung leans his head onto Jungkook’s shoulder.

“I stole it from my parents house, but it is mine,” Jungkook mumbles with a chuckle. He can feel the glare from Taehyung behind him.

“When did you have time to do this? And aren't they going to call the police since it was stolen?” Taehyung’s first sign of concern is shown and Jungkook simply shrugs again.

“No, they don't use it. I'm gonna give it back when we’re done though. And I took a train to Busan after work,” Jungkook explains, starting up the vehicle. Taehyung lets out a squeal from behind him and Jungkook can feel his body shake in excitement. He's still cute.

Jungkook starts off slow so Taehyung can enjoy the scenery around them. Daegu is undeniably pretty. Jungkook has just about no clue where he’s going, but he makes do. He’s wandered around a lot before, so he has an idea of the routes and roads. Jungkook starts to speed up when he senses the boredom from Taehyung. He may be going slightly above the speed limit but Taehyung is enjoying himself and that's all he cares about.

Jungkook hasn't felt so free in a long time. He can feel the wind grazing his skin and his hair flowing in the breeze. He smiles, leaning forward on the vehicle, pulling Taehyung with him. “Hold on tight.”    

Taehyung does just that, reaching around Jungkook’s waist to clasp his hands together. His head digs in Jungkook’s back now, hood long from covering his head and now blows behind him. Jungkook wishes he could see Taehyung right now. He definitely looks gorgeous hanging on behind him with his hair a mess from the wind. He tightens his grip.

Jungkook speeds through the red light to get them to their destination faster. He swears he can hear a siren behind him, but he's not sure. He doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon. They speed past the cars, receiving honk after honk from the cars they pass. Taehyung’s giggles are barely audible over the loud motor and the winds whipping by, but Jungkook can hear him.

They feel like they’re riding for hours and Jungkook loves every second of it. He’s living. He's having fun again.

Jungkook pulls over in front of a family style restaurant. “You hungry?”    

Taehyung nods, smile beaming brighter than the setting sun. They head inside for a meal together.

They end up staying longer than planned, and by the time they realize it, it’s already closing time. A little after ten, they’re finally kicked out. “How far are we from home?”    

Jungkook shrugs. “I'm not sure, maybe like thirty minutes. But it’s dark and I hate riding in the dark. Do you mind if we check into that hotel over there?” Jungkook points to the hotel not far from the restaurant they stand outside of. Taehyung laughs.

“Okay, sure, let’s stay there.” Jungkook’s not sure why he’s laughing.

They walk for a good five minutes before they reach the front of the hotel. It’s a bit raunchy for a normal hotel, in Jungkook’s opinion, but he doesn't question the style. They walk inside, earning instant look from people passing by late that night. Taehyung walks to the front desk, presumably booking a room for the two of them. Jungkook takes a good look around, eyes squinting in confusion. He just ignores the weird atmosphere. Taehyung’s still laughing while they head up to their room.

“Okay, Kook, my body is ready,” Taehyung says, falling back against the bed. There's only one, which isn't a big deal. Jungkook can sleep on the couch.    

“What?” he asks, grabbing an extra blanket from the edge of the bed. Taehyung obviously seems upset with him for taking the couch.

“Well, first of all I’ll sleep on the couch,” he grumbles, ripping the blanket from Jungkook’s hands. “And two, this is a love hotel. I just thought it was funny you chose here of all places. Didn’t know you were that bold, Kook.”    

Jungkook feels hot. He should have realized when they went inside. “Oh.”    

“Yeah, now get on the bed. I’m sleeping on the couch,” he says, about to throw himself onto the couch. Jungkook isn't having any of it as he falls backwards onto the couch. It’s a lot softer than he would have expected.

“You can take the couch. You look tired,” Jungkook mutters, feeling the first wave of sleep hit him after the long day. Taehyung shakes his head, landing right on top of Jungkook.

“We’ll both take the couch, I guess.” The idea seems utterly stupid, but Jungkook doesn't actually care. They have a perfect bed set up right to his right, but he's already on the couch. And with Taehyung on top of him, he doesn't care enough to move. He sighs, pulling the blanket over both of them. Jungkook wraps his arms around Taehyung, who’s face down on his chest. Jungkook smiles down at the pretty view and luckily Taehyung doesn't notice his staring. He isn't staring for long though, because he falls asleep not even moments after.

 

Chapter Text

January 16th, 2039

 

“Minnie, I'm sorry I took your book,” Jungkook says, dropping the book onto Jimin’s lap. Jimin looks up from his phone and his eyes fall down onto the book in his lap. His hands trace the cover of the book and his eyes flicker when he notices a fold in the cover, a small rip making its way through the text of the title. “I swear, that was there when I took it!”    

Jimin hums. His eyes turn from the rip and he meets Jungkook’s pleading eyes. “Well, I guess that’s what I get for leaving it lying around like that.”

Jungkook doesn't say anything. Jimin sets his phone onto his lap and opens up his now returned book. “What did you think of it? It’s based on a true story, you know.”    

“It is?” Jungkook asks. He did, in fact, enjoy the book and he loves the characters and their stories, but he isn't expecting to hear those words from Jimin. He merely assumed that it was a figment of the author's imagination. Something like that could never even happen, could it? In his eighteen years of life, he has never heard of something of that nature occurring.

“Yes, actually. Two boys in the late 1800s whose love was said to be wrong took their own lives on April 12th, when neither were set to die on that day. No one knows how they did it, even with all the research that's been done on the topic. It’s always been such a fascinating story that I’ve read the book multiple times!” Jimin’s ramble brings Jungkook to thoughts he didn't have while reading said book. He previously believed it was a work of fiction, but now that he knows that that isn't the case, his thoughts linger in other places.

“No way… those two actually existed? Were those their real names? Real story?” Jungkook asks and gets a nod in response.

“From what I know, yeah. They both kept in depth journals that I also am looking into buying so most of the information is from those. There were some eye witness accounts written down since the case was huge back then. Nothing like that had ever been seen so everyone was all over it!” Jungkook nods. He wonders about how those two must’ve felt in such an unaccepting time. They must’ve been so scared. Jungkook can't even imagine the hurt they felt in that time.

“The end was what got me the most. Their families claimed that they would’ve loved them no matter what.”    

“Yes, but the world wouldn't.” Jimin sets the book down beside him and picks his phone back up, rubbing his finger over the screen for a moment. The words hit Jungkook hard. No one should suffer for loving. “I’m sure that if either had told their families, they wouldn't have felt that way. You don't know that you truly care until you lose them, right?”    

And although Jungkook agrees, there is still a hope within him that their parents would’ve loved them anyway. Jungkook has another hope in him that they’re together now, completely and utterly happy and in love. “Kim Namjoon and Kim Seokjin, huh?”

 

*

 

Taehyung stares at Jungkook’s door with squinted eyes. To say he's bored is an understatement. Normally, he doesn't have a problem with being alone all day, doing nothing as he waits for the day to finally come to a close, but after Jungkook spoiling him with his company, Taehyung feels bored for the first time in a while. He's just gotten used to being around someone constantly that he craves for that type of affection. It’s a weird feeling and it bothers him.

He taps his fist to the door in a light manner but he doesn't receive an indication that he's heard. “Jungkook?”    

He decides to head inside without consent because he's a bit worried that maybe Jungkook died of, oh he didn't know, frostbite? Thanks to Yoongi, their apartment feels likes an iceberg. Maybe Jungkook passed out or something. He has to make sure he’s okay, right?    

Taehyung finds Jungkook passed out on the floor. It doesn't look like there's anything wrong with him, which relieves Taehyung to no end. He does notice the light shivering, thanks to him being in a t-shirt, as well as having no form of coverage from the below freezing temperatures. (Though, he's just exaggerating. Yoongi wouldn't actually try to kill them like that).

“How the fuck is Yoongi still hot when it’s like this?” he mumbles to himself as he takes in Jungkook’s appearance. Jungkook is spread out across the floor on his stomach, mouth hanging open to let drool slip down his chin. It’s funny, but also pretty cute. Taehyung stops a giggle from leaving his lips at such a vulnerably sight.

Taehyung pats down his hair as it’s messy enough from sleep. His fingers get caught in the knots and he has to do his best not rip his hair so as to not hurt him. It’s soft.

“Jungkookie, it’s time to get up,” he whispers into Jungkook’s ear but he only gets an action that's meant to shake him off. “Jungkook!”    

Jungkook finally begins to stir, shifting out of his sleeping state, only to squint up at Taehyung. He lifts his head off of the ground, eyes barely open as they adjust to the lights around him. Now he's really cute.

“Hey cutie, get up! It’s already past noon and I wanna do something!” Taehyung says, in a soft but still excited voice. Jungkook glares at him and Taehyung notices the red mark slapped across his cheek from the position he has been sleeping in. “Why were you sleeping on the floor?”    

Jungkook still hasn't processed the situation from the way he moves his eyes around the room like he doesn't nowhere he is. “Was working.”    

“On?” Taehyung presses. Jungkook sits up into a kneeling position and rubs his eyes.

“Stuff. Don't worry about it.” Taehyung isn't satisfied but he doesn't push in case it’s a personal thing. “I don't really wanna go anywhere, Tae. I'm tired.”    

“We don't have to go anywhere.” An idea pops into Taehyung’s head. It’s the perfect chance. “Let’s just watch some Netflix, then!”    

Jungkook, now wide awake, agrees and they head out to the living room to set up. “Can you go make some popcorn and grab some snacks?”    

“Sure!” Taehyung says as he heads to the kitchen. He opens up the cabinet where they keep the snacks and is already reaching for where the popcorn always is before the cabinet is all the way open. But then, he realizes the cabinet is completely empty. He frowns. The boys don't usually eat all the snacks that fast, as Jimin hates snacking and Hoseok just never has the time. Yoongi doesn't even eat that many snacks, so there shouldn't be a reason for them being out. He huffs, suddenly dejected from having his plans spoiled.

“Hey, don't worry. Let's head out to the convenience store and pick some stuff up,” Jungkook suggests, already throwing on a jacket over his unchanged pajamas. Taehyung realizes they’re both in their pajamas at this point and he's honestly too tired to change to just go to the convenience store. He grabs a random jacket from the rack that doesn't fit him and they head out.

The walk isn't too far, only about five or ten minutes, neither are counting. The walk is just calming in general. It’s not a busy day, as most people are spending their Sunday curled up at home with the recent temperature drop. Taehyung wishes that's what they were doing instead of having to head out of his home to get snacks so they can watch a damn tv show.

Jungkook pushes the door open first and they walk inside. No ones inside as expected. Taehyung reaches to grab some bags of chips and popcorn for the eventful night ahead while Jungkook heads to the soda. “What soda do you like, Tae?”     

"Ah, just get coke or something,” Taehyung says, not really listening while he tries to decide what type of chips and popcorn they want.

“Do we want the butter lovers or the extreme butter? Like, I like butter, but I don't know about extreme,” Taehyung rants to himself. Jungkook walks in front of him and grabs the popcorn with extra butter.

“Just get the one in the middle then,” he says and grabs the bag of BBQ chips that Taehyung also had his eye on. They walk up to the counter to check out when Taehyung’s eyes get caught on the display.

“Do you want candy? Chocolate?” Taehyung asks, eyes begging as he stares at Jungkook. Jungkook shrugs, not paying much attention to him as he sets their items on the counter for the lady behind the counter. Taehyung looks over the options and then back to Jungkook. What kind of candy does he like?

Among the rows of sweets, his eyes get caught on something right beside the chocolate bar he is so close to grabbing. A chocolate chip cookie sold in individual packages. He grabs a couple of them without thinking and throws them onto the counter. Jungkook gives him a look for a brief moment, but it switches to smile instantly. His eyes shine with the smile, some sort of admiration, Taehyung assumes. Cute!

Taehyung pays for their snacks and they start to head back to the apartment. “What do you want to watch anyway?”    

Taehyung pushes the door open as Jungkook asks the question. His face falls a bit. He hasn't thought about it. “Whatever is fine with me. Is there anything you’ve been wanting to watch?”    

Jungkook is silent for only a second as he stares at the tv with a blank look. “Maybe we should watch every single one of the Pokémon movies,” he mumbles.

Taehyung nods at the suggestion, since he most definitely wants to watch every single Pokémon movie. Why he hadn't thought of it is a mystery.

Jungkook opts for getting their snacks into bowls and getting them cups for the soda while Taehyung sets up the tv. He’s not sure all of the Pokémon movies are on Netflix, but he knows for a fact that they own all of them, because he's seen Hoseok and Yoongi binge watch them every other week or something at three in the morning. He's still waiting for Jimin to find out and get pissed that they’re watching Pokémon without him.

Once they’re all settled up on the couch, Taehyung plays the movie. Jungkook had gotten them a large blanket to get some warmth in the iceberg of an apartment they live in. Taehyung looks over to Jungkook to make sure he's enjoying the movie, and isn't surprised at the wide eyes he has as he watches the tv. Honestly, it’s cute, and Taehyung is so glad that Jungkook recommended that they watch Pokémon.

Taehyung shoves another handful of popcorn into his mouth as he watches Ash and his friends get up to their shenanigans again.

They’re on the second movie by the time Taehyung is feeling jittery. They definitely are not going to finish all the movies tonight. There are too many and although that isn't actually what his list says, he doesn't mind because he's spending time with Jungkook. Taehyung looks over to Jungkook again to see if he's still enjoying it as much as he was before, and of course, no surprise, he still has that childlike look on his face. His eyes are shining and holy shit, he's smiling. And it's really cute.

Instead of watching the movie, Taehyung finds himself staring at Jungkook for a while. It isn't long before Jungkook’s head shoots in his direction, some instinct telling him that eyes were on him. He looks startled to find Taehyung staring at him instead of watching the movie, but doesn't speak. Taehyung stares at Jungkook for a while and Jungkook stares back. It’s not awkward, just weird. Taehyung hums and then throws a piece of popcorn at Jungkook’s face. His face contorts into confusion.

“What the fuck was that for?” he asks, both ignoring the movie playing in the background at this point. And to that, Taehyung doesn't know. Something about Jungkook’s cute face just really pissed him off.

“You were staring at me,” he says. Jungkook’s face turns into one of accusation.

“You were the one staring at me, dumbass!” This time, Jungkook throws a piece of popcorn back at him. This time, Taehyung throws two at him and then another two hit him back.

“We’re not having a food fight in the fucking living room. Jimin will beat our asses. He's scary as hell when he's mad,” Taehyung says, his words almost sounding sad. He shouldn't feel sad about that, since he would have to clean it up if they make a huge mess, more so than they already have, but for some reason, he just wants to make a mess with Jungkook.

“Watch the movie, idiot,” Jungkook says, turning his attention back to the movie. Taehyung listens for a couple minutes, maybe an hour, but he hasn't been keeping track of time. He feels jittery again, so he looks over to Jungkook. He's still holding those shiny eyes and bunny smile as he watches the tv with admiration. It’s a nice look and Taehyung wishes he’s looking at him so he can see it full on. He stares for a while again.

This time, Jungkook either doesn't notice or has stopped caring, because they get through a couple more movies. Taehyung switches between the movie and Jungkook for a while, and soon he finds Hoseok and Jimin sprinting through the doors, yelling about something incoherent for a while. They disappear but instantly reappear when they hear the movie playing.

“You’re watching Pokémon without me? Fucking assholes,” Hoseok mumbles, leaving the room, only to come back in casual clothes and his own blanket. Jimin just looks at him incredulously, but ends up doing the same thing. He comes back in pajamas and snuggles up next to Hoseok on the couch beside Taehyung and Jungkook. The entire time, Taehyung and Jungkook don't speak. But, Taehyung’s sure Jungkook hasn't said anything because he’s watching the movie.

Sometime during the whole ordeal, Jungkook manages to interlock their hands. Taehyung doesn't know why and he's not sure he wants to know, but he holds Jungkook’s hand back.

“Shut up, Hobi! This is the sad part!” Oh.

Just as Jungkook says, it is a sad part in the movie. They’re watching the one with Groudon, but Taehyung doesn't remember the plot, nor has he been watching it as intently as the others. His eyes were too intently focused on the tears forming in Jungkook’s eyes and he hates it. He hates seeing him cry. Taehyung hates seeing anyone cry.

Taehyung frowns, deciding to lean his head on Jungkook’s shoulder. He feels him stiffen up under him, but he doesn't speak. Taehyung reaches up to Jungkook’s eyes with his sleeves covering his hands. He wipes his eyes, making sure he isn't blocking his view of the tv as he does it. Jungkook acknowledges him with a nod and a smile.

Jimin is soon leaning into Hoseok’s chest, bawling his heart out at the scene that Taehyung still doesn't understand. He should have been paying attention to the movie in the first place, but maybe it’s a good thing, because he knows he would also have been bawling his eyes out if he had paid attention. Thankfully, Hoseok seems to be taking care of a crying Jimin- oh, never mind. He's crying too.

They’re on the next movie when Yoongi gets home. What time even is? Taehyung’s so tired. He wants to sleep, but he doesn't want to give up. How many Pokémon movies are there? He finds himself feeling delirious. He swears that everyone in the room sounds like Pokémon or something. He’s going insane with watching Pokémon for hours on end.

Yoongi looks pissed that they’ve been watching pokemon without him, but he doesn't share his thoughts and cuddles up next to Hoseok on the couch, stealing the blanket his boyfriends have been using. Somehow, they all make it work.

Another movie comes on and Taehyung has given up on life. It’s not as easy as it sounds. How do Hoseok and Yoongi do this all the time? Taehyung doesn't think he wants to watch Pokémon ever again, or play the games. He never wants to talk about, not even breathe in the same direction as anything Pokémon related. He gives into looking up to Jungkook again.

It’s a bit awkward to look at him from this position, Taehyung soon finds out. His head is leaned a bit too far back and his neck feels strained from holding the position for even a few seconds. But he can still see Jungkook’s face for a bit and he doesn't mind. Jungkook doesn't seem to mind the staring anymore either, too engrossed in the movie to bat another eye at him.

Taehyung’s just really sleepy. He doesn't fight sleep anymore and nuzzles himself on Jungkook’s shoulder to get comfortable. He doesn't actually remember anything after that. He just remembers the warmth that he felt in the room with his best friends as they watched a heartbreaking scene with Pikachu or something.

 

*

 

January 17th, 2039

 

Jungkook’s body feels heavy, no, maybe it’s just his eyes. Actually, he feels something on him, a weight of some sort. His eyes fully open and his sleepiness is no longer present. He finds Taehyung sprawled across him, still deep in sleep. Jungkook doesn't know when he fell asleep, but it couldn’t have been too long ago. The last movie on the playlist that one of the boys set up is in the final moments, credits close to rolling.

Jungkook attempts to shake Taehyung awake, but he doesn't budge. He pushes Taehyung off of his lap and he falls on the floor below them. A loud groan comes from him, along with a couple curses. Jungkook checks the time, finding that it is way past ten. He scrambles to get up, cursing himself for being late for work. He's going to get fired for being this stupid. He's so fucking useless, can't even stick to basic schedules-

A hand grabs his ankle.

“Where are you going?” Taehyung’s voice is raspy from sleep, not a new sound to Jungkook’s ears. He finds his morning voice relaxing, something he could wake up to all the time if possible. Okay, that sounds weird, but he meant that he could wake up- no there is no other way for him to phrase it. He's a creep.

“I'm late for work! Why didn't Jimin wake me up?” he yells, the last bit mostly to himself. Jimin was on the couch beside them, along with Hoseok, and neither of them had the audacity to wake him for work? Such nice friends.

“Relax, Kook,” Taehyung mumbles, sitting up from the floor he was previously lying on. “I told them to leave you. You were tired as hell.”    

Jungkook pales. “I can't just skip work, Tae! I need the money, you know? How am I supposed to pay you guys back?” Jungkook’s just ranting at this point, hoping to find some sort of logic in his sleep deprived words. Nothing of substance comes from his rambles, of course.

“If it bothers you that much, I'll pay you to spend the day with me or something,” Taehyung says as he rises to his feet. He dusts himself off from being pushed to the ground, sending a glare to Jungkook. He's wearing Gucci, Jungkook realizes, and that's even more for Jungkook to pay back. He's a dumbass-

“Stop, you’re fine, god damnit. I said, I'll pay you. Double what you earn in a year or some shit, just please, don’t think stupid shit,” Taehyung presses. Jungkook gulps and nods. He rids the thoughts from his head, clearing his mind of anything that attempts to invade his sudden burst of peace. Then, he smirks, thinking of Taehyung’s offer.

“Are you saying that you’ll be my sugar daddy?” Jungkook says, hiding his mouth with his hand to block the giggles from escaping his lips. Taehyung is silent as he watches Jungkook. Jungkook looks for any signs that he fucked up on Taehyung’s face, but he spots none. He does find a forced frown on his lips, that he’s trying desperately to keep as his lips beg to be curved into a smile.

Taehyung sits on the couch beside Jungkook, leaning back against the couch cushions.

“Only if you want to, babe,” his voice drops an octave, if that’s even possible. Jungkook scoffs when Taehyung pats his lap.

“If you think I'm gonna sit on your lap, you’re delusional. Go fuck yourself, Tae,” Jungkook laughs, giving Taehyung a playful slap on the shoulder. He leans into Taehyung instead, resting his head on his lap; He feels his worries about work drift away with Taehyung’s presence, and he makes sure to remind himself to make it up to Eunseo. He’ll bake her a cake or by her dinner or something. He knows how hard it can be for employees to call out, but with Jimin and Hoseok, they should be fine, right?

Jungkook doesn't have the mind to care as he wonders what he and Taehyung are going to do together today. Again.

 

Chapter Text

January 17th, 2039

 

Jungkook doesn't know how they started this. First, Taehyung’s pushing him into his room, yelling at him to get dressed for wherever they’re going and then they’re out the door when Jungkook’s only looking half alive. He looks emo, but he won't admit it. Next, he's in the car, head lolling against the window with his eyes half closed. Taehyung doesn't say where they’re going, but Jungkook isn't too keen on asking.

Taehyung rambles on about how much he's going to love the destination, but never shares any details. Jungkook stares out the window and let's his mind drift away at the mesmerizing tone of Taehyung’s deep, sleepy, rasp. If Taehyung notices his lack of interest, he doesn't show it.

They’re in the car for no longer than thirty minutes when they pull up to a large building, not one that Jungkook recognizes. People are walking in and out of the building, hauling bags and rolling suitcases with them, bundled up in coats from the colder airs that January has brought them. Jungkook glances at the sign and his expression changes from confused to utter shock. Suddenly, he's wide awake.

“Kim Taehyung, you did not fucking bring me to the airport! I still have obligations here! I can't go anywhere and I don't have anything on me-” Jungkook’s rant is cut short when he feels something cover his mouth. He glares at the large hand covering his lips from voicing his intended words.

“You’re fine. I texted Eunseo and she doesn't care. I said I’d pay you double your earnings in a year,” Taehyung reassures, well, attempts to. Jungkook is in no way reassured by his words. He can't just skip work to go wherever Taehyung thinks he’s bringing him. Taehyung doesn't try to argue and he steps out of the car, heading to the trunk. He pulls out a single bag that he settles on his shoulder and motions for Jungkook to get out of the car as well, but Jungkook makes no indication of moving.

In fact, Jungkook’s eyes are nowhere near meeting Taehyung’s annoyed gaze, only briefly hearing him mumble something about, “not wanting to be late.” He’s sleep deprived and suddenly things are blending together and he's seeing things that aren't actually there. He shakes it off and does his best to keep up the completely awake attitude he had before.

“I said I'm not going, Tae,” Jungkook says. He purses his lips. Taehyung hadn't even known him for a month and he he's already taking him somewhere that is more than Jungkook will ever earn in this lifetime. It’s weird to Jungkook that he and Taehyung have gotten so close in only two weeks, a bit more. Maybe it’s Taehyung’s approachable appeal that drew Jungkook to him and at this point, he doesn't mind. “Can you at least tell me where we’re going?”

Taehyung shakes his head and almost laughs. It’s close to mockingly, but it doesn't sound mean. If anything, it’s just cute to Jungkook.

“That will ruin the surprise! Come on! You’ll enjoy yourself, Kook. Promise?” Taehyung sticking his pinky out is so childlike that Jungkook has to join in on the laughter. He doesn't hesitate to connect his own pinky with Taehyung’s and he smiles up at him.

Jungkook finally stands from the passenger’s seat of the car and follows close behind Taehyung into the building. It’s bustling and the immense amount of noise and crowds is overwhelming to Jungkook. He's not usually one for spaces like this but he’s willing to suck it up for Taehyung. He doesn't need to unnecessarily worry him over something stupid.

They check in and then get tied up at security behind some dumb fiasco. Jungkook isn't listening to the ordeal, only knowing that it’s completely stupid and unnecessary of them to hold up the line over something as such. Then again, Jungkook knows nothing about airport security.

Jungkook has trouble figuring out where they’re heading to until the sign is right in front of him and projecting the answer right in his face.

“We’re going to France? Paris?” Jungkook says, almost as a whisper. He's in complete shock. Wait, doesn't he need a passport? And how is he going to-

“Yes, but no worries, everything has been sorted out, so you have nothing to fear,” Taehyung says, as if he can read Jungkook’s mind. Jungkook doesn't let the thoughts bother him anymore, since Taehyung knows what he's doing. Probably.

Jungkook realizes he's still tired. They have another twenty minutes before they will even attempt the boarding and Jungkook spends his time staring off at other passengers with curious gazes. He knows he's tired, but he didn't think he was this tired. People’s faces just seem to blend into distant parts of his memory and it leaves a salty feeling in his mouth. Taehyung is just staring down at his phone when he snaps his fingers.

“I never bought you a phone! I'll order one for you and it’ll be here when we get back,” Taehyung says out of nowhere, eyes never reaching his. Jungkook doesn't try to protest anymore, figures he’ll be stubborn when he’s actually awake.

Jungkook doesn't know why he’s been staring for so long, but he is, and he’s not exactly sure what he’s staring at. He feels a bit delirious, almost like he's high. He’s oddly relaxed, but the droopiness of his eyes reminds him that he’s simply tired. He knows he can get some sleep on the plane, but for some reason, he doesn't see much of that happening. At least, anytime soon.

What time is it now? Jungkook thinks of asking Taehyung because he doesn't even know when they’re supposed to board, but the thoughts slips away. His eyes are still trained on the people around, making sure to give each a once over, despite how their faces just all look the same. It’s not pleasant in the least and he knows he’s just seeing shit. He can't believe it’s just from the sleep deprivation, but he doesn't know why else he would be seeing things like he is now.

He briefly hears someone announce something inaudible over the speaker. Why can't he hear anything? His vision looks a bit blurry, but it’s not too much of a problem when Taehyung has him by the hand. He stares it for a while, Taehyung’s hand on his own. His hearing comes back a bit, as he can hear Taehyung saying something about getting them first class seats, but other than that, he feels completely lost. Jungkook nods along to whatever he said, hoping that maybe Taehyung won’t notice him doing anything out of the ordinary.

They board with no problems and an overexcited Taehyung, but Jungkook is still just lost. They in the third row, across the aisle is an older couple and in front is a high class looking man with presumably his son, but Jungkook can't tell. It could just as easily be a girl with short hair, but he can't catch the facial features. His eyes are still refusing to process reality at this point. This has never happened. Is it all the locked up thoughts or is the sleep deprivation. It may be a bit of both, but it’s Jungkook’s fault on either end.

Taehyung rants beside him and Jungkook is staring at the seat in front of him, eyes glancing out to the aisle beside him. Why did Taehyung make him sit in the aisle seat?

Jungkook leans back against the seat when they take off, feeling his body lift from the ground. He’s never been on a plane, never been out of the country for a matter of fact. It’s a new experience and how Jungkook wishes he was enjoying it. Why are his breaths so short?

His vision has come back almost completely, but everything is fuzzy. What's wrong with him? Why can't he focus? Why does he long for something to calm him? Nerves, maybe? He assumes that’s the case since it’s the only plausible solution for such a feeling.

“Jungkook? Hey, Kook, are you feeling okay?” Taehyung asks, lifting his hand to Jungkook’s forehead, pushing his hair back to expose his forehead. Jungkook feels hot, but he finds himself shivering for some reason. Taehyung’s face is laced with concern and Jungkook knows he’s causing trouble for him by acting so weird. He doesn't know why he’s being weird. “You nervous to fly?”

Jungkook nods, because he doesn't trust his words at all. Not when he feels so fragile that he could break. Maybe his vision was so blurry from tears that were forming. But, he hadn't felt any tears, not even the urge to cry had hit him.

Unsatisfied, Taehyung grabs his hand. His smile is bright and Jungkook’s shivering dies down when he realizes that he’s not alone. He’s fine. He just needs to calm himself down. It’s nerves from the plane. Of course it is.

“Don't worry, Kook. You’ll do just fine!” Taehyung says. He leaves his hand on Jungkook’s.

Jungkook doesn't know how long it’s been since they’ve left. He can't seem to find any clocks and he hadn't known the time when the departed anyway. It would all be in vain. His eyes keep glancing around the room. First, the land on the man his son (Jungkook had finally been able to take a good look at his face once his vision was clear) and he couple across the aisle from them.

He doesn't feel good again. Is he still tired? Jungkook closes his eyes in hopes if sleeping hitting him, but he ends up getting frustrated when nothing happens. His heart is still faster than it should be and his hands start to get sweaty. He feels bad that Taehyung is still holding his hand.

Taehyung’s alerted by his sudden shivering. Jungkook hadn't meant to worry him. He’s simply cold, but it’s even cold on the plane. In fact, he’s hot. He’s sweating and shivering, which doesn't make sense.

“Jungkookie, are you still nervous?” Why does he feel like he’s going to cry? Jungkook doesn't cry. When is the last time he cried? He shakes his head.

Taehyung frowns. He unbuckles the seatbelt and leans forward to look at Jungkook’s face. He’s been looking downwards to avoid Taehyung seeing his face. He doesn't even know what he looks like. Does he look scared? Nervous? Sad? He knows for a fact he looks cowardly.

Alarm shows on Taehyung’s face as he hops down to his knees in front of him. He hadn't realized they have so much leg room.

“Kook, what’s wrong? Please don't cry. I'm so sorry I did this without telling you. It was so stupid and I won't do it again, I swear!” Taehyung is whispering, voice as soft as possible. Jungkook thinks it’s to avoid setting him off, but he doesn't know why he would need to do that. Jungkook’s fine. He feels great, in fact. Yeah, he’s a little sleep deprived and he feels a little jittery, but he’s fine.

Jungkook doesn't know how to get words out. He wants to tell Taehyung that he hasn't done anything and that nothing is his fault. There's nothing even wrong with him. He just feels really weird. He opens his mouth to speak but finds a finger over his lips.

“Don't apologize. I know you’re going to. Just tell me what’s going on so I can help you, okay? You got this, Kook,” Taehyung says, smiling up at him. Jungkook stares back at the stars in his eyes. Everything always goes back to those eyes of his.

How Jungkook finds his voice is a mystery, but he’s thankful for it.

“I-I don't know, Tae.” Jungkook pauses. He doesn't want to admit. He doesn't want to say it. Saying it is giving in. He’ll be giving into what they want. The thoughts that overwhelm him want him to be weak like this. They want him to suffer through this and burden Taehyung with every little thing bombarding his mind. But, Jungkook doesn't want that. Jungkook just wants to share fun and new experiences with Taehyung. He doesn't want him to worry over something stupid.

“Come on, Kook. I know you can do it, okay? I'll never judge you for anything, Kook. I know it’s hard, but I won't be able to help you if you don’t tell me how I can do that,” Taehyung says and his voice is so sweet. He doesn't need to be this sweet to him but he is. Jungkook breathes for a couple moments, deep breathes, in and out. His breathing isn't erratic anymore and his body isn't freezing and scorching at the same time. Yet, his heartbeat is still loud enough that Taehyung would have to be deaf to not hear it.

With one last breath, he braces himself.

“Th-they all look like them.” Taehyung blinks.

“I’m not really sure what you mean, Kook. Can you be a bit more specific? You’re doing great. I know you can do it,” Taehyung murmurs and Jungkook has a need to be closer to him. They’re on a plane though and he’s sure Taehyung doesn't want that. At the same time, he also wants to lock himself away until all the thoughts are gone and he can't see their faces.

“Th-those people,” he doesn't want to say it. He can't say it. Why does he have to say it? “My mind is… its playing tricks on me…”

His whisper is so small he doesn't think Taehyung can hear him, but he does. He hums to show his acknowledgement and starts to rub circles over his hand. Jungkook likes the feeling a lot. He wants Taehyung to continue for a long time. Maybe forever.

Why is he saying this?

“P-parents… god, they’re not my parents, I just…” Taehyung doesn't interrupt him. He continues to kneel in front of him, holding his hand in his as he waits for Jungkook to continue. “Every-everywhere I look… it’s them, or me with them, and-and I keep thinking about it but I also can't think about anything-”

“Shh, you did amazing, Jungkookie. You don't have to say anything else.” Taehyung rises to his feet and lifts up the arm rest that was between them. He ushers Jungkook into the window seat and takes the aisle seat instead. Jungkook wants to thank him, but he’s scared that he’ll cry. Jungkook doesn't want to cry. He just can't do that.

Taehyung is so close to him. He’s still holding his hand and his eyes are trained on him like if he looks away then Jungkook disappear. Jungkook feels so fragile under his gaze that it’s almost unnerving.

It’s hard to calm his mind, but with Taehyung whispering into his ear, he finds it hard to focus on anything but his voice. It’s deep and smooth right now, but that must be the point. It keeps Jungkook sane for the rest of the ride at least. Along with the circles that Taehyung’s been rubbing on his hand, Jungkook feels a bit calmer. He’s not completely okay, not sure when he’ll feel better right now, but he’s doing better with the reassurance.

Taehyung is so close to him. But, to Jungkook, he’s still too far. Jungkook is about to reach out and bring him closer, but that may be a bit weird. He doesn't want Taehyung to think he’s weird.

Taehyung doesn't attempt to push him out of any comfort zones. A flight attendant comes down with a cart of food and snacks and Taehyung buys them some soda and chips. Jungkook sighs at the mention of food, not even realizing how hungry he was until now. His stomach grumbles in anticipation. Taehyung never lets go of his hand throughout the whole transaction, taking the snacks and drinks one by one with his only free hand. Jungkook pulls his table down that’s attached to the seat in front of him and sets his coke and bag of chips on it.

He’s not looking at the people around them, having blocked them out. Because Taehyung’s a fancy rich boy, they had a curtain set up around their seats, per Taehyung’s request. Jungkook finds it stupid and feels bad for annoying Taehyung and the flight attendants with such a ridiculous request, but it makes him feel better and more secure.

“Hey, Kook? You wanna get some sleep? It’s gonna be a long ride,” Taehyung whispers into his ear, brushing Jungkook’s hair aside. He doesn't want to speak, his throat feeling clogged up for some reason. He bobs his head up and down, lips pressed together as he leans over onto Taehyung’s shoulder. Taehyung grabs a blanket from his bag on the floor and spreads it out across them. The seats lean back enough for them to lay back with all the space between each seat. Jungkook almost felt bad for the people behind them, but he realizes that they have at least another five feet for themselves. Rich people these days.

Jungkook’s eyes fall shut. The lights were shut off, it being too early despite it not even being as early as it could be. He appreciates it though as it helps him relax into his seat more. Taehyung presses his lips to Jungkook’s head, face buried into hair. He expects Taehyung to move away, but he doesn’t, keeping his head pressed into Jungkook’s. It’s not uncomfortable but in fact the opposite. Know that Taehyung is right there with him is the most comforting thing to him. He doesn't want him to move any time soon, just wanting to enjoy their time together.

Jungkook doesn't know how long he’s slept. He didn't know he’d even be able to fall asleep but he had and now that he’s up, he doesn't want to move. He eyes his untouched chips and half cup of soda with longing eyes. Moving meant that Taehyung will have to move. Yet, Taehyung is still fast asleep, breathing soft as his head is kept buried into Jungkook brown curls. His hair is wavy from sleep but that’s the least of his concerns.

Jungkook doesn't move his head, but reaches for his cup of soda, taking a long sip of the beverage. He grabs a couple chips, but he feels sick after so little and leaves them to sit on the table. He eyes Taehyung’s chips instead, the half full bag of crisps are now untouched with a sleeping Taehyung. He wishes he would have gotten the same flavor, but it doesn't matter now since Taehyung isn't even up. He switches out their bags of chips, convincing himself that Taehyung won't mind.

Jungkook stares at nothing for a while and then stares at Taehyung’s hand. It’s now loose as it holds his own so Jungkook tightens the grasp he has on it. Taehyung doesn't move, still trapped in sleep.

He’s not sure how long it’s been, but he finds himself curled into Taehyung like his life depends on it. His mind is racing with the thoughts of those people. He’s now sure it wasn't from sleep deprivation because he had to have been sleeping for a while just then. But why now?

Jungkook doesn't want to wake Taehyung. He needs his sleep just as much as Jungkook does and he’s in no way obligated to have Taehyung calm him down from his dumb overthinking. He can deal with these irrational thoughts by himself. He doesn't need anyone to tell him that everything is going to be fine and that no one can hurt him now. He’s okay on his own. He needs to learn to be self sufficient.

And yet, Jungkook still finds himself clutching Taehyung’s sweatshirt with all of his strength. He silently curses himself when Taehyung begins to stir, eyes fluttering open when Jungkook’s grip is a bit too tight. “Kook? Are you okay?”

Jungkook hums to hopefully satisfy him but Taehyung’s not that dumb.

“You don't have to lie to me. You could’ve woken me up earlier if something’s bothering you,” Taehyung says, his arm moving to wrap around Jungkook. Jungkook feels so fucking weak and fragile like this. He hates how vulnerable he feels. He doesn't need someone to baby him like this. He’s a legal adult, eighteen years of age, and he’s still being babied. He absolutely hates it. He’s not a baby anymore.

“I’m fine, Taehyung. Please don't worry,” Jungkook says, as convincing as it may sound.

“Of course, Kook. Just go back to sleep, okay? Trust me, everything will be fine. No one will hurt you, especially while I’m here. I'll beat the shit out of them, yeah?” Taehyung says almost jokingly. He knows he's not actually joking though. He knows Taehyung will fight for him and it makes him warm at the thought of being so cared about by someone he cares about so much.

Jungkook tries to listen to the request, but it doesn't work. Sleep isn't coming any time soon and he knows they still have a bit of time before they land at their destination. Jungkook sighs, feeling slightly embarrassed by the fact that he’s about to do something completely and utterly stupid.

“Will you sing for me?” Jungkook asks. The stare he receives from Taehyung is full of confusion, absolutely priceless if you ask Jungkook (but that's just because it’s cute). It’s a stupid request and he knows it, but he just keeps thinking about to all the times that Jimin would sing to him when they were kids and when his mother was a good person and she’d sing him lullabies when he couldn't sleep. Now, even as an adult, Jungkook still wants to hear Taehyung’s voice lull him into sleep.

“I guess I could.” Taehyung doesn't really sing, just hums a soft tune for him to focus his mind on. With the deep tone of his hum, Jungkook can already feel his eyes get heavy. He doesn't think to much as he let's his eyes fall to a close, only focusing on the humming in his ear. He doesn't recognize the song but he doesn't need to when he’s so close to sleep again.

He feels great when he wakes up again. Taehyung is shaking him awake now, no longer holding him as he sleeps. Jungkook almost pouts when he realizes that they’ve now arrived in Paris. He feels his breath hitch and moves to stand, legs a bit wobbly from not having moved in hours. Taehyung leads him off the plane, retrieving his stuff.

The airport is crowded and everything’s in French, and Jungkook doesn't know a lick of French. He never would’ve thought he would have to learn any of it since he never knew he would be here, standing in the middle of a Paris airport, but now he wishes he had. Taehyung seems to know what he’s doing when he keeps his hand in Jungkook’s as he leads them out of the building.

Jungkook is pushed into a long, white limousine with velvety seats and darkened windows. He stares in awe at the passing scenery as he feels a knowing look from Taehyung beside him. He doesn’t look back at Taehyung because it’s that dumb smirk of his. Jungkook feels it burn into the back of his head and enjoys the view from his seat instead.

He doesn't want to get out when they arrive at the hotel. Jungkook just wants to drive around Paris, could do it for hours. Taehyung grabs him by the hand and Jungkook is astonished by the extravagant hotel in front of them. He knows how rich Taehyung is but he isn't expecting this. He can't find the words to express his gratitude to this man and he realizes that he should come up with a way to show Taehyung and yoonminseok that he cares about them.

“How long are we staying here?” Jungkook asks as he tries not to gasp at the luxurious lobby they step into. He feels so underdressed.

“However long you want. We’re taking a private plane back so you don't have to go through that again,” Taehyung says, whispering the last part so no one but Jungkook can hear. He pouts.

“You are not going through that trouble for me,” Jungkook voices, but Taehyung ignores him. Jungkook knows that there is no fighting it now. He waits beside Taehyung as he gets the key to their room.

“We’re really high up,” Taehyung says as he looks at the key card in his hand. Jungkook doesn't know how many floors there are in the hotel but he knows for sure that their room is near the top. It’s almost a thrilling feeling that they’re going to be so far up. He hopes to the gods that there is a balcony so that he can gaze out at the city.

The elevator feels incredibly long but that may be because Jungkook is anticipating it so much. Once at their desired floor, Taehyung shows him to their room. Jungkook is in even more awe, if that's even possible. He feels like that’s all he’s felt since he’s gotten here. And Taehyung doesn't fail to notice it.

“I got the best room that they had, but it could’ve been better. I was hoping for a bathroom for each room, but there’s only a bathroom in one of them, so we’ll have to share,” Taehyung says. Rich kids. Jungkook wishes that his biggest problem was that they didn't have two bathrooms.

“That's fine.” Jungkook decides he should take the one without a bathroom if it bothers Taehyung so much but when he walks over to the room, his shoulder is grabbed. He turns his head over his shoulder with his eyes wide.

“You’re getting the one with the bathroom,” Taehyung says, leaving no room for arguing as he steps in front of Jungkook for the room that Jungkook was originally going to take. Jungkook just sighs and heads to the room with the bathroom.

In the room he finds a large king sized bed with a tv set on top of a dresser. A door leads out to a balcony (thank god) and there's a little desk right beside it. To the right is the bathroom, as well as a walk in closet that sits between the entrance to the bathroom. Jungkook walks to the bathroom to inspect it and almost cries. The bathroom is fucking huge with a large stand up shower, a glass sliding door and what looks like expensive tile and a separate bathtub and oh god, are those jets? Jungkook’s going to have so much fun with that.

There’s a separate room for the toilet, nothing fancy until he realizes that the toilet looks like it’s made of fucking gold. He knows it’s not, but it looks it, and Jungkook’s guessing that it’s heated as well. And for some god damn reason, there's a triple sink with three mirrors above it and a large full body one right across from it. They don't need two bathrooms when they have whatever the fuck this is.

He’s about to go yell at Taehyung for this, but he barges in right in time.

“What do you think? I had to make sure I got this best for my favorite lil cutie,” Taehyung teases, pinching Jungkook’s cheeks. He swats his hand away. “You should eat. You haven't eaten much today and you’ve been gaining weight steadily. It’s good.”

Jungkook blinks at the comment. He was underweight when he was homeless. He didn't have anything to eat, usually only eating when he could get his hands on something and it was never enough for his body physically. He was so weak before. He should start hitting the gym so he doesn't have such a skinny stature any more.

“Uh, thanks I guess,” Jungkook responds because he’s not all too sure what kind of answer Taehyung is looking for. Taehyung hums. His hands reach out to trace over Jungkook’s body, ending up running over his waist. Jungkook doesn't say anything, enjoying the feeling of Taehyung’s hands. He doesn't make any moves in return, assuming he’s just thinking about his recent weight gain.

“There’s a lovely restaurant nearby and we can head to the Louvre, if you’re at all interested,” Taehyung suggests, hands leaving Jungkook’s waist to rest at his sides. And Jungkook isn't one to turn down food and time he can spend with Taehyung. 

“Sure,” he mumbles. Jungkook squints his eyes and glances back to his bed. “I don't have anything with me, Tae.”

Taehyung doesn't bat an eye at Jungkook’s observation. Taehyung motions for him to follow and Jungkook does as he’s led to Taehyung’s room. The bag Taehyung brought with him is on his bed, items of clothing already scattered across.

“I brought your clothes too, cutie, don’t stress,” Taehyung laughs. “But I recommend not wearing something completely emo. We’re going to a fancy restaurant and an art museum, so dress decent.”

In the end, Jungkook ends up in some of Taehyung’s clothes. It’s not exactly something he would usually wear, but somehow the style fits him. Jungkook’s just excited to get back in that limousine.

“Oh, we’re actually gonna walk, Kook. It’s not very far and it’ll give us a chance to look around.” Jungkook has no objections to that either, since he’ll be able to look at the scenery he longs to look at.

Taehyung’s right, because they’re at their destination in less than ten minutes. Jungkook hasn't thought about it until now, but he doesn't speak a word of French, so he has no way to communicate. “Tae-”

Jungkook wouldn’t be able to tell anyone what Taehyung just said, because as he before, he doesn't know any French. But obviously, Taehyung does and the way that the words roll of his tongue so easily is astonishing to say the least.

Jungkook thinks back to the list. On it, Taehyung had said he wanted to learn a new language, but he already knows one, so what language does he have in mind? Jungkook makes sure to keep that in his mind so he can ask later.

The hostess leads them to a table that overlooks the city and Jungkook finds the whole scene breathtaking. It would be better at night, but he doesn't mind that it’s midday. It’s less packed and they’re likely to get their food out faster.

“What do you want?” Taehyung asks. Jungkook can't read the menu and the only translations he can find are in English and he doesn't speak that either. He shrugs.

“I don't know… pizza?” Taehyung glares at him.

“Dumbass,” Taehyung mutters. “Are you picky? I know you can't read the menu but I can order you something you might like if you’re up for it.”

Jungkook doesn't have any other options so he nods and finds himself staring at his fingers for a while. They both order a water and Taehyung orders for the both of them, not that Jungkook even knows what it is.

Jungkook takes a deep breath and looks up from his fingers. 

“I told you that my parents were abusive, correct?” Taehyung almost spits out his water when Jungkook brings the topic up out of nowhere.

“Yes, but I don't expect you to explain yourself to me, Kook. It’s not my business,” Taehyung says. Jungkook shakes his head.

“I just want to explain. Maybe the ordeal… earlier will make more sense?” Jungkook doesn't even think he’s making sense. He takes another deep breath.

“I don't know why, but after my parents moved to Daegu, my father got violent. Not with me at first, but with my mother. I didn't notice it too much. I was too little, but I always knew something was up. I think it was right before we moved back was when my father hit me for the first time. I remember Jimin was scared shitless when he saw the bruise on my cheek and I had to make up a lame story to keep him from worrying.”

The words burn his tongue. He hates referring to them as parents when they never acted like.

Taehyung nods as Jungkook rambles on. He’s nervous, sentences not making sense and he’s shaking. He knows he can stop. Taehyung won't mind at all but he wants to tell him. He should know.

“I don't know why my mother started hitting me. I think my father did something but I'll never know. It wasn't too bad for a while, just the occasional when one or both of them would get drunk.”

Jungkook shuts his eyes.

“Then, I brought a boy home. I don't even remember his name but I liked him a lot at the time. My parents were livid once they found out I liked boys. I felt so bad for having to make him leave because my parents were complete assholes. He never talked to me after that and it made me feel shitty.”

Taehyung’s silent the whole time and Jungkook wants him to interrupt him from this story. Why is he even telling Taehyung?

“My parents would hit me when they weren't drunk now and I was a rebellious teenager, still am, and would bring boys home constantly just to spite them. It’s dumb, yeah, but I wanted to prove them wrong. Not many people are homophobic nowadays but I just got unlucky, I guess.”

Jungkook pauses, realizing he’s left out another key point.

“I think the tattoo also had something to do with it. I don't have one and that’s just not normal. They thought I was a freak already but I think the gay thing was just the last straw. I remember walking out that door on my eighteenth birthday. I told them to fuck themselves when I left.” Jungkook laughs and he hears a bit of laughter from across the table as well.

“Thank you for telling me, Kook. I know that took a lot of courage. You’re the bravest guy I know, yeah?” Taehyung says, reaching across the table to hold Jungkook’s hand in his. With yet another laugh, he holds Taehyung’s hand back. “So, you were seeing things on the plane? Like, the people looked like your parents?”

Jungkook nods. “Yes, but I can't tell you why. Nothing like that has ever happened before.” 

Taehyung rubs his finger over Jungkook’s knuckles. His eyes are focused completely on his hands instead of Jungkook’s onlooking eyes. “Gotcha.”

They lighten up the mood with some jokes and useless chatter while they wait for their food to arrive. Once the food is presented, Jungkook’s already drooling. He doesn't know what’s on his plate but he can already taste it from his seat. The smell is a tell that the taste will be amazing.

They’re at the restaurant for a bit longer than they would’ve like because the sun is starting to go down when they leave.

“I guess we’ll visit the Louvre another time,” Taehyung says as he watches the sun in the distance. “Wanna see the Eiffel Tower instead? It’ll be beautiful.” 

Jungkook nods faster than he ever has. Taehyung laughs at his eagerness.

The restaurant isn't too far from the Eiffel Tower, maybe a twenty minute walk at most. The sun is almost completely out of sight at this point and the mood is coming into view instead. Jungkook feels a rush run through his body as they approach the Eiffel Tower.

“Let’s watch the lights from here,” Taehyung says. Jungkook stand beside him and although it’s a bit of a distance, he doesn't mind. “We can go to the top another time. I’ve just always wanted to see the lights.”

Jungkook has stopped listening to Taehyung when he sees the tower light up. It brings a huge smile to his face as it sparkles various different colors. Jungkook looks to his left to find Taehyung in complete awe. His face is lit up from the distant light, eyes sparkling like the stars they are. His skin is golden in the light and Jungkook melts at the view he gets to see beside him. The Eiffel Tower could never compare to the beauty beside him. He cringes at his own thoughts, but they’re so true. Taehyung’s so pretty that he can't help but want to run his fingers all over his body and hold him close.

Oh, he’s getting a bit cheesy. He brushes the thoughts aside. He hasn’t known him for that long, so maybe the thoughts will subside. He won't be thinking about Taehyung in such a way in a couple days, weeks, maybe even months. He’s just awe struck by one of the men who saved him off the streets. He’s living because of him.

Yet, he doesn't have these thought of Jimin, or Yoongi and Hoseok. It could be due to the fact that they are all dating, but Jungkook’s isn't sure that’s right. He frowns to himself. He’s not stupid, of course. He can try to convince himself of these thoughts but he’ll never truly believe it in his heart.

Jungkook knows deep down that’s not anywhere close to the reason he looks at Taehyung the way he does. He knows he admires Taehyung’s radiant beauty for other reasons, but those are reasons he’ll deal with at another time. He doesn't have the time to focus on the feelings that he has for Taehyung when he has to fix his life up still. He has so many scars that he needs to patch up before he can make time for the feelings of admiration he holds for him.

So, for now, he’s content admiring lights that could never shine as bright as Kim Taehyung.

Chapter Text

January 18th, 2039

 

Waking up to an empty bed is a normal occurrence, it always is. Yet, everyday that goes by, Jungkook starts to hate it even more. He wants to feel the warmth next to him. He wants to wake up to sleepy and sloppy kisses, clumsy but so full of love. Jungkook’s not sure what started this need of his.

He forces himself up, not as sleepy as he would usually be. He supposes it’s because of all the sleep he got on the plane ride. Besides that, Jungkook just feels plain weird. It’s become routine to get up and ready for work. Normally, he would already be clad in his work attire and running out the door to catch up with Jimin or Hoseok so he could catch a ride.

Once out the door of the room, he finds himself in the luxury kitchen. Jungkook’s not the best chef, but he finds himself drawn to the appliances. He stares for a while. He opens up the cabinets and is more than surprised to already find ingredients in them. Well, Taehyung is rich so he shouldn't be surprised.

Jungkook takes the mix out of the cabinet and searches desperately for his desired appliance. It’s a bit of a surprise when he finds the waffle maker. He hadn't expected to find and was so close to getting dressed to go out and buy one, but he’s relieved when he finds it stuck in the back of a lower cabinet.

He pulls it out and sets it on the counter. He plugs it in to let it heat up while he works on the mix. He pours the mix, along with the eggs and milk, into a large bowl he found in the same cabinet and stirs it up. He then moves the mix into the waffle maker. It makes two at time, so Jungkook realizes that he’ll be here for a while.

While it cooks, Jungkook heads to the fridge to find drinks. He frowns when he doesn't find anything of interest and then searches the cabinets. In one, he finds a box of hot chocolate packets and beside it is a stack of kcups. He hadn't even noticed the Keurig beside the refrigerator before now. He takes one packet of hot chocolate and kcup from the stack and sets them beside the Keurig.

He makes a coffee for himself, dousing it cream and sugar and makes a hot chocolate for Taehyung. He manages to stumble upon some marshmallows to throw into Taehyung’s hot chocolate and sets it at the table. He fishes out the first batch of waffles and puts them on a large, glass plate. He pours the next batch in and then decides to set the table. He puts plates and utensils out, as well as setting the drinks in front of the desired plate.

He’s on the last batch of waffles when Taehyung stumbles out of his own room, eyes dull from sleep. Jungkook audibly whimpers when he can't find those usual stars of his reflecting in his eyes. Taehyung looks up from the floor, leaning against the door frame as if he can't bear to stand any longer. Jungkook doesn't enjoy how weak he looks when he knows for a fact that Taehyung is so strong.

“Ah, Kook, didn't realize you’d be up,” Taehyung says, voice raspy from sleep. Jungkook gulps at the low pitch of his voice. Taehyung’s voice is naturally deep but Jungkook’s not sure he’ll ever get over that deep rasp of his from sleep.

Taehyung’s eyes glimpse at the waffle maker in front of Jungkook, the signs of sleep disappearing and in place are those stars. Jungkook choice the right day to make breakfast.

“You… made us breakfast?” Taehyung mutters and if Jungkook hadn't been listening for it, he’s not sure he would’ve heard it at all. Jungkook nods. He should never trust his voice. He usually doesn't.

Taehyung makes his way over to the table and stares at each of the cups.

“You made me hot chocolate?” Taehyung asks as he takes a seat. Jungkook freezes.

“Do you not like hot chocolate? I remember you saying that you don't like coffee so I just assumed-”

“I like hot chocolate.” Jungkook hums.

“Okay, good,” he whispers to himself. Jungkook takes the last batch of waffles out of the waffle maker and moves the plate to the center of the table. Next, he pulls out the maple syrup, imported from Canada because Taehyung is most definitely extra like that, and the tub of butter and sets it beside the large plate of waffles.

“Thank you, Jungkook,” Taehyung says, eyes shining across the table at Jungkook. He can't find the right words to say so he simply acknowledges the appreciations and digs into the meal.

Jungkook wants to say something, but he doesn't know what to say. It’s never this awkward between the two of them and Jungkook doesn't know why it’s any different now. Taehyung breaks the silence between them.

“Jungkook? What do you wanna do today? I feel like we’ve only done things that I wanna do and we haven't done anything you want to. How about you choose today?” Taehyung says. And of course, Jungkook thinks that’s the dumbest thing Taehyung could’ve said.

“I wanna do what you wanna do,” Jungkook supplies. To Jungkook, that much is obvious, but maybe the point hadn't gotten across to Taehyung. But, according to the annoyed look on Taehyung face, that was the wrong answer.

“We’re in Paris! Isn't there anything that you want to do here?” Taehyung asks and to that Jungkook shrugs. He takes another bite of his maple syrup drenched waffle and a sip from his cream doused coffee. But, again, that’s the wrong answer to Taehyung. The look on his face is evidence enough. He huffs.

“Fine, we’re gonna walk around until we find something.” Jungkook doesn't object. They finish their food in silence.

 

*

 

The views from their walk were breathtaking but Jungkook gets bored of it after a while. He’s actually tired from all the walking and sightseeing they’ve done. And besides that, he’s done more in these couple weeks than in his whole life. Right now, all he wants to do is cuddle up on the hotel bed and take a nap.

“Ah, the Louvre is open today. We’ll have to go tomorrow,” Taehyung says with disappointment laced in his tone. His smile droops down into a subtle frown and the tiredness from earlier that morning seeps back into Taehyung’s starry eyes. His hands reach for his hood and he pulls it closer around him, as if he can block out the world. Jungkook just wants to pull it down.

Taehyung always wears his hood and Jungkook wants to convince him that he doesn't have to but he can't find it in him to bring it up. He doesn't want to risk hurting him or for Taehyung to mistake him as being insensitive. He hates seeing him under that hood. He can't say he understands, because he doesn't have a tattoo, but he isn't stupid. He knows why Taehyung does it. Or, well, he tries to understand it.

Is it out of shame? Fear? Maybe a mix of both, in Jungkook’s mind. Even without a tattoo on his skin, Jungkook isn't oblivious to the shame and fear they bring to the people with visible tattoos. In such an obvious spot, like Taehyung’s on his neck for example, people will notice automatically. It’s almost as if people are always on the lookout for tattoos. People will pity the ones with death dates that will happen soon or to the ones who will die young.

But nowadays, with the tattoos being such a casual topic in conversations, it’s hard. They pique everyone’s curiosity. Once the tattoos are mentioned, everyone's attention is on you, asking you where yours is and when you’ll die. How something so morbid has become a part of light conversation is beyond Jungkook.

Though, he can't blame the people. It’s human nature to be curious. Even Jungkook himself is tempted to ask Yoongi and Hoseok of their death dates. He hasn't and doesn't plan to, as he doesn't want to upset them. He’s not sure how they even feel about the tattoos so bringing it up would be insensitive, especially when they have a friend who’s incredibly uncomfortable with them.

“Kook? You still there, cutie?” Taehyung says, waving his hand in Jungkook’s face. He blinks at Taehyung staring back at him.

“Yeah, we can go tomorrow… Do you like art?” Jungkook only realizes the stupidity of his question after he’s asked it, but he can't take it back now, so he just owns it. It’s comforting when the stars in Taehyung’s eyes light up at the mention of art and how his frown evaporates and curves up into a smile. Jungkook gives a sigh of relief, small enough that he isn't sure Taehyung heard it.

“Yes, I love it. I’ve never been to the Louvre, but apparently Yoongi brought Hoseok and Jimin there and it was amazing.” Jungkook tilts his head a something he’s been wondering for a while pops into his head.

“Are all of you rich or something?” Jungkook asks, remembering how Jimin was far from rich back when they were kids. Honestly, he would say that Jimin and his family were average, maybe a bit above average with how well off they were. Taehyung shakes his head.

“No, just Yoongi and me. But they kinda share money, though, I guess it’s more Yoongi spoiling the shit out of them… It’s pretty cute,” Taehyung replies, a little blush forming over his cheeks. Jungkook doesn't contain himself.

“Aww, Taehyung wants to spoil someone too! Don't worry, baby, that person will show up eventually,” Jungkook says. He doesn't notice the slip of the pet name until after. He doesn't notice until Taehyung stops walking completely and his cheeks go from the light pink dust that they were to a strawberry red. Jungkook scratches the back of his head, not sure what to say for a minute. He can just apologize but this is the perfect opportunity to lighten the mood.

He wants to see Taehyung smile.

“Ah, shit, would you prefer if I called you daddy? Sorry, daddy.” Jungkook laughs because Taehyung’s laughing.

“I do not have a daddy kink, dumbass,” Taehyung insists.

“Didn't sound that way when you offered to be my sugar daddy,” Jungkook mumbles. He deserves the hard slap to the shoulder that he gets from Taehyung. “Sorry baby, didn't mean it.”

Taehyung sticks his tongue out like a child and they continue their walk to nowhere.

Starting now, Jungkook realizes that he loves to be called ‘cutie’ by Taehyung but he also likes to call Taehyung ‘baby’.

 

*

 

An hour later they’ve found a large mall that’s filled with every store imaginable. Jungkook didn't have anything he wanted but Taehyung offered to buy him anything he wanted so he isn't going to complain.

They hit store after store with a bit of complaining from Taehyung’s end while calling him emo when Jungkook wants to go to Hot Topic to buy chokers (but he buys them anyway because Jungkook looks nice in them). Jungkook calls him a trust fund kid back while sporting a his black choker.

Usually, Jungkook doesn't bat an eye at such a store. Any other day, he wouldn’t even notice that it was there, yet, today is different. He’s drawn to the store and has a sudden urge to go inside and complete his master plan. Blushing, he grabs Taehyung’s hand and pulls toward the store. “Damn, didn’t know you were into this stuff, cutie.”

“I-I’m not! I just… need to pick something up,” Jungkook says as they walk into the makeup store. It’s mainly populated of girls, some accompanied by their boyfriends.

Taehyung just stands beside Jungkook as he stares down the concealer. His eyes glance back and forth between Taehyung and the display case. He tries his best to ignore the odd looks that they’re getting. It’s just because they’re foreigners and one (both) of them is hot.

Jungkook takes Taehyung’s wrist and Taehyung gives him an incredulous look when Jungkook smears it onto his wrist. Taehyung doesn't pull his hand away though.

“Hold up, Kook, I don't wear makeup-”

“I know.” After narrowing it down, he finall y finds one that best matches Taehyung’s skin tone and it’s, luckily, of good quality. It’s even waterproof. Jungkook smiles and brings Taehyung up to the register. Jungkook takes out his wallet to pay but Taehyung throws his credit card on the counter before the cashier can accept Jungkook’s money.

“Taehyung, I'm buying it for you. I want to pay,” Jungkook says, shoving his cash at the lady behind the register. Her face shows how flustered she is as she looks between the card on the counter and the money being shoved at her.

“Nope, I’ll buy it. I'm gonna spoil you, okay Kook? A cutie like you deserves to be spoiled.” Taehyung smirks, expecting Jungkook to blush. And he does, but not hard enough for it to be noticeable. Just a light shade of pink dusts his face as he fires back.

“But baby, I wanna get something nice for you. It was supposed to be a gift,” Jungkook says with a pout. Taehyung stares at Jungkook for a minute and takes his card back. He steals the cash out of Jungkook’s hand and gives it to the cashier, who sighs in relief. 

“Whatever, but I'm gonna take you out to the fanciest restaurant tonight, cutie,” Taehyung says and throws an arm around Jungkook’s shoulder. And Jungkook of course is looking forward to the dinner, but he’s more looking forward to spending time with Taehyung.

 

*

 

January 19th, 2039

 

Jungkook knows how excited Taehyung is to visit the Louvre with that wide smile and those starry eyes. It disappoints Jungkook that he’s still sporting that hoodie of his, but Jungkook can see that he’s put the concealer to good use. He’s also pretty sure that he’ll be taking it off for when they arrive, just so he doesn’t look out of place.

Jungkook settles for stealing some of Taehyung’s fancier clothes since he doesn’t own anything exceptionally nice (though Taehyung has bought him more stuff. Jungkook always comes home from work with multiple bags spread across his bed). Jungkook wonders if he’s spoiled.

“Are you ready, Kook?” Taehyung asks, not waiting for Jungkook because he’s already walking out the door. Jungkook nods and laughs at Taehyung’s eagerness. The limousine is waiting outside for them and Jungkook can't contain his excitement to hop back into the limousine and admire the view as they drive by. The driver opens the door for them to get into the back and Jungkook gets in right after Taehyung does.

Taehyung is bouncing with excitement the whole ride and Jungkook just stares. It’s such a sight to see Taehyung genuinely happy. Seeing Taehyung happy makes Jungkook happy. Taehyung means more to Jungkook than he can even handle. Jungkook can't even describe the immense amount of appreciation he has for Taehyung.

Jungkook doesn’t know much about the Louvre, in all honesty, but he can pretend for Taehyung’s sake. Jungkook really just loves to see him happy.

Jungkook finds himself enjoying the trip. He likes art, but he’s never been as into it as Taehyung is. Taehyung seems to know every piece and Jungkook may zone out a bit when Taehyung gets super into his rants. It’s still cute how obsessed he is though and Jungkook will listen to him for hours if it makes Taehyung this happy.

Taehyung leads him by the hand through the museum and stops to explain each piece that he knows and Jungkook smiles and nods the whole time. At least Jungkook knows what the Mona Lisa is.

“Are you bored? I’m sorry, I guess we’ve only been-“

“Shut up, Tae. I’m having fun, okay? I’m just a bit clueless on this type of stuff but you’ve been helping me understand! So, its fine,” Jungkook explains, patting Taehyung’s shoulder to soothe him. Taehyung gives him a soft smile and keeps explaining the history of what ever painting they’re looking at now.

After Jungkook is sure that they’ve looked at everything (and he doesn’t remember most of it because he’s been zoned out the whole time) Taehyung suggests that they grab something to eat. He hadn’t eaten breakfast so his stomach is growling for some sort of nutrients. Taehyung rambles about the experience while they walk down the street to the closest sit down café. Jungkook’s stomach rumbles in excitement.

“Take a seat and I’ll grab our stuff. Is there anything in particular that you want?” Taehyung asks, pull his wallet out from his pocket. Jungkook narrows his eyes at the distant menu board.

”Ooh, they have chocolate cream pie. I'll take that and a cup of coffee, I guess,” Jungkook says. Taehyung walks up to the cashier and Jungkook takes this time to admire the people walking down the street through the window. Paris is a lot different from Daegu, or even Korea for that matter. It has a whole different vibe and way of life.

Jungkook stares for a bit longer until Taehyung comes back with his sweet coffee and his chocolate pie. Jungkook licks his lips and reaches across to steal the plate from him. Beside the chocolate cream cake is a chocolate chip cookie. Jungkook admires the gorgeous whipped cream job on the top of his slice of pie. 

Taehyung has a piece of fudge chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting on it and a cup of green tea sweetened with honey. Jungkook feels his mouth watering from all the sweets in front him

Biting into the pastry feels like heaven. Its creamy filling with the chocolate coating is absolutely delicious. It’s sweet and Jungkook loves it more than anything. He glances over at Taehyung’s slice of cake and watches the frosting ooze off the slice.

“You want a bite?” Taehyung asks, holding his fork up to Jungkook’s lips. He debates it for a moment, not wanting to steal Taehyung’s food from him, but he can't help the curiosity he has for the sweet taste that Taehyung was blubbering about when he tried it. He takes the fork into his mouth and pulls the piece off the fork. He moans at the taste.

“Oh my god, it’s so good! Here, try mine!” Jungkook says, feeling as if he should return the favor. Jungkook grabs a piece of his pie and lifts his fork up to Taehyung. Taehyung gladly accepts the pie and hums at the taste. Jungkook smiles at him and they finish their desserts with a comfortable silence between them.

 

*

 

January 20th, 2039

A pair of swim shorts are thrown in Jungkook’s direction, landing on his face. Jungkook groans and pulls the shorts off of his face. He examines them for a minute and then looks up at Taehyung. He’s wearing a pair of long light blue swim shorts and Jungkook’s eyes are automatically drawn to his bare torso. Taehyung isn't exactly buff, more on the leaner side, but he’s incredibly defined which makes up for the lack of muscle (though he does have muscle; he just not jacked).

“Stop staring and go change. We’re going swimming!” Taehyung says, pointing for Jungkook to get off the couch and head into his own bathroom to change.

“It’s the middle of winter, Tae.” Of course, if Taehyung wants to go swimming, Jungkook will go with him. He’ll do anything for him.

“They have an indoor heated pool and a hot tub. There's a bar and a restaurant down there too,” Taehyung says. Jungkook isn't going to argue even though he doesn't want to go swimming because Taehyung does. And, well, Jungkook did say that he’ll do anything for Taehyung.

The fear doesn't hit Jungkook until he’s staring at himself in the mirror. He’s skinny, lanky looking because of his height. But he’s too skinny. He’s not lean and defined like Taehyung is. His arms are flabby and lack muscle and his ribs are slightly visible if he stands a certain way. He’s all skin and bone. Simply, he looks gross.

He takes his shirt from his bed and pulls it over himself. Taehyung gives him an odd look but doesn't voice his thoughts to Jungkook and stays silent instead. He throws a towel in Jungkook’s direction and they walk down to the pool.

Once they’re down standing at the edge, it dawns on Jungkook that this is actually happening.

The pool is full of young, wealthy looking woman and older rich couples. It’s a large open area so Jungkook isn't surprised at the amount of people roaming about. The pool is fairly empty, most people opting to relax in the hot tub or they’ve decided to take a seat at the bar. The restaurant looks fancy but quaint, yet still packed because of the surplus of people.

“Come on, Kook!” Taehyung says, dropping his belongings onto a lounge chair and jumping into the pool. Jungkook breathes and decides that watching Taehyung is the best option instead of taking in the surrounding and the wandering eyes of the young woman looking their way. He didn't think anyone was going to actually look at them, but they’re foreigners, so no surprises honestly. Especially when Taehyung has killer looks. Why does Taehyung even bother with him?

He feels so weak as he stares down at his reflection in the water. His bangs fall over his eyes. His hairs getting too long so he’ll have to get it cut soon or else he might not be able to see.

He shouldn’t be scared of getting in the water. Would Taehyung think that he’s weird if he went in with his shirt on? He already looks gross with his muscle lacking arms on display and his thin legs beneath his swim shorts.

Is he scared of what he himself thinks? Of what other people think? Or is he scared of what Taehyung will think?

“Kook?” Jungkook avoids Taehyung’s eyes.

“Oh Kook, you’re not feeling self conscious now, are you? No one's looking at you, cutie,” Taehyung says, voice soft and sweet. It’s not like he doesn't want to hop right into the water with Taehyung and splash around with him but he’s worried that he’ll be disgusted with him. He’s worried the people around them will be disgusted. They may not be looking at him, but they sure as hell are looking at Taehyung. What if they send dirty looks his way for him hanging out with someone so handsome like Taehyung?

Oh god, even Taehyung probably thinks he looks gross. His body has no muscle or anything. He looks so gross because of how unhealthily skinny he is-

“Stop, I know what you’re thinking. Please don't think about yourself like that.” Jungkook pulls at the hem of his shirt. Taehyung steps out of the water, his body visibly shaking from the rush of cold air hitting him after leaving the warmth of the water. He goes to Jungkook, hands reaching the grab his face and make him look up. His hands are wet and the water drips down his face and lands on his shirt. Jungkook grimaces at the coldness.

“You got this, yeah?” Taehyung says. Jungkook takes a long, deep breath and grabs the hem of his shirt. He pulls it up and over his head and Taehyung gives him a look of approval when he drops it onto one of the lounge chairs. The cold air feels weird on his newly exposed skin. Suddenly, Jungkook feels a bit breathless with Taehyung’s stare as if he’s analyzing his body.

Taehyung’s right. No one is looking at him. No one’s even looking at Taehyung after he had gotten so close to Jungkook. He’s thankful that the others in the area could sense the atmosphere around them (at least he assumes that's why everyone stopped looking). Everyone is minding their own business. Taehyung smiles at him, caressing his waist with his cold hands.    

“See? Nothing to worry about. Let’s get in the pool now, yeah?” Taehyung whispers to him. Taehyung’s hands on him make the position look compromising to the onlooking eye. Like this, Jungkook is extremely tempted to pull Taehyung close to him and bury himself into his neck and give him praises and ‘thank you’s but he doesn't since they’re in public.

Jungkook really just wants Taehyung to feel loved since he is loved. He’s loved by his Jimin, Yoongi, and Hoseok, and he knows Eunseo loves him dearly, and Jungkook loves and appreciates him as well. He feels like he doesn't show it enough.

Taehyung has his back turned to him, his black hair dripping with water droplets down his back. He’s in front of the pool, staring down at the deep water like he’s waiting for something. Jungkook glances at the signs lining the edge of the pool and finds that they’re in the deepest end of the pool.

Jungkook pushes Taehyung into the pool.

He pops up from the water after a moment and spits out a stream of water from his mouth. “Hey! What a disrespectful brat! After I was so nice to you-”

Jungkook’s laughs drown out any of Taehyung’s protests. He doesn't realize what Taehyung is doing until he feels a wet hand grasp his leg. Before he can say anything, he instinctively closes his mouth as he feels a pull drag him into the water. He moves his arms to try and find a balance to no avail as he plummets into the water.

He can hear Taehyung’s faint laughs through his water filled ears as he shoots up. Taehyung is floating on his back when he’s adjusted to the sights around him. His eyes sting a bit from keeping them open underwater but he manages.

Jungkook joins Taehyung in floating around until he gets bored and challenges him to a race across the pool. Many people have since gotten out of the pool due to their ruckus and have decided to watch their antics in place of relaxing in the pool. Others make their way to the hot tub, where it has since gotten more crowded but there is much less ruckus.

Jungkook finds that swimming is something that he’s missed. Him, Jimin, and Jihyun would swim all the time back when they were kids. He also used to swim a bit in middle school but his parents pulled him out of his swimming lessons since they didn't want him to be around a bunch of shirtless and barely clothed boys (he may like men but he still has standards).

Jungkook doesn't know how long they’ve been swimming for but his arms are starting to ache after a while. Taehyung seems to feel the same way because he suggests that they get out and grab a drink at the bar.

He follows Taehyung to the bar and let's Taehyung do the ordering since he doesn't speak any French. They’re wrapped up in towels as they sip their drinks.

“I hope you don't mind me asking, but how did you survive out on the streets. You looked pretty dead the first time I saw you. I can't imagine how heartbreaking it must’ve been when Jiminie saw you the first time,” Taehyung says, taking a sip out of his drink. They both decided to stay away from the alcohol for now since it’s quite early in the day and they still have things planned besides swimming in the pool.

“I guess I don't mind. I took money that I had saved up over time and it lasted me a while. I also did some side jobs while I was out on the streets,” Jungkook explains. Taehyung’s eyes widen in shock.

“Did you sell yourself?” Taehyung asks, voice almost a whisper to keep it out of the ears of everyone except for Jungkook. Jungkook laughs at his wording, realizing he could’ve phrased his explanation better.

“Oh, no. I meant I just helped out some local business and did jobs for random people. It got me enough money to buy me some food and I saved up for some other necessities as well. I neve r had to… sell myself on the street or anything.” Jungkook pauses. “I could’ve gotten a lot of quick cash if I had, but I don't think I have enough trust in strangers to do that."

Taehyung sighs from across from him. “Sorry, it was just first thing that popped into my head."

Jungkook nods. It’s not like he minds at all. He can see why Taehyung would assume.

“Hm, how about you tell me about your past? You know a bit about mine,” Jungkook says, taking the last sip of his drink. Taehyung sets his glass down and rests his chin in his palm.

“My past? It’s not very interesting. I have a loving family who always accepts me so my life has been normal and happy honestly. Well…” Taehyung trails off and stares down at the ground. Jungkook shrinks in his seat at the gloomy atmosphere Taehyung emits.

“Well?” he asks. Taehyung huffs.

“My parents kinda always favored Eunseo over me. I know she hated that they did and she always tried to make me feel better, but they just liked her more than me. I think it had something to do with how I'm going to die so soon and it was an instinctive reaction. You know, like they were trying not to get attached? It sounds dumb when I say it out loud,” Taehyung says, laughing halfheartedly at himself. Jungkook shakes his head.

“No, it’s not dumb. I’m sure they love you just as much as they love Eunseo, okay Tae?” Jungkook smiles at Taehyung, hoping to receive one back, but he doesn't. He’s stuck staring at a dejected Taehyung with his eyes downcast at the floor.

“I wish they did. I know they love me, they really do, but I’ll never be what they wanted in a son. I really hate it, you know?” Taehyung continues and the words just break Jungkook’s heart. He reaches over to hold Taehyung’s face in his hands. Taehyung squints at him but then raises his eyebrow.

“Do not put yourself down. Have you seen yourself? Obviously not if you’re gonna think like that,” Jungkook says with a scoff. Taehyung pouts at him and looks as if he's about to protest. He pauses for a minute while thinking of his next words carefully. “Could I meet your parents? I'm sure they’re lovely people. Maybe they just have a hard time showing their love since you’re so amazing?”

And Taehyung laughs at him while he punches Jungkook’s shoulder in a playful manner.

“I'll introduce you to them sometime. They’re great people, but a little high class. Don't worry though. I'll make sure they don't say anything insensitive,” Taehyung says. Jungkook has never thought of meeting Taehyung’s parents but now he’s more excited than ever. He would love to meet the people who brought someone as perfect as Kim Taehyung into the world. His parents must be lookers and must have amazing personalities. They have to be perfect like Taehyung himself.

“Yes, I'd love that.” Jungkook glances over at the restaurant that’s died down wit h the surplus of guests. They’re both dry for the most part and Jungkook can hear his stomach beginning to grumble in need for food. “Do you wanna get something to eat?”

Taehyung hums. “Sure, I'm paying.” 

Jungkook isn't going to argue. He forgot his wallet in the hotel room anyway.

Chapter Text

January 26th, 2039

 

Taehyung and Jungkook have been back from Paris for a bit now but Jungkook hasn't heard the end of Jimin’s berating. It wasn't a big deal but Jimin was mostly mad at the fact that he wasn't invited. Jungkook usually just zones him out when he brings it up. He didn't know he was going until last minute when he had no say at all in the matter but he gets why Jimin is upset about it. He wonders if he should suggest that they all take a trip together in the future.

Eunseo called him up earlier and told him that she’s not opening up the café due to some family emergency, which also happens to be where Taehyung is. Their father apparently fell down the stairs and needs stitches so they’re over at the hospital to support him. Jimin and Hoseok have gone out to the mall after Jimin complained about not having enough clothes (Hoseok called him a spoiled brat but he took him anyway). 

Jungkook sits alone at the counter on his brand new phone. It’s the newest model, though he's not actually sure what the model is. He hasn't been keeping up with the latest technology these days, especially since he really doesn't have a way to (he does now though). It’s a bit weird to have a phone after all this time. He gave up on having one a week after he left Busan when the battery was dead and he had no way to charge. He didn't have service either as his parents removed him from their plan so the thing was basically useless. 

He downloads every app he can think of that he had on his old phone and he’s lucky enough that he remembers a lot of his accounts. He uses the same password and username for everything so it’s not very hard. He already has a couple contacts on it too, but it’s really only Jimin, Hoseok, Yoongi, Taehyung, and Eunseo. He doesn't have any friends besides them. Jungkook signs up for an Instagram account in hopes of finding some friends. 

He doesn't sit on the phone for too long after he finds the whole thing boring. He sets it down on the counter to pick up later and heads down the long hallway of their penthouse looking apartment. He will still never get over the fact that he lives he now. Why the hell are these people so nice to him? He was practically a stranger at one point.

Even though exploring the many rooms he has yet to see seems like a wonderful idea, he doesn't want to snoop around without anyone’s permission. He doesn't want to come across something he shouldn’t. Maybe the boys have some private rooms that they don't want Jungkook to look into.

As he starts walking towards the end of the hallway to Taehyung’s room, since he wants to look over his list and he’s sure Taehyung won't mind, he hears music coming from a room at the end of the hallway. He usually doesn't go to the end of the hallway as that’s where Yoongi, Hoseok, and Jimin’s room is, as well as some other rooms that Taehyung has made clear that he should stay out. Taehyung himself says he doesn't even know what’s in those rooms because they belong to the other three boys living in the apartment and he’s too afraid to ask them himself.

Jungkook sighs at the tune coming from a corner room, very secluded from the rest of the apartment. He wouldn't even notice that it was there if he hadn't heard the music. He knows the only plausible solution is that Yoongi’s in there and he knows Yoongi does music related things (he's a producer, if Jungkook remembers correctly) but it’s a bit odd to hear it anyway. 

It feels like snooping. He knows it’s dumb to eavesdrop on Yoongi and his music when he should just go grab the list from Taehyung’s room, read it over, and decide what their next course of action will be when Taehyung is back (he’s already sent his condolences to Taehyung’s father despite not even knowing the man) but he’s just so intrigued. Besides, it seems like a good opportunity to ask for so music help from him. After all, Taehyung does have some music related things on his list that Jungkook could use some help with.

He knocks on the door but he doesn't know what he was expecting. Yoongi doesn't answer him at all. He probably can't even hear him over the loud bass of the music. It’s changed from a soft, simple tune to a loud and raging bass of a fast paced song. Jungkook knocks again before deciding he should just walk in and take any berating that he’ll receive from Yoongi. He deserves it anyway if he’s going to interrupt Yoongi while he’s working.

Once he opens the door, Yoongi whips around in his chair, probably about to berate him with the way his eyes are narrowed and how his mouth hands open, but nothing ends up coming out. His eyes soften up and his closes his mouth shut. The way he settles back down in his chair makes Jungkook slightly more comfortably, like Yoongi wouldn’t get mad at him for bothering him.

“Sorry, I thought you were Hoseok or Jimin. I keep telling them to stop bothering me while I'm working,” Yoongi says. He pauses the music that’s blasting over his voice and the room becomes silent, almost eerie with the lack of background noise.

“No, I'm sorry. I didn't want to interrupt you, swear, but…” Jungkook trails off.

“You’re bored?” Yoongi guesses, an almost smile on his face. Jungkook has never actually had a one on one conversation with Yoongi. He’s extremely close with Taehyung, and he hangs out with Hoseok and Jimin constantly, but he has never had the chance to be with just Yoongi. Sometimes he doesn't even realize Yoongi’s around. He’s so quiet and it makes Jungkook feel a little intimidated. 

“Yes,” Jungkook admits with a shameful nod. Yoongi shakes his head and pulls up the extra chair stuffed in the corner.

“Take a seat kid. You and I have never really had a chance to get to know each other. Let’s change that.” Jungkook takes the seat beside Yoongi, small steps all the way to the seat with his head down. He tries to avoid eye contact with Yoongi as much as possible, but it’s inevitable when Yoongi is staring him dead in the eyes when his face is forced up by Yoongi’s long fingers. He sucks in a deep breath. “Stop being nervous. I don't bite.”

Jungkook wants to laugh, maybe make a dirty joke about all the poorly covered hickeys on Hoseok and Jimin that spots while working, but he keeps his mouth shut. This is supposed to be serious.

Thankfully, Yoongi senses his apprehension and takes the lead with the conversation. “My name’s Min Yoongi, born and raised here in Daegu. I’m 25 and I produce music for one of the largest music companies in Seoul.”

“Seoul? But how? We’re in Daegu,” Jungkook asks, feeling a bit dumb that he has to ask such a question. He feels really young, almost childlike. Yoongi’s much wiser and older than him so Jungkook feels like Yoongi will look down on him for being only a teenager like he is.

“I work from home and send stuff in through my computer. If we ever do meetings I just video chat with the company. It’s nice and makes my life so much easier,” Yoongi explains.

“Aren’t you rich? Sorry, Taehyung just mentioned it to me once so I was wondering why you even have a job if you already have so much money,” Jungkook asks. He almost physically face palms at the dumb question. Now Yoongi’s really going to think he’s a kid.

“Yeah, you’re right. Most of money I inherit from my parents but I like having a stable job or whatever. Besides, music is a passion of mine,” Yoongi says, a smile on his lips the whole time. “You and Tae are pretty close… How’s that going?”

Jungkook feels a bit hot under Yoongi’s intense stare. It’s not a suggestive stare like the question presented but Jungkook feels like he’s been accused of something.

“Taehyung and me? Uh, yeah, we’re pretty close. I think we’ve become good friends or whatever,” Jungkook mumbles out. He can't stop thinking about Taehyung’s smile and his eyes and that cute little mole on his nose. He also can't stop thinking of how much Taehyung makes him smile and how he always can laugh around him. Taehyung makes him the happiest he’s ever been. 

Yoongi knows what he’s thinking. He seems like the observant type to Jungkook. His eyes show that he can read him like an open book. It would make Jungkook uncomfortable, if he was oblivious, but he’s not. He knows that when he thinks about Taehyung it feel like more than a close friendship.

Yet, to him, it’s still a dumb crush. He won't call it anything else until he has solid evidence that he isn't just having a dumb teenage crush on his best friend.

“I'm not surprised. I'm pretty sure all of us have liked that kid at one point. He pulls you in and just kinda… I don't know, makes you feel special? But he’s genuine so it’s weird.” Jungkook raises an eyebrow at him.

“You liked Taehyung?” Jungkook asks with his wide doe like eyes.

“Uh, not really? I think was just attracted to him when I first saw him. Even Jiminie said he liked him for a while. I'm not really sure about Hobi though,” Yoongi says, eyes wandering around the room to avoid Jungkook’s gaze.  “You didn't answer my question. You like him?”

Jungkook wonders how he should answer. A simple ‘no’ would suffice but admitting that out loud feels like lying to himself. He could say yes, but he’s worried that Yoongi will tease him. And what if he tells Jimin and Hoseok? They’re his boyfriends so he tells them everything. And even worse, what if he tells Taehyung? He trusts that Yoongi would keep that part away from Taehyung even if he told his boyfriend’s, but the thought still stands.

“Um, I don't really know. But I don't think so,” Jungkook mutters. He feels shitty for lying to him. He doesn't like it. But, Yoongi just raises an eyebrow. He's too obvious. Yoongi probably knows he's lying, but he doesn't voice it. He lifts his hand and rests it on Jungkook’s shoulder, giving him a light squeeze for encouragement.

“You sure? Ah, I won't pry. Sorry for misunderstanding. For now, do you wanna help me with this song I'm working on?” Yoongi asks. Jungkook looks at the stuff displayed across the multiple monitors spread along the desk. He doesn't understand any of it so he’s not sure how he can even help Yoongi out. He doesn't know what use he would be.

“I don't know a lot about music, Yoongi, so I'm not sure how much I can actually help you,” Jungkook says, scratching the back of his neck. He feels stupid when Yoongi lets out a laugh.

“No, I meant I wanted you to sing for me a bit. Do you mind? I heard you singing one night and you have a beautiful voice. You have a lot of potential,” Yoong says. Jungkook goes red at the compliment. He loves singing, well, he used to sing all the time. He doesn't usually sing much anymore, but he did sing that one night when Taehyung found him passed out on the floor. He had to practice with his voice since Taehyung has it on his list. 

“Me? Sing for you? Yeah, sure. I'll sing some of your music.” Jungkook wants to go on about what an honor it is, but he stops himself and just sings the music that Yoongi lays out for him. Yoongi tells him that it’s just a demo for an artist that is doing a collaboration with another undecided artist, but he wants to get an idea of what it will sound like. He decides not to ask why Yoongi can't just record it himself.

“I usually have Jimin and Hoseok help me out, or I even just do it myself, but they’re not here and I’m just getting over being sick so my voice is too scratchy,” Yoongi explains like the mind reader that he is. Jungkook blinks over at him, but leaves his gaze to read over the music. “After we do this, let's make some cookies together and keep talking, yeah, Kookie?” 

Jungkook nods, the nickname making him feel warm at how endearing Yoongi is. He can tell that a nice friendship will come out of this and he’s so glad that he opened that door and because of it he made a new friend.

After what feels like forever, Yoongi tells him they can stop recording and Jungkook’s voice feels drained. He loves singing but he’s never done it like that. It was exhilarating, but even that is an understatement.

“Thanks so much, kid. Let’s go make those cookies I promised,” Yoongi says and leads Jungkook out of the room. Jungkook’s body shakes at the thought of some warm, fresh baked cookies. 

Yoongi pulls out some trays and ingredients. “I'm gonna preheat the oven. Can you start mixing the stuff together?” 

Jungkook looks over the ingredient sheet that Yoongi’s pulled up on his phone and Jungkook starts to put everything into the bowl as listed. He mixes it with all of his strength and then pours in more. Yoongi joins in a couple minutes later and starts to line the trays for their cookies. He pauses.

“You like chocolate chip cookies, right? Sorry, I didn't ask,” Yoongi says out of nowhere, just as they’re about to put the two trays of cookies that they’ve made. Jungkook laughs at the late question.

“Yes, I love chocolate chip cookies, Yoongi,” Jungkook says and he closes the oven. “We check back in what, fifteen? Twenty minutes?”

Yoongi shrugs. “Something like that.”

They decide to sit at the counter while they wait, laughing at some dad jokes that Yoongi knows from his friends. Jungkook can't help to contain his excitement at the fact he’s going to get sick off of eating cookies. He glances once at the oven and then at his phone that he left sitting on the counter. He looks back to his arms and tries to remember Taehyung telling him that he’s perfect the way he did a week ago. He looks to his thin legs once and then back to Yoongi.

Yoongi’s thin, very thin, might he add. But he looks healthy, which is all that matters. The difference is that Jungkook isn't a healthy form of thin, which bothers him to no end. He knows there wasn't anything he could do to prevent it at the time, but now he can fix it. He has the opportunities and he’s going to take them. Jungkook grabs his phone.

It doesn't take him long to find a local gym, so he signs up for a membership. He also decides to look at some healthy diets, but after the cookies. He still wants the cookies.

 

*

 

Hoseok loves Jimin to death, truly, but sometimes he wonders if he spoils him too much. He can't resist those cute pouty lips of his and how he puffs out his cheeks in disappointment. It hurts him too much. He knows Jimin just fakes it, but yet, it still urks him to see such a cute boy upset. Especially if he’s upset with Hoseok.

Jimin’s eyes go wide when he looks into the stores, nose pressed up against the glass like a little kid.

Hoseok doesn't actually know why Jimin needs more clothes. They have a whole extra room dedicated for them. Their closet got too small after the shopping trips that they take Jimin on so they cleared out an extra room in their apartment to keep all of them. They don't go to waste though as Jimin seems to wear a new outfit everyday. It’s a mystery how he sorts through all of that.

“Which store do you wanna stop at first, Jiminie?” Hoseok asks, noticing how empty the mall is at the current time. He isn’t surprised, most people are at work or school at this time. 

“Mm, I needed some new hoodies. I keep losing them.” Jimin’s eyes glance around the mall in search of a clothing store that will suit his taste.

“Oh, I think Yoongi has those. I keep seeing him wearing those around the house.” It’s cute.

“That asshole! I'm gonna steal his hoodies and yours!” Hoseok wouldn't care if Jimin stole his hoodies. It’s cute that he thinks it’s revenge.

“Okay, baby, but I don't think Yoongi and I mind. You will look so cute in my hoodies, oh my god.” Hoseok finds himself squealing a bit but dies keeps it down. Jimin’s whines are music to his ears. The tips of his ears are red and he’s huffing and pouting over Hoseok’s teasing. 

Hoseok lifts his arms over his head to pull the large purple hoodie he’s been wearing off. He drops it into Jimin’s arms and is met with a pair of glowing eyes staring up at him. Hoseok will not squeal again, no, not now-

He squeals again. 

“Wear it, okay? It’s been pretty cold this week,” Hoseok says, turning away from Jimin’s eyes to prevent any more of his constant squealing. He sees Jimin’s nod from the corner of his eye as the purple hoodie slides over his arms, his head poking out from under the thick fabric. Jimin is basically swimming in purple at this point, the sleeves of the hoodie reaching past his palms and the hem going down his thighs. No more squealing.

He leads Jimin to the nearest clothing store that he knows his boyfriend likes. The store is deserted besides the minimal workers roaming about. One lady greets them, offering to assist them if needed, but soon hops away when thanked and declined by them.

Hoseok’s eyes wander around the racks of clothing, not at all focused on Jimin grabbing item after item to try on in the dressing rooms. And of course, Hoseok will be the judge of each and every article of clothing he tries on because Jimin insists to know how everything looks on him. Hoseok’s just excited for when he tries on the tight pants he has picked up so he can stare at Jimin’s ass. 

Jimin stalks off to the changing room with a pile of clothes in his arms and Hoseok runs over to grab the attendant. He’s expecting to hear about some kind of rule with the changing rooms but she doesn't say anything when she sees the pile Jimin’s handling. It may also have something to do with the fact that no one is present in the store besides them.

Jimin strides into the dressing room with the pile of clothes and sets them on the bench that runs across the back of the stall. Hoseok settlers for one of the comfortably looking chairs seated outside as he waits for Jimin. Since he knows it will be long, he takes his phone out to send a quick text to Yoongi.

 

To Yoongs <3:

Hey babe! Jimin’s trying on the whole store so it might take us a bit longer to get home! I'll try to make sure he’s quick though! Love you.

 

Hoseok is about to set his phone down since he knows Yoongi should be working right now, but it dings instead. He raises an eyebrow and moves the phone back into view.

 

From Yoongs <3:

Send me some pictures please, Seokie. Don't rush and have fun. I'm baking cookies with Kookie so take your time and we’ll save you both some!

 

Hoseok is shocked, needless to say. He had never seen Yoongi and Jungkook hanging out with each other before. He didn't think they were very close so it comes as a surprise to know that him and Yoongi are bonding. It’s cute, but it’s even cuter that he’s calling him “Kookie.”

With a smile, Hoseok sends back a quick “I love you! Have fun!” and turns to scrolling through social media. He smiles at the new Twice world tour that’s just been announced, wondering if he should buy tickets to go see the girl group. 

Jimin comes out in a simple graphic tee from the shelves and Hoseok gives him a thumbs up, barely looking away from his phone. Jimin’s obviously not satisfied with the answer.

“At least look at me, damnit,” Jimin mumbles, stepping up pull Hoseok’s face away from the phone he's been looking at. Hoseok’s eyes the shirt and just nods.

“Nice,” he mumbles, setting his phone down to satisfy Jimin’s request.

“It doesn't make me look fat, does it?” Jimin asks, a bit shyly. Hoseok’s furrows his eyebrows.

“Shut up, Min. You look absolutely adorable. Now try on these tight jeans with that and Yoongi and I won't keep our hands off of you,” Hoseok admits, trying to boost up Jimin’s self esteem. He doesn't believe in himself enough and Hoseok really wishes that he had the confidence that he deserves. He knows it’s hard though so he doesn't blame him at all. The blush that creeps its way back onto his face proves that Hoseok’s words are working. “And try on this pink sweater. It’s super cute.”

Jimin heads back into the changing room and is bombarded with multiple mirror selfies from Jimin with the tight black jeans Hoseok suggested. He saves the pictures and admires how well the clothes suit Jimin’s body. He sends them over to Yoongi in hopes of riling him up with how hot Jimin is. He feels a bit bad since he’s hanging out with Jungkook and doesn't want to interrupt but he brushes it off and does it anyway. He loves messing with Yoongi anyway.

The pink sweater Hoseok suggested looks great with the white jeans Jimin pairs them with and Hoseok may have made Jimin put on a bit of a fashion show with that powerful outfit of his. It will be a new favorite of his. Even though Jimin doesn't usually wear the same outfit over and over again, he hopes that this one will be an exception and he finds him sporting it around the house often. He can dream.

Jimin’s next outfit is a light green blouse and a pair of light blue ripped jeans. Hoseok hadn't expected it to be as flattering as it is, but he should know better. It’s Jimin and Jimin can pull off anything. Hoseok snaps a couple pictures to send to Yoongi. 

Jimin’s fashion show goes on for at least an hour. Hoseok can't say that he’s proud of encouraging Jimin’s shopping addiction but he simply likes to stare at Jimin as she prances around in various outfits. 

“Okay, Min, I think we’re done here. Do you want all of these?” Hoseok asks, beginning to collect the clothing that Jimin has picked out. Jimin hums as he gathers up the other outfits he's been storing in the changing room and they head up to the cashier. With the piles of clothing they drop on the counter, Hoseok feels a little bad for the young lady helping them. Her face is covered in shock, but she hides it behind a smile and rings them up while making small talk. 

Hoseok sighs and calls up Yoongi’s maid. They never usually have to call her, as she works for his parents and technically doesn't have to be doing this, but he’ll repay her for her troubles. He tells Jimin to take a seat at the food court and order them some food while he sets off to bring the bags outside.

He doesn't have to wait long before she shows up, maybe five to ten minutes. She pulls up in the family limousine and Hoseok helps her put everything away. 

“Thank you so much, Mirae. I’m really sorry about this!” Hoseok says as he sets the last bag in the back seat. Mirae shakes her head and waves a hand at him. 

“Don't worry about it. I know how Jimin gets with his shopping. He’s one of my best friends, after all,” Mirae says with a laugh. She closes the door to the limousine and hops back into the driver’s seat. “Go on now. I'll drop this stuff off at your apartment.”

Hoseok says a few more thanks and heads back inside to meet up with Jimin. He runs over to the food court and goes on the search for Jimin. He scans the tables, most are empty but it seems that more people have shown up while they were trying on outfits. 

Jimin’s seated at a table by the window and Hoseok joins him and they chow down on the fast food Jimin has picked out for the two of them.

 

*

 

“Jungkook! I can't believe you!” Yoongi shouts as he takes out the tray of cookies from the oven. Jungkook scratches the back of his head with a shy smile. The cookies look fine, soft on the inside and hard on the outside. Honestly, just the thought is mouth watering to him. 

“I don't know what you’re talking about, Yoongi.” Jungkook pouts.

“I specifically told you not to put that many chocolate chips and to make the cookies smaller. Whatever,” Yoongi mumbles. He doesn't seem actually mad or annoyed with him, just amused. Jungkook waves him off and sets the cookies up to cool off. 

The door slams shut and both of their heads whip towards it to see who’s home. They expect Jimin and Hoseok to be the ones home from Jimin’s trip, as Mirae had already stopped by with Jimin’s clothing a while ago so their arrival should be imminent. Instead, Taehyung walks through the door with a frown on his lips. Jungkook’s heart hurts at the sight but he doesn't take a step to him. He watches at Taehyung seats himself at the counter, eyeing the cookies. His lips curve upwards, but they still hold a hint of sadness.

Jungkook and Yoongi stare at him for a moment until Yoongi decides to be the one to speak up.

“So, how’s your dad?” he asks, grabbing some milk from the fridge to pour into some glasses.

“He’s fine. Eunseo and mom are staying with him so I didn't feel like I needed to stay. They all acted like he was dying,” Taehyung says. He rests his cheek in his palm, expression a mix of boredom and annoyance. Jungkook pats his shoulder, albeit awkwardly, but Taehyung still shoots him a smile.

Yoongi sets a glass of milk down in front of him and Jungkook. “Take a seat, Kookie.”

Jungkook sits down beside Taehyung and rubs circles on his back to hopefully calm him down. Taehyung seems to become a bit more relaxed in his presence and Jungkook is relieved that he’s beginning to feel better.

Yoongi comes over to them with the cookies lined up perfectly on a fancy looking plate. They thank him and both take a cookie from the plate. Yoongi sits across from them at the counter and eats with them.

“Jiminie, you can't be serious. That’s my favorite hoodie, you know! I just bought you all these new clothes!” Hoseok’s voice comes from the front door, drowning out the sounds of the door opening and closing. The three boys ignore the bickering from them, used to it by now, but they can't help but laugh.

“But I look cute in it, right?” Hoseok becomes silent, but Jungkook knows for a fact that he nodded. “Oh! Right, you guys made cookies!”

Jimin runs over to them and takes the seat beside Jungkook, already reaching for one of the cookies. Hoseok follows after and heads to the other side to the free seat next to Yoongi.

“Oh, Tae, how is your dad doing?” Jimin asks, leaning over the counter to lock eyes with Taehyung. 

“He’s fine,” Taehyung says. The conversation moves away from Taehyung’s dad to Yoongi complaining about how there’s too many chocolate chips in the cookies but Jungkook doesn't have the mind to care. He’s too focused on how sad Taehyung looks. He remembers when Taehyung told him that they favor Eunseo over him so he’s sure that's what has him down. 

“Let’s do something together tomorrow, yeah?” Jungkook leans over to whisper into Taehyung’s ear. Taehyung looks up from the cookie in his hands. His lips curve up into a full smile, his teeth threatening to show through. Jungkook wants to see his boxy smile again.

Chapter Text

January 27th, 2039

 

As expected, once Jungkook arrives back at the apartment with Hoseok and Jimin behind him, all mentally and physically exhausted, along with the strong stench of coffee lingering in the air, he’s faced with bright lights shining around the room. A small runway is set up in their living room, furniture items moved aside to make space. 

A tall woman, gorgeous brown curls styled up in a professional yet cute way stands by the makeshift runway in a wrinkle free black maids uniform. Jungkook astonished by the sight, not knowing they had fucking maids. Yes, Yoongi and Taehyung are both rich, but they’re all adamant about taking care of themselves without relying on the care of others. Obviously, Jungkook is wrong with this assumption (though it isn't really an assumption when Taehyung has straight out said this to him).

An almost dressing room type set up is put together in the kitchen, all appliances covered over to give it a clean look. Hoseok and Jimin look too exhausted to process everything, only beginning to pay attention when Yoongi and Taehyung emerge from the hallway, both dressed in fancy attire and large sunglasses. Holy shit- Taehyung has a lip ring. 

Jungkook almost chokes. 

“The fuck is this?” Jimin half slurs, his eyes tired and mouth barely even able to form coherent words. “And why is Mirae here? I can't believe you would drag her into this.”     Mirae gives him an eye roll and crosses her arms over her chest, but she’s smiling the whole time.

“Pleasure to see you too, Park,” she spits with fake malice in her tone. Jimin glares.

“You as well, Kim,” he says back, his serious tone fading out as he bursts into giggles. Mirae follows and they both go in for a friendly hug.

Jungkook is still lost until Taehyung walks up to him, pulling his sunglasses down so Jungkook can see his eyes. They’re not crystal blue as they usually are, but are more of a deep blue with a hint of green to them. Still pretty, of course. Kim Taehyung is always pretty. 

“We’re having a fashion show. Mirae is Yoongi’s family maid and she helped us set this up,” Taehyung explains in a full serious tone. Jungkook nods and continues to stare at the gorgeous woman who has moved onto hugging Hoseok. He does recognize her from the other day when she dropped Hoseok and Jimin’s stuff off, but he only had gotten a quick glance since she only conversed with Yoongi.

“Who’s that cutie over there? Tae’s boyfriend?” she whispers, but it’s not so much of a whisper as the whole room can hear it loud and clear. Jungkook has to get a grip and stop getting hot and bothered over everything about Taehyung. Dumb crushes, is what he blames it on. 

“No, that's Jeon Jungkook! He’s our new roommate and the new guy that Eunseo just hired,” Jimin says, leaving out the rest of the story. Mirae doesn't ask as she obviously knows it isn't her place and smiles instead.

“Nice to meet you, Jeon Jungkook. I'm Kim Mirae, the Min family’s maid!” she exclaims as she extends a hand to Jungkook. He stares down at it for a moment before returning it. He gives her a smile smile back and a mumbled ‘you too.’

“Oh, he’s shy. How cute!” Jungkook pouts a bit but he doesn't say anything back. He finds it easier to keep his mouth shut instead of fucking up first impressions. 

“Are you guys up for a fashion show? I forgot to ask,” Taehyung says, smile shy and head downward. Jimin and Hoseok are the first to reassure him that they’re cool with it, something about doing anything for him. Jungkook wants to laugh at the scene, but he can't say much when he feels the same way. He will do anything for Kim Taehyung. 

“Great, I got clothes and shit picked out for everyone. Try on whatever you want,” Yoongi says, already geared up to walk the runway.

Yoongi’s outfit is reminiscent of his usual all black attire but holds a fancy and casual look at the same time. The shirt and jacket look like Gucci (probably Taehyung’s choice) while his pants are simple black ripped jeans. The combat boots give him a bit of the height that he lacks compared to the others. It doesn't look like something Yoongi would normally wear, but he’s doing it for Taehyung. 

Taehyung, well, looks like Taehyung. A light blue jacket and a collared shirt underneath that he pairs with black pants. He’s holding an outfit out to Jimin, a blue collared shirt and black jeans. Jungkook doesn't hold back his laugh at how cute it is for Taehyung wanting to match outfits with Jimin.

“I wanna match with someone too… Kook! Match outfits with me?” Hoseok asks, making his eyes look wide. Jungkook is merely a man, a weak one, so he gives into the request fairly easily.

Instead of the light look that Jimin and Taehyung go for, Hoseok suggests a dark look. Jungkook is put into a shiny maroon jacket with a white shirt underneath and simple darks pants. Mirae is stuck with styling so she parts Jungkook’s hair in the center to expose his forehead. 

Hoseok looks absolutely stunning in the leather jacket and darks pants, white shirt underneath the undone jacket. Mirae curls his hair and Jungkook thinks the look suits him. Hoseok looks nice with curled hair, almost wanting to run his hands through it from how soft it looks. He assumes that's weird though, as he isn't attracted to Hoseok and he has boyfriends. 

“Mirae! You should dress up too!” Jimin cheers, going to run his hand through his straightened locks but Mirae stops him, since she doesn't want him ruining her styling job. 

“Oh no, I can't!” she claims, biting her lip at the suggestion. 

“You should! And how did you get so good at styling?” Yoongi says, picking at the sleeves of his dark Gucci jacket. Mirae turns a light shade of pink and twirls a strand of brown hair that falls from the bun that she's moved it to while styling.

“I was a stylist for Red Velvet for a while,” she mutters and a loud gasp is heard from Hoseok.

“You didn't tell me? You know how hard I stan those girls,” he shouts. Taehyung lets out an audible whine as well. 

“Sorry,” she says, and the subject is dropped as she clearly doesn't want to talk about it. “I'll dress up too.”

“Match with me, since they’re all matching,” Yoongi says, leading Mirae over to the clothing. It’s mostly mens clothing, but they have some clothing that could work for females as well. 

Mirae ends up in a short leather skirt (no one is willing to explain why they have it) and cropped button up tank top (again, no explanation). She throws on a leather jacket over it since the apartment is chilly with the windows being wide open to allow the natural light in. The light is only facing the ‘dressing room’ and has no effect on the actual runway.

“So, how are we doing this?” Jimin asks, already taking a stand on the runway. He struts around with Taehyung by his side, making dumb faces and over the top poses. Mirae is already setting up the cameras so Jungkook decides to help her out while Hoseok and Yoongi snap pictures of the two boys being extra on the runway. 

Mirae presses the record buttons on the three cameras, so they can have different views of the runway. Taehyung and Jimin hop off the stage and push Mirae up first. She shows hints of embarrassment on her face but she hides it when she’s in view of the camera.

She’s a natural, expression going solemn, lips parted slightly to match her clothing choice. She drops some poses and earns a couple whistles, though Jungkook isn't sure which one of them is whistling. She glares over in Jungkook’s direction and he laughs when he realizes that Hoseok is the one whistling at her. Yoongi elbows him but ends up ignoring him in favor of taking more pictures of the girl strutting around on the runway.

Mirae hops off and goes straight to Hoseok and Jimin pushes his way up first. Mirae stops berating Hoseok to cheer on her best friend instead. Jungkook takes out his own phone to take pictures of Jimin up on the stage. He gets some good shots and keeps it in his best interest to send them to Jimin later, and maybe Hoseok and Yoongi as well. 

“Ugh, step on me, daddy!” Taehyung yells in Jimin’s direction. Jimin stops mid pose and hops off the stage to tackle Taehyung on the ground. “Wait, not the clothes! They’re Gucci!”

Jungkook takes pictures of that too.

Jimin gets off of Taehyung and grabs him by the hand. Taehyung raises an eyebrow at him but realizes that he’s being pulled up onto the runway. The lights are shining in his face and he finds it a bit hard to see the other boys staring up at him and Jimin. A hand reaches for his back for reassurance and Taehyung smiles with a nod. He goes for their first pose and listens to the flashing cameras.

  Jungkook doesn't think he’s ever pressed a button so fast, or even done something so fast. He loves how the pictures are coming out and makes sure to get even more. They’re doing pose after pose and Jungkook hasn't removed his eyes from the two. 

Finally, Jimin gets off the stage to let Taehyung have his solo now and Jungkook still hasn't stopped taking pictures. He knows that they have professional cameras set up but he thinks everyone will find it weird if he asks for a shit ton of pictures of Taehyung. If he has them on his phone, no one will ever know, right?

Jungkook already knows how gorgeous Taehyung is, he's sure that everyone knows at this point. The man is blessed with amazing looks and he manages to keep his style consistent, which maximizes his beauty. His eyes glow and his smile is blinding. His hair always looks soft and well taken care of and he has an amazing body and structure. His face is perfectly structured. Taehyung has natural outer beauty. It’s so obvious and Jungkook can go on about it forever.

Jungkook can also go on about his beautiful personality. His humor is always there to make someone laugh and Taehyung can brighten up anyone’s bland and boring day with his presence. He always seems to know what to say in every situation and Jungkook can't even go one about how caring he is. He’ll do anything for the people he cares about and maybe that’s why Jungkook will do anything for him. Because he cares about Taehyung more than he’ll ever know. 

The fear doesn't hit him until he’s dragged onto the stage with Hoseok. He hadn't thought about actually going up on the runway himself. He had been too immersed in photo taking to worry about how people will be taking pictures of him or how he’s being recorded. 

The cheers are enough to calm him to the point where he can move around. He still hides behind Hoseok, every ounce of confidence gone as he’s blinded with the lights around them. Hoseok looks like a professional, striking a pose for the cameras instantly. Yet, Jungkook just feels frozen.

Doesn't he look stupid next to Hoseok up here? He never has the time to appreciate how handsome Hoseok is. He has a perfect jawline, so sharp he’s scared he’ll get cut by it, a muscular body that's outlined under the tight clothing, and facial features Jungkook would die for. He frowns a bit, but hides it as to not draw any attention to himself. Though, that's inevitable considering he’s on a runway in front of his roommates and Mirae. 

Hoseok turns around to him and senses his hesitation. He takes Jungkook hand at first and pulls him to the front with him. Jungkook’s ears are bombarded with cheers from Jimin and Taehyung. He’s not actually sure what they’re shouting but he can recognize their voices over Mirae’s shouts of “king!” and Yoongi’s “you got this, kid!” Honestly, Jungkook isn't sure he wants to know what Taehyung and Jimin are saying. 

Hoseok’s arm reaches around Jungkook’s shoulder and they smile out to the cameras. Hoseok guides him through the whole process until it’s Jungkook’s turn to go solo. His nerves are beginning to rush back but he feels a hand on his. He looks down but the lights are blocking most of his vision. It’s hard to make of the figure at first but it doesn't take long to know that it’s Taehyung.

Taehyung doesn't say anything to him, merely stares into Jungkook’s eyes, from what he can tell. He gives him a nod and tries to follow what everyone else has been doing. The poses he makes are a bit awkward at first, but he eases into it, starting to enjoy himself. He starts to enjoy the attention. 

Jungkook has to realize something. They aren't going to judge him. No one will judge him as hard as he will judge himself. They don't mind if he’s a little weird. Jungkook knows this yet he can't help the anxiety that always starts to rise in him. As if he’ll do something wrong and the cycle will begin all over again. He only blames those evil people who raised him to be scared of the world. He has to stop blaming himself. It seems selfish, but he knows it’s for the best to erase all the blame that he places on himself.

They don't blame him, so neither should he. 

Jungkook smiles. 

 

*

 

The fashion show is long over. Yoongi kicked her out because she tried to help clean up, which even though it’s her job as she stated, Yoongi said she had done enough and that he’ll raise her pay if she leaves. He would’ve raised it anyway but she leaves, thanking them for a good time. Yoongi and Hoseok take the videos to edit and the pictures to look over while Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook offer to clean up the house. 

The apartment is as messy as it could be but it will still take them a while to finish. And they’re awfully tired. A bit too tired to be cleaning all of this but they suck it up. 

“Jungkook, Tae, you guys look like you’re going to pass out. Please, I'll finish it. It’ll only take me a half hour,” Jimin says, glancing over at the two boys who are sat on the couch for their tenth break in the past hour. Jungkook is quick to argue, but Taehyung sure isn't as he grabs Jungkook’s arm to pull him away.

“Thanks, Jiminie! You’re the best!” Taehyung says. Jungkook doesn't want to give up without a fight but he knows Taehyung will just keep dragging him away anyway.

“I'll pay you back, okay Minnie?” Jungkook shouts but he doesn't hear a response when he’s dragged into Taehyung’s room. He stares at Taehyung for a minute. “Tae, I'm tired. I'm not really in the mood to hang out.”

He hum. “I know.”

“So why did you bring me here?” Jungkook asks, watching as Taehyung takes a seat on his bed. He falls back onto the blankets and Jungkook wants nothing more to go back to his own room and fall asleep in the soft, newly cleaned blankets spread across his bed. 

“Sleep with me?” he asks and Jungkook tilts his head. It certainly wasn't something he is expecting to hear. Sleepiness seeps through Taehyung’s words and Jungkook holds back his smile. He can't even express how cute he sounds.

Jungkook can't deny that he loves to sleep in the presence of others. Before his life went to shit, he would sleep in the same bed as his parents all the time. Whenever he had sleepovers with friends, usually at their house, they would always sleep in the same bed. Jungkook always slept in the same bed with his girlfriends or boyfriends. He loves the calming presence of another beside him as he falls into sleep.

“I don't like sleeping alone,” Taehyung admits. Jungkook smiles in understanding. He feels a bit awkward as he rushes over to his side, pulling the blankets up. Taehyung climbs under first and Jungkook follows. 

Jungkook remembers the time at the hotel when Taehyung and he fell asleep on the couch together. Waking up in that position was a pain. He was numb all over from Taehyung sleeping on top of him and being unable to move but it was worth it in the end. Maybe.

This time it isn't as crowded. Taehyung’s bed leaves much space for them to move as they please, but they settle together in the middle. Jungkook hesitates only for a moment, but wraps his arms around Taehyung, pulling him closer. He holds Taehyung in his arms and is satisfied when he hears no protest on Taehyung’s end. Instead, Taehyung seems satisfied as well, burying himself into his chest. 

“Thanks, Kook,” Taehyung mumbles, voice soft with sleep. Jungkook feels himself drifting off as well.

"No, thank you, Tae,” he says back. He wants to call Taehyung his and that may be the scariest realization he’s ever had. 

 

*

 

“Kook? Jungkook? Are you up?” his voice is deep and raspy, obviously belonging to Kim Taehyung. Jungkook hums, barely awake. Taehyung’s voice could just put him right back to sleep but he would love to just wake up to it every morning. He has such a pretty voice. It would be lovely to hear Taehyung moaning his name as he-

Oh, that's new.

What time is it? He must be blackout tired for thoughts as such to be roaming in his head. His mind usually doesn't wander as far as it has. 

“Yes, baby?” Jungkook lets the pet name slip out, because it's cute how the tips of Taehyung’s ears turn red, even if he can't see his face as it’s hidden in Jungkook’s chest. His confidence doesn't usually last though, which is disappointing. 

Jungkook runs his fingers through the curls in Taehyung’s hair, messy from sleep. His hair looks lovely with the luscious curls he has. Jungkook tries to pull out some of the knots lingering about without hurting him. Yet, even with the many knots, Taehyung’s hair is still incredibly soft to the touch. 

“I’m… I'm scared,” he whispers. If Jungkook hadn't been listening for it, then he probably wouldn't have heard it. He frowns and tightens his grip on Taehyung’s wasit, fingers digging into his sides. Jungkook’s grip loosens when Taehyung gives a quiet yelp and Jungkook murmurs an apology. 

He wants to pull Taehyung back from his chest, carry him away from the world. He wants to hide him away so he doesn't have to deal with such cruelness. Such a pure innocent boy shouldn't have to deal with this pointless lifetime. He wishes that he met Taehyung in another lifetime, where they didn't have a set end day and they didn't have such limited time together. But, they’re here now and that's all that matters.

“What of?” he asks, softening his voice in an attempt to calm any nerves on Taehyung’s end. 

“I'm scared to die. I know I still have time but I just… I'm terrified of it, Kookie.” Taehyung starts to shake in his arms and Jungkook pulls him back, despite the protest from Taehyung. His eyes are watery, even Jungkook can see that in the dim light from the lamp they left on before sleeping. He takes his sleeve and wipes away any fallen tears. Would kissing them away be far too intimate? Jungkook wishes it wasn't.

“Hey, hey, baby? You have every right to be scared. Death is scary, even scarier when you know the exact minute you’ll die. All I can tell you is to live your life while you can. You’re still here, aren't you? You just gotta do your best and never hesitate to go for what you want. I want you to have no regrets,” Jungkook says, moving his hand to cup Taehyung’s cheek. A smile breaks across Taehyung’s face. “You got that?”

Taehyung nods. “Thank you. You’re very pretty, you know?”

Pretty? He's far from pretty. “Look like an angel.”

Jungkook’s eyes glance away from Taehyung’s. He gulps, the comment making his heart skip a beat. Why would he be so affected by that comment? There’s nothing special with Taehyung calling him an angel. There shouldn't be. Yet, there is. There really is and Jungkook just wants Taehyung to always look at him like that. 

“Can I call you that? Angel… it’s so fitting,” Taehyung mumbles, hands resting on Jungkook’s back to hold them close together. Jungkook raises an eyebrow.

“Fitting?” he asks. How could such a beautiful name be fitting for some such as himself? Jungkook should stop with the negative attitude. Why can't he? Why does he have such a hard time being so positive? Why can't he just be confident?

“It’s like… I was at my lowest and you came and saved me, you know? You’re like the angel that came and saved me, I guess.” Jungkook smiles to himself and shakes his head.

“If it’s like that, then you’re the real angel here. You were the one who saved me. I was scared, never wanting to face myself. You’re the angel that saved me,” Jungkook replies. 

“Hm, I guess we’re the angels that saved each other then, no?” Taehyung laughs a bit and Jungkook simply hums. 

“Taehyung, I want to love myself.” Jungkook doesn't know where the words came from. All he knows is that's just how he feels right now. He doesn't want to hate every part of himself. He doesn't want to look down on himself as if he isn't a human being who doesn't deserve rights. He doesn't want to think of himself as disgusting. He wants to be happy with himself and smile every day by Taehyung’s side. By Taehyung’s side.

“Love yourself? Well, loving yourself is hard, Kook. Of course, everyone should love themselves, but it’s not as easy as telling yourself that you love yourself. It takes time to accept yourself and become the person you can love, I guess.” Jungkook thinks about Taehyung’s words. He’s right and he wishes he wasn't. Jungkook wants to just say that he loves himself but that’ll only be a lie to comfort him until he breaks. Loving yourself is hard, harder than it should be.

“You’re right… Will you stay by my side, then? While I learn to love myself?” Jungkook asks, his voice wavering. Why are they even talking about this? Why is he having this conversation with Taehyung at two in the morning. He sighs to himself and pulls Taehyung back into his chest so he can’t see Jungkook’s face. He doesn't want him to know how embarrassed he is. He feels Taehyung chuckle, his chest vibrating because of the action.

“Of course, angel. Why wouldn’t I? You did save me, after all.” Jungkook doesn't respond any more. He’s tired, the pull of sleep becoming too strong for him to fight off. He’s thankful for what he has now. He has a home, he has a job, he has Jimin, he has Hoseok, he has Yoongi, he has Eunseo, he has Taehyung, and, well, he has himself. Isn't that what truly matters?

 

Chapter Text

February 5th, 2039

 

Gosh, when is the last time he’d been to the gym? Jungkook’s been coming for about a week now, focusing on strength training. He used to frequent the gym in his early high school years when his parents weren't berating him but had to stop going eventually. He’ll still never understand what his parents planned to accomplish.

He’s not sure how much this will help him. He knows that insecurities will plague his thoughts and prevent him from seeing things about himself he longs to, but it’s a start. He will better himself into someone he can love. He’s doing this for himself.

After stretching out, he decides he wants to focus on his legs and thighs for now, so he searches for a machine that will aid him in that and smiles when he spots it. He’s about to get set up and take the machine for himself when another hand reaches forward. Jungkook looks up, eyes locking with a man, bleached hair with an undercut. Jungkook blinks and steps back, apologizing profusely, already feeling small under his gaze. 

Jungkook isn't even short, he would actually consider himself tall, but this man could overpower him any day. His height isn't something Jungkook would take lightly, along with his toned muscles peeking out from under his sweat drenched white shirt. Actually, he feels a bit flustered under such an attractive man's eyes. 

“I'm so sorry! You can take it!” Jungkook squeaks out, bowing his head at the strange male looking down at him. Jungkook’s head shoots up when he receives no response and finds the man wide eyed, mouth hanging open.

“U-uh, no, you’re fine. There’s another one right here, so you take it,” he says and steps back as well, setting down on the machine right beside the one Jungkook had been reaching for. Jungkook lets out a small sigh and sits down, eyes falling on the stranger beside him, wondering if he should say anything at all. Maybe a thank you or a greeting? 

He ends up keeping his mouth shut as he focuses on the task at hand. After a couple minutes, he’s completely in the zone, forgetting any other thought he may have had.

“My name is Choi Minjae,” Jungkook hears from beside him. He turns his head, once again meeting the eyes of Minjae. His hair is a bit long, so he’s pulled it back in a small bun. Jungkook actually finds it cute, wondering if he would look good if he grows his hair out. 

“Jeon Jungkook,” he mumbles back. Minjae smiles at him and Jungkook is astonished at the cute aura he radiates despite how intimidating he had previously looked towering over him. Jungkook gathers up the courage to smile back and continues on his workout.

He looks back over at Minjae before he sets off to his next workout, noticing the sweat dripping down his face and the way he grits his teeth because of the intensity of the workout. Minjae turns his head, noticing his onlooking eyes and flashes another smile his way. He’s too embarrassed to smile back and runs off to find another machine that focuses on his legs.

The noise levels of the gym are intense, more so now that he’s focusing on the noise, so he pulls out his phone, along with the earbuds Hoseok lent him. He’ll have to buy his own, but these wireless ones cost a fortune and Jungkook’s not willing to put out that kind of money just he can listen to music. Hoseok has also lent him his spotify and that's how Jungkook really found out about his K-pop girl group obsession, mainly with Twice and Red Velvet, but he has some other groups on his playlists as well. It’s not that Jungkook minds, he loves it in fact, but he never thought Hoseok would be the type to be into this type of music. 

He shuffles the playlist and begins his next workout in peace, away from the loud noises from the other visitors. He’s completely immersed in his workout that he doesn't notice anyone approach him. When he feels a tap on his shoulder, he flinches, glancing up from his legs. Beside him is Choi Minjae, looking down at him. He doesn't show any malice in his gaze so Jungkook suspects he hasn’t pissed him off in any way, but he can't help the nerves that arise. 

He pulls out one of the earbuds, setting it back in its case just so Hoseok doesn't yell at him for losing it. “Um, yes?” Jungkook asks.

“Sorry, it’s just that you look really chill and I didn't really wanna pass up the opportunity in being your friend?” he says, smile shy, the first sign of nerves he’s seen on him since he’s met him, which in all honesty, he hadn't known the guy for very long, but he hadn't seen like the type to be nervous. “Could I get your number?”  

Jungkook nods, fearing what how he might react if he says no. Jungkook hands Minjae his phone that's open to his contacts. Minjae puts his contact in and shuts his phone off, putting it back in Jungkook’s hands. 

“Thanks! Hope to hear from you!” he says, stepping away, a towel tossed over his shoulder to wipe away the stray sweat dripping from the long locks of his hair. Jungkook mumbles a “yeah” and gets back to work. Minjae lingers in his thoughts for a bit, until he realizes it’s not that important. He technically doesn't even have to text him. He leaves his mind after that.

 

*

 

“Seok, hurry up with dinner,” Jimin whines, arms wrapped around Hoseok’s waist, head on his shoulder, as he cooks up breakfast for dinner, bacon, eggs, blueberry pancakes, and french toast. Jungkook’s mouth waters just thinking about it. Hoseok reassures him that dinner will be ready any minute now and tells him to fetch Taehyung and Yoongi.

Jungkook decides he should visit a nutritionist to help him in fixing his diet, but that's something he can deal with later. Right now, all he can think about is stuffing himself with the masterpiece Hoseok has created. His stomach rumbles in anticipation as Hoseok sets all the plates on the center of the counter. Jungkook and Jimin had already set the table so Jungkook fills up his plate generously. Hoseok laughs.

He feels it may be a bit rude, but he begins eating anyway, his stomach longing for food after his intense workout. He hadn't thought he would be this hungry since he usually isn't, but Hoseok is such an amazing chef. His food always fills him right up. 

“It’s great that you’re eating, Kookie, but you should slow down… I can make more if you’re still hungry,” Hoseok says, seating himself and digging into his own plate. Jimin returns with Yoongi and Taehyung in tow. Both look completely out of it, hair in knots and clothes wrinkled. Their eyes look like they’re barely staying open, seconds from falling shut and passing out. Hoseok is all over Yoongi, bombarding him with questions and forcing food at him. Jimin calms Hoseok down, but also forces more food onto Yoongi’s plate too, the concern just as great as Hoseok’s.

Jungkook coos at Taehyung, ignoring the scene across from him. “Aww, Tae, what happened? Did you overwork yourself? Couldn't sleep?”

Taehyung groans. “Both. My parents wanted me to do a modeling job so I’ve been working out, been on a diet, everything… I really wanna do it, Kook,” Taehyung says, making Jungkook frown. Taehyung’s already perfect. Why would he need to do any of that?    

“Why do you need to do that?” he asks, quite scared of what Taehyung’s answer may be. Taehyung grabs a singular pancake and only a bit of bacon. Jungkook scowls. He never eats that little.

“Company won't hire me if I don’t. Said something about needing to have ‘the perfect body’ or something,” Taehyung grumbles, picking at his food with his fork, head held in palm, elbow against the table. Hoseok stops talking to Yoongi, head whipping around to them. Yoongi’s face contorts to one of anger while Jimin just watches with wide eyes.

“What? You have a perfect body, Taehyung…” Jungkook says, a weak attempt at trying to change his mind. He didn't have time to prepare. Jungkook hadn't been expecting something like this to occur.

“I usually wouldn't even care, but I really want the job. Working out is really painful and I'm starving. I just feel gross right now.” Jungkook reaches over and grabs another pancake and some more bacon to drop onto Taehyung’s plate. He doesn't look thrilled as Jungkook adds more to his plate, but he doesn't voice his complaints.

“Forget them, Tae. We’ll find you a company that doesn't wanna fucking starve you,” Jungkook says, voice laced in aggression. Taehyung takes a deep breath and nods. 

“You’re right. I'm not sure what I was thinking. Thank you so much, angel,” Taehyung says, leaning forward to cup Jungkook’s face in his hands. Jungkook’s eyes widen, face becoming hot at the contact. He smiles shyly and lets out a small giggle.

“Anything for you, babe…” The other side of the table had been silent throughout the whole exchange, letting them have a moment to themselves. But now, Yoongi speaks up.

“If you ever think like that again, I want you to come to me, got it?” Yoongi says, gritting his teeth. Taehyung nods, not letting go of Jungkook’s face, merely letting his eyes wander from Jungkook over to Yoongi. “Gimme the company’s name and I'll sue them. I swear to fucking god I'll make them suffer for this.”    

Jungkook has never seen Yoongi this aggressive before. Although, he knew Yoongi has always been overprotective of Taehyung, as Jungkook remembers Taehyung mentioning how Yoongi acts like an older brother to him, he hadn't expected this. He likes it though. It’s cute how much Yoongi cares for Taehyung. 

“Oh gosh no, Yoongi. I'm fine, okay? I was being stupid and overdramatic. I'll just tell them I'm not gonna do it, okay? Calm down,” Taehyung says. Yoongi visibly relaxes and nods, eyes still glinting in anger.

“So… no one is gonna ask about the pet names? Just me?” Hoseok voices, pointing across the table. “And… whatever that is?”     He’s pointing at Taehyung’s hands cupping Jungkook’s cheek, eyes now gazing back into Jungkook’s eyes. Jimin shrugs.

“It’s not that weird. We call each other stuff like that sometimes…” Jimin says.

“Yes, but we’re dating Jiminie.”    

“Friends can call each other pet name too!” Jimin pouts. “Have you ever seen me and Tae?”    

“Yes, I have actually. And it’s gross ! If I didn't know better I would think you were cheating on us!” Hoseok says, pretending to vomit at the mention of it. Jimin laughs at him. 

Jimin stops and looks over at Taehyung and Jungkook as if something has just dawned on him. 

“Wait, are you two not dating?” Jimin asks suddenly. 

“Huh? No, we aren't. We’re just best friends, right, angel?” Taehyung asks and Jungkook feels his heart break into tiny little pieces at the words. Friend zoned. Of course. He’s barely known Taehyung. It’s only been a month, so of course Taehyung views them as friends. Nothing else. He’s not going to be anything but friends with Taehyung. Why does that hurt?

Jungkook mentally scolds himself for his thoughts. He should have such thoughts about Taehyung when he clearly doesn't feel the same way. 

Jungkook looks up from his hands, longing for the feeling of Taehyung’s hands on his face again, long having been gone. He misses the warmth. He must be so easy to read because when he looks across the table, ignoring the conversation between Jimin and Taehyung as they fight over the fact that Taehyung called Jungkook his best friend, he finds Yoongi looking over at him. Yoongi’s face falls as he figures it out just by looking at him. 

He points to Taehyung discreetly, eyes flickering between the two, but no one notices since they’re distracted anyway. Jungkook nods, not sure what else he can do besides that. Yoongi’s hand drops. Neither of them speak and pretend to be listening to their argument.

“I thought we were bestfriends, Taetae! How could you betray me like this?” 

“We’re soulmates, dumbass! We’ve established this!”    

“Dumbass? I'm the dumbass? Who’s the one who thought that fucking Bad Boy was a twice song?”    

“Oh my god, it was one time! And I was tired and was mixing up their voices and faces and shit, I'm sorry!” Taehyung pleads. Jungkook sighs and opts for watching his facial features lighten, mood having been lifted from earlier. He looks so happy. Jungkook always wants to see him this happy. But he also wants to be the reason for such happiness. He won’t be though. He knows that.

 

*

 

February 6th, 2039

 

Jungkook knows that he doesn't actually have to text Minjae. It’s not as important as he makes it out to seem. He’s just some guy he met at the gym and it should stay that way. Yet, when he finds Minjae staring at him from across the gym next time he visits, he realizes that it wouldn't be all too bad to make some new friends. After all, he only has Taehyung, Yoongi, Hoseok, Jimin, and Eunseo. 

When he leaves that day, he drops a quick “Hi! This is Jungkook!” and waits for a reply. He’s out with his roommates at a fancy restaurant, even though he’s complained numerous times that he can pay for himself and yet they still end up paying for him. By they, he means Yoongi and Taehyung, as they pay for just about everything fancy that they do. 

“Jungkook, just shut up and enjoy. Be a little grateful for once, will ya’?” Yoongi mutters, clanking his spoon on his plate. Jungkook tenses. He’s never thought of it that way. He hates to be a burden though. He already lives in their home and costs them more money than he should. Taehyung has bought him clothing, a phone, and even brought him to Paris. He can’t even begin to describe how much love he has for these men. They brought joy into his cruel world. He can't express that in words. 

“I-I’m more than grateful… I can't describe how much I appreciate you guys,” Jungkook stutters out, avoiding the gazes of the others. Hoseok chuckles from beside him, slapping him on the shoulder.

“Hey, don't worry. Yoongs is just messing with you. He absolutely loves you. Swear, he talks to me and Min about you all the time. He’s just shy,” Hoseok says, earning a glare from Yoongi for the information he dropped. 

“Shut up, Hobi. Oh god, don't listen to him, Kook. He just…” Yoongi trails off. He can't deny it. Jungkook giggles.

“Stop teasing him,” Jimin groans, rolling his eyes at the ordeal. “Yoongi!” Jimin draws out his name, reaching over to grab his shoulders.

“Yes, Jiminie?” Yoongi looks away from Hoseok when he hears his name called.   

“Can you get me dessert?” Jimin asks, smiling brightly with his eyes. Hoseok coos at him and Yoongi is simply a man. A weak man, at that.

“Of course, sweetheart. Anything for you,” Yoongi says, breathless. How has he ended up with two absolutely stunning boyfriends? He must’ve been a saint in his past life. 

“Whipped,” Taehyung whispers to Jungkook, elbowing him as he laughs. “Why aren’t we like this?”    

Jungkook freezes at his words. He knows they hold no deeper meaning to Taehyung. He’s playing around. He’s not actually serious. His words hold no value to them, despite the true feeling his eyes show. Jungkook gives the overly cute trio a sad smile as he hopes Taehyung doesn't look his way and wonder what has him so down.

“Well, they are dating, Tae.” The words hurt. He’s not dumb. He likes Taehyung. A bit too much, might he add. He doesn't want to. For his own sake. He doesn't have the rest of his life with Taehyung like he wishes. He wants to spend every possible moment with him. Spontaneous and adventurous. Thoughtful and humorous. With Taehyung, there's no such thing as a dull moment. One look at him and Jungkook’s long gone. 

It doesn't help when Jungkook has these constant thoughts of Taehyung. It’s a dumb crush. He hasn't had one in ages but he never remembers them being this intense. 

Maybe, when he betters himself, him and Taehyung can live a fulfilling and joyful life full of one another. Full of smiles and laughs. It will be sunny and flowery. Maybe on one beautiful spring day, him and Taehyung would be happy in each other’s arms, laughing and smiling. He can dream of brighter days, when him and Taehyung can smile when they see each other, no burden or worrisome.

Maybe. Maybe in another time. Another life. In another universe, him and Taehyung can be together. The universe will bring them together, fill their lives with joy instead of sorrow. Him and Taehyung will be happy there in that universe, simply being able to smile at one another. This isn't that universe and Jungkook isn't sure when it will come. He isn't sure if it ever will. All he knows is that even then, he’ll still feel this way. 

“Kookie, what kind of dessert should we get?” Jimin asks, eyes scanning over the dessert menu their waitress handed them shortly after their meal. Jungkook looks at the menu himself, not particularly drawn to any of the options. In actuality, he isn't hungry anymore. He doesn't even want dessert. His meal was filling enough but when he sees the way Taehyung’s eyes light up when he spots the sundae on the menu, Jungkook can't resist.

“The sundae looks really good,” he says, eyes never leaving Taehyung, in hopes of receiving one of those bright smiles he lets out when he’s especially excited about something. Jungkook is more than grateful when Taehyung does smile down at the menu, eyes soft when he hears Jungkook’s comment.    

“Sure, sounds great!” Jimin exclaims, waiting for the waitress to return so they can place their order. Yoongi forks up the money, telling Taehyung he’ll take care of this one, when Jungkook nudges him on the shoulder. 

“Can I pay for this one?” he asks, eyes softening at how Taehyung’s face lights up at the thought of the dessert. Yoongi shakes his head, but Jungkook pleads. He knows Yoongi wants him to say it out loud. Why he wants to be the one to pay for the dessert. Yoongi isn't stupid. He’s observant and Jungkook’s staring has never been subtle. He has never been subtle, as it wasn't a specialty of his. He’s easy to read and Yoongi’s observant. Not a great combination for Jungkook. 

Jungkook won't admit it out loud. Yoongi gives in. Hoseok and Jimin seem content when the large bowl is placed in front of them, various ice cream flavors drizzled with chocolate syrup. Toppings are placed about and there's a cherry on top. Jungkook will never forget how wide Taehyung’s eyes got the moment he’s faced with the ice cream. He’s happy.

Jungkook's wallet may not be happy, but Jungkook’s satisfied. Taehyung’s smile is enough for him. It always will be. 

Jungkook’s thoughts and staring are interrupted by his phone vibrating. He pulls it out from his pocket and finds a text from Minjae on his lockscreen. It reads, “Hi Jungkook! Glad to hear from you! Hope we can get to know each other better.” Jungkook shrugs, never having been the best with conversations. He drops a “same here” and leaves it there.

After Taehyung, Jimin, and Hoseok finish with dessert, they head out. Taehyung looks incredibly happy, smile never leaving his face. Jungkook loves knowing it’s partially because of him.

The car ride is anything but quiet, none of them quite tired yet. Jimin starts blasting Bad Boy to mess with Taehyung, but he doesn't seem all too bothered when they both start belching out the lyrics. Hoseok joins in too. Yoongi looks as if he’s about to bang his head against the window, but he refrains, closing his eyes. Jungkook laughs, basking in how nice their voices actually sound. 

Once they’re home, Hoseok and Jimin rest on the couch to watch some tv, claiming they’re not tired yet. Jungkook sprints the moment they put Pokémon on, already scarred enough from the last time. They haven't even finished all of them. Taehyung’s even suggested watching the actual series itself. Jungkook’s not sure he wants to go through that after that night, but for Taehyung, he’ll do anything. Besides, he still loves Pokémon.

Taehyung heads to his own room to sleep, to Jungkook’s dismay. He truly wants to hang out with him a bit more, but Taehyung needs his sleep, so he leaves him be. Yoongi taps his shoulder and motions for him to follow. Jungkook follows with no questions. He doesn't need to ask when he knows what Yoongi wants to discuss. 

Yoongi leads him into his room he shares with his boyfriends. Jungkook sits down on the edge of the bed while Yoongi takes a seat in a chair seated at an empty desk. Yoongi folds his hands on his lap, leaning forward. His eyes lock with Jungkook’s.

“So, you like Taehyung? Like, a lot? I know last time you said it was a crush… but Kookie… This is a bit...” Yoongi says. Jungkook almost snickers at him pointing out the obvious. Jungkook nods. He doesn't trust his voice. He’s worried of voice cracks or unnecessary rants on how beautiful Taehyung is, in and out. Yoongi clicks his tongue.

“Okay,” Yoongi says. Is he going to say anything else? Is he upset? Worried? He knows how much Yoongi cares for Taehyung, as if he was his little brother. Jungkook understands that he may be a bit protective of him. He knows he has no reason to intrude on any of this. He has no place. “Good luck.”    

Jungkook blinks. He looks up from his lap, eyes wide. “What?”    

Yoongi sighs. “I said good luck. Taehyung’s a tough one to crack and you’ve done pretty well so far.” Jungkook’s stunned, to say the least. He was expecting Yoongi to berate him, tell him to never look at Taehyung in that way again. Maybe that’s a bit harsh. Yoongi isn't an asshole after all. Never has been and Jungkook knows that.

“Oh stop looking at me like that… You really think I’d be mad over something like this? You like him. What’s there to be mad about?” Yoongi scoffs, rolling his eyes. Jungkook feels a bit stupid under Yoongi’s gaze. Yoongi’s a nice, caring guy. He’s just looking out for Taehyung. He looks out for everyone he cares about. Jungkook smiles.

“Really, Kookie… I can’t believe you have so little faith in me. I see the way you look at him. Anyone with eyes can tell,” Yoongi says. Jungkook tenses. Is he that obvious? He knows he isn't subtle at all. He doesn't try to be. Do Jimin and Hoseok know? Or worse, does Taehyung know? Everything would be over for him if he knew. He doesn't want to get rejected before he’s able to prove his worth to Taehyung. “Don't worry. Taehyung hasn't noticed. Yet. He’s not dumb either, Kookie. You might wanna be a bit more subtle.”

“Okay, thank you. I really appreciate this, you know?” Jungkook voices, sending Yoongi his best smile. He hopes it can get everything he’s feeling in his heart across to him. Yoongi sends the smile back, but it’s more of a lopsided smirk. Jungkook’s still satisfied.

“Hey, no problem. I care about both of you. I just want what's best for Taehyung, and you too of course. I wish you the best of luck with him, okay? I'm not sure how this will all pan out myself,” Yoongi trails off, eyes drifting from Jungkook’s, opting to stare out the window instead. Jungkook can't help a little giggle from escaping his lips.

“You’re so nice, Yoongi. Thank you,” Jungkook mumbles, reaching across to grab Yoongi’s hands, holding them in his. Yoongi’s face contorts in surprise, but he nods. He looks embarrassed more than anything else.

“Ah, stop embarrassing me,” Yoongi mutters. Jungkook giggles again.

“Actually, I was hoping you could help me with something. I know you produce music and stuff, right?” Jungkook says, earning a nod in response from Yoongi. “Could you help me with something?”    

 

*

 

Jungkook is about to sleep when his phone vibrates again. He picks it up and stares at the text from Minjae. “You wanna hang out sometime?” 

Jungkook shrugs with a blink. What harm could come from making friends? He replies with a “sure! When are you free?” and heads to sleep with vague images of Taehyung scattered in his brain.



Chapter Text

February 7th, 2039

 

Jungkook’s on his break, resting in the backroom, when his phone vibrates in his pocket. He pulls it out, the screen lit up with Minjae’s contact on the screen. He’s a but flustered at the sudden call after not receiving a response to his initial text message, but he answers it anyway. He lowers his voice as the walls of the cafe are thin and he doesn't want to disturb any customers or the employees out front. 

“Hello, Minjae?” Jungkook says, tilting his head despite Minjae not even being able to see him.

“Hi! Jungkook, I’m so glad you answered. My texts haven't been going through, so I decided to just call you.”

“Oh, okay. That’s fine.” An awkward silence puts a halt to their conversation.

“So, I was hoping we could plan something later today or tomorrow?” Minjae asks, and Jungkook can practically feel the shyness he radiates from the other side. Minjae seemed calm and relaxed. He had this cool aura around him when Jungkook first met him. It’s a cute side of him that Jungkook can appreciate.

“Mm, sure. I get out of work at five today if you wanted to grab dinner,” Jungkook says, eyes glancing at the clock. It’s only two, so he has a bit of a way to go. 

“Oh gosh, am I disturbing you at work? I’m so sorry-”

“I'm on break, it’s fine! So?”

“Sure! Send me your address and I'll pick you at seven, yeah?” Jungkook nods but realizes Minjae can't see him.

“I'll send it to you right now. Can't wait, Jae. Can I call you that?”

“Only if I can call you Kookie! I’ll see you then.”

“Of course, see you then,” Jungkook says and ends the call. It’s an odd feeling, making friends once again when his life had gone to shit months ago. He’s back on his feet again. It’s exhilarating. He loves how much love he's gotten and how much encouragement he receives. It must be love. It has to be. 

 

*

 

Jungkook waits outside of the apartment building. Jimin had questioned him on where he was going but he didn't bother to stay curious when Jungkook had told him he was going out with a friend. He hadn't cared. Yet, for some reason, there was this feeling in the pit of his stomach that something was about to go wrong. It’s as if he shouldn't meet Minjae, but he wants to, and he knows that if something bad does happen, it’ll all work out in the end. 

He may just be optimistic though.

A couple moments later, a sleek black car pulls up. He’s astonished by the clean exterior, not even able to imagine how the inside must look. Minjae steps out, hair pulled back like that day in the gym, but his clothes consist of a casual dark blue hoodie and black jeans. Jungkook feels a bit better, in the sense that he was originally worried he was going to underdress. He stole one of Taehyung’s hoodies (because he hasn't bought enough and Taehyung leaves them in his room. In his mind, they’re up for grabs), a red one with some English words on it and some immensely ripped jeans.

“Kookie!” Minjae cheers, a bright smile present on his face even with the darkness around them. Jungkook greets him back and steps into the passenger seat of the car. Minjae leads their conversation, his usual confidence on display and it calms Jungkook to no end. He has never been great with starting conversations with new people. Minjae is like a breath of fresh air. 

They arrive at a family style restaurant that Jungkook has yet to visit and he’s more than excited to look over the menu and spot some gems. Minjae leads them inside where he has a reservation booked on the balcony. Once the hostess seats them, Jungkook is able to admire the gorgeous view they have. It’s nothing like Paris or even the view from their apartment, but it’s stunning nonetheless. 

“Why did you approach me again?” Jungkook asks, leaning his elbows on the table and resting his head in his palms. His doe eyes are wide in curiosity. Minjae laughs.

“Can I be honest?” he says, leaning back in his chair. Jungkook nods eagerly, awaiting the answer. “You’re super cute.”

Jungkook blinks. “Oh, really? You think so, Jae?”

Jungkook’s heard it many times from the other guys that he’s attractive. Jimin always calls him handsome and Jungkook throws the compliments back, since they’re true. He’s heard Yoongi and Hoseok compliment his looks and Taehyung is always reassuring him, but hearing it from someone who is basically a complete stranger is somewhat comforting.

“Trust me. I know when someone is attractive.” Jungkook laughs. They’re approached by their waiter who requests for their drinks and both get a water. Jungkook doesn't have much money to spend considering he’s still broke. Sort of. He doesn't know how (he does and he’ll deal with it later) but a large sum of money was transferred into his bank account. He plans to get rid of it though since it’s not his. 

But, on him, he only has about thirty dollars and he still has pick pay Taehyung back for something. He’s probably going to have to hit an ATM before tomorrow. 

  “Are you from Daegu?” Minjae asks him after the waiter places their waters on the table and gives them a couple more minutes to decide what they want. Jungkook is looking through menu, decider lamb skewers are the best option that he’s in the mood for when Minjae asks the question.

“Ah, no. I'm from Busan actually. But I lived here for a couple years when I was young,” Jungkook replies, stealing a sip of his ice cold water.

“I'm from Seoul but I moved here with my family when I was sixteen! I'm twenty two now, twenty three on April twelfth. I never asked how old you were?” Minjae says, taking a sip of his own water as well. 

“I'm eighteen, nineteen September 1st,” Jungkook mutters, realizing how much older Minjae is. He’s not really that much older, consider Yoongi has almost seven years on him, but it still feels like a lot. He was expecting Minjae to be around Taehyung’s age or something. 

“Oh! You’re quite young, aren't you? Don't worry about it though. It doesn't change anything,” Minjae says. Jungkook perks up at that. He’s being recognized for him, not by his age. Minjae doesn't care that he’s still a teenager or anything. 

“Thank you, Jae,” Jungkook voices with a smile, one that looks like a bunny’s, according to Taehyung and Jimin.

The dinner goes by nicely, Minjae helping him out of shell and continuing the conversation to new topics when it becomes dull. He learns Minjae is studying to be a doctor in college because of his parents when he really wants to be a scientist, though he doesn't know what type of scientist. He also leans that Minjae has some friends that live in the same apartment as him which is why it was so easy for him to find the place. Jungkook leaves out the fact that it’s not really his house and that he isn't as well off as it looks.

“It was great hanging out with you, Kookie! I really enjoyed myself. Call me anytime you wanna do something. I'm so down!” Minjae cheers when he drops Jungkook off in front of the apartment. With a shy smile, Jungook nods and bids him farewell, thanking him for an amazing time together. Jungkook’s so proud of himself for making friends that he rushes inside with his smile reaching his ears. 

When he walks in, he does his best to stay quiet as to not wake up any of the others if they happen to sleeping. But to his surprise, he finds Taehyung resting on the couch, eyes barely open as Pokemon plays in the background. His eyes hold something akin to boredom. Jungkook’s more than confused by the scene, honestly.

“Baby… what are you doing up?” Jungkook asks in a soft voice to not startle Taehyung. His head turns to toward Jungkook with a sudden interest taking over his expression. 

“Kook? Oh, angel, where have you been? I was hoping we could watch more of Pokémon since we didn't finish it, but Jimin said you were out?” Taehyung asks, his deep voice laced with sleepiness. Jungkook sucks in a breath because he sounds really… nice. Yes, nice. That's how he’ll put it.

“I was with a friend of mine. I met him a while ago… he’s really nice. And handsome,” Jungkook lets slip, remembering the images of him and Minjae having dinner together. He is a handsome man and Jungkook can’t deny that. 

“Friend?” Taehyung mumbles something else under his breath. Something about hands, but Jungkook isn't able to hear it clearly over Pokémon and the background and how quietly Taehyung had whispered it. Jungkook tilts his head.

“Yeah, friend. What did you say?” Jungkook replies, taking a seat next to Taehyung on the couch. Taehyung shrugs it off and moves over to make room for Jungkook. He can't help but notice Taehyung’s hesitance. He doesn't seem to want to be near Jungkook right now and in all honesty, it hurts him a bit. 

“Did you want to do something tomorrow? Finish something else on your list?” Jungkook offers, thinking of what they could do after he gets off his shift tomorrow but Taehyung shakes his head, click the button on the remote to shut the tv off.

“I have plans with Jimin.” Taehyung doesn't look at him and Jungkook wonders if something happened today. He hasn't been with Taehyung all day so maybe something in his family? Something with the other guys? Did he do something? Jungkook doesn't want to ponder the question for all too long as Taehyung gets up from the couch, leaving Jungkook alone to wonder. What's up with him?

 

*

 

February 8th, 2039

 

“I'm going on a date with Yoongi and Hoseok tonight,” Jimin responds when Jungkook had asked what him and Taehyung were doing tonight. He had only asked because he was curious, hoping it might give him a lead on why Taehyung’s been so moody. But when he hears it, Jungkook freezes.

“Wh-what? You’re joking right?” Jungkook pleads because in his head, this is the worst possible scenario.

“I'm serious… What did Tae tell you?” Jimin says, grabbing the broom to sweep up a bit before they close the shop for the day. Jungkook leans against the wall, thoughts buzzing around in his head. Taehyung had lied to him. 

He’s mad at him. That's the only reason why Taehyung would lie to him. What had he done that was so infuriating to Taehyung? All he had done before was go out with a friend. He hadn't even seen Taehyung earlier. It wasn't as if he could’ve done anything. 

“You okay, Kookie? You look a bit pale?” Jimin points out, looking up at him with concern. His lips are curved into a frown as he sweeps, eyes never leaving Jungkook’s as he does so.

“Is Taehyung mad at me?” he asks suddenly. Taehyung and Jimin are best friends, excuse him, soulmates, so he has to know something, right? Jimin shrugs.

“He seemed normal this morning, but I’m not sure. He’s kinda closed himself off this week. Maybe he’s lonely. You’ve been going out everyday and we all work. Hobi, Yoongi, and I have been going out on dates a lot recently…” Jimin rants. Jungkook freezes. Jungkook’s only been going out to better himself. He’s been going to the gym and he hung out with Minjae yesterday. He and Taehyung hadn't had an actual conversation since a few nights ago. He frowns.

“You think so?” Jungkook asks, but Jimin has already moved on to the backroom with Hoseok. Jungkook glances at the door and then runs over to clock out. Eunseo glances at him for a quick second but when she sees the look on his face, she waves him off and gets up to take his place in helping Hoseok and Jimin. 

Jungkook silently thanks her and sets off to head back to the apartment. He flags down a taxi and it brings him back to the apartment so he doesn't have to run there. He’s there in no time and he runs to the elevator, becoming impatient at how slow it is. 

He finds Taehyung asleep on the couch with Pokémon playing again. Jungkook almost coos until he sees how red Taehyung’s face is. He feels guilty. Had Taehyung cried because of him? It didn't seem very in character for Taehyung to be so upset over him not spending enough time with him. It just had to be something else. He didn't want to believe that he’s making him sad. 

He walks up to Taehyung and kneels beside him, face falling when he really inspects his facial features. His eyes hold dark eyebags and his face is redder than he expected. His eyes are strained shut and his lips show a small scowl. He looks angry, not sad. Jungkook furrows his eyebrows, nose crinkling. 

“Taehyungie…” he mumbles, not loud enough to wake him. Jungkook leans down to lift Taehyung into his arms. He isn't heavy at all and Jungkook’s trips to the gym definitely help. Taehyung snuggles into his arms subconsciously and Jungkook can't stop himself from cooing this time. He leaves the tv as is, hoping one of the guys will shut it off once they’re back. Where’s Yoongi?

Jungkook only ponders the thought for a moment, his attention now fully on Taehyung. He walks to his own room and then realizes he can't exactly open the door with Taehyung in his arms. He frowns and ends up (softly) throwing Taehyung over his shoulder. He once he turns the knob, he kicks the door open and sets Taehyung down on his bed. He pulls down the covers and rests Taehyung under them. 

Taehyung doesn't stir the whole time, which to Jungkook is lucky. He’s unsure of what to do now, not really sure whether he should stay with Taehyung just in case or go make him something to eat for when he wakes up. With the surge of courage that courses through him, he leaves a quick peck to Taehyung’s forehead and steps out of the room to make him something to eat. 

He’s too lazy to be fancy right now and ends up whipping up some ramen for the both of them. The front door creaks open and to Jungkook’s surprise, Yoongi steps through. The sight reminds him of himself at the end of last year, dead and tired. It’s scary to see Yoongi in such a state.

“Yoongi? You okay?” Jungkook asks but it’s a dumb question considering Yoongi’s appearence. “You want some ramen?”

Yoongi shakes his head faster than ever. “Uh, no… I’ve… eaten already. Thank you, Jungkook,” Yoongi says as he dashes off to his room. Jungkook blinks but decides that it really isn't his business if Yoongi doesn't want to talk to him about it. He sends a quick text to Hoseok and Jimin that something is off with Yoongi, since he’s sure they’ll be rushing home to help him when they’re off work. 

Jungkook takes the two bowls of ramen to his room and finds Taehyung sitting up, staring at the wall. “Tae!”

Taehyung turns to the door, eyes locked onto the bowls of ramen in Jungkook’s hands. He reaches out, making little grabby hands towards him. It’s cute, he’s not fully conscious, and he’s probably starving. Jungkook smiles and heads towards him to hand over a bowl of ramen. “What's up, baby? You look… upset? Angry?”

Taehyung blinks, ramen falling from his lips at the question. He swallows and sets the bowl down on his lap. “Um, my parents… they sorta said some stuff yesterday. I came home to look for you but you weren't here.”

Jungkook begins to feel a pang of guilt. He’s supposed to be there for him and help him so it hurts to know that Taehyung was upset because he wasn't there. “Oh my god, I'm not trying to blame you! You’re not obligated to cheer me up every time I’m too sensitive. That’s not what I’m saying at all,” Taehyung laughs a little, and rubs his eyes, but no tears are forming.

Jungkook feels his heart hurt at the new information. He knows that. He just wants to be there for Taehyung when he needs him. “It’s okay to be sensitive, Tae. Do you wanna talk about it? I know I wasn't there yesterday, but I'm here now.”

Taehyung smiles at him, it’s a small half smile, not quite reaching his eyes, but it’s genuine. “Well, I went to visit them again yesterday, since my dad was discharged, and Eunseo was there! It was like a little family get together. But, um…”

Jungkook reached over to touch his shoulder, hand falling to his bicep, giving it a small squeeze of encouragement.

“Feel free to stop whenever. I'm not gonna force you into anything that makes you uncomfortable,” Jungkook whispers. Taehyung nods and continues.

“They talked about how accomplished Eunseo is. She owns a fucking cafe, a successful one at that. They talked about the amazing life she has ahead of her… they asked me if I was gonna do anything in the small amount of time I have left…”

Jungkook doesn't know what to say. He just sets his bowl aside, as well as Taehyung’s, and pulls him close. Taehyung leans his head on Jungkook’s shoulder, not daring to meet his eyes. “You know, Eunseo doesn't like her death date either. She always beats herself up over it.”

Jungkook raises an eyebrow. The curiosity is immense. He wonders if that has something to do with how bruised her wrist is.

“Why’s that?” Jungkook asks, resting his chin in Taehyung’s soft hair, messy from sleep. 

“She feels bad for me. That our parents love her more, that she's always going to be the one they care for me. She always says she wants to switch places with me,” Taehyung says, voice soft as he looks up towards Jungkook. 

Jungkook hums, lips an infinite frown. An awkward silence falls between them.

“You’re pretty,” Taehyung whispers, leaning back to stare into Jungkook’s eyes. Jungkook’s face feels hot but he smiles. 

“Thank you. You’re pretty, too.” Jungkook hands his bowl of ramen back to Taehyung and they finish their time by eating ramen and snacks while just talking their hearts out.

 

*

 

Stars shine in the sky as Jungkook walks with Taehyung beside him. It’s almost midnight and they’ve been out for hours, walking around Daegu, running around the town as if it’s their playground. They have no destination, nowhere to go, no place to see. They’re simply content with the views of each other and the occasional passing car on the main roads that they pass.

It’s gorgeous, only chill winds passing by as they walk. The breeze isn't all that bad as both of them are in hoodies and sweatpants. It’s relaxed. Jungkook could do this forever, listening to Taehyung laugh as he runs ahead of him, shouting about something incoherent. It’s hard to see, yet Jungkook can tell Taehyung is smiling brighter than the stars and moon combined, his eyes sparkling. He doesn't need to look at him to know.

“You’re gorgeous,” Jungkook lets the words slip, not feeling the need to keep it bubbling it up inside him. Taehyung stops laughing. He’s not sure what his face looks like now, it’s too dark to tell, and without the tell of his giggles he can't be certain.

“Thank you, angel,” his voice is small, so small he barely hears it. Jungkook looks up, the stars guiding him as he walks towards Taehyung. They’re at a park, one he’s never seen before, but then again, he isn't completely sure of his way around Daegu. 

Jungkook thinks back to Taehyung’s list, not sure why it crosses his mind until he does. He sets his phone down on a bench, a soft melody playing through the speakers. Jungkook chuckles when he can feel Taehyung’s confusion from across from him.

“Wanna dance?” Jungkook asks, reaching his hand out for him, smiling, though he isn't sure Taehyung can see it. The stars give them a bit of light while they’re directly in front of each other, but he can’t be sure.

Taehyung takes his hand, guiding it to his waist while Taehyung puts his on Jungkook shoulders. Their free hands touch, connecting together as if made for the other. Jungkook’s smiling like an idiot to have Taehyung in his arms, to be in Taehyung’s arms. He loves it, feels wondrous with him.

It’s slow, meaningful. He feels like it’s full of love as they move together, only stepping on each other’s feet a couple times, being able to predict the other’s move most of the time. Jungkook hasn't danced in so long, doesn't remember much, but he’s sure Taehyung barely knows what he’s doing as well. 

Jungkook can see Taehyung’s face at the close proximity, the way he knew his eyes were starry like the sky and how bright his smile was. He can feel the vibrations of Taehyung’s chest as he laughs, his head falling onto Jungkook’s shoulder, his face hiding in the crook of Jungkook’s neck.

“Thank you, angel.”

Jungkook finds it a bit ironic, the nickname, when Taehyung’s the real angel here. But, he takes it in pride, squeezing his waist tighter as they dance, never wanting the song to end. He knows it that I will though. All good songs come to an end.

 

Chapter Text

February 10th, 2039

 

“Thank you for helping me with this, Yoongi,” Jungkook says, reading over the lyrics Yoongi has written out while oversized headphones cover his ears. The track playing is gorgeous. Yoongi said he’d been working on it in the past and had just never gotten around to finishing it until now.

“No problem, Kookie. I'm always here to help out,” Yoongi says, snatching the headphones back from Jungkook’s head. “What do you think?”

“I love it. Thank you… I just need to get Tae to sing it with me now,” he replies, feeling giddy at the mere thought of Taehyung’s deep voice with these lyrics.

“If you wanna do it professionally, I can bring you guys to Seoul and we can use one at my company,” Yoongi suggests, shrugging his shoulders as he sets his headphones around his neck. Jungkook’s eyes light up at the suggestion.

“Would that be okay?” Jungkook asks, hopeful. Yoongi laughs.

“Of course. We’ll go this weekend and we can surprise Tae with it,” Yoongi says, showing off his cutest smile. It makes Jungkook weak in the knees, how endearing Yoongi really is. He cares for Taehyung so much, always looking out for him and finding new ways to make him smile.

“You’re the best Yoongi. I don't know how I can repay you,” Jungkook says, going in to give Yoongi a hug. He hugs Jungkook back, giving him a tight squeeze until he pulls back.

“Seeing Taehyung happy is enough for me. Now you go keep my baby happy, okay?” Jungkook wanted to coo at how Yoongi called Taehyung his baby but he keeps the squeal in. He shouts another ‘thank you’ and runs off to find Taehyung. He knocks at his door, waiting for a response on the other end. He doesn't get one, so he knocks again.

“Tae? You up?” Worried, Jungkook opens the door and finds Taehyung sprawled across the floor. He’s awake, but he has earbuds stuffed into his ears, eyes wide as they stare at the ceiling. Jungkook’s less worried than before, confused more than anything.

He crouches down onto the ground and pokes Taehyung’s cheek. Taehyung pulls the earbuds out of his ears, looking beside him to stare into Jungkook’s eyes. “Yes? What is it, Kook?”

The tone of his voice is too formal for Jungkook’s liking. He grimaces at it but shrugs it off. “You wanna do something?”

Taehyung huffs. “Go hang out with that new friend of yours since it seems like you two get along so well,” Taehyung groans. Jungkook shrinks down, stiff. He has been hanging out with Minjae, they went bowling yesterday and they went to the movies the day before. He doesn't understand why it bothers Taehyung so much though.

“Huh? He’s working today... “ Jungkook mutters to himself, not realizing his mistake until after he’s said it.

“Oh, so I’m your second choice. I see how it is,” Taehyung pouts. It’s actually really cute. Seeing Taehyung all upset over his new friendship and all, but he still doesn't know why.

“I didn't mean that, baby-”

“Don't call me that.” Taehyung’s voice is stern. He can’t be serious, right? Jungkook flinches at it, confused as to why Taehyung’s so upset. A thought crosses his mind, but it can't be that. But he tries it anyway, despite the nerves lacing his voice.

“Are you… jealous?” Jungkook asks, raising an eyebrow. Taehyung’s face turns red and Jungkook’s suspicion is confirmed by that alone. “Oh. My. God. You’re jealous! Tae baby, I would never love him more than I love you!” 

The words slip from his lips before he can register it. He sees the way Taehyung’s expression changes once he’s processed it. Jungkook wants to run and hide, avoid any and all people who try to talk to him. He wants to move to Canada, change his name, and start over again.

“You’re my best friend and no one can change that,” Jungkook says as weak attempt at recovery. Taehyung’s face untenses and he leans back again, completely relaxed. Jungkook wants to slap himself at his mishap.

It kind of hurts. Taehyung looks relieved that Jungkook meant it in no other way besides platonically. But, he isn't obligated to feel how Jungkook feels. Doesn't mean he likes it though.

“Still, you seem to get along really well… Do you like him?” Taehyung suggests and it makes Jungkook want to laugh. He wouldn't like any but Taehyung.

“Of course not. I just want to make some new friends here in Daegu since I don't have any besides you four,” Jungkook says, shrugging. Minjae is indeed attractive, but he would never catch feelings for him. Especially when he has someone as cute as Taehyung right in front of him.

“You sure?” Taehyung presses, sitting up from his lying position. Jungkook giggles, reaching over to cup Taehyung’s cheek with a bright smile on his face, teeth peeking out. Taehyung smiles at him too, face still flushed from earlier.

“Yes, of course… But why do you care so much?” Jungkook wants to say that it isn't his business, because it isn’t even if Jungkook wants it to be. 

“Just looking out for my angel,” Taehyung mumbles into Jungkook’s neck, pushing all of his weight onto Jungkook, who keeps him steady.

“Thank you…” Jungkook pauses. ‘Do you wanna do something today. I need to make it up to you. I feel bad for leaving you alone, babe.”

“Okay! But I don't wanna go out. Then I'll have to get dressed,” Taehyung grumbles. Jungkook disagrees. Taehyung looks fine in sweatpants and a hoodie, a natural beauty. He doesn't say it though.

“Hand me the list, please,” Jungkook says, holding his hand out. Taehyung gets up and heads to his dresser to pull out his list. He hands it to Jungkook and he reads it over, figuring out what they can do since Taehyung doesn't want to go anywhere. 

“Did you want to clean? Why is this even on here?” Jungkook mutters, brushing his hair out of his eyes. It’s getting long. He hasn't cut it in months, honestly, probably almost a year, but he likes it. He likes Minjae’s hair a lot. He wants to grow it out a bit more. 

“Oh, um, about that… I didn't mean this house,” Taehyung says, scratching the side of his neck. Jungkook tilts his head. What house could he even mean?

“What?” 

“I meant my house. This isn't my house,” Taehyung says with a shrug. He looks down, like he’s embarrassed. “So, um, a while ago, I was in a really bad state and was always moping around. Couldn't even get out of bed most days. Everyone was worried about me. The guys made me move in with them so they could look after me. My own place is, uh, a mess…”

The new information is a bit to take in, but Jungkook nods. He feels like he shouldn't have asked, but it’s on the list so he was bound to find out eventually.

“So that's out then, since you don't wanna leave,” Jungkook mumbles, trying to drop the topic to avoid making Taehyung any more uncomfortable.

“Actually, I’d quite like to clean that place up… I don't plan on staying there permanently again, but I don't wanna leave it like it is. It’s in this building too, top floor. Follow me,” Taehyung says, leaving Jungkook’s embrace. Jungkook stands to follow after him, worried he may be intruding on something he shouldn't be.

“Don't be nervous. I don't have anything weird in there. At least I don't think I do,” Taehyung says with a shrug. “I might.”

Jungkook doesn't ask, doesn't want to. Taehyung grabs something out of the closet on the way out. It’s a large bag, about half of Taehyung’s size, and he drags it with them to the elevator. Jungkook assumes it’s cleaning supplies. 

The ride to the top is exhilarating. Jungkook has yet to visit the top floor of this building as he never found a need to. Once they arrive, he finds that there are significantly less rooms, only three covering the area. Taehyung heads to the right and unlocks the door, pushing it in. 

Jungkook doesn't want to be rude. He would never. He loves Taehyung so much. Taehyung is being kind enough to invite him into his home. He, and Jimin, Hoseok, and Yoongi, all let him stay with him for a small price. The least he can do is be nice to the.

But… but this.

Jungkook almost vomits at the stench. Taehyung pulls out a face mask and hands it over to Jungkook.

“Sorry about that.” Taehyung’s voice is muffled by his own face mask. He pulls out a box of trash bags. “I'm calling Mirae to come pick this stuff up.”

Jungkook’s doe eyes widen. “You’re not going to have Mirae help us with this. That poor girl…”

“She owes me. I introduced her to her wife,” Taehyung jokes. Jungkook decides not to ask, even if he’s curious about Mirae’s wife. She's a lovely girl and she can only imagine her wife must be the same.

“That doesn't mean she should be taking out our trash!”

“She's a maid, Kook.” Jungkook can't really argue with that but he does anyway.

“But this is too much…” Jungkook grabs one of the trash bags and searches for a pair of gloves. There’s no way in hell he’s touching any of this with his bare hands.

When Jungkook says it’s bad, he means it. He can't see the floor and the stench is sickening. He doesn't understand how it got this bad. There are piles of trash and clothes and expired assortments of drinks. There’s not a whole lot of food, which Jungkook is thankful for or he may have puked. He wonders where the smell is coming from though.

“I think it’s the plumbing? I think it was broken but I just never got it fixed. I got out of bed like once a month. Was lucky if I showered or ate,” Taehyung mumbles. Now, Jungkook just feels bad. Taehyung was in as slump. He shouldn't be rude about how disgusting his apartment is when he doesn't know what Taehyung went through then.

 

*

 

Jungkook isn't sure they’ll finish. Mirae stops by every once in a while to pick up their bags of trash. Jungkook doesn't know how to thank her and slips her some change he has on him whenever she stops by. She always tries to decline it but he stuffs it into her pockets before she can protest. Taehyung is too occupied with throwing out his old clothes to care or notice. 

Jungkook’s throwing a couple more bags of garbage into the truck Mirae brought by to pick up the trash with when Taehyung comes down with bags of clothes. 

“You’re getting rid of them?” Jungkook asks, frown on his lips.

“Yeah, not sure we’ll be able to get the stench out of them. They’ve been sitting there unwashed for a long time. Besides, it’s all out of style anyway,” Taehyung replies, throwing the bags into the truck. Mirae just gives him a long stare, the bags under her eyes more than evident. Jungkook feels bad. She had mentioned to him earlier that she hadn't been feeling well lately but she had to work because her wife was in the hospital. She never said why but he decided that it wasn't his place anyway.

“Okay, that's the last of the bags of trash and clothes. We still have to clean everything else though…” Taehyung says as they scan over the apartment. The lucky part is that they can see the floor. It’s disgusting and Jungkook would never walk around here without shoes but he can see it. It’s progress. The walls are in desperate need of a wash, maybe a repainting, but that's for another time. The plumbing has been fixed since Taehyung called someone up to do that while they cleaned out the trash.

“I guess we should scrub the walls? You do that and I'll sweep and mop,” Taehyung says, handing Jungkook sanitizer and a bucket, along with some rags. Jungkook begins to wipe down the walls, stealing glances to Taehyung as he sweeps the floor, ridding it of crumbs and scraps.

Jungkook tries not to think about how this is Taehyung’s house, back when he was in a state of depression from whatever it may be. He knows Taehyung’s life isn't sunshine and rainbows, never has and never will be with his limited time left on this Earth, yet, Jungkook still likes to believe it. He likes to think that Taehyung isn't scared, that he isn't terrified of each move he makes.

Sometimes, Jungkook wonders about his family, wonders what his parents are like. The way Taehyung describes the, they sound like devils disguised as angels. They’re loving, always showing their affection, but they eat away at you until you break. Condescending, but disguised as concern.

Favorites. It’s not something Jungkook’s ever had to deal with. He has no siblings and his parents hated him. It’s like they had it out for him, their own son. He tries not to think about it.

It’s not Eunseo’s fault. Jungkook would never blame her, knows Taehyung wouldn't either. It’s just a sad thought. 

Jungkook imagines that his parents are insanely rich, high class and dressed in suits and dresses all the time. He wonders where Taehyung got his eyes from, where his cute smile comes from, and his godly looks. He wants to ask to meet them, knows Taehyung will let him, but he doesn't want to push it right now. 

It’s late when Jungkook’s done wiping down the walls and when Taehyung has finished sweeping and mopping. The house looks the cleanest it will get, maybe a bit of reorganizing and it will look great.

“I'm going to have some professionals come in and redecorate and paint this place and sell it. I don't need it anymore anyway,” Taehyung mumbles, pulling out his phone, presumably to call someone to come look at the place. Jungkook grumbles and starts walking towards one of the bedrooms. Taehyung perks up when the door creaks. “What are you doing?"

“Going to sleep? I'm tired,” Jungkook says, about to shut the door when Taehyung stops him. 

“But… the apartment is downstairs?” Jungkook waves his hand at him.

“Lazy. Night, baby,”” Jungkook disappears into the room, the door falling shut behind him. He doesn't stay long enough to catch the blush on Taehyung’s cheeks. 

“Yeah, night”

 

*



February 12th, 2039

 

Taehyung can't feel his legs. It’s the worst feeling to wake up to, numb legs in a cold room with no source of warmth to hide himself away in. He swings his legs over the bed, but he instantly falls over when he moves to stand up. He kneels for a bit, ending up just hitting his legs until they decide to cooperate with him. He rolls his eyes, his left leg finally deciding to work so he limps his way into the living room.

He doesn't expect to find all of his housemates sitting on the couch, already dressed and seemingly ready to leave.

“Oh! Tae, go get dressed! We’re going to Seoul for the weekend!” Jimin cheers, bundled up in a cute pink sweater, no doubt bought with Yoongi’s money when he and Hoseok went to the mall. 

Taehyung actually doesn't want to go anywhere. He wants to sleep, maybe relax and watch movies with his friends, cuddled up with Jungkook. It’s not an unreasonable request. He settles for doing that in the car and heads to his room to change.

Taehyung’s never been this happy that his phone is fully charged. He grabs some earbuds and a charger, as well as a travel bag prepared with some necessities. In all honesty, it’s a bag he never unpacked from Paris, but that’s not important.

Taehyung’s glad Hoseok’s driving. He, in no way, wants to drive when he can lay on Jungkook’s shoulder, sharing earbuds as he drifts in and out of sleep. Taehyung loves being in the middle of the car. He has his friends on both sides of him to keep him warm. Jimin’s asleep on his shoulder, while Taehyung watches Jungkook with heavy eyes as he watches the passing scenery. 

“Why are we goin’ to Seoul?” Taehyung asks, snuggling closer into Jungkook’s neck. 

“I have business there, but we decided to go hang out there all together,” Yoongi speaks up from the passenger’s seat. Taehyung barely hums in response, feeling himself doze off on Jungkook’s shoulder.

 

*

 

“Taehyungie? Baby, wake up, we’re here,” Jungkook’s voice is soft in his ears, and he can practically feel the smile it radiates. Taehyung lifts his head up from his shoulder, met with his soft brown eyes. Taehyung frowns, not happy to be woken up from his much needed sleep, but he doesn't mind as much since it’s Jungkook.

“Wanna grab something to eat first? Yoongi recommended that we check out this cafe first and then I have a surprise for you!” Jungkook says, ruffling Taehyung’s already messy hair. He grimaces, shying away from his soft hand, not really wanting Jungkook to remove it, but he doesn't show it.

“Okay,” Taehyung replies, not fully registering the “surprise” part of his statement.Taehyung doesn't fully know where they are. He thinks they’re at one of the apartments Yoongi owns in Seoul for his business trips there, well, when he’s required to show up at the company building, but he has never seen it, so he doesn't know. He blindly follows behind Jungkook, but it’s more of him being pulled by the hand. Jungkook turns to face him, smile reaching his ears, hisi face full of excitement as he rushes off, shouting about how highly Yoongi has spoken of this place. 

The quaint café isn’t packed, but it isn't dead either. Jungkook sits Taehyung down at a table in the back corner of the cafe. Taehyung tells him to get him whatever and he waits. The music doesn't match with the atmosphere. He was expecting something soft and slow yet he gets TWICE’s latest hit, but he loves TWICE, so that isn't a complaint. 

Jungkook comes back with a tray, two steaming cups and two pastries. Taehyung takes the cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle, licking his lips at the sight. Jungkook hands him a slice of cake, keeping the same for himself. 

“Mmm, is this cheesecake?” Taehyung asks. Jungkook nods, mouth full with his own slice of cake. “You mentioned something about a surprise earlier? What’s that about?”
Jungkook perks up from eating, swallowing the bits of cake in his mouth so he can speak.

“We didn't come Seoul for nothing! You should probably read this over. It doesn't have to be perfect since we’re only giving you a day to memorize it, but it’s fine.” Jungkook shoves a stack of papers towards him. Taehyung accepts them, reading the title of the stack. A Daily Song, produced by Min Yoongi and Jeon Jungkook . Jungkook gives him a sheepish smile.

  “You guys… wrote me a song?” Taehyung asks, almost choking on air when he turns the page, finding chords and lyrics written neatly on it. Taehyung’s mouth hangs open as he reads it over. Jungkook waits until he’s done to speak again. 

“Yes, you wanted to sing a duet, right? I'm not a professional and neither are you, but I was hoping we could do a little something together? Yoongi is letting us use one of the recording booths at his company tomorrow and Monday morning if needed…” Jungkook’s voice is small, but Taehyung can hear it loud and clear. He smiles, setting the sheet music on the table. They continue their meal, and Taehyung can feel the heart eyes Jungkook’s making at him when he isn't looking.

“Thank you. You really are an angel, huh?” Taehyung teases, reaching across the table to hold Jungkook’s hand in his. He misses Jungkook’s blush this time.

 

*

 

It’s cliche, actually. Having to share a bed with your crush because there’s no other beds in the place they’re staying in. It’s a trope Taehyung has seen countless times in stories. It’s not something he would ever think to experience and it isn't a big deal. He and Jungkook share a bed all the time. But now, he’s hyper aware of his crush on Jungkook. How has he come to this conclusion? This man wrote a love song for him. How could he resist now?

Yoongi apologizes, because he usually stays here alone when he visits. He has a guest room for Taehyung and Jungkook, but it only has one bed. So, they’re either stuck sleeping together or one of them is taking the couch. And considering it’s freezing and the rest of the house besides the bedrooms doesn't have heat, Taehyung sure isn't giving up on his chances of a warm room and blankets.

It doesn't seem to bother Jungkook at all, actually. Why should it? It never has bothered him before, from what Taehyung has seen. It didn't bother Taehyung either, but now it does, because he’s looking into it too much. He keeps staring at Jungkook’s messy hair, how he’s deciding to sleep shirtless with his new forming muscles on display, his pretty brown eyes glimmering as he talks about something Jimin did earlier, and his cute little bunny smile.

Taehyung hates this. He really shouldn't feel this way when he doesn't have much time to live. He doesn't want to hurt Jungkook, but he also knows he wants this. He wants to experience love before it’s all over. He wants to find new meaning in his dull life before he has to say goodbye to everything he’s ever known, so it isn't a bad thing.

And, who’s to say Jungkook doesn't like him back? 

Jungkook isn't hard to read. Taehyung knows he looks at him with this glimmering look in his eyes. He always catches those glances he sends his way, the constant staring, the smiling, the way he talks about him, but it doesn't have to mean anything besides admiration. Taehyung can have a bit of hope though. It’s a theory he’ll have to put to the test one day, but he isn't sure when.

This isn't the time, though. This weekend was prepared for him by Jungkook and Yoongi and he isn't going to ruin it to find out if what he truly is feeling is admiration or a crush, and if Jungkook happens to feel the same way towards him.

Taehyung’s already tucked under the blankets when Jungkook pulls them up to slide under. Taehyung stares as his body disappears beside. He feels this overpowering desire to cuddle up with him, hold Jungkook in his arms, boop and kiss his little nose, hold his hands. It’s not something he can resist when Jungkook looks so cute beside him, eyes wide as they stare back at him, most likely wondering why he’s been eye fucking him for the past five minutes.

“Yes, Tae?” Jungkook asks, his voice sweet, but laced with sleepiness.

“You’re cute,” Taehyung blurts out, but it’s definitely not the first time he’s told him. He doesn't know why it’s different now then it was before he realized the deeper meaning of these feelings.

“Oh, thanks. You’re cute too, Tae… Is there something on your mind?” Jungkook says, burrowing his head further into the pillow. Taehyung can't help himself. It’s been so long since he’s felt so attracted to someone. Why would he give something like this up?

“Can we cuddle?” Taehyung feels dumb for asking. Jungkook usually doesn't mind, in fact, he initiates it a lot. It’s something that makes Taehyung feel relieved, like he has nothing to worry about around Jungkook. Jungkook always makes him feel safe and secure when he’s beside him. 

“Of course,” Jungkook whispers, holding his arms open. Taehyung takes no time in diving into his arms, throwing his own arms around Jungkook in return. It’s safe here. He’s with Jungkook. He’s with Jimin, Hoseok, and Yoongi. He has people who look out for him, people he can always count on. Taehyung looks at Jungkook and smiles, but he doesn't see it. His eyes are already shut, face dusted pink from what Taehyung can see from the dim moonlight shining through the open window. Taehyung brushes his fingers through his hair, letting his hand fall onto the sheets once his hand leaves the soft locks of Jungkook’s hair. 

He falls asleep feeling free for once, no longer trapped in his own cruel thoughts. 

 

*

 

February 13th, 2039

 

Taehyung’s not sure he’s going to be able to get this down. Jungkook wrote the goddamn thing, with Yoongi of course, but Taehyung has barely gotten a day to learn the song. He’s no professional so this isn't something that comes easy to him. He can't just magically know all the lyrics and notes to a song in the matter of a couple hours. He wishes he could, because Jungkook already has all his parts recorded, and he’s waiting on Taehyung so they can focus on some other parts that involve the two of them.

With a deep breath, Taehyung starts up again. Yoongi’s smiling at him from the other side of the glass, along with Jungkook, whose face is pressed against the window that separates them. Taehyung chuckles at his squished features against the glass.

“Jungkook, get your face off the glass and let Taehyung focus,” Yoongi mumbles, pulling Jungkook down into the seat beside him. Jungkook’s wide eyes never falter as he’s seated in his new spot, gaze stuck on Taehyung. With his encouraging smile, Taehyung continues with confidence. 

“Nice job, Tae. You got the first verse down perfectly. There’s only a couple more things I need you to do before I throw Jungkook in there with you. This isn't supposed to be professional, so I'm mainly going to be using your raw vocals for this,” Yoongi explains, clicking the record button so Taehyung can start again. “Don't worry, about messing up. I'm going to make this as perfect as I can for you guys. I know how much it means to you.”

Taehyung feels completely reassured, so he starts up again, eyes closed as he belts out the lyrics, doing his best to hit the perfect notes

He swears they’re recording for hours. Taehyung’s voice is completely dead by the time Yoongi dismisses them, saying they will need to come back and do a bit more in the morning, and then he’ll take them back home to edit. 

Taehyung stretches his arms out once they’re outside, but he’s pulled forward by Jungkook before he can even say anything.

“Let's go ice skating! They have this super nice ice skating rink here in Seoul that I’ve always wanted to visit!” Jungkook exclaims, pulling Taehyung behind him. He doesn't have time to even protest, not that he would because it’s something Jungkook wants to do. His eyes lit up when he mentioned the idea and Taehyung would be a complete asshole if he had said no to him anyway. Taehyung only has one problem.

He doesn't know how to ice skate. It’s on his list because he wants to learn how to ice skate, but that doesn't mean he wants to go now. He doesn't want to embarrass himself in front of Jungkook, who obviously knows how to. He’s going to look like a fool if he tries to go out on the ice and skate. He’ll fall on his ass dozen of times and he’s going to get laughed at. 

“Have you been ice skating before?” Jungkook asks him, walking inside of a small building, the smell of sweat hitting his nose in an instant. Taehyung shrugs, knowing it’s fine to be honest, because Jungkook won't actually judge him, despite the irrational thoughts plaguing his mind.

“No, I haven't,” he finally answers, handing his debit card to Jungkook so he can pay for their skates and their skating time. For some reason, Jungkook’s face lights up even more at his words.

“Then I'll teach you! Don't let go of my hand, got it?” Jungkook says, handing Taehyung back his card and setting both of their skates up on a table in the lobby type area. Taehyung sits down and stares at the skates for a bit. He slips them on, watching how Jungkook ties them up and stands up effortlessly, walking as if he isn't wearing knife shoes. 

Taehyung attempts to copy Jungkook’s previous actions, but he ends up with a weird lopsided knot on one of the skates. He gives Jungkook a sheepish smile, earning himself a small laugh as Jungkook kneels down to tie it for him. 

“Can you really not tie shoes? Come on Taehyung, you’re twenty years old,” Jungkook jokes, but Taehyung shoots him a glare. Taehyung goes to stand after Jungkook has successfully tied his shoes, but he almost topples over if it isn't for Jungkook who steadies him. 

“Be careful, Tae,” Jungkook mumbles, reaching out for Taehyung’s hand. Taehyung takes it and follows behind him, slowly but surely. 

It’s hard to get used to walking in skates. He picks it up pretty easily, finding himself able to stand without support from Jungkook. The real problem comes when they reach the ice. Taehyung dares to take a step onto the ice, Jungkook already having done a quick lap around the rink. It’s fairly empty, a couple young teenagers skating around. Other than that, it’s decently empty for a weekend. 

Jungkook skates up to him, stopping himself in front of Taehyung. He holds out his hand for him, “remember, don't let go!”

Taehyung takes his hand and he doesn't let go. He doesn't plan to let go for a long time.

Jungkook takes him to the edge, setting him up so he can hold on and not fall. Jungkook doesn't let go of his hand the whole time. 

They make it around the rink and Taehyung only falls once and his ass fucking burns from the ice but it’s okay. Jungkook helped him up after he laughed at him. 

“See, you’re doing great!” Jungkook cheers, throwing his hands up in the air, Taehyung’s hand being shot up with his since Jungkook won’t let go of his hand. He doesn't want him to anyway.

“You want to try and go around again? Without holding onto the wall?” Jungkook asks, distancing them from the wall. Taehyung falters a bit as he is dragged away from the security of the wall, but he steadies himself so they can go around again. 

It’s hard, incredibly so. He’s not someone who can be good at everything he tries. He can't just put ice skates on and skate backwards around the rink. He has to hold onto the wall to keep himself from falling over.

He ends up making it around the rink again, this time without using the wall. He falls twice, but the second time he doesn't even hit the ground because of Jungkook’s super strength. Since when did he gain so much muscle?

“Faster, Tae!” Jungkook says, grabbing both of Taehyung’s hands and skating in front of him. Jungkook skates backwards, something Taehyung couldn't even dream to achieve. It amazes him how well he skates. He doesn't voice his thoughts and just let's Jungkook lead him around the rink, feeling his pace increase without even realizing.

“Woah, Kook, slow down a bit!” Taehyung says, trying to steady his feet as Jungkook skates flawlessly. There’s not much Taehyung can do to stop his legs from wobbling as he’s dragged by Jungkook. He topples over, pushing Jungkook forward on the ice. Jungkook laughs the whole way down, like he was expecting Taehyung to fall down on top of him. 

The ice is cold on Taehyung’s hands, so he rests them on Jungkook instead, trusting that he’ll help the both of them up.

“I can't move if you’re on top of me,” Jungkook laughs. Taehyung moves to the side, the ice cold on his skin. It’s cold to the point it almost burns, but Jungkook’s on his feet in seconds, pulling Taehyung up after him.

They skate for a while longer, to the point where Taehyung just wants to go home and sleep. He doesn't want to stay out any longer. His voice is dead from singing for hours on end and his body is cold and sore from skating. He simply wants to sleep in his warm bed.

 

*

 

Yoongi sends Jungkook the mp3 a week later. He can't contain his tears when he hears their voices harmonizing in such a meaningful song. He doesn't understand why he’s crying over this song. He shouldn't be. He decides to wait until his face is less puffy and red to show Taehyung of the masterpiece they’ve created together.

Chapter Text

February 15th, 2039

Jungkook stares across the cafe, wondering if he should say anything, anything at all. Minjae is seated at a table in the corner, not having noticed him yet. He doesn't want Minjae to notice him, if he’s completely honest. 

Taehyung is leaning against the counter, rambling about something to Jimin while he waits for Jungkook to get off of his shift. He doesn't remember telling Minjae exactly where he worked, though he does remember briefly mentioning of his job at a cafe. It’s a funny coincidence, but Jungkook can't be too surprised.

“Kook?” Taehyung says, body splayed over the counter, something Eunseo has berated him for numerous times, but she must’ve given up on him because she throws him a dirty look and moves on, disappearing into her small office space without another glance. 

“Uh, yeah?” he replies, distracted by the tightening of Minjae’s jaw as he glares at his phone. His eyes narrow, looking a close second to throwing the phone across the cafe in rage. Taehyung doesn't acknowledge his staring, but instead hums.

“You get out in twenty minutes, yeah? Wanna go get something to eat after?” he says, readjusting his position so he can grab Jungkook’s jaw with his hands. It’s a bit too intimate, though Jungkook knows it’s not supposed to seem that way. Taehyung is just attempting to catch his attention, prevent him from staring off at the enraged Minjae in the corner. 

“Sure, we can do that.” Taehyung hums again, hand falling from his chin just as quickly. Jungkook grabs a rag and starts wiping down the counter, though there's no sanitizer on the rag, nor does the counter need to be wiped down. 

Jungkook stares at Taehyung instead, admiring his extra fluffy hair. Jungkook likes knowing that he can feel it whenever he feels fit, since he finds that Taehyung is less than bothered to find his hands in his hair. It’s comforting to run his fingers through someone else’s hair, but he might simply be the only one who feels this way.

Twenty minutes passes by slowly, Jungkook finding his attention drawn between Taehyung and Minjae. He doesn't understand why Minjae has been here for so long, but he doesn't question it too much, because that’s not his business. He hopes he’ll be able to sneak away without Minjae noticing him. He’s not sure he wants him and Taehyung to meet, despite how much he likes the two of them and it would be great for his two friends to get along with each other (though, like might mean two different things depending on who he’s talking about).

Jungkook grabs his jacket from the back, slipping his arms through the sleeves. He hasn't realized until now how big the jacket truly is on him, the sleeves cascading far past his hands, the bottom reaching a bit past his mid thighs. It doesn't bother him, the complete opposite, in fact. He enjoys the comfort in the oversized clothing, how small he feels under the coat.

Taehyung’s by the door, waving him down once he steps out from the back. He’s walking over to Taehyung when he hears his name called out. He looks over towards Minjae, who’s smiling at him. Taehyung looks at him in confusion when Jungkook waves. Jungkook doesn't actually expect Minjae to come up to him.

“I didn't know you worked here, Kookie!” Minjae says, throwing his arm around Jungkook’s shoulders. 

“Oh, uh, yes, I started a little while ago,” Jungkook mumbles, glancing back over to Taehyung. He seems to be waiting patiently, expression blank. Jungkook can't read him when he looks like that.

“So what are you up to?” 

“Taehyung and I,” Jungkook says as he points to Taehyung standing at the door. “Are going out to eat.”

Minjae smiles and waves at Taehyung who just gives him a half assed wave.

“Would you guys mind if I joined? I was supposed to meet a friend here but they got caught up in work,” Minjae explains. Jungkook wants to say yes, he wants Taehyung and Minjae to be friends. 

 

*

 

Minjae ends up hanging out with them. Taehyung agreed and let him join them.

The car ride is awkward, to say the least. Taehyung’s driving while Jungkook is in the passenger's seat. Minjae’s quiet in the back, staring out the window and minding his own business.

“So, where are we going, Tae?” Jungkook asks, leaning over towards him. Taehyung doesn't look away from the road, glancing into the rear view mirror

“A new restaurant opened nearby. I thought we could check it out,” Taehyung replies. Jungkook turns to Minjae in the back, finding him staring at Taehyung.

“Do we know each other? You look familiar,” Minjae says, pointing his finger at Taehyung. Taehyung doesn't hesitate to shake his head ‘no’ as he parks the car. Minjae shrugs as they hop out of the car. 

The hostess sits them at a table in the corner, leaving a couple menus with them. 

“Jungkook,” Taehyung says out of nowhere, head shooting up from the menu he’s been staring at. Jungkook hums in response, glancing up at Taehyung’s glistening eyes. 

“I want to go see Twice! They’re performing in Seoul in a couple weeks!” Taehyung cheers. Jungkook can't say no when Taehyung looks like that, so he nods, no words to be said. “I'll buy us the tickets! You know their songs, right? Fanchants? Who’s your bias? God, I hate Eunseo for getting me into them.”

"Slow down, Tae. Yes, I like Twice. My bias… um, probably Jihyo. That girl can work, damn,” Jungkook says with a laugh. “She makes me question my sexuality.”"

Taehyung laughs until he’s interrupted by a loud cough from beside Jungkook. “I like Twice too. Well, my friend does so I know a lot about them. I really like Sana!”

Taehyung’s eyes light up as the conversation continues, going on about how much he loves Chaeyoung and how he would love to meet her one day.

“Minjae, do you want to see Twice with us? Maybe you can bring your friend too!” Taehyung says after their conversation turns to their songs and choreography. Jungkook feels satisfied that they get along now. This is exactly what he wanted to happen in the end. He smiles to himself as he lets Taehyung and Minjae rant about Twice and other girl groups they listen to. It’s quite a sight. He picks at his food as he stares at Taehyung as he flashes those pretty eyes while telling Minjae about this cute song that Chaeyoung covered or something. 

Jungkook suddenly really loves Twice.

 

*

 

February 16th, 2039

“We’re going to see Twice in three weeks! Three weeks until Twice! Three weeks until Twice!” Taehyung cheers as he and Jungkook wait for his laptop to load up. They’re about to buy tickets to go see the nation’s girl group. Taehyung said he was only settling for front row seats so he can be right up against the stage. Jungkook said that it’s fine even if they don't get front row seats, but Taehyung argued that he is getting them even if he has to call JYPE to get them.

“Come on, load faster! I need these seats! Fuck, how many seats are we getting? Me, you, Yoongi, Hoseok, Jimin, Minjae, and his friend. So that's seven right? Holy fuck they’re right there, Kook!” Taehyung rants as he rapidly clicks on the available seats, right up against the stage. Jungkook barely comprehends what he’s doing since he’s going so fast. It’s absolutely adorable to see him so passionate about something.

“We got them! We’re seeing Twice! I can't wait to see the queens of music! They saved the music industry!” Taehyung says. Jungkook needs to do his research on Twice. He knows their names and their music but he doesn't want to look dumb when he goes to see Twice with a hardcore fan who seems to know everything. 

“I have to get a makeover! Let's go dye our hair, Kookie!” Taehyung says. Jungkook considers it for a moment. He has dyed his hair different shades of brown, but he’s always wanted to try something new. 

“Sure, let's go tomorrow! Eunseo gave me the day off!” Jungkook says. And Taehyung smiles.

 

*

 

February 17th, 2039

Jungkook finds himself looking at rows of colors he can choose from at a huge hair salon in the center of Daegu. Taehyung is already sitting down with a stylist getting his hair dyed purple. But Jungkook still can't choose what color he wants yet. It’s hard to choose with all of the vibrant colors in front of him.

Suddenly, his eye is drawn to a bright pinkish-red color. He wonders if he could pull it off. It’s either that or he goes blonde, but he wants to go a bit out there now, considering Taehyung is doing purple. He grabs the desired color and heads to the stylist waiting for him. She smiles at him and accepts the color in his hands.

It’s a bit exhilarating honestly. He’s excited to see how he looks with a new color. He wonders if Taehyung would bring him out to get a new outfit for the concert as well. Maybe they can buy some merchandise and he can get a hoodie with Jihyo’s name on it. 

The stylist starts doing stuff with his hair, brushing it out and whatever. He kind of zones out, listening to the instructions the stylist gives him every once in a while.

He feels a bit giddy when he feels the dye in his hair, wondering how it really looks. He’s not looking at a mirror, mostly because he wants to see it at the end instead of when it’s partly done. He glances over at Taehyung who’s casually talking with the stylist putting purple in his hair. He looks amazing in that color, but he’s sure that Taehyung would look good in any color. He could probably pull off colors like green and orange, which seems impossible to pull off, to Jungkook at least. He doesn't know how idols do it. He would look like a fucking pumpkin with orange hair.

Finally, after what felt like hours, the stylist is done with his hair. He just has to wash out the dye now and he’ll be set. Taehyung’s been done for a bit now and Jungkook has yet to see the final result. He’s been sitting out in the waiting room for him while the stylist does the finishing touches to Jungkook’s hair.

“Wow, you look great!” the stylist cheers as she dries his hair. Jungkook glances up, finally getting a good look at the final result of his own hair. It’s bright, for sure. It’s a nice red color with pink undertones, it’s a bit hard to tell when it’s newly in his hair. He’s sure when it fades a bit more it’ll lean more to one side or the other. He’s actually hoping that it turns out to be a faded pink. He thinks it will look nice on him.

He thanks the stylist and heads out to meet Taehyung, who’s already paid for the two of them. He gasps a bit when he sees the dark shade of purple in Taehyung’s hair. Taehyung looked stunning with his black hair before, but he somehow finds that purple suits him. It compliments him. Fitting, in a way.

“Kook, you look amazing!” Taehyung says, reaching up to run his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, as if he somehow doesn't believe the color is real. 

“You do too…” Jungkook whispers, reaching up to grab Taehyung’s hair too. It’s still as soft as he remembers, just a dark shade of purple now.

Jungkook clears his throat. “Um, Tae?”

“Hm?” Jungkook pauses, thinking of how he should phrase his question.

“Can I borrow your Twice hoodie with Jihyo’s name on it?” Jungkook asks. Taehyung stops stroking his hair when the words leave his mouth.

“How did you know I have that?” he asks, pulling his hand completely away from Jungkook hair. Jungkook didn't want him to take his hand back but he doesn't say anything about it and lets Taehyung retreat his hands into his own hair. 

“Well, I saw it in your drawer a while ago. Along with every other Twice member… you don't mind do you?” Jungkook asks. Taehyung’s face turns red at the realization that all his merch had been spotted. He coughs.

“Oh, um, yeah… You didn't… see anything else, did you?” Taehyung says, avoiding eye contact with Jungkook. Jungkook shook his head, since he had only saw the immense amounts of merchandise in that drawer. 

“Okay, great. You can borrow it for the concert, that's fine.” A wave of silence passes between them. Jungkook looks around and realizes that people are staring at them. He backs away from Taehyung a bit, noticing how close they truly are. 

“Let's go to Japan this spring,” Taehyung says out of the blue. “That when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, right? I think it’s like March? April?” 

Jungkook’s startled by the question, honestly. He’s still not used to spontaneous trips Taehyung plans. He sometimes forgets how much money has.

“Oh, if you’d like to, I guess we could go. We could all go together, me, you, Yoongi, Hoseok, and Jimin,” Jungkook suggests, and Taehyung smiles back.

“Sounds like fun! Let's grab something to eat now. I'm starving!”

 

*

 

February 18th, 2039

How had he ended up in this situation? Jungkook had gotten home, finding Jimin on the couch with Hoseok, talking as a movie played in the background. Jungkook waved at them and continued on his way to take a nap. After hanging out with Minjae all day he just wanted to sleep. They did some karaoke today and his voice was dead after all the high notes he attempted to hit. 

He started walking to his own room when Taehyung grabbed him out of the blue. 

So now, he is sitting on Taehyung’s bed, being glared at intensely. Jungkook fiddles with his fingers, feeling uneasy under Taehyung’s gaze. Has he done something wrong? Is there something wrong with Taehyung? Has he forgotten something important. 

Taehyung reaches over to grab his hand as a form of comforting him. It doesn't do much though. Jungkook just feels more uneasy, his heart rate picking at an immense rate. He feels like he might faint at this point, Taehyung’s hand encasing his own. 

“I need to ask you something, Kook. I want you to be completely honest with me. I won't get mad, okay?” Taehyung says, holding both of Jungkook’s hands in his to comfort him. 

Jungkook nods, feeling overwhelmed and scared. What if he hates him? What if he doesn't want him to stay here anymore? What if he kicks him back out into the streets, and he loses his friends and his job? He can lose everything just because Taehyung doesn't want him around anymore. 

“God, calm down you big baby. You didn't do anything wrong,” Taehyung says with an eye roll. Jungkook takes a deep breath and nods, tightening his grip around Taehyung’s hands.

“I wanted to ask you something that I’ve noticed lately, and maybe I'm just seeing things but I don't know… Everything you’ve done for me,” Taehyung starts, stopping to breathe before he continues. “Let me just get right to it. Do you like me? Like, like like me? God, this is so awkward. It’s just that I think-”

“No, why would you think that? Haha, I don't know what you’re talking about Taehyung. We’re… best friends? Did you drink or something?” Jungkook says hastily, trying to cover his nervousness up with laughter. Taehyung can't know. Yoongi was right, he’s been too obvious with the way that he looks at him. He has to stop if he wants everything to go smoothly with their friendship. 

“Oh, I just thought-”

“You have nothing to worry about, Tae… I don't like you like that. We’re only friends!” Jungkook says, his distress showing through. 

“Okay, okay, I got it, Kook. You don't have to freak out.” Taehyung reached to grab his face, but Jungkook just pushed him away.

“It’s fine. I just,” Jungkook starts, looking back up to see the hurt in Taehyung’s eyes. He doesn't want Taehyung to be upset with him. He wants to lean over and kiss him all over, hug him so tight, feel his warmth against his. He wants Taehyung to hold him, tell him he loves him and that he’ll never let go of his hand. He wants to be together for as long as they can, but he just can't find it in himself to be honest. He doesn't want Taehyung to know that he feels this way about him.

“Oh god, Kookie, stop. You’re just stressing yourself out even more,” Taehyung says, ignoring the way Jungkook tries to block him out. He pulls Jungkook right beside him, keeping his arm around his waist, making sure he doesn't look or feel uncomfortable in his presence. 

“Hey, just forget I asked. I think I just got the wrong idea, okay. Calm down,” Taehyung says. He’s too fucking nice to him. Why isn't he at all upset that he freaked out on him? He shouldn't be so nice to him when Jungkook was an ass for no reason whatsoever. Jungkook groans into his own hands.

“Sorry, I just got scared that you’d be upset with me,” Jungkook admits. Taehyung tilts his head.

“Why would I be mad that you don't like me like that?” Taehyung ask, almost a suspicious tone in his voice. Jungkook shrugs, trying to find the right words to save his slip up.

“I just thought you’d think I was weird, I-” 

“Okay, you’re stressing yourself out again. You don't have to explain yourself, angel,” Taehyung says, rubbing his back comfortingly. 

“Okay, thank you Taehyung. Let's get something to eat tonight. I wanna take a nap first.”

“Sleep well, then. I'll wake you up in a couple hours,” Taehyung says as Jungkook walks out of view. He shuts the door behind him, leaving Taehyung alone on his bed, eyes never leaving the door. He stares as if Jungkook is still there. He’s still staring at him with that shining look in his eyes. He’s flashing heart as at him, being honest with himself and accepting himself like he should.

In his mind, Jungkook isn't lying to him. He isn't denying everything they’ve built up together. He accepts the fact that he likes him, but the thought makes Taehyung feel selfish. Jungkook just doesn't want to be with him and there’s nothing Taehyung can do about it. It doesn't matter if Jungkook really does like him, because he knows that Jungkook returns the feelings he has for him, but he can't force him to date him.

He knows Jungkook would just get hurt by dating him. Jungkook deserves to be happy and Taehyung can't be the one who will make him happy. Jungkook deserves to be happy with someone who isn't going to leave him. Someone who can stay with him until the end of time and show him the love he deserves to feel. He deserves to be loved unconditionally. And Taehyung does love him unconditionally. He knows he can show Jungkook love but he can't for as long as he would wish to. He won't be able to express all of his feelings towards Jungkook in these months he has left.

Taehyung is going to die. He won't be able to show Jungkook the love he deserves once he’s no longer breathing.

 

Chapter Text

February 22nd, 2039

    Taehyung stares at him, smile bright as he shoves his phone screen in Jungkook’s face. Jungkook backs up a bit because of the sudden movement, but he eventually reads what’s on the screen. It’s an email from a company called BigHit Entertainment. 

    “It’s a modeling job!” Taehyung exclaims, pushing his phone back into his pocket. “You were right.”

    It takes Jungkook a moment to remember what he’s talking about. That time where his parents wanted him to take a modeling job that was forcing unhealthy standards onto him. It still makes Jungkook’s blood boil today.

    “That’s great, Tae! When is it?” Jungkook asks.

    “Ah, a couple weeks from now. I'll show you the photos from the shoot though! I'm really excited!” Taehyung says. That sparkle in his eye is so enticing. Jungkook clears his throat to hide the obvious staring. 

    “I'm so proud of you.” Taehyung brings him into his arms, startling Jungkook for only a moment before he returns the hug. 

    “You’re the best, Kook!” Taehyung stops. “Let's do something today.” 

    Jungkook turns to the balcony that they barely touch. It’s there. No one usually uses it. He’s seen Jimin go out there once or Twice, but he never pays much attention to when he goes out there. The day is clear, no clouds in the sky. It's later in the afternoon, evening time, a time where the sun will soon set. Right now, it’s a peaceful point during the day. Yoongi, Hoseok, and Jimin won't be back until tomorrow morning, each of them off on their own schedules, leaving Taehyung and Jungkook with the house to themselves for the night.

    “Outside,” Jungkook says, pointing to the balcony he’s been staring at. Taehyung’s just as confused as Jungkook expected him to be without any explanation. It seems to click when Taehyung finds himself look in the direction of the falling sun, close to hitting the horizon. They rush outside, as if they’d miss the moment that the sun fell, leaving them in darkness. The sky is painted shades or orange and red, the setting sun guiding their eyes for now. Soon, the sky will be filled with nothing but the moon and sparkling stars. 

    “We’re going to sit here all night and wait for the sunrise,” Jungkook says, smiling as he and Taehyung watch the sun fall out of view, leaving them in the darkness, along with hundreds and thousands of little stars above them. Jungkook watches the star beside him instead of the ones up in the sky.

    “Ooh! Sounds fun. We’re gonna stay up all night together?” Taehyung asks, leaning up against the railing of the balcony, hand reaching back for Jungkook to join him. Hesitantly, Jungkook takes his hand in his, reveling in the warmth Taehyung’s hands give him. The way his mind makes him feel as if Taehyung’s hands were made for him, even if that feels too cliche. He wishes he could tell him but it’s just not possible. Maybe if he was brave enough to face himself he could give Taehyung the world.

 

*

 

March 12th, 2039

    “Nayeonie, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihy-”

    “God, how many times are you gonna repeat their names? We get it, there are nine members. Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu! Now please, ten minutes of peace and quiet,” Jimin yells, leaning onto Hoseok’s shoulder in an attempt to block everyone in the car out.

    The car is packed full of the five of them, planning on meeting Minjae and his friend at the venue. Taehyung is obviously stoked with his vip tickets where he would get to meet TWICE, including hi-touch, a photo, and a signed album. Taehyung is rich anyway so he didn't care about the amount of money he would be spending to meet the girls he looked up to so much.

    “Stop being dramatic, Minnie. I'm playing SOTY again,” Taehyung says, FANCY blasting through the speakers of the car. Jungkook can’t even deny it. Taehyung is so fucking cute. How is he so lucky to have such an attractive and kind man in his life?

    As Taehyung and Hoseok danced and sang along to FANCY, Jungkook texted Minjae to see when they would be arriving at the venue with his friend. He didn't know much about them, not a name or a general idea of what they were like, but he was sure they were lovely if they were friends with Minjae.

    “Hey, babe?” Jungkook says, sort of wishing he hadn't said that out of habit. Taehyung turns to him the passenger seat, questioning look.

    “Why didn't you invite Eunseo? Didn't you say she liked TWICE too?” Jungkook asks, glancing up from his phone. 

    “I did, but she said she had plans with her boyfriend ,” Taehyung says in a teasing manner. Jungkook’s eyes widen.

    “She has a boyfriend?” Taehyung nods, but then he shrugs.

    “Actually, I think she just likes him. Jimin, didn't you give her his number or something? God, I can't remember his name,” Taehyung grumbles, turning to Jimin for answers. Jimin smiles, leaning off of Hoseok.

    “Oh, Min! I love him! He’s a great guy, super handsome too!” Hoseok turns to him with a raised eyebrow, even Yoongi, who’s driving the car, turns to him. He gets hit on the shoulder by Taehyung, yelling at him to focus on the road.

    “She’s liked that guy for years but he’s so fucking dense, oh my god. I wanna knock some sense into him so much,” Hoseok laughs, thinking back to all the times she embarrassed herself asking for his number. 

    “I had to give her his number because they’ve known each other since high school and she still couldn't man up and just ask for his number. His fucking number!” Jimin yells, but is immediately shut up by Taehyung when Heart Shaker comes on.

    “Come and be my love baby!” he shouts, turning back to Jungkook to grab his hands. Jungkook wishes he knew all of the lyrics to song so he didn't sound dumb when all he could shout was “girl you can do it!” and “love is timing!”

    “Now, who wants to talk about TWICE theories with me? Or, oh my god, Chaeng being a lesbian queen this past week!” Taehyung rambles for the rest of the ride. But he’s passionate so no one blames him. Hoseok seems to enjoy it at least 

    “Hobi, who’s your bias? I’ve never asked.” Taehyung turns fully around in seat so he and Hoseok can fully immerse in their conversation. 

    “Definitely a Nayeon stan. God, that girl is perfect. If I was straight, she would be my ideal women. I want her to dom me,” Hoseok says. Taehyung laughs about how much of a hard stan Hoseok is and they talk some more about the members. For the last, say, thirty minutes of the ride, the car is quiet minus the loop of “Dalkomhan chokollit aiseukeurimcheoreom nogabeorineun jigeum nae gibun so lovely” that Taehyung put on. God, Jungkook loves Sana but he doesn't need to hear that part a million times more than he already has.

    “Signal is better than FANCY,” Jungkook says, hoping he can get Taehyung to play a different song, and it works , because Taehyung puts Signal on, shouting “SOTY!”

    It’s cute, and really refreshing, because the whole car is screaming the beginning of Signal together. Jungkook didn't think a fucking TWICE concert would be what brought them closer together.

    Finally, after what feels like forever, they arrive at the venue for the concert. Taehyung is ready, already holding his lightstick that he had already owned. Had he been to a TWICE concert before? Knowing how much money he had Jungkook wouldn't be surprised.  Oh, but apparently he has one for all of them, including MInjae and his friend.

    “I texted Jae and him and his friend are by the merch stands inside. I think he said it’s close to the section where our seats are?” Jungkook says, tucking his phone into his pocket as they get in line. Taehyung hands them all their lightsticks and shows them how they work or whatever. Jungkook isn't listening because he knows how they work. He went to a GOT7 concert in high school so he understands how these things work. But obviously, yoonminseok hadn't been victim to any of this stuff before he showed up.

    The line didn't take as long as he would’ve thought but it still took a while. Jungkook made friends with one of the younger girls in line, maybe about sixteen, a hardcore Jeongyeon stan too. Absolutely adorable. He wishes he had a little sister and that she was as cute as this. 

    Yoongi insisted on getting food for some reason, so Hoseok went with him too. Even though Jimin begged to go with them, Hoseok convinced him to go with Taehyung and Jungkook to their seats.

    “I don't wanna be a third wheel so I'm gonna go to the bathroom before the concert starts. Can't miss FANCY or Tae will be pissed,” Jimin says, rolling his eyes as he ran off to the long ass line for the bathroom.

    “Let's go find Minjae and his friend,” Jungkook replies, making sure that Taehyung isn't in shock of his friends all running off. 

    “Okay, sure. I wanna meet his friend so I can have more people besides Hoseok and my sister that will have full blown conversations with me about TWICE,” Taehyung grumbles. Now Jungkook just felt incredibly offended by the comment.

    “I like TWICE! I'll have full blown conversations about how Sana is a lesbian and is secretly in a relationship with Momo,” Jungkook jokes. Taehyung laughs, shouting something about him being a delulu or whatever. But seriously, Jungkook would never believe that Sana was straight.

    “Yeah, okay, sure. You like TWICE ships? Read fanfiction?” Taehyung teases, and Jungkook blushes, because he has, in like high school or something. He just really enjoyed the plot that the authors came up with. Nothing else. He wasn't a creep or anything.

    “Ah, you have. SaMo, I presume, hm… I can get behind that, but ah, Chaeyu is the queen of all ships,” Taehyung says, more so in a joking manner than anything else. The lightheartedness of this conversation kind of sends a warm feeling through him.

    “I like MiChaeng-”

    “I'm breaking up with you,” Taehyung says, not daring to look his way. Jungkook laughs. “Let's stop this conversation before I go off about how pure Chaeyu is with their height difference and their cute maknae antics.”

    Jungkook agrees and they set off to find Minjae. He’s standing in line with a girl with long brown hair, facing away from the two of them when they approach. Jungkook feels his stomach rumble with something of nerves because he really wasn't expecting a girl. He hopes she won't be too weirded out by hanging out with a bunch of guys.

    “Jae!” Jungkook shouts, running up to Minjae to engulf him in a hug, head falling into Minjae’s chest. He hates how tall Minjae is.

    “Wow, Kookie, you’re fucking ripped!” Minjae shouts, reaching down to grab Jungkook’s arm, feeling his forming muscles.

    “Well, I’ve been working at this for a while, I would hope there's a little something there,” Jungkook says with a laugh, about to ask Minjae about his day when he hears a clearing of the throat.

    “Jeon fucking Jungkook? I see, Min, you have taste,” a voice calls from beside them. Jungkook knows that voice so why can't he figure out who it is? They even know his name.

    “You know his name?” Minjae asks, not letting go of Jungkook so he can see who the fuck is talking to them.

    “Yeah, he’s my brothers fucking boyfriend,” she says. “Taehyung! You didn't tell me Jungkook and Minjae were friends?”
    Taehyung laughs but Jungkook feels so dumb. He’s so confused. He has no idea what’s going on.

    “I thought it was so funny that I had to let him find out for himself. I knew Min was dense but god Jungkook’s even worse than that rock,” Taehyung replies. 

    “I'm not dense, guys!” Minjae whines, finally letting Jungkook go. “Look, he was this cute little tiny twink at the time but now he’s a muscle pig and I'm sexually confused.”

    Taehyung doubles down in laughter and Jungkook can finally turn around to face Taehyung and Eunseo.

    “Hey, don't hit on my boyfriend!” Taehyung says, and it’s a complete joke, Jungkook knows completely well that it’s a joke, but it just doesn't feel like one coming from Taehyung. Sounds like he’s completely serious.

    “Woah, you guys are actually dating? I was just kidding, but for real?” Eunseo says, the initial shock of finding out that she was actually the friend that Minjae was talking about rubbing off, because what was he expecting? It seemed to all make sense, like the puzzle pieces all fit together and Eunseo was the last missing piece that they found still hidden in the box in the end.

    “No, we’re not,” Jungkook says, feeling a little sad at the realization that he fucked up bad last time. Maybe Taehyung did like him, was going to use that moment to confess but Jungkook fucked the whole thing up by being a dumbass. “Unless… you want to Tae?”

    The group grew silent at the suggestion, but then Jungkook laughed, trying to play it off as a joke. Maybe he can ask another time. Yeah, another time.

    They head off to their seats, Taehyung sending Hoseok, Yoongi, and Jimin a text of where their seats are. Jungkook finds it insane how they’re right up against the stage and when TWICE get up there, they’ll be in full view, up close so Jungkook can see every expression and every feature. It sounds weird, but honestly, it’s just weird feeling he can't shake off.

    “So, how long have you and Min known each other?” Eunseo asks, her head popping out from beside Minjae, who towers over her completely. Eunseo isn't even that tiny, but compared to Minjae, he’s sure everyone feels tiny. 

    “Uh, I don't know, maybe a month? Right?” Jungkook says, turning to Minjae, brushing his bright red, fading more into pink now, hair out of his eyes. Minjae nods, humming as he watches the stage, despite there being nothing up there quite yet.

    “Really? You never even told me?” Eunseo pouts.

    “I didn't know you knew each other!” Jungkook defends, laughing as she reaches over to pull on his hair. Eunseo is literally the older sister he never had. She’s a delight to be around. Most of the time. Right now though, she’s currently trying to get Minjae to pay attention to her instead of the cute girl on the left. Short, bouncy bubblegum pink hair, pouty lips, dressed in an all black, witch-like outfit. She’s adorable.

    “Ugh, where’s Park Jiminie?” Yoongi says, pausing when he notices Eunseo and Minjae beside Jungkook. “Min? Eunseo? What the hell are you two doing here?”

    Hoseok seems equally as confused as Yoongi is, only receiving a laugh from Taehyung and Eunseo.

    “Jungkookie didn't know we were all friends with Minjae,” Eunseo says, her brown hair falling from her shoulders and landing on her back at the swift movement of leaning forward.

    “Oh, that's great. A bit shocking, but great. Now where is Jiminie?” Yoongi says again, glancing around the seats, finding their three empty seats on Taehyung’s right. “Is he in the bathroom?”
    Yoongi sounds a bit concerned if anything but Hoseok assures him it’s fine. After about five minutes of Yoongi’s impatience and constant twitching, Hoseok takes him to go find Jimin by the bathrooms.

    “What time does the concert start?” Eunseo asks, preparing her phone to take some videos.

    “7:30, but it’s almost 7:00 right now… they’ve been gone for a while,” Taehyung says, turning around as if looking for Yoongi, Hoseok, and Jimin to come waltzing up, but they never come. “Don't tell me they’re having sex right now. I have a TWICE concert to watch and Yoongi needs to record some of it for me so I can get Chaeyoung to look at me.”

    Jungkook giggles. “We’ll be meeting them backstage after the concert, Tae. She’ll have to look at you eventually and I'm sure she’ll be blessed by your handsome face.” Jungkook lets the compliment slip without any regret, watching the flustered state of Taehyung’s face.

    “Yeah, but god, just imagining her shouting ‘FANCY’ in my face,” Taehyung says and Minjae bursts out laughing. 

    “You want her to shout in your face?” Minjae asks and Taehyung nods without hesitation. Why does Jungkook like him again?

    Taehyung turns his way, smiling brightly as he remembered something about his modeling job he took a while ago, talking about the shoots he’s done for it and some new offers he’s gotten. And the way his eyes sparkle, god, now Jungkook remembers why he likes him. He radiates energy, makes him forget his worries and sorrow. Where would he be without these people in his life right now?

    Five minutes before the start of the concert, Jimin comes back with Hoseok, but Yoongi is no where to be found. Jungkook suddenly starts to feel concerned.

    “He’ll be here soon. Something came up and Yoongi’s talking to security,” Hoseok grumbles, seating Jimin in the seat in the middle. Hoseok takes the outside seat and leaves the one next to Taehyung for Yoongi when he comes back.

    “Security? What the fuck happened? Jimin, are you okay?” Taehyung asks, facing Jimin while grabbing his face in his hands. Jimin laughs and nods.

    “Yes, sorry for worrying you. Some asshole just got a bit too close and Yoongi might’ve overreacted, but it’s fine now,” Jimin says but Hoseok rolls his eyes.

    “He touched you and that’s not okay Minnie. If Yoongi hadn't broken that guy’s hand I would’ve,” Hoseok says with a growl. Jungkook never realized how protective they are over Jimin.

    “You two don't have to protect me. I'm not fragile or anything. I can take care of myself. I still appreciate you helping me out, but I don't like violence,” Jimin says and Taehyung does his best to stop a fight from erupting. They wait for Yoongi to come back at 7:35, and luckily for them, the concert has yet to start.

    “Can’t believe the bastard got off on a warning ! A warning!” Yoongi shouts, but not loud enough for the people around them to hear. Jimin rolls his eyes this time.

    “I told you not to break his hand. All you had to do was yell at him and he would’ve backed off. I would’ve done it myself but god, that guy was terrifying. Surprised he was scared by you,” Jimin teases, Jungkook feeling the light tone of the group returning.

    “What's that supposed to mean?” Yoongi retorts but Jimin doesn't have time to answer because of the lights dimming. The entrance is great. The nine girls rise from below the stage, all in position to perform their first number, which happens to be TT, which apparently Hoseok and Taehyung know all the words and dance to, which is fun to watch. Jungkook joins in after catching on while watching the two of them.

    Jungkook doesn't know any of the fanchants and he feels a little bad when he hears all of his friends shouting them. Even Yoongi knows them.

    TT comes to a close and the girls begin giving their speeches, the crowd roaring every time one of the girls pops up on screen. It’s crazy seeing them live and up close. They look even prettier up close. And they’re extremely talented.

    Jungkook is quiet for most of the concert, even sits for most of it because he just wants to sit back and enjoy it. They’re in the front row so it’s not like he has to worry about anyone standing in front of him. The girls walk up to the edge of the stage to interact with fans and he really hopes one of them comes their way. Specifically, he wants Jihyo to come up to them. 

    During Girls Like Us, Jihyo comes wandering up to them and Jungkook’s heart just stops as she crouches down as she sings “girls, girls, girls like us.” Jungkook smiles so hard and he almost starts laughing and/or crying. It’s such a weird feeling to be acknowledged by an idol. He knows they’re just normal people but this feels different. 

    Good thing Yoongi is recording when she smiles at him because Jungkook feels like he’s about to faint when she reaches out to him, pointing his way. There’s so many people around it might be at someone behind him, but she’s pointing in his direction so it feels so real.

    FANCY is something Jungkook is insanely excited for. He laughs when Sana and Momo are messing around, his heart fluttering at the wholesome interaction. He knows some of his favorite parts of the song, like Sana’s part and the chorus, as well as the rap. Okay, maybe he knows the whole song but that isn't the point. He’s just enjoying himself.

    Taehyung and Hoseok are dancing along, shouting out the lyrics and the fanchants in the process. Jungkook wishes he was this dedicated. The only group he was ever really dedicated to was Big Bang, and he also enjoyed GOT7’s music. Other than that, he had no experience in ever ‘stanning’ a band.

    Some of Jungkook’s favorite performances are Dance The Night Away, Turtle, and Heart Shaker (but who doesn't enjoy Heart Shaker). The girls are energetic and smiling, interacting with fans and always taking the time to chat with them in between songs. 

    Taehyung actually screamed when about Chaeyoung in Gashina but he did not want to talk about it because he was completely embarrassed. Personally, Jungkook really liked Born This Way, but he might’ve been a bit biased. And was it Beyonce that Tzuyu rocked? He was too caught up in the dancing he had barely been listening to the song. Yes or Yes was insanely cute as well.

    Jungkook didn't like that the concert was coming to a close as they performed their last song, Knock Knock, a cute but fun song to end their night. Jungkook got excited when it started, ready to enjoy the moment as he stood up beside Taehyung. He looked surprised to see him standing up since he hadn't stood up for a while, but shrugs it off as they watch the performance. 

    Taehyung is so lucky. Luck is on his side when Chaeyoung and Dahyun start their part. They come up to them, leaning down and rapping right in front of them. Chaeyoung fucking takes his phone and starts recording herself and Dahyun with it. Taehyung is literally screaming, tapping Jungkook as if he can't see what’s going on right in front of him. When they finish, Chaeyoung hands the phone back to Taehyung.

    Jungkook hadn't expected anything else to happen during the performance. He expected them to finish, give their ending speech, meet TWICE backstage and go home. That’s it. Nothing else is supposed to happen. 

    During the bridge, they’re talking about their heart melting, at least that’s what Jungkook can remember from that part of the song. He can't really listen to it when he’s fucking grabbed by Taehyung and forced to look into his eyes as Mina starts singing. Jungkook can back away. Taehyung gives him the chance to if he wants to. He knows what he’s about to do when he looks at him but Jungkook can't back away.

    They kiss and it’s a great feeling. Jungkook hasn't kissed someone in a while and it’s so comforting that he gets to feel Taehyung’s lips. They’re slightly chapped, but Jungkook isn't complaining at all. He loves this and wishes it could last longer than it does. But they’re at a TWICE concert. He for sure wasn't expecting his first kiss with Taehyung to take place while Jihyo shouts, “knock on my door!”

    Minjae elbows him so he’ll pay attention because Jeongyeon and Nayeon have wandered over to their side. Now he just feels embarrassed because they saw it and they’re going to have to see them right after this. He just hopes they don't remember it all or if they do, they don't mention it. 

    Once the song ends, the girls give their ending speech and walk off stage while After Moon plays in the background. It’s a pretty exit, one he won't forget, but he’s too caught up in to realize that it’s over. The group is already starting to get ready to head to meet the girls. 

    But Jungkook can't focus because Taehyung is acting like nothing happened. The rest of the group saw it, people around them must’ve seen it, and of course TWICE had to see it. This is not how he imagined his first kiss with Taehyung ever. He was expecting a romantic one, like in a ferris wheel or something, or while the sun sets behind them on a beach. God, now he’s just embarrassed.

    There’s not a lot of people backstage but Jungkook knows that’s not surprising. The backstage VIP tickets were expensive but Taehyung and Yoongi are rich as shit, so this was definitely nothing for them.

    “We get to go last out of the other groups,” Taehyung mumbles, disappointed. Yoongi sits beside him and pats his back.

    “That just means we’ll get a bit more time, no?” Yoongi assures and Taehyung nods, sending him a smile. Jungkook doesn't dare sit beside Taehyung because he wants to talk in private with Taehyung, not in front of all of their friends. 

    It doesn't feel too long until they’re called back, face to face with the members of TWICE. And just by the way Nayeon looks at them, he can tell she recognizes him and Taehyung from the front row, sucking face during Knock Knock. He avoids her gaze.

    It’s a bit surreal to see them in person. Jungkook kind of forgets what the whole VIP ticket stated, that they would get a few minutes to talk with them, a picture, and hi-touch before they would be escorted out. 

    It feels insanely awkward for a moment, but Sana starts to butter them up a bit to get conversation flowing, and soon, their whole group is immersed in chatting with the girls like long time friends. Taehyung is practically in tears when Chaeyoung starts talking to him since she recognized him from earlier but he carries himself well and keeps it in until later. 

    Jihyo walks up to him, with Nayeon. Why Nayeon? He loves her, loves them all, but he can't look her in the eyes. At least he gets to talk to Jihyo and her? Maybe she won't mention it. They’re still supposed to be professional-

    “You and your boyfriend are very cute,” she says. Of course. Play it cool.

    “Yeah, Taehyung is really cute,” Jungkook says, and he does without thinking it over. He wants to crawl into a hole and die 

    They both laugh it off and they just talk. About their music mainly, but Jungkook asks some questions about them which they’re more than glad to answer. And Jihyo held his hand for a quick five seconds which felt absolutely amazing. 

    Jungkook gets a chance to talk to all of them and he enjoys it all. Each of them have unique personalities and senses of humor. When it comes time for the picture, it’s hard to fit them all into the frame, but they make it work. The positions were a bit uncomfortable, but not for Jungkook. No, he likes sitting on Taehyung’s lap, with Jihyo to his right and Chaeyoung to the left. Actually, he doesn't like it. He loves it.

    They end with the hi-touch, all the girls lined up for them to walk by, smile, give their final farewells, and get to touch their hands for a moment. It’s over as fast as it started and Jungkook etches each of their smiles and voices into his brain. Jeongyeon is last in the line, and she just says ‘good luck’ as he walks out after thanking her. He’ll need it after all. 

 

*

 

    They stayed in one of Yoongi’s many apartments in Seoul for the night because no one wants to drive back right now with all the traffic. It’s easy to split up the rooms. Sort of. Because Minjae gets stuck with Jungkook and Taehyung since Eunseo has to have her own room, something about being the only girl or whatever.

    They’re all in pajamas, sitting on the two beds in the room, Taehyung sitting on one by himself, just glaring.

    “You’re not gonna sleep with me… Jungkook?” he asks and Jungkook can't do anything but shrug. He wants to talk first but with Minjae here it’s extremely hard. Minjae may be dense, but he isn't stupid. And honestly, he’s only dense with Eunseo because Jungkook knows for a fact he’s smarter than he looks and acts. 

    “I'm going to beg Eunseo to let me sleep in her room because it’s so fucking tense right here. Talk this shit out,” he says before slamming the door shut behind him. Jungkook takes a deep breath.

    “I like you?” Jungkook phrases it more like a question than he plans to but it’s not supposed to be one. He just doesn't understand Taehyung at all right now. “No, I like you! I do, I'm just confused.”

    Taehyung raises an eyebrow. “Why are you confused? I like you too. Let's date!”

    Jungkook laughs at the blunt statement. “Well…” Taehyung gives him time, lets him plan out his words accordingly. 

    “I'm scared. I don't like the thought of losing you but I still want you. It’s really confusing and I just don't know if I can-” Taehyung jumps up to join him on the other bed.

    “I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to rush you or anything. You can take all the time you need,” Taehyung reassures, playing with his hair for a couple moments while Jungkook collects himself. Another deep breath.

    “Let me take you out,” Jungkook breathes. It’s quiet, but Taehyung hears it. He hums.

    “You sure, angel? You can take your time.”

    “Taehyung, we don't have time,” Jungkook says and it hurts to say it. It feels like he finally has to face the reality of the situation but it has to be said. “I want this. I'm not gonna regrets this ever. I like you.”

    Taehyung rests his head in Jungkook’s hair, taking him in like he’s the only one who matters right now. And right now, he really is the only one who matters. Taehyung is his world.

    “I like you too, Kook.” He pauses. “About that date you mentioned?”

    Now it’s Jungkook’s turn to laugh. It’s light again. “We’ll discuss that tomorrow. Let’s sleep now.”