Taehyung liked to think he was Jimin’s best friend.
No, scratch that. He wasn’t Jimin’s best friend, he was Jimin’s soulmate. His better, destined half.
(Platonically, of course. Because they have been friends since they were still in the womb and their mothers met each other at the doctor’s office. They saw each other as brothers, as their companions for life. Some day Jimin would get married to some kind person and Taehyung would be his best man and— )
(And that’s where Taehyung always stopped thinking, not being able to imagine a life where he wasn’t Jimin’s most important person.)
(But he wasn’t going to question why he felt like that. No way.)
Where was he? Ah, yeah. Jimin.
Since Taehyung had spent his whole life with Jimin (and only Jimin, because neither of them befriended anyone else), he was more than used to being the focus of Jimin’s life. School? They were together in all projects, even sometimes sacrificing what classes they took in order to be together. Free time? Taehyung always went to Jimin’s dance class and sat there to draw, play videogames, or even do some homework (He had tried dance too, but after a week he just decided he didn’t want to continue and just sat there. Jimin’s teacher didn’t really care, he liked Taehyung too). Family nights? Again, their mothers were friends, and they eventually moved to the same neighborhood. They just slept with the other in either house. It didn’t matter which one it was.
The point was, Taehyung never saw the necessity to learn how to share Jimin. It was always Jimin and Taehyung, not Jimin, Taehyung, and someone else. It was them, and all during high school, everyone knew it, to the point where the few times they weren’t together people around them would be weirded out.
(And if Taehyung wasn’t able to recognize his own identity beyond who he was in relationship to Jimin, well– That was his problem. No one else should have a say on whatever unhealthy dependency they had going on )
And it was thanks to said unhealthy dependency that when they began college, and they had to face a world where they weren’t Jimin and Taehyung, the best friends, but Jimin, the math major, and Taehyung, the art major, it was like someone had burst the bubble he had spent his whole life in.
And it was thanks to five people Taehyung would later call his best friends.
- 1 Sharing clothes
The first friend Taehyung and Jimin made was Jimin’s senior, Hoseok.
Since they had different majors, it had been impossible for them to arrange them to fit perfectly, so it was only a matter of time until they would meet people individually. Now Taehyung, being his particular self, immediately hit it off with the people that sat around him during his classes. He knew their names, their majors, and had a decent understanding of their personalities. But he never got to close, of course. In his head, he didn’t need to make more friends, so why bother?
For Jimin, though, it was different. He actually did make friends with other people in his classes, all with different degrees of closeness. Taehyung was pretty sure most of them weren’t more than just acquaintances, for Jimin didn’t talk about them when he was with Taehyung.
Except for one: Jung Hoseok.
It didn’t pass a day without Jimin mentioning Hoseok at least once.
“Oh, Tae, you won’t believe how amazing Hoseok was today in class!”
“I’ll be late today, Tae. Hoseok is going to show me a new step.”
“I already ate with Hobi-hyung! Sorry, Tae”
(And how could it be Hobi-hyung already? They had known each other for three weeks, goddamnit!)
It was irritating, almost like Jimin didn’t have time for him anymore. And yeah, maybe he was exaggerating a bit. He did see Jimin all the time, and they still had their weekly movie dates, and their food dates, and their unique pet names, and their cuddling sessions, and their special traditions, and their–
The sound of a door closing made Taehyung snap out of his thoughts. He immediately smiled, turning around to where the noise came from. “Hey, Jiminie–” He froze, eyes wide in surprise. In front of him wasn’t his best friend, but he knew perfectly who it was. He had seen him on Jimin’s pictures.
The intruder smiled at him, waving. “Hi! You’re Taehyung, right? I’m Hoseok, one of Jimin’s dance friends.”
Still confused, Taehyung imitated him. “Uh, hi? What– How did you get in here? Aren’t you supposed to be with Jimin right now?”
“Jimin gave me the key! We had an accident during class and someone spilled some kind of sugary drink on his clothes. I lent him some of mine but he went straight to the laundry room. He told me to wait here, so I did.”
Taehyung frowned, who could have done that to his Jiminie? Even if it was an accident, it was a shitty thing to happen. What if it had–
Taehyung blinked. “Excuse me, you did what?”
“I… Lent him some of my clothes?” Hoseok nervously chuckled, not really looking at Taehyung’s eyes. “I always have some extra just in case.”
“Oh,” Taehyung said, now quieter. “That’s… nice of you.”
It was the first time Jimin used someone else’s clothes. If he ever needed some, it was always Taehyung who make sure to have an extra pair just in case Jimin was too sweaty from his dance class, or any other kind of accident. He looked at Hoseok, wondering how his clothes would look on Jimin. He seemed shorter than Taehyung, but his clothes were baggy enough for Jimin to probably drown on them (just like he did on Taehyung’s, which was always a nice sight). Would Jimin like Hoseok’s clothes more than Taehyung’s? Maybe next time he would rather borrow from him instead of his best friend.
The idea made Taehyung feel weird, like there was some kind of void inside his chest. He felt almost… sad that he wasn’t the only one that could help Jimin (which was stupid, because the more people that could help Jimin, the better).
Hoseok shrugged. “I mean, it’s the least I could do. He’s been nothing but the best to me. I want to take care of him” His eyes widened for a second. “A-As a friend! Of course. I want to take care of him as a friend. Just new, completely platonic, friends.”
Taehyung felt himself relax, which confused him even more. Why was he alleviated that this Hoseok wanted to be Jimin’s friend? Wasn’t he just mad at him because of the same reason?
He decided to ignore that line of thought. “Thank you for doing that, Hoseok. I appreciate that.”
“It’s nothing. Jimin is just the kind of person you always want to help, you know?” Hoseok said, his smile back to his face.
Taehyung nodded. “He really is. Even when he was a kid, he would always attract everyone’s attention. It was adorable.”
“How long have you been together, anyway?”
The question made Taehyung raise his eyebrows. “Uh, since forever? We pretty much have been together since we were born.”
“No, I mean, when did you two–” Hoseok was interrupted by the sound of the door opening. Both of them turned their attention to it.
Jimin walked into the room, immediately going to where Taehyung was and jumping towards him with his arms open. Taehyung fell on the bed behind him, Jimin on top of him. “Tae! I missed you!”
Taehyung giggled, wrapping his arms around Jimin’s torso. “I missed you too, Chim.”
The hug lasted less than what Taehyung was used to, only a couple of seconds before Jimin decided to sit on the bed instead of on Taehyung, but it was enough to make all his previous thoughts disappear.
Jimin turned to where Hoseok was. “Hyung! Thank you for lending me the clothes! You really helped me out.”
Hoseok just made a dismissive gesture with his hands. “It’s fine, really. It’s just clothes, you can give them back to me next time or something. Also,” he grinned, “it gave me an excuse to come see the so famous Kim Taehyung.”
Taehyung felt his face redden a bit. He looked at Jimin with a raised eyebrow. “Famous?”
“Yeah! Jimin talks about you all the time. I think the dance team knows more about you than about Jimin.”
“Hyung,” whined Jimin, “I don’t talk about Tae that much.”
“Sure you don’t. I even know that Tae doesn’t like coffee, that his birthday is on December 30, and that he loves strawberries.” Hoseok chuckled. “Jimin, I don’t even know the names of everyone in our team.”
Jimin’s face was completely red. “But– But maybe that’s just on you!”
“Sure.” Hoseok shook his head, still grinning. “I’ll see you later, Jiminie. Nice to meet you, Taehyung.”
Taehyung just said a quick bye before Hoseok exited the room, leaving them alone. Taehyung clung onto Jimin, looking at him with a huge smile. “So… You talk about me?”
Jimin groaned, grabbing a pillow and hitting Taehyung’s face with it. Seconds later they both started giggling.
Taehyung took the opportunity to look at his best friend. Jimin tended to laugh with his whole body, always closing his eyes to the point he couldn’t see. He looked so adorable at the moment, he didn’t even mind that he was wearing Hoseok’s clothes anymore.
He didn’t mind Hoseok any longer either. Not when it was clear he really cared about Jimin.
Besides, what was just one more friend?
- 2 Pet names
The next friend came from Taehyung’s side this time.
Taehyung met him in his second semester during his history of art class. He was a sophomore, just like Hobi-hyung (he had adopted the nickname too. Sue him), and he was extremely smart, to the point where he was taking their class only because he wanted instead of because of a requirement (which was Taehyung’s case). More important than anything else, he was nice, which made Taehyung like him enough to invite him to study in his room.
That was how Namjoon and Jimin had met.
By that point, Taehyung wasn’t surprised that Jimin and Namjoon became friends almost immediately. It made sense for both of them to have a lot in common, and Taehyung could even admit that they physically went well together as well. By the time they had found out that Namjoon also knew Hoseok, Taehyung just knew Namjoon had been made part of their (now bigger) circle of friends.
That being said, the first time Namjoon gave Jimin a pet name, Taehyung almost threw their history book at his face.
They had been studying at the library, mostly as an excuse to hang out together while also finished their loads of homework. Taehyung had been writing an essay for his class when he asked for Jimin to look over his paper. It was then that Namjoon asked.
“When did you start calling Jimin ‘Chim’?”
Both Jimin and Taehyung blinked “What?”
“Chim,” Namjoon repeated, looking at them. “Taehyung always calls you either that or Jiminie. But how did it start?”
“Well,” Taehyung started, giving Jimin a quick look. “Those were actually my first words. According to my mom, I was trying to say ‘Jimin,’ but I just kept repeating ‘Chim’ instead. I guess it stuck after all these years.”
“Wait, really?” Asked Hoseok, snorting. “Of course your first words would be related to Jimin. Why am I not surprised?”
Jimin’s lips curved into a small smile. “My first word was actually ‘Tae,’ so I guess it fits”
Now Hoseok straight up groaned. “I can’t with you two. I feel like I’m in some kind of rom-com. What the hell.”
“Does anyone else use it?” Asked Namjoon, “because… I mean, I would like to use one too.”
“No!” Taehyung immediately yelled, startling everyone. The librarian was looking at him with a frown, making Taehyung flinch. “Sorry, sorry. I’ll be quieter.”
Namjoon looked at him, with a raised eyebrow. “Why not?”
“It’s– It’s just personal, you know? Like, an inside thing between him and me.” Taehyung tried to smile, but his muscles felt stiff. “So I would rather for you not use it.”
It seemed to make sense, for both Namjoon and Hoseok nodded. Hoseok still had a funny look on his eyes, though. “But we can still come up with one, right?”
Taehyung pressed his lips together. “I guess…”
“I don’t really mind,” Jimin said, shrugging.
Namjoon stared directly at Jimin’s eyes for way longer than Taehyung felt comfortable with. “What about Mochi?”
Jimin blinked. “Mochi?”
“Yeah, you look like a mochi,” Namjoon said, extending his arm enough to pinch Jimin’s cheek. “A cute, sexy one.”
Hoseok put his hand under his chin, humming. “You know, I can see it. You do look like a mochi.”
Jimin’s face turned pink. “I do not!”
Taehyung started giggling, putting his arm around Jimin. “You kind of do.”
“Betrayal!” Jimin gasped, curling himself closer to Taehyung, who just moved him onto his lap.
Namjoon and Hoseok shared a knowing look, which Taehyung completely ignored, too busy staring at his best friend.
If every time a friend gave Jimin a new pet name he would get that shy and end up on Taehyung’s lap, well… Then Taehyung didn’t mind it that much.
- 3 Pretending to be someone’s bf
The next person to join their friend group was Kim Seokjin.
Taehyung met him through Namjoon and Hoseok. Seokjin was a senior, but despite being in the middle of rehearsals for the End of Semester Show, he still found time to hang out around them enough to be included during their hangouts. Taehyung really liked him, especially his sense of humor.
Also, he could always make Jimin smile, so that put his name pretty high in his list of ‘People that matter.’
If anything, the only problem with Seokjin was that thanks to how likable he was (and how beautiful), it wasn’t uncommon for random people to approach him all the time. It was funny the first time, but it quickly got boring as it kept happening.
That particular day, Seokjin looked extra cute, coming straight from rehearsal. As such, he still had make-up on, as well as an over-sized sweater that was long enough to cover his hands. He was astonishing pretty.
And in the first twenty minutes they had been at the park, at least five people had approached him, one of them being so shameless that he invited himself to the picnic with them.
Needless to say, no one was amused.
“This is ridiculous,” Jimin murmured, already looking at the next person walking in their direction. “Can’t they leave you alone? You have been rejecting all of them!”
Seokjin sighed. “You get used to it, I guess.”
“Still pretty annoying,” Hoseok added, frowning. “Any idea as to what we can do?”
“We could spill coke on the next one,” suggested Taehyung. “We just have to shake it before.”
“We can’t do that, Tae,” Namjoon said, “we don’t have an additional one.”
“I would be worth it, though.”
“Here it comes–” Hoseok said, looking at the man a few steps away from them.
The man looked good, Taehyung had to admit. The kind of cute you would see on dramas all the time. But he was also interrupting their lunch, so Taehyung couldn’t care any less how good he looked. He just wanted to eat his food, goddamnit.
“Hi,” the cute guy said, crouching next to Seokjin. “I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful you looked.”
Seokjin gave him an unimpressed look. “Good to know.”
They guy’s smile didn’t even falter a bit. “I’m–”
“Hey, babe,” Jimin interrupted, moving next to Seokjin and hugging his side. Taehyung almost answered, but caught himself on time. “Do you want some strawberries? I made sure to include some only for you.”
Seokjin blinked, before wrapping his arms around Jimin and putting him closer. “Of course, but only if you feed them to me.”
Jimin started giggling, rubbing his nose against Seokjin’s neck. It made Taehyung clench his jaw, for some reason. “Of course. Anything for you.” He reached for the strawberries, which were just beside Taehyung, and took one. He made sure to softly press it against Seokjin’s lips. “Now, why don’t you open that beautiful mouth of yours?”
Seokjin immediately did, slowly taking a bite, his eyes never leaving Jimin’s. The guy beside him cleared his throat, clearly uncomfortable.
Taehyung could relate.
Jimin looked at the guy like it was the most annoying thing in the world. “Excuse me, who are you again?”
The guy’s face turned pink, mumbling something before running away from them.
Hoseok left a whistle. “Damn, that definitely was something.”
Both Seokjin and Jimin started giggling. “I didn’t know you were such a good actor, Jiminie.”
Jimin groaned. “Hyung! I only wanted them to leave you alone.”
“I think it worked, no one is looking at Seokjin anymore,” noted Namjoon, looking around.
Taehyung was still in silence, looking down at the strawberries. He didn’t even look up when Jimin went back to his place next to him.
“But seriously, though, how did you do that so naturally?” Askes Hoseok. “If it wasn’t because I know who you are I would have thought you actually were Seokjin-hyung’s boyfriend.”
“I used to do that all the time with Tae,” admitted Jimin, his face slightly pink. “Nor only because people hi on him all the time, not that I can blame them,” Taehyung’shead perked at that, “but because we used to go to stores that offered couple discounts when we were younger. I guess I just learned how to fake being someone’s boyfriend.”
“Not that you need it anymore,” laughed Namjoon. Both Jimin and Taehyung looked at him in confusion.
“What do you–”
“Either way, thank you for doing that, Jiminie,” said Seokjin, smiling. “You really saved me there.”
Jimin shrugged. “It really is nothing.”
Beside him, Taehyung pouted. “I thought you had brought the strawberries for me.”
Jimin started giggling, ruffling Taehyung’s hair. “Of course I did, you big baby.” He took a strawberry, putting it in front of Taehyung’s mouth. “Come on, let me feed you too.”
With a happy smile, Taehyung bit the strawberry that Jimin was feeding to him. It wasn’t different from what he had done earlier with Seokjin, but it felt just right to Taehyung.
Taehyung couldn’t help but grin. Maybe Jimin had pretended to be Seokjin’s boyfriend but, at the end of the day, it was Taehyung who got to enjoy Jimin like that.
And it felt damn nice.
- 4 Cooking
They met Yoongi on Seokjin’s graduation.
By that point, Taehyung was already used to the idea that Jimin had more friends beside him. Hell, they all had become their friends, so when Yoongi joined them, Taehyung didn’t even question it.
At least, not until he noticed just how well Yoongi and Jimin got along.
It was almost funny. They bickered all the time, always over small things, but they also seemed to complement each other in an odd way. They spent a lot of time together on their own, mostly Jimin visiting Yoongi while he made music, or when they just wanted to hang out.
(They also held hands a lot, Taehyung had noticed).
Every time they were together, it was like they had their little world, where they knew exactly how to move following the other.
An example of it was when Jimin decided to help Yoongi cook.
Jimin and Taehyung weren’t the best cooks, mostly living off take out, cafeteria food, or the meals either Seokjin or Yoongi prepared. So when Jimin expressed his intentions to help Yoongi cook for the first time, Taehyung was left surprised.
Yoongi had protested for five minutes before allowing Jimin to help, and since then he had been slowly teaching Jimin different small, simple dishes. When they all were at one of their apartments, it was almost a rule for Yoongi and Jimin to be left alone in the kitchen. Not even Taehyung was allowed to interfere.
“I can only watch over one kid,” Yoongi said every time Taehyung protested, “so it’s either you or Jimin. Which one do you prefer?”
As if Taehyung would do anything that could make Jimin sad.
Not that it meant he wouldn’t be grumpy about it, always glaring at the pair from the living room. His friends liked to tease him about it.
“You know Yoongi only likes Jimin as a friend, right?” Asked Seokjin one day after watching Taehyung sulk for over ten minutes.
Taehyung let his head fall, sighing out loud. “I know that, but I still wish I could participate. This is one of the few things that we don’t really share.”
“Hoseok patted his head. “It’s fine, Taehyungie. We all know how special you are for Jimin. Even if you don’t share everything, you’re still his favorite person in the world.”
Taehyung’s face lightened up. “You really think so?”
Namjoon snorted. “Why, of course. After all, you two have been together since forever.”
Taehyung smiled, feeling pride just at the mention of his special bond with Jimin. Not even a second afterward, Jimin came out of the kitchen, hugging Taehyung from behind the couch he was sitting on.
“Tae! Guess what!” He said, resting his head on top od Taehyung’s. “I convinced Yoongi-hyung to teach me how to make your favorite dish! Now I’ll be able to make it for you whenever you want.”
Taehyung beamed, turning around and looking at Jimin like he had hung up all the stars in the universe. “Are you serious?”
From behind Jimin, Yoongi sighed. “Yes. This little shit had been asking me that for weeks. Actually, that’s what we were cooking right now. Food is ready, by the way.”
Without missing a beat, Taehyung jumped over the couch and immediately hugged Jimin, lifting him from the floor and jumping with him. “You’re the best, Chim! I love you so much.”
Jimin started giggling. “I love you too, Taetae. Now put me down, we gotta eat.”
Taehyung stopped jumping but still carried Jimin to his seat. Jimin never stopped giggling.
Suddenly, Taehyung didn’t mind a bit that he wasn’t allowed during cooking time.
He had his little chef for himself at home.
- 5 Cuddling
Jeon Jungkook was a total surprise for Taehyung.
With him, Taehyung isn’t sure how he got into their group of friends. He just appeared one day and stayed forever. Not that Taehyung cared. He loved Jungkook, all of them did. And, since he was the youngest, all of them couldn’t help but dote on him a lot.
Jimin wasn’t an exception.
Taehyung had his theories as to why, but from the beginning, Jimin always paid extra attention to whatever that involved Jungkook. It was adorable, really. And since Taehyung wasn’t that different, having Jungkook with them all the time became something of a common occurrence, to the point where Taehyung was pretty sure Jungkook already lived in their apartment at least during half of the week.
It wasn’t a problem, really. Jimin slept with Taehyung most of the time anyway, so Jungkook tended to occupy Jimin’s bed.
Sometimes, he would occupy Jimin’s bed while Jimin was still on it.
The idea of someone else cuddling with Jimin during the night always made Taehyung feel something funny on the inside, like a little monster biting on his skin. But having to actually see it all the time was, somehow, even worse. To the point where it made Taehyung grumpier at times.
It was during a day they all but Jimin were at a restaurant that he mentioned it for the first time.
“It’s just– Like a weird feeling?” He had tried to explain. “It bothers me a lot, for some reason. Not only with Jungkook, but the general idea of Jimin being with someone else.”
Namjoon looked at him for a couple of seconds. “That sounds like jealousy to me.”
Taehyung choked on air. “Wh-what? I’m not– I’m not jealous!”
“It would make sense, though,” mentioned Seokjin, taking a sip out of his drink. “I am actually surprised you usually aren’t, but I guess after so long together yo don’t get jealous often.”
“I admire your relationship a lot, you know?” added Hoseok. “Like, it’s so healthy. I’ve never seen a couple like that before.”
Jungkook nodded. “It’s pretty cool. And you’re even chill with me basically living with both of you rent-free. Good thing you have an extra bedroom.”
Taehyung frowned. “What do you mean? That’s Jimin’s room.”
“Yeah, I know Jimin kind of leaves his things there, but still.” Jungkook shrugged.
“Why did you buy a two-bedroom apartment, anyway?” Asked Hoseok. “It seems like a waste of money.”
Taehyung scratched his neck. “Well, we figured that we might need privacy… Even though Jimin does sleep with me most of the time.” He started gulping his drink.
“You see? That’s how a healthy relationship is supposed to work.” Namjoon put his hand on Taehyung’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you two got married right after college.”
Taehyung spitted his drink.
Immediately, everyone started protesting. But Taehyung was too busy trying not to die to pay attention.
“M-Married?” He asked, his voice barely working.
“Well, yeah.” Namjoon shrugged. “You’ve been together for a long time, right? Seems kind of obvious.”
“You never told us how long you two have been boyfriends, though,” Yoongi mentioned. “How long has it been?”
Taehyung blinked, looking at everyone in the table like they had two heads. “Are you… Are you guys serious?”
Seokjin scoffed. “Not our fault you never answer us clearly. It’s always some ‘we’ve been together since we were born’ bullshit. We want an actual date. We have missed who knows how many anniversaries already.”
Taehyung still couldn’t understand where they had all gone wrong. “Guys… Jimin and I aren’t together.”
“Oh, you want to wait until he gets here?” Asked Namjoon. “Makes sense that you want to tell us together.”
Taehyung shook his head. “No, I mean– We aren’t together, as in, we aren’t boyfriends. He’s just my best friend.”
There was complete silence, everyone looking at Taehyung at different levels of incredulity.
Hoseok was the first to talk. “S-Said what again?”
“We aren’t together. We are just friends. Where did you ever get that idea from?”
“But– But–” Namjoon said, blinking. “But you act like a couple all the time!”
Taehyung shrugged. “That’s the way we have always been. I don’t see how that makes us boyfriends.”
“You spend all your time together, though! Even at home!” Jungkook cried.
“We have always spent all our time together. Again, it doesn’t make us boyfriends.”
Yoongi scrubbed his face. “Oh god, we’re idiots. How did we never notice they weren’t a thing!”
“Now that I think about it…” started Seokjin. “We never really saw them kissing.”
“That doesn’t mean anything. They could just no like to show PDA” Hoseok looked like he had liked a lemon. “What the fuck. I’ve known you two for three years. How come this was never brought up before?”
“I swear I wanna kill them,” mumbled Yoongi. Beside him, Namjoon nodded in agreement.
Taehyung’s lips curled up. “Can’t believe you all thought Jimin and I were together.”
“Well,” Jungkook said. “Would you like that? For you two to be together?”
Taehyung didn’t answer, but his red face was enough for everyone else.
Five minutes later, Jimin arrived.
“I’m sorry I’m so late! My teacher held me up for longer than I thought.” He immediately sat beside Taehyung, kissing him on the check. “So, what did I miss?”
“Jimin,” said Taehyung, “did you know all our friends thought we were together?”
Jimin blinked, as if not expecting that question. “Well, yeah. It’s pretty hilarious. Did they finally find out?”
“So you knew.” Hoseok’s tone was accusatory. “You knew, and you didn’t bother to correct us.”
Jimin shrugged. “Again, it was funny. And it’s a matter of time, anyway. I’m just waiting for Tae to catch up and tell me already he’s in love with me.”
Taehyung looked at him in surprise. “You knew?”
“Since middle school, baby” He gave Taehyung another kiss on the cheek. “Don’t worry, I can still wait. We have the rest of our lives to be together, after all.”
And despite all the emotions Taehyung had felt just that day, he smiled.
“Yes,” he said, laughing a bit. “The rest of our lives does sound good.”